Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jumping in the Leaves

The kids had a blast playing at their Grandparent's house the other day. They had been raking up leaves when we were on our way over, and as soon as the kids saw them, they went running full blast and jumped in. They had such looks of joy and excitment on their faces. I remember being a kid and getting so excited over little things like that, too. It was the best :) I am so glad I happened to have my camera with me at that moment, so I could get a lot of pics! They loved it when their Grandma covered them fully with leaves and pretended like she couldn't see them. At one point Caleb was laying completely still under the leaves, and the only thing sticking out was his arm.. that was a little freaky! haha! They played until it started getting really windy and chilly, and then they had to go inside. We are in NC and around the area the hurricane was supposed to hit hard. We got very strong winds, starting Sunday evening. But thankfully I don't know of any damage that occured to our house or any of our family and friends. Anyway, here are the pics from the kids playing on Sunday! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend in Review!

Friday night the band my husband is in played again at the local country music bar. I was afraid I wasn't going to get to go, because my parents were going out of town the next day and I didn't think they would watch the kids. Well I ended up begging my mom since I couldn't find anyone else, and she said they would watch them, as long as we came and picked them up early the next morning so they could be on their way. So thank you sooo much mom and dad! :) My friends Erika and her husband, Jackie and her husband, and Joanne went with me to hang out. It was Joanne's first time going with us, and she came up to my house and rode with me. We had an awesome time as usual.. watching the guys play and hanging out. There was a full house that night, and lots of people were pretty drunk, so it was hilarious watching. One guy kept going around asking people to go to an "after party" with him.. he came over to us and Erika told him no! haha. There was another guy who kept screaming and saying he was going to take his clothes off. (thank goodness he did NOT!) One of Arnold's friends in the band was exhausted that night and passed out for a minute during the show.. he was ok but that was pretty scary. They were able to go on, they just let him sit down after that.
The next morning was ROUGH, to say the least. Arnold and I didn't get to bed until nearly 3am, then we had to get up at 8am to go pick up the kids. I was driving because Arnold said he was so tired, but on the way back I was close to nodding off myself, so I'm glad we got home quickly. Arnold is USED to staying up very late, but I am not! I like to get 8-9 hours of sleep, that is just how I have always been! Anyway, Brooke had a football game that morning she had to cheer at. Arnold so very graciously offered to take the kids to the ballgame and let me rest (isn't he awesome?!) So when they left, I laid down and passed out for over 2 hours! When I got up I was still dragging.. it is rough to get over a night of lost sleep for me!
That evening at 5, Arnold and his parents took the kids to a Halloween festival at their church. They had games and activities for the kids to do, and it's pretty fun. The kids go every year with them. While they were gone I tried to get some cleaning done around the house, and took some medicine to help my horrible headache. Loss of sleep on top of sinus issues= no fun! While they were gone I also went down to the Family Dollar. This past weekend they had buy one get one 50% off on their toys, and someone told me they had mini Lalaloopsy dolls for $5! They are normally $7-$10 in the bigger stores. And with the sale that would make the 2nd only $2.50. I hadn't found any at the one right down the road from us, so I decided to try the one even further out. Well I looked and looked, and couldn't find any, then finally I found ONE. One single little doll, all by herself on the shelf, in the wrong place. Well It just so happened to be one I didn't have yet (I am collecting them to have a lot to give to Brooke at Christmas) so I got it, but I picked another toy to get for the sale. I got Caleb a Transformer to add with his Christmas stuff.. he will be happy with that :)
When the kids and Arnold got back from the festival, I got in the van with them and we headed to Newton for their Downtown "Spooktacular." We went last year for the first time, and it was pretty fun, so we decided to go back this year. Last year it was FREEZING and we were so miserable. I am so glad it was warmer this year. We had to wait in crazy long lines, just for the kids to get a few pieces of candy, but at least they had fun. They got to dress up and walk around, and see a few of their friends while we were there. We didn't wait around to play any games because Rachel had a meltdown. She had fallen asleep on the way there and was not in a good mood (like her mama, haha!) So we went to Cookout to get some dinner, then headed home. The kids had to immediately dump out all their candy and put them into "like piles" and look it all over. Later after they went to bed I stole some of their Peanut M&Ms... shh don't tell them ;)
Sunday morning we got to sleep in a little since I didn't have to work in the baby class. We had some cinnamon buns for breakfast and got everyone ready. Then we went to church. Lesson this week was about "How Do I Find Happiness?" It really hit home with me. I love our church because I ALWAYS get something out of every week. How many people can truly say that? Anyway, it was talking about how even when we get something we are wanting, we always then looking for something else to make us happy, and it becomes a constant struggle. We need to step back and realize that we already have so much to be thankful for as it is. I am guilty of this.. saying I would be happier if we made more money, or went on more vacations, or had a bigger house. But the truth is, I am already so blessed. I have my 3 children who are very healthy for the most part. I have a husband of almsot 7 years who is always there for me and supports me through everything we go through. We have been through some HARD times, believe me, but he has never left my side. And we have a house to live in, the things we need, our kids go to a good school, we have friends who are loyal to us and fun to be with, parents that live nearby and are always willing to help us out with the kids............. and I could go on. So I am going to try and be better at remembering what I DO have, when I start to worry about what I don't have. :)
Sunday afternoon Arnold's parents said they would watch the kids while we went to Toys R Us to set up our Christmas layaway. I know we got to go out twice this weekend, but that is usually NOT the case at all. We knew we wanted to take advantage of our time out and turn it into a "mini date" lol! SO we headed to Toys R Us and looked around forever at all the toys they had to offer. We already had a pretty good idea of what we were wanting to get. We picked this week to set it up because they put out their "Big Toy Book" with sales and coupons! Gotta love it. I am so excited because I was able to get a Furby for the girls (I know they are creepy, but my girls have been begging for one and it makes me so happy to see them happy!) and I found one in pink and turquoise! I didn't even know they had that color! I also decided on the Little People Princess Castle for Rachel's santa gift this year.. that was a last minute decision, but it was just toooo cute! Brooke got her very first lego set.. they now have girl legos... how cool! We got her the treehouse. We picked up a few DS games for Brooke and Caleb since their big Santa gifts this year are DS'! I also got a Tag Reader for Caleb and Rachel.. it helps them learn to read. And the game Hungry Hungry Hippos.. loved that as a kid.. I can't wait to play it with them! And a few other things. I love that they have the layaway so we can pay a little at a time and it stays there at the store until mid-Dec, so we don't even have to store it in our house right now! Good stuff for people on one-income and with limited storage space! ;)
After we finished our shopping, Arnold and I headed over to Udderly Delicious to get some icecream. I told you we wanted to turn it into a date! ;) Arnold got a vanilla milkshake, and I got a cone of cookie dough icecream.. yum! We had wanted to go to Chik Fila to get their milkshakes (they are the best!) and then I remembered it was Sunday and they were closed! That saying is true that you always want Chick Fila on Sundays and can't get it, ahhhh! While we were gone, the kids had a blast playing outside at their Grandparent's house. They had raked up leaves and were jumping in the piles. They later had little bits of leaves stuck all in their hair.. fun fun! And played out on the old treehouse that used to be their Daddy's! :) They had a blast.. they love them some Grandparent time! Brooke even told me that she needed some "Paw time, that it has been too long!" When in fact they had seem him just the night before! Oh well, at least they are all close! :)
Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend! :)

