Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy May Day!

As a kid we made May Day baskets and picked flowers from the yard and delivered them to our neighbors. It was always a fun tradition. Now on May Day I paint little flower pots, insert a petunia and have the kids bring them to their teachers. Here's the cute little May Day treats.

It looks like poop...

Lily was helping me make cupcakes tonight for her to take to her class tomorrow. She picked chocolate (shocker!) and she was stirring the mixing bowl when she said, "It looks like poop.....but yummier". Yummier? That's just gross.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Balloon Jinx

Last summer we went to the kid's friend Emily's birthday party. She lives just around the corner, so the kids rode their bikes, and I walked. They each received a balloon when we left, and I tied each kid's balloon to their arm. On the way home, Nate's balloon just popped for no reason. He cried, and I took a picture of course! So yesterday we went to Emily's brother's birthday. When we left, the kids took home balloons again. This time, on the way home, Lily's balloon touched a prickly bush in our front yard, and popped before she got home. I had to laugh. We must have a balloon jinx. One year for Lily's birthday I bought a big bunch of helium balloons, with the intention of sending one home with each kid. During the party, the whole bunch of balloons that were tied to a basket, came loose and flew away. Last year for Nate's birthday I had ordered a package of balloons that had the number 8 on them. I thought there were a dozen balloons in the package (reasonable right?). Knowing that there would be 13 kids at Nate's party, I took the package of balloons to Safeway and asked them to blow them up, plus 4 more (in case we popped one or two). When I came back to get the balloons, I couldn't believe how big the bunch was. I could hardly fit them all in the van! When the party was over, we still had balloons left, and that's when it hit me that the package of balloons had 24, and that I had brought home 28 balloons. The kids loved the extra balloons, and I will remember from now on to find out how many balloons are in the package. Lily's birthday is this weekend, wish me luck with the balloons!

It helps when you read the whole book.....

When Dan is home, he is in charge of reading to Lily at night. I feel this is good bonding time, and Lily loves the voices he does (I'm a little teapot cracks me up!). The other night he came in the office after reading to Lily and told me the new book I bought sucked. I got a little worried, because I had not read that book yet. So I grabbed the book and quickly read it. Then I turned to him and asked why it sucked. He told me that they never solved the problem in the book. I opened the book and showed him the page where they solved the problem. Dan then said, "Oh, I must have missed that page." I laughed (with him, not at him!). Moral of the story, if you are reading a book that doesn't make sense, make sure you read ALL the pages!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Groceries and Homework

I just found out that my homework assignment for Art class is to go to the grocery store and look at packaging and labels. I'm supposed to look at them and see what appears more enticing to consumers. Even though this will be a fun assignment, I think that I could do this without even going. First of all, kids cereal is packaged with cartoon characters on them, and put on the shelves at their height. At Safeway, the toys and candy is placed in the same isle as the diapers and baby products (NOT nice to do to parents!). At the same store there is a whole frozen food isle for ice cream products, and two sides of isles for pet food. Seriously. What is the message they are telling people? What's amazing to me is when people spend more money on pet food than they do on fresh fruit and vegetables. So, to borrow the words from my Logic instructor, look at what the Grand Narrative is telling you. In other words, don't fall for the packaging and marketing of products.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Family Swap Meet

We did our annual Spring Family Swap Meet this weekend, aka a family garage sale. It never fails that we all bring our junk, but end up going home with everyone else's junk. Oh well, I made $35.75 and gave it all to Dan because he stayed home with all the kids (our two plus 3 of Marty and Tiff's). Thanks again honey, you are the best!

Friday, April 24, 2009


We had a loss in the family this week, and I want to ask for prayers. My sister in law had a miscarriage at 5 1/2 months along. We are all heartbroken at this loss of a baby girl. Please keep them in your prayers, because we know that only God can heal the hurt.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cookie Monsters

I have a family of cookie monsters. They LOVE cookies, and they expect to always have cookies around. The first thing that my Dad does when he walks into my kitchen is make a bee line for the cookie jar. If for some reason it's empty, he is shocked and tells me to get on it. Now, I do love to make cookies, but lately with school and all, we don't always have cookies on hand. Last week Nate said "Mom (with attitude), we are out of cookies." I replied, "Well, Duh (to give 3rd grade attitude back at him), I have been busy, and you eat too many cookies!" Of course I made cookies the next day, and with the help of company over the weekend, they were gone in 24 hours. Because I make so many cookies, I have found the fastest and easiest way to keep my cookie monsters happy. I can make a pan of cookie bars (including baking time) in less than a half hour. I make these cookie bars so often that Lily knows the recipe by heart. "First you need a stick of budda" say Lily. Here's the recipe so that you can feed any cookie monsters you may have.

