Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Saturday 7

1. We had such a nice Memorial Day. We spent all day Saturday at a friend's cottage. Lucy adored the water, and spent hours in the lake.

Then on Monday, we went to Justin's grandparents' house and spent more time in the water.

2. Lena is suddenly obsessed with her baby and "Ellie." She has four loveys, but she recently took to one in particular and carries it all over. Love her.

3. I went to yoga again this week. It was more intense than last week, but still fun. It's good, because even though there are bursts of difficulty, it doesn't last so long that it feels unbearable. You do the hard pose for a few minutes, then move onto an easier one. I actually got into a pose that I never would've guessed I'd be able to do. Some kind of weird sideways headstand. Woot! Yoga confirms what I already knew: I'm really flexible, but completely lack in strength and balance. Haha. Hopefully I'll improve as I continue. 

4. I realized recently that I haven't been watching much TV lately. I used to be kind of a junkie, but nothing good is ever on the 4 channels we get, and I've finished all my Netflix shows (Raising Hope, Parks and Rec). But last night, I decided to try a new one: Hart of Dixie. I'm obsessed. I stayed up 'til midnight last night watching the first three episodes, and am on the same track for tonight.

5. Part of the reason I've been staying up so late is because Justin is gone for the weekend on a camping trip with a bunch of guys from our small group. So today the small group wives and kids got together at the pool for the day. We had so much fun and the kids were so good! I have great memories of hanging out at the pool with my friends while our moms chatted and drank Diet Coke. I love carrying on the tradition. (Although I've replaced the beverage with a much better alternative.) And I love that my kids will have friends to grow up with like I did.

Watch out for pirates!

6. I found this picture this week. I know now where I get my huge eyebrows from.
My dad and his mom. Lol. 
7. We've decided not to enroll Lucy in preschool this fall. I've been working with her a lot at home and don't think it's necessary. But I've been thinking of doing a little more formal homeschooling in the fall to really prepare her for Kindergarten. I've been looking at some free curricula online - like this one or this one. But they're all so involved!! I'm tempted to write my own, but I know myself, and know I won't follow through once the novelty wears off and I get bored. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy got this game from one of her friends at her party on Saturday.
It boggles my mind! Every card has exactly one match to another card. They don't have to be in a certain order or anything. Every card has one and only one match to any other card in the deck! There must be some kind of serious mathematical equation that allows for that. Anyway, Lucy loves the game and we play it multiple times a day. I don't mind playing it either, which says a lot for a preschool game. Haha.

2. I spent a couple days this week reading this book:

Justin's grandma loaned it to me like a month ago, with a glowing recommendation. It's way different than the books I usually read. Yes, it was technically Christian fiction, and it had a little bit of romance. But it was mostly a political mystery/thriller about the drug trade in Bolivia. It took me a while to get into it, and it's ridiculously long (over 600 pages), but I eventually got sucked in. I ended up staying up 'til 1 in the morning to finish it. That used to be no big deal, but now that Lena wakes up at 6 am like clockwork every day, 1 is way too late to stay up! Haha.

3. I used to be such an avid reader - especially in high school when I had nothing but time. But now I've discovered that I'm a bad mom when I'm reading. Haha. I don't have the self-control to read when my kids are in bed. Once I start a book, I have to read it all day every day until it's finished - forsaking housework and parenting and anything else that gets in my way. Lucy loves it, though, because she gets to watch scads of TV.

4. I forgot to mention that last week when I went to Lena's Dr appointment I asked about her lack of teeth. The doctor was actually pretty surprised that she only has two and checked to make sure she didn't have an obstruction or any other reason her teeth weren't coming through. She declared her fine, though, and this week a third tooth finally popped through! Her top right. I thought Lucy was a late teether, but she was nothing like this! Lena turned 16 months yesterday and now has 3 teeth. Haha.

5. We spent a lot of time of time outside this week, and it became apparent to me that it might be a long summer. Lena wants to be outside 24/7. She cries every time we get in the car because she wanted to stay outside. And then there's Lucy, who loves to be outside as long as the wind is calm. The second it kicks up, though, she runs to the door screaming for me to pick up everything that might blow away and insisting we go inside immediately. You can imagine how much Lena appreciates that. Sigh. My poor, poor anxious child. I seriously don't know what to do with her. Here's a few cute pictures from some of the time we did get to spend outside this week:
Lena with her baby.

Lena in her ridiculous jumpsuit. I can't decide if it's ugly or awesome. Haha.

6. A few weeks ago, I spotted a Groupon for a local yoga studio. I've been wanting to try yoga for a long time, thinking it might help repair the damage pregnancy did to my core. So I bought the Groupon and talked my friend Kelly into going with me so I didn't have to do it alone. We did our first class this week. I was really nervous that the class would be full of skinny 20 year olds in Spandex doing incredibly difficult moves. So I was relieved when we showed up to a class with 3 women in their 50s and 60s. The class was fun! It was difficult, but not unbearably so. I was worried I'd be tipping over and laying on the floor gasping for breath, but I could do pretty much everything and managed the one hour class without dying. Success! Of course, I was unconscionably sore for a few days afterward, but that just means it's working, right?

7. Here are a couple of the articles I read this week:

The Day I Lost my Smile by Lisa Terkeurst - I don't have kids in school yet, but I loved the reminder that all moms feel overwhelmed and imperfect at times and we need to be encouraging each other. I'm so grateful for my group of girlfriends that I can commiserate with, but who also give me practical advice and encouragement.

The Only Way to Love Sinners - This is a short one, and likely pretty controversial. But it hit on something I've been thinking a lot about lately: the story of the woman caught in adultery. So often, the part we hear quoted from that story is, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." Yes, it's important to remember that we're all sinners and no one sin is worse than another. But the part left out of the story is Jesus' admonition to the woman to "Go and sin no more." We can't just accept that we're all sinners and leave it at that. I feel like so often we're told "Don't judge! You're just as bad as me! We're all sinners!" We have to rejoice in the fact that we don't have to be stuck in our sin, thanks to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, and do our best to live lives of repentance and gratitude.

Well we're off for a weekend of Memorial Day fun. We're going to a family friend's cottage today, and it's not like the old days where I grabbed a swimsuit and magazine and headed out the door. I have to pack diapers and toys and food and pack n' plays and changes of clothes. So I better get to work! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lucy's "Frozen" Birthday Party!

A few months ago, I saw a carnival themed birthday party on Pinterest and decided this would be a good year for Lucy to have her first friend party. I thought she'd love a carnival theme and it'd be easy and fun. And then along came Frozen. There was no question that the carnival was going to be replaced by Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. Thanks to its insane popularity, there were a plethora of ideas on Pinterest. I chose a few of the easiest and went to town. :-)

My amateur pictures don't do justice to the tons of paper snowflakes Lucy and I cut out and hung from the ceiling:

I chose a purple, blue and white theme to complement our Frozen tableware.

I originally found the plates/cups/napkins at Party City, but then discovered the same thing at Dollar N' More in Sparta! If you're looking for Frozen tableware in my area, go to Dollar N' More and shop local! ;-)

I got this Frozen poster at Wal-Mart for $5. I'm sure it will find permanent residence on Lucy's bedroom wall soon.
Another idea from Pinterest.
Completed kitchen. Snowflake tablecloth also from Dollar N' More.
The "Pin the Nose on Olaf" poster my dad drew. Don't you wish you had artistic abilities like that?!
We had hot dogs as our main course, and then I had way too much fun with sides.
"Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" snacks. (Marshmallow bodies, pretzel arms, chocolate chip buttons, orange sixlet noses - found packaged by color in Meijer's bulk candy section.)
Olaf Noses. (Cheese puffs)
Kristoff's Blocks of Ice (Blue Jell-o)
Sven Snacks (Carrots)
Close up of the labels I spent way too much time making. Haha.
Punch. I was going to make a clever name for it, but totally forgot. It was sprite and blue kool-aid with frozen kool-aid cubes.

Melted snowman - aka water.
Royal cupcakes. 
*Sidenote* I used this icing to frost them. Best thing ever! I frosted 24 cupcakes with Lena on my hip in 5 minutes!
Finished tablescape:

The Party!
Birthday girl all dressed up and anxious for her friends to arrive!
Getting ready to play the game.
Time to Pin the Nose on Olaf!
Next up: Freeze Dance! We played music from the Frozen soundtrack, and pretended Elsa got us with an icy blast every time the music stopped:
I was really getting into it . . .
Then it was cupcake time!

Lucy got spoiled with some awesome presents again:

Then it was time to play outside and burn off some of that sugar!

We finished our fun-filled day by sending our friends home with some goody bags! 

It was such a great party, and we're so happy most of our friends could make it out to play with us! Happy 4th birthday, Lucy!

