Saturday, September 30, 2017

Backpack Papers

"My goal for second grade is to keep my hands to myself so I will get stamps."

I didn't know Harper had a problem with keeping his hands to himself, but I'm glad he's got goals.

Harper learned how to draw a moose in art. I think the moose was surprised to see him! :)

This was a "WOW" picture that Dakota drew. I guess they are learning to add a lot of color and detail in to their artwork. I love what she drew...I certainly think it is WOW worthy!

And, Dakota was super excited about this paper because she got to make RAINBOW words, something she's heard her brother talk about many times before. :) 

School Updates and Stuff

Dakota did much better with school this week. She didn't have any breakdowns and she didn't seem nearly as worn out after school. She is getting off the bus in a great mood and seems to be adjusting quicker than I thought she would. I've got to remember to give that little chick more credit, she's way tougher than she seems. She tells me everyday about the friends she's making at school and she's constantly asking me if they can come over to play, so that'll be in our very near future, I'm sure.

Harper is loving school right now and is also adjusting to his new schedule pretty well. He's really enjoying soccer practice and doing better in the games than he did last year. He still isn't entirely sure what to do out there on the field, but he tries. I volunteered at the school a couple times this week and I loved watching him hanging out with his classmates. He seems so happy and relaxed and like he's having a good time. It puts my mind at ease knowing the kids are safe and happy at school.

Landon got a break from running this weekend because he didn't have a race. So, he had practice all week except Friday and now has the weekend off. He opted out of going to dinner with us tonight so that he could go hang out at a friends house with some of his "squad". They went to Chipotle for dinner and then went bowling before one of the mom's dropped him back off here. I'm glad he was able to take a little break from cross country to hang out with friends. Tomorrow he'll be spending his time getting ahead on some homework and taking care of his laundry before another busy school week.

It's crazy that October is upon us! The weather here has taken a dramatic turn and today it was kind of chilly out. The kids wore light jackets and I had on a sweater and jeans. Crazy considering last week it was in the 90's. I'm so ready for this fall weather though! More nights at the fire pit, windows open in the house, soup for dinner. Ahhh...fall.

Doner Bistro with Friends

I mentioned Doner Bistro to our friends Lisa and Jeff one night and we decided then and there that we needed to make a trip out to Frederick so they could try it out.

We met them out there this afternoon around 4:30 pm, and went straight in for dinner because everyone was ready to eat. While we pondered the menu (I knew exactly what I was getting!!) the kid played at the foosball table that they have right at the front door.

Once we ordered we found a picnic table to sit at and the kids continued to play until our food was delivered. There was a little bit of everything on our table! Tony and I both ordered the beef doners, and got a bratwurst for the kids to split. We also ordered a large fry to share with everyone and Tony grabbed one of the beers on tap. Lisa and Jeff ordered one doner sandwich and a donerbox (a doner without the bread), bratwurst for the kids, some potato pancakes, and some pretzels. After seeing their pretzels Tony went up and ordered us some too...and another beer. :)

We all sat and ate and as the kids finished they went over to play foosball again and then discovered another little corner that had a few toys for them to play with as well. They played happily for awhile but then remembered there was an ice cream shop next door so it was time to go. The three boys got "I Scream for Cake" flavored ice cream while Dakota and I got "Chocolate Lovers Chocolate". Tony got a scoop of Toasted Coconut. I let Evelyn share my ice cream and boy did she love it! She was trying to stick her mouth right inside the bowl! 

After eating our ice cream the kids wanted to run around and play out by the water so we let them go crazy for a little bit while we talked. Zoe and Brandon went hiking up in Harper's Ferry today and were eating dinner at JoJo's in Frederick and we happened to bump into them while we were out there. They were with friends and so were we so we talked for a few minutes and then they went on their way to the restaurant. 

Before heading home for the night we tried to get some pictures of the kiddo's together. It's never easy and there's always at least one that doesn't cooperate. Dakota was mad that she couldn't sit by Evie (Lisa wanted the two big boys to support her so she wouldn't fall off the step) so she refused to be in the first pictures. Then, we convinced to get in the picture but she refused to smile. Stinker.

Unicorn Party

Dakota was invited to one of her classmates birthday parties today. It was a really fun party in their backyard and they sure went all out! There was a bouncy house, a trampoline, 2 pinata's and pony  unicorn rides! I loved the little unicorn horn hats the kids got to wear and they were a hit with the kids too!

Horn Malfunction, but still cute!

I thought the unicorn cake she had was ADORABLE! Apparently her sister makes cakes and now I'll have to keep her in mind for our future birthday parties. 

I practically had to drag Dakota out of the party after 2 hours because we had dinner plans with friends and the place we were heading was an hours drive. Needless to say, she had a great time!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Anne Arundel Rocks

While my mom was here I introduced her to the idea of Kindness Rocks. I had barely explained it to her when I could see a glint of excitement in her eyes and knew that she was sold on the idea of making some ourselves. I had wanted to give her the idea for our annual Thanksgiving family project but the very next day she and I were out at the store looking for bags of rocks to paint!

