Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nutcracker 2009: THE END

Friends before
And after.

Games backstage

The fine art of finger knitting

We were exhausted, but had so much fun!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Why is it that you can clean a room, in this case the kids' bathroom, and have it beautifully spotless...

and several hours later, your boy has bled all over the freshly hung towel (White with ducks)?

Someday I hope to see my efforts last for at least a whole day.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Boy Minus Tooth

Nick lost his 1st tooth December 1st.
I don't have a current picture, but he lost the 2nd one on the 5th.

Nutcracker 2009

Katie auditioned for Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre's Nutcracker for the second year, and this year as I previously wrote, she was cast for 6 performances as a gingerchild.
This meant 2 hour long practices every Saturday pretty much since September. And these practices are held at 8 in the morning. She loved it and couldn't wait each and every morning to get there.
Then several weeks into practices, I got a phone call late one night, asking if Katie would be willing to play the part of one of the boy ginger Dolls. She did this role last year as a girl, so I talked to her and she was thrilled!! This meant instead of 6 performances she would dance in all 14 shows.
So for several weekends she practiced the 2 hour gingerchild, 1 hour of ginger doll, and then a 2 hour Act 1 Scene 1 rehearsal on Sundays, and a 2 hour Act 2 rehearsal several hours later. Not once did she ever complain, and typically she couldn't wait to get there.
And to add to it, she almost did another part for 2 school performances to fill in for one of her best friends who had gotten sick. It would have been as gingerchild but doing a different part in the dance that they would have taught to her literally 30 minutes before the show started. But because of the make-up changes involved, and the fact that another girl was backstage that knew the role, I asked if they could see if the other girl could do it.
So here she is starring for the first year as Gingerchild #2.

At the very end of the trail of gingerchildren.

And playing boy ginger doll after doing gingerchild one day. Can you see the white ring around the face??
One more rehearsal, and 6 more shows to go!

Katie Birthday #8

Daddy had to run in to work quickly on the morning of Katie's birthday, so I let her open one of her presents that I had bought several months ago. The cute little pink dress that Princess is sporting in the picture, and a matching one for Katie. She is still dying to wear it, but the Houston weather hasn't cooperated yet.
Then when Dad got home, she opened this present. Molly's accessories from American Girl.
And what good are Molly's accessories without MOLLY!!!!!!
She begged and pleaded and cried and saved money for this doll for 6 months. Little did she know that Grandma Cele had sent it several months before.

And Mike and I are officially going into business to compete with Cake Boss Buddy from TLC.
We made this 4 layer monster with marble cake, chocolate frosting in between layers.
Pink vanilla frosting on the outside.
Sprinkles on top.
Jelly Belly jellybeans lining the bottom.
Gummy bears lining the top edge.
And a pretty white Happy Birthday on top.

Oh and don't forget the fudge covered mint oreos polka dotting the sides. Which when I opened the package one was missing even though the inner package was sealed. So we have coupon coming in the mail for a free package.

A Trip to the Zoo with Dad

While I was down and out, Dad took the kids to the zoo for a morning.

Nick and the armadillo.

Look at the wingspan on these two!

Dad found someone new to kiss.

Halloween 2009

This picture looks almost identical to last years. The kids decided to go with the same costumes they wore before, Dorothy and her dog.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Katie Present

Yes grandparents. It has come in the mail. And as expected, it is a huge hit.
They are my old set of Fashion Plates.
I loved these things as a kid, and had such memories of spending hours making different looking girls and coloring them in with my colored pencils.
So tonight when they came in the mail, I ripped the paper off a crayon, showed Katie how to set up a picture and showed her how to rub the image onto the paper. I think her exact words were "WOW!" And there she sat for the next hour and a half until bed. She made several dolls. Coloring them in and cutting them out like paper dolls. I found her at bedtime playing with them in her room, and she wants a shoe box to store her creations in.
I envision, many more hours of happiness await this toy!

