Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Great Misunderstood Christmas Lyrics

My kids are getting older, and are gaining  a little better grasp of the world around them, so I wasn't sure if I would have any lyrical treats like I did last year. (And if you missed that one, you really should check it out.) But just as I was starting to think that there wouldn't be any new ones this year, they both got me.

My son's was "Holly Jolly Christmas," which, because they have been singing it in music class, has become one of his favorites. But apparently his music teacher didn't quite get all of the lyrics across to them. His version includes the line:

Oh, ho, the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you.
"Yes sir!" once for me.

And my daughter's was "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." She was humming it to herself, when she suddenly asked me "Mommy, what's a love bug?" Wanting to put it in the proper context, I asked what she was talking about. She responded with the line:

There'll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When lovebugs are near.

Yes, it's definitely the most wonderful time of the year. :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Perks of Being a Daisy Leader

I will fully admit that being a Girl Scout leader is exhausting. And incredibly time consuming. And a bit stressful at times. (Because being in charge of 11 five-year-old girls at one time is going to be.)

But those are the things that I fully accept, without complaint, because the rewards far outweigh the exhaustion and business and stress. And we could talk about the rewards of helping to shape young minds, and watching the girls learn and grow, and creating the leaders of tomorrow, etc. And sure, all of those things are great.

The biggest reward, though, is much simpler. What it boils down to, really, are the smiles. Seeing those adorable little smiling faces every week makes me SO happy, and makes it all worthwhile. It's just impossible to see all of that joy looking up at you and not have your heart melted.

The other day my daughter and I were doing some shopping and ran into one of our troop member and her mom. I heard a very excited "Miss Melissa!" from across the store, and turned around to be greeted with a big smile, and an even bigger hug.

Yeah, it looked a little something like that. And it completely made my day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mammals do WHAT?!

For the most part, my kids are both incredibly mature for their age. But every now and then I receive hilarious reminders that they are, in fact, still kids.

My son is working on a second grade writing assignment. He chose to write about mammals, which they recently learned about in science class, and which he found quite fascinating. And apparently he was sharing some of his new-found expertise with his little sister yesterday.

She suddenly came running into my room yelling "Mommy-mommy-mommy-mommy!" and gave me a very serious look. (The look that clearly says "Don't BS me here, woman.") Then she lifted up her shirt and asked "Is it true that when animals get big, they feed their babies milk out of THESE?!"

When I confirmed that yes, that it what mammals do, she gave me the most adorably horrified look, followed by a very dramatic "Eeeeeeewwwwww!" and ran away.

And in the background I hear my son triumphantly yell "See?! I told you!"

It can't just be me, right? I know some of you have had great parenting moments like this too. Please share them! I think we could all use the laugh.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Phoenix Zoo, Fluffernutters, and Lucky Nails

It's Monday once again, my friends. And as always that means it's time to reflect on the things that made us happy over the past week. And of course now is also the perfect time to set the tone for a great week to come! 

If you missed my take on LML, you can find it here. If you missed the explanation of LML Monday, you can catch up here.

The Phoenix Zoo (and the Circle of Life)
We started off this past week with a trip to the zoo with some friends from school. It was tiring (as the ginormous Phoenix Zoo always is) but we still had a great time.

It was still kind of warm out, so we didn't see a lot of the animals, but we were still able to see some of them.

The most interesting one, though, had to be when we stumbled across this guy preparing his lunch. Yep. He was busy ripping the feathers off of the bird that he had just caught. It was a bit startling at first, but it made for a good discussion about the circle of life.

National Fluffernutter Day
Tuesday (October 8th) was National Fluffernutter Day. And since I had never actually had a fluffernutter before, it seemed like something that we just had to try.

It's just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but you use marshmallow fluff instead of jelly.

My daughter was just a tad excited about it.

I love my son's expression here. Like it's so good that they must be getting away with something.

Yep. That's some pretty gooey deliciousness.

Another parenting win!

Lucky Dice (and a Surprise Trip to Vegas)
I decided to try something a little different with my nails last week. My husband and I were planning to surprise the kids with their first trip to Las Vegas for the last few days of Fall Break, so I figured I'd bring some lucky dice along.

As usual, my daughter wanted her nails done to match. (How adorable is that on those little fingers?!)

They were SO excited. Within about ten minutes my daughter had declared it to be "the coolest city ever!" They loved seeing all of the cool sights along the strip, and watching the Bellagio fountains from our room.

And of course I had a blast showing them all of the sights.

Of course it was exhausting, but we had a great trip.

And we were sad to say goodbye.

Some of us sadder than others.

At least her nails looked good, though, right? ;)

Ok. I shared mine - now it's your turn! Please feel free to leave me a comment and share some of your recent LML moments. Focus on the happy thoughts, and let's all have a great week!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Candy Corn, Telescopes, and Afternoon Walks

It's Monday once again, my friends. And as always that means it's time to reflect on the things that made us happy over the past week. And of course now is also the perfect time to set the tone for a great week to come! 

If you missed my take on LML, you can find it here. If you missed the explanation of LML Monday, you can catch up here.

Candy Corn Art (and other Fall fun)
This week is Fall Break at the kids' school, which meant that all of the classes had their Fall Parties this past Friday. Now that both of the kids are in school I got to do double party duty, which was exhausting, but I loved it.

The timing worked out so that the older kids' parties didn't start until after kindergarten was released, so my daughter got to go to her brother's party too (which made them both very happy.)

A Night With the Stars
I know I've mentioned it before, but in case you haven't caught on yet, I'll tell you once again that the Arizona Museum of Natural History is a really awesome museum. If you ever get the chance, you should really check it out.

