Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Insert Clever Title Here

Look at the new friends we have on our walking path!



They make our relaxing and much anticipated evenings even more exciting. :)

I lived on a horse farm once.

I was terrified of horses. 

Haha.

So this is going to be the shortest blog post ever. We were without power for one measly hour yesterday, and it threw my ENTIRE day off. Which is kind of sad. I can live without TV and internet for a while. Easy. Find something else to do. But then I realized...I had nothing else to do! I couldn't do the laundry or run the dishwasher. I couldn't steam mop my kitchen floor or use the vacuum cleaner. My cordless sweeper needed to be charged. I couldn't even prepare the dinner I had planned, because it required using the crock pot. 

So we did the only logical thing and packed up to go to grandma and grandpa's to swing for a while! And now here we are...24 hours later and I'm still playing catch up from one hour without power yesterday. Sometimes being very scheduled people can bite us in the butt!

And...my children are now climbing on the countertops. This is what happens when I sit down for five minutes to write a blog. Haha. Oh, I have a piece of trivia for you all before I leave, which ties in quite nicely with what I shared about Gracie yesterday. 

Do you know who the angriest people in America are? Go ahead and take your best guess. Then check out this article. It makes me feel better about myself. :D

Alright, peace out peeps. I have laundry to do and kids to lasso. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Family and Sports We Care About!

Hallelujah! I have my computer back, Eric is home, and all is well in our world. We had a pleasant weekend full of playing and walking and lots of shopping, and in between all of those things Grace decided to become her possessed self once again. I can't count the amount of times we walked out of somewhere early, had to stop eating a meal, or that I had to sit with her in the car because she decided to throw tantrums of gargantuan portions. The girl is bull-headed to the nth degree. She goes through peaks and valleys with her behavior, and this weekend...well...let's just say Eric and I laughed, we cried, we threatened to chuck children out of the window... :)

If you don't have one already, I pray that you are never blessed with a strong-willed child. I suppose they build character or something...haha.... Still, even after the worst days with Gracie I find myself tucking her into bed at night and thanking God for my precious gift. She is a handful, but I love her to itty bitty peices.

Friday evening was a super fun time at our VBS family night!




The bounce house was a hit!

But nothing held the girls' attention quite like little pools filled up with water and sand. Seriously...it's the little things!




We found Aunt Shannon working at the face painting booth. Evelyn wanted purple ladybugs on her hands. I have never seen a purple ladybug myself, but what Evie wants Evie gets. :)



Somewhere between stuffing our faces with hotdogs and nachos and popcorn, we found John enjoying a sno-cone in the cardboard village. Haha.



There was a dunk tank and lawn games and lots of people to talk with and friends to see. The girls came home filthy and sweaty, which must mean that family night was a success!

We came home to a nice hot bubble bath and the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games. I briefly shared my love of the Olympics on Friday, and was understandably picked on for it. :D Yes, it is a well-known fact that the Robert family usually cares nothing about sports. But the olympics are not the same...they're just not. It's swimming, and diving, and gymnastics, and fencing, and archery, and all of the things we don't get to see every day on TV. 

It's national pride...not just individual team pride...and as a fairly patriotic family, it is awesome to get to cheer on the good ole U.S. of A! Even our kids get into it. It is ridiculously educational. I always learn something about other cultures while watching the games, and sometimes...true story...I learn about places I didn't even know existed before! Wow...there really are other people in this world, even from far away obscure places that sound made up. :)

And as people who love the story behind the story, we especially enjoy learning about the athletes, seeing how they train, where they come from, and the hardships they had to endure to get where they are. THAT is a part of sports that we definitely appreciate. 



When the last Olympic games were being played, Eric and I weren't even married. I would go over to Eric's house every evening to sit in front of the television with him with wedding stuff spread all around me. I spent countless hours putting together programs and folding and tying and designing every piece of paper that went into our wedding day while the sound of the games played on in the background. 

I can't believe that was just four short years ago. If you would have told me I'd have two children and another on the way by the time the next olympic games were on I would have laughed.in.your.face. We've also moved three times, changed career paths, and any life plans that we had were completely turned upside down with the news of each new addition to our family. It's been a roller coaster four years!

