Saturday, August 30, 2008

Money-Saving Madness!

I told you a few posts ago that Sebastian really wants a DS, but that we are not going to spend $130 for yet another electronic device. I told him he was welcome to start saving his money he earns (from earning 5 pennies and trading them in for $1), as well as any gift $ that is given to him.

This morning, on the wii channel, we found a new Pokemon ranch game that allows characters from DS and wii to interact. OH MY GOODNESS! The child is on a new kind of mission to earn and save up enough money to buy himself a DS. He asked me again how much he needed. I told him $130. He did the math in his head (with a little help from me), and realized that it would be at least 3 months before he could earn that kind of money. That seemed a little discouraging to him. So I told him that he could do extra chores around the house to earn pennies more quickly. That was all it took. He AND Isaac went on a rampage. Sebastian cleaned his room, made his bed, and cleaned his sister's room. Isaac made his bed and then started putting all of the toys away in the basement. They're funny!

So we'll see if this enthusiasm for earning money and saving it keeps up. What sounds like a great idea at the start sometimes gets a little hard to stick to as time goes on. But I think this is a good lesson for them both to learn. And who knows, maybe they can pool their money together and get a joint DS. Then maybe they'll only take a month or so. Here's wishing them luck! And hoping for extra help around the house!! :)

Big Breakfast

I love Saturday mornings when there's nowhere to go, nothing pressing going on, and I can treat the family to a big breakfast. Today was such a morning. Lucas has been on a breakfast bowl kick, and I have been on a quesadilla kick (for like the last 20 years of my life...LOVE Mexican-inspired food!). So I made both this morning. VERY YUMMY! The breakfast bowl:

  • 4 scrambled eggs

  • 2 medium potatoes, diced, coated garlic & seasoning, cooked in olive oil

  • crumbled bacon

  • diced ham

  • diced fresh mushrooms, onion, and green pepper

  • Shredded cheese

  • cook it all. dump it all in a bowl. cover it in shredded cheese. melt the cheese. serve it. YUM.

The breakfast quesadillas:

  • flour tortillas

  • scrambled eggs

  • crumbled bacon

  • diced ham

  • diced mushrooms, onion, green pepper

  • Ragu Cheddar Cheese sauce

  • Shredded cheese

  1. heat olive oil in a medium skillet

  2. spread 1-2 tbsp of the Ragu sauce over one side of one flour tortilla

  3. top the tortilla with the meat, veggies, and eggs; then cover it all with shredded cheese

  4. cook the tortilla in the olive oil (about 2 minutes on each side) until it's golden brown.

  5. Cut it into triangles and EAT IT! Also YUM!

Isaac ate 4 1/2 triangles of the quesadilla today. Oinker! I could only eat 3! But it was all very tasty, and I don't think we are going to be hungry for lunch any time soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Zoo Scavenger Hunt

Remember last week I mentioned an idea to go on a photo scavenger hunt in the park? Well, we upgraded. Earlier this summer, at our one and only (until today) zoo trip of the summer, we bought a season pass. I figured we may as well take advantage of it, so we took our scavenger hunt to the zoo. We ran a few errands before we left town - went to the bank, and then dropped off Meagan's paperwork for pre-school. Then we had to stop at Meijer gas station because Meagan had to go potty. Finally, we were on our way...UNTIL...we got about 10 minutes into our trip and I realized that I had left the zoo pass at home. So, we turned around, went home, got the pass, and started over from the beginning. Needless to say, it was a little later than planned by the time we got to the zoo. No big deal.

Before we actually went into the zoo, we stopped at a little playground / park area outside of the zoo and had a picnic. (We got a really nice picnic basket for our wedding, and we have rarely made opportunities to put it to I decided to use it today.) After our picnic, and a short play time on the playground (and another potty break), we headed into the zoo, where we spent the rest of our afternoon checking out the animals and finding the things on our scavenger hunting list.

