Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Decoration Day

May 31, 2010
This is a re-post from last year. It really means a lot to my family to celebrate this Holiday. Thank you to all the Men and Women who have served our country to make it as special as it is.

When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to live with my Grandmother in Iowa. I still remember it as the best year of my life. I learned so many things from her and got to know her like I never would have had the chance to. She taught me how to cook, how to clean, how to be on time, what it really means to take care of a house and yard, and showed me many things that I consider traditions. My Grandma never misses the opportunity to visit the grave sites of our family near where she lives. My Grandfather served in World War II and was a prisoner of war.

My Grandma called Memorial Day, Decoration Day and now I do to. Decoration Day started in the South by some strong Southern women. At the end of the civil war, a group of them went out at the end of May and decorated the tombstones of the civil war solders, both North and South. Some didn’t have tombstones of family to decorate so they decorated the ones they could. Many women left what little they had, scraps of fabric and wild flowers. They did it in hopes that someone would be decorating the graves of their loved ones buried far away from home. The tradition grew and was renamed and a National Holiday was born.
But along the way we have lost much of the tradition. So many of us now are transplanted and have no family around to visit, and flowers to leave on grave sites. The spirit of the Day can still remain, don’t loose this tradition. Take your children out and explain what it is all about, visit a veterans cemetery and let them lay flowers on any grave site that they like. Adopt a Grandparent that served in the military, or look for family names similar to yours. Keep the spirit of Decoration Day alive.
This year we “adopted” the parents of a good friend of mine. The Groves were two of the kindest and nicest people you could have ever met. Brother Groves served in two wars and raised a beautiful family. Sister Groves was a gracious and supportive wife who was stunningly beautiful. They lived their lives in a way that I can only hope to live mine. I am so thankful we were able to go out Monday and visit. It was such a spiritual experience for my little family and created such neat conversations with each of the kids, we are more determined then ever to not let the spirit of Decoration Day slip away.

What a Sweet Dad

December 12, 2009

This is one of those “I’ve been meaning to” blogs that I haven’t blogged yet. I love family traditions and think they’re important to have, and my husband started one for our family that I think it very unique (and precious). A few years ago for Valentines day we stayed home instead of going out (funny how that happens when you have six kids). So Paul got creative, gave me the night off and made a beautiful candle lit gourmet dinner for the entire family. The kids LOVED it! The next year he was planning on getting a sitter and taking me out until the kids started talking excitedly about “Are we going to do that again, Dad!?” And that’s how the tradition started.
This year was beautiful, the girls (and Rush) all went to Mardi Gras in the morning while Tucker was at practice, and then we all came home for dinner (My sister and her husband opted for dinner with us-apparently waiting 3 hours for any restaurant was not going to settle with Jeff). Paul made an amazing romantic meal, with name plates, rose petals, and candles everywhere. The kids all got a giant Hershey Kiss (Storie freaked out when she figured out it was entirely chocolate) and we got them Madagascar2 to watch together as soon as dinner was done. This year all the kids each told Dad and I something they loved about us as well! And they didn’t just say, “Because you gave us giant Hershey Kisses!”
So dinner was beautiful, and this is one of the favorite holidays for our kids because of how special Dad makes it! Do you have any ideas for unique family traditions?

Easy Easter Craft-Bunny

December 10, 2009
I can’t remember where I first saw these but it was years ago. At least 15 because I have been making them that long. I love them because they are cheap and the kids can make them. You non-crafty types (me included) YOU can make these in under 23 seconds, thats the record!

Take a cheap hand towel, I like white. The cheaper and thinner the better. They have them in packs at Wal-Mart for like 10 for $6
Fold one corner up like you are making a bandana.
Keep folding…
When it is all rolled up, fold it in half.
Next, now this is the hardest part, take the open ends (the ears) and fold it back almost half way. This is making the bunny face and ears.
Take a rubber band and secure the little face of the bunny. I had to use a hair tie because I used a heavier wash cloth, the thinner clothes can be done with a rubber band. Twist it around a few times so it is tight. Now pull the ears up a bit, and your done!
Tie a ribbon around the rubber band so you can’t see it.
If I had all the supplies I usually give him some googly eyes, a little pompom nose and a little pompom tail. But I didn’t want to pull out the glue gun. I think he is cute as it!

I stick a plastic egg in the little hole behind his ears, it is a perfect spot to hold something. I am using these as name sign for Easter dinner. I am putting everyones names on the eggs and putting a bunny by every plate. 
They are cute and less than $1 each to make. Can you beat the 23 second record?? 
What traditions do you have for Easter?

Happy 4th of July!!

July 4, 2009

I LOVE this holiday! I Love everything that it stands for and represents! It is always the greatest day for us, parades, softball games, swimming, grilling out and fireworks! It doesn’t get much better!
This is us at 8am, minus a child already playing softball, securing our spot at the parade, the same spot we have occupied for 11 years now. 

