Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer is flying by.....

July, the time of the year when the sun rises early and sets late.  The days are long and we are all trying to enjoy these carefree summer days.  Vacation bible school has come and gone, volleyball camps are over and high school open gyms are in full swing before next month's tryouts.  Baseball is winding down for Action with only a couple of games left, same with Sassy and softball.  She has her final tournament this coming weekend ~ Nationals.  However she is not looking forward to a break from softball and is already looking forward to some late summer clinics and fall softball.   Smiley has been participating in a variety sports class and has played a little t-ball and soccer so far.  She asks to play catch and "hit" about every day though.  Action is currently involved in a golf camp ~ another passion of his.

Summer is flying by, our days are full (my blogging time is very little), but we are still finding time to relax and enjoy each other.  We have found time to hang together, see a few movies, hit the pool, the lake and spend time with friends.  I am looking forward to filling the next 6 weeks with more ~ more fun, more sports, more family and friend time and more relaxation.

Friday, June 27, 2014

On my phone

I don't use the camera on my phone very often, but the other day I shot a short video of Sassy pitching in one her games.  When I went through my camera roll the following day, I found some fun videos and pictures that will give you a small snapshot of what our summer has looked like so far:

A couple of Princesses feeding the ducks in our backyard:

Someone got their ears pierced!  

A morning at the cages

A eery quiet took over the house and I looked down from the landing to spy these three ~ each playing on a separate device,
but linked up to the same game

They snuck off with my phone and took some selfies

And we've been attending lots of softball and baseball games for the kiddos.  It is so fun to watch both Sassy and Action play.  Here is a snippet of Sassy pitching:

Oh and lets not forget this beauty ~ Smiley taking a singing selfie during one of Sassy's softball tournaments.  I had no idea she had created this masterpiece until I found it on my phone!  Enjoy her little Frozen medley.....

Monday, June 2, 2014

Preschool Teacher Gift

Just about two weeks ago was Smiley's last day of preschool.  She has had the same two teachers for the last two years.  These are also the same two teachers Action had when he was in preschool.  Since we don't have any more little ones in our house signing up for preschool, I wanted to do something special for these two wonderful women who have played such a huge part of our children's lives and instilled a love of school early on. 

Every year these teachers ask our children questions and somehow present their answers to us parents in some sort of gift ~ there have been cookbooks, end of the year books, pictures or simply door displays.

I wanted to turn the tables and have the kids answer questions about their teachers.

I created a questionnaire (Here is the one I made for Smiley to fill out).

Handed them out to the parents along with instructions on what to do and when to return them to me. Sent out a few reminder emails :) as well as a request for pictures from any of their time spent at school or on field trips.  

I created one binder for each teacher.  Each binder contained a filled in questionnaire from each child along with simple collaged and scrapbooked pages of pictures (I put all pages into clear 3 ring binder sheet protectors).

A few examples:

They LOVED them!

Here are Smiley's finished questionnaires:

And I ended the books with a poem.  I found a poem on Pinterest, but some of the wording wasn't pertinent to our kids, so I changed some of the wording and created a chalkboard like design.  Currently, I can not find the original online, but I never saw an author listed.  
Here is my version:

Need a teacher gift idea?  I would definitely recommend something like this!

Linking up at:
Hope Studios
A bowl full of Lemons

Friday, May 30, 2014


With a 5 year old in the house, you learn to expect unexpected statements.

I was driving down the road with the radio on.  Smiley was all buckled in and singing away, very typical behavior for her.  I wasn't really listening to the radio, but I did hear her exclaiming,  "I'm so fancy!"

I checked the XM display and realized it was the song "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea (video here ~ it's the explicit version of the song, but I couldn't find an official video with a clean version).  Yes, I know this song isn't 5 year old appropriate, but I needed a short break from the "Animal Farm" on Kids Place Live..... And since Smiley is really good at hearing and picking up lyrics the station was changed shortly thereafter.

The back of the vehicle got quiet, which is quite uncommon.  About five minutes later Smiley says, "Hey mom, I bet she isn't even fancy.  I bet she just has on a blue skirt with a sparkly shirt......."
Monsoon Accessorize - Suri Sequin Vest TopSkirt

Now I can't hear that song without thinking of Smiley and that just makes me smile!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (16)

Did you have a good week and long weekend?  I am finally sitting down to reflect on the past week to seek out the Ordinary Miracles and savor them.

Last week brought the end of Sassy's first High School softball season.  While their team wasn't one of the best, she had fun meeting new people and playing the game she loves.  The close of this season means I get to see her every day at 2:30 when she gets home from school, we don't have rush to get to her games here or there and after school time is a quiet, relaxing time of day once again.

