Monday, November 30, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday



1. Favorite website
The ones that are always up are gmail, blogger and facebook. I don't know that I would call these favorite websites... but they are definitely the most used. OH! I just remembered one of my favorite websites to visit. I forget about it and then randomly remember it from time to time. www.askaninja.com. Go there! It will make you laugh!

2. Favorite color
Pink. Used to hate it. Refused to have anything to do with it. Now it's my favorite. I've changed.

3. Facebook?
I have a love/hate relationship with facebook so I am not going to post my link. If you find me you find me. But I'm kind of over it all. It's way too overconnected for me with all the updates and constantly knowing what every one is doing or eating or whatever.

4. Favorite Christmas song?
I'm not real big on Christmas music... that might have something to do with the fact that I was hearing it on the radio back sometime around Halloween this year. Ugh. But I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause always makes me smile because it reminds me of an inside joke that Mike and I have.

5. Christmas tree: Real or fake?
Fake! This is our first year to get a tree. We've had six Christmases together and never decorated. Mike always wanted a real one but I didn't. That wasn't the reason we didn't have one but I told him I would compromise... we can do a tree if he will agree to fake. :)

6. Hottest celebrity?
Johnny Depp.

7. Favorite restaurant?
Shakespear's... it's built like a castle and it's just kind of cool. Plus it is kind of expensive so it's a treat when we do go.

8. Favorite magazine?
Don't have a favorite. I do subscribe to a photography one though... it might help if I actually read them when they came!

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays?
All I ever really drink is water and that doesn't change much with the holidays. My mom makes this really good slush alcholic drink. It's probably the only drink with alcohol that I like. I enjoy having a bit when my mom makes some at Christmas.

10. Favorite Christmas movie.
A Christmas Story. Who doesn't just love that leg lamp! Or the kid waddling down the sidewalk in that huge snow suit! Or when the kid beats up the bully. It's just a fun movie.


Head on over to {aefilkins} and join in on Friend Makin' Monday!

We Heart Tooshies!

I heart Faces is mixing it up this week and featuring tooshies instead of faces.

We are veering away from our typical photo challenges and (due to popular demand) are featuring photos from "behind" this week instead. To be extra-careful about this theme, please remember that if your photo entry has any naked tooshies in it (even baby bums) it will be deleted!

This is a typical view for me whenever we take the kids outside to play. They love their rocks and I often just get to see bums.




Head on over to I Heart Faces to see lots of great photos.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving dinner with Mike's family this year. We enjoy our visits with them and it's always fun to watch the kids. They love the grandparents!

Dinner was a typical Thanksgiving dinner... turkey, stuffing, potatoes and then some other random stuff. I love Thanksgiving dinner. Mike and I actually make a few times throughout the year... all of it. We love it!

I bought Liza some black boots to wear with her tights. It was love at first site! She's so stinkin' cute and she just loves her boots. She found a princess crown and she loves being a princess too.







The kids always have a great time with Papa. They were rolling the ball back and forth and just having a blast. (I wish I could enjoy rolling the ball back and forth like they do. I get bored so fast!)






We always enjoy the holidays and getting together with family.

Butterflies from Around the World

My Grandpa passed away a few years ago but he has left something behind that will always be treasured. Grandpa collected butterflies. Tons of butterflies over the years. He preserved them and labeled them with the species, date and location where he caught it. It's a magnificent collection!

When he passed away there were some museums that were interested in his collection but I don't know what ever happened with that. It doesn't matter though because that means every time we come home to visit we can still go look at Grandpa's butterflies.

The butterflies were always kept at Grandma and Grandpa's house but recently my Grandma moved them to the flower shop that they built and put them on display. The sign out front says "Stop in to see butterflies from around the world!"

They are now all on display in the front room of the flower shop.














Liza was checking out her Great Grandpa's butterfly net.




Jason liked the case of bugs. There are some large, nasty bugs. Eww.




The kids love stopping in to visit with their Great Grandma Jean.




If you are ever in St. Marys make sure to stop by the Greenhouse on the highway and check out the butterflies! It's a beautiful memorial to my Grandpa.




