3.31.2013

Smiling This Sunday!!

Hmm....let's see.  What in the world would I have to smile about today? ;)



Our precious Cohen Paul made his grand entrance into the world on Wednesday, March 27th at 9:41 p.m.!  He was born at 35 weeks 3 days, weighing 6 lbs 2 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long.  Absolutely perfect in every way.  The delivery went so smoothly, once I was fully dilated I pushed through a few contractions and our little caboose was here :)

Because he was so early, he had to spend 6 hours in the NICU to make sure he could breathe on his own, take a bottle, and keep his body temps up.  He was a champ, and after a few minutes struggling with that whole breathing thing he figured it all out, and came back to my room around 3:00 that morning.

Yep, that's me at 3:00 in the morning snuggling my little man.  What a miracle he is to me!


We were so blessed to BOTH be able to go home 2 days later...doesn't he look so teeny in that big car seat?!  I am so incredibly blessed with healthy preemie babies that beat all the odds!

We've been home for 2 days and it has been fantastic!!  Everyone is absolutely smitten with out little man, and last night he even let me get 4 hours of sleep at a time ;)  I feel wonderful and am so excited to have my whole family together and be able to be mommy again.  Don't get me wrong...its totally crazy here, but I love it.  We took ALL the kids to an Easter Egg hunt yesterday and it was crazy to be a family of 7 ;)

This Easter Sunday my heart is so full.  As I look around at my not-so-little-family, I love them so much sometimes it takes my breath away.  Then I think of the love my Heavenly Father feels for all of US...so much so that he gave us a Savior, His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  Because of that one incredible act of love, I can be with these people that I love so much forever.  So much to smile about today indeed :)

This Easter Sunday I hope you are feeling all the love and peace our Savior offers to us!




3.26.2013

Past Easter Fun! {Re-cap}

 Today I wanted to share a quick re-cap of some of the fun Easter activities and crafts we have done in years past here at Blue Skies Ahead!

I hope if you're like me and looking for some last minute inspiration this may provide a teensy bit at least! ;)


If your looking for something inexpensive that your kids will love to find in their Easter baskets, check out our Homemade Bubble Bath!


Every year we have a traditional Jelly Bean hunt before the kids get their Easter baskets...one year I made these fun Mini Fabric Easter Egg Baskets perfect for all those jelly beans!


One of my kids FAVORITE activities was going on an Easter egg hunt...for their lunch!!


We made dying eggs a little more exciting using Kool-Aid and making Secret Message Easter Eggs!


Our new favorite Easter tradition, Resurrection Rolls, help kids understand the Resurrection in a fun and yummy way :)


Whip us these adorable Rice Krispie Easter Egg Treats


Finally, just a few weeks ago we made up this 

simple and sweet Easter Printable reminding us of the real reason for Easter.


There you have it!  Lots of Easter goodness in one place...hope you are all having a fantastic week so far!!

3.25.2013

April Fool's Day Mixed-up Menu for dinner!!

 
Hey everybody!!  Happy Monday to you all :)  Even though everyone in blog land is sharing lots of darling Easter ideas, I thought I would branch and share what we are doing for dinner at our house on April Fool's Day this year.  Assuming that I'm not in the hospital having a baby...if so, it will have to wait for next year ;)

We did something similar a few years ago for an activity when I served in the Young Women's program of my ward.  It was so much fun, and I realized the other day it would be perfect to change up for April Fool's Day.

First up, you need to decided on 8 different things you need for your dinner.  These are the items we had for our activity.  Then you attach a code word for each item...we used Book of Mormon terms for our YW activity, but I just used silly words for our April Fool's Day dinner.

Here is what each word represents!


Then I made our Mixed-Up Menu and laminated one for each of my kids.



The kids get to start off by circling two words with their dry erase markers for their appetizer.  The funny part is...they may end up with a breadstick and a spoon, or a dessert and a vegetable :)  Then they pick 4 more for dinner, and 2 for dessert.  Make sure you only let your kids pick each word once, and you have a zany April Fool's Day Dinner!

Just right-click, save, and print away for your very own Mixed-Up Menu for April Fool's Day Dinner!

3.24.2013

Potted Bulbs are the perfect gift this Mother's Day!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but this is a crazy time of year for our family!

