Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thankful Thursday

1. Im thankful for the time i've been getting to spend at home with the kids this summer. We have done a lot of fun things, and I can tell Rachel enjoys the time with me especially-- she likes to ride with me to do simple errands even.

2. I'm thankful for how well this Early Ed class is going! We only have 19 days left! I have a wonderful grade in there so far, and I hope it stays that way. I turned in a big project last night and that hasn't been graded yet.

3. I'm thankful my mom is doing a lot better lately! She had surgery back in March, and has had a hard time getting around for awhile, but things are improving! She and my Dad went out of town for a few days this week, and I hope they have a great time!

4. I'm so thankful for mine and Arnold's spiritual life going SO much better lately! We of course found a new church we love and became members. We both downloaded the YouVersion Bible app and it's awesome. Every night we do a couple devotional together and pray. I also do a mom devotional every morning. We have been Christians for a long time now, but we weren't doing all the things we should have been doing lately, and i'm happy to be back :)\

5. I'm thankful for Walmart grocery pickup!!!!!! Best thing ever invented. I just bought almost 2 weeks worth of groceries online today, didn't have to set foot in the store once, and tomorrow we get to drive up and have it all loaded into our car. Amazing :)

6. I'm thankful for good friends. My friends have really been here for me lately. They have listened to me whine and vent and cry when things didn't go so well. They celebrated my birthday with me and made sure I felt special. And the other day Joanne and I went to the movies to see the Yesterday movie! It is a Beatles-based movie and it was so good! I'm just so happy I have such a great support system in a few amazing girls.. and I hope I can be the same for them!!

7. I am thankful for such a good air conditioning system since it's been in the 90s for days now!! Our new system was installed a few years ago by the company 72 degrees, and while not cheap at ALL.. it has been amazing!! Brooke complains its TOO COLD all the time!!!! haha.

8. I'm thankful that I have a new job opportunity... I have to wait and see if it all works out, but I am hopeful!! I wasn't really looking for a new job yet, I'm enjoying my time with the kids... but something perfect for me showed up the other day and I had to look further into it! I have an interview later this week, and so wish me luck! I would LOVE the job... but trusting that God knows what's best for we will see what happens!! Will update more later!!! :)

Monday, July 8, 2019

Our Summer Bucket List 2019

1. Go swimming  The kids have done this a lot already! Thanks to family and friends.

2. Visit the science center

3. Skating at Skateland

4. Outdoor concert(s)  We already saw one, hope to see more

5. Have a bonfire

6. Make smores

7. Visit Kool Park  The girls visited with a neighbor 

8. Jump at Defy Hickory  We went to celebrate Rachel's birthday

9. Go see Toy Story 4  We went on my birthday! I wanted to see it most, lol!

10. Visit a splash pad

11. Day trip to the mountains 

12. Go to a Crawdads game  Arnold's company night, so we went then

13. Buy and eat a watermelon

14. Go see the new Lion King 

15. Go see fireworks  We saw them in Valdese, missed the ones on the 4th!

16. Back to school shopping

17. Sidewalk chalk art

18. Summer photo shoot with the kids

19. Celebrate all 3 kids' birthdays- Rach's done, Brooke & Caleb's left!

20. Visit Emerald Pointe Water Park! 

21. Visit the library

22. Write in a summer journal

23. Hike at South Mountain Park 

24. Picnic at the park

25. Have friends over for a sleepover

26. Go bowling

27. Binge watch Stranger Things Season 3  It was good! But sad! 

28. Arts & Crafts Day 

29. Make and eat ice cream sundaes  We did this on the 4th!!

30. Visit the Blackberry Festival 

Monday, July 1, 2019

34 Loves for 34 Years!

Last year for my 33rd birthday I did a list of 33 facts about myself.. this year I decided to do a list of 34 things I love.. Who knows what I'll do next  year ;)

