Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bird feeder or Squirrel feeder?

Well, after working on my paper for a bit this afternoon, I took a break after dinner and J & I and the kids made some bird feeders. I know-a little random, right? Well we had seen these at my cousin Jen's house earlier this winter, and the kids really liked seeing the birds. So, as I was taking down my outdoor winter pots, I took out the pine cones that were tucked inside them. I have saved them for the past few months with the thought that we would turn them into bird feeders!

So, we covered them in peanut butter and then with birdseed and wrapped some wire around them. We had to find the perfect spot to hang them where squirrels couldn't get to them. So, there is one part of a tree that was the only spot we could actually reach-that's where they ended up going! We definitely had fun putting them together! But, the best part was watching a squirrel trying to get to them once we had them hung in the tree.

We sat inside while the squirrel ran across the branch and almost went down the skinny wire to get to the pine cones. Then the squirrel went down the tree and sat underneath the pine cones, just waiting for something do drop! Ha ha squirrel! Is it bad that my kids feel the same way about squirrels? I think it's because I talk about how they dig in the garden and dig up my flowers. Oh well!

So, here's to hoping that the birds actually find our feeder and that we can watch the birds! So far tonight we didn't have any visitors-maybe tomorrow!

I have to write a what?!

As a teacher, it is always strongly encouraged to continue our education. I mean I guess I would say that about anyone, anywhere, anytime. Continuing to learn and be a life-long learner is a great thing, wouldn't you say? J & I have both completed our Master's degree and have continued to take more classes here and there in the past 5 years. It's been a good thing!

I am currently involved in a group of teachers working to get our Critical Literacy certificate. This involves 15 credits worth of classes with class every week and so on...

What I'm really trying to say is that I have a huge paper (rough draft) due tomorrow and it's hard! I think it's hard because of the length. I think I have a fear of papers that are longer than 8 pages. Maybe it's the double-digit thing. I'm not sure. Whatever the case may be, this has been a daunting task. I also think it's more difficult when you have kids at home. To take the time away from them to work on homework is a hard thing! That's what I'm doing today though-no watching gymnastics today. I'll be at home-writing away!

I have so much to blog about (because my life is oh-so-interesting...not really!) but that will have to wait until I get this paper done. I think I'm on page 10 or something like that. Of course I saved the hardest part for tonight. Think, think, think!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

There was a witch and a cage...

...and what do you do when you're a mom or a dad and your child has their first real nightmare? That was last night-around 5:20AM I hear footsteps coming up the stairs. I look at the clock and think, "'s way too early to be up for the day!" A was standing there by the bed with her pillow, 2 stuffed animals and her blankie.
"Honey? What are you doing? Why are you awake? It's too early to be awake."
"Mommy, I had a bad dream and I came to sleep with you."
"Ok, you can snuggle in, but you have to close your eyes, ok?"
"Ok, I will."
"What was your dream about?"
"There was a witch and a cage. The bad witch had me in the cage and wouldn't let me out."
"Oh...that doesn't sound very good."
"No, it wasn't."
"Goodnight, sweetie."
"Night, Mommy."
That was the conversation we had and I slept for another 45 minutes before my alarm went off. I didn't think any more about it, but the dream obviously had an impact on her because tonight she was sobbing! I mean sobbing...and I wasn't even there! The kids stay at my mom & dad's house on Wednesday nights. Well, A told my mom about the dream before bed and after being in their room for a bit, she started crying, saying she didn't want to sleep in her brown bed (crib) and she wanted Mommy and Daddy! Oh to not be there, holding her! I know my mom and dad were doing that, and trying to console her, but I was about in tears, hearing that. She finally fell asleep in my mom's arms after an hour of crying on and off. Before she fell asleep, she said, "Mamma, I want to go to Heaven with Jesus." She obviously knows that's a great place to be and that she would be safe there...just not yet! Then she said to my mom, "Mamma, I just want to sleep with you and Papa in your bed until the sky turns blue and the sun is shining." Clearly she had been thinking about strategies so she wouldn't have been left alone. Poor honey...

I hope you are sleeping soundly now, Love. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much! Mamma and Papa will keep you safe and Jesus will help give you sleep with sweet, sweet dreams tonight!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do we get a new toothbrush?