Blondie Bars

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips, or M&Ms (or both!)

Mix everything together and spread in a greased 9x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Cut into bars.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother's Day Special

With Mother's Day only 18 days away, I am doing a Mother's Day Special with Scentsy. I will put together a cute Mother's Day basket filled with a plug in warmer, a bar of scent and car candle for the fabulous price of only $25! You can pick your warmer and scent from my stock on hand, or let me do my magic and find the perfect combination that your Mom will love. I will even throw in a Mother's Day card if you need one. Click on my Scentsy picture on the side of the blog to check out the products, then contact me to get your basket. Or maybe you would love a basket of Scentsy for Mother's Day? Drop some not so subtle hints to have your hubby give me a call and I'll set him up with the perfect gift.
*Price varies for delivery or shipping outside of Whatcom County.

Homework Sucks!

Homework sucks! Yes I am ranting. No, do not feel sorry for me. I'm just getting burnt out with school work, classes and such. Tomorrow starts week 4 of 11, so I am getting close to being done. I applied for graduation, but read that I need to apply for my degree. Isn't that that the same? You would think that at a college full of academic people, they could make the graduation process more simple. I think they make you figure out the maze to make sure you are smart enough to graduate. Oh well, back to hitting the books!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Poor Chocolate Bunny

This is what happens when a half eaten chocolate Easter bunny gets left on the counter and Mommy plugs in the crock pot next to it.
Mr. Bunny

Lily AND Snow

The other day Lily and I had this conversation.

Lily: Mommy, and is spelled A-N-D.

Me: Yes, you are right.

Lily: So Mommy, you spelled it wrong, its not a-n-n, it's a-n-d.

Me: What do you mean?

Lily: It's Lily AND Snow, not Lily Ann Snow, Mommy!

Me: (Laughing till it hurts) No Lily, your middle name is not AND, it's Ann, Mommy didn't spell it wrong!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter Family Picture

Why do we have such a hard time getting a good family picture? This is the best of a dozen shots. Thank you Amy Jo for always being there to take family pictures. I don't think we would have any pictures of me if it weren't for my sister!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Not laughing now

I said before that I have a hard time not laughing at my kids when they are in trouble. Well....yesterday I was at Costco and was putting all my goodies in the back of the van when I noticed that Nate had drawn a monkey face on the back of the headrest in the van. I was furious! When he got home from school I gave him a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and told him to scrub. I knew that it wouldn't work, but I wanted him to get the idea that once you write on something with a pen, it won't come out. What's ironic about this, is that yesterday I posted the blog about children's art. Ok, so I do want my kids to be artistic, but NOT on the seats of my van. Dan tried to get the pen out with different cleaners and scrubbers, and nothing worked. Nate is not allowed to sit in the back by himself for the next month, and hopefully learned not to write on the van. Hopefully.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Children's Art

This is a post I wrote in my Art class. I received good feedback from it, so I thought I would share.

Being a parent of two children ages 5 and 8, I have a firsthand experience with children's art. While I don't consider myself an artistic person, I am very creative. I'll stand tall on my soap box and claim that fostering creativity in today's children is very important, and we can do that through art. Children today are given too much structured play and activities, and not given the room to be creative. I stopped buying my kids coloring books because they would rather have blank paper to create their own work. We go through reams of paper, but I feel it's a great investment in them. I always have a variety of craft supplies on hand so that creative art projects can be done at a moment's notice. I found that big newspaper roll ends can cover a large area of floor and we can create a city with roads, buildings and such. My husband built a huge sandbox for our kids, and I save containers and random tools for the kids to create new things every day. Boxes are a favorite toy in our house. My kids will fight over a big box, making it into a car, airplane, house or fort. Small boxes are used to store "treasures" or build leprechaun traps. Camping trips are made into adventures where we find leaves and flowers to put on a sticky paper to create a nature art piece. I don't want my kids to lose that sense of creativity. I hope that they will look at the world and it's possibilities.

