Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Dater-Roberts Christmas

Here is our Christmas in pictures:

Look how big these two are getting. They have become expert tree trimmers and Christmas decorators.  We also did this craft to help spice things up.  

All we did was take milk jugs. Cut holes in the back.  Use black and organge scrapbook paper for eyes and the mouth.  Then cut out an organge carrot nose.  We dabbed a little pink for the cheeks.  We put a string of Christmas lights inside for a nice glow.  This was a 10 minute project and would have looked great outside (we kept ours inside). 

These two were so proud of their Christmas craft!  I'm sure that we'll have to pack it up to use again next year.  In fact, we may keep it around for awhile. 

Santa arrived at our house. 

 Elliot plays Santa.

Phoebe's fairies ride the female reindeer Clarissa stuffie from the Rundolf Christmas special. I missed pictures of Grammie, Grampie, and Uncle Jay or the amazing sticky buns.  Oh well, there's always next year. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Elf (on the shelf)

This year Mommy did not get organized for advent calendars so we are hosting a Christmas elf this year. (The stuffed version of Elf on the Shelf.)  I hear that it's the surfire way to get your kids to behave before Christmas.  Our Elf has been named Dusty Fredrick Dater-Roberts and is just a tad bit mischevious.  I have to admit that I have been inspired by all the awesome postings on pinterest with elf mischief.  Here is what we have seen in the last three days:
Dusty reminding us to wear our underwear.  Such a helpful fellow. 
Dusty frosting cupcakes.  He is rather domestic too. 
Dusty taking a marshmellow bath.  Even an elf needs a little "me-time".  

Good luck with all of your Elfin adventures!

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Moment (or These Moments)

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the summer. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  (From Soulemama- see link in sidebar)

My this moment post has morphed into Thanksgiving pictures.  We ended up taking two beach walks and the pictures just ended up lovely. There is something about the light reflected off the water that makes beach pictures (especially this time of year) so crisp and beautiful.  The Maine beach in fall/winter is just my favorite. The beach is taken up by a few dog walkers and families taking a stroll.  It's quiet and calm.  When I was in high school, my mom and I used to go walk the beach in the evenings and I miss it so much.  It just makes me so happy.  The weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful and we almost didn't need jackets on Friday. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cookie Walk

My kids attend the world's best daycare.  We love it!  After incredible guidance and a rocking outdoor space, what I love the most is that we don't have to do those fundraisers where you have to beg your friends and relatives to buy items that they don't really want.  In particular, I hate it when you have to do fundraisers with kids who aren't old enough to even ask those friends and relatives.  So needless to say, we are one of those families that are very bad at fundraisers.

However, Woodside has a fantastic fundraiser.  It's called the Cookie Walk.  All the families make a few dozen cookies and bring them to the school.  Then, those same families buy a box for $5 that they get to fill with cookies. (I have also seen it done at craft fairs where other people buy a box.)  So, ultimately it's a donation but you end up with a box of cookies in the end. A win, win if you ask me!
We decided to make this super easy pretzel, chocolate, and M&M bites. These little yummers are easy enough. 
The funny thing is that this activity really highlighted Elliot and Phoebe's personality.  We walked into the door of their daycare and got boxes.  Elliot spent all of five minutes decorating his box, and then he ran off and filled his cookie box to the brim. El loves his sugary snacks.  Phoebe, however, spent about 20 minutes decorating her box and then slowly added cookies to her box asking what each one was.  Elliot was outside playing for most of the time while Phoebe was sitting at a table working. I love observing my kids and seeing how their personality comes through in the things that they do.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/11/11 at 11:11

I'd like to thank my students for reminding me that 11:11 on 11/11/11 happens twice a day.  Given the challenge (Elizabeth Kartchner) of taking a picture at this unique time, I only thought about the day. However, it happens I had a doctor's appoint at the time, and it seemed totally inappropriate to whip out my camera during an exam.  So, I made memebers of my craft group stay up (even though we were yawning) for the picture. Neither Jan or Rena could stay up long enough but Rosy, Alison, Ray, and I set the timer on my camera and made it work. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A little late but Happy Halloween

Here are Elliot and Phoebe this Halloween.  In some sort of fit of spacey-ness I did not bring my camera with me to our Halloween haunt.  I left it on the table.  However, Mimi was happy to snap a picture and send it along.  

