Friday Finds

My Chicago buddy, Colleen,
the undisputed QUEEN of the Nuthouse (who makes me laugh like crazy in real life)
is hosting a Friday Finds on her blog.

I thought I'd join in and share one of my little secrets.

When I'm feeling like I just can't outrun the Wrinkle Fairy and all hope is lost;
I grab my super duper secret weapon

And I'm 20 again.
(OK, 35....but my face is smooth as a baby's bottom. )

You can find this entire line at very affordable prices HERE.

If you're looking to try the line out I highly recommend the starter kit.

Midterm Minx

See this little Minx?

He's gonna drive me to drink.

This week I survived the Health, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science (barely) midterms.

The Mother of all subjects is on its way on Monday...

My nemesis.
And the chocolate is all gone!

I admit it....I am not smarter than a fifth grader.


and definitely not cuter than this one!


Black and White Wednesday

Once again I'm participating in Lisa's Black and White Wednesdays.

I know this is a bit more Antique than it is true Black and White however,
I just love this photo of my precious little girl.
To me it has the timeless quality of a black and white.

Sweetie Antiqued

Happy Wednesday!


All Aboard

Sweetie and WonderBoy just love this train.

It's called the Musical Express.

It's simple enough to set up and it comes with different colored tiles that fit inside the track along with a musical song book.

The book depicts color-coded maps of where to place the tiles which, when properly snapped into the track, play various nursery rhymes
as the train rolls over them.

It's a great toy to teach following directions, dexterity, spatial relationships, predictability and team work.

This is one of the kids' favorite toys (I have to admit, one of mine too)
and they always seem to play together so well when this train comes out.

Of course, after the novelty of the different songs wear off; that little train looks mighty lonely going around the track.

So...they've come up with the ideal passenger for the coal car....

You guessed it....it's KIDDIE!



Poor Kiddie was a little punch drunk by the time
he went around again and again and again...for the 32nd time.


He's a good sport that Kiddie!


Midterms and Chocolate

Imagine my surprise when I opened WonderBoy's backpack last week to find a barrage of paperwork that made my knees weak.

It wasn't the usual stuff.

I had to sit down.

I read it and re-read it.

It said (in an ironically cheerful font that was clearly laughing at me):
MIDTERMS are here!

Welcome to 5th Grade.

I had no idea. None. None at ALL!

In that second, I was magically transported back to
my own (seemingly never-ending) school days.

It was BACK;
that old familiar
sick to my stomach, there just isn't enough time, why didn't I pay better attention and take better notes
It took up residence right where it used to live in the pit of my belly.
It's as if it never left.

And now I am re-living it.

I'm not ready.
No one warned me.

What's worse; I have to rely on his notes to help him study.
Let's just say he's not exactly the highlighter, multiple color, ruler-using notetaker that I was in my heyday.

(I actually had fellow students hover over me when I took notes and offer to pay me for my notes in grad school.
That was way before computers were in the classrooms and outlines were online...who am I kidding...that was before the internet!)

So...anyway, we are in full on study mode for the next two weeks.
I'm trying to impart my very best study habits on the young Grasshopper in hopes that he will understand the value of studying and the rewards of doing well academically.

So, I've set the stage:
Prepared the master study plan (he has 5 midterms in total over 10 days)
Color coded the different subjects on the calendar
Made cordinated folders housing our study guides and mock exams
Been talking about how we'll tackle the studying all week together and
what rewards he can set his sights on if he does well on all of them
(I will accept a B or better but he earns extra points for A's)

And, of course, I have impressed upon him the
most important staple in any study routine......

WonderBoy has embraced my tried and true
Studying with Chocolate Study Plan wholeheartedly.

It's a beautiful thing.

Step One:
Prepare the chocolate







Step Two:
Let the studying BEGIN!


Right Before My Eyes

My baby has become a little girl.
And I can't find the pause button.





Black and White Wednesday

I thought I'd join in again on
Lisa's Black and White Wednesdays challenge for week #2.

It doesn't take too much effort for me since Pictures I've GOT!

