Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I decorated cookies last weekend for a graduation party from Maine-Endwell (M-E) high school.

Jeff looked at the trays and asked, "So, these are for a 10-year-old's party?"

Which made me a little bit ticked off, because I've been talking about this cookie order for two weeks and Hey! Don't you listen when I talk? Also a little bit perplexed, as some of the cookies said "2010".

But mostly amused, as some of the cookies said "M-E", and picturing a hyperactive ten-year old running around in a birthday hat, shouting "ME! ME! ME!" Awesome.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So There!

Picking out movies for vacation:

3yo: I want to bring Cars.
6yo: Wha-hat?! We watch Cars all the time!
3yo: If you do not like Cars, then you can just close your eyes.

Day One

... of summer vacation started out with paints.

I've worked out a theme for each week of summer with a few projects and activities scattered throughout the week.

Later in the afternoon, the kids decorated summer journals that they'll use to keep track of what we've done.

When I first suggested journals, the older two moaned and groaned. Until I broke out the stickers, and then they were busy for 30 minutes, embellishing the covers.

More to report on the summer plan soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Heart Dad

We had a nice low-key Father's Day at home this year.

Dora made an acrostic poem. Did I know that kind of poem was called acrostic? I did not. Thank you, 8-year old!

Theo's card. He was so proud! I love how perfectly he captured Jeff's little peninsula of hair up top.

We're working on the g's.

Water balloons. These little suckers are a PITA to fill! The kids loved soaking Dad.

A-pple Pie! A-pple Pie! Made with help from my new food processor. Oh, where have you been all my life? This was the easiest apple pie ever!

I had finally given Jeff the green light to watch Star Wars with Theo, and he thought that Father's Day would be the perfect opportunity. Then came the realization that we didn't actually have a DVD of Star Wars! After a quick run to Best Buy, Jeff and Theo snuggled up on the couch with popcorn for the afternoon while Dora and I hit the craft store to stock up on some supplies for summer vacation, which we have now officially started. More on that later ...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good Fortune

Dora made little fortunes to hand out to our friends last week, these were some of the leftovers. The Santa prediction sounds a little ominous! I also like the way she subtly suggests board game play.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I Love This Week - Clicky Markers

The item that I love this week is seemingly impossible to find. I bought these a long time ago, and have no idea where. Staples? Target? Dollar Tree? I think they've been discontinued, because I can't find them online anywhere.

These are retractable markers by Foohy. I've had these stashed away with our art supplies for a long time and got them out this week to keep on hand with our summer reading chart materials. One by one, Clark has brought them all over to his drawing table.

He's never been very interested in drawing or coloring. He doesn't like using regular markers, and now I think it's the caps that have been holding him back (can't get them off, can't get them back on, they fall on the floor and roll away), because he's drawing like crazy this week. The pens are easy for him to click open and closed and did I mention, WASHABLE! Hot dog!

I bought this easel pad by accident - I thought it was better quality paper, but it's just newsprint. However, it fits perfectly on our little drawing table and Clark can easily flip to the next page when he fills one up. I love happy accidents!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teddy Bear

I've been feeling a lot of love for the middle kid lately.

He's the one who will most likely flop on my lap if I sit on the couch with my arms stretched out. I love that he still lets me scoop him all up in my arms.

In Kindergarten, he made a magazine all about Mom. Three times he noted "snuggling" as our favorite thing to do.

I love his inventive mind, and how seemingly simple all his ideas would be to execute, if only he had the right materials. I love his desire to collect, even when it makes me crazy (his newest collection: broken things.) He still loves to dress up and imagine himself as a spy or a pirate or a superhero.

He's been on a kick with the spontaneous hugs lately. While Dora was at camp last week, we got to play baseball and he ran up and gave me a hug in between pitches. "Just because I love you," he said.

And I woke up to this note the other morning:

I love that Dad is an afterthought, especially since Clark is all about Dad, Dad, Dad, all day long.

His sister is a big fan, too!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Always my favorite hairstyle, but I'm not allowed to do pigtails as often as I used to. But today ... well, I think giant pigtails are in order on Flag Day.

The kids' school has a Flag Day ceremony every year. All the kids gather outside by the flag and each class sings a patriotic song. For some reason, this is kept secret from parents ... during our first year at school, I found out about it when it was on the news. The second year, I was prepared, and hung out in the parking lot after drop off to watch with a handful of other parents in the know.

Dora and Theo had both been practicing their class songs for this year (Grand Old Flag and Yankee Doodle, respectively) and made Uncle Sam hats and flags to wave. Unfortunately, Theo was under the weather this morning, so I didn't get to see today's program. But I'm imagining that giant pigtails totally rocked.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baking Friday - PB Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I found this recipe here, but apparently it's originally from Martha ... and it's a good one. I made these for pool team practice yesterday. They are quick to make as promised - from mix to cooling rack in 45 minutes.

