Friday, December 30, 2011


That is how many years Rob and I have been married.

When I think back to this day 11 years ago, a lot of things come to my mind.

I think of the snow. It snowed while I was sleeping, so I woke up in a little cottage with my mom and one of my bride maids to a blanket of snow. (It was truly gorgeous and a dream come true. I had really hoped that when we picked a December day it would snow.) I also woke up puking. Nerves...they got to me.

I think of all the special people that were with me that day. My grandfather from Las Vegas who was really sick. My special cousin that lives thousands of miles away. Rob's grandmother who was also very old and it was extremely hard for her to travel. Men Rob went to college with that I had never met. My parents, sister and brother in law. Rob's family...who were now becoming my family. Friends, that I don't get to see anymore.

I think of the beautiful evergreen trees that decorated the stage. The candlelight. The dress. The music Rob and I listened to for hours.

I think of getting dressed in the church nursery and hearing all the people coming in to celebrate with us.

I think of waiting in the hallway with my dad. The tears welled up and overflowed. Tears of joy and excitement. My dad said, "Are you okay?" I think he was thinking, "Is she sure she wants to do this." I had never been more sure of anything.

I think of turning the corner and looking down the aisle.

I think of the man that waited. Waited...for me. With a smile and tears.

Eleven years later here we are. A lot has happened in 11 years. A lot of goodness and blessings! I am so thankful that God has blessed me with this man and 11 years of marriage.

I can't wait for the next 11!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking back...and forward

Well hello blog readers! I sure do hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I know we did! Now that the dust is settling, toys are being put away, and New Years is just a few days away things seem to be getting back into a little bit of normalcy.

Normal, what is that anyway!?

As I look back over 2011 I think of lots of great memories. Disney being at the for front, of course. (Oh, how I would love to go back tomorrow!)

I also think of how life has changed and stayed the same all at the same time.
How is that?
How will 2012 be different.

Lots of people are thinking about resolutions or goals for the year. I believe this is a good thing. However, all to often January comes and goes, and we fall back into the same routines. Last year I tried to do the once a month resolution which was great. I can honestly say, it was good for me, but there are a lot of resolutions I made that I did not fully commit to. I will be looking back over them each month and continuing to work on them.

My goal, resolution, focus...whatever you want to call to seek Him first.

The Bible says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) My main focus this year is this verse. That in all things I will seek Him first.

My marriage.
My parenting.
My friendships.
My health.

What are you going to change, work on, resolve?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Lately I have been feeling the weight of being a mom.

Do you ever have those times?

When you feel like this responsibility is just to much?

When you feel like you are missing the whole point?

When you feel like you just want to do it right?

Maybe you don't have them, but I do.

I heard this song this morning on the radio. It is a Christmas song about Mary, and for the life of me I can't remember what it is called. (If you have any clue let me know. A woman sings it and it is not "Mary did you know.") It is basically about what a huge responsibility God placed on her with being the mother of Jesus.

In no way am I comparing myself to Mary. She birthed and raised God himself!!! I can not even imagine.

The song, however, did make me think of this "job" that God has given me. He has trusted me with 2 lives.

2 lives He created.

2 lives that mean more to Him than they do to me.

2 sweet, amazing blessings!

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with it all.
Often, I fail them.
Frequently, I lose my patience.
Always, I love them. Always!

Today I am thankful that God has entrusted me with the precious name, Mom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WeekEND News {and other ramblings}

This weekend the holiday traditions were in full swing.

(We feel a week behind since we were in Disney.)

(I have mentioned I can't wait to go back?)

Any hoo...we packed this weekend full to play "catch up" on the traditions we love.

(I would like a new Christmas tradition. Can you guess what it is?)

Saturday we went to a place not to far that literally has millions of lights. It is always so beautiful!

Sunday we celebrated Christmas with our best friends...Chris and Carrie. This has been a tradition for a couple years. It is always so much fun. It is hard to believe that we have been friends since our oldest were only 6 months old. Look at them now!!!
I just love this picture! (And these kids!)

Friday, not sure why the picture uploaded all the way down here, we went to see Santa. We go to this place where you drive through lights. It is great. It is so pretty and you are in the warmth of your own car. While we were there driving through looking at the lights I had Christmas music on and Carys said, "Roll down your window." I said, "Why?" Carys, "So the lights will dance to the music." Haha! So cute!
After the lights there is a place to go in and play and to see Santa, get treats, and see some model trains. It is so fun. This has been the place the kids always see Santa and we all love it!

I am so excited that the kids only have 3 more days of school and then 2 weeks vacation. I am planning some fun things to do...baking cookies, having friends over, going to the movies and staying in our jammies, and just being 8 and 5. Sometimes I feel like school and "activities" are taking over our lives. Let me remind you, Broderick does wrestling and cub scouts and Carys does dance. Not like we are over committed or anything, but sometimes I feel like it.

I am ready for a new year though. I feel like it is permission to re-start. And I need that. I have fallen off the wagon in a few areas, and I can feel that it is effecting other areas of my life. Funny how that all goes together.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday {Hubby edition!)

Today we are celebrating Rob!

It is his birthday!

Today we celebrate...
a man that loves the Lord.
a man that would do anything for his family.
a man that works so hard he became Vice President this year.
a man who is always trying to do better.
a man that serves his wife.
a man that embraces his inner kid.
a man who speaks the truth.

and a man I am very Thankful for!

