Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ava's new oven!

Graig and Brock went to a Yankee game today so Ava and I had a girls day! This morning we went to church and then we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant~ Brook's Chicken! After lunch we went to Wal-Mart to get some mums for fall and Ava found an Easy Bake oven! I had to get her one because I had one when I was growing up and I always had so much fun playing with it. Ava loves to help me in the kitchen so she will get a lot of use out of it.

This afternoon, Ava and I went to my friend Sabrina's house to visit with her and see her baby, Eliza. We also watched the Yankee game, we wanted to see Graig and Brock on TV. While we were there Ava made us yellow cake and sugar cookies with her new Easy Bake oven.
Sabrina bought the cutest Family Tree on sale at Pottery Barn Kids for Eliza's room. Since I thought it would go perfect in Ava's room I bought one too. Isn't it cute?

We are home now and I found a site online to make home made easy bake oven mixes (they are $4.76 each at Wal-Mart, isn't that crazy??) we are going to make Barbie's pretty pink cake.

Here is the recipe:

5 tablespoons Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
5 teaspoons Red Sugar Crystals
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
4 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
8 teaspoons Milk
Stir together cake flour, baking powder, salt, red sugar,
vanilla, oil and milk until the batter is smooth and pink. Pour
3 Tbsp. of batter into greased and floured cake pan. Bake 15
mins. Repeat for second layer. Makes 2 layers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things I love about Obama

I love Barack Obama, I hope that he's going to be the next President of the United States! I have been watching the democratic national convention all week and I am so excited for tonight to hear Barack's acceptance speech

I'm in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade… That's why I'm running, Democrats — to keep the American Dream alive for those who still hunger for opportunity, who still thirst for equality.”
— Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, IA, November 10, 2007

Here are some things that I love about Obama...

1. He's using the Internet and facebook to reach out to younger voters.

2. He's a Senator from Illinois my home state

3. His wife Michelle is so talented and well spoken. I loved her speech on Monday night. She and Barack come from working class backgrounds and she spoke about how they were raised, and the values that their parents instilled in them. She also talked about how they met and how she wouldn't go out with him at first. Then he asked her out for ice cream and what girl can resist ice cream, so she said yes and the rest is history.

4. He wants to end the war in Iraq quickly and responsibly and bring our troops home safely.

5. He supports a living wage for all people.

6. He wants to expand early childhood education for all children and he wants to expand the Head Start program (a national pre-school program for low income families~my first job after college was working for Head Start, it's a great program but now it's VERY underfunded)

7. He wants to make college education more affordable for students and families.

8. He wants to expand universal health care to insure more Americans.

9. He is a great dad to his two adorable daughters, Malia and Sasha

10. He will bring hope and dignity back to the White House.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They're back.....

Classes started today, all the students are back and summer is officially over for me. I can't believe how fast this summer went! I am so not ready for it to be over. I love summer; the hot weather, hanging out at the pool with Brock and Ava, going to Brock's little league games, and working in my garden (ok I don't really like that, but I love when my flowers look pretty). Anyway, this is one of the busiest days of the year for me at work because all the students are back and they have a million questions for me about their campus job, their fraternity or sorority, a community service event they want to do, their recruitment t-shirts, etc. I probably talked to over 100 students today and I am exhausted tonight! I am going to bed early.

BTW, I filled out the paperwork to get my digital camera fixed, I am going to send it in tomorrow, I can't wait to get it back. My blog is going to be super boring without pictures.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ooooooh Nooooo!

Last night Brock dropped my camera....and it broke! He was making a youtube video and I know if was an accident but I am SO BUMMED! I love posting pics with every post and now I won't be able to do that for at least a a couple of weeks because I have to send my camera to Cannon to get fixed :(
Today at work was so busy, I had my Greek Retreat all day today with the Greek Presidents, Vice Presidents and Recruitment chairs. It was fun and I think they learned a lot and got to know each other more but I am exhausted...the fun continues tomorrow because recruitment starts!
After work, I signed Ava up for her dance classes. She is going to take ballet, tap and jazz next year. She is so happy, I think dance is going to be her "thing".

