guess who’s 5 + a preschool graduate?!

When I asked Elliot what kind of birthday party she wanted she decided quickly on a LEGO theme! With that came a LEGO cake (made by Gramma) and an annual birthday-theme shirt (made by Mammy). She was a little grumpy to start the party, but quickly got over it when family (and presents) started to arrive!

IMG_5464

IMG_5465

Super-Elliot!

IMG_5476

IMG_5478

Someone’s not happy that all the presents are not for her.

IMG_5491

IMG_5493

IMG_5512

IMG_5531

IMG_5540

A couple days after her party, Elliot graduated preschool! She picked out her own new dress and of course had to wear her red high heels!

IMG_5542

IMG_5554

IMG_5562

IMG_5574

IMG_5580

This little cutie is Bryce. Elliot followed this boy around all year drawing pictures for him, playing house with him, and even arranging pretend weddings to marry him. We can officially say he was her first crush!

IMG_5582

IMG_5599

IMG_5606

IMG_5618

IMG_5622

IMG_5630

We’re so very proud of you, Ellie-bear! I can officially say I have a kindergartener now, yikes!

the things they say.

It’s been over a year since I’ve done an addition of what they say so I have quite a few since then that I’ve been saving. At 3 and 4, these girls continue to crack me up, here are some of my favorites.

————————

Cora: “I can’t walk.”

Why?

Cora: “I hurt my arm.”

————————

Cora: “Look, I can do dis cuz I’m so much twee!” [three – working on her “th”]

————————

After Elliot made her own pizza she looked down at her plate and with a sad face she covered her head and said: “Shoot, I forgot to make a smiley face on my pizza. DAMMIT, what was I thinking?!” [whoops]

————————

Elliot: “My 3 rules for the day:

1. No candy

2. You listen to ME!

3. Drink water

These are very important.”

————————

Elliot: “Dad, I’m talking. Dad, one day if you’d like to paint your nails, Mom would paint your nails and I’d help. Then, if you liked it, we could do it a bunch of times!”

————————

On Halloween:

Elliot: “These houses are all Murphy Houses.”

What’s a Murphy House?

Elliot: “It’s where you trick-or-treat the most. Duh!”

————————

Elliot: “I’ve had enough sugar today.”

So no more for you?

Elliot: “No, we’ll save it for another day, okay?”

————————

Elliot: “How do frogs drink?”

They drink with their tongues, like a cat.

Elliot: “No, they absorb it through their skin.” [That’s correct!!]

————————

Cora: “Mom, you gave Nala human food. If you give her human food she will throw up. You need to impologize to her.”

————————

Elliot: “I really want to kill a walrus on my birthday.”

What? Why?

Elliot: “I want to eat it for my cake!”

————————

Elliot: “Can we say the word ridiculous?”

Sure…

Elliot: “This world is ridiculous!”

————————

Cora: “Mom, I counted to 20-60!” [so excited!]

————————

Elliot: “C’mon Cora, I’ll catch you!” [as they’re both standing on the stairs.]
————————

Cora: [mad] “I’m going to work at Target. Goodbye.”

————————

Are you guys falling down the stairs?

Elliot: “No, we’re just tumbling down. Backwards.”

————————

Elliot, pick up your play-doh.

Elliot: “Sure thing. Ain’t no thang.”

————————

Elliot: “Mommy & Cora drive me frustrated!

Why?

Elliot: “Cuz they call me funny names, like Dude!

————————

Elliot: “Mom, you’re just a pickle in a sandwich.”

————————

Elliot: “Oh, I have to go talk to Moozella now.”

Whose that?

Elliot: “Moozella is my sister.”

————————

Elliot: “Ouch, my leg hurts. I think a meteor from the sky got it.”

————————

Cora: “I even love you more than anything in this world.” [awww]

————————

What kind of vegetables do you want in your garden?

Elliot: “The kind that taste like strawberry shortcake!”

————————

Elliot: “Don’t squirt that tree it’s really old. It’s like 60 bucks!”

————————

Elliot: “I don’t love you anymore! I don’t love Mommy anymore! I don’t love anyone unless I get sugary snacks, ahhhhh!”

