Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

We are LOVING the Olympic games in the Baker house right now! The boys have been staying awake way too late to watch as many events as they can. Our favorite events so far have been swimming, synchronized diving, mens gymnastics, and ladies gymnastic trials. I am so impressed by the talent the young athletes possess. Simply amazing. And by young I mean...y.o.u.n.g.! Missy Franklin and Gabby Douglas... Yeah. I could be their mom!

Any who. We were so excited about the summer games that we decided to have some friends and neighbors join us for the opening ceremonies on Friday night.

We had a spread of barbecue and some awesome summer sides - coleslaw, hash brown casserole, fresh watermelon and berries, fresh baked sourdough bread, and cupcakes! Our friends gave their dishes Olympic names.

I made some "Gold Medal Surprise" pineapple punch for the kids and Shan whipped up some festive "Johnny-All-American" blue cocktails for the adults. We also served water with raspberry and blueberry garnished ice cubes. (I was kinda slack about taking pictures. Sorry! This is all you get.)

I made some simple decorations and had little trivia game for the kids. I made a wreath of the Olympic rings. Easiest thing EVER! I should have done a tutorial, but oh well. In case you can't look at it and figure it out and you want to know exactly what I did, just comment or shoot me an email. I made a "torch" with a glass cylinder and some tissue paper, and I made some cupcake toppers from some flags I found on a home school website.

Our trivia question was "Guess the number of countries participating in the 2012 Olympic Games. (Hint: It's the same amount of gumballs in the jar!)". Our precious winner who guessed the closest said 180. Can you guess correctly without Googling? ;-)

As with any Baker function, children are always welcome! They played so hard outside and inside, ate lots of watermelon and cupcakes, and guzzled their signature punch. They even held out until the USA was on parade.

Overall I thought the Opening ceremony was fantastic and filled with great symbolism of the history of the UK with impressive theatrics and music. I loved hearing tributes to Queen, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles. And the Mary Poppins scene was awesome! Who couldn't appreciate that?

The boys are really enjoying the games. They like to act out each event. It's so funny! I think it's a great source of inspiration for them. Fulton has expressed that he'd like to take gymnastics...I think that's pretty cool. Oliver, however, may have to join him...(here's a video clip.)

I just love that he "sticks" the landing does the gymnast's salute! Tweet-potatuh!!!

I hope y'all are enjoying as much of the Olympics as we are. It has given us something exciting to look forward to during these last couple of hot weeks of summer!



Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Currently loving... our 3 day STAYcation. Shan's parents volunteered to keep the boys at the lake for a few days and we gladly took them up on it. So refreshing!

Currently reading... My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife by Sara Horn. Such a cute easy read on a topic in which lots of women I know struggle!

Currently waiting for... God. I've been doing lots of praying and sorting through which path I should follow in my "career"/"purpose" and which steps to take to get there. Just waiting on some guidance from Him.

Currently excited about... the gradual face-lift the interior of my house is slowly-but-surely getting. It's been a long 8 years since we've done anything to our house and we're finally going room by room! Oliver's room- 90% complete, Up Next {in this order}... Master Bedroom (we're moving downstairs into what is currently my guestroom), Sam's room (No more sharing! He's getting his own room.), Fulton's Room (Not a complete over-haul because he and Sam had their room repainted a few years ago. So we're just doing some updates and re-arranging because we don't want him to feel left out.) Hall and Stairwell (repainting), Laundry Room (We're doing some built-ins...desk, cabinets, folding counter etc.), Kitchen (Repaint and put in a new microwave), Living Room and Dining room (Repaint), Den (Repaint and FINALLY reupholster my chair and ottoman)

Currently missing... my boys! While I have loved the quiet time to ourselves, I am really starting to miss them. I am not used to being away from them, especially for more than a day or two.

Currently trying... to eat more "real" food. I'm not being hugely successful, but I'm learning and making an attempt.

Currently working... on several invitation projects and a logo! Loving the original themes... 50 States...50 Years Anniversary, Cheer party, Pinewood Derby party, and a Hot Rod party

Currently enjoying... The last few weeks of summer. I am looking forward to a routine and everyone going to their own "places" each day, but I love the lazy days of summer too!

Currently using... my Kindle Fire, LOTS! I have had issues falling asleep recently. I think it's mostly because I'm stewing in all the things I need to get done and dreading how long it's going to take. UHHHG! So my Kindle has become my new BFF from 11:00pm-1:00am.

Currently wearing... a different ring on my right ring finger because I STILL can't find my 30th birthday gift, ruby and diamond cocktail ring. I lost/misplaced it a couple of weeks ago and it makes me want to barf when I think about it.

Currently planning... A fun Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies get-together with a few neighbors for Friday night. Can't wait! I should probably warn them that I get so excited I cry.

Currently singing... whatever pops into my head. Y'all know I love to sing all.the.time., especially when I have the house or car to myself.

Currently needing... to get my mojo back. I think I've had so much going on recently with our house projects, the lax summertime schedule, and entertaining the boys daily that I have yet again, pushed "me" to the side. S & F are not wild about the gym nursery and pushing 100+ pounds of baby and stroller while watching 2 wobbly bicycle riders as I hit the pavement doesn't make for a very thorough workout. Ok. Those are crappy excuses. So I need prayers for my mojo to return. Thanks.

Currently learning... to make more time for me and more date nights with my hubby. We deserve it and have been simmering on the back burner for a long, long time now. We have discussed several ways to "afford" it so money isn't an excuse. And we have also discussed making better use of our time so we can't say we don't have "time" to squeeze it in.

Currently listening to... the morning news and the click-clack of the keyboard.

Currently wishing... for Fall! I can't wait for cooler temps, the beautiful blue sky, and designing and planning fun fall parties for people.

Currently doing... what I can to keep O a baby. He is using the potty, sleeping in a big-boy bed, going to Mrs. Frannie's class 5 days a week this school year, and just in the last week started calling me "mom". Noooooooo! It's all going by so fast. I promise to never blink again!!!

Currently praying for...lots! Personal growth in several areas, comfort and healing for family, peace, patience, and the ability to bite my tongue during hard times (including the hours from 4pm-8pm), and for guidance as a servant, wife, and mother.

Currently dreaming of... our next family road trip. We had so much fun back in April and I can't wait to do it again! We've been throwing around some ideas. Y'all got any in particular for me?

This is a borrowed post from the girls at Jones Design Company and Lemonade Makin' Mama!
Okay it's your turn if you want... give me a run-down of what you're doing "currently" in comments or blog it and pass it on!



Friday, July 20, 2012

It's ok! I've got rocks!

Y'all know most of my Fulton tales, as I have posted many over the years. Here's another one.

In a convo with him he was telling me all about some Pokemon card launcher thing. I acted interested, but truly had no clue what he was talking about. He went on to say that he wants me to buy him one.

I told him I thought he should earn some money to buy it. His response...

No! It's ok! I have rocks!

Me: Rocks?

Fulton: Uh huh. Lots of nice ones.

Me: (clueless) Well what are you gonna do with the rocks? Can you use them with the launcher?

Fulton: No! I can spend 'em.

Me: Spend 'em? You can't spend rocks, honey.

Fulton: Uh huh! Sam said people used to spend rocks a long time ago instead of money! I can just use those.

Me: Aww! Hun, you have to use money now. That would be awesome if we could use rocks though.

He left the room to quiz Sam on why he'd tell him he could use rocks to buy stuff. I tuned out their exchange as I chuckled to myself in the kitchen, seriously wishing I could use rocks as money. Since I have 3 boys, I think we'd be considered really, really rich and every time I did S & F's'd be payday!

How cool would that be?!?!

I love these little conversations. They are precious and hilarious all rolled into one! These are the moments I want to freeze and keep forever.

Well, we are all back under one roof. Sam is home from camp. Happy as a clam. Lice and tick free! Praise God! (Remember last year's post?) I scrubbed his hair really well before I let him sit down on the sofa just to be sure! ;)

Happy Friday, y'all!
I wonder if I pay my sitter in rocks tomorrow night if she'd be offended? Or maybe I could bring back the rock bartering system.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bullet kinda week

It's a bullet kind of post...
  • Sam has been at camp and I've been busy entertaining F & O at camp F-O-C this week. We've done a field trip or two, arts and crafts, and today we're baking a cake! They have really had a good week and we've enjoyed our time together. BUT they are really missing Sam and looking forward to picking him up tomorrow morning.

  • Sam seems to be having a fabulous time at camp. He hasn't written me (no surprise there), but his counselor did. So I know he's alive! I have also been checking out his cute pics on I love seeing his little face. I can even spot him in a blurry pack of 100 kids or as a speck in the thick backdrop of trees on the high ropes! It's kinda like Where's Waldo: Camp Edition.
(Pics from
  • While Sam has been away, we have been sure to be sending him lots of mail and few care packages. Fulton has enjoyed writing and sending mail to Sam. His notes have been short but so sweet. He cried a couple of nights because he was really missing Sam. So sweet!

His care packages had a few "down-time" camp staples in them... Construction paper for paper airplanes and such, mad libs, tattoos (of course.), and a standard pillow case for his bunk mates to sign as a keepsake. 
  • In BIG exciting news... this adorable 10 year-old has grown up into this handsome guy who is getting MARRIED!!!!

We are so excited to have Noel join our family. She and Nic are 2 peas in a pod. Nic was born when I was 15, so he's kinda like my own. We have a very special relationship and his happiness is super important to me. I think he made a great choice in picking a mate.
Ironically, when Nic was a little boy, my mom bought him this book...
Who knew?
  • Oliver's big boy room is coming along very well! just gotta get some sewing done and some pictures on the wall and we'll be good to go. Shan finished his cute bookshelf the other night. It's perfect! So thankful for a handy hubby!
  • Shan and I have been enjoying some quiet time in the evenings this week since F & O have been doing the VBS. It's been so nice! We enjoyed a date night with some friends too. The time together has been long overdue and welcomed more than you can imagine! Now we are off to the VBS finale and a pot luck supper!
More later..


Monday, July 16, 2012

You'll Eat It and You'll Like It.

My oldest brother and I have always joked with each other when the other person has to do something they don't want to do. We sarcastically say, "Oh, you'll do it and you'll like it." Or "You'll take that medicine and you'll like it." It's just our bizarre way of communicating our affection and support for one another.

Well the phrase "you'll eat it and you'll like it" popped in my head as I cautiously taste-tested another container of CHOBANI Greek Yogurt. It happens every time! I can hear Michael's voice loud and clear urging me to take that first bite. I reluctantly do, and am bitten by the tartness and pungent smell. I love pretty much any yogurt. That's why this one is kinda frustrating me.

As I make my push towards better food choices and cleaner eating, I have tried and tried to incorporate this yogurt that is all the rage. I realize it has great health benefits (ones I can't explain), but I am having a hard time figuring out how and why people think it's so delicious.

Am I doing something wrong?

Is it an acquired taste?

Is their a better brand? I have heard this one is the best. If it is...I'd hate to taste the worst.

I tried the Blood Orange flavor recently and it's actually one I think I can handle, but I can only find it at Earth Fare, which is not exactly on the beaten path of my regular route in the Acres. Therefore, I need to find some other flavors that work for I can get hooked like everyone else.

Help! If you're out there and have a fave or recipes to use the yogurt, let a sista know!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho It's off to camp he goes!

Sama-lama-ding-dong is headed off to his second year of summer camp! He'll be gone for 6 days!
He's super excited this year because he's not a newbie any longer. He knows the ropes and got well-acquainted with the camp last year.

We send him to a church camp just up the road a-ways. That way he gets to experience camp life but his worry-wart momma is less than an hour away!

Last year, I too was a newbie to camp. I had only gone to Girl Scout camp as a child and all this was a little different. Never mind the fact that Sam had never been away from me for more than just a few days and that was when he was 6 months old. So I was a tad nervous about how he'd do, who he'd meet, whether he'd shower or brush his teeth (I still wonder if he did.), and if he'd survive 6 days being away from me. Needless to say, he survived. I survived and he's going back!

I also worried about what to pack and how to pack it. When I got there to drop him off, I quickly realized that ANYTHING goes. There were kids who had their things packed in giant military duffel bags, traditional camp trunks, rubbermade storage name it. A friend who is a veteran camper's mom advised me to "just pack smart"! Huh?!?!

I started a week ahead of time and my dining room table looked like a miniature Target. Clothes, shoes, sheets, toiletries, checklists. I didn't want to leave anything out!

Okay. Pack smart. I was thinking rain and lots of dirt...I need something water repellent, as the "cabins"/tents are not 100% water-tight and it had to be out of the elements. I also thought about lost articles of clothing...Everything got labeled with the Sharpie and his cute personalized stickers, so there was no mistaking to whom it belonged. I packed clothes that I wasn't worried about ever seeing again. And surprisingly, he came home with all but a couple of pairs of socks. I was shocked! I was also thinking BOYS...It has to be easy to get in and out of or else it will be a tussled mess. It had to be organized and self-explanatory.

So I chose to pack Sam for camp using the incredibly handy and compact plastic storage drawers. They worked perfectly!  I labeled each drawer with it's contents so he could easily locate and return items. It fit cozily next to his bunk and served as a bedside table for his little fan and water bottle. He had easy access to everything he needed. He said he really liked the system so we did it again this year.

He's really looking forward to going. He'll be with his BFF from school and they can't wait to play their little diddies on their guitars in the camp talent show together. What wonderful memories they'll be making...again.

As for F & O, they'll be attending "Camp F-O-C", as Fulton named it - for Fulton-Oliver-& Claudia. And we have to say F-O-C, otherwise it sounds a little odd. But that's Fulton for ya. Since Fulton won't be ready to go to camp until next summer, we have planned lots of fun activities and outings for his week here while Sam is away. I try to make it extra special for them too. They are also going to participate in an evening VBS so Shan and I may actually have a date night or 5! We're making up for lost time. We think our last date night was in April sometime---we lost track.