Here are the lovelies- a storm trooper from Star Wars and a frog.  Yes, this is THE frog costume.   Look familiar?

We've had so many frogs in the house.  I think this may be the last wearing and that seems so, so sad.  That little frog costume has been worn over and over: in the summer, to grocery shopping trips, to school Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, and just for fun.  Over the last few years one of the frog costumes has been through through at least five different Halloweens. I worked for both little boy and girl, was warm enough to withstand cold New England weather, and being washed and dried in the machine. There is something so innocent about my children dressing up as a frog.  There is nothing provocative or violent about this costume.  It feels wholesome and right.  Somehow that costume just seems to symbolize my children's young childhood.  

I feel like we are turning a new page as Phoebe outgrows it.  I'm already missing the frog costume stage.  I am missing the time when my children were entirely my own; they were unaware of the larger world.  As Phoebe dresses up for dance class in her leotard and tutu, I feel her begin to look at herself as a girl compared to other girls. They are both changing before my eyes. 

I suppose everything has it's time and the frog costume has had its time.  I'll be sad to fold it up and put it in the box of outgrown clothes. 

Friday, October 14, 2011


Currently, I am:

Working on this for Elliot's bedroom.  I need to do the border and figure out the backing and then start quilting.  

And this.  I am participating in the Sew Mama Sew Christmas Tree Pants sew-along.  I have the materials cut but only only star block made.  I am supposed to have 7 done.  Oh well.  I'll get on it at some point. 
I am watching this one sleep because frankly, what could be cuter?  I mean really A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.!

AND I realized that if I mixed the two of these things together, you get a dense yummy muffin.  Really, 1 can of pumpkin and Trader Joe's gingerbread mix.  That's it.  I put it in muffin tins and baked for 35 minutes or so at 350 degrees.  They were dense but in a good way. 

Somewhere in this I also have been teaching.  I also threw out my back.  Ouchers.  I managed to get into the chiropractor (thank you Dr. Tobi) and pop some Aleve and I was back in business.  We also decorated for Halloween with the kids last week. 

This is our dining room and we normally have lots of kids pictures on the clothes line. The bats we made last year out of black construction paper, closeline clips, and shiny diamond-like embellishments for the glowy eyes.  Super easy.  We added the pumpkins to our decoration this year.  

I've had these wooden pumpkins for years but we just kept putting them back into the Halloween box.  This year the kids broke out the crayons and markers.  Such fun!  I love the mustache on this one. 

And what will we work on this week?  I'm too tired to think about it. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Moment (or These Moments)

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the summer. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  (From Soulemama- see link in sidebar) 
Using Alison's hair to have fun with braids. 

The Barundi Drummers did a performance for our school for our Teacher Workshop Day.  It was AMAZING!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kitty Snuggles

Phoebe and I are home today a bit under the weather.  Phoebe's coughs sound like a seal.  I had weird unwater dreams last night as a result.  We are home cuddling with the kitties, watching the Smurfs, playing words with friends, and writing all sorts of things that need to be written.  We'll be visiting the doctor soon who will hopefully give us some sort of sage advice to make Phebes feel better.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One hat, one girl, and one iphone

I never thought I would love my iphone as much as I do.  There are many, many reasons.... words with friends, pininterest, texting, banking on phone, gps, etc....  It's like this one little device can do just about everything.  One thing that suprised me the most is the incredible capability of the camera on the phone.  The pictures have impressive quality for a camera phone.  I am an obsessive picture taker and take about a photo a day. The iphone photos have given me the opportunity to catch little moments that I hadn't been able to get before because I wasn't willing to lug around a big, expensive camera in my car. (Although I have been known to carry my point and shoot in my purse.)

Today we were hanging out in the living room and Jan was working on a hat for a friend.  Phoebe could not resist trying it on and hamming it up.

