A Meal Plan for this Week

Every Sunday I sit down with my husband and we hash out our meal plan based on the 7,000 after school activities we have going on. Even with a ton of events we almost always sit down and eat dinner as a family. Whether we have to bump up dinner to 5:00 or push it back until 7:30 we eat together because I think it’s so important.

This week I sat down to create the meal plan at the kitchen table and got up before I finished.

A little while later I came back to my list and noticed that my 5 year old had added onto the list.

See if you can pick out the meal she has decided on:

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Happy Monday Everyone!

 

Posted in caroline, food, meal ideas | 3 Comments

Random Thoughts #1

Mindy over at Rindy Mae does “Random Thoughts and Tidbits” posts from time to time and they are some of my favorite to read so I thought it was time for my own such post.

*My 9 year old was looking at animals on the local animal shelter website, found one he liked, and called me over. I said the dog was cute. He then proceeded to run around the house and scream, “Mom said we could get another dog. We are bringing Bailee home!” I had to crush him by telling him, no, that is not what I said. There are no new dogs joining our family anytime soon. He has not given up yet though as he keeps talking and talking about getting another dog.

*Every night at 9 my husband and I watch an episode of Modern Family. Funniest show ever. We have never watched it before but we are loving it.

*I made these Individual Frozen Key Lime Pies and they are a big hit at our house. I don’t partake in any of the eating since I firmly believe the words fruit and dessert should never be joined together.

*My mom is sending us a king cake in a few weeks. To say we are all excited is an understatement.

*This is the model for the curvy jeans on the GAP website – umm….Houston I think we have a problem…the girl is gorgeous but curvy? Me thinks not. LOOK AT HER THIGHS!

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*This is a sweet post about being a “Mommy” that my sister-in-law sent me.

*Currently my 5 year old says she’s going to live in a house right next door to us when she grows up. My 9 year old, on the other hand, enjoys telling us that he’s going to move far away.  My 12 year old is sort of indifferent about the whole thing.

*I’ve been home all week with two kids who have taken turns being sick on various days, therefore, I haven’t been at work. On Saturday I get to teach Saturday school to 3rd graders for 4 hours. 4 hours of teaching math! So much fun for me and thankfully they are still young enough to be enthusiastic about measuring themselves with tape measures, creating fractions with skittles, and creating area problems out of cheez-its. I’m so looking forward to it.

*”Caroline it’s time to go run some errands.” She comes down from her room a few minutes later. “I’m ready.

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Shorts leggings on top of pants leggings with knee socks on top of those – Long sleeve shirt under short sleeve shirt which says, “I am made of awesome.”

Yes you are awesome sweet thing.

“Alright, get your shoes on.”

Have a great weekend everyone!

And please feel free to add your own random thoughts below :)

 

Posted in family, observations | 3 Comments

Videos We Are Enjoying

Here are 2 videos that are keeping the kids and I quite entertained dancing and singing – can you say pajama dance party?!

..and this one…

Come on…get up and dance!

Posted in music | Leave a comment

Elvis is in the Building – A Kid Costume

When I gave my kids the unofficial “What do you want to be for Halloween” survey back in September, my 9 year old said, “Elvis.”

Naturally.

So if that’s what he wanted that’s what we were going to figure out.

I thought, great, that should be easy – jeans, white t-shirt, and leather jacket.

“No mom, I want the other Elvis.”

We started looking at pictures and he kept choosing the jumpsuit Elvis.

“You want a jumpsuit for your costume?

“Yes.”

“That might be hard to find.”

“You can make it.”

For the record, no I can’t. My sewing skills are terrible but I can make my way through pillow construction. Jumpsuits? No.

So I looked online but there were no 9 year old Elvis costumes. I could find baby Elvis, adult Elvis, and even dog Elvis but no kid Elvis.

So then I went on the hunt for jumpsuits at consignment stores and at my 6th store BINGO – A WHITE JUMPSUIT!

The jumpsuit was all white with red material flared at the bottom and came with a red scarf. You have no idea how excited I was – I gave them my $6 and practically ran out the store to go show my son.

A month passed.

