Monday, October 24, 2011

Desk Discoveries

I’m not sure what’s come over me, but I’ve spent the day organizing.  I mean, I like organization and all, but it’s not typically how I would choose to spend a weekend day.  May I’m subconsciously avoiding the Packers/Vikings game.

My main focus has been our desk in our loft area.  It becomes the upstairs dumping ground for everything.  Toys, clothes, papers, manuals, and various artifacts.  Since my Cargill work has ramped up a bit, I find I need a place to actually put all my papers and just adding them to the piles on the desk has proved less than efficient, so I cleaned it out. 

First I emptied all the drawers and went through everything…throwing more than half of it away.  Some of my favorite findings are these:

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It is a pair of Disney Park Hopper passes from 2004.  I believe each pass has 2 days left on it.  When we purchased them we were told they NEVER expire.  I guess it’s a sign we should be heading to Disney World!

I also found that our life is very electronic:

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I’m fairly certain we use most of these cords.  But, I’m also fairly certain there is a better place for them in our house besides this desk.

While I was setting up our new filing system, I came across these:

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A glimpse into my nerdy childhood.  I was, and always have been, enamored with office supplies.  When I was in 3rd grade I purchased my very own filing cabinet.  A powder blue one.  Apparently I craved organization then too.  Only, instead of the boring tab titles our filing system currently has, apparently I needed to organize my “Tricks” and “Stories” among other things.  Under “Money” I no doubt filed away the records of my siblings borrowing my money.  I made them sign I.O.U’s and charged interest after a 5 day grace period.  No joke.

Maybe I’ll find an old I.O.U with tons of interest owed.  It can help pay for the rest of the trip to Disney.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Window Marker = Thumbs Up!

It’s MEA week here so no one has school Wednesday-Friday.  I spent Monday and Tuesday stock piling little activities for the kids and I to do while they are back home with me all day. 

This morning I taught swimming lessons so they spent their morning at Kids Stuff (Riley was thrilled to have her siblings back in there with her!), but after lunch I busted out our new pack of Crayola Window Markers.  I snatched them up at Menard’s of all places.

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We got right down to business.  The pack comes with 20 or so markers, stencils, and window clings to color and use.  FYI, there are two different types of markers in our set and I’m not sure what the point of each is, but the markers with the grey label work far better than the markers with white labels.

Sticking my kids this close together and then giving them markers was a little bit of a crap shoot but I was pleasantly surprised.  I only had to remind Riley of the rules (“only on the glass!”) a couple times.

No surprise that Ellie enjoyed this activity the most.  She made full use of the stencils.  Check out her concentration!

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Austin enjoyed the stencil with animal tracks and added embellishments to his tracks like “claws”.  I’m already thinking about how this might make writing words a bit more fun for him.  Spelling tests on the window?….why not!

After an hour I had everyone stop for two reasons:  1) It was the “quit while we’re ahead” mentality as far as fighting goes and 2) my girls have skipped naps for almost a week straight and I’ll be damned if that is going to happen today!  Rob’s been traveling and I want an hour to myself!

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I can’t comment on their washability yet, but so far I give Crayola Window Markers a thumbs up!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Double Trouble

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…..the return of dance class.  Only this year, Riley joins Ellie in her quest to get her groove on.  Except, this session is ballet, so maybe “groove” isn’t the right word.

I made the mistake of telling the girls at 8am that they had dance class today.  Which means I spent the next seven and a half hours fielding the question “Is it time for dance yet?”.  Riley was SO excited to be part of the class and Ellie was SO excited to show her the ropes.

We took some pictures before we left for class - mostly because the girls insisted on putting on dance outfits long before we needed to put them on and I needed to kill some time.

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I asked Riley to show me her moves and she did this:

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I asked Ellie to show me her moves and she did this:

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Then she told me that it was an “arabesque”.  I can neither confirm nor deny that.  I don’t speak ballet.

I took one more picture before they went into the class. 

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Something tells me that if I had asked for another I would have been denied.  When they got to the class Ellie was one of the more “senior” members.  She proudly stood up and said “Everyone!  This is my little sister Riley.  She’s new here”.

And for the next 45 minutes I heard Ellie’s infectious laugh through the walls and can only imagine what she was doing in there.  At the end of the class they came marching out of the classroom with huge smiles on their faces.  I’m eagerly waiting for the recital in about a month!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Smith Girls Sleepover

Last night we had the Smith girls over for a sleepover.  The cousins play so great together but don’t get to see each other nearly enough so we had the first sleepover. 

