Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scrapbooking Once Again

For years, I thought it would be fun to take some friends out to the Lake for a weekend and Scrapbook. Last weekend, four friends and I went to the lake and had a great time creating pages, organizing pictures, and getting baby photos in books. 

Friday afternoon, P and I went out to get the house ready for the weekend, dropped off the food and scrapbooking supplies, and walked through the process of making it ready for a group of women.  In other words, P showed me how to turn on the water and turn up the heat!

Later that evening when all the women were busy creating and crafting, I knew that this long awaited dream was well worth the effort involved.  Not only was I scrapbooking again and really enjoying making my way through 2008 and 2009 pictures and events, I loved that these ladies were getting a chance to get away from all of it for awhile too.  Sometimes Moms just need a break and I'm grateful that our husbands (and P especially) were willing to pick up the slack while we were gone.

I don't think I've ever scrapbooked until 3 a.m. before in my life, and while I might have missed out on some sleep, the results were well worth it all.  We laughed, visited, watched movies, and I made my way through almost 480 photos and got them all in order of "events."  I might have cried a little over the "months that vanished" in our old computer crash, but I quickly realized that these missing events would make 2009 go much quicker!

Saturday was filled with even more fun, progress on pictures, and great conversations. I'm thinking that had we more time, we could have solved a number of the world's problems.  Instead, we just set a summer camping trip with brownies and daisy girl scouts, talked through great places to go on vacations, and discussed our favorite movies.

In fact, I think I need to go rent "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" soon; either that or spray some Windex!

By early Sunday morning, it was time to go back to reality and while I was exhausted from all the fun, I was glad that when I returned there were hugs from little girls, cleaned carpets thanks to my husband, and a basketball game to attend.

Now, I just have over 30 spreads that need some journaling and a few more months of 2009 to scrapbook and then I'll only be two years behind.  I know a few moms who are hoping this could become a monthly or quarterly event.  I just need to talk P into the deal!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Got My Crafting Gene Working Again

I have been wanting a "Screen" front door decoration for months.  I've seen them in cute boutiques and coveted them for my home, but have never felt the need to spend 40 or 50 dollars on something that hangs on a door for a weeks at a time.

You know the ones I talking about; the cute Snowman, Giant Pumpkin and the adorable Heart for Valentine's Day.  Deep inside I kept thinking I could make one.  I could create my own for tons cheaper.  I guess you could say I'm a closet crafter, but often my dreams are bigger than my abilities. 

Thankfully, I had a good friend who decided to make the jump into making a Valentine's Door Hanger with me.  We figured we could commiserate together.  Can I even tell you how much fun we had on our "Crafting Day?" We are all ready thinking of the "next" project we want to make.  Who knows where this will take us!

Here are the details on the project:
1/2 yard of Red Burlap
Ribbon with wire
Wire from hardware store (to make the Hanger)
Grocery Sacks for stuffing
Craft paint and Foam Paintbrushes

The simple instructions: Take a Template of a Heart, trace on the burlap and cut out with fabric scissors.  I folded my fabric in half so I only had to cut once. Paint around the edge to make a border, paint dots on the heart and let it dry. Sew together the two pieces with embroidery floss leaving a hole to stuff.( My friend used her sewing machine to do this step) Take grocery sacks and scrunch into balls and stuff. Finish sewing.  Take wire and make a loop for hanging. Have your friend make an adorable bow as a finishing touch and then hang on your door.

D and I each made a heart for our front door and then made one to give away to a dear friend.  If I do say so myself, this was a fun and easy project that I will definitely try again.  I see a cute Easter Door Hanger in my future!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feet, Fiats and Family Pizza Night

We had a fabulous Saturday and, while the girls and the boys spent most of Saturday split due to different activities, we had the chance to reconnect over a great pizza dinner that night.  Our Korean son joined us for the weekend so the boys could go to the Auto Show.  P and C have gone sporadically to Show since C was a little boy carrying around matchbox cars.  Jin had hinted at Thanksgiving that he'd really like to go so the boys made the sacrifice. 

Jin and C are convinced that they should purchase a Fiat once they turn 16.  In fact, C has already picked out his favorite color and "Coach" style interior.  He's still debating between the hardtop and the convertible version, but knows that a Fiat would be a perfect stylish car.

P might have loved the Fiats too, but is dreaming instead of a new Honda CRZ which is a super cool two seater.  I'm not sure how we would fit our family of five inside, but he'd sure look cool scooting around town in this car!  Guess that means Momma won't be getting rid of her mini van anytime soon! Yeah.

