Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Favorite Things

I was all set to do a series of My Favorite Things, but sick kids, in-laws visiting, Christmas, and some more sick kids has prevented me from doing a whole series, leaving us to just a top twelve list of My Favorite Things throughout life, the year, etc.  Would love to hear some of your favorite things!  And here is last years list!

1.  My Household Binder:  I started creating mine over the summer when paperwork from Jack and Molly's schools were scattered all over the house!  And then, my cell phone stopped working and I had to get a new one, but my calendar didn't transfer over and I lost my entire schedule!  You know, doctor and dentist appointments, birthdays, important dates, etc.  I started searching the Internet, found a few AMAZING websites:  http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ and http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/ were both very inspiring, had some free printable resources (I mostly created my own), and set a great foundation to start my own!  Seriously might do a later post on mine, it is a lifesaver!

2.  Pinterest!  LOVE IT!  I came across Pinterest when creating the above and it was love at first sight!  I can honestly say it is a time sucker, but I have made wonderful meals, snacks, lunches, crafts, holiday decorations from that amazing site!

3.  Baby oil and powder:  I have used baby oil since college when my room mate introduced to me why she used it.  You know after you shave your legs and instantly your legs feel like they are on fire?  Well, baby oil takes away the burn instantly!  LOVE IT!  I keep a bottle in our shower and use it all over in place of lotion, I even used it while pregnant to prevent stretch marks and can honestly say I have not a one stretch mark from any pregnancy!
Baby powder's magic was discovered over the summer when we went to a park with friends and when we were all getting ready to leave, our kids were covered head to toe in sand.  Side note:  I HATE sand!  It's right up there with play-doo, Celine Dion, and loose teeth.  I usually avoid sand at all costs but it's not always possible!  So, I'm trying to wipe down my crew with baby wipes (on the list from last year) and ended up just spreading sand in more places then one can imagine.  My friend pulls out baby powder, pours it in her hands and just brushes the sand off of her kids!  Like magic, the sand comes off!  We took baby powder to the beach with us and once again worked it's magic!  Now, I have  a bottle (container?) of baby powder in our beach bag!

4.  Wii!  We became the proud owners of a Wii over the summer and we have been having so much fun ever since.  Now, I grew up without a Nintendo, Eric gave me a Sega Genesis when I was a freshman in college (to unwind during study breaks), and truly embarrass myself every time I play any sort of video game.  Not anymore because Wii games are normal and real!  I rock at bowling and I can so drive a car....so what if the settings are on the easiest ever setting!  Jack is such a trash talker, he kicks it in golf and tennis, and I love to watch him bounce up and down while he plays Mario Cart!  I so want the dance one, not sure of the name, but it looks awesome!  I can so rock at dancing!  Welcome to the 21st century Brew Crew! (And yes, I just had to google what century we are in)

5.  Mom to Mom Ministries:  I am a member of two mom's groups (a long story and yes I'm crazy) and both do the Mom to Mom ministry by Linda Anderson.  I LOVE these groups for several reasons:  I can seek guidance, advice, and support from our mentor mom's, understanding, loving friendship in mom's like myself, 2 hours of fun for my children to play, learn about Jesus, while I pray, learn about Jesus on how to be the best Me, wife, and mother!  If you need a mom's group, I would love to talk to you more!

6.  The Schools My Children Attend:  We are very fortunate to live in a community with wonderful schools!  Jack, as you know, began Kindergarten and has learned to read, number families, nouns and verbs, sight words, writing and journaling, and so much more that I can't begin to express my shock, amazement, and gratitude towards his teacher and school!  Amazing!
Molly, as you know, began preschool and we all ready knew it was a fabulous school because that is where Jack attended last year and our home church!  She also comes home after a wonderful day of school and is so knowledgeable in her numbers and letters, starting to write her name, and making her own friends!

7.  The Teachers!  Can't have fantastic schools without their fantastic teachers!  Jack has an amazing teacher and Molly has two excellent teachers!  They make me want to go back to teaching (well, most days, until I hear a story the kids tell about a student in their class...or the time I saw Jack's teacher leave the school at 5:40 p.m....or when I hear crazy parent stories)!

