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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last meet for April

Just a quick post for the family and friends! Andrew ran the 2400 today in 8:51! That's a new PR for him!

He did great, and we are so proud!

Here he is running right along side the fastest 8th grade runner. Whoot!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

7th grade Honors Program

Our oldest, Andrew, has had an excellent year this year. He has maintained the GPA requirements to continue in the Advanced IDEA program next year. He's been an excellent student in Math, Reading, Spanish, and Language arts all of his school career, and we could not be more proud.

Tonight they held an honors program to recognize students with high achievements in a variety of areas. It was a small event, but one that brought me great joy!

It's hard to belive my first born is soon to be in the 8th grade, and is officially a teenager. Yikes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

March for Babies!

My daughter and I participated in the March for Babies 2010 here in Indianapolis. I wasn't expecting it to be a good day. In fact, with the rain and the temp Ihad considered just staying home. Nadine is not a morning person. At all. I really thought between the rain and the sleepyhead she would be grumpasaurus and it would make for a miserable morning.

I'm so glad we went. We got to spend time with a few mommy friends, and were able to talk and just enjoy each other alng the 5 mile walk.

There was rain, and there were puddles. We came acrossed a big puddle, I look at my daughter and I knew she'd be thinking what I was thinking. Puddle jumping! So..maybe some patrons didn't really care for our childish behavior, but it's one of the things I adore about me...and I'll hold tight to my inner child for as long as I can!

Above is the team we walked with. The IndyMoms made for good company!

This is the start of the walk.
Here's Nadine acting innocent as you scopes out the puddles
At first she just walks through them. Her feet were soaked. My Keens kept my feet bone dry!
...and then the jumping began. First small hops, and eventually it was a full on splash fest between she and I!
At the end of the walk we spotted some baby ducklings in the canal. Nadine thought this was pretty cool since we were marching for babies, even if they were of the human variety =)
We observed lots of cool art along the walk. I took about a dozen photos of sculptures, but this blog is already pic heavy so I'll just share one!
This is the Dad stroller brigade! They were such troppers, and the little ones were too!
This is really bad face painting.
This was really good face painting
They had a lot of vendors and we enjoyed lunch, and some crafts and activities. I'm no longer allowed to photograph her eating. It's a girl thing. Sis got a balllon hat, and made a foam dorr hanger.

Contain your things!

I found a good website recently while doing some research on home organization. I use many of the tips in my home already, and thought I'd share a few of my ideas today.

For more ideas on how to organize with baskets and containers check out http://www.organizewithbaskets.com/

Here are a few ways that I use various containers in my home. I prefer to use plastic conatiners for liquids, bath items, make-up, etc. because if and item leaks or spills the mess is contained, and plastic is easy to clean! Feel free to share yours too!

1. I use a large rectangular lined wicker basket for Wii Games

2. This star box was a dorm room accessory...maybe for a desk? The drawers are perfect for holding the kids Gameboys, games, cords, etc. all in one organized, easy to locate area

3. I buy these little plastic handled totes at the Dollar Tree. They are great in the linen closet! I use them to keep things sorted by groups, like one for bath salts, beads, soaps. One for rarely used medicines, and one for dog shampoo, flea treatments, etc.

4. I buy these smaller containers at the Dollare Tree as well. This one holds all sun related products, from sunscreen, to aloe, and solarcane! It's easy to grab this tote and take it to the pool, or even transfer them to the diaper bag for traveling. I try to buy containers that make the best use of the space, and use different colors so they are easier to identify!

5. These larger plastic handled totes come out around back to school time and summer time. Not sure what they are meant for, but I use them to hold items that wont stand on their own, like my nail kits, files, polish, remover, etc. I have 3 that stand side by side in the linen closet too!

6. This was a plastic picnic silverware tray. I keep it in the hall/guest bath for some of the kids toiletries. It's easy to pull out and put back in the closet.

7. This is a wicker basket that I use in the bathroom for my husbands reading materials books...since he reads a lot in the restroom. =D

8. This is a cleaning supplies carry tray that we use under the sink to contain the items we don't use often, like hair clippers...the towel rack I've been trying to get installed for 3 years, cleaning wipes for mirror, and swish & swipe, extra razors, etc.