We managed to find everything we were looking for...some things several times over. The hardest were the nest and the helicopter (the zoo is full of oak trees, and not until the VERY end - on our way out actually - did we find a small patch of maples). It was a fun twist to a zoo visit.

So, anyway, here are our photo finds, along with a bonus picture of the kids.

The Battle of the Costumed Characters!

Yesterday after dinner, this was the scene in our all-out brawl of costumed characters. It started between Isaac the Pirate and Meagan the Giraffe. They were having a funny little sword fight in the front yard. It wasn't long before they were joined by Sebastian the Ghetto Superhero. He was a morphed Spiderman / Batman / Cowboy with baseball bats for weapons. I tried really hard not to laugh! Some day he will hate the fact that I have these pictures! And that they were posted on the Internet!

Anyway, they spent a good half-hour at least running around the yard sword/bat fighting with each other. It was quite entertaining. Another moment when I wished that I had a video tape that wasn't full, but I still haven't gotten any of those...gonna have to get on that since the first day of school is only a few days away!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Day

Today was a great day for us! Nothing exceptional happened, but it was just a really good day. It started out good - I woke up early, rested, no weird dreams left over in my head (which has been happening WAY more than I would care for lately). I started laundry right away, and the day continued on pretty productively all the way through. I managed to get six loads of laundry done and put away, with a seventh washed and dried (still in the dryer as of right now). I made a grocery list, and the three kids and I took a grocery trip today (which took 2 hours +... they were VERY good, thankfully...I could have had a rotten afternoon otherwise...instead it was a very good one). It's so nice to see food in the refrigerator again!

Tonight after dinner I got to talk to my mom and to my friend Sherri for a few minutes each. I gave the kids a bath. Got a few minor chores done around the house. And then my friend Karen came over and we went on a talking walk. I love talking walks with good friends! Good stuff. She left about 20 minutes ago. Now I'm in my pj's and am basically ready for bed, except my husband is watching a scary movie in our room right now, and if fall asleep to scary / suspenseful / action / sci-fi type movies, I have BIZARRE dreams! The last one was about mutant ferrets that were infected with a virus that made them mass produce and be super strong and killer ... thanks to Resident Evil at bedtime (although I'm not sure where the ferrets came in?). So I came down to get my ipod to try to block out the movie so I can fall asleep with happy thoughts in my head.

All in all, this was a very productive day, with well behaved children, fun time with family, and good time with friends. I didn't feel like I was chasing the day (if that makes any sense), but I felt like I was ahead of things most of the time. I love days like that. Hoping for more of that tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Her reputation precedes her

Today we took a van load of boxes and bags of clothes, bedding, shoes and other odds and ends to a local not-for-profit shop to donate. We had emptied out the van, and I was standing at the counter filling out the info for the receipt (name, address, etc). As I was writing my address, the lady working there said, 'Oh, you live right by my parents. They live right across the street from you.' I asked who here parents were, and we talked about that for a second. Then she leaned over the counter, looked at Meagan, and said, 'And I have heard all about you!' She told me that her mother has told her several stories about Meagan. 'She's a character, that's for sure,' I replied. The lady laughed and said, 'Funny, those are the same words my mom uses to describe her... not in a bad way. She says she's so cute, but she sure can give her brothers a piece of her mind!'

I just had to laugh to myself. At the age of three, Meagan's reputation precedes her. Should I be worried? :)

Trail Blazin'

Tonight after dinner, Lucas headed to his friend's house to play bow hunting (*LOL* they've been doing lots of target practice in his big wooded back yard...the same back yard where Isaac got the CRAZY bug bites!). So the kids and I decided to head to the park. It had rained just before we left, so instead of going on the muddy playground, we took a walk through the trails in the woods (paved trails...we avoided the dirt/mud paths tonight...even still we had to stop every few feet for poor Isaac to shake the mud and sticks out of his shoe. And once Sebastian, who was wearing flip flops planted his whole foot right in a mud hole). We walked for a little while, although I could tell Meagan was dragging a bit, since she took zero nap today. For the sake of everyone's evening enjoyment, I thought it was best not to push her for too long.

