Thursday, September 29, 2011

It is officially fall!  I am really ready for the weather to be cold.  We thought picking apples would be a good thing so off we went to get some fresh fuji's off the tree of a local farm.  We picked a couple bushels.  The apples had many holes in them but they will be perfect for applesauce and apple butter that is in the schedule tonight.

Anniversary gift
Mike and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary next week and we've been wanting to waste less money at Starbucks so we got an espresso maker for our annivesary gift.  Turns out there is a lot to know about espresso makers: the difference in how they extract the coffee flavor, the power of the steam and etc.  That means I bought the wrong one, returned it and ordered the right one off Amazon.  Next week we will be happily sipping our own homemade espresso's.  I even ordered Starbuck's syrup and espresso pods.  I'll let you know how we like it!

Dinner games
The other night while Mike was gone at dinner time, the kids and I came up with a fun game called "Charades behind the curtain".  We have these curtains in our dining area and as the sun sets, if you go behind the curtain, it makes a perfect silouhette.  So we took turns acting out things behind the curtains.  I'm telling you it was dinnertime fun!

Shopping and the closet
I went through my closet and am 3 bags lighter of clothes to be donated and I actually threw away about 6 pairs of shoes.  You know, flip flops that are getting retired from summer, boots that were chewed on by long ago puppies.  My closet looks much more organized.  I also did some shopping lately (the real reason I need to weed through my closet) and found a really cute fall dress that needed the perfect pair of brown boots (I found some later), some great jeans, and a cute shirt.

october school break
The kids get a three day weekend next week (teacher inservice + budget reduction days) and we are looking forward to some museum adventures, maybe seeing a movie and making these with some pretty autumn leaves.

Colorful Fall printables
And last but NOT least, I came across a post from a favorite blog that has a link to some great fall printables to liven up your home. I think I might have to do a fall baking post soon with all the great recipes I want to try.

Aren't they so cute?
Oh, by the way, you really should try Pinterest.  It's a virtual pinning board-a place to keep things you like on the internet.  Here is my board:

We really love sweet potatoes.  Really.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ok, I'm now ready for fall as September almost comes to close.  Life seems to be settling back into a more fall kind of rhythm.  The air is a bit chillier in the mornings, but afternoons are still warm.  I haven't been very motivated the past couple weeks but I have gotten back into an exercise routine.  I am happy to report I didn't completely lose it all summer and just lie around, which is a big step for me.  Usually I get into exercise, then leave it for months, and so on.  Dancing with the Stars is coming back on and I usually like to do the elliptical while I watch it-good motivation.

Our last couple weeks have been filled with a fun game on the PlayStation called Sing Star.  Karaoke!!  We each get a microphone and then while it plays the video, you sing along and try to hit all the notes to get as many points as you can.  I picked this game out because I LOVE to sing.  Surprisingly, Hannah wants to be only the audience and Taylor loves to sing with me.  The first night we sang our hearts out for 2 hours.  Taylor has now decided he likes Cold Play, U2 and Maroon 5.  The music selection doesn't have a lot of newer songs but lots of older ones, so we have been singing to the 80's and 90's stuff.  He rolls his eyes when he hears me say, "I listened to this when I was in HIGH School", and then we sing R.E.M.  Fun stuff.  He will not join me for any Whitney Houston songs, though.

I have also been helping my Mom re-do her guest room.  She wants a cottage look, so we have had fun picking the wall color and accent colors.  She hates blue but I showed her how pretty the walls in a yellow would be with some ice blue and chocolate brown together.  I'll have to put pictures up when we finish.  We found the perfect bedding and some art for the walls. 

Hannah started gymnastics last week.  We have been going back and forth about whether to enroll her in a "serious" class (costing "serious" money).  She has taken gymnastics in other classes, but they are a little more casual.  She really loves being active and gymnastics is fast moving, and has lots of variety.  After getting her in the right level, she is right at home.  She can eventually be in a competetive team but right now she is learning more basics, but they have parallel bars, beams, trampolines, she is in heaven. Her class in 90 minutes and she wants the 2 hour one.  That girl has endless energy!  She is very motivated and seems to be enjoying herself, so we'll see how it goes.  

Well I better go as I am supposed to be hard and work and not on here!!

Spencer and Rendi rockin out with Sing Star.

Hannah LOVES wearing my shoes and boots.

My basil survived long enough for me to hack it down and make fresh pesto-sooo delicous.  Didn't get a pic of our finished dish because we ate it up. It's Hannah's favorite new pasta dish. 

Homemade pop tarts without the icing.  These were a hit, I made some with Nutella and some with strawberry jam.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm a posting fool!

