Wednesday, December 25, 2013

From Our Family to Yours!

We wish you the merriest Christmas and happiness in the upcoming year!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

His Giving Heart

This boy. He has a way of pushing my buttons. The boy with the big mouth, that often gets him in trouble, has an even bigger heart. 

Earlier this month the boys were making their letters to Santa. Sun Kissed Boy #1 didn't make one. I assumed it was because he knows that Santa gets a little help with gift giving. Wink, wink. I assumed wrong. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and what he said surprised me. He didn't want anything for himself. Instead, he wanted to buy canned food to donate to an organization that helps the less fortunate. 

I don't know why it surprised me so. In the past, he has given me money from his piggy bank to donate to several charities, he has spent time volunteering to help feed the elderly, and he helps his grandma to no end. 

He's 11. I was never that giving at 11. I don't think I'm that giving even now. I thought maybe when the weeks passed the excitement from his brothers of gifts would be contagious. But he never changed his mind. 

He pushed a grocery cart and filled it with items until it added up to the amount Sun Kissed Husband and I would have spent on his presents. 

I found a local church that had a pantry kitchen and accepted donations. We took our bags and because giving can be infectious, a friend from work gave us canned goods to donate as well.

When we left, I asked him why he wanted to do what he did. His answer made me thankful for his giving heart. "Mom, I have everything I need. Of course there's things I want. But I don't need it as much as they need it."

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Lounging in Their PJs

A few weeks back, I headed to The Children's Place to shop for Christmas photo card outfits for the boys. Then we got a cold front. When I say cold, I defined it as cold to South Florida standards. It was in the upper 60s... ok, maybe it was the low 70s. 

By the time I got to the store, my mind was on cozy and snuggly. I ended up buying jammies instead. :) That's what we've been hanging out in all week. 

Turns out jammies are great to wear while we bake cookies, ...

drink hot chocolate, ...

lounge, ...

read, ...

oh, yeah, and sleep. 

Hope you're enjoying your 'winter' break as much as were are. :)

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Minted Holiday Cards

Holiday cards are kind of a big deal in our house. It's one of the few times of the year that I take "posed" pictures of the boys. The picture usually involves a location for the shoot, special outfits, and a theme. I haven't taken photos for this year's cards yet but I do know where I am going for my printing needs, MintedHere are some of the things that attracted me to them.

On most of their cards, you can choose different shapes. Below are samples of their ornament cards and they include luxe ribbon. 
You have the option to change the color of the graphics to match or contrast with your photo.
The foil pressed cards have a luxurious look to them, even with a little mutt on the picture. ;) 
Oh, did I mention that their cards are designed by indie artists? I love that!

Minted also has a blog, Julep, full of easy DIY projects, home design and photo inspiration.

I kind of love all that too! 

Minted was gracious enough to sponsor this post, however, all opinions are my own.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Tooth for Fairy

Once upon a time there was a little boy. The little boy had been waiting all of first grade for the Tooth Fairy to pay a visit as she had many of his classmates. First grade came and went and no tooth was remotely close to grant a visit from such Fairy.

Second grade came and the classmates spoke of goodies they had bought with their teeth money during the summer. The little boy became increasingly frustrated at his strong teeth staying tight. Then one day, he bit into an apple and it hurt. Finally, a loose tooth! 

The little boy's mommy secretly had been waiting for the moment too. So she decided to add dentistry to the many list of mom-duties. Out came a string which she tightly strong around the little tooth. She barely pulled and a baby enamel kernel came off. She held it in her hand in awe. Memories of her grandfather doing the same thing, many years ago, came flooding in bringing a tear to her eye.

That night, as the little boy dreamt, through the magic of fairy dust, the tooth became a dollar.

The wise little boy knew that not much could be purchased with a single dollar so he invested in what might bring him even more wealth. He went to the store and bought the most sugary gum in the isle. 

The End.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

What I love About Watching the Planes Go By

It's becoming a pastime in our family to picnic by the airport and watch the airplanes land. It's not only cool to see such huge machines come in but it's free entertainment! Here are a few shots of what I also love about our time there. I love...

... how my little guy always brings me a flower to brighten my day.

... sitting next to the oldest Sun Kissed Boy and have conversations (about nothing or everything) while the littler ones play.

... that Sun Kissed Boys 1 and 2 make up games to entertain themselves.

