Tag Archives: kids

Seeing motherhood through the eyes of a child…..

When I was a child, I use to love to play with my sister. She was about 2 years older than me and always had great games we could think up. We would run the gamut of different careers in our imaginative play time in our bedrooms. We often were doctors, nurses, secretaries, lawyers, fashion designers, etc. We would spend long afternoons “dreaming” about what our lives would be like when we were older.

It seemed simple enough…..

We would have the most “put together” outfits…..

We would change our nail polish everyday to match our outfits…..

We would have four or five perfectly behaved kids…..

And a large home with a corvette….

In essence, we were barbies…..haha.

If you were to ask us what our mom did, we would say she didn’t work. She just sat around all day.

We never “saw” any of the work that she did. As far as we were concerned, she was just “hanging out” all day like we were. But “somehow”, we arrived at school dressed and ready; ate meals; and participated in extracurriculars. Now don’t get me wrong, my mother wasn’t the “Joan Cleaver” type but she made sure that we were taken care of.

The summer that I spent on my bed, memorizing the paisley pattern of my mattress, I would have said that my mom enjoyed watching me be miserable. That she would “find” things to correct me for. I was a “martyered” and “tortured” soul. My mom loved seeing me “sit on my bed and miss all the fun”.

What was her problem? Why was my life so unfair?

“I can’t wait to be a mom….and boss people around. I’m going to do whatever I want…whenever I want!”

The tears would stream down my face….until my mom would let me out of my room…and then I was off to do the next troublesome thing.

I mean…how hard could it be to be a mom?

I truly had no idea how tough this thing called “motherhood” was. You really have to have a huge heart…..the thickest skin….and a great deal of confidence. And a wine cellar in your basement wouldn’t hurt…..hahaha
But…seriously?! What other job could monopolize your every waking and sleeping moment; completely drain you of everything; and yet….be so extremely rewarding??!!!

I am currently in a few different phases of my parenting vocation. I am battling the independent strong-willed three year old…..I am trying to calm the fast-talking, no-one-listens-to-me five year old….I am searching for ways to show the middle child that she is loved and adored….fighting off urges to strangle my ever-teasing, constant prankster son….and deal with the parental blows of pre-teendom and puberty. God help us…..we are “chasing” a lot of wine.

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However….even with all the hard work that goes into mothering this brood daily….my love for each one of them never wavers.

 Being a mom is like “having a piece of your heart walking around outside your body”. Boy…is that ever true. Our children will never truly understand how deep our love for them is. However, it is our God-given duty to make sure we tell them. To make sure that it is so ingrained in their being that they could never challenge that notion. We can’t just tell them….we have to show them. And we can’t just show them, we have to tell them. We have to write them embarrassing notes on their school napkins. We have to scream their name and yell “that’s my son/daughter” when they score that soccer goal. We have to be the first one ready to greet them off the bus…and the last one to kiss them goodnight. They have to know that there is nothing that can separate them from our love.

One afternoon, Mini Me was agonizing over having to clean up her mess of barbies in our school room. As she did the “walk of shame” kicking and throwing her body next to the mess, she stated “I can’t WAIT to be a mom. I can’t wait to boss my kids around.” And I will admit….my first response was to think defensively but then I realized that this was a great opportunity to really help her understand.

“Really?! I said. Because….I hate having to correct you. It’s the worst part of my day.”

She looked utterly shocked.

“Yep. Yelling at your kids, having to punish them, sending them to their rooms….all that….makes me sad as a mom.

“It does?” She said……(mind blown)

“But….do you know what I LOVE about being a mom. I love taking you to the park and swinging on the swing next to you! I love getting big huge hugs that make me fall down on the floor. And….I like having a BIG bowl of ice cream, when you are in bed, just because I am the mom. And I think those are all the things that you will LOVE about being a mom too.

She smiled the biggest smile.

And as I helped her clean up the barbies, I continued to explain to her how it was my job to teach her all the things she needed to learn to be a good mom.

“Do you know how I learned to clean the house? I had to clean up my toys like you do. I learned to make my bed by doing it when I was your age. Why do I have a close relationship with God? Well…. I learned to love God with my heart by reading bible stories and listening at Church….much like I ask you to listen at Mass. And when I correct you for saying mean things or throwing a temper tantrum, I am trying to help you become a loving mommy and a nice lady. Mommy’s job is to help you be the best you!!! It’s not always fun to be told to do things…but God has plans for you and needs mom’s help to get them done!”

