Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - flank steak, ranch rice, grilled zuchini and onion (This was on the menu for this past Sunday, but I made chicken and dumplings instead)
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - grilled chicken, cheesy potatoes and green beans
Friday - eating out before the football game
Saturday - burgers, homemade onion rings, corn on the cob
Sunday - eating out with family

Not the most exciting menu...but an easy cooking week for sure!
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday

Tomorrow, my week of hosting over at Write. Click. Scrapbook. begins. I've got a week full of journaling ideas and shortcuts, multi-photo layouts and new, created-just-for-this-week, pages. Be sure to stop over and say hi!

The September WCS gallery goes up on Tuesday. Here's my layout from August's gallery, which was all about summer.

(Basic Grey and American Crafts paper; AC Thickers, journaling spot and pen; Fiskars punch; Little Yellow Bicycle flower accent.)

This one is about my little gardener, Emma.

(AC paper, ribbon, Thickers, journaling spot, pen; Making Memories tiny alphas.)
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Saturday we had a picnic in the park. Big hit with the girls. This is one of those things we talked about doing all summer, but didn't do it until the Saturday before Michael went back to school. Oh well, there's always next year.

(Note the matching t-shirts. Emma's been really into dressing like Daddy this summer.)

2. Today we went to the pool - last visit before it closes. They've kept it open an extra week this week, providing the forecast calls for 80 degrees or higher. The rest of the week is low 70's so I'm pretty sure today was the last day.

3. Next week I'm hosting the
Write. Click. Scrapbook. blog, so I've been up late every night for the 5 days or so working on layouts. A few more nights and I should be done. Then I'll need to re-train myself to go to sleep at 11 instead of 2 am!

4. Tonight we had parent's orientation at Emma's preschool. She has orientation for an hour on the 10th and her first day is the 15th. Crazy. I'm excited for her. But I think I'm going to be a bit sad with her gone. It's only two mornings for 2 1/2 hours, but it'll be weird not having her in the house with us.

5. Yesterday I was super cleaning woman. I didn't sit on the couch once all day, I was impressed with myself. I cleaned out/organized the pantry, finished cleaning the bathroom, did 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed the whole house, straightened up the girls rooms, emptied dishwasher/loaded it/cleaned kitchen, cleaned and organized the girls' craft/play area in the basement.

6. I've totally sucked at my other blog, Erin Hates Running. More on that on Friday.

7. I'm tired. I should go to bed. But I want to get one more layout done tonight.

8. Fall shows start soon!

9. That's all I've got. So maybe not 10 on Tuesday, maybe 9. Or does this one even count? Make it 8 or Tuesday.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

More great meal plans at

Michael started back to school today, which means summer's over and I've got to start planning my menus again. More cooking, less eating out. Back to reality!

Monday - pizza pies with the pie irons
Tuesday - spaghetti and meatballs
Wednesday - Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (Just found this recipe tonight, looks so good!), asparagus, mashed potatoes
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - chicken wraps, veggie
Saturday - eat out
Sunday - flank steak, ranch rice, grilled zucchini and onion
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

How Emma sees us.

Apparently, all she sees is our bottom half.

Emma's been really in to taking pictures with my cute little pink camera lately. Loves it. She was snapping away yesterday at the park so I told her to take a picture of me and Michael. She did.

Looks like we need to work on tilting the camera up to get the whole body in the frame.

PS, Scrapbook Sunday will return next week. I've been working on a bunch of new layouts for when I host the Write. Click. Scrapbook. blog at the end of the month, August 31 - September 5. I will have something to post here next week though.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Making progress

This spring and summer Emma took swim lessons - preschool beginner. Next month, she will once again be taking preschool beginner lessons. After last session, she was told (or I was rather) to work on floating and putting her face in the water. Apparently you need to float to get to the next level. She was no where near this. She didn't even like to go all the way under the water. This summer at the outdoor pool started the same way. She loved to go in it, but wouldn't go under. Then about two weeks ago it changed. She started jumping in the pool and going under while holding Michael's hands. Then she started jumping in, all the way, by herself with Michael watching. And now she jumps in and goes under even if no one is right there (we're close, though!) to catch her.

