Sunday, January 30, 2011

5 things to do with a sheet

It's rainy inversion day activity time, folks!
Because rainy? Not so much.
But sunny with a 99% chance of toxic haze? You betcha! 

So here are 5 are inversion day activities to do with your little ones using 
ONE 
simple item that every household has:

A sheet. That's right.
A sheet.
Here we go!


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#1 Build a fort!
This is one of Kortland's all-time favorite things.
At his insistence, his fort was made with his comforter, but you could totally use a sheet.

Some additional ways to enjoy your sheet fort are:
a. Watch a movie in there! Kort loves to build them in the living room and watch cartoons from their openings.
b. Have lunch in your fort.
c.  Encourage your child to take stuffed animals and toys in there. They can role play being a little family, OR hold a session of school in the "school house" {a.k.a. fort,  *wink, wink*}
d. Have a tea party.
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#2 Make a sheet hammock.
Kort loved this!
The hubs and I nearly threw our backs out trying to satiate his ravenous hammock swinging hunger!
With little ones, make sure you keep it "low and slow" so if there are any tumbles out of the sheet, they only fall a few inches. Also, watch out for furniture - play in an open space!
This is a great activity for when dad gets home.

15 minutes of your time, and your kiddos will think they have died and gone to heaven!
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#3 Blow Bubbles!
Blowing bubbles has been STRICTLY an outdoor/summer activity at our house... until now! If you cover your carpet and furniture with sheets - you can let loose and blow bubbles all the live long day. Kort was REALLY excited to demonstrate this one for all of you!

You can also blow them in the bath tub, if you're not looking forward to the soapy sheet laundry...
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#4 Have a picnic!
This doesn't have to be a major production.
Stick a couple of snacks {fruit leather, crackers, gold fishes, cheerios} in IKEA bowls and let 'em have at it. Kort asks to have picnics roughly...EVERY day. So it's a treat, and can make even something small feel special.
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Another variation on the "sheet picnic" is to have a popcorn party.
Set an air popper {if you have one} in the center of the sheet, and pop a batch of popcorn WITHOUT the guards on. Popcorn flies everywhere and your little ones will get a huge kick out of it.
They can pretend they are animals {puppies, goats, frogs...?} and crawl {or hop}around eating the popcorn off of the clean sheet.
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The final idea is {not pictured, but that is my FAVORITE picture of Tennyson CRACKING up!} but it is:
#5 Sheet parachute!
You all know this one. They are awesome {and sort of hard to photograph}.
Get a BIG sheet, throw it up in the air, dive under it and pull the sides down around you. Now, sheets don't hold air the way that those awesome REAL parachutes do, but your little ones won't mind. Believe me, if they've got their mom laughing and diving onto the floor with them, they are going to be happy.

So, there you have it!
5 things to do with a sheet.
Did I miss something?
What cool things do YOU do with sheets?

And... is your sink shiny?
{mine is SO NOT shiny right now...but my kids are happy, so I guess the sink can wait...}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

fantastic play dough recipe

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So, I tried{like, really hard}to find a GREAT play-dough recipe that did not call for Cream of Tartar {because I didn't have any on hand and I did NOT want to go to the store...} and while I found some that are "meh, okay" this one {which, unfortunately calls for Cream of Tartar} is fantastic!!!

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup of salt
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp oil
food colouring

Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium pot. Add water, oil and food colouring. Cook and stir over medium heat. When mixture forms a ball in the pot, turn out, knead, and play!

play-dough prestige

I just read an article that had me riveted. It was written by a feminist atheist who has no children and openly admits to being completely enamored with "Mormon Mommy Blogs." I think that she wrote the article in very witty, interesting, insightful, and {most importantly} respectful way. The comments following? Well, in true "troll-ish-nightmare-with-nothing-better-to-do" form, some people were disrespectful, random, off-topic, delusional, etc. Others, still, were intelligent and thought-provoking. I had to tear myself away in hopes of getting anything done at all today! {But alas, here I am blogging all about it, and because of it, instead.}

In the article, writer Emily Matchar writes:

"Enter the Mormon bloggers, with their picture-perfect catalog lives. It is possible to be happy, they seem to whisper. We love our homes. We love our husbands.

