Saturday, January 31

Brett's first time bowling

Brett went to a birthday party today for one of my day care girls. She was my first day care kid. She started at about 6 weeks & now she's 5. It was a princess bowling party - he was the only boy but he didn't mind! He enjoyed bowling for the first time.
Brett & the Birthday Girl!
Hot Wheels & Spiderman buttons for the party favor. The girls got jewerly.
Opening our present first! We got her an art set & a Sleeping Beauty stationery set. Love her little sock feet sticking out straight. : )

Friday, January 30

Brett's Homework Snowman

This was his project this week, to make a snowman. I was feeling lazy & uninspired to come up with a better idea, so I bought Crayola clay (that stuff feels cool!) & he made this. Then he painted it & it's all his own work. Well except for the hat, I did that part & tied on the ribbon scarf.

Valentine Butterflies & Coconut Trees

Today we finished up our "coconut cream pie" theme & started in on Valentine's day because we just can't wait! We needed something new on the closet door. I haven't been very inspired lately so decided I had to get it done today.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Thursday, January 29


this tonight as I'm sorting files & loved seeing it again!
November 6, 2006.

Wednesday, January 28

This makes me happy - Laundry Detergent Label

I know, it's just a label. For my laundry soap. Some of you may understand. Really, it's for convenience. This way I don't need to go looking for the recipe every time I make it (because I still don't remember) and if we have guests, they will know what to use for soap is & how much.

Click to enlarge. You can print it on sticker paper & cover with contact paper to protect the ink.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Click to enlarge.

This recipe is orginally from here. Love her blog! (Don't know her though.)
I made this for the first time tonight. It's a nice quick, good meal. Not as good as the chicken & dumplings I usually make but it's the kind of thing Damon really likes and I love that it's fast & loaded with vegetables besides. Brett was not impressed. He was very tired tonight (which is why I'm home) so we'll give it another try another day & see how he does. This recipe made a huge amount for just the three of us so next time I'd do half (I don't think it will freeze well with the potatoes). I'm going to make some of it into chicken noddle soup for the kids tomorrow & hopefully it will go over well.
As you can probably tell, I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I've been inspired by the "food blog" and it feels so good to have a plan so dinner comes together easily. I know Damon really appreciates all the meals I make & will try anything. It's not that I didn't cook before but I haven't been enjoying it much so I guess I needed the jump start that came with all the ideas posted on the blog. Thanks everyone!



Every night Brett brings home a "book in a bag" to practice reading. He's doing great! It amazes me that he has his letter sounds so down pat. If he wants to know how to spell something he asks "what letters make the sound ___ ?" We have to ask what he's trying to spell because obviously it can vary! That's the frustrating part for him. They do the "say it, hear it write it" method and I don't love it because I like correctness but it does get him writing. They work on spelling later & really correct spelling takes a while to learn. It's great to pick up a piece of paper and decipher what he wrote! He has pages & pages of writing. Even on his own, there's so much learning taking place! This morning I asked him to sit down & read his book to his friends for a little more practice. Then he started on a Dick & Jane book. I remember reading them when I started reading. He's finding some of these books really easy but he had a hard one about Chickens on Monday. Longer sentences & bigger words. He told his teacher some of them are too easy but he would be frustrated if they were all too hard! Since we have a ton of books, he can practice at home too. We're supposed to read the book to him first but we've never needed to, he can do it. I will upload a video or two of him reading soon.

