Friday, August 29, 2008

And We're Off!

I'll be taking a wee brake for the Labor Day holiday - I hope you all have a weekend full of grills, friends, good weather, and fun.

Tootles!
~UK

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday: The Grumps.

Update: Dave just brought home a Frosty for me and the day has taken a decidedly positive turn. That's all. As you were.

Ahhh.... The Grumps. Today I feel crummy and grumpy. Not sick, not tired, not anything really going wrong, I'm just grumpy. And so, in honor of my mood, I give you Thankful Thursday.

Today I am thankful for:

1. My sweatpants. These suckers aren't coming off all day. My jeans can just deal with it.

2. My DDP. For those of you at church that heard me swear up and down that I was going to only drink DDP at church from now on - I lied. I'm drinking it right now.

3. My pals. I've got good pals. Pals that listen to me whine.

4. My pigtails. I love not having to do my hair. And pig tails make me feel marginally less grumpy.

5. Tomorrow. I'm thankful that tomorrow I get to go on a trip with Dave without the kids. That is crucial.

6. The Grumpy Song. This is the best song ever. Ever.



So there you have it. I hope you all have a fantastic day, I'm going to go be grumpy a little further away now :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tot's First Day Of Home School

Coloring the box her school supplies came in.


My Tot, looking so incredibly like a big girl and not a baby or a toddler. It just kills me.



Oh yes, that is a pirate hat on his head and a cowboy hat hanging on his back and fireman jammies.


Oh, I forgot to mention the lack of pants and the wooden shoes from Holland.
That completes the ensemble.



Awww.

So, all I have are these pictures. I completely forgot to take any while she was actually doing school (probably because most of it is me reading to her). So I'll take some more later for posterities sake. Is posterity even the right word there?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick!

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, without worrying about money, where would you live?

Author's Note: This can include fictional places like Narnia and Mordor. Although, frankly, why you would want to live for a year in Mordor is beyond me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This post is really not for public consumption, because it's kindof boring as I don't cook anything fancy, but I'm having a hard time sticking to a menu, so I thought that if I posted it for the entire world to see then maybe I would be guilted into actually following it, but we'll see.

And seriously, could I have been any choppier or used any more commas? Ugh, I'm embarrassed.

Anyways, here's the plan:


Monday: Hot Wing Pizza (with homemade pizza dough) - YUM. We actually made home made pizza last night, too, and it was so good that I'm making another kind tonight. Chicken marinated in hot wing sauce, ranch dressing in place of pizza sauce. Drool.

Tuesday: TACO TUESDAY!!! While we usually have Eureka & Pizza, this week we will be frequenting the Taco Cabana establishment for some out of this world delicious tacos and chips and queso. Mmmm. We swear up and down that this is our only splurge this week, and since it's an entire taco meal for under three bucks we think we're doing good. Surely, Dave Ramsey agrees.

Wednesday: Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken. I got this from the coolest blog ever. EVER. This pioneer of awesomeness has dedicated herself to using her crock pot once a day, everyday, for the ENTIRE YEAR. And let me tell you, it's not just roasts she's doing. She's got desserts, side dishes, the most yummy of things you can imagine.

Thursday: Hmmm. I'm thinking that I'll probably just grill up some chicken and add some steamed veggies and make some rolls or bread sticks. Also, I don't think I ever feel more lazy than when I microwave a bag of steamed veggies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the convenience of not have to do anything but press a few buttons, but really. Has it gotten so bad that I can't be bothered to open up the bag, toss it in a steamer bowl and microwave it that way? Apparently so.

Friday: Dave and I are going to be on the road on Friday, so we will probably grab something to eat that way, like more tacos. However, I guess I could make us some sammies and be all frugal. Hmmm. I'll let you know. Or not, I mean, I doubt you guys will be checking in here on Monday going "WHY? WHY? Hasn't she posted about the Sammie/Taco Debacle???"



There you go - an Unsinkable Meal Plan! Here's hoping I stick with it.

***

Author's Note: No worries, I will still blog about that super hilarious thing I did Saturday night. I'm just waiting for a few more pictures to spice it up :) Oh and Tot's first day has gone swimmingly, I'll post on that, too. Oh! And you look lovely today! Really, that shirt totally plays up your eyes. Smooches! ~UK

Friday, August 22, 2008

See...there's this giveaway...

and I really, really want to win. Just look at these fantastic things!!

www.simplemom.net

I mean, REALLY! So go there and look, but please don't enter because I really, really want to win that apron.

