Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend News

This weekend was kind of a big deal...

That boy...
started riding his 2 wheeler!

It is a right of passage, I feel.
Remember the first time your child took his first steps?
That is what it felt like.

I left to go to Zumba and when I came home this is what I saw. I am sure some of you are thinking, "he is almost 8, he should be riding a 2 wheeler." (If you are, shut up!)
That is partly true, but the thing is...Rob and I don't have bikes and we don't have sidewalks.
So it is just one of those things we don't really do.

Saturday, he decided it was time. He hopped on and figured it out!
I am so proud of him!

(Now I am hoping Rob and I do get bikes!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I know, I know...
Everyone is tired of hearing back to school!
One last post. Promise.

Yesterday got off without a hitch...
thanks to a lot of wonderful teachers, school staff, bus drivers
and the Lord.

I don't know about all you moms, but I cry like a baby when my kiddos go to school.
It never takes long to pull it together,
but nonetheless
tears are shed.

I am not sure what it is,
maybe that they are out of my care and I am not sure what they are doing.
I wonder...
Did they find someone to sit with on the bus?
Did they make it to their classroom?
Who are they playing with?
Are they having fun?
Did they get hurt and need a hug?

Ya know...
all the things a mom thinks about.

However, when this happens
I pray for them.
And without fail, the Lord hears me
and comforts me.

Today I am thankful for the Lord's faithfulness!

What are you thankful for this back to school week?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And they are off...


I know I was just saying, "I can't wait for school to start."
And you all were saying, "The first day you will be saying, I wish they were home."

Well, guess were right.

I do miss them, true. (wipe tears)
But I know they will be home soon.

Yes, it is sad to watch them grow up and go off on new adventures...alone.
But it isn't that I want to freeze time or keep them this small forever.
I just want to enjoy every moment and have no regrets. (Which I know neither is possible.)
I love these two little blessings more than words can express and I don't want anything or anyone to harm them. (Which I know is not possible either.)
This is where the grace, love and faith in the Lord come in.

There is a song on the radio right I type this...that says:
Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got His hand on You
So don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

I would say, this pretty much sums up my prayer for my little loves. (and me!)

In case you are wondering they got off to school great! Last night we went out to dinner, gave them back to school gifts, made breakfast cake, packed lunches, made sure clothes were ready, and said our prayers for the day and year. This morning everyone woke up ready to go. Carys was very excited. I think Broderick was a little nervous. (He is going to a new school and riding the bus with older kids.) After they both got on the bus I went up to Carys school to take pictures of her there. She got off the bus and ran straight into my arms. Then she walked right into school.

I went over to a friends for coffee. We talked and shared about each of our mornings. (Her girls are Kindergarten and second grade too.) It was special to have 2 other moms to talk to. Carys will get home soon and Broderick later on. I can't wait to talk to both of them about their days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Favorites from the Summer

Today is the day before the kids go back to school and I find myself thinking...

did we get the most out of this summer?
(What does that even mean?)

Is there more that I wish we did...yes.
Is there more the kids wanted to do that we didn't...yes.

Did we have a great time together and make the most of!

I have been thinking of my favorite parts from the summer.
They include...

the amusement park
our weekend away at the cabin
Drive in movies
our trip to see Rob's family
getting the kids a trampoline and new quads and watching them play on them
our trip to the zoo
going to the baseball game
playing at the park
Movie Night

We really made some great memories as a family this summer. I love to hear what the kids remember and think were the best parts. Shoot...half of it they don't even remember. (That is why we take so many pictures!) They enjoyed some of the same things I said, but I would say their favorite was getting to have "sleepovers" in each others rooms!
It is the little things, I guess.

So as tomorrow approaches I will think about and be thankful for all the fun we had!

This post is linked up with Top Ten Tuesday over at Oh Amanda!

Monday, August 22, 2011

WeekEND News

This was the last unofficial week of summer. (The kids start school on Wednesday.) We decided to go out with a bang...and that is exactly what we did.
Friday night we went to one of our favorite local restaurants with some friends and then headed to a park. The kids thought it was so great they got to go to the park at night time. It wasn't even dark, but they still thought it was cool! (It's the little things...)
Saturday we went to about 4 different parks. The kids played and played. It was great! We found this hidden treasure...
An indoor play area inside of a barn. It was so awesome...
a farm...
ride on toys...
pony rides...
a garden...
It was one of the neatest places we have taken the kids.
Everyone was hot and exhausted by the end of the day!!!

Sunday night we had a house church "Back to School" cookout for the kids. Since it was for the kids it was filled with fun...
and sundaes!

