Monday, April 30, 2012

A Long Weekend

We were lucky enough to have Arnold off work on Thursday and Friday, so he got to spend time with Rachel and I, and we tried to get a lot of stuff done around the house. On Thursday morning I had to go to the eye doctor for my yearly checkup. It was about time, because I needed new glasses, I have broken my usual pair AND my backup pair. (only me, right?) The appt went well, I was worried about my vision getting even worse this past year, but they said it was about the same as last time. My vision is 85/90, not good at all. Arnolds is 20/15, he makes me SICK ;) They did a closer look at my left eye, because I have occasionally started seeing flashes of light and spots for no reason, but they didn't see anything wrong. The dr said that it was either caused by migranes (don't think i've ever had one though) or just a common problem that isn't really of much concern. After the appointment we went by the Walmart eyecenter (much cheaper frames!) I found some kindof like my last pair, but they are brown instead of black, and they seem much harder to break (just my style! ;) Arnold was trying to persuade me to get a pair that had green (because it is my fave color after all, as he reminded me) but they just weren't my style. And after closer inspection I saw that the designer was Hilary Duff! Seriously, she makes glasses now? But anyway, my new pair should be here sometime mid-week, and I can't wait to get them, because as I mentioned before, I am BLIND!!!!!

After we went to pick out new glasses we went to Big Lots to buy bunk beds for the girls. Rachel was finally ready for a big girl bed, and we wanted the bunk beds to maximize on space in their bedroom. This week there was only one bed on display, and it was missing a part (not an important part!) so the manager said he would give it to us for 20% off, which ended up being a great deal. We paid for it and left it there, because we had to come back and pick it up the next day. While we were there Arnold also bought a big black rug for down in the basement. He has turned a corner of the basement into his own guitar-playing area. He has been down there even more lately since he joined that band. I am losing my husband to music!!!!!!!!!! ;) (I guess there could be much worse scenarios!) I was going to buy a rug for the girls' room too, but couldn't decide on a color. Brooke wants a pink/black theme so bad, but I don't think it will look good with her wood-colored furniture at all. I am thinking pink/green combo would look better! Anyway, that evening I went to work at the Pregnancy Care Center. There wasn't a lot going on that night, and a lot of the workers weren't even there because they were on vacation. So we got out even earlier than usual. I spent the evening hanging up maternity clothes that had been donated, and reading some of my book. I finally finished "Sing me Home" last week, and it was really good. The ending surprised me, but in a good way.

Friday morning Arnold and his dad went back to Big Lots to pick up the bunkbeds. Thank goodness for family members with big trucks!! Meanwhile Rachel and I cleaned up around here and took everything out of their bedroom. The last time I saw it THAT empty was when we first set up the nursery before we brought Brooke home. That seems like so long ago. And we took apart our VERY last crib. It is so bittersweet, I almost cried. I cannot believe there will never be another crib in this house. Never another bottle in the fridge. It's a whole new chapter in our lives. Its neat to see the kids grow and change, but it is also very hard on their mother (didn't know it would be this hard-- there is just no way to prepare!) But I AM happy about slowly being able to reclaim my house. It has been SO overrun with baby paraphernalia the past 6 years. Anyway, when the guys got back they tried to get the bed in without taking it apart, but of course that didn't work out the way they had planned. Arnold started the process later of putting the bed together in their room, and I had to keep Rachel out of there, because Arnold gets VERY heated and aggravated when he is working on something. There are always bad words being thrown around (among other things if he gets really mad!) But finally they were put together and they looked great. Then we put the mattresses on and the sheets I had bought for them. I couldn't wait for Brooke to see them when she got home from school.

Friday night Brooke had her very first girlscout sleepover. They were having it at church and we were supposed to drop the girls off at 6:30 and pick them up the next morning at 9am. Brooke was so excited that she was packed and sitting near the door a whole hour before we had to leave. We packed up her princess suitcase with her stuff, and also got her sleeping bag and pillow and of course we packed her panda bear that she loves to sleep with. Then we had to take along snacks for the girls to share that night, so I got her some cookies and pretzels to take. The whole family went to drop her off. Rachel kept thinking she was getting to stay too, poor thing. It would have been a whole lot more emotional if my Sister-in-law wasn't the girlscout leader. I am so glad a family member is with Brooke when she does things like that. Not that I am over-protective, but it just eases my mind and makes things easier. From what I heard they all had a great time. They made pizza bagels for dinner, had a lady from Zumba come and teach them some dance moves, ran around and had a great time, stayed up late (of course) and then had pancakes and bacon for breakfast the next morning. Jennifer told me that around 8:00 that night Brooke went up to her and told her that she needed to put on her pjs and get ready for bed because she always went to bed at 8:00! I thought that was so funny, she follows rules better for other people than she does at home! But Jenn explained to her that is was a sleepover and ok to stay up late ;)

Saturday morning I went out yardsaling (a little later than I had meant to, since I wanted to sleep in so badly!) There were alot out that I saw, but none that really "pulled me in" to stop. I did find a few books for the kids though, some were pretty good ones! Then Arnold and I and the kids went to my friend Jess' house to visit, because her birthday was Friday. I cannot get over how big her son, Hunter was! I don't get to see them as much as I want, so it always shocks me when I see how much he changes everytime. He will be 1 year old in June, he was born really close to Rachel's birthday! We hung out for about an hour and gave Jess her present, then we went over to my Mom's house to pick up Caleb. He had gone with her to the barber shop to get his hair cut. While he was there he told my Mom he wanted it cut "like the guy over there" who had no hair! So the guy buzzed his hair ALL the way off! I couldn't believe it. He looks so different and more grown up, but its cute.. and its what he wanted, so I couldn't really complain. Then we all went out for lunch at McDonalds before Mom went back home. Arnold said he didn't want to go straight home because the kids would just be restless, so we went to Ross'. I tried on several dresses I liked, I really need a new one! But I didn't like the way ANY of them looked on me. I hate my body shape when it comes to wearing dresses. So I didn't get any of them-- the dressing room lady looked at me like I was crazy for handing them all back, but what can ya do?!

Sunday morning I got up early and went to church ahead of the family because I had to work in the baby classroom. I work the 1st, 2nd and 5th (if there is a 5th that month) Sundays, so since this was one of those months, I went in at 9:30. We ended up with 4 babies and 2 toddlers at the early service, so they definitely kept us on our toes! One of my best friends came to try out the church for the first time, so I had her son in my classroom. he was so sweet and played with everyone, then when he got sleepy he came over to me and laid right down in my lap. I love how babies seem drawn to me naturally, I must have a gift ;) Then we went to the 11:00 service. Arnold had brought the kids in, and Rachel was wearing black "winter' shoes with her spring dress, and a HALLOWEEN hairband. I was sooo embarassed, until a friend pointed out that at least he got them to church, and on time! So i have to commend him on that at least ;) After church we worked some more on the house, and my mom came over to visit the kids for a little bit. She brought them a thing of chocolate milk, and some strawberry icecream bars. Those kids are SO, SO spoiled, I will never stop saying that! The girls were so excited to show off their new beds to their Grandma. They have done pretty well sleeping in them too, no one has fallen out (yet) and after the first night of being really scared of the big bed and making Arnold lay down with her, now Rachel will go to sleep without any problems. The kids are growing up!

