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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tiny Dancer

I love to watch Katie dance.  It brings her such joy and she absolutely beams while doing her tendues, plies, and grand jetes.  It's amazing how good it makes you feel to see your children happy.  She will be performing in her first recital this May.  Her teacher told her that she will be in the front row, which is quite an honor.  We're all friends, so you don't mind if I brag a bit, do you?:-)

Unplanned Trip

Yesterday, we took an unplanned trip.  It seems that Jeff's Mom has an addiction to popcorn and it landed her in the hospital.  Who would have thought that light and fluffy popcorn could be "the enemy"?  Wow.  Slap me and call me silly.  She caught herself a case of diverticulitis and won a trip straight to the ER.  When we got there, she was in great spirits, though.  They had pumped her up with antibiotics and yummy hospital dining and she was ready to hit the trail.  She was such a trooper.  We were unable to "break her out" of the building, but Jeff and Katie were willing participants in food smuggling.  She is now home and on a diet of "limited" popcorn and seed items.  Don't worry, Annie, we'll find something else that is just as fabulous for you to indulge in!  Cheesecake Factory, anyone?:-) 

Mini Swap Package

The girls received a package from their Mini Swap partners yesterday.  They opened up the box and it was just like Christmas!  There were the cutest little handmade bags for both girls- Mandy's was denim/patterned flannel with a star and Katie's was denim/patterned flannel with a heart(in picture).  They have taken them everywhere with them today.  There were fleece handmade scarves for their Webkinz (pictured), books, craft kits, hair bows, candy, etc.  I also received scented candles and some magazines.  It was so much fun!  I only had one person on my blog (Lisa, I didn't forget!:-)) who was interested in participating in a mini swap, but if anyone else out there would like to join the fun, please let me know.  I would be happy to organize something!:-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fresh Apple Cake

Here is a wonderful recipe for you to try:

Fresh Apple Cake

4 cups peeled, sliced apples
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, stir together apples and sugar.  Add dry ingredients; stir well.  In separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Stir egg mixture into apple mixture, blending until just moistened.  Pour into greased 13x9x2 inch pan.  Bake 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.

I have made this cake for many years and just discovered it again last night.  I think it's best when it's warm from the oven.:-)  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Tinkerbell stopped by earlier this week to leave a note under Katie's pillow.  Sometimes she even leaves pennies! :-)

Russia and the Ivans

We are currently studying Russian history.  My girls are shown modeling their beautiful kokoshnics.  The kokoshnic was the Russian women's head adornment for centuries.  You can find gorgeous examples online, made with velvets and silks and decorated with beads.  They are quite lovely.  We will be making Russian Beeswax candles this week.  We have also read about Ivan the Great and his grandson, Ivan the Terrible.  Fascinating, but frightening.  I was lucky enough to have found an old book of mine that is full of Russian fairytales, too.  "Vassilissa, the Beautiful" always intrigued me even though it was quite scary.  Of course, "Baba Yaga" is a classic.  We are having a great time reading these together- I just hope no one has nightmares!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Springtime Craft

It's so cold outside, but I have Springtime on the brain!  I'm sure it has something to do with all the fabulous magazine covers that have been flooding my mailbox.  My name is Lori and I am a Magazine Addict.  Here is a picture of the little cuties I am going to make this evening.  Aren't they darling!  And, it's from Family Fun magazine so I should be able to handle it- hopefully.:-)

We have a WINNER!

The winner of my first Blog Contest is Sue Morrison!!  Congratulations, Sue!  Your gift basket of goodies is pictured above and I hope you will enjoy it!:-)  Thanks to everyone who participated- you gave me some great vacation ideas!

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Sweeties

The girls waited all month to open these lollipops.  They (along with many other of their sweet buddies) were part of my Valentine "decor" but on Valentine's Day it was time to enjoy them! Mandy and Katie had fun that day at our home school co-op party passing out cards and such.  When we got home there were gorgeous flowers waiting for us from Jeff/Daddy!  Vibrant colored roses, carnations, daisies, etc. in shades of yellow, pink, and purple.- breathtaking!  Later, we spent the evening at Red Lobster with Daddy after exchanging our gifts.  We gave the girls matching Hello Kitty pajamas, American Girl craft kits, Webkinz and books.  The girls and I gave Jeff a Bonsai tree (Yes, Daniel Son), a computer game and a gift basket full of favorite snacks.  I had no idea what was in store for me, though.  They gave me the most lovely "Coach"purse!!  Yes, I said Coach!  I've been in that store twice and I know that the keychains start at $50....  It's a bit intimidating, but the people are so very friendly.  Anyway, the purse is SO gorgeous and I am almost afraid to take it out of the box.  So, it is sleeping right now in it's bag (they come with their own cloth bag for storage!) in the gorgeous box and shopping bag I received it in.  One day soon when I am feeling grown-up and fabulous we will get to know each other better.  Thanks Jeff, for telling me that I deserve it.:-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