Me, Joanne, Erika, and Jackie outside the club Fri night before we went in. Erika is sporting her FULL CIRCLE shirt and cowgirl hat, isnt' that adorable?!

At our table in the bar, watching the guys. Our faces are funny because we kept waiting for the camera to go off, it was taking forever! And yes, that is candy in the ash tray. And no, we didn't eat it. I had Gobstoppers in my purse, accidentally dumped them all over the floor, and when we picked them up, that's where they ended up ;)

Jackie made this cute collage of Fri night. Us girls, and some of the band :)

The kids dressed up and ready for the church festival Sat. night.

The kids with their Uncle Gene, the pirate :)

The kids outside their Grandparents' house on Sunday afternoon. Happy Halloween! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

~I'm loving that today was school picture day. Even though it is going to be nearly 80 degrees today, Brooke wanted to wear her new purple ruffly shirt from Justice, so I let her. I also curled her hair up a little, but if it is anything like my hair, it will not stay! They did look cute before leaving the house though, I hope the pictures turn out ok :)

~I'm loving that I found this Lalaloopsy treehouse on the Facebook yardsale site the other day. The girl was selling it for $5!!!! I am so lucky I asked for it before anyone else. I had actually been thinking of getting this as one of Brooke's Christmas presents this year. The thing was $40 in store (totally not worth it at all!) But for $5 it is! She also included 3 of the mini lalaloopsys, and Brooke doesn't have ANY of them yet, so the will fit right in with her collection! This is seriously one of the best deals I have come across.. I was so happy :)
~I'm loving that I found some cheap books yesterday! My mom works at a local crisis ministy place, and they have a thrift store. So when I went to see her yesterday, I browsed thru the books before we left. I found a couple of "easy reader" books for Brooke, and then a Kristin Hannah book for me! She is one of my fave authors. And the lady working gave me my mom's discount, so I got them for REALLY cheap. I can't believe my mom has worked there for years and I never gave it a thought to go in and look at their books! 