That afternoon as a last-minute decision we took the kids to the park down the road. It was PACKED because there were some soccer games going on, but I'm glad we decided to stay anyway, because the playground wasn't too bad. We let the kids loose, and Arnold and I sat down at the picnic table. I had brought along one of my grape sodas in a glass bottle (which I sure some people thought was a beer at first glance, but oh well!) and I had brought along another new book to start reading. Arnold actually laid his head down on the table and went to sleep! He is not very fond of the outdoors.. the dirt, heat, bugs.. yeah, he doesn't care for any of it, he's a weirdo! I really started getting into my new book, it is sad, but really draws you in. The kids found a kid on the playground and made a new friend (Brooke makes friends anywhere she goes!) It was REALLY hot out there, even after 4 in the afternoon. I heard this coming week is really supposed to be hot, but at least its going to be sunny and not rainy! Before we left we pushed the kids on the swings for awhile, they love that.

It was an awesome weekend, and we got alot done, which is how i like my weekends! I was happy to have Arnold home for 4 days in a row, and today I was sad to send him back to work, but I guess we have to make that money to survive ;)

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Fabulous 90's

I love the boards on Pinterest where people post things that remind them of the "Good ol Days." I had seriously forgotten about alot of these things until I re-pinned some of them to my own board. I was born in 85' and was really young for the rest of the 80's, so I consider myself a Child of the 90s :) These are some of the things I remember well and bring back some good memories for me. Ah, to be a kid again-- not a worry in the world. I miss it! Thanks for traveling down memory lane with me today :)

My grandmother started my American Girl collection. I had some of the dolls and the books, too. I had Molly, Samanta, and Felicity. I still have two of them in a box in the basement that I hope to restore one day (they are not in the greatest of condition anymore) I think Molly was my favorite, posted below. I know they are historical dolls, and I liked that part (I loved reading the books that went along with the dolls) but I also often pretended like they were my own children, haha. I always wanted to be a Mom growing up. Anyway, I think it's really neat that American Girl dolls are still so popular. I can't wait to get Brooke her first one.

I loved to read, ever since I was a kid. One of my favorite series was "The Babysitters Club." I read so many of those books. Got them from the library alot, and had several of my own, too. I remember taking them on vacations and reading them while in the car, or on downtime. I also loved "Sweet Valley High" and "The Boxcar Kids." I hope my kids love to read one day as much as I did!

When I was even younger, I was into "The Berenstein Bear" books. My grandmother used to work at a book store (we were alot alike, she loved to read, too ;) And she would always bring me a new one to add to my collection. I ended up with LOTS of them, and I still have them now, they are now on the girls' bookshelf! They love the books as well. I love that they all teach great values and lessons. I just recently found out they were written by Christian authors, and they have some about Sunday School, praying, etc. They are still making new books today!

I was hooked on all the "teeny bopper" magazines like all the other girls. I remember getting new copies when I went to the store with my mom. They always had pull-out posters and pics that you could put on your wall or in your trapper keeper (remember those?!) I was so into Backstreet Boys, Hanson, and N'Sync. My fave BSB was Brian-- I always seemed to like the "2nd most popular" one in the bands, but who cares? I thought he was cuter! He now is a Christian artist and has made some new cds.

One of my very fave. shows to watch was "Doug." I remember every Saturday night it was tradition that my dad would cook my brother and I hotdogs and fries for dinner (while him and mom had steak) and we would eat dinner and watch Doug, followed by Rugrats. I hate that Doug phased out, it's hard to find any old episodes. I didn't care for it that much when they re-made the show for Sat. mornings!

I remember having a pencil case like this to keep all my stuff at school. They always had cute designs and popular characters you could choose from. I remember getting so excited when my Mom would take us shopping before school started in the Fall. I would get to pick out my own kinds of pencils, bookbag, cute erasers, lunchbox, and other various things. I remember how excited I was when mechanical pencils became all the rage. I was always running out of lead and having to ask my mom to go buy me more.

One of my all-time fave childhood toys were pollypockets! This is what they USED to look like. The pollys used to be TINY. My mom used to complain all the time because she was always sucking pieces up in her vaccumm cleaner, haha. I loved these little playsets and would take them everwhere. They would close right up for storage. I remember putting lots of little playsets together and making towns. They still sell these "vintage" sets on Ebay, but they going rates are crazy!! I might break down and get one for the girls, just to let them see how it used to be ;)

My mom used to make me homeade hairbows out of shoestrings! Sounds weird but they were cute, and they were popular back in the day. I remember other little girls having them too (I guess if their Moms were crafty ;) See even my mother was crafty, but I guess that didn't rub off on me! Maybe the girls' GRANDMOTHER can make them homeade bows ;)

I loved stickers so much. I would collect them in those little blank sticker books you could get. I loved all the cool kinds like "scratch and sniff," "puffy," and the ones with googly eyes or glitter. My mom would give them to me for rewards, from anything from potty training to doing good with my school, to chores getting done. We used to get them at school from the teacher as rewards too, on our papers :)

Another one of my favorite childhood toys were trolls. They made so many of these things, in all different fashions and hair colors. I remember my mom saying they were so ugly! I guess she was right. I used to have an obsession with cutting their hair.. don't know why. That always made my mom mad. I would always mess them up, and make a mess. I don't have any of my old ones left, wish I did! 

Remember the little packs of gum called chicklets? They were always right there in the grocery store checkout line. My mom would usually let me get some as a treat. I loved having my own pack to carry around with me. They were yummy. Do they still make them?

Clearly Canadians were my favorite drink! Every week when my mom went to do the grocery shopping I would go along and pick one out for a treat. They came in all the good flavors.. cherry, grape, strawberry. I think I remember my favorite being cherry. I can't remember the last time I had one, they were so good. I looked up places that still have them, and its not many. There is supposedly a town about 45 mins away that still has them, so I might look one day. 

Remember listening to cds in the discman? This thing went with me in the car every time! Especially on long trips and vacations. I remember everytime the car would go over a bump, it would "skip." That was so irritating! And the battery life wasn't very good! My very first two cds I ever got were "Savage Garden" and "Fast Ball" haha! Anyone remember those bands? They still play their songs on the radio occasionally.

One of my favorite treats-- Fun dip! I would always get excited and eat the stick before too long, and then would be stuck with a lot of powder left. I'd eat it with my fingers and when I was done I would be left with really sticky, dyed hands that were hard to clean off!

Before I had pierced ears, I had those tacky, fun, stick-on-earrings. They of course wouldnt stick well, so you would always lose them. But all the girls wanted to wear earrings, so if you didn't have the real thing, you'd go to the next best thing. Then I finally got my ears pierced for real. I remember all the cute dangly earrings I would wear. One of my favorite pairs were icecream cones. I loved to go pick out new pairs for special occasions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

~I'm loving that Arnold has officially been accepted into a local country band! They are called "Full Circle." That was the "news" I was talking about in another blog. There was a few days when we thought he wasn't in, so we quit talking about it. Then we were surprised the other night! I can't wait to go to their shows. The next gig the band has is a thing on May 5th. They are talking about playing a 4th of July party this summer. And they will play at a local country bar, and many other places, just depends. You can tell how excited Arnold is! Another guy in the band has a daughter in Brooke's class. They are best of friends, and so they have been talking about it to each other this week :)

~I'm loving that Tues of this week was McDonalds night for Brooke and Caleb's school. (a fundraiser-type thing). The kids got happy meals (which makes them really happy!) And the girls got My Little Ponies as their toys, so more to add to their collection (they have a ton!) Brooke's teacher was there when we went through the drive-thru, so she got to go in and see her for a minute, which made her day.

