Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Menu 10-20-2014

Weekly Menu 10-20-2014

Tuesday:  Skillet Tater Tot Casserole  YUMM!
Wednesday:  Jumbo Cheesy Italian Meatballs  Oh my YUMM!
Thursday:  Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Garlic Quinoa Bake  Matt, Lauren and I loved this...Tyler will come around.
Friday:  PNO at TKD  Date night for Matt and me.
Saturday:   Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew & crusty bread

So far my belly is happy this week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Photo Dump

Hey Y'all.  Happy October!!
I know you've all missed me and are just dying for a big ole October Photo Dump.
Your wish is my command.

I haven't been very good at documenting our activities lately but we've been busy this month with various activities.

Lauren and Tyler are now Green Belts.  The next belt test is only three weeks away so they have been busy practicing their form.  They have also started taking a Sparring class one day a week.  They still love TKD and look forward to the classes.
Here is Tyler roundhouse kicking the blue guy back to yesterday. ;)

Now that they are accumulating some belts we need a place to store them.  They sell display cases (for a pretty penny) but I had an idea for a DIY display.  Like most of my DIY ideas I tell Matt about them and he makes them happen.  That guy is awesome!

We've been kicking butt at school lately.
(Sometimes it is a struggle but things seem to be clicking right now.)
We are reading, studying, working hard, and enjoying the results.
We are loving it right now.
Tyler loves to read.  He is reading at a 6th grade level (but I won't let him read books for middle schoolers yet.)  He's not to shabby at Spelling Tests either.

Fun Run
 We had our first big school fundraiser the beginning of the month.  The kids earned money for their school just by running laps.  (Mom and Dad provided the money.)  They both did well but as a whole I noticed the 3rd graders were much more enthusiastic about running than the 5th graders.  I guess that's to be expected.  I'm a little sad that this is Lauren's last Fun Run.

Greek Day
Every year the 3rd Graders at the Elementary School celebrate Greek Day.  They spend a few weeks learning all about the Ancient Greek Civilization and then they get to dress up and enjoy fun Greek food and activities.
Tyler and quite a few buddies were Roman Gladiators (close enough to Greece right?)
This was a fun fun day and I'm very thankful I was able to share this experience with him.

(clockwise: Big Tyler and two gladiator friends paint a fresco, 3rd Grade teachers and students take a goofy class photo, Tyler and buddy ham it up with the ladies (Greek goddesses,) Tyler and Momma.

Lauren just completed another season of Softball.  She played for the Falcons again and played 3rd base and left field.  Although we only won one game, everyone on her team greatly improved.  One game Lauren even caught a fly ball.  
 (left-right: Lauren at bat, Tyler and I sitting together watching her)

We are still involved in Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.  Lauren is Junior Girl Scout and Tyler is a Bear.  I don't have any pictures of Lauren but I'll try to snap a few in the future.
(left-right: the Pack listening to their leader, Tyler whittling a piece of soap to earn his whittling chip)

speaking of Boy Scouts
Last weekend we went on the annual Spook-O-Ree camping trip with the Cub Scouts.
The weather was PERFECT and we had our best camping experience ever.
(Our new 18-inch Aerobed blow-up mattress may have played a huge part.)
We had fun shooting sling shots, BB guns, and arrows.  We also decorated pumpkins for the annual pumpkin decorating contest.  Lauren was 1st place in the Sibling group and Tyler took 3rd place for the Bears.

Family Time
During the week it seems like we are always busy with homework, chores, and after school activities.  It is hard to just relax with the family when we are so busy doing STUFF.
When we do get some free Family Time we make the most of it.
(left-right: Apples to Apples, Beauty Salon, teaching L and T to play Bunco)

Date Night
Matt and I managed to get away for an evening this month.  He took me to a punk rock concert. (or heavy metal?  what's the difference?)  
Totally not my type of music (AT ALL) but it was fun to people watch and I could tell Matt really enjoyed himself.  I'm sure he won't complain when I ask for tickets to see Sam Smith at the Fox in January.

