Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Pardner'

Happy Halloween, Blog World!

We are gearing up for a festive 31st of October. Costumes are pressed and waiting eagerly in closets. Ingredients are out on the counter for spicy Frito Pie (despite the forecast of a stuffy 82 degrees here today). Pumpkins are on the table, waiting an appointment with my trusty plastic saw (Rosie the Jack-o-Lantern basically turned into mush over night Wednesday and had to be tossed out into the trash. I am not exaggerating when I say I almost cried.). We are ready for Halloween!

In honor of the holidays, let's visit some costumes of the past here at casa de phillips.

Lynley's Former Halloween Costumes:
*Hobo (age 3...and likely terribly politically incorrect these days)
*Various vinyl costumes purchased either at the local Magic Mart (pre-Wal-Mart days), Alco, or Wal-Mart.
*Charlie Chaplin (High School)

Tobe's Former Halloween Costumes:
*Soccer Player
*Zombie Soccer Player
*Injured Soccer Playe
*Soccer Player with a Third Eye (see a theme here?)

Isaac's Former Halloween Costumes:
Halloween 2005: Kid with Lots O Candy

Unimpressed Giraffe

Lion with Out-of-Control Mane


Evelyn's Former Costumes:

Tiny Baby Bump Under Black T-Shirt

Cutest, Girliest Dalmatian EVER

This year we are setting out for our Tricks and Treats in a Western Theme....hopefully I will have pictures up tomorrow.

Isaac is all about the begging strangers for candy and is quite excited that Halloween is finally upon us. This morning he asked when we would get to go Trick-or-Treating and I informed him we would go after supper. I then called him to the table for Breakfast. It was then that he informed me he wanted to eat supper, as opposed to breakfast, so he could go Trick or Treating.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, kid.

Have fun tonight, everybody, and remember to stay safe!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brother and Sister

I have a little secret.

I hope 20 years from now, the two little ones pictured above, will one day be found gossiping on the phone together about all the little things their mother did that drove them absolutely crazy growing up.

If such conversation(s) occur, then I know these two have formed a friendship that will last a lifetime and I will be one proud mama.

We have entered the stage (and have actually been there for awhile) where brother and sister can play together. It is a nice stage (I can get things done), a frustrating stage (oh, the fighting and tears), a humorous stage (stories to follow) and a sweet stage....all rolled up into the everyday life of our little family.

Currently, play between brother and sister revolves around E. following Isaac's lead and mimicking everything he does. She is quite the myna bird (thus her extensive vocabulary). Being close in age, they have similar interest and their toys have gone from "his" and "hers" into "ours." (And the fights have increased three fold).

Aside from playing, there is more genuine brother/sister interaction. The other day I allowed Isaac to wake E. from her nap (the girl loves a good snooze in the afternoons and some days we actually have to wake her). I heard them giggling and chatting and walked into the room to find Isaac attempting to suction out E.'s nose (she has HORRIBLE allergies) and E. willingly letting him do it. That is some sibling love.

Yesterday morning while I drove Isaac to preschool, Isaac began talking in the backseat. I didn't quite catch what he was saying, so I asked him to repeat himself. He said in quite the annoyed tone, "I wasn't talking to you, Mommy. I was talking to Baby Evelyn." So begins the era of Mommy not being clued in to all conversations.....

When one child is disciplined, the other child's ears quickly perk up. Often times one will seek out the other who happens to be in time-out. The other day we placed E. in her crib for repeatedly screaming. Isaac promptly entered her room after we left because he wanted to "cheer her up."

Fortunately, Evelyn has stopped crying when we drop Isaac off at school, however she asks for him no less than 63 times in a four hour period. She will ask, "Isaac?" and I will give the standard reply of "He is at school." Her comeback is always, "Oh."
Although she misses her brother during those four hours, she seems to be enjoying the single child life quite a bit. Especially when she gets a least one secret visit a week to the local train depot.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Little Rosie

Friday is Halloween.

I know this because my three year old ask me no less than 27 times a day as to when it will be Halloween.

But, who can blame him? I am just as bad as a child when it comes to the holidays, eagerly anticipating the fun and finding it hard to contain my excitement.