~I'm loving that Rachel and I had a mommy/daughter date this week. We went to lunch at Chili's. It was one of the chilly days this week, so she insisted on wearing her owl hat that she got this past Christmas. We walked in the restaurant hand-in-hand, and everyone was saying how cute she was. I had a turkey sandwich and their YUMMY loaded potato soup. Rachel had a grilled cheese and corn-on-the-cob (her newest love!) I love the quality time we spend together. I don't know what I am going to do with myself when she starts Pre-K in 2013. That is ONE more year with her! I cannot get over how fast the time has flown.

~I'm loving that Arnold got his bonus check at work today! We had been waiting forever on that thing. It was somewhat less than what we had expected, but we are blessed to have gotten one at all. The money is basically already gone, we already have plans for all of it. It's sad to see money disappear so quickly, but at least we are getting some things done!

~I'm loving that Arnold gets Thurs AND Fri off this week. While the big kids are at school, we will be working a lot around the house. The painting in the kids' bedrooms will be underway, finally. We are going on Friday to pick out bunkbeds for the girls' room. Thankfully Arnold's dad is loaning us his truck to help haul it back home! We heard of a local furniture store that is going out of business, so maybe we will find a great deal, let's hope so! I found PAUL FRANK monkey sheets on clearance at Target this week, too. They will go on one of the girls' beds. They are so cute, and I think they will go great with their new room!

~I'm loving that "Glee" did a tribute to Whitney Houston this week.

~I'm loving that Caleb's teacher bragged on him the other day after school. She said she could tell he had been working on his writing at home, because she can see a lot of improvement. He just beamed with pride, it was so sweet. He really IS doing a lot better with writing his letters and name. I am thrilled with how much him and Brooke have learned this past year. They are blessed with wonderful teachers!

~I'm loving that Brooke is going to her very first sleepover this Friday night. The Girl Scouts are having one at the church where they hold meetings. She has not stopped talking about it. She says she and her friends are going to have so much fun. I am pretty sure that is going to be a night full of laughs, snacks, and NOT sleeping. Brings back so many memories :)

~I'm loving the newest book I'm reading. Its called "Sing me Home" by Jodi Picoult. Jodi, by the way, is one of my new favorite authors! I really get sucked into her books. The one I am reading now has a lot of sad parts, but it is very entertaining. Next I am going to read "Signs of Life" by Natalie Taylor. I just got it in the mail the other day (Ebay). It was recommended in a magazine I read. I think it is a true story.

~I'm loving that the kids and I are going to visit my parents tonight, and have dinner with them. Arnold went with his friend from work to the Van Halen concert tonight. They probably won't be back until after midnight. So I thought the kids and I would go visit Mom and Dad. I don't really care for being in the house at night without Arnold. Don't see how all you girls with husbands who work overnight do it! When we get home and I put the kids to bed, I will have some time to myself. Probably will get online and read some (story of my life!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Fun Wishlist

Before anyone says anything, this is just a FUN wishlist. I am not expecting to get this stuff! Haha. Mother's Day is coming up next month, and then My birthday is July 1st, so I like looking around this time of year for fun. Arnold and my Mom start asking me what I want for these occasions around this time. They really don't have to get me anything at all, they know that. I know they will anyway, though. These are some of the things on my wishlist for this year.. I would be happy with any of the things below! (I don't shop much for myself, can you tell? All my extra money goes to the kids... but I wouldn't have it any other way ;)

I would love a new purse. I love purses. I thought this one was cute, with the purples.

A new wallet. I could actually USE a new one. The last one I bought was a few years ago, when my purse and wallet got stolen from our van. Mine is starting to fall apart and look rough. I'd love one cute and colorful.

Rainbows!! Most of you remember Arnold got me my very first pair (ever) for Mother's Day LAST year. I said I would never spend that much on a pair of flip flops. But i fell in love with them. So incredibly comfortable. And then I left them outside the door one night (I had stepped in dog poop--gross) and Oreo our dog ate mine! I was almost in tears when I found them outside in the yard the next day (in bits). Should have thought that through better.. my fault totally. But if I do get a new pair, it will have to be from Arnold, because I still can't justify the money on myself. 

Everyone knows I have become obsessed with going to Rita's! So a giftcard would be nice. So I can go several times this summer with my friends, or during playdates with Rachel's friends. Any excuse to go there is fine with me! ;)

I have really started to like tumblers like this, to take drinks with me in the car, or to church, or whereever. They come in so many cute designs. And keep your drinks cool. I got a few last year and two have already cracked.. so Arnold threw them out. So I'd love a few more of these to add to my cups.

I need to catch up with my reading of the Hunger Games Trilogy. I have only read the first book so far. I am still working on my pile of books I have to read in my bedroom. But I want to read the next book and find out what happens!! And not wait too long before I forget all the details that were in the first book ;)

We actually NEED some new bedsheets. I tend to pick favorites and use and over-use my favorite set of sheets. They get washed a lot and are starting to fall apart (I found two small holes the other night, towards the end-- I tend to use stuff until it literally falls apart!) So along with the new sheets, a whole new bedding set would be great. I love this one in shades of green (my fave color) But anything in a fun print would be fine with me! ;)

I have become obsessed with Bath and Body Works "Wallflowers". They smell so good! Last year I got my first "plug-in", which was a bumble bee. I'd love a new plugin. And then some more refills. Right now i have the scent of "Fireside" going in our bedroom. I love that scent so much I bought two of the refills. The last refill I put in there was called "Sensuality." It smelled really good in their candles, but didn't care for it in my room.

Anything "Owls" I would love. Ever since planning Rachel's 2nd birthday party last year, I really got into those cute little creatures! I googled "owls" online and saw this cute little toothbrush holder... love! I have a few owl things around the house now, but would love some more. 

Every girl loves chocolate, right? Especially Godiva! Thought these hearts were cute ;)

Some where along the way, when I was buying the Glee Cd's, I let out #4? Don't know how that happened. I have Cds 1-7, except for #4. So I guess I'd better get that one too, so it will be a complete set ;)

I collect Willow Tree figurines. I'd love a new one for my collection. I found this one, it stands for "Happiness." Love the little birds :)

It has been SO long since I have gotten a manicure. I'd love to go get my nails done, in a pretty shade for Summer. I liked this color I saw online. I actually have a girls' day planned for the day before Mother's Day, where I am going to go out with friends, to get a mani/pedi, and then go to lunch and maybe do some shopping or movies or something. I told Arnold that I wanted a full day with the girls as one of my gifts. He is so sweet and going to watch the kids and try to do some yardwork/housework while I am gone. He is a great husband! :)

The last thing I'd like is some more wall art for our house. We are about to do a lot of painting and re-deocorating around here, so I'd love some stuff to update the place. Especially for the living room and our bedroom :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Weekend

Friday Rachel and I met my Mom at the kids' school. We were going to go to their Book Fair. The teachers let us take the kids out of class to go look around with us. I let the kids each pick out a book they liked, and I picked up several extras that I thought would be good for their collections. My mom ended up spending $40-some, and I ended up spending $30-some, just on books. But it's easy to do in there! And we did get a lot of great ones. One of my faves was the one I got for the girls called "Shoe-la-la" which was all about-- you guessed it-- shoes! It was really cute and I read it to them that night before they went to bed. While at school we also stayed to have lunch with the kids. They had personal-sized pizzas that day, and they were actually pretty yummy!

