Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

This is my friend Elizabeth!  Isn't she cute?  Today is her birthday!

Happy Birthday Elizabeth! 

On my Birthday she wrote this beautiful post that made me laugh and cry...in response to that all I can say is, pay back is sweet dear one...

My friend Elizabeth and I kind of grew up together until she had to move away and then I felt sad and broken.  Elizabeth and I dated a lot of the same guys in junior high and high school.  I guess I picked up her left-overs :).  She was always the cool friend that always seemed to have it all together...I wanted to be like her...which isn't why I dated those guys btw, those are just two facts. 

I feel so blessed to now be able to be friends with Elizabeth through Facebook and emails.  Her and I became stay-at-home Mommies about the same time.  I've got to admit that when I left work it was really hard.  And scary.  It was so wonderful to be able to write back and forth about trusting in the Lord concerning finances, children's health issues, and attitudes.  It's nice to have someone in the same boat.  It was nice to have a sounding board whom I knew was there. 

Elizabeth has been through a lot and she faces everything with strength and dignity.  I am so proud to call her a friend and a Sister in Christ!  She leads me through her example of grace and faith.  I am sure that today on her Birthday and every day her children rise up and call her blessed and her Husband gives her praise. 

Happy Birthay dear, sweet friend. I'm thankful for you always inspiring me to be a better person.    I love you and am so blessed to have you in my life...still!
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Well here we are, on the other side of Halloween! 

Hope you all had a great time!  I know our kiddos did.  My parents came over and went trick or treating with us in our neighborhood.  Living in a historic district it is so much fun to go to the old houses and beg for candy.  Half way through our jaunt my mom said "it's like we're on a movie set!"  and it really does feel that way.  You could be trick or treating in the 1950's and it would be the same. 

This year I dressed the kids as Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski from the famed show Saved by the Bell that aired in the 80's and 90's.  How cute are they? 

 Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba...Bayside!



 He heart's big phones :)

 Emma was cool being a cheerleader but Cal had no idea who he was supposed to be.  So half way through I told him his phone shoots lasers at people...so here he is shooting everyone and everything...then he liked it. 
And just so you don't think I am a horrible mother, I did let them dress up how they wanted.  Here are is our little Tinker Bell and our little Spiderman.  Halloween was about the 3rd time we had dressed up so I thought it was okay to have two different sets of costumes this year..we may do it every year just to make each time different and special rather than "okay you know the drill, costume back on!" 

Hope you all had a great time with your little ones!  We now have a bowl full of candy on the counter which is very tempting :)
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bleary Weather, Part 3

Okay where was I? 

Oh yeah he gave me a necklace and it had a ring on the chain.

Well maybe it's because I'm an idiot.  I think it's because I was so worn by the emotional rollercoaster that my mind could no longer wrap itself around the fact that he was proposing.  But it's probably because I'm an idiot.  Whatever the reason, my dumb self actually thought that someone had sold this necklace to the antique store in the box with the ring on the chain and hidden...

see?  You think I'm an idiot now too. 

Whatever the reason I actually told Nick, "oh someone left their ring on the necklace!" 

As I asked Nick what he thought just now he told me he was thinking seriously?  Do you really not get what is going on here? I'm assuming he was probably second guessing his proposal at that moment. 

I finally grasped what was going on when he got down on his knee. 

Nick (as he describes himself) isn't one with the words, so he said "Lindsay Ann I love you, will you marry me?"  Short and sweet.  He said it was wet and cold on his leg.  Wimp. 

Of course I said yes and honestly I have barely any remembrance of this moment.  I just remember the smooching and hugging and a really, really big smile on my face.  Huge. 

If you haven't read my blog for very long, I wrote about my ring a LONG time ago.  If you want to read all about it you can click here. 

After we got back in the car and bathed in the heat (oh my word I couldn't feel my toes!)  we called his mom.  His sister was living at home then and they were waiting by the phone...I thought that was so cute that he had filled them in on that he was proposing.  He's so cute.  We called my family.

After we left Minnetrista we went to the super market and got Raspberry Sorbert...for the life of me I have no idea why.  I asked him what he would have done if I'd said no.  He said "You wouldn't have said no.  It's funny you ask though because the guys in studio (Architecture Class) asked me the same thing and I told them 'I'll punch her in the face and leave' ".  Nice, real nice. 

Then he took me home.  It was a wonderful evening.  Full of adventure and excitement and memories.  We laughed, we cried.  I was pissed, I was joyous...it was wonderful. 

Then the next day I rolled out of bed ready to plan the wedding... 

Well that concludes the engagement story.  If any of you yokels want to here more I can keep going.  Just let me know if you're interested :)
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bleary Weather, Part 2

...Anyway, I was looking out the window, it was about 10:00 at night by this point when Nick looks at me and says "hey look, it's starting to snow".  It had been just lightly raining but now the first snowflakes of the season were starting to swirl down. 

With my bummer mood, I felt like rolling my eyes and emphatically twirling my finger in the air, accompanied by an emphatic "oh yeah", but I held it together and tried to seem as excited as a Christmas elf. 

We were driving by the entrance to this place called Minnetrista.  We went to Ball State which was founded by the Five Ball Brothers (you know Ball from Ball Canning).  Anyway, Minnetrista was this cultural center where all five of their houses either stood or still stand.  There are trails, and gardens, and some of the houses have been turned into museums.  We always liked going there to walk around or get away from campus and look at the stars...but not in the rain and snow!

