Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Music to my ears

My kids and I love to sing. I have absolutely NO singing chops, I mean none. Don't sit near me in church, I like to belt it out but there is no tune, harmony, melody or any other music term happening...except maybe tone deaf!

That being said, we listen to a lot of music at home. I am pretty committed to my kids not hearing the trash that is on the radio. And I know it's not all trash, but a lot of it is. And if the lyrics aren't trashy than often the way the person singing them dresses, or acts, or speaks is. So for now, I'm avoiding pop music culture with my kids and sticking with what is age appropriate for them. When they are older and music becomes such a big part of their social life, as it did with mine, we will revisit the current pop offerings!

We like to sing some of the old standards...Itsy Bitsy Spider, B-I-N-G-O, The Wheels on the Bus and Zippedy Do Dah. We also love the old sunday school repertoire...The B-I-B-L-E, Jesus Loves the Little Children, I'm in the Lord's Army and Climb up Sunshine Mountain. Of course our lullaby every night is Jesus Loves Me, there is nothing sweeter than hearing your little one sing it back to you (we've just reached that point with JB).

Here are our favorite CDs in no particular order:

  1. anything by Go Fish! (Snazzy, Kickin' it Old School, Party Like a name a few)

  2. anything by Laurie Berkner (thank you Kate and Quinn...our favorite song is Moon, Moon, Moon...another sweet lullaby to sing with the kids)

  3. Where Oh Where is my Underwear? (got this at the library in a moment of weakness and we actually love it)

  4. anything by The Imagination Movers (these must be popular, the ones at the library are always all knicked up)

  5. Hey It's Franklin (another random library find that we sing a long too)

  6. there is a Disney Silly Song CD we enjoy--that might be the name of it, Silly Songs

  7. Seeds Family Worship (oh and Susan, I forgot to give you that CD, just bug me about it, it's in the car)

  8. Hide 'em in your Heart (old school Steve Green but I love the idea of singing scripture, Seeds Family Worship is the same idea...just a little more current)

  9. almost anything Veggie Tales (now, I can only take this in small doses but the kids do love it. We randomly took an 80's Veggie Tales CD out of the library ONCE...I wanted to scratch my eyes out after the first song)

  10. Disney has a new series called Songs and Stories. You can get most major disney stories and each CD has four or five songs and then the story to go with. We love Cinderella, Toy Story 2 and Snow White.

As you can see, we get a lot of our music at the library. It's a great way to try something out, if you like it you can buy the CD or download the tunes on your ipod (wow, that is a pretty current technology reference for such a technologically challenged person). I've also started introducing my kids to some of my favorite music. And so, my kids like Superchick, Reliant K, and Casting Crowns...I suppose I ought to figure out what the Christian music world is currently offering or they are going to look silly singing old DC Talk songs when they get to youth group some day :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm having one of those days

I don't feel funny or snarky today. In fact, I've felt on the edge of tears all day. Thankfully it was playdate at the park day with church. It was great to be outside, the kids completely entertained and lots of adults to chat with.

Now this overwhelming feeling has a great deal to do with the time of month that is approaching. Really?? I am almost 40 years old, I still have to deal with raging hormones?!?!?! ugh

When I am in this state of mind a few things are a given...I want to eat at all times (and I don't want to eat carrots or bananas or quinoa, I want to eat cookies, ice cream and nachos...with a side of french fries), I don't want to clean (and in fact I'm not, instead I am blogging and will next finish a book, then possibly watch a show if the kids give me enough time) and I dont' want to listen to my kids screech, argue and whine (wait, that has nothing to do with my mood today, that is how I feel everyday).

So I pray this foul mood will last just through today, maybe I'll be lucky and tomorrow will bring smiles and joy and the desire to eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables while folding laundry and cleaning toilets :) Here's to hopin'!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thyme for some fun!

My neighbor Bob, who is about 90 years old, and I have gone rogue. We have decided, for the second summer in a row, to ignore a condo association rule and go ahead and plant herbs in our little patches of dirt. I was successful last year only with parsley and cilantro. I started from seed and the basil, mint and lemon thyme never "showed up". Bob had lots of basil and mint last year, and his mint has come back this year with a vengeance. I decided to plant plants this year and my basil, thyme, parsley and cilantro are all doing great!

Bob and I were chatting yesterday and discussing whether or not we think we'll get written up for participating in such a horrid crime this summer. We think we're pretty safe for two reasons:

  1. The nosey neighbors that like to report every misstep are too busy checking to see if Scott's truck is out front one minute after midnight, if anyone has the so-ugly-the-whole- neighborhood suffers snow shovel still out on their deck, or horror of all horrors, if someone has walked their dog within 5 feet of thier front door (yes, walked it, not pooped, just walked it)

  2. We're pretty confident that these nosey neighbors aren't smart enough to know a basil leaf from a weed from the ridiculous landscaping the association pretends to take care of.

