Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break... and then some

Today I returned to work for the first time since Thursday, March 15. Thanks to a sick Ian that Thursday night, I got Friday off, followed by a week of spring break.  It was my last spring break I'd get to spend by myself, as the kids still went to school, and next year Ian will have break right along with me.  It was a good one to go out on.
This is how our living room started off looking at the beginning of the week. I spent quite a bit of time Mon-Wed staining the wood around our windows from when they were replaced. (I won't mention how long ago that was actually done).  I also did some caulk work around the kids' tub, organized the kids' closets, ran TONS of errands, and cooked (plus read a book, went to the movies, watched some TV...).  

This is how our freezer looked by the end of break. Darrin would never complain about his lunches, but I could tell by his sighs every morning when trying to figure out what to have for lunch that he'd prefer some options other than sandwiches.  So I set about to rectify that this week, making double portions of our dinners and freezing them in single servings for Darrin's lunches.  The top shelf is taco cornbread bake made in individual ramekins for him to take.  On the second shelf, in the back, are homemade pizza pockets/calzones.  I took this pizza dough recipe, doubled it so we'd have pizza for supper and then turned the rest into pockets. It worked really slick and he says they taste great. In front of that is some leftover honey bourbon chicken (even though it contains no bourbon).  Also on that shelf is some brown sugar chipotle pulled pork that I added BBQ to after I shredded it.  Last but not least, on the bottom shelf, is some lasagna, recipe courtesy of his mom.  He's set for awhile, though he'll probably go through those pretty darn fast!

Saturday was another day of swimming lessons for Ian. Only today was diving board day. We all went along to watch and he is so comfortable up there now. So much different than two years ago when he started lessons.  Now the teacher just has to count to three and he jumps right in.  He told me the other day that he wasn't scared because he knew God and Jesus would be there with him.  And his teacher, Miss Jill.  He'll get another chance at it this Saturday as well.  Saturday afternoon and night I spent scrapping with Marlena, getting all caught up on my project life spreads and working on the layout for this week's issue challenge over at Club CK. 

Sunday the weather was perfect, and after church and lunch, we worked outside mowing the yard, trimming rose bushes, planting my summer bulbs, and doing something my dad would be proud of- washing my car. 

And today after work, with the weather again around 80 degrees - IN MARCH - there was more playing outside.  
 Yes, Annaliese is standing backwards, but we didn't dare try to get close and correct her, or she'd swing and hit us.

 Ian was so serious with his hitting, and absolutely loved it.  He hit many home runs over the neighbor's fence.

Before bed tonight, Ian had to show us his latest Lego creation. The other night during prayers he thanked Jesus for his large bucket of Legos because, "I like to build whatever I want."  Well, tonight he built a mechanic garage with the mechanic working on a snow plow. I asked if it was Grandpa Dan, and it wasn't, but it's a snow plow nonetheless.  He went with Darrin on Saturday to get his car worked on, and we figure that's where he got the idea.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Weather

The weather this week has been hovering close to 80 every day. My daffodils are open. My lilacs are leafing out. Our grass will need mowing before we know it (especially if we get the rain they're talking about for next week).  It's hard to believe it's March!  We have spent at least a little time every night outside.

Monday the kids had their 2-year and Kindergarten check-ups.  Annaliese's stats: 36 inches tall (94 %ile)  and 32 pounds 10 oz (96%ile).  She is such a big girl in more ways than one.  The doctor said she had never seen her ears look so good, which was great to hear.  Of course now, almost a week after the appointment, she's got a runny nose and is congested...  Ian's stats: 45 inches tall (88%ile) and 48 pounds (87 %ile).  He's fallen a bit from the last year, but we  figure that's because he's busy burning all his energy off. He's a tall, skinny guy.  He had to get three shot and finger poke- his tonsils are enlarged so they were checking for infection, but he got the A-OK to go to kindergarten next year (gulp).

