A List Maker's Life: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

Winter in Michigan inspires soup-er experimentation.
Soup happens to be on our menu at least once a week.

~Does your family consider soup a meal?
~What are your favorite soup side dishes and/or add ins?

I thought it would be fun to share some soup-er recipes with each other.
To get started, here is the soup we tried this week:

Cheddar Ham Chowder

2 1/2 c.water
2 c. potatoes (peeled & cubed)
1/2 c. sliced celery
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. cheddar cheese
16 oz. frozen corn
1 1/2 c. cubed ham (I know it's in the name, but I prefer this without ham)

Bring water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt, and pepper to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside. In a second pan, melt butter; blend in flour. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in other veggies (include broth); add corn and ham. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Building Something Sweet


Mini Marshmallows + Toothpicks =
Sculptures of all shapes & sizes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Young is Too Young?

Recently Gavin has become interested in a few things that I know are just a bit too mature for him.

For example:
~Wii (He doesn't know when enough screen time is enough)
~Transformers (Scary)
~Understanding Death (These questions came about because of Transformers...)
~Pop (Probably due to mom's addiction to Diet Coke!)
~American Idol (Well...we somewhat encouraged this interest & now I wonder why)
~Skillet (TOO loud)
~Shrek (Little boys learn bathroom humor quickly enough on their own - who needs an ogre to teach them?)

He is growing up too quickly as it is!

I sure wish we could go back to the days of Little People, Peek-a-Boo Blocks, whole milk, Caillou, Boz, and Toy Story.

2005

Do your kiddos have any interests that should still be just beyond their reach?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"This City" by Gavin

"I'm All Snuggly of You"


Wordless Wednesday is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Creative Problem Solving

Dilema:
Limited space in our bathroom
Kids can't reach their toothbrushes



Solution:
3 new hooks
A pail for each child
Toothbrushes within reach

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carnival

There are loads of great blog giveaways to participate in right now!
If you have the time you might want to check them out!

Mighty Fine Motor Practice


The latest preschool activity swap is in, and it's loaded with great to inspire winter fun (and future posts). We opened up our first one today, filled with all the goodies to create Valentine placemats!

Materials:
large piece of construction paper
paper doilies
tissue paper (this is key!)
sickers
glue sticks
crayons

Instruction:
1. Begin by tearing the tissue paper into small pieces
2. Collage the tissue pieces to create a background for the placemat design
3. Add additional embellishments
4. Choose a valentine phrase to finish your creation
5. Cover front and back of the placemat with contact paper

What's to love about this project?
~The tissue tearing & arranging made this activity hold the kids' attention for more than the typical 2 minutes most art projects last.
~The tearing and peeling sticker backings is great fine motor practice for little fingers
~Easy, peasy set up & clean up!
~The placemats are a cute addition to our valentine house.

Activity courtesy of Jodi S.

What's For Dinner?


Monday: Cheddar Ham Chowder
Tuesday: Orange Chicken and Wild Rice
Wednesday: Hot Beef Sandwiches
Thursday: Chicken Melt Sandwiches
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Dinner out with friends
Sunday: Superbowl Snacks & More at Mom's



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Did you see my new button? I was so excited today to figure out how to design, post, and share my own little Listmaker logo. If you are a regular visitor and have a blog of your own, you can "grab" my button to decorate your page.

Every Moment gadget

Typical 12 Hours

7 AM - Good Morning Mama!
Breakfast, please?

8 AM - Happy Baby Play Time
It’s a bummer that mom misses many of my morning smiles because she is too busy getting everyone ready for the day

9 AM - Cat Nap
Seems to be the best option since I’m usually stuck shopping with my ladies.

10 AM – Brunch Time

11 AM – Cruising in my "Adventure Seat."
It’s time to pick up Gavin from school. YEAH! I love my big brother.

12 PM – Snooze…

1 PM – Lunch Time…yum!

2 PM – Mommy & Me!
Finally, I get mom all to myself while Gavin and Anne Hope rest! Time to show her my new tricks. I don’t even mind when she forces me into tummy time.

3 PM – Boy, all that playing tires me right out again ...

4 PM – Dinner Time

5 PM – I try to be patient while I wait for everyone to come back to play with me. For some reason they all think they should get a chance to eat too. I guess…

6 PM – Zzzzzz

7 PM – Bed Lunch!



Gibson Nickolas - 12 weeks old

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is Blogging Addictive?

