Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
It was refreshing. Capturing all the fun will take several posts, so sit back and enjoy the week.
Thanksgiving Weekend was fantastic. Miss A summed it up best this morning when I woke her up (dragged her out of bed) and she said she didn't feel like getting up yet. Not only was she tired, she didn't want the fun to end!
Trader Joe's started off our fun on Wednesday. After years of longing for this fun retailer to come to our fair city, it's finally arrived. No longer do we have to wait for our visits to CA or Chicago to get in on the fun, whoop whoop. Yes the crowds was huge, but the kids had a blast going aisle by aisle to check out the loot.
This week, I'm going by myself. No grabby hands, no pleas for snacks, frozen treats, grapefruits, kiwi, two buck chuck. The last one was me. Mr. C got some ideas for stocking stuffers for Dad, Miss M convinced us to try veggie chips and Miss A discovered that there is something wrong with Green Bean casserole samples. "why did the ruin green beans with all that stuff on top, yuck!"
Let's just say on Thanksgiving, she ate turkey and plain baked potatoes and we counted that as a success.
Figuring that one "new" store wasn't nearly enough, we also ventured into Garden Ridge which is a store that left me a little confused about it's theme, but we still left with a new Christmas Tree.
After seventeen years, you could say that our Tree was getting a little worn. It shed more needles each year than our real tree outside does each fall. So now, we are the proud owners of G17. Yep the box had the number G17 on it and the kids all decided that not only was it fitting they would like to nickname the tree G17, too. Miss A even drew a picture of it yesterday with the G17 prominent.
Our new one is actually a little smaller, not as wide and looks more real than "fake" and to give it proper respect we've moved it into the Family Room. We can even turn on the lights with a foot petal. Technology, we so love you.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Before you think that I'm the one running late, you should know that Miss A is the only child in our family who likes to sleep in. Only, however, on school days. Saturdays is any one's guess as to what time she will be up in the morning and Sunday for church is just like a school day and we drag her out of bed.
To keep this all in perspective, when C was going to Kindergarten at another school, we had a half hour drive and I volunteered to drive car pool because even though school started at 8:30 he and Miss M were always up at 6:30. Plenty of time in the morning to get ready for school.
When C and M were both at the elementary school, we'd arrive forty minutes early to do walking club a few times a week and the rest of the time at least thirty minutes early so they could enjoy their friends and chat before class.
I used to mock my friends who were just arriving at school as I was leaving. Those who were just leaving their warm garages after we'd walked the track a few times. Let's just say I don't do that anymore. I'm in the "late" club now!!
While Miss A would often tag along on those early morning drives in her Jammies, once she started going to preschool and now kindergarten, life in the morning changed. She doesn't want to get out of bed. She's still sound asleep at eight o'clock and school starts at 8:45. Now before you think we need to think about pushing her bedtime back earlier, it does not matter. She likes to sleep in the morning regardless of what time she went to bed the night before!!
All my dreams that Miss A and I would spend mornings reading books and fixing her hair all pretty have been thrown out the window. We are rushing to eat yogurt, cheese sticks and hoping that we can get a brush through her tangles without out tears.
While, in the past, I might have been frustrated and forced my other children to get out bed, I've learned its not worth the hassle. We always get there. She's never been late. Yet. She's happy and content to rush in the morning if that means a later wake up time.
Plus, every single morning she has time to say I love you Mom as she walks out the door of the van and always has time to remind me " don't forget to close my door, Mom." As if I ever have!!
Gotta love that girl!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When P first offered to take me along on a business trip, I scoffed. I thought of the huge responsibilities I'd be leaving behind; mainly the kids and their schedules. While the thought of getting away from it all really appealed to me, the destination really didn't. You see this wasn't a trip to NYC or San Fran. We weren't going to an all exclusive destination where we'd be pampered and dined.
