Friday, May 28, 2010

Talent Show - Jenna

The primary grades' talent show was on Thursday, May 28. These participants become eligible for the school wide talent show to be held on June 14. Jenna entered with a piano piece, and then Jenna and Sarah entered a singing piece, "Zippity Do-Dah". They were adorable and got to do it twice since the bell went off and cut out a chunk of their song. They didn't miss a beat! I guess you can say that they are veterans of the stage.

Lots of other friends participated as well. It was super fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Heather has been home this week. When Heather is out of school for three to five days (which has happened twice this year), mom becomes a home-school teacher. If I did not step up, my girl would get so behind that she'd never get caught up.

There are advantages to this mom/daughter teaching experience. This week I have learned:

• How to spell all names of the Eastern states and their capitols (yes, I know I was already supposed to know these, but geography was never my strong point)

• The detailed process of the digestive system (which comes with very fun terms that fifth graders cannot hear or say without giggling)

• Detailed information about Alabama, Alaska and Wyoming (Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote, hence the name "State of Equality".)

• More idioms* than I knew existed (Hold your horses, I'm not going to get a big head over my newly discovered knowledge!)

• How to do clever math problems using all of my newly polished (in the last five years) skills of addition, multiplication, division, fractions and yes, geometry (a demon from my past)

This long weekend I will be learning more about the state of Utah, the characters from The Phantom Tollbooth, supervising the making of a Geometry Dictionary, and learning all the Western states, their correct spellings, abbreviations, capitols and locations on the map. All this because we're playing extreme catch-up. Woo-hoo.

I have gone to the happy, thankful place and am grateful for the extra day off this weekend and half-day on Tuesday, no Memorial Day weekend trips planned, and the antibiotics we acquired this afternoon that will help speed up my girl's return to health. I have to say that Heather is a good girl with a heart of gold, and it's been fun to work with her and see how much she knows!

* An exercise in idioms: I can definitely say that I am chomping at the bit waiting for that last day of school! I will keep a stiff upper lip and try not to be down in the dumps about these last few weeks. I won't beat around the bush--we've been working around the clock and have been able to stay afloat, but it's been tough. Perhaps I am just full of hot air, but while Kelly's been working to bring home the bacon, I've been holding down the fort without a break. If you have a second to give me a ring or drop me a line, I'm all ears. If I don't have some friend-time soon, it'll cost me an arm and a leg to vent all my woes in therapy! Okay, so maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I'm a dramatic gal. This was just a drop in the bucket compared to what I could have posted (see future post: Classroom Experience Sends Mother of 5th Grader to Funny Farm)!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. The Cupcake Project has been suspended for two weeks in a row. Too many sick people in the house; not enough energy to bake. Hopefully back on this week.

2. The weight on my frame will not melt off. Rene Descartes (1637) said, "I think, therefore I am." He was clearly not speaking about how to achieve a healthy body weight. No matter how much thinking I do, I'm still pudgy. Sigh.

3. What is up with the weather??? (p.s. - After complaining about our chilly May weather, found out it was snowing in Utah. Will stop and count blessings.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

What does 100% look like?

It looks like this. Heather received 100% on her Eastern States test today! Why is that a big deal? Because our girl isn't one of those who gets 100% on anything of a grand nature. Ever. There is usually a silly mistake or spelling error that occurs as a result of the stress of holding many pieces of information in her brain at once; it is rare that she makes an A at all on these larger tests. We don't ever expect her to get A's, but it's just so fun to watch her feel what it's like, just for once, instead of watching everyone else get them. I wish the public school system measured intelligence in a way where every child could shine and show what they know. What would that be like? But I digress...

For this test, she had to know:

The name of the state
The abbreviation of the state
The state capitol
The location of the state on a blank map

I am so proud of my girl! She worked hard to learn this information, and she deserves to know what a hundred percent feels like! She has never had her name called to go out to recess early due to making a hundred percent, and after she got over the shock, she was elated. The picture says it all (we had just gotten outrageous reward ice cream cookies at 7-11). Way to go Heather!