That night we really didn't do anything at all, just stayed around the house. After we ate dinner and put the kids to bed, Arnold and I watched several more episodes of a new show we found on Netflix "Til Death." We finished off all they had to offer on there, so I guess we need to find a new show now. The guy, Brad Garrett, was a way different character than he was on "Everybody Loves Raymond." He can sing too, did you know that?? It was a pretty good show. Sad its over, I always get attached to my characters ;)

Saturday morning the kids and I went to our church along with Arnold, to help clean. I mentioned before that Arnold took over the "Levites" team and it's their job to clean the church every week before services. Its still early in the game and we didn't have a team of volunteers built up, so I volunteered to go help Arnold.. think he was happy to have me! The kids actually wanted to help too, so we gave them odd jobs to do. Caleb helped wipe down the windows, and Brooke did some dusting. While Arnold cleaned the bathrooms and did other odd jobs, and I vacuumed up the place. Took us about an hour and a half with no other help, so not too bad. The kids jumped up on the stage and pretended to sing into the microphones (before Arnold started yelling and shooing them off stage-- there is alot of expensive equipment up there that I know we don't want to be responsible for!!) But it was cute to see them-- wonder if they will want to be in the spotlight when they are older?? I'll admit that I got up there for a minute too and looked out into the empty room.. just that made me nervous. I don't see how anyone speaks in public for a living-- noooo way!!

That afternoon I met my friend Erika at the movies. We have been meaning to get together and celebrate her birthday, but things have kept coming up. We finally got to do something though, even if it WAS almost a month late! ;) I got there before her and bought her ticket too, as part of her birthday present :) I brought along our big popcorn bucket and we got it filled up to share during the movie. Have yall seen the different flavors of popcorn they sell? They actually sell blueberry flavor! That doesn't sound very appetizing to me... But anyway, even during the afternoon the theater was pretty packed. We went to see "The Lucky One" which is the newest Nicholas Sparks movie. I try to go and see all of his movies.. I have a love/hate relationship with that man. He knows how to suck me in (and they always pick the hottest guys to play the main character! ;) But I ALWAYS end up crying, because there is always a sad part, too. I had read the book, but it was a long time ago, so I didn't remember all the details. But I thought the movie was great! The little boy in the movie had blonde hair, and so it made me think of Caleb alot and pulled at my heart strings even more. But I was pretty happy with the ending. And Zac Efron is hot, as always. And now he is legal, so it is ok for us "older" Moms to drool ;)

That evening when I got back home, we ordered pizza for dinner. Rachel ended up eating FOUR pieces. Seriously. She kept going back to the box and getting more. And unlike the big kids, she eats all of it-- crust and all. I guess she is going through a growth spurt or something, because that is a lot of food for a 2 year old! We will have to use all our extra money on food one day when the kids are teenagers. Yikes. After the kids went to bed, Arnold and I played Wii Fit together. I showed him one of the new games I had unlocked on there, and I still have him beat on the score, so I am happy ;)

Sunday morning we woke up late and were rushing around to get ready for church. But somehow we made it on time! They were having a little party after the service to try and get volunteers for the teams at church, and they were handing out packs of gum to everyone as they went into service. It was that "Up to U" gum, and they had taped little papers on there saying that you could make a big difference in church, but it was "Up to U." Thought that was cute. Plus, I had something to chew on during the service ;) I liked this week's service alot.. lately our Pastor has really been making Arnold and I think seriously about the impact we have on our kids' lives, and what we can do to become better parents. It's the real-life messages like that, that drew us to the church in the first place. We love our church! 

After church we went to Sonic for lunch. I love it on Sundays because our church is so close to Sonic. We don't have one anywhere near our house. It is almost become our "regular' place to go on Sundays. The kids got slushies along with their food, like usual. This week Brooke and Caleb tried a new flavor-- green apple. I tried a sip, and it wasn't for me, I thought it was too sweet! Rachel got cherry like she does every week. She is just like her mama! She likes me to take the actual cherry out and give it to her to eat :) I love Sonic because they let you add flavors to drinks, so I got myself a cherry coke. They added me a cherry on top also, so I was happy. It's the little things :)

That afternoon we went over to the inlaw's house to visit. They had been gone all week on a trip to Myrtle Beach (not that I was jealous or anything! ;) The kids had been begging all morning to go see their "maw and paw." We stayed for about an hour and a half. While we were there the kids watched "Pink Panther" (its a tradition over there) and just about ate them out of house and home. At least it's not just us that they beg constantly for food! ;)

That evening when we got home we had chicken tacos for dinner. Then I turned on a movie I saw on Netflix that had recently been added "Judy Moody and the not so Bummer Summer." The kids seemed to really get into it. I think there is also a line of "Judy Moody" books out there, because I had heard of that before. While the kids were watching, I worked some on the girls' bedroom. We are getting ready to do a big re-decorating attempt, so I was cleaning everything out that shouldn't be in there, and taking down everything off of the walls. We hope to paint this weekend and buy the girls bunk beds when Arnold gets his bonus check. I think we are going with a pink/black theme. We even picked out a pink shade for the walls called "Fiesta Pink." I am getting excited about getting to work in there! :)

Hope everyone else had a great weekend as well! Looking forward to the coming week/weekend, because we have a lot of fun stuff planned :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five-Question Friday

1. What are some things you want to do before you die?

~One of my big dreams is to write a book. As you can tell, I love writing. My problem is that I write a lot of random stuff, it doesn't always flow very well. That was my problem in school, too. So if I wanted to write an actual book I would need lots of help! Another dream is to meet the people in this world I am biologically connected to me. This would be my birth parents, and my birth son. I know my birth parents will be tough to find since most adoption records were closed back in the 80s, but I want so much to find out more about my past and where I come from. It should be easier to reunite with my biological son, he will just have to make the decision for himself, though, which I really hope he does. I can only pray he does! I also would love to visit Italy. It is such a beautiful place and I love looking at pictures. Also, who doesn't love Italian food?! Arnold says he will take me one day if we ever have the $$$, so here's hoping! And one more thing I'd really love to do is take a vacation with just my girl friends. Look at how much fun we have just having a Girls' Night-- could you imagine a vacation?! We have actually talked about doing something for when we all turn 30. We could make it happen if we actually planned it out and started saving some money.

2. What would you do if you won the lottery (or a huge amount of money)?

~I would first and foremost give to church, which I believe you are supposed to do anyway whenever money comes your way (even extra money). I would also give to causes that are important to me, and try to help out some. Then I would want to buy my dream house. I don't care if it's huge (who wants to clean all that anyway!) But i have a few things that I'd love-- a gorgeous kitchen (which is funny, because I don't even enjoy cooking!) A big bathroom with a jacuzzi tub that I could relax in every night, plenty of bedrooms/rooms for the kids and their friends as they grow up, and a front porch with rocking chairs. Along with the house I'd love to take an awesome family vacation to somewhere spectacular. We have only been to the beach so far, but want to take more trips in the future. I would also buy myself a whole new wardrobe and have a day of fashion, because being a Mom, I don't spend a lot of money on myself-- the kids always come first-- but I love it that way anyway! I know a lot of that might sound selfish, but being a Stay-at-home-Mom doesn't pay a lot (in actual money-- it pays in rewards, hugs, and kisses definately!) and I don't always have much extra money!

