Monday, January 28, 2013


Oh the joys of listening into my children's conversations. 
GiGi:  {comes into the room all dressed up in 'Gigiesque" attire}
Do you know Rosie that I am famous?
{this is where she proceeds to do a little twirl to show Rosie just how FAMOUS she is}
Rosie:  YOU are not famous.
Gigi:  Yes, I am.  Mom said I was famous.
Rosie:  {with the ever present eye roll}
Mom said you were fabulous NOT famous. 
ONLY Justin Beiber and Dinosaur Sue is famous.
Gig:  Who is Dinosaur Sue? 
OMG ... I was cracking up laughing. 
Where do they come up with this stuff.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pinewood Racers

If you had to categorize this weekend it would have to be filed under B for Busy. 
I think it became busier and busier for me as soon as more and more of the kids got sickduring the week.  Lil Miss and I nursed colds the entire week. 
On Wednesday, Rosie came to the van after school and told me that her teacher said her eye was red. 
Sure enough I could tell from the front seat one eye was really red. 
Red flags went up immediately.  Of course I had heard of pink eye, but we had never had it at our house.  Sure enough when we walked into the dr. office that next morning he could tell right away.  AND she had a massive ear infection. 
So we head home with our antibiotics and decide what we are going to do for two days at home from school.  My productivity went way down as we had an excuse to be sacks of potatoes on the couch and relax for a few hours.  While I did feel guilty not doing any laundry or doing much of anything, it was kind of nice to spend some time with my youngest and oldest. 
We had ice cream in the middle of the day and watched movies and had lunch downstairs. 
Fun home from school stuff.
Maybe this is why Bubba tried really hard not to go to school on Friday. 
 But the weekend was a jam packed. 
We had basketball games, a girl scout field trip to make pottery, a birthday party to go to, and Bubba's first pine wood derby.
He was excited.  The boys went Friday night to weigh in the car.  If you don't know there are very explicit instructions to follow.  It must weigh no more than this, wheels must be this far apart and not tampered with, the body can't be any wider than this and so on. 
Bubba's car was right on the dot in weight and fit all the requirements to the tee.
The looks for the overall car was all Bubba. 
We let him pick what he wanted it to look like and what colors he wanted. 
Even though I kept trying to suggest things to him, Nate and I let him make all the decisions.  There wasn't anything over the top about the car.  But he LOVED it. 
He also had a hand in it all.  He sanded, painted, polished the wheels and helped me put on decals and finishing touches.  You can tell some of the cars were definitely more parent influenced, but we both thought it was important for him to have a major part in the car.
The biggest thing the car had to have was a giant X on the top. 
That was a must.  Nate was torn by this because he didn't want it to look like the General Lee, but we used other colors and an asymetrical X and it turned out just the way he wanted it to.
 Nate and Rosie were with him at the derby because Gigi had a basketball game at the exact same time so I missed it.  But I sent Rosie with my camera and she took lots of pics and videos so I didn't miss out. 
 The good thing is that he got a ribbon and patch for participating and that gave him the biggest smile ever!!  Nate got alot more tips and ideas for next year so watch out guys! 
Nate has a trophy from his days of pinewood derby cars and won overall. 
So he and Bubba have alot of work to do. 
{Bubba's car beside his inspiration}
I am now putting an agenda of how to get thorugh the pile of things to file, laundry in my room, and cleaning that should be done this week after goofing off on Thursday and Friday. 
But it was worth it. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thinking outside the Crayon Box

