Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Month

One month ago, Elena started school. It was a tough day for me. It's been a tough month of adjusting for me. But my little girl, is just LOVING school! Every morning, she is excited to go to school. Every afternoon, she's so excited to tell me and the girls, all about her day. And every night, I hear her telling Mark about what she's learned. It's so sweet!

I was talking to my MIL about this. And she tells me how Elena adores that 30 minutes with grammy. I know she does! She tells us all about it. You see, my MIL works in the office. Why? I'm not sure. She doesn't need to work. My in-laws are doing well. But she enjoys it. Even if we all tell her, that she should retire. And you know, enjoy life.

Back to my MIL and Elena. School is out at 3:30PM. My MIL patiently waits for Elena and her teacher, to get to the office at 3:45PM. After all the other kids are on their buses going home, or with their parents. Elena comes bringing in the attendance sheets, and anything else that needs to be turned in.

Yes, her teacher walks her there. And I'm sure she probably has business to do in the office too. But then, Elena gets to hangout with grammy for 30 minutes. While grammy closes down the office. And Elena is quickly becoming "Grammy's Helper." They put the mail in the teacher's boxes, organize attendance papers, and close down the office.

By 4:15PM, we're there to pick up Elena. She gives grammy some love. Grammy is excited to see the girls. It's a win-win. Once in a while, grammy brings Elena home for me. You know, if the girls are having a tough day. Or I'm helping my FIL. But we're definitely adjusting, to this new schedule of ours.

Now let me tell you, this is not a first for my MIL. With our oldest niece and nephew, they went to the school where my MIL works. They helped her too. But for Elena, I think this is a "Right of Passage." To get to help grammy at work. It really does make her feel so special! And my heart grows, every time she tells me about her afternoon.

In a month, I can see the difference in my daughter. Elena is more aware of things. She is always trying to teach Ofelia something. Her love of reading, is growing. Elena studies the world more. Likes to see how things work. She has friends. Boy does my daughter have friends! And it's so nice to see these changes.

To mark a month in school, we've invited a few of Elena's friends, and their moms over. We live outside of the school district. And it's a bit of a drive. So we decided a nice trip, to a local pizza and sub shop was in order. Closer for all.

I put together some little treat bags, for the kids. Convinced my FIL to watch Ofelia and Sofia, until my MIL got home. Which wasn't hard at all! He adores his grandkids. :) And I have a batch of this, in our slow cooker.

I just felt like we could all use some celebrating. It's been a tricky month for all of us. New schedules. New activities. New phases of life. I feel like we're really making some good friends. People who are experiencing all of the same things. It just feels good. And right. Oh, 4PM can't come soon enough! A

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why Didn't I Think of This?

Sometimes I just have a "duh" moment. Honestly, over the last few months, they're happening more and more. I know!! I'm just going to blame it on, adjusting to life with 3 precious girls.

Over the weekend, we had lots of time with our family. Which was heaven! My BIL and SIL have the most amazing Ranch. And they hosted our Labor Day events. Fun times people! Our big girls, got to have lots of pony rides. The guys played a game of baseball. And we ate. Boy did we eat!

Another thing that I enjoy, is that my in-laws always invite, all sides of the family. It's not just Mark's HUGE family. They invite my family, and all the other "in-laws." I'm telling you, we're just one HUGE and HAPPY family. It makes life so incredibly nice, and enjoyable. :)

Yes, this family has been a complete blessing. They haven't just taken me in, but my entire family. Then they spoil us all! Let me tell you, my SIL did not need any help with the food. She had a HUGE spread of amazing food. But we all still took some treats. I'm telling you, we're "trained." Family "get-togethers" just mean, bring family, food, and love.

My favorite treat though, were these little cookie bowls that my SIL made. Then she filled them with fresh fruit, and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Perfect to beat the heat!!

Just look at how she made them. Well, that's how my SIL told me she made them. She rolled out some dough, them placed it on a tin. On the "wrong side." And baked until golden. My SIL did say, if you're making chocolate chip, use the mini chips. And place your muffin tin, on a baking sheet.

She also made her fancy "cheesy bowls." I've seen her do this before. Essentially, she uses a small skillet. Melts cheesy in there, then lays it on a small bowl. Again, on the "wrong side." They harden as they cool. Then she usually uses them for salads.

Yes, my SIL is super creative when it comes to food. That's probably because of my nephew. When he was little, he didn't like to eat. So his momma would try and make it fun. It worked! Now he's a champ, at eating his veggies. I think a lot of that has to do with the training he does, for rodeo and baseball. But it definitely started with his momma.

So do you have any fun food tricks? I'm always looking for ways to make our food interesting. I'm always picking my friend and SIL's brains. Hoping to learn something new. A

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!!

I just LOVE a good holiday. Especially one that revolves around good food, friends, and family. That's what I think about, when I think about Labor Day. I know that's not the true meaning. But that's how I like to look at it. :)

Today we're going to a BBQ. At my SIL and BIL's home. Ranch really. And we're all pretty excited!! The girls have been talking non-stop about it. Because they get to ride their uncle's ponies.

And me? Well, I've had a smile on my face all morning long. Why? I finally have an excuse to make these yummy "pie cookies." And gosh! I think I might have gotten the sweetest berries of the season. :) Yes, they are pretty wonderful!

I'm off to bake. The girls are taking an early nap. And Mark, well he's napping too! I'm glad that my hard working hubby got the day off. The rest of our day, is going to be of the lazy variety. Something we all desperately need! A