Wednesday, March 5, 2014

dear interwebs

It seems as though it's been a while since I've shown my face 'round these parts. Bloggy things usually tend to slow down a little when school starts, but this is an unprecedented silence for me.

Me? Be silent for so long?

Weird.

Turns out I was ill-prepared for the changes taking place in our lives this year. Between me switching grades for the third. year. in. a. row, Heather starting middle school, and Stephanie starting high school, things are a little busy. I'm hanging on to that merry-go-round by my toenails, my arms and hair flying wildly in the wind. Meanwhile, the playground bullies are pushing the thing faster and faster as they simultaneously spray me in the face with the hose. Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of sanity, but it vanishes just as quickly as it appeared.

The three of us girls are enjoying this new chapter in our school lives. There are, as always, things we could do without. Stephanie could do without her science class. Heather could do without her math class. And I could do without some behavior issues (both in kids and adults!). But, I guess those are the things that build character.

Right?

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

I am confident that moving to 3rd grade has been the best thing for me. So far it has been what I expected - the best parts I loved about both 2nd grade and 4th grade all rolled into one. I have a great class this year. They are well-behaved & have the good sense to pretend that I am funny when I think I am. And they are pretty funny themselves!

Stephanie played volleyball on the freshman team in the fall and loved it. She is fierce! (I found out that I loved being a volleyball mom, too.) She's going to try out for JV next year. She is performing in the dance troupe in the spring musical performance of The Music Man. Can't wait for that!

Heather has taken up the saxophone in beginning band. She's pretty awesome! She tried tennis, but found out it wasn't really her thing. She wants to play volleyball like Stephanie when she gets to high school. She is currently killing the mile when they run it in P.E. She runs it in 6 minutes and something seconds. Holy lightning feet, Batman!

And Greg? He's doing his best to make sense of all the female hormones raging inside casa de Robinson. That's not an easy job, let me tell you! He keeps the balance.

There's the quick catch up.

It's report card season and I'm mired in the muck of grading. So if you'll excuse me, the school bus is coming down the street and my homework isn't done.

See you in the schoolyard.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the princess and the pea

The perfect night's sleep ~ isn't that a quest we all seek?

Our pillows were recently declared f.l.a.t. and no longer positively contributing to that elusive perfect night's sleep. We go through pillows kinda quickly (big heads?) and I was thinking that one reason is because we go all out and spend all of ten bucks a pillow at Target. 



So we took ourselves to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get what we thought were real pillows, grown up pillows. We read labels, smushed pillows, and tried to imagine ourselves sleeping on them. Greg and I are both side/back sleepers heavy on the side sleeping. Since we tend to smush pillows at a relatively quick pace, we picked out very firm pillows that were supposed to be side sleepers. Greg got a pricey one (worth four Target pillows) and I got a cheaper one (worth two Target pillows).

Here we go! Here comes the perfect night's sleep. Surely we would hear the angels sing as we slumbered on our new real pillows.

Not so much.

Those pillows were three feet tall and never smushed down all night. We both woke up with headaches. Not a perfect sleep.

Convinced that we just needed to get used to them we continued using them for two more nights. After that we threw our old pancake pillows on the bed.

We returned the pillows and got two of the twenty dollar pillows that were less firm. These pillows were still three feet tall, but less firm would mean more smash, right.

Not so much.



We didn't even last a full night with those bad boys. The mammoth pillows were once again rejected for their flatter counterparts.

And I marched them right back to the store and endured the ugly looks the cashier gave me when she realized that this was the second set of pillows I was returning. I might have run out of the store after my transaction.

I went to Target and plopped down twenty whole bucks for two pillows labeled for side/back sleepers.

And that night the angels sang.

The moral of this story? More expensive is not always better.

Or Target rules.

Either way, we are back on the road to the perfect night's sleep and it is not likely that I will spend more than ten bucks on a pillow ever again.

       

Friday, July 26, 2013

instafriday

Because it's been a while since I've shared my Instagram photos, I'm including about two weeks of photos in this Insta-Friday post. Lucky you!



