Monday, March 29, 2010

Ashley,and The Furnace Club

Yesterday afternoon at church my sweet friend Ashley was baptized.

Ashley and I
Please note the fuzziness of this picture. It didn't occur to me at the moment that there was approximately 68 other people in the room who could have taken our picture instead of me resorting to a self-portrait.{note atlest 4 people in the background.}

Ashley is the first of the Furnace Club girls to be baptized. The Furnace Club is an illustrious group comprised of all the fabulous and charming girls that make up our church. Our name comes from all the times we gathered in the boiler room at church on many a cold Sunday. It's always the warmest room in the building and we spent so much time there we decided we needed a proper name. "The Furnace Club" sounds so much better then "The Boiler Room Club" so we went with the more dignified of the two. As the oldest, I head the group and am responsible for the creation of our membership cards. Oh yes, we're so dedicated that we have membership cards to set up apart from the boys. {As if long hair and the fact we frequent the bathroom marked 'ladies' doesn't set us apart enough.} We also have a password. I'm not about to declare said password for the whole wide interweb, but let's just say that it involves the ages of the youngest and oldest members and therefore changes every year. To make this even more interesting, the youngest member and I have the same birthday.

Did I start off talking about Ashley?

She did a beautiful job with her testimony. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the actual event as multiple heads were in the way and I am NOT a fan of making myself a public picture-taking spectacle during church.

Marissa is a fellow member of the F.C. She became Ashley's step-sister when her dad met and married Ashley's mom from way down south in PA. Ashley came as part of the marriage deal and Marissa gained a wonderful sister.

The lovely Hannah is Furnace Club member #2. I am member #1 due to the fact I'm the oldest. My strategy in numbering the members by order of age was so creative. Hannah just turned 18{!!} and will soon be the recipient of a surprise birthday party!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Singing Sensation

After almost 30{30!} hours of babysitting this week, the activity of the week arrived: Katie's junior voice recital! Judy and I left from Carol's as soon as the brownies were cool enough for transporting.

This is Judy.
We're not great friends but we've traveled together before so we knew what we were getting ourselves into. She felt the need to say "stay left, stay left, stay left" then immediately command that I "exit right". She also said "recalculating" three too many times during the trip. After one of the most stressful driving experiences of my career, I finally made it to Katie's in one piece where I was greeted by a crowd of sweet children who all wanted to carry something for me. The closest, and most humble I might add, way to describe them is as my fan club. I've been a fan of them ever since each was born.

Here we have a demonstration of how a singing sensation prepares the night before a recital.

With the singing sensation after the show.
Her mom bought these scarves at a consignment shop few weeks ago and we couldn't resist wearing them. You're never too old to wear matching clothes with your bestest ever friend! Katie improved so,so much since the last time I heard her sing! I was so proud!

After a fabulous chat with Katie, I packed the car once again and headed home. I did not use Judy's services. I did miss one exit but since I'd missed that same exit{and consequently gotten lost}before I knew how to get home. Good things sometimes do come out of getting lost. Not often, but it can happen.

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Look ahead of you! No,look behind you!

As Zachary and Molly's honorary babysitter, I had the privilege today of driving their new car. See Exhibit A.

ford escape hybrid
Exhibit A-only in light blue

The batteries on my camera were dead otherwise I would have taken a picture of the dashboard. I'll be sure to take a picture on Friday. There is alot happening on that dashboard. I think the only thing it doesn't do is make hot chocolate. The way technology is progressing, in about 10 years it probably will! The car should come with a handbook entitled "Modern Marvels of the World, subtitled Is All this Really Necessary?". I couldn't get myself to use the screen near the steering wheel that showed what was behind me when I reversed because that just seemed so wrong. In all my years of driving{all 4 1/2 of them}I've looked behind me when backing up. Since when do we look in the opposite direction we're driving? I just don't understand. "But officer, surely the little screen is better then what two real eyes could possibly see!" :)

Besides all that, it's a very cute little car* and I felt OH, SO HIP driving it. It's a far cry from the minivans I've be shuttling those kiddos around in!

