Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Friends (by Kate)

I like to think I know a thing or two about friends. But lately, my confidence is waning.

John is my friend. But I'm not sure yet if I'm his friend.

Maybe it's because I follow him around everywhere. When is being a "friend" consider being a "stalker?"

Or perhaps it's because I called him out on his bad breath. I offered him some floss.

Or maybe it's the several hugs I gave him in order to apologize. I guess that could be stalkerish.

And then, I did offer to watch Veggie Tales with him. But then, maybe we're just not into the same things. I like Veggie Tales. Maybe he's more of a Wiggles guy.

Or perhaps he's just intimidated by the fact my big brother was always around watching us. He is intimidating. Leapster game and all.

Or maybe it's because I stare at him, a lot. Some people find that weird.

Or it could be that face I made in his direction. By no means was it directed toward him. Sometimes I just make weird faces. It's part of being a baby and discovering myself.

Bottom line, I try. I try to be a good friend. But, well, I'm getting the message I need to turn it down a notch. Maybe that's what'll take to have a good friend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Christmas Challenge

I just purchased the above toy for Kate's Christmas. Thanks to Eversave  I used credit to purchase a deal for $25 worth of products from ToysCamp. The above toy was $24.99. I just had to pay shipping, $7.95. I know, who's ever heard of Gbaby, right? Well, I haven't but read some good reviews on the toy. It's so hard to buy anything for Kate simply because we've either had that toy or have it now. And, I want to get something for her that will last a few years, not something I'll end up consigning in a few months. So, that's what I got. Here's the rundown:

Total spent: $19.78
Total left: $80.22
Total gifts bought: 6- 2 pillow pets, Citiblocs, Reusable/washable coloring mat, rainmaker, GBaby toy (averaging $3.30 per toy).
If you're new to Eversave, click on the link above. You'll get $3 right away.

And the challenge continues...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dora the Explorer Adventure Party

I guess you heard through Mommy's sappy post that I turned five.

I did. With turning five, I've also matured. Or should I say my tastes have matured?
Mommy had been planning my party for a few weeks. And, being the big five year old I am (or almost was at that tender age a few days ago), I decided to give Mommy some pointers.

I began with the decorations. However, I think I was misunderstood. When I said, "are you going to decorate?" what I meant was, are you going to drench our house in all things Dora and pink and purple and balloons and streamers?

When I awoke birthday party morning I saw what you see above. Cute, yes. Drenched in all things Dora and birthday party? I think not. I proceeded to ask Mommy why the ceiling wasn't decorated. Sure, it's two stories high but we've got a ladder.

Me being five and Mommy being six times that age, she obviously won. And I settled for the decorations above and a few stars Mommy hung up in response to my desire for more "bling," "pizazz," "sparkle."

Good try Mom.

Like I said, it was an adventure party. Dora always has a map. So, Mommy made a map. And colored. every. one.

Here's our map.
(did we mention this was a birthday on a budget?)

And what's a Dora adventure without Swiper? When Mommy had mentioned he may be making an appearance, my heart beat faster. Who would be dressing up as Swiper?

Well, again, Mommy had the final say.

No one would be dressing up as Swiper.
Instead, I got this.

And no, I asked too, he didn't move.

But we played along with Mommy's little game and said "Swiper, no swiping" as we came down the slide mountain and he "tried" to take our sunglasses.

Here we are awaiting to climb the "mountain." We just exited the "twisty tunnels." Look at the map if you're confused.

Following the descent down the mountain we were then subjected to snakes. Okay, paper snakes. But in the name of fun we pretended to cross the snake ravine using a "tight rope."
Here's Ada coming ever so close to being bitten by one of those snakes. Good thing they're paper.

Following the treacherous snake walk, we hopped on our "mopeds" down the rocky hill.


The "Most Spirited through Actions of Boldness" award goes to Ada, who, without hesitation, catapulted her body across Crocodile Creek all the while holding on to her backpack. However, we are not giving out awards.

But, Dora would be proud.


Our last challenge was the most exciting. Crossing the Muddy Mud Pit on Grandmama's Romper Stompers. No, my Grandmama does not actually use these herself. However, she provided them for our adventure. Being the skilled Romper Stomper I am, I went first. A week of  practice can really set you ahead of the game. 

And what adventure doesn't have a reward? The aluminum foiled wrapped box, serving as, of course, a treasure box laden with treasure, a A.K.A. candy, bouncy balls, necklaces, dinosaurs, know...all that junk parents DON'T want their kids coming home with after a party, awaited our arrival.

And we all enjoyed cupcakes

And good friends.

And while at times I gave Mommy a hard time with my unusually high expectations, I had a blast. And believe it or not, when Mommy asked what my favorite part about my party was I said, "the adventure."

