Friday, December 31, 2010

Year In Review

I am determined to get this published tonight before the ball drops. I woke up this morning with the verse "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" in my head. I knew this meant I need to spend time in praise today. I really didn't feel like praising or doing anything for that matter but I did begrudgingly. Several times through out the day I have again been urged to "rejoice and be glad in it." Today was long, I was in a fog most of the morning. This afternoon had been one speed bump after another and another and another. I am reminded to "rejoice" So I am rejoicing that at 8pm tonight, I have time to write and think.

These were the goals/ areas for improvement that I set when I started this blog in January. The good the bad and the ugly is as follows:

Blogging- I have posted 195 post this year. Initially, the idea was to help me stay focused on why I was at home and enjoying the time I had with the kids. The Lord has way different plans for me and as the year ends. I am rejoicing that I now have something to look back on for this year. To remember and reflect. To reestablish that "his ways are not my ways but his ways are always better!". I plan to continue a goal in 2011 for blogging mainly so that I stay accountable in this area.

Financial- Change, change, change. I can honestly say that we are ending the year in a more secure spot than we start. We are currently playing catch up with our mortgage but that is the only outstanding regular account. Our grocery budget has been at an average of $703 per month with December begin a high month of $1100. Look for this to be a major goal in 2011. I am rejoicing that we are able to afford for one of us to stay at home while the kids are young.

Preschool- This is a goal that won't be repeated in 2011. The reason for this is that it was a total success. Matt and I have gotten a routine together. School is occurring on average 4 days a week which is greater than my goal of 3. Lily is blossoming and learning. She will be reading prior to June and regardless of if she is placed in first grade or Kindergarten, I am rejoicing that we have been able to encourage and train Lily in this area.

Bible reading- I have improved in this area but it is still one of the weakest. I average a devotional or bible reading twice a week. This also will be an area of improvement for next year.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day Snow

Last set of Pictures for the year! Plan to type a recap of the year tonight or tomorrow..then on to goal setting for 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve at Pawpaw and Granny

I plan to post several times during the next 2 days with pictures of all the Christmas activities around here!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas is my favorite time of the year. As I am posting this on Christmas morning the three little one are in my bedroom playing with new toys. Actually I think the girls are now playing with Zach's new toys as he watches.

This morning was EARLY as usual what made it seem even earlier is that Kendall was up several times last night and Zach threw up again at 3am. We were all in front of the tree to open presents by 6:45am. We tried to let everyone open one present at a time. Lily was so excited by the Tangled playset, we were unsure if she was laughing and crying. Everyone seemed to enjoy their presents. Lily has spent a long time in her room playing with the Barbie doll clothes that she received. By 7:45am both the older girls had taken their stuff to their rooms. Haley has been playing with her camera as well as trying on the new clothes she got. Her favorite so far has been the skinny jeans. Amanda, of course, is back asleep until lunch or so. By 8:45, breakfast has been eaten and cleaned up. The plan for the rest of the day is to enjoy some quiet time, letting the kids play with the toys as much as they want, and starting to work on dinner for Sunday evening. I am slowly taking pictures all day and will hopefully post some starting later today.

Last night, was really neat. We headed over to my parents after nap. We ate open presents and spent the rest of the night playing Rook. It was a neat experience and I hope we do it again in the future :). Matt ended up bringing Zach home around 6 but the little ones and I stayed til 8pm. Amanda and Haley ended staying to 9:30pm then going to Steven and Tara's church for candle light services.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Failed Christmas Cards

I will let you decide why we didn't have a Christmas card picture this year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Christmas Sprit

I LOVE Christmas, everything about it except for wrapping of present but hey a girl has to have something to complain about. We are actually ready for Christmas this year. Our balance of work, family and life finally seems to be as close to normal as it ever will be. I set up my snow village prior to Thanksgiving and the tree was up the first week of December. Matt and I spent a whole day working on getting things decorated prior to Lily's Birthday. The presents are all purchased and wrapped but to be honest I still don't feel like it is so close to Christmas. I really want to enjoy the kids and everything Christmas related. I have been able to extend Christmas at least by a day so that we can have a huge meal on Sunday next week. No pressure to get the decorations down to quick. I even mentioned this to Matt on Friday and he suggested that our trip to Tanglewood for the lights might just make this seem more Christmas real. Let's hope so! I know that Blogging will not occur very much next week but maybe some pictures will at least keep me on track for blogging more than last November. So here is the schedule for the week!
Monday-Large trip to Costco for groceries
Tuesday- Lights at Tanglewood
Wednesday- Christmas service at church
Thursday- nothing yet!
Friday-Christmas Eve, working then Dinner at my parents.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Catch Up and Awesome CVS trip