* According to Aaron "car's aren't cute.". I usually agree but that was the first thought I had when I saw it this morning. Its a free country{for now} so I say a car can be cute. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

There's a Change in the Air

You may have noticed something looks a little different around here. After years and years of toil and hard labor, many failed attempts at making my blog look {semi}good enough to please my ridiculously OCD self , Ria unknowingly came to my rescue when she had her blog made-over.{Side note,her wedding pictures are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen} This is the point in my story where main character appears. Kelsey was offering a discount to Ria's readers so I went to see what it was all about.

I think it's clear by now that I not only saw, but acted upon, said discount.

Kelsey is so talented and very, very patient. Poor girl, she had to put up with 27 emails before the job was done. In atlest 6 emails I said "I don't know what to do!" but she pulled me out every time. We also gave each other frequent updates as to the weather outside our respective windows. It's always nice, as Al Roker says, to know what's going on in someone else's neck of the woods. Of course that had nothing to do with blogs, but it shows the great customer relationship over at Kreated by Kelsey. A huge reason I had my blog professional "done" was that her prices are so reasonable. I could never afford one of those big cheese $75 makeovers. Babysitting may pay well in hugs, but life has many important expenses my cash earnings must cover. Unfortunately there is one expense that never goes away: buying gas. My makeover cost less then one tank of gas. {That is how I compare prices these days: how many tanks of gas can I buy with this amount of money?}

Thank you Kelsey, from the very bottom of my beautiful new blog heart! ♥

Monday, March 22, 2010

Silly Supper

When the world tells you not to put your elbows on the table, not to play with toys while eating, no singing, and that we never ever LAUGH at the table, what do you do?

You have a Silly Supper, that's what.

Once you find the secret to green eggs and ham, you are unstoppable.


In the spirit of silliness, I couldn't help but use my favorite dishes. Aren't they cute?!


Bringing stuffed animals to the table was not only allowed, but encouraged. Here Humphrey is flanked by Lambie and Lambie.
Some choose to attend with a tutu on their head...
...while others just couldn't decide on just one hat so they wore it all. Is it any wonder that its the girl who couldn't decide what to wear and the girl who thought she needed a silly outfit not just silly hat?
He did very well considering they don't teach How to Cut Your Food While a Tutu Keeps Falling Over Your Eyes 101 in school these days.

After being joined by yet another Lambie{creativity in naming does not abound here}, all three fell by the wayside leaving Humphrey to finish his meal alone.

I didn't realize my hat looked like a pirate's hat until after we had finished eating.{You'd think I'd notice because the black part has a skull and crossbones on it.} I believe this had something to do with the fact that the carrots were burning and the smoke alarm was going off. I further believe that had I realized this earlier I would have found something else because me and pirates? we don't get along. Don't even bring up Pirates of the Caribbean around me. {Molly did have a good time even if she doesn't look it here!}

Silly Supper was a huge success with all involved. Rumor has it the troops will be asking for another Silly Supper very soon. Preferably the next will go off without burned carrots,fire alarms and pirate hats.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring

has


finally

SPRUNG!

Friday, March 19, 2010

O the Books We Read

Part of O My Book Week at O My Family

My favorite chilrens book in no particular order, alphabetical or likewise.

On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman
Mom gave me this book when I was having my 18th birthday crisis. The crisis was not pretty, but the pictures and storyline in the book are beautiful.

Lawrence Welk's The Bunny Rabbit Concert, by Lawrence Welk
Long before Lawrence had his own weekly show, he performed for the bunnies on his family's farm. As a child who firmly believed that bunnies do understand what we're saying to them, I read this book over and over and over and over. Sometimes I didn't read the words, I just wanted to see the adorable, adorable pictures.

Francis Hook Picture Book with Bible Stories and Present Day Stories, Francis Hook

My Friend Harry, Kim Lewis
The story of James and his love for his stuffed elephant,Harry. They go everywhere together: the beach,the barn, even to school. Sort of like I used to take my stuffed animals{"my children"} everywhere. The pictures are so wonderful you can almost feel Harry's soft,fuzzy ears.


Becky's Birthday, Tasha Tudor
Becky's Birthday was another birthday gift from Mom. I don't think I had a crisis that year, but we all know that with great age comes great memory loss. Anyhow. Becky's birthday is in the Spring, as is mine. She was just learning to braid her own hair, as was I. Its almost as if we were separated at birth. The only difference was she lived in the beautiful world of Tasha Tudor.

