March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Once Again

Remember this...

Once again, I say "Poor Betsy" ~ Unfortunately, I have to wake Betsy up from a nap more often than I would like in order to get somewhere or pick up an older brother from school.  I try really hard to let her get a good nap in her bed each and everyday, but sometimes due to varying circumstances it just isn't as long as she might like.
This week she has been battling a cold and has been taking some great naps.  Yesterday she got down a little later than normal because school took in later than normal, and I just couldn't bear to wake her up so I called a neighbor to pick up Walker.  I'm so thankful to have neighbors like that!
Today we were going to a birthday party so once again I woke up a sleeping baby.  I could have and maybe should have regretted the party, but I wanted to go to show my friendship to the mama.  I'm glad I went.  While Betsy stayed on my hip the entirety of our time there, I visited with some of my favorite mamas and sometimes that is good for the soul of a stay-at-home mama.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One Hundred and One

Today is the 101st day of school for my elementary age children, and we have another delayed start.  I'll save that for another day.  Stephen celebrated the event in his class yesterday.  He was instructed to bring 100 small items.

This is what he took to share with his class:
Yes, of course he took legos.  He has been waiting an entire year to get to do this.  Seriously!

We didn't count, but it looks like they played with at least 100 Mardi Gras beads. 

For supper we had 100 pancakes and before bed my little ones got 100 kisses.
And then I cleaned my kitchen.  I promise it was completely clean, and the dishwasher was running when I left to pick Walker up from school.
A lot transpired between 2:00 and dinner.  At least it was clean and dishwasher running {again} before I retired for the evening.

There is no doubt that this kitchen works hard each and every day.

The good news is that my supper for this evening is already completed - an oldie but goodie but made completely from scratch.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Too Many Options

If you have children, particularly school age children, then I hope you can relate to this statement...
My children's school does a lot of great things.
I mean really great things - cool things - fun things - ordinary things
things that provide amazing experiences and neat memories!
What a blessing that is!
Particularly since it is a public school...
So one of the things they do is Celebrate Writing Day.  If you know me, you know I am a sucker for children's literature.  Over the years, I have probably been known to spend too much money on books.  Hey there are worse vices!  In our house, we love to read.  My children love to have me read.  I love to read to them. They are learning to read to each other and others.  Another blessing! 
One of my favorite parts of my house is the bookshelves in the hallway upstairs.  When I was a young teacher, just out of college, I never minded spending money on books for my classroom because I hoped that one day I could use those books with my children and use those books we have. Good books, fun books, colorful books, well-written books, old books, new books, really really worn books, classic books, rhyming books, poetry books, silly books, even bad books fill our rooms. 
The Celebrate Writing order form came home this week.  As is typically the case, I had never heard of the authors so I spent about an hour perusing the websites each author who is coming this year.  In my eyes, it is an amazing line-up.  Here's the list of who's coming:

Bob Barner - I love his colorful illustrations and the text seems to be fun yet informative.
Denise Brennan-Nelson - The speech pathologist in me likes the My Momma Likes to Say type book.  It introduces those silly sayings that we all use in our speech yet sometimes leave little ones imaginations to wonder.  Do you think I can get all of them and chalk it up to a business expense? 
Kelly DiPucchio - I didn't even know that I knew this author, but we actually already have The Sandwich Swap on our bookshelf and yesterday at the library I noticed Crafty Chloe in the new book section.
Irene Latham - I can't wait to get my hand on this title.  It is probably a bit old for my kiddos, but I want to read it.
Diane Z. Shore - What little boy with sisters can't relate to this!
I'm going to have a difficult time narrowing down the books I buy and definitely have some new authors to look for at the library. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

no it's SuperStephen
and wait there's SuperSances
In one day, our two oldest learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. 
Thank you Frank!  And they would like to say, "thank you daddy."
 Before I turn in for the night...

 I can't leave Walker out.
I also want to share an image to demonstrate what a kind-hearted child we have in our #2.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Poppin' In with Popovers

Good Morning Folks -
I intended to share this recipe last Saturday, but it didn't happen then or later.  First, I had some family stuff I needed to attend to - nothing earth-shattering just day in day out stuff like registering for spring sports and going to the grocery store.  Then we had company which was so much fun but definitely kept me from wasting time in front of my computer.  Lastly, I got a cold.  Friends, I have never been knocked off my feet with a cold like I have this week.  I get a cold a couple of times a year just like the rest of you.  Typically I can persevere and carry on with life.  Not this week!  I've been miserable and completely unproductive.  I've taken every opportunity to cuddle up on the sofa or crawl into my bed.  Sad but true...  My children and husband have been wonderfully supportive, and I think I'm on the mend.  Thank goodness because my house is a disaster and we've got a party to prepare for.

Okay, now for the recipe.  Are you stuck in a breakfast rut?  Are you looking for something simple, fun, and tasty?  If you answered yes to any of the above then this recipe is for you!
Poppin' Popovers
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flour
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray the muffin tine with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir until the mixture is smooth.  Pour mixture into prepared pans until each cup is about 2/3 full.  Bake 25 - 35 minutes or until your popovers are puffed up and golden brown.  Remove from the pan and serve warm.

