Behind the Author

Thursday, March 29, 2012

101 Easter Basket Ideas!

The Easter Bunny is coming! Are you ready to fill those Easter Baskets? I keep seeing status updates and blog posts about not knowing what to get their kids for Easter. And I see why, when you go into stores, especially ones like Walmart or Target, you are   slapped in the face with chocolate covered bunnies, or cheap little toys that the kids don't need or break in two days.

So I compiled a list of 101 items that don't involve candy, for all ages, that won't break the bank!

1. Coloring books & crayons
2. Magna doodle
3. Bible 
4. Books
5. Bubbles
6. Kite
7. Paint by color books
8. Side walk chalk
9. Bathing suit
10. Sun screen
11. Water guns
12. Socks
13. Sandals
14. Play dough
15. Travel games
16. Stickers
17. Bubble bath
18. Movies
19. CD. 
20. Puppets
21. Summer hat
22. Sunglasses
23. Sand toys
24. Hair accessories
25. Pool toys
26. Nail polish
27. moon sand
28. Paint
29. Music books
30. Hot wheel cars
31. Card games (Uno, Skip-o, Old Maid)
32. Slinky
33. Stamps
34. Summer PJ's
35. Stencils
36. Key Chains
37. Movie tickets
38. Pool floaters or inner tube 
39. Book mark
40. Picture frame
41. Cards (Baseball cards, Pokeman, etc)
42. Balls (Baseball, soccer, bouncy balls, etc)
43. Big kid under wear (potty training in the future?)
44. Magnets
45. Silly putty or Gak
46. Legos
47. Puzzles
48. Craft kits
49. Stuffed animal
50. Flashcards
51. Garden Tools
55. Bug catchers
56. Play food
57. Flash light
58. Jewelry
59. Jump rope
60. Stationary
61. Personalize something (clothing, cups, pens, etc)
62. Camera
63. Marbles
64. Make-up
65. Baby toys (rattles, teethers, taggie, etc.)
66. Writing tools (pencils, pens, markers)
67. Little people, people
68. Sketch book
69. Flower seeds (that they can plant later)
70. An Easter egg filled with money
71. Bird feeder kits
72. Mini photo albums
73. Magic trick kit
74. Plastic animals or bugs
75. Small doll or barbie
76. Frisbee
77. Bead kit
78. Action figures
79. Play mobile kits
80. Little toys (Squinkies, Mighty Beans, Polly Pockets, Mini-figures)
81. Lotion
82. Beach balls
83. Water balloons
84. Gift card to get Ice Cream
85. Tokens to play at a local Arcade or Family Fun Time type place
86. Toddler dinning set (cups, plates, or silverware)
87. Small music toys (harmonica, recorders, tambourine, etc) 
88. Water beads
89. Bath paint
90. Bike accessories (name plate, horn, basket, flag, etc)
91. iTunes gift card
92. Velcro catch game
93. Hair brush or maybe a shaving kit for a teen
94. Tickets to an amusement park or concert
95. Car, Train, or airplane
96. Dress up items
97. Alphabet or number sponges for the bath tub
98. Spring time items (rain boots, umbrella, etc)
99. How to draw books
100. Dental items (New toothbrush,  yummy tooth paste, etc)
101. Devotionals (for kids, for teens, for families!) 

Or to simplify baskets, stick to one theme:
- Sports 
-Outside toys

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WW: A Glimpse into the mind of a baby

Me? No.. Woody? No..You?

Weekend Round-Up & Unexpected Blessings

Do you believe Easter is in less than two weeks!? It's crazy how fast this year is going! We had an amazing weekend. So sad it didn't last longer. Friday night Tony and I stayed up real late watching movies. Love those type of in home date nights! Saturday, we left the boys with his mom and went and saw the Hunger Games. It was awesome! Not as good as the books, by any means, but I was still happy with it.

We missed church on Sunday, the boys had a really rough night. We rarely miss, but we did this week.   And naturally, by late morning everyone was back to themselves, so instead of staying inside the rest of the day, we took the kids to a local farm for their Easter Egg-Citment party! So glad we did. It turned out to be a great family day!

 Petting the chicks.. I love how Dom's shirt reads, "Chicks dig me" How fitting. ; )
Vanni needs to learn a few more lessons on being "gentle" with the animals, but he LOVED petting them most of all! He got so excited.

