Thursday, December 15, 2011

Best Friends...

Turtle Beach on Siesta Key Florida

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Old Traditions, New Traditions...

One of my favorite things about the month leading up to Christmas is all the movies, songs, and books available to us.

My kids love to snuggle up together and watch a Christmas movie, or read a Christmas book.  And you can bet that I am always playing Christmas music during the carpool.

One of the things I love most about Christmas books that are given to us as gifts, is when the sender adds a personal greeting in the front of the book.  I often do this with regular books throughout the year, as well.  There is nothing better than pulling those books out each year and reading the well wishes and seeing the photo of the family who gave us the book.



This year I am stepping things up a notch with our Christmas books, by wrapping 24 of them.  At first I wasn't sure I would have enough, but after I went Christmas book hunting throughout all our bookcases I was shocked to find we had PLENTY for the project.


I spent an afternoon wrapping them, while Aaron had all the kiddos outside playing in the leaves.  When they came in they found that the Christmas tree in Mommy and Daddy's room had many 'gifts' under it. Tonight, December 1st, just before bedtime we will unwrap ONE book and read it together as a family.  That book will then remain in the living room bookcase for the remainder of the Christmas season, for the kids to enjoy whenever they want.



I am looking forward to this special time with the kiddos before bed each night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Laundry Day...

Occasionally I do laundry a little at a time, a load a day keeps the pile away.

But the way I have found to be the easiest for our schedule is to actually do ALL the laundry in one single day.  It can be anywhere from 8-12 loads.

I like to fold the clothes all on my bed, because that forces me to put them away in order to go to sleep. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not everyone can rock the double pop...

JP has always been a snazzy dresser.  The kid loves clothes and shoes.

Lately he has been enjoying sport clothes more often, so his nice stylin' clothes have been getting quite the rest in his closet. 

This past weekend was a great opportunity to blow the dust of his duds.


And I was pleased to see that the kid can still rock the double popped collar, of course with his trademarked spiky hair.

Who noticed his vintage addidas kicks?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Day I Decided To DO Crafts...

Instead of just READ about them.


I am certainly not a professional, but I am very happy with the results.  Especially since this was the first time I used this particular stitch.

Not Your Grandmother's Wedding...

This weekend we went to a family wedding.

As we sat and waited for the ceremony to start, I was reminded just how much the times have changed since I was a child.

I looked to my right to see Z-Man, JP, Loulabelle, and AJ all quietly entertaining themselves with their itouches.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A sure sign of the holidays...

Those rows are 3 deep.

I can feel my arteries clogging as I type.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Boys...


I am sure glad God knew I needed this many stinky boy feet in my life.

I love them dearly.

AJ's Christmas List...

So blogger doesn't want to keep my photos the correct direction, but  I am going to post them anyhow.

The following pictures are AJ's Christmas List which she gave to Santa yesterday.  

I especially love that she asked for 'interesting chapter books' and 'hard puzzles'. 




Saturday, October 8, 2011

Soccer Saturday...

That adorable rainbow legged girl is going to be going for more than 4 goals today. 

The girl is unstoppable.

Agressive.  Offensive.  Defensive.

No boy stands a chance at blocking this blond beauty. 

I love watching her play soccer.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oh I'd Love To Be An Oscar Mayer Wiener...

Yesterday as I pulled into 'the meetin' spot' to trade 2 Intermediate boys for 1 Primary girl, we saw something you just don't see very often...

The Wienermobile.

We are talking a giant hotdog on wheels.  The very Wienermobile that is on many peoples bucket lists, of things one must see.

We were on a very tight schedule with not one, but TWO sleeping two year olds.

Oh what to do.  What to do.

I decided this was just a can't miss opportunity.  So we hauled the weary babies out of their car seats and scrambled to the giant Hotdog. 

Big Guy was very confused, but perked up immediately when we said, "do you want to see a giant hot dog on wheels?"

Little Guy was in full deep sleep and was highly confused.

We got to the Wienermobile just as they were packing up to leave. 

So not only did we get to SEE it, but we got to get IN it! 




Sometimes it is important to be a fun spontaneous mom.

And I still got JP to his volunteering time at Laundry Love on time, even with the detour.

We spent the rest of the evening watching Oscar Mayer Wiener commercials on YouTube, the twins could not stop laughing at the songs.  We are also the proud new owners of 4 Wiener Whistles. 

Check one off the bucket list.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stationery card

Shutterfly has an amazing selection of cards and books.

I love love love their photo books!  Recently I have found a love of their greeting cards, as well.

