Tuesday, March 29, 2011

End Of The Month

Wow, another month has flown by. I can't believe it's the end of March. My lease on my car is up in about a month and a half so Greg and I headed to Novi to the car dealer to talk new cars. My last two cars we got from Varsity Lincoln Mercury in Novi. Well, now that Ford is no longer making Mercury it's just called Varsity Lincoln. They also have a location in Ann Arbor that is all Fords- Varsity Ford. I'm so sad that Ford doesn't make Mercury anymore. I LOVE my Mountaineer. I never drove the car before we got it, and I totally have loved it for the almost three years that I've had it. It's been a great car. I love the size of it and how it drives. We met with Denise who is so great to work with there. She can also deal with Fords even though they're not at her location. Basically we knew what car we wanted. Since there are no more Mountaineers, we had to go with the Ford Explorer. It's pretty much what is comparable to my Mountaineer. There's some really good leasing deals on Lincoln's right now so we thought about the Lincoln MKX, but I didn't want anything smaller. Greg gets a Ford discount through MSU so that's why we pretty much aren't looking at anything else. After looking at the all new Explorer and talking some options we made a decision. Apparently right now the Explorer is a very hot item. They're few and far between around here, or anywhere for that matter. After Denise searched for one that fit our criteria, there were none to be found. We don't really want to pay extra for options we don't need. So with that, we decided to just order one. It will be built just for us with the color we want and the options that we want. The only problem is that it looks like it's going to be two months for it to be built and my lease is up sooner than that. Ugh. We'll either have to do a lease extension or try to get by with one car for a couple of weeks. Until then I'm going to enjoy my Mountaineer because I'm going to miss it when it's gone.

I can't believe I went to Novi and didn't hit up Trader Joe's, Home Goods, or Tomato Brother's for dinner. It was a fast trip and we had to get back, but hopefully next time! Speaking of Home Goods, I don't think I've told you that there is one coming to Lansing! I'm so so excited. The AJ Wright that was in Lansing closed up and word had it that either TJ Maxx, Marshall's, or Home Goods would be going in. Since we've already got the first two in the Lansing area, Home Goods it is that's coming to town. It opens May 1st and I can hardly wait! You know I'll be there right away! No more having to wait until I get to the Brighton/Novi/Canton area to go to Home Goods!

In other news, that same day we were on our way to look at new cars, I got a call from Best Buy that my iPad 2 was in. Oh what a wonderful day!!!! Finally after waiting and waiting. It was our first stop when we got back into town. It's now mine all mine! Well almost, because my little Evan has taken to it quite quickly and LOVES it. All of us are having fun with it. So it looks like I pretty much got all the things on my birthday wish list! Yipeee!

That's about it from here. Evan has two more days of school this week and then it's Spring Break! We're not going anywhere so we'll be hanging around home. I've got some things I want to get done around the house and the kids will probably have a couple playdates.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Birthday Week Wrap Up

Well, here it is Sunday night and the birthday week has been great! My St. Patty's Day birthday started off with gorgeous weather for March here in Michigan. It was like 65 and sunny! Greg surprised me with taking the morning off. He took Ev to school for me and picked him up. I had a leisurely morning and then met him and the kids at Noodles & Co. for lunch. Of course it had to be Noodles for lunch, right? It's my favorite place to go for lunch, and I had a free birthday entree coupon to use anyway. However, when we got to Noodles I realized I walked out of the house without my coupon. I tried to pull the email up on my phone, but couldn't find it and the manager still gave my my free entree anyway. That tells you how well she knows us. Lol. I had my favorite spicy Indonesian Peanut Saute. Mmmm mmmm good! Love it!

Greg went to work after lunch, and the kids and I headed home. We stopped for a shamrock shake on our way home. Yum-o! Have to have a shamrock shake on St. Patty's Day of course! I've gotten my kids hooked on them too. :) I had a few things to do when we got home, and then I took the kids to our neighborhood park. I decided it was too nice to stay inside so I let Em skip her nap. It was our first visit to the park this year! The kids had a blast and we were there for an hour and a half! The weather was perfect and we ran into my friend Wesley and Jess so the kids had fun playing with Chloe and Grace too. A perfect birthday afternoon with my kiddos!

After Greg got home from work we headed over to Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe for dinner. Our friend Brenda and her daughter joined us, as well as our friends Rich and Liana. It was nice to hang out and catch up with everyone while we watched a little bit of the March Madness there. I got my green beer which made me a very happy birthday girl! The kids got a special treat too and got to order green Sprite! They thought that was very cool! After dinner we headed home so we could watch the Spartans in the first round of the tourney. Unfortunately the team that needed to show up didn't, and the Spartans were knocked out of the tourney right away. A very short run this year in March Madness makes for a very boring tourney for us. I guess they can't win them all and make it to the Final Four every year, but 14 straight appearances is something to be proud of. Next year will be better, I'm sure of it! Still love my Spartans!

