Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back in the classroom

On Tuesday I got to go along to Katie’s school to be a parent helper and made reindeer with the kids in her class. It was so much fun to see her in action! I thought that I would post how we made it in case anyone was stuck inside with all the snow and ice!

Preschool Craft—Reindeer centerpiece

Wash out an orange juice container and dry. Cover with brown construction paper.

For cutting practice, draw a triangle on brown construction paper for the head. It should be the height of the can. Glue the head to the can, making sure that the point is at the bottom for the nose.

Glue on the eyes—either plain circles or crafty googly eyes. Glue on a red pompom nose.

For the ears, start with a 2.5 inch brown circle. Have your child draw a line down the center on their own and cut that line. Place a dab of glue on the tip and glue to the back of the corners of the head.

For the finishing touch, cut off some pine branches for antlers and just place in the can!
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Reindeer games

Last Friday Katie, Maggie and I braved the chill to go see real, live reindeer in Rohrerstown. I thought the event would be more of go up and take a look at the reindeer, which led to my confusion when we pulled into the parking lot and saw a line wrapped around the front of the building. I packaged Maggie in coats and blankets in the stroller and Katie had on her puffy coat, hat and mittens and we made it maybe 5 or 10 minutes in line before Maggie's eyes were tearing from the cold. The couple in line in front of us were frustrated by the line and had what looked to be a 2 year old, so the husband went inside to see what was going on that the line was so long. When the report was that it weaved inside also, but we were welcome to go in and "see" the reindeer, but had to stay in line to pet them, we jumped out of line with them to go see the reindeer. Katie was crushed that she didn't get her picture with the reindeer but we went ahead to the free crafts table for her to make an ornament. As we were leaving the line went down considerably, so in line we went.

When we were only 2 kids away from the reindeer, Katie decided she didn't want to see them anymore. Like any good mother, I told her we waited in line and she was going to get her picture with the reindeer so Maggie could see why we made her wait in the long, cold line.

The greatest novelty to Katie was seeing Mrs. Claus! She talked with Katie then introduced her to Santa. Our talkative Katie got shy and forgot what she wanted for Christmas...
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Visiting cousins

Alana, Tommy, and Katie got into the holiday spirit by building a gingerbread house. We are showing the good side since 4 of the 6 pieces of gingerbread was cracked when we opened the box. Wondered how that was possible when we tried to eat the gingerbread since it was so hard. The kids had fun though, even though Uncle Tom had to come to the rescue with the icing. We had a great visit--thanks! We should have stayed until the end of the Steeler game since the touchdown near the end wasn't quite the same over the radio.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

We won! We Won!!!

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Two weeks ago I got an email from Amy at Cuddle Up Blankets to let me know that I was the monthly winner! I had happened onto her site while blog-hopping and thought that they were the cutest blankets. I never seem to win (Even though we have plans of what we would do with the millions that we would get from the lottery, we never play...) so this was really cool. I got to pick out my favorite!
Most of Maggie's blankets are hand-me-downs from Katie so it was fun to pick something out for Maggie, especially since she loves blankets. She can't seem to sleep without one to grab in her tiny fingers. I picked out the yellow rosebud flannel with yellow minky.
We were so excited to get the mail when it arrived! It was packaged so beautifully (I had to take pictures!!!) and the materials are soooo soft. Katie and Maggie played with it for about an hour before bathtime.
Best of all, in the world of mass-produced, this is handmade and wonderfully done! I am so impressed! I encourage you to check out her site, and look at the seasonal blankets on a deep discount and all the collections she has! And don't forget to sign up for the monthly contest!!!


We went up to Mom and Dad's house for Thanksgiving this year. We got to see lots of people we haven't seen for a while and Katie had lots of fun playing with my cousins. Here are a few shots from the day. We gave Chris his birthday present, which was a cape that Katie and I made. It is superman appliqued on one side and Batman on the other but I forgot to get a picture of it before I wrapped it so all I have is the shot of him playing with the Superman facing out.