27 Dresses and Cheese Fonduta

Yes, I learned a new word (add that to the spelling bee list, Sue) this weekend and I enjoyed every bite.  Except that one spicy one that came out of no where...  whoa.  My friend, Sue and I snuck away for some "girl time" at the Olive Garden and we indulged in the Cheese Fonduta.  Smoky, creamy, YUM!  She told me all about her new Yoga Studio and I am thrilled for her!  What an exciting undertaking- her new "baby."  I am determined to try yoga out, but if I start to hear any giggling I am hitting the road...:-)  We also went to see the movie "27 Dresses" and it was darling.  Katherine Heigl is precious, endearing, funny and believable- how could you not love her?  Go see it with your best buddy before it's gone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fishers if Men

I am so proud of both my girls, but I would like to share what is weighing heavily on my oldest daughter's heart right now.  Mandy told me that a friend of hers does not believe in God and this worries her.  Mandy said that she really wants to help her friend become a Christian.  During church the other Sunday, our minister was preaching about being "fishers of men."  Mandy, bless her heart, was listening and shared this with him today (she had been anxiously waiting to speak to him for some guidance) and he just reached out and hugged her!  He told her that "it's always good to hear that someone is listening."  Mandy is an inspiration to both Jeff and me- as well as others.  She knows what is right and is not afraid to speak the truth.  I pray that one day I can be so strong in my convictions.  If you get a second, could you please remember Mandy and her friend in your prayers?  God is going to work miracles through Mandy, I just know it.  I am so proud of her.

Rain, Rain Go Away...

It has been quite a rainy and lazy weekend.  I love rain and the whole idea of not having to do "anything" but when you have young children it can mean crankiness, laziness and cabin fever- and I don't just mean me.  I am ready for some sunny weather so I can push the girls outside for awhile.  Actually, I did finish the book "Keeping the House" and it was amazing!  So many questions answered at the end, and oh, the drama!  Now I can start the newest novel starring Kinsey Millhone- "T is for Trespass" by Sue Grafton.  I have enjoyed every book she has written. What will I do when she gets to letter "Z"??  Oh, and for all you Harlan Coben fans out there, he has a new book coming out in April!  Every one of his books should be made into a movie!  I plan on ordering 2 copies, one for my Dad and one for me.  If you've never heard of him, you should take a trip to the library and get ready to fasten your seatbelt for a wild ride!  

"The sun'll come out, tomorrow..."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Reality Television

Did any of you watch "The Apprentice" last night?  I don't particularly  like Piers, but Omarosa is absolutely vile!  For a time I actually liked her, well maybe "like" is not the right word, but I believed she was a Tough Cookie that could get the job done.  I know Trump likes her for the ratings, but she made ME uncomfortable on last night's rampage.  She is scary.  Another scary person is "Mr. Hulk" on this season's "Survivor."  He thinks he has his tribe in his pocket, but the game has only just begun...  It's going to be very interesting to see what develops.  Think I like reality television?  You know, it's actually all my idea.  When I was young, I used to pretend that I starred on my own TV show and the world was watching ME and all that I did.  Crazy, huh?

Great Backyard Bird Count

Tomorrow is the start of this year's Backyard Bird Count!  This will be our first year participating and we are excited!  If you are interested and would like to join us, check out www.birdcount.org.  It runs from February 16-19 and takes as little as 15 minutes a day.  We are currently studying birds in Science so this is perfect for us!:-)  Plus, we love birds and are always looking out for goldfinches and cardinals- our favorites!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pink Tulle and Dark Chocolate

Happy Valentine's Day!  Well, almost.  These cuties are similar to old fashioned "mussie tussies" (spelling?).  Fluffy, festive and fun!  I had a great time making these.  I am hoping to fill them with pink tulle and dark chocolates for the Valentine's Day party tomorrow.  I have a few more to make, so we'll see what I can accomplish this evening.  They are made with pretty scrapbooking paper, fluffy trim and/or fabric ribbon.  Why not make a few yourself?

Shhhh....  Here's a fun, last minute, Valentine's Day gift idea.  Take IBC Rootbeer (or any other favorite drink), individual candy bars, crackers, chips, and other goodies and place them in a fun basket or container.  Fill with shredded tissue, confetti, etc. and you are good to go!  This one is for Jeff.:-)

The Treasure Chest

Who can resist a trip to the Treasure Chest?  Throughout the day my girls can earn stickers for completing their chores (happily), doing extra chores, sometimes if I "catch" them playing together nicely, and when I get a good "report" about them from other adults (without asking).  Once their chart is filled with stickers, they get to choose a prize from the Treasure Chest!  I find items on sale that I think they would enjoy- little toys, books, stickers, etc.  It's really fun!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Keeping the House

I love the idea of book clubs.  I was a member of one for one night.  I really wanted to talk about the book ("The Mermaid Chair") and every one else wanted to gossip!  Don't get me wrong, gossip can be fun, but I really enjoy books.  Anyway, here is what I am really enjoying right now.  It's a story that spans many generations and includes love, mysteries, and one beautiful house with a tragic story.  I have just started it and would love for others to take the journey with me.  If you feel compelled, grab a copy at the book store or library!  When we are done, we can plan a night to get together and discuss it!:-)

Chinese New Year Party

My friend, Roxanne, invited us to a fabulous Chinese New Year celebration!  She absolutely outdid herself!  We had Egg Drop Soup, Fried Rice, Pot Stickers, Egg Rolls, Oranges and Fortune Cookies for lunch- what a feast!  Then, she prepared fun crafts for the kids to enjoy such as Chinese lanterns, glitter fireworks on black paper (night sky) and decorating the Chinese flag.  Katie, Sydney, Mandy, Hunter and Parker even watched the video of Marco Polo (above).  Thanks again Roxanne!!

