Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Offically Summer Now

According to Miss A, it's officially summer now. We've gone swimming both at the lake and at our pool. Now if she could just wear shorts and a tank top everyday, her summer wishes could be fulfilled.

We had a "work day" at the Lake yesterday and even though there was actual work involved and the wind was whipping around the water, all three kids managed to get in the water. Let's just say there was no way I was even dipping my feet in that bitter cold water. It won't be warm enough for me until the Fourth of July.

Miss A was the first to leap in, with her sister tentatively following once she realized Miss A did not become an ice cube. Mr. C was not so easily talked into making the plunge and even though he was at first trying to talk P into throwing the football off the dock, he reneged once he realized how cold it was. Mr. P told him that was wise as the wind was so strong that he wasn't sure he'd be very accurate in his throwing.

I'm thinking the fact that there would be splashing involved for both Mr. C and Mr. P had a little to do with postponing the football tradition. Too cold.

Today, to finalize the summer kickoff, we went swimming at our new "pool" near our home. At the end of last summer, they tore down the private pool we've been going to for the past few years. We cried real tears. All winter we debated our options until we finally came upon the perfect solution that allows us to combine our "health club/workout facility" with our "pool." Now, we can all go together and swim, play tennis or basketball and workout in a fabulous gym.

What we first thought of as disappointment and problem has become a blessing and a fun way to be fit as a family. Miss M said today after swimming that she thinks this might be favorite pool ever and that she thinks we are going to have a fabulous summer swimming.

Welcome summer afternoons at the pool, weeknights on the tennis court, and weekends spent jumping off the dock and making memories at the Lake. Summer we love you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fulfilling Dreams

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Miss M has been dreaming of going to a Taylor Swift concert for months and now that dream has been fulfilled! Saturday night was the big night. Miss M and P had an evening to remember. According to Miss M, it was her favorite birthday present ever and the best concert of her life.

Here are a few of Miss M's observations on the evening:

The line for t-shirts was really long. Had Miss M not had birthday money buring a hole in her pocket, she might have skipped the line (or convinced dad that she really, really needed one). However, she had her heart set on getting a t-shirt so, thankfully, Miss M and her Dad waited the line out. Red Taylor Swift Shirt ....check. Taylor Swift poster...check.

Having Club Level tickets means you have access to the Lounge and they have fancy drinks inside. Miss M loved her Wavebender. It was Fabulous.

She saw a girl from her softball team, a girl from school, and one of Miss A's friends. It was the social event of the season.

The line for a Covergirl Makeover was way too long. She got the free lipstick, but skipped the process. Miss M didn't need a makeover anyway!

Taylor Swift really rocked the show. She flew across the arena, she changed her clothes dozens of times, she sang tons of Miss M's favorite songs, and the backup singers and dancers put on a real show.

Miss M was in seventh heaven the entire show. She sang along to the songs, she screamed with all the other preteen girls, and gushed over Taylor's clothing and dancing. It was fabulous. Even dad thought it was a great show!

Not even the 1/2 hour waiting to leave the parking garage detered her enthusiasm. When Dad captured her sleeping on the way home, she quickly woke up and asked if he thought she'd been sleeping. According to her she was not sleeping, just resting!

Happy belated birthday, Miss M.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Funny Things I've Heard Lately: Summer Edition

We've survived the first week of summer vacation. Considering that the pool is not yet open, most of our neighborhood friends were still in school and the mother has been crazy busy with VBS registrations, it is an accomplish to have gotten this far.

Of course, in the midst trying to get our summer grove on, we've had plenty of laughs.

Every morning Miss A asks me the same question, "Is it warm enough for a tank top?" She is convinced that summer and sleeveless go together. My answer every day has been "not yet" and, when you consider that on Thursday if was only 58 degrees, I think she realized I was right.

Miss M and Miss M have been having sister sleepovers in Miss M's room almost every night. They have their sister time, watch movies and read books before they go to bed, and then when they get up too early in the morning, the party continues. Mr. C asked Miss M why she keeps hanging with Miss A. I loved Miss M's response "well we are sisters and it's the same price to sleep in two rooms or just one."

Hard to beat that logic.

