Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Some of my family members received this "teaser" picture earlier in the month.

That is, Lulu took these parts to make her own Halloween costume.  These family members have been waiting patiently to see the final result.  {{Thank you for your patience!}} 


The goal was to make a costume based off of a character named, "Boo" in Monsters Inc (see inspirational pic below, on left).  The picture on the right is the only picture I have of the finished project.  {{sad face}}  Nonetheless, she loved the costume and all of her friends knew who she was.  WIN!  I am delighted that she made the whole thing herself... it gave me such joy to see her sitting at the kitchen table with a glue gun in her hand.  You know what they say... "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."  Right???

Another highlight of my life right now is... wait for it... my dehydrator.  Most recently I bought a mixed fruit bowl for a large family gathering and we never opened the bowl while we were there.  This left us with gobs of leftover fruit at home... and no one was motivated to dig into the fruit bowl. 

Guess what?  I cut it all up into small pieces and threw it in the dehydrator and my family INHALED it the very next morning.  This is great because (1) it didn't go to waste, (2) it will last for a very long time, and (3) the kids are still eating fruit without feeling like they are "eating fruit."  WIN!

I threw some fruit chips in their lunch containers, at their request.  Here is Bro's sandwich, crackers, and pineapple chip snacks!

I'll be making homemade apple chips for the third fall party this season.  They are always a hit, and I totally got my money's worth out of the dehydrator.  I love it when a good plan comes together like this!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We didn't have much success with the garden this year due to (1) the deer eating our stuff and (2) then we weren't motivated to water what was left of the garden.  Some little carrots did manage to survive and the kids picked them this week.  

Here's a picture of Bro's little snack pack he takes to school.  I pack two separate food bags for him:  (1) snack and (2) lunch.  Since lunch is not until 1:20, the kids eat snack in the classroom each day.  Here is his little snack on the day he took his carrots.  He was so darn proud of these carrots! 

Carrots; ranch dressing; orange-yogurt covered pretzels; and peanut, butter, and jelly mini-sandwich.
Speaking of lunch, I had to make this little chart (below) and put it the cabinet so I can pull it out when I make lunches.  It never fails that once a week I am sending one kid to school with a lunch item that he/she does not like.  Hopefully, this will avoid the confusion.  I'm not so concerned about Bri since her school offers snack to the kids (but she insists that I pack her her own snack), but there are no other options for Bro.

Here is my preliminary list for your viewing pleasure.  If it's blank, then they don't like that snack.  

I'm sure I will be adding to this list as time goes on.

Do you have any other lunch tips I need to know about???

Friday, October 11, 2013

What I'm Loving?

Sometimes I am so easy to please {{emphasis on sometimes}}...

Many folks in my State were upgraded to this new recycling can (see below).  It is (1) extremely large, (2) on wheels, and (3) with a lid.

What does a girl have to do to get one of these cans?  Really?  They gave them out for a pilot project years and years ago... and it must have gone well because they have been rolling them out ever since... but NOT in my neighborhood.  My husband goes to the dump... like... a few times a week... every single week... for years.  They know him by name... and he knows THEM!  But, they cannot issue him an upgraded recycling can.  This is beyond crazy!

Well, everyone in my neighborhood had one of these shiny new bins when I got home the other day!


It's the little things folks. 


Moving on.

Dishwasher Troubles

We have dishwasher troubles in my house.  That is, we (Dear Husband and I) cannot agree on when to run the dishwasher.  At what point do you know that it is time to run the dishwasher?

Dear Husband's system:  Run the dishwasher when it is so very full that you could not even slide one more knife into the tray or on the rack... it has to be filled to the rim.  If there is any room at all for any type of dish or utensil, then you wait until you have dirtied that dish/utensil and placed it in the dishwasher.  Never ever... under any circumstances... run the dishwasher until it is filled to the top.

