Moving stuff around and relabeling. So things around here may seem whoppy-jawed for a week or so.
But what else is new?:)
These little What I Like About You mini books are just 15 pieces of 3x2 pieces of card stock with a hole punched in the top. The idea is that every morning for the first 14 days in February, my husband and my boys will find an additional little card telling them something I like about them at their breakfast table.
I numbered each page. Feb. 1 = page #1.
I think I will have them at their place at the table just standing up on these little paper clippy things.
Some of them are funny. (And clearly inspired by the song: What I Like About You).
I made a slightly different version for each of the boys and my husband.
The little red hearts are actually cut out of red duct tape.
(See - I do try to butch up these crafts for my guys)
Sure this is cheesy.
I don't know if it will be something they keep or even think about for more than a minute.
(Well, 2 of them will because 1 is sentimental and the other never throws anything away)
But I believe there is a huge affirming value in being able to hold something that your parent made for you in your hand. And if it also tells you that you are a great joke teller, all the better.
Exercise 3 to 5 days a week - Blink. Blink. (She stares at this as if a totally new item)
Take my vitamins - Did excellent at the beginning of the week. Forgot on Wed. Got a cold on Thursday. Sciatic nerve began twitching every 17th step on Friday (have become 100). Clear sign than I had acclimated to new vitamin regiment and body is mutinying without them.
Read - Read most of Darcy and Fitzwilliam. Reading way through Typepad for Dummies.
Give up soda - Slight set back, purchased and drank soda on Friday but strictly for the throat coating medicinal qualities as I was sick.
Not wear shoes in the house - Hurrah! A box to check!
Write thank you notes - Has been so long since using mail service, no longer in touch with price of stamps. Discovered whole web sites dedicated to telling one the price of stamps (clearly, not only person returning to the letter writing medium). Have been searching for 1 and 3 cent stamps in effort to not waste extra postage and my 41 cent Yoda stamps.
Finish the plethora of projects half done and/or started in my head - Actually scrap booked for fun this week, worked on Valentine's idea. A clear roll has been established.
De-clutter the house room by room - Bought shelves at Ikea last week for my albums to live on. So, of course, had to pull everything out of drawers, cabinets, etc. to resort, purge and love on because that is what one does when adding a set of shelves to a room. Naturally. Project is 71% complete. Incidentally, area right outside craft room looks bad.
Meal plan - Roasted chicken was yum! Surely I cooked dinner more than once. Sure. Ly.
Start scrapbook project: 53 Saturdays - Missed a Saturday. Save: had child draw picture of family. Ideal, as if planned to periodically miss a week in effort to document child's artistic ability. Brilliant.
Plan out each day with some sort of strategy - Once again - good Monday and Tuesday and by Wednesday...where is my chart?
Pray / Bible study daily - Much improved, have utilized time of just sitting in car and Bible on phone!
Not be a victim to technology - Have figured out several improvements to blog. Experimenting with variety of things. Periodic misplacing of whole side bars has kept me on my toes.
Keep up with this list every Sunday in format of Bridget Jone's Dairy: Is Monday morning at 4:28 am......can only be considered excellent beginning to the week:)
Him: "You started playing the Pride and Prejudice Trivia game without me?"
Me: "Oh, I only looked at a few cards! I didn't know you wanted to play! I can start over!"
(She says enthusiastically)
Him: (Stares at me.)
Me: "Wait, you are kidding...."
Him: "Of course I am kidding."
Me: (walks away, not sure if I should be more disappointed about my own gullibility or the loss of the opponent)
The Pride and Prejudice Trivia Game is fun and cute and on sale for $15.99 at Amazon right now.
I think it makes a great gift for someone who loves Pride and Prejudice.
Do I see myself playing this game with friends - not really.
It is designed for a pretty small portion of the population.
(And yet - I bought it...)
The questions are directly from the book with a few about Jane Austen.
Who said what, sequences of events and facts.
I flipped through the cards quickly when I opened the box.
The tall stack on the left are the ones I got right.