Needless to say I was surprised when he pulled in to the entrance and started making his way to the entrance of the head building.  "let's go for a walk" he said. 

uh, what?  First of all, it was late.  And Dark.  And wet.  And cold.  And snowing.  And wet.  And cold. 

I remember he came around to my side of the car and he was standing there waiting for me while I just stood there in the once warm car, staring at him thinking, are you insane?  Is this some type of feats of strength test I have to pass? 

I was still in a little in shock but hustled when I realized he was losing his patience with me.  It was something like "come on, just a short walk.  Just get out of the car...GET OUT OF THE CAR!"  Okay he didn't yell, but I could tell he was on edge about it.  Looking back he was probably freaking out, wondering what he was going to do if I refused to budge.  Looking back I wonder how long I really just sat, staring at him from inside of the car. 


Anyway, we made our way around the main building (they call it the cultural center) to a gazebo we had frequented before. Isn't it pretty?  Anyway, we got JUST inside of the gazebo and Nick says "oh I forgot to give you your Birthday present". 

He opened up this box and inside was this shell necklace I had seen at an antique store.  I had fallen in love with it and he had bought it for me on the spot but that had been about 6 months before and I had completely forgotten it.  He had bought it in it's original box from the jewelry store and everything and it was such a pretty color, but I was so sad...again.  No ring.

He said, here you can put it on.  To which I was thinking "yeah out in the freezing wet cold.  GREAT!". 

He took it out of the box and on the chain I saw there was a ring on it. You know, like you are going to the beach and you don't want to lose your jewelry so you take off your ring and put it on your necklace...like that. 

Well I don't know what the heck I was thinking but...

Ha!  I'm really stretching this out...now you have to wait for part 3!
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bleary Weather

Today is a very cold, blustery, rainy day. 

Days like this always remind me of when Nick proposed. 

Which by the way was the weirdest and most romantic day ever.  I'm sure he doesn't see it like that.  To him everything went wrong, but to me it was perfect, and unique, and so distinctly us. 

Have I ever told you the story of Nick proposing?  If I have, please, go onto someone else's blog and check them out...if not please feel free to read away as I reminisce on when he asked me to marry him. 

Well Nick and I had been dating for almost two years.  We talked about getting married but we were both in college still and I honestly had no idea when he was going to propose.  I was glumly facing the realization that it would probably be after we graduated, which at the time, was still a year and a half away. 

I know a year and a half doesn't seem to be that long of a time period, but you have to understand that between Nick and I we've always had this bond...like we just can't be away from one another.  It was always horrible when we had to be apart.  I can't explain it and if you've ever been in love you know what I mean.  But I just had to be Nick's wife.  There was just this need in my heart, this longing, this ache in my stomache. 

Anyway, my Birthday's at the beginning of November and I turned 21 to the usual fanfare that happens when you turn 21...Nick carried me home and took care of my hung-over self.  He told me he was going to take me out to dinner but then he never got around to it.  He always was coming up with some excuse as to why we couldn't go.

About 4 days before Thanksgiving he randomly said to me "we have to go out for your birthday!  Let's go tomorrow night".  Right away my curiousity was piqued as Nick is about the most laid back guy ever in the world to live.  He always leaves me to fret over details and times and dates.  It was just so out of character for him to plan something and say an exact time.  I knew SOMETHING was up. 

He took me to this restaurant which was the nicest restaurant in our little po-dunk collegy town. I mean seriously it was probably about the only place that had cloth tableclothes and it was so, so expensive.  I remember being so worried about him having to pay for our meal!  I mean, the poor guy was just a college student. 

Anyway, I waited all through dinner for him to pull out a ring...I was biting everything really carefully so as not to choke on a cleverly hid ring.  I mean, it was classic television sitcom at our table.  But alas there was no choking or hiding or asking or saying yes.  There was just us having a meal...a really fancy meal where I had to get really dressed up and he was in a suit...for apparently just my birthday which had been 19 days before. 

On the way home I was so bummed I found myself fighting back the tears.  I was angry with myself for setting myself up for this kind of dissapointment.  And that's when he looked at me and said...

Hahaha! You'll have to wait for part 2!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekend Amazingness

Well this past weekend I can't say that we did anything spectacular.  Except one thing...

we got to love on Nick! 

Friday was the start of a three day weekend for him and we had so much fun with him!  It was his first day off in a month...no weekends off, and he's gone about 15 hours a day so when he does get home there's not much time for him to do much of anything other than eat dinner, shower, and go to bed. 

It was wonderful having our family all back together.  And kind of funny.  Nick hasn't been around so much that he kept trying to get the kids down for a nap (who don't take naps anymore), sending the kids up to their rooms with toys that we now keep downstairs, and trying to get them to watch programs we don't watch.  So funny.  I can't imagine what it would be like having a husband deployed or something...

We visited a lot of amish, went on a field trip, went to church, our zoo's halloween festivities, carved pumpkins, and laughed a lot. 

It was so wonderful.  We are so blessed.  Nick Sunday at dinner told us thank you for such a great weekend. 

But it's us that should be telling him Thank You. 

