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It’s a REAL snow day

February 24, 2015

So the ice was nice last week, but I think it’s safe to say that EVERYONE much prefers the snow…even if it’s just an inch or so (and we know it’s going to disappear soon). Michael and Clare have been outside for the last 3 1/2 hours playing with the neighborhood kids. Gosh, that girl & boy love to play. It makes me happy! Everyone else lasted about an hour. Katie came in warmed up with a hot shower, did a little schoolwork and then headed out again to play.

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So Nate thought he was going to get out of the house before the snow fun really started. Thankfully, he took my suggestion to play for a bit before going in to the office this morning. I wonder how many dads got to start their morning like this? It makes this momma happy!

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Reilly snuck up and threw an unexpected snowball. I love that Michael has a brother in the neighborhood. I heard Michael call him “my best brother” today. Ahhh, makes this momma happy to hear it! I love both these kids!

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So much playing to be done this morning.

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So Clare threw a snowball and it hit Elizabeth in the mouth. It happened to be in the first five minutes we were outside. Oops. Elizabeth never really recovered. I guess snow isn’t so much her thing! HA.

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Thank goodness for the neighbors perfect little sledding hill. We might have to lay down some new grass pallets this spring though. Thank you Aunt Jenny for the Christmas presents. Great idea! We actually got to use them this year! They work much better than the previous years’ laundry baskets.

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This girl is hilarious!

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I guess we will leave the snow ice cream bowls out tonight also. I hear there’s a chance for more snow overnight. We will see.

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Stay warm and hopefully we will get the snow predicted for Wednesday night and there will be even more snow fun in store this week. I know some kids who wouldn’t mind this momma drying out their snow clothes for more wearing this week!

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Lent is here – My 40/40/40 has begun

February 18, 2015

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You, too, can create your own 40/40/40 invitation. Check it out at Lisa’s blog: https://closeddoorsopenwindows.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/lent/

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May your lenten journey be richly blessed! Thanks Lisa from Closed Doors Open Windows for the inspiration and ease of joining you in this prayer initiative!!

Ice Storm 2015

February 18, 2015

I woke up to our larger than life Clare screaming, “Mommy. Mommy. Elsa came. Elsa came. There’s ice everywhere!”

Indeed little girl, there is ice everywhere but on the roads and sidewalks. Who would have thought? What shall we do? What shall we do? Eat king cake and indulge in a seriously sugary breakfast prepared by our sweet Katie Girl as she exercises her greatest talent and interest…food! I so love our yearly king cake. Thank you sweet girl.

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Then what? Don all the winter gear for a little playtime and a walk through the neighborhood. How beautiful!

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We are well. We have power. We are warm. We have groceries. We are watching the weather and bracing for what might be another week off school for those Atlantans not schooling at home. 6degrees overnight on Thursday and 70% chance of snow on Friday. Michael is thrilled. Katie is worried her plans for Friday night will be cancelled. Wonder on Friday how we will be celebrating Ellie’s 2nd birthday. Stay safe all.

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Pinewood Derby Days

February 1, 2015

Oh yes. It is the first for us. Michael’s first year in Cub Scouts has brought many traditions into our little house this year. The Pinewood Derby is indeed one of those time-honored traditions, right?!

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Nate’s trip to Nashville was the perfect opportunity for Papa to step in as leader and accomplice in this car building.

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Michael loved the opportunity to use the Dremel for the first time. How fun, right?!

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After watching the videos, Michael was so set on finding flame decals. I love it.

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Time to insert the weights to get the car to 5 oz.

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Bent axels and graphite were added to reduce the friction on the wheels.

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And it’s off to the races. Michael had his own little cheering squad! Fr. Neil stopped in to bless the cars and partake in some racing fun. I love it. It means a lot sistas that you came! (As an aside, thanks too for the help during Mass afterward.)

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Car #25 weighed in at exactly 5 oz. and took it’s place among the other racers.

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Drivers ready.

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On your mark.

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Get set. GO!!

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So it seems there were some definite design errors in this year’s car construction. Michael’s car struggled in all four heats. Center of gravity off? Axels bent incorrectly? Wrong graphite? Who knows for sure, but I imagine there will be a few male minds pondering it before next year’s races.

