Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Quotes of the Week

http://spotremoval.coit.com/sites/spotremoval.coit.com/files/styles/stain_sidebar/public/nail_polish.png?itok=O8-A3Q1F

On chores:

Me: "Your Daddy is going to be really upset when he sees that nail polish on your carpet!"
Blinky: "Then you'd better hurry and clean it up."

On Adele's 25:

Stinky: "Why does Adele keep breaking up with boys and writing songs about them?"

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. For our 10th anniversary, the four of us along with our mothers took an W Caribbean cruise. We had a beach day in Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, did a camel safari and toured Dunn River Falls in Ocho Rios Jamaica, went on a 4x4 jeep safari in George Town Grand Cayman, and visited Tulum in Mexico. It was awesome! We sailed with Norwegian on one of their newer ships the Getaway and it was glorious. The Getaway featured two Broadway shows, Burn the Floor and Legally Blonde, a giant ropes course with a plank that jutted out over the edge of the ship 16 decks above the ocean, and five giant slides. Even our days at sea were full of adventure! And don't get me started on the food. I may or may not have 10 pounds to loose.

 

 

 


 
 







Last week home with the kids was nice and peaceful. Rainy weather kept us inside which gave us the opportunity to play games, work on crafts and enjoy being together. We did brave a thunderstorm Thursday evening to attend a Christmas Eve candlelight service at church.

The kids were sad to say goodbye to Odette but were overjoyed to wake up to presents the next morning. They must have been really good this year because Santa was very nice to them. :) We wrapped up the weekend baking cookies for the local firefighters, dropping off food to a friend who recently had heart surgery, and finishing up a gingerbread house.


 
 


I've lamented before how hectic our lives are during the school year {here}and {here}and how much I enjoy these school days off. They mean so much to me and I hope to the rest of my family too. If you have little ones, I encourage you to do the same.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Odette

Even the DH is getting in on the staging action.








 
Any my favorite...


 
 Fun times!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Things I Do for My Children

When the Elf on the Shelf frenzy hit a few years ago, I swore never to be one of those mamas indulging their children in yet another fairy tale. I laughed at the facebook posts about overworked and overstressed mamas who forgot to move the elf the night before. Life. Was. Simple.

Then last school year, Stinky's first grade teacher got a classroom elf and the pleading began. The DH and I held fast to our no and felt good about it. This school year, Blinky's first grade teacher got a classroom elf. Apparently its a lot harder to say no to two kids instead of one. The DH and I started to crack.

Yesterday, we finally talked about it. The DH's case was to let the kids have it since this is probably the last year they'll buy into such fairy tales. The way I looked at it, our kids don't ask for much. Sure, every now and again we do something to remind them that not every family around the world lives like we do here in America, and that blessings are not guaranteed, but a little magic once and a while is ok. (Especially for a seven and a half year old who last Christmas thought he was too big to believe in Santa.)

So last night, we received our very own package from the North Pole.


The kids' reactions were priceless! They turned beet red and began jumping up and down yelling, "WE GOT AN ELF!!!!!" They already knew all the rules (which the DH and I had to learn from the enclosed storybook) which includes no touching the elf. (Great foresight author lady!) And named her Odette.

To my pleasant surprise, they behaved remarkably well during homework and bedtime prep. We even got Stinky to take a shower without a fuss! Awesome sauce!

Finally, the DH and I staged Odette after the kids went to bed. We came up with a hot cocoa bath complete with mini marshmallows.


The kids loved finding her this morning. After a few inquiries at work today, I learnt that Odette will have to move several times a day, but especially every night which is when she reports to the North Pole to report on the kids to Santa. Let the madness begin.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Fun!

http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/Product_images/H8216.jpg
Hi there, hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We sure did! I always enjoy long stretches off with the kids and the DH. As a family, we have so much to be thankful for and I hope we never take it for granted.

