Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Community Fest

On Sunday, our church had a huge picnic, complete with a chicken dinner, live music, a rock climbing wall, huge blow up slide, bouncehouse, and even fun games for the kids. It was a beautiful day...check out the blue sky!!

(and yes, I know, Andrew is taller than I am...)

Monday, July 30, 2007

An adventure

Our weekend looked very different than most weekends. John took Friday off and left for our "Chalet" to golf with a buddy. He spent most of Saturday there, too, so as the saying goes..."while the mouse is away, the mice will play."

We spent Friday at a local sporting goods store getting Luke outfitted with the essentials for playing flag football--helmet, cleats, mouthguard and of course a really cool under armour shirt. From there we tracked to a mall were Mom and Anna shopped the girlie stores, and the boys found their way to Gamestop and the food court. Needless to say, we ALL had a treat at the food court....can you say cinnabon???

Saturday, I made my mind up that we would be going on an adventure. A place very different than where we live... I would be taking the kids into a tourist town nearby. As soon as we pulled into the town, the kids immediately noticed that the houses were very close together and had hardly any yard. Another difference they noted was how there were lots of people walking dogs and riding bikes. I thought they would love walking up and down the main drag, seeing all of the little, old, quaint shops. Wrong-- they were more interested in a store where we got these....(caramel apples)

Ben also was more interested in this....

After tromping the streets, I took them to a park- a park that I used to visit when my older two boys were just babies and toddlers. They LOVED it!

John came home later that day and we met some neighbors at the bowling alley to get out of the heat. We ended up having a GREAT time with them and managed to come back to our house and grilled up some yummies on the grill. Sounds like a fun weekend so far.... more tomorrow. Jill

Friday, July 27, 2007

Intense Gamer

I guess someone else likes boxing on the new game system. They both worked up a sweat!
Later in the evening, hubby was laying on the couch, looking quite defeated. I asked him what was wrong and he replied... "I got beat.... in bowling...by a 5 year old".....

Yesterday a friend came over and brought her new puppy. Luke LOVES golden retrievers! This picture reminds me of the Coke commercials with all of the puppies that was out in the 1980's!! Have a great weekend! Jill

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A meal...by Ben

In the interest of boredom and for teaching purposes, I had Ben plan, shop and prepare our dinner. Ben, the pasta boy, decided we would have spaghetti, garlic bread and fruit fluff. He and I spent valuable time together that I cherish. With 4 kids it's rare that time alone with a single child even happens. Anyway, he did a SUPER job and no one got sick, so I consider it a success!!!! (I'm hoping someday his wife will thank me for teaching him to cook.) Here he is with his spaghetti sauce and fluff...he's so proud!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Works for me.....

Ladies and Gentlemen....may I present to you, the world's greatest coffee cake (according to my kids.) Able to leap off the fork and into your mouth quicker than a freight train, able to disappear from the box like magic, so rare only grandparents can get it at their specialty food store called........Aldi. (hee, hee)

The cheese flavor is the BEST! It works for us!! Jill

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Hey Mom, is this green pepper too small to pick?????

Anna and Luke went on a pepper-picking spree....uh,oh. Jill

Monday, July 23, 2007

We are not the champions, my friends

Our weekend started early with a morning baseball game on Saturday ...not just a game...the CHAMPIONSHIP of the tournament. In league standings our team finished 5th and we played the 1st place team so can you say UNDERDOGS?? Well, we lost but wasn't it fun just making it to the championship?? Luke had a SUPER game, with a double play and a homerun over the fence, how can we complain?? and did I mention the trophy??

The other highlight of the weekend was having Ben's baseball team and their families over for a cookout. John, the griller-man, grilled up about 20 burgers, 15 brats and 20 hotdogs. I don't think the team brought their appetite because we have a ton of meat leftover!! Would you like to come over for leftovers??? As you can see in the background, about 11 adolescent boys (who coincidently wore red shirts) are playing kickball while the princesses are playing on the swingset! Girls will be girls! I don't believe a single game system was played the whole length of the party!! Now that's an accomplishment!! Jill

Friday, July 20, 2007


We have visitors.....my parents are here for a quick stop to get a grandkid "fix." They aren't staying long, but we've had a great time with lots of laughs. Grandma and Grandpa took us all out for lunch yesterday at a chinese buffet even though the vote heavily favored Panera Bread and Noodles & Company. Anna and Luke weren't sure what to eat but they didn't want anything that was "mixed together." Thank goodness the buffet had a real variety of food so Luke and Anna found something to eat. They had chinese chicken nuggets, chinese bananas and jello, chinese garlic bread and the ever popular chinese vanilla ice cream with sprinkles. They made me laugh!