Ok, those of you who know A, this question is for you. Well, not the title, but this one: How many questions did A ask while we were at the dentist today? No idea? Me either-that's because I stopped counting. Yup! It was the kids' first trip to the dentist today and they did GREAT! I thought I was going to have my appointment first so the kids could watch, and then the kids would have theirs afterwards so I could be there if they needed me. Well, they had us all scheduled at the same time, so we were in 3 chairs (all of the chairs there), with Mamma Jo taking pictures of everything.
I love my rain boots. I'm always a guy who's prepared for anything! I also had my Cars umbrella with, just in case of a heavy downpour (it was sunny by the time we left the dentist!).
I have to say, I was a little nervous to be there with the kids, not knowing how things were going to turn out. Also, we hadn't read any books about what would happen at the dentist. I had talked to them about getting their teeth counted, having their teeth cleaned and I think that was about it. So when they brought us back and I went to my chair and C went to his, I was a little worried about what would happen. Well, nothing to be worried about! A got to watch us first while she waited for a bit, but she did great too, once she was in her chair!
Dr. Sara and the hygienists couldn't have been better with the kids. I could hear them talking to A & C about the tooth vitamins (fluoride) and the cool sunglasses they got to wear so the lights weren't so bright in their eyes. They gave them rides in the chairs when they first sat down and made a big deal about how sparkling and shiny their teeth were when they were done with the toothpaste. A chose bubble gum for her toothpaste, but I don't know what kind C chose. Funny because I remember picking chocolate for my kind when I was a kid (are you surprised?)!The kids each got to pick a prize out of the prize box when they were done. A picked a pet fish to bring home to put next to Nemo's fish tank. C picked a bendable tooth fairy. They were such big kids today! I am so proud of them and can only hope that the rest of the visits to the dentist go as well as it did today. Thanks Dr. Sara!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter Time!

So Easter has come and gone; very quickly I might add! We had a fun, and very tiring (for Mom & Dad!) day. It was such a nice day, too!

This Easter was very fun in the fact that A & C understood (in their 3-year-old minds) what happened to Jesus. In the weeks leading up to Easter, they would come home saying things like, "There was a parade for Jesus! They waved leaves!" or "Jesus died on the cross for us. He forgives our sins." What they really understand is something only they know, but it seems to me that they understand the jest of what Easter is about.
The morning started with an egg hunt, of course. The bunny visited and left individual baskets for the kids as well as a basket for the 2 of them. Chutes and Ladders is now a fun family favorite thanks to my Aunt Jean and the Easter Bunny. Who knew Target wouldn't have had the game until now, and I'd been waiting since Christmas?! Anyway, the hunt around the house was fun. The Easter Bunny learned an important lesson: Do not really HIDE the eggs. 3 year olds are not that good at looking under things or behind things. Note to Easter Bunny for next year! Funny...
After egg hunting, I wanted to take a few pictures of the kids before heading off to church. You never know what kinds of pictures you'll get after church and moving from place to place. They sat so nice for me, too! The hat that A is wearing was mine when I was little. My mom re-did the ribbon on the hat to match her dress. Isn't it too much? Thanks, Mom!
Church was great. Usually the kids are in Sunday School, but since there wasn't any for Easter, they were in the "Big Church" with us. A was tickled with that fact. She so longs to be in the Big Church every Sunday, and this was her chance! They did great, too. Lightning McQueen came up with C for the children's message. He proceeded to race on the kneeling railings, at which point I was wondering why I let him bring it up. Oh well! The message was least the bits and pieces I was able to really listen to. to Mamma Jo & Papa Kevin's!
More pictures by Mommy. I just can't resist. There was lots of playing happening here. We did egg hunts, played cars, and ate lots of food. We saw great aunts & uncles and cousins-some of our favorite playmates. The kids were definitely spoiled there. Many eggs to be opened and lots of candy to be eaten!
Playing Cars with Papa

Mamma Jo & Papa Kevin

Look at the bunny cake we made!

After one Mamma and Papa's, it was off to the next! We went to Mamma Sue & Big Papa's for another egg hunt and more food. We had lots of fun seeing Aunt Denise & Uncle Dan and other family we don't see very often. C even tried green bean casserole!

Who, me? I'm not trying to eat any candy!
Mamma Sue & Big Papa after our egg hunt
C getting the best of Uncle Dan
We are truly blessed to have so much family so very close to us. We are thankful to have a day like Easter where we can remember what Jesus did for us. We are very very lucky!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I love Naptime Treasures!

It's true...I do! I just had Katie here from Naptime Treasures. She is amazing! She makes bags of all sorts: beach bags, school bags (for teachers like me!), diaper bags, little bags, big bags, Tea Party bags, kid bags...the list goes on and on! Just see for yourself!
See what I mean?! Her bags are great because she does so many with oil cloth. She also does some canvas bags, so there is a good variety.

This is one of her new things she's just started-embroidering clothing. She does almost anything! You can even pick out the shirt and bring it to her for embroidery. It's great!

And then there are her aprons. Too cute! This ruffle style at the bottom is something new she just started doing. She can do any ribbon, any fabric, and even does pockets in the front with names or initials.
This last picture is an assortment of little things she does. Shown are sandwich bags, snack bags, place mats with chalk writing on one side-oil cloth on the other side; again, just an assortment.

