Friday, August 29, 2014

Exhausted! AKA - Thank Goodness for Long Weekends!

I think I will be spending a lot of time over this long Labor Day weekend sleeping!!!  The past two weeks have been exhausting.  Last week we were on vacation from work.  We did some day trips with the kids to enjoy the end of the summer before school started andI think I will be spending a lot of time over this long Labor Day weekend sleeping!!!  The past two weeks have been exhausting.  Last week we were on vacation from work.  We did some day trips with the kids to enjoy the end of the summer before school started and we shopped for school supplies and clothes.

The clothes were mostly for Phoebe as the boys uniforms were ordered already, but the school supplies were for everyone, and boy did that ever total up to a hefty sum.  Back to school season must be to Staples, what Christmas holidays are for every other store.  We did also have to buy more stuff for the boys as I didn't know they could wear shorts in the beginning of the year and that they needed an outfit for gym class once a week.  Old Navy was completely out of navy blue shorts, but Target had six pairs in a size 5, which will be perfect.  I always do laundry mid-week as well as weekends, so they only need three days worth.  

But the fun stuff we did as a family was great!  We took them fishing off the coast of Cape May.  It was just a four hour boat trip, which is perfect for their attention level right now.  They also really needed a hair cut in these photos:

We also got the opportunity to see two bald headed eagles that made their home on the New Jersey shore.

Both boys did catch small sharks.  They needed to be put back into the water.

After fishing, we went into town (Cape May) for lunch

Mid week, we took the kids to a baseball game in Philadelphia.  It was the boys first baseball game.  They got to run the bases on the field after the game was over.

It was a fun week, but between the excitement of last week with stuff to do and this week with going to school, I'm exhausted!  I got caught up a little on sleep last night, so now I'm off to get my vegetable garden weeded and cleaned up!  I started this morning with the boys outside with me and it was tough as they kept getting mad at each other.  I'm going to try to leave them inside for some quiet time this afternoon and I'll go out and get the job done!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day of School - Kindergarten and 8th Grade!

Today was the boys first day of Kindergarten!!!  The level of excitement around these parts has been unreal.  There has been excitement, difficult sleeping (on the part of children) and complete exhaustion (on my part and my husband).  This morning, we dropped the boys off at their classroom, gave some supplies to the teacher and went down to the main office to give the nurse their updated medical forms and Tommy's Epi-pen (he's allergic to bee stings like his father).

The boys are going to the local Catholic school which is Kindergarten through 8th grade.  We made that decision for now as the public school, which is where Phoebe goes, only has 1/2 day Kindergarten.  I thought they were to have switched to full day by now, but they have not.  The Catholic school has full day Kindergarten and they share a bus with their sister who is in the public middle school, so that is very convenient.  There school is also across the street from hers, which makes it easy if we ever need to drop off or pickup at the school.  They wear uniforms and there is only one Kindergarten class, so they are in the same class.  The teacher did ask me on Sunday when we visited if the boys needed to sit together or if they are OK at different work tables.  I said different tables was fine as they both seem to have their own interests and don't feel the need to be completely joined at the hip.  They just like to know where the other one is sometimes.  The other funny thing is there are THREE sets of twins in this class!!!  Two sets are boys and one set are girls.  We're all very excited for the upcoming school year.

I really super love this picture!  They are ready to take on the world together!

Phoebe also started 8th grade on Monday.  I'm doing her second, not because she is second best, but because she's probably not crazy about me posting about her these days, LOL.  She's going girly in her wardrobe this year.  We bought all dresses and skirts for school.  I told my husband last night when she was asking if something matched for school today that I told him this would happen.  The bathroom is all face-wash, hair products and makeup!  

Dress, check.  Vans, check.  Cell phone, check.  The girl is outta here!

Hope everyone has a great school year!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Menu Plan - Week of August 24

I loved the comments on my very lofty goals.  I'm looking forward to knocking them out of the park.  I will commit to posting my menu plans as that is my first goal on the list!  Tom and I did plan this out the beginning of this week. I just haven't had time to post yet.  Phoebe started school yesterday and the boys have been coming to the backup childcare at my work with me as their school doesn't start until tomorrow.