~I'm loving that the latest Madea movie just made it to Redbox! I will have to rent it this weekend. I almost made it to see it in the theater, but wasn't able to. That Madea cracks me up every single time ;)

~I'm loving that I finally finished the 3rd Harry Potter book! It was so good, so many twists and turns that kept me into it and it was very hard to put down! Now onto the 4th book.. which I already have in my bedroom and it is HUGE, wonder how long it will take me to finish that one??

~I'm loving that one of my very best friends, Chrissy, recently found out that she is pregnant! She and I met when we were in middle school, so we have known each other for about 16 years now. We sort-of fell apart since our lives went so differently, but now we will have a lot in common, for sure! I am so excited to see her all cute and pregnant, and to meet the sweet baby next year! :)
 ~I'm loving that there are only 62 days left until Christmas!! That is NOT really that much at all people!! It will be here before we know it! I am actually a part of a "Christmas Countdown" website that gives you ideas every day of things to do.. it is pretty fun. Today's suggestion was to think of ways you could help people in need this Christmas season. Donating toys for kids, doing the Shoeboxes through your church, or any other ideas. We are so blessed to have what we do.. even if our family is one-income right now and we don't always have a lot extra, there are people who don't have ANYTHING and we need to remember them!

~I'm loving that my mom called yesterday and told me that she and my dad could watch the kids for SURE on Friday night! I wasn't sure up until this week if they could, and I have really been wanting to go see Arnold and the band play that night! They will be at the country music bar again, and it's "Halloween night!" A few of my good friends are coming too, so it should be a blast! I can't wait!

~I'm loving that my friend Ray called me yesterday morning, on the way to work. We chatted for about 30 minutes. I really miss seeing him as much.. he doesn't go to our church anymore :( But it was a welcome surprise to hear from him yesterday!

~I'm loving that I have started becoming friends with a girl I met through the local yardsale site online. I have bought a lot of books from her! We both have young children, and have actually decided to meet for lunch Thurs. I am excited to have met yet another mommy friend to hang out with. You can never have too many friends who know what you are going through! She is a homeschooler and also used to make fancy cakes, so I feel sort of intimidated by her.. she must have a LOT more patience than I do! ;)

~I'm loving that last night Caleb told us he has a girlfriend! He said she is in her class at school, and he smiled really big when he talked about her. It was so funny :) He also said her name is ABBY.. just like mine.. now that is hilarious. But I can tell you now, that no ABBY will ever be as good for him as his mama ;) HA!

~I'm loving that there are so many fun Halloween events and fall festivals going on this weekend. We plan on taking the kids and having a lot of fun family time.

~I'm loving that Arnold saved the day yesterday and got off work to go pick up Brooke and Caleb from school. At the very last minute, Rachel locked my keys in the car!!! So I could not go pick the kids up. Talk about some bad luck... oh well, they eventually got picked up ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Topic: Fall Fashion

I'll admit that I don't have a lot of fashion sense. I wish I had the gift of knowing what looks good, and how to make myself look that way! Even if I had all the stuff in my closet I'm not sure I could put it all together the way it was supposed to look, haha. Is anyone else like that? Well I love pinterest to find cute ideas of outfits. So here is a few things I found that I am loving.. and maybe if I can find some $$$$ in the near future, I can try to copy some of these looks ;) I love this time of year for the clothes!! 
This is really more winter, but I love puffer vests and scarves!

Love this time of year for sweaters! Plus fall colors look good on me since I have brown eyes and brown hair.

Green is my favorite color, so you know I am loving this! I love "pea coat" style outerwear also. I still have my peacoat from several years ago, I think it's going out of date ;)

Love the polka dots, so cute! And the navy and red look good together.

Love the green coat! The stripes are pretty cute also.

Isn't this a cute necklace? So delicate.

If I ever break down and buy real Toms, I like this style. Right now I am wearing a lot of knock-offs! I am really rough on shoes!

These are cute nails! Reminds me of a peacock, haha!

This design never goes out of style.