So yes...that's what we've been up to. Lots of family time, dealing with high maintenance children, actually caring about sports...it's kind of a strange time in Robertland. Haha. But we're enjoying (most) of it! Right this very second Evelyn is learning about kayaks and the country of Slovakia from our living room. Now I ask you, when else would we have ever talked about kayaks and Slovakia? Never, that's when. But I can almost guarantee you that now Evelyn's princess stories will be a little more colorful with all of these new words in her vernacular. :D

Friday, July 27, 2012

Confession Friday 7-27!

I confess that I've gotta make this one quick. We've got stuff to do today!

I confess that I'm on our old computer, and I only have really random pictures from the past to work with. Like this one....remember toilet water head?


Who knew toilet water was great for styling hair?? :)

I confess that I could never ever be a military wife. Eric...come hooome!!!

I confess that I keep having these flashes that Reagan is going to pop out with flaming red hair. Haha. I can't imagine him as a red head. It just makes me laugh. (I love red hair, I've just never pictured our Reagan with it!)

I confess that I keep getting these strange and unfamiliar urges to work out. I hate working out. I wish these urges would just go away. :)

I confess that when I feel an urge coming on, I bake some peanut butter cookies and eat them by the dozen instead. True story.

I confess that I am terrible at remembering people and names...always have been...and this has made for a couple of awkward moments with seemingly random people wanting to rub my belly when they see me in public....

We can't leave out gift-bag head....

Poor Grace was always terrorized by her big sister. :)

I confess that I'm going to be glued to the television set for the next two weeks watching obscure sports. I love the Olympics!

I confess that Eric and I have decided we are buying a summer home in Denver, a winter home in Naples, a lake house for whenever we please, and an in-between house for visiting the folks back home. Just you wait. It's going to happen. :)

I confess that I am STILL paranoid about getting stung by another bee, and I haven't even seen a bee in weeks. I will seriously go far out of my way to walk around a patch of grass. Going a week without use of your foot will do strange psychological things to you, let me tell ya.

I confess that I might be more excited for nachos and sno-cones than any of the kids that will be coming to VBS family night tonight.

I confess that when Eric is gone on business trips, I sleep on his side of the bed. Eric ALWAYS has to sleep on the right. I think I know why...I've been getting great sleep! Haha.

Okay, and that's it. 
Got stuff to do.
Places to go.
People to see.

It's FRIDAY! Woohoo!!!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Playing in the Bug Zone!

Eric left for Denver, CO early yesterday morning and left me with the spare computer. And I couldn't find the computer cord for it all day long. But, I found it - yay! So now here I am. :D

We've been spending our week in the Bug Zone at vacation bible school! Periodically I was able to peel myself away from the preschoolers to snap a few pictures, but now that I'm on a different computer I'm finding that I'm missing quite a few. Seriously, I think any teacher at VBS could probably say the same thing: the week of VBS pretty much equals craziness. Life is a little chaotic at the moment, so please do not mind the mess that is this blog. :)

But for those who were wondering, this is what our preschool room looks like before most of our kids show up each evening:



Seriously. Our new building rocks. We have so much SPACE in our nursery department these days. This is just one of several connected rooms. Thank you, Lord!

Each night starts with a coming in time for us, where the kids play with games and puzzles and of course, every child's favorite, play dough. (Which is way better when it's home made! Seriously, Miss Shannon made some awesome play dough for us!)



And then it's time for the bible story. Last night we learned about how God transformed Zacchaeus - you know, the wee little man. :) Baha. But in these pictures, the children are learning about Ruth, and Miss Teresa is showing the kids how people used to gather wheat, make it into flour, and turn it into bread:


The kids loved sampling some bread afterwards! 

Next we do a craft each evening, and you're just going to have to use your imagination on this one, because these are some of the pictures that I can't seem to find. 

<Insert craft picture here. Haha.>

Then it's time to travel around the building. On some nights we went to music class to learn all of the fun VBS songs, and on other nights, we go to missions class to learn about missionaries and how we can share Jesus:



Here, the children learn about people sharing God all around the world and even in their own towns. 

And next up is snack and game time! This is another super hard time to get pictures, because our multi-purpose room is gigantic and the kids just want to run and have fun. 


And after we run out all of our energy (or hopefully most of it, haha) we go back to our classroom to do our activity sheets and final projects for the evening. 

The night ends at the worship rally:


We sing songs, see a skit, and get some announcements from our VBS director Miss Ellen.

Then it's time to go home. Whew!

What child wouldn't want to come to vacation bible school, I ask you? :)

This kid loves it!