I got almost everything on my birthday wish list. I got the cookbook from Greg's mom. The kids and Greg got me martini glasses, a cocktail shaker, and a brownie pan. However the pan wasn't exactly the right one so I'm going to exchange it, and the shaker Greg got me was way to big so I'm going to look around for another one. My sister and Kaite also got me some martini glasses (thank you) so I have to decide which ones to keep and which ones to take back. Or maybe I'll keep both then lots of people can come over to drink! I've looked and so has my sister for an egg separator which is nowhere to be found. Apparently nobody carries them anymore. Weird! The iPad 2 will hopefully soon be mine. I didn't know it was going to be so hard to get, but it is. So I'm on a wait list at Best Buy. It's no real rush so I get it when I get it. Probably it will be about three more weeks.

Friday we headed down to my sisters for the weekend. Friday night we went to Chick-Fil-A another one of my favorite places. Another perfect birthday treat! On Saturday we had a 90th birthday party to go to. The neighbors (Bob & Betty) that live across the street from my dad have always been like a fourth set of grandparents to my sister and I. Bob's birthday is the day after mine and he turned 90! It was great to see them again, as we don't get down there very often. Saturday evening we met my step-mom for dinner (my dad was out of town for work) at Pete's Patio in Niles. This restaurant goes way back for all of us as we used to go there all the time when we were little. I love love love the pizza there. So when I get down that way and get the chance I try to have a Pete's pizza. It's been a long time since I had it last, so Saturday night was yet another special birthday week treat! A bloody Mary and Pete's pizza was the perfect dinner to round out the birthday meals this week! Thanks to my step-mom for treating us to some delicious Pete's pizza. I even get to enjoy it tomorrow for lunch since we had left overs!

Today we didn't do a whole lot. My dad got back in town before we headed home so we got to see him before we got on the road. He had a bunch of t-shirts and stuff for the kids which they love so I was glad the kids got to see grandpa before we left. I also requested some beef and noodles while we were down which my step-mom made, thank you thank you! It's one of Ev's and my favorite things. Was a perfect lunch on this rainy day before we headed home. Greg's mom kept Molly for us over the weekend which we really appreciated, thank you, thank you! It just makes the trip so much easier with two kids! She also treated us to dinner at Bravo when we got home which was nice so I didn't have to cook.

I can't complain about the birthday week at all. It was a great week. However the cold weather today with the rain was not welcome so hope the sunshine returns soon! Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so wonderful! I really appreciate it! Now Monday is creeping up so I think I should probably head to bed!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day/Birthday!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! It was a beautiful day today, and I hope you all got to enjoy some time outside at least for a few minutes. Hope you remembered to wear your green today. We all did of course. There's no way anyone in this family is getting out the door with no green on today. It was a great day for a birthday and I'll share all about it in my post to follow. It's late and apparently I'm getting old because I'm tired after having only two beers. I'm officially 36 today, and I guess that means I can't party like all the students did downtown E. Lansing today. The streets were filled with green, and as Evan put it, "Wow, there's a lot of green going on around here today." What a kid. I'll catch you up on my birthday festivities next time. I think I'm off to bed here soon. My Spartans are playing like crap tonight and it's really not much fun to watch. Another birthday has come and gone, and hoping 36 treats me well! If I'm not back tomorrow, have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthday Eve

Warning.... wear your green tomorrow or you'll get pinched! Yes, it's my birthday Eve and I've had a great week so far. My mom is back from Florida and she came up to visit the other day and took me to lunch for my birthday. I picked Evan up from school and then the kids and I met her at Champps. Thanks mom for the birthday lunch and birthday money! She also brought back some goodies for the kids from Florida. They love their t-shirts and new book about things found on the beach and in the ocean.! If the weather stays like it was today they'll be able to wear their new shirts very soon! Both kids were so cute sitting on the couch last night together looking at their new book. It's a lift-the-flap book so they took turns lifting the flaps. Thanks grandma for the goodies. The kids love everything!

Tonight Greg's mom took me to dinner for my birthday. We went to Ukai and once again it was very tasty. Evan loves watching the fire at the table and all the tricks they do. Em is still a little hesitant when she sees the fire. We had a nice dinner, and I can now check off one of the items on my birthday wish list. Greg's mom got me the Taste of Home cookbook I wanted, and I got birthday money! Thanks so much! I can't wait to check out some new recipes! She also surprised me by picking up some clothes I had on hold at Children's Place. The kids will look adorable in their new outfits. Thank you!

