Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Random Thoughts!

1. Still cant get over how cute Brooke and her "boyfriend" Malachi are. They saw each other last night.. and went running down the hall into each other's arms. precious :)

2. Very good service at church this past Sunday. We talked about sins, and casting of stones.. and judging people. I really liked it.. I try so hard not to judge, but sometimes I do just like anyone else. Then we prayed and went to the alter and layed down our stones (yes they handed out real stones to us!) and that was very moving.

3. Caleb, Rachel and I rocked out to some GLEE cds today while I was cleaning. They love the songs as much I do. I have cds 1-3, I really want to get the next 2 sometime.

4. I am already thinking about Caleb's party, and its not till August. I am thinking.. Ice cream social?? Have icecream, and TONS of toppings layed out, and everyone could make their own sundaes. Such a cute idea... Any suggestions on good topping ideas??

5. Looked through old pics of the kids, on the computer, today. I like doing that every so often to see how they have changed, and to look back at good memories. It sometimes makes me happy, sometimes just gives me a sick feeling in my gut! I need these kids to stop growing! ;)

6. I am glad the sun is shining today, even if its still chilly out! The next 3 days are supposed to be rainy again, though. Not looking forward to that. I seem to have no energy on those days!

7. So.. the lost library book I wrote about in a previous blog? Yeah.. still a n0-show. So i guess I will pay the $12.99 for it tomorrow :-/ The good thing is-- they said if they found it, they will reimburse us for it.

8. Received my order in the mail, of stuff for Brooke's Pre-K graduation party. Yes.. I am having a party, even for that! I look for any excuse to party.. if you know me, you know that! Its going to be small.. just a cake and family/friends getting together. I ordered these CUTE little owl suckers w/ grad hats on, for the kids. And ordered Brooke a stuffed bear w/ a graduation cap and robe on (in her school color) and it says "Brooke" on the back. Wanted her to have a momento!

9. Going to mcdonalds tonight for dinner.. they are doing a thing to support Brooke's school. Hey.. the school gets money AND I dont have to cook?! Sounds pretty good to me!! :)

10. My new love-- Darius Rucker!!! He is the singer for Hootie and the Blowfish. Now he is solo, and does country! I love listening to his latest cd, just bought it the other day.

11. Having fun shopping for babies again. Just bought my bestest's shower gift the other night. Was fun to be back in Babies R Us. I also found Rachel some CUTE shoes on clearance while i was there. One of ARnold's best friend's wife is due in June also, so I will probably go look for her a gift sometime, too. I could shop for babies all day long! :)

12. Found out another local consignment sale is this Thurs-Sat.. so I guess I will be heading up there Thurs night w/ Joanne. The kids dont technically need any more clothes/toys I guess, but If I find a good deal, why not?!

Where has the Time Gone??

Ok so.. we had a meeting at Brooke's school last night, for the parents of up-coming Kindergarten students. Whats up with that?! ;) It isnt supposed to be here already! Anyway.. THANKFULLY they had childcare for the kids while the parents went into the meeting, so we were able to leave Brooke, Caleb AND Rachel in Brooke's classroom w/ her very own teacher. They did pretty well.. Mrs Corpening said she turned on Barney for the little kids, and Rachel danced the whole time ;) I apologized for her having to watch all of my kids that night.. I am glad they behaved! The meeting went well.. we got to meet the Kindy teachers.. they all seemed pretty nice to me, so I feel a little more comforted. They have started a new program where they have "pods" and the classrooms are all connected and dont have doors, etc.. and the kids move around to different stations throughout the day (math, reading, science, etc) And kindy-2nd grades all mix together for a lot of this. And they have the same teachers for 3 years.. SORT OF like highschool. It sounded pretty interesting. We are able to choose to put Brooke in that program, or stick with a traditional classroom setting. They said the kids usually learn a LOT that are in that program, and are very social at the end of the year. So I think Brooke would do well with it, but we are still deciding. I DO like the fact that she has the same teachers for a few years, because I dont like change that much.. Haha.

I just cant get over how much Brooke has grown, and changed. Im glad she was in preschool this past year.. I feel like she will transition to Kindergarden VERY well. She has mastered most of the things on the "readiness" list, and we are still working with her alot. Last night I worked with her on her address and phone number.. we still have a ways to go with that! But she does say that she lives in North Carolina.. or America.. so thats a start ;) She is so smart.. she is already doing Kindy/1st grade books, and knows a lot of things. She is a very independent little girl, and in some ways that makes me sad.. but I know she still needs me.
I am including a few pics of Brooke throughout the years.. look how shes changed!

Sweet Baby Girl.. only 2 Months old!

Halfway between then and now-- About 2 1/2. And look how tall and mature she already looks! She is way ahead on the growth charts ;)

My big girl now. Seriously.. I could cry.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Saturday morning I had meant to get up at 6:15, so I could head to some yardsales and consignment sales. I had set my alarm, and I hit the snooze button FIVE times, and just kept on sleeping. Didnt help that it was a dreary day outside! I finally got up when the kids did, and I decided it was still worth it to go out for a little bit, so I took Brooke w/ me and Arnold stayed at home with the little kids. First we went to a church consignment sale that Ive been to a few times.. I found a few things, a few books and puzzles for the kids, and 2 pairs of Pjs for Caleb for next year. Then we went back to that same church sale, for half-off day. Mostly everything was gone by then, but I did find a few cute little outfits for my friend Jess who is having a baby in June. After we got back, Lauryn came by and picked up Brooke, and took her to a party that a Mom's group we are in was having. I was going out w/ my dad that day and wasnt able to go.. I thought that was really sweet of Lauryn.. and Brooke seemed to have a great time!

Every once in awhile my Dad and I get together for a "lunch date." I have always been close to my dad and he has always been there for me growing up. Getting married and moving away was really hard for me to get used to.. and so I like still getting to see him and these little "dates" are a great way for us to catch up. We went to Dos Amigos (we both love Mexican!) And I got the meal w/ the burrito and rice. We chatted for awhile.. mostly about the kids. Dad suggested us looking into the preschool program at their church, for Caleb this up-coming year. He said its a great program and of course we know the people running it. So i think Ill do that.. still havent decided if I want him to go somewhere this year, or stay at home with me.. its all up in the air at this point.
That afternoon we all chilled out and did basically nothing..