And for the past few years, as I focus on “motherhood”, it has made me question my relationship with regards to my own mother. Maybe God wants me to remember that she too was being judged through the “eyes of a child”. That maybe some of the “issues” that I have had with my mom, in the past, were ready to be “retired”. She too, deserved some praise for loving me and doing her best to raise me in love and in my faith. That, as a mother, God was granting me the ability to forgive my mom and realize her own inadequacies. God was allowing me to see this cycle of mother/daughter/mother.  In time, I would be able to see that my own mother was being judged too harshly with the same naive “childish vision”. That as an adult, I must re-examine my thoughts and feelings from my childhood and see through those experiences with new “adult vision”. To seek forgiveness for the times that I was quick to judgement and slow to forgive.

Are you looking at your mom with this “childlike vision”? Are you holding her to “ideals” that are just too unrealistic? What about your family? Do you seek to fill your life with opportunities to love your kids?

Our time with our kids and loved ones is so fleeting. Gather those whom you love in your arms and squeeze tight. Tell them that you love them and show them. Let us, as mothers and fathers, remember that our children may judge us and question us but with that same passionate “child like” vision comes a true lack of clarity. May we as adults cling to the virtues that we struggle to instill daily. And when our days are met with resistance and comments about how “mean” we are, that we may remember the long journey ahead of us and push onward.

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It’s coming!!! Snow day prep….chasing wine style!!!

I love snow days!

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I love watching the magical white fluffiness fall from the sky!

I love bundling up my kiddos for the 30 minutes of outside time..haha. Well….the big kids last a little longer than that.

And I love the shear excitement of planning for the snow to fall…teasing the news coverage about the actual accumulations that will far verses what is predicted.

I remember, as a kid, getting up early and waiting for the snow closings at the bottom of the TV screen…getting lathered up with Vaseline on my face to handle the chilly wind as I ran outside with mix-matched mittens. I remember waiting for the right moment to “accidentally” knock my little brother face-first in the snow….hahaha….

great memories….but the joy only gets better as a mom.

So…here’s what went on this week and today to get ready for the snow tomorrow:

Laundry

Momma is doing TONS of laundry today…like 3/4 loads so I can chill out tomorrow. Gotta make sure we have plenty of our favorite sweatsuits, and comfy blankets cleaned for cuddle time. We will spend the next few days in fluffy socks and sweats so we need to make sure everyone is set! Plus…I want to be able to go sledding too, so I’m maxing out my work for today.

Grocery Run

The kids and I hit the grocery store on Sunday for the essentials: milk, eggs, bread, cereal. But when I got a text from the hubs offering to make a quick grocery run on his way home from an appt….you better believe I hollered…”heck yeah!” We need two cans of condensed milk (for snow cream, of course), a few boxes of hot chocolate mix, American cheese for grilled cheeses, and momma needs more ….Prosecco!!!!

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I definitely see these in our future!

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Library Run

The kiddos and I hit the library on Friday to grab a few new books. Right now, the Fashionista is plowing through the Junie B. Jones series, and she begged me to load her up.  The littles are enjoying Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Collection.

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There is nothing better than being cozy on the couch with a new book after playing in the snow. We were delighted, as well, to see these new little friends there too! Looks like they have no worries with the upcoming snow!

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Work-less meals

Snow also means pulling out the good ole crockpot! Whether I am going to be sledding or reading 20 books to the little ones, I won’t have to be caught in the kitchen. So the next few days will be about making use of the crockpot. We will wake up to some apple cinnamon oatmeal, and then dinner with include this awesome balsamic chuck roast! I might have to add in this chicken taco chili that one of my girlfriends had on her FB today too.

Family Time

Nothing says snow days like family time! There will be plenty of time for family charades, movie nights and board games! The hubs has been teaching the kiddos the games of Monopoly and Risk. They are loving it!

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 Whatever you do….live it up!!! The snow won’t be here for long!

Before we know it, we will be basking in the sun!

God bless,

Tammi

Thank you, Lord….counting my blessings!

“Chicken Day”…

Miss Missy has been walking around for the past week asking me if it’s “chicken day” yet. She has been seeing this colorful turkey that I drew on our dry erase calendar, and she knows it must be important !

And, it is!!!

Turkey, Stuffing, and Gravy….oh, My!!!!

I love so much about this holiday. I love having an excuse to make a huge meal.

I love looking in my binder over what traditions we did last year and what we want to change this year.

I love setting a beautiful table and having the kids take delight in using real wine glasses and nice napkins.

But, when I sat down at my computer, I quickly became overwhelmed with the “LIST” in front of me : the chopping, the beating, the cooking.

How to get it all done without growing in frustration or impatience..

And then this prayer came to mind, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you…”

As I look at my list, It is overwhelming.

But….when I see Miss Missy’s list of “I am thankful” items, it is a practical reminder of all the blessings in my life.

