Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Now that you've got the background about why Evan will be in Haslett Schools, yesterday was his open house for kindergarten. He'll be attending Wilkshire Elementary. We got the letter last week that he'll be in the "Bumblebee Room" and his teacher is Mrs. Mills. Evan was very excited about his open house last night and when we walked into his classroom he was beaming! "This classroom is so cool mom! Way better than my old classroom in preschool." Yeah, we were off to a good start! Then we met Mrs. Mills and Evan said he liked her. She had a scavenger hunt for the kids/parents to do so we went around doing that. We did things like find his locker, read a story about kindergarten, sign up to help with holiday parties, sign up for parent teacher conferences (which are in November, that was a little crazy. I don't know what I'm doing in November yet), tour the school, and the kids ended outside on the playground for popsicles. It was a fun night and Evan really liked his school and teacher. He even got homework already before school starts! Here's hoping his first day of school goes good leaving mommy. Here's a couple pictures of his classroom. They're not the best since there was a lot of people there, but you can see it for the most part.
After open house we met Greg's mom at Max & Erma's for dinner. She had watched Em for us while we went to open house. While we were at dinner Evan's loose tooth got REALLY loose. So loose that it was laying almost flat front to back. So with it sticking out he couldn't really eat so we said that's gotta come out. Greg pulled on it a little bit, but it wasn't coming out. He worked at it for just a couple minutes and then there it was... not in Evan's mouth anymore, but in Greg's hand. I was glad Greg did it because my stomach was a little queasy watching it. Evan was super excited and so proud. The waitresses were watching him and they brought him an envelope to take his tooth home in. It was a very exciting time for him. So now the tooth fairy will be visiting our house tonight for the first time! The debate is how much should she bring. Stay tuned.....
Sunday, August 29, 2010
After we left there we made a stop in Kalamazoo. The kids love to go to the park and I thought it would be fun to take them to Milham Park in Kalamazoo which is a huge park that I used to go to when I was a kid growing up in Kalamazoo. It really brought back a lot of memories. It was just how I remembered it, and it was great to see my kids enjoy the park as much as I did when I was a kid. We didn't have a whole lot of time to spend, but I was glad we got to stop there for a little bit. I think next year we're going to try to go back and spend a day there because the kids wanted to explore more of the park that we didn't get to. Here's a few fun photos I snapped while we were at the park.
After we left K-zoo we headed to the party place to help my Dad, sister, & Kaite set up for the birthday party. They all got there before us so there wasn't too much we had to do. The kids had fun helping decorate though. The party didn't start until later on so we went back to my sister's for a little bit until it was time to go back to the party location. My Dad & Step-Mom love this entertainer named Pat Dailey. He plays in Put-In-Bay in Ohio and also in Key West at Sloppy Joe's. They've listened to him for years. My Dad surprised my Step-Mom with the party as well as with Pat Dailey performing at the birthday party. It was a great night listening to the music and hanging out. The kids got to go for a little bit of the party and then they went home with Kaite and she watched them for the rest of the night since Pat Dailey's music is more for adults. Although he does have a kids cd he made with Shel Silverstein which we got and the kids love. Anyway, thanks to Kaite for watching the kiddos while we were at the party. It was a great night and fun times had by all. I have a video I'll try to post tomorrow and slip in this post.
Saturday we went for what was probably our last boat ride of the summer. The kids loved being on the boat again. Then we had lunch and headed back. We came back to a mess out front on our street. Board of Water and Light has been putting in street lights for like almost three months. On Friday they were working across the street from us in our neighbors (the Marr's) yard digging where the street light is to go. Come to find out about an hour after we left they had hit a gas line and the neighborhood was evacuated. Everyone was without gas since they had to shut it off to fix the leak. We didn't know until this morning when I went to take a shower that our gas didn't get turned back on so we had no hot water. I had to call Consumer's to come out today to turn our gas back on. Thankfully with all this mess no one was hurt because they hit right where one of the main lines are and it could of been really bad. Hopefully all this mess will be cleaned up soon and they'll get this street light project done that's been going on forever. That wraps up our weekend pretty much. Looking forward to this week as we've got a few things planned which I'll be telling you about! I'll leave you with this picture which is the hole in Rich and Liana's yard that is huge where they hit the gas line.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Black Bean Pinwheels
Substitutions- Instead of onion salt I used chili powder and instead of pepper cheese I used Colby Jack Cheese. I didn't go out and by onion salt because I figured Greg wouldn't like it anyway, and I'm glad I didn't because they were a hit with him using the chili powder!