Oh, boy, is this a good recipe. I used my small scoop which made just over 50 cookies. I sampled one before guests arrived and guess how many were left over? Two. Two lonely cookies. I ate one more and saved the other for Dora. I was hoping to have some left over for our babysitter tonight, but no luck. Back to the kitchen ...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Off to Camp

Dora's gone to her first Girl Scout campout this weekend!

Is it strange that I'm more excited than sad? Jeff gets emotional about milestones (Wahh! They're not babies any more!) but I've always been just the opposite (See what they can do NOW? That's awesome!) I wasn't sad when they went off to preschool, because I knew they had excellent care and they would have a wonderful time.

And I wasn't sad to see her off tonight, but so excited, because I remember how much I loved Girl Scout campouts. Songs by the fire, walking in the dark with a flashlight, waking up to the quiet early morning. Hanging out with friends for the weekend. Feeling the freedom of being on my own. (And yes, I'm sure that these are fuzzy memories, and I'm overlooking things like spiders and the fear of having my underwear stolen and hung out on the porch and many other horrible things.)

Good and bad, I'm looking forward to hearing all about it tomorrow!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blast Off

Jeff insisted on stopping at the Air & Space museum before we left the city on Sunday.

"I have a SON! I can teach him about SPACE!"

Really, I don't know who was the bigger kid here.

What is it with boys and rockets? Oh yeah, now I get it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DC Weekend Part 2

We had a great time wandering around the American History museum on Sunday. The Hall of Presidents is still my favorite part.

America on the Move was a close second. Here's Jeff and Dora lamenting the inclusion of a PA Turnpike landmarker.

Kids' best part of the day? That would be the giant rocks.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DC Weekend Part 1

Activity of the day: handstands.

Me: Clark, is that a big statue or a little statue?
C: Little statue.
Me: Really? I thought it was a big statue.
C: Nooo. The Statue of Liberty is a big statue.

Clark asking Dad if there are alligators in the Reflecting Pool.

Two hours past bedtime? Wah-hoo!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Old Town

Today's post is brought to you by Dora:

This weekend my family went to Washington, D.C. While we walked to our car from the ice cream place, we passed a man playing a flute. He started to play “Yankee Doodle”. I sang along. The man saw me and asked, ”Do you know this one?” He started to play “Grand Old Flag”! I nodded and started to sing. When we were done, he said, "You’re good!” He gave me a pair of cymbals. Then he played “Stars and Stripes.” I crashed the cymbals to the beat. After another song, I gave him his cymbals. He gave me a flyer. But do you know what? I never learned his name! I don’t suppose you know... do you?

This was Dora's best memory of the weekend. She journaled about it as soon as she could get her hands on paper and a pen, and today wanted to type out the story so she can read it to her class at school tomorrow.

I had been feeling nostalgic lately about our old home in Alexandria. Jeff and I got a little Wonder Years when we started talking about the days where we could walk down to Old Town or go out for one drink after work that would turn into many, many, many. (And also about how poor we were then, and probably should not have gone out nearly as much as we did!) We should take a trip back some day just the two of us, since there are about ten restaurants that I would love to have another meal at (and ten more places I'd love to go for a drink.) Anyhow, I really enjoyed the couple hours spent on Saturday, and I think the kids had a good time, too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


So, I have this weird habit (actually, many weird habits, but this is the one that I'm sharing with you now) ... I take pictures of the kids' shoes. Now that they're at the age where shoes get worn out before they are grown out, they are usually immediately destined for the trash. But I always take a snapshot first.

The kids have a small selection of shoes at any given time: one pair of crocs, one pair of sneakers and Dora gets a bonus pair of Mary-Jane style sneakers to wear with dresses. So their shoes usually get worn to the ground before we get new pairs.

And after a year of everyday wear, their shoes have so much personality, that I hate throwing them away. So I take a picture.

I've been doing this since Dora was about three years old, these are a few of the pics that I happened to still have on my hard drive.

Today was new sneaker day for Dora and Clark.

So, I had to take a picture.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday Night

Our town holds a festival every year that I absolutely love. Along with the end-of-season picnic (which always happens way too early in my opinion), it is my favorite part about living in our town.

Inflatables for the big kids ...

... followed by a parade.

I love getting pictures of the kids watching parades. Their expressions are fantastic.

Candy!! I had no idea that throwing candy during parades was a thing until we moved here. The first parade we went to here was for Columbus Day five years ago, and it was like Halloween!

Now we look forward to it.

Dora got to march with her Girl Scout troop. So proud! (Check out the new sneaks ... more on that tomorrow.)