Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter Pictures

Finally....posting what Easter pictures I have! I really am supposed to be packing for our trip tomorrow, but being the procrastinator that I am, Mon. morning seems much too early. My husband knows I typically stay up late the night before we leave furiously throwing things in suitcases while the rest of the house is getting ready for bed. But not this time. Today I'm going to do things differently. I will pack today...but after I blog first! LOL!
Easter morning here was chilly, so I wasn't in the mood to take pictures. Some Sunday morning when it feels like spring, maybe I'll get some then! Before leaving for church we let the kids find their Easter baskets. Then after lunch, I had an Easter Egg hunt for them....not knowing they would get one at Junior church that evening! So, they had a fun day!

Caleb's favorite toy in the whole world..... a ball. He has a bin full of them. He has to have one in his hand or tucked under his arm every time we go to the store, the mall, church, etc. As a result, every time we go shopping, I find myself going WAY out of my way to avoid sight of any balls....he thinks he needs every one he sees! He loves to play "baskees" (basketball) and it seems we have somewhat of a basketball-crazy toddler! Needless to say, he was thrilled with what he got in his Easter basket.

This year, I went VERY light on the candy. I did put a few M n Ms in their plastic eggs, but it was very few! Instead, we got them a couple Easter presents. We got them the DK Illustrated Family Bible I had my eye on for quite some time. If you are looking for something VERY nice for family devotions, this is it. I am very happy with the beautiful pictures andsimple story form. Very lovely.
The second present was Lego Mosaic. This is another REALLY creative toy from Lego. The kids (and me) have been having lots of fun doing this together. There are 10 patterns of pictures you can make yourself, then you can use your imagination and just make oodles of designs.

And then there's Pumpkin! The kids love her dearly (still) and she seems to be quite a good disciplinarian as well. The other night, Caleb was bothering her for the 100th time, and just as he cornered her, she hissed at him and then swatted him hard on the leg. (thankfully no claws!) He came running and told me, "Mommy, Pumpum pankin'!"

I just realized I haven't said where we are going on vacation. Well, you'll just have to wait till I post the pictures! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

and the laundramat is now open...sort of!

Well, yesterday I went from using this.......

to using this. Wow! Quite an improvement! For the past seven years, I've been using apartment size units. It was ok when it was just 3 of us, but as our family increased, and our washer and dryer did not, it resulted in MANY trips up and down the basement steps. Ugh! Anyway, last week, the washed died, so we decided it was time to move up a couple sizes. The washer is running great, but the dryer cord was too short, so they'll have to finish installing it later today.....I hope. After a week without a washer and dryer......well, we are getting low on clothes!
Tuesday night, a couple girls from campus graciously volunteered to babysit, so Chris and I got to take a date. Chris wanted our destination to be a surprise. We ended up at Smokey Bones in West Chester. I must admit, the whole time I was eating, I couldn't help but think how fun it would be to stop by IKEA on the way home. Well, that was the best part for me! :) He had already planned to do just that. I am a HUGE fan of IKEA! I'm not into ALL their decor, but I love enough of it to make me want to go there quite often! I am getting my big shopping bag at the entrance.
One of the rooms I liked.
A kitchen I did not......

I thought this nursery was kind of cozy. I think it's a lot prettier in person....the pictures couldn't quite capture all the small details.
Here's the nursery lamp that makes me want to do a nursery all over again. It was just so sweet. I wish I could think of a spot in my house for this anyway!
A round bed......hmmmmm.......
I just had to include this picture of Caleb reading to his dogs and bears. Lauren fixed him up in this chair while we were home schooling yesterday and I was surprised that he actually stayed there for about 45 minutes. It was too cute....and made our school much quieter! And speaking of homeschooling, we better go get started. Hope you have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Meet your new Pampered Chef Consultant!!!

