Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weekend of Celebrating!!

This weekend was absolutely awesome, one of the best in a very long time!!

Saturday morning my mom and I headed to Greensboro for a Christmas Classic craft show. They have lots of vendors set up and you can buy lots of things for gifts or whatever. It was huge and we did a lot of walking. There were LOTS of neat things (some people are really talented) and then a few things that really made you wonder what some people were thinking (not to be mean!) I was tempted to buy a lot but had to keep myself under control. I only ended up buying one thing really, a book for the kids. These authors from TN came and they had a series of books on God for kids. Answering their questions, and using a cute bear as the main character. I bought the one called "How tall is God" and it talked about how powerful and wonderful he is. The authors even signed the inside! Very neat, I cant wait to give it to the kids.. they have lots of questions lately! My mom stopped by all the pottery stands (that is her weakness) and also bought us and the kids new ornaments for this year--its become a tradition. Arnold got a musical note, I got a Owl (!!!), Brooke got a ballerina, Caleb got an airplane, and Rachel got a teddy bear. Cant wait to add them to the tree! We had been there forever and I noticed that it was almost 1:30 and we hadnt eaten yet, so we found the concession stand and I got a greasy cheeseburger and fries (yum yum right). The show was pretty good, but not as good as the Southern Chrismas Show, which we usually go to, but didnt make it this year. I heard it costs $500-$1,000 to have a booth at one of those shows.. I hope those people made some nice profits for spending that kind of money!!!! Yikes!!

While we were in Greensboro my Mom took me on a drive down memory lane! I grew up in Greensboro, in my early Childhood (we moved just shy of me turning 8) Mom drove by my old elementary school first-- It was so crazy, It was just like I remembered it! And I even sort of remembered the road we turned down to get to our old neighborhood (didnt know my memory was that good! ;) Then we drove thru and eventually got to our old house. It was amazing to see it! It even made mom cry! I know her and Dad want to move back to the area so badly, the only reason they dont is because they are so close to their grandkids now. They built that house when I was just a baby.. there are pics of me toddling around outside with dad. The house was gorgeous, with a huge basement, bay windows in the kitchen, a huge backyard.. it just doesnt get much better than that! I love that Mom took me back, I just hate it made her sad! Oh and of COURSE knowng me I took lots of pictures. Hope the new residents werent home, they probably thought I was a weirdo taking pics of their house! ;)

Sunday was a HUGE day for me! Arnold and I joined our church, and I got baptized!! That morning I woke up and my stomach was tossing and turning like crazy. It was mostly GOOD anxiety, but I was also a little worried about seeing my video I had made. I must say, it was strange putting on a bathing suit to wear to church, and especially in the dead of Novemeber (can honestly say that was a first!) We had so many family members and friends come out to celebrate with us, it was so amazing. I am so thankful for so many wonderful people in my life. I know I might have looked silly to some, inviting all those people to see, but I wanted to share it with them! My best friend Jess even showed up and that was a huge surprise!!!! :) They put me in the "jacuzzi for Jesus" along with the Pastor, and we stood there while my video was playing. I didnt get to see much of it because I was busy getting ready, but everyone told me I did pretty well. I cant wait to get a copy of it so I can watch it myself! The pastor dunked me under real quick and I came up and was sooooaking wet. The water was actually nice and warm! It was such a great feeling! I am so glad I went "bold" and did the dunking instead of the sprinkling. It made quite the statement! I just wish I wasnt facing away from the crowd, because they saw my wet jeans clinging to my skin im sure, and that couldnt have been pretty ;) I saw the pics.. believe me! When I got out I was handed a towel and was trying to get all the excess water off me, but I still left a trail all the way to the bathroom ;) Lauryn went with me and helped me change and even dryed my hair for me (I felt like a celebrity, I had a personal assistant AND the paparazzi there that day ;) Of course I ended up leaving my bag of clothes and hair dryer there on accident, which means I can expect some nasty moldy clothes that were ruined, but oh well.

Right after church we all went to lunch at Dos Amigos. I was a little afraid about them being able to fit all of us in there, but they actually take reservations there, so when I called they saved the back room for us! Lunch was so much fun, everyone got to talk and Lauryn kept taking lots of pictures for me. We did have to wait an hour or so on food, but I dont think anyone was TOO upset. After lunch we had cake. Yes, I had gotten a cake.. you know I love to celebrate! It tasted really good! And I dont know if the waiters there thought it was my birthday or what, but they came out singing to me, and made me wear the big sombrero (it was even a green one-- my fave color!) I was soo embarassed and Lauryn even got it on tape. As someone pointed out, it was like a new "birth" so I guess it was appropriate! :) After lunch we had a photo shoot with everyone and got a lot of great pics. I cant thank my friends enough for taking pictures for me all day, I have some of the most gorgeous shots to remember this day by! All in all it was an incredible time-- I cant exactly put into words how much it all meant to me!!!! :)

In the pool! And my video was playing above! haha

Arnold and I joining the church
A beautiful pic Lauryn got of my Parents and I

Wearing the sombrero!

My awesome lifegroup! they are like a second family to me!

The cake! Yes they spelled Congratulations wrong. I guess we can let it slide this once. But yall know it bothered me ;)

My childhood home! isnt it beautiful?!

My old elementary school! Now i can show Brooke where I went to Kindergarten :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vacation Week!

This week has been CRAZY. Some in a good way, some not so good. Arnold has been off work all week, and the kids got off school for Thanksgiving break on Wed.

On the first day of vacation we had to run out and do some errands. Had to go to the bank, to make another layaway payment, and things like that. Rachel was so happy having her Daddy along with us ;) Arnold was a little grumpy about getting out early and doing so much, but he shut up with I agreed for us to all go to lunch at Village Inn (his fave restaurant at all time!) We were the first ones in for lunch, so they made the pizzas WE wanted, fresh and ready! I have to admit, it was a pretty yummy lunch! ;)

On Tuesday Rachel was really whiny and clingy, and felt pretty hot to me. She has also been coughing alot and sounded wheezy when she would breathe. It was so pitiful, all she wanted to do was sit with me and rock in the chair. I was a little worried it might be strep or RSV, so Arnold took her to the Dr. Of course after a wait and copay we found out it was just a common cold. But better safe than sorry! After a few days of natural honey cough syrup, tylenyol, and the vaporizer running in her room, she is feeling much better :)

Tuesday Arnold also went to school to have lunch with Brooke and Caleb (i stayed at home with Rach since she wasnt feeling well) It turns out that Brooke's teacher had been trying to reach us anyway, and that Brooke had been coughing and had a slight temp too, so they sent her home. Since it was already late afternoon Arnold brought Caleb home, too. So they started their Thanksgiving break a little early, but oh well. Brooke had to miss Girl Scouts that night, which really bummed her out. At least they are all feeling better now!