Yesterday we went to the pool with Lisa and one of Lisa's friend whose almost 4-year-old daughter swims underwater. And holds her breath. I was seriously impressed. She was so good! She'd been taking lessons since she was two and had no fear. She was even doing handstands.

This seemed to motivate Emma and Bree. Because the next thing I know, they're swimming. Emma went all the way under, kicked her feet, moved her arms around and swam! Granted, it was only a few inches, and it wasn't pretty, but she moved. :) I was so excited! And so proud of her. And she was excited too. She tried it over and over, totally loving swimming underwater. I have a feeling she might just pass preschool beginner and move on to preschool advanced this time.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I think she liked them.

We had dinner at Max and Erma's last week and had the nicest waitress. (We also had the a woman give us a $5 coupon as they were leaving b/c they didn't use it. Random act of kindness, first time I'd ever had that happen to me, and I intend fully to repay the favor. It just made me feel happy.) Before we left, she gave the girls little to-go cups of mini M&Ms. They each had a few while we were there, then the rest when we got home as their bedtime snack. I'm pretty sure Mackenzie enjoyed each and every one of them.

That last picture, by the way, is her saying "cheese!" with her mouth crammed full of M&Ms.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

The weekend

Saturday we went to family fun day at our church. We've been wanting to go to one of these for months now, but we've always had plans but this weekend we finally made it. Of course, Emma passed on all the bounce houses, which was expected. But she did want to get on the bungee jump thing, where you're attached to harnesses and can jump and flip around. Unfortunately the line was really long as after a half hour of waiting she was over it.
The girls played games, got prizes and had fun running around. We had lunch there, although all they ate were chips, pretzels and carrot sticks. Mackenzie was afraid of the cotton candy, which meant I got to eat it all. The girls had their first ice cream sandwich, and although Emma was afraid to try it, they discovered just how yummy they are.

(Emma performing for us)
Emma's discovered the joy of taking pictures. And she took this one, which is actually pretty good!
Just before we left, Emma decided to get her face painted, which then changed to hand painting. She was so excited to get a music (pronounced by her as musk-ick) note. She picked it out herself with no guidance from me.
Here's Mackenzie wanting Mommy. She was getting tired of the wait.
That night we attempted a movie under the stars at the amphitheatre. It started off well. We had snacks, drinks, loveys and blankies. The girls were in their pajamas. We were watching Madagascar 2. But then Emma wanted to sit in my lap. And then Mackenzie wanted in my lap. Neither would sit with Michael. They got mad. Then there was fighting, wrestling, crying, yelling. It was time to go. We were scrambling in the dark to fold up our chairs, find all our stuff, keep out of everyone's way, shush the children. It was pretty funny. Looking back that is. At the moment we were just trying to hurry and get out of there! They made it an hour though, pretty good for a 21-month-old and a three and a half year old, I think.

Malachi turned two last week and Sunday was his birthday party. It was a great evening. Emma of course couldn't help but assist Malachi in the present opening. I think unwrapped presents are irresistible to 3-year-olds. Happy Birthday to my adorable nephew!

At the party, Michael was pulling the kids in the wagon. It was like they were on a roller coaster, they loved it!

(Mackenzie, Malachi, Claire, Emma)

Friday, August 14, 2009

The story of the $3 bike

When we went camping a couple weeks ago (which I will blog about one of these days) Emma rode her friend Brooke's bike the entire time, while Brooke rode Emma's Dora big wheel. Emma rode that little bike all over the place - up and down the road, in the grass, she loved it.