Yesterday morning the children and I had planned on attending a Halloween party at a dear friend's house, but it was cancelled due to a sick child (Missed you, Kelli and Kelly! I am thinking a Thanksgiving party where everyone comes as their favorite Pilgrim or Indian would be just as lovely....).

Isaac was a bit heartbroken over no party at "Ms. Kel-dy's house" so I attempted to perk up his spirits with a promise of our very own party at our very own house. The guest list only involved three people (Isaac, E., and myself) simply because we had just returned from being gone for a week and there was no way I was letting other's take a glimpse at our home. After some selling on how INCREDIBLY fun a party would be with just one's mother and baby sister as opposed to partying with actual other children, Isaac was sold on the idea.

The original plan was to eat breakfast, throw on some clothes, and set out in search of some lovely pumpkins to carve. We would then return home, dress up in costumes from our costume box, carve Jack-o-Lanterns, eat cookies, read some Halloween books, eat a tasty lunch and then have a long, restful nap.

In all my planning, I seemed to have forgotten such details as "Chasing Evelyn around the house to suction out nose." and "Give impromptu bath to Isaac after a failed try to make it to the potty before experiencing serious stomach issues." and the always popular, "Drag out the time-out carpet for older child who decides to seriously push the limits after being away from home for a week."

Good-bye, party schedule.

Alas, we did make it out of the house and quickly located some lovely pumpkins to carve. However, the store at which we purchased our pumpkins did not sell the handy little carving kits that I have seen (and bypassed) all over town. Someone mentioned that Kroger sold such items, so off we went in search of tiny saws and various stencils for our pumpkins.

As we wheeled into the Kroger parking lot, I noticed a Halloween Mega-Store had been set up in the normally empty storefront next door. Perfect!, I thought. I figured a Halloween Mega-Store would definitely have a carving kit and I would get to avoid the hassle of dragging two children, sippy cups, raisins, and a purple Zebra (don't ask) through a grocery store.

What I did not count on the Halloween Mega-Store having was a life size clown holding his own head in his hands standing directly inside the front door. Nor did I think a inflatable globe with a Witch's face and flying bats could be so disturbing. I quickly scouted for the Jack-o-Lantern kits, attempting to shield my son's eyes from the large variety of what could only be described as "Adult Halloween Wear" that was on full display in the store. Apparently, this store felt that stocking the "Night Nurse Costume" next to the Elmo and Abby Cadabera costumes was a great idea.

We located the carving kits (dangerously close to women's undergarments....again, who is wearing just undergarments out to Trick or Treat?) and proceeded to make our way to the check-out counter. It was there that Isaac informed me that he wanted to be a clown for Halloween and that next year he was definitely going to be a clown. I gave a noncommittal, standard Mom statement of "We'll see." and secretly decided that the clown with the unfortunate head standing by the front door must not have negatively impacted Isaac. Potential nightmare adverted there.

We paid, I hustled my children out of the store just as Evelyn was beginning to whimper at a witch's face, and hurried us home to start our "party."

Isaac decided he needed to paint his pumpkin green and therefore we opted to not wear costumes. He painted happily away at his pumpkin, E. brushed at hers with water colors, and I set out to carve the largest pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern.

Being a novice at carving pumpkins, I figured one simply cut out the top, scooped out the mess, and carved a face. In my head I estimated this process taking about 30-40 minutes.

Four hours later, I finished.

The kit I purchased showed a girl of about nine or ten years old happily sawing away at a pumpkin, creating a cute and clean masterpiece in the end. Her face did not convey the extreme pain that ran up my arm as I attempted to saw into a very thick pumpkin with a very tiny saw. I attempted using a butcher knife but quickly decided that could result in an untimely trip to the ER. So I sawed and sawed with my tiny plastic orange saw. The children were impressed at first and then quickly bored of watching Mommy slowly widdle away at the pumpkin. I worked on that thing while they ate lunch, while they napped, and then some more while they played outside and supper simmered on the stove.

By the time Tobe arrived home, the Jack-o-Lantern (affectionately named "Rosie" by Isaac) was finished. He was quite complimentary of my effort but did admit that he could not see the image I had spent the majority of my day carving into this large piece of fruit (Is pumpkin a fruit or a veggie?). We lit Rosie up at supper time, dining on a feast of spaghetti and roasted pumpkin seeds (not together) to the light of her glow.

