Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

~I'm loving that Caleb started Kindergarten today. He was so excited. More on that later.. there will be a whole blog on his first day ;)

~I'm loving that Brooke picked out this Barbie playset last night at Toys R Us. We never got around to taking her to Toys R Us to get her balloon and crown and pick out her toy, so we did that last night. Barbie's arm moves and she can "wash" the puppies, and you can even put water and soap in there and make real bubbles. Arnold doesn't want to tell Brooke about that part though, because of the potential mess ;) The kids all played with it last night before bed, even Caleb ;) Haha, sorry for ratting you out Caleb!!

~I'm loving that the fair is in town this week and weekend. I almost forgot it was this week until someone mentioned it. I hope we get to go, but I'm not sure yet. We have a pretty busy weekend already. Plus, have you seen how expensive it is to take a family of 5 to a fair?!

~I'm loving that Fall is just around the corner! Can't wait until I can put out some fall decor around the house, and take the kids to pick out pumpkins!

~I'm loving that we took the kids out to dinner at Village Inn last night, to celebrate them starting school. Well not Rachel yet, but she enjoyed the food too ;) Arnold had no objections to going, because Village Inn is his all-time fave. place to eat. The kids had pudding for dessert.. they are so funny about what gets them excited.

~I'm loving these sparkly pink shoes we got Brooke. She wore them for the first time today. I wanted to get the silver pair too, but they were out of her size! :(
~I'm loving that Brooke can fit into clothes from Justice now. She got some things from there for her birthday. We have "Justice Bucks" that we can redeem this next week, so I will probably take her in there soon. Their clothes and stuff are BRIGHT.. some might consider them tacky. But Brooke loves it. Her shirt in the pic above is from there :)

~I'm loving what I've heard so far from the new Matchbox Twenty cd. Their new CD is coming out the first week of September. I am a big fan (yeah, I'll admit it! ;)

~I'm loving getting to play girly things with Brooke. She got her first pack of Squinkies for her birthday. They are TINY and I know they will probably get lost soon enough, but they are adorable. I love all the little animals and characters you can collect. All these girl toys take me back to being a kid again!

~I'm LOVING that I'm waiting on a call back from my social worker this week! She is supposed to call me with some news about Joseph. Hopefully I am getting a package with a letter and pictures of my sweet boy within the next few weeks. YEAH!!!! It's been forever!!!! :)

~I'm loving that I reached 100 (and more) followers on my blog! It's so neat to see that number when I log in! Thanks to all those link-ups and stuff I have met a lot of new bloggers! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brooke's 1st Day