And had to throw something "owl" in there too ;) Any kind of owl jewelry, I am up for! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend in Review

**I actually don't have ANY pics from this weekend. What is wrong with me?!?**

Saturday morning I got up really early, because I had planned on going to the 7-mile yardsale with my friend Jackie. It is a local thing they hold at the exit just up from my house, twice a year, in April and October. Jackie came by and picked me up at the house around 7:30. We went to the street it was on and started looking for some good sales. At first we found a bunch that were pretty small/crappy and not even worth having, in my opinion. But eventually we found some good ones. During the morning I found lots of "easy reader" books for Brooke, 2 dvds for the kids, a Strawberry shortcake doll (Rachel just became obsessed with her for some reason.. and later I found out she talks, too!), a Dora Rapunzel doll with hair that really "grows" (that part is kindof freaky, but she will love it!), a whole bunch of Gymboree spring/summer clothes for Rachel next year, some shoes for Caleb, and a few other random things. There was this one sale we almost didn't stop at. I went up to the house to look and found TUBS and TUBS of books for sale. I was in heaven! I found a bunch of the classics in the kid's books and even replaced my "Goodnight Moon" that the kids had torn up a long time ago. They had "Little Critter" books too and we collect those! I also found some books for ME! So that was a very successful sale, probably my favorite one of the morning ;)

While all this was going on, Arnold and his dad had taken Brooke and the kids to her football game. It was an "away" game and they had to go to another Elementary school. I didn't think Brooke would mind me missing just one game to go find some good deals, lol! It so happens that I actually saw a lot of the girls on her team out on that road selling stuff with their moms! Haha. Anyway, they ended up getting home a little while after I did, and the kids came in and told me all about it. Oh, and our school won the game, yay! Arnold's dad had taken them by Burger King for a snack afterwards, and all the kids were given crowns to wear. So they thought that was so much fun.. doesn't take much to make them happy, haha! Since it was still early we went out to a few more yardsales. There was one at Brooke and Caleb's school, but it turned out being really small. But I did find a Spiderman umbrella for Caleb, and a game for my neice! Then we went to another one and they had tons of toys, and Caleb found a transformer, I found a few My Little ponies for the girls' collection (really more for me than for them, haha!) and some clothes for Caleb. And then we stopped by one last sale and it was wrapping up for the day but we found a new-in-box princess puzzle for the girl, and I found a Halloween table runner. And since it was the end of the day, the lady gave me it all for 50cents! Can't beat that!

That afternoon Arnold had to go meet up with the guys in the band to help pack up their stuff and go set up. They were playing at a 20-year highschool reunion that night. So needless to say I wasn't able to go to that one! So the kids and I decided to go see my mom that night at her house, for dinner. My dad was out of town on a church retreat thing. My mom is going to be out of town over Halloween, so she gave the kids their "Halloween treats" early. My mom is big on buying for the grandkids, and especially at holidays (EVERY holiday! :) So she gave them each a new book, and a hallowen flashlight thing that made noises. (Those things became very annoying very quickly.. especially when I was trying to drive home later that night! ;) Anyway, we had BBQ, "potato crap" (a casserole my mom makes that my brother and I named when we were younger.. but it really is AWESOME!) and greenbeans for dinner. Then for dessert mom brought out some icecream bars I hadn't heard of before.. Cadbury bars! Like the chocolate they have at Easter time! And they were ahhhhmazing! ;) Anyway, we had a good time visiting. The kids love to look thru photo albums while we are there, and we found one that had really old pics in it, from when my mom was younger. It was fun looking through that and mom telling us who everyone was! We didn't end up leaving and getting home until around 9:30 that night, and all 3 of the kids fell asleep on the ride home! So when I got home and put them in their beds I went to my bed and fell asleep too! Arnold didn't get home until around midnight and he said he found me all passed out in our bed, haha :)

Sunday morning we were feeling pretty lazy and almost didn't go to church, but I'm glad we decided to after all! As I was pulling out of the driveway, I ran into Arnold's car behind me and knocked off his side mirror! I can't believe I did that.. I guess I parked closer to his car this time around than I had realized. It really scared me and upset me and I ran inside. I was in a horrible mood and didn't want to go anywhere, but Arnold convinced me to. When we got to church we realized that our pastor was preaching at another campus that morning, so they had him broadcast on screen. This week's message was on "Why Can't I get Ahead?" And it's crazy that was the topic, when just earlier that morning i was asking that exact thing, and feeling sorry for myself! Funny how those things seem to happen at the right times :) After church we went home and ate lunch, and I ended up taking an afternoon nap, which was awesome! That night after the kids were in bed, Arnold and I settled down to watch "Harry Potter." Yes I am just NOW getting around to watching it. I am reading the books this year finally, and my friend lent me the movie so I could see that, too. I thought I wouldn't really like it, especially since it was so long, but I was surprised.. I really got into it! Arnold didn't think he'd like it either, but he seemed to like it, too. And now I really want myself a pet owl! ;) I can't wait to finish the 3rd book and get onto the others.. oh and see the other movies too ;)

