Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 30

30) Today I am thankful for my health. I don’t know if I was already thankful for my health this month but there are a few people in my life that are having a difficult time right now and it made me think about how lucky I am to be healthy. I have an uncle who is very sick and in the hospital, an aunt who had surgery today to remove a polyp and part of her colon, and an old high school classmate who had to go to the doctor for an MRI today because she has a brain tumor. All of these things have brought to light just how lucky I am to be healthy and have a healthy family.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 29

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29) I am thankful for a family who will stop what they are doing to play a game. We are definitely game people, but as the kids get older it’s hard to find the time to play all the games we own. For the past couple of days Landon has been begging us to play Scribblish, so tonight every one put on hold what they were doing to play a few rounds. I laughed so hard I cried and its always nice to spend time with the kids, especially now that its so hard to get us all in one place at the same time.

Counting My Blessings, Day 28

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28) This is the little house that my husband painted for me. It took him a few years to complete it, but now that it’s done it is one of my most treasured holiday decorations. I’ve got a few other homemade Christmas decorations, and I am thankful for them all. I think it will be cool to pass these on from one generation to the next.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 27

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27) I’m thankful for colorful Christmas lights.

Counting My Blessings, Day 26

26) I am thankful for my husbands patience. When I’m feeling overwhelmed and start getting grumpy, he reminds me to take a breath and then helps me to get everything I need done. Even after a week at my parents house and a long drive home, he still got up today with the intent of getting all the Christmas decorations and trees up. Without him, I’d probably go crazy trying to get it done myself.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 25

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25) I am so thankful for these two wonderful people. My parents are awesome and I don’t know where I’d be  without them. I love that we have such a great relationship as adults and that I can always count on them when I’m in a rough spot. They really are the best.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 24

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24) I am so thankful for my wonderful family. It’s so nice that some of our extended family made the trip to celebrate with us and we had a lot of fun throughout the day. It was fun to chat about old times, watch the kids play, and eat delicious food.

Counting My Blessings, Day 23

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23) I am so thankful for books and the ability to read. I’m even more thankful that my children can read and even enjoy to most of the time. 

*Landon is reading a book on my Kindle, hence the pink cover. :)

Counting My Blessings, Day 22

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22) I am thankful for relaxing vacations…even if the relaxation is short lived because there are a million other things we want to do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 21

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21) I am so thankful for my sister. Just having a sister to hang out with is great, but one that is interested in my kids and happy to spend time with them is another. As kids we fought all the time but of course now we’re older and wiser and I’m so glad I have her to talk to.

Counting My Blessings, Day 20

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20) Cousins. I didn’t really get to grow up around my cousins since we were military, but every time we visited it was like I never left. And, even after all these years, when we go to Oklahoma, I feel right at home. I’m also very thankful that my kids have cousins. They don’t have quite as many as I did, but they are equally as special.

Counting My Blessings, Day 19

19) As annoying as my truck can be, I am really thankful for all the miles it has gotten us safely from one place to the other.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 18

18) I am thankful for my electric toothbrush. It just makes my teeth feel so much cleaner than when I use a regular toothbrush.

15 Month Well Baby

Harper had his 15 month well baby check-up this past week. From the moment the nurse walked in until we were packing up to leave, he cried. He doesn’t like them touching him and examining him, and the shots are never fun. Fortunately he only had to get three shots this time; one was the seasonal flu shot. