Saturday, May 31, 2014

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to help out at my little 2nd grader's school for "Art Day."  I helped out in the Health classroom and our art project was to create faces out of recycled materials.  It was a fun project for the kids and I loved getting to be there to see my daughter at school -- it also made me feel like I was back to being a Girl Scout leader! 

For Art Day, they had mixed the kids into groups with other students from the elementary school -- kids that were not necessarily in their usual class or even grade.  My girl was sitting across from another little 2nd grade girl who was not from her regular class.  She seemed like a very sweet little girl and she and my daughter got along nicely.  At one point, my daughter mentioned a boy from her class who she is friends with (she had just seen his brother), and the other girl said, "He's so weird!  He said he wants to be a GIRL!  He said he was going to come to school dressed as a girl!  But you know what he came dressed as instead?  A pencil!  He's so weird though, I mean, who would want to be a girl?"  I was so thankful and proud (and slightly amused) that my daughter's only comment was, "Who wants to be a pencil?"

I hope we can always count on her to be so open and non-judgmental!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

So proud of our daughter, Olivia, for doing a great job of marching with her school's marching band in not one, but two town parades today!  This was not her first parade - she has marched in every Memorial Day parade that our old town had from the time she was 4 years old (preschool, dance school, Girl Scouts...), but this was her first time playing in a marching band (just like her Nana did, growing up in New Hampshire!). 

She marched in our town's parade this morning and the kids all stood in the sun for a very moving (but long) memorial service in honor of our town's fallen soldiers.  Then the kids hopped on buses and headed to do the same thing at the next town over -- this time in the pouring rain!  But she loved it and said she's ready to do it again!  (Veteran's Day...) 

My husband and I absolutely love living in a small town -- it was such a lovely event today and really gave us a sense of our small town community! 

And we were honored to be there to remember all of the service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

God bless America!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"A Daughter Needs A Dad..."

Saw this great quote posted by a friend on Facebook this week!

"A daughter needs 
a dad to be the standard 
against which she will judge all men." 

- Unknown

I am happy to say that my husband has set a great standard for our girls!  (As I think my dad did for me! ;)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Enterprise City

Today my eldest, Livvie, is off to Enterprise City with her fellow 7th graders.  Enterprise City is an amazing program where students get to apply lessons they've learned in a real world setting.  It's a great part of the 7th grade curriculum here, and they have been preparing for this trip for about a month now.  In school they've been learning about things like banking (filling out a checkbook register, writing a check -- things my husband and I never learned in school!), creating a resume, filling out a job application, and interviewing for a job.  The program incorporates aspects from a number of standard classes such as math, language arts, social studies, as well as finance, civics, and creative arts.

The kids got to learn about different jobs that were available, create their own resume, fill out an application, and interview for their desired job.  They are hired for a job and learn about it in preparation to actually DO the job when they are at Enterprise City for the day.  Jobs ranged from police officer, postal worker, banker, retailer, newspaper staff - they even have a little Dunkin Donuts in there (it IS in New England -- we LOVE our Dunkin Donuts here!).  Our daughter was interested in being the co-editor of the newspaper and applied for and interviewed for that job.  After her interview she was optimistic that she would get it.  A couple of days later, my husband and I picked her up from school and she was NOT a happy camper!  She said she'd received her job assignment but didn't get the job she applied for -- instead of co-editor of the newspaper, she was hired as Managing Editor, which means she runs the show!  The kids receive "paychecks" for the job and get to deposit them at the bank and use their "money" at the other businesses in Enterprise City.  Our girl is apparently the highest paid person in the City!  Who wouldn't be happy with all of that?  Who goes on a job interview for one job and gets a promotion before even starting?  Her irritation was because with this job (given to her by her teacher who thinks the world of her!) she has to give a speech in front of everyone at the beginning of the day, AND at the end of the day!  She's not a fan of public speaking, but my husband and I think it's a great experience for her and we're thrilled that our girls will both have the opportunity to participate in a program like this one!  (I wish I could be there to tape her speeches and take pictures, but of course she's 13 and that would be so embarrassing to her...)

If you are anywhere near the Southern NH area and home school your children, they have a home school program as well!  They also have summer camps.  Check them out --!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

First Communion

My sweet girl in church
This past weekend we celebrated my sweet little daughter's First Communion!  She was fortunate to be surrounded with family for her special day -- my mother-in-law (Grammy) and her sister (Cici) came up from Long Island, my dad (Grandpa) my step-mother (Gramby) and her mom (Mema) came up from Upstate NY, and my aunts, my cousin, and his girlfriend all came from here in NH - it was a wonderful group that represented all sides of our family!

The back of my girlie's dress AND the new kitchen wall color!  ;)
In preparation for the big day, we did what everyone does when they are getting ready for their child's First Communion -- we painted!!  (Right?  That's what people do, don't they?)  We worked on painting the downstairs bathroom which on a regular day is the girls' bathroom, or when we have guests, it's the guest bathroom -- we are in the process of turning a very dark green bathroom with a truly gross closet into a white and pink haven for girls!  Almost there -- just have to put up the shelves in the closet.  We also painted the kitchen - originally it was a light yellow color, but we painted it a reddish color -- kind of a Sante Fe-looking red. It's a paint from Lowe's, actually Sienna Red, I believe.  Red is my favorite color and I've painted the dining room in my last two houses red -- my dining room is part of my kitchen in this house...  I guess that means 3 red dining rooms now!  :)  Anyway, that's just what people do when they are having company come over, isn't it?  You make some food, clean the bathroom, paint the kitchen?  ;)  That's what we do at our house, anyway!  I love having company -- it always gives us a deadline for getting projects done!!