I took Miss M, Miss A and a friend to see Gnomeo and Juliet this week, and while I'll admit it wasn't my favorite kid movie I've seen lately, it was fun. I espcially liked watching Miss A, Miss M and Miss A's friend giggling, holding hands and belly laughing over the funny parts. Really is there anything better than watching kids have a blast?

On a family walk last night, the laughs were aplenty. First don't get the idea that we are the "Mayberry clan" whistling as we walk to pond to fish, we had two tired parents, two scooter riding girls and a son who was wishing he had other plans. However, we were having a family outing so that counts for something.

Miss A wanted to bring water bottles for everyone on the walk. However, her carrying case on the scooter only held one so she took care of herself first. Along the walk, she stopped a few times to get a drink. Mr. C commented that he was happy Miss A was "keeping herself hydrated on this really loooong walk." Just call him Mr. Sarcasm.

Ah........ Summer. Stay tune for further adventures.

Friday, May 27, 2011

We've Taken the "Extreme" Leap

If going to Walmart to grocery shop wasn't enough, we've now taken the leap into couponing! In fact, you could say we've gone Extreme.

Mr. C and Miss M are addicted to the show "extreme couponing" and have become convinced that we need to get on the couponing bandwagon. They even volunteered to take on the couponing job. If I would give them my grocery list and guidelines for things I needed to stock the pantry and bathrooms, they would find me the best deal. When they heard that Walmart would price match, they were pumped.

Sunday, after church, our kitchen table was taken over as coupon headquarters. Spreading out the newspaper and coupon circulars, they began their work. Overheard at the table were various conversations...

"Do you have a manufacturer's coupon for this item, I have a grocery store coupon?"

" We could price match this at Walgreen's and, if we had a manufactures coupon to add to this, think of the savings"

"Mom do you need paper towels? I've got a great coupon."

"Too bad we don't have a dog, there are some great coupons for dog food."

"If we are really going to do this couponing, I'll need some better scissors."

"We can really add to our stockpile with these coupons, too bad our store doesn't double coupon."

"Do we have a stockpile?"

Then Monday, they perused my grocery list, matched it to the coupons we had and then organized the coupons in envelopes. By Tuesday morning (shopping day), they could hardly contain their excitement. Dad sweetened the pot by promising the kids that any money they could save we could put towards a fun outing at the end of the summer; I'm thinking the kids are dreaming Disney and Dad's more on the Dairy Queen idea.

Let's just say it was an interesting shopping trip. Coupons were flying out of our envelopes, children were rushing around looking for matching items, and when it came time for checkout I was informed by Mr. C that we needed to watch every transaction for errors. "Do the price match first mom that way we can make sure the checker knows what she is doing!"

In the end, we saved about $11.50 with coupons, price matching, and sales on top of coupons. Not bad. Sadly Miss A said no one clapped for us when were done, the checker didn't tell us how much we saved like they do on TV and unbelievably no cameras or film crews were present at the time.

We did, however, get some couponing advice from the lady behind us in line, and we now signed up for two online coupon sites. Guess the theme is with extreme couponing "go big or go home."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Daisy Scouts Baseball Outing

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As if the last day of school wasn't enough excitement for Miss A, her Daisy Girl Scout Troop went to a Minor League Baseball Game.

It was our first trip to the new stadium and, while it was Girl Scout Night at the Game, it was a smaller than normal crowd due to stormy weather most of the day. Thankfully, the clouds cleared and it was beautiful night to watch some ball.

Let's be honest and say that Miss A barely knew there was a game going on. She was more excited to spend the evening chatting with her friends, eating a pretzel, and hoping to catch a foul ball. I'm grateful that no balls flew that close to us to be in A's reach as I'm not sure she would have seen it coming!!

Miss A thought the Girl Scout Parade on the field was fun, but she was disappointed that she didn't' get to run the bases like she hoped. Next year, she'd love to spend the night on the field like her sister did last year. I'll take that into consideration, but that might be more outdoor sleeping than I allow myself in a single decade!

What a great way to kick off summer.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kindergarten Grad

Miss A is now a Kindergarten Graduate.

