Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!


We took the kids to our annual Santa Brunch at the Royal Park Hotel. They always look forward to this and have been asking me for weeks if we were going again this year. As usual, they made some crafts, decorated some cookies, ate too much food, walked around the gigantic gingerbread house, and got to visit with Santa.

You can see more photos HERE.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reflections



My ladies have very different ways of looking at the world. Different motivations. Different attitudes. This should not surprise anyone ... it's just a fact.

If they have to draw a picture, Sarah is all rainbows and unicorns. She draws happy people in happy places. Paige? Not exactly. She has been known to draw fiery airplanes falling from the sky and zombies and dead things. Not always but ... more than your average 1st grade girl.

Sarah's favorite color is baby blue. Paige? Black.

Sarah is competitive to the point that she'll cheat to win. She cries when she looses. She rarely displays any efforts of good sportsmanship. Paige will tank a game just to let me win. She loses, laughs, and tries again. I love playing games with Paige. Sarah ... let's just say that she is eight years old and we only recently agreed to start playing board games with her again.

Sarah desperately wants to be the queen bee and she tries very hard to accomplish this goal -- without as much success as she'd like. Paige could care less but, still, has a whole gang of friends who follow her around and do just about everything she says.

My whole story is leading up to this.......

The kids' school recently had a competition called "Refelections". For the Reflections program the kids had the opportunity to complete a project with the theme of "Beauty is...". They could draw a picture, write a song or poem, take a picture, or do a dance.

Sarah thought long and hard. She wrote a poem and eventually scraped it. Then she drew a picture (filled with rainbows and butterflies) and used it as her entry. Paige listened to me tell her the instructions, found a pile of old artwork, picked out something she drew weeks ago (a picture of a giant banana with a bunch of smiley faces all around it), handed it to me, and told me to enter it. She said that bananas are beautiful.

In the end, neither girl won for her entry but both received a ribbon for entering the contest. On the back of the ribbon there was space to fill in their names, the date, and the place they won. Standard ribbon stuff.

Paige read the back and asked me which place she won. I told her that I didn't know. I told her that they only gave out medals to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. I told her that everyone got a ribbon like hers.

Both girls asked for a pen.

On Paige's ribbon it now reads: Paige, 12/9/2009, LAST PLACE.
Sarah's ribbon? It reads: Sarah, 12/9/2009, FIRST PLACE


Friday, December 11, 2009

Paige's 7th ... and a Long Story About a Cake



Last night we had a sleepover birthday party to celebrate my little Love Nugget turning SEVEN YEARS OLD.

When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday she wasted no time in telling me that she wanted to ONLY invite her two favorite people: Holly and Caroline.

I have always thrown big crazy parties for the kids' birthdays. Now, both girls have had their most recent parties with only a few kids and I've decided that it is the way to go. Fo Sho, Baby! It's so very easy ... so little effort ... such happy kids. It's perfect.

Last night was lots of fun. The girls got along ... they included Nate and Sarah ... the sounds of happiness rang through the house (mostly).

You can see pictures HERE.

Also, I baked a $50 cake.

It looked like this:


My heart hurts just thinking about it. Basically, Williams-Sonoma hoodwinked me. In a rush -- an I-have-five-minutes-to get-back-to-the-school-to-pick-up-the-kids-but-first-I-have-to-pick-up-this-cake-pan-before-the-party kind of a rush -- I ran into my local WS to buy the $29.99 cake pan while it was 20% off. I ran in, grabbed the pan, got to the counter only to be told that the 20% was only if I bought the pan and the cake mix together. Without thinking I say 'fine give me a cake mix', handed the chick my credit card, signed that bugger and boogied out of the store while patting myself on the back for being so speedy.

As I'm speed-walking to my car I start to do the math and think to myself something along the line of ... "Pan was $30 ... bill was ... wait ... what was that final number?? How much was that cake mix?" I got in the car, pulled out the cake mix and read $9.99 and had a mild heart attack. That, to me, is outrageous. I was just in Kroger and saw a box of cake mix on sale for $0.75!

In my rushy rushy brain I start to rationalize. Well (I say to myself) it was $10 ... but I got 20% off ... so it was $8 ... still not a great price ... I start to feel foolish. Why didn't I look closer while I was still in the store? What was I thinking? Also, I'm thinking that I NEED to get to school on time and I wish I could catch more green lights and I wish that the dude in front of me would close the gap a little. So -- in that instant -- I decide that I'm going to return the whole thing. I'm taking it back. Paige can learn to love a different cake. I'm sure she will. I put the pan, mix, and receipt on the backseat and continue driving.

