Thursday, September 30, 2010

Star of Tessa

I love that the sun has started setting at a more reasonable hour, because Tessa and I have gotten into the habit of sitting on our front step and watching the 'sun go to sleep'. She also likes to look at the stars, something she simply couldn't do in July when they came out at 10:30pm.

One of the last times we looked at stars, she asked how you could touch one. I simply told her that you had to fly way up high. Since she's pretty sure that Daddy is an airline pilot, she used her powers of deduction and very plainly asked Jeremy..."next time you fly da plane, can you get me a star please?"

So being the stud that he is, Jeremy swung by a Hallmark store while in Philadelphia this week and picked up this trinket to hang in her window. A 'real star' that is only hers.

Well done, Daddy.

The George Mystery

Tessa frequently says she is going to marry a boy named George. She says he is in her school and that they love each other and are 'going to be a family together'.

It's sweet really. I asked her why she had to marry him and she said because she wanted him to come to her house and sleep here. Makes sense...that's why alot of people get married I guess.

So today when I checked her in I looked at the class list and just as I thought, no George. I asked Miss Cindy if he was in another class and she laughed. She said George was in Tessa's 2 year old class last year and hasn't attended since last spring. Miss Cindy had no idea that Tessa had ever been 'in love' with him...but noted that he was a pretty cute kid.

Either this guy made a lasting impression or maybe absence has made her heart grow fonder? We may never know.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday at the Theatre

When my friend Traci told me that she was taking her kids to see a live production of The Little Mermaid, I couldn't resist taking Tessa for her first real play.

So Friday morning we got all gussied up, picked up some friends and went to Beef and Boards. It was fabulous and the kids loved it. It was a one hour musical, the original version which is a little different from Disney....but Tessa didn't notice or care that she was not named 'Ariel'.

All of our kids sat mesmerized the whole show. I'm pretty sure that Tessa didn't move a muscle for 60 minutes. I'm sad that there next kid's play (Cinderella) isn't until May. Beef and Board's production was almost exactly like the theatre company I worked for briefly in California.....weekday morning shows for mostly school groups, one hour musicals, classic children's stories...except we did like 7-10 productions a year! I guess I didn't realize at the time what a treat that is for parents in that area.

The kids were excited before the show even started....rice krispie treats!

I tried to get some shots of the girls watching the show, but the no flash policy made it this is the best I could do.

During the meet and greet, Tessa would very quietly say 'dank you for the show' and then hide her hand in her face. Once we got close to Melody (aka Ariel) she got super nervous just as I expected she would.

Rachel took her picture but Tessa refused. She very quietly said 'take her picture but not mine', so here's some other random blonde girl meeting her.....

I lent Joshua the camera and he got some good scenery shots of our day.

(the scary pumpkin guy is from the Cracker Barrel store)

Jeremy was in town so it was nice that he got to take a few hours of the morning off and hang with Charley. There was no way I was going to wrestle monkey boy into a seat for a show. So what did Charley and Daddy do with their time together? You guessed it...

Fall Fun Day

Y'all know I'm a sucker for Fall, and this year is no different. I love the smells, leaves, sweaters...everything. I wish I were more of a football fan cause I also love the all the pageantry and excitement of a game (but when the game starts I usually fall asleep).

The weather lately has not been very fall-like at all and I'm resisting the temptation to complain and complain. I mean TWO record high days last week, really?

Anyway, we're finally on the down swing of all that according to the local weather man. So yesterday we had a perfect fall day.

Dad was teaching in Indy so he dropped Mom off in the morning and she helped us do one of the things she does best, garden. We trimmed and pulled and the kids pitched in.
Apparently there were some rusty metal things on the windows that needed painting. Looks like an excuse to get on the ladder if you ask me. And can we please take note that he used one of our favorite kid's cup to hold his oil base paint? Men.

We also planted some mums.
During nap time we got Mom to play Rock Band with us and wouldn't you know I didn't get a picture! Dang it! Mom, I think you have to take a sick day this week and come play with us again, you know for historical integrity. By the way people, she is good.

After naps, Dad joined us and we all headed to our favorite pumpkin place in Martinsville. It's just a small family farm but we've gotten into the tradition of going there every year because their prices are great and the setting is perfect for fall last year's and the year before.

