Winter Walk: Recharge with Nature

Hi, new friends! I’m Lacy from Living on Love. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be a new contributor here at Kids Stuff World. I am eager to get to know you all and hope you feel the same.

One thing my family and I take pride in is making a BIG deal out of small moments. I’m a firm believer that the everyday moments, the day-to-day happenings, can be beautiful and significant. After all, that’s what most of life is. This year on Kids Stuff World, I’ll be sharing ways to make life meaningful for your family. Whether it’s a fun project or an adventurous outing, you can be sure it will be simple and significant. It’s about the time spent together that matters most. Let’s get started!
recharge your family with a crisp winter walkI’m not sure where you live, but in my neck of the woods we have had a couple of months of bitter cold, snow, and ice. Only a handful of times has it been nice enough to actually get out and enjoy the weather. The rest of the time we’ve been cooped up inside, with a nice dose of cabin fever.
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Once the weather perked up, with highs in the low 50s (a treat for January!) we decided to make a day of it and enjoy some quality family time outdoors. We loaded up the car and headed to our favorite hiking spot at a nearby state park. The weather was perfect. Cool enough that snow and ice were still all around us, but warm enough to truly enjoy some time in the woods.
 simple ways to make a winter walk a fun and simple outing for your family
Since our girls were babies, we have spent tons of time outdoors. Nature has always been a place of adventure and rejuvenation. Since I can remember, being outside has given me a sense of release and purpose. As a family, sometimes all we need to recharge is a good amount of time spent in the wilderness.
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Here are some ways to make a winter walk a fun and simple outing for your family…             
  • Dress for the occasion – Appropriate attire is key. Toddlers especially tend to freak out if they are too cold, too hot, wet, etc. We were able to last a long time because our girls were warm and able to move around freely since they were wearing their “adventure clothes,” as we like to call them.

  • Take it slow – There is no rush, especially in the wilderness. Take your time and let your little ones set the pace for your adventure. Take breaks if you need to. Allow yourself to surrender to the clock and enjoy an outing free of time constraints.

  • Notice the details – Take time to stop and look around. Point out things you see or hear to your children. Ask them what they think is interesting or beautiful. From hollowed out logs to frozen waterfalls, our girls were amazed by the things they saw during our winter walk.

7 5 4 Recharge in nature - easy ways to get outside this winter!

I challenge you to get outside this winter! I think you’ll be surprised just how refreshing an outdoor adventure can be for your entire family…

Simple Things Sunday: A Day in San Antonio

Little man woke up on Wednesday with a plan …
Find a cool industrial background for a great backdrop for a photo op

He had a vision in his head about a fun day out with Mom and he really wanted to make it happen. How could I resist his oh-so-specific requests?

 

It sounded like a challenge to me. One I was more than happy to accept. This is my last year with a little one at home and we plan to make the most of it! It might be hard to cross all these things off your list in some towns, but here in San Antonio you can easily do all of those things in one day from the Pearl Brewery.

We planned to hit the San Antonio Museum of Art, but Little wore his snazzy new fall clothes (long sleeves and fleece pants) and it was about a zillion degrees outside, so about halfway there he made a command decision to swap museums. We drove less than a mile down the road to his favorite museum of all — The Witte.

Here’s a few shots from our big day out:

Gorgeous day in San Antonio - at the Pearl BreweryA day in downtown San Antonio - the Pearl, the Riverwalk, and the Witte Museum

Man, I love this city!
* All Photos taken with an iPhone *

Now for the fun part, it’s time to join Rebecca again for #SimpleThingsSunday

Simple Things Sunday

Simple things Sunday is about taking time to photograph the everyday details that make your life unique, beautiful, and special. Each Sunday we gather here to share our photos with each other. To enjoy the beauty that can be found in the ordinary and to be reminded of just how important the simple things are.

Just a few quick rules to play:

1. Grab a button and include it in your simple things post.

2. Link back directly to your simple things post not your blog/website.

No links to other linky parties, giveaways or craft projects pretty please.
This linky is all about the photos.

3. Be sure to pop by and visit at least 3 other links and leave a comment.
Leave as many as you can.

By linking up to the Simple things Sunday party you hereby give us permission to feature your photos + tell the world about your amazing photography talents. We’d love to showcase your work via social media and acknowledge what you’re doing each week to capture the simple things!


Summer in our own backyard

I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the summer, much like the promises I’ve made dozens of times before.

This summer, while all three of my kids were home, I will be more present.
We will do less, but enjoy more.
We will spend more time together as a family, and darn it — it will be fun!!

Lofty goals, I now realize, but fast forward to the end of the summer, and we DID do less. I strongly believe it was because of this, we enjoyed MORE. The days seemed longer, yet more carefree. Together, we had lots of fun.

Want to know what we did?