I truly believe that art can build strong creative thinkers. We need to bring up a new generation of people who think outside the box. In our depressed economy today, we need people who will look at things differently and bring new ideas. It will be the creative entrepreneurs that will rebuild our economy with a fresh outlook.

My kids like to do some of the art projects on Noggin's website. While looking for more information I found a fun website that displays children's art. And Kinderart had great art and craft ideas for children that I will have to try sometime. One of the women on the Kinderart site had a great quote. Jantje said, "Let children try. Let children fail. Let children succeed. Give them the freedom and they will create."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We made the top of the list!

Dan and I took Grandma and Grandpa Stauffer out to lunch today. I needed to bring them a couple things that my step-mom e-mailed me and we thought it would be fun to do lunch. We picked up Grandma and Grandpa and went to Homestead Farms. We had a great time, and I made sure to grab the bill before Grandpa did (he may be old, but he's still pretty quick!). As we got up to leave Grandpa informed me that we made the top of the list of the grand kids, because nobody else had ever bought their lunch. Seriously, if that's all it takes to make the top of their list, we may have to make a habit of lunch! After lunch we went back to their house so that Dan could hook up their DVD player. Then we spent the next half hour explaining to them how to work the remotes so that they can watch DVD's. I even wrote it down for them. I'm expecting a phone call soon from Grandpa saying that he can't figure out how to watch a movie. And Grandma will be in the background saying "I told you we wouldn't remember how to work that remote!".

You all crack me up!

So with my new feedjit tracking, I can tell where and when people look at my blog. It's kinda fun to watch. What has really been cracking me up is what people google to get to my blog. Here's a list of ones I thought were funny.

  • Flagellated sperm
  • Mommy lily
  • First eye Dr. visit
  • Random smoke
  • Finnish submarine tours
  • Dove pro age night
  • Embarrassing underwear stories (this one is googled almost daily!)
  • Recession proof toys
  • Same size feet
  • Pictures of Mommy bear
  • Captain Underpants stories
This really makes me rethink my blog titles. So maybe if I say things that get googled more often, I will get more traffic on my blog. So I won't tell you that Lily wants a Barbie for her birthday, or that Nate is getting hooked on Star Wars. I also won't tell you that I love Lands End shoes, or that Dan went to Joe's to look for a bike. I will tell you more often things I like, and shamelessly plug my Scentsy products!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lego Attack

Help, my bathroom is being attacked! Star Wars clones are taking over my bathroom (and every other room in the house!).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Indoor Easter

We had a fun time at Ruthi's yesterday celebrating Easter. The weather was nasty, and we ended up doing an indoor egg hunt. This was fine for the little kids, but not much of a challenge for Nate and John. Here's one picture of the kids before we let them loose to find eggs. The looks on their faces say, "Fake smile so you will let me go!" My sister took family pictures, so I'll post them when I get them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! Through all the candy, eggs and bunny festivities, remember that Jesus is alive! We celebrated Easter at church last night, kinda confused the kids as to why do we go to Easter service when it's not Easter yet. Oh well. This morning I was up early to help at the 8:30 service at church. Now we are getting ready to go to my Aunt Ruthi's house for Easter with the family. It's tradition to gather the whole Dennison clan at 1pm for food. My cousin Angie always makes green bean casserole, her mom Gail always does jello salad. Ruthi likes to bake and is addicted to chocolate, so we can always count on something yummy from her. My aunt Joni is always coming up with a new creative dish that is festive. Grandma brings a salad, along with my Mom too. I am expected to bring homemade rolls. I don't even ask anymore, every holiday dinner I am required to make rolls, and I never bring any home. Note to self though, don't talk on the phone while putting the ingredients for the rolls in the bread machine. Yesterday I was talking on the phone with my friend Erin, and didn't do a good job measuring my ingredients. So my first batch of rolls was on the flat side. I ended up making 3 batches of rolls last night, I hope that it's enough!
After food we do an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Hard boiled eggs and plastic eggs are literally thrown around Ruthi's yard, and then we send the kids out to get them. Lily asked me yesterday if she could get the egg in the tree (I think we need new hiding spots when Lily knows there will be an egg in the tree!). After that the whole family gathers on the lawn for a raw egg toss. Years ago when we did Easter at Grandma's house, she would provide aprons for us girls so that we wouldn't get egg on our Easter dresses. Now its fend for yourself and hope that you don't get splattered with egg. By the end of the egg toss, it becomes and egg roll or bounce. Really there is no skill involved, just the luck of the egg.
It's pouring down rain today, so I hope we are able to keep these traditions alive. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter 2008

