Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I see London...

Grace wasn't much of a sleeper yesterday. In fact, during naptime she went #2 in her diaper, took it off, and smeared it all over the place. THEN, fell asleep in it! Oh yes, it was an exciting day at the Michael house. Fortunatley, I didn't get a picture of that. But, Grace also had a hard time falling a sleep last night. This was at 10:00pm. She has already spent about 10 minutes yelling, "Conrad! COOONRAAAD!" Can you tell what she's singing?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bento Thursday

I am going to try to post a picture every week or so with what I made for lunch for the girls that week. Honestly, I steal most of my bento ideas from the websites listed to the right. Everyone in www land seems to have gone Hog Halloween Wild. So the below just couldn't be helped.

Our daycare requires that the kids have basically one of each foodgroup in thier lunches (even tho I'm fairly sure neither of my children have much to do with the veggies I pack, I really don't know because they throw all of the left over food away instead of sending it home)

In the below box you see a Mummy hotdog, wrapped in a cresent roll, with edible marker eyes. Also you have Nilla Waffers(where I wrote I love you on the top one!)

In the top bento box you see two fruit sticks (I was thinking about making eyes out of them, but just plain forgot), also there is carrot sticks with veggie dip in the monkey head, and a ghost cheese stick. Yum!

I have been getting some feedback from the care givers at the center. Isabelle's teacher asked me where I get all of the cute lunch stuff. And Grace's teacher asked me if I stay up till midnight every night making lunches. I have also gotten those questions in my comment section, so I'll try to answer them!

If you click on the lunch blogs on the right, they have links to thier favorite bento stores. I also got some of my stuff at a local japaanese gift store/market in town. I found it by using this bento store locator. But I had actually been there a few weeks before to find a random asian food ingrediant...anyone need any Ponzu sauce?

Do I stay up till midnight? No. It takes me about twice as long as it would to make a regular ole' baggy and brown bag lunch. But I do not dread it like I dreaded the brown bag lunch routine. I enjoy it. It's much more like creating than like a chore. Not to mention, the kids love it AND they eat more interesting and varied things than they would with regular old food.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Christmas Giving

I have started thinking about Christmas! I can't believe it...but it's true! My mom already asked me for a "Christmas List" for the kids. It is difficult to come up with wish lists for kids who don't talk and "wish" for things yet. Hence, Isabelle has a list...Grace? What does she need? She just had a birthday, she get's Isabelle's hand me down toys and clothes. She's a bit trickier.

Anyway, this Christmas I want to start working on thoughtful handmade gifts with Isabelle. I would like to begin early making the focus about what we give, not what we get. So watch your Christmas Tree's folks, wonderful, thoughtful, handmade goodness from the Michael Children (with a little help from Mama) will be coming your way.

Do you have any traditions or thoughtful gift ideas that you do with your children?

And Speaking of Trees, here are our country girls and thier version of climbing trees.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have been so blessed to have my grandparents in my life. I have to say that they have added a depth and quality to my childhood and adult life by thier wisdom and presence. For most of my life I have had all four of my grandparents, and only in the past few years lost two of those precious family members.

Grandma Margie and Papaw Clynis continue to be around for MY little ones. Grandma makes a lot of debutes in "The Michael Chronicles" because Grace is her favorite she's around a lot! As a matter of fact, if you ask Grace, "Who's baby are you?" She'll say, "I Ganny's Baby"

I thought I'd post some pictures of my Papaw and Grace, having a deep conversation. If you don't know Papaw, you'll know that he loves to tell a good story...I wonder which story he's sharing with Grace? She looks totally in to it!?

And here is Isabelle with Grandma Margie. Love it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paint Your Name Tote Tutorial

I wanted to do a fun craft for Grace's birthday for the few cousins that were coming. I searched the internet and finally decided on painting names on totes and t-shirts. Of course, with a bunch of preschoolers it could be...well...a totally ugly mess. So I decided to take it a slightly different direction. I bought som freezer paper, and ran it through my Cricut Machine, cutting out each cousins name and a few little fun shapes.

I then ironed it, shiny side down, to the tote, that I bought in a pack at Jo Ann's. For the littliest ones I also ironed freezer paper to the rest of the tote,so the paint would stay where it was supposed to! I bought a cheap pack of fabric paint and some little sponge brushes to go a long with it.

When it came time for the party, I borrowed some old tshirts, covered the kids, and they painted away. I also put pieces of cardboard in between the layers of the tote or t-shirt. When they finished...and before the paint dried, we removed the freezer paper and it turned out way better than I expected!!

I highly recommend this craft! It turned out great

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This morning I had the privelage of sitting in a court room with 45 people. Those 45people represented 28 different nations. There were all sorts of colors and shades of humanity there. And my heart (that still beats "missions missions missions") swelled and my eyes teared up as I thought to myself, "Surely this is a glimpse of what heaven looks like."

