Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

~I'm loving that I recently hit over 11,000 views on my Blog :)

~I'm loving seeing the family togetherness on my Mom's side this week. Her cousin died earlier this week of Cancer. He was a pastor and a really nice guy. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage sons. Very sad, but I know he is free of pain and suffering now.

~I'm loving that we got to go out to dinner last night as a family. It was "Kids eat Free" night at Chilis so it was an excuse to go out. The kids had fun and thought it was a treat.

~I'm loving last night's cliffhanger on Glee. Not what actually happened (very traumatic) but I actually want to stick around and see what happens when it comes back in April. The show hit on some pretty heavy topics last night. I am glad it showed something important and relatable to real life.

~I'm loving trying to figure out what I should give up for Lent. It is SO hard for me to give up something I love. There are lots of things I probably SHOULD give up for awhile.. Facebook, chocolate, swearing, soda... and the list goes on. For those who don't know, Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter, and lots of people decide to give up something for those 40 days as a sacrifice, and use that time to grow closer to God (hence why giving up Facebook would be GREAT for me ;) I heard Lent is big with Catholics and Methodists (I grew up a Methodist so im used to it) but not big with Baptists? Anyone care to elaborate on this for me? LOL.

~I'm loving that this Saturday I am going to Gaffney, SC, for all all-day shopping trip with my friend, Cori. I don't get to see her much, so I am looking forward to the time. Actually, Arnold and his dad are going to a guitar show in SC so we are just riding along and they are dropping us off to do our thing while they go. There are some pretty nice outlets there. Not that the kids need ANYTHING else.. ha. Maybe I'll actually focus on myself for once ;)

~I'm loving that Im back into the mood for selling old stuff and making some extra $$$. I took some of the kids clothes from last year into Once Upon a Child earlier this week. They were already pretty stocked up, but I made some. I turned around and spent it on more clothes for Rachel though (wiped them out of the rest of the Gymbo in her size that I could find ;) But at least I didn't feel so bad about it since I had just made some money!

~I'm loving that I have officially decided what the theme for Rachel's 3rd birthday party is going to be! Bumblebees!!!!! I had it narrowed down to bees or ladybugs for a long time now, but found some of the CUTEST party supplies online the other day. Love the yellow/black combo, and found a lot of other ideas on Pinterest. So 2 years ago yall saw me get obsessed with turtles, last year it was owls, and this year get ready to see/hear all about bees. I will say sorry in advance, I tend to obsess over things when it comes to the kids. And I am accepting any help from my friends who are crafty and/or like to bake... so keep that in mind ;)

~I'm loving that today it was so beautiful outside! Rachel and I got a chance to play outside for awhile earlier, and then some more when the big kids came home from school. Tomorrow it is supposed to be OVER 70 degrees!!!! Ahhh, finally some Spring weather, that is what I am talking about! Might just have to take a trip to the park tomorrow..

~I'm loving that Arnold found the book I am currently reading, and seeing his expression. Its called "Have a new Husband by Friday." haha! It is written by a Christian author and it is not actually about changing the man, but teaching the woman how to relate to a man better, since we are wired so differently. I have actually learned a lot! I am enjoying the book. This is the 2nd of the guys' books I have read, and I plan to read more. They also have a "Have a new kid by Friday" so that might be worth checking out ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend in Review

Friday morning Rachel and I went out to meet someone who had bought a few things from me. Since we were already out, we grabbed some lunch and then decided to go to a few stores. We went to Target first to check out their Valentine clearance. I was able to get 2 bags of "Vday" hershey kisses (my weakness) for $1.48 a bag, so I was happy about that. I also got Arnold a HUGE bag of the mini boxes of Nerds (his all-time fave candy) as a little surprise. its funny, even the kids call that "Daddy's candy." :) I also picked up a pair of fuzzy socks with ladybugs on them, half off since they were "Vday" socks. Anyone else love the fuzzy socks as much as I do? I love getting them from Target or B&Body Works. Love to wear them around the house or at night when Im feeling cold. Next we went over to Once Upon a Child, (a consignment store) and was just killing some time. I browsed but didn't really find anything. Decided to check the next size up for Rachel and hit the jackpot!! Someone had brought in a whole ROW full of girl's Gymboree clothes, and most were new-with-tags. I went crazy scooping them up. I LOVE their clothes but can never buy them full prize because they are so expensive. So I went through and had an entire pile of stuff that I technically didn't need, but it was such a good deal and they were precious. I happened to run into a friend of mine in the store doing some shopping, and she totally agreed with me that I should get them, and that she would even back me up to Arnold ;) Later I told Arnold and he said that he was expecting much worse when I told him the total, but he picked on me and said that Jenn was a bad influence on me ;) It was a little "high" for me that day, I just can't explain it, sorry :)

Friday evening our church was doing a "Couples Night Out." If you paid $10 they would watch your kids while you went out for a few hours to have a date. They said they wanted to show the couples in the church that they cared about us and our marriages, I thought that was really awesome. I keep finding more and more things I love about our church and the people in it :) Anyway, we dropped the kids off at 6:30 and then they had some appetizers in the lobby area, and drinks. They were playing an Adele cd for background music, too ;) The buffalo chicken dip was awesome by the way, Arnold ate a few plates of that stuff even before we left ;) They did a door prize, someone won a marriage book, and someone won a $25 giftcard to spend on their dinner. We didn't win either, but one of our friend's did, so we were happy for them ;) We then left and met my friend Jess and her fiance at Ocharleys for dinner. We don't get to see them much anymore because we are all so busy with the kids and our schedules, etc, so I was so excited for that night. They had gotten there earlier and already had a name down, so we didn't have to wait TOO long. Jess and I both ordered the same exact thing for dinner (not planned). Some things just dont change, we are alot alike, I love that girl :) We had a great time and when we got back we could tell the kids had had a great time, too. Rachel had played with some other kids, and the bigger kids had watched a movie. They were even fed dinner and dessert. Seriously-- if you are looking for a home church, come visit us! We have modern music, great kid's programs, caring staff, and relatable messages! :)