I'm sure there are so many guys who wouldn't be home on their first days off.

They'd be at the golf course.
Or a buddy's house.
Or a bar. 

But not Nick.  Nope.  He has no where else he'd rather be than at home with us.  With our messes and our tantrums, our loud playing, and our sword fights. 

And that to me, is amazing. 


Sidenote: I have pictures somewhere on my camera...goal today is to find camera :)
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finding Things in the Oddest Places

Nick and I have started our Christmas shopping.  I always have this dream that I will find the neatest, coolest gifts for everyone.  But it is hard to do when you start shopping after Thanksgiving.  By then all of the shelves have been cleared of the neat and unique and are instead filled with mass amounts of products, all the same. 

Don't get me wrong I buy those gifts too!  But it's always nice to find something that you think "hey that's neat!"  or "so and so would LOVE this!" 

Anyway, we went shopping last night for the kiddos at TJ Maxx.  Sometimes they have Thomas the Train stuff for super cheap and they always have characters that are hard to find/discontinued. 

Well last night I could have gone to just the toy section and then bolted but Nick and I looked around.  TJ Maxx isn't usually where I buy coffee but I spotted in their gourmet foods section a 40 oz. bag of Starbucks French Roast coffee.  Yum! 

I was a little skeptical thinking it must be expired or something but it wasn't...the date was still way beyond and the beans were still vacuum packed in their delicious little bag. 

Well the thing about this bag was, it was only $16.99!  And according to my old fashioned kind of math, that makes it only $6.80 per pound!  Which is a great deal for Starbucks!  So we bought it and then we went to the grocery store where I noticed that Starbucks there was $9.79 a pound. 

So I scored! 

So the moral of the story here is don't limit yourself to what you buy in certain stores.  Keep an open mind and your eyes wide open for bargains.  Evidently you never know what you'll stumble upon! 
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

These Tentacles are Tantalizing!

Do you like our lunch?  This is one of the most asked for lunches in our house...by the kids anyway.  Nick and I aren't that big of a fan! 

Isn't the little guy cute? 

Here's what it is...all you do is take a hot dog and about 3/4 of the way up you cut slits.  Microwave for about 45 seconds and his legs spread apart and kind of curl up...I cut little eyes and a smile into him too before nuking him to a firey death!  hahahaha...but if your kids aren't afraid of things called condiments you could give him a ketchupy smile or a little olive hat...the possibilities are endless. 

He then sits on macaroni with some goldfish crackers scattered on top for some sea-like ambiance and voila!  Lunch is served! 

Thought I'd share this because sometimes lunch with kids gets a little blah...at least it does here. 

Today's mac and cheese!
Soup!
Grilled Cheese
Peanut butter!
Chicken nuggets!

That's really about all I have in my arsenal for things the kids will eat for lunch. 

For dinner they have to eat whatever I make!  But for lunch it's a whole different game. 

Hope your little ones like the octopus-macaroni special :)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Tuesday!!!!

Greetings on this cold blustery Autumn Tuesday morning! 

I am hopeful starting this day as yesterday unfurled a heaping of chaos on me that I would otherwise like to ignore, thank you very much! 

I woke up with Nicholas at the appointed 4:08 a.m. as always, only so did two little children as well. 
Emma's been so upset that Nick's been working more, the poor dear crys every morning he leaves and begs him not to go: heartbreaking for us all. 

Cal likes to wet the bed, or say he wet the bed to come sleep in our bed. 

Well after Nick left for work the babies just seemed to need some snuggling so we all piled back into my bed and slept.  It was heavenly!!!!  I thought, I'll just sleep with them for half an hour and then sneak out of here and do my devotions...

Well we all woke up at 7:50.  10 minutes before we start school.  Ugh. 

I was already beating myself up...I didn't have everything printed out that I needed for school that day so I was already running behind before my toes even touched the hardwood. 

I think I was in the bathroom when Cal asked through the door: "Are we going anywhere today?"

Speech therapy later!  I yelled back (you know, yelling due to the door).  And then I had one of those moments....

Blind panic. 

You know the ones.  Where you suddenly realize...

You have a doctor's appointment this morning! 

Aahhhh!

Needless to say we threw on clothes, downed some breakfast and shot out the door. 

It could have been a lot worse but I still felt frazzled and guilty and upset with myself at putting us in this position of hurried chaos.  The dear ones didn't deserve their week starting out like that.  And I hate the days when Emma's doing her schoolwork all throughout the day...

Here, do this worksheet.  Okay let's go.  Now I'll read to you.  Let's go.  Now you read to me. We've gotta go...

The peaceful part was that after school ended (at 2:30 in the afternoon! We usually are done by 11) the children had naptime, Nick came home, and then we took the kids to my parents'.  They took the kids to a pumpkin patch and they had a great time!  Nick and I went out to eat and then shopping for Christmas gifts and groceries.  It was really nice to steal some time away with him after the harried day we had and I'm sure the kids appreciated some time away from their insane mother!

Here are some pictures I took Sunday...

