Friday, February 22, 2013

8:52 Looking Up

The snow is falling.  My mother and I have shopped ourselves silly and baked about 300 cookies for my sisters upcoming wedding.  We've ironed and hemmed and hung fancy clothes to stash away in the van until Monday.

I'm looking forward to a weekend at Winter Services, time with my sisters (which will surely equate to a very late night), hugging my nephews, the rehearsal dinner, the last minute wedding preparations, and finally, the wedding itself.

It'll be a very fun weekend and Monday. I can hardly wait.
So things are definitely looking up for me this weekend! ;)

In a more literal sense, things are looking up around our house too.  I am finally getting around to hanging stuff on the walls of the girls' room. As in moving them from the tops of the dresser to the wall.
It's only been a little over a year, hardly any time at all, right!?

I have no idea what I was doing on the floor...oh that's right, I was picking up books.  I seem to do that on a daily basis.

Okay, I admit it, these are very unimaginative photos.  Just snapshots that probably mean very little to anyone but this proud mother of her artistic kids, and her accomplishment with 3M hanging strips.
Cut me some slack, my mom's in town, and we're having too much fun for me to think about blogging.

With that, I'm off to get some more visiting in.
Have a great weekend.  If you're in my state, perhaps we'll share a few words this weekend!
See ya next week!

Oh, and hop on over to Leann's blog to finish the Project 52 circle.

Friday, February 15, 2013

7:52 Cabin Fever

I wouldn't say they have cabin fever.  No, they are loving turning my living room upside down.
It's me who is getting tired of them being cooped up!

I would absolutely love if I had a basement, or family room even, to send these kids to when it gets too loud in the house in the evening hours as it's too cold to send them outside.  As it is, our living room is getting a lot of use.
Some day.

In the meantime, I am really looking forward to some night-time cross country skiing with my hubby tonight.  They can have the living room, we'll take the silent cold and the snow.

Go here to continue the blog hop and see evidence of more cabin fever.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey Girl

Okay, so I honestly have no idea who Ryan Gosling is.
All I know is that I've been seeing some hilariously funny Hey Girl memes popping up on pinterest and blogs.
They're kind of funny.

Okay, so some of them are really funny.

Because my hubby is a lot like most of the hubbies out there - he doesn't get it.  He has no idea why I need two hours at Joann's to choose fabric for one blanket.  He has no idea why finding a beat up dresser, the perfect candidate for a paint job, at Goodwill for $3 is so exciting.  He raises his eyebrows when I clap my hands upon discovering that my sewing creation actually fits.  He thinks all walls should be white. To him, peach is orange and fuschia is pink. I don't think he even knows what Pinterest is. And basically, he has no desire to be a part of all my crafting and DIYing schemes.

So yes, those Hey girl memes have tickled my funny bone.

I honestly don't know what I'd say or do if Dean said something like, "here, let me drill those curtain rod holders in place for you. You might break a nail," because I'm not that kind of girl.  I like doing, and making with my hands. Not that I wouldn't mind if he asked me on a weekly basis what he could cut for me with his  saw...

Anyhow, after spotting the idea here, I couldn't resist (no, I'm not linking up, just having some fun on my own).

I think that my guy is a lot better looking than what's-his-name anyway.  ;)

So, female readers, I'm dying to know, what kind of "Hey Girl" line leaves you in stitches?  
Or what kind of poster would you make? 
I'm not the only one who finds them funny, am I?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snow Day!

A Snow Day was called today!
We took advantage of the free time, and printed and signed valentine's day cards.
We baked up a huge batch of New York Time's best chocolate chip cookies (so much for my "no added sugar" idea).  Only I didn't have any chocolate chunks so I threw in what I had - chips, butterscotch chips, and mini m&m's.  I didn't refrigerate the dough either.  The whole point of making them today was so we could do just that - make them today.
The kids played in the snow, and I talked on the phone for over 2 hours.  To one person.  That's what you do when you live 2,000 miles from your oldest and best friend.  Man, I love those phone conversations!
And I ate way too many chocolate chip cookies.  Way too many.

What do you do on a snow day?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sick of Sugar!

It was while we were eating breakfast a few days ago that I decided we need to make a few changes around here.  The food on some of my kids' plates looked like dessert.

When I make waffles, pancakes, or french toast, we eat them with syrup.  And my oldest likes to use a lot of syrup. It is often annoying, and we frequently tell him to stop using so much syrup; but this particular morning it was disgusting.  Even though I recently switched to a non-high fructose corn syrup brand.

So I decided I'm done buying syrup.

And this morning, it didn't go over too well with my oldest. He claimed he didn't like any of my topping choices of applesauce, sliced strawberries, or greek yogurt.  I shrugged.
He ate one piece of french toast compared to his normal four.