Yesterday Brooke started the First Grade. I knew this day was coming, but it still feels so weird to me to be able to say I am the mother of a 6 year old who is in First Grade!!! (who feels old now?!) She had been a little nervous over the weekend about starting, she was telling everyone about it. But Monday morning she woke up on her own, got out of bed, and seemed excited about going. The night before, Arnold and I had taken care of all the paperwork, packed up her supplies in her bookbag, and laid out her outfit. Then that morning we got up at 6:30 (that was rough-- we are not morning people at all!) and made her lunch. Her first lunch of the year was a pb&j sandwich, pretzels, strawberries, and a banana cream pudding for dessert. I packed in a cute napkin with her lunch, and drew a smiley face on the ziplock baggie holding her sandwich. I also wrote LOVE YOU on another one of her baggies. I will miss doing stuff like that when the kids are older and embarassed by their mom!
When Brooke got up I got her dressed. I had given her a shower the night before to make the morning go more smoothly. She wore a cute little outfit from "Justice" and her new purple Converse shoes we gave her at her Birthday. Then I added a cute little ballerina bow to her hair and some new silver butterfly earrings. She looked really cute! Then we went outside to take several "first day of school" pictures. Just wouldn't be right if I didn't take tons of pics for every occasion ;)
We were actually out the door by 7:20, I am so proud of us. School doesn't even start until 7:50. I know that will not be a regular occurance, but it was nice that the excitement of the day helped us get on with it and out the door! All of us rode in the van to drop her off at school. The nice thing about the car-rider line is that we don't even have to get out, so the kids didn't even have to wear shoes (or me-- and my hair was still wet from the shower!) The first graders get dropped off and walk to the gym, and wait for their teachers to pick them up when it's time. I was sort-of sad that I couldn't walk her in this year, but I suspected as much. She assured me she was a big girl though, and WANTED to do it all by herself. Watching her walk up that hill and disappear from my sight was bittersweet. I bawled last year when dropping them off, but I actually did ok this year. I was pretty quiet all morning and felt like I might have held back some tears, but I was strong :) My mom gave me a call later that morning to see how I did-- love how she was checking up on me :) Me worried about my baby, and her worried about HER baby-- it's a full circle :)
The day seemed to fly by.. it was definitely quieter with one of the kids missing. That afternoon we went to pick Brooke up from school, and I saw her sitting on a bench talking to a little boy from her class. She was smiling and looked really happy. She got in the van and told me she had had a great first day. She said her teacher was really nice, and had told all of them that they were so smart and she might have to let them pass right on through to 2nd grade! ;) We got home, unpacked her stuff, and did her nightly reading. They have to read 10-15 minutes every night, and I sign off on it. Won't be a problem for a lover of reading like myself ;) Then I cleaned out her lunchbox, and she had eaten most of her food but left the pudding to eat after school. She had eaten through the middle of her sandwich and left the crusts. I hope to get some cookie cutters and make cute shapes in her sandwiches in the future :)
I am thrilled she had a great first day! :)

Got the chalk idea off Pinterest. LOVE this picture! :)

With her lunchbox. Mama might be pushing her love of owls onto her ;)

Showing off her Justin Bieber bookbag that she picked out. She added the little puppy and unicorn keychains she made Sunday.

Kids posing with Daddy

Arnold told Brooke to smile REALLY big so that is why she looks like that ;)

The little kids wishing their big sister a great day! :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend in Review

