Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Count Down is On

Only nine more days of school left. What? Lots of mixed feelings about this realization. I love summer - boating with the kids, sprinklers, sidewalk chalk, long days with the kids building forts or making a lemonade stand. But what I fear is a lot of this ...You know, those days where you can actually see your kids getting ... shall we say, less smart? I hate those days. Last year, I had a plan of attack. I started the summer with a schedule. All the kids were required to read for 30 minutes a day and the 'littles', as we call them, had worksheets to do that I printed myself from the internet. This way I was in control of their curriculum and could vary it to keep them thinking. We did lots of math ... lots and lots of math for our upcoming 5th grader and loads of spelling and reading exercises for our soon-to-be first grader. I made sure they each had things like mazes, word searches or coloring pages too and #4 even learned how to play Sudoku.

The work paid off and they both had a great school year because of it. They never hit this point where they completely shut their brain down and it made it a lot easier for them to learn new concepts right from the begining of the school year. Now, it's time for me to get back on my game and start searching for activities and worksheets. If you have kids at home this summer and want to give them a headstart for next year you should take a few minutes to check out these websites. (great for designing your own work) (used tons of these last year) (fantastic online activities)

This year there will also be organized activities for the 'bigs'. #2 will get to start and finish his Eagle project. #1 will be increasing hours at work as well as picking up driver's ed so she can finally get her license. I think I'll also have #1 and #3 start a charitable effort making hair accessories for the Center for Change. I can't help but want them all to really know how to do things ... and to be involved in doing things for others. I think we'll also look for some local opportunities here. What are your plans for summer?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week in Review 5/20/10

This week was all over the place. We had the primary elections for the 2010-11 SBO's, in which #3 was running. The slogan she chose was, "Vote for me. I already told my mom I won." Catchy, isn't it? She put together a great video for her skit too where she sang her own rendition of the Backstreet Boys "I want it that way". This girl's got moxy - I'll give her that. She made the first cut too, so she'll continue on next week. I've been crafting up a storm making samples of the projects we'll make at girls' camp. I'm just about done putting the devotionals together too ... along with the camp skit and cheer. (It's been busy) Soccer games ... photographing extra stock for my shop update that hasn't actually happened yet ... and #4's orchestra concert filled up the rest of the week. OH! And I scored on a great card rack for the Christmas shows - extra motivation to actually get some cards designed and printed up, right? I can always use extra motivation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Miracle of Flight

One of our trainers at jetBlue shared this little treasure with us as we were finishing up class. I laughed so hard I almost cried. It's so completely true! Now, I want to play it back to all the fussy customers who call in to voice their complaints. I know the video quality isn't top-notch, but the dialogue is priceless. Enjoy!

Etsy Love

My sweet long-distance friend, Rachel, from ReadySetGo featured me in her fabulous treasury this week. LOVE the color Rachel! Thanks for thinking of me!You can view it in detail here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eye Candy

For your viewing pleasure ..."somewhere over the rainbow" by Luba Roniss
By MariaAnd my favorite by Sipho Mabona


Friday, May 14, 2010

Week in Review 5/13/10

Another birthday = another partay! #4 opted to skip the 'friend' party last year, so we went a little overboard this year. We decided to take his rag-tag group of friends to Boondocks for the night of their lives. ;) They were all so excited and were such fun to hang out with. We all had a blast watching the boys run around and get crazy. Driving and laser tag were definitely the highlights of the night ... followed very closely by his violin cake (courtesy of his ever talented mommy ... don't forget I'm the step-mommy so I'm not bragging shamelessly this time).

We also squeezed in Izzy biweekly haircut and were able to have a great visit with hubby's mom on Mothers' Day. Work is ... work. I've finished up counting my leftover inventory from Beehive and have to admit I was more than a little disappointed. I should really just stop selling these in Utah. I can't compete with jewelry, hair accessories and baby items in this market. :( On the other hand, now I have loads of new stock for a big shop update. I just need to photograph like a madwoman and make all the new listings.

