Hi!

I’m back! Did you miss me?! I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I last posted…I guess I’ve been busier than I thought! So what have we been up to? Well, here’s our last week in pictures and video:
Saturday Brianna receives her 1st Communion. We are really excited, although I’m trying to figure out how I can possibly have a child this old! lol- this is the symbol that we made to add to the banner that hangs in the back of the church so everyone knows who is receiving 1st Communion. I think it turned out cute!

Last Monday I was shocked when I received an alert on my phone that there was a shooting at a local high school. As the story unfolded we learned it was one student who walked into his 1st period class, pulled out a gun and attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. Fortunately (unfortunately??) he wasn’t successful. He survived the attempt and is still in critical condition at a local hospital. It brought up all kinds of feelings and memories though as it happened right around the anniversary of the Columbine attack.

My mom picked up this Jumperoo at a local consignment shop for Eli. He absolutely loves it and got the hang of it very quickly!

Micah was walking around Friday night while we were getting ready for a baby shower here on Saturday with a wrench up against his mouth saying “Mustache! Mustache! I got a mustache! Mustache!” It was hilarious…especially with the Handy Manny t-shirt that he was wearing!

Thursday Brianna brought home her ballet costume for her recital this year. I love it! I think it is so beautiful! We have really lucked out…since she started I think her class has managed to have the most beautiful costumes. I can’t wait to see her in it on stage! It makes me such a proud mama!

This mess turned into an awesome luau themed baby shower. The mama-to-be loves ukelele music so I immediately thought of a luau when I started planning her shower. It came together perfectly! Everyone had a great time, especially the parents-to-be, which is the most important thing!

Micah made it through his first year of Sunday school. He loved going to “school” and asked all week long when it would be “school day” again. He learned a lot this year and experienced time in a classroom which is really good for him. I’m hoping to get him into preschool next year so it was great training! They had their closing on Sunday which is always a hoot!
And I leave you with one final picture…we wore ourselves out this week and it’s not over yet. One more party for Brianna’s 1st Communion on Saturday and then we get to rest for a while! While I love throwing a good party, I’m going to be all partied out for a while!

Weekly Wrap Up- Friday Phone Dump Edition

Another busy week has come and gone in the Fischer home! Steven spent Monday and Tuesday at home, sick with an ear infection and sinus infection. I’ve been busy trying to finish up some organizing projects that got started but never 100% completed (like the playroom! It’s almost finished and then I’ll share it with you!). I’ve also been doing lots of laundry and dishes. We are winding down the school year- the kids get out on May 22nd, which means that we have 26 days left of til summer vacation, and 24 until Jonah’s Kindergarten graduation! Being out before Memorial Day is kind of nice, but it also means that I have 5 weeks from the time they get out of school until we leave on our big road trip to Yellowstone! There is so much to plan, pack and figure out still. I’ll be doing some count down to vacation posts soon and show you how we camp (and keep our sanity doing it!) with 4 kids!
I’m doing lots of reading still about the new “diet” we are trying to implement in our house. I found a great website the other day on Pinterest called the The Gracious Pantry. It looks like she has some awesome recipes, and I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from her already. I can’t wait to start following her! Today I’m hoping to experiment with making my own pizza dough so we can do homemade pizza tonight! I’ve never made my own pizza dough before but I’m going to be trying the crust from Crystal at Money Saving Mom. I’ll let you know what we think! 
On tap for this weekend: nothing tomorrow. I’m sure Steven will be studying for his series 7 test that is coming up. I’d like to work on painting the bathroom. We’ll see! Then Sunday we have PSR and church and then a birthday party for Steven’s stepsister, Kayla. That’s always a fun group to be with! No, really! They are really fun! I wasn’t being sarcastic! lol
Now for photos from the phone from this week:
Spring is popping up everywhere! My Dogwood tree decided to show off this week!
We love Fisher-Price Little People! Micah created a world with daddy’s help on Monday. A little later they created a circus which I forgot to take a picture of before it got destroyed!
Getting out invites for a cousins’ baby shower. I can’t wait til next Saturday!
This one is perfecting the art of the temper tantrum! The funniest is when he throws his head back and “cries” while he rocks himself back and forth. But there are no tears to be seen. He’s watching and learning very well!
First batch of homemade taco seasoning. I really liked it, except that I felt like it dried out. I’m going to try to tweak it more to our liking and then I’ll share it with you!
So that’s our week in a nutshell. How was yours? I hope you have a great weekend! It’s FRIDAY!!!

