Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lauren on How to Make Animal Crackers

Yesterday on our way to school Lauren, munching on a mid-morning snack, asked me if you make animal crackers out of animals.  So I asked her last evening just how she thinks animal crackers are made....

First I will catch an animal.
Then I will make it into a cracker,
Sprinkle it with salt, then pepper.
Then I will shake it off and put it in a bowl.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday

In honour of today's royal wedding, we flash back to the first time the girls got dressed up in wedding gowns of their own.

January 2009

{Lauren Rocks Her Wedding Dress}

{Abby's All-a-Flutter Gown}

{Style Sister}

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. Thank you, Grandma & Papa, for introducing the girls to Tangled.  This cute, yet creepily animated movie has been the inspiration for questions from Abby like, "Are you my real mom or did you take me from someone else?"  It has also inspired some classic illustrations from Lauren....

2. I'm thankful I didn't order any of Abby's end of the year pictures.  Seriously! It's not the world's worst picture ever, but the tree is horrible and her smile isn't close to real.  The rash that plagued her that day is almost undetectable.  Still, I'm hoping by the time next fall rolls around she will have her regular smile back.  Or better yet, by the time we get our family pictures taken in a couple of weeks!

3. I'm thankful for some sunshine.  And a cool day.  I just wish people would stop complaining about how chilly it is.  It's April!  We are not meant to using air conditioners this early.

4. A good night at gymnastics for both of the girls.  And the smiles they evoke with the innocence of their movements.

5. A shower. And new episodes of my shows tonight. Even though I should be early to bed for my early to rise as I have an invitation to the royal wedding.... from my couch!  {If only I was with you to lounge and view, Shawnie!}

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. "Mom, what are your shoulders for?  Mom, what is your face made out of?"  Just a couple of questions from my dear Abby during our morning beauty session.

2. I inadvertently typed mourning in the last statement.... how funny & ironic, as it certainly feels like mourning for the girls and I.  We sure miss Grandma, Papa, and our (hockey) brother Marco already!  In fact, I found Lauren in the bathroom with her head buried into the towel crying. {sad}

3. Abby came home from school today with a picture she drew to make me feel better. She did it in my favorite color, and added some extra names of some of her friends.  I love that girl.

4. I'm starting to believe that hard days are the ones we endure to become better people.

5. My dad. The best!

6. I'm a sucker for chocolate covered raisins.

7. Spring is my least favorite season.

8. It was an even match-up at 11 eggs a piece in our morning Easter Egg hunt....

9. It was the girls' first garage hair cut.  It was also their first hair cut in Ohio.  In a pinch, it works.

10. I read that to sleep better you should eat a handful of cherries before going to bed.  No wonder I sleep so well when we go to Washington in the summer.  I can't wait to get my hands on those cherries in June!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flashback Friday

Grandma & Papa are coming for a visit over Easter.... This Friday we flash back to their first trip to see the newest member of our family, our little Tiny.  We're no longer living in Florida, and she is no longer that tiny, but it's always fun to remember visits with our grandparents!

April/May 2006

{Grandma Admires Those Chubbies}

{Papa Snuggles with the Chubbies}

{Papa, Grandma, Abby & Lauren}

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful today is over.

2. I'm thankful for Abby & Isabel, for sticking up for Lauren when other friends had less than kind words for her.

3. I'm thankful for the staff at our school that makes my children feel special, even when they are less than delightful.

4. I'm thankful I don't have cancer.  Okay, I didn't really think my swollen gland was a cancer growth, but the thought did cross my mind. I have my great grandma to thank for the worry wart in me.

5. I'm thankful my girls excel at something.  Another mother commented on "that Abby girl's" handstand, and Lauren did an awesome cartwheel tonight.  I hope this is the kind of humble confidence they carry with them though life, especially the tough parts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here Comes Mrs. Cottontail

Mrs. Cottontail came to school today to visit the children for our Easter parties.  Lucky for us, Abby is on spring break this week and was present and accounted for for pictures.

Unlike some of the children, it didn't take a lot of persuading to get Lauren onto Mrs. C's lap for the photo op.  Abby was also unphased, and kind enough to make her remark to the fuzzy bunny so quietly the younger children could not hear her say, "I know you're really a person in there."

