Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From the Couch to the 15-footer

Since has been walking and tearing off couch cushions, my kiddies have jumped on the couch minus cushions:) They often run into the living room right to the couch, tear off all the cushions and then jump and jump:) They LOVE it.

And the couch survived fine, until the kids started getting bigger and bigger... and we noticed a sprung spring.... oops...

Grandma and Grandaddy approached us about a trampoline in the summer and we thought it would be a great Christmas gift for the kids. So this gift had been in the works for a while.... and the kids knew it was coming eventually.... LOL

Brian and his crew spent time setting up our 15ft HUGE trampoline, Friday and Saturday after Christmas and the kids have LOVED it since. I think we've only missed one day!!

Originally uploaded by finadrea

I've wanted to post about it but was wanting for some fun video and some pictures... and now I have both.... due to some videos I had been collecting and Andrea trying out her new camera this morning as the kids played on the trampoline:)

So here is Andrea's post with all the trampoline pictures from this morning!

And here's the video from yesterday and today:

And here is her flickr account with MORE pictures:)

The kids have had soo much fun with the trampoline and it is a great workout. Maybe when spring comes my neighbors will catch me out there in the mornings or during naptime burning off some carbs:)

Music Added..... a very special day!!!

Well many of you might be surprised by the music you might be hearing from my blog today:)

It's a special day!! Let me take a second to tell you why.....

The LAST weekend of August 2001, I found myself at my new pastor's house at the Singles Bible Study. I was NEW to the singles group, new to the church, new to the school, new to the area and new to the state!!

So at this Bible Study I noticed a guy and the rest of the story is "fast forwarded" to New Years Eve day....

I'm visiting at this guy's home preparing to spend the day hiking with him UP Blood Mountain, GA!! I love the outdoors, but I really liked the guy.... I mean FREEZing cold and many, many layers:)

We finally get to the top (he jokes that he almost had to carry me to the top.... probably would have to now... LOL) and he tries to find us a spot to "rest". Well I thought we were going to rest some.... but I was with the "man with a plan"!!

He told me that he had something for me but I needed to close my eyes!! Hmmm, what could it be... a snack... haa haaah haaa.... while I was sitting there on the ground with my eyes closed my sweet guy was positioning himself to ask me to marry him and show me the ring!!!

Foolish child I was, I had no clue and was totally surprised when I opened my eyes and he "popped the question"! We still laugh at my initial response!! I said something like, "Wait.... I need to think about this!" LOL

After just minutes of chatting, comparing my list of why I wanted to marry him (yes, we had it with us... good thing LOL) and finding out he had contacted BOTH my mom & stepdad and my dad!! Which meant the world to me, especially my mother's response because she knows me the best and cares for me beyond words (like all mother's do).

So it was an obvious and overwhelming "YES!" WOW!! And then it started to snow..... SNOW!! I love snow:) What great timing for this "man with a plan"!! And I told you it was COLD:)

Happy New Year's Eve Honey!!

I love you and am sooo GLAD I said "YES!!!"

** The song is by Bebo Norman and is called "A Page is Turned". When my suitemate, sweet Stephanie, heard our engagement story she immediately made me listen to this song. While it doesn't totally fit us, the man does propose on a mountain!!! We used the song at our reception during our "slideshow" and ever since it's been such a sweet song that reminds me of my now amazing and thoughtful husband and his plan when he proposed:)

** We do have pics from our engagement hike... maybe I could do a pic of a pic in the morning:)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Likes His Chocolate, More Potty Training

Since after-Thanksgiving we'd be trying something "new" with Christopher's potty training... we took all of his sweets away.... no dessert after lunch/dinner, no random treats throughout the day, no syrup on pancakes, no chocolate in his soymilk, etc.

In fact, his only sweets has been the candies that some sweet ladies at church bring the kids sometimes on Wednesday and Sunday nights. We decided we'd let him have these...

It actually was pretty funny. He did totally understand and many times when other neighbors offered him a candycane or treat, Christopher would respond, "I can't have candy until I make stinky on the potty." Haa haa haaa

Although he totally understood, he didn't even try to change his pottying .....

So at Christmas we decided to let it go.... taking sweets wasn't working, so why continue it. I'd also started to see a trend of him not drinking his soymilk, so I don't want that to go on too long.

Last night we picked up our first chocolate syrup for milk since before Thanksgiving! And today before lunch I was making his first cup of chocolate soymilk and this is what he says....

"Mommy, don't put too much," he said looking up at me.
"Too much what, Chris?" I responded.
"Too much milk into my chocolate!" He answered back!

haa haa haa.... what a sweet-tooth kid!!! He was soooo glad to get his milk back (and secretly I was glad to give it back to him)!
BTW... this morning he was back in "big boy pants" BBP. He wanted to be in them and he was running to the potty by himself when he needed to go... which is an improvement:) And after lunch Daddy caught him being a little too still by himself, so he attempted a stinky on the potty, too!!!

