Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gearing UP for a New Year

Like most things in my life this summer this blog has taken a back seat to being a full time all the time mom. I have really enjoyed having my kids home with me this summer and we have done our best to make the most of each day. Personal time has been pretty slim the past few months but was worth it for the good times spent together. But the time has come..I am now officially ready to gear up for back to school time.

As a kid, then a teacher, and now a mom my life has ALWAYS been dictated by the yearly school schedule and I love it that way. There is something so fun about the back to school time that gets me excited about starting fresh. Fall also happens to be my very favorite season. So, in honor of back to school time and the slow approach of Fall (I do know I live in Oklahoma where fall sometimes does not appear until November...) I am giving this blog a new look. I hope it means the return of some time to spend doing things that I love just for me as well. Putting yourself aside is not a terrible exercise, but I feel like it is time to gear up for a whole new year- hopefully with some time for ME!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Will Work For Silly Bands

Confession time. I want responsible children who know how to take care of themselves and are helpful around the house. However, I have always struggled with making any kind of consistent chore list and holding them to it. Usually my OCD just propels me around the house and I end up doing most of it. That lack of consistency also means I have never done the allowance thing and stuck to it. Honestly, I am so terrible about keeping cash in my wallet that I often have to borrow from my six year old and pay him interest after I make it to the bank. But this week we are trying something new around here.

My son is obsessed with Silly Bands. If you are not familiar, these are basically jelly bracelets from the '80s. Now they make them in different shapes and colors so they look like something cute (dinosaur, crown, fish, whatever...) and then you can stretch out the shape and wear them as a bracelet. We got our first pack as a sweet gift from Zella's VBS leader. She is the best little sharer in the whole world so she split a pack with her brother. I figured we would be over these in no time but both kids managed to hold on to theirs for the whole week they camped with my parents. I gave in and bought the $2 knock off pack from Walgreens for each of them. They loved these so much that they wanted to spend their own $2 for another pack each.

Here is where the "responsibility" and "bribery" meet. Zander informed me that he would be willing to work for Silly Bands. Sounded good to me! We sat down and made a list of 4 daily jobs: make the bed and get dressed, clear your plate after every meal, clean your room each day, and be a helper when I ask. In return he gets a silly band each night he completes all the items on his list. So- what do you think? Did I make his list too hard, too easy, or just right? I have to say that at $2 for 12 bands this is the cheapest allowance on the face of the earth. What do you do to foster responsibility at your house?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rain Rain Rain Rain

So why is it that after I broke down and bought a pool pass for the rest of the summer the rains immediately descended on Oklahoma City and REFUSE TO LEAVE?! Seriously. I am kind of a veteran of OKC summers at this point and July generally vacillates between too hot to go out and too hot for the air conditioner to even keep up inside. I know it is wrong to complain about this mild, wet alternative to our usual but I am ready to take my kids swimming people!

Since that is obviously not happening again today, I decided to hit the library and the mall and take care of some business. We were in and out of the library in a flash and off to the mall for 3 things: 1. new crocs for Zander (Success!) 2. a solution to our wireless network woes at the Apple Store (Slightly more expensive Success!) 3. a birthday gift for a neighbor courtesy of the Lego store (Success, and more...)

Zander has been saving his tooth fairy cash and grandparent given spare dollars for several months now waiting to earn enough to buy a "BIG Lego set". Since we were hitting the Lego store for the birthday gift I had him bring his cash along as well. Wouldn't you know that he decided to forgo the wait to save for a $50-$80 set and bought the $30 one he had the cash for. That's my boy. No complaints here, we came home and got crackin on the new set. It was hour and a halfs of fun on yet another rainy day.

Lest you think I do not love my sweet daughter, I did let her pick out a new Dora swimsuit for whenever it FINALLY stops raining here:)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dinner from the Garden

I really love running to the backyard and coming back inside with the makings for dinner. We have a great bush of basil growing and I found a recipe for pesto in one of my many magazines this week. So, tonight's dinner- Bruchetta with Pesto Pasta.

Bruchetta- Just fresh tomato, basil, and a couple cloves of garlic pulsed a few times in the food processor. Spoon onto slices of Everything French Bread and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella. Yum! Big hit with the kiddos.

Pesto Pasta-
Make the Pesto.

Toast some pine nuts.

Drink some wine while the pasta cooks:)


Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday Weekend Highlights...

*Yummy steak dinner Friday night.
*A parade and walk in the rain Saturday morning.
*Making homemade peach and toasted pecan ice cream (and vanilla for the kids).
*Dinner with friends and a sleepover for Zander Saturday night.
*A patriotic Sunday morning at church, recognizing all the amazing people in our congregation who have served our country.
*Swimming in the rain Sunday afternoon.
*Delicious Conch Chowder, Hamburgers, Banana Coladas, and on and on Sunday night.
*Watching the kids play with sparklers and glow necklaces decked out in their 4th finest.
*Transferring two exhausted, sleeping kids into their beds.
*A walk, time in the garden, and chilling at home Monday morning.
*Toy Story 3- so fun, what a great franchise of movies. A tear jerker to boot!
*Pork Chops thawing in the fridge and some couch time with my honey calling at the end of a long weekend... just have to get those kids in bed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Old Fashioned 4th of July Fun-in a torrential downpour

I love so many things about the neighborhood we live in, but one of my favorite things about living here is getting to participate in all the fun family-friendly events. Today was the 4th of July celebration for the neighborhood. It was a Pot-Luck Brunch on the lawn of a historical home and a bike/stroller/wagon parade led by the area fire department. The kids and I started decorating the wagon early this week and finished up this morning just in time for the parade.

Now, the skies were looking ominous so Lance drove the kids over and I walked the wagon. We ate, drank, and it started to sprinkle. Then we lined up for the parade.

About half way through it just started pouring. The parade was only one trip around the block. I got pictures at the start and ran around the opposite way to try and catch them again. When I hit the other side of the street, here is what I found:

It was still so fun and incredibly hilarious. Zander was having so much fun that he and I decided to splash all the way home in the rain. It was a priceless memory to end up a fun morning. Love my 4th of July babies.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Garden Update

This time of year our yard is just beautiful. Blooms are popping out all over the place, courtesy of the perennials planted over MANY years. Here is a glimpse...

Even better is the yummy veggie patch. This makes me even more proud as it is all the work of our family. We have been eating lots of delicious tomatoes, Banana Peppers, Bell Peppers, Okra, Cucumbers, and Herbs. So fun to walk out the back door and come back in with fresh goodies for dinner!