Flash forward two days. There are still two pricey boxes and a receipt frozen in my backseat, only one day until the party, no other cake ordered, and one daughter walking around telling me how much she wants a giant cookie cake for her birthday. I'm sure you see where this is going. You are right. I decided to swallow my pride and keep the stinkin' stuff.

Now, if you are anything short of a math flunkie you will be asking yourself another question. "Becky, if the pan costs $30 and the mix is $10 ... how can you call it a $50 cake?" Well, my clever little friend, I can call it that because I CAN'T READ. When I finally decided to save the hassle and keep the cake I had to go out to my freezing car and bring it all in the house. I had to face the box. And ... when I finally started reading the box ... can you guess what I saw? I saw a '1'. One little '1' squeezed in between the '$' and the '9' on the box of cake mix. Seriously. I threw up a little.

That stinkin' cake mix did not cost me a dreaded Ten Dollars as I thought. That stinkin' cake mix was TWENTY DOLLARS! Twenty. 20. 1-2-3-4-5-6-...TWENTY! (I'm sorry, Frank.)

At this point I was just over it. I rationalized like this: I'm having an itsy bitsy party. Tiny, really. I spent next to nothing to throw it. I'm keeping the damned cake for the simple fact of saving myself the time and effort of trying to take it back. Period. AND ... it better be the best cake I've ever tasted. The kids better be licking their fingers and begging for more. It better be good, Williams-Sonoma, you hear me??

(Also, my math-minded friends, let's not forget that I actually paid 20% less -- only $40 -- for my sins. It's all much more dramatic when I make it a flat $50. That's the way I roll. Live with it.)

So, in the end, I baked the cake with little problem. The raw batter was delicious (and I was secretly pleased that I made it while the kids were at school so that I could lick the spoon myself). It turned out to be a heavy cake -- kind of like a huge brownie. The icing was tasty. The whole thing was SWEET. One piece is enough. The batter was better than the final product. The kids barely ate it and I found myself suppressing the urge to somehow salvage the remaining bits of $50 (I know, $40) cake from their plates. It was like throwing away tiny piles of gold dust.

My recommendation to you: If you ever get the desire to bake a humongous Oreo cookie cake, please call me. You can use my pan. Buy your cake mix on sale at Kroger. But, please please, use my pan. Make me feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of it.

That's it. Enjoy the photos. Thanks for reading........
-B

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One of These Things Does Not Belong......

Can you spot the impostor in our tree?????

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ding Dong ...Welcome to Munchkinland

Sarah auditioned today for a spot in The Wizard of Oz.

It was her first time auditioning for anything. She was part of a group of 12 kids who competed against four other groups of 12. They were all trying to be the best munchkins ever.

They did a fantastic job singing and learning the choreography. Unfortunately, her group did not win ... but they certainly had fun trying!

Here's a group photo that I took at the theater......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Videos

We've had this little Flip camcorder since Christmas but I don't think to use it much. Recently, though, we've been all over it. Here are a few clips of the ladies getting increasingly more goofy as the day goes on.........

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Sarah the Happy Munchkin

Sarah is enrolled in a Musical Theater class this semester. She's been running around the house singing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead all weekend so, this morning, I made a movie.

I seriously never knew there were so many words to the song! Enjoy.......

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

2009/2010 School Photos Have Landed!

This year, our school photographer gave us an option
to get our photos on a disc.
I signed up fast for this one!

So ... here they are ... my people ...

Sarah - 3rd Grade - 8 Years Old

Paige - 1st Grade - 6 Years Old

Nate - Kindergarten - 5 Years Old

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Germs 101. By Nate Gorman.


Nate told me today that it's always a good idea to get lots of rest when you have a cold. He said that when you take a nap the germs get bored and they hop off of you and run away to find something more exciting to do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lots of Photos

I posted a bunch of pictures from the past two months on our regular website. I meant to write about everything on the blog but, obviously, never did!

We have had lots going on with our new school year and all of our outside activities. Our schedule gets lighter in November and I plan to have more time to keep this updated like a pro!

So ... you can go to our website by CLICKING THIS LINK. You'll see all of the pictures from the first day of school and a bunch of other stuff.

Have fun!
-Becky

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quick Update

Oh, we have been busy little Gormans. We've had school things, soccer things, karate things, birthday things, and all sorts of stuff going on .... but, for today, you MUST CLICK THIS LINK to see what we did today!!!!!


I'll get to the other stuff soon. Promise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

San Diego ... Meet the Gormans!








