Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Topic: What Makes Me Happy

~A warm shower after you come inside on a rainy day.

~Finding surprise money in your pants pocket or purse.

~When the whole house is clean at once (that never happens though!)

~Right after the grass has been mowed. Looks so pretty and smells good too!

~Reading a good book, curled up with a blanket in a chair.

~Dressing up to go out somewhere, and feeling pretty.

~Finding that one awesome treasure at a yardsale or thriftstore.

~Planning a birthday party, down to all the cute details.

~Watching the fireworks on the 4th of July.

~Watching your kids stand up at school and receive an award.

~Sitting in the middle of a group of friends, and laughing until it hurts.

~Watching a movie you have been dying to see, while eating buttery popcorn.

~The taste of cold water right after you have been working out.

~Hearing someone compliment you or your kids on something.

~Pictures the kids drew hanging on the fridge.

~Picking out a lunchbox and bookbag for the start of school.

~The minute the band comes out when you are at a concert.

~Going to visit friends or family and holding a newborn baby.

~Looking through someones pictures on FB or their blog.

~The salad and breadsticks at Olive garden.

~Finding something really cute, and they have one left, in your size.

~A shirt that looks just right on you and makes you look thinner.

~The kids' faces after waking up on Christmas or their birthday.

~Laying in bed listening to thunderstorms and the rain on the roof.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

Friday morning I had to take the kids to the dentist. All 3 kids. Not my idea of a fun morning! Usually Arnold goes to help me out, but he had a lot of work to do. So my inlaws met me over there and helped out, thank goodness. The kids did really well in their appointments. Rachel even went back to the "big kid" room for the first time. She was a little wiggly in the chair but she was very brave! The dentist said that Caleb had no cavities (thank goodness) but Rachel had her first cavity. Two to be exact. Brooke already had cavities and they had gotten worse. They said that the girls have similar shaped teeth and they are more prone to cavities. I guess Caleb lucked up and got my teeth-- I have never had a cavity-- ever. (I don't see how that is possible, but it is!) So they are due to come back in June for a LOT of treatment. The total cost (AFTER insurance)? Around $2,000. Yeah I think my stomach dropped out after I saw the statement! They also told us that Brooke's jaw and teeth are misaligned and that she needs a consult with an Orthadontist soon. So we are probably looking at braces in the future. Did I mention kids are expensive??

After the dentist I swung by Mcdonalds and got the kids happy meals. They had to eat in the van on their way back to school. Later that afternoon Rachel and I headed BACK to the school to visit Brooke's classroom. They were having "Young Author's Day." The kids had all been working on books they wrote all by themselves, and the parents were invited by to hear the books read aloud. Brooke wrote a book about penguins.. I guess that has been on her mind lately! ;) They also had to illustrate the books and write a little summary about themselves in the back, it was really cute. They could dedicate the books to someone if they wanted, and Brooke's was dedicated to "Mom and Dad." That made me smile so big! I wish Arnold had been able to come to the class to hear her read her book. After the books were read they had cookies and bottles of water for all the kids. Rachel got to join in on the fun, too. Brooke's friends got a kick out of her being there.

That evening I went out to do a little shopping. My new thrill is thrifting. I like to go by Goodwill every week and see what is there. I have really found some good treasures lately! I am especially looking out for glass jars and containers I can clean and use for the candy bar I am planning for Rachel's birthday party. Well I racked up this week and found 4 different jars! A lady was also putting out new stuff while I was there and put out a beautiful pottery bowl, in shades of blue. It was homeade by someone, and was only $3, so that came home with me, too! I also found a picture that will be great to put up when we re-do the girls' room this summer and an old wooden tray that I am going to repaint and use on my dresser probably. So overall a very sucessful trip!

That night I went to dinner at Chili's to celebrate my friend Jess' birthday. We have been friends for 12 years now, that is crazy! We met when we were in highschool. She had also invited along 2 of her friends she works with. We had a great time. During one of our chats we started laughing and one of the girls said we sounded like sisters :) They even came out and sang to her and brought her some icecream. Oh and for dinner I had chicken fajitas and they were GOOD! I actually did the 2 for $20 with one of the girls and we got to share an appetizer of cheese fries, too. 

Saturday we didn't do much at all. It was chilly outside and cloudy. We cleaned some around the house, watched tv, and stuff like that. That evening the band Arnold is in played out at a benefit for a guy that has cancer. I had wanted to take the kids but they didn't really behave all day and I didn't want to be stressed. So Arnold decided to just take Brooke with him since one of her friends was going to be there. And from what I heard they had a great time dancing around to their daddys playing! She also got to go back to her house and play for awhile before Arnold got done and went and picked her up, so she had a great time. 

