Thursday, April 30, 2009

What to do

This is a toffee candy recipe that went wrong. It was supposed to be cutely wrapped up at the Northwest homeschool conference tomorrow but instead it's in this jar. It's sticky and gooey and I haven't a clue what to do with it now...Any thoughts?


Belle is depressed, can you tell? She just got back from the vet and was told she needs eye surgery. Yep, grandma needs a very large tumor removed from the inside of her eyelid. Poor thing, I can't imagine having that ginormous monster rubbing against my eye. So watch out, a lampshade-wearing dog will be trying to pick up satellite reception soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Inturrupt This Blogging

I finally succumbed to getting on Facebook. And I really did it to see pictures of my sweet, new niece that lives too far away. But wow, how fast it is to reconnect to old friends. So if I've been slacking around the blogging world it's only because I'm having waaay too much fun looking at photos of high school friends and their families. At this rate we'll finish school mid-August. ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Sweet Ray of Sunshine

Isn't that how we like our wee ones to wake up in the morning? Little feet padding down the hall with an angelic grin to greet us? Au contraire. My little man wakes up that way about two times a year. The other three hundred and sixty three times goes something like this:

Me: Good morning sweetheart. Come here and give me a hug.
Moderately Grumpy: No words, just daggers for eyes.
Me: Ummm, are you feeling okay?
MG: "No"! Arms crossed and foot stamping.
Me: Oh, come here, a hug will make it better. My voice is now getting drippingly sweeter as I'm fighting impatience.
MG: Bluck! I have something in my mouth. Spits. Hacks. "HAIR", he yells. "I hate hair in my mouth"!

Now, to be honest, I do, too. I certainly hope your day is off to a brighter start than ours. ;)

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Love

There is a new love in my life- my brand, spankin' new yogurt maker. I tried out my first batch this weekend and it's better than anything I've ever bought. For now I enjoy it with dried blueberries and granola or crushed fiber/wheat cereal. But I'm looking forward to experimenting with different flavors in the batch. This machine is ideal for our family because we consume copious amounts of yogurt. It will be much more cost effective and just as, if not more, healthy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Calling All Dragons

There's been a lot of slaying here today in honor of St. George. Dragons have been coming out of the woodwork and even constructed out of legos.

This morning we made blueberry scones and drank tea for listening to the story. I have always adored this book but never owned it. And funny enough, yesterday we stopped at the bookstore to pick it up and the jolly cashier said, "St. George, let's see... why that's tomorrow!" as he proceeded to serenade us with some diddy about England that we've never heard before.

We also found another retelling of the story in this book that was on our shelf. I suppose we could read that later as I fashion some sort of dragonish dessert.

Straight from the story - do you like the dinosaur-turned-dragon??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

I love Earth Day but this year I am sadly behind in preparations. So we will get to our fun stuff later this afternoon after a doctor appointment. We did start the day off with a delicious Lemon-Blueberry Loaf drizzled with a warm lemon/sugar mixture. You, too, might have the ingredients at home to whip this up. Highly recommended. Until later...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Please

Find your nearest Ben & Jerry's because today is free cone day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Project in the Queue

I have no clue yet what I'll do with these new fabrics from IKEA, but how could I resist buying them? I don't think $7/yd is too bad for some nice quality, heavy stuff and I love that each time I go (which is about once every 4-5 months) the selection has changed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hot Date

Happy Sunday to you all. I have an eight hour date today with a bike. Try not to be too jealous.

I'm off to my academy training to get certified to teach and it's supposed to be absolutely beautiful today. So whaaa for me.

: The class was a BLAST! I learned a ton, rode a ton, sweated a ton, and was inspired greatly. Now please don't laugh as I hobble out of this chair.


That pretty much wraps up how my kitchen cabinets were yesterday. Is it even possible to own honey and not have it drip on every shelf? Well the good news is the near-empty honey is in the trash. Maybe even the recycling bin, I don't remember. I went hog wild in the kitchen yesterday. Dishes have new homes. Glasses have shifted. The food pantry has flip flopped so that the flow works better. But most note worthy is that the crumbs, the oodles of crumbs and the sticky goo is no longer there.