It's been a wonderful year for Miss A. She's loved her teacher, made wonderful friends, and learned more than we would have dreamed possible. The little girl we sent to kindergarten in August walked out on Friday afternoon as an excellent reader, a vivacious learner, and a inquisitive thinker.

Miss A had a teacher who really turned her on to learning more, to challenging herself to try new things, and to explore the world around her. She's made some wonderful new girlfriends and has adjusted so well to being in school all day. In many ways, this year has been affirmation that we made the right decision to redshirt her last year and delay kindergarten.

She was ready to take on the world and she's excelled.

Miss A's fabulous teacher made a Snapfish Memory Book for each child in the class with pictures from the entire year and all the special events. She also made a DVD of pictures that included every child in the class set to music that made us both laugh and cry. What a wonderful way to document this precious year.

Kindergarten Graduation was a special day for Miss A and our family. She's on the road to a fabulous educational journey!! As her parents, we know only too well that the days ahead will quickly pass. Before we know it, she'll be wearing a real cap and gown and graduating from High School.

Please Lord slow down the days and teach us to enjoy each moment along the way!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Day of School" Where Did the Time Go?

It's hard to believe that schools out for the summer. Harder yet to believe is that next fall we will have a Freshman in High School, a Sixth Grader and a First Grader. Really, just yesterday Mr. C was dreaming of the day he could take his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack to 3 Year Old Preschool.

This year just flew by. Kindergarten days are now over for our family forever. Impossible.

Look at those first day of school pictures from August. They look so little, so tan, so nervous. The look on the last day is way more relaxed, ecstatic really. Donuts before school on the last day is a tradition started way back in C's preschool days. A way to start the celebration and originally to kill some time before school started. Junior High means that Miss M and Mr C were up early and at the local donut shop by 7:00 p.m. Miss A's crew of friends had until 8 a.m. before they hit the shop.

Mr. C's last day of eight grade involved a field trip to a local amusement park. Sadly, it rained on and off and by the time Mr. C came home he was soaked. If only the photo could show you how much darker his shorts were at the end of the day that when he left that morning. WET! He had a great last day, but told me he's a little sad to think he won't see many of these kids again. I'm sure once school starts in the fall all the sadness will be replaced with new friends, experiences, and challenges.

Miss M and Dad had a Date Night to celebrate the end of the year including a trip to an indoor Ferris Wheel. My husband was a little shocked at the current state of "girl" fashion and told Miss M she should be grateful that her mom lets her shop at some of the stores at the mall. Guess he's become even more "modest" in his tastes for his daughters than I am. Actually, I think his actual phrase was "hooter girl clothing"

This is the first year that I didn't get the official "last day" photo on the front porch. Something about the fact that it was raining and cold and damp. Perfect last day of school and beginning of summer don't you think?
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Funny Things I've Heard This Week

It's the final week of school which leads to happy children, stressed out mothers, and lots of laughs. Too many things to accomplish, too little time also means its good to take time out to laugh at some of the things my kids have done and said over the past few weeks.

Miss A has shocked me in the past few days with her reference to "adult party games." In pure innocence, she's suggested that a friend play Truth or Dare and she's asked if there would be Spin the Bottle at a birthday party she attended.

Guess she and her friend B were trying to convince B's twin brother to choose Truth or Dare. The dare was the S (B's brother) would need to wear flip flops with fabric ties on them to school. B and A thought this was the funniest thing ever, the thought that Mr. S would be wearing "girly" flip flops with flowers on them to Kindergarten had them rolling with laughter. Sadly, Mr. S and Miss B's mother put the kibosh on the "dare."

Miss A has attended four birthday parties in the past month; all for her little kindergarten friends. She's had a blast swimming, jumping in a bouncer, and playing games and eating pizza. Last Saturday, she was invited to a party at a friends house that promised lunch and party games galore. Miss A inquired if they would be playing Spin the Bottle. I about lost it, until she said that she loves games like that with a lot of action (No, not that type of action)! You spin the bottle round and round until it's your turn to do something crazy.

Thankfully, there were no boys invited to the party!

It's Mr. C's last week of Middle School. Hard to believe that he'll say goodbye to the school and a bunch of kids he's known since kindergarten. I'm not ready to think of next fall yet. This week the yearbooks came out and they were having a yearbook signing party for all of 8th grade. Mr C was trying to come up with some catchy phrases to use so we googled to find something that might fit his personality. Mr C especially liked the idea of writing;" School is a lot like a sucker it sucks until it's done."

