Friday, May 29, 2009

Great story...

First of all, thank you for the comments about my summer camp:-) It was so much fun and we have many special memories from those days. I'm off to Las Vegas for a few days but before I go, I have to tell you about a book I just read.

You may have heard of the movie that is at Blockbuster...The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It is never available so I bought the book and my girls and I read it. OH MY GOSH...what a great little book. Here is a little about the story...

"Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences."

This is a part of history we can never forget and this is one special little book. Read it, watch the movie...or both. You won't be sorry you did:-)




Camp Mommy...


It's that time of year again...SUMMERTIME!!!!!!!





Do you send your kids to summer camp? I don't remember this being such a big thing when I was growing up but here in south Florida, it seems EVERYONE sends their kids to camp. I mean, when my girls were younger, there was big-time pressure to sign up ASAP for camps, unfortunately most of it coming from moms who thought this was "enriching"and you were holding your child back if you didn't do this. I'm talking all-summer, all-day camps and not just for parents who work. (For those parents, summer camps must be a blessed gift compared to trying to figure out childcare while kids are out of school.) And I understand those sports camps for kids who excel at a sport or want to learn one so they take a few weeks of soccer camp, volleyball camp or dance camp. My daughter is doing this, in fact. I think camps are a fun, great way to make new friends, learn something new... I went away to summer church camp for a week. I guess I t hink that's different than what's out there today. I just know that I had friends who worked and needed summer camp for their kids and couldn't get them in because they were full of kids who didn't really need summer long camps but their parents didn't want to be bothered. I always thought that was kind of sad and unfair to those who needed this. Summer camp at home is fun and easy. We don't do this now that my girls are older but we don't need to. It was when they were young that they loved these special days.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61cShbIFAXL.jpg

Anyway, signing up for camps for the summer was not an option for me and with the money situation being so tight for families, this may not be an option for a lot of parents, either.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I am one of those weird parents who LOVE having their kids around and couldn't wait for school to get out. We had a huge party after school on the last day with a bounce house, friends and all that to celebrate the end of school. YAY!!!!!


I love not having a strict schedule, waking up, making a lunch, rushing out the door... My girls loved a break from that, too.

So...what to do, what to do... Then we decided to have a summer camp at home and called it "Camp Mommy". This was my answer to summer camp for my girls and started this when they were 5 and 3 years old. This left plenty of time to have playdates, go to the park, just chill out...typical lazy summer stuff. But it also let them feel they were in summer camp and they LOVED it. Sometimes their friends would join us for a day of camp. Don't get me wrong, this was not me planning like crazy to occupy my kids every minute of every day. They were not raised to expect to be entertained so this was more like a weekly or bi-weekly treat for them. Yep, I do have a problem with demanding kids and parents who entertain. Have a lemonade stand or something, right? (I'm sorry...just had to throw that in. It is so annoyingly common today:-)

Okay, on to Camp Mommy...



Camp was usually one day a week but sometimes we would do it more, like three mornings a week. If we were going to the beach or the library, it was a field trip and they wore their camp mommy shirts, which we made the first day of camp by spraying paint on a shirt or tie-dying...it varied. Each week , for the full day camp we had a theme. I'm going to list as many as I can think of but I know there were more. Basically, any activity you can think of can be a theme. Sometimes, just doing something you don't have time for in the school year is all they need. We had "porch picnic" day where we had our meals on a blanket on the porch and their friends came to join us:-)


~Teddy Bear Day: we went for a Teddy Bear picnic, did teddy bear crafts, watched episodes of Little Bear, had teddy bear pancakes for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, crafts...

~Arts & Crafts day: Painting, bead jewelry, cereal necklaces, shell art, sidewalk chalk... We got rolls of white paper and colored a table cloth, made a huge paper mural for the playroom...

~Christmas in July...our favorite: We played Christmas music and watched our favorite Christmas shows. We cut out Christmas cookies, baked and frosted them. Maybe we love this because it made us feel "cool" in the steamy Florida summers.

