The Puzzler...

Aubrey's latest obsession is puzzles(along with the newer window clings...or 'gooey sings' as she likes to say. Not so good with the th's, this one). I got the idea from a friends blog(thanks Laura!)whose little girl loved them. I was looking for new ideas for play time(seems I'm always looking for those) and puzzles seemed like a great option. She needed something challenging, I was noticing her getting bored with the easier/non thinking toys.
Little did I know what kind of addict I'd create!
And yes Astrid, she still bites her hands when excited...it's more of a hold-them-to-her-cheeks kind of a thing now....how do I get her to stop this?!?
I found this wooden Dora/Diego one at a TJ Maxx and it has four puzzles in a nice sectioned off wooden box! They had me at organized:) And it was a good deal too, that always gets my Menno heart swooning.
She's become so good at doing the puzzles, I wish there were more options between the 25 piece and 100 piece ones...can't find any around here. She is always so proud when she finishes a puzzle and likes to point out the next one on the picture that she wants to do

Now if I could just figure out how to get her to stop pretending that she doesn't know how to do the puzzles while we're doing them together! I'm always at my breaking point, I can't handle it! Why do kids do this?!? I know she could do the puzzle with her eyes closed. I guess she just gets way too much enjoyment from messing with me. grrrrr


Bargain Shoppin'

Aubrey was begging for these window clings the other night in Target. I'm trying to cut down on buying random things for her because I don't want to spoil her and, lets face it, even the dollar things add up! So I threw them in the cart for the time being and was going to remove them later once she had forgotten about them:)
I noticed they looked Valentine's Day themed so I decided to check the price, in case they were on sale....my Menno radar was on.... and they were! Even I can afford 19cents! I figured that I'd have them on hand and pull them out when I was out of play ideas for her... happens often.

Oh Man were they ever a hit! She played with them for almost an hour solid when I first pulled them out. That same day when she woke up from her nap, walked out of her room, dropped her blankie on the floor and walked straight to play with them again...for another hour!

You'll have to excuse the windows...Aubrey thought that she needed to clean them with her wipes.... don't they look awesome?!? I don't have the heart to tell her to stop because she thinks she's being so helpful by cleaning them. I don't want her to ever lose that enthusiasm! I'm going to need all the cleaning help I can get if I keep up with my psychotic cleaning tendencies!

I guess purple really is her favorite color:) She pulled these out and played with them and left the other colors to "share" with me(you can see it in the picture above this one)! Classic!


Can't Believe...

...that in a few days(four sleeps to be exact), we'll be going from this...

to this...

And from playing in this....
...to playing in this!
We are so excited! Aubrey can not stop talking about Grenada. Every time we leave the house she asks if we are finally going. And every time we say no, she hunches her shoulders and walks away while saying, "awwwww we're NEVER going to go to Grenada!". Man, I fear for the teenage years.

Look how precious she is!! I think this picture was taken during her first time in a pool.... Look at my baby! I miss those chunky arms and legs:( She stills fits into that bathing suit(or babysuit as Aubrey calls it....sometimes she calls it a fwimsuit! She likes to mix it up). I like to think that her fitting into it is her way of helping us save money.... not because she's a picky eater or that she never stops running/jumping/playing.


Aubrey The Explorer

Last week...when we could finally see the ground after 2 months....and it was actually 65F outside..... and before it started to snow again...
Aubrey and I went on a walk and she decided that she needed to take along her "oculars"(also known as two toilet paper rolls stapled together with a ribbon attached.... they're the poor man's 'oculars' ). She told me that we were going on an 'adbenture' and were going to discover things. If I could get inside that head of hers for just a minute....
She's obsessed with birds; what they eat, where they sleep and she's so worried about them in the cold. She decided to make a nest for one....
Yup, that'll keep the bird warm;)
I love going on walks with her, it's like living out an episode of Dora. I always have to sing the songs for her, at the appropriate time of course, and I can be heard singing, "Where are we going?!?" at any given time on a walk....to which Aubrey always yells, "YELLOW HOUSE!"....it's how I convince her to go back home:)


My turn...

I spent my Sunday finishing my girly pillow. Aubrey took one look at it and said, "Mommy, I don't like it." ...What?!? What is her deal?? When pressed further she said it's because it didn't contain her new 'favorite' color, which is purple apparently. Could have fooled me, it was pink the day before....just a wee bit fickle, that one:)
I'm loving how it turned out and am already thinking about the next one I want to make. I have a bunch of pillow forms that I've picked up from garage sales along the way(and washed multiple times!), so I don't have to worry about that part. It felt good to make something for me, I could get used to this...


Not Camera Shy...

This is what happens when I point a camera at Aubrey! I seriously love this little poser!


I'm Going Back...

