Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mars vs. Venus (vacation planning)

It's 5:41 am and I'm up blogging! I'm a lunatic...

I have always been one who can't sleep when "something is looming". Now this can be negative when the thing looming is a test, a doctor appointment, a difficiult conversation, jail time (that one would be really bad, thankfully I don't have personal experience, but that's where my mind goes at this hour).

But when it's vacation looming, well then...other than being slightly annoyed that I can't sleep, it's an exciting thing to be looking forward to. I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were laughing about how women prepare for vacation and how men prepare for vacation (maybe your experience is different, but at least two of us find the following to be true).

1. make lists for everything (packing list, food list, toy list, car ride list, things to do list, how to leave the house list, things I have to do immediately when I get home list, and...the list of all the lists) (didn't you read the first line, I'm a lunatic)
2. clean the house (my mother would beg to differ here, my clean and her clean are totally different, but I did get this quirky habit from her)
3. cancel the mail (oops, forgot to do that this time)
4. pack about three days in advance (then we have to wear crappy clothes for those three days because I pack all the cool clothes, and for me, the packing is light, I'm not very cool these days)
5. lay out the car outfit the night before (just in case we have to rush???? in the morning)
6. google every town we'll drive through on the way, all parks within a 15 mile radius of where we'll be staying, restaurants that are kid friendly, and sites with coupons for family attractions
7. get the countdown going about three weeks in advance (I didn't do this for this vacation, three weeks in advance I was busy with this little thing called VBS and we didn't do our proper countdown. Miss M mentioned it yesterday "mommy we don't have rings to tear off for vacation" oops...mommy fail)
8. buy snacks for the ride and the week that I don't usually buy any other time of year (cheesy popcorn, poptarts, Lucky Charms, candy, chocolate milk...c'mon it's vacation...yes,yes I buy grapes, pretzels, and bottles of water too, calm down)
9. lay out things I think Prince Charming should pack, but I don't dare pack for him
10. clean out the car (this is a monumental task, we're slobs with our car and everytime I clean it out I say we won't let it get so messy next time, and then we always do, I mean vacation itself totally messes it right back up!!)
11. go to the library and get books on CD, fun books for the car, and something for myself to read (yeah, who am I kidding, vacationing with a three and five year old does not lend itself to much reading...maybe in bed before I zonk out each night)
12. wake up at the crack of dawn anxious to get my organizational plan moving...

1. packs 10 minutes before we leave (which is always about 45 minutes after I think we should have left)
2. says he'll plan the route and then just relies on his GPS on the day of (and mysteriously those infallible GPS contraptions usually get us lost)
3. uses the phrase "you know there are stores in " as often as he can (this is generally in response to one of the many things on one of many lists)
4. gets in the car sweaty and grumpy because he has now been nagged about how late we're leaving, packed the car frantically, fought with the portable DVD player hooker upper thing, and packed all his "cool clothes" and has nothing to change into.

All in all it's a real hoot. The thing is I plan and plan and plan and then Prince Charming comes along and makes sure we actually have a great time! We're really a good team, we've got everything we need and we ALWAYS have a fabulous time together!

Peace out blogger, we're off...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I am deeply sorry

2 boxes of 24 crayons
20 sharpened pencils
2 pink erasers
6 glue sticks
1 bottle glue
2 cans of playdoh
4 2-pocket folders (yellow, green, blue, red)
1 marble composition book
2 red pens
clean white sock
art smock
2 pieces of poster board
1 sketch book
pencil box for inside desk
1 container of clorox wipes
1 backpack
1 lunchbox
2 boxes of tissues
boys-gallon ziploc bags
girls-sandwich ziploc bags

I taught first grade for 9 1/2 years and this was my back-to-school list.

I now have a child entering school and her list is...something else! Mine might have been worse though, so I apologize to anyone who might be reading this that was ever in my class. I'm pretty sure that noone reading my blog was ever in my class, but I still feel the need to apologize.

I can give you rationale for all of it, but that doesn't make it easier to swallow when you're the one buying it all!!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Change of Season

It's been so long since I've posted that blogger looks completely different. Oops!

I'm sure you know why I haven't been blogging...I mean life has just gotten so quiet and boring that the children and I just sit on the couch staring at one another. I have nothing to blog about!

Actually, life has been busy and I have felt really convicted about the amount of time I spend on the computer/technology that I could have been spending with my kids, cleaning the bathroom, reading my Bible, or just resting. So I took a break and have worked on mending my ways.

