Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's been a while...

It has been WAY too long, but we have been WAY too busy here at the Karayiannis household. Between shopping, and wrapping, and preparing for Christmas I abandoned my blog!!

Here is my Christmas wrap up...

We started off the festivities with making gingerbread houses with all the kiddos.
From left: Meade, Gracie, Sophie, Tyler, Mia and Ella
Working hard on the houses. Thanks to Adie, they had quite a spread of goodies to put on their houses.
 Ella's house almost completed!!!

Christmas Eve this year was spent at my mom and dad's house. Hubby and I rotate every year...we do one day with my family and one day with his. It only seems fair!!! 

Here are the Viefhaus sisters!
 From left: Maggie, Adie, Haley and Marta

Daddy and Tyler in their matching shirts...SO CUTE!!!
 A very rare FAMILY shot...Tyler was impossible and I am usually taking the pictures so these are rare!!!!

My dad enjoys putting headbands on our boys...torture of course :)
And we had a VERY white Christmas this year! So exciting to see this on Christmas morning!!

And since we had such beautiful snow we decided to take advantage and snag some stellar pictures for Maggie and Austin's engagement.  I only put a few on here, because I don't know which ones they will be using for their own I don't want to ruin any surprise.
The ones in the snow are down by my parents fingers were FRIGID while I snapped these were Maggie's toes.  And not to mention the CRAZY glare from the snow and sun...but they turned out GREAT!!!
And I truly have to thank the Momtog Blog and Drew B for selling your fantastic UNmanual. It really finally gave me a clue as to HOW to use my camera...and I have NEVER been happier.  I may NEVER use the automatic setting AGAIN!!!!!!!! Wow!!

The ones with the Sunset are from Marta's house...they turned out absolutely adorable...probably because Maggie and Austin are SO cute!!!!

 Can't wait to see what you two lovebirds do with all the pictures!!! So glad I was able to help!
I hope you all had as blessed and joyful of Holidays as we had...up next, preparing for our NEW YEAR'S EVE party!!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Monkey Bread Muffins

Thought I would share this EASY recipe for a YUMMY breakfast!!! I made these this morning. I got the idea from a teacher at my school...but I was inspired by an incredible Monkey Bread recipe from Mel!! The one that Mel makes was always a little too much for our family to eat...and we are bad about I like the size of this recipe!!!!

Here are the ingredients you will need...

1 pkg of biscuits
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1T of butter melted
muffin pan and muffin cups

Preheat the oven to 400!!!
 Mix sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl
 Cut each of the biscuits into 4 pieces
 Because biscuits come in 10 packs you should have 40 pieces to place in each cup.  I put 4 pieces in each muffin cup!!!
 Melt the butter and pour over top of the biscuit pieces
 Sprinkle the mixture on top
 And bake for 10 minutes
 Can't get much easier than that!!
 They are the perfect size for snacks too.  My kiddos love to pull the little pieces apart!

****Next time I may try and do the "shake" technique to get them a little bit more sugary!!! The insides weren't very sugary...but were STILL delicious. MAYBE we don't NEED all the sugar. ha ha

I had two very happy kiddos with a fun breakfast this morning!! Happy Cooking

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Lists

Many have been asking for lists for Ella and of course I decided to blog it instead :)

Here is a wish list from Ella:

*****These are all IDEAS and EXAMPLES, not specifics*****


(Ella is obsessed with dresses. Literally had to HIDE her Summer dresses because she was crying about wearing them!! MISERABLE)
**Games for the "Click to Start" Leapfrog My First Computer
**The Tag Junior Reading Pal and books!!!
**As far as toys go...we have tons, but Ella really enjoys Barbies and Princess toys.  She likes the new TANGLED movie that just came out, and really likes Toy Story 3 as well!!!
**Underwear (Size 3T to 4T) and SOCKS!!!!
**Any clothing she usually wears Size 4T tops and 3T bottoms!
**Tights and Leggings...since she's obsessed with dresses :)

**Boots and Slippers to keep her feet warm :) Size 9 or 9.5

**And sweaters!!! Like THESE from Old Navy!!

***Almost all of these pictures above were taken from Old Navy's website.***

Tyler's wishlist:

**Hoodies, like any of THESE from Old Navy
**Sweaters. Tyler wears 2T tops and 18 months bottoms!!

**Slippers to keep his little feet warm (SIZE 7)
**ANY shoes...he literally only owns tennis shoes!!
**Educational toys such as this from Leapfrog
**Or these magnetic sound toys from Leapfrog too!!

**Tyler truly enjoys ALL toys!! He loves trucks and trains (Thanks to Meadeboy) too!!

I hope this was helpful to your shopping needs!!! Again, all of these are examples of what the kids like! They would most certainly be happy with ANYTHING that they get. I will try and update this again in case I think of more ideas!!! People were asking for ideas, so I am sending them your way!! Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Santa

I decided to get an early start on my own Christmas shopping this year, and that got me in the mood to make my own wish list for Santa! I decided to do a wish list blog :)

So anyone needing ideas for my favorite things this year will have it NICE and EASY!!!