Here I am. Your new Pampered Chef consultant. Just kidding. Really I am just posing with all my "freebies" from my show a few weeks back. At the actual show, I must admit I was a little dissappointed when only 5 people showed up. It was still fun to host it, but if you're going to make food for an army, it's nice to have the army show up! LOL! Anyway, my outside orders were the big surprise. As a result, I ended up with $140 worth of free product.

Just in case you can't see everything, I will give you a run down of all my free stuff. A color coated tomato knife, bamboo serrated spreader, mix' n scraper, sweet caramel sprinkles, a hold n slice, a classic scraper, a skinny scraper, Season's Best Recipe book, Easy Adjustable measuring cup, easy adjustable measuring spoon, a mix n chop, 2 packs of Twixit clips, a large micro cooker, a decorator bottle set, a flour/sugar shaker, set of easy read measuring cups, and a drainer. I didn't even have to pay shipping! Can't beat that! It feels like my kitchen got a real make-over today!
I also was able to get 60% two items. I chose the 7 piece Executive cookware set and the 8 inch Saute' Pan. I don't know if anyone out there has REALLY good cookware, but this is the first I've ever owned. I had a nice "Rival" set my parents gave me for a wedding present, but these pans are about three times as heavy and they have a Lifetime Guarantee. You can't beat that!

News from Sunday night.....Michael lost his first tooth.
Also, Sunday night after church, Chris and the kids made a snowman while I made our after church snack. He had a carrot nose, a walking stick and Cracklin' Oat Bran eyes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

February....a good month!

February was a good month at our house. I will try to hit the highlights for you, although they are not in order chronologically. Sorry. Anyway, we'll start with my birthday, which was the 28th. That whole week was a full one. I managed to go to a bridal shower the 25th, I hosted a Pampered Chef Party on the the 26th, (you will hear more about it later), and my birthday was the 28th.
I had one of the best birthdays ever. I had heard the Barnum Bailey Circus was in town, so I decided to get tickets for the morning of my birthday. Good friends, Jenn and Katrin Eckert, joined us. Since I was using a coupon from the Entertainment Book (LOVE that book) we had to purchase the tickets at the box office. I had originally planned just to get the cheap seats. However, when I ordered my tickets, they said for $2. more per ticket, we could get 8 rows from the front. I was thrilled....and we had GREAT seats. The kids had never been to a circus before, so it was VERY exciting to see them take it all in. I absolutely loved it and sitting there, I decided that at 33 (oops....I guess you know now) I couldn't be happier, than to be at the circus, with my three kids and friends on my birthday. (Except maybe if Chris could've been there too!)

We loved the tigers. It kept me on edge watching the trainer cracking the whip at them. I would have been so afraid of making them mad. But I guess that's why he's a trainer and I'm not! LOL!
My favorite blondie!
The kids found it a bit too loud. I kept getting so cracked up at them. All 3 with their hands over their ears almost the entire time.

The amazing tight rope walker. Scared me to death.
Bello...the main clown of the "Red Tour" of the Barnum Bailey circus. That really is his real hair. I know this because a lady from church told me that while they were at the Creation Museum one day while the circus was here in town and there he was browsing through the standing on end!

One happy 33 year old Mommy!
Chris had to work all day on my birthday, so to make it more fun for the kids, I baked a cake(with their help) and then turned them loose with the icing. Colors of their choosing! They had a blast and it was yummy.
The finished product. Lauren was not very thrilled with the way Michael dumped sprinkles all over her writing. It said "Happy Birthday Mommy!"
Saturday Chris took me (and the kids) out to eat for my birthday to the restaurant of my choice! It was "Dewey's Pizza"....the new location in Kenwood. We drive by that location on our way to and from church every Sunday, every time with my stomach growling for Dewey's! It was really usual!
One Saturday, early February, a lifelong dream (and prayer) became a reality for the kids. They had desperately been wanting a cat for years. (me too) But there was a long-standing policy here on campus that banned cats. Dogs are allowed, but the more we tried to interest the kids in a puppy, the more they wanted a cat. Finally.....the policy changed and two days later.....much to my surprise (Chris was keeping it all a secret) we were at the Animal Shelter picking out a cat. Chris brought along the paper stating the policy change .....just in case I didn't believe him. Here Lauren is with the paper! The look on her face says it all....they were jumping up and down and asking over and over "You mean they really will let us have a cat???!!!!" It was hilarious!

