Sunday, March 31, 2013

Snapshot Sunday

Tissue paper eggs.

Duke Lemur Center:  Ringtails were Three's favorite.

Easter baskets (on Wednesday morning:)

Me, weeding the over-run flower beds yesterday:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Flashback Friday!

This week has flown by.  I can't believe it's already Friday.  Wowsers.

Monday-typically manic.  Three was heartbroken that he still felt too bad to have his friend come sleep over.  And even though he was insistent that he felt good enough (I over-ruled him) he took a nearly 3 hour nap, AND by 5pm was just lying around in a lump of whiny.  So, I know I made a good call.  He will have a sleep over soon after he returns home from vacation.

Tuesday-We (all of us but Two, who was having an odd stomach issue) went to tour the Duke Lemur Center.  The girls and I had all been there before, the girls twice and myself three times (I got to go once as a college student.)  I was so excited to take my boys and The Punk.  A good time was had by all.  Even myself, who spent much of my time wrestling Four into submission.  He is so borderline out of control that reading two parenting books while they are away is on my "to do" list!  SMH

Wednesday-I packed up my boys and just after lunch they left.  The original plan was to have Three attend his art class first, but he was so overcome with the excitement of the trip that we decided it would be fine to let him skip it.  We are trying to get him in the groove of art, and I thought it would be better for him to go (they wouldn't have class next week anyway) but what do I know??  Plans change.  We roll with it.

Thursday-I spent the bulk of the day cleaning my room.  REALLY cleaning it.  I moved the mattress and box springs (with the help of The Boy-my eldest nephew, he's 24 and not really a boy, but that is what my parents call him.)  Vacuumed under the bed, under the dresser and night stands, the entertainment center, two lamps and the blinds.  Yeah...a lot of vacuuming was happening and I'm pretty sure I sucked up TWO additional dogs in the process.  Sheesh, the amount of dog hair in my bedroom is insane.  I also washed the bedskirt, and comforter and shams and changed the sheets on my bed as well as washed the dogs bed.  I was so tired last night, but my room left me feeling so at peace!  The only task left in this room is to straighten up my bookshelf and empty a desk that only serves as a catch all (and The Punk and I have already discussed getting rid of it, so I just need to empty it so we can have someone who will use it come pick it up!)  I collected a pile of stuff to post in the Post before Pitching group (you should see if your area has one of these groups.)  It's kind of like freecycle, but on FB which is just easier for me.  You can post pics of things you just are done with, but that aren't really worthy of being sold and people can speak up and set up a time to get them from you.  Others get things they need, I get rid of stuff we don't need.  Win-Win.

Friday-On tap for today, I plan on finishing the bookshelf in my room and then moving on to the living room. I also need to spend at least an hour in the attic, as that is my BIG organizing project for the week.  For my spring cleaning, I pinned several things to the "Cleaning and Organizing Board" over on Pinterest.  I pinned 4 spring cleaning lists, and I'm checking things off of those as my guide.

Off to clean, and organize and give myself internal peace that only comes with having boys gone for a week! It's ok, internal peace-at least this kind, that comes from having a REALLY clean house-is overrated.  *wink*

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Skinny Housewife

For those of you who are new to my blog, on Thursday's I either do "lazy housewife" where I give you tips on skating by...or I do "skinny/healthy housewife" which are tips and recipes for a healthier, more fit lifestyle.

 A little over a year ago, I fell in love with Zumba for a second time.  I LOVE to dance (really, love isn't even a strong enough word for it...) and Zumba feels like a danceathon to me, not a workout.  It's why it works so well for so many (it's a workout in disguise!)  It serves as a gateway exercise (like a gateway drug) to other things.  It led me to running.  I loved to run in middle/high school, and even some time after but got away from it when I was heavier because it's hard to run when you're heavy and with my "all or nothing" personality, I am just not a walker.  Over the last 15 months I've lost 20 lbs, but more importantly countless inches in my hips and thighs!  It also made me feel so much better-both mentally and physically, and led me to making better food choices because I want to fuel my body better.  I would encourage everyone to find what they LOVE-for me it is Zumba (I'm even a licensed instructor,) maybe for you it's an eliptical machine, or a step aerobics class, or yoga, or tai chi..find what YOU love!  Now to your regularly scheduled blog post--

We are a couple months away from swimsuit season!  I'm trying to get my core in better shape, so today I'm sharing some exercises:

Best Ab Exercises of All Time!

