Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Recap/Catholic Schools Week

What a weekend! On Friday Cara had her BFF, Riley, spend the night so that they could work on their dance for the talent show on Sunday at school. Ashlin had a friend come home from school to play for awhile. After enjoying homemade pizza and playing, Keith took Morgan home around 8:30. Then Erica had a friend spend the day at our house on Saturday playing. It is much easier to control the fighting if they each have a friend over at the same time. Yes, we have quite the house full of kids, but the more the merrier!

Keith and I took turns going about our days and watching the troops play. Saturday morning, Keith went to the Y for his cycling class while I showered and made breakfast of muffins and biscuits and gravy for everyone. Then I went to the school to help make the soup for the Soup Luncheon on Sunday while Keith watched the troops. Catholic Schools Week is this week and our school always kicks it off with a Soup/Sandwich Luncheon on Sunday after the Masses. We made 6 roasters of chicken noodle soup, 5 roasters of chili and 2-3 roasters of vegetable beef. They have a talent show also during the soup luncheon. Cara and her friend performed a dance.

I had to laugh because when the music started and Justin saw Cara on the stage he said really loud, "That's my sister!". Cara and Riley did a great job!

The weekend also included Cara singing for Mass with the Sacred Heart Singers Choir, attending a birthday party for my brother at my parents' house, swimming lessons and homework. Two major tests this week for Cara in science and social studies. I will have more about Catholic Schools Week as the week goes on.

Take care,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dance Camp

All three of the girls were supposed to attend dance camp before Christmas, but because of the weather dance camp had to be postponed until last weekend. Then last Saturday morning the weather was to turn nasty again and the basketball games with Bennington were postponed. But, they still had dance camp and the girls got to perform at Tuesday night's games instead. The t-shirts they are wearing they made at camp. The girls had so much fun making the shirts, learning the dance, and then performing at halftime.

Cara waiting for the music to start.

I was surprised that Erica and Ashlin were by each other.

Naturally these two would be talking to their friends.

Justin was good at the game eating popcorn and a lolly, but ready to go home before the performance. We had to keep telling him that we had to stay and watch the girls' dance. It was a late night for the girls since it was a school night, but on Wednesday they only had a half day of school.

Take care,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Swimming Lessons

All four of the kids are taking winter swimming lessons right now at the YMCA. Every Sunday late afternoon for eight weeks we will be at the pool. The first week of lessons was cancelled because of the weather and we had some disappointed kids on our hands. But the last two weeks we have been there. Justin was especially excited because this is first time to take lessons. The first week I went in the pool with him and last week Daddy went in the pool with him.

Justin and Daddy working on kicking.

Blowing bubbles in the ring and having to put our chin and nose in the water. He was so proud of himself for doing it.

Ashlin practicing her back float.

Cara swimming the breaststroke. Cara doesn't get to have fun at swimming lessons. All she gets to do is swim laps.

Erica practicing her diving. This last week she did much better with no belly flops.

Take care,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jewelry Making

A few weeks ago at our monthly MOPS meeting everyone had the opportunity to make a bracelet during craft time. All of the beads, wire, clasps, and tools were provided. Every Mom picked out one packet and we started working on them. Vanessa, another MOPS Mom, was great at giving us step by step instructions and helping us complete the project. I even wore my finished product to school that day. Cara was impressed at lunch when I showed her my completed bracelet. At first, she didn't even believe that I had done the project on my own. I may even have to make more bracelets.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it Spring yet?

I am just like a kid sitting in the back of the mini-van on a long trip asking "Are we there yet?". But seriously, is it Spring yet? When you have 10 inches of snow on the ground and the forecast is for more snow, wind gusts of over 25 miles per hour, and the temperature is in the single digits without factoring in the wind chill, you really wish for Spring to come early and soon around here!

I came across this quote the other day by Percy Bysshe Shelley, "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?". First I laughed about it because the weather was just awful outside and then it made me realize that Spring is indeed going to come just NOT as soon as I would like it to arrive.

Everywhere I go everyone is talking about the weather and how they are praying for an early Spring. Yesterday morning as Justin and I were walking across the icy parking lot at the YMCA another gentleman and I started talking about the icy conditions, the freezing cold temperatures and how we both wished Spring would come. The gentleman laughed then and said, "but it is only January". That statement means that we have another two whole months of official winter, but in Nebraska you could still have snow in April.