25 Random Things (about me)

I wasn't going to do this since what is there people don't already know about me via my blog & FB?? BTW, I do have 100 things earlier on my blog but I'll try to come up with something different this time. 1. I loved every minute (except the general ed classes I guess!) at FVTC in Interior Design. Those 2 years of my life were some of the very best in a different kind of way, for many reasons. 2. Damon & I have been married 13 years. We're very happy together & feel like some of the lucky ones. Our relationship comes very easy & always has. 3. Brett will always be my baby. He's everything to me. Not that I try to keep him small. We've always encouraged his development. 4. I would love to have 3 or 4 kids. Two would also be fine. I'm resigned to having just one but it's a huge disappointment for us to not experience it again & for Brett to not have siblings. 5. Brett has spunk & personality and I love it. He's very normal yet amazing & we know we're blessed. 6. Damon & I are going to Hawaii someday. No pressure, no rush we'll go someday. 7. The first time I flew on a plane (big one) & went to the beach was last April. I'm glad my son was able to experience it before he was in his 30's! I sure wish we were going back to FL this spring!! 8. The first time I went to MI to visit Damon I flew over with Allan & Cami (they were going over to Kalamzoo for the air show & let me tag along). I called Damon to see if he wanted to see me that day. He said "what are you going to do? Fly over?" and I said yes. We talked about getting married that day. Our 2nd weekend together! 9. Damon & I dated long distance from May 1993-February 1994 before we were engaged. That's a funny story for another time. The night Damon asked me to marry him, the door bell was ringing & so was the phone..... 10. I loved selling window treatments & doing shop at home sales. I was pretty good at it too. I do remember a few disasters & some of the interesting people I met and the homes I was in were unbelieveable (in good & bad ways!) 11. Our first year of marriage we lived in Utica, MI. Damon picked out our apartment & I never saw it until we moved in. On the way, we drove through an area, not sure where now, and I couldn't believe I was going to live in such an ugly place! It was actually pretty nice where we lived. 12. I had a terrible experience with Damon's old car in the Meijers parking lot that involved rain, keys locked in the car, dead battery and a load of groceries with Damon working a long ways from home. Good thing for the $25 that came in the mail in a wedding card that I had just gotten from the mailbox. I used it for a taxi home & luckily I had just enough $$!! Yes, I cried. 13. After Brett was born I passed out (a few hours later, not sure how long) and my blood pressure was 60/40. I had a D&C and 2 days later got 2 things of blood. I never felt a thing, felt totally fine probably due to the epidural. Thankfully it all worked out & Brett has a Mommy & Damon a wife! 14. I said I would never do day care. I babysat a lot (for $1/hr!) But here I am. I now love it mostly because I'm home everyday and I am the boss. I give it my all most days! 15. I picture someday owning a business still but it being something more creative. I loved selling window treatments, working at Sassy's in the Ave. mall in Appleton and making things although I don't do much of it now. 16. Working at Thomasville was the worst experience in my working life due to the manager who had it "out" for me. (and a couple others) I loved putting together furniture, fabric & wallpaper though. I had a couple clients who took my suggestions & ordered it all. What a high! 17. Sales is fun but stressful. I probably won't ever work on commission again although most of the time it was good for me money wise. 18. I had my appendix out in 1996 or 97 after walking around for 5 days in pain. I went to a mortican's house to measure windows that day & I told my boss if I didn't come back, that he knew what happened. That was before the tests came back & I was referred to a surgeon. 19. I love summer. I like it hot & getting a tan. Dislike spring because it's messy.When I can start planting I'm happy! I never used to like fall but I like more every year now. 20. I love the challenge of my days & the routine! Somedays it gets old of course but what doesn't? 21. I love Friday nights home with my guys! We prefer no plans and just do whatever-go out to eat or stay in lately. Brett & Damon play ball in the summer. Shop or just relax. 22. I enjoy digital scrapbooking, working on my blog or website. Creating anything is so exciting 23. My environment majorly affects me. If things are not arranged right in a room I "feel" it. I don't care for overhead lighting. I must have lamp light - not because I can't see but because of how it feels. 24. I love chocolate & fresh raspberries together. Love the rapsberries in our garden! So does Brett. 25. I'm thankful for my life, memories, past, experiences, friends, family & bright future!

Monday, January 26

Turkey & Stuffing Meatloaf

We had this for supper tonight. It's pretty good. I used 1/2 ground turkey breast & 1/2 ground chicken breast since that's what I had. I divided it between two loaf pans & put one in the freezer for later.
Click to enlarge.

Cotton Candy

I decided I must have one of these camera straps from Cotton Candy by Natalie. Some on Etsy are strap covers but the one I ordered is an actual replacement strap. It came in the mail today & it's nicely made. I like that it's reversible & oh so pretty! Damon said "it's not what I would have chose" but I know he will be fine with it.

