Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're Off...


Tomorrow we are off to Tennessee to visit Grandma Stella and Grandpa Kerry! I do not think I will have access to a computer but I wanted to update you on my Friday challenges before I leave. There is a great post here about going green for the holidays. Our family is by no means perfect; we just are making an effort. We are trying to focus on the important moments of the holidays and not get caught up in the chaos. With that in mind I am making some gifts and when I do buy gifts, I am trying to focus on building traditions. We are going to buy some things for the twins, but we are also going to donate some toys. Our changes may be small but they will grow and they will be incorporated into our lives. Have a good weekend!

Silly

Click here to see my crazy family!! Aren't we silly??

Monday, November 26, 2007

Funny Farm

I have put off writing this post. Some may call it denial. Tony found three kittens by our trash cans and we took them in to find them homes. As of today, they all have names, a litter box and toys. They seem to be making themselves at home. Our house is sooooo small and here is who is living here:

1. Ms. Cora Belle who can not be bothered with taking a picture. She is our dog that acts like a cat.

2. "Uncle" Blu


3. Blackie


4. The twinz....Driller and Cody



Oh yeah, and me, my husband and our three year old twins. Welcome to our funny farm!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Any ideas?


I need some help? The twins teacher sends home all their artwork. Any piece of paper that has just been colored on or drawn on goes into a pile and we use that for the twins to use again. However, I have this huge stack (times two!!) of stuff that I am not sure what to do. I want to save it. Maybe I won't want it always but I want it now. So....what do you do? How do you keep all the artsy stuff organized? I seriously need some suggestions. I think I need to go back to my new, lovely IKEA!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Coalition for the Homeless

Our church goes to the Coalition for the Homeless every 4th Friday of the month. They have trouble finding people to go the Friday after Thanksgiving so we decided it would be good for all of us. We took the church bus down with about 15 other people and that was the highlight of the experience for Thomas. We each had a job; with the parents supervising the kids doing their jobs. Thomas handed out forks wrapped with a napkin. He really got into it. He would say "Happy Holidays" and some of the people loved his light up dinosaur shirt. He was so outgoing and did great. Stella's job was handing out soap, lotion, shaving gel etc. She did a great job too and she had so many questions....Tony and I explained a bit about the Coalition for the Homeless before we went. She then wanted to know where the people slept and where they ate, etc. Overall it went really smoothly and Tony and I would love to do it again. I will say that some of the people that came through the line surprised me. They were wearing 'normal clothes'. We learned that the Coalition does not turn anyone away. So some of the families that show up are from the neighborhood and do not have enough to eat. It felt so good to help.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Happy Black Friday

Did you get up this morning to go to Kohl's at 4am?? I know some people really get into those deals but that sounds so unappealing to me.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our drive over to Clearwater was quick and uneventful. When we first arrived at Aunt Terry's, we were able to get a picture of Grandma Audrey with all of her great grandchildren.



That's Thomas, Stella holding Kai, Grandma Audrey holding baby Will and baby Nik...who is not a baby anymore.

Stella was very interested in holding Smiley Kailey and baby Will.



And Thomas was content to hang with Nik. They shared their cars....so cute.



We asked Stella to lead us in prayer before our meal. She usually blesses everyone by name, but I think she was a bit overwhelmed so she stuck with Papa and Gigi.



It was a great feeling to see all the kids. We used to be the 'kids' and now we have them! Aunt Terry helped feed some of them...



The kids had a great time! Watch this next clip and keep your eye on Thomas. He thinks the sliding glass door is closed:-)



Also, today is my good friend Erin's birthday. Head over to her page and wish her a Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Yummy

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I am thankful for...

Just two of many things I am thankful for:





This is my most favorite face that Thomas makes. He is so happy and trying not to smile and he gets a flirtation in his eye. So sweet!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Zepher and Shady

We went to visit Lynn's new kitty cats, Shady and Zepher. Stella, of course, was in heaven!!



Here is Stella with Zepher:

Sorry...I do not know how to flip the video:-(

And a cute one of Shady:

Trophies and Cupcakes

Today was our last soccer game:-( I don't know how much improvement I have seen over the past couple months but the kids still love playing. I guess that is the whole point, right?

The big news was that Miss Kelly and her friend Wendy came to watch them play. Stella kept telling her coach, "Miss Kelly is here!".

The kids played the whole game but Stella seemed to be in la la land. She was skipping around the field and would stop and play in the dirt.



After the game, there was trophies and cupcakes!




And one final "goooooooo gators!"


We headed over to the YMCA for a cookout afterwards. It was a good time. The twins are napping now and when they wake up, we are going to go meet Lynn's new kittens!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Update

Our family has been working on getting greener and greener. I will say the prepackaged foods have been a hard habit to break. They are just so convenient! Soccer practice...throw some small bags of crackers in my bag with juice boxes and we are off. However, now we think about thermoses and snacks. I have been using (and even re-using my small plastic baggies but I need something to carry their snacks (and to send in their lunch boxes). Any ideas??