Sample question from that stack: Who declared that Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at?
The medium stack in the middle ate the ones I got wrong.
Sample question from that stack: How much money did Mrs. Bennet say Lydia Bennet could have for her wedding clothes?
(I think reading all the P&P spin offs made it harder to remember which facts are really from Austen herself and which ones have been added by other authors.For example, there wasn't a single question about the wet shirt / lake scene. While I KNOW it wasn't in the text, I feel as though it was implied.)
And the small stack on the right, those are the Free Point cards.
Sample from that stack: free points
Ways to use this game:
I will most likely place this game in my guest room for my guests to flip through.
I might put all the trivia cards in a glass bowl on the guest room dresser.
You could pull out all the cards with people's names on them and use them for a game of charades.
My over all take - it is a novelty item that makes a nice gift.
I do not see someone really using this much - however, if you gave them a leather bound edition of Pride and Prejudice - it would probably fall into the same category.
Instead of just tossing out our Kit Kat house from Christmas, I decided to place it out in the woods.
And, of course, photograph it.
It made me think of little Hansel and Gretel ants coming upon it with a Spider Witch offering them creme sodas.
Just one little gnarled up, green gum drop.
I looked up and saw the fattest squirrel I have ever seen in a near by tree.
And I would swear to you,
I am a fan of this book we are currently using: 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know.
It is to the point and humorous...two things I have found that young gentlemen appreciate.
You can read sample pages of this book at Amazon.com by following this link.
We go through a few items each week.
For example, last week was about the importance of saying Please and Thank you.
It helped the kids to learn why it is important and when it is needed.
(They already knew they were supposed to say it.)
I think grown ups take for granted that kids know to say thank you when someone tells them something random: like that they look like their grandfather. This explains to them that even if they do not think that is true, say thank you. The person may be referring to how their grandfather used to look or something about their smile..not necessarily the gray hair. Considering I have a few very logically minded boys, this is good information for them to have.
We also started what I call "Man Books" of things they need to learn to grow up to be Men.
They made lists in them a while back that included the following:
Drive a car
Figure out what kind of job I want
Have a cell phone (I am impressed at the opportunites they use to plug this one)
Become an animator
We use these notebooks for 2 things:
1. The boys take notes and write comics about they things were learn from The 50 Things book or situations that come up in every day life.
(Alex's page on "how to great someone" from a year ago. We went over this because Alex did not put down his book to greet his friend when he walked up. We talked about the importance of eye contact, making the person feel valued, how you would want to be treat, etc.)
2. The other thing we use this book for is for me to see what is important to them.
If I read that becoming an animator is important to David, then when we learn math or any other skill that may be needed for an animator I can make it feel relevant to David by putting it in those terms. An animator needs good penmanship for someone to be able to read their word bubbles. And animator needs computer skills for adding color to their drawings. Or, learning to read a map is important if you want to drive a car.
Of course, David has no desire to drive a car and is happy for me to tote him around forever. Knowing one's audience is key.
We deal with some social skills on a more basic level because of David's Asperger's Syndrome.
But I have found real value in discussing with the boys why we do things to make us more polite than just telling them to do it.
Exercise 3 to 5 days a week - 1 of 6. Counting the marathon day of vacuuming.
Take my vitamins - 2 of 7. Poo.
Read - Wrote review of To Have His Cake and Eat it Too, read most of The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy.
Give up soda - Have replaced soda addiction with sweet tea. Perhaps should revise list.
Not wear shoes in the house - Fail.
Write thank you notes - What have I been doing??
Finish the plethora of projects half done and/or started in my head - Purchased 2 sets of shelves at Ikea (turn into 180 year old rabbit when driving in the city. V. stressful but apparently on 3 things can make me enter Atlanta proper: Ikea, The Container Store and jury duty.)
De-clutter the house room by room - re-organized kids' toy closet, relabeled all toy containers, sorted and stored all Lego and Transformer and Other toy instruction booklets. (Note to self, more likely than not could have sent at least one child to at least second tier private college with the money we spent on Legos and Transformers.)