We have 4 birthdays in a 5 week period, Easter Sunday, General Conference and Spring Break all within a month or two!  Of course, right smack in the middle of all these wonderful events is a very special day...Mother's Day!  Since my wonderful mother lives in California and I am here in Utah, I am always looking ahead of time for something she would not only love for a gift, but something meaningful that I know she will enjoy for a long time.

This year I think I have found just the right thing...potted bulbs!  There are so many great things about sending a potted bulb for a gift.  I love that you can repot these bulbs in any kind of container to fit in JUST perfectly with your home decor.  My mom is one talented lady when it comes to decorating, so I know she would want something that flows with her beautiful home.  I am thinking something like this...

 

I also love that this is the kind of gift that my mom will be able to enjoy for a long time,  'The great thing about bulbs is that not only do you get to enjoy them when they first start to bloom, but you can then replant them and enjoy them for years to come!  My hope is that every time my sweet mom looks at those beautiful blooms she will be reminded of her Utah family that loves her so much!  Plus, you can get potted bulbs SO many places...grocery stores, flower shops and garden centers.  Doesn't get much easier than that!

If you are interested in doing potted bulbs as a gift for someone you love (or maybe just yourself!;)  Make sure you check out THIS Pinterest page for lots of bulb inspiration and idea

For more info on bulbs and some great ideas check out potted bulbs now!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Smiling This Sunday!

 We made it to 35 weeks people!!!  If that's not enough reason to smile, I don't know WHAT is!

What that means is I am officially off bed rest, and can be mommy again to my crazy brood.  I have also entered the phase where I have to get up and get ready every day...because every day could be BABY DAY and seriously, I have 4 pregnancies worth of terrible delivery pictures!  Maybe I'll get lucky and actually have run a brush through my hair the day we have Cohen ;)


Every night this last week this is what I saw before I went to bed :)  My husband has been in Europe for over a week....yeah, not great timing!  Luckily, I have amazing family to help me with the little ones but my big girls stayed home with me.  I HATE when Paul is gone and can never sleep good so I bribed the girls to sleep on the floor in my room all week.  They looked so sweet and innocent snuggled up together...love these girls!!


Finally these two little sweeties!  Like I said, I have an amazing family!  Between my MIL and SIL, they have had my youngest two for 9 days...I cannot believe how much I miss them.  Since Paul flies in from Portugal tonight they finally get to come HOME :)


I am definitely smiling this Sunday!

Things may be a little sporadic around here for the next little bit, but I'm hoping to get another week or two before the little man arrives, and if so I have some fun Easter and General Conference ideas I would love to share.

So I ask you...what things are YOU smiling about in your life today???



3.22.2013

Paper Butterfly Wreath


Happy Friday everyone!  I have a really fun, simple wreath to share with you today.  This was a lot different than most of the wreaths I have made.  I always tend to gravitate towards bright, funky colors...but with Easter on its way I really wanted to try something with pastels, and I actually loved how it turned out.  I also wanted to try something besides fabric flowers, and once again knew I needed to use things I had on hand...so this is what I came up with :)

I give you my Paper Butterfly Wreath!


The first thing I did to make this wreath was to get 3 coordinating sheets of scrapbook paper and my butterfly punch.  I punched several butterflies from each sheet, and then folded them in half to make the wings stand up. 


Then I simply covered a wreath form in burlap and used some purple twine to accent it and add a little pop of color. 


Using the same scrapbook paper I cut out a few triangles and glued them to some twine to make a sweet little pennant to hang across the top of the wreath.


Finally I randomly hot-glued my paper butterflies on the wreath and I had my finished product!




I love how simple and bright this made my dark brown door look...now if I could just get the weather here to cooperate with my desire for all things spring I would be one happy girl! ;)  Thanks so much for stopping by today, hope you and your loved ones have a fabulous weekend!!

Linking up HERE :)

3.21.2013

Mingle With Us Blog Hop!

It's Time to Mingle!
 Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
 
This week's guest host is Rachel from The Philosopher's Wife
There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

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We are always looking for co-hosts to join the party each week and post the party on their blog. 
 
Sign up HERE if you are interested in Co-Hosting!
 
Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
Mingle With Us Thursday Blog Hop
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!
 