Brooke lost her 4th tooth Tues evening! It had been wiggly for awhile and came right out. I cant believe shes lost that many already. It was the 2nd on top, and now shes missing her two front teeth! Haha, just like the Christmas song. She sounds even more funny now when she talks ;) She actually lost her tooth because she just had to carry it around that evening, so I helped her write a note to the tooth fairy explaining what happened. She was so worried until I told her the Tooth Fairy would still come ;)

Brooke had been asking us alot lately if she could go back to Granny's Kitchen (her class went there for a fieldtrip for Thanksgiving) and so as a surprise on their first day off school we took them there for lunch. The food was pretty good, Im glad we tried it out. It was funny watching Brooke try to eat a corndog missing her teeth. It took her quite a long time to finish her lunch! After that we went to Mighty Dollar and let the kids spend their money.. they each had a few dollars they had saved (they are like their parents.. cant save much more than that b/c they like to shop, lol!!!) We also bought some "shatter proof" ornaments for the Christmas tree, to hopefully keep the kids safe since they like to mess with the tree. We did purple and silver this year, I think it looks pretty! And have the ornaments stayed on the tree? Not really... Darnit if Rachel isnt just so curious! ;)

Thursday was Thanksgiving of course, but I'll write about that in its own blog ;)

Friday I did NOT go Black Friday shopping that morning. Shocker, right? That I dont like the craziness, crowds, and traffic ;) I went last year and had to stand in the rain, cold, and deal with rude people. Didnt want to do that again. Instead I got online and ordered some things at great prices. They had a lot of their deals online, so it worked out great! I am not expecting several packages in the mail next week.. I think I have overdone it this year, but its been soo much fun. Arnold has been helping me wrap as time has gone on, so he's seen everything. He jokes that hes going to cut me off from the money ;) I DID go out this afternoon though, just for a few things. Got in on a BOGO Wii game deal at Toys R Us, a cheap game and body pillow cover at Target, and a birthday gift and some doll clothes for Brooke at AC Moore. The crowds were still pretty bad this afternoon, so now im REALLY glad I didnt go earlier!

Friday afternoon we took the kids to the movies to see The Muppets. I absolutely love the Muppets, so I knew I wanted to go anyway. The kids have been to 2 movies before this one.. Winnie the Pooh and Dolphin Tale, so I was hoping theyd do ok. Even with a matinee and Rachel being free, it was $31 just for us to get tickets! Craziness! I dont even want to think about how expensive the future is going to be with 3 kids :-/ I of course snuck in my usual snacks.. boxes of candy for everyone, and 2 sodas for Arnold and I. They really weighed my purse down and it wouldnt zip up, so Im glad they didnt see it ;) My mom ended up going with us, and Natalie and her daughter Izzy went too. It was Izzy's first movie! :) Brooke ate an entire bag of gummy worms herself! and later knocked over the bucket of popcorn my mom bought! (at least we had already eaten about half) We sat on the very back row, which worked out good so we didnt bother people as much. Because after about halfway thru Rach had lost interest and was walking around and talking. Then wanting to sit on the steps! But overall it went well I guess, and the movie was really good. There were a few guest stars in it I wasnt expecting ;)

So anyway, this week has been pretty great. Lots of family time. Arnold and I also started working on seriously de-cluttering the house. I read this thing called "40 bags in 40 days" where you clean out one thing/room a day and after awhile its supposed to be really neat and organized. Since our house is kindof small we knew it wouldnt take us that many days, but we went by that mind-set. The first day we cleaned out this HUGE wooden toybox of the kids. It is now being used to store and hide Christmas gifts.. shhhh! ;) Then we also have worked on our bookshelves, and Calebs room/closet. I am feeling quite accomplished! We even found my old highschool ring in the basement, pawned it, and made $77 bucks. LOL! Some quick, unexpected money, can't beat that! ;)

Hope everyone has had a great week!!! :) :)

The kids waiting on the movie to start

Brooke showing off the space in her mouth where her teeth are missing!The kids at Grannys Kitchen
The day Rachel wasnt feeling well. She looks so pitiful!

Rach and I at lunch at Village Inn with Arnold

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

Yesterday was really busy, but pretty fun! After the big kids went to school, Rachel and I went out into town for awhile. We went to Target mostly just to look around. I had heard of some good DS games and Wii games being on clearance, but I didnt find any. Rachel carried around a nutcracker through the store that had long hair and was holding a guitar, and kept calling it daddy ;) Haha... on a sidenote, that may be a cute thing for Arnold, for him to keep on his desk at work. I ended up finding some clearance clothes for the girls, and a few things in the dollar spot.. lets me honest, when do I EVER go to Target and not leave with at least SOMETHING?? :)

After Target we met my Mom at Toys R Us. She was finishing up her Christmas shopping for the kids, and I led her around the store telling her what the kids loved. It worked out great because after we had bought the kids' gifts, they kept telling of of other things they "really had to have" so I just pushed those ideas off on the Grandparents. Thank goodness for Grandparents right?? ;) Between us and them, the kids have gotten just about everything on their lists, they are way too spoiled. Oh well, thats part of the fun of it :) Mom got Brooke a Lalaloopsy doll (the cheerleader to be exact, b/c thats the one she wanted) I didnt think Brooke would get into those things, but she did, just like all the other girls. She calls them the "button-eyed- dolls" though :) Mom got Caleb some optimus prime and green lantern action figures and a case for his Leapster. Might have not been a good thing because recently Calebs Leapster stopped working right.. I think its because he stuck candy in the cartridge slot one day... :-/ Kids are always ruining things, arghh! Arnold is in the process of trying to fix it... Anyway, then Mom got Rachel the Dora guitar. That was easy because rachel was actually PLAYING with it so she knew she liked it. That thing is loud and obnoxious though, so yay!!! (sarcasm for sure) Lastly we went and looked around the electronics section. Since we are getting the kids a Wii as their Santa gift, mom thought she would buy a few games for them. It was a hard time finding LITTLE kids games. A lot are for 7 or 10 and up. But we found a Pet Rescue game and some kind of driving game. Later I will be getting the JUST DANCE games, for sure ;) And then we waited in a long line. Mom thought by doing her shopping "early" this year, she wouldnt have to deal with lines and lots of people.. WRONG!! Toys R Us has been packed the last 5 times I went in there, at least!!

