Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Home Away From Home Away From Home (Hampton Inn)

They have some kickin' waffle makers.

And nice pillows.

And a great staff.

And...faucets we can work (more on that and Shogun's fancy faucet in the bathroom later....maybe)

And swimming pools, which I've never swam in.

Today we get to Omaha to get Bart.  He got released yesterday and stayed the night with David and Rebecca S.  (THANK YOU!).  It's becoming quite an adventuresome summer.

I was not paid to do this review, but if Hampton Inn wants me to review the four (five by Friday) hotels I've stayed in for a free night's stay as a trade, I'd love to do it :)  Because this summer is stacking up to be quite pricey, if you know what I mean...

Hampton Inn, just email me if you want in :)  theremingtons (at) cox (dot) net.  I'd love to hear from you.  :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Very Quick Update

Update on everything:
Bart was hospitalized at UNMC Friday and get out Tuesday.
Devin from church is a rock star and is cutting grass and offering to help in whatever way needed.
Thank you to David S who drove Bart and has visited him often.
Thank you to those who have visited, called, emailed, etc.
We will be home by Thursday to take over.  I do not know when Bart will be released (probably Tuesday?) because his lesion was on his spine and needed stronger therapy.
He will be in physical and occupational therapy for a while after he gets out.
Please keep him in your prayers and know that I am so grateful for such fabulous friends!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


What do you fear?  Monsters under the bed?  The oil spill in the Gulf ?  Our current government?

Me, I fear MS.  Multiple Sclorosis.

And right now, MS is trying to bring my husband down...and me, I am in Louisiana, where I am unable to help.  I have had a nice time here and am glad we came (it's just bad timing, but who knew?), and I have the faith that my husband will get better, but for now, I can't help drive him to work, cut the grass, cook his supper, etc.  All I can do is nag him to get that doctor's appointment (he did, it's Friday), encourage him to do the best he can, suggest maybe he can work from home for a few days.  (Don't see why not, we have a phone with a head set, same as at work, and he has internet access...Bart's boss, if you are reading this, please tell him to do that!  He can be on 8.5 hours of conference calls from his couch just as easily as a few miles from home in his cube.)
I emailed our bishop at church, asked for help with the yard.  Because I am here in Louisiana visiting family, and Bart is sick, our yard will be it is, I bet our neighbors to the east of us probably think we are total white trash because we don't weed eat EVERY time we cut the grass.  But for Bart to cut the grass would worsen his current numb feet and other issues.  So, I figured I'd call around and ask for help.  There is one family at church who has cut our grass twice and done a fabulous job.  Figured I'd call and ask them to do it again.  Then I thought, just ask the bishop.  So, I did.  Swallowed that ball of pride, you know?
And though I am still worried about Bart and what is to be, I am calm knowing he will be taken care of.  I am grateful for a church where when there is a need, the members will do everything in their power to help.  Not only that, but I am thankful for priesthood blessings.  How amazing is it to be given the ability to be healed or comforted through a blessing from our Father in Heaven who loves us more then we can ever comprehend?  He watched his Son suffer the ultimate pain and agony, he knows how both I feel and Bart...he can bring comfort and peace and healing to His children.
I am also faithful that he will be okay in the end...and since a very left field opportunity came up for Bart to drive to LA and back home...all expenses paid (basically), I am faithful he will heal quickly.  So, I will pray each night (and ask each of you to do the same) to pray that Bart will heal without the need of hospitalization, so he can drive to his business trip, then to LA, with full health and function, no long term lasting effects of a horrible disease.  That he will be able to continue to play each day with his little boys that adore him and function as he should.  Maybe even a cure for MS, if you aren't pressed for time.
I do not talk about Bart having MS often.  It is that deep, dark, fear in the pit of my stomach fear that I keep to myself because I do not want pity or empty words or nothingness.  But today I call out to each of you, asking for a healing miracle for my husband, the "man of my dreams", Bart.  So, tonight, as you kiss your husband hello when he comes home, say a little pray for mine.
Thank you.
(Oh, and Bart, don't get mad I posted this...we need the faith of our friends and family to heal you!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kung Zhu Warriors

Which KUNG ZHU are you???