Do you have children who refuse to use a crayon if it is broken?
Oh I do.  Rosie only likes whole crayons and is sharpening them in the crayon sharpener constantly.  So what do you do when you have more broken crayons than whole crayons?
You make new crayons.
One day while the big kids were at school and Lil Miss and I were coloring, I looked over at her and
she had a pile of crayon wrappers beside her.  Instead of coloring she was entertained by taking off the wrappers.  Crazy mommy me, I tell her to stop because then we won't know what color they are. 
Rationalizing this to a two year old... what was I thinking?
Then I got a brainstorm... let's make new crayons. 
I've seen it before where they melt the crayons down into cute shapes and didn't think it could be too hard.  It wasn't.
The hardest part was tearing off the wrappers and Lil Miss became an expert on that.   
 I sorted out our hodge podge box of crayons and put the crayons in piles accroding to color. 
I knew you could melt crayons in a vareity of colors and make them multicolored... but I wanted some order to it.  Control freak!!  ;-)
 Then we took all the wrappers off the crayons.  I swear I still have aquamarine crayon shavings under my fingernails.  Mommy got stuck doing all the hard ones that were stuck on really hard so some of the them I had to be scraped off with my nails. 
When they are all sorted and had all the paper off, you put them in any silicone mold. 
I sprayed it first with cooking spray and then filled the hearts half full.  
I stuck them in the oven on 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until they are melted. 
When they are done you just wait for them to cool off.
And abracadabra..... you got new crayons.  
 They easily pop out of the mold and are ready to use.   
Now we are fighting over the new crayons still... but they are recycled, so mommy doesn't have to buy stock in Crayola any more. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oh Baby!

This past weekend, little girl and I took off early Saturday morning for Ottumwa to
help host a baby shower for our friend Angie and her baby girls. 
I decided to take Lil Miss because daddy had his hands full with 4 basketball games and a sleepover so I was doing him a favor by taking her with me.   
We had a beautiful drive with a beautiful sunrise as we drove southwest to O-town.
We got there just in time to put a few decorations and help (keep lil miss out of trouble).
Angie showed up and surprised us with one of the little girls, Josie.  She had just been released from the hospital at one month and a day old. 
What a surprise!!! Her twin sister Ella came home the next day.
 I hadn't seen some of the girls from Ottumwa for a while so it was nice to catch up and mingle. 
We got to hear stories of the girl's birth and the long 12 weeks she was at the hospital.  (8 weeks prior to giving birth and 4 weeks of the girl's in the NICU)

{Lil Miss helped open the gifts.  She also tried to take off with a few acting as if they were hers.}

{One of two quilts I made}
I had been working hard on getting the baby stuff done that I was making. 
I made two baby quilts (one pink and one with purple binding), two burp cloths, and two stuffed giraffes. 

{adding a little love to the baby quilts}

{my first ever attempt at a stuffed animal}
 The whole package. 
I had so much fun making the baby stuff.  The minky fabric I used on the giraffes and burp rags is softer than silk.  I want to make my own minky blanket now.  I can call it my lovey. :-)   
I hope little Josie and Ella like their gifts. 
They were showered with LOTS of diapers. 
It's going to be insane how many they are going to go through  with twins.   
Instead of a game, Steph had seen on pinterest how we could all bring in letters to decorate their the babies nurseries.  We expanded that idea to making the letters there at the shower. 
I hope the ladies had fun, becuase I had fun putting it all together. 
We got all the letters from A to Z in different sizes and Steph painted some with metallic paint. 
I took the E and J and decorated them cute with paint, ribbon and fabric flowers. 
And then the rest of the letters were yarn wrapped by the ladies at the shower. 
I had done the yarn wrapping before for Rosetta's room.  It wasn't that difficult.
It took some explaining, but many of them caught on right away.  
Some of the letters were definately more difficult than others.  

Some of
{Steph hard at work wrapping her letter}
{Mckayla consentrating hard}
 Lil Miss made things difficult when she would take off with someone's ball of yarn and tangle it up in knots around the living room.  She would also carry it around like it was a baby giving it kisses. 
Uh, how can you get mad at that face? 
 {Jody patiently wrapping the yarn}
I thought it was something different and the finished look on the nursery wall is too cute! 
I hope Angie (and Josie) had a good time. 
It was great to pamper them and see them out of the hospital at home finally!!! 
All the girl talk and good food must have been too much for Lil Miss because she was sleeping within 15 minutes of leaving Ottumwa.   