Even though I have not been posting a Weekly Menu this month please know we still eat and we still eat well. (Tyler might disagree but I think he'll come around soon...Lauren has.)
Who knew one of my favorite parts of the day would be cooking dinner for my family?!
Here are some pics of this week's meals.  Perhaps I'll do a Weekly Menu post next because I've had good reviews on what I've made so far.

Skillet Tater Tot Casserole

Big Ole Meatballs stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella

Well after looking at those foody pictures I'm starting to get hungry so I should probably head on up to bed.
I hope you enjoyed the October Photo Dump because we sure enjoyed starring in all of the pictures.

(Thanks for reading!!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Social Studies Update

Remember my Motherhood Fail post?

Well after two weeks of asking us to help her study Social Studies, look what Lauren scored on her latest test!

She was excited when she got home from school asking what I thought she got on her test.
"80%, 90%?"
"No, higher!"

I'm very happy for her.  I saw how much effort she put into studying and I'm thrilled it paid off.
What a great lesson she got to learn.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motherhood Fail

Motherhood Fail
I think it looks better with a hashtag so: 

As you all know from reading this blog, I am the perfect Mother!
(If I'm not perfect then I don't post it and you don't read it so, that means in your eyes I am the perfect Mother. wink!)

So with me being the perfect Mother, imagine what I felt like when both kids were in tears just minutes after getting off the school bus.

Lauren came in the house and immediately told me she got a 75% on her Social Studies test.  She then broke down into tears and ran with her backpack upstairs to her room.

Minutes later Tyler realized he left his binder with his weekly homework in it at school.  He started blinking back the tears until he couldn't hold them back any longer.

(I swear I don't beat my kids about test scores and bringing homework home!)

Regarding Lauren: 
When she was willing to talk we talked.  She already knew that C grades are not okay. (As and Bs are fine.)  C grades mean she did not pay enough attention in class or did not ask enough questions or study enough at home.  We talked about how she felt making a 75% (very sad and not good) and what she could do to improve her score on the next test (study harder with Mom and Dad and ask for help from her teacher.)  We left it at that and challenged her to make a better grade on the next test.

I think with her temperament/personality that was the best approach but I would love some advice.  L sometimes struggles to fully apply herself and I struggle with wanting to MAKE her apply herself more.  I need some suggestions on how to encourage her to take more ownership and pride in her effort and school work.  In other words how do I make her want to try her best because She wants to and not because I want her to?

Regarding Tyler:
While he was blinking back tears I asked him if he wanted me to run him back to school so he could possibly get his binder.  He blinked yes and to school we went.  He found his binder in his desk and when we got home he went right to work on his homework.
(I think this was the right thing to do but does anyone think it would have been better to have him not be able to start his homework as a lesson on responsibility?)

Anyway, so...
eventually everyone calmed down and almost quit the crying.

My #MotherhoodFail wasn't over quite yet.

While doing his homework Tyler came to tears yet again.
(After I saw these tears I made him go get a snack.  The lack of food sometimes....)

T needed some help on his homework.  He could not think of any adjectives to describe the words: cherries, pie crust and pie.
(I didn't take a picture of his homework at this point but I edited the pic below to show what it looked like.)

He said he's never had a cherry before, he doesn't know what pie crust tastes like and he's never had a cherry pie.  If that isn't a #MotherhoodFail then I don't know what is.

While the kiddos were at Taekwondo I ran to the store and bought some frozen cherries (no fresh available) and a cherry pie for Tyler to try.

4 inch Cherry Pie from Publix
(reheated at 350 degrees for 12 minutes)

Tyler with his slice of Cherry Pie and a dollop of Cool Whip.

I think he liked it.

I know he liked it!

And So...
His educated adjectives on cherries, pie crust, and pie:

Hopefully I redeemed myself a little bit from my #MotherhoodFail by serving a good and yummy lesson on Cherry Pie.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Menu 9-8-2014

With school in full session, things are getting busy around these parts.  We have softball, taekwondo (TKD,) art club, boy scouts, girl scouts, community group, book club, parents night out (PNO) at the Y, bunco, and fantasy football.  Despite all of these activities it's Very Important to me to have a Family Dinner Together every (or most every) night. I've had to get creative to find some quick and easy dinners to make but I love doing this.  I consider this a big part of my job as a Mom, Wife, and Homemaker.