Thoughts on 31 (the age, not the company!)

Saturday I turned 31. It wasn’t nearly as hard as turning 30! I guess once you hit that milestone every year after that is just gravy! And I am totally starting to believe that old adage “You’re only as old as you feel!” Although on days that the arthritis is really bad I feel 80! But in all honesty, I was talking to a friend from high school the other day and we were commenting on how it doesn’t feel like we’ve been out of high school for 13 years. It just doesn’t! I don’t feel that far removed from high school (not sure if that’s a good or bad thing! ha!) but then I look around and realize I have 4 kids, I’ve been married for 10 years this October and I realize yup…I’m a full fledged grown up now. And I’m OK with it! 
Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day! The weather is finally shifting to spring here and I’m loving it! The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing. It was 75 degrees. I wore sandals to show off the pedicure that I treated myself to on Friday afternoon. Steven made breakfast (pancakes and bacon…yum!)
We went to lunch at my dad’s new cafe and ate in the yard next door (it’s a carryout only cafe but he has some seating next door and will be getting even more this spring. And there is a park across the street and a promenade too! So lots of options!) The food was so good. He follows the local food movement so everything he uses is from local companies and suppliers. And because he uses whats available his menu changes often which people really like. All the meat is grass fed, cage free, hormone and antibiotic free. He doesn’t add unnecessary salt or sugar. The sodas he serves are made with 100% cane sugar and no HFCS and no artificial colors or flavors. I had the grilled cheese sandwich. It was delicious. Steven had the burger. Dad only uses Angus beef and Steven said it was awesome. Mom and the kids had the hotdogs. He only uses 100% beef hotdogs, so no pork fillers and things you’d never want to eat. The rat tail fries (named as such because they are skinny like rat tails!) are very tasty and he makes the ketchup and mustard from scratch. Try the Switch soda if you’ve never had it before. It’s made from 100% fruit juice and carbonated water. It’s incredible! And I highly recommend the Goetta Guinness Chili. Yes, as the name implies it is made with Guinness and it is genius! Especially on a hotdog!! He’s going to start serving ice cream at the end of this week and it’s actually going to be dairy free because he’s had so many requests for it. And he says you’ll never know that it’s dairy free (except that I just told you!!! lol) So if you live in the NKY/ Greater Cincinnati area and want a great dining experience check out Piper’s Cafe in Mainstrasse Village. It’s located in Hamelin Square across from the clock tower, next to the Magic Shop and Wertheim’s. OK, plug for Piper’s is finished! lol. I am super proud of my dad though! He’s wanted to own his own restaurant for a long time and I’m so happy that he’s finally realizing his dream!
After we ate lunch we went over to the park and the kids got to play for a while. It was so fun to watch them run and slide and swing. Eli got to go to the park for the first time and swing like a big boy!
Getcha!
After the park everyone went home and laid down for a while (Micah was especially super whinny!!) Then around 6:30 we left the house to go out to Chuy’s for dinner. If you have a Chuy’s near you I recommend them. It was super yummy! I had chile rellanos and an enchilada. And a strawberry margarita. Oh how I love me some Mexican food 🙂 
And of course I was spoiled to death by my family. Like I said I got a mani and a pedi on Friday. Steven got off work early and took the boys and I got several hours to myself. I needed a pedi so badly (especially since I was going to be wearing sandals and flip flops with the weather warming up!) I ended my afternoon alone with a double chocolate chip frappacino from Starbucks. Yum-O!! Then Friday night the kids were dying for me to open my present. So I obliged. Boy was I surprised!
I got a Kindle Fire last year so I definitely wasn’t expecting a new Kindle Fire HD!! But I LOVE it!!! And the kids have inherited the old one to play games on so they’ll leave this one alone! lol
I also received a new food processor and an electric wine opener from my mom. She also got me a case of chicken from Zaycon. That might sound weird to some but it is the best, freshest chicken I’ve ever had and will probably last us all summer (it was 40 pounds!!!) I love gifts like that!! My MIL and FIL got me a new purse and some body spray from Bath and Body Works. And my dad and Charles sent me these beauties:
And they came with a box of chocolates from the Sweet Tooth, which is a local candy store.
My brother Michael came over on Sunday and brought me some Sunflowers (my favorites!) and a cheesecake! Oh how that boy knows his sister! lol. My brother Chris (who lives in DC) got me a years subscription to Pandora 1. Totally awesome for this music lover! 
I also received several cards in the mail from grandparents (all of whom live out of town, with the exception of Steven’s grandma.) that were lovely! I love getting a card in the mail don’t you? It just makes you feel so special and loved!

