Snow day

January 11, 2010 at 9:27 am (2010, family, snow, Snow Day)

My 2010 Snow Buddies ~ January 2010

It doesn’t take much snow in Atlanta to get everyone all excited. In fact I get excited just over seeing a few flurries.  So we can make a lot happen with just a half-inch!!!

And that’s what we got Thursday evening.  Schools closed  & Pepper was home from work.  We tried to stay warm, stay busy & have fun!!

We celebrated the Snow with an impromptu “SNOW DAY of Fun”.

We ate White SNOW Powdered Doughnuts for Breakfast.

Snow Powdered Doughnuts

Watched “SNOW” Themed Movies (Curious George Plays in the Snow, Snow Buddies, and Ice Age).

Movies & Popcorn

Ate Smores from the fire.

Yum! Yum!

And of course got some sledding fun in too!!  Poor Megan only lasted about five minutes but Evan was absolutely LOVING it!!

Sledding (on ice)

I really love the snow, but goodness gracious I get stir crazy fast!!!  I would love a big-time snow (you know, 3-4 inches – ha!), but I think now (as a parent of two little ones and not the excited teen/adult missing school or work) I’d want it all melted & gone in about two days!!  Times have definitely changed:)

IF this happens again, I’ll have to be a little more prepared!!!

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Feeding the ducks

January 8, 2010 at 9:16 am (Christmas, family, Finer Things Friday)

On any special holiday and just random days throughout the year, we make it a point to go “feed the ducks“.   Unfortunately for our family there’s a back-story to that.  It means we’re visiting my brother-in-law’s grave site.  (It always stinks to summarize it like that … I won’t fill in all the details in this post, but you can click here or here to understand what that means us.)Anyhow, I managed to snap some really cute pictures.  The ducks were HUNGRY on this particular day!!  

Before The Bite

  

A little too hungry!! They snapped at Evan’s finger when he didn’t give them bread quick enough!!  

After The Bite

   

So Many Ducks

 Each Christmas, we take a new ornament to hang on Jeremy’s tree.  This year we went with something that both Megan & Evan love!

  

The Dinosaur Ornament

Because every little tree needs a dinosaur ornament!  Holidays are always tough when you’ve lost someone close. We’ve done this every year since Evan was a baby.   I really hope it’s a tradition they learn to respect and love.   We want Uncle Jeremy to be a part of there lives even though he’s not here with us.  I know Pepper hates having to celebrate Christmas with his brother like this, but at the same time I know he appreciates the tradition as well.

  

This post linked to Amy’s Finer Things Friday and Your Life Your Blog.

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Happy new year!

January 3, 2010 at 12:46 am (2010, blogging, diet, family)

I’m not really a big resolution kind of gal, but this year I’m actually feeling “it” (resolutions that is)!  I think it’s because I feel a little out of balance and out of sorts in several areas of my life.  So more than just resolutions to make & break, I have a few goals to hopefully improve my life and the life of my family.

So my apologies in advance that the last post of 2009 and the first post of 2010 are more for myself than you, but really – isn’t that all I do on this blog anyways?!

Personal Goals (for me):

  • Lose 18 lbs. – I got a good start on my weight loss goal last year.  In 2009, I wanted to lose 42 lbs.  I had hoped to come in on the last day of 2009 with a 29 lb loss, but the holidays got to me and I totally slacked so I gained a few lbs back and came in with a total loss of 24 lbs.  I’ll continue with Joy’s LIFE Diet (more on that later) and kick up my exercise!
  • Run – This is totally NOT me.  I actually can’t even believe I’m saying this.  I don’t like running.  In school I enjoyed relay races (you know the one where you pass the Paton to the next runner?), but long distance was totally NOT in my vocabulary.  I’m not even ready to say my goal is to run a 5k yet, I just want to be able to run in the neighborhood without stopping after 2 mins.  I want to be able to run for exercise.
  • Find a Balance – I spend too much time online.  But it’s my hobby.  It’s also my source of information, the way I pay my bills, communicate with friends, get some awesome deals (totally scored through Twitter & FB Fan Sites this year!!) & work on outside commitments.  But it’s also a trap for me!!  I get online with the intention of paying the bills and then three hours later I’m still paying.  And it’s not because Bank of America is that slow!!  It’s because I get that distracted.  I need to find a balance.
  • Bible Reading – I’ve neglected this pretty badly the last several years.  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve re-learned a second “story” from the Jesus Storybook Bible that I’m reading with Evan.  I need to spend daily devotion with Him again!!

