Thursday, November 04, 2010

3 Before 30

So, I was thinking.

In less than a year I'll be turning 30.

Now, I have three kids and a minivan, so the whole leaving-my-twenties thing is really not a big game changer for me. My care-free days are long gone :) But that doesn't mean that it isn't still a big milestone. I want to make turning 30 a Big Deal. A Good Big Deal.

I love birthdays anyway, but I would love to be able to ring in 30 on top of my game. I would like to accomplish 3 things that have eluded me the past few years and turn 30 shaking my fist at them in victory. It would be much cooler to do the "30 Before 30" thing, but I know myself better than that and I will completely forget to do half of them. I'm barely hanging on to my 101 in 1001 deal and I fear I'll throw myself completely off the edge if I try for much more. And like I said, this needs to be a fist shaking thing with much victory. So, I'm sticking with 3.

My Things, They Are Threefold:

1. Hit My Married Weight. I would love to be super transparent here and actually give you all "the number" but shoot no, I'm not doing that. A girl must keep some secrets. Suffice to say, it's about 15 pounds less than what I weigh now. That's not too bad, and I'm pleased with what I weigh now, but I would really like to hit that Married Weight and shake my fist at it. Apparently, there will be much fist shaking in the coming months. And how will I accomplish this? Glad you asked, Pinky. I'll be running, just like I've been running. Well, just like I WAS running - LOL. Summer in Texas got crazy hot so I stayed inside claiming to myself I would "do yoga" during naptime. What I actually did was "do snacking and napping" during naptime. So, instead of me only having to lose 10 pounds, I now need to lose 15 :) So, back to my regular runs and maybe laying off the second helping of desserts. After New Year's. No need to rob the present for the future, right?

2. Finish David McCullough's John Adams. I bought this book TEN years ago, people. TEN. I have read and reread the first chapter about a billion times and for some reason I just can't find the mental stamina to keep going. I finally got about a quarter of the way through over a long car trip last month and now I need to shake my fist at that sucker (oh, I sense a major over use of "fist shaking" in my vocabulary). The part I have read is phenomenal, now I'm going to close the deal.

3. Finish Painting. I know, rather mundane. However, I do love my melted butter yellow kitchen and I know that I will love the rest of my home even more once I complete the job. It won't take long to paint the office and the living room and the entryway, but it will take some concentrated effort. Good thing I've got some motivation. And what better way to ring in my 30's with a freshly painted interior?


So there you have it, my 3 Before 30. I find these to be very accomplishable (I know that's not a word, just roll with me) and I plan to take a victory picture on my 30th birthday at *coughcough* pounds, holding the completed John Adams in my butter yellow living room :)

It's a date.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Little Helpers

First of all, Look! I'm on a horse!


Ok, so, it's not actually me, but I do love that guy. Funniest commercial ever.

Anyways, as you can see from the picture below, things have been a little hectic around here. Not bad or anything, but just really busy. We had to rehome our Great Dane (he and our other dog, Annie, couldn't stop fighting and we were worried one of them would get hurt), we traveled out of town a few times, and then just the regular busyness that comes with homeschooling and having three kids has kept me running from sun up to sun down.

Funny enough, though, during the course of the crazy season, I found two websites that have helped me tremendously. I mean, HUGELY. You know, I'm not a bad cook. And I keep a pretty decent house. At this stage in life, though, it's not my abilities that are holding me back from good meals on the table and clean bathrooms. It's the fact that there are just so many hours in the day and I can never seem to find the time to sit down and plan anything. Enter in 5 Dinners in One Hour and Motivated Moms. The first is a meal planning website and the second is a chore planning website. And DUDE, they are strong.

