Friday, April 29, 2011

Flowers and Short-Sleeves ~ with the possiblity of HAIL!

Ladies ~ I did it. Switched out their winter outfits for some short-sleeves (and shorts that we won't wear for a while). Yeah ~ it is finally FEELING and LOOKING like spring. **My Daffodils and Tulips are everywhere. And let me just say, the best freaking flowers in the world. They come up every year after the NASTY, COLD spring so bright, cheery and hopeful of sun. Love them. Here are the ones at the best of the tree house.

Not to shabby for having done nothing to them except plant the bulbs.

Here is our monster magnolia tree. Brilliant pink, purple with bright green leaves.

The tree house.... best outdoor expense EVER!

The wild monkeys trying to thwart my every attempt of a picture! :)

**The theme of these shirts was BASEBALL, can you tell who had ketchup all over his shirt and had to change? Ga-vin!!! :)

Mr. Gabriel

Eww... Mama these are 'tinky. Thanks Gav.

Grant happy, happy, happy.

Spring is here... Ya know ~ like lunch in the treehouse, then later in the afternoon HAIL!

Oh well, I am believing nature. It really is SPRING. We are going to be wearing short-sleeves. We will smell the flowers. We will be playing outside nonstop.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Privacy Please???

Setting the stage:

  • Gifts I "give" all my kids-

1. 1 year- wean from nursing- slowly but deliberately

2. 1 year- snip the tops of each pacifier- when they realize they don't suck, they show me that they are broken and I tell them to throw it away. When they want it later I tell them that they already threw it away. Never has been an issue.

3. 2 years- lose the crib and into a "big" boy crib, and in exchange let them chew (monitored) gum since they are a big boy.

4. 2 years- potty-trained (start at 20 months and trained by 2 years.)

5. 3 years- stop dressing/being naked in front of them.


So my boys still want to shower with me some mornings, I don't mind, but they are too old to be taking a typical shower with me. I decided, "No big deal. I will put on my swimsuit, and we can all shower."

Mr Gabriel "Big-Shot" Cowart figures it out that it is due to me wanting some privacy because I am a GIRL. I tell him that is true. He decides he probably needs some privacy too. Sure... whatever.... He gets his suit.
Gavin and Grant figure it is a POOL PARTY and not to be outdone by big bro get their suits on too.

So, here is a normal view of our shower. Toys and swimsuits.

Ahhh.... for the love of boys. What is a little bit more laundry. What are a few more toys going to hurt. They are squeaky clean, hilarious and happy.

Plus no more banging on the door, prying open of the door, or yelling/shreiking of "I am almost out! Give me a minute." or the constant thought of "Was that crying? Is someone hurt? Are they OK out there?"

We are all in here. Suited up. Happy and Clean!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hosting a Party ~ Pirate Party

We had another great party! Gabe wanted PIRATE party and I love planning, so we all enjoyed this one! I am a logical, list making planner so I started with THEME: followed by:
1. Cake idea (pirate cake)
2. Decorations (streamers, table topper, table cloth, table ware, pirate flag)
3. Games/Activity (treasure/sand hunt - Walk the Plank)
4. Food (fruit, veggies, chips and dip, punch)
5. Other (Costumes - patches, swords, hats, bandanas)

Wow, this one was easy. Pirate party ideas and decor are EVERYWHERE! (unlike my twin's polar party~ YIKES!)

So here is my 5 year old Pirate: Captain Gabriel!

  • Gabe and I decided to have everyone dress-up. I provided pirate bandanas, earrings, eye patches and swords. (Thank you Wal-Mart and Oriental Trading Company!)
Activity: Treasure Hunt in our Sand table for Gold pirate coins (200 pc.) and jewels (150 pc.)

Cake: Pirate Kind-of intimidating ~ but moderately easy! Just two rounds! Freeze after cutting though for easy frosting!

1 round for the head, half for the shirt, other half for the hat. Ears out of the hat pieces.

You need one can of white and one can of chocolate frosting, Hat is chocolate, shirt is white, face is 1/3 can white with 1 TB of chocolate for skin coloring. (Marshmellow nose.)

Fruit by the foot shirt stripes, mouth, and eye patch string. Life saver earring, Thin Mint cookie eye patch, 2 gum pieces for teeth, marshmellow and blue M&M for eye, and chocolate sprinkles for beard scruff! TA-DA!!

Alright! Now that we are ready and planned bring on party day! Go time!

Welcome and "dress-up" the guests! Eye patch for Gavie.

Balloon parrot for Grant-Grant!

Snap a quick pic of Gabe and his bestie Ellie! Ahhh.... young love! :)

And stop for a minute to admire my little cuties! Is it fair for them all to be so handsome!?

Seriously, HE'S FIVE!!!! Argh... I can't believe it!

OK, moving along. We costumed and fed our guests upon arrival, and then shimmied everyone OUTSIDE TO EAT. Less clean-up y'all!

