Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Books I read in 2016

Books I considered GREAT

(I love all of Karen K's books-- I've come to know the Baxter family well!)

Not what you'd expect, I really liked it.

I think just about everyone read this one. Suspenseful. 

This really is amazing in teaching you how to be organized and get rid of so much junk in your house. It really motivated me to start getting rid of stuff-- I think that made Arnold happy ;)

This one was somewhat sad and touching, and I really flew through it quickly. 

Mostly through the eyes of an African American woman and really puts certain aspects of racism and unfair prejudices front and center. 

Everyone knows Nic is my man-- and I love how his latest wasn't just a love story, but talked about the aspect of his child too, and some heartbreak in there. 

Loved reading one set back in the day.

Books I considered GOOD

I love Steven Curtis C and this was written by his wife-- true story of the heartbreak they went through when they lost their daughter. It was tough to read at times but I'm glad I did. 

I know these books are YA but I read the whole series and loved it!

Suspenseful, upsetting at times. Def not a light read, but I love this author! 

Another one by the author who wrote "The Good Girl." I think Mary Kubica is one of my new fave authors! 

Written by a marriage speaker we went to see one night at church-- talks about marriage advice and the "healthy" way to argue with your spouse.

Really liked this about being more intune with your life and the people in it. Hands Free Mama is also good.

I always loved the show The Little Couple (I miss it!) So I had to read this story about their family! They have the two CUTEST adopted kids in the world! 

I love anything about babies/midwives... and this one has a twist!

Of course making you feel better about your mothering and like you're not alone and crazy ;)

Another book about getting rid of junk-- you'd think by now my house would be empty! ;)

Books I considered FAIR

I really have loved all the books Allison Scotch has written, but couldn't get into this at all! 

I DID like this story, but the format it was written in was a little hard to get into. 

I never finished this one, but what I read of it was good. I quit reading because it was depressing-- dealt with some pretty crappy/abusive parents and I could never get the heart to pick it back up again and finish. 

I read this because I found it free on Kindle-- It was just so-so. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quirks & Weird Habits...

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it looked fun.... listing all your quirks and weird habits, etc. Kinda crazy to think of all the things I overthink or that bother me!

*****My foods cannot touch on a plate. I don't like sauces or juices getting onto another food. And when something wet gets on bread/buns and make them soggy? That's the worst!

*****Speaking of foods-- I always eat each thing on my plate, one at a time. Finish all of one food then move on. Not sure why I do this!

*****I am completely freaked out with things/pictures with lots of holes all together. Like honeycombs, and those lotus flowers.... this is a legit phobia.. they have a name for it online, but I am NOT googling it because then pictures will pop up and haunt me forever. When I look at something like that I feel uneasy and sick on my stomach. Please tell me someone else has felt this way? Arnold thinks it's so weird but I'm not making it up.

*****Everytime I go get gas in my van it has to end on an even number. If it goes to a number I don't like I add a little more.

*****I swear drinks taste better in styrofoam cups or glass bottles. And McDonald's has better tasting coke than anywhere. I've heard other people say that too, so maybe I'm not crazy?!

*****When going to sleep at night, I always lay face down on my stomach and have my right leg scooted up with my knee up. Arnold hates this because I usually am getting that knee right in his side, haha.

*****And speaking of sleeping, I always have to have a blanket on me when I go to sleep! Even if it is a short nap in the recliner, something has to be covering me. Even if its 90 degrees outside! I just feel strange if I don't feel covered up!

*****I hate the sound of someone popping bubbles with gum. I always cringe and want to cover my ears.

*****When out shopping and I want to buy something, I never get the first thing on the shelf. I reach behind and get another one. I guess I'm afraid someone touched all over the first one, or tried it out or whatever, but I always think the first one is bad.

*****It bothers me when I see drawers or cabinets open. Arnold is the worst at doing this! I am always walking around closing them!