Neither of these have reinvented the wheel or anything, but for me - right now - I can't say how much "thinking time" I've saved by using them. Because right now my "thinking time" is going mostly to homeschooling and making sure I've got all my ducks in a row there, and it is supremely helpful to have some one else tell me what to cook, what I'll need to cook it, and when to change the air filter and mop the kitchen. Obviously the answer to that last one is "when your socks are dirty from walking across it" but you don't always have the time to fix it when you notice it, right? There have been times in my life when these websites wouldn't have been as useful for me, but right now they are hitting the nail on the head and keeping me on the ball.

Here is the scoop on each of my little helpers:


***
5 Dinners in One Hour:Michelle (the blog owner) gives you the recipes, the shopping lists, and the directions to make five dinner meals in one hour. You get your grocery list, buy what you need, and then block out an hour at the beginning of the week for assembly. I usually do mine on Sunday afternoons while the littlers are napping and Dave takes Tot to Christmas Musical practice. After about one hour (it has taken me longer, but I'm usually interrupted about a thousand times) you have 5 meals set to go with minimal work for the night you'll actually eat it. Not every meal has been a grand slam, but we've liked 90% of them and I've done this for about a month now.

It has been a HUGE help for me to not have to think about what to cook, to not have to assemble the grocery list (I do still have to add things to it, of course, like breakfast stuff and snacks) and then to just know what's for dinner each night. I'm pretty sure that last one is Dave's favorite part as well :) It has made us try things we probably wouldn't have tried, and has saved me from my endless inability to just pick something to eat because I'm so paralyzed by all the options. Again, not every meal is a winner, but most of them are great and the time I've saved has been priceless. There is a free trial week on the blog (on the right hand side) and the meal plans are $5/month. In my opinion (and Dave's) they are worth every penny.


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Motivated Moms:


Now, this is the be-all-end-all of no frills. They don't really even have a graphic. This is really just a weekly calendar with a list of cleaning/organizing/maintenance jobs for each date that you purchase and download. There is a column for Daily Tasks that has boxes to check for all the things you need to do every day like Quiet Time, Vitamins, Make Beds, Feed Pets, Load Dishes, Load of Laundry, etc. Then there is another column for Weekly Tasks. It has each day separated with 5 or so tasks to do. For example, yesterday my tasks were to change the dishcloth in the kitchen, clean out my purse, clean the tubs, clean the bathroom mirrors, and vote. It is date specific, so like on yesterday (Election Day), I was reminded to vote and on the weeks leading up to Christmas I am reminded to do certain things to get ready for the holidays.

Like I said, there are times in my life where this wouldn't have been helpful, in fact, having a list like that staring me in the face would have been the opposite of helpful. But right now, I have plenty of physical energy, I just don't have the mental energy or time to sit down and plan out what days work best to clean the bathrooms and do I want dust today or should I work on windows and did I remember to empty the bathroom trash? It is SO NICE to have the thinking done for me and I just work through the list as time permits. Some days I don't get everything done (like today, I highly doubt that I will dust my bedroom), but I am getting much more done regularly than I was before I started using this.

There are a few options on how to use this. For starters, the calendars are $8 each. You download them and then can either print them in their entirety, or print off one week at a time (what I do). There are several versions, including ones with daily bible readings and with half sized pages. Personally, I use the full size planner and next year I plan on using the full size planner with bible readings.



So, there you are - my little helpers. I can't tell you enough how much they have helped me in this season of busyness. And now that I have my blogging shoes wet again, maybe it won't take me a month to write again :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thankful Thursday




Well, today I am grateful for a great many things. God is good, all the time - but during this season I am always particularly thankful for my blessings.

1. Candy Pumpkins. Yes, I know this is trite, however Candy Corn and Candy Pumpkins are my Season Triggers. You know, that thing that says to just you NOW is when it starts. For me, Fall really starts when I see Candy Pumpkins in the store and begin my Annual Fall Preparation List. I am so thankful for Fall, even though we have awhile before we get real Fall weather. Until then, I can munch on my pumpkins and soak it all in.

