Monday, January 25, 2016

Party, we will... Star Wars, we must.

Let me start off by saying this.  I have NEVER watched a Star Wars movie.  Nope, sure haven't.  All this hype and hoopla over this last movie has had nothing to do with me.  My husband and kids on the other hand are Star Wars fans.  Naturally, Gavin wanted to have a Star Wars party.  Trust me, I tried to change his mind.  How about Barney?  Or Paw Patrol?  Or Legos....Nope...Star Wars it was.  
 We are eyeball high in basketball season here.  We have 4 kids playing all on different teams which makes our weeks a bit crazy.  Gavin's birthday isn't until February but when I went to plan his party, every weekend in February was booked solid with basketball tournaments.  This past weekend was our only open weekend.  Can I throw together a Star Wars party in one week?  I didn't know if we could pull it off....but we certainly did our best to try!

 My dear friend and awesome designer, Nellie, whipped up a Star Wars invite for me.  It was perfection.  I printed them off from Walgreens as a 4x6 photo and boom...done.  Or so I thought.  Then I felt bad just handing out a photo invite that I had nothing to do with creating...that just isn't me.  So off to Pinterest I went.  I found a free printable for these light saber bottoms and off to work we went (by "we" I mean, I forced my nephew to help me make them).  In less than 15 minutes we had 20 paper light sabers made and I was feeling much better! Off to school the invitations and light sabers went...only one week before the party!  (I told you it was last minute planning!)

As soon as we had the theme ironed out, my brain went to work.  Last year around this time I was planning Sadie's 50's diner party and my mom made each of the girls poodle skirts.  I sure did call my mom this time around to make more costumes.  Jedi robes and Princess Leia robes and buns it was!  Thanks, Mom!  The kids LOVED them!  

 I didn't have a lot of time to look around and get a game plan together for decorating so I just started using whatever I could find at our house to decorate!  I had saved this chevron wrapping paper from Griffin's cow party and thought it looked kinda Star Wars-ish.  I had Dan show me how to turn cups into clone troopers (is that right?  Or storm troopers?).  We had, also, found these pool noodle light sabers on Pinterest and we happened to have a box of pool noodles in the basement from a craft session I did!  Yahoo!  I love when that happens.  I cannot take any credit for these amazing light sabers.  Dan and the kids created them while I was working basketball concessions last weekend.  They turned out so awesome and the kids loved them!

Nellie designed me a printable party which was once again awesome.  I emailed the file to the UPS store and had it printed there on cardstock.  (our printer was out of ink).  I wanted to do so much  more decorating for the party, but ran out of time.  (I also had a huge mother/daughter craft session the day after the party that I had to plan for.) It worked out well that Gavin had some star wars ships and toys that we could use for decorations as well!  

 Tank even dressed for the occasion.  He put on his Darth Vader costume...which he was "thrilled" about doing...can't you tell?

 The kids made Tie Fighters out of chocolate cookie things we found at Aldi with frosting and a mini marshmallow.  I have no idea what a tie fighter is...but they seemed to think it was cool! I used an edible marker pen to turn large marshmallows into storm troopers.  These were a bit tedious, but oh so worth it!
Hot dogs into Hoth Dogs....easy peasy.  

 The kids came in and we got them dressed into their robes right away!  I am pretty sure the kids were super excited to get the robes, but more excited to get the light sabers!  Kylo Ren showed up...aka as my husband in a costume!  It was so fun to watch the kids at this party.  It was a bit crazy...but more fun than crazy!

 After I forced the kids to take some pictures outside in the freezing cold, we headed inside for light saber training with Kylo Ren.  He taught them some light saber positions and then he put their skills to the test.

 One by one, the kids got to "take on" Kylo Ren.  No one got hurt, so that was a "win" in my book!

 At the end of the training all the kids attacked Kylo....can you call him Kylo for short?  No clue.
 Next came the food and presents.  We were both on full duty then as blue kool-aid was being spilled everywhere and endless amounts of donuts were being shoved into mouths one after another.  We had to lay low on the pictures so we could actually supervise the children!

This was Gavin's first "real" party and he kept thanking us for the I think we pulled it off!  Was I glad it was only 2 hours?  Why, yes, yes I was!  Giving 15 2nd graders light sabers and a lot of sugar makes for a very fun and wild party!

