Parsee Cake (this one’s for you, Grampy Don!)

Eve has been in a treat making mood lately. She baked and decorated sugar cookies a few times, and yesterday she made some Jell-O. Seeing the Jell-O reminded Alan of a cake his dad created and his mom used to make for him every year for his birthday. She taught me and I took over the tradition for many years until he decided he wanted Birthday Cookies instead. Well, today, on our last day of February vacation, this happened.

She got pretty loopy at the end! I can’t imagine why?! :) She made the cake almost all on her own, with just my guidance and minor help. It came out great! I love how proud she looks. <3

The Johnson Family Bank

Based on the book The First National Bank of Dad (which we have heard about, but have not actually read), Alan and I decided to offer the kids the option to put their money in the “bank” and earn some interest.  It’s something Alan and I have discussed in the past, but just brought it up with the kids today.  Their “save” envelopes were getting pretty full, so I suggested we deposit the money into their 529 College Savings accounts, which then lead to further discussions of banking, which led to this:

I may be breaking some space/time continuum by posting a Snap of a screenshot onto a blog!

The kids both agreed that their “save” money should go towards college, and they both liked the idea of earning interest.  Alan said “When you are ready to start a family bank account, you can create a spreadsheet in Google Docs and share it with me and mom.”  Both kids immediately grabbed their computers!  :)  I guess they were ready!  We’ll see how it goes.  Hopefully it doesn’t break the ACTUAL Johnson family bank account!

Growing up, and the holiday concert that was

Lex had his winter concert tonight. Their concert dress code is black bottoms, white tops, dressy. Last year he wore black sweats and one of Alan’s white Hanes t-shirts, and I thought things were fine. Last night when I was putting him to bed he said to me, “Mom, I think I should get some nicer clothes for the concert tomorrow.” Turns out he felt awkward in his sweats last year and although no one commented, he said he got a few funny looks. Imagine my surprise when he suggested a Polo shirt! After school today he came to DBS to help me set up some robotics kits, then we tried to work out shopping, karate, Girl Scouts, and the concert. I kept waiting for him to bail on the shopping, but nope, he suggested skipping karate so we could go shopping!! We ended up dropping Eve at home (to walk Arlo) and then Lex and I headed to JC Penney. I wish we had better clothing stores around. Penney’s and Khols both have very small kids sections. Plenty of adult clothes and baby/toddler clothes, but my kids are now at that age where they can’t quite wear grownup clothes, but have outgrown the kids section. It’s tricky. He tried on almost a dozen different pants and four shirts before settling on a pair of black jeans and a white collar shirt. He was happy for the entire time! He was a little worried that the jeans were a bit big around the waist, so I suggested a belt. Guess what?! He said OK! Ack! Who is this child?!

We inhaled some pizza, got Eve out the door to Girl Scouts (cookie time is right around the corner!), then rushed off to the concert. Lex was a few minutes later, but we agreed that at least he’d look slick walking in. :) He was happy and the concert was awesome!

On the Eve front, she was going to bed last night, climbing up her bunk bed ladder. She stopped, looked seriously at me, and said, “Mom, puberty is doing weird things to my body.” She then raised her foot up behind her and I looked, expecting to see bumps and blisters, but instead I saw a big googly eye! Stuck to the bottom of her toe! I cracked up! She started giggling and crawled into her bed. Not too grown up yet! <3

New House!!

We closed on the new house today!!  Whooo hoo!!

The kids came to the closing and right afterwards we went to the new house and did a happy dance! :)

We were a little bit excited. :)

Then we started moving in our boxes and boxes of stuff.  The fancy new house will be “lived in” in no time!  Tomorrow is the official moving day.  We’ve had several friends offer to help us move (crazy friends!) so hopefully we can get it all done this weekend.  Wheee… What a crazy summer it has been!

First day of school

5th and 7th! Can you believe it!!

They both woke up happy and ready for school. We managed photos without anyone getting cranky, without any animals escaping, and without anyone being late for school! We’re finally getting good at this! LOL!

I had a good day at school. The superintendent even stopped by when I was teaching a 1st grade class and those kiddos were perfect! I was handing out stuffies for them to cuddle as reading buddies, were were naming the stuffies and discussing how much they like stories, and then he walked in. It was perfect! :) Earlier in the day I ran a fun scavenger hunt with the 5th graders. They loved it!