8.  Y.M.C.A.  Early in the summer I took the plunge and joined the Y.  Eric was SICK of hearing me complain about losing weight, being fat, and hating my legs and told me to join...so, I did and haven't regretted it one bit!  I hate paying so much (but it is pretty reasonable considering the great classes and childcare) but I have seen results, have fun, love to go, and the kids enjoy it too!  My favorite class is Body Attack, followed by Pilate's (can't take it now because of school schedules, darn), Body Pump, and Body Combat!  I like cardio!  I will say I'm a tad disappointed in the scale, which hasn't made an inch since I joined, but I'm convincing myself that is fat being replace by muscle and someday the scale will drop...right?!

9.  DVR:  Yes, a repeat from last year and shut up!  The kids can watch shows in the Purana hour, I was able to record every Christmas movie ever (I am so sick of Polar Express), and fast forwarding through annoying commercials is awesome!  Thanks DVR!

10.  The doctors that care for us:  No, we're not deathly ill, but we all have been to the doctor over the past year and are very grateful for each and every one of them!  Beginning in January, I had a health issue and my doctor was my saving grace!  In May, Eric was near death with a cold and found us a great family care doctor!  I visited the dermatologist for the first time EVER and he was awesome, didn't find any cancer moles, and told me to stop using anti-aging cream!  Eye doctor, dentist, both would highly recommend (just don't visit our dentist in the afternoon after 3, horrible wait)!  Finally, our pediatrician office!  They get us in right away, hardly a wait, and truly care about our kids and family!  Trusting your doctors is super important and yes, I had to learn this the hard way!  You will NOT hurt their feelings if you feel uncomfortable with them and discuss your concerns or leave to find a new doctor!

11.  Coffee:  Love my coffee maker, my grocery store knock-off fat-free creamer, and love my Starbucks coffee mug my family gave me for my birthday!  Yum!  I'm starting to get more adventurous with my coffee, but I know what I like and don't want to waste money on coffee I don't like (this goes with food too)!

12.  Pampers Overnight Diapers:  Will pees a lot.  Will's diapers were shocking wet every morning.  His sheets, pajamas, and himself were soaked to the bone every morning.  We bought Pampers Overnights.  Now, the only thing wet is his diaper.  Thank you pampers!

13.  New Orleans:  Awesome trip!  Enough said!

14.  Yummy Food:  Sushi, dumplings, cake balls, hummus, all the food in New Orleans, Heineken Light, wine, Chik-fil-a spicy chicken sandwich, Topsy's cheese popcorn, edamome,...as you can see, I don't get out much, but I love food and love trying new things!  I seriously begin to plan my next meal while still eating!

15.  Our friends and family!  Since moving, our friends here have become like family and our family has become so much more special to us!  We value and appreciate our time spent with them more then ever!  We miss our family and friends from all over, but we love our friends here in Texas!  Thank you ALL for loving us, supporting us, and showing us God's love working in all of you!

So, here is My Favorite Things for 2011!  Some day it might be a more exciting list, like cool lip gloss that I love (need to find me one of those), a product I can't live with out, or just something really cool. Excited to hear your favorite things!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Our family has been a tad under the weather the past week, a mixture of stomach yuckies ("Daddy's sgetti made me sick") to colds!  Fun! Of course I waited to the last minute to finish Christmas shopping and learned the hard way the hard way, plan ahead!!  So, I ran around town last night like a mad man, Kohl's, Target and the grocery store. Seriously people!  It is SO not right to treat checkers/clerks/baggers so rudely!  They are just doing their jobs!  It's not the check-out clerks fault the price came up wrong, or that they need your i.d. because you're buying alcohol (this lady was SCREAMING at the checker about how she was from a different country, had no American i.d., and needed to find her daughter...leaving a whole line of people to wait!  The checker was calmly saying any form of i.d. would work, and this lady kept on yelling about "No. American I.D.")!  These workers need a huge raise!  But I do enjoy the show!
So, I'm on my way to the grocery store, feeling annoyed about people, annoyed at myself for procrastinating, you get the gist of it...and THIS song comes on the radio (only one of the BEST songs EVER!)....
Suddenly, my outlook on things improve, I can grocery shop, finish my Christmas shopping, and dance in my car full on!  It was awesome!  And, I was able to listen to the entire song, while dancing the entire time!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Favorite Things: Books!