————————

Elliot: “Hey, I have an idea! Maybe we can ride a rocketship to outerspace and I could drive!”

————————

After spinning Elliot around I told her I couldn’t do that anymore.

“Yes you can Mom, you’re only 40 years old.” [ugh]

————————

What season comes after Fall?

Cora: “NEPTUNE!”

————————

Elliot: “Mom, my leg is scratchy from the mouse that came out of my ear. I have to lay down and rest it.”

————————

ELLIOT, WHAT’S ON THE WALL???

Elliot: “Oh, it’s poop. From another day. It’s okay, assidents happen.”

————————

Your golden birthday is when you turn 13.

Elliot: “But I don’t want a golden birthday, I want a pink one!”

————————

Cora: “I will win you down the stairs. I WINNED YOU!!”

————————

Library lady at storytime: What do you put under your Christmas tree?

Elliot: “GUACAMOLE!!”

————————

At preschool, kids ask the Star of the Week questions.

Elliot’s question: “So … what’s your favorite microwave?”

————————

Elliot: “Mammy, since I am almost a grown up I will call you Jan.”

————————

Elliot: “Stop it Cora! Do you want to go to Africa all alone and have the alligators crunch you?”

————————

Elliot: “I’m getting frustrated at you! I’m almost an angry bird with you!”

Cora: “Yeah Mom, We’re English birds with you.”

caribbean cruise.

A couple weeks ago, hubby and I were able to put aside the routine of everyday life and take a week for ourselves. We went on a Caribbean cruise. We left Miami and spent two full days at sea, which was just enough time to spend exploring the boat and all 22 bars and restaurants that it had to offer; an ice bar at -11 degrees being one of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20150208_171516

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our first port was Jamaica where we spent 8 hours in the beautiful jungle zip-lining, river tubing and climbing Dunn’s River Falls. It was such a fun experience, and really eye-opening to see the Jamaican lifestyle. The very narrow two-lane roads are not big enough for two cars to pass so when that needs to happen, its a matter of playing chicken to see who will give up first, whether or not there is a 200 foot drop on either side of you. We saw a lot of wild cattle, goats and chicken roaming around near the road, all of which are very tasty according to our tour-guide, eek! We also saw many people standing alongside the road and our tour-guide said that when a person needs to go to school, work, or to the village, they stand along side the road until a form of public transportation comes by. It could be minutes or even hours before that happens. Being higher up in the mountain, the amount of traffic that goes by is much less than closer to town, increasing the time for a car to come by. It seemed like a very laid back lifestyle. And no matter what the circumstance, in Jamaica it’s “No problem Mon.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next day we were in Grand Cayman. It was the first beautiful, hot day so we took full advantage of it at Tiki Beach with our toes in the sand, crystal clear waters, a bbq lunch and all you can drink. Many, many Rum & Punch drinks later and a lot of much needed sun, we missed the bus back to the boat and had to catch a taxi to port [all part of the adventure, right?] where we stopped at the local Green Parrot Bar for a signature Green Parrot drink before getting on the small tender to bring us back to the boat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The last stop was Cozumel where we went to the Jose Cuervo factory to become tequila aficionados and learn a little of the Mexican culture. We ended the day with an authentic Mexican meal of homemade tortillas, shredded chicken, black beans and rice. And of course, a margarita. Or was it two?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20150213_123703

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Look what I found when we got back in town in Cozumel – Starbucks!!

20150213_160025

It was a very fun adventure and so nice to get away, but by the end of the week we were exhausted and so ready to get home to the two little chickies. Here they are wearing official Mexican dresses.

IMG_20150216_194115

valentine’s day 2015.

This year we decided to do something a little different – instead of Christmas cards, we sent out Valentine’s Day cards. It was a really fun photoshoot and the wonderful Mandy did our photos once again, which I absolutely love! The girls were total hams during the shoot and you can really see their personalities come out in these photos.

daniels14dec (12)

daniels14dec (4)

daniels14dec (11)

daniels14dec (13)

daniels14dec (22)

daniels14dec (15)

daniels14dec (26)

daniels14dec (20)

daniels14dec (29)

daniels14dec (28)

daniels14dec (34)

daniels14dec (33)

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

2015 goals.

