Finally Recess
Time to sit back and have a cup of coffee

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

I turned 26 this weekend boy did I get spoiled!  My class surprised me with a beautiful cake and then had flowers delivered.  To top it off they brought in lunch from Chiloso's - Yummy!
I was testing students all day Friday.  So when the flowers arrived I asked the little guy I was testing, "Did you know about the flowers?"  He said with the most assured smile, "Yes, I planned it!"  So stinking cute!!!!

Saturday, Jeff sent me to the most fabulous spa for the entire day.  I had a massage, body wrap, pedicure, lunch, and had my hair shampooed and styled!  That evening, Jeff and I went to the most amazing dinner at Charlie Palmers.  It was phenomenal. 

I could not have asked for a better day.  I have the best class, family and husband to celebrate turning 26 with!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things to Make My Life Easier

Life is hard but when we find things that can make our lives easier I think we would share the wealth!  I fully believe the motto "Work Smarter and not Harder".  So here are some things that are making my life easier.  Some cost money and some you probably already know, but for giggles and grins here goes!

  • With Caitlyn starting Kindergarten we have been picking out her clothes on Sunday night for the week.  We pick out everything down to panties, shoes, socks and bows.  I will not allow her to stray from this outfit for any reason because I do not want to start any habits.  Sunday nights can be challenging when we are getting everything ready for the week (including dance clothes) but I am so thankful every morning when she brings her clothes down or comes down already dressed.  I'm just wondering why I don't do this for myself yet?
  • Just last week I started ordering 2 meals a week from a lady that makes homemade meals in her home.  I had heard about her last year and pondered doing this but felt like I needed to be making meals for my family.  Honestly, that didn't happen very often and we ended up going out to eat or "the bewitching 5 o'clock hour" (when everyone wants your attention, the dog, the kids, the meal, the mail, the laundry, the phone, someone at the door, etc) happened at our house while I tried to make dinner and it wasn't pleasant at all.  I ended up stressed and on top of that I had dishes to do and papers to grade and was extremely tired.  All I really wanted to do was play with my children.  Buying a couple meals a week allows me to do this.  I come home, warm up the oven and hang out with the puppies and the kids.  It is so much more relaxing and the dinners are fabulous!  This is a great business endeavor for stay-at-home moms!
  • I bag up carrots, goldfish, veggie chips, grapes, and any other snacks that I can for easy grabbing during the week for lunches and snacks.
  • I make lunches and prepare snacks and water bottles at night.
  • Keep shoes in a basket at the front door until we can put them in the right place every couple weeks.  We can always find shoes in our closets or at the front door and we don't have to search all over the house or trip over shoes.
  • Work from a list 
  • As I'm working or cleaning downstairs and I find things that belong upstairs I put them on the stairs and vice-a-versa upstairs.  Then when I make a trip upstairs I always make sure I don't go empty handed and if I'm really lucky they have already made their way upstairs without my help!

Things I try to do and would really help me out if I did them on a regular basis:
  • Clean off the counter every night
  • Do the dishes every night
  • When I think of it, do it, right then!
  • Put the laundry away immediately.
  • Do a load of laundry every day.
  • Stay off the computer until after 9:00.
What are your tricks to save you time and make your life easier?  I would love to know!

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Happy 3rd Birthday Brent

    It doesn't seem long ago that we rushed to the hospital to have Brent.  
    But today my baby turned 3 years old.  WOW!  He his a a walking, clearly talking, sweet baby boy that is (PTL!) potty trained.
    He is checking out his independence more and doesn't really care to hold my hand as much.  He can do "everything" himself and it is no longer his favorite thing to give me hugs and kisses (they are now quick and let's get it over with.  BOO!)  But if I take him to the deer lease and let him run and play all day long, he will be so tired that he will snuggle and sleep with me around the campfire and I love that!