The force was strong here that day....and fun was had by all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Seeing things in a new light.

The past 2 weeks I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  

For the past 6 months I have questioned decisions and choices I have made.  Wondering if I was doing what God wanted me to do or not.  After a few very eye opening moments I feel free!!!  I feel like a new woman!  I have made some changes in my life and have chosen to view things from a different perspective.  I have let the baggage go and am loving where God has me!!  For reals.... I am loving it! 

The best part of my "new" life is being present.  I am at every thing possible I can be at for my kids.  I am helping out as much as I can at their school and enjoying getting to know the kids my kids hang out with.  

This past weekend we pretty much lived at their school.  It was the big girls basketball tournament and since we have a kid on both the 5&6 team and the 7&8 team, that meant we were there a lot.  What an awesome event to be a part of.  I mastered the fry baskets and mozzarella sticks by the end of my 7 hours of concessions.  
 Both of the girl's teams made it to the championship games.  The 5 & 6 grade team had their work cut out for them.  It was an INTENSE game.  Our team would score and then the other team would score.  It was actually kind of a dirty game....which I hate to say.
 Our sweet Sads actually ended up on the floor crying because she had been shoved down.  The girl that shoved her was taken out and a technical was called against her.  The intensity level was high.
 The girls played as best as they could, I think.  We got into a bit of foul trouble which didn't help us.
 We ended up a few baskets short in the end and we took 2nd place.  For a team that is full of first time players and quite a bit of 5th graders, they did SO awesome!  Everyone was super proud of them for taking 2nd!  Way to go girls!

After the super intense 5 & 6 grade championship game we watched our oldest play in the 7 & 8 championship game.  The team they were playing against had giants on their team.  I mean, these girls were SO tall!  Now, we have a really really good team.  There are some amazing players on Molly's team and they are so very fun to watch.  We knew this team would be a challenge. 

 Molls isn't going to be a basketball star, we know that.  However, we feel like it is important for her to stay active and be a part of a team.
 She didn't get much playing time during the Championship game.  That is ok with me because I panic every time she is in.  She just has to gain some confidence.  She is scared to take a shot because she is afraid to miss.  We are working on that ;)
 She was pretty down that she didn't get to play much.  I was sad for her, but it really lead to some good conversation between us.  Then, as I was looking through the pictures Dan took of her when she did play, she was trying her best and really that is all that matters.  Sure, she was 2 feet shorter than most of the other players, but that didn't stop her from trying to rebound and get the ball.
 Griffs got to take a half time shot and made it... with the help of daddy.  He ended up winning a $5 gift certificate to the concession stand.  It was like winning the lottery to him.  He booked into that concession stand so fast and spent all $5.
The girls ended up winning the championship game.  It was a great game.  They played so well together.  There are a couple of girls on that team that are going to go far in life with their basketball skills.  What awesome talent God has given them!  I am so glad that Molly is able to be a part of this team and learn from some pretty awesome coaches and kids!  
 Since basketball season is in full swing and we are trying to qualify to go to state, we have basketball tournaments almost every weekend in February.  That leaves two of our kids without their February birthday parties...but have NO fear.  I am trying to successfully pull off a Star Wars party for our soon to be 8 year old in less than a week.  If you know know I love to give a good themed birthday party.  We will see how much I can accomplish by Saturday.  Time is running out.
 I am, also, busy getting ready for my next Real Milwaukee segment.  I air on February 1st at 9:20.  Stay tuned for kid Valentine craft ideas!  These are totally my favorite so far!!
 And....then there is this.....I have managed to squeeze into my tight pants and am taking weekly ballet classes.  I mean, really, look at my pointe!!!  It is amazing how my years and years of ballet training have come back to me.  It is a bit harder to move now than when I was in hight school and I have extra poundage on me....but I am really loving being back at it!  Also, jumping can be quite interesting after having 7 children.  However, I haven't had to pull out a mop bucket yet...if you get my drift ;)

I am off to get kids from school and guess what....head to more basketball games!  Sigh, I truly love this stage of life.  I am one proud mamma bear watching her cubs blossom!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Walking out with no pants.