Macy scanning the QR code on my back. The word was “fire” and the kids laughed that there was fire on the librarian! :)

After school and popcorn for snack (it’s our thing) Eve went to play at Macy’s house for awhile, then they came back here and we all took a walk over to the new house. Guess what?! We have solar panels!!! And siding on the whole exterior. So exciting!! The developer told us (via email) that the landscaping crew was coming at the end of this week and the area will look very different soon. We are hoping they get that path carved out soon.

Then we got home and Eve crashed on the floor! She was literally asleep on the living room floor at 6:15pm! I tried to get dinner in her, but no luck, I tried to get her to shower and brush her teeth, but no luck (yuck!), and by 7:30 she was sound asleep in bed… with me by her side! I woke up an hour later, remembering I still had another kid to put to bed too. :) He didn’t mind the extra Minecraft time!

Here’s hoping we can pull it all off again tomorrow!

Happy (late) Birthday!!

This handsome fellow turned 12 last week (well, four day ago)!  I’m a little busy with life, but we snuck in some birthday celebrations here and there.

Hugs for Doctor Nurse Professor Aunt Rosy!

We celebrated a little early in Franklin with the family.

We love Snap Circuits!!

Fun with the drone.

Look at it go! Lex is a very good drone driver. I am not.

We celebrated a little on the actual day.  In past years I’ve found myself making three cakes/cupcakes: one for a family party, one for a friends party, and one for school.  This year, I made none.  :(

Do pancakes count as cake?!

The pile was a little small and half pajamas, but the big present came later in the day.

An early dinner at Panera Bread before Eve’s concert in the evening. This reminds me of another picture I have of them on Lex’s 4th birthday. They’ve grown a little since then. :)

Finally, FINALLY, the surprise arrived, everyone got home, and we let this extremely patient 12 year old open his fancy new laptop! The better for playing Minecraft on.

The weekend after his birthday Aunt Mandy came to visit and went out for ice cream and mini-golf.  Sadly I left my phone home on accident, so there are no photos.  We all had a great time though!  Then Ziggy’s for dinner and a round of pool.

Sunday evening (yesterday), Alan and I talked the kids into going to a new-ish restaurant.  We promised them dessert and had them bring games.  Lex set up a variety of chess challenges for me, then we had an intense game.  It was great!

<3 <3 <3

I felt a little guilty about this birthday because we didn’t do a party and didn’t do anything big and special.  I offered to take him on a day trip or invite some friends for ice cream and mini-golf, but nothing appealed to him.  The week was full of concerts and plays and meetings and parties he wasn’t invited to, so I feel like he got very little attention, but he said he’s happy and it was a good birthday.  I try to remind myself that in general “very little attention” is what Lex prefers.  :)   I’m glad we were able to go out to dinner Sunday night, just the four of us, and have a good family bonding time.  We get one more year with this preteen before he hits those scary-sounding teenage years.  Let’s make this year last and last!  <3

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

We have this awesome program called Shakespeare In School that comes to DBS and teaches the 4th grade a play. This is the second year they have done it. The whole class participates, they practice at school for many weeks, they do a performance at school, then they get to do a performance on a real stage in a real theater! This year the kids did A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it was AMAZING!!!

Eve has been practicing and rehearsing lines and worrying and crying and telling me a hundred stories a day about this play. I’ve read lines with her at the hair salon and in bed and in the car and she’s even asked others to read lines with her too. When she got worried or nervous I reminded her of her enthusiasm after seeing Shrek and she perks back up.

Tonight was the big night!

I wanted to record the whole thing and take a billion pictures, but the Northern Stage guy said that photography was not allowed. :( It took ALL OF MY WILLPOWER to not pull out my camera! Except this one picture I took before he made that statement. ;)

Eve was amazing!! Her classmates were amazing! They were funny and loud and expressive. Everyone remembered their lines, they paused for laugh breaks, they look at the audience, and made big movements. I spent the entire play with a smile so big it hurt. I cannot believe no one recorded the whole thing! I want to watch it a thousand more time!