This week has been really busy. We have both Angel Food distribution and quizzing this Saturday. I have not been as prepared as I was last week and so have been working on preparing quizzes as well as getting back up to close to the hours I should be working. Today (Thursday) it was nasty outside with snow turning to rain around lunch. I was not scheduled at the hospital but did have to work the nursing home. I was able to spend the morning making junk (chex mix, muddy buddies and reindeer crack). One of the reason, I have stayed so busy is we are in the process of trying to restock our freezer and pantry.
On Monday, I was able to have a awesome CVS trip. I spent $17.92 and saved $76.01 or 94%. I used two rain checks I have been holding on too and spent 10ECB. I did have coupons for most items and did 3 separate transactions. For the basically eighteen bucks I purchased 3 ZHU ZHU pets, a rechargeable toothbrush and 3 bags of candy for Christmas, I also got 8 cans of Tomato soup, 2 tubes of toothpaste, a single serving Mac and cheese and 8 Advil tablets. I also snagged 4 free candy bars at Food Lion the same day. I definitely am getting back in the swing of things.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

These are from the photography session last Saturday. Poor Lily was soo cold but the pictures came out great. I will post the others in the next week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Picture

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Michigan Adventure – The Last Day

It was not until on the way back to Farmington Hills on Friday that we actually decided the schedule for our return home. We decided that we would stay on Saturday, basically to give the kids a break from the car. So Saturday, we had a great breakfast downstairs came back to the room and decided to enjoy the pool. We actually ended up in the hot tub the entire time because it was much warmer and with the jets the kids enjoyed playing around in it. We were the only people in the pool area until the last five minutes. We spent over an hour in the water. I thought I saw a microwave in the room so I plan to feed the kids mac and cheese for lunch. Matt and I were going to eat the leftovers. But after getting back to the room we realized that the microwave did not exist. The kids laid down for a 2 plus hour nap. It was awesome. After the nap we had planned to head to both Costco and Trader Joes. We made it to Costco and it was as Matt described it, "The reason I moved out of Michigan." Traffic was awful and people in Costco were rude. We ended up at Keith and Belinda's were the kids watched Toy Story 3 and we enjoy conversation and laughed.

This is the part were the adventure begins. We ended up staying at Keith's until around 8pm. When we opened our hotel room door, we realized that our room was located directly above the ballroom. A bar mitzh was taking place in the ballroom and we were able to identify the songs as they changed. I did call the front desk and was told there was nothing they could do about the noise. It was strongly suggested that I call the corporate office to. I did there was no resolution but I did receive our breakfast for free both morning and got a discount of half on the price of the room. Luckily, the kids were so tired they went right to sleep. Matt and I played name that tune until it stopped at 11pm.

I don't regret waiting to start our trip home until Sunday at all. We had the car loaded up on Saturday night. Sunday morning we enjoyed a great breakfast and the ladies were nice enough to send us a to go box loaded with pastries and fruit. Travel was fairly smooth until around 4 pm getting on the West Virginia turnpike. Things went downhill from there. First the brakes on the car started to vibrate. We are coming up and down mountains and each time you try to slow down the whole car shakes. At one point we were literally sitting in traffic, moving at approximately 5 miles an hour. The reason…..traffic. As we were sitting in traffic, Lily suggested we pray so that we could start moving and get home. We did. From the point that we prayed we maintained a steady movement forward with only 1 other time when we came to a complete stop. It was amazing. We decided to pray again to thank God for letting us start moving. Around 15 minutes after our thanksgiving prayer, we came to another stop. Matt mentioned we might need to pray again and Kendall agreed. Lily was very clear with her statement "I already prayed and God gave us a miracle so I don't have to pray again." The faith of a child…boy do I have a lot to learn from that girl! Lily was right we did keep moving slowly but steady. Zach ended up car sick as we entered North Carolina so we had to stop and clean both him and the car seat up. Total travel time on Sunday was 14 hours. We ended up not even stopping for dinner because we just wanted to get home. We made it, the adventure is now complete!


Kendall Update

Kendall has reached one of my favorite ages, 2.5 years old. Over the last several weeks, she has really developed a personality and is a sponge learning everything. Potty training is still that training. She currently has one accident a day but does not poop in the potty at all.

In the area of communication she is so much fun. She is speaking in sentences. She gets frustrated when someone does not understand what she is saying and tonight I heard her repeating things off the news just to see if I noticed. She definitely has her own opinions and like to be heard. In the car, she and Lily often fight over whose turn it is to talk. Kendall loves to sing. Currently she sings ABCs, Wheels on the bus ( her favorite is the mommies), 5 little monkeys, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ba Ba Black Sheep and Jesus Loves Me. Kendall is usually the one that reminds us to pray at dinner.

Kendall is definitely 2 but she is the only one of my kids that you can reason out of a tantrum. If I can get her to listen to what I am saying she will usually stop kicking or crying when explained that is not how we do things. She also can turn on and off the tears in a minute.

