Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Photos and a Wee Catch Up

Lots has been going on here. And I am too far behind on blogging, so I will just have to catch you up in photos.

I love these little monkeys. Snack time.

I was pretty sick on Sunshine's confirmation day but managed to get this shot with Gram and Grandpa.

Her Godmother and Sponsor, Lisa, flew in from Washington state and surprised us by bringing along Mamaw (whose photo I forgot to take in all the pre-church excitement.)

Pepper and her boyfriend, The Chef, cooked while we were at church.
 Everything was perfect including this lovely relish tray!

With Lisa and Mamaw here, we had to take advantage of this year's
extra pretty Bluebonnets. (The Captain and Tink were in school)

Here's Mamaw!!

Mamaw looks extra pretty in a field of blue.


He loves to mug for the camera.

So does Sunshine.

Blue is Lisa's color too!

Here is our Pepper!

The Blitz had a birthday(FIVE!) and this is the only picture I have! He wanted
vegetables on his cupcakes. I made these out of starburst, M&Ms and tootsie rolls.
Pepper styled the cabbages for me out of corn flakes (frosted) and gum drops.
These were a big hit at school. Pepper made him a carrot cake for home and
he loved it. It was a great day even if I didn't get any pics!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Birthday Boys

The Spring Birthday season has arrived! And not a moment to soon for The Captain!

On Friday, this sweet boy turned 7.  We started the day with birthday pancakes, which were really just our whole-wheat pancakes with sprinkles; don't tell the kids they were still the healthy ones!  I did give them a choice of syrup or frosting (left over from cupcakes) and they all picked frosting. Oh, yuck.

We took cupcakes to daycare (it's Spring Break and Mama works on Fridays so, daycare!) and cupcakes to ball practice but told him a few days back the celebration would wait until Saturday. He got back from ball practice around 7:30 and ate his birthday Mac & Cheese and went to bed anxious for Saturday.

He loved his presents. There was a sweet moment where he got some handkerchiefs I had given him and said, "These remind me of Papa. Sometimes when he isn't here I have to remember hard that he isn't dead. But these will help me remember that I see Papa again some day."  Oh, it broke my heart! He loves his Papa so much.

We got him a basketball hoop and obviously a basketball. He opened the ball and all his other gifts and then Daddy said we needed to come outside to see something. He was standing there with the camera and caught this great shot of The Captain when he saw the hoop.
We've hardly seen him since. We hear a lot of ball dribbling and "boing-g-g-g-g-g-" and we know where he is. He hit the pavement in his jammies this morning and it was none to warm out there. So cute.

Daddy had a great birthday too. I bought him a Fitbit --which he didn't know he wanted-- but already loves. He loves data so much and it is a data machine.

He also got tons of music and lots of other nice stuff. We had King Ranch Chicken for dinner (Dad's fav) and Pepper made them both her amazing Bananas Foster Cake.  It was a great day, truly.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ballplayers, Beards, Bad Haircuts and Boyfriends: Photos from Feb

You tell me. Are these the two most adorable ball players ever?

We've got an Angel

And a White Sox

This little guy adores his big bro

Some sister shots:

And a poor choice haircut:

Daddy is growing his beard to prove to me that it will never get long no matter how many months he grows it. I think it is looking good!

And finally, the photo debut of Pepper's boyfriend. Hmmm. He needs a nickname. Guess we'll call him "Chef." He is a wonderful cook like Pepper and they met at the Caphalon Store. Isn't that romantic?

This photo looks staged but isn't. This is how
much she smiles around him all the time.  
Okay. They caught me. It may have been the blinding flash.
This sweet guy brought her DINNER! Greatest boyfriend ever.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cute Sayings and Other Miscellanea

Life has been too tonsillectomy centered to talk about much else lately. But the dust is finally settling and I have a minute to share.

Tinker has a funny take on life. For one thing, she is trying to add to her vocabulary, so the other day, I said, "I washed your lunch bag and it's still damp . . ." so she said, "yes, you have to be careful with that damn lunchbag." I said, "damPPPP." And she said, "Yes, the damn lunchbag." Okay. I give up.

Also she got in oh-so-much trouble in Spanish class. Apparently she was in one of her lighthearted moods and was skipping around the room and when the instructor told her she had to sign the "reflections log" she flat refused. Oh, my, she is handful. I just keep reminding myself that Sunshine was a handful too and she is the most wonderful girl these days.