Mommy's system:  Run the dishwasher when (A) you start running out of certain types of dishes and (B) the dishwasher is at least 3/4 full.  Both A and B have to be present.  In all reality, this is what happens... we run out of spoons, or spatulas, or knives... and I am in the kitchen on a busy weekday morning and someone {{Dear Husband}} filled the dishwasher with the last of certain dishes but did not RUN the dishwasher.  So, that leaves me to pull old and crusty dishes from the dishwasher and clean them and dry them (on a busy weekday morning) so that I can start to prepare breakfast for the day.  IT IS MADDENING!  JUST-RUN-THE-DISHWASHER!

You may be asking yourself, "Napmom - why don't you just run the dishwasher yourself?"
Answer:  I cannot do that because Dear Husband will hear it and run over and either (1) stop it or (2) give me his I'm-irritated-because-you-waste-money look. 

However, the answer to my prayers is upon us my friends.

We upgraded our dishwasher to a used model that someone was giving away.  And, look at the luxury feature on this new model... look closely... it is a "delay" feature.  I can "delay" the start of the dishwasher for a time later in the day when he will not be home! WHOA!!!!!!!

So, one random morning this week I set the "delay" for 2-hours later... and, yes, I took a picture of it for ya!!!  I came home to clean dishes and put them away and Dear Husband has NO IDEA that I ran the dishwasher when it was only mostly full!  And, I had plenty of clean dishes to use for breakfast the next morning! LAAAAAA!!!!

It's the little things folks!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Star Wars and a Surprise Project

For goodness sakes... we have a Star Wars fan in our house.

Little Baby Bee has a friend at daycare whose whole family loves Star Wars.  She told me she wants to be a "white trooper" (also known as a storm trooper) for Halloween.

The costume arrived in the mail and I cannot get it off of her.  She wears it for breakfast, to nap in, to play in.  NO - she does not wear it to Sunday School... but she would if she could.

She talks to anyone and everyone about Star Wars.  It is all consuming!!!

If you didn't hear, October 5 was Star Wars Reads Day.  Our local library held an event and we went, not knowing what to expect.

We had a BLAST!!!!

There was plenty for the kids to do.

Vintage figurines.  Oh - I soooooooo remember these guys.
When we first arrived we met a very life-like R2-D2.  I mean... this was practically the real deal folks. 

Bro and his Chewbacca puppet.

Then, we relaxed, played some games, made an origami Yoda, and read some books.

Finally, the storm troopers and Darth Vader arrived.  At first, Bee wanted me to hold her for the pics.   

But, then she found the courage to face Dark Vader alone!

I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun Bee had taking pictures and visiting with the characters.  She was literally star struck!   

She refused to leave the library and threw a fit like I was dragging her out of Disney World.  On the way out the door, Darth Vader stopped to shake her hand.  She asked me to hold her so she could get closer to his face.  When she got close, he gave her a high five and then said (in a real Darth Vader voice) "The force is strong with this one."

WHAT????  She lifted her face mask and gave him the biggest smile I have ever seen.  She was speechless!

What a great event and we will definitely be sure to go back next year!

When we got home, I found Dear Husband in the back yard building an ice rink with a tiller.  What is he doing?  You'll never guess.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Moving Right Along

Let's see... I just answered an automated call from Bro's school. 
"This is an important message regarding your child's attendance at school today.  {{Enter name here}} was late to school today.  Please call the office if you have any questions regarding this message."
I immediately called Dear Husband.

Me:  I just got an automated message from bro's school and it said that he was late for school.

Dear Husband:  Yes, he was late today.

Me:  Oh... um... okay... why was he late today?

Dear Husband:  Because I called the radio station to talk to the radio people and the kids wanted to stay in the car and hear me on the radio.

Me:  Ok.   {{enter confused look here}}

Did that just happen to me?  Yes, it did.

In other news, yes, Lulu loves her new school.  She has called it, "enchanting" and "perfect."  The girls are so so so very nice and the teachers are just as helpful as we had hoped. 

