Paving Stones

J.’s mom and dad called the other day to tell us about an auction where they were selling off greenhouse supplies, including paving stones, flower pots, mulch, and more  It was set to start at 10:00 on Saturday morning across town from us.  J.’s sister came over and babysat for us starting at 9:00 AM so we could make it on time. Well, we stayed for 4 hours at the auction and they STILL hadn’t gotten to the paving stones we were interested in, so we decided to leave having finally lined up one of our friends to babysit that evening so J. and I could go to dinner.  We let J.’s mom know what we were willing to bid and she said she would bid for us.  When we got home, she called!  We got 592 paving stones for $130.  We really need to do something with the back yard and J. wanted a patio, so this is a great solution for us.

We managed to get home one pallet (out of one and a half total) on a rented Home Depot truck.  Unfortunately the whole load was over the 3,000 lb. weight limit of the truck so we sent home half a pallet with J.’s dad!   Fortunately, the whole load was over 3,ooo lbs. because J. and I might have broken ourselves moving any more pavers in half an hour than we did.  2,000 lbs. is a lot of weight!

Here is our score.  That stack looks so tiny, but the label swears it will cover 101 sq. ft.

It should be fun to play around with the pattern too 🙂

Cool Day With The Kids

The kids wanted to get a Webkin for Emma with their Easter money, so after gymnastics today, we headed out to the local toystore- Playmatters.  They picked out what they wanted pretty quickly and then decided we should go for a bit of an adventure together.  First stop was the Winking Lizard for a late lunch/ early dinner.  The kids have been getting really easy to take to restaurants lately, so it was fun to go out again.  Then it was off to the thrift store.  I haven’t actually taken them there in a really long time, but my son was bringing up hazy memories of it on the way to Playmatters and I told him we could go check it out.  I might have mentioned that they sometimes have Legos as well, LOL.  The thrift store yielded a princess shirt for my daughter and a razor scooter for my son, their own choices.  (Can I say yet again how much I LOVE the thrift store?…the scooter was only $12.95) After the thrift store, we headed home to enjoy the rest of the day and play outside.

Party Time- Yee Haw!

Today was the western theme birthday party, complete with goodie bags, yummy food, Karaoke, and pinatas 🙂  We all had a great time!

The kids weren’t going to dress up for it until about 2 minutes before it was time to get in the car.  Good thing we have a decent dress-up bin to pull from.  Here they are ready to go:

Here are pictures from the party:


More Heating Pads

The microwave heating pads seem to have gone over well as gifts and the kids who have been spending the night with us seem to like ’em, so I am making a set of them for a triple birthday party we are going to.  One of the kids’ friends is turning 7 and he is having a joint party with his little brother and his dad.  Since I am (of course) going to cater the theme to the 7 yo, Lego Star Wars it is!

Here they are in the works and when finally done…they remind me a bit of Weebles.

May the force be with you.

Scratch Screen Shots

Both kids are continuing to use “Scratch”, so I thought I would post a bit of their work.  I put a folder on the desktop for each of them and grabbed images of their choosing off the internet for their use, thus the heavy amount of game theme material 🙂

My son’s:

Here he worked with the paint program to draw a treasure chest to add to his picture as well as making some of the characters and changing the color of the stars.  This one has an animated character, Jet Pack Girl, who can land on anything black.

In this one, he explored different scripts on his own to see what they would do.  One of them changed the colors of the background.

Princess Peach on a homemade background.

Scary world.

Here he learned to use word bubbles.

This one was pretty intricate. The baby robot in the close-up was worked on carefully to turn it silver, add the on/off switch to the diaper, and add an antenae.

This one is my daughter’s:

The princess is locked up and guarded by a dragon. More importantly, she can change her look with 3 different outfits 🙂

Cleaning Up The House

J. is taking a week off of work, so I am trying to get a bunch of stuff done on the house.  I have decided that we will be so much better off financially by staying here that I have stopped really looking at houses and have started to concern myself with fixing this one so we can enjoy it before we wind up selling at some future date. 

Today I decided to tackle cleaning the walls, which for anyone who keeps up on stuff like that, might not be much of an issue.  For me…WOW.  Let’s just say that I have really overlooked many of the children’s decorations (drawings, stickers, glued on pictures) that have been applied to the walls over the years.  Before I could even start though, my son insisted I photograph every single one so that we wouldn’t forget them.

Here is one of the “love lists”.

Many hours and Magic Eraser sponges later, I managed to get most of the rooms done.  My son’s will wait ’till a later date.

Multiple Ponies

Now that I have finally learned about the miracle of conditioner in my daughter’s nearly impossible to comb hair, we have been combing and styling her hair a bit more.  She really wanted to have a lot of pony tails like our neighbor Cayla, but her hair isn’t very thick.  For today, she settled on 4.  Here are some pictures of her fabulous hair.  I think it looks a bit like orange slices…

Anyway, we went to the pool with her hair like that and got nary a comment, LOL. 

