Saturday, November 28, 2009

Auburn, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & a Big Bowl of Jelly

Dustin and I went to the AU vs. Furman game this year. We even got to go without kids! The weather was amazing, the company was perfect and the game was a big Auburn win. It was such a great trip down to Auburn.

Maybe this is more common than I realized, but since we don't get to see this on TV, I was surprised to see a group of Auburn players and Trooper Taylor kneeling and praying before the game. How awesome is that?

Many of you know we had a rough couple of weeks recently. It was officially kicked off with a boom when our NEW hot water heater busted and flooded our house and Jacob was diagnosed with Pneumonia on that same day (fever of 105). Dustin was in substantial meetings at work with prospects that he couldn't get out of and I was...well....I wasn't having the best day of my life! However, ServPro came out and did their thing. It meant the kids and I had to leave our Wind Tunnel of a house for about 3 days though. This is some of the equipment that was in the backroom and hallway. There were equally as many fans and dehumidifiers in Jacobs Room and Dylans Room. ServPro was amazing in doing this as carefully as possible - they managed to replace all of the carpet padding effected without destroying my house.

If you know my mom, you know this is unlike her. She had saved a huge box from work and brought it home to be a castle for the boys to play in DOWNSTAIRS. They love it. So for Christmas she brought it UPSTAIRS and we decorated it. She is actually leaving this in her living room for the holidays....Quite a site to see in Liz Johnson's Southern Living worthy home!

GiGi has a collection of Nutcrackers the boys have grown quite fond of. Thanks to Super glue, they get to play with them :)

Over the years mom has collected the Dicken's Village pieces. Her collection is quite impressive and Matt's skills at putting the village together are pretty amazing too.

The boys think of it as a big playground. Lots of little people and houses to play with (and don't forget the snow). Matt about has a panic attack when they are around it and modify his strategic layout, but nothing has broken yet!

I took the boys to see Santa last week. Jacob took letters (one for him and one for Dylan). He loved it. Dylan - not so sure! He talked about it and seemed excited, but when he saw Santa he freaked. Screamed and held on to me like there was no tomorrow. However! When Santa offered him a Candy Cane....he Immediately perked up and said "Sure!", Sat on his lap, talked to him and smiled big for the picture. It was very funny to see the immediate transition. (PLEASE NOTE THE GREEN FROGS BOOTS HE INSISTED ON WEARING!!)

I was lucky enough to get to go visit Jacob's class for their Thanksgiving Feast with Mrs. Burk's class next door. We had soup and fruit salad the kids made and then did several different craft projects.

Jacob with his 2 best buddies in his class - Paul Davis and Alec.

Story time with Mrs. April.
Jacob was pretty fascinated with the idea of cooking a turkey. He said for days he wanted to go to a Turkey Farm, kill a turkey and cook it....What? I was pretty sure the idea of something like that would freak Jacob out. He wanted to know where the turkey's head was when Daddy was prepping it and where his feet and wings were.

This was hilarious. I was doing a little video on what they were thankful for and Jacob ran with it. Not sure where he comes up with this stuff, but I'm glad I got this on video!

** After you watch it once, replay it and listen to Jacob after Dustin says "Preppin' the Bird". Jacob's interpretation will make you laugh! Was that a Plurpin' I heard?

And to end our Thanksgiving Feast, Jacob had a MOVIE THEATER set up in the backroom (playroom). He brought in the office chair, folding chairs, childrens wooden chairs, etc. He turned off the lights and welcomed everyone to the showing of "Hero of the Rails". About 10 minutes later (yes, we all participated, how could we not?) he said "Ok, thank you for coming, next time you can come watch the whole thing", turned on the lights and shook everyone's hand as they left. Dustin and I had nothing to do with this at all - and I don't even know what triggered the idea for him. But it was so precious seeing him so happy and seeing our families cooperate with his master plan!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deals of the Day

New Years Resolution? Blog more often. I think since I started posting stuff on Facebook, I feel like the blog is redundant. But I will try to remember that not everyone is on Facebook!

As I wrap up my Christmas Shopping for everyone other than my kids, I wanted to share some of my new favorite websites for online shopping. You can find some really good deals and unique items this way!