Happy Birthday my love!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday {Disney Edition}

If you are my friend you are probably really tired of hearing about my trip to Disney!

(I am sorry for that!)

However, I thought there were a few things that you should know if you are planning your first visit to Disney. I know, I know, there are a million blogs that are all about Disney. This is not one of them. I am no expert. I read those blogs and talked to several people who had been before to get some advice. There were a few things (hopefully 10 things) that I did not know going into it that I wished I had.

Here they are:

1. Think through the meal plan. Our meal plan was 1 snack, 1 quick service and 1 table service. The snack included pretty much anything you could buy in the park for under $5. This included drinks. I try not to drink a lot of soda (Remember that post about giving up Diet Coke?). You can get cups of ice water for free. So if you do that, you are getting something else to snack on. Quick service and table service include a side and a dessert along with the main part of your meal...hamburger, sandwich, salad, tacos...lots of options, and a drink. Sometimes for the table service you also get an appetizer.
Are you catching on here? This is a lot of food! I was happy to drink water all day, skip the snack (because I was so full from the meals) and eat quick service wherever we happened to be.
Some people might like to take the time to visit other resorts to eat and enjoying the convenience of the meal plan. Which is totally fine! All I am saying is really think about it. You might be able to save some money by not doing it.

2. Like I mentioned above you can get cups of water. However, if you are pushing a stroller, carrying a back pack and juggling a couple of kids I would highly suggest taking a water bottle to fill up. We did this and it was perfect! I didn't have to worry about spills, I filled it up whenever I could, and it fit nicely in the back pack.

3. I also mentioned the enormous amounts of food...Take some Ziploc baggies! There were several times the kids didn't eat all there food, but I knew in about 30 minutes they would be hungry. I wished I would have had a baggie to throw it in to take along.

4. Don't try to look fashionable. Did you see my pictures? Bad hair days, gym shoes, hoodies. I wanted to be comfortable. When you are walking from 8:00am to 11:00 pm it is wise to be comfy. Of course I would have loved to look cute, but this trip was not about that. The last thing I wanted was to be worrying about blisters. If you can pull fashionable and comfy off I say go for it!

5. Fast Passes are your friend. It took us a few days to figure this out. Saturday when we first got to the park we rode one ride, ate lunch then got a fast pass for Space Mountain. Not smart. We should have got the fast pass first, then ate lunch and rode the ride while we were waiting for the fast pass time. Some rides run out of fast passes really quick. Like Toy Story Mania. Sunday the fast passes for the whole day were gone by 11:00. We had gone straight to sign Broderick up for Jedi training so we missed the fast pass. We ended up waiting in line for about 40 minutes, which wasn't to bad. Looking back, I should have taken Broderick to sign up and Rob should have went straight for the fast pass at Toy Story Mania.

6. When a meltdown happens, just redirect. Overall, my kids were very good. Considering they were running on little sleep and busy all day. Meltdowns will happen and they will come in different forms for all kids. Friday, the last day we were at Magic Kingdom, Carys wanted to meet Tiana. It was the last princess she had to meet. We were waiting to watch a parade, so I walked her over. Tiana was there, but the line to meet her was closed. Tell that to a 5 year old little girl. She started to cry. Redirect people! Get your child's mind on something else...Get ice cream, go meet someone else, get on a ride, look in the shops, trade pins. I simply told Carys that Tiana had to leave to be in the parade so we would go watch it and see her then. And if we could we would meet her later. (We never did get to meet her.) Quickly Carys was just fine.

7. Give your kids a spending budget. There is so much to look at and buy and it is so easy to get wrapped up in wanting it all. The pins, the outfits, the hats and ears, the stuffed animals. So much cool stuff. We simply told the kids they had "X" amount of dollars and when it was gone it was gone. If they wanted to spend it all on pins that was fine. Of course we surprised them with a few things, but for the most part they spent the amount we gave them.

8. Do things even if you think you might not like them. We saw the Hall of Presidents and it was so cool. We also watching a show about the United States at Epcot that was also very cool. Chances are you aren't going to be able to do it all. We had 8 days and I think there were only a couple things at Epcot we did not do. Out of all that there is only one thing we probably not do again. (I am not telling what it is either!)

9. Where to stay? This is tricky, again. Think about how much you are going to be at the resort. We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was gorgeous. It was neat to see the animals in the savannah. The difficult thing was, we were there much. We left each day around 7:30 or 8:00 and didn't get back until 11:00 each night. We pretty much saw the lobby and the hallway to our room. Some people are different, they may be there more. For first timers, you may be like us and want to see it all, or as much as you can. Which means you probably won't be at the resort much. Let's be honest, the value resorts are still Disney resorts. The same bed, the same staff, just different looking.

10. And finally, take an extra empty bag for the trip home. We took a carry on bag that could easily fit in one of the suit cases. It was empty when we left and full when we came home!

Most of all, have a good time! You know what your family likes, how they travel, what they will want to do. Like I said yesterday, you make it magical!

Today I am linking up with Oh Amanda and Top Ten Tuesday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What a Week!

I'm baaaaack!

We had a great week! It was long, busy, and just about perfect!

If you are "friends" with me on Facebook, which I am sure most of you are, then you have seen most of my pictures. (Actually it is only about half.) So I am not going to put a lot on here. I would much rather tell you the details of some of my favorite moments!