My friend, Alisa, sent me a picture of a zipper pouch as a suggestion for a new design. I tweaked her suggestion a little and came up with this bow design for my pencil pouches. I love it! Other color combos will be coming soon.



Anybody else loving the gray and yellow right now? There is just something so striking about it. This is also a little something new for my pouches that stand up. Of course I'm working on more color combos of this as well. Hopefully both types of pouches will be listed in my shop soon.



My friend, Alana, and I scored last minute tickets and were able to hear Ron Clark speak. And we met him! No big deal ~ he's just my teaching hero, you know. You can read more about that on my teaching blog.

We followed that up with lunch out, of course. Summer is great for teachers because we can actually slow down during meals and have a decent conversation instead of speed eating before the bell rings to go pick up the students. There have been many a family dinner that I gulp down my food only to look around and see everyone only half finished. One day, Greg even said, "Slow down, you're not at school."



Isn't this lovely? I had a gift card for my favorite fabric store ~ the one with the really pricey stuff. It's been a little while since I've been in the shop, so I spent a really long time wandering around before I even picked up a bolt. I was asked by more than one shop worker if I needed help or if they could help me find something. Back off, girls!

Once I picked up the first bolt, the rest flew into my arms at a dizzying rate. I had to make myself steer towards the cutting counter before we had to get a second mortgage. As it was I went way a little over my gift card amount.



I haven't been keeping up with my 365 Drawings project the way it was intended. No matter ~ I'm working at my pace. My pace this summer is v.e.r.y. slow. I'm conserving energy for the fall. I did this zentangle while cleaning ~ cleaning out the TiVo of shows, that is.



Like it or not, school is approaching. Every year, August 1 marks the time when I start going back to school to prepare my classroom a little bit at a time. That's next week. I keep telling myself that this year I'm going to wait, but we all know that's unlikely to happen. The sadness of the summer winding down can only be soothed with back to school supplies for myself. So far I've accumulated a few of my favorites including mechanical pencils and Mr. Sketch markers. I love, love, love Mr. Sketch markers. First, they smell so delicious ~ duh! Secondly, they last all year (and sometimes two) writing on charts during lessons.



I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and saw they were putting out Christmas things. What?! Well, you know, crafters gotta get busy early. I get that. But they were putting out ornaments too. Greg told me Hallmark already has their ornaments out.

IT'S JULY PEOPLE! People are gonna be worn out of Christmas before the chill gets in the air.

It may be July and too early for ornaments in the store, but it's not too early for me to get ready for the fall craft boutiques, right? These clothes pins are going to be a super cute set to hold Christmas cards. They will be paired with twine to hang on the wall.

I'm linking up with Jeannett for Insta-Friday. You can too.


life rearranged

       

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

storm chasing


We live in an area with little variation in weather. The summer gives us hot, hotter, and Devil's Inferno. The winter gives us cold, cold & windy, and cold & knock-you-down-at-duty-windy.

So when some summer thunder storms roll in everyone gets a little giddy.

Saturday night Greg loaded Heather and I (Stephanie was at a friend's house) in the truck and we took off in search of a storm that was supposed to be headed our way.



We stopped to try to catch a few pictures of the light show in the heavens.



Greg set up the tripod and took hundreds of pictures in hopes of getting a few choice shots.



We also watched two storm systems go completely by us instead of over us.



At one point the lightning started happening in the clouds right over our heads. It lit up the whole sky, as it jumped from cloud to cloud.

Still.

No rain on us.



In this picture, you can see it was raining miles away. 

We were stationed near the outflow of a community lake and could hear the steady trickle of the stream. All of a sudden the sound of the water got louder, much louder. The wind picked up and we heard what sounded like a wall of water coming our way.

Greg screamed, "Everybody in the truck!" We ran and scrambled in the truck and hastily rolled up the windows before we got drenched.

Pfft! Pfft! Only a few drops fell. 

We laughed and laughed!



