Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fun at the Dog Park

My friend Tracey, her kids Christopher, Emma and their dog Gracie met us at the Fort Worth Dog Park Sunday...oh excuse me it's actually called Fort Woof Dog Park! We brought Courtnay, her dog Diablo and our dog Belle and of course Sydney. We had a fun time and the dogs really got to play. There are separate areas for big dogs and little dogs, watering area poop clean up stations and plenty of free baggies and trash bins. There are also benches and tables for humans. It was nice and beginning to cool of for the day...I do recommend Off or other mosquito repellent because it is near the Trinity River and we have recently had quite a bit of rain. I also recommend checking your shoes before you get back in the car!

Here is Diablo being very grateful that there is a fence between him and the Great Dane all the while growling "WE ARE CHIHUAHUAS".

View from the small dog area to the big dog area.

Watering and cleaning up area...this is Emma filling up water bowls/buckets.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthday Girls

Last Tuesday we paid a visit to Brooke and Shelby, Robin and Kevin's daughters to say hi and celebrate their turning 7 and 3. So hard to believe they are growing up so fast...along with brother Preston who is 5 and spent the day with his dad so it was a girly kind of afternoon. I have to add that I love this family since the first day I met them. They are so sweet and loving and their kids are so much fun. I am looking forward to seeing these sweet girlfriend relationships grow over the years.

Shelby (R) and Kaylene who is another friend's daughter having an afternoon snack of apples and peanut butter. Notice they have been playing dress up!

Brooke and Sydney they are so sweet and I hope they will always be friends. As you can see may daughter was oblivious to the camera...or she was ignoring me...hmmm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Brooke!

I can't believe you are already 7! Happy Birthday sweet girl...we love you!

Rick, Susan and Sydney

Monday, September 21, 2009

This is how I deal with all of the ketchup I buy at Sam's

I cleaned out a cabinet in the laundry room the other day and found 3 full bottles of this wonderful stuff tucked back on the shelft. My mom had to do a lot of our laundry after my 3 surgeries and she begged me to never, never run of this stuff . She introduced me to the miracle of Oxi Clean after Sydney was born. Boy was she right! I'm always in a panic that I won't have enough or when my dear sweet daughter gets chocolate or ketchup on herself. When I pass this in the store I always think...am I out, nearly out? Oh dear better buy more! Seriously my life would be a mess without my Oxi Clean. I also buy the powder that you add to laundry in the 14 lb box from Sam's. I have to in order to balance all of the ketchup I buy at Sam's. Just in case you were wondering.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Busy Rainy Days

The past few days have been very busy for me. We have had school, cooking, church, play date, lunch date, movie and a little shopping.

Wednesday night we had church which lasts until 8:30. Sydney is in a "silly snacks" class and I am the teacher's helper. We made "slobber gobbers" which consisted of apple slices, peanut butter, icing (optional), raisins, chocolate chips, candy corn and pretzel sticks. The kids loved them and I gagged a couple of times except for the apples, peanut butter and pretzels that is.

Thursday it rained and Sydney had dance and we made sausage balls for the home school co-op general meeting on Friday. Sausage balls are easy and yummy. This is also the first time in my life I made them when it wasn't a holiday. Now on to Friday. We met friends for lunch and then we went to see "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs"! It was a fun and entertaining movie. By the time the movie was over it was around 4:00 and we had to go to Wal-Mart to get containers for the deviled eggs that I was taking to the meeting in addition to sausage balls. I know, I'm not very imaginative but no one else brought deviled eggs...I think that's a first. We had to be at the meeting about 25 minutes away by 6:30. Meeting over around 8:00, kids played around for a while, women cleaned up, men bonded and babies cried. We were on our way home by 8:45 and off to bed. Today is house cleaning catch up day and a visit to the park if the weather holds up.

We are a family of 3 who has to buy ketchup at Sam's. I say that because worlds collide when we run out of the stuff...Rick and I don't really eat it only my daughter. So we will probably be off to Sam's to buy some today as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Dance Class

Sydney started her new dance class last night. It's a hip-hop class...street hip hop! There are 3 that's right three in the class and Ms. Lindsey has her work cut out. It's great because the other girls Erin and Tori have been in dance with her for years so she is with her homeys! They are all pretty close in age and cute as they can be. The even better thing is that I love, love, love the moms that I have to sit and visit with for an hour. That makes all of the difference and we are 3 of the silliest people on earth when we are together. We have decided in a fit of insanity that maybe we will make the recital costumes for street hip hop since there are only 3 kids. How hard can it be? Go to Academy and pick out some sweats cut them off...a little spray paint, a little bling and we are good to go! Just so you know the street hip hop class costumes were $85.00 last year so this is what sparked the conversation. Plus the two other girls are in the jazz class in the hour before so they are there for nearly 2 hours. Sydney is still in jazz but we are taking it on Thursdays so she has 2 days of dance rather than one. This is our PE and Art and there will be research on the fine art of street dancing. Oh, I almost forgot they are dancing to "Car Wash"...how cute is that?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Favorite Things

One of my very favorite things to do is cook and bake. When we are in a lonely, tired, sad, happy or in a fit of boredom we bake. This is a cure all at my house. All three girls have done their time in the kitchen with me. When I was a young step-mom with very little money we baked, when it was too cold to go out we baked, when it was too hot to go out we baked. Now I have my own daughter and we bake. Yesterday it was brownies and they were very, very, good. My advice when they are very young is to use mixes...except for cookies...I am a total cookie snob. They have to be from scratch and include butter, not margarine...that's my rule. It's really okay because I don't eat too many of them myself.

Today we are using the hand mixer because my Kitchen Aid is too heavy for me to lift and due to limited counter space it lives on top of the fridge. You really don't need the big guns for Betty Crocker brownies, you really don't need a mixer but Sydney needs the practice.

Doesn't she look cute in her apron? Annie's grandmother made us matching aprons for Christmas one year.

Yum! Yes, I am a mom who not only allows this kind of behavior...I encourage it!

No time for manners when there is brownie batter in the house.

I have this frame with three pictures in above my baker's rack in my breakfast room...one of each of the girls cooking...from left to right Sydney, Annie, Courtnay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School Daze

Yesterday was the first day of third grade for Sydney and we had a great time. Our day begins around 7:00 a.m. getting up, eating breakfast and getting dressed etc. Then off to the playroom/schoolroom by 9:00 to begin our school day. We started off talking about our summer and a little show and tell then we jumped in with both feet to our studies. We have all of the usual subjects and have added geography and vocabulary this year. We have joined a co-op again this year but we do not do classes with them...only field trips. We do lots of field trips and outside activities such as church, dance (twice a week) and play dates with friends. Our circle of friends includes kids in public and private school as well as home school.

Breakfast time. She just rolled out of bed and looks gorgeous doesn't she?

We use this white board for nearly every subject...

As you can see our school room is also a playroom. I was concerned in the beginning that it would be distracting to at least one of us but we are able to focus during school and not worry what Barbie is up to.

Here she is reading which has been her most challenging subject (besides math). She is reading so much better and faster than last year and is even reading for enjoyment! I have found that the key to encouraging your kids to read is allow them to read about what they are interested in. It works wonders! I read an article yesterday in Parenting magazine that said if your son is reading lots of comic books, don't be too quick to discourage it...he is reading! Also, if they really struggle with the material try 50% or 75% instruction where you take turns reading a page or doing a problem if the attention span just isn't there. We do this with subjects like geography and math. This is a huge advantage for those who home school. You will be amazed what your child wants to know and sometimes you just need to follow that lead.