Birthday Boy #5

What a difference a year makes!
You are so sweet and loving, yet so zany and funny!
You love to give and receive hugs and sometimes kisses, but you are starting to become more manly about not giving them as freely to Daddy.
You are gentle and sweet, yet wrestle and pretend fight with the best of them.
You are so smart. How many 4 year olds sing their ABC's backwards??
You can be stubborn and willful, but you are learning everyday how to be the best you can be.
And we love each and every bit of you.
It was a great day!!
The morning began with a wake-up call at 5:45 by the birthday boy himself. He came quietly in but then announced, "It's my birthday!" I rolled over with the reply of "Happy Birthday, now climb in bed with us."
While bed didn't last more than 15 minutes, I did manage to contain him on the couch in the family room with me until 6:30 when Katie got up. And then it was present time.

We let him open a select few of the bounty he seemed to receive this year. And above all he loves his new Lightning McQueen toys from Daddy and Katie. They went to bed with him yesterday and then to dance with him today.

After playing for a while his only requests were to stay in his jammies all day and to eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Both so simple, but both denied.

Instead we took him out to the mall where he got to choose whatever he wanted to eat and both kids finished almost every bite of their lunch. Then we went to Chuck E Cheese, which was his birthday wish to play a few games. I had leftover coins from a birthday party some time ago, and the kids played enough to make them content.

Birthday dinner was a peanut butter sandwich. Yes, he is a simple boy at heart. And then Katie and I headed to tap class while he and Daddy went to t-ball. After coming home at 7:15 he finally got to have his cake.

And what a cake it was! Mike and I worked together to make this masterpiece with the help of another friend's cake decorating grass tip. (I still can't find mine. I think it got lost in the move.) But luckily now that good friends have moved nearby, the tip was only a 2 minute drive away.
So he got his wish of a race track birthday cake that was yellow and chocolate cake inside. Green grass, oreo cookie track in the shape of a number 5 thanks to my husband's brilliance, sprinkles on the sides, and Luigi's tire shop made out of chocolate donuts. We didn't put race cars on it, but it didn't seem to make a difference to him.

The School Room

It is wonderful!!! It is beautiful!!! It is perfect!!!

After looking at our cluttered dining room that had no furniture but still housed leftovers from when we first moved in a year ago, I talked to Mike about turning the room into a temporary school room. My thought was why let an entire room go unused in this house, that could very well function as the perfect space for learning. And perfect it has been.

First came the paint. I continued the sage green from Sherwin Williams that is in our study into this room. I love the color! It is pretty and soothing, and just generally makes me happy.

Then came the furniture. We had already purchased a piano with the help of my parents that resides on one wall. And I had my eyes on the Expedit line of furniture from IKEA. Finally the opportunity came in a $50 off purchase coupon to IKEA. I bought the 4 X 4 cube with 2 cubes for storage at the bottom and two sets of drawers. Then I bought the 2 X 2 with the extra $50. Even though I nearly exhausted the kids making them go back and forth through the IKEA store trying to make my decisions, I am really happy with what I got. The pieces are sturdy and large and each cubby can hold up to 30 pounds.

So now each subject area is put in its own little cubby. In the 2 X 2 I keep all the things that we are currently using. Katie has one magazine holder with her books and workbooks and folders. Nick has one for his things. And then I have one for my teacher guides and any other things like writing paper and lesson plans. There are binders for completed work that we are saving. There are other files of things that could be pulled out at a moments notice to entertain a bored child. In the bottom cubes in the big storage unit are math manipulatives, and in the drawers are more math games and reading things.

The biggest blessing came in the wonderful, perfectly sized table that a friend gave to us. It was the final piece of the puzzle that made us able to work full-time in this room. Thank you, my friend!! It meant no more spilled drinks over math workbooks. No more complaints of hunger (since we used to work at the kitchen table and I think it stirred the grumblies in my children). And the kids know it is a designated work space. NO TOYS ALLOWED!!! I almost think they enjoy it as much as I do.

