Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our blooming artist

As many of you know, Isabella has been taking Saturday art classes at the Memphis College of Art. To say she absolutely LOVES it and can't get enough of it would be a gross understatement.

This past Saturday was her last class until the summer sessions begin, so they decided to honor the students and their work by hosting an art show for the parents.

The kids' artwork was displayed up on the walls and we got to walk around and admire it. Like a real art gallery! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was.

The following are our girl's pieces:

And finally, here she is with her masterpiece:
Is that not the sweetest photo? 
Look at that face... she is SO very proud of her work. 
I love it!

She was also very happy to have her fan club there to admire her, her art, and make her day quite the memorable one!

Next up for our little artist, deciding which class/es to take this coming Summer. 
And with so many to choose from, this will definitely not be an easy decision.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You spin me right round, Baby

Seriously, was this not one of the best dance songs of the 80's? 
How I remember dancing to it at every single house party I ever went to,... 
And trust me, there were many! 
Good times, let me tell ya!

Although my title reference has everything to do with a fabulous 1980's song, 
which til this day I still love, 
this post has nothing to do with Dead or Alive and their total awesomeness.

This post however, has everything to do with a certain toy Santa brought 
Isabella a couple years ago which is still a family favorite. 
Don't you just love it when that happens?!

I'm talking about this here little gem:
As you can see, our Spin Art machine has been well loved, 
for a couple years in fact. 
Santa got it from the Discovery Store and even though they no longer 
carry this exact model, they do offer something similar
And you can't beat it for the$25 price tag. 
 Or, you could Google Spin Art and check out the available assortment.

Yes, we ran out of the paper and the paint included in the kit, 
but that hasn't slowed us down at all. 
We just cut our own paper and added more tempera paint to the containers... 
And it continues to work like a charm!
Sam just recently discovered the fun involved with our crafty little machine.
 And I think it's safe to say he can't get enough of it!
 And for all of you clean OCD readers, it makes NO mess!
It's a thing of beauty, this fun little toy!

So anyway after quite a while of playing and creating, 
we decided to display our art in the kitchen.
Mine is the one on the left. (Apparently I like red!)
Isabella's in in the center.
Sam's is on the right. (He REALLY likes blue!)
Aren't they purty?

So anyway, if you have young children, this would be a perfect gift for them. 
Think birthday, graduation, Easter basket, rainy days, or just because!
They will love it and so will you!

And no, I am in no way compensated for this here post, 
but I do enjoy sharing a great find with my dear friends!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Heart Faces "Phone Photo" Entry

The premise is super simple this week,... 
post a photo you've taken with your phone.
My entry is one of my favorite photos from our stay at the 
stunning Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. 
I love this photo!
I used the Retro Camera app on my Samsung Captivate Android phone.

Go to I Heart Faces  to check out all the other fun "phone photo" entries.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I am SO over snow days! Seriously! Over them! We're not supposed to have this many snow days in the South. And while we're on the subject of missing school days, can we please disregard the upcoming "holiday" and send the kids to school this coming Monday?
I mean, I'm sure the presidents would prefer for our kids to be educated,... don't you think?

2. Isabella is kicking some serious bootay when it comes to reading. And the best part is she actually enjoys it. Here she is with her first completed reading sticker chart, which gives her library access, which apparently is a HUGE deal for kindergartners:
This makes my ♥ so happy and we are very proud of her!

3. We've been doing A LOT of this lately...
and loving every minute of it! 
I find that there is something so soothing about painting with water colors.

4. We had so much fun working on the kids' Valentine stuff this year, from decorating Isabella's "mail box", to getting all the cards and goody bags ready. Don't tell her I told you, but she was adamant her friend Luke got the goody bag with the sticker that said "I love you BEARY much!" He he he!

