Monday, April 27, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Spring always makes me want to paint my nails so I treated myself to a new jar of nail polish (it's not a jar, what do you call it really?  hmm....) last week.  It's a bright wild pink color and I love it.  My toes have the same pink color and then I added teal-blue spots but I wasn't brave enough to do that on my nails!  

I thought about going to get my nails done at a nail place but the manicures never ever ever last for me so I always feel like I wasted my nails.  Maybe when it gets warmer I could go for a pedicure.  I told Chad I wanted to go and he reminded me that you can catch all sorts of nasty stuff at those nail places.  I was sooooo happy to be reminded of that.  

Anyway, I went and bought my own polish and I'm happy.  My toes are ready for flip flips!  I think I'd actually rather do my own nails...and it cost me less than $3!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

We have been eating pretty healthy around our house lately, but today I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.  I love the recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Jessica Seinfeld's book Deceptively Delicious.  They are supposed to be healthy for you so I don't mind one bit making them.  (Shhh, don't tell, they have chickpeas in them!)

I had a mini-meltdown while trying to make these.  I accidentally put a whole egg in when I was supposed to put in egg whites...it just kind of slipped right out of the shell.  Next, I realized I didn't have any vanilla...so I added some peppermint extract.  Vanilla is just for flavor, right?  To top it off, I totally could not find the baking soda.  I know we have baking soda.  I kind of remembered running out of vanilla, but not baking soda.  It was nowhere to be found.  Online they said I could sub two times as much baking powder.  Thank goodness for the Internet.  
They actually taste good!  I like the freshness of the peppermint, although I have never had peppermint chocolate chip cookies.  They have a cake-ish texture which I kind of like.  We'll see how Jordan likes them! 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Planting Seeds

It was pretty rainy today, but this afternoon there was a lull in the rain so we went outside to plant some seeds.  I am really not good at the whole gardening thing but we tried last year and it wasn't so bad so I thought we would try again this year.  I saw some kids planting seeds at school last week and I thought it was fun so I bought some seeds when we were at Target.  Our front garden area really is mostly shade so it totally limits what we can plant there, but I found pansies and another kind of pansy-look-alike flower that wasn't a pansy.  I turned over the soil and then made a ditch to put the seeds into and then covered them up again.  If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't.  
I love the flowers that come up every year, that makes me happy!  These were kind of droopy after all the rain we got today but Jordan still said, "Pretty flowers!"
Jordan and I out front, he was trying to catch bugs while I was planting.  I showed him a couple of worms I found in my digging adventures, he thought that was pretty cool.  

Lance Briggs

We drove out to Algonquin today to meet Lance Briggs.  It feels like we haven't been to a signing in a while and this one was a fairly low-stress one today, which is good!  Jordan was really cute even though he was really tired and had a mini-tantrum seconds before we were up to meet Lance and was lying on the floor.  

Jordan handed Lance the mini-helmet we wanted him to sign.  

I don't think he's left-handed in real life...
Family picture!  Lance Briggs, Chad, Jordan, and me!

  

The Book of a Thousand Days


Most Recently Read Book:

Book of a Thousand Days

By Shannon Hale

It took me a while to really get into this book.  I liked it from the beginning but it was kind of slow.  It actually reminded me of Graceling in that way, but I did like Graceling more.  This book is about a mucker girl, basically a low-class singing-healer orphan who is chosen to be a lady's maid when she gets locked into a tower for seven years by her father.  The story unfolds from there and she ends up playing a huge role in saving the entire realm after her and her lady escape from the tower.  This book totally went where I didn't expect it to go and towards the end I was devouring it to figure out how it was all going to end.  This idea for this book is actually taken from an obscure story written by the Brothers Grimm.  I would definitely recommend it, but give it time to develop.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Painting!

I have only once painted with Jordan at our house and since then I haven't been brave enough to break out the paints...until tonight!  Chad had parent/teacher conferences so I was home with Jordan all night by myself.  It was nice to have some Mommy/Jordan bonding.  I brought the easel down into the kitchen so any paint spillage wouldn't do too much damage!  As it turns out Jordan had quite a few accidents because he would pick up the little jug of paint and fling it around without realizing paint was flying everywhere.  Everything was cleanable so it's all good...let's just not tell Chad!  What he doesn't know won't hurt him!  
I tried and tried to get him to look at me for one second and to smile...I at least go him looking.  Don't you love the smock?  There are little pockets and there were crayons in each pocket, he was so cute reaching down to pull out a new crayon.  
Oops, I was just editing some of the video I have and Chad is wondering why I am hysterically laughing over here.  I'm sorry, it just cracks me up.  I had some Fred Koch music on and Jordan just got way excited...I love that he knows when he messes up but he doesn't quite know what to do about it.  He didn't really want to admit that he messed up but he didn't say, "No", instead he just shrugs.  Love that face!
video