I started my job as Co-Director of Children's Ministry back in February. It has been a wild ride ever since. I really like the job and the people I work with, but I'm not going to lie, there have been some surprises along the way that I wasn't expecting. Work related surprises are par for the course with a new job. How can you really expect everything that is going to come your way?

The bigger surprise has been my struggle with loneliness since taking this job. You may be wondering how I feel alone. I'm either at home with my two busy kids or I'm at work in an office full of people. Yeah, obviously I'm not physically alone...EVER! But the isolation from friends, that as a stay-at-home mom I had gotten pretty used to seeing and talking with whenever I felt like it, is a challenge for this extrovert.

I have a good friend that works part-time and has a little one. She has often told me that she has felt this same way, and I always thought she was making too much out of it. Now that I'm walking in her shoes I get it. I owe her a big hug and a few extra phone calls, maybe we can keep each other company :)

I'm trying to develop new friendships, or mold the old ones in such a way that they fit into my new life, but it's been hard. In the process I'm reminded that everything has a season. A change of season usually means a fresh start, so as I settle into this season of my life, I am looking for new opportunities. Instead of seeing this as a sad change, I am trying to focus on all the blessings that have come my way over this last few months. People and things that wouldn't have crossed my path if I hadn't taken this job. Opportunities to minister to people that I would have overlooked because I was too busy going to the playground or chatting on the phone. Some days are more peaceful than others in this journey but such is life! Nothing a few extra sprinkles can't improve!!

Monday, February 27, 2012


I've been thinking alot about Easter this last week. I've been thinking about how I want to celebrate it with my kiddos. Mind you it's Miss M's fifth one, but she's old enough now that traditions are important to start and making things meaningful is now relevant!

I got thinking of ALL the 'stuff' I/we do for Christmas. Let's be honest here, I start celebrating Christmas the day after Thanksgiving! Decorations, music, crafts, baking, gift buying/giving/returning, etc. It's a crazy but fun season of life. And even though my two are young, they are clear about Christmas...they know it's a celebration of Jesus' birth and they know it's time for fun!

Easter. Not so much fanfare, at least not at my house. But I really want to make an effort to change that. I'm on the search for good ideas, fun books, cool crafts, yummy recipes and meaningful moments that will teach my kids first that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and second that is a time to be joyful...a way was made so that we can live eternally in heaven! What is not to celebrate!

So I plan to share ideas that I find in the next few weeks to prepare my kids for Easter and for fun! I'm starting with an idea I read on a blog at Christmas time. That particular blogger keeps her Nativity set out from Christmas to Easter to emphasize the connection between Christ's birth and his death. I love the idea, although I didn't leave it out for two months. I put it somewhere I can grab it and I will do so about a month prior to Easter. I just found a Resurrection set in a catalog (nice perk of new job...Christian catalogs out the waazoo), it's the same idea as a Nativity set only it has a tomb instead of a stable, Jesus is an adult and Mary and others are featured, along with an angel. I'm hoping to order that by the end of the week. We can set both up and learn about the similarities and differences between these two significant scenes.

I'm boiling over with some other ideas but I'll pace myself! Feel free to post any traditions your family has, I love new ideas. Look for future posts about Resurrection Eggs, Benjamin's Box, neighborhood egg hunts, and dyeing eggs!

PS--you can find the Resurrection Set at item number PS265

Friday, February 24, 2012

oops...I forgot to blog...

It's been a crazy two weeks here and blogging never even crossed my mind! Let's play a little catch up, WARNING there may be a bit of a rant on the end of this. Unless typing these thoughts is theraputic enough I am pretty annoyed about my lunch out today!!

Last week my new job became real work. This is not a negative comment, it is just that the reality of steadily working, dealing with people and having more responsibility hit me hard. I still really love what I'm doing but the pace is quicker than I have had to move in quiet awhile.

At the end of a very busy week we went away for a weekend with friends from church. It was a terrific time away. Our friends and us have some mutual friends from other areas of life so they were there too! It was great to catch up with some "college peeps" and to spend time with friends we see more regularly. My two were the youngest of the seven kids that were there, really JB being the only "baby". The kids played fantastically all together all weekend. It was glorious, we had lots of opportunity for conversation and even a game or two. A little snow would have made everyone a little happier, but the indoor pool seemed to ease their sadness!

This week started off lousy, but my two days of work went well and now here it is Friday, I love Friday!