Tomorrow is the big birthday day! Looking forward to some nice weather again tomorrow. Supposed to be warmer than today and reach 60. Woo hoo! Evan told me the leprechauns are coming to school tomorrow and the kids have to catch them. Can't wait to hear all about it! He's so excited because he made a special magnifying glass to use tomorrow to catch the leprechauns! I've decided on Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe for my birthday dinner tomorrow. I know we usually go to Bennigan's, but time to switch it up this year. It's across town and with traffic and construction it's a pain to get to. Hall of Fame Cafe will be serving green beer and it's close to home so works for me. It seems fitting since my beloved Spartans are playing on my birthday! Speaking of, I'm saying my prayers tonight that the Spartans are ready to play tomorrow and can pull off a birthday win for me! Go State!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday Week!

It's officially birthday week around here! I kicked off my birthday celebration over the weekend. On Friday we headed down the street to Jimmy's Pub and had some drinks with friends. It was a nice kid free evening out. I had a few martinis, and Angie insisted on buying me a shot. Jess recommended a Girl Scout cookie shot so I went with it and it was tasty! I can't remember the last time I did a shot. It's been a few years probably. Thanks Angie and Andrew for the shot and martini! We also watched some MSU basketball while there and I celebrated with a Spartini! Here it is with some Spartan B-ball in the background!

It was a fun night that was topped off with a Spartan victory against Purdue in the Big Ten tourney. I was actually amazed how well the Spartans played, and it was like watching last years team all over again. They connected on all levels and played a great game. Jess came back to our house after Jimmy's and we whipped up some Kool-Aid martinis. This time we had grape and it was good, but I think I like the tropical fruit martinis the best so far.

Saturday we were still kid free most of the day. They stayed at Greg's mom's Friday night and hung out there most of Saturday. Greg went into work to paint his new office and I ended up going to get a haircut. I went back to a gal that cut my hair a couple years ago. She's actually at a new place now which is closer so I thought I'd try her again. I have to say I was very pleased with my haircut. I went shorter this time which I'm glad I did. I know my husband would love for me to grow my hair out, but it's just not for me right now. I tried for awhile now, but I was sick of it so time to chop it off some! Saturday night we were lazy around the house with the kids and watched Toy Story. My kids just love that movie... all three of them!

Sunday flew by with the time change. While I didn't like losing an hour of sleep, I love it being lighter longer. It definitely means warmer weather, walks at night, and playing at the park are in the near future! We took the kids to the library Sunday afternoon. We exhausted our stack of books from a couple weeks ago and we've got the second half of reading month to get through! We're doing great with reading this month and I love how much my kids are into it! Then last night it was selection night for March Madness, and after crossing my fingers for 40 minutes during the selection show the Spartans made it in. They're a #10 seed this year and take on UCLA in Tampa on Thursday. I'm thinking my beloved Spartans will be giving me a birthday win. I mean really, it's all about green on St. Patty's Day so it's gotta be the Spartans night to get a "W" right? I sure hope they can play like they did on Friday night. If they can get their act together and do that then they could go far in the tourney. If they can't, then they'll be out quick. Fingers crossed again, good things happen!

Now it's Monday of birthday week and only three days until green beer time! I'm not sure exactly what we're doing yet, but it will involve some going out to dinner and watching the Spartans! Don't forget to wear your green on Thursday! Also a shout out to the women's basketball team for getting a #4 seed in the Women's tourney where they'll take on Northern Iowa. Good luck to the men's and women's basketball this week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


When I was sick a couple weekends ago, I pretty much had no energy to do anything. That Thursday before I came down with everything I was on the web watching the space shuttle Discovery take off from Kennedy Space Center. I had clicked on a link from the NBC Nightly News Facebook page which lead me to the NASA website. From there I discovered NASA TV and was instantly drawn into it. I watched the prep for takeoff and then the actual shuttle liftoff. Come Friday when I was laying on the couch all day, in between naps I found myself drawn to the NASA website again and again. It pretty much continued through the weekend and on.

I had new found love for NASA, the space shuttle, astronauts, the International Space Station (ISS), and outer space. I think because this mission was Discovery's last, as well as being one of the last three space shuttles in space made it very special and somewhat emotional. The kids became very interested in it as well, which was very exciting to watch. Evan especially loved watching online with me. We would watch the videos posted and many times watch the live feed. It's seems so crazy to me the things we can do these days. I'm sitting in my living room watching on my computer astronauts floating around the ISS. The idea of going to outer space fascinates me. It's exciting and scary all at the same time.

