Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 Year in Review

Last January (and February) was the winter the wouldn't end.  Feet of snow covered the yard - so much we were running out of places to shovel it.

February was the month we had been waiting for when the Big Kid would finally be finished school.  It came and went.  And he wasn't.

March finally brought a thaw and the snow receded. 

April the girl's earned their Religious awards for Girl Scouts.  We attended a wonderful service at the Cathedral.

May brought flowers and a new veggie garden for me.  We had a humongous bounty of tomatoes this year - so many, we were giving them away to family and friends.

In June, Meenie turned 8 and we tye-dyed the heck out of the yard.  We also hosted a big letterboxing event called "Geeks take over the Park.  It was well attended and very geeky! (I'm actually disappointed I didn't write more about this).  Moe broke a window and the kids destroyed my floor.  In under 24 hours.

In July - we took the girls on their first ever camping trip.  it was great!  We coordinated it with a huge letterboxing event (Terrapin Station) - also wicked awesome (again, should have written more about it).

In August Moe burned her feet.  I spared the pictures here, but those on Facebook got to see them.  She was blistered and unable to wear shoes for 2 weeks which resulted in a very quiet end of summer.  Einey ran her second road race.  The end of August should have brought the beggining of school, instead we ended up with 105 HOURS of no power.  Luckily our new camping skills kicked in!

In September, power was restored and the kids headed back to school.  The Big Kid took his in-house final (and passed!) the end was near!  I took the girls on a girls camping weekend.  We went to another awesome letterboxing event (Foraging for Letterboxes).  Moe turned seven.  Einey played  soccer for her school team - our first step away from rec.

In October, we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary at yet another event (T2's Birthday Bash) and the Big Kid took his NRC exam (it would be weeks before we found out the results).  School was done.  Oh thank the Lord!  We escaped for the weekend to Maine - to frock wih Zombies at OMG Zombe Letterboxing event (again - awesome).

In November we got word the the Big Kid was now licensed by the NRC.  Life finally returned to normal and we could breathe again.

In December, the month fled by.  We caroled on Maine Street, celebrated with family and enjoyed the end of the year.  Einey turned ten (oh my, double digits!)

New Years Eve, the Big Kid worked all night.  The girls and I celebrated with our traditional Chinese dinner movie and games.  Einey and Meenie made it to midnight.  I saw the ball drop too, but only because the woke me.  Moe passed out, but woke up at 3 am asking if it was time yet.

We're not sure what 2012 will bring yet except for more camping and a surprise trip for the girls.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday

Happy 10th birthday to my geeky, science loving, tree climbing, race running, soccer playing, fun loving, quirky Einey!

Merry Christmas 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Christmas Eve
Wishing everyone the best this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The evolution of a Christmas card

Since the girls were little, we have always sent out Christmas Cards to all our families and friends. Here's looking back through the years.

I have no recollection on what we sent out as a card, so it was probably some generic card. Here is the photo that accompanied the card.

photo courtesy of the one and only time we visited Picture People

Same with 2002. These years with 2 babies have fully escaped my memory.

Apparently adding a third child to the mix meant I felt the need to start a family card tradition.
Even back then I couldn't get them to sit still and cooperate :) Although they were wearing matching outfits. (please ignore the fact that it's not straight, I took a photo of it)

We tried something new this year - we made our cards using our family's hand prints. Printed at home as an opening card.


Hand prints again!



Back to flat photo cards this year. I love this photo of the girls, but it wasn't my favorite from the day. For some reason the Big Kid didn't like my favorite photo. So instead, that photo sits on our fireplace.

This year, we went with a new printing company, one that I absolutely LOVE. It gave me a chance to design my own cards (with a little help from another fellow blogger who designed just what I wanted!) They were printed on a matte card stock paper, which I again, LOVE for cards!

Again, we used the same printing company as the previous year but opted for a folding card. My same blogging friend helped us out again!



This year we went back to Shutterfly for our cards. We used a preset design but still printed on matte paper. We opted for a folding card.


Inside Top

Inside bottom

I have loved looking back through the years at how much my girl's have grown. I must confess that I do keep all my Christmas cards and make scrapbooks out of all the wonderful cards we receive. it is great to look back and see how much not only my daughter's have grown, but also how much their friends have grown.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Kids

It took me awhile, but I finally have our Christmas cards ordered. This year was a weird one. I always look forward to taking our annual Christmas card picture in early November. But with the weather unseasonably warm this year - the kids were still running around in short sleeve shirts until the beginning of December and the kids not cooperating, I almost gave up. The picture we used ended up being taken at the last moment. We didn't search out a background, pick out special outfits or pose them in any way We were out at the annual Christmas Parade in our area and took a picture of the girls. We were happy with the result and there was our card.

As the girls get older, I've learned a few one thing. My girls aren't dresses and matching clothes. You'll never get a perfect card from us. They hate being posed. It just isn't us. It's..... unnatural.

But what I can promise you is this - you will get a real picture. Something that depicts us as we are. Having fun and loving each other.