1. Curling up and reading a good book

2. Finding a really good deal at the store

3. Getting an unexpected message/text/letter from a friend or family member

4. Holding a newborn baby

5. Decorating for holidays

6. Date nights with hubby

7. Rewatching old episodes of The Office and The Golden Girls

8. Getting the perfect picture, of our family or the kids

9. Really sweet tea with lots of ice

10. Playing with puppies and kittens

11. Thunderstorms in the summertime

12. Girls Night out with my good friends

13. Finding cute stuff with pineapples or owls on it

14. Walking around Barnes and Noble and checking out all the new books

15. Getting into bed the night we change the bed to nice fresh sheets

16. Going to see holiday lights at Christmas time and fireworks at 4th of July

17. Finding and buying a new shirt that fits just right

18. Watching my kids learn something new or get an award

19. Having a clean house and car (on the rare occasions everyone helps out!)

20. Pelican's Snoballs-- especially the pina colada and wild cherry flavors

21. When my brother comes to visit from Florida

22. Looking back through old photo albums

23. Candles and bath products that are pineapple and coconut scented

24. Getting an unexpected compliment

25. Shopping on Amazon and getting my package 2 days later

26. Rocking out at a great concert, at sunset

27. Reading other people's blog and getting a glimpse into their lives

28. Planning and Throwing really fun birthday parties for my kids

29. Pioneer Woman stuff-- anything and everything- give it all to me!!

30. Singing at church on Sunday mornings

31. When mom cooks me soup when Im sick and lasanga on my birthday

32. A really good nap on a Sunday afternoon

33. Surprising someone with the perfect present

34. Day trips to the mountains

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Rachel's 10-Year Interview

***Rachel at Age 10***

Clothes Size- 10/12
Shoe size- 3/4

Going into Grade: 5th
Party theme this year: Narwhals

Favorite Color: purple

Favorite Toy: Baby dolls 

Favorite Animal: panda

Favorite Food: spaghetti 

Favorite Drink: coke/mountain dew

Favorite Snack- popcorn

Favorite Dessert- chocolate milkshake

Favorite Season: summer

Favorite Holiday: christmas

Favorite Restaurant: chick fil a

Favorite Tv Show- haters back off

Favorite Movie: toystory 4

Favorite Book- boxcar children/comfort

Favorite Flower: daisy's

Favorite Thing to do: call my friends

Favorite Thing to do outside: ride bike/swim/go to park

Favorite part of school: math 

Favorite Thing to Wear: shorts and shirts 

Best Friend: Emily 

What are you afraid of? spiders

What do you want to be when you grow up? Teacher

What do you want for Christmas this year? art stuff

What do you want to be for Halloween this year? Not sure yet 

What do you sleep with everynight? Owl Squishmallow

Rachel had her birthday party at Defy this year, a local trampoline park. She invited a few friends, her siblings, and cousins. That place is nice because the kids can jump around and be crazy for an hour, and the adults can just sit on comfy couches and watch!!! :D She had a great time.. everyone there was very nice and our party room host was very helpful. Rachel's party was Narwhal themed. That has been her latest obsession ;) She got a lot of great gifts, and some money which she used later to buy herself some new room decor and accessories that every 10-yr old girl needs, like scrunchies and cool sunglasses ;)

Rachel and her best friend, Emily

Jumping and having fun.. she did NOT last the whole hour!

Brooke wanted a picture with the girls and the employees, lol

Our time in the party room!

Rachel's cake from sam's.. they didn't get the colors like I had imagined, but it was ok.

Arnie and I with our sweet 10 year old!!!!! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Days of May!

It took me quite awhile to take down my easter decor and all my bunnies (Caleb says I have a problem, haha!) but I finally got some spring and summer stuff up! The cute lemonade flag was from Kirklands this year and the flamingos doormat is from Target! My poor hubby was shopping with me the day I was looking for new stuff-- poor thing! ;)

The new church we became members of puts on a mother/daughter lunch at a local country club every year, to celebrate mothers day. When they started talking about buying tickets for it in church one day, I knew I wanted to go. Turns out it was for girls 12 and up since there was a speaker coming I guess, so Brooke just made the cut and thought she was hot stuff! ;) Rachel was a little bummed she couldn't go, but we assured her that her time would come! We took Mom with us and had a great time. They had a brunch spread of fruit, casseroles and yogurts. And they had a few singers from church that sang some songs that were mother/daughter themed. Tears were just flowing down my cheeks during one of those songs and Brooke looked at me like I was crazy! But she will understand one day! After we ate, there was a lady who came out and spoke to us and I really liked her message. It was related to birds, and we all left with a cute little bird keychain, that I added to my set of keys. 

On Mothers Day morning, Arnold had to be at church really early to play with the praise team. I joked that he got lucky with that one because I had to stay at home and get the kids ready for church and there on time! He did pick me up breakfast before though ;) We went to church and the pastor gave a wonderful speech on the importance of mothers. Then we met up with my parents at their country club for lunch. They had an incredible spread, and an entire room of just desserts! I wish I had taken a picture of it! Rachel found the shrimp cocktail station and loaded her plate up with that! That's my girl ;) After lunch I headed into town to do a little shopping ALL BY MYSELF! Then later that evening Arnold and the kids took me out to one of my fave restaurants-- Dos Amigos! None of my family really care for that place too much, but it was my day! ;) And Rachel WAS happy with the cheese dip ;)

Mom got me this gorgeous North Carolina plaque.. I think you can either hang it up or use it for a cutting board maybe. But it was so cute that I hung it up in the living room. It has so many NC towns on it.. Hickory even made it on there! ;) 

Arnold got me an ancestry kit that I am SO excited to use. You have to mail off a spit sample (yuck) and in 6-8 weeks they mail you back information about your background, traits, etc. That is so cool to me because I was adopted and don't know a TON about my background. The kids got some some pioneer woman dishtowels that I had been wanting. they know me ;)

Brooke had her Spring band concert! I am really proud of her. She has really enjoyed playing the trumpet for the past 2 years. And she is pretty good at it, too! I guess she got Arnold's musical talent, because it sure wasn't from me!!! ;) We sat through the 8th grade band performance too. They even played Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, which was cool. I dig some White Stripes. I know, I have the strangest mix of music loves-- just ask Arnold!!! 

