Alyssa and Kylie’s Rapunzel Birthday

Alyssa and Kylie celebrated their 5th birthday with some of their friends this past weekend. They requested a Rapunzel (Tangled) theme party so I thought I’d share some details, along with free printables, of the things I made!

We had frying pan plates, because… who knew, right?!

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A “Best Day Ever” banner that I made using my cricut.

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An apple toss for Maximus bean bag game.

February 2015 010Flynn Rider wanted posters…

February 2015 014…and coloring pages, complete with missing nose for the kids to add their own attempt. Can they get his nose right?

February 2015 011Lanterns.

February 2015 009And of course, a magic golden flower.

February 2015 008The boys who came to the party got a ruffian/viking hat (tutorial here) and a handmade Flynn Rider satchel filled with a glow stick ax, eye patch, fake mustache and some chocolate gold coins.

February 2015 005The girls got a flower braid and Rapunzel goody bags filled with a princess crown, Rapunzel’s paints, a princess comb and mirror and a ring pop.

February 2015 006The cupcakes were topped with kingdom suns, and the girls’ cupcakes had Rapunzel on top. Found here. You can see I used the other people in the set around for decorating too. Yes, I had to buy two sets.

February 2015 018Russell ran some yellow streamers around to look like Rapunzel’s hair.

February 2015 019The girls were excited to celebrate

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Now for the FREE printables! Just open and right click to save the document to your computer.

Click here for the Flynn Rider frying pan printable

Click here for the Maximus image.

Click here for Flynn’s wanted poster (I printed it on brown cardstock)

Click here for Flynn’s coloring page

Click here for the lantern printable (I printed two and glued them together to get the right size, I used cardstock to hold the shape better)

Click here for the sun cupcake toppers (I used a two inch circle punch)

Click here for the Rapunzel’s Paints insert (I don’t have a picture but I just slid them inside the paints)

Click here for the Princess goody bag sign

Click here for the Ruffians goody bag sign

Click here for the Magic Golden Flower story printable

Click here for a Golden Flower Incantation printable

Published in: on February 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm  Comments (5)  

Gymnastics Day 1

I finally decided with my little climbers, tumblers, balancers, etc that it was time to try the girls in gymnastics.

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I found a beginner class offered through the city for a decent price so I signed them up. The girls were really excited and wore their gymnastics outfits that were handed down to us by a fellow twin mom. We got there a couple of minutes early and I snapped this photo in the parking lot.

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We went inside a saw the gymnastics room. The girls had fun looking at all the things inside that they might get to do. A trampoline, balance beams, tunnels, and slides were among the things there. We watched the instructor set up for their class.

Then… things took a turn. 

When it was time to go in, two little girls that the instructor already knew ran in and started playing with some ribbons. They called the rest of the kids names to come too, and of course our girls were called first. I was told to make them go in but stay outside myself (not outside outside, but on the other side of the glass window) The girls got a little upset about this because they weren’t expecting it and so they were nervous. When they started to show some tears the instructor told me that at this point I needed to go around the corner where they wouldn’t be able to see me anymore, so as not to distract them. I told her that would make it so much worse but she insisted it was their policy. I obliged and after about 5 minutes the director of the gymnastics program came and told me she thought it would be better if I sat where they could see me. Geez, you think?! I told her I had tried to explain that to the instructor. She brought the girls out and sat with us while they calmed down. Then they decided they wanted to go back in and try again, this time with me watching. She took them back in and they were still shy but much calmer. We had been watching the other kids do somersaults and Alyssa wanted to do one too, but by the time she got over to them they had started doing them from a sitting position and she didn’t know how to do it. They offered her a turn to go, but no one gave her any instruction so she didn’t participate.


Kylie hung out by the wall, but was in the room without me, which surprised me after the way things had started out. Neither girl cried at all at this point. The class then went to the opposite site of the room to do the balance beam. My girls were offered no encouragement to join them. After about 10 more minutes (near the end of the session) the instructor came by (to get some equipment) and coldly asked them if they were ready to join, and then simply walked away. At this point the girls sat down in some chairs against the wall and watched. After the last activity finished all the kids ran over and filled in all the chairs around the girls. The instructor walked down the line giving everyone a hand stamp, deliberately skipping over my girls. All the kids, on both sides of them got hand stamps and they were passed over. Now I know they didn’t participate the way the instructor would have liked, but they took a huge step going back in and trying to overcome their fears, and I think that should have been acknowledged and encouraged.

I also know that the instructors (there were two) couldn’t just sit with my kids the whole time and try to help them feel comfortable, that wouldn’t be fair to the other kids in the class either, but we paid the same as those kids did so I feel at least some effort should have been made. The girls were basically ignored. A simple wave with a “come join us, we’re having fun!” still might not have brought them over, but at least it would have been something.

The girls want to try again next week now that they know what to except, and with me watching, so I hope it goes better. Either way I think I will be letting the director of the programs know my concerns so that hopefully other little kids don’t have to have a similar experience. Let me say again, this was a beginning class for 3-6 year olds.

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kylie’s Preschool Interview

Here is Kylie’s interview. I found it so interesting to see what the girls answered the exact same with no knowledge of what the other one had said. I also love what Kylie wants to learn this year 🙂

Kylie Interview0001

Published in: on August 20, 2014 at 7:49 am  Comments (1)  

Alyssa’s Preschool Interview

I did a little interview with each of the girls (separately so I could get more authentic/individual answers, although they did answer some things the same) to find out what the like and don’t like at the time they are starting preschool. I think it will be a fun tradition for us. I had to make my own since all the premade ones I found online said “My First Day of…” and since we kind of all-the-time homeschool that wasn’t really applicable to our family. Here are Alyssa’s answers:

Alyssa Interview0001

Published in: on August 19, 2014 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  


Have you been hearing the crickets on my blog recently? Man, oh man, things have been quiet around here for a long time. The last time I went this long without really writing much was when I was early pregnant with Wyatt and I literally could not muster up any energy to do anything that I didn’t need to do. While I do not have a good excuse this time, I simply have not felt like I had much to say. I have been through a season of learning and research myself, and while I still have much I want to explore, I finally feel like contributing once again. I’ll be writing more soon about some of the new directions our family is taking these days, but for today I just wanted to let you know I am trying to dust off the cobwebs and get back to sharing our lives with you.

