Monday, August 29, 2011

Starting 31 off with a bang

Wow, it is Monday and I am happily exhausted from this weekend.  We kicked off my 31st birthday with a bang!  Friday began with the kids sleeping in.  I know, the greatest gift for a mom ever:)  When I woke up at 7:45am we had to rush around a bit to get everyone fed, dressed and out the door to take Dawson to school.  Once we had dropped him off I headed to Walmart to get our groceries.  The cupboard were getting pretty bare around here.  Emma came with me to help me shop.  She was great but had to look at EVERYTHING.  Sometimes though I wish that I could slow down more and be excited about all the little things like she is.  We made it home and between unloading the groceries, lunch, a small nap and a shower the afternoon flew by and it was time to pick up Dawson from school.  Our babysitter for the evening came about 5 pm and then Dan and I were off to my birthday date night.  Yay!

Here is Dan and I ready for a night out.

I picked The Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  It was awesome as always.  Dan laughed at me because I took a picture of my drink.  It was so yummy and pretty though I just needed a picture.  My delish sangria:)

Here is a picture of me branching out and trying something new.  Usually I stick with what I know and love, the plain cheesecake.  I decided it was time for me to live it up and I got the Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake extravaganza.  It was amazing!

After dinner Dan and I left for the concert.  We were going to see our favorite singer/songwriters Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken.  It was a home show so when we arrived at the venue it was an actually house.  The concert was being played in the basement of the house! 

Here is a picture of the basement and how close we were to the front "stage".

 Dan and I waiting for the concert to start.  We were both pretty excited.  It seemed so surreal that our favorite artists were so close to us.

 This is Sandra McCracken playing her guitar.  She even played one of my favorite songs of hers called Awake My Soul.

They played and talk for two hours.  It was fun to listen to them share a little about how they came to write certain songs and I enjoyed watching them interact with each other.  They took a few requests and wrapped everything up around 10pm.  Dan and I left and kept commenting the whole way home how awesome the evening was.  We had gone on one of our very first dates together to see Caedmon's Call at in Bartlesville Oklahoma 10+ years.  It was great to see Derek Webb again so many years later with Dan.

On Saturday we were up and around relaxing in the morning.  Emma had her very first soccer game in the afternoon.  She was excited almost beyond words.  Emma did a great job running after the ball.  It was pretty funny because at each kick off she would take off running after the ball and yelling this Braveheart like battle cry.  It was awesome!

Emma and her soccer pose:)

 Emma listening to her coach on what she is supposed to be doing and being reminded where her goal is!

That evening we had my birthday party with the kids.  We had a yummy steak dinner and opened presents.  The kids were so excited to have me open the gifts that they had picked out for me.  Emma picked out some pretty lotions and Dawson picked out for me a Harry Potter Lego set.  As I was opening it he jumped up and down in excitement.  I wish that we would have had it on video.  My brother and sister in law came a little later in the evening and we all had cake together.

I made a Battlestar Galactica cake.  This is the eye of Jupiter for all you BG geeks out there:)

On Sunday we spent the day hanging out with my brother Bryan and my sister in law Emily.  It is so much fun to have them come and visit.  Bryan spent a couple of hours playing on the trampoline with the kiddos.  It is one of my favorite things to watch my brother hang out with my kids.  Dawson just adores him.  On Sunday evening we had some friends over for a Fantasy Football draft.  We had a fun time drafting our teams for the new season.  We ended a little late but all the kids played so well and it was a great ending to the weekend.  Over all thirty-one has started out well.  What a memorable weekend we were able to have together.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My 31 bucket list

I saw Friends the other night.  You know, the one where they all turn 30.  Phoebe cracked me up with her list of things that she wanted to do before she turned 31.  Well, 30 is coming to a close for me and I was thinking of all the things that I did this year.  I ate sushi for the first time, read over 70 books, started a blog and participated in Relay for Life.  I think that 30 wasn't a bad year but I am ready for 31!  Here are all the things I want to do this year (and for you Friends fans, no, sniper school isn't on the list):

1.  I want to finish my Harry Potter quilt (as of 8/24/12 I have the quilt top all put together.  I need to do the backing and the binding and then it will be finished!)

2.  I want to go on a fun vacation with Dan for our 10th Anniversary Completed 6/4/12

3.  I want to run a 5k (I am not sure if I will be able to do this but I will keep putting it on my list until I can) Completed 4/21/12

4.  I want to help raise $250 for Relay for Life Completed 5/29/12

5.  I will get my friends to watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies (you girls know who you are!) (as of 8/24/12 we have watched the first two of the LOTR movies.  We just need to try and get everyone back together for the final movie)

6.  I want to finish (actually start and then finish) Aubrey's baby book (as of 8/24/12 I have Aubrey's baby book all completed on Snapfish I just need to get it printed)

7.  I want to read Wurthering Heights (and actually finish it this time) Completed 12/23/11

8.  I want to remember to plant tulip bulbs before it gets too cold  Completed 9/27/11

9.  I want to make my own cookbook with all the recipes that I have

10.  I want to make Lobster Corn Chowder from my Barefoot Contessa cookbook  Completed 12/24/11

11.  I want to perfect the Lemon Meringue Pie Completed 6/10/12

31 here I come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011 wait...Aubrey?

Our Miss Aubrey's personality is blossoming more and more each day.  She seems to be following a bit in her sister Emma's foot steps.  She is full of curiosity and adventure.  Here are some photos of her recent exploits.

