Tuesday, May 31, 2011


After months of rumors,  Cafe Rio opened in Olney, Maryland.  The restaurant of our college wonder years is now within driving distance, 26.2 miles away to be exact.  In D.C., that roughly equates to either 26.2 minutes of driving or 5 hours.  Either way it is closer than Utah and certainly worth the trip! Just look at these happy children! They are being introduced to the burritos they have only heard legends about. Their lives will never be the same.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Look Who's 7!

Seven years ago last Sunday Atley came into the world and honestly, I don't think that the world will ever be the same. I personally, have been a nervous wreck ever since.  He has been a marvel to watch grow.  His mind works at an entirely different speed and on an entirely different level than most people. This fact presents challenges on occasion but also makes for very few dull moments at our home.  We love him more than life itself and think we are pretty lucky that he was sent to us. 
Did I mention that he also has a way of prolonging a birthday over several days or even a week?  Read on and learn from the master. 
His partying began at school on Friday when I took in these Cup-of-Dirt Cupcakes into his classroom.
 He convinced us that he should celebrate his birthday on Saturday because he was sure that he was going to get money. Since, he obviously couldn't spend that money on Sunday, it was only logical that he open his presents on Saturday.  He had a valid point!  

    Little did we know he would wake up at dawn. It was like Christmas revisited. We made him get in bed with us for an hour before we finally relented and let him wake up his brother and sister. We sent him on a scavenger hunt throughout the yard to find all of his presents.  Boy were the neighbors excited to be awakened by screaming children at 6AM on a Saturday morning.  
Atley requested Lemon Cheesecake for his birthday.  I think it might have been because he is the only person in the family who likes Lemon Cheesecake, therefore he wouldn't have to share. He is always thinking!
Of course, all he wanted was airplanes or airport stuff and money to buy more airplanes and airport stuff. So, that is exactly what he got.  He also received this giant bear that his sister adores. Note:  She is a tad tired considering the early nature of the festivities.

I have to add these pictures and say that I bought the Big Brown Bear at Costco. Harley was completely overcome with excitement when she saw it. She spent the rest of the shopping trip lying on top of it in the shopping cart.  Then when I put him in the seat next to her for the ride home, she could hardly contain her joy.  However, after taking a closer look at the pictures, I realized that not only was it a little scary for me to be snapping pictures while driving, but apparently my Middle Child spends a lot less time in his carseat than I realized.

Atley also received a Jump Rocket that his brother Nash especially enjoyed and Atley used a few times too.

After cheesecake for breakfast, it was time to go to Atley's soccer game.  Apparently, cheesecake should be the new Wheaties, because he had an amazing game-scoring 2 goals.  He was so fast I had trouble getting any good pictures, with the exception of his water break.

Doesn't Harley make a cute little cheerleader?  I can't really say why she only has on one shoe though. Well, the day was not over yet.  We had the Airshow at Andrew's Airforce Base still on the agenda. I will save pictures of that event for another post. 
On Sunday, the real birthday, Atley had his favorite food-5 Cheese Ravioli, from the frozen food section of Costco for lunch.  Then we made and decorated airplane shaped cookies!  By the way, Nash seldom wears a shirt. He has a real caveman quality to him.  I am thinking of changing his name to Bam Bam!

Thank goodness this kid only has one birthday a year because I feel like I am still recovering. Actually, that is just my life with this little boy. I am always recovering from my whirlwind named Atley.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Favorite Things Revisited

Oprah's leaving daytime TV and with her goes her infamous Favorite Things Episodes.  But, since I am obviously not Oprah, I will still be sharing my favorite things.  Unfortunately, I  won't be giving away anything.  However, you are more than welcome to go purchase all of these items with your own money as soon as possible.

There are two things that I love about Target, the DOLLAR aisles at the front of the store that can grant my children instant shopping gratification and Archer Farms Creamy Tomato Penne.  Trust me, this stuff is yummy!
In case you have been living under a rock, Scentsy is a company that sells Wax Warmers and at least a million different wax scents to smell up your house. My favorite scent is Black Raspberry Vanilla. This scent lasts the longest and spreads like the measles to every room in your house.

This is my new favorite cleanser and face cream.  There is something that makes me excited about washing my face now that I have this handy-dandy little brush and the cream feels fantastic.

I do wash my hair but sometimes it only happens every couple of days, which makes this stuff a must have.  Best thing about it, $5 at Wal-Mart.

I have some guilty pleasures and General Hospital is one of them.  I think I have been watching this show since birth. I am bringing up Harley in the same tradition.  In fact, her first word was Sonny! (GH's main character)  Now with the modern convenience of a DVR, General Hospital is almost always the last thing I see before drifting off to sleep in my bed at night.

Good news! These can be bought in ENORMOUS packages at Costco!

I am not a very healthy person as verified by my two favorite breakfast foods-Eggo's and Entenmann's Chocolate donuts.

When I was a teacher, I secretly liked the kids who smelled like fabric softener more.  This is why I use at least 3 gallons of Downy April Fresh per week.  My kids are going to need all the help they can get.

Dial Foaming Anti-Bacterial Soap lasts longer and is just fun. Who doesn't like Foam?

My favorite photo-editing website is PICNIK.  Visit Picnik and you can edit your photos, make collages, print, and much more FREE!

