sick day, er...week

Well, our 2017 is off to a bit of a second rate start. Not awful, just not first rate.

First, Wells got sick. My happy little guy was just not quite himself and when daycare called to tell me he was "just so sad" I knew something was up. Turns out he had a double ear infection. Ick! Thankfully his course of antibiotics have worked wonders on him and he's back to normal again.

A few days after that call from daycare, Elia started coughing like crazy one night. The next night, it was worse and barky so I suspected croup. I took her to the doctor the next morning and they thought it was just a bad cold. We hunkered down for a sick day from school with lots of snuggles and rest time. Three full days of fever later, we were back at the doctor and it turns out she has pneumonia. Oof.

I'm so glad we went back though because she's now on antibiotics too and clearly starting to feel much better. She ended up missing school all week and we are all hoping she can get back into her routine come Monday morning.

Fridays are my day off so both kids were home with me yesterday for the first time since Elia started MWF preschool this fall. I knew we weren't going to do anything major today since she's still recovering but we needed something new to do that would be fun for both kids. Enter cloud dough.

Have you heard of this stuff? It's basically extra soft homemade play dough. I whipped up a batch in about two minutes and let the kids go to town.

I gave them measuring cups and spoons, playdough tools, and muffin tins and they went to town. You guys, it doesn't sound like much but Wells played nicely with this for over 10 minutes. That's a long time for my busy boy! Elia was occupied for close to 45 minutes and would have played long if she weren't distracted by the prospect of lunch. (Another good sign she's starting to feel better.)

The only downside of the cloud dough was that it was really messy. I used baking sheets and will definitely use something deeper next time. Actually, to be honest, I'll probably wait to try it again until we can use it outside. But hey, my cleaning lady failed to show up for the second week in a row so my floor needed to be cleaned anyway. 😉

To make your own cloud dough follow this incredibly simple recipe.

8 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil* 

Combine flour and vegetable in a large bowl, mix well. Transfer dough to large, shallow tub or baking dish with tall sides.

*Baby oil works too but stick with the vegetable oil if your kids are prone to tasting things.

Let me know if you try cloud dough, it's really fun. Until then, wish us healthier days ahead!


christmas recap

Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to a bright start.

I thought I'd do a quick holiday recap before we get too far into January. Plus, I need to share all of the adorable photos I took over Christmas, right?

Are you ready for photo overload? Here we go.

The kids met the big guy at a Breakfast with Santa this year. One of them was more interested than the other.


holiday cheer: christmas brunch

This holiday season we are blessed to have almost all of our family coming to town. My brother, sister-in-law, and sweet nephew arrived this week from Cairo (yes, THAT Cairo), and my brother and sister who both live in Seattle got in yesterday. Todd's brother, our sister-in-law, and niece and nephew will be in from Denver next week and we cannot wait. The only ones missing will be my brother-in-law and sister-in-law-to-be and we will miss them dearly but can't blame them for wanting to enjoy a sunny vacation this year.

Needless to say, all of the family in town means that we get to spend a ton of time with them and these two weeks are going to be family packed and the best kind of busy.


focus 2016: update

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my focuses for the year:

Wellness, and

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to revisit those ideas and give a little update on how it's gone.

Honestly, I wasn't as intentional about any of this as I hope to be. Still, since these areas are ones I'd been wanting to devote more attention too, they fairly easily remained my focus throughout the year. You can read all of my intentions in the links above.

I'm going to share below what came easiest to me in each category.


two favorites

We are enjoying the most wonderful convergence of seasons right now. It's a fall that keeps delivering days that can only be described as splendid, perfectly fall-like without being too cold and bursting with sunshine. Being that it's November, I can already feel the excitement and warmth of the holiday season approaching.

With the holiday season beginning in just over a week, I thought it would be fun to share a pair of favorites. The first can even help you through Thanksgiving if football isn't your thing.

The Crown

This new Netflix series chronicles the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II and I. Am. Hooked. I L-O-V-E all things royals and just about anything British so this series is right up my alley plus it's so well done. The costumes and sets and scenery are stunning, as you can imagine. There's everything from tragedy and scandal to complete pomp and it's just a wonderful show. If you liked Downton Abbey, you will love this.

Queen Elizabeth was only 25 when she ascended to the throne and watching her grow into her role as queen is just fascinating to watch. She comes across as surprisingly relatable. I felt like I was getting to know her. I also love a series that makes me feel like I'm learning something and, while surely dramatically interpreted, the events depicted in the series are all based on history.

We flew through this ten episode series and the second season cannot get here soon enough.

Kids Read Truth Advent Table Cards

If you're not familiar with She Reads Truth and are interested in exploring the Bible more deeply you should definitely check it out. They offer Bible studies for women through their website, their app, and beautifully designed publications as well - there's also He Reads Truth for men.

Anyway, back to the cards. The set includes a card for each day of Advent with a verse and questions to discuss with your kids at the dinner table (or wherever works for you). There are three questions on each card, each geared to different age levels.

Our set just arrived today and even though Advent isn't here yet we decided to try out the first card. The simplest of the questions was just right for Elia and she took to the cards right away. I explained that Advent is the season when we anticipate ("What does anticipate mean, Mommy?") and prepare for Jesus' birthday and she lit right up since, you know, she loves birthdays and she loves Jesus. I am so excited to try these table cards out this Advent season as a family.

Those are my two favorites for today. I hope you enjoy and find it useful, even if it is just for finding a new series to binge watch.