Sunday Stealing


Stealing Sunday... Where we steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes.

1. When is your birthday?
September 25

2. Where were you born?
St. Marys, PA

3. Where do you live now?
Somewhere in PA

4. What is your heritage?
German

5. Tell us about a weakness.
I talk too much.

6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve?
To become a good photographer and understand more of the technical side of it all.

7. What is the most overused internet phrase?
Probably LOL or some form of that.

8. What was your first thought this morning?
Not yet! (We are visiting my parents and the kids never sleep as well here. It was just before 7 this morning when Liza woke up. Ugh.)

9. When do you usually go to bed?
Somewhere around 10:00. I need my sleep.

10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever?
Nope and nope. Never tried it.

11. Do you like your current relationship status?
Absolutely! Marriage is fun.

12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents?
I do get along withthem.

13. How often do you drink alcohol?
Never. Well I try sips of people's drinks here and there but I just don't like anything.

14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)?
Nope.

15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell.
I have. I was alone and bored and it was a beautiful night... and so I went skinny dipping.

16. If given the choice, how would you like to die?
I would like to be really old and just die peacefully and easily in my sleep.

17. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought I wanted to be a teacher... even got the degree. I can't stand teaching in a classroom. I didn't even finish my student teaching. But I DO love working with kids.

18. Have you ever been dumped?
I don't know. I think I was usually the one doing the dumping.

19. What's on your pizza?
Mmmm... give me lots of cheese and mushrooms!!

20. Have you ever shoplifted?
Nope.


Click HERE to join in the fun.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fun Times

I bought a Kodak EasyShare digital camera the other day and I have been messing around with it. I like it a lot more than I thought I would and I have been running through batteries... thankfully I have a couple sets of rechargeable ones. The camera is nice and small and it's convenient. It has a ton of preset options as well and I've been checking them out.

Self portrait mode... I have no idea what it does to help self portraits look better but it made my take some self portraits. Too bad that mode doesn't make it impossible to cut heads off. Oh well. I think it's kind of fun like this. :)




Liza has been exercising and "getting big and strong".







Jason is constantly playing with his cars... driving them around the house and on the furniture.



I am going to have to say that the camera is very satisfactory for being only $70. I like it and I will use it a lot... but I will still prefer my Rebel. I've been learning how to do more with it and the possibilities are limitless. I can do so much more with my rebel than my Kodak... but I can't just stuff my Rebel in my purse.

Long drive

It's a good two hour drive to get from home to my parent's house. I used to drive it during the kid's nap time but then they stopped sleeping easily if they were in the car and they would just stay up and that would make for a long day. So now we get up and leave in the morning and get to my parents for lunch.

The kids do pretty well during the drive. About an hour and a half in to it Jason usually gets bored and tired. This time he cried and kept saying "hug! huuuugg!!" I felt so horrible. Stupid car seats and long drives!

I let the kids each take a stuffed animal and their favorite car and that is what they played with during the ride. Liza took her little bear and the Larry-mobile.



Jason took Elmo and his new favorite car.



The kids do this thing every time we are in the car. Jason says "We're here!" (It sounds more like "eee heee!" in a high pitched voice.) Liza always answers "not yet Jason." They do this over and over and over. Mike and I tried to guess the number of times they would do this during the drive. I guessed 42... it was somewhere in the high 30s. It can get annoying but it wasn't so bad since we turned it in to a game. I was actually surprised that the number was as low as it was!

We had a beautiful day for our drive... that always makes it better. :)



We are enjoying our enjoying our visit! We always do. And about those reasons I mentioned for always having a good time when I come here... mom and dad are watching the kids today while Mike and I go out for a few hours!!! My parents rock!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A boring post about nothing.

This morning we woke up and headed out to visit with my parents. They live a little over two hours away so we always make it a trip and stay a few days.

I love coming to visit with my parents for a couple of reasons...
1. I enjoy visiting with them. Duh.
2. I kind of get some breaks. :) For example... when the kids nap Mike and I can run out and do something since someone is at the house with the kids.

