menu monday

Our schedule this week is a bit whack-a-doo so I'm not sure how much of this plan is actually going to happen.

Fall is kind of crazy with marching band season anyways, but this week it goes on overload. 
Monday I know is going to happen, because it's Monday. You can find the recipe here
The rest of the week is up in the air.
Tuesday the Boyz have marching band practice and Roo has a band concert with an early call time. Wednesday should go as planned.
Thursday the Boyz are marching at the football game and Roo gets to play in the stands with them. That means all 3 of them have to be at the high school by 4;30pm. Kinda hard to have dinner that early. And can I just say it: a football game on Thursday?!?
I can almost guarantee that the burgers will happen on Friday.
Saturday and Sunday are General Conference, so it is a weekend of watching conference on TV and spending time together as a family. Who wants to spend a weekend like that actually fixing dinner?


menu monday

I've been back on the menu planning routine for a couple of months and finally thought about posting it on the blog again.

We usually sit down as a family on Sunday afternoon and go over the upcoming week and what everyone has going on. This is also a perfect time to brainstorm the menu with everyone there to input ideas. I've found that I have less arguing about what we are going to have if the kiddos have a say in the upcoming menu...and I don't have all the pressure of trying to decide what to eat. It also helps when it comes time to actually fixing dinner when I know exactly what we are going to have.

I like using a task list in my Arc planner to keep it organized.

It's a complete accident that both recipes are from the same blog.

I have modified both recipes to be gluten-free for us.


The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. - Goodreads

Have you ever felt like you went into mourning after reading a book? That's how I feel about this book. I loved the beautiful descriptions and emotional imagery. The characters were delightful. The story was inventive and brilliant. I absolutely and thoroughly loved it all...and I am going to miss it terribly.

rating: 5 stars


hair’s to today

I have these pictures on my phone of ways I’ve done LaLa’s hair. I thought I would post some occasionally.
I’m still having a hard time finding a place to take pictures in the morning and get enough light to see the details.

1. This is one we do quite often. It’s just a simple french braid on each side and then I combine them in the back of her head into one big braid. It’s fairly simple and quick. The bow is from All Things Ribbon.

2. This is another look she really likes. It looks more complicated than it actually is, but it’s kind of complicated to explain. Basically it’s a zigzag part and braids added into more braids and added into more braids. She says that people always ask about it. The bows are from All Things Ribbon.

3. This is the one that really started it all. It’s one of the first hairdo’s I did on Roo a long time ago. It’s a simple ponytail with “snakes” or twists or whatever you call them. Sometimes we do more small twists, but this day we just did 5 twists with her ponytail. The bows are from Gymboree from about 8 years ago.
Here’s a close-up of her twists. Her hair is perfect for looks like this.

I keep taking pictures of her hair and post a few at a time. If it’s a hair-do that I found on another blog I will post a link to their tutorial.
I linked to All Things Ribbons just because I love her bows.


what remains

"What Remains" is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd assortment of aunts and uncles in their poorly plumbed A-frame on the banks of a muddy creek in upstate New York.At the age of nineteen, Carole struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy. "What Remains" begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean, carrying John Kennedy, Anthony's cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole's closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. The summer of the plane crash, the four friends were meant to be cherishing Anthony's last days. Instead, Carole and Anthony mourned John and Carolyn, even as Carole planned her husband's memorial. Carole Radziwill has an anthropologist's sensibility and a journalist's eye. She writes about families--their customs, their secrets, and their tangled intimacies-- with remarkable acuity and humanity. She explores the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty. This is acompelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately, resilience. –Goodreads

I'm not sure how to rate a memoir... Do you give it a lower rating because you don't like how the story ends? Or the characters? You can't really do that, since it's a memoir. I didn't like how the story ends, but I knew that before I started reading the book. I like Carole Radziwill. She's the "It" girl and she doesn't even have to try. I really enjoyed her style of writing. The flow of her writing is effortless to read. Maybe I should have given it a higher rating considering I couldn't go to sleep until I finished it... Which means it was very late at night and I was on the floor of my closet with tears streaming down my face.
rating: 3 stars


we’ve got spirit…well, kinda

This week was Spirit Week at the high school. I didn’t get very excited, because who expects their teenage boys to embrace spirit week. I was so wrong…well, kinda.

The pictures documenting spirit week aren’t that great. The Boyz leave really early in the morning and they are teenagers. Enough said…

Monday was Work-out Day. Since I didn’t get a picture the Man-Child was kind enough to share a bathroom selfie he took.
Einstein didn’t dress up and didn’t take a bathroom selfie to share.

Tuesday was Nerd Day. We love nerds.
The Man-Child went all out.

Isn’t he cute?

Einstein…he just couldn’t embrace his inner nerd for everyone to see.

Wednesday was ‘Merica Day (I’m not sure that was the official title, but that’s all I heard).
It was also picture day so the Man-Child kept it pretty tame up top. but let his ‘Merica spirit shine bright down below.

Einstein…he claimed since it was picture day he would just keep his ‘Merica hidden.

On Thursday was Crazy Day.
The school asked for Crazy and they got crazy.

The Man-Child wasn’t feeling well that morning so he kept it pretty tame.