The start of the parade it is only 90 degrees at this point. Gotta love Texas!
This girl can really sell it! She will have twice the candy as the rest of the kids by the time it is done.
Now, this is what you look like at the end of the parade when it is 102 degrees with a heat index of 112 and it is only 10:30am. I think the baby has melted…

Have a safe and Happy 4th!
Love, The Ivanovsky’s

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Father’s Day Ideas!

June 19, 2009
Father’s Day I have to admit is kinda an easy holiday to celebrate! It always has to do with food for the most part and car accessories which are easy to shop for. We typically grill out, the kids make Dad a card, and he gets a new tie for church. I thought I would shake things up a bit this year and forego the tie. You know add some real drama to the mix!
 “What no tie?” he will exclaim! 
“Wow, this is a cool holiday!” The kids and I walk off superstars!
All joking aside, kinda, I love this day. Father’s are the best, we need them, and they like to get a little something for their hard work just like we do!
This year we are making Paul a little photo book. The pages are decorated in baseball and golf, the kids are going to write in some messages, when I can get rid of him, and we will add some pictures.

I was taking pictures on the sly this morning and didn’t get a picture of my favorite page. Paul always sings the kids the John Denver song, “Sunshine on my Shoulders” so there is a page with some of the verses to that song.

Good thing he doesn’t read my blog!
At the ballpark they serve a curious item called chicken on a  stick. No kidding, that is exactly what it is, chicken on a stick. We try and not make things confusing here in the south. So I figured, hey, I can do it too. 

I got a really good deal on chicken tenders last week and bought a bunch, and had coupons plus a huge sale and decided to be a little crazy and buy marinade, not make it. It can’t get easier than this.
I skewered all the tenders on kabob sticks that I had soaked in water, you know so they can be thrown on the grill and not burn. 
Next, I put all the tenders in  a bag and set that in a dish, I figured this way less cleaning and the marinade would sit on the chicken better. 
I dumped two different kinds of marinade on and completely ignored the directions. They said let sit for 30 min. I let sit for about 6 hours!
I think the Teriyaki tasted a little better, but both were supper good considering it took all of 10 min. to prepare and then threw them on the grill. They were perfect for the kids, they ate it right off the stick, no forks or nothing!
Sunday, I think we will do steaks instead, do you think steak on a stick would work???

What plans do you have for Father’s Day?? What are your favorite Father’s Day traditions? Don’t be afraid, speak up, I need ideas!!
~ Check back tomorrow for all the FREE things for Dad’s I can find!

Easter Photo Essay!

April 13, 2009
Ah, the dyeing of the Easter eggs and the smell of vinegar…
I can’t believe we dyed 50 eggs and they are all gone between the deviled eggs for dinner and the egg salad for lunch. 
Someone remind me that I can make egg salad anytime of the year, for some reason I forget about it for 11 mo. of the year, and it is really good. The homemade kind that is! Not the kind you find in a pre made sandwich in a vending machine! Eeewwww!

 Happy with what she got in her basket. (nice look Emma!)
Not happy with what he got!

I wish I had a video of the dramatic throwing himself on the ground and the kicking of the legs. 
I thought this was funny with Shadow checking out the big bumble bee. 
He might think he is too cool for Easter egg hunts but the sponge bob pants tells me he is not…
Easter Dinner.

This is the kids table at dinner. We had 13 children and got 12 of them at this table.  The adults were in the living room at two more tables. I need a bigger house! 
Suzanne saved the day, again, and let us borrow tables and chairs. 
I might post the recipes for what we had for dinner because I was pretty happy with the way it all turned out and was able to make most of it ahead of time. I hate cooking all day and like to do as much the day before as I can.
“Um, did she get something better than me?”
I have the greatest Sister in law on the planet, in fact I usually forget that we are actually related and think of her just as a best friend.  Then someone reminds me that my Brother is somehow involved in the whole thing! 

She organized an Easter egg hunt for the throngs of children that were at our house and tied in the Easter story with it, by mixing in the clues in the eggs. It turned out soooo nice! Below are the kids looking for their eggs with the clues. When Tonia got to the story the kids were so quiet and sat and listened to the other kids read out loud and talk about what they found in the eggs.
Foreshadowing?? I hope not!
What a great weekend we had and what a blessing that we were able to share it with our Family and really good friends. I want to thank everyone for being so patient with all the kids and the really full house. No one complained about anything all weekend and it was really nice. There is something special about this time of year, the weather is beautiful and everything is growing. 
I love that we live in this wonderful country where we can choose to worship as we please and that we have the opportunity to celebrate the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ without persecution. May we not take this freedom for granted and may we keep this spirit with us all through out the year. Happy Easter!

Cupcakes anyone? April Fools!

April 3, 2009




April 1st is the greatest “holiday” ever celebrated by twisted parents! My parents have had their fair share of tormenting me as a child and teenager that I figure it is time to start with my own children. There is nothing better than coming home form school to yummy cupcakes waiting for you. Especially when your Mom and Dad tell you in honor of April Fools Day we will be having dessert first! 

