Friday, December 30, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today-
1. We are purchasing a new Television.  Yippee, hurray, yahoo.
2. Resolution season is looming.  I have some serious work to do. I love the feeling of a new year, new opportunity but I need some plans on paper for it to take shape.
3. One day closer to a pot pie at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I gave up fast food for the past year and Sunday I am going crazy with a trip to KFC.  I am so proud of meeting my goal.  I wasn't a huge fast food queen but it was a struggle on occasion.
4. One day closer to my new life of eating in moderation and exercise.  I've been pigging out for months, I am sick of it. My hard work of losing 30+ pounds is slowly going away (right to my hips).  In 2012 I want to be 50 pounds lighter.  There, I said it.  whew.  Now I have to do it.  (after my KFC splurge)
5. Husband is working at the hospital tonight, that means I have the new TV all to myself. (heheheh)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paper Mom Holiday Updates

Paper Peeps - What a Christmas Holiday it has been.  Here is the update--

First off, remember our holiday links for good deeds? Well our amazing kids completed 37 good deeds!  It was a wonderful experience that I would recommend for all!  Our kids truly found joy in helping others and making a link on our paper chain for each good deed.... they encouraged one another along the way.  I am so happy that we added this little ditty to our list of  Christmas traditions.  I did give one link to our teenage daughter for keeping her thoughts to herself.  - maybe a stretch for the typical "good deed" but the right course of action for the moment none the less.

Remember our little trip to Kringle Candle in November?  Well I have three updates... during my recent ladies only Christmas of Gold Party I had lots and lots of compliments on my home smelling yummy!  I proudly told my Kringle story to those who hadn't heard it (or read it. Can you believe some of my gal pals don't read this blog?)  The funny thing about that night was when I put out my candles I really did appreciate that they were all white and not a colorful rainbow to compliment the fragrance at hand.  I admit, when I first read about the candles being all white to remain decor neutral I thought that was a stretch in marketing........ ladies, it is actually quite nice.  I have enjoyed the white, it oozes class.    Lastly, I just finished up my first jar candle and put it in the freezer to clean out the wax so I can use it as a decorative jar and hey guess what? Easy peasy, wax popped out and now I have a beautiful glass covered jar to hold some pretty ribbon on my craft desk in my craft room (which is under a major transformation right now).  Did I mention that my mother sent us a candle for our anniversary after reading my blog?  Somedays I swear she is my only reader, I am just glad she pays attention.

The best Christmas present?  Our teenage daughter created a homemade card for each of us and it truly was the best gift she could have given.  I was filled with love to know that our blended family lines blurred with her loving sentiments.  At bedtime all three girls said this was the best Christmas ever and suddenly my Holiday stress melted away.    I slept well.

Now this week has taken a turn.  The World's Greatest Husband's three are with their mom for the rest of the week and my two are with their Dad for a bit.  We are living the life of newlyweds - - -


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Proud Paper Mom

Indulge me....
I am having a proud Paper Mom moment.
My 6th grader got straight A's on her report card.
She is the first of our bunch to ever do this.
I am very, very proud of her.  Not only has she successfully adjusted to middle school, she did it with straight A's (ok had to write it one more time). We are quite lucky here, all of our children do well in school.  I am proud of each of them.

We are lucky and I do know it and I thank God everyday for it.  Yesterday I witnessed the pain of a fellow mom while attending Bob's Discount Furniture's Mega Blood Drive at Foxboro Stadium.  It broke my heart.  As I stood in line to get the autographs of beautiful Patriot cheerleaders I overheard a conversation of a mom that has a child on the autism spectrum.  She was visiting the Red Cross resources information table.  She spoke of the struggles she has and the beauty and strengths of her nine year old child.   She was frustrated, sharing that she often falls between the cracks of services because of her good job and salary.  But the woman needs a break, her only down time occurs when her ex husband is in the picture and that sounded a tad unreliable.  When the Red Cross worker gave her the number of someone to call for social services and possible respite, the mom teared up (me too) she was so grateful with the hope of of a helping hand.  The Red Cross is an amazing agency and yesterday's blood drive was quite an operation.  It was nice to be a part of this event, considering it is the season of giving.

This little story relates to all the stress we mommas are feeling with the production of Christmas.  I recently listened to a step mom's toolbox recording and the theme was - take care of yourself.  As I get older I realize, if I am not nurturing my soul a little bit along the way, I am not nurturing the soul of the five kids I am trying to build.  It is hard to find ten or twenty minutes every so often to do something that makes me happy, something that is all about me, me, me.  I guess paper crafting is it, maybe reading before bed or a quick phone call to my mom.  It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it centers me.  The woman I spoke about above, has added struggles and I can only imagine how badly she needs "me time".  I hope she finds a few minutes to center her soul this holiday season, I hope we all do --- Shopping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, parties, presents, wrapping all while doing our regular routines of working, lessons, homework and life can make a grown woman nutzo - Hang tough my friends----- it will all be over soon ---- make memories in the meantime.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Five for Friday
Five great things about today...
1. Chaperoning the school field trip to the nutcracker
2. Starting the day at Target
3. Office Christmas party night.
4. Kids are excited for their favorite sitter tonight.
5. Christmas is finally unpacked.

Have a good day paper peeps!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ba humbug with a giggle.

Ba-humbug
Recently my 11 year old was complaining while christmas shopping.
I looked her in the eye and said, "BA-HUM- BUG!"
She looked confused and asked, "What is that, Spanish?"
I can't make these things up - seriously.
The lady walking by heard the whole thing and we both had a good laugh like all fellow mothers should....





Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Photo Card Stress

Are you familiar with ordering photo Christmas cards?
Have you too broken a sweat as you try to line up all the kids and say cheese?
There is always one that looks away or is cranky - I have five of them.... kids that is,  and I spend all year trying to capture that darn Christmas card picture.  I must admit, I got one in August.  One perfect picture, everyone has good hair, nice smiles and the lighting of the sun setting on the beach made it a keeper in every way.  I was happy.  To my amazement and delight - we captured another acceptable one this past Sunday at the tree farm, complete with the old man in the red suit, this time all seven of us.    So I bit the bullet and decided on a card that has three spaces for three different photos.  I opted for my two keepers and a loving one of me and the World's Husband to go in the middle... ya know, the middle one representing the glue that keeps this circus together.

