Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I cannot tell you how many hours (and hours, and hours) I have stayed up late trying to sew patches on her Brownie vest. I had to sew them on because the "iron on" patches did not stick. I used to dread when the girls would earn a new badge. "Oh, crap, I have to try to figure out how to find time to sew that thing on" was always my first thought, not "congratulations!" How terrible. Our troop girls were quite "into" the whole patch thing so I felt like I had to do it. You know how that is, you do things for your kids so they won't be mortified that you didn't.
Back to Badge Magic, the best stuff ever. The lovely lady who works at the GS store told me to get it and I was like this, "huh, I don't want to buy any more stuff here, I am already spending like $30 and my baby is cranky because we had to drive forever to get here when you opened on this Saturday morning and I have to go to the grocery and then go home and make lunch for my kids who are home with their Big Tall Daddy and probably driving him crazy." I really said, "Ok, what is it?" She told me it is basically a way to make every patch a really super sticky sticker. And man-o does it work. Good. Awesomely. A life saver for sure. I put all the new pieces on Zoe's sash in about 5 minutes. The lady at the Girl Scout store and the inventor of Badge Magic are my new heroes. I am so mad I didn't have it before. At the crossing over ceremony I told everyone who would listen about the magic of Badge Magic. Bring on the patches my new big girl Girl Scout, I'm armed and ready!
Let me know if you want me to pick you up a pack. ;)
Friday, May 25, 2012
My kids' last day of school was Wednesday. I am so glad. I cannot wait to just relax and not have to watch the clock all day. I feel like all I have done for the past 9 months is go to the bus stop. 540 times to be exact. Yes, I counted. I was that annoyed by it.
I gave the teachers a really lame gift this year. Swedish fish in a bag with a tag that said, "you are o"fish"ally the best" I also included gift cards for Starbucks (for the special teachers, nurse and bus drivers) and Target for their classroom teachers. I wish I could say I wanted to do more but this has been a tough year and I am glad to be done. I did not come up with the fish idea myself. I blatantly stole it from someone else's blog who stole it from a Pin, so if it is your idea. Thanks. Sorry I don't know who I got it from. Their version was way cuter.
I love these guys (and girl!)
Tanner is demonstrating the concept of "your head is not screwed on right" I guess.
We are super proud of Zoe and Parker for doing a fantastic job at school this year. Especially with their crazy mom who forgot things, yelled a lot to "hurry up we have to get to the bus stop (I hate the bus stop!), and other school issues, it's a lot to deal with but they both did better than we could have ever imagined.
I have to say I am over the top excited for Zoe. She wanted to win the most Reading Counts points award this year and she did. She told me in August that she was going to try to win. She had to read a lot of books, take tests on the computer and this was all independent work. She even had it written on a post-it note by her desk. "Win Reading Counts Awards" so cute. Well that girl won by a landslide. She got 827 points. The closest competitor had about 400. She read over 3,000,000 words! The computer test calculates the scores. We were thrilled. The principal made her this crown for the awards assembly because she had the most in the school, beating even the older kids.
More than anything this just helped her feel more confident and proud. She has always loved reading and now she loves Harry Potter because of it. (I am so glad, there are so many other icky things she could be interested in!) All those trips to the library have paid off. I wish I could bottle up this pride and enthusiasm and save it for those teen age years when it might not come so easily.
Now, let the summer begin, already!
Any ideas how to train my kiddos to sleep a teeny bit later? ;)
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Sometimes I just need to smack myself like those old V8 commercials. Do you remember those?
I don't know why I never did this before. Every time I get pictures of the kids (not snapshots, photographer pictures) I label them. I have had this fear that someday when I am an old granny, I won't remember how old they were or what year it was so I would spend a long time writing by hand the date of the picture and the kids' ages. I would use one of my scrapbooking pens and write on each one. Needless to say, it took a while and I am always late in sending pictures to my family because of it.
Derp! Labeling. Why am I such a doofus? Why in the heck didn't I use some technology to make it easier on myself? Probably because I am not a technology nut, it kind of scares me and I avoid it most times. I'm definitely a pen and paper kind of gal.
So here is a recent set of photos.... (just a side note, the school takes these pictures and then sends them home and you can send them back if you don't want them or pay for them. I always pay for them because I hate thinking my kids' pictures are going to end up in the trash. That is so sad. And I wonder how many dishonest people just never send in the money and keep the pictures.)
