Monday, September 1, 2014

Ready, Set, September!



 This summer went SO fast that I am not ready for it to end!! But like it or not, September is here!

Check out my September Posts for lots and lots of ideas for having a fun and festive September whether you have kids or not! There are crafts, recipes, treats, books, activities and more! Even suggestions for Turning Over a New Leaf this month with a fresh take at life!








To get set for September, I stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up some of their Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies! These make the cutest little addition in your kids' lunchboxes or are a fun way to work on letters and spelling with your little ones! My son has LOVED them!








And I found the cutest new book that I'm looking forward to reading with Beckam! It teaches about different kinds of fall leaves!






More September ideas are just around the corner so check back soon!

xoxo


Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Name and a Blessing: Haiya's Blessing Day






We are so grateful that we could bless our little Haiya in the presence of so much family! Caleb had a week break from school this August so we drove up to Utah so that we could have both of our families be there for the special day. We blessed her at my parent's home in Salt Lake and had a light dinner afterwards. It was a beautiful and memorable day! 



As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, instead of christening our babies like many others do, we give our children a special priesthood blessing in which we present the new infant to our Heavenly Father and officially pronounce a name and a blessing on them. 




The name we have officially chosen to give our daughter is Haiya Elizabeth Stott. Yes, you read that right ;)  We announced when she was born that her name would be Haiya Sophia. I have always loved the name Sophia and wanted to use it, but since Haiya has been born I have had some very, very sacred experiences in which I have come to know that Haiya and I have a very special and unique relationship. One that began long before this lifetime. As such, I have felt really bad over the last few months that I didn't give her part of my name. The day of the blessing, Caleb and I had an impression come over us in which we felt prompted to change her name - giving her the same middle name as me.  We have felt such a sweet, beautiful confirmation since then that it was the right thing to do!  To read more about what the name Haiya means, see my post Haiya: The Meaning Behind Her Name





On August 24, 2014 Haiya was given a beautiful and poignant blessing by her daddy, wearing the very same dress her mama wore when she was blessed 28 years ago. It was such a sweet and tender thing for me to see Haiya in my blessing dress. 






We are so thankful for all of our family who were able to be there in attendance, and especially to those who helped us to make it a beautiful day! I am thankful to both our mothers for providing delicious food, to my sister Jenn for a gorgeous floral arrangement, and to my sister Caitlin for taking pictures. She did SUCH an amazing job- I am so thankful for her talent and how it has helped to capture and preserve this special day for us.  {Check out her photography website http://www.caitlinnicolephotography.com/ to see more of her amazing work!}


It was also so special to have four generations of women present at her blessing: Haiya, her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. I am so thankful for these two amazing women (my mom and Grandma) and for the remarkable examples they are to me of what it means to be strong, virtuous women. 


Haiya and her great-grandmother Charlotte. This picture is precious to me!






Our growing family
Us and Caleb's Parents


The men who participated in her blessing










 This beautiful little dress is the one she wore to church on her big blessing day. It is so beautiful! And so is she :)







Words cannot express how much we love our little Haiya! She truly is such a light and joy in our lives!! (Thank you again Caitlin for the beautiful pictures!!)


xoxo

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Look Up!



 First of all I have to just give a big shout out and thank you to the lovely ladies of seventhsouth.com for featuring my blog this last week on their site! {For my readers, you have to check out their website if you haven't already! It is filled with the greatest ideas and amazing advice for mamas! You'll love it!}  
I also have to just say how excited I am to get to do this guest post for them about the latest summer unit I did with my little man! (This post will be featured on their website this week!)


The unit my son and I did this last week is one that will always have a special place in my heart. We call it "Lift Up Thine Eyes" and it is all about the sky! So often we forget what an incredibly beautiful and miraculous world we live in. How often do we stop to get lost in the clouds or appreciate the beauty of the night sky? This unit offers us a chance each summer to pause, put down our phones, set other distractions aside and just simply look up.  As we do so, time seems to stand still as we reflect on the breathtaking wonder of God's creations. 


If you're new to my blog, check out my original "Lift Up Thine Eyes" post for details and lots of fun ideas for this unit, including great family home evening ideas!!


Here's just a little look at what we did this year:



Cotton-ball Cloud Pictures

Beckam had fun pasting cotton balls onto blue paper to make puffy clouds! That afternoon we were driving in the car and he suddenly gasped and goes "Mommy!! Look! Clouds!!!!!" He was so excited to see clouds in the sky, just like the ones he had made at home :)

We also took time to cloud gaze several times this week to see how many clouds we could find. 





Outer Space Learning Activities

I love the website ateachingmommy.com. It has free printable learning activities for just about every theme and topic you can think of. It even has toddler versions (Tot Packs) of each of their units that are geared toward young ones. They had great space themed activities that we did:

Sorting Stars by Size




Planet and Constellation Pictures by Number




Planet Matching


Print off the above activities and many more at ateachingmommy.com!


 Painted Sun Catchers

We painted sun-shaped "sun catchers."  They sell these in the craft section at Walmart for .53 cents FYI!




Library Books

 Here are some books we got from our library. Most of them have a lot of text (and really cool facts) so older kids would love them! We mostly just enjoyed the pictures in them and learned about some cool concepts. Beckam learned what a space shuttle,  planet,  constellation, earth, telescope, astronaut and shooting star are! 







Check out more book ideas HERE!  




Homemade Telescopes

We made a telescope just by decorating a paper towel tube. A super easy craft that provides hours of entertainment!









Sticker Night Skies

Beckam made his own starry night with star, planet, space ship and alien stickers. (I also got these stickers in the craft section at Walmart.) 





Sleep Out Under the Stars

Our plans to actually go camping were thwarted by wildfires in the State Park where we wanted to go, so my husband set up a tent in our son's room and did an indoor camping trip with him ;)  We didn't get to do much star gazing but he had so much fun!




Night Sky Book

I printed off free coloring pages of a sun, stars, planets, a rocket ship, etc. and let my son make his very own night sky book! 





Challenger Space Center

We took a field trip to the Challenger Space Center here in AZ.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed. The website made it sound like it was a museum totally geared towards kids, and, well, I wouldn't even call it a museum. It was more like administrative offices and classrooms with plaques and pictures in the hallways and some "exhibits" here and there. We did see a few cool things that interested my son though.



He loved the astronaut, or "space robot" as he called it ;)


One of the cool things we saw was a real tire from a Challenger space shuttle. It was neat to think this tire has actually been in outer space!







STAR SONGS


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Catch a Falling Star, by Paul Vance

Swinging on a Star, Jimmy Van Heusen

I am a Like a Star,  LDS Children Songbook




Here are a few other ideas: 



Get instructions on how to make your own HERE!



Get the recipe HERE!


Instructions HERE!



 Check out my previous post for even more fun and F.H.E ideas!





And don't forget . . .
to look up! =)


XOXO
Annie
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