This weekend was SO busy, but so much fun. Friday I spent almost the whole day cleaning up the house and getting rid of old stuff. I can't believe how quickly we accumulated stuff in these 6 years we have had kids.. it is ridiculous! I got rid of bags of trash, outgrown clothes, toys the kids hadn't bothered with in a long time, and more. I even cleaned off my bookshelves and got rid of TONS of my books. I'm a big reader but I never really save books unless they are really special to me. If I did, I wouldn't even have the room to keep them all! Anyway, I worked hard and stayed in my pajamas since I knew I would get hot and sweaty. I didn't even get around to taking a shower until after 2pm that afternoon. I'm glad Arnold was at work because I didn't want him to see me that way.. I was looking pretty nasty! ;) But it felt so good to clear junk out of the house. My dream is to eventually have everything gone that we aren't using or loving. I don't want to have stuff "just to have it" anymore, because it is taking over!
That evening I decided I would go ahead and let Brooke open her birthday gifts since we had a busy weekend. Her birthday wasn't until Sunday. It was a surprise to her, and she was so happy. She kept saying "You are the best mommy ever!" :) We got her new shoes for school, a Littlest Pet Shop walkable playset (a horse!), a princess Tiana doll that sings "Happy Birthday," a boxset that had 3 Pinkalicious books and a poster to color for her room, a pack of dressup highheel shoes, and a science book for kids that was all about the body. She loved everything, and the kids spent the evening playing with all the new toys. Then I read them the "body" book before they went to bed-- it was really neat! They had a lot of little facts to learn about things, and even Arnold and I were learning some things ;) We also made cookies that night as a special birthday dessert.
Saturday morning we got up REALLY early (like 6am early!) and got ready for our yardsale we were having. Arnold's friend from work had invited us out to a local business parking lot (he knew the people) to have a yardsale. He invited a lot of people from work to come out so that we would hopefully attract more people. I wasn't really expecting a lot of people to show up since it is late in the yardsale season, but I was pleasantly surprised. A lot of people bought stuff that I didn't think would even sale. I guess you never know! Now I am glad we hauled all that stuff out there. We actually made a good amount of money, and didn't even have that much stuff to pack up into our van afterwards. The rest of the stuff we had left we gave to my mom to donate, she works at a local crisis ministry. It felt so great not to have to take a bunch of junk back into our house! The kids even had fun at the sale because Brooke's friend from school was there with her parents. They ran around the parking lot in the high heels she had gotten for her bday the night before. They were quite the sight.. I think at one point Caleb even had some on :-0 Another family had also brought out their tiny dachshund puppy. The kids went wild over that thing, especially Caleb. He asked them to hold it several times. If we ever get another dog, it will be a dachshund! I grew up with dachshunds and they are just the sweetest things ever!
That afternoon after we had rested at home some and gotten showers, we went over to my friend Jess' house to visit for awhile. Jess and I met in highschool and have been "Bffs" for 10 years now. She has a 1 year old son, Hunter, and I love to go visit him when I came. I lovingly call myself Aunt Abby ;) Jess and Hunter had to miss Brooke and Caleb's birthday party since Hunter wasn't feeling good that day, so they gave them their presents that day. Jess also gave me a new tumbler.. with OWLS on it.. for my birthday :) The kids had a great time playing together, and Hunter even sat on my lap for awhile and let me take pictures with him :)
That evening we went over to my parents' house for dinner. They wanted us to come over so they could see Brooke for her bday. They made the adults steak (Arnold was in heaven) and the kids a pasta casserole. Mom made rice krispie treats with mini m&ms in them, for dessert. Those things were sooo good. I ended up taking the rest of them home to eat.. and they didn't last long! ;) The kids always have a great time at their house, and were able to help mom cook some.. they like to call themselves little chefs! Before we left that evening, we went outside and caught some lightning bugs (fireflies for those of you who aren't southern! ;) That had been on my Summer bucket list but I had never gotten around to taking the kids out to do that! I used to love running around as a kid with my younger brother, trying to catch them.
Sunday morning we all got ready and went to church. 2 dear friends of our's are moving in a month or so, and it was their last Sunday at our church, so I'm glad we go to see them and get some pics and big hugs! The message that morning was wonderful.. talking about anger and bitterness, and how dangerous it is to hold onto that anger. I was thinking in my mind the whole time of a few things that have happened in my life that were just so hard to forget and move on. I am going to try to move past after hearing that message. I know it does no good for me to hold bitterness inside, when God wants to restore my heart and heal me completely! I really needed to hear that!
After church we met up with Arnold's parents. They took us all out to Applebee's for lunch, for Brooke's birthday. Brooke told us we'd better not tell anyone it was her birthday, because she didn't want them to sing to her. Poor thing was going to be so embarassed :) I know how it feels, so I didn't tell them! I even had a "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY" button for her to wear that day, and she wouldn't wear it. Oh well! Lunch was yummy by the way.. I got my usual.. the chicken fajita rollup! Then we went out to their van and they let Brooke open up her gift. They got her some new clothes, earrings, shoes, a Zoobles Playset, some Squinkies, and this little thing that lets you make your own minature pets (kind of like the build a bear place) and they have little keychains you can hook them onto your bookbag or whatever. Brooke made a little blue puppy and a unicorn.. they were so cute!
That afternoon the kids' grandparents took the kids to swim for awhile (at their request!) And so Arnold and I went out on a date! We were stuffed from lunch, so we didn't get any icecream like we had previously planned on doing. We went by Barnes and Noble and browsed some magazines for awhile. They had put out some new books in their bargain section and I found "Night Road" by Kristin Hannah, so I bought that for me to read. Then we went over to Ollie's and picked up some last minute school supplies Brooke needed. There wasn't much left to do (our town is pretty boring!) So we went home to rest and watch some tv. It was nice just to be together and not hear all the yelling and whining that we usually hear from the kids!
That evening after the kids got home, we played with Brooke's new toys for awhile, the Arnold made us some of his "famous" breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese, and bacon, for dinner. We gave all the kids baths, and packed up Brooke's bookbag and got it ready for this morning (her first day of school!) We then read a few books and got them into bed early. I could tell Brooke was having a hard time sleeping, because she kept getting up and making excuses. But eventually she fell asleep and slept very well! I can't believe it's time for school already!
Hope everyone had a great weekend! :)
One of my Bf's Erika and I, with Ray (the one who is moving away :(