It seems like I blog about pants quite a bit.  Well, here is another post dedicated to pants.

(this is NOT day my waist will be that small and I'll have a french manicure!)

I was at our local YMCA yesterday and God  made me do something very uncomfortable.

So I usually just go to the Y in my work out clothes and steer clear of the locker rooms.  I will on occasion head in to the locker room to weigh myself but that is the extent of my locker room usage.  About weighing's overrated.

It always amazedsme how comfortable other people are in their own skin.  Being someone who is uncomfortable in my body I tend to take every precaution so no one has to see any part of me unclothed.    This includes the locker room.  Yes, even though you aren't supposed to change your clothes in the bathroom stall....I admit it...I do.  There is no way you are getting me to strip down to the bare essentials in an open locker room.  Not gonna happen.

Yesterday it was freezing out and I didn't come in my work out clothes.  (AKA tight pants).  So into the locker room I headed.  It was pretty busy in the locker room and let's just say, people were not changing in the bathroom stalls.  Get my drift?  I keep my head down, don't make eye contact, grab my work out clothes from my bag and head into the bathroom stall to change.  I kept thinking "man, these ladies are really comfortable in their skin."  I think maybe a little part of me was jealous.  Not sure, still trying to sort through that.

I change in the stall and head upstairs to do my work out.  I had left my water cup in my bag and was without my work out buddy so I was feeling a little off.  Non the less, I had a great work out and headed back to the locker room to change.  Now, I wasn't going to change back into my street clothes because I wanted to head home and shower, but it was freezing out and I try to keep the amount of time other people have to see me in tight pants to a minimum.

I think an adult aquatic aerobics class had just ended so once again the locker room was bustling with ladies doing their "changing thing."  I, naturally, grabbed my clothes and headed into the bathroom stall.  I got everything changed and was ready to pull my jeans on when it happened......What the what?  Why are my jeans ALL wet?  The entire leg on one side of my jeans was soaked.  UGH.  What in the world?  Oh, yeah, my water cup must have tipped over and leaked all over my jeans.  So there I stood.

Fully dressed without pants on.  I had two options at this point.  Put my work out sweaty gross pants back on OR walk out in my undies and stand by the hand dryer and blow dry my pants.  You would not believe the internal struggle that happened for the next 3 minutes.

Then it happened.  I, Susan Wilke, walked out of the bathroom stall fully dressed down to my coat without my jeans on.  *thank goodness I packed fresh undies*  Anyways, there I jeans at the blow dryer, drying my pants.  It was so cold out that going out in soaking wet jeans was not even an option.

I watched woman after woman walk  by me almost positive they were covering their eyes from the white beams of light coming off my pasty white legs....almost sure that one of them would ask me to please put some pants on.

No one did.  Everyone went on their merry way.  Changing and chatting.

I don't think I will ever get to that point of being so comfortable in my own skin to walk around a locker room in the buff, but for yesterday I made progress.

You just never know what you will learn at the YMCA.  You think you're going to work out and you end up coming out of the stall in your undies.  What a weird weird day.

Sometimes God puts you in those situations that make you grow as a person.  I would say yesterday I grew just a little bit!

I will also never put my water cup in my bag again.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Grace, reading, TV and the pukes....Oh and Free Stuff too!

I really want to try and blog daily.  We will see how that goes.  Bare with me. 

I have said before that Valentine's Day is my FAVORITE holiday to decorate for.  I won't say it's my favorite holiday overall because it really isn't a holiday, right?  I mean, I would love to get diamonds and endless large roses and a romantic weekend alone with my husband...but for reals...that isn't my life.  More than likely I will get a dozen WAY overpriced roses from Piggly Wiggly that Dan picks up for me on the way home from work.  Although, I would prefer if he waits until the day after Valentine's Day to get me the roses so they be on clearance.  SO.....because I heart Valentine's Day SO much I am doing a giveaway!  Either leave a comment here OR head over to my Friday's at the Farm Facebook page and like the page and leave a comment on the pictures posted on the page!  I am giving away a set of 3 reusable hand warmers and a set of 4 heart coasters!  You can click HERE to get to the Fridays at the Farm Facebook page! Don't worry if you don't live close...I will ship them to you! 

