Week of craziness

(One day soon I hope to come up with better titles…we’ll see.)

Thursday last we had a double crazy day.  I baked 6 dozen cookies over the course of the day, those yummy apple caramel cider ones I did last week, but this time with the chunk caramel rather than the bits.  Oh what a difference the chunk caramel made!  They went from yum to superextrayum!  After the kids came home from school we decorated the cakes they baked the night before and that morning.

Ben’s cake:

Ben's green car cake

David’s cake:

That night Nick took the kids to their cake auction while I went to a cookie exchange party at one of the newer neighbors houses.  I didn’t know most of the people there, but the kids did enjoy playing together and I came home with some fabulous cookies.  (photos to be added once I find them)  Nick came home with some other kids cake, as he was outbid on our kids cakes.  They totally loved that!

Friday was the quadrupaly crazy day.  Ben had eaten  one of the caramel chunk cookies without warming it first and his crown came out so he had to be taken into the dentist first thing in the morning.  Also in the morning there was a concert at school for all the kids and parents that hadn’t gotten to see/be in the big performance the week before.  My mom took Ben to the dentist and my dad, Greg, and I went to save seats at the concert.  Ben and my mom got back before the concert started but too late to sit with us.  David got to play his violin in public for the first time and did very well.

From there we went home and got some breakfast real fast before gathering stuff up for the class parties.  I’m the homeroom mom coordinator for our PTA this year, so I’d spent the week contacting all the homeroom moms and their teachers, trying to make sure all the room parties were being taken care of and that people were all signed up to bring stuff.  I brought a cartload of extras and put it in the school office in case anyone was lacking anything, as I had two parties of my own to help out with.  Fortunately for me, the other moms involved in the parties were awesome, so I was able to run back and forth between the two parties a bit.  While I was running around, I noticed this hanging in the bathroom:

Isn’t that amazing?!

Anyways, Ben’s party had bingo

and a Left/Right gift exchange (I wrapped extra gifts in case they were lacking some and passed them out to younger siblings afterwards).

David’s party made ice cream cone Christmas trees (idea from Pinterest, naturally)

and also played bingo (yes, Greg was everywhere all at once, too!)

It was a great afternoon, but I was exhausted and out of breath by the time I’d climbed all those stairs a half dozen times (sometimes I’d walk the extra distance and take the elevator, but it was pretty far away).

My parents picked us up straight from the time the bell rang and drove us down to Palestine for our annual trip to ride The Polar Express.

Mom and I dressed up in our robes for the event

The kids were likewise dressed in pajamas.  This year it was freezing cold, so everyone wore their jackets, except Greg, who tried to live inside my robe.

Looking down at the train

Sitting together

The other half

Mr. Conductor came and punched our tickets.  The kids continued to be sad that they weren’t punching words like in the movie. The elves came out and danced with Ben

and to our great surprise, David danced with her, too.  (Even more surprising actually was that Greg said “no.”)

Hot chocolate

The North Pole.  We decided to be nice and let another family that hadn’t been there before sit on the side with all the lights.  🙂

After the train ride we changed up tradition a little and ate dinner at Giovanni’s, which is right next door to Little Mexico (where we normally go).

We have no photos of Saturday at all.  Aren’t you feeling happy about that by now?

Sunday Santa’s helper Elmer the Brownie visited our house.  When he saw we were all decked out for the holidays, he brought us yummy cookies.

Monday we made some graham cracker houses (and used up all the leftover candy from the class parties).

Yesterday we got The Call and left for College Station a day early, thinking that Steph’s baby was on his way.  Sadly, he wasn’t yet (she was more than a week over due), but we did get in a little visit today and she opened his present from us (which was partly something to be used on Christmas day).  Tomorrow I’ll post some more pictures.  Aren’t you excited?

The Week that Wasn’t

I have to admit, when I looked at last weeks calendar in the days leading up to it, I was cringing.  Every night we had something we had to go to, people to see, things to do.  It was supposed to be rush, rush, rush, followed by a weekend of quiet rest.

Well, it didn’t happen that way.  On Monday Nick realized he’d forgotten to call the cub scouts and remind them about the meeting, so that got cancelled.  Tuesday the kids came home and said that the PE Exhibition for school was just for the cloggers and we are not them, so we skipped it (although we did still have piano lessons to go to).


Wednesday we didn’t have a busy night planned, but a busy day.