I made labels on the computer and then, here comes the brilliant part... I had the KIDS put them on. Yes, I am a genius. I know. No, please hold your applause. It was like someone said, "derp!" and smacked me on the head, V8 style. I even sent these out to my family within a week. How organized is that?
One of my dearest friends always did this when she sent me pictures of her cuties and I used to think, I should do that too! It only took me 9 years to remember. Definitely an LOL moment. I miss those pictures, now that everyone is on Facebook I don't get real current pictures of my friends' kiddos. My fridge is looking kind of lonely. Hint hint.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Woo. It has been hot here already. Not every day but pretty often. I'm not complaining, you know I love the warm weather, but I do feel terrible when my kids get off the bus all red-faced and sweaty. I remember miserably hot bus rides. So I have been trying to come up with some after school snacks to cool them off. We've had carrots and celery with ranch, fruit salad, already cut open Popsicles (in the freezer- no waiting for mom to put the baby down and sort through the mountains of school papers), smoothies, and my latest invention....
Slushies! Can you believe my genius? Oh yes, I was the queen of all mothers that day. I rocked. I ruled. Don't ask me, ask my kids. They were so happy it was ridiculous.
I always wanted a Snoopy Sno-Cone machine when I was little. Didn't those commercials make it look like so much fun? It was so cute, the little Snoopy Dog house and those adorable paper cones. Oh, I can picture it now. And how I loved a good Slushie when I was little. So cool and refreshing. I got one every time I had the chance, which wasn't often but I still remember them fondly. My older cousin had one and I swear it was the one thing I wanted to steal from her. She lived next door to me and we were like sisters, always spending time at each other's houses. She would never share it with me, she didn't want to "use up all the syrup". I remember thinking, "just one dang Sno-cone, that's all I ask!" I was bummed. Every time. I'm over it now. Slushies are way to syrupy sweet for me but I know kids love them. Especially the $6 ones at Reds games and the fair and the carnival and every other summer event we go to!
I made my own by putting the crushed ice (right from our fridge ice dispenser) into my smoothie maker (I don't have a blender- I killed it a while ago) and then crushed the ice some more, maybe these cooky experiments are how I kill so many blenders and food processors? It got really shaved looking, you know like a Hawaiian Shaved Ice treat. (Please tell me you have had one- like a Slushie but not as syrupy).
Then I put this over it.
Now, I'm going to go scour Craigslist for a Snoopy Sno-cone machine. Maybe I'll luck out and find one at a garage sale this summer.
*these are not the healthiest of all after school snacks but it's just one dang Sno-cone! Everything in moderation, right?
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Things have been hectic lately to say the least. I know I am not alone because I am seeing it in everyone else's blogs. End of the school year, beginning of summer, gardening, spring clean ups, sports seasons wrapping up and beginning again, all that stuff is making for some very busy families.
I don't have a lot of time to relax or "me time" so I just try each day to take a couple minutes to breathe. Just breathe. Deeply. Through all my recent reading about becoming a vegetarian, I am hearing a reoccurring theme over and over: the importance of relaxing, meditation, and calming down. I don't know about you, but I could use a good dose of that.
I found that looking at our trees helps me feel calm. Weird. I know. So simple. But it works. We live at the top of a hill and they sway almost constantly from the wind (sometimes wilder than others, spring storms!). It is so peaceful.
We (my Big Tall Hubby and myself) have planted each of these trees and it is amazing to see them getting bigger and fuller each year. I never had a big tree in my yard as a kid, I lived in an apartment until I got married. The sheer majesty of a tree is amazing to me.
Out my back windows (our morning room)
Out the front door
(OK so the boulevard trees were there before us! But the rest, we did.)
I also moved out bird feeder closer to the window so I can watch the birds eat. It is so fun to see them flipping around all day. And boy do we have a ton. All different kinds. I told Zoe it reminds me of when Cinderella was getting dressed and the birds were flying all around her. I know I am inside and they are outside, but it's kind of the same. (I am still slightly bird-a-phobic despite having a pet parrot, so if one landed by me I'd scream like a lunatic but I love to watch them.) Washing dishes and cleaning veggies is much more relaxing watching these little cuties.
Breathing, consciously taking deep breaths is very therapeutic. Try it. Your to do list will still be there, but it won't seem so daunting. I promise.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Meet Hans and Franz, they are ready to pump me up!
(shout out to all you 80's and 90's Saturday Night Live fans!)