Now for the awards.

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“For Den 9, the winner was Michael Boster at an average time of 4.7 seconds.” (Almost a full second slower than the other winning competitors.)

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It seems Michael was the only from his den to compete. How? We aren’t sure, but for now, I’m so delighted his first car sits next to a trophy.

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His den (a combination of Dens 8 & 9) also received the award for the lowest average time. They get to adorn it with something and bring it back to be awarded next year. Well done boys!

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Today might have been a lesson in “just show up”, but I’m so proud of this crew of men who helped pull off this first (for our family). Next year, the trophy will be for the truly fastest car in the den.

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Max, one of these days, it will be your turn to race. Your brother will hopefully be an Eagle scout by then and able to give you some grand advice on your first Pinewood Derby races. Here’s to the promise of a continuing legacy!

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Well done you two! Thanks for a great afternoon of entertainment and success.

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It’s a Donut Day

January 30, 2015

Oh. My. Goodness. Both Clare & Nate woke up this morning so excited to spend the morning together. There were donuts planned. Gifts to be given. A pretty polka dot dress to wear. Sparkly nails to show off and pretty Sunday shoes. Yes, Clare had been talking about this day all week. She made me promise that she could wear her dress and paint her nails. To say they were both excited would be an understatement.

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Clare made the sweetest tie for her daddy. She doesn’t like color much I guess.

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She seriously has the greatest teachers. I have no idea where they found a toddler sized space suit, but I love this gift a lot!!! How sweet and the combination of rocks and cement…genius!

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Who doesn’t love the interview questions. Out of the mouth of babes. I think at some point, she forgot she was answering her daddy’s favorites and started naming her favorites (Incredible Vegetables—a Veggie Tale episode.) Hilarious none-the-less.

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It’s days like this that really make preschool special for all of us. It’s the first time someone has had the opportunity to help our daughter shine and surprise us with gifts and projects that weren’t part of our doing. We have been so very, very happy with this year and the gifts that have become Clare’s day at preschool. Her teacher is truly a gift!

Today, I’m thankful for the role of great dads in the lives of their kiddos.

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Today, I’m thankful for my husband that was literally jumping out of his skin as if he was a little boy on Christmas morning. I’m thankful that our 3 year old was equally excited to share this time with him and shower him with the gifts she had prepared. May we never take for granted the simple things…a pretty dress, a donut hole, a photograph adorned with rocks and cement, and a little time to share a space she’s come to treasure with someone she adores. I love you both! Happy Donuts with Dad day!!

Publix Loves Kids

January 29, 2015

Our kids have been wearing the green Publix Loves Kids stickers for years. We were so happy when they opened a store just a block from our subdivision. It’s my go-to store for sure. Our homeschool group organized a field trip to tour the store and learn a few ins and outs of the grocery business. Interesting for sure!

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Of course, everyone loves to watch cake decorating. Katie’s ears definitely perked up when she learned Publix will send you to school to learn cake decorating if you are hired for their department. Awesome, right?!

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I wonder how much homemade bread I’d have to make to justify a cool bread cutting machine like this? All their bread is made on site starting at 4:00 a.m. It has a shelf life in the store of 24-48 hours, and then is donated to one of the local food pantrys.

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Yes. Publix does have really good friend chicken! Now we know the secret. It’s double breaded! Yummy.

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The “fry lady” was a hoot. She was from the real south for sure with a thick accent to prove it. I think this was one of the kids’ favorite departments. They were all begging us moms for a lunch to go.

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We love pineapple for sure. Did you know that if you call ahead, the produce department will save the top of the pineapple for any customer requesting it. Why? So you can grow your own pineapple tree of course. I am not sure this homeschool mom is up for that though. Does that make me a bad teacher/mom? HA.

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I had forgotten that when you put lobsters into the tank, you have to submerge them slowly so they don’t drown. This lady was a riot talking about her lobsters. The bands indicate the waters where they lived. Valentines day and Christmas/New Years are their highest sales for lobster.

