Friday, May 31, 2013

Madelyn's celebration

Today Madelyn had a little celebration in her classroom. She showed us a lot of her best work through the year. I can't believe 3rd grade has nearly come and gone. When I look back on my childhood, 3rd grade is where my memory really begins as far as the day to day things I did as a child. I still remember my friends names and faces and my school and teachers. I hope this year will be as memorable for her!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Swim Team

Madelyn and Adam started their Summer Swim Team on Tuesday (2 days ago). They are both so excited. They have lots of friends there at swimming and they are having a great time! Julianne and Catherine continue to swim on their year round team. The fun thing is that for swimmers that don't have A times (like my girls) they put together a pseudo summer swim team that gets to participate in the summer league meets with the other 2 kids. That way they have the "summer" team experience but continue with their coaches in their year round team.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Just a little yard work

Today, I was really going to do the laundry. There is lots of it. Lots and Lots and Lots of it. So when it worked out for me to go to a friend's home and grab a few irises that she was thinning out of her yard I jumped at the chance to avoid laundry for a little while. Her yard was beautiful and she generously gave me a few mexican petunias and some cana lillies as well as 40 or so irises. I came right home and got to work. I planted everything. Then I noticed how desperately the bushes needed trimming. So I did that too. And then, remembering that my friend said she had just trimmed back her roses, I decided I'd better trim those too. And then, I thought about the 2 large flower beds filled with daffodils that is about to be replanted by our landscaper and decided I ought to save those flowers by digging them up and replanting them too. And then it was 4:00 p.m. and the yard looks great. And the laundry is still there. And now I am blogging to avoid doing laundry. I think I have a problem.

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And the kids played Life while I worked.

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And then we watched the storm roll in.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cooking with Camille

Tuesdays are fast becoming my favorite day. Today we cooked

1. clam chowder
2. linguini with 2 sauces
3. chicken fajitas
4. chicken curry

Then Madelyn and Adam had their first day of swim team. I took no photos. I will certainly remedy that soon.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day -- exhaustion

We had a great holiday. We swam and played and welcomed in summer. The only proof I have is this though.

4 of 5 kids in bed means the day was a success!!!!  They played and played hard!!!!!

4 of 5 kids in bed at 8:20 p.m. means the day was a success!!!! They played and played hard!!!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bedtime stories

This is my favorite activity to do with my kids. I love watching them fall in love with books.

Bedtime stories

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stuck at anthropolgie in a rain storm

Saturday's are returning back to a calm relaxing day. We did a few things around the house. Went to costco. Went shopping at town square and got stuck in Anthropologie during a big rain storm. I love looking around that storm. I saw this journal and fell in love with it. I didn't buy it yet. I'm trying to wrap my head around doing this with 5 kids every day for 3 years.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013


I wish this time of night could last forever. And I can't wait for school to be out so that I don't have to rush the end of a nice evening like this thinking -- hurry kids, it's a school night!

Twilight. My favorite time of night.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cooking with Camille

It sounds like a TV show, but it is even better. Every Tuesday for the last month, my friend Camille and I have met at the grocery store, quickly shopped, gone to one of our homes and then cooked 2 meals a piece (but double of each). We are usually done by 11:00 and then have lunch and leave with 4 complete meals. We cook everything, even some of the side dishes, and then put them into the fridge so they only need warming up. It is LIFE CHANGING!!!! We started the first week just doing one meal a piece and then quickly realized that we could easily do 2 each.

the first week we did

1. Ground Turkey mini-meatloafs (baked in a muffin tin)
2. Chicken pillows (chicken filled crescent rolls)

the second week we did

3. southwest egg rolls (ground turkey, corn and salsa mix in rolled tortillas and baked)
4. grilled chicken pasta salad
5. Sweet and sour ground turkey meatballs over rice
6. sloppy joes

the third week we did

7. chicken divan and rice
8. spaghetti and meat marinara sauce
9. Chicken noodle soup
10. poppy seed chicken

this week we did

11. french dip (which she cooked in the crock pot the night before so it was ready to shred and prepare during our cooking time)
12. chicken, mushroom, spinach enchiladas
13. Cafe Rio sweet pork burritos (which I did in the crock pot the night before too!)
14. Cheese, shredded sweet pork quesadillas or salads (since there was enough of the sweet pork for 2 or 3 meals)

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The minute the kids are home from school I add a few veggies and serve them dinner. There is no cleanup really since it was all prepared earlier in the week. 4 meals turns out to be the perfect number for the week. I love doing this. It is not very complicated and doesn't require a whole lot of plan ahead. We meet at the store and then share our lists and buy the stuff. While cooking we chat and have a great time. You can each see exactly what the other is doing so that if you need to customize it for your family you can. Camille and I have similar sized families and kids the same age which also makes this work well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado Alley

After the crazy tornado in Moore, OK everyone is a little on the edge about severe weather. Dallas is no stranger to tornadoes or severe storms. Here is a look at the Dallas area for the past 60 years.

In the past 62 years, 775 tornadoes have been close to our house (the blue dot). So if I didn't have nightmares before, I will now!!! #americanredcrosstornadoapp

These storms fly through here quickly. I happened to be out when Julianne texted me and asked if I was going to pick her up from school and I thought, sure I could quickly go grab all the kids and then just be home for the storm. I pulled into Julianne's school about 1:45. Based on the radar the storm would be here at 2:15. It took 25 min for me to wait in line with all the parents, wait for them to call her and wait for her to gather her stuff and then come. By then it was pouring. I drove straight home and didn't get the other kids. By 2:45 the storm was completely passed and the other kids all were dismissed and came home in nice weather. Lesson learned. Unless you have a lot of time, you are probably safer leaving your kids at school than risking driving through the storm.

