foolin’ around

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Emily is so cute!It’s almost April Fool’s Day. Why not have a little fun with your kids? The possibilities are pretty broad for what you can do. You can read about the top 100 hoaxes of all time (among other foolishly fun things.) When it comes to practical ideas though, Family Fun has definitely got it covered. I thought the dinner switch idea was really cute. I think it would be even funnier, to just make one thing sweet. (Maybe just get the peas and carrots.) Then it would be a weird spectrum of tastes. Once, my Mom did a crazy spaghetti dinner for my sister whose birthday is at the first part of the month. (Pamela, maybe you can clarify the details.) Where we had to use all sorts of crazy utensils (potato masher, spaghetti strainer) instead of the traditional fork and spoon. Think serving in tupperware or on platters instead of plates, etc. It was very fun! I think I will do this for my family on Tuesday. ;-D

As for great pranks, I am not sure if I will be doing anything spectacular. I remember my cousins sewing the legs of my Great Grandma’s nylons closed. (She was the kind of lady who loved a good prank.) Anyone else have a great idea?

**Just had to add: I stumbled onto this site and it has a ton of cute food ideas!

Bleagh

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Happy Easter. It seems like so long ago. I have been enjoying the challenge of keeping things going despite a sinus infection. I keep having to delete my half finished posts due to the overall whinny tone. We had a great Easter. However, since Sunday evening, my life has consisted of consoling grumpy girls who are frequently spewing slurry from one end or the other. Let me just say, life has not been pleasant. I think we are about done, then someone starts up again. The joy! The smells! The laundry! Yeah… by this weekend, everything in our house should be very clean (as I have washed car seats, carpet and more loads of laundry than I want to count.) A big highlight: Megan (a sage and in control preschooler) is so much easier to deal with when it comes to this stuff. On Monday, she actually ran from the kitchen and came back with “the bucket” and then puked into it! (Wow, so much easier to clean!) They both have also had darling moments of personality cuteness (possibly to keep me from imploding.)

To the point: Enjoy a couple of Easter pictures. (Didn’t get one of the dresses! So, more to come.) See you next week. That is all.

Dying Easter eggs

The girls in their new jewels     Emily coloring eggs

The girls egg hunting

a tisket, a tasket…

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How about a little easter basket to share treats with friends this year. This is very easy to assemble. You can cut it and put even a 4 year old to work lacing up the sides. If your artist is a couple of years older, they can probably do the project with only a little supervision.

Materials: (per basket)

1 sheet of card stock, trimmed to a square.

ribbon

scissors (I used regular and scrapbook scissors)

hole punch

Directions:

1. Decide how big you want your basket to be and lightly sketch (or mark the corners of) a square. I stuck a pot-it note in the center of the paper to mark my base.

2. Cut a triangle shape to each corner, this will give you 4 sides. You can make them straight up or angle them out slightly, as I did.

3. Fold each side up and crease the bottom well. Now mark where you need to cut the sides so they will be even when standing up and trim them to the right size.

4. Punch holes about a half inch apart up each side of the flaps.

5. Knot the end of your ribbon and start at the bottom of one corner. Lace up the side and then go to the next closest side. Continue until all of the sides are laced. Knot the ribbon again (on the inside to keep it from slipping out of the top hole.)

6. Punch a hole in the middle of two opposite sides and knot one end of the ribbon (I did a double knot to make it look larger) Thread through from the outside to the opposite side, leaving enough slack to make a handle.) and knot again.

7. Fill with treats and share!

Cutting out the basket Start lacing the sides with ribbon your finished basket looking into the basket

10 reasons i have loved the last 10 years

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mike and meganAs you can see, Michael is really an amazing husband. When I think over our time together, the phrase “We are so blessed.” just keeps coming to mind. It is something that we have said often and really, it sums up how I feel. Here are 10 reasons why I love being married to Michael (in no particular order):

1. Mike is crazy-smart! Anyone who knows him, knows that he knows a lot about a lot of different things. As for the things he doesn’t, he can usually figure it out. Way to go you MEs out there (mechanical engineers for all of you non-geek types.)

2. He is a really good daddy. The girls light up when he gets home. (As do I, we all love to be around him!)

3. He is considerate. He will laugh at this and say he isn’t, but the fact that he worries about being thoughtful shows that he is. Sometimes I will come home from being out somewhere and find him hanging out with the girls after having done the dishes or picked up around (or both!) It’s great he sees a place where he can help out and he does it.

