Friday, March 31, 2017

Artsy Partsy, Session 2, Class 6

Dakota and I were the only two to show up to art this week! We were running a few minutes late and I was surprised when we were the first (and then only) to show up at all!

The teacher had gathered up a bunch of supplies to make animals that live in the Safari. She began with a print out that Dakota practiced making the markings of a cheetah, tiger and lion. 


After talking about the different markings on the animals Dakota was given a large sheet of paper and some paint to practice making the markings on a larger scale. First draw some large circles on the paper and then using orange, yellow or a flesh tone paint, color each circle in. Dakota drew a fourth circle for a zebra. While it isn't a type of cat, it is another safari animal, so it worked.Then, using different objects she got to give each animal it's marks. Spots for the cheetah, stripes for the tiger (and zebra) and a big fluffy main on the lion. 

The next project was to use blue paint to create a sky, green paint for grass and then add two cat cut outs. She decided to make one a cheetah and the other a tiger. 

The last activity was to paint and decorate a wooden picture frame. 

This was supposed to be our last week but because several of us missed a class because of a late start for schools the teacher is offering a make up class next week. :) 

Inter-County Track Meet at Glen Burnie

Landon is running track again this year and it was only a few days in when he started complaining that his hip hurt. He saw the trainer at the school and she was concerned enough to call me and suggest we see his regular physician, so the very next morning we saw a doctor who said she believed he'd just pulled a muscle and needed to let it heal before running again. She told him he'd need to rest for at least a week to see if it helped so he missed several days of practice and the first meet.

Since he's been practicing again (lightly) he's not been complaining that his hip hurts but only that he can still feel a bit of a pull there when he's running. So, I'm guessing its better but maybe just not completely healed yet.

Anyways, yesterday was the first meet that he participated in and while he didn't do what I know he's capable of, he did well. It was freezing cold yesterday and while we stood on the side to cheer him on in our coats, hats and gloves, he was out on the track in a tank and shorts. Those kids were absolutely freezing their butts off!

He's third from the left in the pic below:


His first run was the 1600 (1 mile) and he was pretty sure it wasn't going to be his best run. He kept saying he knew he wasn't going to do well but I was hoping he'd pull through and do better than he thought. It was about the third lap that I saw him give up. He was just too tired to keep the pace he'd started with and he quickly fell to the back. I could see a bit of defeat on his face and as much as I hated to see it I knew he was struggling to even finish. He did finish and his official time was 6:30.44. Not horrible, but he could do better, I'm sure of it. He just needs some more practice. 

There was quite a bit of time between his first and second run so we all went home to eat dinner and warm up and then I drove back to the school to see him run the 800. His attitude seemed better right before this run and I knew it was going to be better than the mile had been. He did end up running much better and came in at 2:47.94. He did what he loves to do and that is to sprint the last bit of the race trying to overcome at least one guy ahead of him. He did beat one kid ahead of him and I loved watching him do it! 

As soon as that race ended he gathered up his stuff and we headed home. It was just too darn cold to stay out there any longer than necessary! I'm hoping that with the upcoming weeks of practice he'll be able to run stronger in the next races. I really think it's something he's quite good at and I love watching him compete.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wacky Hair Wednesday

Today was wacky hair Wednesday at Harper's school and he wanted a Mohawk. 😄 I was as excited about it as he was and I don't think that boy could get any cuter! Surprisingly his hair was still sticking up when he got home from school. Maybe I'll convince him to wear it like that more often!

Kitchen Re-Fresh

We got the dining area painted last weekend so this weekend we had to get the kitchen finished. There really isn't much to paint in the kitchen since most of it is taken up with cabinetry, appliances and open space but it still ended up taking the better part of Sunday to get it done. For some reason two coats wasn't enough on some sections and I had to go over it with a third coat to make it look even...weird how that happens. 

I just took that little blue table to Goodwill today. Harper is just too big for it all of a sudden and Dakota is only a hair behind...I was sad to see it go, but it was time.

I took down the cork wall where I always hung the kids artwork and now I've gotta figure out what to do with all the great stuff they bring home. It was just too cluttered looking and I was ready for a change. I hung up the two little cork memo boards that I got out of a $4 Michael's grab bag awhile back. Since taking this picture I've added a metal envelope perfect for holding outgoing mail and such. I plan to add one or two more things as I find them.

I went back to a white windowsill between the kitchen and dining room and it took FOUR coats of white to cover the old navy blue. Knowing that means I've really got my work cut out for me on the navy blue doors. I taped off the trim that needs to be done and depending on my mood, I may start painting that tomorrow. Maybe, maybe not. We'll see. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Salads for the Win!

I have a few salad recipes that I want to remember so I'm going to post them here. This first one is my absolute favorite and man is it simple! It's called Apples and Cheddar Chicken Salad and I'm almost drooling looking at it. I had it for dinner one night and lunch the next day and I'm hoping to have it again real soon! 