The kids eventually took naps, and I got online and watched some episodes of that new show "One Born Every Minute" that Joanne had told me about.. I really like that show! Some of the episodes were really funny. When the kids woke up we took them over to their grandparents' houses.. they were going to watch them for the night so Arnold and I could get together w/ a good friend of ours, Matt, for his Birthday. I became good friends wih him when I went to WCU, and we have stayed in touch ever since. I affectionally call him my BIG BROTHER :)
After we dropped the kids off.. its like instant relief! Haha.. that sounds bad, doesnt it? Its just amazing how quiet it is on a car ride with no kids in the back of the van.. screaming and singing. We actually get to have a conversation!
We went to Pizza Hut to pick up some pizzas, and to the store to get some icecream. Then we came back home and Matt came over. He brought his WII and a bunch of games. We ate, then started playing. We played Super Mario Brother first, which is always fun. Of course they made me be the silly little mushroom head character. I did really, really badly in that game.. I kept dying :( I am not good at video games, haha! Then we played Wii sports.. I really liked the bowling. we also did baseball and golf. I basically kicked the guys' butts in Wii sports.. oh yeah, Im the "fake sports" champion! ;) It was such a fun evening. I really wish we could do that more often.. because I miss seeing Matt! Oh and Today is his actual Birthday.. so HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BROTHER!!!!! :)
Matt and I

Excited over my PINK Wii controller ;)

The guys playing Super Mario Brothers


Friday was one of those dreaded "teacher workdays" at Brooke's school, so I had all 3 kids home with me, ALL DAY. I forgot how tough it was with all 3 at home, I don't know how i did it before! I tried to entertain them, but there was only so much we could do inside.. thats another thing-- of course the day they are all at home, its too cold to go outside and play! I ended up bribing them (horrible, I know) with a lunch trip to McDonalds to get happy meals, if they would behave. They didnt really behave as much as I had wanted.. and did we still go to McDonalds?? Yeah... so sue me, I wanted a big sweet tea! Anyway, Arnold, God bless him, came home early from work that day.. since he got all his work done earlier than usual. So he helped with the kids some. And then that afternoon my mom came over to see the kids, and brought them a new movie-- Cat in the Hat (the version w/ the real people) and she popped popcorn and watched the movie w/ them. Caleb has since watched that movie 3 more times.. Im telling you, that Kid is addicted to Tv!

There was a kids consignment sale at a local church/school that evening, and It was a first-time sale for them, but I love a good deal, so I decided to go. I met my friend Lauryn there. They didnt have TOO many things, but I did find a few things. I bought Rachel 2 new dresses.. (I am blaming it on Lauryn, she kept saying how cute they were ;) One was a pink smocked dress, and one was a Gymboree dress that looked new! And here was my real score-- a brand new OWL pinata! Random to most people I guess.. but a great find for me! It will be perfect for Rachel's owl-themed birthday party in June. The lady who sold it told me she had just used it as decoration, not as a pinata. She sold it for $5-- and the same pinata goes for $15 online, plus shipping. Glad i hadnt bought it already! Anyway, after the sale, Lauryn and I went to Olive Garden for dinner. an EARLY dinner I might add.. but thats the way to go on a fri night, so you dont have to wait several hours to get a table (which I wont do-- Im way too impatient, remember?!) We had lasanga, salad, and breadsticks.. sooo yummy!

Oh and Friday was the day the Cable guy came out!! Yes, Arnold and I have been married for 5 years and never had Cable before now. We dont watch that much tv to begin with. We found a pretty good deal on a pack that included phone, internet, and cable.. so thats what we got. The internet is SUPER fast now, and we got wireless, and so I can even sit in my bed on my laptop which is awesome!!! I spent all Fri. evening just laying in bed, watching tv shows Ive missed online ;)

See.. here I am in my bed. And sporting my Christ Church tshirt, too, along w/ my pj pants :P

Arnold took this pic.. he is silly

The kids followed the poor Cable guy around everywhere asking him questions.. he was very sweet though, and talked to them as much as he could. He said he had a son named Caleb, too, and a dog named Bobo! (Calebs nickname) We all found that hilarious. But anyway, I am still getting used to everything.. I hear the phone ring and it startles me.. because until now we just used a cellphone as our phone line at home! But i guess its good to have now, in case of an emergency. We just got the basic cable stations for right now, so nothing special, but at least we can watch our fave. shows on the actual NIGHT they come on! Big Bang Theory here I come!! :) we might upgrade to a better package in the future, but Im happy with this for now. The internet being the best part of it all, for a nerd like me ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lots of Updates!!

Im sure most of you noticed I haven't been online the past week.. thats why there have been none of my usual uploaded pics, frequent status updates, or BLOGS! So i have a lot to catch up on, but I am going to try to squeeze most of it into one blog.. so here goes..

1. Sister-inlaw and I went shopping last Sunday. It was fun to get out for awhile and chat. I also found some really cute things for the kids' easter baskets :)

2. Our next-door neighbor told us about a mobile vet service that comes out to your house to give your pets their checkups and even shots. She was getting her dogs checkups, and asked if we wanted to get Pepper and Oreo checkups. So we split the fee for them to come (ours was $22) Which was well worth it, not to have to haul in 2 dogs! Both the dogs are very healthy, and they had all their shots, and got started on a heartworm medicine. I am so glad everything is good. Its been tough at times, but Im really glad we adopted them last year!

3. Mon. night we went to celebrate MIL's birthday. She turned 60!!! Quite a milestone. She had a yummy icecream cake.. it was so good. We gave her new kitchen things and a framed new prof. pic of the kids (and some others) as her gift.

4. I weighed the kids this week. Rachel was 29 lbs. Caleb was 36 lbs. And Brooke was 48 lbs! I cannot believe it!!! The little kids stayed about the same but Brooke gained about 2 lbs. That girl can eat.. seriously. She is slimming out as she gets taller though, so the drs dont seem worried.

5. Went to turn in Brooke's school library book this week.. and.. couldnt find it! Anywhere. We tore this house up looking for that thing.. seriously. I am so beyond frustrated. If we dont find It I guess we will be paying for it.

