It feels like Spring!

Nice weather is finally here and we took advantage of that big time with weekend!  Three soccer games, biking & walking outside, sidewalk chalk, grilling dinner, attempting to reseed our lawn and more!  It was awesome!

Another awesome thing?  This year's inappropriately-themed summer jam that the kids and I love!  (Why do we gravitate towards these tunes? Last time it was Pumped Up Kicks.)  It will get stuck in your head for days, but you won't mind because it's summery and fun.

"Special" Teacher Gifts

Does your school do Teacher Appreciation Week?  My son's school goes all out!  The first year we were there I was shocked at how much they do in one week for our school staff, but now it just seems like what we do every year in May.  My daughter's school is not yet as into the week, but we're starting to amp things up a bit this year for the main classroom teachers.

We have some other teachers in the school though, like art, music, gym...the "specials" teachers, and I wanted to make sure they didn't get lost in the shuffle this year (we are a very new school), so I started putting together these little buckets for them.  Originally, I had just the highlighter, post-its and gum, and had planned to use the following note/saying.

To a special teacher:
I'm so thankful you popped up in our school.. You light up our days and make class time sweet.

Of course I found more great things to add, including the pencil shown here and these adorable lemon slice soaps (and I'm sure I'll find more).  So now I'm not sure if I'll stick with the cutesy saying or just stay more simple... You light up our class!  might be an option.

What do you do for Teacher Appreciation Week?  I'm in the thick of planning for all our schools and am really excited to show our teachers how much they mean to us!

Work-In-Progress Wednesday 34

Yep, I'm working in neon!  I found a great pattern for a skirt for EJ about a year ago and really wanted to make it, but just added it to Ravelry and moved on.  Then one of her friends wore the same skirt to school.  Extra incentive to start, but I still didn't.  Both versions were in pastels...maybe that was my trouble?  The new neons from Lion Brand Yarn have been catching my eye and I decided, why not?  Trouble is that I need to adjust the pattern a bit.  Which means I a) have to be brave and b) have to have EJ around while I'm working.  Neither has been happening lately, so progress is slow!

So, when I have had a second or two, I've been working on his flower pillow.  Or as Julie likes to call artichoke.  I really like it...I don't really like working on it.  Remember this poncho I made?  I didn't like not having moveable arms, so that yarn is now this pillow...recycle!

Recent Days

I mentioned in my last post that it has been a bit busy for this family the last few weeks and it doesn't seem like it will be slowing down soon either.  But we are still squeezing in fun (and a little downtime) wherever we can (excluding this weekend when we randomly decided to take on a painting project).  It's definitely been's a peek at some highlights.

Brewers Cookies

Sometimes your schedule for the week is crazy, the weather is rainy, and all you want to do is nap.  But then your kid asks if you can make a treat for his class for his Big Cheese week (kind of a student of the week thing) and somehow you make something you know he'll be excited to share with his friends.

I've posted about these Rainbow Cookies before and once made them Tiger Cookies for EJ's birthday.  This time we went with retro Brewers colors (our favorite baseball team) and, while they were a pain to dye (my hands are still Smurf blue), they came out really cute.  I'm giving myself bonus points for having the dessert napkins hidden away in the basement.

Strawberry Shortcake

Someone turned 4 this week and her gifts from us were a Hello Kitty baseball glove and this Strawberry Shortcake costume.  I am happy to report that both gifts were big hits and that she knew right away that this was a costume (probably due to EJ's Isabella costume).  I based the outfit off the older style of Strawberry Shortcake because I think her outfit is easier to play in & less of a tween look. Basically just more appropriate for Livie's age.

The t-shirt and shoes are from Crazy 8, the sweater is from Old Navy, and the jeans & socks are from Liv's closet.  I made the hat (pattern from Evie & Bell) and used oval safety eyes for the seeds (inside ends sanded by Matt so they aren't pokey).

I love how the hat and the costume came out.  The whole thing is very Olivia and I know she'll get tons of use out of everything.  Right now, both girls are sure they want to wear their costumes for Halloween...I really hope they feel that way in 6 months!

My Kind of Mom Necklace

{photo courtesy of J4J Charms}

I'm wearing necklaces again and am wishing for more options.  Specifically, I'd like to update my Mom necklace that I wear almost every day.  I my current necklace, but I've had it since EJ came home and I think something lighter and less jingly and

I love the necklace shown above from J4J Charms.  You send in a scan of your child's name written by them and they create the charms.  I would love this with the charms in 3 different shades of the same color (blues would be gorgeous).  I think the handwriting aspect would be really fun too!

{photo courtesy of burnish}

I know I just said I wanted to avoid jingly necklaces, but I love this simple style.  Tiny initials for each kid and I really like the gold charms (and I'm not usually a gold girl either).  I think it would be beautiful on a short gold chain.

{photo courtesy of bel kai designs}

I've mentioned this gorgeous necklace for adoptive mommas before, but hadn't seen the Guatemala version.  I really love this necklace, but I wouldn't wear as a mom necklace.  I would love one that says...a piece of my heart.