Of course, the larger question is, are these women's lives really as sweet and simple as they appear? Blogs have always been a way to mediate and prettify your own life; you'd be a fool to compare your real self to someone else's carefully arranged surface self. And Mormons are particularly famous for their "put on a happy face" attitude. The church teaches that the Gospel is the only authentic path to true happiness. So if you're a faithful follower, you better be happy, right?"

Kay, so, here is where I struggle. Not only with the perceptions of feminist atheists, but with the perceptions of, well MOST people, really. I know that some blogs seem really sugar-coated. I know that not everyone has a super-happy marriage, but I do, and I don't like being regulrly bombarded with skepticism saying otherwise.

I guess I need to take a step back and say:

"Is it really all that important that people BELIEVE you when you say that you love your husband dearly?"

{Obvious answer: No, that's actually not important in the least. Duh.}

But no one likes to be called a liar. Nor do they like to have such a sentiment implied in their general direction because they openly profess to love their husband, children, and their stay-at-home lifestyle on their blogs.

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I think that it's a wee bit scary that we automatically disregard the experiences of others simply on the basis that we have never had those experiences ourselves. Or on the basis that we place different values on different things. Emily {author of the linked article} was likely raised to value education. {As was I} She was likely raised to value a promising/prestigious career. {Me, not so much, though it was always made clear that my parents would be super proud/supportive of me if I did choose that path.}She was likely raised to feel that believing in God was silly, impractical, and simply a much less-intelligent thing to believe in. And that's okay. I don't disregard her experiences based solely on the fact that I have not had them.

I was raised to value motherhood.
And that's okay too.
No, more than okay, it is absolutely wonderful.

I spent the better part of Monday {MLK day, so Kort didn't have school} making homemade play-dough for Kort and a neighbor friend.  And I'm not even sugar-coating when I say: It was heaven.  
{Okay, perhaps rather than merely a much dreaded sugar-coat-er, you think I am just plain nuts, but let me explain.}

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I decided to do a test kitchen of sorts in search of the very best home-made play-dough recipe out there. {Yes, I fancy myself a scientist.} I tried four different recipes and determined a clear winner. I had two little helpers who enthusiastically measured, poured, stirred, and tested right along with me. When we determined the winner, we rolled out batch after batch after batch of perfect home-made play-dough. This was so ridiculously fullfilling.

If I were an executive working in a sky scraper, I might create a great product, or a fabulous ad campaign, and my boss might pat me on the back and give me a gruff "nice work."...and my girlfriends might take me out for drinks to celebrate... and  I might get to spend the late evening eating Chinese take out on my spotless couch and watching whatever I wanted to watch into the wee hours of the morning, knowing full well that I could sleep in till noon the next day because no little feet would be pattering in around 6:00 a.m. and asking for pancakes, etc...

And this would be my reward for working my cookies off for weeks, MONTHS even. A pat on the back and a late night celebration. Sounds reasonable. But back to play-dough.

Let's talk about play-dough making benefits, shall we?

I spent 2 hours making play-dough, and what did I get?
Triumph! {When I zeroed in on the best recipe.}
Enthusiasm! {From two darling little boys/assistant chefs.}   
Satisfaction! {As batch after perfect batch rolled forth from the last usable pot I own - ahem, because I have destroyed all of my other ones in unfortunate cooking accidents- um, because I am actually a disaster in the kitchen on most days, but I am DETERMINED to ge better every day.}
Gratitude! {When I snuggled my little boy into his bed that night and he pulled my face into his with a killer neck hug and said thank you - roughly a dozen times- for taking the time to do play-dough experiments with him... and for letting him use my good cookie cutters...and for rolling the dough out into a perfectly flat workspace...and...and...and... so much gratitude.
Fulfillment! {Knowing that my actions have expressed love to my son. Knowing that he feels it. Knowing that the little person that I care most about in all the world lives in a home that is secure, creative, loving, and fun. Knowing that simple, daily efforts and a commitment to doing "mundane" tasks everyday is creating a world for my family that is loving and beautiful.
Double Fulfillment! {Because I made extra, bagged it up, and will be taking it to my seven lil' babies in Nursery on Sunday. I will get to feel joy in connection to my play-dough making efforts once again as I watch one and two year old lil' munchkins press, and mold, and roll, and inevitably try to eat those joyous balls of colorful dough.}

