Monday, February 21, 2011

Not Desperate Housewives Anymore! (Freezer Meal Swap)

I want to be on top of things as a mom, especially dinner, but there are many times I'm overwhelmed, missing an ingredient, or otherwise occupied, and I drop the ball... pizza, anyone?
 I've heard of freezer food parties, where friends bring ingredients for a meal and assemble them together, but I just didn't have the counter space. So I had another idea--a Desperate Housewives pre-frozen meal exchange. Look at all that food!
 Every guest could make up to nine meals maximum (there were ten of us attending), but could make as few as three, so the amount of commitment was up to us. I wrote everyone's names on heart doilies and set them out in the kitchen (for friends to pile their own homecooked meals) and also in the dining room (for friends to pile the meals they were going home with). The number of meals each person brought= the number of meals they brought home.
 The exchange went really well, once we sorted out how a couple of people got duplicates of one or two recipes. And everyone brought their recipes so that we could make them at home--Chicken Tetrazzini, Spaghetti Pie, Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Ham & Potato Soup, King Ranch Chicken, and Sonia's famous Pinto Bean Soup were among the recipes (I can't remember them all off hand)! 
I love these ladies! They're all great moms who deserve to kick up their feet and have meals waiting on them so they can have fun with their families... and now they will! (And can you tell we had a wee bit of fun too?) 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance

Blogged by Daddy:
After weeks of anticipation, Lorelei was glowing as she prepared to grace the dance floor as the Belle of the Daddy-Daughter Ball at Lifetime Fitness.
 Lorelei would have much preferred a fairy godmother to magically transform her into a fairytale princess...mommy doesn't quite have the same gentle touch.
Lorelei's "Home Alone" impression.... 
 Voila - behold the beautiful princess complete with angel wings.  Daddy sure is a lucky man.
 Lorelei loved her corsage...unfortunately we didn't get an extended warranty, as it broke after about 5 minutes of use.
 Lorelei's true calling - hand model extraordinaire.
 Moments earlier there was a frog in Daddy's place...
  As soon as Lorelei entered the room (with everyone gasping in awe of her beauty and grace), she immediately ran to the crafts table to design her custom tiara.  Daddy was more interested in the food.
 The Ball had an Arabian theme - but Lorelei converted this to "I-ran," as she was terrified of the dancers and stilt-walkers so took off into a neighboring gymnasium.
 She eventually overcame her fears and joined in on the fun, invited to dance by Zybeababwa and his gang of scantily clad thugs.
 Daddy watched his princess from afar, in a safe congo-free zone.  
 As midnight struck, the pumpkin coach returned to its native form (a Mazda5), but Daddy's little princess will always be a princess no matter what time it is.

Soccer Fun

Across the street from our neighborhood is an incredible new soccer complex, so when the weather relented, we got some kicks out.
 Daddy teaches Gryffy some pointers.
 "Do it again, Dad!" says Gryffy, as Daddy kicks the ball upward like a rocket.
 I love how he runs with his tongue out. So funny!

 We haven't gone over the official rules yet--no hands, being first. But when Lorelei wasn't carrying the ball, she had a great time kicking it around.
 Score! What a fun afternoon, and close to home!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lorelei Graduates HOP!

Lorelei just officially graduated Kindergarten Hooked on Phonics now after a lot of practice and perseverance... and was the first to officially enroll in kindergarten 1/2 day today at Heartland Elementary.  She is reading well and is so motivated by Hooked on Phonics!  Lorelei, I'm so excited that you work hard at the things you do and that you're seeing how your hard work manifests in great things!  Learn to read, and the world is yours!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Festivities