Hopefully camp week will prove to be fun and exciting for everyone, not just the one getting sent away!

Well, it's lights out for me, campers!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

BIG things are happening!

Remember this post?

Yeah. Well. That all kinda got put on hold for a few reasons.

#1 He just wasn't ready. There was lots of protesting and frustration on both ends, so we stopped.
#2 We went on our week-long road trip. It would have been terrible timing with all the car-riding he had to endure.
#3 Lots of external factors that have kept me from being at home and monitoring his "urges".

So. We started again a couple of weeks ago.

It's just time. He's 3-1/2 and though he STILL shows very little interest, it's got to be done. We have the el stupido rule about having to be potty trained before he starts 3K. It really gets on my nerves and completely goes against everything the pediatricians say. Sam and Fulton were no breeze to train either, but they were trained well before the start of 3K and I STILL didn't like that rule. It puts too much unnecessary pressure on the child and the parent.

Any here I am. In the throws of POTTY TRAINING for a THIRD and FINAL time. Oliver does very well with prompts, reminders, and rewards, but has yet to let me know that he feels the "urge". Without fail, the second I leave him unattended to oh, I don't know...shower, get a cup of coffee, fold 1 of my 30,000 loads of laundry...heaven forbid, he decides it's time to poop and goes in his pants or on the floor. UHHHHHHG! Now, we haven't had that many accidents and I realize it'll take time, but it's all so stressful. I end up feeling like a failure if I miss the BIG moment. Why is parenting such a freakin' mind game????

I have so many friends who have sent their children to Grandma's for a week in the summer only to have them return fully potty trained. I also know a few who let daycare handle it. And then there are the ones whose children woke up on their 2nd birthday and just hopped on the toilet, never looking back at diapers. Well, all I have to say is...that sho ain't my reality and hats off to the mommas in the trenches. WE ROCK!

Next BIG thing...

Do you remember the day the Berlin wall came down? Well, Saturday was about as emotional as that day. It was a very monumental day in the Baker household.

It was the day the crib came down.

I knew I'd be a little sad, but geeze! I had no idea I'd be that sad.

It broke my heart to see it all piled up and just leaning against the wall. It had served it's purpose and served us well. (I have great plans for it in the future. I've pinned a few ideas.)

All I could think of was the three sweet little blond heads that had occupied that crib over the past 10 years.

We packed it up and stored it away to make room for Ollie's big-boy bed. He's movin' on up like George and Weezie!

Sam and Fulton were both out of the crib around 2-1/2 or 3 years old. But for Oliver we waited until now for several selfish reasons... he's our last so why the rush?, he has never tried to get out, and he just hangs out in the mornings until the rest of the family wakes up. It just worked for us.

But like all things... there is a beginning and an end.

It's the end of Baker babies and we're on to BIGGER and wilder adventures.

Like potty training.

Oh! and here's a sneak peak at O's big boy room color scheme. So fun!


Thursday, July 05, 2012

God Bless America

What a great Fourth of July we had! We were so excited to start our day with a couple extra hours of SLEEP! I don't really know how it happened but we didn't wake up until almost 10 am...everyone! That was a cause worth celebrating itself! Thank goodness I prepared ahead of time and my contributions toward lunch were all ready to go.

We spent the day at the lake with Shannon's family. We a had a traditional July 4th spread of BBQ, coleslaw, corn, mac n cheese, and of course, banana pudding. It was delish! My boys were sun kissed and water-logged when it was all said and done from the hours of swimming, tubing, and playing wiffle ball.

 Fulton on "first base"
 Sam going tubing with Kirstin
The whole gang of kids

The boys and I sported our homemade tie-dyed shirts that we made the other day with my mom. {Great summer activity, by the way! And awesome idea...thanks, Muzzy!!!}

They were so proud and couldn't wait to show them off. And what holiday would be complete without patriotic TATTOOS! They wore them proudly, as usual.

We headed back toward town for fireworks at Capital City Stadium, but the boys were so wiped out they asked if we could just shoot some from home.
So we did and it was perfect.

Glo-Rida featuring Creepy Sparkler Dude in the background. This pic makes me laugh out loud!!! Oliver looks terribly concerned for his safety!

 They had the best seats in the house!

It was definitely a hot-as-a-firecracker kinda day, but nonetheless, we celebrated our independence very well! I am so thankful for all our freedoms in this wonderful country and I will always be grateful for the men and women who defend that freedom everyday.

Here's to hoping you had a great 4th too!