All from making PLAY-DOUGH?! {You may ask.}
And to you, I respond with a simple: Yes. Yes, indeed.

It's all so simple.
The rewards of home making outweight my efforts ten fold every time.

Chocolate chip cookies made from scratch and served hot out of the oven with a tall glass of milk is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize in my seven year old's eyes.

Making my husband's favorite dinner and having him "What About Bob" it up with every bite is the equivalent running a mere half mile and then being treated as though I've won the New York Marathon.

And what about taking a small, home-made birthday gift to and visiting for a moment with my dear, sweet neighbor who has terminal cancer, and will not see another birthday in this life? More fulfilling than any career you can throw in my face. More than anything you could offer to me, really.

I guess I just refuse to apologize for having a life made up of tiny little pieces and tiny little people that bring me undeniable joy.

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{Kort's half-eaten ring pop that he stores in this cheapie IKEA bowl on top of our kitchen counter. Every time I walk by it, it makes me smile. And I stop and savor the image...because I know this period of my life is fleeting. I'm going to blink, and it'll be car keys. I'll blink again and it'll be a mission call. I am not going to miss out on one single opportunity to stop and realize that that ring pop is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. NOW we're gettin' crazy, no?}
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I'm also going to immerse myself in the making of singed flowers. They are so much fun, and they come out beautifully every time regardless of the fact that I am not a talented crafter. And on the subject of crafts, do you want to know why women love making things so much? It's because we are natural-born creators. I don't care who you are: feminist, atheist, truck driver, career driven over-achiever...you name it! If you are a WOMAN, there is a part of your brain that will go totally zen when you pick up a paintbrush, hot glue gun, pair of scissors, or ball of clay.

It's science. 50% of the time, it works every time. You can quote me on that.
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I do all of my happy crafting with my trusty baby monitor by my side. When Tentens is up, happy crafty zen time is over, and it's reading, drooling, giggling, bathing, eating, cooing time instead. And when Kort bursts through the front door after school, it morphs into snack time, brother time, homework, and friend-finding time. {And those times are equally fulfilling.}
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And when the hubs is home from work, and Kort is home from school, it just might become FAMILY happy crafty zen time, and would you even believe it? Men and boys feel its beneficial effects too! Fancy that.

In closing, I really enjoyed the article. I thought she did an AWESOME job, considering her background.

I guess I just don't understand why 
IT'S SO STINKIN' HARD TO BELIEVE 
that mommy blogs are not totally sugar-coated,
and stay-at-home-moms just might be THAT ridiculously happy.
haha! 
Am I nuts?

We are sheltered from the outside world.
We are loved and adored by our children for doing the simplest of things {i.e. reading a book, making play-dough, or I don't know, just listening intently to them and being genuinely interested in the things they have to say...}
We are treasured and respected by our husbands.
We get to choose who we let in, and who we keep out.
What's not to love?

I'm grateful for the small things.
Even the tiny things.
For, they truly are the things that make up our lives.

I love creating.
I love that I am so richly rewarded for doing things that I enjoy doing anyway.
I love that I am so richly rewarded for trying really hard to consistently do the things that I totally have no interest in doing. {i.e. laundry, dishes, getting out of my bathrobe by 2:00 p.m. - a goal which I am totally failing, btw.}
I love that I am the creator of my world, and I get to pick and choose who gets to be a part of it.
And I get to pick and choose how I want to beautify it.
And I get to pick and choose how I want to nurture the people who reside within the walls of it.

