Fav Foto Friday, Fun Run

Today is Jack annual school fundraiser, the Fun Run.  He did really well and although he did not make his personal goal, we think he did the best job he could do (and that is really all we ask for).  We are very proud of him (and hope he is proud of himself too)!  It was really a lot of fun to watch Jack and his friends run their hearts out.

Unfortunately, I only had one cheerleader with me this year (last year I had 3), but she certainly was fun to watch.  Now to warm the two of us up again.

Linking up with Nora - see more at Fav Foto Friday!

The King of Paper Plates

I saw this awesome board while browsing Pinterest and immediately thought of Matt.  I tease him all the time about the millions of things he has the kids do with paper plates.  I feel like he has an idea up his sleeve anytime the kids ask to do a project with him.

Last month, he and the kids constructed these...

Paper Plate Crowns!

Couldn't be simpler right?  And look at that smile.  He seriously can make their day with a paper plate & the craft supplies.  Totally impressive! 

I really wish I had documented more of their creations on the blog, but apparently I'm no stranger to paper plate crafting either.
Valentine's Day Shakers
Rainbow Decorations
Sun Dials
Balloon Tennis

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 2

I took the photo above thinking that it was as far as I was going to get on my project before posting this week.  But you know how it goes, and once I took this pic, I thought I might as well finish the first half and maybe even get started on the second...

I really didn't like how it was turning out though, so I tore out what I had done on the second one and started with a new idea.  According to the pattern, you work in rows and then slip stitch together when completed (right side), but I made the second one (left side) by working in the round while still working from different sides for each row so the look would be the same.

They look very different on the seam side, but you can't tell the difference on the other side.

These legwamers are part of Olivia's Halloween costume, so I needed her to try on my (not quite finished) new version.  It was just before bedtime, so the lighting is not great, but the legwarmer fit perfectly (and I had to beg her to take it back off).  After bedtime, I added the top ribbing (in green this time), wove all the ends in and whip-stitched both ribbed borders.  I love how it came out!  Now I just need to make a match for Liv's other leg before trick-or-treat.

Check out more WIPs at Tami's Amis and Ambassador Crochet.

Recipe Book Project

{photo courtesy of Flamingo Toes}

Recently I realized that I desperately need to get my recipes organized into a binder of some sort.  It's an overwhelming project that has been in the back of my mind since two Christmases ago when my friend received her recipes all organized and pretty as a gift from her sister.  Super cool, right?  But lately, I've realized that my system of 5000 sizes of mismatched papers/recipes in a big stack that I need to sort through each time I'm looking for a particular recipe (or even crazier, attempting to menu plan) just ain't working out!

{photo courtesy of rbt bags}

Obviously it will need to be easy to clean like these oilcloth covered binders or a plastic-covered binder with a cute patterned cover insert.

{photo courtesy of Prudent Baby}

It's the organization inside of the binder that scares me though...and I am the queen of organizing things darn it!  I love the look of these tabs (I mean who doesn't love Dymotape labels?) and creating categories and picking the recipes to go behind each tab...yeah, that actually sounds kind of fun to me.

{photo courtesy of Prudent Baby}

Here's what scares me...typing in every single recipe.  It scares me as much as it scares Matt to have to do a series of basic math problems without being able to create some macro to do it for him.  We're talking tedious and mind-numbing stuff.  At the very least, I need a basic template so that I don't have to worry about the formatting and can just enter the recipes quickly.  Can anyone recommend something I could use?  Please!  Because without it, I may never finish (or start) this little project.

Birthday at the ballpark

Jack turned 8 yesterday (although I teased him all day that he wouldn't actually be 8 until he woke up this morning given his 10:30pm arrival time), so we celebrated on Saturday with a family party and visiting a lot of great sites through Doors Open Milwaukee (loved this event).  Jack's favorite part of the day though (well, besides his first visit to the Safe House) was touring Miller Park.  

It was our second tour and just as fun as the first time.  The last time we went Jack was 3 1/2 so for him this was a brand-new experience, but Matt & I still learned a lot about the park despite it being a repeat.  Speaking of repeats, I remembered that we had taken a pic at the 400 sign in the outfield last time we visited, so I had Jack pose for the same pic.  I knew it would be a little different because of the new scoreboard, but I didn't expect this result.

Not just a little different, right?  So instead, I'll have to show you this photo of the three of us from the last tour to prove how much Jack has aged (please don't take note of how much Matt & I have aged, okay?).

One last great thing happened to Jack this weekend...he got this new toy (and he hasn't put it down for very long since).

Happy 8th Birthday Jack! 

Fav Foto Friday, Upside Down

I might have has to beg to get this photo of EJ to fit this week's theme.  We have been busy peeps around here so other than our little world being a little upside down, not too much else is.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!  We've got a birthday to celebrate, so I know that our weekend will involve yummy food and cake...yay!

Linking up with Fav Foto Friday - check out more upside down fun there!

