Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This one is going to date me....

Exercising with Hailey around is not an easy task. She does not like being pushed around in the Burley anymore. To convince her we should go on a walk, I pretty much have to bribe her with candy and sometimes that doesn't even work. Today I promised her candy. No. Candy and playing Barbies when we got home. No. Candy, Barbies and I will even get out my old Barbies for you to play with. OK - But just a short one.

So when we got home, I went down to the basement and dug out my old Barbies. Which is exactly what I needed to do with a million other things on my plate right now. Not only are Barbies clothes from another decade strewn around my house, but because I am a little bit OCD - I am now hand washing dirty Barbie clothes and sorting out the ones that need a little mending.

Do these outfits scream eighties or what? And don't miss Brooke Shields and Marie Osmond in that motley crew. Marie is wearing the dress that we not so lovingly referred to as "the scrap in the road" dress. If you think that little number is bad, you should see the get up her brother Donny had to match.

Then there are Hailey's Barbies that also include the Princesses Belle and Ariel. A lot more modern, but a little risque looking. Barbie should probably think about covering up that belly button.

While I was in the basement I found a box that was labeled "books". I opened it up to see what was in it and found some of my old books that I had saved. The "Little House on the Prairie" series that I had tried to get Spencer into at one point (but he was having none of it) was in there. Also an old school book that had short stories in it that I remember loving as a kid. The book "Ping" and "The Pied Piper" were also in the box. I remember that my Grama J gave me the "Pied Piper" book when I had the chicken pox in fifth grade. It is so funny how some of the most random memories stick with you through the years.

In case you don't already realize what a nerd I am, this is really going to drive that point home for you. When I opened the "Pied Piper" book to read to Hailey, a bunch of little papers fell out.

Yep, those are some homemade paper dolls. And if you flip them over they even have names on the back - first and last. I have always been kind of big on names. My sister is probably peeing her pants right now.

I was creative I guess. At least I got that going for me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Catch all tray and what's up next...

When you spend a month during the summer painting furniture, the most important thing that is drilled into your paint fume dizzy head is that outward appearances mean nothing. A good rule to live by in everyday life as well.

So when I spotted this little gem at Goodwill last week I saw nothing but potential. I wanted a tray to set by our phone that could hold keys, sunglasses, cell phones, change - basically all the junk that accumulates when we walk in the door. This old silverware sorter was wooden, which I wanted and it was two dollars.

A few quick coats of black spray paint and it is exactly what I was wanting and looking for.

As an added bonus, the open handles on the sides are perfect for the cell phone charging cords to run through. Eliminating unsightly cords all over the place.

Now that little job is finished I am on to my next task. Any guesses?

When I got out my sewing stuff to start this project I couldn't find any white thread. White thread is essential to this project. So before I could start sewing I decided to clean out my sewing caddy and organize my thread. I found two spools. See how much better it is to be organized? I know it's true. If only there were more hours in the day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hailey was the snack helper at school today. She was so excited. She has been looking forward to it for a week. When I asked her how it went she said "Good. Everyone said thank you". Now she can't wait until she can be snack helper again.

I am painting again. Nothing major. Just a little something I picked up at Goodwill for two dollars.

Hailey has a hard time saying "Mrs.". When she says it, it always comes out sounding like "Emes" (Em-S). She says "Emes Black" for the game she and Evan play with Grama. She tells me that she wants to go visit our neighbor "Emes Lynch". Oddly though she says "Mrs." correctly when referring to her teacher.

I just switched out the frames that hold my kids' school pictures with the school pictures from this year that they just brought home. In doing this I realized that I totally skipped a year. I never displayed their pictures from 2nd grade and Kindergarten - which totally adds weight to my thought of why I even bother to order any but the bare minimum.

I made some baby steps kind of headway in our office/den today. Then I came downstairs from putting Hailey down for her nap and found that Dickens had thrown up on the carpet in the office/den. This made me totally identify with the song lyric "sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug". God bless you Spot Shot.