There are many reasons I love the preschool we're lucky enough to call our own, but it is events like these that make their childhood so special.

{Lauren & Mrs. Cottontail}

{Abby & Mrs. Cottontail}

{Mrs. Cottontail & the Lovelies}

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I'm becoming resentful of Ohio. I don't mind it here; I tolerate the heat and humidity.  However, the toll it is taking on the girls: their allergies and asthma.... it will be with them the rest of their lives.  Thanks Ohio.

2. My first Zumba class: an interesting cocktail of Latin dancing and butt-whooping.  The stabbing in my calves has finally dulled.  Yes, I'll be going back this week for another beating.

3. This past week has given me a new appreciation for pineapple and fairies.

4. I'm going to miss my Ohio friends while I'm gone this summer--but I sure am going to love being home with my family & Minnesota friends!

5. What does it say about my age when my dream car is a Buick Enclave? Who wouldn't love it after this review:! Almost makes me want to hang out with the mom who wrote it, in my flashy Enclave, of course!

6. Proof that there is more in my life now then just my kids and housework: I don't have a clue what's happening on DWTS!

7. Darn you Easter candy!  But thank you to the neighbors who made the girls yummy baskets.  Go ahead and say it, Bad Mom!

8. Yesterday Abby asked me why you can eat strawberries' seeds and not seeds of other fruits.  She was more satisfied with the strawberries than she was with my answer.

9. After all of these years and some really great shows, you'd think I would be upset about Oprah coming to an end.  I'm not.  The thought of Glenn Beck ending his run on FOX, however, brings a tear.

10. Donald Rumsfeld recently edged out Bill O'Reilly as my old man crush.  If Trump wins the republican nomination and beats Obama in the '12 election, he might take the top prize.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

It's what they do....

{Abby's Bridge}

{Abby's Handstand}

{Lauren's Letters & Illustration}

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday

Today I had the privilege of accompanying Abby's kindergarten class to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery on their class field trip.  Today's Flashback Friday is a pairing of Abby's first trip to the museum and the latest....

November 8, 2008
April 15, 2011

{Heading to Boonshoft with Daddy}

{Field Trip to Boonshoft with Kindergartners}

{Abby Runs the Excavator}

{Abby Runs the Excavator}

{Exploring the Water Table}

{Mixing Water Colors at a Learning Table}

{Abby on the Upper Deck}

{Abby on the Upper Deck}

{Abby Heads Home}

{Abby Heads Home}

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful I have two very distinctly unique girls....

{Lauren & Her Scooby Ensemble}

{Abby Rides in Her New Dress}

2. Thank you, Geoff, for leaving work and taking the girls to gymnastics.  I am physically exhausted.  What's more, I really just need a break.

3. I'm thankful my children are normal, but I will be even more thankful when they are out of whatever stage they are in that is making me climb the walls.  It's mostly Abby and her constant need to be under her sister's skin, and mine too for that matter.

4. I'm thankful for the moments like this one, when she first gets home from school. When her attitude has yet to evolve from sweet to sour....

Abby: "Mom, would you like a jelly bean?"

Brooke: "No thanks, I'm not a big jelly bean eater."

Abby: "I'm a little jelly bean eater."

I truly do love that kid.

5. I'm thankful for the bus stop mom I am developing a friendship with.  I can't promise I'll be thankful after we attend a Zumba class Saturday morning, but I am thankful she passed on this place: OinkADoodleMoo.... the name alone just makes my mouth water for a pork sandwich!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tell Your Peeps

This afternoon the girls and I put together a tasty treat to share with our friends at school.  In honor of spring and baby birds everywhere....

  • 1 pkg. (1 ½ lb.) chocolate almond bark*
  • 1 bag pretzel sticks**
  • Whoppers Robin Eggs (3 per nest, just over 1 bag)
  • 60 chick Peeps
1. Melt almond bark according to package directions.
2. Coat pretzels in chocolate, drop into small bunches on aluminum foil.
3. Working quickly, nest on Peep and three robin eggs on each chocolate-covered pretzel cluster.
4. Allow to set, then seal in air-tight containers.

Yields 60 nesting Peeps.

*Alternatively you can melt chocolate chips, or any flavored chips: peanut butter, butterscotch, etc.

**Chow Mien noodles can be used instead of pretzels.

You could also add coconut flakes to give the nests a little extra pizazz!

