Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This and That on Thursday--Jonah Encourages Me

This and That on Thursday

It is amazing what I learn from my little guys.

Jonah had a baseball game last week and he pitched the third and fourth innings.  He's a pretty good pitcher--usually strikes a few kids out each game he pitches.  I love watching him pitch.  I am so proud of how hard he has worked over the past season, fine-tuning his mechanics, and learning how to throw fastballs and change-ups.  In fact, one of my favorite conversations he and I have ever had was when I wanted to send a picture of him to my dad (who is responsible for his love of the game) and he was very particular about which one I sent.  "No, Mom, in that one my form is not correct."  He chose the one he felt showed just the right form.

This particular night he pitched, his team was having a tough time.  Jonah was too.  He walked several batters and the other team scored some runs.  I could tell Jonah was getting frustrated, and his coach could too.  He kept calling out to Jonah, "It's ok, Jonah.  Stick with it.  You're fine."  As the boys ran off the field, I could hardly look at Jonah's face, for fear that I'd see tears.  When I did muster the courage to look up at him, I saw a head held high.  Then I heard one his teammates ask, "So, what's the score now?" And Jonah answered, "Come on guys!  It doesn't matter what the score is."  My eyes welled up with tears and I realized that I was more worried about this game than my own son.  He's out there to have a good time, and if his team happens to win, well that's just icing on the cake.

I do not think I have ever been more proud of my Jonah.  Not when he's struck out three batters in a row.  Not when he's hit a double.  Not even when he's been responsible for the making the third out that ended a game in his team's favor.  

Isn't that what it's all about?  Seeing the silver lining in the midst of the clouds?  This is a story I will file away for a rainy day.  And I'll pull it out just when Jonah needs a little encouragement.  To show him how he encourages me.

Why Wouldn't You...Remember the Year in Pictures?

It all started with the original Top Ten in 2010.

And we've done one each year since.  The past years' posters hang in the playroom.  The current year hangs in our kitchen, right by our table so we can enjoy the pictures all year long, where we hang out at least two times a day (breakfast and dinner).

2010 and 2011 posters--to the left of the tv in the playroom 

2012 and 2013 (I accidentally printed the wrong size) hang to the right of the tv

The boys love helping me pick the events that best represent our year, and I love looking back through the year in pictures as I select the perfect ones for the poster.  You can see a previous blog about how I feel about "reflecting" using pictures here.

I have researched several places that specialize in collage prints, and Costco has the best price and is the most user-friendly.  The collages we make are 20X30 vertical prints.

I'd love to hear how you "remember" your years!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Planning Monday

Menu Planning Monday

Macaroni Monday
Again, I didn't end up making this last week.  Last time I did make it,  I added beef and my big boys ate it well.  And it is a favorite of Camden's.  Plus it is super easy.  We have a baseball game Monday night so it will be a quick, easy meal to have.
Carrot Sticks

Taco Tuesday
I am going to brown a pound of beef on Monday for the lasagna (and use only half), so I will have the other half to use for tacos on Tuesday.  Last time I made tacos, I improvised on the seasoning.  Instead of using a traditional seasoning packet, I used a combination of spices (chili, garlic and onion powders and ground cumin) with a little water, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.  My husband said, "What's different about this meat?"  He loved it!  I wish I could remember the amounts of each I used.  As my mom would say, "A certain amount." And I also plan to add some squash into the mix.  I learned that trick from Rachel at Architecture of a Mom.


Blackened Catfish (shake catfish in a ziploc bag with flour and cajun seasoning, then brown on both sides in a pan with some olive oil)
Rice and Beans

Dinner out--Happy Birthday to me! :)

Cuban Panini Sandwiches

Breakfast for Dinner: Bacon Spinach Quiche
Trying this for the first time.  It's also from Architecture of a Mom.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This and That on Thursday

I had so much fun doing this little project this week!  And I was overjoyed at the look on Jonah's teacher's face when we gave it to her!!!

Mrs. Harris has been with Jonah's class for two years now.  She is an outstanding teacher and she loves the kids so much.  We wanted to do something special for her, so we made this book.

First, I called all the kids one afternoon to ask them three questions.  Jonah and I came up with the questions and I chose, at random, three of them for each kid.  Jonah insisted I call instead of go up to the school to poll the kids, so that she would not know something was up!

Here are the questions we came up with:

What is her favorite song?
Remember one time when she made you laugh.
What is her favorite food?
Why do like Mrs. Harris as a teacher?
What is something funny that Mrs. Harris says a lot?
How old is Mrs. Harris?
What does Mrs. Harris do in her free time?
What is Mrs. Harris's favorite drink?
What is her favorite book?
What sport does she like?
What is her favorite animal?
How long has Mrs. Harris been a teacher?
Why does does Mrs. Harris enjoy teaching?
If Mrs. Harris could go anywhere on vacation, where would she go?

After I polled all the kids, I used powerpoint (also Jonah's idea) to insert pictures of the kids and a shape called a "call out" with the info the kids told me.  Here is what it looked like.

Then I cut the pictures out and laminated them.

I also cut out and laminated a class picture for the cover.

Then I punched a hole in the top left corner of the pictures.

And I threaded some ribbon (in Mrs. Harris's favorite color) through the holes.  I tied the ribbon in a bow.

And this is the finished product...

For our beautiful third grade teacher!!!

(We had to throw in some red hots since most of the kids said these are her favorite candy.)