We started staying home. Without all the commitments, and appointments, and plain old busy-ness we had time to live our lives, the way I’d always imagined them.

summer in our own backyard 2

We brewed sun tea, made our own snow cones, and played scrabble outside.

We made a real knack out of it, Summer in our own backyard — lazing on our handmade picnic blanket (my first sewing project), holding lemonade taste tests, and reading stacks and stacks of library books while popping berries in our mouth.

We hunted for bugs, caught frogs, and danced in the rain.

We had lots of success inventing every flavor combination of homemade popsicles we could think of, and finding out just how fast they would melt in the Texas heat. I didn’t worry a bit when it dripped all over them, this sprinkler is my new best friend and has, on occasion, filled in for an evening bath

– hey why not, it’s summer!

summer in my own backyard

And we only live once.

I plan to make the most of it, right here in my own backyard.

show them. who you are.

* based on 1 Timothy 4:12 *

 Time to show the world what I’ve known all along. May God bless your innocent heart (and sweet loving soul), I pray with a mother’s prayers that I have prepared you for all that lies ahead. That you will look to us for guidance and that we will find the strength and wisdom to show you the way, just as these words have found their way to your mom when she needed them most.

You are important.

and I know you will do great things.

Rock on little buddy.

Rock on.

Life in an Instant: Summer Lovin’

A friend told me not too long ago, that we only really had some 6,500 odd days to spend with our children before they are off & grown, and on their own. Something about that number has buried itself deeply into my brain, probably for good now. That number frightens me. I am even more haunted knowing I only have 4,200 some odd days left with Happy. Really, where does the time go?

It makes you think. And stops me in my tracks. And makes me scoop them up even more throughout the day and shower them with love and kindness and trips to theme parks and ooey, gooey s’mores. And makes me want to create a million of these, or even these, filled with our happy Insta-memories.

this is our summer.
this is exactly the way I want us all to remember it.

4,199 more days exactly like this please.

……………
I invite you all to share similar moments from your week here with me, or on Instagram (I’m @steet) by using the hashtag: #liai (<- Life in an Instant) or even on my Facebook page. Whatever is easiest for you, however you can reach me. I’d love to see what moments are taking hold in your heart this week.

Life in an Instant

 


Silly, yet serious

This kid ;)

sad

Silly, yet serious.

That’s the best way to describe this little one right now. One minute she is all smiles and giggles and and the next she’s soulful; deep in contemplation, so quiet and demure.

She’s changing everyday, yet it is me who seems foreign to her. It’s a delicate time for the two of us, I catch her looking at me with those big blue eyes, so uncertain and so speculative. I can feel her beginning to pull away from me now — not quite sure how my role as a mother is going to fit in to her big, new and evolving life.

I knew this time would come for us, but I never dreamed it would start so soon. I feel as if we’re in the middle of some pre scripted dance routine, one I’ve danced a time or two before … yet in much smaller shoes. My first reaction is to hold on tight and never let her go, but I know that is not, nor can not be the answer. Instead, for now, I’ve chosen to show her how much I love her at least as often as I tell her. To listen to what she’s saying and offer her the biggest gift I know how: all my heart and all of my head. I can use these two not to lead her in life, but rather to guide her down this new path she is carving out as her own.

Most of all it seems these days I am hoping. Hoping that some how, some way deep down on the inside, she gets me. Gets me in a way I never really got my Mom, at least not until I was a mother myself. I’m also hoping she might stay my sweet and silly serious little girl for just a little longer …

Us

What special moments did you capture this week?

Life in an Instant
<div align="center"><a href="http://kidsstuffworld.com/category/stuff/life-in-an-instant/" title="Life in an Instant" target="_blank"><img src="http://kidsstuffworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/LIAI_150_2.jpg" alt="Life in an Instant" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 


Countdown to Christmas!

It’s that time of year again, my favorite time of year! The time when we start to prepare for Christmas, get in to the holiday spirit and really focus on what it means to be a family. To do this in our house, we have countdown activities every day in December leading up to Christmas. In years past we have focused on crafts, but last year I felt we were a little too commercial for my taste, so this year our focus is just on spending quality time with one another and creating lasting memories. My biggest wish would be for this to become a tradition my children enjoy with their own kids someday.

Countdown to Christmas: Great list of crafts, activities and family outings

Here’s a list of what we’ll be doing this year, I have not associated specific dates because I like spontaneity and because well, sometimes things change! Feel free to borrow any ideas and I will try to blog about as many as possible to show you how they went. If you do any of these activities with your family, I would love to hear how they turned out.

