Thursday, October 29, 2009

Growing at the speed of Light"ning"

Wow! I can't believe it's already time for Show Us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner! This week's theme is "Halloween Costumes." It's interesting to look at pictures from the last few years and see how much my kids have grown. Faster than lightning - kachow!!!

This is Matthew and Katie's first Halloween together (2007). Matthew was Lightning McQueen and Katie wore Matthew's hand-me-down "My First Halloween" outfit. 2007 was Matthew's first year trick-or-treating. We had planned to take him the year before when he was dressed as a fireman but he had a 101 fever. Fortunately he was too young to understand what he was missing out on! He just played in the playroom while kids came to our door asking for treats :)


I LOOOVE the back of this outfit. What a cute bum :)


This was Halloween 2008. Matthew was, once again, Lightning McQueen! Although I think he is now officially over the whole "Cars" madness. Katie was a lil' pumpkin.




This year Katie is a ballerina and Matthew is Wall-E. I thought about having Katie be Eve but we already had the ballerina costume. With a homemade bow and tights from her drawer, she is set to go!


We did a "dress rehearsal" tonight so the kids could try out their costumes. Waaaaall-EEEEEEEEEEE....


I love the way Katie is literally looking up to her big bro in this picture :)


Happy Halloween Everybody!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mums the Word!

This week over at Kelly's Korner, the theme for "Show Us Your Life," is Fall Decorations. How fun!!! I love anything that has to do with decorating so this was a fun post for me :)

"The mailbox with the swirly pumpkin." That would be my house :) This was a grocery store find last year on clearance and it is one of my absolute FAVORITE decorations!



When I think Fall, I think Mums! I LOOOVE mums! When I see homes adorned with mums, I think of falling leaves, football games, crock pot meals, and apple cider. Burnt orange mums are my color of choice this year - I usually get these or burgundy since they are the official Hokie colors!



Along the pathway are my jack-o-lanterns. On Halloween night, I will put an LED light in each one of these guys to light up the walkway for trick-or-treaters :) I thought LED would be a wise choice - don't want any neighborhood pranksters catching my lawn on fire!



When I see wreaths on front doors, I feel like they send a welcoming message. When we moved back up to Northern VA last year, we put an offer on a house in a new development. I remember my sister saying, "I see that the people across the street have a wreath. They must be friendly!" Well, welcome to my home :) Come inside now!



I am a sucker for anything polka dots and stripes so when I saw this candle set at Wegmans, aka the "Happiest Place on Earth," I just had to have them. Okay, well, truth be told, Wegman's is not actually Disney World but it is the next best thing in terms of grocery stores. And speaking of closest, this is the closest thing you will see to SPIDERS in my house!!!!


Aaaahh, the mantle! Any excuse to put lights on the mantle! When we were house hunting, I remember looking at the fireplace and saying, "Oh, these people are smart! They put an outlet on top of the mantle for Christmas lights!"...or Autumn Lights...take your pick!



Here is a picture of my burnt orange lilies and fall leaves on the mantle. SO much prettier at night when it's lit up! On the hearth is my Target basket and hand-me-down fake pumpkin :)


This is my dining room table. I just added orange ribbon to my already existing candlesticks, spread some fake leaves, and put the pumpkins in the middle. Viola - done!



Thanks for stopping by! I will leave you (pun intended) with one of my favorite Fall images...my Wegman's pumpkin lights lit up on the mantle while I sit down and watch The Office on TV tonight!!!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Are Kidneys the Butt of Jokes?



I don't know what it is about kidney problems but comic strips are full of jokes about them. OK, so maybe I notice it more since I have kidney issues and my friend likes to send me kidney-related humor :) I admit, the comics are usually down right funny and I get a good laugh out of them. Afterall, I usually find a way to laugh at my medical situations...just ask my family. I make fun of myself all the time! I have learned that things could always be worse and it's all about keeping it in perspective. And since I can't change what I have...or don't have...I may as well be the butt of the joke ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trick or Treat...Brush Your Teeth

Since Matthew's Kindergarten class does not have a Halloween party, he and I decided to make treat bags for all his classmates. We started off by making gift tags on the computer. Matthew picked the color, font, and clipart for the tags. After we designed them, we printed them out and Matthew signed his name on each one. This was the time consuming part...