Earrings small ones OR big ones
Headbands like the ones ERIN makes in her Shop...LOVE them
Fun T-shirts (those with embellishments or fun designs) Usually Size Large

Gift cards to BUCKLE or JoAnn's Fabric
Cardigans (Size Medium at Old Navy)

Tank Tops/Shells for UNDER cardigans :)
ANYTHING Maroon...I go to a lot of Saluki events so I can always wear maroon
Sunglasses like these from Kohl's

Dressy flats like these from Target
Make up...eye shadows, grey eyeliner, any lip gloss
Bare Essentials Faux Tan or make up
Nail polish...any colors
Workout leggings
 Cricut and cartridges
Lowcut sport socks
Purses/handbags like the one below from the Buckle

Sport Watch like this NIKE one

Thank you so much for checking out my favorite things!!!! Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays. I hope everyone on MY list makes a Dear Santa blog!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why I have sisters...

A while back my sister, Marta, wrote a blog about her cuties' bday party and said that there is a reason that she had sisters.  For example, when her pictures got erased from her camera after her kiddos 2nd and 6th bday party she was able to use MINE!! Well I have an example of my own.  Mine is geared toward my kiddos too.  I have sisters to help me become a better mother.  

Marta, is a fantastic mother.  She has set the bar so high when it comes to being a mom.  She lives for her children in every way.  And Adie is the same way.  Adie is like me, a working mom, who works away from our kiddos, so we can relate to each other a lot about kid issues.  Maybe our kids are looking to get attention from us in any way they can (good or bad) because they miss us.  All those kinds of things.  It's so nice to have sisters who understand what you are going through and to bounce all of your problems and ideas off of!  Now Maggie doesn't have her own kiddos yet, but she is constant entertainment when our kids are around.  Because she doesn't have her own kids, she is full of energy to spoil our kids rotten with love.  I hope I can return the favor to her some day!

And we all got super lucky because one of those sisters is a Kindergarten teacher.  She is always so smart in ways to help motivate the little youngsters.  And this idea worked like a charm!! So thank you, Adie!!!

We were having an issue with Ella doing things independently.  It was like one day she snapped and stopped wanting to do the things she used to NEVER have problems doing...such as pulling down her own pants and undies to go potty.  She all of a sudden expected help with these tasks she had been doing on her own for a while.  This was just not fun.   After many temper tantrums and hair ripping out I had a little chat with twin sis!! She had all the answers!

A chain!!!! What kind of chain? Well a simple paper chain was all we needed to fix the issues with miss Ella!!

What we did was very simple.  We chatted with Ella about doing things on her own!  Then we told her that every time she did something without our help she got to put a new link on her chain!  We put the first one up and then she was hooked!!

 After the first day we went to Hobby Lobby together and picked out paper.  We accidentally picked out paper that matched her room!! Hee Hee. I may or may not have steered her in that direction!!

 We set a goal for miss Ella that when the chain hit the floor we would go to the "Dragon Park." (There is a park near us with gargoyles and dragons and castles...nicknamed the Dragon Park.)

So every day she asked to do things on her own...even things she wasn't really trying to do on her own yet before.  Putting laundry away, folding clothes, anything she could try and do.  It was AMAZING!!

 Here is a picture of her chain hitting the floor!!!

 Here is our decorative box filled with our paper.  We just bought regular old 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and cut them into 1.5" slices!!!

 She picks the paper and it gets stapled to the rest!!! 

We decided that once she finished a chain we would hang it up in her room!!!! (which is why we accidentally picked paper that matched her room)


 Here is Ella standing next to her paper chain!!! She is so proud!

 All smiles because we are off to the park!!!
After her first chain we made an extra stop on the way to the park...the horse stables!

 This is Ella with her horse, Whisper.  She was SO excited to go for a pony ride.

 Riding along on Whisper...

 This was TOTALLY a random trip.  We were literally driving by and decided to stop in and see if they had rides available.  Ella was in love.

 Tyler face planted on the dirt road behind the horse so I snapped a quick picture of him covered in dirt!!!! ha ha
 Ella showing off her horse stamps!

 She was devestated when they washed off in the bath :(

 HERE are a few snaps of the park...

you may have trouble seeing, but inside the cross at the top of the castle is Ella's face...

 The monster castle..which is basically a big maze/fort and she loved it!!!

 One of the many dragons the kids played on.  Ella and Tyler were crawling all over.

Overall, the paper chain has been a huge success.  It was such a great idea from Adie, also, to hang the chain where she can see it right away.  Ella's meltdowns always seemed to occur right after nap and when she woke up in the morning.  So that is why we chose to hang it in the doorway.  If we use this in another way, such as for sharing or eating dinner, we would move it to where she can see it while she eats!!!! Thanks to my sisters and good job Ella!!!