Saturday morning we went to Kenzie's birthday party at Chick Fila. You know Rachel was excited about that! ;) I had never been to a party there, but I thought it was really great. The kids got to play in the enclosed play area, and they set out balloons at all the chairs which the kids got to take home later. The theme was Minnie Mouse and Erika had brought in a cute cupcake cake. All the kids got a kids meal and a drink, and icecream, then of course we had the cupcakes, too. The cow made an appearance, and all the kids went crazy. My kids especially, they attacked him. I dont know what it is about people dressed up, but Brooke and Caleb will not calm down around them, I saw them high-fiving, hugging, running his stomach, commenting on his "crooked" name it. It can actually get embarassing after awhile, I had to pull them away ;) Also, we were watching my 11-year old niece for the day, so she went with us. My kids love her, so they were excited to have an extra person to play with that day.

After the party we went to get some gas in the van, and went through the car wash. (Brooke has overcome her fear, yay! ;) We then went home so the kids could play Wii-- it was hard coming up with something that kids of all different ages could do together. Later that afternoon I took Brooke and Peyton to a local grocery store and we helped sell cookies at our troop's booth. It was the first time we had helped out and Brooke was a little nervous and soft-spoken, but she did great. The girls actually sold a decent amount of cookies while we were there. The men bought the most, I guess they couldn't resist the cute little girls ;) We took Brooke to work her cuteness! ;) That night Peyton's Paw (which is also the kid's great uncle) took the girls out to dinner. My kids have always been really close to their uncle gene since he lives right next door, so Brooke was really excited to get to go. They went to their fave. place ever, China Garden Buffet (or as Brooke likes to call it, just CHINA ;) Meanwhile Arnold and I ordered some pizza for us and the little kids, and let Caleb play TMNT on the wii. When they later went to bed Arnold and I tried out his new game I got him--Beatles Rockband, so fun!

Sunday morning we got ready and went to church. I couldn't get over how cold it was outside, and so dreary and rainy too. That afternoon the big kids and I went with my Mom and Dad to a local theater to see the Alice in Wonderland play. My mom had gotten us all tickets for Vday. The kids were excited to go back, since they had enjoyed seeing the Wizard of Oz back in Sept. The play was pretty good, but not as good as the last one had been, In my opinion. But i did enjoy it, and those kids were really talented! I could never act, I would screw up my lines and probably bust out laughing half the time :) During the intermission Caleb needed to go to the bathroom but he wouldn't go with me into the ladies room, so I took him to the men's room, but then he wouldn't go in there either. A sweet-looking old gentleman asked if he wanted us to help Caleb out, and Caleb said yes, so we let him go in. The man was at least 70 years old, dressed in a suit, and with his wife at an afternoon play of Alice in Wonderland. I didn't think he was any danger to us ;) I thought it was pretty sweet actually. But just to let everyone know, no I dont usually let my kids go off with strangers, just to clear that up ;) My dad joked he had to go along to the play to hold my hand in case I got scared. I was terrified as a Kid of Alice in Wonderland.. still not sure why, it's just so trippy to me... Yeah. But anyway! When we got home it was starting to snow. The kids were THRILLED. Me, not so much. At least Caleb FINALLY got to see his snow this season, and I got a few pictures of it. At least they only got a delay this morning, because I was not ready for another day with all 3 kids at home ;)

My great stash from the consignment store. Cute, right?!

Out to dinner on Friday night
Happy Birthday Makenzie!

The kids with their Grandma, waiting on the play to start

The kids checking out daddy's car covered in snow

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Ok I know its really Thursday, but bear with me, I have been extra busy this week :P

~I'm loving that my Valentine's day gift came yesterday. It JUST missed Vday by a day, but also came a day earlier than I expected. I got him Guitar Hero III bundle and an extra game-- Guitar Hero: Metallica. I think he was happy with that :)

~I'm loving that Rachel is already showing friendships with other little girls. She absolutely loves hanging out with her friends Amelia and Makenzie. They are so sweet when they get together (and sometimes a little crazy, too ;)

~I'm loving that Samuel finally made his big appearance on Glee the other night! For those of you who dont know, he's the one who won Glee Project. ;) They wrote some guest-appearance spots for him on the show, and he is playing a Christian character-- even better

~I'm loving that last night we had "dinner duty" for Lifegroup. I took hotdogs--the simplest thing ever to make. Seemed to make the guys happy though. I love me some hotdogs! I know they are not at all healthy, but they are yummy.

~I'm loving that we're doing a Money Series in Lifegroup right now. We just ordered some books and workbooks that we can all work on together. We are learning to budget better, save more money, coupon, tithe more easily, and all that. Who can't use a few pointers on money??

~I'm loving the new friendships i am making through our church. God really sends people into your life with you need them, its not just an accident! I am really finding that out since we started attending this awesome church :)

~I'm loving that I was able to sell some of my old books I've read and Wii games the kids weren't interested in anymore. Easy way to make some $$$ and of course make some space for new things ;) I just got Caleb Star Wars game for Wii and he is going to flip!

