2012 Was a Very Good Year

2 Pennies 2 Rub has been on an unintended hiatus for most of 2012.  As I look back on the year, I can see how things got so busy and am sorry to have missed sharing some special moments with you.

A Year of Firsts

The kids’ first trip to the zoo to see real live animals!  And what’s better than animals? The train that we rode on at the end of the zoo trip.

The kids’ first Easter Egg Hunt.  Momma was smart by giving them buckets.  They’re easy to carry and hold tons of loot.  Once Oliver figured out there was candy in the eggs he was off running.  The other kids didn’t stand a chance.

The kids’ first Strawberry patch.  I have fond memories of picking strawberries with my family when I was young.  I also remember being very messy and sticky by the time we were done, but not remembering how I got that way.  Well, the kids were nice enough to remind me!

Evelyn’s first trip to the fair and Oliver’s first fair ride all by himself!  Evelyn was not thrilled that she was too short to ride the train.  However, she did like the roasted corn, cotton candy, hot dogs, turkey leg, and candy apples!

Oliver started preschool and took his first ride on the bus this year.  He takes the bus to and from school every day.  He loves, loves, loves riding the bus and going to school.  We even went to our first school fair and the kids saw their first hot air balloon and won their first “prizes” for playing some games.  They were some of the smallest kids there amongst the 1st – 5th graders and I was so proud that they held their own with the big kids.

The kids’ first Halloween Trick or Treating door-to-door.  We were a family of pirates and the kids did absolutely fantastic.  They caught on to the concept very fast and dutifully said “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank you!” at every house.

Their first visit with Santa Claus.  Evelyn climbed right up into his lap and gave him big hugs.  Oliver sat with me on the floor and told Santa that he wanted, “Presents. Lots of presents!” for Christmas.  He also said he wanted pancakes. :-)

A Year of Change

Over the summer we looked for houses to buy in Georgia and came across this one.  It was a foreclosure with all sorts of problems.  It suffered inside and out from several years of neglect.  Being the people that we are, we (I) fell in love with it and we bought it!

Over Labor Day weekend, we packed up and moved in.  Although we grew to love our little rental, we haven’t looked back yet.

Our house has many challenges that will keep us busy for YEARS to come, but it is all worth it to give our kids a safe place to play, a fun place to explore, and the room to grow.

A Year of Family

Moving to Atlanta put us closer to both of our families even as it took us farther from our friends.   Our lives have been busy with many visits from Grandparents, family and friends.  We have been on the road for many trips back to NC and to Florida to keep in touch with those close to our hearts.  In 12 short months we have had 11 road trips or home visits!!!  We will kick off the new year with a trip to Raleigh in February and have a big trip to Chicago and Grand Rapids on the books for July.  In between those trips we have 3 different sets of visiting friends and family.  Amazing!

Our family has also changed over the year.

In one year Oliver has grown into such a handsome little boy.  He turned 3 in June and is such a sweetheart.  He talks and talks and talks now and has started with the questions.  He is very tall for his age and runs and plays with the big kids all the time.  He knows how to write his own name, counts to 30, and has started to spell in school.  Oliver loves playing on the playground with his schoolmates, playing with trains and big trucks of all sorts, and watching Mighty Machines, Fireman Sam, Thomas, and Curious George.  Best of all, he loves his little sister (Ellie) and they are best buds.  He takes care of her when she needs help, he reaches things that are too tall for her, he actively plays with her, and they crack each other up.

In one year Evelyn has become my little Princess G.I. Jane!  She JUST turned two in November and is already speaking at close to a 3-year old level.  She brushes her own teeth, washes her hands, gets mostly dressed and all the way undressed by herself, and is mommy’s little shadow.  She wants to do everything that I do from putting on makeup (chapstick and a clean face brush), carrying her own purse when we go out, to cleaning and setting the table.  And of course, she wants to do everything that her older brother does.  She will wear his boy clothes, with her tutu and princess tiara.  She mimics everything he does and follows him wherever he goes.  She calls him “Ahber” and it’s so sweet to hear her calling for him when she wakes up.

No matter what year it is we are thankful to be together and to have people in our lives that love and care for us.  We are looking forward to 2013.  I hope to get back to blogging in the New Year.  There’s still money to save, tips to be shared, and love to spread to everyone. 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy New Year full of good fortune and good health.  Welcome 2013!

Fun with Fingerpaints

 Fingerpaints never get old in our house.  With the purchase of some very inexpensive art smocks from Ikea, it’s easier than ever to clean up!

 My little Picasso!

 Both of my kids just LOVE squishing their hands around in the paint.  Evelyn still wants to eat everything – thank goodness for non-toxic Crayola products.

 I keep a big pack of baby wipes on hand and a rag to clean as we go.  I found out that the paint glides on fingerpaint paper and that excess paint can be wiped up with a wet wipe.  This came in handy when Evelyn had a big paint puddle that she kept smacking and splashing everywhere.