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Then they were good enough to send us home with a goodie bag. YUMMY! Ironically, it contained some of our favorite snacks…sugar cookies from their kids club, a cutie orange, a beef stick, and crackers with cheese. Needless to say, everyone was happy!!

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February’s field trip is much anticipated to say the least. We’ll be partaking in our own gourmet chocolate dipping at Schakolad in Roswell, GA. FUN!

Blink! What happened to January?

January 29, 2015

I seriously can’t believe that Christmas is over. We’ve already celebrated New Year’s. The kids have started school again. Clare is at preschool three mornings a week. Tutoring is in full swing at our dining room table. (I have up to 8 hours a week now. I love my clients!) Archery and American Heritage Girls are again on Katie’s calendar. Michael’s Cub Scouts and P.E. classes are occupying our week, and Max just turned four months old. I guess it’s no wonder time is flying! How did we spend our month? Busy of course.

Soaking in some last minute playtime with friends before their school days are occupied at the brick & mortar school.

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Max got a chance to see his Godmother a few times this month. I’ll consider that a huge accomplishment actually. It’s hard to match schedules these days with ever growing kids and their activities and numbers too for that matter.

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We were blessed with a sweet little after Christmas surprise package. How cute, right? Thanks to a great aunt and uncle!

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Michael and Nate spent one Saturday at the Georgia Tech students’ center playing board games. Fr. Michael was able to walk across campus in time for a late dinner with my boys. Oh how we are blessed to call Fr. Michael friend!

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Jen turned 36 this year! Gosh. Say it isn’t so that we are really getting that close to 40 and I’m two years ahead of her. Happy birthday sis! Glad you live close!

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Not only are we thrilled to pieces to have a Marcos pizza in the neighborhood, but we were even more delighted to partake in their grand opening.

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It was great to see their community spirit with a balloon and face painting artist, inflatable jumpies and of course fantastic food and drink. How fun to sample new pizza combinations also. Nate & I also scored 24 free pizzas for a year! LOVE IT!

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Baby Max is seriously getting so big. Well actually, he’s tall and skinny, but he’s really growing quickly. He’s just under 13 lbs. and right at 25″ long putting him in the 25th% for weight and 65th% for height.

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Papa is still living the housewife life as he continues to look for work. I was pressed to complete the final details on a talk I was giving at the church, so Papa graciously entertained the kids. Needless to say, what started out as entertainment for the little girls, quickly became an all morning play opportunity for everyone. Treasured memories for sure. Clare has asked for a big, big fort almost everyday since. For sure the best part was trapping everyone. You were forced to climb under if you wanted to cross the room. Lovely!

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We also spent the month rallying around a college friend as he fought cancer. Paul was in Nate’s household and although they didn’t know each other well, there’s something really incredible about the alumni bond out of Franciscan University. It was easy to offer our thoughts and prayers and sacrifices for a family we didn’t “know” as life-changing moments quickly remind you life is simply an extension of the Mystical Body of Christ. Paul & Ann are such an example of faith, joy, and love. You can read more of our own personal tributes HERE and on their facebook page HERE. You might also consider helping Annie and the kids by purchasing a Tshirt or sending a donation to cover the medical expenses and renovations on their house. You can find the Tshirts HERE and the YouCare page HERE. Annie carries one of Paul’s greatest and lasting gifts within her womb now. She’s due April 17th with their fourth living child. Nate & I have been so touched by this couple and the unfolding of what it means to love and support one another. Community matters a great deal and I’m certain it’s the way Christ intends us to live. May we #livelikepaul and #lovelikeannie.

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Next up for the end of this month, is the Pinewood Derby. Michael & Papa have been working to design and finish his car. Interesting how this race has evolved over the generations. There’s even a video from the Boy Scouts explaining the science behind a race-winning car. I love it. Bummer though; if only we’d known there were actual Derby Days scheduled at our local Lowe’s. Next year, right? I never dreamed this race had evolved so much since my brother made his car 25 years ago. Here’s just a preview of the future-after-the-race blog post.

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Hope you are warm in your neck of the woods and enjoying some memory moments of your own. The baby would like some mommy time so I’m off for now. I’ll come back to blog about the kids’ January field trip to Publix.

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