Monday, October 31, 2011

painted pumpkins

it was one of those busy weekends.  helping at school for the fall festival.
so, since we didn't have time to carve pumpkins, we painted them!
and it was so much fun, we might not be carving anymore...
friday after school we headed out back, it was beautiful outside.
and so relaxing sitting there with the kids painting their pumpkins.
after awhile i got the itch to paint and so i offered to help ella with her stripes.
it was really calming sitting there painting with her.
i may have to get my own pumpkin to paint next year!
john started painting different colors and then ended up painting the whole thing black.
he just couldn't stop painting...
andrew painted a cardinal on his pumpkin.
and christopher painted a face...
i only had a couple bottles of acrylic and blue.
and tons of poster paint.
the acrylic definitely worked better on the pumpkins.
so, i will buy more of it for next year.

happy halloween!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

easy dinner: gyros

i had never had a gyro until chris and i were on our honeymoon.
i love them, and my kids have had them more than i ever did growing up.

this is such an easy and delicious meal.
sprouts sells gyro meat right next to their deli meat. it's sooo good.

all you do is:

-warm up the gyro meat in a skillet pan, i usually turn it over & cook for a couple minutes.
-get some really good flat or pita bread & warm up in microwave for 25 seconds.
-place meat in bread with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers & lettuce.
-drizzle with tzatziki sauce - you can also buy this at sprouts right next to the gyro meat.
-or make your own tzatziki sauce. this is the recipe i used the last time i made it:

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt
  • 2 cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

-combine all ingredients to make sauce

*it was pretty garlicky so you might want to go easy on the garlic for the kids.

-add a greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, and italian dressing and you have an awesome & easy meal!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

running a marathon

not literally but i feel like i am.
life has been super busy these last few weeks, and it's not slowing down anytime soon.

last school year i didn't volunteer for anything, we were still remodeling our kitchen.
there were always workers at our house and i just didn't feel that i could commit.
yes, i still need to post pictures on the remodel...add that to the never ending list.

i was the girl scout leader for ella's troop and that was it.

well, this year my plate is overflowing.
i'm involved in quite a bit, didn't really plan on it but it just kind of happened.
i think i can handle it all, it's just things will be super busy until mid february.

on top of being the girl scout toop leader i am...
on the school board,
chair for the volunteer food for the fall festival,
live auction chair for the auction,
6th grade homeroom planner (one of @ 7 moms, so not too much to handle),
and in charge of the jog-a-thon volunteers for 6th grade (goes with above).

i'm not listing all this to toot my own horn.
there are plenty moms in the same boat as me at the school.
and plenty who do a lot more and plenty who do a lot less.

i just want to remember what the different years of raising kids were like for me.
my mom recently found a notebook from when chris and i were first married.
neither of us had any recollection of the things we had written in it.
apparently we were interested in writing a catholic couple column together.
ya, no memory of that whatsoever!
i really want to keep up with this blog.
and i am going to try my best to during this busy time in my life.

today i was home all day long and was able to get caught up on endless laundry.
my mom came over to take 3 loads home to wash for me.
that's after i did 3 loads today, and 3 loads on sunday.

and i didn't have to pick up today thanks to my carpool.
so, hopefully i can get all that laundry put away today too.

then, i'll feel much more on top of things...
before i commit my weekend to helping for the fall festival.

hope to post again tomorrow, we shall see!

Friday, October 14, 2011

when he turned nine

andrew turned 10 yesterday, and i never posted on his birthday last year.
it'll really bug me if i don't so, better late then never, right?

here he is with his 3rd grade teacher, mrs. t.
she really loved having andrew in his class, and we really loved her.
i made the mini carmel apples for his class.
they were a real hit.
john and i took them to school and stayed to have lunch with andrew.
ella sat at the bar and made her big brother a sweet birthday card.
we had our big family dinner, and i cannot remember what we ate!
our neighbor made her secret recipe rum cake for dessert.
she won't give out the recipe, but she'll make you one whenever you request it.
we hadn't had it for years, it was a real treat.
he had a last minute sleepover with a couple friends.
andrew wore this necklace almost every day he was in the third grade.
he actually made it in second grade as preparation for reconciliation.
and he kept it and wore it religiously.
he really loved having it on every day.

it made me so happy to see him do this on his own.
i think he was the only on in his class who continued to wear it.
it just made my heart melt to see him putting it on after he got dressed everyday. 