The Saturday 7

1. I posted this picture on facebook/instagram this week:
My first attempt at homemade burritos - without a recipe! I was so proud of myself. I always follow a recipe. This was pretty much just my enchiladas (recipe on the back of the McCormick seasoning packet) with refried beans inside. Although I did add a can of diced tomatoes with sweet onions, and used canned enchilada sauce instead of the packet kind. Neither Justin nor I were fans of the canned enchilada sauce (cheapo Meijer brand), but other than that, they were delicious!! *pats self on back*

2. We celebrated Mothers' Day and Lucy's birthday on Sunday. Justin's poor mom slaved over the stove and made us a delicious meal on Mothers' Day, then everyone came back to our house for a party. Lucy was ridiculously spoiled as usual. Look at this pile of shoes Justin's mom bought her!
She got a bunch of suuuuper cute clothes, some great Frozen finds, lots of books, a bike and this was as great a hit as I predicted:
The Snackeez! She loves that thing.
She also loved the Anna dress I snagged on Thursday. She didn't even need to wear clothes or pajamas for a few days, because she never took it off! Lol.
I got a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups and a bag of Dove chocolates for Mother's Day. That's all I need to be happy!

3. Lena had her 15 month check-up yesterday. She finally grew, so she's back on the charts! 20 lbs and 30 inches. 20th % for weight, 30th % for height. She had to get 4 shots. :-( When they put in the first two, she flinched, but didn't cry until the second two went in. Then I told her we were all done, and she kept sobbing, "All done! All done!" Broke my heart. Lucy was with us, and insisted on getting a sucker when we left. I felt so bad that Lena was the one who was in pain and Lucy was the one getting a sucker, so I let Lena have one for the first time. And then I remembered why I don't let Lena have suckers:
This picture does not do justice to the incredible stickiness of her entire body. Lol.
4. I've noticed recently that Lena is trying to sing. When Lucy sings Do You Wanna Build a Snowman, there's a line that goes, "Do you want to build a snowman? -Go away, Anna! - Okayyy, byyyyye." Lena always echoes "byyyye." Haha. And I've noticed her singing "Bible, Bible," for the line in Jesus Loves Me (the Bible tells me so). But my favorite is her sudden interest in lullabies. I don't sing the typical "lullaby" song to her, but Lucy loves to rock her at nap time a few times a week and sing her own absurd version of it. It goes something like, "Lullavy, and good night. Mama went in your room. And she saw you were asleep and there was a giant lion!" Anyway, one day this week, Lena climbed up in Lucy's bed and started singing "lullaby" over and over. Later that day, she was doing it with her babies. I love it!

5. We had some weird weather this week. Hot and sunny at the beginning of the week, rainy and downright cold by the end. This was my dinner last night:
Hearty beef stew by the fire. Ugh. 
6. We did get outside with the girls before the major cool down, after a day of rain:
Lucy does not appreciate mud.
Lena + Sidewalk chalk + Black pants =

7. Sorry this entry is short and consists pretty much of pictures. I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off getting everything ready for Lucy's party today. I had all week to prepare, but kept telling myself "Oh, I've got time." I work best under pressure anyway. Haha. Procrastination at its finest. Here's a sneak peak of the fun to come. Guess what game we'll be playing?
Drawing by my dad. I did NOT inherit his artistic abilities!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lucy's 4 Year Interview

We did this interview last year and Lucy gave very concise answers. This year, she was a bit more talkative. Haha. She wanted to keep answering questions, so I threw in a few extras. Some of her answers are so hilarious. I promise I did not coach her at all. I recorded her answers verbatim. 

What do you and Mommy do together?
Play and cook and read

What do you and Daddy do together?
Read books and play and make macaroni and do stuff like that and spend time together and watch TV together.

What makes you happy?
That you play with me and Daddy brings home donuts and making macaroni

What is something scary?
The dark and big dogs

What are you really good at?
Making macaroni and working

Who is your best friend?
Presley, Jackson, RJ, Jovie and Zek, Lyla and Chase, and Abby

Who’s the prettiest person you know?
Esther and Niki

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A doctor

What do you think about before you fall asleep?
Nothing. Well sometimes when I don’t go potty and brush my teeth at night, when I need to do that, sometimes I think about that.


Pink, yellow, blue, white, and purple

The Belly Button Book (Sandra Boynton) [This is so weird. She answered the same thing last year, but we never read this book!]

Frozen and Cinderella


Macaroni and cheese

Goldfish and popcorn

Favorite drink

TV Show
Curious George and Caillou

My birthday ones that are Frozen

I don’t have any . . . except a penguin

Frozen (all of them)



Breakfast Food

The Dollar Store – cuz there’s gumballs there. And Grandma’s store [Once Upon a Child] – cuz I get to work there and play with some of the toys.

Where’s your favorite place to go?
Niki’s house

What’s your favorite story in the Bible?
The sin one. I like the Adam and Eve one where they ate the fruit on that tree that God told them not to eat on. Then Jesus comes down from Heaven and he takes the yucky stuff off [of our hearts]. I sin sometimes. But not very often. It’s not naughty to be yourself. It’s just naughty to do stuff wrong.