Well I decided to switch up my do again and CUT all my hair off. I love change and I love how it turned out.  My kids say I look weird.
Those are some nice kitchen cupboards as the back drop to my photo!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hannah LOVES spending time with friends.  She loves to be busy and social.  She enjoys spending as much time with friends, family and cousins as possible.  I am a middle-of-the-road social person. I enjoy time with friends, but I love my home and my down time and need lots of it to stay centered in life.  So when Hannah is constantly asking to play and have friends over, we've had a learning process on how to find the right mix, as well as working through friendships.

Last year she started a friendship with a girl that lived across the street and was a year older.  She wanted to be with her every minute and they even went to the same gymanstics place.  I thought it was fine, but I started noticing some things about her friend, that for privacy reasons we'll call Megan, that I didn't like.  She never asked me for things, she would get Hannah to, she would do things I told them not to do behind my back and be  secretive.  Then her and Hannah started fighting and together they got into big trouble at school.  So I would say they needed a break, and then the drama would start again.  They would yell at each other and constantly say, 'I'm not your friend".  Megan even punched her and called her a bitch!!! WHOA!  Then her Mom would come over asking what was wrong. It was too much for me. I like a peaceful household and I don't tolerate drama. At all.  Then Hannah started saying Megan was mean if Hannah didn't do what she asked.  Then when new neighbors moved in with two girls Hannah's age, and Megan told Hannah they were her new friends, she was never playing with her and Hannah couldn't play with them.  Oy.  That was my breaking point.  There is a lot more to this story, but I'm trying to keep it short!

So I told Hannah not to walk to school with her anymore and Megan started calling her names.  I won't tell you about the major drama from her Mom acting like a high schooler but basically in May I had enough.  Megan came over and I told her that Hannah was no longer ever, going to play with her.  She was a bully, and I, as her Mom had to look after what was best for her and their friendship was not good.  Hannah didn't have a problem with it, she was sick of her too.

  I noticed Hannah much happier and she played with another girl in the neighborhood.  Just yesterday the girl comes over with her Mom asking why she couldn't play with Hannah-AGAIN.  I patiently and kindly told her she had done things Hannah didn't like, and I thought it best they didn't play together.  Although I feel bad for this child, as kids don't normally act this way, I had to hold my ground.  I told her I wasn't trying to be mean but the friendship wasn't good. 

I felt sooooo bad!! But I knew I had to do it.  Megan's mom (who was speaking to me the first time in months) said some friendships don't work out.  And off they went.  I really hope Megan learns what her actions do to others and I am so happy the drama is over and Hannah is back to playing with sweet girls in the neighborhood. The new neighborhood girls aren't friends with Megan now either and their Mom won't let Megan in their house.  My heart goes out to Megan, she obviously needs someone in her life to help her understand the consequences of her actions.

It's been a lesson for Hannah and I to learn.  Hannah learned how to stick up for herself and that accepting someone treating you so badly is not a friendship.  I had to learn to set boundaries on friends and listen to my gut, and teach Hannah what a good friend does and doesn't do.  I hate to tap into my Mama bear protective side and say enough is enough.  I'm sure as she gets older there will be much more to learn but I really hope she understands a bit about respecting herself from this. There will always be bullies, unfortunately.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My 6th grader, and third grader
 My babes started school, I finished a work project and so I had a whole week (!) to catch up on things around the house. I was very productive and got my windows washed, insect/yard guy to spray, the carpets cleaned (I actually hired somebody to do that), house cleaned, clothing organized and enjoyed the bounty of harvest this area has to enjoy during August and September.

I got 4 dozen ears of corn and blanched it for freezing, I bought 2 flats of strawberries and made jam and froze lots for soothies, I got a whole bag of peaches that I made a peach pie with and made peach jam.  Woohoo! I tried a new recipe on the strawberry jam that used something other than pectin to thicken so I didn't have to use so much white sugar to sweeten, so I tried honey.  It is good, and you can taste the fruit instead of just sugar.   I am looking forward to apple crops a little later coming in season so I can make applesauce and apple butter.  The weather is still warm though and it doesn't feel anything like fall so until I start burrowing in for the fall and winter, I'll make the most of the sunshine! Here are some orderly and random shots from my phone and camera.
The first day of school cupcakes...those are supposed to be blackboards, chalk and apples!

Love idaho sweet corn

Yummy corn for the freezer

I was losing my knack for making pies, so I had to practice.

Phew! It was delicious, my pie making skills have made a comeback. That crust would be all butter. No shortening around here. Paula Dean would be proud!

15 jars of honey strawberry jam and 5 peach ones (not pictured)

family pic taken at my Mother-in-law's house

I will enjoy these during the winter in smoothies.

 A new clock for my office-just thought you'd like to see it

A new photo for my office-I said there would be random pics...isn't that bird pretty?
Hannah wanted all her hair cut and "side bangs". She specifically wanted bangs that swept to the side.  Where does she get this??