Friday, February 25, 2011


I think "why" has got to be one of the most used words in the English language.  "Why did you hit your sister?"  "Why is your room a mess?"  "Why aren't the dishes done?"  "Why are you playing outside when your (insert any number of items here--piano, bed made, dishes, homework) isn't done?"  "Why did you do that?"  "Why is there milk spilled on the counter?"  "Why is he crying?"  "Why did this happen?"
"Why are you sticking your head in the dishwasher???" (this from yesterday, and I have no clue "why?"
 And you know, I wonder if there really is an answer to "Why?"  or if I really want to know the answers to all the "whys?"  I think my kids ask me that question as much as I ask them, "Why do we have to go (insert anything here, to piano lessons, to school, to the store)?"  "Why do I have to dust/clean/vacuum my room?"  "Why do I have to fold my clothes?"  "Why do I have to practice my piano?"  "Why do I have to feed the chickens?"  "Why do we have chickens?"  "Why do we have to have this for dinner again?"  One of my favorites right there. . .

"Why do I have to do this????"  Lots of questions, lots of whys.  Being the excellent parent that I am, (ha, ha, not really) most of my answers are "Because I said so."  Very effective, I know, but some days that is all I have to give to the eternal question of "Why?"

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Blue Jeans Week 5

Is it just me, or do these weeks seem to fly by?  Where, oh where, does the time go???  Here is what we have been up to. . .
Sunday:  Valentine's dinner at my mom and dad's.  This dinner tradition started with my great-grandma. When my grandma was a little girl her mother always made Valentine's dinner a big deal.  It was served in the dining room on the best china.  They had to wear their Sunday best to dinner, and the dining room was decorated very nicely, but they were not allowed to enter until dinner.  In the center of the dining room table was a big gift box with presents inside and strings attached to each present and going out to each place setting.  If my grandma and her 4 sisters ate all their Valentine's dinner, then they got to pull their string and get their gift.  My grandma carried this tradition on to her kids--my mom and aunts and uncles, and they all passed the tradition on to their kids--me, my siblings and cousins, and now the tradition continues with my kids and nieces and nephews.  So I think we are on the 4th generation.  So, we had our fancy Valentine's dinner at my parents on Sunday and you can see the box in the middle with the strings out to each place.  Mr J taped his string to his forehead to make sure he didn't get it mixed up with anyone else's.   
Monday:  Valentine's Day--we had our family Valentine's party and opened our family Valentine's box.  Some pretty fancy cards this year.  The kids (and Ben) never cease to amaze me with their creativity.  
Tuesday:  Miss O's finished Colonial Fair project board.  Tons of work, and she did a great job!  Why is it school projects get bigger and bigger as my kids get older???? 
Wednesday:  Our snow is gone, and we have had beautiful 60 degree days.  The kids have taken advantage of them and enjoyed covering the driveway with sidewalk chalk art.  Love the pot of gold and the rainbow by Miss O. 
Thursday:  Another beautiful day, and no school because of conferences, so Miss O headed to the porch swing to do her favorite thing--read!  So love my porch swing! 
Friday:  no school again, so we headed up to the city with Nana and ate dinner at Chipotle.  Love that place.   
Saturday:  Miss A and a friend did a National History Day project/board and went to the regional competition today.  They won in their category and are headed to the state competition in April.  Way to go girls!  They did a board on the conflict between the states of Colorado and Kansas over the Arkansas river. 
Hope you all had a good week! 


The Best Cookies

We are making cookies over here for a treat tonight for family night, and I wanted to share because these cookies are simply the best if you like chocolate and mint, which we do--Andes Mint Cookies.  Sadly, I cannot claim they are my original recipe, I was just lucky enough to find them :)  They are the awesome Becky Higgins' recipe, and you can find the recipe here.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blue Jeans Week 4

Here's what's been happin' 'round here this week. . .
Sunday:  Mr J had to bring treats to school for snack Monday morning, so Sunday evening he told us what he wanted to make--heart shaped chocolate chip cookies.  He even told us how to do it, "Put the cookie cutter down and smash the dough into it and tap it down."  So that is exactly what we did, and they turned out yummy!
Monday:  Not only am I lucky enough to have a Girls' Night Out group, I also have Girls' Lunch Out group.  This is for the mom's whose kiddos are all in school during the day, so we get together once a month for lunch and usually shopping, but today they came to my house for lunch and sewing.  We made these cute pillowcases together.   Love my girlfriends!

Tuesday:  Is there a better way to do your home work than with your winter hat on, your PJ's on, and listening to your audio book on your MP3?  Miss E doesn't think so.  This is her usual homework spot and style.  This girl is all about the style, let me tell you.

Wednesday:  Off she goes into the wide-white yonder--another snow day (#5 for this year!), and Miss O enjoyed it outside!
Thursday:  Finally had a day of school so we could have our PTO Bingo night.  Me and the other awesome PTO moms donned our rubber gloves and dished up the chili and chili dogs.  It was a fun night!

Friday:  Miss E and Mr J enjoying the snow (or at least one of them in enjoying themselves, the other came in shortly after this crying for some reason :)

Saturday:  Big project due Monday for Miss O--a Colonial Fair project.  She spent all day finishing it, and it looked pretty awesome when she was done.  Way to go Miss O!  Hope you all had a good week!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Life is so fun at 5

Not to say that life isn't fun at any other age, but at 5 just about anything in life is fun, or can be made fun.  I love that attitude.
Even the covers off a pair of binoculars can be fun.

Really, really fun and extremely entertaining.

