Monday, September 29, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday...and some other things!

Monday again, where do the days go?
1. Here is our muffin tin for the week! The theme is shapes! I had a harder time with this one than I thought! You should have seen my attempt at Brady's favorite shape, an octagon...let's just say it ended up looking like a blob. That shape didn't make the cut. Check out Sycamore Stirrings for more great shape ideas!

Circles - rigatoni noodles cut into smaller pieces, stars - cucumbers, triangles - strawberries
squares - Cheese Nips, hearts - turkey, rectangles - cheese

2. Mike updated our big family website for those of you that check it. It's been a long time!

3. In an effort to stay home more and drive less, Brady and I have been crafting a lot to keep busy. Here are some pictures from our latest projects! I've found lots of great websites and blogs with crafts for children, let me know if you have a favorite activity site or blog for kids (toddlers especially)!

We decoupaged different color tissue paper to pumpkins, this craft was featured in
Family Fun Magazine last year.

Finished product


Finished product!

Have a wonderful start to your week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

For the Hoffmans - mostly you Dave

Mesmerized. That's all I'm gonna say.

Pumpkins: Round 1

I imagine this will be the first of many posts about pumpkins. Next week we go to the pumpkin patch with the playgroup and then they'll be a trip out with Mike. Today, Round 1, with Brady's beloved Mema and Pop-Pop who are in from Pittsburgh. What a great time of year for family activities!

We decided Ice Cream was a good lunch! Can you blame us?
Playing on the tractor with Pop
My wonderful Mom and Dad
On the wagon ride
Whispering sweet nothings in my sweet baby boy's ear
Out in the pumpkin patch
The "Movers and Shakers" ride. He was all ready to go by himself then he saw that other kids had grown ups with them so he INSISTED that MeMa ride. What a good sport she was!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Look at those happy kiddos. Yep, back to Breezy Acres Fruit Farm we went today but this time with Brady's friends Katie and EJ and their Mommy's, my dear friends, Jen and Erin. To say that they had fun is an understatement. Pure delight. Below is also a slideshow from the event because I couldn't just pick a few pics, there were too many to chose from. The pictures say it all....and then some.

Brady wouldn't stop eating the apple long enough to take a picture with me.

This is what we came home with! Just about 1/2 bushel or 1 peck...I think :)
Oh and Brady and I made those sunflowers in the background, more on
that later!

I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

Monday, September 22, 2008

An apple a day

Yesterday we went to Breezy Acres Fruit Farm to take a tour of their apple orchards. This past weekend was an "open house" type event for farms in our area. Visitors were invited to go "behind the scenes" of the various working farms. We went to check this particular farm out mostly because of the promise of a hayride, a favorite amongst all kids, right? Anyways, we got to tour the orchard via hayride and then they let us each pick one apple. Brady was delighted and ended up eating 3 of the 4 apples we picked (Brady picked two, oops!). We think we will go back again this week or next to actually spend some time picking lots of apples to bring home with us. Life in the midwest can be so simple and peaceful, just have to know where to find it.

Creative Mom's - Muffin Tin Monday

It is very inspiring and amazing to me all the wonderful woman that have blogs about motherhood and activities you can do with your little ones to spark their imaginations and creativity. Today I'm going to participate in "Muffin Tin Monday", brought to you by a blog I found called Sycamore Stirrings. The concept is that you fill up a 6 or 12 cup muffin tin with food for a meal. We usually do it once or twice a week. I just found Sycamore Stirring's blog though and she takes it to a whole new level with themes. There isn't a theme for this week's Muffin Tin but next week the theme is shapes. One of the themes was Children's Literature, the foods in the tin were themed around any children's book of your choice! How creative! I think I will have to try this one with Brady. Anyways, here is a picture of Brady's Muffin Tin lunch.

L-R Raisins, String Cheese, Pasta salad - (leftover ww spaghetti noodles, cucumbers and carrots with Italian Dressing), Wheat Thins, Raspberries, Smoked Turkey Breast.