My First Blog Contest!

We are discussing where to go on vacation this year.  We absolutely love Fort Morgan, Alabama and this is where we have gone for many years.  Beautiful beach, gorgeous vacation homes, Lulu's restaurant, great outlets, etc.  I could go on and on.  BUT, this may be the year for THE CHANGE.  We are looking at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and even the Tyler Resort in Vermont!  I would love to hear of places you have gone and loved.  Or maybe a place that you have dreamed of going....  We think a cruise would be fun, too, as we have never gone on one.  Please take a minute and share.  ***Here is the fun part!  On Saturday, February 23rd I will pick a random name from your vacation comments and they will win a prize!*** It will be my first Blog Contest!  Just leave a comment to this blog entry and you will be part of the fun!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Easiest Cookies Ever

These are the easiest cookies ever.  This could be a good thing or a bad thing.  Hmmm...  Take refrigerated cookie dough, any flavor your like (I like peanut butter and sugar), and cut slices about 1 1/4 inch thick.  Then, cut each slice into four pieces.  Place each piece into a section of a mini muffin pan (as shown).  Cook for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and immediately place mini Peanut Butter cups or Hershey's kisses in the middle of each cookie.  Enjoy!

Hannah Montana

We took the girls to go see the Hannah Montana Concert movie today and all I can say is- WOW.  It's unbelievable that this young lady (really child) is only 13 years old.  Such confidence, but without the trashiness of most young "stars."  Now I see why my girls love her! She is refreshing. You get to see her perform, watch her backstage, plus see all the hard work and time it takes to get ready for a concert. The tickets were a steep $15 dollars a piece, but you actually felt like you were "there"!  It was pure fun with an adrenaline rush when she sings a familiar song.  The 3-D glasses were a hoot!  I loved watching Mandy and Katie reach out to touch things.:-)  If you have a Hannah Montana fan at your house I highly recommend this movie.  Afterward, you may just run out and buy a CD for yourself!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chinese New Year

Happy New Year!  We have our house decorated with red and gold to celebrate the Year of the Rat.  Sounds lovely, don't you think?  But seriously, we all enjoyed learning about the Chinese New Year celebration and how it is the most important holiday in China.  The night before, the whole house is cleaned (to get rid of all the "bad things" form the previous year) and the next morning everyone bathes and puts on new clothes.  A fresh start!  The table is set in a very specific way (fish has a special spot, chicken, etc.) and all the elders are honored.  

We attended a celebration at the library where the girls made chinese lanterns, dressed up like a dragon and we all were treated to yummy pot stickers- delicious!  We are having a special New Year's celebration with my friend, Roxanne, and her children next week and we can't wait!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mini Swap

Have any of you ever heard of a "mini swap"?  The girls and I are involved in one right now and it is so fun!  You sign up to be paired with another person/people (we are swapping with children in the current one) and then they get busy crafting/sharing!  We are making some cute valentine goodies that we will send to our partners (4 girls in another family) and then they will send some things to the girls.  We may even send some gently read books along that they girls would like to share.  It's not an expensive event- mostly creative.  Who doesn't like to receive a package in the mail?  I was wondering if any of you would be interested in having a "mini swap" from my blog??

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crazy Cooking and Science Detectives

The girls started classes at our home school co-op this week.  They were so excited to see their friends!  I got some cute pics of Katie with her friends, Arriana, Teagan and Joshua.  Mandy is too cool for me to take pictures of her.  (I guess I am officially uncool now- sigh) Katie is taking Crazy Cooking and Cool Crafts/Food Fun and she is thrilled!  I let the girls help a bit in the kitchen at home, but at the co-op Mommy is not breathing down their neck, waiting for a spill.  That's why it's called Crazy Cooking.:-)  (Plus, anyone that would teach that class is crazy, I believe.)  Mandy is taking Paper Art and she made stationery last week.  She was so proud of herself!  I love that!  She is also taking a class called Science Detectives and they will attempt to solve crimes.  They dusted for fingerprints last week.  I would have LOVED that class as a child, being a huge Nancy Drew fan.  I wanted so badly to solve a mystery....  Speaking of Nancy Drew, the girls both love her, too!  We listen to the books on CD in the car.  The girls tell me I'm Nancy, Mandy is Nancy's friend, George because she is a bit of a tomboy and Katie is Nancy's other friend, Bess because she is a "girly" girl.  I love that they let me be Nancy.  My girls are the BEST.