Crafty Tuesday

How about Birthday Tuesday instead? I did get some craftiness completed in time for a little one’s birthday – but it is missing some hardware so I can hang it up. It is not nearly impressive enough on the floor when it belongs suspended from the ceiling. It is on my list of things to do today – so I can show it next week for sure!

In the meantime, most of last week was filled with celebrating! In case you didn’t hear…a little someone turned five and even though I swore that we were keeping it low-key this year, it turned into a week-long adventure anyhow.

I love that the girls have birthdays during the school year so they get to celebrate with their friends. And I love living in California so that it is usually great weather for outdoor parties as well.

We started off the day with the requisite chalk card…


Yep. She’s five.


We had a special breakfast that Addie chose, pasta packed in her lunchbox (her favorite food) and we sent her off to school. Her teacher is adorable and makes each birthday very special for the kids, which is awesome. I got to go in and read Addie’s favorite book to the class (SkippyJon Jones) and then she got to pass out her treat for the kids.


We couldn’t do cupcakes because there are kids with nut allergies, an egg allergy, a gluten allergy, an oat allergy and a chicken allergy (chicken?! really??) in her class. Even with the ladybug lollipops we still had two kids that we had to do pencils for – they have dairy allergies and the lollys were made with milk chocolate. Aye.


She picked dinner (noodles again) and we made her some cupycakes.



Then Saturday came and it was her birthday again. Her “real birthday” as she called it. We called my niece (Happy 12th, Lexer!) to wish her Happy Birthday and Addie said, “Hey! Lexer’s birthday is on my birthday?” And herein lies the problem with the week-long celebrating – a little clueless on exactly when her birthday is.


Anyhow, we invited a few friends for a ladybug hunt. Couldn’t find bugcatchers (almost couldn’t find ladybugs!) so we made do with dollar spot buckets and I just covered them in fabric.


Seemed to work just fine.


Em and her friends – the “big girls” – all did the face painting for me. The big girls are all my Brownies, so I told them it was one of their good deeds by helping the little girls. (They are supposed to do 3 to get their Brownie pin re-pinned right-side up.) But I think they loved it even more than the little girls did.


And then we had ladybug cupcakes. Which I totally forgot to get a photo of. I didn’t take hardly any photos in fact – just trying to deal with kiddies. Thankfully J. picked up my camera and got a few. Like this one…


Oh…and this one!


And I love this one.


Thank God for J. (in so many more ways than one!)


All in all, another successful party, I think.

And then you were five.

My Dear Addison Rose,

Today you turn five. At one point this summer you wailed “Mama, all of my friends are already five! When can I be five? And can I still go to kindergarten?” You have waited so very long for this day.


But for me? I think I just blinked and…poof! Five years gone in an instant.

I must say that you have used the last five years and grown into an amazing girl. You can be stubborn and very strong-willed, yet you are so incredibly sweet and caring. You love kitties, your sister, and any sort of sugary concoction – you have your Mama’s sweet tooth, for sure. At any given moment you can be found singing your little heart out. Songs you know, songs you *think* you know, or songs you just made up. It doesn’t really matter, but you definitely like to sing.


And my oh goodness, your sense of humor – it cannot be beat. I think you are one of the funniest kids. Ever. Whether you are imitating the Three Stooges or spouting off your own observations on life, I don’t think one day has gone buy where you have not made me outright laugh.

But most of all, you brought balance to our family. You filled in the hole we didn’t even know we had, and you rounded out our edges perfectly. The last five years with you have been phenomenal. And I can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to us for the next five years.

Five Years of Addison from carrie voris on Vimeo.

I love you Addikins. Happy Birthday my big FIVE year old.


Here Kitty, Kitty…

Addie told me a few weeks ago that for her birthday all she wanted was “a real live kitty.”  Of course I promptly told her that she has a real live kitty, Tiger.

“But I want a kitty that is mine and will love me, Mama.”

She also told J. and I a few days later, “I just want a pet that won’t step on my feet!”  (Ha. I think she was alluding to Fritz, my parent’s puppy who seems to find little toes wherever he steps.)

And, in all fairness Tiger has never really been a fan of Addie. Smokey, despite being a bit cantankerous, seemed to tolerate Addie’s “loving” much more than Tiger ever has.

While we were at the “puppy/kitty store” (as Addie calls it) this morning they were in the middle of an adoption weekend and this little kitty needed a new home. Addie decided she would be a good birthday present and a kitty to love forever.


She looks an awful lot like a mini-Tiger, doesn’t she? She is  a very, VERY sweet and affectionate cat.  And so far seems very tolerant of Addie’s attempts to pick her up and love her.


She is hanging out in the bathroom until she gets acquainted with Tiger, who has been nowhere to be found this afternoon. It is almost as if she senses a disturbance in the force and has taken to hiding under a bed I’m sure.

But I think once Tiger meets new kitty she will likely see her charm and grow to like her, too.


It is Friday. Finally.


Well, Addie’s “before-school-morning-shenanigans” are definitely getting better. Yesterday and today we had a much easier time at school. She also told me this morning, “I like school now, Mama! I made a friend.” Of course when I asked her friend’s name she said, “Mmmm…I dunno? I don’t call her name.”

Okay, then. I’m hoping that the three-day weekend won’t mess with our progress too badly.


Mmmm…three-day weekend.

A few other things I’m happy for on this fine Friday:

-After being in NYC all week, Daddy comes home to us today.
-Generous neighbors and the use of their pool this weekend. (Which looks to be the hottest weekend of the year!)
-Pumpkin scones have returned to Starbucks.
-A fresh new haircut. (ADORE it, Diane…thanks!)
-A clean house.
-Getting projects off of my plate.
-New curtains.
-A great workout.
-Beach possibilities.
-Did I mention Daddy coming home?