Then we got a text from Greg's sister that it was raining h.a.r.d. at her house. So of course we took off in that direction and found the rain. We also found quite a few puddles that the big truck couldn't resist. I may have peed my pants just a little on one section of the road.

It's been dry here since.

No more weather excitement.

We certainly are not ready for our own reality show chasing storms, but we sure had a good time on a Saturday night!

       

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

happy birthday to you!


Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet husband!

I love you!

    

Sunday, May 19, 2013

365 drawing


So...I started this new thing.

There's always a new thing around here.

Anyway, I started a 365 Drawing project. Except, because of busy schedules and my need for sleep, it is more of a draw-when-I-can project.

Back in January, I came across a 365 Drawing challenge. I've been wanting to practice my drawing skills more & generally spend more time doing art, so this seemed like a perfect way to do that.



There have been some duds along the way ~ like the time I drew a face that looked like it belonged on a wanted poster, not in my drawing pad. But for the most part, I'm having a good time practicing. Some have turned out better than I hoped and I like to go back and look at them.



I've been working in pencil, colored pencil, and ink. I have a bag all set up that I take to the kids' dance classes with me. Right now I'm working with a smallish sketch book (5x7), but when this one is full I have a bigger one (8x11) ready to go.

I have also gotten a little behind because I am rarely satisfied with quick sketch ~ I gotta finish it.



Sometimes, the hardest part is coming up with ideas to draw. That's how the Batman in the first picture came about. It was a request of my little nephew, Gavin.

I post my 365 Drawings on Instagram. If you want to follow along, I'm daffodilsanddaisies on Instagram.

     

Monday, January 7, 2013

menu plan monday - january 7

Today it's back to school for the kids and me. I am excited to see my friends and the students ~ but I was just getting used to being a stay at home mom. When is spring break?

I have another menu plan for you! I am on a roll, people.




This week we will have:
  • taco soup
  • sloppy joes
  • crescent roll chicken
  • spaghetti - homemade meat sauce
  • marinated chicken & potatoes

Greg doesn't really love the crescent roll chicken, but we have crescent rolls and plenty of cream cheese. I'm going to see what I can do to change it up a little. If it's fabulous, I'll let you know all about it. 



Are you eating from the pantry this month? How's that going for you?

As I've mentioned before, our grocery store has case sales in January. And we did partake this week. How can you pass this up when it's food you will be eating anyway? It's better to get it on sale! Because of the case sale we overspent my primary goal of $140 a week, but I kinda knew it was going to happen. 

Walking up to the register Greg said that he thought our basket was about $180. Nah, I told him. I said it was more like $100, knowing full well it was not. After the loyalty card deals and coupons our total was $180.11. Sign that boy up for The Price is Right!

So with the overage from this week and the under spending from last week, I am about $25 over for the month. I can make that up in the next three weeks. 

Challenge accepted!

I think.

I'm linking up with orgjunkie.com and Good Cheap Eats today.  Hop on over and see what everyone else is doing this week. 

   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

snow fun

This Winter Break has been relaxing for the kids and full of cousin-sleepovers. Last night they had the third one in two weeks ~ each one with a different cousin. Gianna lives out of state with her mom so the kids don't get to see her often. 



Uncle Tony & Shantel took the kids to the mountains and out to eat several times. They pretty much spoiled them. Their day started off with a trip to the mountains to play in the snow. Stephanie and Heather were so excited to go sledding & be in the snow.  Brrr.

With these girls, I can only imagine the screaming and laughing that filled their house last night.

I used my quiet time to get started on my 2013 calendar project. This is a calendar that was supposed to be done before Christmas ~ you know, for family gifts. 

Ahem.

Thankfully, I have a patient tolerant family. 



Here's the January page.

I just finished August. Woohoo! Almost done.

   

Monday, December 31, 2012

menu plan monday & pantry challenge

Hi.

I know.

It's been a while. As usual, things have been keeping my on my toes, when I'm not flat on my butt and being dragged behind a locomotive.