- Reindeer Thumbprint Ornament (C)
- Trim the Tree (T)
- Decorate the House & Yard for Christmas (T)
- Christmas Socks Day (T)
- Christmas Movie Marathon & Christmas Cookies (T)
- Snuggle up & Read Christmas Stories (T) My absolute favorite
- Paper Christmas Trees
- Popsicle Snowflake Ornaments (C)
- Dollar Store Shopping (O) *
- Kids Wrapping Party (C) New Technique*
- Christmas Movie Matinee (O)
- Tree & Snowman Shirts (C)
- Hill Country Holidays at Westin La Cantera (O)
- Make Gifts for our Neighbors & Y Friends (C)
- Go Visit Santa (O)
- Make Gingerbread Men & Gingerbread Girls (T)
- Afternoon at the Carnival w/ Kinder Class (O)
- Riverboat Ride (O)
- Christmas Light Spectacular Car Ride (T)
- Christmas Celebration at Sea World San Antonio (O)
- Snowman Sundaes for Happy’s Birthday (T)
- Christmas Pizza Night (T)
- Helping Hands Wreath (C) *
- Family in Jammies Party (Y)
- Jesus’ Birthday (T)

(*) Notes about a few of our traditions: (T = Together Time, O = Outing, C= Craft)

Dollar Store Shopping – each year we take the kids to the dollar store to let them shop for people on their list. We make a lot of gifts also, but shopping is part of the fun too. Here they can pick out anything they want and not worry about the price.

Kids Wrapping Party is another fun tradition we have. The kids make all their own paper and then wrap as many presents as possible on their own. Our wrapping has evolved over the years and now includes a 10 ft Christmas mural we work on a few days before the party.

Helping Hands Wreath: This is a great project and is very similar to the way we build our nativity manger for baby jesus. When the kids do something especially nice or helpful they get to cut a small piece of tan yarn to add to our manger for baby jesus. The more good deeds they do, the more comfortable he will be when he arrives. This year the kids will also get to cut out a hand from green construction paper when they help around the house. When we’re done, we’ll use these hands to create the wreath.

I hope you find some inspiration here and some new ideas for your family. If you’d like even more ideas, check out our ideas from 2010 & 2009.

Need more christmas activities? Check out this awesome Pinterest board
Follow Stacy of KSW Advent Activities on Pinterest

Thanks Bing for advertising on KSW:
Thanks Bing for sponsoring this post.

Life in an Instant: A celebration of gratitude

thankful_collage

Baking / Kisses / Crafting / Spending time Together / Creating / Sharing / Lovin’ / Hugging / Passing on traditions & making new ones / Being a family

This year I tried to capture moments I was thankful for, as they were happening. I did it all with my iPhone and the help of a few apps. The result was magical, documenting my gratitude not only helped me to truly enjoy this special time with the ones I love, but looking back on these precious moments fills my heart with so much joy. I am so very grateful for each and every one of the reasons I have to be thankful this year.

Thankful for helping hands in the kitchen,

the very best sweet hugs & kisses.

A Nana who likes to craft,

siblings who love each other,

and teaching them to be thankful too.

Knowing my children have grandparents who want to be a part of their lives,

and to have known a love like this.

Thankful for the happy home I have built with my best friend.

Life is good and I am blessed.

To celebrate this feeling and in hopes of helping it spread throughout the holiday season, I’d like to start a new series we can all participate in – Life in An Instant. A chance for us to share those moments that matter most.

Follow along as I capture Life in an Instant here

Catch these moments as they happen in your Facebook feed

Or leave a collection of your own


If you’d like some help getting started or have questions about which apps to use, I’m happy to help.

Sometimes you just have to get out and play

I’m not quite back in to blogging mode just yet … still soaking up the last moments of summer, but I do have a guest post up over at the Grass Stain Guru. I hope you’ll pop on over and check it out and while you’re there … tell Bethe I said Hi!! She rocks on so many levels

Muddy Feet Collage

It’s called Sometimes you just have to get out & play and I really hope you like it. It’s an older memory of mine, but an absolute favorite moment of parenting. And to all the sweet commenters out there and folks who’ve asked questions while I was away, I hope to be back in the swing of things come Monday and you folks are on the top of my list!

The Joys of Summer

Summer so far

Summer is in full swing, filled with all the things a summer should be: sunny days on the beach, homemade ice cream, babies in buckets, bare bottoms, picnics with the ones you love, creative water play, days at the park, lots of cuddles and a little silliness thrown in for good measure.

The perfect summer defined, the only problem is this summer is flying by way too fast! The kids are growing and times are changing, Happy will start an actual Kindergarten this fall and I find myself wishing I could just hit pause. Slow things down a bit and learn to appreciate the moments while I’m in them; something I am always striving towards. It works too, as long as you keep focusing and walking that tight rope. Take your mind off enjoying them for just a minute and they’ll slip away like sand through your fingers.

These photo are all snapshots of my Life as they happen, shared on Instagram. Join me there as steet for updates on your iPhone or stop by Kids Stuff World for a shot of us in action anytime, right there on the right side bar -> See us?. Instagram yourself? Let me know how to find YOU! I’d love to see what you’re up to this summer.