Monday, May 30, 2011

Ready for Smore Summer Fun??

Our neighbor friends invited us over Monday evening for Smores using their fire pit. MMMmmm good times, good friends & good smores!! Also helps me mark one more thing off the Summer Fun Checklist!!

The group (minus the mommies).

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They almost look scared to start eating…silly kids.

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They were some BIG…no HUGE marshamellows!!!

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They finally got brave & gave ‘em a try!!  Emma enjoyed hers, but Aidan quickly gave up smore eating b/c it would get him…dirty…WHAT?!?!  So like any good mommy I ate the remaining smore as to not let it go to waste. ;)Smores Fun (10)Smores Fun (11)

Isaac preferred his ingredients separate!! :)  All his chocolate & massive marshamellow ended up covered in dirt, sand & grass!! :)

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Thanks to great neighbors & playmates for the kiddos!!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Fun List ‘11 Edition

I love me a good list.  I function off lists.  Lists on paper, list on my phone, long term lists, short lists…LISTS!!!  AH the feeling of crossing an item off!! Yippie!! I may or may not be known to write something down just completed so it can be marked off to experience the rush…but I digress from my post. Focus.

I found a neat idea on line to ensure a summer full of fun. So my list began.  Some ideas from the blog post I found, some things I wanted to do with the kids, and a few things I knew we were going to do (hehehe) & maybe even a thing or two we had just done!! (hahaha)

Summer Checklist

So far the list has kept me focused on spending time with the kids & making their summer memorable aaaand maybe a time or two it’s driven me NUTSO b/c Emma has deemed herself “keeper (& nagger) of the list”. :)

We made homemade pizza on the last day of school, went to the zoo Tuesday with our neighbor friends, had a Freddy’s picnic the 1st Friday out of school, had root beer floats tonight & Matt, Emma & Aidan had “yummy” easy bake confections on Monday (below).

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*Disclaimer we are also participating in laundry conservation or so it appears as my children are neked in most photos taken in the home?!?!??!!

Summer Zoo Trip

To get all the bang for our buck with our zoo membership we made a 2nd trip to the Phoenix zoo Tuesday, this time with our neighbors.  It was one of the only double digit temperature days in the forecast so jumped at the chance to go before the triple digit melting temperatures hit.

Aidan & “S” planning out the route on the train.


We had visitors for our lunch…Mommy, Daddy & baby ducks!! So Cute! Isaac loved watching the giraffes!! 


The zoo has two water play/splash pad  areas & the kids LOVED playing in them!

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They don’t think any zoo trip is complete without a snow cone! :)   DSC08294DSC08291

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chillin’ by the pool??

urr…chillin’ by the rubbermaid container?!?!

Isaac spends most of his time when everyone is swimming throwing things in the water and reaching over the edge of the pool trying to get them out.  So one afternoon I decided to try a container of water for him to splash in.isaac in container

Based on past history he loves all dishes/containers of water.  Dog dish, toilet, sink, bathtub, shower, etc so I knew it would work!!  Of course the next day Aidan had to have his own bigger container…to which Isaac joined him.

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Being silly…


The $100 question is why can they get along while in a container together, yet can’t get along while having the whole house to roam????

Last Day of 1st Grade

Emma had so much fun & learned so much in 1st grade.  A grade level near & dear to my teaching heart.  Having been a teacher I began this year with the notion that I knew what her 1st grade teacher should be like. Boy did this mama learn a valuable lesson!!

When preparing to move here I prayed that she would get a teacher that was extra special to her & thus assist her with the huge transition of moving away from all things familiar. When we arrived & met Mrs.. “B” I was so relieved.  She was that oh so typical early elementary teacher.  Grandma like, cAute classroom, folders of information for parents, schedules & lists of rules, curriculum, etc. She was SO speaking MY language!! Emma loved her too.  We did NOT however love the 42 kids in her class!!!  By the end of the first week it was announced that a teacher was being moved down from SIXTH…as in 6th…as in almost middle school….grade to split the 1st grade class.

To be brutally honest one look at Mr.. “D” & I was unsure.  He wasn’t the “vision” I had for her teacher.  His classroom was NOT the colorful, cutsie Carson Dellousa decor I love & am familiar with.  There was little to NO communication.  Vast differences in our teaching methods & the teaching method between he & Mrs.. “B”.  There was even body language in how the other teachers treated him that stood out to me.  I was uneasy.  An open house to meet him helped some.  First parent teacher conferences helped a bit more…when he referred to Emma as “precocious”.  The EXACT word her Gma uses to describe her…I walked away from that with my eyes more open & my “vision” began to change.

The truth was he loves kids.  He relates to each individual child & knows their learning styles & personality quarks.   He seemed to have a connection with each kid.  He brought humor & fun to the classroom in his own way.  Each child held a job in the classroom that was specific to the child’s “gift”.

So lesson learned in 1st grade…by Mommy. It’s not in the colorful decorations, seasonal bulletin boards & detailed communication. It might be those exact things we (teachers) busy ourselves with that actually take away from time that should be spent connecting with our students. As we build that connection with students so grows their desire to absorb & learn the lessons we teachers present.