On Wednesday evening, we took the kids to see The Good Dinosaur. (This was probably the only downside of the entire holiday.) We were all set to join Arlo - the good dinosaur - on a happy-go-lucky adventure, but instead the DH and I ended up with two very emotional kiddos. Without too many spoilers, this movie is heavy and should be marketed toward a more mature crowd. Even though there are a few light-hearted moments, the film centers around loss. Arlo faces devastating loss several times in the movie, which ends rather abruptly.  Sure, there is closure for the adults, but not enough for the kids.

On Thursday, we had lunch with family friends in the country. This has become a tradition over the last few years. They have grand kids my kids' ages, and its always fun to watch them play together. My friends seem to have aged a lot over the past year and that really touched me. Praying we have many more Thanksgiving celebrations together.

The next day the kids helped the DH ring the bell for the Salvation Army. This is the third year they have done this. Stinky and Blinky enjoy their version of giving back and they make us incredibly proud.

Then on Saturday, we headed to the North Pole. Well, the North Pole Express at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. Super fun! Even seven and a half-year old Stinky was amazed at the magic and gave his Christmas list to Santa. (Just last year, he was too old to believe in Santa, but that's our little secret.)






We rounded out the weekend with church and baseball. Blinky lost interest halfway though on the diamond, but was re-energized in the batting cages. Stinky played until he was sore all over, but it must have been worth it because as we were packing up, I heard him say, "Best Day Ever!"

Wherever you are, I hope you also enjoyed your celebrations.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Big Ta-Tas???

Imagine my relief when Blinky told me "those" are the straps on her dress.



Tsk! Tsk!
 
 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quote of the Week

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9f/fd/cb/9ffdcbd408be44133aaa08ed770c8a01.jpg

So I've been threatening to send the kids to their great-grandmother's in Long Island for a week next summer when they're bratty. That sorts them out right quick as they know all the struggles she's facing trying to recover from Hurricane Joaquin earlier this year. Case in point, electricity has still not yet been restored on the island, which means no x-box, night light or air conditioning. The horror!

While playing together the other night, I overheard this:

Blinky: "Stinky, you know how Mom's been saying we have to go to Long Island?
Stinky: "Uh-huh."
Blinky: I'm really worried about that."
Stinky: "Don't worry, I'll take care of you."

My two may fight like cats and dogs but with that one exchange, I know they will always be there for each other. I am so grateful I got to witness that.

Monday, November 16, 2015

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I honestly believe the world in which we live has gone mad. If you've watched the news lately, you'll understand why. #Paris, #Lebanon, #Kenya, #BlackLivesMatter, where does it end? As I pour over facebook news and opinions, hatred for our fellow man has never been more apparent, thus ensuring the continuation of the vicious cycle.

As foreign implants here, the DH and I see and understand both sides of the argument, but we are of the opinion that we are in no position to hate or judge anyone. Sound radical? Around here, you bet.

What I hope to teach my children in the midst of this storm comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is a lesson I pray will stay with them as they grow older. That no matter what they are facing in life, they can face it head on with the knowledge that God is with them.

Blogger's Note:
I pray for Paris, but I also pray for world; the inequity, the injustice and the hate that consumes it. May we leave this world a better place for our children.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rebellious Phase


It seem 7 1/2 year-old Stinky is going through a rebellious phase. If it doesn't involve play, he's going to damned sure put up a fight, back-talking and all. He is driving.me.crazy.

The DH and I have been trying to find an effective punishment for him. We pop the kids once and a while when they're really out of line, but find that it doesn't cub repeat behavior long-term. Recently, we've been taking away privileges (e.g. X-box time) and that seems to be working better, but not completely.

I've wondered if there is an underlying problem and I don't think so. He's doing well in school, has done a decent job of being sweet to his little sister (this is a work in progress) and is still engaged with his hobbies. For now, it boils down to Stinky being a strong-willed child who has always liked to push buttons. Some days we manage him pretty well (not as horrible as it sounds), but other days we fail miserably. In the words of my unsympathetic mom, "Honey, what do you expect, he's just like you." Thanks Mom.

