Monday, August 27, 2012

The Day Rapunzel got a hair cut

Ella loves Rapunzel whom she calls "Princess Tangled". She even runs around outside barefoot because Rapunzel does not wear shoes in the movie. And with beautiful blonde locks down past her hips, she was beginning to look like Rapunzel...and those baby curls were in a constant tangle. We talked it up for weeks and reassured her she would not lose her magical powers if we cut her hair. It took me a few days after buying the scissors to convince myself it was time to say goodbye to those baby curls. But before we the big snip, here are a few pictures of my own little princess with her very long locks.


When wet, her hair was down past her hips in the very back

She could not be cuter


This is about 7 inches later!!

Looking a little more grown up...le sigh

I saved the curls in a little ziplock bag. Her hair is still long, which I love...and she loves. Although her curls are gone, the girl still has an amazing amount of body and bounce in that hair. She is still just as beautiful as ever! Now we just have to change her Princess name to Sleeping Beauty. (However, I think she said she wants to fly like Tinkerbell now...that should be interesting to see.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

First came the minivan, then came the stay at home mom status...did you just say homeschooling? Huh?

You make one little comment on facebook with the word "homeschooling" and the entire world perks up their ears. I never knew that it was such a shocking word to people.

If you told me 5 years ago I'd be driving a minivan, I'd have said "no way". I had just traded in my Camaro for a Lexus...I mean, a Tahoo maybe, but never a minivan.

But, then I had three children really close together and it was the only thing that made sense. It made life so much easier. Not only that, but we bought a USED minivan so that we would have no car payments. It was actually one of the most liberating feelings in my entire life. I also realized my coolness factor was not defined by what kind of car I drove...also a very liberating and humbling feeling.

 And as time went by, it became clear that going back to work with three children ages 2 and under was not realistic. I'd be paying so much for daycare. I loved my job...but, not enough to pay to go there. And with time, I learned to LOVE being at home. I still desire to one day work again, but I have learned to have joy in doing laundry and caring for my children. It is a thankless job and we have almost no "extras" anymore, but God has completely used that for my good and His glory.

 But, if you ever told me I'd home school my children I'd say that was ridiculous. Not because I didn't think it was good. In fact, I've always been in awe of my friends who did it. I just didn't think I could do it. There are these really amazing people that God gave the gift of teaching and they are called TEACHERS...and I wasn't one of them.

 But over the past year, I've watched God change my heart and give me encouragement in the most unexpected places. I've watched Him perfectly weave together so many details that clearly say "Sarah, you can do this. Not only can you do this, but you can do this REALLY WELL." Do I think it is disobedient if I don't? No, no I don't. But, if I believe God is always good I do believe I could be missing out on something truly incredible if I don't.

So, yes. The rumor is true. We are moving forward with homeschooling. It was never my plan. It's ALL God. We are two weeks into it and it has been amazing...and hard..and amazing...and hard...and you get the point. I can't wait to share with you more this week about why we are homeschooling. There are so many reasons that it deserves its own post. It isn't for reasons you would ever think. And I have no idea for how long...but, right now it is a blessing for us all. And we are thankful for God for giving us (especially me) the opportunity. It truly is such a gift. So, whether it is for one year or the next twelve, I am confident that God will use this for His glory and our good.

But right now, Ella and I are traveling to Scotland and looking for the Loch Ness Monster. I'll let you know if we see Nessie.

(To be continued...because I love to drag things out!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keep Calm and Act like Lady Mary

This pretty much sums up my weekend; my sister and I are slightly obsessed. I may or may not have paid/bribed my 12 year old niece with money if she would keep the little ones entertained so I could watch it. Ahem.

This is my new life motto

Source: via Leslie on Pinterest
I secretly want to be Anna so I can marry Mr. Bates. Isn't he charming? Who cares about rich Matthew. I'll take the valet!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

London Fever

(Note: I did not receive payment or any free products from any of these companies below. This is not that type of blog. I'm just a mommy who likes to share things we love and new things we discover from time to time.)

We have really been enjoying watching the Olympics with the kids. Specifically, we have been loving watching the gymnastics. They all do their best to imitate what the girls do on the television. It makes for some great entertainment. (Unfortunately, Jacob has also taken to the idea of climbing on top of the sofa and making a flying leap.) We've also watched some rowing, running, and diving. From the moment they introduced the "Fabulous 5", I was completely captivated by Gabby. How wonderful it was to see her win the gold! I even got teary eyed (which is not like me at all)!

We've also enjoyed teaching Ella more about London. She was most impressed with seeing the Queen in the opening ceremonies...not that that is surprising. Andrew and I pulled out a few of our old photos from when we went to London back in 2004. We love the UK and hope we can go back one day with the kids to see more. I think the kids would really love it in another 5 years or so. We also pulled out our "Katie in London" book (one of our favorites!).

So, we obviously have London on the brain because this is what we got the twins for their birthday (which is in less than a month!) I was super excited to bid and win these two items on ebay:

ELC Happy Land Royal Wedding Set (for Audrey)
ELC Happy Land Great Britain Set (for Jacob)

ELC is basically the British version of our Little People. Since Audrey really loves the Little People that we have, I thought she would enjoy the wedding set. Of course, when Ella saw that, she was very excited to play with it as well. I promised her they could share it. The other set is perfect for Jacob because it has a taxi and bus...and that boy is all about things with wheels! It was pretty hard to get these items. I've had my eye on them for awhile, but you can not buy them here in the USA. My husband and I have a joke that all the good toys and children's books are from the United Kingdom...which is actually very true. The only place you can find them is on ebay from an international seller. A lot of sellers were selling that wedding set for almost $100! Yikes! I'm happy to say I won it (brand new in the box!!) for about half that price (and that included shipping). The Great Britain set was a good bit cheaper than the wedding set. I guess every little girl in the world wants a little toy that looks like Princess Kate and Prince William. Anyway, if it something you are interested in, you just have to keep your eye on ebay for deals. I saw lots of other ELC sets that were awesome as well. I might have to get a pirate one for Jacob for Christmas. Again, almost all ELC toys are sold only in the UK.

Besides the toy, they each are also getting a book. Once again, sticking with the British theme, here are the two we got (which you can purchase on amazon or most local bookstores here in the USA).

A Walk in London is such a fabulous and educational book. We had previously checked it out from the local library. Ella loved it (and so did Andrew and I), so we decided to add it to our own little library. And of course...who doesn't love Paddington?! I remember really loving those stories as a child and we have enjoyed reading the ones we have found at the library to Ella. So, we thought these would be some nice gender neutral books to start getting. We have so many stories about little girls, that we need to start finding some decent books that Jacob can also enjoy. Not that a boy can't read stories about princesses, but I am sure he would appreciate a break from all the girly things now and then.

 I was originally thinking of making sailboat cupcakes for their birthday, but now I think I might need to do something related to Britain. That would be fun, different, and gender neutral I think. That is the hard thing with boy/girl twins...thinking of birthday ideas that are neither too masculine nor feminine (at least for now). Any ideas? Maybe little British flags? Or maybe an Olympic theme and get them little Olympic t-shirts? I think I've seen some at the Gap marked down to $6 with little British Flags on them. Anyway, that's all my ideas for the big 2nd birthday. We are going to enjoy our last few weeks of cable. We are getting rid of it after the Olympics are over (we really don't watch much cable...we almost always watch movies from Netflix and the kids watch movies we can check out from the library for free).

 So how many little girls do you think will be signing up for gymnastics this fall? I'm guessing a lot of little girls will be asking their mommies! Go Team USA! And thank you London for being such a beautiful city and hosting these amazing athletes!