Well, here we are, another year has gone by and everyone is anxious and excited for the adventures ahead in 2015. The last year was a big one for our family. We moved into our family home that we waited and searched long and hard for, we got settled in, we explored and we’ve started making new memories in our new home. I thought I’d try and come up with some goals for myself and our family to accomplish this year.

IMG_20150105_143703

2015 Goals

Finish [or start] decorating our home:

We have a lot more walls than we did at our old house, and as of now, most of them are blank. I’ve been scared to buy anything until I figure out my “style”, but I’m not totally sure what that is so I guess if I just buy what I like, it will turn into my own style, right? I keep waiting to find the perfect piece of art, which may or not be out there and in the meantime our house remains pretty bare & empty. I’ve been looking up gallery walls and it seems to be the best option where I can incorporate some favorite family photos, along with personal pieces to make a collage on the wall. I am pretty excited on the direction that I am going to go on our main living room wall. Inspiration found here. We also have a few rooms to paint yet so I’m just going to pick a weekend and put each room on the calendar and stick to it… otherwise it will never get done! So, two bathrooms, the living room and a playroom up-date will be coming soon-[ish]!

Family dinners every night:

I grew up with family dinners. It’s a nice time to shut everything off and just talk to each other about our day. Plus, the conversations with a 3 and 4 year old are pretty entertaining alone!

Make more effort to enjoy the little things:

Too many times I pass up the opportunity to play Legos or dolls for the choice to fold laundry or clean up the kitchen. At the time I just think it needs to be done. And it does, but right away? Especially when the girls are asking me to sit with them and play or color? That’s where I have to get in the mind set that the mundane things can wait and that the girls will only be this age for a little while and to take advantage of it while [bonus] acting like a little kid myself!

Less social media – especially during family time:

I find myself on all social media platforms a lot during the day and just as much at night as I’m winding down. But at the end of the day I haven’t really gained too much from it or benefited by spending all the time on social media. Maybe I pinned a few fun projects [that I will probably never do] or found a couple yummy recipes that I really don’t have time to even make during the week. I want to cut out a lot of what I look at on a daily basis and again, spend time with my children, enjoying the little things that won’t be there next time I turn my phone on.

Explore Elk River more as a family:

This summer was a fun one because everything was new to us! We discovered a beach, a dog park, several playgrounds, a splash pad, a fun little downtown with an amazing pizza place, antique shops and a water fountain that the girls loved to run through. This summer I’d like to continue our discoveries as a family to see what else we can find together.

Plant a bigger veggie + herb garden:

Last summer we barely had enough time to plant a garden since we moved in the beginning of June, but we managed to grow some tomatoes, peppers and jalapenos. This year I’d love to double the size of the garden by planting more veggies as well as an herb garden filled with a ton of fresh herbs to use in meals!

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I haven’t ever planned out yearly goals, mainly because I’m afraid that over a couple months they’ll fizzle out and not be accomplished, but this year I really think I can obtain these goals because they are based on our family spending time together. Whether its outside walking the trails, or sitting down and coloring, these goals should be will be attainable…and FUN!

Happy New Year!

fall fun at the corn maze.

A couple weeks ago we went on our annual corn maze family trip. This year we tried a new place in our local area that featured a corn maze, a corn pit, pumpkins,and face painting (where they each chose the same thing, of course). From two kitties in a corn pit, to chasing after them through the corn maze, it’s always a fun time letting the girls explore and just go nuts.

e&c_corn maze_14

Looking back at this photo makes it seem so long ago, especially since winter is officially here with over a foot of snow arriving today, yuck! It definitely feels a lot more like winter than fall…so, onto the next holiday that the girls can’t wait to get here…CHRISTMAS!!

halloween 2014.

Continuing with the Frozen theme around the Daniels’ house, the girls decided they both wanted to be Olaf the snowman for Halloween. Both girls in the same costume means no fighting, right? Two Olaf’s it is! We celebrated Halloween during the afternoon by going trick-or-treating in downtown Elk River. It was chilly and we frequently had to stop and warm up a bit in one of the shops, but they had fun going into all the stores and picking out treats.