No, The Killers have not broken up, but their beautiful front man Brandon Flowers has made a solo album called Crossfire and it is FABULOUS!!  Love ya rock star boyfriend!

If this is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Reading should be educational at times, but occasionally it should also just be fun!  I think the cookbook/murder mystery books are my favorite escape. This is brain candy at its finest.  Joanne Fluke has at least a dozen of these fun books and Josi Kilpack is an LDS author whom I love.

Every crafter needs a Cricut and that's why I have mine.  A few months ago I was in Michael's and this little wonder machine was marked down from $259 to $49.  I wasn't really sure what it did but with a sale like that I knew I had to have one.  This machine cuts paper and even fabric into letters, numbers, and lots of fun shapes and objects.

Once as a teenager I read about Thomas Jefferson's enormous collection of books, which inspired me to collect as many as possible.  Problem:  Books are heavy and they take up space! Still, when I first heard about the Kindle I was sceptical.  What about my personal Monticello?  But, once I had one, I knew I would never look back.  It is also my way of pacifying Atley.  Any time he complains about how our family is not doing enough for the environment.  I explain how my Kindle is saving the trees.  Thanks Virginia Public Schools!  Anyway, onto the glorious item. Here is a story about my KINDLES.  Yes, that was plural.  Atley broke my first Kindle by dropping it off of a six foot ledge onto the tile below.  I called Amazon and was completely truthful about what happened. They sent me a new one within 24 hours-FREE.  Sunday, I discovered that my Kindle had once again been tampered with, this time at the hands of Nash.  My new one will be here tomorrow.  Can't beat customer service like that!

You will no longer need lipstick with this stuff!

I also like these guys quite a bit too! Sorry they are no longer available for purchase. But I am willing to loan out the small ones in 2 hour increments.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Concert Time

Every spring there are free kid's concerts in the park near our home.  They take place on Wednesday afternoons and are always lots of fun. Last week we went and saw FARMER JASON!  I wanted to post some of the pictures.  The day confirmed what I have been noticing for awhile, Harley is much different than the boys and I don't just mean anatomically.  Nash was practically on the stage during the concert. Actually, he really was on the stage a few times, until he was kindly asked to get down.
 Meanwhile, Harley was nervous being in the crowd.
Her thumb is her comfort. The thumb goes in the mouth when she is scared, sad, nervous, or even really excited.  She had a great time dancing to the music but refused to do it without her soothing thumb planted in her pretty little mouth. She can sure swivel those baby hips though. 
However, the moment anyone would look at her and smile. She would drop into my lap and pretend to sleep. She is hilarious.
I think she is definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Help, I Can't Keep Up!

Nash has an Indian fetish, like the Old-West-Tee-Pee kind of Indian.  He has a little statue of an Indian that he carries around with him everywhere.  He even dresses up like an Indian on a daily basis...
or at least his interpretation of an Indian. On several occasions he has attempted to leave the house wearing my moccasins. On Saturday he asked a woman at Atley's soccer game if she was an Indian. She nicely replied, "No, honey I am from Iran not India!"  Thoroughly confused, he thankfully walked away without further arugument. 

When my kids become interested in something of value, I do what most moms would do. I try to teach them more about it.  So, we headed to the National Museum of the American Indian on Monday afternoon.  We talked about how the Indians whom Nash is so intrigued by should be called Native Americans, not to be confused with people from India.  We talked about the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears.  We talked about reservations and the Indian Pueblos in New Mexico that we see when we travel to Colorado. By the time we parked and I was putting money in the meter. I was pretty impressed by my little history lesson.  I must say I was patting myself on the back as we walked into the museum. The boys, especially Nash, were fascinated. Nash silently watched all of the videos.   
He made Atley or me read him everything.  He loved the costumes and the stories.  And I just kept getting more and more puffed up with pride about my superb mothering skills.  Then we heard drums and chanting coming from the main gallery.  We headed over  to watch the program.  It turned out to be mostly a question/answer session with one of the museum's curators.  Atley raised his hand to ask a question. I felt a little queasy.  I tried to get him to tell me what the question was, perhaps I could answer it for him.  He resisted. I then tried to physically put his arm down before anyone could see. He resisted even more.  I could feel the beads of sweat forming on my brow. This was a packed room of people with very few children except my own.  What could he possibly need to ask?  Well, then it happend. The microphone was passed to my son and I thought I would pass out for fear of the world's most embarassing question.  He bravely and articulately asked, "Can you guesstimate how many Native Americans live in the Washington D.C. area?"  Oh, that wasn't so bad. I wiped the sweat from my brow and patted his leg with motherly pride.  Wow, I was an amazing parent!! Just look at these intelligent and culturally aware children I am raising.  BUT,  the curator replied with, "Were you born in the United States?"  Atley, "Yes!"  Curator, "Well, then aren't you a Native American."  Atley, "Huh?"  Curator, "Please don't refer to us as Native Americans, we are the American Indian."  WHAT!!!  Apparently, I need to educate myself a bit more before trying to teach my children anything.  Sorry, if I cannot keep up with what is politically correct. Apparently, it changes like the weather.  I am sure there was an audible hiss as my "Great Parent Bubble" slowly deflated. The funny thing is the 200 or so people who were also there looked at us like, "Duh! Everyone knows that!"  Come on people. The truth is, you would have used the exact same terminology.  You didn't have a clue either.  Now you are all just overcome with gratitude towards your six year old scapegoat.