2. Chai Latte K Cups. So we all know how I feel about my Keurig. It is THE BEST THING EVER. Hot, nummy coffee in under 60 seconds at the push of a button. I realize it is such a non necessary luxury, but I will take it and be thankful. My Keurig makes my mornings pleasant and easy and I stop each day and look at it with love. It's just so shiny...sigh. But anyways, back to the Chai Latte K Cups. I had my doubts, I mean, Starbucks makes a mean Chai Latte, but they get expensive, even for an occasional treat. And I really want one right when it's not feasible for me to go out (ie Naptime). So I got a box of Chai Latte K Cups, preparing myself for yuck, and I was pleasantly surprised. They are GOOD. I mean, GOOD. It's the perfect non-coffee spicy treat and I am very thankful for a fun way to usher in my favorite fall drink.

3. My David. We are in a particularly great time right now. With him working from home and me homeschooling, we are having more time together than we've had in years and It. Is. Rockstar. We get to have breakfast and chit chat time in the morning and lunch together every day. He usually comes in once or so during the day to get a snack or a drink, goes back to work and then he is home right at 5pm. Glorious. The only problem we've found with this arrangement is that him working from home makes it SUPER easy to stay in bed until the absolute latest moment and then we are rushed to get breakfast (but not coffee - because our coffee is supafast!) and get the day started. But I'll take an overdose on snuggles over not seeing him as much any day of the week. I am way thankful for the snuggles.

4. Our New Dog(s). We got a new dog this week - a Great Dane! We got him from my stepbrother who needed to rehome his two Great Danes. It worked out perfectly, because Laura Beth is taking the other one when she moves into her new house and until then we can dogsit. So it's like we have TWO new Great Danes. And let me just tell you, these dogs are HUGE. It's like having two ponies walking around. The kids love them and the dogs love the kids - especially Allie. Allie likes our dog, Josh, the best. She walks over to him, bends down and pats him on the head, and then licks his nose. It's both incredibly gross and sweet. Regardless, we are so thankful for the new member of our family and the new member of our extended family :)

5. Everything Else. Seriously, we're just in a good season right now. Things are still tiring (we do have three kids and three dogs right now), and I'm still trying to get my groove in homeschooling, and Dave and I have been falling into bed exhausted each night from lack of exercise and crappy eating (we lost our mojo and are trying to get it back - I lost much more mojo than he did, though) - but on the whole, things are good. Happy marriage, good kids, good day.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Homekeeper's Journal

I found this on Christian Homekeeper and I thought that it looked fun, because of course I have my head all in my house right now. I'm getting ready for cleaning and starting to make my cold weather lists and this survery just seemed to fit into my home-centered mood today.

My kitchen would be more inviting if... there were a little more natural sunlight. We have a galley kitchen that works very well, but since it is smack in the middle of the house with no windows in can get a little dreary in there. I think that short of adding a sunlight into the ceiling (which we've talked about), I could help this by putting a squat lamp in there and adding some light underneath the cabinets.

My best tip for making a home feel welcoming... not having a lot of fussy rules or furniture. We try to make sure that when people come here that they aren't worried they will hurt something or disrupt our zen and know that they can act at our house just like they would at their own. Feet go on the coffee table, kids can yell (mostly :) ), and getting yourself a drink isn't rude.

To give the feeling of warmth in my home I often... light my Yankee Candle. Right now I'm burning "Good Morning". It's a sweet smell that kindof makes you think of muffins. I want the first impression of my house to be welcoming, so I try to have the place not smell like diapers or dogs. Sometimes I do better at this than others :)

In cooler months it is essential for me to... have lots of snuggly things around. I read in a book somewhere that you should always have the makings for a nap in your living room. Since all my kids still have nap time or quiet time and all the rooms are taken, I can't just run into my bedroom and grab a pillow when the Nap Need strikes. So, I try to keep quilts in the hallway and a good pillow nearby. That way, when it's cold outside and warm inside, I can turn off the lights and snuggle down.