So visit Sycamore Stirrings to see what she did with her kids and what other Mom's have done, sure does stir up mealtime, huh?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dada's Hat

Yesterday morning when we were getting ready to go outside, Brady said he was going to get a hat. He ran upstairs and came back with Dada's hat. Brady's outfit reminds me of what my college guy friends would wear to class on early fall mornings. Backwards hat, hoodie and track pants.
Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Flashback

Do you have a million and one pictures in photo storage boxes that you don't know what to do with? Yeah I do. I have been going through some of these boxes and oh the memories. Lots of laughter and tears as I look back! So I think each Friday I'll post a few pics from long long ago. Or in today's case, not so long ago...well it's all relative.

All dressed up for the PSU Dance Marathon Kickoff Dinner in February of 2001
These friends were my heart and soul, many of us are still in touch today, many of us aren't.
Love you all dearly MC's.
from front to back, left to right
Brian, Nick, Chris, Dan
Aimee, Maya, Ali, Jenna, Erica, KC
Adam, me, Adam, Terri, Holly, Brooke, Anne

Just hanging out with Joe Pa, yeah, you know the living football legend of a coach.
Oh and the Nittany Lion....I believe this was Mike's last official event as the Lion.
April 2003

Relax, unwind, take a bubble bath

Happy Friday! Hope you find some time to do just what you want to this weekend!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet Dreams, Little Man

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

If you are a Mommy, especially a Mommy to a little boy, the lyrics to this song, Godspeed, by the Dixie Chicks are just magical. I found this song about a year ago and the older B gets, the lyrics mean more and more to me each time I listen to it. Now go run and download it! You'll love it, I promise.
And the pictures below made me think of this song. B is having an "off" week, he has a little touch of a runny nose and cough and therefore apparently can fall alseep anywhere, anytime.

On Monday, sound asleep at 10am

And this is where he is as I post this message, sound asleep on the couch with his favorite "soft blankies" affectionaetly named "Big Blue Blankie" and "Mater Blankie".

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

It was a beautiful, warm weekend and we spent most of the time outside, when we weren't watching football!

We started Saturday morning off with a long walk. Brady wanted to wear his firefighter hat and his stroller was his truck.

On Sunday morning, lo and behold, the birds finally found our feeder. Brady and I put some feeders out last Tuesday and no birds but when we came home from church there were at least 15 birds on the feeder and the ground. Made us happy!

Sunday afternoon we skipped naptime so that we could go to Carillon Park to ride the little trains! What a great time we all had riding these little things. Each ride took 15 mins. and the best part was the price: $1 for unlimited rides between 1-4pm. What a bargain! And what fun! I'm not sure who loved it more, Mike or Brady.

Brady and Mike are on the last car, Brady is waving but it's hard to tell.

A close up as they went by, I sat this ride out so I could take pictures, you weren't allowed to take pics while riding the train.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it.

After playing with the hose and making some mud puddles, B decided to first jump in them and then dive (on purpose) into them. That definition couldn't be any more spot on for a 2 year old boy, huh?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stand the test of time

A few months ago I found Erin Cobb's blog . She does this thing called "Mama Monday's" where she posts about a topic and then other readers link to their blogs about this particular topic. Past topics have been about children's books, routines, foods, etc. This week the topic is toys that stand the test of time! What a perfect topic with the holidays approaching faster than we might think! So here we go, toys that I (and Brady) think stand the test of time.

*Anything with the name Radio Flyer on it!
My personal favorites being these two:
The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
Brady used this when he was a little one as a walker but now at age 2 1/2 he uses it to transport everything from books to bugs. It has always been a popular toy amongst his friends, they like to sit in it and push each other around.

Brady when MeMa and Pop gave him this toy in September of '06. 8 months old.

Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle
My Mom found this at Once Upon a Child for $25 when Brady was just a few months old, she bought it because she knew it was a classic and of course it was in mint condition. This trike stays at their house though, we have this version here at our house.

Brady on his retro Radio Flyer trike just this past Saturday while we were in Pittsburgh.

Brady, and every child that comes through our door love this toy as well. Yet another Radio Flyer classic. This was a gift to Brady from our dear neighbors, we were so delighted and surprised by this gift. Clearly you have to have some space (which we really didn't at the time) for this big guy!

*Tinker Toys These things have been around since 1914 so clearly these stand the test of time.Brady is getting these for Christmas this year, I purchased them a few weeks ago at Target on a good sale.