 

 

Look at that face!  It’s hard to believe that something so […] Continue Reading…

More Fun at Play!

 When the weather is bad outside, we go Play inside!  I think Oliver’s favorite place on earth is Play.  Evelyn is old enough to enjoy herself as well.

 We get to pack our own drinks and snacks.  They get to fill up their tanks and go back out for more fun.

 Evelyn loves the rice table (must be the Thai in her!).  She holds her own with the big kids too and doesn’t let anyone push her around.

And their most favorite part?  Jumping on the trampolines!  Makes me wish I could do it too.

 

Daddy’s Helper – Raking Leaves

I love it!  My two men working hard out back.  Oliver likes helping out, especially when it involves his daddy, the outdoors, and a shovel.

Kids want to feel useful and contribute to their families.  If you give them the “tools” to succeed, it’s amazing what they will accomplish.  In this case, we gave Oliver a real short-handled shovel and a milk crate to fill with leaves.

He worked hard, until his face was red and his nose was runny, and he filled his milk crate to the brim.  He was so proud.

He was busy for a long time and enjoyed himself.  Even better, it didn’t cost anything for all this fun and the yard got cleaned up!

Fun Blowing Bubbles

 Can’t figure out what to do with the kids on a Saturday afternoon?  Grab a 99 cent bottle of bubbles and head outside for over an hour of fun!

 Evelyn was pretty good blowing bubbles when she wasn’t trying to eat the wand.

 Oliver had so much fun chasing the bubbles down.  When the wind took them over the fence he would wave, “Buh bye bubba.”

 

The first few bubbles he blew with his eyes open, until they popped in his face.

Evelyn is such a ham!  She had a blast watching her brother run his little legs off.  We spent a good hour and a half with the little ones, blowing bubbles and running around.  Great way to spend a day.

The hubby thinks […] Continue Reading…

Fun at Play! Activity Center for Kids

 These pictures were taken in Dec 2011.  The kids are a few months older now and you might notice that they look different than those in the last post. Not trying to confuse anybody.

I thank my lucky stars to have found a place called Play!.  It is sort of a discovery center and mini-gymnasium all bundled up into one. 

In the gym, they have trampolines, a crash-pit, inflatable tumbling/bounce pads, slides, ramps, balance beams, monkey bars, etc…   

 We are usually one of the first ones in the door in the morning and the kids get the run of the gym.  The place fills up quickly though.  Oliver loves playing with the other kids and has blossomed from all the activity.

In […] Continue Reading…

Easy Crown Craft for Kids

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!  In honor of Mardi Gras, one of my favorite “holidays”, we made crowns for the kids.

You need one cereal box, some construction paper, glue, and decorating supplies (ie. crayons, markers, etc…).   Slip the box over your kid’s head to see how it will fit.  If it is too big or too small you can adjust it later on, but make a note of it now.

 

Remove the box from their head and flatten it out.  Cut the box in half, across the middle, so you end up with 2 headbands.

With the box flattened out, draw a crown design and cut out with a pair of scissors.  You will be cutting through 2 layers of cardboard at […] Continue Reading…

Learning the Alphabet with Sidewalk Chalk

For 99 cents, I bought the kiddos a box of sidewalk chalk.  The chalk worked great on our patio, but even better on our wood fence!

 Oliver has been learning his ABC’s and 123’s.  He loved having it up on the fence to reference.  Every time he goes outside he spends time at the fence going over his letters and numbers.  I wrote his name farther down the fence and he can now spell his name from memory.

Evelyn didn’t have as much fun though.  She thought the green one tasted a bit “chalky”… :-)

Fun at Monkey Joe’s

Another place we like taking the kids when it’s cold outside is Monkey Joe’s.  I had seen Monkey Joe’s around before, but never tried one out until we moved to Atlanta.   Monkey Joe’s is basically bounce-house central.  Ours has 6 different air inflatable play “houses”.  There’s also a section full of toys for toddlers.

 I just about had a heart attack the first time Oliver went down this slide.  It reaches all the way to the ceiling (at least 20ft tall)!  He did not hesitate one second before jumping from the top of the slide. 

 There are 2 bouncy areas for kids 3 and under.  Evelyn doesn’t need her daddy’s help to jump anymore.

 

 Oliver burns off some serious energy at Monkey Joe’s from all the climbing, bouncing, jumping, and […] Continue Reading…

Lucky Ladybugs

Oliver found his first ladybug while playing outside.  He was so excited!  He even let it crawl on his hand.

After freaking out when it crawled on his hand and dropping it, he kept close tabs on it.

Evelyn didn’t like him keeping close tabs on the ladybug.

He found 2 more ladybugs on the back of the chair.  I repeat – he was SO excited!

Evelyn wasn’t happy that we wouldn’t let her eat the ladybugs, but she was happy again when we let her gnaw on the stick.  :-)

Ladybugs are a sign of good luck.  Three in one day!  Powerball here we come…

 

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