3. What are some causes that are close to your heart?

~First would be Christianity. Believing that Jesus died on the cross for me, and for everyone, and trying to do my role on this Earth of being the best person I can be and leading people to Christ, by being a witness and a helpful, loving person. (Especially my Children, who God has trusted me with). Another one would be adoption. Being adopted myself it will always hold a special place in my heart. I heard that only 3% of babies born to very young mothers these days are adopted. The rest are aborted or live with their parents. There is not enough information or spotlight put on adoption, people seriously don't know anything about it. I know this because I have had several people come to me with questions about it. I believe young girls need to know ALL the options that are out there before making such huge decisions that will affect the rest of their lives (and that baby's life). This is why I am SO blessed to be a part of the local Pregnancy Care Center. I get to be a part of a group of people that are truly there for young girls in our community who need help, and need answers to hard questions. And lastly, I am very for Breast-Cancer awarness and research. So many people are affected by this horrible disease. My own mother being one of them. She was diagnosed when I was a teenager. It was a very hard time for all of us, and she has been on many medicines and been to so many dr. appointments over the years just trying to get it under control. Praise to God that this past year she was told that she was doing so well she didn't have to go to the Oncologist regularly anymore. She has beat it and is in full remission these days! I hope for her to live a long life :)

4. What is one of your most prized possessions/momentos?

~I have two that come to mind, from my childhood. One of my grandmothers made me a little stuffed bear when I was born. I named him PJ, and used to take him everywhere I went. I still have him, and he lives on the little shelf underneath my nightstand beside our bed. On several occasions I have found Rachel carrying him around, which is so sweet to me. I haven't had the heart to actually "hand him over" to her officially, but I know it will be passed down to the kids eventually. The other thing is a quilt which my other Grandmother made me. My Dad's mom, Louise (who Rachel's middle name is after). It is actually on my bed right now. It is beautiful, and very warm and cuddly :) She stitched in an inscription on the bottom right corner, that says she made it for me, and the year. She made it the year before she died actually. She was such a crafty, amazing woman, and I miss her dearly!

5. What are 3 Words you would use to describe Yourself?

~That is really a tough one! 1 would be loving- because I feel like I have a lot of love to give. I truly care about people, and want to see the best in people. I am pretty trusting of people (which isn't always good, but I am) And I truly hurt when other people do, I hate to see them upset or hurting. I have a big heart (at least that's what my Mom always said!) I like to be a voice for the unborn, because they don't always have people stick up for them. And of course I love my kids and husband more than my own life, so happy God blessed me with them! 2 would be Nerdy, because let's face it, I am-- bigtime. I love to read. And blog. I can't dance to save my life. I get way to excited about things. I sometimes snort when I laugh. I don't always have the most common sense. It's just a part of who I am-- no apologies! Three would be Loyal. When I am your friend, I will be there till the end, and through everything. I am very protective of my family, and would (try) to fight anyone who touched them (ha!) When I love something (person or product) I am sticking by it, and I don't like anything to change. This all goes back to my extreme love for people I care about :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Ok Thursday

~It's ok that I went to bed at 9:30 last night. Totally lame. But it was a long day.

~It's ok that I really enjoyed having a baby around the house yesterday. I watched Ben for Joanne while she went out and did some job-hunting. He was great the whole time, only whined a few minutes. I don't miss lots of diapers, however!

~It's ok that I was relieved not to have anything to do last night. Even though I do miss my Life Group. We are on hold until next month. Last night we grilled out hotdogs, I finished up a book I had been reading, and Arnold and I watched some of our shows together. Great night to me!

~It's ok that I become totally immersed in whatever book I am reading at the moment. For awhile I feel like I am there, living it along with everyone else. Last night I finished "Promises to Keep" by Jane Green-- one of my all-time favorite authors. One of the characters died from cancer at the end, it was very sad. I felt as if I had lost one of my own friends. I love authors who can write so powerfully that you feel like you are a part of the story, too!

~It's ok that I think soda tastes so much better in glass bottles. The other day I bought some Cheerwine in glass bottles as a "treat" for Arnold and I. We never by bottles, it was $4 just for 6 of them! But they were worth it, even if they only lasted two days before they were gone ;)

~It's ok that I happily sang along with Glee the other night. They did disco and sang a lot of songs from "Saturday Night Fever." Seeing Finn in 70's clothes was pretty entertaining, too. I still wonder what's going to happen with him and Rachel...

~It's ok that I am freaking out a little bit about where I am going to have Rachel's birthday party. Thought I had a location locked down, but they wouldn't allow my icecream social, because they are pretty strict about messes. So I have to now find a new location or give up the icecream idea. Decisions, Decisions...

~It's ok that I bought Arnold a "just because" gift the other day. Rachel and I spent the morning browsing Barnes & Noble, and I found a book about guitar players, I knew Arnold would love it! So I got him that.. and then when Rachel and I went to Wal Mart to pick up some things we needed, I also got Arnold some new socks (which he really did need!) a bag of Nerds (his fave candy, and they were only 50cents on After-Easter clearance!) and a TEA PITCHER. Totally random, I know, but he has been drinking a lot of tea here at home lately, and he said he needed one. Anyway, I really surprised him. Took the gift to work when we had lunch with him earlier in the week :)

~It's ok that I get really excited when I beat Arnold's scores on Wii Fit games. It has become a challenge to me lately. I like to be competitive with him :)

~It's ok that Rachel and I took a really long nap earlier today. Every once in awhile you just need the rest, right?!

~It's ok that I don't trust myself when It comes to Book Fairs! The Book Fair is coming to the kids' school this whole next week. It's hard to say no to the kids when what they want is something that I love buying for myself, too. I love picking out new books for their collections. Can't wait to see what good picks they have.

~It's ok that I totally forgot to order Spring Pictures this year! I had the order forms and the sample pics in my drawer this whole time, just forgot to send in the payment by the deadline. To be fair though, Caleb's picture looked almost identical to his fall picture. Why get another one, right? And we are about to have Spring/Summer family pics done soon, too. Trying to make myself feel better here...

~It's ok that I'm a little jealous of ALL the many people lately who have found out they are pregnant. I am happy for everyone of course, just starting to miss that pregnancy and newborn stage really, really badly! Also wishing I had done more "fun stuff" while I was pregnant that I seeing everyone doing now. Keeping a blog on my pregnancy (didn't start this one until Rachel was a few weeks old), having a Gender-Reveal party with all our family and friends (those are awesome! And that is right up my alley, I love parties!) If I can't have another baby, at least I will get to meet lots of other sweet babies over the next several months :)

~It's ok that I'm pretty bummed out that there isn't a new episode of "Big Bang Theory" tonight. That is one of the highlights of my week-- so hilarious!