Kind of funny that when we give him back the sweets, he decides he wants to be trained. We'll see how long this training time lasts.....

ohhhhh, I would LOVE for him to be out of diapers..... in every other area he is soo mature. He knows all of his letters and sounds, he's almost counting to 20, he loves to "read" books, he can build fun things with his Duplos and his writing is amazingly ledgible for a 3-yr old, left-handed, boy!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Long Awaited Child

Every year I seem to gravitate to one piece or person of the Christmas story. The year before last I was VERY pregnant with Lydia and I remember thinking over and over how challenging the trip to Bethlehem must have been for Mary. Mary would have been VERY, VERY pregnant with Jesus to have given birth so soon after their arrival in Bethlehem. Just the aches and pains would have made the 100 mile trip on foot or donkey very uncomfortable! But Old Testament Scripture was fulfilled....

This year has been a little different for me. For many months now we have been hoping to get pregnant and expand our little family (my husband has been praying for twins for years....LOL.. seriously!!!). But month after month, we've been disappointed.

I know people and have read plenty of stories about couples that deal with inferility for years so I don't want to make light of their years of disappointment. But we've never had this before. We had a very few months of waiting when we got pregnant with both Anna and Christopher. And Lydia was our "surprise" baby... we found out we were pregnant with her while Christopher was 5 months old; he was not even sitting up yet!!

So this is new for us.

While practicing for the Christmas Canata, I was listening and singing the classic hymn Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus!! At first I just sang along, but then my mind started to mull over the words and my heart started to connect to the Isrealities.

For over 400 years the Isrealities had been expected a "Savior", a promised Messiah, to "set Thy people free"!!! 400 YEARS!!! Isreal had been waiting and watching. Looking for signs of His coming. Looking for a great and mighty leader that would deliver them and establish an amazing kingdom.....

And then came little, baby Jesus. Not quite what they were expecting. But after many, many generations and years..... the Long-Expected Savior came! Here are the words to the hymn:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free:

From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee.

Isreal's strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art;

Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring,

By Thine own eternal spirit Rule in all our hearts alone;

By Thine all-sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

While I would be overjoyed to find out I am expecting. I've realized that everything happens in God's time. So for this time of waiting I need to be faithful to what and who He has already called me to do. I need to be dilligently serving when and where I can and enjoying this special time of just having toddlers/preschoolers.

And while I am NOT pregnant I also have the opportunity to serve my little sister who is. I keep thinking that I'll be a better help to her if I'm not VERY large with pregnancy, too!!

Here is little Lydia pointing to the "baby" in Aunt Jaclyn's tummy today. She just loved showing us where the baby was:) Soo cute!!!

My prayer is that I'll be found faithful in the weeks, months and possibly years that we might have to wait for another child. That I would have a peaceful and quiet heart before the Lord concerning this as I wait; knowing that it's in God's hands. And that I would always be thankful for the 4 blessings that I already have to care for, love and encourage in their relationship (and future relationships) with the Lord.

Bye-Bye :(

Well this morning we sent off the final wave of our visiting family. We would have LOVED for Grandma and Grandaddy to stay longer..... but they needed some rest ... ha ha ha

We've had a blitz of family and friends and Christmas activities this year. It seemed a little busier this year but I know in reality it wasn't any more or less busy.... but everything happened at MY house this year:)

So today (and probably tomorrow) will be filled with some tidying up and laundry. I decided just to strip ALL of our beds this morning so we'd start the week off with clean sheets... at least :)
We enjoyed ALL of visitors though and look forward to the next time we get to visit with you :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Riding Deere, Eating Crow

I know I mentioned the other day that we received some toys from a neighbor that we gave to our kids for Christmas. They were hand-me-downs... but they were in EXCELLENT condition and we are very thankful for our neighbors' generousity to us.

That being said..... since I've been in the "parenting" mindset I've always thought that giving my kids a powered vehicle for outside play was a waste of money and really not good for the kids. These power vehicles are costly, easily over a hundred + dollars! And when I think of outside play, I think of the kids using their energy...running, riding, climbing, swinging, etc! With these powered vehicles the kids SIT...

Well..... now that we own one I have to ask for my words back:) I still they are costly and I still think kids need active time outside. BUT this powered John Deere Gator has been a HIT with my crew.... they love it:) Right now they are learning to drive it around and to take turns.