4. He is really funny. He makes me laugh all the time. Whenever we get to spend time together, especially alone, it is just so much fun because he is always cracking jokes.

5. He really takes care of our family. Whether it is the big stuff or the little details, he is always thinking about what is best for us.

6. He is GOOD LOOKIN!

Mike and Emily7. He appreciates me. This one sounds a little selfish, but it means a lot to me. He thanks me for dinner almost every night (That’s a lot of thank yous in 10 years.) He is always telling me that I spoil him and I love it.

8. He spoils me. It’s true. He does so many cute things for me. (And you should check out the beautiful ring he gave me!) Really, it is just a habit with him. He loves to do sweet things for me…spoiled!

9. He is a planner. I am a planner too, so I really enjoy thinking about our future together. What often surprises me though, is how well he thinks things out. We have a great looking future–and that is primarily because he has carefully planned for it.

10. He has integrity. Mike stands tall for what he believes in and doesn’t compromise what he knows to be true. He is pretty quiet, but He is completely aware of himself and sure in his actions and beliefs. I am not really expressing this well, but it is a trait that I really admire in him.

I love you honey! Happy Anniversary!

The luckiest husband in the world

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KeerstenI’m hijacking a post here to share with you some reasons why I consider myself the luckiest husband in the world.

10 years ago, around 7am(bleh) I was married to the love of my life. After we were married for about a year, we would say that sometimes it seems like we’ve been married only a short time, other times it seemed like we’d been married forever (in the good way.) The forever feeling was based on how much we learned about each other and how close we had grown in such a short time, it wasn’t like the “it’s taking the dentist forever to drill out this cavity.” To this day, I often feel like we are still newlyweds.

Now, on to some of the reasons why I’m the luckiest husband alive:

Keersten spoils me. She takes such good care of me. She takes care of everything around the house. She makes dinner for our family every night. Even when she’s sick, she tries to take care of me. For example, tonight she wasn’t feeling too well and felt like she was going to throw up. Her concern was for me and what I was going to eat for dinner. I held out until she was feeling a little better and I took care of getting a late dinner for both of us (Arby’s.) Even when she has every reason to just think of herself (like I always do when I’m sick) she is thinking of others.

She’s always smiling. Anyone who has met Keersten knows what I’m talking about. You know how bright and happy she is. That is one of the things that attracted me to her when I first saw her. I still remember that day quite well.

She’s patient. She tolerates the things her 3 kids do (I’m including myself as a kid.) She is able to handle situations with grace where I would be much more likely to raise my voice or take offense. She puts up with my crazy working hours (it’s past 4am right now.)

She is very talented. She has such a creative mind and is able to convey feeling so well through her paintings, drawings and other projects. I’m always amazed when she is able to quickly paint or sketch something that looks like it belongs in an art museum somewhere.

She’s the best mom. Our daughters love her so much. Nobody can comfort them (or me) like she does. They love to play with her. They love to do projects with her. They love to be with her.

She’s an excellent example. She’s an example to me of being thoughtful and considerate of others. While I have made a slight improvement in this area since we’ve been married, I still have a very long way to go. I feel she’s spiritually stronger than I. She always works hard at the things she does and does a good job. I’m thankful to have her example around me and also that our daughters have her as an example.

She is an awesome wife and mother. I’m so thankful that I can be with her forever and that our children have her influence in their lives. I love her more than ever.
– Michael

get your green on!

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Leprechaun MegWhy do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day? Because regular rocks are too heavy! [ba-da-bing!] St. Patrick’s Day is a favorite at our house. (We have 2 favorite St. P. Day birthday girls around.) Since one of them is my sister, we often celebrate this holiday with some birthday fun.)

I have been thinking about how to make the day a kid-fest. (Instead of the traditional beer-fest, which is generally not considered a good idea for kids.) I thought I would share my ideas so far and see what you guys are up to. I am sticking with many of my ideas from last year. Here is a rundown of the day that I have planned:

-Have a leprechaun sneak in. If the weather is not too cold, crack a window and sprinkle a trail of glitter from the window to any little tricks or pranks you want to play on the kids. I am going to lead to the fridge, where that silly leprechaun has turned our milk green. (Do as many or few little pranks as you’d like. I will add them as I think of them.)

