Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Works for Me...

I'm battling with my oldest... he's pushing boundaries... listening, talking back, disrespectful. I've had it... I thought I'd tried it all, but I had a brainiac moment this evening.

I'd asked him to do something...

he didn't move...

asked again...


So, I simply told him that the shoe chore (that I'd offered him earlier for $... that he turned down) would now be done "for free".

I don't think he knew what to say or do... off he went to the shoe pile. (Sadly for him he just threw them in a big pile and organized 4 pairs, so he later had to do it over during the basketball game... what a bummer!)

New slogan for us... Chores for Free!

sniff ** sniff ** Milestone...

Baby girl came home from school with a huge smile on her face!

She had her shoe trophy in hand (being the other preK teacher, I knew what it symbolized). She had tied her shoe! At the beginning of the year each child gets a white canvas shoe that they decorate. Throughout the year the children practice tying their shoe. When they can do it with some consistency they earn their trophy to take home.

She was so excited! She must have tied and untied the shoe 50 times to practice. She walked to the bus to show the boys as soon as they got home. AND... like good brothers they praised her!

We hung out on my bed while she tied her shoe over and over and over again. At one point she leaned over and said, "Give me a hug mom... I'm so proud of myself!" She received LOTS of hugs. I am so proud of her... but a part of me wanted to cry. My baby girl is so independent; for which I'm grateful, however, she is needing me less and less each day. ** sniff, ** sniff

** I went to take a picture of baby girls shoe and I couldn't find it. When I tucked her into bed there it was... nestled right beside her on the pillow. Too cute!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Weekend Fun:: Part 1

We have an extra for the weekend. Good friends headed to Vegas so we get one of the girls. We've had a lot of fun... we'll call her Big Girl. Baby Girl and Big Girl have roomed together this weekend.... it's been a lot of fun to see everyone interact. Big girl is 10 months older than Pepe... I have to admit that everyone has gotten along great!

At the zoo...

Pepe needed to feel like a big kid (he and I have had a rough few weeks... any advice is welcome) so I let him take a few pictures at the zoo with my very new and very expensive camera. His subject... me.... so, here I am.

We enjoyed the animals... baby pig and mama

The elk was incredible. The antlers have 'velvet' on them which from what I'm told means that they are not done growing.

Pepe, Phinneous and Baby Girl climbing on the monkey statues during our picnic.

The zoo has a new baby elephant... I think he was born last summer... he has really grown.

Couldn't resist this napping, lazy zebra...

Friday morning on the way to the bus stop we decided to have a neighborhood block party. Saturday afternoon we decided that "Yes, we're really going to do this." So off Joe went to canvas the neighborhood for participants. The neighbors were excited. Many said that they used to have parties all the time... hmm... I've lived here for 7 years and there has never been a party. Well, that is all about to change. Many people had plans, but for those who didn't we congregated in the cul-de-sac with grills, tables and chairs and enjoyed a lovely Sunday afternoon.

Rule 1... Drink lots of pop!

Rule 2... you can never have too many grills, food, neighbors or conversation!

Rule 3... have fun!
Rule 4... kids play and laugh and play some more!

We'll be doing this again... soon. I nannied for a family that hosted pizza on the porch every (or almost every) Friday night in the summer. Everyone gathered, brought a dish/salad and enjoyed great company. I want to start something like this. Every Friday doesn't quite seem realistic, yet... so I'm thinking every-other-Friday and since we grill year round... it has to be "bring something for the grill' and a salad. We'll see what happens :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life with 3 :: S'mores!

  1. Get fire going... you need that fire to settle down before you can roast marshmallows
2. Gather supplies. I like to use a tray for easy carrying
  • Graham Crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate (lots of chocolate)
  • Water Bottle(s) (my kids always get thirsty around the first eating s'mores)
  • Adult beverages
  • Hand wipes

3. While waiting for the fire, whittle down the sticks with a nice pointy edge.

4. Sing songs, tell stories, play games
We like to play "I'm went to California and in my suitcase I Packed..." Pepe Kindergarten teacher (4 years ago) taught it to him. Each person packs something that starts with the next letter in the alphabet. Each person has to repeat the entire list on their turn. ex. I went to California and in my suitcase I packed an apple, a bear, a cat, a doll, etc.

