Monday, November 24, 2014

Color Me Rad 5k

Tony and I were able to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Goodyear this month sponsored by Connie B Photography!  It was such a blast!  Tony was a little skeptical (so was I) at the kind of event it would be but it was really family friendly and just what the doctor ordered.  It definitely was the most fun "workout" I've ever had.  Being with Tony was the best part- he knows how to make a fun activity even more fun.  You'll see.  He and I have never ran a race together so this was such a treat!  I can't believe we let 8 years of marriage go by without doing something like this.  I've ran several races with my mom and sister since marrying Tony but this is the first one with HIM.IMG_9012blog  
Hmm... how did that handprint get there? (; He started it.IMG_8898blog IMG_8905blog
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We ran it without stopping and just under a 10 minute mile pace.  Considering how out of shape we've been, we did good(:  I ran a mile at 8:27 at the gym recently that I'm pretty proud of.  Especially since I have a healing ankle and a bad knee.  Man getting old blows sometimes.  Tony also has a healing foot.  We're animals at the gym so we keep getting injured haha!
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Look at me (above right) all clean right after the race and then Tony went and wasted me GOOD!  The blue powder entered my mouth pretty heavily.  I wouldn't recommend snacking on that stuff.   Such good times!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hyrum's Ninja Turtle Party

Hyrum turned 4 on Monday!  We celebrated that day by going to Firehouse for lunch, the park, Churn in Phoenix for ice-cream (as he requested) and then ended the day with presents at home.  We also had a fun little extended family party today for him.  At first he wanted Thomas the Train.  But then a few days before asked for a Ninja Turtle party and he loved it!  I don't like to spend too much money on decorations and things but I do like to make it fun so here's what I did: (All for about $20!)

I think the most interesting thing I did was the Ninja Turtle cupcakes.  I'm sure this idea is on the internet somewhere but it was an idea all my own.  I just cut some fruit by the foot and fruit roll ups into masks and added mini chocolate chips to make their faces.  To cut the holes in the eyes I used a single hole punch.  Haha!  It worked perfectly.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two Year Old Kenley on Film

When Kenley turned two in August I decided last minute one day to go out and take some pictures of her.  I needed another excuse to practice my film and use my new light meter!  Perfect excuse.  She's an awesome two year old (a little addicted to chocolate milk but we still love her;)... She makes you feel like gold when you come home and greets you.  One day I was teaching relief society and she walks in and screams "mommy! Hi!"  She made everyone love her instantly.  She sucks that thumb A TON which I still love but I have a feeling I won't be as fond of it in the coming months and years.  So if you have suggestions for me for her quitting THAT, please share!  Anyway we love you Kenley! Film Connie B 2-5blog Film Connie B 2-3blog Film Connie B 2-4blog Film Connie B 2-1blog Film Connie B 2-6 Film Connie B 2-7blog Film Connie B

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our October

October is always such a fun month for us.  I guess most everyone can say that though since who doesn't love the start of fall, pumpkin everything, and cooler weather.  So here's a little peak into what our October was like:

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For drug-free week at school they had a new theme each day like "mustache day" and "team shirt day".  I was good at getting brody to participate until the last one (tie day) because I got violently ill...
One of the crafts I was talking about in my last post:  You can kinda see the completed rocks in a picture below (one of me).  We just put sticky foam on the rocks (first cut them out how I wanted) then the kids were free to paint and not worry about making a mistake and we peeled the stickers off when the paint was almost dry.  They loved this one!

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It's always a little bittersweet when October is over- no more Halloween for another whole year!  Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.  It has been flopping back and forth from rank no.1 and rank no.2 since I was a little kid.  Christmas takes the lead at this point but Halloween is a very close second.  I always use the holiday as much as I can... I usually wear two costumes each year.  One for the ward trunk-or-treat and one for Trick-or-Treating with the kids on Halloween.  This year at the ward party I was a cave woman and Greyson was my pet dinosaur (like Brody and I 6 years ago!)  Kenley was an angel like she was last year and the boys were Darth Vader and Buzz light year. Brody has gotten  a LOT of use out of those costumes (see HERE and HERE)- I love that they want to use the same ones each year!  Last year Brody was a Ninja Turtle and Hyrum was Buzz for the first time. I'm big on letting kids choose what THEY want to be for Halloween.  Let them!  Anyway for the ward party Tony and I were in charge of the "costume show".  So we did a little red carpet and curtain and the kids got to go on the cat walk while someone talked about their costume and music played.  It turned out cute.
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The other thing I love about October is my anniversary!  This year Tony and I celebrated our 8th year.  We decided no gifts.  We have a move to save up for, kids to support, and really no need for anything material.  We do that a lot.  So what did we do?  We went to Red Lobster with a gift card we had and saw "Alexander and The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day" in the theaters.  It was one of my favorite books as a kid so naturally I had to see it on opening night.  It was a cute movie...

