Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Going for the Gold in Mom Sports



While I am sitting here watching the Olympics and admiring all of the athletic feats, I realized that us moms actually participate in many mom sports of our own.   As a mom of older kids, I found most of my sports  to be Track and Field in nature.  

HURDLES

I  pretty much do hurdles on a daily basis when I  jump over all the shoes, coats and backpacks that don't seem to make it farther than the hallway by the front door.   The hurdles are much more abundant  during the school year.


SPRINTS


Almost every day during the school year, I participate in sprints with one of my children.   This particular child tends to move in slow motion in the morning. (well,  actually all the time)   One of their siblings has to be dropped off at  school nearby about 15 minutes before this particular  child needs to catch the school bus.  While I do the drop off with their sibling, this child is supposed to finish their breakfast and put on their shoes.  Pretty much every single morning, I have to leave the car running rush them to the car and down the street to the bus stop just  as the bus is coming down the road.

THE 5 MILE RUN


I don't know about you, but several times during the school year it happens a least a handful of times.  Two of the kids will need to be at a different location  at the exact same time, several miles apart.  It has happened with school events, dance  lessons, Awanas,  and more.  It also often happens that one child will have more than one thing occurring on the same evening, back to back to back.  It is great when we can divide and concur, which is what we had to do every single Wednesday with our daughters this past year, but that is not always possible.  On the days when I have to do it all, I just do the best I can and go through the drive thru for dinner.  

WEIGHTLIFTING 


I don't know how it happens, but it always does.  When out with my kids, I somehow end up holding all of the backpacks, coats and other misc. items my kids may have.  I don't know how many times I have actually said.. "I am NOT a coat rack!"

MARATHON 


Pretty much all moms participate in the marathon.  How many times are there days when you do 3 loads of laundry, wash dishes, get the kids off to school, blog, attempt to do housework, volunteer at school, go to the grocery store, run to dance lessons, make dinner, help with homework, get the kids to bed and collapse in bed 18 hours after you started the day.  While what you do during the day might change slightly, but at then end of the day you feel like you have been on the go the entire day.  

While I am sure there are more sports I participate in, these were the first ones that came to mind.    What types of mom sports do you participate in?  



Monday, July 30, 2012

End of the Month Offers

It's the end of another month again. Time is sure flying by! Because it is the end of the month, it means that it is also the last chance for many of great coupons and offers.    Here are some really good ones that you might not want to miss.
Have you printed your  July coupons yet?  Many coupons of the coupons available now will disappear and will no longer be available on the 1st of the month.   If you see some that you want, you will want to print them now.





Another  offer that is going on now is Nielsen Home Scan. They are accepting new members to become part of their panel.   This a great way panel to join to be heard and earn rewards.




Today is the last day to get your customized York photo bags for only $1.   Plus if you are new to York photo you get 40 free prints!  If you have not yet printed your 4th of July or other summer prints this is a great opportunity to do so for free!  Use the code YORKTOTEAD





Friday, July 27, 2012

Dare to Share # 18

It is Friday night, which means it is Dare to Share time.   Once again we had a very busy week here.



We had a fun time at Kara's Woodland Party.   You can see all of the pictures and what we did here at Our Woodland Party

A few days after that, we  had a very early morning at the train station to say good bye to grandma.  She was heading back  home after a 9 day visit.  You can read about it at Earl Mornings are for Birds and Trains.  I don't think we will be up that early again for a long time.  


We also  spent a few days this week at the county fair.  Kara was thrilled when she got to hold a monkey.  More fun pictures about our adventure are in the post Fun at the Fair.


Today was the first day in awhile we just had a quiet day at home.  Part of the reason why is because it was pouring out most of the day.  We did not mind a bit though, because the rain was very much needed!  We have had drought like conditions most of the summer.  I also love that the temps were not in the 90s today, and I could turn the air conditioner off.  We just got an electric bill that was almost $300 because of  the constant use of the air conditioner.  Ouch!!

What kinds of things do you have to share this week?

I don't have a lot of rules.  You can link up anything that you would like to share.  
There is not a limit in the amount of things you can link up.

I only ask that you become a follower and post my button somewhere on your blog.

It's now time to have party. Link up and HAVE FUN!

Fun at the Fair


This week is our county fair.   We spent two days at the fair enjoying all that it has to offer.    


We always  try to go on the first day of the fair, because admission is free until 4 p.m.   The midway opens later in the day, so it is the perfect day to see all the exhibits and animals .   Kara loved the horse barn, and was thrilled when she told by the owner that she could pet her horse.


Feeding the animals at Barnyard Express



This little guy really wanted to see Kara.



You can't see the bottle, but she was feeding one of the baby animals some milk.


An elephant ear, the was about the size of a real baby elephant ear. It was HUGE, and took 3 of us to eat it.


Yesterday, on our trip back  she got to feed even more animals! Here she is feeding a week old piglet.

Sweet baby calf


Yesterday's visit  was not all about the animals though.  She spent hours riding all the midway rides with a friend. While the arm band was a bit pricey at $20, she got her moneys worth.  They rode all of the rides numerous times.   She is way up in the sky on this ride.