Some favorite Autumn or Winter recipes are... Vegetarian Chili, Cheesy Chicken Chowder, Potato Soup, or really anything soupy and warm. In the winter we have Chili (vegetarian and meat) almost every week. Except when I'm pregnant. For some reason, my ability to cook a mean chili vacates when I'm pregnant. We discovered this while I was pregnant with Little David - but thought it was a fluke. We realized it was a blanket fact while I was pregnant with Allie. I made the most disgusting pot of "chili" you've ever seen. We didn't even eat a bite. We just looked at it and ordered pizza.

A quick tip for making your house more inviting... Make it smell good and make sure there is a comfy place for your friends to sit. Which reminds me, I need to put cushions on my kitchen chairs. My chairs are lovely, but could probably use a little smooshy.



To fill out your own survey, just copy and fill in and be sure to link up to Christian Homekeeper!


Monday, September 06, 2010

Annual Fall Preparation List!

Oh friends, you looked at that picture to the left and you knew, didn't you?

It's time.

Time for open windows, time for falling leaves, time for candles burning, time for crisp breezes, time for The Unsinkable's Annual Fall Preparation List!!

You would think that after three years of listing the same basic things in the same basic order that I would just call a spade a spade and give you the link and move on, but no. I'm going to keep writing this thing in new and different ways as long as there is life in this blog. A debatable point, I know. Regardless, I had myself a sip of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and there is no turning back now. I've got itchy fingers dying to list out all the thing that make preparing for fall great and nothing can stop me now!

So join me, Reader Friends, as I walk us through the upcoming months of awesomeness - the homemade cider, the apple picking, and the pirate talking. You know it will be good.

The List:


1. Fast & Furious Fall Cleaning: I don't know about you, but my house is on the....messy side. My closet has a few well meaning piles at the bottom ("missing buttons" "is this clean?" "clothes that looked good on the hanger and now look bad on me 5 minutes before church") and my kitchen cabinets used to have rhyme and reason but currently they are just housing what fits. If Summer is the time for letting your ducks have fun and for living by the seat of your pants and dropping routine to go frolic in the sprinkler, then Fall is the time to gather them ducks back up and set them in a row. This, dear Readers, is where Fast & Furious Fall Cleaning comes in. Over at one of my favorite places, Christian Homekeeper, is running a week long cleaning event October 4th - 9th where each day you tackle a room from top to bottom. Dump those drawers and scrub, scrub, scrub. By the time this week is over your house won't even know what hit it. Except, yes it will. YOU will have hit it with your crazy awesome cleaning skillz and it will quiver in fear of ever getting dirty again. You are like the Chuck Norris of cleaning.

2. Fall Decorating: So, after you have your space all fast and furious and Chuck Norris clean, it's time to make it seasonally awesome. I am always excited about putting cute fall things around my house, but I think I am more excited this year than ever before. Why? Because of my rockstar friend, Diana, that's why! She got me that amazing fabric banner you see in the picture to your left. I. Know. Isn't it awesome?! Its very presence has me all aflutter for fall.

Decorating for fall may be the easiest season to decorate of them all. I sent Tot out into the backyard today on a nut finding mission and a two hours later (no joke) she came back with a GIANT bowl full of fallen nuts of every kind and shape. I'm thinking these will go in a hurricane glass along with a nice little candle on my kitchen table, but you could really just dump them in any kind of bowl and add a smidge of fall. If you aren't sure where to look for cute, cheap non-nutty decorations, though, then browse around Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart (seriously, cute and cheap), and any craft store worth their salt. You could get a wreath for the door, some place mats for the kitchen, or just gather together some pine needles in a mason jar and call it a day. Whatever screams "ooo la la it's fall" to you.

There now. Look at that.

Your house is spic and span, you can find anything you need in under 5 minutes, and there is the delightful aroma of pumpkin wafting from your delicious Yankee Candle (seriously, get thee a yankee candle). Grab a cup of coffee, sit yourself down with the October or November issue of just about any magazine, and take a wee little break. We're about to get all Chuck Norris on the planning so you'll need your rest.

