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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

{New Way to Calendar}

Earlier this year I was at Kinko's, and they had a huge bin of stuff marked 75% off. Inside it, I found a calendar that you pull off pages for each month (so there were 12 pages total, one for each month). I had a light bulb moment, bought the calendar, and headed home.

If anyone is like me, space is an issue of what I put on my walls (what I have room for!). I have to have the PERFECT calendar before I can add it to my walls!! Then the issue of constantly taking the calendar down each time I write on it (b/c my ink runs dry when I try to write on the calendar while on the wall!), means that the nail will eventually pull out.

So, I came up w/ an idea to put it on my fridge instead of the wall. I just gathered all of my business card magnets (those annoying dental or insurance card magnets you get in the mail?!), and I hot glued them on the back of my calendar. I put enough on to ensure it doesn't fall down (b/c the magnets are SO thin!).

Well, the year of 2008 was coming to an end, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to find a new calendar to carry over my ingenious idea. I took the girls to Target for a few things, and Madison found my calendar!! Yay! However, she wanted the pink calendar, Katie wanted the blue calendar, but I found a black & white calendar that was SO ME!

So, I have my new calendar all ready for next year! The best news? It was on sale this week at Target and was only $4.49!!

Here it is in the shiny new wrap. The brand name is Blue Sky.

See my original magnets? My dad somehow got about a 100 of those Forever Friends magnets... I'm almost out!! I've been using them on crafts!

Can you tell the middle magnet is from a dentist? (the shape is a floss canister!)

The final outcome!! Just pull off each page at the end of each month!

Monday, December 29, 2008

{Gifts from the girls}

I love homemade gifts. I especially love everything my girls make at school. Two weeks ago both girls were SO excited about their gifts for me (and daddy). As soon as they came home that last Friday from school, both girls ran to their room and wrapped their presents. Madison told me that "MY gift has to be the first thing you open!!", and it was.

I received from Madison a beautiful calendar, each month has artwork that she has done. I took a few pictures of my favorites. I don't want to use her calendar and write on it... I would love to save it. I asked her if it was OK if I didn't use it, and could save it, and she said "yah, that's OK".

Katie wrote a "I am From...." poem. I accidentally read it while cleaning out her school folder last week (she had two copies! and how was I supposed to know?!). I told her a few days after I read it that I loved what she wrote, and it brought tears to my eyes. She went "HUH? MOOMMM!! You read my Christmas present?!!" Oh, I felt so awful! But, it was such a sweet gift, and who knew that my daughter was so AWARE of everything that I do! Really brings to perspective that "someone is always watching you!". Hope you can see what she wrote, if not, let me know and I'll type it up.

{Hey Look Mom!}

the other day Madison went to the Incredible Pizza place and won a ton of prizes. The glasses were part of what she picked out. Katie played with the glasses and came to me saying this:

I'm Ugly Betty!
not quite dear.... almost!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

{{merry christmas!!}}

This is the first year that we are celebrating Christmas by ourselves. It was lonely and a little sad... but we are having a great time creating new memories!!

Last night we had our traditional Mexican food dinner. I made a huge pot of beans, and laid all the stuff out to make whatever we wanted: big daddies (fried flour tortillas like a tostada), burritos, frito w/ beans in a bowl, etc. I made a side of guacamole (love that avocado's are so cheap here in Texas!).

We also had our traditional nut in the pudding game. This game came from England on Mike's family, and the entire clan has played this game since... forever. :) Katie asked us to do this game (which we were going to do anyways). I accidentally bought the pudding you had to cook, so that took a bit (argh!) of time. We finally played, and Katie won the prize!! The prize was the game of Life. We had a great time playing Christmas Eve this game.

