Monday, February 21, 2011

Watch Out...Martha Stewart!!

As most people know, I am lacking certain skills in the domestic area and always thought that Martha Stewart didn't need to worry about me competing with her as the domestic goddess of the world. However, the past few days. Martha may have to watch out ( not really, but that makes this blog post a little more exciting if I say that.) :-)

First of all, I have actually cooked dinner for my family 3 nights in a row. I mean actually cooking from a recipe...not leftovers, heating up something frozen or eating out. I know this is not a big deal for many people, but it is huge in my world. The even more impressive thing is that it all tasted good...AMAZING!! :-)

Secondly, I decided that I wanted to have Anna help me make thank you notes for her recent birthday party. I have NO IDEA why I decided that because I am NOT a card maker. I have tried to make them and been to tons of Stampin' Up parties and workshops and have never really been happy with the results of what I made. I must have had a case of temporary insanity or something in deciding to do this. :-) Anyway...Anna really enjoys finger painting with her Color Wonder Paints (as a side note...whoever created Color Wonder is a GENIUS!!) So, I decided that we would use some of her masterpieces to create the cards. Since we had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party, I decided to cut out Mickey Heads from her paintings (although I am not longer in the running for Mother of the Year, I did all the cutting since giving a a pair of sharp scissors to a 2 year old probably isn't the greatest idea.) :-) After that, I printed the words for the cards on the computer. Then I had Anna help fold the card stock and then glue the pieces on the cards. These cards cost me nothing since they were made from items that I already had in the house. Overall, I think they turned out to be pretty cute and the beauty of it is that I can say that they were made by a 2 year old if anyone doesn't like them. :-) Here is a photo of the finished product:

So, I have the cooking and crafts I just need to move on the cleaning part. On second thought, I bet Martha pays someone to clean her house. Maybe I should consider the same!! :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Definitely Disqualified

Well friends, it is official....I have most certainly been disqualified from winning "Mother of the Year." I am incredibly disappointed because I had visions of standing in front of my adoring fans in a size 2 designer dress (don't laugh..this is my dream.) :-) I pictured myself sharing my acceptance speech that started with "I'd like to thank the academy..." while being flanked by celebrities like Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman.

Even when great friends like Heather N. said things like "I am not going to win Mother of the Year, but neither are you" as a form of encouragement, I politely nodded. However, I secretly knew that I was destined to win this prize.

If you look at the facts, it is obvious that I was a serious contender. Here are just a few of the reasons that I thought I had it in the bag:
  • I took Anna to Disney World for her first birthday.
  • I have all of her scrapbooks up to date.
  • And although my house isn't always the cleanest, I was spending the time I should be cleaning with Anna making crafty birthday thank you notes or reading books (that or spending time on Facebook...where I most certainly was gaining valuable parenting skills.) :-)

However, that dream was shattered today at around 4:45 PM. I entered the kitchen to start cooking dinner (an accomplishment in and of itself.) I usually bring Anna into the kitchen when I cook dinner and have her help or play with her toy kitchen set, but she was finishing the rest of a DVR'd episode of Sesame Street (DVRing educational TV...another reason I should have had the Mother of the Year Award in the bag.) I decided to let her finish figuring she would be OK for the few minutes it took to finish receiving words of wisdom from Elmo. While in the kitchen, I heard a loud thud and then screaming. I ran into the living room to find Anna on the floor in front of the couch. I am guessing that since Mommy and Daddy weren't in the room she decided that it was the perfect time to jump on the couch and ended up falling and face planting. She had a bloody lip, swollen nose and a red mark on the forehead. Once the bleeding was stopped and we were certain that we didn't need to take a trip to the ER, I sent Mark to the store for popsicles since she would not put ice packs on the injured areas and figured that was the next best thing and would at least help with swelling on her lips. Like any good mom, I fed her chocolate and fruit snacks while we waited for the popsicles (because it is never to early to learn that certain foods always make you feel better.) :-) Anna was fine the rest of the evening, but I think she will have some interesting marks in the morning.

