Life as we know told by Heather

Friday, February 25, 2011

Valentine's Weekend

Yes, I realize that Valentine's Day is only on the 14th, but it fell on a Monday so we celebrated for two days since we had family time on Sunday. After playing in the snow the kids came in to warm up with some hot chocolate. They didn't know I had heart-shaped marshmallows for it, so they were pretty excited.

For dinner I decided to have a diner theme and serve chili cheese hot dogs (nitrite and nitrate free for those of you who know I try not to serve my kids processed meat), homemade french fries and red Crush in the bottles. My secret sister from church gave me some festive plates and napkins for the occasion so it made setting the table cute and easy, I just added my own red chargers and special touches.

Jason's uncle Roy and aunt Mona got us these soda glasses from our wedding registry years ago. I don't use them often because they're not practical for every day, but I love them and they come in handy for special times, so I'm really glad that we have them. I thought they would be perfect to serve french fries in for my diner theme, but I quickly realized it would take a LOT of fries to make them stick out of the top like I wanted and a) I wasn't cutting up any more potatoes and b) that's way too many fries, especially for the kids.

And it just wouldn't be a party without dessert, would it? I had a chocolate covered strawberry for everyone's place serving and then I had a dessert plate on the table.

I made Jason and the kids a card from a tutorial I saw online. It had pictures of us together from throughout the year and it folds up to look like a gift tag. They were really fun to make and all the supplies I already had, so they didn't cost me a dime.

I also used my supply stash to decorate some straws for our bottled pop. To my shock and excitement, the kids aren't big fans of red pop. Awesome, since they don't need to be drinking it anyway, but now I know they won't start asking for it now that I let them taste it.

Jordis gave up on the straw for some reason.

It was a fun evening together.

On Valentine's Day I started the kids off with some heart shaped waffles and we had some fun cookies for lunch. Xander said he was really excited to find his cookie in his lunch box. We also sent some treats for his teachers. They are pretzels shaped like letters covered with chocolate and red sugar, but you couldn't really tell by the time they were in the package.

That night, Jason and I got to go on a dinner date. My mom and step-dad gave us some money and babysat the kids for us. It was a great weekend!

Now we move on to Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our nursing home friends

Jordis and I have been visiting Willowbrook nursing home every Wednesday morning for the past few years. They opened a new branch, Willowbrook at Delaware Run, which is closer to our house, so now we attend there. It's a much smaller group and the residents are a little more......attentive. Recently we've been inviting Jordis' neighbor friend, Xavier, and they've been having a great time together.

Miss Kelly entertains the kids with stories and songs.

They also did a craft.

This is Miss Lucy. She's a spry little lady. Feisty, Italian, and has a slight east coast accent. She also likes my tattoo. And she's one of Jordis' favorite residents.

We love visiting Miss Kelly and our Willowbrook friends!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Super Bowl

We didn't really care about any of the teams playing in this year's Super Bowl, so we weren't concerned about getting together with people or having a party. But I'm all about eating appetizers and I had some NFL napkins, so we had a little shindig here at the house for just the four of us. I got to work the day before and Jordis wanted to help me make Chex Mix.

We ended up having quite the selection. Jason had requested white pizza dip, so I made that for him. The guacamole was for me. I should have made half the amount since no one else ate any. I was apparently expecting too much by thinking that my husband or children would ingest anything that's green. My peeps love sausage so I thought they'd enjoy my kielbasa appetizer, but Xander was mad that it had sauce, he just wanted plain meat. We all love deviled eggs so I knew those would be well received. My favorite part is the yellow and the kids' favorite part is the white, so this always works out really well. And it's very rare that the kids get dessert so I had no worries about the cookies. They would probably get excited about eating carpet lint if I told them it was some sweet confection. Sad, I know.

We shook our heads at Christina Aguilera's rendition of the National Anthem, looked for good commercials, then ate more cookies after the kids went to bed at half-time. And while I didn't care who won, I was really glad that Pittsburgh lost. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

It's not uncommon for our kids to say some funny stuff, but over the past week or so they've been on a roll. Here are a few of my favorites:


While watching me do my makeup one day, Jordis asked me what I was doing to my eyelashes. I explained to her what an eyelash curler was and she asked if we could curl her eyelashes, too. I agreed and set to work. A few seconds in she says,
"I don't think my eye likes this, it's a little bit distractive."
I took her to the mall one day and let her run around for awhile in the play area where she made a friend. This is the conversation we had after leaving....
Me: I'm glad you were able to make a new friend while you played.
Jordis: Her name is Sophia and she's four.
Me: Nice, she's even the same age as you.
Jordis: No mom, she's four. I'm four and a HALF.


