Happy Labor Day Everyone!
Hope you are able to enjoy your time off work and school!
After returning from vacation in the middle of July my soon to be 4th grader asked, “Are we ever going to buy school supplies?”
“Well son, seeing as we still have five weeks before you start school I think we are okay.” My reply didn’t really satisfy him or his sister who also had a case of school supply mania.
Three weeks before school started I caved and took them shopping. We bought everything required except for the folders my son needed. Somehow I missed seeing those on the list.
My 4th grader needed blue, red, and yellow folders with brads for school.
First off, why in the world do they even sell folders without the brads in the middle?
No one buys them and they are quite useless.
Fast forward to two days before school starts.
While out shopping I found the blue folder that was needed and scooped that up but could not find a yellow or red folder.
All together, my husband and I went to about 6 different stores looking for these folders.
School started and by the 3rd day of school my son said that he really needed the folders.
I suddenly remembered that I had a stash of school supplies saved in case any of the kids that I teach need something. Old folders, binders, erasers when they go on sale. You name it, I probably have it in my box.
Searching through the box I found a yellow folder with brads but it had someone else’s name on it. I crossed that name out and handed the folder to my son. He was less than thrilled when I showed him the folder. I promised that this was just temporary and that I would still look for new folders.
Cut to the next day and another store folder failure.
So desperate times come for desperate measures.
I asked my husband where the electrical tape was. Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall us having red electrical tape. He found the tape and we were in business “making a red folder.”
I proclaimed the folder perfect.
My husband said, “really?”
“When Andrew looks into his desk he will know which one his red folder is, it’s great.”
Great is probably not how my 10 year old saw it the next morning but he took the folder and put it into his backpack without a fuss.
A few days later I was cleaning out a drawer and happened to find an old plastic red folder with brads that was already labeled with Andrew’s name.
Thank you to hoarding school supplies from kindergarten!
Andrew was happy to take that red folder to school and bring back the green and red folder.
I thought all was good on the school supply front until yesterday when Andrew brought home a note saying he needed an extra blue folder with brads for a different class.
I shouted to be husband, “Honey, have you seen the blue electrical tape?”
Today is National Waffle Day (August 24th) and the 1st day of school for us!
To celebrate both events we had waffles this morning.
This year we have a kindergartner, a 4th grader, and an 8th grader!
Pretty good start to the school year as we only had one kid who forgot their lunch…the 8th grader of course.
Can’t wait to ask them after school what they did all day and for them to respond with, “I don’t know. Nothing much.”
Ahhhhhhhh! Tell me something!
*By the way, tomorrow, August 25th, is National Banana Split Day!
The other day I took my kids to a local swim center. This facility is awesome since it has an outside section with a lazy river, two areas which have small water slides, water guns, buckets, a pool, and an inside section as well.
This year the pool added big water slides – you know the kind – where you have to be 48 inches tall to slide down. They looked really awesome and my boys had a great time going down them for hours.
I, meanwhile, hung with my six year old who will, unfortunately, probably be 17 before she hits the 48 inches mark. Thankfully, she didn’t mind since she was having a wonderful time on the smaller water slides and the lazy river.
At one point my 10 year old came over to me and said, “Mom you should go on the water slides. They are so much fun.”
“Yes, they do look fun but I don’t think I can go down today.”
Here was what I was thinking when I said no to the slides:
Let me tell you what wasn’t my concern but what my 10 year old must have thought as to why I turned down this water slide opportunity.
“Mom, you can go. I looked and the weight limit says 300 pounds so you should be able to go.”
“Well thank you for checking on that son but my answer is still no today.”
I mean, really.
Here’s a fun art project I discovered when cruising around the web…Glue & Salt Painting!
Here are the directions:
1. Make an interesting design with some glue on your paper – we went abstract but you could easily makes a butterfly, house, car, fish, etc.
2) Generously pour salt over the glue.
3. Shake off the excess salt carefully.
4. Use watercolors to paint the salt. The more liquid the paint the better.
5. The salt will just absorb the paint right up.
6. Have fun!
I even got in on the art action with my creation below.
My younger two and I had a really nice time painting on a rainy day. We sat at the table for about an hour making several pieces a piece. We listened to Radio Disney while we painted and just talked about all sorts of topics.
I could have used the time to clean the dishes or fold some laundry but I’m really glad I just sat and spent some time with my kids.
*Sidenote – this is art that will be thrown away after a day since the salt makes it virtually impossible to hang up*
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).
Since we are just 2 days away from being done with school this year I thought that now would naturally be a good time to share some spring break photos. For their Christmas present this year, my sister and her boyfriend gave our kids a ski trip to Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada. The kids and I had never been on skies and my husband had only been on once decades ago. We were excited but a little nervous.
