Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Thankfulness Song from VeggieTales

Share Thankfulness Song by VeggieTales

Be Thankful... Every day.

I know today-- Thanksgiving-- is the day that we stop and take the time to say thanks.

We like to think we do it a little more often than that... and if we aren't, I would encourage you to try it.

Most of all I am thankful that life is made up of moments.  Smiles, giggles, kisses, tears... simple moments.

Take time and enjoy them all, and if you are lucky enough you grab a few photographs that's great too.

Just don't get so caught up in getting the picture that you miss the moment.

Love you.  Thank you for spending another year with us.


Yes.  You read it correctly.  The Tower of Toilet Paper.

As, you probably know by now my mom likes to take me to all kinds of stuff.  This particular morning, our local Chamber of Commerce and their original networking groups (one of my favorites, seriously) was collecting toilet paper for the Rockford Rescue Mission.  Apparently they go through like 1300 rolls of toilet paper or something crazy like that-- A WEEK.  So, each year they hold this drive to see how many rolls of toilet paper they can collect.  We had to check it out.  They served a really yummy breakfast, grown-ups chat with one another-- and me since I was there... and all for a good cause.  I like it.  Plus, how often do you get to stand next to a stack of toilet paper that is taller than you.  You must take a picture of something like that.
Or two.  :)

Take the Time....

To enjoy the little things....   (FYI-- Mom Post)

Tanner wakes  up ready to go with a smile on his face and ready for whatever the day has in store.  I am sure he would eat breakfast, if I woke up before I walked him to the bus.... but, that doesn't usually happen.  Much of the morning is me listening to him noticing all the beautiful things he see on own walk each day.

One morning, we did manage to get up early--really early.   Instead of cooking I took him to someplace that I grew up only a few blocks from...but, had NEVER been to--believe it or not.  So, we went.  

I woke up.  Thanks to a classic cup of java.

                                            Tanner and I enjoyed one of favorite games:

All in all... it was a really excellent morning.  I highly recommend waking up early-- every once in awhile.  ;)

Discover THIS: Grossology-- Overnight!

October 30, 2010

We stayed overnight at the Discovery Center and got to visit the Grossology exhibit.... and visit the Burpee Museum.

It was a very exciting evening.  There was so much to do-- the time goes by so fast.  You have the whole place to yourself practically.  I think there were only like 35 people there total... and some of those were grown-ups.  We really enjoyed checking out all of the Grossology exhibits. (Click on any of the pictures to see them larger.)

Sleeping over at the Museum was fun too.  We got to select our own spot to sleep.  Within a few rules... no sleeping in or on any of the attractions.  Otherwise, I would have totally slept in the tractor.  Instead, we just slept really close:
As you can tell, we had a lovely view.  Hehe. 
(Mom's Note:  Parents definitely bring something to sleep on whether is be a cot or air mattress, anything other than the floor of the museum would be better... and if you bring an air mattress be sure to test the air pump BEFORE you need to use it at the museum.)

The Discovery Center is always fun, but if you get the chance to go to a sleep over... it is so much fun.  You get to do stuff like this... that you would never get to do when the museum is busy:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Next time I go I will have to take more pictures... but, I love OCTANE.  It's a restaurant in downtown Rockford.  My mom and I try to go once a month-- that's what she says... I think it's more often.

They have a daily special flavor of tea.  The day we went it was Apricot Plum and it was delicious.

My current favorite meal is Seafood Cavatappi.  I learned that is just a fancy way to say curly pasta. 

My mom loves the Cafe Mocha and Mocambo Salad-- with chicken... here's she is with the Mocha:

I say it's as big as her face.... she says it's just enough to give her the energy to keep up with me. 

Either way the place makes both of us smile... especially, if we get our seat by the window and our cool waiter Brian.... so, we'll be back.  Hope to see you there sometime.  :)

Finishing Touches....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Time to Carve the Pumpkin....

My dad and I have a long history of creating some rather fantastic jack-o-lanterns-- About 10 years.

 I was only 14 days old when my dad created this:

It may be hard to read, it says Happy 1st Halloween Tanner Joseph

A few years later, when one of my favorite phrases was Backpack! Backpack!  He made one look just like the face on Backpack from Dora the Explorer.

We've made many pumpkins since then, but what I really wanted to share today is our latest creation.

First, you have to clean out the inside:
Then, draw the design you want on the pumpkin:
You should be able to see it clearly when you are finished:
Next, start carving.  Decide it you want to leave some of the skin or carve it out completely:
When you like it, it's done:
Time to test it:

We all live in a yellow submarine!


You read it correctly.  It does say Birthday week.  My mom lets me celebrate all week.  I get to do things like decide what we have for dinner, choose the songs on the radio and ride the bus a little as possible this week.