With their high quality and competitive price, they just can't be beat. 

I recently made this card...



We Are Blessed Religious Christmas Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I will likely use this as my Christmas Card, but if I get impatient I may send them out as a Happy Fall card prior to Thanksgiving.  The out of town family always loves an unexpected card with pictures of the kiddos!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Headband Organization...

Continuing on with my desire for order, I present to you my solution for HEADBANDS.



Easy as pie friends!

You just need a large empty lemonade or oatmeal canister, 2 sheets of cute scrapbook paper, spray adhesive, and some ziplocks. 

Presto you are done!


For the inside I chose to use ziplocks to divide up AJ's soft headbands.  There are 3 bags on the inside with room for at least 1 more if not 2. 

I divided them by sport ones, often worn ones, and less often worn ones.  All the hard styles go on the outside of the can.

Not only is this functional, but it is also cute decor in her room!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mayhem In The Carpool Line...

If you have ever travelled The Loop, aka The Circle of Death, then you know chaos will strike.

To avoid such mayhem, I bring along a couple of super heroes...

Bow Organization...

My sweet girl is a big hair bow girl.

So 7 years of hair bow collecting, can be an organizational mess!

I have tried the ribbon hanging on the wall with the bows clipped to it, but AJ just has too many to make that method effective.

So I have gone to this...




Clear Shoe Organizer
hanging on the back of the bathroom door in the master bath.

Total Cost- less than $5.

I separate all the bows by color.  Alligator clips are clipped to the outside of the pocket and then the barrette style are in the pocket.

Then the large pockets at the bottom have the loose ribbons (used to tie T-shirt sleeves) in one and then large pony-o ties with big bows attached in the other.

I also separate clippies, bobby pins, small pony o's, big pony o's, barrettes, etc into little ziplocks and then put them into a slot.  I only put one style per slot, but I use the ziplock anyhow to make it easier to pull out and see.

This makes our mornings SO EASY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011...

Last week our glorious schedule free summer ended.

No more sleeping in and swimming all day.

It also meant the break from sports was over too.

Although I was sad to see it end, I do welcome a nice schedule.

The first day of school morning was not exactly what I had pictured.  We woke to booming thunder and a spectacular light show just before 6am.  When it was time to do the photos it was still raining, so we had to take them on the front porch and inside.  Boo Hoo for the mom who had grand photos in mind.  I even had super cute printed signs for my babies to hold.

See...






Can you tell how used to a camera in their face they are?

JP started the 5th grade, which meant the big move to the Intermediate Campus.  It also meant that for the first time in 4 years ALL the kids were back together, no more splitting into 2 groups based on where you live.  Although all 350 kids are back together they are randomly separated into upstairs and downstairs classes, which means downstairs kids eat together and play at recess together. 

J is downstairs.

Every single buddy he has is upstairs.

Major disappointment.

We love the teacher he received and are excited about the year in her class.  We will have to wait and see what God's Purpose is for JP downstairs.  He is such a leader, I know there is a great reason for where he was placed.  We just have to be patient to see it.



This was also the first year I did not send my son to school in brand new digs.  All his clothes and shoes fit, his backpack was pristine still; so why spend the money now?  I did have to chuckle at his shoe choice though...17 year old pair of Adidas Gazelle's.  Truly sweet 'vintage' shoes. 




AJ entered the 1st grade this year.  We were ecstatic to walk into her class and see tons and tons of familiar names!  She has almost a whole class of friends from preschool, families we just love!  And her teacher...perfect!  So excited to see all the fun she has in that class.




See the vintage kicks?  Those baby's came from Paris or Madrid, I can't remember for sure.

Flip Flops...

Little Guy loves flip flops, but he never ever wears them properly.

He calls them Foot Lops.

I wike pink...





Good thing since he has a big sister. 

I am always seeing double...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grocery Shopping...

1 huge list
2 hours
3 carts
4 kids



EXHAUSTING!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Freaky Twin Moment...

The other day Aaron took The Bookends, JP & Big Guy, to soccer practice.  I kept The Middles, AJ & Little Guy at home.

While alone Little Guy got into the Gatorade Powder that JP left out and tried to make himself a Gatorade with his closed sippy cup.  The mess was unbelievable, slightly wet red powder all over the kitchen and dining room. 

At the same time in Aaron's car, Big Guy took the Gatorade Water Bottle that J made and spilled it all over himself and the car seat.

2 boys, 2 different places, same gatorade, exact same time.

Coincidence or Twin Moment?

You decide.


