Can I Brag A Bit?

by Tamara


I don’t write much about my teenage daughter.  Mostly because teens like their privacy and I don’t want to embarrass her 😉

But I want the world to know just how proud I am of her.

Isn’t she just gorgeous??




My daughter has several incredible talents:

– When she started middle school, she thought she had signed up for band, but had accidentally signed up for orchestra.  She had never played a violin before.

Within a month or so, her teacher came to me and told me he was moving her up to the advanced orchestra.  He also told me he had never done that for a 6th grader that hadn’t been taking lessons for years.  She still has never had any formal lessons.  And when she started high school, she was put in the upper classmen orchestra… the only 9th grader.

– She is self taught on the piano.  Well, I take a little bit of credit…. when she was about five years old I showed her which keys were which and marked the sheet music with the letters of the keys.  She learned the rest herself.

– She taught herself how to play the guitar.

Oh, and did you notice?  She can sing!!

In 7th and 8th grade she made the All State Choir.  Are these kids amazing, or what? They only practiced together for a couple of days before performing this…

We’ve had a tough week, my daughter lost one of her best friends to suicide. Teens put up such a tough exterior, but on the inside they are so fragile.

So, yeah, I’d like to brag on my oldest a bit…she is so very special and I love her very very much!!








John Rea-Hedrick Princess Bride Meme

This meme was created by John Rea-Hedrick of John Rea-Hedrick. It has been shared all over the internet and John has graciously allowed me to use it here. Thank you John!

I am a BIG fan of The Princess Bride. There is no better way to describe the next morning than the meme above :)

So, is it just me? Or did the time change come way early this year? I didn’t even know it was this past weekend until my husband woke me Sunday morning and told me I’d slept in until 8:30. Har har.

I’m pretty sure I was complaining about the last time change… my kids did not cooperate with what was supposed to be an extra hour of sleep.

All day I was dreading the coming bedtime..their little internal clocks weren’t going to fall for it when 7 pm came around and I told them it was time for bed. “But mama! The Sun hasn’t even gone nite-nite yet :(“

Turns out the solution was simple…even if I did figure it out by accident…


We had tickets to Disney on Ice. They kept saying we were going to Disney World (lol..poor kids), and we kept trying to explain that Tow Mater, McQueen and the Little Mermaid were just coming to visit from Disney World at the place were the hockey games are… or as Brennan likes to say “the monkey game.”

Ohhh the looks on their faces at seeing their favorite characters!!

It's McQueen & Tow Mater!!

It’s McQueen & Tow Mater!!

*gasp* Ariel!!!

*gasp* Ariel!!!

Of course, they cried when it was time to go….so we bribed them…with the park.


Higher Daddy! Higher!

Higher Daddy! Higher!

Playing hide and seek and climbing the rocks

Can I get down now? This rock is hot!

Can I get down now? This rock is hot!

Along with a walk to the lake (pond) to see the fish and a few trips up and down the “big hill,”…we tuckered them out.

I snuck in the earlier bedtime by splitting the difference between normal bedtime and actual bedtime…fully expecting them to be up and in and out of bed until at least 9. was about 8:30 when I heard Peyton stop singing (if the child is awake..she’s either singing or talking).

And then a miracle happened.

The next morning..for the first time in 4 1/2 and 3 years…we had to wake them up. As in…they-are-sleeping-and-we-are-going-to-be-late.. kind of wake them up. I never thought this day would come!!

Yep – so that’s my big survival advice – wear them out 😉

It was short lived… Brennan was up at his usual time the next morning… one day.. one day…



Christmas tree by toddlers 2011

I am a horrible decorator. I see my friends’ Christmas trees decorated to perfection and I always wonder “how do they do that?” Where does that vision come from? I am definitely missing whatever gene is required.

I think we gave up trying to have a magazine-worthy Christmas tree years ago. First came the Great Dane puppies, then Peyton and then Brennan. That’s about 5 years worth of Christmas tree defending.

The tree you see here is last year’s tree after I resigned as Christmas-tree-defender.

I mean.. this is what they were doing…. it was impossible.. look at what I was up against!

Peyton & Brennan 2011

Peyton had just turned 3 and Brennan was close to turning 2. You know that scene in Elf when Buddy jumps on the couch trying to put the star at the top of the tree? That’s pretty close to what was happening here.

This year, I thought… okay, Peyton is now 4 and Brennan is almost 3…. maybe the tree won’t be such a temptation for them.

I know.. I know..

The decorating started off well..

Decorating the tree

and then Brennan spotted the drums…and proceeded to collect them..

Drums ARE a toy Mommy!

and then break them…

Oh look! They come apart!

I don’t know how to work a camera.. tried to get pictures at night, but they weren’t coming out well. I decided to snap a picture of the tree first thing in the morning before my little elves started their offense…

I was too slow…

Our Tree 2012 - Before Toddlers

Our Tree 2012 – Before Toddlers

And, here is our tree as of this weekend…

Our Tree 2012 – Toddlers in Progress

Any ornaments within reach are…gone (or broken).

I do have to say that I’m impressed with my youngest daughter’s decorating skill. Who needs ornaments when you have Pullups?!

I hope your family has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays as well!

UPDATE: In case anyone was curious…

Our Tree After Christmas 2012


A Sicky Thanksgiving

November 24, 2012
Thumbnail image for A Sicky Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner was being hosted at my house. Yay! I love making Thanksgiving Dinner for my family… and was especially looking forward to cooking for both my Mother and Grandmother. How many years did they work cooking all day for us? It’s their turn to sit while someone else cooks! But see.. nothing is ever […]

Read the full article →