Monday, February 28, 2011

What Is Wrong With My Brain?

Please tell me I am not the only one who has felt this way ladies! You have had a really busy day chasing after kids, getting the laundry done, being mother-helper in the classroom, and cooking dinner. There hasn't been time for anything else. After dinner your husband gets up, clears the table, and starts doing dishes. At this point you should feel grateful to that wonderful man for helping, but instead you feel...... guilt.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Carcassonne Board Game

This is our family's all time favorite game. It is a tile-based board game in which you are building cities, roads and farms and trying to amass more than your opponent. The beauty of this game is it can be played with as few as two people and as many many as five (six with one of the expansions). Either way it is just as fun and just as long. It is not drawn out longer the more people you have playing. The other appeal? It is never the same game twice.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adoption Option: The Day We Met Our Baby

The day we met our baby girl was a day filled with emotions. Most of which we had never felt before. It's hard to look back on that day without tears coming to my eyes. I can see it like it was just yesterday. Every feeling and every moment of that day is ingrained into my heart and mind.

Friday, February 25, 2011

5 Reasons To Start A Regular Family Night

It's Monday night. Our family has just gotten finished with dinner and we are gathering in the family room. It's our night to be together. This has been the scene in our home for the past 20 years. Now that our kids are grown we do not do this weekly like we used to, but while they were growing up we were religious about it. Find a night, any night that works for your family and make it a family night.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Man Cave: Culinary Evasion Tactics

Kathy is a great cook. She does most of the cooking in our house, and as a general rule she makes tasty, healthy meals. No matter how good a cook one is, however, there are gonna be some duds, and over the last 22 years Kathy has had her fair share. What follows are my sure-fire techniques for coping with such situations. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help Us Answer The Great Texting Debate


Several years ago I would have been pulling out my decoder to figure out what the heck you just said to me. These days it's just common lingo. Text. That's how kids communicate today. Is this a good thing? Aaron and I have been having the great texting debate lately.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Point - Aaron!

I had a very busy day yesterday. That tends to happen when you try to cram a gallons worth of activities into a pint sized day. Oh if you didn't have to eat or sleep..... think of all the time and money you would have! But, Aaron really came through for me yesterday and made it possible for everything to get done. Including the things I wanted to do and not just the things that I needed to do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Check Out Roller Derby

Aaron and I discovered this little gem of an activity last year when we were looking for something different to do. Roller Derby. What a blast! If you have never been to a roller derby bout you need to check this out. It's fun, it's cheap and  it is fast paced excitement.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Strengthening Your Relationship Through A Journal

Earlier this week I put out a challenge to participate in the "Random Acts Of Kindness Week". Today is the day to report on that. I have done a few things this week in the spirit of random kindness (leaving notes, making beds), but I wanted to share something that Jess and I have been doing now for about 7 years for each other. Just a small act of kindness for each other that we can keep forever.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adoption Option: How We Found Our Baby

When my husband and I came to the decision that adoption was the way we should start our family, we were very excited!  We decided to just go for it, and we started the adoption process.

Coming to the realization that adoption doesn't have to be a "Plan B" was very comforting. We knew this was the way we wanted children to join our family. How our children came to our family would not matter.  What mattered was, they would be ours, just as if they had been born to us. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

3 Strategies We Use To Help Pay For Vacations

I love to go places and see things. It doesn't have to be exotic just new. We have always tried to do at least one family trip a year. A couple have been big - Disneyland, Cancun and our upcoming Caribbean Cruise - but mostly we keep it simple. Just exploring and being together. Even simple can get expensive though. Here are the top 3 things we do to help us pay for our vacations.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Man Cave: Adventures in Fine Dining

It was a dark and stormy night....a Saturday night in January, to be exact. We were invited at the last minute - a fancy restaurant and maybe some dancing. We were told it would be expensive, but we decide to go anyway. We both had our reservations, but in the end we decided to be a little impulsive and extravagant.

But "impulsive and extravagant" isn't always the romantic combination it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For One Shining Moment I Got To Be "Mommy" Again

Jess got a black eye this weekend. Alex, her boyfriend, hit her.... with a racquetball. They have been dating for over a year now and have become really close. It really upset him. I got this text...

Alex: You better get some ice ready. I hit Jess with the racquetball and she's hurt pretty bad.

Me: Where did you get her?

Alex: In the nose and eye

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Be Afraid To Be A Dork!