*Classic Wooden Abacus. I just picked one of these up for Brady and it has become and instant favorite and what he doesn't realize is how much it's teaching him! Best part I found it at Marshall's (or was it TJMaxx?) for $6.99. TJ's and Marshall's sell all kinds of Melissa and Doug toys which all are wonderful. Can't argue with wooden toys!

*A Bead Maze This isn't the exact one we have but Brady, Mike and I all love this toy.

*Wooden Lacing Beads like these. I got the ones we have from World Market for less than $6. I think for Christmas I will get him some lacing cards.

*The Fisher-Price Fun 2 Imagine Cash Register I had one when I was a little girl and I don't think it's changed that much since the early 80's. Brady got this last Christmas and we play with it several times a week.

*Brady is getting the Fisher-Price Clock for Christmas. I'm not sure where else they sell this, I stumbled across it when looking for fabric. I know I had one of these when I was little and it is a classic.

*Some kind of wooden blocks, my opinion is that every child, boy or girl, should have wooden blocks! We have these ones.

*I'm starting to collect some dress up clothes for Brady. I went to Once Upon a Child's Halloween Costume sale on Saturday and picked up a Fire Fighter costume and hope to build on this a bit. I think the boy dress up things are a bit harder to come buy but I know that it is important for him to role play and imagine!

I'm anxious to read what other Mom's across the country have to say. It's so nice to get other opinions and ideas about toys that really entertain, delight, spark imagination and maybe even educate a bit! Thank you Erin for coming up with this fantastic topic.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It's a happy day for the Zollars family. We have a new niece! Mckenna Jane was born this evening to Mike' sister, Laura and her husband Ben. When we learned of the arrival the baby had not been weighed or measured yet. We are just happy she is here and that Mom and Baby are healthy. I can't wait to see pictures of her!
Our dear dear friends from New Mexico, David and Heather, welcomed a baby girl last week, Elizabeth Rose was born on August 25th. Congratulations to Dave, Heather and big brother Sam.
Baby girls are everywhere! Our friends Gisela and Mark are expecting Baby Mia in the next month and then, Lucy, it's your turn! But take your time my sweet girl.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. Of course today is one of the hottest days this summer here in Dayton, OH and the pools are closed now! And wouldn't you know, I ask Brady what he wants to do today and he says, "Go to the pool". Although we couldn't go to the pool, this was a close second.

At the fountain at The Greene and eating an icee after playing hard in that fountain!

2. So last week I wrote about how I was concerned about the speeding on our street and how I had contacted the police. All last week they were very diligent about patrolling our street and this morning the police put this up a few doors down from us! Makes me happy. I guess it never hurts to ask (complain).

3. I found a photographer to take some pictures of Brady and I am thrilled. We have a session on October 9th at Cox Arboretum, one of my most favorite places here in Dayton. Her name is Nicole Kessel, check out her website and blog

4. My sister and I are going to see Wicked this weekend in Pittsburgh. Again! This will be the third time we're seeing it. We just like it a little bit.

5. I am so excited for NFL football to start! Yes I love watching any and all NFL games. I could sit and watch it all day long. This makes Mike happy but not so much Brady. GO STEELERS!!

6. Is it time for Grey's Anatomy yet?

7. We're just about settled in this house! We have a few more pictures to hang and I would like to decorate the playroom but haven't felt "inspired" yet. Right now it's just a blank slate with a bunch of toys in it!

8. Today we went to Books and Co. and we walked out with a few books and two "bugs". One for Brady and one for his buddy Sam who lives in Florida. Well Brady insisted that he nap with them, you can see them below in this picture I snapped while he was napping. Look at that cute bottom with those Lightning McQueen underwear.

9. While at Gap yesterday buying some maternity clothes (ugh, I hate maternity clothes but I finally really need them), the nice sales girl taught me a "trick". If you look at things on the sale rack and see a date on the label (for instance 8/15/08), if it is 15 days past the date written on the tag, take half off of the sales price. So I went up to the register expecing to pay $22. for a pair of pants I found on the sales rack and I was completely happy with that price since it was Gap after all. I ended up paying $11 for them! Fantastic!

10. It's already Tuesday! I wish every weekend was a 4 day weekend! Have a good week.

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