I wanted to get her one, and thought I could find a deal at a garage sale since we didn't know how long she'd ride it before outgrowing it. I found one last Saturday (next door to our old house, actually) for 3 bucks. And a Dora bike at that. I saw the training wheels were busted but knew I could get those pretty cheap. There was also a hole in the tire. Now this I didn't see until after I'd gotten Emma out of the car to come look at it and try it out. And there was, of course, no going back then. But a new tire, no big deal.

I found training wheels at Dick's for $9.99. At the bike store, Michael got two new tires since the other one didn't have much traction left, $12.99 apiece. We got home, he started working on it, and discovered the tube in the tire with the hole also had a hole. New tube - $5.99.

Here's Emma, on her $3 $45 bike.

She was so excited about this bike. Couldn't wait for Michael to finish so she could ride it. And then when she could finally get on it, she got right back off. She was scared. Our driveway slopes and she didn't want to go fast. We told her we'd hold on to her. Didn't work. We took her to the bike trail where she rode it for a bit and then that was it. She was done. Didn't want to ride it anymore. In fact, she generously offered to give it to her friend Bree. And this bike is the same as Brooke's, just Dora. We've even tried some of our best bribes (because yes, sometimes you have to bribe your child. You know, "Emma it's time to go in and get ready for bed now. But if you ride your bike you can stay out and play more!") But she wants nothing to do with it. And if you ask her why she doesn't want to ride her bike, she gives her answer for everything she doesn't like/want to do - "Because I just don't." Explains a lot, that answer!
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. The Twins Day festival was this past weekend, and we headed down to the parade Saturday morning. Here's the beginning of the parade. I actually zoomed in pretty far to get this, it's a pretty long parade route, it lasts about an hour and a half.

2. This is Emma's shy face. If someone talks to her she's not sure about, she does this and whispers, "I'm shy." She's not.

3. We have an Army Reserve base here and men and women from their unit marched in the parade. We were clapping and cheering and I told Emma to yell "thank you!" as loud as she could to them because they serve our country and it's important to thank them. Well, one man walking by heard her and came over and said "You're welcome." Guess what she did, the shy face from above. He smiled and laughed and I shook his hand and told him thank you again and then got that funny feeling I get inside whenever I see someone in the military. That feeling of awe and respect and admiration and the need to tell them I'm proud of them even though I don't know them. Sometimes it comes out (like a few weeks ago when we were out to eat and I told two older veterans thank you and shook their hands when really I wanted to hug them.) and sometimes even I get shy and don't say anything. Okay. Sorry. Got a little sidetracked there.

4. This is the Rocket Ship car. It used to be a ride at the old Euclid Beach Park. They also have a car made out of a roller coaster train. You can rent it for rides by the hour. Last summer our neighbors rented it for their son's birthday party and took his friends on a ride. Side note - later that evening, we saw the rocket ship pulled over. Can you even speed in that thing?

5. Some of the twins and their costumes. The theme was "Twins Days Rock!", aka 50's rock n roll. It's funny, because you'll see twins stop and pose often for people to take pictures of them. There were over 1800 registered sets of twins this year, from all over the world.

(So I don't really know what clowns on a golf cart have to do with the theme, but they're fun.)

6. Mackenzie enjoyed waving at everyone.

7. When she wasn't hiding behind me or the nice woman sitting next to us. For the record, she's not a fan of the marching band but the church band was okay. Also not a fan of loud sirens, costumed characters such as a lion (Lions club), leaf (Metroparks) or cow (Chick-Fil-A).

8. Emma, however, was a fan of the marching band as you can see in this video. She's got quite the dance skills. Keep an eye out for Mackenzie, you'll see her, but definitely not dancing with Emma.

9. Emma. Loving the parade. And the candy.

10. Have you ever seen a bike like this before? I hadn't. Different. Kind of cool. I wanted to try it.
I want to be the girl riding backwards. Kind of like when station wagons used to have the seat in the back that faced backwards, so you could make faces at the cars behind you when stopped in traffic.