Thankfully, he choose to write the less offensive "Stay off drugs" and "Have a great summer." I'd hate for him to get kicked out the final few days.

Miss M told me that she'd like to take cold lunch the rest of the school year if possible. She said the she no longer recognized the meat in the cafeteria and that it seemed like they were digging into last month's leftovers for food. I was more than willing to help her make her lunch and provide all the fixings, however I told her that I had one request, I can not touch Roast Beef. If she wanted Roast Beef, she'd have to make it herself, especially if she chose to make it the morning.

Miss M asked what my deal was with Roast Beef, did I have a bad experience with it once, was it a leftover bad experience from childhood? I said I just don't like it. Oh, she said it's kinda like how I feel about all green vegetables? It's disgusting to you isn't it?

Well sorta. But don't expect me to let you out of eating veggies Miss M, I'm the mom and that's my pleasure to cause you "bad experiences" from childhood with broccoli and peas!

Finally, I must tell on myself. Yesterday, I was mowing the lawn, listening to praise music on Mr C's Ipod and just trying to get this yucky job over with, when out from behind the air conditioner ran "something" right in front of my feet. I jumped, screamed and started running from the mower. My poor neighbor who just had a heart attack this winter came running to my rescue. My backdoor neighbor looked at me as if I was crazy.

I was certain it was rodent, but lo and behold it was just a small baby bunny hopping across the yard.

In my defense, I'm petrified of rodents. Rabbits look a lot like a rodent.

When the air conditioner service man came a few hours later for our yearly checkup, I told him he owed me for saving his life from a rabbit. Just think if he had walked back to the air conditioner and found a little bunny there waiting to attack.

Can't wait till I teach Mr. C how to mow the lawn this summer!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kindergarten Field Day: Finally!

Miss A and her Kindergarten buddies at Field Day/ All School Picnic

Yesterday was Field Day at the Elementary School and, before you conjure up in your mind thoughts of races and hurdles and ribbons for winners remember, we live in an age in which we are all "winners." Those field days when you ran the 1/2 mile and the 400 meter dash and finished either first, second, third or even last are long gone.

Nevertheless, Miss A was thrilled that it was finally Field Day for her. Just her. You see she's spent years in either a stroller watching her siblings compete in the events or she's heard the stories and seen the battle wounds of sore muscles and sunburn her brother/sister wore home after Field Day. Finally, it was her turn.

I love the fact that the school now combines Field Day with the All School Picnic. It's doubling exciting and it limits the number of days I have to fight the crowds to get a parking place within a mile of the school. Miss A's class had their picnic at 11:15 and then Field Day in the afternoon. I volunteered to help with both so I had the opportunity to sit on the blacktop and enjoy lunch with a bunch of adorable kindergarten girls and boys.

I'd packed a picnic lunch for both Miss A and myself because the school offerings of Grilled Hamburgers did not appeal to Miss A who has yet to have a hamburger cross her lips. Omaha Steaks, Scallops, Pork Chops are on her approved meal (meat) options, but not a good old fashioned American Hamburger. At first, A was worried that we'd be the only ones with homemade food, but when I told her the only other option, she was fine with PB sandwiches as long as there was a cookie involved.

Miss A told me that she was quite popular in the classroom later because she had sunscreen and was willing to share. Thank you Target Dollar Aisle for travel size sunscreens. Too bad I didn't use a little first, as today, I have a little bit of a sun kissed look on my face. I won't complain though as it's nice to see the sun.

My assignment at Field Day was the Jump Rope and Hula Hoop Station. Let me tell you there are very few K-2nd graders that can jump rope! Everyone loved the hula hoop game however, and it was fun to observe how much more willing the girls are from the boys to bend, move, and contort their bodies to get through the moving hula hoop. Miss A told me it was fun to have me at Field Day, but next year she'd like me to just follow her around and hold her water bottle.