Here is a picture of Eve as King Oberon from the dress rehearsal (I stole it from her class’s Facebook page.)

After the show they had a little cookie and lemonade wrap party. The energy was high (adrenaline and cookies!) and everyone was happy. It was great.

I love our school and I love her class and I love our community. Life is good.

Twelve is coming way too fast!

This handsome fella is turning twelve tomorrow and I a feeling very guilty about our complete lack of plans. I told him we wouldn’t be doing a big party this year, but I was hoping for a day trip or an activity with a friend, or something! But, alas, life is busy and 12 is coming up fast! He wasn’t very interest in any of my ideas, and tomorrow, his big day, I have a meeting after school, Alan has a meetings, and Eve has a concert. Everyone is busy, but him! We are going to sneak in a dinner at Panera between my meeting and Eve’s concert.

I was looking for presents to wrap yesterday and, though I swear I had a pile for him… umm… I guess I do not. :/ We have little toys that Eve bought and I bought him some PJs the other days, but nothing exciting. Alan decided to order him a big present (laptop! shhhh… don’t tell!). He had it overnighted, but that still leaves me with not much excitement for the big birthday morning. :/

Can we just skip birthday’s this year? He can be eleven for a bit longer. Next year I’ll have more time and brainpower to focus on him. I love him forever though, even if life is busy! I hung his birthday collages just now. He was such an adorable baby, and turning into a super handsome young man. <3

PS. Apparently 12 is the year the gross jokes birthday cards start arriving. He laughed and an unsure sort of way. :)

Busy birthday weekend

We have had a busy birthday weekend celebrating Eve.  Double digits.  End of a decade here.  No more little ones.  *Sniff* and sigh and on we go!

Friday Eve was home with a fever.  She missed out on birthday at school and getting to be Governor of her class (government unit!), but she did get to watch TV and eat ice cream with daddy, so all was well.  Her party was supposed to be Friday night, but we postponed due to her fever and the impending storm.  I couldn’t let the day go by without a candle and song though, so a quick improvise and voila – ice cream sundae with a sparkling candle on top!

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

At bedtime Eve gave me a little gift by asking if I would read to her.  She hasn’t wanted me to read to her at bedtime in ages and I was almost giddy at the invite to snuggle in her bed and read to her.  Of course mid way through I remembered the measure-on-the-wall thing and we all got up (me, Eve, dog, cat) and headed to Lex’s room where both boys joined in the fun.

Saturday morning I gave her the gift of staying home alone while I took Lex to karate.  When we returned I found her in her room with a mirror and all her hair supplies out.  She asked if I would do her hair (yay!) and we had a lovely time talking about jewelry and hair and girly stuff.  She had on a beautiful dress, jewelry, and lip gloss.

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She's all ready to party at 11am! Sadly the party didn't start until 5pm and by then she was back in her play clothes.

She’s all ready to party at 11am!

Sadly by 5pm when the party already started she had changed back into regular clothes.  At least she kept the beautiful hair-do!  :)

Pizza and silly friends!

Pizza and silly friends!

We did a sleepover again this year, but with fewer friends and even fewer planned activities!  I told Eve that she’s old enough to entertain her friends now and we didn’t plan and crafts or projects or anything.  Just pizza, ice cream cake, and dancing!



Just Dance!

Just Dance!

Eve asked me to make an ice cream cake this year.  I used the Stoneware bundt pan, three gallons of ice cream, and lots of guesswork.  I’m pleased to say it came out really great!  I poured hot fudge on the top right at the end, stuck 10 sparkling candles in there and it was perfect!

I'm very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

I’m very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Only two girls ended up staying over night (because we had changed the date at the last minute), so around 9:30pm, after we watched Moana, half of the party headed home and the other half went to bed… and talked and giggled and carried on until midnight!  I only had to go up a few times though and they fell asleep eventually.  :)

Today was spent in a sugar/tired haze.  Her friends left at 10:30, I had homework to do and school work to do so Eve and I spent a few hours in the library while Lex and Alan spent a few blessed hours in a very quiet house.

Happy Birthday to my baby who is growing up so fast.  I look forward to many, many more years of giggly girl sleepovers, braiding hair, and cuddling with stories.  <3


I put up all the pictures from the past few days in a Google Album.