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Thank you Lord:

For the gift of my husband, who reminds me daily how loved I am,

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For the gift of my one and only son, who brings me such joy……

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For the blessing of four princesses, who show me true beauty inside and out….

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For the blessing of a home, and the warmth that it provides….

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For the blessing of sharing every day with this amazing crew and watching them grow…

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For the food that will adorn our table, and the blessing of never knowing hunger

Lord,

 May my life be lived in thankful gratitude for all that you have given me.

May my hands seek to reach up in thanksgiving, and out to those who need me….

May I never take for granted the blessings in my life.

For in Your Divine Wisdom, you have made everything perfect, tailored to me.

Happy Thankgiving to you and your family!

Because I’m thankful….

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How do you say “thank you” when a simple note isn’t enough?

Well…I guess you try and think of the ultimate “loveletter” for that person.

My life is full of blessings. There are so any things that I am thankful for….However, today’s post is about my amazing daughter, Sweet Pea.

When my husband started a new job in August, we were really not sure how it would change our home environment… But we have found that these initial orientation months are requiring more travel and longer work days. The housework still needs to be done. All the errands and activities continue just without another adult in the home. Saying that it can get overwhelming is an understatement. And… that’s where Sweet Pea comes in! From making dinner for her siblings; reviewing flash cards with the toddler; and making me hot cups of tea, she is truly been a blessing to me.

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She has such an amazing heart and can always tell when I’m at my breaking point. I can’t tell you the number of times that she has taken it upon herself to make lunch for the kiddos so I could finish a grocery list or gotten one of the littles dressed so I could grab a shower.

She was on my heart a lot when I was feeling especially sick this past Friday. Her cousin had asked her to spend the night for some much needed “girl time” and I was more than happy to see her go.

She had definitely earned it.

As I thought about that, I decided to surprise her upon her return.

What could I do for her that would be a “relief” for her?

Which brought about this…..

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The reorganizing and cleaning of her closet……

This closet NEEDED to be tackled soooo bad, however, I knew she had no idea where to start.

As the oldest, she always needs a new seasonal wardrobe….it’s just hard to tell exactly what she needs since her closet had various sizes in it.  Just looking in it, it seemed as though she had plenty of clothes, however, I knew her closet needed to be purged.

One trash bag later…and two bags of clothes later for the basement storage, it was done!!!

Then after the closet I moved on to her bed…

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I changed her sheets, febrezed her mattress, scrubbed her headboard, and remade it with her favorite quilt.

Then, I vacuumed her room and lit one of my favorite Yankie Candles to fill her room with a sweet clean smell.

Then I pulled out a new journal I had bought her…..and wrote her a little note. (pictured above)

Words can not tell you enough how proud I am of you and the great help you are to me. So I thought, maybe I can show you. I hope you enjoy your ” newly organized” room. Thanks again for all you do.

Love, Mommy

If you have someone like this in your life, celebrate them this week……

It’s a great time of year to be “thankful” for those tremendous blessings in our life.

Have a blessed week!

God bless,
Tammi

 

A slow return……to Fall…

I haven’t blogged in so long. It’s not because I lack things to talk about. It’s actually the opposite. I’ve been enjoying the beauty of trying to “unplug” and enjoy my kids this summer. As much as I love homeschooling, much of what I do during the school year is the opposite of my personality. In the summer, I can dawn the hat of “fun, spontaneous mom” that I love. No lesson planning, no set days of schoolwork, no lists to check off, no threats over completing math problems, no stressing over days filled with hours of activity…..and I love it!!!

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I love deciding to have dinner at the pool, or having ice cream for lunch. I love cuddling with the kids in my bed and laughing about their antics. I love the HOURS my kids get to play with nonstop interruption for an academic lesson. I love the countless “concerts” and “performances” that I get to watch from my couch….hours of taping the kids fun episodes on my iphone. I love the lack of responsibility that summer brings…and I know that in order to have balance I need that. I need that “down time” so that I can conquer the next school year. However, as the summer draws to a close, I am having a much harder time this year with embracing this new “season” in my life…..with embracing the upcoming school year.

I have so much to share with you that has been a part of my life this summer. I want to fill you in on our big road trip to New England, on all the personal growth I have undergone, and life with five growing kiddos…. but my heart can’t get pass the feelings that I am overcome with right now.

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How everything that is filling my mind is just…. not important…..

that’s how I feel. I am beginning to question:

What are my priorities in this life?….am I fulfilling them?

And it’s beginning to affect everything that I am doing.

I wake up thinking about it…and go to bed with the same thoughts. Why do I have to pay bills? How important is this schoolwork?  Why is it so tough for me to make God a priority in my life? I feel that the Lord is calling me to re-evaluate everything that is important and that I value as important in my life.