Meal plan - 1 meal of..... Made my first crock pot roast under guidance of my visiting Mom. It was good! The children rejoiced, the towns people had a small parade and put up a commemorative plaque and my husband said, "Just leave the crock pot out on the counter for next time." What could it all mean?
Start scrapbook project: 53 Saturdays - Will schedule this week's photo for today: Monday. And will suppress perfectionist tendency to chuck the whole project.
Plan out each day with some sort of strategy - I printed out a chart for this...and failed to fill it in.
Pray / Bible study daily - How am I unprepared for my Bible Study every week? How? How? How?
Not be a victim to technology - I have carried around the Typepad for Dummies book a bit this week. A Clear precursor to reading it.
Keep up with this list every Sunday in format of Bridget Jone's Dairy: It is Monday....not my best week.
This is a LO I did for TwoPeasInABucket.com for this week's Journaling challenge: Tell the story of an object. The challenge runs through January 27th, 2011.
(Below is the text...not sure if that is actually easier to read or not!)
I really enjoyed the idea of To Have His Cake (and Eat It Too). It reminded me a bit of Jane Erye...but with better lighting. The "what if" plot led to continued friction and misunderstanding between Darcy and Elizabeth...with some heat thrown in. However, there were a few items in this book that have been deal breakers for me in other Pride and Prejudice spin offs. Instead of being comfort food for my brain, it was a bit more of an interesting read.
A portion of the blurb from the back of the book: "...The amorous, provocative, and at times tumultuous tale, illustrates Mr. Darcy as a wealthy young man of sense and education, as well as considerable worldly experience - not at all uncommon for Regency era gentlemen of his social standing. He enjoys his lifestyle and has no particular desire to marry at all.
That is, until he renews his acquaintance with Miss Elizabeth Bennet - her own circumstances greatly diminished pursuant to the sudden and tragic death of her father..."
** You can sample the first 20% of this book on Smashwords.com. I have never used this option, but it sounds pretty great.**
Rehash vs. Revisit: A
Nit Picky Little Things: A
Wonderful Little Moments: A
The Moment I was Hooked: B
Language: The straight forward language along with the straight forward writing style made the book feel a bit...straight forward. I would have liked more transition in spots. I'm not one for lengthy explanations and a lot of description. In spite of that, there were a few lines I had to reread because the dramatic information was so simply and succinctly stated that I was not sure exactly what had just happened.
Also, the bluntness of language in several scenes made them feel more graphic than romantic. I will refer back to this in the characterization section as one of my two issues.
Characterization: Ahhhhh: Darcy and Elizabeth sparring, misunderstanding each other and pride once again taking center stage. That, I loved.
I enjoy reading how different authors interpret items from the Regency Era and Jane Austen's writing: the waltz, wedding bands, how Christmas is celebrated, the # of staff at Pemberley, Darcy's wealth and social status, the size of Pemberley, Darcy's extended family, if Darcy would remain in the room during the birth of his child, would Darcy curse, how religious is he, and so on.
The nonnegotiable for me is the characterization of Darcy's honor and devotion to Elizabeth. This is no great spoiler here, as it is alluded to on the back of the book where it says he has "worldly experience...not uncommon for a gentleman of the Regency era...", and you can find it on page 2: Darcy visits a brothel. After meeting Elizabeth.
I gave the book The Private Dairy of Mr. Darcy a very harsh review for the same reason. Perhaps, in all of the Pride and Prejudice follow ups you have read, a bit of reality will feel refreshing. Maybe I am just a little too caught up in the fairy tale. As I said, I like the idea of the story so much, I really really wanted to love all of the book. I did not love the parts referring to the brothel even though Ms. Dixon makes a case for this being more than a disparagement later in the story. It is not a thoughtless detail.
I, personally, want the fairy tale. I stick my fingers in my ears and sing "LALALA" when I hear Colin Firth say "no such men like that exist" in interviews referencing Mr. Darcy and other Fitzwilliam and Mark Darcy-esc characters he has played. (Perhaps not the exact quote..hard to be sure with one's fingers in one's ears.)