Ok, before I get into reading, TV and the pukes I need to touch on my word of the year...GRACE.  I decided to try and offer Grace more instead of yucky thoughts or actions.  I got this...It shouldn't be that hard, right?  Um... Wrong.  This week I had to put my grace to the test.  You see, I heard something that someone said about me.  Now, over the past few years I have really started to care less what people think or say about me.  Honestly, usually they are the ones with the issue.  This time, though, what was said was a total lie.  I know for a fact this is not the first time the truth has been twisted and lies have been by told by this person which I believe has had an impact on what others think or feel about me. does one offer Grace in this situation?  How can one person so negatively bring you down by lying their way out of lies and you get your name dragged into the ground?  How in the world am I supposed to offer Grace?  The sinful part of me wants to scream.  The sinful part of me wants to pull out all the "cards" I know and have about this other person and do the same to them as they are doing to me.  And....then there's Grace.  I pulled out my phone this morning and this was the verse of the day...."For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all your paths."  Proverbs 5:21.  And... Boom.  You see, it doesn't matter what this other person says about me...or speaks falsity about.  I really only need to be held accountable to one person and He is the only one that matters.  God knows me...He knows my heart and most importantly HE knows the truth.  I can't change someone else.  I can't change if other people believe the lies...but what I can change is me.  So while I let God work on everything else I will pray my way through Grace.  Now, that doesn't mean I can get walked all over, but I for one am going to trust that God will protect me and the people who really know me know my heart and don't believe the lies.

No one told me Grace was gonna be this hard.

We spent our Friday and Saturday watching basketball games.  Some the kids played in...some we simply got to sit and watch while other kids played (I don't yell when my kids aren't on the court so I am pretty sure Dan was ok to sit by me at those games...what?  I like a good basketball game!)  Sunday we stayed home...more on that in a bit.  Anyways, I am wondering why God didn't give me the word "patience" for this year.  Have you ever sat and listened to a kid that is starting to read, read?   Lanie is reading now and that is all she wants to do.  I know, I know...I should be pumped about it.  I am actually really shocked by how quickly she is picking it up.  So yesterday she wanted to read.  Gavin and Lanie were both trying to read to me at the same time at the kitchen table.  My brain was on overload.  Lanie kept needing help on the same word and Gavin kept checking to make sure I was listening.  It was total chaos.  I promptly sent Gavin in by Dan and I took on the new reader.  
 She read a 1st reader book....pointed and sounded out each and every word.  One. At. A. Time.  I know you are all thinking I am a horrible person right now, but it was made very clear to me yesterday that I should NOT become a K-5 reading tutor.  THE WORD IS....THE!!!  Just like it was "the" on the last page and on the page before that.  Please tell me I am not the only one who has new reader syndrome.  In one hand I am watching my child learn and blossom and grow and on the other hand I just wanted to rip the book out of her hands and read the rest of the book to her.  (I did NOT do that!)  I cheered her on and encouraged her and told her how proud I was of her.  I will sit and let her read to me again and can only get better, right?
I believe this picture is probably one of the worst pictures ever....but it's the only one I have from my segment from last Thursday.  If you missed it, you can watch the REAL MILWAUKEE segment from  Thursday Here  .   I love that God gave me the opportunity to do this.  Next month I am doing a segment on Valentine's Crafts for kids....stay tuned, I am going to do a Friday at the Farm session for kids to help me with this segment! 
And....the pukes.  There is nothing I hate more than kids puking.  I hate everything about it.  Mostly the smell, but everything else as well.  Well... Saturday night it happened.  Poor Griffs ate WAY too much of his chocolate bar and he had the pukes.  I'll spare you the chocolate-y details, but it was gross.  He's back to himself today so hopefully it was a one and done kind of thing here.  The oldest stayed home from school today with a "tummy ache" but I am not sure if that is "I am just too tired from the weekend tummy ache" OR  a legit I am gonna have the pukes tummy ache.  
 See how Griffs is holding his hand warmer?  He kept having us heat and reheat it up for him while he laid on the couch yesterday.  Don't forget to comment or head over to my Facebook page to win your very own set of 3 brand new Valentine's Day Hand-warmers or Coasters !