Some of the most fun that we have together is never planned. It's just us hanging out being dorks. We are good at that. Our family is dork to the core. Whenever our kids bring home new friends they are never quite sure how to take us, but they always warm up to us quickly and join in the fun. Don't take yourselves too seriously and you set yourself up for fun times ahead.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Acts Of Kindness Challenge

It doesn't take a lot to please me. Aaron bringing me home a bouquet of flowers and telling me  that he had been thinking about me all day. Jeff doing a load of dishes for me when I am having a really busy day. Jessi leaving a note on my bed to find telling me how much she appreciates all I do for her. All of these things have been done for me, and all of them have made me feel equally great. It really is the little things that make the biggest differences.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

We are not into candy in our house. If Aaron showed up with a box of candy for me I think I would probably look at him like he was invaded by the body snatchers. BUT, chocolate covered strawberries... that is a whole 'nother story. I am not a super great chocolate dipper (so if anyone has tips that does not involve shorting, I am ALL for it!), but these babies turned out pretty good. They tasted good anyway!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Adoption Option: Insight From A Dear Abby Reader

My Husband and I received this article in an adoption class and I really liked it. I want to share it with others to help them understand what it's like to go through the process of adoption.

Dear Abby:  A few years ago you printed an essay titled "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley.  The subject was having a child with Down Syndrome.  Enclosed is an article my daughter, Diane Armitage, wrote inspired by "Welcome to Holland."  Her message is directed to childless couples who are considering adoption.  (Diane and her husband are the parents of two adopted children.)  Perhaps you will consider it worth publishing.
-Kathryn Relnalda, Blairstown, NJ 

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's All About The Experience

Today is Aaron and my 22nd wedding anniversary. This is the very first picture ever taken of us. The year was 1985. I was 14 years old and Aaron 16. We were getting ready to go to a dance and his dad snapped this as we were heading out to the car. We had no clue at that moment that we would still be together 26 years later.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Man Cave: Saying “I Love You”

Feelings are for chicks. Men are supposed to be stoic and stone-faced. Women nurture, men provide; at least that’s the stereo-type. I think that’s why some men get so intimidated by the thought of saying three one-syllable words. It betrays an emotional weakness; a chink in the armor. Or is that a stereotype too? I can’t keep track any more...but I can say “I love you.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Handmade Heart Doilies

I am no Martha Stewart, but Martha Stewart is. I found these cute handmade heart doilies on her site and thought they would be a perfect project with the kids. A great way to decorate the Valentine's table.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Lesson From My Dishwasher

Our faithful dishwasher of 8 years gave up the ghost last week. I walked into the kitchen ready to unload the dishwasher and was met with a disgusting sour smell. Upon further inspection I found the bottom of the dishwasher completely full of the most foul brown water imaginable. Gross! Consequently, this has been the scene in our house as of late. But, I have learned a few things standing there doing dishes by  hand.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Sliders

Superbowl. It's pretty much become a holiday event for most people. Friends, food, drinks, commercials and of course the game. 

You know me. I can't let a holiday go by without making it a little extra fun and special. It was super easy with these Superbowl Sliders that I came up with. They looked amazing and were a huge hit.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ice Cream For Breakfast! The Results

Aaron: "Your post today was totally great.... are we really having ice cream for breakfast tomorrow?

Me: Um..... yes?

Aaron: Hmm... not sure I can do ice cream for breakfast. Well, maybe just a little.

Me: How am I suppose to post the results on the blog if we don't at least try a little? I think this french toast looks like it's going to be really yummy.

Aaron: Okay. Sounds fun. A great way to start a fun day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Adoption Option: Our Journey Down The Road Of Infertility

The roads of life can take many forms. Some roads are long and some are short. Sometimes they are smooth with not many curves or bumps and have beautiful views. Others might be dark and long, with a lot of turns and hills or mountains. They can also be full of big pot holes and bumps. Sometimes you have to, or want to, turn back. But, when you come to the end of a road like this, the views are more spectacular and the peace is greater.

My husband and I have been down these roads.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ice Cream For Breakfast!

We love wacky holidays! I have found that this is a simple way to get kids excited and have a great time. Doing something out of the ordinary, and sometimes just a little naughty... like eating ice cream for breakfast! Tomorrow, the fist Saturday of February, is "Ice Cream For Breakfast Day". How cool is that?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Man Cave: Calling Grandpa Out

Of all the sage little nuggets of wisdom attributed to Grandpas, one of the most popular and enduring has got to be the old saying “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” And to grandpas everywhere I would now like to reply with an enthusiastic “yeah, right”.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Candy Cane Hearts

I saw this way cute idea for candy cane hearts on a blog that I follow occasionally, Love and Twenty Toes, and just had to share. What a cute idea to use up extra Christmas candy canes in the house! I don't have any this year, but you can bet I will next year ;o)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Discover Your Local Pawn Shop

Dating on a budget is my thing. I LOVE to find super fun things to do and if it doesn't cost a lot of money, better. Aaron and I discovered a while ago that scouring through local pawn shops is a lot of fun. Our DVD library has grown to huge proportions and our music collection is bigger now then when we had the DJ business. We found this little blue delight for a great price, and it has become one of Aaron's favorite guitars.

So, hit the pawn shop. You may come away with your new favorite treasure too. If not, it sure is a lot of fun looking! The beauty of it is, you can do this date often, because there are always new things to dig through.