The numbness in my right hand is slowly going away and I hope to get the other two pumpkins carved by Thanksgiving.

I'll let you know how that goes.
In the meantime, meet Rosie:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vacation ReCap

If there are any readers left after my unexpected blogging hiatus last week (I did intend to blog on vacation until someone ruined the fun by swiping our wireless connection from the cabin), I will consider myself lucky. Here is a recap of our week:

Isaac and Evelyn knocking on Nanny and Pop Pop's door hoping to be let in...which they were immediately. However, they forgot to greet either me or Tobe upon arrival. We forgive them...who can resist these faces?
Fortunately we had a smooth six hours of driving time, only interrupted by a few diaper explosions (E. is getting her last few teeth) that had to be tended to quickly. Isaac is a great traveler and Evelyn is quickly learning to follow in his footsteps. Both kids were entertained easily and we didn't have to pull out the DVD player until the final hour. I plan to blog soon about our tips for traveling with little ones.

Isaac....too cool for school to have his photo taken

We arrived in Arkansas on Saturday. On Monday morning Tobe and I left the children with my parents and headed north for a few days in the woods.
Did I mention that we stayed in what was considered a "luxury cabin"?
Notice our "rustic" setting:

Yeah, we were roughing it in our three bedroom cabin complete with cable television, sauna, and stocked kitchen. It was hard to survive in such conditions, but we managed.

One thing we did was take a hike to see a so-called famous natural bridge and the astonishing pivot rock. We still are not sure if we saw either, despite the fact that we hiked the entire marked trail. We are sure that we will never see that $7 we paid to walk this specific trail again.
Here is a picture of me, attempting to push over the so called pivot rock.

The lovely mill where we feasted on biscuits and gravy on morning (okay...I feasted on biscuits and gravy. Tobe doesn't do gravy.)

We toured this cavern with one other couple and were able to get incredibly close to hibernating bats.

(Ugh....this picture just disappeared. I will replace it soon)

Our cabin was located on Lake Lucerne and was once part of a large resort that was popular in the 1930's. Unfortunately the resort went under by the 1970's but the current owners of this land are trying to bring it back. They are doing a great job by having some gorgeous cabins in a beautiful setting.

The fall colors were everywhere, which made me giddy. We do not get a lot of fall color here in Texas so I love being able to enjoy the beauty of Arkansas.

My husband DID travel with me...however, he edited the pictures from the trip and deleted the ones of him. Unless we trained a goose on how to use a digital camera, we had to rely on taking separate pictures most of the time.

After four days away, we returned home to my parents and the children. They were excited to see us, but had a blast playing with the grandparents. They had been perfect and there was minimal issue with either one of them.
On Friday we took my grandmother to the local high school where her picture hangs in the Hall of Fame for that school district. This is a great honor and I had the privilege of presenting my grandmother with this award back in January.
Click on "Legacy of Learning" on the right side of my blog to read about my grandmother's teaching career.
Isaac and Evelyn's favorite activity of the week was playing on "Nanny's Playground".

Isaac befriended a neighborhood girl and played with her almost every afternoon. She taught him many tricks, including this daredevil stunt of going down the slide head first.

It was a great week and we are adjusting to life back in the real world (thus the disjointed post). Special thanks to my parents for willingly babysitting while Tobe and I enjoyed some alone time! Special thanks to Tobe for a great vacation!
Special thanks to the person who stole the wireless connection so I could spend more time outdoors rather than behind my laptop!

I am here...the vacation post, along with pictures, is coming SOON.

I decided this morning would be a great morning to carve a Jack-o-lantern with the children....four hours later I am almost done. They lost interest 30 minutes into the process. I am seriously wondering if my right arm will forever be damaged due to carving a large pumpkin with a plastic saw.

See you soon...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life in the Woods

Hola from the land of vacation!!!

Despite a promise of many posts being generated from our lovely cabin in the woods, I was unable to come through on such a statement.

It seems that the occupants that stayed in our cabin prior to our visit stole the wireless internet equipment. I am sure they will regret such a decision when the owners of this fine cabin bill them for three times the cost of such items.