She and I sat and painted a few while she was here but we weren't able to do as many as we would have liked because of all the craziness surrounding the wedding shower. Since she's been back home I've been setting aside a little time to paint rocks each day. The two little kids have been involved some too which has been fun. I love seeing what they come up with. I sprayed polyurethane on our first big batch this morning and am hoping the kids will be eager to help me start leaving them around town. We are going to our schools book fair this evening and I'm thinking that might be a good place to start.

These two are Harper's contributions:

Dakota did these:

My mom did this batch:

These are the one's I've done so far:

 And these were painted by Dakota and then I just added the faces or words:

And, these two were made during the wedding shower. We had it set up out in the gazebo as an extra thing to do but I don't think people understood what it was about. I don't know who made these but they'll be hidden with the rest of ours.

There are many kindness rock projects out there, likely even one close to where you live, so if you are so inclined, get involved! It's inexpensive, creative and a small way to pass on a positive message to someone who may need it. I've joined a few groups through Facebook and see that the groups are growing more each day. There is some amazing talent out there and then there are rocks like the one's I've made, so really, anyone can do it.

Happy rock hunting! 

T-Ball: Scrapbook Page

I have so many ideas in my brain about craft projects, scrapbook pages
& home decor ideas that it almost makes me crazy. I've decided that I need to start devoting some time to checking off items on my craft to do list. Yesterday, as I was cleaning off my desk I found Harper's t-ball pictures and decided then and there that I was going to get them scrapped. It isn't much, but it's a page done and a couple photo's off my cluttered desk. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sunday Skate

We had a few errands to run Sunday morning but other than that our day was empty. Our neighbors were going skating so my kids asked if we could go too and I figured why not? They love to skate and we get to just sit around for the most's a win win!

When we first got there they both wanted to use the little skating carts but they got tired of them pretty quickly and began skating without them. They had so much fun and Harper did lap after lap. We were there for a little more than an hour before they were hot and tired and ready to go. It was fun while it lasted though!

Saturday Sports

Saturday morning found us back out on the soccer field. Harper had a 10 am game, Dakota's game was at noon and Landon was at Chesapeake for a cross country race. I had to drop Landon off at his school at 7 am so that he could catch the bus to his race and then get home to get ready for the two little kids' games.

We got up to the field around 9:30 so that Harper could warm up with his team and I watched half his game before I headed out to watch Landon run at 11:15. The school was about 30 minutes away from where we were so I barely made it to the field before his run began. But, I did make it!

Again, I don't have his exact time but I know he did amazing because I got a picture of him right at he started down the finishing stretch. (I was video recording but a woman came up behind me and told me I had to move out of the way so my video got all messed up.) But, I did catch this one picture and he is the little red dot coming up on the far's nearly impossible to see, but he's there! And, the time then was 20:49 so he may have made it just under or at  21 minutes which is a terrific time!

The coach asked that all the runners stay for the awards ceremony afterwards and as soon as it was over I signed him out and we headed for Dakota's game. Unfortunately the traffic was very heavy coming out of there and being a single lane road with lights made us very slow. We hadn't had lunch so we grabbed some and by that time it was too late to make Dakota's game. Of course, since I wasn't there, she scored TWO goals! Luckily Tony caught one of them with his phone and it was a terrific shot for such a little girl!

So, our Saturday was a sporty one, but a good one nonetheless! We've only got one game this weekend (Harper) because Dakota is going to a birthday party instead of soccer and there isn't a meet for Landon this weekend. I'm looking forward to the break!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Cross Country at Kinder Farm

Mom flew out last Wednesday afternoon. It was a fun albeit bust visit. I'm sure she was ready to get home and away from the madness that is our life! She probably thinks we're crazy the way we're running from one thing to another!

After dropping her off at the airport I drove out to watch Landon's cross country meet. They were making up a run from an earlier rain out and it was scheduled right in the middle of the afternoon. I was able to drive out and see him run because the two little kids were still in school and Tony would be home to get them off of the bus.

I got there right when the boys were lining up to stretch so I found a good spot near the beginning and waited for them to take off...

Once they got going I found another spot near the finish so that I could see when he came back in. Unfortunately the big clock wasn't running so I couldn't see his exact time but it was a good run. (I'll have to update this once he finally remembers to get his official times.) He sprinted the last bit of the race and that kid came in flying! You can see his finish in the video below, he comes up on the left side of the screen. 


Since my mom was in town and we didn't have much going on on Tuesday night, she and I drove up to see Zoe and Brandon for a little bit. Zoe wanted to show Meme her new house and offered to make us dinner while we were there plus they have a new kitten, Vader, that I wanted to meet. (They were out walking one night when Zoe heard the tiniest meow and found the tiniest little kitten.)

Zoe took Vader to the vet as soon as she could and they checked him over and said he looked pretty good for the most part. They said he was about 6 weeks old and weighed just 1 1/2 pounds! He was so teensy! But, he also had fleas so they treated him for that and while we were there they gave him a bath to make sure the fleas were gone and to get rid of the medicine on his coat before introducing him to their other cats, Zephy and Nero.

He such a cute little kitten! I sure hope I can get Harper and Dakota over to see him before he gets too big. I think they'd absolutely love him and how tiny he is! 

