Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goodbye Teeth!

I finally worked up the nerve to call and schedule my consultation appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed. Amazingly enough I was able to actually go to the appt, schedule the removal and not get pregnant in the meantime LOL So on Friday, Paul took me to the office and they were able to put me under and remove my wisdom teeth. YAY

I don't remember much of Friday, but I do know that I wasn't in any pain. I remember that I was planning to be able to sleep all day Friday but every 30 minutes Paul was bringing in ice packs for me to apply to my jaw area. I was slightly irritated by this non sleeping arrangement but was very happy when I had no swelling. Thanks Babe!

Every time I tired to get them out before, I ended up pregnant. True story. I originally attempted to get them out right before I got pregnant with Coop. We postponed and I was pregnant with Addy before my next 6 month dental appointment. A few years later, I finally got around to booking my consult appointment for 2/15 and on 2/14 I found out I was pregnant with G. I am so glad that they are finally out.

Yesterday, Cooper showed me that he has 2 loose teeth! He was so excited. Then tonight, Addison showed me that she too has a loose tooth! I swear those two were meant to be twins. They do everything together.

After Coop was asleep, Addy was pretty determined to get her tooth out. It's really close to coming out but it's still a little bit attached and hurts when pulled on. We told her to wait until tomorrow, so hopefully it comes out fairly easy...and she doesn't end up swallowing it tonight:) She's going to lose teeth before she actually starts kindy *sniff*. My babies are getting so big!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Room to Grow

Paul and I are always very spur of the moment people. This past week has been nothing but typical for us but was definitely unexpected.

It all started with the thought that we would be purchasing a home next year. We began to save and even though we were planning a year out, I was driving myself insane by looking at houses, land and neighborhoods in our current town.

For one, our house is way too small for our family. We moved in as a family of five and have since grown. Secondly, we rent since we did not want to buy in an area that was unknown to us and I want to own our home.

We love our current town and we also love our current neighbors. So much so, that even though Paul has an big commute, we were all for staying in this wonderful town. I had mentioned to Paul that we should live closer to where he works but he always ignored it.... Until last Friday. I'm pretty sure the commute finally just got to him, but Paul began to send me houses in an area closer to his office. Since it's a totally new area, I want to rent again until we know for sure that we like it. We found a few homes for rent and took a drive on Saturday to see the neighborhoods and homes.

Now, we are looking at big homes and can I just say, very few met my check list. I mean, one looked like it was meant to be in a western movie. One had the model home right next to it so all sorts of strangers would be pulling up in are hood. One was out in the middle of nowhere ( I actually liked this one but CVS was like 15 minutes away...unacceptable). Another had a cliff for a back yard. Sure it was fenced in but with Cooper's past history, he would be over that fence and on his head in no time.

Everyone was starving so we hit up Smithfield's. First ever experience for me and it was pretty good. Of course we had gotten a late start but there were 2 more houses to see even though it was dark. We drove into the neighborhood for the other homes and fell in love with one of the homes. Perfect neighborhood, big enough house, community swimming pool, closer to Paul's office. My mind was made up right then and there. We came home, sent an e-mail and had an appointment to see it Sunday afternoon.

I couldn't sleep at all with all the crazy running through my mind so I was dragging the next morning. Ashleigh came home (she had spent the night at a friends house) and looked awful. Turns out she wasn't feeling well so I had Paul take her to urgent care. The urgent care visit took way longer than I expected and we were going to be late for the showing. I was an emotional mess but the agent was able to meet us a little later and we finally made it to the house.

It was perfect. Amazing! I mean the pics did nothing for this house. I was in love and ready to sign. Our hopes and dreams came to a crashing halt when we found out there was actually another applicant for the house from earlier in the day. Paul's exact words " That makes me sad." LOL I love him!!! We got home and I cried until Paul caved and agreed to offer more money than they were asking. I wanted that house and would do whatever to get it. Let me remind you, me=emotional wreck that weekend. I wanted a bigger house closer to his office but I didn't want to leave my friends, town and transfer the kids schools at the end of the year or remove them from their soccer teams. Probably not the best time for me to be making financial decisions, but whatever!