The kiddos and dog running around the yard.  Aren't they cute?  You can see our grass is dying.  :(  Our grass company has stuff on it that's supposed to make it pop up come spring...apparently it's dormant?  Anyway, I love the Kazoo's outfit :)
 And they are off!  Leaving Mommy in the dust. Lately Mommy's been the dragon or the bad guy or whatever in their playing...apparently I am not wanted!  On a side note, do you like how our mailbox is leaning?  That's what happens when you find your son HANGING on it.  I'm glad it didn't fall on him.  And yes, I need to clean out my flower beds
I leave you with this picture because it is so my life...here's my fall mum!....and a boot.  One random boot, abandoned and lonely...wondering, with the lady of the house, why on earth it is outside in the first place... I'm cherishing these moments.  Someday the dust will settle, our house will be as quiet as a tomb and I'll wish the children were little again to leave me random boots to collect up...

Happy Tuesday All!
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

What I've Been Looking At

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Cake

I ran across this recipe for bars/cake and am planning on making them tonight.  They look super yummy!

I am soooo in love with Pinterest!  Have you ever heard of it?  If so, then good for you.  And if not then you should really look into it.  It is amazing!  A screen shot of my computer is above so you can check it out.  You can click on it to make the picture bigger.  But basically pinterest has "bulletin boards" that you can "pin" posts and websites you like to help you remember things.  Pinterest has helped me to discover so many new projects and so many no-brainer ideas for everyday things that are just so clever and I never, ever, ever would have thought of them on my own!  There really are so many smart, clever mommy's out there in the web world. 
*Just a disclaimer, every time I type clever I type it as cleaver and have to change it...is that weird?

Anyway, here are some things I've discovered on pinterest...
Bakerella's adorable snowmen are a bottle of milk with a donut hole...how cute!

This mom makes paint cups with Starbucks lidded cups...so smart!
There are a million ideas...tons of things that have been "pinned" onto friends' boards come up when you first open up the page or you can search for whatever you are thinking of.  I've searched for ideas for our mantle for Christmas, family photo poses for our Christmas Cards, and new tutorials for bows.

Anyway, hope you all are having a great weekend! 

Yesterday the kids and I walked to the park where we fed the ducks and played...it was a very crisp, clear Autumn day and we had a lot of fun.  It's days like these that I cherish and love! 
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whew!

Yesterday was one of the busiest days of our school year so far. 

It started Tuesday evening when my alleged "mentor" in the Girl Scouts organization suggested we meet together for a picnic. 

No big deal. I can pack a picnic.  I know where the park is.  It's fine...

Until I woke up in a cold sweat, realizing that we were out of bread. 

Then Nick couldn't wake me up so I wasn't up to give him the bag of library books to return...

If you haven't caught on to my complaining about this, when I don't wake up with Nick I don't wake up...it's horrible.  I have no idea why/how I turn off the alarm in my sleep. 

Anywho, so what happened was that apparently the children and I were VERY tired and we all slept in until 8:30...that's right folks, 8:30. 

I don't think I've slept in to 8:30 since before we had Emma. 

Oh, and by the way...we usually start school at 8...geesh we were running late.

So I got the kiddos up, dressed, ready, fed, and then we left for the library, the store, and then to the Girl Scouts office to visit their little store thing-y for supplies.

By the time we got home I had 20 minutes to pack our picnic before we had to leave for the park...and in case you haven't noticed in this story we had not done any schooling yet. 

So we went to the park, did all of that, and then we came home.  We did school FINALLY in the afternoon, didn't get it all done, then came down had made dinner. 

After that it was back to the library and then to the vitamin shop. 

Anyway, it was just kind of a harried day but it pales in comparison to how busy today will be...

Preschool, homeschooling, home, lunch, dentist appointment, library, home, change, gymnastics lessons, home, make dinner, walk dog, and then fall on the couch and die. 

In good news though I was supposed to have a girl scouts meeting at my house tomorrow but due to not enough people coming we are rescheduling...so I don't have to get the house guests-I-have-never-met-in-my-life-before-clean.  Praise the Lord! 

A word about Girl Scouts: we signed up and then found out that there isn't a group for Emma to join because no leaders have come forward.  So here I am being a leader.  I am finding that my Mentor lady eats/sleeps/breathes for Girl Scouts and lets be honest, that's just not me.  I'm doing the best I can to be on board with everything and I don't know how these other troop leaders do it but I just don't have the time to skip off every weekend for some "leadership training summit" in which you have to be staying overnight...nope, not gonna do it.  

So there it is, I've been a little busy and am really looking forward to putting these days behind me.  :)
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Welcome to the Gun Show

How cute is this picture? 
This is my husband in case you are just tuning in. Not some random man I'm taking pictures of in the middle of an electrical field apparently. 
We were at the pumpkin patch. 
His name is Nick. 
He likes to do funny things when I try to take his picture. 
He's hot. 
And now we're caught up. 

My husband has been working tirelessly every.single.day.  for the past three weeks.  He puts in at least 12 hours, usually more.  Then drives his 45 minute drive back home.  He doesn't complain.  He doesn't get mad.  He's perfect. 

But there's me back home complaining becuase he's gone.  Because it's every day.  I know it's not his fault.   I know that he would rather be home with us. 

I love him so much and he is such a great guy.  Thursday when I came down with what was obviously the plague, he just put me in bed.  He took care of everything. 

This weekend at the market we were checking out and I spied Macaroons in the cart.  "I didn't know you liked macaroons!" I exclaimed. 