Anyway, these guys have been busy and I just pat them and caress them as I walk by on my way out to the garage. They are so handsome and shiny. They talk to me a lot too. Well, they make a lot of beeps and bloops, but we're conversing none the less. It was love at first installation.
my things to do this week:
- put patches on Zoe's girl scout sash (before I lose them)
- clean my downstairs pantry
- schedule some picture taking (didn't get to this one last week)
- get teacher's gifts together for Wednesday
- clean/purge my short sleeve shirts
- reframe some pictures (swap out old, put in new)
- schedule a couple doctor's visits for the kids
- laundry- I have a long series of dates with my new boyfriends since last week was painting, beadboarding, and installation
my menus for this week:
super easy, simple, because the kids are out of school in two days and I am crazed!
- veggie/chicken quesadillas and corn on the cobb
- subs with homemade rolls and chips
- homemade pizzas and salad
- soups and salad and yogurt parfaits
- grilled chicken, fruit salad, steamed veggies, baked beans
- cheese/veggie burgers and fries
- Olive Garden- using a gift card :)
Have a great week everyone.
Friday, May 18, 2012
I don't procrastinate a lot but when I do, I really do. Like 8 years...
Our foyer, builder beige before. I hated it every single one of the days of those 8 years.
A blue, very light but with our windows, cloudy and sunny days, it looks different in each shot. I'm not sure how potential buyers will respond. We wanted something to make the crown moulding and wainscoting stand out so beige-ish just wouldn't do. I'm not a beige person anyway.
I can't find a "before" of my laundry room, not sure what happened to it. Anyway, it was beige too. Blech! I chose a different blue. It was called "faded denim." How appropriate for a laundry room. I actually got it free from Ace Hardware. They had a special offer if you were one of the first 20 people at the store on a certain day, you got a free quart. You betcha, I was there. I like free and I'm a morning person so it was perfect for me.
My hubby had put in this bead board on one wall a year or so ago. He has since added it to the other walls (last weekend, happy Mother's day indeed!) AND I finally got a new washer and dryer. Maybe I won't complain about my laundry anymore.
Oh fresh paint, how I love you so.
Go Big Blue!
After! A khaki green... I loathe those electrical boxes...
Here is another shot, a more cloudy day, it kind of coordinates with my landscape loving Big Tall Hubby's stuff, don't you think? The white trim was painted too. What a difference! (We hired painters to do the door and trim and foyer, because well, we don't have ladders big tall enough and I have kind of developed a ladder-phobia. Well worth the money spent.)
I always write the room on each paint can. Learned that lesson the hard way. Especially now that we have a bunch of blue rooms.
I know I have said it before but I don't know why I put off painting. It is not that big of a deal but for some reason, I just put it off forever. I just always feel like I don't have the time to do it. Then when I finish it, wow, it just makes me happy. Will you remind me of that the next time I talk about wanting to paint something? Hint, hint, the kids' bath is in need... and the dining room, the master bath and bedroom... ey yi yi!
Have a great weekend.
I am not painting! ;)
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Don't you just love her flamingo animal report? It is as tall as Tanner! The report is in a mini book under the wing. It has a googly eye with pink eye shadow and eye lashes, once a diva, always a diva.
She is also getting another award next week but I'm not allowed to tell her. So shh! I'm really proud of her. Sometimes you just have to brag.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
trying to keep the sun off him :)
Other rules at our house:
- no running
- no jumping on the couch or bed
- don't touch mommy's scrapbooking stuff/ or her desk & supplies
- dont eat mommy's M&M's
- you can't say "stupid" or "fart" or "hate" or "I'm going to kill you" *
- push in your chair after you eat
- put the toilet lid and seat DOWN
- knock before you enter the bathroom (if the door is shut)
- if you burp (or toot) say "excuse me"
- don't hit your brother
- no tv during the week for kids**
- put your scooters away so mommy doesn't trip and kill herself in the garage
- kids clean the hamster cage
- use a napkin
- flush, every time
- smile, be happy, tell mommy you love her 20 times a day
*unless you are mommy and the dog had an accident on the floor again
**unless you are daddy and mommy is gone from the house running an errand and you don't think she will notice
That's it. Well, maybe not all of them, but it's all I can think of.
What's your number one house rule?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
A little while ago, like 6 months ago, I got this flash of brilliance in between the shampooing and conditioning times in the shower. Hey, don't you get your best ideas in the shower too? I think I do because it is my (usually) only uninterrupted time of the day.