This really makes me question why on Earth do I live in this part of the country! I also am now disliking my husband because the money for a warm winter vacation is going to be spent on his numerous trips to the dentist so that he can eat instead of us going South of the border for a few days rest. All right, my venting is over!

Take care,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Family Movie Night

I really wish that this post had photos or even a video, but sorry there aren't any photos or video. Saturday night we went to the movie "Yogi Bear" as a family. We have never done this before (as a whole family). This was Justin's first time to go to the movie theater. I warned Keith before we went that it was going to be very expensive and suggested the matinee to save us a few dollars. But, Daddy said that we should go at night so that they get the full effect. Usually we just wait until the movie comes out on DVD and then rent the movie for $1 from Redbox. The person that came up with the whole Redbox idea is a genius!

We went to the 6:35 p.m. showing. I soooo wish I could have videotaped Justin's facial expressions and comments to the whole experience since it was his first trip to the movies, but I didn't think the photos would turn out in the theater. Justin loved the theater popcorn and candy. When the previews started, he told Daddy "Wow, that is a BIG TV, Dad!". He laughed out loud and made comments throughout the entire movie and previews. Sometimes I caught myself watching him instead of the movie because he was having such a good time. We all enjoyed the movie very much!!!

Movie tickets for 2 adults and 4 children - $39.00
Snacks at the concession stand - $24.50
Less Keith's gift certificate from the NPPD Xmas party - ($25.00)
Total damage - $38.50
Look on Justin's face through the movie - PRICELESS

Take care,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Parents Drink!

After reading this joke passed on to me by my sister-in-law I just had to pass it on to all of you. Some of these things are issues that every parent worries about as their children grow up. Enjoy the joke!

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Dad.'
With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mum and you.

I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it' s not only the passion, ...Dad, she's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a caravan in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better.

She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house.

I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a Report card.

It's in my desk drawer.

I love you.

Call me when it's safe to come home.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soup for a Cold Day

I'm not sure if I have posted this recipe before, but on Monday when we had a snow day I made this soup for supper. This soup is a hearty and comfort food soup. We had another snow day yesterday and the temperature was in the single digits with the wind chill on top it was below zero all day. Today is supposed to be even colder, but soup will warm you up inside. My family loves this recipe and I hope you will also.

Scarlet and Creamy Potato Soup

6 bacon strips, diced
3 cups potatoes, peeled
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
8 oz. process American cheese, cubed

In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; drain. Add potatoes, broth, carrot, onion, parsley, celery seed, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Combine flour and milk until smooth; add to broth mixture. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add cheese; stir until cheese is melted and soup is heated. Yields 8 servings (2 quarts).

This recipe is easy to make and doesn't require a lot of time. Just be patient for the soup to boil after adding the milk. This step is what helps the soup thicken so be patient.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Day Back From Break

Last Wednesday the girls headed back to school from Christmas break after having two weeks off. It was time for them to go back to school. They were getting very lax and lazy. They had been staying up past bedtime, sleeping in late, keeping their pj's on all day, not combing their hair, and really starting to fight. Kids need the structure and routine that school offers or least my kids do.

Ashlin and Cara wanted to show how they were dressed totally alike for the first day back. They wore the same boots, pants, sweatshirts and even both wore ponytails in their hair. They thought they were soooo cool!

All three girls ready to head out the door for the first day of the 2nd semester of school. I'm still trying to figure out where the 1st semester of school went. Before I have time to catch my breath, school will be out for the year and summer fun will be here.
Take care,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

Today is a snow day for us! First we were going to have a 2-hour late start and then it was changed to school cancelled for today. My kids were so excited because we don't get a snow day very often because 90% of the students live in the city limits. The snow started Saturday and hasn't stopped yet. Last night on the 10 o'clock news they said that we had 5 inches and it was still coming down. Overnight we added a few more inches and it is still coming down this afternoon. The next problem is that the wind is supposed to pick up this afternoon and into the overnight hours which will cause drifting and maybe no school tomorrow. If this happens my kids will start to go stir crazy! Following are a few photos from yesterday afternoon and this morning of the snow.

Erica and Cara ventured outside to scoop the driveway and then play in the snow.

I've fallen and I can't get up! Please help!

The snow is piling up on the deck.

Justin is getting very concerned about the snow piling up on his swings and his slide.