While we were walking, I got an idea that I think I will try with the kids sometime next week (hopefully)... a photograph scavenger hunt. I looked around the woods and trails today, and made a mental list. My plan is to make a list of 10 things we have to find somewhere in the park. Then we will take the camera, and as we find something on our list, we can take a picture of it (that way we can look for things and not have to worry about whether or not we can collect them). They seemed pretty excited about the idea when I asked them. I'm hoping we get a day with good weather and a few hours of free time next week so we can do it up right!

Tomorrow the boys are going with their Daddy and Uncle Shane to a football game in Detroit. Lucas got tickets to the Browns/Lions game. They're pretty excited - Sebastian more so than Isaac (we sort of had to talk Isaac into going, but I think he'll have fun).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

School Shopping, phase 1

Tonight we tackled our first phase of school shopping - new clothes. We hit up the sale at Kohl's, and everyone got a few shirts and a few pair of pants. Can you believe Isaac and Sebastian are basically wearing the same size? Right now they both fit into the same size, but for jeans & shirts I got Sebastian the next size up to give him growing room (just not for exercise pants, because there's no way to adequately draw the waiste in to keep them from falling off of the poor kid!).

The most exciting part of the night, though, was our last stop. We headed to Wally World to check out the lunch boxes. The boys actually got Nintendo boxes that are marketed as accessory carrying cases for their different game systems. They are basically old-school metal lunch boxes, though, and the boys L.O.V.E. them! Isaac got a wii Super Smash Bros box, and Sebastian got a DS Zelda box. The only problem is that now Sebastian won't stop yappin' about how much he wants a DS! Give me a break child! (They are $130!!!). I told him he's welcome to start saving his money for it, but that's about the only way he's getting a DS. He's just going to have to settle for the DS lunch box! Meagan also got a lunch box for pre-school. Hers is a pink one with glittery green and blue butterflies on it. She is equally fascinated and enamored with hers, although hers cost about 1/3 of the price of one of the boys'! I'm glad she's happy!

Also, in keeping with the shool theme, we got the boys' teacher assignments in the mail today. I am very pleased with both of them. I'm hoping for a positive school year. Two boys in school... things could start to get very interesting!

Phase 2 of school shopping - school supplies - is yet to come. We don't have nearly as much to buy for that, though, thankfully!

Hooray for Meagan!

Yesterday my creative daughter set up her own gymnastics academy in my living room. She drug out my yoga mat, which is long and narrow, unrolled it, and lined it up with the landing at the bottom of the stairs. Then she ran down the length of the mat like a vault runway, and 'vaulted' onto the landing. When she landed, she stuck both arms in the air and shouted, 'Hooray for Meagan!' It was all good fun until she failed to stick her landing and ended up rebounding into the stair banister. She knocked herself in the eye, and got a little nick. She cried for a few moments, then re-engineered her vault set up so as to avoid any future injury. She decided diving onto the the couch made a lot more sense.

That child is CRAZY!

*heart* nature

I did this layout pretty quickly - finally a layout that didn't take me days and days! It's not one of my favorites, but it'll do. I originally did it with orange paper and elements, which was the way I bought it. It just wasn't working with the picture, though, so last minute I changed it to pink (which I think is why I'm struggling to like it. It matches better, but it's like a bubble gum explosion! you know me and pink...). This picture of Meagan was taken at Cedar Point this summer.