6. Oriental trading.com is one of my new fave. places to order from. I ordered a bunch of stuff for Rachels birthday party in June (they had OWL stuff-- i was so excited! And some baby shower things for my friend. I found a free shipping code, so it was a great deal.

7. I usually am not the type of person to buy things ahead of time, but I have already started buying easter and birthday things for the kids, a little at a time, as I see good deals. I found a cute jewelry set for Brooke at Target one night, and am saving that. I also saw a great deal on DisneyStore.com the other day so I bought Brooke a personalized TANGLED blanket, and Caleb an Iron Man art set. They are going to have some cute things for their bdays this year.

8. Ok so.. Arnold and I have been married 5 yrs. And in that 5 yrs we have NEVER had cable in this house. It would have been nice to have, but I learned to do without it. But we have finally decided to order it! We are having a guy come out tomorow, actually. I think Iwill love having more channels than just ABC, NBC, and PBS kids.. haha. (and even those channels can mess up if the weather outside is bad!)

9. Arnold got a new Bible from my parents back at Christmas. I have really gotten into that! Its a Max Lucado edition, and he includes a lot of his thoughts, and "life lessons" that Ive really enjoyed reading. I think this will help me get into the Bible even more..

10. I have cooked dinner for Arnold several nights this week. Simple stuff of course.. have to start slow people! But I really enjoyed doing it. I like doing that for him.. even if he doesnt mind if I dont. I think this might inspire me to start cooking more, and learn new recipes that I can work on.

11. I heard that our county is quitting the "More at 4" program. This wasnt a shock to me, since they had talked about it alot, and are cutting funds like crazy to the programs they already have. But it still made me really sad. We had planned to put Caleb in it this year. I know he would gain a lot of things, socially at least. Im not so worried about the academics, because I know he can get that here at home with me. The very day I heard the news, his new bookbag from LL Bean, with his name on it, arrived in the mail :-/ I guess Ill save it for Kindergarten.

12. With all the time off the internet this past week, Arnold and I watched a bunch of movies. We watched "The Switch" with Jennifer Aniston, and "Due Date." They were both alright I guess. Due Date was pretty crude and disastorous in most parts.. but I kindof expected that! I also watched "Up" again with Caleb and Rachel once day.. such a cute movie :)

Well thats about it for now.. and I included a few pictures of the kids, because what a blog without pics?!

Grayson's Party & Saturday

This past Saturday we were invited to Grayson's first birthday party!!! I cannot BELIEVE he is one already.. he's not even MY kid and i was emotional ;) I remember like it was yesterday that I was throwing my BF Lauryn a baby shower :)

Anyway, that morning I got up early and went to a few yardsales w/ my friend Jess. I hit the jackpot at one church sale, and found a ton of clothes for Brooke, some were even Gymboree. And a pair of (looked like brand new) Circo sandals. So i have a good stockpile of play clothes for her now. All the proceeds from that sale went to benefit the people in Japan, I thought that was really nice. There werent many sales out that morning, so we went to Target and Walmart for awhile before coming back home.
Then we headed to Grayson's party. Lauryn and I spend a lot of time together but it was my first time going to her house! Its out on the lake, so its quite a drive. Thankfully she gave us really good directions so we found it pretty easily. On the way we saw a big yardsale on the side of the road and stopped to look, and Caleb found a HUGE robot.. that basically weighs more than him, but he just had to have it. So we got it for him.. unfortunately that thing takes about a billion batteries and is a pain in the butt, but at least he likes it. Anyway.. Graysons party was a lot of fun. It was so relaxing and nice being there at the lake. SUCH beautiful weather too.. the kids got to wear some of their new spring clothes. The cake was SO yummy, and had little firetrucks, adorable. Grayson really racked up on some gifts too.. looks like he got some great stuff!!
Anyway, since we were only about 30-45 mins away at that point from Concord Mills, we decided to go and take the kids. Ok.. ARNOLD decided this. I dont know what posessed that man to decide that, because usually he is the first one out of the two of us to get stressed out and ready to lay the kids down for a nap. But i agreed.. and we went. It was so packed.. even more so than usual.. I knew we were in for something. We went to a few stores.. I bought Rachel a turtle bathing suit from the Gymboree outlet, and we got the kids a few books at Books a Million. By then I was ready for one of my anxiety pills.. and just as it took effect and I started to fell mellow.. Arnold was ready to leave :P
So we head to my parents house after that, because they had invited us over for dinner. My brother was in town, so it was a chance for the kids to see their Uncle Alex :) They made ribs.. which everyone knows I dont eat any kind of meat on a bone.. so.. my mom made me fish instead. By then of course the kids hadnt had a nap all day, and they were actually doing surprisingly well. It was ME that was the problem.. I was downright exhausted. But we made it through dinner and the family- get together and it was fun. As SOON as we got home though, I went straight to bed, and slept like a baby. 9:30 on a Sat. night?? OH yeah baby, Im living the life ;)

Fun on the Lake

Having some Birthday Cake

Every once in awhile i catch a sweet moment....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Faults & Insecurities

I've been trying to get a grip on some things that bother me lately, or worry me. That prompted this blog.. Like i said before, writing is very therapuetic to me, so this is really just for me. But if anyone is reading.. feel free to let me know if you feel the same way about any of these things, or what YOUR's are.
*PS- these for sure arent ALL my faults and insecurities of course, but who wants to read a book?* ;)


1. I am impatient. So.so.so impatient. You have no idea. The tiniest things irk me, like waiting in line at a checkout counter, a long stoplight, or something similar. I am the girl who went out and bought the expensive pregnancy tests that check 5 days BEFORE your MISSED period, because I wanted to know at the earliest precise moment if I was baking a bun in the oven (thankfully I had enough HCG hormone and they showed up positive!!) PS- Why do you think my kids are so close together in age?? Yep, because I couldn't just sit back and enjoy them growing up alittle before the next one was on the way! Arnold goes to a think w/ his dad every year called "Christmas Jam" that is a whole night of different bands playing. They are there for like, 10 hours straight, or something crazy like that. They sit outside for hrs before to get a good seat. He asked me a few times if I wanted to go. Does he not know me at all?!

