Buying a new car

Each time we rent a new house we discover something new to look for, seems the same holds true for buying used cars. In July we were so eager to trade our 2003 Taurus for a van that we jumped the gun and ended up with a lemon of a van. Before the first 12 hours of owning it were over the check engine light was on. We got it checked out at AutoZone and told the car dealer we bought it from. A small local dealer near a motorhome repair shop.  They told us that since it was "as is" the best they would do is order the parts for us at dealer cost. The code that came up was a few cheap things so we didn't think it was that big of a deal. We didn't fight it any.  turns out we should have, because after fixing the part that should have turned off the  code, the light was still on. we got it checked by a garage, and they told us a list of things that needed fixed. almost $500 later we have a van that barely runs.  Needless to say, there's not much we can do this time around, but we definitely learned a few lessons about buying used cars!  and it was an expensive lesson to learn!

Spoiled Americans

I like to watch HGTV the rare moments when the kids let me watch what I want.  I've been realizing more and more just how spoiled young American's are. These people buying the houses are between 22-32 probably, and have wish lists a mile long. Things they "need" in their house. things that make it "liveable" I wish these people would have to go to a 3rd world country for a week before deciding what is necessity. Maybe they will be ok with a little bit of a dated bathroom sink, or the fact that the appliances don't match. Oh, and don't forget the walls aren't the exact color they want, and the floors, although they are in great condition aren't the right kind of tile so they will need to be ripped up. Why is it so hard to change a few things as time goes on? work on the important things, like a swimming pool safety fence and worry about changing the counter tops until you have the money saved up.  It's ridiculous.  I guess I have lower requirements, I haven't been spoiled by mommy and daddy my whole life, things weren't just handed to me, I don't think you should go into debt so you can have everything you want the second you want it. I'm just not ok with that. Seriously people, just having a house with running water, heat and appliances is more than most people in the world. Get over yourself.

Free clothes

Lately a lot of clothes have been making their way to my house. Different people have given me a few bags of clothes, unfortunately not too many have been the right size, but I also got a bag of clothes for Josiah to grow into. My husband's almost 4 year old nephew decided to finally get rid of his coat that was a few sizes too small for him, and he decided Josiah needed it. :) It will be a year before it will fit Josiah, but it was cute that eli thought of him. Eli was lucky enough to be given hand me down carhartt coats (which look very cute on him). He also gave Josiah a few pairs of pajamas that will fit him next year too. :) 

Christmas parties

I went to two Christmas parties this weekend, Eugene's work one Friday night and his family one Saturday night. We had fun at both parties, We did gift exchanges at both parties, one was a dirty santa game, and the other was a left right game. I had never done the left right one before, pretty much what happens is you stand in a circle, holding the gift you brought, and as the story is read when you hear the word "Left" you pass the gift left, and when you hear "right" you pass it right. That one was fun, and interesting too, the story had us all confused at some points. I ended up with a basket of bath stuff. There were different gifts everything from gag gifts to cakes! Nothing fancy like pandora bracelets, they were a "little" over the price range. he he

Steelers stuff

I was searching amazon for Steelers stuff for Christmas presents for Eugene. I was more than shocked at the different things I found. My favorite were the toaster that toasted the word "steelers" into the side of the bread, the Steeler's garden gnome, and the Steelers Mr. Potato head. I also saw snuggies, sandwich makers and family car decals oh and a tooth brush. I didn't see a chia pet though, that shocked me,  I was also half expecting to see routers with all the other computer things they had, mouse pads and even computer mice!  I've bought him a few things and was just hoping to find something small for him to show his love for the Steelers. Guess it will have to wait.

some sweet talk

Through my life there are a few of my loves that I haven't outgrown. One is my love for sour patch kids, I don't remember a time when that wasn't my favorite candy.   Another thing that I absolutely love is York Peppermint patties. I have no clue when the first time i tasted one was, but i am completely addicted to them.  Right now I feel like I should just buy a York factory, if I could eat only them right now I would. In fact, I'd rather have those than some fancy jewelry like michael kors watches or pearls! I don't know what it is about them that has me wanting them so much right now.  I definitely would choose a york over sour patch kids right now.  So far I haven't passed my love for them on to any of my kids yet, they both will eat them, but they'd rather have something else if they  had the choice. Oh well, there is plenty of time for me to rub off on them. :)

Spazz Cleaning

Am I the only one who does Spazz cleaning? You know, when you realize things have been neglected for far too long and nothing is in the right place anymore. Around your computer looks like a paper company exploded, the dinning room looks like a craft store, the living room looks like a toy room, you hair things in every room and you just want to scream. The cleaning that comes from that is what i call Spazz cleaning, because I normally go crazy, and quickly fly through each room finding something that is out of place and putting it where it belongs. When I'm done I end up with every room looking good, so I normally sweep and vacuum and then sit down and stare at my house. Of course, it only stays looking that good till the kids wake up, but oh well!

Today I had my spazz moment I think my favorite thing about it is when I find something completely out of place and you just wonder why on earth that object was in that room.  In past spazz cleanings I've found tv antennas in places that would make anyone say "um... ok?"  Today wasn't as bad, but i still hate it that it is normal for things to be out of place.

running group

Thanksgiving week some people in my town started a running club. I was very excited, it's been the merge of the group of girls I was running with over the summer and a few other people who have been running together for years. They had a thanksgiving day run, but I was unable to run since I was busy cooking the meal, but I've been running with them two mornings a week (they run at 5:45am just about every week day). It's been fun and challenging, they are faster runners than me, plus they run up the big hill, which I love running up, but I am used to running it slower than they do. By the time we get to the top I'm dead. The past two times I've had to stop and walk. It's funny to me because they run up then pause their Garmins to wait for me. :)

One of the guys owns a jewelry store that I will be visiting before Christmas to look for some presents for Lexi, I need some good hypoallergenic earrings for her. She seems to have pretty sensitive ears. I might also look for a cute steel pendants for some gifts.  I might even convince my husband to buy me a ring. :)

It's been really nice having more people to run with, the group of girls have gotten really busy since school started. Knowing that there is someone running almost every morning is good accountability, plus, running in the mornings makes my days nicer, even if I do freeze my tush off like I did this morning!


It's that time of the year again. The tree is set up, the stockings are hung. Tonight we went to our towns Christmas parade.  The kids had a blast, the girls enjoyed seeing everything, and Josiah mostly just liked the fire trucks and marching bands. Anything that made noise or had lights. :)

We're not doing much presents this year, we've set a budget, and even a limit on number of presents for each kids. We will be doing 3-4 presents, plus stockings.  We bought the first gift for the girls yesterday, pillow pals. They've been begging for pillow pets, but I think $20 is extremely ridiculous for a pillow shaped like an animal.  We found pillow pals at a discount store near us for $5. $20- no, $5- YES!  I also have a few stocking stuffers we picked up really cheap. I'm not sure what we'll do for Josiah for his stocking, but we are excited to get presents all done! 

I'm not sure if we are going to buy each other presents at all, we both have crazy things we want, Eugene wants an xbox and I want an ipod touch. but those things wont happen, we're taking it easy this year, in an attempt to pay off our debt.

Lexi is asking for an "ipod nano touch or iphone" I laugh when she says that. In the past she carried around a sock for a week pretending it was her ipod. she wont be getting on either, there's something not right about a 5 year old having headphones in their ears all the time.  Right now her and Caylee both pretend they have them when they are in the car, it's cute.   We don't really have much ideas of what to get the kids like normal. Most years we have gifts picked out, this year we're just waiting to see what stands out to us.

Cake Day

Today is my husband's birthday. A few months ago he had mentioned liking red velvet cake, something I have never even tasted, let alone tried to make, but i decided at that moment that I was going to try to make one. I started searching about a month ago for a good recipe, i found one on allrecipe that had great reviews, and a lot of them. This morning I started working on the cake and icing. I normally just make butter cream icing, but decided to try something new.  I found a recipe that called for regular sugar, milk, flour and vanilla. I was really confused about how it was going to work out and not be grainy, but it did. it was liked a whipped icing, pretty good, light and airy. I made cupcakes and a cake, i tasted a cupcake, it was kinda dry, the cake seemed to be more moist, but still on the dry side. I'll definitely be changing the recipe if I make it again.

I was also asked today to make a cake for my mother in law's party which is tomorrow, her birthday was yesterday. I had a chocolate cake recipe I have been wanting to try, and nothing is better on chocolate cake than peanut butter icing!  I haven't tasted the cake yet, but the icing was delicious. I can't wait to taste it all together tomorrow!

I'm far from making cakes with cake delivery nationwide, but I'm excited to try some new recipes and make some cakes for things other than my families parties. 

job hunt?

My husband and I are getting serious about our debt. finally. One of our talks that we've been having recently has been on the topic of me getting a evening/weekend job. It's something my husband doesn't want to happen, but I kinda feel like it's the only thing we can do right now. I don't mind getting a job, it might be kind of fun to do something outside of the house. not to mention exhausting. I wouldn't be getting a full time job, or anything that would mean us putting the kids in childcare of any kind. 