The agent sent the application to us and said he would review it Monday. Finally, Tuesday afternoon (after another day and half of depression wondering if there was still a possibility that he may give it to the first applicants he told us about) we heard from him that everything checked out and he would be pulling our credit/criminal background. By Wednesday, the agent said the house would be ours! OMG those were the longest 4 days ever. Maybe not really, but it felt like it.

We went from not even thinking about moving out of our house, to finding a house in a totally different area and getting it within a week. That shit cray! LOL The kids are super excited and Coop keeps asking when the movers are coming. Ummm, "you're looking at them kid." We have a ton to get done.
Ashleigh is finally starting to feel better, but just when things got better, Cooper was struck with a fever, chills, and headache. I feel so bad for them when they are sick! I am scheduled to get my wisdom teeth out on the 9th...eeeek! I'm so scared. Ashleigh and Addy are having their birthday party on the 18th...don't be surprised if the house is mostly cleaned out by then y'all;) We've got to get the kids transferred and they still have soccer practice. We still have to sign the lease on Saturday, so I guess something could change in the meantime, but I hope everything goes as planned. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Bug Valentines

I found a ton of cute cards on Pinterest for Valentines Day, but I really liked this one I found here. She even provides a template to make it super easy.

Of course, I waited till last minute to search for the bugs. Typical.  I actually wanted to find individually wrapped bug candy to attach to the cards instead of the plastic ones but couldn't find them. I know they make them but it is probably something you come across more easily during October. I did find a pack of the plastic bugs at Joann's but they only had one pack. ( I am sure everyone saw this on pinterest and did it too LOL). In the end, I bought foam insect stickers. These turned out great since the kids were able to attach them without any help.

Their finished product:

I can't wait to see all the Valentines they get from their friends. They were so excited to go to school and pass out their cards! Thanks dandee for such a great idea!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


There's always going to come a time when someone's patience runs out. Being an only child, it was very rare that I ever had to wait long before someone was able to get me what I needed. As a mom of 4, I find that I do say "In a minute!" ALOT! Last night was no exception.

It was a pretty hectic week and we decided to take the kids to Skids, the drop in daycare, and have some down time with Bean. While everyone was getting ready, Cooper came in and wanted an apple. Fine, eat an apple. Then he came up and asked for someone to peel it for him because he doesn't like the skin. My thoughts... "Seriously? Eat the apple. It comes with skin, eat the damn skin. " What I actually said, "In a minute, I'm changing Bean."

Paul and I exchanged a few words about our plans, while he found my belt that I wasn't able to find all week (the reason I never left the house :/ ). Then as I was walking towards the door to go downstairs, Cooper bursts into the room with his hand held out and blood everywhere. I mean blood was EVERYWHERE! I immediately asked if he had cut himself on the peeler and he said that he had fallen off his bike and hit a rock. So Paul took him downstairs to see what the damage was and I went to get a towel.

I go downstairs to find an apple with a slice taken out of it, a wad of bloody paper towels, a bunch of bloody bandaids strewn everywhere and a trail of blood from the kitchen to the stairs. So I go all CSI and put the pieces together and ask again if he tried to peel his apple. He finally caved and confessed that he thought he could peel the apple and instead peeled the tip of his thumb. UGH

I'm amazed that he was able to 1. keep quiet when the incident happened and 2. tried to take care of it and bandage himself up. I would have 1. screamed out and 2. fainted and hit my head on the table.

Ashleigh also peeled her finger this past November on Thanksgiving Day. Peelers are no joke people!