    For his birthday we took him to Chuck E Cheese and of course he loved it.  His favorite thing to do there is play football, basketball or ski ball.  Do you see a theme with this boy?  He could really care less about opening his presents because all he wanted to do was play.  But we forced convinced him.  He got 2 new trains for his track, a Toy Story Lego set, a sand box in the backyard, a new basketball that is coming, and a book from Grandpa and Grandma.  He is a very blessed boy.

    Caitlyn was so excited to celebrate Brent's birthday all day!  These two precious angels also got to enjoy homemade chocolate chip cupcakes from our dear friend Miss Jenn.

    Happy Birthday Brent!

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Aunt Betty

    Aunt Betty in her element (cooking a big breakfast for everyone)
    Jeff had lost touch with his great Aunt Betty and Uncle Sunny for the majority of his life.  I remember sending them an invitation when we got married but they were unable to make it to our wedding because they lived in Australia at the time.  They recently moved to Missouri on a beautiful farm with deer that attracted Jeff and tractors and barns that Brent adored.  But even more than all these things we all just loved Aunt Betty.

    She was strong and dynamic.  Outgoing and funny.  She lived to take care of others and could flat run circles around me and a handful of others at the same time.

    Her cooking was phenomenal. She insisted on making everyone's favorite at each meal and she made the best jam that she would send home with us every time she came.  It did not matter what time of day or evening we got there she would get up and offer us something to eat.  I'm not just talking about a snack or a sandwich but a complete meal.
    She loved her babies
     We played cards late into the night and between each meal (and she won 9 out of 10 times), we drove into Branson and shopped, and we stayed up late into the wee hours talking.

    She would repeat stories sometimes but I didn't mind.  I would just take it all in.  I loved hearing about Jeff's family and how important family is to her.  I enjoyed when she pulled out the photo albums and we found a few pictures of Jeff when he was little. 

    Uncle sunny and Aunt Betty at the annual 4th of July celebration
    She bottle fed calves when needed
    She insisted on having the children come and stay with her for a week in the summer and she came to see us too and went to the Great Wolf Lodge water park.  She loved the rides!
    Our final picture at Great Wolf Lodge

    Aunt Betty and Uncle Sunny loved each other so much.  They didn't just live together but you could see their love.  They checked in on each other throughout the day and doted on each other.  I loved seeing their love.

    Aunt Betty lived fast and furiously and she died the same way.  She was diagnosed with lung cancer the week before July 4th.  Sadly, she died 2 months later on Labor Day.  Jeff and I are still in shock.  She was an amazing person and we wish we could have reconnected with her earlier.  We are beyond grateful that we had these years with her.

    Caitlyn had a hard time with Gigi and Chauncey dying so Jeff and I were nervous about telling her.  She only asked if Uncle Sunny would still live at the farm with the the barn and immediately started talking about Chauncey.  It does make it kind of tough because we are not going to Missouri at this time because  Aunt Betty did not want a service so we will go to Missouri when things settle down to check on Uncle Sunny.  I'm sure it will be more real for Caitlyn at that time and actually for me too.

    Time Flies

    So much has been going on around here.  I'm amazed at how fast time flies.  

    • Caitlyn has lost her first tooth and is watching daily for new tooth to grow in (which is happening).
    • Sadie is already learning to go to the door and ask to go outside most of the time!  Yippee!
    • Brent turns 3 tomorrow.  Wow!  Talk about flying time.
    • Caitlyn started school two weeks ago and is doing really good.  She knows both word walls and already knows who she is going to marry.  Not bad for just starting school.  Haha!
    • Hunting season has finally started for Jeff again.  At least one of us is thrilled.
    • Brent is potty trained.  I was almost beginning to think that wouldn't happen.
    • Teaching a grade level the 2nd year at the same school is sooooo much easier and I love that.
    • Our family took our first hunting trip together (all four of us) this weekend and we stirred up a lot of dust.
    • We have enjoyed a Rangers game with great seats even if it meant melting, literally!