Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

All you snow birds out there, I am so sorry you are dealing with snow, snow! Yikes, I swear if it snowed here right now I'd be on the first flight to the beach. Well, I'd like to think I would, but really, I'd be complaining and shivering all at once. I hope everyone has a great Halloween and Trick or Treat night. Is is just me or is this night beginning to be like Christmas?! I have been running around like a maniac trying to get everyone and everything ready... candy, costumes, dinner (although a dinner of Snickers, M&M's and Milk Duds sounds great to me!), decorations (Parker is insisting!), strollers and wagons, I'm exhausted and it hasn't even happened yet!

We went to the pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago. I love it. I am sad to say, our cute little patch is going commercial. **sniff** In order to participate in most of the activities, kids had to buy a really expensive wrist band and most of the activities are not age appropriate for all my kids. Grr! Why do fun things have to get all crazy? We chose to forgo the bands and just pick pumpkins. The kids were ok. Next year, I am shopping for a new patch.

Here they are at the measuring picture thingy.... I make them stand here every year. They hate it. I don't care. "I'm the mom and I say so!!!"
Even Asher enjoyed the day... :)
my things to do this week:
  • finish thank you notes, they just keep multiplying
  • dust my upstairs rooms, it's been a while sad to say
  • probably clean up Halloween decorations, I can only stand them for so long
  • try a new exercise DVD that is resting in my dusty bedroom ;)

my menus for this week:
  • salmon with fried couscous salad
  • pizzas (tonight- easy homemade ones for trick or treat) with Cesar salad
  • spaghetti (Zoe request) and salad
  • lemon pepper chicken with green beans and caramelized onions
  • gnocchi with kale and squash (better have a back up for this one- no one but me is excited about this new recipe!)

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

When the heck is the Great Pumpkin on TV?!

Seriously, has anyone seen advertisements for it?! Just wondering...

I cannot believe it is time for Halloween already. I am in denial that it is still not summer. I just read a blog post about their first snow of the season. Arck! I would be screaming like a maniac if it snowed here. You would all be able to hear me, no matter where you live.

We are super busy this weekend so I am sharing a few pics to help you get in the trick or treat mode. Nothing too scary. I much prefer cute cartoon ghosts (i.e. Casper) instead of gory goo guys (i.e. Freddy Kruger).

Parker's birthday graveyard cake. I can't believe I haven't shared a picture yet. I kind of did my own thing- combining a few ideas I stole from various websites and magazines. I didn't put "Happy Birthday Parker" anywhere on the cake. It just felt wrong. I mean, where the heck do you write it? On one of the cookie tombstones? Just not right. Regardless, he loved his cake so much he didn't want to cut it or share it. Funny. Just a note: I used the same decorating tip to make the grass that I used on Tanner's Elmo cake (the red fur, can you picture it?). And Kerri, those are Kit Kats I used to make a "fence", stole that from your Kit Kat cake. :) The candles spelled "happy birthday" and they went in that big grassy area, my own little grassy knoll. I think you could easily make one of these for a Halloween party.
Here is my sweetie wearing the same ghost shirt that all my kids wore. Don't you just love legacy clothes? I think this one is going in my keep box, it is in perfect condition. The brand is Janie and Jack, an expensive thing only Grandmas buy, out of my budget, but cute nonetheless. Maybe a grandchild will wear it someday... (do you see his dimples!? Love them.)
Lastly, fang you, fang you very much!
(please read using your best Elvis voice, told ya I loved him!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

proud to share

I am proud to share* these little gems. They are Reusies. I love them! They are reusable bags for snacks/lunches. I had my eye on them for about a year but I wouldn't buy them because they were about $9 a bag. I know, crazy expensive. One morning before school started in August, I was watching Good Morning America (don't you just love that show?!) and they had a deal, if you bought the bags that day, you got them for 50% off using a special code word. OK, I ran to the computer, not kidding, and ordered two bags for everyone who packs a lunch (or will- I had to get some for the babies too!). That basically means, the kids and big tall hubby. Why didn't I get any for myself? I don't know, I like to take a good snack sometimes too! Temporary brain lapse I guess. Anyway, they had tons of orders that day and it took a long time to get them but it was worth the wait. It is so nice to put the kids' snacks in there for school. I feel so good not using plastic baggies for every item in their lunches. I still use some because I do have to wash the Reusies but I know I am making my carbon footprint a teeny bit smaller by not using so many Ziplocks, and I do love my Ziplocks! I bought the larger size to accommodate sandwiches too. You can find them here.

*(I was not asked to recommend these by Reusies, I just really liked them and wanted to share.)