~Jammies Day/Slumber Parties. Sometimes it was an actual sleepover and sometimes we would pretend to have one during the day. We did spa stuff, made popcorn, played twister...

Camping Day: We made forts, naps in sleeping bags, cooked out, made smores...

Princess or Barbie Day: We made crowns, tutu's, wands...played dress-up, had tea parties. You see how it is stuff they might do anyway but they thought they were at "camp":-)

Carnival Day: dressed like clowns/ silly people, face painting, carnival games, water balloons, games for their friends, sprinkler fun...

Anyway, you get the idea. Very silly and tons of fun! They were happy making bubbles, play doh or cleaning counters with shaving cream.

We ended every week with a theme dinner/Friday Family Night. We decorated, had themed food and watched a movie in Mommy and Daddy's bed, followed by a sleepover in our room. Some of the themes for this were luau's, mexican fiestas, French/Paris theme, Italian night, 50's Night, Groovy 60's/70's and disco, mermaid, polka dot parties or color themes.

At the end of the summer, we went on a back to school road trip but more about that in August. Guess that's about it for my trip down memory lane. I hope it gave those of you looking for ideas a bit of inspiration. My 14 year old finished school yesterday and is now officially a high-schooler. Trust me when I say it is well-worth it to do those silly, special things while you can:-)
Hugs, Suzanne




Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday...

...to my sweet, clumsy, gentle, HUGE boy:-)



"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. he will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
Author Unknown


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mommy, I want to be a "Bannarina"...

...my then 3 year old once told me

"Do you mean a ballerina??? "No, I mean a bannarina. I want to dance and twirl on my tippy toes and wear tutu's". Hmmm...I wonder if she knew what she was asking of a grown-up tomboy who thought I should probably have boys so they could be groomed to be the next quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Instead, I had a little princess who was more likely to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader...or a ballerina. Well, flash forward eleven years and guess what I have...




...a real, live "bannarina"! She has truly worked hard and already accomplished many goals, one of which was to dance on pointe, so maybe she does know what she wants after all:-) My other daughter has said since she was 4 that she wants to be a doctor...neonatologist or orthopedic surgeon, specifically. She keeps telling me she will buy a big house on Barefoot Beach and build a little pink cottage on it for me to live in while I help her with her children. I like the sound of that one, for sure!!! Anyway, I know I've written about the whole dance thing a few times (and I can almost promise these will not be the last photos...hahaha) but I wanted to say that maybe we should all listen better to those little voices when they talk about their dreams. If it is at all possible to chase after them, my advice would be to go for it. Even if this is as far as Taylor ever goes, she will always look back and say that she went after her very first little girl dream until it became a big girl reality:-) I saw a quote once when my girls were small that said something like this (I wish I could remember all of it)...


Just because you know that a balloon will eventually pop, drift off or lose it's air, doesn't mean you should deny your child the sheer joy of holding their very own bright balloon.


So listen to their dreams...and buy them a shiny balloon!:-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Think You're Beautiful...

Last night my daughter danced in a recital at a local high school and I saw this quote painted brightly on the wall in the ladies room. I can only imagine the high school girls checking their hair and make-up between classes and seeing this. It made me smile..."You are what you think you are...I think you're beautiful!"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Time for Twirling Ballerinas...


Today is Taylor's ballet recital...the tutu's are done (whew) the flowers are ready and I would say "Break a Leg"...but somehow I don't think you say that to a dancer before she goes on stage:-) I'm nervous but she is calm...as it should be! Happy Recital Day, my ballerina. We'll be watching every pirouette with pride and joy. XOXOXO

Friday, May 15, 2009

What I Learned This Week...


This week I learned...