Never thought this day would come, but it has. We are headed back to Grenada...duh-duh-duuuuuhhhh. Kidding:) I know it has been said on this blog(many many many many times) that I would never want to go back there, but it's happening. And guess what?!? I'm EXCITED!!!! YEAH! Mostly because it's almost free....and a tropical climate(which is cool for vacation only).....and I haven't seen the ground in almost two months...and I saw a picture of how wonderfully tanned I used to be there.... and I guess, if my arm were twisted, I would admit that it wasn't so bad. I still maintain that actually living there is a whole other story....but visiting? I've changed my tune.
Zach's been invited to be a visiting professor(hahahahaha) and he's going to give a lecture/presentation to the students.....tell me again how we ended up together?? Have I said lately how much I hated school?? He LOVES learning, loves it! Now don't get me wrong, I don't hate learning, not at all, but the school setting was not for me. And it was/is SO for him. hmmmm I seem to remember someone saying something about how opposites attract....
So Aubrey and I get to go along with him and we just have to pay her way. But it all works out because Zach is getting paid to be there too, so she will end up being "free" as well! What a blessing this trip is, we need some time as a family. After the whole interview business and the travelling, etc., we didn't have a lot of family time. So the timing of this is so amazing. God sure is good to us:)
While there, Zach's going to be working everyday writing papers with his former prof and I'm pretty sure he'll be in his glory....from the sounds of it, both of them will be! So there might not be a lot of family time, but don't worry about Aubrey and I, I'm pretty sure we'll find things to pass the time.
Like going here....
Zach and I are so excited to go back to La Boulangerie!! They have THE BEST breakfasts and I love me some breakfast!

We are NOT excited to go HERE.......
And you can read why not, here....
And maybe...just maybe we'll get to see him!
Ahahahaha! This was so funny! You can read about it here...



This is what dinner looks like (in my house anyway!) the day after guests leave and we are feeling the effects of my being lazy for a week and not doing the dishes. No, I don't have a dishwasher....I'm the dishwasher....but I try and pawn that job off on Zach as often as we have date night! Him doing the dishes is my "Love Language";)...I don't think it's his though....pretty sure his is NOT doing the dishes.
Yes, that is a cottage cheese container that I'm drinking out of...... why do you ask?!?



I entered another giveaway over at The Joy Cottage:) I'm determined to get a scripture/name pillow... figured I'd share the love!


Crafting Spree....

I decided to get a little crafty for Valentine's Day and whipped up some cards for Zach and Aubrey. And would you know, I actually got them done before the day! A new one for me:) I know they are not perfect, but I love how they turned out and Aubrey was really excited when she found out I made it for her, so cute! "you MADE this for me?!?" Love her!
I also decided to make little matching aprons for Maddie(Aubrey's "best friend in the whole wide world") and Aubrey. I made them reversible and the secret is that they are easier to make that way! No fussing with trying to make them look perfect on the back side, etc(something that drove me up the wall while trying to make my little niece's one for Christmas!). You use a little more fabric, but the aprons are so tiny it ends up being not much over a quarter of a yard. Not too shabby:)

I got Aubrey to model it for me(Maddie was waaay too cool for that;)) after some convincing. I'm quite certain that the excited look on her face is because of the Hersey's Kisses in her hands and not the apron. Oh well, I like it! That's what matters, right?!
I also finally decided to work on something for myself!!! I always feel like I should be making things for others and the other day, after seeing some gorgeous pillows at Amy's house (that she had made), I finally wanted to make something for me. And it really is for me... I mean, Zach's not afraid of pink in any way, but a girly pink pillow might be a bit much for him....oh well:)
And this time I didn't get the math wrong and cut double the squares! I'll show it off once it's done....assuming it doesn't turn out to be a complete disaster!


A Little Jaunt to the Sea....

For some reason or another I can't seem to figure out why the pictures I've edited are not showing up when I try to upload to my blog! I'm SO not technically savvy, so this has yet to be resolved. Apparently I can't explain it to Zach properly either because every time I try, I get a blank stare and a, 'what are you talking about?!?'. So alas, you will have to view the unedited versions of these pictures:)
These are still from when Zach's brother and fiance were here. We went down to the Jersey Shore, Ocean Grove to be exact, and it was the most gorgeous, horribly cold day EVER! I mean, it's gets so cold here in winter, but being by the ocean on a windy cold day?!? I believe my exact words to Zach were, "I'M NOT MADE FOR THIS!!!" I guess it's a good thing we are moving to Georgia....just a tad bit warmer;)
Anyway, the sun was glorious and there is just something about taking pictures in the winter. The sun is never directly above so it makes it easier to get the right lighting... at least for a rookie like me:)
Now, I've seen the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, but there is just something special about the Atlantic. I just love how rugged it is and it's as though everything you see, you've seen in a movie once...and you probably have! Ocean Grove specifically was in the movie According to Greta. Just a cool little fact for ya;)


Happy Balentine's Day!

Since it's "Balentine's" Day and all, I figured I'd post a few shots of Aubrey with one of her favorite people. Maddie is, as Aubrey says, 'my best friend in the whole wide world'! These were taken a few months ago when we went to the zoo. Maddie being the loveable girl that she is, scored us free tickets on the zoo's train and merry-go-round! That's right, just being her usual super cute self, she charmed the train operator so much he gave us free tokens:) Go Maddie! The Menno in me was very proud.