Peeps actually has a website with Peeps recipes:  The nesting peeps are surprisingly not featured, but they do have an option to submit your ideas.... get the ideas flowing, peeps!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Wow, talk about a heart-stopper. I just saw the head stone of a little girl who was born a few weeks after Abby, and died just a few months later.  I think about all of that life Abby has had in that time that this little lady never got a chance to enjoy. Talk about perspective.

2. Abby is quite focused on Utah these days.  I have no idea why. Her teacher has no idea why.  Other girls at school like unicorns and have fairy friends; Abby is bummed about Utah not getting one of the Space Shuttles.  Just for the record, she's upset Ohio and Minnesota were also passed up.

3. Big step.  I bought Abby's summer slumber attire here in Ohio.  I was forced to, really.  No spring break trip home means I had to suck it up and pay the tax on clothes.  The next thing you know I'll be sporting an Ohio driver's license.  God help me.

4. I have never been closer to nominating myself for Worst Mother of the Year Award, 2011.  Lauren's arms got sunburned playing outside on Sunday {Hello! It's April. Why would I have put sunscreen on her?!}  Abby's been collecting unthinkable punishments for unthinkable behavior {It has to be her fault for pushing me to it, right?!}  Abby broke out into a rash in my attempt at a home remedy.  Nothing like an e-mail from her teacher commenting on her scratching up a storm {How was I to know Origins was toxic to Abby?!}  Oh, and then there was Lauren's morning tantrum.  She was fit to be tied that I would not be at school all day today because I had training {For Pete's sake, can a mom have a job?!}

5. I opted to take the girls to Dairy Queen {I'm trying to score some points here!} instead of taking them to Cold Stone for an afternoon treat.  I went out of my way a bit to do so, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one.  Confession Alert: I'm really not trying to score points, I just wanted an ice cream cone!

6. I saw a sign at Dairy Queen today: "Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts."  Need I say more?

7. As if I really need yet another blog to follow:  Thanks, Reanna, for passing it my way.

8. UMD won their first national men's hockey title. Woohoo! I can't believe I waited until no. eight to throw that one in.

9. Someone has their eye on my Granny.  Not that little fun-loving woman who bakes cookies; my car.  That means I'm in the market for wheels.  Woohoo!  That's two woohoos in one post.... I think I've reached my limit.

10. Why do I like my husband's strangest friends?  It's always the ones that drive most people crazy that I can't get enough of.  It is kind of like an interactive play where you can actually talk to the performers.  These guys are so odd in so many ways, but they don't care.  I love 'em.

I had to add this one.  Lauren's illustration this afternoon at school.  I told her I loved her flower.  She told me it was her friends on the swing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashback Friday

Last year we were lucky enough to celebrate Lauren's birthday with Grandpa.  For his 76th birthday she was his present.  What a present it was to celebrate his last birthday together.

Months after this picture was taken Lauren confessed she was mad at Great Grandpa because his cake was bigger than hers.  I don't know if she'll ever quite get over that, but it makes for a great picture I'll always treasure.

April 4, 2010

{Easter Egg Hunt}

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for a UMD win tonight.  Sure, I was at the gym with the girls and didn't see even a second of the game.  But they won and advanced to the Frozen Four championship game Saturday night in St. Paul.  Oh how I wish I was there.  I won't be, unless by the grace of God someone gifts me with airfare and tickets to the game.  But that's a long shot.  What I do have is one Tiny super-fan who is ready to cheer at her next chance to see the Bulldogs take the ice....

[Be sure to pause the playlist on the right sidebar to hear the audio.]

2. I'm thankful for my little friends at school, and the time to sit with them and just play.  They have great personalities with so much life.  They are definitely an underappreciated culture.

3. I'm thankful for the willpower to follow through with my parental threat.  I hit a mommy-low tonight, but I'm hoping to make a point to my destructive young lady.  It is not a night I am proud of.

4. I'm thankful for college friends, and for having some to hang out with to watch UMD play Saturday night.

5. I'm thankful for having a book I cannot put down.  Okay, so I can put it down to check on the score of the game, but what I'd really like to do is curl up with nothing but a blanket and this book.  And thank you to Jaime for choosing it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Whole Handful

Everyone should have a Lauren.  She continues to walk around the house saying, "Happy Birthday."  Then she will turn to whatever little friend happens to be accompanying her at the time (usually Rock or Scooby) and replies, "Oh thank you, you're so nice to think of my birthday."

