Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Up a Tree

This past weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's house, Sebastian and Meagan spent quite a bit of time up a tree. They have this great tree in their front yard that is just the perfect size and sturdiness for some serious climbing.
I used some new Tadpole Tuesday products from the Lilypad for this... all Tadpole Tuesday products are only $1.00 for today... you can check them all out here.
(Click here to view full credits)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Feeling Fresh

There is just something about a trip to the grocery store that feels very satisfying. It's like a clean slate, a fresh start, to plan out foods that are both healthy and yummy. It's another chance to try again to get the bad junk out and keep the good stuff in. Am I making any sense to anyone but myself? I just love picking out fresh fruits and veggies and meats and cheeses and filling up a cart with good things to eat. It's cathartic and relaxing and invigorating all at once. (Yes, this is the part where you may think of me as a bit strange, if you don't already, LOL). This morning, I let the boys sleep in a bit (after our LONG weekend of traveling), so we got a late start. We all ate breakfast together, and then I dropped them off at school, surprisingly only about 15 minutes late. From that point, we had about an hour to pass before it was time to pick Lilly (the cat) up from the boarding place, so I figured we could use the time for a quick trip to the grocery. We just got some fresh veggies (as ours had sort of gone wilty over the weekend), a few blocks of cheese, some lunch meat and some milk. It was a quick trip, but like I said, there's something just simply satisfying about it all. After lunch, I got Meagan situated with a resting movie, then I decided to put some of our food to use. I had some applesauce that I needed to use up, so I dumped it into the dehydrator, sprinkled it with cinnamon, and set some fruit roll-ups in motion. Then I decided, for who-knows-what reason, to make some salsa. This, mind you, is NOT something I've ever attempted before, and I had no recipe to work with. I figured how bad can chopped tomatoes and onions turn out? Right? I started out with just that - some chopped tomatoes and onions, and a bit of cilantro. Not quite enough flavor or substance, so I set off to the pantry to see what else I could throw in it. it was an odd, unplanned concoction, but in the end I think it turned out quite tasty! I found a canning jar in the pantry for keeping, and stuck in in the fridge. Aaaaah! The feeling of fresh foods and a new recipe accomplishment. Truly, ten years ago, I never would have believed you if you would have told me that THIS would be the thing that I enjoyed doing with my time. Here's the recipe I came up with if you want to try it (I tried to go back and write it all down right away, so hopefully it's fairly accurate?): 2 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 medium vidalia onion, coarsely chopped fresh chopped cilantro (no idea how much... maybe about 2 tbsp when all was said and done?) 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes less than 1 tbsp vinegar a few pinches of sugar (maybe about 1/2- 3/4 tsp?) garlic powder cayenne pepper black pepper 1) drain the stewed tomatoes of most of the liquid; empty the can into a blender; puree 2) add the chopped veggies and cilantro, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings to taste 3) set blender to "stir" or "grate" (low setting, low speed) until fully blended 4) adjust seasonings, etc. to taste Pretty easy I guess, although it seemed to take a lot longer and feel more complicated while I was doing it. I think I'll make another stop at the grocery now and get some chips to go with it... we'll have a taco night tonight.

A Happy Reminder

I hadn't realized how long it had been since I'd had a really good laugh. In fact, I had forgotten how much fun it is to laugh until it hurts! Saturday evening, after the party, a bunch of us were just hanging out around the house, and started up a game of Catch Phrase. I haven't laughed that hard for a LONG time, but I laughed until I thought my sides would burst.

Some of the funniest moments are those that you wouldn't understand unless you were there. Like Tyler trying to act out "Jolly Roger" and giving the clue, "the happy pirate" or Lucas misunderstanding which body part he was supposed to be describing - uvula instead of, well... we'll leave that one alone. *LOL* Or Tina's relative fighting in the Civil War! I'm laughing all over again just thinking back on it!

Thanks for the laughs everyone! I had a great time! I miss laughing, and I've decided I need to do it more often!

Fabuloud Five!!