Picture addiction

Hi my name is Holly and I am addicted to pictures. It truly is a family addiction, with my sister being a professional photographer. My sister in law had joined in and is now my sister's assistant. My addiction to pictures is so bad that the gals who work at Costco Photo lab, know me by name, and ask about my kids birthday parties (Did they ever break that pinata?). Seriously! I made a new years resolution to stop printing so many pictures because I can't keep up with all the albums. I do a family album, and then one each for the kids. So for now on I will do a photo book for the family and one each for the kids. My sister started me on this and I love them. I did my first album of our trip to Maui and it turned out beautiful. I haven't gotten my family photo book done for 2008 yet. I finally had to get my butt in gear when I got a coupon from shutterfly for 20% off photo books. So last night I started uploading pictures to shutterfly, and 200 pictures and 9 hours later, I finally have them all uploaded. So here's the new problem, how do I decide which pictures make it into the book? I really have too many!
Tomorrow we will feed the addiction and take a ton of pictures on Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My new classes

I'm done with my first week of spring quarter. My classes this quarter should be interesting. First is Art, which is online (studying the principles of art, not actually doing any art). While I think that I will learn many terms about art, the assigned reading is already a bit tedious. Then on campus I have an Interdisciplinary Study class (IDS) that is about Science and Gender. That one is going to be very interesting, full of discussions. And my other class on campus is Language and Literature for Children. I deal with that every day, so I will enjoy that one.
So wish me luck this quarter. Hopefully I will be able to write meaningful papers and not loose my mind in all the writing I have to do. Maybe by the end of the quarter I will be able to tell you how gender affects art and the language and literature of children!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wow, 200 Posts!

I am slightly amazed that I have done 200 posts since September. Really, like I don't have better things to do. So, I will make a list of what I should have been doing instead of blogging.

  • Clean my refridgerator
  • Finish putting all the photos in the albums
  • Shave my legs more than once a week
  • Organize my office
  • Paint my bedroom (hey, I've gone almost 6 years with white walls, why not another 6?)
  • Strip wallpaper from the kitchen
  • Getting off my butt and go for a walk
  • Meet friends for coffee
  • Play monopoly with the kids
  • Canned more salsa (a must for this fall!)
  • Make more jams
  • Mop my floor, even though it never looks clean!
  • Finished homework in a more timely manner
  • Clean my curtains
Ok, so I could go on forever. Blogging is much more fun than most of these (I don't turn down coffee with friends!).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pretty Toes

My sister in law Tiffani and I escaped children and hubby's today and took the time to get pedicures. She had a gift certificate at a wonderful spa and offered to share. No way would I pass that up! So we both have pretty toes for Easter. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that I won't be freezing my toes off in open toed shoes. Thanks again to my wonderful hubby who watched all 6 kids while Tiff and I were gone. Yes he is superman, no you can't have him!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Back to Class

I'm back to campus today with two classes. I'm busy this week with the kid's spring break and Easter on Sunday. I'll try to keep up as much as possible this week. Also, I am putting in a Scentsy order today if anyone has something they would like. Enjoy the sunshine and have a great day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shopping Day

My Mom and I got to have a wonderful day of shopping yesterday. I have to say thank you to my wonderful hubby who watched the kids all day so that I could get away. Mom had scheduled four secret shops, strategically around two outlet malls. So we got to do some outlet shopping and she got paid for our trip. My favorite store to hit when we go to the Seattle Prime Outlet Mall is The Children's Place. Last fall when Mom and I went down there, we walked out of that store with huge bags of clothes. Yesterday's trip wasn't as successful, but we still found some great deals and had fun. I'll give you the low down on my bargins.