The rest managed just fine, so I'm sure he'll come around eventually.  Our goal is to eat less cold cereal (because who can stay full on that stuff for long, even after two or three bowls?) and to eat more eggs and fruit (bread is never a problem in this house).  I don't think the kids will complain as they like those foods, it just means more work for me in the mornings.
But we need to make the change.

We eat too much sugar and far too few vegetables.

I used to offer vegetables with every dinner.  Somewhere along the line I kind of stopped that.  I think it was because I wean out the foods my kids won't eat.  And I have some very picky eaters.
It's not my kids you see loading up a green salad onto their plate.  Or spoon eating avocado. Or chowing down the sweet potato oven fries (that would be me doing that).  I wish the phrase "kids copy what they see" was true for what they'd eat, because I'm still the only one who loves peas.

I once came across a fun website last year that encourages families to eat every color of the rainbow.
They have some fun fridge charts, but it didn't seem practical for four kids.

We also learned a catchy song from the website, "Today I ate a rainbow, and it was on my plate..." but it didn't help that much, at least not for long.  I guess because we forgot about it.

Now to get back in the vegetable groove, I have a few ideas - let the kids pick out the vegetables they want to try, let them help me cook them, and educate the kids as to why each vegetable is important for us.  Phew!  Looks like I'm going to need some books, healthy kid cookbooks would be fun, and other resources to help get me started.  I'm kind of discouraged just thinking about this extra work and the resistance I'm sure to meet.

So I'm expecting this to be a bit of a rough road, and a long one.
But my goals aren't outrageous.  I simply want my family to start eating healthier - with less added sugar and more vegetables and fruits in our diets.
A lot of the problem is that I get stuck in a rut.  I make the same things over and over and have no inspiration on how to introduce new, healthy foods.

I'll give myself credit for making my banana bread this afternoon with half the amount of sugar the recipe called for.  It's a start, right?  Right???

If you have any great websites or books, please share with me!  I need all the help I can get!

Friday, February 8, 2013

6:52 A Work of Art

My favorite oldest son (I like to call him that when it's just him and me. He doesn't hear the 'oldest' part and I don't hear the 'favorite' part. We're both pleased because his love tank gets topped off. It's a win-win phrase) turned nine earlier this week.  We celebrated by hitting the slopes.  Just him and me (it was actually his dad's turn to take him, but his dad woke up sick that morning so I got to go instead. Whoot whoot!).  It was an incredibly fun day.  I'd like to say that we rocked the bunny hill!

So anyway, last night I got to thinking about my favorite oldest son.  I usually write each of my kids a yearly birthday letter and stow it away for them in their keepsake box for reading some time later.  I'm terrible about doing them on time, but this year I actually started thinking about Connor's the week of his birthday!  Okay, so no I haven't actually written it yet, but I'm closer to having it done than I was five days ago.  Closer because here is something I would like to say/write to him:

Once upon a year, you loved art, drawing mainly.  Your dad and I delighted in your hobby and your ability.  Your drawings were good. Seriously good!  I remember you would take your drawings to school for show and tell in first grade.  You would come home hurt and offended and tell me that no one believed you drew them!

Is that why you don't like drawing any more?

This year, you only like to trace.  It's almost as if all the drawing books we got for you hampered your inner creativity, set impossibly high standards.

In reality, I know that you are simply experimenting and discovering, and that different ages mean different realizations about yourself and life.
I have come to learn that you are a perfectionist.  I know that you enjoy making things, but that you like having a set of clear directions to follow, or at least the tangible example of what the finished product will look like.

I wonder if piano will now be your creative outlet.  I will be sad if and when you move on.  Just as I was sad to see your love for drawing fade away.

But that's okay.  I want you to know yourself.  I want you to be happy being yourself.

6:52 Work of Art
While I'm sure that much of this self-portrait was copied from his teacher's instructions on how to draw a face, and that much of the words he used to describe himself were words that his peers were using, I still love it.  I recognize that jersey he was wearing.  It's his favorite.  I love his 8 year-old sense of self. 

You are my favorite oldest son and I love seeing what new things grab your interest.
I love seeing you discover, little by little, who you are.

On a bit of a different note, keep on blog hopping for our Project 52!  Visit Leann to see her work of art.

Friday, February 1, 2013

5:52 B&W

When I passed by this old tree, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I lifted my camera and maneuvered around a bit, stepping off the trail this way and that, until the amazing lines of the sculpted rock were behind the twisted arms of the tree.

5:52 Black and White

I like how the weak winter sun is highlighting this magnificent tree.  I didn't touch it, but I imagine that the longest branch is worn smooth while the shortest ones are roughened by the elements of weather and time. Yet it is there, graceful and distinct.

I would be very curious to know the age of the tree. And the rock; is it eons older? What storms have they weathered?  What cataclysmic changes?

I think the tree must be very well rooted to still be standing so strong.  
I want to be like the tree.

Visit Leann to see her black and white image.