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Honestly, I don’t have much to say about the night.  They were so busy playing dress up that I didn’t really see much of the kids.  While eating dinner they got to watch a movie called “Alpha and Omega” which is a cartoon about two wolves.  Austin suggested they play “Alpha and Omega” after dinner, but the girls were more interested in being princesses.  I think Austin and Katelyn created a hybrid game where the girls agreed to be wolves….but they were princess wolves.  I didn’t get the details down, but it seemed to make everyone happy for awhile.

Ellie was fairly adamant that everyone sleep in her room.  Riley was fairly adamant that she be invited to the party.

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After a story it was lights out.  I think I probably went in there 3 more times to remind them (mostly Riley) it was time to sleep.  No one had trouble staying asleep, so that was good.  They woke up at 7:15, not so good (considering they probably fell asleep closer to 10pm).  Nothing a couple afternoon naps can’t take care of!

A successful first sleepover for the group.  Smith’s, just let me know when you want my girls!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ellie’s First Fieldtrip!

Today I went with Ellie on her first fieldtrip.  She was very excited (and scared) to ride the “Blue Goose” which is her school’s bright blue school bus.  She was nervous the bus driver was going to be mean.  But, the bus driver is actually one of the preschool teachers so she had nothing to fear.

There is no restrictions on the number of parents allowed on field trips so each parent only had two kids to keep an eye on.  Ellie was paired up with Kloee, who is one of the girls she hangs out with on a regular basis during school.  She was very excited.

Her fieldtrip was to the Richardson’s Nature Center;  a place we know well.  First, Ellie’s group crushed up apples for some cider.  Each kid had a turn to put in an apple and watch it get crushed up.

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Then we went on a nature hike.  Our guide was great with the kids and kept them very involved.  She explained a few different plants to us, and then had everyone go on hunts for various things (something yellow, red, smooth, fuzzy, sticky, etc.).  Ellie didn’t like this part much.  She didn’t want to touch anything that even looked remotely “gross”.  She’s very girly like that.

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After the hike it was back to the center to press the crushed apples into cider and give it a taste test.  Thumbs up from the crowd.

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On the ride home Ellie and Kloee sang silly songs the whole time.

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It was fun to catch a glimpse of Ellie in her preschool setting.  She definitely doesn’t hold back on personality in a group setting.  More than one parent came up to me to tell me how funny she was and relay a story from a time they volunteered in her classroom.  Hopefully her teachers agree!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our boy–to a T!

Austin is our resident dinosaur impersonator.  I would not be exaggerating to say that at least once a day he stomps around the house pretending to be some sort of dinosaur.  He is completely in character right down to the number of fingers he keeps extended.  It’s not uncommon for me to say “Oh no!  It’s a velociraptor, run for your lives!” and then Austin with momentarily break out of character to say “No Mom, duh, I have 2 fingers extended, velociraptors have 3 fingers!”  Okay, he doesn’t say the “duh” part, but that’s  the tone he has when he stops to explain himself to his ignorant mother.
Yesterday Kerry sent me a clip from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes because she knew it was completely a story from our life.
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I love it.  Luckily, Austin stops short of biting me.  So far.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Weekend

This past weekend Rob took the kids to West Bend for the weekend.  I stayed home….by myself!  Honestly, if I hadn’t had a hair appointment (that the stylist made specially just for me because I forgot to make an appointment earlier) I would have gone with.  We had no food in our house and I knew that Patti would have an array of yummy things to eat.  That’s how lazy I am.  I’d give up a weekend to myself so I wouldn’t have to cook.

Anyway, so by 4pm on Friday I was on my own!  I headed to the restaurant my friend, Michelle, works at on Friday and hung out at the bar (she bartends) to chit chat while she worked.  Friday night I headed over to the neighbors for some wine and more chit chat.  Saturday I felt like I could have slept all day but my hair appointment was at 8am (that’s what you get when you need to be squeezed in).  After lunch I met my sister at a nearby winery for a tasting.  Afterwards we each bought a glass of wine and a cheese/cracker plate.  It was a beautiful day to be hanging out at the winery!  Saturday night I headed out to dinner and shopping with Michelle.  Sunday I finally decided it was time to be productive.  I cleaned all our floors, washed all the sheets, folded a mountain of other laundry, scrubbed the baseboards and cupboards, and ironed some pants.  Then I sat down and watched the Vikings finally win a game!  My weekend was pretty great!

I’m not sure how the weekend went in Iowa but I was just browsing pictures on the camera and it appears that a lot of fun was had.

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Not really sure what’s going on in the above picture, but I suspect it led to the next one:

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And no trip to West Bend is complete without a visit to the “angel caves”. 

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Riley and Ellie made nice with Jesus here.

There are no pictures of Austin from the weekend.  But he did bring home some “treasures” from Grandma and Grandpa’s house so I’m sure he had a good time too!

Lucky me got some leftovers from the weekend!  Win-win! (Thanks Rob!)