Friday, April 26, 2013

A Pirate and An Artist

Ben's 1st grade teacher is awesome. I think with the end of school approaching the kids are ready to kick back, goof off and sail to 2nd grade. His teacher is trying to keep it fun and educational. This week was pirate week. They had treasure maps one day and had to learn directions, etc. Today the got to dress up like pirates. Ben was excited of course. He wanted to wear his eye patch since he has to wear it 4-5 hours a day anyway, but I thought a flesh colored bandaid over his eye would be boring. So, I colored it. I also cut some jagged edges in an old pair of pajama pants. It wasn't the most creative, but it works. He didn't want to wear the beads we had because they were too girly he said. Little does he know that pirates are always a little feminine, but I let him skip the beads. I think he looks great.
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Last week, they were artists. They learned about a different artist each day. In the morning, they wrote a narrative about what they learned from a slide show and some paintings the teacher showed them. In the afternoon, they did a drawing to represent each artist. On Friday, they brought home all of the work they did in a little binder.

Monday was Henri Matisse. I love his story about him.
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Tuesday was Claude Monet. Ben's water lillies are awesome!
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Wednesday was Georgia O'Keeffe. I love his flower!
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Thursday was Pablo Picasso. Ben said he painted his green because green is glad.
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Friday was Jackson Pollock. I love Ben's picture which he titled DNA.
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For some reason when I scanned it in the colors were muted. It didn't pick up the neon pink, so I took another picture with my phone.

Isn't that awesome! We are so proud of how well he did. I told him that he could be a famous artist one day and kids would learn all about him. He liked that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moments of Silence

My kids are so cute right before they go to sleep. Maybe I find them even more adorable than usual because I'm in a good mood knowing that David and I are about to have some time alone and I can relax for the next 10 hours.

Noah's nighttime ritual has changed in the past month. He sleeps in Emily's room every night. She sleeps in his room. It is what it is and all I care about is that he sleeps better in there and doesn't come in my room every night. We tuck him in with his monkey and he sleeps with our Christmas card and says "I need my family." He bent one, so I got him another and now he wants to sleep with both.
He told me his family protects him from the monsters. He must think we are super human if cardboard versions of us are protection, but whatever.
Emily has been sleeping in Noah's room. It's darker in the morning, so she can sleep in. We made the kids face their fear and watch Hotel Transylvania this weekend. It's a kids movie that they've been freaked out about for a year. In any case, they faced their fear and they aren't afraid of it anymore. Except when they go to bed, then Emily wants to sleep with Ben. Ugh. It's like musical beds in this house. I found them all bundled up together this morning and I thought they were too cute.
Emily says they talk before bed about silly stuff. There are no toys, TV or little brother around and they will talk for as long as they can until I tell them no more. I think it's great and tightens their bond.

Those moments are sweet and short lived. Noah was in my bed by midnight complaining of the monster in his room. Guess he figured the cardstock family isn't much protection.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Huge Catch Up

I've been slacking on my blog lately. It's not that I don't want to write. I do it all the time in my head.  I'm just finding the time difficult. Maybe if I wasn't up to level 79 on Candy Crush (this stupid game on Facebook) that is sucking up my spare time, I'd have time to write. Well, that's not entirely true as I've been really busy organizing my new cabinets and doing a little spring cleaning. It feels good to organize and purge.

I'm also falling into this really bad habit of using my iphone for pictures. My last photo I took on my $800 Canon camera was at Easter a month ago! The phone is there and always convenient and it takes like 2 seconds to put the photo on flickr, so I can quickly upload it to my blog or sometimes, I just do a quick post with one photo. The pictures are no where near as good of quality. I need to break that habit, but I guess a picture is better than no picture. Right?

In any case, I'm super behind. I'm going to avoid Candy Crush for the next 30 minutes and get myself caught up and then I can let it go and start fresh. That's my plan anyway. Here I go...

Noah is officially taking over superhero duties around here. He dresses up in all of Ben's old costumes. Here he is dressed as Thor watching The Avengers.
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Now, he's Spiderman "reading" a Spiderman book.
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Ben rarely dresses up anymore. It's kind of sad to see him transition out of this phase, but it's been going on for over 4 years. Oh, Ben still loves super....

Wait a minute. This sounds familiar. Oh crap, I wrote about this already, I just used different pictures of Noah in Buzz Lightyear. See, I write all the time in my head and then I sometimes think I actually wrote about it, but I didn't. In any case, I wrote about Ben growing up here.

Okay, next subject...
Ben has officially ditched his training wheels! We have a little pink bike that we use to train, so we don't have to take the wheels on and off until the get the hang of it. But, this photo was a month ago and he was already doing great.
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This past weekend, we went for a ride and Ben did awesome! The training wheels are gone!

I have no idea what my husband is doing.
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While Grammie Gwynne was visiting, Emily got out all her dolls. She has 35.
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That's a lot of dolls. Speaking of 35, I organized my shoes yesterday and I have 35 pairs. I think that's excessive, so I gave a pair to my Mom. I feel much better now.
David took his Mom and the kids to Jerome for the day. They stopped to enjoy the view.
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Emily got Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance for 3rd quarter. I'm so proud of her!
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We got this awesome new HOA lady who is making great things happen around here. She put on a big Easter celebration for all the families. It was so fun. I realized the kids had never seen the Easter Bunny. Ben was skeptical.
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He finally posed for a picture, but I knew he wasn't buying it.
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Noah wouldn't go near him.