I am 67% Addicted to Blogging
Wow, is that all?

Click on the link to diagnose your addiction.

Tagged

Today I was tagged for a “meme” by a new friend at Katie’s Nesting Spot! Hokey Smokes there are a ton of questions in this one, and you might learn a bit more than you wanted to know ~ as if telling you how often I showered wasn’t enough for one week…

1.WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mom's middle name is Kay. I often get asked what my whole name is – it’s Katie!
2.WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I don't cry...unless I am extremely tired
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I don’t mind it. I think it would be fun to create a font of my own handwriting to use in my scrapbook projects
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Honey Roasted Turkey
5 IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I hope so
6. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No
7. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Never!
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Life
9. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Tie shoes? What are those?
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Eskimo Kisses from the marina in Arcadia
11. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their facial expressions.
12. RED OR PINK? Pink. Although Anne Hope would argue that I can’t like that color because pink is HER color.
13. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I am not funny.
14. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The mix from Michelle's wedding - specifically One with U2 & Mary J Blige
15. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHICH COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Periwinkle – my favorite!
16. FAVORITE SMELLS? Baby, Strawberry, and Lilacs
17. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Mom
18. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Oh please, don’t make me watch sports
19. HAIR COLOR? Brown
20. EYE COLOR? Hazel
21. DO YOU WERE CONTACTS? If I want to see anything past my nose!
22. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings
23. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Bedtime Stories, cute.
24. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer by Lake MI, nothing beats it!
25. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs
26. FAVORITE DESSERT? I don’t think I could choose just one.
27. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Nada
28. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Waves
29. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Is Scotland further or Mexico? I suppose I could check it out on Map Quest.
30. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Grand Rapids, MI

I ended up taking out several of the questions because I have answered them this week either here or here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Think Spring With Me Here...



It all started when I said,
"What a pretty bicycle... I want one just like that."
Bicycle Song by Orbit

So, for my birthday
"I got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket [well, actually a baby seat]
A bell that rings
And things to make it look good"
~Bike by Pink Floyd

Now, "life's like a road that [I] travel on...Sometimes I turn my back to the wind...Come ride with me to the distant shore. We won't hesitate, to break down the garden gate. There's not much time left today. Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long. If you're going my way, I wanna drive it all night long." Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts

My new mantra will be
"Bicyclye, Bicycle, Bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like"
Bicycle Race by Queen

I might even challenge you to a race, think Chariots of Fire by Vangelis!

Watch out though because "this wheel's on fire, rolling down the road."
The Wheel's on Fire by Bob Dylan

Am I on the "highway to the danger zone?"
Highway to the Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins

I certainly hope not!

Anyway... my "vintage" pink Schwinn bicycle requires a special riding tune to call it's own. I'm taking nominations for the best bike riding beats. Please leave a comment with your suggestions, so I can be sure to download the #1 riding song on my iPod when I test drive my NEW bike!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Thoughts Are Usually Quite Deliberate

I shower at least twice everyday - usually three times. Seriously.

When I shower anywhere other than home I wear flip flops.

That might lead you to believe I am obsessive about clean, germ-free feet

(which I insist on hanging out the ends of the sheets while I sleep).

Yet, I spend the summer barefoot, because

I love sand between my toes.

I also love baby toes. I'm sure they are delicious.

Almost as delicious as mashed potatoes, applesauce, and mushrooms. Yes, I eat them (sometimes together).

However, I do not eat either end of a french fry.

I have no desire to travel to France.
But, I would love to see Spain and Austria.

I studied Spanish for four years in high school and three years at Hope.

I wish I was more comfortable speaking it, I just listen.

I try to be a good listener. Usually I am,

unless I am upset. I don't get mad; I get quiet!

I am also quiet during movies. I rarely laugh or cry at fiction.

Although sarcasm is supposedly fiction, I think it is really rude.

I might sound rude now when I tell you, I think TV is stupid!

I would much rather relax with a good book.
Right now I am reading Jesus for President
(...talk about HOPE).

The book has great graphic organizers, but no political cartoons
(which I often enjoy, but rarely understand).

I also don't understand loving back rubs or pets.

There isn't a single finned, scaled, furry, or feathered creature that I like!

Spiders creep me out quite a bit, but I am deathly afraid or snakes.

I am also afraid of my breath being stinky.
That's the reason I brush at least 4 times every day.

If I could, I would sleep as often as I brush my teeth. I can sleep through anything,

except crying. My sweet baby still doesn't sleep through the night.

