Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall at the Arboretum

This past week the weather has gone from a hot and muggy 90 degrees to a cool and crisp 60 degrees. Fall has arrived! It has been so nice to wear long sleeve shirts again. We went to the Dallas Arboretum this past week with Chris, Nico, and Marlee and had such a picturesque and wonderful time. I love the oranges, reds, and browns of the pumpkins, squashes, trees, and shrubs- BEAUTIFUL!

How many kids can you fit on a stroller? I had brought my single umbrella stroller, in case Bella got tired of walking, but everyone was more interested in riding next to their friends on Chris's double one. It was quite a workout going uphill though.

This was the kids' favorite place- the haystack maze. They spent hours playing follow the leader, throwing hay, jumping, and chasing each other around.

Bella loved getting her picture taken. Unfortunately, Victoria was too fast for me to catch. I've never seen her run so fast. It was really great too, because there was so much free space for them to run. We also were there on a day that not many people came.

Victoria wanted to sit by Nico so badly on the stroller.

Bella was happy to sit by Nico too. (And so the fight over boys begins. However, later, Victoria and Bella fought over who would sit by Marlee.)

Look at the trees and how beautiful this place is!

They had frog statue splash park that the girls enjoyed climbing. Luckily no one got too wet.

Once again, they were off running! Look at the smile on their faces- oh, to be a kid!

And of coarse they were pumpkins everywhere. Bella would pick up a pumpkin and name it. Then hold it like a baby doll and put it down. Then pick up another one and do the same thing. I believe this one is called Sally the Pumpkin.

Tickling my kids to try to get them to smile.

These birds were kind of creepy. They were everywhere, (especially while we were eating food.) Ha, ha, ha! (Trying to laugh wickedly.) I love the Halloween, Fall, and October- my favorite time of the year!

What a wonderful time we had! Thanks friends!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Starring Bella As Pippi Longstocking

After dropping Victoria off at school, Bella was pleading with me to watch Pippi Longstocking, and I had a ton of laundry, so it worked out perfectly for me. After the movie, Bella says, "Mom, I look like Pippi. Let's play Pippi." So I braided her hair like hers, put together an green outfit, and got a pair of my high socks as stockings, and here you have it. Notice Pippi is riding on her horse with her monkey Sir Nelson.

Story on Victoria- today as I was getting ready for the day, Victoria comes into my bathroom with a piece of paper with a giant "A" written on it and says, "A, A, A is for apple." I was very proud that she did this all by herself. I think it's really clicking this year.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Patti's Baby Shower

This past weekend, I helped throw a baby shower at my house to honor a little bundle of joy inside my dear friend Patti. This is her second child, another boy. She's still not sure of his name yet, so I helped by playing a "Name Patti's Child Game"- that was very fun. We came up with a bunch of G names for her, but I think we got vetoed by Patti's husband later that night. I decorated the house in a Duckie theme- including floating ducks in the punch bowl, a cake with a duck on it that said, "Lucky Duckie #2", and duck books. I had a great time coming up with the ideas- I miss teaching and being slightly creative like that. We had a wonderful time at the party and I can't wait to meet Baby G? I also baked a recipe that got rav reviews. My in laws make it all the time. (I'm not sure who came up with it or what it's really called.) Here it is.

Easy Brunch Favorite-
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 10-12 minutes

1 package sausage (preferably maple, if they have it, otherwise I bought maple syrup and added 1/4 cup)
1 package cream cheese (I used 1/3 the fat/calories- do not use no fat- it doesn't melt as well)
1 package croissant rolls or if you can find it seamless dough (by the croissant rolls)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a no stick skillet (I made the mistake of using an old fashion pan, and, boy is it hard to clean up.) brown the sausage over medium high heat.

3. Add the cream cheese and stir until a mixture occurs. (I pre-softened it by placing the entire foil package of cheese in the preheating oven while I was cooking the sausage.)