... how Sun Kissed Boy #3 makes sure Cooper the Dog gets to enjoy himself too.

... little welcoming hands waving at airplanes coming in. 

I capture a lot of details from our lives with my camera. But I also close my eyes to soak in other details of our afternoons on the train tracks by the airport. Audible details. I find a certain comfort in the noise of a plane's powerful engines. I hear a mixture of little voices, exploding laughter, grinding of rocks against shoes, pebbles bouncing on cement, a dog's bark. I hear the little voice inside of me that reminds me to be thankful for it all.   

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homework On a Box


The mere whisper of the word makes me cringe. The word immediately conjures up images of sitting next to my oldest son working on word problems that my brain can no longer comprehend let alone explain. 

Him getting frustrated. 
Me trying not to loose my patience. 
Him pulling out his hairs. 
Me growing a few more gray hairs. All for hours on end. 

So when I find something that makes homework time a little less dreadful, I jump at it.

Our neighbors recently bought a refrigerator. Knowing that the boys would get some use out of it, they gave us the box. At first, they drew pictures. Then the broken down box evolved to a place to lay for Sun Kissed Boy #1 to do his homework. 

When I suggested we do his spelling pre-test on the box, it was welcomed with all smiles. SmileS! As in more than one! He wrote down the words as I dictated them in one section and then rewrote the ones he missed in another section.

Homework on a box will not make you magically understand fractions but it might help trying to figure them out a little bit more entertaining. I think I might be stalking my local grocery store to stock up on boxes for the entire school year.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nautical Shower Curtain Makeover

Hardly ever can I buy an item from a store and use it as is. For this, I blame Pinterest with all its pretty pictures and projects. I could have just hung up this shower curtain, but then I had the lovely idea of making it look like a sail. 

Whenever I customize an item, I try to incorporate something of sentimental value. For the shower curtain "sail", I used the numbers from the sailboat that my husband sailed all through his youth. 

I'm terrible at freehand so I used the iPad to trace the numbers. I found the font I wanted to use online and enlarged them as big as I could. You can also use a stencil or, if you don't have my wobbly hands, draw them freehand. Then I colored the numbers with craft paint. 

Once I get started on a project, if I stop to get other supplies at a later time, chances are that months will go by before I finish it. So I had to use what I had on hand and got creative for the shower hooks. Rope is nautical, right? 

Here's the "sail".

Yes, I could have just hung up the curtain and be done. But now that I've personalized it, whenever my husband sees it, it can bring him back to good times past. That makes me smile. Isn't that what the things around our homes is suppose to do, make us smile? 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Think Back to Summer

Perhaps it's me going back to work.

Perhaps it's middle school.

Perhaps it's the routine of getting back into a routine.

Even with almost four weeks into school, our family is still getting adjusted to the schedule. Sun Kissed Boy #1 started middle school this year and I have to say, it hasn't been an easy transition. I've also started working part-time and even though I enjoy it, it's something routine-ish to do. 

We all miss our easy summer days more than ever. That's what I want to think about in this post. Our fun summer!

We miss the sparkly ocean.

We miss sandy conversations.

I admit that with our nice Florida weather, we could have taken these just last weekend. But it's not as fun when in the back of your mind, you know you have to go back home and battle with your kid to do hours of algebra and vocabulary definitions. 

Summers are just more magical. What do you miss most about summer?

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shopping for Baby Greyson and Back to School

Even though we're enjoying the lazy leisure days of summer, it's time to start thinking about school days again. With us, those preparations start with clothes shopping at The Children's Place. This shopping trip was a little different though. The shopping included an outfit for baby Greyson.

It was so cute to watch the boys pick out somethings for him.

In the end, we went with something a little more practical for an almost 1-year-old. :)

For the 3 Sun Kissed Boys, we came home with some ever-handy, yet stylish, jeans, graphic tees, and (what my oldest calls) basketball shorts. Sun Kissed Boy #3 wanted the Perry the Platypus backpack but last year's backpacks are still going strong. Guess where we bought them? The Children's Place!! ;)  

A funny coincidence, as I was typing this post, the UPS delivery man came by with some happy mail! More goodies that I had ordered online from The Children's Place. :)

I love the perfect timing!

The clothes featured in this post were all curtesy of The Children's Place

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