WaHooo… for 3 min. you have the best parents in the world! Until you bite in a realize it isn’t chocolate cake and frosting but mashed potatoes and meatloaf! Oh yea, and the fruit punch is really jello. 
Did anyone get you good on the 1st?

Christmas Letter 2008

January 6, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

I was going to include a brown paper bag this year out of courtesy for all of you hyperventilating that a Christmas Card from the Ivanovsky’s came in the mail, and in the month of December no less. But I couldn’t find one that would fit in the envelope…

First, before I tell you how wonderful, beautiful and smart my children are, I have to tell you a story. About three weeks ago I was sitting at the kitchen table dispensing medication to the five out of six children who were sick with bronchitis and the invalid cat. I actually had a chart that I made to keep track of when who got what, some kids had up to 3 different medicines 4 times a day, and two kids were being nebulized every 4 hours, I was also forcing medicine down the cat at least twice a day. I was very sick with the same thing that I had come down with during hurricane Ike and couldn’t get rid of. Paul and I looked like the people from Night of the Living Dead. We both laid awake at night listening to the kids with asthma breath, debating when we should take them in to the emergency room. We also just got a new labradoodle puppy, who I am trying to potty train. I quit potty training the CHILD and have just focused on the DOG. The child by the way has just done it herself. Then there is the cat who got hit by a car and had three broken bones in its pelvis, so we were nursing it back to life. My day was really staring to look bad. In the mail that day I got a Christmas card, this is the beginning of December, I was hating whoever had sent it. But I vowed that this year no matter what, I was sending out cards. Then the last healthy child vomited on my foot.

Anyway, three weeks later life is great! Cat is up and walking, kids are all healthy, dog is kinda potty trained, child is totally trained and Paul and I are getting about three hours of sleep at a time! Quite honestly I quit sending out cards because I was sick of announcing a new child. But tada!! I am announcing the birth of our first BOY in 11 years!! Rush Craig Ivanovsky was born on January 15th of this past year. This kids is the sweetest thing you have ever seen, he is just starting to walk and is a little teddy bear. There is not a cuter kid on the planet.
Tucker is 11 and in 6th grade, he plays the saxophone, and is still in the gifted and talented program at school. I seriously can’t help him with homework any longer. He also just came off an amazing season of baseball, his team won the world series with a walk-off home-run and a no hitter. It was the first sporting event that I have cried at. Tucker also amazes us with his wicked sense of humor every day!! He also has a passion for politics that is going to get his parents in trouble!
Emma is 8 1/2 and in 3rd grade. Emma was baptized this year and loves achievement days at church. She is such a little mother and so good to everyone. Emma is so helpful to me I couldn’t do it without her, everyone needs the “Emma model” she comes complete with the best babysitter around accessory as well.
Paige is almost 7 and in 1st grade. I am the 1st grade level room mom coordinator for their school, so I get to spend a lot of time in her class room. She is well liked by all the kids in class because of her sweet personality and good nature. Paige had surgery on her ears last year and her hearing has improved greatly. She also is getting glasses as soon as they call to say they are in. We picked out ones that are stunning on her, she can wear anything and look good.
Avery is 5 and in Pre-K. She is the Martha Stewart in the group, I can ask her to do any project and she gets it done. Avery is really in tune with the needs and feeling of the rest of us and is so nice to have around!
Storie is 3 on the 29th of December. She is something else… We call her Storie Bean, as a nick name. She demands everywhere we go that people call her “Beaner” It makes for interesting conversation. You know how they say Women speak 10,000 words a day and Men speak 6,000? Well, Storie gets in no less than her 12,000 and I am not kidding. She and I have the most amazing chats during the day. I sure will miss my Storie at this age and don’t want her to grow up!  
Paul and I are doing good. My sister and her husband watched the kids last week so we could go to San Marcos and Christmas shop for a few days. Bless them. However, they no longer want kids. Not that ours were bad, actually the opposite, they just couldn’t believe how much work it was… Paul has been working hard, coaching, playing basket-ball and being the most amazing Dad. Really, I’m not trying to get new appliances… : ) He really does everything he can to lighten my load, and be as helpful as possible.
We love this time of year and look forward to hearing from all of you! Come visit or call anytime!

Love, 
The Ivanovsky’s
So that was the Christmas letter that got sent out.  I hope it found it’s way to everyone’s home, but if you didn’t get one and think you should have, you probably should have and I hope you forgive me but now at least you know why it didn’t get there.
Christmas with six kids is always exciting!  The whole month before Christmas Storie kept telling everyone who asked “I want so-da!” for Christmas.  Aunt Anna asked her what kind and she said “Black.”  I think she wanted the Cherry Coke Zero, but for some reason Uncle Jeff and Aunt Anna thought mini Coke would work.  Who gives a three year old a caffeinated beverage?? I guess it’s Christmas, but boy was that one happy little kid. (We had to include a photo of Storie as she wouldn’t speak to Santa…)