And yesterday she achieved a major milestone. Yesterday, morning the first thing she told me was "My pappy broke, I throw it away." I had her repeat it twice and then told her to go ahead and throw it away. I didn't have any more because she has bitten all that we were able to find in half. I discovered several months ago that they had changed the design of her Binky so I stocked up then. Kendall was able to take a nap yesterday and last night she verified that she had thrown her pappy away before going to bed. Again this morning she said "I throw pappy away it broke?" But she has been sleeping without it! WOW this was easy! I am so excited. The cutest thing was as I was telling my mom about it, Kendall heard and repeated "I not need pappy anymore cause I a big girl."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Birthday Edition Lily

Random Birthday Thoughts

These are all related to Lily's Birthday but this way I don't have to connect them in a logical manner, just as I think about them.

Lily birthday party on Sunday was a Hannah Montana Tea Party. Mrs. Nellie Tesh agreed to host the party.

The party started with coloring and making a placemat.

Mrs. Nellie spent about an 30 minutes teaching the girls (Lily, Kendall, Laural, Isabella and Katelyn) how a proper tea is served. The girls were all dressed as princess and Mrs. Nellie brought hats for the girls to wear.

Halfway through the party Haley and Andrea disappeared to Haley's room to play on Facebook.

The party games were Pin the spoon on the teapot and Musical chairs.    

Everyone had a great time.

Lily's favorite gift was a real camera from Pawpaw and Granny.

Matt made Lily a Teapot cake from his head. (Pictures will come on Wednesday)

Lily's actual party was on Monday. We bought her a ZU ZU pet hamster.

I only worked in the morning so that we could go to Pizza Hut for lunch.

The end of the day was the annual Lexington Parade. It was COLD. Temperature was around 28 with a gusty wind.

Amanda joined us at the parade and for about half of Lily's party.

Nancy and Tim came by straight from church to help us decorate and make the party favors and games.

I have yet to look at the pictures taken at the party but plan to post at least 5 on Wednesday.

Monday, December 6, 2010

November in Review

I know it is already the 6th of December but I needed to post this so that I stay accountable. This is not an easy blog to post but I am hoping that by posting honestly it will encourage me to continue to improve. I also have already been thinking toward January and how I want to set my goals for the coming year. They will be different from this year but I have learned that I need to be specific. Just a overall view I did awful this month in all areas.

Blogging- Goal is 5 times a week or 20 a month. This is my lowest month ever 10 post for month. No excuse, no reason.

Reading my Bible- The goal is for me to have a devotional time 5-6 times a week. One of the things that we are trying to add is a couple devotional time. I think I was able to maintain the 3 devotions a week. Not near the goal but at least something.

Preschool with Lily and Kendall- We decided to take a break from school the week we were away but still manage a good month of school. Lily is on lesson 50 with learning to read half way finished and Kendall is picking up more and more each day.

Budget-Not even going to attempt to post. We enjoyed our trip and my shopping. Budget will be one of the biggest areas for us next year! December hopefully will be much better and on to a good start of the new year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The List

I suck at blog right now. I have 3 post in my head that I really want to get into my blog but for some reason I never have the time to get them out. We did arrive home safely from Michigan last Sunday night at around 10pm. I ended up working every day this week and even picking up extra hours at both the hospital and nursing home. It does appear that things are going to slow down on that front either this next week so I need to crave out some time for myself.

I am making the list and hopefully this week, I will be able to at least get caught up with them! Here is the list:
Saturday of quiz and Angel Food
Final Day in Michigan and the trip home..... got to love an adventure
November in Review

The other thing that I am planning is a post about Lily's birthday party that we had today as well as I need to write her birth story down. I will be posting pictures for Wordless Wednesday at least.

So now that I have the this posted maybe I will be more inclined to write a real post instead of just this list!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Michigan Adventure Day 5 and 6

The last couple of days have flowen but with lots family and fun. Currently, we are in a hotel room in Farmington Hills. We decided on the short 2 hour trip yesterday from Claire to Farmington Hills that we need a full day of rest before attempting to make the 12 trip home. I have to say this was a very smart and needed day. I choose not to attempt Black Friday shopping in a strange area, instead finished up most of my shopping online. The Disney store had an awesome sale with prices at $5, $10 $15 and $20 on top of that I received 20% off and free shipping. I ended up purchasing 10 items that I can't list because of Christmas for $75 total shipped.

We stopped in Birch Run initially for Starbucks, ou treat on this trip. Matt causally asked if I want to hit a particular sale. I responsed with the jean sale at Old Navy. He stayed in the car with the kids and I ran in to purchase 2 pair of jeans for Matt, 2 pair of jeans for myself and a pair each for Amanda and Haley, for a total of 95. I know that Haley has spent this much on one pair in the past was I was really pleased. I was even more pleased to find "short" jeans for both Haley and myself. I have never founded this in the regular Old Navy and boy does it feel awesome to have jean fit without needing to hem!

We checked into the hotel and spent about 10 minutes before heading to Matt's brothers house. We all had an awesome time and some good mexican turkey cassrole. This was the first time in several years that the 3 brothers have been together on a happy occasion. They really enjoyed each other and both myself and the kids could not have asked for a better time. Time did get away from us and by 9:15 we loaded up the kids to head back to the hotel. We had missed the point at which everyone sleeps wells and gone into overload. Zach woke up 5 times and Kendall 2x prior to 7am this morning.

