Native Texan Livin': March 2015

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Chore Chart for Kids

I don't know about your kids, but mine are all about the dolla dolla bill yall!

Izzy wanted to make some money for chores so she & Bo came up with a list of things that she & Maggie could do.  They also decided what each chore would be worth & how often they'd need to be done in order to get paid for it.

Using my BFF Excel, I made the chore chart colorful & fun for the girls and then Bo printed them since his printer's better than mine.

Since I made them as 2 charts to 1 page, I cut them in half.  Then I found a legal pad of paper that was almost done & stole the cardboard piece off the back to use for the back of the chore chart.  I trimmed off what I needed from the bottom & left the rest.

A couple years ago, I made a gift for my daughter's teacher that required a special glue that would dry like that rubbery glue you find at the top of a notepad.  I still have the glue so I was happy I wasn't going to have to purchase more.

I ended up using binder clips to hold all the papers together.  You just paint on the glue where it needs to be & it's pretty thick so it'll mostly stay where you paint it on.  I was having a hard time getting under the small binder clips, but I only had 2 of the large ones.  I ended up just gluing where I could, moving the clip so I could get under it & then putting it right back.

I let the glue dry overnight & removed the binder clips the next morning.  The glue got a little stuck to the clips because I let the glue run down the front a bit, but once I peeled the clips off, it was fine.  Actually, the top sheet was kind of ugly from where the clips got stuck to it, so I tore that sheet off & then it was fine. :-)

We wanted to keep their chore chart on the fridge so the girls had easy access to it.  I found a pack of printable magnet sheets I already had, cut a piece to size & hot glued it on the back of the chore chart.

Completed chore chart is on the fridge & ready to be filled in. :-)

I literally spent ZERO DOLLARS on this project because I already had everything on hand.  (See, it pays to horde because you just never know when you'll need something!)  :-)

You can print your own blank copy by clicking HERE and don't forge to order that glue.  Fill in the blanks with what your kids can do & put 'em to work.  ;-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easter Bunny Banner (w/ free template download)

Easy DIY Bunny Banner

The bunnies have multiplied around here!  Not literally...just on paper!

It's 2 weeks until Easter & we finally got our last decoration put up.  I made this bunny banner using this downloadable template & it was SO EASY to complete.

I found this super cute paper at Hobby Lobby & it's just what I wanted!  It looks like newspaper print with different colored chevron & polka dots on them.
scrapbook paper for Easy DIY Bunny Banner

I printed 16 bunnies with the template on the backs of the paper.  I decided to print on the backs in case my cutting skills were lacking, then none of the outline would show on the bunnies. :-)  Luckily, I was able to stay in the lines (mostly)!

I punched the holes & my little helper helped me lace the ribbon.  I didn't tie any knots because the bunnies seemed to stay where they were supposed to be with the tension of the ribbon.
Easy DIY Bunny Banner

Bunny tails (aka - cotton balls) were glued on with normal Elmer's glue.
Easy DIY Bunny Banner

We hung the banner across the living room shelves & it was the perfect size.  Of course, we could've made it shorter but I had 16 bunnies so we were using 16 bunnies. :-)
Easy DIY Bunny Banner

Easy DIY Bunny Banner

Easy DIY Bunny Banner

Easy DIY Bunny Banner
Can you tell by my photo skills I have short people problems?! ;-)

Download printable - print on paper of your choice - cut out - punch holes for ribbon - 
lace the ribbon thru the holes - glue on the bunny tails - hang the banner - THAT IS IT!

This was seriously one of the easiest crafts we've ever done & I think the banner turned out really cute!  It's something that'll definitely "hop" out again next year. :-)

Enjoy & Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Break 2015

What a great Spring Break we had surrounded by family & friends!  Movies, sleepovers, play dates, lunch dates, dinners, birthday celebrations, swimming, history lessons & a fun game of BeanBoozled. (more on that at a different time)

Valerie & her boys came in Wednesday & we went to Pappasito's for dinner.  Table for 13 please! (Don't you know we travel in a herd?!?!)  The food was delicious, the Mariachi band was great & the kids had fun playing with their tortilla balls (while Maggie was eating hers!).

Thursday, we went down to Pleasure Pier in Galveston.  I'd never been there before & it was really fun!  Not surprising, Izzy didn't want to ride anything fast or semi-scary.  Also not surprising, Maggie did!

