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.

Diet- FAILED!

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

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!