3.20.2013

Spring Has Sprung Activity Jar!


Spring is in the air...and I am LOVING it!!

It is so wonderful to look out my window and see the sun shining and hear the birds chirping away, spring is definitely on its way.

I was feeling crafty, but since I couldn't go to the store to get supplies I was inspired by things I had on hand.  Not too long ago I got some really adorable spring washi tape from my most favorite Pick Your Plum.  I also received a pack of Jumbo Popsicle Sticks from the wonderful people at CraftProjectIdeas.com.  

Put these two together and I created our Spring Has Sprung Activity Jar!


First up I got out my Jumbo Popsicle Sticks.  These are a must-have for my craft stash...there is always something fun you can create with them.


I covered each stick in a strip of cute, springy washi tape.

 

Then on the back of each stick I wrote a fun spring-time activity my kids would enjoy.  Well, honestly they may not be thrilled about ALL of them...I did include a couple of spring cleaning chores too ;)


Then I simply put them all in a mason jar, set them on my counter, and enjoyed the little pop of SPRING!


But...I can never leave anything alone the way it is.  I remembered I had these mini-chalkboard clips in my stash and thought they would add the perfect finishing touch.


Activity Jars like this are a HUGE hit at our house!  Instead of turning on the TV or computer when your kids are bored, you let them pick a stick out of the activity jar.  They are excited to see what they get, and you get to spend some quality time with your littles...a definite win-win!!

Linking up to these fun parties HERE!

3.19.2013

Free Easter Printable

It's another sunny, beautiful day here!!  Things are looking good all-around...I am almost 34 1/2 weeks and by this Sunday I will be OFF bed rest!!  Hooray!!  

Just in time to get ready for one of our favorite holidays...Easter!

Before my hubs went out of town he humored me by putting up the few Easter decorations that I had, and I decided I needed a fun, new printable to tie it all together.  I really wanted to make something that helped remind us for the REAL reason we celebrate Easter.  As I was trying to think of what I wanted, the words to one of my favorite Primary song kept coming to me again and again. 

This is what I came up with...



I love celebrating this time of year, and remembering the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Not only that he died for us, but the real miracle...that He LIVES!  He lives,and He will come again!  
 

If you want this printable for your home, just right-click, save, and print away!!



Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I know it's been a little boring around here lately, but I am thrilled to get back to normal (if there is such a thing!) and post some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head these last few weeks laying on the couch ;)  Have a wonderful day!!

3.15.2013

Do YOU like surprises?


 I have to be honest...I can usually do without surprises.  I am a planner, so I like to know EXACTLY what I am getting myself into ;)  My poor husband, every holiday he tries to surprise me and I usually end up harassing him so much he caves and the truth comes out :)

However...there are a few surprises that I definitely like.

After I had dated my now-husband for a few months I came to find out...he is a ridiculously good break dancer!  That is a very cool surprise :)

A few months ago when we were having a gender reveal party, I got the biggest surprise of my life when our little baby "girl" turned out to be our little baby BOY!!  That was a very cool surprise too!

This week I had another surprise that I  enjoyed...I mean...REALLY enjoyed!  Spending lots of time on my couch I have been trying to find simple, healthy snacks that are quick and easy (and that my kids can grab for me out of the pantry ;)  We are at two weeks of this bed rest thing now, and I can only eat so many apples and cheese sticks, you know?!



Green Giant surprised me BIG time with their Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips-Sea Salt!  I kid you not...these chips are YUMMY!  And if you know me, you know I don't mess around with my chips.  I mean, if you put some gourmet chocolate in front of me and a bag of chips...10 out of 10 I'm going with the chips ;)  



Not only were these Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips amazing, but I felt pretty good about eating them too.  They are made from with real sweet potatoes and have 14 grams of whole grain per serving.  PLUS...they have 40% less fat than regular potato chips.  And since I may or may not have eaten the ENTIRE bag in one sitting (don't judge), I was set for my whole grains for the day :)
So well done Green Giant!  I am so excited to have a new snack alternative that I not only feel good about eating but ENJOY eating too...here's to LOTS of happy surprises!!

Check out Green Giants Facebook Page and their YouTube Channel for more info!

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent atwww.facebook.com/greengiant