Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crazy Hair Day

It was Spirit Week at school last week. They had a theme for every day....crazy hat day, crazy sock day, pajama day, sports day, and of course our favorite - CRAZY HAIR DAY! Now for me, every day when I wake up, it's a crazy hair day, but that wouldn't be enough for these Russell kids! So we bought up as many colors of hair spray as we could find at Wal-Mart, and this is what we came up with. I'm fairly certain we are responsible for a rather large hole in the ozone, and I would not recommend coloring the hair of 4 children at once in the confines of a small bathroom even if the exhaust fan is on.

Carmella of course, wanted blue in her hair. She was the first one we did, and it was looking very blue...I was suprised how well it worked on her dark hair. The pictures really don't convey the blueness, you really just had to be there!

Nora loves the color orange. And with her hair being so much lighter than the other girls, I thought this would be a breeze. I was kind of concerned though, it actually looked like I was just highlighting her hair at first. She decided that orange alone wasn't going to cut it, so we added some green, which made me think of carrots with the tops on. Is that crazy enough for ya?

Gina wanted purple, but for some reason the purple spray did not show up as quickly or as brightly as the blue had on Carmella, so she decided to go half blue and half purple.

Jack's hair was my favorite. His hair is lighter like Nora, so it took the color spray really nicely. I put some gel in his hair to get it spikey first, then just sprayed some colors here and there...I think he ended up looking like an Easter Egg, and he LOVED it! It's a good thing these colors came out with one shampoo, because picture day was 2 days later. After getting all these kids colored up before school, I couldn't even think about doing anything crazy with my own hair...I blame the fumes. But it was really fun for the kids to get to do something fun like this at their new school. Seeing all the other kids and teachers with crazy hair was fun, too. I feel very lucky to be able to be with them at school every day!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Check it out!

My sister and I gave birth to identical twins 10 years apart! :) Not really, but I wanted to post these pictures together to show how much baby Ella Rose reminds me of Nora when she was a newborn! It's the same pose and everything!!! Nora was a little smaller when she was born...but grew fast! I hope Ella gets those awesome chubby cheeks like Nora had. :)

I wish I had one of those Star Trek machines that could "beam me up" to SC so I could hold this little pumpkin! Post more pics, sis, I'm sure you're just sitting around eating bonbons and having massages (got your message, sorry forgot to call back!)

10/20/30 years ago

My pal Tiffany tagged me with this little "meme" which I can only imagine might stand for memory??? (Am I close?) Anyway...thought it was fun, who doesn't like a little stroll down Memory Lane every now and then???

Where was I 10 years ago?

In 1997, I/we were living in Starkville, Mississippi. Nora was born in September of that year and we had a worrisome/stressful month or so after her birth. But by this time, things were settling down, and I was adjusting to being mom-of-two. Jack was walking. Nora was crying. We think she had a touch of colic, but it wasn't so bad. They were both healthy and we were a happy little family of 4. I hadn't yet started scrapbooking, but I took plenty of pictures. I enjoyed cross-stitching and spent a lot of time online while nursing the baby. OK the only picture of me scrapbooked for the year 1997 must be this one with Baby Jack...I was pregnant with Nora, and look how long my hair was - I haven't let it get that long since then!

Where was I 20 years ago?

In 1987, I was 13 years old...in the 8th grade at Hubert H. Hunphrey Middle School, the school colors were an atrocious green and yellow. In 8th grade, I was a cheerleader and on the volleyball and softball teams. I might have still been on the Math Team too, yikes! I hung out with Megan O'Connor and Sue Burt (Sooz!) I was crazy about the Chicago Cubs and had my room decorated in red and blue, with a huge Cubs logo mural on the wall. There were posters (mostly of ball players) on the walls and ceiling. I was wearing braces and had my hair shaved on one side. Yikes again! What a shame I don't have any pictures from this era scanned or scrapped. Hahaha!

Where was I 30 years ago?

In 1977, I was 3 years old. I have no significant memories from this time, but loads of photos in magnetic albums, thanks to my mom! She was so good about putting all her pictures in albums, unfortunately, acid-free was not a term she was familiar with. (She still might not be, come to think of it, but she does scrapbook on occasion!) I haven't scrapped many old pictures of myself, but here's one of me and my sister from 1976 (close enough!) Gigi is on the left side, I am on the right in the individual pics.

And now I get to tag some other bloggers to see if they want to play along with this 10/20/30 Meme...whatever that might be! So, I tag:

KatieJ (who I don't think is 30 yet...but I am sure will have something witty and fun to say about that!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Time!

We visited Johansen's Farm today with Karen and her kids. They have a petting zoo, and lots of fun stuff....that all costs too darn much money. So instead, we just visited the front area which ONLY cost about $40 once my kids picked out the biggest pumpkins they could find! They could not be convinced that the cute little $3.29 pumpkins were far superior quality. Oh well, it's just once a year...or once every few years for us. I think we skipped pumpkins all together last year. I enjoy carving pumpkins...well I enjoy carving A pumpkin...but having to do 4 of them just somehow loses the thrill. I did have one brave child who wanted to try carving and that was Jack. He did a good job, and I was glad that I spent the money on the little pumpkin carving kit because the little pumpkin saw that was in it was much less scary that seeing my son with a butcher knife in his hands!