Smiley had her last day of preschool last wednesday.  This was a bittersweet morning!  Her two teachers, also taught her last year and they taught Action when he was in preschool.  I find it hard to close this chapter in our lives.  My babies are growing up and our preschool days are over.  

Action, in his baseball game last week pitched one inning ~ he struck out two batters and did a nice job ~ definitely a proud momma moment!  He also hit a double to start off an inning.  He was full of smiles and my heart was aglow for his excitement!

Sassy played 2 softball games (with her traveling softball team) last Thursday night that I was able to watch (usually her and Action play on the same nights).  She pitched a great game and had some good hits.  When she was pitching, the batter hit a line drive right back at her and the ball hit her in the shin.  I could tell the pain was excruciating.  She shook it off and finished the game.  Her will, determination and drive is inspiring to watch.  

Memorial weekend was spent together, as a family.  No sports.  A few laid back plans.  Just us.  We ended up hanging out with friends after church on Saturday night at a bbq.  Sunday I had girls night out ~ movie night.  When I returned home, Hubby and the kids were at some friends house for a bon fire, and I was still able to join them.  Monday we went to the horse track with 3 other families.  It was fun and relaxing.  We enjoyed spending time together without having to rush around.

Take a minute or two each day to look around and see the amazing wonders in your life ~ The Ordinary Miracles.

Tell me what Ordinary Miracles have you witnessed in your life?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (15)

My goodness, where has the last week gone?  It's funny, I always thought that once my kids were older and I wasn't chasing them around all day, changing diapers, feeding them and they were a bit more independent, I would have extra time for projects, blogging and what ever else.  That my friends is so far from the truth!  Things around my house only continue to get busier (much like your own homes, I assume).

However, no matter how busy life gets, how much working, running around, commitments for this or that, I do hope you "stop to smell the roses" so to say.  Take a minute or two each day to look around and see the amazing wonders in your life ~ The Ordinary Miracles.

Last week was a lot of running around to one thing or another.  But I did sneak some minutes of calm, peace and dare I say, "me time" and was able to witness and experience many Ordinary Miracles.

Let me catch you up....

Laughter ~ A week ago Friday, I met up with 7 other women for a movie and drinks/appetizers following.  We went and saw the movie, "The Other Woman".  I didn't really know what it was about going into it, but had a good idea based on the title.  I found this movie to be extremely funny even though it dealt with a life changing situation ~ cheating.  Something I've seen wreck many relationships and on the flip side, make some relationships stronger.  The movie also reiterated the fact that you can find friendships in the most unlikely places and that there is so much more to someone than what meets the eye.  It was a great night out.

Success ~ Then the next morning we were early to rise as Sassy had her first softball tournament for her summer season.  She pitched 3 of the 5 games her team played and they ended up taking first place.  It was a fun day.  I love watching her play ~ she has grown so much in how she plays the game.  Watching her and her brother (play baseball) and cheering them on is one of my favorite summer pastimes!

Love ~ Mother's day was filled with love and relaxation (you can read my thoughts on Mother's Day here)

Conversation ~  Last week was Smiley's last full week at preschool.  A few of us moms took this as our last opportunity to sit down together and enjoy a cup of coffee with uninterrupted conversation before our days are once again filled with preschool chatter.

Pride ~ Sassy participated in a 50 inning softball game for her school.  This is a fun fundraiser for the program.  They take all the girls who participate in high school softball (freshman, sophomore, JV and Varsity), split them into two teams and they play against each other.  Sassy was able to pitch a few innings during this event and was able to strike out a few varsity players.  The smile on her face melted my heart!

Quiet ~ Hubby took Action and Smiley on a fishing trip.  They left on Thursday and came home just Yesterday (Monday).  This is a yearly event.  One I've personally been attending even before were were married, so more than 15 years!  Most of  Hubby's side of the family attend as well as many family friends.  Since Sassy had the fundraiser game, a band concert, a regular softball game and a birthday party, her and I decided to stay home.  We had a nice quiet weekend just hanging out.  We went out for dinner, saw a movie, did a little shopping and simply relaxed.  It was fun to spend time with just her (a sentiment that she voiced).  Times like that don't happen often enough!

Volunteer ~ Every year our church has a big themed fundraiser for it's school and faith formation programs.  It consists of two events, a breakfast with silent auction and kid raffle and an evening dinner event with live and silent auctions.  This is the first year I have not co-organized the breakfast portion of the event and was unable to attend due to an out of town volleyball tournament for Sassy.  Since Hubby took the two littles and Smiley was at an overnight birthday party, I decided last minute to volunteer to help out at the evening event which was this past Saturday.  The theme this year was Rock 'N Roll.  I found some clearance leather looking pants and threw together an outfit.  It was a fun night helping our church and hanging out with some great friends!