Then Rachel and I swung by Taco Bell to get a quick lunch. she even TOLD me thats what she wanted, and then she didnt eat her chicken burrito.. so that was a waste! Then we stopped by Walmart real quick, and then we met up with Jackie, her son, and Erika at RITAS!!! Haha, its kind of become a weekly tradition now! I dont even care that its freezing cold outside, have to have my icy crack ;) I tried Pineapple flavor this time.. another new flavor for me, and Rachel got vanilla.. I got her her own kiddie cup this time around since she always thinks she has to steal mine ;) I happened to notice that I had had a few missed calls and a voicemail, I listened to it and found out that Caleb's teacher had been trying to get in touch with me. She had even called Arnold and his dad (emergency contact) but then finally I got back in touch with the school. Turns out Caleb had had "explosive diarhea" as she put it, and she tried to clean him up as best as she could, but she said I should pick him up because he smelled. haha, poor guy. So we got over to the school as quick as we could and got him. Thankfully he didnt seem to be sick, at first I thought it might be the stomach bug. We have been lucky enough to get through the season so far without getting that stupid bug (but I dont want to jinx us!!! ;)

That night I was going to see BREAKING DAWN with my sister-in-law and a few friends. There was no way I would have gone to the midnight show the night before, when all the crazies were out ;) It was still pretty packed though. I got there 45 mintes early, and met up with Jenn first. They were taking picture with cutouts of Jacob, Edward and Bella in the lobby. So I got my picture with my man of course ;) Then Natalie and her cousin got there, and we got into line. The line to get into the actual movie was wrapped around the theater, crazy stuff! Eventually they started checking tickets, and Beth hadnt gotten there yet with ours (she had bought all of them in advance) and so we had to move to the back of the line and wait on her. But thankfully Natalie was able to save 4 extra seats for us! They were pretty good seats too! When we got into the room I stepped back and tripped over some steps and fell down... can we say embarassing! A girl saw me and said ARE YOU OK?! Haha, at least someone cared ;) I was ok, just fell on my right wrist and it was throbbing for a little bit. But as Arnold put it "I got over it as soon as Jacob came on the screen" which was kinda true ;) It took FOREVER for the movie to start, because they were experiencing some problems with the screen, sound, etc. Finally it started working and everyone was cheering, it was funny. The movie was awesome. Best one so far, in my opinion. It helps that Jacob took his shirt off within just a few minutes of the movie ;) There were a few scenes that were pretty gruesome, but I was expecting that from reading the books. Im so glad Jenn has finally jumped on board with all the Twilight stuff so that she can come along to the movies with us now ;) It was an awesome Girls' night!! :) :)

Natalie and her cousin at the movies

Jenn and I waiting in line
Me and my man, yummmmm ;)

Jackie and Logan at Ritas

Erika and I with Rach Rach. She looks like such a big girl! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mid-Week Randoms!

~This is my 375th post! Am I a blogging nerd or what?! :)

~I have been storing all the Christmas presents I've bought in our "coat closet" in the living room. We really dont have much more storage than that. Thankfully Rachel hasnt figured out whats in there yet, she likes to jump in there every once in awhile and play hide and seek. Anyway, I laid everything out on the living room floor the other night after the kids had gone to bed, to see what I actually had, and put the stuff into categories. Well, Arnold told me I have a problem! Geez, thats not very nice, is it?! He reminded me that we STILL have stuff on layaway at Toys R Us, that hasnt even been brought home yet. Yikes. Oh well, I got good deals on everything, and its going to be a fun year. Plus, I have a decent-sized group for Toys for Tots and a family we are helping out this year, so I am happy!

~All those online yardsales have been driving me crazy. I tried not to get sucked in, but of course I did. I found a few things I wanted to buy, including a PS2 game for someone. I told Arnold all about it and that I had to meet the lady to buy it. He was like "youre meeting someone you dont even know?!" I told him to chill out, that I was meeting her in a public place. He said well ok then... I am way more trusting than him I think. That has gotten me into trouble some in the past though :-/ Anyway, I love the groups, and I decided to try selling some things too. I was surprised at how quickly I got a response, and I've already sold quite a few things. There was this one thing Im really glad I DIDNT sell before talking to Arnold first though. It is a cookie jar that we never ever use and he didnt even seem to care about. But later I found out it is a Walt Disney antique, and she showed me some that were selling for alot of $$$ on Ebay, so I was shocked! Some cookie jar, huh. I wouldnt pay that much for one... even though I collect them ;)

~Speaking of the online yardsales, I went to meet that lady to pick up the PS2 game the other day. We met at Babies R Us, in the parking lot, so everything went well. I didnt know for sure what she was driving, but I just looked for a lady who was sitting in a car.. and I found her! Then I was supposed to meet someone I actually know, who was buying something from me. I couldnt seem to find he ANYWHERE in the parking lot, even though I had been there for awhile, so I drove around the parking lot parking next to cars, trying not to look crazy. I finally found one that might be her (I dont know what she drives) and I saw a girl in the window around her age and her hair color, but she was looking away. So i went up to the window, knocked, and waved, and the girl inside jumped out of her skin. Yeah.. the girl in the car was not who I thought it was! So she rolled down the window and I told her that I thought she was someone I was supposed to meet, and apologized for scaring her. Quite embarassing, but I got over it. So if you hear of a "crazy person" that was roaming the Babies R Us parking lot earlier this week, you can be pretty sure it was me ;)

