4 Month-a-birthday

Guess who is 4 months old now?

If you guessed our little PS then you are correct!

Baby girl is growing and getting sweeter and smarter by the day!

She is still not a fan of her car seat!  But we can now go for a quick trip to the next big city over, without screaming like a banshee the whole ride.  Which is great since I will be headed that way this week for computer repair.

She enjoys tummy time with her books.  And will fuss for page changes.  She is a fan of I KISSED THE BABY by Mary Murphy.  The illustrations are black and white and it captures her attention.

She coos and ‘talks’ to us when we look at her.

She turns to my voice when laying on the bed.

She still takes 4 hour morning naps, eventually I will stop napping when she does.

Big brother R is still the PS whisper’er, we still pass her off to him when we need to get something done during her fussy time.

She has found her fingers and is sucking the center 2 fingers right now, she has not yet chosen a hand to favor, I am not sure if she will lose interest in her paci for her fingers.  Time will tell.

We go to the doctor this week to check her growth and development, we are behind which is expected, but we are progressing nicely.

The biggest news is she had reached double digits in her weight.  Baby Girl is 10 pounds now!

1461321_10202207039230233_1669708615_n(A picture I had in my Media File on WordPress, the computer is still broken and holding my pictures hostage)

We are all completely smitten with this tiny bundle of a miracle!

And I realize how quickly time is racing past us, as we prepare for the first baby’s graduation events, I can’t help but wish time to slow down.  Because of this, we are taking our time, looking at books, snuggling and rocking, breathing in her fresh baby smells, and not wishing our way towards growing up {except of course wishing for quiet car seat rides}

What about you?  Are you noticing how fast time is moving forward?

Go hug your kids, they need your love, life is just too short to not let people know how important they are to you.
jen

p.s.  Our PS has some exciting news to share with you this week!

 

Broken Computer and Other Thoughts

My computer died.

Almost 2 weeks ago, it was running slow, so I used the power button and shut the whole thing down.  Only when I shut it down, it did not ask the normal questions.  The screen instantly went black.  I wondered, waited and restarted it.  Only when I restarted it, the computer asked me to choose a language.  I knew that was NOT good.  I called out to Keith, who took a turn gave it to C who fiddled for a little bit, questioned me and said, “it is broken”.

I took it to a local computer repair place, explained all I did.  They gave it their best shot…

They called me.

It is broken.

My only hope is to take it to APPLE and see if some super smart tech can do magic.  So now we are off to the big city to the west of us to see if they can fix it.

I am trying not to panic, I am trying not to be cranky, I am trying to remain calm.  But I am most worried about the pictures.  I can get a new computer, I cannot relive the moments of those pictures.  I am sick with worry about them.

I was using my iPad and there is just no way I can blog on it so today with much to share this week I hijacked Keith’s home computer.  I can’t put pictures on the blog until I find where his pictures are.

So that is what I have been up too.  What about you? Ever have your computer die and what did you do to rescue your pictures???
jen

Rotten Strawberries

If you read yesterdays post you know that I bought strawberries from the school fund-raiser.  On Monday they had more berries, on Tuesday morning I picked up 10 flats, chatted with the guy who loaded them in and drove away.  After we left school, I made a few happy strawberry deliveries, when I finally arrived home {in all actuality we were only driving around for 15 minutes, but when the baby is screaming like a banshee it feels much longer… trust me so much longer!}

After nap time I brought in the rest of the berries.  When I went to the van I only had 3 flats left, ‘according to my calculations’ {bonus points if you know who says that…} I should have had another flat…  Oh well, I thought, I started cleaning berries.  That night Keith and I escaped to Target, we needed milk, I remarked that the van still smelled like strawberries.  The sweet yummy real smell, not the chemical candle or room freshener smell.

Wednesday Keith took the kids to school for me, he also took the kids to youth group and brought them all home again.

Today, Thursday, R went to the van to go to school and came back in.  “the van stinks like fermenting strawberries”  {really he said fermenting berries, not rotten fruit like I would have but fermenting berries} there are fruit flies all over the place.

Light bulb moment… I KNEW I had 10 flats of berries

I sent him back out to look under all 3 rows of seats.