Rob and I started planning this trip in February. That is right...FEBRUARY! We kept it under wraps for most of the year. On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we told the kids. Every year we give the kids an ornament to represent the year. Usually we give it to them on Christmas Eve, but this year we gave it to them on Wednesday. (We just happened to be decorating the tree!) They opened it up and they were Mickey and Minnie. They liked them and hung them on the tree. (No clue!) Then we ate pizza, which happened to have pepperoni in the shape of Mickey. Broderick kept asking me what it was. He finally guessed. Rob and I just kind of ignored him. After pizza they both got a phone call at the same time. Aerial called Carys and Mickey called Broderick. They told them they were going on a trip. Still...the kids were kind of confused. After we helped them put the pieces together, it clicked.


The looks, the screams, the tears...they were all worth the wait!!!

Saturday morning we arrived in Orlando around 9:00am. Let the fun begin. We hit Magic Kingdom first! It was kind of sensory overload. Spectacular, but overload.

Sunday we went to Hollywood Studios were Broderick got to fight Darth Vader. There are about 10 kids in each "set". They have a Jedi Master that tells them exactly what to do when they fight Vader. (Which, by the way, why is Darth Vader so cool!?) Each kid comes up and goes through the same set of motions. When it was Broderick's turn, he did the same motions as all the other kids and then...the Jedi Master said, "Use the force!" So Broderick, in typical Jedi fashion, used the force on the Stormtroopers. Every 8 year old boys dream!!!
We of course road all the rides and saw most of the shows that day. Rock N' Roller Coaster was Broderick's favorite! Carys did not like the Tower of Terror. She did not cry at all, she was a brave little girl. For about an hour after we road it she just sat in the stroller and didn't say anything. It was my favorite ride!

Monday we were back at Magic Kingdom. Carys wore her beautiful dress that Grandma made her and we had dinner with the princesses is Cinderella's Castle. Every 5 year old girls dream! Seeing her face and watching her look all around for the princesses to come what priceless. Truly! The best part was/is, she believes these are real princesses! I love it. It makes me tear up just thinking about it!
When we were outside of the castle one day she said, "Mom, do you see that window right there?"
"Yes, Carys I see it."
"I think that is Cinderella's room."
"I think you are right Carys."

Melts my heart! She loved hugging them, and getting them to sign her book. And they all, and many others, loved her dress and commented on how pretty it was. She even told the fairy Godmother that her Grandma made her a dress just like Cinderella's!

Tuesday we went to Epcot. I loved Epcot. The World Showcase was very cool and they had some great rides. We also had VIP seating for a firework show that night.

Wednesday we went to Animal Kingdom. It was like a zoo, but on a grand scale. Disney doesn't skimp on anything! The Tree of Life has the most amazing detail. The shows are amazing. The safari is great fun. It is just a neat place! That night we ate a place called Whispering Canyon. It was so much fun! The kids rode wooden horses around the restaurant. If you needed ketchup your table just yelled, "We need ketchup." Whoever had it would bring it over to you. Not just one bottle though...about 20 bottles. Then when another table yelled, you had to take all 20 bottles to them. If you asked for more drink, they brought you a 1/2 gallon mason jar full of your drink. The kids loved this place. We will for sure go back there to eat.

Thursday we celebrated Broderick's 8th birthday. It was his choice day. What do you think he picked?

Hollywood Studios.

Which was perfect because there were a few things we didn't get to the first day we were there. He rode Tower of Terror, this time without Carys, and Rock N' Roller Coaster again. We met some cool characters there. And again, had a "Magical" Day!

That night we went to Downtown Disney and ate at the T-Rex Cafe...his choice of course. And then we went to an arcade like nothing you would believe! People, this is Disney we are talking about. They don't skimp on anything!

Friday we went back to Magic Kingdom. We met some characters we hadn't seen yet, rode some of our favorite rides. The People Mover...don't ask, and Space Mountain. This was our last night there. I cried when we left. Not a sob cry, but definately some tears.

Saturday we hit a few rides at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and then it was time to come home.

So what makes this place so magical you ask? It is the place, "where all your dreams come true."

You make it magical. Seriously. The laughter, the jokes, the excitement, the meltdowns, the time together. That is what makes it so special. I am not going to lie...the parades, the characters, the rides, the food...they are special too! But you make it magical!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday {Thanksgiving Edition}

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

I have a surprise for you...

I am guest posting at the Momma Bird today! She has been doing a Thankfulness Series and asked me to post for today!

I was, and am, honored to do it!

Michelle, is the daughter of a lady in our house church. I have only met her two times. They are a military family so they don't live around here. If they did, we would be friends...we are both convinced! For now, bloggy friends and facebook friends will have to do. (Boo!)

Head over to the Momma Bird and read it...please!

Oh...and have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Tonight, I am going to go see a movie at midnight. Yes, you read that right, MIDNIGHT!! I am the girl that falls asleep during the opening credits of a movie, so a late movie is unheard of for me. (Just ask my husband.)

This is not just any movie...this is Breaking Dawn, Part 1. It will be well worth the tiredness tomorrow brings. My journey to becoming a twilight fan might be a little different than most.

My mom started reading the books when they came out. She kept telling me about them, and I kept saying, "I will never read those. I don't want to read about some vampire love story for high schoolers!"

What does Justin Beiber say? "Never say, never!"