We hadn't gone bowling in a LONG time.. so we decided to go one Saturday. Arnold has his own bowling ball that was his grandpas, and he just had to take it with us. It kept getting stuck behind the pins though, haha. None of us are really good bowlers. I am embarassed to admit our scores. Although surprinsinly enouugh, I won!! I just like to beat Arnold at things ;) I think Rachel got bored but was most impressed with the jumbo soft pretzel we got her from the snack bar :)

We had to hit up Cracker Barrell one Saturday morning for brunch.. we LOVE that place. We are all big breakfast food people-- well not so much Caleb but he is weird ;) haha! Everytime we go the kids have to get a candy from the country store. I don't mind the candy either.. I like the old fashioned cinnamon candy sticks. 

We love going to the mountains! So we went one weekend to Blowing Rock. We stopped by Julian Price Park. It was PACKED! But the kids got in the creek and played for a little while.

We stopped at all the overlooks and took pictures of course.... It was very windy that day! Our hair was out of control!!

And of COURSE we had to stop by Kiliwans and get icecream!!! I may or may not have stopped by OshKosh and gotten Rachel a few new summer outfits too.. even though she didn't need them! ;)

Arnold's company gives their employees free memberships every year to our local science center. I LOVE that! We hadn't been in awhile, and they had just started up the Butterfly exhibit for the summer, so we decided to take the kids last weekend. Brooke kept chasing the butterflies around and tried to get them to land on her finger, but they never would. They were probably scared of her! ;) Rachel said that was "yucky" and she didn't want butterfly "tenticles" on her, haha! Caleb mostly just watched everything going on. 

We also had to make a stop by the aquarium to see the fish, turtles, and all that. The stingrays were very active that day and kept coming up to the top of the tank and Brooke would reach in and touch them. The man working there also picked up a starfish out of a tank and let her hold it. That kid is not afraid of anything... she is nothing like me! ;)

We enjoyed a fun Memorial day weekend! We took the kids to the movies to see Aladdin! Aladdin was my 2nd favorite Disney movie as a kid (Little Mermaid is first!!) and I have been dying to see the remake! It was amazing! No one will ever top Robin Williams as the genie, but I liked Will Smith's spin on things. Arnold though Jasmine was quite the looker ;) haha! 

Arnold and I were both off Memorial Day Monday, so we were pretty lazy all day! Then we went to Mom and Dad's for dinner. They cooked ribs. I do NOT eat meat on a bone so I just ate corn on the cob. But Arnold and the kids LOVE ribs, so they were happy. I just had to show this picture comparing Rachel to the first time trying Pop Pops ribs whens she was a baby, and now. We have kept the tradition up for many years now it looks like! 

Arnold likes any chance he gets to go to a music/guitar center. We had a guitar center open up locally awhile back. Although he has PLENTY of guitars already and they are SO expensive.. he likes to go and look for fun, and play some of them. Rachel went with us this past time, and checked out the keyboards. She may start piano lessons soon. She also loved playing the drums! Looks like we may have another musician in the family soon! ;)

For mine and Arnold's May date night, we went out of town to see the Collective Soul/Gin Blossoms concert! We both love 90s music.. and grew up in the 90s, so we thought it would be fun. It was on a wed. night which kinda sucked, but thankfully mom and dad said they would watch the kids that night for us so we could go! We actually took the day off from work and got a lot done at home that day. That evening we headed out of town, stopped to get some dinner at Applebee's, then went to the show. Gin Blossoms had come on and played ONE SONG when it started storming and lightning! they actually stopped the show and said it hopefully would come back on later. So Arnold and I waited outside with a bunch of other people (it wasnt raining!) and after 45 minutes the show came back! And we lucked out because some people actually LEFT for good, and so our row of seats wasn't as packed! Anyway, the concert was awesome.. we didn't get home until nearly 1 am, so we were exhausted later that morning when we got up for work. Guess we should have taken THAT day off instead! HA! 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Month in Review:APRIL!!