I'm thinking about things like being a waitress, the bowling alley here is hiring someone to work the snack bar. that  made me laugh a little. working at a bowling alley might be fun.  I've toyed with the idea of starting my own thing, making and selling cakes. I'm just a little nervous about the starting up part. plus, it wouldn't be regular so it would be hard to really rely on. Knowing we would be using whatever i make towards paying off debt is helpful, but it would take a lot longer. A few years back I had attempted to start a business helping people clean their houses. It never got very far though, not like the house cleaning service cary NC has to offer.  I don't know if I'm not motivated enough, or not pushy enough, or just not a good business lady, either way I'm nervous about the thought of trying to make money by baking cakes.   which is why I am currently kind of on the job hunt.

Beach Treasures

I can't help but want to go dig in the parks and the sand when I see metal detectors. I'm thinking bounty hunter metal detectors would be a good present. :)  They have some commercials on tv advertising them and they do make me want to try them. I'd be excited to walk up and down the beach, or through the field at the park and find some random stuff. I'd like it even if it wasn't valuable, because I just like finding stuff!  I don't really know if you do as well as they make it seem on tv or you hear in stories but who wouldn't have fun with the suspense of wondering what is setting the detector off?

Answered prayers

I am always amazed when God provides money to pay bills and things we need, but I get even more blown away when He provides exact needs. I have lost 40lbs since the week before Easter, in doing so I've dropped 4 pants sizes.  We don't have a ton of money for me to get new clothes, I've bought a pair of jeans and a few items from goodwill- far from designer t shirts, but at least they fit! The jeans I have are "fashionable" and holey, so it's very obvious when I wear them often (which I do, since they are the closest jeans I have to fitting).

While running with my friend Saturday morning I mentioned something about the way pants fit and how I needed more. She just happened to have a few pairs of jeans that she didn't wear! So God answered my prayer with my exact need- jeans! not just money to buy them.  Then that night I was with a different friend talking about furniture and how we were going to start saving money for a new mattress. Guess what she just happened to have sitting in her basement!? yup, a fairly new mattress set. brought it home that night, and it's Very nice!

I know I shouldn't be surprised that God cares about even our littlest needs, but it did blow me away to have a friend hand me some very new looking jeans and a mattress!

achy muscles

i ran today, faster than normal i think. man my leg muscles were achy!  i'd love to find a massage therapist, or maybe just take some classes, get a license and look for message therapist jobs! except then I  couldn't get a massage, i'd be too busy giving them.  

My side muscles are sore too from zumba this morning. The lady that leads it does more muscle group focused zumba than dancing. I like it because my obliques hurt! Last week she did one that worked out my arms like crazy!  (i'm not very good at dance moves so this type of zumba is better for me.:) )

Homeschool coop

We joined a home school co-op. Today was our second day, they meet once a week. The girls love it. Caylee ends up coming to find me once or twice a day, but that is amazing considering she doesn't even like to go into nursery at church on Sunday mornings!  They are having a blast and learning a ton.

Lexi especially is learning, well it's easier to see her growth. She comes home talking about presidents and saying rhymes or singing songs that get stuck in your head like commercials for They are learning a Bible verse per week, it's from a CD called Sing through the word. It's actually something we are (or will be) doing in school at home once we get the cd.

Something crazy has gone on with fedex I think. They said they delivered our package a few weeks ago but they delivered someone else's here instead. i called twice, and delivered the package to the right address, hoping I'd find mine on their doorstep. but I didn't. So Sonlight resent my order... and I'm still waiting to get it. it's annoying doing school when you don't have all the stuff you need.

Oh well, I'm sure it will show up sometime. Oh I'm also waiting to find out if my shoes that were broken and I had to mail back to arrive at the store so they can mail me ones that aren't broken! I really hope they show up!! I would love to run in a pair of shoes that don't have holes. :)


Sleep is a rare gem in this house lately. At least for Eugene and I. Eugene has been busy working on Battleground stuff and last week I was busy almost every night working on his nieces wedding cake. (which by the way I think turned out beautifully) so things have been kind of crazy, and Josiah has been acting weird during the night. Now he has a stuffed up nose, which never helps him sleep so I'm not expecting tonight to be much different.  Today at nap time I was honestly half wishing I had an iphone or one of those tablet netbooks so I could just lay down and watch some tv while getting him to sleep. instead I ended up falling asleep myself! It actually felt good, despite the fact that I knew I had work I should be doing.

My weeks have become more busy and two days of the week I now have to get up and get us all out the door around 8am.  We've joined a homeschool co op, which pretty  much consumes all of Tuesday. I like it and am happy for the opportunity. The girls both love it too. Then Thursday mornings I go to Zumba and Bible study at church, i get done at 11ish, so that's not too bad. The other days are pretty much normal household stuff with school with Lexi, cleaning, cooking, laundry etc.

Hmm... seeing as tomorrow is Tuesday, maybe I should go over my math lessons for co-op!

Holloween or not holloween.

We're not fully set on whether or not we will take the kids trick or treating or not.  The past 4 years we have taken them some years, and not others. I personally love dressing up. I always have, and I love to have a reason to dress up. I'm not into the sexy bunny costumes or anything, but I have a friend who's whole family dresses up as a theme, last year they were Peter Pan characters. This year they have something else fun planned. I just think it would be kinda fun to pick a book or classic movie and each of us pick a character to dress as! Think of how cute it would be to all fit in together and walk around as a family getting candy. :)

I just wish there wasn't the evil behind it, I don't like having to explain to my kids why there are scary looking decorations, or people dressed up as witches, vampires and other scary things! Not to mention the bad dreams they have just from seeing some of the stuff that they see in stores.  So who knows what we'll decide this year.

The Cost of Running

When I first started running way back in 2009 (2008?) It was purely because I needed to lose the weight I had gained during my pregnancy with Caylee (and Lexi) and we had no money for a gym membership. Running was free. Slip on some old clothes, some sneakers and get out on the road.  I hated running. I had NO intentions of running in a race of any sort.  I had no desire to buy fancy "running clothes" or even good shoes. My new balance sneakers were ok and worked fine.

At some point in late winter/early spring of 2009 the running bug hit me a little. I decided (mostly because my sister ran) that I'd run a race. I thought a 10K would be a good challenge, but I found an 8K close by that looked good enough for me.  I started training. I had never run 5 miles before and didn't know if I'd make it. My sister decided to run with me, she flew down from Maine to run my first race.  I enjoyed having her with me because I knew NOTHING about racing. I had no clue that you'd get caught up in the gun fire and take off at speeds you never dreamed of, only to make it half a mile and die. Luckily she was there to keep me running when I wanted to walk.  I finished my 8K in 48 minutes or something like that. I was just glad I was done. I never wanted to run again.

Almost  a year later I decided I needed to lose weight. We were going to a church where there was a huge group of young married people who ran marathons, half marathons, triathlons, even iron man competitions.  I thought I'd try  my hand at running again. I asked for advice. They all said the same thing "just sign up for a race, pay for it, and you'll have to train because you've already sunk your money into it". I got a little caught up in the moment and decided a half marathon would be fun. 13.1 miles. Sure, I can do it. I found one and signed up. I thought we'd make a vacation out of it and decided Virginia beach would be fun. After all, the race was one of the cheapest I found (Dismal Swamp Stomp) and started training. It was crazy to me to think I paid $40 to run. (Now I realize that $40 for a half marathon is CHEAP). The first week of my training I had to run 5 miles. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to run it. I could just barely do 3, and it took me a month to get to 3. Much to my surprise I ran the whole 5 miles. 

I still wasn't going to buy fancy running clothes. My knees were hurting though and I had to buy some better shoes. I got sticker price right away. $100 for a pair of sneakers that will only last me 6 months? YAH RIght. I did it though. $100 was cheaper than knee surgery.  By the time my race had come around I had lost 30lbs. my clothes were all falling off of me, I broke down and bought a few running shirts from Target and a pair of capri's from old navy. It felt good to have clothes that fit and were made for running. I was starting to see how running could be expensive.

By the time I finished my race I was in love with running. I was planning on taking a few weeks off and then found out I was pregnant and ended up taking about 9 months off. I could not wait to get the all clear from the doctor saying I could run again after he was born. I got the all clear, started running and had all sorts of knee problems. I ended up having to wait about 3 more months before I could start up full force.

Now I am about 6 months into my running, I had to buy a new pair of shoes, but found a pair that were discontinued for less than half the price.  I'm down about 40lbs from my "normal" weight, and about 10lbs from where I was when I got pregnant with Josiah. I've had to break down and buy a pair of running capris too. I could have easily got caught up in the cute running clothes this time around had we had extra money. I run with group of women and the pressure to look cute while running is stronger than when you run alone.

The main cost of running that I've noticed is races. I haven't run a ton, and the ones I've run have been cheap ones, but it's hard to find races (5K's) under $20. So it would be easy to spend a lot of money on running. I try to keep it on the cheap side, but it's still money being spent.

Aside from the monetary cost there's also the time cost. It either takes away from my sleeping time or my family time for me to go run. I think that it is good for me to get out and run though because it's a good stress relief for me. I am a much happier mommy when I run. It also cost me almost 40lbs. but I don't care about that cost! :) 

First Day of school

We finally started school. I've been holding off because we're missing 2 things we need, but I decided to try to do what we could get done. The day went very quickly and smoothly. I'm almost afraid I did it wrong! Lexi didn't fight me or  give me a hard time. Of course she pretty much knew everything, it seemed like a lot of review for her, so that was nice. She hesitated a little bit in the end when I made her practice more of her handwriting, she's forgotten a lot of form and how to write the letters. So i wanted to review a little more.  Caylee even sat down a little bit and practiced some handwriting. It was kind of humorous, she is in no way ready to start school. She will be getting some education through the co-op we are going to be a part of this year, I'm hoping it will spike some interest in school and learning so we can do a little bit of fun stuff at home.

