Friday, May 29, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday Favorites!

Hello, Friday!

It was a short week, but I'm really happy the weekend is here.  After this past weekend, I'm ready to be in summer mode, so I can relax just a bit! Only one more week of school!

Without further ado, here's what I'm loving right now:

{ONE}

We have a walker!!!

Liam is now 21 months old. He was an early cruiser, so his therapists expected him to walk unassisted by 18 months.  He started to take 1-2 unassisted steps between furniture just before he turned 18 months, but he didn't progress beyond that.  The average age for a child with Down Syndrome to walk is 2-4.  I wasn't worried, mainly because he's tiny, he's my last baby, and I knew he would do it. 

On Wednesday, his occupational therapist was here, and not only did he reach all his OT goals in just 3 short months, but she kept telling me he would walk soon.  At the end of the session, as she was writing her paperwork, he took 5 giant steps across the living room.  He looked SO proud of himself as he walked toward me.  It truly took my breath away!  I immediately started crying because he had to work so much harder than my "typical" kids to achieve this goal.  It was such an incredible moment!

Look who's walking! ❤  Liam's therapists thought he would be walking by 18 months because he was an early cruiser. He did start taking 1-2 unassisted steps between furniture just before 18 months, but hasn't progressed beyond that in 3 months. Yeste

{TWO}

I'm not sure anything will top the first one, but I'll try! I love these shoes from Target. I bought them just before Easter, and I wear them all the time.  They go with everything!


{THREE} 

This picture is one of my new favorites.  "Women drivers.  Geez."

Women Drivers. GEEZ. #sundayfunday 

{FOUR}

Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores.  Enough said.  Recipe HERE.

Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores are #ontheblog and they are DELICIOUS! ❤ #smores 

{FIVE}

Bubble Painting.  My girls LOVE to do this! It's such an easy, fun activity!

Lily's new favorite activity?  Painting with bubbles! #activitiesforkids

{SIX}

My love for making headbands was rekindled. I forgot how quick and easy it is!  A few shabby flowers, a few elastic headbands, a needle and thread, and 10 extra minutes.  DONE!

2 elastic bands + 4 shabby flowers + 10 minutes of time = matching patriotic headbands for my girls! ❤ It only took me 2 years before I finally decided to make them!

{SEVEN}
  
We loved Dylan's first chorus concert!  This was the first year the school had a 4th grade choir, and they did a great job!  I cried my way through it! 

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{EIGHT} 

Liam was chosen to be a brand enthusiast for Olly Oaks!  They have the cutest moccasins. I can't wait to get our first item! 

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Liam loves the camera and I love to take pictures.  There are so many people who don't believe Down Syndrome can be beautiful, but it can be.  I love sharing my beautiful boy, who has the most contagious smile, with the world!

I ❤ my little tour guide! He has been taking steps and standing for longer periods of time all afternoon.  It's like something clicked and he can suddenly do all these things! #mylittlestwarrior 

                                        XOXO

Happy Friday!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  


I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika for Friday Favorites!  

I'm also linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores

Everybody loves S'mores, right?!?

We sure do!  There's just something so special about roasting a marshmallow over a fire and pairing it with chocolate and graham crackers. It just screams summer!

For our family, eating S'mores is a year-round activity.  Even though we perfected our Microwave S'mores, they're just not the same!  We tried roasting the marshmallows inside, but they don't have the right taste. They're still good, but we needed an alternative to our favorite campfire snack.  We needed something a little different.

Our solution? Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores!  It's a great twist on the traditional S'more recipe!

You just need two simple ingredients!

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (I prefer freshly baked)
  • Marshmallows

That's it! 

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Making them is so easy!  Quite possibly easier than traditional S'mores!

Step One: Make a cookie sandwich by placing a marshmallow between 2 chocolate chip cookies and place on a microwave-safe plate.

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Step Two:  Microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Keep a close watch, because the marshmallows will expand!