2. I am a bad cook. I know, you all know this by now. But im not joking. I have messed up EASY Mac before. I burn everything. And I don't know simple things that Im sure everyone knows about even somewhat basic cooking. As a result we eat a lot of simple meals. Or take out. Or Arnold cooks (he doesnt mind, and I clean up!) I know alot of moms would flame me for that, but I figure there could be worse things in life. I am doing somewhat better lately.. starting to read recipes and maybe attempt some simple dinners. My kids DO eat fruits and veggies though, its not like I just serve them a plateful of cheetos and cookies :)

3. I am over-the-top absolutely ridiculously SENSITIVE (aka wimp??)-- My dad and brother took this to their advantage all the time when I was younger, and always picked on me. Every little joke was a "blow" to me and was hard to get over. Didnt get much better as I got older. I analyze what people say, to try to figure out if it was meant in a negative or hurtful way. I cry like a baby over certain tv shows or songs that really get to me. When people dont rsvp to things I invite them to, I wonder if they are mad at me or dont want to go because they dont really like me. Insecure much? Oh yeah. Ill admit Im a little neurotic when it comes to what people think about me. And I shouldnt be like that! I know ultimately it matters what GOD and my family think of me, and what I think of myself. I am working on it, but its still a daily struggle.

4. I BITE MY NAILS-- Yes, I know its gross. Yes, I know im getting germs in my mouth. It was a childhood habit I picked up.. and to this day I haven't been able to stop. Somedays I bit them so much that they would hurt, or bleed. Most of the time I dont even realize Im doing it.. my mind is off somewhere else altogether. It happens mostly when I am bored or stressed. So as a result.. my nails are really, really short, and sloppy. I have gotten my nails done at a salon a few times and were amazed at how good they COULD look.. but then again, they were fake. I have never seen my NATURAL nails long.. ever.

5. Im a SLACKER ABOUT READING THE BIBLE-- We have several bibles in our house. Probably couldn't even count them all right now. But do I read them like I should? No. I have always considered myself a Christian but just here recently have I truly began feeling like i want to change, and put forth the effort to do good in my life. I find the time to read several other books, so why not the Bible? I dont even think of it half the time, and I know thats not good. I do crave to know everything I can learn about God and what my purpose is in life.. and what better handbook than the Bible? When i have Christian-related questions there is a website I turn to. I really have learned alot. But I figure time spent with my Bible would benefit me more. So hold me to it-- I need to start reading it more!!

6. CURSING- Oh yeah, another nasty habit of mine. Which i have tried and tried to stop (especially after having kids) But i still slip out those nasty 4-letter words way too easily. When i get frustrated. When i stub my toe. When i get nervous. You name it. And something Im not proud of at all-- 2 of my 3 kids have been caught saying either the D-word, S-word, or even F-word a time or two. Please dont be too harsh! I really am working on this. Arnold and i BOTH are. As a matter of fact, I gave "nasty language" up for Lent this year. Is that even something you can give up? Anyway.. I am having to ask God for help a lot on that one.. because about 10 minutes after I made that decision I slipped my first word. I am a work in progress!


1. BEING A MOM IM GENERAL-- Let's face it, Im a young mom. I had 3 kids by the age of: just shy of 24. And as fast as I was popping them out, I know some people probably talked. Ill admit, we didn't mean for them to be so close together, but it happend, and its what we are dealing with now. I find I like a lot about it.. like they are so close, and entertain each other, and they will all be out of diapers soon (yay!) But in many other ways I just flat-out worry. I worry if I am doing enough for them. Teaching them enough, getting enough healthy foods in them every day, keeping them healthy, getting them enough social interaction.. the list could go on and on! But to be fair, most moms probably feel like that. I worry that we had them too young and since we are not as finacially fit as we would like to be at this point in life, will we be able to give them alot? My kids have everything they need, and they get a lot of "fun" things too. But sometimes I wonder if we will take a vacation soon... hopefully we will, I need to start a fund for that. We have only been on one since we had the kids. I want them to be able to experience so much in life! I know love is the most important thing though, and they have plenty of that!

2. STOMACH/BODY AFTER BABIES- Wow! They weren't kidding when they said your body changed after having kids. I watched my stomach expand, and expand, and was amazed it could do that. And I thought foolishly that afterwards, it would go back down pretty easily. Yeah right. Oh it went back down, but along with that came loose skin. And lets not forget the stretch marks! My stomach looks like a road map! I am now a lot curvier than I used to be too.. which can be good or bad, depending on how im feeling about myself that day! Sometimes I wonder how my husband could be attracted to me. I feel down somedays, and not very pretty at all. Ideally Id love to lose 40-50 lbs. Having the kids so close together and me ALWAYS being pregnant it seemed like.. just really changed my body image.

3. MY "DITZY" VOICE- I am a shy person. Especially when Im talking to people I dont know very well. I get really nervous sometimes and I either speed up my talking, or get jumbled up with my words. I can come off very "ditzy" as I have been told by a friend or two. And i hate that! I don't want to sound stupid when talking to someone. Especially when I am just meeting them and they are using that time to form an opinion of me. I also have a tendancy to get very over-excited about things, and have a lot of fun when Im with friends.. another time I can come across very ditzy. I promise-- I am smart (or in my opinion) Sure, I have a horrible sense of direction, and don't "get" some jokes the first time.. but I have book smarts! I did wonderful in school. I was in advanced classes. I grauated an NC-scholar. My SAT scored were 1100 (which were decent at that time I guess) I read all the time.. for fun! And incorrect grammar bugs me to no end! (even though I dont use it alot on here or FB- so sue me!) And I didnt just say all that to "brag".. I said it to plead with you to give me a chance.. and If you ever think Im just over-the-top or acting really ditzy.. remember, Im probably just nervous ;)

4. MESS UPS IN THE PAST- I did a LOT of stupid things in my past.. (who didnt right?) Now that I look back on some of those things I feel so embarassed, and wondered how I could have done something like that. Like dating the same guy all throughout highschool, and never giving anyone else a chance. Crying over what I thought was "love" but definately wasnt. Stupid fights with friends. Getting engaged when I was 18 (and not to Arnold! thank goodness I came to my senses!) Going to WCU my freshman year of college and totally letting loose and partying, and have nothing to show for that year of college.. nothing. Well except for a son, who was conceived due to a night of wreckless abandonment of drinking too much with "cute" college guys. And the one who I thought cared about me RAN away when I found out I was pregnant. But you know what? I dont really regret any of it. I think everything in life teaches you something and can ultimately make you a better person.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Family Picture Day!