Sunday it was POURING rain. And I don't think it stopped all day. The kids were so upset because they hadn't done basically anything all weekend and were getting bored and restless. I didn't want to do it but we were almost out of food, so I went out to do the weekly grocery shopping. I got soaked and I think I deserve a super mom award for that one! I also got to catch up on more of my Harry Potter book, and Arnold and I watched some tv-- Grey's Anatomy and Cheers to be exact! That evening we made some pizza and watched Good Luck Charlie-- they had added another season to Netflix-- yay! I love shows that we can watch as a family. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! :)

The kids at the dentist Friday morning

In Brooke's classroom listening to the kids' stories. I got her attention and she smiled for me :)

Brooke with the book she wrote and illustrated herself :)

Rachel at the kids' school. She is wearing her new dress.. and I love it!

The birthday girl Friday night at Chili's.

They brought her icecream because it was her birthday! :)

A nice stranger outside took our picture for us after Jessica flagged her down ;)

Brooke and Emma dancing to the band on Saturday night. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recent Ramblings

~Earlier this week I had planned to take Rachel to go see Arnold at work for lunch. We try to go once a week or so. He surprised us and said work was slow that morning and asked if we wanted to meet over at Olive Garden for lunch. I'll never turn down Olive Garden! We got there really early and we didn't even have to wait. I got cheesy ziti and couldn't finish it all so I got to have leftovers that night for dinner :)

~Arnold won the race pool this week and made $50. Sweet. Usually I hate him doing that, because it is a waste of money.. but I wasn't complaining this week! ;)

~I got a coupon in my email this week for $10 off a $50 purchase at Once Upon a Child. So Rachel and I went to check things out. I found several pairs of nice shoes, and basically the rest of it was more summer clothes for Rachel. She probably didn't even need anything else. I found the perfect GREEN Janie and Jack dress though, and that was a real score! 

~While I was helping Brooke with her homework one day this week, Rachel played quietly in her room. I should have known that her being QUIET was a bad sign. Later I found her arms, legs, and pants covered with black sharpie. Oh and on one of her brand new shirts she was wearing that day. Sharpie is hard to get off, in case you didn't know already. I don't know what her fascination is with sharpies and markers, this is NOT the first time this has happened!

~One night this week Arnold and I had an at-home date. After the kids went to bed we popped popcorn and watched a redbox movie together. I had even found a code for a free rental, so it was a really cheap date ;) We watched "Parental Guidance." It was really good! It was your usual cheesy, heartwarming movie but I could totally relate, being a parent myself.

~I had been craving homeade rice krispie treats and my mom is an amazing cook, so I called her and asked her to make me some. She did of course (I am still spoiled as an adult!) and Arnold picked them up the other night. Well by the next morning they were gone. I ate several that night, and Arnold helped me. The next morning the kids saw me packing some in lunchboxes and begged for them and so they had some for breakfast (no biggie, right?!) Now i want more!

~They had a great deal this week on photobooks on this one website I found. So I took the recent pics my friend Erika did for us and made a photobook for my Mom for Mother's Day. I will probably go back soon and make another one for my Mother-in-law. It turned out so cute and I know she will love it!

~Brooke went on a field trip this week with her class, to a place called the Lazy 5 Ranch. She was so cute telling me everything they got to do there.. seeing all the animals, feeding some of them, riding in a carriage, getting icecream, and lots of other fun stuff. 

~Brooke had to do a project for her class this week. All the kids got assigned an animal and she got the Emporer Penguin. So she had to do research and write a report on them, and make a 3D model of a penguin. I helped her with the report and Arnold helped her make the penguin. We both used our strengths to help her and I think we did pretty good, considering she got an A+!!! :)

~Tomorrow morning I am taking all 3 kids to the dentist. Regular cleanings, but it is still stressful! I usually have Arnold go with me to help me, but he is busy at work tomorrow. So I guess I will be spending the morning with my Mother-in-Law. Good thing she retired last month and is free.

I keep putting bows in Rachel's hair even though she fights me and eventually pulls them out.

On our way to the grocery store the other morning. Everyone kept stopping to say Hi to her and tell her how cute she is. She is quite the ham.

Lunch at Olive Garden. Rachel went for the breadsticks first. That is my girl, she loves her carbs! ;)

Brooke working on her penguin report. She looks sweet but I fought her several times during this, over mis-spellings, bad handwriting, etc. But we eventually got it done!

Arnold and Brooke with their penguin. They were so proud. Arnold named him Pete. 