~I'm loving that we get to go to Bojangles for dinner tonight. They are having a fundraiser through Brooke and Caleb's school, from 5-8 pm.

~I'm loving that today was payday and I was able to get some bills paid.

~I'm loving that Arnold and I actually ended up spending our tax check this year pretty reasonably. Usually we blow a LOT of it. But this year we paid off some bills, gave a lot to church, gave some to another cause, were able to buy each other nicer Valentine's Day gifts than we usually do, and I was able to get some new clothes and shoes. Oh and I can't forget that Arnold got to spend some on building a new guitar. Had to throw the fun part in there too ;)

~I'm loving the website Christian I have gotten roped into yet another place to buy books from. They have awesome Christian-based books on everything from marriages, spirituality, money, wellness, parenting.. just to name a few. I ordered a few books awhile back. Right now I am reading one about "intimacy" to put it nicely :) I really am enjoying it.

~I'm loving that Arnold and I are getting to have another date tomorrow night. Its a "Couples Night" our church is doing, so the kids will be watched there while we go out. We are actually going to dinner with a great friend of mine, and her fiance. We don't get to see them as much anymore since we all started having kids, so I am looking so forward to this!

~I'm loving that my parents' Vday gift to the kids this year was tickets to a play. This Sunday we are going with my Mom and Dad to see "Alice in Wonderland." We took them to see "Wizard of Oz" awhile back and they really enjoyed it. Hoping this one is just as good.

~I'm loving our new Canon camera. Yeah its just the little point-and-shoot, but it takes much better pictures than my last camera did. Still can't wait until we get our Canon Rebel in April though ;)

~I'm loving the fuzzy socks I am currently wearing. It's the little things :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012!

We had already celebrated Vday last week so yesterday was pretty low-key, but still fun. The kids woke up to surprises from us. My mom always had us little treats for every holiday and I love doing the same thing for my kids. Not that they should ever EXPECT anything but I like doing it for fun. All 3 kids got a new book, a small thing of candy, and a little toy. Brooke used her 5 year old reasoning skills and convinced Caleb to share half his skittles with her (smart girl ;) Rachel slept in and didnt even get her stuff until the big kids left for school. She loved her little Vday puppy and carried it around all morning. She wore her custom Vday shirt Mandy made her again. Although once I washed it it didn't look so good anymore, and I hate ironing so that didnt happen ;)

At lunch time Rachel and I were going to go see her daddy and Paw at work for lunch (they both work at the same company.) We usually go once a week, so I knew this week it would be yesterday since it was Vday. We stoppd by Krispy Kreme and picked up a dozen donuts to take them for dessert, as a surprise. Arnold loves those things (I wont lie, I do too!) And I ended up feeling bad because my Father in Law is on a diet right now but he still ended up eating one. I didnt mean to tempt anyone, just wanted to do a sweet gesture! ;) He later texted me and said thanks, and he worked out extra at the gym that afternoon since he had had one ;) Rachel had one too, along with some of the kids' candy. She had waaay too many sweets for one day, but it was a special occasion, right?!

When I picked up the big kids from school, they were all excited and telling me about their day. They had little parties in their classrooms and handed out valentines cards to their friends. They came home with lots and lots of cards and candy.. thankfully they were sweet and shared with their little sister ;) I had made homeade chocolate lollipops for the kids' teachers and taped them onto a card for each ot them. Like doing things every so often for them to show them how much they are appreciated. Hey, if I had to deal with 18 "Calebs" every single day I think I would go crazy, so I commend Mrs. Corpening ;)

Anyway, that evening we ordered us and the kids pizza for dinner. We had heard Papa Johns was doing heart-shaped pizzas and I thought that was really cute, so we got one for the kids. Arnold and I ended up getting regular "circle" pizzas because he said you got less pizza when they shaped it. Seriously.. only my husband! The kids weren't THAT excited about the heart shape, and It was ripped apart seconds after bringing it home, so now I wonder if It was worth it after all :P But I LOVE Papa John's. We hardly ever get it since there is not one close to our house. After dinner Brooke went on to Girl Scouts.

Arnold ended up going to pick up Brooke from scouts while I took a shower and relaxed a little (so sweet) And when the kids went to bed we settled back and watched the Vday episode of Glee (haha we have such exciting lives dont we) I liked the episode and liked that they threw a Whitney Houston song in there as well, still can't believe what happened. We also watched a few more shows before going to bed. All the while I was snacking on "sweet tart hearts" yum :) Brooke woke up in the middle of the night (4Am to be exact) crying in her room. Turns out she wasn't feeling well, and I ended up giving her medicine and sleeping in her bed with her. She has a twin bed and she likes to spread out also, so I spent the night shoved up against her wall, and pretty cold. Ah, the things we do as parents. And for the record, all my kids are AWESOME sleepers. And of course the one night one of them wakes up it is on Vday. But oh well, Arnold didnt seem to mind I left at all.. he rolled over and started snoring again ;)

Hope everyone had a great day with their loved ones!! :)

Arnold with the donuts at work

The roses he sent me and our cards to each other, on our mantle
Sweet Rachel in her Vday shirt. Her bow didnt last long at all..

The kids getting ready to leave for school

The kids Vday goodies :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Story of Us

1. How long have you and your significant other been together? Arnold and I met in September of 2005 and started officially "dating" in Oct of 2005. So that makes it a little over 6 years that we have been together.