And yes, I know I've now said Chuck Norris three times.


3. Cold Weather Preparation: Okay, are you rested? Good, because now it's time to grab a pencil and paper and get your list making on. Every single year we have cold weather, so it's about time that we were prepared for it. There isn't much more annoying than a huge storm coming in in November and knowing that not only do you not have an umbrella, you don't even have matches to light that one candle you think you have back there in the closet. Also, you wouldn't have that problem if you would have just gotten that Yankee Candle like I told you, but whatever. I'm preaching to the choir. This year we aren't going to have those silly problems. We are going to acknowledge that right after the beauty of Fall comes the harshness of Winter - and that means that kids grow out of clothes, it will most likely rain and snow, the power will probably go out at least once, and we will be prepared for as much of it as we are able. Take that, weather.
  • Clothing - As far as preparing goes, this is one of the harder ones. It's difficult to predict when a child will hit a certain size or when they will start some massive growth spurt. My own children decided to grow two sizes less than three months after I bought them new clothes. Be that as it may, we can all agree that the kids will need jackets when it snows, right? So we need to look at the clothes they have and see what they can wear through the winter (jeans) and what needs to be stored or given away (tank tops). I usually start with a sheet of paper per kid. At the top goes their name, then I start listing the items I know we will need to purchase new and the ones I can look for used. Each year there are some of the same items that they just keep growing out of (tennis shoes, warm church dresses for the girls, gloves, boots) and I almost always get each kid a new pair of house shoes and pj's. And now is the time to think of all those details you always forget on a freezing cold Sunday morning: tights for the girls and dress shoes. Please tell me I'm not the only Mom who realizes each year on the first Sunday that I never remembered to buy shoes that match those new dresses and it's too cold for flops. Sigh.

    Oh, and don't forget yourself, my friend. Get down the cold weather clothes from the attic (or where ever) and start looking to see if you still like them or are wondering why you ever thought you could get away with an ombre shirt. Make sure you have a warm coat that fits (and looks cute!) and all those warm accessories to go with it. I've been told that capes are "in" this year, a fact for which I am eternally grateful. Love me some capes. Dave thinks they are the dumbest thing on the planet, but I don't care because I just bought that green cape from Old Navy and it looks smashing on me. Yep, smashing. So get thee a cape or some other fun warm thing. And you know, all that other more essential cold weather clothing like hats and scarves. Oh.....scarves.....
  • Bedding - Okay, enough about scarves or I'll be lost in onlineshoppingworld and I'll never finish this novel blog. Depending on where you live, bedding may not be something you need to mess with for awhile. When I lived in Michigan you really needed to get warmer blankets on in September. Here in Texas, though, you can do without changing much until closer to November or December, and even then you don't need too much. I usually add a warm fleece or cotton blanket to each bed and switch to flannel sheets. We also pump up the pj's and get everyone new jammies or sleep pants (or just a second fleece blanket for Little David who has been refusing to wear pajamas for over two years straight now) and a new set of house shoes. This is when I break out my fleecy red robe my Mammaw gave me 10 years ago and my hot pink house shoes. I'd like to pretend my morning wear is a little more high brow or fashion forward, but who are we kidding here? If you live some where colder than the Lone Star State, then you may think about down comforters, microfleece blankets, and space heaters. And really thick socks.
  • House - Now that you've got your bed and your body all winterized, take a look around your freshly awesome house. Do you have what you need for the cold weather? Again, where you live is going to play into this equation. What I need for January in Texas will probably be different that what someone in Michigan's UP needs, however, we all need the basics. So start looking around for matches, candles, flashlights and batteries and gather them all up in a bucket or basket and put the somewhere you will remember. I have a shelf in my linen closet devoted just to stuff like this. Well, I used to. I'm pretty sure it is currently overrun with Candyland pieces and upended decks of cards right now. I'll need to work on that. Oh, and keep an eye on both the wood pile and the smores stash. What? You don't have a designated spot for smores fixins? Well, you should. Consider it good Fall planning.
  • Yard - And now for the newest addition to our Annual Fall Preparation List - The Yard! In my house, the yard really isn't my job, but it is my job to let Dave know what needs to be done, and since this summer we planted flower beds, this fall we have some work to do. On my yard list is cutting back the roses, the flowers, the crepe myrtles, the bushes and the trees, and replanting my veggie containers with some winter plants. While you're outside, look around and see how many faucets you have and make note to buy covers for them at the Home Depot (or where ever) before it gets too cold. These are the first things to sell out when a hard frost comes. Well, these and milk, bread, and eggs. Does every person make French Toast when bad weather arrives?? Anyways, roll up your hoses and put away your water toys and bring in the kiddie pool. But don't forget to leave out the soccer balls and baseball bats because you'll need to have something for the kids to do while you're sitting on the back porch with your cup of coffee enjoying the chilly morning air. ... Don't mind me, I'm just mentally willing that chilly air to get here.
4. Holiday Preparation: I realize that there is something innately wrong with thinking about Christmas during September, but sometimes needs must. Since I have a tendency to over plan (quit laughing, I know how long this list has already gotten), last year I tried to limit my Christmas measures to the actual month of December and may I just say: Epic. Fail. There is a reason that it's better to plan ahead: you actually remember to do things. So this year, I'm already starting a little mental activity and thinking about the gifts I want to give and making small notes and getting my budget firmed up. And of course Halloween seems like a long way away, but we all know that it sneaks up on you and before you know it you have no idea what the kids are going to be and all the costumes are sold out. Start thinking now and you might be able to snag a good deal. But along with the Big Holidays come lots of little ones that you would be sad sad sad to miss like my personal favorite, Talk Like A Pirate Day (Sept 19 - Um, there is now an official SONG - Love. It.) Get yer pirate voice on and do some piratey things, Maties. For more of the most random holidays ever, and really, random holidays are the spice of life, go here.