Aunt Glenda and Uncle Curt gave Katie a ceramic bears set that she is loving right now...they are all set up on her desk now!
If you are interested in making a cape (just like this one and the one I made for Katie's halloween costume, check out the tutorial on
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Silly kids...Santa is for dogs....

The girls and I just completed something I do not wish on anyone else...2 days in a row at the mall this close to Christmas.

Why may you ask did I go back after the first day??? Seems that when I stashed a small package with a gift for our niece, it didn't stay stashed. Most likely when I dropped everything to help Katie with a drink of water out of a fountain or when we collapsed to drink a lemonade from Auntie Anne's. We came home to show John what we got and could not find this bag. I called this morning and some wonderful, kind person found my bag and took it to customer service. Whoever you are, THANK YOU! So...the reason for the second trip.

We didn't really have anymore shopping to do so when Katie saw that Santa was finally in the chair she wanted to take Maggie to tell him what Maggie wanted for Christmas. How cute is that? She already got to tell Santa her list (Barbie guitar) on her Christmas train ride with Grandma and Pappa. Maggie even sat on Santa's lap!

The line to get to Santa was another story....we were in line that was moving soooo slow (it took over an hour to get to the end) a couple got behind us with a dog. I just thought it was odd.... Then another and more.... decked out in Santa dog costumes and jingle bells. Katie kept her distance, Maggie was intriqued. Then the coffe kiosk workers started to clap and yell. Why the commotion? Dog poopy!

We weaved through the line with several more outbursts from the coffee workers. My head was so stuffed up and I already had that mall headache you get from just being there too long. Poor Santa had dog after dog pose with him with a few families with just kids in line. Turns out it was 'dog picture day'....wish I would have known ahead of time.

One closing thought: When I was a kid, my parents took pictures of me on Santa before the fancy Santa Portait session it has now become. Did you look at those prices? 15 is the cheapest you can get away from there and you can't take your own picture! You are rushed through so fast with filling out the form before the picture, quick sit on the lap and onto the check out station to pay your 15 for a single portait, 30 for a family set or 55 for the premium it just me or is this outragous?

Monday, November 24, 2008

American Girl

Katie is a supergirl, American Indian style. In school last week, they talked about American Indians (we used to sit Indian style in Kindergarten, but now it is criss-cross applesauce) and Katie made a headress, or as she calls it, her American hat, or American crown.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

While Katie sleeps....

Maggie plays with her toys!
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I spy John at work

Check it out: John is on the company's website....

Summer Recap

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criss cross coasters

I needed coasters for the living room so I thought that I would whip some out on the sewing machine using this tutorial:

Still need to work on taking pictures though....

It's snowing!

We are getting our first day of snow this season (over an inch already) and Katie is up at Grandma and Pappa's for the weekend. We are going to miss her so much but she was so excited between the snow and her trip. She was up and when she saw the snow was pulling on her winter jacket, boots, and mittens ready to has been pretty lonely here for the last few hours while Maggie has been napping.

Katie has been really excited about crafts and has made a few ornaments so far with pipe cleaners and beads. It isn't even December yet, so our house will be covered soon....she is taking orders though watch her pricing.....= ) Some items sell at 4090 dollars and others for 50 cents. She does have a credit card swiper on her cash register.

Katie did a really cute job singing with the cherub choir this Sunday. She can't wait, they sing 2 times in December (one is Christmas Eve service in the evening if anyone is interested in seeing her in person.) Too bad I didn't continue taping during Children's time because there was frisbee throwing involved and an unfortuate throw into the congregation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Maggie cuts a tooth

Title says it all...Maggie's first tooth! Her bottom right tooth poked through Monday with little to do about it. She was much crankier last night though.