I practically skipped into the store knowing that this year our card will be a stunner! I ordered and eagerly awaited my print job.  tick tock, tick tock one hour passes and it's time.

The photo tech actually said, "your card really came out nice" as I waited to pay.  I rip open the package and gasp... .to my absolute horror, I didn't include any text on my fabulous card.  I just pressed print with no closing such as: With Love, or Warm Holiday Wishes.... it's just blank... yep, just blank - no names, no closing, no nothing.... except for three fabulous family photos at the top.

The whole point of the pre-printed family photo card is the fact that you can order 100 of them covering the long list of old high school friends, family, college roommates and former co-workers and NOT HAVE TO SIGN THEM.... although not a warm note, the pre-printed card acknowledges warm holiday greetings for the busy mom on the go... God invented this for women like me.  YA, WELL not this year, maybe next.  I've got to go now... I have 100 cards to personally sign.
With Love,
PaperMom, The World's Greatest Husband, Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3, Kid 4 and Kid 5
xoxo

Friday, December 2, 2011

Five for Friday

Normally I publish my "Five for Friday - Five great things about today, on Fridays"
Because yesterday's post with www.mamakatslosinit.com was centered on the number five... I thought I would break away from routine and bring you five great websites to visit.   As you know, I am a sap for love, inspiration and all things good in life.... the following websites have made me cry and basically feel good about love, marriage, life and the power of family.  I hope you will visit them and find that special place that makes you have a grateful and peaceful heart. Have a great weekend Paper Peeps.
www.motherglow.com
www.ringonthefinger.com
www.welcomehomeblog.com
www.fuzzyfeelings.com (and I am not an animal person)
www.feelgoodblogs.com

Special thanks to Leelou blogs for introducing me to this website goodness.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some Important Things About Me


Five Things with Mama Kat
Five things you don’t know about me:
  1. Sometimes I drive all the way across town to the gas station that pumps gas for you just so I don’t have to get out of the car. 
  2. I sometimes wish my kids were grown and out of the house and because of that wish, I often pray to be a better mother.
  3. I keep laundry all over the basement floor as I sort and get to each pile.  And yes, most days there are piles!
  4. I only floss the week of my dentist appointment.
  5. I have favorite statues that I’ve named in church.  One is my grandmother, Nana and one is my old friend, Douglas.  I find peace in the fact that I can give them a minute or two in my head and heart, each week during mass. … and some weeks, I swear they blink at me.

Five things I am knowledgeable about:
  1. Martini’s – just ask the World’s Greatest Husband, I’ve perfected a few of them for him over the years.
  2. What my kids will and will not eat.  I can call that one from a mile away
  3. Paper crafting. I’ve watched way too many hours of you tube tutorials on how to fold, glue and create.  I’ll also add that I am very knowledgeable about the store layout and inventory of Michaels craft stores.  An important skill on holiday’s such as Black Friday or one day sales.
  4. The World’s Greatest Husband would chime in with “kissing” He is so sweet always telling me I am the best kisser, he often sends thanks my seventh grade boyfriend.
  5. The structure and components needed in a good bathing suit as well as the frame of mind, time and money needed to purchase one.

Five things I know nothing about:
  1. Computer networking, wireless systems, updating, downloading and syncing.    That is why I call the World’s Greatest Husband my “computer boy.”
  2. Many of the ingredients in Bon Appetit magazine.
  3. Vacuuming the pool – I can’t even begin to grasp how that gizmo, hose and pumpy thing work to suck out the dirt, did I tell you I live with my “pool boy?”
  4. Apparently I know very little about 6th grade math and our stressful homework sessions continue to prove that one!
  5. Illegal Drugs.  I’ve never understood the desire to do them or the power of them. 

Five things I believe
  1. When love is true, it brings out the best in you.
  2. We are all stronger than we think we are.
  3. A clean closet can make you think a bit clearer.
  4. The magic of a good night’s sleep.
  5. The best cleaning gets done when one is angry.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sometimes motherhood wears us out....

Sometimes being a mother wears you out.
Four of my children were getting along so nicely.  I was enjoying the laughter and spirit of the moment.  It was perfect.  I knew I could fly to the store to buy adhesive for my paper project without a problem --- they were happy, they were getting along, I was sure that there would be no blood shed, tears or fighting.... I can go shop for twenty minutes in peace.... I simply felt it in my heart. It was my chance to break away.

Sometimes being a mother wears you out.
Five minutes into my shopping trip I had a thought...... the kids were eating grapes and laughing when I left.  Someone might choke on a grape.

Sometimes being a mother wears you out.
I pull into the store parking lot and enter the store.  7 minutes , 8 minutes, 9 minutes.... in only 10 short minutes I had created such a panic for myself I was convinced that someone would be choking on grapes because of all the laughter and silliness.  My peaceful heart had turned into a full blown, get in the car and speed home just to make sure all was ok.  I kept glancing at my phone, knowing that someone would surely call if the choking began.  Down the hill, up the hill, zip into the driveway, no ambulance, no phone call........ it's all ok.

I think I am nuts.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

A New Christmas Tradition

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a new holiday tradition that promotes the reason for the season and I think I've found it.  The Paper Mom household is all about good deeds during Advent.  I've challenged my family to "do good" for others.  Every time they do a "good deed" or witness a family member doing a "good deed" they are to make a link on our paper chain.  It is my hope that they will find good in their heart as well as others and make an effort to help, be less critical and take a risk.  I wonder how long we can make this paper chain go....