4. (Optional.) Add about 1/4 cup maple syrup, if your not using maple sausage, and let it cook while stirring for 1 minute.

5. Put mixture aside off burning. Spray Pam on a large rectangular bake sheet. Unroll the dough to fit the pan, but a slightly smaller rectangle maybe by an inch or two- you can easily use the palm of your hand to press the dough out to where you want it. If you have croissant rolls, squish and push the seames together with your thumbs to form that giant rectangle.

6. Add the maple/sausage/cheese mixture to the middle center of the rectangle long ways (-for all you first grade teachers like a hot dog, not hamburger.) It should cover 1/3 of the center, with 1/3 on either side.

7. Pull the sides over the mixture and make them touch by laying one slightly over the other one and pinch the top and bottom so that the mixture is not coming out. Then cook at 350 for 10-12 minutes until creation is a golden slight brown color.

8. It's ready to eat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We took our family vacation this past week to Disney World in Orlando Florida. This has got to be my favorite vacation ever. I am so worn out from all the walking, but it was so worth it- my kids, my husband, and myself loved it. They really know how to treat you and make you say "Wow!" with everything- rides, performances, people, general attitude, food, firework displays, scenery, everything. We will definitely be going back some day.
Victoria's favorite rides included the Teacups (pictured above), the Goofy Roller coaster, the It's A Small World ride, Dumbo, the Magic Capet ride, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. But definitely not the Haunted House ride. She told us, " I will never go on that ride again. We brought back a ghost!" Whereas Bella, different story- she thought it was scary, but funny- go figure.
Bella's favorite rides also included Dumbo and the It's A Small World ride. She also liked the classic Merry Go Round (pictured below).
Both girls were fascinated by all the princess stuff at the park. The princess characters were scattered throughout the park (mostly with long waits). Little girls dressed up like their favorite princess and wore their costumes. Bella really liked Cinderella best and Victoria like Jasmine best. (I bought them their Halloween costumes today while they were at school- can you guess what I got them?) In the picture below we posed in front of Cinderella's stagecoach. It was decorated up in fall colors and pumpkins, as was the rest of the park- my favorite time of the year.
We really tuckered the girls out. Even bringing two strollers that were used 80 percent of the time, with the girls taking their naps in them, they still could bearly keep their eyes open at sunset. Here I am (below) holding my two sleepy girls as they lick the last of their lollipops on the bus ride back to our hotel. FYI- Lollipops plus sleepy kids do not mix- my shirt was sticky for the rest of the night.

Although we went to all the Disney parks each with their own stunning importance. Magic Kingdom had classic Disney character parades, more rides for kids, and an amazing castle firework display. Animal World had real animals, a spectacular safari ride, and a cool, very different parade where individual people became exotic animals in neon colors. MGM Studios had the best parade that really got you into the action, plus you got to remember some of those old movies that you forgot that makes you smile. Epcot was our most favorite park. It had all different countries represented with their food and drink (he he- think German beer) and it catered more to the adult level. (In other words, I think Jer and I liked it more then the kids, but they still got a lot out of it.)
Disney really takes everything into account. The kids playground at MGM Studios is called Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Everything is from that perspective. There was a giant spiderweb that wound and twisted high in the sky, tons of objects that made great slides, mounds of dirt to rumble through, musical steps made out of twigs, giant ants to ride, and caverns to crawl into (where Victoria claimed was "her home"- taking after Daddy and his desire to be enclosed in small spaces.)

Bella loved running into all the characters throughout the park. She hugged and got her picture taken with at least ten of them- a few include Alice (In Wonderland), Daisy and Donald, Goofy, some monkey from Lion King, and Jasmin and Aladdin. Here's Bella with Mulan in Japan in Epcot.
Victoria was a little more shy about wanting to go meet the characters. It wasn't until Day 3 that she saw that Bella was having a fun time and wanted to go give a character a hug. She got to meet two characters- Donald and Daisy Duck.