Not once all year did Emma complain about going to school.  She left each day with a smile & jumped in the vehicle at the end of each day grinning ear to ear.  Matt & I did have our share of irritation when being told frequently “but Mr. D said ____”. :)  Even in Kindergarten when she knew her teacher from our church & had a very BFF in her class she whined about going to school each day. I even worried in late Oct. when our neighbor girl she quickly attached to moved back to TX that she would begin grumbling about school…but she didn’t.

She loved to tell about the stories he shared about his travels.  She got a kick out of all the things he taught them that even 6th graders didn’t know!! :)  She had a very tender & softened heart about him being a widow.  She on several occasions talked about how lonely he must be b/c his wife died “sick like when your hair falls out”.  Just hearing the way she said it made me want to tear up!

I have a feeling each teacher from here on will be compared to Mr. “D”.  He retired after this year.  He had reached the age  & said it was either time to draw retirement, SS & state pension or pay into it.  I pray he enjoys each day of his retirement with all the things he loves.

Our last day of school was spent playing at the park and having our traditional 1st/last day of school meal.  Like (here her first day of Kind. & I failed to document the homemade pizza the last day of Kind. & 1st day of 1st grade…crazy move got me distracted)

My Lil’ Chef Extraordinaires-


Isaac adding sauce.  Emma & Aidan eating spreading cheese.


Cheese & Pepperoni & BBQ Chicken. Ready to bake.


   Ready to eat!!!


Can’t wait to see what 2nd grade has in store for Emma & preschool for Aidan!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Home Tour- Outdoor Edition

Another installment in my VERY sllllooooow going tour of our home. Outside!!!

Welcome to the jungle, we got trash & weeds…well we HAD weeds.

Here’s some side by side before & afters of our landscaping…

Looking out the sliding doors in the kitchen.  The fence is about 5 ft tall….yes there was a giant weed very close to the top…taller than the kids!!


The biggest desert jungle of them all.  The south side of the house was over grown hiding the 2 AC units & cement debris from the house construction.  The landscapers put down this small, fine rock/sand type mixture. They watered it down & then came the next day with a vibrating machine to tamp it down.  It gives the concept of cement but with a rough/rocky textured top. We plan to have the kids store their toys & ride on cars back here.  Matt also hopes to build a small structure to keep some of his yard implements.DSC07973DSC07994

Rattlesnake alley (also known as the north side of the house) too had lots of weeds & is where we keep our trash & recycling containers.  Don’t wanna keep your trash in the garage in 120 degree heat!! GAG!  They again used the same rock material as on the south side  making a pad to park the trash containers as well as a path out the gate connecting to the drive way making it MUCH easier to get the trash & recycling out each week!!


Around the pool was nothing but rock, weeds & 2 dead palms.  The landscapers planted about 12 plants, 2 Mediterranean palms & reworked our rock & smaller boulders for a more pleasing landscape. 

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A few of the palms they put in…


Which can grow to about 15 feet & eventually look like this:

This one was actually already in.  They trimmed it & it has doubled in branches since it’s been getting water!! Of course you can also see that some of the weeds are already coming back…they love the water too!!


The yard itself was…well…not a yard, but a crunchy weed path.  You know these weeds are hearty when they grow with NO water!!  The landscapers removed the weeds, worked the ground a bit & then fertilized.  They also redid some of the irrigation & sprinkler lines that were needing repaired.  Matt added seed, additional fertile soil & lots of water with in 2 weeks we’ve seen lots of change!!


The front was already well planted.  The workers trimmed the original plants, added a few new ones, trimmed trees & placed some new boulders.  A little harder to see in the pictures b/c of the sun & shadows..

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In the picture above you can see a section of the path that connects to the driveway.  Below is the rest of it that path the tree was hiding.   DSC07999 

I’m so excited for all the bushes to start blooming.  The most unique is this red one we planted one by the pool & one by the front door.


Despite being in the desert there’s lots of color…it just comes from bushes rather than grass! :) The one in the middle remains green but is bright green and almost looks fake!!

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We have several of this first one in the front and now in the back.  It blooms a red almost feather like blooms in the spring.  Then we have rosemary.  It’s very fragrant.

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Another one that remains green  & doesn’t bloom, but is a very bright green with a coarse look to it.  The last is almost a gray/green bush that blooms a very light purple.

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I love this bright yellow in our AZ landscape…but we’ll never forget the blue & red of KS!! :)

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We love the results!!  These lil critters love it too!! They have been frequent visitors in the AM sunning themselves on the wall and drinking the water from the morning sprinkler system run off.


Time for a swim party & BBQ…on Matt’s new grill he somehow worked into this transformation. :)

Isaac I’m afraid will be very sad that the landscapers are gone.  For what ever reason he LOVED the guy & always wanted the guy to hold him.  He cried when he left & was always trying to give him kisses!!! Silly boy.

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