Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break Prep

We are T minus 12 hours until our Spring Break trip.
Like last year, daddy is too busy at work to take any time off so the kids and I
are going on our own adventure again. 
Last year we spent most of the time in Ohio (my grandma Aggie passed away while we were there) so this year we decided to spend the time in Tennessee at my Mom's house. 
I convinced my sister Kathy and my mom to meet us there so I have some additional adults to help keep my sanity.
 We are hoping for lots of sunshine but I am preparing for any kind of weather.
That means twice as much clothes to pack with winter coats and hats to shorts and swimsuits.
I also have compiled over the last few weeks activities to keep us busy.
I picked up a few low cost items like kites, cheap new toys, balloons, cardstock, and any other items around the house I can use to make easy crafts.
I have been collecting used toilet paper rolls to make binoculars for our nature scavenger hunt.
 The nature scavenger hunt I compilied from things I found on pinterest. 
I made my own list and printed some out for the kids. 
I also am bringing buckets from the dollar spot at target for them to fill with their treasures from nature.  I packed my leaf books and tree books so me and the older kids and look up what kind of leafs we found. 
Fun and a learning activity all in one! 
I'm a sneaky mommy.
{can't wait for the scavenger hunt -- more fun for me than them!!}
I have gobs of paper to bring along, because it is the cure all for the "I'm Bored" mood. 
The kids love to draw and write stories. 
I took some of the paper and cut it in half then stapled them in groups of 5/6 sheets for the kids to make mini books. 
I also pack mini bags for the car to survive the 12 hour car ride.
The kids have their own drawstring bags that they fill with their ipods, ds, books, stuffed animals, Barbies, if it is important to them they pack it. 
Rosetta tried to take everything in her whole room once.
I also packed coloring and activity books in the back of the seat for something to do to.
This helps when someone doesn't want to watch the movie that was picked, then there is an alternative to watching the Dora or Sinbad (not all my kids favorite movies).
I did splurge and pick up one new movie to surprise the kids with, Rio.
After listening to all the movies a dozen times from the front seat, mommy is ready for a new movie in the car too!
All my preparations for spring break will make it exciting and something to remember.
Now with all the fun stuff packed it is onto the clothes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Our little Artist

We have  a lot of little artists in the family.
All of them love to paint, draw, and create.
We were so proud of Gigi when she brought home a card from her art teacher
that she was chosen as one of the school's artist to show her work at the local Art Museum.
After checking the date of the ceremony though, we were bummed to find out it was this
Sunday when we would be gone for spring break. 
So not switching our spring break plans, we decided as a family to go to the museum this week and check out her masterpiece. 
I had never been to the Figge Art Museum downtown so I was excited to see another
place in the Quad Cities on my list of places to check out.
Loved this piece of typography.  I want it for my house!
Gigi was so excited to see her artwork. 
We asked her what she made, but she had no clue.
The kids were running around trying to find her piece.  
You know the saying a bull in a china shop? 
Well, you can also say like the Schulte kids in an Art Museum.   

 Then we found it.
Wasn't exactly a Picasso. 
They chose a snowflake she made.   
Her teacher has mentioned at every parent teacher conference how impressed she is with her drawing.  Was so proud to see her name and artwork on the wall here!!  
{Photobombed by a 2 year old}
They had some interactive art installations. 
They kept us all entertained, even daddy. 
The blocks were fun for Lil Miss. 
Rosie gravitated to the stencils. 
Mommy and Bubba made wire art. 
No one could figure out mommy made a flower. 
Apparently I was working in the abstract. 
Daddy used his impressive art skills to construct a camper out of blocks. 
I was quite impressed!
It was a fun Wednesday.  Something definitely out of the ordinary.
One proud mommy of our little girl. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Feeling Lucky