Here are a few of my favorites to watch:
    New Deal each day - check the kids woot too!
    Several deals listed each day
    get a free 8x10 canvas of one of your photos - shipping is $14.95
    Toys R Us finally has a "points" reward program to earn credit the more your shop - great timing for Christmas shopping! They will give you a keychain tag
    Register your debit or credit cards and each time you spend money using those cards you get points which turn into credit. I got a $10 credit just for signing up.
    This is a grocery site - but they have Amazing tips on how to save big. Dustin managed to Save $92 on our grocery bill last week from Publix!! $92!! She has great tips on how to go "CVS-ing" and use deals, coupons, and reward cards together in the best combination possible
    This is a site where people can make stuff and post it for sale. Thing is, these people are crazy talented! You can find some very unique stuff in there and for reasonable costs. I'm planning on using this site to find my Christmas Card Design and then print them on my own. So that makes it unique, custom and cheap! Doesnt get much better than that!

So enjoy these sites and one other benefit - No Trouble Parking and No Crowds!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Photos

Just wanted to post a few pictures that Laura's friend Mary Smith took of the boys. These were taken this summer, but better late than never on posting them?! I love some of the moments she captured with them...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting Crafty

I've been feeling crafty lately. Not that I have the time for it, but I have to do something here and there to get the craft bug out of me. Here are a few things we've been up to around here in regards to making things...

I made a Fall Wreath for our Red Front Door this weekend. All of the materials cost me less than $20. And there is far more on this wreath than any of the premade wreaths that cost more. Old Time Pottery - Love that place!

This is one of my best Thrift Store finds. I found a 3'x4' chaulk board and bulletin board in the same trip. The Chaulk board was $4.88 and the Bulletin Board was $3.88! So I got to provide a great creative outlet spot in our playroom for the boys for less than $10!

Jacob is collecting Box Tops for his school. They make a big deal out of this (especially with financial strains these days) and earn around $5K per year from them. That's pretty amazing considering each one is worth 10 cents! They are having a contest right now that ends Oct 2 and the winning class from each grade gets a party. He's certainly doing his part! If you have any Box Tops, will you let me know? We'd love to get them!
Many of you know my mom had surgery on her spine recently. She's been having a hard time and is starting her 2nd week of recovery. During the first few days, Matt, Laura and I made Bird Baloons for, we really did. We laughed the whole time. Notice Matt's Red Bird in front. It had a hole in it and deflated shortly after he finished making it. Thanks Martha Stewart for the handy packaged supplies Laura found.

Jacob and I experienced Build a Bear for the first time about a week ago at a birthday party for his friend Regan. I was so excited because 1. Jacob really liked this place and 2. It's the closest thing to dressing up a doll that I'm going to get! Jacob chose the Tiger, named him Aubie and I got him an AU shirt. We've since been back for shoes and Jammies for Aubie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School for Dylan

Dilly-Willy-Snickle-Pickle-Boy-Boy-Boy started 2K today! He was excited when he realized where where we were going. He walked in by himself and only got anxious when we were in the classroom and several other kids were having a hard time. But I got him interested in the bucket of plastic farm animals and he was good from there.
Do you realize what this means for me?! I get to work Monday-Friday from 9-1 without kids. In return, I might get to start going to bed at a reasonable hour. This is so exciting!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Alive!

How in the world is my last entry on July 12? I am still alive, I promise. I was fully anticipating blogging about once a week during the summer. You know, the lazy days of summer…what else was I gonna do? Um...that didn't quite happen!

So this is a catch up session! Summer was great…Here are the highlights…. 2 Beach Trips, Lots of Play Dates with Emily and Daniel, Lots of “Water Park” Days in our front yard with friends or just us, lots of Mommy Work NIGHTS and Lots of Library trips. We read at least 1 new book each night with Jacob over the summer and kept a list of all the books. It was around 67 new books!

Content Creations (my website design business) has been busier than ever. I’m currently working on new projects that span 6 states and have a client base of around 60 clients. I have been so blessed. With each project I gain ideas and knowledge and confidence. Let’s admit it, I have a Business Management degree…what makes it ok for me to design websites?! But I’m continuing to learn and grow with each and every project. I Love what I'm doing.

