January Goals 2014

I’m starting off this year with goal sheets for the month again since I found them so successful two years ago (and yes, I totally realize there are only 11 months left in the year).

Goals. Resolutions.

Tomatoes. To-ma-toes.

I have found that having goals written down just makes a world of difference in my productivity.

Now for my goal sheet for the month of January:


And before I tell you how I did on meeting these goals I’ll be sure to take advantage of the last 2 days of the month.

Click here for a blank copy of the January goals page and here for a blank copy of the February goal page.

Do you have any goals you are working toward this year? month? day?


Sweet girl waiting for a friend to arrive for a play date.

IMG_3088-001She ended up waiting there for about an hour.

Having a snack and generally asking me every five minutes if it was time yet.

This is why you are never late to play dates people – Get there on time!

A Birthday Crown for Years

I recently made my niece a felt birthday crown.

Happy Birthday Addy!

As you can see below, she loved it.


Without a doubt, loved it.

Alright, so maybe not a fan of the birthday crowns yet but I know around age 3 she will be rocking that crown for days and days before, during, and after her birthday.

The really cool thing about this crown is that the number in front is interchangable. So if I really wanted I could make her numbers up through to about age 34 and she’d have to wear it because I would be the crazy old aunt who insists on a picture every year of her in her crown. Thankfully for Addy I only made numbers up through ten.

I followed this tutorial to make the crown.

I first used their crown template and cut out two crowns in the same felt color.


I sewed the pieces together by hand. Not because it was a point of pride but because I sewed all the parts of this crown while waiting at tennis lessons, swim lessons, piano lessons, and in the school car pool line.


After finishing the main part of the crown, I moved onto the felt numbers. For most of the numbers I just eyeballed them when cutting out the felt.




Since the numbers attach to the crown with velcro, I used this fabric fusion velcro on the back of the numbers and one piece placed in the center of the crown. This velcro is so easy to use because you just iron it into place.


The final step was to sew the elastic into place. The tutorial I followed used a ribbon to hold the crown together but I thought the elastic would stay on better.


As a final step in sizing I made sure it would fit my 4 year old who was more than happy to model for me.


Crown are important in a girls life dear little Addy – hope you enjoy your birthday crown for years to come!

Immature Parents

There are times when I believe I am way too immature to be a parent.

This afternoon was one of those.

I picked up my 6th grader from school today and asked him how is day went.

He mumbled a few words until suddenly remembering something at which point he became very animated.

“Mom, there’s this 2 week away band camp that I can go to this summer and I think it would be lots of fun. It’s only $750 and we get to be in a band, work on our own instrument, there’s a dance every night, but we can pass on going to that, and you sleep in the college dorms.”


“Oh and Mom, at band camp there’s a rock wall and a pool and basketball courts.”

At band camp.

Am I the only one who’s mind went directly to Alyson Hannigan and her, “This one time, at band camp?”

Please tell me I’m not.

And after watching that clip just now I can assure you there will be absolutely no band camp this summer.

Or any other summer.

Thankfully we already have a vacation scheduled right in the middle of band camp so the idea of going was put to rest pretty quickly.

Now if I can only serve our apple pie dessert with a straight face.

(Told you, immature. And no we weren’t really having pie).



There might be a problem with my goal of eating healthier in 2014.

I just ate a half a bag of chocolate chips while watching Dr.Oz’s show on eating healthy.

Maybe later I’ll go smoke a cigarette later just to top things off.

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken

One day as I was menu planning I decided to pull out a recipe book I had received at my sister’s wedding shower. Everyone who attended sent in a picture of them or my sister and her groom as well as a yummy recipe.

Since they just celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary I decided now was a great time to check out what was inside the recipe book.

I came across a recipe for Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken and decided to try it out.

My boys are ridiculously picky eaters, although truth be told they are coming around and trying new things. And guess what? They love this chicken! My son who once cried when chicken was brought to him in a restaurant ate 3 pieces the first time I made this. I’ve used this same recipe with thin pork chops and it’s great too.


  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large shallow dish combine butter with garlic, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce
  3. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  4. Dip chicken pieces in butter mixture and then shake in plastic bag, coating well.
  5. Arrange pieces in a large shallow baking dish.
  6. Bake for one hour.

I use about 4 cloves of garlic (because that’s how we roll), and usually cook it a little less than the suggested time.

Just to prove I am not a food blogger, here’s a sad picture of the chicken that I remembered to take about 30 minutes after we were finished eating.


Have you cooked anything yummy lately that you’d care to share?

Have a wonderful weekend!


The Make Up Class

The other day my four year old was at her music class when the teacher announced it was time for the parents to come in.

Since the kids had just had their first introductory lesson with their glockenspiel, the teacher suggested the kids attend a make up class on Saturday.

Even if they had not missed a previous class she felt it would be beneficial for the kids to attend the make up class so that all of the techniques and language used would be reinforced.

After class my daughter and another little girl were talking when Helen asked my daughter,  “Are you going to the make up class?”

“Yes I am.”

As we were driving home Caroline asked, “Am I going to that make up class?”

“If you would like to go you can. Do you want to go?”


After being quiet for about 5 minutes she said, “Is the teacher going to put makeup on all of the kids at the make up class?”

The boys and I all laughed immediately (maybe not the best parenting technique) and then explained to her what make up class means.

Caroline took it all in stride but I’m fairly sure she’s disappointed there will be no lipstick or eyeshadow on Saturday morning.

The Rabbits, It’s Always the Rabbits – Part 4

Read here for The Rabbits – part 1, part 2, part 3

I know what you are thinking…Again with the rabbits?

Yes, the rabbits but this time it’s different.

Unbelievably, I just bought some rabbits.

I know.

Along with the rabbits I also purchased some ducks, geese, chickens, and honeybees.

You can close your mouth now.

Thankfully I purchased these animals from the comfort of my home.

And even more thankfully, I will never ever see any of these animals in my backyard or, even better, dead on my dining room floor.

Instead of angel Christmas gifts this year, my kids, influenced greatly by my 8 year old, decided they want to buy gifts through Heifer International.


“Heifer International works with community groups in third world countries and provides them with animals which help families help themselves. They train beneficiaries in animal well-being, agroecology, water quality, gender equity, and other topics. The training enables them to care for livestock, grow crops sustainably, and further lift themselves out of poverty.

Families then share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.”

I gave each child a budget and told them they could buy whatever animals they wanted as long as we didn’t exceed our total. We went through the gift catalog on the website reading about each animal, their cost, and talked about how those animals could help someone.

They contemplated, they added and subtracted, they debated, and they discussed.

Eventually, they decided and we bought a flock of hope (chickens, geese, and ducks), honeybees, and rabbits.


Yes, rabbits.

Once we convinced Caroline that buying a pegasus horse was not an option she went with the rabbits.

The family that kills rabbits just bought rabbits.

Cue the Lion King music. Again.

This year our family has talked a lot about poverty, families that are struggling, and kids who are hungry, both locally and far away. My hope is that by exposing them to programs like Heifer International and the Angel Tree they will see themselves as part of the solution and know that they can make a difference even at just 11, 8, and 4.

Donating to Heifer International was new to our family this year but based on the kids excitement I know it will not be our last experience with them. I think this program would also be fun for a school service project, a bake sale focus, or even an animal themed birthday party.

I’m not receiving any sort of compensation from Heifer for telling you about their program. I’m only asking that once you can purchase “a pegasus” our family is notified immediately.

Christmas Card 2013

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!