Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Happy Birthday. . .

Anyone who knows me well knows that your one of my dearest friends, so I'll skip the mushy post and just say your a forever friend and that's hard to find (because that wasn't mushy at all!) P.S. I am Lovin' that scarf! It's so. . . Stephaniesque?

Happy Birthday you old woman, you!

The night wasn't without a bit of puking and alot of sneezing!
(Thanks Dave for the Allegra- I'm Hooked)

What's more romantic than the fair or Stampede in this case. When I was little I equated romance and my parents at the Lancaster Fair Grounds. Silly, I know but there was something magical and carefree about my parents when we went to the fair each year, they'd hold hands and smooch alot. Maybe it's the Ferris wheel? Is that it Rach?

And, last but not least what would a Stampede date be without a ride down the slide. I wouldn't actually know due to my fuzzy head but the picture tells all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Voice of Reason: "Mommy..."

So, it's 2:38 in the AM. What am I doing up? I know I'm asking myself the same thing. Every few months I catch a cold that turns into a cough, which turns into me sleeping downstairs on the couch, tossing until I finally give up and pull out my laptop instead. Tonight my choice entertainment, a ABC Family show, that in an effort to protect my dignity we'll leave unnamed.

While watching unnamed mindless show, I start to feel a bit nostalgic and longing for the spontaneous whimsy of my college days. The more I watched this lame show the more I started to see my life as "Humdrum" and predictable. As though 'predictable' is something bad.

Predictable/adj;/: constant, stable, reliable. Definitely all things I've wanted in my life as long as I can remember. But either way, as I was wishing for something exciting and whimsical, my sweet Bridgey came filtering up the stairs with the most tender sleepy voice, "Mommy, can I sleep in your bed?" And, in an instant, I realized nothing was more attractive than this. Excitement is alluring, but consistency is comforting. Spontaneous is fun, but getting to wake up with these sweet babies is more than I ever hoped for. I had a moment of crazy, glad it was short lived.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Excerpt: The Creative Family

Our Summer Theme: Creativity

I'm reading a book called: The Creative Family. Here's an excerpt:

I encourage you to think about letting your child be the guide, director, and teacher, while you try to be a student. Your role is to provide the environment and to watch and learn. Try to forget and put aside all the things running around in your mind-- all the lists that need completing, all the distractions of your day, and all the mess that you might be making (don't even think about the cleanup process yet). Focus on your child. Watch. Never forget to play (and if you've forgotten how, just watch your child).

As difficult as it may be to shift your thinking from that of adult responsibilities such as cleaning up, try as hard as you can to think a bit differently about your chilren's "messes." When your child stomps through a puddle, try to think of the experience gained. When your child slips her hands right into that puddle, think of the way she is touching the earth, getting a sense for how things change in the soil. All of their messes are really lessons about life and the earth. Don't be afraid to get dirty. Be in the moment as much as you possibly can, and follow your child's natural, creative imagination where ever it may lead you both.

It's a great book. Two thumbs up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Maybe he uses plastic." -She said....

I can't remember how we got on to this topic, but it went something like this:

Ky: "How are people made?"
Mom: "By Heavenly Father."
Ky: "But, HOW does Heavenly Father make people? (Thoughtful Pause) Maybe he uses plastic. Or stretchy stuff. Look Mom (she lifts her shirt and pulls on her tummy) Stretchy!"

Bridge: Dad get me a fork.
Jess to Bridge: "Don't tell me what to do, Devil Woman" (italics indicate southern drawl)
Bridge: Dad I want a fork.
Ky: "Well, listen up with your Devil ears"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to Your Bridge, Evil Troll!

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

True? False? This is one of those quotes that sounds really wise, but is it? Either way, this week I guess I was in the mood to give my consent. I hate when I do that. It isn't the first time and I'm guessing it won't be the last. As much as I would like to walk away from a mean comment with my head held high, not allowing it to effect me, it always does. How do you choose not to care? Especially if you care about the person who made you feel that way. The only solution I've found success with is what my sister-in-law calls The Jerk Theory. It's just like it says act a bit like a jerk and people will behave themselves. What can I say, lame I know, but it works. It's like my dad with cats. He's allergic and trys to keep his distance, this only makes him irresistible to the felines. As effective as this solution is, it's not me. It takes so much effort for me to remember not to smile at someone or speak in Bored Monotone. And, the moment they show a hint of decency I hastily give up the act.

I've always had a hard time staying mad. When Jess does something that really gets my goat, I have to call and leave him a message right away if I can't get a hold of him, because I know by the time he walks through the door I'll be so happy to see him I'll just hug and kiss him. Not helpful when your trying to make something sink in like: put the toilet seat down!

