Friday, September 30, 2011

Focus on the Family--October Edition

I am shocked that it is already time to turn over the calendar.  This month was tough but it FLEW by.  It seems like just yesterday we were unpacking the car from our time at the lake....I can't believe it is already FALL and now October!  This month is another busy one for us.  We will be spending some time at the lake, my baby girl turns 2, a bunch of parties and then of course Halloween!  This is my favorite time of the year and I am not trying to let the crazy get to me :)  Here are our family goals.

Family Time
*Go on a family adventure
*Spend a weekend (or 2) at the lake
*Host a big Family Party for C's birthday
*iChat with Daddy more often
Z and C Time
* Help Z night potty train (it's me)
*Get Outside every day we can
*Keep one morning a week a Lazy Morning
*Limit screen time
*Plan C's Birthday

Momma Time
*Join the Pilates Studio (and go at least once a week)
*Girls Night Out
*find some ME time each week
*Month 3 of my Happiness Project

Momma and Papa Time
*Date Night
*Really Start 5 Hours a Week (more on that later)
*Try to see each other at least once during the week (M-F)

Home Time
*Finish the Garage Make Over
*Start up Once a Month Cleaning Again
*Get back to healthy eating
*start the basement Make Over

Counting My Blessings
Today I am thankful for my beautiful Tante.  My great aunt, "Tante" passed away almost a year ago but we will finally celebrate her life at the beginning of this month (long story as to why it has taken so long).  There will be an entire weekend dedicated to the beautiful person that she was and people will travel from all over the country.  It will be a time filled with laughter, tears and great memories.  I was so blessed to have my Tante in my life.  She was always more like a 3rd grandmother to me and I miss her each and every day.  I love you Tante, thanks for bringing so many blessings into my life!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Time

We went apple picking over the weekend at the cutest little farm.  We had to drive a ways to get there but it was so worth it.  S and I are not one for big crowds and the apple orchards around us are always PACKED.  You end up fighting for good apple picking trees and the lines in the farm stand are always out of control.  We had this orchard pretty much to ourselves and it was so darn quaint.

We bought a big bag and then took a tractor hayride out to the orchard.  The ride brought you through the farm where we got to see the pigs, their extensive garden and even the honey bees.  There were only two families out in the orchard while we were there and the kids had a ball picking apples.  We then returned to the farm stand and the kids played on the playground while I shopped in the store.  After some apple cider donuts, it was time to hit the road.
 It was a little warmer than I would have liked for apple picking (high 70's) but the rain held off and we had a wonderful time.  When I got home I made up a big pot of apple sauce and will dehydrate a batch of apples this week.  I love this time of is so tasty!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Z's Birthday Tree

Today my baby boy turns 5.  He officially leaves the baby stage of life and heads into the young child stage.  This leaves me with such mixed emotions :(  I am so proud of the little boy he has become but I so miss the baby that I use to snuggle up with.  Today, while Z is at school, I will spend some time looking through his photo books and watching old videos.  I will most likely sob through the whole ordeal.  Then when I pick him up from school,  I will hug my big boy and tell him how proud I am of him and how excited I am for this next stage of his life.  He is such a special person.

We have celebrated 5 in a big way :)  He had two parties (one at the lake in early September with family and one here on Friday with friends).  For his birthday present, Z asked to go to Story Land and so we did that last weekend, this morning we will have our traditional cake for breakfast (well Z is going to have a birthday cookie but the rest of us will eat cake ;)) and my dad is coming into his classroom for the special birthday ceremony that they do.  This year Z also asked for a "Birthday Tree".  He wanted to decorate it with the Peace Ornaments he made at school and wanted his smaller presents under the tree (Story Land wouldn't fit).  Considering how much I love Christmas and the fact that it is only 60 days until we would have put it up anyway....we did it!  It is in his room and he LOVES it :)

Happy Birthday Z, I love you more than words can say.  Thanks for making me the happiest mommy in the world and for giving me the best job on the planet.

I LOVE you 100 x 5 x 1,000,000 x INFINITY more :)

Story Land Pictures

 A Few Birthday Party Pictures From Friday

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today I'm Happier Than A Tornado in a Trailer Park!