For fun (????) I took the kids to get their hairs cut today. Miss M really wanted long locks but it is like World War 3 every time I have to comb it. Last Friday we told her that if we couldn't comb her hair nicely every day than we would have to get it cut short.'s short!! It looks fantastic, she really has the face for short hair, and it makes her blue eyes even bluer (is that even possible). JB went under the clippers too, got his a little shorter than usual as well. They both look scrumptious! And they were so good getting it done that I told them I would take them out to lunch.


When asked what they wanted the answer was "hot dogs". Really??? How about pizza? Nope Chicken nuggets? Nah Salad, a cheesesteak, soup, turkey, no, no and definitely NO!

Where in Newtown can one buy a hot dog? Aside from the grocery store and 7-11 (of course, I now know Lee's and Slack's have them, I've put that in my memory bank). So I took them to Jake's Eatery, a lunch joint that serves sandwiches, burgers, soup and hot dogs! I haven't been there for lunch so it was new territory! When I walked in you might have thought I was bringing in two people with signs on their backs that said "Bubonic Plague, stay away" was like they had never seen children before!! I asked for a booth, I could see one was empty. The guy hemmed and hawed (wow, that looks funny, I say that alot, never write it), then an older gentlemen came in the door, said "just me today", and he was promptly whisked off to MY BOOTH!!!

They finally took me to a table that couldn't have a high chair at it, because it would be in the aisle. I open up the menu and...a kid's meal is $5.50...for a hot dog and chips!!! You have got to be kidding me, Newtown is killing me!! I ended up ordering them each a hot dog from the adult menu and one dish of fries and it cost me $6.25. The waiter wasn't happy, but neither was I!

Oh well, the kids ate every bite, were pleased as punch that I took them to "a real restuarant" and came home and layed right down for naps!

Did I mention how cute they both look????

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Lovely Library Day

We started a tradition on Miss M's first Valentine Day...books! I'm sure you're not surprised. Our rationale, not that it's any of your business, is that Christmas and her birthday felt pretty close. Valentine's Day is only a few days later, more stuff is the last thing we need, so a new book for our collection seemed like the perfect gift. I always try and get a Valentine book or a least a love themed story. This year Miss M got Charlie Brown, she really likes the Peanuts gang! JB got a book that has nothing to do with love or Valentine's Day, it just looked like a cool book that he would like:

I got a little smarter this year with Valentine's Day dinner. In the past I have tried to make some romantic dinner for Prince Charming and I. Some years we ate after we put kids to bed, other years we ate our yummy adult dinner and I gave the kids something different. Since we have been having our little "Hunger Games" issue here, I decided to just make a yummy dinner that everyone would eat. Without complaining. Or arguing.

It worked! Homemade meatball sandwiches, fries and peas. I made chocolate pudding for dessert in little heart tins my mom used every Valentine's Day (she always made red jello--my kids would rather have pudding). It was a fun dinner, with books for presents afterward. The best part is they went to bed early! They played outside for a good part of the afternoon with Grandmom and they didn't nap much.

Now onto the real Valentine's Day celebration...

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've really come to appreciate Monday in the last two weeks. I usually work on Tuesday and Wednesday, have pre-school co-op on Thursday and then the weekend starts! Sunday has become a "work day" by Monday I'm thrilled to relax, clean-up, spend time with the kids and re-charge for the week ahead.

I made a terrible pot of chili yesterday, a recipe from a trusted friend went horribly wrong. Unfortunately my entire small group had to pay the price, by the time I realized it wasn't good it was too late to make a new dinner for everyone (and I was mad that I had wasted the money to make it). Everyone was gracious, but I'm sure they had a good laugh all the way home :) It's okay friends, I can admit my error!!

In other news, I'm learning how to listen to people complain and be unhappy but not react. I had this skill when I was a teacher and had kind of lost it whilst parenting. If the kids express their unhappiness with me they usually get a reaction!! One time when I was teaching Kindergarten at Willow Dale Elementary, we had a lice epidemic. One mom came in with a bowl full of her daughters hair, in water, to show me the eggs that I had "put in her daughters hair". True story!!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, are you doing anything fun for your family?? I think we'll start off the morning with some pink pancakes, it's kind of a tradition. I wonder if I can get my mom to make them heart shaped sandwiches?!?!!? Too much to ask the free babysitter?? I'll just have to make a special Valentine's dinner...I'm taking suggestions!