Brooke had to have Arnold help her carry it into school since it was so heavy (filled with water).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend in Review

Friday Brooke came home with an 102 on her spelling test! I was so proud of her! She did so great at sounding out the bonus words her teacher chose, and got them right! That night we were going to go out and do something but it was dreary and rainy, so we just stayed in and rested. We made some semi-homeade pizza for dinner and caught up on some Netflix shows.

Saturday morning I got up really early for a sat. 7am to be exact. I wanted to go out yardsaling with a friend of mine. I went to pick her up and we set out to find some around our area. I am so thrilled it is finally that time of year again, because I love finding a good deal! It seriously gives me a little high, haha! It was really the morning for babygirl stuff, which I don't need. But I couldn't resist getting some things for one of my best friends who is due in June! Including a purple Bumbo seat in awesome condition for only $5! If you are a mom you should know what those are-- I loved them when it came time to helping my kids learn to sit up. Definitely a worth-it item in my book! Anyway, we went by a sale that let you fill up a bag with books for $2! I found several books for myself and some for the kids, also. I even found a little flip-book type thing to help kids learn the presidents. You couldn't beat all that for $2, I was psyched! I also found an album that looked new, that I bought to put our wedding pictures in. The kids got a hold of and destroyed our old one :( and I have been meaning to put a book back together. Lastly we went to a local kids' consignment sale that was going on that weekend. It was half-off day and I was lucky enough to find a few clothing items left and some work books to practice school stuff! Overall I was very pleased with my finds!

Later that morning I set out to the mall, because I was on a mission to find a new outfit. I don't have a lot of nice things these days that fit well. When you are a mom you usually put yourself last, while buying up all the cutest outfits ever for your kids! Can any other moms relate to this?! Anyway, I went to JC Penney because they have pretty nice stuff that is affordable, since they did their price changes awhile back. I found the cutest teal shirt and long white skirt. I don't usually like to wear anything but jeans, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone for once. And I really liked how it looked! I also found some sandals on clearance for only $7 and I am glad I found them there, because I was about to go and spend alot more than that on a pair elsewhere! I ran into a few people I knew while I was out that morning and everyone kept asking where the kids were. I have an awesome hubby who doesn't mind watching them while I get some time for myself every once in awhile (thanks honey!) He is the best. He also leaves often now to go do practices or shows with his band, so it all evens out ;)

That afternoon we dropped the kids off with their grandparents while we went on a date! It has been forever since we went on a date! Every time we have been alone in the past few months it has been for a band-related thing.. which was fun,  but not a true date! Anyway, we decided to go to the movies. There wasn't anything out that I REALLY wanted to see, but a few that looked good. I thought about going to see the GI Joe movie since I knew Arnold would like it and there were some HOT guys in it, but we decided to go see "The Great and Powerful Oz" instead. It was pretty good. A bit cheesy at times and a little too long, but it was entertaining and we had a fun time eating popcorn and holding hands like a dorky little couple :) After the movie we went to get icecream. We thought about maybe an early dinner but I am just weird and cannot eat before a certain time! It feels so weird to me! Must be because I grew up eating late because of my dad's work hours. Anyway, we went to Udderly Delicious. I haven't been there in forever-- and they have some yummy icecream! I got oreo icecream in a dipper waffle cone! Arnold got amaretto cherry! Then sadly we had to go back and pick up the kids-- dates always go by way too fast, but that is how it is!!

Sunday we spent the day doing some major cleaning around here. I did some cleaning of the girls room and worked on their closet, and made the beds, and did the dishes and stuff like that. While Arnold worked outside mowing the grass. He also helped me sweep the kitchen and then put away the dishes I had washed (what did I tell you-- he is awesome! ;) That afternoon the kids got to play outside for awhile, it has been beautiful weather here lately! Arnold and I watched a BUNCH of Grey's Anatomy this weekend. I have finally made it to Season 6 on Netflix. A lot of dramatic, sad stuff has happened lately and I am upset but that show just captivates me and I can't stop watching! I cannot believe I never watched it before! The blood and guys don't even really bother me anymore and that is saying A LOT for me! 

Other than that, Arnold had a band practice to go to. He has been having two a week recently because they have a few benefits coming up that they are playing at. And they are auditioning for a new drummer. So hopefully he will be home more in the near future! That is about it-- I hope everyone had a great weekend as well! :)

Arnold and I before our date, when dropping off the kids with his parents

Had to take this picture at the movies, for my Ironman-obsessed 5-year old son!

At our icecream date at Udderly Delicious.