Kids in the Kitchen

{So sorry for the awful phone pics of my tv on this post, but I needed visuals!}

This is a story of being in the right place at the right time.  Towards the end of the summer we went to an event at our public library.  You were supposed to register for it, I didn't know that so didn't...thankfully they fit us in.  It was about healthy eating, and the kids loved the games and demos and making their own healthy treats.

At the end of the event we went up to thank the presenter and Jack mentioned that he liked watching her on tv.  She asked if he liked to cook and of course he answered yes!  Turns out that she was about to start taping the newest Kids in the Kitchen segments for our local public broadcasting station and a kid Jack's age had backed out.

I told you...right place at the right time...and of course, he was all in!  So much so, that he got home and quickly emailed everyone in his address book "I'm going to be on TV!"  And then his awesome Dad drove him home in the middle of this trip to do the taping.  There was no way he was going to miss this cool opportunity!

{I promise that he had a blast despite his serious look here.}

Starting next week you can catch Jack's segment between the kids programs on the weekdays.  The recipe (and a still photo of Jack in the studio) can be found here.  We are thankful to Darlyne for including Jack and I can't wait to see his segment in between our favorite afternoon shows!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 1

I've been doing a lot of crocheting the last few weeks and have quite a few projects on my to do list, so I thought I would start linking up with WIP Wednesdays to keep myself on track.  I think it's also fun on weeks like this one where the in-progress stage is kind of odd.

Any ideas what this will be?

I'll give you a hint (well really the answer)...it will look a lot like this in a different colorway.  I will definitely post when it's all finished and looks like something.

Check out more WIPs at Tami's Amis and Ambassador Crochet.

Good Reads

Are you on GoodReads?  I saw it described as a social network for book lovers/readers and thought that was kind of perfect.  I'm kind of loving it as a way to not only keep track of what I'm reading but what I should be reading next (based on my friends reviews & to read lists).  Love it!

If you are on, please add me as a friend (my profile is here) so I can check out what you're reading too!

Reading List Summary, July

Family List
Firehouse (Mark Teague)
Miss Nelson Has A Field Day (James Marshall)
"I'm not sleepy!" (Jonathan Allen)
Henry in Love (Peter McCarty)
Miles To Go (Jamie Harper)
Mad at Mommy (Komako Sakai)
My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil (Hanoch Piven)
I don't want a cool cat! (Emma Dodd)
Library Mouse: A World to Explore (Daniel Kirk)
Arthur's TV Trouble (Marc Brown)
I Love The Alphabet (Dar Hosta)
Starfish (Lloyd Douglas)
Your Senses (Helen Frost)
The Wonder of a Waterfall (Allan Fowler)
Colorado (Cynthia Walker)
South America (Allan Fowler)
For The Love of Soccer (Pele)
Ready, Steady, Grow! (Sophie Piper)
Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers (Jerry Pallotta)
The Hospital (Daphne Butler)
Going to the Hospital (Fred Rogers)
Thoughts and Feelings: Afraid (Susan Riley)
When I Feel Scared (Cornelia Maude Spelman)
One Little Ladybug (Tami Salzano)
Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes (Eric Litwin)
Interrupting Chicken (David Ezra Stein)
Captain Duck (Jez Alborough)
Job Site (Nathan Clement)
The Dot (Peter H. Reynolds)
Showdown at the Food Pyramid (Rex Baron)
So Close (Natalia Colombo)
Rain Brings Frogs: A Little Book of Hope (Maryann Cocca-Leffler)
The Wonder of a Waterfall (Allan Fowler)
Meeow and the Pots and Pans (Sebastien Braun)
Are You Awake? (Sophie Blackall)
A Penguin's World (Caroline Arnold)
The Pink Refrigerator (Tim Egan)
Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex (Lisa McClatchy)

Jack's List
Clementine, Friend of the Week (Sara Pennypacker)
Shoeless Joe & Me (Dan Gutman)
Amazing Magic Tricks: Master Level (Norm Barnhart)
Green Bay Packers (Aaron Frisch)
Crystals (Richard Spilsbury)
State Flags (Sue R. Brandt)
The Boxcar Children #104: The Game Store Mystery (Gertrude Chandler Warner)

Mom's List
Sport (Mick Cochrane) 
All That Is Bitter & Sweet (Ashley Judd) 
The Year We Left Home (Jean Thompson) 
Bossypants (Tina Fey) 
A Long Walk To Water (Linda Sue Park) 

In the Blink of An Eye...

This weekend we celebrated the birthdays of 3 very special boys!  Nick (who is now 8), Jack (who will be 8 much to soon, or next weekend if you aren't dramatic like his mom), and Nathan (who will turn 14 early next month) are all growing up much too fast.  These boys were the first three grandchildren and Nathan was all alone for 6 years (he was 8 months old at our wedding & is our Godchild)...it's really hard to watch him growing up.  Then add in my own first baby and his cousin getting older...it's not pretty!

If you don't mind, I'm going to go back and freeze time (can you tell which baby is which?)...

I guess they are pretty cute grown-up too.  Happy Birthday boys!