These are my girls.

Einey - Candy canes can be swords!
Meenie - I've been framed!

Moe - just being Moe....

I look at these pictures and think of my girls and can only think of one thing. I am blessed!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey for me and turkey for you....

Since celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday, we have had turkey 2 meals a day. Just plain turkey get's old real fast! And since Moe won't eat it this year - she says it tastes funny and she doesn't like it (which I think may be because we normally get a local farm raised bird and this year we got a frozen Butterball turkey) it means some of us are eating more turkey then others.

Here a re a few recipes we make to use the leftover turkey.

Turkey sandwiches

Chopped turkey
Tomatoes, sliced
Shredded cheese
Ranch Dressing or Hummus

Place all ingredients on a wrap, roll up and enjoy!

Turkey Enchiladas

1 cup chopped turkey
1 can enchiladas sauce
1 package shredded cheese

Mix all the ingredients together (optional, you can add in pre-cooked rice). Put a small layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of your pan. Place mixed ingredients on your wrap, roll up and place side by side in your pan. Spread the rest of the enchalata sauce and a little bit of cheese on top. Cover with aluminim foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

Turkey Soup

Chicken Broth
Chopped turkey

Mix all ingredients together and cook on your stove about 1 hour until cooked thoroughly. Or in your crock pot for 4-5 hours, adding pasta at the last hour.

Turkey Mac and Cheese

Mix turkey in your favorite mac and cheese recipe

Turkey salad

Finally chop turkey and mix with mayonnaise and scallions. Use on top of salads or on a wrap.

Turkey Chili

2 -3 cans red kidney beans
2 cans black beans
2 cups chopped turkey
1 package of chili mix

Mix all together in your crock pot and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese on top. Can also be served over backed potatoes, chips or pasta.

Enjoy your turkey!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We actually celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, since the Big Kid has to work today. So while everyone is cooking and celebrating today, we are looking forward to spending a day in our pj's, eating leftovers and watching movies (currently, the girls are awaiting the appearance of Santa at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV).

Earlier this week, the Big Kid and I volunteered at the local food pantry's annual Thanksgiving food distribution which takes place at our daughter's school. New reports say that they provided a Thanksgiving meal for over 400 families. The Big Kid and I came away from that with a new sense of appreciation for what we have, and look forward to volunteering in the future.

This year, I am thankful for:

  • My family and friends. You guys have helped in so many ways over the past years, thank you!
  • Our health - overall everyone is healthy. We've had bumps and bruises over the years, but nothing that is long lasting.
  • Insurance - although we never expect to need you - those unexpected accidents would be a major set-back without it.
  • That we have a roof over our heads and food in our pantry.
  • That we may not have everything we want, but we have everything we need.
  • Love.
  • That the Big Kid is finished with school and we are moving forward.
  • My three wonderful, funny, amazing daughter's. When ever I'm having a bad day, you make my life a happier, brighter place to live in.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. Give thanks to what you have and those who love you.

Congratulations to the winners of my Shutterfly giveaway - Maureen B., Heather and Annette. You should have received your prize in an email yesterday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Catching Up

It seems like I no longer visit this place as often as I'd like. The past few months have been crazy and fun. Jammed packed yet the flew by. I'm going to do a quick summery of what's been happening the last few months to catch-up.

June - School ended and we had all intentions of doing a science project a day. Impulsive and impatient kids left me with a red stained floor and quickly ended that endeavor. We did some projects over the summer, but not as many as we would have liked to.

Meenie turned 8 and had a fun tie-dying birthday party. Outside, it didn't leave much of a mess, minus the stained fingers.

We hosted a very successful letterboxing event at the end of the month. We had a blast planning it, the weather was wonderful and the attendees had alot of fun enjoying all that we had in store for them. Our theme was "Geeks take over the Park" and all of the stamp theme's were "geeky". We can't wait to host another one soon!

July - We snuck away and took the girls on their first camping trip. We only went for 2 nights, but everyone had a blast! We camped with some friends and tied it into a letterboxing event, so of course, we were surrounded by many people we knew. As we were setting up camp, it was a little rainy - which picked up overnight. The next day dawned gray, but the sun quickly pushed the clouds away. The girls enjoyed camping with their friends and we enjoyed relaxing. It was also night to get away from day to day life and just enjoy the here and now.

