This will be my last post. I've decided that my time needs to be spent elsewhere in light of the fact that I will no longer be home all day. What time I do have at home, I would prefer to keep open and allow myself to be available without any restraints on my time. It's been a pleasure meeting you all and will continue to follow your blogs (if your a blogger). Thanks for your support this year. I wish you all the best . . .
Let's see . . . last time I posted was Cassidy's birthday party. That was a milestone for her and me. Her because she turned eight, and me because it marked one more "large" item off of my upcoming events list. Let me remind you of my list:
1. Backyard re-do
2. Close daycare
3. Cassidy's 8th birthday
4. Camping at the lake
5. Church camp
6. Start new job
7. Blanca's 16th birthday
That's not too bad as far as lists go. Quite a few things done and the ones that aren't, I'm at least planning for :-) We leave Saturday for camp and I have most of the camp crafts prepared and packed, but I haven't done any clothes packing. We have two more days of our "stay cation" and I'm hoping to get as little done as possible - while at the same time, getting ready to go. Don't worry, it makes sense to me.
In my next post, I hope to share the details of our "stay cation" with you. It's been surprisingly refreshing.
We celebrated Cassidy's 8th birthday with a trip to London (our den) on Thursday with stops at Diagon Alley to create our supplies needed for our upcoming year at Hogwarts and The Three Broomsticks for refreshments.
"I solemnly swear, we were up to no good . . . "
Slug & Jiggers Apothecary
Potage's Cauldron Shop
Ollivander's Wand Shop
The Three Broomsticks
Happy 8th Birthday Cassidy!
"Mischief managed . . ."
This weekend I was once again touched by one of my children selflessness. It happens from time to time and I'm always caught off guard, but never surprised.
This past Sunday, the family celebrated Cassidy's upcoming 8th birthday. As tradition states, the birthday boy/girl gets to choose what Grandma fixes for Sunday lunch (Cassidy choose brisket and sweet potatoes), then a cake and presents follow. Since Cassidy's "friend" party on Thursday is going to be a Harry Potter theme, I stuck with that theme when I made her cake.
Our family blessed Cassidy richly with their gifts and the cake was a big hit!
From her father and I, Cassidy received a trip to the mall to visit her favorite store, Build-A-Bear. So after lunch, Daddy loaded up the other three siblings and Cassidy and I set off in pursuit of the perfect stuffed friend. Rainbow, the sea horse is now a proud member of the Campbell family.
Following our Build-A-Seahorse experience, I stopped by a store in the mall to try and acquire some capri's for my week as camp counselor, in Kansas, in 100 degree heat. Jeans just aren't gonna cut it and I try to avoid owning shorts :-) While we were there, I realized I'm going to be camping at the lake this week, counseling at a camp next week and we own a pool - yet I have no swim suit.
Now here's where the sacrifice comes in . . .
The day before, we had finally completed our back yard redo complete with assembly, set up and filling of the pool. The other three kiddos were at home splashing away before evening church services and Cassidy knew it. BUT - she said to me, "Mom, it's okay if I don't get to swim today. I don't mind. Let's find you a swimsuit and you can swim with me another day." Wow!
So Cassidy and I tried on a bazillion swimsuits and she tagged along behind me hauling Rainbow and other packages, in and out of dressing rooms until finally a swimsuit was found. She smiled and laughed with me the whole time and was very supportive when the suits left something to be desired :-) She made my week. We had a beautiful afternoon and made it home just in time to head to church with the others. She did not get to swim and never once did she complain.
Cassidy showed me sacrifice in action that day and in return, I sacrificed back. The very next evening, as soon as the last daycare kiddo left, I put on the new swimsuit and spent an hour in the pool with Cassidy and the other girls. We had a grand time. It was the one and only time I have ever looked forward to wearing a swimsuit :-)
". . . and a child shall lead them."
A few weeks ago we began a backyard re-do project. We ripped up the old deck that the previous owners had in and built a new, bigger one. We also planned a place for the hot tub, the above-ground pool and the fire pit that we brought with us when we moved from the old house last summer.
Well, as of Saturday night. . . WE ARE FINISHED!
It is wonderful and I love it and we had a BBQ with the friends and family who helped us along the way that night to break it in for the summer season and it was perfect :-) Then Sunday morning before church, Luke and I had coffee out on the deck. Gorgeous!
Here's some photos!