2. How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?} We met in a very, very geeky way. On yahoo personals. (no im not kidding) Arnold was on there to meet some new girls since he said he had always hung out with the same group of people since high school and wanted to branch out some (plus he is really shy) I had just gone through a break up and signed up for fun. I was so surprised when he contacted me. Much against my parents' wishes (they were afraid it was unsafe) we decided to go on a date. But now they absolutely love him, so it worked out ok ;)

3. If married, how long have you been married? A little over 6 years. Just celebrated our anniversary in January :)

4. If you are married, where did you get married? Big or small wedding? We were married at the Methodist Church I grew up in. We had a reception right after. It was a small wedding with just family and some close friends but I really loved it. Everything was so beautiful and I had the dress I loved, the flowers I wanted, and it was a lot like I had envisioned it being. Would have had it bigger If we had had more time to plan.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share! He calls me Abbs like mostly everyone else i know well does. Occasionally he calls me "Sweet tart" (no idea why) and it used to really bug me but it has grown on me ;) I call him honey most of the time. No "embarassing" nicknames that I can think of ;)

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey. 1- He is very hard-working. He works hard and sometimes long hours so that I can stay at home with our kids and he makes sure we always have what we need. 2- He is respectful. I've never felt like he was condescending or authoratative with me like I know sadly happens to a lot of women. He always asks my opinions on things. And he is honest with me. 3- He is helpful. He doesn't mind helping bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed at night. He does all the mowing and yardwork. He drops the big kids off at school on the way into work which makes it WAY easier on me.

7. Tell us how he proposed? To be honest it wasnt a big thing. We always joke about this. I tell him I really wanted a proposal that was worth of a story telling people one day. But anyway-- he had a stuffed bear with a little pocket and had stuck the ring in there. That part wasnt too bad but he did it in his kitchen (we weren't living together) and on a Thursday. I told him he could have been more romantic about it. But I still love him ;)

8. Is he a flowers or chocolate kind of guy for Vday? He is not that predictable. Some years we dont do anything at all for holidays. Some years we do unconventional gifts. And some years we do a THING instead of a gift (trip, date, etc) This year he did get me flowers though, and that was a surprise :)

9. Are you a fancy-dinner-out kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch? It all depends on my mood. I appreciate both. I like to dress up occasionally and go to a nice place with Arnold. BUt that hardly ever happens anymore since kids. Its much easier now to put them to bed, rent a movie, and order in :)

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere? I have a dream for us to go on a romantic getaway to Italy. He says he'd like to just start driving and go until we run out of gas. He is more of a "roadtrip" kind of guy.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day. Since it is on a Tues this year we already celebrated. Last weekend we went out to dinner with friends on Fri night at Olive Garden and then Sat night went to a Valentine Dinner at a friend's church. Tonight we are ordering a heart-shaped pizza for the kids and staying in. We also gave them little treats this morning before school (its more about them now ;) Arnold sent me flowers yesterday and we exchanged cards. I am waiting on the gift I ordered him to get here-- it says it wont be here until thursday. guess I should have planned that out better!

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day? I didnt ask for anything. I dont really EXPECT anything. The flowers were a nice surprise though. Its nice to be thought of.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love. Communicate with each other. Don't just assume the other can read your mind. You have to let them know what you are thinking and feeling. Also, make time for each other. Even if your days are busy and crazy with kids now, you still need to invest in your relationship. One day the kids will be gone and you may find you dont even know each other anymore. You dont want that to happen!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Review

Friday Arnold was off work (thanks to him losing the Superbowl bet ;) We went to the school and had lunch with the kids. They hardly ever get to see Arnold at school because of his work schedule, so that was a treat for them. That night we dropped the kids off at the Grandparents' and went to dinner at Olive Garden with Ray and Kelly. We had been trying forever to get together with them and go somewhere but It never seemed to work out. So i'm glad we finally did! I love Olive Garden but hardly ever go because they are always so busy. Well Friday night was no exception, they were PACKED.. it was insane. We had to wait 45 minutes just to get seated. Well technically Arnold waited most of that time (thanks honey!) There was a special where you could get soup or salad, an entree, and a dessert, so thats what we did. I got cheese-covered penne noodles with some shrimp, and of course the salad with it and it was so good! And I got the chocolate mousse dessert... yum! Even though the place was so busy and I know the waitress was frazzled, she was so sweet to us the whole time and we got great service. It really was an awesome night out with friends, and some time to relax. I considered it a early Valentine's day date ;) Before we went home to pick up the kids, we went to Lowes hardware for Arnold to pick up some screws for his guitar project. We also walked around and "dreamed" of things we want to hopefully do to our house one day. We got a few paint samples becuase we actually ARE going to paint the kitchen and living room soon, so Im excited about that.

Saturday Arnold took Caleb to the movies to see Star Wars in 3D. His dad ended up going along with them too, so it was a great guys bonding trip :) The movie was 2 hrs and 15 minutes long!! I couldn't get over that. I wasn't too worried about Caleb though, because he loves to watch movies. Arnold said it was pretty good, but not really worth what they spent on the tickets since there weren't that many great 3D scenes. Oh well, at least Caleb enjoyed it. And Arnold did remember to get pictures for me ;) That evening we went to a friend's church, to a Valentine's day banquet. We had paid for tickets earlier in the week, and it went to help out the Youth. They had set up the gym like a "romantic restaurant" with tables all set up with pretty decorations, heart balloons, and lights. They even had little chocolates on the table (Which I ate BEFORE dinner ;) They also had the youth members acting as waiters and they served us, it was so cute. We had steak, baked potato, salad, tea, and dessert. While we were eating the kids stayed in child care and they got to play and have dinner too. Totally worth it for a relaxing dinner where we got to talk! That night we stopped by and picked up our Girl Scout cookies. Which reminds me, Girl Scout cookies are in-- so if you bought any I will get them to you soon ;)

