Friday, April 26, 2013

My Girly Girl


Ellie is my girly girl.  She prefers to wear dresses every day, she spends her free time prancing around the house and singing, and she loves watching herself in the mirror pretending to be a “fashion star”.  She has even begun to perfect her “walk” which is an exaggerated hip sway as she sashays down the imaginary runway stopping to toss her luxurious locks over her shoulder with the quick turn of her head and a wink.  It’s quite something.

Last night she asked me to curl her hair in the morning for school.  She looked pretty cute if I do say so myself….and I do. 

It’s cute now because she’s 5.  When she is 13 and hogging the bathroom, whining about clothes, and {hopefully not} using the school hallways for her runway – it will not be so cute. 

I’ll just enjoy it now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday Nights

Every Sunday night my mom and dad offer up “Sunday Dinner”.  Most of the time we take them up on this.  It’s one night of the week I don’t have to plan (make and clean up after) a meal.  Plus, a nice time to catch up with the family and see what is new with everyone.

This past Sunday we also celebrated my Dad’s birthday.  He’s 66 years young now. 

I didn’t have a normal camera with me, just my cell phone, but I snapped a couple pictures that made me laugh.

First, the boys:


Austin lives for Sunday nights when he gets to hang out with Jake.  They have both turned into little gamers with their tablets so although they seem to be ignoring each other in this picture, they were playing each other in some virtual world.  I just thought it was funny that they were both squeezed into that chair together (there is no shortage of seats at my parents house).  Just this morning Austin said “I can’t wait for Sunday to show Jake what I built on Minecraft!” and I said “Then you’ll be happy to know Jake and Maddie are coming over for dinner tomorrow night”.  He let out a “whoop” and proceeded to confirm with me at least 3 more times, before he left for school, that he would see Jake tomorrow night.

This second picture I thought was cute for no reason.


Grandpa Smith is known to be quite the teaser in our house.  I’m certain he was probably doing some sort of teasing here too, but I just like how focused on each other they are.

Over and out.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break/Easter 2013

I’m going to back track a bit now and cover the kids’ spring break and Easter.  Austin and Ellie had spring break the last week in March, and Riley, because she’s in a different school district, had spring break the week after Easter.  It’s a little annoying that they can’t all be off at once but not a big deal.  It ended up working out just fine!  The kids and I drove to Amboy (halfway to West Bend) after Riley was done with school on Wednesday and met Bob and Patti.  Then they took our kids back to their house for some spring break fun.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Rob and I enjoyed some kid-free time!  We spent the whole day together on Thursday.  We went out to lunch, hit up the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, went shopping (and at this point my feet hurt so bad in my shoes that the first order of business was to buy new shoes….good planning for me!), we picked up some of our favorite cupcakes, ordered a pizza and rented a movie.  It was a fantastic day!

On Friday we drove down to West Bend and reunited with our brood.  The kids had set up an Easter egg hunt for us.  Riley had a hard time actually letting me hunt.  She would stand next to an egg and say “Mom, mom!!!  Look here!!!  I’ll get it!”  On Saturday they all colored Easter eggs first thing in the morning:


Austin was a little bit methodical with his dyeing.  He took his time.


Riley was kind of a power dyer and ended up with about 4/5 orange eggs.  Get ‘em done!


Ellie did both.  And made goofy faces in between.

Saturday night the kids left some carrots out for the bunny.


And Sunday morning they were up bright and early to hunt for their baskets!




We all went to church.  Our children did okay.  They are just not used to sitting anywhere for any length of time.  When we go to church, they go to Sunday School so they don’t have any practice with this.  But they sure looked cute!


Even Simba.

After lunch we packed everything up and drove to my parents house for another Easter celebration!  The lucky kids got another Easter basket full of goodies and each had to search for 5 eggs.  As usual, they  had a blast running around with their cousins!

This week Riley and I have been going on “adventures” but her spring break is over now too.  She only has a little over a month left of school!  Time flies!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mozart in the Making

Ellie and I (okay, mostly I) decided she should start taking piano lessons when she started kindergarten.  I consulted with my sister, the professional, and Kerry assured me I could handle teaching Ellie for the first few years.  So with the first week of school, we eagerly started her lessons.  By the 3rd week of school we had already let it slip to practicing every few days, and lessons being every week give or take 4 days.  In November we got back on track and then in December we lost another 2-3 weeks around Christmas.  However, since January, we have been doing good (not perfect) and making it more of a habitual thing. 

Last month Kerry was kind enough to invite Ellie to play in the recital she was having for all her students.  Kerry even picked out several songs so Ellie could pick her favorites.  (This piano teaching thing is a breeze when Kerry’s around!)

Ellie chose “Bingo” (There was a farmer had a dog) and “Love Somebody”.  And if you ask my sweet little girl why she picked “Love Somebody” she will tell you “Because I love my Mommy.”  *sigh*….remind me of this sweetness when she’s a teenager.

She diligently practiced her songs….and her singing.  Ellie asked if she could sing the songs when she played at the recital and Kerry said “Sure, I’ve never had a kid do that, but absolutely!” 

Well, last night was the recital.  Ellie was nervous, but not too bad.  Then at 4pm she said “My eyes hurt.” and I thought “oh crap….migraine”.  Sure enough, by 4:15 she was asleep.  I woke her up around 5:15 to eat dinner, of which she ate very little.  And at 5:45 she threw up.  But, by 6:00 she was putting on her pretty pink dress, and by 6:05 we were on our way!

I’m doubly biased as both her teacher and her mom, but she did awesome!  No mistakes and didn’t show any nervousness either!

I asked Rob to take video with his cell phone because it tends to take better pictures than our camera so I figured the video feature would be just as decent.  Sorry….it’s not.  At all.  I tried to edit it a bit with some software but this is the best I can do.  (Update:  Mike also video taped and I replaced my video with his…much better!)

At any rate, she’s a rockstar (in the making).  It made me a little teary watching her up there last night.  I’m a sap.

She was giddy afterwards asking if she could be in the recital next year too.  We celebrated with the Murphy’s (Maddie and Jake were amazing too but I’ll leave that bragging up to Kerry’s blog) and Grandma and Grandpa Smith and Aunt Gretchen at Dairy Queen afterwards.  Two treats in one night!

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Poor, Poor kids

I don’t think I ask much of my kids in the way of chores.  There’s certain things I just expect them to take care of, but we don’t have a set chore list.  We’ve tried it before and nobody seems to stick with it.  For the most part, they are just in charge of cleaning their rooms.  Recently, I added their bathroom to the their (short) list.  Mostly because I think dried up toothpaste might be a substitute for cement and I’m tired of scraping it off the sink.  I figure if they are the ones who have to clean it they might take an extra 2 seconds each night to wash the spit down the drain or (ahem…Austin) aim better.

And, never fear if you’re a guest here, I do my own cleaning before we have company.

Last week all three kids were in the bathroom in the morning brushing their teeth and Austin scolded one of the girls for not rinsing their spit down the sink.  The conversation went like this:

Austin:  Ugh!  Come on you guys!  You have to make sure it’s all gone!

Ellie:  I know, I know!

Austin:  Now I’ll have to clean it.  {exasperated sight}

~Riley practically spits on Austin~

Austin:  Riley!  In the sink, not me!!

Ellie:  I can’t believe we have to clean this.  I mean, we have to do everything around here!

Austin:  I know.  But seriously, just think what it was like before you two were around.  I had to do it all myself.


Have a good weekend.

Love, The Slave Driver