Lesson I learned...keep the peelers out of the kids reach so that Addy and bean aren't it's next victims. Lesson Cooper learned...if he wants to get away with something, he better do a better job of hiding the bloody evidence...literally! Oh yeah, and not to try to peel his apples!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I came across the below on my local Mom forum and it really had an impact. If you know me well, you know I am far from being religious but I think this message will hit home with any caregiver, no matter what their beliefs. Basically, it's all worth it:)


One of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know... I just did.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Got Moves?

Ashleigh loves her iTouch! Actually the entire family, including G, loves Ashleigh's iTouch. Ashleigh is also obsessed with video taping herself. The kids (Sn: I always think of baby goats when I refer to them as kids, but I think calling them children sounds too formal, so I think of baby goats often LOL ) kept trying to video tape themselves, so I offered to help.

Ashleigh, Cooper, and Addison making their debut to "I'm Sexy and I know It" ...the Chipmunks version. Use this link and enjoy!

Cooper was able to convince me to dance as well, but the video was somehow deleted. Not sure how that happened ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stained "Glass" Hearts

While perusing Pinterest, I came across an oldie but a goodie. Using wax paper and crayons to make stained "glass"....something that I did as a child and totally had forgotten about. It also made me remember a few other things that I did with wax paper that will keep the children busy and happy.

Things Needed-
Crayon Shavings ( I used a pencil sharpener)
Wax Paper

I told Addy that we would do this for Valentine's Day so that she could make hearts. I am sure she could sharpen the crayons for the shavings herself, but I get a little OCD with messes, so I did the crayon shavings. I placed all the colors (oranges, reds, yellow and white) in one baggie.

I placed an old towel down on the ironing board and we put a sheet of wax paper on top of the towel. Addy sprinkled the crayon shavings on to the wax paper. Then we placed another sheet of was paper on top. To protect the iron, I placed a wash cloth on top of the wax paper and ironed the wash cloth. The heat melted the crayons and made the wax paper stick together.

Once cooled, Addy cut the hearts out.

The ones I had seen online were hung up with string, but I wanted them placed in my door's side window, so I just taped them up. I just love them!

I'm sure once Ash and Coop see these, they will want to try to make them. I should probably start making more crayon shavings now! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homemade Bird Feeders


My friend posted about some bird feeders she made here. She got the idea from this blog http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2011/08/bird-feeders.html, which also has a bunch of other cool ideas if you'd like to browse her posts.  I thought the kids would really enjoy making these since they love animals and nature (still have not figured out where they get that from). Since the kids were off on Monday, we went ahead and tried it out.

3/4 cup birdseed
1/4 cup water
1 small envelope of knox gelatine
twine or string (I used ribbon on my larger ones since I didn't have any twine on hand)
cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids
wax paper

Bring gelatine and water to a simmer and then stir in the bird seed. Quick heads up, the gelatin and water mixture does not smell that great, IMO.

The kids picked out their cookie cutters and I gave them each a spoon to fill them in with the mixture.

 Then we let them dry over night. I doubled the recipe to get enough mixture for these.
SN: Most of these turned out great, but the ones with smaller areas, not so much (the cat's tail, the swan's head, etc)

I also made another double recipe batch to make a few larger ones. 

Yesterday, the kids came home from school and wanted to hang up their little feeders! It was suppose to rain, so I wanted to wait but they were too excited to expect them to wait any longer.

They hung their cookie cutter ones on our stick tree out front.

And the larger ones on a metal hanger.

 Of course it poured last night, but most of them survived. There were only a few that fell and the birds will still enjoy them. Thanks for posting Jenny, the kids loved them!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas 2011

Yes, I'm slightly behind but I want to make sure I posted about this past Christmas. For some reason, Christmas seemed like it took forever to get here, and then once it was over, I couldn't believe it had happened so fast.  We have never been so prepared for Christmas in past years. We are always shopping for everything the last weekend before and wrapping Christmas Eve night after the kids are in bed. This year we had everything done a few weeks before (except final touches) and I wrapped everything prior to Christmas Eve. Even though we still had to put everything out that night, it was probably the least stressful Christmas we've had.