Suicide of famous actors. Abortion. The death of thousands of children in the mountains of Iraq. Earthquake in China. Riots in Missouri. Journalist John Foley’s death. Countless stories of moms and dads abusing their children. The ISIS reign of terror…..

The news just seems to inundate me daily. I can’t avoid it….My facebook newsfeed is full of horrific stories of tragedy….personal friends begging for prayers……many of my friends having full debates about the ISIS situation…..

I start to feel so burdened….so sad…..somewhat hopeless. I start wondering where God is? Why hasn’t He intervened???? But have I invited him?…….Like Peter during the storm, I need to cry out to the Lord to help me….

Lord, have mercy.

How do I immerse myself in prayer for these situations without leading myself into despair? How do I go about my day with my morning vanilla chai and my morning prayer, when there is such uncertainty in the world right now? How can I unite my sufferings with so many, Lord?

Christ, have mercy.

I guess I need to fall on the mercy of our faith.  To remember that we are community of believers. That when the “body of Christ” suffers, all of its members suffer. To turn to the Lord and ask him what he is asking of me.

What is my role in all of this?

I believe that this question will be a daily prayer for me.

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed”.

I can honestly say that the current state of events has really changed the way that I think, especially about attending Mass on Sunday. What a privilege to worship the Lord so freely??!! I can’t imagine that freedom being taken away…… How many times have I laid in my bed from a late night and wince at the idea of heading out to Mass? It’s embarrassing to admit but…I’ve been there. How many times was I sick or one of the kids under the weather and I was annoyed at having to find a late Mass to attend or having to go to separate Masses with the hubs? The truth is…until you are denied this basic right…you will exploit it. You will take it for granted. The Lord is showing me that my faith is the greatest gift that He has given me. I must cherish it and put it at the for front of my life.

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The hubs and I have also decided to take another look at our budget, to make sure that we are being good stewards of our money. Are there areas that we are just wasting money? Can we be blessing more people than we are? We also have started to talk to our children about the frivilous use of words like “starving” or “needs”. Our children are privileged on so many levels but we need them to really see their blessings and be more appreciative of what they have.

We also feel a greater challenge, as parents, to raise a new generation of martyrs. Does that sound crazy to you? It scares the heck out of me….but I need to prepare my kids little souls for greatness! They need to know that NOTHING is worth their soul.

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We have had plenty of time over the last few weeks to discuss the children who were fleeing in the mountains in Iraq. We have talked about their poor parents who sent them to die of hunger rather than death by the enemy. We have talked about offering our holy communions up for those souls who live in fear, that the Lord may be with them in a special way. This is a beautiful time in our Church to teach our children about present day martyrs as we continue to focus on the lives of the saints and the examples they have taught us.

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It’s also a great time to cling to our faith and remember that God IS, has always been; will always be!! The greatness of our God overweighs whatever evil will try and rob us of our peace.

I will end this post with one of the MOST inspiring performances that I have heard……

Carrie Underwood just really sings from the heart in this one….

During your tough or low times this week, may you always remember how much you are loved and cared for by the Lord.

 God bless,

Tammi

Father’s Day!!!

Father’s Day is such a great time to honor those who work tirelessly for our little families. To show fathers how important their role is in the life of a child.

It’s so important for me that my children honor their dad and show him how much he means to them. His love language is words of affirmation so I knew he would love to read some of the kids’ thoughts on him.

IMG_0432Last year, we decided to have a “superhero” theme for our Father’s Day.

I downloaded a cute Father’s Day superhero banner and the kids gave me examples of why dad was a superhero.

IMG_0426We then wrapped some of his favorite candies in these cute superhero wrappers.

IMG_0434He loved every bit of it!

IMG_0436 IMG_0438Sweet Pea also made him carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting…his favorite!! She couldn’t help but write “Happy Father’s Day” on his plate as well. (How cute is she…adding basil to make green leaves for her flower cupcake….I love her!)

Each year, we try and do something different. Something that is centered around what “Daddy loves”. And this year, will be no different.

The kids had their “group meeting” and decided on the menu/plans for the day….here goes:

  • Decorate Dad’s bedroom door.
  • Surprise him in bed with a cup of coffee and his shakeology.
  • Have him open their presents. (see below)
  • Sunday Mass as a family
  • Donuts after Mass at Dad’s favorite place…Yum Yums!!!
  • Pool time with dad (if the weather is nice)…if not, it’s a day of board games!!!!
  • Mom makes dad’s favorite dinner: pork tenderloin with candied lima beans and mashed potatoes.
  • Sweet Pea is making an apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I am really excited to see him open this present this year!

Shutterfly has made it SUPER easy to create a beautiful memory book!