Here's a couple of little videos of our fun with the Gator soo far.... I think the grandparents would be a little more at ease with the kids wearing helmets and having seatbelts:)
But Christopher 's ALL-Boy Creative Side took over the other day and he started collecting leaves for us:)

I know this is still a new toy for my crew, so it still have the novelty of a new toy.... but they have really, really enjoyed it. I think it's already clocked over 2-3 hours in my yard, and the church yard!! And the kids get a great opportunity to learn to share:)

And BTW.... while outside these last few days they have gotten PLENTY of exercise. Sometimes chasing the Gator, sometimes riding their bikes with the others riding and sometimes just swinging and running around as they wait for their turn:)

I guess I'm eating crow.... not the first time and probably won't be the last:)
Kudos to my hubby for the title:)

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas, Part #2

Well this morning we had a "normal" morning... well not exactly... we tried... but the kids were too excited as they waited for Grandma, Grandaddy, Uncle Scott, Aunt Bea and Miss Virginia (Bea's Mom)!!!

We had a full day of playing, opening presents, playing, cooking, eating, cleaning, learning Spanish, playing and then more cooking and eating!! And Daddy worked hard all afternoon on the super-duper present... the Trampoline.... but it will have to be unveiled tomorrow, since Daddy wasn't able to finish before the RAIN .... oh sad...

But inside it was nice and toasty with plenty to occupy everyone. We also had plenty of stuffy noses, runny noses and headaches... so it was a "relaxing" and semi-quiet day... LOL as quiet as three hyper little kiddos can be:)
Let me just say that we are blessed by having two great families who are willing to drive out to visit us and partake in our crazy-loud home:) But as a daughter-in-law, I am sooo blessed to have GREAT in-laws.... my mother in-law and I do great in the kitchen together:) We loved to learn new tricks from one another and I believe we work well together:) I've talked before about her gentle and kind encouragements to me... she's more a mentor than she'll ever realize:)
And now I have a sweet sister in-law (whose mom, Miss Virginia, is an angel) who is willing to help with kitchen work as well!! It was great to have other ladies helping out....
I'm still tired.... ready for bed:) Hoping all the medicine and busy antics this evening will keep the kids sleeping peacefully tonight and well into the morning:)

Yep, that about explains our day with Grandma, Grandaddy and the three little ones:)

A Not so Silent Night

The kids have been dealing with the sniffles for a couple of days now. And at one time they have each have had a slight fever...

What a difference though compared to our Christmas last year. I think Christopher was the one who started to get sick first, but we all eventually came down with the stomach virus (Brian and I had it while visiting family). I'll take a cold over the stomach virus any day!!

But last night was ANYTHING but silent! Just between 10 and 12 Christopher and Lydia had us in their rooms over 10 times!! Finally we gave them so medicine and got them back to sleep. As I crawled into bed at midnight I could hear Christopher's raspy breathing because of his congestion. And Lydia was still rolling around, not being able to get comfortable.

We woke tp Lydia's fussing at 6:40am and pulled her into bed with us. Not soon after laying back down we heard Anna coughing... poor little things!!

So far everyone is going strong this morning (except Momma... I'm tired....LOL)! We do have a couple of runny noses.... but better than carrying around buckets...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Christmas, Part #1

Our Christmas Eve service went well:) My two youngest were a bit hyper so they didn't say as quiet as usual... but it was nice to sing Christmas hymns together, be with church members and hear a message that brought our hearts to the reasons for Christmas... our Savior's birth!

We had over 15 church members and family come back to our house for some refreshments... it was nice to have the cozy fellowship at the house and be able to serve some of the members who do SOOO much for us throughout the year:) I was soo thankful that we had so many... but they still left me with tons of leftovers;)

One of the best results of having the refreshments after the service was that my house was in GREAT condition for having family over Christmas Morning:) LOL

This morning I woke a little after 7:30 to hear Anna yawn and then say quietly to herself... "it's Christmas".
Then she called down to the bottom bunk "Hey, Christopher, it's Christmas morning!"

Then I heard Christopher respond, "Christmas morning?.... Christmas morning!"

Christopher came charging into our room and stood on Brian' side of the bed and announced, "It's Christmas morning!" And we asked, " So??"

He responded, "We can go open presents!" LOL

They really had been good about NOT opening the presents that have been under the tree since it went up. I've been very thankful that they've been soo good with them and I haven't had to keep them out-of-sight!

We did finally get to put Baby Jesus on our advent calendar. The kids had been waiting for the last day! I was thankful for our reminder (even though it was quick and simple) of what we were celebrating!

My parents, brother, sister and brother-in-law came in about 9ish and they started on our family's traditional family breakfast..... it's called cripe... like almost crepe. Anyway, it's like a thick funnel cake that we pour maple syrup and brown sugar over.... healthy... ha ha haa But the funny thing is that we all look forward to the ONE morning of the year when we have it, even my other brother who wasn't able to make it today was missing the cripe:)

After breakfast we opened presents, we headed outside to play with some big "gifts" that had been given to us from some neighbors. They passed down their powered John Deere Gator, their JD backhoe peddle bike, another John Deere tricycle and a bike with training wheels. All of the items were in GREAT condition... especially for the price... FREE!! And the kids LOVED, LOVED, LOVED them... we were outside for an hour and a half!!