Friday, we went to the San Jacinto Monument & Battleship Texas.  I hadn't been there since I was a kid & it was really neat to walk around the Battleship & think about how people lived there, what they went through, etc.  After we got home, the kids enjoyed the hot hot tub and freezing pool.  We found 2 snakes doing backstrokes in the pool, so once Bo saved the kids from that, they were able to swim. :-) We also grilled burgers for dinner to celebrate Luke's 5th birthday.  Luke almost didn't make it for his cake since his eyes were swelling shut from exhaustion & chlorine, but he survived!
Yeah, we're that family that "holds" monuments & does "King of the Wooooorld!" :-)

Saturday evening, we went to my Aunt Jenny's house to celebrate her 60th birthday!  This lady right here is my mom's youngest sister & has always been like a 2nd mom to us 3 girls.  Valerie missed the party since she went back to Austin that morning, but we had a great time visiting & celebrating...and watching the fireworks her friends got for her.  (Not very often you see legit fireworks going off for a birthday party, never know what'll happen in the country!) ;-)

We had an amazing & busy week & the kids were NOT ready to go back to school today!  Can't blame them though...I wasn't ready to wake up at 5am today either!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The House That Built Me

Have you heard that song "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert?  Every time I hear it I think of my childhood home.

I was on my way home from having lunch with Bo on Monday & there was a huge traffic jam on the freeway so I took a different way home.  I was planning on going down a main road a little further down the road but decided to take a small detour on a different main road, past my childhood home, that would still get me where I needed to be.

I drove down that road & started heading "home" just as I'd done for 17 years.  My sisters & I will do that past the house we grew up in.  Is that weird?

The house looks exactly the same & I'm not sure why I'm surprised by that every time I see it.  I guess I expect a new paint color, less stucco or something, but every's the same.

The 1,400 sq/ft house that held all 5 of us, and was plenty

Where Valerie & I shared a room

Where Julie wrote "Lauren loves Leonard" in my closet because she thinks she's hilarious
(I still don't know who Leonard was!)

Sitting in the green velour chair in my mom's room, listening to Al Green 
while she put on her makeup

Where I helped my dad build fences

The blue room

The little lock on the bottom of the back sliding door that was practically impossible to 
twist, turn, pull up & out, all at the same time to unlock it

The wood paneling

The giant oak tree out front

My dad trying to pull a giant tree root out with a harness like a donkey

How just thinking about the words "Juicy Fruit" and "Carefree Gum" 
makes me go back in time...both yellow.

Julie's waterbed

Saloon doors from the kitchen to the dining room

Eventually closing in & sheetrocking that dining room to be Valerie's room 
(& I can still smell the drywall smell that seemed to linger)

The vaulted ceiling

Hanging our heads upside down off the couch & pretending our living room ceiling was a pool

The brown recliner

The green blanket

Isn't it funny the things that stick with you?  Even if I have a dream of being "home" with Bo & the kids, our house is the house I grew up in.

My sisters & I always think it would be so neat to go back & see the inside of the house again but I wonder if we would still feel the same about it.  As a kid everything to seems so big.  Your memories make that place what it is...or was.  You know what you  know & that's it.  You're eyes haven't been opened yet to know there's anything better than what you have.  And the funny thing is, my list above may not even be the same things that my sisters (or parents) would think of when they think of that house.

This was the place we all came home to when we were born, where we brought our friends, our boyfriends, had pinata filled backyard birthday parties, had fights, made up, talked on our swatch phones & made mix tapes from recordings off the radio.

This was the house that built me.

Do you have an old house that you drive by, or is it just us?  Is that creepy?  Just know that if your home used to be someone else's, someone might be driving by just to look...and have one last memory.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Walking Away With Dignity ~ Lessons From a 17 Year Old

Do you ever just stop & think, "wow, my kid is really amazing?"  

I do.

I may not verbalize it as much as I should, but I definitely think it.  

Last week we had our normal week with our regular goings, school, cheer, ballet, church meetings, etc.  One addition was Becca's cheer clinic for tryouts for next year.  
Her Senior year.  
Of course, this addition to the schedule doesn't really affect me too much since she drives herself, but when something new is happening, the dynamic changes.  
It's a bit more electric with excitement.

For 4 days she prepared for what she'd been doing the past 4 years.  Learn the cheer.  Learn the dance.  Be sharp.  Figure our your jump sequence.  Perfect your jumps.  Perfect your entrance.  Perfect the cheer.  Perfect the dance.  On the 5th day, Tryout.