It's so sad that the weekend is over. 
Daddy's left for work.
The kids have left for school.
It's now just me and Lil Miss hanging out doing our thing on this Monday morning.
So, I am reliving my weekend in a blog post.  My favorite thing to do!
If you didn't know, Nate and I got away to Chicago for two nights in a row this St Patty's Day weekend with our friends Kara and Scott.  Thanks to our awesome babysitter who masterfully watched the kids back in October and handled it with awesomeness, we were able to leave for two nights this time and feel perfectly content that the kids were being well taken care of.  
Seriously a shoutout to Annie, you rock!!!
Getting texts if it was okay to bring St Patty's Day cards and cupcakes to our neighbors is purely amazing. 
They had lots of fun!
Yes, we knew it was St Patty's weekend in Chicago when we booked the trip.  That's why we picked this weekend.  Before kids, we partied in Chicago for 4 years in a row on this particlar weekend. 
But then we had kids and things changed. 
So this was our first time back in Chicago on the weekend of green beer and the green river since having 4 children.
We could tell we were much older and wiser this time around. 
The drinking started much later and was much more controlled than in years past.  
We stayed outside the city and took the train in.   
These two boys were ready for some beer!
{his and her beers -- first ones for the day!}
We had no plans or expectations, which was nice, and enjoyed our day away from anyone
asking for "mommy!".   I missed the kids alot, but texting and facebook kept me abreast of what they were doing and I talked about them alot.  I like the look I get when I tell people I have 4 children. 
There is usually a look of shock on their face, but then I say I only gave birth once. 
(I love when they look confused!)
It's a great conversation starter.  LOL
{Kara and Me}
{The Infamous Green Beer}
You can't go to Chicago and not have their deep dish pizza. 
It was delicious!!!
I apparently took a hiatus from my diet this weekend.  Today it is back to grilled chicken and salads.
I told myself all the walking in the city wore off those bazillion calories from the pizza.
I was fooling myself.
When we got to Harry Carey's and were enjoying live music and beer, I checked facebook and discovered that Nate's cousin was in Chicago too.  I quickly texted her and found out they were downstairs in the same bar.  Small World! 
 {Nicky, Jen, Ben, Nate and I -- ignore guys photobombing us}
It was at this bar we added a little spontaneity into our trip.
Some guys (Michigan fans) approached Jen and Ben with tickets to Sunday's championship game, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin.
Now this is where all the stars align. 
We are avid Buckeye fans and Kara and Scott just happen to be Badger fans. 
Planets align, stars collide... BOOM.
The boys had tickets to the Big Ten Championship game, a rental car to get home, big smiles on their faces, and two wives who were awesome for letting it all happen.
Yesterday morning, Kara and I headed back to our kids to be the responsible parents and the boys headed back into the city to the United Center. 
It wasn't possible for both of us to go because of the kids, so I am glad Nate got to enjoy it and have some fun.  He will remember this when I want do something this spectacular though!  LOL 
The kids and I watched the game from our couch, well most of us did, the girls were off playing barbies.  Bubba after half time was glued to the TV watching the score ever so closely.
It was a nail biter of a game and the kids had their fingers and toes crossed that the buckeyes would come out on top.  And they did!
Big Ten Champs!!
The boys had great seats and I am pretty sure they enjoyed their time. 
It was a great weekend with friends.
Now back to reality and the real world.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bettendorf Family Museum Fun

Last week we got snow.  Enough snow for a snow day.
We had fun in the snow.  Last year, we barely had any snow and there were so few days we could play in the and build snowmen, but this year we have made up for it. 
I love that the kids are big enough now that I don't have to bundle myself up every time the kids want to go out and jump in the snow.  I can limit my time in the snow to when Lil Miss goes out.   
Lil Miss likes the snow.
Eating it.
Licking it.
Falling in it.
 But heaven forbid her boot fall off and her foot go in the snow.... then we don't like it.
Okay, I wouldn't like it either. 
 I am ready for spring and am hoping that this was our last little snow storm.
So I wanted to post our last snow pics of the season.
 Sunny Snow Days are the best!!!
Dodger is ready for spring too!!  
The day after the snow day the kids had an early out. 
I had already done the "stay at home play in snow thing" with the kids
the day before, so I surprised the kids with a visit to the local Family Museum after school.  
Lil Miss and I are there almost every Monday morning for a toddler music class, but the big kids hadn't been there since it had been all re done so they were in for a big surprise.
They have a whole area called Fox Hollow with a pizza shop, ice cream stand, a barn playhouse and much much more.
View from the second floor of the barn.  I was getting the screaming Lil Miss down who is recently scared of heights.  The rope bridge was too much for her. I wanted to stay up there and play but she wanted on solid ground.
I had my own personal pizza delivered with pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers.  My favorite!
Bubba played fireman.
It was a fun, cheap (because we have a membership) and out of the ordinary day. 
I love what they have done to the place.