My girl on the first day of Fall eating a push-up. It was in the eighties today. It doesn't really seem like Fall yet.

I bought two Christmas presents today. Look at me go! I have decided this year to try a little harder to spread out the debt.

Both Evan and Spencer are in Cub Scouts this year. Last night was their first pack meeting. While I was trying to get them to shove food down their throats and get their uniforms on the doorbell rang. I told them to tell whatever friend was there that they couldn't play. It turned out to be two sixth grade girls (neighbors) and a cute sixth grade boy wondering if they could play. Spencer told them he couldn't because he had to eat then go to Scouts. I told Trent when he got home that some cute, older girls came over wanting to play with Spence and he told them he couldn't because he was going to Scouts. To which Trent replied "He should have just said he was going to dorks."

I don't mean to totally rip on Scouts. It is a great program and my kids really enjoy it. Let's face it, my boys are never going to be super athletes. If they want to be Scouts - they can be Scouts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crazy hair day and crazy cute "Hai"

Today was crazy hair day at school. The boys told me yesterday was crazy hair day but yesterday was actually "wear your favorite team" day. Luckily yesterday's hair-do wasn't quite this crazy.

I have never noticed it before, but I am loving their exact same hairlines.

I wonder if it will still be spiked up when they get home? Last year I put spikes all over Evan's head and he was mad at me because he thought he looked like a girl. This year he didn't want them either until he saw Spencer with them. It is hard to resist the power of the spikey faux hawk.

I took these photos of Hailey before school yesterday. I could not get over how cute she looked. I seriously can't believe how cute her little legs look in leggings.

And that sweater? Can someone tell me where they sell that in mommy size?

"Walk. Walk. Fashion baby. Work it. Move that thing c-razy." She loves to prance around to me singing Lady Gaga songs.

Photo note: I didn't edit these pictures in PSE. I used the software that came with my camera. I liked how they looked while they were in the program, but they are coming across on the blog way too dark for my liking. I guess that proves that the extra effort in PSE is worth it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"I'll be quiet." "I'll be peace."

There are days that go by where I feel like all my kids do is bicker and fight with one another. I know that it is normal for brothers and sisters to annoy each other on occasion. I know there will be quarrels that are epic - ones that are retold year after year until the details get fuzzy.

I pray that it is the times like this that they remember the most. The times that they could just all be together and have fun. These are the moments that I want them to carry into the coming years.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Marching to the beat of his own drummer....

I cleaned the basement today. I am beginning to feel my annual fall urge to purge. It always seems to hit me at this time of year that Christmas is only a couple of months away and we are bursting at the seams with toys, toys and more toys.

In anticipation of having some items from my father in laws house that we are going to have to find a home for in our storage area - I attempted to make a dent in there as well. I went through a couple of bins of hand me downs that had been given to my kids and then quickly ran out of steam.

One of the hand me downs I found was a nylon Harley Davidson jacket. I put it in Evan's room thinking that he would love it for playing dress up.

Dress up. Schmess up. He wanted to wear it. Out in public. With soccer pants and Crocs. My boy has a flair for fashion.

We were headed to the Halloween store to get Spencer's costume so I figured there really wasn't any better place to wear such a getup.

I am learning to pick my battles.

That boy cracks me up! If only we hadn't missed "bike time" this year. He would have been the cutest little biker guy in town!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hailey's (First) First Day of School!

Hailey had her first day of preschool today and she did fabulous! Any little bits of apprehension that she had expressed to me in the days leading up to this day were gone the minute she entered the classroom. She found her name tag and placed it under her backpack hook. (This task will be a little bit daunting for her since the only letter she really knows in her name is "H" and there is a little boy named Hudson in her class. I keep trying to instill in her to look for the "H-A)".
She grabbed a picture to color while she waited for the rest of her class to get situated and I had to chuckle as I watched her moving her hand to color but not even looking at the paper. Her eyes were darting around the room transfixed on what the other kids in her class were doing.

