Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cute Girly Hair-Dos!

So, I've found some fabulously fun blogs that have taken a lot of my attention, and I've shared them with a few only to realize I shared erroneously.   Sorry!  Here are some links with the "real" addresses!

Adopt a 'Do

She Does Hair

Both of these amazing women have links to other various hair-do-ing sites, as well as hair accessory sites.  So visit and enjoy the love, the creativity, and put in a good movie for your little girl so you can have fun playing with her hair!  (as a side note, and an idea from my sis, give your girl her favorite "haired" doll and let her practice while you practice!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

DIY Part 2

Here are some pics of the kids' magnet boards that I made for Christmas.  Sorry the boards are already overflowing with things the kiddos wanted to hang up, but then again, that's why I made them, so mission successful!

Sophia's: (matches the flowers I painted on her walls.  Gotta love the random pics she wanted to put on there!)

Livia's:  (it matches the paint on the bottom half of her room, and has matching dots on the lower right-hand corner)

the boys: Daniel's is on the top and Micah's is the bottom one (betcha couldn't guess!) : )
I stained theirs because I figured their walls had enough color, and I wanted to match the furniture.

Monday, January 18, 2010

DIY attacks

Here's my latest project . . . well, not really. There's another project a-coming, but I have to take pics for you first. : ) This one was so simple, it's foolproof! Especially if you have made all the mistakes before and can share, like me. Tired of trying to find my earrings in the pile, and when I did find them, they were all tangled up, I decided to make this after seeing various versions at a cute boutique. Theirs were standing up, table-top style, but I don't have anywhere for an earring rack to just stand and not get knocked over a jillion times. I do, however, have a jillion frames that are currently not being used. So I got some screening from Lowe's, pulled out my handy dandy staple gun, and voila! Instant organization!

So, to those who want to borrow my staple gun, here's few basics: Cut bigger than you think you'll use, because even if you're world's greatest home deco genius, and think you can do it right the first time, it's always easier to cut off the extra and not have to cut another square of screening. (Not that I know anyone who had to do that . . . ) Also, make sure when you are stapling the screening in, point the staples so they are going PARALLEL with the frame instead of towards the front. This will keep the front of your frame nice and smooth and not pockmarked with little staple ends poking out. Again, not that I would know, I just heard . . . ; ) And I have TONS of screening left over! Turns out the smallest rolls you can buy are like 6 feet long, . . . so if I've inspired you, come get some!!!

(By the way, you have to love my batty earrings at the bottom there--I think I've had those since high school! hahaha)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Darling Daughter!

Isn't she beautiful!?!

Last weekend Livia and I went with some friends to a dance camp in Provo. It was SO much fun! We had a great time just being girls, although we did learn to request rooms FAR away from the older girls next time. : ) We went to lunch together, shopped for some new shoes (found some cute tennies on sale at Payless that will work for basketball, hip hop, AND school--score!), slept in really comfy beds (for a hotel!), had room service bring us breakfast . . . it was wonderful! The girls got in three dance classes the first day (jazz, contemporary, and hip hop) and four the next day (jazz again, contemporary, lunch, ballet, hip hop). At the "closing ceremonies," they were able to perform their dances and scholarships were given out. Each teacher chose three girls to give a scholarship to for the next dance camp. (not so much for ability, as for effort and attitude as well.) So the ballet teacher (who was a man from Russia--totally cool! The girls thought it was so fun to have a BOY BALLET teacher! We chatted with him after class and he is really fun--really thick accent, very laid back for a ballet dancer, and very tall, which made me want to join the class! LOL) stood up and told the girls how well they all did, and how fun it was for him to have the opportunity to teach them. The first girl he wanted to give a scholarship to was . . . LIVIA!!! I think I screamed louder than her--it was such a surprise! In a group of 100-150 dancers, she was the first one called. YAAY!!! Of the twelve scholarships given, three went to our studio, and the other two were the owner's daughters. Yeah, you can say proud mama. Way to go, Livia!!!

Raising Boys . . .