Hope everyone else had a great weekend too! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Friday~ Thank you for getting here! I am looking forward to this weekend and hopefully getting some rest.

Dear Jackie~ I am looking forward to going to the 7mile yardsale with you tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will find some good deals. Thank you for offering to drive!

Dear Brooke~ Remember to take your time and write neatly on your spelling test today! I know you will do great!

Dear Friends who are pregnant~ I am so jealous of you guys ;) I enjoy your updates and pictures of your cute baby bumps. I miss that so incredibly much! Enjoy the time!

Dear Fall~ I love you! It is beautiful outside, watching all the leaves change color.

Dear Arnold~ Thank you for letting me lay down for a little bit last night when I wasn't feeling good. You are a very thoughtful husband and I appreciate you very much!

Dear Mom~ I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday! I am looking forward to dinner with you this weekend. Sorry for outing your age on my blog ;)

Dear Molly~ PLEASE, please quit peeing all over everything in our house. What is wrong with cats?! I even have had to take apart my kitchen drapes and wash them! Sheesh....

Dear Obama~ You are going to get your butt whooped in Nov, just wait and see ;)

Dear Lady from FB Yardsale Site~ Thank you for the incredible book deals for my daughter. However, you did not mention you smoke, and now everything in that bag reeks of smoke! No one in our family smokes so I am not used to the smell and it really bothers me!!

Dear Chocolate Icecream~ Why do you have to taste so good? There is no more of you left in our freezer, and I am sad :(

Dear Ray~ You'd better come up with a time for us to all get together soon! We miss you!

Dear Harry Potter~ Thanks for pulling me into your addictive book series. I am now on book number three, thanks to my friend letting me borrow the books!

Dear Rachel~ When did you get so big?! You are no longer my little baby :( You are now using the potty and doing all sorts of things on your own. You are still very cute though! ;)

Dear Car of Arnold's~ Thank you for getting amazing gas mileage. Even though you are old and ugly. I don't mind driving you far distances since I save some money ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. She is turning 61, although she doesn't like to admit that to anyone! ;) So happy birthday Mom, Love you. And thank you for everything.
A few little facts about my mom :)
~She is the oldest of 4 kids
~She has been married to my dad for 40 years. They got married young!
~She couldn't have kids of her own, so my brother and I are adopted!
~She is the assistant director at a local crisis ministry.
~She is an awesome cook and makes just about everything from scratch.
~She cares very much about people and is there in hard times.
~She gets her hair colored because she doesn't want to show grey and look older ;)
~She wishes I liked to cook more and wore actual shoes (I love flip flops!!! ;)
~She is a long-time Methodist and Republican woman ;)
~She is a very good friend and very thoughtful of other people.
~She is a hardworker and ALWAYS on the go. seriously.
~She gets up very, very early.
~She is a little bit of a neat freak! ;)
~I am her favorite! (kidding ;)
A few things my mom taught me
~Cooking at home is better, healthier, and cheaper!!
~Hard work will get you far in life
~Always show your husband respect and support
~Don't give up in hard times, it shows your weakness
~Everyone goes through rough times, it will get better
~Always look "nice" for your husband. He will appreciate it.
~Put back money in savings, stuff will always come up when you need it.
~Make time for your friends and family members.
~An occasional card, phone call, or letter will make anyone smile.
~Being a mom is the hardest job you will ever have, but worth it!

And here are some pics of me and mom, or just mom, over the years. Enjoy! :)

After my baptism

At Brooke and Caleb's birthday party

At Caleb's church dedication

In Charleston for my cousin's wedding

On mother's day

On Thanksgiving

She loves playing with her grandkids

Reading a book about grandmas that the kids got her

Showing Caleb how to cook

Cooking us Thanksgiving dinner!

On Brooke's 5th Birthday

Her and dad before my cousin's wedding

 Feeding baby Rachel, awww! :)

Brooke's preschool graduation

Quality time with the kiddos

At Rachel's first birthday :)