9. I call this decorative function. Every year after Christmas I buy one of those gift bath and body baskets. Okay...I lie...I buy more than one, but at 75% off I want all the products. LOL! Anyway, I keep it on the back of the toilet for guests. If someone needs some lotion, or any bathing toiletries they are there and easy to locate. I also leave the body sprays in there so guests can spray them if they stink up the restroom. Plus it just looks pretty

10.These are biscuit jars from Target (Walmart sells them too) and they are meant for kitchen items, like sugar, flour, coffee, etc. I use them in my craft area for pencils, pens, markers, crayons, glue sticks, erasers, etc.

11. These are buddeez containers. In my baking cabinet they keep my flour, sugar, and other baking goods fresh, dry, safe from bugs, and it keeps the ingredients from seeping out into my cabinet! The buddeez containers are sold at Walmart and they have some great products, from cereal containers, to bread contaniers, to these flour and sugar bag containers, and even larger ones for pet foods, etc. They have handles so they are easier to get down from the higher shelves too!

12. I use this 3 drawer plastic unit to keep all of my different papers together in the desk hutch. From address labels, to resume paper, to note card stock, and any other printer papers that are not used often. This is a new one for me! I like that it keeps them out of the dust and laying flat so the paper doesn't get curvy. I'm type A like that!

13. Photo boxes are great for lots of things beyond photos. I use these in my desk hutch to keep office supplies together. (Tape, staples, post-its, thumb tacks, Label tape, etc.

I keep mace at my desk...so don't attack me! :)

14. Little baskets on my desk keep the small stuff orderly, like my reciept & coupon organizers, and it's a great place to quickly drop reciepts & coupons when I don't have time to sort them and put them away!

15. I use plastic tote baskets like these in the kids closets and the mud room to hold next size up items. If I find a good deal on shoes I buy them up and store them here above the shoe cubbies so they are close by! I use them in the kids closets for clothes I buy in sizes ahead too!

16. I use this shower caddy for my daily hair care products, deoderant, lotion, lense cleaner, pick, brush, comb, parfume, body spray, and hair clips to make getting ready for the day much easier. It stores neatly under the sink in the vanity

17. And last, but not least is my fave container. The Sterilite Show-off. Great for so many things from sorting toys, to craft supplies, seasonal items, etc. I have them everywhere! They have a handle that makes totoing around the building blocks easy for my toddler, and they keep my middle sons Legos together!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A day off with Aiden

I've been working just 3 days a week lately, and decided every Wednesday Aid and I would get out of the house and do something fun. My goal has been to find free activities, something new for each week. I couldn't find any local events today so we visited the Central Library and Military park in downtown Indy.

We arrived at the Central Library first, where we played some computer games, read a few books about tractors and enjoyed a snack at the cafe!
We walked over to Military park and as I watched Aid toddler I realized his toddeling days are drawing to a close. My baby will be 4 very soon, and I think toddeling is officially "running" at that age :*)
We enjoyed looking at all of the war memorials, and although Aid couldn't really appreciate their meaning he liked the ones that he could climb on.

Aid spotted some fountains. This boy loves water. 
We made some wishes and Aid mastered his coin tossing techniques.

Suddenly a lonely duck came over for a visit. It seems he had lost his way and was looking to scam some food. When he realized that we had none he went on promptly about his merry way.
It was a fun afternoon, and we only spent $4 for a snack and a coffee. Not to shabby of a day off!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mail, mail, and more junk mail!

Having stacks of mail laying around the house can be maddening, especially when 90% of it is "junk mail". Here are a few tips to help you get the piles under control!

1. Have a designated place for mail. It could be a basket by the front door, an in-box that sits on your desk, or even just a specific place on the counter top that everyone knows exists. This is the key. If the kids get the mail they may plop it down by the computer. Your husband may lay it on the kitchen table. If everyone knows where the mail should live they will be more likely to put it in it;s place!

2. I keep a small bathroom trash can under my desk. When I have time I sort through it, immediately drop what is recycleable in a basket/bag for drop off (which I am HORRIBLE about remembering to do!) and I place any trash in the trash can. Coupons immediately go int my coupon sorter, and bills go in a to-pay stack on the desk.