There is ONE thing I did for Tony though (and gosh I wish I could tell you what he did for me.  It made me cry, it was so sweet...  We said no gifts but that really just means no junk we don't need.  As far as sentiments go, that's always a given.)  I don't want to post what he did for the world to know since it was so personal, and I doubt I will forget that moment, but I do want to remember the fact that he gave me a card after our date while we were sitting on our couch and next thing you know I was soaking his shirt with happy tears.  *Sigh.  True love.  (;
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I was able to give Tony this metal frame from Tiny Prints with a picture of our kids on it, holding hands, in front of the temple.  I didn't know what I was going to have it say- I was considering "The Balluff Kids" or something like what the website suggested but I just didn't feel like that was meaningful enough.

So one night while Tony and I were reading our scriptures together I came across this verse: Alma 43:47.  The part I wanted to remember that by was this: "Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed"  To me, that scripture became kind of a motto.  No, my family isn't at a physical war- but I do believe that the scripture can be likened to today's world and how we are in our own battles as families.  In likening it to my life- it just reminds me of the real WORK I have to put into maintaining a strong family.  That sometimes it's messy and a hard thing- and a lot of times it's a sacrifice- but it's worth the work.  Because family is what life is all about.

Also in October I got top 10 in a pumpkin carving contest which I thought was pretty good for me and I've been busy with my business.  Then there was Halloween day- the moment we all wait for anxiously and then are sad it's over -but excited at the same time, because then that means guilt-free Christmas music listening.

My parents live in Germany and they sent us this authentic German dress for Kenley when she was a baby.  I finally had her wear it.  I figured she'd just go as a little german girl but then Kenley was like, "FIA!" (for Sophia - the first).  So there you have it: Frauline Sofia.
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And Greyson reusing Hyrum's first Halloween costume.  I love reusing.  And looks like I make my kids be more than one thing each year too (;
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Low light at night + an excited 6 year old to trick-or-treat + a slow shutter speed = a ton of blurry pics. My second costume was this mime thing I threw together.  I hardly ever buy costumes- just use what I already have (even if it is 6 years old like my cavewoman costume).  I didn't document it but last year I was pregnant and I just made a skeleton shirt - you know the ones, where you can see the baby skeleton in my belly as well as my own bones.
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I'm not wearing my hat or suspenders in these pics but if you follow my instagram you saw the whole thing: @connieballuff
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The next best thing about Halloween is the after Halloween sale at Target.  You better believe I was there *cough... and at two different locations. (;  It's like Christmas morning the next year when I pull out my Halloween boxes and have all this new decor and stuff.  I already have my costume for next year and I'm excited about it!  Speaking of Christmas, I'm loving looking through Tiny Prints Christmas Cards!  I usually create my own design and send those off each year but this year I think I'll let them do the work because the designs they have are so adorable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Kid Friendly Halloween Decor + DIY

I love Halloween and I love decorating for holidays... but I have a hard time doing so when I have little kids that like to trash my stuff (unintentionally and intentionally).  So most of my decorations are "kid friendly" in that if they get ahold of it, it's not a huge deal.  The other thing with the decorations I put up is that I try to make them kid friendly in the sense that they won't have nightmares (or that I won't have nightmares).  I'm not big on bloody-gory halloween stuff anyway.
So here's what I whipped up this year: My kids love these decorations.  They loved helping me make some last year, this year, and they love just having it out.  I grew up with decorations up during the holidays so that's just what we do.

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I made that wreath with burlap ribbon and a wire wreath frame and embellished it with some stuff I got at Hobby Lobby.  The "halloween" letters below I got as a gift from my mom but I didn't like the color they came so I painted it to match my other decorations.
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I love these little halloween blocks I made this year.  I saw my sister had some at her house and that's where the idea came.
I got a thick board inside a package I got in the mail recently and decided to turn it into this "Boo" sign.  The other side has something Thanksgiving on it.
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I did a few crafts with the kids this year including painting some "trick or treat" cans with the boys (trick or treat was poked into the cans with a nail and they just painted it), I had them paint some big rocks to make them look like pumpkins, and we also made those lightweight spiders for our walls.  Here's how we did the spiders:
Large Pom-Pom Spiders DIY:
You need:
Large pom poms (super affordable at Hobby Lobby)
Black (or purple, or silver- be creative!) pipe cleaners
Hot glue gun

To make:
Take one large pom pom and put some hot glue on it- enough to secure four pipe cleaners and then put the other pom pom on top.  Push together firmly and for a little bit until the glue hardens enough. Then bend the legs and that's it!  You can even add googly eyes but I liked them better plain.  They are so lightweight it didn't take more than bending the legs a little around my frames to keep the up on the wall!  You can also use a push pin to keep on the wall.