The Most Wonderful Doll in the World, Phylis McGinly
The most accurately named book on this list.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams, illustrated by Elizabeth Miles
"He was a real rabbit at last."

Mr Bell's Fix-It Shop, Ronnie Peltsman
He fixes everything except even broken hearts.

Fancy Nancy, Jane O'Connor
She puts the 'delight' into delightful.

Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester
The life and times of a charmingly tacky yet lovable penguin who's favorite{and only}articles of clothing are his Hawaiian shirt and checkered bow tie. His fav penguins to hang out with are aptly named Goodly,Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect. I personally wouldn't like having to live up to such names.


Blueberries for Sal{and others by the same author}, Robert McCloskey
Any and all books by the one and only Dr Suess

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coming to You Live Since 1991

Katie and I recently pinpointed our Friendaversary as roughly the second week of July. Our parents didn't think of marking the exact date we met as "the most monumental event of the century" so roughly is as close as we can get. Soon we'll be in full 19th Friendaversary planning mode. Oh,the fun celebration possibilities! I think a trip to Paris or Italy would be just lovely! ♥

*picture taken at Daniel's wedding

Saturday, March 13, 2010

At 7:02 last night I was bumped off my WOTH pedestal by the return of the much loved and REAL woman of the house: Mom and Elizabeth came home early! Elizabeth wasn't feeling well so they thought it would be best to leave.

Not everything on my list was done, but it wasn't bad either!



To make the cleaning more enjoyable, I listened to episodes 1-4 of the BigBoo Cast. It was a highly entertaining wealth of somewhat useless but not the less interesting facts and stories. I can never listen to it when my family is home, so I took the golden opportunity and ran with it. If Mom hadn't come home early, I was on the path to cleaning and listening all the way through Episode 16. Cleaning out the bathroom closet lifted such a weight off my back. I had a trash bag and I knew how to use it. ;)
*
I have been to many debate/speech tournaments in my day. The top three reason they are not my favorite place in the world are as follows: too much stress, way too much arguing, and lastly but not lestly, not enough food{speech tournaments are good though}. I am also guaranteed to have some sort of emotional breakdown if my brother{s} don't make it out of the first rounds. Its not because I'm a sore loser, but because I always feel so bad for them if they don't win. I think I even feel worse then they do. The 20 minutes the director spends announcing who "broke" to the next round is like public torture for me. All that is to round-aboutly say that for the first time in my life I wish I was there for the "broke announcements" because my brother, my little brother Aaron, made it to regionals! I am proud. So very,very proud. If only I had been there. And if only I was feeling well enough to be there right now as he receives an award{an award for what we have yet to find out}.

Instead I'm at home...where the food is.

ps. I've come to the conclusion that it's much more fun to "be the mom" when the twins are here, then be the "wife" with no children around!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WOTH Day 2

My second day as reigning queen woman of the house was spent 98% of the time outside of the house. I was volunteering at the hospital all morning, then spent about 10 minutes at home before leaving to babysit Molly and Zachary. Molly and I tried to make "Thumb print cookies" but something must have gone wrong in the thumb print area because all the jelly we used to fill the centers poured over the edges of the cookies. They've since been more aptly renamed "elephant footstep cookies". Were there pictures of the cookies, they would not be deemed family friendly and would therefore make no appearance here.

Out of the kindness of her heart, Grandma took Dad and I out to eat for supper. I had planned on making something with shrimp and spaghetti, but being gone 9 consecutive hours is hardly conducive to preparing a fancy meal so I was more then happy to have someone do the cooking for me. {According to Dad: "Mom thinks the shrimp has been frozen so long that it's not good any more,but I think its probably fine. We'll find out if it's not."} Nothing could possibly make up for the range of emotions I the matchmaker felt upon realizing that our waiter would be so perfect for Autumn! Regardless of the fact we don't know him from anything, they would just be so cute together! Cute is all that matters, right? My hopes were dashed however when he mentioned his fiance. Oh well, hope springs eternal in another restaurant. I left a note for him on the table the said "Enjoy your wedding! :)". Just think, he might have that note taped to his refrigerator for all 52 years of his marriage!
*

On the agenda for tomorrow:
I really hope I get something worthwhile done! I guess the feeling of 'so much to do, so little time' is a WOTH side effect!
*
I really must go now. I'm simultaneously writing this, chatting with Elizabeth on gmail{she thinks I'm no fun since I never chat, so I'm out to prove her wrong},watching The Office, and telling myself my ETA to bed was half an hour ago.