I was so, so, so happy this morning when I saw that the sun was SHINING and it was actually pretty warm by the time we left for Amy's house. Alot of you know this already, but I have a friend, Amy, who is a photographer, and we go to her to have our family pics done. We havent gone in a REALLY long time though.. the last family pic we had done was when Rachel was barely months old. It was done by the church. So we were way over-do. I really wanted us to match (colors) and I know some people think that is cheesy or "too much" but I like it. So we decided on purple/lavender for tops. I found the girls almost identical outfits except Rachel's capris had different color stripes than Brooke's. And Caleb wore a white polo but it had some purple in it. I even convinced Rachel to let me stick a little bow in her hair for the pics ;)

The kids did really well, I think. With Rachel being the toughest.. but she's at that age. Amy got some really cute shots of the 3 of them together.. then Rachel started getting whiny. So she bribed her with candy! (exactly what I do, like i put in my last post ;) And that made for a few more good shots, but after that, she was done. Then we did a family picture... and then individual pics of each of the kids. I wanted to do an outfit change for those pictures. I had fun picking out some of their new spring/summer outfit for them to wear. Rachel's especially I loved! And Amy's daughter just so happened to have the matching bows to that line from Gymboree, so she let us borrow them. So Rachel had a tiny little pigtail and the curly bows to match.. love it! :)

Amy has been working on editing our pics this afternoon.. and I will post them on FB when she gets done. I am so anxious to see them! I know Ill have a hard time deciding which ones to get.. I wish I could buy every single pose! :)

Heres a few pics of us getting ready to go today...

Aren't the girls cute matching?!


Thursday it was raining pretty hard, but I wanted to get out of the house since we had been in all week. So the kids and I met up at the mall with Amy and Crystin. We went into a few stores first.. and I was going to get a few things but I had left all my coupons in the car on accident (maybe that happened for a reason-- so I wouldnt buy the kids any more clothes ;) The kids did ok for awhile, but then I had to bribe them with lollipops. I have a stash in my cabinet at home that I use for occasions like that. Then we went to the foodcourt to get some lunch. Caleb wanted chick-fil-a so we stood in that line, then went over to Sabarros to get Rachel and I some pizza and salad. When Rachel was done she started throwing bits of pizza as hard as she could.. i even caught a woman at another table smirking at us.. Oh well, we are still working on that. Then I had to take Caleb to the bathroom.. so we just chose the big FAMILY bathrooms they have (love them b/c I can take my stroller in there too) And Rachel watched Caleb pee pee in the tiny toilet (so cute) and said "ewwwww". She is hilarious, everything is icky to her. She even said that when I was changing the other day-- tried not to take it personally. Anyway, we made one more stop before we left.. Amy wanted to go into a store and check out a skirt. By then Caleb was being AWFUL.. I gave him a pop on the butt.. and he started shrieking. Not that it hurt, he was just mad. Then i happened to look outside the store, to the sitting area, and there was a couple, and an old man watching us. And.. surprise! The couple was smirking at us, too. I dont know why people cant mind their own business sometimes! I was just trying to discipline my child, thank you very much! After that I decided it was definately time to head home, the kids had had enough. At least we were able to escape the house for awhile, though!

Here is Caleb in the gap. Surprisingly he is in a good mood.. he usually whines when we shop

She walked right up to me and said "CHEESE!!" Guess shes getting used to my constant picture-taking ;)

My friend Crystin, and her son Connor, who is almost 1!

Rachel watching Caleb ride the Bob the Builder ride

Thursday ended up being one of those looong days, so when Arnold got home we decided to go to eat at the Snack Bar.. great local place. It was very crowded though, so we ate at the table right next to the door.. so we always were right there when people came in and went out. The waitress didnt seem too thrilled to be waiting on us.. but she seemed thrilled with the table near us where an older gentleman was sitting. So.. it can either me she knew she was in for a hassle at a table with 3 young kids, or she didnt like the fact that I had brought in snacks and drinks for the kids.. when the sign on the door clearly said "NO OUTSIDE FOOD!!" But anyway.. she was right.. because our meal was a disaster! We had to wait forever since they were busy.. so we had to keep the kids occupied. Then during the meal Brooke spilled her milk and it fell all over her chair, the floor, and her. And while Arnold leaned over the table to get some napkins, he knocked the syrup over and it spread alll over the table. And in the process of clean up I got some milk AND ketchup on Rachels new owl bookbag/diaperbag. I cant seem to keep anything clean with them! We tried to clean the mess up ourselves, as best we could. On the plus side-- my daughter is a GREAT eater! She has never been picky! she actually chose HERSELF the salad and fruit bar as her dinner! she sat there and ate a big salad, and a bowl of fruit. Such a healthy dinner.. i was proud :) Oh.. so back to the waitress.. I went ahead and laid down her tip early.. and it was pretty generous (i felt bad about the mess) and wouldnt you know? She perked right up and was kind until we left (funny how money changes things ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Picture Day

Yesterday was a horrible day for Spring Pictures! There were days in FEBRUARY of this year that made it up to the 70s, miraculously.. and yet the one day I really wanted to dress Brooke in one her cute new spring outfits, and have a pic taken.. of course the weather is in the 50s and raining.. HARD!

Nothing like waiting unti last minute to pick out her outfit, either. I literally was looking around in her closet that morning, half asleep, figuring out what she was going to wear. I was so irritated. Sounds like a small thing, and it really is. But everything that would be warm enough for her to wear didnt look "SPRING!" There was one thing in the back of her closet though, a sweater my Mother-in-law had given her back at Christmas that she never got around to wearing. So i tried that on her, and decided that was what she was going to wear. It was white and had flowers, so it had a hint of Spring, I guess. But the sleeves were too long! So i rolled up the ends into a cuff, and hoped for the best.

