Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Thankful Heart Series: Part 3

For today's A Thankful Heart post, a list of things I am thankful for!
The love and saving grace of Jesus
My crazy ball of energy + my handsome hubby
A full pantry
Our vehicles
Our home
Hot water
Washing machines
HEB, Target and Kroger
A sense of humor
Paper towels
The Bible
A comfy bed + pillow
Sunrises + Sunsets
Public playgrounds
My husband's job
Good health + health care
Pei Wei
Online shopping {read!}
Text messaging
Our church
Nap time
Bath time
Foot rubs
A good book
Having access to good schools and learning programs

Just a snipet of a huge list of things that I am thankful for!

For the Joy of Life
If you'd like to be apart, click the image above and join the link up on sharing your thankfulness!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey Treats!

With Thanksgiving around the corner and because we signed up to provide desserts at Winston's class Thanksgiving feast, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration on yummy treats that he could help me make. 

We scrolled through the options together, these cuties caught his eye and the decision was set!  I made a few modifications to the recipe + instructions, went to the grocery store to gather everything needed and that afternoon we create our turkey treats!
Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys
makes approximately 24
1 package of Double Stuffed Oreos
2 package of Flips Chocolate Covered Pretzels
1 package of Candy Corns
1 package of Candy Eyes {found in the baking aisle}
1 large package of Milk Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsps of vegetable oil
I did a little big of prep work before bringing Chef Winston to the kitchen!  I put the candy corns and eyeballs in little bowls, lined a baking sheet with wax paper and set up the turkey feathers.  I also melted 1 cup of chocolate chips + 3/4 Tbsp of vegetable oil in the microwave in 30 second increments.  It took about a minute to melt the chocolate.  {Note: one cup of chips will cover about 12 Oreos.}
Winston and I both had a good time making our creations!  He really got into making sure each turkey had a beak and two eyes!
Winston did a very thorough job when it came to covering the Oreos in chocolate.  Swishing the Oreo in the chocolate proved to be a fun toddler activity!  I will say that we were both covered in chocolate when it was all said and done.  But then again some of the best times are the messiest times!  :) 
After the Oreos are dipped in chocolate, quickly set them on the trio of pretzels and then decorate their faces.  Once the tray is complete, set it in the fridge for an hour or so for the chocolate to set.  

Winston loved running to the fridge to check on his turkeys while they were cooling!  And he was super proud to take them to school to share with his friends and teachers.  Plus, these make great a great dessert {or snack} for Thanksgiving Day!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Truth in the Tinsel Around the Corner!

Last year, we started something new in our family.  In an effort to be active in preparing for Christmas and teaching Winston the story of Jesus' birth, we did the Truth in the Tinsel Advent Experience!  It was a neat time for Benjamin and I as parents to watch Winston get excited about opening his red bag to see what craft was inside.  He enjoyed creating the ornaments and we enjoyed having him snuggle in our laps as we read the part of the Nativity story that corresponded with what we had just made.  My favorite thing about it was how proud Winston was to show his ornaments off to his guests, remembering pieces of the story that correlated!

I did really well last year to document our first few days on the blog.  You can find the links and a few additional photos on our Truth in the Tinsel tab.
I am super excited to do it again this year!  I am reviewing the ornaments and making modifications on a few to make them more Winston's skill level.  I am creating my shopping list and then I will start putting each day's supplies into fun bags for Winston to open each day!

If it seems like too much work to prepare, don't get discouraged!  There is a download for tinsel ornaments that your Little can color or decorate that corresponds with the daily story.

I hope that you'll join me this year in creating a new tradition with your family that will make an impact in how you prepare for Christmas!  If you know that this is something you want to do,  you can purchase your own copy of Truth in the Tinsel by clicking here!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Thankful Heart Series: Part 2

This November, I will be participating in A Thankful Heart Series. 

one || Houston & The Great State of Texas
{Winston was 18 months here!}
I have called Houston, or a suburb of it, home the majority of my life.  I grew up here, went to college here, worked here, met and married my husband here and my son was born here.  I have been afforded many fabulous opportunities because I have been in Houston: great jobs, access to fabulous theatre, museums, sports teams, concerts, the zoo, shopping, and unique sights!  There are so many diverse parts to Houston, it is easy to find something small or big to get out and have an adventure!  

