Friday, June 24, 2011

2 weeks there...2 weeks back!


We traveled to San Antonio, Texas this SEAWORLD...for vacation. Along the way, we stopped in Oklahoma City for 3 days and spent time with my Great Aunt Reatha and Uncle Fred AND we stopped in Dallas and spent 3 days with Dustin's cousin and his family. Both stops were excellent and we got to see a lot of fun things. We loved Seaworld! On our way home from San Antonio we stopped for one more night in Dallas and then we went on to Tulsa where my family dropped me off at the Usborne Books convention.
I love vacations! Good to go and always happy to return to my kitchen...if it's clean...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time flies when you're makin' art!

It's been awhile since my last post!
The end of May is near...we have preschool graduation, a #6 birthday party for R and R and a much anticipated vacation in June to see Shamu the Whale in San Antonio, TX! All of this plus our regular household duties are keeping us very, VERY busy!
I just had to laugh while walking past my kitchen table today:

...yup, this is what it looks like! Let me point out some of my favorite parts...the egg cartons on the table have a "rainbow" garden of flowers and vegetables growing in them...compliments of Preschool...there is a bowl with two suckers that haven't been finished yet...truly, it takes more than a few licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop! Next, a pack of clay, beads, watercolor paints, suncatchers to be painted yet...a basket full of flowers that were picked off of a neighbors bush yesterday, paperwork that needs to be looked at, my purse and of course, our lunch plates...I'm sure there is more...but let's move on to the window that is smeared with dog snot from Tripper knocking with his nose to get in...ew.
Remember, I said I was walking PAST the table! I was on my way outside to enjoy 70 degrees of perfect weather and heading straight for my bike...the kids already were outside waiting for me. I could have cleaned off the table and gotten all frustrated with my/our mess...but I am the one who helped create it...I created two children who love and appreciate art and who breathe it everyday of their lives.
So, past I went to see the best artwork that I have ever made:

The other stuff can wait...and yes, my kitchen is still a mess!

Friday, April 22, 2011


We landed into a not so unique situation for us...multiple treat dates on the calendar!
When you are the mother of multiples, this often happens and you just become used to the fact that you will be bringing the snack to preschool twice in the same week. What was new for us this year was that now I work at the preschool too and had volunteered to bring snack for my class as well...Leaving us THREE days to come up with a fun Easter snack!
Reese was up to bat first...she brought STRING CHEESE and CARROT PATCHES...little dixie cups with ranch dressing, carrots and we stuck parsley on the top of the carrots to make the baby carrots look like they were growing...then we put each one into a little-bitty clay pot just for fun!

Next, it was my turn! I can tell you with full on experience that CUPCAKES are NOT a good thing for a 3 year old preschool snack...MESS! So, what to bring...carrots and dip...they eat too fast to make it cute like Reese's so we just ate them straight...but they need something fun too...Well, I lucked out and found exactly 13 of these fun CARROT snack wrappers in my wrapping paper container over the weekend...I had completely forgotten about them. I stuffed them full of APPLE JACK cereal, ANNIES Bunny Crackers and Jelly Beans...perfect! Although, I discovered something...3 year olds aren't a big fan of jellybeans...weirdos!
On Thursday, Rumor was up to bat and we decided to continue with the carrot theme! Rumor helped me mix carrot cake for cupcakes...because after all, she is 5 and she and her friends can handle cupcakes! We topped the baby cakes with cream cheese frosting and a slice of orange candy and some green frosting to look like a carrot! I think the kids enjoyed them...except Rumor who was too full from the zucchini bread that the SPARK girls (nutritional team) brought to eat her own cupcakes! We brought hers home. 

We ended the school week with a visit from a special friend...OREO the bunny. It's our friend Carter's bunny and she is so cute and fluffy...and the funniest part of this special visitor this week...the creature who is said to like carrots the best...HATES carrots and they make her sick! Oreo can't eat carrots! Funny Bunny!

Well, as you can imagine, after 3 days of prepping snacks, my KITCHEN IS A MESS...but my kiddos are happy and looking forward to the Holiday Weekend of Easter! I am too...Ham Sandwiches and Carrot Soup are on the menu. Here's wishing you and yours a Happy Easter! Don't forget Jesus amongst all the chocolate bunnies this weekend. He died so that we could live...what a great gift indeed! Carrots and other garden vegetables in the Spring...remind me of this gift...the gift of new life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coupons and Quilts

I am constantly trying to improve how I run our household. I have officially been the CEO of our household for 6+ years when I decided to become a stay at home mom. My CFO checked over our finances and gave me the go ahead...just in time for me to be on bedrest--pregnant with our twins. When this decision was made, we knew that a budget would have to be adhered to and that some changes would have to be made. We were kissing the life of "DINKS" goodbye...Dual Income No Kids...and saying hello to double formula, double diapers, double laundry...double hugs and kisses!
It's been a great 6 years and I am glad we made this decision. So, back to the improvements...I have always tried to plan meals and make grocery lists...I have not always been good about using coupons...silly's an easy way to save money and yet requires a lot of effort from me. Well, I have recently begun to see the light on coupons...looking for ways to make our money stretch farther. So, I thought I would post a photo of my most recent trip to Fareway:
(10 jars of Ragu for $10 *when using $5 coupon)
(2 for 5 cereal...but I also had $1 coupons)
(4 boxes of cereal for $10 *when using $4 I stacked a .75 cent and $1 coupon on top)
(Tide stain remover tabs $3 off coupon)
(2 boxes of cereal bars for $5 plus I had a $1 coupon)
Now, I am not one of those crazy coupon ladies on TLC's new show...however, I did save $16.75 while purchasing products that we use every week...and that is not too shabby! Now to just find a place for it all!