It really isn't necessary

Homework. Every. Single. Night. Really? For elementary aged children? I keep Parker's homework folder by my sink so I see it every day. He is supposed to do some every night. If I don't see it, I forget it. It just glares at me every day. All day. Like a big red eye, giving me dirty looks. Curse you kindergarten homework!Thank goodness Zoe is self-motivated or I'd be forgetting hers too. I do have her trained to come in and do it immediately after school or else I swear, we'd be trying to do it at 8:15 AM before the bus came. I am currently training Parker as well, but he does need a little bike riding, trampolining, or scooter riding before he gets started, he has to let off some steam. I am just whipped by 4:00 when they get home and I am trying to do dinner, keep the babies occupied, all that fun stuff. All of us know that from 4:00 until bedtime are the witching hours, when we moms turn into witches, just kidding.

Really. Teachers, let's give these poor kids a break. Do they really need to do another worksheet, another cut and paste ("where'd you guys put all the glue sticks!?"), another something goofy?

I used to be a teacher, I'm not saying all homework is bad, but really, every night!? Poor Zoe even has it on Fridays. Give me a break! I love a good book report or science inquiry project but mindless worksheets tick me off.

I think our kids have too much sit down time at school as it is, I want them to run around and scream* and jump and play and BE KIDS when they get home, not sit down some more!

OK, I'll get down off my soap box. Just letting off a little steam...

*outside of course! ;)

a treat for me

Sometimes you have to treat yourself, ya know?
I found this guy at Half Priced Books about a month ago. I didn't buy him then but I kept thinking "I just love that goofy thing." I went back last week and he was still there. I snatched him up without the least bit of buyer's pause or remorse. He is occupying a very important place of real estate on my desk. I love him.

He even has accessories! Eeee! Love it, truly.

Some people might have dismissed this chotchkie as trash but I love the King and his music makes me happy. (Yes, I have been to Graceland, and loved it too. I am hoping to take the family there someday.) I figured a teeny bust of him would also make me happy. It does. As goofy as it is.

I forgot to post my lists yesterday. Oops, told you, October is doing a number on me.

my things to do this week:
catch up all laundry and ironing (ick, again!)
catch up coupon sorting and filing
write thank you notes for Parker's birthday gifts

my menus for this week:
tortellini (again, I'm on a roll!)
tacos (kids' request)
homemade pizza (another kids' request)
navy bean soup and cornbread (just like grandma used to make)
veggie frittata and biscuits
sausage and white bean stew and bread*
baked chicken, rice and roasted broccoli

*My mom gave me her big bread maker since she doesn't use it. I am hoping to try it out this week. The one I have currently makes a teeny half loaf. We are definitely ready to upgrade to the bigger model.

Monday, October 24, 2011

getting an a** whoopin'

October is kicking my butt, as always. I swear it is worse, or almost as bad, as December. I just can't get ahead of the situation.... shameful play on words at this point. I think Tanner looks like Mike "The Situation" here in these glasses...Seriously, I'm here, I've been reading everyone's blogs but honestly I don't feel like I have even a minute to comment. **sniff sniff** I love "chatting" with everyone, I hope to get back to some sort of schedule and order soon. This chaotic craziness is driving me batty.

Take care.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Have you seen this video? Probably. I have watched it like 20 times over the past year. I love it so much. I crack up all the time. My favorite is when the dad is playing the xylophone. LOL! We are getting our own Swagger Wagon this week!!!! Whoop whoop! More details later...

I don't think I'll be posting much this week due to new car hooplah, I have a ton of stuff to do (go to title place to pick up our title, clean out my old van *sniff* I love that thing, get money from credit union, etc.) with regards to our new purchase.

I hope everyone has a great week.

If you like Swagger Wagon, you'll like this one too... sometimes I have to tell my big tall hubby he is being "the dad life" video and he instantly gets it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

6 **sniff**

How did this guy get to be six years old already?! Jeez. It is killing me. Am I the only mom who thinks of her kids at certain stages? I always think of Parker as a roll- polly baby with tons of hair and refused to be put down, ever. I know, it makes no sense, I see him every day doing normal kid things but when I am in bed at night thinking of my kids, he is forever a butterball baby. I completely want my kids to grow up into outstanding adults but honestly birthdays make me sad. I love them little and cute and chubby and snuggly. Hence the "sighing."

Parker is amazing at six because....

he is a gifted athlete, really, I'm not just saying that because I am his mom.

he is sensitive and caring.

he is smart and curious.

he is helpful and a hard worker.

he is a peacemaker and a negotiator.

he is funny and insightful.

I love him, a lot.