Literally, it was quicker to watch water boil than to watch him sign each tag ;) But he did a GREAT job!



Then we cut out the tags and hole-punched each one.



Once the tags were completed, we went down to the basement and sorted all the treats. We had polka dot bags for the girls and ghost bags for the boys. His class has 8 boys and 9 girls this year. I LOVE how small his class is because I feel like it's a good transition from preschool. His preschool class last year had 12 kids.

Matthew and I filled all the bags (the girls got princess -themed treats and the boys got Cars-themed treats.)





Matthew was SO proud of himself at the end. He said "This is great teamwork mom!" Thus the reason for the project! Afterall, my intent was not to give his class cavities. He was having so much fun that he had no idea this was actually a good ol' lesson in following directions, sorting, counting, and sequence. Mission accomplished! Happy Halloween...oh, and don't forget to brush your teeth!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Favorite Kind to Make...and Match

Here are some pictures of my most recent "Made To Match" Bows. These are my favorite ones to make because I get to be creative with the designs.

This is Katie's Ballerina Halloween Costume. I decided last Fall that Katie would be a ballerina this Fall when I saw this costume on the sale rack at Gymboree for $6.99! With a free home made bow, the total cost for the costume - $6.99! And for those of you that know My Katie, ballerina is NOT the first thing that comes to mind when I think of her. Oh the irony!


However, maybe we don't give her enough credit. Doesn't she look like a natural here?

Ok, so maybe it was a fluke! But either way, she was twirling on her own. I just snapped the picture :)


Hokie Pride



Here are some more Made To Match bows I made this weekend.








For those who have e-mailed me, I was not able to upload these images to Shutterfly for some reason. However, please contact me or leave a comment if you'd like me to make some bows to match your little ballerina's clothes.

Too Many Angel Wings Lately

To say kids are naive is an understatement. If only I could go back to childhood for ONE day and experience pure innocence and freedom from all worries. When I think back to my childhood and the things I stressed out about, it's borderline laugh out loud funny. Seriously, like when I kicked a hole in my bedroom door because I was protesting against my sister for locking me in there. I nearly lost my lunch at the thought of Mom and Dad finding out about it. Or the anxiety I would feel when Mr. Baughman would take all us neighborhood kids over to the Oakton High School track to run laps...and record our times. His daughter Brandy was quite the competitive athlete and is to this day. She and Mary K would usually have the quickest running times. Now, I would give ANYTHING...well, anything except my kidney, to have those be my biggest worries. If only I knew it back then...

2009 has been quite a year for worries and stress to say the least. Aside from my own medical drama, and there has been a LOT, much worse things have happened to other people. My sister Kerry lost her son Andrew back in July. He was stillborn and we never got to see him take even one sweet breath. He was so beautiful and perfect and it was/is so difficult to understand why God chose to give him angel wings before we got to spend any time with him here on Earth. Then there's Brandy. She was expecting her first child this week and had a perfectly uneventful pregnancy...until her due date. Due to some complications with labor, her baby Joseph suffered irreversible brain damage and only lived for about 24 hours before succumbing to his injuries. Another set of angel wings given way too soon. Kerry and Brandy are two people who I share so many wonderful, carefree childhood memories with, along with those "stressful" times at the track. I hate that they have this new "thing" in common now. Something noone should have to ever experience. Both of their baby boys have earned their angel wings within a few months of one another. Now when I picture their boys in Heaven, I suddenly have this vision of them running laps around the track trying to win the race. All the while, their moms struggle with the real life marathon of healing and coping with the loss of their precious boys.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bows & What Knot

OK, I almost had to delete this and repost it! Why, you ask? Because I am SO superstitious when it comes to the number 13! So what does the number 13 have to do with anything? Well...I am participating in the Kelly's Korner blog carnival again this week and I was the 13th person to post to her site! What are the odds? Kelly gets a LOT of entries!!! Anyway, this week's carnival is "Show Us Your Life - What Do You Make?" I make bows :) Although I do all sorts of styles, these are among my favorites to design.