Ugh. Okay fine, you can enter, too. And if you win I'll be happy for you. No really, I will. I mean it. No lie.

***


On another note, I'm doing something totally and completely awesome this Saturday and I will hopefully post some crazy great pictures on Monday. If I don't get pictures, I'll at least have some great stories to tell.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Box Day!!

Oh, the anticipation! What treasures of learning will this box hold?? I can hardly stand it!


This is me hardly standing it.


Ahhh!!! There it all is!!!! A veritable cornucopia of educational materials!


Seriously!! How awesome is all that? And you can't even see part of it!


Here are the workbooks (on the right) and the teachers manual (on the left) and a few of the books. I've got the manual already in a binder and marked with our first week's assignments.


After having gone through all the materials again, and looked over the teachers manual extensively, I am trying to decide if I want to supplement some things. I LOVE (love!) everything they have included, but I'm thinking that Tot may need more of a challenge in some areas. There really isn't any formal math, as far as worksheets go. And I think Tot needs more work in that area. I may just purchase a small workbook for us to go through. She doesn't need any of the larger "programs", I mean she's only almost 4, but we do need to work on counting beyond 15 (after that she starts to go into "eleventy" and the like) and higher number recognition. Also, while they do work on letters later on in the year, Tot is already working on copying letters and small words (like her first and last name, short sentences) and I think she wants to do more there. So we may look into that as well.

So there you have it - our very first Box Day!! I have to say, it's absolutely totally fun to break into that box and see what all you'll be learning during the school year. I've always been a sucker for school supplies and this is just right up my ally. Every book is absolutely beautiful, and there are some things I would have never thought to teach her on my own. We're going to start school on Monday (I just can't wait until September) and I'm SO exicted and Tot has been begging to start ever since she saw all the books.

Wish us luck!


(also, stay tuned for First Day of Homeschooling pictures, what we did with our big box, and maybe an adorable video of Little David :) )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ants.

I was going to post something cool today, but instead my house got invaded by fire ants. Again. For the record, I hate (hate! hate! hate!) ants. Especially fire ants. And today I found them in my pantry (my pantry). Shouldn't the pantry be sacred or something?! And even worse. They got into my M&M's.

There will be blood.

Thank heavens I had done at least one Napstravaganza project and it was cleaning out the pantry and getting everything into air tight containers, so there really wasn't much food I had to throw out. The apparent draw was a giant deli box of cookies from Jason's Deli that my sister in law gave us on Sunday. You would not believe how many ants were in that box. Shudder.

But the worst part? They have been sneaking into the kids rooms and biting them while they sleep. Only one or two bites, but that is enough. A few weeks ago it was worse and poor Tot woke up with probably ten bites all over her little body. I found a giant nest in one of her stuffed animals. Is there anything sicker than that?!? So I sprayed all around the inside and outside of the house, and they stayed away for a few weeks, but they are back.

And so, I have spent my morning killing ants with bleach, setting out traps, walking around the yard (and finding a fire ant mound the size of an adult pillow - NO LIE) and sprinkling ant killer everywhere by the ton. Later today I will be fogging the house and then later this week we will be spraying all around the yard and fence line and probably inside again just to be sure.

I am telling you, There Will Be Blood.

Or at least a jackload of dead ants.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Unsinkable In Need.

Friends, I need you. I mean I really, really, need you.

In October, we will once again become the Traveling Chapmans and we will be taking two freakishly long car trips. First we will be driving to Indiana (a 14 hour drive, one way) and then a week after we return from that trip we will be driving to Colorado (a 13 hour drive, one way). Yes, that's right - we will be spending 52 hours in the car over a three week span.

Kill me now.

The trips themselves should be a ton of fun with plenty of time to relax and rest and enjoy new things, however, that is just a jack load of time to be in a car with two wee ones. And that is where you come in.

I need your tricks of the trade. I need to know all of the things I can do to make the long trips more fun for both the kids and myself. So lend me your lists, your links, every creative thing you've every thought heard or read. Leave me every link you've ever come across in the comments. Write down every ridiculous idea that you thought no one would use, every Car Trip Bingo variation, every organzing idea, every snack idea, every toy your kid (or your niece or your neighbors kid) ever loved, ev-er-y-thing.