The kids helped me to complete this book and each child composed what to say on their own page. (click on the link below to see the book)

Click here to view this photo book larger

We grabbed this great steal at amazon.com as well for his new car. He’s going to love it!

Happy Father’s Day!! May you find a way to show your dad or husband how loved he really is!
God bless!
Tammi

Spring is Popping up all over!!!!

 “Walking on sunshine…..whoa whoa….and don’t it feel good!”

IMG_5235(Yep…I was rock climbing here!)

I love that song. I love the way that the warm weather makes me feel. And this time of year, I get to work on one of my favorite hobbies……

my garden.

I originally started a garden as a way of saving money. However, I didn’t realize how much I needed a hobby like this…something relaxing that I could work and see the fruits of my labor.

Yeah…I’m one of “those” people. Totally obsessed with my garden!

IMG_0451(This was last year’s squash and lettuce bed)

I’m not a great gardener but I do love the joy I feel when you harvest your first vegetable of the season. There is something awesome about growing the stuff that you eat.

I am so excited to share with you all the veggies that we have growing in our box gardens this year! And I also wanted to share with you that from this past summer and fall, I was able to create my own organic compost to use this year. I have been keeping the vegetable and fruit clippings in a compose bin that I created using an old trash can. I had the hubs drill a few holes along the sides and bottom of the trash can so that the water would seep out. I added my old hay and pumpkins from the fall; grass clippings, coffee grounds, egg shells, and newspaper shreds. I periodically went out, maybe 5 times total, and turned the pile over with a garden spade. I also had the kiddos help me find a few worms to toss in and help me with the composting.

It was awesome to throw all that compost in my garden beds and prepare that trash can to start all over for next summer!

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The picture above shows all of our green and red pepper plants surrounded by some marigolds to keep some pests away.

IMG_5747This bed houses my tomato plants. Two cherry tomato plants and one plum tomato plant. I added a basil plant to the center of the box garden, as I read that it makes your tomatoes sweeter. I have room in this box for 2-3 more plants on the left. I just haven’t figure out what I want to add. I am thinking about possibly adding some yellow summer squash that I couldn’t get earlier or some beans. I forget the name of those red flowers but they suppositely attract butterflies to your garden.

IMG_5748This box contains all my plants that will eventually grow up a trellis. I am growing cucumbers, zucchini, and the girls added two watermelon plants. I have also added oregano to the center of this box, as I heard that it keeps pests away from cucumbers. As they grow, I will continue to help them grow up the trellis.

Last year we planted four strawberry plants, We were told that they would most likely not produce last year but should do well this year. Well…those four plants took over the box that I planted them in and are doing very well. We have been presently surprised by these little gems!

IMG_5750Can you see all those fun little spurts of red? All I know is that the children have been begging every morning to go out and “eat” out of the strawberry patch. haha

This was our first “tasting” of our strawberries.

IMG_5743IMG_5741IMG_5740IMG_5739IMG_5738A couple of days ago, I was able to pick a few strawberries for breakfast.

IMG_5754This has been such an awesome experience for the kids.

Next year, they want to try blueberries!!!

Each year we also like to add a “splash” of color to our front landscaping.

We do not have much of a yard in the front of our house, and it also doesn’t get much sun, so finding plants and flowers that produce color and don’t require full sun as been difficult.

Here are some of our fun flowers/plants for this year:

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IMG_5752IMG_5726Each year we try to add a few perennials and annuals to see what looks best. It’s still an ongoing process. The hubs is ready to pull in a landscaper but I managed to wrangle another year with that job under my belt..haha.

Come back and to check my future posts to see how our garden is doing!

Pray for a good harvest!

I promised the kids that if we had a good surplus of veggies that I would allow them to set up a vegetable stand. These little entrepreneurs are willing to water them everyday for me..haha.

Money talks….

God Bless,

Tammi

7 quick takes on a quick few weeks……

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I really wish I was a great blogger. I just…..don’t always have time. I’m like that great girlfriend that you have that you could talk for days with…but you just NEVER get the time.

(In all honesty…I have been writing this blog since Thursday night…and its Saturday morning…geez)

I wish you could see my “list” of blogging topics. I just have to stop “making memories” to be able to blog about them….

and let’s be honest…that’s NOT going to happen so….

I appreciate your patience!!!

These past few weeks/months have flown by….so here’s a quick look at a couple of the things that are going on here at Camp Crazy:

  1. My family is obsessed with the movie Frozen.

IMG_5175In this picture, Mini Me was playing the scene where “Anna” was cold and walking through the snow to find her sister. I mean…she knows the movie so well…just come by and she will descibe every scene. Often times…she plays both characters dialoguing. haha.