On a completely different note, There are new babies all around me! I knew a bunch (like 9) women who were due in August, and although I don't see too many of them in real life it's still fun to see pictures of all those new babies!  I saw a cute picture of a gift basket new mom would appreciate. Instead of being geared toward the baby it was geared toward the mom and pampering her!  Sounded good to me!!  Seems like pregnancies go in cycles, in fact I think i only know 1 or 2 pregnant mothers right now- dropping from 9 that's a bit low!  I do know a few ladies trying to get pregnant that I hope will be added to this list of pregnant moms soon!! (NOT ME! it will be a few more months before I start thinking about another baby... I'm still content with my 3)

Change of plans

We've spent a ton of money trying to get the van fixed so we could go on our vacation this week. we were suppose to be leaving tomorrow afternoon to head to Virginia Beach for a wonderful camping trip. We only go camping twice a year, and this year we only got 1 trip in. and 0 trips to the beach. it makes me so sad, but there wasn't much we could do. My sister and her husband are coming down here to visit instead, so at least we'll get to visit with them! We're taking some time to go have some fun so I'm so excited to just have a relaxing, fun weekend! 

We'll get to spend some time at the Labor day flea market that consumes the whole town next to ours this weekend. hopefully we'll find some good bargains!  Lexi and Josiah need some clothes, and i have a small wish list for the house. you never know what you'll find at yard sales, especially in a town like ours, who knows, we might find some custom pins, or valuable antiques sold by someone who doesn't know what they have!

We're also going to paint the girls bedroom. that will be fun, the girls are excited to have a pink and purple room, and anything is more fun when you do it with your sister!!

Party fun!

Well, we had a blast at the girl's party! As far as I know everyone (except maybe the teenage cousins) enjoyed themselves. We even had a little "after party" the last few guests hung out until about 9:30 at night. of course we didn't mind because they were friends that we don't see too often! The girls had so many presents the were overwhelmed. Lexi does the normal kid thing, she tears through the presents and then looks through more. I love my Caylee Bean though. She takes her time enjoying each present as she opens it. I think she would have been happy with just one present! 

hopefully life is going to slow down now and I'll be able to blog a little more, things have been crazy!

Birthday Party x2

This year we decided to do a joint birthday party for the girls instead of having to go through the stress twice. Yah, we cheated. But the past two years Caylee has gotten our left over energy since we put so much into Lexi's parties. This year we decided it would make more sense and be more fair to just do it together. (plus the girls thought it was a great idea, and we figured they wouldn't like the idea for too many more years, so we might as well take advantage of it while we could!)

We went back and forth about what to get Lexi for her birthday. It's so hard to buy presents for them, Lexi says she wants everything, then forgets about it and changes her mind daily. One of the things we considered getting her was a mini Ipod or MP3 player. she carried around a sock for two weeks pretending it was her ipod. We didn't go looking for apple store coupons or anything, but we saw a use one in a pawn shop for pretty cheap. We decided she was too little for one though, and skipped that idea.  Caylee is hard to buy for because she has had two loves for the past two years of her life... animals (mostly puppies) and baby dolls.  but if you saw her room and the toy room you would know that she doesn't need any more of either.  She's also not the type to play with much of anything. We wandered around the toy sections and clothe sections of 2 stores and had a really hard time. I could have gone crazy for Lexi, mostly because she's in a Hello Kitty phase and Hello Kitty is really popular. Plus, as I said, she really does like a lot.

I'm excited for their party tomorrow because there are so many people who are going to be here, this will probably be the biggest party either of them have had. (Another reason I'm glad we're only doing this once!) It's now 2am, and I am still awake. I have two cakes to make tomorrow (well, to decorate) and a house to clean. Maybe I should go to bed.... good night!

Shoe shopping

Well, it's time for the fun search of finding my husband new sneakers. I hate this chore, not only is he picky, he has wide feet. and it's hard to find shoes for wide feet, especially shoes that he likes- that don't cost an arm and a leg. I need big neon signs that say "find coupon codes here" or "Cheap Wide shoes here" anything to make this easier.   He used to find shoes he likes at payless, but they got cheap and then stopped carrying cool shoes. we've found a few styles on but they only have a few in our price range. 

Anyway, I love buying shoes, just not for him. :) Too bad we can't buy shoes for me!

First Grade

Well, my baby girl is going to be five in just a few weeks. We'll be starting first grade here at home using the sonlight curriculum sometime in the middle of August. FIRST GRADE. my daughter reads, she LOVES to read and she loves to color. We've been printing off a lot of color pages lately, I'm thinking of buying stock in laserjet ink cartridges.  At the rate we're going through printer ink we need something! Maybe a SAM'S club membership. Anyway... my point is that my baby is in first grade.  We are doing a homeschool coop that meets at our church this year. I'm excited and nervous. It meets once a week and lasts all day, Lexi will be learning all sorts of stuff, Caylee will too for that matter.  I do have to teach two half an hour classes, not a big deal. I'll be teaching math and I'm excited. I love math.  So our year is going to be busy, but fun.


I think God is teaching us a little lesson on contentment through the van we bought (and through my injuries) . Our car had some issues that we knew were going to need to be fixed soon, so I know there is a chance we'd be in the same boat if we had kept it and not traded it for our van. But... we've had issue after issue come up and unfortunately we are having to pick and chose one thing at a time to take care of.  Right now we have a tire that needs replaced, we've noticed wobbling for a few days, today we discovered the belt in the tire is broken, so we have metal spikes coming out of our tire right now. So that will be the next thing we take care of. We replaced the EGR valve because the check engine light said that is what was wrong, but... the check engine light is still on and saying EGR.. so that means it's a hose or another part not really the EGR valve, which we already replaced.  The AC stopped working, the heat doesn't work yah... we're realizing the grass is not always greener.  BUT, praise the Lord, we are still all healthy, we haven't been injured, or gotten in an accident. We made it to WV for a family reunion even with the issues, and we made it home too.

Then, God is teaching me contentment with my body, I've had knee issues, nothing like I need a torn acl brace, but it swells now and then, my elbow is now acting up, I can't put any weight on it, or pick things up, even putting in my contacts hurts. I guess I did too much at once, trying to do the 30 day shred and push ups in an attempt to tone up this body I've worked so hard to lose weight on. 

I've never been good at being content, I'm trying to work on it. There are some things we can change, and there are other things that God has us in this place for a reason and I need to be content with it. That is what I am working on right now, seeing the difference and working on what I can work on.

So close

I have hit my pre-baby weight! I am just 4.4lbs away from my "goal". My original goal was my pre-pregnancy weight. Then (before I hit it) I decided that 5 more pounds off would probably be better, however I'm going to have to see what I look like when I hit my new goal. I might still have some fat to lose, but I think at that point it is going to be more about toning and being healthy than losing weight. I'm not the type to buy weight loss pills, even though I know other people who use them. I like to do things the old fashioned way with diet and exercise.

The last 10lbs have been a struggle to lose, seems like i lose 2 and gain 1! I'm hoping that my plateau is over though, since I've been losing again now. It will really make things a lot nicer and easier to keep on going if I continue to see results!!  

Talk about last minute!

This morning around 11am we decided that we would go to my husband's family reunion this weekend. In West Virginia. Leaving tomorrow. I still haven't packed. and going on a weekend long trip with 3 kids is not a "throw some stuff in a bag and go" type of trip. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow morning. Of course, I also have to drop the van off at the garage to get inspected and an oil change, and take the kids to story hour. THEN i'll pack and load the van.  And eventually we'll leave. Oh yah, I have to go to another garage where the van we are selling is and pay them for looking over it. fun times.

I am hoping I can find clothes that fit Lexi, I think she's in a growth spurt, she seems to be getting taller and taller, maybe we need to get a stadiometer like they use at the dr's office to keep track of their height. It always happens overnight.

practice race

Monday I'm running my first 5K. I'm excited because this is my first race that is about racing, not just about finishing.  Normally I have a time goal in mind, but it's one that is easy to hit. This time it's 3.1 miles, not 13.1 so I know finishing is not going to be a good enough goal.

Tonight some of the running group met to do a practice 5K. I begged my husband to let me use his iphone so I could use runkeeper to track my speed. Only the smart person that I am messed up and accidentally paused it for awhile, so it wasn't accurate. It was paused for about .3 miles, and said it took 19 minutes 33 seconds. I'm thinking I ran it in just under 25 minutes. My goal for Monday was going to be 27 minutes. Now I'm thinking I need to do 25 minutes. I'm not 100% sure what the time really was, so I'd hate to put some crazy goal of 21 minutes in my head only to realize i'm really off in guessing my time for tonight.

I can already tell this 5K time is going to be addicting in my head. I'm going to work and work and work until I get faster and faster and faster. Especially now that I know the 5K route that is right here in town, I can run it every week if I want (only keep better track of my speed). I'm thinking I need a stop watch!

I lie

to our pediatrician. Almost every visit. Because I have an approach to kid raising that is different than theirs.