This morning we were woken up by our late sleeper (aka Katie). She normally sleeps in until 11 a.m. if I let her, but this morning she woke up E-A-R-L-Y!! So, we got up and went to see what Santa left the girls for Christmas!! Madison had asked for an American Girl Bitty Baby doll, and Katie... well, Katie had an off the wall request for Santa, to which he didn't respond but by saying "ha!". She wanted a million dollars, her own room, a plasma TV for her wall among other frivolous items... so her request was put on the naughty list. :) She had to settle for an Ipod Nano. :) She was thrilled with this gift! and Mom had to figure out how to work it all this morning and do the whole itunes thing. I have a severe headache now. :)

The girls have had a great Christmas. Maddie is in love w/ her new baby, which she is calling "Emily Rose". I just love her expression as she is holding her baby. I caught it at the right time she saw it and picked it up. Truly a child who loves this doll!! I also made a small quilt & pillow for the baby.
Katie is bopping to her ipod (she already misplaced it once this morning, which made me question WHY she even got this gift). We bought her an Ipod docking station that will charge her ipod, and is also an alarm clock, radio player, etc. It works, so I'm thrilled I don't have to make a trip to Target to wait in line to take it back.

To our family & friends: MERRY CHRISTMAS! Wished we were home again to visit w/ everyone. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

{{cough, cough & a bunch of etc}}

Man, I feel like a bulldozer has hit me square in the chest and ran me over! Last Wednesday the girls & I usually hike w/ a bunch of girls after school. It was foggy, and no one showed up but us. We decided to go ahead with the hike, and we had a great time. Maddie is learning about rocks in school, and is now obsessed with rocks. She picked one up and said "well, if Daddy isn't going to let me have a dog, I'm going to have a pet rock". ::snort:: She carried that heavy rock the entire hike, until I made her put it down. Katie was totally into playing Truth or Dare, so it was fun to learn some interesting facts about her when she chose Truth!! (i.e. she lied to me once about putting makeup on Maddie at a sleepover years ago... she was afraid she would even get in trouble now! and Yes! she has kissed a boy! The boy was Daddy! I reminded her then that she's kissed a bunch of boys then (Grandpas, uncles, etc) ::duh:: Do I have a rebellious kid or what?)

Halfway up the hill, Katie & I heard this weird noise. It stopped us in our tracks completely. Freaked us out, is what it did. Katie started whimpering "Mu-OH-MMM I told you we shouldn't go on this hike!" Ummm... actually, she was the one who told us to still go. It was foggy out, we couldn't see very far, and this was the same park where there are warning signs of bobcats, mountain lions, snakes, etc posted everywhere. I just stood there moving in a circle, just waiting to see if a mountain lion was doing this weird purring noise, and just about to pounce on us. {{Course, in my dreams, Edward & the Cullen clan is right around the corner waiting to eat said mountain lion... hee hee.}} Just then, Maddie started giggling. We finally caught on. The little stinker was the one making the terrifying noise!

Anyways, we finished our hike..... and headed home. Later that night my sore throat started in. The next day I could add a cough to my list of illness. Blech.... I hate being sick.
Mike made me stay home from church yesterday to try to recuperate. This morning the drippy nose started. UGH!
Friday night we had our Christmas party at church. It was simple & fast. We had a delicious dinner followed by a nativity put on by the kids. My girls were thrown in (I don't think they were originally casted). Katie was a shepherd & Maddie was an angel. The angels look so thrilled, don't they?

I bought the movie "Mamma Mia" last week, as an early Christmas present to myself. Target had a special if you bought the movie you get the CD for a little more, so I did that. The girls started watching it a few days later (yeah, there are some questionable parts in the movie, but they didn't notice) and now all they sing are the songs. I think they particularly love "Honey, Honey" and "Dancing Queen". I had such a blast seeing this movie with my long time best friend Jennifer, right before we moved. We giggled all night long watching this movie..... truly a movie all girlfriends should see together!