This past weekend they had "A Night With the Stars," a special event focused on astronomy. There were plenty of great activities for the kids - everything from art and puzzles to a portable planetarium brought in by the local university and telescopes brought in by one of the local astronomy clubs.

My daughter had a great time talking space exploration with everyone, and telling them all about how she and her brother are going to be astronauts when they grow up. As usual, everyone who met her fell instantly in love.

Afternoon Walks by the Lake
Now that it's finally getting a little bit cooler around here (and by that I mean in the 90s instead of the 110s) I can be a little bit more agreeable when my daughter begs me to take her to the park. (I always want to say yes, I just can't do it when it's dangerously hot.) So it really makes us both happy when we can finally be outside for a little while.

For my daughter, one of the best things about the park is all of the birds, and her reactions whenever we see them are just priceless. This was one of her favorites from our most recent walk this week. We had to stop and watch it for several minutes, while she smiled and waved and looked at it with so much love that it just melted my heart.

It was still a little warm out, but it was a really nice afternoon. And walking around the lake with my daughter is always entertaining. All I can say is, thank goodness we finally got all of our ducks in a row! :)

Ok. I shared mine - now it's your turn! Please feel free to leave me a comment and share some of your recent LML moments. Focus on the happy thoughts, and let's all have a great week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Holiday Recap (part 2)

And now, as promised, is the exciting conclusion of our September holiday recap. (If you missed part 1, you can catch up here.)

September 18th: National Cheeseburger Day
This one fell at a great time, because I had an incredibly busy day and didn't really have the time or the energy required for cooking a real dinner. So thank you, National Cheeseburger Day, for giving me an easy out. (And thank you, my awesome husband, for agreeing to pick up burgers for everyone!)

September 21st: Oktoberfest
The start of Oktoberfest gave me a good chance to introduce my kids to something new. As usual, it was nothing fancy. But it was new and different, which made it fun. I served up some brats with sauerkraut and German potato salad. (Plus some pickled okra, because it was right next to the sauerkraut in the store and sounded really good.)

My daughter wasn't too sure about the unusual meal.

My son was mostly excited about the pickled okra. (Turns out he and I are the only ones who like it. So... more for us.)

And then my daughter discovered that she really loves bratwurst.

And these smiles completely explain why I do it.

September 26th: Love Note Day
I'm not sure where she got the idea, but my daughter had been asking me for a while if she could send a note in her brother's lunch. And finally (thanks to a little nudge from this adorable holiday) we remembered to actually do it.

Now if that doesn't just melt your heart, I don't know what will.

September 30th: National Hot Mulled Cider Day
Ok, so by this time of the year it is supposed to feel like Autumn. Temperatures are supposed to be dropping, and we're supposed to be thinking about things like falling leaves, sweaters, and hot cider. But unfortunately we don't really get that sort of weather here in Arizona, so we just kind of have to pretend.

I almost forgot this one, but fortunately the people at the grocery store know how to pretend that it's Autumn here too, and the display of apple cider reminded me to pick some up. I had never made hot mulled cider before, and the kids had never had it before, so this was another great opportunity for all of us to try something new.

Turns out it's really simple to make. I just poured a bottle of cider in with a sliced orange, some cloves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and a little bit of brown sugar. (Have I ever mentioned that I'm not big on measuring? Most of my recipes include "some" and "a little bit of" stuff. It all works out, though.) I let it simmer on the stove while we had dinner, and besides tasting yummy, it also made the house smell fantastic.

Like I said - not really "hot drink weather" here yet. But for this deliciousness we could make an exception. And seriously, the smell alone was worth it.

Yep. Total parenting win. :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

September Holiday Recap (part 1)

This has been a really good month for little random holidays. Unfortunately it's also been an incredibly busy month with no time to share any of the fun things we did for those days. So since today is LML Monday and the last day of the month, it seemed like a perfect day to do a little recap.

September 7th: Salami Day
This was one of those spur-of-the-moment things. I happened to be at the grocery store, and happened to remember that it was Salami Day, so I picked up a package. Of course I had no idea what to do with it, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.

I ended up making a little appetizer out of it, with some Ritz crackers, sliced cheese, and (very mild) jalapenos. Don't know that it's something I'll be making very often (mostly because my son and I were the only ones who liked it) but it was fun to have something new and a little different.

September 8th: Grandparents' Day
My daughter was doing a countdown to this one, thanks to the advertising on one of her cartoon channels, so she was very excited to finally get to celebrate it. We took my mom out for dinner that evening, but first the kids colored Grandparents' Day pictures for her.

September 10th: TV Dinner Day
If ever there was a holiday that didn't need to exist, this just might be it. But part of the motivation behind celebrating all of these little holidays is trying new things. And we never eat TV dinners. (With good reason, as I was reminded when I opened them.) But it was a novelty, so the kids thought it was cool.

And when I agreed to set their table up in the living room so they could actually watch TV while eating their TV dinners, they thought I was the most awesome mom ever.

So we put on an episode of Doctor Who (because my kids are also incredibly awesome) and enjoyed the novelty of eating TV dinners. Quite possibly for the last time.

September 12th: National Chocolate Milkshake Day
The other motivation behind celebrating these little holidays (besides trying new things) is just having a fun excuse to enjoy a special treat now and again. Because chocolate milkshakes are not something we drink very often. But once a year... why not?

September 15th: National Linguine Day
I looked all around for a good linguine recipe but couldn't really find one that I liked, so I just improvised my own concoction. I started with an Alfredo sauce, and added some shrimp, crab, and mushrooms for a really nice seafood linguine. It was very simple, but very tasty.  The kids even gave it a thumbs up.

Ok, we're going to stop here, before this gets any longer. If you want to hear about the rest of our holiday fun this month, tune in tomorrow for part 2!