Every well visit they ask me if my house is baby proofed. I say yes. because to me it is. But then they go on asking specific things like "are all your medicines put up" Yes, they are. "Are your cleaners locked away?" yes, they are. "Do you have baby gates" yes- ok, actually, we don't need any here. "Do you have outlet covers in?" Yes. Ok, that's where I lie. See, I have a problem with outlet covers. First of all, they annoy me. They are hard to get out when you need to use the outlet. But the biggest reason we don't have them is because I think they are stupid. Let me just say, if we adopted a kid, or had a kid who didn't have the same reasoning ability or anything like that I would put them in. But here is our approach to baby proofing.

I tell the kids not to touch the outlets. I tell them not to touch medicine, I tell them not to touch cleaners. Yes, we still put cleaners and medicine out of their reach. But I don't put plastic covers on my outlets. My thinking is if my kids always saw outlet covers in the outlets and we went to someone's house who didn't have outlet covers, they'd be more prone to put something in them, thinking there is supposed to be something there.   I guess I think we'd be lazy and not tell our kids that it's dangerous to play with outlets if we had covers in them. If they are open I know I will make sure to tell them. Like when I walk out of my room from putting Josiah to sleep and see caylee trying to put a screw driver in one. Yah, that gets a "Caylee, those will hurt you bad, you NEVER put anything in an outlet." 

I know there is no way to keep all bad things away from my kids, and there is no way to warn them about every dangerous or bad thing that will cross their path in their life. I wish there was.  I am trying to do the best that I can, and hope that when those things are placed in front of them they will know enough to either ask first, or just say no. Who knows if they will be offered ecigarettes or  worse, or when they might find themselves alone wanting to cross the street. (yes, I know crossing the street and having outlet covers are a lot different, but you get the point)

Blogging wave

I've noticed my blogging goes in waves. Some weeks I'll have something to say every day, other times I  don't blog for a month.  Sorry I'm not very consistent. 

Today Josiah had tubes put in his ears, We've known for a month that he was going to get them done, they decided when he was 6 months old that since he had pretty much had an ear infection his whole life, he needed tubes. But they wanted to wait until he was 7 months old because of the anesthesia.

Caylee had tubes put in twice, so we knew the procedure and what to expect. When she woke up out of it the first time she was psycho. screaming, nothing could calm her down, the second time she was older and it was a little better. Josiah was just pretty calm when he woke up, which was nice. He just sat there staring at me with his mouth gaped open for at least 30 minutes.  All in all it went pretty easy. He wasn't allowed to eat from midnight until after the surgery, and he ended up not eating  after 10pm. Poor guy woke up at 3 starving. I could feel his belly growling, we had an hour of fussing before he fell back asleep. I'm glad it was just an hour.  The only thing that really irritated me was that they told us we had to be there by 6. We registered and sat in the waiting room until 6:30. Then it was 7:05 before they even did anything. It annoyed me because to me, if you tell someone to be there by 6, you should be ready for them at 6.  It really only took them about 10 minutes to do all they did before he had to go back into the OR, they took his temperature, blood pressure and the little oxygen level, had us put him in the gown then gave him some medicine to make him drowsy.  At 7:15 they took him back, and brought him to us at 7:40 all dopey. :) Then of course they had to watch him for awhile, we left at 9. crazy to be there 3 hours for a 20 minute thing.

He's been extra fussy today, and has been eating a lot, not sure if he's trying to make up for what he couldn't eat last night or what! The doctor said fluid came out of both ears when they put the tubes in, so there was obvious reason for the tubes. I wonder if he is hearing better now. I imagine he would be if there was always fluid behind his ear drums!  I guess we'll find out soon.

He started waving yesterday, it's pretty cute. If I say HI and wave my hand he says something that sounds like a very breathy "hi" and twists his little hand while moving his fingers.  He's getting so big, I can't believe he's 7 months old already. jeepers this year is flying by!!

Josiah's first camping trip

We went camping this past weekend with my family in Pennsylvania. It was tons of fun, the girls love hanging out with their cousin's, and Josiah got to meet my mom.  It was Josiah's first camping trip and I think he loved it. While we were camping he fell asleep with no problems, he loved being outside, the only thing he didn't love was having to be held all the time, it was really muddy so there was no place to lay him down. Every once and a while I'd sneak off to my sister's pop up and lay him on one of the beds, he enjoyed rolling around.

Watching the girls in the lake reminded me so much of me when I was little. I used to stay in the water as long as possible, no matter how cold I was. Lexi was the same way, at one point her lips were blue and she was shivering but she kept insisting she wasn't cold. I just smiled and said ok. :) Caylee liked playing in the sand more than the water, but she had fun too.

Weight and running

Have I ever mentioned that I love running for weight loss? Every time I run I lose about a pound. (if I run more than a mile or so). I know it's just my body, and I know it stops coming off at that rate eventually, but it's nice for now!  I started trying to lose weight the week before Easter, so 5.5 weeks ago. As of right now I'm down 15lbs. Guess I don't need to look up hydroxycut reviews after all. I'd be a lot better off, but for about 3 weeks, I keep losing weight during the week and gaining it back during the weekend. I've lost the same 3lbs about 4 times now. :) Yah, weekends are bad for me!  I have a feeling this weekend might be even worse, we're going camping with some of my family... and camping is always my excuse to eat junk!  I am bringing my running stuff though, and I've told my sister I want to run 5 miles on Saturday. We'll see how well I do! Hopefully I'll at least run off the extra food I eat! (like the s'mores!)


Have you heard of Swagbucks? it's a great easy way to earn $5 amazon giftcards. I get about one every month and a half, just for searching things!! Seriously, I have the swagbucks toolbar and every time I need to look something up I just type it in there instead of google. Every few searches you win points, and when you get 450 points you can cash it in for a $5 amazon giftcard. Yes, there are other prizes or things you can win, but that's just what I choose, it's easiest for me. 
If you're really researching something you might have to use google to find what you're looking for, but always try swagbucks first! They have a decent selection of results, so if you're looking for something simple like body acne treatment, you should find something.  It's just the rare items that you have to research on google. The funniest thing about swagbucks, is I tend to win more when I misspell something I am searching for!

A late Easter post

We went to Tennessee for Easter Sunday, but when we returned home we celebrated a late Easter with my husband's family at his sister/mom's house. It was tons of fun, We hung out and ate yummy food, prepared by all. Together there were 26 of us all together and finding a place to sit to eat was interesting! They have a lot of chairs, but there were still people sitting on lawn chairs, coolers and even metal step stools! Having big families is fun, even if you end up sitting on something uncomfortable for Easter dinner. You can't replace the enjoyment of getting together, playing quelf, watching the kids all play and being silly.

We both have decent sized immediate families, The 26 that were there for Easter included my husband's family and 6 friends of his one sister. My family is a big bigger, there are 36 of us- that's just my mom, step dad, siblings and their families.  I wont even go into the size of our families if you include cousins, aunts and uncles!! 

The Battleground

The Battleground had it's first show on Saturday. Unfortunately I was unable to go, between being sick and not having anyone to watch the girls we just decided it would be best if I stayed home. I missed not being there, but I know it was an awesome time, it's great to see how God is putting it all together.  We need to start thinking about things like business cards printing and insurance and stuff like that. All the little details that weren't important before, but will be as time goes on and as we have more and more shows. (not that insurance isn't important, we had event insurance, but we need to get some permanent insurance so we don't have to pay per show).

 I am just excited to see how God moves and creates this venue, this safe place for the youth to hang out!

sleeping animals

Yesterday I went to the North Carolina zoo with my 3 kiddos, my niece and a bunch of people from a homeschool group. We had fun, Wet, chilly fun. It rained almost the entire time, one moment it would be pouring, the next minute it would be ok, then it would drizzle and drizzle and drizzle.  We bought 3 ponchos, one for me and Josiah (since he was in the sling), one for Gabbie and one to throw over the two girls in the jogging stroller. I like our jogger, but a new baby jogger city select would be nice. Actually a few of my friends have a newer version of my stroller and it is nicer too. Not that there is anything wrong with the one I have, the best part about the one I have is that it was free!! you have to love free!

I think a lot of the animals must have been sleeping or hiding from the rain because we didn't see a bunch that we were supposed to see.  The giraffes weren't allowed outside in the rain I guess, there was a sign saying that. But I don't know what happened to the Elk and other animals! The Chimpanzees and Gorilla gave us a nice show, as well as the sea lion. My favorite was the polar bear, although he did nothing but lay there... they are still one of my favorite animals!

There was one chimp that really liked Lexi, it came right over to the glass and was sitting about a foot from her, it even told her hi. It was really fun to watch, they also had a baby chimp that was born on her birthday last year, it was really cute too! The gorilla scared a group of people, it was walking back and forth in front of the glass then just turned around and jumped up and with all four legs it pounded on the glass. It was humorous to hear everyone scream from a few exhibits down!

Old Time Market

Today I went to a little grocery store just a few blocks away. I think it's 5 blocks... over one, up 4. anyway... it's this little small town grocery store that reminds me a lot of the IGA that was a few miles from my home when I grew up.