IMG_5188 Are they “raising the roof”? Um…No….they are creating the ice castle like Elsa…..of course. Complete with a cape that they can throw off.

I have broken up countless arguments because “You can’t sing Anna’s part, I’m Anna” or “she’s Anna not Elsa this time”. I can’t begin to express how “taken” my kids are with this movie. Even Miss Missy was found belting “Let it Go” through the aisles at IKEA.

2.) Another rockin’ Mother’s Day for this momma……I usually dedicate a whole blog to this but this year…I’m going to keep it simple. I was thoroughly spoiled.

First I got to sleep in. Did you see that? I got to sleeeeeeep in. It makes me giddy like I’m an 8 yr old going to a sleepover. Secondly, I got a long, uninterrupted shower. Repeat……uninterrupted.

My husband has really learned me. I tell you…it’s a beautiful thing. The hubs booked me a Mother’s Day brunch that started at 3pm. 3 pm!!!! That means…sleeping in. No rush to dress littles early in the morning. No starving kiddies. Let’s get into the brunch later…….this was breakfast:

IMG_5313Gotta love when your kids and husband NAIL your ideal breakfast….complete with my Shakeology shake. Love this crew!

IMG_5321I mean….my cup runneth over. Look at this crew, my heart really is so full. Everyone was excited to dress their best and head out for a fun brunch. The three oldest were getting their first “buffet” experience where they got to take care of themselves. So….after 4 years of doing buffets with babies, and toddlers….this was my best experience ….a super fancy buffet but in a loud kid-friendly environment. No shushing kids. Just eating…and laughing.

IMG_5330Check out this goofball stud. I love this kid. He really makes everything fun!

IMG_5329Sweet Pea was in her glory. What a foodie! “Mom..did you try the lobster mac and cheese??!!! It’s UNREAL!!!”

IMG_5325A plate full of desserts….sure I will smile, mom!

IMG_5335Gotta get some daddy love…as often as possible. Love these two.

 3.) We raised butterflies!!! DDD has been taking a biology class through our local co-op. His teacher suggested that we purchase a butterfly kit from InsectLore so we could see the butterfly process at home. It was a fantastic experience for the whole family.

IMG_4978Here are our little guys. The kit arrived with five little caterpillers. Within days of arriving, the caterpillars crawled to the top of their little cup and got in their “J” formation to form these chrysalis. We then removed the paper from the top of the cup to the large butterfly cage the kit provided.

IMG_5182In this picture, three had already come out of their chrysalis and were flying around. These two little guys were spending a little more time being perfected.

IMG_5275Releasing our little friends!!!

IMG_5273I would totally recommend this!!

4.) We went rock climbing!!!

IMG_5265Look at these gorgeous little faces already to conquer rock walls! The hubs and I have really been inspired to offer our children another gift….fitness! Our children learn the best by example so….

IMG_5264Yep! Momma showed all the “little cubs” just how to scale the wall like a champion.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous about this. I had just recently started to work out and wasn’t sure if I would have the stamina to do something like this but I wanted to show the children what it means to challenge ourselves.

It was so cute hearing their little voices, “Go, mom! You got this! You are doing great!”

And they were soooo right. I dominated that wall……and it dominated me the next day.

IMG_5233  Mini Me taking to the hallway rock climbing.IMG_5249

The fashionista was fearless. We never saw her on the ground. She loved this!!

IMG_5267I almost went into panic mode when I noticed the guy putting a harness on Miss Missy but….she did great! “I NOT little”, she said. I know big girl…..sigh…..

5.) Time to prep our gardens!!!!

IMG_5200Seriously….one of my favorite hobbies. I recently fell in love with gardening a few years ago. Since building my first vegetable garden a few years ago, we have branched out to three box gardens. We plant tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, green onions, and cucumbers. It’s such a blessing to eat the food that you grow. The children also love to take turns picking stuff for dinner.

Last year we planted strawberries.

IMG_5203This is the first year that our strawberries have produced !!

IMG_5211 This little cutie keeps my strawberries hydrated. haha

We are hoping to get the rest of our vegetable plants in their boxes this weekend as well as tackle some outdoor projects.

Hope the weather holds up for it.

6.) Bring on the Spring weather….and find me a park!!! Huge fan of watching the kiddos literally exhaust themselves at the park on a spring afternoon. I st ill enjoy a good push on a swing or going down the slide with my toddler. I love hearing “mom….watch me!” “mom….look how high I am!” Then carrying the little kids into the house to finish their nap that began in the van on the way home. IMG_5362 IMG_5363 IMG_5364 IMG_5369Gotta love some “selfie” fun!

7.) Baseball is in full effect!!!