"I don't.  But you do." He said.  Swoon :)

My husband has never been a romantic man.  Sometimes that bothers me more than other times.  It's something I work on.  It's something he works on.  Once he gave me a watch, a beautiful expensive watch.  We were broke.  He forgot wrapping paper and proceeded to dump out a box of tampons and give it to me in the tampon box...unwrapped.  This is a true story folks, you can't make crap like this up. 

Anyway, back to now...he doesn't plan these elaborate things but he's always there to tuck me in bed, take my earrings out when I'm too sleepy, he comes home with a bottle of wine, he sticks macaroons in the cart. 

I love him so much and I am so thankful for him.  And I'm thankful that I'm the only one who gets to go to his gun show :)
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Little Pumpkins

As mentioned in my previous post, Emma and I have been sick.   Well yesterday (Saturday) I was still sick but I was determined to not spoil our plans.  Nick took the day off and we had so much planned I was a little worried about getting it all done and having it still be a fun day.  I mean, at what point does running errands on a beautiful Fall day stop being fun and simply become checking things off of your list of "to-dos"?

Well I shouldn't have worried because we had such a wonderful time together!  We started the day super early...we were out the door without any breakfast.  We stopped at this Italian bakery in our neighoborhood for doughnuts and coffee and then made the drive to a tiny town south of us that has a great butcher.

Since we were down there we made a drive to Nick's hometown to another store with great cheeses and bulk baking items.  We stocked up on things we need.  I love the fact that we live in a metropolis area but can drive 10 minutes in any direction and be in the country.   LOVE that.  I also love that we live so close to the Amish folks and can take advantage of their wonderful baked goods, produce, and meats. 

Anyway, we FLEW home, changed clothes and then it was off to a fashion show Emma was a model in.  After that it was time for some shopping, lunch out, a trip to a Nursey for mums (I heart Mums so much!), and then onto Pumpkin Picking!

While Pumpkin picking we had a great time but it was so weird!  It was 82 degrees out...Nick was in Birkenstocks for crying out loud!  Usually we're wearing gloves!  It was a weird day, and while picking pumpkins we had a Stealth Bomber circling overhead for the football game going on.  It was kind of weird but neat all at the same time!  :)
If you'll remember apple picking pictures the children were enamored by the wagon and as you can see here, they still love the wagon!  Apparently they have a system where Emma pulls, Cal pushes.  They fell into their positions quickly. 


 Emma found her pumpkin quickly and how cute is she?  I just love her to death!
 Here's Cal's...his isn't that heavy but he just could not figure out how to hold it...Nick's teaching him how.  Cute!
 These little pumpkins made Emma's day...she thought they were sooo cute!  They were 3/$1 so Nick told them each to pick 3.  Well Emma did quickly and Cal only had one.  He kept saying "I only have one" so Nick kept trying to help him pick 2 more out.  Finally Cal declared "I only have one because I only need one!"  Oh!  Now we get it.  I love that Cal doesn't like excess.  And sometimes he's confusing but when he let's us into how his minds working and what he's thinking it makes so much sense to us.  Nick just said "okay, that's cool" and we were done.  It's times like those that I love when he tells us what's going on in his mind. 
Here's our shopping trip.  I got pumpkins to stack so I'll have to take a picture of that when I'm done. 

So that was our day yesterday!  We came home, made dinner of burgers, brats, green beans, and pierogis, ate dinner, and collectively crashed on the couch to watch Gnomeo and Juliet.  It was a full day.  It was a gorgeous day.  It was a wondrful day. 

Happy Lord's Day! 
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Well here I am.  What weird days these have been. 

Yesterday I was doing some work on the computer during naptime and went downstairs to check on the children.  I figured I would finish up my work last night but never made it back to the computer. 

After I checked on the children I felt kind of tired so I laid down on the couch and took a short nap.  When I awoke I felt suddenly miserable...chills, achey and my head felt like a rock...I couldn't even lift it up.  I was dizzy and weird. 

When Nick called to say he was on his way home I could barely get the phone.  I have such an amazing husband.  He told me to not worry about getting dinner around...just to stay on the couch and he would take care of everything. 

I have such an amazing husband.  I am so blessed.  When he came home he got me into bed and then made the children dinner and played with them all night.  I was sleeping but apparently he sent the children upstairs to get their pajamas on...that's when Cal thought it a good idea to try to climb his dresser.  

It fell over on him...not good. 

Thank the Lord he is okay.  He has a little bruise but other than that it is okay.  Which is amazing as Nick said that the whole dresser was on him and his leg was pinned in a drawer. 

About 1:45 in the morning I woke up and felt so much better.  I woke up Nick who confirmed that yes I didn't feel like I was going to catch anything on fire anymore...praise the Lord my fever had broken! 

I woke up and felt better (not 100% but maybe about 57%?), got Cal to bed and Emma and I got back on the couch to watch some Kit Kitteredge.  Did I mention Emma?  Last night she started saying her head was feeling "swimmy"...she had a little bit of a fever but not too bad.  When I checked on her last night in her sleep I knew she felt bad because she looked horrible! 

This morning she couldn't get her head off the pillow it was so "swimmy" as she put it! 

I've given her some Motrin and now she's starting to feel better.  We are both on the upswing but decided that movies are the way to feel better. 

