Tuesday, March 30, 2010

just please slow down....

Please slow down! I must say this to Landon daily. He's getting too big too fast. I thought I would be more 'used to' him getting older...he is my third baby. His older brother and sister went through the same changes and did not listen to me either. They are now 12 and 10 respectively. Experience with growing children has not prepared me with the proper tools to watch my third, my last one get big.

When I was in the kitchen making dinner last night, Landon asked if he could read to me. He dragged to the kitchen his little yellow chair and settled right in front of the fridge. He brought with him exactly 1 library book and 2 unlaced shoes on 2 big feet. I asked him when his feet got so big...he just laughed and opened his book.

He's almost too big for his little yellow chair...and I can't believe that I didn't notice this before. I stood about 3 feet from my little landon who is not so little anymore...staring at him like I hadn't noticed ever before that he was now in size 7 shorts and a medium tee. How did time go by so fast. So, Landon read his book while I stirred my risotto. He actually read his book. I am amazed {even after 2 kids already through the first grade} that kids can read this early.

Landon read and I cooked. The company was perfect.

And then I told him to slow down and stop getting big. He laughed again at my ridiculous request and continued on reading.

This is the kid who asks me on a daily basis if he can live with me forever. Tells me almost every night that I smell good. Makes the loudest 'mmmmm' sounds when I am making dinner and has to come to me every night for 'just one more kiss and hug goodnight!' He is completely connected to me.

Dear Landon, I know you have to grow every day and that's fine...really it is. But could you, just for me, slow it down a bit. Keep your 6 year old voice a little longer and continue to fashionably wear marker on your fingers...it goes with everything you wear. Still hug and kiss me and come to me when you are sad. If you do...I will bake you chocolate chip cookies after school today. Promise.
♥ mom

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happenings...From a Very Busy Week

I am sitting here on a beautiful Sunday afternoon while my house smells of strawberry patch candles and breezy spring air. I simply cannot get enough of this time of year.

This post should probably come with a WARNING sign because there are so many photos. It was a very busy week back from a very mellow spring break and I am really putting forth efforts to document all of this life that is happening. Aside from that, the kids have a Grandma in Nevada and an Aunt in Wisconsin who are in need of some updated photos of them...they just wont stop with the growing.

So here goes:

For the past few weeks, Mr C has been playing flag football with a team of guys that he put together. Wednesday nights might be what I look most forward to in the week! It is so much fun to watch these men play.

I might have mentioned before that Mr C's great love is football. He played it, coached it and watches it religiously during the season. It is for that reason that I have more football knowledge today than half of the men I know. When he told me that he put a team together and would be playing, I was really excited for him. Sister and her boys come to the games to watch too and we have the best time.

Mr C stretching. He has to do a lot of this...he just hit 40 this past November. Before we even get to the field, he takes 4 Ibuprofen, applies and ICY HOT patch to his bad shoulder and wraps it in an ACE bandage. When we get home...he spends a little time with the heating pad and ice packs...but let's not tell him that I let anyone in on that.

Mr C is the one holding 2 footballs and teaching Chad's son, Alex how to throw. He has also spent lots of time teaching me to properly throw the "pill." I can even run patterns and distinguish the difference between a fly, flag and post pattern. How 'bout that?
Wednesdays game was a little tough. We played a team of firefighters. Firefighters are required to be in shape. Very good physical shape. I'm just going to post that we did not win because we played against fellas like these:

They were huge. They were fast.
This is what my children do when they are bored at half time. They run around in backward sweaters and act like crazies. They are completely spent by the time we arrive home.

Excuse the blur here, folks. Trying to capture photo of the men in flags. Mr C is the one holding the ball...he is the team Quarterback.

After Wednesdays game...we headed home to catch up on American Idol and an put the children to bed early. Thursday would be another busy day. After school...Morgan had her end of the year choir concert. It was something we were all looking forward to {mostly because that meant the end of choir practice at 7:25 in the morning}.
Here is proof that I was there with Mr C.

And now I present to you the Entz chorus...4th, 5th and 6th grade. That is Morgan right in the middle. I would say, "the one with the flower in her hair", but it seems that all of the girls got together and wore their biggest flowers in their hair for the concert!

There was a really cute number in the middle of the concert where the children "sang" half the song using kazoos. I am relieved that I do not have to hear her practice this song at home any longer. The sound of a kazoo can only be tolerated for so long!

I have to post a picture of the Blue Ribbon Award that our school received this year. We were one of 4 elementary schools {I believe in the country} to be honored with this award. We have a fantastic school principal and staff of teachers that make our school amazing...not to mention the hard work of the student body. Okay...enough bragging.

Back to the concert. I moved out of the parent seating to shoot some better photos and when I looked over at Mr C, this is how I found him. The choir was singing the theme song to Spongebob Squarepants and Mr C was singing right along. He was trying to talk Landon into singing with him.

This is what 2 very naughty boys were doing the entire length of the concert.

Good golly this post is long!
Moving onto Friday evening. Our school carnival. One of the most fun events put on by out PTO. It is one big effort to raise money for our PTO and also helps teachers to buy supplies for their classrooms next fall.
Morgan instantly found her besties. I love these girls.