After we got back, I explored a bunch of links I had sitting around and started playing with an interesting math flashcards one.  The kids were mesmerized and jumped right in.  The site is pretty neat because you can choose the format of the cards and you also get immediate feedback on your answer- it turns purple if you get the answer correct.  Both kids had fun with the adding ones.  My son decided to explain the subtracting ones to his sister by using peanuts and eating them 🙂


We had to skip gymnastics yesterday because both kids were running a fever and were quite a bit snotty.  By mid- morning today, I wasn’t feeling so great myself…exhausted, chilly, and certainly not bursting with fun things to do.  Luckily, I found a new website called “Kewl Cartoons” that the kids watched while I tried to relax on the couch.  They started off with “Dino Squad” and later my son moved on to “Sonic” while my daughter watched “Horseland”.  Thank goodness for small favors.

I have now added that site and a few others to my “Websites for Kids” page.


My daughter and I each took turns making up patterns for the other one to copy while playing around with pattern blocks. It started out with us both making whatever we wanted, but then changed into some kind of odd gameshow -like event. Sometimes she likes the drama 🙂

Then she wanted to paint the wooden eggs we bought (that never did manage to get carved).  Both kids painted one.

Then she went on to paint on paper.

I have been trying really hard to make sure they have easy access to art supplies (and everything else) so that when the mood strikes they can go with it.  Ummmm, and it is still winter.

Babysitting Again- Not!

I was supposed to babysit for our friends yesterday so they could go see “Wicked”, but Cleveland weather had something else in mind…a blizzard.  We got over a foot and a half of snow in one day.  Basically, we sat it out yesterday and then J. and our neighbor shoveled us out today.  It is now warm enough that the driveway has melted and mostly dried.

What would this post be without a few pics?


After reading another local mom’s blog, I felt the need to pull out the cornstarch and make “goop” again…water and cornstarch are the only necessary ingredients and I thought it would buy me time to finish making dinner while the kids played.  When I was a kid, my Grandma would give my cousin and I each a little dish of “goop” to play with while she finished getting stuff ready.  Apparently, Grandma never allowed us access to the box, LOL!  The kids made LOTS of “goop” and came back to it several times over 2 days.  Here are some pics from the process.

The sun and the plane are mine.  I couldn’t resist trying to make something out of the spreading puddles.


My daughter decided the experience wasn’t sensory enough so took off her shirt and began pouring it up past her elbows.

Looks messy, but dries fast and is fairly easy to just wipe up. Really.  Trust me.  Mwaaaaa Ha Ha Ha.

Long Day

My son and his friend built a castle out of blocks in the morning and then proceded to populate it with all kinds of army men, cars, dinosaurs, etc.  They had a really good time building it and wanted me to take some pictures to remember it. 

I talked to my son after she left and suggested that we should probably take it down  because we were babysitting for some friends later on that day.  Sometimes he gets very upset when things are taken apart when he isn’t ready, so I wanted to prepare him for the possibility that one of the boys “might” want to take it down or play with it.  He wasn’t ready to take it down.  Instead, we took about 40 pictures of it from all different angles so that we could rebuild if he decided he needed to.  Both boys who came over were really respectful of the castle and waited patiently for my son to agree before they knocked it down in style  🙂 

After if was wiped out, the kids used the pieces to create a “Mario Game” with a fortress, platforms, marbles, and more.

Then they needed to jump around, so we headed to the family room.

My daughter needed a break to hide out, so I helped cut a door in her box clubhouse and moved it to her room.

After everyone went home, I headed out to meet a friend of mine and her daughter at the thrift store for some *me* time.  I bought more pants for my son as his are getting ripped at the knees at a magnificent pace. (The holes are gigantic before I get to the point of wanting to patch them, so I am using the fabric for scraps instead)  I also scored a zither and a bunch of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.  For me, I found a book called “You Can Do It!- The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown Up Girls”.

The kids played music on the zither and the pipe xylophone when I got home and my daughter made up her own show to entertain us.

One Biggish Post

It has been a week again.  I am not the best at keeping up with my blog these days.  It has been pretty busy around here lately…we went sledding with my dad and step-mom on Saturday, went to a B-day party at Pump It Up on Sunday, went to gymnastics on Monday followed by the park (the weather was perfect for one short day), and then had a friend come over.  Tuesday, we had a bit of a break and stayed home playing games and making stuff out of cinammon playdough. Today, my son’s best, best, best, best, best, best friend in the whole world (his words) came over in the morning to play all day and is now spending the night with us 🙂  We had troubling news that my mom was in the hospital over the weekend due to heart disease.  She had surgery and has been released. The doctor says she should be fine for her upcoming trip.

Pictures that were sitting in my camera:

New game my son and I have been playing a bit, Dino Hunt.

Pictures from the park.

Cinammon dough bird nest sculpture.

More paper dolls- Klutz this time.

My daughter making paper flowers for a bouquet for her brother.

My son playing with his best friend.

Playing inside the fort.