*****I just hate it when I get interrupted while reading or have to go do something real quick and I have to stop reading in between chapters. Even if I can stick my bookmark there, I hate it. I like to start back up reading at the start of chapters.

*****Whenever I go somewhere that I go on a regular basis, like work, church, school, etc. I always tend to park in the same spot. I have no idea why, I just noticed I am always picking the same spot. If the spot is taken, it bothers me. I guess that has to do with my love of routine!

*****I do not like to feel sweaty/dirty. If I am sitting outside and start sweating, I feel gross. If I'm on the beach and sand gets on my feet or legs, I feel gross. If my hair starts to get the tiniest bit greasy, I feel so gross. Getting in a pool make me feel gross. This actually makes me sound like a germ freak, but I'm actually not. I just don't like feeling dirty at all!

Wow that looks like a lot of quirks! haha... I promise I'm not TOO weird!

So be sure to share with me crazy/weird things about you! Especially if you agree with any of mine! ;)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend in Review

We got some nice weather and I got to take the kids to the park down the road to play!

The most exciting news of all is I got a new job!!! I have been looking for something for awhile, and been praying for something that was actually decent hours, pay and that I would actually enjoy doing. Out of nowhere Thursday evening I got a message from someone I go to church with, who said there was an opening at her work. So I went in Friday morning to talk to the directors and ended up staying almost 2 hours and interviewing! I am now an infant teacher at their preschool/learning program! The job is FULL TIME, Mon-Fri and so that means I get to have the nights and weekends with my family! And of course I get to work with BABIES which I love! There couldn't be a more perfect job for me! Arnold and I spent the weekend trying to work out the details of the kids after school, and thankfully our parents are going to help us Mon-Thursday. Fridays I only work a half day! (another perk!) I did have to give up my volunteer gig at pregnancy care center thursday nights, since that is my one night I have to work late. I will miss it, and everyone there.. but sometimes there has to be changes to work good things out, and I know they understand. Plus, I don't mind still being an occasional fill in. This job is just such a blessing for me and Arnold because we had no idea I would be going into full-time work right now. I know things will be a little crazy around here and I will have to become even more of a morning person for those early wakeup times (6am or earlier now! wow!) But I am thinking this is going to be amazing! 

Speaking of good weekends, Saturday Arnold and I celebrated our 11-year anniversary! I can't believe we are starting on our 2nd decade of marriage! He surprised me and made a slideshow at work, set to a song that is very special to us, and lots of pictures of us over the years. It made me cry and was totally unexpected! Good job honey! ;) It also rained on our wedding day AND our anniversary this year, so that has to be good luck, right?? :) 

Mom and Dad watched the kids overnight so we could go out on a date. We went to the movies to see The Ressurection of Gavin Stone. It is a comedy, but Christian/inspirtational based. It didn't get a lot of advertising and I know not a lot of our friends have heard of it, but it was amazing and better than expected... I would recommend seeing it! I was laughing in the middle and tearing up at the end! (in a good way!) Then we went to dinner at Olive Garden-- one of our favorite places. There was such a long wait, so we went shopping a little and ended up not eating til nearly 9pm, but it's all good--- we didn't have kids! ;)

We bought a piece of the chocolate mousse cake for dessert but we were pretty stuffed, so we took it home with us. I ended up eating it in bed, haha! It was delicious! 

Sunday morning we got to sleep in a little bit later than usual, then get ready for church at our leisure. No yelling at the kids to get their clothes on, behave, and eat their breakfast before we had to run out the door! It was nice! Then we worked our classes like usual, and I even had a new baby stay this weekend, a friend's son... and he did so great! After church we went to pick up the kids, and finished watched The Secret Life of Pets which my mom had put on for them. Then we went home and took naps... it was a rainy Sunday and just relaxing and wonderful! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What a Week!

We have had a great week with pretty exciting things going on! 

