Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ah, the joys of a "musical" family

Princess (4 years old) was clamoring to “help” me in the kitchen as I prepared eggs for breakfast. As she dragged the chair over to the counter I hear her humming a snappy little tune … Brrrrrrrum ba bum brrrrrrrum ba bum da da da da dum. A quick musical scan of my cerebral files reveals that she is humming a phrase from “76 Trombones” (…thundering, thundering, all along the way ….)

We listened to the cd soundtrack in the car the other day and the boys pulled out the movie to watch last week so we are now in full musical mode for a while in our house. I love it!

This incident reminded me of two other smiles from the past that were brought on by watching one of my favorite musicals or listening to the soundtracks in the car. Before I must give a quick "disclaimer" regarding Meredith Wilson's The Music Man. I do use the skip button when we listen so we don't have to repeatedly hear the Lord's name in vain (in Iowa Stubborn) and we ALWAYS skip over The Sadder But Wiser Girl (let me tell you THAT is not what I want my three boys meditating on). As far as "Shipoopi" goes, we usually skip it, not because any of us can really figure out what the "philosophy" is but because the word shipoopi invariably starts a string of toddler/grade school/junior high humor that I would just as soon do without. There, now on to the other cute stories...

**July 17, 2004

My 3rd son (4) was standing by me as I put the computer disk into the CD-ROM drive.

“I want the Fresno one,” he said to me.

I didn’t hear it clearly at first so I asked him to repeat himself and then I still had no clue what computer game he was talking about.

Apologizing to him I told him I didn’t know what CD he wanted. It turned out he didn’t want a game but rather a music CD that we had been listening to in the car the day before.

“You know, Mom. The one that goes “I hope I get my raisins from Fresno ….”” (which, in case you haven’t seen The Music Man lately is from the song The Wells Fargo Wagon).

Hmmm, looks like that movie has a special appeal to 4 year olds.

*** April, 2004
We just put the video The Sound Of Music in for our sick kids to watch. Remember how it begins with quite a few aerial shots of the mountains and the Austrian countryside and then finally closes in on Julie Andrews who begins to sing "The hills are alive with the sound of music"? Well there is (almost) no sound during those opening shots ... just some birds and then gradually some more nature sounds and then the music softly begins. Well my kids are always telling me to turn up the volume at the beginning and I tell them that it is on, there just isn't any sound in the mountains right then. Well right after Julie Andrews sang her opening line #2 son turns to me and says "You know when the mountains were so quiet? That's when they were DEAD!" It was just too cute.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Every once in a while .... Say YES!

We have really had a fairly full summer in our family. We took a great vacation which we piggy backed onto a summer family conference with our mission board. The boys all got to go to summer camp for a week and one of our boys was invited to go on vacation to the beach last week with a couple of families from our old church. It looked like once again we were going to let the whole summer go by without using our annual park pass to go to the local water park. We try to buy a family pass which gets us in to the Madrid zoo, amusement park, teleferica, zoos and waterparks in other areas of Spain and two waterparks in the Madrid area. We've talked about trying out the one just minutes from our home but "never got around to it." My hubby didn't have to work this week in the evenings so yesterday we "rewarded" ourselves for finishing a tough task that has been looming over us by heading out to check out the aquapolis. We got there at 5:45 and the place closes at 8pm so we had a couple of hours and we had a blast! We adults traded off watching the little ones while the other hit the big slides with the two oldest kids. What fun! The only bad part was that our family pass is only good Mon-Fri and the park closes for the season this Sunday. Everyone wanted to go back again but there are only three more possible days.
Today the phone rang at 2 and it was my hubby to say that he had to stay in town and work until 8pm but he had taken the train and left the car at home for me if I needed it. I have loads of laundry that need to be done and I had a mental list of "projects" that I "should" work on. But then the kids asked if we could go back to Aquapolis, just the 5 of us without Dad. And you know what? .... I said YES. It helps that the swimmers outnumber the nonswimmers now, thanks to some recent lessons at our complex's pool. Everyone promised that they would obey Mom, and take turns between time in the big pool on the slides (for the swimmers) and time in the wading pool and wave pool for the youngest ones. We had fun and hopefully they will remember that "No" isn't the only word their mother knows how to say. Who knows, I may shock them all and say yes again if they ask me really nice tomorrow or Friday. Ü
Having fun (yes, even going down the big Kamakazi with my sons!) and making some great summer memories with my kids ... works for me!

