I rolled over, opened my eyes and looked at the clock.   I blinked several times and bolted upright.  Can that time be right? Is it really 7:20? This is not the way to start the school year off.

“Wake up! Wake up!  We have 5 minutes until the bus is here!” I shout as I run into the kids’ room turning on lights and throwing clothes at them.  “Get up! Put your clothes on!  We don’t want to miss the bus on the first day of school!”

Emma was first up, dressed and downstairs. She had her socks, shoes and backpack on and was waiting on her brothers in under two minutes.  Caleb and Ethan both came barreling down the stairs together, racing to see who would be first. 

We had one minute left and I was getting worried, “Drew! Are you coming? The bus will be here any minute!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” he said with that wonderful teenage attitude.  “Man, this is too early to be up.” He complained as he started getting on his shoes and socks.  Yes, this was a stark contrast to his sleeping-in-until-noon days of summer and he was not adjusting well.

I glanced out the window and saw the school bus at the neighbor’s house. “OK – it’s go time! The bus is here!” I announce as I try to brush each child’s hair a couple more times on their way out the door.

Caleb, Ethan and Emma marched out of the house and onto the bus but not before I snapped this quick picture of Emma and Ethan.  We usually take first day of school pictures of all four kids but this year I accepted the fact that I would have to settle for second-day-of-school pictures.

Drew was still getting his shoes on so I held up one finger to the bus driver signaling her to wait just a minute.  “Drew, she’s waiting on you!  Hurry up!!”  It’s a good thing we have a patient bus driver!

He grabbed his book bag and iPod and put his head phones in. “See ya mom!” he called as he walked out the door.  A couple strides with his long legs and he was on the bus.

As the bus drove away I sighed with relief amazed that they all actually made it. I looked around the living room to make sure there weren’t any missing items (or kids) left behind but luckily it was just the normal clutter and mess.

My husband and I were talking the morning’s excitement when he noticed I looked a little worried. “What’s wrong?” He asked.

“I feel bad that the kids didn’t get any breakfast.”  I confessed.

“Do you normally feed them breakfast?” he teased with a grin.

I laughed and replied, “Well, I at least try to give them an Oreo or a couple fish crackers on their way out the door!”

“They’ll be fine!” He assured me.  “Maybe we should eat some Oreos in their honor. Would that help?”

“Well, maybe. Chocolate does always make me feel better.” I admitted. “But tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow we are not going to oversleep and I will be a better mother and make sure the kids get something to eat.”

A new school year always brings challenges for kids, but the parents often have an even harder time adjusting. Of course, it’s great to have the kids back in school and not complaining “I’m bored” five hundred times a day but it can be stressful.

So, if you’re stressed out with the kids going back to school … have an Oreo or two. Or maybe you are celebrating the kids being back in school … have an Oreo or two.  Or maybe you are congratulating yourself for getting up, fixing a homemade breakfast and giving your kids the proper send off … have an Oreo or two (but don’t tell me about how perfect your morning went because that’s just mean).  Or maybe you are exhausted like my friend, Tiffany, who was woken up by her kids standing by her bedside at 4:45am : They were dressed, had fixed themselves breakfast, and had their shoes, socks and backpacks on all ready for school over 2 ½ hours before the bus was to arrive … if so, have an Oreo or two.  See the common theme here?

Here is my favorite first-day-of-school picture.  This was from 2009 and I love the look of mischief on Ethan’s face! I originally planned to blog about the first day of school 2012 and have a nice picture of all four kids to compare with this picture from 2009. Oh, well! Maybe next year!

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Super Bowl Dreams

February 7, 2012

Living near Indianapolis all we have heard about for the past few weeks is the Super Bowl. There have been hoards of people invading the state and downtown Indianapolis has been packed with wall-to-wall people. And not just any people, but lots of celebrities like Adam Sandler, John Travolta, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Jessica Simpson and even Ryan Gosling. Everything was so booked and there were no hotel rooms available so people started renting out their houses and apartments for thousands of dollars a night. It’s been a crazy few weeks leading up to the Super Bowl and Ethan has been excited even though his favorite team, The Indianapolis Colts, didn’t make it this year.

A few days before the big game, Ethan came into the kitchen and said, “Hey Mom! I had a dream last night that I got to go to the Super Bowl and that the Giants won.”

“That sounds like a great dream, but I’m sorry that there’s only a chance of half of it coming true.” I replied.

“You don’t think the Giants are going to win?” he asked

“Ummm …. I don’t know – they might, but the part that I was talking about not coming true is us going to the Super Bowl.” I explained

“Well, this one kid in my class is going to the Super Bowl with his Dad. I wish I could go too!” he pouted trying to convince me how much his life and well-being depended on attending this one special event.

“Ethan, I wish I could take you, but the tickets are VERY expensive and we just don’t have that kind of money.”

“They are only around $250.00. I think we could all go –the whole family! It would be so much fun!” he excitedly said as he bounced around the kitchen.