I kissed her goodbye and left her there to begin her new adventure. Another Mom I know asked me on the way out if I was sad. I thought I would be, but I really wasn't. I think after the last week I was so ready for two hours of complete alone/quiet time I was thankful for the break. The sadness might be something that hits me unexpectedly down the road a bit.

It was a bizarre feeling to walk out of that school without carrying a baby or holding a toddler's hand. I have been a bit nostalgic for my babies lately. They seem to be growing up so fast and now with Hailey in school I feel like my job as a mother is almost over. I know in the sane part of my head that is not true - but I feel it anyway. It didn't help matters when my neighbor wrote on Facebook (don't talk about Facebook) how much she was missing her babies that were away at school. (Her youngest went to college a few weeks ago.) I know that those days seem like a long way off, but really they will be here before I know it.

I am happy for my girl. She loves school and she is already excited to go back. Her enthusiasm reminds me of Evan's and he has always been a voracious learner. I hope she follows in her older brother's footsteps in that regard.

When I went back to the school to pick her up, the kids were coming back into the building from outside. They were all walking in a line with "hands on your hip and finger on your lips". I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that Hailey is one of the tallest (if not the tallest - by the time I noticed some kids were seated already) in her class. That is a first in this family for sure!

My hope for her this year is that she is able to branch out a bit and establish an identity of her own. I hope she makes some sweet little girl friends and forms bonds that last long into her school years.

Happy first day of school baby girl! I can't believe how fast the years have gone by!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I was helping Spencer with his spelling homework tonight when Evan walked over and asked if he could practice writing sentences while he waited for Spence to finish.

Um? Sure you can!

When I saw him writing his sentence I couldn't stop smiling. He was sounding out words. He was stretching words. He was leaving finger spaces between words. He was simply doing an awesome job!

It may not look like much but what I saw tonight was so far from where he started. I couldn't be more proud of my first grade boy! Can you read it?

I like to go to the park.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday bargain hunting

I wanted to do a lot of garage-saleing this summer. But summer is crazy and summer gets so busy - I managed to get out once while my sister was in town early in July. We hit some good ones and found lots of bargains. It was fun to have someone to go with that enjoyed the hunt like I do.

Sunday is not a very popular garage-saleing day, but my Mom and I read about a big moving sale being held in a pretty affluent neighborhood on a Sunday. We thought that we might as well check it out. The sale was held on Saturday too, but since it POURED here on Saturday, we figured they wouldn't have been very busy so there would be lots of stuff left.

We were wrong.

When we drove by at first we thought we had the wrong house because it looked like they had nothing left. After checking the address and determining that this house was in fact the correct house - we ventured in to see what we could find.

They didn't have too much, but most of what they had was pretty good stuff.

Hailey spotted these boots right away and was hooked. They were three dollars. The seller probably would have taken two for them but I need to work on my bargaining assertiveness. They were in good shape. They were a couple of sizes too big, but all the better to grow into my dear. Plus we all know how my Hailey loves her a good pair of boots!

Three Scooby Doo DVD's and five Magic Schoolbus DVD's - six dollars. These were all bundled together, but it couldn't have been a more perfect bundle. My boys LOVE Scooby Doo movies.
They are also fascinated by the Magic Schoolbus series and I can't find it on TV anymore. I always loved those because they were so educational. I learned things I didn't know watching that show.

The seller gave Hailey this cute pair of shades and a case just because she thought she was cute. I guess I need to take her with me more often.

Last but certainly not least, our girl has her first big girl bike as of today. It was marked at thirty dollars and I knew it was worth the price especially with a helmet included, but I was still hemming and hawing because I knew she didn't really NEED it yet and we usually get the kids a bike for their fourth birthday. But then I thought - here is a perfectly good bike for cheap when the one we will buy in January will be well over fifty dollars and plus - IT WILL BE JANUARY! She won't get to ride her birthday present for months! What kind of a gift is that? My hesitation paid off because the seller walked over and told me that she didn't want to pack it back up and would take twenty five for it. SOLD!