Last night, I was really proud of myself.  I had to take Phoebe to the doctors after work as she wasn't feeling well, and I was worried it would really be late by the time I had dinner made.  Then I realized that dinner was home made fish and chips and that really shouldn't take long to cook.  So I didn't cave and order pizza and dinner was made in short order.  I really tried to remember my goals and was sticking to them!  With no further ado, here is our dinner plans for the week:

Grilled asian marinade chicken thighs
Corn on the cob
Sugar snap beans
Caprese salad (mozzarella cheese, tomato from our garden, basil)

Homemade fish and chips with tartar sauce - I wish I took a picture of this last night, it came out great!
Leftover corn on the cob and sugar snap beans

Leftover grilled chicken thighs from Sunday
Big green salad
Corn on the cob


Orecchiette pasta with beans, mint, garlic and pine nuts (this picture shows with edamame, but you can use pinto or white beans too)
Caprese salad

Smoked salmon (Tom has it curing in it's rub in the refrigerator right now!)
Brown rice

Friday and Saturday we are playing dinner by ear as the kids are off school on Friday and I'll be working from home to be with them.  Monday we are all off work and school for Labor Day, so we're not sure what days we'll be local and which days we'll go to my in-laws for a family picnic.  We also need to visit the in-laws as my MIL has some shirts for the boys for me.  The boys' school uniform requires the school name to be on the left side of the shirt.  I could have gotten them from the uniform company, but my MIL has an embroidery machine and she said she'd take care of it for me.  I was able to get their shirts and pants from Old Navy, which saved us a lot of money with two kids to have setup for school.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Big Juicy Goals

As you may know, I’ve been working with Marcia’s goal setting spreadsheets as part of her Live Organised Community.  I have come up with some serious juicy goals that I want to achieve over the next few years.  I really think this is very doable, but it will be challenging.  This is why I didn't post any goals for August, as I wanted to do the big goals and now I'll be breaking it up into what I'm doing for the months ahead!  I'm extremely excited!  Now that I'm out of school, there is so many things I want to do, as you can see a lot is around decorating the house.  We really find decorating to be a great hobby and we love having people over to dinner, drinks, and "Funday Sundays!"  I really wish that Marcia and I could be neighbors.  I would love to invite her and her family over to share great food and times.

1.     Menu plan weekly/plan out new healthy recipe testing
2.     Organize Phoebe’s room before school starts this year
3.     Work with Phoebe daily on her organization this school year – both homework and activities
4.     Decorate new bedroom for Phoebe and move her in before the end of 2014 (Christmas present?)
5.     Keep the boys organized with school this year; make sure we understand what homework and activities they have with school
6.     Organize boys bedroom/school clothes/closets
7.     Finish chair rail in boys’ bedroom and straighten up their bathroom for them to use before the end of 2014
8.     Paint Phoebe’s old bedroom for boys’ playroom and put an area rug down over the existing carpet. Organize boys’ toys in the walk-in closet
9.     Keep the family calendar online and on paper up-to-date
10.  Keep the boys signed up for sports with the YMCA (soccer this fall); maybe ice skating this winter? They really should have swimming lessons.
11.  Document/start chores for kids before school starts and make it fun!
12.  Setup a game night with the kids
13.  Take more family pictures and print them out!
14.  Plan/take a family trip to Disney in 2016

15.  Learn new responsibilities and exceed expectations for 2014 and beyond
16.  Plan blogging business for all blogs by end of 2014
17.  Blog 3-4x per week on “joys” blog
18.  Build traffic on “joys” blog to 100 followers on both Feedly and Blogger/Google+
19.  Help Tom find a new job by the end of 2014

Health and Fitness
20.  Weigh 125 lbs by the end of 2014
·       Cardio 4x per week
·       Yoga on Monday nights
·       Track eating on UP app
·       Drink 8 glasses of water a day
·       Eat healthy – build default diet
21.  Train for Spartan Sprint in summer of 2015
22.  Train for the Rock n’ Roll half-marathon in Philly the end of summer 2015

23.  Pay off all debt except mortgage by the end of 2015
24.  Build Phoebe savings for college by end of 2018
25.  Buy vacation home in Cape May by summer of 2016
26.  Buy Heather new (pre-owned Mercedes M-class) car before the winter of 2014
27.  Replace Tom’s car in the fall of 2015

28.  Declutter living spaces in the house by end of 2014
29.  Declutter coat closets downstairs and setup launch pads for people to start their day right
30.  Decorate our bathroom (replace faucets, new mirrors and lights, paint & window treatment) by end of March 2015
31.  Reupholster sofa in our sitting room by end of March 2015
32.  Finish remaining wood floors upstairs by end of March 2015
33.  Decorate family room (new furniture, TV, blueray, remove entertainment center, replace carpet) by beginning of summer 2015
34.  Finish decorating inside of house by end of 2015.  Decide if we should move to house with pool and no homeowner’s association or if we should stay put
35.  Have outdoor patio setup and hot tub by end of 2015
36.  Immediately – plan out garden seasonally and harvest/weed daily

37.  Learn basic conversational French by end of 2014
38.  Learn more advanced French by the end of 2015

Fun, Recreation & Social
39.  Trip to Paris with Coni in Fall 2014?
40.  Plan another trip to Paris and London with Phoebe and Tom before she graduates high school
41.  Visit Cydney in California in 2015
42.  Visit Becky and Anthony in Hawaii in 2016
43.  Continue to meet up with friends 2x per month
44.  Plan “Funday Sundays” in the fall – invite lots of fun people