One of my goals this week is to organize the attic.  My stability ball is up there, and I've been itching to bring it down and use it for upper body and core exercises, here's a couple links:

Stability Ball Exercises  (this one has sections for all the different areas of your body, because who doesn't want better thighs and rear too??)

Fitness Magazine: Our Best Stability Ball Exercises

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordy Wednesday-Control Yo' Kids

This post is going to be a vent.  Yep.  Buckle up.  It's about to get bitchy.

I go out of my way to make my children well mannered, kind, considerate, always on the lookout for the "little guy."  I would also say that my children are "normal" in an 'average for their age' way.

We attended an event recently and my eldest child was furious at one point because not only did some kids continually step directly in front of her-even when it was CLEAR she was checking out the exhibit, but she was even more aghast that they continually shoved in front of her little brothers.  This happens frequently at places like museums as well, and so much so that my kids will groan and REQUEST to leave an area or an event if a school groups shows up.  Now, I get that in those scenario's the parent isn't there to supervise, and I can't attest to whether or not my kids behave the way they do WITH me when I'm not there....but their reactions to this behavior in others would suggest that they probably do.  HOWEVER-this still occurs even with groups of homeschoolers, where the parents are almost always present.  In the event that sparked this post today, we were with ALL homeschoolers, and ALL parents were accounted for and STILL the kids were what we in our family deem RUDE and parents just stood back like they didn't see it occur.  I think this aggravates me even more when it is homeschoolers.

Am I being to difficult??  Am I expecting to much?  I think it's just common courtesy, and decent behavior to  wait until someone else is done looking at something before you step up to it (definitely not stepping IN FRONT of them.)  I think it's just decent behavior to be CONSIDERATE of people younger/elderly and shorter than you.  Clearly, other people do not share these same beliefs and values.

And it pisses me off.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two for Tuesday!

So many fun Montessori inspired Easter themed activities:

When I was picking One up from her art class last week, I saw a project that the younger class was doing and thought it was SO pretty, I found a link to a similar project to share with you all, and I hope to do it with the boys today (since they are leaving for a week tomorrow, and will not be here for Easter.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Manic Monday!

I wanted to take a minute to share some fun I had with the boys last night. Before bed, we spent a little more than a half hour doing "acrobatics" and yoga. They had such fun; I did too.

For acrobatics we did backbends, somersaults, and handstands. For yoga, I have these great cards I made years ago for the girls.

How I made them: Someone I know through a group I am in had taken all these pics of her daughter doing different yoga poses. I printed them, attached them to a poster board, wrote the name of the position underneath then laminated them.

How you could do it: buy a set. Kids yoga cards are pretty easy to find online. Also, there are some good printables (free and otherwise) that you could use. Lastly, and definitely my favorite option: look up yoga poses for kids, have someone take a picture of you/your kids doing them, and then proceed as I did.

Have fun! It was a blast to watch them look at position on the card and say "that looks really hard!" and go on to successfully tackle the pose.

Manic Monday is about to start: Zumba, pottery class for the girls, bowling league, then The Bestie's boy is coming home with me. I have no idea what I'm going to feed them all for dinner. Got to tackle that!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday snapshots

A very sick boy, still snuggled in bed with his mama at nearly 9am.

Alphabet Soup beginning sound file folder game.

Team Runnin' Dirty ready to get their dirty on! (That's me 2nd from the right, and The Bestie to my right.)  I just noticed I managed to get between the two gingers.  Rock on.

Here is most of our team, post run.  We know how to do this, right??  Overheard as we walked out:  "Those are by far the dirtiest people we've seen."  WIN.

