Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Summer Schedule...Subject to Change

I'm trying not to hear "I'm bored" this summer (wishful thinking) and to keep the bickering at a minimum (if possible).  So I've come up with a tentative daily schedule to keep the peace...


6 – 8 AM

Clare up by 7:15


Up on own


Clare up by 7:15


Up on own


Clare up by 7:15


8 – 9 AM

@Swim Team

Jude, Ellen, and Mommy walk/bike


@Swim Team

Jude, Ellen, and Mommy walk/bike


@Swim Team

Jude, Ellen, and Mommy walk/bike

9 – 10 AM

Rosary with 1st and 2nd Cousins **

Make a visit to the Adoration chapel.

Free Movie @ Theater

Grocery Shopping

Fun Outing or Playdate

10 – NOON



12 – 2 PM



Naps/Quiet Time



Naps/Quiet Time




Make Dessert with Mom ***




Craft with Mom****



Naps/Quiet Time

2 – 4 PM

Play Outside or Read



Play Outside or Read


4 – 5 PM

Play Outside or Read



Play Outside or Read


*Schoolwork = workbooks from school and the dollar store.  Mostly for both of the older kids to work on their pencil grasp and penmanship.
** I {heart} my in-laws!
*** Stocked up on school fundraiser frozen sugar cookie dough.  Will do the same with chocolate chips and other baking staples...once my oven is up and working again.
****Going to be referring back to a lot of these.

I also made some summer-goal-reminder-charts for Clare and Jude for the things we would like to accomplish and practice this summer!

I also need to follow my sister-in-law's footsteps and buy a copy of this book.

"A Mother's Manual for Summer Survival"
  My own mom also had a copy when we were growing up!  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Summer Bucket List

First week of summer vacation and we have our summer bucket list complete:

Make rootbeer floats.
Go berry picking.
Catch fireflies.
Ride a ferris wheel.
Picnic lunch at the park.
Picnic dinner at the park.
Go to a baseball game.
Go to the zoo.
Read 100 books.
Watch the Olympics.
Grow a sunflower.
Movie nights at the park.
Watch fireworks.
Vacation Bible School.
Roast marshmallows.

What's on your list?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.

Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, 

God bless the USA!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick Takes

I'm hoping on the 7 Quick Takes Friday bandwagon here we go...

--- 1 ---
Since it's the beginning of a new weekend, so I'll share the excitement from last weekend.  Painting the bathroom ceiling.  We know how to have a good time!

This also means I want to repaint the bathroom.  Not feeling the green in there, so I'm coming up with another color scheme/plan.  Stay tuned...

--- 2 ---
Kindergarten is officially over!  So all of Clare's school supplies came home this week, including her rest mat.  I'm afraid to know what else came with it.  It has since been well disinfected!

--- 3 ---
I'm pleased to announce that my deck flowers are blooming!  Since I planted them as seeds (and have no green thumb) I am quite proud of myself!

My basil is also growing nicely and we made and enjoyed our first batch of homemade pesto this week.  Delish.

--- 4 ---
The other day Jude came in very upset that he lost his "fun guy" that Clare had given him.  I assumed he was talking about some toy figurine/action figure.  Then I realized he was talking about a "fungi"...a mushroom Clare had found growing in the yard and given him.  I think we are watching too many nature shows around here.  

--- 5 ---
Summer temperatures are holding steady and I'm getting my money's worth out of my summer wardrobe.  Although with some recent purchases, I must have been seeing stripes during my shopping expeditions...

--- 6 ---
I won't be doing any baking, or using my oven at all, anytime soon.  I was making banana bread this week and the heating coil at the bottom of the oven caught on fire and melted in half!  That was a little bit too much excitement for me.  Thankfully we can grill, take advantage of the crock pot, and use the stovetop until the "situation" is fixed!

--- 7 ---
Happy Friday!  Happy weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kindergarten Graduate!

Clare graduated from kindergarten last night is an official 1st grader!

We are so proud of all of your hard work this year and of all of the things you have accomplished!

We love you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Day of School! Last Day of School!