And what to little boys do in a month’s time? They grow. The jumpsuit that I thought was perfect for Elvis was looking a little tight and more ABBA like. Stink. What was I going to do?

And then I remembered that my neighbor sews. My beautiful, wonderful, sewing neighbor.

A day before Andrew’s Halloween piano recital (where the kids dress up in costume) I knocked on my neighbor’s door and said, “Please please help me.”

My neighbor came over, snipped the whole jumpsuit in half, sewed the red scarf around the middle and gave our little Elvis enough dancing room.

My neighbor accomplished all of that in under 5 minutes. I sat there amazed but oh so thankful.

My son was adamant that the costume needed a larger collar so I took hard felt and covered it in white fabric. I then made a gold edge for the collar using some leftover Wonder Woman fabric. The belt buckle was made the same way. I then used puffy paints (about $6) and created an eagle on both sides of the collar and a design on the belt.

We found a pair of gold sunglasses ($7 at the party store) and painted on some mighty fine side burns if you ask me.

To complete the look, Elvis put on his “blue suede” Converse and was ready to roll.

I now present to you…THE KING!

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I was literally sewing the belt buckle on to the costume in between stoplights driving to his piano recital. All in the day of a music legends manager I guess.

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A white jumpsuit – $6

Gold sunglasses – $7

Neighbor who sews – Priceless!

Can’t wait to see what he picks for his costume this year.

 

Posted in Andrew, bargains, clothes, dress up, holiday | 3 Comments

2015 Family Words

Last week I shared our 2014 family words and today I’m going to share with you our 2015 words.

For the canvases last year we used colorful magazine clippings but I decided to try and make it a little different (and easier) this year by just using paint for the undercoating.

I gathered all of the blue and green paints we had and explained that each person was going to choose several colors from this palette and cover their canvas with it.

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All five of us sat at the table on a cold and rainy morning in our pajamas and painted for an hour.

It was my version of heaven.

IMG_8648It was so interesting to just sit and listen to the kids talk about why they chose their word for the year.

After letting the paint dry, we picked through the stickers we had to create our words and names. I then spray painted the canvases with white paint. Once dry I peeled off the stickers.

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IMG_8661IMG_8684IMG_8662IMG_8680A few days after making our word canvases I said to Caroline would you like to try some cinnamon toast? She gave me this pitiful look and said, “Mooooooommmmmm, when  I said try for my word I didn’t mean to try new foods I meant to try new activities.”

Now keep in mind this kid has eaten cinnamon bread before and loved it.

“You don’t have to eat the whole thing, you could just try it.”

“Maybe later but I just can’t right now.”

She later ate 2 pieces of cinnamon bread and loved every bite. On her own time. When she was ready.

I’m thinking maybe her word for the year should have been “go with the flow,” or “don’t make trouble just for troubles sake, ”  or even, “every once in awhile just agree with your mother.”

But for now she’s sticking with “try” for 2015.

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Do you have a word or a family motto for the year? I’d love to know.

Posted in Alex, Andrew, art work, caroline, crafts, decorations, family, goals | 1 Comment

Happy Birthday

My husband’s birthday is today and I just want to give him a shout out.

He’s really the most caring, loving person I could have ever asked for to spend my life with.

He’s the best dad to our kiddos whether it’s helping with legos, going to Boy Scout meetings, checking math homework, building projects with them, reading aloud thick chapter books, cheering them on at games, playing board games with them, and just loving them no matter what.

We all love you Derek – happy 42nd!

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Posted in birthdays, husbands | 5 Comments

2014 Family Words of the Year & Our Wall of Pictures

Last year was the first year each member of our family came up with a “word” for the year.

The word each person chose was entirely up to them, although I did provide the 4 yr old with some choices.

The idea is that the word is supposed to be one of the things they want to focus on for the year. Kind of along the lines of a resolution.

Our words are hanging on a large corkboard which I found at the Habitat store for $4. I then glued on some left over fabric (burlap with gold circles) and placed our word canvases on there with push pins. I then took pictures we had printed out already and let the kids pin those up.

It’s literally my favorite thing in my house.