I then tried curling the ends of her hair (first time I had tried the curling iron on her) And it looked cute, but Im sure it went flat the second she stepped out into the rain. Her hair is like mine, and doesn't do much.. and then when you add weather into the mix its impossible to make it look good. So she went to school and had her pics, and she TOLD ME she smiled.. so we will see :) They send home a packet for us to look at, of proofs. Thank goodness we didnt have to prepay! You never know how preschool pictures will turn out ;)

PS- Arnold told me later that day that the teacher noticed her tag was still on the sweater. We had never even taken the tag off, just threw it on her. Oh well, not every day is a "Mom of the Year Award" day ;)

Smiling before she left for School

Up-Close of her hair. Dont know why pictures make her nose look so "pronounced" (aka BIG) Her nose isnt that big in real life! Or maybe it does and I just have never noticed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I knew yesterday was going to be a long day when Rachel woke up acting clingy again, and wanting to cuddle a lot. She still wasn't feeling like her usual self, but at least she didn't have a fever! We spent the whole day inside and didn't do much of anything. The first frustrating thing to happen yesterday was I couldn't find my cellphone ANYWHERE. It drove me crazy because I was certain that I had left it in my purse the night before, but it wasnt there. Asked a friend of mine to call it.. and yep, you guessed it, went straight to voicemail. Just my luck it would have died! I am so glad I didnt have an emergency yesterday because I went all day without it and we just use cells, not a landline. Then after we picked up Brooke from school, we came home and I tried to lay Rachel down for a nap, but since she had fallen asleep for awhile earlier (she wasnt feelng well) she wouldnt go back to sleep. This is my kid that usually takes 2-3 hr naps in the afternoon! So i was exhausted by the time Arnold got home because none of the kids took naps!

The day started turning around that evening. I finally found my phone.. It had been down under the cushions of the recliner-- the same seat i sit in when im on the laptop. So i had essentially been sitting on it all day, and had no idea! Isnt that how it always is? Anyway, my friend had asked me awhile back if I wanted to get together and go out to eat and do a little shopping, so i went to meet her in Hickory. We ate a quick dinner at Jack in the Box.. Since they do breakfast all day, I got a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and hashbrowns and it was so good... I usually just eat cereal in the mornings. I dropped some of the kids outgrown clothes and shoes at a local consignment shop and made a little money, so that was nice. While i was there I found a few things for the kids, including a Batman DVD that Caleb is going to LOVE. I have written before that he is obsessed with superheros lately.. he cant get enough :) Then we went to Target.. and of course that store always gets me into trouble! I found some more things for the kids' easter baskets. Then we looked through the scrapbooking stuff and I found a few things to get. I am having a scrapbook night next week w/ some friends, so I needed some things. I also lucked out and found the cutest jewelry-making set on clearance.. gotta love those endcaps! I am going to save it for Brooke's birthday, probably.

I got home around 8:30 and Arnold had already put the kids to bed (God bless him! haha) And everything was calm and quiet. The house was a wreck, but I decided to hold my tongue, because he had been sweet enough to watch them while I escaped for awhile :) We snuggled up on the couch and watched a few episodes of "Big Bang Theory" (funniest show ever, and one of my new favorites-- if you haven't seen it yet, you NEED to!) I didnt realize how tired I was until I sat down and relaxed. I have come to the conclusion that Girls' nights go by WAY to fast. I wish i could do stuff like that all the time.. but.. I would be broke! ;)

Quote for the Day-- "Just when the caterpillar thought his world was over, he turned into a beautiful butterfly."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sick Baby

I knew something was wrong with Rachel this morning. She is usually very active and running around 100 miles a minute. But she was very cranky this morning, and kept grunting at me to pick her up. So we rocked in the recliner for awhile, and she just snuggled in and let me cuddle her. Odd for her because normally she will NOT sit still! Then she was up for awhile, but she decided to lay down in the middle of the living room floor, and the next thing I knew she was snoring! She slept for about an hour or so.. wish I would have gotten a picture of her. She was in her signature pose of sleeping with tummy down and tushie up in the air ;)

She hardly ate any breakfast or lunch today.. so that just confirmed that she wasnt feeling good. We lounged on the couch most of the morning, and we watched "Full House" (i have all the seasons on boxset :) I have gotten Caleb into that show, so we watch that whenever we want to lounge around but I am sick of the kiddie cartoons! We also got out a big pile of books from Caleb's room and read for awhile. All the while Rachel nestled down in my arms, content as can be. I felt her forehead and she was burning up! I took her temp, and it WAS a slight fever, so I gave her some tylenyol. I dont care for the thermometer we have thought.. its temporal and doesnt always give accurate readings.

She was a trooper for the rest of the day, including going to pick up Brooke from school. But she was just so pitiful :( When we got home she took a long nap in our bed.. she was still snoring at dinner time! She didnt even touch her dinner,and even turned down a grape popsicle I offered her :-/ I have no clue what she even has.. hopefully just a cold or something simple. I hope she is feeling better tomorrow.. I hate to see my babies sick!

Pitiful baby lounging on daddy. Holding her puppydog, Mindy :

Happy Birthday Grandpa!!

Wanted to wish my Grandpa Guy (my mom's father) A very Happy Birthday!! Today he turns 79. I am so blessed that he has been in my life for this long, and that he has gotten to meet and spend time with my kids.

Grandpa lives alone.. my Grandmother died when I was 8. He has been one of the most active men I've ever known. Worked up until the point they basically made him retire. Since then he always keeps busy doing something or another. I have lots of great memories with him. Ever since my Grandma died, every Wed. night he would come over to our house to have dinner and visit for awhile. We also have a big family Christmas get-together at his house every year, even now.

I know he wont read this.. but.. Happy Birthday Grandpa!!! Next year will be quite the milestone birthday!! :)

Grandpa and my brother, Alex, at Rachel's 1st birthday party last June

Party like a Rockstar!!!

Saturday was pretty busy for us, we had two birthday parties to go to. But first we went to my parents' house to pick up Rachel (she had spent the night since Arnold and I had gone out the night before). Then we went to Walmart because we had some time to kill, and let the kids pick out their prize. We have a chart system going on right now, and its too long to explain.. but the main point is that the kids get a small prize after 7 stars, and after 28 stars they get a trip to Chuck E Cheese. So it should take them about a month to earn enough to go there, but they miss out somedays because they just decide they do not want to behave at all!