This one was amazing too. I am a shrimp lover but I wasn't sure how all the ingredients were going to come together...luckily, they worked deliciously! And finally, an amazing side salad that I couldn't stop eating. The dressing is what really does it here because there really isn't much to the actual salad, just spinach, almonds and cranberries. 

Sorry for the lack of photo's, I was too busy eating...

Project Life, 2017, Week 10

Week 10, March 6-12

Dakota and I spent a morning decorating for Easter. She was so excited to help and loved decorating the little egg tree on her own. She did a really good job this year spacing them out and making it look nice! About half of the Bradford Pear trees in our neighborhood are blooming and they are gorgeous! I don't know what will happen  to the trees when we get the snow they're predicting in a few days so we are enjoying their beauty while we can. Dakota painted a wolf scene in her art class this week, it turned out amazing! Landon didn't believe that she had done it on her own! Harper brought home these cute little Thing 1 and Thing 2 popsicle people this week. I love that they celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday every year in elementary school. Dakota made an "I have a dream" paper at school and her's said "My dream is that everyone can have the same earrings." Makes me laugh every time I read it!


I made this half page insert to document International Women's Day and A Day Without a Woman. I asked my family if they'd send me a picture of them wearing red in support of women and everyone was a good sport and did it. (I forgot to ask Brandon and my dad was overseas, so they're excused.)

The first picture is of a dinner Tony made that was beyond amazing. It's called Best-Ever Chicken Fajita Chowder and it is e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Recipe can be found here. Sometimes nice weather means bringing a typical indoor activity, out. Harper happily worked on his sticker book while Dakota was on the swings. Dakota went to her buddy Tomas' birthday party at Rolly Pollies. I was so happy that she played with her friends and didn't need me by her side the entire time! She sure is growing up! Harper's school hosted a spring dance and auction and the kids LOVED dancing and running around the gymnasium. Dakota is loving every second of ballet and I try to get a little sneak peek when I think she's busy but she always catches me! The very last picture is a paper my kids filled out at the kindness party we attended. You can read about it here if you missed it. 

Playing Dollies

Yesterday Dakota and I spent the morning playing with her baby dolls and giving them baths. I'm not sure where her inspiration came from but it was a nice change of pace from coloring and playing Barbies.

She ended up playing with her dolls for the rest of the day yesterday after that. I loved listening to her talk to them and she really loved wrapping them in their towel after their bath and re-dressing them. She asked if we could get some more baby food for her doll that eats and poops so we'll be heading out in a little bit to see if we can find some food. 

T-Ball Practice

Harper had his second t-ball practice Saturday morning and it was a gorgeous day for it! He was really excited to go back and to see who his coach was. I liked the way they broke the practice into four 15 minute segments. They began with running the bases. Seems pretty basic but the kids have to be reminded over and over and over again that they have to touch the bases. Half the time they see the base as a hurdle and jump over it so it's a challenge.

Their next activity was stopping ground balls. 

The next 15 minutes were spent throwing and catching. There was a lot more throwing and chasing stray balls than catching but they seemed to be enjoying themselves!

The last part was Harper's favorite, batting. 

His next practice is Wednesday at 6pm but we'll be practicing here at home in the meantime. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Project Life, 2017, Week 9

Week 9, February 27-March 5

The kids got Monopoly Jr. for Christmas and we finally broke it out to play. They both really enjoyed it and I was happy it didn't take HOURS to play. Dakota began ballet and while I had been super worried about her anxiety, she did just fine! Not a single tear! Landon decided he wanted to play the adult version of Monopoly after seeing us play with the little kids, so we did. Dakota conned Mema into buying her a Lego Friends set and she could not wait to get home to put it together! She loved it! Harper and Dakota always play best right after dinner. They play all kinds of things but it was so funny to watch them give each other rides! They thought it was hilarious too! The last photo is Dakota helping daddy make dinner. She isn't usually in the mood to have "quiet time" (video game time) so she fills her time helping Tony cook. 

Harper saw Dakota working on her Lego kit and decided he wanted to do one as well. We had this one we'd picked up for Landon years ago and he never did, so I got that out for Harper to work on. He really enjoyed his project too! We payed Zoe and Brandon a visit to play with Zephy and Nero but we also got to see Treeko, Brandon's little Crested Gecko. Harper and Dakota HAD to stand on this old tree stump when we went to the library and Harper HAD to show me how strong he was by holding up a big stick. HAD to. And, the last photo is Dakota passing time swinging in the backyard...her favorite. 

Artsy Partsy, Session 2, Class 5

This weeks art was all about birds and nests. The class began with a large paper egg and sharpie's. The kids were shown a few ways they could decorate an Easter egg and then were given the green light to decorate as they saw fit. Dakota loves to draw butterflies, hearts and rainbows these days and at least two of those ended up on her egg. (She didn't have all the colors to make a rainbow.)

Once they'd finished decorating their eggs they began building a nest. They used some brown paint to cover the little white paper cup they were given, then some glue to add "twigs".

As the nests dried the kids were given hard plastic eggs that opened. Again, using sharpies, they decorated their eggs. While they covered their eggs the teacher came around with a box of pom pom's and each child chose a "bird". No bird is complete without a beak and eyes, so they were given those as well.