There was a fun egg hunt.
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And when Noah popped his balloon on a rock, the lady came over and made him a new one.
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The balloon animals/swords were a hit and Emily wants to learn how to make them.
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My hot husband...
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The Easter Bunny came and the kids ate gummy bunnies for breakfast.
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Then, we drove to my Dad and Suzy's in Phoenix for a big family get together and you know what? I took like 10 photos. How horrible is that?
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And they went swimming! In March! That's Phoenix for you!
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Then I left my expensive Canon camera at his house.  I guess that sums it up.
Okay, I'm all caught up and ready for a fresh start. It's good timing as Emily has a piano recital Friday. Both kids have school Spring Concerts next week. And there is only 22 days of school left before summer vacation! I hope I master Candy Crush by then.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sick Day

David didn't feel great today, so he called in to work. I think he's done that twice in 10 years. He got to relax in our new sleeping bag with Noah. I think it's just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Our cabinets were a big investment. I often wonder how we make it on what we make.  As you all know couponing just fell in my lap as a way of survival when we hit a tough time with pay cuts and furlough days.  I ended up with a job on an internet site that I love.  It was a blessing.  I have a part time job doing what I love to do.  Save money.  My theory is save on the things you need, to afford the things you want.

Today's savings was by far, one of my best.
I got:
3 Dreyer's Outshine Bars
3 Peter Pan Peanut Butter
1 Scrubbing Bubbles w/ Fantastik
3 Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaners
2 Shout
2 Windex
2 409
1 huge container of yogurt
1 Mt. Olive pickles
1 Best Foods
3 Soft Soap Foaming
2 McCormick Seasoning
3 Mojo Bars
1 Best foods Mayo
2 Pine Sol
3 Minute Rice
3 Success Rice
3 Pampers Wipes


Whew...I'm tired just looking at it.  Any guess on what I spent?  If I had walked in the store and bought everything full price, it would have been $133.  I spend $12.  Yep, $12.  I'm awesome!  HA!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


This is my little hutch that I've had for 15 years.
It normally doesn't look so cluttered, but I had all the easter stuff on there and didn't bother to clean it up for the photo. It is what it is.

The little hutch sits by our dining room table in our kitchen and stores party stuff and other junk. We are gadget people. Griddle, we got it. Food processor, check. Waffle maker, use it every Sunday. Dutch Oven, wouldn't make soup without it. We have a lot of stuff, but we use it. We've always thought we needed more cabinets in this house. So, we finally made it happen.
We found an almost identical formica to match our granite countertop. We went with a company who got us the same cabinets as the rest of the kitchen down to the crown molding.
Um, wow!
I've been busy organizing and cleaning out other cabinets. It's a great feeling. The funny thing is that it looks so good and more spacious. I don't know how that's possible when it's 3 times bigger than the little hutch, but it does. It looks like it's always been there.
And for only $86, they made us two drawers in our bathroom! When we bought the house, the homebuilder gave an option to put in 2 sinks for an additional charge. We only wanted one, so they put in fake fronts with no drawers. It's been bothering us for 6 years. So, we figured this is a must before Emily gets into make up and all that stuff. Best $86 I ever spent.
As for the little hutch, it found a new home in Ben's room. We took off the doors and added some canvas totes and he's happy as can be.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A New Pair of Eyes

In January, Emily came home with an assignment about Martin Luther King. I looked at it and wondered why so many words were misspelled. She said because she couldn't see the board. I knew it would happen eventually as David and I both wear glasses. Well, we had surgery 10 years ago to fix it, but are finding we need them again for far away. So, David took her to the eye doctor. Her eyes are only 20/25, but it's just enough to not be able to see the whiteboard in school. The doctor said she doesn't need to wear them all the time or at all even, but we wanted to get her glasses to see the board in class. She's been sitting in the front row now for two months!

We looked at the glasses at Sam's and she didn't like anything. She wanted a pair like mine, brown tortoise color with a rectangle shape. They all had designs on them or were too girly. I looked at Costco for her and didn't think she'd like anything there. We went to Walmart and she tried on every pair for over an hour. She finally picked something, but didn't really like them. I was waiting for that moment she found something she loved. It never came. We paid for the ones at Walmart and were headed to Costco to get a few things. We thought we should look there for glasses. The first pair she tries on, she exclaims, "I love them!". That was the reaction I was waiting for. I cancelled the ones from Walmart and we bought the ones at Costco.

We picked them up on Saturday and she was so happy.
She wore them all day and then started complaining about seeing a foggy thing. As it turns out, the anti glare coating is defective and we had to send them back. So, she will have to wait a few more days to get them.  She actually cried when we had to send them back.

She's super excited to wear them to school.  Her first comment to me was "e-mail my teachers and tell them they can move me to the back of the class again." That's my girl!