My life depends on it :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Quick!

What store do most of your clothes come from?


Author's Note: Not necessarily your favorite store, or where you like to shop best, but where most of your clothes actually come from.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What Napstravaganza??

I know, I know. My Napstravaganza '08 has been considerably underwhelming for all of you. Such grand hopes I had, such grand dreams! And while I have done a good amount of those projects, I haven't been anywhere near faithful in updating my progress on the blog.

Dave has been traveling out of state a lot for random two hour meetings (seriously, he flew to Phoenix the other day for a two hour meeting and to Virginia yesterday for a three hour one), and I've had my hands full with the kiddos (obviously.) and by the time evening rolls around, I lay sloth-like on the couch holding whatever takeout I've hunted and gathered, I sit back and think to myself "Self, I totally should be blogging right now instead of trying to avert my eyes from Michael Phelps and his halfsie swimsuit. I did, after all, promise to be all up on the updating, and I certainly have organized the pants off my pantry and linen closet and I do owe my faithful readers some accountability...but man these chips are to die for. And ummmm......queso. Oh look! Swimmings back on!"


And that's why I haven't updated.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday/ Homeschool Plans

I am thankful for one giant thing today - I just ordered Tot's curriculum!

While I probably won't blog about this all the time, because that would be boring, I did want to let you all know our school plans and exactly how we would be doing this Homeschool thing. I operated under a lot of preconceived notions regarding homeschools right up until we decided to do it ourselves and I'd like to let people see for themselves how this works out for us.

We will officially start school the first week of September, unless our curriculum is slow getting here and I am currently debating whether or not I want to do five days a week or four. Tot loves "practicing school", and has been chomping at the bit to get started, so I am leaning towards five days.

We are working with a prepackaged curriculum this year called Sonlight, and I'm really excited. Another friend of mine uses it for her older girls and let me go through all the materials and the next few years of stuff and I loved it. This particular program is very reading based, and probably 80% of the curriculum is non consumable (ie - actual books, not workbooks). What I like best, however, is that it's almost dummy proof, and I tend to be a dummy. There is a lesson plan book, teachers manual, and everything is written out exactly. For some one who is an experienced teacher, who has planned their own curriculum before, this would probably be limiting, if not irritating. However, I often get paralyzed by too many choices and it's nice to have it spelled out for me. Once I'm a little further along, I'll probably do more tailoring to suit our needs, but for this first year I'm exceptionally grateful for all the help.

I am really interested to see how this year goes with a more formal outline. I think Tot will have so much fun and I think Little David will enjoy all the reading, too. We're starting Tot with the P4/5 program and next year I'll probably have Little David go start next year with P3/4 and move Tot into the Kindergarten level.


So, those are the loose plans and I am pretty geeked to get started.


Speaking of geeked, here is what I'm thankful this week, homeschool style:

I am thankful that Dave is not only supportive of this homeschooling thing, but that it was partly his idea in the first place. Not everyone who home schools has such an interested husband.

I am thankful that we are financially able to pay for our materials in cash, and not incur debt to do this. Dave Ramsey would be so proud!

I am thankful that even though I wonder about how sane I will stay while teaching the Tot, God has given Dave and I a very strong sense of assurance that this is what we are supposed to be doing.

And finally, I am thankful that I will continue to be able to sleep in until whenever the kids let me as opposed to waking up at the butt crack of whenver to get them to school.


Also, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've blogged the words " butt crack". Good times.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tot Speak

Just some tidbits from my every growing Tot.

***

T: Mommy, I believe that I am finished with my lunch now.

***

T: MOOOM, I am totally sure that it is NOT naptime. Also, I totally need this juice pop.

***
As she is trying to cut out a shape

T: Giminy Christmas, this is hard.

***

I think she's starting to sound a wee bit like her Mom. If she starts saying "Seriously", we'll know I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick!

What is your favorite candy of all time?


Author's Note: You can not say "Chocolate" or "Anything Chocolate". I need specifics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Small Break.

Again, I'll keep it short.

This morning my Tot got a hold of a sharpie (that I was actively using to address a package, it wasn't just lying around) and proceeded to mark on my coffee table, my tv, my entertainment center, my couch, another table, the kitchen table, the kitchen chairs, every.single.drawer front. in my kitchen, the fridge, the pantry door, the wall, the stove, and the vintage apron that I just bought. And herself. And then she told me "Wow, you sure have a lot of cleaning up to do."