The Blitz and The Captain watched the super bowl with Daddy (yes, this is old news). We apparently learned a few football terms but lately, The Blitz has been having "brain tackles." That's when you just can't figure something out. And the other day in the midst of all the chaos around his surgery, I mentioned that I forgot to put a snack in The Captain's backpack. "That's a fumble, Mom," says The Blitz. Yesterday, I asked him if he could count backwards from 20. He said, "Nope. I'll punt."

Did I mention that my team hosted the Superbowl Party for the youth at church? It turned out so great. We had chili and cornbread, pigs in a blanket, pepperoni rolls, cocktail meatballs, queso and chips, fresh veggies, homemade cookies, football shaped oreo balls (like a cake pop made with oreos), jello jigglers in team colors, and team colored homemade pixi stix. It was a hit. We had almost nothing leftover.

I stole a few ideas from Pinterest and we covered a couple of tables in astro turf and applied field lines with electrical tape and put "touch down" and yard markers on with decals. We did cardboard cutouts of ball players.  It turned out so cute. The kids were appreciative and we had so much fun doing it. Another teammate decorated the room with streamers and it was really festive.

Sunshine's confirmation is coming up on March 29. I'd better start making some plans. She said, "I don't want a fuss. I just want to come home and relax with the family." One thing is for sure, I won't be making that cake I made for Pepper. It was a lot of fuss and was just not that cool. I may try this rose one instead but it will likely be all white. That said, if she likes red velvet that would be the PERFECT cake for confirmation.

Pepper has been busy in the kitchen as always and made a lovely meal for us and her boyfriend. She made pork loin with roasted vegetables. It was perfect. I think her boyfriend thought I was insane because I kept saying this like, "this is just perfect," and "This tastes so good," and "these vegetables could not be any better." And he thought I cooked it. Hahahahaha. He finally caught on that Pepper did and I had such a great (private) laugh. Oh . . . my . . . goodness!

That's the news from here. We are just enjoying life and worrying less about the mess. What's new in your world?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Seven Quick Takes Friday - The Blitz, Food Safety and My New Favorite Blog

Happy Friday!  I always "mean" to do this but rarely fit it in; today I am linking up with Conversion Diary for Seven Quick Takes.

 The Blitz is finally better! A week after a tonsillectomy/adnoidectomy/removal of foreign body from left ear, acute atelectasis, two ER visits, one ambulance ride, an admission to Dell  and strep that turned into scarlet fever, he is actually getting better. Thank you Dr. Lyn Azuma!  I let him overdo it yesterday so he is in more pain today but no longer running a fever and his rash is going away. We couldn't have guessed he already had strep the day of his surgery but poor baby he has really been through it!  (Spoke too soon! In the 8 hours since I wrote this he came back to Dell for a bleeder and here we sit.) Make that three ER visits, one ambulance ride, two admissions to Dell, strep that turned into Scarlet Fever, one ride with crazed mama driving while baby boy spits out blood, and one extra surgery. Poor kid!

In that vein, I am really enjoying all the lovey-dovey time with this busy boy, due to his more subdued state! Today we got a big laugh out of this crazy Disney Channel short, "A Colorful Day." The mustached butterflies are the best. Share it with your littles.

Okay, enough fun.  Seriously, I could become totally paranoid simply based on my daily reading of Food Safety News. I do manage to keep it all in perspective but reading this blog certainly keeps me committed to eating locally when possible and taking the time to wash the veggies. If you want the first word on recalls, Food Safety is often the first reporter.

This year my "Saint of the Year" is St. Louis de Montfort. Last year I tried to do the Saint's "Total Consecration" but my book didn't arrive and frankly, I just knew it wasn't a fit. This year I am doing it. It seemed perfect that he is my "learning saint" this year and I am anxious to see what fruits of the spirit will be produced in me through this lead up to and start of my 2014 Lenten journey. If you have taken this path, I'd love to hear your take on it.

Have I mentioned (100 times) that my new favorite blog is "Mama Knows, Honey Child."  This gal is so funny. I sit on the edge of my seat every time I open my email hoping she has posted something new. You should read her. Really.