Good on their own but you could add butter or jam.  We want to try the recipe again and add crumbled bacon and grated cheese prior to cooking.

So, while the popovers were in the oven, I sent the big three upstairs to get dressed.  This is how the boys came downstairs.  One four year old was particularly excited.  He came running into the kitchen saying, "They {the shorts} say 4 so I can wear them."

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Gonna Be...

...a bright, bright sunshiny day!

We are in some serious need of the sun around here.  I was just checking the weather forecast for today and the weekend and it looks like we might get it for an entire week.

Hip hip hooray!  Maybe my yard can dry out, and my children can actually play outside.  Even our Legos could grow old if this rain had continued.
We also have a few extra hours this morning.  Because of the snow yesterday and the fear of icy roads early, the schools are taking in two hours late.  Guess I'm not getting my oil changed but lucky Walker gets his siblings on "mama day." 
Hmm, what should we do fun during those two hours.  I'm thinking we will make some cookies and create this craft.  Yes, I'm jumping the gun on Valentine's Day, but if we don't do it now we won't do it.  Sometimes, February sneaks up on me, and I can feel it happening.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Perfect Snow

Cold and wet, wet and cold...  Any way you look at it we have had some lousy weather!  It seems like it has been months on end but it has probably been less than two weeks.  I can handle cold weather, and I can handle wet weather.  However, the combination or cold and wet can become difficult and quite honestly tiresome when you have children. 
Where some of you live, you get lots of snow ~ probably more than you want to see.  We seldom get snow.  We just get rain ~ lots of rain.  With that rain means no sun!  Wet, cold, and dreary is a depressing combination.
Well, today we got snow.  And it wasn't just any snow.  In my eyes, it was the perfect snow.  From 11:00 until about 4:00 the snow came down.  At times it was really coming down and by the time the children got home from school our neighborhood was a winter wonderland.

We had a ball playing in the snow!

Betsy wasn't so sure ~ she never moved from this spot, but she also didn't want to be left out.
Ready for some hot chocolate!
Fun memories...

The temperatures rose sharply as we were out playing and it will likely be gone by morning...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No Microwave, No Problem

Did you know we don't have a microwave?  Some of you probably couldn't care less.  Others of you think we are crazy and wonder how we survive in a kitchen without a microwave.

In designing our kitchen, we created a spot for one.  It is behind closed doors and has a plug.  We've been in our house just over a year and that spot has yet to be filled with a microwave.  Don't get me wrong.  It is full ~ full of plastic containers and matching tops amid other sundry items.

So, to those of you who think we are do we survive?

But for my 3 1/2 year stint in Nashville for college, I've never really used a microwave.  On occasion I used it to heat water or melt butter, but otherwise it was just a box that sat on my counter and took up space while collecting dust.  I've realized that I can do the things I occasionally used it for quickly and easily on my stove top or in my oven.  Same with heating up leftovers.

Now for the issue of popcorn.  For whatever reason, I've never been a huge fan of microwave popcorn.  Maybe it's the smell.  Maybe it seems like it always burns.  Maybe it is the grease.  Who knows why, but I typically steer clear of popcorn.

But then we had a birthday party.  A movie night themed birthday party for Mary Frances.  Well what's a movie night without popcorn.  So I went to the Piggly Wiggly and bought a bag of popcorn kernels.  Then I read the directions on the bag.  It's easy!

Now I can do it without reading the directions, and it makes for a fun afternoon snack for my kiddos. 

Here's what you do:

Place a small amount of your choice of oil on the bottom of a large pot.

Put one kernel of popcorn in that oil.

Turn stove top on and cover.

Wait.  Listen for that kernel to pop.

Add kernels to pot to cover bottom.
Wait.  Listen for popping.  When popping sound becomes sparse and then stops your popcorn will be ready.
Season according to your tastes.


Then if you have any left over ~ package it in small containers and let the children take it for school snack the next day or add nuts and dried fruit to make popcorn trail mix.

Easy Breezy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More than Me

Last week I finally broke down and bought the new vacuum cleaner that I have needed for over a year.  Since moving into out house I have been vacuuming with a Eureka Powermite.  It was $20 at WalMart and was perfect at the time.  It has served us adequately well, but anyone else who has attempted to vacuum my house over the last year has been extremely frustrated.  {Thank you for trying Aunt Kydie and Mom.}
Unbeknownst to me the mechanism to hold the bag in place broke the last time I changed the bag.  OOPS!  Can you say big mess and serious frustration.  No wonder my floors weren't getting clean.  No more putting it off.  I headed to Sears to pick out a Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner.  When in doubt go with what you know!  Turns out it is one of Consumer Reports top picks.
I love it but I think Walker and my floors/rugs like it more than I do.
Now if it would just propel itself around my house and up the stairs so I could peruse some fun blogs and catch up on friends' lives.  Just kidding!