Monday, January 31, 2011 think of warmer days

...they will come again.

My friend Beth sent me this email today:

Detailed Local Forecast

How to Read This
  • Tonight: Cloudy with periods of snow after midnight. Low 17F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 80%. 1 to 2 inches of snow expected.
  • Tomorrow: Snow likely. High 27F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected.
  • Tomorrow night: Scattered snow showers early with a steadier snow developing late at night. Low 24F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph. Additional 2 to 4 inches of snow expected.
  • Wednesday: Periods of snow, heavy at times, during the morning will transition to a wintry mix in the afternoon. Some icing possible. High 33F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph. Significant snow accumulation possible.
  • Thursday: Snow to start, then a wintry mix. Highs in the low 30s and lows in the upper teens.
  • Friday: Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 20s and lows in the low teens.

A collective chorus of groans was heard all around West Point as surely this forecast bodes more school closures, Code Reds (meaning the commissary AND the CDC will be closed), and snow shoveling...well it can't last forever.  Right???

Spring will come and we'll see:
Pretty flowers...

hanging baskets
wading in the stream

running through the sprinklers
So I was re-inspired of days to come...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 shovel some more snow

...not really.

Since I was flying solo for a few days it was I who got to do the task.  Or risk breaking an ankle when I walk out the door at 10:00 this evening to pace the dog up and down the sidewalk in front of our house!

I love winter spring.   I love snow sun.  I love cold warmth.

The forecast for the rest of the week:

Wednesday: Snow
Thursday: Snow
Friday: Snow
Saturday: Snow

It is pretty.  I can't deny that.

When is Groundhog's Day anyway?  Good 'ole Phil had better NOT see his shadow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011 finish some chores

...and I didn't.

I still have to:
  • paint touch-up the gash I put on the dresser that I made when I was peeling the tape off of the mirror
  • find two screws that are the correct sizes to attach the remaining handle
  • finish the laundry that I started two days ago (or even start what has been acquired since)
  • make dinner
  • make the rotten bananas into muffins 
I am trying to figure out what I accomplished instead...
  • got a haircut
  • learned how to sell girl-scout cookies (who knew there were so many rules!)
  • planned a baby shower
  • taxied children to four dance classes and hockey
  • tried a new pizza place for dinner (it was great...and they delivered!)
Sometimes it looks better when you put thing down concretely...a reason why I love lists.  I did accomplish a lot today!  

Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 take a photo of my chair


Project #2 from this past weekend.  (Project #1 is not quite complete yet...)

This little chair was mine when I was a baby.

It was my mom's when she was a baby.

And before her?  Her grandfather got it for her.  I wish he had made it for her (this would make for a better story!).  Instead, my great-grandfather bought it used for her as a tot.

I think it is a charming, little chair.  After a bit of wood glue and a fresh coat a paint...

And looks so sweet in my little cherub's room.

Monday, January 17, 2011 show our project of the long weekend

...and take a few pictures

A little treasure I found on Craigslist...
 A little bit of help...


A little bit of paint...

More to come...

Friday, January 14, 2011 play some games the fire on this terribly cold winter evening!

So for a living I drink coffee and play games and talk.  Really.  This is my vocation's real job description.  Oh, yea...and I read lots of books.  Children's books.  Thus, my affinity for them.  I digress.

But I have recently felt like I spend more direct, one-on-one time with other people's children than I do my own.  So, I have been trying to really spend some quality time in the evenings with the kids.  Especially my big two.  And tonight, I thought it would be fun to play some games.

On tap for this evening...
An Eric Carle classic made into a game; perfect for my 3-year-old!

A favorite from Mark's childhood...a great family game of strategy!

Of course we played a bit of Wii

While we did not play this next game in particular this evening, it has quickly become one of our favorites.  

And, while conducting "therapy" today I played this with several of the children I work with (thus, the reason I am mentioning it).  There are so many cognitive skills to work on with this game such as language, short-term memory, processing speed, vocabulary; yet EVERY kiddo I tried it on, LOVED it!  
Our newest family favorite!

What a great evening to start off our holiday weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011 plan a new Girl Scout event

...ugh.  The things I get myself into.

World Thinking Day is next month and the Girl Scouts of West Point are celebrating as a unit.  The job of each troop is to pick a country (our is Egypt...for no other reason than when we first had to pick our countries Mark had just returned from there) and then present on it to the other troops.

In theory, it would be the responsibility of the girls to come up with ideas, research them, and put together wonderful skits, creative foods, or amazing artifact displays.

Well, when the girls are seven and eight, and have limited access to on-line research, the responsibility lies on none-other-than-the Troop Leader!