The kids and I took today off, meaning we haven't left the house. We were up early and watched our favs, Curious George and Cat in the Hat. We played catch, kick and throw for quite a while, this is currently JB's fav to do. We baked some cookies, danced to the Go Fish video, and did endless puzzles. By 10:30 I was ready for a change in scenery so we went outside and did our usual...sidewalk chalk (and for the record, I keep waiting for the letter from the association saying, "your children aren't allowed to have any fun here, please stop using sidewalk chalk or we'll fine you 2 million dollars). We tired pretty quickly of that activity so we checked on our herbs. Miss M wanted to taste them so we tasted all of ours then we walked back to Mr. Bob's house and tasted all of his (we share...there is a strange thrill in walking to the back neighbor's house with scissors and a baggie to borrow some illegal dill :) ) It was fun, although I am a little worried that they will now stick all leaves in their mouth. I've had the appropriate conversation with them about that but you know how it goes. Next time we're at Tyler Park I'm pretty sure JB will be eating a maple leaf while Miss M goes around licking all the poison ivy!!

Oh, and they liked the parsley and the dill, spewed the oregano and the mint out. Thyme, cilantro, basil and something unidentifiable in Bob's garden were tolerated :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Old School

We needed to have a week where we stayed home a little extra, spent no extra money and just enjoyed each others company! Easier said then done, right?!?! Well it has gone surprisingly well. I had big hopes for Watermelon Week but we're a little behind schedule. I think we'll extend it through next week.

But we did:

  • catch a frog out front and play with it until I thought the frog could stand it no longer!

  • go to the park and play soccer, two on one...JB likes to kick it in the goal, Miss M would rather pick buttercups.

  • pack three picnic lunches and ate them wherever we ended up, a mall, a picnic table in town, our own deck.

  • splash in puddles (this was a highlight). It poured hard and fast here yesterday so we put on our watershoes as soon as the rain stopped and got to jumpin'. It started to rain again but we were soaked by that time anyways, so we just stayed outside and kept on playing!!

  • make our watermelon art project and cookies. Both turned out fabulous and we had fun...not the usual fighting one or the other every step of the way!

  • see some friends, always a good time!

  • watch God answer some prayers for our extended family! Yay God!

And, in the theme of "old school" we have also gone back to the basics with some disicipline issues and we've mustered up a summer 'chore chart' that the kids will hopefully find helpful! I have high hopes of just enjoying this summer and we've started out well!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Did I just say that????

I was at the mall today with my friend Dana. Yes, she's the friend that just had baby number three one week ago! Yes, she's a little ambitious, but it's really okay. The baby did great, the other kids all played and ran and she got out of the house. Before you roll your eyes, remember how you felt after having a baby...sometimes a little adult conversation and scenery other than the rocking chair you always nurse the baby in is needed!

Anyway, we got to laughing about some of the things we hear ourselves say. If you've never been in charge of children between the ages of 2-6 you might not understand this post :)

Here are some top things I've heard myself say, the last two weeks, that in any other reality you just wouldn't hear:

  • please don't lick my legs

  • I don't think putting your cheese stick in your nose is safe

  • stop roaring at your teacher

  • don't break dance on the mall floor anymore (I stole this one from Dana, classic)

  • if you keep drinking the bath water you'll get diarrhea

  • we don't talk about poop during dinner

  • do not put your doll in the toilet

  • you have to wear clothes to church

  • you can't wear your clothes in the bathtub

And almost better than the above statements are the times when we ask them stupid "why did you put your peanut butter cracker in the VCR?" and "why do you have mommies bra on your head?"

Yesterday I asked Miss M, "do you think it was a good idea to run out into the parking lot like that?" She responded with "it wasn't really an idea, my body just ran". Why do I even bother :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Watermelon Week

Tomorrow is the first day of summer :)
Our car is in for inspection and may be in for a day or two :(
Must do something...