Continued from "Playing catch-up" posted yesterday, June 20, 2012 . . .
Just a look at what's got me running in circles lately . . .
I have so much to tell you!
This year for the first time ever, I am going to be a camp counselor at our church camp of choice, Silver Maple Camp.
My husband and I attended this camp for many years as children and now our children are campers. This will be the first year I have attended as an adult/counselor. I'm totally excited! I am (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of my counselor packet in the mail, as if that somehow makes it official :-) I've been working on some cute little goodies for the girls in my cabin and some fun decorations to make the cabin "ours". Thank you Pinterest! The theme is "Be There" so I've gone with owls as the theme and am using the catchphrase "OWL be there, will you?"
Cassidy's 8th Birthday
My youngest, Cassidy, is turning 8 this month and we will be celebrating the day with her friends at the end of the month in Harry Potter fashion. I <3 Harry! And I have a Pinterest board to prove it! I am deep in the middle of planning . . . I've got all the crafty stuff worked out. They're gonna take a trip through Diagon Alley and make stops at shops along the way to make a wand & cauldron, purchase & mix apothecary supplies and purchase personalized quills. There will also be snitch cake balls, cauldron cakes and butter beer of course! I will post after the party with all the details and pics.
Right now though, my concern is making the cake for the family celebration of this day. I'm going to attempt to make a Harry Potter cake similar to the one below. I've made some cool cakes before, but the sorting hat on this one makes me sweat a little . . .
Since we went to Disney World in January, we decided that there would not be a big vacation this summer. We are, however, going camping at the lake. We love camping. We take the jet ski's and go play for a few days with no computers or whatever. It's nice. Thankfully, this trip, my friend is planning and shopping for the meals, but I still have to gather all our "stuff" and doing any additional shopping to be ready. Plus, the husband had to get the jet ski's ready. This will be their first time out this year. Cross your fingers. I'm looking forward to laying in a lounge chair by the lake with a book while taking a nap. Yes I can read and nap at the same time :-)
Here's hoping you find some time for the things you need to do and the things you want to do!
Please go "like" my Facebook page if you haven't already!
Holy Cow! I can't believe it's been a week since I posted! Well, I've been posting on the Weight Watchers tab and keeping up with my updates there, but . . . Wow! A week with no words! I have so much to tell you!
First of all, baseball is in full swing and we are playing games on Tuesday's and Thursday's with practice on Saturdays. Austin is doing awesome and is rocking' the catchers position. He loves it so much, he was ready to go 4 hours early yesterday. Ha! We've got three more games and two more practices (I think).
We celebrated dad on Sunday with a small breakfast in bed (he's not a breakfast eater). Cassidy shared dad's breakfast while the other three just lounged around in my bed. :-) Then we all napped till we HAD to get up to get ready for church.
Then we gave dad our Pinterest filled gift basket.
The Deck Project
The backyard redo, complete with new deck, new stone patio, fire pit and pool area is well underway. My family (my dad, my father-in-law, my mom, my mother-in-law, both my brothers, my sister-in-law, my brothers girlfriend and our friends) came and helped when they were able and the project is moving along very smoothly.
The deck portion of the project is finished except for a few details.
We also cleared a few trees to make room for the sand for the pool to sit on. The kids had fun climbing the trunks before the husband cut them all the way down.
And all of that was only half of what I have to tell you! I'll finish "catching up" tomorrow when I tell you all about being a camp counselor, Cassidy's 8th birthday plans and our plans for next, next weekend.
Today I found out that another one of my kiddos time with me is over. I am officially down to three. My sweet Mollee May has concluded her time with me and is moving on to great things.
Mollee is one of my two "big girls". She rules the roost and wears the crown.
For today's What I Know Wednesday (Thursday) post, I'd like to share with you what I know about Mollee.
1. I know Mollee is beautiful. Her hair would (and does) make grown women drool.
2. I know Mollee is brilliant. She is articulate, intelligent, a deep thinker and wise for her years.
3. I know Mollee can sleep through anything. I envy her that.
4. I know Mollee loves strawberries and will eat an entire pint if I let her.
5. I know Mollee can rock a Sleeping Beauty dress as if she were a true princess.
6. I know Mollee has a sweet heart and an ability to soothe others.
7. I know Mollee does not do mornings and will not speak until 9 am.
8. I know Mollee loves the Dora blanket and will finish her meal before the others every time to ensure she gets said blanket for nap time.
