Monday, August 20, 2012

Typical Day with the Girls

So what do you do when you do when you hear silence upstairs?
Some might enjoy that there is some quiet, but not me.  If there's silence, there's most likely
TROUBLE.
I dashed up the stairs as fast as I could to see what my little munchkins were up to & this is what I found . . .




Can we say
ADORABLE?

My little girls are definitely MY CHILDREN.  They had created a spa for themselves in their bedrooms.  They snuck some of the sliced cucumbers from the snack drawer of the fridge for their eyes & then they filled their toy bins with water & my foot soak to soak their feet.

This cute little moment in life is 
PRICELESS
to me.  I love my little angels.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun with the Weinerts

My dear friend Celeste came to visit us this last weekend.  Celeste & I were best friends when we were stationed in Germany a few years back.  In the 3 years I knew her, I was her VTer, she was my VTer, & we were VTing companions.  We've missed each other SO MUCH.  She just got stationed at Beale AFB which is about 4 hours from here.  I was SO excited when she said she wanted to come down for a weekend!

She is about to have a baby (a boy) soon so this was her last hoo-rah before that happened.  Her hubby had a TDY & school hadn't started yet for them, so Celeste & her daughter Kelsey came down for some fun.  Kelsey & Lorien were BEST FRIENDS in Germany.  

We took Kelsey to the aquarium here in Monterey to pass the time until Lorien got home from school.  My kids LOVE the aquarium here.





I think they had more fun playing with the hands-on crafts than they did looking at the fish.






They were only able to stay a few days, but we had a blast playing games, cooking, talking, & taking walks while they were here.  The girls are all pen pals & can't wait to start writing letters to each other again.




I was sad to say goodbye again.  We're moving soon so this will be the last chance I'll see Celeste for a while at least.  We're going to plan a fun girls' trip in the future when our other friend Chanda makes it back from Germany. . . she just got stationed there for a 2nd time!!  (SO JEALOUS)



Love you Celeste.  Thank you for such a WONDERFUL WEEKEND.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1st Day of School 2012

Although I'm not a big fan of the actual schools, I love the school schedule here in CA.  The kids get out of school later in the summer & start earlier in the fall.  Then they get LONG fall, winter, & spring breaks.  I think it's perfect.  My kids are bored of summer after a month & can't wait for school to start.  Hooray for the 1st day of school.

Lorien started 2nd grade today.  The girls love to match clothes so they all wore the same outfits for the first day.  



She was SO excited to show off her new backpack & lunch box.  She's been wanting Brave everything since the movie came out in June.  Merida has the same spunky free spirit Lorien does.  They have a LOT in common.



Cadence started 4th grade today.  This was a turning point for me because this is the first school year that I actually remember vividly.  I was 9 when I moved from AZ to UT & I was 9 when I met my very best friends (& we're still best friends 22 years later).  My friends & I were discussing this earlier today because all their kids are starting 4th grade this year as well.  It's so crazy because it seems like only yesterday.  

Cadence was SO excited to start school.  She was happy & hyper all morning in anticipation.



This is the first year Cadence has a non-disney backpack.  She is growing up & didn't want to look too "childish" around other 4th graders.  I was kind of sad about that.  They grow up way too fast.  But she picked out an adorable Jansport backpack that should last her a few years actually.  I'm grateful for that.



I'm so glad that my girls are best friends.  I love how they love each other conditionally, support one another, & root for each other in everything.  They make me proud.



Once the younger kids saw me taking pictures of the girls, they wanted to get in on the photo fun.  Taya is sure getting beautiful isn't she?


Taya is my wild-child, but she's also my little sunshine.  She won't be starting kindergarten until next year, but I'm thrilled to get to spend one more year here at home with her.  She brightens my days with laughter & smiles, & who can resist that dimple?




Bladen is my shy, little man.  He doesn't say much but he sure knows my soft spot.  He's got me wrapped around his little finger with his hugs & kisses.




And Craiger. . . what can I say about Craiger?  There's definitely a reason his nickname is 
MONSTER,
but seriously, he's adorable.  He's going to be a smart one.



Lorien got Ms. Phillips as her 2nd grade teacher.  She's pretty excited about it.



And Cadence got Ms. Balestrieri.  She is a cute, spunky, young gal.  I love her & I only talked to her once.  She's the perfect teacher for Cadence.



So I'd say we had a great 1st day.  The kids wanted to go to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight just so they can go to sleep & get to school faster.  It makes me happy that school makes them happy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lemonade Stand / Bake Sale

The kids have earned money all summer long for doing their chores & other duties.  I pay them a weekly allowance of "half their age" & it seems to work out well for them. 
(Cadence gets $4.50, Lorien $3.50, & Taya $2.00)

Well, at the end of the school year in June, Lorien broke her bike by accident & has been saving her money all summer long for a new bike.  I like my kids to have bikes because then they can ride their bikes to & from school, but I'm also a parent who likes to teach my kids the VALUE of things.  So instead of just handing over the money for a new bike, I made her earn it.