Even though Dominic's feet couldn't even reach the pedals, him and Daddy had so much fun "wheeling" around the track.
One thing I learned, is little boys need to be just that, little boys. And sometimes you just got to let them RUN! (I love how his feet aren't even touching the ground!)
That's our little bucket head. :) As we were waiting on Peter Cotton Tail to lead us to the egg hunt, Dominic decided to turn his bucket into a hat. He LOVES hats! And to him everything can become a hat. ;)
This was Dominic's very first Easter Egg hunt. Last year, we were settling in with a newborn and then on Easter it was a rainy nasty day. But, Dominic quickly learned and become an Easter egg hunting pro!
The boys got to meet the Easter Bunny. I thought for sure Vanni would freak, but nope he LOVED him! Although he did wonder why the bunny picked him up. Oh the sweet memories. 
He become a pro at egg hunting too! 
 After the hunting, we went on a tracker ride. Giovanni's favorite! He 'danced' the hole time with excitement. 
 It's was so beautiful and peaceful. Almost, makes me wish we lived in the country. 

 So...we stood in line for Dominic to get his face painted..and what did he tell the lady he wanted...A MUSTACHE!!! No joke. Couldn't even make this up!
Such a silly little 'man'
Sometimes life takes you places you weren't expecting. I'm sad we missed church, but thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful day outside with our family. We now have memories we will cherish.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Welcome Home

Tonight our church was having a youth lock-in and I went and helped set up and decorate. I work at the church a few hours a week, so by the time I came home, it was close to 7:30. Tired and exhausted, I was shocked and excited to come home to the kids fed, the living room picked up, and these beautiful flowers!  
My husband is truly amazing!
And if this weekend couldn't start any better....we already have our tickets for the Hunger Games!! Hello date night!! Where have you been? ;)

What's on your agenda this weekend?

Spring Has Sprung!

The boys and I are currently living out a family challenge.. To spend at the very least 15 minutes a day outside. This means unless it's downpour raining, a blizzard, or dangerous weather, we will be outside! So, far we've exceeded our goal multiple days. :) We've gone on long walks, played at the park, dug for worms, played pirates, practiced catch, ran, etc, etc..

Getting outside with the boys, by myself, was my hardest task last summer. We didn't have a fenced in yard, the boys were little and I was still trying to get a grip on life with 2 kids, 15months apart. Now, it's become something everyone looks forward to everyday!

Taking Dominic and my niece for a walk.

My boy picked me flowers, my heart is full. :) 

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." 

~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giovanni's Dr. Seuss 1st Birthday Bash!

Saturday, we had Giovanni's 1st Birthday Party. We went all out and had a Dr. Seuss Extravaganza! 

The Welcome Table. 
Sign in sheet. The sign was supposed to be in color, but life least it got printed! ;) 
Table decor.
Personalized confetti and 1fish 2fish fishbowl snacks.
Month by month growth poster.
Other view of room. 
First table, starting off the food. 

Yum yum!
It's not a Dr. Seuss party with out Green Eggs & Ham!
The Drink table and fun colorful straws.
The Birthday Boy station.
The desert table.
Part of the cupcakes. 
Our Truffula tree pops! (Rock candy and suckers)
Giovanni's adorable Smash Cake!
Simply adorable (and yummy!)
The treat bag table with a sign that read:
"Today was good. Today was fun.
Thank you, Thank you, everyone!"
Center piece for the gift table. 
The gift table with some of the gifts. The sign reads:
"Today you are you,
that's truer than true.
There's no one alive,
that's youer than you. --Dr. Seuss"

Our matching shirts! Thing Mom, Thing Dad, Thing 1 & Thing 2. 
Gotta love Dominic's expression. Hehe. He just wanted to play. 

During Giovanni's 1 year slideshow, the kids got up on stage and danced. It was so adorable!

 Opening some books, one of his favorite things!

Ooo paper!
Hmm.. what is this?!?
Yum! YUM!!
The Cake after Giovanni got a hold of it. 
The aftermath. Needless to say, I think he LOVED it!
The kids had so much fun playing under that table.
The happy little 1 year old! 
The worn our parents. But it was worth it! 
The LOOT! This kid made out like a bandit! 
I'd say he had a great party!