The journaling says, 'I love that you take time to take in the world around you.' July 13th, 2008.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Friend

Here's my latest layout. Finished it last night. Again, I struggled to put this page together. I think I am losing all of my creativity. My husband has his own thoughts on the cause of my problem (I won't share those here!). This picture was taken of Meagan on the day of the boys' last t-ball games. One of the families had brought their new puppy to the fields with them. The dog basically followed the kids around all day, and he kept camping out under Lucas' chair for some shady resting time. Meagan was IN LOVE! If only the puppy would stay puppy size (and clean up its own poo), I would get one for her. As for me, I much prefer to borrow someone else's dog on occassion, just like we did on this particular day.

I got scolded tonight because I haven't been updating my blog enough lately. I'll try to do better. Apparently, it is the motivation to get some people through their day (I might suggest looking for a more amusing pass-time??). But I'll do what I can.

Friday, August 15, 2008

So I don't forget...

Today's outside play time provided a few funny memories. I thought I'd jot them down so I don't forget about them. They weren't really anything spectacular, just entertaining to watch.

1) The ice cream truck came down the road. They decided they were going to get ice cream. So they all stood together, side by side, shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalk, like a united front for taking down the ice cream man. When he drove past, the all started waving frantically. The truck kept going. Didn't stop. Didn't even look their way (which I thought was a little odd...but okay, since they didn't have any money to buy the ice cream anyway). When the truck had past completely, Isaac turned, and in a very authoritative voice, pointed toward the front yard and said, 'Well, back to our game.' That was the end of that. They were off and running, and forgot all about the ice cream truck.

2) Sebastian was obviously in the mood for baseball, but Lucas and I were still inside cleaning up after dinner. So, he decided to pitch to himself, which constituted chucking the ball as high up into the air as he possibly could, and then 19 times out of 20 running like a crazy man around the yard to try to catch it because it had traveled so much. So he was mostly just running back and forth around the front yard randomly swinging a bat at thin air. I saw him actually hit the ball once...also straight up in the air...on its way back down to earth, it missed hitting him on the head by about 2 inches. He is funny stuff.

3) Meagan has taken up a morphed form of ballet/gymnastics/hip hop, and had ample dance space in the front yard. She was boogieing like nobody's business today. Who knows what song she was playing in her head...apparently music is optional for her new art form. She is also funny stuff.

4) And one for the inside play time... While I was cleaning upstairs today, Isaac went in the basement to play Lego's, Sebastian went in his room to draw, and Meagan hung out in my room on the bed. She has really developed an interest in mirrors lately. She really likes watching her reflection as she does things. So she stood on my bed in front of the mirror today, watching herself make funny faces, do her ballet/gymnastics/hip hop dance moves, jump up and down, spin, twirl, and just generally move. I'd say it kept her occupied for at least a half hour. As she was experimenting with movement and reflection, she also took up singing. She had several colored popsicle sticks in her hand - all different colors. And she apparently wanted to decide which color was the best. She started singing 'Which one is the best, which one is the best, which one is the best?' over and over and over and over and over.... you get my point. I'd say that went on for at least ten minutes (of the thirty or so). It was very funny - she changed her voice inflection to go up and down like songs on the radio. I kept thinking, 'I wish I had a video tape to record this,' but no empty tapes are currently available in my house...gonna have to remedy that quickly in case of another song & dance performance. Anyway, finally, I needed (for my own sanity) to put an end to the 'which one is the best' song. So I said, 'Which one do you think is the best?' She stopped singing, stopped jumping, and stopped looking at herself in the mirror. She looked down at her hand and studied them for a few seconds before declaring BLUE to be the best. Then she hopped down off the bed, and took off to a different game. I guess she answered her own question!

Somehow in the midst of all of this, we all managed to work together to scrub, sweep, dust and vacuum the entire upstairs - all 3 bedrooms, both bathrooms, and the hallway. And that includes four loads of laundry (washed, folded, and put away...that NEVER happens in my house!) and completely gutting Meagan's room of toys that are being transplanted to the basement. It was a busy day. But it felt AWESOME to take a shower in a shiny clean bathroom!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fine Dining

Yesterday at dinner, we got to talking about my husband's big plans for hunting season this year, and all the deer meat we are going to have. So he asked the kids if they are going to eat deer steaks if he gets a deer. Sebastian sort of shrugged his shoulders. Isaac looked at me with questioning eyes, and then just shook his head no. Meagan was the only one who said yes.