Currently the kids are on the 2 hour of a needed nap. We have already spent some time inthe pool this morning and plan to go to Costco and Trader Joes this afternoon. We may end up back at Matt 's brother house if he calls them. Our plan is to finish packing the car tonight after the kids go to sleep. We hope to hit the road around 8am with breakfast eaten. Our goal is to make the trip in one day and arrive Lexington sometime around 11pm. Sounds simple doesn't it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Currently, I am sitting in a hotel in Clare MI. Zach has having a allergic reaction to something. We have tried to be careful about what he eats but it is nearly impossible to monitor everything he touchs and he loves to find things on floors and eat as well. Matt and I are also considering the possibility that he is allergic to something in the hotels we are staying at or the new t-shirts that I purchased and didnt pre-wash just for this trip. A third possibility is that he has a virus that is working its way out because that has been the case in the past. He is sleeping and hopeful will feel better.

I wanted to post a few more things I am thankful for as well. I should post 14 to catch up for the past 2 weeks so here is the attempt.
  1. Bendryll and the ability to try and make Zach feel better without causing everyone else to sit and wait in a strange hospital or walk in clinic
  2. A very gracious hostess who has included our family in her celebrations just because of who we are.
  3. PBS and Disney that can be seen in all of our hotel rooms so far and manage to make the girls feel at home and on a type of schedule during our week of traveling.
  4. Having a God that I know is in control, my devotion this morning was about being still and knowing HE is God! This was also the sense received at church Sunday. I am waiting for direction. I know I must be still and KNOW he is God.
  5. The ability to text and/or call my older girls at any point. I wish they were with us but I also know that they are happy and ok, even 800 miles away.
  6. The ability to shop and buy things this year, without being concerned that we may not be able to pay a certain bill.
  7. The ability to eat out and even grab extra snacks while traveling without the worry of not having enough money to make it home. This sounds silly but until you have been in that position it is a huge relieft.
  8. A car that was found at just the right time. If I could have said this is the car we need at this point in our life I don't think I could have designed it better. God does provide in his timing!
  9. Neighbors and friends that continue to support and encourage us, even if they never realize how much we need it!
  10. Our military.... a special thanks to both Derrick and Eric G.
  11. The internet and it ability to stay in touch with friends and family as well as the hours of entertainment it provides.
  12. My husband who not only encourages me on a regular basis but continues to mature and amaze me at how great of a dad he is.
  13. Doctors and others who are able to not only identify problems with my kid but provide solutions that were not available even 30 years ago.
  14. The ability to love, laugh, cry and blog about it. A freedom I take for granted most days!

Happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget to count your blessings!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Michigan Adventure Day 2

Matt summed up the weather correctly COLD! The high today was 36 at 9am and the wind is blowing so it is so cold even I can't make it from the hotel to the car without a coat. We arrived at Bronner's just prior to opening so I wanted to get a picture in front of the giant Santa of Lily and Kendall. I thought it would be cool to compare it to the one I have of Amanda and Haley the first time they visited. Kendall was going to have nothing to do with this idea. She was terrified, I had to hold her to even get a picture. She would not even touch the top of his feet. I LOVE Bronner's they were currently running a promotion for 4.99 they would ship any purchase over $100 home, to sweeten the deal if they ship to a non-Michigan address you don't have to pay the sales tax. I ended up buying a house for my snow village, several new ornaments and a stocking holder for 5 stockings. We also ended up buying snack while there. Zach was so hungry he ate an entire hot dog! We decided to pick up lunch on the way back and eat in our room. I went to the outlet mall while the kids took a nap. I found some awesome deals including clothes for the older girls for Christmas, ski bibs for Lily, several cute long sleeve shirts for the girls for under $5, a pair of cords for Z and several shirts for me. I went back and picked up Matt and the kids before heading to Old Navy. Matt and I both found several shirts, gloves and hats. In fact, on the way out of town on Wednesday, we went back to Old Navy to pick of up additional shirts Matt. The only stressful part of the day was bedtime. It is taking the kids about 2 hours to fall asleep and it is not a pleasant two hours for us either.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Michigan Adventure Day 1

I will have to admit that I was not at all excited to start this trip. The logisticis alone would scare a normal person. Traveling 800 plus miles in a 10 year old car with 3 children 4 and under, staying in 3-5 different cities with only 2 stops being planned add in the family visiting and seriously would you want to attempt it?

We planned to leave on Sunday afternoon following lunch with my family. The idea was that should give us a few good hours of travel. It went smoother than plan. We actually ended up over half way staying in Dover OHIO on Sunday night. We used Tom Tom for both dinner and for locating the hotel and it's phone number in advance. Everyone settled fairly quickly and we had a decent night of sleep. We decided to try and make it to the Franklin Cider Mill. We ate lunch just inside the OHIO state line and made it to the mill in the early afternoon. Unfortately the mill is closing in a week so we were not able to watch the process. They did enjoy feeding the ducks and watching Daddy "stomp them away. We decide to go by Keith and Belinda's for a potty break. We ended up staying over an hour. We arrived in Birch Run about 4pm. I chose not go shopping tonight because of the nasty rain and I am tired.