Sure enough, there it was that last flat of berries, in one of my stops it must have slid back under that 3rd row and since the van was so clean it slid easily. IMG_2218There is the flat of offensive rotting berries.  They don’t look so bad from far away, except for the foam on the top of the clam shells and the fuzzy growing things on the berries themselves, oh and the fact that the berries on bottom are rotting so the top berries are no longer to the top of the clam shell because they are sinking in the rotten mess.IMG_2219Would you believe that only a little bit of berry juice leaked out?  Nice fuzzy berries huh?

So, todays lesson class, {again can you guess who says that?} If you think you have 10 flats of berries but you can only account for 9, check again, and check one more time.  Thankfully R has a sensitive stomach and can smell things quickly otherwise I am sure this afternoon it would not have been so neat and easy to clean up.

Go hug your kids, they need the love,  and anyone want some strawberry cordial?  I could have made some if I’d have waited one more day.

jen

 

Strawberries and Nacho Cheese

Strawberry season is just coming to a close for us down in this southern region.  We’ve got a few more weeks but then we will have to rely on imported from the north or strawberries from California {when does their growing season end?}  I love this season, and even more I love how very cheap we can get the flats.  If you drive out to where the farms are, in the evenings, you can see workers selling flats for as cheap as $5 a flat.  We had a fund-raiser at school and they were going for $5 a flat there too, which meant I did not have to drive out to the farms I could pick them up in car line at school.  So I did.  I’ve put up 3 flats of berries so far and have 1 more flat to put up.  We’ve eaten almost 2 flats of them already.  I am surprised we are not turning red from the berries.  I would make jam but I am in the minority at our house for Strawberry Jam.

Have you read the children’s book JAMBERRY?  If not I suggest you get a copy it is a sweet story about a little boy who goes berry picking.  It was C’s favorite book as a toddler.  We read it so much I had to buy a new copy we actually wore the book out.  We both can recite it almost word for word, 18 years later I still love that book.

As I was saying with that many flats of berries, I have been washing then and slicing them to flash freeze them.  I can use them later to make strawberry things or smoothies.  I think we’ve had strawberry short-cake more than is normal in the last few weeks.  What do you do with your strawberries?

O went peach picking with a family friend this weekend.  So now I have to freeze sliced peaches, to use in baking later on and for smoothies.  She is planning on going again this coming weekend.  The peaches are small but tasty.  I’m making a peach cobbler to go with our dinner tonight.  {Chicken chili poor C hates soups he wants to “chew” his food}

Now that C has his cap and gown, it is time to start planning for his Graduation Open House Party.  I have asked him if he wants to combine with friends and have a group one, which is quite popular down here, he says his friends don’t want to have an open house.  {are they crazy the party is the time to get gifts for college, or just money and gift cards… they are missing out.}  So I have been playing on pinterest looking for ideas on foods/themes/decorations/and invites.  The only thing he knows he wants is for the food to be Nachos.  How simple is that.  Today when I was starting my grocery list for next week, I put down Nacho Cheese, the good kind, from the can at Sam’s club, and I felt a little pull at my heart.  In buying the food stuffs for the open house party, I am acknowledging that it is really happening, we have a cap, and a gown, and now we will have some of the foods stuffs, I can’t stop time no matter what I try.  His party is not for a few more weeks but I figure if I start buying the non perishable food stuffs now it will save me some stress and effort in the long run.

I had a friend ask how little A’s hair was growing, if the comb over was still rocking and if we were able to “do” her hair.IMG_2214This is what I have to work with
{Don’t mind the dirty laundry basket behind her, I try to ignore it}IMG_2215I have to put product in her hair to make it lay flat, then comb over some long hair in hopes of “pinning” down the super short hairs.  Then after I fix her hair I have to use clips to hold it in place.IMG_2217So by the end of the day her hair looks like this.  I know technically it looks like bangs but they are crooked, and the hair at her crown is now an inch long.  Only about 8 more months before I can think about cutting it all to even it out.
{Don’t mind the chocolate under her nose or on her cheer, I try to ignore that too}

What about you?  What fruit is in season for you?  Did you have a graduation open house party?  What was the food/theme?