I of course saw the first movie. It was fine. Then my bestie decided she was going to read the books and wanted to go see the second movie. (She is always getting me wrapped up in all kinds of nonsense!) So, I went with her. That was all it took. I was hooked! I had to know what happened next. I read all four books in 4 weeks. Have you ever seen the books!? They are thick! And I don't ever! I could not put them down.

There ya have journey to becoming a huge fan! Now...I am wearing a Team Edward shirt and going to a midnight showing. All I need is my vampire teeth and I am golden! What!?

Today I am thankful for (as shallow as it may seem)
movies that take me to make believe places with vampires, werewolves and everlasting love!
(and crazy girlfriends that will go with me!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday Friends! Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. I have been subbing this week and when I am not doing that I have the typical family, laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping...the things I really love!

Today the kids don't have school which is GREAT! I love having them home in the morning. We get to stay in our jammies, watch tv, cuddle, go get donuts. It is such a fun time. The kids had a special treat last night...they got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house! What fun! The trouble is, they woke up at 5 am!!!! Not good for momma!

Today I am thankful for NO SCHOOL days!!!!!

To celebrate the Thanksgiving season we are doing a "thankful tree". I usually do some form of this...paper chain links, writing things on paper and putting them in a jar, but this year I decided to be a little more creative! I made a tree out of brown paper lunch bags and taped it to the wall. Then I cut out different colored leaves. Each day, or whenever you want, we write something we are thankful for and tape it to the tree. It has been a lot of fun to see what everyone is thankful for and a great way to keep focus on a Holiday that sometimes goes over looked.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I kind of, okay...really, have a love/hate relationship with food.

Ya see, I love, love love to eat it!

The hate part is...I make really bad choices. (As I sit to blog eating a bag of peanut M & M's)

Do you understand my problem!?

I like to cook, but hate the meal planning and grocery shopping part.

I love to bake, but hate that I then eat all the cookies, cake, or whatever it is I baked!

Last night Rob texted me on his way home from work and said, "Do you want to go out to eat?"
Of course, I said, "YES!" (I don't ever pass up that opportunity!)
I wasn't feeling great and thought, I will just get a salad or some soup. Did I do that! NO!
I picked something that looked and tasted amazing, and was a portion big enough for the whole family. (Especially, after the 2 baskets of chips and salsa.) I didn't have any trouble eating almost all of it!
After wards, I felt horrible! Horrible!

The funny thing is...I still wanted ice cream! Who does this?

Me. And my best friend, Carrie. (That is reason #64 she is my best friend. Alright...maybe reason #3)

Are you wondering how this has anything to do with being thankful?

Here's how:

While I love to eat a, there are people that don't even get the choice of what they will eat. We all know about the people in Africa and Haiti that eat rice and soup once a day. Did you know there are people, kids, that go home everyday that may not get dinner? There is an organization in our community that sends food home in kids back packs every Friday just to make sure they have something to eat over the weekend.

All the while, I am 2 blocks away gorging myself on whatever I want. (By the way, I just grabbed bag #2 of peanut M & M's. You think I am kidding...I am not. I wish I was, but it is the flat truth people! I have a serious problem! That is for another time though!)

Today I am thankful for food.
(In all seriousness!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bagging Day

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, we helped out with Bagging Day again at our church. It is a great opportunity for our family to serve together in a very practical way.

There are a lot of tables set up with stations that look like this:

Everyone picks a job: one scoop of seasoning, veggies, soy or rice. (In our case, we trade jobs...a lot!) When it is your turn (this took some reminding. We came up with fun names for each other and if someone wasn't paying attention we would call out their name. The kids loved that!) you dump it in the funnel and into the bag it goes. The bags make their way to a quality control and weighing station. Then they get sealed, put in boxes and shipped to Haiti.

When you leave you are dirty, stinky and full of joy!

The kids loved trying different jobs and helping out. We did it for 2 hours and I have no clue how many bags we filled. It was a great way to teach the kids that a lot of children don't get options of what they want to eat each day. They get soup...and that is it.

When you leave you are dirty, stinky and full of joy!

A girl in our house church went to Haiti in the spring and she got to deliver some of these bags. The kids also loved seeing the families that got bags of food we packed!

Today I am linking up with Works for Me Wednesday. Stop over to We Are That Family and see what others are doing!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Once a Month Resolution

Can you believe it is November 1st already?

I can't! 2 more resolutions and then it is a whole new year! Then what? Do I keep doing a once a month resolution? Who knows...

I was just looking back over the past resolutions and I must say, I can't believe I actually did some of them. Green cleaning...who would have thought? I have stuck to that one and today I even bought the stuff to make my own dishwashing detergent! I know...amazing!

Exercising and eating have not been the best, but better. I exercise at least once a week mostly twice. Eating, well...that is hit or miss. Lately it has been terrible. I can't even count how many pieces of Halloween candy I have had today. Too many!

Reading more to the kids...I don't have to. They read to me now. It is so great! I love listening to them. I do still read to them. Not as much I as I would like. Broderick has to read for 30 minutes a day so usually he is doing the reading. Which I love!

I am also glad to report that I do try a new recipe each week and I do not make red meat as much. Once, maybe twice a month. I love trying all the new yummy recipes I find on Pinterest.

Diet Coke...what do you think? Did I do it? A whole month without one sip?