You know what I'm talking about. The one where everyone knows everyone, they carry a lot, but not a lot of brands of it, if they need a price check they can just yell "how much are the bags of vidalia onions?" and someone yells back "2.99".(That actually happened while I was there.) There isn't a barcode scanner in the middle of the store to tell you the price, you have to ask an actual person. Who is more than friendly, and more than willing to help. It was cute, and so close, I'll most definitely be using this store for the "whoops I forgot to get x,y,z" trips!

My Mother's Day

I was so excited about Mother's day. I had made a triple batch of ham and potato soup, cheese cake and my yummy mint melt away brownies. We woke up, got ready for church, and walked the two blocks to church.  Half way through the music I started feeling not so swell, I was freezing and shaking as well as my whole body was aching. I decided to leave, walk home and get some rest while the kids and Eugene stayed at church. I'm glad I did, I barely made it home, and curled up in bed trying to stay warm. After a few tylenol and a rest I started to feel a little better.

We had plans to bring all that yummy food to my mother in law's house and enjoy mother's day with her. After checking with them we decided to just go over anyway. I enjoyed some of the yummy food, despite feeling like crud.

At the end of the day I went to bed early and slept very well. I can't say it was the best mother's day full of flowers and fruit baskets, but it was still good. Any day full of homemade soup, bread, salad and cheesecake is good!

Mother's Day!

Tomorrow is Mother's day. Normally it's not that big of a deal for us here, I might get a small present, and it's the one day of the year I normally get away without cooking or washing dishes. I made it easy on my husband this year, instead of him trying to think of Mother Day ideas, i told him I wanted a new pair of flip flops. :) I even ordered them myself. Made it extra easy on him.

This year is a little different, I'm not getting out of cooking and probably wont get out of cleaning, instead I am cooking for his entire family. This is the first time in years his mother has been close enough to celebrate with her. You don't realize how much you rely on your mother until she is half way across the country... I miss you mommy!  Anyway... I made up a triple batch of cheesey ham and potato soup, I'm also making mint melt away brownies and cheese cake. Yah, not making it easy this time!  That's ok. it will be worth the cheese cake.

Shopping anyone?

I am so in the mood to shop, I don't know what it is, but I just want to shop. not go out and go to stores and shop, but shop online. I'm always cautious when ordering from new sites, I'm always afraid I'm going to fall for some fake store scam. Today I got to order my Mother's day present, a new pair of Teva flip flops. I was excited, but once I bought them I just wanted to buy more and more stuff!

It's amazing to me all the things you can buy online, seriously, you can find anything. Once I bought baby turtles. I'm not kidding either. you can get food, toilet paper, shoes, clothing, furniture, you can even buy gold coins online. I'm starting to wonder if you even need to leave your house. You can even order a pizza and have it delivered. Crazy what this world is coming to. Soon we will all be a bunch of hermits who don't really know real people, we just have online friends, and online conversations. I already catch myself saying "I know someone who..." when in fact, I really don't know them, I just read their blog, or am friends with them on facebook.  Where are all the personal relationships going?

Another round of babies

no, not me. People all around me are pregnant. Not as many as when I was pregnant with Josiah, but I still know a lot of people who are pregnant! Soon dad's will be breaking out their dutch master cigars to celebrate the birth of their new babies.

I met a woman who I think is going to become a pretty good friend. She was watching Josiah in the nursery on Sunday. We have a lot of things in common, we both are mothers, use cloth diapers, breastfeed, homeschool... we had a play date the other day and our kids seemed to get along pretty good too, it was nice to see Lexi interacting with other kids. She has 3 kids and is due in the end of July/beginning of August. 

She also told me about the homeschool co-op that meets at the church, the La Leche League that meets a few blocks away and a story time that meets a few buildings down from me! It's nice to know there are things going on around here. It will give the kids and I some things to look forward to, anything for some socialization with other mommies!

Grilling season

Grilling season is here! I was so excited on Saturday we met Eugene's mom at Lowes to help them pick out a new grill. Since we have no place to grill we live through them. (plus we get to enjoy the food every once and a while). I couldn't believe the selection of grills though, they had something for everyone, if you had $99 or $799 there was a grill for you. Some had LED light up nobs (I guess so you can grill in the dark!?) the girls loved turning those on and off, some had searers, some had burners, some had an infrared heater, rotisseries... all sorts of fancy things.

I'm pretty sure when we finally have a place to put a grill we'll go with a simple gas grill. I can't imagine needing all the fancy bells and whistles. I want a grill to grill on, amazing concept I know.

Either way.. bring on the meat!!  (yes I am aware that there are plenty other things that taste great on grills as well..)

Sheet swap

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate making beds? As in changing the sheets. It's especially bad now that we don't have a dryer and when I wash them we end up with sheets hanging everywhere, draped over every chair, shower rod, curtain rod etc.  Also, the girls have bunk beds... that makes changing sheets very, very frustrating.  Maybe if I had some nice peacock alley bedding, maybe I'd enjoy changing sheets better. but I doubt it. 

I think it took me 45 minutes to change our 3 beds today. Caylee has been wetting the bed almost daily either her diaper leaking at night, or peeing during nap time. it makes me hate changing the sheets even more!  Oh another issue with them is we have these really odd waterproof mattress pads on the girls beds, they must be too big or something because they don't stay on very well at all, and when you're trying to stretch the sheets over them it normally ends up pulling them off the corners. Yah, I hate changing sheets so much I can write a whole blog post about it.

Travel books

My bestest best friend is moving to California for the summer. She is going to be spending about a week in a van with her 3 children, so I decided to try to find some simple games to throw together in a book to help keep them busy.  I found a car bingo game online, and created some games myself, then printed off 3 copies of everything. I'm so glad our printer is one of the few hp printers that has cheap ink.

I then began the cutting, laminating, cutting, whole punching and putting together the books, then I realized it was 4:20, and the post office closes at 4:30. So I woke up my sleeping child, changed her clothes because she had peed the bed, and all four of us ran to the post office. got there just in time to get it in the mail! what an adventurous day.

it's back...

While I was pregnant with Josiah my adult acnehad gone away. but it's back again. came back a few months ago. In fact the only time I think I've ever not had acne was while I was pregnant with him. and it wasn't through the whole pregnancy, just part of it. I broke out worse when I was pregnant with the girls, but for some reason with him it was a little better. I just wonder if I'm going to be dealing with these zits my entire life, or if they will go away... maybe when I'm a grandma they will be gone. Guess I'll have to wait 30 more years to find out.

Gluten Free update 3 weeks

It’s been a bit over 3 weeks since we eliminated gluten from Caylee’s diet. I really didn’t notice a difference in her personality or sleeping or eating until Saturday night. We went out to eat at Famous Daves and ordered her mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. What I didn’t know was that they give a little pack of oreos with kids meals…. The oreos started a break down that had half of the restaurant staring at us. She was way too hungry to calm down (unfortunately she gets that from me… there’s a certain point of hunger that nothing can be reasoned with). So we let her have an oreo, then made her eat some mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. she didn’t want them. She ate my corn muffin. then ate her second oreo…. that night she woke up about 8 times, Sunday she was way more whiny than normal too. Eugene at that point looked at me and said “no more gluten, EVER”.
So now I am certain, it does affect her sleeping, and her attitude. She’s not eating any better though, in fact I think she’s more picky. She is asking for different things though. We ate Easter dinner at a Mexican restaurant and she asked for a taco. we got her one with fries because I had my doubts about the taco. She wouldn’t touch it. but at least she ordered it! And yesterday on the way home we stopped at mcdonalds and she asked for a burger. I ordered her one without a bun. Again, she didn’t eat it, but I will happily give her food when she asks, even if she doesn’t eat it. I’ve heard you have to put food in front of them several times before they actually try it. One of these times she’ll try it.
This morning I made some pancakes out of a Pamela’s Gluten Free mix that my friend (The Natural mommy) sent me. I used coconut oil as the oil instead of canola or vegetable oil. She ate 2 of them, I ate one to try it. I think it was the best pancake I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was the coconut oil that made the difference or what, it was SO good.
She’s still eating the GF substitute foods fine without noticing a difference, with an exception of the Van’s GF frozen waffles we got, she hates those…. I was really nervous when I made pizza though, because her pizza was square and ours was round, I thought she’d notice a difference in the shapes of the pieces and throw a fit. I’ve made pizza 3 times and she hasn’t said anything yet!

I was wrong.

not that it doesn't happen often, because it does... but a few minutes ago Lexi showed me this:

That's a clump of her hair. She held it in one hand, and the scissors in the other. That was her way of protesting that I took the glitter away. She now is without scissors AND glitter.  Luckily with her curly hair, it's almost impossible to see where she cut it from.

The reason I was wrong is because I really thought Caylee would be the first one to cut their hair... she's the more adventurous one. I just hope that she doesn't think you're supposed to do that now.

Gluten Free update

Caylee has been Gluten Free for a week and a half, so far I notice no difference in anything, other than the fact that she is peeing ALL over the floor ALL the time. but I don’t think that’s related to taking gluten out of her diet.
The only thing she’s been asking for that we haven’t found a GF version of is poptarts and toaster strudels. We found two different brands of GF chicken nuggets, she liked one, the other she wont eat. We’ve given her the GF waffles twice now and she wont eat those either. I had gotten some before that she ate, but for some reason she wont eat these.
It’s been pretty easy, some things we’ve just known to keep out of the house (like Oreos) I’ve yet to make any bread for her, but she hasn’t asked for a sandwich or anything so I guess it’s ok.
I made her GF pizza and she loved it. I was really afraid she’d notice a difference in looks and not try it, but she ate it, infact she ate three pieces. She also had the rice spaghetti and didn’t seem affected by the difference.
Hopefully next Friday I’ll start seeing some improvement in her behavior and maybe, possibly, her eating habits?
I did notice that she hasn’t said her stomach hurts as much, I think I’ve heard her say it once and it was immediately followed by “I’m hungry”, so I don’t know if it was a hunger pang or a hurting pang.