5. Festivities: Now, friends, now you can rest. Your house is clean and welcoming, you have prepared for the coming season and have a plan for the rest of it. You have been the ant and worked hard and now it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And those fruits are the festivities of Fall, dude. Find a pumpkin patch and a group of friends and take a hayride with all the kids. Bake some Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Scour the internet for every fall related activity you can find and pick out the best one and get there. Pick some apples, watch Charlie Brown, make your own scarecrow, or just rake some leaves and nap in a hammock.

Whatever you do, do it to the fullest and soak up every speck of Fall you can this year. It only comes once, you know :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Happy (Early) Birthday, Self!!!

You all know I love my birthday so there's no need to be coy - I'm starting the celebrating early with my fancy birthday header so I can drag out the awesome!

Tonight is Date Night and Dave and I will be rocking out a little Dominos and I will be consuming not one but TWO Lava Cakes all by my onesie. Yep, that's right. On my birthday I get two lava cakes. It's how I roll. And tomorrow on my actual birthday I'll be going out with some friends for a tasty dinner and some B-I-N-G-O baby!

I know! What an awesome birthday!

I hope you all have a great weekend, and please please, leave me some comment love. We know I'm not too ashamed to ask :)


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stay Tuned, Reader Friends

In the next few days it will be.....


Annual Fall Preparation List time!!!


Yep, the Pumpkin Spice Latte got to me and now I'm all atwitter over fall. Do join me :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tasty Tuesday


God Bless You and God Bless Starbucks.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For The Record...

We are not having any of those warm, fuzzy homeschool feelings today. Tot is driving me bat crap crazy.


Just thought I'd balance things out a little for you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Is Why I Homeschool

I'm sitting here this morning reading over the stories of so many of my friends who have sent their first child to Kindergarten this week, and I can't lie, there is a part of me that is pretty sad we are missing this experience. I love seeing everyone's pictures and looking at their kids all smiling brightly (and sleepily) with their school clothes on and their backpacks and I think about how much fun it would be to pick out a first day of school outfit for Tot and how much fun she would have in a classroom full of kids her age, and I wonder if I'm doing us both a disservice by homeschooling.