We went to San Diego for our final summer vacation.

Honestly, the kids were excited for it but ... Frank and I were ... well ... a little burned out on vacations!  Seriously.  You might not think it's possible, but we were a little bit less than enthusiastic for this final vacation.

Lucky for us, beautiful San Diego changed our minds.  Within 48 hours of landing we were happy and relaxed and having a great vacation. 

We had a busy trip.  Uncle Chris, Aunt Lori, and Baby Henry came to visit us from Scottsdale.  Mr. Joe came to see us from L.A.  We went to Legoland.  We went to the aquarium.  We visited Aunt Joan in Dana Point.  We made s'mores on the beach.  And we, of course, spent all of our free time on the beach and at the pool.  

It ended up being lots of fun ... all the way until the flight home when some horrible family sat behind us and coughed relentlessly on our backs.  Frank, Sarah and Nate sat in front of the Typhoid Mary Family and they all ended up sick within 24 hours of landing.  

Poor poor Frankie spent this whole week knocked up with a terrible flu (swine, perhaps?) and Sarah and Nate are fighting off some nasty colds.  Arrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

You can see our vacation pictures if you CLICK HERE.  This link will take you to the first page (of 6 San Diego pages).  Feel free to click around to see the rest.

Happy day!

Happy day!

Iggy, Sweet Iggy!


Sarah got her wish and rode Iggy in the horse show. 
It was a very happy day.

Also, she recently moved up to a new level in her classes and was the most junior rider in her heat.  Still, she managed to get a third place and a very lovely compliment from the judge.  

She left there a very happy little lady!

You can see more horse pictures HERE.

Day at the Creek


A few weeks ago my kids, my friend, her daughter Rachel, and I went to a local farm for a picnic and some fun in the creek.  It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time.

The kids spent most of their time trying to find creatures in the water and were quite successful!

Have you ever seen such a HUGE crawfish?????  We thought they caught a lobster!


Our day ended when one of Rachel's shoes fell off and swam down the stream faster than we could move.  We chased it for a while ... with no success ... and ended up calling it a day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sarah Wishes for Iggy


Sarah's back in horse camp this week.  Tomorrow they will have a little horse show to celebrate the end of the week.  She has been crossing her fingers that she will get to ride a horse named Iggy in the show.  

To be clear, she isn't just wishing for any random horse who just happens to be named Iggy. There really is a horse named Iggy and she loves him and her every thought is filled with wishes to be assigned Iggy as her show horse.

This morning she came to me and told me that she could barely sleep last night because she is so anxious to find out the horse assignments.  Then she went on to tell me that she dreamed about Iggy.  I love this part .....

Sarah dreamed that her trainers laid out stars in the shape of the constellations on the ground and then she got to ride on Iggy all around the constellations.

Isn't that sweet??

PS.  I just picked her up from camp and she DID get assigned Iggy.  Tomorrow will be a very good day.

PPS.  That's not Iggy in the picture.  I'll take his picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Polly Wanna Cracker?


My Aunt Betty is a million years old and living in a nursing home in Missouri.  It seems that she is somewhat unhappy with the cost of living there.  She fights back by stealing from the dining room -- as many crackers as she can shove into her pockets. 

Hundreds of packets of contraband wheat crackers have been stuffed into her pockets, taken back to her room, carefully packaged into gallon-sized plastic bags, and sent home with my mom to be distributed to ... well ... to me, Chris, and Liz.  Aunt Betty hands them off with a "this will help them in this terrible economy" speech.

For some reason (I assume it's because she can't possibly use a million cracker packets), my mom saves the bags and follows through on her cracker distribution promises.

Every time we visit St. Louis my mom gives the bags to MY KIDS.  My mom is smart.  She knows that I will try my darnedest to leave the crackers behind.  My kids, on the other hand, are pleased as punch to get such a big bag of loot.  

Yesterday, I cleaned out my pantry and found FIVE FULL BAGS of crackers lurking in all kinds of places.  So ... anyone have any good recipes that require LOTS of whole wheat crackers?  Anyone WANT some crackers?  Please ... help ....................

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

She's a Climber

All three of my people are in camp this week.  Three different camps in three different places with three different drop-off and pick-up times.  I'm spending my days looking at my watch and trying to remember which kid to pick up at which time.  So far, it's working.

Sarah is back in horse camp and Nate is going to day camp ... but the real excitement this week is Paige.  Paige is going to rock climbing camp and she loves it.  Loves it, I say.  It's quite a thing to see.