Being Blessed

It's a yucky rainy gray day outside. 
Time to blog and then maybe take a nap because it has
been a late night Friday and Saturday and momma is tired. 
Not to mention we lost an hour yesterday.  Darn Day Lights Savings!
We spent the weekend back in Ottumwa, the place of our first home. 
Not much has changed, but Nate still couldn't remember how to get anywhere. 
Good thing he has a good navigator along! 
We drove by a few of our old haunts, the house, their old school, and daddy's old work. 
The younger ones remembered very little, but Rosie did. 
We met some friends at one of our favorite restaurants El Rancho. 
The queso dip and margaritas were worth the trip!! 
After dinner and TOO MUCH grown up talking I was reminded by Bubba, the kids were going bonkers so we headed to our hotel for the kids to go swimming. 
Our friends followed us so we could have drinks by the pool while mommy and the kids swam.  
When I booked the hotel earlier in the week Nate and I tried to remember the last time we
stayed in the hotel with all 6 of us.  The consensus was we don't remember!
It was back when lil miss was a itty bitty baby is all that I can recall.
So, for comfort sake we splurged and got two rooms.
Kids in one room and mommy and daddy in the other. 
At least that is how it started until baby fell out of the bed at 2 in the morning and crawled in with us. 
The whole reason for our trip down to Ottumwa, not that we needed a reason to visit,
was to celebrate two little girl's baptisms. 
I got a text message a few weeks ago from baby Josie asking if I wanted
to be her godmother.  After texting back... did you send this to the wrong person?
I found out I wasn't dreaming, I was floored they wanted me to
be Josie's godmother.  What a honor!
This was the first time Nate and the kids got to meet baby Josie and baby Ella
 and they are so gosh darn cute!!!  Tiny little fingers and the sweetest baby cries.
Josie is the size now at 3 months that Lil Miss was at birth! 

 {Proud Mommy and Daddy}
I love to see Joey never take his eyes off those girls!
He is going to be in trouble in years to come because they have him
wrapped around their itty bitty fingers.
{Melissa, my fellow Fairy Godmother with Ella}
{Me and baby Josie}
All my kids were infatuated with the babies and wanted to hold them. 
Lil Miss asked Angie to "Hold Baby" and Angie graciously obliged.
She was in heaven. 
She touched every inch of baby Josie from her soft cheeks, to her little ears, to her feet.
Taking the baby away from her wasn't easy. 
"MINE!" she cried.  She didn't want to give her up... either did mommy.  LOL  
She couldn't take her eyes off her. 
It was like one of her doll babies came to life!
Rosie was all smiles as she got to hold the baby all by herself. 
Since yesterday, she has asked me 5 times when she can start babysitting.
I took my Godmother duties seriously.
Spoiling has started!
I made Josie and Ella both little dresses.  I loved the bright fabric and wanted to make two that matched but weren't the same.  It was the smallest thing I have ever made.  Lil Miss thought they were for her doll and kept stealing them off my sewing table.
It was a fun and happy day, but when we got home last night we were all exhausted.
Thank you Angie and Joey for picking me as Josie's godmother.
I am deeply honored and will teach her all the good things that a girl should know. 
Like you can never have enough shoes. 
Auntie Lynn will be there for her at a moments notice.
I am so over the moon for you two and those little girls are so blessed to
have such wonderful parents.