All kinds of bounce houses and rock climbing walls and games are set up around the field for the kids to enjoy. Morgan found herself on the below bungee bouncer.

Hysterical to watch her run with all of her might and then be slung back like a rubber band.

This is my favorite part! The raffle baskets. Each grade puts together a basket with a theme using money donated from the parents. Every ticket that is put into that baskets can is worth $1. After the carnival, the tickets are added up and then the proceeds are divided among that grades teachers to help them buy supplies for their classrooms. I love this idea...and years ago we actually won one of the baskets so we know how much fun it is to win.
Landon really wanted to win the electric scooter this year.

And Morgan really really wanted to win this:

...she put all of her raffle tickets into winning the bunny. When names were called later in the evening, I looked over at her and saw her holding her owl necklace up to her lips wishing out loud that her name would be called. It wasn't......but her best friends was. So now, Morgan can visit the bunny when she goes to Jayden' house and Morgan's mom likes that a lot better! Although, I'm fairly certain that Mr C is having the same thoughts on the baby chickens that I was trying to win for myself.
I'm looking forward to a very quiet and lazy rest of the day...readying the family for the week to come which includes for me, a list of spring cleaning chores to tackle. ♥

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've got your dessert idea for tonight

And they are super easy too. Kind of an easy take on whoopie pies. My children have somehow gotten used to the idea of dessert after dinner. Every night, without fail, as soon as they drop their dinner dishes off at the sink, I hear them one right after another, "what's for dessert?" Most nights we wing it with ice cream or cookies...but last night was a little more special.

I was very lucky to have two helpers with me. In fact, I most often have their help in the kitchen. Sometimes my patience is really tried...especially when they fight over who gets to crack the eggs...but for the most part, I find it a joy to teach them what I have learned myself.

I first came across this easy box recipe on Darby's blog...and since then I have seen a few variations. Most of them are pretty similar and have the same basics.

Landon looks so tall because he is standing on one of his little school chairs...he almost doesn't need it anymore. I wish he would slow his growing just a little. 7 years old is coming way too soon. Looking at this photo, I can see how big his little hands are getting. Slow down boy, slow down.

Morgan has always loved to be my helper in the kitchen. I try an encourage her to be comfortable experimenting and she seems to really enjoy that. My first two children both started preschool and attended kindergarten in a Montessori school. I have to say that I really really loved the way the children were taught. Both Mikey and Morgan enjoyed the practical life part of their day the most. Children were able to learn the basics of exactly that, practical life. They were taught how to sew, clean, wash dishes, self care, food preparation, gardening and the like. I absolutely think that elementary schools should incorporate some sort of class hour like this today. And I think it should be mandatory again in High School as well as a Budgeting 101 class. But before I get too off track...let's finish baking first. Can you see the big curls in Morgan's hair? She just started curling it herself. I can tell you that when I was 10 years old...I was not operating a curling iron or hair dryer without the help of my mother. It wasn't until I was about 12 that I started to sleep in those uncomfortable pink spongy rollers that gave me the curl I longed for. Even then, my mom had to roll them for me every night. {Thanks, mom!}

My helpers were doing a great job until the phone rang....and Landon absolutely had to take the call. I'm serious folks. Mom and dessert got put on hold so he could carry on a conversation. He didn't like the fact that I was following him and the phone around, so he locked himself in the pantry to finish up his socializing.

After Landon's socializing was over, we started the best part. The mixing. I don't know about other kids, but mine are fascinated with the electric mixer. They fight over who gets to turn it on and then who gets to turn up the speed. So...Landon won and turned on the mixer and watched and waited.

And he was doing his very best to be patient while he waited.
And waited.

And waited. He tried to close me on letting him turn the mixer to high "just to see how fast it goes, mom." I declined. Did not have the energy it would take to clean the ceilings. So...here is where I put the camera down and forgot to photo the rest. I dropped our 'spoonfuls' a little to large and ended up with cakes that were too big. So I took my 1'' biscuit cutter and cut out the cakes to make them smaller.
Then we decorated the tops with powdered sugar and threw them in the fridge to cool some more. The result................yumm-o. I will say that they pair very well with morning coffee. They also pair very well with a big glass of milk.

The recipe is really easy and again was from Darby's blog {which is a favorite}
All you need is:
1 box of Devil's Cake Mix (make according to box directions except for add only 3/4 cup of water and add the instant pudding)
1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding
Frosting {I cheated and used the already made...I can't help it nor do I feel bad...I love the taste of the vanilla and it's so easy}
Mix everything together while your oven is preheating to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lay little spoonfuls about an inch apart onto parchment and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. {I actually left them in almost 2 minutes longer than this to make sure they baked through}
Let them completely cool.
When they are cool...put frosting on one and then smoosh it with another.
Enjoy...and don't blame me if your pants are tight after making these. They're good.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rain induced Procrastination

It's hard to believe that just a few days ago we were outside basking in the sun with red cheeks and flip flops and then today......