9. I know Mollee is a very girlie girl. Pink is her favorite color.
10. I know "May" is not her middle name, but it is my name for her.
11. I know Mollee is meticulous about everything she does. She absolutely will not color outside the lines.
12. I know that Mollee will do great things wherever her family places her and I can't wait to see what she becomes.
It's spring time! (Well, actually it's summer time, but you get what I'm saying.) And with it comes the arrival of beautiful flowers full of color and that give texture to the neutral landscapes. Typically around my house the color is brown and the texture is dead. No joke. My house is the Hospice for plants. Plants within a 10 mile radius, die. I'm currently killing an Orchid as I type. I've never touched the thing, but it's presence in my house is enough to do it in.
Even knowing this about myself, when we moved last summer we picked the house with the most flowers on the block! The previous owner had beds full of plants that I knew nothing about and that I can barely remember to water (thanks you sprinkler system), but I did my very best to maintain them. Lots of work had gone into them and despite my angel of death aura, I would like to have a nice yard.
I must have done well enough because everything at my house is blooming and it's beautiful! I don't know what half of them are nor do I have any idea how to care for them, but they are pretty to look at. I rely heavily on my mother and mother-in-law to tell me what needs to be done. My mother waters my potted plants regularly and my mother-in-law comes over with clippers in hand and offers tidbits of information and advise as she makes her way around the yard.
The one plant I do recognize is a Mum and mine are confused because they are blooming now instead of in the fall. Great! I probably have ruined the little beauties for life. I was such a bad caretaker that they are now confused about who they are and what they will grow up to be. They think they are lilies or something! I should have to turn my gardening badge and my water gun.
Here's a little peek at the flowers in the yard . . .
Oh! And I have bushes too! As if being guardian and caretaker of the flowers wasn't .
And did you know that watering them isn't enough?! You have to trim them and clear out the dead parts and prune (whatever that is). So, while I was hacking away at one of the bushes in an attempt to clear the dead branches, I found this . . .
I took it as a sign that I no longer had to trim the bushes :-)
You can only see her tail and part of her head if you look closely. When I found the nest the other day there were three small white eggs with dark colored dots on them, but no mama. When I went out to take this photo, mama was there! I looked it up on the internet and it said she's a Northern Cardinal.
These are generic internet/google photos. I'll try to get photos of my birdie mama and her eggs!
After my announcement two weeks ago that I would be closing my daycare after 1o years of operations, Friday was the beginning of the end. I said my first good-bye to one of my kiddos and it was both the hardest good-bye and the easiest, all at the same time.
Friday marked the last day of daycare for my Godson, Anthony.
This morning, he will begin his time with a new caregiver who has been carefully selected by Mom and Dad for her small numbers, Christian home and willingness to photograph Anthony often and text Mom with updates :-). The decision was made to move sooner, rather than later so as to give him time to adjust to his new surroundings before a busy summer schedule for his family begins. It is a good move and one I support.
Like all big events in children's lives, we celebrated with cupcakes his Mommy made to share with the group. (Because all Moms know that everything is better with frosting :-)
She even pureed a special cupcake just for Anthony in her Baby Bullet and he loved it!
It was bittersweet to see him go. He's been mine for 6 months and holds a special place in my heart because he is my Godson. I will miss the opportunity to see him everyday and watch the little changes in his growth that only a person who watches closely would notice. For example, last week he discovered that he can scream on command and he finds it very entertaining :-) I will miss those moments.
However, I am not sad. Because his is not a good-bye for good. You see, as his Godmother I am in a unique position to continue to be a large part of his life and to experience these moments for a lifetime to come. He is not gone from my home or my heart. His toys remain. His mess remains. His spit is still on my shoulder. His photos are on my walls. He is mine.
So, my little Pookie, good luck in this, your first big adventure away from my watchful eyes. Remember to be nice to the puppies, nap time is at 11:30 and peas are good for you (no matter what mom says).
I'm Jennifer and I find myself constantly surrounded by children. Some of them mine and others not. I've been a mom for 12 years (4 kids), a daycare provider for 10 years (18+ kids) and more recently, I accepted a position of secretary at my children's elementary school, population 385 students! I am also called Aunt by 2 beautiful nieces, Harmony (10yo) and Ella (3yo) and God-mommy by Tony a.k.a Pookie (6months).