Plot: Darcy, wanting to have Elizabeth close, offers her a position in his household as a companion for Georgiana. This leads to great deal of humor and tension. I think to create tension between characters that we already know with an ending that we have already heard, is pretty exciting. At the end, I was left wanting to know more about Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, Caroline, Mr. Bingley and a few spurned women in Darcy's wake.
There is a plot turn that, when coupled with the language used, felt very graphic and out of character for Darcy and Elizabeth. I do not mind love scenes. I am a fan of Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and The Two Shall Become One. It is the subject people e-mail me the most about. (In reference to the Pride and Prejudice books only...of course.) Smashwords.com rates this book for 17 and above.
Rehash vs. Revisit: Revisit, for sure. I quite enjoyed the use of original lines in different circumstances.
Nit Picky Little Things: I think my two complaints are sufficient.
Wonderful Little Moments: : "It could be worse, I might be Mrs. Collins," horseback riding, seeing Pemberley for the first time (Ms. Dixon did create a wonderful version of this), Mary's character development, Georgiana's gift, Darcy and Elizabeth's arguments.
Originality: Excellent - The idea of the story drew me in and left me wanting more. It is quite hard to set your work apart in a sea of Pride and Prejudice follow ups and Ms. Dixon did just that.
The Moment I was Hooked: The few lines preceding Chapter 1 made me sink into the book immediately. But then, the previously mentioned item on page 2, pushed me back out again. So many dramatic plot details were revealed in the first chapters, my interest was drawn back....but not as quickly as my heart had been initially.
If this book was a movie - it would be rated R.
And, there IS another book coming, so I will get to find out what happens to those characters I mentioned, in What He Would Not Do by P. O. Dixon. This link is to an excerpt on Ms. Dixon's blog. (Although, you may not want to read the excerpt from book #2 before reading book #1.)
(This image is from podixon.blogspot.com)
Did you know there are 53 Saturdays in 2011?
I've been taking pictures of our family every Saturday (all 3).
Kinda my combination of:
Becky Higgin's Project Life
Ali Edward's December Daily
Tara Whitney's 6 People 12 Times.
So far, I've noticed a couple things:
1. We are not at our most photogenic...or even hygienic...on Saturdays.
(A shame I didn't pick Sunday with Church and Bible Study...we usually clean up pretty well then.)
2. The family was super easy to get on board with this. I think they like it.
Or they have figured out it is just easier to let Mom take her picture and then they can get back to their lives....
Either way, I get my picture, so I'm not poke that thought with a stick too much.
The thing that finally got me to start this is that we were talking about how fast David's 13th year is going by. And I mentioned, "we only get 52 Saturdays while he is 13." (Some days I just ooze wisdom;) Well, too many Saturdays had already passed for me to be able to recreate them for his 13th year. I decided to start this project for 2011 to slyly capture some of the teenage progression for of my 12 and 13 year olds (I purposely wanted the first photo to capture everyone's height) .
But I could see doing this to capture every Saturday in your 6 year old's 6th year, or for your 15th year of marriage or for while your spouse is deployed.
So this is us, on Saturday for 2011 so far:)
Exercise 3 to 5 days a week - elliptical and sit ups and stretching 3 of 6 days.
Take my vitamins - 2 of 7 days. Vitamins will expire at this rate.
Read - Re-read To Have His Cake and Eat It Too but didn't review it because am torn on if I liked it or not, re-read The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy, yum!
Give up soda - Excellent. Unless you count that sweet tea I had today..which is not technically soda but I clearly understood it was caffeine I was avoiding. Have exploited loop hole in my own rule. Disappointed and impressed simultaneously.
Not wear shoes in the house - Simple as all shoes were covered in snow for the past week.
Write thank you notes - None. I blame the snow and lack of mail service.