About a week ago my oldest brother and I were in a full fledged argument about our mom and when I could think of nothing more to back my point, I did what any dignified angry woman would do: make things up. But in the middle of my rant he sweetly apologises for having 'offended me', and I predictably melt, followed up by gushing. "Oh, no Jason, I'm just being ridiculous. I just said that because I couldn't think of anything else, I know you love me and mom and would never want to...." He cuts me off mid-dialogue. "Stephanie! STEPH-A-NIE! I was being sarcastic!" And, continues his awful rant. Awh! Of all the nerve. Really in retrospect I can't help but laugh at this one, it's so humorous. (Not that your off the hook Jay, in case you read this).

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" -I blog mostly for my kiddos and I wish I had some great words of wisdom that would help when someone tramples their little spirits, but I don't.

Just that in the end it's better to be kind than bitter. Remembering you can never know what experiences that person has or hasn't had to make them the way are. So, love them and let it go. I'm not suggesting to be a Martyr or a mat for reckless stomping, just that forgiveness yields happiness.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Living nextdoor to the "Crazies"!

Today I heard a car come zooming down my cul-de-sac (nothing makes my heart race quite like a zooming car and kids near by). And, so the mother in me (as in: my mother in me) jumps up mid-conversation with my friends and runs out the open door to the middle of the road where I stand with my hand out like a crossing guard in front of this moving car and proceed to give them my infamous 'Slow down, Kids at Play' lecture, and they pretend to be mildly interested and polite. When I turned to go back in the house I saw my neighbors watching this neurotic scene from their front porch.


These particular neighbors are young, single, and I think they were friends with the guys I pulled over. In any case if there was any doubt about whether they lived next to The Crazies there is no longer. And, here I am (to the right) in a couple more years, you don't think Ky will mind?


Ky: "Witches shouldn't grab kids, but they just don't have Mommy's to teach them not to, huh?
(That's right Honey, witches just don't know better. She's so sweet. Tolerant of even witches, the Democrats would just love her.)

Ky: "Mom, why do you always stop children in the street and tell them what to do?" Because I am Nana's daughter! But, also because their mommy's should be doing it, okay I know your not suppose to parent other people kids but I'm such a crazy when it comes to busy roads and wandering children. My poor kids have been so tramatized by me they start screaming when they see a car coming towards them, not what I was going for, but better than not being cautious enough, right? How's my rationalizing? Really it's just my mom in me. It's the same reason I tell boys to 'quit looking at my sister that way!' when I take Keshia places. It's what my mom would do, and if I don't protect her, who will? It's not like she's 24, and married with 2 kids. :)

Fin the Goat Herder.

Parents like to imagine what their kids will be when they grow up. Goat Herder, never crossed my mind until the day we visited Butterfield Acres.

Ky was Ky, nurturing and sweet. She stayed in the same corner, singing, snuggling and sneaking in the occasional kiss (I kept telling her not to Kiss that Dirty goat, the little Sneaker.)

Bridgey was all bubbly with enthusiasm, bouncing from one goat to another, freely giving away unwanted hugs to unsuspecting goats. And, if this wasn't enough to pronounce his love, there were sweet squeaky sentiments: "Your so cute!", "Look Mom, He loves me!"

But, with Fin it was all Business!
  • "Ooooout! Puppy!"
  • "Gooooooo!"
  • "No, no, no! OUT!"
I'm hoping this is an a prediction of future leadership, rather than a repressed need for the youngest child to boss someone around. Actually it was the first time I noticed how much Fin likes to be in charge, it was hilarious. She went from goat to goat, pointing and yelling, it probably seemed obnoxious to other visitors but I was just doubled over with laughter.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"I love my Sewing Club" -Kyanne

Rachel and I had a sewing day with the girls a few weeks back, we started quilting pillows. It was "sew" much fun that we thought we'd start a Little Girls Sewing Club. We've only met twice but it's been a blast and the girls are really good. I was hoping their projects would look more like a 4 year old made them, but no such luck their too talented. Here's some cute photos (thanks Jaq).

"Your so Dead!" Famous last words?

"YOUR SO DEAD": The Movie

I thought it was so cute that Kitty kept jumping on the rim of the tub to see the kids, until she fell in. And, here we have Meggie joining the kids for an afternoon swim?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Missing that boy...

It's been 6 long days without my favorite pal. He's been in Hawaii all week, just bumming it. A board, fresh fruit and a rented car and he's been happy as a clam. From the sounds of it he's spent just about 98% of everyday in the waves, no surprise right.

The first few days without him were okay, and the house was uncharacteristically clean because I don't have his cute face distracting me, but the extra laughs and the silver lining to my day is missing. I realize how much more I laugh when he's around, how lighthearted I feel, and how come on weekdays, 4pm rolls around and I start counting down the minutes till he gets home to play with us.

This week I'm counting sleeps, I hate counting sleeps! Aimless post, just wanted to say I'm missing that cute boy, come home already!

*FYI: I just didn't want to go. He tried really hard to get me to come, but it's just too long and far away from my babies, especially on 12 hours notice. But, I'm so glad he got to go, he could use a break about now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"My Hero(es). . ."