MIX cheeses, sour cream and onion salt in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
PLACE beans in food processor or blender container; cover. Process until smooth. Spread evenly onto tortillas; top evenly with cheese mixture. Roll tortillas up tightly. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
CUT ends from tortillas; discard. Cut each roll-up into 5 slices. Serve with Salsa if desired
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Ever since Evan discovered that he had a loose tooth it's all he talks about everyday. He's trying very hard to wiggle that tooth out. He wonders when his tooth falls out what he does with his tooth for the tooth fairy. I told him we'd have to get a tooth box, but I really had no clue where to find one. Then we were looking at the toys (of course) at T.J. Maxx, and saw this kit and thought this would be a good thing to make with Evan. Once we brought it home everyday Evan was asking to make it. Finally we got the chance the other day to get it started and boy was he ever excited!
First we had to mix the plaster, and we had to do sort of quickly and get it in the moulding tray before it hardened. Here's Evan mixing up the plaster and water.
Once that part was done then it was sit and wait for the plaster to completely harden. Well, that's easier said than done when a little kid is involved! Evan wanted to paint his tooth box right away. I explained to him that he had to wait a couple days before we could take it out of the moulding tray. A couple days later it was time to finally paint it and Evan was so excited once again! He thought it was so cool he got to paint his own little tooth box. For the most part he did it all on his own. Here he is getting started painting the tooth box.
Thankfully the paint dried fairly quickly so we were able to get the box painted all in one sitting. He did a super job painting it. He picked out the colors all by himself. I only helped him pain his name on it and do around the edges where two colors meet. I'm very proud of the nice work he did making his tooth box. He had a ton of fun crafting and wants to paint more tooth boxes. The kit actually makes four so he thought he should make all of them. I told him maybe down the road after his first tooth falls out! Now we just have to wait for that tooth to get out of there and the tooth fairy to come for a visit! Here's the finished product!
In other news, tonight was Emmaline's last night of ballet class. It was sort of sad to be done with it. She had so much fun and it was so neat to watch the little girls dance around. I'm hoping to get her in some more dance classes down the road. I'm very proud of my little girl though she did awesome listening to her teacher and participating in all the dance moves! Great job Emmaline! Before I leave tonight I'd like to wish my Grandma a very Happy Birthday! She shares her birthday with Regis Philbin who is one of my favorite talk show hosts so that's pretty cool! Happy Birthday Grandma!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Our Saturday didn't end up going as planned. It was originally planned to be a day of just the girls and just the boys. Greg was going to take Evan camping, and Em and I were going to have our own girls day painting nails, doing hair, and going shopping. Well when we woke up Saturday and it was RAINING, there was a change of plans. The boys couldn't really go camping anymore. So we bummed around the house for a bit, had breakfast and then made a Sam's run. We ended up running into Greg's mom and since Evan wasn't able to go camping he wanted to go stay at Ya Ya's house for the night. So we shipped the two kids off for the night and had a free evening. We went for margaritas with our friend Brenda at Senorita and then came back and hung out on the deck. It was a nice peaceful evening. Much needed to be kid free after Little Miss Emmaline had been a pistol for two days!
Since we didn't have our boys/ girls day on Saturday we told the kids we'd do a little boys/girls time on Sunday. Greg and Evan went for a bike ride Sunday which Evan was really excited about and went on some new trails. Em and I hung out at home and we played games and puzzles and had some snuggle time. It was a nice way to spend part of the late morning/ early afternoon. We ended the day with a nice steak dinner on the grill, well steak for me and chicken for Greg since he doesn't eat steak. Although our whole weekend didn't go as originally planned it was a nice weekend overall hanging our with friends and the kids! That wraps it up for our weekend happenings at the Shearwater Nest!