A close up of my face, all mud splashed.

Celebratory cocktails.

Dying Eggs.

Trying the shaving cream swirl I had read about on Pinterest.  I did it wrong, but it was a good lesson in how things don't always work out.

Finished projects (that funky striped one at the bottom is mine.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Flashback Friday

What a week!  Monday we had pottery class.  Four was sick, so he stayed home.  It still amazes me how much less stressful a day is when I'm not the one in charge of him.  It might sound horrible to some of you, your mouths just fell open...but make no mistake, I adore that boy!  But the simple truth of the matter is he is just MORE of EVERYTHING.  And, it's exhausting.

Since we didn't have bowling league, The Bestie and I took the kids out to eat for lunch.  Here are (in order from left to right) Two, One, and The Bestie's One.  They are showing a picture of...some both my Three and The Bestie's Three.  Not pictured:  The Bestie's Two.  :)

After this, I got to spend the evening with The Bestie, sans kids.  One of my favorite activities.

Tuesday was generally uneventful.  Four was still sick, and even napped!  Two went to spend the night with The Bestie's kids.  Bought One some new spring sandals and she's a happy camper.

Wednesday-we skipped co-op because Four was feeling better, but I didn't want to push him.  Three had his art class.  He really does enjoy art, so I'm happy about pushing him a little to do it.  We did our sight word egg hunt, BIG HIT!

Thursday-Four's art class, some errands including picking up a desk that I found for free on a buy/sell/trade group (it's in really good shape and will work well for the chicas.)  One also had art class, and I needed to run more errands (dropping off attire for tomorrow's Mud Run!)  I also taught a Zumba class (it amazes me how much I heart Zumba.)  Two had her pizza party for basketball, to celebrate their undefeated season!  Woot.

Friday- I've spent the morning diagramming songs for class.  :)  Currently, I am calling out words for a sight word game the boys are playing.

Tomorrow is the Dirty Girl Mud Run!  I am super duper excited!  We have great costumes, polka dot shirts/tutus/multi-color striped knee high socks!  

Also, on slate for tomorrow:  egg dying.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lazy Housewife-Share the wealth.

Tip of the day:  Make your kids help around the house.  Why do we martyr ourselves into thinking WE need to do all the work ourselves?  Did we make all the mess ourselves?

Great advice given to me once by my mother-in-law when I was explaining my need to "do it all:"

I explained that I see myself as the CEO of our family, I'm the one in charge of making sure everything stays on track and things get done in the manner in which they should and on time.  She (the mother of five herself) then told me CEO's don't do it ALL, they know how to assign people to get the right tasks done-delegate.  You are still in charge of making sure it gets done, and on time, and done properly, yes.  But that doesn't mean YOU do it all.

I really and truly had never thought about my position in that light.  It was freeing.  I don't HAVE to do it all.  My girls are older, teens (nearly teens when this advice was given,) and are capable of doing MUCH around the house.  My eldest child complains and acts as if I ask her to scrub the kitchen tile on her hands and knees with a scrub brush daily (Did you just imagine Cinderella in your head??  Because that's what I was going for there.)  It's really not that bad.  Daily chores for my girls include things like putting away their own laundry and cleaning their room (gasp!)  Unloading the dishwasher.  Sweeping the kitchen.  Twice a week they mop it (with a Swiffer, you've seen the commercials--this is not HARD!)  Twice a week they vacuum.  Once a week someone is scheduled to help me cook meals.  This NEVER EVER EVER happens!! I need to get better at not letting them slack off on this one, they do need to know how to cook more than grilled cheese, quesadillas, mac and cheese, and frozen pizza and nuggets.  I'm sure of it.  Once a week they vacuum their room, and their brother's room as well as help me sort the toy bins out and put them back in order.  Those chores are broken down over 4 days and split between two people.

Three also has his own chore list for each day (Tuesday-Friday) that includes taking out recycling, bathroom trash (the bag is more manageable,) dusting, helping with the dishwasher, straightening the shoe rack, and cleaning windows.