Go hug your kids, because if they are not already out of high school, they will soon be choosing their party food.

jen

Sorry if the title was misleading, No one here is serving strawberries with nacho cheese.  
That would just be nasty…

Strange Things in Our Yard and Other News

One afternoon this past week, after car line, after snacks, after book bags were put away a few of us walked into the family room, one of us glanced out the window and noticed this:  That is the entire table top shattered into literally millions of pieces.
Millions of them…IMG_2187Can you see it?  All that glass.IMG_2191Seriously millions of pieces.  This took some effort to get it all cleaned up, and much of it fell between the cracks.
{Thanks Keith for cleaning it up for me.}

After glass clean-up I noticed maybe a dozen holes in the yard right near the back deck.  Any guesses what they are?  Did you guess snake hole?  Because if you had then you would be correct. IMG_2188Not knowing what kind of snake was living, and potentially laying eggs down there I quickly went inside.  Later when headed to the grocery store I saw a “black racer” slither away.  O was going with me so she took some pictures.  I put out a plea on FB on ways to get rid of the snake{s}, the overwhelming response was to let them alone.  The black snake apparently keeps away coral and rattlers,{which another FB friend commented that they are coming out of “hibernation” without hot temperatures}  Ok I am great with anything that will keep away the bad snakes!  I was also told they eat rats, mice, other snakes, bugs and lizards.  All of that I am, for now, good with, as long as all those holes do not contain a nest with more snakes in it.

Our van like so many others family vehicle can get quite gross, full of crumbs, trash, unidentifiable debris, Sunday school papers, lolly pop sticks, stray hair bands, little rubber pieces from the football field, strings of pollen,and random shoes, I was grossed out by the condition, and came upon, I’m my opinion, a brilliant plan.  I was going to the car wash place, the one with the sign that said FREE VACUUM.  Free what a lovely word!  As I mention, it is getting hot, I also knew I would either have to leave someone to babysit PS or bring them all along.  I picked up 3 from school on Friday, four if you count Keith, I knew a cool sweet treat would make the chore less annoying.  We stopped at CFA for ice dream cones {I don’t know if you know this or not, but you can trade an unopened kids meal toy in for a small cone.  We save the kids toys in their original bag for such a time as this.}  We had a cool treat, the kids played in the play place.  When we were finished they wanted to know what we were going to do next…  As we pulled into the car wash that had the FREE VACUUM sign, Keith pointed out the very small words ‘with car wash’ under the much larger, read it from the road while driving fast words.  Dang.  So Keith paid for the cheapest wash just to use the vacuums.  The kids were out of their seats and declared “this is so cool”  the whole time.  Now my van in clean inside and out, the kids were able to experience a “cool car wash” and we had ice dream cones as a bonus.  {C was at our State Solo and Ensemble Competition, and R was with my mom at Home Depot, then dinner. So you don’t think we intentionally left kids out.}  I know I could have done the entire job at home, but it would have been so much more of a hassle, dragging out the vacuum, then finding an extension cord, finding enough rags for all who wanted to wash, then finding swim suits for those who needed to put them on.  Finding a bucket, rags, the step stool, and soap all to wash the van, not even thinking about putting the whole mess away.  Yes, the more I think about it 3 bucks was really quite a deal.  The cheapest wash cycle was, I am sure better than what my kids could have done.

 Recently little A found her paci {she took it for 2 months until she could find her fingers} tonight she decided she was going to sleep with it… after a few minutes of trying she gave up. lest you think she is jealous of PS and her paci, in the next minute she offered to nurse her for me…

Here is some baby sweetness for your viewing pleasureIMG_2198Exactly 2 minutes after this sweetness, she pooped out her outfit and all over my arms.

IMG_2209I got this question this week.  “Mom, why does PS have a hole or dent in her skull?”