The time has come to refocus and get serious. It's New Year's Eve ~ that time of year when everyone gets retrospective and reevaluates their actions and goals. I'm no different. At times I want to reject the obvious and trite here, but it really is a good thing to reflect and plan. This is as a good a time as any.

Since school started in August, I have had a lackadaisical attitude towards menu planning. Sure, while making my grocery list I jotted down a few menu items and generally made those during the week. But I wasn't serious about using the list to guide my shopping in a money saving way. It was mostly so I didn't forget supplies for dinners. You know that budget I have for groceries?

Pfft! What budget?

Not a healthy attitude.

To start the new year off on the right foot, I am back on the planning-and-sticking-to-the-budget wagon.



This we are having:
  • quesadillas
  • chicken taco casserole
  • baked potato soup
  • beef stroganoff 
  • creamy jambalya pasta (new)
  • bbq chicken pizza & side salad


We have a tradition of eating out on New Year's Eve and getting home before anything crazy happens on the streets, so we will be doing that.

For the last couple of years, January has been the month of the Pantry Challenge. Yup. Doing it again. 


These are my Pantry Challenge 2013 goals (very similar to last year):

1. Use items from the pantry and freezer.

2. Stock the pantry. Our grocery store has case sales in January. While I'm going to take advantage of the case sales for some things, I'm not going crazy. We still actually have some items left over from the last case sale this past summer.

3. Save money. This goal is a two-part goal. My primary goal is to absolutely stay within my weekly budget of $140 (or $700 for the whole month of January with 5 grocery shopping trips). My secondary goal is to spend only $100 per week (or $500 for the month). I did the shopping for week one yesterday. I came in under my primary goals by $15! But, since there was not a morsel of ground beef or sliver of chicken in the freezer I had to do a little bit of stocking up on meats. There are some other meats that will be featured in meals this month, but none of our go-to staples.

What about you? Are you meal planning? Are you taking part in the Pantry Challenge?

I'm linking up with orgjunkie.com and Good Cheap Eats.

   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

my instagram week

Here's my week in cell phone pictures. No fancy camera, but bits of our life captured nonetheless. 



Last Sunday, Greg and I were getting all domestic.

Which is entirely different than having a domestic.

We made a fresh batch of laundry soap. And by we, I mean Greg made it while I flitted about the kitchen, took a picture, and generally got in the way.



Continuing in the domestic vein, I made Heather a new skirt since she asked so nicely. She wanted more than one skirt, but I told her to slow down, girl.



And here she is Monday morning at school wearing her new skirt.



She insisted I get a shot of the flower she wore in her hair that matches her skirt perfectly.



Lunches don't always get fully eaten at school ~ not enough time. So what better snack to have at dance while your sister is taking her class but your left over lunch?



We had picture day at school this week. Since I was due for a little hairapy, I went a little nuts and cut over six inches of hair off. I could say this was a spontaneous move, but I've been contemplating it for the last couple hair appointments.

And because I can never leave well enough alone, I will grow my hair out again someday. As soon as I get bored of this.



Today I worked on a little project Sharon is anxious to receive. Unfortunately, I didn't get much further than this because I answered the siren call of my bed for a nap, then there was grocery shopping, dinner, etc. You know, responsible adult stuff. My aim is to have them done by the end of the week.

Hopefully.

Keep your fingers crossed, Sharon.


life rearranged

Sunday, October 7, 2012

instagram friday ~ but rarely on a friday


For Stephanie's 13th birthday party, she had five friends over for the evening. Three of them spent the night. She didn't want a big deal ~ just hanging out. The lack of a big deal made my life easier, but I have to say, I felt a little guilty not making sure they had activities to do. The main thing she wanted to do was watch The Titanic.

And hang out.

I guess this is what it's like to have a teenager.

So I made grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and salad. She has a vegetarian friend, so the baked potatoes and salad made sure she had something substantial to eat.



She requested mini cheesecakes for her birthday dessert. That's easy. I also made Rice Krispie treats. At a respectable hour, Greg and I went to bed and told the girls to stay in the house and not burn the place down. I woke up at some point in the night and smelled popcorn. When we woke up in the morning, there were no more cheese cakes and no more Rice Krispie treats.

