Sunday, July 31, 2011

this boy

Just turned 6 years old!!

I can't believe that my miracle Ryan is 6 years old and going to be a 1st grader!

I can't believe that 6 years ago I gave birth 3 1/2 weeks early to a 7 lb 2 oz peanut who had to have a full blood transfusion at only 2 days old.  Wow!

In honor of his birthday, I interviewed my middle guy about his life right now...

Favorite food: sweet & sour chicken
Favorite colors: pink & orange
Favorite tv show: Kid in a Candy Store
Favorite movie: Narnia ~ The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
Favorite book: The Cat in the Hat
Favorite toy: monster trucks
Favorite thing to do: make crafts
What he wants to be when he grows up: a chef

Love this kid! 

Ryan, thank you for making our lives more interesting. 
We love you higher than the sky!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

stretch your sketch challenge

Here's my take on Donna Januzzi's July 4 sketch challenge over on the Ella Publishing Blog:

I like how it turned out and I especially loved that I was able to use the pretty October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket papers since it was an Easter layout!  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So, I'm on week three of the "Green Smoothie" diet.  I am not trying to lose weight....I'm just trying to be healthier.  I've replaced my lunch with a green smoothie everyday and take it from me, the "YUCK, are those vegetables? Girl" they taste pretty good.  And I certainly couldn't possibly eat all these greens in a salad....but I'm getting them in my smoothie no problem.

The most basic recipe:

1 cup of water
1 1/2 bananas, frozen in chunks
1 cup frozen berries
Blend the above ingredients until smooth.
Then add 5- 6 handfuls of spinach and blend until smooth.

It's best served COLD and as you acquire a taste for them, you can change it up.  I've made smoothies with blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apples, bananas, cherries, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and red leaf lettuce.  I use my regular old blender, which does a decent job, although if Mark and I are planning on doing this long-term, we're considering a MEGA-blender. 

Even my kids like these, which is saying something....

*I have more energy
*I get fuller faster when I eat a regular meal
*I am feeling healthier
*My IBS symptoms are gone
*My seasonal allergies are lessened

*Break-outs for the first 2 weeks
*Headaches for the first 2 weeks

If you're interested in learning more, I recommend The Green Smoothies Diet by Robyn Openshaw.  She's also known as "The Green Smoothie Girl" on the web.

Friday, July 15, 2011

OBX Vacation

It's hard to believe our annual family beach vacation is already over and done {and 3 weeks ago, now!}.  We had a week of wonderful weather that included relaxing on the beach, relaxing by the pool, relaxing in the house...I think you get the idea.  We had rain two nights, but nothing during the day.  The water was perfect; some days it was crystal clear. 

I LOVE that my kids are at the perfect ages to play somewhat independently without feeling panicked that they're going to wander off or drown.  I had the luxury of reading 3 books over the week, Water for Elephants, The Help, and The Green Smoothies Diet.  All of them were good reads, but The Help was by far my favorite.  I'll have to review it here soon.  I also got to do a little bit of scrapbooking at night, but did not have a partner in crime [MEGAN!].

By far, The Family Talent Show has to be the highlight of the week.  We had
Abby the dancer,
Chris the artist,
Evan the magician,
Ryan the chef,
Ava the French singer,
Grandma and Pop-Pop the puppeteers,
Megan and Jim the ballroom crashers dancers,
the McL Family acrobats,
and Michael and Kim the synchronized swimmers. 

Our family (besides Evan and Ryan) didn't have a talent.  I had brought our robot hat for Nathan to dance to the "Robot" song, but he DID NOT want to do anything by himself.  I had also picked up adhesive mustaches {I know, random...} at the $1 spot in Target.  So about 5 minutes before the show started, I did a search for "mustache" on iTunes and found the coolest mustache song. It's called "Mustache" by the Funkey Monkeys and I tried to upload the song/video for you to hear it because it's just so darn cute, but alas, no'll have to google it yourself!

We slapped on the mustaches, played the song, and danced around.  It was pretty funny and the kids enjoyed it, too.  Nothing like the last minute!

Friday, July 8, 2011

like magic

So here's what my bathroom window has looked like
since I tossed the water-stained curtains
we'd had hanging there since we moved in. 

I am not a curtain person.  I have a very hard time finding curtains that fit my style + my personality + the colors I've chosen for the room.  Needless to say, I have very few window treatments in my house.

I knew I wanted white curtains but I also knew I didn't have much money to spend.
I found this great white shower curtain in the clearance section of Target.
It has a nice texture woven through it
and {BONUS} half of the seams are already finished for me!

I cut the curtain in half to make two panels.
I double-folded a 1/2 inch (total 1 inch) seam along the cut sides of each panel.
I ironed and pinned the crease and then sewed it with a straight stitch through my sewing machine.

 To get rid of the shower curtain holes along the top seam, I folded (only once since the seam is finished) the top down about 3 inches (about double of the seam for the curtain holes).  Then I used the width of the seam for the curtain holes as a guideline to sew the curtain rod pocket.   I just sewed a straight seam along the top and bottom of the curtain hole seams and, VOILA, a curtain rod pocket with a gather at the top.

Finally, I dug out some scrapbooking materials to create my ribbon tiebacks.  These are actually Martha Stewart adhesive ribbon strips.  I only removed about an inch of the adhesive backing to create a band and slid it onto the curtain. 

Easy, peasy!
And I love how they turned out.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

to be mailed june 2011

These letters have been earmarked for postal delivery since June 2002.
Back when stamps were only 34 cents :)
They were written by my third graders from their third grade selves to
their future high school graduate selves.

They are filled with
favorite foods,
lists of friends,
8/9 year old thoughts
and opinions,
and dreams for the future.

Some are quite comical like
"Girls are gross."
"I'm never going to get married!"
"I wonder if teachers live at school?"

I had 8 out of 9 of my 3rd grade classes write this end of the year letter when I was teaching 3rd grade.  This was one of my favorite acitivities and I look forward to mailing these out every June because I know that I'll hear back from some of my kids.  I love knowing their plans for college or work or military enlistment.  I love being able to encourage them at least one more time as they become adults and enter the world. 

Some of my students have been kind enough to say
I was their favorite teacher
or that I inspired them to go into education.

That makes it all worthwhile.