Here is a look at the storm heading towards Downtown Dallas, after it has passed us. It was a pretty finite line of clouds.

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And here is how we kept Owen busy during the storm.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

The Band concert -- Julianne's band

Julianne had her end of year band concert tonight. I only brought Owen and the other kids stayed home. Owen fell asleep on the way and slept through the whole thing. That means he was super well behaved.

@juliannehandy 's band concert. Owen fell asleep. He'll either be up all night or stay asleep for the night. Place your bets now!

Here is a snippet of the band

Unfortunately Owen woke up and got a second wind. Here he is at 10:00, going strong!

It's 9:45 pm and he's still going strong!!!! #upallnight

And here is a random selfie of Julianne I found on my iphone.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Driving home to Dallas

We said good bye to Baba and Tyler and started the drive home.

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We set a record. No stopping. Not driving to Houston and not driving home. You'd have thought I hadn't let my kids drink anything for weeks. Somehow we made it. 4 hours, twice, door to door.

Welcome to Dallas. I'm ready to get out of the car after quick trip to Houston.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Wedding of Craig L. Hanis and Sally S. Theodosis

It was a beautiful day. The couple was beautiful! They are now happily honeymooning in Hawaii!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday night pre-wedding dinner

Sally's (identical twin) sister threw a nice dinner party for all the families to meet and mingle on Friday night. It was so enjoyable to finally meet the people we have been hearing about for some time now.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Madelyn at Bat

Madelyn's team is undefeated. This is their last playoff game before the championship. She has really improved and has had an uncanny ability to always get on base. Here are her % this year.

At Bats
Home Runs
Total Bases
Slugging Percentage

Here are her 4 at bats tonight.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I "misjudged" how close I was to a brick house. #stupidme #thebrickswerefine #cuzijustlovedealingwithcraplikethis

Seriously, I wish there was a do-over for this one. I knew I was close. I was backing up and turned my mirror way down low to watch. I didn't look to notice the brick bump out on a friend's house about 2 feet up. So while I knew my tire and the back of the car had cleared it by about 2 inches -- I didn't think about the 6 inch bump out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Dress for the wedding and the wedding project

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I've been looking for a dress to go with the torquoise shoes (which I have had for a long time). Also, it all goes with my mother's and grandmother's ring which is now mine.

And then the sign I made using my silhouette. That is wood looking tile that is 6x24.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday -- a real "mother" of a day

The laundry was piled high.

The sun has set on "mother's day" and risen on a REAL Mother's Day.  #wishingforalaundryfairy

I did it ALL day.

There were 2 softball games tonight. Owen came along and cheered Catherine and Madelyn.

Two playoff games tonight. Owen is chillin'.

Then I finished my mother's day puzzle.

Just parts of the finally finished 1000 piece puzzle I got for Mother's Day. It is an awesome puzzle. Pieces are transparent hard plastic. #ilovepuzzles

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's day

I wish I had the energy to put into words some of my thoughts, but reality is that mothering is hard work. I give all day and there is truthfully very little leftover for me to do silly things like write down my feelings. Just know that I do have some. And even some deep thoughts. In summary, I miss my mom so very much. I love being a mom to my 5 sweet (and occasionally sour) kids. I have a great mother-in-law. I love my sisters who "mother" my children with me. I have great friends who help me sort through the day to day as they too try hard to succeed at this challenging role. I love my grandma, "Baba" she is a great role model and listening ear.

I have posted them before, but here are 2 videos I made about my mom.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Learning to ride a bike

Learning to ride a bike is an interesting thing. It is truly almost entirely a mental exercise. I remember well trying day after day with Julianne and she just could not get it. I began to wonder if she would ever learn how to ride. And then one day, her friend Hannah learned to ride and just like that, Julianne came home and was riding 5 minutes later. Imagine my shock when Catherine who was 3 1/2 at the time also learned how not 20 minutes after Julianne. Madelyn learned to ride (it was uneventful) and now we are at Adam. I have tried. and tried. and tried. He was just absolutely paralyzed with fear. He rode great with training wheels but the second they were off, he was crying. I began to think, "this boy will NEVER learn how to ride a bike". On Saturday with Trent outside I suggested that he try yet again. (after all, it is nearing the end of kindergarten and I kind of use that as a deadline for this particular skill). This time was so different. As I was removing the training wheels, Adam told me all about Harrison (a neighbor and kid in his class) and how he can ride a bike. We headed into the street and . . . he pushed off the ground twice, started pedaling and went all the way around the block. He hasn't stopped since. I am clearly the BEST bike instructor in the world.

Thank you peer pressure. I may never say that again!

Best Mother's Day present? Adam learned to ride his bike without training wheels.

Friday, May 10, 2013

We knew what we needed to get for Yaya Sally

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She loves icecream.

Those silly lovebirds . . . always snoozing on the couch!

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or the car

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Madelyn as a wax statue of Queen Elizabeth

Madelyn's class did a living wax museum today and it was really quite a fun activity. The kids all dressed up like a person whose biography they had read. Madelyn was a beautiful queen!

Madelyn as Queen Elizabeth. It's a living wax museum at school today.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Owen is getting more and more independent

He dresses himself. He feeds himself. He wants to choose his own clothes. He thinks he can do everything his brother and sisters do. Today, he wanted to swim. So, he got dressed all by himself. Nevermind that it is inside out and backwards -- those are trivial details.

Yes he dressed himself to go swimming. #insideoutandbackwards