Other milestone: same night she started to crawl backwards! She is most accomplished in naked mode right before bath, but she put on a show tonight while Katie was at cherub choir. She so wants to go forward but ends up stuck in reverse. She can rotate well though....balances on her belly with feet up supergirl style and does hand-over-hand.

Katie has been camping in her room the last few nights under a tent of blankets....never saw her so happy for bed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's over....

the election, that is, but don't worry: the commentary will go on and on. On the plus side, no one was at the polls when I showed up with last names H-P so I was done withing 3, yes, THREE minutes. Katie was sad she forgot to pick out her candy bars from good old Mars. Mommy, not so sad.

Katie had her first "real" dance class last night at Raven Dance Studio in Maytown, and she loves it! Considering the other girls have been in the class since the 1st week of September, she picked up on what they were doing rather quickly. And a request for 2 bean bags for Christmas for her own leaping game at home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Finally! No matter who you are voting for, I'm sure we are all ready for this to be over and move forward.

Katie can't wait to hit the polling booths...the local m&M/mars plant hands out full size candy bars while you wait.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Maggie's first food

Ok, this is a little late getting on, but Maggie is LOVING eating out of a spoon. She gets really into it with kicks and arm flaps, leaning into it, trying to hold the spoon herself. All-in-all, really cute. (of course!)

Knock on wood, to date she is less messy than Katie was when she was starting to eat....even with yummy carrots.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We just got back from trick-or-treating. Maggie was less than impressed, but cute in her fleece ladybug costume, and Katie was LADYBUG GIRL! (cute book, check the local library or read it in the aisle at Target) Nothing like pushing it to the last minute--I was placing the snaps on the cape 10 minutes to 6. I made Katie a red tutu and glued black puffs on the skirt and we wove red and black ribbons around a headband and made antenae with pipe cleaners and puffs. OF course we had the super cape! I made a ladybug applique this afternoon with felt and sewed it onto a cape made from Katie approved materials (gold lame from the remnants bin at Hancock Fabrics and part of an old black skirt). I think it looked pretty cool, but I am biased. = )

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Katie is FOUR!

Wow, I can't believe my baby is going to be 4 in a few hours! She is such a cutie pie, so excited about her big day this year...I will have to charge the camera so I can post some on here tomorrow night.

Mags is growing so much, just facinated with big sissy....she can really support herself standing (with helper hands of course) but with this new trick, she isn't satisfied with sitting....

Where is the time going?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yes, I'm catching up here. = ) We went to Idlewild for the Tripoli family reunion and Katie didn't even go to kiddie land! She had so much fun on the whip, tilt-a-whirl, and other 'big kid' rides that we didn't get over there in time. I can't believe how fast she is growing up. Though I am sure we will be over in kiddieland a lot next year because Maggie will need a riding buddy.

It's no Wardell, but.....

Liz, I know you can appreciate the title...I miss that step class! Here is Katie on the Wii balance board doing the soccer drills game. She was doing a cute job at the step aerobics but wouldn't let me record that.

here comes the brides....

Katie decided to dress up Maggie in her build-a-bear's wedding gown. Maggie was game for a while. Other picture is Katie in her bride dress with Fluffy Bunny.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Grandma and Papa's house

The three Hook girls took the turnpike back to the Cove to visit with Grandma and Papa (and Uncle Doug and his puppy Willie was up too). It was so much fun, it was hard to come home, so we will have to try to head out again soon.

Saturday we went to Jack and MaryAnn's 40th wedding anniversary party. Katie followed Megan and Trevor around the whole night wanting to do whatever they were up to. Maggie got to meet my Gram Reighard's sisters, and I got to see so many people I haven't in quite a while. Katie also got her Aunt Glenda fix. = )

Congrats Dusty and Sherry on your engagement! Good luck to Toby, who should be taking his test any day now to be an offical licensed driver!

Sunday we had fun at home--Mom and Dad set up the Barbie house for her to play with, and Papa had to get on the floor several times to attend Barbie's birthday party.