Here are a few pictures.  If you'd like to see more, you can 

Cheers!
-Becky

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our First Shiner

Nate fell at the pool and now he has an impressive looking black eye.

The story is not that simple.  In reality, we were swimming, he was annoying his sister, he wouldn't stop, we called him out for a time out, he was cold, I wrapped him up sausage-style in his towel, he argued with us about sitting for his time out, I started counting (which, for some reason always makes my kids hop to), he turned to go sit down, tripped, fell, couldn't get his hands out to break his fall and landed flat on this face.

Bad mommy.

He was still wearing his goggles -- luckily -- and they took most of the punishment, but his poor little eye was instantly swollen and a bit bloody.  I cleaned him up with promises of much more impressive wounds in the morning.

For the next few days I annoyed him with a daily photo shoot.  We have to document the wound, don't we?  

Today, six days later, he's looking less wounded.  This is probably the first day that it is getting better rather than worse.  He says that his eye feels funny and that he has to "blink gently" but I think he'll be fine in no time.

He does, however, blame me for my faulty blanketing.  He said that if he would have had his hands out he would have been able to do a front break fall and, therefore, save his face.  I think he might be right, but I also think that the goggles saved the day.  I'm quite positive that his face would be crashed up if he didn't have them on.

That's my story; that's my problem.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

Day 5:

Today:










Wishes Are For Coming True


On Wednesday, I found an eyelash on Nate's cheek.  I put it on my finger and told him to make a wish.  I said, "Blow it away and you'll have good luck."  He said, "I wish to play the Wii", blew the eyelash away, and walked away.

Fifteen minutes later, while I was working on some pictures, he came back and our conversation went something like this:

Nate:  "How's it coming along?"  
Me:  "My pictures?  Slowly." 
Nate:  "No.  My wish!  How is my wish coming along?"

He was so cute and sincere ... but I didn't want to let him play the Wii.  I asked him what makes him think his wish will come.  He looked at me and said, "Because that's what wishes are for.  Wishes are for coming true."  

How can you resist that logic??  How could I want to be the mommy that tells him that HIS wish is not coming true?

Nate got his wish.  Lucky Nate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vacation ... Sweet Vacation ...












Last week we packed up the troops and headed out to North Carolina for a lovely little vacation.   We chose Bald Head Island for this one.  We'd never been there before (heck, we'd never even heard of the place before) but I did a Google search for private quiet beautiful beaches and BHI was one of the listings that came up.  After a little bit of research (or maybe many long nights of constant Googling) we picked a house, made the necessary arrangements, and hit the road.

We left on a Friday afternoon after we picked Sarah up from camp.  It's a 14 hour drive ... assuming you never stop ... so we made plans to spend the night in Beckley, WV.  It worked out well.

On Saturday, we finished the drive and arrived at the brand-spankin-new one-month-old Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC with plenty of time to spare.  I was in love with the idea that Bald Head is a no-cars island.  We had to catch a ferry to the island and then a little shuttle to the rental house.  It was pretty easy, except that I didn't realize how early we should have called to make our ferry reservations and we ended up with a choice of 2:00 (which we felt was to rush-y rush-y to get to on time) or a 5:00 ferry.  However, the 5:00 only had four seats left and, in case you haven't noticed, there are FIVE of us.  The ferry guy said, "No problem.  Just hold a kid on your lap and we'll be fine."  So, that was our plan.

Luckily, we came to learn that the ferry is a little bit loosey-goosey about their rules and there was plenty of space for us.  No laps necessary.  (On the way home, we got on an earlier ferry by accident and no one even cared!)

We've rented vacation homes a handful of times now and each time it makes me a nervous wreck.  I know, as much as anyone, that photos can be deceiving.  Plus, if you've never been to a place, how are you to know if your house is in a good location?  How are we to know if it's as nice as they claim?  How are we to know that the neighbors don't suck?  Blah blah blah.  

This time, it worked out just fine.  After a whole week of exploring, we think that our house was in the best spot.  It was exactly what we wanted: a house so close to the beach that we could just run in and out at our leisure and not worry about packing and hauling our junk back and forth.

I loved having golf carts to ride around in -- our house came with two of them.  The kids seemed to love everything.  The sea shell filled beach, the calm waves, the warm water, and a million other things.

We had a relaxing and fun week.  I packed lots of board games for when we were sick of the beach and, thanks to Paige and her endless imagination, the kids had plenty of made-up adventures to have.

It really was a great vacation.  We will go back.  For sure.

If you'd like to see lots and lots of pictures, you can CLICK HERE.  I posted them all on our website because it's easier than posting them here.

Happy day!