Gryffy awoke first on Valentine's morning. "Ooh, presents!" He was so excited I couldn't make him wait for Big Sister. He tore into his presents from Mommy & Daddy and Grammy/Bpop.
 Lorelei, who generally sleeps in later, wasn't far behind.
 Gryffy's eating his chocolate covered fortune cookie from Mommy & Daddy and saying "Cheese." Guess he's used to Mommy taking lots of pictures--how could I resist the adorable faces of my Funny Valentines? 
 Lorelei's opening her jewelry from Grammy. She loves jewels!
At the kids' Valentine's table with our Pencil in Priorities Jars--we don't have too many family photos, so I had to include it.
From 2.13.11
The season of love is upon us, though Lorelei insists that this is the season of L-U-V, as this is phonetically correct. Either way, love's got me under its spell. My Valentine, however... he may be falling out of love with me come tomorrow morning, Valentine's Day, when he sees that Cupid attacked his recently washed car...
 Mark and I enjoyed the Valentine's formal and ballroom dance lessons at church, though this could not stop us from squashing each other's toes.
The ladies.
  My friend, Brenda, inspired me with this edible art idea.
 The kids loved building their snowmallows, and ate them as quickly as they were made. Now I know how Gingy must have felt on Shrek: "Not the gumdrops... ANYTHING but the gumdrops!"
 Mommy's (left) and Gryffy's (right--impressive, I thought)
 Lorelei's (love the feet)
 I helped coordinate Lorelei's Valentine's Party at preschool, but my friends did so much to pitch in that I barely did a thing. I only brought in Cupid wings and wore them for a game of "Cupid Says" (which Carrie wrote the directives for--thanks, Carrie) and read the storybooks Amy brought in (thanks, Amy).
 Julie made beautiful Valentines and cut them into matching pieces... Lorelei found her match! Janet put together a cute little bear and heart foam craft.
 Gryffin loved Katie's cookie craft and hanging out with the big kids. He was acting so silly making the older kids laugh.
Back to my Valentine's car attack. Every Father's Day, Mark knows the car paints come out. In anticipation, he drives to an unknown location in the hopes that I won't find it, leaves his car overnight, and jogs home. However, it appears he's been blindsided by Cupid's strike!
 My poor hubby. He'll be mortified on his drive to work!
 I think he deserves the attention, personally!
(He is rather wonderful.)
 Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gryffy, my Super Reader

The kids were watching Super Why, which had the letters A and D on the screen. Gryffin started sounding them out, then put them together: "Aah... duh... add... Dad!"  Lorelei insisted we call Daddy at work to brag on our little man, so we did.  When I asked Gryffin what D-A-D spelled, he sounded it out: "Duh-aah-duh... Dad!" I think someone's been paying attention to the Hooked on Phonics lessons with Lorelei!  Proud of you, Bubba!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lorelei's Violin Recital

Lorelei has been practicing so hard on her Taka-Taka-Twinkle medley. She is Ms. Ruth's youngest student and was the first to play on recital day. She went straight to the stage, waving and smiling. It was precious, and my mama's heart just swelled with pride!
 The program and Lorelei's 1/10 violin.
 Here's Ms. Ruth tuning Lorelei's violin. We love Ms. Ruth. She's very patient yet also strict and expects the very best--we don't move on until the little things are mastered (finger, hand and arm positions, stance, et cetera). This is her 33rd year of teaching violin, and Lorelei got her last spot--her schedule is full!
 Here's Lorelei playing. I love that she's smiling here!
 The night before her recital, I got Lorelei a special present for all her hard work and practice--these glittery Hello Kitty shoes. She's been wearing them everywhere, even with her pajamas. She also got to wear my pearls for the occasion (which were a gift from Lorelei's Grandpa John to my mom, Lorelei's Grammy). So beautiful!
 Four generations proud of this girl!
 Grammy, Great Grammy and Aunt Tenley (and BPop and Meaghan too) were all there to cheer Lorelei on. They gave Lorelei beautiful roses for her performance, and Lorelei gave a bouquet to Ms. Ruth. She loved them.
Gryffy was very well-behaved during the concert. After the recital, we all celebrated with an early dinner at Cheesecake Factory.
 I love it when my kids see first hand how much practice and perseverance pays off. You may have been the youngest there by years, Lorelei Belle, but we think you stole the show! We're proud of you, Prissy!