My husband and I moved to Dallas weeks after we were married and we cherish that time in our lives with fond memories.  Being less than three hours away affords us the opportunities to visit and enjoy that city as well.  San Antonio and Austin are also close driving distances each providing fun family activities for weekends away.  

Houston will continue to be our home for many years to come as we continue to set down roots with my husband's job.  I am thankful that my Dad's job moved us here over 25 years ago when I was four.  Thank you Lord for the obedience of my parent's to follow Your leading for their future.  For this is where mine will take place as well!

two || Winston's Creative Spirit
Ever since Winston was tiny, I made an effort to do crafts with him.  What started out as a way for us to create home made gifts for family members has turned into a creative spirit within him!  We built our home with an additional room for the purpose of being a craft area/wrapping area.  It has been one of the best things we did!  Almost daily, I get to hear Winston say, "Let's go to the craft room!" and his little feet patter up the stairs.  We do everything from simply coloring, cutting and gluing paper to more planned and thought out activities like canvases and paintings.   Winston knows Hobby Lobby and Michael's well.  He enjoys picking out a new pack of stickers or a fun mini craft for us to create together.  
I truly believe that we were designed after our Creator's heart with a desire to create and have fun while doing it!  In doing crafts with Winston I have learned that not everything is going to be perfect, but it is going to be amazingly special because he made it and he had fun while doing it!  Teaching Winston how to use crayons, markers, scissors and glue has allowed him to express his creativity in imaginative ways!
Winston loves to help with any project we are working on together.  He likes to be in the action.  Because of this, Benjamin and I have made efforts to teach Winston how to do things.  Sometimes it makes a 10 minute project take 20 or 30 minutes but it is worth it to see him enjoy himself!  {Don't worry, there was not actually any spray paint left in that can!}

Benjamin loves woodworking and Winston loves being in the garage in the evenings with him.  He plays on his tool bench and creates towers and ramps out of wood.  With patient anticipation, I cannot wait to see what the two of them create together as Winston gets older!

And in case you missed it:
A Thankful Heart Series: Part 1 

For the Joy of Life
If you'd like to be apart, click the image above and join the link up on sharing your thankfulness!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Thankful Heart Series: Part 1

I just love November!  The weather begins to turn cooler, the air a bit crisper.  November's arrival signals that Thanksgiving is around the corner and just behind that is Christmas and the New Year!  I often view November a time to really be intentional about being thankful.  It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the routine of the year and I love that towards the end of the year we are given this opportunity to ponder and reflect on what we have.

This November, I will be participating in A Thankful Heart Series.  I thought today I would start with two things that are my everything.

one || Jesus, my Lord and Savior

I would be remiss if I did not say how thankful I am for the freedom that I have in knowing that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that through accepting His gift of salvation I live a life that is full of joy!  Loving the Lord and following Him does not guarantee that I have an easy life or a life free of challenges and hardships.  What it does guarantee is that I have a peace and comfort that is beyond anything that this world can offer.  It guarantees that I do not face the day alone, that I have God beside me to lean on and trust in.  He has provided for my every need; He has given me more than I could have hoped for.  He is my rock and my constant help.  It is to Him that I give my thanks and praise! 

two || My People
I cannot put into words how thankful I am for my people.  When I think about how Benjamin and I we trusted God and allowed Him to write our love story, I am overwhelmed by His goodness and how He fulfills the desires of our hearts.  Having the honor of being Benjamin's is one of my top five favorite things.  We compliment and challenge each other, we grow and learn together, we argue and disagree and through it all we love each other with a fierce and devoted love.  We created a new little unit and eight years later still enjoy every day adventures together!

Then Winston was added to our family!  I am thankful for what he has taught me about being a mom, loving others, appreciating small things and taking time to really experience life.  He is full of personality and abounds with love!  A soon we will have Truman in our midst!  Plus, we have our cute little fur baby, Lulu! 