~Had a playdate earlier in the week with Jackie and her son Logan. The kids played in the playarea at the mall. Crystin and her kids ended up showing up too, and I had NO idea they were coming, so that was a great surprise. I havent seen Crystin in forever! We got to chat and catch up, I feel like I was talking a mile a minute. But what else is new? ;) Then we went upstairs and had lunch when Lauryn got there. I was at the mall at lunchtime so where did I go? Sbarros.. no shocker there! My usual pizza, breadsticks, ranch dressing, and Dr pepper. Total heart-stopping goodness and I loved every bite of it ;) I'm still down several lbs from when I started first losing weight a few months ago, so I try not to feel TOO guilty about it ;)

~Yesterday afternoon I spent the afternoon baking. Yeah, you read that right. Of course I really didnt WANT to. After all, I still dont understand how some people like to cook for FUN. But we were going to a dinner that night, and everyone else was, so I figured Id better join in. I made deviled eggs, which actually turned out pretty good. I had a few people compliment them without me prompting, so I guess they werent lying ;) And then I made rice krispie treats. I had NEVER made them before.. seriously. I got the stuff to make them and then called my mom. I told her "i dont understand, how long am I supposed to put them in the oven?!" And she told me that i DONT put them in the oven, but let them cool and harden in the fridge. So by then I didnt have enough hours for them to harden well enough, and when I took them out they pretty much crumbled apart. Arnold called them my "rice krispie crumbles" instead of "treats" haha. They still tasted good.. the kids especially didnt seem to mind ;) I sent a text picture to my dad of the eggs (he LOVES deviled eggs) and he said I could be in charge of bringing deviled eggs to Thanksgiving dinner at their house next week. Seriously?! I got roped into more cooking? Sheesh.... ;)

~So the food was for our Lifegroup Thanksgiving dinner. We planned on having it this week instead of next week, in case anyone was out of town or couldnt make it to the meeting. Everyone signed up to bring something, and we had a TON of food. We had turkey, mac & cheese, potato salad, deviled eggs, artichoke dip with some flat bread things, rolls, german chocolate cake, and pumpkin pie. Oh and sweet tea :) I ate and ate and ate.. I felt like I was being a pig, but it was all so good ;) The kids ended up going with us so they could eat the dinner too, and me being so crazy thought they MIGHT end up being good enough to stay for the meeting, but of course they werent, so we had to end up leaving early, which really bummed me out. But oh well, at least we went to the dinner part, and it was fun! :)

~Can yall get over the amounts of RAIN we have had this week? It was coming down so much and so hard the other day when I took the kids to school that we were literally walking in standing water. I couldnt find the umbrella and so we used our hoods and the kids ran up the hill to the school. I got home and was drenched, I actually had to change clothes! And then this morning Caleb stepped in a puddle and half of his pants were soaked when he first got into his class and was complaining of being wet and cold. I know we need rain but good gracious that was alot! It was nice to go to sleep to though ;)

~Brooke and Caleb got their brochures for the BOOK FAIR that is coming to their school on Dec. 4th and 5th. I cant resist a Book Fair. Last year I ended up buying books for all the kids, and buying a book for the classroom, that was on the teacher's wishlist. I plan to do that again this year too. They put a list of some of the books that will be available there, I like to call them "teasers." :) Brooke and Caleb already found a few they "have to have" of course. Going to try to hold myself back from spending too much.. but everyone knows I have a terrible weakness for books!!!

~Tomorrow is Friday!!! Yay. Its going to be a pretty awesome day. Arnold is going to a Thanksgiving lunch with Brooke's class, I am going out to run some errands with Rachel, and meet some friends for RITAS. I hope they have some good flavors tomorrow ;) I found out that if you buy a $10 giftcard for someone, they will give you a free italian ice. I know I could just BUY one and save the rest of the $$$ but I know of several friends the GC would work for this Christmas. And they have me to thank for getting them all hooked to the stuff. Its like crack. Icy crack. :)

Our Lifegroup at our Thanksgiving dinner

Lauryn and I
Rachel in her Thanksgiving shirt. It says "EVERYONE IS THANKFUL FOR ME!" A little stuck on herself?! Yeah.. but its so true ;)

Logan and Rachel playing together at the Mall

Jackie, Lauryn and I after having lunch in the foodcourt

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Review!

Friday night Brooke went to Girl Scout flag ceremony with her troop. We had a few hours to kill, so Arnold and I decided to take Caleb and Rachel out. We went to Ollie's and looked around first, I LOVE their book selection! They also have a ton of toys out now, for Christmas. The kids had fun looking around, but they were also whining more and more of "I want this and I want this!" I get tired of hearing it and tell them to "add it to the list" although I know they will forget about it in a minute or two, so its all good ;) They have some great deals on their toys too, I was tempted to buy even more for the kids, but I am actually done Christmas shopping for them already and need to restrain myself! I ended up leaving with only a birthday gift, Christmas stickers for my Christmas cards this year, and invitations for my baptism later this month. Yeah, I left without buying any books.. first time thats happened there! ;) Then we went by Target and looked around some more, I was mainly there for diapers but left my coupon in the van and didnt realize it till later, so I decided it wasnt worth going out in the cold again, and I would get them later ;) The kids got icees while we were in there, yeah the mess they made in the van with those later wasnt pretty!!! Lastly we stopped by Toys R Us, but the kids were being awful by then and Arnold was SO stressed, so we decided to go on home. We were able to get them to bed before Brooke even got home, so it was nice :)

Saturday morning we got the kids ready and headed to Barnes & Noble for "Breakfast with Cat in the Hat." I am so glad someone posted about it on Facebook, I knew the kids would enjoy something like that! We had technically eaten breakfast already, but we got some drinks and snacks from the cafe when we got there. I was excited because so many of our friends came out as well! Erika, Jackie, Natalie, Jennifer, Dusty and Teresa were all there and I got to see them! The kids went absolutely crazy when the Cat came out. Rachel ran right up to him and kept saying ITS THE CAT IN THE HAT!!!! Brooke actually climbed up onto his lap.. I had to get her to move so other moms could get pics of their kids with him ;) Then everyone went to the back of the store for storytime with him. But at this point the kids were bored with it and running around everywhere with their friends. At least we got to chat w/ the adults! Rachel's new friend Amelia is soo sweet and they were following each other around everywhere :)