~It's ok that one of the main reasons I am looking forward to working at the Pregnancy Care Center tonight is the break from the kids. The early evening hours are the hardest for me. So Thurs evenings when Arnold has to deal with dinner, baths, whining, etc, makes it soo much easier on me. Thanks Honey! ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekend Review

Friday Arnold susprised us and took the day off from work. It worked out really well because I have a sinus infection that really has been affecting me badly all week long and I just felt like resting. We did head up to the mall and meet some friends later that day, the Gap is going out of business in our mall. They had 40% off everything, even clearance. I really headed up there to find the kids some stuff, but didn't find much of anything. Arnold did though-- a shirt, socks, and several packs of underwear--ha! He got all that for $18, can't beat it. Arnold can find something to buy ANYWHERE we are, he likes to shop as much as I do, probably ;) Then we went over to the play area with Crystin and her kids, and let the kids run wild. Before we left the mall, we went to lunch in the foodcourt. I really got into philly chicken subs there when I was pregnant with Rachel, so I got one of those (they are so good-- even though I usually don't care for onions or mushrooms!) Anyway, after the mall trip, Arnold and the kids went back home and I went to the Dr to get some medicine for my sinus infection. There is (conveniently) a Kid's consignment store right down the road from my Dr, so I stopped in there before I went home. Found the CUTEST skirt for Rachel, and some cupcake PJs. I've said it before-- kids' clothes are my weakness!!!

Friday afternoon Arnold let me rest a lot while he watched the kids (I have the greatest husband ever!!!) Then that evening I went on a Girl's Night with my Sister-in-Law, Jenn. I still didn't feel the greatest when we went out, but I certainly didn't want to give up a chance to go out kid-free! I went to pick her up at her house, the we went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. They have the best salads--yum! Then we went to to a little shopping. We stopped by Toys R Us and I picked up another gift for Rachel, to put back for her birthday. It is a baby doll that "eats" and "drinks." She is going to love it, she is really into babies right now :) I also found a new Littlest Pet Shop for Brooke that she doesn't have yet-- a caterpillar! I will admit that I've gotten excited about finding new animals she doesn't have yet, for her collection. Love that I have girls so I can buy girly toys all over again, brings out the kid in me! Next we went to Kohl's. They had a lot of great deals going on, and I even tried a few things on. I need some new clothes badly!! But I am trying to wait until Arnold gets his bonus check, so I didn't buy anything for myself while we were out. It was fun just to get out and "window shop" though :)

Saturday morning we got up early and took the kids out.. one of Brooke's good friends in her class at school was having a yardsale. Brooke really wanted to go by and say Hi, but it turns out that her friend wasn't feeling well, so she was asleep, so Brooke didn't get to see her after all. The kids all found some toys they wanted, and even though we don't need any more junk in this house at ALL we let them pick one thing each. They did get a really cute Fisher Price cash register toy though.. and what did Rachel pick? A HUGE stuffed bear. Yeah, yet another stuffed animal. We have enough around here to make up our own zoo-- but hey, it's what she wanted. Anyway, after all that Arnold headed to the church to clean up-- he has taken on the job of leader of the Levites Team, which is the volunteers who clean the church every week before services. He didn't get a chance to get a team built up this week, so he was at church for 4 hours cleaning himself. At least he had Caleb there to help him, haha. He gave Caleb the job of pushing around the big broom to keep him busy, and he also carried around the trash bag for him. Caleb is actually a really good helper most times, I thought that was sweet :)

That afternoon I took Brooke to the Girl Scout Mother/Daughter tea party. They also let Grandmas attend, so Brooke was able to have both her Grandmas there, too! Everyone was dressed up, and most people were wearing hats, it was a lot of fun. (I dont have any hats though, I think they look weird on me!) They had a place set up for us to get pictures made, which they are going to mail to us in a few weeks. Then we went downstairs and picked a table to sit at, and worked on an activity while all the families got there. Then they had all the girls split up into different groups and they went to different stations to do crafts. At one they made a picture frame out of fabric, at one they made a pincushion, at one they made little wooden dolls, and at one they made pretty tags to put on buckets to carry all their stuff home in. Thank goodness my mom was there, she was able to help Brooke out with a lot of her crafts, since that gene obviously skipped my generation! ;) After all the crafts we went back to the gym and they had snacks and drinks. Their TEA was actually sweet tea.. which was fine with me! ;) For snacks they had chips, cupcakes, pickles, veggies, and little pinwheels with meat and cheese (which Brooke stole from me--she loved them!) While we ate we watched a fashion show of Girl Scout uniforms over the years, it was pretty neat to see all the history. Then they gave out prizes for hats-- the biggest, oldest, most creative, etc. My Sister-in-law actually won for oldest hat (helps to have a mother that is the queen of antiques!) It was a very fun afternoon, and such a meaningful time that Brooke got to spend with the ladies in her family :)

That evening we dropped the kids off at their Grandparents, and Arnold and I got to go out on a date! I was so excited, it had been awhile. We went to dinner at Dos Amigos. Love that place. Then we walked around a few stores for awhile, while we waited on our movie to start. We went to see "American Reunion." Which is another sequel to the "American Pie" movies. It actually was pretty good, really funny. And yes, there was the infamous kitchen scene where you saw ALL of Jason Biggs, which I knew Arnold was worried about, but it was hilarious. Quote from the movie-- "Um, you know that lid is see-thru, right?!" :) After the movie we went to pick up Rachel from the inlaw's (The big kids spent the night with my parents) She was passed out in her Grandma's bed.. and I hated to wake her up. As soon as we got home Rachel fell back asleep and I did too.. haha. It had been a really long day, and I still wasn't feeling 100%.

Sunday morning we went to church. We had no idea, but some of our good friends, Ray and Kelly, joined the church that morning. And the little boy I talked about from nursery last week (that loved Arnold so much) was baptized that morning, too. So I'm glad we were there to see all that! After church we got some lunch from Taco Bell and went back home. Arnold finally took the time to mow the grass (it needed it badly!) and I did the weekly grocery shopping (also badly needed-- as Brooke pointed out-- we were almost out of food :P The kids got to play outside some while I was gone doing the grocery shopping. And that evening after they were in bed, Arnold and I watched some tv while snacking on leftover Easter candy from the store (gotta love after-holiday clearance!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

~This week has been LONG. The kids have been on Spring Break now for 7 days (if you count the weekend) and so next week can't come soon enough!

~Arnold surprised me this afternoon by saying that he has tomorrow off from work! Totally wasn't expecting that. So hope we have a fun family day.

~Anyone else dealing with allergies? They have never effected me that badly, but this year is awful. The past few days I have had a headache that won't stop throbbing, eyes that itch and burn, and a scratchy throat. I am already on a lot of medicine, so its hard to find an allergy medicine that's safe for me to take. Maybe I can ask about that at my Dr. appt next week. I have to go in to talk to him about how it's going with my "mental meds" if you know what I mean :P

~Had a fun playdate at Joanne's house this morning. The kids all got to play together and at least we got out of the house for awhile. We played outside some, but it was really chilly (its been in the 80s for weeks and weeks and suddenly decides to be in the 60s-- what's up with that??) Joanne made us all lunch, too, that was really sweet. And then the big kids played video games while we hung out. Ok, I almost fell asleep on her couch, but I blame that on my headache!

~Took a trip to Rita's today. They had my fave flavor today-- Strawberry Margarita. That made me very happy :) Kids had pink lemonade flavor.