We flew up to Toronto and then took about a two hour drive to Blue Mountain. Our hotel sat right on this skating pond and had little shops all around.
Here are Caroline and Andrew wearing their “Dallas Winter Wear.” We had to borrow real ski clothes from Derek’s sister and all her generous friends who let us borrow clothes.
And yes…we did go swimming on this snow covered day.
We signed up the kids for ski school which was from 10:00 – 3:00 everyday (with a 1 hour break for lunch). Caroline had just turned 6 ten days earlier so she qualified to go to all day school with the boys. She was a little reluctant on the first day but went along since “her boys” were with her.
She’s the littlest one on the right.
It was amazing to see the kids in ski school. The instructors had the kids going up the magic carpet (ride that you stand on to get you up the hill) almost immediately and even more impressive is that they were coming down almost as fast. Our kids enjoyed their first day but I know Caroline definitely got tired of falling down.
Once the kids were situated in their lessons, all of the adults took a beginning lesson where I promptly fell down. Did I fall while moving? No. I fell while standing still listening to the instructor. Once the beginning lessons were over the instructors sent us over to practice on the same little hill the kids were already practicing on. My first attempt at getting on the moving magic carpet? I fell. They had to stop the whole dang thing for me to get up. Complete fail.
Once we had gone through the various stations and practiced what we were supposed to practice my sister and I asked the instructor what was the next station. The guy pointed up at this enormous mountain and said practice on that. What? That can’t be. There must be more stations. After practicing on the baby hill a few more times my sister and I worked up the courage to try Mount Everest. Trust me. It seemed enormous from the bottom.
When my sister and I attempted the chair lift for the first time we got on with two other people. For some reason they never pulled down the bar which is supposed to go in front of you so to say that my sister and I were panicked for about 4 minutes is a complete understatement. We held on for dear life and were never so glad to be at the top of a mountain.
Until we looked down to the bottom and sheer panic took over.
Somehow we each manged to get down. I’m pretty sure toward the end I was racing down the mountain at 40 miles an hour. After that experience we promptly went back to the baby hill and told the instructors that we needed some serious help. With some help and a private lesson the next day we did get a little better but it’s a safe bet to put your money on Lindsay Vonn this world cup racing season and not one of us.
After ski school ended at 3:00 we picked the kids up and headed back to the hill/mountain until 4:30 everyday. For us it was like when we go to Disney – up at the crack of dawn and at the park until the fireworks at night – we were committed all day.
The kids at the top of the practice hill
Aunt Kelly & Caroline
Andrew & Uncle Duke
Alex, Dad, and Caroline (in her tuck) coming down the hill
At the end of day one the boys were begging to go up “Big Baby,” also known as Mount Everest to me. I kept saying no but their dad and uncle won out (caved) and took them up. Once Andrew got off the ski lift and looked down the mountain he threw himself down on the snow and said, “I can’t do it. Get me down.” He was completely heartbroken to find out that he had to ski down. It took a loooooong time for him to come down the mountain with my husband. He’d ski a tiny bit and then fall. Ski a tiny bit and then fall. And so on. For a long time. But…he finally made it down and promptly announced that he was done for the day.
After spending 6+ hours on a cold mountain what treat do you naturally turn to?
Ice cream of course!
Day 2 – Andrew & Alex take snow board lessons, Caroline continues with ski lessons
Lots of falling on your bum is apparently par for the course when learning to snow board.
Alex ended up loving snow boarding so much that he took lessons again on his 3rd day. He impressed everyone by even going down some blue trails on the 3rd day.
Dad and Caroline going up the magic carpet like pros
Snow board victory!
Finally a picture of me coming down Mount Everest / Big Baby.
Ski Lift Fun – Andrew and classmate below
Mom (me) & Caroline
Caroline & Dad
Day 3 – Last run of the trip – from the top down – Andrew, Alex, Derek (Dad), Caroline, & Uncle Duke – not pictured, me: I was too slow and still making my way down Mount Everest / Big Baby.
Blue Mountain Photo Spot documenting the miracle of no broken bones!
And finally a family photo at the top of the mountain…could it be we already have our Christmas card photo in March?
My kids have been waiting and waiting for some snow days this year. Unlike the north we just need some ice and SCHOOL IS CANCELLED! Yippee!
I’m not going to lie. When we got that call last week that the first day of school was cancelled due to the ice I was thrilled. And then to get another call the next night? Eureka!
What did we do? Cleaned out closets, baked, played games, watched tv, and stayed in our pajamas all day long.
And then 3 days later it started snowing! We got about 4 inches of snow and once again everything in Texas shut down. All our weekend plans (about 8 sporting events) were cancelled and we stayed in our pajamas. Just the best.
Forecast is calling for more snow on Thursday….and possibly a delay in school start times….to dream the impossible dream.
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.