Once we got there we saw the sign that said they opened in October, boo hoo! What can't they plan the pumpkin growing schedule around our calendar? Maybe I can blame the weather again. We will head back there soon but picked up a couple of little pumpkins on the way home since Tessa was so looking forward to it.

When we got home, Jeremy helped the kids paint their pumpkins while I made dinner which was pretty easy because we had a chicken on the smoker all day. I don't know what's better about the smoker...the food or the burning wood smell.

These flowers just make me happy. A $4.99 purchase that brightens my mood and kitchen (with ornamental grass from the backyard for fun)

I like gnarly pumpkins. The gnarlier, the better.

As I type this I hear Jeremy watching the Colts game on the TV. We are not sports fans by any means, so I can only assume he's doing this to uphold his man card in Central Indiana and further celebrate fall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finger Lickin'

Let's talk about food again! I wanted to do something Halloween themed with the kids but didn't have any great ideas on my own, so I picked up one of those seasonal booklets at the grocery checkout. Last week I told them to pick something to make today and they chose finger cookies.

Luckily for me these were not only fun, but pretty darn easy too! They are basically sugar cookies with some pecans (to make your fingers look extra bumpy and warty).

Have the kids roll them (like play doh snakes) and they can make them whatever size and shape they want.

Buy some pre-halved almonds and dribble in a little red food coloring, then let dry ( I did this myself WITHOUT assistance from the preschoolers)

The kids loved adding the fingernails and then I used a knife to make 'knuckles'. How cool are these? And the kids freakin' LOVED them. They said they couldn't wait to eat them so people would think they were eating real fingers.

While I was feeling culinarily inclined, I stuck a pork loin in the oven and enlisted the kid's help to make our side dish, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman herself.

These are called Crashed Potatoes and her post about it does a great job explaining and showing pictures. And I've stolen one of her pics to show how awesome they are supposed to look (and they did, I just didn't capture it!)

Mmmmm, crispy and mashy at the same time. Drool drool.

Another great kid activity for the kitchen. Give those kiddos a juice glass and let them SMASH! (but not too much or you'll ended up with mashed potatoes after all)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rub That Belly

We had our first MOPS meeting of the year last week and our speaker, the awesomely cool Michelle (who I somehow always manage to drive past after hitting the McD's drive thru) talked about the Gary Smalley personality test and how it applies to our families.

When I mention this, it seems that a lot of people know what I'm talking about. Smalley is a pastor who wrote a book about the four basic categories of personality that EVERY person falls into...and uses an animal analogy. The animals are Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever and Beaver.

Basically even though our circumstances can change our outlook, we are who we are starting at about age 5. Michelle said even though Tessa is too young to be officially categorized, that we could probably guess at what she was.

My girl is a Golden Retriever, without a doubt. That means she is motivated others and being social, affection and praise. Basically she needs her belly rubbed. She rarely throws tantrums because she doesn't seem to care much about being right or having control but she DOES burst into tears easily if her feeling are hurt or someone isn't playing nicely.

Michelle talked to us about how to discipline the different animal types which was very insightful as well. Tessa can't stand to be put in a time out where she can see everyone going on about their business while she is left out. Ignoring her makes her crazy. A Lion or Beaver child might not care as much about this, and a different technique is best. Cool huh?

It's already making an improvement around here because I am consciencely remembering to 'rub her belly'. Myself, I am a beaver and less prone to physical affection. Giving her praise and playing with her just lights her up!

Anyway, here is the website where you can take the test and get more info on what you are, and below is the cliff's notes version.

Lion (Jeremy):
-is daring and unafraid in new situations
-Likes to be a leader. Often tells others how to do things
-ready to take on any kind of challenge
-is firm and serious about what is expected
-makes decisions quickly

- talks a lot and tells wild stories
- likes to do all kinds of fun things
-enjoys being in group. Likes to perform.
- full of energy and always eager to play.
- always happy and sees the good part of everything

Golden Retriever (Tessa):
- always loyal and faithful to friends
- listens carefully to others
- likes to help others, feels sad when others are hurt
- is a peacemaker. Doesn't like it when others argue.
- patient and willing to wait for something

Beaver (Me):
- Is neat and tidy and notices little details
- sticks with something until it is done
- asks alot of questions
- likes things done the same way
- tells things just the way they are

As a sidenote, the guy who wrote this book is a pastor and impresses the importance that God recognizes us as who we are (and loves us)...and that he created us to be our animal. So being one of the other is never 'better'. You are who you are!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Everyday Views

I was going to post this pic and title the post 'view from my kitchen window' I cook dinner. But I thought you might like to see a couple of other pics from the past couple of days.