The World's Greatest Husband kick started the chain with two good deeds on our date last night....
 - he called the police to report a stranded elderly motorist in town.  AND
 - When leaving a tip at the casino last night he apologized to our waitress that some of the tip was in quarters. Yup, he's a keeper.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Random Thoughts

Every Black Friday I miss my mom.  We shop so well together it doesn't seem fair to be 1200 miles apart on this important sale day.

Every Black Friday I wish I had a sister.  It seems as though moms, sisters and 4AM shopping are about as American as apple pie.

So I slept in but ventured out at 10 am this morning.  What shocked me the most? everyone shopping on their cell phones.  Seriously what did we do before we had instant, immediate contact to ask what size? - what color?

I don't think I captured any great Black Friday deal but I did find cute styrofoam snowman coffee cups for my morning coffee this holiday season. That makes me smile!


Five for Friday -
1. Shopping Day 2. Date Night 3. Fifty-five degree day 4. Snowman coffee cups 5. Paper deals at TJMaxx.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

delightful day at Kringle Candle


The World’s Greatest Husband and I have a “special time” often we text or call when we take note of the clock ticking 11:11.  It’s a quick I love you that says… I am thinking of you and it means the world to me.  I simply cannot take note of 11:11 without thinking of “my guy”.  Many, many months ago we took note of the date 11/11/11 and decided it would be our special date day!

We shipped our children off to their other parents and we were on our road trip adventure! We decided to visit the flagship Yankee Candle store in Deerfield, Ma.  I must admit, my heart started to race as we approached exit 24.  I practically skipped into the store.  The World’s Greatest Husband was a good sport and smelled a few candles as we started to make our way through.  Ten minutes in… the store lost power.  We found a place to sit in the dark wait it out.  20 minutes later we were told to leave our merchandise and make our way to the exit.  A transformer down the road was on fire, it would be awhile.  I thought I might cry.

On our way to Yankee we saw a billboard for Kringle Candle.  Because my husband didn’t quite know what to do with me and my disappointment he suggested we check out the place on the billboard.  Readers, do you know Kringle Candle?  During the twenty minute drive I was convinced that it was going to be a road side stand that would never live up to the shopping experience I had just been forced to leave. 
To my delight, Kringle Candle is now my favorite shopping experience and I encourage you to go visit and experience it for yourself! 

Kringle Candle is a new candle company founded by the son of the Yankee Candle founder.  Let’s just say, those Kittredge men know their product, pay attention to details and make women like me, sing Tra La,La,La!  A  clean, bright, shopping complex complete with candle store, Christmas Barn, old fashioned toy store and The World’s Greatest Husband’s favorite, a chocolate shop was truly more than I could have ever imagined.  A beautiful new restaurant The Farm Table opened for lunch that very day! The entire property is sort of like Disney World for mom’s who love pretty things!

So what impressed me at Kringle Candle?  The list is long…… I love pretty, thoughtful things and the store displays were beautiful.   As a marketing junkie, I thought the store merchandising seriously made me want to move in.  In addition they do a fabulous job of telling their story and explaining their product line both through their employees, signage and publications.  As you know, I take note of customer care.  Kringle Candle has it down pat!  The staff was attentive and ready and willing to help, friendly and kind.
 
I must admit, I didn’t know about this company, which surprises me.  I am usually up on products like this.  I didn’t want to go crazy on candles because honestly, I didn’t know if I would be pleased with the product.   I am particular about my candles.  I should have simply trusted my gut as I shopped because………The product is fabulous and I should have known by the beautiful store and excellent service.  It’s simply top notch.

With our five kids and busy life, I am not sure when I will get back to visit but - seriously, it is a day trip worth having.  If you can’t jump in the car, visit the website to learn about Kringle Candle

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Snowtober

My goodness what a Halloween!  We weren't sure if we should quickly revamp our costumes to be snow plow drivers, skiers and snowmen.  We thought of making a snowman and replacing the head with our jack-o-lantern only to follow up that fun with sledding in costume.  We can already say "It's a crazy winter"  and it's only November first!  My, oh my!  You've heard me say it before and you will here me say it again.... I hate winter...... but by far, my mother had the best comment yet...... when complaining about the weather she said it best......."You got to get out of there!"

I will say a prayer that power is restored quickly to all those without.
and sending belated good birthday wishes, prayers and love to my Dad.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today:
1. grocery shopping done.  And this time, I had to actually go to the grocery store and go aisle by aisle.  No online order.  It was torture for me, but the job is done.
2. Talked to my old friend.  Thank god - it had been too long.
3. Halloween candy is bought.  We don't get any trick or treaters but of course we have to have the candy!
4. Received the latest Stampin up catalog and that is BIG fun for me.
5. Um yeah, not a great thing but worth a mention....... we are getting snow tomorrow.... yes, before Halloween snowfall.  I HATE WINTER!

Two posts in one week....that is an improvement.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Slacker

So I've been a blogging slacker.  I can list all my excuses... five kids, work, planning a party, teaching paper classes but really it just sounds lame-o.  I think of my blogging friends often but posting lately has been a BIG challenge.  I am sorry, plain and simple, sorry.

On Saturday I took my cub scout bowling and he LOVED it!  It was fun to watch him get soooo into it.  He proudly announced, "Mom, this is way better than the wii."   Love it!

Ok, I'll try to be better about posting.... really, I'll try.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Five for Friday

Ok, I almost forgot how to log in.
It's been awhile.

Five great things about today.
1. shopping this morning.
2. beautiful forecast for the weekend.
3. Extra long weekend.
4. Paper Mom workshop at two libraries next week!
5. Cub scouts tonight but no art, no ccd over the holiday weekend.... that  means we can sleep in!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being a good catholic


I’ll be the first to admit, we often skip church in the summer.  With no Sunday school June through August, it is far too easy to come up with excuses not to go.  This past week our back to Sunday school routine kicked in and it was good to be with our regular “church peeps.”  There is something comforting about going to church every week and sitting among “the regulars.”  I only know a handful of names of the people that sit by us and I’ve been going to this church, this mass, for 5 years now.  But I can tell you this….