Seriously.


So, I will be taking a break from the Napstravaganza to try and some how get all that crap off every available surface under four feet and trying to punish her in a calm and firm manner while not wringing her neck. You know, I thought Tot was behaving rather well lately....always calmest before the storm.

Sigh. :)

Update: The punishment was five spankings, 15 minutes of cleaning up the coffee table (that will never be clean again) and the rest of the day spent in her room. It seems that length of punishment, and not severity, is the only way to get through to her. She barely blinked at the spankings but cried her eyes out at the Room Sentence.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pause

The Napstravaganza '08 update will have to wait.

Let me leave it at this - the dogs escaped the yard this morning at 7am after I realized I hadn't put the trash out for the trashmen, the kids escaped the house while I was trying to catch the dogs (in my pajamas) and then when I got everyone inside I walked into Little David's room and found the kids starting to put a screwdriver into the light socket and Little David has decided that he won't (won't!!) wear a diaper and will scream bloody murder while I try to put one on him.

I'm going to take a nap. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Seriously? (And Also Thankful Thursday)

Has anyone noticed that we are in AUGUST?!? I mean, seriously! I was talking with a friend yesterday and realized that my birthday is in less than a month, Tot's birthday is in 6 weeks, and we leave for Indiana in less than 8 weeks!! Holy Cow! I guess mentally I always stick August into the "Summer" category and September into the "Fall" category and I forget that they are actually rightnexttoeachother. It's a good thing I've got my Napstravaganza going on so that I'll be ready for the Fall and the start of our first official Home School Year. Eek!

Anyways, here is what I'm thankful for this week....

1. My pink lemonade. It is currently delicious.

2. That I got to play with Cheryl and Caleb today. I'm not thankful that she didn't get to go to Ecuador, but at least I got a play date out of the deal!

3. Chick-Fil-A's brand new Chick-Fil-A dipping sauce. I am a fan.

4. That Dave will be home tomorrow!! I know that I am thankful for this, like, every week or something, but I am perpetually surprised at how easy this whole traveling thing has been on us. So I guess, really I am thankful that the traveling hasn't been near as bad as I had thought it would be.

5. That I'm still going strong on Napstravaganza '08! I will probably take down the Twitter thing, though, because between trying to keep up with updating a blog, facebook, regular email, and actual person to person (or cell phone to cell phone) relationships, I'm about tapped out. As much as I like to inform the populace about my daily minutia, I think twitter is a bit much. Adios, Twit.

6. That the dogs are outside. They are noisy and I would be much more irritated if they were inside.

7. That someday, some wonderful day, I will not have to clean up anyone's pee. Someday, I will be done potty training and will not have a sick dog. Some day I will have so little to do with other people's pee that I will actually forget that other people do pee. That, my readers, will be a day I am thank - ful. Uh, how thankful.

8. The Twilight series. Ugh, I know, I'm a sucker for teenage melodrama, but it was AWESOME. I read 2400 pages in two and a half days (which, come to think of it, may be why I had such a problem keeping up with twitter... and the laundry) and it was awesome. I haven't enjoyed a series like that since Harry Potter and I am uber thankful that I started reading the first book on the day the last book came out. Saved myself a whole lot of waiting.

9. That the Twilight movie comes out in December. Seriously, this whole jumping on the bandwagon late thing has it's perks.

10. My Dyson vacuum. The kids have found Saltine crackers to be their new favorite snack, and as such I am spending most of my time trailing after them with the hose cleaning up all their crumbs. Also, for the record, when trying to save money on groceries, shell out the extra 30 cents and get the name brand Saltines, not the Kroger brand. The broken cracker to whole cracker ratio is much better with name brand.



Anyways, hope you all are having a very Thankful Thursday and I'll be here tomorrow with a Napstravaganza update! I know, you were all dying to know how my pantry was looking (it's looking awesome, by the way).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, maybe not so wordless. These are all pictures from our "Whirlwind Family Weekend" where we went to the National Cowgirl Museum, Dinosaur Valley National Park (WAY cool), and our friend Kelly's wedding reception. I've kept them out of order to keep you on your toes. Enjoy :)











(Tot had just licked my face. Blurg.)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yum.