I'm grateful that I am human, and have the capacity to REASON.
The capacity to CHOOSE HAPPINESS and LIVE HAPPINESS every. single. day. of my life.

Because it is a choice, you know.
{Clinical depression excluded, of course, that's a whole other ball game.}

and I love making play-dough.
{maybe a little too much.}


*If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share. By clicking the "f" box in the bottom of this post, you can share it with your friends on facebook. {And I would surely love it if you did!}

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to write a Thank You note.

Dear ~j,

I found your quaint tutorial describing the basic ins and outs, and why's and wherefores of thank you noting to be MOST helpful. I particularly liked the parts about personalization and appreciation. Very well said.

I also thought that your points regarding the pitfalls of insincerity {i.e. saying you were happy to "see" people when, in reality, you did NOT "see" them} were not only true, but rather funny as well.

You are funny, smart, and someone I am truly glad to know.
Sincerely,
{for reals}
Laura Dugovic

Update.

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Wow, I haven't posted for over a week! I am actually doing a great job sticking with my goals, I'm just not doing so hot at regularly writing about them, I guess. {eeesh.}

I CANNOT believe I have cooked dinner every night for a week. As long as I keep it simple, and plan ahead, it's easy peasy! What was I so worried about?

So far, we have had Kyle's parents over twice, and we've had some new neighbors over as well. We REALLY loved getting to know them better, and I have to say, in keeping with my new revelation that less truly is more, it was so nice to just have an intimate conversation at the table. Normally, we tend to invite two or three couples over at a time in an effort to make things lively, BUT, I am finding that I prefer the one on one stuff SO much more!

With multiple couples, it's fun and feels party-ish, but I don't feel like I come away from the experience actually knowing anyone better or on a deeper level. With less guests, it's very much about the "quality" aspect of our interaction. Love, love this.

It has also been a wonderful blessing to spend more time with Kyle's parents. We decided to make a weekly date of dinner and family home evening every Monday night, and we are LOVING it. Kort so looks forward to their arrival and is always sad when they have to go. He also gets disappointed when "We aren't having ANYBODY over tonight? Not ANYBODY?!!"

I need to be taking more pictures. I have been doing a good job of CREATING nice table arrangements, but again, not so diligent in capturing this on film. Pictured, is a simple table setting I put together for the week. Kort loves it. He gets to blow the candle out each night when the meal is finished. Tonight the hubs even sang happy birthday and told Kort to make a wish, you know, just to keep it interesting.;

Tennyson likes it too! {and then he gets distracted by something else...like fingers...ha ha!}

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

gratitude and cookies.

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About a week after Kort's crazy cookie decorating party in December, Kortland came home with a note that he said was for me. It was a thank you note...from a 2nd grader! Now, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but this amazed me!

The note said:

"Mrs. Dugovic,
Thanks for inviting me to
your cookie party.
You worked hard!"
{and then he signed it.}

Ha ha! How cute is that?
I was so impressed.
And I thought to myself, "His mother is so lovely."
What a lovely thing to teach your child.
What an important lesson to be learned at such a young, impressionable age.
And I decided there and then that we were going to be a "thankful household."
We are no longer going to take the kindness and thoughtfulness of others for granted.
We are going to recognize service.
We are going to acknowledge kind deeds.
And we are going to do so with cookies and the written word!

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So,we centered our family home evening lesson around gratitude, and then, when I told Kortland that I wanted to start making sure that we say thank you to people who have touched our lives, he immediately thought of all of his primary teachers. He has LOVED each and every one of them. They have each taught with such love and patience {ohhhh the patience} and have made Kortland's early church memories beautiful and positive. {A feat that I, as his mother, do not take lightly. At all.}

We decided that cookies would be a fun way to say thanks.

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I told Kort that I would have the cookie decorating stuff ready when he got home from school on Tuesday. {A promise that I would regret on Tuesday morning when I awoke as a half-zombie after being up most of the night with Tennyson...} I was exhausted, BUT there is such a great feeling that comes with following through for your kids even when you don't think you have it in ya.