**sigh, sniff**
I always take some pictures of the kids on the stairs for their birthdays. Not sure why I started it, but I do.
Parker wanted to do some more "cooler" poses. I think he looks like a teenager here. Yikes!
Studly, his idea, totally.
Not sure where he picked up "hang loose". Max, always lingering around, hoping for a tidbit to fall...
Because he loves Halloween, he wanted to pose here. His idea, again.
Not to be outdone by his big brother...Tanner's idea this time.
Not quite as studly as big brother, yet! (Chicken noodle soup on his shirt, that is studly!)

I had a heck of a time trying to decide what treats to make for Parker's class. His class has a peanut allergy concern so I was totally stressed about it. I decided to make witch/Frankenstein finger cookies. They are neon green but they look yellow here. Parker said, "ewwww" when he saw them. I think he likes them but not sure if he'll eat them.
And to add to his creepy theme (the boy loves all things creepy, it is borderline obsessive) I made these Hershey mummies. I found that the regular Hershey bars are made on their own line exclusively so they are ok for nut allergies. The other sizes, King and minis, may contain nut traces. Hmm, this whole allergy thing is interesting. Anyway, I literally finished these at 2AM last night, I think I could have done better but at least they are done. I know the kids will eat these!
A close up shot.
I was sent this idea from Pinterest from my cousin, so I stole it from her. I have yet to log on to the site because from what I hear it is more addictive than crack. I am resisting as long as possible!
Parker is set to have a skating party this weekend, complete with his graveyard cake. He is really trying to challenge my cake making skills. Of course I'll do it because I love him, a lot.
**sniff, sigh**

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

poor thing

This chicka is home sick today. Poor girl. I swear she gets the stomach flu/bug more than anyone I know. AND it is always on a special day at school or some other event. Today the mayor was coming to her classroom to speak and she is heartbroken that she has to miss him. She keeps saying, "mom, I know him and I want to talk to him again! I haven't seen him in years." (He gave big tall hubby the key to the city a couple years ago, no biggie!) I feel so bad, she has been crying all day and just bummed like nothing I've ever seen. Oh the injustice in the world!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

maybe this is why

Could this be the reason my old jeans won't go up over my thighs?
Probably not, you know everything in moderation. Well after more consideration, maybe it is.
I think, the second helping of chocolate chips might be doing the damage.
I even put my chocolate chips in these cute containers that take some effort to open. I was hoping the effort would not make the treats worth it. I almost have to put the baby down to open all four flaps on the container. So far, this is not a deterrent.

Darn you 2:00 peanut butter and chocolate cravings!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Indian Summer

Zoe reminded me that it was Indian Summer. I kind of forgot about that term for this glorious time of year. I love the warm weather, the colors, the sounds and smells, the activities... all that happy stuff. Now, the upcoming cold weather, I dread, a lot.
I love shorts and jackets weather...
I feel like such a "real" blogger today. I am addressing a few comments from last week and I am getting a sense of what bloggers who actually get paid to write go through. :) Lots of Google-ing, searching for websites you found a long time ago, cutting and pasting, linking, it makes for an interesting blogging day.

Jen asked me to share the slow cooker and dumplings recipe, I stole it from Sarah at Clover Lane. I have made a bunch of her recipes and my family likes them all. I am not a Clover Lane stalker by the way, I just really identify with her. Don't you have a blogger you just "click" with, jeez, I wasn't trying to make a computer joke, but I kind of did.

You can find Jen at:

Kerri asked me to share the tortellini recipe. It is one of my favorites. I swear I could eat the whole pot. No kidding.

You can find Kerri here:

Sarah encouraged me to go out and buy some pants that fit until my booty can squeeze itself back into my old jeans. Well, Sarah, I did. I just happened to be at the Goodwill last week and jeans were on sale for $1.99 (score!) I found some capri jeans and a pair of Levis that I really like. I will actually be sad to get rid of them when I do lose all my weight, they definitely help with the mom muffin top. Anyway, you were right. Pants with an actual waistband make you feel like a real person not a goobly blob in elastic and lightly spandexed pants.

You can find Sarah here:

my things to do this week:
Mostly I am going to be getting ready for Parker's birthday party this weekend. I would like to say I am going to be doing more, but I am really finding I do not have a lot of free time and the time I have goes so quick, I am thinking a light "to do" list this week will be beneficial. I do hope to get out some fall decorations if I have some "extra" time. I would also like to get some pictures framed and displayed and I have another big iron pile (I think I am going to add "hire an ironer-person to my list of things I will spend money on when I win the lottery.) My light list is growing already...

my menus for this week:
Sadly, I do not have anything enticing planned. Big tall hubby just told me late last night he has events all week he has to stay late for, so the kids and I will be kind of going with the flow as far as meals go. I think we'll be eating lots of leftovers, fruits and veggies, mac and cheese and spaghetti. BTH had to stay late a bunch last week too and so I have some things to use up from my previous menus. Hopefully, next week I'll have a more inspiring list to share.