Later we got dressed up again and went out around the new neighborhood. Since moving into our new house in June, we had no idea what to expect when it came to trick-or-treaters. We had over 100 kids! The neighborhood seemed to come alive with kids everywhere in costumes; coming in vans and trailers hauling 10+ kids playing Halloween music, decorated with hay bundles and lights. It was so fun to see the girls reaction to all the commotion of the night and they were so excited that all the candy they got in their buckets was theirs and that they actually get to keep it and EAT IT! (I now have a form of bribery when it comes to eating their healthy food first, ha!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_5335_mod

IMG_5340_mod

IMG_5344_mod

IMG_5346_mod

IMG_5352_mod

IMG_5366_mod

IMG_5375_mod

cora is 3.

Our Miss Cora Marie is 3! A once 5 pound little peanut is now quite the little girl with a strong personality of both sweet & sassy and a huge heart. When I asked her what she would like for her birthday she said flowers and balloons. That’s it. No toys, clothes or dolls-just flowers and balloons. So along with all her presents that looked like they came from the Disney Frozen theme store, she also had a house full of balloons and flowers at her party. Here’s a few pics of Cora at her party…look at how grown up she is!

IMG_5221.JPG_mod

IMG_5247.JPG_mod

IMG_5229.JPG_mod

IMG_5231.JPG_mod

Every year Mammy takes the elements from the girls’ birthday party invitation and makes their birthday party shirts for them. This year Cora’s invitation included a little chickie and a cute #3, of which she picked out the fabric for.

IMG_5240.JPG_mod

Elliot is wearing her own “Frog-a-saurus with human hair” shirt. She had drawn it on our chalkboard and then Mammy traced it onto this shirt for her so that she could have her own birthday party shirt too!

IMG_5232.JPG_mod

IMG_5248.JPG_mod

IMG_5252.JPG_mod

IMG_5258.JPG_mod

IMG_5264.JPG_mod

IMG_5316.JPG_mod

IMG_5318.JPG_mod

IMG_5323.JPG_mod

IMG_5327.JPG_mod

IMG_5330.JPG_mod

Happy Birthday Cora Cat. You fulfill our hearts in so many ways and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. Here’s to the next year!

4th of july.

Happy 4th of July! Today is going to be a fun day: the girls had a  neighborhood bike parade this morning and we are hosting for the first time in our new house later today. In the midst of cleaning and prepping I thought I’d take a minute to post a few pics of the girls getting ready for the parade this morning – so patriotic!

IMG_5071.JPG_mod

IMG_5074.JPG_mod

IMG_5078.JPG_mod

IMG_5080.JPG_mod

IMG_5082.JPG_mod

IMG_5089.JPG_mod

IMG_5096.JPG_mod

IMG_5102.JPG_mod

IMG_5105.JPG_mod

IMG_5106.JPG_mod

IMG_5109.JPG_mod

IMG_5128.JPG_mod

IMG_5134.JPG_mod

IMG_5147.JPG_mod

IMG_5151.JPG_mod

IMG_5167.JPG_mod

life lately in photos.

Since we’ve moved about two weeks ago we’ve been busy, busy, busy putting things away, organizing, painting, decorating, and exploring. We really do love the new area and keep discovering new places all the time! The girls seem to really love the house and have adjusted pretty easily. The neighborhood has a lot of kids, something that will be really good for them down the road when the girls get ready to go to school and ride the bus. Elliot already made a few “best friends” and asks to play with them everytime we go outside!

In the midst of the past two weeks I’ve tried to capture all  the new moments for the girls of them settling in or just playing together. It’s been tough the past few weeks to be around for all those moments while moving, organizing, and still working, and trying to even remember where the camera is tends to be a challenge on it’s own, but here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately:

for blog5

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

for blog7

I think we will be in this house for a long time and I’m excited to relax and take our time in making it our own. I will post pictures of the new house soon for those who can’t be here (or until the holidays when hopefully you can)!