Sunday, August 1, 2010

it's all over...

Wow!  Time has flown by since my last post over here.  Andrew is loving working at camp this summer (and the kids LOVE attending). 

This weekend we performed Annie for the last time.  It was a wild ride all summer - double cast of orphans = really noisy rehearsals, a dog that pulled through for us at the last minute, all sorts of drama on stage and off and it all equaled more fun than I could possibly put into words. 



Saying good-by to this show was strange for me in a lot of ways.  For the first time, I wasn't sad when it was over.  I really think I felt a lot of guilt over that.  I should have been sad.  After all, Andrew and Molly played the leads, Matt finally joined the chorus, I got much closer to friends, and I love actually putting these shows together.  Why didn't I cry at the end?

I now think it is because I know - this isn't the end.  When Sound of Music ended, I worried they would never let me do this again.  When The Music Man ended, I worried I would never speak to all those new friends again.  Now, with two years under my belt - I know that I will do this again and my friends will be there for me when I do. 

Now that I have said this, double-casting Annie (and the orphans) brought many challenges that I don't think I will ever want to live through again - and both Annies/sets of orphans were wonderful!  BUT - my Molly as Annie - it truly made my heart sing to be able to give her that experience.  The first night she was Annie - she was SO nervous, I wanted to be sick for her.  But, two or three scenes in she found her way and immediately everyone in the audience knew - this kid was having a good time.  By her third night on-stage, she was unstoppable.  I really couldn't have been any prouder of her.  I am so glad I could be a part of it. 

Now that it is all over, I really do hope to be posting more.  Talk soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

well, it's summer...


Annie is in full swing, the kids have been home for two weeks, I am trying to work full-time...  no time to spend over here.  Oops! 

Life continues forward - I will post rehearsal pictures soon.  Right now, I have no time to take pictures because I am running around like a lunatic - but, I am hoping to move to the next phase shortly.  The one where the director doesn't spend 3 hours nightly barking orders.  I am such a dictator.  :)

So that is the update for now.  Hopefully more soon. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stone Soup...

Tomorrow is the Junior Kindergarten production of Stone Soup - A Rock Opera.  I can hardly wait! 

I wanted to make the kids aprons for all the cooking they have to do - but of course didn't think about it or start the project until yesterday. 

I found 20X26 dish towels at the dollar store, washed and ironed them, and then called Matt in to function as my model.  Holding the towel up to him, I figured out how wide it would need to be at the top, added an inch to each side, and cut the towel at an angle. 

I folded the cut edges over twice and hemmed it (leaving a channel to feed the ribbon through).  I feed the ribbon through the channels and tied large beads to the end (so the JKers can't pull out the ribbons by accident). 

I added each JKer's initial to the top and lined them up to go. 

I am pretty pleased with how they turned out (and they were so easy, I turned out 8 of them in under 3 hours).  Hopefully, I will remember to get a picture of all of them in their aprons.

However, I found out the the Kindergartners were coming to help the JKers sing some of the songs and I couldn't leave them empty handed.  So...

I went to my Magical, Mystical Craft Closet and (as usual) it did not disappoint me.  I pulled out some small stones, googly eyes, and glue.  You know what I made? Of course you do, Pet Stones (okay, they were Pet Rocks - but they are doing Stone Soup, get it?)  :) 

I went back to the closet and found some Easter grass, small paper bags, and round label stickers.  I made two stickers for each bag - one saying "Congratulations!  Stone Soup 2010!" and the other "Caution!  Pet Stone Inside".  Voila!  Instant Stone Soup Party Favors for everyone!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

before and after...


What is that horrendous picture?  Well, it was the paint job in my bathroom.  We moved into this house in August of 1999 and every day I walk into the bathroom and think...

I hate the paint in here - it is just HIDEOUS! 

I have no idea why I have waited 10+ years to fix it - but finally, this morning - I couldn't take it for one more second and I decided to change it. 

Here is what the paint looks like now....