Sunday morning I woke up a little late, but I was still able to get to church on time, thank goodness. I had Boxcar Babies class again this week. We had 4 babies in there this week. I sat on the floor and played with them... they were so sweet! I just enjoy that class so much. Then Arnold got there with the kids and we went to the 11:00 service. We started talking about relationships this week. There were a lot of things in the message that I really related to, and I really enjoyed it. Right after church we met the inlaws at Chilis for lunch. They wanted to take us all out for Valentine's day, I thought that was sweet. Rachel stole my corn on the cob and started going to town on that, it was hilarious. At least she was eating something! ;)

That afternoon we went to Joanne's house to celebrate Ben's 1st Birthday! I can't believe its been a whole year. I always say it, but time goes by too fast. We had a great time. He had a "zoo" theme. I was able to get a lot of cute pictures that i was able to share with Joanne. Ben had a little "Thomas Train" smash cake and he really dug into that thing, he had blue icing ALL over him. The kids all had a great time playing with their friends and I got to chat with some of MY friends too, so it was a win/win. Ben got some great presents too, it looked like. I still love getting to buy baby toys and clothes when I get the chance ;) On the way home from the party Brooke and I stopped by the mall to have a little "Girls outing." Her 6 weeks were up and she is allowed to change her earrings now, so we went to Claire's and picked some new ones out. It was buy 2 get 1 free, so she ended up getting 3 new packs. She got some cherries, apples and strawberries in one pack, then some flowers, and some blue butterflies. She went around the store oohing and ahhing at all the girly stuff (so did I actually, I always loved that store when I was younger.) And she kept throwing things into our basket (I think we need to have a talk about money! ;) But we had a great time. I love, love, love having a girl to do things like this with. We made a stop on the way out to get cookies, too. Brooke got one with sprinkles and I got one with peanut butter :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!! :)

Arnold and I at lunch with the inlaws

Us with Ray and Kelly at dinner
Caleb and his Paw at the movies, wearing their glasses

Ben with that blue icing all over him!

Best buds! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

~I'm loving that Rachel decided to sleep in this morning. Don't know how that happened. She slept right through Brooke and Caleb getting up, running around, and getting ready for school. But it means I got to sit down for awhile and have my breakfast in peace :)

~I'm loving that I finally got Arnold's Valentine's present. I got him Guitar Hero for Wii. Its a bundle with the guitar and 2 games. Ok, its actually something we both will get use out of ;) I also got him a big Reese's peanut butter heart yesterday while Rachel and I were at Target, and one of those BIG cards, it has monkeys on it :)

~I'm loving how cute it is that Arnold can never seem to keep a surprise. He already admitted to me that I am getting flowers delivered on Valentine's day as my gift. I haven't gotten flowers since our anniversary a year ago, so that was sweet of him. I'm not sure what kind, but my favorites are roses, so we will see :)

~I'm loving that baby Pearce is turning ONE on Friday! She is such a miracle, and has touched so many lives. The party they are having for her on Saturday will be HUGE, I know. I heard nearly 500 people RSVPed to it. I wish I could be there.

~I'm loving that Caleb was so incredibly stoked over the movie preview for Star Wars- in 3d. He saw it the other night during the Super Bowl. Arnold is going to try to take him on Saturday. It will be a fun Father/Son outing.

~I'm loving another show I found to watch on Netflix called "Til' Death." Its a comedy about marriage. Has me laughing so much, even Arnold will watch it with me. So many things relate to us.. we are just an old married couple now ;)

~I'm loving that Ricky Martin was on last night's episode of Glee. I will admit that the episode overall was kindof strange and wasn't the best, but I used to love Ricky Martin when I was younger. It was neat to hear some of his songs, too.

~I'm loving that Arnold and I are researching cameras. We are in the market for a new one. We want a "nice" one since I take so many pictures of the kids. We don't know much about them, though. Right now we are looking at Canons, everyone says they are the best. Any suggestions or recommendtations??

~I'm loving that I ordered the Grandparents Valentines' day cards from the kids. Of course pics of the kids are included :) I ordered them off a site called Tiny Prints. Anyone else used them before? They have some really cute cards!! I also paid the 44cents and they will be sent directly to them this weekend sometime!

~I'm loving that I am back on track this week with my weight loss and exercise. I was a bad girl over the past weekend, did not do well at all. Thought it would be easier to stick with this after doing it a month, but I still get tempted often to eat badly or slack off. Hopefully this week will be better.

~I'm loving that we bought a ticket to a Valentines Day dinner at a friend's church. Saturday night Arnold and I get to go have dinner and childcare is included in the ticket price, so we get to have a STRESS-FREE dinner! :) Also, the money supports the youth which is always good!

~I'm loving that tomorrow night I'm going to celebrate a friend's birthday. Always love girl time!

~I'm loving that tomorrow morning we are having a Valentines Day playdate/party for the little kids. Thought it would be fun to let Rachel's friends come over and so they could hang out and exchange valentines too, like the big kids in school. We went out this morning and got some cute plates, napkins, decorations and a few craft things. My friend Beth offered to make cupcakes, too. That was so sweet of her! And Rachel will get to wear her personalized Vday shirt with the owl that Mandy made :)

~I'm loving that Friday night Arnold and I are going out to eat with Ray and Kelly! They are in our lifegroup and good friends of ours. It is always so hard for us to get together because of all our busy schedules, but we finally seemed to make it work out! Our parents are watching the kids for us while we go. we will probably go to Olive Garden... i love that place!

