Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New Tradition

I think we have started a new tradition in our family for Christmas day. A teacher at my kids school organizes a day for some recruits from a near by military base. His son was a solider and was killed in Afghanistan about 3 years ago, leaving behind a wife and daughter. Last year was the first year he had the event. We didn't know about it until afterward. This year we decided that we would spend our Christmas there serving them. It was the BEST thing our family could ever have done. It was an amazing day. We got there early and started working in the kitchen making the food. Then when we got word they were almost here we all lined the halls of the school to welcome them. There was a ton of people there, my guess is about 300, could of been more?! As they walked down the hall people clapped and told them Merry Christmas! Several of them were so moved they were crying. They had some food and then were able to talk on the phone or skype with their families. People let them use their cell phones...Jeff came home with several different locations called from his phone! There was also an arcade area for them to relax and play. It was so neat to see my kids serving along side of us. And they really did work. On our way home we heard, "That was so fun!" "Can we do that again?" Here is the best part, in my opinion. When we got up this morning we only opened our stockings. All the presents stayed under the tree until we got home AFTER serving. It was a very great Christmas.    

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For my own record...

Sweetest Conversation with Peanut to date...
We were driving in the car just her and I a couple of Saturdays ago. She told me, "In Bible class my teacher, Mrs. D. told me that in Papua New Guinea the people celebrate Christmas without having a Christmas tree. Did you know you could celebrate Christmas without a tree?" Me, "Yes, did you know that you can still celebrate Christmas without a tree and presents?" She thinks for a second and says, "Yes". Then I asked her, "How are some ways we can celebrate Christmas if we don't have a tree or presents?" She thought for a moment and said excitedly, "We could sing praise songs to Jesus!" Me, "Yup that would be a great way to celebrate Christmas. Can you think of any other way we could celebrate?" Peanut, "Um we could read the Bible." Me, "Yes, what story in the Bible could we read?" She says, "Adam and Eve!" I told her, "We could read that but can you think of another story we could read to help us celebrate Christmas?" She got really excited and said, "We could read about Jesus' birth!" I told her, "That is right. That would be the perfect story. Can you think of any other way to celebrate?" She thought for a few minutes and finally said, "Yeah we could tell God all the things we are thankful for!" Then she started listing them. I told her she was right and asked her again if she could think of any other way to celebrate. When she couldn't think of anything else I told her that the three she had thought of were great ways to celebrate Christmas. I just love that at the age of 6 years old she can understand why we celebrate Christmas, that it isn't about the tree or presents. I love this girl with all my heart and I love her heart too!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Another year of Awana has come to an end. By this point in the year it is nice to have a break from the weekly Awana clubs. However this year is a BIG year for us. Our oldest is officially done with the program and moving on to our churches Jr. High Youth group...which Jeff and I help out with. I am super excited to have her there but also sad she is old enough to be done with Awana. It is a catch 22 to for me. BUT I will say that she made me SO proud at the Awana Award Ceremony because she was one of 2 girls who finished her 4th book and got the Timothy Award, the hardest one to receive. It was a proud mama moment for me. Monkey also got an award for finishing his 3rd book which he was only one of 5 boys to finish he is nervous about next year because he barely completed the 3rd book in time! Red graduated from Sparks to Boys T & T (Truth and Training) he finished his 3rd book of sparks and got a ribbon but they also gave him props for not only finishing his book once but reviewing it all! Then the part that was the most difficult for me was that my baby graduated from Cubbie and is now a Spark! Oy she is growing too fast. She finished her book too! So proud of all my kids and wanted to document their wonderful accomplishments of memorizing so many Bible verses. I am so impressed because memorizing is not one of my strengthens.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Note worthy

Friday night was the winter sports banquet at school. Monkey's basketball team had their award ceremony where the coach talks about each kid on the team. It is always a great night. We went to the banquet not expecting anything. There are four trophies that get awarded for each team and there are 7 boys on the jv basketball team. We sit down to start the ceremony and next thing I know me, my friend and a dad get called up infront of everyone. Yipes. My friend and I were the team moms and the dad helped with a lot if not all the practices. They gave us each a card with a gift card inside. Then the boys gave us moms roses! I was so NOT expecting that. It was super sweet and totally a surprise.  Then started the good stuff. The time came when they announced Monkey name and had him stand up infront of everyone so they could talk about him. THEN they gave him the team captain trophy....AND the Charger Award. Jeff said that the Charger Award is the most highly wanted award. The plaque says, "presented to the athlete who most exemplifies the Charger spirit in Leadership, in Ability, in Teamwork." He was so shocked to have gotten any but to receive TWO, so proud of him. It was such an amazing night and all his hard work paid off. I must say that watching him throughout his basketball season you can tell that he got much better as time went on.