Nick's Mom picked up Cal from preschool so we could rest and he will be spending the afternoon over there...I'm hoping that that will give us a chance to recoop and it will help keep him away from us sickies. 

So there are our days.  I hope to be feeling better tomorrow so I can get back on my feet and get things in this house around...it is very apparent that Daddy's were not meant to run households!
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte


Thanks, MomAdvice!


I would like to introduce you to the website of Mom Advice!  Mom Advice is Amy Clark's blog and while I've never met her (I saw her in Target once!), I consider her a friend.  Yep, that makes me sound like a weirdo stalker but I'm not I promise! 

I just consider Amy a friend because 1) we share a butt load of friends, 2) we live super close to one another (again, not a stalker, promise!), and 3) I've been reading her blog since the day when she was journaling about their journey out of debt long ago. 

Anywho, Amy does this crazy awesome thing in which she gets super high on caffeine in the process of copy-cating Starbucks' coffee specials.  The one she has put together this time is the Salted Caramel Mocha Latte.

The kids were good today, I managed to get out of bed at the correct time (it's the little things, right?) and so I thought I would treat myself so I followed her recipe jobby and made this. 

One word...amazing!!! 

The only thing I didn't have though was Caramel Syrup but I did have some weird Caramel Cinnamon (or Vanilla?) creamer so I used that.  I was a happy camper. 

Here is my reasoning for making these at home: I don't have the luxury of having a Starbucks right down the street...close it is, but I just hate schlepping the kids out to get myself a coffee.  Also the last Starbucks coffee I had was horrible!!!  I can't even tell you how bad it was.  Bleh.  Thirdly, I always feel bad buying coffee.  It's 5.08 for the pumpkin spick dealy and I don't make the money around here so I always just feel bad.  Sometimes I even call Nick and ask permission in which he acts like I'm this huge waste of space and time and tells me, yes for God's Sake just get the stupid drink. 

Okay then.

So now I can make them at home and everything will be right in the world.  Birds are singing, angels are all aflutter.  Ah, it's a beautiful thing. 

So click on one of the many links I've snuck in here to get the recipe yourself or click here to get it.  Just know that I couldn't get the exact recipe's link to work so if this doesn't take you to it just explore her blog until you find it.  It will be worth your time! 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Check out the Outfit

Sorry I didn't post anything yesterday...we had a crazy busy day.  We went to this thing in our area called "Homeschool Hangout".  I HATE meeting new people sometimes and I was super nervous for some reason.  But I met some really great moms and the kids played with a lot of wonderful children...win, win for everyone! 

We also had a super late start yesterday.  When Nick goes to work I try to get up at 4 in the a.m. with him to get things done around the house and feel a little organized before the house is all a'whirl.  Well I was REALLY tired and decided to go back to bed for a few minutes.  I set the alarm for 5 and buried myself in the covers.  I woke up at 8 with my hand hanging over the bed and the alarm clock turned off...fail.  I hate when I turn off the alarm in my sleep. 

So we didn't get up and around until 9:30....it still feels like we are still trying to catch up after starting so late.  Ugh.  Yesterday was one of those crazy busy days where you don't know what you are in fact so busy with but you find yourself having a panic attack before your feet even hit the floor...ever have one of those days?

Well enough about yesterday...what's in the past is just that.  I'm learning from it and moving on.  Let's just say yesterday and I had a huge fight and broke up...

Today however is good.  Great!  Woke up at 4!
Worked out!
I was dressed and had eaten breakfast before the children awoke!
We got homeschooling done!!! 
It was pretty great!  Except for one thing...
Do you see this outfit?  Just so you know, that's a long sleeved polo shirt on backwards and underneath his undershirt...fancy right?  I asked him if he was comfortable, to which he said yes...so we've left it.  I didn't have the heart to change the way he thought it should go.  And just so you know we haven't left our little home (well we rode bikes and played in the neighborhood but you know what I mean!).  If we had gone somewhere we would have changed it. 
Here's Emma...she's wearing a little glove eraser that she likes...we are learning days of the week so the ka-jigger (technical term) behind her is a dry erase board that we write the days of the week on.  I think we are almost done learning them...hooray!!! 

I was super proud too that they know the pledge of allegiance (and actually SAY the right words!!!).  We are learning fractions now and compound words, spelling, we are reading Heracles, and learning about Ancient Egypt.  Tomorrow we start learning about dogs. 

So that's all that's going on here in our little Manor.  Hope you all are doing well! 
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Homeschooling About Dogs


Thank you Homeschool Creations for your genius printables!


As I mentioned in a previous post regarding homeschooling, we are studying animals right now for Science.  One animal a week.  We study it, we research, we learn the scientific name, what species it is, we go to the zoo, pet shop, living room and observe it.  We are that animal. 

This next week coming up we are studying dogs. 

 Who let the dogs out?  Who? Who? Who? Who? Who?


That may be one too many whos...


Posts like this come when children wake up at 3:45, refusing to go back to bed. 


Where was I?  Oh yeah dogs. 


So anyway, I found this amazing set of printables for our dog section.  There is math, writing, everything in there...I like to be coordinated on dog days so everything is dogs, dogs, dogs. 

Some of this stuff is a little young for Emma, which actually works out perfectly for me because then Cal has something to do while Em is working on spelling, or math, or literature. 

