Thursday, December 30, 2010

Catching Up

Hi there!  How are ya?  I don't know if you remember me, but my name is Sarah and I used to write on this here blog.  Where have I been, you ask?  Well, I wish I could tell you some fantastic story about how my time has been taken over by such escapades as extreme snowboarding or building the world's largest snowball fort, but let's face it.  Both of those activities sound positively exhausting and I'm not big on the whole sweating, breathing hard, make my muscles scream at me in pain kind of thing.  Especially not on purpose.

No, I've been here.  Just hanging out at home enjoying having the hubs home for most of the days following our five day Christmas whirlwind.  Yup, you read that right.  5 DAYS.  When you consider that my children got to open presents every day for five days in a row, we couldn't help but wonder if we were actually celebrating Hanukkah by mistake.

They're spoiled, I tell you.  I blame their grandparents. 

In the name of perfect honestly, I will confess that a good deal of our "adult time" (when the kids are in bed) has been spent....ummmmm.....playing Mario Kart.

I know, I know.  We're terrible people.  We let the kids unwrap the dang thing like it was their gift and then we proceed to waste away countless hours on it.  Evan has already beaten every course on the 50cc level.  He swears a lot when he plays.  I won't embarrass him further by repeating some of the names he calls his fictional competitors, but let's just say Princess Peach is no dainty flower in Evan's mind if the little tart bounces him off the track into a boiling hot lake of lava. 

So, that's really it!  We've been playing with Moon Dough, light sabers, and Mario Kart.  We've just kind of enjoyed being lazy the past few days. 

I know I should be working on writing some kind of 2010 culmination/reflection post or perhaps a post about my goals for 2011, but I think Evan might finally be ready to let me have a turn.

Gotta go.  He's resorted to swearing at the race course itself.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Four

Welcome once again to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2010 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family. Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their project over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, December 19th - Isaiah felt like such a big dude when Daddy let him use the big tools to help fix our coat hooks.

Monday, December 20th - One of Evan's biggest strengths as a Daddy is his willingness to be silly to get giggles out of his boys.  He won't hesitate to put a mixing bowl on his head if it gets the laugh!

Tuesday, December 21st - I was shocked at how much Evan actually let Isaiah do when they baked cookies together.  That little boy was putting the butter in the microwave, dumping flour in the mixing bowl, using the rolling pin, and placing cookies on the baking sheet.  I was really impressed with how well he listened and helped his Daddy.

Wednesday, December 22nd - It's amazing how God creates two brothers so differently.  They look very different, they have very distinct personalities and tastes, but are both so incredibly silly. 

Thursday, December 23rd - Day One of our Christmas extravaganza!  We went to my grandmother's house for a big gift-opening for all the great-grandkids.  My boys had a ball opening all their presents and playing with their cousins.  And check out Micah in my sister's cute!

Friday, December 24th - Christmas Eve!  Both kiddos were spoiled beyond comprehension today, but Micah just repeatedly cracked me up with his expressions and reactions when enjoying the holiday.  (And those PJs are killing me!)

Saturday, December 25th - Christmas Day found us much better rested than the previous day and we made the rounds to three more celebratory locations.  And yes, the boys got MORE presents!  We got to spend a lot of quality time together as a family, but we were certainly happy to head home and pass out in our own beds.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!  Thanks for checking out my photos this week.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's Here!!

My Project Life 2011 kit arrived on my doorstep today!  I am not even joking when I tell you that I did all of the following after finding the big, beautiful box from Amazon:
  • Took a photo of the open box with my phone then proceeded to Tweet and post to Facebook about the arrival of my kit.
  • Checked Becky Higgins' blog to see if the new photo divider pages are in yet and discovered she is already collecting photos of people showing off their kit boxes.
  • Told my husband he was going to have to take a photo of me with my Project Life box.
  • Hopped in the shower, did my hair, and actually put on makeup so I would look ok in my photo for Becky.
Yup, I'm just a little excited that it's here. Looks like you'll have another full year of photos coming at ya in 2011! 

Thinking about joining in the fun?  Check out the two gorgeous Project Life kits on Amazon and jump on in!