Evie before VBS last night...posing for the camera. :)

T

When did she get so big??

So I couldn't end this post without inviting everyone to our family night tomorrow night...it's going to be great! There will be hot dogs and nachos and sno-cones and popcorn, bounce houses, games, face painting, and more...and it's all free! Bring your kiddos and we'll see you there. :)

Tonight is our very last night of regular bible school. I am exhausted...and a little sad that it will be a whole year before we get to do this again. If your kids weren't able to come this year, I sure hope they will join us for more fun next summer. VBS is a staple of summertime fun if you ask me. :D

Have a happy day!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interview with Evelyn

So I think I'm going to hold off on a VBS post update, because I wasn't able to get any great pictures last night. Preschoolers are a handful. :) But we're having a great week! FYI, our preschool and kindergarten classes have officially reached max capacity, but it isn't too late for 1-6 graders to join in the fun!

One post that I had planned for this week was an interview with my oldest daughter, so we'll do that today instead. I mostly blog about our kids and family life from my prospective, but sometimes it's fun to take a peek inside the minds of the little ones. Here are twenty questions that I asked Evie this morning. Some of the answers make no sense, but I wrote exactly what she said. :)

I kept telling Evie to "smile pretty" for the camera, and this is what I got.


Haha.

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
Uhhhhmmm....chicken.

What is something that your mom always says to you?
You're my mom and daddy's my dad and Gracie's my sister. See? This is Gracie, and she's my sister.

What is something that your daddy is really good at?
Me!

How are you and your sister the same?
We are the same because...GRACIE'S CLIMBING ON THE TABLE!....um, we are the same.

What is your favorite toy?
Buzz

What is your favorite color?
Um, Buzz's shirt is green.

Where is your favorite place to go?
Um, the mall!

What is your favorite snack?
Ummm...mum...mum...cereal.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
If I go at the mall, we can go down the elevator and eat sandwiches so I can be a big, big girl.

What do you and your mom do together?
Tickle Gracie!


This has me terrified for posed school pictures someday. :)

What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Um, I like going out there.

What does your mom like the most about your dad?
Um, he smiles at you.

What is your favorite TV show?
Looney Tunes

Who is your best friend?
Errm...Gracie.

What does your mom do for a job?
Clean my room.

What does daddy do all day?
Drink soda.

What does mommy do when you go to bed?
Take me, um, my bed.

If you could go anywhere in the whole world, where would you go?
At the mall.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
It has strawberries in it.

If you could give everyone one piece of advice, what would it be?
Me! Mama, I want down.

And that was the end of that! I did finally manage to get Evelyn to smile like a normal person at the end.


I love my silly three year old!

I asked Ev to give us all some parting words for the day, and she says, "Mom, where's Gracie?" She is concerned that her sister was not included enough in this blog post. :) Someday, my dear, your sister will talk and we can interview her, too. To tell you the truth, I'm a little scared of what will come out of her mouth someday!

So from Evelyn and me, we hope you all have a fabulous day! 
(Evie is making a funny face for you, just so ya know.)
Haha.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Teach Them Love

True that, Clive.
This world is whack, sometimes.

This world can be a really screwed up place, in case you hadn't noticed. And that was sort of the theme of the weekend for me. While still reeling from the news of a terrible tragedy in Colorado, our family decided to take a little night out together to do some shopping on Saturday evening. Just an ordinary outing that I had been looking forward to all week. And we were almost involved in a terrible accident...in almost the exact same place that a young family of three would lose their lives just a few hours later.

The sun was beginning to set in the sky, and the girls were lazily settling into their seats in the back. We were going to go to two different malls and have dinner, and I wasn't paying attention to anything going on around me as Eric drove. I was just dreamily looking at the clouds and thinking about what things I wanted to find while we were out. When suddenly my entire body was shocked into attention as Eric jerked our car toward the ditch, narrowly missing a van that had swerved into our lane. That van had almost hit the car in front of us as well, and I looked up just in time to see the other vehicle swerving back onto the road. It seemed as though the driver of the van finally realized what he/she was doing seconds before hitting us, and they turned just in time.

Needless to say, we were very shaken up, because it would have been a very very bad accident. And when we got home that night and learned that the exact same thing happened to another family in almost the exact same spot in the exact same scenario...only, they weren't so lucky... it left me with an even eerier feeling. You can be the most careful person in the world, and it doesn't matter. Because other people's actions can affect you. Whether you're minding your own business just driving down the road or settling into a darkened movie theater getting ready to watch a film, life can change....like THAT.