It was some much needed girl time!! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

While daddys away

Daddy was away all last week.
He flew to Brazil for work leaving us behind. 
At one point in our life I had more passport stamps in my passport than him. 
I cannot say that any more.  I had my first passport when I was 10, he went on his first plane ride when he came to Philadelphia to propose to me at the age of 23.
Now I have been on a plane only once in the last 3 years and he travels to places all over the world.  Jealousy aside.
I am so happy he gets to have these experience and gets a chance to get out the office once in awhile, while I hold down the home front.  He can leave us knowing I will be able to handle the kids and the house even though it is so much easier when he is around to help. 
I think he prays for my sanity while I am away. 
I went into this week without him with a smile, trying to think of ways to pass the time and have fun too.  We did things that Daddy doesn't let us do when he is home. 
have picnics on the floor in front of the tv,
climb the woodworks (literally)

{even Lil Miss tried scaling the doorways with a little help from her big sis}
We wore what we wanted and mommy didn't care or complain. 
{mommy did interfere when we had to leave the house and Lil Miss HAD to put pants on}
{this girl has a style all her own}
And when the kids went to bed, I tried not to stress over the dirty dishes and laundry, but instead spent a little time picking up and alot of time doing things that I like to do. 
Like reading a book!  I actually picked up one of the many books on my nightstand last week and read a few chapters.  Crazy!  On Sunday night (after the kids were tucked in) I pulled out our painting supplies and a few canvases and started painting. 
It was so fun and therapeutic.  I made a splatter piece for the living room and drew quick characatures of the 4 kids and painted them for the playroom.  The kids loved them. 
They could each point out which one was them because of the special touches I added on each canvas.
{something fun for playroom wall}
I decided on Monday that I wanted to spend time with each child while dad was away this week.  This is tricky because most of their time is spent at school and there is only a few hours each afternoon I have with the kids.  So I decided Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday would be each of the big kids nights to be with mommy.  Lil Miss has me to herself each day so she didn't need her own night.  This could only happen if the kids pitched in and watched Lil Miss while mommy was spending time with them.  I told them that they would each get $1 for babysitting on their off days.  This got them all excited.  I had great hopes that this would all work out and it did. 
On Tuesday we ate an early supper then Bubba and me got started on "our night". 
The girls played house with Lil Miss and we worked on Bubba's pet care poster for cub scouts and then figured out the decals for his pinewood derby car.   
{the pinewood derby car -- in process} 
We didn't get all the car decals done but we got a good start on it.  Daddy is the true perfectionist so he can help Bubba this week with all the finishing touches. 
On Wednesday, the two oldest had religion after school, so to start "Gigi's night of fun" we went on a hike.  Her school assignment was to collect 100 things for the 100th day of school.  They could pick anything that they wanted to collect.  Some kids picked marshmallows, buttons, pennies, but my kid picks rocks.  So we went on a snowy hike to find more rocks to add to our collection of 63.   
 It was a fairly mild day in the mid 40s so we put Lil Miss in the stroller and searched along the path for rocks or stones.   
{proud of our collection of rocks} 
While we were on our hike and before we had to pick up the big kids we got to watch a beautiful sunset.  It was breathtaking.  Pinks and and Yellows and Blues.
 When we got home, Gigi's other special thing that night was having a doll salon in her room.  She lined up her doll babies and barbies and we did their hair one by one. 

Thursday night was Rosie's night.  This was a little harder because Gigi and Bubba aren't the best baby watchers yet.  Lil Miss spent most of the time on my lap during Rosie's time and she was not happy.  I will have to make it up to her now that daddy is home. 
{she likes to paint like her momma}
Her theme of the night was crafts. 
She is in love with crafts.  We made her stain glass flowers that Santa brought her and did some sewing. 
On our next craft to do list:  Repurpose an old olive oil jar to make a pretty vase for her flowers.  
Then she wanted to do some sewing.  Since she got her own sewing machine for Christmas she is constantly talking about sewing.  So we had 1 hour to do some sewing.  Lil Miss was bringing us cups of tea and cookies as we sewed.  Rosie did all the cutting out of a real quick project.  A cloud and colorful raindrops for her room.  More stuff to decorate her wall.  After we finished the project she was super nice and told me that Gigi loves it so much it should go in her room.  Awwww. 
We also had time to finish a project we started last week.  Teddy Bear sleeping bags. 
She helped me pin all the binding on and sew it to complete the bags. 
Super cute and Super easy.   
{baby doll loves her new sleeping bag}
During the Day, Lil Miss got her time with momma. 
That morning the girls were in my room while I was getting ready and put momma's pearls on Lil Miss. (don't worry they aren't real)  She wore them the entire day. 
They completed her look with her apron as she cooked with mommy.
{Cooking Diva}
While mommy was making coffee cake, our little baker was wiping up some fruit loop soup and vanilla wafer tarts. 
That day when Daddy came home we were all happy to see him. 
They were all talking a mile a minute to tell him all the things we had done.  Even though mommy told them not to say we ate on the floor and climbed the woodworks. 
They are not so great at keeping secrets. 
We are glad he is home!!! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Partly Cloudy.... Chance of Rain