Most recently, her french teacher made up a "game" for her.  It's not really a game, but she loved lining up the flash cards in each verb family.  I'm just grateful that she is studying... or whatever you call this. 

Yes, Baby Bee smudges my clean windows cleans my windows for me every single weekend. Sweetie pie!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Family Time

Oh my goodness.  Lulu has been asking to go to the Rennaissance Festival with us for a few years now and we finally made a point to go.  A great and fabulous time was had by all.  I wish I had more pictures to share, but I was enjoying living in the moment... so these will have to do.

We ate great food and watched fab shows.  Lulu really enjoyed the final show featuring the King and Queen since she had been looking for them in the crowd all day long.  Bee's favorite act was the "Wheel of Death" - no, I'm not kidding.

We arrived in the middle of the day and closed the place down.  However, Daddy has been eyeing this strong man challenge during our last few visists, but he's never tried it out.  Folks - I have seen some very beefy and macho men step up the the challenge and then never hit the thing hard enough to make it ring the bell.  It's embarrassing.


Nonetheless, Daddy decided to give it a try and, unbeknownst to me, had plans to win keepsake prize necklaces for each kid.  That means, he had to reach the desired achievement level three seperate times to get a necklace for each kid.  GULP! 

Whoa - ladies... when you see your man step up the the strong man challenge and totally BLOW it AWAY while your kids are watching... well, that, my friends, can melt a woman's heart.  
He came back with necklaces for two kids and then so very nonchalently turned to our teen and asked if she wanted one too.  She politely declined.  LOL!  I was shocked that he so easily rang the bell, but he said, "Mommy - I chop my own wood.  This is easy.  Next time you will need to spot me a $100 bill so I can really impress you."  LOL!  I guess we'd better start saving.

Today, I am volunteering at the beer garden at the Ren Fest as part of a fundraiser for Lulu's school.  We have 16 volunteers from the school and I guess we will be serving ujp beer all day long... and then the school keeps part of ths profits??? I'm not quite sure how that works. 

Here's to family fun!!!!

Talk to you soon,

Friday, September 20, 2013


Whoa!  I have three kids in three schools in two different parts of the county and no one can take a bus.  Thus, Daddy chauffers in the morning and Mommy gets the afternoon shift.  How long is the commute?  Well, it goes something like this:  leave my office, walk to car (a block away), drive to get Bee, go in and gather her and her stuff, get in car, drive to get Lulu, wait for her to get to me (depending on her commitment, this could be a 15-minute wait), drive to get Bro, get in and get bro and his gear, drive home.  All in all, this takes an hour and 45 minutes.  Many days, Fairy Grandmother (who lives very close to me), will get Bro.  This saves me 45 minutes.  SWEET!

The evening consists of unpacking and cleaning lunch containers, cooking and cleaning up from dinner, and prepping for the following day. 

Look at the picture below.  Do you see the large mound of dishes?  I am not kidding you when I tell you that this pile mostly consists of:  containers from their lunches and a few items from preppring dinner. 

Folks - our dinner consisted of spinach dip, leftover pizza, carrots, and edamame.  So, what this really means is that... most of this pile is JUST the pile from their lunches.  On the nights that I cook a real dinner, this pile is twice as large.

Is anyone else shocked by this?  Thank goodness I only have lunches for two of the three kids.  I am partly tempted to just go with disposable storage (juice boxes and baggies) but I just cannot bring myself to create that much trash every single day.  Ugh!

See - I told you... look at this dinner. 


Funny story.  See those edamames up there?  Edamame is pronounced "eda-mommy" but Bee calls them "eda-mommas" instead of "mommy" and for some reason I think this is adorable.  When she is really showing off, she will call them "eda-daddas."  BWAAAAA!

Yes, I know you want to know how school is going.  Well, Bro loves his teacher and his new friends and learning, but he is having a hard time transitioning in the morning.