If, as Michael Scott said, "that was sort of clearish" at all.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

W.O.T.H.

The crocuses are blooming, the sun is shining, and the initiation of The Cross Country Walk with Katie has been completed. All it involves is talking to each other on the phone as we walk around our respective neighborhoods, but it makes exercising so much more enjoyable. I highly recommend doing the same with your own personal version of Katie.

Today also marks the beginning of my four day reign as the woman of the house. Mom and the twins headed to a speech/debate tournament leaving Dad and I here to hold down the fort. They have to be there so early every morning and will leave so late at night we won't see them. What do any respectable people do in the absence of their mother and/or wife?? Have a party, of course!!

We're thinking of having an ice cream/hotdog/Frenchs fried onions/whatever-else-we-can-find eating party while watching Dr Phil and Oprah. Its possible we'll watch movies til all hours of the night. We may throw in a little sliding down banisters and karaoke just for good measure.

It's going to be real exciting around here.

We do have backup plans incase we get bored: school and work{like the responsible people we are}, cleaning bathroom closets certain unmentionable parts of the house as a surprise for Mom, sewing, and filling out the FAFSA form{can't I possible just get its benefits without doing all the paperwork??}.

I told you the excitement never ends.

The first meal I make as Queen around here WOTH{woman of the house}involves chicken, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream. OH, and French's fried onions. Can't forget those! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Its Raining Dresses and Bags

At this time last year, I was one of those who would hang my head in shame when others spoke of the things they had won. Raffle baskets. Concert tickets. College scholarships. Then, oh happy day, I won this adorable onesie.{It still hasn't found its rightful owner, ahem Daniel and Erika.}

In the unprecedented hours surrounding February 24th, 2010, I won not one, but three giveaways.

My joy was also unprecedented.


Giveaway #1

A monogrammed badge so handy for my hospital badge
{courtesy of
Jennas Journey and C & C Originals}
{less then professional photography by someone who wishes to remain Anon Y Mous}

Giveaway #2


I have spoken one or 30 times about Keri and the beautiful things she creates. It brings me great joy to be the proud new owner of this bag! I was thinking of using it as a knitting bag, but its so much bigger then I expected it may become my new knitting/sleepover/going out with all the cool people bag. Want to know what brings me even greater joy then owning this bag? Keri's going to have a baby! Be still my utter and unashamedly baby-loving heart.

Giveaway #3

Last but certainly not least, I won this adorable, adorable baby knot dress Addison Ava from Natalie!
I may have gained a few gray hairs while trying to decide which dress to pick, but it was worth every last one when I opened the envelope to see this dress. is it not one of the cutest dress ever?!! I can't wait for when my little Kathryn{Kathrine? I'm still deciding which spelling},Lydia,or Melissa come along so she can wear it. In the meantime, it will sit in my Hope chest waiting for her. ♥

Upon seeing my great winning success, my family has started putting their requests in for what they'd like me to win next. Elizabeth asked for a refrigerator. I have yet to find a site that regularly gives away large household appliances!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Search Continues

Today was The Great Search for Dawn's Wedding Dress 2010, day 2.


It was quite a bit more successful then Day 1 last week.{Due in part to the wonderful lack of the man working in the dressing room of the boutique we went to last week.That was all levels of awkward.} Marisa finally found a cute pink dress that went well with Bec's, so we moved on to the really important dress-Dawn's! After all, "it's my day" said the bride. Having visited that bridal store approximately 8 times in the last 5 months because of Daniel and Andrew's weddings, I felt right at home. In between Marisa's cries of "why can't I get married RIGHT NOW!! I love this dress!!" and Rebecca's not much more helpful "Look at this one! I wish I could wear this!", I looked for dresses that would fit Dawn's requirements: tea length, off white or ivory, and preferably with straps. The bridal assistant found three pretty dresses to start with so it was off to the dressing room. The girls and I entertained ourselves with my camera while Dawn was changing, then began the ooohhhing, and aaahhhing when she reappeared. The first dress was very cute but it was hard to tell if it was The one since we hadn't seen any others. We loved the second dress.