Thanks for thinking of us, Sweet Neighbors!!

As the ladies prepared dinner, the guys and the kids watched a video... to give the kids some down time:) And then we ate again!

One of the most special parts of Christmas for me is the time with family all together. I see my parents (when they're around) on occassion. My younger brother has come to visit during a college break once or twice. My sister and her husband try to visit on their day off one every couple of months. But it's nice to have everyone over at the same time.... it's crowded. It can get a little loud. But we're family! So it was nice to have (almost) everyone together... even if it was for a couple of hours:)

Every left by about 6ish and then we started getting the house together for the new crew coming in tomorrow:) We are soo excited to be having Brian's parents, his brother and sister-in-law and Bea's momma coming for the day!

We hope you had a Blessed Christmas, too!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Soooo busy... they put themselves to bed

Have the days just been flying by for anyone else??????

I seriously had to remind myself today that it was Tuesday.... the EVE of Christmas Eve!!! WHOA.... Christmas Eve???

The next few days will be filled with family, church family and friends visiting and meals being prepared/served. Laughter, gifts, memories, thankfulness, embraces, little kid antics and everything else that makes Christmas time with family and friends special!!!

But before the fun stuff happens there is WORK to be done. Cleaning, planning, purchasing, cleaning, baking, cleaning, phone calls, visits and more "clutter control"!! There is always plenty to do at MY house:)

One of the most precious parts of Christmas though is the hymns and music of the "season" that remind me of my Savior and this time of remembrance. It doesn't take long to address Christmas cards, scrub the floor or tie bows on gifts when my heart is ready to serve the Lord through serving my family and friends:)

Just to show how busy we've been.....

I had the kids out for our last big grocery shop before friends and family arrive tomorrow! We finally left the house at 11am with our lunch being munched on as we drove:) We visited 3 different stores and the kids held up sooo well.

I was soo proud of their behavior and desire to "help" me. After our last few groery trips I had been kind of dreading this BIG shop, but they oulled it off and did WONDERFULLY... they even received complements at the final store after checking out:)

On the trip home (about mid-afternoon) I asked if they wanted to play quietly in Christopher's room or NAP.... Anna and Christopher both immediately agreed to play in Christopher's room, Lydia was muching on fruit snacks or grapes by then:)

Well by the time we were home, Lydia was asleep... so I brought her in, changed her diaper and laid her down to finish her nap:) While unloading groceries and "helping" a neighbor with a very special delivery for the kids on Christmas morning.... the kids were silent....

Hmmm?? whats up with that silence??? Yep, they had put themselves down for naps:) Christopher had actually climbed INTO his bed and Anna had falled asleep next to the heat vent by the couch (nice and snug)!!!

I guess all that grcery shopping tired them out :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

my Salon Haircut experience

My little sister is a hairdresser and on a couple of occassions has cut my hair. I think she does a great job. She's one of these hairdressers that consider your head as their "artwork". But Jaclyn has also really tried to cut her customers hair like THEY want it and something that fits their personality.

I am the hairdressers worst client. I expect that they will know what to do with my "mane" and usually go in with no ideas. Usually I just say, "I need something easy to manage, looks great, takes NO time and looks different than what I currently have." LOL

After having my hair short for 8+ months now and getting it cut 3 or 4 times. I'm thinking I'm starting to know what I like... starting. Anyway, for the last few weeks I had been really wanting to get more layers in my hair to make it less "fluffy" and full on the sides.

Last Tuesday while we were visiting family I visited the salon my sister works at.... Let me start off saying that I am a "fish out of water" in a salon... but her co-workers were soo sweet and it was a very relaxed environment:)

My sister (too eager to please me... thanks girl) pulled out books and we talked about what I wanted. And we picked out the things that I liked out of each picture and then she started to work her magic:)

I LOVE this picture!!! LOL... there we all (minus Brian and the kids watching movies in the van waiitng for us) are in the salon: me, my hairdresser sister, her husband and our Momma snapping pictures:)

I've had it cut for a week now and I like it. It's thinnner which has been nice in washing and styling! And I think it's just a fun cut to wear... I like the way clips are in it now and the way it lays.