1. I do not like making travel plans, searching for the best deals...and whatever else goes with it. I had a fabulous travel agent in the past who planned our trips (like we travel all the time anyway) down to the littlest detail. She is awesome and I am tired of doing it myself so Lisa...I will be calling you today! Lucky you:-)

2. Summer afternoon rain showers in Florida are so nice...such a welcoming break from the hot sun...unless you have DirectTV and the satellite goes out AND you have a dog...a BIG dog...that still needs to go out and who thinks that every puddle was sent just for him to jump in and drink!

3. It doesn't matter how good the yard sale buy is if you have to spend more money after you get it just to make it work. Case in point...a decorator friend I know is going out of business in this crappy economy and sold off all her stuff. I was lucky to get a sofa, chair and table from the Tommy Bahama line that sold for over $3,000 for only $350. (I knew my husband would love it if it was from the TB line...and yes, I'm blaming him:-) Anyway, it was in a model home and is beautiful. The catch...I need to get cushions made...and custom cushions ain't cheap, just in case you were wondering. Sooooo...my other neighbor is having a HUGE yard sale Sat. and I might put it out there...or maybe not. Stay tuned...

4. I remembered that I have a new "comfort" food to add to the list...strawberries on toast. Just imagine strawberry shortcake for breakfast! Seriously, don't give me any of that "it would be too sweet" stuff, okay? I wouldn't believe you anyway!:-)

5. I watched the sunset at the beach this weekend and took about 25 pictures, even though I have about 3,000 already...because how can you not see the sun rise or set in a beautiful sky and not be in awe???

6. As I sit in a house full of tutu's today, I think that every little girl should have one tutu in her lifetime, whether she is a ballerina or not. Just once, she should feel like the tiny dancer...and then go out and collect bugs if she wants...maybe wearing her tutu:-)

7. That I LOVE browsing through the home and accessory aisles at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Somebody should do a challenge on decorating a home from these aisles. I found the CUTEST bicycle basket in the WORLD for only $7.99. Look at this...it was MADE for my bike, right?
8. That I will have more time on my hands next week since my guy Danny Gokey got voted off American Idol. Boo, hiss!!!!!!! The first time EVER my pick wasn't in the finals...and I am absolutely a poor enough sport to not watch ONE MINUTE of the final because i don't want the other two. Sorry...we all have our favorites...and yes, I am a big baby when my favorite team, contestant or whatever doesn't win! hahaha...sad but true:-)

9. I just learned that my memory is even worse than I thought. When I started this post, I had 2 other things to add to my list...and I can't remember them.
Happy Friday!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Top Ten Things I Said I Would NEVER Do...

Okay, so here it is Tuesday and my mind is spinning between trying to make cute tutu's to help save my daughter's old ballet school with a fund raiser to thinking about some fabulous way to decorate the refreshment and ticket tables at the recital this weekend (suggestions welcome...I'm thinking Martha here:-) Anyway, I was thinking about a few things recently that I said I would never do and thought I'd write about that. Think about it in your own life and have a laugh at yourself. Maybe soon I'll write about the 10 things I said I would do...and did. Hope there are ten!!! hahaha

1. I wear my pj's to drive my girls to school (I did) and I walk my dogs early in the morning in those pj's too. Of course, they are probably cuter than any clothes I own. Always a cute tank top and some sort of pink bottoms...maybe with hearts, polka dots...although today it was a pink nightshirt with a gingerbread girl dressed in pink and the words "Gingy's Gingerbread Gals". I wish I could say it was my daughter's but no such luck. Oh well...I'll brighten up this boring neighborhood!!!

2. I have short hair. Seriously short hair since I went for my latest "Meg Ryan" tousled cut. Hey, I get my dogs a summer cut so this is my summer cut:-) Besides, it makes it easy to wear a baseball cap if I'm having a bad hair day...but with a short messy cut, who knows it's a bad hair day????? I swore my long, layered blond "Charlie's Angel/Mall hair" would be around forever but I did move on when I saw Natasha Richardson in The Parent Trap 10 years ago or so. She was soooo pretty!