Head on over to Shannon's to see more great ideas.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Priceless Paris

Packet of metro tickets (5 rides for each of the 6 of us)--22.20 Euros

Carousel rides in Trocadero square ----------------- 8 euros

Crepes from the vendor at the base of the Eiffel Tower ------ 17.30 euros
souvenier postcards and keychain -------------------------- 5.50 euros
Tickets to ride the elevators to the very top of the Eiffel Tower -- 38.20 euros

View from the top with my 5 favorite people in the world, followed by the view of the tower twinkling in the dark -- PRICELESS.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday: Princess Room Redo Part 3

We are back from our vacation travels and for some reason instead of getting hit with the normal Sunday afternoon nap attack, I was hit with the urge to finally sew the curtains I have been promising Princess for her room. I cleared the dining room table, pulled out the various materials I had purchased (a loooooong time ago, it seems) and started measuring. I was happy that I kept chanting the mantra "Measure twice, cut once" and was able to do both curtain panels without having to rip out a seam or recut a piece. It felt like it took forever to actually get to the machine and start sewing, but taking the extra time measuring, cutting and pinning really made the difference. I couldn't find the dark pink thread I had bought and really didn't want the hem with white thread so I dug out some Stitch Witchery that had been sitting in my sewing box since the dark ages, since junior high 4H club, for a really long time, and ironed up a nice invisible hem.
I took a break with the family to hit the community pool and scrounge up some supper and then got back to the curtains. When I went to bed I had one completely done and the other was just needing a couple more hems. When I originally bought the material for the comforter cover I didn't buy enough extra of the cherry print to make curtains but I had some extra light pink, but not enough to make the curtains long enough. I need to work on measuring and figuring out quantities before buying, especially sale/clearance fabric. I also realized I would want some of the print for her pillow cover so I went back to the store but they didn't have any more. A neighboring store had some but it was twice as expensive so I could only buy a little bit. That's when I though I would piece the fabric with some other colors for a stripe/banding effect. I like how it came out ... I have tons of the green and hot pink left over so I will be thinking about how I can use those for other things ... some throw pillows come to mind.
Hubby's comment when he saw them the next morning was "it looks like a sheet." I wasn't sure how to take that, but I did want to make it clear that I worked hard and created that effect "all by myself", unlike the curtains in my kitchen where I did "cheat" and just hem a sheet.
Here are the end results:

Close up of the creative piecing.

Princess with her new curtains. She even dressed to color coordinate!

Head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom to see what others are tackling this week.

Last night, Hubby decided to whip out the power tools and make a bunk bed. We put our youngest son in the Princess room on her trundle bed which made some more room in the boys' room but seriously cramped her room since we had to leave floor space free to pull the bed out every night. A bunk bed was the solution but no $ for one right now. Enter the King of Trash. Ü He used the last of the 2x4's that kept our stuff from shipping in our moving container and a board or two that he had trash-picked and rigged a way to raise her bed up and then we could set up the trundle underneath it permanently. Now I have the floor space free to move her little table back in her room and the space under the bed for her toybox. The bed is very functional but not too pretty. I am thinking I could at least take the leftover white paint from the walls and paint the wood. Any other suggestions?

What it lacks in cuteness it makes up for in functionality and price. Plus the kids love being "up high".

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WFMW: Stain remover in your medicine cabinet

I think I may be moving the storage location of my rarely used bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I remember my sister telling me a long time ago that it could be used to get chocolate stains out of clothing but never tried it out.
The other night Princess was eating nocilla (chocolate hazelnut spread) on bread and got a little bit on the back of her cotton dress. I said I would treat it right away but in typical sidetracked Mom fashion I totally forgot it until the next morning. It was only a little spot (maybe dime sized) so I tried the hydrogen peroxide followed by soap and water. The stain looked gone so I hung it to dry. When dry I thought I saw a little mark remaining so I repeated the process and then added it to the next load of lights.
The dress is good as new! That works for me! Now to create a space on the laundry room shelf.
To see more great "works for me" ideas head over to Shannon's.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tackling a To Do List

I really do not have one big tackle this week but I do want to start getting back in the habit of posting on the blog and participating in the memes I was doing before summer camp and vacations took me away from the internet. I think maybe I'll try posting my to do list and see how much I can cross off the list today. However, I have not yet figured out how to strike through the text. Can anyone give me a quick tutorial? I'm sure it is a simple thing .... just that I haven't done it yet.
UPDATE: Thanks for teaching me the HTLM code. Yippee! I love learning new things.

Fix breakfast for the kiddos.