Due to that theft, we have been internet-less and the ol lap top has remained dark the past few days. However, it is a clear beautiful morning and I am able to “borrow” the internet connection from the cabin next to us. Because the cabins are spaced out for privacy, such “borrowing” means that I am currently perched on the ledge of the Jacuzzi hot tub with the laptop aimed out the large window in hopes of establishing a wireless signal. Did I mention that I am fully clothed while in the Jacuzzi?

Vacation is going wonderfully. The leaves are vibrant colors, the woods quiet, and the temperatures cool. Our agenda to date has included the following:

Making my husband find a local diner for lunch on Monday…by local I mean somewhere that no one who was not a resident of that town would ever dine. It was excellent food and I believe my cholesterol went up 25 points afterwards

Moving into the most charming cabin in the woods, which happens to be bigger than casa de Phillips by about 100 square feet

Eating breakfast at a working grain mill

Exploring a local cavern and seeing hibernating bats

Summing the courage to climb an incredibly high observation tower with the husband, only to be “disappointed” when we had to bail out at the last second due to a large number of wasps in the area.

Visiting Thorncrown Chapel


Eating a large amount of food

Hiking to see such natural wonders of the world as a “Natural Bridge” and “Pivot Rock” and still unsure if we saw either an currently question the $7 we were charged for such an excursion

Eating some more

Participating in a Ghost Tour of a hotel here that was built in 1885. The tour lasted two and a half hours and was lead by a man who believes himself to be a person who can see, hear, and feel ghost and energies. It was a lot of fun and contained a lot of interesting history of the area. We made sure to tell the ghosts to stay at the hotel when we left (as instructed by our guide) and I made Tobe look under the beds and in the closets of our cabin when we arrived home. As of right now, I have not seen any small Victorian children following me around so I think we are okay.

Eating the world’s largest ice cream cone from McDonalds at 11:15pm at night.

Getting to ride a train while it was being “parked.” Seems that there were not enough people in our group to make an actual trip in the train, so we simply rode for free while the conductor parked the thing. We are hoping to ride it this morning and enjoy some fall foliage and hear some more history of the area (we are nerds, we know).

The tile of the bathroom area is starting to become quite frigid, so this post is going to half to come to an end. The children have yet to notice that Tobe and I are actually not with them at my parents’ house and are likely eating ice cream after every meal. I hope to find them some cool trinkets to bring back with me to remind them that Mommy does indeed rock, as opposed to anyone else. We’ll see how that goes.

Off for a hike with that cute husband of mine….

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We're Outta Here!

Good-bye, real world!

Hello, vacation!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Patch '08

Casa de phillips is a flurry of excitement today as we are packing up and getting ready to leave for a week long vacation.

By "flurry" I mean that Isaac is so terribly beyond excited about visiting his grandparents that he has not stopped talking since 6:30am.

For example, it is currently naptime and the child is still talking, despite the fact that I took him to the park this morning for a playdate and he ran non-stop (while talking) for an hour and a half.

As he has said repeatedly today, "I'll just be so excited when I see Nanny and PopPop."

Such "excitement" has caused him to shut his sister in the laundry room door approximately five times before I came to the rescue, toss dry beans around the kitchen, hug his friend no less than 20 times during lunch, build a fort with his pillows during naptime, and ramble on to me as to why he can just wear underwear at naptime (we are not there yet, my friend).

It has also caused him to just exit his room, from where he was supposed to be napping, wearing absolutely NOTHING on his lower half and carrying two jackets exclaiming, "We have to pack my jackets, Mommy!"

Such "excitement" has made me contemplate sitting in the Little Tikes log cabin with a book until bedtime arrives (Is 6pm too early for bedtime?).

Because we are leaving town, I wanted to hit a local pumpkin patch before our trip. Yesterday afternoon, we loaded up and set out to explore the magical world of pumpkins, hay houses, and corn mazes. It was a great afternoon. As we were leaving, Isaac exclaimed, "Let's go eat some Mexican food for dinner." Tobe about cried, the statement touching his heart deeply. We promptly drove our boy (and our sweet girl...who just wanted raisins) to the nearest Mexican diner and feasted on chips and queso.