Rachel and her Paw at lunch on Sunday

Brooke and I at her birthday lunch at Applebee's
Brooke getting ready to open her presents from us

Birthday cookies! They just recently came out with these (I think) I loved the idea, but they actually didn't taste that good. Bummer.

At the yardsale Sat. morning. The kids were reading books with their friend, Emma.

Having her birthday italian ice! She got island fusion flavor like me :)

Hunter with his Aunt Abby ;)

Jess and I! Love this girl :)

Rachel helping Grandma cook. She was showing her how to cut potatoes.

New book she got from Grandma. She wanted me to read it over and over!

Caught Molly passed out like this last night. Spoiled kitty! ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Brooke at 6 Years

I asked Brooke some questions, so I can go back and see what she was like, and what she was into, at 6 years of age. Tomorrow she will officially be 6, that is crazy!!!!!!! :)
 Fave Color: Pink and green
Fave Book: "When a Monster is Born"
Fave. Song: "Proud Mary" (Version by the Glee Cast LOL! ;)
Fave Movie: Tangled
Fave. Show: Pink Panther
Fave. Wii Game: Mario Kart
Fave. Toy: Princess Tiana doll
Fave. Animal: Giraffe
Fave. Food: Mac & Cheese
Fave. Drink: Sprite
Fave. Thing to do: Play at the park and swing
Fave. Thing at School: Writing
Best Friend: Emma
What do you want to be when you grow up: A vet and Mommy :)
How many kids do you want one day: Four (yay ;)
What do you want to be for Halloween: Snow White
What things scare you? Being alone in the dark
What things make you happy? When I get to see my grandparents, and when I go swimming
Brooke is a school lovin....

fun having...

Cheer Yelling....

Roller skating....

absolutely beautiful....

fishy swimming....

pretend playing....

loving little girl!!!!!!!! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Edition: His and Her Q&A

For a little fun on this Friday....time for another fun HIS AND HER Q&A. Arnold and I both answered these questions, and our answers are below :)

Your house is on fire. What five items do you grab before you leave?
His: My wallet, laptop, and my 3 guitars. ("wait, is Molly already outside with us?!")
Her: If everyone else is already outside I'm assuming... then my purse with all the stuff in it, blanket my Grandmother made me, stuffed bear my other Grandma made me when I was born, computer, and camera. I had to think hard on this one.. I just realized how little has THAT much value when you think about the really important things in life! 

If you could be/had to be the main character of any movie, who would you be?
His: Yoda from Star Wars!
Her: I was going to say Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but then I realized she was a hooker! haha! I do love Julia though, she is gorgeous!  

What physical feature do you love most about yourself?
His: My calves (that's random!)
Her: My eyes

Tell us why your name is your name. And if you don't have (or know) an answer, make one up.
His: I was named after my Grandfather and Dad (he is a III)
Her: I am told I was named after a girl in a movie. My parents heard the name and really liked it. I don't even remember the movie! 

What is the greatest place you've ever traveled to?
His: Colorado (he has his reasons!)
Her: Memories wise.. our honeymoon in Boone ;) Coolest trip though would have been the trip to Cancun I took when I had just graduated from highschool.

Are you a morning person or a night person?
His: Morning. (no contest.. I have seen this man stay up until 4am, just because!)
Her: Night. I love relaxing at night after the kids are in bed. Reading and blogging, etc :)

Who is someone you wish you were closer to?
His: The parents of the other kids' at the elementary school (totally wasn't expecting that!)
Her: The adoptive parents of Joseph.  You can only get so close in a semi-open adoption!

