A List Maker's Life: August 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Many Colored Days

Tomorrow Gabe and I are headed to Boston to meet a pediatric neurosurgeon.
The logical thing to do to get ready would be to make a Crayola wreath.

post signature

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Veggie Pals

Our local farmer's market provides age appropriate activities for children on Wednesday mornings.  Last week's project was a hit with crew.  Using a box of awkwardly shaped garden treats, a pile of every type of art extra a kid could dream of, and all the creativity they could muster,  the kids were set free to create their very own veggie pals.   After just about an hour, we left the market with three extra characters.

Gavin made the "Crazy, Three -Eyed Monster Pepper" (which has since rotted in his steaming hot upstairs bedroom and left a fabulous smell...)

Anne Hope directed me as we built a pipe cleaner princess gown for her goldilocks potato.

Gibson flew his potato around everyone with or without the detachable red cape.
Gabe had a three legged carrot that I wish I would have snapped a picture of before he snapped off the legs with his sharp baby teeth.  One of the salvaged legs can still be seen sticking out of Gavin's pepper headed monster.

Don't you think this is a perfect open ended project to tie in with a visit to the farmer's market.  The teacher in me was even tempted to take it a bit further and use these goofy  potato and pepper pets as a springboard for some creative writing.
post signature

Friday, August 19, 2011


One who is down + One who is up
Feeling pain and finding laughter together

One who is confused + One who has a solution
Seeking answers from the One who holds them -  together

One willing to ask for directions + One searching without a map
Arriving at just the right destinations -  together

One to easily admit defeat + One ready to dig in his heels
Finding the determination for the daily struggles -  together

One who naturally loves conversation + One who seeks out quiet
Building community - together

In life. In love. Our numbers don't always fit into their typical equations.
One + One = An unpredictably wonderful number


post signature

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Copy. Paste.

You know the days that are so good you would happily repeat them?

The kind of day when the sun is shining inside.

When you get to see all kinds of your favorite people - some visits planned and some totally unexpected.

The days filled with snacks, surprises, and out of the ordinary entertainment.

Filled with sounds of giggles and secrets and the sound of  "someone else gets me."

The ones sprinkled with just the right amount of planned versus spontaneous & a pinch of creativity.

That was today.
post signature

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stepping Into It

Thank you to Crocs for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Crocs’ new Back to School line. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The truth is, I'd like to put off school shopping as long as possible!  If it is time to talk about shopping for clothes and supplies, it means our schedule free (mostly) summer days are coming to a end. While I would like to avoid the thought all together that would do nothing but leave us completely unprepared in 22 days when 2! of my kids head off to elementary school.

The first few years of our family's back to school preparations have been fairly easy with Gavin.  We weed through the outgrown and over played in selections in his closet, sort what is left into outfits, and pick a favorite to wear for the first day.  But that is about to change.  Ready or not....I am sending Anne Hope off to Kindergarten and what she wears matters (to her)!

Living on a budget encourages us to look for creative ways to spend less while still trying to give our kids positive experiences.  This year one of our friends jumped in to help with that creative experience, giving us a unique back to school gift.  After clearing out her soon-to-be 3rd grader's closets, mom and daughter set up an in home shopping mall for Anne Hope.  The clothes were organized by size, season, and type.  Anne Hope and I picked through each pile for favorites to try on.  Our "mall" even had a free styling service and told us just what pieces worked together best.  With a pile taller than Anne Hope we headed to the dressing room for at least 40 minutes of "yeses." "nos." "maybes." and "LOVE its."  Then we headed home (without an empty wallet) with two weeks worth of fantastic outfits and a very happy Kindergartener.

Still wanting a one of a kind outfit for the first day, Anne Hope and I picked out some special fabric with a cute skirt/shirt pattern in mind.  The same generous friend who invited us to shop her closets, helped us sew up a sweet outfit that "owl" show pictures of after she wears it for the first time.

So, now we just need to pick up the basics: underclothes, socks, and shoes.

It is important to me to be sure the kids each have one quality pair of shoes for everyday wear and a second nice pair to keep at school as indoor shoes for gym and boot season.  Since Gavin and Anne Hope happily live in Crocs all summer, it is fun to see they are now offering school approved (closed toe/closed heel) options for both boys and girls in grades K-8. In fact, there are now 13 new styles to choose from, made with the same comfort inside as their favorite summer shoes.

Since it is typically more fun to pick out Anne Hope's shoes, I thought I'd show you what I am thinking...

These navy Keelys will match her first day of school outfit perfectly, and can easily be mixed and matched with many of the outfits we have assembled for the fall and winter.  Pink Dawsons will be comfortable indoor shoes for her to keep nice for gym.

