Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Friday

I'm glad it's Friday.

Today has been kinda crummy. I woke up way too early. Everyone has been crabby today. Clara doesn't feel well, and Emma has a headache. John has been a little stinker today, dumping bowls of soup all over the kitchen, spilling my iced coffee all over the couch and carpet.....

Hubby woke me up at 6:40 to tell me that deer had eaten every one of our tomatoes - probably about 25 at least. (we have 14 tomato plants this year!) I think they also ate the cucumber plants. Not a great start to my too-early morning.

I've been SO excited to start picking some of them in the next few weeks. I've had big plans to can them and make huge batches of marinara. I'm SO bummed! Trying to look on the bright side..... I guess maybe there will be some more to pick in another month or two??? :(

I think I might take the kids to the farmer's market tomorrow morning. Raleigh has a huge farmers market. I just love going there and seeing all the gorgeous colors and shapes of the produce, and browsing all the plants and flowers. NC peaches are so delicious! I'm planning on getting a bunch and trying my hand at canning some peach jam. Or maybe strawberry-peach. Anyone have a good recipe?

The kids are looking forward to July 4th. Our tradition is that they always get to have a rootbeer float for breakfast that day! It always makes for cute pictures.

Going to a girls night dinner at a friend's house tonight. Is it 7pm yet???

Today is Donut Day..... every Friday in the summer! I still haven't bought any. I think we'll have to make it an after-nap treat today. Sprinkles, anyone? :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random 10

All I'm capable of this morning is a random list, so here goes....

1) I saw A Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn last night with some gal pals. Great movie! I was suprised. It was a good picture of a critical spirit, how others view someone with a critical spirit, and what happens once someone really starts accepting others and "feeling". If you haven't seen it, go rent it and watch it! Plus, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart are in it, too!

2) Emma got the worst sunburn the other day. She wouldn't listen when I told her to reapply her sunblock before I left the pool, and she stayed on with friends. She came home much later than I expected, and she was scorched. I felt terrible! Her face looked like a tomato, and she had a rash all over her chest. How long does that last? She says it still itches.

3) I love going to the pool, but sometimes it seems like such a hassel! The amount of pool gear just seems to build every day. And I'm getting tird of washing towels already. Would it be mean to give my kids one of those car wash thingys that sop the water up and you can squeeze out? Hmmm...

4) John has been sleeping till after 8am most mornings!

5) And I'm glad he's been waking up later. Because I've been going to bed so ridiculously late most nights. I'm on another reading streak. I need some good books to read. Any suggstions?

6) We've had our new dog almost 3 weeks now. Chester is 1 1/2, and he's a Shih Tzu/Maltese. He's very sweet. But he doesn't go potty outside very often. And he STINKS. He's had one bath here, and last week we had him groomed at PetsMart. He smelled again within a day. I feel bad, but I don't want to be very close to him because he smells so bad. I don't know what to do. And I'm worried that my house will start to smell like dog. Again, any suggestions?? Help!!!

7) I still have a large box of individually frozen Tilapia filets. I made some last night with roasted red pepper, olives, sundried tomato and feta. It was yummy. But I need some other new ways to fix it. Any great fish recipes out there?

8) The kids want to reinstate a summer tradition from last year: Ice Cream Mondays and Donut Fridays. Maybe part of the tradition should be heading to the gym right after Dunkin Donuts....

9) The girls have been really good about their chores this summer. Ryan decided a few weeks ago that instead of us remembering to check up on them, it would be their responsibility to come to us and have their list signed each night. If they don't have it signed, they don't get credit fot it. So far, so good!

10) Is it sad that the most exciting thing happening around here is that "The Princess Protection Program" premiere comes on Disney tomorrow night???

What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Disposable Is Indispensible

There are so many things I love about summer. The pool, the relaxation, not having a schedule. I LOVE not making school lunches every morning, and not running around like crazy trying to get everyone out the door. I love not having to shop for all the typical school foods and snacks. It's a relief to know that sometimes I can just pop chicken nuggets in the oven instead of packing sandwiches. But sometimes I feel like a short order cook while all the kids are home. And I HATE the mess that it makes!

So a few years ago I came up with my summer time solution for keeping a relatively mess free kitchen. At the start of each summer, I go to a warehouse club. I buy huge amounts of paper towels, cups, plates, bowls and utensils. For most meals, at least breakfast and lunch, we use disposable stuff. Do you know how nice it is to have paper bowls? Little things make me happy....

But it has seriously cut down on the amount of dishes and mess. We even use it once in a while for dinner. Things seems to get messy so quickly during summer, this has been an awesome way to cut down on mess and stress. It works for me, and I love it!

What works for YOU?
For more Works For Me Wednesday, go to We Are That Family.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Weekly Crack-Up

Time for What I Learned This Week.... hosted by Musings of a Housewife!

Some of my most amusing times are listening to my two girls discussing something with each other. At 8 1/2 and 11 years old, their conversation is always peppered with interesting tidbits. Ususally it comes from 8 year old Clara, who is always making me laugh. This week I've got two new phrases, courtesy of Clara.

Scene one: Emma and Clara, arguing in the back of the van. I guess they couldn't keep their hands to themselves (WHEN will that end??) and Clara was sick of it. Emma threatened to pinch Clara. Clara, with her fist in the air, proclaimed "Well then, my hand will just go on an adventure to your face!" An adventure?? Ryan and I did everything we could to keep from busting out laughing. Is it ok to laugh out loud at physical threats??

Scene two: Me, Emma, and Clara in the hammock. Clara: "Emma, you're going to be a teenager soon. Now you have training bras, but pretty soon they will get really big and you'll wear cup holders!"

There ya go.... what I learned this week.

So what have YOU learned this week? Have your kids said anything that cracked you up?

