Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Joy 2011

We had a Very Merry Christmas at the Carnahan Household this year. I think it had to with the pre-planning and simplifying I did before the start of the season. But most of all it had to do with my focus. My heart was truly joyful to share the Good News of the Season with not only my three little ones, but also those around us. So each tradition we completed had at its heart, pointing to our Savior. What else good bring such a Merry Christmas? Here are some highlights in pictures...
Annual choosing of our Christmas Tree from a local boy scout troop.

Why can't I play with, pull down. and chew on the ornaments?

Peeling the paper off old crayons to make new ones for the cousins.

Eating the chocolate out of the advent chart...yummy!

Christmas Eve in our new Christmas PJammies.

 We hope you also had a Very Blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

El Paso, TX 2011 Trip Highlights

We had a really good visit with Kyle's Family in El Paso the end of November and Beginning of December. It was a great way to spend quality time as a family before we began the Christmas season and closed out 2011. I think my favorite part of the trip, was all the unrushed time we had together. Those moments were not captured by the camera, but they refreshed my heart non the less. Of course we also spent a few days out and about too.

Strahmans Pecan Farm
You can learn all about it here, but they also had yummy ice cream.

Air Force Museum

El Paso Zoo

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

White Sands, New Mexico

I couldn't get too many pictures of Landon, he was way too busy sledding!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Traveling with Children Tips

We just returned from a trip to see Gram and Poppy in El Paso, TX. We left Thanksgiving night and returned this past Wednesday. It was a great trip with some fun excursions, yummy food, and rest. Just what this momma needed. Today I wanted to share 3 things that made our trip go more smoothly.

Number 1
The Trunki...well 2 to be exact.
One in Purple
and one in Blue

These little rolling suitcases were great! The held a few of the big kids treasured items, a change of clothes, and a blanket. They come with a "leash" so L (5) and E (3) were able to pull them through the airport. They also rode them and pushed along with their feet. The Trunki fits perfectly in the overhead storage on the plane too. I was a little worried the novelty would wear off and I would be dragging these through the airport, but they were a hit! They come in lots of colors and you can get one here.

Number 2 
Dried Cranberries Snack Mix
I have always packed snacks for my children when we travel due to overpriced airport food and convenience. This time I really wanted to avoid artificial and high sugar snacks. So I put together dried cranberries and nuts. The kids (and parents) enjoyed it, and I didn't feel like it was a complete waste of calories...even if on the way home I threw in a little chocolate.

Number 3 

I was looking for a way to make the packing, living out of suitcases, repacking, and unpacking easier. So I got online and found ebags. They work just as described and made keeping all the kids clothes organized a breeze. The ebags even made my thankful list. Using these I fit all 3 kids clothes in one large suitcase for a 14 day trip. Also when we arrived at Gram and Poppy's I just put each child's ebag in a drawer and they could still help dress themselves each day like they do at home. Before if they tried to help, clothes were thrown everywhere as they dug through an overstuffed suitcase. I would love a second set to use for the adult clothes too.

So there you have it...3 travel helps for your upcoming Christmas Traveling. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Day 23 - 30)

Reason 23
My understanding husband stayed up with me while I finalized packing for our trip to El Paso.

Reason 24
A wonderful meal with family.

Reason 25
Smooth flights to visit the in - laws and a second tasty Thanksgiving meal.

Reason 26
The discovery of ebags which not only aided in the packing process, but also makes living out of suitcases tolerable.

Reason 27
Worshiping with fellow believers and ice cream.

Reason 28
Exploring a new zoo, and having dinner at a favorite spot.

Reason 29
Finding a gift you know will bring a smile from the receiver.

Reason 30
Our classroom is very portable.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Days 17 - 22)

Reason 17
I have grocery money to budget.

Reason 18
Online Shopping

Reason 19
Command products to hang pictures where we can't have nails due to basement waterproofing.

Reason 20
Small group guys that not only bring tools to help with a drain...they actually fix the drain even before they have snack.

Reason 21
Extra set of hands to help with the children when needed to do laundry and pack for an extra long trip, at the same time needed to be at home school co-op and ballet.

Reason 22
Prayer - I wouldn't have made it through today without it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Days 13 - 16)

Reason #13
My small group is like family.

Reason #14
The local home school co-op we participate in has given us a place to connect with friends.

Reason #15
My baby has been sleeping through the night..lets hope this is not just a phase.

Reason #16
Simple recipes that generate a thank you text from the hubby.

