Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm A Bit Old Fashioned

I have a confession to make in my haze of fatigue this morning. I am a bit old fashioned when it comes to how I raise my kids and nurture my marriage. I do things for them that most moms have dumped to the wayside. Until my kids graduated from High School I would get up with them, make their breakfast and lunch for them, and see them off. And, yes, I still get up every morning and make Aaron's lunch for him before he goes to work.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work Up A Brain Sweat On A Date

How long has it been since you have seen the inside of a classroom from the students perspective? You are never to old to stop learning, so why not take a class together? Pick something that you both have an interest in and want to learn more about and seek out your local community college or community center for classes. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

If you have teenagers, I highly recommend reading this book as a family! We did this several years ago with our kids. Even though, at the time they acted like they hated it, it has really sunk in with them; we hear them all of the time, even now, quoting things from it. We took one small section a week on our family night, and read it together and discussed it. It really prompted some great discussions with our teens on peer pressure, motivation and what their principals are.

Want to know what the 7 steps are? Here they are in a quick list.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thinking About A Cruise? Here's My Experience.

Hola Amigos! We are finally home from our vacation. It is always a bitter sweet feeling coming home. You are happy to be sleeping in your own bed again, and eating your own food, but sad to be back to reality. I liked hanging out in the sun all day; living in Seattle we just don't get a lot of that.

If you are thinking about doing a cruise in the future, here is my new found experience.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Senior Trip Time

Our last little chick-a-dee is preparing to fly the nest soon. Jessica is a Senior in High School and will be heading off to Central Washington University in the fall. As per our tradition, we are taking her on a big senior trip before she leaves us. We have been saving for this for four years now (ever since Jeff's senior trip); take a look at our vacation saving tips on the post "3 Strategies We Use To Help Pay For Vacations".

We will be gone the entire week, and returning on Monday, March 28th. Look for my first post back on that date, and I will tell you all about our trip and be back on regularly scheduled postings. We will be in Florida and then on a cruise in the warm and sunny Caribbean all week. Have a great week, and I'll see you again on March 28th!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Man Cave: Dump Tripper

It stinks. It's unsanitary. It is an unseemly collection of all things half-eaten, worn out, used up, rotten, maggot-infested, and broken-down. It is flotsam and jetsam -  a sea of debris deemed no longer fit for human society. So what is it about going to the dump that makes it such a cool male bonding experience?

Or did I just answer my own question?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Parents Aren't Stupid Forever

I rounded the corner the other day to this little homework scene and had to snap a shot. It really made my heart full to see these two so intently involved with the task at hand together. It also has had me contemplating the thought that it really doesn't matter how old you get, or how old your children get, there are always times when you just need mom and dads help.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does Child Induced Sleep Deprivation Ever Stop!?

I am writing this post in a daze of sleep deprivation. I will be running my day on about 5 hours of sleep, no thanks to that lovely daughter of mine. It starts the day those little bundles of joy come home with you and ends...... wait, does it ever end? That is the whole question of this post.

Monday, March 14, 2011

4-Layer Dessert

This has always been one of my favorite desserts and I make it every St. Patrick's Day for my friends party: there is never any left it's so popular. Usually I top it with clover sprinkles to be more festive, but I was out this year so I just used chopped pecans. Either way it's still delicious!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Volunteer Together

Volunteering together is a very humbling and bonding experience. We have done this off and on over the years in different combinations - as a family, as a couple or just one on one with the kids - and each time has been just as fulfilling. There are a lot of opportunities out there and it really helps you realize how incredibly blessed you are in your life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adoption Option: Adoption Is A Miracle

A couple years after we adopted our daughter, we started thinking about adding another child to our family.  We had a lot of options to consider.  Do we want to adopt again? Or do we want to go back to the doctor and try the infertility treatments again?  My husband really wanted to try to have a biological child.  That was hard for me to be on board with because I had worked so hard to let that part of me go.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Eggs and Pancakes