My next topic is a mushy girls came home from school last week and they needed to bring a "Q" item for sharing. They both we have any quilts? LOTS I replied...haven't they ever seen them? Well of course they hadn't...they are in the guest room which currently is a pit...well, was currently a pit! I cleaned it last week. It wasn't dirty...just full of my book inventory and garage sale items that I was gathering and marking. BUT's beautiful and you can see my Grandma Phelps quilts, which I store in a cabinet in the guest room. I love this's so homey and welcoming. Which is exactly how I want people to feel when they come over to my house. 
My dishes may not always be done...but there's plenty of cereal for everyone and the bed is come on by for a visit! Consider this an invitation from the CEO of Ridenour Household Inc.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Spring definitly came in like a roaring lion in the night...there was a HUGE BOOM of thunder/lightning so loud that it shook our house and set off our smoke detectors around 5 a.m. this morning! I love storms but WOW!
We had a busy but excellent week. Our celebration of St. Patrick's Day began with a journey to Chicago with our friends (Tom and Cara) for a weekend and ended with a Leprechaun turning all of our food green! Our girls love St. Patrick's Day! They were even lucky enough to have their snack days for preschool during this exciting!
Reese and Rumor reached another milestone in their lives during the month of March. They attended Kindergarten Round Up at both St. John's school and East Elementary. They are so excited to start Kindergarten...and I am excited for them...but a little sad as my babies are no longer babies :( However, they are smart little girls who are more than ready to head on to the next chapter in their lives...even if mom is not!
For the next month, I will be Spring Cleaning and preparing items for an annual garage sale. This year's sale will be even better as it WON'T be at our house! Instead, I will be bringing our items over to my friends home in Waterloo for their neighborhood garage sale. Reese and Rumor have grown a lot taller in the past year so there are a ton of clothes to tag and bag.

Yesterday we broke out the Easter/Spring decorations after cleaning up the house. It makes me smile to take down the snowmen and put up the bunnies! I was feeling a bit ambitious and even cleaned the dog snot off of our front and back doors!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


An impromptu celebration...that would do Seuss proud!
This is what we had today...all day long I didn't know whether I was coming or going...I even forgot that my girls had preschool...and worst of all, I forgot it was Dr. Seuss' birthday...gasp! My favorite children's author...for shame! It wasn't til my own personal Thing 1 and Thing 2 walked out of the preschool with their Cat in the Hat hats that I realized I had missed an opportunity to celebrate. 
I thought quickly...what to do...ah, yes! Visit our local library and look for Seuss books. We have many but there seems to be a billion gazillion million of them!!! Boy was that trip worth it! We found a GREEN EGGS AND HAM COOKBOOK! Bazinga! We quickly checked that little gem out and headed over to the local grocer for some goods and an hour later we were feasting on a fantastic meal of GREEN EGGS AND HAM, PINK YINK INK DRINK, CAT AND THE HAT TOPPLED HATS (my own creation) and the GRINCHES   SLAW (another personal creation)! 
Reese and Rumor set the table with some of their favorite Seuss books and we laughed and giggled and enjoyed the fantastical meal from a mystical land that can only be known as green eggs and ham!

I hope you find some time in your life this week to throw your loved ones an impromptu party...Upcoming things to celebrate: 

Clean Out the Fridge Day...ewww!
Mardi Gras
St. Patrick's Day
International Waffle Day 
and don't forget April Fools!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Phew! What a busy week we have had! Not as much cleaning and organizing this week...but that's okay, we still accomplished a lot!
More importantly than work--we shared some cookies and milk and some talking time...a cookie break if you will. Reese and Rumor love going to the local coffee shop for a treat. When their tummies are full, we head to the back of the shop and sit around the chalkboard table and draw some of our favorite creatures. It's good to have time together, with nothing else to disturb us...just time for us to chat.

We will be having a tea party this
summer using all of these items!

So, here are some home projects that were completed...
First, the red dresser! Inside this dresser is a party waiting to happen! This is where I keep all my party supplies, cake plates, tablecloths, cloth napkins and all that other stuff that we use for special occasions. In 2010, I made a resolution to use these items more often...not to just wait for the occasional special occasion. This year, I will continue that resolution. My dresser is not entirely cleaned out yet but here are some items that I plan to use in 2011:
INSIDE the dresser!

Corn on the cob!
These items might just have
to stay in the middle of my table!

Well, I need to get back to preparing for my bookfair...that's one way to clean up the house...remove 25 boxes of books from it!!! Hey, by the way, my kitchen is still a mess...