My husband had a meeting in Central Indiana. Let that sink in a minute. It is in the middle of nowhere. No beach, no beautiful shopping centers, or romantic bed and breakfast spots. The weather would be the same as where we were leaving and, to top it off, we'd be driving.
Because of logistics and location, it made more sense on all levels to drive.
Until about three weeks ago, I wasn't even excited. While I'd give anything to get away with my honey without the kids, I thought the "other factors" such as the scenery, the destination, the fun were more important.
The closer we got to the actual trip, the more God started changing my perspective. I began to see this as time where we could talk uninterrupted for hours on end. No one would be vying for our attention, no listening ears trying to hear what we were talking about, no time constraints or "life" to deal with in between. No to do list that needed our attention or project that was waiting for us.
It was just us together in the car for 1600 miles (round trip). It was awesome. We talked, planned, laughed, and forgot about anything else but us and our family's future. It was just like the days when we were first married and nothing else got in our way of just hanging out together.
Sure, I would have loved to have gone to the beach or taken in the sights of an exotic location and, maybe soon, we'll get that chance again (like we did pre-kids), but for right now, it was perfect to drive along the highways of Illinois and Indiana and just lose ourselves in the harvested fields and red roofed barns.
We got to take one of our favorite nieces out to dinner as her college campus was a short distance away, we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday in person just one day before the actual date, I got a whole day to myself to sit at Panera and write, shop at the "mall," and just be alone. On the way home, we even got to see some sights in Chicago including IKEA and Land's End.
Did I mention that I knitted all the way along. I finished a quick scarf for a college aged friend, worked on the blanket I'm making Miss A and almost finished a scarf I'm making for my mother. In days of old I used to read in the car, but that doesn't make "talking" easy, but knitting on the way does! Love that P loves to drive!!
This weekend getaway with my husband was just what we needed.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Boys Will Be Boys. Give them an opportunity to be outside in great fall weather and they will just be "boys." Last weekend, my husband took Mr. C and three of his dudes to the lake for the weekend. Hearing about all the fun I had a few weeks ago with the girls at the lake, C was convinced that it should be his turn to just "hang" with some friends. Dad was the hero when he said he'd take C and a few friends out Friday night and that they could spend the entire day Saturday doing whatever they wanted.
I told them about the great trail we'd found, the fun we had taking walks around the lake, and the perfect opportunity to just relax. But boys being boys, they played football almost all day. Outside on the sand. Football.
No walks in the leaves, no strolling through the woods in search of pine cones and great treasures. They played football and did a little fishing. They never ventured beyond the backyard except to partake of the Taco Bar that Dad fixed for lunch or to grab a few bottles of water.
Now, in my mind, they could have done this all at home in our backyard. But my husband quickly pointed out that it would not have been the same. At the lake, they had no outside pressures, no electronics pulling them away, no chores or homework calling their name. While they are not super athletes playing on real football teams, at the lake, they could pretend to be superstars. They were boys just hanging out. Football was what they love to do. They could just run and catch and tackle without pressure.
They got to be just boys having fun.
As my son enters into manhood and leaves behind his childhood a little bit more everyday, I'm grateful that he has still has friends that allow him to just have boyhood fun. I'm thankful that I have a husband who leaves behind the pressures of life and work for 24 hours to just be there for my son. What a blessing to see that boys will just be boys no matter the age!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It's Tea Party time again at Nana's House. Miss A had her second annual Nana and Granddaughter Tea Party and invited four of her friends from Kindergarten. I can't really express how excited this young lady was to have this day come.
Miss A has been thinking of who to invite since almost the first day of school. She and Nana have been talking for weeks about the party, invitations, menu items, and what type of craft they should make. Once she made up her guest lists, there have been many "secret" conversations between these girls about the fun ahead.
I told Miss A that she had to be careful not to talk about the party in class, as not every girl would be invited, and we didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She was careful she said to only talk about at recess and then only when they were sitting in the tires and whispering.