I am as shocked as you! I had a few days last week that I really wanted one, but i fought the urge. I am so glad I did. I don't think I am going to turn back at this point. Not now...not after 31 days with it!

Now to this month. Are you ready for confession time? Stop reading now if not...

I can raise my voice at my kids and talk in a not nice tone. This is not pleasing to the Lord, and how do I expect them to speak to others when I speak this way to them.

So my resolution is to change what and how things come out of my mouth.

This is going to be a challenge. I was speaking with a friend this morning about how difficult this will be. She had great advice..."every time you want to raise your voice or same something not pleasing to the Lord to your kids, stop and pray and thank God for them." So that is what I am going to try and do. Please pray for me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

WeekEND News {Halloween Edition}

Rob and I had our annual Halloween party to got to on Friday. My friend, Carrie, has one every year and it is always fun. This year was a music mania theme. We went as Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. We won the costume contest. I was actually really surprised that we did. We didn't decide what we were going to be until last week and I really didn't think it was the best idea. It came together great though. And we had a wonderful time.

Saturday morning we carved pumpkins. I love that this is a "family" activity, because do you know what typically happens?
Rob and I dig out all the goop.
Sometimes the kids draw the face.
And then Rob and I carve them.
Oh well, the kids like doing it. (Whatever "it" is that they do!)

Later on Saturday we went Trick or Treating at an old Pioneer Village. We could go in the old houses. They were so cool. Sometimes I think it would have been so neat to live back in this time period. I did find out that if you become a member of the association you get put on a waiting list to "own" one of the houses. Basically, you are responsible for up keep on it. But you can stay in it. Wouldn't that be great! I am seriously considering it!
(Notice how I said I! I don't know if Rob would go for it!)

Sunday, after a very convicting message about "Who's Your Daddy?", we had Bagging Day for Haiti. I am going to do a post on Wednesday all about Bagging Day, but here is a picture to get you excited.

Last night, I think was my favorite moment of the whole weekend though! We had movie night, and got done a little early. It was just starting to get dark and the kids had a lot of energy. So, I told them they could go jump on the trampoline if they wanted.
There eyes got as big as oranges and they said, "Really!"
I mean, seriously, was it that big of a surprise? Must have been, because they thought it was the greatest. I need to is the small things that matter to them!

Now, after 2 parties and visiting Grandma, it is time to get ready for Trick or Treat!
I have a very excited Ninja and Kitty!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday {Friends}

Friends just have this way of brightening my day.

Calling to see how I are.

Asking me to go get a cupcake.

Having a crazy party with me.

Watching silly movies together.

Not caring to be seen in public with me if I have no make up on.

Bringing me a coffee just because.

Listening to me ramble about nothing.

Helping me with a project.

Encouraging me in my walk with the Lord.

Teaching me how to be a fashionista.

Fixing a wig for my Halloween costume.

Doing anything I need!

Today I am thankful for friends. I don't know what I would do without them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Runs the World? (GIRLS!)

plus one little man, but we will take him. Thankfully he is adorable and sweet!

This weekend was the annual girls trip. (Jamison joined the fun this year.) We kept tell him it was a girl's trip and he would say, "No it's not. It's a boy's trip!"
Either way, we did our part to keep the economy moving and had a blast doing it!

We started Friday leaving town around noon. My sister gave us each a gift when we got to the hotel. Wrap towels that she made, (you may have seen them on Pinterest.) magazines, snacks...she is so sweet and thoughtful!

We hit the big stores first and spent 5 hours in two stores! Yup...that's the way we do it! Kelly, Carys and I had a great time trying on these fun "hats" at Nordstrom. Wouldn't you love to have a place to wear these? Who knows, maybe I will show up at the preschool to teach with it on!

Friday night we stopped at the store and bought salads for dinner and ate them in the hotel room. It was so fun and relaxing.

Having fun!

Day we come!

(Mom and Carys after our trip to get cheesecake.
Carys is in a shopping coma! This was at about 10:00.)

Saturday night we went out to eat. When we got back tot he room we decided we wanted some cheesecake. My mom and I decided to walk up and get our PJ's. I also decided I wanted something else from H&M so we went there too! I told my mom, "The funny thins is, no one is even staring!" We got a good laugh out of that!

Sunday we did more shopping. There is this great scrap booking store that I love. We go there every Sunday before we leave. It is like sensory overload! I am already to work on Carys' scrapbook now!

We had a great time and I am already looking forward to next year!

Thanks Mom and Kelly for a fun time!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Friends, I can not tell you how excited I am about this post! It literally had me in tears this morning!

My friend, Jeni, is heading up an effort to give gifts to all the foster kids in the county she lives in. Now, I don't know Jeni super well, but there are a few things I do know about her.

She is humble.
She is caring.
She is compassionate.
She is generous.
And she has a huge conviction for foster care!

I would love for you to go read the story of how God gave her this brilliant idea.
Did you read it? If not, go do it now and then come back.

Ok, are you thinking, "Why do these little girls need American Girl dolls?"
If so, STOP! What girl does need an American Girl doll, or 2, or 3? None.
That is not the point. Why shouldn't they have something special too!? Are only our little girls entitled to get expensive things? I don't think so.

Think back to a time when you were little and there was one thing you really wanted for Christmas. Do you remember the excitement when you opened it! I do!

One year my sister and I got leather bomber jackets (I know...sweet! Hey, it was the 90s!) and TVs for our rooms. We were so excited!