Published in: on January 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maybe I Shouldn’t

Maybe I shouldn’t post this picture, but I thought you could all use a laugh. My mom is visiting and was taking a picture of Wyatt and her camera flash was very intense. Thus, my face.

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Life gets kinda crazy around our house, especially at certain times of the day. One of those times is right before the girls’ bedtime when Russell is getting home from work. If Wyatt happens to need to be changed or eat around the same time it is even worse. Last night was no exception.

Except… it was.

On this particular night I was waiting for Russell to be home any minute, and I was in the nursery about to change Wyatt. The girls had had a little Easter candy after dinner and were running around burning some of it off. Suddenly I heard a loud alarm going off. Our smoke detectors are SUPER sensitive so at first I assumed that is what it was. Then I remembered I wasn’t cooking anything and that our smoke detectors were actually unplugged from when I made a pizza. (Remember, I said they were really sensitive!) Next I assumed it was our security system going off and that the girls had simply opened a door to set it off. But no doors were open and the alarm had not been set. But I entered the code anyways, and the alarm stopped.


Then I remembered that we have a remote that has a panic button on it. It is usually kept in my nightstand but Russell had pulled it out a while ago and hung it on the side of the nightstand. So… maybe the girls had gone into our room and played with it. No. They were both in the living room with no signs of the remote. So I went into our room and this is what I found.

Our dog Rusty chewing on the remote. Slobber and teeth marks on the panic button. WHY?! It is not even food. Funny story, right? So I thought about calling Russell to tell him what happened, but if you remember I was expecting him home any minute. What I didn’t expect is that ADT called him and told him I had activated the alarm using a special code to say there was someone in the house with me, and so even though he could see us in the window when he pulled up he didn’t believe we were really alright and came up to the door with his gun drawn.

So ya, just a little added excitement to our usual bedtime routine.

Published in: on April 11, 2012 at 8:43 am  Comments (2)  

Introducing… Mr. Wyatt Jackson!

Most of our friends already know, but I am aware I have some readers who are not facebook friends, so I want to share the good news.

We have a son!

Wyatt Jackson. He was born March 1, at 1:36pm. He was 7 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long. And boy is he cute! He actually received a lot of attention from the nurses and staff. He is cute and quiet and a good sleeper. Good job little man, let’s keep that up 🙂

And because I can’t post just ONE picture, here are a few of our newest addition.

Now I am going to go shower, relax, and spend some time staring at my baby boy. Catch you later!

Published in: on March 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm  Comments (2)  

Baltic Amber Baby Teething Necklace- The Winners!

The winner of the Baltic Amber Baby Teething Necklace giveaway is…

Sarah (comment #14) who said:
“I love the purple bean one! I heard they work great, I would LOVE one!!!!!!!”

And three readers are also receiving a 20% off discount if they order. Those people are…

Allison (#2) who said “I like them on FB. I like the green. Do you think I could get away with Mark wearing this? My poor little guy only has 4 teeth and he’s a terrible teether.”

Julie (#18) who said “I like the multi color necklace”

Rose (#10) who said “the maple glow is my fav. =) I’m so going to get these for the twins!”

I have sent you all an email with instructions on how to claim your discount/necklace. Please respond within 48 hours or I will pick new winners. Thank you everybody!

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings

You may have read yesterday’s post where I wrote what I would say to myself 10 years ago. In some of the other posts I read on the same topic the people were very open with what they would tell themselves. Including when and who they would marry, the fact that they would have twins, job stuff, stock tips and more. I, on the other hand, was wary of how this hypothetical letter would change the life I have now. And it got me thinking about the ripple effect. How every decision we make effects who we will become, what will happen to us, and often the lives of those around us as well.

About 8 years ago Russell and I took a drive to Cambria, CA for his birthday. About 1/2 hour into our drive a car accident happened right behind us. I remember thinking, “if we had hit one more red light, or left 30 seconds later, that could have been us.”

Then I thought about a day nearly 7 years ago where my best friend was not so lucky. She and her husband were in a serious car accident that took the lives of two people, one of them their close friend. I imagine she must have wondered at least once how different her life would have been if they had taken even two minutes longer before they got in the car. I know my life would be different. We had sort of let our friendship fall away after I moved to Texas, and it quickly made me realize how close I came to losing one of the most important people to me. For that I will always be thankful. Because of the accident they wanted to move to a warm/dry climate (for their achy bones) and with the money from their settlement they bought a house in Las Vegas. If they hadn’t have done that we would probably never have considered moving here after Russell left his job at the church. I have no idea where we might have ended up. My life as I know it now could have been totally different if someone had needed to pee before they got in that car.

How many life altering events do we experience everyday without even knowing it? It seems as though life is like one of those choose your own adventure books, where simple choices can produce very different outcomes. The difference being that we may not always know the choice we are making is putting us on a new course.

This whole idea is still too big for me to wrap my head around, so come back tomorrow and I’ll explore my thoughts on what’s meant to be, luck, fate,  predestination, whatever you want to call it. But today I want to know… is there something in your life you would change if you could?

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 9:05 am  Comments (3)