Favorite way to wear your hair
In a braid – not in two braids. Just one braid.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Saturday 7

1. We've been having so much sleep drama this week. I think it boils down to the fact that Lucy is a night owl and Lena is an early bird, so their sharing a room just isn't ideal. Tuesday night was the worst. Lena goes to bed at 8 and my goal is to have Lucy in bed by 8:30 (although it's usually more like 8:45). She's just not tired by that time though! She talks and plays and reads books and gets bored and goes up and down the stairs with absurd requests. On Saturday night, we found Lucy sleeping in bed with Lena and thought it was so adorable. I figured Lucy must have heard Lena crying and climbed in to comfort her.
When I asked her about it on Sunday morning, though, she admitted that she (Lucy) was scared so climbed in to a sleeping Lena's crib searching for comfort. Fortunately Lena slept through it that night. But she did not sleep through it Tuesday night. Lucy and I had a chat about respecting Lena while she's sleeping and I put Lena back to bed in the pack n' play in my room. Lucy didn't fall asleep until after 10 that night.

She doesn't take a nap and she's up before 8 most mornings. I don't understand why she doesn't need more sleep. Justin and I both require a lot of sleep to function. Why didn't our kids inherit that?? It's also frustrating that Justin and I get zero alone time. He gets up at 4:30 am for work, so he likes to be in bed by 9:30. When Lucy's up that whole time, we can't just chill together! Ugh.

2. And then there's Lena. I decided to cut out her morning nap in an effort to make her sleep longer at night. The first two days were pretty miserable (all day crying), but she did sleep in til 6:30 (as opposed to 6) in the morning. On Wednesday, I was exhausted and didn't have the energy to fight with her, so I let her have her morning nap. Thursday morning she slept 'til 7! So then I was confused. Haha. I did one nap again on Thursday, but gave in again yesterday. It's not worth fighting. Yes, she was up at 5:45 this morning, but I'd rather get up earlier than listen to her cry all day long. 

3. Ok, enough about sleep! Here's the craft Lucy and I did this week.

We learned about Naaman being healed of leprosy in the Jordan river. I found some inspiration on Pinterest, but finally decided to keep it simple. We colored an envelope blue and brown to illustrate the muddy Jordan. Then we drew a face on each side of a popsicle stick and Lucy went to town with the red spots on one side. She dipped the stick in the envelope 7 times, then flipped the stick over to show that he was healed! We talked about how Naaman was a very important man, but he was very sick and was going to die. He had the opportunity to be healed, but didn't like the instruction to dip into the muddy river. Then we talked about how God's way is the best and learned our verse: "God's way is perfect. The word of the Lord doesn't have any flaws." (Psalm 18:30a) 

4. I posted this article (The New Legalism) on facebook this week and was surprised by the amount of response it generated. The author basically posits that my generation's version of legalism is books like Radical that essentially say you're not a Christian if you're not living radically. My guilt and fear love that the author claims we can be Christians in the suburbs and it's legalistic to demand anything else. But I worry that he's just pandering to those of us who are uncomfortable with getting out of our comfort zones. I've been thinking lately that I don't want to be the type of Christian who does just enough to get by. Considering all the Jesus has done for me, why do I have the attitude of "I want to do as little as I can and still get into Heaven"?? But at the same time, I disagree with Platt's assertion that Christians have to live a radical lifestyle. I'm really coming to terms with the fact that at this point in my life my children are my mission field. 

5. We finally had a warm day this week! I think the high ended up being like 86*. Talk about extreme temperature shift! I pulled out the shorts for the girls and Lena thought they were so funny. She kept reaching down to touch her legs, then laughing like crazy. Haha.

6. We were able to spend lots of time outside thanks to the warmer weather. Lena is obsessed and runs to the door anytime anyone says the words "go" or "out." Haha. Here's a video of how she goes down the stairs. She likes to get a head start:

7. Lucy's birthday is tomorrow. Stay tuned for a sappy update entry. We've got big plans for celebrating. This afternoon we're going to Chuck E. Cheese. Tomorrow we're celebrating with our families. And next week is her Frozen themed friend party. I spent Thursday birthday shopping. I'm so astounded that every store is sold out of all their Frozen merchandise. Why don't they buy tons of it? It'll sell! I did manage to snag an Elsa dress that she's going to be thrilled with. And I got her other big request: the Snackeez.

She watches too much Qubo, where they have all those ridiculous infomercials, and insisted that she needed one. I looked on the website, but it's such a scam. They're buy one, get one free, but you have to pay shipping for both, and there's no option to just buy one! So it was going to be like $25. I finally got smart and searched online only to discover that they just came out in stores! So I headed down to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and got it for under $9 thanks to my 20% off coupon! Woot! She's going to be so excited!
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