Oh and I forgot to mention that Eli decided to end my birthday weekend by crawling! Yup, that’s right! Nothing is safe anymore!!

Let me know if the video doesn’t work. I’m trying to upload it with a link from FB but I’m not sure if you guys will be able to see it or not!!

So yes, it was a wonderful birthday! I felt super spoiled by the end, but that’s what birthdays are for right??! Now to start planning the next celebrations around here: a baby shower for Steven’s cousin Kristi the first weekend in May, Brianna’s 1st Communion the next weekend and then Steven’s sister’s graduation party June 15th. Luckily, a week and a half after that we leave for vacation. I’m gonna need it after all this partying!!

Surprises in my Mailbox!

A few weeks ago my friend Kaysi from the craft blog Keeping it Simple hosted a couple of giveaways. One was a box from Pick Your Plum valued at $50. And guess who won it!?! Yours truly! I was so super excited! I stalk Pick Your Plum a lot but I’ve never ordered anything! I was stocked to be getting a box filled with some of their favorite products right now and I was not disappointed! The shipping was really quick, I received the package in less than a week. And when I opened it up it was filled to the brim! Here’s a peek inside.
It felt like Christmas opening up the box!
A reusable piping bag and four different decorating tips. These are the extra large decorating tips like you would use to decorate cupcakes! I’m thinking about making some fun cupcakes for Easter using the top tip on the right hand side to make little nests on top, putting a Peep in the center and then hiding jelly beans underneath. I’ll post and let you know how they turn out if I do in fact do them!
Wooden spoons. I have seen these all over the crafting world right now! People are taking Washi tape and decorating the handles. So fun! I’m thinking these will be used for a certain little girls birthday party this year. (And if I like them I’ll have to get some more for Jonah’s birthday party!) And aren’t their little tags cute?!?!
Paper straws- AWESOME!! I’ve wanted these FOREVER!!!
An assortment of tags in lime green, coral, light gray and light blue. I can see these ending up on some scrapbook pages.
Gray and white twine. Not sure what I’m gonna do with this yet. Any ideas?
Pink  and white chevron gift bags (earmarked for a little girls birthday party!) and cardboard gift boxes. Those hold so many possibilities!
Two different kinds of clips. I love the curly Q ones. So fun! Hello scrapbook pages! But the silver ones are really fun too! I’m thinking add some really cool initial “jewels” to them and use them as bookmarks in Brianna’s gift bags for her birthday party. She loves to read and they would be super cute I think!
I was so excited about this one! I love stamps!
Look how fun!! Scrapbook pages, cards, tags…oh the possibilities!
These were probably the kids favorite-glow in the dark balloons! You fill them with air, pull down on the tab and they glow in the dark! I mean, seriously! How cool!!! I’m thinking these are going to join us on our big camping trip this summer! How fun would it be to fall asleep at night to the glow of a glow in the dark balloon!?!? Whoever invented those is a genius!
 So that’s what was in my box! What a fun surprise and a great giveaway! A big thank you to Kaysi from hosting such a fun giveaway and a huge thank you to Pick Your Plum for all of the fun surprises! Be sure to check out both sites and follow Kaysi’s blog, especially if you like to craft! She does really great crafts that are easy but make a big impact. And believe me when I say they are easy…she’s a soon to be mom of 5 (4 boys!!!) so she doesn’t mess around when she gets down to crafting!
Oh, and did you notice my new button on the sidebar?? If you’re on Pinterest and you don’t follow me yet come on over and join the fun!!