A video of them arriving at "the circus?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


"Mommy? What sound does a tree make when it falls down?"

I answer, "(making whoosing sounds of leaves, then) BOOM"

Without a missed beat...

"Old MacDonald had a farm, EIEIO. And on that farm he had a tree, EIEIO. And a woosh, woosh, BOOM here, a whoosh, swoosh there everywhere a BOOM BOOM, Old MacDonald had a farm, EIEIO"

(The second verse was 'had a car with a vroom vroom here..." and the third was a boat....)

I love her imagination.
She loves her Maggie audience (As if she needed an audience, she still will perform just about anywhere...)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

it's ov-ER?

Poor Katie, today was her last day of dance class. Probably have her do it some more later this summer or at least in the fall. Actually, I am impressed, she is getting really good at first position! (pizza feet). = )

Maggie had a rough day today. It was her 2 month old check up and included 3 shots and an oral vaccine. Usually she is an excellent sleeper for me, wrap her, lay her down and she snoozes, but today she only wanted held and would scream so hard if I thought otherwise. Luckily she allowed some sleep to come now but who knows if it will last long. Hopefully she can get back on schedule tomorrow.

Katie and I start preschool summer library program tomorrow so I'm looking forward to that special mommy-katie time.

oh and the weatherman claimed today was relief--if you can call 88 degrees relief from 98.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Watch for Katie's foot in this one. When I tell Maggie she is getting 'so big!' Katie will say she is getting 'so little!'

This is from yesterday when Maggie was 7 weeks old, just hanging out in her travel swing.

I can't believe how fast she is growing!

Katie tells us what we can do today...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dance class

Today was Tuesday, so yep, it was a dance class day! Class doesn't start until 6:25 so naturally Katie begins to ask when she can get ready to go to dance class at 8 AM.

Miss Candy is her teacher and if you ask her what she learns in class, it is "Pizza Feet" (first position in ballet) and "Miss Candy told us to not pick our nose." Yep. = )

She really has a blast learning and Maggie is a good sport sitting through 9 3-6 year old girls stomping their tap shoes on a wood stage.

(Katie is in a black leotard and pink skirt)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cloth Diapers

When I had my first daughter, I never thought anything about cloth as an option, just seemed gross. Somehow I stumbled onto finding the 'new' types of cloth diapers and entered into this crazy world where I am becoming hooked on using these. The new ones are actually sewn like disposable diapers with velcro or snaps and actually wash clean really easily. Seriously saving some money too. I researched and found that for EVERY disposable diaper, it takes 1 cup of crude oil. That adds up when you are changing dozens and dozens of diapers in a week. and Maggie has not had a hint of diaper rash. I am not a fanatic or anything, I use disposables when we travel or if we have a lot going on.

The weird thing is how people react, like I should be embarrassed to use them or something. I think they are pretty cool, super soft against her skin, and saving 2 tons of waste from the landfills. And she gets to wear diapers that are cool colors like pink and butterfly print.

Maggie's baptism!

Yesterday was Maggie's baptism into the church. She was only six and a half weeks old, which was the youngest for a long time at the church and we had it done then because Pastor Carol was going on Sabbatical for the summer and we wanted her to be a part of the service.

Katie performed well--she had a role to pour water into the baptismal font. Maggie was adorable, waking up as her head was touched with water, sighing each time into Pastor Carol's microphone that was clipped onto her robe. And each sigh was met with an ''Aww'' from the congregation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back in the groove...

Today Maggie was 6 days old and she got to go along to pick up Katie from school. What a proud big sister Katie was! She helped me hold onto Maggie's carrier as we walked out of preschool together. We made a quick trip to K-Mart to pick up a few things, then home to go on a walk to the park. We didn't stay long since Maggie wasn't very happy after a little while, but it was so much fun to see Katie running and playing.
Here is a picture of Katie with her teacher, Mrs. Reigle, on her last day of school.

Got Maggie in bed at 9--let's see how the night shift goes!