Consigning to sell

I really miss living closer to "action" there are not very many consignment sales around here, but I did find one small children's consignment store.  I've gotten several things there, all for pretty cheap. Last time I was in the store I asked about consigning there because I have several baby items I no longer need or want, the lady working handed me a paper to fill out and told me a few rules.

I've sold things in a few different consignment sales and did pretty good, one I was impressed with the other I wasn't. Both of them took about 30% of your profit, but one also had random fees and charges just for selling. I was VERY angry with that lady because it wasn't very clear that she took those fees, all in all I ended up bringing home about $25 out of $75. I was VERY MAD. The second one took only the 30% and I did a lot better at that one, I brought home about $140.

After reading over the letter from the store I don't think I will be selling with them, they take 50% of what you make, plus they price the items how they see fit.  To me that's a pretty bad deal. I guess if you are really desperate for money or have some items that you've tried to sell but can't then maybe it's a good idea. I have the things I want to sell listed on Craigslist, I'm hoping they sell, if not I'll hold onto them until fall when there is a consignment sale I can be a part of.

 I will say though, shopping at the consignment store is worth it! things are priced very reasonable for a buyer. I still like the consignment sales better though, there's nothing like hundreds of moms trying to sell a bunch of stuff all in one weekend!! You can snag some great deals, and you can find just about everything you are looking for. from clothes, to bedding to toys, furniture, shoes and I've even seen baby shower invitations there! Don't forget the big items like bouncers, walkers, exersaucers and carriers!

My search for the impossible

My mom is making the girls their Easter dresses like she does every year. Only this year we have a boy too. So she's making him a tie to match their dresses. We never dress up, but for Easter I like to have them look adorable.  So a Tie will be perfect. I figured it would be simple to find a pair of black slacks and white button up shirt. Boy was I wrong.

I've found some long sleeve white button ups, for a reasonable price, but finding a short sleeve one that is less than $20 is as impossible as finding a spa cover for a 40ft triangular spa. I've searched used and new and come up with nothing! I've got two people checking two different consignment sales for me, maybe one of them will find something, if not I've got a wonderful friend who has offered her long sleeve one that her son outgrew.  FEW! at least I know we got the basics covered. But seriously, if you're the maker of baby clothes, take note- Make a plain white short sleeve shirt for babies under 12 months and sell it for cheap. you'll make millions.

1 in 5

My husband and I met online, we've been happily married for the past 8.25 years. It's funny because everyone is always shocked when they hear how we met. Oddly enough, My mom and step dad met online too. Must run in the family (Eugene and I met first though!) I was watching a commercial yesterday that said 1 in 5 couples meets through dating sites.

I don't know what the statistics were 8 years ago, but I'm sure they were less. The best part is we didn't use a dating site, just a random trip in a Yahoo Christian Chat room. I can't imagine what they will be when Lexi is dating age (that's 30 right?)

Anniversary Moon

When we got married we did it kind of quickly and not the traditional way, we had no honeymoon, aside from a night in the Marriot. So now that we've been married almost 10 years were are thinking of taking a honeymoon of an anniversary trip.

We've thought long and hard and are still thinking long and hard about where we want to go. at first we thought somewhere warm and tropical, maybe a nice cruise where we can get some St. Thomas jewelry, or see some parts of Mexico. Now we are thinking more about Ireland or Scotland, or some European destination.

Heck, I don't care if it's the beach in Florida, as long as it's somewhere relaxing, fun and with my husband!

Tennessee for Easter!

I'm very excited that in 3 short weeks I will be "home" in Tennessee. Yes, we only lived there for a few short years and we've been gone longer than we were there, but to me it's home. It's the place I made the most friends, found a church family i loved like crazy, it's the perfect environment and has everything you need close by. I even have an adopted dad there. I wish we could go back and visit more often than we do, we never have enough time to see everyone and spend the amount of time we want with everyone.

I'm excited to go sit down around the fire pit in the back yard talking and warming up, spending times with my pops and letting the kids enjoy him. They don't get to spend enough time with their grandparents, soon Eugene's mom will be here so they will get to see her and their pap more. And in a month or so we'll get to visit with my mom while camping. Parents are great, whether by birth, marriage, or adopted. They aren't appreciated near enough.

Why do I even look?!

Two Saturdays we were driving around just to drive around. it was nice out and we felt like going for a short drive. There are a ton of little roads and cute houses that line the hill out our bedroom window, so we decided to get a closer view.

We accidentally went past a road I wanted to go down and decided to turn around on this little lane. There was a for sale sign on the end, so we drove up the "lane" (driveway) to look at it. I peeked in the windows and fell in love of course.  The inside needed new paint, it looked horrible, the colors were the ugliest colors I've ever seen in a house, but all in all it was a cute 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a family room, living room and full basement.  I called the real estate agent and found out it's a foreclosure, it's pretty cheap and even has a heat pump and central air- something rare around here.

 I can just picture us living there, which I'm trying not to do, we're  not 100% ready to buy a house. I like to day dream of the colors I'd choose, the addition I'd build off the kitchen for a dinning area, maybe even one of those cool home automation systems so I can program everything from my phone or computer while away.  Anyway... I'm going to try to stop thinking about the cute little house on the top of the hill. :)

Sun, Sun, Mr Golden sun...

Where did you go?!

Last week we saw weather in the upper 60's and low 70s. this week we've had snow, rain and 30 degree weather. Um.. isn't it spring?!

The cold wet weather has slowed down my painting. I got the living room painted while it was still warm, and the fumes were so strong we had to keep the windows open with fans in them for 2-3 days.  I'm afraid to paint the dinning room because it's too cold to open windows. the thought of us being in here all closed up with paint fumes doesn't sit to well with me. So we're living in a house with spots all over the wall... maybe some day it will warm up enough to paint again!!

We're still working on making the living room look good. I haven't hung any pictures yet, we have so many big walls that I don't know where to put the pictures we have! We've hung the front speakers for our surround sound, but we need to get some speaker stands and figure out some way to hid the wires for the rear speakers before we get full surround sound. I hope to get the house feeling like our home sometime soon, maybe then I wouldn't be ready to move already!!

Old memories

I've been thinking about some old memories, not real old, just some things that happened when Eugene and I first started dating. We were involved with a church that had family camp-outs twice a year.  We were also semi involved with the youth.  One of the camp-outs I remember very distinctly.

At the time of the camp-out I was a nanny for two families. I watched four children, two four year old boys and two one year old girls. Eugene and I were newlyweds and active, he was big into rollerblading and I was... well, trying.  I was not good at all, and one particular time we had taken one of the boys out for a bike ride around his neighborhood while we rollerbladed.  While going down a small hill i got nervous and decided to bail... only I, being the smart person that I am, chose the paved driveway over the grass yard. needless to say I ended up with a foot long, 6" wide strip of road rash down my leg.  very painful.

Fast forward about 4 weeks to the time of the camp-out. We're helping/hanging out with the youth/young adults.  we were playing games. one of the games was shoes wrestling. pretty  much the point was to get each other's shoes off while keeping yours. the last one with at least one shoe on was the winner.  There were about 25 of us to start,  and i made it to the top 3. It was me and two guys. They decided neither of them could handle me alone, so they tag teamed me. I was attacked.   one of them pined me down and the other put my leg between his and pulled down. At that moment, any scab that had formed over my road rash was torn off. (no I didn't give up the game, I still fought, but they got my shoes off).

One thing I know... road rash hurts. I can't imagine being in a bad accident and getting road rash over the majority of your body. Ouch.

Little town moments

We live in a small town, but it's bigger than the one we lived in a few months ago.  Today I had to take the kids to the doctor which is down by where we used to live. While driving through the small town we passed a house with about 10 lawn mowers in the yard.  Some pretty nice riding lawn mowers and some nice looking push mowers, nothing awesome like a simplicity zero turn mower but that would look even funnier in a town like that.

We see some pretty interesting things in our small town,  bright pink cars,  houses painted colors you wouldn't dream of even looking at, There's even a horribly ugly baby blue Escalade, something that big should not be painted a solid baby blue...
People are great too... especially those at walmart. I don't think I need to say anything more about that. There's just something great and unusual about small towns.

Elevator fun.

We've been trying out a new church for the past three weeks, We've enjoyed that they have a special class for the girls, where they actually get a lesson and learn different Bible stories. So far everything has been good, the kids have been happy in their classes, and we've enjoyed the service.