~I'm loving that Girl Scout cookies are back in this weekend! I have been waiting for weeks to get my hands on some peanut butter patties.. yum yum! Brooke has signed up for a few time slots to sell cookies out at booths in the area, so if you are feeling generous, feel free to buy even more cookies! ;)

~I'm loving that Sunday we will be celebrating my good friend Joanne's son's 1st birthday! I can't believe it has been 1 year since he was born. Seems like just yesterday Brooke and I were headed up to the hospital to visit them. Time flies, thats for sure! Lookng forward to the party at their house, and hanging out with friends. Oh, and the cake will be good too ;)

~I'm loving that my Sister-in-law Jenn finally got with it and joined Pinterest. It's about time, right?! That site is so addicting. Just another thing to waste my time *sigh*

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fun, Friends, & Football

Friday morning we FINALLY got our tax money deposited in the bank! So i was very happy about that. I spent the morning paying a bunch of bills we needed to get taken care of-- huge weight off my shoulders. My mom came over and I was able to give her a check to pay her back for some major van repairs she helped us with last year. So thankful that we do have family around to help us out in a pinch. Then she went with Rachel and I to the school to have lunch with Brooke and Caleb. They didn't know we were coming so they were totally surprised! In the lunch line I heard lots of Caleb's friends saying "LOOK! its your MOMMY! And caleb was like "I know!!! Geez" Like he was embarassed.. but you could see him smiling ;) Bless him! (A Ray reference ;)

That evening Brooke and Arnold went to the Girl Scout Father/Daughter Dance. It really is such a sweet and memorable night. I remember going with my dad when I was younger.. we still have a pic around of us somewhere! Anyway, Brooke got to finally wear her new dress. she had been bugging me for days to wear it. When she got home from school I curled her hair, it turned out SO pretty! I mean she is a beautiful girl to begin with, but when I saw her "all done up" i was stunned. We are in major trouble when she grows up! ;) Arnold came home from work and got ready, but the shirt we had laid out for him to wear was too tight so he had to change his outfit last-minute. He ended up wearing the suit and tie he wore to his Aunt Nancy's funeral and he looked so cute! Arnold hardly ever dresses up-- believe me, so It was fun to see ;) I took pics of them outside before they left, I was glad we still had some daylight left by the time we got around to taking them.

While they were at the dance I went out with Joanne. Her son and Caleb went bowling with a church group. I was really afraid Caleb would not go since Brooke was not there for him to hang out with. He is really attached to that girl still. But he was good with Logan being there to hang out with. Joanne, Rachel and I went to Once Upon a Child to look around while we waited on them to get back. Found a few things for Caleb and they had a 25cent book clearance on some books so I found a bunch of those too (of course) Glad i looked-- because they actually had some decent ones in there. Got the 3rd book in the "No David" series. Rachel LOVES that books, she finds it hilarious ;) Oh and Rachel decided to poop while we were in the store... she always knows how to time these things just perfectly :-/ She was smelling horrible and I know the smell was following us around so I took her outside to change it in the van. Yes we are still working on the potty-training thing. She will SIT on the potty but not actually go. Oh well. Then before we went back to the church, we stopped by Mc Donalds and we were BAD. I know, supposed to be on this diet. But it was the weekend and it was calling out to us! Seriously! ;) I got a Reese's McFlurry (they are GOOD yall!) And Rachel did end up stealing it and eating alot for herself though. When we got back to the church, the kids still weren't back yet so we sat in the van and listened to the "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack and chatted and laughed. I love nights like that, Joanne is a great friend and we have made some awesome memories over the years :)

Saturday we took the kids out to lunch at Ranch Viejo. They were not very well-behaved and they made a huge mess. I keep telling myself I am just going to for-go real restaurants until they are much, much older. I always end up embarassed when we go out to eat. Its just so stressful! That evening I went over to Jackie's house for a girls' night. She had me and Joanne over (and Erika couldnt make it :( I got to play with her sweet doggies! One is a black puppy named Marley and he was soooo sweet! He kept getting onto my lap and snuggling up and falling asleep. I guess he could tell I am a dog person ;) We played Band Hero and I played the guitar to several songs. I always get psyched when I play that game and wish I could be a real rockstar. But I dont think that will ever happen, considering I can't even master Guitar HERO, much less the actual guitar. Although we know that would thrill Arnold if I learned how to play. I just don't have the patience to learn! (and yes, he has tried to teach me before...)

Sunday morning I went to church early and worked in the Boxcar Babies class. We had 2 little babies in there this week, and 2 toddlers. I played on the floor with the little babies most of the time. It went great this week, the babies all seemed to get along and no one threw a fit, so I'd say it was a success :) Then Arnold and the kids showed up and we went to the 11:00 service. Another message on finances. I really like this series. We actually went to a Financial workshop the other night at one of the other Christ Church Campuses, and I learned so much. Arnold and I are eager to try to put some of the practices into play so we can get on track with some things we need to do (budget better, pay off more debt, etc) I know its what God wants us to do. He entrusts us with money and the least I can do is learn how to better manage it! :)

