Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Vacation?

Isn't summer vacation supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation?
Whoever said that certainly doesn't know the CrazyLife family!

We've had a crazy busy summer and it's only four weeks in.
Here's what we've been doing the past few weeks 
(and part of the reason that the blog has been MIA lately!)

Dance Shows - Midland Highland Festival and Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival

Dance Recitals - 2 different recitals - 3 different shows

Starting a new Business

Brother's Wedding

Sister-in-Law's baby shower

New niece on Mr. CrazyLife's side

Visit from CrazyLife Grandparents

And various other events that don't stand on there own.  And it's not even July yet!!!!


(pictures to follow as soon as my connection speeds up a wee bit.)
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My New Business Venture - So Excited!

For the past few years I've made special calendars for our family for Christmas.  I take all the photos from the year and digitally scrapbook them into a calendar using the Heritage Makers Studio program.  My MIL and her sisters have been consultants for Heritage Makers for years.  It's a lot of fun and super easy to do.

Recently, I decided to join the Heritage Makers team and become a consultant.  I've been making so many projects and I love to share them with everyone, so I thought it was the perfect "side" job for me.  And I've been having so much fun making new projects now as a consultant.  Besides the calendars, I've been making canvases, which are totally awesome!  And working on my poor neglected third and fourth children's 12x12 scrapbook pages.  And making flash cards.  And birthday cards.  And posters for my classroom.  The possibilities are endless!!!

Here are a couple of examples of my canvases.

This is a family picture from my brother-in-law's wedding last year.  I love, love, love the photo, but wasn't sure how to to present it.  Then I decided upon a canvas and I love the outcome!

One of the best things about Heritage Makers is this new opportunity they have called Club HM.  Basically, you subscribe to the Club and receive publishing points.  You get access to all their premier artwork.  Before this you had to purchase everything up front and pay extra for the premier artwork.  Now, you can still do it that way, but seriously, why?  Club HM is almost like a lay-away plan . . . you pay for the club, get points and work on a project.  When you have enough points, you publish and order your creation.  And it keeps on going.  It's perfect!

Now that I've gone on and on about how Great Heritage Makers is, let me tell you even more.  I don't know about anyone else, but I have a ton of digital pictures that are sitting around on my computer or a SD card or saved on disk somewhere.  Those pictures, those stories are never printed or told.  They're locked away.  With Heritage Makers, I'm able to use them - as many as I want - in great projects to share.  Storybooks, scrapbook pages, cards, calendars, posters, address labels, canvases, and more.  It's a great way to share our life stories and pass on our memories to our futures.

I love it!

If you want to know more, check out Heritage Makers. Ask me to set you up with a FREE account, activate it and start creating.  I guarentee you'll love it!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Hogwart's Adventure and Frienly Wednesday

We started our adventures at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this week.  And it's been a blast so far!!!  If you're interested in following along, you can read moe here:

In honor of the Harry Potter adventures we're having, I'm post a recipe I came across while searching.  As all us Harry Potter fans know, Butterbeer is the premiere drink of the Wizarding world.  Mr. CrazyLife's cousin has a recipe for it that is quite good served warm or used as in a "Butterbeer" float (ala root beer float style). But this recipe incorporates the best of both worlds: Butterbeer and Cake. 
(amybites photo, not mine!)

Check it out here.

And it's Wednesday . . . . so here's to Friendly Wednesday over at Feeding Four!!!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

We're Going to Hogwarts!!!

Every summer I try to find something fun to do with the kids.  Something that wil keep us busy and also keep them reading and practicing "school" things.  Sometimes we've done summer camps.  One year we did a reading challenge.  We attend summer events at the library and parks.

But this summer . . . . . We're going to Hogwarts!!!!!

Thing #1 recently got into reading the Harry Potter books.  She's booked through them :) at a record pace.  And now Thing #2 and #3 are reading the first book out loud with me.  They love the magic and mystery of them.  And they thing (and I can't argue with this) that Hogwarts would be the coolest school ever to attend!

Later today, when the children come home from school, they will find a magic "Owl Post" tube containing acceptance letters for each of them to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Summer Correspondence School.  The letter details what they need to do as students and advises them to be on the lookout for more Owl Posts with their assignments.

The first assignment is also going to be in the container - a quiz to fill out so they can be sorted into Houses.  They will work to earn points for their Houses all summer and the house with the most points (or more likely all the children!) will earn a special House Prize at the end of the summer.

The second assignment will come later this week - a note from Hagrid asking them to "write him a lit'le note telling meh what kind o' animal yeh'd like to take care 'o."  They will have to detail howthey will take care of their animal and can choose from: an owl, a turtle, a rat, a cat or a frog.  A few days later (or whenever Momma can find stuffed animals of choice) Hagrid will send them some animals to take care of.