Then there is this.
Ok so I did cry.IMG_2213Because THIS is really happening.
I am so not ready.
I am so sad that these two are growing up.
EC’s family has been friends of ours since these two were only  3 years old.
How can they both be growing up on me?
Tonight was the ‘pre-grad’ party.  The kids are given their caps and gowns and tassels.  They will get their cords and sashes and other tassels right before graduation if their grades earn that recognition.  But tonight they got the basics.  They also got their announcements and anything else they have ordered.  Hopefully since everything is handed out at once, nothing gets lost or shoved in a locker to be forgotten about.

What about you, ever have a table break for no known reason?  Did you have a pre grad party when you were finishing high school?

Go hug your kids, they need your love, and graduation season is just around the corner.
jen

Don’t Take My Penny, the Actual Play

Have you seen the play Don’t Take My Penny?  Do you know the story line?  I did not, I did not even know what was actually going to happen until I saw the first production, which made it fun to see.  The basic story line, Penny is smitten with the possibility of becoming a movie star, in a movie based on a popular book.  Kerry is her boy friend {C} he does not want Hollywood to “take his Penny”  do you see the name?  Yes it was an ah’ha moment for me.  Kerry and his best friend go through all sorts of schemes trying to make sure that Penny does not go into movies.  Included in the cast of characters is the funny grandma, Penny’s best friend who thinks she will go far, his best friend who is willing to do anything to keep Kerry happy and the girl friend home.  Penny’s brother who only wants a chicken farm, and a sister who truly is a movie star quality, an agent, a former child actor playing a maid and the parents who are clueless to their family problems..  Yesterday I posted pictures of the set that we did for Don’t Take My Penny.  I promised that I would post pictures of the actual play.  I did steal a few pictures from AV {the friend who helped with the set}  I will try to remember which ones are hers and give credit where credit is due.IMG_0762The seniors LAST play together.IMG_0659Kerry and Penny IMG_0658Kerry and Penny’s best friend.IMG_0660Kerry and Grandma, she was trying to devise a plan with the boys to keep Penny home.IMG_0662Penny trying to impress the director of the movie she wants to star in.  {which is really Kerry in disguise}IMG_0663The “director” of the movie trying to convince Penny she is perfect, then again not so perfect.10009863_10202224846715523_911068294_nNotice the fine spray of tea that he spews all over the stage.  Spitting is apparently a skill that can be used later in life.IMG_0695Kerry and the “fake” maid, she was planted at their house in hopes of staring in the same movie Penny wanted to be in.IMG_0692Kerry worried about Penny really leaving him to go off and be an actress.IMG_0724Kerry and his best friend trying to trick Penny into thinking Kerry has moved on.IMG_0725Anyone notice anything familiar about this picture?IMG_0083Yes they were back at it again.10006976_10202224848795575_43830703_nThe “maid” and Penny’s brother went to look at a farm, they ended up with a chicken.  For a while we had a hard time finding a chicken we stumbled upon this one in the costume room, we really thought it would be funnier to use a real chicken.
{photo from AV}IMG_0742The brother, farmer, the fake maid, former child star and her agent {he is the one who came in and out our terrace window}IMG_0677They were so funny together.  Best friends who knew how to feed off each other, and the audience, to keep us all laughing.IMG_0697I’m sad that this is the last time I will see this boy on stage for a school play or musical.  I am going to miss sitting through all the productions, listening to him talk about practice and finding costume pieces, I’m going to miss set work {although AV said I have to work for 2 more years until our girls graduate then I can quit.} I’m going to miss watching him shine with the things he loves to do.  I am sure I will go to other productions {E is already talking about trying out for the fall musical} I will laugh and smile and hum along.  I know the first production I go to next fall, I will be sad, and nostalgic, when I think of the past productions I have watched.

IMG_2174This sweetness is glad that the play is over, only because she has no idea what she missed out on.

