Saturday, August 30, 2008

i think we're in trouble

So, Elizabeth walks out of her room this morning, very proud I might add, with a picture drawn on her DoodlePad. I say, "Wow! What is that?" She responds with, "It's my family." I think, oh how nice. She drew a picture of Mommy, Daddy, herself, AJ and Jacob. But then I was enlightened. She explains to me that it is her and her friend, Jake, and their kids. If you take a close look, she has a crown on and he is holding her hand looking at her. I think we are in for some serious trouble when she gets a little older. Oh this little girl of mine - sigh.

Friday, August 29, 2008

sweet friday - Strawberry Whipped Sensation

Shelley's Sweet Friday's Buddy Post

When I was on my hunt for recipe's for this week, I came accross this one and I just had to try it. My grandmother makes these WONDERFUL strawberry ice cream pies in the summer time. Let's just say they are so good that some of us (no names mentioned here) eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever it is around! Once I got a taste of this treate, it took me back. It didn't disappoint and I must say,Grandma, watch out because there is a new treat in town!

4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
8 Oreo cookiess, inely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Line 9x5 inch loaf pan with foil, with ends offoil extending over sides of pan. Mash 2 cups of the strawberries (I threw mine into the Cuisinart) in large bowll. Add condensed milk, juice and 2 cups of the whipped topping; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Mix chopped cookies (used Cuisinart again) and butter. Spoon over whipped topping mixture. Cover with ends of foil and genntly press cookie mixture into whipped toping ixture. Freeze 6 hours or until firl. (I froze mine overnight for good measure.)

Invert dessert onto servinglpate when ready to serve; remove pan and foil. Spread remaining whipped topping onto top and sides of dessert. Slice remaining 2 cups of strawberries; arrange over dessert. (You will notice mine didn't have that many strawberries on top - well the kiddos ate those before I could get to them.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Confessions Part VI

Disclaimer: You should have all been forewarned by the title of this post but if you bypassed that part - here is where I warn you. You get what you get here. My mood will vary, that I guarantee, and I will do my best to give you my honesty in my confessions. After all, isn't that what confessions are about? Do you have any today?

1. You are getting this a little late today because AJ had his preschool orientation this morning. I am very impressed with the school so far and I have high hopes for AJ this year. His teacher seems very suited for the type of structure and discipline that he needs. He officially starts on the 3rd and then we have a 2 week evaluative period before his speech therapy starts at the elementary school. It should keep us hopping!

2. There is this gecko that I have decided must live somewhere around here because every night he is on our back patio. This little dude has NO FEAR. The picture below was taken without any zoom and he didn't seem to flinch with the flash. I think I might have to name him for kicks and giggles if he continues to stick around.

3. I am HORRIBLE at indoor photography!!! Any of you fellow photographers out there, I would love to have some pointer, hints, suggestions, or just a kick in the pants! Anyway, for that reason, that is why I am following along with Shelley on her Sweet Friday's so I can improve my indoor photography and also have some fun with my kiddos at the same time. But seriously, I need help!!!

4. Speaking of sweets, that seems to be all I am eating these days. If I don't change my eating habits and get off my lazy butt during the day, I'm pretty sure I am going to turn into a blimp!

5. If Jacob calls me Daddy one more time, I think I am going to scream!!! For some reason, any adult is Daddy to him. Seriously, all that I do for that little man, maybe a Mommy from time to time might be nice!

6. I think I am loosing my mind! I have officially decided that this Florida move did something to my brain. (Well, at least I will blame it on that for now.) I am having the hardest time staying organized, my house clean, knowing what is coming up next, etc. I used to be the most organized and time efficient person and it just isn't happening now. I hope I can get my act together soon or it is going to be a long school year!

7. Have I mentioned on here before that my brother got in to medical school? Well, he did and he started yesterday. Can you believe it? My little brother is on his way to being a big bad doctor? It seems like just yesterday he was a pudgy little 8 year old. Wow, how time flies!

8. Gustav, GO AWAY!!!!!

9. I am desperately in search of someone located in Dayton, OH to help us out with our house there and so far I have come up with nothing. Our renters are moving out and I need someone to collect the keys, do a walk through, be there for the carpet cleaners and turn the keys and lease over to the new tenants. Mike and I are trying to avoid him going up there so it is less time he has to take off of work but so far it isn't looking good. Our renters move out next Thursday and the carpet cleaners come on Friday. Ugghhh!