Then today was the Awana Games! It was GG last year doing this and she is super sad but SO excited that her last year ended in the team getting 1st place. She told me that she is the most proud of the award she got today for winning 1st place in the Awana Games. Both the boys competed in the boys TNT because they didn't have enough third and fourth graders they pulled 3 second graders to play and Red was one of them. I was really impressed with how well he one of the events (something with a balloon being hit to your color) he almost got knocked down by one of the older kids but he held his own. Then in my least favorite event the bean bag grab he got 2 bags! It is my least favorite because they have 6 kids from each team and they call a number 1-6 and that number has to run to the middle and grab as many of the 4 bean bags as they can. Nerve racking! In the end the boys got 2nd place...not too bad. After the boys and girls TNT was over Red competed in Sparks. They ended up coming in last but they certainly had fun doing it. We only have one more kid to go through the Sparks games. Well that is our highlights!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Calm before the storm...

The funny part of that title is we are actually suppose to be getting a snow storm. Though the last one they predicted didn't actually happen! Not holding my breath not that I want the snow. I want spring and SUMMER! But that just means this part of the year is our calm before the flurry of activities that our 4 blessings are signed up to participate in...however #4 isn't sign up for anything currently. Though she does want to do gymnastics. Have to see if the spring session is in our budget. But the boys are both doing baseball and our old is doing soccer. SO FUN!
I am trying to figure out how to scrap money together to do Peanut's 6 birthday party in Sept. Each of our kids have done a Chuck E Cheese party when they turned 6. This last weekend we went to two birthday parties and they were pretty cool. When did the norm become spending a ton of money on a 5 yr or 8 yr olds birthday? The one party was at an indoor place called party fantasy or something like that. It has a climbing wall, go carts, and inflatable bounce houses. Then we went to Ginos East for dinner. The second party was at Build a Bear, which I have to say was probably the coolest party I've ever witnessed. The birthday parents did pretty much nothing but pay the bill. They had those kids entertained...impressive. Then we went to Sabaros for pizza. Both of those parties had to be at least $300 because there was 11 kids at the 1st one and 14 kids at the second. So yeah, I don't want my kids to think I'm lame and only throw them a house party...enough though it is WAY more affordable for us, so I start saving now. Sad I know but such is life. Ok this blog post brought to you by totally and completely random thoughts.
Oh yeah I am keeping myself busy but organizing a 5k and taking over the gift card program at school both are fundraisers for said school. Over and out!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Another one bites the dust...

We were doing so well this year staying healthy. No one had gotten sick until now. Ugh and it is me who is sick. Come on don't you know moms aren't suppose to get sick but I tend to be the one who gets sick if someone in our house is going to get sick. It is so frustrating. I spent all of last night running to the bathroom to throw up. I HATE throwing up. I got zero amount of sleep because my stomach hurt so bad. I thought it was maybe something I ate for dinner that did me in. This has happened before. I was finally able to fall asleep at 7am and slept til 11am. I thought I was doing better so I decided to get something to eat. I was feeling hunger pains. I ate an apple and 30 minutes later I feel like I need to puke again. My stomach is cramping, it just hurts. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. I was suppose to sub today at school but I had to call in sick to subbing...lame. I have to go get the kids from school in about an hour and I am a little nervous about leaving the house. Last thing I want is to throw up in the van or on the side of the road. I really hope no one else gets this. GG is leaving on Friday for a winter retreat and I want to make sure she is healthy and can enjoy her time there. I need something to keep my mind off of the tummy pains. Ok I am done whining.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Back to the Grind

After having 16 days of getting to sleep in (most mornings 9am) today wasn't as bad as it could of been. Though I will say that I got a text from another mom asking about basketball at 6:30am, 20 minutes before my alarm was to go off and then when I didn't answer her text she called me right before my alarm went off. Now if you know me at all you would know I like my sleep. Even down to the last minute. The only reason why this was frustrating was the fact that the boys have been on the basketball team since the beginning of November. The practices have been the same days and the games are posted online. She asked if they had practice and a game today. Ugh.

Anyways, not why I got on here. This last two weeks have confirmed to me I can not homeschool my children. I would not get up out of bed at a reasonable time to teach them! Ha, just kidding not why I got on here either. It is amazing how relaxing those two weeks were. But starting back to the daily grind made me feel alive again. There was something comforting to getting back to the routine.

I have some goals for this year that I'm a little nervous to post about because I'm really not sure I want accountability on them. Ha. But I think I will post it anyway and just know that this is a goal and I will probably mess up. I want to be better with managing our family's money. We put A LOT on our credit card. Now I'm not saying that I am not going to use the card anymore but I am going to make sure that I'm not just buying stuff that we don't need, I sometimes do this. My biggest weakness is going out to eat. I love eating out. It's just so fast and easy but so unhealthy. So ultimately it means meal planning again. In tightening up on spending I hope to be able to use that extra money to pay down one of our loans. There is no possible way to get it paid off this year but I could do some shrinkage of it. Ok now that it is out there...yipes.  