Monday, August 25, 2008

Foam Dance

Last night on campus we had a Foam Dance Party for our freshman students. Brock went with me and didn't get out of the Foam Pit all night. He loved it. About 500 freshman were at the Block Party but only about 50 of them got in the Foam Pit (I don't blame them!!) Anyway it was a lot of fun and Brock had a great time, he even made another video for youtube. I promise I won't post a link to that, you all remember his last youtube videos right??

Brock after 2 hours in the Foam Pit, this is how he got in our car! I made him wrap up in a blanket and he took a shower as soon as we got home.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Calling the Tooth Fairy

Ava lost her front tooth yesterday! Since she spent the night with our neighbors last night she put it under the pillow tonight. She wrote a note to the tooth fairy and she's hoping to get one back. Every time she looses a tooth she writes a note to put along with her tooth. I am not sure where she got this idea from but it's so cute to see what she writes.

Silly Ava!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brock's 11th B-Day Party

Tonight Brock is having his 11th birthday sleepover. This year we let him invite only 4 friends because we wanted to keep it managable because the party is at our house. Last year was crazy, he had about 12 boys sleep over it was pure choas! Graig and I decided never, ever to do that again. That was way too many boys! 4 seems like a good number for a sleepover.

Anyway, they played on the trampoline, had a nerf gun fight, we lit sparklers, and now they are in for the night playing Wii in the basement.

Here are some pics from tonight
The boys eating dinner

With their sparklers

Ava with her friend our neighbor Anika, they love sparklers

Brock with his cake. I told him if he didn't smile he wasn't getting cake. My friend, Brock and Ava's Auntie Allison made the cake. Thanks Allison it was delicious!!

Present time!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cutest Blog sale!

Hey if anyone is thinking of getting a header for their blog now is the time to do it!!
The cutest blog on the block is offering a special. $10 off a personalized header with or without pictures, so the total cost is $20 instead of the usual $30. I think it's a great deal.
Anyway, I just noticed it so if anyone is interested check it out~the sale ends tomorrow August 22.

Brock the video star

Brock and his friends recently discovered youtube. They love watching videos of nerf gun fights, highlights from baseball, basketball and soccer games and interviews with their favorite sports stars. Usually there are about 4 or 5 of his smelly little friends sitting around our computer laughing and talking about what they have just watched. This morning and last night he posted 3 videos. Here's a link if you want to check them out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who What When

I found this on another blog and I thought it would be fun to do, I hope that everyone that reads my blog does this so we can find out a little more about each other! Have fun! Leave a comment and I will check out your blog

Where is your cell phone? in my work bag

Your significant other? Graig, he's in the kitchen watching sports center

Your hair? is wavy today and I have it back with a headband

Your mother? in Illinois

Your father? in Wyoming

Your favorite thing? hearing Brock and Ava laugh, relaxing on my couch, getting a pedi, eating a good meal, getting together with my friends

Your dream last night? I don't remember

Your favorite drink? Diet cherry coke

Your dream/goal? to continue on the path that I am on. I am happy with my family, career, home, etc.

The room you’re in? Living Room

Your ex? Thankfully I don't have one

Your fear? being in a car accident, heights, drowning, something bad happening to one of my kids (wow I have a lot of fears :)

Where do you want to be in 6 years? In 6 years I will be 38 (yikes!) Brock will be 17 and about to start his senior year of high school and Ava will be 12! I hope that everyone I love is still happy and healthy!

Where were you last night? at home, relaxing

What you’re not? uptight

Muffins? not so much, I do love corn muffins though

One of your wish list items? a new kitchen and a hottub!

Where you grew up? Southern Illinois

The last thing you did? helped Brock upload a video to youtube

What are you wearing? black t-shirt, and grey capri pants

Your TV? off

Your pets? 3 little dogs (Graig loves them, me not so much) 2 yorkie-poos Daisy and Ellie and 1 malti-poo Cotton

Your computer? a Dell laptop we have a desktop too but I love the laptop

Your life? usually hectic but I wouldn't have it any other way

Your mood? a little sleepy

Missing someone? my sister Shelby and my Mom

Something you’re not wearing? a watch

Favorite store? Target, You can find anything and everything at Target. I have to drive at least an hour to get to a Target! I also love any and all stores that sell home stuff or candles and I love going to Gymboree with Ava (esp. when they are having a sale!)