A friend dropped off her child while she took another one to a marathon doctors visit and another friend and her children came over to play.  Everyone had a great time, ate lots of muffins, and played a lot of chase.  🙂
After the other family left, Greg and his friend had a picnic lunch on the back patio before her mom came to pick her up.DSCN1265
I was just going to sweep and mop Wednesday afternoon, but after you move all the furniture to do that, you get to thinking “Hmm, does it have to go back the way it was?” and so I just shifted everything around a bit more. Everyone says it looks a lot more welcoming. I agree. There are more photos from various directions on the flickr feed, of course (and you can just click this one to get a bigger version, too).

Since we didn’t have an evening activity we headed out into the yard and helped Nick with the gardening. We planted several kind of flowers: cone flowers, zinnias, and some other kind that looks really similar. Nick doesn’t love the flowers, but he knows I do, so he put them nice places for me where I’ll be able to see them out the kitchen window and when driving in from the street.

Thursday was a super busy day.  First of all, St. Patrick’s Day.  We got up, tuned the TV to the Holidays: Irish music channel, and tried to Irish dance (I took lessons as a child). DSCN1286 We had a traditional Irish breakfast: oatmeal pancakes (dyed green, of course), fried eggs, and bacon.  The big kids school has a dress code which does not include the color green, so they made a rule that no one can be pinched for not wearing green. Ben wore a little shamrock pin we made, though David was having none of it. Greg wore a green shirt & I made him a special shamrock sandwich for his lunch.
After I got all the kids to school, I headed over to have coffee with my friend M & J, which was lovely.
Came home and baked brownies and a strawberry cake for scouts, then picked up kids from school.  For our after school snacks, I had the kids make rainbows, then gave them a pot of gold (vanilla pudding – the off brand is really gold colored) to put underneath.  🙂  They LOVED it.
That evening was the Blue and Gold Banquet, where the kids get their awards for the PInewood Derby.  One of the other dens brought lots of decorations to put out, so we helped with that. DSCN1298 A man came and talked to us about his dog and another one came in with all the badges & awards he’d gotten over the years on the way to becoming an Eagle Scout.  When awards time came, David was very cranky, as his car had broken on the track and couldn’t race, but Ben was ecstatic: he got 1st place for style and 1st place for speed in his den.  🙂DSCN1318

Friday morning Greg and I did a lot of laundry.  Then I ran off to my doctor’s appointment (I’m all good!) while Nick and Greg ran errands and picked up the big kids.  We packed up soon after to head over to Nick’s sisters house for dinner.  It was supposed to be a big event with several other families, but two of them ended up having to cancel, so it was just Mandy’s family, Mark’s parents & grandma, and us.  The kids had a fabulous time with their cousins.  🙂

Saturday we had a nice quiet morning at home. We played games and took a walk. It was very peaceful (yes, it can be peaceful with three boys!). That afternoon I started getting texts from my best friend saying she was thinking of visiting, alone, that evening. So after church and various church related meetings, we headed home and hung out with her for a while. She and Nick talked gardening while I got guest space set up and the kids showed her everything in the house and all their latest tricks on the trampoline and sang her all their songs and did all their dances. Then she and I escaped their orbit and went out for a late dinner and some live music. We ate far too much, laughed lots and lots and took exactly one photo the entire time we were together (my camera battery had died and her memory card was full, so we were left with bad camera phones). p_00162 (2) We came back home and watched A Room With a View and stayed up far too late.

In the morning we sat outside with our coffee on the front porch and talked with the kids while Nick made breakfast. After breakfast I got a chance to show her all my latest things: jewelry, household organizational stuff, art, etc.) before she had to run back home and take care of her family (a three hour drive *sigh*).

After she left I decided to use all my leftover manic energy to clean the garage, something that has been on the To Do list for weeks. Eventually I enlisted the kids help, and then Nick helped me put together a shelf (he spent most of the day at work). I also put together the kids workbench that they’d gotten last November. When we started the day there was barely a path through the garage. By the time we were done there was enough space for the kids to ride bikes around inside it. 🙂 I still have some boxes to go through and purge, but the whole place looks so much better.

After Nick got home from work, we worked in the garden for a while, the kids popped some little firework poppers, and Greg learned to fly a kite (he’s never done it before!).
IMG_2059 Then we headed over to my mom’s house for a movie night on her big screen TV. The kids loved watching The Seeker and now David’s all excited about reading the books it was based on. 🙂

So in the end we had a busy week, just not the one we’d had planned.