Happy Labor Day Everyone!
Hope you are able to enjoy your time off work and school!
Our family had a great 4th of July long weekend.
First item on our weekend was a splash and dash race for my 10 year old.
The race consisted of a 100m swim and a 1 K run – short but lots of fun to watch. Plus the weather was ideal with clouds and misty rain.
Next up on July 4th morning was a 5K race for my 13 year old. Alex wanted to run the race for fun, partly to keep in shape for soccer and just because he likes to race. For fun, I sat on the side lines and cheered 🙂 I can’t believe he’s smiling at the end of this race considering the second half of the race was uphill.
His cheering section – we tried probably 15 times to take a family picture but someone always had their eyes closed or was looking the other way.
In the afternoon we headed to the pool for a few hours of pool time which was lots of fun.
At night, my husband took the boys to a soccer game where their team won and the night ended with fireworks. My six year old and I opted to stay home and watch a movie. After a long day she feel asleep at 8 o’clock and then I had the whole house to myself for 3 hours! I had big plans to get some things accomplished but I ended up sitting in bed watching tv and eating ice cream – it was wonderful.
Hope you had a terrific 4th! (Or wonderful July 1st if you are Canadian).
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.”
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?
“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!
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.
A white jumpsuit – $6
Gold sunglasses – $7
Neighbor who sews – Priceless!
Can’t wait to see what he picks for his costume this year.
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.
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.
I was walking through the store the other day when I found orange polka dot napkins on clearance. I decided to pick up a few since I thought they would make some fun Halloween pillows.
My 5 yr old and 9 yr old decided on Halloween silhouettes they wanted to paint onto the fabric. We then used the tracer to transfer the image onto the pillow. My son used a Sharpie which promptly bled through the think material onto the wall – yay!
My 9 yr old then painted his image with fabric paint staying inside the lines as best he could. For the 5 yr old, I decided to place blue painter’s tape around the image to help her.
I was planning on keeping the pillows in their original square shape but then realized they would have been huge. So we decided to cut around the shape, leaving room to sew the edges.
They chose to use a Halloween fabric we already had for the back of the pillow.
After they sewed around the edges, stuffed the pillows, and closed the last opening we were done!
Now here’s the thing. These will never make the cover of House Beautiful or any decorating site but my kids loved making them and love seeing them on the sofa. Every time they walk by the pillows they try and fluff them or stand them upright. and you can just see their sense of pride.
But here’s actually my favorite part of this whole project…
…their names written in permanent marker. Nothing sweeter than little kid handwriting.
Whew. It’s been awhile since I was here.
So sorry about that extended break.
I meant to warn you beforehand but I didn’t quite get to it.
Since it’s 2 weeks past Christmas now seems like the perfect time to share our Christmas card – OK not perfect but just go with it.
The week before Thanksgiving my husband found out he was going to be in Japan for the first two weeks of December so I knew we had to get our Christmas card picture taken immediately or it just wasn’t happening.
So we did what any family does and headed to the drainage system near our house.
Thankfully, we just took shots by the trees and saved the ditches for next year’s card.
We first started off taking a couple of nice shots…
…but then we quickly moved on to silly…
and even sillier when trying to set up the next shot.
Until finally we got what we were going for…
The card above is scanned so it’s not the best colors but I was very happy with the actual card.
Hope you have all had a wonderful start to the new year!
Each year I make a paper bag turkey and feathers for our family’s annual Thankful Turkey.
He usually gets called Tom the Turkey or Ted the Turkey and we add thankful feathers onto him each day.
Here’s a photo of our 2009 Tom:
This year I decided to upgrade us to brown wrapping paper.
I know, we are the last of the big spenders.
I found a turkey picture I liked, printed it out, and drew freehand the turkey onto the brown paper.
My children have informed me that it looks like Ted is holding his private parts.
You just have to love them.
Or tell them, “Do not say Ted the turkey is holding his private parts ONE MORE TIME!”
After dinner, everyone takes a feather (scrap paper I have) and writes down one thing they are thankful for that day.
After I had written my feather on the first day I asked my preschooler what she was thankful for.
She said God.
I decided to take that moment to add a bit to my feather.
Here are some more things we are thankful for…
But don’t worry the next holiday is never far from our minds.
And just to cover our bases…
I have shared some of our family’s favorite Christmas books (along with our Christmas Eve tradition) before so I thought it would be good to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving books.
I keep all of our holiday books together and only take out the ones that pertain to that month at the beginning of the month. I’m pretty sure that’s the former teacher in me coming out.
Nothing fancy for storing them – just some old milk crates in our storage closet. (Christmas – bottom shelf; Halloween – left of top shelf; February – right of top shelf)
It’s exciting to see all of our favorite books come out and sit and enjoy them. Please tell me about any favorites your family might have.
Ten Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
-Cute rhyming & counting book with each turkey falling off the fence after some mishap-
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
*My friend Betty gave this book to my children years ago & it’s always a favorite – the illustrations show grandma eating the entire Thanksgiving dinner, even the pot it was cooked in!
Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown
Arthur is in charge of the school Thanksgiving play and he can’t find anyone willing to be the turkey –
Thanksgiving Mice! By Bethany Roberts
-Adorable board book about mice putting on a Thanksgiving play, one of our favorites-
Franklin’s Thanksgiving by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin is sad because his grandparents can’t come for Thanksgiving. He decides to invite some friends to dinner without telling his parents.
Olivia Talks Turkey by Farrah McDoogle
Olivia is up to her usual antics this time learning how to “call” turkeys with the help of her teacher Mrs. Higenmuller
We Gather Together…Now Please Get Lost! by Diane DeGroat
We added this book to our Thanksgiving pile last year – Gilbert is not happy with his partner on the school field trip to Pilgrim Town so he ditches him once they arrive. Unfortunately it was not a good move for Gilbert.
The First Thanksgiving by Garnet Jackson
– Simple reader that shares the Thanksgiving story –
We’re Gong on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Not necessarily a Thanksgiving book but the illustrations indicate it’s cold and windy so I put it in our pile.
Not a book but one of my kids favorite holiday DVD’s – always fun to pull this out in November
And here’s our new Thanksgiving book this year (book fairs sucker me in everytime)…my 8 year old LOVED this book and read the whole thing in one day, constantly spouting out facts he found interesting.
What Was the First Thanksgiving? by Joan Holub
This 100 page book is filled with illustrations, maps, pictures, and information about both the Indians and the Pilgrims.
I’m already thinking about adding these books to our collection next year…
The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings by Mike Berenstain
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
Obviously, I have a love for children’s books.
Happy Thanksgiving Reading everyone!
I have successfully eaten every Almond Joy and Heath bar within a 6 square mile radius of my house.
It might have something to do with the fact that I told my children those candy bars don’t taste good.
Or maybe it’s that I keep stealing them out of their Halloween buckets.
Either way, I was in line at the grocery store tonight and actually thought about buying an Almond Joy.
Now that’s a real sickness.