One of our stops for the evening was going to be the St. Louis Mills Mall. I had some rewards to spend, so I wanted to check out the Gymboree outlet. And I don't mean to offend anyone if this happens to be your favorite place in the world, but we are never...ever...EVER...going back there again. Talk about screwed up world.

Eric left me for about thirty minutes to shop while he walked the girls around, and in that thirty minutes he saw THREE different arrests inside of the mall. I had my arms loaded with clothes when he came strolling back into the store and with a whitewashed expression he said, "We have to get out of here." Which is exactly what we did. I dropped the clothes and we made our way to the exit. The exit which was perfectly fine and intact when we walked into the mall thirty minutes earlier...and now was busted open and broken. Seriously.

Add in the groups of young people in the parking lot being monitored by security who watched our family load into the car and stared at us until we were long gone...and yeah, I would say we are never going back. Ever. Ever.

Screwed. Up.


There is one thing that I took away from the one and only philosophy course I ever took in college (which I already knew thanks to years of bible study)...and that is that evil doesn't have to be learned. No one has to teach a child how to lie...how to steal...how to cheat. These are things every human being seems to do naturally from the time they are physically able. I can tell you, without a doubt, that I never had to teach my children to be naughty - they have perfected that one all on their own. :)

What has to be taught is love. Morals. Integrity. Sharing. Caring. I believe that God is love, because that's who he says he is. So all I can say is praise the Lord that our weekend ended with the start of Vacation Bible School! It was what we needed.

I have the pleasure of working with the preschoolers, and I have to admit, sometimes it is totally refreshing to have BIG truths unpacked, broken down, and simplified to a language that even a four year old can understand. While learning about our awesome God, children can't help but also learn about love...and sharing, and mercy, and compassion...because that's who God is.

And that's a lot to learn in a lifetime.

While I think it is ultimately up to each parent to teach their children morality, it can be wonderful and very helpful when they hear it from someone other than mom and dad, too. That is just one of the many reasons that I love VBS. I am so thankful that there are people willing to give up their time to share love with children.

After the events of this weekend, it is very clear to me that this world needs it.

And now...haha...I am ready to put this weekend in the past and have a total BLAST for the rest of the week! Hopefully tomorrow I will have a much more lighthearted post to share about our good times with the littles! Everyone is welcome at Vacation Bible School, so stop by if you're in the area and bring your kids, neighbors, relatives...whomever you please! And if you need to find me just look for the beach ball on legs chasing after a dozen scurrying children. Kind of hard to miss. :)

Thank you, Jesus for protecting our family this weekend.

I hope that Love leads your way today. 
xoxo

Friday, July 20, 2012

Confession Friday 7-20!

Friday has come!
Rejoice.

I confess that once again, ANTS have infiltrated the Robert household, and I am the official antinator. No creature is safe.

I confess that cute people really do get off easier in this world...just ask Grace Robert.

I confess that I am notorious for forgetting about wet laundry in the washing machine. Our clothes often take a second ride through the rinse cycle. Whoops!

I confess that my son has been working hard to make more room inside cramped quarters, so if you see me somewhere and I randomly lurch forward in pain, do not be alarmed. (Well, I don't know - maybe you should be alarmed.) But it's probably nothing. Reagan doesn't kick...he grinds in his heels and puuushes.

I confess that I will never, ever, in my lifetime be a morning person. But this guy, on the other hand:


Downright chipper. 
I miss his face.

I confess that I can never remember how far along in my pregnancy I am. I check online almost daily to make sure I know how much more time I have before complete chaos ensues. :)

I confess that my two-night stay in the hospital after having a baby is like a vacation for me. Room service and people waiting on my every need? Kinda nice. Haha.

I confess that last night I ran into Target by myself and walked briskly back to the toys to see what they had. I passed two guys talking, and one said, "Now see, there's a girl who walks with confidence," and the other guy said, "Yeah, but she's pregnant." Bahaha, I have no idea what the context of their conversation was, but I laughed all the way to the toy section.

I confess that I just gave my children gum balls to appease them while I finish this post...what person gives a one year old gum? This person.

I confess that Grace has nearly deleted these confessions about five times now, and I'm about to lose it. 

Aww, remember when she wast just an innocent little thing?


