"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Little Guy turns 28 (in dog years)! A party.

For Buddy's 6th birthday, we had a dog-themed party.  We basically copied that party and just changed things up a little.

The invitation.  I used a similar invitation idea for Buddy's 4th birthday party. Each bone had party information on it.
The guests arrived (4 guests since he turned 4).  They decorated their good bags, made  doggy headbands and collars. 

We read the board book, Doggies, by Sandra Boynton to decide what dog bark was going to be ours and practiced making all the dog sounds.

Then we had Doggy Obedience School where the "dogs" learned to sit, lay, speak, roll over, shake and fetch.  They were rewarded with a doggy treat (Scooby snack).
In action at Doggy Obedience School.

We read the book Dog's Colorful Day.  And my sweet husband drew Dog for me.

Our library story time in Kansas did this story and stuck colorful felt circles on a flannel board.  I thought it would be more fun to stick them on Dog.

I told the little kids they could put the dots in the right spots, or just wherever.  After the party, Princess Sparkley rearranged the spots so they were all in the right spot.
We had a little extra time, so we also read Dog's Noisy Day and the kids had to make all the animal sounds.  It was fun.

We also played Doggy, Doggy, whose got your bone?  Sorry, no pictures of that.
And then, since this was supposed to be a Chocolate Lab party, not just a dog party, we had Chocolate Lab cupcakes.

And the goodie bags:
Before going home, the kids got to adopt a dog.  For Buddy's party, I found some Beanie Babies on Ebay, I didn't have time to wait for shipping so these little pups are just from Dollar Tree.

And, it turns out I didn't have any lollipop sticks, so the kids just got peanut butter paw prints.

And frosting the cupcakes took FOREVER, so the doggy bone sugar cookies they got in their goodie bags never got frosted.
They also got Chex Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies), some doggy stickers and a bouncy ball along with their adopted dog.

Little Guy got some great presents.  Legos, which he LOVES!!!  Buddy has already helped him build them all.  He got a super cute dog book called Chowder and a dog puzzle.  And one mom got a Webkinz Lil' Kinz Bulldog (since named Grem) and put it in a little felt bed and made it a collar and a blanket and included a little silicone bowl and a bag of "dog food" which were just chewy Lemonheads.  Super creative.  If we ever do a dog party again (although twice should probably be my limit) that's the sort of gift bag thing I'd like to send the kids home with.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little Guy turns 4!

Little Guy has been a good sport about some birthday disappointments.  The older kids talked him in to pizza bubble for dinner.  I put it on the table and he was almost in tears because he apparently had no idea what pizza bubble was and expected something more pizza-like.  Then I gave him the option of all the desserts out there.  He picked cookies.  I gave him all the cookie options, he picked sugar.  Today, while helping me make the cookies he announced to the kids, "Mom and I are making sugar cookies even though there is no sugar on top of them!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shooting Technology in the Eye

Here's something to blog about... technology.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.
Our cell phones are currently several years old.  Our contract lapsed and we could renew and get new phones and everything would be great, right?  Wrong.  We're simple people.  While it would be nice to access the internet with something I carry in my pocket, I don't need to.  And I sort of don't want to.  I'm already a little annoyed at myself and my family by how much time we spend on the internet just because of laptops and wireless internet.  I don't need that in my pocket or purse, distracting me everywhere I go. 
That being said, there are no "free phone" options (or even any phone options that I can find) available that don't require I also pay X amount each month for a data plan.  I don't want a data plan.  I just want a new phone.  I want to make phone calls, send and receive texts, take pictures, and listen to music.  That's it.  When we talked to the T-Mobile kiosk at the mall a few months ago, they guy actually laughed at our phones because they require we push the number 2 three times in order to text the letter C.  But it works for us.  We're a low technology people.  Argh!