Assignments will follow over the course of the summer from various professors - all by Owl Post.  The letters will be on "parchment" (regular paper dyed light brown in a tea bath), rolled up and tied with a ribbon; different colors for different professors.  The class schedule allows for the study of the followin subjects: Astronomy, Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Care of Magical Creatures, Quill Writing, Spell Writing, and Herbology.  We might even have a game or two of Quiddich!

Mr. CrazyLife is as excited about this as I am.  He's going to help Mr. Ollivander and spin up a couple of magic wands for us.  :)

This is going to be fun!!!!!!

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Meal Plan Monday 6-5-11

It's June!! 
 Time for summer picnics at the park, playing in the pool, pond and at the splash park. 
 Time for potato salad and grilled hot dogs!  Yay!!!!

Meal Plans for the week of June 5, 2011

Lunches: School lunches/tuna salad on boston lettuce leaf/bologna, crackers, cheese, veggies
Dinner: Grilled hot dogs/brats, potato salad, jello w/pears, chips

Lunches: brown bag school lunches/mac n' cheese w sausages
Dinner: Fajitas or tacos for kids

Wednesday - Last day of school for the kids!!!!
Lunches: brown bag school lunches/PBJ sandwiches with fruit
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast sandwiches/chicken nuggets for kids with potato salad, baked beans and broccoli

Lunches: Ravoli w/bread and butter
Dinner: Do-Agins (we're out and about tonight!)

Friday - Last day of school for Mr. CrazyLife!!!!
Lunches: Bologna Sandwiches w/chips and cut veggies
Dinner: Pork Chops on the grill w/lettuce salad and jello

Saturday - Highland Festival Day (Thing #1 and Momma dancing!)
Lunches: Sandwiches at the park
Dinner: Catch as catch can (Mr. CrazyLife to Alumni Dinner Awards)

Lunches: Pancakes w/scrambled eggs
Dinner: Garlic Shrimp in noodles/fish sticks for kids

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Setting up a Household Notebook

As I'm ever on a path to a more simple, easy and organic lifestyle, I'm always trying new things to help organize myself (and the family) around the house.  A few years ago, I had a household notebook that contained the details of our life: menus, babysitter info, website/password info, phone numbers, cleaning schedule, calendar, etc.  I had a separate one for bills.  And life was good.

And then, as goes the way of all good things, life got in the way and my notebook was lost in the shuffle.

I miss it.  I want it back.  I NEED it back.

So I'm working on setting up a new household notebook.  I'll share as I go along.  Do any of you keep a household notebook?  What do you put in it and how do you organize it?  Do you have any websites/downloads you'd like to share?

I'm planning on having these sections for sure:
Babysitter Info
Important phone numbers
Kids' friends' info
Weekly cleaning schedule
Meal plans - weekly/monthly/recipes
Shopping lists/coupons (perhaps a second notebook?)
Website/password info
Family birthdays/anniversaries
Family info (birthday/ss#/insurance/allergies/etc)

I'm hoping to make this a working book - one that will live with us and grow and change as we do.  Something that I, Mr. CrazyLife and all the kids can use and understand.  I think that setting our daily lives and rhythms and schedules to paper should help with some of the craziness and confusion that sometimes rules our lives.  I want my children to get used to making lists and keeping track of life in general so that when they are older, they don't struggle the way I do.

I'm sure I'll tweek things as I go.  But my goal for the month of June is to get this notebook in order and get it working.  I've been browsing the web and there are SO many fantastic ideas out there on setting up a household notebook, so if you need inspiration, just google! 
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meal Plan Monday (or Tuesday!) 5-30-11

Meal Plans for the week of 5-30-11

At MIL's house: Memorial Day BBQ and leftovers for dinner

Lunches: brown bag school lunches/mac n' cheese & hot dogs
Dinner: BLT's (from last week), deviled eggs, pasta salad

Lunches: brown bag school lunches/PBJ w/cut fruit
Dinner: Soyed Chicken Wings (MIL's recipe), baked beans, cut veggies, salad

Lunches: brown bag shool lunches/bologna & cheese w/crackers, cut veggies, mini-marshmallows
Dinner: Speghetti w/red & white sauce, garlic bread, broccoli

Lunches: brown bag lunches/hot dogs w/chips and fruit
Dinner: Pioneer Woman Sour Cream Noodle Bake, french bread, green beans

Lunches: Do-Again's
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner!  Pancakes & bacon, scrambled eggs

Lunches: Do-Again's or Find it in the Fridge
Dinner: Pioneer Woman Beef with Snow Peas (from last week), rice, salad, rolls

Linking up to:  Menu Plan Monday
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