And then they learn to walk. :)

Okay, seriously, it took me like two hours to come up with this stuff. It's just one of those days! I have no clue what I'm feeding my children for lunch. And it's about that time. 

Oh - don't forget - if you know any school aged children, Vacation Bible School starts this Sunday! It's going to be good times. I confess that I'm exhausted just thinking about this week. Haha. 

K, The End. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Summertime

We had an Eric-less Wednesday yesterday. It's been a while since we've gone a whole day without the man of the house. So what did we do? We packed ourselves up and went to grandma and grandpa's of course!

Ah, grandma and grandpa's, where there are different toys to play with, yummy things to eat, and we can't forget...grandma and grandpa! Haha. It doesn't matter if it's my parents or Eric's, our girls never want to leave. The day we have to move away from having them just a hop skip and a jump from our house will be a sad, sad day.

Even in the extreme heat yesterday, we managed to sneak outside for a while to get some (stifling, barely breathable) fresh air. :)


Grace does this thing...that I don't get...and it's incredibly frustrating. According to my youngest, I am not allowed to sit down when I am outside. Especially if she is on the swing. Even though I get up every minute to push her little hiney, she still thinks I am being a party pooper if I sit my pregnant self in a chair. Observe:


Loud, blood curdling shrieking emanates from this little girl if I even look like I'm about to sit down. It's enough to make the neighbors think I'm forcing a child into a cage. Dear Gracie, it's hot, and I'm carrying over 35 pounds of extra weight on my body. Get. Over. It. Thank you, love. :)

While sweating and huffing are definitely negative aspects of summer, at least one thing about the shining sun is awesome, and that one thing is sun tea. I love tea. Especially sweet tea...which Eric thinks is blasphemous, but that's another post all unto itself. While my parents were camping last week, I was intrigued by something I saw at their campsite involving sun tea in mason jars.

A quick search on Pinterest will show that lots of people think it's cool to drink this popular southern beverage from a mason jar. How much more "summer" can you get? But I had never seen anyone MAKE sun tea in individual mason jars, and well...I thought it was a pretty nifty idea straight from my mama's noggin. Everyone had their own jar steeping in the sun, and then each person was able to add as much or as little sweetness as they liked to their drink. A sun-tea pitcher and glass all in one - genius!

My mom's recipe for perfect mason jar sun tea:


Two teabags per jar of water, steeped for as long as you can stand it.


Add 1/4 cup of sugar for a little summer sweetness.


Put on the lid and shake, shake, shake! Refrigerate, if you wish.


Yummy!

So yes, we enjoyed a little time away yesterday...a whole three blocks away. :) Oh, and I have to tell you, haha.... Our family could not escape Christmas yesterday. Minutes after I published my "Christmas in July" post my mom called me, giddy as a school girl, saying that she had won tickets to a Christmas concert this December from her favorite radio station. Hehehe...cloud nine does not even begin to describe her for the rest of the day. :) Several other Christmas references played out throughout the day, and so when it came time to frost our dessert last night we decided just to give in to the holiday vibe with festive icing and sprinkles - totally my mom's idea.



Now you know where I get this stuff from. :) 

Eric ended up having a short class last night, so he was home early. Hooray! It was a great end to a great day. And tomorrow is the weekend, so hello, I'm happy. My mom, sister, and I are going to have a girls day shopping this morning...gotta check out that toy clearance! So I need get scooting. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Christmas in July!

Yes, I fully expect ya'll to make fun of me. But that's okay. There is a reason for this post today - promise. :)

So it's the middle of July and sweltering hot in the good 'ole Midwest, and I highly doubt Christmas is on most normal people's radar at the moment. But as you probably know, I'm not normal. :) My brain has been in fall and winter mode for a quite a while now, dreaming of traditions and cooler temperatures and all that junk. Seems that I live my life a couple of seasons ahead of everyone else. (Cause believe me, in the winter...I'm more than ready for summertime!)

ANYWAY, it's officially time for crazy folks like me to start thinking about Christmas lists. And why is that, you might ask? Because tomorrow is the usual start of Target's annual TOY CLEARANCE! Wahoo!! Haha.