Because of Winn-Dixie


Most Recently Read Book:

Because of Winn-Dixie

By Kate DiCamillo

Very sweet book about a girl who is sad that she doesn't know her mother and has to move to a new town until her newly-un-strayed dog helps her make new friends in her new town.  Lots of different stories woven in.  Great book to teach about getting to know a person before judging them.  I read Edward Tulane before I read this book and I really liked that book.  I figured I had to read Winn-Dixie.  I think I liked Edward Tulane better but both are great reads.  I could definitely see how Winn-Dixie would work as a classroom read-aloud.  (It's short, too!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What My Mother Doesn't Know


Most Recently Read Book:

What My Mother Doesn't Know

By Sonya Sones

Love it!  I really needed a book like this!  This book is short and sweet.  I love the voice of the character in this book.  She is totally a friend I would have had in middle school/high school.  I could easily relate to her and the book was just the right length.  It wasn't too much and wasn't drawn out, it was such a relate-able story but got it done without having to drag on and on.  Love it.  It's a really cute book about a girl finding love...I know, you've heard it before, but, like I said this one is just so personable and keeps it short and to the point.  Love it.  Did I say that?

The Boy Who Saved Baseball

Most Recently Read Book:

The Boy Who Saved Baseball

By John H. Ritter

Overall, this was a good book.  I think I'm over books that talk about sports and underdogs pulling through in the end, but I think a kid would like this book.  In the book, a little league baseball team has to beat the well-to-do kids from down the hill in order to save their baseball field from being bulldozed and turned into a housing development.  There was a little bit of a feeling of the magicalness of Holes but it doesn't really compare.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome Bruce and Clark!

Many of you have heard that the Vincent household once again has hermit crabs!  Chad thought it would be fun to get a pet for Jordan and hermit crabs are one of the best pets for kids.  We got two crabs, the first one is towards the back with the yellow shell and the other one is right in front with the blue shell.  The yellow shell has a painted Batman symbol on it and the blue shell has the Superman logo!  We named them Bruce and Clark appropriately!
Jordan has fun watching them and talking to them.  He doesn't really have any interest in holding them, which is probably a good thing.  Here we are at the pet store!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Photo Booth Fun

Jordan and I were having fun with Photo Booth the other day.  I feel like we haven't really taken that many pictures lately, but these are fun!

We are making fish faces here, but it looks more like we are giving kisses!
Peekaboo!
Mommy and Jordan

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

Most Recently Read Book:

Thirteen Reasons Why 

By Jay Asher

This is quite honestly the most compelling book I have read in a while.  I think this is an important book for any person to read, although parts of it are graphic and it is about a girl who committed suicide so it is a very serious topic.  I would recommend this for students who are at least in high school and it would probably be a good book to be able to discuss with an adult.  This story is about a girl who commits suicide.  She recorded tapes before she died to explain why she killed herself.  The main character is one of the people on the tapes and you get to hear what she says on the tapes and his perspective/commentary on what she explains.  It is a remarkable book that really makes you think about how we treat people every day.  It's so important to be a good person and to treat other people kindly.  You never know how even one small unfriendly thing can add to how a person feels.  Amazing book.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Frog Princess

Most Recently Read Book:

The Frog Princess

By E.D. Baker

Well, I had high hopes for this book because it is the first in a series.  It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that great, either.  It's about a princess who runs off and kisses a frog...but instead of him turning into a prince, she turns into a frog!  They go off on an adventure trying to track down the witch who enchanted the frog to see if she can reverse the spell and that's basically the story.  The writing was pretty simple and I think maybe a 4th grader would like it but I wasn't impressed by the characters, especially Prince Edric, he was more annoying than anything else.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter!

We had such a nice relaxing, family Easter.  Jordan was excited to see that the Easter Bunny had come.  He was really excited about the candies and kept saying, "These for mine," just in case we didn't know they were his.  
Jordan got more Easter baskets at my parents house:
He couldn't get enough of the little plastic eggs.
We had a nice lunch and then afterwards had to fly Jordan's new kite and play some baseball.  