I think here is where I am supposed to remind you that when I provide you to a link to a product on Amazon, it's using the Amazon Associates Program where I would get a teeny, tiny, microscopic commission if you were to purchase said product.  Just so ya know!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Penguins Love Christmas Too

On this Christmas Eve Eve, just let me take a moment to wish every single one of you reading this a very Merry Christmas!  This time of year is so wonderful, but for many families it can be a difficult time of year.  We lost my uncle and godfather, Jack, to cancer 4 years ago on December 28th.  It's hard to still see that look in my aunt's and in my cousin's eye when I catch a glimpse of them gazing off toward the Christmas tree or at the kids opening their gifts and I know they're remembering him.  This year, Evan too is dealing with loss.  His great grandmother passed away a couple days ago and his uncle (roughly the same age my uncle was when he passed) who is also fighting cancer, just got moved to hospice care.  Dealing with illness and loss is tough whenever it happens, but it's especially hard at Christmas.  So, in between the cookies, gifts, and carols.....just take a second to really appreciate those around you.  Give an extra hug or two.  Say a prayer of thanks for the amazing people in your life. 

And, if you just need something to make you smile, I give you this.  Isaiah recently got a few Christmas books into his possession.  Here he is reading one of his brand new books to his penguin family.  When I asked him what he was doing he said, "Reading book to penguins, Mommy.  They love Christmas too!"

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Three

Welcome once again to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2010 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family. Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their project over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, December 12th - After the overnight snowstorm, our FOX station was knocked out which meant we couldn't watch the Packer game!  Evan was trying to find it on the radio so we could at least listen to it, but even that wasn't working out as planned!  The TV station did come back on after about a quarter of play, but it really didn't matter since my team ended up losing miserably!

Monday, December 13th - It was really, really cold as I was getting ready to leave the house with the boys.  Roads were glare ice.  Not a fun morning!

Tuesday, December 14th - We stayed off the roads and remained safe and sound at home today.  I checked on Isaiah during his nap and I couldn't resist taking this photo of my sweet boy.

Wednesday, December 15th - Proud Mommy moment of the week for me:  My kids watched It's a Wonderful Life, my favorite Christmas movie and actually enjoyed it!  Isaiah kept asking, "Where Mary, Mommy?"  I think he likes her.  :)

Thursday, December 16th - Will he still be flashing me that gorgeous smile ten years from now?  I sure hope so.

Friday, December 17th - And when he's not smiling and flashing those baby blues, he's smirking through a face full of food.  That's my Micah!

Saturday, December 18th - I picked up this Baby Alive doll as a Christmas gift for our best friends' daughter, but my boys were very interested in playing with it.  I had to sneak it out of the room to wrap it!

It's so hard to believe that this year is almost over and I've completed almost an entire year of taking photos every single day!  Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Two Cookie Kind of Day

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, "I don't get it!" today.  The amount of whining in my 7th grade social studies classroom today got progressively worse throughout the day, culminating in a group at the end of the day that pushed me over the edge to sheer insanity.  Their response to my newsflash that the assignment would actually involve them reading was, "Ugggghhhh!!  This is so hard!!!"  Not just a couple kids.  Probably half the class.  I was disgusted.

Speaking of disgusted, a kid threw up right outside my classroom door today.  I was the first one there and I sat with him until his stomach settled a bit.  I'd be lying if I said the smell wasn't that bad.  It was putrid.  He had pizza for lunch.

It was snowing when I left school and the roads were slippery.  Of course, the snow had whipped Isaiah into a frenzy and he was determined to go out and play in the new snow.  We bundled up in snowpants, hats, and boots and I shovelled the driveway while my boys dove face-first into snow drifts and emerged with crimson cheeks and noses.  By the time I put the shovel away, the driveway was covered again.  Yet another exercise in futility in my day.

I ate two cookies the second I set foot back in the house.

Then I put in a frozen pizza for dinner.

The End.

By the way, those are The Pioneer Woman's cookies, not mine.  I make my mint chocolate chip cookies using a Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Micah - 15 Months

I haven't done an update post on Micah in a while and I'm freakishly behind on my scrapbook so forgive me for publishing this post mostly just as a reference point for when I finally get around to scrapping this time period.  It probably won't be until 2012 at the rate I'm going, but that's neither here nor there.

At 15 months, Micah can:
Use a chair to climb up on top of the kitchen table
Scoot down the basement steps butt first
Use a little fork and spoon to eat (though he still prefers to just use his fists to grab handfuls of food)
Blow kisses
Give big smackaroonies right on the lips
Wave bye-bye or ni-night
Start the washing machine or the dryer (much to my dismay)
Open drawers and empty their contents in two seconds flat
Pretend to talk on a phone
Says "Cheese!" when he sees a camera
Eat and eat and eat. 
Point to something he wants
Use a toothbrush, paper towel tube, fork, serving spoon as a light saber and fight with his brother using the appropriate "Hiii yah!" sound effects.