At the end of the night we did a "Back to School" devotion and prayed over the kids.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes house church can be difficult. The planning, the organizing, and keeping the kids busy every week. However, it is nights like these that I am reminded why we do it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oh Crap!

Um yeah, pretty much that is what I was thinking last night when I got home from Broderick's open house! We met his teacher and she seems lovely, so that is not why I am saying, "oh crap!"
I don't know her but when some other moms found out that is who he had they had nothing but great things to say about her. I am saying this and thinking it because she sent us home with 2 large envelopes with information about the year. Apparently second grade is "real" school. Like with projects!


I am not prepared for this.

He is has Government the first quarter, a technology class, American History...I am not prepared for this!

(Did I say that already!?)

Breath Amy, breath!

Okay, I am calmed down. (Not really but we will pretend for a minute!) Remember how I have been saying since like, August 1st I can't wait for school to start? Now I am not so sure. I am, I know it will be fine and both the kids will have a great year. But people, we are not in preschool and first grade anymore...

This is the BIG TIME!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This day I find myself thinking...

I am thankful for the fun day I had with Carys...

I am thankful that school starts in less than a week...

I am thankful the weather has been cooler and the sun is shinning.

I would love to write about all those things, but what I really want to tell you I am thankful for is my husband's job. He has worked for the same company for 15 years. God has used this place in so many ways to provide for us. Most recently, was about a week or so ago and it was totally unexpected.


We had just got done hearing from a
fabulous family and what God is doing in their lives through the orphans in Africa. (To read more about their story go here. Really, go read!!) I worked for Diana a few years ago and consider her a mentor and her daughter babysits for us. Needless to say, they are a super neat family! Anyhow, after we got home Rob and I were talking about what God is asking of us?
Do we have a purpose here...

in our little community?
where he works?

with the people we come in contact with everyday?

Soon after this conversation we found out that Rob was getting a job promotion!
I mean, seriously!? I knew God was saying, what you do and where you are matter! Stay and keep doing! Not only was Rob getting rewarded for working hard God was answering a prayer for us. I understand that with so many people loosing their jobs and getting pay freezes that God does not need to do any of this for us.

But He did and I am THANKFUL!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Movie Night

Yesterday I mentioned how Sunday was a totally lazy day, and how perfect it was! I forgot to share with you all (you are there, right!?) the great movie we watched. I was so excited to tell you how great it was that I forgot to mention it. You see, every Sunday for the past like 6 years we do pizza and movie night on Sunday. I love it! It is a great way to end the weekend and start the week. After that long of watching movies it is really hard to find new ones that the whole family can watch and will like. (Trust me, there are some doozies out there!)
I choose Soul Surfer for Sunday. It was fabulous! If you have never heard of it, it is about Bethany Hamilton. (You should read her story, just click on her name.) She is one amazing little girl. I had to fight back tears through the whole movie. I was thinking, she has great, wise parents...
...she is so strong!

When we turned it off I just kept thinking, and still am, I want my life to count for something. Not in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of the Lord. I know that the Lord has given me two sweet little kiddos to love on and be an inspiration for. Which is a struggle each day!

Anyhow, watch the movie and tell me what you think!

Monday, August 15, 2011

WeekEND News

I do believe this weekend was pure perfection! Rob took Friday off and we spent the entire day at the zoo. The weather was gorgeous, so we took our time and enjoyed every moment.

This zoo is my absolute favorite. They have the best exhibits and so many hands on experiences. (They even have a lot of rides!) Above: The stingray was following Broderick's was so funny! We went on a little boat ride, touched snakes (I didn't but Broderick and Carys did. Carys went back a couple times to pet it!),

we saw a sloth up close, and so much more! Like I said, it was perfect!

Saturday we enjoyed what will probably be the last day at the pool and then went to a baseball game. The kids even got on the Jumbo tron! They of course thought that was so cool! They got to get Dippin' Dots and play in the bounce houses. Every kids dream, right!?

Sunday we did nothing. Have you ever heard The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars? (I have a slight obsession with Bruno! Shhh...don't tell Rob!) Anyhow, we lived that song on Sunday. (Minus a few vulgar parts.) Seriously, we stayed in our pj's, watched movies, played, and relaxed. Perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday

The weather has taken a turn around here. A turn for the best. It is in the upper 70s and just beautiful. Blue skies, a few white puffy clouds, low humidity...pretty much perfection in my eyes.

Today I turned off the air and opened up the windows.

I can hear the locusts, the birds, (and unfortunately the men working on our road. I will take it though!) The sunshine is streaming through the blinds and the curtains are blowing in the breeze.

It is a wonderful day!