Fav Foto Friday, Fast

I took my camera to soccer practice this week to capture my oldest running his heart out on the field.  Instead, I found that the littlest one fit the theme just a little more this week.  Between her bravery to try the tallest slide (and the rock climbing wall and whatever else she sees someone else try) and her constant running (little legs pumping, arms flailing) to catch up to her siblings, this girl is the epitome of FAST (at least in her own mind)!

Linking up with Nora - see more fast action at Fav Foto Friday!

What Crazy Project Is Going on Here?

That is what Matt said when he arrived home last night...and by then it was just cabinet doors open & things rearranged (school night for Matt).  Although, I think in the last 20 years, he has gotten very used to my crazy projects.  You see last week, I was cleaning the house and I got done and realized how gross our house had gotten this summer.  So this week, I set to "deep cleaning" the dining room (I'm hoping to do a room per week).  Lots of unpacking, cleaning, putting stuff in the donation pile, and reorganizing has been done this week.  Yesterday I spent the entire day (when not carting kids about) working on the glass cabinets (3 small like in the pic above & 2 tall on the opposite wall).  This part of the project added a degree of difficulty...washing dishes!  Ugh, how I hate that job!  It was an exhausting day and there was a point where I wondered why I am such a nut, but I am thrilled with the reorganization and I love knowing that the cabinets, as well as the things inside them, are all clean.

What I do not love is knowing what I am NOT doing while I'm cleaning.  For one, I need to get a family get-together planned for this weekend (cleaning the entire house, menu planning, errands, etc. are on the agenda for today).  Also, I have lost any "me time" I have in a day.  This week has also marked my return to exercising (way overdue), so any free time I have has been spent on a treadmill or yoga mat.  Good for me, but not as fun as adding to this work-in-progress (although I did spend some time on it while watching Empire with Jack this weekend)...

And I would really love to keep watching my newest show obsession or read one of my many library books.  Maybe I can smuggle a book to the soccer fields this weekend? 

I guess the best part of the Fall cleaning obsession is that by the time it gets unbearable to be outside, your house is perfect to snuggle up in and just hang out doing your favorite things.  If only I have enough time to finish that blanket!

Pete the Cat

We read first read Pete the Cat in July.  It was an instant hit...one of those books that the kids fight with you about when it's time to return it to the library.  That being said, I had no idea that Pete was a phenomena outside our house too...he's everywhere!

Recently Julie at Happy Home Fairy posted this video and we have watched it too many times to count (even more than their previous favorite).  He walks along singing his song all the time in this office.

Be sure to check out Julie's post if you are a fan of Pete or if you liked the video.  She has lots of great Pete-themed activities and games you might enjoy.

I just saw that there is a new book about Pete going to school.  I can't wait to check it out, because if I have to read a book about cats (and trust me, we read them all), it may as well be about a positive cat like Pete.

Ten on Tuesday, 10 Questions

Some practical, some not...

1) What options do I have for our old crib?  It's gorgeous and was high-end 9 years ago when we purchased it.  However, it is also a now banned drop-side crib.  ???

2) Anyone have a great Halloween costume idea for an 8-year-old boy?  He has been a chef, a baseball player, and an astronaut in recent years.  This year we've got no ideas.  Ugh!

3) How do you organize hair bands/clips?  We don't use anything fancy, but the Ziploc bag method is not working so well anymore.  I've seen big glass jars full of everything (which look really cool), but I need to be able to fish through them easily for type/color.

4) Is it a sign that I watch too much reality tv that I am considering Caesarstone countertops based solely on their partnership with Jeff Lewis?

5) Do you have any recommendations for apps for the ipad for phonics or sight words (pre-K level)?  We have been using this site on the computer, but I'd love to find a couple apps so that the girls feel more like they are playing a game.

6) How about math apps?  I'm looking for an older level on this one.  We've been using this site (especially the multiplication trainer), but again I'd love an ipad app so Jack could work on his own.

*We highly recommend My Spelling Test! Jack has been using it to study his spelling words each week and it is a super easy way for him to test himself each day.  Best of all, it's free!

7) Who is excited for the Missoni launch at Target today?  There are so many cool things.  I hope you've saved your pennies.  Just don't buy these flats I've been drooling over for the past month, okay?

8) Why didn't anyone tell me how awesome The West Wing is/was?  I mean I guess I knew and that's why I avoided it (to avoid being hooked) until now, but I've never heard anyone go on about it or anything.  I borrowed disc 1 from the library...I watched the pilot...10 minutes in I was hooked.

9) Have you ever heard of a washer putting stains ON your clothing?  If so, how did you fix the issue?  We recently bought a new-to-us, but still pretty new, washer (top-load, side agitators/no center blades, detergent & softener are added by the machine during the cycle).  Now every time I use it, at least 3 pieces of clothing are ruined with yellowish/light brownish stains.  I thought it might be sunscreen on the clothing, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

10) What are they putting in the Rolo McFlurry that has me so addicted to them?  My first one was disappointing.  I expected Blizzard mixing/consistency and they are really more of a sundae.  Two weeks later,  I had to try another one.  Now I have a problem!