Einstein finally joined the fun and let his Freak Flag fly for all to see.

When I picked them up from school they said it was the day with the least participation…how ironic that it was the day Einstein finally participated in.

Friday was Neon Day…
ummm…except for Drumline. They all wore black.

Tonight they were all ready for the Black Light Dance.
I’m still having a hard time believing I have 2 kids in high school.

I’m not sure who planned Spirit Week and scheduled pictures for the same week…but let’s just say I look forward to the yearbook this year since certain classes had their pictures taken throughout the week.

a great and terrible beauty

It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to? – Goodreads

I tried. I really tried. I've had this book for a month and tried to read it, but finally I give up. I just can’t get into the story or the charactersand I'm not wasting anymore time on it. I may give it a go some other time, but right now this just isn’t the series for me.

rating: not finished



Last Saturday we got together with family to celebrate Poppa Willie and Grandma B’s birthdays.
This year my Dad turned 73.
And since Grandma B is a lady I won’t say what birthday it was for her.
Only the 4 youngest kids took advantage of the pool.
I love these girlie cousins having fun together.
I think we may have been a few candles short on the cake, but we definitely had enough soda sitting around.
I’m glad I’m not the only one with a soda issue.
We also had big plans that involved homemade ice cream…
but Ro’s ice cream maker had other ideas. At one point they had a power drill and grinder out…
But soon they were passing out bags to be shaken.
We were lucky enough to get the teenagers to put their phones down long enough to shake some ice cream.
LaLa and Grandma B spent most of the evening together. Grandma B was teaching her how to crochet.
I’m glad she has the patience to teach her…
Thanks Ro and Karen for having us all over. Karen sorry about the bag of ice all over the floor. The ice cream was worth it.
Thanks Chris for letting me steal a couple pictures off your Facebook page.
And thanks McKay for being the perfect measuring stick for Hammie to see how big he is…


first day

We made it through the first day of school…but it wasn't easy.

The Big Boys both have zero hour at the high school. They are out the door bright and early in the morning.

The Man-Child is a junior.
I can’t tell you how many times he mentioned that he only has 2 more years of high school. Every time he said it my heart would break a little more.
Einstein is now a freshman.
I worried so much about him on the first day of school. He is truly one of the funniest people I know, but he is so painfully shy. I worried about him getting lost…both physically and emotionally.

To watch them drive off to school was pretty nerve-wracking. I know what the traffic is like on the first day of school. Not that I don’t trust the Man-Child’s driving abilities…it’s all the other people I worry about.

The Babies were the next to leave.

LaLa is now in 4th grade.
This is her last year at the elementary school.

Hammie is now in 2nd grade.
He was probably my least nervous child. He was ready to go bright and early.

When I dropped them off at school Hammie started to run to his friends waiting at the gate. I had to call him back to say goodbye to me.
This is the last year they will be walking in this gate together. boohoo.

And finally it was time for Roo to leave.
She’s in 7th grade and this is her first year at the jr high.
She could ride the bus to school, but Einstein had some issues on the bus last year so this year I told Roo I would drive her if she wanted. What kid would choose the bus over getting to ride with me every morning?!?

We were about half way to school and I asked her if she was nervous…
Way wrong question.
She started crying. I started crying. I kept telling her to stop crying so she wouldn’t ruin her make-up. I couldn’t think of anything else to say…

We finally had smiles on our faces by the time we pulled up to the school.

And then it was just me…
all by myself…don’t wanna be…all by myself

I may or may not have driven by the high school on my way home to make sure there wasn't any burning wreckage in front of the school. I did stop myself from driving through the parking lot…
Yes! I am that Mom!

I came home and watched trashy reality TV just waiting for them to get home.

I just feel better when my babies are home.


back to school

This is the week…
School starts on Wednesday!
I’m not sure where the summer went. I still have all the projects I wanted to get done waiting to be done. I guess it’s too late to do them…EVER.
This year is another big transition year for us. The last time we had a year like this was here.
I now have 2 kids at the high school! I have a child that is a junior. A JUNIOR!
And Einstein is going to be a freshman.
Since they are both in marching band they actually have a class together. How cool is that?
And Roo? She is now in jr. high.
We picked up her schedule last week and it’s pretty intense, but she’ll do fine. And she didn’t get the teacher that I was dreading dealing with again. So it’s going to be a good year for her!
And LaLa and Hammie will still be hanging out together at the elementary school. They both have been assigned awesome teachers that the older kids have had before so they are excited.
This is LaLa’s last year at the elementary school.
This year is even more exciting for me because I only have kids in 3 schools, it’s usually been 5 kids in 4 different schools. This year should be a breeze.
Big Daddy is going to be in Texas this week so he spent time yesterday evening giving each of the children a Father’s Blessing before sending them back to school.
I’m so thankful that he makes it a priority to do that for the kids.
I really love where we live and one of the reasons I do is because of the brilliant public school system in the district we live in. All the kids have gone to the same schools and have had many of the same teachers. For the most part they have been so caring and supportive. It’s scary sometimes to send my kids off for the majority of the day to let someone else have a big influence on their lives. We have been blessed by the teachers that we have in our children's lives and some of them I count as real friends.
I look forward to another exciting year…