Tonight we had dinner with our neighbor friends, the Marr's. Rich is heading off to school for two years so he won't be around much so we thought we'd get together before he starts school. I love my $15 gift card we got on Mother's Day at Champps. It reloads every month with $15 to use on a purchase of $25 or more. We all ate for $10, you really can't go wrong with that. Heck I couldn't cook at home for $10! We came home from dinner and went for a walk and then I ran some blueberry pie down to my friend Jess because I've been promising her some pie. Besides it was her birthday so I wanted to make sure she got some! She invited us in, and the kids played with her kids and we enjoyed a glass of wine. What a nice evening all around it was! Before I leave tonight I'd like to wish my friend Jessica a very happy birthday! Happy Birthday Jess and thanks again for the glass of wine tonight!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The "Meet & Greet" started at 5:30pm and was to go until 7pm. Greg said I should get downtown about 4pm, but I thought he was joking. I figured we'd get there about 5pm and be there just a little early. Well, I was wrong because when we got there at 5pm it was already packed! The lines for autographs were LONG and there were several lines. What I expected to see downtown was a tent set up with a few of the "big name" players- captains, quarterback, etc. and the coach. Well there were two huge tents set up, and a smaller tent. One tent had the offense with two lines forming. Another tent had the defense, also with two lines forming. Then the small tent was for Coach Dantonio. I didn't expect the whole team to be there so that was a great surprise and Evan was even more excited. He couldn't wait to get autographs and pictures with the players. We got in line right away and while we waited for 5:30pm to roll around there was entertainment by the cheerleaders, Motion girls, and lots of great tunes being played! Sparty was also out and while Emmaline wanted nothing to do with getting near Sparty, (kids and mascots/characters at this age just don't mix) Evan was all about getting his picture with him. Emmaline was into the "girls" as she called them... a.k.a. cheerleaders and wanted her picture with them since she was in her cheerleader outfit. Here's a few pics of both the kids. First Evan with Sparty! Go Green!
Evan really wanted pictures with the players, but I had to explain to him we couldn't get a pic with every guy and I was taking some as he was getting autographs. Then while we were waiting in the last line these guys were done already and Ev went up to them and asked all by himself if he could get a picture with them. What a great shot, huh?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
After I was a little rested we headed out to pick up some more bushes for the backyard around the deck. We bought four more bushes and these one's were a little bigger than the previous one's we bought so we barely got them in the car. These suckers were so heavy to lift too. I don't now how Greg got them all out of the car by himself. That took a good couple hours going to get the bushes and unloading them that by the time Greg got them all in the backyard he was pretty much done for the day. We then went to pick up the kids from Greg's mom's (she watched them for us while we went to get the bushes) and headed down to the Great Lakes Folk Festival in downtown East Lansing. We had dinner down there with Greg's mom and hung out for a little while. It was a little scaled down this year due to budget cuts (of course, right?) so it wasn't as great as last year we thought. The rest of the evening we just relaxed on our new deck and our friend Brenda came over to help us break in the new deck a little with some drinks!
Sunday brought about more working in the yard for Greg. He tilled the area where the bushes were going, and then he started to dig the first hole. Well, after almost getting done digging the hole he hit the phone line. The damn thing was barely buried underground. He didn't know what he hit though so he had his uncle (former electrician) come over to check it out. That's how we knew it was the phone line. He didn't hit it too bad though thankfully because our phone is still working. They taped the wire up so hopefully we won't have any problems. By that point Greg was done working for the day and decided he wasn't into digging more holes. We went to dinner that night with his mom to Mongolian BBQ, and we happened to pick the right night because some of the MSU football players came in to eat. Evan was in his glory and was so excited that they were sitting right by us. It was a great way to end the weekend!
Monday, August 16, 2010
We ordered the wood about mid-July and of course the hardwood was special order and took two weeks to get so it wouldn't be in until July 30th. While we waited for that to come in we figured we'd get started on getting the holes dug, posts in, and get the deck framed so we had half our order delivered and then we'd go back and pick up the special order part. We found a guy who was building a deck across the street for our neighbors to come and dig the holes. The ground here is extremely hard and once you dig a little you hit clay. So he dug the holes and then said if we wanted he'd come back the next day and frame the deck for us for $100. At this point (due to the holes getting dug a week later than expected) we figured we'd take him up on the offer because the hardwood was coming in the next day. It was the best $100 we ever spent because what two guys did in about two hours was a lot more than Greg could of done by himself in a couple days.