I didn't realize opening presents was an option.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mommy's Moment: Unwrapping

It's so cliche.

They grow up so fast.

But, this cliche is so true.

Tomorrow, the 25th, Hannah turns 5.

As I was nursing Kate before laying her down to bed, I caught a glimpse of Hannah as she raced to the bathroom.

Her little life flashed quickly across my mind and stopped, at that moment, at this BIG girl. No longer a baby. No longer a toddler. No longer a preschooler. Her words, more grown up. Her independence, more evident. Her abilities, ever growing.

She, all to eager to grow up, asks me if she's a "big girl" now. Hoping to grow miraculously the day she turns five, she has eagerly waited for this day. And while I informed her turning five does not automatically sprout her legs another inch or two, in my heart it seems that way.

In a way, I grieve those days now lost. But I also look eagerly ahead. It's been a joy to see her personality grow and develop. To keep her as a baby (toddler, preschooler, etc.) would be holding back all those funny, intriguing, precious characteristics that make her more and more real and deep. The Lord is unraveling her before me. And I've never been disappointed.

She's grown so deeply.

Each birthday is another reminder to me of the present I get to unwrap. As she grows and matures so does our relationship. I get to experience the unwrapping of her. What will she excel at? What will she struggle with? How will the Lord work in her life? How will He use her? Will she love writing? Will she find a niche in math? Will she be shy or eager to speak up?

There's so much more to unravel in her life that is ever lived before me.

And I have a front row seat.

And so while I say goodbye to another year, I anxiously await the next. I am thankful for each day I get to spend with this precious gift. It's an honor to be entrusted by the Lord as a steward of her life. She sharpens me. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She pours so much joy, depth, and richness into my life.

She is my present. Always.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sinus Issues

Anyone else having sinus issues?

Better yet, anyone have a tissue?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Conversations With...Hannah

Hannah: Mommy, what drink do you have?

Me: Coke

Hannah: It's so sweet. You gotta stop drinking Coke. Maybe that's why you're sick.

(I've had major sinus issues lately).

And across cyberspace I can hear all my health conscious friends agreeing in unison.

Stationery card

Birthday Bubbles Pink Birthday Invitation
Click here to browse Shutterfly birthday card designs.
View the entire collection of cards.
Yes, that's my Kate, wings and all.

Thanks to Pampers Gifts to Grow I earned credit for Kate's birthday invitations through Shutterfly. And, thanks to Shuttefly, by posting this birthday invitation I made, I will get $10 credit toward my next purchase. . .I'm thinking Christmas cards.

As you might suspect, Kate's having a butterfly party per Hannah's request.

Thus, the wings.

I'll have a post of all the OTHER pictures I didn't use and of course, from Kate's perspective. She has a lot to say.

Anyways, as always, if you need cute invitations or announcements, photo books...etc. Shutterfly does a great job!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Joy (from Grant)

Joy. I experienced joy last week.

Watching Elmo...LIVE. (who doesn't experience joy while listening to that high pitched voice that seems to stick in your head to the point you yourself start talking like him?).

and while doingso, drinking an unmonitored amount of lemonade, eating a garganteous hot dog, and enjoying my newly bought (thanks Grandma) light up the sky sneakers while enjoying good company with my best bud, Micah.

(okay, we did a lot of playing around too)

Oh yeah, did I mention I also got to eat a bag of my favorite yellow chips followed, somewhere in there, by a large chocolate chip cookie.


Joy was also found when I got back at Hannah.

Remember this...

So, I did this...

But the greatest joy of all, discovering that I can watch Elmo 24/7 because he's also on my t.v.!!!

And can you believe Mommy was keeping that all to herself? To think!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dare Devil

I think I've found my calling.

Stunt woman baby.

I crave adventure. I have my siblings to thank for it.

It began in my jumper. Hannah would pull me back, like a human slingshot ready for action. And, while Mommy wasn't looking, let me go.

The rush was unexplainable.

Once Mommy found out, the fun stopped.

But then, I was introduced to the swing. And, like the jumper, I could be pulled back only to be let loose for a ride that would make Space Mountain look like a ride for pansies.

My taste for adventure has spilled over into other areas as well.

Like the stairs.

I know it must be dangerous because I hear, "no, no," followed by my quick decent thanks to Mommy.

I do it anyways. And I make sure to look cute doing it. It seems to help. So I flash a smile here and there. I add some flair with accessories. And I try to do something that's bound for a laugh, like, holding a rubber duckie in my mouth.

There are some days where I get loose from Mommy's eyes. And I take on the stairs as a mountain climber takes on Mt. Everest. And when I reach the top (because I do), I let out a yelp of triumph. I imagine that's what those mountain climbers do on Mt. Everest.