It's not a long wonder, but I do wonder. Would she do better there? Would she have more fun? Would a teacher with an actual teaching degree be better able to help her sound out those tricky diphthongs? Would she make more friends? Would she listen better to a teacher that wasn't also her mom?

I do wonder.

But then I look around.

I've got my laptop open on my kitchen table, a hot cup of coffee at hand, and my Good Morning Yankee Candle burning. Right beside me is Tot, working on her phonics worksheet in her robe and pj's with some massive bedhead going on. She's nibbling on Honeynut Cheerios and writing a little, getting distracted, writing a little more. Gator is napping in the other room and Little David is watching a cartoon. I can reach over and pat Tot's hair, thump her noggin when she gets distracted for too long, and help her out when she needs me.

Here in a second, when she's finished, we're all going to hop on Little David's bed and read a few chapters from Charlotte's Web while snuggling under some blankets.

There are lots of reasons why public school is a great choice, and lots of fun things about it, but this - this - is why I homeschool.




Friday, August 20, 2010

Homeschool Friday: First Day of School


Tot started 1st Grade (ahhh!!) and will be adding Science, History, Geography & Art to her 3 R's this year. She is super stoked about the Art class she's taking, and humors me with history.



***

Little David will be in Preschool for the last year, and will be continuing letter sounds, counting higher and higher, and working on his mad karate chopping skillz.

***

Allie-Gator will be in Baby School. She'll be learning to walk without the promise of a Nilla Wafer, rolling her eyes at me when I sing the ABC's to her and promptly falling asleep when we try to get her to talk.

***

And that, my friends, was our first day of school!



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Stay tuned for next Friday when I talk about our first Field Trip of the year.

I'll give you this - a zebra tried to eat my steering wheel.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bath & Wine Night


So, if you know me but at all, you know I like my rituals.

~ Dave and I have had weekly "Stay At Home Date Night" for over four years - we've never missed, no matter where we are. We even did "On The Phone Date Night" when he was traveling for work so much. We've changed the night from Friday to Thursday to Monday to Saturday - but the "night" has always remained.

~ Our family has had "Donut Day" every Saturday morning for 2 1/2 years. We've missed a handful when we were out of town visiting other people, but not very often. We almost always order the same things, too. I get either a chocolate glazed donut and donut holes, or a Plain Kolache and donut holes. Tot gets a strawberry sprinkled, LD gets a chocolate with sprinkles, Dave gets an Eclair and a Kolache (or a Bear Claw), and Allie noms on leftovers from us all.

These are only two examples, but the point being, I am a girl of routine.

And my routine has been lacking a little something lately, and that something has been Bath & Wine Night.

The last eight weeks or so I was pregnant with Allie, I got the go-ahead from my Dr to enjoy a glass of wine a week to help me sleep better and relax. Now, first off, I don't really like wine. Second, I am the world's worst drinker. The smallest amount makes me go all red-faced and sleepy. I wasn't always like this, but I sure am now. So when the Doctor told me I could have a glass, I was all "Yeah, sure. That'll be happening never." But one night while grocery shopping, Dave decided he wanted a bottle. That night, I decided to take a bath to ease those pregnant pains, and I thought to myself "Self, lots of people talk about drinking a glass of wine and taking a bath. Maybe the bath makes the wine taste better. You should try it."

So I did.

I drew up that bath, loaded it with Epsom salts (my aching joints are so fancy), lit a few candles, poured myself a glass and hopped (hmmm...carefully lumbered is probably a better term) on in.

It. Was. Awesome.

I don't know if the bath really does make the wine taste better, if it's the Epsom salt air or something, but lawsy mercy the wine was delicious! I drank the whole (4 oz.) glass, something I had literally never done before, and had the best night's sleep I had had since my 2nd month. Glorious.