5. Enjoy the s'mores, but more importantly your time together. We've yet to had a bad time having s'mores. Everyone ends up laughing and enjoying themselves.

Friday, May 22, 2009

ahh, Nothing on the Calendar

What a moment... I realize that I have nothing on my calendar. Oh, there are plenty of things that I must do
  • study (my class ends in about a week and I have a lot of ends to tie up)
  • end of year slide show - prek
  • end of year slide show - baseball (x2)
  • print Father's Day pictures - prek (x2)
  • Altered Books (x2)
  • Birthday Card to make
  • Plan curriculum for next week
  • Neighborhood party (We through out the idea yesterday and the neighbors loved it... I wonder who is in charge of pulling it together... ME)
Yep, nothing on my calendar today!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coupon Codes

I realized the other day that my calendar would run out after July... time to search for a new one. I found one that looked promising, and decided to buy it. When I went to purchase, I was going to be charged $15 for ground shipping... WHAT?!?!?!? Ridiculous.

So, I kept looking. I ended up finding the same calendar on (it's a mom calendar... which makes me cringe slightly). I bought the refill version because it come spiral bound and I don't need fancy, just doable (it gets tossed in my purse, etc). So, I checked out and saw that shipping was $5... then, I noticed the coupon code and thought... "if there is a coupon spot, there must be one out there somewhere"... I quickly googled the coupon code and tried it... guess what... I saved myself 10% off of my order!!!!

Hopefully, after all of this I will like the calendar that arrives. I have three kids schedules (and you know how I enjoy them being kept busy), my work schedule, my school schedule and hubbies schedule... not to mention the "life in general" schedule. I'll let you know how it works out.
Oh, the point of this... ALWAYS check for a coupon code before checking out... you never know what you'll find!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do you Etsy?

No, I haven't just crawled out from under a rock, but I finally had a ton of curiosity and interest to check out Etsy. I've ordered a few gifts recently and found a few must haves for future gifts from the sight. I hope I love them. A couple of gifts had to be mailed directly to the recipient; which makes me a little nervous as I don't get to check them out before hand. I've heard very good feedback and I am amazed at the talent in this world.

So, do you Etsy? And if so, what have you purchased? What can I not live without?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Decision Made

After a long week and a half of debating, considering, elating, and fretting as a group we have decided that Pepe will not play premier soccer this year. We are very proud of him... he tried out, made the team and came to a decision... he's becoming a mature 9 year old.

He's still going to play soccer... a LOT of soccer. You'll be forced to view pictures soon as he starts PDP in a week!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunny Monday - Gladitudes!!

Thought I'd join in...

1. Grateful for 12 years of marriage and ready for many more (we've been together for 15 years; yikes!)

2. Three kids that got along beautifully on an awesome 80 degree spring day! They built a shade fort for resting.

3. Hoops (especially the ones that go in)
4. Concentration (see that tongue)
5. Cooperation6. Water

7. Homemade chicken stock (watch-out Martha) -- can't find my photo... just use your imagination!

8. Lemonade :: fresh squeezed from Myers lemons (YUM!)

9. The support and means to be going to school to attain my Masters degree... it is sometimes very difficult to have a 'glad' attitude about homework -- especially with three active kiddos.

10. A day of family fun and relaxation.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A little Sunday rambling...

  • Today, my friends, is our 12-year-anniversary... that's right... 12 years! That sounds awfully grown-up to me... cracks me up, actually. I should have all kinds of great advice, my routines should be in order, it should all be easy. It is never easy, but always worth it and I do it all over again. Happy Anniversary Joe! (see photo above... it's the only decent one there is... I have wedding photos, but I don't have a scanner, too bad)
  • I spent 3 hours yesterday morning at the ball field. Phinneous had practice before his game so I (by myself) went for a walk around the big city of R. I loved it... my music blaring in my ears, looking at the different home and styles, thinking about how the city developed over the years, the beautiful flowers, the sun in my eyes... it was great.
  • I then spent 4 more house at the ball field with Pepe, although this time I had the pleasure of working the concession stand and I had the privilege of working the grill... ugh!!! Thank goodness it was a slow Saturday night, by the time I left I smelled like a greasy burger. I headed straight home for a shower and more ibuprofen... that's right folks concession stand topped with a headache (a headache that I still have this morning).
  • And baby girl... she is a play structure queen... the huge structure is strategically placed behind the boys' baseball field. She played and ran in the beautiful air for 4 hours. She has also discovered the concession stand and how important quarters are to her... 1 quarter gets her 3 laughy-taffy's! SCORE... mama wasn't so happy when one of the parents told me that baby girl threw out her hotdog... the hotdog that I grilled for her. So, sadly, her concession stand fun was finished.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quote of the Week...

