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Entries in fun (23)


I Like It!

I have made some purchases lately that I have been very happy with. 

Would you rather read,"I have made some purchases lately with which I have been very happy"? 

I'm a nerd.  Are you?

I want to tell you about these things, since I feel that it is my responsibility as a blogger to inform others when I come upon something wonderful.  Useful.  Practical and delightful.

These are in no particular order...only however I came across them while I was taking the camera around the house.

I have wanted a set of measuring cups with handles that are not attached but all one piece for a long time.  I mean that the handle is not glued or screwed on, but it is made from the same metal as the cup part.  (A measuring cup with a separate handle would be strange, indeed.)

I know that plastic measuring cups are made this way, but I was trying to avoid the plastic ones.  My metal measuring cup set has lost at least one handle, and I saw these seamless cups somewhere along the way and fell for them.  I found mine at Target, but I know you can get something like it on Amazon as well.  Mine are pretty heavyweight, which I like, and they are shiny.  I like that, too!

Next is my new SwifferVac.  While my Dyson is nothing short of the bomb, I don't like to suck up crumbs in the dining room and kitchen with it.  (I'm weird.  You already knew that?  Okay.)  I have a friend who has one of the lovely Swiffer machines and would marry it if she could.  Well, I finally bought one, and we might have to fight over who would walk down the aisle with this marvel.

You attach a Swiffer dusting cloth (although I am going to try to use something reusable soon, so that we are not generating so much trash) to the bottom, just like a regular Swiffer duster, but then, THEN you also turn the vacuum on and it sucks up the big stuff while picking up the smaller stuff like dust or hair with the cloth.  I love it!  I can sweep and do the dustpan thing all at once.  My kids can use it, and they are excited about it...hello!  It's loud and sucks things up.  What's not to love?  This has been great around here.  I highly recommend it.

Um, this is a no-brainer...

M&M's + dark chocolate = empty bag.  They're yummy.

I don't always go through the dollar section at Target, because I totally waste money on stuff there, and Michaela always wants one of everything (which would leave me spending $330 and I haven't even made it into the store proper).  Every now and then I will try to move through it quickly, though, and recently I found a couple of fun things.  First, this little bin.

Michaela's affinity for orange is contagious.  It is quite a cheerful color!  This bin was $2, and it could be used for a million different things.  Right now I have bars in it.  We are a bar-eating family, if nothing else.  You could put dish towels in it, or bread, or belts, or sports gear.  It is so cute and very handy.  I really like this little bin!

And finally, there was this cutie.  It was also $2 in the Target dollar section, but the colors were irresistable. 

You had me at stripes!  I don't know when exactly we'll use it, but a small cooler seems like a practical thing to have around.

Is there anything that you are so happy that you bought this spring?  Share your wealth of knowledge and funness!


This Face

I'm doing something new...I have seen other people blogging about the website "I Heart Faces".  I have been curious, but never checked it out.  Today, I checked it out, and it looked like so much fun!  I love taking pictures, but have so much to learn.  Mostly, I experiment.  A great deal of my pictures are taken inside, so I use a flash.  I've been using our giant flash lately, to see if it's any better than just using the flash that comes on the camera, and it's been interesting.

Anyway, when Eliana got out of the bath tonight, she wrapped herself in her towel without help and looked at me beaming; she exclaimed,"I did it!"  I ran and grabbed the camera, because...this face!  How I love it.  And I thought of the "I Heart Faces" challenge that I had just read about.  This week's theme is "Best Face Photo".  Well, this is certainly one of them, for me.  It's the cheeks!  They get me every time.

There are so many faces out there!  And each one tells a story...go see for yourself! 



The Time That Was Supposed to Be

(I'll be back-tracking a little here!  Sorry to anyone who likes chronological consistency!)

Since my mom and dad's accident, we all feel a little more the sense of how fragile life is, and how quickly things can change.  In the blink of an eye, and yet in a moment that seems to pass before you like a slow-motion movie, your whole life can change.  We have all had those experiences...where something incredible happens, either good or bad. 

We joked about how of course they would make it through the flight safely, since they had been spared in the car...why would they be saved if only to perish in a plane crash?!  But seriously, we were all so relieved and grateful to see them, and to hug them!  We had lunch together that first day shortly after they walked in the door...

Do you think they like her a little bit?

Do you think she likes it that they like her a little bit?

Just a little bit!

Christian favors both sides of our family...he can look so much like Mike did as a boy, and even Mike's brothers.  But there are also many, many times when his expressions are just like my dad's.  It cracks me up.  They are pretty close.  They're both big Star Wars fans, you know.

The rest of that day they rested, since they had to get up so early for their flight.  It was New Year's Eve, so we made an effort to stay up.  We made it to midnight, east coast time, and probably went to bed by midnight our time.

We saved our Christmas fun for the following day!

The anticipation was rising...Eliana could not wait to open her "fresents"!  She knew that once Grandma and Grandpa were here we could dig into the pile of wrapped gifts that was still hiding behind the tree.