And so, Bath & Wine Night began. Every weekend Dave and I would pick out a new bottle of wine, and every Monday night we'd have dinner, put the kids to bed, watch a little TV and then pop that bottle and Dave would watch man shows and I'd go have a bath.

Doesn't that just sound lovely? Because it truly is.

After Allie was born, it was much harder to have Bath & Wine night. Mostly because I was nursing all the time, but also because I just stopped making the time for it.

But no more.

Tonight, it's on like Donkey Kong.

I've got my bottle of Gnarly Head Merlot (nothing but the best here folks), some bath salts and a mud face mask (oohlala) and a stack of good books. It will be legendary.

And SO part of my week from now on.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Fixed AC Edition


Oh friends, this morning I am just ever so grateful for so many things.

1. First and Foremost - my fixed Air Conditioner. It is nice and cool in my house this morning and I slept like a baby. It was the best nights sleep I've had in almost two weeks.

2. My run this morning. I have been remiss in my running for a couple of weeks and it felt so great to get out this morning. I ran to a park nearby and went around the small lake and ran by the ducks and watched the sunrise as I listened to some rockin' praise music. Soul healing, that's what it is.

3. Yet again, my Keurig. I'm drinking some Butter Toffee Coffee this morning with a splash of Vanilla creamer. It's sitting rather prettily in this nice, heavy cup I got from Anthropologie a few weeks ago and it really does make the whole coffee ritual delightful.

4. My family. I have the best family in the world. Dave's parents let us stay with them while the AC was out for TEN DAYS. Ten days is a long time to have company, even your children. So I am super thankful that they were so gracious and fun to be around. I hated being away from my house, but I'm so glad we got to spend time with them. And not to be forgotten, my Mom is pretty rock star as well and I am SO EXCITED to go visit her and Tim at the end of the month. It will be legendary.

5. My house. It's smallish, oldish, and things break, but like the song says:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Broken AC Edition

Thank you God for....

1. A family to stay with while the AC is out at our house.

2. Enough space for all the kids to be able to rest alone.

3. A cool shower for me, allowing me to wash away the grumpies.

4. A flexible homeschool schedule.

5. Super soft beds and calming fans.

6. Understanding inlaws.

7. Adaptable children.

8. DDP & M&Ms

9. A quiet house.


10. A pal to walk through the ups and downs with.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Homeschool Friday

Field Trip Plans Fall 2010

Here is a list of the places I'd like to get to this Fall. We may or may not get to every one of them, but I'm certainly going to try :). I had wanted to get to some of these this summer, but we got busy diddling around town :). And as always, we are always happy to have company along for any of these adventures!


August:

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
* Visited 8/19 - SUPER fun and will definitely go back!
Mayborn Museum & Homestead Heritage Farm (Waco)
* Visited 8/27 - Missed going to the Museum, but had a GREAT time at Homestead Heritage. The kids loved seeing the animals and eating homemade ice cream :)

September

The HEARD Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Henrietta Creek Orchard (Apple Picking)
* Missed - BOO. Low apple turnout due to weather, irregular hours, and a pretty grumpy owner made me decide to give this trip a pass. We'll try going somewhere else!

October

Fort Worth Nature Reserve
Palo Duro Canyon

November

Fort Worth Museum of Science & History (Planetarium?)

December

Dallas World Aquarium





Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Birthday Edition


Happy Birthday, Dave!!!


Well, today is my best Pal's birthday. 31st, to be exact. Happy Birthday, DDawggg. Love you most as toast and I like your beard :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Colorado Vacation (aka The Pictures Only Family Really Wants To See)

Our trip to Colorado in pictures - because I'm too lazy to blog about it :)

Hanging out with Family:


(It is now required that we take this picture everywhere we go.)




Cave of the Winds:









Driving up Pike's Peak:






Fireworks with Family:






Capulin Volcano:







And much fun was had by all!