Here they are getting acquainted with "Pumpkin".

One of the cats we passed on we nicknamed "the hippo" for obvious reasons!

Pumpkin is two years old, and declawed. She tolerates all the attention amazingly well. And sometimes even enjoys it!

March is turning out to be a really good month as well. We immensely enjoyed the snowstorm over this past weekend. I LOVE to sit inside, all warm and cozy, and watch it snow. So relaxing! The kids, however, like to be out in it. I participate in a HUGE Kids Consignment Sale in Mason. So while I was busy with that all day Friday, Chris took the kids sledding in Eden Park.
But the biggest news in our house is..........
Caleb is Potty Trained!!!!! YAY! I'm so surprised. At 22 months, he's the earliest of my three to be potty trained. And this all happened in a week. I can't take credit for the "idea" of potty training this early. With my other two, I admit I listened to the "experts" and how they tell you not to start till they show interest in it, or wake up form naps dry and such. However, my friend Jenn began training her daughter Katrin (3 days younger than Caleb) and was having very good success. I decided "Why not try it and see what happens?" So as we home schooled in the morning, we brought the little potty chair into the classroom and "Voila!" He did it! Yesterday was our first full day accident free. He even cries in the night and Chris or I will get him up, he goes, and goes right back to sleep. You're right....this was TOO easy. But hey....I love the $$ saved on diapers!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vacation Pics....Part II

This is the bridge that takes you over to Sanibel Island, where I went to gather sea shells early Wed. morning. Chris had read that the beaches of Sanibel are covered in sea shells every morning. I got up rather early and got there shortly after 8. I was not disappointed in the least.

A beach at Sanibel Island bathed in the morning sun. It was so quiet and tranquil....just a few people gathering sea shells.

I managed to strike up a conversation with an elderly gentleman....of course I needed a photographer most of all. The worst part of going on vacation alone is....there's no one to take the pictures! I managed to bother people once in a while so that I had something to email back home every day! (No. I'm not in shorts....It was VERY windy!)

If you click on this picture, you can see the sea shells as thick as gravel.

I grabbed handfuls for the kids. Consequently, my suitcase weighed in at EXACTLY 70 lbs.

I chose a Greek restaurant on the beach for lunch. (Yes....after a hard morning of gathering sea shells.) Their interesting menu lured me in.....however, I settled for more appetizing food.

I got some fried was SO yummy. They served them with a dip that tasted like a cross between sour cream and tarter sauce. SO YUMMY!!!

My last picture before heading to the airport. (Not sure what's on my face....I think it's the reflection of the fountain somehow)
I have a hard time imagining the tan/burn now! LOL! By the way, when you go sit on the beach, it's a good idea to take some sort of sunscreen. Without Chris there to remind me, I, well, burnt a little! First day there, I trudged down to the beach, spread out my beach towel, turned on my IPOD, grabbed my book and sat for the next five hours. Only later that night when I began to itch just a little, did I realize, I hadn't gotten any sunscreen. Oh well. I was a little itchy for the next day, but recovered fairly decent given the circumstances! LOL!

The best part of my trip??? Definitely arriving back home and finding everyone healthy and happy! It was very rough being away from the kids. However, Chris kept up the kids and house quite nicely. When I arrived home, the kids had just had their baths, the house was cleaned, the laundry was washed, dried,and folded, supper was started and he had home schooled all 4 days in my absence. I was quite impressed!! Thanks a million, Chris!

This smile (plus others like it!) is what makes it so hard for me to be away. This is why I hope I NEVER have to work and leave any of my kiddos. This is my life and I feel so blessed and happy with every bit of it!