They stood up, one by one, and introduced themselves. "Good morning, Your Honor, my name is....and I am from......" The judge welcomed them and went into a moving speech about how our Great Nation was founded on Immigrants such as themselves. How they are now bound to take what is good in our Country and to make it better. It was solemn and it was very happy.

How was I so privelaged to witness this event? Conrad became a U.S. citizen today! Although I was kind of sad to have lost a "foreigner" in our home, I was thrilled for him! He is excited to call himself an American...and to vote! Welcome to the family, babe!
Conrad calling his Mom to tell her the good news!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grace's Birthday...A Week of Celebration

We celebrated Grace's 2nd Birthday All.Week.Long. It was fun for us, although she really isn't getting it that much. Every time I said, "Grace, Happy Birthday!" She would reply with, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" Oh well!

We started off with cupcakes at daycare for Grace's class. It was a crazy busy week, so they weren't too fancy, just brownies with canned frosting. But, really, how much fancy can a gaggle of two year olds really take? Now the teachers on the other hand? They got canned cupcakes as a take home treat. Yum!

Then the kids went to spend a few days with my parents while I had a work conference in Cleveland. Conrad joined me on Friday and we enjoyed yummy seafood, lots of desserts, movies, and sleep. All of those lovely things you miss when you have a house full of small children.

On Sunday we had a family party for Grace. She got lot's of thoughtful gifts from our family and had such a good time playing with her cousins! We painted names on bags and t-shirts...which was really interested with a bunch of preschoolers. And then we had a mini hayride, which the kids loved! Well, Gracie loved it till she fell asleep!

All in all, it was a fun weekend! Happy Birthday Little One!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pure Sweetness

Both the girl and the cookie dough are sweet. But the girl? She is Pure Sweetness!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happy 2 Grace!

Time really does fly when you have children! I cannot believe that our little baby is two years old! Where did two years go? Yesterday Isabelle was talking on skype to my bff Rachel and said (about Grace), "Aunt Rachel, my baby went on a field trip to Pizza Hut...on a bus!" I think it's cute when Isabelle calls her my baby. She also calls her "sweetie." Of course, most of the time, she's bossing her around or yelling at her...but you take the sweetness when you can get it!

Grace is so sweet. We love her temperment and how she loves to make people smile..and even strangers! We just love our baby girl! Happy birthday Little One! We thank God for you in our lives every day!

Newborn Grace

Grace @ 1 year

Grace@2 years

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Butterfly Chalkboard Labels

When I made my last batch of chalkboard labels, for my laundry room, I had a few wood squares left over. I went to JoAnn's and bought a few more to label all of Isabelle's toybox drawers. I would love to tell you that I lovingly created each one of these little butterfly's myself by hand...but JoAnn had them pre-assembled and painted for .59 each. So I picked them up. After painting the wood squares with chalkboard paint, I hot glued the butterflies to the squares and hot glued them to the drawers. So easy and it adds so much! FYI, JoAnn's has tons of cute little painted wooden figures.

Now I have only one little problem....Isabelle still can't read quite yet! :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

My First Homemade Costume

I have faithfully stuck with the store bought costume for my kids' Halloween costumes in the past. The cold hard facts were that it was cheaper to do this than spent the $$$ on homemade duds. Poor little Gracie (as is the story of her life) has always gotten hand me down costumes...we'll this year marks her second real dress up and get candy event. Isabelle is the one who get's something new each year.

This year I saw this totally cute cupcake costume in the Pottery Barn catalogue. But it was $60! For a costume that will get warn twice...at best. Four times if your next chid wears it the next year. Who spends that kind of money on this kind of thing? Not me. So, reading the description I realized it was just really expensive felt. Could I re-create this? Alas, no. I thought my sewing skills were sadly lacking and my mom (who has all of the sewing skills in the family, is way too busy to make a cupcake costume.

Lucky for me, someone way more creative and talented than myself figured out how to re-create the costume..and all without a stitch! She did it all with a hot glue gun...and she wrote a tutorial. Score! What do you think?

Morning People

Half of my family are morning people: Conrad and Grace. They wake up with a smile on thier faces and excited about life. Isabelle and I, the other half, are NOT like these pleasant creatures of the rising sun. And throw the two of us together, add in an alarm clock that didn't go off, and you have a virtual war zone!

So today, I am thankful for my husband, who does much of the managing of Isabelle in the morning. He wakes her up gently, and jokes with her to make her smile and giggle. He sends Grace in to give her kisses and takes time to cuddle with her before starting the morning routine. And he mostly leaves me with our pleasant little morning bird to take care of. I think he's realized it's the best way for ALL of us to have a good start to our days when Mommy works. He takes good care of all of us!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Isabelle-ism of the Day

One day, we were in the car and I asked Isabelle, "Isabelle,when Mommy and Daddy grow and get old old will you take care of us and let us live in your house with you?" She sat thoughtfully for a second, and then answered, "No. I really don't like old old people." Ouch.