I love watching the two school age boys hold hands and hug their mom during mass.  They make my heart sing and I feel their love. 

I take note of the couple that sits behind us, sometimes they come together and sometimes don’t.  I’ve said a few prayers for them because I just have a feeling they are having a hard time these days. 

I’ve watched the newborn baby off to our left grow up each and every week for the last four years.  I feel the pride of her mom and dad as I have watched them emerge as parents each week.  I suspect I will be seeing another baby bump soon.

I am currently taking note of the older woman who is losing clumps of her hair each week.  I know this isn’t a good sign.  I saw her in the grocery store and introduced myself not so long ago.  I am happy when her daughters come to mass with her.

I take note of the couples who hold hands, who sing loud, who kiss during the sign of peace.  I take note of attendance and of new faces and I think the woman who sits in front of us has wonderful handbags and another has the most amazing coats, jackets and accessories.

Honestly, I feel God’s good work in that special space each week. I don’t know many of the names of those around me but they are people that I know, I care about and I pray for. Like a good catholic, I always nod and wave at fellow church goers when seen at the store.   I’ve thought about these people a lot since Sunday.  Seeing them once again felt good but my thoughts have taken me to a place that says --- maybe I need to do more, maybe I should know not only the face and the name but also the heart of those around me.  Yes, I am sure God is happy that I am praying for them and with them each week but does he want me to do more? That’s why I am setting out on a mission to meet my neighbors in the pew! I just may call it. . . Operation - Who are Pew - or maybe Mission - Happy to Meet Pew.  No matter what it’s called, it is about being a better person, being kind and helping those who come into my life, even if that simply means sitting a few feet from me for one hour each week.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Michael's Craft Store in Town

Yesterday when I woke up, I told the World's Greatest Husband, "It sort of feels like Christmas"
The new Michael's store had it's grand opening yesterday and I admit, I was one of those crazy crafty Diva's that was counting down the days.  So here is my top ten take on the new store.

1.  It does seem a bit smaller than other Michael's stores but the paper section is all I really paid attention to.
2.  The fact that Michael's is now only 10 minutes from my home simply makes me smile and feel warm, cozy and ready for any last minute project or idea.
3. The staff was friendly and attentive. I was "pre-cashed out"  It was strange.  Two sales people stood side by side while I was in line, unpacked my basket, bagged my items and handed me a gift card to simply hand to the cashier to pay.
4. The prize wheel for the grand opening made my palms sweat with anticipation.  I won an oversized leaf punch.  Totally worth the 10 minutes I had to wait to play and paper peeps..... they are giving away prizes all week.
5. I met some other paper crafters in front of the Martha Stewart section and it made me realize that paper crafters are a fun bunch.  I wanted to invite them over for coffee.  I did invite them to my paper workshop at the Library in October, I have no shame.
6. I forgot my coupons which is really out of character for me.  I think I was simply in a crafters haze as I left the house.
7. Did I mention that this store is only ten minutes - back roads - from my house?
8. I bought glue guns for $1.49  A Great Bargain! and yes, I bought paper too.
9. Do you think it is weird if I go everyday this week?  You do have to enter the raffle daily.
10. I forgot my coupons so that means.... I still have coupons..... I am headed back tomorrow.  I think those cashiers will be calling me by name in no time.

Happy crafting
PS - My Monday Loves . . . is . . .  Michael's Craft Store

Friday, September 16, 2011

five for Friday

Five great things about today...

Fall is here.  The World's Greatest Husband informed me. . . "It's all down hill from here" He knows I HATE winter. When I say HATE, I mean dislike passionately.  It's coming.

Date night and boy do I need it.  This has been a long and stressful week. My husband left me a greeting card on the kitchen counter, that should clue you in to the level of stress.... I need greeting cards to help me through.

Met some wonderful librarians yesterday.  Paper Mom took her show on the road  inviting some new friends to learn paper crafting with me.  It was a quick intro only 12 minutes, I was a bit more jumbled than usual but I think my passion came through. Because those of you who know me well, know - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE paper!

The new Michael's store opens this weekend.  I hate to admit this - but it sort of feels like Christmas to me.  I simply cannot wait to go check out this new store.

Ran into a friend at the bank this morning.  Always nice to see a familiar, smiling face to chat it up with.

Another busy weekend ahead, enjoy the sunshine !

Friday, September 9, 2011

Five for Friday

It's Five for Friday - - -
Some days it is easier to come up with five great things than other days -
Here is my best shot for today.

1. I have the day off and this time with no kids. I missed my free Fridays all summer long.
2. We made it through the first week of school.  Now let's see how we do on the spelling test.
3. The Backus Hospital Women's Center is a warm and inviting.  The whole setting put my racing heart at ease this morning.
4. Softball double header in the morning. Thank god the fall schedule is less demanding - haha - only two games.
5. Cub scouts kicks off tonight!

and there you have it. . .

Have a good weekend paper peeps.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friendship


Sometimes we are lucky enough to find that one girlfriend that changes everything.    The kind where you don’t have to explain the players, you can finish each other sentences, you’ve done the ugly cry and meant it, you’ve laughed until you’ve peed a little and time passing doesn’t seem to really matter.  I’ve had lots of friends throughout the course of my life, the neighborly kind, the good girlfriend kind, the our kids go to school together variety… but no one compares to my one FRIEND who ironically, I call “Friend” no seriously we call each other “Friend”, we sign cards “Friend” and buy each other corny trinkets that say “Friend” we use the word as if it were our name.

We met in college.  Our friendship has seen us through…
Marriage, birth, miscarriage, divorce, death, illness, parent issues, parent health issues, re-marriage, step-kids, jobs, buying and selling houses, travel and shopping and that’s just the stuff after our crazy college days.    We’ve been through thick and thin.  We’ve loved each other unconditionally since the day we met, rarely having a disagreement.

This week the phone rang and it was another big life moment for us. This time, not the good kind.  Rather, the he kind that makes you feel like your heart is breaking.  The kind where fear makes you stop dead in your tracks, sit back on the bed and simply have a little cry together.    Tears that are mixed in with a few giggles that angels have sent because you don’t know what else to do. 