You know that feeling when you are reading a phenomenal book for the first time and it's so very good that you have to put it down for awhile just so it won't go too fast because you feel like there aren't enough pages left and you know that once the last page has been read the story will be over and you will be just so very, utterly sad even though it was an incredibly awesome experience?

Well, that is how I'm feeling about my chips and queso right now.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Quick!

What is the best book you have ever read in your entire life?


(and NO you can not put The Bible. That is cheating, even if it's true.)

(also, you can't put an entire series [ala Harry Potter], you must pick a single book.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Napstravaganza '08: 31 Days. 31 Projects. Totally Awesome.

I know! Could it get any cooler?! Today marks the very first day of Napstravaganza '08!!

But what is Napstravaganza, you ask? Well, I'll be glad to tell you.

What could you do with 31 hours? What things around the house could you possible conquer if you had all that time? This is what the Napstravaganza is all about. Everyday for the next 31 days, we will be conquering something that has been a pain in our behinds. We will be going through our homes and telling all those undone projects Who's The Boss. We will be taking our closets back, our unfinished craft projects back, we will be taking our lives back! For this month, we will ALL be Unsinkable!

You know, I've just noticed, but I tend to be a bit dramatic, don't I?

Anyways, here's the deal. Everyday during naptime we will do something for one hour straight. It will not be laundry, it will not be dishes, it will not be Days of our Lives (DOOL.). It will be something that we haven't had the time for, something that we have just procrastinated on, something that we've needed to do for awhile but just haven't. This can be time for a small craft, a quick fix of a junk area, anything. But the point is this - we attack these things quickly and without mercy. We go ninja on them. We get in and out in an hour and then we don't mess with it again. We don't slowly work over one quilt for a month, we do 31 individual things. I know! Can you hardly stand the awesomeness??

The beauty of this is that it is entirely customizable. Obviously your kids don't nap at the same time my kids do, or you may not even have kids. So, while I will be getting my Napstravaganza on from 2pm until 3pm, yours may be from 1pm to 2pm, or 10am to 11am or 10PM to 11PM. All that matters is that you take one hour each day and you get your thing going. And honestly, I'm doing this because I was thinking of Extravaganza ideas (I was bored.) and I thought how funny nap and extravaganza sounded together and that it was too awesome to pass up so I created an entire month around that one funny word.

Here's what we'll be doing. Each day, check in here. The Unsinkable realizes that 31 days of me telling you what my projects were would get a little boring so.....I'm going Twitter on you. On my side bar you will notice a constantly updating little box. This is where I will be telling you about my projects. Keep an eye on that, and then each Friday I'll be posting a wrap up with pictures that tells you what projects I worked on that week. I know! I am so high tech.

But you say you need ideas? That's what's holding you back? Never fear. Here are The Unsinkable's 31 projects. Steal them at will.

1. Clean out bathroom linen closet.
2. Organize pantry.
3. Update all files in filing cabinet.
4. Finish winter scarf.
5. Mend Jeanie Bunnie (she's missing an arm).
6. Plant flowers out front.
7. Redecorate fireplace mantle.
8. Reorganize bookshelf.
9. Spray paint chair for outside.
10. Reattach light fixture on front porch.
11. Clean Living Room carpet with Rug Doctor.
12. Clean out dresser and load it onto the truck.
13. Polish cabinets.
14. Make aprons for kids.
15. Put all recipes in books.
16. Print vacation pictures and put them in photo albums.
17. Organize all school supplies and books.
18. Make personalized note cards.
19. Remove rusted piece from mailbox.
20. Defrost upright freezer.
21. Clean out inside freezer.
22. Clean out icky bottom shelf in laundry room.
23. Move all DVD's into DVD books.
24. Pour dirt for Tot's garden and lay out plants.
25. Move all old files to external hard drive.
26. Delete unused programs on computer, defrag.
27. Clean out coupon box.
28. Move all numbers on to my new phone.
29. Replace address book.
30. Make Fall Preparation list (possibly my favorite item).
31. Hang Clothes line.




So, there you go! Napstravaganza '08! I will of course be requiring every reader to do this in some shape or fashion. If you are participating, blog about it and leave the link in the comments. At the end of the month we'll have a great blog party with DDP, m&m's and pizza. I'll eat it while I blog and you can eat it while you read - how does that sound? :) We will bask in the glow of our accomplishments and admire everyone's handicrafts.

So.......off we go! Good Luck and God Speed!