Monday, September 29, 2008

Doing Very Well...Thank You

To all who were praying for my dad here is the update...he's doing very well, they were able to put 3...yes, 3 stints in his artiery (sp!) and he won't need bypass so that is WONDERFUL news.  He had the procedure today and just needs to stay in the hospital I will be packing up my photos that need albuming and books that need reading and heading to the hospital tonight to hang out with dad until morning.  That way Mom can get some rest so she can take good care of her patient tomorrow.

He will need another stint in sometime before Christmas but they will get a chance to have some sun time in Florida before that.  So thanks for the thoughts and prayers...they worked!  Have a great week and for all those scrapbookers, check out Ali Edwards week in the life challange...I think that is my mission next week???  We'll see!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pictures of Fairies!!!

Happy Wednesday!  This is a photo of Emily with her "Fairy Houses" she built in our backyard.   What a fun activity!  I read about it in Family Fun magazine and thought it would be fun to do with my girl so we went to grandmaPat's and papa Shel's and collected leaves, berries and twigs and brought them home to create our great fairy houses!   She loves running out each morning to see if the fairies have been there!  I love my imaginative girl and her creative mind!  Today it's mini heart shaped pb&j sammies and putting up some halloween decorations. 

The fabulous camera above is my NEW NEW NEW mini digital camera my sweet sweet hubby got me for and early b-day gift.  It's faster than my old mini digital and very easy to use for techno-challanged people like me!  Maybe now I will take some time and figure out how to post upright photos...well, we'll see about that!  Enjoy the beautiful day!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Organizational Tips

I have some great organizational tips for you today!!!  The top photo shows the hanging file container I keep in my kitchen by my phone.  I got the white hanging file folders and the blue and green file folders from the Container Store and they weren't too expensive!  I then used my label maker and gave Ben and Emily each a hanging file folder labeled with their names.  Each child gets a blue folder labeled "school" and a green folder labeled "Activities".  In each school folder I put their supply lists, any important notes or calendars to hang on to and sheets of labels with each kids' names and grade on it.  I print labels out before school starts and use them to label supplies, and I put labels on their water bottles each day (that way they aren't drinking out of water fountains and it's easy to tell to whom the water bottle belongs.  I also label hanging file folders with "Family" and "Receipts".  In the family folder I label file folders for "gift certificates", "menus", "coupons", and one with my name on it for my important papers.  I put any and all receipts in that hanging folder.  It makes returns very easy!!!  Anyway, I came up with this system when Ben started First Grade and I've been tweeking it every since.  I think it's finely tuned now and ready to share with others.  Remember, any good organizational system has to be easy and work for can't be something that is a chore to keep up.  (I am really directing this advice to my sweet and loving sisters!)  Happy organizing!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Be Grateful! (Darn it!)

These are photos of something that happened this past August.  For those of you who don't know Ben and Chris went with the Singletary boys to a  preseason Bears game.  They had a great time, and to show gratitude for the invitation, Chris drove (my car.)  A great time was had by all until the drive home.  That's when the above piece of steel from a construction truck came flying through my passenger's door of the mini van, missed Ben's head by inches, hit the back seat (about chest high) and landed in the booster seat Drake Singletary was SUPPOSE TO be sitting in.  We are talking brain matter flying or a collapsed lung and crushed chest.  God is alive and well and apparently has big plans for Ben and Drake.  Not to mention the amount of shattered glass that went everywhere (all over Ben) and didn't even leave a scratch on him!  I know full well who caught that piece of steel and I will be eternally grateful...(catch your breath here).  I will remember this gratitude each and every time my darling kiddos are fighting and I feel ready to tear my hair out.  (I will I will I will!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Charlotte is Here!

Look what I found today!  I was mowing the grass this afternoon (a tedious task after a weekend of rain) and I found the most beautiful spider web on my magnolia bush!  Later I went back to take a photo of it and this is what I found!  She's HUGE!!!!  I brought the kids outside to see her and they were in awe!  We also have at least 2 frogs and dozens of toads in our window wells.  I tried my best to get a photo but between the screens and the window well glass no photo would turn out.  (boo hoo)  So, we are a regular animal kingdom here in Shorewood!  Who needs a dog when we have exotic pets like spiders and amphibians!  

Tonight is soup and sandwich night at the Dow's.  It's Curriculum Night at school so we need to eat quickly and head over to Troy for some fun with the teachers.  Em is doing much better in kindergarten.  Her favorite part is "Homework!"  Can you believe it?  Monday's assignment was to write your phone number and practice it.  Well, she knows it with the area code so that was an easy assignment!  She's really cute when she gets off the short bus and tells me all the things she has done that day!