Where did this week go? 
I am sitting here at the computer on a Saturday night (oh yes its a happening saturday night in the Schulte household), and can't believe that half of January is gone already. 
It seems like it was just New Years. 
Someone hit the fast forward button and time is moving WAY too fast. 
This week held some rather mild weather for winter so we took advantage and I sent the kids out to play as much as I could.  Yes we still had remnants of snow drifts on the ground, but they were the ugly melting mounds of dirty snow that left one feeling blah.
Speaking of weather (nice segway Lynn!)  Bubba learned a little about the weather this week. 
His boy scout troop took a field trip to a local news station on Monday night. 
Bubba was so excited when he got home.  He told me all about the green wall and that they sat at a big table where the two main people sit "who talk". 
On Wednesday night they aired their troop saying "Hello Quad Cities" into the camera.
He could point out the big table where he sat and tell me all the tricks to the weather screen. 
Maybe he has a future as a meteorologist. 
Each boy scout had a chance to use the green screen and see how the weatherman works his magic. 
Pretty cool for a 7 year old.  

This boy had another exciting thing happen this week. 
He lost his first tooth!!!  Oh he was overjoyed as he ran into the van after school. 
"It was about time" was Rosie's response.   
She lost her first tooth at the age of 5, so it is old news for her.
His tooth was so small!!! 
This tooth became loose after he had a run in with Lil Miss's head. 
It didn't phase her but it seemed to loosen Bubba's tooth enough to come out a couple days later.
At school, he apparently used his teeth to pull his gloves on and POP out came his teeny tiny baby tooth.  He placed it under his pillow and the tooth fairy came and brought him a new spiderman tooth brush.  Now Gigi is constantly feeling her teeth to see if they are going to come out. 
Tooth Fairy is going to go broke if they both start losing teeth.  :-)
We had another exciting day this week.  Daddy's birthday!!!
Bubba told me he was turning 45!  Well, he didn't quite turn that number but he is getting old. 
The kids and I went to go get his birthday gift this week after school. 
I took the kids to Dollar General and told them they could get him anything in the whole store. 
One item each.  They chose wisely. 
Rosie picked out a candy called mamba  -- it looks like starburst which is one of daddy's favs.
Bubba almost chose toy handcuffs, but went for Large Smarties instead
(are you sensing a theme)
Gigi picked up Peanut M&M's, something she is allergic too, but she mentioned then that she wouldn't eat them then. 
And Lil Miss walked around the store with me and only went berserk when she saw the Hawaiian Punch and grabbed the largest jug they had. 
Hope daddy likes Hawaiian Punch. 
They each checked out and we headed home to wrap the gifts. 

Of course we got home and the kids couldn't wait to tell dad what they got them. 
There was no wrapping, daddy didn't mind, they one by one gave daddy his most precious gifts.   
To take advantage of the warm weather we took a walk to the park, per dad's request. 
When we got just close enough to the park, dad, bubba, and Gigi took off at a sprint to race to the playground.  Daddy won!!!  I think Bubba let him win since it was his birthday.
We are lucky to have a park within walking distance.  It is fun to go there spontaneously and play around.  When we got back home, I had chili ready in the crockpot. 
{Heart Shaped Cornbread Muffins}

For dessert we headed to one of our new favorite spots. 
Peach Wave.  Their frozen yogurt always hits the spot.  
And their orange couches are too cute!!  
Me and Lil Miss shared a cup of 1/2 cupcake yogurt and 1/2 red velvet yogurt with kit kat on top for me and sprinkles for her.  I always share my yogurt with her because it takes away the guilt of eating dessert.  If I share it isn't that bad, right?  lol
Daddy spent his birthday doing his favorite things. 
We got in lots of cuddles because today he headed for Brazil on a work trip and will be gone all week.  We will try to survive without him. 
I have decided not to start any big projects while he is gone this time. 
I am only going to clean and organize Nate and I's closets. 
Let's hope that doesn't lead to anything bigger.  Cross my fingers.