And, I've finally taken my adventurous spirit to the bathtub. Just yesterday I showed Mommy and my siblings how I can climb out of the tub on my stomach. However, I learned that being naked and wet while trying to climb out creates more of a sliding out than climbing out which can cause for a unpredictable landing. And I'll have to admit, it startled me a bit.

But, adventure continues to call my name.

I wonder if Disney needs some stunt babies?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Christmas Challenge

Thanks to Zulily credit, I was able to snag another gift for Christmas.

This time, I purchased Citiblocs. Anyone heard of these? I looked them up on Amazon and they've gotten great reviews. I thought this might be a big hit for Grant (and I'm sure Hannah too). They both love to build.

So, with my $15 credit I ended up paying $3.94.

I love Zulily more than other daily deal sites because they let you use your credit toward the shipping as well. Shipping was $5.95 but some of my credit went toward that as well.

And here's my progress thus far in my Christmas Challenge (to spend no more than $100 on my three kids' Christmas):

Total spent: $11.83
Total remaining: $88.17
Total gifts bought: 5 (2 pillow pets, a reusable/washable coloring table cloth, 100 piece CitiBlocs, rainmaker)

Now that money is super tight, I'm likely not going to spend near $100, but for now, I'm sticking to that number.

Oh and if you'd like to check out the CitiBlocs I think they're on sale for the next few days.

One Thousand Gifts: 156-170

This week's list stems mostly around financial blessings. We are in a dry season, financially speaking and as I wrote this list I was reminded yet again of the Lord's faithfulness to us even in the small things. Money is still extremely tight but as I stop to see these little blessings I am reminded again of the Lord's name "El Roi," the God Who Sees. He sees us. He has not forgotten us. And He is using His people to show us that. My intentions are not to highlight our need but instead, to highlight how the Lord is meeting our needs, even if it isn't the way we would have planned.

Thankful for...

#156- parents and in-laws helping to make Hannah's birthday special by buying party supplies.

#157- two tanks of gas compliments of family and friends.

#158- a friend buying my dinner

#159- the opportunity to grow in humility as the body of Christ serves our family

#160- 4 free tickets (that included dinner and special seats) to Sesame Street Live and great company...again compliments of good friends.

#161- an inspection for John's business tomorrow.

#162- a house painting job for John to pick up some extra money

#163- think I've said this before but a husband who is willing to work extra hard doing unglamorous things to support our family

#164- a cleaning job for me thanks to a good friend

#165- an intact family, not a given for many as I was reminded of that today while watching the thousands of families grieve the loss of loved ones due to the terroist attacks 

#166- extra money made thanks to a consignment sale back home

#167- a gift from a childhood friend of John's

#168- new shoes for Grant thanks to Mom

#169- thoughtful friends who are aware of our needs and have contacted me with possible opportunities to make extra money.

#170- a good friend paying me to watch her kids twice a week

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Conversations with...Grant

Grant to me as he is going outside: Mommy, don't let Kate put her dirty mouth on my blankie.

Don't you mean, don't let Kate put her mouth on your dirty blankie?

Self Expression

 Third children (or the youngest) are all about expression. Or so I hear. Maybe because Mommy is the youngest of three.

I'm the third child. And, I'm all about expression. So, maybe it's true. I enjoy delving into my creative side.

Take my hairstyle, for instance.

This morning I chose to go with the mohawk. Or is it a faux hawk? Either way, it's awesome. All it takes is a bit of rubbing against your bumper. And, voila, you've got a style that says "look at me." Isn't that what third children say?

Now, in all fairness, my sister, Hannah, was all about expression when it came to her hair at a young age. I mean, just look at her.

But, I choose to express myself in other creative ways as well. Check this look out.

And, just this morning I chose to take off my pants in the crib because well, who needs them to nap? Mommy found me waving my pants in the air while I anxiously awaited her entrance. No pictures because that just wouldn't be appropriate.

And, I like to express myself while eating. Thanks to my deep seated dislike of bibs, ripped off in a hurry, my clothes become a canvas for art. Food Art. Apparently Mommy is not so impressed. While she (has to) tolerates my expressive little hands on my clothes, she does not push her tolerance further. In avoidance of my artistry hitting the carpet canvas she strips me naked. That's okay, every artist needs their masterpiece set aside to dry.

And finally, my signature way to express myself is my signature crawl. The army crawl. And, while I am mastering more and more the "normal" crawl, I still leave room to for that crawl that draws eyes to me. That puts me on center stage.

 see,caught ya lookin'

Afterall, isn't that what we youngest children like, full attention on center stage so our self expression is most appreciated?

Oh and mischief, youngest children love mischief, just ask my mom about her mudding experience...oh but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll save that for another post.

You know you youngest children are nodding in agreement.