The only problem of the day was that the car decided to cut off at the Cider Mill. We are still not sure why but it has ran just fine since. The kids have travelled really really well. They enjoyed the DVD player and the white boards. I hope the rest of the trip goes as smoothly.

My Intentions....

My intentions were good, I had planned to continue to post at least twice last week. But they say the best of intentions… Anyway I am sure that I will be able to make up for some lost time this week. Currently we are traveling the OHIO turnpike on our way to Bloomsfield Hills MI to visit the cider mill. I am going to use this post to catch up on the events of the past week. This past Saturday deserves a full blog post of it's own so I will save that for a day that I need additional material. I plan to post a new blog at least once a day and more if I have the time and material to write. Most of the week was spent trying to stay ahead of the game for Saturday which included Angel food distribution, a quiz, a birthday party and completion of packing to leave. IF you haven't figured it out yet this will be a stream of consciousness post to try and bring the blog up to date.

Last week because of the extra day off that I had on Thursday, I was able to spend a good part of Saturday and Sunday assembling and completing my snow village. I will try and post pictures once we return home. My plan was to have this up so that went we get to Bronner's , I will know what I want to purchase to include this year. I am convinced I need to purchase some flamingos and maybe a "trailer". I will definite get at least one new building piece and one other accessory while there.

On Saturday we also had scheduled family pictures and dinner at Outback as a Christmas gift for my parents. These pictures ended up taking two hours so it was a VERY frustrating experience but my brother instead of my children was the one who was rude and got in trouble. Dinner was awesome!

I am currently typing on the netbook which we purchased because of this trip and because I wanted something small to use at home to free up the desktop for the older girls to use for school and for Lily to play games on. Matt's laptop is currently 5 plus years old and a bear to use. In addition the battery will only last one hour. The battery life on this is supposed to be 8 hours so we shall see. One of the neat features this netbook has was word software already installed it is concerned a starter version but so far I cannot find a need to upgrade! I have never had a word count visible before and thought that man now I need to make sure that each post is at least 500 words long unless it contains pictures. I am hoping in the future to limit post to that as well. I am currently at 488 words so I am going to end this post and then hopefully write a post about Saturday. I do plan to only schedule post every 12 hours so each one will have time of its own.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today is November the 11th, since I was able to list 7 items last Thursday, I was thankful for, today I will add the 4 to equal 11.

1.Matt's unemployment- yes this is strange but it has allowed us to both have more time to spend with the kids. It also has really opened his eyes to how much stuff needs to get done around here on a daily basis. It is also teaching me to pray for my husband and not to worry about money because we are being provided for by our heavenly father.

2. Unexpected days off- I was schedule to work at the nursing home today. But they called yesterday to say the caseload was down so I have the entire day at home. Haley is out of school so I don't have to get dressed or leave the house at all. We have spent the morning and part of the afternoon cleaning the floors. Hopefully I can accomplish several more things to make this a successful day!

3. A new bed. It sleeps wonderfully. We waited so long and now I can't imagine sleeping on a water bed again and the air mattress was AWFUL!

4.My best friend...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This picture sums up our life currently....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have just read on a blog about listing one thing per day you are thankful for during the month of November. Well since I don't tweet and face book is too easy to forget, I thought I would for the 4 Thursdays in November make a list of the things big and small I am thankful for. I would like to do a list of at least 7 each week with no repeats but that might not happen. This week is easy

1. Remington Lee Curry- his short life has taught this family more than can be explained in words. He was our angel for those 23 days and I learned more about my faith, God's love and peace in the months since his death than in any other time in my life. I had been told that you will never understand God's peace until you experience it and that is so true. I am thankful that I was present at his birth and that I can say he was loved and is missed on a daily basis

2. My kids- Amanda, Haley, Lily, Kendall and Zach. Each one bring joy and love on a daily basis. I am so proud to be their mother and want to enjoy each precious moment we have together.

3. Matt- he is truely my soul mate and partner. We are a team and as a team we can face anything. Even when we fight I know that we are always together.

4. My parents- I was raised by two awesome Christian partners who continue to teach and guide me. I now realize how poor we were but as a child I was blessed and never thought I was missing our on anything.

5. My job- I can arrange my schedule to spend time with the kids in the mornings, at doctor appointments or whenever needed. I also get to work with my BF.

6. My church family- I recently read a blog where a church family was described as bride. This was a beautiful picture but I prefer to think of mine as a family. We can agree to disagree but always love and support each other.

7. Time alone. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This Halloween we chose a theme..The Wizard of OZ
Matt was the wizard,"voice behind the curtain." I was the yellow brick road, Amanda..Dorthy.. Haley...the scarecrow.. Lily..the good witch...Kendall..toto..and Zach..the tin man.