Back to School Night

The elementary school hosted their back to school night last week. It ran from 6-8 pm and I was able to swing up there for the last bit of it after dropping Dakota and my mom at home after ballet class. (The running around never ends!!!) I always feel like it's important that the teachers see my interest in what they're doing and know that I want to be involved with the kids in their classrooms. I try to show up for the teachers because I know they need parent support and I know they spend time coming up with a presentation to show us how/what they'll be teaching our babies for the year. It's important to me that the teachers know I'm here and willing to assist when I can. 

I was the only parent who showed up for the last presentation in Dakota's class. Her teacher knows that I'm not new to the school thing so she asked if I wanted her to present her material to me or not and I told her it was fine to skip it since I was the only one there. We chatted a little about the class and she answered a few questions I had and then I headed down to Harper's classroom. 

I got there just a few minutes into the 2nd grade presentation and quickly noticed that there wasn't much of a turnout there either. I was one of three families there but it appeared that there had been a few others there earlier because the sign up sheets had lots of signatures. I'm glad that the parents at my kids school seem to care about what is going on and take the time out of their busy schedules to show up for the teachers and their kids. When Harper's teacher was done, she asked for questions and once those were answered she and I sat and talked for a little while. Landon had her when he was in first grade so we've known each other awhile. Funny enough we didn't talk about school at all but she asked me what I was doing to lose weight and we got off on a long tangent about diet and exercise and life. I loved getting to know her on a little more personal level! 

Harper left this little letter on his desk for us to read when we visited his classroom. Doesn't look like he finished it, but it was cute nonetheless. It says " Dear Mom and Dad, I am happy you came to school. Did you see the TV or the fan." Haha! Guess he didn't really know what to say! 

School + Sports

Having sports after a long day of school is tough. The kids are tired when they get home and the only thing they want to do is vegetate on the couch. So, this past week they would get off the bus around 3:45 pm, have a snack, do homework and then head down to the basement to play Minecraft together until dinner at 5 pm. It's not much time to relax but it's what they get on a Monday and Wednesday when they have sports practices at 5:45 pm. While I drive up to Landon's school to pick him up from cross country practice, Tony makes dinner and then we all kind of eat really fast before heading back out. It's a lot and we're still learning how to manage it all.

Last Monday when it was time to get ready for dance, Dakota balked. She didn't want to go and she just complained and complained the whole way up there. Poor kid. She said she was too tired and why was I making her go and could she please just quit. I felt kind of bad making her go but once we got there and she got in the classroom, she was happy. She did a terrific job dancing and every time she'd catch my eye through the window she'd give me a sweet smile. I've got high hopes that she will adjust to the madness that is a full day of school and sports. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is still new and that she's only five.

Harper is having a bit of a rough adjustment too right now. He's easily upset by the smallest things and gets mad when we remind him that he has soccer practice. He LOVES soccer practice when he's there and is always very happy and positive when he gets's just the transition that's hard for him. It's still new and he's only seven...on repeat.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Honeycomb Fan Blades

My mom can't come up here without doing some kind of home improvement project. We were busy making things for the wedding shower up until Sunday but once that was over we had some free time before she went home so we decided to give my dining room fan a make over. Mom had spruced up one of the fans at her house with some left over paint and a stencil and the project looked easy enough that we could finish it in no time...

I have a drawer full of stencils and we thought a polka dot design would be cute since I have polka dots on my curtains. The polka dot stencil I have has a slightly sticky backing so that it won't move while you paint over it but unfortunately it also removed the original paint and some of the "wood" from the fan blade when we pulled it off. No bueno.

So, we had to start all over again. I used my Cricut machine to cut out a bunch of circles on vinyl that we then stuck all over the fan blades. After a coat of paint we began to pry up some of the circles to see how it looked to find that it too was tearing up the fan blade. AHHHH! So much for simple.

My mom took the blades outside and sanded them down and we decided to just paint them white and put them back up. At least they'd look nice and clean again. But then, mom thought maybe we should just try laying a nonstick stencil down and lightly spray over it with spray paint. I said heck yeah (I wasn't worried, I figured if we destroyed the thing I'd just go buy new blades) and I chose my honeycomb stencil and off we went.

Can you see the design on the blades? I love how subtle it is. It's not something that draws your eyes up to it but if you happen to look up you can see these cute honeycomb blades.

There's a line about 3/4 down from the top on each blade and that's just where the stencil ended. It doesn't bother me, in case you're wondering. 

I love how it ended up turning out. We put some bright LED bulbs in there too since the old bulbs just weren't giving enough light and the insides of the bulbs have these yellow filaments that remind me of the stamens of flowers which kind of goes with the whole honeycomb thing. Haha! 

Wedding Shower Picture Frame Photo's

This'll be the last wedding shower post, I promise! Zoe's friend Shannon made a cute picture frame sign that read "Z & B Say I Do" and we made sure to get a lot of pictures using it. Of course, because it's us it couldn't just be a few pictures of Zoe and Brandon with the frame but every single person had to be involved somehow. So, I have lots of pictures to share...

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....