We kicked off birthday week with a fall celebration out at Lockwood Park--

There was lots to do.  Everyone brings a batch of their best chili.  We could make s'mores, create a pumpkin, giant soccer and we even got to play the
Hanging Cinnamon Donut game...
We even got a surprise visit from one of the animals that live at Lockwood Park.
There was a spot where all of our guest could write a message and share a wish with me.
 The best part was getting friends and family together to enjoy a great day at the park....
 The fire to make s'mores on was pretty cool too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FINALLY! My first pair of cowboy boots....

My 1st Cowboy Boot-- yes, we got two.  :)
Mom says I've been asking for cowboy boots since I could talk.  My mom has been saying no for nearly a decade.  Sounds like I am exaggerating you say.  Well, maybe a little I haven't been talking since birth, but I'm going to be ten in nine days and tonight I got my first pair of cowboy boots. 

Part of my mom's hesitation to getting me cowboy boots is that they are expensive-- that's what she tells me.  We found these at a local resale type shop called ShareStuff.  It's run by Heartland Church and the money they raise gets put toward remodeling our public schools. 

So, in addition to be completely THRILLED that I finally got the cowboy boots I've always wanted... We can feel good about the $3 we spent because it will go toward something great for our community.  Everybody wins-- including the environment because purchasing items from resale shops is a form of recycling. 

I must admit these are some rather incredible boots-- don't cha think?!  :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Simple Summer Fun.

The best thing about summer.... that's impossible to know. 

So, the best thing about summer is that it's so simple to have fun. 

Go for a bike ride, take a walk, enjoy a sunny day.... in this picture I had my scooter and mom walked.... through a neighborhood that is still being developed. 

There were all kinds of great things to explore.  You don't have to go far or spend any money.... just get out there!

Monday, June 28, 2010

What are you so grumpy about?

I'm soooo excited.  I got to meet one of my favorite author/illustrators.  He writes great stories and draws all the pictures to go with them and super funny captions.  You should really check out his books:

Monday, May 24, 2010

And then there was Chess......
Our adventures have now taken us into the wonderful world of Chess.  There is no way one could have ever predicted that I would (this T's mom) spend an entire day watching a Chess Tournament. 

As all parents know, there are many things we find ourselves doing or saying that we could have never predicted.  I am still amazed that T likes tomato soup or even that he ever got an opportunity to try it.  I''m just glad he did. 

It's fantastic when our children share our interests, but there is a strong statement being made when children are allowed to learn and find joy in something that they love all on their own-- with minimal influence (aka pushing) from mom and dad.  I like to think this makes him a strong independent thinker-- and hopefully a little less susceptible to peer pressure when he faces it.
Thanks to the folks at Rockford Chess Club for all of their time, effort and energy to organize this event for the kids.  I think great fun was had by all and about the same took prizes home.  This is the proof of my happy child who got to participate and learn about friendly competition. 

He lost his first few games, but had a chance to enjoy a few wins as well.

An extra special thanks to Miss Julie for creating the after school club for these children to enjoy a common interst. 
And we can't forget Mr. Palmer for creating the art for the team's t-shirts!

My New Old Bike

T went to an auction with his grandma and grandpa and came home with this fantastic old bike.  He just loves it.  He shined it all up and rides it around proudly.  You just can't help but giggle when you see him on this bike with his new bike helmet. 

My favorite part is what he said to me about riding it. 

"Hey mom, you would be amazed at all the old people who wave and smile at me when I ride this bike.  I think it's because my bike makes them remember riding bikes when they were young."

Don't ever forget what it was like to be young.  Then, take a moment to smile and wave when you see a little one enjoying one of those moments.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Give yourself a ONE BITE Rule....

Kids can be picky eaters.  Try introducing a one bite rule.  For new foods--that the child is NOT allergic to-- require that they try at least one REAL bite... not the itty bitty can't really taste anything bite.

Admittedly, I have different taste buds than most kids.  I think we've mentioned it here before.  You just don't know what you're missing until you give it a try.  This past weekend I tried lobster and crab legs-- and liked them both.  Plus, crab legs give you an activity to do while eating... you gotta get the meat out. Our friend Tonya, showed me how, because my mom had never tried them before either!  It was fun for everyone.

If you're not quite up for seafood yet.  Another suggestion I have is mango.  It's a little tricky to get the seed out, so have your parents get the mango ready for your to eat.  Once my mom gets the seed out (by cutting the mango in half and cutting it out.  She then cuts lines through the mango "meat" in both directions and we end up with little squares of mango. I prefer it cold, so we store mango in the fridge. 

Another favorite is mango smoothies
For these, we buy frozen mango chunks,  approximately 1/2 c. citrus seltzer, 2 small scoops of sherbert or sorbet, and a banana. 

Here is a picture of all the ingredients we use:

Mix it up in a blender or smoothie maker: