Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cake Decorating Contest

Over the weekend the boys had a Cub Scout Banquet that included a cake decorating contest.  The night before I baked them each a round cake and I put white frosting on it for them to decorate the next morning at their request.  They each had some ideas and they each knew how they were going to incorporate beef jerky into their cake decorations.  The jerky was a requirement for their cakes and they had to have a cub scouting theme. 

Caden decorated his with a bow and arrow.  

Caleb decorated his with a campfire.  

I think they looked awesome!

Monday, February 24, 2014

People Matter More

Dear Animal Right Activitis:

I disagree with what you do.  And I don't mean to start an argument, I just want to say one thing here.

Aside from the fact that I believe in conventional agriculture and allowing everyone to make their own choices about the food they eat.  (Please note that this statment does not say that I agree with animal abuse; there is a differece.)  That has nothing to do with why I disagree with what you're doing.

My question is, what about the human race?  You spend all this time advocating for better care of animals all the while people are being hurt, abused, mistreated and worse everyday. 

In my book, people matter more.  If we cared as much about people as we do about animals, the world would certainly be a better place.  If people know how to care and love and be compassionate, that would transition to the animals too. 

So while you're busy collecting money to protect homeless animals, we could be using that to help homeless people and families that need love and care.

People matter more.

(By the way writing this makes me feel uncomfortable, but I feel like I need to say people matter.  I know I'm not perfect, and I do things wrong all the time, but this really bothers me.)

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Caleb has reached a point where he no longer wants kisses or hugs from mom.  Caden is still fine with it, but Caleb will go to great lengths to avoid them from me.  I persist, because I want him to know he is loved, but I try not to embarrass him in public!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Elinore has recently started to become jealous. 

Sometimes I'll be hugging one of the boys and Elinore will yell until she's close enough to push them away.  She does the same thing with the dog and cat if they get in the way of her and her mom. Even if Elinore isn't sitting in my lap, the dog can't usually either!

She even pushes Daddy away sometimes when I get home from work.

I think we need to work on sharing!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Homework for First Grade

We've recently, and not so recently, had problems with Caden bringing home his homework.  The problem being that his homework is never found after school to be done.  We know he has homework.  Caleb is doing the homework, but Caden just doesn't have it or occasionally claims he forgot it. 

We talked to his teachers about it, and they agreed to make sure he's bringing it home.

But we also have a problem that once he does the homework, he doesn't seem to turn it back in to his teacher we found out at parent-teacher conferences.  Which I struggle to understand!  I mean I kind of get that you don't want to do it, so it "disappears," but once it is done, why not turn it in!?

We haven't solved the turning it back in portion, but I did find a hidden pile of the undone homework in his room when I cleaned this weekend.  So Caden spent his Saturday getting the homework done, again!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kitchen & Dinning Room Before

We decided a great winter project would be removing wallpaper from our kitchen and dinning room.  After almost 5 years of living here with wallpaper that looks like this:

we decided we'd had enough of it!  

We started with a kitchen and dinning room looking like this:

We embarked on pulling it down over couple weeks time.  

This is what we found underneath:

This room makes me feel like I'm in a pool and should be swimming now that it's blue.

Then Keith started refinishing the drywall to prime and paint. 

Hopefully we'll have some after photos soon; however, we've found this project is connected to several others that will need to be done too, so we'll be repainting a LOT of our house over the next few months!  Keith is redoing more of the electric in the house.  (He's been working on re-wiring the house for a long time now, but he's been making a lot of progress recently on it.)  It also means a new door from the kitchen to the garage and some new curtains and more exiting things too.  I've decided that as we reassemble the house after the painting and work, it'll be spring cleaning time too.  We'll be cleaning out the toy boxes and junk drawers and more just in time for a spring garage sale! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Diapers are MIA!

Over the weekend I washed, folded and stuffed a load of diapers like usual.  Saturday morning I put them in their place in Elinore's room.  Saturday afternoon Keith was changing her diaper for nap time, when he asked me where the diapers were.  I said what?  I put the diapers in there this morning, a bunch of them, how are we out already?? 

Turns out we were.  We found them all in the dirty clothes hamper.  Elinore was giggling as we found the diapers in the hamper!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lego Castle

Caleb received his first Lego set for Christmas this year and was so excited about putting his castle together.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Just before Christmas Keith got some free tickets to a Cavs game from work.  He took the boys while Elinore and I stayed home.  From the photos, I think they had a great time!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Christmas Story Day

For an early Christmas present I gave Keith a day in Cleveland exploring all things A Christmas Story.  We started out day with a snowy drive up to the A Christmas Story House and Museum where we went on a little tour.  We'd left Elinore with Grandma for the weekend. 