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Here’s a close up look at the canvases and how we made them. The idea is based off the same project I saw on Shannan’s blog. We’re not really friends. I just like to pretend we are so I call her by her first name :)

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The project starts off with scraps of magazines – the best in my opinion are the Boden catalogs because of the vibrant colors – I spent a couple of nights watching tv and cutting out different patterns and colors.

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Then we hodged podged the heck out of those scraps onto a 9 x 12 canvas.

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Once Caroline was done, I went back over hers with the hodge podge several times since she was rocking about 4 layers in some parts.

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Once the whole front was covered, we used old science fair sticky letters we already had and placed our words onto the canvas. I then spray painted the canvases (I initially painted my with white acrylic paint but liked the look of the spray paint better) and then peeled off the stickers.

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Can I just stop for one minute and say that this kid “DID” 2014.

KJMP_McEachern_20141013_0282Signed up for the Geography Bee all on his own, finished the school year with awesome grades, made the school band he wanted to, became a leader on his soccer team, made the state meet in summer swimming, made the region band, joined the school pentathlon team all on his own, ran for the cross country school team, and so much more!

Middle school really agrees with him. So proud.

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It’s funny how you start out the year thinking your word will mean one thing and it really ends up meaning something else. I thought my word would mean to find the courage to travel to Ethiopia but what it really meant was to find the courage to be around those who could add to their families. With each person who told me they were pregnant the pain of our loss really struck home again. While happy for them I found it just brought out sadness for me.

Courage for me this year was finally visiting my sister who had a new baby and experiencing that joy with her. I went back and forth and back and forth about making plane reservations but what I kept coming back to was my word for the year: courage.

I could do it. I needed to do it. So I did it. And it was wonderful.

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Next week I will share with you our 2015 words.

It should be interesting to see what path those words take us on.

Posted in Alex, Andrew, art work, caroline, crafts, decorations, family, favorite, goals, habitat for humanity | 4 Comments

2015 Free Dowloadable Calendar

Well, it’s been awhile.

Between the kids activities, working, and my vow to get off the electronics to spend time with my husband at night, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for this space.

But I am going to try to post more often.

Over the holidays I searched for a 2015 calendar but couldn’t find anything I liked – simple, but with color – so I made my own.

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I think it’s kind of fun.

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I’ve hung ours on a clip board in the kitchen and have already started filling it up.

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In the bottom section (the part that says 2015) we are going to write down something special that someone in the family wants to do. For example, my 9 year old wanted everyone to participate in a darts tournament (at our house) so that will be our special event for the month. Next month, someone else gets to choose something fun. Now I need to go write that on the calendar so I don’t forget.

You can click here to download the calendar for your personal use.

I’ll be back soon to share with you our family words for 2015.

Hopefully it will be before 2016.

Posted in art work, calendar, decorations, Happy New Year, organization, printables | Comments Off

Mom Rant

I’m going to rant for a moment.

It won’t be becoming of me or show the nice side of myself but it will be truthful.

Parents can sometimes suck.

I’m not excluding myself from this group, sometimes I suck.

But not in this area.

Party attendance.

My  mom raised us with the idea that when you are invited to a party you attend.

It doesn’t matter if they are not your best friend or your parents really don’t want to sit at Chuck E Cheese for 2 hours. If you can attend the party, you do.

Someone took the time to invite you. You never really know how many other kids have been invited or who else will show up. But you know that you will go if you can.

Several times my kids have been the only “school” friend to show up to someones party. That’s terrible when you know the entire class has been given an invitation.

I understand people have soccer games, parents work, family is in town, or any other reason that has ever been given for not attending a party.

I’m sure the thought process is…well we don’t really know this kid so we’re not going to go but I’m sure other kids will go…I’m here to tell you that a lot of time, no, the other kids are not going to the party. Therefore, no one from school is at the party.

We just had our annual Halloween party this weekend and to be honest, I was disappointed. My daughter said, “Mom, why didn’t my friends from school come?”

Out of the 13 classmates my daughter has in her class, only one child came to the party. ONE. And that was the only person who RSVP’d.  That’s wrong people. At least respond that you aren’t coming.