I have been working on our local Thanksgiving plans too. I am making this and this and this over the weekend. Thanks Erin!

As for my friday challenge update, I am challenging myself to make some Christmas gifts. Quiet down now and stop laughing. I am going to try. Ms. Bliss inspired me (and sent me directions) to make these and Boogiemum has great ideas here. I also am challenging myself to wrap gifts in paper that we already have in the house. I know I have some holiday paper left over from last year and I will use that up. However, I thought I could also use all the paper grocery bags I have stored up and then let the kids decorate the packages. Again, I'll keep you posted.

Papa

Papa is having surgery today on his knee. We just wanted to let him know we are thinking of him today and hope his recovery is quick!

Crazy neighbor!

I have a crazy neighbor. To make matters worse she has been doing construction on her house for the past year and a half. We has completly ruined the view on one side of our house by adding a secodn story to her house and she now has cut down all the trees in the front and bck of her house. She asked us if she could trim the branches that were hanging over our fence into her yard.




She went overboard! Our tree in the back used to block the view of the house on the street behind us. Now it looks so bare. Also, the top has been hacked away at too! Ahhh! What do I do? Our house is on stilts so we have always loved our 'tree house'. She messed with our trees!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Date Night

Yes, some people may judge us for this. Tonight, we went to the new IKEA store in Orlando. It is wonderful, beautiful, exceeds all of my expectations. One of the wonderful features is this great supervised play areas. We signed the kids in and went up to the bistro and ate some delicious meatballs. Yes, we had date night at IKEA.

Clearly...

Stella was intently focused on drawing her picture and she looks up at me and asks, "Mama, do monkey's have teeth?" and I promptly answered "yes?"


A couple minutes later I asked what she was drawing.


She replies, "Clearly Mama, it is Dora and Boots."


Clearly.



Monday, November 12, 2007

Help Me!

I have been searching online for some information regarding the crack that was found in our local water. I can not seem to find anything about it. I am going to keep looking because I need to know how others in the area are handling these symptoms demonstrated by their children (it does seem to only effect those 5 and younger). These are the symptoms I am seeing:

1. running in circles
2. bursts of wild dancing
3. non stop chatter
4. non stop singing
5. repetition of questions
6. refusal to eat dinner
7. requests for sugar laced items for intake
8. climbing on furniture
9. endless amounts of energy
10. beginning each sentence with "Mama"
(Mama, watch me. Mama, look at me. Mama, Stella hit me. Mama, Thomas is bothering me. Mama, Mama, Mama! )

Ahhhh! I need to find out how others are handling this epidemic!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Roar and Soar

My husband has this strange ability to win things on the radio. Whenever he calls in, he wins. Well he won tickets to Roar and Soar this year at Fantasy of Flight and we decided to check it out.

There was lots of child friendly crafts and activities to do.



Face painting for Stella...


...and Thomas was able to build a rocket and launch it.


The kids loved all the airplanes.






And Tony found what he wanted for Christmas...


Actually he wouldn't mind any of these:






Overall we had fun...Tony and I both would give the whole day two thumbs up!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My cup runneth over

What a beautiful day.

Papa, Gigi and Grandma Audrey traveled over to watch the twins play soccer this morning. We opened gifts ....clothes for the twins, a car for Thomas and princess shoes for Stella...flowers and a new purse for me...and headed off to the game. I think it was the highest scoring game of the season....3 to 2!





It was so nice to have Papa, Gigi and Grandma Audrey over here with us.



We then went to the new Mexican restaurant near our house and it went well. I think we may have been the only people in the restaurant which really works when you have two three year olds with you.

I finished the day by doing things around the house and looking at my new purse...it is soooo pretty!! Such a strange feeling. With motherhood came this fierce desire to put the twins first. On days like this, with flowers and phone calls and my husband doing the dishes (OMG!!!), it feels funny. It is my birthday, yes still!, and I am worth it but it does not feel completely natural.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Is it wrong to have a crush on a 12 year old?

Before you judge me, check this out:
SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING
SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING


It is Light of Doom from The Next Great American Band. I just happen to turn on the TV this evening and my husband made me watch these kids. Holy cow! Talk about blast from the past. I felt like I was in 8th grade all over again. Go 80's rock!!

Getting what I needed

About six months ago a work opportunity presented itself and I thought it was too good to pass up. I committed to it even though it put me out of the house five days a week...something I have not done up to this point. Well I ended up hating it. I hate to use the word hate but I did. I was working long days and missing my children more than I could bear. I talked to my boss and basically was told to hang in there. I did it and stuck with it and began to dread it.