After a failed lunch attempt, we drove around and ate at Tower City, saw Frosty, and a little Christmas ballet in front of the giant tree inside Tower City.  Then we walked a snowy, slippery mile to the Playhouse Square to see A Christmas Story on Stage.  It was awesome!  Well, the snowy slippery part wasn't so much.  I wore a skirt and heeled boots because we were going to the theater!  Silly me, we were getting lots of snow and it was cold.  The sidewalks weren't clear and we walked a couple miles from our parking garage to Tower City, Playhouse Square and back.  Keith tried to have us take a short cut through the casino, but duh, can't take the kids there!  Needless to say my feet were frozen!

Everyone loved the play!  It was excellent.  On the way out it was getting dark so we drove through downtown to see the lights on display. 

We finished the night in Parma with some friends at their house for pizza and after that a drive past GE's Nela Park to see the light display.

All in all, I'd say his Christmas present was a success!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sesame Street

Elinore loves to watch Sesame Street!

This was also the first day she left a clip in her hair to hold it out of her face.  I'd given her a bath and after I combed her hair, I put it in, and she didn't touch it once!

Monday, February 10, 2014

A New Toy

This isn't the first time the dog crate has been turned into a toy.  Caden and Caleb have played with it before, and sometimes still do.  I even catch Barney playing in it sometimes, which just makes Belle mad!  One day, I was working at home with the kids, I think because the schools were closed because it was too cold, and I turned around to find Elinore in the dog crate!

Saturday, February 08, 2014


We survived 6 weeks of patching one of Caden's eyes to help him strengthen his other eye!

When Caden first went to the eye doctor and left with glasses, they said we may have to patch one of his eyes because one was much weaker than the other.  The glasses helped enough and by the next appointment he was good to go!  And the next annual appointment was good to go too!

Then we got a letter home from the school that he failed his exam test in one of his eyes.  So back to the eye doctor we went.  And this time, we had to patch his eye.  He wasn't happy about it, and the first day, was a Saturday we spent celebrating A Christmas Story in Cleveland.  It was a struggle for him and us!

But day two was much improved and I called his teacher and left her a long rambling message about it before he went to school on Monday.  After a week of coloring them and decorating them before school, he quit wanting to do that too.  He didn't complain and he did very well with it!  His teacher and the principal both said he was doing great.

And now, he's got new glasses and a good okay from the eye doctor again!

His reward, a trip to Amazone!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Sibling Love

I've caught a few moments of Caden and Elinore being cuddly together and play together.  I love the sibling love they are developing!

Snowman Family

Caden and Caleb spent one of our warmer snowy days building this beautiful snowman family!  (Those warmer days here this year have been far and few between!)

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge

Early in January we went to Great Wolf Lodge for a few days and had a great time.  We swam a lot, played in the arcade, made new stuffed animals, and played MagiQuest!

We took the kids to eat at a hibachi restaurant for the first time.  The boys loved it!  The fire scared Elinore, but before that she enjoyed sharing her Daddy's soup!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Just after the new year began, we went on a mini-vacation to Great Wolf Lodge for 3 days and 2 nights.  While we were there, we visited the arcade.  Caleb was quite the fortunate player there when he spun a wheel, kind of like wheel of fortune, and won 1,000 tickets!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Good Kids

While I was at the school volunteer teaching for Junior Achievement; I got to talk to the principle for a few minutes.  With both my boys there and knowing they are high energy with imaginations that far exceed what I can comprehend, I wasn't sure what he would have to say about them.  He had such great things to say about them!  He said they were very good boys and that they always liked to say hi to him in the mornings to make sure he knew they were there.  He said he knew, as a parent, that it is great to here the good things about our kids, and not just the calls when somethings wrong.  I feel so good about the school system are kids are in!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Junior Achievement

I had the opportunity to participate in Junior Achievement at our elementary school in January.  It was an awesome experience!  I was nervous about it of course.  I never thought I was a very good teacher, but these kids were great.  Our school does JA in a Day, so I only learned one lesson about entrepreneurship with some activities about problem solving and taught FOUR 4th grade classes that lesson.  I never thought it would be so awesome, but it was!  I'd certainly jump at the chance to do it again.  I love being involved in our school system and supporting our kids, this was a great way to do it.