Thursday, June 30, 2011


Greg and I are blessed to have

That being said, we've been a little frustrated lately about their reluctance to do their chores and the attitude that inevitably comes along with it. Every once in a while, they will bust out some chores with a great attitude. But daily? Notsomuch.

The other day when they were getting the chores-are-here-to-stay-so-get-used-to-it lecture, an idea dawned on me. I decided to help them change their perspective. We had just gotten home from somewhere and had seen the familiar woman begging for money on the freeway off ramp. The people we see asking for money bother the kids ~ they feel bad for them.

So I told the girls that doing dishes is a privilege because that means they just had a nourishing meal.

Helping out around the house is a privilege because that means we have a nice place to sleep.

They should be happy they get to fold their laundry because that means they have clean clothes.

I pointed out that the woman they just saw would be glad to *have to* do her chores because that would mean she had a house. Instead of grumbling, they should be glad that they *get to* do their chores.

I told them since God has seen fit to give their parents jobs that pay for a house, clothes, food, and extras that they should be thankful to do their part to help out.

Let's face it, chores are not glamorous, but I'm hoping this changes their perspective a little bit.

Then I started thinking that maybe the next time I'm about to grumble about something, I should look at the other side of it & change my perspective too.

Try it next time you are feeling like being a little grumbly. Let's see what happens!


Friday, June 24, 2011


life rearranged

I got a new app for my phone ~ Instagram. So cool. I love making pictures look like they were taken *back in the day*. There are quite a few filters you can choose from to apply after you take the picture. The app also has a sharing feature where you can upload them to Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, etc. 

Anyway, I'm joining Life.Rearranged in sharing my Instagram photos for this past week. You don't have to have Instagram to participate ~ you can share any phone photos. 

Here's my week:

Still making more pouches and other sundry items for my upcoming craft show.

I can't get enough of these dancing beauties. Although, I do have to say that it's been nice not driving to dance practice this week. We're off until August. This kids will be so excited to start again.

Daddy took the kids to a water park this week {check off an item from our list}. They all came home sun-tired, sun burnt, and smelling like sunscreen.  There were two bottles of sunscreen in the bag (neither expired), but for some reason the bottle that Greg and Stephanie used didn't work and they got burned.

I had two classes and two meetings this week {paid - yay!} which is why I was absent from the water park. The meetings were with my 4th grade buddies to plan for next year. I've been out of the 4th grade mode for a little while now and some things have changed since I was there, so my head was certainly spinning a bit from thinking about the entirety of it all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear the washing machine my sewing machine calling my name.



Monday, June 20, 2011

menu plan monday ~ june 20

Hey, it's been a while since I officially menu planned. It's high time I get back on that wagon. So this week we'll have:

  • BBQ chicken pizza
  • shredded beef enchiladas
  • BBQ pork sandwiches with cole slaw
  • chef salad
  • Swedish meatballs
  • alfredo chicken bake
  • steak with pasta salad

During the summer months, I'm going to try to bake something at least once a week.  This week I'm going to try a recipe for lemon pineapple cookies with pineapple frosting. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm also wanting to try out some new recipes to hopefully add to our list of favorites. This week, the new recipe happens to be a dessert.

I'm linking up to


Sunday, June 19, 2011

you melt me

People, it's dance recital time of year again. I love this time of year. The kids work so hard from August until now and they finally get to show it off on the big stage. Boy do they love the big stage. I have lots of pictures to show you today, but this is a just small fraction of the costume photo shoot. Enjoy!

Heather really pulled her tricks out of the bag this year. She was finally able to do a back handspring without a spot. Funny this is that for the last two years the only real spot she was getting was a couple of fingers placed on her back. She didn't have the confidence, even though she had the skill, to pull it off by herself.

Oddly enough, the thing that gave her that last boost of confidence was learning how to do an aerial cartwheel a week and a half before the show.

That's right, you heard me.

She had been having half an hour extra practice a week to get this back handspring down. One night, just a week and a half ago, her regular teacher wasn't there and a guy who sometimes fills in was helping her. Because she was getting so frustrated, he redirected her energies by taking her to the trampoline to begin to teach her an aerial and some other moves. She was really getting it on the trampoline that night. The next day she said, "Mommy, watch" and busts out an aerial on the ground. I got a little light headed watching her! The transfer of tricks from trampoline to terra firma is not always so smooth. But this time, she nailed it. At her dress rehearsal I told her teacher what happened and she excitedly exclaimed, "It's in the show!"

And doing that back handspring without a spot ~ piece of cake. Go figure.

Stephanie and Heather take their gymnastics class together, so they always have one costume in common.

Stephanie is a little jealous of Heather's aerial. That's ok ~ sometimes a little jealousy spurns the desire to do more. I'm wondering who might be doing an aerial next year!

I know I've said this before, but even though I watch them all throughout the year, I am always awestruck seeing their final performance. I can only imagine what it is like at recital time for the rest of the family and friends who don't the journey to their final product.

I will admit, though, that I don't always watch them very closely in gymnastics. I peek in here and there because it makes me kinda nervous when they are learning new tricks. It's just better if I don't see all the trips and almost falls on the way to a mastered trick.

Stephanie was in intermediate ballet this year. Ballet is her thing. Like last year, her class combined with the advanced class for the recital. They wear different costumes and do a dance that ends up reading like a conversation between to the two sets of girls. It's really sweet to watch.

Stephanie is one of the youngest in her class (one other girl is her age) and certainly the smallest in her class. Size and age doesn't stop this girl. She is equally matched in talent and skill with the older girls in class.

Heather took intermediate tap/jazz class again this year. Tap is her thing. She loves this class and loves her teacher. Normally, they do one number ~ either tap or jazz, but this year they did one of each for the show.