Well, this week my boss was able to hire someone permanently and very suddenly I was not needed anymore. I was initially hurt that I basically 'hung in there' and was quickly kicked to the curb when I was not needed anymore. Going from lots o' work on the side to nothing scared me financially. However, I quickly realized that this is what I wanted. I wanted to be home more and now I get to be. I chose to relax about it. Within the past 48 hours, I have had a couple of new opportunities present themselves and it will be work that I can do when I want. No more long days at work. I just needed to step back and relax. I need to do that more.

As for our family turning greener and greener...we used up the rest of the juice boxes we had and sent thermoses in to school. I thought Tony would protest but he is so on board. A green husband...I love it! We also did not send any prepackaged snacks. Here is where I need some help. I sent some cut up apples in small Tupperware bowls that can be washed and used again. However, I would love to not use plastic...any ideas? What can I send cut up fruit or rice cakes in?

This week I will begin planning our Thanksgiving dinner and Ms. Crunchy convinced me to eat locally for our big meal. I think I can plan a pretty good menu with our local fruits and veggies. I need to research the turkey. Not sure if I can find that locally. I am still up for the challenge and I think my family is on board. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who is that??

My mother was saying something this morning (it was early still)...something about a 34 year old woman, with this great career, married, two children and then I began to wake up a bit more. My mother was calling to wish me a happy birthday.

I spoke to Papa later in the day and he asked if I has a nice morning. Oh yes. I made toast, cut up apples, packed lunches, more toast this time with the peach jelly no crust. Who knew all my years as a waitress would prepare me for being a mom.

I jokingly said to my friend Lynn that I wanted a nap for my birthday. Well, I picked the kids up from school, they took a nap and so did I. We had a great dinner and yummy ice cream cake. Thank you for all the birthday wishes; I do have such great friends!! Thank you for the phone calls from Aunt Erin, Aunt Megan and Cappy!Thank you. Thank you Tony for making the day perfect!

As we were putting the kids down to sleep, Stella threw her arms around me and said, "I love you momma". Nothing is sweeter and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day. I guess I am that person my mother was talking about.

On a side note, thank you for the recipe ideas...it is down to cranberry nut bread or the cranana jam. The reviews are better for the jam made from bananas and cranberries...I will let you know how it turns out:-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Calling all Cooks

I have these beautiful cranberries that were delivered from Orlando Organics...

...but my family does not like the taste of them plain.

Do you have any good recipes for something baked with cranberries? Cranberry muffins? I guess...but I wanted to try something new.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Singing in the rain

The twins sang tonight at a local assisted living facility with our church children's choir. Alas, I forgot my camera but they were cute as heck. Lynn can attest to that!

What can you do?

I am happy to report that Momma is out of bed. Yuck! I took a sick day on Thursday to take of Stella and had so much fun. I cleaned and organized and really enjoyed being at home. I have never worked outside of the house this much. I initially went back to work two days a week, then three, and four and now five days a week. I hate five days a week. I like working a bit and being home a bit. However, all that really adds up to is Amy losing her mind. So now I am working five days a week (and still losing my mind). Wow! I digressed! Two days of the NyQuil diet will do that to anyone.

Anyway...Candace from not that I don’t love my kids was inside my head with this post here. I have been reading and reading about how families can lessen their impact on the environment. Our family is going to make small changes that will hopefully add up. I want to use this blog as a type of commitment pact. If I type it, it will happen. Every Friday, I will update you on our progress.

The first change we are going to make is to buy thermoses.

I send small water bottles, small plastic milk containers, or juice boxes in the kids lunches three times a week. If I buy two thermoses, we can cut down on the waste our family has. I also am very frugal. It is in my genes, although it skipped a generation. My mother has always said…you are just like your Grandma. I am. I deliberate over every purchase, especially big ones. One place I am not frugal is family outings. We go and go and go. We love to see new places, parks, etc. Look how chatty I am…can you tell I have been in bed for two days!! Anyways…these changes that we are going to make will also save us money. I love it…frugal and environmentally friendly.

So what can you do? One week at a time?

Need some inspiration? Check out Boogiemum or Emme at Simple Living or Frugalist’s How To Go Green and Save a Boatload of Money.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

No more sicky

We all took a sick day today and it felt great! Around noon, Stella popped up off the couch and began:

"We have a new friend at school and his name is Ian. Ian likes peanut butter sandwiches for lunch except he can not hold his sandwich and he will say I can't hold this and I tell him to act like a big boy and he sits next to Maeve but Maeve rips her paper and I tell her not to because paper is not for ripping and we only color on paper and write and I know how to write my name and I can spell and Daddy loves when I write for him and Daddy went to go get coffee but when he comes back we can ride our bikes but we have to stay by mommy because there are cars in the street and they can crash and we need to listen and ride our bikes to TJ's house and maybe TJ will ride bikes too."

Yep, Stella is feeling better.

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