So now we start another chapter where our friendship and prayers are needed in the biggest way.  Sometimes that isn’t easy as we are 65 minutes from one another.  I promise to do my best.
Ultimately, I know things are going to be ok, they have to be.

Friend, are you reading this?  Things are going to be ok. 

First day of Middle School

My new middle schooler got off the bus and continued to talk, talk, talk, for an hour and 15 minutes.  She hardly took a breath.  It was exciting to witness her positive energy, anticipation and hope for 6th grade.  At bedtime she said, "Mom, it's sort of weird that you didn't ask me a lot of questions about 6th grade.

Enough said.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paper Crafting Fun

Wanted to share some photos of my paper crafting fun.
My sister in law affectionately calls these my zen paper balls.  This one is extra large.

Garlands, garlands, garlands!

Large paper poppies, this one makes people OOoo and AAaahhh

these are still my favorite

A new paper wreath.

Pretty little roses perfect for packages

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Loves

In honor of the hurricane. . .  Monday loves. . . .
the FLASHLIGHT....
sending love to all those peeps who are still in the dark after Irene.

A family that cleans up after a hurricane together. . .

Stays together . . .

We survived Hurricane Irene and right now I have five little helpers (well two of them are taller than me) cleaning up the yard.  Yesterday while on twitter,  I read (remarriageworks.com) that a blended family truly blends after seven - twelve years... Yesterday watching our five kids age 7-16 dress up in our clothes and pretend to be us....( it truly was hysterical) and now watching them clean the yard, I know in my heart that it is all these little life experiences that make "the blender" switch to high speed.   We are four years into our blended family cake mix, we've certainly cracked open the eggs, added the flour, mixed, stirred, and blended a bit.  I don't think we are in the oven yet and we certainly haven't licked the bowl... but we are working on a beautiful seven layer yum yum.

Hope you weathered the storm and are enjoying the final days of summer.  Tomorrow is a school night and that brings me great joy!
Have a good day!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School

Yes, it is back to school for sure...
Back and forth to mom's house twice already today and
one school uniform meltdown with only 180 more to go!
I just love the last week of August!
I am having back to school anxiety and sleepless nights.  I look at our calendar for the month of September and I am not sure how we will get through the month ahead.  I seriously need to find those big girl panties and buck up.

PS - and the World's Greatest Husband typed up a Disaster Emergency Plan for our Family and bought six cases of water.  If I can get through our little blended family life with 5 kids I can certainly handle a hurricane, right?  I did request that he not take an extra shift at the hospital, just incase I can't....






Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sweet Boy

I am always amazed by how much my cub scout can talk .... and talk .... and talk ..... he has the gift of gab.  All that talking before bedtime seemed to wind the poor little guy up.  He could not fall asleep.  I suggested he simply give up for the day and take a few deep breaths and say a little prayer to God.  He agreed, was silent for a few moments and then announced.  "Yeah, I told him I'll see him in the morning."  

Mass is at 10:30.    I love that kid.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today...
1.  Hard to believe but the girls start Fall Softball tomorrow....
2. We got our bus schedules... yippee!
3.  The World's Greatest Husband is going chaperone Band Camp.
4. Reading the Enormous Egg (again) to my cub scout.  Full circle moment.  I loved that book when Mrs. Baigert read it out loud in 3rd grade.
5.  I am really hoping for some energy... this house is a disaster.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Monday Love,  Loves, Loves….
Take Five

The candy bar… Take 5
A distant cousin to the Hershey bar… The take five bar is amazing… sometimes hard to find and not one of Hershey’s biggest sellers but seriously delicious!  I love this treat and you will too! Next time you are standing in line eyeing the candy below the register contemplate trying this little yum-yum.  And then you can THANK ME…
Pretzels, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter and milk chocolate… Yes, you read that right.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today...

1.  The sleeping beauties are still asleep.  I am so glad I didn't let my daughter talk me into the larger version of this party.  I kept the limit to three and thank god! I would have had to alert the neighbors if it were the 10 like she wanted. 

2. Glee 3D movie today.  Although this is a treat for my daughter... I hate to admit it... I am looking forward to it too!

3. Our koo-koo for Cocoa puffs family reunites this weekend.  Yipee, it's been too long!  Our summer is winding down. 

4. I saw a school bus, I bought some uniform pants.... it's time peeps, it's time!

5. Yummo - fruit salad for breakfast... makes me think of that Wiggles song from years ago... Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy.  (You know the one!)

Five good things for me... how about you?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sixth Grade Besties...

Giggles, silliness, and sixth grade sleepover fun, that is the stuff that dreams are made of – well not exactly for the mother chaperoning.  It’s not looking good for a restful night.

My daughter (age 11) is hosting her first “real” slumber party and it is non-stop laughter.  Three besties have joined her for night swimming, birthday cupcakes that nearly killed me (a post for another day), presents, goodie bags, music, dancing and movies.  I am not sure there is a bed time… but hey, you only turn 11 once.

It has been one of those nights that has made my heart sing and ache all at the same time. 
It’s hard to believe we are entering sixth grade, middle school heartache, headache and hopefully opportunity are all just days away.  This little summer bonding session is the stuff that memories are made of.  I remember being in sixth grade and giggling over Rick Springfield  and although earlier today my daughter did sing Jessie’s Girl while listening to the new Glee CD,  the tween conversation of today is about Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez… the names and faces have changed, the gossip and giggles remain the same.  Tonight is sort of a right of passage for my daughter… I see the childhood play slowly being replaced by pop music, movies, truth or dare and tween culture.   It’s bitter sweet for me… saying goodbye to  Polly Pockets, Barbie and My 
Little Pony only to replace it with a cell phone, Tiger Beat magazine and Bath and Body Works products simply seems too much to handle right now. 

And a new chapter begins….