The big kids received ipod speakers/chargers for beside their beds.  Michaela's is designed to look like a purse.  Isn't it cute?!  She really liked it.

And Christian's is pretty cool...very streamlined and masculine. He didn't know what it was at first, but when we explained it to him, he thought it was neat.  Now, of course, we have to find his ipod.  (Sigh.)

Eliana got a lot of fun things for her kitchen...baking tools and pots and pans.  She liked every single thing she opened.  Can you tell?

She was very busy cooking for Grandpa.  It's a good thing he has a hearty appetite!  And a sweet tooth-just about everything he got from her was "tookies wif choc-late!" 

Christian opened a dinosaur excavation kit.  He thought it was great!  He immediately got to work after reading the instructions with his dad. 

And he totally dug the safety goggles. 

I think the above photo may be one of my favorite pictures ever.  I would also like to say that later in the week, Mike was going to do something that he thought would require goggles and Christian ran and grabbed these for him.  Loved it.

Speaking of loving it...Eliana loves chocolate about as much as her mother.  Here we are playing tug-of-war with a bag of M&M's that I got in my goodie bag (kind of like a stocking!) from my mom.  But they were the kind with peanuts, and we all know what she thinks of the Peanut M&M', I win!

Soon, it was my mom and dad's turn to open their presents.  Eliana made it her personal responsibility to be in the middle of any and all gift-opening activity.

We gave them a new comforter cover; it has a pretty red, vinish (vine-ish?) design all over it. 

Now, you can't have a comforter cover without a comforter to cover, right?  This is what Dad thought about that...

"A what?"

As he was trying to fit all of their stuff in the suitcases the day before they left, he asked me,"What was that other thing you gave us besides the bedspread?"  I told him that it was a comforter, like a cover for the bed.  He said,"Is it fitted?"  He didn't quite get it.  I tried to explain that it was just like a bedspread, it went over the bed, and that it was a cover.  Then he asked again about the duvet.  I said,"It's a cover...for the other thing."  He had that same expression on his face.  Once he sees it all put together, I am sure it will make sense, but as of a few days ago...not so much.

I love looking back over these pictures...seeing the fun, and the joy on everyone's faces.  These are moments that are treasures to me.  There are more photos that I would like to share, but I will break it up, so that this post isn't too long.  Ha, it probably already is too long!  But, it was definitely a special time, and one that was given to us and was a blessing.  I know I've already said it, but we are grateful for that!!


A Family Tradition

When my parents and I are together we love to play Scrabble.  Sometimes Mike joins us, and sometimes he doesn't.  The last couple of visits we've had with them, though, the kids have gotten to bed late most nights, then there is stuff to clean-up, and our time for fun starts around 10:30 or 11:00 at night.  We don't always feel like starting up a game of Scrabble when midnight is closing in on us.  Actually, we might feel like starting, but the way we play, it's the finishing that gives us headaches.

The kids were on a crazy late schedule for their visit this time as well.  It seemed like no matter what we did (early dinner prep, no baths, order pizza) it still got very late before they were settled in bed.  Mom and I were determined to play Scrabble though.  One night, she looked at me like,"Is it going to happen?!"  I wasn't sure if she really wanted it to, but...we got the game down off of the bookshelf and she set it up. 

We had two letter holders out and had drawn to see who went first; it was her. 

You know, no one likes to start.  Even with the double points, it's a stinkin' job.  She had cruddy letters, too.  And those darn double letter scores are always just out of reach, aren't they?  It seems a universal thing that four-letter words are so easy to come up with, yet the five-letter words are not to be found amongst all the tiles on those little holders.  Oh, the ease of the four-letter words...

We had each taken our first turn, and then my dad walked through the room.  She turned and asked him,"Do you want to play?"  She hadn't asked before, because he was watching a game.  She told him we had each gone and that if he wanted to jump in, now was the time.  He did join us.  He pulled out his seven letters, and then he said,"Oh, I have two seven-letter words, but nowhere to put them!"

We felt so sorry for him. 

You see, he puts down a seven-letter word just about every game he plays.  It's infuriating and fascinating at the same time.  He can pull out the tiles "e", "q", "t", "i", "i', "w", "n' and put them all down with the "q" on a triple letter, so that it counts twice (crossword puzzle-like), OR he will put down the seven-letter word so that it crosses over or begins on the triple word score.  That sentence may or may not contain some hyperbole.

As soon as he said that he had nowhere to put his words, I looked at the board thinking surely there was a way he could incorporate the "s" that my mom had used in her word into his word.  And don't think that he didn't do it!  He did!  On his first go!  In a game where we foolishly asked him to play once we had already started!

He tried to act sheepish (sheepishly?), as if it weren't his fault at all...

but I don't think he felt that bad, really.  What do you think?

But my mom...well, she felt just great about asking him to play!  She was so glad that he joined our game...

My mom and I never quite caught up after this beginning...

He went on to kick our butts quite soundly.

But...after all, it's tradition.  And we all love family traditions!  Right?!

What are some of yours?