Guess the pampered princess thought it was a pain to carry a water bottle around for herself. Plus, I missed seeing her "win" every event and how fabulous her Team 4 was at everything. Maybe this is why we no longer give out ribbons at Field Day events. If everyone is "winning" everything, it would be a very long awards ceremony.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On the Knitting Needles: Baby Blanket Noro Design

I've started my most difficult Knitting project to date. Three years into my knitting adventure and I'm trying a pattern that involves more than just Knit and Purl. My favorite knitting shop talked me into tackling this project, and while at first I was beyond nervous, I now love this pattern.

One of my favorite people has just adopted a baby boy and I wanted to make a keepsake baby blanket for Baby Michael. His adoring mother was once under my babysitting care and now is a young woman I not only love to pieces, but admire for her strength, courage and faith. Hearing that N & N were adopting a baby boy was probably the best phone call I've had all year, maybe even in my life! This special little boy is so wanted, and his blessed parents will be a true gift to him.

Needless to say the pressure was on to knit something extra special. My only requirement was that I have it completed before the little guy goes off to Kindergarten. In reality, I'm hoping that the hours I'm logging at the ball field and soccer field this spring/summer will mean I'll have a completed blanket to send off before fall. A girl can dream.

The pattern is from Noro Design and it's called the Blythe Blanket. While you can make the blanket in squares, I'm actually just making a 30 by 30 blanket all in one piece. I'm using 134 stitches on a circular size 5 needle. I'm loving the yarn, it's soft but still easy to use, and holds its shape so nicely.

Here's the challenging part: I'm using two different colors of yarn at the same time. That means there is a light blue and a dark blue hanging off the needles at all times. The pattern makes it look like I'm knitting on top of the base color, but you actually use only one color at a time.

Slip stitch has even made it in my vocabulary and I now understand how to slip a stitch. I'm so thankful the knitting experts explained that it's not just a drop stitch, I actually slip(skip knitting/purling) that one stitch. The pattern is beautiful and now that I've figured it out it's even a portable project.

Just ask M's softball team parents, as I've now knitted in gloves (brr is was cold this weekend) and gotten quite a few rows completed. Considering that I had to "restart" the project once already due to an error, I'm grateful that I'm almost able to start the second skeins of yarn.

I'm so excited to work on this project and can't wait until Mikey's Mom wraps her sweet boy up into this little blanket. Love it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Amazing Race; Miss A Wins!

Miss A was on Cloud 9 on Sunday night after the finale of The Amazing Race. Never before had she gone into the final race with a team of her own to cheer for, but this was the exception season, unfinished business for not only the teams themselves, but for Miss A. She wanted her team to cross the finish line so bad.

Not because she'd chosen a fancy restaurant to go to in celebration. She wanted Mom's homemade Panko Chicken Nuggets and Red Mango for dessert. It wasn't about the food, it was the victory that she was after. All week we talked about how "amazing" it was that both Mom and Miss A had teams going into the final legs. We joked about Dad and Miss M going down in defeat.

Sadly, in the final elimination before the finale my own team was sent packing. (Meaning I'm still rating 0 on making it to the finals) Miss A and P were quick to offer their teams for me cheer to victory. Considering that a win for P meant a visit to a Soul Food Cafe, I jumped on Miss A's bandwagon. Guess you could say I fear Fried Chicken, Grits and Collard Greens. Call me sheltered! Either that or I just love to see an underdog win.

Miss A could hardly contain her joy as her team sailed through the finale and appeared destined to win it all. There was jumping and screaming and high fives all around. She was a good sport, but I know deep down she was thrilled that Dad and Miss M were struggling. As she said, Miss "M" has won this too many times to count and no one wants to eat dad's food." Guess you could say she was overtly excited to be the Amazing Race Winner.

On Monday morning when I woke her up for school, the first thing she asked me was if I'd "cheered for her team because I wanted her to win or if I was more afraid of going to Dad's restaurant." I assured her I was cheering for her. I was thrilled that she finally won the Amazing Race and couldn't wait to go to Red Mango and make Chicken Nuggets!

Now, we just to find a night a that we are all home in the evening and not heading to an event before 6:00 p.m. Have I said how much I love May?