Here is Aubrey climbing on a stool to try and reach Daddy's glass.

 Aubrey helping herself to the diapers and wipes.

 Aubrey saying "Uh Oh" as she dumped the Chex Mix all over the floor.  She had taken the chip clip off.

 Aubrey trying to eat the Chex Mix before I can clean it all up.

 Aubrey climbed into the bottom drawer of the entertainment center.

 Victory!  She found the hidden flipper!

Aubrey screaming and waving her arms because I told her that she needed to get out.

Aubrey trying to open the fridge after taking all the stuff that she could reach off and throwing it on the floor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dawson's First Day of First Grade

It is time for school!  This year was so much easier then last year.  I think that it was because we all knew what to expect on that first day.  On Monday, we went to school supply drop off night.  Dawson brought all of his school supplies and got to see his teacher, Ms. Benson, again.  The Lewis Central School District has what they call looping.  Some teachers teach the same group of kids for their kindergarten and first grade year.  If you don't want to loop you don't have to or if your child and the teacher aren't a good match you can always opt out.  For our family, though, it has been a great experience.  Ms. Benson is a wonderful and hard working teacher.  God has really blessed us with her.  Anyway, the new excitement for Dawson this year was that they got desks instead of the tables that they had last year.

Here is Dawson by the door to his classroom on supply drop off night.

 Dawson next to his new locker. 

Last night we laid everything out for the first day.  Dawson picked out what he was going to wear.  We packed his lunch for school and then got snack and his light saber for show and tell.  Dawson was the first VIP this year.  The VIP's bring snack on their day and then they get to do show and tell.  Dawson, of course, chose to bring his green light saber and tell everyone about his week at Jedi camp this summer.  I told Dawson that I would make cinnamon rolls for him on his first day so they were prepped and put in the fridge for the morning.  Everyone went to bed and got a good night's sleep.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am and the kids were still sleeping.  I popped the cinnamon rolls in the oven and headed to the shower.  I was pretty much ready for the day when the kiddos began to wake up around 7 am.  I have to admit that I am not a morning person so usually I just get up when the kids do but this morning went so smoothly that I think that I will make it a habit to try and get up and around before the kids.  We were all ready and out the door on time.  I took a couple of pictures of Dawson by the big tree in our yard.  You always have to have those first day of school photos!

We attempted to do a "faux hawk" but his hair was just a little too short.  He was determined to have his hair that way so you know...pick you battles:)

Since it was the first day we were able to walk Dawson to his classroom.  We got him in and settled.  I made sure that I took a picture of him next to his new desk.  He was so excited that he barely said good bye to me and the girls.  I remember last year crying as I left him because he was just my little buddy and it seemed like he was too young.  Where had the time gone?  This year as I was leaving I felt excited for Dawson.  He loves school, all his teachers and friends.  He told me later that his favorite part of the day was meeting the four new kids in his class.  I miss him when he is gone all day but I know that he is in good hands and that he is having a blast learning and making new friends. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rainy Day Fun - Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes

Yesterday morning we woke up to rain.  As a mother all weather that prevents the kids from playing outside is a pain.  For some reason my children are not really good at playing inside.  They like to watch movies and play the wii but I have a hard time getting them to just play in their rooms.  They don't want to play by themselves but Dawson never wants to do what Emma wants and vice versa.  So when the weather keeps us inside I am always looking for things to keep the kiddos busy.  I got this idea from my sister as we were talking on the phone the other day.  My sister Meghan is looking into some fun classes to put my niece Abby into this fall/winter.  One of the classes sounded like a lot of fun.  In the class you read a book (that has a food in it) then you make the food and have a craft while the food is cooking.  I thought that this was a great idea!  How many books do we have around the house with food in it?  I took stock of our books and these are some of the titles that I found:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Nurneroff

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Nurneroff

Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes by Jane O'Conner

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Today we chose to read Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes.  I happened to have cake mix on hand so together we whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes.  I frosted the cupcakes and then let Dawson and Emma put some "fancy" sprinkles on.  The kids really enjoyed this time together and there was no fighting! 

Dawson had fun with this activity even though it was more of a "girl story" as he put it.

Cupcakes are always better with as much pink sprinkles as you can find.

These cupcakes are delectable!

I think that I am going to plan a bit more and have the ingredients for making jam on hand to go with the book Jamberry.  The kids could make labels to go on the jars as a craft too.  I know that the kids would love to help make spaghetti and meatballs sometime.  I found this hat craft that would fit in perfectly with the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Really the options are endless.  Which is great because living in Iowa means that you are going to have to deal with all kinds of weather.  I need to be able to keep the kids busy so that I don't end up going too crazy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emma sayings

Emma has said the following in the last few days:

"Mom, I need to take a shower.  I smell like a stinky enchilada."

Emma said, "Mom can I help you move the truck?  We could have some romance together."
I said, "Do you even know what romance means?"
Emma said, "Romance means to be romantic.
I said, "What does romantic mean?"
Emma said, "It means that we are going to be together forever Mom."

"Mom, I've got a grape popsicle, my swimming pool with water and Dugan (our dog) by me.  Life is so good."

I say, "Emma why are you crying?  What happened to your nose?"
Emma says, "I ran into Dawson's chest in the hall."
I say, "How did your nose get all scratched and hurt?"
Emma says, "It was my tortilla chip!"

Apparently, Emma had a tortilla chip in her hand and when she ran into Dawson's chest the chip somehow got between her nose and Dawson's chest.  So yes, a chip scratched her nose.