She is one of the most creative people I've met! I first had her bibs when A & C were born. I received them as a gift, and didn't know who she was. Then, her husband became my school's principal, and I see her more often now! It's great! Thanks, Katie, for a wonderful night!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Target Field

J & I had the chance to go to the first outdoor Twins game on Friday. Wow!! What an experience! For us, who haven't ever seen outdoor baseball here, this is a big deal. Yes, we did once have an outdoor stadium, but I was too little to remember. As I walked into the stadium, I thought about my cousin, Andrew, who is one of the biggest Twins fans out there. So, when are you coming this summer?! As for the rest of this post, it is of few words...just many pictures!

We cannot wait to be able to go to more games as the season comes along! Go Twins!


A had her first ballet class today! She was so excited about going. She loves everything "dance" and especially loves ballet. It started out (I think) with Zoe from Sesame Street, because she is always dancing and wearing her ballet shoes. A has a tutu we got her for her 2nd birthday and she has really started wearing it around and dancing/pretending. So I decided to sign her up for a community ed ballet class to see how she likes it.
It's always a tricky thing to start picking activities for your kids to do. I know she loves dance, so that helped a little bit, but it's always so tricky because you don't want to push them into something they don't like. Hopefully she'll still like it after these classes.She was pretty cute when I got home from work. We quickly changed into all pink and she said, "Mommy, will I be able to dance on a stage?" Well...not exactly! We were on our way! She did great and went right in with the other girls in her class. I think there were about 10 girls with a teacher and an aid. She came out all smiles once the class was done! Funny thing is though, she didn't really talk about it much when she got home.
We walked in the door and right away C said, "A how was your ballet class?" "Good," she said. That was about it! She wanted to keep wearing her pink outfit for the rest of the night. Hopefully she'll be ready again next week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break Fun

This week J and I have been on spring break all week. This is one of those times that is a huge perk when both of you are teachers! We're lucky to have the same break so we're able to spend a lot of time together and as a family during weeks like this.
The week started out pretty normal with some spring cleaning in the garage and doing some yard work. J and I got to go to one of my favorite breakfast places-the Original Pancake House. The main reason I go there is because they have chocolate chip pancakes. I've never had anything different when we go there. They are the best! Plus, it is the only place I know of that has pancakes where the chocolate chips are actually in the middle rather than just on top. This is very important, you know... So that was a lot about breakfast, but that was really the main point of our day!

Tuesday was a very fun day with our kiddos. It started out with smoothies, which is always a hit. Then we went to Build-a-Bear Workshop and "built" a stuffed animal! Thanks to Aunt Lindsey, Uncle Jake and Cousin Liam, we were able to go there with gift cards A & C received from their third birthday.

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As you can see, they had a lot of fun! I loved it too! It was perfect because they could pick their own animal and watch it get stuffed. They also put in the animal's heart. The kids were also able to pick out one thing to put on their animal. A picked a pink dress (of course!) and C chose a Twins shirt. A perfect match for both of them! After that we went to the Rainforest Cafe. Now this is a restaurant that I have been walking by for 10 years, but have never been to. I think part of it is that it seems too "touristy." Pretty sure I just made that word up! When I think touristy, I think expensive and over the top. Well, the restaurant is a bit over the top, but it was GREAT for our kids!!! Ok, and it was great for me, too. Who knew it rained and thunderstormed inside the restaurant?! A & C loved it and were really good, too. That always helps. To end the day we went to Chutes and Ladders which is a play area by our house. This is a place I remember going to as a kid, and it has certainly changed. There are a lot of climbing places and slides. There is one original slide left from what I remember as a kid. We had a picnic dinner and played until sunset. The day ended with a trip to DQ. Whew! What a day!
Yesterday was a good day with J. We went to the Macy's flower show downtown. I love the fact that when you get off the escalators on the 8th floor you can smell the flowers. Mmmm! We ate outside because it was 75 degrees. Yes, March 30th, 75 degrees. Crazy!! After lunch we went to the Linden Hills neighborhood, which we love and wish we could live in, and walked around. We went to Lake Harriet, then back to a local ice cream shop for the best Oreo ice cream ever. I really can't complain about that kind of day!

Today...well, let's just say I could have fallen asleep around 4:00! I took the kids to the Como Zoo to meet up with some girlfriends and their kids. This was the first time I had seen everyone together since October! My how life gets busy when you have kids! We had a great time, enjoying the weather (it got to 81 degrees, according to my car), seeing the animals, having a picnic lunch and catching up with friends. This afternoon it was off to my mom's house to go to the "Red Park" as our kids call it. We met up with some friends-Jodi and her kids Lillian and Gavin. We played and played and played today! I can't believe C didn't nap, but hopefully he'll sleep for a while tomorrow morning. Again...whew!

So, it's been a busy week! But, if you know me, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Busy is what I like because I would hate to look back at this week and go, wait! I wish we would have done that! We'll see what tomorrow brings to end our week. What do you do when you have a week off?