Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feelin' the LOVE!

For some reason, I was really into Valentines Day this year. I don't know if it's because Mike and I are on a relationship "high" right now, or if I am just feeling really grateful for my boys and being a mom, or maybe some of both. Whatever it was, I really wanted to show my family how much they mean to me and make this Valentine's day something special. So to start off the morning, I left a few presents on the table that I knew my boys would love! The Star Wars Trilogy and some Valentine suckers. The balloons were for Miles because that is his favorite toy.

Mitchel and Max were thrilled. You just can't tell in this picture because I had just woken them up for school and it was 7:00 in the morning. We actually watched all three movies over the next two days.
At school that day, I gave my fifth graders some heart shaped brownies. I even got some valentine cards from some of my students.

Mason loved putting his name on all of his valentines to give to the kids as preschool. After school that day, Mason and his friend Hank, went through each of the cards in their boxes and told me who each one was from. They loved all the little treats they got too.

This was the only picture I could get of Miles holding still for more than two seconds. He was happy to have two of his favorite things, a sucker and a balloon.
Mitchel and Max of course came home from school that day also with a box full of valentines and treats. Yummy!

That night, I didn't make a "fancy" meal, but I at least set the table with some festive, heart plates and napkins. We then dined around the table on spaghetti and garlic bread. It was nice to actually serve the food from the table and have a normal family dinner. Afterwards, we ate my favorite valentine treat, a double cream lemon pie from Marie Calanders!
Mike gave me a hotel stay at The Little America that we will be using at the end of this month. My gift to him will go along with that night. Can't wait for that!!
So it was a great day to tell those that mean the most to me how much I love them. I truly am the luckiest wife and mom on the planet. My heart is full everyday of the love I have for my family. Luckily, one day out of the year I'm allowed to decorate in red and pink hearts and really let all that love goosh right on out!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday #34

This year my birthday happened to land on a Wednesday. Unfortunately, that didn't work out for me too well since I had school, meetings, and Young Women's that night. Fortunately, I was able to convince everyone to celebrate my birthday a day early with me on Tuesday. The fifth graders were going on a field trip to the symphony that morning, so I was able to take the day off work. I went to the gym, then came home and made an awesome birthday breakfast of homemade waffles before I sent all the kids out the door to school. I even still took Miles to the babysitter that morning. That left me with three hours to work on some YW stuff and go shopping, all by myself. After picking up Miles and Mason at noon, we met Mike at Super Salad for a birthday lunch.
That night, my parents, Mike's mom, my sister Tracy, my brother Steve and his wife Brenda, and my family all went to celebrate at "The Old Spaghetti Factory." This has been my favorite restaurant since I was a kid, and now my kids love it too. I was spoiled rotten with some fabulous gift cards that I can't wait to use.

The next day, on my "real" birthday, it was life back to normal. I even had to stay after school for an hour and a half meeting. Mike did get me a cake though, and that night before Young Women, I blew out the candles and made a wish. Then left while my boys devoured the cake.

We held our YW New Beginnings that night. Our theme was "Building on our Personal Progress." Our decorations were so cute and the girls did a great job. At the end they sang me a beautiful rendition of Happy Birthday. Thanks girls!

To end the night, I went home and read all 45 Facebook happy birthdays. That was awesome and totally made my day.
So I've made it to 34. I'm still closer to 30 than 40. I still feel like I'm in my 20's. I have an amazing life and I'm blessed with so many wonderful experiences and opportunities. I couldn't ask for anything more!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Little Scientists

One thing I love about my children is how curious they are and are always wanting to learn new things. Mike and I have tried to encourage this by giving them gifts on Christmas or their birthdays that will foster this love of learning. When I buy the gifts, I fully expect to be a supportive parent who is helping their child gain knowledge through hands on activities. Unfortunately, these projects are also messy and time consuming, so even though my little scientists have asked several times, "Can we build that volcano you got me for Christmas today?" or , "Would today be good to start making the bricks to build the castle you got me on my birthday?" somehow the answer always seemed to be, "It's too messy." or, "We don't have enough time today." But persistence payed off, and finally this last Friday, when we had nothing else to do, we broke out the Volcano making kit and the Medieval Castle making kit. I was right, they were both messy and took a lot of time, but it was well worth it. My boys had a blast making them and they worked so well together on both projects. I was really proud of them.

This is the volcano exploding. Mix some colored vinegar and baking soda together and low and behold, you have lava coming right out of the volcano!

To build this castle, first the kids had to make the bricks. This required mixing some "cement" and pouring it into a mold that made about 25 small bricks. Then they had to wait about a half and hour for it to dry before they could take the bricks out of the mold and make some more. The castle requires over 500 bricks, so you can imagine how long this process took. In the above photo, Mitchel and Max were finally starting to glue the bricks together. They got the entire first tower made, only to find a few hours later that they didn't use enough glue and the whole thing fell apart. By then I was sick of the whole mess sitting on my counter, so I boxed it all up. The castle construction will have to wait for another day.
I do love though how much my children love to learn. They read everything they can get their hands on. They want to know the "why" and "how" of everything. They rarely complain about doing homework and actually seem to enjoy it. Mitchel's favorite is Science. He will come home from school and teach us everything he is learning in class. He seems to remember every detail. Max loves reading and writing. He has made several books of his own that are actually quite clever and funny. He is a great writer and speller. Mason is starting to get into it all too and is a whiz at Math and is great with sounds. I love how smart they all are! If there is one thing I have done right as a mom, it's reading to my kids and helping to foster a love of reading, books, and learning. It is totally paying off! Hopefully Miles will follow in his brother's footsteps.