Friday, January 29, 2010

50 Never Looked So Good!

Today is my sister's 50th Birthday! While she might not be too thrilled about me spreading the news of her age, I think it is a day worth celebrating--and besides, 50 is NOT what it used to be! Did you know that Julianne Moore is also turning 50 this year? She looks AMAZING!

The Cat in the Hat is also turning 50 in the year 2010...and who doesn't LOVE the Cat in the Hat?

Since there is a 15 year age difference between me and my eldest sister, we didn't exactly "grow up" together, but she certainly helped ME grow up and I have some wonderful memories of her throughout my childhood. One of those memories includes my 13th birthday, when my "big sis" didn't realize exactly how old her "baby sis" was, and gave me some pretty pink plastic princess shoes! They were about three sizes too small!

My big sister has always been there for matter what! She knew what to tell me and when to tell me things growing up, like mom and dad really aren't as evil as they seem, or that boy doesn't know what he's missing! Most of all, though, she was FUN! She took me places my parents normally wouldn't--because there were just too many of us and not enough time or money to go around--and I loved it! We went to movies, the circus, the mall, the zoo, you name it!

The thing I am loving about her now that we are both grown women, is that she has now become the fun "aunt" to my son! Just this past weekend she showed up at my door, unexpected, and asked if she could take Jonathan home for the weekend. I most certainly needed the break, being 9 months preggers and all, and Jonathan was ready to go---after all, Aunt Gail has 5 doggies to play with at her house and all the junk food you can dream of! They watched movies, played cards, and stayed up waaaay too late--all the things I remember loving when I went to stay the night with her as a kid!

So, in the spirit of youth, and not looking or acting 50, I hope she loves these pretty pink princess shoes I got her for her birthday present!

Happy Birthday, Gail! I love you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whoa Momma!

Okay...I am probably one of the most modest and prudish people in the world, but I recently stepped out of my comfort zone to have some maternity pictures taken. It took a lot for me to come to this decision. I had seen these types of pictures before and there was no way I was baring it all for the world to see, especially at the highest weight I have ever been in my life, but then I saw some very tasteful pictures done by an acquaintance of mine and I just had to do it!

Anyone who really knows me knows that making babies has not been easy for me. It took two years and some minor surgery to become pregnant with Jonathan. It wasn't that my parts weren't working, they just had some serious issues. I'll save all those details for another time...but the point is, even though we were committed to keep trying, I never really thought that I could have another child. Needless to say, my hubby and I were elated when we found out we were adding to our family! And Jonathan was just as ecstatic!

That's why I have been cherishing this pregnancy...not only out of gratitude, but also from the perspective that this could very well be the last time I am ever "with child." So, that, my friends, is worth celebrating! I really wanted Jonathan to be in the pictures with me because I wanted him to know that he will always be Mommy's baby too...after all he has held that position for 5 whole years, and I know he is going to go through some adjustments.

So behold....the final product! Thanks to Tina's Photography in Walkerton, Indiana for the speedy, professional, and tasteful job!!

Now I truly have something tangible to cherish and I am so glad that I put aside my modesty issues to do these pictures. I know that they are not every one's cup of tea, but for me, it is a celebration of my little miracles!

Can't wait to meet you little one!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Activities For Kids

Okay, so it is officially the middle of winter and I don't know about you, but these natives are getting a little restless, so I have come up with some fun ideas to do with Jonathan in the deep of winter to keep us both from losing our minds! While the new sled Jonathan got for Christmas has kept him entertained, we decided to broaden our horizons a little. Here's what I came up with...

Snow Painting

This is an easy and cheap form of entertainment. Simply find some squirt bottles you might have around the house i.e. workout bottles or old dish detergent bottles. Fill them up with cold water (warm water will just melt the snow) and add some food coloring. Open the doors to outside and let your little Picasso squirt his heart out on the snow to create works of art! We used the back yard...just in case our neighbors were not so fond of my budding artist.

Building A Milk Jug Igloo

Okay, so this is a little bigger activity to tackle, but after seeing one, I decided we simply have to try it! A friend of mine is a preschool teacher and she does this with her class every year and it is quite impressive!

We are in the process of collecting our milk jugs for this project. Luckily the one thing I have been craving with this pregnancy is milk, so hopefully we will have enough gathered to build a small igloo before the winter is over.

If you would like to attempt this project, here are a few tips:

-make sure to clean out the jugs, there is nothing like the smell of sour milk! Even after cleaning them, you might want to keep the caps on to ensure no odor leaks! And it adds a little bit of flair!

-Use a HIGH temp glue gun. This is important, because if you use a regular glue gun, your jugs will not stick as nicely and all of your hard will will topple into a pile of jugs.

-Get friends and neighbors in on the art of collecting those milk will take about 100 jugs to make the size igloo pictured above. You can get away with using less though if you are only building it for a single child. Although the sky is the limit, if you build it, they will play!

-Create a foundation first by simply placing jugs in a semi-circle the size you want your igloo to be.

-Placing a yard stick in the opening for the door may help your igloo keep its shape until you have it built. Simply remove it when you are done!

Snow Shoeing

Something I haven't tried, but have been interested in, is snowshoeing. Our local parks department has a wonderful program that allows you to rent shoes for just $3. They even give you a lesson on how to put them on and how to walk in the them. Since all you have to do is walk, this is an easy way for the family to get some exercise in a fun new way, and to see some great scenery! Check with you local parks department to see what else they might have to offer!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Menu Planning

Okay, with the new year here and a new baby coming soon, I have decided it is time for me to take menu planning more seriously! I usually get pretty gung-ho about doing this every now an then and end up running out of steam--but I cannot deny that it will benefit our growing family if I take a little time planning our meals, budgeting for them, and taking advantage of that wonderful freezer in the garage!

In the past, I have thought that I needed to put "fancy" meals on my meal planner, which usually ends up in failure, because I NEVER cook anything fancy, and our families tastes buds usually don't lend to the finer delicacies. So, this time, I have included our favorites right off the bat and things that I like to cook, hopefully making it easier for me to stick to. I really wanted to knock out a whole month of meal planning at once, but so far I have only figured out this week. That's okay, though, because it will still save on our budget as we will not be as tempted to run out and get fast food. Not to mention I can plan our meals to what happens to be on sale in the grocery stores. Since my energy level is a little low these days, I am LOVING my slow if you have any recipes you would like to share, please do so!

Also--I have never cooked for the freezer and I need some help! Anyone have any tips and meal ideas for me?