Things he says:
Uh Oh
Yeee haw!
Hiii yah!
Thank You
Love You
Num Num
This?  (as in "What's this?")

He's so much fun!

Thank you to Sara at Peterson Stories for reminding me that I too needed to record what was going on with my kid before I forgot!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Embarrassing Moment #274

It certainly doesn't rank as high on the scale as the day I had to sit idly by as Romeo's butt (and Juliet's chest for that matter) were on display for an entire classroom of sophomores to see, but I had the pleasure of enduring yet another embarrassing moment in substitute teaching this week. 

Allow me to set the scene for you.  I stand at the front of the room, ever the professional, and notice a life-sized cardboard cutout standing in the back corner, facing away from me so I can't see who it is.  Intrigued, I decide to make it a silent little game with myself to see if I can guess who it is.  I'm in an English teacher's classroom so several ideas pop into my head immediately - William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, JD Salinger,  Jenny McCarthy.  Ok, so not that last one.  (Although I hear her parenting books are actually decent!)

Then I got creative.  Perhaps the cardboard guest was not, in fact, indicative of the teacher whose room I was in, but the students.  This opened up a whole new world of possibilities - Justin Beaver Bieber, Taylor Swift, Spongebob Squarepants, any number of rappers who either just got out of prison, are about to head to prison, or have yet to get caught for the offense that will send them to prison.

As you can see, the mystery just got that much more intriguing!  Who was this mystery man/woman standing in the corner?  Why were they turned around as in some kind of time-out?  Was it defaced in some way?  What if it was something much more disappointing like a Subway ad with that Jared guy?

By third hour, I just had to know.  I had exhausted the possibilities and decided that the most likely answer was William Shakespeare.  English classroom....widely read all fit.  It had to be him.

With the room deserted, I crossed the classroom, anticipation growing with each step.  Finally, I reached the corner, took a deep breath, and leaned around to try to catch a glimpse of the face of my mystery guest....


I yelped like a cat being thrown into a bathtub and jumped about a foot as I knocked the cutout to the floor.  Looking up, I see three students looking at me like they just walked in on Mommy and Daddy having "private time."  Trying to play it cool, we chat briefly about how the regular teacher wasn't there, but to look on their shelf for the work they missed.  And then they left. 

As my heart rate returned to normal, I silently cursed that stupid cardboard cutout as I lifted it up and returned it to its previous position.  For a brief second, I swear I saw Edward Cullen laughing at me before I turned and faced him back at the bookcase.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Micah has taken to carrying a toothbrush around the house.

As soon as he saw his brother brushing his teeth, he just had to try it too.  This child wants to be 3 so badly.  He will attempt anything and everything his brother does.

And some things he does all on his own.  I've had to retrieve Micah from atop the kitchen table four times in the past two days.  He gets furious with me for cramping his style and immediately throws his nuk at me like some kind of ninja death star thingy.  I try to divert his attention back to something, anything other than the kitchen table. Ball? Fridge toy? Buzz Lightyear?  No good.  And then he sees that toothbrush that's been sitting on the floor for the last half and hour.  Just like that, we're back where we started.   

At least his teeth will be clean.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Two

Welcome once again to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2010 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family. Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their project over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, December 5th - Going to a show at American Players Theatre is always a treat for me, but it was particularly special to be able to usher for a show in December!  I saw The Gift of the Magi in the Touchtone Theater after a festive, wintry walk up the snow-covered path.
Monday, December 6th - Hug or choke hold?  Hard to tell, but at least they're smiling!
Tuesday, December 7th - We're trying to encourage Isaiah to at least try his vegetables.  More often than not, it ends up resulting in a "one bite meltdown."  I'm hopeful that he will like to eat a better variety of foods someday.
Wednesday, December 8th - Micah has a hard time walking in his snow pants and boots, so he tends to spend most of his time outside flopping around like a seal.  Still, he has a good time!
Thursday, December 9th - Isaiah got a huge Play-Doh set for his birthday from his aunt and uncle that finally got busted out today.  I had to hover like a hawk to keep him from mixing the colors together!
Friday, December 10th - I love this goofy boy!
Saturday, December 11th - Evan got most of the Christmas presents wrapped last night and they now sit nestled by our Christmas tree.  I can only hope my toddler terrors will leave them that way until Christmas!