Yes that's Rosie on the top of the slide, and Charley trying to throw a ball over the fence. And a mum...pretending that's its fall despite the 90 degree weather. Also a view of the only patch of green grass on our entire 1/2 acre, following the hottest and driest summer in Indiana history.
Our backyard feels like some strange barren lunar landscape where the plants are dying of thirst while the air is thick with a taunting moisture.....ooh, did that sound poetic?

That's a view of our 'new' slide, purchased for only $10 at a garage sale. Oh yeah baby!

View from our kitchen table on any given day. Tessa painting a rainbow and Charley making crazy faces after eating his paint.

Once he stops eating paint, he always has some artistic views of his own.

View from our living room (or theirs) any given Sunday afternoon, as we hang out with the Reddicks (and Tessa 'holds' baby Colin)

View of Jeremy basically anytime he is not working, eating, bathing or sleeping.

Friday, September 17, 2010


During our walk this morning...

Me- Tessa put your feet up (in the stroller) so I don't run over them
Tessa- cause if I have no feet then I can't DANCE!
Me- (snicker) yes, right
Tessa- and then I can't go to dance class?

Monday, September 13, 2010

You Gonna Eat That?

As always I am on the quest to be a healthy eater. If you take a look at me you might think I've failed my quest (and you'd be partially right) but I'm actually doing pretty well doing right now with a new program and 8lbs lost.

Tonight I had a chiropractic appointment and Jer and the kids tagged along so we could go out to dinner after. After two consecutive weekends in the sick bay, we could use a night out as a family. And yes my idea of a good time includes a spinal adjustment.

After some debate we ended up at Bravo Cucina Italiana. I had a delicious and healthy dish...grilled shrimp and scallops with heirloom tomatoes served over asparagus topped with a citrus garlic sauce. I was very impressed with the fresh heirloom tomatoes from a big chain restaurant, kudos Bravo!

I ordered Tessa a 'bambino salad' which was a very cute tiny salad that she enjoyed. Can I pause to ask...why don't more sit down restaurants have kid sized salads to go with their meal?

As I was enjoying my grilled seafood I couldn't help but be a little, just LITTLE bit jealous of dish the kids were sharing. It was called mac and cheese but looked more like this...

Egg noodles in a thick, creamy cheese sauce. I see my buttons popping just to look at it. This was no Kraft dinner from a blue box.

Both kids gorged themselves. Charley had a fork in one hand and rosemary bread in the other, and eventually resorted to just resting his mouth on the side of his plate and shoveling it in (a technique which also cracked him up). But I stayed strong, not a single stray bite into Mommy's mouth!

I'm not saying mine wasn't good. It was delicious, in fact. Just not quite as mmm, buttery.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Welcome Cool Weather, You've Been Missed

By cool I mean high of 78 today. Wowsa, what a breath of fresh air! And over this past weekend too was even cooler, which we all lamented over a bit since we were so sick. But the windows are open and it is SO nice!

I feel like we've spent most of this summer indoors because of the heat. It was both the hottest and driest August on record in Indiana...which explains why our grass is so completely dead that is threatens to burst into flames at any moment.

Today I took the kids to the park for the first time in a long time. Soaking up the first signs of fall.

Daddy has a Fwiend!

"Look Mommy, Daddy has a friend! I found a book with a picture on the front. It's a picture of Daddy's FRIEND!! He looks nice, he likes my Dad.".....

First Day of Dance '10

It's the first week of Sept which means, time to start dancing again! Yesterday was Tessa's first day. I thought she might be a little upset that Miss Allison is no longer her teacher, but she didn't seem to think much of it....especially since her friend Rachel is now in her class too.

Tessa was an old pro, she new exactly what to do! Although when I talked to Jer last night he expressed higher expectations by asking "did she remember 1st and 5th position?". Jeez man, she's only 3.

(that's Tessa in the light pink with two little top knots)