Sunday evening was of course, the Superbowl. Im not a huge sports fan, but I do give into all the hype... the food, parties, competition, etc. And I did grow up in a sports-loving household, so I've been around all that mess for my whole life. Arnold was going for the Patriots and I was going for the Giants. Arnold was just SO sure the Pats would win, he is always "so sure of himself." ;) We decided to make a little bet to make it interesting. I said if my team won he would have to take off work Friday to spend the day with me and Rachel. And he said if he won I would have to feed the dogs for a week (usually his job) I know that was a pretty lame bet but we don't have that exciting of lives, ok! Geez! But anyway-- we let the kids stay up until just after the Half-time show. I liked it pretty well... I have heard all the hype about Madonna might have been lip syncing, but who knows. And then at the end the game REALLY got good and I was really biting my nails (more so than I already do ;) And I was VERY happy with the outcome, needless to say. Arnold walked out of the living room and put on his shoes-- I asked him where he was going and he said "OUTSIDE TO FEED THE DARN DOGS!!!" Haha, hilarious. He is not a big sports fan either, but he got pumped up like most men do and really wanted to win. If you ask me he is just a sore loser. I mean come on, he gets to take off work on Friday.. isn't that a win for him too?! ;)

Hope everyone had a great weekend as well!!! :)

Brooke and Daddy before the dance

Isn't she beautiful!!!!
Rachel at the school ready to have lunch

Me with Jackie's puppy :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mommy Confessions

Thought this would be a fun blog post. Thought I would go ahead and throw it all there, the good, bad, and the ugly. I have made MANY mistakes since becoming a mom, ya'll just have no idea. I'd like to think that I'm doing the best I can (most days) but you know, we all make mistakes, so that's ok. Most of our kids turn out pretty good ;)

~When Brooke was a few months old, I was taking her to the park for a playdate and when we turned a corner during the drive I looked back and noticed her carseat leaning over and her squished up against the car window. Yep, I had forgotten to buckle her into her seat.

~When Brooke started drinking juice, one time I had poured her some and she kept spitting it out giving me weird looks. I later mentioned it to my MIL who asked me how long I had had it in the fridge. I said I didnt know, probably a few weeks. She told me then that juice only lasts opened for about a week or so, and it had gone bad. I was giving my poor girl nasty, soured juice. No wonder she gave me those faces! I dont drink juice so I had no idea!

~Brooke rolled off the couch not one, not two, but probably three times when she was a baby.

~Brooke started choking on a puff at Easter one year. She was sitting with MIL and she was ok of course after a minute or two. Freaked me out.

(Realizing now that Brooke really was the perfect example of a "test-out" child. Poor kid ;)

~We were playing outside one day when Caleb was a baby and still learning to sit up. He leaned forward, and face-planted into the driveway. I think I cried more than he did.

~We were pretty tight on money the week Caleb was born, so we didn't buy that "famous hospital photo" that everyone seems to have framed in their house. Do we have one of Brooke? Yep. Will he ask one day where his is? Maybe. But I have TONS of other pics of him, so it should be ok.

~I on many occasions have given the kids a lollipop or something similar to "keep them quiet and busy" while I take a quick shower.

~All 3 of my kids have tried and loved fast food. Try not to get it too much but come on, sometimes its just easier. Caleb actually cried one night when we went out to a nice restaurant because he was saying "THIS ISNT MCDONALDS!!!" Yeah.

~I let the kids watch tv shows in the morning while I get some things done (one of those being checking facebook-- I know I'm on it too much!)

~Haven't updated the baby books in who knows how long. Did pretty well with keeping up with Brooke's but then came the other kids and who has time or memory for that?! At least i keep up with this blog so I can look back and remember the big stuff that happened.

~I have tried to do better, but I buy way too much at the holidays. Especially Christmas. I just get way too excited. I know the holidays are not at all about the "stuff." But I like shopping for the kids. They may be a little spoilted... I was too growing up.

~I don't always follow through with punishments. I threaten a LOT! But how much do I actually GO THROUGH with what I said I was going to do? Not enough. Need to work on that.

~I've given the kids cookies or another sweet for breakfast before, when we were running late.

~I didnt "over-do" it with our Elf on the Shelf this past year. I am so glad we started the tradition, it was a lot of fun. But i saw people doing elaborate things with their elf. Did i do anything that elaborate? Not really. I did have him hiding every morning for the kids to find and a few days left them small gifts from him. They were happy enough with that.

~I have a bad memory and have forgotten things for the kids on several occasions when dealing with school. You name it-- I've forgotten Brooke's snack before, forgotten to have the kids wear tennis shoes on gym day, forgotten to return a library book, etc. One time we actually LOST a library book and I had to pay for it. MUCH later it did turn up...

~I have "clipped" the kids' legs a few times when buckling them into their car seats. I always felt so bad about that, because they just cried and cried :( To be fair, my girls had really chubby legs! ;)

~Oh yeah, I've totally used spit to wipe away something on their face or slick down a piece of hair before going in somewhere. I know thats gross.... but if you don't experience much grosser things being a parent something is wrong.

~Caleb has worn girl panties and girl socks before when I was in a pinch. Not really that big a deal, might embarass him one day if I tell him though ;)

~Most days we listen to regular music in the van. Stuff I want to listen to. The kids have been exposed to all kinds of music already. If there is a bad word I know thats coming up I will turn it down really quick. Rachel already knows most of the words to Ceelo Green's "Forget You" and I caught Caleb singing "Moves like Jagger" the other day :)

~In the winter time if the kids didnt get dirty or sweaty that day, sometimes we will skip a bath for them that night. Kids dont always get that dirty. Especially LITTLE kids.

~All of my kids have repeated a word I wish they hadn't. And yeah it was totally my fault. Or Arnold's. But I am working on my language!