For about two weeks mostly in the evenings after work and some of the weekends, Greg has worked very hard putting the rest of the deck together. He did a great job for his first deck and I'm really proud of him. He's worked and worked and worked and it really looks nice. We ran out of screws twice and had to go make special trips to Menard's to get more. Not only has he worked his butt off building the deck, but he has also been planting bushes around the deck too. Not an easy task digging the holes in our yard as I mentioned, let alone doing it in this extremely hot weather we've been having! It's all coming together and while there's lots more landscaping and some patio blocks we probably want to put in down by the steps, that will probably wait until next spring. So after 1325 screws (no I didn't count them all, but I knew how many were in each board and multiplied it by all the boards) the deck is done and it's really nice to have it finished. Thanks honey for all your hard work. You did an awesome job! Now to the photos!!!! I failed to take pictures along the way pretty much. I often thought about it late and night and then by the next morning it slipped my mind again. So most of these are at the end.
This is the only picture I have of our old deck. You probably saw some of it when I posted the picture last year of our grill blowing over. This was when Greg was tearing it apart! We truly do apologize neighbors for our hideous deck we had for three years. While the deck itself wasn't all that bad, the stain turned out way different than we wanted. Ugh! I can't believe we left it like that for three years.
Stairs coming up from the yard completed & a closer look at the bushes planted on one side. The area where the picnic table, stairs, & grill are is where we still want to do something. We're not exactly sure, but probably put in some big patio blocks of some sort.
View from in the house. I need to spray paint my little blue table still. That's on my list this week, but too windy today. The red planter boxes I just found on clearance at Meijer and am trying to decide if I'm keeping them or not.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Blueberry Crumble Pie
5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 (9 inch) reduced fat graham cracker crust
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 TBLS all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
1 (80z.) carton of low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 TBLS granulated sugar
1 TBLS margarine, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place blueberries in crust, set aside
- Combine brown sugar, flour, vanilla, rind, and sour cream and then spread over blueberries
- Combine bread crumbs, sugar, margarine and then sprinkle over blueberry/sour cream mixture
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 min. or until set and crumbs are lightly browned
- Cool 1 hour on a wire rack
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Evan had fun too going from the pool to the splash pad to the sand area. It's too bad there's only a month left for the Aquatic Center to be open. Hopefully next year we can get a lot more use out of it since the kids will be older, and buy some passes. Here's a pic of my other fishy in the pool!
On Wednesday Emmaline started her first ballet class. If you remember when I was telling you about Evan's basketball camp, Emmaline couldn't wait to start her ballet class. Well, all day Wednesday she was ready to go to class. Finally when it was time to get her ready for ballet she couldn't of been more excited! She was out the door before me. We got to the Bailey Center where class was held and she was so excited to see her friend Chloe who also is taking the class. They went in together and Em wanted to get her ballet slippers on right away. I told Emmaline she'd have to listen to her teacher like a good girl and follow directions. She said, "I promise mommy." This was the first time she was in a class with a teacher so I wasn't sure what to expect. She did fantastic though and loved the whole half hour of class. Here she is with her buddy Chloe. Check out her pose!
Here's another pic of Em and the other girls in the class doing some dancing! They were all so cute!
Thursday Kaite and Libby had to leave. My mom came to pick them up and took them back home. It was quiet after they left and the kids really missed them. Greg continued to work on the deck all week the deck is pretty much done. He just has to do the stairs, but other than that all the boards are on and I must say I think it looks really nice. Such an improvement from the old deck. I regrettably haven't taken any pics along the way so at this point I figured I might as well wait until the stairs are on and then I'll post some pics. That pretty much wraps up the highlights of the week. The highlight of the weekend was Greg and I were able to sneak in an unexpected dinner date on Saturday night. His mom took the kids for the afternoon and overnight so we decided to hit up P.F. Chang's for dinner. It's been a couple years since we've been there and it was really good. We tried some crispy green beans for an appetizer and boy were they yummy! I think it's going to be sooner than a couple years before we go back!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday was a jam packed day! The guy had finally come on Thursday to dig the holes for the deck and since it took him so long to finally do it he said he'd set the posts in place too. That was nice. So then when he finished he told me if we wanted him to frame the deck for $100 he'd come back and do that on Friday. So I talked to Greg and we both decided it was worth the $100. The other half of our deck order was in Thursday night and ready to be picked up and with the birthday party on Saturday and Em's birthday on Sunday we knew we wouldn't be getting much work done. So Friday morning the guy came back and he and another guy framed the deck in no time. Greg had to work for a couple hours in the morning and then he had the rest of the day off so we could go pick up the rest of the wood and also take Em's crib apart and put the full size bed together since her new mattress was being delivered late in the day. Our trip to Menard's to get the wood took up a huge chunk of the day. Between that and cleaning the house for the party, and getting Em's new bed all set that was our day. I put Em's new bedding on her "big girl" bed before she could go in her room and see her new bed. She was so excited and just loved it! Here she is walking in her room seeing the new bed for the first time!
