Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shoe Gooooood.

Today I helped the babies get bundled up so go out in the freezing temperatures because they were so excited to get out in the little bit of snow we have.

Because mom is nowhere as excited about snow and freezing temps as her children are, I laid down one ground rule.  Don't leave the back deck.  That way I could see them from the warmth of the house with a cup of coffee.

They definitely took the rule to heart and did not leave the deck, but that did not stop them from finding treasures!  Like one of Bren's cast off flip-flops covered in snow and ice.  

By the time I saw it I didn't have the heart to stop them.  

Sorry they are number 5 and 6, apparently I have no more boundaries.

'til next time,


Not on My List

Here is a product that is NOT on my list for 2012.

  Squishy Baff, which is a product that is supposed to turn bath water to bright colored squishy goo and then back again? thanks.

 *picture from the squishy site.

Though I guess I could possibly see a fun application for this on April Fool's Day.  Just sayin'.

'til next,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

We Did It!

We are home from our trip and looking forward to some fun family time this Christmas Eve.

We are going to see some Christmas lights, open a present or two, watch a movie together as a family, this year it's going to Home Alone 2, and maybe play some games or something!  All in preparation for the big man to show up while we are sleeping.

This year I was a bit ambitious with our holiday projects, I thought since this was the first year that I had some of the kids home for school it would be fun.  And it was!

We managed to finish the last of my project ideas today.  Frosting Christmas Trees.

Here is a breakdown of what we did/ will do this year:

Frosted Sugar Cookies
Santa Hat Brownies
Peppermint Bark
Hand print snowman ornaments
Gingerbread Houses
Frosted Christmas Trees
Christmas Cards
Lots of Christmas Stories including this one which Ki loved. And this one which I love. And last but not least this one which Max and Emmy love (they love all the Llama books).
And a trip to Bronner's for a new piece to our Christmas Village
Crossroad Village to look @ the Christmas Lights

With all the projects, the parties, Emmy's birthday, our little get-away and our regular schedule this month has been a whirlwind so I just want to take a moment to say.....................

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to Everyone from our Family to yours!!

'til next time,


Friday, December 23, 2011


Sometimes, they love each other.

Or she is trying to choke him.

You pick.

'til next time,


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss E!

Today is my sweet girl's 4th birthday!  I know every mom says it but I seriously can not believe that she is already 4!

It seems like yesterday that we brought home this tiny little 4 month old baby from Ethiopia.  And now she is a big girl.   Sweet and sassy,  she is full of things to say and not afraid to let you know when she is mad at you.  Loves all princesses and really loves her some Bubble Guppies (hello dangerous).  She has the BEST hair ever and crazy good hugs. And couldn't take a decent picture if I paid her.

Thank you for adding your awesomesauce to our lives!

Happy Birthday baby, you changed our world.


Mom and Dad and your brothers and sisters...........

Not So Much Running Going On....

At least not for me, Bri on the other hand is up to 5 miles (on the tread) @ an 8:06 min mile.  We still hate him.

Remember last week when I was oh so excited about getting over 2 miles in 32 minutes?

Then this,  don't mind the crazy kid in the foot picture, who wouldn't want to be in my foot picture, right? Left ankle relatively normal  and right ankle a puffed up mess.  It didn't so much hurt as ached for a few days, and I did notice that I was favoring it a bit.

Holy crap my feet are ugly!  Must lotion, must paint toe nails!

 I have been taking it easy for the last week and its seems to be pretty good.  My pride though continues to take a beating while Brian does crap like accomplish 8 minute miles (refresher-16 minutes is good for me).  

I think that I am ready to get going now, we have had to split up our times so Brian will be doing the morning workouts and I will be do the later evening ones.  Tonight I am going to test out this ankle by seeing how fast I can do a mile.  I am hoping that it can be better than 16 minutes.  Seriously, my pride needs this.

'til next time,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I always knew bingo daubers were fun, I mean, hello, I play bingo!  

Yes, I am only 34 and I play bingo, shut up.  I can still hear you.

Occasionally I get the daubers (bingo language for the markers that "daub" the spots, shut up) out for the the kids to mess with,  you can get some fun printables at Making Learning Fun.

Today, my almost four year old genius, Emmy found my magnetic bingo chips (shut up) and started using them to fill in the space on her Christmas tree!  Genius!  

