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Only one of our cats would allow children to strap him to a stroller and be pushed around.  Thank goodness for patience.

corn and black bean salsa

It is a favorite in our family…Corn and Black Bean Salsa.  Pretty much a staple item I fix every other week.  I got the kids involved in the preparation this time…girls mixing and boys CHOPPING with REAL KNIVES.  I certainly was well aware of the risk involved getting out the cutlery but both my father and brother will admit we have DULL knives.

Here is the recipe for a great treat your family will enjoy!
Chopped green onion
Chopped cilantro
Chopped bell peppers (any or all colors)
Chopped jalapeno (optional)
Can of black beans
Can of corn
Can of chopped tomatoes (Mexican-style)
Squeeze lime juice
Balsamic vinegar
Serve with tortilla chips, over a chicken breast, in a turkey roll-up, etc.

barber time

I know I have blogged about it before…but I love going to the barber.

simply amazing

Aunt Nine left us two years ago. I woke up. Read some prior posts about her. Spoke with my uncle and her children.

So I was simply amazed when I walked into the kitchen to see her prism casting the most beautiful rainbow. We haven’t seen one since the first of Spring. Nothing is a coincidence.

summer 2010

It is definitely summertime!

My house is dirtier.  As a whole, we go through even more bulk food than I care to admit.  There is a neverending need for playdates.  Getting the children to bed before 10pm when it is still daylight is impossible.  The fighting has significantly increased.  Our driveway looks like a trailer park littered with scooters, bikes, towels, and sandals. And, bathing has all been forgotten considering there is a daily visit to the pool.  Chlorine is as good as soap, right?

But we have definitely had some HIGHS!

+ Trip to a wolf and coyote sanctuary
+ Two Indians games at Victory Field
+ Annual visit to the Madison Regatta
+ Dwight Freeney Football Camp
+ Princess Camp
+ Zoobilation
+ Tennis, Swim Team and Golf
+ Trip to the Indianapolis Zoo to see the new cheetahs
+ A country fair
+ Waterpark
+ Symphony on the Prairie
+ Girls Day only to see the Cinderella play
+ The Velveteen Rabbit play
+ The High School Musical at the dinner theater
+ Visit from AUNT Audrey
+ Visit from a college friend and her family
+ Visit from COUSIN Mina
+ Grandma’s new kitten…CHARLIE
+ Snowcones, face painting, watermelon, rope swinging and MORE

There has been no shortage of fun.

Note:  Nearly every picture was taken with my iPhone.

three birthdays

Three special people share July 7th as their birthday…Emerson, Campbell, and Aunt Nine.  The twins are FOUR which is hard to believe.  And, one…we will always remember.

creative minds

Remember being bored in the summer?  Oh…it makes me long for childhood.  I cannot remember the last time I used the word bored to describe my feelings.

So, it is with no great surprise that I have heard on a few occasions that the children are bored.

But I love how their creative minds work.

Our four children, along with the other 3-4 that are typically hanging around the house, developed a game called TWILIGHT last week.  Now, Twilight is like music to my ears.  I couldn’t wait to hear more.

Each person playing was a character from the Twilight saga.

BRIGGS = Edward
GAGE = Jacob
EMERSON = Rosalie
WILL = Emmitt
PARKER = Jasper
JACK = Sam

The objective was to hide Bella either from the vampires or the werewolves.  Whoever found her won.  Furthermore, they each used their special powers during the search.

It was brilliant.

Oh…to be a kid again.

first crush

Admittedly, I have had a few ‘celebrity’ crushes in my life.  But just a few…

I went through a ‘Rocky’ crush.  Why?  I don’t know but my mother even bought me the red-white-blue-striped boxing shorts to hang on my wall in sixth grade.

I went through a Tom Cruise crush.  The need for speed’ combined with the flight jacket remains irresistable.

I definitely admired the cast of The Outsiders considering it launched numerous careers into stardom. 

Most everyone knows I am totally on ‘Team Edward’, eagerly awaiting midnight of June 29th to see the premier of Eclipse.

But there is one crush that I have had since I was a young teen after seeing The Turning Point.  I don’t believe it will ever fade.  This Russian ballet dancer just seems to get better with age…Mikhail Baryshnikov.  He was recently photographed with famous photographer, Annie Liebovitz for Louis Vuitton. 