Think about bringing that kind of happiness and excitement to a child this Christmas that has nothing!

So now, go back to Jeni's blog and donate, please! I can not wait to hear how God is going to work through this amazing opportunity!

So in all this you might be thinking, "What is Amy thankful for today?" (Does it really matter?)

Today I am thankful for foster parents and the love they have for children that may only spend a brief part of their lives with them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shake it!

I am not going to bore you withe details of this past weekend. Truthfully, it was just that...boring. The most exciting thing I did was paint my shutters. I know, I lead an exciting life. And the real bummer is, I didn't even paint them a fun color, green. They were already green, but hunter green. Eew! They have been since we bought the house, except now, they were faded. Even worse than hunter green is faded hunter green.

Ok, so I did bore you a little. Sorry.
One night last week I had a super fun night with my friend Maria at The B.M.C. Report.
She called me a few weeks ago and had gotten 2 tickets from one of her friends to go see So You Think You Can Dance, live! Of course when she asked me to go with her, I said YES!!

Maria and I do Zumba together. (She is the one who got me into it.)
She could tell you first hand how terrible I am! Either way, I love to shake it!
(I am sorry to all the people that have to watch!)
Needless to say, we watched in amazement at how well these people can dance. It is one thing to see them on tv and a completely different thing to see them live.
Do you remember the Broadway dancer Jess?
Well, I did not like him at all on the show. He drove me crazy.
I am sorry for that because he was the best one!
Oh and did I mention, we had box seats? Which means that when we ordered pretzel bites, we got about 150. No lie! We didn't eat them all. A lot, but not all!

We had such a great time and now...
we want to take adult dance classes!
Wouldn't that be hysterical!!!?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Look at this adorable face...

And this one...

And this...

Seriously, does it get any cuter!?

I started to do a different post entirely and then I came across these pictures.
They brought a smile to my face.

Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to have anymore children.
I do however, love looking back at these old pictures.
I really want to just squeeze those rosy red cheeks!

It really is hard to believe that those little bambinos are now 5 and almost 8!
There are days that I think, "I wish the kids were little again."
But there are also things I absolutely love about where they are now.
I really do need to remember to cherish and enjoy the moment.

Today I am thankful for pictures!

My friend is doing a thankfulness series over at the momma bird...go check it out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend News

Once again, our weekend was crammed pack of fun! That is how we like it!
Friday night we took the kids to do something very special that they have never done before, but something Rob and I love!
We started the evening off at a new place to eat.
We got to eat in the kitchen of the restaurant. So fun!
The food was good and we all enjoyed it.

After that we headed downtown and walked around for a bit.
And then,
We went here...

This is the first Broadway show the kids have been to. Rob and I saw Beauty and the Beast years ago and when we found out it was coming this year I knew I wanted to take the kids.
When we first told them what we were doing (we didn't tell them until they saw the poster above) Carys of course of ecstatic! Broderick got this look on his face and said, "really?"
What 8 year old boy wants to see a Broadway show about a princess?
I knew as soon as it started he would love it! And that is exactly what happened.
As soon as the curtain opened he said, "This is awesome!"
Followed by a, "Wow! This is so cool!"
They both could not take their eyes off the stage the entire time!
I can not wait to take them to another one!

Since Friday was such a late night Saturday morning we hung around home and rested for a bit and then Rob and I got some yard work done while the kids played.
Some of the leaves have started to fall so we made our first of many leaf piles to jump in.

What is it about jumping in a leaf pile that makes everyone smile?

We all took an afternoon nap and then headed out for the evening again.

A few weeks ago we found this great park/farm.
When we heard they did a fall festival we were all over it!
It was so much fun! We will for sure go back!
They had lights all over the place, a moon bounce, a huge slide, a magic show, hayride, snacks, an indoor play barn, music, fires, s'mores. It to top it off, the weather was perfect to be outside!

We are not done yet folks. Are you tired yet?
Sunday we went to the amusement park for their Halloween fun! The kids wore their costumes and we met some friends down there. How fun to ride roller coasters in your costume!? They loved it! There was a maze, tractor riding, games, crafts, music, dancing, and a foam pit. Which we did not do because a kid puked in it right before we were about to do in! Dis.gus.ting!
(I would love to do one in my garage for a birthday or just for fun...any ideas how?)

That pretty much wraps up the weekend!
Today the kids don't have school and my car is getting worked on so that means...
relaxing and playing for them,
and cleaning for me.
I am going to try to get it all done early so we can play this afternoon!

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Drum Roll Please...

And the winner is...

Ricki from The Family Fun Mom!

Thanks EVERYONE fro reading and for commenting.

Have a great weekend!
I know we will. The kids have Monday off and we have something super special and fun planned for tonight!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Carys addition

I thought today we could get a little "perspective" from a five year old about being thankful.

I asked Carys what she was thankful for and her first response was, "That you could come to my school today." Now, don't get me wrong folks, I am thankful that I can go to her school too, but I really don't want to right a post about myself, so...

I asked again.

"Our house."


"Because we have beds to sleep in, I like it and we need somewhere to live."

"What do you like about our house?"

"That we can watch shows and movies. I like our playroom."

I think we do take our houses for granted. (At least I do anyway.) It is so easy for me to forget, or not think about, the people that don't have homes.