The best part was that they all got a set of chop sticks to entertain themselves. We had a lot of drumming at the table and we even had a walrus sitting with us...

Later in the day, Luke won (unexpectedly) his tournament baseball game which launched his team to the championship game on Saturday! Wa HOO! We're so glad G-ma and G-pa could see their grandkids working up a sweat on the field!! (They watched Anna in her last t-ball game on Wed. night too.)

We celebrated the big win by having a little bonfire and lots of s'mores. A teammate of Luke's and his family joined us after dark. We told fish stories and ate more chocolate until nearly 10:30 p.m. That's late for us!!! It was a great visit!! Jill

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Mom, there's no food in the house"

In order to prove my children wrong, that we DO indeed have food in the house, I emptied out a majority of my pantry onto our kitchen table to show them how much food we have.

"Lots of food," I say. Just look at it all.

What I didn't realize was that we had 5 boxes of cereal that had a mere 1/2 cup of cereal in the bottom, and did we really need 5 cans of kidney beans? Oh, and here's a container of rice that's been in here way too long and WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT??? ....eeew, a sweet potato that needed to be eaten LAST month. So, I admit it, we didn't have much left to eat in our pantry after all. But ain't it purdy??? Jill

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Works for me!

We finally got to the library with all of the kids to pick out some books. Here's the problem. If everyone checks out 5 or 6 books, that means we have 25 or 30 books to carry out of the library. Do you know the chances of each and every one of those books getting back to the library without getting shoved under a seat in the car or lost at home?? Let me tell you, our library should have a wing dedicated to our family because we've paid so many fines. Here's my solution to help these books get home safely from the library and get back there with all books intact.

A simple, old, rolling suitcase. After checking out the books, we throw them into the suitcase and roll it to the car. During the week all books are kept in the suitcase and are put back there when finished--it works for us!!!! Jill

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Now this makes me smile

Ok, I'll admit it. I have an obsession. This obsession makes my heart race and sends adrenaline racing through my veins. It even made me visit Target 3 times in the last 3 days... The obsession started when my oldest child was just a wee lad--not yet school aged and I would take school aged neighbor kids with me to feed my obsession... to buy these.....

Yes, I know it's too early to buy these, but I LOVE THEM SO!!! Not to mention that if you shop early you can get the "coolest" notebooks and folders and 3 ring binders (pitter-pat.) Besides, school is only 50 days away!!

I hope you will still be my friend! Jill

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Weekend

We were blessed this weekend with great weather during the day, some rain at night and no plans!! Here's what we did.

Here's the group that went to the zoo (the others went to see the Harry Potter movie)

We had some punks over and they took over our living room to play their new game system on the big screen.

Some animals were running loose in our house too--or are they sleeping??

and we had a lot of jumping off of swings (with no injuries)

Now that was a GREAT weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mommy in Training

We've had a new bedtime ritual for the past week or so. Anna says goodnight to her dollies and tucks them in, just like Mom tucks her in. I don't understand why one of the dolls needs a beret to sleep in though... Have a fabulous weekend! Jill

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Caution: Could be too much information

I had the kids with me yesterday as I was running a few errands. We made a stop into our local EB Games and right next door was a Bath and Body Works. I told the boys to go ahead into their store and Anna and I would be at Bath and Body. About 10 minutes into our shopping, Luke barged through the door and into our store. He mentioned to me that he REALLY had to go to the bathroom. I quickly directed him to the frilly bathroom in our store. Needless to say, things went well, we made a few purchases, met the boys at the car and continued on our way. On the way home, Andrew asked Anna and I "Well, how was Bath and Body works?" Just as I was ready to answer, Luke blurted out "Bath and Body Works was great--I took a big poop there." and then he continued.. "they had the most awesome toilet--it all went down in one flush!!"