The kids and I watched parts of both of the space walks last week with astronauts Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew. I don't recall ever watching a space walk and it just amazed me to no end. The thought of being out there in space tethered to the ISS is crazy scary to me, but at the same time it's so neat and amazing. I loved watching every minute of it. I managed to catch the two astronauts entering the hatch back into the ISS after the space walk one day. Then on the second space walk day I got to see them exit the hatch and go out into space and start the space walk. Very amazing how it's all done and kudos to the astronauts for doing a spectacular job on the space walks.

Today Discovery came home, and it's all my little guy talked about all week. He knew which day it was and didn't forget. He kept asking if we could get to Florida in time to watch the landing. What a kid. The scheduled landing was for 11:57a.m. this morning and it landed at 11:57a.m. I don't know who was more excited for it, Evan or me. It was going to be a historical moment for sure because it was Discovery's last landing before being retired. Evan got home from school just in time, and two minutes later Discovery landed at 11:57a.m. in Florida. It was definitely a little emotional to watch and so cool to see the astronauts come down off Discovery and talk to the media. A great moment indeed.

I'm already looking forward to Endeavour's liftoff in April. That mission will be extra special to watch, as Mark Kelly, husband of Gabrielle Giffords, commands the shuttle mission. I've been following that whole story since the horrible shooting in Tucson. It will be a very special moment especially if Gabby Giffords is able to watch her husband. Fingers crossed she keeps healing and progressing as they say she is. I highly recommend that if you haven't checked that you do. There's so much good and fascinating information there. Watch the videos and check out the photos. Awesome! Most definitely, watch NASA TV on if you never have. I'm going to leave you with a couple of my favorite photos from Discovery's mission. Farewell Discovery.

Shuttle liftoff Feb. 24, 2011
Astronaut Steve Bowen during the second spacewalk attached to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint outside the ISS
Space shuttle Discovery landing at Kennedy Space Center. Picture perfect landing!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monkey Muffin Recipe

Here's the recipe I promised for the monkey muffins. I ran across them on the Taste of Home Facebook page last week. Someone had posted the recipe in the comments under another post. They sounded yummy so I thought I'd give them a try. Any excuse to get some more use out of the KitchenAid! Not to mention that I love peanut butter and bananas!!!! Very easy to make. I made some mini muffins and some regular size muffins.

Monkey Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas, peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined miniature muffin cups three-fourths full. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 6 dozen.

This was included in the recipe:
Nutrition Facts: 2 muffins equals 126 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 112 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Almost better!

*Note- I've been having computer issues and just realized I didn't publish my blog post from Thursday so if you didn't read yet, you may want to read before this. My computer screen has been going black. I have to close the screen and open it back up and sometimes it comes back on and sometimes it doesn't. It's been a real pain and a lot of the time it will only come back on if the screen is open just a little bit. Which in turn means I can't use my computer unless I want to peek through the slim opening. I think it's going to have to go in and get fixed. I keep putting it off though because I just can't be without a computer. So if you're not hearing from me then that's why because I'm having computer issues. Anyhow, onto blog business now!

I got into the doctor on Friday morning which I was so happy about. The doc said pretty much everyone the office had seen this past week had the same thing as I did. More than likely it was a touch of influenza and possibly I could have strep throat. She didn't think it was necessary to do a strep test because they're not always accurate, but the prescription she was giving me would cover all the above. So I got some meds, and by Friday evening I was feeling so much better. I could finally swallow without my throat killing and felt so much relief from the soreness and throat irritation I'd been dealing with all week. I've got to take the meds for five days, but I'm already pretty much back to normal. I think I'm about 99%! I'm going into Evan's school on Tuesday to help out so I'm keeping my fingers crossed I don't get all the little kiddo germs all over me! :)

Our weekend was pretty relaxing. Evan brought home a ton of homework on Friday so we've been working on that all weekend. I still can't even believe the stuff they do in kindergarten these days! Like this math sheet below:
I swear I did not do math worksheets like that in kindergarten. Isn't that more like first/second grade? Evan's been working on his journal for the past month that he has to write at least three times a week. He must write at least two sentences and draw a picture. His teacher asked us at conferences to "push" him a little more and do more than two sentences because she said Evan's a great writer and knew he could do it. So we have and he's done a great job. The homework journal goes back tomorrow and he'll be graded on it for his report card coming home in the next week.