Today we decided to go out to Walmart. I'm not a black Friday shopper but we are in a town where the only place to shop is Walmart so I figured it wouldn't be bad at 1:30 in the afternoon since most people would be done by then and anyone who was serious about black Friday shopping would have left town to find more stores.

The trip to Walmart was worth it. We are getting Jason a little basketball hoop for Christmas but all the stores in our area were out of them and Toys R Us didn't even have any in stock. The Walmart here had one. That means I am almost completely done with my Christmas shopping. We still have to find something for Mike's dad and that is pretty much an impossible task.

I also picked up a cheap digital camera. I know... I have my wonderful Canon Rebel xs and I absolutely love it. However, sometimes I just want a camera I can toss in my purse. That's the kind of camera I bought today. I got a Kodak Easyshare (I think that's the one I got!) for $69. I figured that was a good price for a camera I will never love... because let's face it... I will always love my Rebel.

This evening we will be visiting with some extended family. We were invited over for dessert. I'll be showing up with my fruit. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year the thing that I am most thankful for is that I have this man in my life!!!



Yep. He's my hunky husband!!

I know I've mentioned bits and pieces about the past year or so... it was rough there for a while. We had some serious issues. No deal breakers. Those would be hard to come buy because we really meant FOR LIFE when we said it at the alter. We don't take that lightly. We made a promise to each other that we would never use the "D word" in a fight or argument. It's not an option.

But like I said... it's not always easy being married to each other. We are two humans that are very different. But we LOVE each other. No we don't always have the butterflies in the stomach, the fireworks in the sky, super in love feeling. We've grown past that to something much deeper. The in love feelings usually all fade over time... but it would be hard to destroy what we have together.

At one point we realized if we wanted to be more than two people living in the same house and actually share our life together again that we would have to put some effort in to it. We had to mend some things and that is not always easy. But it is sooo worth it!

I am thankful for every step that my husband was willing to take that makes US work. For everything sacrifice he makes for our family. For every day that he gets up and goes to work so that I can stay home. I am thankful for the two beautiful children he has given me. For every diaper he has changed and every bath he has given. For the nights off that he has given to me. I am thankful that he puts up with my moods and little tantrums and understands that sometimes that's just how I process. I am thankful for his patience. For his commitment. For his love.

Today we are stronger together than we have ever been. We laugh again like we did back in our first years of marriage. I miss him when I am not with him. I am once again falling head over heals in love with my husband!

Thank you Michael for being you, for being my best friend and for loving me... unconditionally!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wifey Wednesday and Christmas



Today Sheila brought up the topic of Christmas and gifts and she wants to know "What do you do with your spouse for Christmas?"


Mike and I never really give gifts for Christmas and birthdays and anniversaries. If we had tons of money it would be fun to go shopping for gifts because then I could get Mike that big flat screen tv or tickets for good seats at a Steelers game. But we DON'T have the money for extravagant gifts right now and it's too stressful to try to find something small that isn't cheap that will be liked. So we skip the gifts.

It's a mutual decision.

Instead we do something together. One year we went and picked out a few new cd's because we needed some new music. Sometimes we get a babysitter and go out to a nice restaurant. Sometimes we just plan a special day for the other person. I find it is more fun to do this than to stress about finding a great gift.

I do have to admit though that sometimes I really do just like to give Mike gifts. My love language is gifts so therefore I love to give and recieve them. I find though that it's more fun to give things like a hand made coupon book or a day where Mike can relax and do nothing while I take care of the kids, the meals and the house. Things like that are fun to give and they cost nothing.

Another confession... I LOVE when Mike gives me gifts... so if we agree that we are not doing gifts for Christmas and he decides to get me something anyways I will never complain! I will say thank you and then shower him with hugs and kisses and brag about my awesome husband to all my family and friends. I think that is a gift in itself. :)

Someday when we have more money I am sure that we will do more gifts. It's fun when it's not a burden. We enjoy it. But it doesn't make me sad that I won't be opening a box on Christmas morning to find the $700 lens I want for my camera. Instead I will enjoy my family and the joy that comes from being together. The lens I currently have will capture the moments just fine!