Personal Goals (for my family):

  • Get Organized – I used to be organized and pretty much on top of things.  But that’s when I was taking care of only myself and Pepper.  Now I lose someone’s shoes EVERY day, can’t find checks that people give me, and still haven’t filled in page one of Megan’s baby book!!  I’m horribly UNorganized right now & I absolutely HATE that feeling!!  I need systems and I need to de-clutter!
  • Better Eating – Yes, I followed a plan and a diet to lose the weight I did last year, but the basics of it is eating clean, unprocessed, real food.  Fresh fruits, veggies, lean chicken/meats and fish.  Nothing really came from a box except the occasional whole wheat pasta.  I want to continue that & improve upon it for the whole family.
  • Activities for Kids – Evan is in school a half-day for three days out of the week.  I need to be better at planning activities though when he’s home.  It’s better for all of us … too much free time drives everyone a little crazy!!!  I want a planned schedule (within reason) of crafts, snacks, play time, and fun stuff.
  • Lower Expenses, Increases Savings – I’m trying to master (ok, that’s probably strong … how about “understand”) couponing more than I do now.  I did alot better this year, but my goal this year is to consistently save 30%+ at each trip to the grocery store.  Sites like MommmySnacks, Keeping The Kingdom First, Money Saving Mom and Coupon Mom have all been my go-to sites this past year.   I’m also starting to get really excited about Swagbucks and Ebates Accounts.  If you don’t use either of them … you should definitely look into it!!!  I didn’t have enough points to bother cashing them in this Christmas, but my goal is to “buy” gifts throughout the year and next Christmas with these accounts!!

Blogging:

  • I actually have several goals for my blog this year.  One of those will be happening next month, when I go to Blissdom 10.  I’m really excited to meet a lot of “real” bloggers and Twitter friends there.  I’m also excited to be going with my IRL friends ohAmanda, TheVioletFig and Simply Staci.  But more on my Blogging Goals later.  I’ll be linking up to Savvy Blogging Carnival on Monday.

So, those are my goals. Now the real question … how am I going to get there?? Honestly, I’m still working on that.   If I knew exactly how to eat better, stay organized, run, and plan activities I’d probably be doing all that already!!  So the truth is I’m not sure.  I’m working on some things and I’ll post more as I go.

Do you have any awesome suggestions for me?

What are your goals for 2010?

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The picture that wasn’t

December 2, 2009 at 7:54 am (family, Wordless Wednesday)

Why out of 10 pictures with the kids, at least 9 of them look like this????
So sweet!

And why does WordPress keeping putting this crazy box around some of my pictures?!?

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Top ten tuesday – every ornament has a story

December 1, 2009 at 9:36 am (Christmas, family, Top Ten Tuesday)

While I don’t enjoy the work of getting the house decorated for the holidays, I do love the result !!  It’s just fun to have a house decorated for a specific season!!  One of the best parts of the actual work, is dragging the boxes down from the attic and opening each one every year.  Seriously – it’s like the first gift of the season!! So many memories are unpacked with each box opened.

And I think the ornaments are the most special.  It’s as if every ornament has its own little story. Most bring good memories, a few bring sad.

So, here’s my Top Ten Ornament Stories.

1.  The Musical Note – This one’s for my husband.  He loves music.  I wouldn’t have been something I would have picked out.  And to be honest, when he picked it out (yes, HE picked it out) I was not that excited.  But, I’ve grown to love that little musical note because it’s him.

The Musical Note

2.  The Angel – My mother in law gave this angel ornament to both my husband & his sister several years after my brother-in-law died.  Each year I hang it next to Pepper’s stocking on the mantle garland.  I don’t know if he “gets it or not”, but just my little way of thinking his angel is especially with him during this tough season.

The Angel

3.  The Santa Claus – This is one of my childhood ornaments.  I’m almost certain one of my Great Aunts made this for me when I was a baby.