Anyhoo, I have a plan. The weather has not been great, so Stinky has not had his usual one-hour of playtime in the sun every day. I try to make up for it with activities in the house, but his creative mind needs his overactive body to run! After school today, I think I will let the kiddos ride their scooters in the garage to work out the willies before homework. We'll see how that goes. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quote of the Week


Last Thursday, six year old Blinky decided it would be a good idea to crawl on the canvas covering over her swing set to dust off the sand she poured on it a few days earlier. As you can guess, her 55 lbs were too heavy for the covering and she fell through bruising her little body in an almost perfect straight line from thigh to forehead. It was not pretty. Thankfully it was all superficial.

The next morning, I gave Blinky's teacher a courtesy call to let her know what happened and that we would be checking Blinky out early as we were headed to the beach. (We were supposed to go for Fall Break but one kid was recovering from a stomach bug and one had just caught it.) Anyway, one of our rules for long drives is no TV for the first hour. That means we talk. I decided it was a good time to ask Blinky about her day.

Me: "Blinky, did Mrs. X ask what happened?"
Blinky: "Yes ma'am."
Me: "So what did you tell her."
Blinky: "I told her I fell through the roof while sweeping the porch."

OMG what???

DH: "Maybe you should ask your mom to watch the kids while we're in prison." [Stifled Laugh]

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quote of the Week

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/clubpenguin/images/d/de/Pizza_Eating_Contest_trophy.png/revision/latest?cb=20120924162215

Stinky on not winning the costume contest last weekend at a Halloween event:

"A crown doesn't make you a king anymore than a trophy makes you a winner."

BAM!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Written Quote of the Week

I just love finding Blinky's notes around the house. Apparently our Yorkie was giving her disciplinary problems last night.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Free Time Pumpkins

The dreaded stomach bug hit our home again. Poor Blinky was down for the count for several days. While she was resting, I tried to use the "extra time" at home to clean up and work on a few crafts.

I've always wanted to transform a Dollar Tree pumpkin into something nicer. Having seen these at a pumpkin patch a few days ago for more than I was willing to spend, I broke out the acrylic paints and got to work.

Inspiration:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Cucurbita_pepo_smal_edible_white_with_orange_stripes_Mini_Pumpkins.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Cucurbita_pepo_small_edible_mini_White_Pumpkins_9.11.jpg
 
My before and after:
 

 
Cool, eh?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Quote of the Week

Regarding Parent / Teacher Conference Day:

Blinky: "Mom, Mrs. X said some Mommies will be happy about what I have to say and some Mommies won't."

Me: "Which one will I be?"

Blinky: "Ahhhh...remember, I don't get in trouble ALL the time, just some of the time."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Costumes

So my kids are gaga for the new Disney's Descendants and the video game Minecraft so of course Blinky and Stinky want to be Evie and Steve, respectively, for Halloween. Apparently so must a lot of other kids because these costumes are super expensive.

We did find a $20 version of Evie's dress at walmart.com however it was sold out in all the major cities in Alabama. Luckily the DH had business in Atlanta, where a 4-6X was still available. We paid for it online and he was able to pick it up in store. It's a little snug in the arms so Blinky won't get a whole lot of use from it but she will have her Evie costume for Halloween, and I didn't have to fork over $60+ for it.

http://img.lum.dolimg.com/v1/images/au_gallery_dsc_evilfashion_evie2_3342e410.jpeg?region=0%2C0%2C1580%2C880
Evie from Descendants

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Descendant-s-Evie-Classic-Child-Halloween-Costume/44899946
Walmart's version
 
Stinky's costume actually consists of four separate pieces: a box head, pick-axe, sword and turquoise shirt.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0c/83/3c/0c833cdedce4f652c5dcf450701d4934.jpg
Microsoft's version
 
I found an online tutorial for the pick-axe, sword and head. I opted to make the pick-axe and sword (see my awesome creations below) but ordered the head and shirt from amazon.




 
This project was very time consuming but I think it turned out quite nicely. Had I known it was a lot less intimidating than I thought, I might have attempted to make the head too.
 
Who do your little ones want to be for Halloween?