I did talk to the substitute coordinator last night and I will start subbing soon...if not next week then the following week.  And she said she could probably keep me busy every Monday and!    Well, it's time to start working on sandwich night...yummy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

WHAT DO YOU THINK???'s just a thought but I was wondering if you think people would pay me to organize their closets?  I really love to organize and wouldn't mind helping others get organized.  Do you think people would really pay me to do that?  What about $30 a closet?  (depending on the size of course!)  Do you know anyone who needs my help and would be willing to pay me to help them get organized?  Please post a comment or email me and let me know what you think!!!  (

Friday, September 12, 2008

OK...I'll Admit It...I Have an Addiction to Organization...

This post is dedicated to Debbie, my neighbor...all of my photos are sideways...just for you.  I won't admit that I don't know how to turn them the right way but I will tell you Debbie, that some day you are magically going to click on "Thoughts and Snipits" and see that Amy Dow has indeed learned how to fix her photos and then what fun will that be?

On to issues bigger than my lack of computer savviness (is that a word?)....Let's talk about my obsession to live in a completely organized environment.  Some thought that as my children gradually went back to school, I would find my self home, lonely, bored and wishing for a paying job.  Well, the paycheck would be nice (hey, Mr. Dow, how about some cash for your woman for all she does around here??)  but the truth is I have dreamed of this time for many years.  Not to say I am wishing away my children's childhoods and yes, sometimes I feel right at home in the mess, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE taking on an organizing project in my home and feeling the sweet victory of completion!  My great grandma Nelson had something when she said that she liked to iron because she could "see where I've been"... it must be in my blood! Really, that is the thrill of it!  Besides making space in my home, I also love the thrill I get when I complete a project!  This week I completed 2!!!  Can you believe it?  And above are photos of both.  

#1 Was the hall coat closet.  I started by making piles of everyone's coats and then the kids tried on each coat to see what could stay and what needed to be passed along.  Uddy managed to get rid of a few he's been holding strong on...I was ready to do a little dance when he gave up one.  He did however, keep the orange ski vest that hails from the 90's when we all tended to wear everything too big.  If you see him in it this winter please feel free to make a comment to help him see the light on that one!  Anyway, our intention had always been to do the Elfa system in that closet too but the $100 gift card we were going to use toward it this January was burning a hole in my Coach bag!  I mean come on, when you get a thrill organizing like me, to walk into the Container Store and not walk out with AT LEAST $100 worth of bins and organizing supplies is CRAZY!  So I got a sweater organizer from Target (under $10) and used it in the corner to hold the craft paper and supplies.  Now the kids can take out (and put back) their craft supplies when needed.  And I have more space on the top shelf for my camera bags.  But please know that some day this closet will be blessed with an Elfa system too.

OK...on to today's project...#2...I cleaned out the storage area in the basement this morning, and it was done by the time the short bus pulled in front of my home!  If it was an Olympic sport I would have been a contender for the Gold.   I condensed holiday decor, I vacuumed (Dad would be so proud) and tossed and filled the mini van with items to help keep the Goodwill in business for a good long time.  The photos tell it all, its just glorious to behold and I am beaming!  Now, I just need to get Uddy to clear his stuff out and we are golden!  We'll see, he likes to work on "Dow time".  

So, to all those doubters who thought I'd be bored being a stay at home mom...look out!  Because when I run out of spaces in my home...I am coming after yours!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Get Right Back to Where We Started From

So, needless to say my title is from that great 70's song I  used to sing while naked on the fireplace.  I am not at all sure why all of my words are underlined but when I figure it out I will correct it.   Anyway, Emily was watching a movie and eating her lunch after a long morning of kindergarten and this song was playing with the you remember it?  I used to love that song...was it Captain and Tonile?  Not sure, I wasn't into groups at that young age.  Anyway, I wanted to post 3 new photos.  The first is a photo of my children with my cousin Sara's kiddos...they came for a surprise visit in August before school started and we had so much fun.  The kids love their cousins and Sara and I never have trouble finding things to talk about!  We took the kids to the Brookfield Zoo the day they got here and it was fun....but hot!  The next photo is the hand-made lazy suzanne I painted and decorated 2 weeks ago.  What a fun project and fun to have on the kitchen table too!  And finally, the last photo was of Emily at the American Girl Store on Labor Day.  My niece Lauren got 4 free tickets for the very last public show and so we invited our neighbor and her daughter to go with us to eat lunch and see the show.  The girls loved it all and it was a great ending to a super busy but fun weekend!  I will post Em's first day of school photos soon...I havent' even looked at them yet!   Uh!  I am also going to post a photo of my new bestest friend....interested????  I bet I got you thinking and wondering!  
The projects this week included a bunch of overdue the big stuff.  And today it's the hall coat closet.  The happy news is Em's coats from last year still fit (thank you Grandma Pat)!  So now it's just a matter of buying a winter coat for the boy.  These kids need to stop growing so darn fast!   All right, time for me to "get right back to where I started from"  in the coat closet.  Happy Tuesday!