Check out Wifey Wednesday for more thoughts on this topic. Don't be afriad to join in and write your own blog and link up.

Tips for "better" eating through the holidays.

I know there aren't many people that are gluttons for punishment like myself. I'm still not eating sugar and doing well with that. (Read here for more info about that.) Since I have quit eating sugar I have been able to reach my goal weight. It's what works for me. I find that if I don't eat sugar I can pretty much eat however I want and as long as I get to the gym I will lose or at least maintain my weight. It's been a good, successful journey for me and I think I will just keep up the no sugar thing even after my sister and I end our deal.

Anyways... the holidays are always the hardest times because there is soooo much good food and desserts and snacks and they are abundant and seem to be out no matter where you go. I have found some things over the years that work for me that I am going to share with you... because my goal is to lose a pound or two during this next month instead of gaining 8!

TIP #1
Decide BEFORE you go what you will eat. It's too late to make a decision to have only one piece of dessert when you have already shown up and gazed at the lovely, enticing, sweet looking spread of desserts. If you wait till you see your options you will never be able to make the choice to only have one or maybe two things. (I used to pile up a plate with a bit of everything... and then go back for more. Ugh.) Before you even leave your house decide if you will allow yourself one piece of pie, three cookies, one handful of m&m's or whatever it is that you want to allow yourself. Then stick to it. You will feel like a champ when you leave at the end of the night knowing you succeeded and you will feel powerful because you beat the food! You also won't feel disgusting from eating way more than you should have and you won't have to deal with the guilt that comes along with it... and you won't have to work extra hard at the gym to work it all off.

TIP #2
Ok... you all might think I am a little whack after reading this one but oh well. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Stick with me here. Have you ever seen that cookie or cake or whatever and you could just swear that it was talking to you?! "I'm sooo yummy! You NEED to eat me! Actually you NEED to eat a whole lot of me!" Don't let those thoughts run around in your head. The more time and thought you give to them the stronger they will become and the harder it will be to resist and not give in. Then (this is where the whack part comes in) don't be afraid to speak the truth. I have been known to mumble to a tray of cookies "No. I really don't NEED you. Actually I don't even WANT you right now!" HA! Call me a whack if you want because I have had victory after victory due to this technique! :)

TIP #3
Don't leave yourself with no options. During the holidays I will often find out what is being served and then ask if they mind if I bring a fruit or veggie tray. (Who is going to say no to that!?) So that is what I take... something that I know I can eat and enjoy and something that can be left out with the desserts that tend to sit on the table or counter for every one to keep picking at. If you have a hard time saying no to all those sweets (my weakness) pack up that fruit tray with some of your favorites. It's a lot better if you eat 15 strawberries instead of 5 cookies!

TIP #4
DO NOT accept the leftover desserts. It seems that no one ever wants to keep the extras because they know they will just keep eating them. So they get around to being generous and want to send those desserts home with you so that YOU can get fat instead of them. :) Don't walk out with a tray of cookies or half a pie if you know you can't exercise control over it. My husband has way more control than I do so if he REALLY wants to bring something home I ask him to limit it to one piece of pie or whatever. (If what he wants has coconut in it he can bring home as much as he wants because I will never touch it. Yuck!)


It's not always easy... but let me just tell you this... it is soooo much fun when January 1 rolls around and everyone is making their new years resolutions and talking about how horrible they ate over the holidays and how much weight they gained because of it and how much harder they are going to have to work to undo all those poor choices and you just get to sit there feeling good about yourself because you haven't undone all the hard work you put in all year round, you haven't given up your new lifestyle of eating better and you have been successful. You don't have to start anything over... you just get to keep going with the same things that you have been doing. THAT my friends makes all the sacrifices worth it... for me anyways. So what if I don't get to eat any pumpkin pie loaded up with whipped cream this year... I'm going to feel good instead of like a slob! And that makes me happy.

Do you have any tips for eating "better" during the holidays? I would love to hear them. Write you own blog and link back to me or just leave it here in the comments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rockstars!

