Saturday, August 30, 2008

House Rules

I grew up in a big family... not Dugger size of 16, but there are 5 kids. I am the oldest and there are 12.5 years between me and the baby (who is now 19). After me there is my sister Amy, my brother Kyle, my sister Kya, and baby brother Kale. We are currently spread across the US - literally, with one sister in Virginia, one in Seattle, a brother in Philly, the other in Chicago and us in Ohio. And yet, we're close. I talk to my sisters at least once a week (or leave them a voicemail) and I try to talk to my brothers often, but boys being boys... conversations are not usually lenghty.

Anyway, I digress. The thing I remember about living in a house with 5 kids under 13 was there wasn't the chaos that you might expect. Granted I moved to college at 18 and so there were only really a few years with ALL of us at home, but even now when we're all home, with spouses and kids, its not chaotic. Oh, I remember days that seemed chaotic, like Junior Prom, my sister and I both trying to get ready and fighting over the curling iron (luckily the scar is gone!) or trying to leave for a 20 hour drive to FL with 5 kids in a van (okay that was insane not chaotic!) but yet I wonder, in amazement, how my parents accomplished that! There is nothing that sticks out in my mind, like family meetings or a big list of house rules, we just somehow did it.

I mention all this because even in our household of 3 (2 adults and a 3-yo) it can feel a little chaotic. So I've been thinking about house rules - what house rules or family rules do we need? Do we really need any other than loving and respecting each other? So my question is - does your family have house rules/family rules? Did you write them down? I'm looking for some input... and I'll post more later when our family decides on our own.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh, for the love of...

Diet Coke.

Yes, Diet Coke. I try really hard to be healthy, I do. We're eating a lot more fresh or freshly frozen veggies and fruit, trying to work more organic or locally grown foods into our diet, and working toward those 8 glasses a day of water. We usually do okay on this one... K loves her milk and juice, but little does she know its 80% water, 20% juice, and we are faithful to the 3 glasses of milk a day. Partially because I just don't buy soda and the truth is I don't buy it because I will drink it.

Case in point... this weekend we had K's 3 year birthday party. I made Kool-aid for the kids and bought 2 2-liters of soda for the grown-ups (along with some beer and homeade ice-tea). The regular Coke was almost gone, maybe 3 (very flat) ounces left, which I used to get the baked on crud out of the bottom of the crock pot. But there was almost a quarter of the 2-liter left of Diet Coke... what's a girl to do. I know, I know, I know all the awful stories about people drinking so much their teeth go bad, and that the nutrasweet is totally unnatural, blah, blah, blah. But I LOVE IT, so help me. Thank goodness that bottle is almost empty...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Its not easy being Green...

Here at the McGregor home, we're trying to do our part for the planet. If you know us, outside of the blog world, you know

  • we love nature, but we're not chaining ourselves to Redwoods anytime soon

  • we love being outdoors, but understand the best place of employment for us is in an office

  • we love fresh air, but at 90 degrees with 90% humidity, air conditioning is still a fabulous gift from God

Maybe its having children (and knowing others who will need our planet some day) that has made me a little more "green" but here are few things I find myself doing more and more:

Breaking down every cardboard box, from macaroni and cheese (which is all Annie's now! LOVE IT!!) to big corragated boxes from packages and gifts

Looking at the packaging to see what has the least and is it recyclable

Saving those plastic ties that come off of every kid toy under the sun - did you know they make great suitcase locks and the TSA doesn't have to cut them!

Trying to actually eat all the leftovers in the fridge before they go bad (and the same with freezer food - getting it eaten before its covered in freezer burn!)

So - what, if anything, have you been doing to help be a little more green? I'm always looking for more simple, yet safe, ideas!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5 Things...

I copied this from Julz... it looked like fun (and I knew most of her 5 things no-one knows... live with a girl a year and you learn a lot! :)

10 Years Ago...I was 23 and starting my senior year of college. Living with my best friend and having the time of my life (uno in the elevator, anyone?).