Today I am just plain thankful...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Schedules

As I mentioned yesterday, and many times before, I love routine. I also love having a list and crossing things off that list! With back to school in exactly 2 weeks my brain is spinning with all the things I need to do and ideas I have to help the transition be smooth. One of those things is Responsibility Charts. I have done charts for my kids for as long as I can remember for many different reasons. (This is their list.) I also don't like repeating myself...

"Put your dirty clothes in the hamper."
"Clear you plate from the table."
"Brush you teeth."

You know how it goes!

This is where the charts come in great use. I intend to make 3 charts for each child. Morning, after school, and before bed.

Morning chart: make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, clear table, read Bible, school bag and lunch box packed.

After school chart: homework, one chore, putting book bag and lunch box away.

Before bed chart: pick out clothes for next day, pack book bag, pick up room, brush teeth.

This is a simple way for a child to look at something and know what they need to do without you having to tell them over and over again. If your child is to young to read you can use pictures. I am so excited to get my charts made and start this back to school routine!

I am linking up with Works for Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Devotions for kids

I love routine! Love it! In the summer our routine is a little more lax, but with school right around the corner it is time to start thinking about our morning routine. I started today easing the kids into what the mornings will look like in 2 weeks. We get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, have devotions and get out the door. I love doing devotions in the morning because it feels like we get the day focused right away. I know in the past I have a had a hard time figuring out what books to use to best focus our attention on the Lord. I decided today I would give you a few ideas of books I have used and would like to try.

1. The Bible - Pretty obvious, but I think there our so many books out about the Bible or how to study the Bible that it is easy to not just read the Bible.
2. Step into the Bible by Ruth Graham - I love this. It takes you through the 100 stories in the Bible with a devotion attached. It is great!
3. Kid Devos' - This is a series of devotion books that focus on different Biblical theme. We have done the self-control book but there are many to choose from.
4. The One Year Devotions for Kids - This book has a story that focus on a scripture reading, memory verse and application questions for an entire year.
5. Real Life Devotional Bible for Kids - A book that takes 5 fictional characters to help tweens relate scripture to their real life.
6. My First Message Bible - We have this Bible and it is great! I know I already said reading through the Bible is a super good choice. Which this does, but through the stories it has questions. At the end of each story it has questions, a little "project" to do and a prayer.
7. Max Lucado's Children's Daily Devotional Bible - Who doesn't love Max!? His book offers 366 daily devos, great prayers of the Bible, memory verses, topical articles on things like forgiveness, heaven and faith.
8. Jesus Calling for kids - I have done the Jesus Calling and it is one of my favorites. I think this is a promising devotional book. Sarah Young writes as if God is speaking to you. It is very powerful.
9. Training Hearts, Teaching Minds - I have not personally done this book, but I have friends who have and love it.
10. One Year of Dinner Table Devotions and Discussion Starters - I understand that the morning is not the best time for everyone to do devotions so here is an options for dinner time.

If you have done any of these books I would love your feedback. If there are others that you like I would also love to hear about those too!

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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful Thursday

For those of you that know me you know that I love to eat! Due to the fact that I am now 30 I can't just eat whatever I want. Well, I could, but the end result would not be pretty. If you know me you also know I don't like to exercise. That was until my good friend introduced me to Zumba. I still don't like to exercise, but I LOVE Zumba! I would to this!
The first time I went I was so nervous. I thought...I am going to be terrible. Which I was! Shoot, I still am, but that doesn't stop me. I do my best at shaking my booty!

The class I go to is the best. I have only been to 2 other classes, but I still think mine is the best! The instructor is amazing! She starts each class by reading a Bible verse, ends with a devotion, and is so encouraging throughout the whole class. As soon as I walk into the gym I feel better, before my feet even start moving! I also love that our class is women only. I would not be a fan of shaking all this awesomeness in front of any man!

I encourage you to find a class in your area and try it out! You will not regret it!

Today I am thankful for Zumba!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Living in Small Spaces

My house is on the smaller side. I am not complaining. I love my house! It is perfect for my family. And I do realize there are people with more children living in smaller spaces. However, as Americans we tend to "collect" a lot of stuff! (And when you have grandparents who think the bigger the better this makes things a little harder!) Due to having little storage My husband and I are constantly going through clothes and toys to donate or sell. Thankfully my husband is a master organizer. Shocking I know! Usually the wife is the clean, organized one. Not in this house. He wins that prize. All of what I am going to share with you is from his fantastic brain!
Due to having little amounts of storage we have learned to maximize room in closets, under beds, in bedrooms and in every nook and cranny you can think of. Today I am going to give you a peek into my sons room. This is his closet:
As you can tell we have loaded tubs with toys from floor to clothes. This helps with a few things. He can see all his toys and get to them easily. He knows he is only aloud to have one tote out at a time. Things stay organized and don't get lost. We are able to store a lot of stuff.
There are also smaller totes on top of the shelf above his clothes. My daughters closet and my closet look very similar to this. Now, I know what you are thinking. Those totes can be expensive. Yes, yes this is true. If you noticed, Broderick's all have red lids. This is because we bought them after Christmas a discount price of $4.24! That is like half off! Look after Halloween and Christmas for deals on them. They may be black, orange, red or green, but they are going in a closet for goodness sakes.