And now we can't listen to music on our phones because our music service was bought out by another music service and it is no longer compatible with our phones.  It doesn't appear to be compatible with any phones that aren't web friendly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Updating without updating

"We don't update our blogs
We are trainwrecks." -Weezer's "Trainwrecks"
This is how I feel.  But seriously, whenever I've had a semi-coherent idea for a blog post lately, I've been in no position to blog or jot down a note.  By the time I'm back to a computer, it doesn't seem worth the effort to blog about anymore.
 I'll try to fix my brain.  Until then, this is what I've been up to:
Books read so far this year:
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord
Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt
One Day by David Nicholls
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
TV shows watched:
30 Rock
Napolon Dynamite (cartoon)
The Simpsons
Up All Night
Movies seen:
None.  I keep meaning to get The Help from Redbox and I keep forgetting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back to the Movies

For those readers who remember this post, listing the five movies I saw in the movie theater between 2005 and later 2010, you'll be shocked to see the list of movies I saw in the theater JUST THIS YEAR.

1. Tangled
2. Hop
3. Cars 2
4. Hugo
5. The Adventures of Tintin
6. The Muppets

They were all kids movies... but still enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

School Weather

The kids and I have been working on a constellation project for school and today we broadened that out a bit to discuss the rotation of the earth and seasons.  Looking around online, I found a website that had a lesson set up which included comparing a northern hemisphere city's winter months to those same months in a southern hemisphere city.  The cities this particular website selected were San Francisco, CA and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  At first it didn't strike me as a completely meaningless comparison... at least as far as trying to teach the extremes to elementary aged children.  Then we looked at their average temperature graphs at Weather.com.

Rio de Janeiro's monthly temperature averages.

San Francisco's monthly temperature averages.

I realize these are different.  Slightly.  But both of these climates are SO mildly weathered compared to what I wanted to see.  It would only have been worse had it been Los Angeles compared to Rio, since L.A. in the winter is not quite as cold as San Francisco.  What I wanted to see was extremes, like this:

Melbourne, Austrailia.  This isn't even as extreme as I wanted to see but Weather.com didn't have graphs for most of the South American cities that I looked at.

Lawrence, KS.  I wanted to southern hemisphere extreme opposite of this.

I realize, this isn't very interesting to most/all of you.  It is what's been on my mind today, and like I said a few days ago, I have nothing else to blog about right now, so this is what you get.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nothing to Say

I can't think of a thing to blog about.  I haven't come up with an official list of resolutions.  I didn't ever blog my list last year and I fear that may be why I failed so miserably on accomplishing much this past year.  I had nothing to be accountable to.  So... coming soon, my resolutions for 2012. 

I could type up a menu because we've been trying some new recipes around here.  And trying to eat healthier snacks, but it takes so much work to link to all the recipes, etc.  And I'm feeling lazy today.

We gave the kids two weeks and two days off of school for Christmas/New Year's break.  Usually we'd give them the entire month so their schedule matches up with Jed's college schedule, but we got a LATE start this year, and I thought two weeks was normal.  Until we were at my sister-in-law's for New Year's and found out their kids had school the next day, the Monday after New Year's.  The entire week I'd planned on giving my kids off.  I figured normal schools would at least have Monday off.  Nope.  Not always.  So we got back to school... not this Monday, that was a get organized, go to the library, grocery shop, first snow of the season day, but Tuesday. 

Well, now I sound like one of those Facebook posts I hate... the monthly letter update as a status update.  So I'm stopping.  I'll be back with something to say... someday.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies!

For anyone who happens to be local and hasn't seen my Facebook post about it yet, Princess Sparkley is selling Girl Scout cookies.  Orders are due January 20th.  Cookies are $4/box this year.  You pay us when we deliver the cookies to you (around February 8th).  Here are this year's cookies: http://littlebrowniebakers.com/cookies/
If you are interested in buying any (and local), send us your email address and we'll send you the link.  Thanks!

And everyone, tell me which is your favorite Girl Scout cookie!  Mine are Tagalongs....mmmmm.
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