Holy cow.

It made me remember jr. high sleepovers and our bottomless pits of stomachs.



The kids decorated for Halloween this last weekend after the sleep over. They did the whole thing themselves {with a nudge or seven two from me}. 



The fun never ends! I am always making something for school. This week we reviewed odd and even numbers with an Around the Room activity. The kids love this because they don't keep still. They move around the room for the whole deal. 

Thus the name ~ 

Around the Room.




Choices. Choices.

Do I read while the kids are at dance or grade papers? I am always so behind at work that I feel compelled to grade the papers. After all, I did drag them all the way across town with me. 

Um.

I read my book.

Those papers will still be there later.

Not sure what happened to the rest of the week that flew by so fast!

For other instagram photos, check out Jeanett's blog.


life rearranged

Sunday, September 30, 2012

zombie apocolypse?

A few weeks ago, the kids asked me if they could cut up some old clothes {holding said clothes up for me to see}. Fun Mom said, "Sure, go ahead."

So they took their clothes, scissors, markers, and finger nail polish outside and got to work. They decorated & cut. Then I hear the hose.

Huh?

Well, of course, they need to get the clothes wet before they drag them through the dirt. 

Um. Ok.

Then they asked to use my make up, because Stephanie's make up bag didn't have enough variety. Fun Mom answered them again. They spent the better part of the next hour in my bathroom transforming themselves...



...into zombies. All this effort was intended for a zombie movie. Of course Fun Mom handed over her little flip camera for this.



Fun Mom did have to draw the line when they sprayed hot sauce on the block wall for "blood."



How can they be scary when they're so cute?



They didn't want to smile for this photo shoot. I did finally get them to smile for a picture, but it turned out blurry ~ maybe because I was laughing.

I love that they spent the afternoon getting along and being creative!

Watch out for zombies at your house!

   

Saturday, September 1, 2012

time for school


This was our first week back to school. Whew! Let me tell you that every girl in this house is T I R E D!

Well, not after a nice little nap today.

But all week we were wiped out!

A couple of the days I caught people taking naps after school. One night I was so exhausted I thought I might fall asleep in my dinner like a toddler. So tell me how that was the night I ended up staying up until eleven watching America's Got Talent? That's not even a show we watch on a normal basis. There is no reasonable explanation.



Even though we fully prepared for the first day of school by ironing the night before and making sure back packs were set to go, we ended up running almost late. We had to rush these pictures.



Stephanie is beyond excited that the dress code at her school was changed a bit and now she can wear any color collared shirt instead of the few certain colors she was limited to last year. She could not wait to wear her pink shirt.



Heather is in 5th grade this year. She loves her class! She loves that her BFF is in her class for the first time since 2nd grade. Heather had a little bit of a rough year that included some bullying aimed in her direction last year, which was an emotional drain on both of us. This year has been so refreshing. She is excited about school again, which makes this teacher mama's heart happy



Stephanie is in 8th grade. She's loving her year too. Even though she spent five weeks this summer going to an enrichment "school," she was ready to start the year. She has a couple of classes with her BFF and likes all her teachers, even the ones that seem a little scary. She is excited to join a club after school. 




After dropping Stephanie off, Heather and I headed to our school for our last first day that we will have at the same school together.



Heather helped me get a few last minute things ready before the little kiddos arrived. This included test shots of the first day photos I planned on taking of my students. In the end, I took the kids outside and took their pictures in front of a tree.

I am thrilled to be back in 2nd grade. My class is sweet. There are a couple of boys who will be learning some self-control this year and what it feels like to keep their thoughts in their head. Other than that, we'll be having a great time. I've already busted out the paints. They handled that pretty well ~ I think I was the only one who got paint on a shirt ~ so we'll be able to do lots of fun stuff. FYI ~ Flowy shirts and bending over tables with paint and paint covered paper do not mix.

See you on the playground!