It's the last day of school!  We survived kindergarten and passed with flying colors!  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by and how much Clare has grown this year.  

I made up some super easy teacher appreciation gifts this year.  (Inspired by my mother-in-law who kindly gifted me with Bath and Body soaps for Mother's Day and now Jude has commented several times on how nice the "new green soap" smells.  So I stocked up on the same loveliness to gift to our favorite teachers.  Easy.)  I added personal thank you's and a bow and my good deed was done.  

Here's to a great last day!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Liebster Award

I was recently given the "Liebster Award" by 2 bloggers, Barbara from Chase the Star and Melissa at Serendipity and Spice.  

I was touched by their kind words...and was flattered that someone out there a) checks in over here and b) likes what they see.  So thank you very much, ladies!

"Liebster" means "favorite" or "dearest" in German.  This award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers (I'm getting close!) that you find to be up and coming and want to help grow.    

And so it is my duty and honor to pass this award on to these 5 lovely blogs...

There might be some nepotism here, but I have to give a shout-out to my sister-in-law who recently started blogging.  And I have to applaud her for her disciplined primal lifestyle.  Way to go, Shannon!  :) 

I have admired Andrea's blog for some time.  She had me at her moss-covered wreath and always seems to have something yummy up her sleeve!

I recently discovered Katie's blog.  She will motivate you to get your self in gear physically (she's a runner), spiritually (with the Hello Mornings Challenge), and around the house (menu planning).  Stop by and say hello.    

Kim is new to the blogging world and it has been nice to know another rookie!  She has a lot of creative juices flowing through her...from her kids' birthday parties to inexpensive ways to update your kitchen.  She's also hosting a Stella and Dot giveaway right now!

If Erica's beautiful photography doesn't draw you in, they take a look at her "about" tab where she hopes that what you read on her blog will help you create for yourself a life of meaning.

Stop by and check out these great blogs!

If you choose to participate...
Liebster Blog Award Rules:
1. Post about your win on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award - 
3. Copy and paste the award button to your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers that you think deserve to be recognized.
5. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

When God Created Mothers 

by Erma Bombeck

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands." 

The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way." 

It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have." 

That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded. 

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word." 

God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...." 

I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower." 

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed. 

But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure." 

Can it think?" 

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator. 

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. 

There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model." 

It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear." 

What's it for?" 

It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride." 

You are a genius, " said the angel. 

Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.” 

Wishing my own mother of 6 a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!  

We love you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Favorite Birthday Tradition

Jude was very excited to wake up on his birthday last week to this scene in his room:

It has become a tradition in our family to wake up to lots and lots of balloons in your room on your birthday (usually even in your favorite color)!

And for 97 cents at Walmart, this is an inexpensive and easy (well, maybe not if you get short-winded blowing up 20 or so balloons after the birthday child is asleep for the night) tradition to keep.  

This tradition has made some people very happy on past birthdays...

Turning 3
Turning 4
Making children happy one birthday at a time....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easy Chocolate Cake (no eggs)

We celebrated Jude's birthday twice...once last Wednesday on his actual birthday, and then again on Sunday with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  Since there wasn't a large crowd to eat a cake on his birthday, I made this cake from scratch.  It is a recipe my mom has used for years.  I did half of the recipe and made one-layer cake and it was plenty for the five of us to enjoy.

Easy Chocolate Cake
Stir together:
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups cold water
2/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Pour into greased cake pans and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
(Or for 20 minutes for cupcakes.)

My humble attempt at the Transfomers logo made the birthday boy very happy.

And slice for the birthday boy on our special birthday plate.

Linking here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Portrait - by Jude

I know I've gone all "Mom Haircut," but I didn't realize just how short Jude thinks my hair is until this came home from preschool...

And my very large and green!  :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trading Blogs!

Hello there!

Today I'm taking part in a Trading Blogs Guest Posting Party and can be found over at Yankee Doodle Designs.  And I'm happy to be hosting Karin over here:

Hi I'm Karin

 and I blog over at Yankee Doodle Designs. Let me start by just saying a BIG Thank You to Tricia for having me guest post here at  making it feel like home at as part of the Trading Blogs Guest Posting Party over at Serendipity and Spice.