So, I made this week watermelon week! It seemed like a natural theme, summer and watermelon go together. Jake could eat his weight, quite happily, in watermelon. Not to mention Mailbox Magazine had a whole section on this fabulous fruit! So here is what we shall do:

Monday: Paint a slice of watermelon. We used white construction paper and red paint (pretty ingenious, no?) We used a paper towel bunched up into a ball and blotted the paint on, that way both the 2 and 4 year old could particpate. Then we glued bits of green tissue paper around the edge for the rind. Finally, I got a black marker and we colored seeds. They are very cute and bright!
Tuesday: Bake watermelon cookies. By that I mean, make sugar cookies, color them pink. Cut them into circles, cut the circles in half, roll the outside edge in green decorator sugar. Poke a few mini-chips in for seeds and ... waa laa...
Wednesday: Make watermelon boats. Cut the ends off a whole watermelon, scoop out fruit and eat it. Glue a paper sail on a popsicle stick, push popsicle stick into middle of scooped out watermelon cup. Float in sink, tub, pool, etc.
Thursday: Make watermelon flowers. With the remainder of the fruit from yesterday, cut out flower shapes with a cookie cutter. Use another color fruit to make a round center and put them together on a skewer. Take them to the neighbors :)
Friday: Seed spitting contest. This is self explanatory, is it not? Of course with a 2 and a 4 year old this will be gross, but still fun :) We'll do it outside, maybe we'll even plant a seed or two and see what happens.

If all goes well I'll take some pics and post them next week :) Already thinking that next week might be fishy week...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

things that make you go hmm...

This sign makes me crazy! I have been reading it for years and for years it has made me go hmmm....

For starters, do employees really need to be reminded to wash their hands? If they are the non-hand washing type they are probably also the non-sign reader type. And what is the effectiveness of a sign like this anyway, do people do their business begin to walk out the door, read the sign and then say, "oh yeah, I forgot to wash, I'll go back and do that now"?

And what happens if employees don't wash their hands?? Is there a checkpoint, a screening, a smell test. Does the boss go in and count how many squeezes of soap have been used, or dab at the sink after each person comes out to see if it's wet from someone turning on the water and washing? When an employee gets fired or finally quits the horrible job, do they, as they walk out the door for the last time, look back and yell "and I never washed my hands after toileting!"?

Finally folks, shouldn't we all be washing our hands. Shouldn't the sign really say "everyone should wash their hands after they go to the bathroom"? But then it comes around full circle, do we really need to be told and if we do, are we the kind to read a sign and then obey it?

Things that make me go hmmm....

Monday, June 6, 2011


Aside from my family, my two greatest joys in life have been my time teaching first grade and my many years working in youth ministry. I love to help, teach and play...I also like to be someone's biggest fan!!! In the last few weeks I have had the honor of seeing some of "my" girls grow up! Now, this is nothing new folks. I am old...I have kids from youth group who are married with school aged children! I won't mention how old my favorite youth leader is...but I will say she is still a stronghold in my life (love ya Mary!!)! I hope I can be the same for many years to come, or for as long as they will put up with me :)

I started helping in youth group at Davisville in September of 1989; our last Tuesday at Bible Fellowship's youth group was in June of 2006. That is a long time to do anything!! In that crazy but wonderful 17 years I went to more retreats than I can count, enough missions trips to know how to pack for one in less than an hour, so many concerts I am probably legally deaf and more school plays/dance recitals/jr. high lacrosse games/etc. than any one person should be subjected to. I've eaten a lot of pizza, spent a lot of money on ice cream and water ice, sang at the top of my lungs, rolled down huge hills, ice skated without skates, jumped off cliffs, torched stuffed animals, eaten unidentifiable food products, and played bombardment enough to go pro (too bad I stink at it). I've seen the inside of many ERs (spent one retreat at the hospital more than the actual retreat), a psych ward, a pregnancy center and a few random doctors offices. I've seen the sadness and devastation of divorce, suicide, teen pregnancy, rape, abuse, loss of parents and sickness. I've watched the elation of new siblings, parents remarrying, getting into the school of choice, first jobs, first kisses, winning THE game and the ultimate joy...a student accepting Christ.

That's a lot of "stuff" but none of it is really that important now, well none of it but that last one. That's why I did it...I wanted students to know the love of God like I did. I wanted them to know that someone created them just the way HE wanted and loves them for every fault and every gift. I wanted them to know that living for HIM is not easy, but it's worth it. I wanted them to know that I was one of their biggest fans...because sometimes when you're a teenager, you just need someone to be there...cheering!

Those joys in these last few weeks have been over bridal showers, decisions about first jobs, choices about missions and news of weddings and babies. It's such a deep, deep honor to continue to be included in so many of their lives. I love to see them working out their salvation, serving their Heavenly Father and glorifying HIM with thier lives. My heart is overflowing...thank you Lord for each one of them!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Fun

The other day Miss M requested that we bake something. I was all for having a treat in the house but turning on the oven was OUT of the question (see previous post). So we whipped up a makeshift banana cream pie that was fun for her to make and yummy, and cool, for us all to eat!