~We didn't co-sleep with any of ours kids. Mostly that was because of Arnold-- he said absolutely not. But now I'm glad we didn't. I hear "horror stories" of kids being 5, 6, 7 years old and the parents still can't get them out of the bed. I know it can be all "magical" and "bonding time" and all that, but I'll admit-- I like my sleep. I like waking up refreshed and not being kicked in the face all night. I like my space. And alone time with my husband ;) I see nothing wrong with that. I bond with my kids in many other ways. And they are all FABULOUS sleepers. They go to bed around 8 and sleep ALL NIGHT. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

~I'm loving that Caleb got the Teriffic Kid award! His teacher told me the other day so Arnold and I would be sure to make it to the awards ceremony at school on Thurs morning. Brooke is also going to get recognized on Thurs. morning for getting the Citizen of the Month Award back in Nov. I am excited to go and see them, I am so proud!

~I'm loving that I made it through a shopping trip to Target today without totally losing my mind. You're right, I love Target more than just about any other store. But Rachel was with me, and you never know what kind of mood she is going to be in. I had to return a pair of shoes I had gotten in the wrong size and she threw her Spongebob over the customer service counter while I was talking to the lady. Later she spilled a tube of Mini M&Ms all over the aisle (after I had just bought it for her to try to bribe her to be good, of course). But other than those things It went well I guess. Was able to get alot with coupons I had printed off online.

~I'm loving that the kids are starting to feel better. They still have those nasty, hacking coughs, but they don't have fevers. And we found out that Rachel doesn't have the flu or anything really serious. I was worried about it the other night when she was just so darn pitiful. I hate it when my kids are feeling bad and there is not much I can do. I actually cried over Rachel-- so just looked so sad :(

~I'm loving that our Wii Fit was delivered today! Seems like it took forever to get here. I can't wait to try it out. Like to have different things to do to "work out" so I can keep it fresh. Because I'll be honest, I don't like working out that much! I always feel better after I actually do it, but before its hard to get me motivated, and during I feel all nasty and gross. I hate to get sweaty-- did i mention that?! That's why I HAVE to take showers in the mornings instead of nights, because I get sweaty at night when I'm sleeping.

~I'm loving that I got to go to the hospital the other day to meet my friend Mandy's new baby girl. Her name is Bristol--isnt that cute?! She was 6lbs and 4 ozs which is so tiny to me! None of my kids were under 7lbs, and most of them were over 8lbs ;) I got to hold her for a little bit. I went up there with Joanne, so me and her, and the kiddos went to lunch afterwards too. Was fun to hang out for awhile.

~I'm loving that Glee did Michael Jackson on last night's episode! Found myself singing along alot. Also-- for those who still watch, can you believe the stuff going on between Rachel and Finn lately?! Finn is my crush by the way ;)

~I'm loving that Brooke got a pretty good report card yesterday. In Kindergarten she doesn't get actual letter grades yet. But she got all "Satisfactory" except for paying attention (again). And there's a few things we need to still work on like creative problem solving and her hand-writing neatness (must get that from her Mom! ;) But she is doing great in school and I love to see everything she is learning.

~I'm loving a new workout dvd that my friend suggested to me. Its called "5 Really Big Miles." I have been doing it every day since I got it. Has a lot of different things to do and I dont get bored. I also don't feel like i'm dying by the end of it like I do with the Jillian Michaels dvd ;) Its on Amazon pretty cheap if anyone is interested!

~I'm loving that its almost time for the Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance friday night! I am so excited to see Arnold and Brooke go, I know they will have the best time. And the whole idea is just SO sweet! I found Brooke's dress, and this week I found her some tights and shoes. Now all she needs is a light-weight sweater to wear too, since its still pretty chilly at night.

~I'm loving that our tax money is going to be deposited in 2 days-- on Friday. I know I said this before, it was SUPPOSED to be in there this morning, so imagine my surprise when it wasn't! Arnold checked the IRS website and it says Friday morning now. Not sure what the delay was for, but at least it was just 2 days and not 2 weeks or something crazy like that.

~I'm loving that I got myself 3 new tops this week. (Did i mention that our STATE money DID come back already-- so we had a little extra $$$ this past week. I usually dont buy myself a lot of clothes but Im tempted to when we have a little extra, plus I am loving buying stuff now that I'm seeing a change in my body. Its still a LITTLE change, mind you, but its something.

~I'm loving that our Lifegroup is going to a financial seminar tonight instead of our usual meeting. It sounds really interesting. Anything that teaches us how to better handle our finances sounds good to me! I'll admit we're not the best at it. We have some debt to pay down (mostly medical bills) and Arnold and I are both "spenders" although he will spend faster than me-- I like to spend more on "good deals" and he will want to buy one big thing that "wows" him. We never do an actual "budget" just kind of do our own system. I've tried the "envelope" system if you are aware of that-- that probably has worked best so far. But I know we need to do better.

~I'm loving that I have finally made the decision to search for my biological parents this year. What has stopped me in the past? A few things. Money-- its very costly to search. Fear-- of a few things actually.. rejection, possible death of my bio parents already, it being too hard of a process, etc etc. The whole thing is just really emotional. I will write a whole blog about it later on, but I am just glad I have made a step forward. And Arnold supports me 100% so it will be good to have his help!

~I'm loving the nice weather we've had the past few days. It was so warm and sunny yesterday! And it was pretty warm today, even if it DID start raining this afternoon. Tomorrow it is supposed to reach 70 degrees. 70. In February. That's pretty nice! I hope Rachel and I can find time to make it to the park for awhile, or at least play outside in our own yard!