Anyway, we went to Amy's house for Kenzie's 6th birthday party. She had a Luau theme.. it was very cute. There were even some people wearing their tropical apparel.. and there were leis for everyone to wear :) Unfortunately it rained that morning, so they didnt get to do the party outside like they had hoped. We had pizza from CiCis, and another yummy cake from a bakery near their house, that they get all their cakes from. I dont have any pics from the party because I forgot to take my camera.. and Amy hasnt posted any yet!!

Later that afternoon we went to Malachi's 5th birthday party. Malachi is in Brooke's class at school and you all have probably heard me talk about him alot. Him and Brooke are inseperable.. they are boyfriend/girlfriend (they even call each other that! ;) Anyway, they had it at their church. They had an organization called CLAWS come out and do a presentation. They brought some live animals with them for the kids to see.. a raccoon, skunk, owl, snake, bearded dragon.. it was really neat! I learned alot too ;) They let the kids get up close and personal and touch the animals. Of course my daughter was the first one up there ready to pet the snake.. while most people were squirming in their seats when they brought him out! and at one point all the kids were petting the skunk (very roughly I might add.. poor skunk! Dont worry-- he had been ripped of his stink-spraying abilities :) I was happy they brought the owl.. I love owls! It was neat to see one up-close. Oh and another awesome thing about the party was that I got to see Karen!! She was my freshman roomate when I went to WCU for a year. I hardly ever get to see her because she lives several hours away. Sooo.. the party was really neat and the kids had a BLAST.. but we were definately ready to get home and get everyone ready for bed that evening.. the kids were in bed just before 7pm.. very early for them, but none of them had naps that afternoon!!

The beautiful owl!

Checking out the snake

Petting Mr Skunk :)

Malachi even shared a hug with the skunk :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Date Night

I had been wanting to go shopping for some new clothes ever since we went got our tax money. I have NO problem shopping for tons of clothing for my kids, but I can never seem to find the time to get out and buy so much as a new shirt for myself (sounds like a Mom doesnt it?! Anyway, I definaetly didnt want to go shopping with the kids, so Arnold and I decided to go out and make a night of it. After we dropped the kids off we stopped by Sonic and got a quick dinner. Then we went to Kohls. I had a 15% off coupon and a Kohls Cash I had earned a few weeks ago, so I knew I could get a better deal there. I went around grabbing all these tops I liked and went back in the dressing room to try them on. Arnold went with me too.. he actually went in the room with me. I know that that might have looked bad, but I can guarantee I was just trying on clothes and he was just helping me make quick decisions. i am the worst at deciding on clothes! So i would try something on.. hed say yes or no, and that was it. Quickest shopping Ive ever done ;) I found several new tops that i LOVE.. including one purple one, that I plan to wear for our family pics next weekend. I also found a dress I loved, but I didnt want to spend that much so I didnt get it.. might go back for it some other time, though. We also stopped by the jewelry and I found some earrings, a necklace, and a new watch. It felt AWESOME to shop for myself.. I forgot how fun it was ;)

Here I am wearing one of my new tops

And Here is my new watch. Love the band.. it will be harder for me to break. I am the worst when it comes to accidentally breaking my jewelry.

After we left Kohls, Arnold suggested we stop by Coldstone. I have never been there before (I know, shocker, right?!) My friends all rave about it.. so I was ready to go. I got CAKE BATTER icecream, and let me tell you-- it was delicious! I also got it in a waffle cone bowl, and we both got the medium-sized. Big mistake.. that was too much sugary-goodness for one night.. I couldnt finish it. Oh, and if you are wondering, Arnold got the oreo cream filling icecream.. and it was good too (he let me taste a bite ;)

This is what my icecream in its bowl looked like.. except the icecream was a different flavor. Yummy, right?!

After the icream we headed to one more store, to pick up a birthday bag and a card for a party we were going to today. And then we went back and picked up Brooke and Caleb (Rachel spent the night with my parents). It was SUCH a nice evening.. Arnold and I dont realized how stressed we are until we get a night out ALONE. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

So earlier this week (May 2nd to be exact) Was Dr. Seuss' Birthday! I think I may have mentioned it before, but Caleb is obsessed with Dr Seuss, and we have almost all the books. We read them over and over again, especially Green Eggs and Ham. Some nights he even tells me thats what he wants for dinner :)

They had a week of celebrating at Brooke's school. They had hat day, tye-dye day, wacky sock day, twin day, and book character day. She took a hat on hat day. And she did Wacky sock day, too. But we didnt have anything tye-dye! And the book-character day was a wreck! Brooke's favorite book is "Llama Llama, Red Pajamas" and I wanted her to wear red pajamas on that day. But she didnt have any (she had plenty of pink, though!) I even went out thinking that surely theyd have some clearanced red pjs somewhere. But i didnt find any. So she went to school wearing a regular outfit.. but I dont think she even seemed to notice, since maybe all of 3 kids in her class were dressed up.

Here she is wearing her wacky socks. She got two pairs in her stocking from my mom, and she wore one of each!

Isnt she styling??? Haha :)
Last night at Brooke's school they had "Literacy Night". I wasnt quite sure what it was, but we decided to all go as a family. First we went to the gym and the chorus preformed a few songs. Then each grade level got dismissed to certain classrooms for activities and book readings. Brookes grade level got to the 1st classroom and it was Eric Carle-themed (we love those books!) The reading was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" (classic) And they had a few activities and crafts. Rachel went wild in that classroom.. thankfully one kind teacher brought out a bucket of blocks for her, and that calmed her for temporarily :) Then they moved on to the next room, and it was Dr-Seuss theme. A few games, and more stories. Lastly, we went to the cafeteria for a snack.. juice and cookies. They happened to have a drawing for a door prize and Brooke won for the Pre-k! They let her choose a prize at school, and they had several nice, hardback books to choose from, or little junky things. What did she pick?? a ball! Her teacher told me she tried her best to get her to choose a new book but she wouldnt. Oh well.. cant win them all! I told her it broke my heart though, since we are a book-loving family ;)

The other night in honor of Dr. Suess, we read ALL dr suess books before bedtime. I read ELEVEN of them. Man let me tell you, i was spitting all over the place. There is certainly a lot of tongue-twisters and rhymes in his books, and Arnold gets so frustrated that he has been known to give up in the middle of a book ;) But we got through it, and the kids loved it of course.

