Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mommy's Got a New Look

Do you like?  I feel so fancy  - like this bloggy habit might become an official hobby!  I even have a button over there on the sideboard!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pie Party Details

Dare to DIY

Dare to Entertain!

Three years ago, Tom and I were anticipating have our first Thanksgiving by ourselves.  I don't mind the cooking part, I actually enjoy it.  It just sounded lonely.  I thought maybe we should invite friends over for dessert.  Tom said that no one really enjoys Thanksgiving dessert because they are too stuffed on Thursday.  If we really wanted to have fun, we should invite friends over on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and we could really enjoy dessert.  THAT is how the Pie Party came to be.

Every year, we stuff our home with our dearest friends.  Every year, we say we couldn't hold any more, but the next year we always do.  Every year, I get really stressed out about the imperfections of our home - but the party is a success every year.  It has become my favorite get together and I look forward to it all year.

Here are some details that we like to include in a pie party. 

I send out an evite using Pingg and invite our friends to come and bring a pie!
In the foyer, we set up our Book of Thanks.  This was the first year we did this.  We asked friends to sign a few things they are thankful for and their name.  I blocked off a square to put a picture in.  I think this will be real fun to look over every year.
We set up a large chalkboard in the kitchen.  Voting is very important to my children.  I. writes down each pie as they come in.  We give everyone 2 votes and they can't vote for themselves.  The winner takes home a prize - usually a candle.  I love how imperfect the system is - I think it keeps the competition away.  It's bugging my kiddos, almost to tears, and I'm sure we'll find a new system next year.
I provide paper goods, whip cream and drinks.  This year we just had water and Sprite (clear to avoid any stains!)
The pies get set up on our kitchen island.  There was such a variety this year - I love it!  We had apple, pumpkin, pear, blueberry, cherry, key lime, candy bar, banana blackberry cream . . . . you get the idea.  Pumpkin Cheesecake took home the prize this year!  Yum!
This year, the kids and I made Cherry Pops - via Bakereala.  Didn't they turn out cute?
Everyone comes and goes (actually no one really goes, which is how we like it).  It's impossible to get a picture of everything perfect!

I really don't like getting a babysitter to go to a party, I like my kiddos with me.  Because of this, kids are totally invited.  We let them go down into our unfinished basement and be loud and yell down there.  The only casualties this year were 2 big bouncy balls that were popped.  Other than that, it wasn't bad.  Our friends have really good kids.
I love love love having our home stuffed with our friends that we are so grateful for.  I love having this get together to kick off the holidays.  It gets bigger every year!  See you in 2011?  I sure hope so.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Grateful Sunday

What a fantastic weekend - how easy it is to be grateful this weekend!
I am grateful to have friends that are just like family, especially when family can't be around!  I am grateful for my little forever family.

We held a really really fun pie party this week and love to be surrounded by all our friends.  We had a fantastic Thanksgiving Day and I am so excited that it is now time to start the Christmas season!

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

martha stewart

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Another Day

Warning - this might be one of the most boring posts you've ever read!  It's definitely the longest!  There are 2 questions I get asked ALL. THE. TIME.  The first one being about how I cook and feed my family with one child having severe allergies.  The second question always has something to do with where I find the time, what is a typical day, how do I get things done.  I'm combining both those questions into today's post, Just Another Day.

I get up at 5:30 am.  This particular day is Monday, so it is muffins for breakfast.  I get a batch of banana oatmeal muffins mixed up and in the oven, start the laundry, empty the dishwasher, make lunch for I. (I try to put a joke in her lunch) make our bed, feed my hubby and get him out the door at 6.

This morning G. woke up around 6 and needed breakfast.  He got banana muffins and yogurt.  I wasn't expecting him to wake up so early, so my treadmill run got changed.  Instead I pop in a 30 minute DVD (abs and arms today) and work out while G. eats breakfast and watches me.

7:00 Shower and get ready for the day.  M. and I. have woken up and it has started snowing.  We have a tradition that if it is snowing at breakfast time, I let the kiddos have hot chocolate for breakfast.  M. LOVES hot chocolate!

M. is the one with all the allergies.  Her breakfast this morning is rice bread toast, yogurt and hot chocolate.
Because I have to be very careful with what I eat or I gain weight real quick, the muffins are a no-go for me.  I eat a quick bowl of oatmeal and a clementine (we call them cuties).