Basically, many of Target's toys will be marked down to 70% off to make room for a new season of gadgets and gizmos for the smaller set. It's the same every year - the third Thursday in July is when most stores will start their deep markdowns. Like most of my favorite kinds of sales, every Target will be different. What they have to choose from will be totally dependent on what kind of stock they have. So one store might be a dud, while another is a goldmine for super cheap toys. It's the thrill of hunt! :)

To put it into perspective, last year there was a toy I really really really wanted to to get for each of the girls, but I could never bring myself to commit, because it was $30. We really try to stick to a $100 limit for each child at Christmastime, and it just wasn't worth it to me then. WELL...that same toy is currently hanging out on Target's clearance shelves (I know, cause I saw them there last week!) and tomorrow it will be marked down to $7.50. Now THAT I can handle. Patience pays off!


And while we're on the subject of Christmas lists, I thought I would go ahead and share with you all a new tradition that Eric and I have decided to start this year. You know, in case it strikes your fancy and you want to try it, too. In order to keep the gift-giving craziness down to a minimum we wanted to limit ourselves not just on the amount we spend on gifts, but the amount of gifts we get for each child. Cause with my sale shopping hobby, I can make $100 stretch to ridiculous proportions sometimes. And honestly, I find myself picking up things that are totally unnecessary just because I can and because there's money leftover.

There are many families that I've met over the internet who use a little rhyme to limit their gift-giving each year. It separates the gifts into five categories so that each child will have five presents to open on Christmas morning. And it goes a little something like this:


Something they want,
Something they need,
What you think they might like, 
And something to read.
Finally, get them something to wear,
And your family Christmas tree will never be bare!

I love, love, love this idea. While working within the limits, I've heard some pretty creative gift ideas, and I think this actually makes shopping easier when there are predictable rules to follow every year.

1.) Something they want - This one is easy to figure out. :) If there is one thing they want more than anything (within reason, of course) then we will try our very best to get it for them. Done.

2.) Something they need - It sounds pretty boring, but it can be really fun! This year, I think our "need" will be fun new bedding for each of our kids, because they all really will need it. The girls will be getting twin beds soon, and Reagan will be just about ready to move out of the bassinet and into the crib, so I'd like to get him some new crib bedding.

3.) What you think they might like - I sort of think that over the years, this will be the "cheating" category, haha. Because what child only wants ONE toy for Christmas? This is the gift that I'll pay close attention to as my kids list things they think they would like to receive. Who knows - if they're struggling with which toy to ask specifically for one year and it's down to two choices, perhaps BOTH of them will find their way under the tree. ;)

4.) Something to read - Easy peasy. Fun books for now. Their favorite series or box sets for later. Another great idea for this category (perhaps for the non-reader or a teenager) would be a subscription to their favorite magazine for a year.

5.) Something to wear - Obviously any kind of clothes would fit into this category, but later on I can see choosing a special piece of jewelry or fun purse for the girls. If our son happens to be into sports at all (say what? haha) then I would even consider sports gear to fall into this category - like a new glove or shoes or whatever.

The point is, this is a really flexible list and it can be used just as creativity as choosing gifts willy-nilly for the kids. After a few years I think they'll catch on and sort of know what to expect to ask for. I can hear the rhyme ringing through the house all through the Christmas season, haha.

Last year's Christmas morning. :)

In just a few short years we have already learned that after our children receive presents from grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends, by the time Christmas morning comes they already have a room full of new toys to play with. Five gifts will be PLENTY for us. I'm really excited to start a new tradition with our family this year!

So no, I'm not hauling out the holly and playing Christmas tunes quite yet. :) But I am going to officially start scouting for great deals! Those clearance shelves clear out pretty quickly, so if you'd like to check out the sale make sure to stop by your favorite Target this weekend. Heck, maybe I'll find Gracie's birthday present, too!

Merry Christmas in July!

**Just wanted to note (so that I don't get gobs of hate mail) that every Target is different, and some are slower to put out their clearance items. So if they aren't out for you this weekend, keep checking back! They should all be out by the same time next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Check-In

In our family, we often divide and conquer when it comes to our children. If we're getting ready to go somewhere Eric will dress one girl and I'll dress the other. He puts Evelyn in the car and I buckle in Grace. At bedtime, I take Gracie duty and Eric puts Evie to sleep. We are a well-oiled machine. (What in the world are we going to do once Reagan gets here? Haha.)

Last night after I laid Gracie down in her crib I heard an excessive amount of giggling coming from the other room. Evelyn was cracking UP about something. And when I walked into the room, I saw her with an iPhone in hand, enthusiastically pressing buttons. I came in just to time to see her hand the phone to Eric and say, "Daddy, bro, you HAVE to try this game!"