So, it looks like our closets are ready for September 6. Now I must get to work on our attitudes and sleep schedules, because at this point we are still all summer inside!

This music video is interactive- you can click on the shoes in the video to go directly to the shoes' corresponding pages on the Crocs official site.  While at the site users can enter a giveaway for a family vacation to San Diego (no purchase necessary).  The video also has a hidden surprise, click on the graphic to see what happens.


post signature

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Busy Bodies

Seriously, our summer schedule has been so packed that I can hardly imagine what the days are going to look like when we start adding school commitments to the calendar again.  Can't say I love the chasing that comes with a new school year, but I do love writing our to dos in my planner.  

It is usually about August when I run in to the problem of having lots of dates scribbled into the week of December 26-31 that need to be transferred into next year's book.  Thank goodness Busy Body Books gets this. They release their new designs and organizers just in time.  In addition to calendar year books, they also sell academic year calendars for those who identify the start of the school year as a new year. (Which I did for the first 27 years of my life)

I have mentioned this before, but my favorite feature of the Busy Body Book is the unique 5 column, double page spread for each week.  This year's columns will likely be labeled: home, online, appointments, school, and menu.  These categories are quite different than this past year when I labeled them by names, but I think it will be more efficient.

Every year Busy Body Books update their designs to keep things fresh and fun.  This year I have chosen the striped cover, called Licorice.

Although, it was a tricky choice...the Blueberry cover is also cute.

If you have questions about this specific organizer or how to effectively use a family planner, I would be happy to help.  Until then, I will head back to my scheduling.  For starters, I must happily block out  May 19 & 20 for Gleek Retreat.  Yay!
post signature
Thank you Joan  for sending me a complimentary copy of the 2012 Busy Body Book for my review to feed my list making addiction for another year! It is my pleasure to share it with my friends and readers here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Daddy Dates

Anne Hope is a lucky little lady to have a dad who is committed to investing one-on-one time with her.  These two plan daddy & daughter dates once a month.  Before their first outing Kevin admitted that he was a little anxious that he would not know what to talk to her about.  His worries were eased when he recognized that she was most excited to have his undivided attention while she recounted the small details of her day.

When I discovered the book Daddy Dates: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts: The Road Map for Any Dad to Raise a Strong and Confident Daughters by Greg Wright, I was hoping it would be an encouragement for Kevin that he is on the right track with his daughter dating mission.

Greg is the father of four teenage daughters.  His mission in parenting is to raise confident young women by demonstrating to them what it feels like to be treated with love and respect.  He has found the method that works best for him and his girls.  Daddy Dates.  He began dating his girls at a young age and shares his experiences, in his unique "mans man" voice, in this informative (yet entertaining) book.

The book is based on a common sense idea, yet his suggestions for successfully dating daughters are presented in practical and fun ways.   The book provides personality profiles to help dads identify the types of dates and conversations their daughters will most enjoy. He also discusses conversations and activities appropriate for special dates for girls or all ages.

Kevin's desire is that Anne Hope will grow up feeling sure of herself,  understanding that she is a gift, and knowing that her daddy is her #1 fan.  He hopes to develop a strong relationship that will give her confidence as she journeys through adolescence.  One that will also build the foundation for a special relationship throughout her life.  Daddy Dates provides validation that he is on the right track on this journey of parenting a daughter, and it is a practical tool for looking differently at the dating scene.

post signature

Disclosure: Book Sneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of Daddy Dates in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Something Borrowed

I briefly mentioned several of the books our family read during our vacation.  One that I did not mention at the time was Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin.  Her books are not my first choice genre, but enjoyable beach reads nevertheless.  The New York Times called the story "a contemporary fairy tale."  While I was happy with the way the book ended, I wondered over and over as I read...

Seriously, does this REALLY happen?

So, here is the movie trailer.  Which does grab my attention because I think the actresses they chose to portray the two main female characters are exactly as I imagined them as I read. 

While reading the book, it was obvious that Rachel (a young Manhattan lawyer) feels incredibly guilty, as she spends the rest of the book trying to justify why her behavior is acceptable based on how she has been treated by her "friend" Darcy.  That in itself made me a bit squeamish, because I really dislike conversations of "well I did...but I deserved it...because she did..."  Self-Centered? Keeping Records of Wrong? Retaliation much?


Happy Grrl has written a review of the book that I found to mirror many of my thoughts.  Check it out if you want to know more about the actual story line. Then I would like to hear your thoughts.

In our society is this really how we would write our fairy tale?
Is it okay to risk friendship if it means finding true love?
Is Something Borrowed really talking about true love?