What quality do you have that you hope your kids inherit?
His: Being yourself
Her: Compassion for people and finding the good in everyone you meet

What's your favorite memory with your childhood best friend?
His: All the sleepovers we had. More recently-- the Van Halen concert ;) (yes, they are still friends after all these years! awww ;)
Her: I have to go with sleepovers, also. Those were great :)

If you had to move out of the country where would you move to?
His: A warm island
Her: France! It's beautiful there and they have great food. Plus I hear the kids there are well-behaved and are very good eaters/not picky at all :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Open House Night

Last night we took the kids to Open House night at their Elementary school. From 4-6 you could come in, see the classrooms, and meet the teachers. We first went by Caleb's classroom, which is the same one Brooke was in last year. That made me feel a whole lot better, I already know what I am getting into. I am not a person who is big on change! It's nice for things to be familar to me. As soon as we went in, his teacher, Mrs. Jeffries, said "Hi ____ Family!" She said our last name, but I put a blank there to protect our privacy.. you never know these days online! Anyway, Caleb looked around the room and saw where he would be sitting. He liked that he saw his name on several places in the room, including in a red balloon on the wall for the August Birthday months. He even started looking through the pile of "beginner reading" books and asked the teacher if she "had any boy books in there?!" Haha. I think he is going to do fine in Kindergarten since he was in all-day Preschool last year and sort of already knows what to expect. But he did tell me he was nervous about going in the car-rider line in the mornings, and having to walk by himself. The kids walk up the hill, and older kids take them into the gym until the bell rings, and then the teachers come and pick the kids in their class up. Personally Arnold and I LOVE that we can use the car-rider line this year though, it makes drop-off in the early morning SO much easier. You don't even have to get our of your pajamas if you don't want to! I might scare a few people if I did that though... could you imagine... me going through the line with no makeup, bed-head, and my pj pants?! Haha.
After going by Caleb's class, we went to Brooke's class to meet her teacher. I had never met her before at all, so it was all new to us. I had seen her picture in last year's yearbook, and that's about it. We talked for a few minutes, and she seemed pretty nice. She also introduced me to her student teacher, who I guess will be helping her out this year. They both seemed nice enough to me! She asked Brooke a few questions, but Brooke would only answer with quick "yeses" or "nos." She seemed to be pretty nervous and shy, but when I said she didn't have to be nervous she was certainly quick to tell me "I'm not!!!" Her teacher asked if she was going to be a quiet on this year. Ha! As If. That girl does not shut up... ever. But let's let her teacher be surprised ;) I showed Brooke the table she would be sitting at, where her name was. And wouldn't you know it? She is seated at a table with all boys! I don't know if they had run out of other girls by then, but somehow she ended up with boys. Arnold said "oh boy, this is how it all begins!" Haha... we will see. I think Brooke is cool enough to hang with the boys OR the girls.. just depends on her mood that day. She can be a rough tomboy and play in the dirt, or she can be a girly girl, wanting to dress up in jewelry and do cheers. I like that she can pretty much adjust to most situations she is put in.
I think this year is going to be a great one. I have a good feeling about all the teachers and things we have seen. I got sent home a folder of paperwork to do before school starts on Monday (yay me!) Homework before school even starts! I hope this is not an indication of how the year is going to be...sheesh! I hear 1st graders have a lot more homework than the little Kindergarteners do!!!!
Outside of the school before the Open House

Welcome to Kindergarten! Caleb's teacher is Mrs. Jeffries

Caleb in his classroom, standing beside his name he found

The kids outside the school, with their Daddy. Caleb looks unsure about the whole situation, haha!

Thought this pic was cool that Arnold took of us all walking out of the school after the Open House, getting ready to go home.