"Take me out to the ball park, take me out to the crowd!"  Yup. It's ball season again! We have three ball players in the family this season, Sunshine, The Captain and The Blitz. Yes, we are aware The Blitz isn't ready for the big leagues, but it will sure be entertaining. Sunshine's friends were all so happy to see her at try-outs and The Captain has been spending every spare minute in the backyard practicing. Yay spring!

WARNING: Unabashed parental bragging coming up!!!

Have you seen our darling Pepper lately? She has become a lean, mean machine. She is so fit and muscular; it's bea-u-ti-ful on her. She has been working extra hard in track practice (7-1/2 hours a week, thank you!) and also throwing in extra exercise at home. Here she is on ready to go on a concert date with her new boyfriend. Every time I think she can't be more amazing, she is! Love that girl!

(Sunshine took these pics for me with her iPod so they're a bit blurry but you get the idea!

That's all Folks! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love Day!

We are big fans of Valentine's Day. It started when the girls were just toddlers and we got together with homeschooling friends to bowl and exchange Valentines. Over time, it became a serious holiday in our house. This year will be the first year I've ever worked on Valentine's Day, and the first year the older girls have had boyfriends so life is different. This may also be the first year in a dozen that we don't actually go bowling.

 Sunshine will be with a group at Jumpstreet and Pepper will be with us entertaining the Littles. I did order a girly flick to watch with the girls, maybe Thursday night, to get us in the mood. I chose Desk Set with Spencer Tracey and Katharine Hepburn. You can't beat the classics!

After last year's brief hiatus from homemade valentines, this year I decided it is actually easier and way more meaningful to make them ourselves. After the crazy year when everyone made different valentines, this year all three Littles made the same thing. We had a great time making them. I found this super cute Love Bug valentine on Pinterest.  Here is our version:

We put them in cellophane because it is really hard to get that bug to stick to the paper. Both Tink and the Captain were able to write on all theirs and cut out most of them. It was all too much for The Blitz so I cut and wrote and he packaged them up.

The Captain was so funny. When I told him what it said, he said, "Oh and I'm giving them a bug. That's funny." I think the play on words was lost on the other two.

We will have some form of chocolate, perhaps champagne and as usual, lavish lots of love on the kids. I will give everyone some candy in a heart shaped box, pencils to all, and I have little "love bird" trinket boxes for the Bigs. We will read a couple of lovey-dovey kid-books and talk about St. Valentine.  I do love my family so much and am always grateful for another occasion to show it!

I am grateful for you, too, dear reader.  I wish you love abundant on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

News Day

Okay. I confess. My Christmas tree is still up. I blame my New Year's resolutions.  I have been doing well at spending time with each member of my little clan every day and a number of other things on my resolutions -- but I think I should have added "Take down Christmas by mid-January." Maybe by the weekend!

We have had a weird start to the second half of school. It's so chopped up anyway with holidays and then we've had two "bad weather" days already -- and it's still January.  I predict at least one more in February because that is our traditional ice storm month. The kids have loved it though and it did my heart good to see my whole family just playing, sleeping and having a deep breath yesterday. Pepper went to the grocery store for me since the roads weren't passable in the morning and I came home to see her immersed in our planned-for baked ziti; what a joy!

Pepper finished her second quarter with her second set of straight As. The boys also had promising school reports, with The Captain showing amazing progress.  The Blitz continues to concern me with his notable lack of motor skills so we are seeing the pediatrician this week.  At almost five, he can't form letters at all and still runs "funny." He is smart as a whip and has amazing auditory processing. That fine-motor set is just still far behind. It will be interesting to see what the pediatrician thinks. He was a 27 week preemie so there may be some lingering issue. I just don't know!

In other news, Pepper received her acceptance letter from Stephen F Austin; we've requested her housing, all her transcripts and tests are in. Her scholarship application goes in today and now all that's left is orientation in July. Life is good.

Sunshine registered for ball last week and both boys, as well. I'd better start planning some portable meals because we are going to be living at the ballpark. Tinker thinks she wants to play ball too but I think she really wants to dance so I am trying to find her a dance or tumbling class this spring and then next year we will try to get her in dance as a part of her after-care program.

That's the news from the frosty southwest. Global warming is nowhere in sight around here! Happy Wednesday.