Thursday, April 30, 2015

Moments with Mom

On Monday I got to spend some time with my sweet boy when his school hosted Moments with Mom. 

The kids sang a couple of songs, we had a little snack and created a special Moment together with our handprints. 

Painting our hands together to create this sweet memory!

 Who doesn't love to learn about yourself through your kids eyes? I LOVE this! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mommy Meltdown

We all have moments every day we want to erase, or never share with people. And life doesn't always go as planned. Yesterday was one of those days for me....but I'll share, because it happens to everyone!

The day started out great, a normal day. Carson and I were getting ready to leave for his first field trip ever, to the zoo, and he was going to ride the bus. We were both excited because the sun was shining, and the weather had been predicting rain. And then I got a call from the kids elementary school. Lice had been found in Logan's classroom and they found knits in his hair. I needed to come get him. The girls were on their way to the nurse to be checked too. I started panicking a little; OK, lets go get Logan and he can come to the zoo with us and then we can deal with it. When I got to school they said both girls had it too. UGH!!! This was a first for us. I had never dealt with it and I didn't even know where to start. The nurse was giving me all kinds of helpful information, but I was feeling very overwhelmed. My stress level has been high these days; with trying to find a house in Florida and getting everything done here and everyone where they need to be. So first thing first though, I have to get Carson to school so he doesn't miss the bus for his field trip. I got to school just in time and as he got on the bus I started bawling in the parking lot. I couldn't hold it back. I had a sweet friend tell me like it was about how bad lice really is to treat. I appreciate the honesty, really Shannon, it wasn't you that made me cry! :) I just needed my moment I guess. 

Luckily, another fantastic friend saw me and got out to see what was wrong. In an instant she was on the phone and had an appointment for me at The Lice Place...yes, that's what its called. And that's all they do!! Thank goodness she took it upon herself to do that. Katie, I can't thank you enough!!!

So, as I wave goodbye to my baby on the bus, where I was supposed to be with him, we were all off across town to The Lice Place. I got checked first, and NEGATIVE. Phew! I figured Logan next and then the girls because they would be harder. Logan was positive. Then, by some miracle, both girls were NEGATIVE! They even went back and double checked very well. I couldn't believe it!! A small miracle in my day! I was prepared for hours and hours and hundreds of dollars. It took about 1/2 hours to treat Logan and $140. But well worth the trip across town and the money! I would have had no idea what to look for. I was really overwhelmed with all the info the nurse was giving me. So now, everyone is clear. I have to take Logan back on Monday for a check to make sure. And they guarantee   their work for 30 days. So that takes us to the end of school. Im good with that!! 

I did have to come home and do loads and loads of laundry. The washing machine is still going this morning. And lots and lots of vacuuming. If I'm going to treat it I'm going to do it right the first time and cross my fingers and pray we NEVER deal with this again!!! 

I missed my baby's first field trip. And yes, I cried in the school parking lot. But we all have our moments, right? Carson had a good time, Ms. Karen and Shannon sent me lost of pictures. And I did what I had to do. Life goes on.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cracker Chicken

I have been making this for years and it's seriously my kids favorite! 

All of them LOVE it! 

It's not even really a recipe...its only 3 ingredients including the chicken! 

Talk about EASY!!


Cracker Chicken

  • 6-8 decent size chicken tenders
  • 1/2 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 roll Ritz Crackers
Preheat oven to 400.
Put crackers in food processor to chop.
Dip chicken in melted butter and then crackers
Bake about 25 minutes (until temp is 165)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend Fun...and more

May is looking to be INSANE...but April is finishing with a bang too! It was a busy week. It finally stopped raining, so we played outside A LOT! We were late to bed, and rushing most nights because we stayed outside so long. But we had a really fun week! 

Some cute pic from last week of my baby...

Kindergarten took a field trip to the zoo on Friday. 
Meeka and I had a GREAT day together! 

On Saturday evening Melina danced at the Italian Festival. We got there and it poured and stormed. However, it cleared up within about half an hour, or so and they were able to dance twice. It was an absolute muddy mess, but we made the best of it. We ate and drank and had a great time together! 

Hula-Hoop Champion!

Sunday was gorgeous! Meeka has a softball game and they had a little jamboree at the fields for a fundraiser, so we did that too!

Also, Melina got her backhandspring on the FLOOR! 
So PROUD of her hard work!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Preschool Teacher Appreciation Week

This week we celebrated Carson's AWESOME 

teacher Ms. Karen! 

I put together a schedule for the week and our great parents and kids made Ms. Karen feel very special; which she deserves!!

On Monday we surprised Ms. Karen with some bright and sunny flowers.

Just a little paint, sharpie, and a paint marker turned an ordinary flower pot into something special.

On Tuesday everyone brought Ms. Karen a snack.
She loves green tea and Swedish fish, so that's what the cup is filled with (and who can't use another cup).

Wednesday we surprised her with lunch from one of her favorite restaurants and someone to cover lunch duty (Thanks Joan!).

Thursday was stock Ms. Karen's library.
She got stacks of new or gently used books for her to use in her classroom.

Friday (well Thursday afternoon, since she washout Friday) we concluded teacher appreciation week with a monogramed bag and a Target gift card.

Great Teachers are a Gift! 

We were so lucky to be blessed with Ms. Karen this year! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baked Greek Chicken

The kids LOVE drumsticks, and greek flavors, so we tried a new chicken recipe this weekend using just those things. I am not so good at following directions, so I like to make my own version. The skin was not crispy and crunchy, so the kids were not as thrilled with that, but they thought the flavor of the chicken was super yummy and the marinade was delicious (they ate it with a spoon from the bottom of the dish) too! I threw in a couple boneless skinless chicken breast for my dinner, but didn't put them in the oven until there was only 20 minutes left for the drumsticks to cook.