Thanks for stopping in and have a great week!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let it Snow!

We're in the midst of a blizzard warning here in my neck of the woods.  As a rule, I really don't like this kind of weather because it makes me cold, sleepy, cranky, and I hate driving in it.  If things get really nasty overnight, I may even end up not needing to go into work tomorrow which means another day of lost income amidst a string of days that have been increasingly hard on our budget. 

Nevertheless, snow means I get to see this:

And this:

Aw, heck.  LET IT SNOW!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Worst Gift Ever!

It sounded like a such a good idea in my head.  Sure, it was a little out of the ordinary, but he would love it.  In retrospect, I should have just stuck to the basics when it comes to gifts for men: electronic gadgets, tools, golf balls, and ties.  Of course, in my slightly deranged head, I was following the rules and giving him a certified "guy gift" - sports equipment!

The only problem was that his gift was a set of women's golf clubs.

Yup, take a moment to absorb that one.  For his birthday, this wife of the year actually presented her husband with a set of women's golf clubs.  For some insane reason, I thought Evan might like it if I learned to golf so it would be an activity we could do together.  So I bought a set of clubs....for me.....for his present.

And as a special bonus, when he took me to a driving range to actually try to teach me how to use the blasted things, all I did was get frustrated and cuss him out. 

I'm still surprised he didn't file for divorce immediately.

Wow, right?  I know.  So for those of you out there who have given your husband tickets to "Showboat" instead of a Packers vs. Vikings game, have made the mistake of thinking SPANX make a good anniversary gift for your wife, or have given the mother of your children a parenting book on Mother's easy.

I already hold the title for WORST GIFT EVER.

P.S.  We sold those golf clubs for $40 at our garage sale this May.  They were used once.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last Christmas Kinda Sucked

Not every holiday can be perfect.  The turkey burns, the stuffing is dry, your aunt ends up crying in the closet when the centerpiece candles set her blouse on fire and she uses pot lids to smack at her bosom like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire.

Did anyone else just hear crickets?

Long story short, holidays are wonderful, but have the potential to go horribly awry.  I can only hope that this year, nobody in my family ends up in the emergency room like last year!  If you ask my mother, she can tell you that I had a tendency when I was younger to get sick nearly every stinkin' year around Christmas.  Thankfully, that trend waned a bit as I entered my adult years.....until 2009.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? 

While Santa was navigating his sleigh from rooftop to rooftop in the overnight hours of Christmas Eve, I was in the emergency room doped up on morphine and having a CT scan.  I spent Christmas morning vomiting and had to stay on my in-laws' couch while the rest of my family got to go enjoy a holiday feast.  We bailed on going to my grandmother's supper that night so I could get home to rest.  Four days later, I went in to the hospital for what was supposed to be an in and out gallbladder removal surgery.  Ever the overachiever, I ended up staying in the hospital for three days, dang near ringing in the new year in my hospital bed. 

Needless to say, it was not the way I imagined my Christmas.  Please Lord, can we keep everyone healthy and happy this year?  Thanks in advance!

Side note....the "Gallbladder Saga" inspired me to write a post about what an awesome husband Evan is.  I'm sure he'll appreciate me prompting you to re-read it by clicking here!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Warning: Raw Video of Cuteness Overdose

If you are offended by an obscene amount of cuteness, please stop reading now.  If seeing small children smack their lips with delight at the taste of ice cream makes your skin crawl, I recommend you move along.  And, for the love of Santa's sleigh bells, if you don't enjoy chubby cheeks, huge grins, and teeny voices using their not watch this video.

I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed that!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Project Life Tuesday - December Week One

Welcome once again to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2010 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family. Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their project over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, November 28th - Our neighbors invited us to the starlighting ceremony in one of our neighboring towns.  They let us use their backpack carrier so Evan could carry the Blond Beast on his back for the hike up the steep hill to the star.  Micah cried practically the whole time, Isaiah peed his pants, and we found out that "Frosty the Snowman" has way too many verses.  We had a great time though!

Monday, November 29th - This is Isaiah's best attempt at a thumbs-up. 

Tuesday, November 30th - I couldn't resist snapping this shot of Isaiah engrossed in watching his movie.  I can't get over how he looks like such a big kid now!

Wednesday, December 1st - The first snowflakes of the winter fell from the sky today!  No accumulation, but it was enough to get Isaiah pretty excited.