I miss Oprah!  Every day I DVRed her show to watch during nap time while I folded laundry, eat lunch, and enjoy my peace and quiet!  I LOVE her, don't always agree with her but truly love that lady!  When her last show aired, I totally thought she was going to close with this line:  "And finally, premiering on OWN this fall, The Oprah Winfrey Show!"  Confetti, cheers, tears of happiness...no.  None of that, instead there is Rosie, who is not at all who I would have picked (I would have stuck with Oprah).  Maybe when I'm Queen of the World, I can bring her back, but until then, I can continue with the best Oprahism EVER!  MY FAVORITE THINGS!  Of course my dream of attending an Oprah show, dreaming it would be Favorite Things, is gone!  I had to cross it off my bucket list, sad, sad day.  So, I'm going to have a few blog post of my own!  Here is last years list to refresh your memory!

We're going to focus on books, I love to read to my kids and personally!  I have read some amazing books this year and my goal for 2012 (which seems weird to type and I wrote 2009 on a check the other day) is to blog more about books I've read...or will that be too boring!  I was going to include children's books too!

Now these are not ranked in order of  greatness, I'm not going to list the ones NOT to read (there were a few), and this is just my personal opinion but would LOVE book recommendations for myself or the kids!  I need some good ones!

For the Kids:

1.  Hooper Humperdink, Not Him by Dr. Seuss
~Love Hooper, love the book, and love Dr. Seuss!!




2.  Brown Bear by Eric Carle
~I think I have this one memorized!  Molly loves to read it to us and call the children at the end, the purple children.  Wow, she just giggles and giggles!


3.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
~Another memorized one, but love how my kids find the letters of their names and we love the Youtube song!


4.  Trucks!
~Will got this one for his birthday and he loves it!


5.  This is the house that Jack haunts!
~Got this one when Jack was little and he went through a phase of loving this book!  Well, Will loves is in that phase now and loves it!


6.  All Bernstein Bears books
~They are loving this series right now!  Molly checked out a VERY long Christmas book over the summer and we rechecked it out about 5 times, sadly the book is still checked out by someone else right now (she checks every time!)...it was a long one!


7.  Jack's guided reading books!!
~Brings a smile to my face, he is reading to us and doing awesome!  I love to hear him read, sound out words, and comprehend what he is reading!  It's so cute when he reads something and then laughs because he just figured out what it all meant!  So cute!  So proud!

8.  Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar!
~Molly loves this book and song, they sing it at preschool!  Plus, a lot of friends names are in the book!


9.  Go Dogs Go!  by P.D. Eastman
~Jack has loved this book for years and now can read most of it to us, but prefers to be read to!


10.The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
~Another Eric Carle and we ALL love this book!  All three kids love to pretend to eat all the food!


Books for the Mama's out there (Dad's too!)

1.  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
~AMAZING!!  OMGoodness!  SO awesome! Read it, read it now!  (And I truly think the trilogy should be the top 3, but I read a lot of great books and wanted to share those with everyone!)


2.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
~Go, go now, and read this book!  Pick up The Hunger Games while you're at it!


3.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
~Such a sweet book!  Very good!


4.  Decision Points by George W. Bush
~I know not everyone likes the guy, but it was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it!


5.  The Most Important Place on Earth:  What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One by Robert Wolgemuth
~Awesome book and so many wonderful tips, stories, and Bible passages that include Jesus into our everyday life!


6.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
~A very sweet little book about the little lessons in life!


7.  Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
~LOVE this series, such an adorable book, and I laugh so hard reading the craziness!


8.  Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
~Another series I love and so happy to see again!  I read the first four books in college and while I was getting my teaching cert. So good, but always felt I needed more info and this books provides that and closure!  Wonderful book!


9.  Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
~I actually think I read this last year or early in January, but it makes the list for sure!  An amazing true story about a Navy Seal and his heroic act in Afghanistan.  Another tear-jerker but makes you love our country and men like him!


10.  Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
~A daily devotional I read (most) mornings and it's a great way to kick-start my day!


Would love to hear your book recommendations!  I'm excited for some awesome reads in the New Year!