Sorry no picture of Big Guy, Daddy isn't as into taking 'naughty' pictures of the boys as mommy is.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Reminder...

This photo is a great reminder that the little people in my life are always watching me, even when I think they are not.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Fun Way to Welcome a Birthday...

I love to hang wreaths on the front door, so imagine my giddiness when I realized I could tie balloons to a wire wreath form.

What a fun way to celebrate the birthday child!

I made this one back in the spring for JP's birthday, so I just got it back out and changed the photo to AJ. 

So easy, but the excitement of the kids is just priceless.




I bought the wire form at the local craft store for about $3 or $4 and used a couple hundred balloons, which I already owned.  A very easy and inexpensive craft, so easy the kids helped tie balloons on!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Man's Man...

boy, n. 1. a noise with dirt on it.



Yep that just about sums about Big Guy.

Dirty and Loud.

But full of life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Loaded Flank Steak and Buttery-Onion Corn on the Cob...


Ladies, (and possibly Gentlemen) how would you like to have an easy recipe that will just put a smile on your husband's face?

I call this recipe "The Meal the husband proclaimed, I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!"

Really it was THAT good.

And THAT easy.

I present to you, courtesy of my August/September 2011 issue of TASTE OF HOME magazine:

LOADED FLANK STEAK and BUTTERY-ONION CORN ON THE COB



Can I get an Amen?

Recipe as printed in the magazine.

Loaded Flank Steak
1/2 cup butter, softened
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions chopped
2 tbsp ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 tsp pepper
1 beef flank steak 1 1/2-2 lbs

1. In a small bowl combine the first 5 ingredients.  Cut a deep slit in the side of the steak, forming a pocket.  Stuff butter mixture into slit.
2. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4-6 inch from the heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches a desired doneness (for medium-rare, thermometer should read 145*; medium, 160*; well-done, 170*).  To serve, thinly slice across the grain.

My notes:  This was so quick and easy.  I chose to BROIL ours.  I cooked each side for the 7 minutes and then I moved the pan to the bottom rack, as the outside of my meat was beautiful but I wanted the inside a wee bit more done.  We cooked ours to mostly medium.  It was truly one of the best pieces of meat I have ever had.  The taste was that of a fine restaurant, not home cookin'.  We will definitely do this again.

BUTTERY-ONION CORN ON THE COB
Combine 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 envelope onion soup mix; rub over 4 medium eats of sweet corn (husks removed). Wrap each ear in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 450* for 15-20 minutes or until the corn is tender, turning once.

My notes:  I cooked the corn first and then pulled it out and then Broiled the meat.  In the last 3 minutes I slid the corn back into the oven, still on broil, to warm it back up.  When I looked at this meal idea in the magazine I really thought just meat and corn wouldn't be filling enough, but this meal was simply perfect.

Cost breakdown:  I spent $11 on all the ingredients for this meal and it was enough food to feed 2 people 2 separate meals, with about 1 serving of meat left for a 5th meal.  Way cheaper than heading to the closest upscale restaurant.

Enjoy!

Also if you do not subscribe to Taste of Home magazine, I highly recommend it.

*I was not compensated by Taste of Home, just my honest opinion of their great product.Thanks!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Little Cleaner...

Little Guy has a definite love language.

He delights in helping.

You can bet that if he is awake, he is within 5 feet of my leg. "HEP Mommie."

He loves to help.

Help clean, help cook, help with laundry, help build, help 'kwean up'.

He knows where we keep all the towels, brooms, and vacuums.  When he sees a mess (mesch), he runs to clean it up. 

His absolute favorite helping tasking is 'mop ping', what most of us know as vacuuming.

The second he hears me fire up the small stick vac to clean up around the table, he runs for his own dustbuster; or his new personal favorite the big vac.

He would vacuum for 8 hours straight if we let him.

The whole time exclaiming, "HEP mommie." mixed in with verses from Jesus Loves Me and Wheels on the Bus.

I adore this child's sweet spirit and am anxious to see how his personality develops when he is JP's age.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Control...

As a two year old, you don't have a whole lot of control in your own life.

You don't get to pick where you go,

or what food is bought,

where you live,

or what clothes you buy.

You don't get to decide when you get new toys,

or when you get to have treats.

It it rough being two.

One thing you can decide is where and when you sleep...



This is Big Guy after an extended time out, due to his lack of cooperation in clean up time.*

There are TWO beds in his room, yet he decided to sleep on the stuffed animal hamper.

It is the one thing he can control.