Custom Made to Match





Holiday Themed (I do all holidays!)




Sports Teams (all sports - college and professional teams)


Everyday Bows




Although I have not posted them on Etsy yet, I am moving in that direction. In the meantime, check out my Shutterfly pics and e-mail me if you'd like to place an order! These make great gifts!!! Thanks for stopping by :) http://maureensbows.shutterfly.com/

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Many people aren't aware that this day has been designated a national day of remembrance for miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. In honor of my nephew Andrew, who was stillborn on July 2, 2009, as a result of exposure to Group B Strep, please take a moment to remember him. And for those of you with children, hug them a little tighter tomorrow.



Andrew Becker Lederman
July 2, 2009

Kerry's Blog: http://herownpace.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is there Crisco on that slide??!?!

Taking the kids to the Fire Department to learn how to Stop, Drop, and Roll.
$ Donation
.

Getting Photo IDs made of the kids.
$Your tax dollars
.

The expression on Kylee's face when she went down the moon bounce slide.
PRICELESS!




This picture was actually taken last summer but every time I see it, it still cracks me up! It's one of those "laugh out loud" kind of moments. As you can see from the position of her legs, she hadn't even finished sitting down at the top of the slide. Next thing we knew, she was about half way down! SOOOOO funny Kylee!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

As Easy as 1,2,3...4,5

Do you feel like you cook the same recipes over and over and over again??? Sometimes I feel like I'm on autopilot in the grocery store and navigate the aisles for the same things...you know...over and over and over again.

Well, every year, as the leaves turn beautiful shades of burgundy and gold, and the sun sets earlier, the menu around here changes as well. One of our family favorites on a chilly Fall evening is pot roast. And the best part...it is SOOOOO easy to prepare! It literally takes minutes to toss the few ingredients in the crock pot and then let it slow cook all day. It's as easy as 1,2,3...okay more like 1,2,3,4,5 but you get the idea. If you're looking for a GOOD, EASY, during the week recipe, try this:

One bunch of celery

Sliced Carrots (I buy the pre-sliced bag)

3 pounds of red potatoes (I keep the skin on)

2-3 pounds of Chuck Roast

Seasoned Salt to taste

Put it all in the crock pot with a cup (or so) of water.

Let it cook for 8 hours and viola! Dinner is served! The kids love it so much! Whenever I make it, they ask for it over and over and over again. OK, well not really. But they do eat it without complaining, throwing it on the floor, mashing it in their hands, or telling me they're "full." In my book, that's a winner!

Do you have any EASY, DELICIOUS crock pot recipes to share? If so, leave a comment and I'll publish them on my blog. That way we don't have to keep eating the same meals...well, you know...over and over and over again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We Skins Are A Bit Hokie

I am participating in my first ever Kelly's Korner Blog Carnival! This week's theme is Favorite Teams. Well, I was born and raised in the Washington DC area so naturally I am a Redskins fan. We used to always joke in our house that you could tell who won the Skins game based on Dad's mood.

I married a Chicago Bears fan. My husband Chris was actually born in Alabama but his family moved to Chicago for a couple years. It was during those years that he started becoming interested in sports and, to this day, he is a huge Bears, Cubs, and Bulls fan. As for college teams, my college did not have a football team. Yet I married a VT Hokie. And boy does that school have some AWESOME team spirit!!! There is something so cool about walking into Lane Stadium completely surrounded by thousands of people covered in burgundy and orange. It is suffice to say we wear a lot of burgundy, orange, and gold around here...

GO SKINS!!! Beat them Cowboys!

"High Five" for the Hokies touchdown!


And for those of you who know Stellan, well...there is no need for any further explanation for the next two pictures.




My sister and I at the pumpkin patch sporting my Hokie pride.


And although my husband claims that he is not a Redskins fan, well...you be the judge!