After the breakfast, we decided to go grab a treat as a family, so we went thru the line at Krispy Kreme and got a dozen donuts. The HOT and READY sign was on too, they were soooo yummy. I could seriously sit and eat and eat warm donuts. I had to cut myself off ;) After that Arnold went home and I went out to do a little more Christmas shopping since our trip had gotten cut short the night before. I went back to Toys R Us because they were having some "mega sale" and I found this awesome doll for Brooke, for 60% off! It was the last one on the shelf too, so I got lucky. I also picked up some clearance items, and they put a lot of their clearance clothes/shoes for $2 so I was able to grab Caleb two new pairs! Awesome deal! Then i went to Micheals and was looking around, I even had a pile of stuff in my arms already. Then I got a call from Arnold, and he was yelling "COME HOME NOW!" I thought he was just joking or just really mad at the kids or something.. but then he explained to me that he thought Rachel had eaten some animal poision. We have fields out behind our house, and there are lots of critters all around-- mice, rabbits, squirrels, etc, so Arnold had put some pellets of the stuff out around our house. He had been working outside in the yard while the kids played, and he said he saw Rachel holding some of the pellets, but wasnt 100% sure if she had eaten any or not. He called poison control and they said she should be fine, just to watch her for signs of bleeding. That stuff is basically blood thinners. I used to take blood thinners after my blood clot in 2009, and they told me it was rat poison! isnt that crazy?! Anyway, of course, Rachel was fine. But it about gave poor Arnold a heart attack! Usually he is so calm about things! Meanwhile, I was driving home at 90 mph (literally) to get to Rachel. Im so glad I didnt get pulled over by the cops.. but man was it a rush ;) I was ready with my story and everything, if I DID get pulled over.

That afternoon we went over to Arnold's parents house for awhile, and he helped his dad work on his lawn mower that was having some problems. Then we went to a fall festival at Joanne's church. Their church has some awesome kids' events that they put on! They had bounce houses set up, games, prizes, and a hay ride. I made Arnold go on the hay ride with the kids ;) After all the games they had a hotdog dinner. Then they had a cake walk. I bought the kids tickets to go in it, and they didnt win the first time. I kept buying them and I think they ended up going in it 5 times. Arnold said MAN i could have made you cupcakes for what you put into the tickets. But by then it was about the thrill of winning ;) I really wanted those cupcakes, too! So did I win? No... did Joanne and Melissa, after 1 try? YES. Noooo fair! They also had a raffle of some neat things, which we didnt win either, but at least the money went to a good cause. The kids had a great time!!! Before we went home we went by Mom and Dad's house so they could visit. Grandma gave them ice cream while we were there.. they are all about the spoiling! ;)

Sunday morning before church I went and did my grocery shopping. Let me tell you, Sunday morning about 9am is the TIME to go! There was only 1 other person in the store. It was so nice, calm, and relaxing. I was a little worried they thought I was in there strolling around, without another thought about church.. but we dont go until 11am! So i had plenty of time ;) On a sidenote-- I worry waaaay too much about what people think about me ;) Anyway, then we went to church. This weeks message was "Why does God allow pain and suffering in Life?" I had really been interested when I heard about this message, and like always, I left with a new understanding of things, and some new insight. I love love love our new church, and our pastor Jesse!!! :) I know I say it all the time, but it is so true.

We were supposed to go out to lunch with Lauryn, but she wasnt feeling well, so we went to grab some lunch ourselves. Then we took the kids to a birthday party at the Science Center, for their friend Laney, who was turning 7. Happy Birthday Laney! Just the big kids went, so we took Rachel out with us for awhile, while we waited for them to get done. Then yesterday evening I went over to Joanne's house for a girls' night. We played JUST DANCE.. I had been bugging her to play for awhile now so I guess she finally gave in ;) And I must say.. I think I am getting better after just my second attempt, hahaha. It is so fun. I cant wait until we get our Wii this Christmas so I can play it all the time. And yes, I was sweating again after I was done. Way out of shape, but its a good workout! And then we watched the Pilot episode of that new show "Hot in Cleveland.." its that show with Betty White. I loved it! Oh great, another show to get addicted to, I dont need anymore, Ive already become quite the couch potato at night this fall! ;)

The kids on Saturday before we went out. Brooke was wearing her hat that made her say LOOK MAMA I LOOK LIKE RAY!!!! hahahaha, I about died laughing ;)

The cat in the hat! Rachel went right up to him!
The kids visiting their Pop Pop!!

My girls and I at the Fall Festival! Love this pic! Arent they beautiful ladies?! :)

Recent Ramblings!

Someone pointed out to me that I hadn't written a blog in over a week! How could that be?! GASP. Yeah I had a pretty crazy busy week last week. Glad that is over! So here is a little of what has been going on...

~Most of you know what went on mid-last week, I didn't want to post the details all over facebook out of respect. But just to update-- everything went SO wonderfully! Praise God for answered prayers. Just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for the kind messages, calls, and comments on FB. And especially the prayers! They were definitely felt!

~RIP to my Rainbows. Yeah, I am still getting over that one. My lovely, awesome pair of Rainbows (my VERY first pair I might add) that Arnold got me for Mothers Day have been chewed up and destroyed by our dog, Oreo. I had left them outside the other day because I stepped in something (gross) and didn't think much about it. I came home to find them in the yard all chewed up! One strap was ripped off! I wont lie-- it took me a minute to get over that :( Well, they lasted a good 6 months at least. And they WERE looking pretty rough and nasty, because you know I wore them every day, even on the cold days ;) Arnold said he now knows what he can get me for Christmas. Good excuse to get a new pair I guess! ;)

~I finished reading my book "The Power of a Praying Wife." It was awesome! I had never really thought about how my actions, words, and prayer life could affect my husband so much. The book inspired me and made me want to do even more for him. Arnold is an amazing husband and I don't thank him nearly enough. So i made sure to tell him yesterday just how much I appreciate him. And I am going to try to work harder at being the best wife I can, because he deserves it! Not to mention I know its what God wants me to do :)

~Monday night I went to church and they recorded a video of me for my baptism later this month. I had to tell a mini-testimony basically, about how God has moved in my life, what's going on lately, and why i wanted to be baptized. I was worried about it all day long, feeling sick to my stomach! I get so nervous when I have to talk in front of people. I can write all day long, but when I talk I either talk too fast, trip over my words, sound ditzy, or SOMETHING. Thank goodness Allison was there with me, and she prayed for me and stayed with me the whole time which really calmed me down.. so thank you!!! ;) The guy recording my video was pretty great too, he made it easy on me. And he promised hed edit the video so I looked good, so im sure ill be happy with it! Now that thats over with, I am even MORE excited about my baptism on the 27th. It is going to be an EPIC day, that is for sure!!!! :)