Thankfully,  we have really wonderful family friends who brought their children to the party so my daughter had friends there. But she still wondered aloud several times after the party on where her school friends were and honestly, it broke my heart for her.

She was so excited to bring the invitations to school and was eagerly anticipating sharing the pinata we made, the marshmallow toss game, and sweet treats with her friends.

I don’t know preschool parents.

I’m disappointed in you.

You could have done better.

But I will continue to teach my kids what I think is right.

So the next time my daughter receives a party invitation from school, we are going.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

At least in our house.

Posted in caroline, holiday, observations, parenting, party | 2 Comments

The – Shrek the Musical – Party

For my daughter’s 5th birthday party she decided on a “Shrek the Musical,” party. We found this musical on Netflix and she feel in love with it, watching it probably 20 times.

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In my opinion, this musical is FAB.U.LOUS! Go and put it on your netflix list right now!

For days after we watch it, I’ll hear my family humming the tunes or sometimes they bust out with the words. Alright, I’ll admit it, I sing and dance around the house to it as well.

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A Shrek the Musical 5th Birthday Party. Hmmm…I put my thinking cap on and came up with what I think was a pretty fun party. So here’s the party recap:

Caroline greeted her guests outside with some sidewalk chalk paint. Using cornstarch, water, and food coloring I used this recipe to make the paint.

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After everyone had arrived at the party, we went inside to watch our first clip of the movie which was the opening scene introducing Shrek. After watching the movie for about 8 -10 minutes we stopped and played, Stinky Shrek, our own version of hot potato. Several years ago my mom gave us a hot potato game with a built in beeper. I simply covered the hot potato in green fabric and we played Stinky Shrek – last person with the Stinky Shrek (hot potato) was the winner.

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We then watched another clip of the musical which introduces the donkey.

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After the clip we played – Pin the Tail on the donkey – a classic birthday game. I once again used our tracer and made the donkey out of construction paper.

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Next was a clip which introduced the gingerbread man and Lord Farquaad.

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Since I had enough to do to get ready for this party, I paid a friend who was just starting up a baking business to make sugar cookie gingerbread men for me. The kids enjoyed decorating their gingerbread men with frosting and candy. I had little baggies for the kids to take the gingerbread men home in but that did not work out since everyone wanted to eat their creation immediately.

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Next up was the musical scene which introduced Princess Fiona. Sutton Foster plays Fiona in the Netflix musical and she is just outstanding. She was nominated for a Tony for this role.

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To celebrate being a Princess like Fiona the girls made princess necklaces. The necklaces were plastic beads with large holes through the center. I also gave the girls a castle charm that they could place somewhere on their necklace. Since this party was for 4, 5, and 6 yr. olds I thought using a needle and stretchy thread might be a little difficult for them so I glued (using a glue gun) the needle to the piece of thread so the needle couldn’t fall off. I then glued a piece of fabric at the end of the thread so that the plastic beads wouldn’t come off on the other side. The girls really enjoyed making their necklaces. It was fun to see some of the girls where their necklaces to school the next week.

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The last musical scene the girls watched was Princess Fiona tap dancing with the Pied Piper’s rats.

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I decided to make tap shoes for the girls – the cheap way! I bought bottle caps at Hobby Lobby and glued (with a glue gun) them to a rubber band. I placed the hot glue in the bottom section of the bottle caps. The “tap shoes” were easy to put on since they just slipped right over their shoes.

At this time the girls also received their green  Princess Fiona crown – the same one Caroline had been sporting the whole party.

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The girls “tapping” like Princess Fiona in our garage.

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Last up on the party agenda were cupcakes with Shrek character toppers. Normally I try and make a character cake for birthday but Caroline requested cupcakes so cupcakes it was. She helped me choose the characters she wanted on the toppers and we printed them right out.

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So that’s it.

A “Shrek the Musical Birthday” party for my daughter’s 5th birthday.

I think I enjoyed planning it as much as she enjoyed sharing it with her friends.

And seriously, go watch this musical, it’s terrific!

Posted in birthdays, budget, caroline, crafts, organization, party | 4 Comments