Never thought of that myself,  honestly I probably wouldn't think of showering if the smell didn't start to bother me.

The amazing thing about using the magnetic chips is after you make a huge disaster you can wave the magnetic wand over them for easy clean up!  (shut up)

'til next time

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Egg cartons? Who knew?

I know, everyone, but you still get a blog post on it!

We go through a lot of eggs around here, between the scrambling and the baking and the breaking, I have found that it is better for us time and cost wise to go with the industrial box of 10 dozen eggs from Sam's Club.

The eggs are protected (sort of, I had 5 broken eggs last time) by these supersized egg cartons.

For easy paint clean up I a cut one up and filled it with paint for a fun painting session!  Emmy actually had more fun painting the egg carton, than the paper. 

And the clean up was MUCH easier, except for where Max went all Jackson Pollak spattering paint everywhere!  That boy LOOOOOOOVE him. Sigh.

Quick Lunch Idea!

Today, since we are on vacation, we got up a little bit late.  Which made for a later than usual breakfast, which brought lunch time around way to soon.  And after lunch time follows NAP TIME!!  I love nap time!

In order to keep nap time us on schedule I threw a quick muffin tin lunch together.  I knew no one would be that hungry so this worked out great!

We had some grapes, pepperoni, provolone cheese, and of course, goldfish cracker.  The kids thought this was awesome and picked it clean in minutes!

'til next time,


Monday, December 19, 2011

So Sweet

We may have told a certain almost 4 year old a bit too early about her birthday trip to Kalahari Resorts.

As this is how we found her last night when we went up to bed.

I heart this little girl.

'til next time,


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot
I am going to participate in Sunday Snapshot this week!  It's my first time.I have been stalking Stephanie's blog Ni Hao Ya'll for quite a while now,

Ummmm,  hi, my name is Jillienne, I'm a blog stalker.

 OMG  I feel so much better now!

Seriously though, if you have a chance (all 8 of you) take a minute and check out her blog, she takes amazing pictures, has amazing amounts of energy, a really gives back in big ways!  Plus, she totally has more kids than I do, which is cool.

On to the snapshots!!!

My babies from Christmas 2 years ago!!!  Why, why, why must they grow up so fast?  Look at those little chubby babies, now Emmy is going to be 4 (next week), Max is a wild and crazy 3 year old, much different than the wild and crazy one year old he was in these pictures.  My Bren is almost a driver, Griff is 13!!! And Ki and Lainie, so sweet.

Merry Christmas!

'til next,


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Linky Love

Happy Saturday!  Links for you today!  Have a great weekend!


Chocolate Bread Pudding from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures -going on my Christmas menu!

Creamy Coconut Cake also from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures-  I have made this and let's just say YUM!  Helpful hint though for those of you who can't figure out where to find the Cream of Coconut, like me, look by the Pina Coloda (sp?) mixes.  Don't wander aimlessly through the store for hours.  Not that I did that, not at all.

Christmas Craft Ideas:

We will be doing both of these this week!

Craft by Number Christmas Tree @ No Time For Flashcards

Handprint Snowman Ornaments @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

Homeschool Stuff:

Make Your Own Place Value Chart from Smockity Frocks  (I am looking forward to making this one)

Taking a Holiday Break from Simple Homeschool

And last this has been inspiring me lately, make sure to read from the beginning!

Ben Does Life

Friday, December 16, 2011

Teenage Driver

Now that Bren is 15 she has, of course, taken Driver's Education. Which, by the way, was hours of my life driving back and forth that I will never get back.

But anywhoo, her and I have a pretty good system going for getting her mandatory driving hours in. It goes like this, I don't let her drive me anywhere. Perfect.

 Her father gets the pleasure of helping her meet her driving goal. Love you honey!

 Eventually we will pass from the land of parent led driving into a full on drivers license and that's when I believe we will have one of these made

with her father's phone number on it of course.  Take that teenage driver!

'til next time,


Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Shoes

Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 14 (Narrow) Men's Running ShoeToday Bri and I went out and had our feet fit for new running shoes.  Bri said that his shoes were fine, except for, ooops, his shoes were literally blown out on the sides.  So I insisted!  The last thing we all need is for him to hurt himself.  At the store he tried on a few pairs and found one that he liked.  The Nike Zoom Structure +14.  He was relatively easy and only tried on a couple of pairs and ended up getting the first pair that he tried on.  On our way out of the store he did make the comment  that he  didn't realize how uncomfortable the other shoes were until he put the new ones on."  Uh-duh!