Go hug your kids and share with them a fun memory of high school.
jen

Don’t take my Penny Set Work

In the midst of settling in with a fresh from the hospital baby, I received an e-mail from the musicals/plays director.  Actually the email went to all senior parents.  It was asking for parent volunteers to come work on the set.  There was no-way I was going up, I had a baby who was less than a month old, we were to avoid large crowds, and learn how to get on at home, with a monitor, a newborn, a preschooler, ballet, school, basketball, trial team, and 7 children.  I had a trump card I did not have to go it!  But to be polite I responded to the email, letting her know that IF no one else volunteered to let me know and I could go in and work on it.  Days later I once again received an email, no one volunteered to come work.  No one.  Seriously, not a single senior parent sent back an email.  Ok time to pull up my boot straps, tie the baby on, and give it a go.  Once a loyal set worker learned I was going to do it, she replied that she would work, but not be in charge of the set.  {Whew}  I did have 2 more people volunteer, one who her schedule never lined up with our work days, and a dad who came and painted 2 of the walls for us.

This set was easy, the entire production would take place in the family room.  We only had to design and decorate 1 room, well two if you consider the family was “remodeling” the dining room so there was also a table and chairs in the room.  A 1940’s style family room that would be shared by both the high school and middle school productions of Don’t Take My Penny.

AV and I worked together on a few other sets, we think alike on set work, we make quick decisions, we don’t second guess or re-do our work, we do it right the first time.  We met at Chick Fil A both of us with pictures we had pinned on pinterest of rooms, accessories, decorations, and paint colors from the 1940’s.  After eating, chatting and coming up with a plan we headed to Hob’Lob looking for a template for the wall paint.  The family in the play had money, so we decided to have their house as up to date on the fashion colors and design.

IMG_0634We choose a geometric pattern, we found this to be quite close to the popular patterning from the 40’s.

From Left to RightIMG_0626 We were going to go with a lovely green shade but when I went into the cafeteria/auditorium I noticed that the whole room is shades of green {sea-foam green to be exact} we did not want to lose the set in the green, we decided to go with our 2nd color choice.  PINK which if you will look it up was quite popular in the 40′.  Who knew?
{We used bolts of fabric to show that they were “redecorating the dining room”
The door on the left the middle school used for a kitchen door, the high school did not use the door}
IMG_0627We copied the designs of having only 1 wall “fancy” while the rest were simple and plain.
{The table and lamp were from AV’s house, the chairs were up there when we started,
the large artwork was loaned to us we found the broken violin in the storage room}

IMG_0628Because PS did not want me to paint, AV did the entire back wall, it took her a few days of putting in a few hours each day.  The hardest part was the lining up the template, the wall is actually cardboard walls that have been used in MANY productions, we had to cover our walls from Peter Pan, there was also a wall from years ago when we did Seussical the Musical Jr, there was even one from Cheaper by the Dozen that was wall papered with textured paper.  Needless to say they are wavy, warped, and some were textured, she had to line up the template to be straight even when she felt it was wrong.  It looked amazing!
{The table was loaned to us the radio was found in the costume room, we purchased the bird cage at GoodWill and used gold spray paint to dress it up, the birds were hot glued on from Hob’Lob the window was painted on to fit the treatment that was loaned to us}IMG_0630The right wall, the window opened to the “terrace” and one of the kids came in and out the window.
{We “found” the grandfather clock up in the storage attic, the window seat is built in an the hat rack with phone were from AV’s house.  The furniture were also loaned to us, most of the pieces were gathered from our houses or purchased at GoodWill}
We were thankful because it added character, took up a large space and we did not have to build it out of cardboard.
Actually this is the very first set I have worked on where we did not build anything out of cardboard.IMG_0634Can you see the texture wall border in the window?  That was difficult to stencil over.

TaDaIMG_0635The finished product.IMG_0636Sorry it is a little blurry.
{The table was set with dishes not the bags and boxes we took home}

We were able to have the set finished {except for the foods stuff} well before the dress rehearsal.  I know C was thankful they hate to have dress rehearsal when the stage is not ready, they can’t practice when they have walls or big pieces missing.  Our goal was a great looking set, finished quickly, and for cheap.

Tomorrow I’ll show you pictures of the actual play.

What about you?  Did you do “Don’t Take My Penny” in high school or college?  What part did you play?  O worked back stage this production and had a great time!  Did you work back stage?

Go hug your kids, they need your love.
jen

I know a lot of my readers don’t find the play sets interesting but a few people have found ideas when searching for their own set designs, this is mostly for them, hoping to give ideas since we have copied others ideas on our sets.