Dustin is still working hard at McLeod as the Custom Programming Manager. He has a big team of smart guys and from what I can tell, he’s a pretty good manager. He recently joined the Board for the Helena Soccer League. Jacob is playing Baseball this fall though – he wanted to try it, so we’re gonna let him.

Jacob started Kindergarten! He has Ms. April at Helena Elementary School (see her blog listed to the right) and she is wonderful. Jacob has maintained an active interest in learning to read since the day he started school. It warms my heart to see him excited like this.

Dylan starts 2K Tuesday! Tuesday cannot get here soon enough! He’s been lonely without Jacob being here each day, but he has learned to play on his own really well. Plus he has made some really good friends in Daniel and Emily. He’ll be going to school 5 days a week, so Content Creations will be free to get so much more done.

Today the Elementary School had their Boosterthon Fun Run. This was a GREAT idea! The kids have been collecting donations and pledges for each lap he runs. This is the school's biggest fundraiser and it's all very cool how it works. Bottom line - he ran 19 laps! With the donations they collected along the way they got prizes like sweatband, shoe laces, sunglasses, etc. This was among one of Jacob's first couple of laps. (note: smiling and running!)

I made a sign for our class. They are the All Stars. So I waved it around and cheered for their class as they came by. I actually ended up doing 14 laps myself. One little girl didnt have a parent there and was completely freaked by the whole thing. I just held her hand and we walked the whole time. But it actually enabled me to get to know several of Jacob's classmates by doing that.

This is Jacob with 3 of his buddies in his class. These girls all sit at the same table as he does. It was very cute and impressive in how supportive they were of each other.

After the Fun Run, I went back to their classroom with them while they enjoyed a popsicle. They were all eager to show me what color they got. "You get what you get and you dont pitch a fit"

This is after his first day of school. He's riding the bus to and from school and he says riding the bus is his favorite thing about Kindergarten! Did I mention he gets picked up and dropped off at our driveway?!?!

Jacob and Dylan riding on Emily and Daniel's Gator. They were too cute. I wish we lived on a street where they could do that without risk of being run over.

Earlier in the summer we had a South Forrest Posse Reunion. The 6 of us have been friends since Elementary School. Five of us lived on the same street (South Forrest Drive). We all have hubbies now and most of us have kids too. This was such a great get-together. Not sure why we dont do it more often. Oh yeah, most of us have kids...

This is the cool Catepiller I found last week. It was Huge! I caught it and put it in Jacob's Bug Box so Dustin and Jacob could see it. It's skin was super hard. No clue what kind of Catepiller it is but bet it'll turn into a moth.

I've been painting lots too! Here is the Painting Class at Calera UMC with my mother-in-law and Sister-in-law. We had a great time and isn't it cool how different they all turned out?!

This was Sips N Strokes last Friday night. Most of these girls work with Dustin. We had a great time but gosh that painting was difficult! The "Sips" made it bearable though!

This is random I know, but my stepmother Carol reached her 10 year anniversary with Whiteplume Technologies a month or so ago. Her employees (support & implementation=travelers) have been planning this for a long time. They created this art piece on a piece of wood the size of a door. It is made up Entirely of Hotel Key Cards from their travels to client offices. Even the feather is made up of key cards they shredded. I can't believe how amazing this turned out!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes....

Jacob and Dylan this morning before church. They are wearing the rare matching outfit, so I was trying to take a picture. Best I could get was of them laying down. So much for capturing the outfits!
I had 2 little conversations we've had with Jacob that I wanted to share. I love hearing what kids come up with. They have untainted little minds and everything is so literal.

Last week I was in the car with the kids and here is how this conversation went:
Jacob: "Mom, I'm afraid to go to heaven when I die"
Me: "Oh, No! It's the most perfect place you could imagine. It will have all of the things there that you love!"
Jacob: "Will it have trains and Ring Pops"?
Me: "I'm sure it will"
Jacob: "Can I have Ring Pops for breakfast"?
Me: "That's going to be between you and God"!

He went to VBS last week, and between that and all of the celebrity deaths that were going on, I think that's what sparked that. But what better place could a 5 year old boy imagine than one with Trains and Ring Pops!