~So happy for two of my friends, Chrissy and Natalie, who recently found out they are going to have babies! More sweet babies for me to love on! Can't wait to hear what they are having and to see those sweet things when they get here :)

~Ordered a book today, called "The Signs of Life." It was one of the recommended books in a magazine I read. Heard its really good. Can't wait for it to get here.

~They are re-modeling Target! I hate it when things change.. now i am going to have to figure out everything all over again. But at least it's still open for me to shop in while they are busy working. Everyone knows Target is one of my guilty pleasures :) Even found some Little Pet Shops there on clearance tonight for Brooke.

~Bought me a new nail shade for my toes. Don't know if you'd call it "coral" or just plain "orange", but its cute anyway. I am not up-to-date that well with the fashions, but in my magazine it said this season coral, yellow, and a certain shade of blue are "in" so I decided to try one of those colors :)

~Worked at the Pregnancy Care Center tonight. We had a really low-key night, so I got to read my book a lot of the time. I am still in shock everytime a young girl comes in to the center.. I am so proud of them for making good decisions, and so happy to be a part of this. But at the same time I have been a pregnant teen before (even if my path didn't end like most of them, since I chose adoption) and It breaks my heart to think what a hard road they have ahead of them. I just hope the dads in these situations step up and help. And that they have good support systems, because they will need them!

~Was sad "Big Bang Theory" wasn't a new episode tonight. But at least "The Office" was. Yes, I know its gone down-hill bigtime. I am happy to see Andy and Erin back together, though! They were always cute together.

~Arnold and I are finally getting a date night.. this Sat.. if everything goes well! We are going to go see the new American Pie movie. (aren't we mature?? ;) When Arnold asked his parents to babysit, his dad asked him if he knew that the main character was going full frontal for this movie. Then Arnold was like "ummm maybe we shouldn't go anymore Abby!" Haha... typical. Anyway, I am looking forward to a relaxing night out with my man! :)

~Arnold got some exciting news today.. can't share many details yet in case things don't work out, but I hope I will get to update more soon! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Found this on someone else's blog. So here is some more useless facts about me :)

Favorite time of day: Evening, when some of the craziness dies down around here. We get the kids in their pjs, read stories, and they go to bed. Then I get time with hubby, to watch some of our fave. shows, and read in bed.

Favorite season: Spring! I get so excited when it gets warmer and flowers come out. It is such a beautiful time.

Favorite month: June/July- This is when we celebrate mine and Rachel's bdays. I LOVE birthdays. The kids are on vacation and its more laid-back around here. The weather is warm but not HOT like August. And can't forget 4th of July. I love the fireworks, cookouts, and patriotism.

Favorite subject in school: It was English/Reading. Self-explanitory, I have always loved to read, write, and done well in these areas.

Favorite color: green!

Favorite song: Freebird! And nothing is better than hearing it live :)

Favorite movie: "Grease." Close behind that would be "Dirty Dancing." I didn't even see Dirty Dancing until this past year, can you believe it?! I love all musicals and movies with songs/dancing. Mama Mia and Hairspray are other faves!

Favorite celebrity: I've always loved Adam Sandler and Julia Roberts. Adam can always crack me up, I always go see all his movies. Julia is just so beautiful and down-to-earth. If there was a movie about my life, I'd want her to play me ;)

Favorite TV show: Hard to pick just one. Lately its Glee and Big Bang Theory. Of all time its The Office, Friends, Golden Girls, Will & Grace.

Favorite thing to do: Go on a date with Arnold. Curl up with a good book. Girls Night Out with friends. Plan parties for the kiddos :)

Favorite place in the world: The mountains, so beautiful and relaxing

Favorite hobby: Reading, blogging, shopping

Favorite kind of animal: Dogs (as pets), and owls and turtles

Favorite place to live: I don't think I'd ever leave the south, honestly

Favorite place to vacation: So far its been Cancun and Charleston. I'd LOVE to visit Italy one day, one of my dreams!

Favorite restaurant: Chilis, Olive Garden, Dos Amigos-- depends on my mood.

Favorite drink: Sweet Tea!

Favorite chore: ha..who likes chores?! I don't mind laundry..

Favorite makeup: Mary Kay-- looks best on me

Favorite hair products: Mom got me into Organix hair stuff-- smells great!!

Favorite lotion/perfume: Mostly always use Bath and Body Works. Usually a summer-time fragrance like coconut or pineapple.

Favorite Store: Target. I visit there several times a month (well I used to go more until gas prices got so high!) I don't think I ever leave there without SOMETHING. A close 2nd would be Barnes and Noble. But I usually buy my books offline now.

Favorite Websites: Facebook (of course), my moms forums I am a part of, Amazon (to buy books for me and gifts for the kids-- they have some great deals!)

Favorite blogger: I have several bookmarked to read. I dont have a fave.

Favorite thing to blog about: Tidbits about the kids that I will love having later on down the road to remember things by :)

Favorite author: That is VERY hard for me. I love Nicholas Sparks, Jane Green, Whitney Gaskell, Jodi Picoult, Sophie Kinsella, Janet Evanovich.. and many more.

Favorite Book: Very hard as well! A few of my faves are "Heaven is for Real," "The Lucky One," "Three Weeks with my Brother."

Favorite verse: Micah 6:8-- my fave since I was young

Favorite thing to do with Friends: Shop, yardsaling, game nights, dinners out-- I love any time with my girls! :)

Favorite thing to wear: I'm a laid-back kind of girl. Jeans and a top!

Favorite Food: Chicken

Favorite Kids' Book: "Goodnight Moon" or "On the Night you Were Born"

Favorite Holiday- Christmas. With 4th of July a close second.

Favorite Childhood Toys: I loved My Little Ponies, Trolls, electronic pets (remember Giga pets?!), dolls of all kinds...

Favorite kind of day: My ideal day would be either spent with Arnold or good friends... it would involve fave foods, Ritas, shopping, maybe a movie...

Favorite memory: My wedding day, the days of my kids' births. I love looking back on these days and remembering all the details. Almost makes me cry every time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012!

Saturday morning we went over to Mom and Dad's church for an easter egg hunt. My mom was helping out with the kids' activities and had told us about it. The big kids were in one room with mom and some other helpers, and I went with Rachel to the little kids' class. They did a few crafts and played some games. Rachel walked right in, sat down beside another little girl, and started coloring. I think she is going to do just fine when it comes to preschool (even if I won't!) Then they let the kids loose on the playground to find eggs. Rachel is still a little slow at it, so she only ended up with 4 eggs. But thankfully they took up all the eggs and gave the kids treat bags with candy and toys inside instead, to make it fair for everyone. Thought that was a good idea. The kids ended up with Reese's eggs, which Arnold and I stole from them ;) After the egg hunt they got to play on the playground for awhile and run out some energy. I ran into a lot of people I knew growing up, and it was great to see everyone and get to talk a little bit. I always feel so strange when I get around people I used to know, I feel like I am not "ready" to be this mom of 3 kids. It feels like just a character I am playing.. although I know it is very, very real! After all the egg hunts we went to the family life center and they had made lunch for everyone-- chicken nuggets, fries, applesauce, and cupcakes. The kids had invited their cousin Bekah to come to the egg hunt too, so we all sat at the table together during lunch. It was a fun morning!

