Thanksgiving Party

Elin had her first school party for preschool and I took off work to help with the games. I also got to volunteer and help the class for the whole day. It was so interesting to see their routine and see all the things that Elin talks about at home.

The days started with them putting up their coats and book bags and spending time before class began by working on puzzles. I was amazed how they all worked on their puzzles so quietly. Then they preceded to have story time, sharing time, outdoor running, and different learning stations.


Then for the Thanksgiving party, the kids had worked on special table runners they made and they had a snack of Chex mix and turkey-shaped cookies.


It was so cute to listen Elin talk to her little friends and how she interacts with everyone.


Then it was time for the first game which was Bingo. I was’t sure how this would go over since they are a little young for Bingo, but they seemed to catch on quickly and enjoy the game. I found this adorable game and had it printed and then I just used Cheerios for game pieces. I’m definitely keeping this game to use for future school parties for her. It seems like it would be enjoyed by many ages and I just used stickers as prizes and of course everyone got a sticker.


Then one of the other room parents made this adorable pin the feather on the turkey game and all the kiddos really seemed to enjoy this as well.



Then we played a simple game of hot potato with the kids using a stuffed toy turkey. The kiddos loved this as well and before we knew it, it was the end of the day and time to go home.

Elin’s class is so sweet and it was so nice to get to see the kids in action in the classroom. I am so glad I took off work to spend time with them and I plan on doing this for their Christmas party in a couple of weeks.

Elin’s Holiday Wish List

This Christmas season is already so exciting because Elin is learning so much more about Santa and the whole holiday season and she has been much more helpful in letting me know what items she would like to get from family and Santa. I always love to see other wish lists to get ideas for her, so I thought I would share what she is asking for.


1. Calico Critters: Elin has been so interested in Calico critters whenever she seems them in stores or on TV. I think she will love playing with them with her next wish list item which is a dollhouse.

2. Le Toy Van Sweetheart Cottage: I love this dollhouse because it’s wood as opposed to plastic and it comes with lots of furniture and accessory pieces. I looked in the original Calico Critter houses but they do not come with any furniture and the little furniture sets are not cheap. Even though this was not specifically for Calico Critters, I think they should fit nicely.

3. Peppa Pig House: Elin loves the Peppa Pig show and books, so she has been dying to get her hands on this house and she just squeals when she sees commercials for it.

4. American Girl Bitty Baby: Elin has been after this doll ever since she got the holiday catalog and after a quick trip to the store, she has been sold and it’s officially on her list.

5. Doll Pram: A fancy new doll needs a lovely pram and this one it just too cute.

6. Cash Register: Elin loves to play with this same cash register at her local library. I think she will love to use this one with her kitchen items.

7. Shopping Cart: Elin will need a shopping cart to go with her cash register. I love how this one looks very realistic.

8. Play-doh sets: Elin loves play doh sets and I thought this one looked fun and had good reviews.

Halloween Fun


Elin has been anxiously anticipating Halloween for what seems like forever! She has been watching so many Halloween-themed shows and working on lots of Halloween and fall inspired arts and crafts projects, and finally the Halloween weekend has arrived for her. On Friday we went to the annual Halloween party at Phil’s work. The party and haunted house was held in the new building which is still under construction for added spookiness.


The first thing we did when we got there was the cookie decorating which was obviously a big hit for Elin and she couldn’t help but start eating her creations before she was even finished decorating. Then she played dozens of carnival type games and got lots of candy prizes.


The theme was Star Wars and Elin enjoyed checking out all the lightsabers. She also begged to go in the scary haunted house and made it all the way through and did not cry! She was a little scared but didn’t get upset. She wanted to go through it again!


Then on Halloween night she got done up again as Cinderella.  She was so excited to go trick or treating but honestly didn’t last that long. She just wanted to come back and start eating her candy! Her Papa took her around the neighborhood and and also took her over to her cousins’ to trick or treat with them for a little bit.




Luckily the weather did not turn out rainy as predicted and it really wasn’t too cold out.



She says her favorite candy is suckers and she does love them, but she bites into them before she is finished eating them which drives me crazy! She has loved everything she has sampled so far from her bag.