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

L.Y.M.T.Y.K

My kids and his kids have been on vacation with their other parents for what seems like an eternity.  My two are on their way right now... only 45 minutes and I will be showering them with kisses.  We all reunite on Saturday.  Funny how a little down time and distance makes you want to kiss them from head to toe with the biggest heart ever!  I can't wait until they pull into the driveway.

Yesterday while gushing about our kids to a girlfriend we both commented on the sweet things our kids (sometimes) say.  How we hang on to those moments and savor every syllable.  When my cub scout left on his trip he yelled, "This is harder than I thought"  I yelled back, "What is harder than you thought?"  he replied, "leaving you!"  All week I have thought of that phrase over and over.... My daughter texted me "I am in the same state as you" when her plane landed.... again a moment which makes me love them more than they know.  Which in our family we affectionately label as ----- L.Y.M.T.Y.K.  I believe my mom started signing cards like that when I was in college.... now I do if for my kids....  it certainly captures the role of parent.... they have no idea how much love and care we have for them - they know our love, it's comfortable, they appreciate our love but until you have your own little buggers.... you just don't know how deep it flows, how unconditional it is and how it's a love affair that is refueled with little statements like "This is harder than I thought."


Love You More Than You Know.....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Loves

Monday Loves....
I love, love, love WET PENS.... yes, you read that right... wet pens.  pens where the ink flows like a river strong, bold and all inky-dinky-doo!

I love the Uniball Vision Elite pen only in bold.  Sometimes I can use an entire pen in a week!  It writes in a thick line (although it comes in a micro flow as well)  it doesn't smudge, never spotty or light... it is my favorite power pen!  And BONUS when I visited the website I learned the ink comes in a few fun colors like pink, purple and orange!  I am headed to staples to stock up!  Oooo la la! Love, Love, Love it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Paper Peeps.... It's been too long.  I am so sorry that my blogging love has been lacking.  I think of you and this blog more than you know... finding the time to organize, type and share has been a challenge.  but here I am here to unveil the new lovely look.  What do you think? like the new digs?  I can't quite adequately explain how a bloggy re-do feels.  I was very anxious, I know what it feels like to click and not see the "look" and "feel" that you have come to know.  I was also nervous that I was going to lose information and totally screw up the format.  I am not a techie.  Honestly, if I knew how easy peasy it was to do... I would have done this long ago.  Yippee!  A new Paper Mom look!  
Leelou blogs makes wonderful designs.  Check out the site and grab some Leelou goodness!  It will make your heart sing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today....

  1. It's summer for sure! Heat, Heat, Heat! Our pool was 88 degrees yesterday. So glad we aren't shoveling snow off a roof!
  2. My husband surprised me with a newspaper and D&D Med Hazelnut with cream and 2 sweet and lows. Ordering coffee stresses him out because he doesn't drink it and always orders it wrong... I take it with one sweet and low but it was quite a treat, I am not complaining, he is the World's Greatest!
  3. The World's Greatest Husband got transfered - no more 60 minute stressful commute to the office.  We can see his office from our bedroom bathroom window when the leaves fall off the trees.  THIS IS GOOD NEWS!!! I sort of feel freedom in my own little world, knowing he is now in town to help if needed.
  4. Tonight is date night to celebrate.
  5. Two more weeks until our kid free week.  I love them all but a week with just my husband, a clean house and going out to eat sounds like a break that I deserve.  

Paper Peeps, stay cool, enjoy the weekend and check back.... 
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yellow, I love yellow

It's been some time since I participated in Mama Kat's writing workshop prompts... YIPPPEE today is the day.  Mama Kat asked for a Yellow inspired post…..it got me thinking… Yellow makes me happy.  Yellow is my daughter’s favorite color.  I don’t think you can look at yellow and not feel it’s energy… it illustrates…. happiness.  But after a bit of thinking…here is my favorite thought about yellow…….

Remember when you were little and would hold a yellow buttercup flower under your little brother’s chin and ask, “Do you like butter?”
and he would say “no”
and you would say “yes, you do your chin is yellow”
 and then he would argue “no I don’t”
and you would argue “yes, you do” 
and you would go back and forth and he would check your chin and you would check his chin and sooner or later your mom would yell STOP PlAYING THAT GAME.....
ya, now that I am a mother I am thankful that we don't have buttercups in our yard.
I love YELLOW....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MONDAY LOVES

Monday love, loves, loves - Wednesday Style....
Okay, so I am a little late with my Monday Loves post.  Life is busy here.  I thought summer would slow our big family down but I guess I must come to terms with the fact that until all five have completed college we will just be BUSY. Our cub scout is only seven and our oldest is sixteen so yes, busy is a way of living here in our happy home. I'll take a nap in 2022 or so...


So my Monday Loves.... Sunflowers.  I love the country charm of the sunflower, the oversized wonder.  I planted some last year and found joy in watching that bloom grow and grow.  I was proud of my plants and nurtured them each day. The sunflower represents big love, and they are yellow, is there any other color that projects happiness more than yellow? 


Our area celebrates sunflowers in a special way.  Buttonwood Farms a local dairy farm in Griswold plants thousands and thousands of them and sells bouquets to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Families stop by the now famous ice cream landmark to enjoy a cone (which are yummo!) and take photos in front of the field of dreams.  If you live in Connecticut you will want to add this summer event to your busy calendar.  The event runs from July 23-31st.  Help a great cause, see some beautiful blossoms, indulge in some sweet treats and breathe in the joy of your children all in one stop.  Does it get any better?  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Loves

Take an awesome break.
It's Monday Loves.....
and I think I have something that is universally loved on a hot summer day....

a SLURPEE! 
Today you can grab a freebie if you visit any participating 7-eleven!

With my five kids... this is a treat and a bargain. 
 visit  www.7-eleven.com for details
 
(As always - this post provides no perk to me... just spreading the love.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Loves...

My first Monday Loves Post...
It's Monday and I love, love, love these three things....


 Downy Wrinkle Releaser..