"I don't want to go to school... learning is too hard!" (holding his brain for emphasis)

Guess what... he went to school... everyday in fact! Have a great weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wrestling... will I win?

What a week it's been. We are wrestling with a big decision and I truly do not know what is the best decision. Ugh, that is so frustrating. We were told about an opportunity to try out for a Premiere/Select soccer spot. They were going to pick two time during this tryout. Pepe loves soccer... LOVES it. After being told about it I told my husband, but I told him I wasn't going to tell Pepe. After a few days I felt guilty in not telling him, so I asked him if he would be interested in trying out.... his response was a resounding yes.

Now, part of me not telling him was time commitment, money commitment, but mostly protection for him from rejection. He's a very good player, but what if he didn't make a team. Would he be able to handle it. Of course, he would handle it but could I save him from feeling pain and rejection. I knew in my heart that this had to be his choice. This is one of the first steps of raising a responsible boy... eventually a man. Dramatic, maybe... but these were my thoughts and worries.

Tuesday... tryouts. He was excited. Got ready, packed bag, headed to tryout and then had a small panic attack. What's a mom to do... he really wanted to do this. I know my son and I know that this is strictly a panic about the people, the set-up etc. I chose to make him go out on the field. I knew that as soon as they blew the whistle he would be all business, and he was. (Ok, there really is a story about how I got him on the field, and maybe someday I'll tell it... the point is, he went out there). I was so proud of him... he did an incredible job. He was put through tests, sprints and scrimmages.

After the tryout, the coaches talked with the parents. There plan was to put 14 boys on the Premiere Team and 14 boys on the Select Team (in case you don't know soccer, Premiere is the best, then Select, then Recreation). They immediately extended 7 offers to 7 boys for the Premiere team... they were all older boys and very good players. Then they asked all of the other boys to come back on Thursday. Pepe was fine with this.... good for those boys as he didn't want a spot on that team anyway.

Thursday rolls around and we head back to the field. Pepe is fine... no panic attack (because he's seen it and been through it all... no problem today). They begin the tryout and Pepe looks good, but all of the boys look good. Then it come to scrimmaging. They divide the boys into 4 color teams and have two teams at a time play against each other. Pepe sits out the first round and I prepare my pep talk in my head. Then he gets in and plays and I am a proud mama. He looks great. He comes out to sit and they take his jersey and give him a different color to wear. He heads back out to play again and again gives it his all. The scrimmages finally end and they start lining the boys up... some on this side, some on that side. Pepe gets moved to that side and again I polish up my "it's okay, you rocked it speech" in my head. The coaches take turns talking to each of the two groups and then Pepe runs over to me and says, "The coach wants to talk with you." Off I go, to get the news.

Guess what? He was offered a spot on the Premiere team! Excitement, nerves, panic, elation, all run through me at the same time. Then, I think, wait... we wanted the Select Team... less commitment (but still a huge commitment), money, etc. So, I just listen to the coaches. They did not feel that they could make two teams, so they decided to make one Premiere team. OMG... my 9 year old just made the U-11 Premiere Team... he's not only playing up a whole year, but he's made the Premiere team. I keep listening and we finally head out. We both need to collect ourselves.

So, now we are taking a few days to decide what we want to do. It is a 1-year commitment. Practice 2x a week with a game on the weekend, 4 -tournaments to play in (3 local and 1 in Seattle)... all doable, Joe and I will commit to make it work, but I need Pepe to really think and decide if this is what he wants. I've had LOTS of people give me their opinion... some very reassuring, some very eye-opening and honest and some plain ridiculous. Needless to say, I've done a lot of wrestling this week. I am okay with either decision he makes and that we make as a family, however, I am nervous. He's our oldest so we've never been through anything like this before.