Yesterday the kids went to see Rango with Greg's mom. We could have gone with them, but since there are a couple other movies out we wanted to see we seized the opportunity to go to our own movie while we were kid free. We went to see Just Go With It starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. I love Adam Sandler, he's very funny. However I wasn't sure how funny it would be with him and Jennifer Aniston together. Surprisingly it was very funny and we both enjoyed the movie. It was a little predictable, but still funny and we got some Saturday afternoon laughs! It was movie day on Saturday and after some grocery shopping we came home and watched Couples Retreat. The movie was good, nothing over the top, but not horrible.

That was pretty much our excitement over the weekend. It was nice to have a low key weekend and not have to have a million things planned. I did make some new muffins Friday night that turned out excellent! I ran across a recipe for monkey muffins and thought I'd make them for our neighbor Liana for her birthday which was Saturday. You really can't go wrong with peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate chips! Yum-o! I'll be posting the recipe soon.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


First I'd like to start by wishing my wonderful niece a very happy 15th birthday! I'm not sure how I have a niece who is 15 already, but I do! I must be getting old! Hope you had a wonderful birthday today Kaite and the next year brings you much joy and happiness. I'm so proud of the young lady you've become and you hold a special place in my heart! Happy birthday!

A week ago I started getting a sore throat. I didn't think too much of it and figured it would go away in a couple days. Well, by Friday morning it was ten times worse, and right after I dropped Evan off at school I was feeling a little funny. I was light headed, had a headache, and just wanted to cry from how bad my throat felt. I made it home from school, gave Em a bath, and by the time I was done with that, I couldn't do anymore. I was dizzy, started getting the chills, had a fever, headache, etc. I texted Greg to see if he could pick up Evan because I really didn't think I should be driving. He was able to thank goodness so I curled up on the couch. I was hot, I was cold, I was hot, I was cold. My head was pounding and my body ached all over. By the time Greg and Evan got home from school I was pretty much out of it. I knew I wasn't going to be much help to entertaining the kids Friday afternoon so Greg called his mom to see if she could take the kids for me. She did and I was able to sleep all afternoon. I was so relieved they could go to YaYa's for awhile. A huge thanks to Greg's mom for taking the kids and letting me rest in peace and quiet. The kids actually ended up spending the night so I got to rest quietly all evening on the couch too. I wasn't much company to Greg, but he was a sweetie and ran out Friday night to get me a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's because I knew it would feel good on my throat. Thanks honey, it was the perfect "medicine!"

By Saturday morning I was feeling a lot better. Still had my sore throat and a little bit of a headache, but the fever and chills were gone. Saturday night was a different story and in the middle of the night the fever, chills, and a monstrous headache returned. I was up all night. Sunday was a low key day around the house and finally by late Sunday I was feeling much better again. Everything was finally gone except the damn sore throat. All week I was popping Luden's cough drops and Chloraseptic throat lozenges. By today I'm still not shaking this sore throat so I think I'm going to call the doctor in the morning and hopefully get a same day appointment for Friday. I don't think I can make it through the weekend with this nasty sore throat so hoping I'll get some meds!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's March!

It's that time of year again folks. It's March and coming from the Shearwater Nest that means it's BIRTHDAY MONTH. Let the countdown begin, only 16 days until my birthday! I love the month of March for other reasons besides my birthday! As an aunt, I love that my niece shares the same birthday month as me, and that our birthdays are exactly two weeks apart. As a teacher, I love that my birthday month is also reading month. Which coincides with Dr. Seuss' birthday tomorrow that is also "read across America day." As a sports fan, I love March Madness! Although MSU is hanging by a thread as to whether they'll make the tourney or not, I still like March Madness. It won't be the same if MSU isn't in the tourney, but it'll still be fun to watch the games. I also love March because it means that winter is near it's end and spring officially begins on March 20th. Lots of things to look forward to this month!

We're going to be reading everyday this month to celebrate reading month. Whether it's me reading to the kids or them reading to me. Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to the library to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. It's been awhile since we've been there and the kids have been asking so I think tomorrow is the perfect day to go pick out some books! Before I leave you tonight, I have a cute story to share about my Evan. After school today, he got in the car and I asked him what he did today (he always has to tell me at least three things). He was telling me about doing the Smartboard at school with the new calendar for March, and that he learned that march 20th is the first day of spring. He then went on to tell me he got picked to go up to the board and mark a special day (A handful of students get picked each day to mark special days on the calendar, i.e. their birthday, a holiday, a vacation, etc.). He said, "Mom, I marked your birthday on the calendar on the 17th which is St. Patrick's Day because that's a special day. I wanted everyone to know it's your birthday on that day." Awww, my little Evan melted my heart. Especially since I always hear from his teacher how much he talks about his dad in school and how he's always missing his dad. My little guy was thinking about his momma today! :)