And her aerial was incorporated into the jazz number at the last minute instead of a different running trick. Her teacher tends to have one part of the dance where each girl is showcased doing something different. This year she showed off her backbend walkover, coffee grinder, and aerial.

At the end of the recital, they are always a little sad that it's over. They'd do it all again on stage tomorrow if they could. Don't worry girls, classes start up again in August.

After the recital and dinner out, the kids wanted to play with Greg's camera. He did *ghost* pictures with them.

Then it appears that Heather had another photo shoot. Earlier in the day we kept telling her to do another pose, not just stand there. She kept saying she didn't know what to do.

Apparently this was practice for next time.

I'm thinking that Stephanie hogged the camera, because there was only one post of Stephanie.

Me? Well I cozied up with a book while they goofed off.

What a good day!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

lazy day in the sun

The sun shines here all.the.time. Well, nearly. And it's hot. So, on a lazy Friday {did I mention we're on summer break? hee hee} what else can you do but make the best of it? Oh sure, you can save yourself the sweat and stay inside, but the kids need to get outside.

The other day, Heather found some skinny balloons and a balloon pump in the goodwill bag. Miss Nosey Pants demanded to know how they got there. {shoulder shrug from me} The pump lasted about two seconds before it broke, so they wanted to make water balloons.

I sat outside while they tried this and played around with Greg's camera. I was messing around with settings and practicing my steady hand with the telephoto lens.

The skinny balloons didn't work at all since they were likely destined for balloon animals. The kids found a few more balloons in the house {Where do they keep this crap?} and filled those. Greg took one look at this picture and asked them if the balloons popped. Yes, of course. He told them that the grass blades will pop the balloons and you can't fill them in the grass. Then he looked at me wondering why I didn't give them the proper balloon filling advice. {shoulder shrug again} Hey, what do I know about this?

Since they only had a few balloons, they didn't want to knot them because their fun wouldn't last very long. Their plan was to use them over and over again.

A split second after they proudly displayed their balloons for the paparazzi, Stephanie turned and dumped her balloon on Heather.

Then it was on and the screaming began. I apologize now to any neighbors who may have infants napping or swing shift occupants sleeping.

More shrieking and chasing.

The water balloons didn't last long and they moved to just playing with the hose. At one point they draped it over the swing set and twirled in and out of the water.

They pretended to be fountains as they posed and spit out water.

Good times. Good times.

I didn't last long outside. It was hot. But the kids had a ball.

Turns out that I need more practice with that camera (even though I use it all the time) because my photo session was tainted since one of the knobs on the top of the camera was inadvertently set to something funky. No wonder I was frustrated that I couldn't get any consistent shots.

I'm sure the kids will be willing to play outside again so I can practice with the settings.


Friday, June 17, 2011

what did you do this week?

I have been completely enjoying my time off school this week (and I may gloat about it a little while longer). My expectations for this week were low. I wanted to just take it easy for a week. Plus the kids have had a few last practices for their dance recital coming up. We've slept in (just kidding, Greg), watched movies, and read books.  

I did manage to make some more items for the shop.

I'm getting stocked up on zipper pouches for the Christmas in July show that I will be doing ~ in July.

I also photographed and listed a couple of things that have been ready for a while.

This paper bag scrapbook album turned out so fun and summery. It's been a while since I made one of these and I forgot how fun they turn out. I have more paper bags ready to go for more albums. What should their theme be? I'm taking suggestions.

It has 10 inside pages and 8 tags. Lots of spaces for pictures and journaling.

And last, but not least, I have another sign. This one is a grayish color and will go just about anywhere.

Be on the lookout for more stuff in the shop soon.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

summer list

Meg has made a summer list and posted it on her blog for several summers. Good idea, but with the shortness of our old track breaks, we never got around to it. Now that we are being reintroduced to a good old fashioned summer, I figured it was high time we copy her do one of our own.

I don't want the summer to whittle away with good intentions. Our list will help us be more purposeful with our days. Of course, a day (or several) of t.v. watching and just playing is just fine too.  So the kids and I sat down to make our list.

Some of the items on the list will be recurring ~ like the movies & the library. One item in particular I've been putting off for a long time now ~ teaching them to sew. Hopefully this will be the summer! Our list isn't too specific either. Maybe we'll work on a second list showing more specifically what we did this summer.

See you in the heat wave!


Friday, June 10, 2011

tales from the schoolyard

This will be the last installment of Tales From the Schoolyard for a little while cuz we're out for SUMMER! Whew! This day was long anticipated. Coming into this 9-month school year from several years of a year-round schedule, teachers and students alike were craving the regular breaks we were not getting. Now, we have the long, hot, beautiful summer to recuperate & recharge. Since the summer is hotter than snot here, the majority of the recharging will occur indoors. No sense getting crazy.

I have so many plans swirling around in my head for the summer. I am thinking there may not be enough weeks! Some plans include some reorganization and a Christmas in July craft show. I also plan on chatting a little more often here too.

Oh, and next year will bring a whole new variety of Tales for you. I will be teaching 4th grade in the fall. The Tales are likely to get wild.

My return to 4th grade was a last minute thing ~ I've known less than two weeks. Some circumstances left a 4th grade position open and my principal asked if I'd consider moving. So I've spent the last week and a half packing up my 2nd grade stuff and resurrecting my 4th grade stuff from it's sleepy storage in the garage. I've packed up my classroom and moved to a larger room (more students in 4th grade). I'm pooped!

I'm excited about this new adventure (even if I am a little scared to go back to 4th grade) and I'm looking forward to working with my new teammates ~ Alana and Angela. Today at lunch Angela said we are the Triple As. Hmmm. We might just be a force to be reckoned with.

Better watch out!