Good thoughts my friends... big decision to be made. But in the end, I'm so proud of Pepe for making the team. What a kid!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mama... what do you want for Mother's Day?

That questions is buzzing around here... how do I answer it. I don't want anything. I'm not a bring me flowers, chocolate, small tokens of your love type gal. I want smiles, hugs, to hear giggles, to take a walk together, watch a movie and just be together. As I write that I think ugh, that is so corny. Isn't that what my mom used to say? What is wrong with me. Maybe it's my busy schedule, or feeling like I can't get it all done or just maturing.

Smiles, laughter and giggles... all wrapped up with a pretty bow... that's what I'd like.

What do you want?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finding Church :: Magic Muffins

We headed to church without Baby Girl. She chose to not get ready (after being told many times). So, hoping for 'natural consequences' the boys' and I were on our way to enjoy Magic Muffins. They really aren't magic, yet maybe they are as my boys' head to church with delight. Once a month this church has Mini Muffin Cafe... it's a full breakfast peeps and it's delish! I mean if I can go to church and not have to feed anyone; it's done for me... I'd be crazy not to go. I digress... my husband asked, as I was getting ready, if it was a magic muffin day... I thought it was hysterical, laughed and said, no, but it is mini muffin cafe... would you like to join us... someday was his reply. Which works for me.

As I thought about Joe's word snaffoo, I can't tell you how many times I've chuckled over it. Maybe there is something to the muffin cafe, a piece of magic to keep you coming back. It certain allows me to meet people in a non-threatening manner. It has allowed my children, especially my oldest, who was not so crazy about this whole 'church gig', to find comfort in the physical space of the building. He enjoys the ladies who teach sunday school (although, we had to have a talk about throwing his papers away in front of the lades... a little tacky my dear).

This particular Sunday there was a guest group... SpiriTed... have you heard of them? They are a duo... one a screenwriter/music guy from Hollywood/Nashville and the other a musician from Nashville. Incredible... on their off time they travel to churches and perform their show. I really enjoyed it, but I'm a sucker for music... he had a great voice and she was amazing on the oboe and wind instrument. He writes a daily blog... which I haven't read yet... you're on your own for that discovery. His ending message was basically to do good, be good and share what you have been given... simple right? How many times have a I heard that message... so many times. But the piece that was interesting is that you don't have to see someone and tangibly give them something, but live your life so that people may take from you your smile, your encouragement, your thoughts, your sincerity, etc. At least, this is how I'want to use his message to add to my life...

Finding Church :: this is an interesting journey... some of my friends look at me with eyes wide open and tell me to go for them as well, some of my friends have surpassed where I am so long ago, that they don't get what I'm looking for or wanting, some of my friends are just not sure what to do with me and some of my friends support me, but get nervous in supporting me. A journey for sure, for all involved.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's a BIG list, but someone's got to do it!

Okay... here is what REALLY happened! Items highlighted can be checked off of the list.

Today is one of those days that I laugh at the thought of 'slowing down'. I have a huge list ahead of me, probably a not very realistic list. I think because I have Friday's "off" (yeah right) I use this day to try to get everything done.

* boys to school
* laundry (I'd like to sit on my couch)
* Turn in paperwork and get fingerprinted for new teaching license :: Filled out the rest of paper work, got organized and called/emailed about transcripts, etc. printed map to drive to location... so I really am one step closer!
* Upload photos to Costco
* Pick-up photos at Costco
* Scrap photos that were uploaded and picked up from Costco :: stayed home from scrapbooking to have s'mores around the campfire in the backyard... it was a blast! I'm bummed that I missed time with my scrap friends, but we had a great family/friend night!
* 3rd Grade laptop mom (one hour commitment)
* Preschool prep :: varnished Mother's Day gifts... I will post pictures after the big give!
* Pepe's having a sleepover (figure out what to do with boys... dinner?) :: Chicken bento!
* Find baseball uniforms :: found in clean laundry pile on couch!
* Gather Kindergarten registration forms for tomorrow for baby girl.
* Homework

Hmmmm... we'll see how I do. Must get moving. Have a good Friday everyone!