After much butting-of-the-heads in a very oldest-child vs. oldest-child fashion, I decided I need some help communicating with my darling oldest child. He is such a sweet boy, and SUCH a boy, and he and his dad get along SO well (I'm almost jealous . . . ), and well, I need some new input (thanks for the tip, Christy!). I decided to check out a book called "Raising Boys: Why Boys are Different--and How to Help Them Become happy and Well-Balanced Men, by Steve Biddulph. I am no more than six pages in and already I like it. A lot. Steve has a great way of writing and man, have I lived through a lot of what he discusses! But I digress . . . I like this book so much that I read it during my lunch the other day. I left it on the table where it was transferred to the counter today without my knowledge to make room for dinner. Not a deal at all. I thought it was safe, but alas, I have boys.

In my efforts to be a good mom, and be continually teaching my children, we made brownies together tonight. Their version: Mom's famous Secret Prince Family Brownies topped with M&Ms and half with chopped up Crunch Bar. (half because I thought it would be disgusting--not a Crunch Bar fan, I'm more the "real" chocolate fan: the Chocolate Orange, or Dove for sure, or Cadbury's plain milk chocolate on occasion, although those Easter eggs are fabulous, M&Ms will do for brownies . . .) But I digress again . . . sorry, it's the chocolate thing. We have an emergency candy stash made up of Halloween candy that we bought from the kiddos at the top of one cupboard. (I know it's January, but that's another post altogether. And now all my siblings are laughing their guts out. They know me well.) My eldest jumped up there and got the stash, picking out the necessary Crunch Bar, fifteen little bags of M&Ms (is that enough, Mom? Um, yeah!), trying to figure out if we need some Butterfinger just to mix it up, etc. etc. Well, unbeknownst to me there was a cup of water next to this particular cupboard, which was next to my book. Ummmm, next to the library's book. I was just cleaning up when I noticed the book looked wet. Reeeeaaaalllyyyyy wet. Uh oh. I picked it up, dried it to the best of my ability, and shoved it into my over-stuffed bookcase to decompress into hopefully somewhat-flat pages again.

Do you think the library is going to understand this one? After all, it IS a book about how to deal with boys . . .

Interesting note: the Happy Birthday wrapping paper that was next to the book? Fine. Not a scratch. Not a drop. Weird. Or is it just the boy gene?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Did I just say that?

Earlier this week I promised my kiddos that we could go swimming on Saturday (if rooms are cleaned, beds made, vacuumed even . . . I'm a real slave driver). Dave has a trial coming up, poor guy, so is working his sweet little tail off, so what better way to drain all the energy and get baths and easy bedtimes all in one? So, knowing how well my dear, sweet, darling children play together, I told the older ones they could invite a friend to play with. Well, after basketball practices and birthday parties, I am finding myself toting three friends in addition to my four . . . I may need lots of chocolate tonight . . . maybe I'll start with some early doses . . .

* Addendum *
So, after the fact, it turned out to be quite a brilliant idea! No one was bored, or cold. Everyone had a friend to play with (i.e. no one tried to scare mom by jumping on her from behind . . . which was greatly appreciated!). Everyone ate dinner with gusto (ok, it was pizza, so not too hard there). I got a killer parking spot (right out the doors) so we didn't have to run too far in the cold. And they are all bathed, girls' hair done for tomorrow, . . . heck, I might even iron the boys' shirts tonight! I think I will still have some chocolate though . . . ; )

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Christmas Favorites

Now that all this is about to come down (tomorrow), (and I'm obviously in the "cleaning out" mode!) I thought I'd record a few of my favorite Christmas images here. These are some of the scenes that make this season perfect and magical for me!

The Christmas tree, decorated (with help--my new favorite part! It took some deep breathing to give up the control, but I love that I did . . . and I even love the branches that have four or more ornaments on them!) and lit, of course! Presents spilling out the sides . . .

Six batches of my mom's (and now my little sister's) famous toffee! I perfected my own Making of The Toffee this year. (thanks Tiffy!)

Dave's nutcracker collection (now 26 strong!) . . . there's a really good story behind these! : ) Maybe someday I'll share it . . .
Empty Advent Calendars--Dave's mom has a tradition of giving them to the kids at Thanksgiving, so there's just enough time for them to panic that they'll never get to open a door, and then before I know it, they're empty!

The Pajama Fairy! Matching boys and matching girls this year!