-There are a ton of great games at Family Fun to play.

– Make sugar cookies (shamrocks, of course) to deliver to friends. (We can be leprechauns and drop them on the porch, ring and run.)

-Since the potato is so quintessentially Irish, I think it would be appropriate to make cards to go with the treats with potato stamps.

-If that isn’t enough crafty fun (and you know that is what I am all about!) How about making your own leprechaun hats to wear. (Since cookies and cards are more than enough for us, we will probably do these tomorrow so we can justLeprechaun Emily wear them on S.P.D.)

-For dinner, we will be having the traditional green eggs and shamrock cakes (scrambled eggs with some dye and green pancakes shaped like shamrocks.) The Jensens make pancakes for almost all of the holidays, my favorite are pumpkin pancakes. You could do a traditional Irish meal or green mashed potatoes, green

Let me know if you have anything good. I’ll update with more ideas too. In the meantime, have fun!

make a leprechaun hat

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These are fairly quick to put together and the girls have loved them! They look great made with fun foam. (Which you can get for less than a dollar at any craft store.) I’ve listed my directions for the basic hat, but feel free to make it your own. You may want to get out your art box and embellish with sequins, glitter, flowers or whatever works for your child.Leprechaun hat

Materials:

2 sheets of large green paper (or fun foam)

1 sheet of yellow

1 sheet of black

scissors

glue/tape

Directions:

1. Using one of the sheets of green, make a cylinder around your child’s head. You want it to be fairly tight so that it doesn’t fall over their eyes. Tape the seam while it is still around them to get the exact size right.

2. Cut the height down if you want it shorter (I think it looks cute pretty long, I also cut mine on a slant to make it crooked.)

3. Set the cylinder on the other piece of green paper and trace around the base, then make another ring around the base about 3 inches out. Cut out each of the circles (So you should have a ring shape and a solid circle; these will be the brim and top of the hat.)

pieces of hat4. Now set the the circle on top of the tube and use strips of tape to secure it to the sides on the inside of the hat for paper. If you are using fun foam, you will have enough of a lip to put a ring of glue around the edge of the tube and then set the top on. I used a few strips of tape to hold it in place while the glue dried.)

5. Similarly, you can glue or tape the edge of the brim to the base of the hat. If you are using foam, glue around the inside edge and set the cylinder inside and let dry. If you are using paper, it will be easier to tape it on. by putting a few pieces on underneath the brim that will wrap up the inside of the tube (put them on perpendicularly.) You will also want a few pieces around the outside of the tube that are on parallel. Keep he pieces fairly small and put them on so that 1/2 is on the tube and 1/2 is on the brim.

6. Now add a black band and cut out a yellow square for the buckle. Embellish with anything else you want. I think I also used my potato stamp to add a jaunty shamrock with some wire.

potato stamps

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Carving the design into the potatoMaterials:

1 potato (to make 2 stamps)

paring knife

marker

paint (I used acrylic)

paper plate

paper

Directions:

Stamping with your stamp1. Cut the potato in half and draw the design you want on the exposed inside. Keep it simple.

2. Cut out the negative spaces (the parts that you don’t want to be in the final image.)

3. Spread some paint onto the paper plate, you want to it to be fairly thin. Dip and stamp. (I did one leaf for my clover, then painted a stem on.) Now finish as you like.

HBO-you evil genius!

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I love YouTube–what’s not to love? A wide variety of random and entertaining tidbits; like Flight of the Conchords. Actually, it is my love of Bret and Jemaine that have gotten me into this mess. I noticed a link to an episode of In Treatment and I have always liked Gabriel Byrne, so I clicked…then I got hooked. The great thing is that HBO has generously provided (at that point 4) full episodes on YouTube. It’s well written, a little voyeuristic and just plain enjoyable. Today I had another 25 minutes to kill and logged on to find out how Laura (Monday’s apt.) is doing. Argh! only a teaser! Blast you HBO! You hooked me like a dealer in an after-school special. (The first 4 are free….) Between this and Battlestar Galactica coming back in April, I am tempted as never before to spend my cash on cable. Nah, I’ll live; but if you are above us pedestrian basic-cable types; check it out. No? Another FOTC clip, perhaps?