While the boys were busy at the Auto Show, the girls were busy getting Pedicures.  At least the younger girls.  I'm not convinced I'd like someone touching my feet.  I will say that these girls are all for pampering.  I got the biggest kick out of watching Miss A's face during the experience. She loved every minute and between the massage chair and the water bath for her feet, she was giggling and laughing the entire time.

Miss M, since it was here second ever salon pedicure, controlled her giggles a little more, but still had a few all over body laughs.  The nice nail tech was even smiling watching their little faces soaking up the fun and she offered me a little time in the message chair saying that a busy mom "needs a little pampering."  Hard to argue with that logic.

I told my husband that the big smiles on the girls faces and the joy they had in showing off their toes to any and all over the next few days was well worth the price.  The fact that little girl pedicures are half price as the moms helped too!

That night when the two "groups" got together to enjoy a little pizza at a family owned Pizzeria, we were all exhausted from a full, but fun day.  I love Saturdays.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Funny Things I've Seen Or Heard Lately

I'll readily admit that these "funny things" posts are totally just for me so that years from now I can remember these days!  Thus, I'm listing them in no order whatsoever...

1.   Miss A had been disappointed the first day back to school after break.  She thought her brother (who did not have school yet) was going to come and have lunch with her and see his old 1st grade teacher-now her teacher.  It was a big misunderstanding, but she was crushed when he didn't show up!  Bad mom moment too.  To make up for this indiscretion, I promised to come up that Friday for lunch and bring homemade mac and cheese from home! 

She agreed.  That Friday was crazy busy for me and I tried to cram too much into a short period of time and arrived with just seconds to spare before "lunch," but with the promised mac and cheese.  I was thrilled with myself for making it; her response "I didn't think you were going to show!"  Really.  We had a fun lunch in which I opened five milks, two puddings and prompted two friends to wipe their face to catch the messy gunk falling off of it.  We laughed and talked and I really enjoyed myself.  Miss A said it was her best lunch ever.

It was then time for "us" to go out to recess and I asked Miss A if she wanted me to go (I've always gone in the past) and she said and I quote " No, I'm done with you, you can go now.!" I think I was dismissed.

2.  Last week Miss A was home from school on Thursday and Friday suffering from a bad cold.  We watched some Little House on the Prairie shows and played some games and read books.  By late afternoon on Friday, she was back to normal so we did our "regular" weekend plan.  Monday morning as she was getting dressed for school she knocked on my door and said she needed to talk to me.  She was worried if people heard what she did over the weekend they would think she was cheating.  "If I tell people that I got a manicure on Saturday, they might think I was faking being sick." 

Really is this a normal thing for a first grader to worry about?  She had already told me on Thursday when she woke up sick that she wished it was a weekend since she hated to miss school. Miss A was worried she might fall behind.

Thankfully, Miss A was able to return to school on Monday and no one questioned her character.  When Miss M heard this story, she said that at her school some people take a "mental health day" and skip out to do fun things or just sleep in.  Mr C, of course, quickly pointed out that Jr High and elementary school are so easy there is no stress and no reason to need time off. High School, on the other hand, is challenging, stressful and that chilling out on the weekend is a requirement to get through the rigors of the daily grind.

I'm thinking that a mental health day is when all my kids are in school for an entire week!  Oh, and if the mother gets a weekend away to scrapbook with friends, that's as good as a Caribbean Vacation. Just don't tell my husband that when I'm gone next weekend, I've convinced him its all work and stress getting our family scrapbooks back on track!

The Hamburger Joint to End All Hamburger Joints

Mr C finally got to celebrate his Amazing Race win last season with dinner out on Saturday night.  If the truth be told, he "won" with a Mexican Cantina as his choice, but we kindly asked him to reconsider.  None of the girls in the family like the restaurant he choose. Thanks Mr C for caving into peer pressure (sister pressure?) just this once!!

The "winning" restaurant is an old fashioned Hamburger Joint that serves it's burgers on paper napkin.  It's a place that I used to go with my grandparents and we'd scout out the Fly Boys from a nearby Air Force Base.  Only back then, the restaurant was in a small old house that while it served great burgers and fries left much to be desired in decor. 

Today, its a hip restaurant with fun nostalgic pictures and memorabilia and big flat screen televisions. Their burgers, however, are just as good, and maybe even better than I remember.  Miss A said their grilled cheese might have been the best she's ever tasted and Miss M and Mr C thought the fries were to die for.

There is something about a great burger joint that just makes you feel All-American.  The fact that the San Francisco 49'ers game was playing in the background only added to the atmosphere.  I think Mr C is contemplating trying the "Stellanator" the next time we go.  It's like 8 patties, buns and all the fixings.  Considering the record is 156 attempts and only 3 successful patrons, I'm not thinking he has a chance. His picture sure would look cute on the Wall of Shame though!

Teenage boys have bigger eyes than stomachs even when they are growing like a weed. I'm glad this Burger Joint is a little bit of a drive for us because if he had the chance to build up his stamina he might just make it.

We can hardly wait for the next Amazing Race Season to begin; I'm already planning my winning restaurant.  I've got to win one of these times, don't I?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Adventures with Rose

Miss A and I use to have so much fun running errands together when she was a "little girl" at home with me.  We'd run to the grocery store or Target and sing songs in the car, make up funny games to play in the store, and of course the customary trip to the "cafe" for pizza or a pretzel.  We lived it up.  As the youngest, she benefited from having mom all to herself, and a mother who knew these days were numbered.

There are still days off that we get to do fun things and run errands together which we cherish. We miss each other.  This week, at Miss A's request, I got the privilege of taking Rose with me on my errands. She wanted Rose to experience some adventures while she was at school so Miss A begged me to take Rose along for the day.

We had a grand time.  I had promised Miss A that I would take some pictures of Rose while we were out and about.  When A returned home from school yesterday, she was thrilled with the "evidence" I produced.  Her only complaint: its does not appear that Miss Rose had a pretzel with me at Target.  I guess I'm out of practice and I forgot all about the pretzel.  Plus, I was on my way to the gym so I didn't want Rose to get a tummy ache from eating right before exercise.

Rose and I had a grand time at Michael's Craft store.  They were having their dollar sale so we stocked up on paint and paint brushes for craft time.  Of course, Rose choose some colors that I thought were hideous, but I gave into her demands.  At Target, we had to return an item, which of course meant a long line and then we went in search of a Tea Strainer for the new Kettle.  No luck.  We even asked the Starbucks guy and he just looked at us weirdly. Whatever.

I allowed Rose to sit in the front seat next to me, but I buckled her in and turned off the air bag.  We sang along to the Disney Channel on FX and then a little David Crowder Band too.  She has a nice voice, much better than my own.

At the gym, Rose looked lovingly at the Tennis Courts hoping that we could play a few sets.  Thankfully, they had snow on them because it was only 10 degrees outside and I'm not that nice of a person to play in those conditions.  Rose sat by the Track and watched me do my workout.  I waved at her from the elliptical machine, but she was still pouting and would not speak to me. After I did my "arm routine" on the weights, she demanded that I carry her to the car saying something about not having the will to walk to the car in 30 mile an hour winds.  Wimp!

I thought maybe Rose would help me with the vacuuming and laundry once we got home, but she was more interested in watching some DVR'd Biggest Loser episode.  Guess the trip to the gym got her motivated. 

All in all, Rose and I had a fabulous day; and it was fun to again have a buddy tag along on my day.  I'll admit however that I think Miss A, Miss M and even Mr C (on a day that he's willing to tag along with dear old mom) are a lot more fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Celebrating MLK Day in True Girl Style

Poor Mr C did not have MLK day off from school.  In his mind, he was among maybe two others in the whole country that had to get up early and go to school on this national holiday.  He was threatening to hold a "sit in " to protest this injustice, but we convinced him that was just asking for demerits.  He did, however, tell his Freshman Dean that the school day was infringing on his ability to "celebrate" the holiday in true style.  The Dean said he has all evening to make up for it! Gotta love private school deans; they don't hold back the truth.

Thankfully for Miss A and Miss M, their schools are more politically correct and they had a day off to do as they pleased.  After a make up piano lesson, we headed to mall to "finally" spend some Christmas cash and gift cards.  You would have thought that Christmas was months ago with the mold they thought was growing on their cash!!

Mom pulled a big surprise and took the girls to Applebees first for lunch. We needed our energy for shopping.  Miss A had gotten a gift certificate from school for completing her Addition Math Tests and she was thrilled to use it for some great Chicken Nuggets!

After much discussion, it was decided that we would go to Justice, Claire's and Build a Bear to check out the sales, look for fun new things to buy, and of course try on a few things. Miss A found the "A" Blanket she'd always wanted and fancy new pink purse that is oh so styling.  Miss M choose a fun frilly shirt and tank top that will be perfect to add a little sparkle to a dull winter day and I was able once again to avoid getting out of Justice without taking out a loan. 

 Miss A really wanted to buy a new "stuffie" and told me that she loves to go to Build A Bear.  It's her favorite thing ever!  In her ideal world, we would go a few times each year to add to her collection and give her new animals to play with online at Bearville.

Miss M, having already spent a little of her money at Forever 21, was also interested in going to BAB for a new animal.  When I suggested something a little "older," she told me that "you know you are only a little girl for so long, I might as well enjoy it while I can."  Preach it sister is what I wanted to scream!

Miss A choose an adorable Pink Kitten with a Heart Eye that she wanted to name Hearty, but we helped her pick out "Rose" in honor of Rosa Parks (or maybe the rosy color, but it was MLK day so work with me) and Miss M choose the softest puppy ever and named him Biscuit.  No cleaver marketing tool with that name, sorry.

There was of course some new clothing for the animals too!  You don't want a naked Dog or Cat running around do you?   By the time we left the mall a few hours later, I was glad that I had ordered an extra Ice Tea at lunch as I needed the caffeine to keep me going.

It was a fabulous day off from reality and fun afternoon of doing "girl things" with A and M.  At dinner, Mr C was quick to point out that he has the day after the Super Bowl off from school, meaning he can cheer until the wee hours without fear of being too tired the next day. I'm not thinking Mr C and I will be doing a mall trip on his day off, but you never know!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes

There is an old saying around these parts that if you don't like the weather stick around an hour and it will probably change. Really. We've been having a weird winter this year.  In fact, according to Miss A, the only thing negative about Christmas Break this year was that there was not a stitch of snow on the ground. Nada. Nothing. 

This weird weather has been the discussion everywhere I've gone; the grocery store, the gym, my kids school.  It was as if we were skipping winter this year. In fact, on Tuesday when the temperature was 54 degrees, I wrote on the kitchen chalkboard a cute little message "Spring Fever in January."  A friend of mine told me she was already thinking spring plants.

Last Thursday after school, I took Miss A to the park since it was 65 degrees out and sunny.  In January!  We got ourselves a Sonic drink and joined a number of other moms and kids running off steam at the park.  Mr C even played intramural football with some buddies after school.  It was spooky how much it seemed like March.

Then Tuesday of this week when the temperature was once again "unseasonably warm," it was off to the park again.  This time I went with both M and A to play tag along with half the neighborhood!

Sadly, I knew this was too good to be true.  Really too good.  Yesterday the wind was 50 mph, the temps dropped into the 20's and the icy snowy mix coated the streets right in time for rush hour. Winter has made a grand re-entrance.  This morning, as Miss M and sat in my warm car at the bus stop, we talked about the fact that we both knew it was too good to last, but boy was it nice.  At least that's what I think she said as the wind howled outside and the heater tried to keep the 10 below wind chill out of the car!

Gotta love the Midwest!  I wonder if that's what the Annie song "Tomorrow" is really talking about .... that snow and bitter cold are only day away!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Years' Eve at the Lake

New Year's Eve was never one of my favorite holidays.  That is until the past three years when our family has spent the New Year's celebrating at the lake with some good friends.  In years past, we'd have a quiet family "celebration" with fake champagne and an early ball drop.  Oh how I love our new tradition of hanging with the H family while spending a few nights away from everything  playing games, relaxing, refocusing, and having fun.

With this year's unseasonably warm weather, we were able to play Football outside on New Year's Day!  Really.  We were wearing light coats and gloves and hats.  Mr C was beyond thrilled as it had been his hope that we could arrange a game between the two families.  He was even dreaming up plays in his head. Little did he realize that Miss A, Miss M and his mother had no idea what he was talking about when he shouted out plays.  Not a clue.

Miss A did however like hiking the ball.  Miss M like the huddle the best and well I can say that I'm pretty good at kickoff and throwing. Blocking, running and making it to the goal were rather hard.  The look on Mr C's face, however, was priceless and worth any amount of shame I felt for my inability to play football with the "guys." 

Our New Year's Eve dinner was scrumptious.  We pulled out the fondue pots that have been gathering dust and had steak in red wine; cheese with bread and veggies, and for desert, the best chocolate fondue ever with angel food cake and fruit.  It was messy, yummy and perfect for a celebration.  I'm thinking we won't be waiting a whole year to make fondue again.

The only incident of the weekend was when I sclied a part of my thumb off chopping onions for the fondue on NYE.  In hindsight, I should have gone to the ER, but didn't want to miss the party.  I'm glad I could take one for the "Team" however and have yet another "blood incident" on a holiday.  Thankfully, it's healing nice and while I'll never be a hand model again with the big gash missing it was worth it to have a great evening and steer clear of the crazy people at the Emergency Room on New Year's Eve.  Can't even imagine!

New Year's Eve at the Lake was perfect start to the New Year..  We had a fabulous time!  Happy 2012