I did get to read a good book over the weekend though (actually, I read it in one day, so an easy read). It's called "The Last Summer (of You & Me)" by Ann Brashares. She's the author who wrote "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". This book was her first adult book, and it was pretty good! Make sure you read it when you want to cry, b/c it's sad.

Friday, December 19, 2008

{New 'do}

Well, I did it..... I got my hair cut off!!

However, my pics are not exactly cute.... it's almost 80 degrees here, and ultra ULTRA humid, so it fell the minute I went outside. Plus, my makeup is all splotchy b/c it's so stinking hot. And my 7 year old tried to take some pics, which ended up showing some parts of me that really shouldn't be shown (aka bra, etc). So, I took it over and did it myself. I hate the picture, but you get an idea that my hair is literally cut off. Short. But I love it! I will probably never be able to wear this style or even do this style again, b/c who can copy what their stylist does the first time? Definitely not me!

So, as soon as I get a cuter picture, this one will have

to satisfy your quench. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

{Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub}

I had been racking my brain for something as a teacher gift. Last year I put together a popcorn gift set w/ theatre candy & popcorn with a Blockbuster gift card. I didn't want to do it this year. Instead, I used my special canning jars that I found on clearance at Target earlier and made homemade brown sugar scrubs.

Here is the recipe I found online.

Brown Sugar Scrub

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c sweet almond oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and place in a jar!

Now, I found out that I could've used olive oil instead, or even canola oil, but the almond oil has many benefits for your skin. It was also pretty pricey as well. I looked in the cooking aisle, and found it on sale for $7.58 for 8 1/2 oz. Then I went to the health food part of our store (it's a huge awesome store) and found almond oil MUCH cheaper in that section. I bought a 16 oz bottle for $9.29, and it's also food grade too, so you can cook with it as well. When you add the Vitamin E oil, it softens the skin, and the vanilla just adds a pleasant smell to it (unless it makes you want to eat your arm!).

To give you an idea of how much it makes, I made two batches of this, and it made 3 of the small canning jars full. I'll complete with cute tags on the side w/ colorful ribbon later today! Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

{My School Project}

I probably should say it's Maddie's school project, since she was supposed to do it.... but it was WAY too hard for her to do! So, I did it. Yes, I did my daughter's homework, and I'll be the first to admit I did it.

Last Monday Maddie comes home w/ a homework assignment to take a paper doll, cut it out (she did that part, so she DID do something), and dress it up like someone from another country, in their style of dress using cloth, felt, construction paper, markers, etc.

We (and I mean ME) decided on a Scottish Dancer, so we did the country Scotland. That's the only country I know anything about b/c the girls dance Scottish dance. So, I went about making a kilt out of Katie's old fabric, and contructed ghillies, a vest (complete w/ glitter for the outline of it) & a shirt out of construction paper, using ribbons as the laces of the ghillies, and yarn for the hair. Course I was a little ticked off that "someone" (aka Madison) used up all the pink construction paper, so it didn't exactly match her kilt. We (and I mean ME) settled for a red vest. There is supposed to be a silver trim on the edge of the vest, and I had silver glitter.... so that was fun! Oh, Madison did help with that, so that's TWO things she did on this project! I did make sure her socks were folded down properly in true Scottish dance sense, but you can't tell here. The hair was too out of place for me, and I couldn't figure out how to make it into a bun (proper Scottish traditions, y'know?), so the perfectionist in me did two ponytails complete with ribbon. OVERDONE you say? Yep... but my kid's gonna have the best dressed paper doll there. I hope.. unless another mom or dad like me did their kids' homework assignment too.
(PSST.... that's what a Scottish dancer is supposed to look like (look up), so it's pretty accurate, huh?) :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

{The True Face of Sisterhood}

Last Sunday I set out to capture my girls' picture in front of the Christmas tree for our cards... in hopes of finding their inner beauty shown out. This is what I get....

OK ... the smile was a little fake & cheesy for both girls.