5. Even though we're actually pretty low key when it comes to Valentine's around here, I did get the kids a little something and some candy.
6. Sam's sleeping continues to be an issue. I broke down at Target the other day and bought him a Toy Story toddler bed because the second he spotted it he said: "Mama, I big boy don't cry on this bed!" Really, Sam? Really? So basically, what you're telling me is that if I buy you this bed, you will sleep in it ALL NIGHT LONG without crying? To which he replied: "Yes, Mama. Me sleep in big boy bed all night and me no cry! I big boy!" Maybe it was the fact that he sounded so convincing, or maybe it's the constant state of exhaustion I live in, or maybe it was that adorable little face of his I have such a hard time resisting, but I broke down and bought the bed. 
I think it's safe to say that although there has been some improvement, the boy is definitely not living up to his end of the bargain. Thank goodness for the fact that the bed was on clearance!

7. After starting it last year, and not being able to get into it, I am now AGAIN reading the book Grace-Based Parenting. And this or may not have something to do with the fact that my boy is turning three next month and I need ALL the grace I can get to better deal with him these days while trying to keep some semblance of sanity.

8. I recently told Scott that even though it's ridiculously expensive, before we move from Memphis, we HAVE to go to Graceland to see where Elvis once lived. It would be crazy not to,... people fly from all over the world just to see it, and we have it right in our backyard. I can't tell you he agreed with me. But, apparently I am going to Graceland after all. Every year local residents are chosen and given complimentary tickets to visit Graceland. Well, as luck would have it, it appears this is my year. When I told Scott about it, he said he had no interest. So, I will be taking my complimentary Platinum Tour ticket and playing tourist really soon! And I'm actually really excited!

9. I surprised Isabella by placing this little love note inside her lunch box yesterday...
and she LOVED it!

10. I am in desperate need of some seriously strong coffee this morning!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Shoes

The other night Isabella informed us that she needed new sneakers for school, so we decided to take advantage of Payless' BOGO promotion to get Sam a new pair as well.

She picked blinged-out Converse knock-offs.
He picked light up Star Wars sneakers.
BTW, she's 5 1/2 and he'll be 3 next month...
they're both in the same shoe size.

After snapping the above picture, I asked them to pose for me...
She did this:

He did this:
I SO love these silly kiddos!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten on Thursday ~ Vegas Edition

OK, so I realize I usually do a Ten on Tuesday, but I'm so behind on well, everything, that I figured this would have to do. Today's Ten on Thursday is ALL about Vegas.
For those of you who haven't heard, Scott surprised me with a weekend getaway to Las Vegas for our anniversary. This is HUGE, people! Scott's not one to normally do things like this. This is SO out of his comfort zone. But he planned everything. Down to the last detail. And it was AMAZING!

1. I am SO grateful to my parents, who were more than happy to keep the kids for the weekend, making sure they were where they needed to be at all times. Without them, this trip could not have happened.

2. This was our first getaway, just the two of us, since Isabella was born. Let me save you the trouble of doing the math ~  that is 5 1/2 years! Yep, other than the random night here and there the kids spend at my parents', this was the first time we were away from them. It was scary and exciting all at the same time! But mostly, we were excited.... as you can see here:

3. After begging and begging, Scott finally let me in on our destination about a week before our trip, but he made sure to keep everything else from me. Sneaky little one! Our flight was a smooth one. I finished reading Left Neglected and started These Things Hidden. We had a couple beverages and some complementary dog biscuits cookies. But my favorite part of the flight was the stunning view from my window:

4. So, even though I already knew where we were headed,

I had no idea where we were staying, until we got there... He booked us a suite at The Venetian Hotel! I've got three words for you: Oh! My! Goodness!

This place is luxurious and beautiful and glamorous and a bit of a dream come true.
In all honesty, I think Scott tried to kill two birds with one stone. He knows I dream of the day we travel through Italy and drink lots and lots wine in the Tuscan countryside. So maybe this was his way of giving me not only a weekend getaway, but also an exotic Venetian experience. Good try, Butler!