Kung Zhu is the newest toy in the Zhu Zhu Pet line up.  Designed with boys in mind, this toy series provided hours of fun for my son and some of his favorite friends.
From their site:
Introducing the hottest new line from Cepia evolving from of Zhu Zhu Pets...Kung Zhu Pets! These warrior hamsters are far from being the cute and cuddly Zhu Zhu Pets that everyone fell in love with. But make no mistake, these ultra cool, tough pets will be a sure competition to the original Zhu Zhu Pets! With eight original characters split into two battling groups called Special Forces and Ninja Warriors, Kung Zhu Pet owners will have the thrill of training each character to transform fighting, battling warriors. While these Kung Zhu hamsters may start of as "cute" and "mild-mannered" once they are sent into their main training grounds, smart chip technology will actually allow you to hear a distinct personality transformation of fighting ninja and warriors.
 The party started with each of Brennan's friends getting to select one of the eight Kung Zhu and armor.  All the armor are interchangeable, so each child got to put a little of their personality into the decisions...though decide wisely, because you are stuck with what you choose, as no one was willing to trade.  
My boys both chose Stonewall of the Special Forces team, but so far they have not fought over whose is whose.  They did pick different armor (thank goodness!)

Once each piece was marked (10 kids x 5 parts = lots of mixed up pieces), the children went to town playing with the awesome track/arena/battle field.  Whatever you want to call it, it was "so totally awesome" (quoting Brennan.)
There were battles at the Ninja Warriors battled the Special Forces.  The noises the hamsters make as they are crawling around or battling really cracked me  up...if you see one in the store, go push its nose :)
Most of the battles were wild and these were the best shots I got of them.  There were lots of exclamations of "Cool!"  and "DID YOU SEE THAT?"  yelled at the top of little kid lungs.  It was so fun to watch them enjoy.
Of course, to prepare the Kung Zhu pets for battle, they had to go through training...and what a great course to train on!
I think my favorite part of the course is that each piece can be reconfigured to make any course your child can dream of.  After the party Brennan quickly built a "racetrack" which was one L.O.N.G. line of all the elements hooked end to end.  It reminds me a bit of Geo Trax and how they can be rebuilt into so many different options...your imagination is the limit!
Now, Kung Zhu, though masculine in theory, is also great for girls...these girls were very fierce warriors, wreaking havoc on the boys :)  Though, in the end, some of the hamster were being cuddled with their armor abandon for small pieces of scrap fabric (always a sewing project nearby) for blankets. 
And Kung Zhu was fun for the smaller guys, too...Jackson was a little nervous at first having all the "big kids" in his living room, but as he saw that his hamster was just as awesome as the others, and as some of the other kids exclaimed how cool his Kung Zhu's armor was, he warmed up to them.

Brennan, of course, can never be far from his legos.  He incorporated ways for this lego ship to be part of the party, too.

I'd say all in all, these kids had a BLAST celebrating the release of Kung Zhu.  From tanks to obstacle courses to battles, the kids played for a long time and didn't fight once (well...maybe a little, but it was more of a love spat then anything else...) can you go wrong when you get to eat cake at the end?  Yep, a great ending to a fun party.  Thank you MomSelect for providing such awesome toys for the kids to play with and keep! 

Cake designed by Brennan and me, using Make the Cut and my Cricut to decorate.

***All opinions my own (or my kids).  I was not paid to do this review, though we currently have an awesome Kung Zhu set up because of it.  Thanks MomSelect.***

FYI:  MomSelect KUNG ZHU twitter party Friday from 1-2 p.m.  #kungzhu
Follow me on twitter:  @jessremington

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kung Zhu is coming...

It's almost here...

Our Kung Zhu party!

The kids are so excited, they can hardly stand it.

From what I've heard, a few of the guests feel the same way.  :)

Stay tuned...