Bella was also not the shy one when in came to viewing parades. She stood as close as she could on the line to the street (rules enforced) and waved at each and every passerby- she got many high fives, waves, and pats on the head. During the MGM Studio parade, one of the parade ladies, grabbed Bella and taught her a new dance on the street- she became part of the parade. They gave her a bouncy blue ball for participating. Victoria was at home with her own form of dancing when we went to the German restaurant. They had a polka band on stage with the kids dancing on the floor. She truly loves to dance to her own beat. The German restaurant also had the great food, however, my favorite place to eat was the Liberty Tree at Magical Kingdom. Their clam chowder, strawberry-vinaigrette salad, roast with gravy, and Mac and Cheese is by far the best.

Jer and I took turns trading off to ride roller coasters and popular rides. While I took the kids to the monkey house, Jer rode the Mount Everest roller coaster. Later we switched- that was my favorite ride. You can see it in the background of the picture below- that is not a real mountain- that is a GIANT roller coaster. On it you fly down hills, travel backwards, and enter a dark cave with a groesome yeti- scary, FUN, and scenic! We also swapped out on the Rock and Roll roller coaster (where Aerosmith sings in the background as you travel through blackness except for the neon stage lights on the fastest limousine/roller coaster I've ever ridden) and the ride Soarin- a flight simulated ride where you feel as if you're the airplane and are really flying through the world, including pine and apple fields that really smell.

All in all, it was the best trip we've ever taken. We walked the parks for 5 days- so much fun! I hope I burned off all the calories I consumed. At night we would go to a firework display, usually at Epcot. At the Magical Kingdom, they do one where the fireworks eclipse the giant castle after the nighttime parade. Tinkerbell flies from the top of the castle and starts the firework show. Spectacular! It was truly a place where dreams come true- yeah, cheesy, I know:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st Day of School

Well as it turned out, Victoria's fever broke on Sunday afternoon and she was feeling just fine that afternoon and on Monday too- her first day of school. She was so excited to go. She picked out a bright yellow rainbow shirt to wear and before we drove to school her and her sister were dancing in the driveway and singing "I'm a Little Tea Cup." Once we entered Mrs. Lewis's classroom, however, she didn't recognize anyone and hid under her pink blanket and clinged to my leg. I gave her a kiss and reassurance and did a fast goodbye and peeked from the window of the door, watching silently. To my surprise, as soon as her friends from last year- Jackson, Bryce, and Haylie, started to trickle in she would run up to them and give them a hug and become much more relaxed. She finely did what the teacher asked and started to draw in her journal with her favorite color pink. Mommy also breathed a sigh of relief.

Bella's first day of school was smooth sailing. She started on Wednesday (she only goes 2 days, whereas Victoria goes 3 days). Bella wanted to wear a pink shirt- I think she likes to copy her sister on the favorite color thing. BTW- Victoria got dressed completely on her own this morning, without me even helping her- I had no idea- she just disappeared from the breakfast table and when I asked, "Where's Victoria?" She came running out of her room in her own outfit saying, "I wanted to get dressed for school." She was wearing a pink flowered T shirt and soft purple skirt with a purple headband- pretty good job matching. We headed to school and dropped off Bella first at her classroom. Bella has been asking about school all summer, so I knew she would do fine. She walked in, gave her old friends a hug- Sophie and Charlie, and sat down and started work on a puzzle. It was as if she never left for the summer- funny. I dropped Victoria off next at her classroom- she ran in and got straight to work. And that's just what I did- I've been busy doing my last minute packing- ran to the store for umbrellas and ponchos for the Florida weather- downloaded the girl's first day pictures to the computer and blog- charged my camera's battery- and now I'll do some quick cleaning- and pack the car. We leave for Disney World after I pick up the girls from school. Yea!!!!!

Build A Bear

Lake Ray Roberts

Memorial Weekend 2009

Brothers Visit

Christmas '08

PA Vacation Slideshow