We even carried the theme to our van for Trunk or Treat

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lily's Eye..the sequel

Yesterday, Matt and I took Lily to another Pediatric Ophthalmologist. My parents volunteered to watch the other little ones and Haley ended up home from school sick. The drive was about an hour and 15 minutes but we plan to make this our permanent change. This doctor was awesome. She answered all the questions we had and explained everything to us and gave us choices! Lily's vision is 20/60 without glass but this is with her eyes crossing. Because glasses correct the crossing then surgery is not in the future. We were final given an explanation regarding patching that made sense. If we do not patch her strong eye then Lily's brain adapts to her poor vision by crossing and then by stopping sending and receiving messages to that eye because they are out of focus. Patching 4 hours a day will last a long time meaning a year or so. The ophthalmologist did agree that Lily's glasses were not the correct power for her. Her new lens will be +9 and +9.25. We ordered the new lens and will pick these up hopefully later this week.

The exciting end to our trip was the side trip to Trader Joe's which is a grocery store specializing in whole foods with a nice selection of gluten free products. We purchased cereal, cookies and pasta for Zach.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October in Review

Blogging- Goal is 5 times a week or 20 a month. I am staying steady in this area, I have blogged a total of 17 times this month, one less than September. We are finally achieving the balance that allows me time to do things I enjoy.

Reading my Bible- Holding stead in this area as well. I am reading a devotion at least 3 times a week. The goal is for me to have a devotional time 5-6 times a week. One of the things that we are trying to add is a couple devotional time. We had done so twice this week but I would hope this becomes at least 3 times a week.

Preschool with Lily and Kendall- This continues to be an area of excellence in our house. I am spending about 2 hours a week getting everything set up. I also get to "teach" usually one day a week. A school readiness person started coming to the house 2x a month to work with all 3 little ones. Matt really enjoyed this time and learned alot from Mrs. Melissa. Lily is work on numbers to 100, she is also learning about money, so far she has learned pennies and nickels. I checked her on the Kindergarten sight word list this past week. Lily recognizes/ reads 7 of the 30 words. Matt continues to work on reading with her in the evenings as well. Kendall is learning by leaps and bounds now. She recognizes a circle and counts to 10. She has started to memorize the ABC song.

Budget-Overall we did well on budget this month. Groceries still remain a huge challenge for us but after looking at it realistically we will be increase the monthly grocery budget to 800 or 26 a person per week. During October I spent around 550 so that is below the budgeted 600 even. We are continuing to eat out of the pantry until at least we leave for MI.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween... Lily style

Lily and Kendall both LOVE to dress up! The can spend hours at a time changing and playing dress up. Thanks to a wonderful couple at church, we have probably close to 15 outfits not counting various shoes and accessories.

Lily is have a blast this year because she was given 3 chance to dress up and "go out in public." Wednesday night, the kids club had a Princess and Pirate party. Lily chose to go as "Sleeping Beauty." Tonight the initial plan was to go with our friends to a Halloween carnival and then to several "Trunk or treats" but both Zach and Kendall were sick. We decide with the cooler weather it would be best to keep them at home tonight so that we could possible enjoy the church event. But our friends took Haley and Lily with them. Lily was a Barbie cheerleader tonight and return with a bucket of candy.

I have personally never been a fan of Halloween and until the past couple of years just avoid the whole thing. But Matt enjoys making costumes as well as apply just the right make up so he likes to have several people to work on. Lily and Kendall both like nothing better so Halloween is now a fun time just because we get to all dress up. This year our church is have a "family" costume contest and we are going as The Wizard of OZ. Amanda is Dorthy, Kendall is Toto, Zach is the Tin Man, Haley is the Scarecrow, Lily is the "cotton candy" good witch Glenda, Matt is the "wizard behind the curtain' and I am the yellow brick road. I hope to get a couple of awesome pictures to post.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Yeap, I know that is not grammatically correct and sounds strange to boot but that is what today was officially known as at least that Haley's High School. I am very proud of her today and wanted to share just how awesome she is.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. No one in our immediate family has been affected by this disease but Haley has several friends who have been. She was upset to learn that her school had no intention of doing anything to acknowledge this month so she decided to do something about it. She went to the principal and talked about it. This was the first of several meeting with the principal, followed by meeting with student government. Haley was able to not only convince her principal to acknowledge this day but she even worked out that anyone who was wearing pink today in support got an extra break. Haley is still amazed that she is given 100% of the credit for this event and she was excited to take part it in today.

Congratulations Haley, I know that once you can about something you are not ashamed to stand up and be recognized!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It Pays to Eat Pasta

This is something I have never done before but you know a year worth of free groceries or for us 6 months of free groceries are worth it. Click the link below and I get an extra chance to win. Please and thank you


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Last year was the first and only year that I have dressed up for Trick or Treating with the kids so I thought it was worth a post

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Boy do I have alot of these....