Unless its pouring raining, this kid never wants to miss a game. He might need to be reminded that he needs his bat….a mitt….his hat…..his cleats…..but otherwise….he’s out the door!

For his sisters, they love to scream his name as he’s up to bat. His little sister can be found banging along the bleachers and picking flowers.

IMG_5477DDD was so excited when he was presented with the game ball after his game last weekend! He had a tremendous hit and solidified the last out with a nice throw to first base playing outfield.

So…that was 7 quick takes on our life up to now……

Thanks for stopping by to check out how our little family is doing.

God Bless,

Tammi

Stay tuned for more blogs……

DDD’s first communion

Sweet Pea’s Skating Party

Our Spring garden!!!

Double digits for Sweet Pea!

Can’t believe that our Sweet Pea turned 10 last week!

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birthday breakfast! homemade waffles with whipped cream and strawberries!

This kid has such a big and generous heart that you can’t help but want to spoil her and show her how important her life is to all who love her.

IMG_5063What a goof!

This was her the morning of her birthday. As I put her to bed the night before, she chuckled and said…”don’t forget my birthday signs. You know how much I love to see what you are going to put up.”

This beautiful girl is always so excited and thrilled by any plans that are made for her. She’s the perfect gift receiver as she makes everyone feel so great about what they get her. She just truly loves when people think of her.

This was her favorite sign…..

IMG_5064And not surprising as since she was little….she wanted to be Rachael Ray…..

last year’s homemade german chocolate cake she made!!!

and then started making “tablescapes” like Sandra lee…

and then became obsessed with Masterchef!

So…when it came time for a present, her dad booked our little “foodie” dinner at Gordon Ramsey in London in Hells Kitchen, NY.

She had no idea where she was going when we left Tuesday afternoon. She just knew that it involved her getting dressed up and the other children getting a babysitter.

A day trip with mom and dad.…priceless!

That was enough to make her giddy.

her first NY cab experience!

her first NY cab experience!

She was so giddy. When we were in the taxi, she said, “Dad…can I swipe your credit card? this is sooo cool.” It’s funny that you forget all the little things that are “cool” to a 10 yr old. =)

IMG_5007We arrived! Standing outside the restaurant….can you tell how she can’t contain herself. (love this girl!)

IMG_5009IMG_5013She will always be his “angel”. This picture is one of my favorites I have ever taken. It really captures the sheer joy that the hubs brings to Sweet Pea, and how much of his heart, she holds.

IMG_5011Cheers to being 10! She had her first “muddled” fruit spritzer. Talk about feeling like a “big kid”.

Sweet Pea was quite shocked at the lack of menu. She didn’t realize that in “nice places” the menu is usually about a page long…unless you are looking at wine menu. =) However, if you give her any meal that involves a steak…she is in heaven.

And yep….this is where I post the pictures of our delicious food while you make your reservations….hahaha. We decided to just grab a couple of entrees and sides and share everything.

IMG_5019Ta-da! Drum roll please.…..this was totally on my bucket list for life! I needed to try a Beef Wellington from a Gordon Ramsey restaurant…and it was delicious!!!! This was a meal for 2 so Sweet Pea and I shared this!

IMG_5015This was the hubs NY strip steak garnished with some type of caviar. I’m not a fan of caviar, but the cook on that steak was exceptional. I’m not afraid to admit that I ate a portion of that steak in addition to my wellington.

IMG_5018What kid wouldn’t order fries topped with three different kinds of cheeses???!!! and I would be a terrible mom if I didn’t “test” them for her!

IMG_5017Wish I had a great picture for this phenomenal side!!! It was a scallop risotto. Now…seeing as soooo many contestants on Hell’s Kitchen destroyed their risottos…this was another “bucket list” item for me…..check that one off….fabulous!

IMG_5016Roasted brussel sprouts…awesome.

Thankfully, we had plenty “to go” for lunch the next day.

We needed to save room for dessert!

IMG_5024I wish I had a close up picture of that chocolate concoction in front of me, but between Sweet Pea and I …it was gone in NO TIME!

IMG_5028They brought her a birthday message along with some raspberry sorbert. As she is taking a calligraphy class, she was super impressed with the writing!

IMG_5029The hubs ordered this apple upside down cake with a maple pear ice cream. I think I might have caught him licking the plate after it…haha

Then…off to visit Time Square and show Sweet Pea some sites!

IMG_5030Time Square!

IMG_5033Acting like tourists!!!!

Only the “best dad ever” would insist on walking through the 5 floors of the Forever 21 store and getting her a more “comfortable outfit” to walk Time Square in….love that man!

IMG_5034I wish I got a picture of her face when her Dad showed up in Forever 21 with a nautical navy striped shirt and matching leggings that he had picked out for her. Her look…..utter excitement and appreciation.