Then on Friday night the 4 of us had gone out and about and ended the night with a treat from Dairy Queen. Here is how this exchange went:
Jacob: "Hey Mom and Dad, you know what?" (laughing to himself) "God is in my heart and he's looking up and drinking my ice cream!"
- he leans his head back like he imagines God is and acts like he's catching ice cream in his mouth
Jacob: "Except it's getting all over his head!"
-and he started rubbing his hands through his hair like he thought God might be

We were all laughing. Jacob was pretty amused with his thoughts. Dustin and I were laughing at how he was literally taking "God is in my heart" to mean there was a little man in his heart and he was looking up and trying to drink this ice cream that was splashing all over the place!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This, That and a Train in Hair

I told you I was going to catch up! Today I'm posting a few random pictures and a cute video from the beach of Dylan. Stay tuned at the bottom for my ever so important environmental/financial tip of the day!

Dustin and the boys at a Baron's Game.

Aunt Laura playing with the boys. We all lauged so hard at them attacking her. Dylan would get up on her feet and curl his legs backward and up towards the ceiling. There is a video at the bottom of this post of her doing this.

Last night we had Shannon come over with her girls. They live in Huntsville, so we don't get to see them often, but when we do, the kids sure have a great time! In fact, somehow Lily got this train tangled in her hair. Her hair, which has never been cut. Her hair, which I didn't want to be cut for the first time because one of my kids toys was extremely tangled in it! Dustin ended up taking the train completely apart to save her hair. Lily was super patient while Mr. Dustin used a screwdriver save the day.

Jacob, Erin, Dylan, Lily and Bailey

Dylan loving the ocean.
He even prays for the beach each night since this trip
("thank you for the beach")

Aunt Laura and the boys. Dylan doing his weird pose!

Exciting tip of the day:
I've added in my 2 cents on how to better use a train table (turn it into a zoo), how to save your camera when in your purse (a baby sock), and so on, so I'm going to keep posting little tidbits I learn that make my life easier and the environment a little cleaner, or the wallet a little fuller.

Dryer Sheets:
Most of us use Dryer Sheets to keep our clothes from coming out of the dryer in a big ball of static mess. A little trick I learned was to buy a box of dryer sheets and when you get home, cut the stack in half. Yep, cut each sheet into 2 pieces. Then use 1/2 of a dryer sheet with each load. It's a small change, but it makes the box last twice as long and leaves half the waste per load. And it still does the job!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Anyone still out there?

For those of you still out there who have had the faith I would eventually update this blog, this one's for you! The past two weeks have been rough. We got home from Cape San Blas and Jacob got Bronchitis and a Viral Lung Infection. As soon as he recovered, Dylan got sick and then early last week I got Walking Pneumonia.

So we're looking forward to a regular, normal week where we are not locked up in the house due to an illness! I have lots to update on here are a few to get us started....

My biggest news is that Dylan (a mere 24 months old) is Potty Trained! While he's literally "Potty" trained, we still have to conquer the other business. But he has completely done this on his own. I had no intentions of trying to do this for about another year. He's thinking Pull-ups are pretty cool and refuses to wear a diaper. How great is this!?

We had a partial Family Cookout with my Dad's family on May 30th. The picture of Dylan above is of him copying the big kids making a silly face.

This is Jacob and his cousin Allison. These two had a blast together.

This is some of the crew hanging out on the deck watching many of the kids play a game of baseball in the backyard.

On the day before we left for Cape San Blas, my mom had a special treat for the boys. She bought them some books and had a "Book Hunt" in her backyard (thinking Easter Egg Hunt). The boys each got a bag and searched for books throughout the yard. They thought this was a pretty cool idea! Jacob and I are on a roll with reading 1-2 New books every night. We've got a list we're keeping of each new book, so these additions were all welcome!

This is Dylan finding a book in the fern! Thanks Gigi!

Have a train table that sits alone and unplayed with? Here is our newest use of the train table. Turn it into a Zoo! We gathered all the different animals from around the house and even setup a train to go around the zoo. Both boys played with this way longer than I ever anticipated!