10. I have sold almost all of my cloth diapers in order to make the switch to bumgenius diapers courtesy of Shelley. I am hoping these will work better for Jacob!

11. And just because I like to use them! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

busy at work

With all of the unpacking and organizing, the kids discovered toys that they had long forgotten about. Well, Jacob has a knack for fixing things as he is always hard at work with a hammer, pliers, wrench or some screws. Today he decided the ball needed a little work.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

waiting out the storm

Well, that is how we spent most of our day - waiting! And waiting, and waiting and... We were warned on Thursday night that tropical storm Fay was headed our way and to expect a lot of rain - 10 to 15 inches. As time grew closer to their forecasts of when the big storm was going to hit, the predictions of rain accumulation decreased. In the end, we ended up with a little mist and a little bit more humidity than normal but no real storm here. Instead we spent our time outside with the kids practicing their new roller skating skills. The video doesn't do it justice - it is just too funny to watch. I will try my best to get Jacob on his skates next time as he is a total crack up.

This is how Jacob decided to spend his time outside - working on his fishing net proficiency.

All said and done, I don't think the weather in Florida is all that bad when the storms go around us! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

sweet friday

In conjunction with Shelley's Sweet Friday's, I have decided to do a buddy post with some baking that the kids and I have done together.

This week's recipe (well not really a recipe) is for Symphony Brownies.

-family size brownie mix (and whatever the box calls for)
-2 large toffee Symphony bars

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box.

Once the batter is mixed, place HALF of it the pan and then layer with Symphony bars. Cover with rest of the batter and bake as originally directed.

For some reason, the Symphony bars come out with a mousse type consistancy - they are delicious. And the last step is of course to consume as if no one is watching! ;)

I try and let my kids help me cook on occasion. It gives us time to do things together while I am doing something that I enjoy too. They really get into it and always are ready to taste test their hard work. Now that Shelley has started her Sweet Friday's, this is a good opportunity for me to make sure that I have some more cooking time with them. Hopefully I can be a buddy poster on a more regualr basis. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wednesday Confessions Part V

Disclaimer: You should have all been forewarned by the title of this post but if you bypassed that part - here is where I warn you. You get what you get here. My mood will vary, that I guarantee, and I will do my best to give you my honesty in my confessions. After all, isn't that what confessions are about? Do you have any today?

I am a little late on this today but hey - better late than never, right? So here we go.

1. I am sure you all probably could have guessed this one but, I miss my little girl! I didn't realize how much company she really gave me during the day and now that she is gone for most of it, it has really set in. The boys are still keeping me hopping but it's different. I think the hardest part for me now is missing our one on one time when the boys are taking their naps. Last week we got to have a Jurassic tea party - how cool is that!? I guess I will just have to save up for the weekends.

2. My house is a disaster! Two reasons - Mike is TDY. That should say it all right there but if not - let me be clear. When he is gone, the house becomes messy and frankly I don't care. The other reason - I decided to rearrange the playroom and of course that entails a huge mess before as I get everything organized again. I hope to have that done by tomorrow. Well, tomorrow night that is - that is when Mike gets back. :)

3. I got a job! Well, sort of. One of the local preschools hired me to do their fall and spring school portraits. This is a new venture for me but I think I can handle it. I will just have to get my act together when comes time.

4. Speaking of photography, my new logo is up! Check it out if you want.

5. I had mentioned here that I was thinking about making the switch back to disposable diapers. Well, I have decided to make a switch but instead to a different type of cloth diaper that should be easier with Jacob (in the changing department that is) and hopefully I won't have ammonia issues with these. When I did some research I learned that the ones I was using had a high incidence of ammonia reactions with boys urine - something about the material being used. I hope this does the trick because I actually really like cloth diapering.

6. Yes, Sarah, I have embraced the curls. I am not too sure about totally embracing the humidity but one thing at a time... I actually had my hair permed so that my curls would be even as they are not when it is natural - another thing that pregnancy did to my body.