8 am - the kids get dressed, brush their hair and teeth while I teach a piano lesson.
8:50 - say bye bye to M.  I trade mornings with my neighbor and today she is watching M. for the morning.  Tomorrow, I'll watch her little one.  M. takes a snack - it probably had Pirates Booty, apple sauce, and a juice.
I volunteer at school.  I spend some time in kindergarten with G. and then third grade with I. 
10:30- I go to pick up M., but she won't come with me!  My neighbor tells me to go run some errands.  I stop by Hobby Lobby and HomeGoods.  G. hates Hobby Lobby so I'm glad I can get this errand in before he gets home from school.  We have a large get together this week and I'm trying to get things pulled together for it.

12:00 - pick up G. from school and go home for lunch.  The kids have turkey dogs, apples and cheese balls - no comment about those.  My mom bought the biggest container for my kids while she was visiting and we are working our way through them.  M. doesn't get a bun, of course.
My lunch is a salad with romaine, carrots, cucumbers, feta cheese, and fat free Italian dressing on a whole wheat wrap with a slice of turkey and an apple on the side.  I am stuffed after eating this!
We have a marble run set up in the kitchen today that has entertained the kids while I'm in the kitchen.
1:00 - quiet time, we usually watch some TV, play the Wii, or take a nap.

While the kids watch their show, I set up shop in the living room and work on something for our party this week.
I finish quickly and get on the computer to check emails and favorite blogs.  I think I get about 15 minutes or so before the shows are done.
M. has just learned "give me 5, other side, up high, down low . . . too slow."  We play while I'm answering emails.
2:00 - Library day.  We return all our books and find new ones.  We try to do this every Monday.

3:00 - home, 3 loads of laundry finished and folded!  Go wipe down the bathroom real quick.

3:45 Time for after school snack, even though it's not technically after school time yet.  M. helps me get our second pot of hot chocolate ready.
Snack is hot chocolate and Halloween Candy.  G. eats another muffin.
 G. and I get in some Sudoku - our favorite!
 4:00 - car pool time (they are just posing for the picture - they all get buckled), give I. her snack, kisses, and the daily report.  Check backpack and homework.
 Pull a freezer meal from our freezer out.  Tonight it is Enchilada Soup.  Because I didn't make this meal, I'm not sure if M. can eat it, so I pop some potatoes in the oven to bake.
4:30 - the kiddos play together while I teach 2 more piano lessons.  On this day, though, one of my students was sick, so G. and I. practiced the piano during that time.

6:15 - scheduled dinner time.  It helps Tom to know what time dinner is, so we have it at the same time every day.  That doesn't always mean Tom is home for it, but at least he knows he is making a choice to miss it.  We have Enchilada Soup, baked potatoes, peaches, and a green salad.  M. doesn't eat the soup, I don't eat the baked potatoes, I struggle to get the little ones to eat some salad.  Little MacDougall Household Secret - we are always sweeping our floor, but we sweep everything into a pile and don't always sweep up the pile, we just add on to it for days until it bugs one of us.  Our kids are used to it and know to stay away from the pile - kind of embarrassing!
Tonight is Family Night.  We have a lesson on gratitude and talk about things we are grateful for.  The kids talk about the car, so we clean the car for activity and go get some ice cream at Cold Stone.
Family Home Evening treat is ice cream at Cold Stone.  (My kids move too fast to get a clear picture).  M. gets strawberry ice cream with fruit, which is safe for her to eat.  I can't remember what G. and I. get.  Tom and I don't get anything. 
8:00 - home, baths, books, scriptures and prayer.  Ran out of time to do any homework today - we'll have to do it in the morning.
8:30 - Tom teaches early morning seminary and he starts preparing his lesson for the next day.  I study scriptures and read along with him.

8:35 - first child out of bed - this always happens when they get sugar at night.

9:30 - finally done studying, kids are all asleep and I jump on the computer and love it.  It's time to decompress for a bit and get inspired.

10:00 - in bed, lights out, mind still working full speed.  Do my kids know how awesome and good they are?  Did I let Tom know how he is perfect for me?  Have I spent enough time on my relationship with my Heavenly Father?  Do I have a friend in need that I was too busy for?  How are our finances looking?  Did my kids eat too much sugar today and not enough fruits and veggies? I hope the homework isn't too hard tomorrow?  Am I spending my time on what matter's most?  . . .

Tomorrow is another day - what a great life.  Did I answer most of your questions?  Any other ones?

PS - I didn't get the mail or look at a newspaper the entire day - sorry Dad.
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