Usually people notice when I do something different with my hair. But they've been quiet... so I'm thinking ti's the hub-bub of Christmas activities, or it's still about the same length,etc as my last cut so maybe they haven't noticed..... or maybe it's sooo horrendous no one wants to say anything. LOL I do tend to choose clothing and styles that are older for me,too. So maybe it's just not looking right on me:)

BTW... thanks to my MOmma for this pic!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kids Part of the Christmas Canata

Tonight was our Christmas Canata... AKA the choir performs their collections of Christmas songs and someone narrates the Christmas story:) It's always soo nice to be in the church beautifully decorated with poinsettas and be reminded of our Savior's birth through beautifully arranged songs:)

I was blessed this year to participate.... I LOVED this set of music. Most of it was a little more contemporary than what we normally sing for services, but yet they contained many of the more traditional Christmas hymns... ahhh, these songs were soo refreshing and moving:)

The kids also ahd a little part of our canata service. They had a couple of little songs that they sang in the middle of the service:) This was our 1st attempt to have the kids sing during a service and I was very proud of them... they are soo sweet:)

You might have noticed the little guy on the right side. He is such a great little guy!! Anyway, he had a bike accident that afternoon and had ice on his lip during practice to keep the swelling down:( Anyway, he decided that he wanted to go on-stage with the others and only ring the bells since he was worried singing would hurt his lip.... what a trooper!!

You might have also noticed that my two little ones weren't on-stage.... hmmm, stage fright?? LOL they might still be a little too small! Christopher knew all the words but felt more comfortable with his Pey and Uncle Eric:) Lydia was too busy eating candy from Grammie.... maybe next year??

We don't have many kiddies in our small church. But I'm soo thankful for the few we do have!! I pray that my time with them would bring them closer to the Lord and that they would want to have a close relationship with HIM!!

Here was an attempt at a family/grandparent picture after the service tonight:) These are my parents Colleen and Al AKA Grammie and Pey:) And this is a typical family pic outtake... except this one was the best....LOL

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally.... Our Trip Pics

Well I finally just put the pictures in a montage:) Better than just doing picture posts until Christmas!!

All of the pictures are from our afternoon together at the park.... the weather after than afternoon got too cold and windy for us to enjoy anymore time outside!

I also had a few swimming pics but they weren't too exciting:) The kids all still like to swim. Lydia was too tired to swim Monday night at 9pm!!! LOL But on Tuesday morning the kids were back in the pool by 9:15am!! They love the pool (and Anna loves the hot tub):)

Enjoy your last weekend before Christmas:) We're having my parents come down tomorrow. And during our PM service we are having our Christmas contata and hopefully the kids will sing.... hopefully they'll gte up there and do it:) I also plan to sing with the choir... so we have a busy Sunday PM:)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Well we were all excited to finally pick up our Christmas cards yesterday!!! I did order them through Walmart.... they are soo cheap and we LOVE to send them to friends and family , so I can afford to get enough to send:)

Anyway, I got a picture of the family that we liked. And I did some editting of it on Picasa 3... which I thought looked good

But then I saw the cards yesterday!!! The picture was sooo dark compared to the one that I had sent Walmart and the sharpness/quality had diminished??? What could I do??? I mean I have to send out the Christmas cards and there was a warning about the picture quality being altered for larger sizes.... but good grief!!!

It's really darker than even my picture of the card shows.... I'm totally bummmed.

But I at least have cards to send out. And I've learned my lesson... hopefully... I'll be asking for help and getting a sample next year before ordering ALL my cards.

The more annoying problem is that I can't go from Picasa to Walmart anymore... and I have some that I wanted to get some larger prints.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorite Pic & my Rascally little boy

I'm taking TWO seconds out of my evening to share with you my favorite pic from our TRIP!!

We had a GREAT evening with friends from our SS class and our extended family,AKA Blake:)

But it was a challenging day.... I just had a lot on my mind today... and then

We visited the library... our highlight of the day....

Then I had to get a little bit of grocery shopping done and the kids were especially nutty... especially Christopher. I really need to have him where his "doggy" harness while we shop because he has started to do the running thing... so frustrating while trying to shop. But we got what we needed (plus osme extras for a fun craft) and headed home for naps:)

Christopher is such an expressive little dude.... he's a great kid, sweet, compassionate, fun-loving.... but he has yet to learn self-control and when to tempter his desires and aggressions.... so sometimes our days are a litle more challenging than others!

I know, I know, How could I get frustrated with that cute little fella???

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Windy and COLD

Well we headed to see Grammie and Pey. We fist met them at a community/county park!! We are soo glad we did!! The weather was very mild but the wind was WILD.... we could definetly feel the cold front coming into the area... so we were glad we had those first few hours of "vacation" enjoying the outdoors and letting the kids be kids!!

I have some fun pics to share from our trip... so they will be coming in the next few days (or when I get to them)... there are a few I can't wait to post:)

Here's a set that SHOW how windy it was:)

And here is Christopher cropped out of the above pic:)

Do you see his hair???? That was how strong the wind was!! LOL

OOOOOhhh ... I'd love to sit here all day and share some more of these pics... but Anna is telling me that I have to go decorate out in front of the house..... LOL...