We had these sunglasses and mini recorders left over from something and I was saving them for a night when we needed something to do with the kids. I'm glad I hung on to them because the kids LOVED them and it was a fun night of them entertaining Mike and I.







I love the times when the kids play TOGETHER... which they do often... but sometimes it's just cuter than others. Jason looks up to Liza so much and he just copies her. They were laughing and giggling and I just couldn't help but smile a ton!










At one point Jason decided to stop and take a rest beside Michael. How cute are they!?!?!




And of course it wouldn't be a complete night of playing with silly sun glasses if I didn't get a picture of Mike and I. We like to ridiculous... it's just that most times the ridiculousness doesn't get recorded.




Hooray for another night of cheap fun and entertainment!

Slow-cooked Chicken and Stuffing

I made this recipe the other night and it was soooo good! I think it should also be good with left over turkey which I will probably try... which is a crazy thing for me because I typically do recipes just as they are and I have a hard time switching them up. But I have some left over turkey in the freezer. :)


Cook time: 4 1/2 to 5 hours

2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (4ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 cups day-old bread cubes (1/2 inch pieces)
2 eggs
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
5 to 6 cups cubed cooked chicken

In a saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove from the heat. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Combine eggs and soup; stir into broth mixture until smooth. Pour over bread and toss well. In a 5-qt slow cooker, layer half the stuffing and chicken; repeat layers. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the stuffing reads 160 degrees.

Makes 14-16 servings.



Mmmmm. Yummy! Try it!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday... Thanksgiving



This Friend Makin' Monday is all about Thanksgiving. (Check it out at {aefilkins})



1. Turkey or Ham?

What?? People actually make ham instead of turkey on Thanksgiving???

2. Favorite side dish.
Stuffing. Honestly I could just eat an entire plate of stuffing. Mmmm.

3. Favorite dessert.
At Thanksgiving... pumpkin pie loaded with whipped cream but I won't be having any this year since I am not eating sugar. Bring on the fruit!

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not?
No way!

5. If so, what's on the top of your list?
There is nothing... except maybe that camera lens I want... that would convince me to get up that early to fight crowds of people and shop.

6. Going out of town or staying close to home?
We will have Thanksgiving in town here with the in-laws and then the day after we are heading out to visit with my family for the weekend. Yay!

7. Hosting or helping?
Why host when you can help!?

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving.
I don't know that we really have one. Hmm. Might have to think on that this year.

9. What do you do after dinner?
Sit around feeling really full! We end up just hanging out and letting the kids entertain us. I think we used to play games but since the kids are so little it's kind of tough right now. Maybe we can do that again in a few years.

10. What are you most thankful for this year?
That my husband has a job and we have not yet been effected by the economy in any way. For my fun, healthy, loving family. All the new friends that I have made and all the old ones that I have reconnected with.

I heart faces... sun flare!




This week at I heart Faces the theme is sun flare! My favorite sun flare photo is a silhouette so that won't work since you can't see the faces. :( I have another one that would have been a favorite if Jason hadn't decided to run away at the last minute. So I am going to have to go with this one...



I was taking some photos for Octavia of her and her daughter. They were just so good at hanging out and Lily found this perfect little spot for a picture all on her own. :)

Head on over to I heart Faces to see more great sun flare photos!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stealing Sunday

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Will Smith. Yeah. That's all I know.


2. Where was your first kiss?
hahaa! Well some things I try to block from memory. This would be one of them haha.

3. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? If yes, why?
Yep. I used to fight with the boys in the neighborhood all the time. And one time in eighth grade this boy said that girls couldn't hit so I had to prove him wrong. Yeah. I'm cool like that.

4. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? When?
I sing TERRIBLE! In college I had to take a class about teaching with music and I had to sing a song in front of the class. Most embarrassing moment EVER! The only other time I have sang in front of a group was when I worked at camps... but that was more like yelling than singing.


5. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?
That they don't measure up to Michael. :)

6. What really turns you off?
Feet. I hate feet! Nasty toenails. Ugh. This guy took me out on a date one time and it looked like he hadn't cut his toenails in months. I was so grossed out. That was the end of that.