The only thing I don't like is that the children are downstairs and we are upstairs, and the downstairs has it's own entrance. Other churches have security, either locking the doors or people patrolling, and they might too, I am just not aware of it.  There is an outside stair case to get from one floor to the other, or there is an elevator. Sunday after church I went down to pick up the girls, then went back up to meet Eugene who was talking to the pastor, and apparently some kid had hit the Call button and there was a man talking to us asking us if we needed emergency medical assistance. It was kinda interesting to tell a voice in the elevator that we were ok and someone must have hit the call button on accident.  It was a new experience for me!

perfecting pizza

I've been making homemade pizza for about 4 years now. I can't believe there was a time in my life when we bought frozen pizzas. We've bought maybe 4 in the past 4 years and each time we do i cringe at the price then am disgusted at the taste. Even the "best" frozen pizzas do not touch the yumminess of homemade pizza. I was shocked at how easy it was (I use a no rise recipe so I don't have to wait forever either).

Even though it has been delicious since day one, I still try to learn a new trick every once and awhile. I learned on the other day from The Natural Mommy.  The trick is a hot pizza stone and preparing it on a piece of cardboard or wooden pizza thing like they use at pizza places, then sliding it onto the hot stone (never taking the stone out of the oven).  My pampered chef pizza stone has never been good to me, so I was nervous to use it, but it worked great. The pizza was SOOO yummy.  I love my stoneware, sure it's not le creuset stoneware but it works just fine (now that I got the hang of the pizza stone...)

Next time I make pizza I'm going to attempt to make the papa John's pizza dough recipe... yummy. 

Green thumb

My mom has the ultimate green thumb I think. Growing up our house was full of plants. Life filled our house, green leaves everywhere we turned.  of course that wasn't always a good thing, because we also had dogs, and well, dogs like to run and play etc. Many times while we were gone they would play a little too rough and knock over the plants. We'd come home to dirt everywhere. Makes me wonder what would have happened if my mom used hydroponics instead of traditional soil plants, some days I think our house would have been flooded by the number of plants they could tip over in a few hours.

Since we've been married I've been on and off with plants, I normally have about 3-7 at a time, I'm not bad with them, but I'm no where as near as my mom is at keeping them looking healthy and pretty. I only try easy plants. The best I ever had mine look was one summer about 6 years ago, I lived with some good friends while Eugene was on tour. They had an amazing deck and I set my plants out there for the summer, watering them every once and awhile. They tripled in size over the summer, they must have just got the best light and weather there. They looked beautiful.

Then I moved into our apartment when he got done with the band and one fall night I left them outside... it got too cold and that was the beginning of the end for most of my plants.  It was sad since several of them I started from pieces of my sister's plants. Right now I have 3 plants, they are all doing well, but some day when we have our own house and nice deck I hope to get several more and do my best to make our house feel more like my house growing up.

Why is this still here?!

I've found several misplaced items in my house since we moved. One of the most random are the utility knives that are sitting on my kitchen counter. I have no clue why they are there. I look at them every day, probably 3-5 times a day yet never put them away. Why?

There's also some tacks sitting on the book shelf in the dinning room and some packing tape on the fridge.... I have no clue why I don't just put them away. It couldn't possibly be because every time I see them I am in the process of taking care of something for one of the impatient kids or cooking supper or something similar.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll take care of those things eventually...

The weight loss jouney begins again

I've done horrible with my weight since Josiah was born, I think I've actually gained a few pounds from the lowest I got. (I dropped 30lbs in 10 days right after he was born, but I've gained a few since then.)  Yesterday morning my husband and I both got on the scale and realized we both have between 25 and 30lbs to lose to be at our ideal weights.

So we decided we'd do something about it. And since we're both in it together, maybe we will stick to it!  Instead of trying to find diet pills that work, we're going to stop buying girl scout cookies (and all other forms of junk), start eating smaller portions and exercise! My knees have been good for a week now, so next week we are going to start walking 3-4 days a week and see what happens. If all goes well with my knees we'll up it and start jogging, or walking more often and further.  Hopefully in a month I will be running again. 

My husband's face was priceless tonight at supper when I told him he could only have two pieces of pizza. lol. About what my mind was saying the whole time I made one small pizza. Amazingly enough I'm plenty full. I've been doing good this week to avoid eating snacks after supper, I get bad cravings right after supper and around 9:30pm.  The good thing is I KNOW my weak times and the foods that I have no self control on, so I can be sure to not buy those foods, and also be prepared with a full glass of lemon water at my weak moments.

Hopefully soon we'll be looking good!  We've got a year to get ourselves looking great for our 10 year anniversary trip!

no more chai...

I am sad. I love chai but it seems my Josiah does not like it so much. I bought a container of Oregon Chai, and every day that I've had a glass, 12 hoursish later he fusses like crazy. Nothing other than gripe water calms him. I guess it's bye bye Chai for me!

It's been warmer here for a week or so now, I love it. Last week we went to the part 3 days in a row. I wanted to go yesterday but I seem to have come down with some weird bug. I've had a fever, head ache, achey body and today a stomach ache. It's no fun for the girls or me when I'm sick. I do a lot of sitting on the couch or laying in bed if Caylee is asleep.  They have to wait for snacks and drinks, and they have to get stuff for me. poor kids. Lexi's been super sweet though, she sits next to me and rubs my back, she'll often throw in a "I'm sorry you're sick" comment here or there.   at least she's sympathetic.

Love Languages

I know the way to my husband's heart. It's in my cookies. or cookies in general, but he really likes my chocolate chip cookies.  I'm not saying I could get away with anything and then make him cookies, but they never hurt anything that's for sure. It's kinda the same with flowers to me.  Although I make cookies way more than I get flowers, but hey, Chocolate chip cookies are a lot cheaper than flowers. With the help of a proflowers coupon flowers are a little cheaper!  Still not as cheap as cookies, but cookies take a lot more work. 

Of course, I'd much rather have flowers. Flowers don't make you fat. :) 

More Park Fun!

For the third day in a row it was a gorgeous day here. Today wasn't as hot as yesterday, but it was still nice enough to enjoy some time at the park. Since Eugene was with us and we had the car we went to the park that's about 10 miles away, it's bigger and has a lot more for the kids to do, they love it. Today our big adventure was throwing rocks in the creek. The girls are always surprised when I tell them they can do things where they might get dirty, I love to see Lexi's face when I say "Go ahead, play in the dirt!" or, "dig in the mud!" She lights up like I just gave her a big ice cream cone. Makes me wonder just how sheltered I've made them!

I get a little frustrated at this park, like I said, it's bigger so there are a lot more people, and with more people come bigger kids. and with bigger kids come trouble. Especially because bigger kids want to do whatever they want and bigger kids parent's don't pay attention to make sure they're not doing anything bad... I had to tell a few kids a couple times not to do things. They thought it was fun to climb up slides while Lexi and Caylee were trying to go down. climbing up slides is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you're the only one on the playground- fine, but if you're 9 and there's a 2 year old trying to slide down.... Yah.  They also wanted to throw rocks (by kids, not in the creek). Made me wonder if their parents bought mass amounts of insurance to cover the damage their kids must cause.

Hopefully  as my kids grow they will learn to respect others and property. and general rules like "don't climb up the slide when other kids want to slide down!"

um... okay.

We are buying new locks for our doors today. For security reasons. We've had two things that just make us say "ummm.. okay."

First about a week ago I was sitting on the couch and looked down next to the cushion and there was a cap for a bottle of beer. We don't drink. We don't have wild parties where people drink. We have no clue where that came from. Also we have this plastic shoe box container that my husband keeps his clippers in. We keep it on top of the medicine cabinet. Way up high where the kids can't reach it. We just put the clippers in it a few weeks ago. We pulled them down the other day and there is a crack in it. um... okay.

Nothing is missing from our house. Nothing else is out of place. just a random beer bottle cap and a small crack in a plastic container.  I don't really feel scared. The thought of someone in our house scares me, but those two things are more just a "weird" thing than a scary thing. Who knows! but either way we're changing the locks, they weren't changed before we moved in so the people who lived here before could still have a key.

My husband wants to get a gun.  I'm not against it, he's wanted one for years. It would have to be kept somewhere where the kids wouldn't find it,  knowing him he'd want a permit to carry it and blackhawk holsters to carry it in or something. He has a little bit of redneck in his blood.  of course, I do too so it's ok.

warm sunshine + fresh air+ being at the park = tired momma!

I don't know what we were thinking moving to a place that doesn't have a yard. I guess we were thinking it was winter so we don't go outside much. Now that the warm weather is visiting, I've missed the yard. Just being able to walk out our front door and play in the grass, or ride bikes was nice. There is a park about half a mile away from here, which is what I was counting on using when we thought about moving here.

Today the kids and I walked there to get some fresh air. I hate being cooped up in the apartment all the time, so it was nice to get out! Plus it gave them a chance to get some energy out of their system, gave me a bit of exercise, and I was hoping we'd find some other kids there. We ended up being the only ones their for most of the time so they didn't make any friends.

Watching them run around and climb and play was so nice though, it's a small park, all fenced in, so I relax a bit there, plus we were the only ones playing.  I love to see them use their imaginations as they play in the sand and race to climb up and slide down the slides.  It gave me some great toddler gift ideas as they sat in the sand making homes for their "friends" (the acorns they found on the ground).  We were there for probably an hour and a half at least, then we started our short walk home, we took a little break for some ice cream at a cute little ice cream and coffee shop.

I think we're all worn out now, they are sitting on the couch watching tv for the first time today (something we've been working on cutting out!), Josiah took a nap and I'm sleepy!!  I did open all the windows and get dinner in the oven before I sat down though, which is good because I don't want to get up!