Fun Friday

For the fun school countdown, today's letter was H and the girls wore Hats to school. Heather chose her bonnet which was fitting as her class has studied the Civil War this year. Jenna chose her stylish cap.

Mom had Friendship Friday (it's my new thing) and invited friends over to scrap, create, eat lunch or just gab. It was very short, but sweet.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roses in Bloom

When were landscaping several years ago, we saw some weeping rose trees at the nursery and really liked them. We purchased two, and they flank the garage. Unfortunately, the one in the shadier part doesn't bloom as well these days, but the one in the sun is amazing. We hurried out of the house this morning to rush to school and stopped, just for a moment, to enjoy the flowers. They were breathtaking in the morning sun. Despite the fact that blogger mom ran back in for the camera, we made it to school with minutes to spare. How can one not stop and enjoy such majesty?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


a person who collects or has a great love of books

I looked up the definition to this word thinking that one had to own a certain number of books or be actively searching for rare copies of books to be considered such. Not so.

For some time I have been a collector. When I was young and anticipating motherhood in my future and in the pursuit of my college degree, I began collecting children's books. I'm a sucker for a hard bound book with beautiful illustrations. I have many, and I have delighted in reading them aloud to classrooms full of children as well as to my very own babies. In recent years, I have begun to collect books in a series, or books that I have read and could not put down. In very recent years, I have actually re-read the same novel, something I had not done before. My shelves are overflowing with books. Books, books, books. They are a joy to read, to lend, to look at.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Books are my favorite gift to give. My nephew recently told me that I have given him all of his most favorite book series'. That made me so happy. The photo above chronicles my trip to Sam's Club today where I hit a jackpot of sorts. Some for me, some for gifts.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and felt a little as if you have lost a friend. ~ Paul Sweeney

It's time to do some reorganizing in my office and in the playroom. Both rooms house our literary treasures. Part of reorganizing is purging and making room. How does one part with a book? I've whittled our collection down quite a bit, but oh it is hard.

I may need to invest in some additional shelving.

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~ James Bryce

Ever Feel Like This?

I love this picture. It represents me on certain days. Ever feel like you're missing all the hoops?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daisy Idol

Our good friend Daisy celebrated her 11th birthday tonight with an "Idol" party. Each guest was to come dressed as their favorite rock star. Upon getting the invitation, Heather told me she wanted to be Colbie Caillat. She made a pretty cute Colbie (check out our blooming Star Jasmine bush behind her).

Daisy's party had tons of Heather's favorite plaything...balloons. She didn't seem to worry about her turn on the Karaoke machine. She just danced and danced through the balloon forest.

The girls made necklaces out of oversized guitar picks, and they painted their finger nails. Heather had a turn at the mic and rocked out some Taylor Swift.

There were also some fun games of Musical Chairs and Charades.

Most of all Heather enjoyed hanging out with Daisy. We don't get to do that often enough. Thanks for a great party! Happy 11th Daisy!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friends and Peter Pan

Tonight we went to see our friend, Grace, in MyArt's production of Peter Pan. Grace was the lead Lost Boy, and she had several lines, did some dancing and some pretty great singing. We were way impressed. Sarah and Caleb got to come along too. The kids has so much fun, and they were so excited to run out and find their buddy after the show. Great job Grace!!!

Recovered at Last

Jenna was home all week. Heather was home one full day, and half days on the other days so she could complete her CA State Testing in the morning. The week looked a lot like this...

But today, looked like this! Hooray!
Heather has 'crazy hair'. Part of the count-down fun for the end of the year.

Jenna's class was slightly different for today. They had 'crazy clothes'. I'm off to run errands with me new found freedom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Psychological Barriers to Success

What would I do if...

...My house were clean and I couldn't moan about the clutter to my friends? Would my friends kick me out of the group? It's like that commercial where all the girlfriends get together in the morning and say what they had for dinner, and the girl who had the Lean Cuisine meal receives all the dirty looks. Could I deal with being the only one who didn't have a clutter complaint?