It's official... Meagan is FIVE! I know I say this at every birthday post, but TIME FLIES! I just look at her now and can't believe how big she is getting. It's crazy! There's a part of me that misses those itty bitty baby snuggles, but I am so grateful for the funny conversations and the fun things we do together now that she is so grown up!
On her actual birthday, she went to her friend Anna's house for a few hours (so that I could go birthday present shopping, since she is always with me). Then we went and picked the boys up from school, grabbed some Hungry Howies pizza for dinner, and had a gift opening, movie watching (and lawn-mowing) evening. And of course there were birthday cupcakes with confetti cake and pink frosting and sprinkles and princess wrappers. As gifts she received 2 Barbies from Sebastian, Little Pet Shop animals from Isaac, a Barbie convertible, Birthday Barbie, and scooter from us, a purse and a dress from my grandma, and a tutu and leotard from Grandma and Grandpa W.

As if that weren't enough, we then went down to Grandma and Grandpa H.'s house for a birthday party over the weekend. So much family came, it was wonderful! And there were kids everywhere! Meagan had a ball! She is very proud of the fact that she's five... and she seems to be quite good at it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain Rain

The other day, the boys headed out the door to catch the bus in the POURING rain. It was coming down hard! Usually, they just deal with getting wet, and go umbrella-less. But that day, they had to take the umbrellas, or they would have needed to change clothes by the time the bus got to them. It was a crazy mess! However, it made for a cool photo opportunity - I like the contrast of their bright colors against the gray of the road and the rain. Plus, it gave me a moment to reflect on simple blessings in my life... umbrellas in the rain, my kids...

Journaling: Rain or shine, you still gotta go to school.

(Click here to view full credits.)


Monday (yes, I know, I'm 2 days behind) we closed on our new house in Ohio! It's ours to do with as we wish! We don't actually move in for another month. So we have some time to start painting the major things and getting it generally cleaned up (although it was kept pretty clean anyway). We're in forward motion... we just have one minor (hehe) detail to get taken care of, which is getting our Michigan house sold! So we just keep praying and expecting God to work it out! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Today was Bravo at Twistar's! It's an event for the recreational classes to showcase what they've been working on all season... kind of like a recital of sorts. Each girl got to pick which color leotard they wanted (Meagan chose dark pink). They put the younger kids together in the early afternoon, and had three events for them - floor, beam, and trampoline. At the end they each had their name called, and they went up on the podium to get a medal.

It had the potential to be a really enjoyable day... except that my daughter decided to be on one giant mood swing. She was happy, then crying, and back to smiling and laughing... it was bizarre! Maybe there was just too much going on all at once - too many girls doing stuff all at once with a very different format than she is used to. All in all, though, she claims to have enjoyed herself. She got a medal to keep, and some roses from her daddy, which made her feel extra special! Plus, her hair looked adorable, so I guess that was a plus!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My blessings today

These are my blessings today:
  • umbrellas in the pouring rain
  • smiles on the boys' faces this morning before school
  • conversations with my children
  • blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs for breakfast
  • a warm, peaceful shower
  • hugs from Meagan
  • a warm, dry house
  • kitty cuddles
  • a mom I can go to for advice
  • a husband who loves his family and works hard for us
  • God's love
  • Salvation

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in circumstances and feel frustrated, like nothing is going right, or like there's never going to be an end to the junk that swirls around us. I had a moment of that today - we got an email saying the family who came through the house yesterday decided to make an offer on another house. Although everything in me wanted to be mad and crabby, God instantly reminded me of the countless blessings I've experienced just this morning alone. Truly, how on earth could I be focused on one temporary problem when there are so many amazing circumstances surrounding me every day. I refuse to devalue all of the blessings by focusing on the one negative. Just not worth it! So, I will choose to keep my eyes on the great things He has already given me and done for me, and I will continue to wait for answers to the circumstances surrounding the house. It will all work out in the end... I just have to have the patience to get to the end!