Sunday at church we had the privilege of listening to a choir made up of homeless people. It was truly a blessing to listen and watch these people sing and worship the Lord. They really have nothing else. When we walked into church I told Broderick that all the people singing had no homes. He was shocked! Understandably. He has never been exposed to homeless. He can not comprehend what it would be like to not have a home, food, clothes, toys. He has never gone without. While we have talked about this subject and gave to the poor, I don't think he...shoot I can't...comprehend this matter.

Today, Carys and I are thankful for our house!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ready to go snacks and lunches

I can not take credit for the AMAZING idea. I found it on Pinterest. (Where else?)

It makes my mornings and sometimes my afternoons, so less hectic.

It is really simple, quick and easy.

Simply find some sort of storage box. I used the plastic things that salad comes in. (Reuse. Let's be good to the environment.)

Then fill baggies, or reusable containers, with snacks and lunch items. I have containers with ham and cheese ready to go. I can either slap in (literally) on some bread or throw in some crackers with it. There is carrots, celery, fruit, yogurt...whatever your kids like.

I do one box for lunches and one box for snacks. I also have one in the snack drawer for lunches.

In the morning I grab what I want to pack Broderick, or what he wants, and put it in his lunch box.

When the afternoon comes and I hear the "snack time blues," you know the ones...

"I am starving."
"Can I have a snack."
"I am so hungry."

I simply say, "Get something out of the snack drawer or box in the fridge." This way, I know they are getting something healthy, and they can do it themselves.

I did forget to pack Broderick's drink today so I am off to drive up to school to drop it off. Oops!

Today I am linking up with Works for me Wednesday. Go check out all the other great ideas!

Also, today is your last day to enter the giveaway. I will announce the winner Friday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My favorite beauty products

Many of you know that I am no pro when it comes to beauty and products.

However, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorites. Most of them are Aveda products. My sister owns an Aveda salon and once you try their products there is no going back. They are fabulous!

1. Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing shampoo - it smells great and does amazing things for my hair.

2. Aveda Balancing Conditioner - again...smells great and I love the way it makes my hair feel.

3. Aveda Outer Peace Face products - I use the foaming face cleanser and moisturizer. I have had some trouble with break outs and ever since I started using this product I have less break outs.

4. Aveda moisturising liquid foundation - It is oil free and makes may skin look even and natural.

5. Aveda powder foundation - Goes great with the liquid and using all the face products for really helps with the break out situation.

6. Aveda Concealer - I just started using this about a week ago and I am so glad I switched! It really covers!

7. Maybelline great lash mascara - I have used this forever. I love that it is inexpensive and makes full lashes. (I am still looking for a great eye lash curler.)

8. Maybelline Baby Lips - I just found this yesterday. I think it is a new product. It is like a lip gloss/chapstick. It has spf, comes tinted and with great smells. I love it!

9. Bare Minerals loose powder blush - I didn't think I would like the loose powder but I do. (I also need to find a good brush.)

10. Teasing U teasing comb - This is great! It helps give the perfect amount of volume.

There you have it ladies...what are your favorites?

This post is linked up with Top Ten Tuesday. Go check out all the other fun things...

Also, if you have entered the giveaway you have 3 more days. I will announce the winner Friday. Go here to enter.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend News

We had a great weekend!

(Do I say that every Monday?)

Friday the weather turned cold. COLD!

We had already bought tickets to go to the high school football game so we bundled up and headed up to the field.

Of course, we went out to eat before at one of my favorite local places.

We were very cold, but we had a great time with our friends.

I found it very humorous that the high school played against the high school that Ricki, Jeremy and I went to. Big rivals people! It was way better to be sitting on this side of the field!

Saturday, we did some work around the house and then went shopping. We bought this ginormous mirror for above our couch.

You may remember awhile ago I did a post about needing help with my wall color and mantel. Well, Maria from the B.M.C. Report, helped a sister out. She suggested we move the shelves and break up the wall space with a huge, bulky mirror. Rob and I both liked the idea so the work began.

We were up until midnight Saturday rearranging things. I think we have most of it figured out and I love it.

I really want my pictures back on the walls so we need to still work on that.

Here is the fireplace before...

I would say an improvement! A fresh coat of paint, removed the fireplace doors, and added a few things. The mantel is not done. We are going to get a deeper shelf, hang something up and put different things on the shelf. It is hard right now because the shelf is only about 4 inches deep.

Here is the before of the walls...

And the after...

What do you think?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Good -bye friend.

I know I can do it.

After the headaches and fatigue I will be fine.

My stomach will feel so much better.

I need to drink more water.

That is why I am giving up diet Coke.

I am not promising this is a long term commitment, but at least for a month.

I have gotten into this terrible habit of stopping at McDonald's everyday and getting one.

I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning and a diet coke around lunch. So at 1:00 that is all I have food.

This is clearly not good on the stomach.

My resolution for October, and only October, is to give up Diet Coke.

Here goes nothing...prayers appreciated!

Don't forget to go here and enter the giveaway. I am really embarrassed only 2 people have commented! Come on people...I mean, it is a gift card!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's that time again...

time to be thankful.

If you remember last week I wasn't feeling all that thankful.

Today I am. I feel like things have slowed down a little, and that project I is just about done.