I told Isaac and Sebastian that if I was going to have to eat it, so were they. Isaac didn't even miss a beat. He just said, "It's okay Mom. You can just make me a grilled cheese that day."

I'm with him! LOL!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Much

Starting with Sunday, so far this week has been busy and non-stop. Sunday was our annual car show at church. So after first service, I stuck around to help stuff pulled pork sandwiches, and then to be the food ticket and money lady. It was a great day, and I had a lot of fun and cool experiences. But it was a long day, and I was quite tired when I got home around 4:00.

Monday and yesterday I worked, and then had plans both evenings. So it felt like I was constantly going. But finally today we have a slow day to just hang out together and chill (and clean the house and do bills!).

So, I'm off to start my day...I'm expecting it to be a great day! I wish you a great day of your own! I'll chat with you later!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Immeasurable Love

Yesterday morning before breakfast, Sebastian and Meagan were being buddies. They were sitting in the recliner together, and they kept giving hugs and telling each other 'I love you.' Luckily I had my camera nearby.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This is what I came up with

After 24 hours of torturing myself with that scrapbook layout I told you about yesterday, on the word of my husband's advice, I walked away from it for awhile. Today at nap time while I was waiting for Meagan to fall asleep, I sat down and started yet another version. But this time it came together much more quickly than it did yesterday. I like it when that happens. I still don't think it's going down in history as a masterpiece, but I'm not messing with it anymore. I think I struggled with it so much because it's not a very good quality picture to work with. But for her birthday Meagan and I got matching aprons to cook in, and I couldn't pass up scrapping it, even if my only picture wasn't very good. So here's what I came up with.

Toy Overhaul

We have started a major overhaul in our toys all throughout the house. Now that we have finally gotten around to getting boxes stored in the attic, we've seriously opened up our basement for more space to use for toy storage & organization. The plan is to get all toys (except stuffed animals and books - both of which are needed for bedtime routines) down into the basement and to have a place down there where they all belong.

Today we started moving toys down from the boys' room. Their drawers full of legos, Star Wars, Transformers, pirates, and hexibits are all downstairs now. The next thing to go is the shelf full of toy bins (that severely needs to be sorted through). I think once that shelf is gone we will actually have room to put a second dresser in the boys' room, which is also desperately needed. Right now all they have left in there are two big bins for stuffed animals - one for Sebastian, one for Isaac. I told them they had to go through their stuffed animals, and choose which ones they wanted to keep in their room. The only stipulation was that whatever they kept had to fit in their bin. Everything else was moved to the basement, where we have two more bins. Anything that doesn't fit in those is either going into storage or is going to charity. I would say four bins of stuffed animals (not even counting what's in Meagan's room yet) is a bit over the top for three kids. But Isaac especially seems to have some really strong emotional connection to almost every animal. For him, banishing one to the basement was like asking him to give up a child. Poor guy.

Because of our transition, pretty much our entire house is chaotic right now. There are piles of things to be recycled, thrown away, put away, moved to another room, and donated to charity or to the church. Pretty much the only room that is clutter-free is the first-floor bathroom. :) Hopefully by the end of this weekend, our house will be approaching some semblance of order and organization. Eeeek!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


For all of you who are concerned about Isaac, he is doing much much better. The swelling is almost completely gone, as is the redness & the heat. I can actually see the bite marks now - there are about 10 within a very small region - all single entry bites (so no spiders at least...spiders weird me out a bit). It looks like a combination of bee stings (or some sting) and mosquitoes. Mostly stings though. Not sure how he got so many stings in such a short time without coming in crying to me about it...??? Boys make no sense to me still!