I ended my week thinking this past weekend was going to be one of celebration.  
And in a way I guess it still was, simply because of the type of person my daughter is.  But after cheering for school since 8th grade, Becca didn't make the team for next year.  
Her Senior year.  

I was heartbroken.

Not for me, but because I figured she was going to be sad.  It's one of those moments as a parent where nothing you could have done would've made the results be any different.  
It was what it was.  
The only option for her as an incoming Senior was Varsity & the scores just weren't there.

Becca took the news like a champ.  She wasn't upset.  At all.  (or at least that she expressed)  She had been on the fence about trying out anyway, but in the end, 
decided to take the plunge.  She's excited to get a job, make some money, be in the stands for the football games & enjoy her Senior year to the fullest.

So now I delete the upcoming cheer to-do's from my calendar.  I give ourselves "a raise" for the cheer money that won't be spent.  
And I thank God for the wonderful gifts that come in the form of a 17 year old girl.
The night she found out she made 8th grade cheer!
8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NCA All-Star National Championship - Dallas 2015

This weekend we put a cap on our 2014/2015 TX RockStar cheer season at the NCA All-Star National Championship in Dallas!

As luck would have it, it decided to snow in Dallas & the roads were a mess which made getting there lots of fun. :-/  Then our windshield wiper froze (or broke) so that made it fun for Bo to drive.  We were getting updates from our friends about cars skidding all over the roads, so we decided to drive straight to the convention center instead of checking into the hotel.  We were worried we'd end up getting stuck at the hotel & not make in time for the competition because of the traffic.

Once we got the girls dropped off with the coaches, we had a lot of time to kill before they performed.  We took advantage of that time & went to the bar in the attached hotel!  Gotta have that parent bonding time!

The girls did amazing on Day 1.  After they competed, we went back to the hotel to finally check in & have a pizza party in the lobby!

On Day 2 of competition, we had breakfast at the hotel/mall next door that we were able to access from a covered breezeway.  Too chilly to be walking around outside!  After breakfast, a few of the girls went to Doryn's room to have an impromptu-party!

No time to waste!  After the party, we started getting ready to go.
Izzy --- ready to take the mat!

After the girls performed, we walked around for a bit & found a face painter & balloon maker.
Izzy got "Texas RockStars" on her cheek & Maggie was tranformed into the Real Hello Kitty to match her outfit!

At the awards ceremony...The competition was fierce & our girls did AMAZING!  They were up against some big names & they pulled out 4th out of 9th place in their division.  While they didn't make it into the "winner's circle" we were still super proud of how well they performed!

Our AMAZING Team Mom Beverly booked a limo to take us all to/from the restaurant after the awards.  Uh....hello?!  My first limo ride was not when I was 8 years old!  Lucky girls!  The limo driver took half of us at a time as to not overcrowd the limo.

We had a great dinner at El Fenix with all the kids at one table & all the adults at another.  The restaurant was so accommodating & understanding of the chaos that was to ensue!  There were other cheer teams there, so needless to say, this was the only time where stunting in the middle of a restaurant would've been acceptable.  

When it was time to load back into the limo to head back to the hotel, the limo driver let all 40 of us cram in there!  The kids were sitting on each others laps, there was a dance party going on & we all had a blast. (except for the 2 getting anxiety over the closed spaces!  They were troopers though & we all survived!)

Back at the hotel, the girls changed into their TX RockStar jammies & we had a hallway party.
There was stunting, walking on hands, a Wobble dance lesson & the centipede/worm.  I think it's safe to say we were having fun!

On Sunday, we were out of the hotel by 9:15 heading home.  Our POS driver's side wiper was still crapped out!  You can see below that it basically flew off the windshield & got stuck on the side view mirror.  Rain + a broken windshield wiper = a sucky drive home.

This was a good visual of the road on our way home.  It only got worse from here.  We're lucky we didn't die!  We finally pulled off in Conroe for lunch until the weather got better for us to be able to drive home. (As a side note, Toyota fixed the wiper once we were home.  Loose screw.  Must've come that way from the factory.  Un-freaking-believable!)

This has been an amazing first cheer season for us!  We are so proud of our girls, so proud of how well they worked together, how much they've grown together & what good friends they've all become.  Until next season...