Tuesday night at house church, Diana over at Daily Walking by Faith, came to share with us about what she will be doing on her upcoming trip to Africa. (Go visit her blog and read about how God is using her family in Africa. It is awesome!) One of the things is teaching the kids the story of Daniel and the Lions Den. She wanted to let all the kids make a lion pillow. She shared with us that these kids have nothing.

No sheets on their thin, beat up mattress.

No pillow.


The lion pillow will provide them with a pillow or stuffed animal. Something that is theirs. So when she asked me to help I was all for it. You see, I really want to go on this trip but the timing didn't work out. So any way I can be involved I am all over. It was a little stressful for me because I am not a detailed person. After I ordered the fabric I kept thinking, "I didn't order enough." Then when it didn't come in when it was supposed to I kept thinking, "How are we going to get these done."

I am happy to say that with the help of a lot of people, they are just about done. People from our house church donated money to buy the supplies, cut a lot of circles, eyebrows, eyeballs, noses, muzzles, and helped put the kits together. People from another house church helped cut and bought Ziploc bags. One of Carys preschool teachers donated bags. One of our house church members is a teacher so she had her students cutting circles. (A lot of circles!) It truly has been a blessing to watch this all come together. And...the best part, I am pretty sure we are going to have extra!

Today I am so thankful that these darling children (pictured above) will have a pillow they can
call there own.

(I just wish I was going to be there to deliver them.
Someday. Hopefully sooner than later, right Diana!?)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Giveaway Time


That is how many posts I have done over the years! 300! That is a lot!

So in honor of my fabulous readers I am doing a giveaway!

To enter the giveaway you have to become a follower. You also have to leave a comment saying what you like about my blog and what you would like to see more of.

You probably want to know what you are entering to win.

How does a Starbucks gift card sound?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend News

Of course it was another exciting and eventful weekend around here. Broderick "graduated"(not sure what they call it) from a Tiger Cub to a Wolf on Friday night! So proud of him. So bring on another year of cub scouts.
Saturday we had great plans to do something fun outside, but the weather was looking a little questionable, so we went to plan B. We headed down south a little ways to eat lunch at one of our favorite places. And guess what? They had a fire truck there. It was so cool. The kids of course loved it. We also took the kids to a great train place that was having a special Halloween thingy. It proved to be a winner.

While we were out Saturday we did a little shopping. Broderick walked past this picture and said, "That would be perfect for us." So we bought it! What do ya think?
I love that he picked it out. It makes it that much more special! So now, Rob and I are "in talks" about what color we should paint the living room. We are trying to move some pictures we already have around a bit. I am just not good at this sort of thing so...

Unfortunately on Saturday while we were out I hurt my back and Rob started feeling really crummy. So Sunday we just hung around home. It was not exciting, but we needed it.

And now...another week begins!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It is a good day

Happy Fall Friends!

It is a perfect fall day in my opinion.

Rainy and chilly.

And guess what...

I have on my favorite zip-up hoodie! It's the small things people!

We have a lot of fun plans for October. Hayrides, festivals, the amusement park, Trick or Treat, Carrie's Halloween party, and the annual girls weekend! I am looking forward to them all!

Again, happy Fall and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday

To be perfectly honest...
I am not feeling very thankful today.

I have one kid crying because he has homework and wants a friend to come play.

Laundry overflowing.

Dishes that need loaded in the dishwasher, but no dish soap.

I am tired.

I have been working a lot lately. Volunteering at Carys' school and subbing at the preschool. (Which I love!)

I am working on a "project" for my friend who is going to Africa that is kind of stressing me out. It involves a lot of details and I am not a detailed person. Why wouldn't Satan want me to be stressed when I am trying to minister to children that have nothing? I just keep praying, "Lord, you will work this out."

I am just feeling a little stressed. I don't want to sound like I am complaining, because I am not. Just keeping it real my friends.

But this is why I do these posts. Even when life gets busy...I need to pause and be thankful.

On Tuesday, my favorite band, NeedToBreathe, released a new album. I really think it is about the only thing that is keeping me sane this week. I have listened to it non-stop. I would strongly suggest you check them out if you haven't.

Even the name of the band relaxes me. It reminds me to breathe through the stress. Stop and pray, "Lord, you will work all this out." Whether it be


...crying kids.




Today I am SO thankful for music.
Especially NeedToBreathe.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend News

Yeah, I know, today is Tuesday, but that is okay. I have been subbing at the kids old preschool so I have been a little busier than usual. (Let me just say...I don't know how moms who work do it. Even if it is part time. I guess you figure it out.) Any hoo...

This weekend was super fun! Saturday I got to go see my best friend, Carrie, finish her first marathon! Since she doesn't have a blog I will tell you all about it! Basically, she is a

She ran the ENTIRE time! She finished in about 4 hours. She is amazing.
To say I am proud of her does not even describe how I feel.
Here she is with her metal!

Ricki and I...the cheerleaders!
Saturday night Ricki, Carri, Maria and I went to a movie to celebrate!

Sunday brought church and relaxation and movie night. Sunday at church Broderick got a paper with scripture that he is supposed to read each day. Sunday night he was ready to go and read the Bible. I think my favorite part of the weekend was hearing Broderick read from the Bible with Rob. He is just getting so big. I love how he is growing. Then he wanted to mark his Bible to take on the bus with him to read. Which was so sweet!

Now it is Tuesday and the week is well underway. Today my favorite band, NeedToBreathe, released a new album! It is great and has made my day wonderful.