Thursday, December 2nd - Every time I hollered at Micah to get his feet off the table he would giggle and wiggle his toes at me!

Friday, December 3rd - You can tell how often Isaiah does this whole launchpad act by looking at how nonchalant Brian (our dog) is as watches the action. 

Saturday, December 4th - Now that's a snowfall!  We got hit with about 3 inches of snow overnight so Evan bundled the kids up and took them out to play.  Isaiah made snow angels and helped shovel the driveway and Micah just struggled to stay upright!

Have a great week!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Total "Eclipse" of the Sexes

I rented "Eclipse," the latest movie in the Twilight series, for Evan and I to watch Saturday night.  We probably had to pause it about 10 times because Evan kept asking me questions about some specifics.  See, we also enjoy our "True Blood," so it sometimes gets confusing to remember what vampire rules apply to which show/movies/books.

Anyway, we would have exchanges like this:

Evan: So, the vampire doesn't have to drain them to turn them into one?
Me:  (pauses the movie)  Nope.  In Twilight world, the vampire is venomous.  Just a good, solid bite will sort of infect the human enough to spread through their body and turn them into a vampire. 
Evan:  How does it work?
Me:  The venom makes the human kind of "burn" for about two days. 
Evan:  Yikes.
Me:  Yup.  (starts movie)

30 minutes later.....

Evan: So wait, if the werewolf imprints on a chick, is she forced to fall in love with him?
Me: (pauses the movie for the fifth time by this point) No.  She just does.  It's like they were meant to be together.  She loves him because they're perfect for each other.  It's mystical werewolf magic stuff.
Evan: Are they going to blow anything up at some point?
Me: (starts the movie)

2 minutes later......

Evan:  How about boobs?  Will there be boobs in this?
Me:  (retaliates by pausing the movie every time she sees this show up on the screen:)

And that was our movie date night.  The End. 

These conversations are about 90% accurate....give or take.  ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Piggly Wiggly Giggles

I posted this picture on Facebook with my phone, but I simply had to share it on here as well.  I about died laughing (to myself) when I was standing in the checkout line at my local Piggly Wiggly and saw this little display.  Now, you know I'm all about finding a good deal and then sharing it with all you lovely people, so I couldn't resist snapping a photo.

So if you're in need of.....ahem....NUT CUPS....

(I'm sorry.  I can't even type it without giggling...)

....Piggly Wiggly has you covered! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wii Deal - Game, Controller, & Nunchuck for about $40 shipped!!

If you have a Wii, get your little fingers clicking over to the Walmart website pronto because they have a crazy good deal going right now!  Score a mini controller & nunchuck set plus your choice of 21 different games (Epic Mickey, Mario Kart with Wheel, Super Mario, Cars, and other popular games) for about $40 shipped! 

I picked the red controller set combined with the Mario Kart with Wheel, and my total came to $43.19 shipped!  That's cheaper than you can buy the game by itself in the store, people. 

Hurry because this deal is selling out quickly!  Great gift idea here!

Click here to get shopping!

Orange Ya Glad We Ate Here?

For someone who is trying to live a frugal lifestyle, spending $3.59 on coffee at breakfast goes against everything I now stand for.  I justified it by telling myself that we were on vacation and that dozens of people on Yelp who recommended this coffee couldn't be wrong.

Thank the Lord I splurged.  We ate breakfast at Orange on N Clark St (just down the street from our hotel) and it was absolutely awesome.  The orange-infused coffee I had was the best I have ever tasted.  Usually I have to add a little sweeter and a dash of creamer to my coffee, but I drank that entire pot black.  Yup, the whole pot.  If I was going to spend dang near $4 on coffee, I was going to get my money's worth.

On to the food.

Evan got the Cinamon Roll Pancakes.  As you may gather from the name, these bad boys were like a Cinabonn make into pancakes and then glued together with a pecan paste and slathers with a donut glaze.

You can't make this stuff up.  There's no way I could have eaten more than a few bites of them, but they were crazy good.

As for me, I decided to compliment my coffee with the Orange Rosemary French Toast.  It was a toss-up between these and the Spiced Chai French Toast.  Seriously, there were some great choices on this menu!

No syrup needed on these!

Orange was a little on the pricey side when you consider the coffee, the fresh-squeezed juice ($3.50), and the entrees themselves were about $9.  Still, we really enjoyed it!  Stop in for breakfast if you're in the River North district on your next trip to Chicago!

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