I call it the poor man's iron.  This stuff is MAGIC!  Simply spray, smooth, dry and wear.  I don't have free samples for my readers but I encourage you to visit http://www.downywrinklereleaser.com/ for a $1.00 off coupon .  I recently told a friend about this magic and it dawned on me.... as working women juggling it all.... we should all know about this little gem of a time saver.  


Next... Monday Love, Love, Love
I love, love, love my Lia Sophia Bel Aire necklace.  It is the perfect addition to any everyday or simple elegant look.  I wear mine all the time!  Check out my favorite Lia Sophia Advisor and friend... to learn more about this and other fabulous pieces http://www.liasophia.us/sites/crusan?T=1309812613949


My third and final Monday love, love, love is... 
 
I am a huge fan of ShopRite of Norwich online grocery shopping!  It is easy peasy to use and the staff make it  right and good every time.  I shop at all hours, on line from my laptop, I've sent my order with special instructions, requests and comments.  They have called before completing an order just to confirm a questionable item, they have called after an order to make sure it was correct.  They take my coupons, load the car and absolutely will not accept tips, I've tried!! I zip into the special parking spots... I zip out, it all takes 10 minutes max!  With five kids, I completely eliminate the "Can I get this?"  or "Will you buy this" whining that used to happen with each trip.  I also am not tempted to buy those fancy dancy display items that seem to lure people like me in.  This process keeps me on track and within budget.  Try it. 

Whew, that is my first Monday Love Post and it sure feels like a commercial... but honest to God, there is no gain on my part... just the joy of sharing a few things that may make my life a little sweeter.  



Monday Loves...

Five for Friday posts are always my heaviest blog traffic day.  I admit that it tickles my heart to see so many of you stopping by to see my list of “Five great things about today”.  The entire post has become a weekly gratitude journal.  When writing my Five for Friday posts I have a chance to pause and find those five things that I bring me peace, joy, appreciation and love.  And in my crazy hectic blended family life, let’s be honest…sometimes that is as simple as everyone went to bed on time without tears.  I appreciate your time and thank you for visiting….

In an effort to build another day that Paper Mom readers are eager to stop over and enjoy… I am unveiling my Monday Loves Posts…. I am picking Monday with the hope that being off on Sunday will allow me the opportunity to actually commit to the post and quite honestly  I believe we all need a little extra LOVE on Monday when we are returning to the grind of the week ahead.  

SO…
Monday Loves…. Will feature items, thoughts, other blogs, books, basically stuff that you and I can’t live without ----things as my girl Gayle King would say…. I love, love, love.  It is sort of my personal version of “Oprah’s favorite things” without the free giveaways or endorsements.   So, what do you think? Do you  need a little Monday Love?
Stay tuned… It is Monday after all…..

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Did you know?

Did you know?
If you are in a hurry and accidently get deodorant on your clothing there is a simple way to get it off without a hassle? 
I am about to change your life… 
right now with this easy peasy tip…
PANTY HOSE!!! 
Just rub pantyhose on the spot and it lifts right off the fabric…. No water, no scrubbing, no changing your outfit….  Think of me next time you use this trick… and you will use this trick…. 
Guaranteed.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Five for Friday

Five for Friday
Five great things about today
1. Looong weekend!
2. Birthday weekend for one of our ten year olds.
3. life is energy.... Love that Oprah- watching the final episode AGAIN! It's my life pep talk
4. Typing on a new iPad!
5.girls lost last night- means we have a little bit of our life back. They worked hard!!!

Check back soon. More posts coming

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five for Friday

Life is moving way too fast... 
Seriously... 
I am not sure which end is up! Softball all-stars (The World's Greatest Husband is the the coach - the commitment is HUGE) has thrown me into a funk along with end of school, work, chores, and our yard which I am fondly renaming "The Jungle."
Yes, I am feeling a little wacky...
But, here are five great things about today...

  1. First game of all-stars today! If we win - we play tomorrow too!
  2. Our middle schoolers are at orientation right now! Big Kids!!
  3. I only need to fold 13 more sheets of paper to complete another beautiful oversized paper ball.  (now that makes me happy!!! and it has become my 10PM therapy)
  4. Party tomorrow
  5. Party Sunday (in the jungle with the softball team)
That's all for now paper peeps.... let's say a prayer for the state workers who are on the verge of layoffs... I may be adding clickable advertising on this blog if our family gets one.... fingers crossed..... 

Birthday love to my beautiful god son... his birthday week and his Auntie Paper Mom turns out to be a dud! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Graduation Love

With all this rain and indoor graduation ceremonies.... I am thinking of all the graduates from blended families....Why, you ask?
Well, with graduation or any other big school event bad weather often moves ceremonial things indoors and with moving things indoors there is often a restriction on the number of tickets allowed for each family.  Sometimes that ticket threshold is two... so of course biological parents would be the proper ticket holders.  Sometimes that number increases and that may mean three maybe four... with blended families that means a power struggle for tickets...... step mo's - grandparents - step grandpo's you get the picture..It can be a big ol' mess - quick.  I remember when we first jumped into the blender... having to "be on call" with the main office waiting for the word for an extra ticket as Mom, Dad and Mom's parents enjoyed a promotion ceremony.  It worked out in the end, I was "granted" access but what a stressor.  So today I congratulate the graduates and send special paper love to the step-mos and step-dads who may have to be patient while waiting for their seat at the ceremony.  Step parenting isn't always glamorous but it does have it's rewards.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PApEr CrAzY

I've been busy making paper curly strip wreaths, paper garlands, paper balls and paper tab wreaths... oh so much fun!!! They don't call me Paper Mom for nothing....




Saturday, June 11, 2011

thunderstorms...

A few days ago we weathered some pretty scary thunder showers.  My son and I watched it all at 2am cuddled together jumping with every flash and rumble.  The next day at dinner the World’s Greatest Husband announces that thunderstorms were expected through the night.  To our surprise our little cub scout replies “Oh Great, I guess I’ll wear two pairs of underwear tonight”  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five for Friday

Five great things about today...
1. The heat broke.
2. Pool party weekend.
3. Scrimmage, game, lesson, all-star try outs and game....
4. Night with my husband.
5. Going to plant some flowers... right now....