~Tuesday we had a playdate with Erika at the mall. Rachel was so happy to get to see Makenzie, she had missed her because they were busy a lot of the month of October. They played together in the play area while Erika and I chatted (love my girl time!) and we ran into a girl I know from a local moms' group too, so the girls all played together and we talked with her, too. Rachel wanted to push Kenzie around in her stroller, she really loves being the "big girl" while the kids are at school ;) She even keeps telling me that she wants to "grow up".. boy she knows how to break her mama's heart!!! After the kids played we went up to Chick fila and and had lunch. Used to not like that place but it is slowly growing on me. Rachel had gotten a free kids meal coupon for Halloween, so we got to use that too. And of course she had her icecream before we left, and ended up feeding some to Kenzie, too. She is so generous ;)

~Thursday and Friday Brooke and Caleb were off of school. I will be 100% completely honest, I wasnt really looking forward to that at all! I love my kids more than life itself, but when the 3 of them are together in the house at once, watch out. There are fights, it is loud, and more messes than you could imagine. It had only been a few hours Thurs and I was already going crazy, So i decided to take them out for awhile. I also hate taking them all into public at the same time, but oh well. We went to pay the water bill, then got happy meals at Mcdonalds. Then we went to Toys R Us, because I needed to make a payment on our layaway. While i was paying, Rachel decided to knock down a display at the front of the store.. really embarassing. I dont want to be known as one of those parents who "doesnt watch what their kids are doing" but it happened in a second, she is fast! Anyway, then I let them look around at the toys for awhile. But that was a mistkae, because when I tried to leave, they all threw tantrums, and I ended up running out of there as fast as I could while people stared. Arggggh. The next day was a little better, they seemed to get along better.. and stayed busy playing and making their Pop Pop get well cards. Arnold ended up getting off early Friday afternoon, and thank goodness for him!!!!! :)

~Thursday night Brooke had a girl scout event to go to. Their troop met at the Art Museum and did a lot of crafts. They made paper flowers and painted a vase for them to go in, and made a "pop up" card to give someone. Brooke is really loving girl scouts, and Im so happy that her very own Aunt is the leader, it makes things easier on both of us! While she was there, I went out shopping for a little bit. I went to Hamricks.. which I used to think of as the "old people" store, but they have some really cute kid stuff! I love their clearances, too! I also went by Tuesday Morning (a store I discovered thanks to my mom) and they were having one of their 50% off clearnce weekends, and I got a LOT of toys for $13!! I have been watching deals and picking up things along the way for TOYS FOR TOTS and other programs. So i was so happy to find the deals that night! I was tempted to go by Rita's too, while I was out in the area, but didnt get around to it ;)

The kiddos on one of their days at home

Got Rachel to wear another bow this week! It didnt last long, but it was an improvement! The sweater she is wearing is from Old Navy, and I liked it because it was GREEN. Arnold said it looked like a boy sweater! Sheesh!
My dad and I! I love him!!! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend Review

Friday morning it was raining and I was really tempted to stay in, but Rachel and I decided to get out and do something anyway. We went to Hallmark to look around. They had a $5 off $10 or more coupon to there, so we picked up a few more Christmas gifts. I had to be careful with her in there.. toddlers and breakables don't mix!! Then we went into Target (what is a trip to town without stopping by Target?!) The Halloween stuff had made its way to 70% off, so we had to make a trip down those aisles again, and found a few more good deals. Then we went to pick up some lunch and headed over to work so Rachel could see her Daddy and Paw for lunch :) After we left there, we met Jackie and her son over at Rita's for some good ol' italian ice! I was seriously starting to crave it again ;) We had blue raspberry this time. Well Rachel tried again to steal my cup but I made her share ;) She had a good time playing with Logan, too :) That afternoon I picked up the kids from school, along with Malachi. We had been watching Malachi a few days after school since his dad had surgery the other day. The kids had a blast playing together all week. I was exhausted by the end of it all, though. I guess I couldn't have handled 4 kids after all ;) Thats what Arnold says at least!!

Saturday morning I met Jackie and Joanne out and about and we went shopping. It was a last-min thing, Im glad Joanne asked me to go along, because it was fun to hang out w/ the girls! We went to Kohl's first, and looked at all the cute baby stuff. I got to play with sweet little Ben while we were in there :) Then we went to Target (yes, again!) and this time I got sucked into looking at the clearance clothes, and got Rachel a new outfit. Hey, at least it was on clearance, right?! And I did carry it around with me thru the store before I decided for sure if I wanted it or not.. and I did.. it was just that cute :) Anyway, then we went over to Once Upon a Child. I ended up getting Rachel a few new Dora books (cant beat books at 50cents!) and Joanne even picked her up a Dora "look and find" book for Christmas :) Lastly, we went over to Wendy's to grab some lunch. This sweet lady in front of me in line offered me a coupon she wasnt going to use, so I ended up getting an extra cheeseburger for free. I didnt really need 2 cheeseburgers, so I bought some chili to go along with it, and ended up taking it home to the hubby :) Joanne also gave us some extra coupons for free frostys, so Ill have to go back sometime soon and get one ;)

I had told the kids if they behaved for their daddy while I was gone that morning that I'd go by and rent a movie for them to watch that afternoon. so i got the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (not it is NOT too early to watch it!!) They are really into Charlie Brown lately, for some reason. So we all sat around and watched it while eating popcorn. Well actually, Arnold was asleep in the middle of the living room floor during this (his throat was hurting and he wasnt feeling well :( A little later that afternoon my Mom came over to see the kids. She and my dad had been on a trip out west for 10 days, and of course she was dying to see her grandkids. She had brought them back gifts from the trip- A chipmunk puppet for Rachel, artset for Brooke, and toy airplane that lights up for Caleb (they LOVED that airplane, and played with it all afternoon!) That night after we put the kids to bed, Arnold and I watched "Bad Teacher." It was ok, not as good as I had imagined it being, but at least Arnold and I had some time together. We also sat there eating out of the kids' halloween candy bags while watching :)

This morning of course the time changed. But nope, if you were wondering, we didnt get an extra hour of sleep. because kids didnt get the memo! They felt like it was time for them to get up, so they got up. Oh well. This morning I left out early and went to the 9:30 service at church, while Arnold stayed at home and later brought the kids to the 11:00 service. I was doing my "shadowing" in the baby class of the childwatch. I had to watch and see how everything was done, because Im going to start working in there regularly, next month. Oh how I loved it in there this morning! There were FIVE little ones in there, and a few of them were itty bitty! I got to feed one a bottle, and then I ended up rocking one and carrying her around trying to get her to calm down. I definately got my baby fix in today! Arnold says he is glad I can do this now, get to see babies, but then they get to stay there! haha! :) After that, I went with Arnold to our regular service. We sat with Erika, Amy, Ray, Kelly, the other Amy, and Chase.. all together :) Another great message this morning, like usual, and we had communion since it was the 1st Sunday of the month.