Dakota just loves that the little bird actually fits inside the egg! She carried it around all day yesterday showing everyone what she'd made and that there was a surprise inside!

The final project was to build a bird using modeling clay, paint, a wooden "beak", two wooden eyes, some feathers and twisted pipe cleaner feet.

While using the clay is super messy, it's really fun! She loved sticking the feathers, legs, eyes and beak into the clay and she thought it was super cute when she was finished! She really wanted to bring it home but the teacher convinced her it was best to leave it there to dry and get it when we go next week. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dakota Past, Present and Future

I love this paper Dakota did at school today.

She couldn't wait to get home to tell me about it either! The first column labeled "baby" has a (green) bed that she's sleeping in, her drinking a bottle (she's the pink person with a giant bottle underneath) and her mommy holding her (she informed me that I was the mom).

The middle (Now) section has a picture of her hanging on the wall (?) her watching a video (the TV is the blue thing in the middle and she is upside down to us in the blue square) and a purple bed.

The last section is my favorite. She drew a car because she plans on doing lots of driving when she's an adult and her holding up a building because she's going to be really strong. I'm pretty sure if anyone sets their mind to holding up a building and actually achieving it, it'll be her. :)

Project Life, 2017, Week 8

Week 8, February 20-26

From the top left we have the kids out enjoying the sunshine on their bikes. It's time to get back to this as Harper has regressed a little since the fall. Dakota is much more confident and adventurous when it comes to riding bikes/scooters/skating while Harper tends to worry and be very cautious. He needs practice and we're going to have to make sure he gets out now and again to work on his confidence and skills. Dakota and I made a bird feeder and Harper practiced some drawing. Tony and I began painting our blue accent wall in the dining room, kids played and an adorable penguin was made in art.

The right side begins with a picture of Zoe and Dakota on the swing. Dakota is eating lunch and they're talking away. Then, a picture of Dakota going to school with her super hero mask on. :) Next row features a painting Harper made in art class at school, a photo of us all playing a board game and Friday night dinner at Kodo. On the bottom right is a picture of my kitchen floor and the mess that Dakota and her friend Sydney made. (A friend of mine of Facebook had just mentioned how tired he was of everyone pretending like their lives were always peachy on social media so I sent him that picture. Life isn't always peachy for sure.) The last picture is of the kids at Krispy Kreme with the doughnut hats on. Fun times with the family that night!

Harper's Wishes

This paper came home in Harper's backpack last week and my first thought was: he's such a 6 year old! The paper reads: You have found a lucky four leaf clover. You are granted four wishes. On each leaf, write down each of your wishes.

He wrote:

  1. to be rich- I mean, of course. Who doesn't wish that? I think even rich people probably wish to be richer, right? I know if I ever found a genie in a bottle I'd be wishing for some cash. 
  2. a puppy- Yup, definitely a little kid's wish. Of course there are lots of adults who want puppies, but it seems like EVERY kid wants their own puppy. They're just so dang cute and cuddly and when you're a little kid it's always fun to have something smaller than you are. 
  3. no school- I told him to quit wishing for that because he has like a million school years left and wishing it away isn't going to do him any good. Killed that dream, quick. 
  4. bunkbed- This one made me laugh because I swear little kids have a thing with bunk beds! Don't they? A bunk bed to a little kids is just the damned coolest thing. You get to climb a ladder to get into bed at night and sleep so high up in the air! Heavenly! Except, making bunk beds is a total pain in the ass and they take up massive amounts of space. And, they're dangerous AND he has a ceiling fan so that wouldn't work. 

While all of his wishes were great, they are totally not happening. He's probably going to have to make his own riches, buy a puppy after he's graduated school and maybe if his kids are lucky, they'll get the bunk bed. Poor guy. 😉

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gold Buff

Yesterday Tony and I spent the entire day painting our dining room. We did the accent wall last month and it was time to get the rest of that room finished. I went with a much darker yellow than what I had up there before and with the first few brush strokes I knew I was really going to like the new color.

We hadn't gotten very far when I decided the gold looked quite orange, but I liked it anyways so we kept going. It wasn't until we got to the third wall that I realized it was only a shade or two different from the accent wall in my living room! No wonder I liked it! You can kind of see the color in the photo below, how similar it is to the wall in my living room. 

This color really seems to change with the light, just as the blue wall does. Sometimes it appears more gold while other times it's more of an orange. I'm really happy with the color and it's so nice that everything looks so clean and crisp again! 

I was painting the trim white when Harper came in to ask me a question and when I looked up at him I failed to stop painting and ended up painting the very bottom piece of trim white too. It was originally brown and you can see that in the photo above, but now it's all white. Oops. One gallon isn't going to be enough to paint the rest of the kitchen so I'll have to get to Lowe's for more before the week in through so that we can hopefully finish this area up this weekend. Painting sure makes everything look nice but it is a lot of work, especially when the kids say "Mom" every 5 seconds!

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....