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To sweeten the deal, {no pun intended} my friend Natasha decided to come by and bring her darling son, Taylor, to help us decorate. This girl feeds my soul, I'll tell you what. Her energy is so positive and effervescent, it literally drips off of her, infecting everything within a 40 foot radius. It's heavenly. And I needed the boost. I don't know what I'm going to do without her when she moves to Texas next month {sniff, sniff}. At the end of all of my "Housewife on Fire goaling and struggle for self betterment" if I am just 1/4, no, 1/16 of the woman, friend, and mother that she is, it will have all been worthwhile. {I could say that of a lot of the women I am so blessed to call my friends...all of them, really. Sounds like I need to bake another hundred batches of thank you cookies...}

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Spending the afternoon with Natasha and Taylor, and catching up as our creative juices flowed into snowmen, crowns, and smiley faces was bliss I tell ya.  Just bliss. And it reminded me of another "living your life" rule that I am TRYING to live by. And that is a commitment to QUALITY over QUANTITY.
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As you may very well know, these types of cookies take a lot of effort! {2-3 hours JUST to cover the baking alone...etc}and I tend to get the {erroneous} idea that if I am going to do a TON of work, then as many people as humanly possible should come and benefit from it! Ha ha! Not so.
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Nope, there is definitely something to be said for simplicity. And there is even more to be said for the restorative powers of an afternoon spent enjoying simple, one on one interaction with someone who you simply adore.
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Lesson learned.
{Now if I can just remember, remember, REMEMBER it!}
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That night, after dinner, I designed a special stationary letterhead for Kort to write his thank you notes on. I thought they were pretty funny. {Translation: I  think I'm pretty funny.}

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We went around and delivered the notes with cookies.
Then, just tonight when I tucked Kort into bed, he said:

"Hey mom? You know how you let me decorate cookies and then you drove me all over the neighborhood so I could deliver them?"

"Yeah."

"Thanks for doing that. I loved that."

{Aw.}

Of course, I know that I don't always have to slave over rolled sugar cookies all day in order to say "thank you" to someone. But I just wanted to have a fun "kick off" event to commemorate our family's new "attitude of gratitude."

In keeping with that attitude, thank YOU for visiting and sharing in this journey. I LOVE reading your comments and updates. I love your tips. I love interacting with like-minded women from all walks of life. So, thanks. I get WAY more hits than I do comments, so I just want to say thank you to those of you who step out of anonymity so that I can get to know you better.  Thank you for "following" so I feel like I'm not doing this on my own. And thank you to everyone who drops in {even if you're too shy to let me know you were here.}

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

campaign mom

why I love being a mom: reason #1
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{Tentens and I were ENTIRELY over-due for one of these cliche' mommy-baby-mirror-self-portrait-thingies. So there. Done and done. -And done SPECTACULARLY... if I do say so myself. - I was having a REALLY good bangs day that day. Those days are getting fewer and farther between lately, so I'm glad I captured one. Oh, and add to that the ridiculously cute and very smiley baby? ...Yeah, no one is looking at my bangs, huh? Darn.}
Since some people think that mommy bloggers who claim to love being moms, and wives, and stay-at-homers, and like, "such as", are either 1. lying/sugar-coating or 2. just downright nuts {and in their defense, I just might be...} I have decided to launch a campaign to enlighten them and share my side of the mommy story.

{I DO eat {and BAKE} a lot of cupcakes, so maybe sugar-coating is inevitable, and I would be remiss if I didn't warn you that unicorns, rainbows and kittens may very well burst forth from your computer screens as a result of reading this... so consider yourselves warned.}

Last night, Ten woke up and would. not. go. back. to. sleep. At 2:00 a.m., after hours of rocking him to sleep, laying him down, have him start screaming, picking him back up, rocking him back to sleep, laying him back down, having him start screaming, picking him back up and rocking him {for like 20-30 minutes} back to sleep, and THEN holding my breath while laying him down... praying while laying him down, looking to the heavens and pleading "please let him stay asleep, please let him stay asleep, please let him stay asleep, please let him stay asleep, I will DIE if he doesn't just stay asleep...!" and then, right as his body hits the crib... he starts screaming... again.