We have much to be thankful for!

For the Joy of Life
If you'd like to be apart, click the image above and join the link up on sharing your thankfulness!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five Things for Friday: 11.06

If it seems like it has been months since you've seen a Five on Friday post from me, you'd be spot on. I took a blogging break over the summer and am now feeling like I'm ready to jump back in here and there.  With Truman's arrival in the coming months, I feel like I want to do more to document our normal everyday as a family of three as we get ready to be a family of four!
one || This stomp rocket.  If you have a little that is 3 years or older, this needs to be on your Christmas list for them this year!  Winston received this as a birthday gift this year.  I normally bring out one or two new toys every week or two in order to keep the excitement alive.  This week, we opened the Stomp Rocket Jr. and have been all about it!  The first night we managed to get one stuck on our roof and shoot the other three into our neighbor's yard!  After a secret mission to retrieve them, the fun kept on!  
I have to say, Benjamin and I even get a kick out of seeing how high we can make the rocket fly!  There is also a size for bigger kids.  
two || Winston had his very first dental check up this week!  Benjamin came along which was super sweet.  There must be something, as a dental professional, about being there for your kiddo's first appointment!  We went to Wheeler Pediatric Dentistry and I was impressed with how sweet and personable each of the staff that interacted with Winston was.  They made him feel comfortable and did an excellent job walking him through each step of the process.  Winston did a fantastic job when they took the x-rays and I was amazed that he was still as they brushed and flossed his little teeth!  His favorite parts were getting checked by Dr. Wheeler and getting his stickers!  
three || It's time to get excited about Christmas!  And all of the adorable Christmas jammies!  I love a kid in a cute set of jammies!  Here are a few of my favorite Christmas jammies:

And to not be overlooked, Thanksgiving jammies too!  Thanksgiving Turkeys
four || This week I also had an appointment to check in on Truman.  Heartbeat is great and we are measuring a week or so ahead which equates to nothing really other than he is a healthy size!  I am to the point where I can feel when Truman is active with his twists, turns and kicks.  Winston gets a thrill out of putting his little hand on my belly and his eyes light up when he feels Truman move.  It's not uncommon for my midsection to get two or three hugs a day followed by his sweet voice saying, "Oh baby, I love you!"  All the melting with love hearts you can find for his mama!
five || I'll leave you with these two adorable littles in their Halloween costumes!  We watched my niece on Halloween night and had a fun time taking these two around the neighborhood trick or treating!  

We will be spending Saturday morning at the JDRF walk in The Woodlands and doing a pre-hanging of all the decorations for our church's Hanging of the Green ceremony in a few weeks.  It's supposed to be a dreary and wet weekend so I am positive we will have time for snuggles and movie watching too!  Happy weekend to you!

Other Posts This Week:

Linking up today with 5 on Friday:April | Oh Hey, Friday: September Farm + The Farmer's Wife | Friday Favorites: Momfessionals

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Popped Corn on the Cob Craft

Next to "Mommy, I love you!" and "Mommy, will you play with me?" my one of favorite things that Winston says is "Mommy, let's make a craft!"  It can be something as simple as cutting paper and gluing it down to making a sticker creation to something that has been pre-planned.  
This week we made corn on the cobs with popped corn!  

For this craft you will need:
Popped corn {We used kettle corn because was the less buttery option in our pantry!}
Yellow construction paper
Green construction paper
As you can see, I did not use any certain template for the corn and leaves.  One thing that doing crafts with Winston has taught me is that everything doesn't have to be perfect, just fun!  Once the leaves were glued onto the yellow blobs, they looked more corn like!

This was the perfect craft to do around snack time!  We would say, "One to eat and one to glue!  One for me and one for you!"  
If you use Elmer's glue, note that it does take a good sized blob to get the popcorn to stick.  In order to make the popcorn last a little longer, I suggest spraying it with a clear coating.  Once the corn on the cobs dried, I glued popsicle sticks to the back and put them in a vase as a decoration!  