When he and I are up together in the wee hours of the morning,
I pray for all three of my dear children.

In those wee hours I also crave chocolate chip cookies.
Oh wait...I crave them all the time!

Believe it or not, I rearrange the furniture in our home more often than I eat cookies.

Usually I take care of the mundane chores around our house on Sunday nights.

I was born on a Sunday.

Even on my birthday, I don't particularly enjoy being the center of attention.


There you have it...31 random things you probably did not know about me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rudolf Romp



Monday, January 19, 2009

An Inaugural Education

Who is the new president of the United States?
Gavin: Barack Obama
Anne Hope: Mock O'Mama

Who was the president before him?
"The one we talked about at school today, you know the one who looks like Barack Obama.
Yeah, and mom, what happened to John McCain?"
"Huh?"

How long will Barack be the president?
49 years
Until he's gonna get too big

Where does the president live?
"I think in a state. Does he?"
"At Hope College"

What does the president do?
"Tell people things like: what state we can live in, what house we can have, and what school we want to go to. A president can also be a daddy, like Barack Obama bees a daddy."
"Goes to McDonalds and Taco Bell"

Would you like to be the president someday?
"No! When I grow up I am going to be a singing garbage man."
"Yeah, sure!"
"Hmm...that could be fun for a girl president..."

...and you thought you knew all about the presidency???

In case you didn't read it before, my thoughts on this CHANGE for our country are here.

Take a Chance

There are some fun blog giveaways to be part of today.
Check them out at Crafty Crow & Make and Takes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Held


Gibson Nickolas -11 weeks

Lately when I carry Gibson in the sling or snuggle him in my lap he uses all of his energy bobbing his head around. His own display of determination as he learns to support his head on his own. Boy, does he want to prove how strong he has become.

Sweet baby, I wish you would just relax and let me hold you.

Watching him, I have to think...
Am I bopping around trying to keep my head up on my own?
Do I think I am proving to others just how strong I am?
Is my Father just waiting for me to relax and let Him hold me?

"There is a place that I know
Where I need more often to go
A place of amazing comfort and rest

I fear nothing at all
When I’m safe in the arms of my Father
And if I ever fall
I take comfort in knowing That You are there"
~Dave Chumchal

As you begin a new week, full of new challenges, I would encourage you to settle in and rest while you (and you!) are held.

This post is my personal response to Stephanie's thought and Amber's poetic reflection.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dinner at Our House?


Seriously, sometimes dinner feels like this.

Gotta love Mary Engelbreit for drawing it like it is.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stay at Home Success Secret #1

I do NOT enjoy shopping. However, I love a good deal! We cleaned up today on cheap fashions for our whole family at the annual Old Navy winter clearance. The score: $69.27 for $441.79 dollars of clothing. (Yes, I actually added up all of the original tag prices...) We are pretty pleased with the savings. Now, my only mission for outfitting my kiddos for next winter is a great deal on snow pants and boots. YEAH!

Hint: Old Navy's sale does not actually begin until tomorrow. However, if you go today you will not fight the crowds for your size & color. The store will reimburse you on the sale prices anytime this weekend. Check it out - I promise we left plenty on the racks for the rest of you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Every Girl Needs a Prince


I have never attempted a meme, however I have been lacking for “blog-spiration” this week so I thought I would try this one. And with all the plowing and lack of sleep Kevin has been getting he could use a little gushing on my part.

How long did you date? About 9 months - When you know, you know

How old is he? 30

Who eats more? Definitely him. He can put away more food than almost anyone I know - especially ice cream!

Who said “I love you” first? He did.
“I, um, think I like you. A lot. Actually, um, I think I love you. Yes, I Love You!” Truth be told, Kevin always says “I Love You” first. First in the morning, first in the afternoon, first in the evening, first in the spring, first on my birthday…you see it is something I need to work on!

Who is taller? Him. I love that

Who sings better? Uh…Kevin doesn’t sing , but if he did I am sure it would be better than my singing.

Who is smarter? Of course the teacher in me knows that we are all smart in different ways, so I guess we are pretty evenly matched.

Whose temper is worse? I am not a “temper person” at all, so I would have to place the temper title on Kevin.

Who does the laundry? For ¾ of the year laundry is 95% my responsibility (Kevin does his very dirty work clothes and I do the rest). When we are both home in the winter Kevin picks on most of the laundry duty.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I can only sleep on the right side, crazy enough.