Congrats Miss A on your victory!! Way to go. Hope next season you can cheer me on to my finale win too!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Horns and Huskers No More

The rivarly is offically over. My alma mater will not be playing my husbands team any longer. Nebraska is leaving the Big 12 and the Longhorns will no longer be on our schedule, so after almost fifteen years, we won't be fighting during football season.

To celebrate the end of an era, our whole family went to the NU/Texas baseball game on Friday night. It was a big event and one of the most challenging aspect was deciding which t-shirt the kids would wear to the game. Would they make dad happy or mom? Let's just say that my favorite child is now Miss A.

It was a perfect night for baseball. We tailgated before the game with KFC in honor of Grammy whose 99th birthday would have been the day before. It was a great way to honor her memory as it's a meal we often shared with her during our visits. Of course, we ran into many Longhorn fans who had journeyed up from Texas one last time.

We had perfect seats, behind the Texas dugout and even got to see the leading pitcher in the bullpin with pro scouts snapping pictures. Of course, I was cheering for the Huskers in the midst of Longhorn fans. Sadly, there was little cheering on my part as the Longhorns outplayed us.

Mr. C was totally in his element and he and Dad watched every play on the field while the girls and I "played" on the playground. Miss A did tell me that it was her favorite day ever, but I'm not sure if maybe the snacks had something to do with the fun. Miss M said it was fun to be a part of History, and loved watching the crowd. Of course, she was wearing burnt orange too so I didn't really trust her opinion!

To cap off a perfect evening, every child slept on the long car ride home! There is nothing like a quiet car ride with sleeping children and a happy husband!! Guess this means that I'll be cheering for the Longhorns come fall, and P will be wearing Red on Fridays to work.

Let's not get carried away!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Miss M is Eleven

Miss M had to share her birthday this year with Mother's Day and, while earlier in the week she was a tad concerned that this would mean she'd be second fiddle, she realized we had no intentions of ignoring this monumental day.

Eleven does not seem possible. It really was just yesterday that we brought our baby girl home from the hospital and our house was taken over with pink. Poor Mr. C had never seen so much pink in his life. I remember him asking if all sisters had to wear pink and why did everything have fruit, or bows or flowers all over it. Miss M was a delightful baby and fit so well in our family. Her blond hair and abundant curls had everyone smitten.

I marvel how that little girl is becoming more and more a young lady every day.

Miss M was thrilled with her gifts; clothes, pj's, gift cards, art supplies and even meaningful gifts that her siblings had picked out just for her. Her loudest screams and utter shock came, however, when she opened a package and found a Taylor Swift CD inside and a note saying she can take either mom or dad along on a date to the Taylor Swift concert coming to town soon!! She'd been begging for weeks and we kept saying how sad we were that it was sold out. Little did she know that thanks to dad's office, we had tickets in hand. Yeah Dad!

Birthday festivities included lunch with the cousins and Nana and Papa (there are some perks to a Mother's Day birthday) and then dinner out with the family. Mom and Miss A compromised on Qdoba and, while we all enjoyed it, the verdict is still out on whether we heard Mr. C breath while eating or if he just inhaled the food!! Gotta love teenage brothers.

Happy Birthday to our favorite eleven year old. Love the young lady you are becoming.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Project Update

The kids get out of school in two weeks for summer vacation. Let that sink in! That means that, while it's yet to be "spring" weather in these parts for a continuous 24 hour period, my children will be done with school and looking for me to entertain them every day.

In reality, this means that in between attending spring concerts, fieldtrips, honors nights, etc., I have to really kick into gear if I hope to finish my spring chore list before the natives are released to my care. Yikes!

Thankfully, I started off a few weeks ago in high gear and then the reality of the month of May and all its obligations threw me off track. But here's the list of what I've accomplished thus far...

Cleaned out Bonus Room. First, I had to pick a day that was somewhat warm, but not too warm so that I'd neither freeze or burn up. I've cleaned out all the stuff that we no longer used/needed and am down now to about 300 books that my honey and I need to go through. Between kids books, hardback novels, bible study tools and various non fiction books, it will be a task, but I'm thinking we can tackle them one box at a time.

There is so much open space in the bonus room now that I'm thinking Mr. C could hang out in there as a man cave. Of course, there are only about 30 days a year that it's the "perfect" weather to hang in the room!

