December 30, 2009

Decathlon....well, sort of..

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Yesterday, Morgan and September decided to put on a Howat Family Decathlon. They planned games, went shopping, handed out everyone's bandanna that had to be worn at all times, and we got started! We only ended up completing 7 events, but it was a great time. The events were: Putting scales on a snake (how many can you do in 1 minute), individual corn hole (8 tosses to get the highest score), sidewalk scene (2 minutes to draw your best city skyline), bowling (two rolls), team grapefruit picking, blindfolded frisbee target toss, and thread the Cheerios on the licorice rope.
And the winner was.....ME! I came in first, Johnny came in second, and Morgan came in third. It was a fun afternoon! Thanks Sep and Morgan for all the planning!!

December 28, 2009


Pappy got the girls gift cards to Build-a-Bear. So, we took a trip to the mall today to build stuffed animals. Layne built a monkey named Peanut and Hayden built a frog named Bear. They also got little back packs and Hayden's froggie got shoes.
They had a great time doing this with Pappy-Thanks!
Steeler's Game
We had to go to a sports bar on Sunday in order to watch the Steeler's game. We all dressed in our Steeler's attire and cheered them on! It was a great game and an even better time.
Hanging out with Jeremy before he left for the airport in order to head back to ATL.
I made a German Chocolate cake to bring down to FL for Christmas dessert. It was a Happy Birthday Jesus cake! Everything but the manger made the trip unharmed.
Christmas Night...
We got to my dad's house around 5:30 on Christmas night. We opened tons of gifts...mainly for the girls and had a great dinner.
Lots of craziness and laughs.
Layner's favorite gift! It's a ride on car from Grandma and Pap. She loves it!!
Dad and his girlfriend, Melody refinished this doll house for Hayden. It's beautiful. Hayden really wanted to get inside it for some reason.
Because it's to fragile and the girls are so young we are going to keep it at Pappy's house for a while. Hayden loves it though.
Christmas Morning...

Hayden woke up bright and early on Christmas morning. We all got up and got our day started. The girls opened their stockings first. Then the Hayden elf handed out all of the gifts.
Dollar Tree is awesome for stocking stuffers!!
Layner enjoying her stocking items.
Hayden in her finished baking hat, as she calls it.
After we opened gifts and ate breakfast we were off to Florida!

December 22, 2009

A Few More Homemade Goodies

If you remember a while back I posted pictures of the tag blanket (mini blanket) and tag giraffe that I made for Layne for Christmas. I think that I shared that I'd like to give the girls something homemade every Christmas. A little tradition I will start this year. So, I got this last minute idea (tonight) to make the girls little chef's hats! Sure enough, I was able to find a free pattern on line and I got to work. I was so excited that I just had to do them tonight-and I really don't have much time left so I kind of HAD to do them tonight anyway. The back has velcro on it so I can adjust the size. We will be sure to bring these down to Florida for our every other year tradition of baking Christmas cookies with Pappy and fam!!
Here is Hayden's homemade gift this year. It's a felt tea set. I still have to make a second cup and saucer. I think I will sew those on the car ride down to Florida on Friday. I bought the pattern off of Etsy.
Today we got a package in the mail! It was from grandma and pap. They sent us some last minute gifts for Florida and three necklaces for the girls to play with. Grandma sent all the rest of our gifts to Florida so we can all open everything together down there. You know how Layne is with necklaces!
Big you can see.
Little Layner has been WALKING around like a mad woman the past two days. Yesterday she was just walking around on the carpets but today she's been tackling the hardwood and tile! Now, it's not a pretty, graceful walk.....but it's a walk!
Tonight, Hayden and I were at Hobby Lobby getting fusible interfacing for the chef's hats. When we left Hayden looked up at the sign and said, "H-O-B-B-Y L-O-B-B-Y....that spells Hobby Lobby mommy!" I knew she knew the name of the store since we go there so often, but I was so excited that she could recognize all of the letters!

December 21, 2009

Sleepy Girl...

The other night Hayden fell asleep in the car. So, we brought her in and put her on the couch. She kept trying to sit up and wake up...but she would fall back asleep! So, she ended up sleeping sitting up.
Today we did a snowman craft since it was the first day of winter. Here is Layne working on hers. She would "dip and stick".
Hayden's finished snowman.

Layne "closing her eyes" for the prayer before we ate dinner tonight.

December 20, 2009

Friday Night
On Friday night the girls went over to grandma and pop's house while Jeremy and I went to a Christmas party. If you want to hear all about our night you can go to Lisa's blog by clicking here. Hayden and Layne baked some delicious cookies while they were there. Here are some pictures that they took during the visit.
And Layner helping by cleaning the spoon.

December 12, 2009

Last week while we were over at Jonathan and Rebecca's they took some pictures of the girls. I just love this one.
Miss Hayden and one of her many awkward smiles. She just can't seem to get it right...
Rebecca put some OLD pictures that I had never seen before on the CD too. It was quite a treat. I can't remember how old Layne was when these were taken. Isn't this one just great!? Rebecca takes amazing pictures....
Santa's Little Helpers

Did someone from Thursday night leave a Santa hat at our house? We only have one...or at least that's what I thought. But then, I found another one so it was picture time with the girls!
You gotta put one like this up. It's just typical. Hayden sitting there smiling because that's what mommy asked her to do and Layne doing the exact opposite of what mommy asked her to do...Love it!
This one is typical too. Hayden still looking at the camera and smiling because mommy still wants her to do that and Layne sucking on her fingers....