Finish the plethora of projects half done and/or started in my head - Had John David build a cart for moving the rat cage. Can not explain why this was essential to be done prior to de-cluttering all other rooms. Excellent outsourcing.
Also, efforts to train body to sleep on back as to avoid the increasingly resilient creases that leave my face looking like an unfolded origami crane until well after lunch time resulted in being quite tired most of the week. This worked in direct competition with the avoiding soda.
De-clutter the house room by room - Wait, give me a minute. I am sure I did something. I mean, I was snowed in for 5 days for crying out loud....Does de-cluttering my TIVO count?
Meal plan - Tragic.
Start scrapbook project: 53 Saturdays - Photos 3 Saturdays running! Will endeavor to not wear the same sweatshirt every Saturday as I am noticing a pattern to these photos.
Plan out each day with some sort of strategy - Also blaming this forgotten item on snow.
Pray / Bible study daily - 6 days of studies should be spread over 6 days. It seems simple enough.
Not be a victim to technology - Slurpee machine of 3 Christmases ago cleaned, put together and then chucked due to the fact it is far easier to make slurpees in the blender and less than a 30 minute clean up. New found cabinet space is +. Yes, am counting Slurpee machine as technology as it came with a manual.
Keep up with this list every Sunday in format of Bridget Jone's Dairy: Possibly the only thing I am doing with regularity thus far....
Some people seem to be able to actually learn information,
file it away and the retrieve it upon need.
I am amazed by this.
My dyslexia seems to mainly effect (or maybe it affects...see, I can't recall at the moment) my retrieval process.
However, I was always the one who could remember what someone said, wore and where we all were...etc.
Now, not so much.
Instead of a filing system, I feel like I have a post it note per memory way for keeping information.
And my cheap post it notes are loosing their stickiness and falling into one of those
bat dung heap piles they always show in caves on the Discovery Channel.
And if one more person tells me to do crossword puzzles, I'll scream
because I was never good at those to begin with.
Wait, what was I talking about?
Sherri asked me about my kids sledding with ski helemets.
We go skiing almost once a year. Maybe every other year.
We get our ski clothes pretty cheaply (compared to most places) from Burlington Coat Factory.
(They really are more than great coats...but they have great coats.)
And we did purchase a ski helmet from a ski shop in Colorado for each of the boys.
For the past 2 years, my boys don't even go out to play in the snow without their helmets.
1. They like wearing them because they keep their head warm. Really - no loosing your hat or getting snow in it.
2. They are safe. We have a great hill beside our house...but the garage and the house are at the bottom of it. I mean, it is all fun and games until you hit the house. (Amazing how many cliches seem to really have new meaning once you have kids.)
3. They wear their goggles over them and their faces are protected from scrapes and from well packed snow balls.
4. They have been sledding for the past 2 days with about 12 kids fro the neighborhood, and not one kid even asked them about the helmets, much less poked fun at them.
(This photo just shows 1/3 of the hill. The kids came down a neighbor's steep driveway, across the large cul-de-sac down our hill, across the yard & driveway and into the neighbor's yard and then back yard on the other side. We do not normally sled on more than our own yard - but this was a huge snow and pretty much the whole neighborhood started to sled together.)
I was ready for Alex to swoosh by me....but he slid flipped over. I got his legs.
Blurry, but all 3 of them.
Blurry again. Rats.
Would I have gone out an purchased helmets just for the 1 in 5 years my kids get to sled here in GA?
I doubt it.
But since they have them, they certainly wear them.
There is ice on top of our snow this morning. We are not going anywhere today except in the yard for more awesome sledding.
Alex's secret agent snowman.
Me: "David, do you want to draw a snowman, too?"
David: "I do not care to do that. Thank you."
I think this art form was a little to low brow for our artist.
And I must remember to just next time say, "Dude, come over here and draw a snowman."
The full instructions are at TwoPeas, but here is the gist of how we did this.
We are off to put on our ski helmets and go sledding!
"Luuuke, I am your breakfast!"
"Yummy, I will be."
There is a learning curve to using these Williams-Sonoma Star Wars pancake molds. But we had such fun even with our unsuccessful ones.