Here's my spice and medicine cabinets- the only ones I took photos of.

The baking supplies are all in their own container now. I also grabbed an old basket for all the nuts and seeds. And I totally whittled down the spice supply. I swear there was stuff in there that moved with us nearly two years ago and has not been touched since.

And on that note...all this organizing and cleaning and can you believe we may move out of this house in two months??

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bedrooms? Check.

After a four hour IKEA marathon, I had little energy to whip this last bedroom into shape but I managed. How is it that my little linebacker still had fistfulls of 2T clothing ruling the closet? Why does it take me a year to pack away clothes that don't fit? I must stay on top of this but somehow I doubt that will happen.

I think it's sweet and a kick that both boys are captivated with their new room. It doesn't take much, does it?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Day, Another Closet

Oh my goodness. I have discovered that there is a child in my house who is a stasher. She stashes things in corners clean or dirty and is also a collector of all things her mom would consider clutter. But now she is off to a fresh start for spring. Her drawers open with ease. Her closet looks pretty and no longer contains clothes that fit her five years ago. And the hallway is lined now with four stuffed trash bags for St. Vincent de Paul. The best part of the seemingly all day event? Buttercup the bird told me over and over that I was a "pretty bird". Isn't that tweet?

Happy gutting!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Moving Right Along

This job brought about three large bags for donation and more space in my cramped little closet. Even being a small space, it took hours. Everything went on the floor in a massive pileup so I could riffle through. There is a method in here now. Pants with pants, skirts together. Even a color coordination. And how awesome this morning that crutches didn't fall on me while grabbing my robe. It's good to be lighter.

And a trip to Ikea in the morning to add a drawer organizer for my workout clothes and some more wooden hangers (I hate the plastic!!) will be just what I need to finish.

"Goodnight" - More Than Good

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to spend in Seattle. It's been ugly here for the past week and finally a little sunshine.

Through our homeschool connections we locked into a few discounts on plays for the school year at the Seattle Children's Theater. One being Goodnight Moon. I hesitated last summer in buying these tickets because I thought maybe my big kids would think it too babyish. Not so! The play was so well done and heart-warming and it made me laugh loudly several times. It was by far the best introduction to the arts for my little guy, too.

And is there anything more fun than getting a cookie and running around the fountain at the Seattle Center? No need to ask the kids.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Down

Job number two for the spring cleaning is checked off the list. And wow, a junk drawer can be a treasure trove.

The top layer of the drawer had a million miscellaneous coupons and papers. Please tell me everyone's drawers look like this. I mean, is it necessary to still have pool supplies to a house we don't even live in? And really- do I need 4 inches of ribbon? Locks with no key?

Remove all the papers and tada, more junk! Probably even some missing items.

And oh how much better I feel with a pretty organized drawer. I slipped in some scrapbook paper for aesthetics and also to insure no more leaking pens and scuffs. And a new address book with bound pages, what a concept.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Job #1- Done

I can't tell you how good I feel even just getting this small space in better shape. I am thoroughly embarrassed at the before shots of the laundry room, but with a family of five and a holiday, this can happen super quick.

I purged an entire bag full of duvet covers, sheets and blankets that we haven't used in so long that it was time to go. The cabinets are all wiped down, arranged and folded nicely. I also took down our old Pike's Place print we got on our honeymoon (broken frame and all) and replaced it with the pretty calendar a friend gave me. Do you hate clutter as much as me? The counter is clutter-free and that feels just like spring.

Now for the next task...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Checklist

So it's going to be a busy week here. Doctor appointments, co op, baseball practices commence, ballet, a play on Wednesday in the city, continued marathon training and we can't forget school work, right?

But I am feeling a mandatory spring cleaning coming on and so I thought I would put it into words and inspire (hopefully) some more organization in the blogging air. Wasn't it last spring that the mamas got together and shared laundry, closet, and kitchen projects??