......it looks like this outside. It's gray, dark and gloomy out and I want to do nothing more than sit inside blog surfing and sipping on my coffee. Unfortunately, I have laundry piled high, childrens rooms that need to be {for lack of a better word} gutted and a list of housework that I really don't want to confront right now. Why is it that rainy days feel like a pass for procrastination? However, if this is the greatest of my concerns today...then I have much to be grateful for.

My most important errand today, {according to Landon} is to run out and get the Toy Story 2 dvd that is being re-released today. I could not find the one we already own and promised to have the new one ready with a bowl full of Orville Redenbacher's finest when he returned home from school.

I'm sure that if I at least get that errand checked off the list.....the kids will not care if they have clean rooms or fresh laundry.

Monday, March 22, 2010

'round here.....

...we've been excited for spring. Last week the kids were home for spring break and I don't think that I could have planned it to be any better than it was. The weather here was to say the least...perfect. I think that helped to put an ease in our step throughout the week. The days just seemed lighter and easier. I was mostly looking forward to lazy mornings, unscheduled days and a break from the norm. The week ended up being so much more than that. We bathed in the sun during our picnic with bare toes pointing skyward on Tuesday, got our fingers dirty and found worms and bugs while gardening on Thursday, laughed until we cried at the movies on Friday with sister and her boys, ate dinners and lunches at favorite restaurants and so much more in between. Just so that I don't paint the wrong picture of a week without any imperfections...we also had scraped knees, fights between brothers, fights between brothers and sister, complete meltdowns and a catastrophic disappearance of Landon's Game boy DS (it was finally recovered in the bottom of my very busy magazine basket of all places on Saturday). Nonetheless, it was a well balanced week in our home.

The above are the planters that the kids and I found on one of our 17 trips to Target last week. You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Target has become my second home...my safe place. We bought two of the pink planters so that they would flank the entry to our front door. I love the hot pink gardenia. They are the first thing you see when you look at our home. So spring!

While Morgan spent the afternoon with one of her friends swimming, the boys and I did some work in the planters in front of our home. We cleaned the areas and added some new plants...I can't think of any other way to feel so content and at peace then to work in the earth with my kids. Too heavy? Heavy, but true. Mikey will be 13 this summer and I keep hearing this little voice inside of my head telling me to take advantage of every opportunity I have to keep him close. To keep him engaged in conversation and to not let moments go to waste. I know he has a very short time left at home before high school and then college. I don't want to live with regrets when he is ready to be on his own.

We also stopped by Trader Joes to bring some spring into our home. The best way for me to do that would be with hydrangea. My absolute favorite. I text Mr C while standing in line ready to buy my 9 bunches of flowers and told him, " I needed flowers for my spirit." He text back..."I bet they're pretty, sweetie." I must love the man who does not make me feel bad for spending what I do on floral.


This below might be my favorite part of spring break. Our new bikes. We had been shopping for a beach cruiser for Morgan's birthday for what seemed like forever. Her birthday was a little over a month ago. I am not kidding when I report that we walked into and out of about 12 bike shops across town and then poured over the bike sites online. Everything was coming up at $300 and over. For me, I love my daughter very much, but could not justify dropping that kind of coin on a bike for a 10 year old. I just know how rough my children are on things. After some hard work by Mr C...we finally came up with a good lead. After a phone call followed by a drive into Phoenix, we found the perfect bike with the matching perfect price tag, well within our budget.
So perfect in fact, that Mr C and I bought bikes for ourselves as well.

Let me tell you.....I had not been on a bike since I was about 10 or so. I tell you this because I had forgotten about the magic of bike riding. The wind in your hair and pedal under foot magic. The permanent smiles on the faces of the little beings that I made magic. It truly for me, was the best part of spring break.

The kids and I made a routine of running errands or having fun time early in the morning and the then would come home for lunch. After lunch, I would start a load of laundry and then meet the kids in the garage to load up for our afternoon ride. I let the kids take turns leading...I kept telling them over and over again to watch for cars...slow down...hurry up...where to next....it was awesome. Speaking of awesome...do you see how pretty my new cruiser is? She is white with pink flowers. The hand stitched grip covers might be my favorite part. I haven't named her. Yet.

I've been cruising in my blinged out Havaianas. Flip flop season is officially here for us.

After long bike rides in the 80+ degrees that we have had...you have to cool down with an ice cream cone. A chocolaty drippy cone to be exact. My children have gone through exactly 3 cartons of ice cream in the last 2 weeks. I take mine with sprinkles on top.

The kids were back to school today and the house was too quiet. Walking around, I found little reminders of the past week throughout the house. Like when our fluffly white cat, Milo, walked in from outside with a coat of hot pink sidewalk chalk covering his body. Apparently, he decided to roll in the exact spot that Landon colored and entire square in the pinkest chalk you have ever seen. I have no idea how to get it off of the cat! Any ideas?

So this spring break has really gotten me anxious for summer break. We have just 2 short months of school left and you better believe that we are making a paper chain this week to start counting down those days. Now mind you...I there is a good chance that the previous statement will be retracted more than once during the next two months when the kids start fighting and whining. Just keeping honest here.
H A P P Y S P R I N G!!