 Then came me, I had gotten fit for a pair of shoes months ago and really never liked them, of course I didn't realize it until it was too late to take them back, but they just always felt big and clunky, sort of heavy.  And lately, when I try to run/walk I have been getting bad cramps in my arches.  Back to the drawing board.

I had really been drawn to all the new types of minimalist shoes but alas my wide, fat feet will not fit in them.  So after trying on about 8 different pairs of shoes,  I finally settled on the Brooks DYAD6.   They are much lighter than my last shoe and the arch support isn't as aggressive, also the back of the shoe is lower and not as annoying on my achilles.

We will see how we do tomorrow!  I fully expect to be able to run my 5k now that I have these shoes.  Ok, maybe not but it would be nice to beat my sad little record.  I will like to hit 2 miles in 30 minutes.

'til next time,


National Cupcake Day

Happy National Cupcake Day!!

How fun, the kids and I have been taking it easy with school for the holiday season but when I saw it was National Cupcake Day I thought we could have some fun! I did a quick search and found this cute cupcake craft on the Money Saving Mom blog (which by the way is kinda awesome), grabbed some felt and off we went.....

Our creations

I had Ki and Lainie cut out and put together the "cupcakes" and put them in big baggies. Now when the babies get up from their naps they will have a ready made project for them. I was actually a bit surprised about how much Ki and Lainie got into it. Then we read about the history of the cupcake.

And that was about as long as I could hold their interest on that project, but I call it a success!

'til next time


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I thought I beat my record this morning but no. Last run I did 1.97 miles in 32 minutes. Today, 1.95 miles in 32 minutes. My right shin is still a bit tender. Not ok with that, I am going to try icing it later.

Bri ran his 5k today in 25:40min. We hate him.

On another note Brian picked up some vitamins and pre-workout products from GNC. I am little nervous, some of my pills are REALLY big and I REALLY hate pills!

'til next time,


Santa Hat Brownies

Finally a project in the kitchen that turned out! And were so yummy! I brought these to Lainie's Christmas party at dance and I think the adults liked them as much as the kids!

boxed or homemade brownie mix
mini muffin tin
2 cups of white chocolate chips

Prepare and cook brownies (according to package) in mini muffin tin
I love to use my mini scoop from Pampered Chef. Perfect for filling all the little spots.
I believe my brownies took about 11 min. @ 350 degrees
Let the brownies cool
clean the strawberries and cut off the stems
place the strawberries upside down on the brownies, smaller ones work best!
melt the white chocolate chips most recipes call for using a double boiler for this but I am just not that good so I microwaved them. Watching them carefully and stirring every minute or so until done (about 4 minutes)
Then quickly place the melted chocolate in a frosting bag and pipe the around the outside of the brownie and a quick tip on the top!
And done! Cute little Santa Hats!

A word of caution, PLEASE if you decided to go the microwave method with the white chocolate chips, be sure to use a microwave safe bowl, and check every minute or so. Benefit from my mistakes otherwise you too could could have a smelly gooey mess and a ruined bowl. It's not pretty, not at all.

'til next time,


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peppermint Bark Fail

This was supposed to be a nice Holiday type post about making peppermint bark.

Instead we will interrupt the previously scheduled post to bring you a What Not to Do post instead.

Don't dump a whole bag of white chocolate chips into a cheap plastic bowl and hit the 5 min. button on the microwave.

The result will look something along the lines of this..........big hole, cheap bowl.

Oh and curiously a very strong s'more smell?

'til next time,


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gym this Morning....

I seem to have found my preferred bedtime for the mornings that Bri makes me get up and go to the gym at the unreasonable time of, are you serious, otherwise known as 4:30 (a.m.). 10:30 p.m., I'm not to sure how I feel about that right now. I am really used to staying up until about 12-12:30 so this feels verrrrry early to me, but I did manage to get my butt out of bed this morning with minimal amount of fuss.

Anywhoo, went pretty good today, I noticed my right shin hurts a little bit when I walk but not so much when I am running? Weird.