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Truman "Chewie" Cozad

It's true!  Our second little bundle of joy is a boy!  Who would have ever guessed that we would have a family of boys?  

Much like I did with Winston, when I found out I was pregnant, I started praying for wisdom on what our Little should be named.  So the day after hearing the news that our family would be rounded out with Boy Two, I came across the name Truman and instantly loved it!  When Benjamin came home that night I shared it with him and within the next day or two he too agreed that he liked the idea of a little Truman running around!  

When I found out that the name Truman means loyal, trustworthy my heart warmed.  To me, brothers are to be loyal to one another, encouraging, and supportive.  My hope and prayer is that not only would Truman be loyal and trustworthy as a brother, but that he would know that God is always for him and in return Truman would love Him with a fierce and loyal love. 

"For you are great, and your works are wondrous; You are the one True God.  O Eternal One, guide me along Your path so that I will live in Your truth.  Oh Lord, my God! I praise you with all that I am.  I will rightly honor your great name forever.  For your loyal love for me is so great it is beyond comparison.  You have rescued my soul from the depths of the grave."   Psalm 86:10-13 {The Voice}

We have yet to decide on a middle name.  But we have plenty of time!  

We told Winston that he was going to have a baby brother and he took a minute to process that.  
WAC: Not a girl?
Me: No, a little boy!
WAC: A boy.
Me: Yes.  Are you going to teach him how to play cars and trains?
WAC: Oh yes!
Me: And how to love Mommy well?
WAC: Oh of course Mommy!  And how to pee.  And how to eat.  And how to pick out shoes and socks!

Then we told Winston that we were going to name the baby Truman and his response: "That's okay Mommy, I will call him Chewie!"  Every time Benjamin and I call the baby Truman, Winston is quick to correct us with the name he has given him!  

Truman is healthy and we are thankful.  It's hard to believe that we are halfway through with this pregnancy and excitedly awaiting his arrival in February!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Paint Balloon Art!

Being that we are in the midst of summer when we planned to have some friends over for a craft + play time I envisioned us doing something with water balloons.  Water balloons filled with paint was my vision.  I knew I had seen something like this before and so I went to handy dandy Pinterest for some specifics on how to accomplish my goal!  

Tempera Paint, a variety of colors
Push pins
Canvas {I chose a 16x20 sized canvas for the boys.}
Water Balloons
Squeeze bottles 

Prepping the Canvas
I was wondering what I would need to do to ensure that the paint balloons would pop on the canvas when I came across this video by Mr Otter Art Studio.  They suggested to poke push pins through the canvas so that when the balloons hit the surface they would pop and splatter.  I probably used 50 push pins on each individual canvas.  

Filling the Balloons
This video by Mr Otter Art Studio gives great tips on how to fill the balloons with paint.  Since I didn't have water bottles with squeeze tops, I used my Wilton Squeeze Bottles to fill the balloons.  I did a 40/60 {or some were 50/50} ratio of paint to water and then shook the bottle to mix the two.  The squeeze bottle's nozzle was the perfect size to fill the water balloon.  In total, I filled around 130 balloons for four boys.

The Instructions
We did a run through with Winston and a few balloons on a small canvas to see his reaction and if this would even work.  It was a success!  He loved it and the effect of the paint on the canvas was super fun!  You set up the canvas against a hard surface and then throw the paint balloon!!

The Clothes
I would suggest wearing swimsuits or clothes that you don't mind getting a little messy for this project.

The Fun!
After instructing the boys not to touch the canvas because they were spiky and to not throw the balloons at their friends, we set them loose to launch their paint balloons!  It was so fun to see their faces when the paint exploded against the canvas!

Clean Up
The best way to get clean after throwing paint balloons and getting splatter every where is to play in the water!!  Splashing is mandatory!

Thanks to our sweet friends for coming over to play with us and to their Moms for not freaking out when I announced we were going to be playing with paint balloons!!  {I did tell them what type of clothes to bring!}  It was a fabulously, fun day and the works of art turned out unique and beautiful!
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