Your summer? almost over!!

When is the last time you laughed? today at work talking to my co-workers

Last time you cried? when Nastia won the gold medal in gymnastics last week

Who will re post this? All of my many readers! (ha ha)

BTW, I just took off my music and the poll, it was driving me crazy!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just another manic Monday

Today was a busy, busy day. Last Friday, while the kids and I were on vay-cay visiting my Dad, Graig had knee surgery.One of his good friends, Kevin, took him and stayed with him because we were gone (thanks Kevin!) He had a partially torn meniscus that had to be repaired. The surgery went smoothly but afterwords, the doctor said that Graig had the knee of an 80 year old man and he needed to have knee replacement surgery! So, we have an appointment with a surgeon next month to talk about his options for knee replacement.

Graig chillin' on the couch with Brock and our dog Daisy
Things are crazy at work for Graig and I because school starts next week! Our two good friends, Dan and Jenn, work at the same College as Graig and I and we are taking turns watching each other's girls this week. I think their daughter Marty and Ava look so similiar. They could be sisters! Marty went with me today when I picked Ava up from gymnastics camp.

Cutie Pies They have similar short haircuts so I thought this was a good picture of the two of them. Whenever they walk together they always hold hands, it is so cute! Ava's hair was wet from swimming. Brock spent his b-day money to get this nerf gun, he is so proud of it. His b-day party is Friday night and the main event is going to be a nerf gun fight so he is so excited he got this gun. We ordered it on Amazon and it was on backorder so last night we went to Wal-Mart and they had one, he was so happy! Today he created a youtube account so he could upload videos of him and his friends having nerf gun fights.
After dinner Brock and Ava played on the trampoline. Sometimes they are so sweet together.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Miss America

Ava and I have loved watching the USA gymnastics team compete this week! We were both so happy when the Nastia Liukin won gold and Shawn Johnson won silver. We stayed up and watched the beam and the uneven bars and then we were sooooo tired that we couldn't stay awake anymore. Thanks goodness they have showed it tonight earlier so we could watch it. How inspirational! Those girls are AMAZING.

Congrats Nastia and Shawn! Ava loves you both and she is your biggest fan.

This fall Ava is going to be on the gymnastics team at the YMCA and next week she start gymnastics camp. This afternoon we were at Target and she saw this adorable red, white and blue leotard and warm up jacket. Doesn't she look so cute in her warm up jacket? On the back it says "gymnastics"

Miss America!!

This morning we are flying home to NY after a week with my Dad in Wyoming. We have had a great time but it will be so nice to be home. We bought so much stuff out here, I hope everything fits in our suitcases. Brock got 2 pairs of shoes and a few shirts today at the Nike outlet. Ava found two cute outfits (on sale!) at Gymboree, and I bought 7 new Christmas ornaments for our tree. I love getting ornaments from all the places we visit when we go on vacation so we can remember our trips. My Dad also gave me a suitcase full of pictures, cards, and other memories from my high school and college days. Since he is selling his ranch he wants to get rid of stuff. I seriously think I might have to pay extra $ $ to board the plane because I have so much stuff. I hope that we (and all of our stuff) make it home safely!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Buffalo, Burros, and Big Presidents

Yesterday we traveled about 200 miles from my Dad's ranch to visit Custer State Park and Mt.Rushmore! Brock and Ava had a great time seeing the Buffalo, they were so close to our car.
The Burros were so friendly they came right up to our car. Brock and Ava fed them carrots, which they loved. They were so cute and friendly.