For today's workout I did: 1.97 miles in 32 minutes. That includes a 2 min. warm-up and a 2 min. cool-down. I walked between 3.0-3.3 and ran between 4.7-5.5 (I actually preferred the faster pace, was easier to get into a rhythm).

That's up from the 1.83 miles in 32 min. from last time. But still a really LONG way from getting in 3.1 miles in under 30 min.

Still haven't lost any weight but I was not good to me this weekend. Trying to do better!

'til next,


p.s. I may have gone back to bed again when I got home, keepin' it real.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Back to the Gym...

Heading back to the gym tomorrow. Last week didn't go so great for me as Max thinks sleep is overrated and I get unmotivated if things don't go exactly to plan.

This week in my training plan calls for me to start Monday out with 2 min. of running and 1 min. of walking. Sadly, that makes me nervous. I will let you know how it goes.

For fun I think I will start throwing Bri's times in too.

'til next time,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Things I Hear......

A couple of days ago Emmy got mad at me because I wouldn't read her a story before bedtime (in my defense it was waaaayyyyy past bedtime), she looked at me so serious and said, "I'm going to cross my arms at you and tomorrow I am going to take daddy to Disney World and get candy and you will have to stay home, if you won't read me a story."

She told me.

But I still didn't read the story.

'til next time,


Friday, December 9, 2011


......favorite thing I found this week.....will be making these for a Christmas party next week! Santa Hat Brownies!

'til next time


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Stolen Idea!

Since starting on our homeschooling journey I have found the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog, along with a few others very helpful. Giving me a ton of ideas, lots of insight and just generally helping me feel like I am heading in the right direction.

I have been trying to find lots of crafts and activities to do for December so that we can go with a sort of abbreviated schedule for the month (keeping up with our math, writing and reading). So when I saw this idea I was so excited! Super fun, super easy and easily adaptable for different ages.

*picture from Confessions

Edible Christmas Trees! All you need is the sugar type ice cream cone, green frosting (a little bit of food coloring in some white frosting), and ornaments, such as sprinkles and small candies.

This will hit the 3 big things that make my kids happy.
1. messy
2. fun
3. sugar

Can't wait to make them!

'til next time

Monday, December 5, 2011


It seems like everywhere I look (read) now people are talking about running and how much they love it. I bought some good (meaning expensive) shoes a while ago with the thought in mind that I was going to also become a runner. Didn't happen. I tried the Couch25K program and was BORED! I know that tons of people like it but it really wasn't for me.

Instead I joined the insanely expensive Athletic Club near me, which I LOVE, and signed up for a 12 week program thinking I would jump start some weight loss. Nope. I lost a grand total of 7 pounds in 12 weeks, which in turn started me on 3 months of blood work, girlie visits and a bunch of other crazy crap.

The outcome at the end of the 3 months is that I am fine, and that I just need to keep working out. Which, while awesome, is still somehow annoying.

And that brings us to now. Brian has decided that he wants to start running, Mr. I Am Too Good To Work Out and so mad dashed ran us out to join our local 24 hour gym (i.e. cheap). With the bright idea that we should get up at 4:30 and go work out together. Which has happened exactly 2x now, because the kids have banded together and figured out a way for one or more of them to be awake @ 4:30 (by the way that's 4:30 A.M. people!).

The two times that we did make it out there together I kinda wanted to kill him anyway. Because it's totally not fair that someone who has never worked out a day in his life jumps on a treadmill and does a 2 mile run at just over an 8 minute pace first thing. I can run a minute at a time at this point. Who wants to help me hide the body?

Also, in the spirit of competition a friend and I who have vastly different ideas on times a day we should work out and so no longer try to go together, have started up a competition. We are going to see who can be the first of us to do 3 miles on the tread in under 30 mins.

I figure this will take me somewhere in the range of 6 months to accomplish. I printed out a plan that said is should have me doing about 2 miles, in 30 minutes, in 8 weeks or so. I realize that I will have to repeat a lot of weeks, being that my physical fitness may not be at it's peak at the moment. Then from there I will just have to get faster.

I tend to stray away from the cardio workouts when I am in the gym and veer more towards the weights, but as my fav. Jillian Michaels says "Let's face it, running makes you skinny." So high ho, high ho, off to the treadmill I go!

Today will be my first day with the new program. I am hoping that I can stick to it! 'Cause I want to win!!! Not sure yet what the winner (me) is going to win but we have time to figure it out.

'til next time