Ta-Da!

Yup! I’m great at disappearing! lol! I go through these cycles of loving blogging and hating blogging! Well, apparently last month I wasn’t feeling it! Goodness! Well, now that my magic trick is done here’s what you missed last month!

Valentine’s Day:
Our Valentine’s Day Mantel. You can read all about it here if you missed it!

The gifts that the kids gave their teachers for Valentine’s Day: boxes of raspberry bar mix with tags that said Shooting for Brownie Points. Tags found on Pinterest (of course!!)

Jonah’s Valentine’s that, again, I found on Pinterest. We added a little cherry sucker. They were really cute and very Jonah!

Brianna’s Valentine’s box. The whole thing was foam and was so cool!

Brianna’s Valentine’s. She made them all herself with a kit we found at Michael’s. We added Valentine’s pencils that I found at the Dollar Tree. Brianna loves pencils and I thought it would be a nice change from candy!

The kids goodie bags, Micah’s elephant Valentine’s box (Brianna and Jonah both made sure Micah had a Valentine from them!) and Eli’s owl Valentine (Whooo loves you baby!?! lol)
My 2 dozen long stem roses from my hubby! They were so gorgeous! And he’s so good he had them delivered the day before! He’s a keeper! 😉
Our little cupid! He’s getting really good at this sitting up thing!
 Various Fun:
Brianna being goofy with Eli at the dentist. All three kids had appointments and we were there for like 3 hours!! She got a little slap happy after a while! And I love the look on Eli’s face!! It’s like “Oh here we go again!” lol
Morning fun with daddy before he heads off to work. (I promise he changed and looked a lot more presentable for work!)

The thing about having a baby with a lot of hair means you get lots of crazy baby bed head!
Date night out at Mahogany’s watching my brother-in-law Eric preform. He did awesome and it was such a fun night out. We had a whole crew there including my mom, Steven’s parents and her friends Sue and Jim. And of course Samantha was there too to cheer on her hubby!
Eli’s food list keeps growing. Here he is trying peaches for the first time!

Love these!! He kept turning his head towards the spoon for more! I really think making our own baby food was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. And it takes almost no extra time because we just whip something up while we’re making our food. Super easy and nutritious!

So that was the month of February for us! I hope your month was great too! Now on to our regularly scheduled programming!!!

It’s Puzzling

My kids have a thing for puzzles. Brianna has loved putting together puzzles since she was a little toddler, and Jonah loves them now. The other day he kept himself busy for almost an hour putting together puzzles in the playroom while I was cleaning around the downstairs. I had to pause for a few minutes to get some pictures of him working because he was just so darned cute! 

By the time he was done he had put together 8 puzzles-the majority of them all by himself, with very little assistance from me. 

The only one he really needed help with was the T-Rex floor puzzle. It’s a really weird shape and is kind of tricky to put together so I took a few minutes and helped him. He was super proud of himself! And I was so super proud of my big boy!

Need a Good Laugh?

In need of a good laugh? Just listen to a baby giggling away and you can’t help but laugh too. I found the following clip from Youtube on a genealogy website (of all places!) and Bri and Jonah watched it about 3 times, laughing until we cried each time. This little guy, Ethan is his name, is hilarious!

So I decided to look at some of the other laughing baby posts. Here’s another one. This kid has a GREAT laugh!

Then there’s Morgan. (So super funny!!!!)

Then there’s twin baby boys Peyton and Brennan, 4 months old, laughing at each other in their crib. Too cute, especially when Brennan (on the right) gets hiccups!

I know this is a lot of videos, but they were so cute, and really brightened my day! I thought someone out there might be able to use them too! Nothing like a baby laughing!