3. I am crafty. No, not sneaky-crafty but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my glue gun!!!!

4. I read magazines like Country Living, Victoria and Cottage Living...seriously. I mean, what happened to Glamour??? (I do sneak a peek at In Style once in awhile, though. ) And I love the shabby, comfy look in furniture rather than the sleek black and white mod look I was planning on living with the rest of my life...back in the day:-)

5. I love pink, wear pink and live in a pink house (well, berry-pink in the sunlight:-). How did this happen? I think it was when I gave birth to Ballerina Barbie and my life became all about pink. Now if it's pink, girly, glitzy...bring it on!

6. I drink coffee. NO, wait a minute...I should probably say that i LIVE for my coffee. And if I wake up in the morning to find someone used the last of my coconut cream to have an afternoon iced coffee the day before...look out! NOT a good way to start the day.

7. I cook...and read cookbooks...and watch the Food Channel religiously. AND...I love veggies...even okra, which if cooked right (unrecognizable) gets a bad rap:-)

8. I need to wear glasses or my contacts at all times. I know my mom wasn't right when she told me not to "strain" my eyes by reading in the dark all those years...was she??? Yet if I walk by my girls and they are reading in dim light...BAM!!! The nearest light goes on in the brightest setting...and yes, they complain about it like I did:-)

9. I actually wear sunscreen, sometimes sit in the shade and am a fan of fake tans.
Yep...the sun worshipping goddess finally smartened up about ten years ago. Too late to avoid paying for those days of baking in cooking oil on the roof...but I can prevent any further damage and am actually fighting the good fight (I think) against wrinkles, so that's a plus, at least. I do consider myself an expert on the fake tan (thank you very much) as I have used them ALL...going back to the original QT and Sudden Tan. Remember those? My favorite today is L'Oreal Sublime Bronze. Not stinky, beautiful color, tinted so it's easy to apply, dries quick and doesn't make me feel creepy/ slimy. Go for it! (And always use face/body lotion with sunscreen.) I sound like my Grandma...smart lady:-) So if you see me with a golden tan, know that 98% of it is FAKE. (One time I even scrubbed with a white cloth on my leg to prove to my dermatologist. LOL)

10. I wear a beach cover-up at the beach. No, i NEED a beach cover-up. How did this happen? Wasn't I going to be prancing in a bikini my whole life, looking for shells, running down the beach? Please...that is not a pretty thought...or sight, trust me:-) Now I buy a suit...and that is painful enough...and a cute cover-up to go with it.

I leave you with a thought from one of my favorites...Yogi Berra. We should all look at life as simply as Yogi did. Smile...

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." Yogi Berra

Friday, May 8, 2009

Faith...

Thought for the Day...
"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith."

-- Margaret Shepard





Thursday, May 7, 2009

Girls just wanna have...

...a blog!!!!! Yep, I finally caved in and agreed to let my 2 girls have a blog. (heavily monitored by me, of course. Maybe they will let me be a guest writer, too??? Nah, probably not:-)www.twogroovychicks.blogspot.com

Anyway, if I say so myself, I have 2 awesome girls...the kind of girls you want your daughters to be friends with and your sons to date...except WE ARE NOT THERE YET!!! hahaha

They are your typical teens in some ways and not so typical in others. They get along great with other kids, have a busy life with many interests...but they are not really in to the whole teen drama scene. (Thank you!!!) This is probably why they are also very well liked by the adults they meet...and why they are interested in tearing themselves away from the TV and ipod to create a blog. I figure this is another way to practice their writing, their creativity, computer skills...minus the text lingo (YUK!) and they get to share stuff that happens in their day which is probably a whole lot more interesting than mine and I write about that so...:-)

Anyway, I promised them I would write about their cute blog as it is just getting started and they want/need visitors, followers or whatever. (They would love to find some blogs to follow, too) I told them it takes time...but patience is not a family trait:-) They only have a few posts but will keep working on it. Since they do most of the cooking these days, I am going to let them be the official family recipe bloggers since I hate typing in recipes. Taylor's awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe is posted now and soon Jordie will post her recipe for pineapple sorbet...which I doubted would turn out and was delicious! (See..that is why they cook more than me:-) I'm sure they'll cover books, movies, music, fashion, crafting, relationships and other cool things, as well as Taylor's tales from dance camp and Jordie's summer sports.