10 points to my parents for dressing up to the GLEE of my boys!

Have a treasure HUNT for jewels and coins.

Yeah, they all thought it was beyond cool!

Gavin showing his treasure!

Game: yeah ~ well I had a "walk the plank" challenge for the kiddos, but I forgot and they all went up the the treehouse with their treasure anyway!

The grandpas!

Snap a quick picture of my bestie Jeanna!

Gabriel sneaking inside to get his gift ~ His first pet. 2 fish, 1 frog. Names: Bubble gum, Sticky and Froggy-Oggy. Over the freakin' moon for them!!!!

Tons of gifts, and maybe a huge, expensive gift from Mommy and Daddy. (The coolest pirate ship EVER, Yup we spoil them.)

Singing and CAKE!

5 candles, and a little bit more sugar! And that will leave you with a happy CREW!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Karen Gabe ~ We Love Ech Ufr

Seriously, double click the picture. Gabe drew ME (Karen) with VERY long hair. Then he drew himself (Gabe) and told me he needed a haircut.

I told him that we should write about the picture. I was thinking about the hair scenario. He chose to write Karen Gabe We Love ECH UFr We love each other! Nice spelling and SO STINKIN' SWEET!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Crafts with Munchkins ~ Sentimental types!

I have boys who are growing at a SLIGHTLY alarming rate. My children will within 10 years all be bigger, taller, stronger than me. So I S*A*V*O*R the little, bittyness of my lovies. Their hands are precious, so I created some crafts to FREEZE (read: treasure or sob over some day!) their little fingers and thumbs.

Now ~ they are boys so painting (messy) is BRILLIANT FUN to them. And me with my teacher-ness love doing crafts and how creative and bright the outcome is. Indiviual creativity always comes FLYING out of each little monkey!

So we made hand print butterflies.

To make:

1. Have the child spread out both hands with thumbs together.

2. Adult traces and cuts out lableling date and name on back!

3. Time to paint. The easiest way to paint in my humble opinion is: buy crayola washable paint ($5 @ Target for about 7/8? colors), put some of each color on a paper plate or if out, a coffee filter.

4. Hand children paint brushes and have them paint, squeezing off the colors when they switch! 5. Glue on googly eyes and we put on pom-poms.

6. Put magnet on back and have on the fridge!

Seriously ~ it took 15 minutes and they LOVE them and were so proud of them. We gave them to Grandma for her birthday. Precious, personal and pretty!!!!! :)

Well, now I want some "little hands" for me, so we made some handprint lambs. To complete our MARCH in like a lion, out like a lamb. Our lions were fun too, but these priceless! 1. Trace and cut out hand. 2. Date and name on back. 3. Kiddos glue on cotton balls and googly eyes. 4. Paint legs. 5. Draw on mouth! I love how CUTE these were, precious for me, and EASY. My boys love these and I made one too. Ours are on display in the kitchen window! Super cute, and I am keeping these FOREVER!
Just don't forget to date. They are so small now and if you are half as busy as me, you will forget the date quicker than you could imagine!

So start crafting. It's easy, fun and not too messy or expensive. Plus kids BURST with creativity and pride when they create mini masterpieces!

Have fun! Happy spring crafting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ways I KNOW spring is coming!

1. Cherry Festival in the Dalles, OR. So OF COURSE we headed up there to see the blooms, visit the in-laws and go to the Cherry Festival Parade, which as become known as the CANDY PARADE.

I want to give a big cheer out to "old" fashion toys - like Tinker Toys, Link-n-Logs, Legos, etc. Still great and kids LOVE them!!! Gabriel totally ROCKED it and built these by himself! I was impressed! Get buildin' boy!!

2. The calves are being born. We went to go and see Papa John's and Ma'zy's cows. The calves were so cute!
But not cuter than my two little ones!

The boys LOVED the calves. We definitely made the cows a little nervous, but, it was worth it. The boys love animals (ADORE) and cows are furry and cute when little!
Happy little Grant!
Gavin was wanting to go and feed the trout now in the pond! Spring is here and the TROUT are hungry!

3. Picnics and Tea Parties. Well, I loved tea parties, and sometimes I get somewhat bummed at NOT having a girl. You know ~ like I missed out on Mary Poppins watching, Sound of Music reenactments, Ballet lessons, frilly Easter outfits, doing braids/bunsies/and ribbons, ruffly-butt tights and Mother/Daughter shopping trips.
AnyWHO.... My mother-in-law Sandy bought this cute little Curious George Tea Party set to have. So we set up the Thomas the Train Tent and the tea party began with a lesson on politeness and manners, followed by tea and snacks!
Grant liked the Craisins.
Look at the cute Curious George set. They drank 3 POTS of tea. :)
Cream and sugar? Yes please! ** I guess I am not missing out on tea parties now!
4. And last but not least ~ a parade! Yes, spring is HERE!