Here are a few pictures of our pumpkin fun.

Just for fun, here are pictures of the same pumpkin farm LAST year.
Funny how kids grow when you water and feed them.

Thanks to everyone who participated in my blog carnival. Feel free to post on it over the weekend if you want(Go here). As of right now, I am going to send everyone who participated a copy of some of my favorite recipes. I can either email it to you or send an actual hard copy through the mail. Simply drop me an email and let me know how you would like to receive your give-away!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saving Supper...and my sanity one dinner at a time.

Allow me to paint a picture for you:

I am in the kitchen scurrying around, mixing this, measuring that, attempting to get a family meal put together. In the background, Rachel Ray is instructing me how to cook something in less than 30 minutes in a uber-friendly voice (Yes, I have a TV in the kitchen to watch Food Network. Yes, my husband bought it for me years ago. Yes, he rocks.) Evelyn is holding onto my leg, whining. Isaac is wondering aloud how 5:15pm could possibly not be a great time for finger painting at the table. Tobe just walked in the door from work and is digging through the cupboards in search of some sort of nourishment before supper.

Some days this scenario is just plain chaos.

On these days, I feel like I have stood in the middle of a three-ring circus on Ritalin and almost fall into my chair at the table due to complete mental exhaustion. Forget eating, I simply want to complain of a tummy ache and hide out in the bathroom while everyone else dines.

Knowing that I am the master of my happiness (Oprah didn't have to tell me this...I just know), I have decided to take hold of this crazy time of day and turn it into something positive.

The best way I know how to do that is with a schedule. Schedules make me happy, they allow me to always be prepared, and *hopefully* it will allow me to sit at the dinner table and feel blessed by my family and by the food without thinking of how quickly I could make it out the back door before anyone noticed (Likely, Tobe would notice rather quickly, as I would have to scramble over him to get to said door.). Besides, I think a lot of the hectic nature of this time is created by the fact that the kids are antsy and need some structure (*).

I think my schedule might look something like this:

Mondays: Craft/Snack Time at table

Tuesdays: Video Time (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are CRAZY days due to preschool, which pushes naptime back and a little video time would be enjoyed by all. Besides, just today at school Isaac correctly identified "Ode to Joy" and "Flight of the Bumblebee" during music...all learned on Little Einsteins. Television can be educational and a life saver at times, my friends.)

Wednesdays: Music Time. Crank up the Disney CD's, pull out the instruments, and allow the kids to go crazy while I silently repeat "Patience. Patience. Patience." in the kitchen.

Thursdays: Room Play. Often times the kids play in the living room or kitchen, however the toys are kept in their rooms. I think it is time to introduce the lovely art of playing in one's room on a regular basis. They do enjoy being together, so I believe they could play in either/both rooms.

Fridays: Participation Night. Friday night is homemade pizza night at casa de phillips. I have been slacking on allowing the kids to participate in cooking lately. Pizza night is the perfect time for one or both (Lord, help me) to help out in the kitchen.

Obviously this is just a basic plan on how to survive the witching hours of a late afternoon with young children. Most likely it will completely unravel some days and totally be obsolete on others. However, it is a plan. A plan that allows me to save supper and my dinner at a time.


Share your thoughts/ideas/strategies/questions/stories on how you deal with this time of day with children under foot.

Leave a link to your blog post (the post, please. Not just your blog) about how you Save Supper. Make sure you leave a comment telling everyone that you linked to your blog. I will choose five random participants who will receive copies of some of my favorite recipes to help them save supper just a bit quicker.

Be sure to check out other people's blogs, leaving them comments as well. It is nice to be a part of a friendly, commenting blog community, huh?


(If you need more details about this carnival, go here. Thanks!)

* FYI: Our whole day is not super-structured. Yes, we go by a daily schedule. However, I am not running a preschool over here in which I gracefully move the children from one activity to the other during the course of a day, while singing songs from "The Sound of Music." I wish it were that peaceful and I think wearing Julie Andrews' type aprons would be fun...but, alas, that is not our reality at casa de phillips.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good For The Sole

No, I am not currently sitting on the couch with my feet propped up, eating cookie dough out of the container, while watching soap operas.

Rather I am simply modeling my new footwear.