...I actually went grocery shopping every Monday? or whatever day. Why do I resist a schedule that would improve the quality of my life...Monday - grocery shopping; Tuesday - housework; Wednesday - laundry. If I stuck to a schedule like that, I'd actually get stuff done. What would that feel like?

...Everything in my closet fit and all I had to do was open the door and choose something?

...I started now and continued to have an organized life instead of waiting until tomorrow to begin?

It has occurred to me that I may possess more of the psychological barriers to success than I previously thought. What does one do when they're afraid of success? I've been living on the brink of it for awhile, but never really completing anything. I have skills and talent, but something makes me stop short of that last step as if I know once I take it, life will be different.

I once heard that we hang on to our pain because it is familiar to us, and we like familiar. Do we hang on to our clutter, extra weight or bad habits because they are familiar to us? It sounds so ridiculous, but that must be it. The only way I know how to fix that is to take the plunge or the risk. Isn't that what the therapy is for OCD or phobia patients? At some point, you face the fear.

My name is Melissa, and I have a fear of success. What will happen if I actually complete the projects that I have the skills to complete? What am I afraid of? I guess I need to find out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was wonderful.

On Saturday night, Kelly suggested we go to dinner for Mother's Day, so we chose a place we don't often go to. It was the girls' first time at Claim Jumper, and they were excited. Very yummy dinner and a great atmosphere. Heather was dying to give me the present she made at Activity Days this past week, so I opened it at the restaurant. It was a lovely rosette pin that she'd sewn all by herself. She really wanted me to wear it to church the next day. It was really and truly lovely. I was proud to wear it!

On Sunday, after the girls and I both doing separate singing pieces at church (and me looking lovely with Heather's rosette pinned to my sweater), we relaxed all afternoon. The girls were excited to give presents, and it was so fun to see their enthusiasm.

Jenna had been waiting since her last Activity Days (two weeks ago!) to present me with something she'd made there. They've been hiding in the freezer, and boy were they yummy. I got 2 chocolate and 1 vanilla cake ball! Complete with decorated gift box. Mmmmm.

She also had a card and poem for me from school along with a "top ten" list.

Top 10 Reasons Why My Mom is Great - By Jenna

10. She teaches me things I need to know.
9. She took me to Cold Stone
8. She feeds me.
7. She gives me things that I need.
6. Shows me the way.
5. She took care of me while I was a baby.
4. She goes to my favorite places.
3. She tucks me in at night.
2. She gives me rules so I don't get hurt.
1. She helps me when I get hurt.

Heather had left her present at school. So she decided to throw something together. I was quite impressed.

A note was attached to explain the items...

Pin: To remind you that I am always with you.
Hankie: To remind you that there are always happy and sad tears that are always ready to be shed.
Mirror: To remind you who you are.
Medal: To remind you you are a champ.
KitKat: To put a little sweetness in your life.

There was also a huge picture that was half finished. She left the other half for me to finish. I didn't get the sense that she got tired of the picture--she really wanted me to be a part of the art.
I was really touched by the thought that she put into her gift. It cost no money, but was worth so much with the things she chose to include. Way to go Heather.

We have some darned cute kids. I think we'll keep 'em.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This week cupcake is dedicated to my friend, Gavin M., who requested carrot cake cupcakes. This was not difficult as there was actually a carrot cake cupcake recipe in my deck. It was Mother's Day, but I was at my leisure and decided to give it a go.

What was strange: Chocolate chips in the recipe--they sunk to the bottom, but were yummy.
What was surprising: They were not like chewy, chunky carrot cake
What was good: They were yummy! The cinnamon, nutmeg and orange juice added a nice touch.

The hub liked them too. We'll do these again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Day of Service

Sunburn on my shoulders,
Sunburn on my nose,
Blisters on my thumbs,
And blisters on my toes.
Shovel, weed and mulch to lay
From noon and on til three,
Family and good friends around
No place I'd rather be.