And yes, it really is THAT big!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Cake Class Under My Belt

Last night I taught my second basic fondant cake decorating class.  Since I'd already done it once before I was much more relaxed and able to have things flow better (at least I thought so).  The best part of the night is when a beeping noise kept happening.  I thought it was the microwave.  Turns out it was my fat belly (just fat, not preggos...I'd rather never walk that road again) hitting the dishwasher buttons when I moved around (I was situated right above the dishwasher during the first half of the class)
I will post pictures soon.  These were some ADORABLE cakes!  There were two tweens and they did a fantastic job with their cakes.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do birthday cakes at the hostess' house for tween/teen parties.  Maybe I should write up a package and figure out a place to advertise my awesome idea.
If you are in the Baton Rouge/Vidalia area (those are two very separate areas, but they are both in LA) and would like to host a basic fondant cake decorating class, let me know and we can get a date/time set.  You learn the process of making and conditioning fondant, how to cover your cake, and then you decorate it.  Each student is just $10 and the hostess is half price if at least 3 students attend.  You provided the cake, I provide the fondant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Made Those

I made those.  And I am darn proud.  Of both the boys AND their LEGO MAN TEE SHIRTS (of which I painstakingly made both).  I used my Make the Cut program, Cricut, freezer paper, and fabric paint.  I used what I'd learned from the zillion and one freezer paper stencil tutorials I've read and created these for Bren's birthday.  I just put a curved square w/ two rectangles and welded them in MTC, added the name just right and went to town.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Brennan's 7th Birthday of Surprises (by Brennan)

Brennan here!
My  birthday   was  full of  surprises and the best part was at the end of it ethan falled asleep  (or took a snose)
plus Ethan ate 1 cupcake 1as big as the unaverce sized pretzel  and 10 m and m's. 

All You Can Eat Buffet

Also known as Brennan's birthday treats display.
(Brennan named the first one when he saw all the cupcakes and sugary treats.)

(I do not like the location of the treat area, but I had to keep it high to keep Ethan out of it.  lol)
I had no idea how many kids were coming, so I decided to just do cupcakes.  (Invited his entire class, knowing most would not show, then only 2 from school and all 4 that we invited from church came)
Also, our plans were to go to the tennis courts at Brennan's school to play games and party.  The hard rain last night changed those plans to my house, so I really didn't need an easy to handle/transport treat, but oh, well...the kids seemed to like the cupcake toppers (esp. since most of them were seven and thought I'd put the #7 on them just for them).

After the fun and games (more on that later), we pigged out.  Cupcakes, pretzel rods w/ almond bark, and cupcake cups with m&m's were on our menu.  To drink?  3 choices of brightly colored kool-aid...remember, I didn't know if a bunch of kids who didn't RSVP were going to show up, so I needed a cheap option.  Once again, if I'd known it was a party of 7, I would have done rectangle juice boxes and made them look like legos.  Oh, well.  Those kids went home HIGH on sugar.  He, he, he.

The only bad thing to happen at Brennan's party was when I went to light the candles.  I shoved seven into ONE cupcake (I know, I am awesome) with a "B" topper in the middle.  I just KNEW it would not catch on fire because the candles were barely sticking out of the cupcake and the topper was a few inches above the candles.  Well, there was no fire...but...the heat from the candles caused the plastic straw I used to support the topper to melt...almost causing a fire.


It appears that after an "All You Can Eat (sugar) Buffet", Ethan can't handle the sugar rush.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Did you know that before I was a Mommy I was a teacher?  Yep, I taught middle school (argh) reading.  Not my ideal first teaching job, but it helped pay the bills until I retired :)
This week I am teaching again.  Not summer school.  Not Sunday School, but CAKE SCHOOL!  Wednesday I am teaching a basic fondant cake decorating class at Cindy's (email me if you want in or want to host your own...I'll even drive out to Lincoln if enough of you want one and your space is big enough) and on Saturday I am teaching a Cricut cake decorating class at Precious Treasures in Fremont.  Give the store a call to sign up if you are interested. 
I am going crazy thinking of all the things I have to prepare and plan and get together before each class.  I had forgotten the time it takes to get things just right.  Then there is the actual class time.  I need to make an outline so I can cover everything I want to cover and need to include.
Oh, the details.
So, this week, between play dates and late nights working, I will be making fondant, rolling gum paste, and baking cakes.
I believe this week will be LIST WEEK, to help me stay on track every step of the way.  I hate list week, but we all have those weeks. 