Although I was all ready to go to school today after the weekend, a snow day once in awhile is okay. I have been catching up on reading the blogs of others in between laundry and refereeing the kids' fights.

Take care,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas 2010

On Christmas Eve we always attend Mass and then come home and eat supper. After eating the kids each get to open one present. This year they each only had one present under the tree on Christmas Eve so their choice of presents was limited. Each of the girls received a grey Norfolk Catholic sweatshirt to wear to school and Justin received a shirt and pants. Then we play games and watch TV with an early bedtime to wait for Santa's arrival. The girls all slept together in Cara's bed that night and they all were up early at 6:50 a.m. Keith and I held them off until about 8:00 for the present unwrapping.

Each of the kids received one electronic item this year from Santa. Justin received a remote control train engine for his item.
Ashlin received a CD player from Santa. He must have known that she keeps taking one of her older sisters' to listen to CDs.

Cara received her first digital camera. She still doesn't want her photo taken, but having her own camera and constantly taking pictures has loosened her up a little.

Erica received a hot pink iPod shuffle which was exactly what she wanted. Now she has her own and won't be sneaking off with Cara's to listen to music.

The kids received many other presents, but I will only bore you with these. Keith and I each received item son our lists that we give each other. We don't give each other anything big, but things we need. We both asked for new workout clothes, Keith wanted snow boots, and I asked for an apron to wear at school. The whole unwrapping probably only took us 45 minutes at the longest and then it was on to a big breakfast courtesy of Daddy before the playing commenced.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our Christmas Angel

Each year the Kindergarten class acts out the Christmas Gospel reading at the Christmas Eve Children's Mass. This year was Ashlin's turn to be in the Kindergarten pageant. The sign-up form laid on our kitchen counter for days because she kept saying that she would not participate if she couldn't be Mary. We explained to her that only one little girl in the class could be Mary and that the teachers picked who got to portray Mary. She wouldn't agree to be in the pageant. Finally, one day she agreed to be an angel, but only if I would turn the paper in to her teacher.

Christmas Eve arrived and again she wouldn't cooperate for us. We got to church and she refused to put on her costume. She stood in the bride's room and cried while all of her classmates looked on asking, "Why is Ashlin crying Mrs. Leader?". Finally, when Mrs. Simon told them it was time to line up, Ashlin dried her tears and lined up by a classmate, but I had to stay close by. Then her classmate, Angelica, said that if Ashlin was scared she would hold her hand. When the cue came for the angels to make their appearance, Ashlin fluttered her wings and walked up front to the altar. Then after the Christmas story was finished the class sang Away In A Manger and the children could leave and sit by their parents.

P.S. You wouldn't believe how much bribing and threatening I was doing in the back to get her to put on her costume and be an angel. We'll see how Justin acts when his turn comes up in Kindergarten.

Take care,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Class Christmas Parties

I was going to spend part of my Christmas vacation from school catching up on blogging (both posting and reading), but simply put "I failed". I did read other bloggers' posts from time to time, but as you can tell I did not post. I just wanted to be on vacation and I was, but today I go back to school for a teacher in service. Three hours of a religious in service on the ten Egyptian plagues. We even had homework that had to be completed before this morning. Naturally I didn't start on mine until last night, but it was only 10 questions. Anyway, I will complete these Christmas posts and move on into the New Year this week.

The last day of classes at school is pretty much just one big party, no real learning is accomplished. The students as a group sang Christmas carols in the morning. Games were played in the classrooms and Christmas movies were watched. Ashlin's class had their class party at lunch time. No hot lunch is served on the last day, so, the class party food was lunch. The class had turkey sandwiches, juice pouches, fruit and vegetables and cookies. Erica and Cara's classes both ordered personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut and each student brought a drink.
Then towards the end of the school day each classroom had a party of games and treats put on by the room parents. This is my first year to not be a room parent for at least one child's class and to honest "I missed it". I never thought I would say that phrase. I missed attending the parties and playing the games. But, this year I was working in the preschool room where we were having our own party. Sorry no preschool photos from the party, some parents are VERY concerned about privacy and I will not go against their wishes. In the preschool room, the students made a foam Christmas ornament, played holiday bingo, sang songs for the parents, ate treats and received goody bags. I gave each afternoon preschool student a puzzle, a holiday pencil and a bag of candy. In return I received many nice gifts from the students. I look forward to seeing their smiling faces tomorrow on their first day back from break.

Take care,