To read about what others have learned this week, visit Musings of a Housewife!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Somthing Special

Well, the birthday celebrations are finally over. Emma had four days of nonstop partying.
I'm exhausted! Yesterday we had 12 girls over to the pool. They swam, had pizza and snacks (thank goodness for $5 pizza from Little Cesars!) made crafts, came to our house and had presents and cake, and then went outside for a campfire. Hubby, who is an only child, had his ears plugged half of the time. The noise was close to unbearable! I couldn't plug my ears - 11 year old conversation is just too interesting! ( I know, I have an exciting life...)

It was really interesting to sit and observe all those little girls. I could see very quickly who was bossy, who was shy, who was an attention-getter, who was helpful and who took charge. It was a good group of girls, but they each definitely had their own personality. All her friends brought gifts that I knew they put some thought into. Emma loves things with the peace symbol on it right now, and many of them bought her peace tote bags or peace earrings. There were a few girls who really stood out to me. One was super sweet, and even made sure to try and include little John. She helped him gather his toys, and found him a spot to sit during gift time. Another stayed back in the dining room, and started clearing all the cake plates that the rest of the girls left behind. Another special friend put hours and hours into knitting and felting a special little jewelry bag. That touched me the most out of anything. It's not often these days that kids are selfless enough to devote a whole day to doing something special like that for someone else. Emma said it was her favorite gift of all.

I'm so proud of Emma for choosing her closest friends so wisely. She is really something special, and so are those girls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Think They Need A Scoop

Joining in the "What I Learned This Week" Carnival at Musings......

Today is Emma's 11th Birthday. Yay, Emma!
We have a birthday tradition for the kids. They get to go have ice cream for breakfast on their birthday. We started it a few years ago, and it's been so much fun! I love seeing the looks on their friends' faces when they hear about it!

Speaking of looks on people's faces.... We went to Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts this morning to celebrate. Emma had a friend with her. At 9am, there were my kids, lining up at the ice cream counter, trying to decide what to have for breakfast. I was calling out "Say Cheese!" and snapping pictures. No offense to older folks, I love 'em to death. But to some of them out there -- Loosen UP!!! I mean seriously! You should have seen some of the looks we got this morning. I think their hearts were bleeding for my poor kids, who were stuck with a mother that shoved sugar down their throats in the morning. Give me a break!!! The first few times I just ignored the looks. Then I changed things up a bit. We sang Happy Birthday to Emma. (maybe just a little bit loud.) And then I made full eye contact with the gawkers, and smiled a big, sweet smile.

Cuz you know what? My kids were eating ice cream for breakfast, and I was proud of it. What I learned was that maybe some other people need a few scoops in the morning, too!

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?
What did YOU learn this week? To read more, go to Musings of a Housewife!

Monday, June 15, 2009

4 Big Words

My little guy likes to sqeeze my neck, really hard, when he hugs me. The other day he hugged me tight, smiled, and said....
"I Love You BIG!"
Oh, some of the sweetest four little words I've ever heard. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moving Up

I hit a milestone this week. Well, actually it was Emma's milestone, but that makes it mine too, right?
On Tuesday night, I watched my first baby walk across the stage and receive her certificate for completing the 5th grade. They called it a "Moving Up" celebration. I cried as I watched it all. And I also felt a little confused. Like, how did I get here? How did she get this old? More importantly, how did I get this old??? I looked at Ryan while we were sitting there, and said "What are we doing here?" He said he didn't know. I sure as heck didn't know either. But the Moving Up was happening.

I mean, when did I get old enough to have a kid going into middle school? No one seems to know. A few months ago, right before Christmas, Emma announced that she wanted to wear clothes from Aeropostale. Huh?? How did she even know what that store was? So I went in there a few days later to look around. At that point, I was still confused. What should I buy? What am I even doing in here?? So I looked at the poor little boy working in the store. And I said to him, "Do I LOOK old enough to have a KID who shops here???" Do you know what he said? He said, "Umm... No, Ma'am." Oh Lord have mercy, he called me Ma'am. He may as well think I'm 90.

Clearly I have issues with aging. The 35 I'll be turning this summer is feeling a lot older than my current 34. But I'm tellin' ya, this middle school thing is making me feel OLD! Maybe it's not so much that I can't believe how old I am. Maybe it's that life keeps moving on, and my kids keep growing up, whether I'm ready for it or not. It's not that I don't trust Emma. She's an amazing young woman, and she is ready for middle school. She is capable of so much! I think it's ME that I worry about. Am I ready for this? Will I be all that she needs me to be during this new phase of her life? Those are some of our deepest fears as parents, aren't they? I guess I just need to trust that God will continue to make me who He wants me to be, and that will be enough. I'll keep pressing on, running my race. Because no matter my age, I'm still Moving Up, too.

A little more me

A month since I've blogged last. Well, I don't know what to say. I thought about blogging, many times actually, as I read funny and sweet and clever posts written by so many ladies out there. I even had numerous times where I thought "oh, I should blog about this or that, because I don't want to forget so and so story..." But I didn't. I guess I was just busy doing a bunch of stuff. Fun stuff, boring stuff, exciting stuff and bittersweet stuff.

I realized a thing or two during my month of not blogging. The first is: I don't need to blog. If I never wrote another word in my blog, and also if I (gasp!) never even read another blog, I'd be just fine. Really, I would. But here's another thing I learned: it's good for me to write. Even if I never write anything super funny or super interesting. I realized that even though I was just fine the past month, I gave much less thought to my own feelings, thoughts, and ideas. And let's face it - you lose a lot of your "self" when you're in mommy-mode. After 11 years of being mom, (the best job on earth!) I think I'll reclaim that little bit of self again, thank you very much!