I had to send this note to the principal today:

Dear {{Principal}}: 
Thank you for taking my call this morning. My concern is that my new Kindergartener, {{Bro}}, is have a difficult time transitioning to school in the morning. He has a great time during school and he loves his teachers and the new friends he is meeting, but this morning transition is difficult for him.

{{Bro}} comes from a preschool environment and it has been his habit to watch Daddy drive away and wave to Daddy from his classroom window every morning. After Kindergarten orientation, last Spring, {{Bro's}} only concern was, "Will there be a place to wave good-bye?" This Fall, we were putting {{Bro}} on the bus and this was NOT working for him at all. Thus, we moved to driving him to school and letting him wave good-bye to Daddy. Finally, we were making some progress and he is tear-free 50% of the time. Nonetheless, this morning, he was rushed into the building and was not permitted to wave as Daddy drove away, and {{Bro}} had the biggest melt down yet. I respect that you are responsible for tons of kids... I do. I respect that you have to watch for not only the safety of Brody but also the safety of every kid in the school. I respect that each child is a precious gift and "kids + cars = bad combination." However, is there any way that {{Bro}} can be permitted to wave to Daddy as he pulls away before entering the building? I really feel that giving {{Bro}} an opportunity to wave good-bye would be extremely helpful. Any help you can provide, or suggestions you may have, is greatly appreciated.

Sigh - yes, this transition has been hard.  I cannot begin to tell you how this breaks my heart.  We rewarded him  for keeping up with school evevn though it seems "scary" (his words) by taking him to the LEGO store this weekend.  He picked out some Star Wars LEGO sets.  Why the sudden fascination with Star Wars???
He said that Bee should be permitted to get something too (yes, HIS suggestion) so she picked out some bricks and three people, which she made herself. 

"I made this wall for my brother's Star Wars set Mom!" said the sweetest sister ever!
Bro is not the only kid in our home transitioning to a new school this year.  There is still more to come!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


"Mom, I think I should be an artist when I grow up because I am really good at staying in the lines and also I know stuff."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Day Before Easter

We are just finishing up a wonderful day.

Woke up.

Went to an Easter event at my church:  bouncy house, horse rides, story time, egg hunts every 15 minutes, and so on.  The kids had a blast!

Went to the local bakery to pick up a honey oat bunny bread for tomorrow.

Dyed "eggs."

Bought Bro some soccer shoes and shin guards.  His first practice and game is THIS week.  What?  

You might remember that we fostered a pet chicken last year and dyeing eggs with a chicken in the family was a bit awkward to say the least.

Nonetheless, I made good on my promise to find a more humane alternative to dyeing real eggs and purchased two dozen eggnots.

They look and feel like real eggs.

They last forever - so I could display them on my cabinet for the entire month of March without the fear that hey would spoil.

We finally got around to dying them at 5:00 the night before Easter.  Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute, ya know???

Bro immediately started with a two-toned egg.

Even though Bri was so gently with the eggs, she didn't need to be because these eggs are totally kid friendly!

The kids even used the stencils that Fairy Grandmother gave us.  It worked like a charm.

I might even go so far as to say that these eggs hold color better than real eggs.  The markers were great and I am looking forward to using some more techniques next year.

Here is the cabinet in our living room.  The baskets are waiting for the bunny to come fill them and the gift bags are gifts from Fairy Grandmother to the kiddos – Bri already opened her gift , a swimsuit.

And, as some of you know, we are trying to be more Christ-centered in our home.  Thus, the kids made these crosses at church and they are sitting by the tulips at the front door.

Much love to you all this holiday season!  I'll have pics of the baskets soon!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Testing 1-2-3

Supposedly I can blog from my phone.

This is a test.

If this works, you should be able to see a pic of the flower stand where I bought some tulips during my lunch break.  Also... it was a gorgeous afternoon today.