We've had two nights in a row of showings (really praying and hoping that something comes of it!!), plus gymnastics, and school, and finalizing things for our upcoming closing on our new home. We have been BUSY!! Oh, how I am longing for the day that we sell the house and I can go on a 2-week cleaning strike *LOL* !! I suppose it hasn't been all bad - our house is SUPER CLEAN, which is very soothing in some weird kind of way. It's nice to look around and not see any clutter...hmmm... maybe I should skip the 2-week cleaning strike and try to keep up on the clutter-free thing. I kinda like it!

I'll let you know if we hear anything about the house... keep praying!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Wish List

Year after year, birthday after birthday, I get the same question over and over again... what does [fill in child's name here] want for [his/her] birthday?

Well, Meagan and I did a scope-out of the Wal-Mart toy section to get a "few" ideas for birthday gifts, since her big day is just around the corner. Let's just say, we were there for over an hour and a half! At the end of it all, she said, "Mommy, I think we're gonna have to invite a lot of people if I'm gonna get all this stuff." She's strategic, to say the least. :)

What's on the list? Here ya go:

  • mini Rapunzel
  • mermaid (purple, you can put it in the tub) - PURCHASED
  • Merliah mermaid doll (with a pink dolphin) - PURCHASED
  • Little learning laptop
  • Dress-up mermaid tail clothes set (Meagan-size, not Barbie-size)
  • Barbie pre-school teacher
  • Fashionistas
  • Glam Convertible
  • Peek-a-boo Barbies

Little Pet Shop:

  • Petriplets
  • LPS Online Stuffed Animal
  • 6 pets from LPS Video Game
  • LPS Video game (for DS)
  • 8 pet pack
  • on-the-go carrying case
  • LPS stuffed animals


  • Tea Kettle Cottage
  • Rosetta 2-in-1 tea party
  • Rosetta & friends garden party
  • Rosetta & Friends garden party dolls (any of them... Tink, Rosetta, and anyone else you can find)
  • Pixie treasures Lost Things Jewelry

Disney Princess:

  • Pocket-size Cinderella fairytale scene
  • Sparkle & Splash Ariel
  • Any Royal bath dolls
  • Any ballerina dolls
  • Pocket princess Snow White Deluxe Set - PURCHASED
  • Pocket princess Belle Deluxe Set

Pucci Pets:

  • horse (medium)
  • or any tiny pet

Zhu Zhu Pets:

  • tunnels
  • vehicles

Precious Places:

  • Pony Palace
  • Flower Palace
  • Swan Pallace

Fisher Price Loving Family:

  • horses - English horse, western horse, or western pony

Cutie Boutique:

  • tutu
  • gloves
  • fairy wings


  • Barbie Movies (she has Mariposa, Thumbelina, Mermaid Tale, Christmas Carrol, Diamond Castle) - Princess and the Pauper & Island Princess, Magic of Pegasus PURCHASED
  • Disney Princess Enchanted Tales
  • Sing-along with Barbie

SO, There you have it. If there are any "ideas" you would like to put to use, please just let me know what you plan on getting. I'll try to keep the list updated, to try to avoid duplicates. I'd say there's plenty to choose from! :) You can always leave me a comment and let me know what you're planning. Thanks!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You Are Happy

I'm not entirely sure that watching hockey playoffs and scrapping a flowery girly page work well together... nonetheless, I gave it a shot. This page just wasn't coming together how I was thinking, but I THINK I finally got it worked around to something I can live with in print. I'll come back to it tomorrow after I haven't looked at it for a while, and see how I feel about it then. That's the perks of digital...easy to rearrange (or scrap altogether and start over), if needed.

I did this layout for the Lilypad May Scraplift Challenge.

Here's the layout I lifted:

and here's what I did: (Click here to view full credits).

Showers of Love

Just a few pictures of Meagan and Daddy on Easter morning. I LOVE these pictures! She LOVES her Daddy!!

(Click here to view full credits).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Saga Continues...

I had set my mind on keeping the container of creepy crawlies until Lucas could see them tomorrow. I was totally set on that.

Then, as we were tucking in to read our bedtime story, Sebastian said, "Mommy, did you know that one of the baby praying mantises got out of the jar? He was crawling on the top of the lid. What if he goes behind the freezer?"