On Christmas Eve, we made cookies. We whipped up some basic Chocolate Chip cookies (Nestle recipe). I had some white chocolate, so I decided to dip some of the Chocolate Chip cookies in it ( actually Cooper did this). They tasted amazing and my only wish was that I had dipped all of them and not just some ;)

The kids dropping the cookies on the tray.

The Basic Chocolate Chip

Basic Chocolate Chip dipped in White Chocolate 

Then we made some yummy Sugar Cookies.

Then it was time to decorate the cookies! 2 cups powder sugar and 4 tbsp milk. YUM!

I grabbed the neighbors to helps with the decorating:)

 Finished Cookies

Paul was able to get his Dad's train up and running. The kids were super excited and so was Paul!

Addy was so tired (she ended up falling asleep on the floor in a few minutes LOL)

Our neighbors came over to exchange gifts

 And Genna had her first taste of a candy cane!

After the kids were in bed, we made finishing touches to the presents and placed them under the tree.

Best Photo of the Year (IMO)

Christmas Day was great.  The kids opened presents and it was so nice out that they were able to play with the outside gifts all day! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why don't your clothes fit just right?

I stumbled across a great blog post on my local mommies network. I admit, I also had no idea, so I'm passing along as well.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making your house smell good

and not so good, if your me. Our house typically smells pretty good. At least people tell me it does, but I have a phobia that it will smell bad.

I read somewhere that you can boil cinnamon sticks and orange peels/apples to get a really nice smell in the house. So over Christmas I had Paul pick up some cinnamon sticks ( not cheap by the way, at least at Harris Teeter $7 for like 6 sticks). The kids had some Cutie Pies that morning, so I threw the peels and a stick in some water and brought it to a boil. Then I let it simmer for most of the morning.

How to make your house smell good...

It made the house smell great. Especially when you would walk outside and then come back in. I loved it!

Then today's incident...Last night I made Sweet and Sour pork chops with fried rice and everytime I came back in the house it smelled awful. I think it smelled like onions but wahtever it was, I was not enjoying it. After dropping the kids off at school, I came back and threw some cinnamon sticks (no peels readily available and the sticks work just as well) in the pot and placed it on the stove. I came upstairs to the office to work, with every intention of going back to check on the stove.

Well an hour later, I was still sitting here working and it suddenly occurred to me that I never turned the stove off. I ran downstairs and found 2 little burnt sticks in the pot. My house now smells like someone was smoking cinnamon sticks and onions. I can only imagine this is what one of those Hookah Bars smell like. I've never been to one, but it's just how I am picturing it.

How to make your house not smell good...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops w/ fried rice

Tonight I made this recipe I came across for Sweet and Sour Pork Chops. It's been forever since I've ordered sweet and sour anything, so I can't tell you if it tastes the same. Paul's stuffy, so he was unable to provide any feedback as well. It did, however, get a 3 out of 4 kid rating. Cooper decided he didn't really like the taste but he did try it. YAY!

As a side, I made this fried rice recipe here. I could not find carrots and peas in the frozen section, so I used carrots, peas, green beans and corn mix. Again, 3 out of 4 kids LOVED this. Addison was not feeling it.

Hibachi Style Fried Rice. Photo by Pets'R'us

Now if I could only get all 4 kids to like something, we might have a peaceful dinner. Dare I dream...

Shepard's Pie

I decided to make Shepard's Pie a while back, and it actually was a big hit with the kids. Well, except for Addison, which is odd because she typically eats everything and anything.

I came across this recipe for Shepard's Pie. It turned out really great and like I said, 3 out of 4 kids liked it. The great thing about this dish is how changable it is. Don't have peas, no problem. Want to add rice, go for it. Don't like beef, use turkey.