5 Years Ago... Married to Scott, working at Park Nicollet on the CPOE/eMAR project and living in The Cities.

5 Things on my list for tomorrow...
1. church
2. finishing my grocery list for K's birthday party
3. laundry
4. finish hacking (aka: pruning) at my shurbs in the front yard
5. having chinese for dinner

5 Things people don't know about me...
1. I've had braces twice.
2. I really love ironing, especially pillowcases.
3. I'm not totally opposed to a tatoo at some point in my life
4. I am total afraid of unenclosed fires (candles and fireplaces are okay, birthday candles and bonfires better be adequately put out)
5. I kept my maiden name (Schnettler) as my second middle name when I got married on my Social Security card.

5 Bad Habits...
1. cleaning every square inch of a room when all I was going to do was pick up
2. buying paper because its pretty
3. not checking my voicemail
4. forgetting my cellphone
5. not reading my bible everyday

5 Places I've Lived...
1. Kohler, WI
2. Decorah, IA
3. Edina, MN
4. Melville, NY (okay, it was work, but I spent more time there in 2000-2001 than in MN)
5. Springfield, OH

The big 3!

I can hardly believe that our little baby turned 3 on Thursday. It really seems like just yesterday we were at the wedding of some friends, teasing about how I had another month to go... and then, Kelsey made her great appearance into the world the very next day. I remember feeling so blessed and yet so scared at the same time. Seeing your baby in an incubator, hooked up to monitors, lying under the bili lights, feeding tubes...and yet we knew we were so very blessed that She has been an incredible little girl from the very start... who has grown up so very much.

Kelsey's Hospital picture - taken August 26, 2005 (the day she went home)

She is so excited to be 3, as she is now a "tall girl" (she rarely uses big... she likes tall!). She knows she gets to start dance class in the fall and get a big girl bed (yes, she's still in a crib!).

Kelsey (age 3) opening a present from Nonnie and Plain Grandpa!

If I could only be so excited about each new age I reach! HAHAHA!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School...

I love "back to school" time each year. And yes, no one in our house even goes to school (right now!) But I love the idea of fresh notebooks, crayons, and folders and getting it all set with your backpack. It has always been my favorite part of the school year... and if that and bulletin boards were all there really was to being a teacher, I'd be there (but if you know me... you know I'm not the teacher-to-children-other-than-my-own type).

Anyhow... I was reminded of Mr. Sketch markers today as I was thumbing through a back-to-school craft magazine. Almost instantly, I could smell the blend of mint, chocolate, apple, and licorice markers. Its one of those things that I'm still amazed are still around... was it actually safe for us to inhale all those together??? :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Confession Time

I have a confession... I love houseguests. Really I do. I realized this today as I was getting out towels, swishing the bathroom, stocking TP, etc for some last minute houseguests. I really do love it. I love trying to make my home as comfortable for friends and family as it is for me. We use to joke about our house in Minnesota being the McGregor Inn, because of the frequent guests we had when we first moved in... my MIL had even bought me a guest book to keep track of our visitors. And now that we're in Ohio and we don't have as many guests, I really do miss it and truly cherish the ones who do come!

So, if you're in the neighborhood... please feel free to stop by. The McGregor Inn is open!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Feelin' like Martha... again!

So here was the dilemma. We have 2 wonderful westward facing windows in our formal dining room that allow in the wonderful breezes (especially on day's like today, sunny, 75F, no humidity- did I mention its august?!). But my dilemma has always been, how do I keep the very light-weight (and totally for fashion, not function) panel curtains from blowing all over my dining room and people, if you're trying to actually use the room.

My brainstorm (aka: Martha Moment!) today: Napkin rings!! They are the perfect tie-backs for my curtains. They are heavy enough to keep the curtains from blowing and yet light enough they don't just fall off! Who knew!!