Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Posts of 2014!

I consider this blog to be kind of a digital scrapbook of our lives.  I do keep yearly photo albums, but I'm not one to do a lot of journaling or actual scrapbooking so I use this to store memories, as well as provide information for some of the places we visit.  As our family and lifestyle continues to change, so does this blog.  This year I've added more about my fitness goals and physical transformation.  I had some catch-up posts for our Maine vacation, Brian's graduation, and Elijah's baptism.  I've added some tidbits about our experiences gardening, and a few recipes.  And I've recommended about a hundred children's books, and probably shared several hundred photos of my boys. 

I love to look at the statistics (math teacher coming out) and see which posts happen to get picked up.  These were my top 10 posts of the year:

 #10  Elijah:  21 months TIED National Museum of Natural History:  Butterflies
I try to update the boys every so often, and this 21 month one got a lot of view for some reason.  Our information post for the butterfly exhibit at one of the museum's on the National Mall also tied for this spot as the tenth most visited blog post.

#9  April Showers... Bring Tulips!  Burnside Farms
After seeing photos of this place, I knew we'd have to visit this lovely little tulip farm.  We got to take grandma and grandpa with us and it was sweet to watch the boys cutting flowers.

 #8  Little Bennett Campground and Sugarloaf Mountain
We only got one camping outing in this year, and this was it. Just to the west of DC, this itinerary makes for a nice weekend trip for us.

#7  #TBT:  Daddy's Boys
 I love throwback photos, especially those that span decades or are comparisons.  This post is a favorite where you can see that both of my boys, who I don't think look alike at all, both look almost identical to their dad at different ages. 

#6  Birthday Girls!  Baby Doll Sling, Diapers; Tea Crown and Pretend Teabags 
For my nieces that share a birthday in February, I whipped up some little girl toys on my sewing machine.  These diapers are awesome for dolls, and the teabags and crown are nice details for a tea party.

#5  Trick-or-Treat/Moo!
My Halloween costume posts have driven a lot of people to this site, probably because they are totally simple, yet cute options for boys, or coordinating brothers.  Theo's idea for their cow and farmer costumes from this year were no different, and made this list already.

#4  A Peek at the Peak
Being one of the most beautiful times of year around our area, I shouldn't be surprised that this post has gotten a lot of views.  We have loved the Cherry Blossom Festival time ever since we moved to Delaware, and we enjoyed taking some photos there this year and hiking around the blossoms.  This is a great time of year for visitors, if anyone wants to take advantage of our guest room this year it runs from March 20-April 12, with the average peak bloom date being April 4th.  I'm already signed up for the Cherry Blossom 5k on April 12th, so I'm especially looking excited for that.

#3:  Miss Natalie Ann's Quilt
While I know first born kids are normally showered with gifts, especially the homemade type, second born children aren't normally as blessed materially, so I decided to whip up a quilt for each of my "second born" nieces (I really don't have hard feelings from being a second daughter...  maybe I do).  Natalie Ann's quilt got quite a few views, and Emelina Mae's quilt was equally gorgeous, and can be found here.  My newest method of quilting is to just find really beautiful fabric collections and go from there.  I know some people love matching various fabrics, but I don't feel I have an eye for that so I've been sticking to coordinated collections.

#2:  Cool Homemade Toys:  Spinny Speller
 I loved how this simple little toy turned out.  I've struggled with deciding exactly what age kid it is best for, but I think I've decided to continue letting it be a 4-year-old present for my nieces and nephews.  Even though most are not sounding out words at that age, they are learning to spell and write out their own name so I think it's a great toy to work on their individual name.  Theo normally leaves his set to his name on his bookshelf as a decoration.  Then, at 5 or 6 they can really start finding the other words included in the spinny.

#1:  Busy Bags:  Pre-School Math
Sometimes, I get really annoyed at the constant focus on literacy in preschool.  I know it is important, but I think scientific and math concepts that are learned through kids natural curiosity are just as important.  And can be greatly enhanced by some directed instruction in the classroom.  So I'm glad people are looking for pre-school math, and hope to add more ideas for this in the future.


Vicki Spiegel said...

I would love to find out where you got the pictures of the bears for your little one to complete the patterns. I see you said to email you but I cannot find your email.

Shannon E said...

Sorry Vicki! Send me an email at and I can send you the file. Thanks!