At Xander's parent-teacher conference I was discussing behavior with his teacher and she told me that when he does something inappropriate at school they say "Good choice, bad choice, what's your choice?" and he will supposedly think about it and then usually make a good choice whether it's ending a behavior, saying sorry to someone, etc. I thought that maybe trying this method at home might be good for consistency, so later that night I used it myself. Clearly, Xander was not impressed that I knew about his school routine, because after I asked him "Good choice, bad choice, what's your choice?" he said,
"You don't think I'm falling for THAT do you?"


The day of the Super Bowl, Xander was upset that we weren't letting him watch a TV show before bed because we wanted to watch football. To soften the blow, we informed him that the Black Eyed Peas would be performing at halftime and he would probably like it since he likes their songs. He then says,

"Oh cool, tonight's going to be a good night."
(the name of a Black Eyed Peas song if you're not familiar)


The other day Xander asked me if he could have a Justin Bieber poster for his bedroom. We don't listen to Justin Bieber and couldn't figure out how he knew about him, but apparently the bus driver lets them listen to his music as they ride to and from school. *Sigh* He has a cute, boyish Cars-themed bedroom and I was hoping to keep it that way for awhile. A new Cars movie is coming out this year so my plan was that he might regain some interest in it and we could hold on to the room a little longer. A Justin Bieber poster just doesn't fit in to my plans. In my attempt to dissuade him I said,
"Buddy, that poster wouldn't fit the theme of your room. And besides, do you really want to look at Justin Bieber all day?"
To which he replied,
"Mom, I'm not in my room ALL DAY, just for a little bit."
It seems that being literal is really starting to bite me in the butt, because I've apparently passed on that gene to one of my own.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ice storm

At the beginning of the month we had a lovely ice storm. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. I love to look around and see how everything that's been glazed over shines so brightly in the sunlight. But it always amazes me how something so beautiful can cause so much destruction.

There were lots of car accidents, trees and power lines down, and widespread power outages. Our power was out overnight for twelve hours, which wasn't horrible compared to some other people. Once the power came on though, we still couldn't see out all of the windows at the back of our house.

Today it was in the 40's and sunny, a far cry from two weeks ago. Xander might actually get some outdoor recess this week. Let's hope that the groundhog was right and the end of winter is right around the corner.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dancing Diva

A few weeks ago Jordis got to attend her first dance class. She previously had no desire for any organized activities of skill because she didn't want anyone to look at her, but when my best friend's daughter (a.k.a. my goddaughter) invited her to Bring a Friend Night at her class Jordis was all about it. She jumped right in the mix and followed along.
(I had to take pictures through a patterned window, so they're not the best quality)

She attempted the splits....

...a backbend....

....and a dance.

She smiled the whole time

It was nice to see them have fun together and we're hoping that Jordis will now be willing to branch out and try some new things.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pretty Preschooler

Jordis will start kindergarten in the fall, but we have failed to enroll her in preschool. I know....tsk, tsk. Part of it is because we just don't want to spend the money, and the other part is that I want to keep her all to myself while Xander's at school. This is the last year EVER that she will be home all day, so I'm taking advantage of her company while she still likes to be around me. Don't worry, we don't play Wii all day.

We go to bible study on Tuesday mornings, volunteer at Xander's school on Tuesday afternoons and visit the nursing home on Wednesdays. We also try to go to the library once a week or every other week, we run errands, and she "helps" me with domestic chores. And sometimes, we have a little bit of school.

We're not having as much school as I had wanted, but we are learning what we need for her kindergarten testing. (Especially now that I know they expect five-year-olds to identify a rhombus). Look at this girl hold a pencil. She has some mad skills.

Since it's winter we did a little polar bear lesson recently. We read books about them, practiced writing the letter "P," did a worksheet, and made a craft.

Best of all, she enjoys learning. Christmas socks and all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sweet Bubba

Last month we had to say goodbye to our little dog, Buster Roux. We've never known for certain how old he was since we got him at the shelter, but based on vet estimates we think he was 13 or 14.

One of my favorite things about Bubba was that his tongue was always hanging out when he was resting. Even in his final days his little tongue would just hang out when he slept. He was such a good boy.