Its hard to tell in the picture, but it had the most beautiful circle lace overlay studded with little diamonds and pearls. We really though it was The One.

Then we{by "we" I mean Dawn}tried on the third dress.

The style was so different from the other two we didn't think we'd like it but Dawn tried it on anyway. It was so sophisticated and elegant. We loved that one too! It can altered to tea length, but its so pretty long that Dawn's rethinking the length she wants.

Now begins The Great Wedding Dress Decision on 2010.

I'm so glad I went with them; I love that type of thing! I'm just glad I don't have to be the one to make the 'which dress' decision! Is it really as hard as I think it must be?? I saw so many beautiful dresses that I know it could take me days to decide what I would buy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do I Have Gray Hairs??

The other day this lovely envelope appeared in our mailbox.
It had my name on it.

Can we just discuss this for a minutes,please?

I don't think I belong in the American Association of Retired Persons yet.

*
Dear AARP,
I truly do appreciate the kindness you showed recently by sending me information about your fine company. Upon examination of all enclosed papers, I discovered gold in the form of membership benefits. Not only would I have discounts on travel and access to health-related benefits, but I would have a spokesperson who would speak out for my rights! This discovery was second in excitement only to the fact that you sent me my very own red and white membership card. To receive all this, all you require of me is that I sent you my one year membership fee of $16.00. This, my friends, is where our honeymoon may come to an end. You see, I am not 1) retired or 2) 50 or over. I'm not exactly sure where you got the impression that I'm 50 or over{do I look it?}, but I assure you that I am not. Did you somehow find out about the midlife crisis I had when I turned 20?!

Thank you again for your offer. I'll be sure to give you a call in 30 years when I'm in need of a spokesperson who will defend Medicare and my pension rights. I'm especially interested in how they will defend me against age discrimination.


Sincerely,

Sarah Who-is-now-worried-she-may-look-30-years-older-then-she-really-is
*
Daniel and I thought up an interesting experiment using my brand new AARP membership card. I may not be old enough to order a drink at a restaurant{if I even wanted to}, but would they still have to let me since I have a legitimate card saying I'm 50 or over??

I think that's one experiment that may never be answered. ;-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It is the Worst of Jobs,it is the Best of Jobs

Disclaimer: this is not meant as a big complaint post. I love babysitting and am so thankful I have this as my job instead of folding shirts in a crowded store for 8 hours a day. I love,love,love kids and can't wait until I have my own. That being said, sometimes I just have "one{or 12}of those days".




Babysitting is not always a glorious occupation.

Some days it seems that whatever is on the menu for the day is not exciting enough for the super picky eaters little Emerils. The dog is chewing the wall{with all the dog toys around, you pick the wall to chew?}. Going out requires 15 minutes of planning and multiple repetitions of "time to put our shoes on now,guys. YOUR shoes, Max. Please put your socks on first, ok? Are those really your shoes or your brothers? That's what I thought. Yours are by the door." The dog is chewing on the pillows. Again. Of course the diaper wipes are in the other bathroom. I use the wrong remote and the tv no longer works. "Just because someone does something unkind to you doesn't mean you should do something unkind back to them." The dog is banished outside after she begins eating my beautiful dark blue scarf. "But I don't waaaaant the grapes. I wanna cheese stick." Not one but three cups of water spill on the kitchen table. Sometimes I have done the unthinkable and actually bribed a child out of the library so as to avoid a scene. {Granted, I've only bribed with strawberries so it was healthy, but the Sarah of five years ago never, ever would have bribed.}"No, we can't have dessert right now because we haven't eaten supper yet. Actually, that was breakfast you just ate." Shirts and pants suddenly become the perfect place for an artistic masterpiece. "You know what is going to happen now, don't you? You'll have to deal with the consequences." And now we are out of diapers.


{Is this what it's like to be a mom?}


But some days when I babysit for my two favorite families, the hugs, wet kisses, little giggles and cute sayings make babysitting the very best job in the world.


{The very best except for being a mom.}