Katie's giving Maddie a weird look at this point b/c Maddie's throwing these weird smiles

Katie's finally had enough... THIS is what my life is like!

Ah... finally. A perfect picture! (after 100 times!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

{Please don't think...}

Just wanted to post a quick word to my blogger friends who may think I don't love them anymore b/c I stopped commenting on their blogs. :)

..... for my friends who have music on their blog: for some reason I cannot make it to your blog b/c on both my computers, the page freezes up, so unless I can get on my laptop to shut your music off (which doesn't always work too), I have a hard time making it to your blog. Many apologies... don't know why it's doing that. I had to change my music to where people start it themselves if they wanted to hear the music otherwise I couldn't get on my own blog!

AND... a quick shout out to ANDREA..... I can't comment on your blog!! Not sure why.... I did realize it's set up differently, somehow....

And for the rest of my friends.... I will be coming back w/ a great recipe for homemade french bread and a yummy soup!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

{Kufi Hats}

Madison has been loving hats lately. This child of mine has her own style and way of doing things. She loves wearing boots with her capris, scarfs wrapped around her neck in her pj's (you get the idea of her fashion sense? there is none!). Well, since she's currently onto hats, I found Kufi hats (or beanie hats)! I showed them to Madison online, complete with a flower (which she hardly wears anymore nor ribbons... much to my sadness). She fell in love with them!

So I found a screaming good deal on ebay, bought 4 of them in brown, black, white and pink. They arrived on Monday. Tuesday Maddie wore one of them, and when I went to pick her up at school, I received so many compliments on her behalf .... "ooh, she's so fashionable!" and "ooh... isn't she a doll?"

I also managed to put up one of my favorite finds at my "after Christmas" shopping last year. I love this tree... and adding the ornaments really makes it stand out! Sadly, I couldn't find any huge ornaments to add to it that I would've liked (like red!), so I used what I had at home. I might be able to find some after Christmas this year!
I managed to take pictures of the girls for our cards on Sunday... I'll blog about that another day. The pictures themselves are hilarious, complete w/ Katie acting as a typical big sister w/ her finger pointing at Maddie sternly and weird, funny faces. I did order my cards, but I didn't order enough... oops! I thought 30 cards would be plenty, but I didn't realize I have more than 30 friends & family members! :(

Monday, December 8, 2008

{There's this boy....}

There's this boy. He's cute. Very cute....according to Katie & Darcy (Katie's friend). And he has shaggy hair. The "fall in your face and hangs past your ears" shaggy.

Matter of fact, almost ALL boys have shaggy hair.

Whatever happened to the nice, clean haircuts for boys?

Thanks to Hollywood, and thanks to Zac Efron & the Jonas Brothers... mothers like me are SO thrilled that boys want to look shaggy like these cutie-patooties. But please remember Hollywood.... most people can't pull off this look, nor do they have stylists everyday to do their hair so it looks "oh so cool".... so it looks, well, just shaggy!

I'm counting the days until the clean cuts come back into style. I hope it's soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

{Service Project}

Yesterday the girl's Primary group (children's Sunday classes at church) had an opportunity to do a service project at a nursing home. I was excited about this opportunity, b/c rarely do children have opportunities to do service to others. I have always enjoyed going to nursing homes because the people there are so lonely, they are just so starved for attention & love.
We started reading a Christmas story each night in the month of December. So far each of the stories have a moral that ends with "it's more blessed to give than to receive", so this was a great opportunity to teach the girls.... to give of their talents to others. I think they finally got it. :)

Prior to going to the nursing home, all the kids made jingle bell bracelts, as well as hats w/ "reindeer" hands, and some ornaments to hand out to the elderly. My girls were asked to dance their Highland Dance, so they dressed up for it (much to their excitement) and did the Highland Fling. They did a great job. I had to talk to them prior to coming about the importance of service to others, so they had a much better attitude about it during their time there than they did before we left home. ::gigging::