This is one of my very favorite pictures of the disarmingly handsome JR
(I can say that with absolute certainty as the girl who wakes up next to him every morning!)


I took this on the ferry this summer headed into New York City
to see the Intrepi*d Aircraft Carrier Museum with the kids.

It was about 90 degrees and humid as anything.

We had a really memorable day.

I took lots of pictures (surprise!) which I never posted.

I knew that was going to happen as it often does.
I got busy with the summer and other pictures and just never got around to it.

What a great place that museum is.
WonderBoy was in his glory!

I am going to go back through the photos and post about that day soon.
It was just too impressive not to share.

My motto...it's never too late!


Thankful Thursday: The Kindness of Strangers

There's a woman who lives in an elder care facility.
She doesn't know me or my children.

She does knows JR.

He brings a smile to her face when he slows down long enough to
show her photos of the children and share a stories about them with her.
She hangs on his every word.

She doesn't get many visitors.

She loves to hear about life on the outside.

In all likelihood she won't be on the outside again.

JR knows this and spends a little extra time with her listening
a little more intently when she speaks.
Showing her that she's important.

On Christmas Eve he returned with a little package
for each of the children from this special lady.

Inside were two tiny little scarves;
blue for our boy and pink for our girl.
How precious they were.

I explained to the children about the woman we've never met
whose hands spent hours knitting; hands that lived a long life and that now sit idle...
except for the moments that she spent making these special gifts for them...
with purpose, hope and love.



I took these photos of the children for JR to bring to her
along with a special thank you handwritten by WonderBoy
on behalf of his sister and himself.

In the Spring, we will surprise her with a visit.

I am always amazed and humbled by the kindness of strangers.


Black and White Wednesday

My friend LISA, photographer extraordinaire who consistently inspires me to
improve my own photography,
has begun Black and White Wednesdays on her blog
and has invited us to take part in her Black and White carnival.

I thought I'd post these 3 favorite photos of JR and Sweetie Pie because no matter my mood;
I look at these photos and they make my cheeks hurt from smiling.





Monday at the Movies

Florence Night*ngale.


Florence Night*ngale meets Roman Holiday!



Playing Catch Up

Before too much time passed, I bit the bullet and went back and posted the holiday photos
I had been meaning to post.
Truth be told; it was keeping me up at night.
I snuck them in on the dates they belonged and now I can get on with living!
To recap on our Christmas and New Years' holidays....take a peek here and here and here.
Ahhh, I feel better already!


Prince Charming

All my life I thought he'd be a man I'd meet one day.
Who knew he'd be a boy I'd love more than life itself.


The Princess and Me

Several weeks ago my Sweetie Pie got a new bed.


It's absolutely perfect for her little room and
more than fitting for our pint-sized princess.

It's complete with the cuddliest midnight black minky sheets
that are as soft as a well-loved furry teddy bear
with a little black minky pillow to match.


If the whole ensemble weren't so tiny
I'd be nestled in that bed for sure
(especially on chilly days like we're having lately)
with head buried beneath the covers
and no one would ever find me.

Even WonderBoy keeps trying to crash there however,
he's now tipping the scales at over 102 lbs so
I've deemed her bed
off limits for anyone over 75lbs...
which leaves everyone else in this house out!

There's just one little problem.

Sweetie Pie isn't having any of it.

There's one thing that apparently trumps
the softest, furriest, midnightiest, cudgiest sheets in the world
on the most adorable little bed ever....
Its that spot right between JR and me...


She wrecks havoc on my REM sleep.
Poor JR, the light sleeper that he is, can often be found
wandering the house in search of
a comfy, quiet place elsewhere to rest his head.
But I thought about it and
honestly, I don't know what I'd do without her little heart right next to mine
after the 27 months +9 that we've been together.
Toss and turn as I do,
I realize that she's only this little once and these are the very best of days.

I've been trying to get in touch with my inner recyclist
in an attempt to
turn that precious little bed
somehow into a slightly oversized paperweight
or picture frame or doorstop, or placecard holder, or.....