Then, I had a "duh" moment, and thought "Why don't I just take him to bed with me?" Even if he doesn't sleep, he will happily squeal and poke my face and pull my hair for the next hour while I {who am completely exhausted and could sleep through a hurricane at this point} GET SOME SLEEP!

So, I picked him up, and carried him into my room. The SECOND we crossed the threshold to my room, he stopped crying. {Smart little stink.} And when I laid him next to me in bed...? Ha! ALL SMILES. Cutest thing ever. He does this amazing little *sigh* followed by a high-pitched squeal, and yeah, much to my delight, he did THAT about 20 times in a row. And then he pinched at my cheeks and eyes and pulled my bangs, like, really hard in an effort to pull my face closer into his so that he might take a big old bite, or at least just suck on a cheek bone for awhile... so I leaned in and kissed him all over the face and nuzzled down into the place between his chin and chest where there is SUPPOSED to be a neck, but really there is no neck to be found... just a lot of fatty deliciousness... and I made growly-eat-y sounds, and loud, squeaky-kissy sounds, and the giggles...ohhhh the giggles that came out of that boy...

And suddenly, 2:00 a.m. didn't matter anymore. {Okay, it was more like 2:45 by now... but 2:45 a.m. didn't matter anymore, either.}

And suddenly, the deliriously exhausted feeling that was threatening to eat me alive was replaced by pure joy. Seriously. Pure joy. {Because, you know, babies are like, 99% pure joy...and 1% poop. There, is that more along the lines of "keeping it real"? I said poop, and also acknowledged that babies do it. Does that drastically increase my street cred.?}

I passed out to the blissful melody of Tennyson's high soprano {he gets it from his Gaga} with kicky-feet drumming a separate beat all their own, and the occasional poke in my right eye. Awesome.

So, I love being a mom.
Go moms!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday - How did we do?

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I think I can write Monday off as a success. I had a HUGE break from what I would call routine {a.k.a. staying home all day everyday, puttering around, and slowly accomplishing the house-wifey tasks laid out before me}and went shopping with the hubs. Kort has outgrown or torn through all of his jeans {a--gain} and yesterday, after we rushed into church and settled down in our seats, I noticed {to my horror} that his only surviving pair of church pants...are a solid 3 inches too short all of the sudden. Yeah, he looked awesome.

So, today was a shopping day. {And yes, it takes both of us because I am running out to our gigantic van to nurse Tentens half of the time and SOMEBODY needs to be able to stay with the cart and/or finish the purchase while I haul my cookies to the mother ship.} 

And shopping took F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

So, just out of curiosity, did all of y'all with seven year old boys in the fam go out and but your kids a TON of denim for Christmas this year? Cause, um, pretty sure we couldn't find ANY! We did, however, find two handsome church outfits, and a bunch of things that I needed {okay, and probably also did NOT "need"} for Tennyson, so at least we are good to go in that department.

Since shopping took SUPER long, we got home just in time for me to sprint over to the school, give Kort's teacher her belated Christmas gift {not my fault, they canceled school for a snow day on the day that I had planned to get it to her} sprint back home, fold laundry for ONE hour, {goodbye power of ten.. right out the window with you today...} vacuum the living room, and just as I started tidying up our messy kitchen, Kyle's parents arrived. They come over for dinner and f.h.e. every Monday night, and we love it so much!

I don't have time to get pictures up tonight, so I will wait and share more about f.h.e. tomorrow.

After a great dinner {Goodwood take-out}and family home evening {gratitude}.
I took a nice, slow, 20 minutes and cleaned the kitchen thoroughly tonight after we got the kids in bed.
Then I put the rest of the clean clothes {which I had stashed in my bedroom to get the living room tidied up for the inlaws}away, showered, blow dried my hair so that I have stacked the odds in my favor tomorrow, and here we are!