I also have girls' camp in the works and have been busy planning craft projects and devotionals for the girls. I'm running out of time for that too, only about a month left. Good thing I work well under pressure.

Cosa Verde

I was recently contacted by one of the owners of cosa verde. "cosa verde is an online showcase where you can market your environmentally-friendly goods directly to shoppers around the world. Think of us as a craft fair for the eco-conscious." Liz fell in love with my work and has invited me to come and check them out. She's giving me a great discount (free) on a trial basis ... so why not? They're site looks great, is easy to navigate and features some great artists who are also trying to make the world a greener place. Hopefully I'll be all set up within a few days; it will be interesting to see what this does to my Etsy traffic. Here's a sneak peek for you:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week in Review 5/6/10

Birthdays, beehives and pompadours!The beginning of this week was filled with anxiety and anticipation for the upcoming Beehive Bazaar. Hundreds of dollars worth of luminaries and night lights were waiting in line at the paint shop. I found out my new packaging tubes weren't going to make it in time for the show so I had to rework my display ideas. Waiting and worrying is not my strong points. I'm much better at pulling all nighters than pulling my hair out. The only real relief was an impromptu bowling adventure with great company. All in all, everything came together in the end and the location at Thanksgiving Point was fantastic. I even got to go to the opening bash Wednesday night with Wanja to see Mad Max and the Wild Ones. What a riot! A family rockabilly band out of Springville, Utah, made up of 3 brothers and their dad ... with the boys age 9, 12 and 18-ish. Too cool.

Then we went directly to the next family birthday. #4 is now 11! We took him out for birthday dinner/breakfast at IHOP, since we didn't have him his birthday morning, and then sent him on our signature ribbon maze to find his present. The ribbon started at the dining room table and wound through most of the rooms in the house leading him all the way to our storage room in the basement. He was supposed to pick up all the ribbon along the way which makes it so much more silly and helps the excitement last a little longer. What was the big surprise??? Yeah, pretty obvious from the photo. I love this little-big guy so much!

Week in Review 4/29/10

Ah, yes, the big weekend! My baby girl turned 16 on Saturday. 16? How is this right? We actually celebrated Friday so all the kids could be here with her. We had our traditional birthday breakfast with placemat and chair decorations from her siblings. She went off to school and came home to more decorations as we got ready for her party. I found an absolutely beautiful cake at Baskin Robbins that was perfect for her. For the party, we rented out the bounce side of Classic Skate in Sandy and invited just about everyone she knows. The turnout was pretty sparse, but we all had a blast ... including Wanja who so graciously came along to help chaperone. (I have the best friends) She even raced me through one of the inflatable obstacle courses ... where I almost wet my pants because I was laughing so hard.

Aside from birthday celebrations, the week also contained a trip to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to visit a very special patient who was struggling with pneumonia. After that we spent a sunny Sunday afternoon with hubby's sweet parents, started the soccer season for #5, had our girls' camp kick off meeting and made a delicious creamy chicken and wild rice soup. Oh! I almost forgot that Izzy also had a 'friend' over for a few days and was able to get some good girl/dog time in with Maddie. It was really cute to see how they interacted with each other and it's made me start thinking about getting a second pup ... who have I become anyway?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear Mister ...

Dear Mister Angry Jeep Driver,

Just because your old, ugly jeep is taller than my humble Santa Fe doesn't mean you can try to run me into oncoming traffic by bullying into my lane when yours is merging and you are driving right beside me. Hello! What is your deal?!?!

Don't you just love Monday mornings?


ps. Weekly updates are in the works. Not sure how I get behind so quickly. ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tick Tock

Yikes! I'm about out of time to prep for the Beehive Bazaar show this week. Stomach reporting butterfly overload. Losing ability to think clearly. I'll never be able to scold my kids for procrastinating again. (dang) With all the changes at work and everything else going on in the family, May kind of snuck up on me ... big time.

I have over 100 new night lights that need to be picked up from the paint shop and will need label and price all my items, not to mention figure out how to arrange my table there. So ... it's come down to about a week's worth of work that I need to squeeze into 2 1/2 days. Uck. Wish me luck!