The Christmas tree at night . . . it's so magical at night! Even my garlands make me smile when they're lit at night--I love it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Basement Re-claimed

One of my goals over the break was to take some time with the kiddos (the good, quality, bonding-type forced-labor time) and find a way to make our basement navigable again, even enjoyable if possible. We spent two hours on two days and were able to clean up the basement, the stairs going down to it, the big toy room, clean out the storage area for the new freezer, and load up an entire trailer-load for DI! WAHOO!!! I was really impressed at how well everyone helped out, even Sophia! (Not that they had a lot of options, really!) ; ) Nothing feels so good as to clean out boxes that still had tape on them from the move . . . (was it really 3 1/2 years ago?) : )

The best part was when we were done, the kids were running and jumping and spinning and dancing in the toy room, overjoyed that they had room to do so without imbedding any Legos or Polly Pockets in their feet!

I would include "before" pictures, but that would be too embarrassing. I'll give you some "after" shots, though!

Here's the DI pile:

the stairs to the basement (this used to be hazardous to your health!):

the toy room (look at all the basketball, football and dancing space!):

storage area (you couldn't even walk in here last week!):

I am ok with them playing down here now, unsupervised! : ) And with this done, maybe they'll leave my room alone . . .

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sophia's New Talent

This is THE. Cutest. Video. Ever.

Let me set the stage for you:

The Annual Prince Family Christmas Party. Four generations attend. Every family is required to demonstrate talent improvement from the past year. It is nice to have children who can take over aforementioned demonstration for the adults. : ) Plus, they are a lot cuter! My kids were no exception this year: Daniel did his Chipmunk Impression (see earlier blog post), Livia played her last recital song, Micah was going to do his ABCs backwards but was un-find-able when the time came (I think he was hiding with the boy cousins in the basement!), and Sophia played her harmonica. She received this from Santa at the present exchange at her preschool. When it came home, her mom was less than pleased, but as it has turned out to be totally and completely entertaining, and made for one very happy three-year-old, it will be allowed to stay. : ) Enjoy! (I should mention that my eight-year-old was filming this, so it's a little unstable.) : )

Happy New Year!

As we are still in the younger-children-phase, and don't really care to SEE midnight anymore, Dave and I have given up staying up past midnight for quite a few years now. Unfortunately for us who love sleep more, we have neighbors who don't, who love New Year's Eve, and set off fireworks every year. This year was no exception and their festivities woke up the boys who came running into our room: "Mom, Dad! You're missing it!"
"Yeah, we're ok with that. Go back to bed."
"But there are FIREWORKS!"
"Yes, we know. You can watch them then go back to sleep."
"OK! Thanks!"

At which point we went back to sleep. I woke up around 3:30 AM hearing voices in the family room. What the heck was going on? I fell out of bed and ran out to find my oldest sitting on the floor watching tv at normal volume. Ummm, Son? Everyone is SLEEPING. Want to join them? Not only that, but the light in his room was on, his brother buried and asleep in his blankets, and lights around the house were on as well. We got them turned off, hustled my eldest child back to bed, and returned to my bed, a little grumpier than before. (Okay, in all fairness, I was a LOT grumpier!) I didn't sleep well the rest of the night, but he did! : ) He woke up around 11:00, ready for food and feeling quite happy he got to see the new year. . . .

We did all take naps today, though. : )

The Results . . .

So here is my strategic placement for the quilts Christmas morning: (can you see the flaw?)
(for the original story on this post, click here)

It's hard to see, so I'll fill you in: on the right is Livia's new bike, which Santa wrapped Peyton-Manning-style (betcha can't tell what it is!). So instead of the ooos and aahhhs that I anticipated, the Christmas Morning Video is filled with Micah excitedly screaming things like "Livia! this is for you! Livia! Santa brought you a bike! Livia, look!" and me trying to divert their attention: "Micah, what are you standing on? Micah, what are those? Micah, look DOWN!" : ) They did eventually notice them, and I got a brief (VERY brief) moment right then, but the best part was later that night as we were tucking them into bed and all of them insisted on sleeping with their new blankets. Daniel said, "Thanks so much for making these, Mom! They are SO awesome!" Aaaaahhhh . . . balm for my soul. : ) Livia has started sleeping with hers underneath her with the fuzzy part UP (she is my snuggler!), Micah has done the same a couple of times, and both Sophia and Daniel keep theirs on top.


Mission successful! : )