7. What is your biggest mistake?
Eh. Another memory block here.

8. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
I don't think so. I try to avoid pain as much as possible. I'm a sissy like that.


9. Say something totally random about yourself.
I was struck by lightning... indirectly... but still!


10. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Back when Brittany Spears was first out and I was working at a summer camp all the girls said I looked like her.


11. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?
Well considering my kids are 3 and almost 2 that's about all I watch.

12. Are you comfortable with your height?
Well I might as well be since there isn't anything I can do about it. I'm fine at 5'4" but two more inches would be nice since Mike is so tall.


13. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
One night after putting the kids to bed Mike built me a fort in the living room and we played cards and had snacks. It was a lovely date!

14. When do you know it's love?
I have no idea how to answer this one because I kind of woke up one day and realized I loved Mike. Nothing else has ever compared to this love and I don't know how it happened or why or when... it just happened and I just knew.

15. What's something that really annoys you?
Your mom. I know. I'm lame for still using that joke but sometimes I just can't help it. Umm... something that annoys me?? How about when people won't deal with a situation that needs dealt with and instead they just stuff it and pretend nothing is wrong until it is too late. Yep. That pretty much annoys me.


Well that was a fun one. More exciting than last weeks. Or maybe it is that I am in a better mood than last week. I don't remember. Anyways... if you want to join in on the fun head on over to Stealing Sunday and link up!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Silly boy!

We recently gave Jason a pillow to sleep with at night. (I had to get rid of one of mine because it was too flat and I thought it would be perfect for him.) He likes pillows. He can say pillow and he uses the ones on the chairs in the living room from time to time.

But Jason is a bit strange. I tuck him in at night... well kind of. He just sits there in his bed. So I just turn the light off and close the door and he eventually falls asleep.

It's super cute... ever since we gave him the pillow... when we go to cover him up before we go to bed we find him just like this...



Pillow on one side with all his stuffed animals. Blankets at the other end of the bed. Jason somewhere in the middle.

He's a silly boy.

This morning when I went to get him out of bed he pointed to his pillow, got a serious look on his face and asked "mine?" Yes Jason. It IS yours. You can put your head on it any time you want!


Tanya and Travis

My friends recently bought a new house and when Tanya told me her mom wanted a picture of her and Travis in front of their house for the Christmas cards I saw a photo opportunity for myself... because it would be kind of difficult for them to get a picture of themselves in front of their house! I know it's possible... but it's just so much easier to let someone else do it. :)

It was also a nice way for me to give back to Tanya since she has watched my kids for me a few times and she doesn't have any children of her own yet for me to babysit.

Tanya and Travis have been married for just over a year now. They are a super cute couple and they were so fun to photograph... and I also have to add that they were sooo easy to work with after doing the family shoot the day before. (Don't take that wrong Kim! I had a great time with your family! It's just a lot easier to take pics of two adults haha. I'm sure you understand!)

I did get the picture of them in front of their house. It was tricky trying to figure out where to place them so they wouldn't look like ants. But I got some that work. After that we took some pictures around the house. Next time I will take my external flash so we can do some inside.

This is just inside their front door and they wanted a pic by it. The bottom line says "bless this house with love and laughter." I love it!



The house number.



They wanted a picture by their red front door.












I love that I was able to get such a variety of pictures just by using their house and yard. Maybe they will let me practice again in a year. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I would love to start this day over.

This has been the most frustrating morning. Ugh.

I woke up tired. Will I ever wake up not tired again!?!?

Mike has been volunteering at our church with the maintenance guy. It's a good thing. However he didn't know until 9:00 this morning if the guy would need his help today or not. I leave for the gym at 9:10. That meant that we both had to get ready as if we were both leaving and the kids would be coming to the gym with me.

No problem. Although I do have to admit that I am not used to getting ready with Mike at home. He's usually gone when we wake up. It kind of threw me off and it felt like he was always in the way.

Mike ends up going to work. I end up going to the gym with the kids.

When I get to the stop sign by the gym I see these people walking with this long line of kids and they don't have coats on. Worse! They are in their little tutus and gymnastics/dance outfits and therefore have no pants on either! It's 45 degrees. I'm thinking there is going to be a lot of irate parents if they ever find out.