This afternoon my mom had asked me if the kids and I wanted to drive down to Costco with her, so Brooke, Caleb and I went with her while Rachel stayed with Arnold. The whole trip I dont think I stopped running my mouth, I had so much to tell mom that had happened since she had been gone on their trip for so long. The kids did pretty well on the trip, I was surprised. I had never been to Costco, and I liked looking at all the stuff, and they have some pretty decent prices, especially on kids' pjs and toys, oh and books too.. cant forget the books! So we waited on mom to do her shopping, and browsed a little while. Then got some frozen yogurt before we left. It was soo yummy :) The kids barely made a dent in theirs though, those cups were big!! When we got home we all had dinner here and read some books and then put the kids to bed a little early. Although it didnt FEEL early to them because of the time change. Guess thats a perk :)

Rachel with her chipmunk puppet from Grandma :)

Jackie, Joanne and I shopping at Kohls
Brooke and Malachi :)

Rachel enjoying some italian ice :)

Rachel at Daddy's work, wearing her new puffer vest! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mid-Week Randoms

~Yesterday, November 1st, was the 7th birthday of my son that I gave up for adoption when I was 19. Thank you for all the sweet words and messages yesterday, they were very encouraging! Nov 1st is always somewhat of a tough day for me, It really makes me think about him. I in no way regret my decision, but its still normal to feel a sense of questioning about who he is, what he's like, etc. Only getting a yearly letter and a few pictures is a peek into his life, but not the same of course. Although I couldn't have chosen better parents for him. I absolutely love his adoptive parents, they are loving, Godly people who seem to have a stable, happy marriage. And I can tell by the pics of Joseph that he is so loved and well taken care of. God has his hand all over this situation! So happy 7th Birthday Joseph! I hope one day, when you are of age, you will decide to meet me. Because even though I was just your womb for development and safe place to grow for 9 months, I still love you unconditionally and would do anything for you!

~Yesterday I also had Brooke's 1st teacher conference of the year. I've talked before about how her teacher is, and I was so worried that the kids would act up and embarrass me while we were there, but thankfully the teacher across the hall offered to let them stay with her while we talked. Mrs Jeffries went over all the things Brooke is doing, and what shes good at, and what she still needs to work on. She got her very first report card! She got all S's (for satisfactory) except for one, and that was on paying attention. LOL! She has always been like that, she has to be re-focused a lot. But overall she is doing wonderful! They take a test at the beginning of the year to see where they are at, and they recently took the same test, and she had a BIG jump on the scale, so I was happy about that (although I have to thank her teacher for that, mostly!) And the teacher said she is a very sweet girl, a big helper, and has a big heart. As a mom it always makes you proud to hear good things about your kids!

~Last night they had "Spirit Night" at Chick Fila in the mall, and if you went to eat there between 5 and 8, proceeds went to Brooke and Calebs school. So of course you know we went! ;) I was supposed to meet Arnold there after work and we waited, and waited, and he never showed up. Well of course I was panicky, so I drove all the way out to his work to see if for some reason he was still there and lost track of time, but he wasnt. Then I got a call and he was at home! He had showed up late and we had JUST missed each other. So I was driving around so long that poor Rachel fell asleep in the backseat :) But we eventually got there and had dinner. They had the Cow walking around for the kids. Brooke and Caleb went up and hugged him. And after awhile of thinking about it, Rachel went up and high-fived him, then yelled out "BYE COW!!!" Right then Malachi and his dad showed up to eat too. So Brooke was thrilled and they were all over each other hugging each other (they are too young for that!!) haha!

~I love after-holiday clearances! I always go to Target to check out the stuff they have left. The day after they only go 30-50% off. Later on they go 75-90% off, but by then, most of the stuff is gone. I went and got a few things leftover from Halloween. They had a spongebob halloween book that I got for Rachel, a toy sword for Caleb (which may be a mistake, he can be rough!), a CARS pez dispenser, a Halloween cup with the little "floaties" inside, and a Superhero piggy bank! I was excited about the bank, caleb has been wanting one, and they had a lot of piggy banks "dressed up" as things, but since they were halloween-related, they were half off! I am saving it for him for Christmas, he will love it. While i was there, I also picked up an outfit for a baby gift. A good friend of Arnold's at work just became a grandpa! Congratulations Eric!!! His daughter had a sweet, 6lb baby girl the other day :)

~I was so happy last night when my shows came back on. For the past several Tues. nights they have been on hold for the World Series. So last night I was able to watch Glee, The New Girl, and Raising Hope again! Damien finally guest-starred on Glee last night! I cant believe his character though, its a pretty silly story-line. But I still love his accent! ;)

~I am gaining an extra kid this week! Brooke's "boyfriend" Malachi is coming over to play after school, for the rest of the week. His dad Pete is going to Baptist to have surgery today (please keep him in your prayers!) They are good friends of ours, and we are happy to be able to help them out! Brooke of course is ECSTATIC that he is coming over to play. So today I am working on cleaning, figuring out some activities for the kids, and later grocery shopping to get lots of snacks for the kids. Arnold will also be picking him up in the mornings and taking him to school. along with our kids. Hey, with Brooke and Caleb entertained, it might actually make my afternoons easier!! :) :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Weekend