This week's menu plan

I'm trying to be organized! Day Care Lunch Mon-Schwan's Cod Fish Nuggets, tater tots, applesauce WW bread, milk Tues-Chili, cheese, crackers, fruit, milk Wed-Tuna melt on bun, peas, peaches, milk Thurs-HM Chicken Noodle Soup, crackers, fruit, milk Fri- ? Family Dinner Mon-Turkey Meatloaf Tues-Leftover Ribs, baked potatoes, salad Wed-Crockpot Chicken Thurs-Two Sauce Lasagna Fri-Tacos Snacks Mon (a.m.) Goldfish crackers, apples (p.m.) Blueberry Muffins, Milk Tues Fruit Smoothies, Graham Crackers Cheeze-Its, Grapes Wed Yogurt & banana Popcorn & cheese, apple juice Thurs Coffee Cake, Milk Pretzels, apple juice Fri Cinnamon Toast, Milk Peanut Butter on Crackers, apple juice

Sunday, January 25


Yesterday I took a phone call that I knew was likely day care related. I didn't really feel like answering it but I'd rather deal with the call immediately than have to check voicemail & return a call or feel guilty about not returning a call. I always try to. Soon after I started talking to this guy I realized he's called before but didn't recall the details. He said he saw on my website that there currently isn't any openings but wondered when there would be next. Me-I said in September *maybe*. Him-For what ages? M-2 yrs. & up. H-OK, what about older kids? M-You mean schoolagers for before & after school? H-Yes it would definitely be that, b & a school. M-Sure, I have one now that comes b/a but explained the in-Jville-but-M-school-district/no transport policy. H-Transportation is no problem. M-(Okayyy....?) H-How old of kids do you care for? M-My kids are all about 5 & under & explained that I have an older one in care but he's spec. needs, etc. How old is your child? H-He's 16 yrs. M-I'm licensed to care for kids up to 12 yrs. What is it you're looking for? H-Well I just want him to realize he's getting older now & have some responsibility. He wouldn't give you any trouble. (???????) M-Ok? I have preschoolers here. I don't have activities for a 16 yr old. H-What if he would participate in activities you do? M-That's not the kind of program I offer. Really? Did that conversation just happen? Damon said "You should have told him it sounds like the kid needs a job". Dad either needs to step up the parenting or get this kid some help! Really, what was this kid going to do? Drive to day care?

Saturday, January 24

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday Brett made chocolate chip cookies, pretty much all by himself. I measured out the salt & he did the rest. He had a hard time scooping the dough out & putting it on the cookie sheet so I did that. He's quite proud of himself! It was a nice quiet time with just Brett & Mommy while the other kids were napping. He was tired & would have napped if I made him but I thought this would be a nice opportunity for us on his day off of school.


Brett has a friend over today & they're playing Uno. So cute to hear him explain the rules to her!

Friday, January 23

Boot Cup

Brett was excited to find his boot cup in the cupboard this morning. He hasn't ever used it much but I remember Keith really liked his.


Thursday, January 22

Every Night

Brett sleeps with a pile of stuffed cute things. Always for sure Baby Sally. She even gets a bottle for a few seconds at bedtime & every morning. He remembers. Then there's Little Doggie, Big Doggie and the shark from when he was up at G & G R's/the aquarium. Rik Rac the Webkinz raccon, his Hawaiian turtle and just a garage sale frog & tiger. Don't forget big Rexie the dino. And yes he sleeps waayy over on the far right side of his bed because of all the "junk" in his bed. Tonight he insisted it's not "junk" but "cute things". I'm glad he still likes them.

Wigged Out

LOVE IT! Can't wait to scrapbook it.