I think the blueberry eyes make the pancake, personally.
(Yoda eerily looks like the Nagilum from Star Trek The Next Generation episode: Where Silence Has Lease.)
Exercise 3 to 5 days a week - elliptical and sit ups 4 of 6 days this week, v.g.
Take my vitamins - 1 of 7 days, must improve.
Read - Re-read Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones's Diary...oddly in that order. Now must dilute spicy language echoes in my head with Pilgrim's Progress or similar.
Give up soda - VG! No caffeinated sodas ingested despite ample opportunities and great desire. Am pillar of strength. That surely can not be the proper spelling of caffeinated and if it is, then this is probably the first time I have spelled it correctly. Ever.
Not wear shoes in the house - Done and enforced on guests. Odd turn of events, kitchen floor cleanser left wood floor exceptionally slippery. Look forward to seeing which of our guests are willing to return.
Write thank you notes - 2 of 8 done. Must improve to keep up with pace of people doing nice things for me.
Finish the plethora of projects half done and/or started in my head - Interestingly, when a space opens up in my brain, it is immediately filled in by something else. Much like water seeking its own level. The cliche of "In over my head" is given new life.
De-clutter the house room by room - Cleaned out fridge (with full removal of shelves, etc) freezer, pantry and several kitchen drawers all in 1 day. Spent next day exhausted. Perhaps should space out projects.
Meal plan - Woops, completely forgot this one.
Start scrapbook project: 53 Saturdays - Took photos of the family 2 consecutive Saturdays. Excellent. Must scrapbook asap before I forget details.
Plan out each day with some sort of strategy - Made list of things to do but perhaps needs prioritizing as got plastic containers organized in the drawer where they belong in aesthetically pleasing way but still forgot to anticipate family's hunger.
Pray / Bible study daily - Improving, but still behind on Lady's Bible Study book. Can I do 6 days of lessons in 1? Perhaps not intended format and will do better next week.
Not be a victim to technology - Blog is still not reorganized despite having read the first chapter of Typepad for Dummies this week, my computer is still blue screened with a flashing file folder (can not be good) and scrap booking silhouette is still in sealed up box. Poor. (Possibly first time spelled silhouette correctly, as well.)
Keep up with this list every Sunday in format of Bridget Jone's Dairy: Two weeks running, smashing.
I have noticed that a lot of people post their running distances / time on Facebook.
I have been exercising for 3 whole days now.
I am a baby exerciser.
I don't like it.
(Therefore, I am also a baby about exercising)
And I must be watching TV the whole time to help me not think about how much I do not like to exercise.
My discomfort of choice is the elliptical machine and sit ups.
I can work out for 1/2 of an episode of West Wing.
And that is with me fast forwarding through some of the commercials.
Yeah, not exactly Facebook worthy yet.
(I mean, I have friends who run marathons, mountain bike...so they bike up mountians?...and bike ride for a 100 miles).
So my question is this: What is the minimum I need to work out to post about it without making it look like I am actually making fun of the people who do real exercise.
I don't want to tick off my athletical friends.
I KNOW I can't out run them:)
For New Years, I wanted to make these chocolate bowls.
Well, with the Kit Kat house still a fresh memory, I did a little research this time
About a year ago I saw this image online:
And thought, "How hard could it be?"
(there are youtube videos by misc. people that you can find my googling "chocolate bowls made with balloons".)
I read ALL the comments from people who made them using the Food Network recipe and it was pretty easy.
1. I used 10 oz. of semi sweet baker's chocolate in chunks. (I learned a while back on Alton Brown's cooking show that the actual chocolate chips are not good for melting because of the binding agent in them that helps the chips to keep their form. It interferes a bit with the melting process.)
2. Then I chopped the chocolate into pretty small pieces.
3. I melted 5 oz in a double boiler. And, per the instructions, I removed it from the heat once those 5 oz were totally melted. Then I stirred in the remaining 5 oz of chopped chocolate and continued to stir until it was all melted. (This is why the chopping up the chocolate was so important, so the heat wouldn't have to be that high to melt it all.)