I've said this before and I'll say it again...you do not have to be homeschooling to use this stuff!  So much of this stuff if just plain fun!  Clip out the letters and start using them with your babies.  Use the "follow the lines" for little guys starting to use those cute, fat crayons.  The opportunities are endless.  Endless, Jerry, Endless! 

Speaking of  dogs, I wonder where Lucy is?  I guess I'd better track her down...she's probably hiding from the chaos that started four hours earlier this morning!
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Tour of Our Autumn Loveliness

Thank you readers for keeping me accountable and on track with the whole idea of decorating.  Yesterday afternoon I was lounging around the house during naptime, trying not to fall asleep and wondering what house work I could do that would not disturb the children when I suddenly remembered decorating...I had told ya'll I would finish decorating and post pictures. 

So away I went.  In fact I was still at it when Emma came down from quiet time, so she was thrilled to help as well.  Here are some of the decorations...
 It's all about simplicity here.  I filled a bowl full of apples.  I am still so busy with apples, so these few can do a good job of sitting and looking pretty for the time being. 
 This is the newest member of our family.  Do you like?  Our neighbors gave it to us!  Can you believe the rocking awesome neighbors we have?  Nothing like having  neighbors who you feel are like a fill in set of parents and friends all at the same time.  They are such wonderful, wonderful people and we are so blessed by them!  Anyway, I really want to decorate the dern thing but can't come up with anything...any ideas? 
Ah, my little Hallmark sign and some pumpkins.  The sign sits on the buffet which is the perfect size for a five year old to add some pumpkin candles!

 Alright I left out the best part of this picture...the tv right above the cut off.  Here is my mantle this year/so far/I give up.  It's lame.  Emma added leaves.  Which are dead.  D.E.A.D. But she REALLY wanted to add them.  I want height, flare, pizazz, but again, ginormous television about it kind of prevents from having huge cornucopias or anything...I'm still working on this.  I think I may have to go shopping for some inspiration! Do they sell inspiration?
Here's the center of my mantle, again...LAME!!!  I'm working on it.  This is by no means the finished product.  I'm just going to keep telling myself that. 
 Here is my centerpiece on the dining room table.  Simple.  Is this lame that I used a wreath as a candle ring?  Let's call it inventive!
Giant candle...I have fun with thing adding things in around the candle...candies, sand, shells, it goes on and on.  This sits in a window between the blue room and the fireplace alcove in our living room, which I realize makes absolutely no sense if you've never been to our house and perfect sense if you have.  One of my best friends, Elizabeth, who has in fact never been to my home (hi!!!!) said she really wants to see it because she has this idea of what it is...so come on up!!!  We'll go shopping!!! 

Anyway I have a HORRIBLE confession to make to you...I had to scrape, scrape!, conversation hearts out of the bottom of this thing to get the pinecones and pumpkins in.  Yep, you heard it here first folks, I had left that thing sit since Valentine's Day with the same thing in it.  And do you know what the mortifying thing is?  It's in the center of our home. Not tucked away in storage or anything, nope, right there for God and everyone to see that I am some kind of moron who got used to looking at the gross nasty candy.  But that will just be our little secret so, shhhhh!
Here is the mirror in our entry way.  Hi mirror!  That's the top of my twinkly light tree in case you are wondering there on the right. 

 Here's my front door wreath.  Kind of proud of this thing because there's a story behind it.  My Grandma (whom I love dearly) makes wreathes, bless her heart.  Well since I had a purple bedroom when I was, oh about six years old, every wreath I get has purple roses.  Big, plump, lacivious looking roses.

Well anywho when we moved back home from Indianapolis she wanted to make me a wreath for my door.  I summoned all the courage in the world to tell her I had a different idea for a wreath...one with Fall colors since we moved in in September, and I gave her a picture of one like this. 

And she made it for me.  As far as I know I'm one of the only people to ever get a wreath with no flowers on it.  She thought it was ugly but said if that's what I want she'll make it.  I think it's just grand. 
And finally here's my pilgrim lady on the foyer table.  Hi pilgrim lady!  Her hat makes her look like a WWII nurse, but that's totally beside the point...and if you look REALLY  close you'll see that she has boots accompanying her at the bottom. 

So there's my tour...whew! I'm pooped...see yourselves out will ya?  :)
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Friday, September 30, 2011

My Planner

Those who know me know that I am a very organized person...sometimes no where else but in my head, but nevertheless, I like to at least feel organized. 

I have always had a planner.  The school I went to believed in planners and supplied us with at the beginning of every school year.  I cannot tell you the joy I felt when I received that new planner every year.  It was such a thrill to have a new one to fill in with my orderly duties pertaining to homework. 

And as I have grown so has my love of all things planners.  When I was a business girl I had the ones that matched my outfits that I could put a notebook into...you know, the big honkin' ones. 

The past few years Nick has been getting these lovely leather bound planners with the beautiful gold trimmed pages and satin ribbon placeholder.  He always writes something wildly spectacular in them at the front and then I have that to look at all through the year. 

I still have that planner and love it with all of my heart.  But for Mother's Day, Nick's cousin Jodee got me the planner you are about to see below and I love it!  It was such a breath of fresh air...which incidentally describes Jodee as well.  I love her and love being around her...she's such a godly woman who I take such joy in being around...hi Jodee!  Hi! 