What an attitude!!

Do you see anything unusual about this picture?  There is something really cool if you can find it..


Look what I caught in midair on camera!  This was at the lumberjack show, and they were showing one of their professional  competitions which is ax throwing.  I was glad to be a very safe distance way during this part of the show.




A few more of the rides  

Kara's favorite part of the fair!  If you gave this monkey  a coin, he would tip his hat to say thank you.  Kara came back so many times during the two days she was at the fair, the owner gave her a special treat.  She allowed Kara to hold the monkey.  Kara  was so happy.  She told me she was "scarred by his cuteness, but in a good way".  I am not sure what that means, but it sounds cute.


What a great time at the fair!


Survive in the Woods Trail Mix



As I am sitting here eating some of the leftover trail mix from our Woodland party, I realized that I did not yet post what I mixed in it.


Everything in our "Survive in the Woods" trail mix has a meaning behind it.

Chocolate mint marshmallows: stones
Pretzel sticks: sticks
Gummy Bears: Bears who live in the woods
 Cherry Craisins: berries found in the woods
Peanuts: while not found in the woods, reminds me of nature food you would eat in the woods
M & Ms: okay, maybe not everything has a special woods meaning. The M & Ms  were added because everyone loves them, and they taste great in trail mix.


What we ended up with was the perfect mix of sweet and salty, and sugary and healthy, which to me is the perfect snack.  Hopefully no one who eats this will ever be stranded in the woods!






Thursday, July 26, 2012

July BlogLovin Blog Hop

I am one of the  cohosts this month with Jenny of the The NY Melrose Family,   and her July  BlogLovin Blog Hop.  I am still relatively new to BlogLovin, but  I really like what I  have seen so far.   When Jenny asked if anyone wanted to cohost, I told  her I would love to because it a great way to follow many of my favorite blogs.


Now a few words from Jenny!



If you're looking for Whimsy Wednesdays you can find it here.

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I am super excited to be hosting a Bloglovin' Blog Hop with Cari and Courtnee from Two Sasters, Amy from While Wearing Heels, Pam from Pam's Party Planning & Practical Tips,  Kristy from Cup of Jo, Carrie from My Favorite Finds,  Megan from Our Pinteresting Family, Barb from Second Chance to Dream, Jacqueline from The Detox Diva and Megan from Shaping Up to be a Mom for the month of July. 
What's Bloglovin' you ask?  Well, only the greatest way to keep track of the blogs that you love.  With the discontinuation of Google Friends Connect, I decided that I needed to find another way to keep up with all of my favorite blogs that are not hosted by blogger.  I signed up for Linky Followers and I've had great success with gaining new followers, but I’m finding I don’t get any traffic to my site from Linky.  I also do not enjoy reading my favorite blogs from there.  I stumbled upon Bloglovin' and I am in love!  It is very similar to Google Reader, in that you can see the beginning of the post and the first picture attached to the post.  Plus, Bloglovin' automatically updates your posts, unlike Linky Followers, which you have to manually update each time you write a new post.  I don't know about you, but I just don't have the time to do that every time.  Another added bonus is there is a Bloglovin' application for IPhone and Android devices.  Woohoo!  Like I don't spend enough time reading blogs.  Now it's a simple touch.  Love it!


***These are the complete instructions for sign up, so skip to the rules if you already have Bloglovin'***
In order to participate in this hop you need to sign up for Bloglovin’.  Go to Bloglovin'.   Hit the green sign up button in the right hand corner.  Next enter an email address and create your password.  You will get a confirmation eamil that you will need to follow a link back to Bloglovin' to continue the process.  Once you click on the link you will be brought to a page where it says to choose blogs to follow.  You don't need to do this.  Click next in the bottom right hand corner.  The next screen let’s you know about the mobile app so just click next again.  This screen will show that you are not following any blogs.  Click on Account in the upper right hand corner and toggle down to widget.  Choose the widget you want displayed on your page.  Put your url into the search query and it should pull up your site.  Click on your site and it will say display this icon.  The next page should bring you to a screen that has you display it into your layout.   Once you hit publish you’re done!  If you view your blog you should see the icon and now your followers can add you to their Bloglovin’ feed.  Seriously, so simple.  So let’s get to the blog hop.  This is a party so make sure to have some fun and mingle.


 There’s only a couple of rules:
2.      Add Bloglovin' to your blog.
3.      Post our button for the blog hop on your page to promote the fun.




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If you're interested in co-hosting next month shoot me an email at russej10@gmail.com.  I also have some sponsor spots still available for August, which you can find here.  Alright, so let's have some fun and mingle!  Please link up your bloglovin profile.