After baking up a storm this weekend I can see that my supplies are in desperate need of spring sprucing. My kids drawers hardly close with jammed up ill-fitting clothes, Closets are an eyesore. And my junk drawer might just grab your hand if you reach in. So here's the plan- and if you have other solutions or motivations, please share! (Before and after pics to come).

Monday: Laundry room
Clear off counter top. Find space for all the extra towels, blankets by clearing out cabinets. Old and never used sheets and towels to be given away or thrown away if in bad shape. Pretty up the space to be incentive to keeping organized.

: Junk drawer
Redo address book (my current book was made by my daughter in preschool six years ago and is in a million pieces that jam up the drawer every single time). Come up with a system for junk drawer contents ie pens, pencils, stamps, etc.

Wednesday: Master bedroom closet
Clean out clothes to donate. Although I have done this already this year, the closet it simply too small to contain it all. And really, we don't need it all. Figure out a system for workout/running gear that constantly falls off the shelf. We're going for nice, clean lines here folks.

: Daughter's closet and drawers
Donate clothes that don't fit. Help her de-clutter all of her "treasures". I can't imagine moving again with the collection of stuff at hand.

: Boy's closet and drawers
This is an easier task because we can reuse my middle man's stuff. The in between stages will go into marked bins in the garage. All of the little guys stuff will be donated. Excuse me while I grab a tissue.

Saturday: Kitchen
This will take me the longest. We don't have a great amount of storage space in our kitchen so I'll put everything on the counter and draw up a plan for function and flow. I plan to get all spices organized and ditch the old. The baking stuff- sugars, decorations, cutters, etc need to find a container of some sort. We eat a lot of nuts and seeds here and every time I open the cabinet the bags come tumbling out. Perhaps they need a container, too. This will be a good time to wipe down the crumbs and drips and start fresh.

Sunday: I'll be gone most of the day at a class but this will be garage day. What garage couldn't use an overhaul day? I plan to get my seasonal stuff in order and go through and get rid of stuff we don't use. I absolutely cannot stand riffling through containers and boxes looking for that one item. (Hence my Easter wreath is not up this year). This will be a good job for my sweetie. That way he can kill all the spiders hiding under boxes.

And hopefully by this time next week, I'll be feeling a little lighter and hopefully more "on top" of things. Now go get your list going!

Trying the Triduum

What a whirlwind the past three days has been. Lent builds up for so long and before I know it, it's over. As always, I try to carry it on. Not just to Pentecost Sunday but you know, on. My Lenten resolutions, my prayer life- all of it. And the key word there was try.

Friday we went to stations at our church. It was very crowded and somber. Outside the skies were dark and rain fell periodically. Well-suited weather for such a day. And I'm terrible at fasting. I mean the second I am officially fasting, my stomach growls. I try to be cheerful and carry on business as usual but I usually end up feeling light headed and grumpy. But the key word there was try.

Saturday brought us lots of errand running and an egg dying fiasco to go in the record books. How is it that every single cup of dye can be overturned simultaneously and splatter in all directions? I laughed and I cried for you see, we're renters. Dye is not supposed to cover the floor and walls and counters of a rental property- it's just not. I tried to find the humor in it all as I told everyone to freeze and grabbed the roll of paper towel. Key know.

We ended the day making Resurrection cookies for the second year in a row. And for the second time, they were fun to make but did not do what they were supposed to. (Or perhaps we didn't do what we were supposed to?!) Instead of fluffy, hollow cookies, we got flat sticky pancakes. But we tried.

And finally Easter Sunday. The bunny came early and thankfully no raccoons got to the chocolates on the porch before the kids did. Mass was just beautiful. The egg hunt on the floor of the gymnasium was quick and not too challenging. And to back up and explain that- it rained steadily all day yesterday. Running into church and dodging puddles a woman muttered to me, "You gotta love the Pacific Northwest". So eggs just lay on the floor which makes the hunt last about 6.5 seconds and not a great backdrop for photography. But I did try.