As I said, I blog over at Yankee Doodle Designs, if you would like to come check me out. Most of the time you will find me blogging about DIY crafts, home improvement projects, thrifting and finding great deals (who doesn't LOVE a great deal, right). So after I was partnered with Tricia, I came on over to check out her blog and WOW was I excited when I saw this post, I knew right then what I was gonna blog about for my guest post, it just so happens that I am working on a big project in my Family room and was just about done with this fun little tutorial, so here goes:
Brought to you by the Letter N

 I'm so excited to be here to share a simple but super cute DIY project with you today. 

This is a quick, inexpensive project that you can do in just a few minutes. I saw this project on Pinterest months ago and have been dying to make it, but of course I had to put my own little twist on it. The whole project only cost me a a few bucks. I spent $2.99 on my "N" at Joann Fabrics, the maps came from an outdated Atlas in the trunk of my car, and the Mod Podge I had in my craft supplies.  By the way right now you can buy a super cheap 8.5x11 Atlas at Target, they were in the Dollar Spot the other day when I was there and I couldn't help but buy a few just to have on hand for future projects. There are some really cute map projects on my Pinterest Boards, if you would like to check them out!

                                   My Inspiration from Pinterest

I cut out maps of all the Cities that I have lived in over the last 25 years, there were 9 all together. Being married to a Military man, I've had the pleasure of seeing quite a bit of this beautiful country and living in some amazing places. I laid out my favorite places so they would be in a prominent spot on my letter N. My NOT so favorite places ( you know who you are El Paso, Texas) wound up in the back or on the bottom. 

I brushed some Mod Podge on my "N" and than began placing my map pieces, smoothing them out and then adding more Mod Podge on top. 

I did one section at a time stopping in between to let the Mod Podge dry so I could do the bottom and back with out the front getting stuck on my paper plate.

My favorite thing about this project is that my map covered letter "N" is covered with maps of all the Cities I've called Home for the past 25 years. It makes me smile when I look at it. I can't wait to hang it up, it's part of a bigger project that I'm working on in my Family's a little sneak peak

you'll have to come over to Yankee Doodle Designs  for the Big Reveal coming up in the next few weeks. Again a Big Thanks To Tricia for having me here, I really hope you enjoyed todays project and if you'd like to see more, stop on by my blog and see what else I've been up to.

Until Next Time

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oven Pancake

I found this recipe on pinterest (where else?) and made it on Sunday for breakfast.  The kids were a bit skeptical at first (a "big pancake?!") but even it even melted away Ellen's daily morning mood.

1 cup white flour
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend above ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Then pour 2 tbs. melted butter over the top (do not mix).  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.  
Serve with maple syrup.

(I did half the recipe and used a 9x9 pan.)

Easy and tasty weekend breakfast!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday to our Best Guy!

 We love you, Jude!  

Right now the things you love are:
Cars 2...and using floss to make a tightrope for Finn McMissile to fly across.
Hot dogs on the grill.  
Transformers (Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are your favorites).
Swinging outside on our swingset.
Carrots with ranch.
Telling us you will be "right here if you need me" when we put you to bed.
Red and dark blue.
Snack time at preschool.
Hot chocolate...even though the temperature is warming up.
Wild Kratts and any other shows about animals.

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recent Happenings/Happiness

 Clare and Jude have had the crayons out a lot lately.  I've enjoyed some of their recent creations...

"Rapunzel's Hair" by Clare
"Optimus Prime" by Jude

Jude was playing outside the other day and came running inside to tell me their was a "lizard" (or is it a salamander?) in the garage....

"Right there."


 I bought new cups for the older kids after realizing our stash of non-sippy cups was pretty pathetic.  At 44 cents a pop these plastic ones are making some people feel pretty darn mature.  

Summer popsicle stash has hit the freezer.  Someone is a "pop-a-cle" fan!

Love my stylin' new contacts case!  My favorite color, too!

And a Happy Birthday to Joseph, the baby in my family who turns 19 today!  
Good luck with finals!