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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Early Mornings are for the Birds and Trains


Remember last week when I posted about how grandma's  train was almost 2 hours late, and we didn't get home until 2 a.m.   We would not have minded if today's train was late, since she had a 5:55 a.m. check in time!   She was leaving from a train station about an hour from our house, and  we knew it was be really hard to get up and leave by 4:30 a.m. for the hour drive. We opted to spend the night at a motel near the station, so we would not miss the train.  We all tried to get to sleep at a decent time, but as you know it is often hard to sleep when you need to.  When the 5 a.m wake up call came early at 4:55 a.m (ugh!) I was not really a rested, happy camper.   I don't think any of us had more than 4 hours of sleep last night.  We got to the station right on time to check in her bags.  We had hoped the train  might be a little bit late, so we would have some  time to talk and say our goodbyes.  That was not to be..  The early morning train was right on time!  We only had a few minutes to take a couple quick pictures and have a few hugs, because it was time to board. She was boarding the train by 6:05 a.m. so this visit to the Toledo train station was extremely short compared to the 3 hours we were there the last time.  We decided to wait just a bit, in case there were any problems. There wasn't, so we were right there waving goodbye when the train left the station at 6:25 a.m.  We are not sure if she saw us waving, but we  hope she did!   

We had an hour drive back home, so we stopped for breakfast at McDonalds. It's a special treat to eat a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle.   We also got to see probably the only summer sunrise we are going to see for quite awhile.  We are all night owls who like to sleep in during the summer, so a sunrise is a rare sight.  We were back home by 8:15 a.m, which is earlier than we normally get up on a summer morning. I took a nap, because I was so tired I could not keep my eyes open, but now my  daily schedule is all out of whack. Hopefully I will get back on track in a day or so.


We had  a great visit, and miss her already!    

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Woodland Party


A few weeks ago, Kara got her new buddy Silver.  She has always had a great love for woodland animals.  Last Halloween she even  had me make her a fox costume.  When I asked her what she would like for her theme this year, she said definitely a Woodland Animal Party.

She invited 7 friends, and 6 of them were able to attend.  Her older sister had a few friends stop by as well.   Decorating for the party was a lot of fun.   Earlier in the week, she made her moss letters and we added them to the dessert table.

This was not my original plan for the decor.  I originally hung 2 of the red paper lanterns and the 2 owl lanterns over the table.  I also designed a cardboard tree that I was going to use as a part of the backdrop.  Things did not go as planned though.  I messed up when measuring  the tree.  I needed it to be about 6 feet tall, but when I brought it in the house I realized it was 2-3 feet too tall. I forgot to compensate for the length of the branches. There was also  not a good way to attach the tree and get it to stand up, so we had to come up with plan B.   The tape on the lanterns would not stick to the ceiling, and when  one fell for the third time, I decided not to rehang them. I also had trouble with the green panel on the right. For whatever reason it did not want to stay put and fell to the ground several times. While I love the fabric I bought from IKEA, it was kind of slippery to work with.    I used a real branch from a tree that had been removed a few weeks ago instead.  Even though this set up was plan B, I really liked it.

After all the girls arrived, they went on the deck to paint birdhouses that we found at JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts.



We had set up several outdoor games in the backyard, but once again it was pretty hot.  Instead of being in the high 90s like last year, it was in the high 80s.  Instead of playing games like badminton, the girls mostly all sat under our canopy on the log stools that I had placed there. I had planned on painting woodland animals on them, but ran out of time. Oh well, I can still do that at a later time.

Each of the girls posed with their favorite woodland animal by the cardboard tree. It was so big that it fell twice before we took the pictures, but it got the job done.

We played Pin the Nose on the Fox game that this year Kara designed.  The only girl who I am pretty sure cheated this year was Kara.  She is the only one who got the nose almost exactly where it needed to be..Hmmm.

It was then time for food.  I was a little bummed about the cupcakes.  I had planned on piping on the quills to each of the cupcakes.  In the end I was  so pressed for time, and could not find my piping bags, so I just used two colors of frosting and some mini chips for the face.  The kids loved them just the same as they would had I spent a lot more time adding quills on them.  Either way they were delicious!

On the main table, I had another hedgehog watermelon.  I am glad that I had made a practice version, because I had to whip this one out  just a few minutes before the party.

In the big bowl was Survive in the Woods Trail Mix (recipe will be posted soon) and chocolate dipped strawberries.


There were little cups of pond jello, that were a big hit.


The kids also loved the smores pops and chocolate acorns.



Not pictured, we also had orange fruit cups, and pinwheel pizza snails.  I  had made some cheese/tomato mushrooms, that were forgotten in the fridge.. Ooops!.    In the pitchers on the kitchen  table, were ice water and orange sherbet punch.    While the girls were outside, they also had access to Capri Sun.

Blowing out the candles.. It is hard to put 11 candles on a cupcake, so she chose to use only 2.


In order to save on the number of paper cups used, I gave each of the guests their own jar marked with their name for drinking glasses.  It fit in nicely with theme, and not once was there a mix up on whose cup belonged to who.

There were a few added touches around the house, that helped with the theme. I made the mushroom just by using a green planter and a dollar store moss form upside down.

When it was time to go, each guest got to take an owl goody bag  from the owls nest.

Overall the party was a success, and Kara and her friends had fun.  That is what really counts!!!  I was a bit bummed when after the party I realized I forgot to take a group shot of the girls.  I did get pictures of each of them on their own, so at least I have that.  Another year, and we survived another party.

I will be linking up Kara's Woodland Party on these blogs HERE! Be sure to check them out.

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