Brooke started tumbling class at a local gymnastics center. She has been wanting to do this FOREVER and for Christmas my MOm signed her up and paid for her first couple of months. She has gone a few times with a friend and has expressed interest in it over and over so we knew she was ready. My mom also  picked out some cute workout clothes for her to wear to class. We all went to her first class to watch her together, and she seemed to really like it.  She is a beginner and there are lots of girls there that have way more skill but I know she will get there. We go to class every Tuesday afternoon at 4:30. It's a little far away from our house, so we don't get home til around 6 pm those nights and it makes us a little rushed, but its ok. Brooke is loving the class, she just says she is a little sore. We hope this class will help her gain more skill so she can try out for the middle school cheer team. I can't believe my baby will be in MIDDLE SCHOOL this fall! 

Brooke also had the 5th Grade Science Fair this month which was nerve-wracking. We came up with an idea-- which gum flavor lasts the longest, and tested out gum. We wrote up all our findings and made a big project board for her to present in class. Well we were very very surprised to find out she won 3rd place!!! And of course she made an A! I am so very proud and excited... it always boosts your confidence when you do so well in something. I think it helped Arnold and I  with our's too ;) We were just trying to get through it and survive! Haha! So this was a pleasant surprise.  

I know-- lots of Brooke this week. She had her 1 year  ortho appt to check out her braces. They are doing a lot of good work in her mouth and have fixed her jaw alignment significantly. However the orthodontist noticed she has lost ALL her baby teeth, and he said that is very rare in someone so young. So they had been planning to wait to start the next phase of treatment until she was older, but may do it soon. They said the plus to that is she will be finished with braces a lot sooner than most kids and not have to worry about it later! Arnold says he hates it because she will have a gorgeous smile to go along with her personality and he will have to beat the boys off in the near future.. haha! But anyway, we have xrays next months to determine if we should move forward. And this pic is comparing her to her first day in braces to now. I can't believe the change, and even in her face, she looks so much older now! 

I decided to cut my hair off! I had seen a lot of people posting about it lately, so I decided to go ahead and do it, too. I actually prefer shorter hair but always let mine grow out long before I ever get around to it. I went to the salon alone and it was so nice. She cut it to shoulder-length and put some layers in it, and it much easier to deal with and has more body. When I got home Brooke said ah! I can't believe you cut your hair! But I think she will get used to it ;) That same evening I also went out to dinner with my good friend Jess. We have been friends since highschool but we both have kids and busy lives now so dont' get to see each other as much as we'd like! We went to OCharleys and ate and caught up and it was really nice to have a girls night and relax :)

We had wellness coaching and bloodwork at Arnold's company for our insurance and benefits and stuff. I hate going to do that because obviously the stick in your finger sucks, and you also feel pressured to lose weight and stuff when the skinny girl coach is sitting there counseling you to be healthy, haha. When I showed up for my appt Arnold was finished and I brought him lunch and he sat outside the door eating FRENCH FRIES.... I mean seriously? Be like a normal person and wait til you get to your office/car to eat the food in secret! ;) Haha.. we thought it was a perfect picture opportunity. And yes, the lady did open the door right after this and see him eating and scold him. But my blood work turned out fabulously actually, and I was proud.. although I do have a lot of weight to lose, but I will get there.......

Poor Rachel wasn't feeling well and got sent home one day... they were worried she might have strep like her sister had the week before, or even flu or something.. so I took her to the dr. Thankfully she just had a cold but she was pretty pitiftul and the bathroom was covered in mountains of tissues she was using to blow her nose. She also had a funny voice for about a week. But we were relieved it wasn't more serious! So she got a special day at home with Mom.. that I think made the other kids jealous, haha. 