Who pays the bills? Kevin does. This was one of those things that was hard for me to give up the control of, but after 5 years of marriage Kevin put his foot down on the $ issue and took the reigns. I have to admit that I really appreciate that now!

Who cooks dinner? I make all of our meals, but Kevin always offers to clean up. It would be fun to cook a meal together sometime though.

Who drives when you are together? Kevin always drives. He loves to show off his fabulous plow driver skills and mad depth perception. I love not having to drive.

Who is more stubborn? Yikes, that would be me – thus the nickname “Stubborn Bunny”

Who kissed who first? I think him, but it was pretty mutual

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Him - always. Frankly, I stink at this.

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine…(Gee, is it the Wii?? Just Kidding!)

Who proposed? Kevin did. He braved a snowstorm on Lake Michigan to stomp out the words “Will you marry me?” in the snow at the foot of Big Red, before venturing back out with me to ask and see.

Who is more sensitive? Oh, my KevyKev for sure!

Who has more friends? I have more friends that I interact with regularly, but Kevin is more friendly! His sense of humor draws people to him.

Who has more siblings? We are each thankful for our 1 sibling, but glad that our family has 3 children.

Who wears the pants in the family? It depends on the situation, or maybe it depends on who you ask.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheeks & Chins


"The better to kiss you on, my dear..."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let's Play Pirates

The teacher in me was pretty pleased when Gavin wanted to write a letter to his buddy Austin. My expectations weren't too high since he has never asked to do this before. We assembled the necessary materials: crayon box, pencil, Cars movie notebook, and drawing paper. I assumed he would draw a picture and maybe write his name. As I made lunch I could hear Gavin "stretching out words" as he worked. When we sat down together he said, "I'm done with my letter mom. Will you send it to Austin so we can play together soon?"

Now the teacher in me is even more pleased!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Little Things

Some say "the little things are the big things."

Well, my little laptop is creating a big holdup for me on several of my digital projects. Yes, believe it or not, my 8 month old computer has once again been sent out for a new hard drive! I am without my files, my pictures, my online favorites list, and my scrapbook programs.
Boo Woo.

What is the lesson to be learned in this minor set back?
Although some little things are the big things, I don't need to make big things out of every little thing...

little things that should stay little:
1) dishes that don't make it into the dishwasher as quickly as I wish they would
2) sloppy boots that come in on the carpet
3) toys scattered around the kids' bedroom
4) hastily made comments that were not meant to offend

little things that should be big:
1) the times I play with the kids
2) the moments that Kevin and I have to visit without distractions
3) the simple traditions of eating meals together as a family and reading before bedtime
4) catching Gavin and Anne Hope as they treat each other with kindness, love, and respect

Friday, January 2, 2009

2 Good 2 Be True


Gibson Nickolas - 2 Months

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Happy 2009!
2009 is sure to bring new opportunity, excitement, adventure, and news. Just as we did at the beginning of last year, let’s make our predictions for what will happen in the 365 days to come.

Katie's Predictions:
1) Kevin will cry on Gavin’s first day of Kindergarten
2) Another great grandbaby for Kevin's grandma
3) Gibson will be the first of our kids to say “Mom” for his first word
4) Michelle Obama will wear a red dress for the inaguration.
5) Brad & Angelina will add to their family again (x2).
6) Baby Boy Wojcik will be born on March 7.
7) Gavin will learn how to read
8) Someone in the family will get a new job
9) Anne Hope will learn to ride a 2-wheeler
10) The Lions will win 9 games in '09
11) Kevin's extended family will celebrate an engagement
12) GRPS - another year w/o a contract

Kevin's Predictions:
1) The Lions make the playoffs in '09
2) Katie will cry when Anne Hope goes to preschool
3) Gas will shoot to $5 a gallon
4) President Obama will walk on water
5) The new great grand baby will NOT be from us
6) Governor Granholm will let her hair grow out, thereby getting rid of the boy look
7) The Iraqi shoe thrower will get a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer
8) President Obama will heal the sick
9) Michigan State will go to the Rose Bowl
10) Anne Hope will finally learn to "go on the potty"
11) Shine, by the Newsboys, will continue to be played as a great hit on JQ99.
12)Granholm will continue to stun us with her economic decisions.
13) The Office will still be very popular, even though I totally don't get it

What do you think will happen in ’09? Add your list in the comment section. The more predictions, from friends & family, the better!