My yummy oreo icecream in the waffle cone! It was goood and gone fast! ;)

The new outfit I found on Saturday. It is even cuter in person! I love the Spring colors :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Under the Sea Inspiration!

I am throwing an under-the-sea birthday party for my daughter, who is turning 4, in June. I am starting to really plan and am getting excited! I have found lots of ideas online and through other people. Just wanted to share some of my ideas and planning. Please anyone let me know if you have any other ideas for me! Or if you have thrown a similar party please feel free to share pics! I love getting inspiration from others! :)

I already have someone who is making Rachel a mermaid shirt to wear. It is going to have a mermaid with a pink tail, her name written in pink, blonde hair, and an aqua-colored "4"! I can't wait to see it!

I think I have decided on a fish for the cake. I liked this one I found, with parts of it being cupcakes you can just pull apart. I have a friend who makes cakes and she will probably make it for us! Maybe go with aqua and lavender as the colors.. I am planning on that as my color scheme!

Haven't decided if I want to make these cute fish cupcakes myself, with M&M's, or just do plain colored cupcakes and order special sealife picks? Depends on my mood at the time I guess, haha!

Lots of ideas for decorations, starting with polka dotted balloons (reminds me of bubbles!)

Love this, where they used colored streamers to make it look like ocean waves, seaweed, etc.

Shells layed out, or in jars or wherever will made nice touches.

Aren't these cute? Octopus balloons with streamers stuck on the bottoms and faces drawn on.

I got some fish netting for some extra touches to the tables.
 I already found some long, blue napkins like this. I am planning on adding the shells to them like this, for a fancier touch!

Rachel and I picked out paper straws similar to these the other day at hobby lobby, in light blue.

Ocean spray as a possible drink? The name itself fits with the theme!

Blue punch would be perfect to make for a drink. Could call it ocean water!

These are CUTE! But I know it would take forever to assemble tons of them for the guests. Who wants to help me put them together? ha!

You can put grapes on long sticks as a snack, and call them coral!

They called the chips "ocean waves" and "take a dip" for the dip! Love the cute sayings.

Cheeto balls can be beach balls! Not technically under the sea, but fits with a beach theme.

I want to do a candy bar if I find enough glass containers at a good price. Then  do blue/white/lavender colored candies and stuff. Rock candy looks cute as "coral." I know they have gummy fish. They also have blue gumballs that could be bubbles!

I want to get Rachel a mermaid pinata. I love pinatas and the mermaid is cute!

Maybe make a homeade flipflop wreath to hang up? I could get cheap flipflops and make this easily!

Arnold has said he would help me make a balloon wall, or arch! To look like bubbles! I'm sure this will also take forever, and I will owe him lots of favors, haha!

Oyster cookies! These would be cute to make.. and maybe as favors???

So there are my ideas so far! Please let me know what yall think!! :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I'm Loving This Week

So this blog was really supposed to be the usual "What I'm Loving Wednesday," but I didn't get around to it yesterday :)

~I'm loving how good the kids' teacher conferences went the other day. Caleb's teacher said he has really come out of his shell, participates more, and is doing better at his reading  and writing. Then Brooke's teacher told me that she is a great reader, has moved up 3 more levels since last time, and is reading at almost a 4th grade level! I was swelling with pride, thinking of how much she is like me. Now, there was a little bad news. Her teacher said she isn't doing too well at math, she still struggles with it, even when they have gone over the concepts time and time again. So I went out and got her some math workbooks and hope to do some extra practice with her. But all in all, I was VERY proud of the kids!

~I'm loving matching outfits for the girls. I will continue to do this until they beg me not too. It is just too adorable! Their latest outfit came from Gymboree.. a green top with flowers and shorts.

~Speaking of Gymboree, I'm loving gymbuck redemption time, because that is when I can really get some stuff at great prices. It is usually so expensive. But with the sales going on and the gymbuck I had, I was able to get the girls each a new outfit, then an additional top and hairbows for Rachel, all for under $30!

~I'm loving that Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dave Matthews Band, AND Matchbox 20 are all coming to our area this summer. I think they did that just for me, since my birthday is in July.. you know?? ;) The problem is, I can't afford all 3 shows! We all know that I WILL be at the Skynyrd show (my 9th one) but I'd LOVE to go to another one, too. The other two are on weeknights and I can't go with Arnold because of the kids, and not having sitters! What is up with weeknight concerts anyway?!