{photo courtesy of Modern Chromatic}

You're probably wondering how this ampersand necklace made it into my mom necklace round-up.  It's actually my favorite.  I love how simple it is and the beauty of the curves, and I love that it isn't a traditional mom necklace, but says everything about what family is & you & you & you...

Those are my favorites (kind of a mini wish list), but I'm wondering if you've seen any fabulous necklaces lately.  What necklace (or other goodies) are you wishing for this Mother's Day?

Work-In-Progress Wednesday 33

I'm sick and lacking focus this week, so I'm kind of all over the map on crochet projects.  Haven't been working much on the new pillow (green), because it requires me to keep track of too many counts in my head.  Not happening with this head cold.  Started a baby one square done, liked it, put it down.  Again, too much thinking to start a new one and attach it to this one (pattern attaches squares as you go).  So, then I started a new summer hat for EJ.  During Spring break, the girls picked new colors for a few new hats.  Same pattern and size, just more options.  For as much as they've worn the original two, I think it's worth making them some spares (especially Livie, her pink hat is especially faded from chlorine & sun).  Didn't get too far...guess we'll see what the week brings.

Great Strides 2013

Great Strides is here and we are once again thrilled to be leading the Ella's Elite team in our city.  The walk is on May 19th and we would love it if you could donate or walk with us that day!

Ella is my friend Lindsay's daughter.  I just realized I have known Lindsay for almost 20 years and though we now live on opposite sides of the country, we share a common thread in our 9-year-old kiddos.  Lindsay is an amazing momma and is a champion for her daughter, Ella.  They fight Cystic Fibrosis together each day, so that Ella can go on being an amazing kid!

Ella has swallowed over 90,000 pills in her short nine years of life... and spent over 6,000 hours doing breathing treatments... that works out to over 250 DAYS of her life, so far, she's had to give up in this fight.

I don't know about you, but I think that is too much time!  Enough is enough...but funding is needed for a cure (and new treatments) to be found.

Please click here...learn more about CF, watch an awesome new video Lindsay made about Ella, sign up to walk, and if you can...please give generously!!!

Spring Breaking It

I'll begin and end with frozen treats (beginning with Yo Mama thanks to Grandma's Easter $) and the pics of the week will be out of order, but hopefully will give a glimpse into what we've been up to this week.  We also went to the doctor, took Jack to Grandma's for a few days, napped/rested (so mom could keep up with therapy & showering), tried on summer clothes, shopping for new summer clothes and more, but here are some highlights.

Public Museum

Discovery World & baseball exhibition

Work morning

Origami at the library

Brewers game

Zoo with some awesome cousins

Reading time

Outside time and new sidewalk chalk

Celebratory dinner with the girls at Il Mito

Clock Shadow Creamery with Grandma & Jack

I can't believe the week is almost over...this break went much too quickly!

Work-In-Progress Wednesday 32

My friend Karri made me this gorgeous "love" pillow for my birthday and got me thinking that the pillows in the living room could use a little sprucing up (they've been the same for the past few years & are abused by my family).  So, I decided to mix a little crochet in with the fabrics and got to searching for patterns.  I fell in love with the look of this pillow that The Green Dragonfly made using this square pattern from Millie Makes and decided to make as close to the same pillow as I could manage.  I made a color switch but other than that think I was able to mimic the rest pretty well (the back is all grey dc rows).  I love how it looks with Karri's pillow on our grey couch too.

I thought I'd do one more pillow, but wanted to do something completely different.  So I'm going round and bright green and flowery.  This is the start of the Blooming Flower Cushion from Attic 24, but I'm doing it in a single color.  I thought it would be fun to have a pop of green in amongst the white, grey, blur, and orange.

We are getting some new photo art for the walls soon too, so I'm getting really excited about the new look of our living room.  Now if only I was allowed to paint our old, dingy walls...

Happy Easter!

The bunny went a bit crazy this year (he tends to bring more stuff than candy).  The big hits were sidewalk chalk, knee socks, mouthwash (I know, weird, right?), and fun t-shirts.  But this year the bunny made them work for their baskets with a trail of clues for each of them.

They started at the bunny trap they set for him (carrots at the back of a plate of brown sugar so there is no way for him to go but through the sugar) and found the starter set of clues.  EJ was also really excited because the bunny used her new, fancy-edged scissors to cut the clues (well, half-excited, half-annoyed).  They had about 5 clues each which ended at their baskets and they were so good about helping the other kids with their clues and then everyone went through their baskets together.

Then we headed over to my Mom's house for an awesome Easter brunch with the family.  I both love and hate how bug the kids look in this photo.  When did all this growing happen???

This week we're attempting to do at least one fun thing a day (even if it kills me).  What's a Spring Break without exhaustion really?  Of course we also have doctor visits and clothes shopping and school projects, but there will also be fun and candy!  Hope everyone has a great week!