That afternoon we went over to Arnold's parents house, along with Jenn and Bekah, for some more Easter fun. The grandparents had all the kids their own Easter baskets full of goodies. They all got a few toys, juice bottles, cotton candy, and chocolate bunnies. Brooke is my WEIRD child who doesn't really care for chocolate (I know, right?!) so I got to eat her's (not that I'm complaining at all!) The inlaws had also gotten Arnold and I our own bunnies-- cookies and cream flavored (we are still big kids after all!) So we ate those too. Brooke also fished all the reese's cups out of her basket and gave them to us, too. Needless to say before I left there, I was feeling sick on my stomach!! The kids then took turns dying easter eggs. A little later they were all wanting to eat them, so we ended up eating all of the eggs, too. We actually got my neice to try her very first hard-boiled egg, and she liked it!!!! (yay) Easter is one of my favorite holidays, of course for the obvious reasons, but also-- I love any holiday that is about eggs and chocolate-- two of my favorites things to eat! ;) Then the kids went outside to hunt eggs in the yard. All the eggs were filled with jelly beans and M&M's. The kids came back inside, dumped all their loot out, and started eating again. I usually restrict how much candy they are eating, but we are a lot more "laid back" on holidays. I can't get over how much sweets they had though.. probably not the best thing to do after what we went through at the dentist lately with Brooke!!! (just give me a "Worst Mama Award!!") But they all had a great time, and that's what mattered. Arnold's dad and I ended up falling asleep on the couch (we are the sleep-loving people of the bunch I guess).

That afternoon Jennifer and I went to the movies together, while Arnold and his parents took charge of the kids for awhile (thank you guys!!!) We went to see "October Baby." I don't know how I was so behind and hadn't even heard of this movie at all.. so thankfully Jennifer told me about it. When I looked it up online I knew it was something I wanted to see. When we first got there we were the only ones in the small theatre (everyone else was there to see Hunger Games or the new American Pie movie, which I will get to eventually!!!) We had taken our 2012 popcorn buckets and gotten our buttery popcorn and big cokes (yes, even AFTER all the junk we had eaten over the course of the day.) But you can't go to the movies and not get the heart-clogging goodness.. seriously. Anyway, the movie was about a girl who had been the product of a failed abortion. She had survived, and her mom didn't want her, so she was adopted. She didn't know she was adopted until she was a teen though, and found out due to some medical problems she had. Then she went on a roadtrip with her childhood best friend to try to find her biological mother. I won't ruin all the details/surprises in case anyone wants to see it, but it was really, really good. Especially coming from someone who was adopted, and who is also so pro-life-- it really hit home with me and struck a nerve several times. I think I cried the entire last 30 minutes of the movie. But oh, it was so good. A movie of surprises, love, loss, forgiveness, God's grace.. and everything in between. The adoptive dad was played by John Snyder, who was in the old Dukes of Hazzard. Arnold's grandmother used to say he looked a lot like him.. I guess I can see it now. I only hope Arnold looks that good as he ages ;) (haha love you honey!!)

Sunday morning the kids got up at 5:45!!!! I couldn't believe it, I heard them talking and running around and I thought I was dreaming. But no.. they were wide awake, excited about seeing what the Easter Bunny had brought them. So I got up (while Arnold stayed in the bed mumbling about how it was an ungodly hour to be up) and took them into the living room. They were so excited over everything they got in their baskets. Caleb and Brooke got new Wii games (Wii Fit Kids and Star Wars), new Eric Carle books to finish up their collections, change in their easter eggs (they are really into having their own money these days), and some other various things. Rachel got a new sipcup, stuffed sheep, little owl family (owls!!) and a few other things. Arnold said the Dora head easter eggs were really creepy... just floating heads in her basket.. but I thought they were really cute!!! Anyway, the kids played their new games while I made some cinnamon buns for breakfast. Arnold eventually got up and joined us (can't believe he missed them opening their baskets though!!) Then we all got them dressed in their Easter outfits. Rachel finally got the dress I had been saving since way back on our Anniversary trip when I bought it. I also put her own little white sandals, a matching bow, fake pearls, and she carried a little purse with her that she had gotten in her basket. She.was.ADORABLE. Oh my goodness... I can't get over how much my little girl has grown!!! We wanted to leave the house by 7:30, and we ended up pulling out of the driveway around 7:35, so not so bad. Definately not bad considering we had to get 3 little kids ready that early in the morning, when Arnold and I are NOT morning people at all!!!

We got to church and dropped the kids off in their classroom. Arnold had to meet up with a lady and talk to her about some responsibilities he is taking on in the church, so I sat in the "lobby area" and waited on him (while eating more of the little reese cups that I found in my purse, thanks to Brooke!) Then we went downstairs to the 8am service. There was actually a lot of people there, I was happy to see that! I heard there had been a good turnout for the sunrise service, too (which we never would have been able to make, even if the kids did get up at a crazy hour!) After service we went back to the kids' area, because I was supposed to work at the 9:30 service, since it was the 2nd Sunday of the month. Since we had only driven one vehicle that morning, they let Arnold stay in there with me as a "volunteer of the day" :) He wasn't too sure of it at first, but kids always seem to like him (and dogs-- which I never get, because he isn't too fond of either!! Haha.. I joke..) There is a little boy in there that is usually very clingy and wants to be held. He held out his arms for Arnold right away. Arnold actually ended up getting him down and got him to color, and play with some toys. When his parents came back to pick him up they were so surprised. I guess Arnold is amazing with kids after all, who would have thought?! ;) Maybe he should become a regular in there with us ;) Also, while we were in there, one of the other workers took the kids to the bathroom. Rachel wanted to go, but I didn't think anything of it, since she always likes to go at church but never does anything. Well guess what? She PEED IN THE POTTY!!!! For the very first time!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness... didn't think i'd be that mom that shared all the intimate details of her kids life that no one really cares about, but if you were me, you'd understand. That kid is so stubborn, you can tell she is the baby of the family. But she finally did it, and I am elated, even if it WAS for another person. Like my friend Jess said-- it was an Easter miracle!! :)

After church, we went over to my parents house. They were having us over for lunch and yet even more Easter fun. They had easter baskets for the kids too (told you they were really spoiled!!) And one for Arnold and I too.. our's had some new kitchen gadgets in it, and some snacks. One of the things the kids got was a new board game, so we played that until they got bored of it. Then my dad hid eggs in the backyard and we went outside for another egg hunt. Thankfully my dad was nice enough to get a family picture of us on their front steps (because we all know I have to have my memories!) For lunch we had ham, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, deviled eggs, rolls, sweet tea, and brussel sprouts (ewwww.. which my mom MADE me try one. Still at 26 years old she is trying to get her kids to not be picky eaters). The lunch was so good, my mom is still an amazing cook! Anyway, after lunch we played outside in the yard some more. Mom had gotten everyone squirt guns, and so we had a squirt gun fight. It took Rachel awhile to figure out how to shoot the water out of it, but once she did she went after people.. it was so cute. Caleb is sneaky.. he came up behind me and soaked me.. not the sweet boy I thought he was, after all! ;) Then we finished off the afternoon with my mom reading the kids their new books out on the back deck. Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful Easter day.. it was sooo nice outside!!

I hope everyone else had an awesome Easter, also! :)