Maybe later:)

We did have a good visit. We got to see both of my parents and my sister and her hubby! My younger brother was MIA?? On Tuesday it was wet and cold, so I got a lot of little things done in a BIG city:) Wish we could have had more beach time... but the kids got to see the beach and swim in the pool.... so that was good:)

Another Self-Dresser:)

I've often commented here that Lydia is super independent. I'm sure she's doing the stuff normal almost 2 -yr-old girls are doing. BUt it just seems that she's ahead of schedule because Christopher has no desire to do some stuff fot himself yet.... all boy:)

Anyway, for months now Lydia has been stripping down just to get on a different shirt or because her diaper is wet:) But lately she's also been very, very picky about what she puts on and will even want to "Try it myself"... at least that is what it sounds like she is saying. And then she usually takes the article of clothing and attempts to put it on.

Early self-dressers are soo fun though. They come up with the craziest outfits!! So here are TWO of Lydia's today...

Anna or I did help with putting her shirts over her head, but she chose which to wear!! And notice the accessories.. the doll paci in the first and the cup in the second. When she saw these pictures she immediately picked out the assessories:)

BTW.... she had her last paci in mid-Oct!! But she still calls the doll paci a "mum" and she thinks it's funny when she puts it in her mouth.

Vacation Cereal Deals

While planning my visit with my parents she told me about a cereal deal at one of her local grocery stores.... ha ahaa.. my momma is couponing too:)

She found that the store was offering selected Kelloggs cereals 6 for $12... like $2 a box. They also had a deal that if you bought 6 boxes they took $6 off the price fo the cereals. Thinking this was the "fine print" for how the cereals were only $2 a box, I didn't think anything of it, except I needed to buy 6 for the deal!!

So then I hunted online for some Kelloggs coupons and found plenty:) Each coupon I had from the Sunday paper and online took $1 off each box of cereal... bringing the total price for each box to $1!! Very cool!!!

Before we got to Farm Fresh for the cereal deal, we headed to Harris Teeter for some ingredients for dinner... and there in the cereal aisle of HArris Teeter were blinkies (the little coupon machines) for $1 off Kelloggs cereal!!! Haha haaa... so we picked up some more...

Anyway, we get to Farm Fresh and get the cereal and 2 more items and go to checking out expecting the bill to be about $10.... 6 boxes of cereal at $1 each, one $2 cereal and plastic forks:) The cashier rings it all up and the total is a whooping $3.25!!!

The cereal was FREE!!!! Yes, FREE!!! The extra $6 of you bought 6 boxes brought the boxes to $1 each and then my 6 coupons brought the total to FREE!!!!

SO the next day my MOm went, my sister went and then we got another "set"!! So we'll all be eating Kelloggs this month:)

So here are my 11.25 boxes of cereal that we paid only $1 for (the cashier missed a coupn during my final mom was getting them for me and she dind't want to say anything... ha ha haaa)... GREAT DEAL


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Off On a Beach Vacation:)

Just so you DON't worry about us:) Hahhaaa...

The Crew will be traveling on MOnday and Tuesday to see Grammie and Pey and visit a beach close to them:) The kids are excited about seeing Grammie and Pey since we haven't seen them since Aug/Sept!!!

And they're excited to be going somewhere new, exploring, picnics, sand, maybe some bike riding and swimming at the hotel we get to stay at:)

Hopefully I'll have fun pics to post when we return:)

The Front View, Parsonage Life

Brian was sooo disappointed that I didn't video the kids from the front:) So this morning on the way to church, I did a "front view" video......

In the view you can see how close our house is to our church.

When we first told friends we were moving into a parsonage we hard horror stories... like church members coming in to check that the wife was cleaning. Or members coming in whenever they wanted to "see the place". And also innocent requests for the pastor or his family to complete stuff at the church "since they are soo close"!!

But I have LOVED living in the parsonage and being close to the church!!!

It's nice that I can walk my little troops across the grass (or now on the sidewalk) without having to buckle into carseats and get held up by traffic lights.... the only things that delay our commute are skinned knees or running back into the house for stuff:)

We do have people occasionally ask us to do stuff at the church. But I find it to be a GREAT opportunity to see friends and church members throughout the week:) And usually they are asking because they are doing a MUCH bigger task and just need to doors opened or help carrying stuff..... they are actually blessing us by their work.... I think a minute of my time is the least I could do for them:)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How we get OUT the door

Whenever I'm out with the kids, I ALWAYS get comments. They say," boy, you've got a lot of "helpers" *wink, wink*" or "are they yours?"