Da Gum!  Today is Z's big birthday party!  He and 10 friends (and 6 babies) will gather together for a Rootin' Tootin' Good Time...Tall Tale Mater Style.  We have organized a party that centers around that lovable Tow Truck and the DVD of Short Tall Tale Stories, Cars Toon, Mater's Tall Tales.
We had a whole outdoor obstacle course planned where the children would have had to jump over cars, spray fire out with hoses, fight a bulldozer, race Tokyo Mater style and fly to the moon......but rain is predicted :(  So we had to move the party indoors and set up a whole bunch of new activies.

There is a scavenger hunt to look for the 9 different maters from the movie, a table where they can make their own UFO ("Mator") and Mater, a Monster Truck Wrassling ring, Luigi and Guido's Tire Toss, our Radiator Springs Village with all of the Cars Characters, a Cars Reading Nook, Ramone's Tattoo parlor and the Cozy Cone Play area for all the little ones.  When the kids are all tuckered out they can come to Flo's V8 cafe for some pizza, juice and a mater cupcake.

Below are some pictures of the set up.  My friend Claire is the Artist who made all the big (bed) sheets we have hung all around the house :)  She made them for her son's birthday a few years back.  I was thrilled when she offered them to us, they are so great!

It should be an AWESOME day and if "I'm Lyin, I'm Cryin!"

Hanging in our Cathedral Family room :)
The Kitchen :)
Arts and Crafts and Tattoos :)
Design a Mator (UFO) and Mater

The Cozy Cone Play Area
more cozy cone stuff
bathroom :)
Tire Toss
Monster Truck Wrassling Ring
Prehistoric Radiator Springs
Cars Play Village

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Z's Birthday Trip to Goodwill

Each year on their birthday and Christmas, I have each child pick one toy for each year they have been on this planet to donate to Goodwill.  This year Z had to donate 5 toys and Lil' C 2 (S and I are working on 34 items a piece....I am finished, he not so much ;)).  For Lil' C this year I picked out her 2 toys but Z picked out 9 toys!  This was the first year that he really understood the importance of this task and took it very seriously.  I was so proud of the thought and heart that went into his decisions.  I did help him with a few suggestions but for the most part he picked the toys himself.

My proudest moment was when I went to put his space station into the car and he cried out, "Wait mommy, let me go and find all the pieces that go with that!"  I asked if he was sure that he wanted to donate the men and space ship that went along with the toy and he said, "Yes so that way the next kid who gets it will know what to do and have fun." 

He was so excited to go with me to drop off the toys and my heart swelled with pride as we pulled up to the store.  My little man is growing up!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tomato Fever

This is my second year canning over here at Raising Z and Lil' C.  Last year I thought I would give it a whirl and canned 40 lbs of tomatoes.  I realized that the savings in doing this was minimal over buying organic canned tomatoes but the product was worth the trouble.  All winter long (until about March) we had one delicious tomato dish a week.  We used them to make soup, sauce and other pasta dishes.  It was so nice to have the fresh taste of summer all winter.
 So for those reasons, I decided to do endure the hot kitchen on a warm September day and try it once again.  I learned a lot from my many mistakes last year so this year went a lot smoother.  I am still only doing the 40 lbs because of our lack of good storage and this year S wanted to try adding salsa to the process.  We have been having so much fun making different types of salsa.  So far we have 10 pint jars and we have a smoky, spicy type and a mild.  S wants to make a bunch more and then make labels for them.  If we can get some beer brewed we will have a nice little Christmas gift :)
 Applesauce is up next but I freeze this and store it in our chest freezer.  I still have one bag from last year that I am saving but now that apple season is upon us, I think it is time to open it up.  The applesauce I made last year tasted like apple pie filling (without the guilt) GOOD.  It may be a lot of work to prepare food for the winter but it is the perfect way to brighten up a cold, dreary winter day! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Making Memories....

A Special Adventure while Daddy was away this week on business.  I love that we can still sneak in adventures, even with school :)  The museum had a special event to get ready for "Talk Like a Pirate Day", which is on Monday.

Z is a bit big for that slide!
Sailing Away
Pirate story
Walking the plank
Making pirate hats
Hunting for treasure