Dads out there…..there is nothing more attractive than a dad that honors his daughter by showing her how well he knows her. Sweet Pea insisted that she could walk Time Square in these…

IMG_5043So her dad bought them…..but suggested that they get these to walk Time Square…

IMG_5039What a great day to enjoy some quality time with my girl!

One of the many reasons that I blog is so that I have these precious “moments” captured. That Sweet Pea can look back on these moments and just feel loved.

Sweet Pea….we love you.

We are so grateful for your life.

10 years of making us proud to be your parents!!!

God bless,

Tammi

Superhero party!

*** I can’t believe it has taken me over a month to produce this blog post…..so here goes…****

photo 3(1)SUPERHERO PARTY!!!!

Ever since I can remember my son has been obsessed with superheroes. It all started when his dad bought him these books and would spend a few minutes a night going through the “characters”. As you can imagine, it also brought out the “inner child” in my husband.

You can find it here on Amazon.

It seems every Halloween, DDD is coming up with another superhero costume and can always be found dressed up in costume. So when January came along, it seemed fitting that he have a superhero party for his 8th birthday!!!

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His selected breakfast of choice: Cream Chipped Beef!!!!

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I love this kid!

I have often entertained the idea of having just a few friends join DDD at a laser tag arena or to go to the movies for the day, but DDD LOVES all his friends. He has such a big heart that there isn’t a CHANCE he would want to have to pick who to invite. So…  It always comes down to selecting a fun theme and having a party at the house.

We used Evite to send an online invitation to the 16 boys he was inviting since his birthday comes up so quickly after Christmas.

These two pictures were definitely going to add to the fun…Thank you Ross….$9.99 each….and they are definitely going in DDD’s room.

photo(12)I used the Walmart and local Dollar Tree to help me gather some stuff for these cute “goodies” to go home.

                         Walmart: (pack of 4) Avenger mask; activity pack of crayons, and a pad; red ribbon

Dollar Store: 50 piece Avenger puzzle

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I also used the Walmart for these cute plates and napkins. I hit the Dollar Tree for the colorful tablecloths and utensils.

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So…I love all these awesome party decorations that are on etsy. You can literally order the stuff a day before (let’s not forget what a procrastinator I am…) and print it out. I opted to go with one that was not personalized in case I wanted to reuse the file for something else. It was also a cheaper option.

Superhero Birthday Party Package Collection Set Micro NonPersonalized Printable // Retro Superhero - B27Nz1

You can find it here on Etsy.

I used these decorations to write up about the food I was providing. To add place card tags to the table, etc. They are just a fun addition to a party.

Now….for the yumminess that was the food.

I forgot to take a picture of the hot food as I was serving it right out of the oven…. we had:

  • Mighty macaroni (a home baked favorite)
  • Wonder dogs (mini hot dogs in puff pastry)

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  • Kryptonite Kiwi

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  • Thor’s hammers (pretzel sticks with cheese slices)

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  • Super shields (Oreos)

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  • Toxic Venom (Sherbert w/ginger ale)

Activities:

So this part of the party was ALL the hubs and he did not disappoint…

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Our superheroes fighting while they await direction…

  • Toss the boulder over the banister.

(The hubs used several pieces of newspaper and crushed them together and held it was duck tape so they looked like gray rocks. The boys then had to throw them over our banister. Super cute….so fun.)

photo 2(3)

  • Sock’em josting

We brought the girls balance beam up from the basement along with their gymnastics mat. The Dollar tree provided these cute “sock em” type inflatable punching gloves. We paired the boys up and let them take turns trying to hit each other off the beam. Everyone loved it! We ended with one big battle with everyone using their sock’em.

  • Practice Webbing

We used some silly string from the dollar store to have the boys hit a moving target that my husband was holding. We lined the boys up on our front porch and yelled out each kid’s name. They have about 30 seconds to try and hit the target. The game ended with an attack on my husband…..and then me!!! haha.

photo 1

The birthday cake!!!

I’m a huge fan of fun cupcakes (which are also way easier) but DDD wanted a fun cake. He got pretty excited when he saw me going through his action figures for inspiration. This is what I ended up with….its hard to really see…but it is suppose to be green lantern spiralling up through the earth; Robin riding in on a motorcycle; and Captain America breaking through the rock and debris. I used oreos to make the “dirt” look and used two cupcakes on top of a regular cake to create “mounds”. It was a hit!!!

We ended with opening up all his presents !!!

DDD has already started planning his next party…..

It is always such a joy to see DDD with all his friends.

I am so thankful for the love and joy that friendship brings.

God Bless,

Tammi