Have a great week everyone.

One last note, I am currently in "hold the baby and type with one hand" mode so if you see a bunch of typos here or on comments, please forgive me! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

4 together

Here are my kiddos in a picture, all together, not necessarily smiling or looking at the camera like I would prefer. I was glad to finally get them all in one spot long enough to snap it.

Don't they just look so cute? And sweet?
Here is how they really behave most of the time.
Little punks.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

wish I had more time

I am so wishing I had more time to do crafts and stuff. Jeez, where the heck does my time go? I have been trying to stay on task lately and it just seems like I am barely getting anything done. Oh well, I guess taking care of my family is probably a whole lot more important than trying to copy all the cool projects I have been seeing on everyone's blogs lately. Does anyone feel the same? I mean, everyone has got it goin' on, fall lovelies are everywhere! I swear I have to make myself get up from the computer or else my eyes are going to pop. Seriously, you girls have got to stop being so crafty!

Like this one...

Zoe and I saw this at the grocery actually. It is a bouquet of candy bars. HELLO! Love it. I think it could be pretty easy actually, if you had the right tools, but I will probably never make one of these. But my intentions are good. Zoe said she wants one for her birthday. Funny girl.

I am so glad I could share something that some of you have never seen. Yesterday, a couple people said they hadn't seen these handy bag closers. I got my first set from a Pampered Chef party years ago (like 15 or so!) and I have found additional ones at my grocery in the tools aisle, you know where the soup ladles and stuff are located... mine are labeled "Chip clip" I guess that is a brand name. Hmm, didn't know that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I like to think I am "quirky"

Each time I get a new bag of bread, buns, salad (what, you don't use bagged salads too?!), or similarly packaged food item, I promptly remove the annoying twist tie...
And replace it with one of these...
Ah, bag opening/closing bliss. Really. Trust me.
I'm not anal, I like to think I am quirky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Saw this license plate the other day and I was just cracking up...

Waaaay back when, my aunt was teaching in a very diverse school. She would tell us all stories about her daily adventures in first grade. I remember one story that she told us about some boys insulting each other on the playground. Of course she intervened and the story the boys told her still to this day cracks me up. (This was about the time that Different Strokes was popular on tv, if that gives you a good time reference...) One little boy was crying so she asked him what was wrong. He said, "that boy talked mean to me." She asked him what the other boy said, "he said, 'your mama'." And then the other boy told her this: "well, he said, 'your mama, and all her relatives'!" She said keeping a straight face was almost impossible. We never quite got how that was so insulting but to a first grader in the early 1980's it was devastating! Don't you wish this was the kind of insulting we had to worry about today? The things we see and hear on tv that influence our kids are downright scary. "Yo mama" seems so tame, obviously, someone thought it was ok to put on their license plate!

Just a side note... my dream car is a vintage Corvette, has been for my entire life. I hope that when I get it, the license plate will read "Jens Vette," ahh, someday.

Monday, October 3, 2011


About a week ago, Parker lost his first tooth! Surprise! He didn't even know it was loose and when it came out we all were shocked. He was roller skating and all the sudden I heard him screaming and crying, blood gushing from his mouth. Now you all know, this is my kid who has had stitches six times so a bloody mouth immediately conjured up thoughts of the ER. He skated towards me with his hand holding his tooth and I was thinking, "huh, wha?" He was skating, not falling! Apparently, he put his sleeve in his mouth (I don't know, don't ask me!) and when he took it out, his tooth came with it. Yikes, never a dull moment at my house. Anyway, we were super happy for him and he was so proud to go to school and show everyone how he can drink with a straw through is teeth hole. Now there is a talent that makes a mother proud.

my things to do this week:
  • plan Parker's birthday party
  • order his birthday presents
  • call and make a couple doctor appointments
  • take a load to Half Priced Books to sell (this is part of cleaning up my closet)
  • repair two holes in the wall of our study (don't ask, I don't know!)
  • begin deep cleaning my family room (this one will take two weeks probably, I have a big family room with lots to woodworking details to tackle)

my menus for this week:
  • Sicilian tuna with capers and rice and salad
  • pasta with spinach and tomatoes (held over from last week)
  • slow cooker chicken and dumplings with peas
  • tortellini with prosciutto and peas and roasted broccoli
  • tacos and taco salads
  • fish sandwiches and oven fries