7. Oh yeah - speaking of that. No, I am not pregnant!!!! I went to the eye doctor last weekend as I have been having quite a bit of trouble with reading and focusing and plus I haven't had my eyes tested since college and low and behold, he told me my eyes have muscle atrophy due to pregnancy. Seriously - these kids are destroying my body!!! Anyway, I have to go in for eye therapy (whatever that is) every week for the next 10 weeks and then be re-tested.

8. Elizabeth went with me because she failed her eye test during her school physical. The doctor told me that she is far sighted but wants to see her in school for a little while and see if the strain on her eyes makes it worse. If so, he is going to put her in glasses. I guess this is no big deal - just one more thing to have to remember to have her wear. Hopefully, we can hold off a little though.

9. Speaking of Elizabeth and school - she is doing great! She loves her teacher and has been really excited to go every day. Her teacher told me that she fits right in and is getting right into the routine. I have been walking her to her class the past two days but today I only walked her as far as the outside of the school. I thought she might be a little nervous about finding her classroom but instead she just opened the door and turned around with a little wave and she was good. I didn't get any phone calls so I am assuming she made it okay. Our next step is to just walk to the school grounds and let her go from there.

10. I am a Team Mom now. Soccer starts on Saturday and the coach asked me if I would be Team Mom. Because I am the type of person that likes to get involved way over my head, I said of course. Well, see what that brings. I'm thinking this shouldn't be that bad though.

Well, that is it for this week. Nothing too exciting or insightful - just what is going on here. How are things in your world?

caught in the act

Ooops! Mike caught me in my relax with the kids watching a movie state while he was out mowing the lawn. I guess I was really tired...

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

OK - we made it through the leaving for school but not without some tears (on my part that is). I am amazed at the amount of emotions and feelings that I have had over the past few days about her going to Kindergarten. I am so proud of her and know that she will excel. I am also terrified for her. I want to be there for her when she needs help or if someone says something rude or if she gets lost in the hallways. I want to know that she is happy and that she is getting enough to eat during lunch. Most of all I want her know that I love her and that she is in my thoughts while she is gone. Even though she is my oldest and this is a new stage of growing up, she will always be my baby girl. I remember my dad saying that to me as a kid and I never really understood the significance of it until I had my own children. I want to let go and let her flourish in the world but at the same time I would just like to be able to shelter her at all times. Sometimes I think this parenting thing is just too complex for me. :)

She has now officially (in my mind) started on the track to a new stage of life. She, from this day forward, will always be in school until she leaves home. The countdown has begun to her adulthood. I never thought that leaving for Kindergarten would have such an impact on me. Ugghhh!

Anyway, here are some pictures from this morning.

Getting ready to walk to school.

AJ had to get in on the action too!

Sitting at her desk.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Logo

OK guys! I need your input! A very talented woman at Design Eleven Templates has assisted me in designing my new logo and I would like your help. Please let me know which one you like better and also, if you have any suggestions on one or the other, please include that. Thanks for your help! You guys rock!

(A) (B)

Free poll by
Which logo is your favorite?

A - the blue and brown with flowers

B - the bright colored with fun heart

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Off to the races

We were able to watch the most adorable little girl yesterday - one of our fellow TPS kiddos. She and Jacob quickly discovered that our hallway is perfect for races on the ride on toys. They had a blast and I think got out quite a bit of energy. I'm not sure that my ears are the same though. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where is he?

When things get quiet around here it usually makes me a little suspicious of what is going on. Well, today there was a brief moment of silence so off I went to investigate. I found the older two on the computer playing a game and for the life of me, I couldn't find Jacob (even with his bright yellow shirt on). Panic set in for a little bit and then I heard a little giggle from the bookshelf. I think I am in for a lot of mischief from this one.

1st Shoot

I took Elizabeth to the back of our neighborhood last night to get an idea of the natural landscape that I had to work with for potential photo shoots. Of course she happily cooperated - she is quite the model. Anyway, here are a couple preview shots.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You said WHAT!?

Yep! I've done it! I have said those words. The words I dreaded as a child actually came out of my mouth for the first time yesterday afternoon. Do you know what they were? (I feel like I need a drum roll here.) They were, "You're grounded!" And do you know the look that I got when I said it?

Yep! This is the one.