4. Then I put a small, quarter to half dollar size, round smear of chocolate onto my wax paper on my pizza cooking sheet (which I already checked to make sure it would fit into the fridge). This was the base of the bowls.
5. Some people on line had a hard time with their chocolate covered balloons popping and sending hot, melted chocolate all over their arms and kitchen cabinets. I did not have the problem but I took 2 precautions:
A. I followed the directions about taking the chocolate OFF the heat to stir in the second 5 oz. of chocolate. The overall temperature of the chocolate had dropped by the time everything was smooth and ready to use.
B. I followed the suggestion of one of the people who posted on FN. I didn't use small, cheap balloons completely filled. I used higher quality balloons and just didn't blow then up all the way. Not a single one popped. However, because the balloons were not inflated all the way, there was a small protrusion at the end of each one. It did cause there it be a hole in the bottom of the bowl.
But that was ok. I just served them in actual bowls instead of on a plate. (I mean, unless you are serving soup in the thing, it really didn't seem like a big deal.)
6. I coated the bottoms of the balloons with a thick layer of chocolate. They stayed standing up on the little medallion of chocolate already on the wax paper pretty well. (Too thin a coating and it will collapse on itself when you puncture the balloon later on.)
7. The platter of balloons went into the fridge for 30 minutes.
8. Another tip I learned from the commenters, puncture the balloons to deflate them and then let them sit out for 10 minutes. The chocolate actually gets a little sweaty and loosens up on the balloon and you can peel it off of the chocolate super easy. A few of my bowls looked pretty uneven and I just trimmed the top edge with scissors.
9. I put the chocolate bowls back into the fridge until right before I was ready to use them. I used a tiny scoop, sprinkles and blackberries to 'style' my dessert. They were a big hit:)
Bakerella has a great recipe for using pudding to make the cups. Whether you use the pudding or just the chocolate, they have a great series of pictures that show the whole process.
A few other pics from New Years:
I pulled out some of those random glasses we have from college, etc and used them for fun drinks for the kids. (A small scoop of ice cream in the bottom with pink ginger ale poured over = puffy pink drink with lime on the side.)
And the Kit Kat house is still around.
I hate that my energy effcient lights in the kitchen give everything this harsh, yellow glow.
Because of that, I try to mute the colors....therefore, you can not truely appreciate the blue-ness of these cupcakes.
"No, but blue is... good. If you ask me, there isn't enough blue food."*
My lazy girl's center piece.
About 8 minutes before our guests were coming over, I checked facebook (of course, as it is what one does when should be running around in preparation to be a good hostess) and got this idea from Cathy Zielske. Actually, her daughter had done this for their guests. She wrote out 30ish New Years Resolutions for people to draw out of the bucket.
All the grown ups wrote out things and we drew them out at midnight.
"I will floss daily"
"I will finally read that book ____________"
"I will see a concert at Chastain Park"
There was not a lot of imbibing, but the next morning it made me laugh to see Advil next to the party horn.
*Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones' Diary
I came up with this planning by the month chart for each child after a week during Alex's 2nd grade year.
We had done so many great experiments in science and built a fort for history.
Just as I was practicing my acceptance speech for the Great Mom Awards (GMA's),
Alex commented to me,
"It is kinda weird that we didn't even do math all week."
I had forgotten to do MATH?
I knew then that my good intentions would not be enough.
I started making these charts.
I have a chart for each child to cover their whole week.
I make the whole month's charts at one time.
This idea works for me because:
1. I FORGOT MATH for a whole week. This has every subject and extracurricular activity listed on it. No more forgetting.
2. This chart covers the body of work due for that week (and that month because I do 4 pages at a time and staple them together for my boys). There are days where someone is sick or we don't get everything done or we need more to do - we can easily shift things around as long as everything gets done that week/month. The boys love to work ahead and have less work to do on Fridays.
