story fam

story fam

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Michael made the Pantagraph-this is the picture!
Thursday night we transformed ourselves into the characters from Harry Potter. Michael was Harry, Peris was Moaning Myrtle, Ella was Malfoy, Fiona was Fiona-the Hogwarts student, and Emmy was Ginny Weasley. Upon arrival to Hogwarts (the Children's Discovery Museum) we were "sorted" into our houses: Peris and Fiona to Hufflepuff, Michael to Ravenclaw, Emmy and Ella to Slytherin (eeww) and Derek and I to Gryffindor.
Our coursework included creating Magical Creatures, making a Mauraders Map, watching spells being cast (cool experiments courtesy of ISU Physics), visiting Ollivander's Wand "Shop" where each student was chosen by their wand, creating a Drinkable Potion (Michaels was Phoenix Tongue), Divination (where the girls made those old school fortune tellers), and the ultimate activity for the night: museum quidditch!!
We all had an excellent time!!
And to give credit where it is due: Derek created ALL of the costumes out of his own ties, white shirts, and black plastic table cloths. Yes he is the man!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spring Reading Thing Wrap Up

Well I would agree that Spring is gone and Summer has arrived here in the Midwest!! We are under a heat advisory because the temperatures have soared into the upper 90's-ICK!! At 7am it was already 79 degrees. As we head into summer, the spring reading thing (sponsored by is wrapping up. So did I meet my goals? Hmmm...I have to admit that I strayed BIG time off of my original list!! I couldn't find some of the books I chose and lost interest in others. But the beauty of my list is that it sparked other book finds that were incredible!!! Here is what I accomplished off of my list back in March:

Mommy is Going to Read:

The Boy in The Striped Pajamas-John Boyne
Clay's Quilt-Silas House
The Kite Runner
The Shack
Meet the Austens'Madeleine L'Engle
Multiple Blessings-Kate Gosselin
Harry Potter books 5 and 6
5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter-Vicki Courtney
How to Have a New Kid by Friday-Dr. Kevin Lehman DONE-THIS IS AWESOME!!
The Treasure Inside Your Child

Mommy is Going to Read to the Kiddo's:

The Princess and The Kiss
Beautifully Made: Approaching Womanhood (yep, it's time-sigh)
The Story of Me: God's Design for Sex Ages 3-5 ('s time for this too) DONE
Before I Was Born: God's Design for Sex Ages 5-8
What's The Big Deal? Why God Cares About Sex Ages 8-11 (do you see the theme here?)

red = completed
blue = didn't get to
light blue = couldn't find
green = started but couldn't get into the book

I did read A LOT of books not on my list. If you visit my blog and scroll down mid way, you will see on the right hand side what I did get to. There were books that I happened to find and books that I devoured ( A Thousand Splendid Suns) because I enjoyed a book here on this list and wanted to read more by that author.

My favorite book from my list hands down was The Kite Runner and I have to say that this author is also my new favorite. I went on to read A Thousand Spendid Suns and by far these two selections are the best that I have read in 2009.

This challenge was a lot of fun and it reminded me how much I love to read. I look forward to the next challenge in the fall.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Field (Museum) Trip

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Whew. I did it!! I successfully applied for substitute teaching jobs in our area after sifting through job applications that were foreign to me! I am a dinosaur in the teaching profession and it was hard, embarrassing, and humbling. I had no idea what a Master Teacher was or if I was "Highly Qualified" to teach a subject. I have the old school type 3 certificate that really doesn't even exist anymore. Sigh. Now I have to gather materials and wait to see if anyone thinks that I am employable.

One more step towards solving the "I've been home for the past 10 years of my life being a Mom and now my kids are going to all be in school so what do I do now" dilemma.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday-The Kids are Cooking!!

I came up with a plan and have to say that it is BRILLIANT!!!! Okay, raise your hands if.....your kids complain about what you make? or they sit down and say eeww/ick/gross? or if they are unappreciative of your general list making/shopping/cooking/setting the table/cleaning up efforts? I may be able to help!!!!

In complete desperation and frustration I decided that for the summer my children would each be assigned to one day of making dinner. They are responsible for the following: attending a family meeting where the weekly meals are discussed (no meal can be repeated during the week-hey, they would all be picking mac and cheese or chicken nuggets-and each child must pick a different meal than the one they picked the week before..i.e. no picking homemade pizza for their assigned night for the entire summer), picking a main meal/veggie/fruit/bread/dessert, helping to make a list for their items (and we are on a budget so they must adhere to that as well), and going to the store to shop for their own items. On their given night they are responsible for preparing/cooking/plating the food while another sibling sets the table.

I know it sounds too good to be true, right? IT IS!!!! Now for those of you genius Moms doing this already bear with me!!!!!!

Last week was our first week on the new plan and it was fantastic!! We had one night of complaining, but some wonderful things happened on the other 5 nights we had our dinner together!! There were compliments, "Oh this is delicious", moments of grace, "Fiona I picked green beans because I wanted you to be able to have dessert", and the best part? Getting to spend one on one time with each child while we are cooking.

Here's our menu for the week:

MONDAY (Emmy-5)

Homemade Pizza (light on the sauce)
Corn on the Cob
Homemade cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles

TUESDAY (Peris-9)

Taco night
Green beans
Pineapple/mandarin oranges
Homemade white cake w/icing and sprinkles

WEDNESDAY( Michael-7)

Chicken on the grill

THURSDAY - Cookout to celebrate Uncle Tim's birthday at their house

FRIDAY - Secret Field Trip to see Uncle Dave and Carrie in Chicago


Turkey with gravy
Homemade mashed potatoes w/gravy
Homemade Oreo balls


Steak/hot dogs on the grill
Green beans
Mandarin oranges

So that's it. I'll check in next week to let you know if this is still working in my favor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!!!!

For more fantastic recipes check out!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Settling In

Summer in underway here at the Story house. We've even had a few days of sun!! Hooray!! Our schedule has slowed down significantly which is wonderful. I do not enjoy those rushed mornings which lead into afternoons of homework/dinner/bath/bed. The kids have a new LATE bedtime and have been sleeping in which is awesome, our days have been full but easy and we are all settling in to the summer routine. It took about a week of adjustment for everyone. Having a lot of free time is not something that comes easy once you are used to so much structure. And even though we use a picture schedule so the kids can see what our day holds, it just isn't the same.
Monday swimming lessons begin (which are every day) and then Fiona is going to start soccer at the end of June. We are participating in both reading programs and have some mini field trips planned to get us out and about. It is the perfect pace for us right now. Before we know it August will be here and the hectic schedule will begin again. Have I mentioned that my baby will be going off to big girl school? Sigh. Can't even go there yet. I'm working up to the first day of school-which, by the way, happens to be August 17th. YES, Derek is taking the day off.

Gosh I love the summer!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

St. Louis

We kicked off our summer vaca with a trip down to Children's Hospital in St. Louis for Emmy. The appointment went smoothly (i.e. we didn't have to wait all day) so we headed across the street to the zoo. After a picnic lunch where we were stalked by two ducks (see photo below) who wanted our food, we went in for a really fun afternoon!

P.S. It was REALLY hot down there!!!!!

Undiscovered Talent...Michael's Poetry Program

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ella's Park Day

Ella celebrated the end of the school year at the park with her first grade friends. We had a busy schedule with all of the end of the year activities, so we got to eat lunch with Ella before heading off to Michael's poetry program.
Second grade, here Ella comes!