With that said here is our Weekly Menu.  
(I believe we have something going on every single night this week.)

Weekly Menu: 9-8-2014

Tuesday:  Matt in New Orleans for work, Book Club; Starbucks Turkey Rustico Panini Made Skinny & l/o Gnocchi soup
Wednesday:  Matt in New Orleans for work, Community Group; Lauren to make Paula Deen's Stuffed Shells & veggie
Thursday:  Softball & Boy Scouts; Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole & salad
Friday:  TKD, Bunco; Daddy to take kids to dinner after TKD, Momma will eat at Bunco.
Saturday:  Softball & PNO;  Kids will eat pizza at the Y while Momma and Daddy go out to dinner together.
Sunday:  Girl Scouts & Fantasy Football; Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms & Quick Italian Bread

Let the good times (and good eats) roll!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy 13th Anniversary to us!

Traditionally, the 13th Anniversary gift is Lace.
As much as Matt would love to buy me something lacy I was really set on...

Luckily, the alternative gift to lace is a textile.  (proof right here)
Guess what? Carpet is a textile.
Woop Woop!

Getting carpet is a big, expensive, and stressful ordeal.
It's also good for organizing an entire house.

Our old carpet came with the house which was built in 2004.  We moved in in 2005 after it was a model home for a year in the neighborhood.

The carpet and carpet pad were builder grade and they suffered through a lot of activity (and cat puke) in the 9 years we have lived here.

Not all the carpet was bad.  We talked about only replacing the downstairs carpet, stairs, and upper hallway but I knew I would not like seeing the old carpet clashing with the new.  So it was all or nothing.
(Matt had them save some of the good old carpet to use in his basement shop.)
The guest room carpet was flawless.

Preparing for the new carpet was the most stressful.
The installers would move the furniture but we needed to get everything off of the furniture and the floor.  We took this time to go through every room of our house.

Take the guest room closet for example.  It was jam packed full of stuff. I pulled everything out and laid it all over the room.

Piece by piece I organized, donated, threw away and put away.
My organizing madness.
(yes, all that came out of one closet)
I/we did this in every room of the house.
It was tough and painstaking but it was also refreshing to get rid of so many things we did not use or need.

We filled up box after box of garbage, not to mention trip after trip to Goodwill and the recycle station.

Somethings I just couldn't part with.  Even silly things like all of my old cassette tapes (mostly singles.)  We do not have a cassette tape player so I can't even listen to them but they are full of teenage memories for me.

We went room by room organizing and getting everything off of the floor.  The entire upstairs which includes 5 bedrooms are all carpeted.  We had to get creative with where to store everything since UN-carpeted area was rare.
The bathtubs were prime real estate.

Finally it was CARPET DAY!
In just two days the two carpet installers ripped out the old and installed the new.
I enjoyed chatting with them about carpet and their choice of music. (They brought their own boom box.) I even bought them pizza for lunch.

 Room by room they did their measuring.  Then they ripped up the old carpet to expose the cheap carpet pad.  Next they removed the pad and scraped away to get all the glue and debri off the floor.

Snapshots of the carpet demo from the rest of the house.
It was crazy to see the house all torn apart.

Eventually the old was replaced with new.

New Carpet room by room.

I love the new carpet.  It is so soft, fluffy, welcoming and colored in such a way I'm sure it will hide many many stains.
(I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who loves the carpet.)

I'm also thrilled that we got our house completely organized:
empty of clutter and full of clean lines.

This anniversary wasn't just about me and my gift of new carpet. 
I did buy Matt a Metallica t-shirt and he loves it!.  ;)

Happy 13th Anniversary to us!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Romy Has a Favorite

Sometimes the kids like to fall asleep in our bed.
Romy (the cat) does too.

He's welcome at first...
but eventually he makes himself unbearable by snuggling right up to her face.

Romy loves his girl.