This is my Broderick's "dresser." His room is an army theme (still deciding on paint for the walls) so we thought this was a great look for his room. And guess what...more storage!

The fabric bins for the most part have clothes in them. There are a few with books, hats and misc. things. The buckets are full guessed it...TOYS! and the long tote at the bottom is all guns and swords. The great thing about this is, I can rotate the toys in the closet with the toys in the buckets for better accessibility! This was not one of the cheapest things we have purchased, but it can be used for many things down the road. The shelf can be put in the garage, the fabric bins could be moved multiply places and the buckets...well, what can't you use a bucket for?

Due to the house being on the smaller side you can only imagine the room sizes. (Broderick's is actually the biggest of the 2 kids rooms.) We do have a tiny, very tiny, play room. But for the most part the kids rooms are also their play rooms. To maximize floor space we bought them both loft beds. This was probably one of the best discisions we made when it comes to their rooms. They love it first of all! And I love how much floor space they gained.
Broderick has a desk for playing Legos, coloring, doing school work, or collecting more stuff! (Which is usually what happens!) And look...we hid more tubs! Are you surprised! These can also be changed out with the smaller tubs in his closet. The bucket is also a great thing! Right now it is filled with G.I Joes, but for future it can be a laundry hamper or other things.

That is what works for me. I hope it helps you too!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, The Bachelorette!

I am not a fan! I mean, I am, I guess.
Here is usually how the Bachelorette season goes for me...

commercials start showing, Me: "I am not watching that this season!"
then it starts and guess what, I am watching. All the while yelling at the tv that "she" is driving me crazy and I just want to punch the guys!

This year myself and my 3 best gal pals watched it every Monday together. So of course, we watched the finale last night. Today, I am linking up with Oh Amanda and bringing to you the top ten reasons you should and should NOT watch the Bachelorette!

Reasons to not watch and find something better to do with your time!

~ This is not reality people. Who goes all around the world on first dates?
~ Hours upon hours are wasted watching one woman date multiple men!
~ Staying up way to late and eating way to much food while watching.
~ Someone gets their heart broken, always.
~ I get invested in these people and then never get to see how "real" life plays out after the final rose!
~ It makes me so mad! The whole thing...she is dating all these guys, making out with one at one day and then next night making out with another. Uhhhgggg! You know, she knows who she wants to pick and then has to sting these other poor guys along for the ride!
~ How often does this "true love" really last?
~ She never picks the guy I want and then I get so upset!
~ And then...He usually ends up being the Bachelor so I am sucked in again!
~ You may end up jumping into a pool fully me!

And now I give you reasons you should watch it:

~ When else do you get to watch grown men act like fools for a girls attention. (Masked Man, Will the comedian, Drunk dude...need I say more!?)
~ To hang out with girlfriends, laugh and eat!
~ To be reminded that there are scumbags, like Bentley, in the world.
~ To make fun of the crazy outfits "she" tries to pull out at the rose ceremony. (Little black dress...)
~ To hear Chris Harris say, "This is the final rose of the night." Thanks Chris, I don't know how to count to one!!!
~ All I am going to say is... Ames!! This poor guy...I laugh just typing his name!
~ And of course, The Men Tell All, who doesn't love to watch these men go after each other. (Poor Will!)
~ Who doesn't love to watch a little Ashley's sister! Wow!! That was entertaining!
~ Because you get to go to a finale party and bet on who you think she is going to pick...
~ And then end up in a pool fully clothed because you lost!

And there you have love/hate relationship with the Bachelorette!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WeekEND News

It was just another typical weekend at our house...

Ya know the ones, everyone dresses up and we have a Nerf battle. Oh, you don't do that at your house? I guess we are weird that way.

We also went to a park and took the kids quads. They had a great time riding around in big open fields. Our yard is only so big.

And of course we had pizza and movie. (Shocker, I know!)

This picture isn't from the weekend, but I love it! The kids have been loving having "sleepovers" in each others rooms. This is how Rob and I find them one night when we went to check on them before we went to bed. (I love checking on them before I go to bed. They are sleeping and peaceful. I just want to crawl in bed with them and snuggle all night.)