About 3 weeks ago I called a repairman for my fridge. He was an older gent who had recently decided to venture out on his own.

I'll skip all the boring details but, 4 visits later, the frig is working, and I'm out:
  • $600.00 bucks ( I could have just bought a new one),
  • 2 grocery trips to the store,
  • have to repair wet drywall/water damage downstairs in Bridge's bedroom
  • and worst of all have to replace the wood floor in the kitchen (Estimated $5000.00 to fix) due to water damage from the fridge.
Awhhh. . . . After he left I was pretty bummed so I called Rachel. At best I was hoping for a good amount of sympathy but instead she actually called him up posing as my big sister and I'm guessing let him know her opinion on the subject in a "kind way". As kind as she was I'm guessing He must have caught a glimpse of her inner tigeress because he didn't argue much.

But, as the day went on he kept calling me, and I was nervous he was going to show up at my house if I didn't answer. So, I called my friend Stacy's husband who's a police officer and just a good guy, to ask his opinion. He came right over, assessed the damage and called the repairman up posing as my very stern brother and asked how he planned to remedy the situation. Way to go big brother and sis because the guy ended up apologizing and not making me pay for the 3 xtra visits after all. I am so glad, but more just in awe of my good friends. It was so sweet, I was so nervous especially with Jess gone all week, I kind of knew I was being taken for a ride but I was to chicken to do anything about it. You guys make rad siblings, Thanks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meg's Wedding Pix. A Bridal Beauty

They look way better on Amber's Holts blog. CLICK HERE to see more.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer time strategy for: "I'm bored"

WARNING: Very possible boring post ahead. I wanted to write all the details and my ideas out for future reference and anyone who is also looking for summer ideas.

The kids and I have been doing "Summer Play School". I get to play teacher (I've loved this game since I was 5) and we learn through playing. We only do it on the days we don't have other things on the go, and it's been super fun for all of us.

We start off with circle time, where we practice polite good mornings, read or tell stories, play creativity games like:"What if" (what if Ky was a puppy, what if we lived under the water etc.) and sing various songs. Some of my Favorites:

  • -Here we are together at our Summertime Play School (it's a mouth full and the kids think it's so funny when I add in Kitty).
  • -All time fav: 5 little Monkey's swingin in a tree... teasin' Mr. Allegator "can't catch me!"
  • -I had a little Turtle her name was Tiny Fin...
  • Going on a Bear Hunt, Wheels on the Bus
  • Zoom! We're going to the Moon!
  • 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe, 1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive... 6,7,8,9,10 then I let him go again.
  • "There were ten in the bed and the littlest said, "Roll over, Roll over! They all rolled over and one fell out, he gave a little scream and he gave a little shout! Please remember to tie a knot in your pajamas, single beds were only made for 9!" (I learned them song from Mo when Ky was just a wee little thing, and I think it's so funny, it makes me smile just to sing).
  • (Finger play) Two little Dickie Birds, sitting on a wall...
  • Wake up little Bunny! Hop! Hop! Hop!

After singing we chit chat a bit about what we're going to do for play school today. Then we do a fun craft involving our theme, work from workbooks for Ky, playdough, paint, baking, something messy. Then there is game/active outside time:
  • London Bridges where we capture the unsuspecting party,
  • CARS (they are cars racing each other but with various car problems- flat tire, wind sheild wippers won't shut off, car stuck in reverse)
  • Mother May I (where we practice being polite and obedient, hooray for Mom!)
  • Green light, Red light Gone Creative (- walk like ice cream cone, bee, puppy, cloud, Giant etc.
  • Duck duck goose (which really is just chase mom in a circle, but fun either way),
  • Fishing for metal clips using a magnetic lure
  • Baseball
  • Catch with softies
  • Sidewalk coloring
  • Bucket Ball (throw ball or stuffies into different buckets, baskets etc.)
  • Obstacle course with chalk (walk the skinny bridge (line), hop in the lake (circle), swim (along the squiggley line), tip toe through the bear forest (on the dots) etc.
  • Hot potato
  • Showtime on the Trampolene
  • Build a Rocket Ship, Boat out of card board boxes and tape. Then paint the next day.
  • Drama. Act out the book we read for reading time.
  • Summer Carnival (set up blocks to knock over and win a prize (get real prizes from $1 store) balance beam, relay race, bob for apples, face painting, have kids help make decor and -invite friends)
  • wash the van
  • Make our own summer tent with a white sheet and spray bottles with tempra paint in them mixed with water.
  • Silly Bigger or Better Scavenger Hunt
  • Start a rock collection or nature collection
  • Musical Chairs
  • Dance Party
  • Bug Hunting
  • Bobbing for Apple
  • Racing
  • Hop Scotch
  • Hot or Cold
  • Marco Polo!
Lots of good ideas here:

Specific Day Theme and Craft Ideas to come!