Really, what could be cuter?  A kid in a hat with a mom who is willing to take pictures of funny faces; it's the best toy EVER!  That would be the iphone.... and the hat..... and the kid. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles

If I had to choose one of my all time favorite recipes it would have to be these pumpkin waffles.  They are OUT OF THIS WORLD.  However, finding the canned pumpkin has been a little hard.  I've had to buy organic for the last few months because that is all my store sells.  My advice is when you see pumpkin (unsweetened) in the story this holiday season, STOCK UP because we eat these waffles for dinner regularly. 


2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbls. baking powder
2 teas cinnamon
1 tea ginger
1/2 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea nutmeg
1/4 tea cloves
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk (I regularly use milk with 2 Tbls. vinegar when I don't have buttermilk)
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tea vanilla

* Heat waffle iron.
*Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside. 
* Wisk the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, butter, and vanilla together in another large bowl until smooth. 
* Add the wet to the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.  (Do not over mix.)
* Spray waffle iron with cooking spray for the first and about every third waffle or so. 
* Cook in the waffle iron. I often let mine go about a minute after the iron indicates that it is done for a bit crispier waffle. 
* Eat with maple syrup or whip cream.  YUMMY!

Really, my kids eat this up, even the one who swears that he doesn't eat a single vegetable.  Well, the joke is on him!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Storyland in Glen, NH is the most wonderful, kid-friendly amusement park ever.  As far as I'm concerned, we may never have to go to Disney. Adults can ride all the rides with the kids and there are wild spinners for Phoebe and gentle drive rides for Elliot.  And where do you have fun like this?

Just tell me that this isn't the most amazing picture?  The picture of the summer as far as I'm concerned!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Birthday

Miss Phoebe had her 4th birthday yesterday.  Right now she is obsessed by rainbows so naturally we had a rainbow party.  It was so much fun. She had a rainbow cake:

I used sour strips (or something like that) for the rainbows and then just had to pipe some clouds.  I also made the cake rainbow on the inside:
It was much easier than I thought it would be.  I used the directions from here.  It was definitely a crowd pleaser.

I also made Phoebe a 15 foot rainbow snake out of fabric.  I used all sorts of scraps in a rainbow of colors.  She's been dragging Snakey around the house ever since.  Yesterday we made him a rainbow collar and leash so he would be easier to drag.

I used the incredibly easy pattern  from:

Aardvark to Zebra: Complete Patterns and Instructions for Making Original and Unusual Stuffed Animals that you can find here in a used copy.  I pretty sure that it is no longer in print.  However, Snakey was pretty easy to make without a pattern.  

Phoebe was dying for a Rapunzel dress and since making one is a bit beyond my capabilities, it is good that someone got one for her:

And last of all, in an attempt to preserve our stash of tape, we got Phoebe her VERY OWN tape dispenser and three rolls of tape.  There is no luckier girl on the planet. 

And now we have a 4 year old and a 7 year old.  It gets easier, right?  

May there always be rainbows over your birthday parties!


Friday, August 26, 2011

This Moment

{this moment}

*** *** *** 
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the summer. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  (From Soulemama- see link in sidebar) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Lovin'

We have exactly one more week before summer ends and we have to go back to school- teaching for Jan and me, 1st grade for Elliot, and pre-school for Phoebe.  I isn't that we haven't done anything this summer for the lack of blog entries, it's that we've done SO much and I ran out of room on my computer for the pictures.  So here is a little highlight of our summer:
The lawn at Tanglewood waiting for Garrison Keeler.

The circus with cousin John and pink poodles!

Waiting for the fireworks

Phoebe as a Rainbow Princess (lots of rainbows this summer) at the Kennebunk Old Home Day.

The most amazing exhibit of Chilhuly glass at the MFA in Boston.

Visiting friends, dressing up, and making messes.

Going to the beach in Delaware with all our cousins.

Doing lots of karate and earning an orange belt.

Beginning dance class.

Cleaning up messes and making more.

Going to lots of plays like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and The Wizard of Oz at Prescott Park.

And those are only the things that I have pictures of.  Our summer has been so much more.  I don't really want it to end but I can feel the weather changing already.