Other than that, today was VERY uneventful...bordering on boring. I have been trying for almost 24 hours now (meaning I started yesterday at this time... not 24 hours without stopping) to do a scrapbook page, and it is just NOT working! I think I'm on my 4th version of it...aaaaahh! So every time we got a little down time, I came back to my computer to try again. I still haven't liked anything I've done. I've just not been feeling very creative lately...odd that it sort of comes and goes like that.

We did manage to get something accomplished today. We went to the school and registered Sebastian for flag football for this fall. How cute! He's in the Tiny Titans league - 1st & 2nd graders. Practice starts right after school starts, so early September. Not sure about the game schedule yet, but I will let you all know when I find out.

Alright, I'm calling it quits for tonight. I'm actually kinda tired of staring at my computer screen right now. Maybe some scrapbooking inspiration will come to me in the middle of the night! (Wish me luck!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Meagan the medicine junky

My daughter is amazing. When she wants something, she can definitely do her best to find a way to get it. And medicine is no exception!

As I shared yesterday, Isaac is currently taking Benadryl for his bug bite/bee sting/whatever it is. Well, the Benadryl is bubble gum flavored, and it smells quite yummy. Meagan, being the general fan of medicine that she is (Motrin, Tylenol, antibiotics, whatever...she's not picky), has determined that, if logic prevails, she should be able to get the same kind of medicine her brother is getting as long as she has the same symptoms. So last night at bed time, in her sweetest, most pitiful voice, she came to me and said, "Momma, I have an itch" (insert dramatic face scratching here). "I think I need some medicine like my brother Isaac."

Nice try kid. Go to bed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Poor Baby Boy!

We went to a friend's house this weekend and hung out for the evening. The kids had a BLAST, since his back yard is a giant forest! However...I was not quick enough with the bug spray, and Isaac is now paying the price. He apparently reacts to whatever bit him the same way I react to bee stings.... LOTS of swelling, hotness, and itching. Poor boy.

I took pictures, but only the straight-on shot really showed up. Can you see along the right side of his face, from his brow down to his ear, and all the way across to his eye is swollen horribly. This morning he could hardly open his eye...he looked like he had been in a fight. And as the day wore on, a spot swelled up on the left side of his face close to his temple. Poor baby. I gave his some anti-histamine tonight, and I've been putting topical cream on for good measure. I hope it helps. It's breaking my heart!

It's About Time!

Woooo Hoooo! We FINALLY got a Wii Fit today! I was flipping through the Sunday ads in the paper today (which had 4 packs of coupons in it, by the way!), and I saw that Circuit City had it in their add. I tried to call to see if they had any left, but no one would answer. The automatic lady just kept telling me to try back later.

So I gave up, and continued my browse through the ads. That's when I found that it was also in Meijer's flyer. So, we loaded up the van and headed to our local Meijer to see if, by some chance, they still had one. Nope. They had sold out about 2 hours before we got there. BUT...the last she had seen, a Meijer about 25 minutes away still had some. She called that store to see if they still had any...they had FIVE!

Back in the van for a little road trip. We got lost, because I had never been there, but somehow still thought I knew where I was going. Not so much. But we got back on track, and eventually found it...about an hour after we had left our Meijer. this point, we were thinking it would be a miracle if they still had any. But, we were there, so we figured we would give it a shot.

After being misdirected by the front door greeter, I finally found their game section. And there was one left on their shelf! I'll take it! Just out of curiosity, I asked if that was their last one...she said there were still 2 left. Thankfully we didn't stay lost any longer than we did, or we may have gone away empty handed. But, as it turned out, we finally got a Wii Fit!

We all played it this evening a little. Then after we put the kids in bed, I played it for a while. I did everything one time. OY! My legs are a bit tired. My abs are slightly burning. And I'm sweaty. But it was fun, and I managed to get in over 30 minutes of exercise tonight, while having fun! Sweet!