I am going to replace the light fixture (I don't like that either) but somehow, without the ugly 90"s sponge paint, even the light fixture doesn't look so bad. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

lunchbox woes...

This is a lunchbox.

It is NOT just an ordinary lunchbox - this is the lunchbox that my mother gave to Molly her first day of pre-school - 7 years ago.  Molly has used this lunchbox every day at school.  She loved it.  Well, we had a very sad morning this week, when the zipper finally broke.  :(  Daisy lunchbox, you have served us well for 7 years.  We will miss you. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...

It was a lovely Mother's Day.  Andrew and the kids spoiled me with jewelry, funny cards, and a SPIDER CATCHER!  LOL!!!  I loved it! 

Here is this year's crop of gifts that the kids made their Grandmas...

Matt - I asked him to draw me a pretty picture for Grandma. 

He drew a girl walking through a field of flowers with a scarecrow.  I was supposed to know he was a scarecrow because or the crows in the air and the fact Matt drew an arrow and three lines (I thought it was a Freddy Kruger reference) but it was the wind blowing straw out of his shirt. 

I took the picture to Kinkos.  They were able to scan the picture, resize it, print it, and glue into pads.  Adorable!  I added a magnetic strip to the back so his Grandmas can hang them on the fridge.

The only regret I have is not having Matthew sign his work (oops).  I did put a sticker on the back of the pad with Matt's name and date. 

I was so pleased with these, that when I went to look at the proof - I had them make an extra one for me!  :)

Molly - I wanted to give her a project that was easy enough for her to feel successful, but let her have total design control.  Both Grandmas like to hang flower wreaths on their front doors, so it seemed like a good choice. 

At Michaels we picked up 14" wreaths and lovely red, yellow, and orange daisies (Molly's favorite colors) that were on sale. A little hot glue and we were off!

Molly did a great job of putting together two very different, but beautiful wreaths.

Friday, May 7, 2010

ECGC Academy...


Elm City Girl's Choir had the first concert of their Spring Festival Week tonight.  Molly is finishing her first year in the Academy Division.  She has really grown musically this year and has gone from "liking choir" to "LOVING CHOIR".

I am looking forward to many more concerts with ECGC!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

where my kids will spend their summer...


Kind of makes me wish I was a kid. We spent the afternoon touring the camp my children will spend 8 weeks this summer. It was hard to convince the children to get back into the car and come home. Swimming, boating, fishing, arts and crafts, drama, etc. what could possibly be better? Oh yeah, the pony ride Matt had!


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Saturday, May 1, 2010

T-Ball

Just a couple of pictures from Matt's first day of t-ball. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

friends...

Tonight we invited friends over for dinner.  Their children and ours get along so well!  This is a picture I took of the girls' beloved dolls, that were carefully arranged so they could "watch" the girls as they played.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the difference 3 months makes...

The tree in my front yard...

February 16, 2010

April 29, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

we got Annie...

After a long weekend of auditions (and MANY laughs with new and old friends), I have finally finished the cast list. In the end, I am really happy with all of the choices and am looking forward to spending my summer in a cold NYC winter during the Great Depression.

We decided to double-cast every orphan part. This gives every girl a chance to shine and I couldn't be happier about it. It also means we have two Annies. The two girls have worked together before in the Sound of Music and both have a great outlook about getting to share this special role.

Why the cake? Well, it turns out "I got Annie!" (to quote Grace Farrell and Oliver Warbucks). That's right, my daughter will be Annie for 3 of the 6 performances and I couldn't be prouder of her.

The night I posted the cast list (http://www.stthomasplayers.com/), I picked up this cake and called my parents and asked them to tell her that she got the part. Molly always enjoys talking to her Grandparents on the phone and teasing with them about everything! So when her Grandma and Grandpa told her she got the part of Annie - her first response was "you're making that up", which turned into her saying "really?" about 20 times, and finally screams of joy as I brought the cake out.

She then called her friend who will also be Annie and they had a conversation which most of could only be heard by neighborhood dogs.