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They're quick and easy, and everybody loves them!

ENJOY!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a busy, fun-filled Memorial Day weekend!

We took a moment on Monday to remember the brave men and women who died for their country.  

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I want my kids to enjoy the "official" start of summer, but I also want them to realize just how important it is to honor those who lost their lives defending our country.

Because of their selfless actions, we have the freedom to do these fun things with our family and friends! Our holiday weekend was full of family, friends, fun, and summer weather! 

We kicked it off with an impromptu picnic on Saturday. 

Grant arranged it in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and it sounded like a great idea!  That afternoon, Lily, Liam, and I did some grocery shopping while Grant, Dylan, and Lexie did some work in the yard.  We came home and set everything up for our cookout.

Dinner was DELICIOUS.  We had grilled pork chops, grilled New York Strip Steaks, homemade macaroni and cheese, and baked beans.  Later on, we enjoyed lots of ice cream and Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies. 

We spent hours outside.  The guys and the kids played baseball and football, we pushed Liam and Lily around the yard in their Cozy Coupes, the big kids rode bikes and scooters, the girls cruised through the yard in their Barbie Jeep, and we had a fire. 

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By the end of the night, the kids were filthy, but so happy!

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Once it got dark, the older kids came in to play xbox. I managed to bathe Liam before he passed out, but Lily fell asleep on her bedroom floor while waiting for her bath! That's definitely a sign of a good night!

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On Sunday, everyone slept in.  We had some time before we had to be at a birthday party, so we spent the afternoon playing outside. 

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At some point during the day, a tray of flowers and some pots appeared in front of my garage door.  I'm fairly certain it was my dad's way of making me plant flowers.  I don't have the best luck with plants, but he apparently thought I should try again.  

Of course, this led to a trip to Lowe's.  Dylan joined me, and we ended up buying potting soil, more flowers, 4 new bushes for the front of our house, mulch, and play sand! The arrival of the flowers inspired a project and when I get an idea in my head, there's no stopping me!

When we got home, we grilled some hot dogs, then planted our flowers!

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The kids were very proud of their flower arrangements.  Let's hope we can keep them alive.  I don't have the best track record when it comes to gardening!!!

That evening, we went to my sister's house for my great niece's birthday party.  I can't believe sweet Aubrey is turning NINE! I was there the day she was born, and I got to spend a lot of time with her over the years. I truly adore this little girl. 

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It was a Japanese themed party, and everything was authentic!  Aubrey's other set of grandparents live in Japan 6 months out of the year, and they sent over all the decorations and the cutest favors ever!

Pretty much the cutest birthday party favors ever! My niece's grandparents live in Japan, and sent everything over for her Japanese themed party! ❤

As usual, all the cousins had a great time playing together!

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Liam, of course, was fond of the cake.  He showed his enthusiasm by devouring his cupcake in 30 seconds.

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He was also quite fond of attacking Papa.

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Aubrey and Lexie decided to continue the fun by having a sleepover.  Lexie ended up going home with Aubrey and Dylan went home with his cousins. 

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It was a great party!  Some guests even partied 'til they dropped.

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Finally, Memorial Day arrived.

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Our little family spent the day with our framily.  Yes, I totally used that cheesy term, but that's exactly what they are! We had a cookout and spent hours together.  I only took a few pictures at the picnic.  I just might have been too busy talking and eating!

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We headed home around 8:00, and Liam and Lily fell asleep before we even turned off their street!  Of course, the fun couldn't end there.  Grant had a few giant sparklers set aside for the big kids!  After a successful car to bed transfer for Liam and Lily, the four of us spent some time outside together before heading back in to prepare for the following day. It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend!

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We had such a great weekend!  We only managed one family picture, which was taken just before we left the picnic on Monday night.  It makes me laugh because it's real.  Lily had enough and was ready for bed, and Liam was clapping at something.  Despite the look on her face, this weekend was the best!

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Happy Memorial Day!