On Monday's (which are insane) and weekends, they are only required to do what is asked of them-which usually only involves their own rooms and/or laundry.

Tragic lives they lead, are they not??

Now, I'm not saying be lazy and lie around all day eating doughnut holes and watching trashy TV and playing on Facebook (coincidentally what my eldest child will tell anyone that listens that I myself DO everyday.)  I am saying take the pressure off yourself.  You gave birth to these people, and you spent a good portion of their lives taking 100% care of them.  It's time for a kickback.  ;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Oh, the plastic eggs.  I bought three sets yesterday (can you GUESS which one Three picked out??) First, I was thinking about this idea:  Mummy Musings and Mayhem color run.  I thought since we don't have a ton of multi-colored balls (like ball pit balls, if you have those, use those,)  Easter eggs would work well.  I can't wait to set this up for Four.  He's known his colors for a LONG time, but this will still be fun for him.  I'm also sure that Three will want to play with him.  That's just how things work in my house.

Then, I saw this great post:  Teach Beside Me: Spelling Sight Word Egg Hunt  This really got my juices flowing!!  So many possibilities with the eggs.  We've probably all seen the Pinterest posts about putting an uppercase letter on one half of the egg, and a lowercase letter on the lower half and then having the kids match them up (I'll probably do that too...since even though he is reading, matching games are still big fun for Three.)  Teach Beside Me mentions put some math equations in hers too, and I love that idea as well!  For Four, I'll probably do just numbers and have him put them in order.  

Three is really interested in just having multiple Easter egg hunts.  He just asked "Before we do our school Easter egg hunt, can we just do a regular one?"  Sure thing!  We were scheduled to attend an Easter party today after his art class, but with Four being sick this week, we're going to skip it.  So, I asked The Bestie if she'd bring her kids over on Tuesday and we can do an egg hunt for all of them (7 total) in my yard.   That's a blast in the making! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two For Tuesday

This week we are going to be covering Spring (since Spring equinox is tomorrow, the 20th.)

Spring Acrostic Creative Writing  free download at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Spring Nature Walk worksheet

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday snapshots.

This was from the week of the 3rd, but when I was publishing this weeks Sunday Snapshots, I saw it said "retry publishing" and indicated that it did not in fact publish on the day I intended.  Ooops.  Happens sometimes from my phone, I know now, and I'll be sure to check it.

Three made a flower out of his lunch.

Heheheh...blueberry mouth!

Here was our book we read, and our ballots for animal that you would like to have if you were president.

Three found a leaf frozen into a sheet of ice, he was excited.

Co-op Carrots!

Our local ice cream shop opened up:  Sour apple yummilicious.

He was being the Statue of Liberty near the flag pole at Two's basketball tournament game.

Unofficial airport greeters.

Trying to be patient.."When is Daddy's plane getting here???"

Kids Museum...Four LOVES LOVES LOVES dino's.

Building something in the workshop (kids museum.)  Good thing he has on the protective eye mask!


Sunday snapshots

Here's tulle.  :)  We made tutus for the upcoming Mud Run, here I am wearing 4 of them.

Polka dot shirts to go with our Tutus.

Painting a hand shamrock.

Coloring a leprechaun.

"Mommy, take my picture!"

Antique Farm Equipment show:

Kids Museum.

Science at the kids museum (this was a color mixing station.)

Food coloring and milk (thank you Marbles Kids Museum for putting this together since I had planned it and then found out we didn't have any food coloring left in the cabinet...saved the day!)

Lunch prepared for me by Three.

This pic needs to be rotated...but if you tilt your head to the right, you may see it's a pot of gold sitting in some grass with a rainbow coming down to it.  I made this at the kids museum at the "paint with glue station" on St. Patrick's Day.  Another mom laughed at me when Three was ready to move on and I whined "But I'm not done yetttttt..."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sideways Saturday

PHEW!!  Life is crazy over here.