Saturday was the big Princess Party! I had some last minute prep work before the party, as well as picking up the cake. This year I just didn't have time to get creative and make a cake so I just ordered one from Sam's. When I went to pick it up I was a little shocked to say the least when I saw her cake. This is what the lady handed me!
You can imagine the look on my face. I had this feeling going into the store that morning that something wasn't going to be right with the cake because the guy who took my order was clueless. However, I thought her name was going to be spelled wrong, not a big Cubs emblem in the middle! The lady said she thought this was a little weird when she made the cake. Uh yeah, a Cubs emblem in the middle of a princess cake! They did end up fixing it and ended up giving me 50% off so I guess it ended in my favor. Here's the right cake!
Before the party started we were invited to Angie's baby shower (she's the one who bought all my girl clothes at the garage sale). So we headed down there for about an hour and then came back and it was princess party time. This year I opted to keep it simple. The party was at 4pm so I figured I'd just have a couple snacks at the beginning and then order pizzas for dinner. By the time I spent money buying everything to make food it would end up being about the same to order pizza. It worked out good and was nice not to have to make a bunch of food. So while we waited for the pizza I decided in lieu of doing games at the party this year, I'd have the kids do some activities instead. First they made princess candy necklaces. This was a hit and they loved eating them after wards! Here's the girls working on their necklaces.
cake & ice cream. Here's the birthday princess ready for her cake!
It was a fun day! I'm pretty sure all the kids had a great time. Emmaline got lots of nice presents. Thanks to everyone that came to help celebrate her special day! Here's one more picture of my Princess Emmaline! She looked so cute for her party!
Sunday was her actual birthday and boy did she know it. She popped out of her new big girl bed at 6:30am and was ready to start her day. I wasn't, but that didn't seem to matter! We headed to the MSU gardens in the morning to take some pictures. Then Em got her birthday lunch at Noodles. Later on my sister left to head home and Kaite stayed here. She's staying for part of this week until Thursday. She brought her friend Libby here too so the two of them have been hanging with us this week! It's nice to have some extra hands around the house. We went to Smokey Bones for Em's birthday dinner that night and Greg's mom and Aunt Rose joined us again. I'm not sure why we went though because Em hardly ate any birthday dinner. Oh well, we all enjoyed our meals. So now my little girl is officially three and growing up way too fast. That's our long busy weekend wrap-up! It was pretty much non-stop around here all weekend. This post is quite long already so I'm going to wait and post some of my pictures from the gardens until next time!
Monday, August 2, 2010
They learned everything from dribbling the ball with the right hand, then the left hand, and then going back and forth from left to right to what the lines on the court mean, to passing the ball, to shooting baskets, to shuffling their feet, to playing offense and defense. Lots to take in over the course of four days, but all the kids did great. Evan had a lot of fun, and by day four I could see how he had improved since the first day. He really picked up a lot of basketball knowledge in a short time.
Since this was his first camp I wanted to start with a short one to see if it's something he enjoyed doing. He's definitely going to be doing more camps! He liked it a lot and now wants to do soccer and football. I'm not sure there's a football one for kids that young, but we'll definitely check into what's available. Now he wants a basketball hoop at home! This week Emme is heading to ballet class which she is super excited about. I can't wait to see her dance!
Here's a few photos from basketball camp and then tomorrow I'll get back to the weekend festivities!