My Mom Sent a Package (My Dad, Too) (Sent a Package, I Mean)

The other day my mom told us that she was going to send a package of some things that she wanted us to have before fun is that?!  It arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and the house was full of screaming and running around, and that was before we even opened anything up. 

There was one condition for opening up the box.  We had to get on Skype so that she could see us get into our stuff.  The kids love to do this, so we all fought for a seat in front of the computer and got her online (onscreen?) and then the ripping open frantically of all things sealed began. 

There were new Christmas ornaments for our tree, one for each of us and then one for our family.  I love getting new ornaments!  It's useful, and pretty or fun, and so meaningful.  They can be passed on in the family.  I think they are a great gift.  I have to be careful and not give them away as presents to other families too many times (not my new ones, but ones that I buy for gift exchanges).  It's not because I'm a doof (although I am), it's because I would like to receive them myself and so I do for others what I would like to have done unto me.   Or something like that.

I'm babbling.  Amidst the tissue paper and the bags the kids discovered that Grandma and Grandpa had also sent little foam sticker tablets.  They were immediately sucked in to the world of foam stickiness...what is it about these sticky little foamies that is so completely engaging?! 

You'd think they had never seen a sticker before, they were so excited.  I love it that such simple things are so entertaining for them.

They made little scenes and were able to show my mom their handiwork right away!  Technology is your friend when you are thousands of miles from your family.

Back to the ornaments...

(I know this is all mixed up, like the files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler...sorry.  My brains feel like scrambled eggs, so that's what you get.  Read on, if you like chaos!)

Eliana grabbed this up and hugged it to her chest...

She said,"This mine!"  She is skilled in the art of the two-year-old.  What is funny is that it actually is hers.  And just the other day she told me,"I love snowman!" exhuberantly.  How does my mom know these things?

Wait.  It gets stranger.  She really does have this uncanny sense of knowing (like that time when I took a road trip my freshman year of college with two girlfriends and we didn't tell anybody and then when we got back I told my mom that we had done it and she said,"I just had a feeling you did that!").  When we (the five of us, at Thanksgiving) were in Florida with Mike's family Michaela mentioned wanting ice skates for Christmas.  She was telling Mike's mom, Grandma Diana, about it, and we were discussing whether or not it would be the best idea for a gift this year. (We wanted to make a good decision, given how often we make it to an ice skating, oh, never.  Except when we're in Florida, of course.  I know, we make no sense.)  Anyway, we decided to hold off on the ice skates for a while, maybe until her feet stop growing. we're back here and opening this box from my mom.  And Michaela unwraps her ornament...

And there are Michaela's new skates!  This may have been inspired by the ice skating post from the other day, but I still thought it was funny that Michaela had really asked for skates as a gift. 

And then there was Christian.  My hilarious little guy.  He opened his ornament and started reading,"St. Nicholas Square...frame ornament!" and by the time he got to the last word he sounded so excited.  I got tickled because he was having a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. 

He had a soccer ball picture frame, and was reading the slip of paper that comes on the inside.  And he sounded just as thrilled as he could be as he said all that, although I'm pretty sure he didn't understand what he was saying.  I pointed out to him that the whole thing was a ball and that you put a picture inside, and he said,"Ohhh!" and nodded his head happily. 

Ne-e-e-xt!  Mike and I got matching ones!  Aren't we cute?!  Actually, aren't they cute?

And then...this made me squeal.  Here's the background...many years ago, my mom and I made a joint purchase.  We bought a wooden rack that looks sort of like a ladder, but it's wider, and it's for hanging cute little whatevers on it.  I'm sure you can't imagine it at all based on that description, and I'm too lazy to go take one more picture tonight, load it, and then upload it.  At any rate, neither one of us has ever hung it up anywhere, but she did send it here so that I could use it (I suppose we'll have to take turns somehow) but it has yet to make it up on the wall.  It's leaning right now.  Wait!  I think I have a photo...

Goodness, that took forever.  And then I wrote a bunch of stuff and put some other pictures up, and the power went out.  Again.  Of course, I hadn't saved what I had written after the last paragraph, so now I am trying to remember what witty and clever things I said an hour ago, and will they be as good now, or just a copy of some former fabulous post that never was?

Oh, and the picture that I went looking for did not have the rack in it.  I think it must have been taken just before she sent it.  But, here are the things that arrived, both for Christmas-time, and the ones for any time...

(Did I just say that technology was my friend?  Because I'm about to change my mind.)

I really love these; I love that they are a bit older.  I also have my grandma's old hand-cranked egg beater.  I can't wait to get all of them hung up.

Of course, I will have to get the rack hung up first.  There is a proper order to these kinds of things.  And we all know what an expert I am on "order".  Hmmm?

We had so much fun opening the box, Mom, and we are even more excited that we will get to have a Christmas morning with you guys when you come, even if it will be a little after Christmas Day.  I say, spread out the joy!


Speaking of joy...I got Eliana to eat bananas!

There are bananas in there!  I promise. 

No, that doesn't have anything to do with anything.  Scrambled eggs...remember?