This week was pretty typical, but felt insane.  I think there are plans in the work for Three and Four to go with The Punk on a vacation, and I'll get to stay home and work on house projects.  I'm super excited.  I have a list in my head of all the things I want to do.  Number One:  Naps, lots of them.  Number Two:  Trashy TV, lots of it.   I might get to some other things too.  Maybe.

We attended an Antique Farm Equipment show today and Three participated in the kids tractor pull.  It was fun to watch, and he won 2nd place.  He was excited, and they said his name on the microphone for everyone to hear!  Yay!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Flashback Friday

This week has FLOWN by.  I haven't blogged all week.  The Punk was out of town until Sunday, so having him back here with us has made the week just feel like it FLEW by.  I've slept in every day but one, which is so WIN.

Monday--Zumba, pottery class (almost...)

Tuesday--Nothing much.

Wednesday--Preschool co-op.  Three wants to quit his art class.  He wants to quit just about everything.  Typically, I just force him to stick it out.  I'm so tired of that though.  He hates bowling.  He hates all the sports we've tried.  He has agreed to play T-ball again this year, but I don't think he WANTS to.  I really thought he was enjoying art, but now he wants to quit that as well.  I asked if he'd like to take gymnastics, nope.  I asked if he'd like to start martial arts, nope.  Then--we had a breakthrough.  He said "If I take karate, will you STAY while I do it?"  Hmmm.  He never wants to do anything that I leave for.  I know he will outgrow this, I just sort of assumed it would happen around now (he is 6.)  I asked if he would still want to take art if I stayed with him, and he said yes.  So, he LIKES the class, as I thought-he just doesn't like that I LEAVE.  It seems unfair to ask his brother to sit and be quiet (super quiet, since there are other kids and the teacher trying to instruct them!) for 45 minutes so that I can just be in the same building with him.  I think next week, I am going to force him to go-and promise to stay just next door (at the bakery.)  I thought we had finally found his "thing" or at least the "thing" for right now.  Something he actually REALLY enjoyed doing.  I don't want to walk away from it, since I honestly don't see him being an athlete (I have one very athletic teenager, and one very artistic I feel like I sort of know what I'm looking at.  He strikes me as artistic-he likes art, he has talked about dancing-which I may look into in the fall.  Now, Four, I think will play every sport with gust-o like Two does.)

Thursday--Four had art class.  He really likes art, and I like that it's a calm activity that he is into.

Friday--Kindergarten co-op went SO super well!  For March we are covering plants.  Last week, we started carrot seeds (and read The Carrot Seed and listened to a very cute song!)  This week we drew and labeled the parts of the plant.  Three was really into it!  I'll post a picture on Sunday.  It's in the car, and it's cold and I don't want to go get it.  Yup, that lazy.  Sorry folks.

Tomorrow--I am spending all day getting first aid/cpr certification, which will aid me with teaching fitness classes.  I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a nerd like that.  I'm going to run after.  I must.  I have a 5K mud run in 2 weeks, a 5K color run in 4 weeks, and I'm doing a 5K at our VERY hilly zoo for my 37th birthday in 3 months.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sideways Saturday!

Today was a good day.  Two had her final basketball game.  It is bitter-SWEET.  Bitter because it is probably the last parks and rec game she will ever get to play.  Most kids who are talented enough, and interested enough are usually playing with their school teams by 8th grade, so, there will most likely not be enough girls in her age range for her to play parks and rec ball next year.  *insert extremely sad face* She has been playing parks and rec ball (of one sort of another-soccer, softball, and basketball) since she was 4 years old.  It's the end of an era.  Oh, but don't forget the SWEET.  It's so sweet.  So, SO, SOOOO sweet.  Her team had an undefeated season!!!!  They won the tournament for our county.  And, she scored 8 of their 18 pts.  Going out with a bang, fo'sho.  So proud of her, and her entire team.

Here she is with her plaque:

Shaking hands:

Catching the ball:

Here are Three and Four (Four, characteristically running in full motion in the background) after big sister's game.

A picture that Three took of us at the game during halftime.