Today I sit here typing, feeling very full and content.  As I look back on my days I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and moments to treasure.  I ask you to look around too.  I mean really, last thursday night when I was sitting at the softball field from 3:30-9:30, in the cold, wind and off and on sprinkles, bundled in a blanket, I could have thought of a million other things I could have been doing.  But just one look at the smile on my daughter's face as she threw a pitch verified there was no where else I should have been!  An Ordinary Miracle!

Tell me what Ordinary Miracles have you witnessed in your life?

(See Previous Ordinary Miracles Here)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thoughts on Mother's Day

Today, like every other 2nd Sunday of May is Mother's day.  The day when moms around the United States are pampered, gifted and told how much they are cherished.  Right?

Yesterday as I sat watching Sassy play in a softball tournament,  Smiley came bounding over and exclaimed,  "Mom tomorrow we might make breakfast for you!  Might."

Her excitement for the day and sweet thought regarding breakfast was adorable.  I loved that her little 5 year old brain understood that there was a definite possibility that breakfast would not be made for me and I shouldn't get my hopes up.

She was right.  I woke this morning before everyone, took our dog for a walk, showered, woke up one child after another.   When everyone was dressed and ready, we were out the door for 9am church.  Oh, and breakfast?  For me that consisted of a yogurt (the kids and hubby ate left over cinnamon rolls).

Church was nice, and the kids didn't bug each other which is a gift of itself!  Following church we attempted to go out for brunch and were turned down at two restaurants as they were only taking those who had reservations, something we didn't have.  We threw in the towel and came home.  I was gifted ~ a "cook book" from Smiley that her preschool teachers put together.  Each child told their teacher one of their favorite recipes that their mom makes.  Smiley?  Her addition was Peanut Butter and Jelly.  I must tell you the directions as told by Smiley:

"My Mom puts peanut butter on a bread with a knife.  She gets another bread and puts jelly on top of the other bread.  She puts it on a plate and cuts it in half.  I like water and Cheetos with it."

Yes, I am all things gourmet ~ can't you tell :)

Action wrote me a poem and drew a picture (he would be embarrassed if I posted the lovely sentiments on here).

Sassy made me a card.

All of them gave me flowers (actually I came home from a girls night out on Friday with a bouquet of beautiful flowers awaiting me on the kitchen island) and a fitbit (which I have been interested in and absolutely did NOT expect).

I do not expect gifts.  I do not expect to be pampered.  Is it nice? Yes.  Is it thoughtful? Yes.  I love seeing the gifts the kids make for me and the excitement on their faces as they exclaim "Happy Mother's Day!"

I have many different women in my life and each of them has a different expectation of mother's day.

And just like these many different expectations, there are many different kind of Mothers.  Some good mothers, some not so good.  On the flip side, there are so many who want to be Mothers, would give anything to have a child to hold in their arms, to call their own.  There are Mother's who have lost a child or children.  And, simply, there are other women who are too young, not ready or honestly not interested in having children who are perhaps some of the most loving, exemplary role models for our children.  Why not celebrate all of these women?  Why not pray for all of these women.

While I personally love the sentiment of Mother's Day,  I would like to declare today "Woman Day".  I am going to celebrate the women in my children's lives who teach them to love, to be compassionate, to know happiness, and to know they are good enough just the way they are.  I am celebrating those women who share joy, teach values and have expectations of my children.  I'm talking about myself, as the mother of my own children hoping every day that I am doing enough, teaching enough and loving enough.  I'm talking about their Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers, Aunts and other family members.  I'm talking about the mother of my children's friends, and about the neighbor next door, who keeps an eye on the neighborhood and loves seeing our kids running around.  I'm talking about all the  teachers that spend a lot of time with my children, and so many other children almost every single day.  I am also talking about the celebrity or athlete on TV that my children look up to because they see you on TV, in the theatre, and on the radio.  They watch how you act, what you say and how people react to you.   Regardless of who you are or if you are a Mother,  if you are a woman and you care about my children (whether you know them personally or not) and about  how they act, what they think, and you want to see them become successful, confident, compassionate adults I thank you.  I thank you for your role in their lives and I thank you for taking this role seriously.

I know I am not a perfect Mom.  I know that it takes a village to raise a child.  And I personally want to say Happy Woman's Day to every single woman who helps me raise my children to be the best that they can be!

Happy Mother's day and Happy Woman's day!