Brooke grabbed my camera and took a picture of herself before we left. She held it out and everything.. I guess I have taught her well! ;) Wow, look at that nose. She has her mama's nose, for sure. We won't call it big, we will just call it "pronounced!" :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

~I'm loving this picture that hubby is in. My husband is in a local country band, and the other night at practice they took some professional pictures to put on their facebook page and other things. Hubby is the one on the very back left. I think he put himself back there on purpose.. he wasn't too excited about the pictures to begin with, ha! I can't wait to see them play next on Sept. 8th, I am supposed to have several friends go with me to that gig.

~I'm loving that one of the cheer moms brought their BRAND new baby girl to practice the other night! I was watching Brooke and then turned around for a minute and saw her sitting there, asleep, in her stroller. A week ago the mom was very pregnant and now there the baby was! Ah, I just love newborn babies, they are the sweetest! I probably creeped the mom out by looking a little too long at her, haha! :)

~I'm LOVING that I heard Nicholas Sparks is going to be in OUR town on Sept. 6th for a book signing and "public talk." A good friend and I are already planned and ready to go! Mostly everyone knows who this cutie is, unless you have been hiding under a rock. He writes novels and I have read mostly every one he has written! One of my favorite authors. Anyway, I will be there on the 6th, I just have to decide which of his books to take for him to sign. And If I am lucky, maybe I will get a picture with him too ;)

~I'm loving these Jolly Rancher popsicles we have had in our freezer this past week. They didn't last long, that's for sure! I sometimes sneak one too, after the kids have gone to bed.

~I'm loving the new show "Go On" that came on last night, with Matthew Perry. I thought it was going to be a pretty lame show, since he already tried to make a come-back in that other show he did awhile back "Mr. Sunshine." But I was pleasantly surprised, the episode they showed was really funny! It doesn't start until fall, but they showed a special "preview episode" last night. I will probably be watching the show now!

~I'm loving that I finished yet another Janet Evanovich book yesterday. I have almost read all of her books now. "Plum Spooky" actually was one of my least favorites, though. It lacked an interesting plot line, in my opinion.

~I'm loving that tonight is Open House at the kids' school. We get to go for them to meet their teachers, and see their classrooms. We already know Caleb's Kindy teacher since he was Brooke's teacher last year. But we have NEVER met Brooke's teacher, so I hope we like her! I heard she is really good. I already told Arnold he needs to wear something nice tonight since we are making a first impression :)

~I'm loving the current book I'm reading, called "The Power of a Positive Mom." They have other books in the series, talking about how to be a more positive person, mom, wife, etc, etc. I like this one because it talks specifically about how to do better as a mom. I know I have a problem with being patient enough, and not always letting my frustration show through. I have yelled too much and been too quick to get upset. This book is a reminder of how important smiling, praise, and quality time is with your kids.

~I'm loving that we celebrate Brooke's birthday in just 4 more days. She will be 6 years old. Is that even possible?! We have some fun things planned this weekend. She said she wants to go to Ihop for her birthday dinner (why, I don't know, but I'm not complaining! ha!)
~I'm LOVING this costume this baby is in, I saw it on Pinterest. Can anyone guess?! It's Sophia from the Golden Girls! Look at all the details, from the curly hair, to the glasses, to the little broach pin on her sweater! I absolutely LOVE this. What a genious idea! Wish I would have seen this when my girls were still babies! I might have been stealing it! ;)

~I'm loving this Bible Verse from Psalms. God will always be there, though all the trials and destruction we experience in our in lives. Our bodies and heart will someday fail but God will be a constant. How reassuring!

~I'm loving the NEW FURBY! I can't believe I just admitted that. Yes, Furby made a comeback. There was the old Furby from my childhood, way back in 1998, and this year they are going to be back, right in time for Christmas. I was on the website last night looking at all the new features. The kids saw me and wanted to hear them speak and sing. It was hilarious, but I must admit, the voice is still pretty freaky! There are some new features, including LCD eyes that show expressions. My kids fell in love with it, so there might just be one under the tree this year, but I'm not sure yet. They are pricy.. $55! I know Arnold thinks that is ridiculous, he already told me! PS- if you don't like this color, they come in about 10 other cute colors ;)