1 premade graham cracker pie shell (I stock up on these when they are 10 for 10, you can make all sorts of yummy things with them)
1 large box of cook and serve vanilla pudding
1 tub of cool whip
2 bananas, sliced thin
chocolate sprinkles

1. Prepare vanilla pudding as per box directions.
2. While the pudding cools, have your child slice the banana with a butter knife, or plastic knife.
3. Lay slices on the bottom of the pie shell so that the bottom is "covered". We noticed it looked like a flower :)
4. Chop up any remaining banana slices and toss them in the pudding and stir. Pour pudding over top of slices in the pie shell.
5. Put in fridge to "set" for at least an hour.
6. When you're ready to serve, spread the cool whip over the top and garnish with chocolate sprinkles!
7. Eat it up!!!

You don't want to leave left overs laying around too long, even in the fridge. The bananas start to brown, and although you and I know they are still safe to eat, small children shriek at the sight of them!

Miss M could do most of the steps with little to no help, with the exception of stirring the pudding while it was on the stove. Even JB got into the action with the laying of bananas on the bottom. Miss M was very proud to serve Prince Charming dessert that SHE made.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

Today is a beautiful breezy, cool day...perfect for playing outside! The last few days have been less desirable. I personally felt bad complaining about the heat since I had been whining for so long about the lack of sunshine and the snowy, wet winter we had. So I took on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

The kids were so excited to see the sunshine that they desperately wanted to be outside. That generally lasted about 10 minutes before one of them crumbled into a heap because they were too hot! So I put my best thinkin' sun visor on (seemed a bit hot for a full on thinkin' cap) and I came up with a few things we really enjoyed!

We have a little deck outside our living room, it's rather useless because of the size and my lack of keeping it "nice". But Miss M and JB love to be out there, and bonus of all bonuses, it is shaded! So I filled two buckets with water, gave them each a paint brush and sent them out on the deck to "paint". They loved it!! It really kept them busy for about 45 minutes. Everything was soaking wet and a few things were dirt streaked but it sure beat them being inside screaming at each other! The streaks in the windows they painted were a little unsightly so I made a vinegar/water solution and had Miss M really clean the windows. She loved that too...maybe she'll be a window washer in her next life :)

We made colorful ice cubes, just water with a drop of food coloring. They took them out on the deck with a piece of paper and "painted" with them. If I did it again I might try and rig them up with popsicle sticks so they could hold onto something. Their fingers got a little colored, but it wore off by the next day.

There is a trail in Tyler Park I've been wanting to take the kids on so we tried that one day. It is completely shaded, I mean in the woods! It was nice and cool for most of the walk, despite the temperature. There is also a creek involved so we stopped there to throw rocks and dip toes. We met a friendly frog on that hike which was the highlight for everyone except the frog!

I also discovered that the playground at Tyler Park is shaded until about noon. This is fabulous information to have!! Even if it's hot out, the kids are happy to be out as long as the sun isn't beating down on them. And best of all, no sunscreen :)

We even went to the beach, now this was preplanned, really had nothing to do with the extreme heat. But it worked out beautifully, we didn't go down until late afternoon so the sun was not so bad. The kids played and played and played on the beach, no sunscreen needed again :) I was sure when they felt the temperature of the water they would back away...nope, Miss M was completely submerged for most of the afternoon. It was a perfect family day with some very special friends!!

That's how we beat the heat this time around. Of course there were also popsicles, water ice, air conditioning, tank tops, cool baths, and some sprinkles on anything that would hold them!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Promise Kept

I told myself when I started blogging that it was going to be fun and extra...only to be done if life didn't get in the way first. Well life got in the way for the last few weeks and I needed to not let myself get sucked into the world that is Blogger. I mean c'mon, I could spend days on here just going from blog to blog reading all kinds of snarky, interesting, enriching, wasteful things!

But, while I was busy doing all the things that sounded so great when I committed to them but then when they came up I thought "what was I thinking", I did think of a couple of topics I'd like to explore via blog be waiting...anxiously :)

In the meantime, know that while I was gone I went to about 6 meetings, 5 playdates, the doctors office, many playgrounds, the beach, a covered bridge, Bouncing off the Walls, read 2 cookbooks, taught a teacher "in-service", planned a summer event for church, found myself in an unpleasant situation, went to a bridal shower, a graduation party, a birthday party, missed a very important baby shower, and I might have slept and ate a little too!

Glad that is all behind me...tomorrow I hope to be back to my pleasant blogging self...see you then!