We give up!
Peanut Song

Hayden learned this song at preschool and she decided to sing it this afternoon because I was making tons of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids at church tonight. We had our very first couple's night out. $5 per child babysitting while the parents went Christmas shopping.
So, she sang away. Apparently, after you sing it the first time you are supposed to sing it a second time but much faster. She just cracks me up. I love her mistake "peanut butter" at the start of the third time around. Love it!

December 9, 2009

Oh Joy....Another Year Older

Jeremy just doesn't get too excited about birthday-as you can see. Now that I think about it, there's just not much that Jeremy does get excited about. That probably why he loves me so much-I get excited about EVERYTHING! After dinner we dug into the butterfinger cake.

December 8, 2009

Cutest Baby Shower...

Whitney is throwing a baby shower for a friend of hers and this is the theme-I just think it's the cutest! She asked me to make cupcakes with a custom topper. Below is the topper that I came up with. The cupcakes are going to be lemon meringue...yumm!!

Daddy's Birthday Cake
Daddy loves loves loves butterfingers. So, I thought it would be appropriate to make him a butterfinger birthday cake. It's a triple layer peanut butter cake with a fudgy peanut filling and a cream cheeseish type icing. The recipe was very involved, but hopefully it will be worth all the effort. We'll see later tonight!
Hayden even stayed home from school today so that she could surprise daddy when he got home from UPS. We had a big breakfast waiting for him-waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. He reminded us that he was having a big lunch with an agent at Long Horn today. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.....right?!
Decorate Tree Dance

Yeah! Our ornaments came in the mail today, so we finally finished decorating the tree. Simple snowflakes. Hayden wanted to be in the picture doing her dance pose.

December 5, 2009

Santa's In Town!

Today we went to Sprouts in order to see Santa. Hayden did just fine and you can see how Layne did (she was very angry about the whole experience)-very different from Layne's visit with Santa last year! See below for last year's picture...
Hayden had some one on one time with Santa while we tried to reason with our 16 month old.

December 4, 2009

Pretty Sure There's Something on My Head!
Don't you just love the look on her face. It's like she's saying, "Mom, I'm pretty sure something besides the crusted cheese from my grilled cheese is on my head! I'm gonna stay still while you get it off....I'm not even going to move my eyes-it's just too risky!"
Hanging with the Christmas bears.
Birthday Message for Grandma
Little Diddle wanted to sing a special message for Grandma since it's her birthday today. Poor Layner had just woken up from her one and only nap today and she was still very out of you can see. Don't you just love Hayden's ending to her song!
Oh What a Difference a Few Days Make....

On Monday afternoon I took Layne to the pediatrician because I thought she had an ear infection. Sure enough she did, so we got her medicine for that and her cough. That's not the point to this story though. As I sat there on Monday afternoon cradling and rocking my tiny 16 month old that refuses to walk I was thankful. The reason why I was so thankful was because I sat there watching a poor young mother struggling to contain her 1 1/2 year old son. He was literally running circles around her. She was trying to feed him and he would dart off then she was trying to hold him and he squirmed free then she tried to entertain him with a toy and he ran across the room. I know it was a nightmare for her and I felt bad but at the same time I was thankful that my little 16 month old was not walking and that all she wanted to do was be held.
WELL, today after we picked Hayden up from her special day at school (I'll explain that later) we went right back to the pediatrician's office for her second dose of the H1N1 mist. Oh boy, was it a different day for little Layner. Apparently she was taking very very precise notes on how that 1 1/2 year old boy acted on Monday afternoon because her behavior was a spitting image of his! Now, she was not running everywhere but she was either crawling or pushing a chair everywhere. She was shrieking excited screams for no reason and fussing when I tried to calm her down. She was a maniac and I was embarrassed! And big sister wasn't helping much. She decided to take the same route as little sister. Screaming along with sis, running around, pushing chairs!! I was about ready to bust through the doors, get those little plastic syringes of pig juice, and squirt the suckers up Hayden's nose myself. Finally, I picked Layne up, rocked her, sang any and every song I knew and she found those trusty two fingers and soothed herself. Ahhh!!
**Now scroll back up and notice the "crazy" look in Layner's eyes. She was nuts I tell you!**
One more side note-her hood is up because as we were walking into the office I noticed that she had crusty cheese all in her hair (I mean it was BAD) from her grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today. So, rather than go all the way back to the car and wipe her down I opted for the hood method.
A Present for Mommy!
Today Hayden's preschool had a Shopping Day for mommies! She doesn't normally go to school on Fridays, but today we could drop the preschoolers off at 9am and pick them back up at 1pm FREE OF CHARGE! It was a kid free shopping day for the moms. I felt bad taking her since my Christmas shopping is pretty much done, so I went grocery shopping so I would still technically be shopping! They sang Christmas songs, made ornaments, at lunch, and made the cutest little tree hat ever! All of the kids were wearing them as they got in their cars this afternoon. How adorable!
Notice the beautifully lit Christmas tree in the background! We got our tree last night. It was a very quick pick because it was freezing cold and none of us had jackets! We were on the way back from checking out a few houses and dinner and just stopped to pick it out-very ill prepared! So, we decided in the freezing cold that we wanted a smallish skinny one. I think this was like the third one we looked at.

December 3, 2009