Chocolate craving

I've been trying to be really good lately with my eating. Especially my night snacking. the past two nights haven't been too bad, but tonight the craving came full force. Right now I'd love to have a vending machine business to go raid. Something chocolate would be nice right now, some homemade chocolate chips cookies maybe.  But alas, I will be good, and just drink water to try to get through this craving.... Since I can't exercise I have to lose weight by controlling my eating alone. After two days of being good I lost a pound so hopefully it will keep coming off!! and the good news is that my knees aren't swelling or hurting much. I am able to do normal day activities so hopefully walking and running will happen sometime before summer is over!

Parenting commercial style

There is this commercial for Bona cleaners that just makes me laugh. Have you seen it? There is a little girl painting a flower on the hardwood floor, and a son and dog with muddy feet running through the door leaving foot prints through the kitchen, a husband spilling coffee on the floor. All while the narrator says it doesn't matter if they make messes because Bona makes it easy to clean and protect hardwood floors...

Um, excuse me? I don't care who you are, even the most patient mom is not going to just let her child paint personalized Easter gifts on the floor. Even if it does come up easy. Even the best mom is going to tell the boy to wipe his feet, or tell the girl to stop painting on the floor and paint on paper. Thank you very much, but that was a little unrealistic, even for a commercial mom.

My workout

I can't run or walk or ride bike and even swimming hurt my knee.  I've been trying to just do some fast upper body circuits, including lots and lots of weights and crunches. I also have one thing I do every day a million times a day, lift Josiah. He's my little muscle stimulator. Not sure how I don't have toned arms  with as much as I carry him. He loves me to hold him, and fusses when I put him down if I don't stay right near him.  We had several good days and nights where he took naps and slept in his crib, now he's back to wanting me near him every time he is sleeping.  It was only 3 or 4 days, but I got used to those long naps he was taking in his crib, so it's kind of annoying now when he wakes up every time I put him down.  I'm sure we'll find that pattern again... soon I hope.


 I realized how little I've had a paying job in my life the other day when I got the mail. The government had sent my husband and I the little updates that tell us how much our family would get a month if one of us died, or how much we could collect on Social security disability. The amounts on mine weren't much because I honestly haven't worked much. For the past 4.5 years I've been a stay at home mom. While I was in college I had part time jobs that didn't pay much, but covered the cost of books and a little entertainment. I worked  steadily for a few years between college and being a mom and that's where most of my money came from.

Lately I have been considering trying to take classes to finish my degree. I have two years towards my Elementary Education degree. Problem is I am not so sure I want to teach elementary school anymore. I'm leaning much more towards middle school or high school math. (Yes, I LOVE math).  I'm not so sure they offer the classes I'd need to take as online classes. I'm in no rush to get it done since I'm not looking to get a job until Josiah is old enough that we can either leave the kids alone during the day, or if we decide to put them in public school at any point in time. It would just be nice to have something to fall back on if something happened where Eugene couldn't work, or we really needed the extra income. Of course, teaching jobs are really hard to come by these days so who knows if it would be worth it.  It's just a thought.

Dirty diapers

We love our cloth diapers and i love our diaper sprayer. So far I haven't had to use it for Josiah's diapers yet, we haven't even hooked it up since we moved. I've missed it though, even though we don't need it for diapers. I got in the habit of using it for the little potty when Caylee uses that. She doesn't use it often but if I'm feeding Josiah or can't get up for some reason. And I'm not going to lie, every once and awhile I forget that she used the little potty so it sits for a few days.... A diaper sprayer comes in really handy then. 

We bought ours from cotton babies, but I've heard of people making them using a sprayer (like you'd have on the kitchen sink) and a metal hose attached to the hose that fills the toilet. I'm sure it works just fine and probably doesn't cost $40. 

House Hunters

I've been watching HGTV and it made me start thinking about looking for a house. Just to get an idea of what type of down payment we should be saving.  There are a bunch of houses between 100-150K that meet our criteria, I was hoping to spend less. While looking through pictures I saw an adorable log cabin on 10 acres of land, it only had 2 bedrooms but it had a porch with cute log furniture on it, an amazing fireplace and a ton of windows. 

I'm not sure what type of house we'll buy when we are looking i like a lot of different styles and types, and different features so I guess as long as it meets our specific needs it doesn't matter what type it is! For now we will work on paying off the little bit of debt we have and start saving a down payment and worry about the choosing later.


There are so many days I spend stressed to the max from the kids. I feel like all I ever do is get stuff for them, wipe their bottoms, cook, clean, break up fights and clean up messes. Some days I feel like all i do is yell at them, and those days I can't wait for bedtime. Then when I crawl into bed I'm a big exhausted mess, feeling like being a mom is just a straining job. I feel guilty for not spending time with them and guilty that they watch tv. Those days I start thinking about ending my full time mom career and  starting health care careers.

Then there's days like today. Days when I remember they will only be this age once. Days when I remember that a little mess is ok. Days when I remember that it doesn't matter if it takes me a few minutes longer to make supper when they help. Days that we play, do crafts, make messes, bake together, cook together and snuggle together.

Days like today when I let go and have fun, and realize that being a mom is awesome when you take the time to enjoy it.


This weekend has been great, I've enjoyed the weather. I wish I could have taken better advantage of it. I love that warmer weather means Spring and summer are on it's way.   With summer comes trips to the park, camping vacations, birthday party invitations and trips to the beach!

This year my sister and I decided to make our yearly camping trip to Virginia beach instead of Myrtle beach. I kinda feel like we're cheating on Huntington beach state park by not going. We've gone every year for the past 3 years so not going this year will feel weird. I'm sure we'll have just as much fun at VA beach, after all, it is a beach.

We also have a camping trip in PA planned too like last Memorial Day, with a bunch of my family, this year another one of my Aunts and her family are joining us, maybe next year more family will join!  I'm so excited.

Guaranteed approval- what a deal!

This isn't a financial blog by any means.  But pretend it is for one minute while I share a little something, okay?
Right after Lexi was born we bought a used Ford Taurus, up until that point we had been driving a two door Hyundai accent, the car seat fit ok in the middle, but we were ready for a little more space, getting that infant seat in the back was a bit of a challenge. We started to think about looking for a car, we had no money saved for a down payment, not great credit and we were still paying on the accent.  Then the middle seat belt broke and we couldn't put her car seat in there anymore, so we put her behind me in the passenger seat and I ate my knees while we went to look at some cars.
We wanted something bigger, but were not ready for a minivan. Looking back now I wish we would have just got one then, but hindsight is 20/20.  We knew what monthly payment our "budget" would allow and were stupid enough to only talk monthly payment not APR. With bad credit, and having to add the amount we still owed on the Accent onto our loan we ended up with a monthly payment that fit nicely, but an APR of around 20%. HORRIBLE.   Once we started getting a little wiser we started working on paying off the car, we ended up paying it off two years early.  In the time that we were working on paying it off we added Caylee to our family. The car started getting small. We could squeeze a small person between the car seats in the back, and going on vacations was a mess, our car was stuffed from door to door, floor to ceiling.  Now we have Josiah too. the three car seats barely fit in the back seat, I'm not even sure they are installed properly because there's no room to get around them to check. We've been on one small trip, but we didn't have to bring half of what we normally do, I have no clue how we're going to make any trips if we don't get a mini van.
Some friends of ours sold us a big GMC conversion van for really cheap, but we've yet to get it on the road and don't think we really want to. We know it will suck the gas so we wont be able to afford to go anywhere. We've been talking up plans as to how to go about wisely buying a van.  We can't really afford monthly payments, but we figured if we could sell our car and the van we could easily afford an older used van.
Today we stopped by a small dealership we drive by a lot because we saw they had a minivan there. The owner came out to talk to us as I was peeking in the windows.  He asked us if we were looking to pay cash or get a loan.  We told him we were thinking about using the credit union that my husband 's work offers. He then told us a price. but not before telling us a little something.
The price if we were going to get financed through him was in the  $9,500 range. With our own financing or cash.... $5,500.  That's right, $4k less. He said the financing company takes so much he has to charge way more in order to make money.  So be careful when car shopping, a guaranteed approval might cost you $4,000!!!
I'd like to see the money that finance company is making, maybe I should try to get one of their accounting jobs!

Spring, spring... where art thou spring?

It's March 11th. It's 35 degrees out. I live in the south. It should be spring by now right? I'm sitting here in long sleeves, pants and socks and my feet are numb. My fingers are numb. My nose is numb.  Seriously, I'm ready for spring!!!  A few months ago we got a really high electric bill (around $360 for one month) Since then we've learned to live with the house cold. In fact, since we moved here a month ago the only room that has had the heat on is the girls room. We've turned the heat on a few times in our room as we were getting into bed, but we always turn it back off in the morning. 

I really expected it to be warm by now. Not hot, or even t-shirt weather, but at least warm enough that my feet don't freeze when I'm inside my house.  We are always snuggled up under blankets if we're sitting on the couch, Eugene even keeps himself covered with blankets when he's sitting in his chair working.  I guess we could suck it up and pay another high electric bill, but really we can't afford a higher bill than we got this month and turning on more heat would make the bill higher. So for now we'll survive.  too bad they don't have a like they have a cheapestautoinsurance.net! Heating is only available in one option here. oh well!!