A week before school started she only had $45.  I wanted her to have that bike for the first day of school so badly that I planted the idea of a lemonade stand into my kids' brains.  They were SO EXCITED they couldn't stand it.  For 3 days straight, the girls baked anything & everything they could get their hands on.  I helped a little bit, but it was mostly them.  I was very proud of what they accomplished in those 3 days.

Then they made a poster, sign, & "menu" for their little stand.  The boys kept "helping" by sitting on their poster.  Silly boys.



But once they got it all done, it was ADORABLE.



Cadence made a "menu" for the stand.  Everything we sold was $0.50, but she INSISTED on listing every single thing we had with a little 50 cents next to it.  SO CUTE.



Together, we made an incredible amount of treats.  Trek was joking with me that we were going to have SO MUCH FOOD left over from this thing that we'd get sick eating it all.  I told him that we hoped to sell most of it, but deep down I kind of knew that wouldn't happen.


We had 
Coconut Muffins with Coconut frosting & toasted Coconut on top . . . 


White Cupcakes with Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting on top,


White Cupcakes with Bubble Gum Frosting on top, 


LOTS of Chocolate Suckers,


Pink Lemonade Cookies with Pink Lemonade Frosting,


Key Lime Cookies with Vanilla/Lime Frosting,


Brownies,
& Kool-Aid & Lemonade of course.


We had all the treats scattered around the kitchen & dining area & Craiger kept sneaking in & stealing stuff to eat.  We'd turn our back for one second & he'd show up with a sucker in one hand & a brownie in the other.  He's such a sneak. . . but a cute one.


Thursday we set up shop at 10:00 am.  As you can see from the pictures, it was typical Monterey weather. . . cold, rainy, foggy, & dark.  The girls were worried nobody would go outside because the weather was so bad.


At that point I tried to tell them that they weren't going to make much off of this stand.  I did a lemonade stand every summer as a kid & I think I made between $5 & $10 every summer.  Lorien needed $25 for her bike so I figured they MIGHT earn that, but I told them not to EXPECT ANYTHING.  They got bummed out when the first car to drive past our house waved at them but didn't stop.  


I told them that hard work does pay off, but not always immediately.  I wanted them to really work at it, to really EARN this money.


So they got Taya out there with a sign pointing to the stand.  She did a little dance when cars drove by while Cadence & Lorien waved & smiled at the passerbys.


They seriously looked ADORABLE!


Cars started stopping & they started to get customers.  I was excited for them.

After a hour & a half, the girls came in saying "WE'RE DONE!"  "O no you aren't!"  There was NO WAY they were going to be done after only 1 1/2 hours.  They needed to WORK for that money.  What I didn't realize was that they SOLD OUT OF EVERYTHING.  

WHAT?!?

Yes, they sold out.  People were stopping & just handing them money because they were cute.  They were TOTALLY working the system.  So I ran to the kitchen to bake more brownies, cupcakes, & chocolate dipped oreos.  I made them stay outside until I felt they EARNED their money!



After SIX HOURS of selling treats & lemonade, this is all we had left:
2 cupcakes, 1 cookie, & 4 brownies. 
 I didn't even WANT to look in their homemade cash register.  I had a feeling there wasn't a mere $25 in there after all the treats we had made.


Can you believe it?  The girls made a WHOPPING
$147.00
OFF A LEMONADE STAND!?!


Normally that would upset me (way too much money for kids their age), but I was thrilled that they actually sat out there & earned every penny of it.  Good for them!


And I am a bad mom for not realizing that even though it was freezing all day long that the UV rays will still reach the fair Potter skin through the dark gloomy clouds.   The poor things had sunburns on their faces.  I felt so bad.  But they were too excited about their earnings to care.




So the next day we split up the money & let them spend it.  10% went to tithing of course, & then a LOT when into savings for each of the 3 girls, but they still got some to spend & boy did they spend.

Cadence got a brand new purse she's been eyeing for some time now & a little kitty stuffed toy.  And Taya bought the My Little Pony set she's wanted forever.


And little Lorien got the bike she's been wanting all summer long.  HOORAY.  That was the goal of the entire lemonade stand & they met that goal . . . they SURPASSED that goal.

She is SO happy, & I AM SO HAPPY she has a bike to ride to & from school.  And I'm happy that my girls got a good lesson in hard work, perseverance, & success.