The rest of the day was lazy and cozy. We watched old movies, cooked, played, ate a delicious dinner and as we went to put the little chicks to bed the rain finally stopped.

Easter blessings to you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What it Looks Like

"Come on sweetie, let's go take a picture of that beautiful tree".

"Okay mom, I'll be right there".

(With complimentary dinosaurs, a construction hat and dad's shoes...must we go everywhere with stuff???)

Well, we did see the tree. And fall in dad's shoes. And build an awesome dinosaur haven amongst the mossy rocks. I love spring.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A New Find

While checking out the lineup for this year's Northwest Catholic Homeschool Conference, I found this site- Organic & Thrifty. I could spend hours on here learning new recipes and finding inspiration. Check it out for yourself!

So Needed

We needed the past four days of sun and warmth like nobody's business up here in the Pacific Northwest. Have you ever seen kids bust out an entire day of lessons in just over an hour? Try it sometime. All you have to do is tell them that if they get their rooms picked up and have their lessons done, they can meet friends at the park for lunch. And heck, they can stay all day!

With sun-kissed cheeks, I'm off to run in the rain.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And We're Off

The first family bike event of 2009 and it only took a mere two hours to assemble! Pumping tires, loading, squishing, cramming bikes into the car. Stopping to use a friend's bike trailer. Loading, squishing and cramming the bike trailer into the car. Driving up to the trail and learning how to put the bike trailer together and onto the bike...It's no wonder we ate dinner at 8:30pm! But it was really worth it. It reached an unheard of 73 degrees at my house (gasp!) yesterday. Spring fever is in full bloom.

Notice the posting- that's not what we want to see today.

The bike trailer is so much better than have someone kicking me from the seat behind. And it gives a killer leg workout on the hills.

Stopping for a quick hike through the trees and moss.

This tree looked so cool with the growth on it. If I had a better camera, I'd be in business.
The view from the end of the trail-Snoqualmie Falls off in the distance.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


We've gone owl crazy at our house. The Guardians of Ga'Hoole collection is in full swing. We're reading and listening to the books on tape. And we're plowing through them.

We saw mama owl, whom the kids call Mrs. Swivels, on our trip to Arizona. Here she is now with her owlet. I know, it's too cute.

We're drawing owls for an art contest.

And best yet, we're eating them. Relax- they're edible birds. The idea came from the cupcake book I picked up at Costco with a little of my own style. (That should read that it's not as professional looking). The cake mix and frosting is from the organic food market. The brand is Cherrybrook Kitchen. They make peanut free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free frosting and mix. I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds from Trader Joe's and well as the chocolate Jo Jo's from TJ's. The kids are going to flip out in sugar delight.

I decorated some with tufts of feathers on the ears and the others are more plain for the "less is best" crowd. Happy owling to you and a wonderful weekend, too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Thumbs up for Oprah -‘The Stem Cell Debate Is Over’

I don't normally tune into the big O. It's been years, really. But I just had to share this clip a friend sent to me today. It's really quite fascinating.

‘The Stem Cell Debate Is Over’: Faith & Family Live!#When:15:54:00Z

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

They Got Me

My little schemers actually got me. I HATE spiders. I freak out over spiders-always have, always will. Fortunately my daughter doesn't bat an eye to cupping a spider and setting it free far, far away outside. (I've even gotten her out of bed at night to get one for me, I know, I'm pathetic.)

Sitting at the table working with my middle man today, in comes the spider saver to retrieve her glass to cover the unwanted visitor. "It's a really big one, mom".
"Really? Where???" my voice quivered.
"On my wall" she nonchalantly answered.

So a few minutes later she comes towards me and the patio door. "Careful not to drop..." That very instant she tripped and the glass and unwanted visitor hurled toward me. "AGHHH" I screamed.

Laughter broke out like crazy and I saw the "big spider". Stinkers.