Our sweet Rachel made AB honor roll AGAIN! If she makes it one more time, she will have made it the whole year! She did that last year, too. So proud of her. So I got to go see her at awards day at her school. They also had benchmark tests, which gives them an idea of how much they learned this year, and how well the might do on the upcoming EOGs, and she did fantastic! 

Arnold and I went on our April date night.. almost thought we'd get thru the month without a date since we were so busy, but at the last minute we made plans! We went out to eat at Carrabbas and went to do a little shopping. 

Earlier in the month I caught the stomach bug! Thankfully I had it over the weekend so I didnt' have to miss any work (but I DID lose my weekend fun :( Arnold went to church like usual while I stayed at home in bed, and he brought me home my favorite drink with my favorite ice.. it's the little things ;) The stomach bug was going around the preschool bad for awhile. I also got strep TWO times this year! I read it's not even all that common to get strep as an adult! The dr told me I was being reexposed to the virus...and of course those who work with kids get sick more easily sometimes. Lucky me! I hope to be feeling well for awhile now that that's all over with! 

My BFF Jess and I got together and went to the movies!! We saw Breakthrough, which was amazing! I wasn't even sure if I'd go see it, but I'm so glad I did! I did cry like I imagined I would, but it's ok because everyone else there was too! I'm so glad I got to hang out with Jess-- we are so busy these days and don't get to see each other much. We've been friends since highschool and used to spend EVERY minute together it seemed like! Jess is now a director at a local childcare center, and I'm so very proud of her! :)

I somehow got roped into buying my son... the crazy Fortnite addict.. a Fred the Llama comforter from Target! To be fair.. he is a pretty good kid and could use some new bedding.. and the bedding just happened to be on sale that week ;) I never thought one day I'd be on the search for silly things just to make my kids so happy. I mean really.. a purple llama pinata?! I still don't understand Fortnite.. but whatvever!

Arnold is still really enjoying playing with the praise group at church! He is on a regular schedule now.. he plays every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. On those weeks he goes to practice on Wednesday nights.. so he's gone when I get home from work. But I usually use those nights now to catch up on reading ;)

The kids like to run up on stage and see him after church services. They like to help him carry his guitars and equipment out to the van, too. I call them his roadies ;)

One Saturday night during the month we rented A Dog's Way Home dvd and watched it at home. I had been begging the kids to go to the theater to see it with me, but they all said no because it would make them sad! Man.. where did I get such emotional kids??! ;) The movie was so good! I love any movies with dogs in them.. I am a big dog person :) I DID cry.. but it was a good cry.. there was a happy ending.

I got a new stack of books to read. The Karen Kingsbury book was just released and I read all of her's. The latest book is about adoption, and so of course I LOVED it! It did make me think back to my story and 2005 though. I also got A Love Letter Life because I follow Jeremy and Audrey Roloff on instagram and so I wanted to see what that was all about, and it was pretty good. Right now I'm reading WINNING THE WORRY BATTLE. I struggle with anxiety big time, and so it is really helping me put things in perspective. 

Arnold and I bought tickets to the COLLECTIVE SOUL concert at the end of the month! They are coming to Greensboro with Gin Blossoms! When I saw it advertised on facebook, I knew I had to go. I love all 90s music. I am a 90s kid after all! So on the 29th, Arnold and I both asked off for work, and we will go to Greensboro, get dinner, and go to the concert! It will be our May date night! 

We celebrated Easter! Our first Easter at our new church! The music was ON POINT that Sunday! I was getting chillbumps all over and it was just beautiful. Arnold was off music duty that day so he got to sit with me in the pew and enjoy the music. Arnold jokes and says the A Team was playing that Sunday ;) We just had to get a picture in front of the beautiful flower cross. I wanted all the kids to match in yellow this year, and I fell in love with a dress for Rachel and got it. Then I got a matching polo for Caleb. Brooke is now in womens small, so I had to look elsewhere for her dress. I couldn't find anything yellow that we could really agree on, so we finally settled on this yellow dress from Old Navy. It was more of a mustard color, but oh well.. you pick your battles! ;)

Just like every year, we went to Mom and Dad's for a big easter lunch. My mom is still recovering from her knee replacement surgery (although shes making great progress!) so Dad stepped up and did a lot of the preparation and cooking! I was proud of him! ;) 

Brooke absolutely loves her Grandma's deviled eggs. Actually we all do! 

Since the girls were looking all pretty on Easter and my mom had given them flower headbands they wanted to model, we decided to take some sister pictures in their backyard! They live on a golf course and its always a beautiful area to take pictures of the kids. This was one of my favorites! I think I will frame it and put it up in the house somewhere. By the way-- Brooke is all about herself these days, and taking selfies of herself. I guess I can't blame her too much though, I've been taking so many pictures of her since she was born! :D