American Girl Store

Last weekend has been a bit of a blur because I have been sick with bronchitis and feeling pretty terrible. But despite not feeling well, I had read about the opening of an American Girl store in a mall across town. Apparently American Girl has been opening temporary stores around the country for the holidays. I knew that the store would not be anything like the big American Girl Place store in Chicago but thought that it might be a fun idea to take Elin because she enjoys looking daily at a catalog that we recently received. I have been contemplating getting her a bitty baby doll for Christmas but wanted to see how she liked them in the store.

Saturday came and I wasn’t feeling so great so we didn’t head out on the hour’s drive until after lunch. When we got to the mall, I found the table where they gave away tickets to get into the opening and we were lucky because they had earlier stopped giving them out but had just started handing them out again.


We were 27 and they were letting in people with numbers 21-22 so I didn’t think we had long at all, although they told me that could still be a couple hours. So as we headed off to find Bath and Body Works to stock up on holiday candles, Elin spotted the mall train and was so excited to ride. She rode around and  had the best time waving at everyone. I snapped some pics as she rode past on my way to shop.


After the train ride, we spent a long time in the Disney Store and LEGO Store. Then it was finally our time to go in American Girl. As we waited in line to get in, Elin kept telling me wanted the Mary Ellen doll which was funny because I told her the names of the dolls once and I can’t believe she remembered! We took at look at her in the store, but I steered her back to the bitty babies because I know she is not ready for the responsibility of an older doll with tiny accessories.


They had a nice big area for the bitty babies and lots of displays of all the merchandise for the kids to play with and check out. Elin loved playing, which was a good thing because I stood in a long line at the cash register in order to buy her the doll, and she was entertained the whole time by playing.


A nice associate took the items I wanted so Elin never saw me with them. As it was getting my turn to pay, Phil left with Elin and they started to walk through the mall and to the car. By the time I made my way to the car, she was half asleep and hopefully didn’t see me walking to the car with the bags. One Christmas present down!

I’m glad we went because I think Elin had a lot of fun riding the train, playing with LEGO blocks, and looking at all the dolls.

Arrival Day Party and Zoo Boo


Angel just celebrated her first arrival day birthday without Fiona. It was very sad to not have her there. Angel didn’t seem like she was in the partying mood, but she was very good and let me take her photo. She is 14.5 years old now.


Elin desperately wanted to get in on the photos so she sat with Angel for some photos. I love the one of them staring at each other. Elin loves Angel, but Angel is still not a huge fan of Elin. She tolerates her, but I think Angel is still just scared of Elin and thinks she is too loud.




I have no idea where Elin has learned this head tilt, but she has wanted to take pictures like that all weekend long.


Daisy came over for the party and brought some gifts. I didn’t get a good picture of them together which is a bummer. But they enjoyed some birthday treats and hopefully had a nice visit together.


Elin also go to visit Zoo boo with her Nanny and her friend, Lydia. She dressed in a Minnie Mouse dress-up outfit which is not the costume she is going to wear on Halloween, but I thought this would be better for the zoo. Plus, it was easier to layer a shirt and pants underneath it.



These two looked like they were having a blast and I’m glad they got to get there this year.



Elin’s First Field Trip


Elin had her very first field trip last Friday at the apple orchard. I was excited to go along with her and her class as a chaperon and see her interact with all her classmates for the first time. The first thing we did was drive out to the orchards to pick apples and fill a little bag to take home.


Then we went to see the machines that wash and polish the apples before they are bagged up to sell or made into apple cider. They went into the giant freezers to see how cold it was where they store the produce.


Then it was time for prayer and a snack of apple and apple cider. I love this picture of Elin peeking at me during the prayer portion. Despite liking applesauce, Elin was not a fan of the apple or cider.


Elin’s favorite part of the trip was getting to play on the playground and the big pile of hay bales with her classmates. She just loves all the kids in her class and her face lights up when she talks about all of them.



It was her teacher’s birthday so we put together a gift basket and everyone brought something to put it in it. The items were supposed to be things we thought she needed or a way to thank her for all that she does.


This was what Elin contributed. I thought a movie theater giftcard and theater type candy would be nice.


Elin really enjoys her teacher and I was so glad to get a good picture of them together on the field trip.


Before too long it was time to go, and luckily since I didn’t have to drive any other child back to the school, we got to stay longer so Elin had more time on the playground.



It was such a fun morning and I was so glad to get some extra special time with her.

Daddy/Daughter Activities

Elin loves to spend some special time with her daddy. Awhile I go I learned about kids workshops at Home Depot but forgot about them until I was reminded of them again from Meghan from The Adventures Start Here. We signed Elin up and she ended up having an awesome time.