Friday, October 02, 2009

And the Nutcracker part is....

Instead of being one of these from last year...
This year she will be one of these.
(photo from last year of her friend Audrey)

Spending Time at the Park

That is as often as possible.

Working on a State Scrapbook

And since you probably can't tell from the picture, this is Pennsylvania, and the brown piece of paper next to the state bird is a chocolate bar from Hershey, PA itself. After all, what fact about Pennsylvania would a child find most appealing?

What Have the Kids Been Doing?


What Have We Done Lately?


With a trip to an Astro's game and a homemade ice-cream cake.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Much updating to do, since I finally got my pictures downloaded. All 157 of them!!

But since I am lacking time right now, and we have a busy day ahead, I will post this one picture of the first day of school (co-op) from several weeks ago.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pictures and Blogging Coming Soon

Lots to blog. Lots of pictures. Problem is... the pictures are stuck on the camera. When Mike shut down all the automatically starting things on my computer to speed up the start up time, he somehow lost my capability to have my camera download photos like it did in the past, as well as now it won't even recognize that there is a device plugged into the USB.


Soon he will have time to fix it, and soon we will be up and running with lots of stories.

In the meantime, just know my day has been filled with a 4 year old not making it to the potty in time, and it wasn't a flood that occurred.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Knock Knock

It seems we have a fear of doors in the family.

Several months ago, we were at a Subway restaurant, just me and the kids, and Katie went into the bathroom by herself while I ordered. All of a sudden I heard this terrible shrieking. She had panicked while trying to open the door. It had one of those pull down handles, and she wasn't turning it the whole way before trying to open; therefore, it wasn't opening and she thought she was trapped.

Then Nicholas did the same thing a few weeks ago at an ice-cream place.

But even better was his experience with automatic doors. Even though he is quite the heavy child, he doesn't weigh enough yet to trigger the automatic doors at our local library. And at this particular library there are two sets of automatic doors with just a tiny space in between. He had been told to wait for me while I finished checking out, but being the ever "testing the limits" child, he walked out the first set of doors when they opened for someone leaving, but then the doors closed, and he couldn't get back in, nor could he go further out. He was trapped. And the look on his terrified face was priceless.

Since then he is scared to go in any doors. He attaches himself firmly to my side at all automatic entrances, and he wants his bedroom door open at all times, in case it should lock on him mysteriously. He can't comprehend that the door won't magically lock, but he would have to turn the lock himself.

So for now, we have two kids that will not enter rooms with those special handles, and one child who has fears of all doors.

Probably not such a bad thing for that young daredevil.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Have any of you ever seen the inside of a cell phone??

Well I have. And it ain't pretty!!

Goodnight to all, we have had an exhausting week and it is now 8 P.M. and my kiddos are sound asleep.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Nicholas and the Gators

T-ball season #2 started a few weeks ago, and Nicholas now plays for the Gators with Coach Mike. Yep, that would be Daddy. He is loving it even more this time, and I think part of it may be that he is playing with 3 of his friends.

And this would be the sweaty little boy, after running the bases.

And I had to add this photo of his friend, Andrew. It is just too silly!

May Pole Quilt

Love this quilt soooo much, and it goes out in the mail tomorrow. It has a massive number of quilting mistakes, since it was sooo very very big and heavy, but it still came out beautiful.

Hope the recipient enjoys!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Am I The Only One Who Can Do Math?

Go here and read about what I consider to be a half-worthless move by the FDA.

In order to get a 1000mg dose of acetaminophen, I could pay $15 for a doctor copay, and then pay whatever insane copay my insurance says on a prescription, or I could just take 3 of the new Tylenol pills that will be coming out, since that will equal 975mg.

My guess, is that anyone who is smart enough to do the math, and not concerned with the possibility of liver damage, will take the 3 pills out of a regular over the counter bottle of Tylenol. After all, how long have we had this product on the market and been taking it at the 1000mg dose.