Anyway, I have this little collection of Pampered Chef "Season's Best" cookbooks. They are really tiny (thin) and I love them. I have used them a lot over the years. The first one I got in 1999. I was barely living in my first apartment, I'm not sure how much cooking I was doing then, but I just knew I'd have a home someday and need some cookbooks. Plus these used to be just a couple bucks at those home parties so I never felt guilty buying them. They are great for party ideas, really easy, fast recipes for fancy schmancy appetizers and desserts. If you find any at a used book store, I would suggest grabbing them up.
So the annoying thing about them was that they were so little and thin (about the size of a Reader's Digest) and I was always losing them. They'd get kind of trampled by my bigger, heartier cookbooks. My favorite Martha book is kind of a bully that way. So flash-o-la!
I took them to Office Depot and had them bound. (The girl suggested binding at the top since the print is really close to the edges and it might have gotten cut off.) I have done this with a couple other items and it never surprises me how much I like the finished product. Now my little cookbooks are all together and ready to use. It's a good thing. If I can so blatantly steal from Martha! ;)
While I was looking for the "before" picture (I took the pictures and then forgot to post!), I found this one. Hee hee! It's Tanner's cell phone in my bread machine pan. Don't you love these little "gifts?" I find Hot Wheels in my shoes all the time too. ;)
Have a great day, I hope you get a couple good flashes today (and not the hot kind!)
Monday, May 14, 2012
It was a nice day except for a lunch fiasco*, and the kids were so sweet to me. My own momma came for dinner so that was lovely too. I'm able to say I am very blessed. Hungover, but blessed.
Look at my cutie.
my things to do this week:
- wait for "those men" again, fridge needs fixed, and getting new washer and dryer, holla!
- schedule some picture taking appointments
- pick out some more paint colors
- locate some lost receipts for returns
- deep clean my microwave, it is all the sudden like totally grody in there!
- switch Zoe's closet to spring (I didn't get to this last week)
- take a load to consignment
- schedule some summer doctor's appointments
- clean out my sweater drawers
my menus for this week:
boring, nothing too exciting, I am going to try a new cookie recipe :)
- spaghetti (why do I put this every week? my kids have withdrawl if I don't make it once a week) and salad and homemade bread
- oven baked fish or chicken and zucchini parmesan bits
- pizzas and salad (for a night when we will be at a birthday party)
- chicken &/or black bean quesadillas
- chicken and bowtie pasta with broccoli
- ribs, roasted potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cobb, salad, french bread(this was our Mother's Day dinner, it was heavy on the veggies b/c I don't eat meat anymore but the rest of my family does, including my momma)
*lunch fiasco= I wanted a veggie sub from Penn Station (I only eat there about once a year or so, I love their french fries!) and so I took the kids there in the rain to get takeout while Big Tall Hubby finished up my laundry room beadboard project. Once I got home, soaked, and dragging my crying starving kids, and settled down to eat, I found not one but TWO icky hairs in my sub. I hadn't even taken a bite. I didn't take any bites. I was rather depressed about it in fact. I refused to eat any of the food. How could I, completelly incredibly gross. So I ate some leftover grilled tofu. Not exactly what I was craving but way better than hairy veggies. Big Tall Hubby went back and got our money back thankfully, but I was still wanting that sub. sniff sniff
Hope everyone has a great week!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Asher is ready for summer, me too!
What I really wanted to say is "Happy Mother's Day" to all you mommas out there. I must say I am hoping for a calm day (and please no breakfast in bed or homemade spa treatments!) of relaxing and maybe getting to watch a movie or something else equally boring. I feel blessed to be a mom, it is the best job in the world. I am also blessed to be in contact with such inspiring moms through this lovely hobby. Enjoy your day ladies!
Friday, May 4, 2012
I was having one of "those" days. My hair would not turn out right, I could blame my new shampoo and the fact that I need a haircut but nope, I'm blaming the "day." Two of my kids woke up crying, only one was a baby! All my clothes were feeling snug, and the ones that weren't I didn't want to wear because it is supposed to be really hot here today. I either need to lose these last few pounds or buy new clothes. I have a mile-long list of things to do and kids who need my attention all. the. time. today.
*sigh* It was feeling like one of "those" days for sure.
Then my sweet Zoe said, "mommy you look pretty today." I said, "huh?" And then I said, "thanks." Guess she knew I needed that. I love her a whole lot.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Back in March, when my whole family was sick with every ailment under the sun, I got the bright idea to iron all my saved/hoarded ribbon. I save ribbon from everything. Gift bags, hang tags, other gifts, you name it. I used to just throw it in a big basket and then it kind of started creeping out, like slime oozing out of a crack.
