Sorry for the break again. It's been a pretty busy last week and a half. Ryan and I went away last weekend. He had a meeting in Elkhart Lake, so I tagged along. It was great. We stayed at the Osthoff. It was a great time:
Then Sunday was my birthday. I had a great day. Ryan and the kids got me the greatest gift. Check this out:
Yep, they got me a Miss PacMan machine. Actually, the system has over 400 games. There is also Frogger! The kids love it as well. I don't know who likes it the most :)
I didn't want to push all of the Valentine's Day work until Thursday night, so Ryan and I prepped the cards for the kids to start signing tonight. Caden REALLY wanted a Pikachu card, so I found some inspiration online and designed one for him using PicMonkey. Here he is working to sign them after we printed them:
Then we added a chocolate Dove heart, used a glue dot to attach the chocolate to the card, and here is the final product:
I didn't expect him to finish them all tonight, but he really wanted to. He also wrote all of his classmates' names on the cards as well. He is a such a great writer. Here is a link to the Pikachu cards I made.
Lilli really liked a Pop Rocks valentine I showed her from Pinterest, so that is what she wanted to do. She signed her name on half of the cards, and I did the other half for her. We took turns. Here is what hers ended up looking like:
They are both very happy with their end products, and now I don't have to worry about the end of the week rush to get things done :) That makes for a happy mama!
A few weeks ago I was at Target (my fav), and I saw this cool little tool, the Prepara Salad Chopper:
It was pretty inexpensive, and I LOVE chopped salads. I couldn't find a link to it on Target's site, but here is one to Amazon. It is only $5.99! It is really slick, because you put all of your salad ingredients into the bowl roughly chopped, and this tool will cut it all into bite-sized pieces and mix it up as it chops. It also doesn't hurt any bowls. So Ryan and I decided to make chopped salads for dinner tonight:
We had already taken ours out of the big bowl when I took the picture above. Look how pretty this is:
It was so good I didn't even need dressing. I just added a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese. Yum!
SUCCESS!!! We three ladies freed all four wizards:
In fact, we were the first group of the day to find and free all four wizards. We did miss having our fourth person, Samantha. We missed her so much that we named our team: Samantha's Missing.
The kids were happy to see me when I got home. I gave them the little presents I got them. I found a little activity book for each of them at the Cracker Barrel. Caden's is a superhero one, and he was really excited to start it. Look at this cutie:
Look at what a great job he did designing the superhero costume. We couldn't believe the detail! He even added a cape :)
Today was a great day, but it started out with some bad news. Samantha has the flu, so she wasn't able to join us :( It was too late to cancel our hotel reservation, so we decided GAME ON! We really switched things up this time and did things in a much different order. We were CRAZY women :) We checked in early at our hotel, and then we hit the Cheese Factory for a great lunch. We checked out a music store (for Alexis), and then we scooted over to the casino. Here is a shot Alexis took of Cara and me before we headed into the casino:
Alexis was the only one who won anything.
We then went to the outlet mall for some shopping. I got some extra steps in there (for my Fitbit) by doing some laps around the mall :) We then went to Sprechers for dinner, and it was great!
After dinner we headed back to the room to relax a bit. We were all pretty full from dinner, so we lounged and watched some "Big Bang Theory." It was then time for the hot tub. After a half hour of that, we went back to the room and played Shanghai. It was a great day. We plan to sleep in and then hunt down those wizards after breakfast!
The kiddos had a great time while mommy was away. Here is a pic Ryan sent to me:
He said they really loved seeing The SpongeBob 3D Movie: Sponge Out of Water. What a good daddy :)
I am typing this in a hotel in Milwaukee. I am with my colleague and friend Becki at the Wisconsin State Reading Association's 2015 Convention. We went to the first day (for us) of the conference today, and we will finish it up tomorrow. Today's sessions were pretty good. I definitely took some things that I will be implementing into my classroom.
After we got back from dinner, I was able to Skype with the kiddos, so that was great. I also love this pic of the kiddos making pizzas for dinner tonight:
Being able to Skype and have pics makes me feel like I'm not really away :)
First, I would like to wish my father a Happy Birthday in Ohio. I hope he had a great day.
I can't remember if I ever ended up showing you Lilli's hat I made for her. She wanted one like Caden's that I showed you before. Hers, of course, had to be pink. What else? Here is a pic Ryan sent me today from the grocery store:
Can you see how it works? When she is inside--like here at the store--she can pull down the mask to expose her face, or she could also fold it up like Caden did in his pics. Then when she goes back outside, she can pull up the bottom part to cover her face and just leave her eyes exposed. She really likes it.
Well I got a new toy a week ago last Sunday. When we went to Costco, I decided to grab a Fitbit Flex. It is basically like a hi-tech pedometer. I like it because it hooks up to my cellphone, so I can check how many steps I've taken throughout the day. If you checkout the website, it does a lot of other things as well. I decided to first record five days without really trying to do anything different. I just wanted to get a baseline for how many steps I take in a day. That is VERY eye-opening to do. I was under the impression that I am walking much more than I am. The recommendation is for 10,000 steps a day. I averaged around 4,500 a day. I couldn't believe it! Well now that I knew this, I decided to aim for the 10,000 steps a day. It really took an effort at first, but I've come to realize there are many times when I sit and do things when I could be moving. It has been really fun to see how many daily totals have continually gone up. Here is what it looks like:
I am working on one week in a row of hitting my 10,000 step goal, and then I plan to reexamine my schedule to see how to fit in even more exercise. I LOVED it when I worked out before school, but I realized that only works for me for a little while. I end up getting sick after several weeks. Then I can't workout at all, and then I get discouraged about going back to square one. I need to find what works for me. And when you have a busy family, I think you need to be creative! I have even started jogging in the house in small bursts with the kids. Caden LOVES it! And I must admit he is pretty fast. We also sometimes see how many times we can do things. For example, the other day I asked the kids how many times they thought we could go up and down the stairs. They were both into finding out the answer. Lilli was also excited because she knew we were exercising. I figure if I can get the kids to enjoy exercising now, I am doing pretty well :)
Caden was feeling MUCH better today. He still doesn't have much of an appetite, but he was up for a game of Mustache Smash before bedtime. We decided it would be fun for all of us to play:
This pic just cracks me up!
Look at Lilli's face!
I must say, I am not very good at this. Caden and Lilli are very fast. Me? Not so much... It was so great to see Caden back to normal. I hate it when the kids are sick. Let's just hope no one else gets sick.
Last night did NOT go as planned. We got a call from Alexis at 11:30 pm that Caden had thrown up two times. We went to pick both of the kids up, and poor Caden got sick again in the van on the way home. It was a very long night for both Caden and Daddy :( They were up all night, because Caden got sick every hour until around 9:30 am. This, of course, meant no church for the kiddos either.
It was a very lazy and unproductive day. Caden really just wanted to be held. Luckily he was feeling a little better later in the day. He was even starting to act like his goofy self again:
He won't be able to go to school again, but we are hoping that by Tuesday he will be ready to go back. Fingers crossed!