Friday night we put up our Christmas tree. When we moved to Texas, we didn't have room in our truck to haul the tree. It was getting old anyways, and the base was made of plastic and was broken, so it kept falling over (who makes plastic stands to hold HUGE HEAVY trees up? No one but trusty Walmart!). So, I went on a hunt for a cheap, but practical and cute tree. I found one at Sam's for $125, and it was a slim 7.5 foot tree that was already prelit, which is a major bonus in my mind! I'm always stringing the lights, and I hate it! Anyways, got the tree, and the girls went to town on it Friday night, decorating it. A few ornaments got broken... thanks to the tile we have throughout the house. I had forgotten I had bought some great ornaments after the Christmas season at Target, so we added some color of red, dark green, lime green to our tree! I love it!

It's so hard to get a decent picture of the tree.... nothing can ever capture what it really looks like in your eyes, on camera.

I was just playing around w/ my camera. For some reason, it's acting up on me, so I was playing w/ the color accent, and took a picture from the bottom up. Kind of cool looking....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

{Amazing Caverns}

Yesterday I joined Katie's class for a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns. I love caves.... ever since Mike & I took Katie to the Branson caves, I was intrigued. This cave, however, BLEW ME AWAY! Literally! When we first got there, we see this.... it is a rock this is literally a bridge. You see the top first, then you'll go down, and you'll see the bridge while almost standing under it.

Then, after we hear the warnings of the Cave Creed: Look ~ don't touch anything. Kill nothing inside ~ only time .... and I can't remember the final creed. Basically, hold on to the bars at all time b/c it's a LONG way to the bottom baby! Oh, and it's wet, so don't drag your feet, and expect drops of water to fall on your head at any given moment (which did happen). This cave took us 18 stories down! Whoo!

Here is the group going down into the cave...

This is the little tiny hole where the cave was found.... story was that the family who owned this land knew about the rock bridge, but had no clue about anything else. In the '60's, a few scientists asked to explore around this bridge to see if there was anything worth exploring, and they found it was. Several HUGE rooms full of the stuff as saw. So, the owners decided to make big time moolah and open it up to the public.

This is going all the way down... WAY down. I had to really add some lighting in my edit, so I'm sure my pictures look like crap, but I wanted everyone to get the idea of what it looked like inside. Just breathtaking!

For this final picture... the guide kept telling us we'll see Snoopy. Me and another parent couldn't figure out how they got Snoopy out of this, but finally some kid moved, and we saw the nose. THEN it looked like Snoopy! Can you see Snoopy? (hint... nose is on the left, ears on the right)

Monday, December 1, 2008

{Check it out!}

Hey girls (and guys? do I even have guys who read this?) ....

My friend Hannah has an amazing blog that is giving away 12 days of goodies, as well as 12 days of free stuff! :) Check out her link HERE.... today she is giving away a Modmum (those fancy slings to carry your babe in!). You have a few days to enter for each item! Check in every day!!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

{Sea World with Grandma}

Mike's mom came with the girls & I to Sea World on Tuesday. We enjoyed a wonderful warm day of around 70's of weather. Sadly, there were only about 4 shows that we could enjoy, so we hit the Shamu show first... it truly is one of our favorites!!

Towards the end of the day on our way out of the park, we discovered the dolphin cove!! What a great place to be! I think we could've easily stayed there for hours. I got some great pictures of the dolphins up close, and Maddie went to town trying to pet them and gain their attention. She had a wonderful time... this from a little girl who is scared to death of all things furry (like Barney, clowns, Arthur, etc).

Maddie & Katie both wanted to go on water rides, but it was SO cold for those type of rides! I finally agreed to the log ride, and we left Grandma on a bench and walked to the log ride. Got a tad bit wet there, and went to enjoy a 4D movie of the Polar Express shortened to 18 minutes worth of a movie, complete w/ snowflakes falling down during the movie. Very impressive! I am so easily entertained!

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