10 W's

Thanks to Linda I am making this list! I'm doing it my style though so hope you don't mind. I won't tag anyone but if you want to make a list of 10 W's you love (or whatever version of it you'd like) go ahead! Wonder-I wonder what I'd be doing at this point in my life if I didn't have a child? I wonder what the next phase of my life will be like? I wonder when I'll get to go on vacation again? Winter - If it's going to be cold, I think it should snow! This nice sunny day makes me wish for spring & we know that's not happening anytime soon so where's the snow?? Wish-My son was quieter. I wish I had that house we looked at last summer. I really wish I had more space. Weekends-I especially like Friday nights. The work is done & I can really relax because nothing is usually planned for the next day. Wood-I thought I wanted a wood floor in my kitchen but I'm not so sure it's what I want any more or that's a good idea in this house with child care. At this point I'd be happy with any NEW floor. Will - we really should have one. Wreath-I'm ready to put up my Valentine one. Is it too early? Work - it never ends. I enjoy it but I wish it would all stay done for a couple weeks! It feels like all I do is clean floors and do dishes. And wipe snot noses. Wait - I can't wait for my one dc girl's last day even though I really like her because then I will be done with work most days at 5 pm or earlier!! I can wait for summer. I'm dreading the schoolagers during naptime since they won't have to sleep & will be noisy. I can't wait to get the camera strap I ordered on Etsy. Wonderful-I like that song "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. My little boy & my husband make my world wonderful.

Monday, January 19

The Build-A-Bear Dinosaur

When we were at the mall Saturday afternoon, on the spur of the moment, I decided to take Brett to Build-A-Bear. He's never been there or really seen what goes on there so I thought it would be fun. He quickly figured it all out & was excited! Of course he wasn't going to pick out a cute teddy or puppy - I knew immediately he would choose the dinosaur & he did! He kinda cool though so that's OK. Brett named him "Rexie".
Maggie took pictures while we were in the store so I'll probably scrapbook those pictures after I get them from her. The first thing Brett spotted in the clothing area was the Sketchers which is so like Brett also. He is obsessed with shoes & believes certain shoes make you run faster! We try to tell him it's not the case but he insists. This fashionable dino also has camouflage boxers on! He has a satin heart inside & a "roar" noisemaker.
This morning Brett decided to take Rexie for show & tell so he went right in the backpack to school. It was a fun time for Brett & I (and Maggie!) She bought a guitar & sunglasses for him-it looks really funny on! I'm glad Brett is at an age where he still wanted to have a stuffed animal. He has many loved ones at home, but he thinks there's always room for one more in his bed!

Sunday, January 18

Grandma's 70th

Saturday we celebrated Grandma Smith's 70th birthday with lots of family, about 35-40 of us. We met at the Red Lobster in Appleton for dinner & birthday cake. Her actual birthday was Monday, Jan. 12th. Aunt Michelle (somehow we sat directly across from you & didn't get your picture with Craig?!) planned this get together & told her about it on her birthday. Some of us went to the mall afterwards for a little more time together. We had a really nice time & great to see everyone! Isn't Grandma beautiful? 70 looks good on her!

Grandma Rosalie

The one birthday gift she requested & didn't think she was going to get! George Strait CD's.

Yeah, I think he's liking this too! : )

Sunday Comics

We rarely get a paper at home so it was cute to see Brett pouring over the comics at Grma & Grpa's today.

Saturday, January 17

Writing Cabinet

I've wanted to set up an area with writing & art supplies for a while now but I just don't have enough room for everything I'd like in my day care area. It's my biggest frustration but I keep telling myself, this works & the kids are happy. And that's true. I realized we have plenty of toys available so I cleared out this cabinet & put it to better use. BTW, I got this off of Freecycle a few years ago! I went to pick up a water table & she offered me this as well as some chairs! We have 2 buckets-one with scissors & paper punches and the other with markers. Colored pencils, oil pastels, chunky crayons, rainbow crayons, glue sticks, dot art painters & pencils. Down below there's white & construction paper, lined writing paper, directions for drawing pictures & a scrap box. It's nothing like this great writing center, but it's a start. For a long time I couldn't make these supplies available because of the ages of my kids. Now all my kids are preschool age so it works. Believe me, I'm always reminding them & they know - art materials only at the table. It is my living room after all! *The little cutie in the picture is moving away soon. She was about 9 months when she started here & now she's almost 3. She's a tall girl! And very smart. It will do her a lot of good to be in a preschool environment instead of with Grma most of the day. I think she will really "take off" & her parents will be glad (after the big adjustment of course!)

Friday, January 16


I read online that you can microwave popcorn in a baking dish for healthier microwave popcorn. I've done it several times now & it works good! I put a little olive oil in the bottom. The popcorn button on my microwave is not long enough for popping it this way so I stay close by & watch it so it doesn't burn (I've done that before & it's not cool!). Probably not as good as Keith's though!