a year late, but there it is...the 9th birthday post.
now i just have to get caught up on the other kids before their next birthday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

happy 10th birthday, andrew

andrew was so excited for his birthday, he's been talking about it for weeks.
you would've thought it was christmas morning at our house.
he woke up at 5:30, i told him to go back to bed until at least 6:15.
it's become tradition that i leave birthday presents on the dinning table.
the kids love coming down the hall in the morning and seeing their gifts waiting for them.
i remember loving it when my mom would decorate for our birthdays.
she would mainly decorate our bedroom doors with streamers.
i've done the doors a couple times too, and the kids always love it.
i made these fun treats for andrew to take to his classmates.
the school is on a 'healthy only' policy but no one seems to abide by it!
i'm all for healthy eating, but not when it's your birthday!
actually, i think when andrew was in kindergarten i made applesauce muffins.
and brought them in a cute basket with milk to pass out too, they were pretty good.
christopher and john were very excited to give andrew the harry potter legos they got him.
he also got a big harry potter lego set from us.
and ella kept coming out of her room with sweet notes and bags of candy for him.
she also used her 'prize box' points yesterday to pick him out a bookmark.
it was so sweet when i heard her whispering this to christopher yesterday after school.

i also loved hearing andrew say this morning, "ella isn't this like your last werther?"
he really appreciated her giving it to him since he knows how much she loves them.
then, he wrote this note back to her on the back of the card she gave him...

it really is crazy when your second child turns 10.
he said to me this morning, 'mom it feels good to be double digits'.
the time sure has gone by fast, and it has been such a joy to have andrew as my son.

he was almost born in the car, i barely made it up to the labor ward.
some random doctor walking by was pulled in to deliver, or rather 'catch' him.
he mad quite a first impression, and he has continued to throughout his life.
his peers are drawn to him and he is a natural leader.
smart, sweet, and kind to others...i am so proud he is my son.
we had a nice family dinner, wish i would've gotten a picture of everyone.
i just love it when the birthday child feels the specialness of the family.
as i tucked him in i told him there are a lot of people who love him.
he gave me a big smile.

thanks so much to all the family who helped andrew have a wonderful birthday.
there really is nothing more important in life than your family.

Friday, October 7, 2011

ella: student of the month

the whole school works on a skill for the month.
this last month was 'completing a task'. they announce the som's at the morning assembly.
ella's teacher tried something new and had the kids vote for who they thought deserved it.
most times the teacher picks, in the older grades sometimes they have the kids pick.
i think it makes it that much more special when your peers vote for you.
it really helps them support each other and pay attention to what the others are doing.
andrew said to ella, 'i heard a lot of kids in your class saying, ella, i voted for you'.
so sweet.  the principal goes down the line and shakes everyone's hand (above).
then the student council runs down the line giving them all high fives.
one boy and one girl are chosen from each class per month.
they get to have a big ice cream social at the end of the month as a reward.
congratulations, ella.
we are very proud of you...and yes you are very good at 'completing a task'.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

he loves a good salad

john and i have been having big salads for lunch for quite awhile now.
i throw on whatever leftover meat i have in the fridge.  these pics show chicken.
but usually i just dice lunch meat.  a mix of turkey and ham.
and i usually have cucumbers and tomatoes to chop and sprinkle on top too.
he asks me for a 'big' salad for lunch quite often, he loves sharing it with me.
don't get me wrong, he loves candy and chips and all that tempting junk food.
he's a kid, he won't turn that stuff down.
but offer him a fresh salad, and he won't pass it up.
and then day after day he'll request it for lunch.
with the lunch meat and veggies, it's a pretty filling meal.
christopher has been taking a salad to school for lunch recently.
i put the greens in a tupperware container, and the toppings in a ziploc bag.
oh, and a little container of italian dressing.
he mixes it all up and yum a fresh, fun and filling lunch to have at school.

*photos taken last february.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

let's go dbacks!!

no we weren't all at the game last night, just chris.
this shot is from a couple weeks ago.
did you know this dude is at every single game? dressed as superman.
i finally got a picture of him last game we were at.  just cracks me up.
john loves the 'sandlot'.  and i love taking him there.  i don't mind it one bit.
i love watching him play...he always does the same thing at this play area.
runs to the same slide every time, goes down, runs to the steering wheel and
spins it as hard as he can with one hand, then goes back up the stairs to the slide.
then repeat, repeat, repeat, for the entire allotted playing time.
and he is so focused, in a such complete zone, it is quite hilarious.
all the kids line up when their time is done and wait for their parents to get them out of line.
there's always a child who ends up sad while playing and the mom is nowhere in sight.
the supervisor yells is 'so and so's mom here?'
no response for a couple minutes and then it takes a couple more minutes for her to show.
i'm always surprised at parents walking away from these young children.
and feel so bad for the kids when their mom isn't right there when they need her.
i stand glued to the little half wall watching john do his little playtime routine.
john spotted the shaved ice on the way back to our seats, but they only took cash.
i didn't have any on me, so i told him we'd go back.
so, we got some on the way out and let all 4 kids go at it.
we did clean up that spill on the floor before we left.

let's get another win tonight, dbacks!

Monday, October 3, 2011

rain in the forecast

it's supposed to rain on thursday.
coincidentally, i came across this picture on our computer from last year.
exactly at this time. it was from october 5th.

it was raining after school, and kids just love the rain you know...
so ella did her homework on the front doorstep.
and john took this position to watch the rain.

it really is great to be able to document these little things from year to year.
we'll see if and how much rain we get...