Our Whirlwind Saturday

We had a wild Saturday this last weekend!  We started off with gymnastics.  It was the first class of the new session and Jordan is now in the transitional class which means he gets to go into the big gym!  He had to do an obstacle course and did a really great job!  I was so proud of him.  
Here's Jordan amid the other gym-goers waiting to get his stamps! 
After gymnastics we loaded ourselves into the car and made our way to Rockford.  Jordan took a nap (thankfully!) and I read and took a nap myself while Chad drove. 

Our first stop in Rockford was Monkey Joe's.  Monkey Joes's is a cool place that had lots of jumpy things!  We even met Monkey Joe!
Right away Chad took Jordan down a giant slide...I kind of freaked out when I saw Jordan coming down so fast, but was relieved to see him pop up and say, "I did it!"

video

Now, after Monkey Joe's we had a little bit of time and the new extension of the Rockford Public Library was right there, so what did we do?  We went.  The funny thing to me was that Chad didn't even blink an eye, we just strolled right over.  I'm starting to think it's normal to visit public libraries wherever we go, but, really, I don't think people go places and stop in the library.  We're just cool like that.  
Our next stop in Rockford was our friend, Braylon's, birthday party.  Chad's friend Max's son turned 1 and we went to celebrate with him!

After the party we stopped at Grandma Sue's and Bubba's to see Keeton (Chad's cat) and then went with them to eat dinner at Pizza Ranch.  It was dudical.  

It was a wild Saturday!  We survived though and we had a great time!

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Most Recently Read Book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson

Another book club book successfully finished!  I almost doubted myself for a second there but then I read every second of downtime we had this weekend and I finished it up.  This book was really hard to get into, there was lots of weird information at the beginning that was kind of hard to follow...and then it go easier to read and it was really good.  This book is a kind of CSI/Cold Case story...except the "investigators" aren't really official hard core cops or anything like that.  Overall, I really liked the book.  I have to say when they figure out who did the crime and what it was all about it was kind of hard to read because it was so brutal but I never would have guessed it.  Can't wait to see what all everyone at book club thinks!

Flipped

Most Recently Read Book:

Flipped

By Wendelin Van Draanen

This was a good book!  It was a pretty deep book for a middle school book, but it was really good.  What I really loved was that the book is a great example of perspective.  I am definitely going to use this book to teach perspective with my students.  Flipped is the story about a boy and a girl who live across the street from each other.  The girl has a crush on the boy the second she spots him as he's moving in across the street.  The goy totally can't stand the girl the minute she shows up at his new house.  From there you get the same story from each of their points of view as they grow up and their relationship changes.  The author does a good job of telling the story twice from each of their perspectives without making it seem like you are reading it twice.  Very sweet book. 

Easter Bunny Breakfast

Last weekend, we went to Seasons of Long Grove to meet the Easter Bunny for breakfast.  Jordan had so much fun talking to the Easter Bunny and laughing with him.  He liked breakfast, too!

Grandma Sue and Bubba with the Easter Bunny!
Papa and Gama with the Easter Bunny!
Chad and me!
Aunt Jacquie and Joe
Family picture with the Easter Bunny!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jordan's First Bulls Game!

Today we took Jordan to his first Bulls game!  My parents and Rob, Silvia, and Alex came with us.  Jordan had so much fun watching the pre-game stuff that he thought it was all done when the game started.  He kept saying, "All done," until he realized it wasn't all done and we weren't going home yet. 
Jordan fell asleep for a little bit until Chad woke him up to go meet Benny the Bull.  We were a little too late to get our picture taken with Benny but Jordan got to give him a high five:
video
After the game Jordan and Alex had fun looking at the people down below us.  We were in the 300 level which is pretty high up.  You could still see the whole court easily. 
Here are the Vincents!  The game was great, and was close at the end so it was exciting to watch.  You can see the smiles on our faces: Bulls win!
Here we are after the arena emptied out.
Gama and Papa
Chad and Jordan with the new Johnny "Red" Kerr statue. 

Baby Brennan!

This morning we went to visit our friends Jason and Alisha and their new baby, Brennan Rockwell.  Jordan has a little trouble saying his name.  It comes out "Brendan."  It's cute anyway.  He is adorable.  Chad and I got to hold him and Jordan tickled his feet.  Jordan likes babies, it's really sweet.  Doesn't he just look like a doll?Chad and Baby Brennan


Me and Baby Brennan - I miss newborns!
Jordan talking to me about what Baby Brennan eats.  I asked him what babies eat and Jordan responded, "Cool Whip!"