We are going to enter the family costume contest at the church on Sunday night. I can't give away too much but all seven of us are going and we have a theme. I promise pictures next week for sure.

I am working ALOT this week. When I say alot I mean that I am schedule for both the hospital and the nursing home every day this week. This will not last long as of next week I am down to 2 days a week at the nursing home until December. With the change of rehab directors I am unsure how much of the schedule will last but at least for this week I can complain of being tired.

Matt and I are starting a couple's devotional time. We hope this will help deepen our faith and keep our marriage strong.

I have already started a list of things that need to get done before our trip and it appears that it just may be a smooth transition because of the busy week is the one just prior to our trip so I have to get as much done ahead of time as possible.

Potty training with Kendall is frustrating. We think she is starting to get the idea then then she pees in her panties 3 times in an hour. GRRRRR I was so hoping to have her trained prior to the trip but I seriously wonder if this is possible.

Kendall and Zach are now in the same room. We are only using the room for sleeping so it is not a big deal. Nap times are a nightmare. But after falling asleep they both slept at least 8 hour straight last night which is better than average prior to moving them in the same room.

I have decided that we are all are affected by the dreary weather because the mood around here tonight is YUCKY!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grocery Budget...the good...bad and ugly

I have been really trying to get us on a strict budget this year. One of the areas that I seem to continual struggle in is grocery shopping. As you know, Matt and I decided to clean out our cupboard/freezer starting exactly a month ago. I have been sticking to shopping only for things we are out of and of course CVS. Unfortunately on Thursday we were in town with Costco and went to pick up the items on the list. I can say that we stuck very closely to the list and only add things after discussion. The one exception was "gluten free" crackers we found and bought but Zach because they are delicious and he loves to have crunch foods. We bought drinks for Haley and I at lunch, cleaning wipes, swiffers, milk, eggs, bread, bananas and bacon. Our total was $120 that pushes the total for the month to $420 and with the $40 Matt just took to Walmart for Formula and creamer and diet coke. We are pushing $500 for the month. At this point we are starting to consider if the budget of $600 a month is realistic or should be increase that to $800. At $800 that is approximately $125 a person or $29 a week per person. Looking at the number $800 sounds like a lot but when you take that down to $30 a person a week that seems reasonable, especially when you include diapers for 2, formula and Gluten free foods for Zach and household cleaning products. So I am pretty convinced that I will again increase the budget to set it at $800 a month. But since finding 5 lbs of Hamburger and getting Angel Food in this week. we are also both convinced that we will continue to eat out of the freezers/cupboard until we leave for our trip at Thanksgiving. I am planning on having the first Monday off after arriving home and we most like will make a HUGE trip to Costco at that time unless we realize that we have enough food to go another week. :) Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eye Appointment

Today, both Lily and Kendall had an eye appointment with the specialist in Greensboro. Both the girls were awesome and for the most part well behaved. Kendall is so young that basically they look at her eyes and nothing has changed with her. We are to return in 9 months, when she can hopefully read the charts and we can get a better idea of what she is seeing. On the down side, she managed to break a pair of glasses in half on the way home.

Lily is a different story. It has been a year since her vision has been checked. At that point she was 3 and they were uncertain if she was reading the chart right. Today, we were asked if she knew all her letters. She does and is accurate all the time if she is seeing correctly. Matt and I both were concerned when at 60 she could not read the chart with her right eye in glasses. After doing some testing with her, the doctor determined that her vision has gotten worse. Personally, I am unsure if it has gotten worse or they were wrong the first time with her. Both eyes have changed by +2.70. Her prescription is now a +8.5 and +9. This is only increasing her prescription by +1.5. The doctor also wants us to patch Lily's good(left) eye for 4 hours a day. We were given a princess patch to use today. I asked several questions but still am not sure of the answers I got. Basically, I know that she is far sighted, according to this doctor this is going to worsen. The patching is to strengthen her bad eye and should be short in duration. Far sightedness does not correspond to 20/20 or 20/40. We should only be concerned if her corrected vision is not 20/40. After talking with my mother tonight, Matt and I are in agreement that we are going to seek a second opinion just to make us feel better. We should get this arranged in the next week or so.

One of the problems we have is that the doctor asked us to remove Kendall and Zach because he did not want to talk over them. We don't have a problem with that but he was rude in the way he asked/ told us he would not continue until they were gone. He also was offended that I asked at what point does Lily have a visual impairment.

The other problem is my personal thought about patching. I don't like the idea of limiting her sight. I don't think she should be punished because she is not seeing. I understand the principle but don't agree with it. So hopefully another doctor will be more helpful. Or at least I can say that this is definitely the way things need to be done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-the new bed

So here is the air mattress we have been sleeping on for 6 months.

Here are pictures of the new bed..It is awesome but we are saving the air mattress "in case of a water landing." per Matt

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Randon Thoughts Tuesday

I am so glad I get to post this tonight. I have ALOT of Random thoughts right now.