Do my daily Bible Reading plus one extra day on the list to try and get caught up. I am using this schedule.

Get the boys going on their summer "homework" for school (and try not to get pulled into their whining ... we all hate this busy-work time but it threatens to start us bashing the school system, the teachers, the Spanish people in general, etc and it's not a good road to start going down so I try and get us all to just suck up and get it over with).

Continue attacking the slowly shrinking pile of laundry from our two week trip as well as the regular laundry generated last week.

Begin gathering photos and putting together a "movie"/"slide show" to mail to a church that is considering picking us up for support but wants an update on our work and ministry here.

Find receipts and finish insurance forms for doctors bills from the last couple of months and get everything ready to take somewhere for photocopying and mailing.

Make dinner.

Take the kids to the pool.

Start sewing (or at least cutting and pinning) curtains for my daughter's bedroom.

Pick up living room.

I think that's a good enough list for now. I will add things as I think of them this morning and either strike out the things as they are finished or just post DONE next to them. I will post pictures if I actually get the curtains started or finished.

To see what others are tackling check out 5 Minutes For Mom.

UPDATE: Well, my husband called the house at 12:30 while we were having study time to suggest that I come downtown and see the guitar he wants to buy for our #2 son to use to start learning how to play. He wanted us to get there before the store closed at 2pm. We did make it downtown before 2 but the store closed at 1:30. Tim worked until aprox 2:30, then asked me to see if I could help him with something on a spreadsheet he was working on for work. I really did get some cool things accomplished today ... just not the things on my original list.
Here's the final tackle:
Helped format cells in spreadsheet to recalculate new pricelist for the bookstore.
Went to Burger King to use 3 coupons to feed the family a late lunch around 4pm.
Walked to a large dept. store's "sale building" and find several pieces of clothing for the family on sale including a suit jacket, warmup pants for PE class, a new bathing suit and pants for Princess, and a dress shirt and turtleneck top. All 8 items for 67 euros.
Ate ice cream cones at McDonald's to kill time till the guitar store reopened at 5pm.
Walk to the guitar store and purchase a new guitar.
Drive home and remember that tomorrow is a holiday and the stores will be closed so walk over to the grocery store and buy food to have in the house for tomorrow before they close at 9:15pm.
Make sandwiches for supper and eat together.
Get the kids to bed.
Finish watching the final 2 episodes of season 5 of 24 with my husband (our nightly date time).
Update blog on today's tackle.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: August 13-19

Did you miss me? We're finally back home from our summer travels. We had a wonderful time in France .... check back in a bit as I will try to post some on our vacation and hope to get a few wordless Wednesdays from our multitude of great pictures.
Last week was pretty pathetic as I tried to do catchup on the mountain of laundry and create meals from the odd conglomeration of food that landed in the grocery cart when the entire family did grocery shopping on the way home from church Sunday (knowing that there was nothing in the house having arived home the night before after two weeks away). Note to Self --- drop hubby and kids off first and THEN head to the store WITH A LIST. Oh my! We have lots of beverages and meat but not a lot to go with them to actually create real meals. So yesterday I made out a menu for the week so at least I know I can make a list of the items I need to compliment what I already have left in the fridge from last week. Of course, today I am feeling lousy so we will be modifying the menu plan for today since I am not up to cooking and it is too late to make meatloaf and get it in the crockpot today. Between the heat and my being under the weather the new plan is either make sloppy joes with the ground beef in the fridge or let hubby follow through on his offer to take the kids to Burger King after he gets home from work tonight using some coupons he has. We'll see how I feel in a couple hours when it will be time to cook.

Monday: Crockpot meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
Tuesday: Chicken and gravy (using rotiserrie chicken from Sunday -- I usually buy an extra one so I can have an easy dinner later in the week using whatever we don't snarf up on Sunday), rice, broccoli
Wednesday: Picnic food since it is a national holiday here (don't ask me what it is, I have no clue) and we will probably invite friends over to eat and use the community pool -- Hamburgers and hotdogs, macaroni salad, cucumber salad, chips, fruit
Thursday: pork loin filets, herbed potatoes, veggie? (not sure what yet ---any suggestions?)
Friday: Spanish tortilla (potato and eggs), grilled chorizo, mediterranean salad
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: spaghetti, sausages in tomato sauce, fresh warm baguettes from the local gas station (they make the best hot bread YUM)

Hopefully next week I will get back into the planning of breakfast and lunches too so I can grocery shop even more effectively. Just not up to it today.

Head on over to Laura's for what everyone else has planned for the week.