Baked Greek Chicken


  • 3-4 lbs Chicken pieces or breasts
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt + 2 T water to thin it out a bit
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 2 T Minced Garlic
  • 2 T Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • A couple shavings of lemon peel for zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 C Feta cheese
Combine yogurt through salt and pepper together. Pour over chicken pieces in a gallon size bag and marinate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Pour chicken and marinade into 9-13 pan and bake for approx 45 minutes for chicken pieces or 20 minutes for tenders. Chicken internal temp should be 165. Appox 8 minutes before chicken should be done cooking sprinkle with Feta Cheese. 

Chicken Tenders

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rainy Weekend Fun!

Rainy Day List for the Weekend
It seems as if it has rained for weeks! All sports have been cancelled and everything is a soaked muddy mess! This weekend was no exception. Weekends can get long without much going on when it's just the kids and I; so we needed a plan for some rainy day FUN! The kids made a list of things they wanted to do. It gave us a stepping point and a goal, so the "I'm boreds" don't kick in. Luckily we did end up with some sun, so we were able to get outside some too...we just needed good showers after playing outside!
Melina and a Friend played a rainforest game in the rain for a long time on Friday.

We did a little painting project in the garage

 Playing "Mudball"
We also had a neighborhood nerd gun war in the yard. I think it took us 15-20 minutes to pick up all the bullets. And luckily we have great neighbors who don't mind that the kids roam through their yard too!

A little chalk drawling...a message for daddy!

Art Project on the porch while it was raining
(thank goodness it was at least warm!)

Showing off their work!

They turned out GREAT!


Making a little sweet treat.
Grapes, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles.

Kinda Healthy, Kinda Not...Super Yummy!

Playing a board of our favorites, Sorry!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why my kids don't get trophies

I had this conversation yesterday and it made me want to write my thoughts. 

Everyone wants to praise their kids for a job well done. Me too! But everything they do should not be rewarded with trophies and medals and over the top celebrations. Kids participate in sports to have FUN and sometime to WIN! As long as they give their best its great to win and ok to lose too. They learn from their mistakes and hopefully it will make them better. In fact I think they learn more from being a gracious looser than a winner. Logan played on a team this winter that lost big time almost every game. There was some bad sportsmanship on that team. Kids making comments on the field out of frustration and refusing to even shake hands at the end of the game. This was a great learning experience. If he ever acts like that he will be benched, at my doing, and I made sure he knew that. Yes, it can be frustrating, but taking it out on the other team, your own team or the refs is not the way to deal with that frustration. Its OK to loose. It makes winning even better! 

That point right there is why I don't get my kids participation trophies. When they do a good job and  win and get rewarded for it, that is praise well deserved for a job well done! Logan lost badly in his first two pinewood derby races. He didn't get a trophy. Each year he researched car shapes and designs for it to go faster. Last year he won. He got a trophy. It was well deserved and it made him feel like he earned it for hard work- and he did! For soccer this year they ask each parent for $10 to buy a trophy. We told him we would not do that and explained why. He gets it. He agrees with it. And when every kid on the team lined up to get a trophy and he was the only one without one, he was fine with that. That makes me proud!

Melina loves to dance and sing. She had a tough year not making the dance team here. Did we have tears...yep. But did she get angry and loose her passion? NOPE. She worked even harder this year. I told her if she showed me this is what she wanted and she was willing to put in the work that I would do what it took to help her. She has certainly showed me, and her teachers, she wants this. So I have kept up my end of the bargain for her. 

She auditioned for a solo in the school show this week. When I told her she didn't get the solo, her response was, "Well, can I look and see who did?" Was she sad...yep. She welled up, but was happy for her classmates that did get a solo. She didn't feel entitled or angry. Thats shows such maturity. 

My kids have worked hard and have earned awards and praise for many things they have accomplished. I support them in all they do and they know that. And thats what matters. Not a trophy to show they showed up.

If a child is only a winner how will they learn to handle disappointment? How will they fair later in life when things don't go their way? If they get everything they want, what will happen when they have to be fiscally responsible? They need to learn to work hard, be part of a team, have a good attitude and sportsmanship. 

I really think my kids "get it" even now, but I wanted to write this for them, for later. As a reminder why they didn't get a trophy or medal or ribbon for participating in things that they signed up for to HAVE FUN!! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday Meeka!

girl turned 6 yesterday!

Meeka loves gymnastics, show choir, sweets, and Minecraft!

We celebrated her birthday on Saturday with a friend partyat Legacy Gymnastics. She has 6 of her "bestest" friendsto help her celebrate!

This girl LOVES selfies!

 The rope swing and climbing rope were a big hit with the girls.
Melina made it to the top!

 Obstacle Course...and into the foam pit!


Meeka chose a Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream cake! YUMMY!!!

 Happy Birthday To You!
 Make a Wish!
It was IMPOSSIBLE to get 8 girls to look in one direction!
Such a SWEET group of girls!

As a family we went to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate on Saturday evening. Since Michael left on Sunday, and her actual birthday was a busy school day, we improvised! 

She LOVED when they sang to her! Her eyes lit up!
(and she wasn't sharing any of that dutch apple cheesecake!)

I surprised her for lunch yesterday at school and brought her a subway meal as a treat.

Meeka finished out her day with dance pictures. She was supposed to have a softball game, but that was cancelled last minute, so we made breakfast for dinner (homemade blueberry pancakes at her request) and sang again with a cupcake that she was going to share with her softball team. Pretty sure this girl had a special day!!