Working with all these girls this summer - I am going to need earplugs, but I can't wait!
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Flower Cupcakes...


My mother-in-law made the most adorable cupcakes for Easter and I just had to share them
(1. because they were WAY cute, and 2. because I didn't do anything that interesting for this holiday).



She did get the idea from a magazine (sorry, I don't know which one) but here is the basic idea.

1. Make your favorite very yummy cupcakes.
2. Make Rice Krispie treats in a pan.
3. Frost your cupcakes and add died coconut (green, of course).
4. Cut flower shapes out of your Rice Krispie treats (I have heard that if you spray your cookie cutter first with a non-stick spray - it will work much easier).
5. Put your flowers on lollipop sticks (can be found at craft stores).
6. Attach colorful m&ms, jordan almonds, gum drops, etc. with a dab of frosting to decorate your flowers (see picture above).
7. You can add a spearmint leave as decoration, as well.

These were a huge hit. My mother-in-law did say that it was a little time-consuming to make them (but we all thought it was WELL worth the effort)!
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Williamsburg, who knew?

Who knew Williamsburg, Virginia could be so much fun?
We didn't, but - we do now!!!


Here is Matt with his "magic" tin flute. According to the man who sold it to him, it was "magic" because if Matt played it inside or on a bus it would disappear!


Molly learned traditional dances.


There was cannon fire on the green (with the occasional interruption for passing squirrels).


The kids laughed and had fun the whole time.
I wholeheartedly recommend Williamsburg for vacation! :)
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

very quick St. Patrick's Day cupcakes...

These are my very quick, last minute St. Patrick's Day cupcakes.
The time on the clock was 6:45pm when my darling son said "Mom, would you PLEASE make cupcakes for school tomorrow?" I can't resist this kid when he is being so cute! Add that to the fact that his teacher is my husband - I asked "do you want cupcakes for tomorrow?" and my husband said "YES!" Here is what I made...




I always seem to have a box of cupcake mix and a tub of frosting when I need one. (Thank goodness for that). I rummaged through by baking stuff and found gold cupcake wrappers and green sugar. Figuring that anything else I found would just be a bonus, after starting the cupcakes I searched my office supplies and found round stickers.

I used Microsoft Word and added clip art to the stickers (making twice as many as I needed). Once printed, I sandwiched a toothpick between two stickers and had cute little cupcake picks.



Matt very carefully placed each pick into the cupcakes. He did an excellent job!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mattisms...

I love this boy - he is constantly dirty, always noisy and nosey, and filled with great excitement about everything.  So here are some new (and some not-so-new) Mattisms...


Driving through Hartford, Matt saw a factory with a working smoke stack -

Matt: Mom, Dad LOOK!!!!! There is the cloud factory!
Andrew: The what?
Matt: The cloud factory! Where all the clouds are made! There it is and I FINALLY got to see where clouds come from. That is the coolest thing EVER!"

At the American Girl Doll Store later that same day - Matt runs out of the Men's Room...

Matt: You know how I said that the cloud factory was the coolest thing ever? Well... I was wrong... THE HAND DRYER IN THE BATHROOM IS AWESOME!!!! (yup, hand dryer beats cloud production)

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Matt talking to one of his teachers...

Matt: Mrs. Phillips, I have to tell you something.
Mrs. Phillips: What?
Matt: You have to get closer so I can whisper in your ear. (Mrs. Phillips gets closer and Matt sings in her ear) bow-chicka-wow-wow, chicka-wow-wow.

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Matt Christmas Morning 2009

Matt was so excited he kept yelling and announcing everything that we would pull out of our stockings.  It got to be so funny we let him open all the stockings - my favorite was...

Matt:  Dad look a TOOTHBRUSH (looking at the package he comes over to me and says) Mom, what does this say?
Me:  with whitening action
Matt:  OH MY GOD!  SANTA BROUGHT YOU A TOOTHBRUSH WITH WHITENING ACTION

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We took in a tiny kitten (approx. 3 weeks old) that had been abandoned and tried to nurse it back to health, unfortunately she didn't survive and we all took it very hard.  Many tears were shed and Molly took it hardest of all.