A few of our reading selections that night..

Rachel & Grayson's Date

My friend Lauryn has a son, Grayson (who is absolutely adorable by the way ;) And we joke all the time that him and Rachel are boyfriend/girlfriend. Lauryn and I get together alot so the babies get to see each other alot. (I call Rachel a baby, but really shes not anymore :( They are so cute together, both of them having blonde hair and blue eyes.. people have thought they were twins before!

Anyway, we went out on Wed. We met up at Kohls and did a little shopping. I was mostly there to exhange some clothes for a different size.. My mother-in-law had gotten the kids some cute outfits but most of them were the wrong size. So after getting that taken care of we just browsed around.. Here is Grayon and Rachel sitting side by side in the clothes section, picking out Grayon a new pair of jammies ;)

After that we went to Target, to pick out a birthday gift for a party we are going to this weekend. We were looking for a pollypocket playset and some nailpolish. So we get to the checkout line and the pack of nailpolish is no where to be found (and im looking everywhere) So i just decide to get the playset and get out of there.. I figured Rachel had just thrown it out of her stroller.. she likes to hurl things out of there on a daily basis. (.. guess what turned out last night? The nailpolish.. which I guess makes us theieves ;) But we will be returning it to Target tonight, I promise. I try to be very honest!)

Anyway, then we decided to go to lunch. The kids did pretty good, considering they are used to eating early, like around 11:00. But maybe that had something to do with all the snacks Lauryn had brought for the kids.. Caleb loves her for her un-ending thoughfulness everytime we get together ;) We went to El Paso. I had never been there before.. surprised considering I LOVE mexican! We got 2 highchairs and Rachel and Grayson sat at the end of the table together. They "jabbered" over chips and tea. Several times Grayson tried to steal her sipcup, and drink it. Which didnt seem to bother Rachel, at all. He also took a chip from her.. so cute. guess its a "man thing" because I know of lots of men who like to steal food from their women ;) Together the two of them made quite the mess on the floor.. I always feel sorry for who-ever cleans up after my kids! I do try to get the big stuff up before leaving though, and leave a good tip! Caleb got a cheese qusidilla and rice, and Rachel basically inhaled his rice.. thats one of her favorite foods. And I tried the "Nachos Grande" which were soo good. I was stuffed when we got out of there. The kids had a great time and are already planning next weeks' get-away! ;)

Here are the little ones enjoying their lunch :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Random Thoughts

I dont have anything specific I can think to write about today, so I am just going to write about some random things from recent times. (got this from a friend, Abbey)

1. I cant believe it is the first day of March. already? I am seriously counting down the days until Spring.

2. I was going to go to IHOP tonight w/ Arnold and the kids for the free pancakes.. but figured it wasnt worth the huge crowds. I can have pancakes anytime.

3. I am currently reading "The Lucky One" by Nicholas Sparks. so far it is very good. I read all his books. I am doing good on the 12 books I bought from B&N lately, too.. finished 2 of them already.

4. I am so proud of Brooke. She is doing great in school. At her parent-teacher conference the other day her teacher told me that she knows a lot of things, has a great vocabulary, follows directions (most of the time) and is very social, and has made a lot of friends.

5. I cant stop thinking lately how fast my kids are growing. I just wish I could freeze time! Dont know if its that Rachel is fastly approaching 2 yrs, or that Brooke will be in KINDERGARTEN this coming year, or what. But it has found me emotional on several occasions!

6. I love spending time with my friends. They have been very supportive and wonderful through hard times, and I just really enjoy my time with them. Lauryn and I go shopping or have lunch most weeks, and I have started to really looking forward to that. And these girls' game nights every month have been awesome.. a time just to get a break from the kids and share some laughs. Cant wait for scrapbook night I have planned later this month :)

7. Money goes fast..... Our tax money is quickly dwindling. I hate that, but at least we were able to pay a bunch of things off, and get a lot done. It feels fun being "rich" for a few weeks though ;)

8. I am starting to plan a baby shower for one of my very best friends, Jess. I love planning showers or parties, or whatever the occasion is. I am so excited to meet baby Hunter this summer!

9. Last week I cooked a nice dinner for Arnold and even did all the extras like brought out the nice napkins, and even bought some dessert. I think he really was surprised and enjoyed it. That was a big deal for me, because I am not a good cook,and dont enjoy it.. so he cooks most of the time and I clean up! But when i saw how happy it made him, i may just have to try harder..

10. I can wait until yardsale season-- and its fastly approaching! I have so much fun every year getting up early (which is the only time i like to!) and getting together w/ friends or my sister-in-law.. and heading out. We somedays find some really great stuff. But even if we dont, its fun just hanging out. And we usually squeeze breakfast in there, too.

11. OWLS--they are my new thing! Lately it was turtles, because of a family joke.. and that was even Rachels bday theme last year. But owls are the thing this year. I love finding the girls' clothes w/ owls, or any other cute things. I even got Brooke owl bedding. And YES, Rachels bday theme this year will be OWLS, i have already decided :)

12. Found out that my cousin, Stephanie, is getting married. She just got engaged a few weeks ago. I am very happy for her. She is getting married in Sept, in Charleston. My family wants to attempt to make the weekend trip, along w/ our kids. I am dreading the trip part... but id love to go!

13. I am still in the process of weaning off my anxiety meds. My afternoon pill is down to 1/4. I am pretty proud of myself. I am supposed to be moving to the next step very soon, but I may postpone. This has been the toughest step thus far, and I am experiencing a lot of anxiety in the evenings recently. I even had my first panic attack in over a year.. the other night.. and it was absolutely horrible. I never want to go back to that place.

14. I re-arranged the girls' room last night. Looks pretty good, still figuring some things out. Sometimes a change feels good. I am planning on shopping for some cute decorative things to go in there, too.

15. Did i even mention that I hate whining, and tantrums? well i do. And Caleb had a horrible one yesterday, ALL the way to school to pick up Brooke. I didnt think hed EVER stop crying. And what was it all over? His shoes. Gotta love 3-year olds!