One funny comment the other day was from a grandmother keeping her two granddaughters. She said, "How in the world are you out of your house this early with all those kids?" .... hahhaa

First let me explain that I ONLY have 3 kiddies!!! They are young, but only 3... imagine a momma with like 5 or 6!!! Second, it was 11am!!!! Good grief, I wanted to be out of the house by 9:30 or 10am!! So 11am for me was LATE:)

In the rush to get to church or into the car, Brian had enough of the Japanese lets-all-push onto-the-subway routine happening at our house with our three little ones!! So he trained the kids to stand 3 or 4 feet from the door and wait for their names to be called.....

The other day I was watching this tradition/routine and was just touched by the orderliness and how much the kids LOVE doing this...... it's just soo cute. And I think Brian has also enjoyed this routine.... no more pushing and bunching at the door and he likes to compliment each one during their turn, which is always nice for a parent.... we want to encourage more than we have to correct:)

So I tried to video it, I wish I would have had two cameras to get the kids faces as they eagerly awaited their names to be called:)

I wish everything at our house could be as orderly as leaving the house with Daddy:)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Couponing Night & "free" tape!!!

This was what my "office" looked like during naptime today.. minus the computer on the online Harris Teeter store weekly flyer!!

Then we got ready to go..

I read thru my list and checked the corresponding coupons another time!!! That's when I saw one of the middle notes I made to myself... do you see it???

It says, "Buy only if FREE".... hahhaa haaa I've been soo spoiled by some of the sales and coupon matches lately!

One website I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is Savvy Dollar !!! It's a NC couponers delight!! But I'm thinking that a lot of the stores and prices would be similiar if you're close!! If your not close... it's still a GREAT resource to see HOW couponers are saving money!!!

AT Harris Teeter I didn't need to manager to override my purchases, like they had to do on Saturday:) But I spent $33 and saved $64.... that's almost like I paid only 1/3 for my groceries!! Some GREAT deals at Harris Teeter are buy 1 2.5 lb bag of chicken breasts and get 2 FREE!! yes that 2!!! It's like getting your boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 1.33 lb..... can't beat that!!

More fun deals were the FREE toothpaste and toothbrush :)

OK... this was also a fun "deal"... Walgreens has 3-packs of Scotch present wrapping tape for 2/$2.... but there was a coupon in the paper for $1 off 2 packs:) So that's 2 3-packs of tape for $1.14 (with NC tax)!!!

You missed the coupon??? THAT's OK!!! At walgreens they have a little book where you can get a refund for $2 if you purchase TWO 3-packs of tape:) And you can request the refund online:) So you can get it FREE!!! And I might either get my $1 back or get $2 back, too... not sure how that will work:)

Ohh, I need to mention that this couponing is messing with my kids:) Anna spent her naptime cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper:) It's scissor practice RIGHT?? She actually asked if she could help and I gave her the diea and she loved it:)

At the grocery store there was a little pully coupon-thingy near us... Anna would go to the thing and keep "collecting" the coupons for me:)

Then she looked down at her collection and decided that one handful was more expensive than the other:) LOL... gotta love her:) She's got a couponing heart:)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

When she takes off her OWN diaper

***WARNING to those with weak tummies****

SO Lydia made a stinky in her diaper. I totally knew she had done it and was finishing my conversation before I changed her.

She wanted changing sooner:) So She comes into the hallway carrying her dirty, stinky diaper by a corner. Yes, carrying it by a CORNER...

So I do a quick check hoping all the stinky is still contained in the diaper... ummm.... not so lucky...

There was a big pile of poopy on the floor in Christopher's room.... just sitting there on the floor.

Mommy's response was stick the stinky, dirty child in the bathtub and then clean up the mess before it got any worse or sunk into the carpet....ewwww

So quick response had Brian grabbing a spatula from the kitchen. As he was leaning over to do it and I ran for the camera. He looked up and saw me and decided I should clean up the mess:) So I did...

Brian took this pic in my very kid-drooled-on mirror (has since been Windexed... although it probably looks the same now).

I thought this picture was funny b/c of my expression and my trusty sidekick:)

Yes, so whoever is CRAZY enough to believe that your sweet, cute, cuddly little baby will never create a disgusting mess .......

Think again:)

Brian thought to take a picture of the culprit hanging out in the bathtub .... ummm, she doesn't look very sorrowful for her antics. Does she???

One last thought: PANCAKES anyone???

More Photos from our Family "shoot"

I was looking through the pictures from yesterday and wanted to post more... I couldn't wait for Christmas... especially since the one I posted was the one we eventually had printed for our Christmas cards:)

And this was the pic that we really wanted to put on our card.