Um... excuse me? "Did either of you open the lid?" (Please say yes... please say that's the reason the little critter got out... please.) No's all around. Then all I could think of was a garage full of hundreds of praying mantises. SO not happening! So, I put story time on hold. With what determination I could muster, driven by the fear of a house full of insects (LOL), I went straight out to the garage, snatched up the jar, and took it out to the back edge of the property. I opened the lid as quickly as I could and laid the container underneath a big, low-hanging pine tree, where the little guys could have some protection. Then I ran! *snicker* Yes, I ran back to the house, envisioning this big swarm of beady-eyed bugs chasing after me. Well, not really, but sort of.

So anyway, later this evening, I was talking to Lucas on the phone, and he said, "Aw, I wanted to see them." Instantly guilt set in, as I knew I was just being a big gigantic scaredy cat earlier. So, at 10:00 at night, with an itty bitty flash light, I headed back out to the edge of the property to find the container. I had to flick a few bugs off of the rim so that I could close (and tightly snap, might I add) the lid. But there were still several in the jar (not sure as to whether any of the remaining bugs are still actually alive, but THAT is not my issue... at least Lucas can see them). After tomorrow, once he has seen them to his satisfaction, I will re-release them... for good this time I think.

By the way, are there coyotes around here? When I was out there, I heard a big long howling sound coming from the direction of a wooded area about a mile away from us. Yup... I ran back to the house for a second time. Sheesh.

Mantis Madness

This happened at my house today: Hatching (Warning, you may get the heeby jeebies and feel itchy all over!!)

About 3 weeks ago (over Spring break, however long ago that was), Grandma H. gave Sebastian a cocoon-looking thing to take home with him. She found it in her lilac bush, and put it in a container for observing bugs. For a few weeks now it has been sitting on our freezer in the garage. A few days ago, I even said to Lucas, "I think whatever is in the cocoon has died. Don't you think something would have happened by now?" He didn't want to crush Sebastian's hopes, so he told me, "Just wait. If it hasn't hatched by Christmas, we'll call it dead." (He's so funny!)

Today, Meagan and I had to make a grocery trip. We left around 10:45 this morning. I have gotten in the habit of examining the cocoon - or at least taking a peek - every time I walk by, and this morning was no different. As of 10:45, no notable activity.

We got home around 1:15 (yes, a 2 1/2 hour trip to Meijer... unfortunately, NOT uncommon). The first thing I noticed as I got out of the van was a MAJOR change in the bug jar. Instead of a still, lifeless brown blob, there was a yellow squirming mass of something. I went over to take a closer look, and quite frankly, was quite grossed out! There were easily 2 hundred little yellowish-whitish, semi-transparent squirmy things.... they looked a lot like maggots with legs and beady eyes. GROSS. (Even Meagan thought so... her exact words: "Okay, THAT is NASTY.") I looked closer - somewhat fascinated, despite being grossed out - and I noticed they looked a lot like the shape of a praying mantis... only yellow and very tiny.

I made a few phone calls to see if anyone I know new whether praying mantises come out of cocoons. Then, I took to the internet. Yep. Definitely praying mantises.

Apparently, they change rather rapidly, because at 5:30 when we got back from gymnastics, they had already taken on a green tint, and were no longer transparent at all. Not sure they have nearly enough food in there to last for long, so we'll have to decide quickly what to do with them. I can't say I'm feeling too eager about opening up the lid at the moment... I have a new-found fear of them crawling all over me... I keep feeling little tickles and creepy crawliness on my skin... yes, I'm that mental. *LOL* But it was worth it because Sebastian's response was priceless! He thought it was just the greatest thing EVER! Boys! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Open House

Well, today we held an open house, and I must say, it was hopeful!! At a minimum, we had a breakthrough!! It is day 23, and we have broken the silence... aka: people have come through our house!! Yay!! There were a few people that went through and showed a notable measure of interest. I am hoping... and always praying... that one of the people who came through today will feel moved to BUY IT!! :hee hee hee But I know beyond a doubt that God is good, and in the end, He will work it all out. I am hopeful.