While Molly was still very sad, Matt put his hand on her shoulder and said "now Lola will be watching over you forever from heaven". 

Needless to say, there were many more tears from Andrew and I after that.

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Matt after a particularly hard day of school...

Matt:  Mom, I am very tired and need to lay down - my teacher expected me to count bottle caps AND draw an exploding monkey!

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Matt after another hard day at school...

Matt:  Mom, I wish I was Jesus Christ - then I could make the world exactly how I want it.  (apparently he didn't get enough LEGO time)

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I told Matt I was going to call him Chewbacca - he said...

Matt:  You can't!  I'm not half-bear and naked with a gun!!!
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

LEGO Robotics Champs!


Molly and six other students from St. Thomas Day School went to a LEGO Robotics competition today (the school's first time participating) and they did great! They won first place in the "Knock It Off" competition (their robot had to follow the course and knock rubber balls off pedestals) and second place in the "Gauntlet" competition (their robot needed to follow the course and compelte tasks.

We are so proud of them! What a great job they did!!!!

In this picture, Molly is putting the finishing touches on their "Showcase" entry. It was a mama bird and baby birds that chirped and flapped their wings.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Heart Crayons and Tissue Cover Valentines...

Here are the valentines we will be handing out this year...


Since Andrew is a Junior Kindergarten teacher, he ALWAYS has tissues in his pocket. So after seeing MANY variations of these on Martha Stewarts website and countless blogs... here is my version of the tissue holder. I made these with felt and quick sewed them up on my machine. The letters were felt stickers. I printed the silly knock-knock joke (and tried to make them look like tissues coming out of the package and we were good to go.

One version
Martha's Version


For Matt, we made the recycled crayon hearts (again seen on countless blogs everywhere).

Click here for instructions from Make and Takes.

I broke up old stubby crayons into small bits and made sure to remove all the paper wrappers. Then put the crayons into a heart shape mold and bake in the oven at 275 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (the better brand of crayon, the faster it melted).

The only thing that I would add to the many other bloggers who have been doing this project this year is the following...

1. The bottoms of these are UGLY. I was so upset when I took these out of the oven, they were so gross looking - I thought I had messed the whole thing up! BUT once you pop them out of their molds - they are really cute.

2. I used a silicone pan and I would suggest that everyone do the same. I don't think you could pop them out otherwise.

Enjoy...
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

today, we played hooky...

This morning, Andrew and I decided to play hooky. We told the kids to get ready for church and put them in the car. As soon as Molly realized we weren't heading towards church, the questions started. Where are we going? Why aren't we going to church? (I love that my kids are disappointed when we don't go to church). We told them it was a surprise adventure and to enjoy the ride.

We then drove to Deerfield, Massachusetts to Magic Wings (a butterfly conservatory) and the Yankee Candle "Scenter of the Universe" Store (I know - the name is ridiculous, but it is SO much fun).


Molly looking for butterflies.


Me playing with my fancy new camera.


Andrew is excited to have a butterfly land on him.


Molly makes some new friends.


Matt and Molly thank Santa for their Christmas presents.Here was how Matt's conversation with Santa went...
Matt - "Thanks Santa for the pwesents." (yeah, he still has no R's and it is still cute)
Santa - "Well I should thank you too, want to know why?"
Matt - "I already know, for the cookies and milk"
Santa - "Well, I was going to say for being such good kids."
Matt - "You should say thank you for the cookies and milk."




Matt finds his personal heaven (a LEGO table with no other kids at it).


Molly didn't want to play LEGO, instead she organized all the Smurf displays.


The princess and prince are in.


Molly and Matt AMAZED that it can snow inside a building (until Matt announces VERY loudly that he is sure it's not snow "It's SPIT mom!!!!")


Matt chooses a snack.


Can't go to Yankee Candle without making a candle, right?