3. This allows the kids to start to manage their own time during the day and for the week. There are times when they just would rather do all of their science for the whole week. Sometimes they work ahead in penmanship or in their map workbook while they are waiting on me to help them.
4. This also covers their chores, hair washing and practicing violin. It takes the unpredicatbility out of their day, which can be frustrating. I like knowing like knowing when I can have free time, the kids do too.
5. The boys love marking things off. Love. It.
6. There is only 1 "Awwwwwwwwwwwwah!"moment each month where Max looks at his list and acts like it is the end of his free time as we know it. (Seriously, he is surprised to have to do work every single morning. Every. One.)
7. I have gotten up some mornings and walked into the kitchen to find all of the boys already working on things they can do on their own. That is a very cool thing. Very. Cool.
I keep only the supplies that the kids will need for that month in these two rolling carts in the sitting area off of the kitchen (where we do school).
It takes about 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon to plan the whole month for all 3 kids.
And this year, I think I will make a chart for me to help me with my resolutions for working out, drinking water, taking my vitamins because I seem to work very well with a chart. And stars. And smiley faces.
On Facebook, I mainly post about things our family is doing or funny things my kids say. It is a bit of a diary of our everyday life. I realized that a lot of these items are only documented on FB.
It got me to thinking - how long will it be there? Could I go back the year and a half to when I started on Facebook? Guess what - I was able to go back to April 2009 to my first post.
I opened Facebook and a blank Word document. (So two things open on my computer screen at the same time.)
Then I cut and pasted the first page of my Wall (my personal page) to the Word document.
I progressed backwards, page by page, until I got to my beginning date of April 2009.
It took about 3 hours to do. I did it while watching TV.
A few times FB messed up and I had to start back on the most recent page of my Wall all over again.
And a few times it would show me the exact same page several times in a row.
Then I went back through almost 70 pages of the Word document and started deleting anything that wasn't a status update.
Comments, "kelli is now friends with..." and links were all deleted.
I did leave a few comments from other people, like my mom and sister.
I added space here and there for putting in a movie stub, etc.
This took the document from 70 pages to about 36.
Then I unified the font and colors .
(My pages are only 6x12 because I am using the American Crafts 6x12 albums....which have been discontinued. Don't get me started on this because I am one of those people who has to have her albums match. I am either a trail blazer on things, like decorating my son's nursery years ago with a bug theme before you could find it anywhere for kids...or.....discovering something the moment before it is discontinued like the chair I want from Ikea. There really is no middle ground with me.)
Anyway, this is one of the albums I am going to keep going. I plan to put a reminder on my calendar every other month to capture the previous month's status updates. If ever I start to think that I do not want to keep a record of my Status Updates, then I might need to reevaluate what I am saying:)
There are some things you can use on FB to have this done automatically for you by putting a certain amount of your status updates into a paragraph. However, the two I have seen leave out the dates.
(Spell check says that is how you spell reevaluate...but it looks so wrong:)
Exercise 5 3 days a week
Take my vitamins
Read (ok, am already doing that but must give myself accomplishable goals...probably not the best attitude to have only 3 items into list)
Give up soda
Not wear shoes in the house
Write thank you notes
Finish the plethora of projects half done and/or started in my head
De-clutter the house room by room
Start scrapbook project: 53 Saturdays
Plan out each day with some sort of strategy
Pray / Bible study daily
Not be a victim to technology
Keep up with this list every Sunday in format of Bridget Jone's Dairy in an effort to:
1) Entertain myself (always paramount in any activity)
2) Keep myself on track with my word of the year: PLAN (not to be confused with the word of last year that I seemed to have forgotten mid February which was plan. Capital letter PLAN is as different from lower case plan as ER was from e.r.....although George CLooney was in both.)
3) To live a simpler life chock full of time freed up by:
spending less time wondering where things are and what we will eat
to not be continually surprised when meal time arrives that people are looking at me as if I should have seen this moment coming all day
to be less stressed
What I will do with that extra, stress freed up time: nap or learn Italian.