But I was a little hestitant because Anna wasn't facing forward. There are some on our list of Christmas cards that only see us each year on our Christmas card and others who dispaly them ALL year!! So I really wanted one with good shot of ALL of us:)

At lunch with Andrea this afternoon she asked how we took the pictures. It didn't cross my mind how "ghetto" it was until I was telling her...LOL!! Anyway, we sat on the kids' neutral looking picnic table (I love this table) . To have the camera at the right height, we put it on a mini-tripod (Brian brought it over in his pocket) on top of the cooler which was in our wagon:) So wagon, cooler, mini-tripod:)

Oh, when Brian got back to the house he pulled the tripod out of his pocket and it broke:( opps!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Attempting a Christmas Pic:)

We've just been sick or busy lately. We tried to make arrangements with Andrea but they always fell through -mostly due to our unpredictable and Brian's demanding study schedule (just a few months, sweetie)!! So during Thanksgiving, our family tried to help us out. Here was the one we liked the most..... (sort of... I wasn't a fan of this one... I'm not crazy about my goofy grin)

We did get a few that were usable... I just wasn't excited about mailing them to our family and friends...

So today we tried again!! A beautiful day and I had spied out a very old-looking barn with a pretty red color to it:) It belongs to my neighbor. So when my neighbor comes back into town we'll have to share our Christmas pic with her:)

Here's one of our "out takes"... we did get some fun ones:)

We took tons:) But I personally liked this batch better:) I think the red barn/shed is a beautiful backdrop:) And the kids did much better:) I'll have to post the one we finally choose.... that would be a good Christmas Day post:)

*** Please don't laugh too hard at my editting:) I'm learning... very slowly (when my house is quiet)!! But my pictures needed a little extra "uhmp" to them... so I tried:)

Source of the Squeals

During my usual morning house tidy-up, I heard it! The squeals of a girl being tormented by a little brother.... they weren't cries of pain or frustration so I ignored them and finished my task.

That was until I came walking out of my room and was almost caught in the cross fire:)

Yes, he had gotten one of his outside waterguns and filled it with water and had been spraying his sister:) Yes, spraying a watergun in the house....

And as I was having his pose (with what I thought was an empty watergun...) He decided it would be funny to spray himself:)

In our house, this is the difference between Christopher being 2 and Christopher being 3. Christopher-the-2-year-old was very content saying "bang" and chasing the girls around with the gun in hand.

But not Christopher-the-3-yr-old!!!

No, now that he's THREE he knows the gun has a better function that will evoke more squeals from his sisters. And while he's been very capable with getting the sink on for some time now.... he has just figured out how to pour the water into the gun using a cup (from the tub toys)!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Squatty Potty

Lydia has been potty training herself again.... how does she do it?? She constantly removes her diaper and all of her clothing. Then CLIMBS on TOP of the potty!!! It's pretty funny to watch:) And she is sooo PRoud of herself!!!

This afternoon she climbed on top of the potty (with Brian and I watching from a distance). But this time the pee-pee didn't wait for her to sit.... ah ahaaa ha She reminded me of a squatty potty (here's a random post about squatty potties).

The funniest thing was that she was a little surprised and she just grinned:) Then she saw us looking at her and she said,"I did it!"

haha haha haa...

Can I change the subject just a bit??? I have LOVED hearing each of my kids "learn" to talk!!! Since when the older two were at this stage I had little babies to tend or maybe it's just TIME passing, I just don't remember them talking as much as Lydia is:)

One of my favorite phrases of hers goes like this:

Lydia (spots money on the counter): Money.

Mommy: "Yep, that's money."

Lydia : "I-tant-touch-it" or "I-tant-have-it"..... ohhh, it just melts my heart and lets me know she is understanding our rules;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Trees and Toddlers

When were pregnant with Anna we purchased our Christmas Tree at 80%+ off!! Anyway some neighbors told us that the best way to deal with Christmas Trees and little ones.

We thought of putting the tree in the pack-n-play!!

But this seasoned family told us what they did every year with their toddler/preschooler! They suggested putting up the tree and leaving it ornament-less for a little while.

You know, wear off the novetly of the tree:) They said many times their son wouldn't even notice the ornaments- when they put them on:)

We've tried that for a couple of years and it seems to make tree-issues non-existant... well almost:) In fact, last year we even put gifts under the tree and the kids totally left them alone:)

Since they will eventually touch......Another idea were told was to put the kid-friendly ornaments at the bottom of the tree:) And put the family heirlooms that will BREAK at the TOP:) Then you train them NOT to touch with the "kid-friendly" ornaments:)

When they do start to scout out the ornaments on the tree... I am right there reminding them NOT to touch them:) Although I think last year there were a few that I let them play with...

This is year, Anna helped me put our tree together:) And Christopher was amazed that each time he came into the room the tree "grew"!

I don't have a finished product yet b/c I'm letting them have the novelty wear off some:) We'll see how it works with a little bit older kids this year:) And I was hoping to start wrapping and putting out gifts... we'll see if they mess with them this year???