I used to immediately put all the bills in a folder in my household notebook when I paid bills, but my husband does it differently, so I don't know what he does with them after he pays them. I'm guessing he throws them away.

Some people even keep a trash can by the front door and toss the junk mail before they enter the house so it never comes into the home.

3. I use a plastic heavy duty No. 10 sized envelope accordian sorter for my coupons. Some people have a coupon binder with baseball card inserts to organize their coupons. You can find lots of info on coupon organization at Inexpensively.com!

Once you get the mail situation under control you will find less clutter piles uparound your home because clutter attracts clutter!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dane's 8th birthday!

Today was the party day to celebrate our 3rd childs day of birth. We had lots of family and friends come over to celebrate his special day. We had a great day and Dane received way to many wonderful gifts, all things Star Wars Clone Wars!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Motivation to clean your sink!

The FlyLady starts everyone out on the routine of cleaning your sink each and every night. It seems like such a mundane task...but it really does make a difference! I've slacked on that one big time lately, and the other night I did it, and the morning coffee was so much more enjoyable sitting next to a nice and shiney white sink!

So...here's some motivation to clean your sink every single night after the dinner dishes are cleared from the table, or at least before you climb into bed!

Would you rather wake up to this...
or this...

That reminds me...I had better add dish soap to the shopping list!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What to do with magazines

I used to have stacks and stacks of home decor, cooking, and various magazines lying around. When I started the purging process I knew they had to go!
Here are some suggestions for what to do with all those articles you fear you will need in 5 years!

1. Use manila file folders. Tear out all articles from each magazine that you think you may want for reference. Organize them in a manila folder by type. (ie: parenting articles, decorating, etc.)
Store the folders in a file cabinet or buy a Sterilite Show off file folder tote ($8.00 or so at Wal-Mart) and store them in a closet. Then purge the rest of the magazine. I did one magazine every day, and spent 5-15 minutes going through page-by-page to be sure I saved whatever I thought I might use.
At some point (1 year, 2 years, whatever works for you) if you haven't touched the files...throw them away!

2. I save many home decorating pictures from my magazines. Photos of ideas or color schemes I thought I'd like to work with one day. I placed them into a 3 ring binder with page protectors, and I can add to it as I want to, and remove things once I look back and say "What was I thinking?" LOL!

3. If you collect recipes from magazines you can put them in a 1" 3 ring binder, in sheet protectors, and organize them by type (Main dish, sides, desserts baked goods, etc.) Once a year review them all, purge what you never made, or never think you'll make) and you have an easy to use recipe book from all the magazine pages you cut out!

If you are ready to part with the entire magaziine:

Don't forget that you may be able to recycle those magazines. Check your local recycle bin for what types of paper they will take. Load the mags into paper sacks and drop them off the next time you visit the library, the kids school, or wherever your paper recycle drop-off bin is located!

You can sell the magazines to half price books

You can offer them for free on FreeCycle and pass them onto someone else who would enjoy them!
Check with your childs preschool or elementary school. Often times they use magazine cut outs for various projects, and they may be happy to receive them!

In a nut shell my point is...please, please, PLEASE do what you can to avoid sending magazines and newspapers to the landfill. I know that the suggestions mentioned above may be inconvienient, but it really is the least we can do for mother earth!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1st camping trip of the 2010 season!

We went down to Brown County, Indiana to open up our travel trailer for the season. It was beautiful weather, and the kids and I got right to work cleaning out the fire pit, and blowing leaves into the forest.
Aiden had fun jumping in the leaves after be blew them in a pile!
Nadine enjoyed whittling a walking stick or two
...and after dinner we roasted some marshmellows.
 On Saturday we went on a hike in the Hoosier National forest.
The signs of spring were peeking through here and there.
Sissy needed a break
 I love these trees that hold onto their leaves all winter.
My monkeys climbed onto those fallen tree.
We ended the hike and headed back for lunch!
Here's the view from our lot. Beautiful! I can't wait for the leaves to come in!
The kids decided it was a good time to play yard games, and blow some bubbles!
The dogs were worn out, and deeded to share a nap!