I was pretty happy with my purchases today. Maybe Hailey and I will start going to some sales on Friday mornings while the boys are at school. Because that is what we need - more STUFF around here!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First day of school!

I am short on words right now because my thoughts are consumed with worry about things much more important than posting on a blog.

But yesterday was the boys' first day of school and there are a few things that I want to remember about that day. Things that make me happy. And when you are going through times when you feel the hardness of life - things that make you happy are good.

We were able to go to the school last night to meet the kids' teachers and see their classrooms. It was mostly old hat for Spencer who is embarking on his fifth year at the school, but Evan was as excited as he could be. He couldn't wait to show us his desk that opened! It opens - like a secret hatch kind of! He could barely contain himself as he pulled out one pencil after another and took them to the pencil sharpener to put a fine point on them. When I was able to speak to his teacher she told me that she was so excited to have Evan in class this year (she had Spence in first grade also). I told her that he was very excited about first grade and apparently the most excited about sharpening pencils. I had to laugh when she told me that all day long between lessons he would go to the sharpener and sharpen his pencil. She finally told him that if he kept on sharpening that pencil he wasn't going to have a pencil left! I guess now we know what to get him for Christmas.

Evan lost his lunch case on his first day. He didn't know that he was supposed to put it in his locker after lunch and just left it in the cafeteria. We found it in the lost and found while we were at the open house. So typical of one of my kids to lose something on the first day of school.

It warmed my heart tonight while I was tucking Evan in and told him that I was glad he liked first grade when he said that he still sometimes missed me during the day. I told him that I missed him too, but that tomorrow morning we would do "kissing hands". He liked that idea a lot.

The bus stop is HUGE this year! All in all a good start to the school year - at least the school part of it. If you have a minute, please keep my family in your prayers - we could use them right now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

So long summer!

We had an amazing summer. Hot weather - the kind of heat that forces you to run your air conditioner more often than you can ever recall running it in previous years. Warm lake temperatures - warm as in not falling below the high sixties and mostly hovering in the seventies. I don't ever recall in my almost forty years of living here a summer where the water just stayed warm all summer long. It always seemed to fluctuate between warm and cold depending on the day.

Here it is labor day weekend and our summer is ending in a way that does not seem fitting for how incredible a summer it was.

My kids on the beach on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. This beach should be standing room only at this point - not a soul to be found. And do you notice what my kids are wearing? Not exactly beach attire.

They are still pretty cute, even when they are freezing their tiny booties off!

Later Saturday we had a bonfire on our deck and we all wore jackets. Jackets and bonfires and summer weekends just don't seem to go together.

We had a visit from a skeleton pirate complete with treasure map made out of an old piece of cardboard he tore apart. Don't think for a second that I am not trying to convince Spencer that this should be his Halloween costume. I am being a bit of an overachiever with my sewing projects and I don't think I can make three costumes this year.

Evan shows off his prize winning stick gathering skills and his sudden desire to "pose" for every picture I take of him.

These are Spencer's marshmallows. He still adheres to the "burn and blow" method where I am more of a golden brown snobby sort.

Hailey with her new haircut (courtesy of her Mommy) and a little bit of marshmallow on her face.

The biggest brother, with a lot of marshmallow on his face, enjoying his last s'more of the summer. Of course there is always Fall....
On Sunday we drove to a park up north and hiked around in the woods for almost four hours. We were hunting for a pirate themed, multi-stage geocache that Trent has been jonesing to find for over a year now.

Hailey pretty much cried the whole time and wanted to be carried by her Daddy.

The boys had a great time and never complained once. And they even missed lunch because it took way longer than we thought it would.

Not a bad view huh?

And what could be better after finding eighteen hidden clues than a giant treasure chest at the end?

So long summer! We are already counting down the days until next year!