I had told her for a long time to pick up her room before her friend from next door had to go home. I even gave them a timed count down. Finally, it was time for Elise to go home and wouldn't you know it - her room still looked like a tornado hit it. If that wasn't enough (you guys know how I like things in their place), she started throwing a temper tantrum about how she didn't have anyone to help her now and that it was all my fault. I have her an opportunity to change her attitude and then the door slammed. So out it came, those dreaded words.

I did have to explain to her what it meant and that next time I hope she thinks about her actions first. She is only grounded for one day but maybe this will help a little in the respect department. Who knows.... I see years of groundings to come from these guys....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Blog Alert

So, as I posted today - I am a blog stalker! Well, now I must add another one to the list as my mom is going to give it a whirl. Check her blog out here. You go mom! I know you can keep it up!

Wednesday Confessions Part IV

Disclaimer: You should have all been forewarned by the title of this post but if you bypassed that part - here is where I warn you. You get what you get here. My mood will vary, that I guarantee, and I will do my best to give you my honesty in my confessions. After all, isn't that what confessions are about? Do you have any today?

1. I am becoming addicted to the beach (and so are my kiddos). Check out the pics from this weekend. We headed to the beach with our good friends the Caspers who were in town visiting. (Oh My Gosh! I can't believe I just posted a picture of myself in a bathing suit - uugghhh!!!)

2. I am so excited! I finally launched my new website! Go check out to see it! The only thing that still needs some adjusting is the logo. I am having a friend of a friend design it. I am anxiously awaiting to get my hands on it!

3. In the same respect, I am also stalking my neighbors in order to muster up some business. I created a letter and included a business card along with a coupon and placed them in every one's mailbox. Now I sit back and see if it gets me anywhere. I think I am going to try and get my name in the base paper or newsletter.

4. One more photography related thing - I am planning on updating my photography blog so that you call can see snippets of my most recent shoots. Now that I have said that, I am hoping that will give me the motivation to do so! It worked for the weight thing. Ha!

5. Yes - I know that I mentioned the weight thing! I must be crazy this week! I will start posting my weight again starting this Friday even though there has been a gain. My excuse is the move but seriously, we have been in the house 5 weeks now so I think my excuse statue of limitations is over.

6. School starts in 4 days and I am TERRIFIED!!!! I mean, seriously, my little girl will be gone most of the day 5 days out of the week. How scary is that? I have tried my hardest not to let it show that I am going to be distraught over her going to school so she stays confident about the whole situation but, uugghhh, I am not coping well! We go tomorrow to go meet her teacher and check out the school. I am just hoping that I like her teacher!

7. I have been letting my kids be way too lazy lately but honestly I am at a loss of things to do with them when it rains every day. I can come up with ideas of rainy day activities for a couple of days but come on - a week straight?

8. I am finding myself becoming a blog stalker more and more. I really need to go back to work!!! The blogs that I read on a regular basis are Princess PigBear, A Quick World, Shertzer Time, The Bean Spot, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, Money Saving Mom and of course my fellow TPS bloggers - The Hoffman Family, Family of 4, The Caspers, and The Jungquists.

9. Spongebob Squarepants is the newest drug around. I am not entirely sure what it is about this particular cartoon but when it is on, all who are watching become comatose! Even the Caspers got a dose of it this weekend while visiting. Too bad they don't have cable so they can't keep up the addiction.

10. I am going to start keeping a notebook and logging all of the crazy things my kids say. I am thinking about once a week posting these little bits of "kids say the darndest things" because some of the things that come out of their mouths are just too good not to share. What do you think?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beach Baby, Beach Baby

I see these pictures from this weekend and you know that song Beach Baby? That song plays over and over in my head. Isn't she just adorable?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brought Me to Tears

Seeing grown men behave in this way - well lets just say I couldn't control the tears.

Yes! They were tears from laughing so stinking hard that my mascara made race tracks down my face. I mean seriously - get a look at the expressions on their faces. What entertainment!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


What do you think? I think I might have discovered a new form of discipline. More pictures of the beach to come tomorrow.

Friday, August 8, 2008

parenting dilema

I am at a loss. I told myself that when we got moved and settled, I would start the weaning process with Jacob and his Binky. Well, take a look at the picture. Do you see anything wrong with it?