5. All of their rooms are beautiful suites. We stayed here:
6. After checking in, we decided it was time to go explore. These mega-hotels in Vegas are unbelievable. They make it so that you don't have to leave the hotel. Ever! The variety and number of restaurants and attractions and shops and shows. It was SO much fun!

7. Scott had given me the hotel's spa menu of services and told me to pick whatever I wanted. I picked an hour long deep tissue massage. I wish I could tell you it was the cat's meow, but unfortunately, I can't. It was actually torture. Apparently I live in a perpetual state of tension, and after over three years without a massage, it was evident I should have eased my way back in the massage world. Deep tissue was NOT the way to go. Deep tissue=PAIN! After a few days, I am now finally not hurting from that session.

8. We enjoyed a couple of these and they were DIVINE!
Yeah, that's all I have to say about that!

9. We went to see this show:
and really enjoyed it. I think I might have LOVED it had it not been the 10:00pm show. I was exhausted, and in pain (see #7).

10. Coming home and seeing the kids, now that was magical. They loved all the little Las Vegas souvenirs we brought back and can't wait for us to go on our next trip so they can stay and Grandma and Grandpa's place again. Huh?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Our 9th Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to the guy who still makes me feel 
like a school-aged girl with a HUGE crush!
Love ya, Cakes!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my last post. I also can't believe I just used one of my ten points to state this obvious fact. Oh well...

2. Scott's been sick, Sam's been sick, I've been sick. Yeah, I think it's safe to say we're all sick of being sick.

3. I'm not sure if it's his age or a stage he's going through or his way of driving me to my grave much earlier that I had hoped for, but Sam's going through something AWFUL! He doesn't want to go to school and cries screams hysterically every single time I drop him off. He doesn't want to stay in the church nursery, and cries screams hysterically every single time we drop him off. He doesn't want to sleep in his room, by himself with the lights off, or on, and goes BONKERS, unless Scott or I stay with him or take him to bed with us. We've tried the "let him cry it out" approach, but this is one tenacious boy! People, you may not know this about me, but I love sleep. And more importantly, I need sleep to function. And I'm not getting any. And I am beyond tired. And this is driving me crazy.

4. In January I set a goal to read 35 books in 2011. I recently finished Slave, by Mende Nazer, a few days ago. This autobiographical account of a young girl taken from her family and sold into modern day slavery is a truly empowering story about an unbelievably brave survivor. It is definitely a must read for everyone! In one word, it is AMAZING! I'm currently reading Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, and thoroughly enjoying it. I loved her first book, Still Alice, so diving into her latest book was a no-brainer for me.  I've recently connected with a few people on Goodreads and am so excited about all the fabulous book recommendations I'm getting. I don't know about you, but I need to have an ongoing list of books waiting for me to pick up at all times. Hey Rachel, what are you waiting for?

5. Scott got me the book Slave for Christmas. It's been months since I've read an actual book (ever since I received a nook as a gift from my in-laws back in July). I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I found myself pressing on the paper to turn the pages. Ha Ha! Ridiculous, I know! Have I told you how much I love my nook?

6. Isabella started art classes a couple weekends ago and she totally LOVES it! The classes are geared toward 5-7 year olds and they cut, paste, paint, color, and do all other kinds of fun artsy things. We're already looking into when the next session will begin since we're pretty sure she'll be begging us to sign her up.

7. I've been doing Becky Higgins' Project Life this year (you can read more about it here) and I'm proud to say that I've not only stuck with it for the last four weeks, but I am truly enjoying the process of documenting all the little things that make our life, well... ours! I'll be sure to share some of my pages soon.

8. I'm also participating in Willette's free Joy of Love photography class,which started today. I'm excited about learning fun tips and tricks to better my photography. Hopefully my children, husband and pets will be willing participants in this little endeavor of mine.

9. Have you heard? The Packers, NOT the Bears, are going to the Super Bowl! Yes, us Butlers live in a divided house. Glad I got the last laugh on this one. GO PACKERS!!!

10. Tomorrow is our 9 year wedding anniversary. Nine years... Wow!