The day of the party finally arrived on Wednesday and Miss A was so giggly that morning as we got ready for school. When Miss M and I arrived at the school doors at the end of the day, we were ready to take all 5 girls to Nana's House. The giggles and smiles were evident on all their faces. I'm not sure I've heard such high pitched laughter and giggles in my car in years.
Once at Nana's house, they got in their " dresses and hats" to be ready for Formal Tea. Miss M put on a hat and an apron and was ready to serve as Waitress Extraordinaire (a role both her brother and cousin have played in the past for her parties) Seeing these little girls all dressed up for the fun really makes you leap ahead in your mind to years down the road when these little girls will be young ladies.
Nana makes this event so special for the girls. Miss A and her little friends had a fabulous time. They learned a little about table manners, got to experience having English Tea Time, dressed up and acted like ladies, and had a blast. They made Thanksgiving centerpieces that were adorable and even had a chance to putt a little on papa's green. Not sure if that is part of the "traditional" English Tea, but they do golf over there.
One of Miss A's friends' cried when it was time to leave, she was having too much fun and wanted to stay. Miss A is already talking about next year's party and what they will do and who she wants to invite. I love her heart that she would really like to invite every little girl in her class, but knows that Nana can only handle so "many" girls at a time.
Tea Parties and Little Girls, is there anything better? I think not!
I'm not one who is by nature very fearful. I don't really worry. I'm relatively calm. There are, however, two things that I don't like: Snakes and Mice. Rodents of any kind really creep me out.
However, last Monday, I was surrounded by snakes. For our Girl Scout meeting this month, we made Draft Snakes out of girl's tights and rice. Perfect to put around door frames and windows to keep out the draft this winter. I'd found the information on-line and thought it would be a fun craft to work on together.
I found the perfect tights at Target; purple with black spots that looked almost snake-like. The girls thought they were adorable and I think they were a little disappointed that we would be cutting them up and not wearing them.
The girls had fun making the snakes, wearing them like a cobra around their neck, and envisioning scaring their younger siblings with the sight of the snake in their bedrooms. The funniest part was, when the girls walked into the room and saw the 10 huge bags of rice waiting for us to use, one girl asked if we were making Chinese Food for our snack!!
Gotta love girls. Love the fact that I "stole" this idea from the Internet and the girls thought I was so cool! Now, I just have to come up with an idea for a Christmas Present for the girls to make for their parents at our meeting next month. Any ideas?
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Last Halloween post I promise. Jeez, for a girl who doesn't like the holiday, I've written about it and taken more pictures of it then I would have thought possible.
This weekend, the girls carved their pumpkins. Dad was thrilled with the little carving kit that I found at the grocery store. Who knew its claim that "works better than kitchen knives" would prove to really be true! Miss A wanted a beard with her pumpkin face, Miss M did all her own cutting, and Dad did the yucky job of digging the pulp and seeds out.
We tried roasting the seeds, but it wasn't a stellar performance by the mother, so alas, no pictures.
Nana did present the best looking pumpkin cake ever, complete with a ice cream cone stem! Way to go Nana. The girls loved it and, when Mr. C returned from church camp, he was duly impressed with your baking skills. At least once, I admitted I hadn't made it myself.
Mr C arrived in town Sunday at 5:00 p.m. and was just in time to join up with his buddies and spray paint their hair green alien style. He did admit that the alien glasses didn't help his vision much! I love the originality of the costume and the fact that it involved no blood, gore, or scary masks. Guess this year he left the blood up to his youngest sister. (That's a joke Miss A. we love you!)
Miss M was trick or treating with her posse of girls and she too made up her own costume. "The Thing" also known as the NU quarterback/ballerina with zebra leggings and high fashion sunglasses. She was beyond thrilled with her look so we were too!! Miss M had a great time at a Harvest Pot Luck before hitting the streets and loved that she scored 6 full-sized candy bars and the most original prize; an organic pop tart. No one has been brave enough yet to try it.
I'm just happy that now we don't have to be crafty or creative with costumes for another whole year!!