Downstairs Kitchen Drawers: This was my first accomplishment. Quick and Rewards were evident right away. Repurposed a huge cabinet that was wasted space, cleaned out all the "junk," and now I just need to go over with the "dishwasher emptier" where things go so it stays that way.

Basement Cleanup: We had a lot of empty boxes. On Monday, round two of the recycling will go to the curb (my husband didn't want to overload our trashman) and since it's an every other week pickup, I've had to be patient. I've organized our off season coats, hats and accessories as well as camping gear, sports equipment and all that extra stuff in the corner. My husband now has few boxes of his "stuff" he needs to sort through.

I also went through the Kids Playroom and have organized the board games in an IKEA bookshelf, given away a few toys that were no longer being used as they were too "babyish," and now have a better sense of what to do in decorating this space.

Girls Storage Boxes: Miss M had a lot of clothing. There were bags of outgrown clothes in the bonus room, piles in her closet, and bin after bin in the basement. I went through it all and I was brutally honest if I thought Miss A would ever wear the stuff. I kept the timeless pieces, the dresses and skirts, the nice tops, sweaters, and pants. I tossed the target t-shirts and old navy tops that were on their third child (love the cousins, but some of the tops were almost 10 years old.) I know that I'll be adding to Miss A's shirt collection, but that will be cheap and she'll love the shopping.

This is the only spring cleaning I actually took pictures off thus far. All the bins are now labeled, clothes still in good shape that I tossed have been delivered to the Goodwill, and Miss A's current summer collection is in her closet.

Kids' Closets: Cleaned out, donated unused, organized and inventoried for spring/summer needs. I even cleaned out their drawers and figured out who the pack rats were in our family.

Plans for the next few weeks: I really want to paint the Kitchen Table, Chairs, and Stools. It's either been too damp, too cool or I've been too chicken. I'll go with the first two! I also want to clean out the toy closet and look at Miss A's collection of toys, barbies, polly pockets and things small (she's the hoarder of the bunch) and see what we can live without. I think we might even finish the family room painting project too, but I don't want to get carried away!

Lots done, Lots left to do. Love cleaning out the clutter.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh Mrs B...Make Me A Match. Find Me A Find. Catch Me a Catch

I remember when I was first married and I would hear Mrs. B and look around for my mother-in-law. I was so unfamiliar with both the title Mrs. and the the new last name that I couldn't imagine anyone was calling for me.

Flash forward almost eighteen years and I've hear Mrs. B thousands if not hundreds of thousands of times. I'm used to it. In fact, when dealing with young children I'm old fashioned enough that I actually prefer it to my first name. There are still a handful of adults in my current life that I've known since my own childhood and I still refer to them in this formal title.

Just ask my children's piano teacher. She'll always be Mrs. P to me. In fact, the handful of times I've called her by her given name I've almost choked up. It's just so foreign to me.

Being called Mrs. B by a nice young man I know lately has brought a smile to my face. I've gotten to know this gentleman through the admissions process at the high school Mr. C will attend in the fall. The school is rather formal so I'm not surprised by the use of the title in my conversations with Mr. E however lately it's become rather comical.

You see this kind young man is now dating one of my dearest friends. She is a young woman that I've known her entire life. I grew up with Miss K as my neighbor and I spent hours babysitting her and her siblings. Her mother was my earliest mentor and role model and now she and her sisters are some of the young women I admire the most for the women they have become.

If the song "Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make a Match" from Fiddler on the Roof is running through your head, you'd be 100% right. As I dealt with Mr. E over the past few months, I've been impressed with what a genuine gentleman he is and somewhere in my head I started thinking of my young single friend Miss K and how they would be perfect for each other. Funny thing is they went to elementary school together, but over the years they had lost touch and now they are dating. What a small world.

I've never set people up before in my life. Never. I have a feeling that all the advice that Miss K's mother told me growing up about dating, marriage and motherhood prompted me to look after her daughter and make this match. You see K's mom went home to Jesus almost 14 years ago and, while I could never be the type of woman or mother that Mrs. O was in my life, if I can do one small thing to bring joy to her youngest daughters' life I'm all for it.

I've told K that if they end up getting married, I expect that her beau will call me Jill at the Wedding!