Anyway back to my planner explanation...

It isn't my poor old planner's fault but I was so used to the design and layout that my eyes were just running over it and not reading  anything.  Does that may sense at all?  I would write "Nick's Birthday"  and then realize as I was writing "Nick's Birthday" under it that I had already written it.  My eyes were just skipping over everything because it all looked the same to me.  (Reading this sounds like I am totally lame, but I just.can't.delete.)


Here are some things I like about my new planner:
The days are side by side and I can look at the whole week in one glance.  The top portion is for my schedule and then you can write in everyone else's schedules.  Since we don't have enough kiddos to take up all of the spaces I have a row for "Lucy/Roscoe" (flea treatment, heart worm pills, vet appointments), and "$" (bills coming due, when Nick's paid to remember to check the bank and make sure everything's correct). 

I am one of those people that if I don't write something down I perpetually think about it.  Over and over and over and over.  It's pretty maddening.  But if I write it down it just kind of, poof, goes out of my head and I know I don't need to try to remember it anymore. 
Here's the cover of my planner.  By default, it has to be pink...of course.  Boy howdy does Jodee know me :)
Jodee was sooo excted to show me the best part of the planner...stickers!!!  There are oodles for all of the fun activities the kids do.  I just love them! 
I stick my schedule in the front of the planner.  This is my daily cleaning schedule, just so ya know.  This is how I keep myself sane and tidy. 
This one's blurry but in the back there are 3 prooferated lists per sheet that are for shopping lists...I have a perpetual shopping list going at all times.  Again, so I can get it out of my mind, onto paper, and just forget about it. 
A card holer on the back.  I haven't put a card in there yet but when someone gives you one when you are out and about it's nice to have somewhere to put them. 
I swear I tried to flip this picture 18,000 times and it still looks like this!  But anyway, this is on the cover of the planner and it helps keep me grounded.  And whose time this really is.  I can try to plan as much as I want, but ultimately He's in charge of this life. 

If you like my planner you can click here to order your own.  No one's paying me to say this...I just like the dern thing. 

Whatever you use, just remember to get organized and stay organized.  An organized mom makes for an organized home and an organized home is a peaceful, happy home. 
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Breakfast Smoothie

I love Fruit Smoothies for breakfast.  They are the ultimate go-to meal for moms.  Quick and easy to make they pack a punch of vitamins, protein, and nourishment...all in a smoothie that can be taken anywhere. 

I try to make a fruit smoothie every day.  Sometimes I just get too busy, but on the mornings I can actually REMEMBER to make the silly thing, the smoothie always seems to make my day go "smoother". 

Really, I'm horrible. 

If you're new to Smoothie's they are so super easy to make.  Here's my recipe/combo for a smoothie:
1 cup of orange juice
1 banana
1 cup of blueberries (or strawberries, raspberries, anything)
1 6 oz. carton light yogurt

Just thrown into blender and blend.  Easy peasy! 

Some of my notes are:
I think the banana and yogurt are musts.  These really help bind it all together and make it creamy. 

I hate light yogurt.  Bleh.  I bought some and hated it but had so much left I had to find something to do with it.  So I used it in this.  And I promise you can't taste the light-ness of it.  Just trust me on this one. 

Sometimes I add powdered flax or kelp...it adds extra nutrients and protein and you really can't taste it.  In that too comes spinach.  If I have spinach on hand I throw some in.  I know it sounds disgusting...that's what I thought too but I PROMISE you can't taste it.  It does give it a funky cool green color though.  Just be warned. 

So there you have it.  Now we can be smoothie buddies and drink our smoothie's together. 

One of the things I love about the smoothie is that it packs so much stuff together.  Seriously, it would take me FOREVER to eat everything on its own.  Yogurt, then 2 servings of fruit, then a glass of orange juice.  With the smoothie I just pour it into a glass and carry it with me through the house as I'm tidying and getting the kiddos ready.  On mornings I take Cal to preschool I just throw it into a travel mug and go.

As Emma says that's Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy :)
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Decorating for Fall

This year I thought I was being pretty good about the decorating.  The week after Labor Day Nick schlepped the bins down for us and Emma and I got to it. 

But as life sometimes does, it got crazy, and for the past few weeks the two bins have been stacked together and the end of the couch, making for some weird collegy concoction of a coffee table. 

Today however I am vowing to get the Fall decorations put out once and for all.  I have so much stuff and a blank mantle right now, so there is no reason to do some decorating, there, if no where else. 

I browsed the internet this morning for some inspiration. Isn't that just the best thing?  So many creative ladies at the simple move of my fingertips...heavenly! 

Some of my favorites are below.  And I am making this promise to you...I will post pictures of my fall decor tomorrow...and it will be around the house, not just in a bin! 
I love the banner...not sure if I have enough creativity in me to make one but I have the "drive" to make it to Hobby Lobby :) 
I am in love with the twinkly lights!  We have twinkly lights for Christmas time outside but I am in love with this...What is that plant?  Wisteria?  Some neighbors down the way have wisteria like that with twinkly lights and I LOVE it!

Nothing is better than big, huge mums inviting you into someone's home. 

Happy Friday ya'll!  Have a great last day of the week!
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