Yeah, we are really excited about that one. Hope you all have a great and relaxing weekend, too.


A Rocky and Rough Start…

I can’t lie.

The first week of school has been a bit rough.

We were all so excited and couldn’t wait for school to start. Remember just a mere week ago – all dressed up in our new clothes with our shiny, new backpacks and lunchboxes, sitting on the steps, counting down the minutes til it was finally time to go to school?

Every single morning since that first morning, has been a constant battle. A struggle. Addie does not want to go to school. The pleading started when I was putting her to bed last Wednesday. “I don’t wanna go to school tomorrow, Mama.”

And it continues every morning. “Do I have to go to school today?” “Can you stay at school with me?” “Can it be a short day at school today?”

“I just don’t wanna go to school.”

It’s breaking my heart. More so than the thought of initially sending her off to school did. Her teacher suggested that maybe it was just too fun at home with Mama? Ha. She also said that once she gets to school, after she goes in and sits on the rug, she is fine. She is quiet, but there is no crying.

Quiet? Addison?!

So we are struggling a little bit with kindergarten, which is a very new challenge for us that we never faced with Emma Grace. A few more weeks and I think we will all have it figured out. Plus next week (on Ad’s birthday!) I’m going to start volunteering in her classroom, so I am hoping that will help – not hinder – our little problem.

Emma, of course, loves her class. Loves her teacher. Loves to go to school. So thankfully we don’t have any issues there.

We have however been having some serious ATTITUDE problems around here the last few weeks with both girls. Some of it is just getting back into a routine, and getting used to the long days again (or getting used to long days period in Addie’s case), but some of it was due to our very lax discipline around here all summer long, too.

So we had a family meeting over the weekend and instituted a chore chart with a poker chip reward system. (And also we made a weekly menu so that I don’t have to start the day off hearing, “I don’t want that in my lunch!” or “I don’t know what I want for breakfast.” They helped make the menu, so no complaints! I’ll update more on this when we see how it is working.)


But the chore/behavior chart with poker chip reward system? It is genius. I wish I could take credit for it, but I read about a similar tactic that Swistle was implementing and kind of stole her idea and adapted it to our situation.


The girls get a white chip for every chore they complete. I have listed five that I expect them to do every day, and then have a separate list of extra chores they can help me with like unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry or scooping cat poop if they want to get extra chips. They can also get a white chip for great manners, being kind to their sister – really whenever we see something good happening that we want to encourage.


Once they get five white chips, they can turn it in for a blue chip. One blue chip can be turned in for 1/2 hour of tv or 1/2 hour of computer time.

Aha!  There it is. What motivates my girls? TV and computer time.

But, I’m telling you – whatever works. And it is working! And the threat of taking their chips away…that is priceless. I’m not sure how long this is going to last, but we’ll see.

Now how can I work this chip system in and bribe Addie into liking school?

School’s In Session

And now we have a super second-grader….


And a kickin’ kindergartener….


Although they were not feeling very cooperative this morning…


At least not cooperative at the SAME time…


Emma looks to me like she is heading off to fourth grade! She looks so old.


And once she found her BFF, she pretty much charged into the classroom and never looked back.

DSC_0089-5 copy.jpg

Addie was a little more cautious and unsure. But she was happy to have her best friend to walk to school with.


And after signing in…


And a little quiet time in the classroom with Daddy…


She was all set and ready for school.

And Mama walked back home with Daddy with dry eyes.

Yes, you heard me! The world did not implode. The hours flew by and before I knew it – it was time to walk over and pick up both my girls from school.

A good first day for all of us.

Heavenly ~ Best Shot Monday


Saturday afternoon I was doing my homework, trying to learn the story I was to do for Sunday school the next day. Addie crept out into the dining room and didn’t say a word to me, not even asking what I was doing, and sat down and just started playing with the story pieces. After a bit, I had finished with my work, but Addie sat and played with hers for another 20 minutes. I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to sneak out to take a shot of her. She looked like an angel with the sunlight streaming through her hair, while sitting and quietly putting the pieces to the Good Shepherd puzzle together in her head.

Alright, you knew that I couldn’t just take one shot…a few others, too.





For more heavenly shots -


One for you, two for me ~ Best Shot Monday

I haven’t talked much about Ad’s school lately. And we actually have two days off this coming week for conferences. Yes, conferences…for preschool! What are they going to tell us? “Well, she doesn’t eat as much glue any more, she is progressing nicely?”

Maybe I’m feeling a little snarky because this week is the week. THE week we register her for kindergarten in the fall. I can hardly think of it without getting a giant lump in my throat.


But much like my hesitation at first in sending her to preschool, I know deep down that come fall it will be time for her to move along. She is so ready, and so very excited. While she might not have the…ah, shall we say school acumen that her older sister has, she shares the same excitement about going to school. And she still asks every single day, “On this day do I get to go to school?”


This past week was her 100th day of school so they were instructed to bring in 100 somethings. It could be anything. I was pulling for Cheerios, or stickers, but Emma pipes up with, “Hey! We should get jellybeans! That would be fun!”

And since our little “never-met-a-candy-she-doesn’t-like Sugar Bear” thought that she might get a few jellybeans on the side, she heartily agreed that it must be jellybeans.

So she counted out her 100 jellybeans…


And then had to recount them, since some of her piles seem to be down a few…


And then after about a dozen of the beans, she declared, “I don’t think I really like these jellybeans, Mama. They taste like crayons.”

How she knows what crayons taste like? We’ll never know. But I do know that I love these sweet cheeks with all my heart.


(And yes, there is a definite quota each day on how many times I need to kiss them.)