Bahaha. Bro?? We are constantly entertained by our oldest daughter. And for what it's worth, Eric informed me that Evie had turned on the phone, opened the game, and beat several levels all by herself. Is my child three or thirteen?


Evelyn's game of choice. 
It is quite addicting, I must say.

So I promised my kids this morning that I would do a very quick blog post so that we could just have fun all day long. They just looked so darn cute this morning, and the last thing I want to do is spend extra time on the computer. I sure hope you understand. :) 

Oh, and if your kids have any favorite games on the iPhone, let me know! We don't let Evie play it often, but she really gets a kick out of the games now and then! 

Have a happy Tuesday!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Let's Talk About Plates, Bab-y.

Today, my goal is to keep you on the edge of your seat with the most action-packed, thrilling blog post you have ever read in your entire LIFE.

No.... Not really. We had the most low-key weekend in the history of the world. We walked. We ate a lot of food. Eric got a haircut. Truly riveting stuff. It was slow and relaxing...oh, haha, until about 10:00 last night. I had FINALLY gotten Gracie to sleep and went into our guest bathroom when I heard an odd sort of trickling noise coming from the air vent. "What the heck is that?" I thought. And then Gracie started screaming.

Off I went to lay my child back down in her crib. And then I heard the same trickling sound in her room, too. Now I'm not the brightest when it comes to plumbing and how things in my house work, but I'm fairly certain that running water is not supposed to be in the ducts that pump air through our house. I RAN to the basement...and as soon as I opened the door I could hear it...the trickling of several waterfalls raining down from the pipes and onto the basement floor. I yelled for Eric, and we found that our other toilet was overflowing...into the vent in our bathroom...and into our basement.

So to end our very low-key weekend, we spent our evening running around with towels and plungers and buckets to hopefully catch SOME of the water from destroying our possessions. There were a few casualties, but we're pretty awesome toilet water catchers. We should start a business. And wear matching jumpsuits.

That was our weekend. The End.

Now onto the most interesting thing you've ever heard. Well, I think it's pretty interesting. :) Did you know that when the President of the United Sates lives in the White House they get to pick their very own signature china pattern? It's true! There is special room on the first floor of the White House called "The China Room" where all of the china is kept, and nearly every president is represented there.

I know, I know. Whoopee. BUT... there are so many interesting stories surrounding the china. How the peices were picked, what their patterns represent, who ate off of them...and in some cases...what they were used for OTHER than eating, haha. If you are interested in history at all, then it's really fun to read all of the stories and meanings behind the plates that our nation's leaders ate off of.

I love Zachary Taylor's plates!

What is really neat, and something that I didn't know until our recent trip away, was that you can buy replicas of the china to use in your own home. So yes...you can eat off of the same pattern dessert plate as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, JFK...you name them, you can share a little bit of history with them. And so now, Eric and I have a new obsession collection going.

The china is pricey, just like any other kind of china, so we've decided that any time we go on a trip or need a gift idea for each other or just feel like it, we'll buy a piece of this china for our collection. We're starting with dessert plates, and we began by purchasing a plate from the Harry S. Truman Museum of our personal favorite president of all time:


Abraham Lincoln
Honest Abe's wife Mary Todd actually chose the design for their china. She designed this pattern so that foreigners would perceive America as strong and her husband's administration in control. 

I still can't decide if I just want to display these, or actually use them. Because once we have a good collection going, how interesting would it be to have a dinner party and give each guest a different president's dessert plate? "Oh, it looks like you have the Adam's pattern!" "Do you know who's plate you're eating off of tonight?" Yes, I am a total dork, and yes, I think about these things in my free time.

Some patterns are just plain pretty, like John Adams'. Can't wait to get one of these. :)

And we'll always defer this pattern to our son...the "Reagan" plate. Haha.

We weren't gifted any china at our wedding, so now we're going to collect our own special set. :) The perfect mis-matched china collection for a couple of nerds! And they'll fit in quite nicely when we have our colonial dream home some day, haha. 

So perhaps you learned a new little piece of trivia today. Now you are .1% smarter than you were five minutes ago. It's okay to walk around with an inflated head for the rest of the day now...tell all of your friends of your new-found knowledge.. Presidential china. It's all the rage. :) 

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