Another case of the government wasting a lot of time and money.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our New Pet

We seem to have added a rabbit to our household. When I built the garden here I thought for sure I wouldn't have the problem of rabbits and deer that I had in Ohio. After all, we never see rabbits here. And I mean NEVER!
But look who hangs out at our house all the time these days. The kids named him Nibbles, and then this past weekend we found he has a friend, who we have called Bits.
Get it?? Nibbles and Bits!!

Anyway, my thought has been that there is more than enough in the garden to share with our little friends, and while I try to deter them, I am not going to go all out to get rid of them. Primarily they eat our lettuce which we found bitter to begin with, and they like to eat down my pepper plants, which makes me a little angry. But they don't touch the cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans or cantaloupe.

So here is a picture of Nibbles lounging outside our bedroom window.

Oh Baby!

We are wonderfully lucky to have had the opportunity to watch our favorite new baby and neighbor, Benjamin. He spent several hours with us last Saturday while his parents took the Infant CPR class. Needless to say, this is how he looked 90% of the time we had him, but that didn't stop us from passing him around the room from loving arms to loving arms. It is funny how light and little he is. We laughed at the fact that he is basically the same size now as Nicholas when he was born. The kids loved his tiny feet.

And notice the change of clothes. That would be because he peed through the first outfit onto Katie no less. She actually giggled and just went and changed her clothes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

2 Things Learned

1. Don't pay bills when tired online. You will accidentally hit the go back button several times instead of the confirm button. Then you get to type in all the information again....and again.....and AGAIN!! You would think I would learn after the first time.

2. When your 4 year old learns to whistle, you will be overjoyed at his new found skill. Then after several days of nonstop whistling, the enjoyment fades.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ballet Rehearsal

Katie backstage at dress rehearsal. They were busy playing Simon Says with one of the young teachers. What you don't see is the big girls to the left playing along with them. Apparently ballerinas never grow up.
Katie to the left of front in her ballet dance. They do such a marvelous job, and she had such a great teacher this year. Plus I got lucky to have her right up front and center for both dances this year.

Katie in her tap dance. Not that you can tell which one she is. (Towards the middle somewhere)
But I love this picture because it shows just how hard they worked this year. Look at their feet all in unison. They are really remarkable for 6, 7, and 8 year olds.

Katie front right doing her tap again. She has been practicing both her dances every day for the past week since they didn't have class. She told me she wants to be perfect. And then yesterday, she said that she wishes they could do their dance 10 times.
The child loves to perform, and is dying to get into one of those white tutus, and pointe shoes.
Sorry dear, you'll have to wait a few years to have a white tutu, but the pointe shoes will be coming soon I have a feeling.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Little Girl Quilt

I think this is one of my favorite quilts that I have ever made. It uses the Butterfly Fling fabric panel (that I cut into 4 main squares), and a charm pack of the same line.

So cute!

And I got brave enough to finally try stippling an entire project, and it came out beautiful.

And here is the back. A really adorable purple heart print.

I have Katie to thank for that one.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy Hurricane Season!

Only here...

Do you have a friend call you on June 1st to wish you a happy hurricane season.

She should have added happy swarming mosquitoes that will suck 8 pints of blood from you, as well as happy screaming children day, since the mosquitoes terrify them until they scream and tremble in terror.


Nick Gymnastics Video

Gymnastics video

Sorry it is sideways at first.


Not much blogging lately. We have been busy, busy, busy.
Did I mention we have been busy??
1st there was this cute little bundle of joy being born to our friends and neighbors.

2nd there was recital rehearsal.
3rd was gymnastics olympic day.

Doesn't he look proud to win his medal?

And she is pretty darn cute too.

Then we had Nick's final t-ball game.

Sitting in the dugout before the game.

This looks more like him.

Nick at bat. The shirt has come out, and he's ready. This hit went all the way out to the outfield. The boy can swing!

And then I spent my weekend making these. The summer t-ball season starts today, and Mike has some plans for using them with the kids.