“No, that is for the regular season games, but the Super Bowl tickets are much more expensive. I think they would be like $1000 or more. Come with me and we will check it out online”

As I went to my computer to pull up some tickets on eBay, he continued, “It’s really pretty easy Mom. I saw a commercial on TV and all you have to do is give them your Visa card and then they give you the Super Bowl tickets. You have a Visa card, don’t you?”

“Look here Ethan, for just 4 of our 6 family members to attend the Super Bowl it would cost $13,400!” I showed him – shocked at how high the tickets actually were. “For that much money we could go on a really nice vacation and take everyone in the family.”

“A vacation to where?” he asked.

“Well for $13,000 we could go just about anywhere! Hawaii, Europe or anywhere we wanted. We could even probably stay a couple weeks with that much money.”

He thought for a few minutes and then said, “OK, I’ll take the vacation to Hawaii – let’s do that instead.”

I laughed, “Ethan I don’t HAVE $13,000 … I was just saying IF we were rich and IF I had $13,000 that I would rather spend it on a nice vacation for the family than to go to the Super Bowl. But since I don’t have that kind of money we aren’t going to the Super Bowl and we aren’t going on vacation to Hawaii – sorry sweetie.”

He seemed disappointed, but then said, “Well, that’s OK. We will just watch the game here at home. I can see better on the TV anyways.”

So we had our own little Super Bowl Party on Sunday night complete with Pizza, popcorn and of course, Oreo cookies (shaped like footballs). Ethan had to explain most of the game to me since I know very little about football but we had a great time and it was much more comfortable and less crowded than going to the game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Take that Tom Brady! Your dreams are crushed!” Ethan yelled. I laughed as I watched him hooting and hollering as the clock ran out at the end of the game and the Giants defeated the Patriots 21 to 17. He did his own little victory dance around the room and the smile on his face proved that only having half of his dream come true was good enough for our 9-year-old football fanatic!

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Oreo Brownies

August 17, 2011

Here is a recipe that I tried out this week for Oreo Brownies. I found it on the back of the brownie box (which you all know is how I make “homemade” brownies) and since Oreos and brownies are two of our family’s favorite foods I thought it would be fun to try. It’s easy (of course) … because I don’t have a lot of extra time to spend in the kitchen! 

Prepare a package of brownies according to the directions on the box except for add in 1 cup of crushed Oreos (I used Double Stuff).  Cook according to directions on box.  Let cool completely.  After they are cool frost with 1 tub of vanilla frosting and top with 2/3 cup – 1 cup of crushed Oreos. 

That’s all there is too it ! 

I crushed my Oreos by putting in a Ziploc bag and crushing them and the kids thought this was really fun. 

They are REALLY rich, but delicious!

Empty Oreos

January 31, 2011

It never fails …. I go shopping, come home and find more things that I need to buy. Not because I forgot to put them on the list, but because my kids have a habit of putting empty boxes back into the cupboards and the fridge.  I usually make up my shopping list quickly on my way out the door to Walmart.  I just take a quick inventory and see what things we are out of and add them to the list. However, the empty boxes look very similar to the full boxes so unless I pick up each box or container up and shake to determine fullness of the box I will not know to buy more.  I have tried to explain this time and time again to the kids, but their selective hearing must prevent them from picking up on what I think is a pretty simple concept … when you take the last cookie, cracker, fruit snack, etc. and the box is empty THROW IT AWAY! 

A couple weeks ago I returned home from the store and was putting the groceries away when Ethan asked, “Did you buy more Oreos?”   “No” I replied, “There is an almost full package in the cupboard” (this time when I was making up my shopping list I had gotten wise and picked up the package and could tell the Oreo box was not empty).  Ethan looked up at me with his sad little face and said, “Yeah, but those Oreos are all empty.”  “What do you mean, they are ’empty’?” I asked.  “You know … they don’t have any of the white stuff in the middle.”  he explained.  That’s odd, how could they not have any filling?  I went to the cupboard and opened the Oreo package to find that Ethan was right … empty Oreos. Hmmm …. who was the one that ate the filling out of all the Oreos ?  Could it have been Emma or Drew?  Or maybe it was Ethan and that’s how he knew they were empty. 

As I was pondering this mystery I walked into the living room where Drew and Emma were playing the Wii. Ethan was behind me and so I asked the three of them “Who ate the filling out of all the Oreos?”  Of course, I got the standard answer of “Not me!” from all three of them.  I knew it wasn’t Caleb because he doesn’t like Oreos and I was pretty sure Dwight wasn’t the culprit so that just left these three as suspects in The Case of the Empty Oreos.  I was frustrated that no one would confess to the crime and I was tired from shopping. I tried to remain calm, but unfortunately it didn’t work. “Fine! I said, until one of you admits you ate all the filling out of the cookies, I am not buying anymore Oreos! In fact, maybe I won’t buy any cookies of any kind at all !”  I took the package of empty Oreos and threw it on the coffee table. “You’d better enjoy those empty Oreos because they may be the last cookies you see for a while!”  As I stormed out of the room I heard Emma whisper to Ethan and Drew, “I think the lesson we have learned here today is that you don’t want to make Mommy mad”