Monday was MLK day and the kids were off school. Caleb had spent the night with a friend. And Brooke headed out to a friend's house around lunchtime (they are too cool to hang out with me anymore!!) So when Caleb got home I took him and Rachel to Sweet Frog to get a treat-- perfect for the dreary day. And then we went by Michael's and I finally picked me up a Happy Planner! I am glad I waited because they had them on doorbuster sale for $10! I love planners and always hope they will get me organized, but I am still totally scatter-brained!! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

What We've Been up to Lately...

We had a wonderful Christmas. Arnold was off work for 2 weeks, and the kids were off school. It was (mostly) fun, until everyone got restless and bored! My brother's family came in all the way from Florida, and stayed for a week! We went over to my parents' house several times to visit and have dinner and stuff. My sweet nieces got so big! Cecilia was awake a lot of the time and smiling all the time at us. The kids passed down their power wheels jeep to the girls to take back home with them. We opened Christmas gifts and shared snuggles and stories and had a blast :)

Over the break Caleb got to shoot his very first gun. A lot of the guys in the family went to my Grandpa's house a few days after Christmas to shoot for fun. My brother brought up a gun that he said was safe for Caleb to try out. He said he had a lot of fun. No I did not get involved with this, and I have never shot a gun but hubs keeps saying I need to learn! Even my mom has shot one now! 

I got a lot of nice presents from family members. My aunt got me this awesome owl birdhouse since she knows I love owls. Arnold actually hung it up inside because he said it was too pretty to go outside, haha. I really do love it. My parents got me a fluffy Soma robe, pizza stone, sonicare toothbrush and waterpik, and some giftcards. I was really spoiled this year! And thanks to the new oral care stuff my teeth have never felt cleaner ;) Ha! 

Caleb has been putting together lots of legos he got for Christmas. His big gift this year was a BIG Jurassic World set that I had to admit how much we spent on it! But he put it all together on his own and he was proud. He has mostly moved away from toys now and loves all legos and video games now. 

The kids got giftcards to the movies from their Aunt so we took them to see SING one day on break. It was a really cute movie. We haven't see Moana yet but we hope to see that soon as well. Since we hardly ever get the over-priced snacks there, the kids were thrilled to get some stuff with their giftcards. Caleb got a huge ICEE and the girls got soft pretzels. Ok so I got an ICEE too ;) Caleb and Arnold also went to see the new Star Wars movie over the break, which they said was good. I have never seen a Star Wars movie (I know, I know!) 

We celebrated hubby's 35th birthday. He was the new years baby in 1982. We had a low key new years eve, we went to dinner at Chili's, then came home to enjoy some family time, games, and movies until we made it to midnight to ring in the new year. (I fell asleep before like usual! ;) Then the actual day of his bday we went to church, then to lunch at his favorite place, Village Inn, and stuffed ourselves with pizza! That night we had some dinner at home, I bought his favorite beer and cupcakes and we had a small family thing. We were going to have a party with friends and family this weekend but we had bad weather. 

Of course I've already hit up the library in the new year! I picked out 3 new books to read. I also ordered a few new books with the Barnes and Noble giftcard I got for Christmas, and cant wait for them to be delivered! I will make a post soon of the books I read in 2016. It was only around 50-- disappointing for me! 

Brooke came home from school the other day saying she felt bad, and she had an 100 degree temp. We kept her home from school the next day and took her to the dr, and she had strep. They have her antibiotics and she felt better pretty quickly after that. Poor girl, she was so pitiful. She missed 2 days of school and stayed at home with me to rest. 

It hardly ever snows where we live, but Friday night it snowed a bunch and we woke up Saturday to everything COVERED! The kids were so excited. We only let Brooke go outside for a few minutes since she had been sick, but Caleb and Rachel played for awhile, and made snowangels and sled down the hill. It was really, really cold this weekend! It even got down into the single digits over night. 

I will admit I hate snow and Winter, but I loved this picture of our backyard. It is so beautiful, especially with the snow in the trees. And that is hubby walking back up the hill with the sled. He worked hard to shovel out our driveway so we could get to church Sunday. (then no one even hardly showed up!) :)