It is important to remember it is the little things in life that make it memorable and fun.  I need to take cues from my 5 year old more often.  Life is so fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Blue Jeans Week 3

What a week!  With the blizzard of 2011 we had 3 snow days, so lots of time at home--maybe too much for some of us :)
Sunday:  We celebrated Kansas Day.  We always make a sunflower cake to celebrate this day, and Saturday was technically Kansas Day, and we did make and decorate the cake then, but we didn't get around to eating it and officially celebrating until Sunday.  Some days are just too crazy.

Monday:  Another tradition we have at our house is our family Valentine's Box.  Ben, Mr J and Miss E work on our box for this year.  We make this as a family usually the first Monday night in February, but did it today on the last day of January.  Each of us takes a side to decorate and then during the days before Valentine's everyone in the family fills it with homemade cards, treats, and/or small prizes for each family member, then we open it together the evening of Valentine's Day.  The kids love this and can be caught often stuffing the cutest items in the box.   One year Miss E made 6 cards for each member of the family.  She was busy that year :)
Tuesday:  Snow Day #1, and Miss E still in her PJ's (which I think she stayed in all day) gets out the binoculars to check out the snowflakes coming down.  "Wow, Mom!  They are all different!"  That is an amazing thing to think about.  
Wednesday:  Snow Day #2.  We got the Valentine's Box all done.  Miss O did this side with Santa and his heart reindeer, and Santa has a balloon speech bubble that says "Happy Valentine's Day to all, and to all a good night!"  Love it! 
Thursday:  Snow Day #3.  Had to get out of the house today, so we made it to the store and bought new winter hats.  They were all on clearance now which is even better, so the kids modeled them on the snow hill in the front yard as they were working on 1 of 3 snow forts they have going on in different parts of the yard. 
Friday:  Finally had school today, but Miss O was home sick!  Not fun, but a routine Friday evening will have Dad reviewing the weeks' worth of papers brought home by 4 kids from school. (Normally about an inch thick of paper here each week!)   Miss E and Miss O watch while Dad reviews their graded papers. 
Saturday:  Time to start the school Valentines!  Mr J decided to do melted heart crayon Valentines.  I saw this in a Family Fun years and years ago, and every year since at least one of my kids has made these.  We never throw away any old or broken crayons here.  We always save them to use for melted heart crayon valentines. 

These are what the melted crayon hearts look like after coming of the the oven and cooling.  We attach them to a cut out red heart piece of paper and write on it "You Color my World" and on the back is where we put the "To" and "From."  So cute and super easy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Holiday Hangings

As some of you may know from past posts, I have a big beam in between my entry way and living room that I like to hang things from.  I have hung spiders and pumpkins for Halloween, just pumpkins for Thanksgiving, ornaments for Christmas, and Eggs for Easter.  I hang everything with clear fishing line.  Love that stuff!
This past week I took down my snowflakes for January--I love the blue ones.

And put up my hearts for February.

This is the view from the living room looking at them.  After Easter I get stuck on what to hang up for May, June, July, August, and September??  Usually nothing hangs down on those months, but my kids always ask, "what are you going to hang up now, Mom?"  Any suggestions?

Friday, February 4, 2011

A slight change in the weather

Talk about a slight change in the weather. . .
This was Saturday in our backyard, sunny, 65--beautiful!! 
This is Tuesday--3 days later--same backyard, blizzard, negative 15 with the windchill.  I have no idea what they are doing outside--their awesome Dad is with them, and snow forts obviously take precedence over any weather condition.  I took the picture from inside my 70 degree house with the fireplace roaring while I was drinking my hot chocolate.
 And this is after 3 days of no school because of said blizzard.  I think I am ready for a slight weather change back now :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Celebrating Where you Live

Okay, we are going on our 3rd no school day here because of the blizzard of 2011, but we are surviving!  Over the weekend we celebrated our great state's 150th birthday!  Happy Birthday Kansas!
This is a tradition we have had in our family for a long time.  We always celebrate Kansas Day by making a "sunflower" cake.  This year the kids also made lots of their own sunflowers and signs to decorate the house with. 
Do you celebrate the state you live in?  I think it is a great thing.  My kids always look forward to it.  After New Years they say, "Kansas Day is coming up!"  January just needs a holiday to look forward to :)

This year we also made these cute sunflower cupcakes to take to our neighbors.  We put Hershey's Kisses upside down for the middle.  Celebrate where you live.  Celebrate life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Blue Jeans Week 2

Sharing my picture a day for my scrapbooking Project Life.  Capturing our lives each day with one picture at a time. . .
Sunday--one of my bestest friends that moved was in town and visited me.  So nice to see her and visit.  Sure miss her!! 
Monday:  Family night game--Twister.  We got this game for a wedding gift 15 years ago (thanks Christie and Randy) and it has held up well :)  The kids love it! 

Tuesday:  Miss O's DARE Graduation for school.  Love their shirts!  She loved Officer Ford that came every week and taught them.  What a good program.

Wednesday:  For the last 2 years Miss O has been a part of the school's African Drumming Circle group.  Today they went and performed at a local nursing home.  I love it when they drum and sing.  They are very good.

Thursday:  The 100th day of school!  Mr J was so excited about this because for show-and-tell he got to bring 100 of something to share.  He took Hershey's Kisses-yum!  He made this cool hat and brought me a note with 100 kisses (x's) on it.  I love kindergarten!  So fun!

Friday:  We had a 65 degree day for January which is totally not normal, but we sure enjoyed it.  After school Mr J made a train track on the front porch and Miss E enjoyed the porch swing while reading.

Saturday:  Another 65 degree day that was sunny and beautiful!  We spent the day outside and in the afternoon played croquet.  Mr J loves that game and insists on having the orange ball and hitter.  Watch out!  It is better to stand far away from him when he hits :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  We were pretty spoiled with our 65 degree days, and now we are under a blizzard warning with 14 inches of snow predicted.  Ugh, I think I like the 65 degrees better :)  Happy February 1st!