If any of you moms out there have daughters who are getting interested in this or can pass the word, send them to visit the two groovy chicks at their blog, Peace, Love and Cupcakes! I promise you will never have to worry about content and this could be a really cool thing for our girls to do, too.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I love my blog friends...

...and one of these days, I'm going to get around to writing about why I love to blog. But not today...for now I want to shout about my new awards!!!!! Yay!!! This makes my week because I know that even though I posted some lame little message, somebody, somewhere read it and passed an award on to me:-) The Blogger Buddy Award came from JenJen at GottaLoveMom. She is just precious and if you visit her blog, you'll see what I mean. She has 4 beautiful children that she clearly adores and this shows all the way through her blog. I hope someone other than me has realized what a gifted writer AND photographer she is and gives her a book deal...and I will be first in line to buy it:-) Thanks JenJen!

I would like to pass this award on to these friends:
1. Connie @ Tales From the Fridge
2. Carie @ The Life of Carie
3. Lydia @ Lydia Oh Lydia
4. Ronda @ Stella's Mom
5. Peace, Love & Cupcakes

...and the other cool award I got was the Queen of Awe-Summm award from Helene at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs. (How cute is that?) Anyway, Helene never fails to lift my spirits when I read her blog. She is truly the "Awesummm" one! Thank you so much, Helene!

So here are the awe-summm rules:

1.List seven things that make you awe-summm.
2.Pass the award on to seven bloggers you love.
3.Tag those bloggers to let them know that they are now Queens of All Things Awe-Summm.
4.Don't forget to link to the queen that tagged you.
5.If you would like, copy the pic and put it on your sidebar so everyone knows that you're a queen.

7 Reasons why I am Awe-Summ...or at least I hope these make me Awe-summ.

1. I am raising 2 girls in a very mixed-up world...and they are truly awesome!!!

2. I love animals and would rescue every one if I could. (well, almost every one:-)

3. Being a dreamer, I encourage others with their dreams rather than rain all over them. Enough people do that!:-)

4. People say I am very creative. I think they exaggerate but...thank you:-)

5. I am very sensitive...so if you are hurting, I am too.

6. I am good at "nesting"...creating and decorating a warm home for my family.

7. While I can afford to shop at nice stores...and sometimes do...I love to shop at thrift stores and bring old (or should I say vintage) things back to life.

Well, that's it. I'm sure I'll read this and say I could have done better but at 2;45 in the morning (can't sleep) it's the best I have:-)

I am passing this on to my Awe-Summm buddy, Pink Martini. If you have not visited her blog, you're missing out so visit...and follow this very cool lady:-)

And I am also passing this on to my friends who have not yet received it. I know I have many new bloggers following me. Please, please, please know that you are truly awesome and I want you to have this award:-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Character...


It's been a busy day so not much time to take care of my blog. The girls have had huge projects for school...the kind they need their "advisor" for:-) Anyway, I came across a quote about character that I loved. It is from Bob Tebow, who is the father of Tim Tebow, Univ. of Florida quarterback and Heisman winner. They are a wonderful christian family and they homeschooled all 5 of their children who are all college graduates. It's a subject that has been on my mind so much lately and I found this quote particularly thoughtful. Hope you like it! (GO GATORS:-)

"You can be well-educated in the world's eyes and still be a sorry person. You can graduate with degrees and have no character. Character defines who you are."

Happy Friday!
P.S. There is just no way I could leave out this photo of my girl in her Tim Tebow jersey:-)



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