Tortilla chips
2 cans enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1.25 lb ground turkey, pork, or beef browned with onion
shredded mexican cheese

Just fill a 9 X 13 pan with the chips. Stir the sauce, soup, and meat together. Pour over the chips. Top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake 5 - 10 more minutes to let the cheese brown. You can serve with chopped green onions and or sour cream. I have also added a can of black beans too.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Day 11 and 12)

Reason #11
I am thankful for trips to the library. We love picking new books, videos, and playing puzzles.

Reason #12
No set plans to be anywhere this Saturday...we may just stay in our jammies all day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Day 10) and Embrace the Camera

Reason #10
I am thankful for the way my children bring smiles and laughter into every day events.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Days 4 - 9)

Reason #4
My husband doesn't mind to both load and empty the dishwasher...which he does quite frequently. For some reason this is one of my least favorite chores.

Reason #5
Levi loves to sing. He loves to climb into a rocking chair, rock, and sing.

Reason #6
New finger nail polish and time to actually paint my nails (and my daughters).

Reason #7
The Sing Off on NBC 

Reason #8
Fun recipes like this one for homemade granola bars. The kids were able to help and the bars were really good.

Reason #9
Having a warm house to come home to.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Challenge (Days 1,2, and 3)

I am taking the Thankful Challenge offered over at We are THAT Family. So I will be posting each day of November a reason why I am thankful. There are several reasons why I am setting this as a priority, but I will save you all the details and jump right in with my first three reasons to be thankful. 

Reason #1
I am a friend of God. Even when I am struggling to keep my head above water, He calls me friend. Even when I have been short with my children about doing their chores, as my chores sit unfinished...He calls me friend. Even when I am experiencing hurt and confusion in a relationship...He calls me friend. Even as I struggle to get a complete night's sleep...He calls me friend. I am a friend of God, and for that I am so very thankful.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

Reason #2

Bright Green Boots with Pink Scottie Dogs...ok really it is the little girl wearing them.

Isn't she beautiful? I love that she is independent and confident enough to rock these boots with her ballet attire. We got to class a few minutes early and I just couldn't help watching her as she laughed and giggled with the little girl in the car next to ours. She was so excited to see her friends. I kept thinking about when she would be old enough to ride up front with me, and have long girl talks.

I love those times with my own mom, which brings us to Reason #3.

Reason #3

My mom. She is an amazing person. I pray I can be as faithful and thoughtful as she is. I just got back from a girls trip with her. It was so much fun just talking and enjoying each others company. Thanks mom!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy First Bithday Levi

We had a raoring good time at Levi's first birthday party. Levi has a cute lion toy we planned his party around. 

We served finger foods and the traditional cake from Piece of Cake Bakery. It took them 3 hours to decorate the big cake!
We played pin the nose on the lion and had a very cute pull string pinata (that I failed to get a picture of from the front).

I always love seeing each child's reaction to their own little cake placed in front of them, right after being sung to by a room full of people.

Levi had a good time at his party. We were so blessed by all the friends and family that came to celebrate.

He was tuckered out!

Dear Levi,         
You are such a special little boy. You take so much in stride, and all the while watching to see just how things work. You love to mimic us, by brushing your hair, talking on the phone, dipping your food. You love to try to put on clothes by yourself, but when we try to change your diaper and get you dressed we have to wrestle you. You love to come sit on my lap, and lean in for kisses. You love cheddar cheese and crackers, and drinking your water from a big boy cup. Your brother and sister love you so much, and we can see in your eyes and smiles the feeling is mutual. God has big plans for you, and we can't wait to see them unfold.


I love the way Levi's crossed little feet are sticking out of the nursing cover. Melts my heart.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We're Back in the Basement

Well after two intense work weeks we are moving back in the basement. We were so blessed by all the help we received from friends and family. Kyle's dad even came from El Paso, TX to work for two straight weeks. So remember where I left you...
 Here are a few more in progress pictures...
And here it is now...
I am still slowly cleaning our things that had been stored in the garage and shed and moving them back to the basement, but we are already enjoying the space. Levi just walks all over the place. He had taken a few steps here and there, but it was like once he had all this open space he took off walking. We still have a little work to do in the learning space, so I will save those pictures for once it is all back together.

It is hard to believe we have already finished 3 weeks of school. I'll leave you with our first day of school pics, better late then never, right?

Landon - K5

Elaine - preschool
I wish I would have included Levi in the pictures. I saw another Family's "class" picture and I loved how she included all the little ones too. So a class picture may be in our future...