And think of all the fun I will have as I am actually teaching.  When I get  up there in front of everyone and start talking, I am sure things will flow fine (as long as I have prepared myself beforehand).  I know that sounds a bit cocky, but one of my "gifts" if you will is the ability to get in front of a crowd and do fine (except talks at church...those make me so nervous). 
But, until the class starts, I will be a nervous wreck, so if you see me kind of acting funny, just know it's nerves. :D

Friday, June 4, 2010

Adventures in Cloth Diapering...#13, The Stuffing

For the last two weeks (well, 8 of the 10 week days) I have been babysitting.  Five children.  Add my own 3 into the mix and that equals some long crazy days.
Though some days were harder then others, and some moments sweeter then others, it went fine.  I even (more the most part, except that one day) CDed the entire time, even though I was babysitting there, not here.  A secret poopy swish in someone else's toilet never hurt anything.

The only problem is this:  Because I was a bit tired from babysitting, and needing to do all the things I do at home during the day that I needed to do at night, I had to pick something to ignore.  One thing that fell to the wayside was stuffing the cloth diapers.  Sure, I still washed them on schedule, just didn't have the time or energy to stuff those bad boys.
So, each morning I'd quickly grab a handful of inserts, a few diapers, and throw them into the wetbag to be stuffed as needed.
Let me tell you...this is NOT the ideal way to go.  It was such a pain to have to stuff a diaper right when I needed it.
So, tomorrow, after Brennan's birthday party, I vow to sit down and stuff, stuff, stuff.
I know I do not have as many to stuff as say, Megan, whose entire couch was filled with diapers, inserts, covers, etc, the week she was sick.  No, not that bad.  But still bad enough.  Still enough to make me think of fifty other things to do instead of stuff the diapers. must get done or I will be tempted to just reach for a huggie instead of a Rumparooz.  So, I will stuff.  And watch t.v.

It really isn't that bad, it's just the build up behind if of NOT preparing the diapers for two whole weeks that makes me dread the chore.
But, once it's done, E's bum will be so cute and cuddly again that I won't mind the 1/2 an hour devoted to diapers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lego pinata!

Look what we got in the mail today:
Isn't it the coolest? (this one is actually taken from the site, but ours looks exactly the same)

A Lego Pinata made by Mommy Do on etsy.

She's got a wide variety of pinatas and they are so darn cute...Here are a few of my favorites.
Some blogs are talking about Popsicle this month. How cute would a Popsicle party be with this pinata? A sprinkler party w/ this pinata and Popsicles...perfect!

Cookout anyone? Fill this one with those gummy foods like hotdogs and hamburgers. It would be so cute to have the little hamburger and fries cake at a party with this pinata, know what I am talking about. This would be a cool theme for even an older boy who might think he's too cool for a party but wants one anyway. need to order this one for B's birthday...and considering it's not something you can just buy at the store, worth every penny Jeni!

This one is my favorite of all the ones she has. Of course, I have a thing for zebra stripes...

Don't see something you just love or want for your party? Just send a message to Mommy Do...she loves a custom order and we all know I love a custom themed party! ***PLEASE ALLOW 3-4 WEEKS FROM TIME ORDER IS PLACED FOR SHIPMENT***

Follow Melissa of Mommy Do on twitter: @mommydoetsy and you can stay up to date on her latest projects.

I cannot wait to stuff our lego pinata full of candy and treats. We've never had a pinata at a party before so my boys are bouncing off the walls with excitement. The other night I used these labels I got to make the candy fit the theme (more on them soon)

Interested in matching invitations? Check out Stylish Celebrations, also on etsy.

These opinions are my own and may vary from others. Thank you to Mommy Do for the pinata to review on Saturday at Brennan's birthday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bear River Photo Greetings WINNER (announced a LITTLE bit late)

Well, the winner (via was Danielle, but she left no way to contact her (I don't know what her twitter name is and she did not leave an email and clicking on her profile does not take you to a profile page)
So...the winner is GWEN (#1)! Congrats.
I will send you an email and you have 48 hrs to contact me.
Thanks for playing.