I am always on the lookout for some good Mommy shoes, the kind one can wear to the park, not lose while chasing after a wayward child, and pair with a comfy pant from Ann Taylor.

These shoes walked into my life yesterday and I might just never take them off.

They are made by Sketchers, have a cute Mary Jane style, and come equipped with an athletic shoe sole. They can be slipped on and off easily and have a leather body that looks nice with a causal Mommy outfit.

The best part is that I purchased them at Marshall's and they were 60% of their retail price.


What Mommy shoes do you love?

Almost Carnival Time...

The Saving Supper Blog Carnival is TOMORROW! Whoo Hoo!

Here is the code for the super cute button Trendy Mommy made for this carnival: target="_blank">" border="0" alt="Saving Supper">

I hope everyone joins in on the fun and shares tips/ideas/humorous stories on how they survive the late afternoon/dinner preparation time in their household without losing their mind!

Remember, five random participants are going to "win" a collection of some of our favorite recipes here at casa de phillips.

See everyone tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Question and Answer Session

It seems that there were quite a few questions lurking in comments from previous posts that I have never gotten around to addressing. Oops. In hopes of answering a few of those inquisitions, here are some q&a’s.

Lynley, where is this place? It looks very cool.

This question is in reference to this post, in regards to where Tobe and I will be vacationing next week. It is a lovely cabin nestled in the woods of the Ozark Mountains. Just in case random axe murderers happen to check this blog, I am going to wait to post the link until after we return home. However, I am happy to report that our cabin does have WiFi and I will be blogging from deep in the woods.

I still would love to know where you get your coupons. I'm still amazed at the $75 saved!

I purchase the double coupon issue of the Dallas Morning News each Sunday. I know I am spending $2.50 in order to save money, but the amount I save in coupons each grocery trip more than makes up for the amount spent on the paper. I have checked into a subscription to see if it is cheaper…and it is not. Oh well. I enjoy making the 7-11 paper run on Sundays anyway.
Also, you can check on websites for coupons, either on coupon-printing websites (see for a list) or on the actual manufacturers website. For example, we eat a lot of Stoneyfield Farm’s yogurt. I occasionally get on that website looking for coupons. You can also email companies and ask if they have any they can send. Remember, it is a bad economy right now and everyone is looking to make a few dollars…even if they have to discount their product with a coupon.

Coupons are also getting better. A misconception is that they are all for processed food. We eat very, very little processed food (no meals from a box ever) and I am still saving money with coupons. Diaper coupons especially make me happy!

I have a question for your mom, are the Kathy Reichs books the ones that the television show Bones is based on? I'm assuming she enjoys them.

I consulted with my dear mother on this one and she confirmed that Kathy Reichs does indeed write the television show “Bones.” She enjoys the books greatly, as well as the show.

...what do you do with the cotton you grow?

Good question. Currently it is just waiting to be picked. Our “crop” is quite small and my husband simply planted it because his Grandfather is a cotton farmer. He thought it would be a fun learning experience for Isaac. If anyone would like to send their children over to pick cotton, feel free. Also, if anyone knows how to spin cotton into lovely Gymboree-type clothing, you are also more than welcome in my backyard.

So what do you if you don't have kids, but are desperate to win the pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe?

This question is in reference to my upcoming Blog Carnival, which I hope everyone participates in on THIS Thursday. Don’t forget about the give-away! Feel free to participate even if you don’t have kids but have some creative ideas.

As for the pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe, I will likely post it next week. I have heard nothing from the organizer of the Baking Contest I entered them in this past weekend, so I am assuming they did not win. Fortunately Isaac has stopped inquiring as to the outcome of the contest, because I think it might break his heart a little to know his mommy lost.
What is the great Jon and Kate controversy?

The great Jon and Kate plus 8 debate…In fear of random Google searches hitting this blog, I am going to refrain from passing on third hand information about this show. However, I will email a link to a blog written by a distant family member of J&K if anyone is interested in reading about the controversy (see the button to the left for my email address if you do not already have it!). I have decided, after reading about all this controversy, if anyone ever approaches me to turn my family into a reality show, I am going to turn down their offer.