The pumpkin carving kit came with several patterns for those fancy-schmancy jack-o-lanterns, and I was actually a little worried that I was going to be in big trouble with those. But Jack and Carmella decided they wanted to draw their own faces to carve and I steered Nora and Gina to the easier patterns...whew! I actually am quite fond of the bat on Gina's pumpkin, but she wasn't so sure about it. Nora (like her mom) preferred an oblong pumpkin, and this face from the pattern book was just right for the look she wanted.

I thought it was cute out of all the kids, the one who didn't want to put their hands in the pumpkin goop was JACK! The girls dug right in, for the most part! I did have to do a lot of scraping once they got most of the seeds out. Oh, speaking of seeds...that was the whole reason to prompt this visit today. Carmella has a seed project due on Friday. I wonder if her teacher would reimburse me the $40 we spent just to get some pumpkin seeds! Haha!

Here's Gina digging in, she was very proud of herself for getting all the pumpkin seeds out on her own. Unfortunately, none of the kids took me up on my great idea to count all the pumpkin seeds from all 4 pumpkins! I can't imagine why not!!!

So as I finished carving each of the pumpkins, I put in a candle to show the kids how they would light up. And even though it wasn't dark, they loved them. And I did too. We made a HUGE mess, and I am making a mental note to drop by Mom & Dad's to get some newspapers for easier clean-up next year!

The 2 extras in the middle of the picture there are our little neighbors from across the street. They came over just in time for all the carving fun. The girls made fast friends and are just loving having playmates so close. And here are the pumpkins as they sit outside our house. I hope we didn't carve them TOO early, it would be kind of gross to have moldy pumpkins on Halloween...but the pictures have been taken, so this year we will have Halloween pages in the scrapbook! Hooray!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jack is ELEVEN - oh my heaven!

I got scolded by my sister tonight, I am a bad blogger. Never mind that it took her 5 years to get on the blogging bandwagon.... :) Anyway, here's a blog!

Jack is now 11. I am not near old enough to have an eleven-year-old son. It's just not possible. That means I am a mere two years away from having a TEEN in the house....inconceivable! But yet here I am, and I have plenty of gray hairs to prove it. Jack's birthday was on Friday, we had to rush out of the house a little early in order to hit the grocery store for some cupcakes. I don't remember bringing treats to school on my birthday, but if I did....thanks, Mom, what a chore! I could have been smart and frugal and baked them myself the night before, but I didn't. So instead, I spent $15.67 on 30 cupcakes that had too much frosting, and which Jack probably didn't even like. But, whatever, we bring the cupcakes to his classroom in the morning, his teacher thanks me....and later that day when I happen to see Jack in the lunchroom and embarrass him by singing "Happy Birthday" in front of the whole 5th grade, I see these same cupcakes under his lunch table. His teacher has instructed him to hand them out to the kids at lunchtime. I'm thinking perhaps we have exceeded the age where it's acceptable to bring treats to school. Who knew?

That evening, our tradition is a family birthday dinner at a restaurant of the birthday boy's choice. I just love it that my kids love the same restaurants that I do. I also love the fact that as The Mom, I get to make the rules and say fast food is not an option for The Birthday Dinner. So we headed out to Olive Garden to meet Grandma & Grandpa & Auntie Anna & also Jack's godmother Karen and her family. A party of 13 all together. At many Olive Gardens that I have been to (and there have been many), they have call-ahead seating, where you can call and put your name on the list before you leave home. I guess that's just not the case here, when I called to ask about it, they suggested that I send somebody from my party to put our name on the list a half-hour ahead of the rest. Hmmm. I guess that was going to be me. But running a little late as one does when she has 4 children, we showed up at just about the same time as Grandma & Grandpa. No worries though, it was a beautiful night, and we waited outside while the kids did fun things like climb on the light poles and give Grandpa another reason to want to start drinking. When we finally were seated, I think we were at the world's smallest table that was supposed to seat 13 people...but it all worked out nicely. Jack enjoyed his meal, and especially enjoyed all the gifts he got from Grandma & Karen. They staff of waiters sang "Happy Birthday" and he got to blow out a candle and eat some chocolate cake. At one point he came over to my chair, hugged my neck and told me that I was the BEST MOM EVER! I just had to make sure to document that, because as you can see by what comes next...that feeling is mighty short-lived. Before we left, poor Carmella had gone to the bathroom and ended up puking...we are thinking maybe a little TOO much fettuccine alfredo...if that weren't bad enough, while she was in the bathroom, we decided it was time to leave and we all got up from the table and were waiting outside...oops. Darn it, I had always been soooo good about counting 4 heads when we were out in public. How much ya wanna bet this is brought up in a therapy session in another 20 years??? Ah well.

So, there's your post, oh sister of mine! And look, I even found a picture to include, too! Though that whole Olive Garden meal was not captured on anything other than my camera phone....which doesn't seem to want to send OR receive picture messages since we moved to IL...I did snap a couple pictures of Jack opening up some gifts on Sunday afternoon. Call the Verizon people? Yes, yes, it's on The List.