I guess my adventures take me places I really don't even want to go! Just another day in my life-I hope it wasn't too gross for ya! Jill

On a sweet smelling note, look what my hubby brought me yesterday--he's a keeper!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Works for Me!

Our "beverage station" makes things easy in the morning when we want a hot drink. In the cabinet above the coffee maker, I keep coffee filters, coffee, hot chocolate, tea, sweetener and the mugs. It saves a few trips across the kitchen to the pantry! Jill

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Krafty Kids

With the temperatures being less than desirable to play outside, we've been trying to find projects to do inside. I went to our local craft store and found some art projects for them to do. They all seemed to like to paint their own piggy bank.

Which lead to other creative ideas...

Andrew was busy working when we made the piggy banks..he's the one who needs a place to keep all of his money!!

OK, is it September yet?? Jill

Monday, July 9, 2007

Garden Update

Remember this? Way back in May we planted our garden with lots of veggies....potatoes, green peppers, tomatoes and green beans.

Well, look at it today!!!

I can't think of a better thing to do on a day with temperatures in the mid 90's than pick green beans....my husband is a saint!! Jill

Friday, July 6, 2007

Speak softly & carry a big stick??

So what's with boys and sticks anyway??? No wonder we can never find a broom with a handle!

Oh, and our sweetheart got a "little bit" trimmed off her hair last night! She says it's MUCH cooler on her neck!!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

On a side note....

John came home with 3 of the kids and the DOG from "up north" yesterday. He was so sweet to let me come home on Monday with just Andrew so I could have a "break" from the kids and have some relaxation and selfish time. Isn't he a sweetheart??? Our dog doesn't think so.....
John remembered to give the dog her arthritis medicine each morning and recently Annie has had a stomach infection so she was given an antibiotic to take twice a day. Well, John apologized for forgetting the antibiotic a few times, but as soon as he got home he remembered to give her the medicine. I stopped John in his tracks right before he gave her the antibiotic. I looked at him and said "That's not Annie's antibiotic, that's Andrew's Claritin." John just said "OOOOOOOPS" I guess the dog's allergies won't be acting up on her any time soon !!!! Gotta love him!! We laughed so hard...poor Annie--she's glad to be back home with Mom!! Jill

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Works for Me...

This weeks "Works for Me Wednesday" brings us inside our home. As many of you know, I'm an avid scrapbooker--I just LOVE photos. We have a picture of the kids taken each year before Christmas so we can capture the various growth milestones, etc. It's so fun looking back at these pictures, remembering all of the various hairstyles that Mom has had, remembering that some of the kids had "white" hair as toddlers and even remembering the silly gap between Andrew's front teeth when he was 8 years old.

Here's the way that I can enjoy seeing these pictures every day. Our current family picture hangs in the front hallway as you walk into our house. As new ones are taken, I hang the old ones on our wall above the stairs to the basement. A wonderful picture wall! I'm not quite sure what will happen when all of the space fills up; I guess I will start a new picture wall somewhere else! It works for me! Jill

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Chalet, Baby--continued

When we're up north and there's a dull moment, we have a game that we play. It's very simple yet, very motivating. Simple, meaning kids head for the woods and grassy areas around our house to look for golf balls that people have lost. Motivating, meaning Dad pays 50 cents for "good" golf balls and 25 cents for "not so good" golf balls. So here we go!! See the woods next to the deck?? That's always a good place to start....oh, and watch out for poison ivy too!

Hey, Dad, you'd better go to the ATM machine--this boy hit the jackpot!!

No, No, Anna!! That one was just hit!!

I can't find any, Mom but I found THESE for you!

AWWWW, give the girl a dollar, for goodness sakes.

It wouldn't be July 4th weekend if we didn't do a little of this.......

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!!! Jill

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Chalet, Baby!

We have this house up north, on a golf course...that we share with 2 other families. Well, we went there this past weekend and I'm just now getting home. What fun we had!!

Some friends came up so we had a little of this..

and got a new one of these....(no, not the dog or John...the grill!)

so we had lots of this....

played a little of this...

but Ben has a little of this....ooooooh!! (rash--any ideas??? sunscreen allergy??)

All in all a VERY GOOD weekend!! More Chalet adventures tomorrow!!! Jill