That would be me.

Thankfully, I have one other mom in my troop whom I was able to bounce ideas off of.  Here is what we came up with.  My ideas...crossed off! much better!

We decided to:

  • make and package individual pieces of baklava  make sugar cookies shaped like Egypt
  • have each kiddo calculate in hieroglyphics their parents ages  Dumb idea!
  • print out multiple sets of hieroglyphics and the kids can put together their names Buy an hieroglyphics stamp set and let them play; sentences, names, whatever!
  • Egyptian tatoos
  • Artifact table with labels (this was my one contribution; besides Mark brought us back some really neat trinkets!)
Who thinks this mom needs to take over as Brownie Leader?  Her ideas are perfect for the young ladies in our troop.  Lots of fun and and hands on!

About half of our troop at our holiday outing.  BRRR!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 make my cookies!


Yes, I recognize it is the New Year.  And I should be sticking to my 'less is best' but it was a snow day and what better to do with my kids than make cookies!

Besides, I have been told by many that my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are delectable!  My secret...Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chunks.  Amazing.  

I can't even count how many I have had.  Tomorrow, I will eat less.

Monday, January 10, 2011

...make dinner after I got home from work

...done.  And might I add this is quite a feat.

I understand that I should be so lucky to only have to work part time and many mothers in this world face this every day.  I only find myself facing this quandary at least twice a week.

Usually I have tried to plan for leftovers or we'll have some type of quick meal (i.e., grilled cheese, nachos, quesadillas).

Today I had nothing.  No ideas.  But...I had just recently done shopping so I had some of our favorites on hand...goat cheese, chicken, and broccoli.

And I created my own meal with three little cooks helping watching underfoot (one was in the living room reading...imagine that).

If you would like to try it...
  • 1 pound or so of chicken cut into strips and cooked in three cloves of chooped garlic and some olive oil seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 heads of broccoli (I trimmed this and cooked it in my pasta water for about 5 minutes before I put the pasta in)
  • After the chicken finished cooking I added one package of goat cheese and about 1/3 cup of whole milk to help in melt and spread thin around the chicken.
  • I cooked a box of bow-tie pasta and after it was finished I drained it and added it to my chicken mixture.
  • I served it with fresh parmesan, and toasted garlic bread and voila...a meal that even my kids ate!
I should have taken a was even quite pretty.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 pull out our Valentine's Day books

...I forgot we had such cute little treasures!

I love books.  

And I really love buying the kids books for the holidays.  And over the years, since my oldest was little, we have been able to amass quite the collection of books for various holidays.  

A few of my favorites in our Valentine collection include:

It is also lift-the-flap
For my little artist:
What an imagination!
My Dora and Diego junkie's favorite:

Another Lift-the-Flap
This is a little time-less treasure about thoughtfulness:
It looks as if it is out-of-print.

I am so excited that I now have a niece and a nephew to buy for!  Now if I could only pick just one or two!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 step on the scale

...Well, I didn't really want to.  But to be true to my goal, I did.

Seriously, who invented the scale anyway?  And why must we own one in each of our homes?  And it sits in the bathroom right next to the shower?  Anyone?  Anyone?  This is so we can measure ourselves naked, first thing in the morning after we have 'tinkled' but before we have taken a drink of water when we are at our true weight?

Let me just say that I do realize my jeans don't fit quite right.  I didn't need to know REALLY how not right.  Aagh.  And certainly not at 530 in the morning.  What a day-starter!

I knew that I had ten to lose.  Well maybe I could even admit fifteen.  But seriously... 20???  How does that happen?  Maybe some of my favorites such as: goat cheese with flat bread crackers, beef tenderloin, truffles, and cheesecake aren't listed in the healthy magazines after all?

Maybe tomorrow I'll want to throw the damn thing away (the scale...not the cheesecake!).  :>

Saturday, January 1, 2011 finish our yearly calendars

...I didn't.

Some days my goals are too lofty.

Every year I make calendars for our family members. I make six calendars.

Mark tells me I should make one generic calendar.

I don't.

I want each family/person to see themselves in the photos I have captured over the year.

Mark says I should let the program just 'pop in' the photos.

I can't.

It would't be 'in order'. I like the pictures I took in January to be in the month of January. I like symmetry on each page. I like there to be a theme for each page.

Mark says I should not worry about putting special pictures of holidays and birthdays on specific days of each month.

I do.

There is a photo of his mom and a grandkid on Mother's Day. There is a picture of Isabella and her dad on Veteran's day and of course there is a photo of each family member on their respective birthdays! And, since his family celebrates different birthdays than my family get the picture.

Mark says I should just finish them already.

I am trying! :>