*you may wonder why a timeout would possibly be long enough for a 2 year old to fall asleep?  Well lemme tell ya.  Big Guy is smart and calculating.  He refuses to clean up at clean up time.  His exact words after he looks around at the mess, "Uuumm, NO."  continues playing.  He thinks hey why spend 20-30 minutes doing clean up, when punishment is 2.5 minutes.  Kid is smart!  Thus the long time out.  If he refuses to help Little Guy, then he has timeout for as long as it took Little Guy to clean up.  Little Guy loves cleaning, so he doesn't mind.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hitting the Road...


Big Guy is an amazing little driver. 

Give this boy something with 4 wheels and he is off.

He can zig, zag, and make hair pin turns.

He can stop on a dime.

He understands drive and reverse.

He can do 3 point turns.

Given the opportunity I am confident he can successfully handle parallel parking.

He kicks the tires frequently.  And inspects the headlights and taillights.

He prefers the pink corvette over the john deere gator.

We may have a future race car driver on our hands.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Pontiac...

This past Sunday was a TwoIgnite Sunday in our church, titled 2 Fuel Money and Marriage.  The sermon was focused on finances.

I love me a good sermon on finances.

I honestly thought it was such a great message I wished it was required listening for everyone, especially those moving to our town. 

Our Pastor asked for people to post a photo of their paid for vehicles.  As I thought about this Pontiac Grand Prix, I was flooded with fond memories of our 12 year old vehicle...

This car was the first large decision Aaron and I made as an engaged couple. 

It is the car we drove to our honeymoon. 

There is the scratch on the back trunk where I threw a rock to scare away animals from the trash and accidentally hit the car.

We brought JP home from the hospital on Easter Sunday.

There were the countless number of times we had it in for warranty work on the crazy random working windows.

We brought AJ home from the hospital on a scorching hot August Saturday.

Tears were shed in that car on the first day of preschool as I dropped my baby off.

There is the slightest stench of oil on a super hot summer day, from the time a defective bottle of oil spilled all over the front passenger seat.

There is the dent in the front hood, where Aaron's dirt bike accidentally fell on the car.

All the driving through the snow...it may be a car, but deep down she thinks she is a 4 wheel drive snow plow.


Aaron has countless hours invested in this car with oil changes, tire rotation, replacing wheel bearings, and fixing air conditioners, replacing other random parts.  Blood and sweat poured into it.

The headlights are foggy, the paint has scratches, and the interior is beginning to fade...BUT it is a working, comfortable, and for the most part still pretty sharp looking 12 year old vehicle that suits our family nicely.


Twelve years and 4 kids later we enjoy no car payments, far more that we would enjoy a fancy schmancy new vehicle.  And I think JP would look mighty fine in this vintage vehicle in 6 years.  Of course that is if he can afford it, afterall the boy has to buy his own vehicle.

His Dad and I did.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Quick Dessert...


Heading out to a potluck for the 4th of July?

Need a quick eye catchy dessert?

How about this...



These are so quick and easy and sure to please many!

4th of July Strawberries
strawberries with stems
melting chocolate or almond bark
blue sprinkles

Melt chocolate in the microwave according to your cooking guide, do not overcook.  Take cold washed strawberries and dip into the white chocolate leaving some red showing.  I then wiped a smidge of the end of the strawberry off, so there was not a ridiculous amount of chocolate.  I did that simply by brushing the strawberry against a spoon after I dipped.  Now dip the dipped strawberry into blue sprinkles, leaving some white showing.  I left mine to harden on a wire rack for a couple minutes.  Then I put them in the refrigerator until it was time to go.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look Mom, Buggie...

Looking across the field I see The Twins hunched down 'hunting' something.

Then I hear the giddy excitement as Big Guy comes running with something dangling from his hand.






He was so proud to have captured a live grasshopper. 

He studied it ever so carefully.  He kissed it.  He hugged it.  He showed it to tens of people.

Then he stomped on it, picked it up, peered into its little head and said, "Buggie? You ok, buggie?"

Kissed it again, then stomped on it, and ran after a tractor.

The boy cracks me up.

Two Generations of Friends...

Yesterday I posted what has to be my favorite photo of J and his buddies...




And then I remembered that at the last ALL DAY Tournament, I begged the girls to get a picture of us mommies.

We were hot and sticky, but I wanted to remember spending the day with my friends chatting it up in between ball games and chasing two year olds.

How sweet is this...

Sitting on the sidelines with these gals brings me great joy.  I only hope that as our boys grow up and try different sports, that there is still one sports season that we get to share on the same sideline.