My eldest daughter with her dress & veil
After moving up to New Hampshire about 6 months ago, I've been finding my way around in our new town and the surrounding area -- learning where things are, finding new places to go to eat, to shop, etc.  I was having a hard time finding a place to go to get my daughter's First Communion dress, so I hit the internet and started searching.  I finally found a dress that my little girlie and I both liked on, a site that had all sorts of things (like patio furniture...).  It looked beautiful online and it was a great price, but I made sure to order it early so that I could return it and keep looking if it was not quite what we expected.  But no worries -- it was a beautiful dress!  My eldest daughter even commented at church on Sunday that she liked her sister's dress better than the dress she had picked for herself when it was her First Communion day!  At the time (5 years ago), we finally found her dress at a store called Burlington -- they had an amazingly large selection of First Communion dresses but not a great selection of veils.  For that, I went to David's Bridal and bought a "blusher" which the bride actually would wear over her face, but it works perfectly for a little girl's communion veil.  I also bought a little ring/wreath type headpiece that had two ribbons trailing down the back -- I spent a small fortune on this at the time, but I have kept both pieces safely tucked away in a hatbox for 5 years so that my little one could wear it too!  My eldest wore both pieces together, and my little one decided she just wanted the wreath (I have no idea what that is really called...).  The nice part about that is they each had their own look and it didn't look like they were wearing the same thing!

After church we invited the family back to our house for a luncheon.  All of the New Yorkers' were over before church and Grammy & Gramby helped me pull together baked pasta with mozzarella, meatballs & sauce in the crockpot, Italian sausage with peppers & onions, and a tossed salad.  Everything was ready by the time we got back to the house - just had to heat up the pasta and the rolls!  While we were waiting, I put out cheese, crackers & grapes for people to munch on.  It was a nice, simple meal that I didn't have to prepare while everyone was there!  For dessert, I ordered a delicious ice cream cake from Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates & Ice Cream.  We found a Party City store nearby and went out the other night to pick up plates & napkins in a pretty pink (our girlie's signature color!) pattern with a cross on them.  Note to self for the future -- I had seen these online prior to driving to the store, and they were on sale on the website -- not so in the actual store!  If I had thought about it sooner, I could have placed an order and had the stuff shipped to me UPS Ground and saved myself some money!  Good to know for next time!

My husband and I went back and forth about finding just the right gift for our little one.  When her sister had her First Communion, I found a beautiful sterling silver beaded bracelet (she's wearing it in the picture above) from Things Remembered and I bought one for her -- I think I had the heart on it engraved with her name and the date of her First Communion.  I also bought the same bracelet for her cousin who is my Goddaughter -- they are 2 months apart in age, best friends, and celebrated their First Communions right around the same time, so it was perfect for both of them!  I would have loved to have gotten the same thing for my little one, but no such luck -- they didn't have that same bracelet.  From there we looked at gold crosses, but my little girlie has been asking for a locket for a couple of years and she absolutely loves the silver heart locket that my husband and girls gave me for Mother's Day (the first Mother's Day after my second daughter was born) and I wear just about every day.  That led my husband and I to the local jewelry store where we were able to order a silver heart locket (she's wearing it in her picture) - very similar to Mommy's! - and they sent it out to have a cross and her name engraved on the front and "Love, Mommy & Daddy" engraved on the back.  She just loved it when we gave it to her to wear on Sunday for her First Communion!

If you've spent any time reading this blog, you know that I LOVE to decorate -- the house in general, for holidays, special events, you name it!  This wasn't the 4th of July, so I kept it toned down a bit...  Aside from the paper goods, the only "decoration" that I bought was a bunch of pink tulips from the grocery store -- pink because it is my girlie's favorite color and tulips because they are such a sign of Spring!  After that, I just used my own favorite decorating tip -- I "shopped my house!"  I am always telling my friends to do this -- go through your house and see what you already own that you can use to decorate in a new way!  
I drew a cross on my little chalkboard, put out a little pink milk glass vase (pink - thinking of whose special day this was!), a white vase that reminded me of a First Communion, and a little angel that used to be my grandmother's.
I love this mirror that I use as a base for centerpieces on my dining room table!  In addition to the pink tulips, I added a picture from my little girl's baptism, as well as her baptismal candle, and a little angel bell that I have of my grandmother's (Gram loves angels!!)

This is actually something I made a couple of years ago, intending it to be an Easter decoration, but I like it so much that now I leave it in my front entry year round!  So easy to make -- 2 twigs tied together with a little bit of twine.
I am a detail person -- I tend to notice the little things and I like to focus on little touches when I am decorating my house whether it's for everyday living or if I am decorating for a special event or party like my daughter's First Communion.  I know not everyone will notice, but it always makes me happy to put a little extra effort in to show my family and friends that they are special to me.  Everyone seemed to have a lovely time (regardless of my decorating, I'm sure!) and I know my sweet girl had a special day that she will hopefully always remember!