Square Foot Gardening is over. Tonight we ended up going and pulling up the remaining watermelon plants as parts were dead. We left the pepper plants as they still have blooms on them and some small peppers. I also left the basil it is starting to flower but it smells so good that I will just go out and smell it. We definitely learned alot and hopefully next year will expand to 3 boxes and actually grow enough to enjoy several times. The key things for us to remember is water water water and we need to start the new plants inside in January.

Zach is so proud of himself for two reasons today. First he has learned to climb. He can climb in the small rocking chair, on Kendall's bed and of course on top of the toys. He also has discovered he can drive out of Kendall's cup. We are very careful that it has only water or juice but he is so happy just to get it.

Our eat out of the pantry challenge may end a week sooner than we originally hoped for and 4 weeks then my dream. The reason is that we are starting to run out of food such as bacon and juice. Haley also needs more Fruit2Os for school. I know that we will probably end up going to Costco on Thursday while we are in Greensboro. If we can buy only the items we are out of then I will be very very excited and happy. Maybe if we make a small trip then continue with the plan it will work out.

I have decided that I really really really dislike working at the Nursing home. I feel like I go in and really just loose track of time and never seem to get out at a decent time. I have already scheduled myself through the end of the year. I am hoping that I can at that point stop doing it on a regular basis but that will me a lot more work at the hospital. It is just so hard to juggle to two jobs. I have been scheduled to work every day at the nursing home next week so hopefuls that will keep me motivated to get our budget down.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

CVS Game

I shop at CVS differently then most of what I have been reading lately. There are several reason for this first with 2 in diapers, I have to be able to supply these and still try to stay on a budget. I also enjoy the challenge of finding good deals. I rarely save ECBs. My thought is why keep free money, I am also afraid of losing or letting it expire. I probably made my best trip to CVS yesterday...looked at in isolation there is no way you can't be impressed. I spent $0.80, saved 95% or $15.47 and earned an ECB as well. But this is just one of 3 trips this week.

Last Sunday, I made my weekly trip, I discovered a monthly deal on AZO anti-itch wipes and lotion over at Couponing to Disney. It is a monthly long deal. Original price was $6.99, coupon for $2 off making the product 4.99 plus you receive 5 ECB back with each purchase. This deal can be completed 3 times. I bought 2 of these items last Sunday and got a rain check for an additional 5 because the store was out. I returned on Wednesday to the store and they were still out so I decided to go to Thomasville. On Thursday, I went purchased the other 3 for my monthly limit as well as 3 bags of candy and a bag of candy corn, with coupons I spent 16.87 and received 15 ECB back. I used these on Saturday at CVS to purchase the Formula, Zach needed. So as you can see this is a game. Currently, I can repeat this deal using Amanda's card prior to the end of the month and also until my coupons run out in December I can do another 5 on my card with the rain check I received. These items will get used around here but they would not be something I would normally buy. In reality I earn one cent for each time I buy so I buy use and then purchase what we really need with ECB. Are you playing the CVS game? Share how you play!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Catch UP

This week has been busy as usual. I was trying to decide what made it so busy that I have not been able to post...the only thing I can come up with is that I worked on quizzing every night to prepare for our monthly meet today. At least I have part of the morning before heading that way. So here is the long and short of the week.

Eat out of the pantry/No grocery shopping for the month of October. So far so good, we have had to buy Diet Cokes, cream, milk, formula and eggs. The one exception is that we bought cake mix and icing for Amanda's cake. But we returned a battery cores so this technically no money was spent on this. I am not sure if I said this upfront but I am continuing to shop at CVS as usual. I do count this in our grocery budget but I usually only buy sale items that we use in the stock pile and diapers. So far for the month we have spent 200 this includes our Angel Food so that is about 1/3 of what I usually budget and 1/4 of what we have been spending. The next 3-5 weeks depending on how long we can actually go will be challenging simply because the food we have left requires thought and preparation. Matt has been using the crock pot several days this week.

Kendall is doing really well with potty training. She has been staying day most days with only 1 accident per day.

CVS has an awesome monthly long deal on AZO products so I have made several trips this week but next week looks lame. I am saving over 80% on all the trips.

The other big news this week is that we finally bought a bed for Matt and I. I will be posting before and after pictures for Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Firstborn

Happy 19th birthday to Amanda..the first born...the sissy. Yesterday, Sunday we went to Olive Garden with some friends to celebrate Amanda's birthday. It was actually a fun time for all of us to be together and talk and laugh. I always get nervous when we attempt to go out to eat because it can turn very ugly if the little are not exactly right. Last night, Kendall managed to dump a bowl of salad on the floor but that was the majority of the mess.

Lily decided this morning to ask Amanda if she wanted a "store cake" or a "Lily cake" of course Amanda decided on the Lily cake. So Matt and Lily made the cake while I was at work. I got home in time to frost the cake and then Lily decorated the cake. It was awesome.

This has been a long hard year on Amanda and I am praying that brighter days are ahead as she grows into the Woman I have been praying for all these years! Happy Birthday AMANDA and remember we all LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I am tired...wish I was here...