Paper Peeps, thanks for reading.  I am looking forward to a change in my schedule for the summer, that may mean more posts... no promises.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Being a Better Person

Are you familiar with Ted.com? It is this amazing network of informative videos that make you want to learn, explore and be a better person.  The World's Greatest Husband turned me on to this site and now I have the app on my phone and regularly visit while on my laptop.  Take a look... here is the latest one that "spoke" to me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This one had me rolling!

This card made me laugh so hard in the aisle of Target... my kids were  embarrassed.  This card captures my life and Paper Peeps... it's stationery... my fave - from one of my favorite vendors... www.naughtybettyinc.com  - The brutal truth all prettied up.... Peeps, this makes Paper Mom so HAPPY! Visit Target to see the entire line.

Dinner at the Hospital

Sometimes you think you are doing a good thing and it simply backfires.  Today our 14 year old left school to get an x-ray.  Her aches and pains are A-OK, she’s fine.  After her doctor’s appointment with her mother, She met me at the office for a few hours instead of returning to school.  When she called the World’s Greatest Husband to update him on our plan she asked if we could go eat dinner at the hospital and swim for the first time this season.  The World’s Greatest Husband took a last minute shift at the hospital and agreed to a quick swim and dinner in the hospital all in an effort to make our dinner routine a bit easier as I was on my own.  When she hung up she said to me “today is the best day ever!” 
See… a good thing… happiness, love and joy!
The pool went ok, it was freezing.  I played lifeguard with a sweatshirt and blankets, they splashed.
Dinner with the family – well that is where the story falls apart. Have you ever taken five kids to a cafeteria?  Let’s just say, it will be awhile until they allow us back.  After a quick lecture on "this is where dad works, behave." We enter the hospital cafeteria, it is busy, the nurses, the doctors, they know the routine, they are in and they are out… five kids with choices to make… not so fast. We were a big road block in the small space and the regulars didn’t appreciate it.  It got even better when the World’s Greatest Husband left his wallet in the car and I had no purse and you get the drift…. So the road block of 5 kids and one wife turns into a serious obstruction in a small space.  We wait, trays in hand directing zillions to “go ahead, I am waiting for my husband” all with one impatient teenager who was in a hurry to get to his girlfriend at the school concert.  He said “we only have 5 minutes until I have to be there” at least ten times while we waited for my husband. To add some giggles.... One child ordered quiche, like that was going to happen!  The same child couldn’t figure out how to dispense the plastic forks and wanted a slice of pizza once the line was closed.  7 straws and lots of napkins later, the World’s Greatest Husband looks at me and asks, “Is it Sunday?”  The World’s Greatest Husband and I have a saying…. “It must be Sunday”   --You see, Sunday is our “cranky” day.  The day that all five kids matched with the anticipation of the week ahead, make us feel a little weak in the knees.  So although it is only Thursday our little fun trip to make dinner easy was way more work than cooking for seven on a school night.  My husband just text me telling me he has five patients.... my response?  I have five kids! I have no sympathy tonight.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oprah Beautiful Goodbye & the Ugly Cry

Ok, so many of my many Paper Peeps have been asking….
Paper Mom, where have you been the week Oprah has her final show, no comment, no posts?
Peeps… Here is the breakdown on the past seven days…
  • 60 hour work week for a woman who works part time
  • A kid with two pink eyes and one sinus infection
  • Four softball games
  • One all day softball clinic
  • One DARE graduation for two kids
  • One school concert with two kids
  • One husband who worked until 9:30 on Thursday
  • Three visits from the world’s greatest child care provider
  • Opened one green swimming pool
  • One fundraising event with 180 people and a 14 hour work day
  • One surprise birthday party
  • And three Oprah episodes that made me do the “ugly cry”

It’s been a week to remember…
As I sat with my pad of paper taking notes as Oprah shared her love letter to me, I was in awe of so many important lessons.  It was sort of like a graduation speech, sending us into the world now that we have graduated from our daily dose of Oprah support.  I hope I am ready….
I’ll sign off with this – and trust me, we will be talking about this one….
Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.  Oprah has that sign in her makeup room, I am making a sign for my office right now…

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oprah Beautiful Goodbye



It's hard to believe our Oprah shows are down to the single digits.  I have thought about hosting an Oprah farewell season party.  If there is anybody on this planet that would host a toast in honor of Oprah, it would be me, right?  (Remember my vlog post inviting her to my 40th birthday?) Well, honestly, I am feeling so sad about her departure, I am not sure I can bring myself to celebrate with even my besties.  Over the past 25 years I've become a woman, wife, mom, and professional all while watching and learning from Oprah.  I feel her send off is very personal moment. I think the only person I could really savor the moment with is my mother and seeing she is in Florida and I am in Connecticut - I think we will just chat about it on the phone.  I am not ruling out a celebration in honor of  of all things "O"  but I think I will spend May 25th with my box of tissues, enjoying the moment, savoring my final Oprah minutes on my favorite comfy chair with a handful of salty pretzels and a glass of diet pepsi, just like I did after school with my mom for years and years -- oh so many years ago. On May 25th I'll be thinking of Gayle, Steadman, Oprah and Sheri with a loving and thankful heart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five for Friday

Here are five great things about today:
1. First grade concert this afternoon.
2. Four baseball games today.
3. Painted my toenails
4. Booked a Paperly party.
5. Sun is shining and it's pay day.


Have a good weekend Paper Peeps!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A letter from your Husband...

I can't adequately describe how this letter made me feel.  But I will be printing it and keeping copies in my desk, in my night stand and in my car.... just sayin... 


My favorite Step-Mo's, Shwanda and the Stepmother's Tool Box led me to this little gem.  They are my rock stars of the Step-Mo world.   If you need a Step-Mo boost - read on... print.... and save forever.


Click here for the letter

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