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Lazy Days of Christmas Break

We have had a handful of days this Christmas break that we have just lounged around the house in our jammies All. Day. Long. I absolutely love those days. We have played so many board games and watched many hours of television it isn't normal but it is so relaxing and fun. I talked about taking the kids different places for fun but all of them cost money...roller skating, bowling etc. I have to say that this break since we haven't gotten together with friends or done much out side of the house except for go to some family gatherings the kids have gotten along REALLY well. I can't think of one time I had to listen to a fight or break up a fight. Pure bliss. It has been super peaceful. LOVE it. Today was one of our lazy days. I hope I can remember that the key to family bonding isn't spending a ton of money to do something fun it is just being together doing the free stuff!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

It is the fresh start to a new year! I came on here to write but have eased several sentences that I have written. Not sure if I should just give up and come back later. Nah I won't come back. My first thoughts were to write about my goals for this new year but was having a hard time articulating them.

I have to say that I love the show Prison Break. Jeff and I started watching it on netflix at the beginning of this break. We have watched a minimum of 2 episodes a night and a max of 4. I love it. If I could I would do a marathon until I watched all episodes, I totally would. The funny part is I watch some of it behind my hands. There are some really gory parts like one of the guys got his hand chopped off by an ax. I sit there super tense while I watch it. I want to see how it ends but I don't want it to end.   

Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012

Well another year bites the dust. It should does seem like the years are starting to literally FLY by us now. I'm going to go through each kid and give highlights of their year...I'll start with the youngest!

Peanut and I enjoyed the first part of this year just hanging out together while the older three kids were in school. This summer she was tall enough to go on the Demon at Great America. That is the roller coaster that goes upside down. She loved it! She must get that from her father ;) She also learned how to ride her bike without training wheels. That has been nice for our park and library bike trips! She also got really good at swimming under water but not quite ready to make the jump off the diving board. In September she turned 5, a whole hand, and started school 5 half days a week. She has started to read and do simple math problems. Helping out in her class with their Christmas party I was able to see her personality. She is quite the little leader. She was organizing the kids and giving them intructions. It was really funny to watch. I have a feeling she might end up teaching. She has a lot of friends at school and church, too. She is currently doing her last year of Awana Cubbies. She just finished gymnastics and ballet but we are going to be taking a break at the beginning of this new year. She is such a lovely little girl and always good for a chuckle!

Red finished 1st grade and turned 7. He played baseball for the first time this summer and was a total natural. He loves pitching. His coaches were amazing and we were so blessed to have them both as his coaches! He also made the all star team. He is my little athelet, probably because he has the two older ones to keep up with. He is now playing basketball for the first time and loving it. He is my super active child. Loves to be outside or doing something inside. He went to sleep away camp this summer for the first time and had a blast. He is loving 2nd grade and he has a real young and fun teacher. His grades continue to be As and Bs. He is in his last year of Sparks at church. He loves to tell jokes. He asked for more joke books for Christmas and he got them. He also like to make up jokes...there have been a few that were actually pretty funny. But not always! He has the most contagious laugh I have ever heard. He has lost 3 teeth this year and the only ones he has lost so far. He currently has the one front tooth it. He is going to catch up with his older brother height wise pretty soon if he keeps growing at the rate is he going.

The first part of this year for Monkey was pretty slow. He played baseball for the 2nd summer. He got a ton better from the year before and his confidence grew. He ended up making the all star team for the first time this year too! I was so happy that they both made the all stars. His baseball coach talked him into playing soccer this fall for the first time. Jeff and I were pretty excited that he wanted to try soccer. We both really love watching soccer! I think we found his sport. He loves it and he is really good at it too. He was so excited when he got his first goal! His coach was begging us to sign him up for soccer this spring instead of baseball. And by begging I mean every practice or game the coached asked if he was going to play in the spring and would say "I would really love to have him on my team." In November he tried out for basketball at school and made the team. I love seeing him improve his basketball skills as the season has gone on. He went from playing like 2 minutes or so the first few games to playing the entire game. He also is doing well in school and getting As and Bs too. He is also my one who will also come and snuggle with me on the couch when we watch our television show "Once Upon a Time".

Glamor Girl tried track and field at the beginning of the year. At first she didn't like it because there was a lot of conditioning. But she really liked the track meets. She is not very fast though. Have to admit that track meets were not my favorite sport to attend but I am a great fan of my daughter so I was there rain or shine. She also got the lead in the play at school while she was in 5th grade. She loves to act. This summer I took her away for a weekend just her, me and my mom we had a great time! This fall she played soccer as well. She liked this league much better than the one she played on a few years ago. The best part was that Monkey and her were on the same team. It was great for our family only one game and practice. She did really well and got her first two goals this season. She decided not to do cheerleading this year. She started her last year of elementary school...we are going to have a Jr. Higher next year. She continues to get all As on her report card. Her favorite activity of all time is reading. She reads 500 pages books in 2 days. She can't get new books fast enough