The Santa Claus

4.  The Evan Sled – One of my husband’s friends gave this to Pepper for Evan’s 1st Christmas.  It’s proudly hung on the tree for the last 5 years!

The "Evan" Sled

5.  The Foam Star – *Sigh* I love crafts made by Evan, but I also love having a pretty Christmas Tree.  One day I’ll have to devote an entire tree to the “kids’ crafts”, but for now that one little foam star is just perfect.

The Foam Star

6.  The Sisterchick ChicStaci gave these to all of us last year.  It hangs proudly & reminds me of the girlfriends I love so much!!

The Sisterchick One

7.  The Cool One – I LOVE this one – I just happen to come across these at a tiny little store in town.  Unfortunately it was in January and they only had three left!!  I love them & their rustic look!

The Cool One

8.  The Soccer Cleats – I found this ornament at Target.  It was the first Christmas we would be celebrating after my husband’s brother died.  Jeremy played soccer for his highschool team & he was known for his red soccer cleats.  He wore a size 13 at 18 years old!  Those red shoes definitely stood out on the field – they were huge!!  We laughed because if you set his shoes on my forearm (from my elbow to my hand) they would hang OVER my fingertips … that’s a big old foot!!  It took about 5 different Targets to find three of these ornaments that weren’t broken, but now everyone in the family has one.  It’s a cheap old ornament but it hangs right at eye level in the front of our Christmas Tree each year.

The Soccer Cleats

9. The Beautiful One – My Sisterchick Kristen gave this to me a long time ago.  I don’t even remember how long it’s been.  She bought it while she was in China one year.  Isn’t it beautiful!!!!  It even has it’s only tiny little storage box.  I absolutely adore this ornament … and my friend that gave it to me too:)

The Beautiful One

10.  The Other One – That’s an exciting name, isn’t it?!?  I found these shortly after I found “The Cool Ones”.  Since the store only had three of  those I needed something with a similar look & feel to make anything work.  I do love the little rustic snowflake though that hangs off each star.

The Other One

So those are my ornament stories.  What are some of your favorite ornament stories?

For more Top Ten Tuesday Posts or to link up to your own, visit ohAmanda.

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And now comes december

November 30, 2009 at 12:05 am (family, Thanksgiving)

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  And scarier than that, is that Christmas is literally just around the corner!!  How is this even possible?? Old people are right when they say it comes quicker every year … it does!  Does that mean I’m old?! Don’t answer.

We had a good Thanksgiving.

I got to meet this cute little Indian at his class’ Thanksgiving Lunch.

A little Indian
A little Indian

They made turkey shirts in class with their feet!

The Foot Turkey

We made Turkey Cookies at home.

Thanks ohamanda.com!

Spent time with family.

Reading with Mama Lou

We had some good conversations, my favorite one of the day is here.

And we attempted to get just one cute, co-operating picture of the kids in the Turkey Shirts.

My little turkeys

 

The latter did not happen.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thankful

November 26, 2009 at 6:03 am (family, Thanksgiving)

For beautiful days in the month of November.

To go outside and enjoy the weather.

With these two little cuties.

Evan – November 2009
Megan – November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

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Personal assistants are the best

June 30, 2009 at 9:13 am (Evan, family, Megan, Top Ten Tuesday)

I don’t see how people get through the day without personal assistants.

1.  I love my personal fitness coach

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2.  And swim coach too.

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3.  What would I do without my personal gardener?

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4.  Or my “manny” so I could get a a few things done without worrying about the baby?

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5.  It’s very important to have someone keep the Tupperware organized … but it’d be nice if I had a photographer because then I could blame someone else for deleting this picture!

6.  And they must know how to take care of the DVD collection.

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7.  The dishes would never get done if I didn’t have someone helping me.

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8.  But life got so much better when I had someone else start taking care of the bills.

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9.  It’s also important to have someone that can help keep the fridge in order.

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10.  And another to help as your personal shopper!

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Ahh, life is good!

For more Top Ten Tuesday Lists or to link up one of your own, visit ohAmanda.com.

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My childhood home

June 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm (family) ()

Recently my parents closed on the sale of their house – my childhood home.  My mom was pregnant with me at the time they built it.   They moved in about one month before I was born.  That was about 31 years ago.  It’s the only house I ever celebrated birthdays, Christmases, or Thanksgivings in.  It’s the only childhood home I know! 