Anyway, after nights of taking care of everyone I was pretty tired, so I thought of a way to keep from sleeping standing up so I thought, "hmm, do something you have always wanted to do but never do it." Since trying out for 'So You Think You Can Dance' was out of the question, I think I am past my prime for that one, ironing my ribbon stash seemed like the next best thing.
I remember hearing my idol Martha say she always irons her ribbons before using them on gifts and crafts and I thought, "there she goes again, being all Martha-y." I have found myself ironing that little ribbon scrap before adhering it to a card or tying a tag on a gift bottle of wine. It is kind of annoying when you are trying to just get the craft done and there you go having to drag the iron out.. It does look so much better! No wrinkles and creases. Just pretty.
It took a loooooooong time. And not because I just felt like it since I had a house full of sickies, it took for-ev-er. I would work for about 15 minutes at a time. I didn't count the hours but it was a while. I have a crap-load of ribbon. Let's just say, I don't need to buy any for a decade at least. Don't call 'Hoarders' on me, I promise I am going to quit.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
A couple weeks ago before our nightly walk (I wish is was every night, I have to try to be creative to get them to go eagerly but I keep trying)...
Are they insulting me? Yesterday, some guy leaving the golf course club house on my street STOPPED his car and yelled it to me out his window. All I was doing was taking 2 of my 4 to the bus stop. We were strolling along talking about birds and squirrels. Yep, that's full.
Are they thinking I am a loon for taking kids out of the house? I have to go out and most of the time my kids are with me. My Big Tall Hubby is not home much and we have to eat (which explains all our trips to the grocery.)
Are they thinking I am a haggard mess (just a note, I always wear make up and rarely do I go out without washing my hair so I don't look terrible- now if it's raining, my hair does look like a big fuzz ball but that's another post!) dragging my four kids to the grocery yet again? I would understand if I was yelling at them (or spanking them like I saw someone do yesterday at none other than Walmart) or if they were crying or fighting.
But my kids are pretty good for the most part. Really. I promise. Of course they have meltdowns and I'm sure I have talked sternly to them through gritted teeth but this is not something that happens very often. I have lots of tools and tricks to keep them entertained as we go about our daily life (i.e. errands and activities).
I would also "get it" if I was say pushing a stroller, holding a toddler's hand and carrying my books into the library and trying to open the door. Yes, then my hands are full and if you could kindly hold the door (which most annoying rude people do NOT!), I'd appreciate it. And I would gladly return the favor if I could someday.
So why in the heck do people say that? I do have my hands full. I love how full they are. If I was younger (and I could convince my Big Tall Hubby, I'd have more to fill them up!). Being a mom is what I do best. I would have never guessed it when I was a teen ager or even before that when I was five and I thought I would be a "Solid Gold" dancer but changing diapers, baking cookies, and taking care of my family is my calling for sure. So I just don't understand why someone insists on making a snide remark when there is no reason for it.
So to the dirty, grimy, annoying-followed-me-throughout-the-whole-store man at the grocery store today who told me, "boy, you've got your hands full:" yes I do, and that's the way I like it! Hmph!
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
We are really busy this week, who isn't right? Anyway, it is teacher/staff appreciation week at the kids' school and the (insane, crazy, annoying) PTC (new version of a PTO) sent home letters detailing every day this week, things the kids should bring in to show their "appreciation." Each day it is something small, like draw a picture of your teacher or write a letter telling them why you like them... but it is every (stinkin') day! Now I do appreciate our teachers and staff, I really do, I was a teacher and my hubby is a principal. Educators are definitely overworked and underpaid so a little appreciation is always well received. My problem is that if the kids see other kids bringing in goodies (even drawings and notes) then they will feel bad if they don't bring something in. Some kids do not have money to send in gifts and others do not have parents who are willing or able to help them with these daily treats. AND our kids are out of school in about three weeks so I am already thinking of our end of the year thank you gifts which I think are more important because I write notes to each person.
We went the easy way and made Hershey kiss bags for everyone. I don't know if they'll like them (I kind of don't care either, sorry, but I don't.) I made these labels, stuck them to the tags and done.
I'm off to help my kids do some drawings and letters. If you do send in goodies for your child's school, don't forget all the helpers... cafeteria ladies, bus drivers, aides, etc. They deserve extra appreciation too!