August - We started harvesting veggies from the garden. We had a HUMONGOUS crop of tomatoes and were loving the fresh foods we grew as well as what we supplemented from the Farmer's Market. We had plans of lazy beach days in our heads. But midway through the month, Moe had an accident. While canning some pickles, we were all in the kitchen working. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the canning pan filled with boiling water start to slide off the stove. I pushed Meenie out of one door. The big Kid and Eeiney, jumped through another door. But Moe, poor Moe, was in the direct splash zone. She took a direct hit from the water, and stood motionless in the kitchen. In a matter of second, I reappeared and grabbed her. With three kids screaming and myself in pain, The Big Kid took action and called 9-1-1. Our neighbor quickly appeared, along with other emergency personnel. An assessment was done, and declining medical transport, The big Kid to Moe to the ER. They were in and out, with the official damage. Moe had 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her feet. These required frequent doctor's visits, cream and bandaging. Luckily, her feet have healed nicely. Sunblock is a must as the skin heals itself. As of now, their is a slight discoloration where the burns were and the texture is a bit rougher/wrinkly. But overall, the doctor thinks scarring will be minimal. Mentally, she handled it superbly. She smiled and brushed off other's concerns. Other then the "itchiness" while the burns healed, she hardly complained. However, now 2 months later, she has started to show a little fear in entering the kitchen. Often she'll see a pan on the stove and ask if it's on. She'll tiptoe as quickly as she can away from the stove in use.

The end of August, we prepared to head back to school. But Tropical Storm Irene delayed those plans. Hitting over the weekend, it knocked out power for us on August 28th. We prepared a little and never thought we would lose power for any extended amount of time - we never, ever lose power where we are at. We lost power early in the morning on Sunday and it finally returned on Thursday evening. 107.5 hours. While we didn't have it as rough as others - we still had running water as we are on the town water system, we had hot water (a natural gas heater) and could cook - on the grill and on the stove (it too is natural gas) being without lights and electricity was different. The pro's were we spent alot of time together. We made shadow puppets, we told shadow stories. We visited the park (ALOT). We watched a movie outside on a friend's deck (generator powered). We laid on the back deck for hours, watching the stars and meteors. That was the best part, the first few nights before power started to return around us, the sky was simply amazing. The cons - it got dark, and boring, early. The laundry that piled up. No phones (cell phones were down/spotty throughout it all). Needing to go to the store before meals to buy food - anything that needed to be refrigerated. Lack of good coffee. Feeling cut-off from the rest of society.

September - After three days of missed school already, the girls finally returned. 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade was off to a good start. The kids are enjoying class this year so no complaints there.

We attended another local letterboxing event and had a blast as always. The kids are loving the friend's they see at these events.

Our schedule now looked like this:

  • Monday: Meenie had Brownies (every other week)
  • Tuesday: Einey had soccer games 2:30 - 5:00
  • Moe had soccer from 5:30 - 7
  • Einey had Girl Scouts (every other week) 6-7:30
  • Wednesday: Einey had soccer practice 3-5
  • Einey and Meenie had soccer practice from 5:30 -7:00
  • Moe had Brownies from 6-7 (every other week)
  • Thursday: Einey had soccer games 2:30 - 5
  • Friday: All three girls had soccer practice (same fields) from 5:30 - 7:00
  • Saturday: Games at 10:15-11:45 and then 1:00 - 2:30 pm.

The Big Kid took his inhouse exams and passed. Almost finished with school.

The girl's and I went on a Mother-Daughter camping trip the last weekend of the month. We enjoyed spending time with each other, but missed the Big Kid. Hopefully we will have some more time like this in the future!

October - Finally, after 2 years, the Big Kid was set to take his final exams. We got the results this week that he has passed (YAY!). It was alot of work and both physically and emotionally draining on all involved. We are so happy to put that all behind us and look forward to the future.

We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary in the middle of this. We attended a letterboxing event on our anniversary and the Big Kid hung around while a friend and I went out hiking.

A few weeks later, we went to Maine for the weekend to attend another Letterboxing event. It was fun. Everyone had a blast. The girls (and the Big Kid) dressed as zombies. We spent the night in Ogunquit across from the beach. In the morning, we walked on the beach and collected shells (and unbeknownst to me, crab legs) which sat in bags in the van, stinking it up. It still has a little bit of a funk smell. We ate at the girl's favorite restaurant in New Hampshire - The Friendly Toast! And, to add to the awesomeness of the weekend - we saw a porcupine cross the road near the van (unfortunately, it happened so quick, there are no pictures). Now to eventually see a moose!

It snowed (not much but still record breaking) on October 29th. This knocked out power once again to hundreds of thousands of residents in the state once again. We were spared this time, but I'm hoping it's not an indication of the winter to come. last year, we had feet of snow dumped on us so I'm hoping we don't have power outages on top of tons of snow this year.

We celebrated Halloween. In disgust of the Halloween costume choices this year (really, do we have to make every costume as slutty as we can??) we made our costumes this year. Einey went as a zombie (for a few events) and as a Amazon Rain Forest Tree trick or treating. Meenie was a Zombie Kid and Moe was a Zombie Prom Queen.

November - Soccer has ended. But in it's place, the two older girls have choir on Thursday (after school, so I just have to pick them up a little later), art club on Tuesday's (for all the girls - again, just a later pickup). And theater is starting again - that will likely be Tuesday - Thursday evenings. The Christmas show is in Early December and that will roll into Beauty and the Beast (if the girls want to audition). Basketball for the younger two starts in December on Saturday mornings and indoor soccer starts for Einey in January (on Sunday's). Overall, I still think we'll do less running around then we did in the Fall.

And that about sums up our last few months.