She got a little apron on and got all ready to make the project of the month which was a fire truck.


She got to help hammer the nails down which is the first time she was a allowed to use a real hammer.


Then she enjoyed painting the truck.



Th fire department came and talked to the kids about fire saftey and had little stations set up where they were quizzed on it and then given stickers, candy, coloring pages and crayons. Elin was in heaven with all that loot, plus she got to keep her apron, a pin for the apron, a certificate of completion, and of course the fire truck she made. She has enjoyed playing with it and admiring her handiwork.

We are definitely planning on signing her up for them every month.

Another fun activity she got to do with her daddy is she invited him to a special Dad’s event for her classroom. All the dads came to the school in the evening and brought pumpkins to carve. Then the kids preformed a couple songs they learned and shared a snack they made. They had a good time!


I think they did a pretty good job on their pumpkin, too.





Fall Festivals


This past weekend was the start of hopefully many fall fun activities.

On Saturday Elin, Nanny, and I met up with her good friend Lydia and her mom at a local church for a fall festival. We had never been and weren’t sure how many activities and rides there would be for the girls, but happily there were lots of rides that they could ride and we ended up purchasing an unlimited ride band for them. They loved all the rides they tried!


This picture cracks me up because Elin looks like Pippi Longstocking. She was just so excited she was skipping around and her hair would fly all over the place.




They ended up riding this mini roller coaster several times.


Elin was so excited they had the spinning teacups similar to the ones at Disney.


The girls were so excited to visit the little petting zoo there as well. It amazed me that they had no fear petting all the animals.



The girls had a wonderful time and I was so glad we went.

On Sunday we went to an apple festival and Elin loved spending time with her cousin Max.


They spent a lot of time in the playground area and they loved this little apple photo op.


They also spent a good deal of time picking out the perfect pumpkin. They each got a large pumpkin, a small one, and and a gourd.




Elin and Max a good time playing in a tire full of little pebbles. They dug around in there forever and they got good and filthy, too.




Tinkerbell Birthday Party

This weekend started off not so great with Elin having a bad fall on Friday night, but it ended on a high note with a fun third birthday party for Elin’s friend Lydia.

Elin has been eagerly anticipating her friend Lydia’s 3rd birthday for quite some time. The theme was Tinkerbell and woodland fairies and everything was decorated perfectly.


Each girl had fairy wings waiting for her at the table and Elin was so excited to get hers on right away.



I think this picture is so cute because Elin was telling Lydia all about her eye.


I didn’t get a picture of the food table before the girls had quickly started filling their plates, but you can still see all the cute creative ideas. I especially loved the grape caterpillars, the pretzel twigs, the bark cookies, and the cookie wands.



Then the girls worked on making adorable fairy houses! This was seriously such an adorable craft idea!



Then it was time for candles and cake.



Unfortunately I did not get a good shot of the girls together. Elin was not thrilled that it was time to go so she would not smile. These two girls spend a lot of time together and are such good friends!


Elin was so excited to dig into her goodie bag and play with her wings and wand as soon as we got home.



Didn’t the fairy house turn out so cute?! It was such a fun and creative idea. The pixie dust was another fun take home goodie.  Lydia’s mom, Megan seriously outdid herself with all the attention to detail.


Frozen on Ice


This little girl was extremely excited this past holiday weekend to go see Disney’s Frozen on Ice! We headed downtown early with Nanny to get dinner and then we headed to the area.

We purchased one over-priced princess wand that Elin loves! It is rather cool and of all the stuff they sold, we thought it would be the most useful.


The wand kept her entertained all during the wait for the show to start and even during the event. She went down to get pictures near the edge of the ice and desperately wanted to get on the ice but understood that she was not allowed.


We were so excited to have pretty awesome seats straight on.

The show started with some special guests performing before the production of Frozen. Elin was happily surprised to see Minnie, Mickey, and all the princesses!



Then it was time for the main show. We went to another Disney ice show last winter that went through many songs and stories and I liked how this show went through the entire movie. Of course the music is great and ever so catchy.





All the set pieces were pretty amazing. We loved the sleigh and the snow monster!



If Frozen on Ice is coming to your area, I highly recommend it. The minute we left, Elin was asking to go back and watch it again! She has looked at all our pictures several times and has been pretending to skate around the house.