Our last stop of the day was Mt. Rushmore

Brock and Ava near Mt. Rushmore

Four Great Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln

Brock and Ava took about hour and filled out a workbook about Mt. Rushmore to become Junior Park Rangers. Here they are with their Junior Ranger badges, they are so proud of them. After we got back to the ranch, Ava and I stayed up late and watched the Olympics gymnastics~we are so excited for Nastia and Shawn! Go USA!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wild West part 2

Today is our 5th day in Wyoming and we are having a great time seeing all the sights, eating great food, relaxing, and visiting with my Dad (Brock and Ava call him PaPa). Anyway we have visited 4 states~Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota! We are trying to see as much as possible when we are here because we aren't sure when we are going to be here again. My Dad is selling his ranch and moving back to Illinois. He already sold his animals and yesterday he got an offer on his ranch! I haven't had Internet since Sunday! My Dad lives in the middle of nowhere and he doesn't have Internet access. So, I was so excited when we got to our hotel tonight and I got to check in on everyone's blogs !

Welcome to Wyoming! PaPa with Brock and Ava in downtown Cheyenne

Ava with a Cowboy in CheyenneAva says "Welcome to my PaPa's ranch"
Out here, everyone brands their animals so they can tell who owns the animals. There are only certain brands and when you go to get a brand you have to take what they have available. When my Dad went he was lucky enough to get lazy B over A which are his initials! He was so excited about getting such a great brand that he had it put on his ranch sign.

The highlight of Brock's trip~shooting the b b gun!We have taken pictures like this at monuments in the 4 states that we have visited. My Dad loves history and he loves taking pictures of us in front of monuments!On Tuesday, we visited Scott's Bluff which is in Nebraska and has beautiful views of the surrounding area.

This is one of the gorgeous views from Scott's Bluff

Brock and Ava loved looking through these binoculars

Brock was hoping to see a rattlesnake! We didn't see one but our trip isn't over yet!Today we traveled to South Dakota to visit Hot Springs

We visited the Mammoth Site which is the world's largest Mammoth research center and active paleontology site. It was so interesting to go on the tour and learn more about these interesting, ancient creatures. There are so many bones they only dig during the month of July and they spend the rest of the year cleaning and cataloging all the bones. So far they have found over 150 mammoths at this site! Ava and I with a Mammoth jaw bone
Ava with a Mammoth femur bonePaPa, Brock and Ava in the Mammoth exhibit hallAfter we checked in to our hotel we went to Evan's plunge water park. It's the largest spring water pool in the world! We had so much fun going on the waterslides and swimming. Here is a picture of us at Evan's plunge

After a long day of sightseeing we are exhausted! We got a Kid's suite at the Holiday Inn express and the kids are tucked in to their beds ready for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow we are going to visit Mt. Rushmore

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wild West Vacation

We finally made it to Wyoming!! We left our house at 5:45 this morning. We had two long plane rides and then an hour and 1/2 car ride but we made it to Cheyenne in time to meet my Dad for dinner! We looked around the mall for a little bit and now the kids are swimming in the pool.We are staying in a hotel tonight and then tomorrow we are driving another 1 hour and 1/2 to get to my Dad's ranch. He lives in the middle of nowhere, we have to stock up on groceries before we leave Cheyenne~yikes!!

Brock and Ava relaxing in the massage chairs

Brock and Ava in the hotel pool

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Brock!!

Brock is 11 today! I can't believe our sweet boy is 11. I know everyone says it, but the time has flown by! I can remember like it was yesterday bringing him home from the hospital.

Graig and I love his sense of humor, the way that he stays calm in the most intense situations (he does this in little league when he is pitching, I don't know how he does it, even if he's behind in the count he takes his time collects himself, and then he throws the ball~usually a strike), how he can be so sweet and protective of his baby sister, and how he loves to laugh.

Tonight we are going to celebrate by going out for pizza (his favorite!). Tomorrow Graig is going to take him to get his birthday present, I don't want to post it yet in case he reads this but we know he is going to love it!

This is a picture from his 4th Birthday party.
Brock is the second one from the left in the back row. How cute is he??

Brock getting ready to bat in Little League, he looks so grown up to me in this picture

Brock and his friend Theo having a snack after a Little League Game