I tried corned beef and cabbage for the first time the other day, the traditional St. Patrick's day dinner. I'm not a huge meat eater and the thought of cooked cabbage really didn't appeal to me, but I thought "What the heck!", and I gave it a try. Why did I not try this on St. Patrick's day? One: we are leaving for vacation the next day and I didn't want a bunch of leftovers. Two: We already have a tradition in our house.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Man Cave: The Man in the Arena

Theodore Roosevelt is the manliest president the US has ever had. He was a hard-core, kick-butt-and-take-names, man's man to the bone. He hunted and fished, rode horses, went on African safaris, and was basically an all-around powerhouse of personality. He loved the outdoors, and is responsible for our national park system. He is also responsible for one the best quotes in the history of talking.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can I Love More Than One?

It must be nostalgic week for me because I am drifting back in time again today. I think part of it is Julie's fault, reading her posts about when she got Jade. That, along with her upcoming baby being due, it just has me thinking back (WAY back) to when I was in that stage of life.

This is me, with Jeff, and I am about three months pregnant with Jessica. Jeff was my entire world back then, and I didn't think I could possibly love my new baby as much as I did him. I remember, like it was yesterday, the moment the panic hit me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

I guess life lessons are appropriately named, because if they teach you properly they stick with you for life. One of my most profound life lesson in parenting  happened when Jeffery was about 4  years old (Jeff is pictured on the right with his cousin Damon). Travel back to 1993 with me and I will share my story with you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Caesar's And A Big Gulp Date

Anyone who knows me knows I am somewhat of a health nut, so this is not something I do often: but when we want something spontaneous to do it usually fits the bill perfectly. Take the kids on a Little Caesar's and Big Gulp Date. It's cheap, it's fast and the kids at least love the food.

Pizza - $5.00
Two Big Gulps - $2.00
Time with your kido - priceless

Sunday, March 6, 2011

3 Rules We Use To Make Uno More Exciting!

Uno is probably the game that we play the most here in the Cheney home. It's fun, fast and easy. Plus, it's extremely portable so it's perfect for taking on vacations and camping trips.

Don't be fooled by it's simplicity though. We have incorporated a few rules over the years that make this game cut throat and exciting. Be careful, or you will be drawing 20 cards in this house: we play "Speed Uno"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Adoption Option: Placement

There's an ache that's missing today
There's an emptiness that's been filled
There's a cloud that's lifting and drifting away
There's a ragin' storm that's been stilled
There's a joy that's real
There's a wound that's finally healed
There's a future replacing a past
There's a breath of new life in the cast
Words and music by Michael McLean

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shamrock Boutonnieres

The last thing you want on St. Patrick's day is to be caught without your spot of green. Pinch happy children are around every corner ready to catch you in your folly. 

As I often do, I was pursuing around on the other day and found these cute shamrock boutonnieres. The clover is a major symbol in St. Patrick's day because it is what Patrick used to help explain the trinity to the Irish, and it later became their national emblem.

Make up these cute little boutonnieres and be ready to keep the pinching at bay.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Man Cave: Defining Strength

Clint Eastwood , Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris. Real men's men. Tough guys.

But I'm here to tell you "tough" has got nothing to do with "strong".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pig Out Party

A Pig Out Party is something I did years ago, as you will see from the pictures in this post. I think Jeff is about 9 years old here.

When our kids were younger we didn't have a lot of money (well, we still don't have a lot of money but it's enough). Since we didn't have enough then do go out and do fun things I had to be inventive with making being at home fun; I think that is why I am so holiday obsessed. A lot of my ideas back then were silly things with food, most especially dinners. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who Is St. Patrick?

March brings with it St. Patrick's day. True to how my brain works (which apparently can be sketchy as proven in my last post "What Is Wrong With My Brain") I like to know why we celebrate the holidays that we do. I am very holiday oriented and always have been. Many of the things we have done, and still do, in our house are centered around some sort of holiday. It makes life more fun when you always have something to celebrate! So, who is St. Patrick, and why do we have a holiday just for him?