Shiny sink? Check.
Power of Ten? {yes, times 8 thanks to all that laundry}
Ready for the day? Check. {...and the hubs was like "Whoa!" ha ha! He hasn't seen me up and dressed first thing since before Christmas break! Yikes!}
Cook a meal? Well, sort of... I HOSTED one, does that count?{See? I told you that cooking is hard for me!}

How did you make out?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back in business

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Wow, was it just me, or did the holidays get a little bit hectic there at the end?! Whoa. Well, I am excited to say that the tree is down, the d├ęcor is in boxes, and life is getting back to normal. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get re-focused on the goals we’ve set and start adding new challenges as well.

Since the whole “start cooking more” goal was smothered half to death by the holiday season, I’m going to start back there and start cooking {or trying to cook} all of your recipe suggestions, so definitely keep ‘em coming if you have them. I will rate the dinners as we try them out. The rating system will share how easy I thought the meal was, how tasty I thought the meal was, and whether or not I could get the Kortmeister to eat any of it! {That’s the toughest part.}

2 additional goals I am adding for the month are:

1. Have guests over for dinner at least once a week. {This is so good for your soul, and you don’t even have to get a babysitter, so WHY on earth aren’t you doing it more often?!} Part of this is going to be focused on simple ways to make my table more beautiful, and like, such as, and so on, and such. And another part of this will be on maaaaybe trying out fun and different foods, things to do post-dinner and so on. I will give you detailed updates.

2. Teach gratitude and live gratitude. {More on that very soon.}

I’m ready to get down to business!

Goodbye bathrobe, (yes, I reverted… a little. Don’t you juuuudge me!} and hello shiny sinks, un-broken windows, the power of ten, and my sanity! Woot! Woot! {And yes, in case you were wondering, I am going back to doing all of those things bright and early Monday morning. 3 power of ten sessions {spread out throughout the day}

How were your holidays?
Is your sink shiny?
Are you going to jump on board with any of these goals…or do you have a few of your own up your sleeve?
Spill it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

REALLY about

Oh, how I loved this {thanks, Clover Lane}:

AN ERMA BOMBECK COLUMN:

A young mother writes: "  I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

OK.
One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!"
And they will.


Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do ... and don't slam the door!"
And they won't.


You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.


You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company."
And you'll eat it alone.


You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.


No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.


No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.


Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.


No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.


Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.


Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"


and the silence echoing, "I did."

REALLY ABOUT: Cherishing this time NOW. Because it will be gone faster than any of us are able to{or any of us WANT to} imagine.

Now that's what I call a gingerbread house.

 
So, My cute sis-in-laws and I decided to take a little initiative this year and plan fun activities for the kiddos each day leading up to Christmas. We were staying in my parent's new cabin house and knew that the kids would get a little stir crazy if they didn't have the proper outlets for all of that energy. It went off like gangbusters and we had a lot of fun.

But, the problem? We sort of... over-scheduled, and gingerbread houses didn't end up making it into the rotation. And, um, I bought like, a TON of candy for them! Now, the Christmas Season is over and gone, and here, in the light of the sparkly-shiny New Year, gingerbread houses are just sort of feeling "so last week." {Like, ya know?}

So, I think I have decided to shelf the idea until next Christmas and use all of that candy for a Valentine's Day cookie decorating party instead. {Fortunately, I bought a lot of rainbow colored candy rather than traditional red and green, so everything should be able to make a holiday shift-a-roo just fine!}And yes, I think I am addicted to cookie parties...in case you were wondering.

However, the REASON I AM POSTING ANY OF THIS is to tell you that my friend Emily {brilliant and creative mother of FOUR boys}had a way better idea for gingerbread houses that I am so doing next year! You can go here to read all about it. I can so relate to what she said about wanting to control everything and make it perfect, and honestly, in WHAT way is controlled perfection fun for rambunctious little boys? Luckily, Em is innovative and always looking for a great activity for her boys, and thanks to a HOMEWORK project sent home with her oldest son,  she came up with the perfect solution for everyone.