~I'm loving that I have offically started shopping for Rachel's "Under the Sea" birthday party in June. It is coming up quickly! I wanted to buy a little at a time so it wouldn't be so hard on me later. I already have someone making me a personalized mermaid shirt with her name on it for her to wear, and someone lined up to make a cake for her. I even have someone who said she would let me borrow some "sealife" decorations and things. Awesome! I found some cute things the other day at Hobby Lobby and Party City-- things like blue striped paper straws (a fad these days), sandbuckets (to be used for food, etc), fish confetti, fishing net stuff for the tables, sealife animal crafts to make masks, and other goodies. I LOVE parties! (can you tell?!)

~I'm loving that I got a night out alone this week, to just walk around, do some shopping, and get some time to myself. This has been a tough week with the kids. They are extra rowdy and defiant than usual.. I am not sure why? But it sure has been getting to me!

~I'm loving that I got the back of the van cleaned out. I mean EVERYTHING out of it. I was so pleased to have that done when I bought a butt-load of groceries at walmart and was able to stick everything back there easily!

~I'm loving that Arnold swept and sprayed off our carport last night, it looks a lot better. Between the kids, the dogs and dirt and all the other things out there, it is usually pretty dirty.

~I'm loving that our next-door neighbor was generous and dropped off some things they weren't using anymore. Including a little lamp and a 3-drawer organizer thing. They had used it for art supplies, so I decided to also! One drawer for crayons and markers, one drawer for coloring books, and one drawer for paper and workbooks. I love that it is all organized now!

~I'm loving that my mom took the kids (and me!) out to Sweet Frog to celebrate the kids' good report cards. Thanks to Brooke and Caleb doing well, Rachel and I also go to go along and get icecream, too. Some of the moments I love having kids are when I get treats, also ;)

~I'm loving soda in glass bottles! It has become an obsession of mine! I had a cheerwine in a bottle on the way to church the other morning. And I picked up a 6-pack of grape sodas the last time I was at Walmart. And I don't even have to worry about Arnold stealing them because he doesn't care for Grape flavor ;)

~I'm loving that we are probably going to take the kids to get icecream tonight. I LOVE icecream, and I love that it's finally the time of year when our fave. place to get it opens up!!

~I'm loving that there is a date finally set for my 10-year highschool reunion (I think!) It is set for this coming September. So I basically have 4 months to get my stuff together.. if I want to lose weight, find a fabulous outfit, catch up with people on facebook, find an amazing career by then... haha! I am nervous about it but I want to go to see everyone. 

~I'm loving my thrift store finds this week! I haven't been to a thrift store in awhile, but i love to go and find treasures. This week I hit the jackpot. I went to one store with Rachel during the day.. but she never lets me shop long before she gets bored.. or runs off.. and then I went back to another one later that evening alone-- and actually got to look around!! So here is a pic of what I found below. And yeah, that is my only pic for this whole post-- what is wrong with me?!

Here is what I found. Some nice, name-brand shorts for the kids. A (31 brand!) black and white wallet. A glass container that I plan to clean and incorporate into Rachel's bday party! They are so expensive elsewhere! And under that are two silver platters that I am going to spraypaint and then put chalkboard paint in the middle to make message boards ( a big thing on Pinterest these days!) Then a rooster for my kitchen.. not sure what to do with it yet. And then a ton of nice kids' books! Including 2 "Junie B Jones" books that we didn't have yet, a "Little Critter" we didn't have (we collect both series), a Magic Tree House book, a brand-new math workbook for Brooke (weird timing, huh?) And a few others. A good day, if I'd say so! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Made me Laugh

A little humor for your Sunday :)

I don't even TRY to fold them like they are supposed to be, is it even possible?!

Spoken by a true brunette ;) Although I have a LOT of blonde moments!!!

So true! I have a hard time getting over things in books, books become so real to me!

True, I am probably crazy more often than I am normal. Especially with 3 kids under 7!

I have actually said this before. Grey's is my new guilty pleasure and I have a lot to catch up on!

Haha. I have a bad habit of saying LOL all the time on FB. I say it when I don't know what else to say. But how often are you really LAUGHING??

I would have loved to have the library in the castle! So many books, so little time!!

I predict Brooke will say this to me someday. We have jokes like this in our family! ;)

Speaking from someone who is married to a man in his 30's.. they don't really ever grow up!!

I do this too... I am a big wimp and a big baby, I don't like any sort of pain at all!

I have become a huge fan of pinterest. I now get all my holiday and birthday party ideas from there.

I have had this happen before! And it's not just from relatives either!

I can't leave Target without buying something. They drag you in and won't let you go!

I LOVE Si on Duck Dynasty, he is hilarious. Wish I knew him in real life!

I wonder if this really works?? Should I try it? I always have paranoia that people are looking at me! Ha!