However, since I left her unattended and she got hurt, I am guessing my chances of being Mother of the Year are no more. Maybe it is time I give up that dream and start aspiring to something else....maybe a TONY Award. My tap teacher told me I looked like a real dancer the other night after I fell while dancing and had several bruises on my knee and elbows. I think that was her subtle way of telling me that I should move on to bigger and better things. :-) I come!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Relaxing Friday

I am pretty excited for this weekend. Anna is turning 2 on Tuesday, so we are having a party for her tomorrow. I thought that my day today would be filled with cleaning and prepping for the party, but thanks to the snowstorm and things being cancelled we were able to get most of that done already. That means a relaxing Friday (until our overnight houseguests arrive a little later today.) I am thinking that I am going spend some of the time reading once Anna goes down for her nap. I love to read, but don't often get a lot of time to do it. I am trying to make a more conscious effort read in my spare time as opposed to messing around on Facebook, watching TV, or playing "Angry Birds"on my phone (my latest addiction.) :-) So far in 2011, I have read 7 books and am in the process of reading 4 others. (I know...4 at one time is weird, but they serve different purposes and it depends upon my mood which one I want to read.). I am considering getting a Kindle or some other e-reader, but still not sure. I like the idea of having all my books in one compact little device. However, I am a fan of getting books from the library rather than buying them and I know that is not possible with a Kindle (at least for now.) I would love to hear feedback from people who use an e-reader. are some of my favorites so far:

ROOM by Emma Donoghue

This was a book that I could not put down. It is the story written from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who has lived his entire life in a 12 x 12 room because his mother was kidnapped and held captive for many years (similar to the Jaycee Dugard story). He only knows life inside this room. It is a compelling story about the things his mother does to make life good for him and his adjustment to the real world once they escape. In some ways it reminded me of the movie called, "Life is Beautiful" where a father tries to protect his child from the horrors of life in a concentration camp during WWII. I usually have a difficult time reading books that involve abduction or violence against children or young women, but this one didn't seem to affect me as badly as others that I have read involving these topics. It was a compelling story and one that I kept thinking about for days after reading it.


This is a hilarious book! It is based upon Jonathan Acuff's blog based of the same title. If you are a Christian who gets offended easily, I would not read it. However, if you can laugh at yourself as a Christian, it is a great read. I love his sarcasm and humor intermixed with the ability to make a point. Great read and a great laugh!!


This is my 3rd time reading the Harry Potter Series. I don't know what it is about Harry Potter but I can read them over and over again. There are very few books that I want to read more than once. Actually there only 2 that come to mind right now: "The Bible" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Anyway, back in September, I decided that I would try to re-read the entire series before the movie of the Deathly Hallows came out in December. Obviously, I haven't accomplished that goal, but I haven't seen the movie yet either. :-) Maybe I will finish the series before The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 comes out this summer. This is one of my least favorite Harry Potter books. I think partly because Sirius Black dies in this book (Sorry if I spoiled it for anyone, but the books and movies have been out for you had your chance to find out on your own.) :-) I also think it is not my favorite because things begin to get darker in this book without any resolution. I still enjoyed it and love my Harry Potter.

I actually know the author of this book so when I found out that he had written a book, I ordered it. (As a side note, if you ever write a book count on at least one sale because I will purchase it.) :-) I received it in the mail yesterday and thought that I would put on my pile of books that I will read at some point. However, I did read the first couple pages and I was hooked. I finished last night (sacrificing watching "The Office"...thank goodness for DVR's, right?) :-) Anyway, in this book Chris tells his personal story of suffering when he tragically lost his parents in his freshman year of college along with telling the biblical story of Jeremiah (which is also a story of suffering.) He has many great points about suffering, but my favorite quote of the book was at the end of a chapter when he talked about how different people supported him during his time of grieving. "I had always been told that God put on flesh two thousand years ago as a Middle Eastern Jew, but in my darkest moments of despair it seemed that God put on flesh again and again in many different faces and names." I thought this was a beautiful quote and a great reminder that I need to be "BE JESUS" to people who are suffering around me. There were also many personal applications for me (that I will not go into here) because of the experiences we have had in losing Mark's Mom, Brother and my Dad over the course of the past couple years.
Well..those are my favorites over the past few weeks. How about you? I always love to hear book suggestions.