After the doctor, we got to babysit Walter for the night.  We headed to the park first.  Everyone went down the slides a few times, but Annaliese preferred to play on the swings and Ian in the sand.

The rest of the week we stuck to our yard, playing outside every single day.

It sounds like the temperatures this next week will be between 60-70 degrees.  Perfect for getting stuff done inside and outside the house while home on spring break.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Minnesota Weekend

Saturday, in St. Paul, my cousin Kyle, married the love of his life, Gina, in a beautiful ceremony. We had a great time traveling there and at the wedding.  As much as we hate being 6 hours from family, it certainly has its perks; one being our kids are FANTASTIC car riders since they've been traveling that far from a few weeks old.For the sake of not leaving at the crack of dawn on Saturday, we drove to Story City on Friday night. The kids had a blast Saturday morning at the hotel.  With a morning that starts with bed jumping and is followed by swimming, what's not to love? It was Annaliese's first time swimming in a big pool, and it was the first time Ian learned he can stand in a big pool.

She loved, loved, loved swimming

Any guesses as to what she's doing here???

This was before that picture, but I hate moving them around...

He jumped in a few times, but his FAVORITE thing was to just bounce along the wall, relishing in the fact he could touch and do it all on his own.

There was travel time, wedding ceremony, and food, but the best part is always the party.  Ian was in a mood (most likely lack of sleep) and didn't do much dancing. But Annaliese made up for all that. Like a typical girl, she had her shoes off by the end of the night, and when no one would dance with her (not that she cared) she had Baby out there on the dance floor, too.

At every family wedding they play "We are Family" and my grandma, along with the other grandparent to the couple, sit on chairs in the middle of a big circle of family members and we all dance and take turns giving the grandparents some love. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Accomplishments

Growth chart for Walter... intended as a birth gift, given as a 18-month-ish gift

Tale of a Tree tells the story of going with my parents to pick out and tag a tree at Halloween, cutting it down and decorating it at Thanksgiving, and opening the presents that were under it at Christmas.  Created for an issue challenge on Club CK to incorporate a calendar on a layout. 

One for Annaliese's book!  Her first trip to the pumpkin patch. She had so much fun taking in everything, she fell asleep before we left.  Created for a challenge to alter stickers (I added stitching to mine to replicate a vine).  I got to use some brand new paper on this one from My Mind's Eye.  Layout inspired by a layout by Allison Davis.

More brand new paper usage, this time Echo Park.  Story of the first pumpkin carving party Marlena and Noah ever hosted. Just so happened to coincide with Ian's first Halloween.  Layout inspired by page 24 of the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

One of my own creation of the presents at Ian's first birthday (really trying to get his baby book done!).  The present opens up to reveal the journaling.

Another one for Ian's baby book of him and me.  The challenge for this one was to incorporate a digital element, which would be the motherhood subway art from here.  The image was based on this layout from the simple stories blog which I pinned. 

I had hoped to get more pages done for Ian's baby book, really lofty goals of actually finishing it, but I had some birthdays to celebrate.  This month brings spring break (Alleluia!), but instead of spending it scrapping or sewing (which I really need to start doing more of), I have a lot of home projects I'm going to try to get done while the kids are at day care.  Crazy to think there's only 10 weeks left of the school year.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Annaliese is TWO!

Two years goes so fast! She's talking in nearly full sentences and loves to sing, carry her baby, and wear shoes. She won't go to bed without a book, won't leave the house without brushing her teeth, and LOVES to love- kisses and hugs are her gifts. 

We went out last night with Marlena, Noah, and Walter, this time to The Farmhouse. Thanks to the string of birthdays and parties lately, we've been able to see a lot of them.  Annaliese and Ian had pancakes, at first with syrup on it, and later with jelly.  

 After supper, goodbye hugs and kisses were in order. 

Today, on her actual birthday, she got to open a few presents.  Ian drew her a picture of butterflies, we gave her a case of Disney shoes, and Marlena left a Crayola Musical Rub-Art Station at our house today for Annaliese to open.