The Children's Place

1 hooded boys sweatshirt
3 longs sleeve girls shirts
1 short sleeve girls shirt
2 pairs of girls socks
2 girls sweaters
1 baby girl dress
1 baby girl top
( I know I don't have a baby girl, but I know a few!)
Total spent with tax $37.34

Gotta love that! So, who's with me for another shopping trip next month?

Friday, April 3, 2009

My boys

My hubby arrived home safely last night, and the kids and I were happy to see him. On the way home from the airport Nate was telling Dan a story about his adventures on Toon Town. It's a computer game that they play together, so they share a common language. Nate was telling him that he and a friend were playing on Toon Town and were flying around an island (yah, I don't get it either) and caught the attention of some girls. These girls on Toon Town were trying to imitate Nate and his friend and Nate commented to his friend, "Hey I got some ladies!". His friend replyed back, "Oh sCRAP". I got the giggles that Nate and his friend were talking about the "ladies", but also started freaking out that he is noticing such ladies! I was hoping that Nate would stay oblivious for a while longer. Wow, his world really opened up when he got glasses and can see everything clearly!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bear's Birthday Party Pictures

The kids had a fun throwing a party for Bear. Nate made him a card and wrapped up a hot wheel to give him. Bear also received a book. Lily was blowing the party horn and it flew out of her mouth as I took the picture. I don't think I could do that twice!
I realized yesterday as I was getting the cup cake liners down to make the cupcakes, that there is a hole between the wall of the kitchen and living room. I store things up there and thought it was solid on top, until the cupcake liners fell down in between the walls yesterday. It made me think of other times when I swore that I had just bought cupcake liners, yet they were no where to be found. Someday when we take that wall down, I'm sure we will find about 5 packages of cupcake liners!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bear's Birthday fools!

Nate reminded me last night that it was Bear's birthday. Bear is is favorite teady bear that he has had since a baby. For the last two years, Nate has put Bear's birthday on his calendar and we have thrown a party for Bear. Seriously! Since he told me so late in the day, I told Nate we would do Bear's party today. The kids have early release today, so when they come home we will have a party. Right now I have cupcakes in the oven, and I will wrap up a book. We will blow up balloons, gather all the stuffed animals in the living room, and sing Happy Birthday. I'm still not joking! Lily has caught on to this tradition, and we have done parties for two of her bears. I got smart and took pictures (in a dated album) so that she can't try to have more than one party per animal per year. I'll post pictures later to prove that I'm not pulling an April Fool's joke.

My Sailor Man

My hubby Dan works on oil barges. He rides the tug boat that pulls the oil barge back and forth between oil refineries. He kinda fell into this job, and it has taken us on a wild ride. Eight years ago his brother Steve was working on docks as security, and he was talking to a guy who worked the oil barges and this guy told him that they needed help. So Steve told Dan and Dan gave this guy a call. So Dan started working as a shore side tankerman. That means that he would travel to the ports to load and unload the barges. His schedule was insane. He would get a phone call at times asking him how fast he could get to the airport. We would drop everything to race him to Seattle to get on a plane. Other times he would work for 36 hours straight then drive home. We never knew when, where or how long he was working. The barge he was working on got sold, and Dan went with to the new company. This time he rode the tug boat that pulled the barge and was gone for 60 days at a time. Once in awhile he would be in Bellingham, and the kids and I would bring him a burger and visit for an hour. Otherwise, we didn't see him those 60 days. Then the barge got sold again. This time when he went with, his schedule got changed to 40 days on and 40 days off. That company got bought out, so he is with the 4th company in 8 years, but the same barge the whole time. Dan works very hard and is good at his job. He has never had an oil spill and is very careful. His current routine is traveling between ports in Southern California. Yesterday was his 40th day on the boat. He is hoping to get home by the weekend. We never know exactly when he will get home because of tides, loads, refinery schedules, and a million other things that come into play. He had told Lily that he would be home on April 1st, and today she said that Daddy was playing an April Fool's joke on her. (Lily has a mind like an elephant, be careful what you tell her!). So I am waiting for my sailor man to get home. I can't wait to see him and the kids are excited to see him too.