Months ago I pre-ordered (and pre-paid) for Kate’s book. Yesterday I got an email saying the book had shipped. I am still interested in reading it because it deals with how to organize a home, one of my all time favorite topics. I will let y’all know how it is.

I love E's haircut by all means what salon did you go to, because it looks way more girly than Cool Cuts?
We got E.’s haircut at Sweet and Sassy Salon, mainly because I wanted someone with lots of experience cutting baby girl’s hair. However, this is a salon where little girls can get manicures, pedicures, make-up application, and up-dos done….so it is a bit disturbing environment.

So tell me...what time do YOU go to the gym? If it's 5, I don't want to know….P.S. What's up with Isaac being up reading sight words at 6:20?

I am at the gym when it opens at 5:25 am. Yeah, it is hard to pull myself out of bed some days at 5am, but I would rather go first thing and get my work-out done rather than waiting until late at night. I am much more a morning person than a night person.

What helps me to get up and out the door so early is setting everything out the night before. All I have to do it stumble in the bathroom, throw on some work-out clothes, lace up my kicks, and head out the door. No thought required.

Just like his parents, Isaac is a morning person. He always has been. He usually wakes up around 6am and plays quietly in his room until 7am. Because he naturally wakes up early, we do put him to bed early at night to ensure a good night’s rest. As for the sight words…he is just very into attempting to read right now.

Here's my question: where did you find a six cup muffin tin? Is it the jumbo sized muffin tin?

The six cup muffin tin used here is a Jumbo sized one I bought for Evelyn’s first birthday party. I have yet to find a smaller size, six cup tin. I like the jumbo size because it holds lots of food and is easy to clean. We still use this as a plate most days at lunch.

I'm surprised you don't have to run your dishwasher more than you do. I seem to be forever loading and unloading the dishwasher.

I think I conveyed the wrong idea about how often we run the dishwasher. Typically I run it every day to every day and ½ due to the fact we usually eat three meals a day at home. However, I attempt to only have to run (and thus unload it) once on the weekend since I do not do as much cooking during that time.

I have been working with both kids on how to unload parts of the dishwasher and put some things away. My plan is to never have to personally unload the dishwasher again once they turn five…..

Thanks for sharing your life with your readers. I feel so much more normal when I when your blog!

I attempt to not sugar-coat things too much here at I have really great kids who drive me a bit batty some days. They are not always sitting around in finely pressed outfits, holding hands, and singing church songs. Just yesterday I had to tell Isaac to quit sitting on his sister and had to put Evelyn in time-out about four times before 9am. On the flip side, I also took them yesterday to a “secret” toddler park in our little town and had the best time watching them run around and interact like friends.

I also have a really great husband who helps out tremendously at home, works hard, and finds time to buy me cute clothes so I can be stylish while shuttling Isaac back and forth to preschool. So all the good stuff I write about Tobe is not sugar-coated either…he just rocks.

Thanks for reading, everybody!

Any other questions lurking around out there?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Few Favorite Shots of Fall

Due to the "awards ceremony" being at the same time as naptime here at casa de phillips, there has been no word yet over who was the winner of the "Something Pumpkin: 14 and Up Category". I did verify that one did not have to be present to win. However, Isaac has asked no less than twenty-five times, "Did your cinnamon rolls win, Mommy?". Hopefully we will have an answer for him in the morning.

In the meantime, here are a few favorite shots from our morning on the farm yesterday:

My Cute Boys

Excitement over picking cotton

(This is not our "crop" in the backyard)

Brother and Sister enjoying a stick rodeo

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just Call Me Betty Crocker

In true hometown spirit, we are heading out to our local farm and participating in their annual fall festival this morning.

I cannot wait...but am slightly disappointed that E.'s adorable pumpkin sweater will not be making an appearance due to the extreme heat here. Please let Fall come soon!

Along with hayrides, pony rides, arts and crafts, and hopefully some kettle corn; our family is also participating in a local baking contest. I am currently in the long process of making my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls to enter in the "Over 14 Something Pumpkin" contest. I contemplated putting Isaac's name on the entry simply so we could be in the younger category and have a better chance at winning, but I didn't think that would be very realistic.

Wish us luck! The grand prize is free tickets on the local train....a real treat to Miss E.!