Mormon Helping Hands
Mile Square Park - Fountain Valley, CA 5/8/10

Friday, May 7, 2010

Date Night?

Heather got to go to Moiola's Skate Night while Jenna was at gymnastics. Jenna was not happy about this, but Daddy knew that it would be so and cut off her disappointment with an invitation for the daddy-daughter date he owed her. She went off happily to gymnastics, then off to MacDonald's and Disneyland with her daddy.

I picked Heather up at the skate rink where she had been having an awesome time at her first ever school skate party. She was so happy that she thanked me twice for letting her go. After we left the rink it occurred to me that Heather and I could have a date also. Why not? So we did. We headed to Dairy Queen for her favorite fries and some Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards. It was right next to Target, and I suggested we might go shopping if we wanted (for what, I had no idea, but two girls and a Target? We had to go in, didn't we?!?) As we were walking to the DQ, my favorite part of the evening occurred (I know, you thought the highlight would have been the Reese's Blizzard):

Me: Maybe we should go shopping at Target?
Heather: Yes!
Me: What would we shop for?
Heather: We could shop for clothes and accessories and stuff. I might want to start doing more of that now.

Squee. My little girl wanted to shop with her momma. Yep, I was pretty much in heaven the rest of the night. When did this little baby grow into a young woman? Well okay, she's not there yet, but we did shop for clothes and not toys. That was a bit of a shift in the world of my 10-year-old consumer.

After an hour of shopping fun, we headed home and watched Coraline together while waiting for Dad and Jen. They only rode one ride at Disneyland (most all of the favorites were closed), but Kelly reported the same fun time with a chatty eight-year-old who was cuter than cute. What an awesome parent-child date night for both of us! We must do this again.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bubble Wands $1

Why are bubbles so magical? The best two bucks I ever spent this week was for a bubble wand for each girl. The time they spent outside with the bubbles laughing and enjoying the fresh air, was worth more than the two bucks I spent at Target.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good Things in the Blog World

Here are two great blog posts from today. Check them out by clicking on the link that is highlighted. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

Stephenie Neilsen is featured in a new video clip HERE . The clip is approximately 8 minutes long, and worth it.

In honor of Mother's Day, Bloom has featured some great advice from one of its author's mothers HERE . This is awesome advice that I plan to print out and keep handy for meditating on those harder mothering days.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oatmeal Banana Cupcakes

The girls and I had a little meeting. We dismantled the cupcake deck and have decided to take out the recipes that have been less than stellar along with those that do not look appealing. Mayonnaise cupcakes and Tomato Soup cupcakes got the boot as did some others with questionable ingredients. After the 3 cups of shortening blunder, I decided that I had enough knowledge to peruse the recipes and look for fishy ingredients or directions, for example, the Carmel Cupcakes that have no "carmel" in them. We have whittled down the deck, but still have plenty to make.

Part of the decision had to do with the fact that the project was becoming a "chore" for the girls. Who wants to make something that they don't have any interest in? We've decided to fill in the missing recipes with some from The Cookie Bible that the girls have been wanting to make for years (I just said years, hence the need for a project to get my rear in gear).

Heather was a willing Sous Chef to help with our first batch of cupcakes. We were repeating the Chocolate Cupcake recipe from last week so that our friend, Sean M., could have some. Heather had already tasted last week's batch, and she was highly motivated. We went for size large which yielded only 6 cupcakes--that was 2 for Sean M. and 2 for each of the Peterson girls.

After the chocolate cakes were done, I moved on to the new recipe for the week, Oatmeal Banana Cupcakes. Ripe banana, 3/4 Cup of Honey and oats. Mmmmmmmm.

I'm sure I filled these too full, but I like my cupcakes large!

My house smelled sooooooo good too!

My friend, Kathy B., brought me a darling Martha Stewart cupcake punch from the scrapbook store. It makes the cutest little cupcake cutouts for tags! This recipe is a keeper.