Sunday, March 31, 2013

Growing up

That's what they are doing.  And I'm enjoying it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Ballerina

Anyone who knows us (even a little) knows that my girls dance.  They've always danced.  Jena has been dancing since she was two and will be traveling to France this summer to tour and dance with her ballet school.  We are all very excited for her.  Tonight, she had her first solo performance at a local arts showcase.  She has performed in this showcase for the past three years, but this was the first time she's had a solo.  She was the only student given a solo this year, so this is a huge accomplishment.  Forgive the poor video quality, but enjoy all the same...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ashni!

Yesterday was Ashni's 10th birthday.  It has been a decade of ups and downs, but she is growing into an amazing young lady.  She is a phenomenal dancer, an accomplished fencer, eloquent and witty, poetic and brilliant.  She is wild and passionate and enthusiastic.  Those things used to be a source of frustration at times, but she is learning to channel it and we are learning to accept her for all of her quirks.  The quirks are a huge part of who she is,  They make her unique and wonderful.  As I type this, she is rounding out a solid hour of Just Dance 4 on Wii and could probably dance for three more hours without tiring.  Her boundless energy will take her far.  I am very, very proud of her and look forward to watching her continue to grow.

(They look like a band of misfits in this picture, which is why I love it!)

This year, for her last big party, Ashni requested a Janelle Monae themed birthday dance party.  She is SUPER excited about it.  We made copies of her favorite Janelle Monae CD to hand out with the invitations.  There will be black and white decorations, a small dance floor, a treasure hunt (I'm still working out the details of that one), Just Dance and lots of Janelle Monae.
This is her invitation.  I got these round copper cards at Paper Source in Virginia.  I found a picture of Janelle Monae online and got some color copies made.  The girls decorated and cut out little party hats to put on her head.  A "10" stamp in a speech bubble and voila, a simple little invite.  Ashni really likes them and I think they are pretty cute.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's My Kid Wearing East Coast Edition...

We are in Virginia!  Hooray for getting out of the south for a little while.  We decided to break up our drive into two legs, so we stopped overnight in Asheville, NC on Sunday.  We really enjoyed it.  It seemed like a place that we would fit in well.  We will visit again soon, I'm sure.
We always enjoy coming to the east coast to visit my husband's family.  My sister in law just had a baby, so the girls are ridiculously excited to get to meet their new baby cousin.  The weather here (despite the last week) is really nice - upper 50's, low 60's.  We've just been hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

Ashni was feeling business casual on our stay in Asheville.

Her t-shirt has a chimp with glasses and a necktie - $1.49 (at Goodwill)
blue button down shirt - Gap ($1.49 at Goodwill)
Navy pin striped blazer - Children's Place ($3.99 at Goodwill)
mustache earrings, priceless, lol.

total outfit (not including the bottom half of her body that isn't shown) - approx. $7


Bijou was SUPER cute yesterday.  There weren't too many pieces in her outfit, but that's how I like it.

Brown leather oxfords (in great beat up condition) - Footmates ($1.99 from Goodwill)
Jeans - Old Navy ($10 from Old Navy)
Houndstooth Jacket - Children's Place, I think ($3.99 at Goodwill) - Editing to add that this jacket is actually from Gymboree, not Children's Place

Total outfit - approx $16

Zion was a mess of patterns, but she can make it work!

Shoes - Converse (previously featured)
polka dot tights - Children's Place ($.59 at Goodwill)
ruffled skirt - Gap ($1.00 at Salvation Army)
striped sweater - Old Navy ($.99 at Goodwill)
jacket - Gap (previously featured)
hat - not sure of the brand ($7 at Target)

total outfit - approx $10

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Break 2013....WOOOOO!

Okay, so it's not Cancun or anything, but the Brown-David clan is hitting the road for spring break.  We are loading up and driving to Virginia to visit our family and to meet the newest member.  The girls are very excited about meeting their new baby cousin.  On the way, we plan to stop overnight in Asheville, NC.  Hopefully, Asheville will be the next locale for our little tribe.
At this point, we are road trip pros.  The girls are excellent travelers and they look forward to every trip we take, no matter how long or short.  I have to say that the main thing that keeps us all sane on road trips is preparation.  Lots of preparation.  I make packing lists for each on of the children.  It includes all of the clothes, pajamas, underwear, toiletries, and accessories they will need for the duration of the trip.  I make a travel menu.  It's expensive to feed kids out on the road, so we pack food to take with us.  Got this idea from Pinterest for the girls to use for food in the car.  This is ingenious and I wish I'd found it sooner AND the dollar store always has a ton of these containers.  It was $4 well spent!  I also like to make sure that the girls have plenty of things to do while they are in the car.  Those things are always things that they don't already have at home and they can not use/play with them until we are in the car.  That means a few purchases from the dollar store.  For this trip, I made each of the girls their own travel journals.  I bought four spiral bound 4x6 index card books for a dollar each.  Then I covered them with adhesive craft foam that I always seem to have a ton of in the house.  (We color code everything for the girls that leaves the city limits.  It cuts down on the bickering in the car.) They will also have a glue stick, pencil, eraser, tape and a package of markers (all color coded, except the markers).  They will be able to collect things from the trip and them to their book, write about things that they've done and draw pictures.

While the older girls will have books to read on the road, I still have one little that can not read yet.  So she gets a couple of activities that don't require reading skills.  I love having self contained activities in the car, so I had the idea to make Zion a set of magnetic paper dolls.  Originally, I was going to get some adhesive magnet sheets and make a set of dolls for her.  Then, I found this set of magnetic paper dolls for a dollar (a dollar seems to be my spending limit) at Dollar General.

 I was not really a fan of the girls, but for a dollar each, I figured I could make it work.  I traced the shape of the dolls on regular white paper and drew my own dolls.  A quick coat of Mod Podge and voila!  A new, much cuter set of magnetic paper dolls. I also found a plain metal lunch box to store them in for (gasp) a dollar!

I will add a few more odds and ends to the travel gear, but for now, we are all excited to hit the road!