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Monday, September 28, 2009
I follow DIY Show Off Blog and am amazed at all the great things people think of doing. I am by no means as creative as the people that are featured on this blog but I do like to consider myself more than just a novice. With three houses under my belt, many of the home improvement projects were done by Sean and I. Here are some the projects we have accomplished (amazing we haven't killed each other yet)
* exposed a brick wall in our living room by tearing down the plaster and CLEANING the brick with toxic acid....what a DUSTY mess that was
* re-modeled our kitchen ...completely tearing out the new cabinets and replacing them with cabinets that we ASSEMBLED ourselves (we had over 100 boxes delivered to our house).
* re-modeled a bathroom...adding a whilpool tub
* built a closet and a work bench
* re-modeled a 1/2 bath
* turned a spare bedroom into a scrapbook/craft room with wall cabinets and a built in desk
* painted more walls, moulding, doors and ceilings that I can count
* re-landscaped the front of our current house.
We are constantly working on something...but isn't that part of home ownership? Anyway back to the "featured" part. Remember my Calender command center???? I sent a link to the DIY Show Off Blog and she considered it "DIY good enough" to post on her very popular Blog. I was honored and excited.
Don't worry I have lots of other projects swirling around in my head that I would like to do....just waiting for the $$$ to fall off our trees.
Check me out on DIY Show Off - http://thediyshowoff.blogspot.com/2009/09/youre-invited-to-surprise-party-diy.html.

End of Summer 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I am sad to see the Summer of 2009 end. We had a great summer and the girls had some big milestones.

We joined the pool again this year and the girls learned to swim...NO MORE kiddie pool. The girls also learned to do handstands, forward rolls and backward rolls in the water. By the end of August Sean had the girls jumping into the 9 ft end. I was very nervous but they did fine. I am glad they learned not to freak out if they can't touch the bottom.

We also went swimming this summer at their friend Natalie's for an "end of school" party in June then a "back to school" party in August; Mr. Fred's (Sean's Office Manager) for the office party; Maddie's for her birthday; Aunt Nikki and Uncle Donnie's and Uncle Scott's. I think the girls grew fins over the summer. They definitely get their love for the water from Sean.

In July we got to go to Ocean City for a few days. We stayed at the Carousel Hotel so the girls got to ice skating for the first time (they have an ice skating rink right in the middle of the hotel). The girls loved the sand (more than mommy can say) but were hesitant about the big ocean of water. We played miniature golf as a family for the first time, went bike riding and the girls rode the rides.
A few weeks ago we took a day trip to Chesapeake Beach Water Park with friends. That was a really fun place for the girls. They had water slides, a big wading pool and a lazy river.

We also spent many evenings hanging out front with our neighborhood friends Zoey and Kiera. The girls would ride bikes, play hide and seek and just act silly.

Emma mastered the bike without training wheels. She can stop and start and control the bike with ease. Abby started riding her big girl bike she got for her birthday (12" bike with training wheels) just a month ago. When she first got it she kept telling me to have Pop-Pop and Mrs. Kay take the bike back.

Oh, and can't forget we bought a new car and Miley turned 2 years old.
Wow just thinking of all we did makes me tired. Here are some pictures of all the fun:

Hope everyone enjoyed their summer. I am looking forward to my favorite season now....FALL!!!

Playdough Recipe

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I posted on my Facebook page yesterday that I made homemade playdough for the first time and several people have asked for the recipe. Emma's teacher asks the parents to make it. We made red. It was really easy and NOT messy. I was afraid the food coloring would make a mess but it didn't. So here is the recipe (from Emma's teacher):

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
2 cups of water(add food coloring to the water BEFORE adding the water to the mixture)
***for brighter colors add a lot of food coloring. for pastels add about 10 drops.
***you can also use 1 pack of KoolAid(small envelope) for bright colors and scents
2 tablespoons of oil

Mix everything together in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until a soft "lumpy" ball forms. Let cool then knead until the dough is smooth. Store in an airtight container (can also be frozen).

*** Just an FYI: I made two batches of red and it took the whole food coloring (those little bottles that come in a box) bottle to make it look red and not pink.

What I like is that it doesn't stink like playdough...I am not a fan of playdough. Happier when the girls play with it at school instead of at home.

***and don't forget it is edible....if you dare!!!

HAPPY playdough making.

Problem Solved

Monday, September 7, 2009
If you remember a few posts back I was having organizational dilemmas. Trying to organize all the school calendars, school papers, to do lists, etc. So after much thought and lots of BLOG/web surfing I came up with a few ideas. I knew how I wanted it all to be set up just didn't want to spend a lot of money. I found a desk at Sears (online) that I really like but it would of cost $200 with shipping....way over budget. So I figured I would give Kmart a shot (since they are owned by Sears). I found a great deal.... a console table on clearance for $55 (originally $129). Then while shopping at AC Moore I found large poster frames on sale which reminded me of this idea I saw with a picture frame on Creative Crate Blog.

It was all coming together. We moved the "Command Center" from the kitchen to the dinning room. Sean helped with the grid lines and calendar. He drew it on poster board and then I added stickers for the days. We put the table together and rearranged the dinning room.

So here it is:

The top frame is a weekly calendar. The bottom shows the current month and has room for notes. I have the girls school papers on the left in the slotted organizer and misc papers on the cork board to the right. I got two baskets with lids (one for each girl) and put an accordion file folder inside each one. I labeled the file folder with the months for all of their school work and art.
I love it. Even Sean admitted afterward my crazy thoughts turned out nice. Of course the girls love it.

So wish me luck on better organization!!!

First week complete

Saturday, September 5, 2009
So we survived the first week of KINDERGARTEN. We are so proud of Emma. It was a slow gradual entrance that ended on Friday with a full day of school and riding the bus to and from school. Of course Emma was very excited about the bus, but Mommy was very nervous. It is a little scary putting your 5 almost 6 year old on a big bus with a bunch of kids she doesn't know and a bus driver you met for just 5 seconds. Even after hearing lots of teasing, I followed the bus to school, watched her get off and waited for her to go inside (without her knowing). Of course I won't do this everyday...just wanted to make sure she was okay for the first time. I guess I was more worried about her getting off the bus in the afternoon at the right place. What happened if she wasn't paying attention and got off early???? Thankfully we have friends whose 2nd grader rides the bus home and gets off the same stop. We asked him to make sure Emma gets off with him. The whole bus thing really does make me nervous. I lived 4 blocks from my elementary school so I walked. This is all very new to me.

Kindergarten is not play time like when I was in kindergarten....it is serious business with: Art, music, gym, computer, library and HOMEWORK. Yes, homework every day but Friday. CRAZY!!

So here are some pics of Emma from the week:

Abby starts Pre-K this week. She is excited about getting homework. Actually she got homework when I went to the parent conference last week. She was so excited. I hope my girls are this excited when they are 13 about doing their homework.
One week down....how many til summer vacation!!!!