This one is for you, Susan. 

snow days

Love the winter snow we have had this year.  Don’t mind a snow day now and then…especially in the morning when they all pack into our bed.

i have discovered

I HAVE DISCOVERED pulling out old movies makes for the best Family Movie Night.  Swiss Family Robinson, despite it being in black & white, is one of my kids new favorites.  It is actually quite funny and innovative.  Another we have pulled out is The Black Stallion which makes us all weepy.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that as I am gracing my forties, I understand the reasons my mother put baby oil on her face nightly and foundation in the morning.  I thought both were kind of gross. 

I HAVE DISCOVERED that Gage has a vivid imagination. He has recently started telling the twins bednight stories…made-up bednight stories!  Once we have turned down the lights and they are nestled into their beds, he begins.  I love observing his creative side flourish despite the fact that his stories always contain one or more of the following: weapons, volcanos, mountains, swords, witches, guns, wolves, forests or war.  I don’t think the girls care to much as long as he throws a pricess in distress now and then.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that after another marathon study session for math with Briggs, I realized not only am I in for more challenges as he progresses in school but that show, “Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader,” was not a wacky idea.  My goodness, I am confident I was not doing this level of work in fourth grade.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that bangs wasn’t the right change I needed.  Everytime I look into the mirror I am reminded of Def Lepperd in the 80s.  It might be a trend but not one for me.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that you can talk your husband into renting an RV to travel to Florida with if you promise to fry him an egg while driving on the highway!

I HAVE DISCOVERED that boys need to go to a real Barber with the red, white, and blue cylinder turning outside the window.  No more kiddie cuts places for us.  Being where real men get their hair cut is a like a rite of passage.  The boys need to get gently teased like a barber can only do, hear raunchy jokes the men next to them are exchanging, and maybe even see a pinup of Jessica Simpson hanging from the mirror in her Daisy Dukes.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that my kids are just different.  Campbell still cannot watch a movie or moment of TV to save her life.  She now is focused solely on perfecting her letters.   

I HAVE DISCOVERED that my eldest son is just like me.  He gets completely engrossed in book series.  I started reading the Outlander series again!  I just missed Jamie and Claire.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that some things just stick with you from childhood.  Considering Nate was an extraordinarily huge Star Wars fan, our father transferred HYPERDRIVE from the Millenium Falcom to our Honda Civic.  He would press various buttons, flip down the visor, adjust the mirror, and FLOOR it.  Well, thirty years later, my kids scream for hyperdrive when we hit the open road. 

I HAVE DISCOVRED that my smallest child is the loudest snorer.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that my iPhone is an addiction but one I really enjoy and Facebook is cool.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that Gage might have a future in copywriting. I jokingly submitted a potential advertising quote to Jimmy John’s Sandwiches yesterday after I heard Gage exclaim from the rear of the van:  “Jimmy John’s has the best sandwiches in the world. You can’t imagine it. It’s like BAM in your face. They are the best!”

I HAVE DISCOVERED that Tim and I both ‘torchers’ when it comes to seeing each stage or milestone pass.  Neither one of us seem to grieve over moving to boosters or removing bed rails.  My sense is that we will be someday be shocked that it all has passed quickly.  Briggs is moving to double digits next month…that might be our first clue!

I HAVE DISCOVERED that you have to pick your battles.  So what if my kids want to use the snow on the deck for snowcones?

I HAVE DISCOVERED that my kids and I have the same opinion on one thing for sure when I heard Gage say, “Mom, I don’t like school. I like Summer.”   No kidding…especially with the way this Winter is dragging on.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that it is okay if your best friend was the one to teach your child how to spell poop.

I HAVE DISCOVERED the every girl has a favorite Disney princess…Emerson (Sleeping Beauty), Campbell (Cinderella), and Elin (Snow White).

I HAVE DISCOVERED that “Because I said so!” is in fact a good enough reason to demand something from your children.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that my metabolism isn’t the same it was five years ago.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that even though I no longer have infants, I still don’t sleep through the night without getting woken up at least once.  Unless, of course, Tylenol PM is involved.

I HAVE DISCOVERED that some questions leave you stumped.  Emerson made me pause to consider the answer to her question, “What would we do without a mommy and daddy?”  All I could think about were the estimated one million Haitian children are left probably asking the same question

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