I pull in the parking lot. Park the van. Get the kids out. I'm on my way to the door when I realize that EVERYONE is coming outside and just standing around. Huh?

A guy says to me "You might as well go home. You aren't going to get in for a while. The fire alarm went off and no one knows why." You're kidding right? More kids are coming out... these ones are wet, in their swimsuits, with towels wrapped around them. People are taking their coats off and wrapping the kids up. Finally someone in charge ran across the road to see if the kids could go sit in the school. Thankfully that one worked out. There were people without any shoes on! Freezing!

A minute later the fire trucks come flying up the road, lights on, sirens blaring. I let the kids look for a while and decided it was time to head back home.

Liza didn't get it. She wanted to play at the gym. Thankfully a movie makes her forget about it all!

I guess the morning wasn't a complete bust since the kids did get to see the firetrucks. I just wish I could get excited about that. I really needed the workout (and an hour without the kids) this morning. I guess I am just thankful for the timing. Had the alarm waited a few more minutes to go off my kids would have been the kids outside without coats on this cold day and my car keys would have been stuck in a locker and we wouldn't have been able to come home.

I'm still sitting here wondering though what actually set the alarm off. And I would love to go back to bed and start this day over again.

Make new friends but keep the old!



Emily and I worked at the same summer camp a few years back and we also went to the same college. Over the years though we had lost touch. Recently we reconnected on Facebook and found we only live an hour away from each other. So... we decided to meet in the middle, play photographers for a while since it is something we are both interested in, and then we had some dinner at Pizza Hut.

And let me just tell you... Emily is so thoughtful! She had never met my kids but she gave me these cute little stuffed snowmen. One for each of them. The kids LOVE them! They both sleep with their snowman every night now. It's cute! She also gave me an ornament for my first Christmas Tree! It's a pickle and it's not just any ornament... Here is the deal with the pickle...

"The pickle, as the story goes, was the last ornament to be hung on the tree, hidden there on Christmas Eve by parents and grandparents. On Christmas morning, the children would search for the pickle and the child that found it would receive an extra special treat for being the most observant."

How cool is that!? I can definitely see this developing in to a fun tradition as the kids get older!!

Anyways... the day we met was really cold so we didn't stay outside for too long. But we had fun walking around a little park taking pictures. I didn't get anything amazing but I think all of these pictures look a little bit like fall and a little bit cold... which is a perfect representation of the day.









Thanks for meeting up with me Emily! I had lots of fun and the kids love you now even though they don't know you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bedtime Bible Stories



Every night in our house is pretty much the same. We get the kids ready for bed, brush their teeth and then sit down for a Bible story, a prayer and some songs. The kids really seem to love this and they don't let us put them to bed without it.

One night after we were out late I got Jason ready for his bed and then took him to his crib. He wasn't having it. He started yelling "Biiiiblleeee!" Liza will do the same.

Liza is really starting to learn her stories. She will request specific ones. Sometimes she will ask for the one she learned in school that day, or one she learned at church. And sometimes she asks for one that she has seen on VeggieTales. David and Goliath is a current favorite and Liza is convinced that Goliath is not only a giant but a giant PICKLE! Thank you VeggieTales.

The kids love this time and so do Mike and I. It's really nice to end the night with a sweet moment.


Princess Liza

Yesterday at Liza's school was dress like a Prince/Princess day. I think I had the cutest little princess in the room. (I'm sure every mom thought that of their daughter though.)

I didn't really have anything Princess-y for Liza to wear so I went to the dollar store and got her a tiara and did her hair up a little and stuck it in with bobby pins. Then I put on her shirt that said Mommy's little Princess and we were good to go!

She looks soooo grown up in this picture! And she is now ALWAYS standing with her hands on her hips. It's super cute.













After she got home from school Liza discovered the jewelry that came in the pack with the tiara and she just HAD to have it on! She was awesome. She kept running to the mirror to look at herself.








She's B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L!

Liza wore her little tiara all day long. And she kept saying "I a prince-a!"


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