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Of course when we were young it was out in the middle of “no-where”.  As we grew, so did our little town & now it’s surrounded by everything you need!  They sold our house along with about 20-acres that surrounds it.  The land was left to my Dad & his sister by their parents.  The new owner has bought all the land & the house … for their horses!  They’ll eventually build a new house & tear ours down.  That could be before the end of summer or some time away, but it’s inevitable.  Our little ole’ house doesn’t exactly fall into their million dollar plan!

To think about someone else living there – either in our house or on the land is so strange.  They’ll never know it the same way we did. 

They won’t know about the tire swing, games of baseball or egg hunts that took place outside.  They won’t know about my brother’s wedding or his horrible summer-time accident (two separate events – the wedding was NOT a horrible accident!) that took place in the back yard.  They won’t know about all our dogs that ran in the yard and about the big tree that we buried them under as the passed.  They won’t know about the Graduation banners that hung out congratulating each one of us kids as we graduated high school (oddly one of those banners doubled as a “Moving Sale” sign this very weekend).  They won’t know about the “lucky spot” at the top of the drive-way where we could sell “almost” anything. 

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They won’t know about the skeet-shooting that took place in the pasture or the arrival of the cops & the court dates that followed.  They won’t know about the big fish that have been caught in the pond, the deers shot from tree-stands, the cows that roamed the field, or the adventures with our two horses – Pumpkin & Scooter. 

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They won’t know how bad the corner cabinet in the kitchen hurts your fingers, until they get pinched for the first time.  They won’t know about all the bridal showers, baby showers and parties that were hosted in our family room or what the mantle looked like when it was full of stockings at Christmas-time.  They won’t know that the carpet they walk on was prayed over before it was laid (believe me, I’m all about prayer – but that occasion was just odd!!).   The won’t know about the layers of wallpaper that can be found in the powder room, or about the wall of pictures that hung down the hall.  

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They won’t know why the closet door in Staci’s bedroom is scratched so badly.  They won’t even know which bedroom was Staci’s!  They won’t know that the bath tub in my parent’s room that was used when we were infants, just bathed three of the grandchildren the other night!!  They won’t know about the countless games & hours of fun that was had in our basement – alot of that time while my parents played Trivial Pursuit upstairs with their friends!  Or about the birthday parties & slumber parties that we always got in trouble for while we were down there. 

They won’t know about the laughter that took place having four children under the age of 5 or the fights that came along with it. 

There’s so much they won’t know about, but yet almost every memory I have for the last 31 years involves that house.  I just hope I can hold on to all those memories & remember so much more, even after the boxes are packed and the moving van is gone!

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Now, my parents have closed on the purchase of their new home.  We just had their Moving Sale (31 years in the making) this weekend and now they’ll start to move into their new place.  Strangely, we won’t know all the history that the family moving out is leaving behind, but it’s a new place – one that we’ll make new history of for ourselves and one that will soon be “home”.

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One of the lucky ones

June 22, 2009 at 10:13 am (family) ()

I was one of the lucky ones.  I grew up with a Dad that knew what that word & that role meant.  He worked hard for his family, supported our hobbies & decisions and loved us when those decisions weren’t good.  He coached little leagues & basketball teams, taught Wednesday night classes & was always serving in church.  He was a great example.   And I’m still lucky to have him around now.  Lucky enough to still have a great relationship with him.  Lucky enough to see him be an awesome Papa to my children.

I’m also lucky enough to see my husband be that same type of incredible Dad to our children.  Yesterday he got up early & made breakfast for the family (I know I should have made a Father’s Day breakfast, but instead I bought everything & let him do it – he enjoys its & he does a MUCH better job at breakfast than I do!).  He then served in the 1-year old room with me at church, went to a local Antique Fair with me (don’t feel bad – he agreed because he knew there’d be some old instruments there.  He was right.  And he went home with one!!), and then went to my parents house for dinner where we stood out in the heat for about an hour taking family pictures.  He was a good sport on a day that he should have been able to call the  at least some of shots!!

So, even though he’ll never read this … I love you!  Thank you for being the wonderful Dad that you are – for knowing what that word really means & for fulfilling that in our children!!

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