Well, I DO! Now not only do we not leave the house without a Binky in hand, we don't leave without the blankie either. I don't mind so much having a blankie boy since it is a small blankie and it isn't one of those that he drags along the floor and gets dirty. Anyway, that isn't the point. He has two security items now!!! My problem is any time I try to have him go without the Binky, he screams! And I don't mean just screaming like a normal child. I would compare him to a banshee and that is no exaggeration! My ears require a break after a while so back in the Binky goes. I need help or else this kid is going to end up in college with a Binky! Any ideas?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

back to the park

After five years and three kids later, I decided I would throw the kids in the car and take them over to this little children's park I knew of from living here before. Well, to my surprise, it was no longer a little park as it has expanded by about 4x and also now has a water park attached. The kids were in awe as was I. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for the water park part but the god mommy that I try and be gave them permission to play in one of the fountains in their clothes with the promise that we would go back later with our bathing suits in hand. Anyway, they had a great time and I see us spending a lot more time there in the future.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday Confessions Part III - What you don't know about me

1. I HATE to have my food touching or mixed together on a plate. I know I am not the only one out there that has this strange quirk - reveal yourselves, you crazy kids!

2. I LOVE to sleep. I could sleep all day and night and that would be fine with me. The problems with this is that I don't get nearly enough sleep. You see, I have three little alarm clocks that go off at all hours no matter how cranky I am about it. Oh yeah - make that four alarm clocks. My husband has this ability to wake me up when he comes to bed even if he isn't trying. Maybe in another 20 years I will be able to catch up?

3. I am not nearly as organized as all of you think that I am. There are many times I spend forever trying to find something wishing I was more organized. I am glad that I appear to have my act together though.

4. On the same note - I cannot take all of the credit for having such a clean house. I have two very big helpers. First, if you don't have a dog, it is hard to understand how they are probably the second best vacuums out there (second to the Dyson). Molli is very quick to help clean up after meals although she has gotten picky in her old age but beggars can't be choosers. Second, having a husband that displays qualities of OCD when it comes to having the kitchen clean is also wonderful! I love you Mike and you keep up the good work on the kitchen! :)

5. Along those lines, do you know where Mike and I met? Most of you think we met in college, and that is partly true as we were both attending the same college and living in the same dorm. (Don't worry Mom, I won't give it away!) And you thought you were going to get something juicy. Only those of you that truly know me know the truth. That is one confession that won't happen until after the kids are grown - need to come up with a good story for them! Ha!

6. Kids - hmm, what can I say about that department that you don't already know. Well, I guess I let them watch entirely too much TV so that I am able to get things done around the house. I also have a very short temper and am quick to yell. I am sure if I toned that down a little my kids wouldn't be so loud as well. I am also obsessed with clipping their fingernails. I know, strange, right? Well, I like to keep them short because I find it really gross to see dirt under fingernails.

7. OK - I think I strayed a little. More of something about me that you don't know. My BA is in Economics. I only got that degree so that I could graduate in time to marry Mike. That degree happened to fit all of the other classes that I had taken while being so undecided. It wasn't until we moved to Florida the first time that I got my nursing license.

8. Ooooh, Ooooh, I know!!! I was flying an airplane before I was driving a car!

9. I think I need to submit an application to the SuperNanny! Would anyone vouch for me?

10. I have been on a picture taking hiatus while I try and find some good locations around here. Sorry for the lack of pics!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

crazy dog

Apparently Molli has gotten into a beach side kind of mind. Her new habit are rather ridiculous if you ask me but hey - whatever floats your boat. Now when she is let outside, she does her thing and then proceeds to the chair by the door and curls up in it until someone lets her back in. I can't figure out if it is just because she is getting older and lazier or if she is really just taking in the Florida climate and atmosphere.

Monday, August 4, 2008

holy cow

Courtesy of my SIL, Amy, I have now become addicted to seeing what deals I can score at CVS. So off I went today and in two separate transactions, look at what I got....and for only..... $7.53! Can you believe that? I am still in shock!
Anyway, if you are interested, I have been using the site and also looking at all of her links to get ideas of how to go about getting these deals. (Mike thinks I am nuts!)