The first time I follwed the directions exactly. A few weeks ago, I made it with rice, green beans and corn. Last night, I just used corn. I also (gasp) used instant potatoes the past few times because I didn't feel like mashing potatoes. It tasted great. My potatoes are never brown like in the picture as I don't broil the dish...the kids would complain about the burnt potatoes because anything brown is burnt :/

Easy Shepherd's Pie

New Year, New Quote

To kick off the new year, I decided to change up the format of the blog and the quote. I started browsing through quotes to see what really stuck out. I wanted something that went well with the actual name of the blog, so I started searching for quotes about adventures.

There were quite a few good ones...

"Adventure is not outside man; it is within.' -David Grayson 
"Adventure is worthwhile."- Amelia Earhart 

"Adventure: the pursuit of life."-Daniel Roy Wiarda

"As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible but more mysterious." -Albert Schweitzer
"If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new." -Voltaire

BUT one that really stuck out...

"When you're safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home” -Thornton Wilder

This quote is dead on!

When I am home, I am always wanting to go out and do something adventurous. Whether it be hiking or shopping (yes, shopping is an adventure if you take all 4 children), I want to be out there doing it. I'm not really a stay at home and relax kinda girl unless it is super gloomy out or I am sick.

When I am out on an adventure, like shopping, I am usually wishing I would have stayed home. And hiking, well, if you know me, then you know hiking is not an adventure I would participate in. It would be hot, and sweaty, and bugs! I wouldn't be able to handle the bugs. But a beach trip (yeah I can handle those) with 4 kids, one being a toddler, is totally going to be something that seems so much better before hand. As soon as we get there and have every crevice packed with sand, I know I will be wishing we had stayed home and let the kids play in the kiddie pool.

Our life is all about the adventure though. Without actually getting out there and having adventures, as wonderful or awful as they may be, we wouldn't truly be living. And I do have the best people to have adventures with living right in my home. Hell, sometimes I guess I don't even have to leave the house to have an adventure. Sometimes finding a matching sock is all the adventure one needs for a day!

What's your favorite quote?

And now I wonder if Amelia Earhart was thinking "Adventure is worthwhile" on her last flight. I really hope so!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and yours the greatest year yet!

This year we hosted the neighborhood NYE Party, therefore we were able to ring in the new year with great friends, food, and fun! It was a blast (we even had a chocolate fountain! You know you're jealous!LOL) and we are already looking forward to the next get together.

A pic of the girls:

The kids:

It was quite the party after our quiet celebration last year...I don't even think the kids stayed up till 12:00 last year! Amazingly, Bean slept through all of the noise, music, kids screaming and horn blowing. 

Here's a pic of the kids from 2011 and 2012:)

Last Year (2011)

This Year 2012

So we made it through 2011 without any major catastrophies. Now if the world doesn't end this year, I think we'll be good!

Handmade Holiday Banner

We hosted a New Year's Eve party this year, so of course I immediately went to Pinterest for ideas LOL I had come across a "Happy New Year" banner here and decided to make one my self.

2 sheets silver card stock
2 sheets gold card stock
2 sheets black glitter card stock
Thin black ribbon

$7 total in material and it did not take long to make. Mine isn't hand stamped or anything but I think it turned out really nice.

I printed letter templates from here and cut the letters out using the black glitter paper. I originally cut the silver and gold paper into 6x6 squares, but ended up cutting them down to circles. I thought it looked cuter.

I hot glued the letters onto the circles. After placing them out in the right position, I decided I would add some stars, to break up the New and Year. Then I added a few little stars to hang from the big ones. I used my hole punch to punch holes into the paper, then tied them together using the black ribbon You can tie them, or hook them together like the original link shows. You can even hot glue the ribbon on the back so that you don't have holes in the paper, but I liked the bows. The ribbon isn't permanent so I can change it up for next year if I want to.

To show the way I tied them together:

Finished Banner:

Up for the party!