Friday evening Arnold and I went to Celebrate Recovery. I had started going because of all my anxiety/depression issues over the past couple of years, and it has been amazing. I used to go to the womens' share gorups.. now we just go to the church service, and its so wonderful. A few years ago would i have been able to tell you that I went to church on a FRIDAY night, for FUN? Nope.. but can I know? Yep. God has been working on my heart big time. I realize that life is so short, and to focus on the important things. In tough times it is HIM who will carry you through. But anyway, that was our first time taking the kids with us.. they have a childcare there so we were able to leave them. During the service a lady told her testimony and it was so incredible to hear, that was very brave of her to share. I found myself gasping and crying at many parts. The fact that someone can come through SUCH tough times like she did says a lot about thier character, and of course God working through them! :)

Saturday I went with some friends to Concord mills for the day (but yall already know about that from my last blog!) I got back home around 4:30 or so that afternoon. Arnold had stayed busy with the kids that day.. he tries not to stay at home where they get restless and fight. He had taken them to the mall to play, get an oil change in his car, to get lunch, icecream, then he took them with him to the gym while he worked out (they have a childcare) and then to the grocery store. And then when I got home he had been making us tacos for dinner! Can i just brag on my hubby for a minute?! He is amazing.. and no he doesnt always do that much in a day, but he is great how much he helps out.. Im blessed that hes such an involved daddy! :)

That evening we took the kids to a big halloween thing downtown where I used to go to highschool! So they got to get dressed up and so they were excited. It was FREEZING outside. Arnold would have been perfectly happy just staying at home. But i knew how badly the kids wanted to go. So we put up with it for them ;) The place was packed of course, and we waited in long lines to get some candy at people's trunks. At one point during the wait in line, I asked Brooke "can I just buy you cotton candy and we go home?!" The lady behind us in line laughed.. hey, I was serious!! But of course she said "nooooo." We DID end up getting cotton candy before we left though :) Stupid me had been wearing my rainbows all day and didnt think to change before we went out, so my feet were about frozen off. All i kept thinking was how I wanted to get home and put on some fuzzy socks and get under a blanket! The whole time Rachel kept pointing out people's costumes and especially the scary ones.. saying "AHH MONSTER!!!' LOL, poor sweet girl. Anyway, someone we survived the cold and had a good time.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church. Remember how I said my BACKUP pair of glasses have been missing for a week and I had looked everywhere? Well someone had mentioned that they found a pair at church and they were in lost and found. So i decided to check just in case, and sure enough.. they were mine. They had been outside, on the ground, and they were all scratched up! I have NO clue how I lost them.. and I hate that they are scratched, but at least I have ONE pair right now. Anyway, Lauryn and Erika were both there this week! Lauryn sat on the other side of church though.. and I needed to ask her about lunch, so we were texting during church (shhhh! sorry Jesse! ;) Message #2 on "The Reason for God." REALLY enjoying this series! If i calculated right, the last message in the series will be on the day of my baptism, so all the people i invited to be there will get to hear it! After church we went out to lunch at El Paso with Erika and Lauryns family. I dont know WHO's kids we had with us, but they behaved the whole time.. i couldnt get over it! I was so proud.. we were actually able to have a halfway-calm lunch and enjoy it. I got a taco salad.. love them and they are cheap too, haha ;)

Sunday afternoon Arnold and I dropped the kids off with his parents. They were going to take them to the Trunk or Treat at their church, while Arnold and I snuck off by ourselves for awhile to finally put the kids' Christmas gifts on layaway at Toys R Us. We had never done layaway before, but we figured that was the best way to go, since we could pay over the next few weeks. We knew we wanted a Wii, as a family gift, so we picked out the set with a Wii and the Mario Kart game. I am soo excited we are finally getting one.. I know we will have fun on Christmas morning! Then we had budgeted a certain amount per kid to get the rest of their individual gifts, and it was hard to pick out what they wanted and would like, AND stay within our budget.. but we somehow figured it out (after spending an hour in there!) We got Caleb the Batman Cave.. it was actually not on our list of original ideas, but he will LOVE it! Then we got Brooke a Barbie playset, toddler Belle doll (her fave princess right now!) and a My Little Pony thing that lights up, talks, etc. They were all on her list so I know shell be excited! And Rachels gift was easy.. They recently got CAILLOU toys in stock there. Ok yall, Rachel is absolutely 100% obsessed. She asks to watch it every single day. I on the other hand despise that show, but oh well. So they had a Caillou treehouse playset, and we got it. she will FLIP! I am so excited. Oh and a Dora toy as well.. her two favorites :) We went to pay the bill and it was $5 fee plus 20% down, so not too bad. And we have until sometime in Dec to pay it off, AND they keep the stuff there for now. So we are officially counting down to Christmas now! (doesnt that sound weird? summer was just here!!)

After we got done at Toys R Us we ran over to Wendys to get a quick dinner. By the way, who says you cant have a date at Wendys on a Sunday night?! we sat at a little table by ourselves, and got to talk and eat in peace, so it was a date to me! ;) Then we had to go by Auto Zone and buy a new battery for the car. The car Arnold drives to and from work is a '98 Ford escort, and yeah it is OLD, but it is reliabe and is great on gas mileage, so Ive always said we saved money driving it. Well the battery finally died on it! It just wouldnt cut on Sunday. Thank GOODNESS it didnt cut off on Sat. when Arnold was alone with the kids.. someone was looking out for us, for sure! :) It ended up costing right under $100 to get a new battery, ugh.. but everyone knows cars are expensive to maintain (apparently even old ones!) But everything is replaced and running fine now. I know now that it is a good thing that I didnt spend that much at Concord Mills the day before, since we had this unexpected bill come up (funny how things work out!) The kids were dropped off at home by their grandparents at around 7. And they hit the jackpot on candy once again. I have filled up a huge bag of candy they have collected. Wont have to buy candy again for a long, long time! It also just so happens that Brooke lost her 3rd tooth Sunday night! It was her first UPPER tooth, and she now sounds so funny when she talks :) Arnold has officially become the Tooth Fairy of our household, and so he went in after she had gone to sleep and left her $$ under her pillow. It was easy to get her up for school the next morning.. all I had to do was say "did the tooth fairy come last night?!" And she jumped up like that ;)

Bumblee playing in the leaves at Grandma and Paw's

My cute strawberry!

The kids at their Grandparents' house waiting to go to Trunk or Treat. The strawberry wasnt happy. I think she had the sun in her eyes!
Downtown on Sat. evening. It was coooold!

Outside before we left Sat evening