As Abby so joyfully informed Lauren this morning, she is a whole handful now.  Our handful woke up this morning to find her friends having a birthday party at the little table.  After breakfast she took her bike for a ride around the house, went to preschool where she celebrated with her class & a round of dirt dessert.  After school one of her best friends came over to play and celebrate her birthday.

They had a great time playing hide-and-seek, blowing bubbles, riding bikes, and playing with toys.  It was everything Lauren had hoped for, minus the sibling rivalry that kicked into overdrive when Abby joined the mix.

All in all, my little handful had a happy, happy birthday....

{It's Party Time!}

{I Got a Bike!}

{I'm a Handful!}

{A Preschool Birthday}

{Bubble Up}

{Bike, Bike, Baby}

{My New Wenatchee Shirt}

{Scooby Jammies}

{A Fishing Pole?!}

{The Blow-Out}

{Goggle Girl}

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Abby is growing up.  For the first time yesterday she told me she didn't want to be naked.  She was the queen of naked.  Modesty is setting in.  {sigh}

2. "Show me your friends & I'll show you your future." Wow. Profound. And true.

3. The question isn't what shirt Lauren will be celebrating her fifth birthday in tomorrow, but what she will wear with it.

4. After I referred to Abby as Goldilocks, she asked me who she was.  My bad-mom-meter is hitting a high mark today.  How is it I haven't taught this one to my children?!

5. As we were getting out of the car at preschool this morning, Lauren announced just a bit too loud, "Hey, that's the lady from the quiet room!"  I'm pretty sure the church secretary could hear her. {embarrassing}

6. This afternoon when Lauren spread her blanket out on the floor and began to cry my heart broke for her.  And then she spoke, "I sneezed on my buddy and got snot on him.  Now he's ruined."  I didn't know whether to laugh or hug her.  I was busy making supper so I opted for the practical: "Just wipe him off."

7. Geoff has saved the bike assembly for tonight.  I'm trying to stay as far away from him as I can.  I know he will want my help.  Frankly, I just want him to take get it done so I don't have to be bothered.  {fingers crossed}

8. Never before has an onion made me cry like the one I cut tonight.  The great irony is that it is for Lauren's requested tomato soup tomorrow & she hates onions.

9. I wonder how many people at Kroger thought the couple who hauled their child around on top of the multiple cases of Mountain Dew at the bottom of their cart this evening after the 8 o'clock hour was odd, sad, and slightly disturbing.  Then again, considering the venue, I may have been the only one.

10. UMD will be playing for the men's college hockey championship this weekend.  I'm torn between wishing I was in St. Paul, and holding my breath that they don't win. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see my team win the Frozen Four, BUT that will mean burning my favorite 1995 Minnesota Hockey sweatshirt like I promised Geoff.  So what if it looks like it's been chewed on by a wood chipper?!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Abby's First Dance

If last night is any indication how my daughters' future dating excursions will affect me, life with teenagers dating will be rough.

Geoff escorted our oldest daughter to her first school dance.  The couple dressed in their Sunday best, headed out for dinner, then off to their dance.

{Abby & Geoff PreParty}

{Abby & Her Gal Pal Get Their Groove On}

{All Smiles}

{Daddy & His Girl}

Lauren and I went on with life as usual in their absence, closing our evening by cuddling up in Mommy's bed with a Junie B. book, where we both fell asleep.

I woke up to Abby's face displaying a huge smile & a freshly painted rainbow, her arms gripping a collection of stuffed animals.   She had a blast, and her father had an abundance of tales of the girls' Justin Beiber screams, crazy dancing dads, etc.

This event was a big deal in our little town.  Young ladies and their fathers filled local establishments for dinner, then filled the high school gym for dancing, face painting, hula hoops, cookies, punch, and party.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at this gig.  Seeing my daughter interact with her friends & her date in the ambiance of her first school dance.  I knew any kisses she received would be filled with love, and I knew her ride home was a seasoned and sober driver.  But I couldn't help but feel like I lost her just a little bit last night.  My Abby is growing up, and she is loving every minute of it.


{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.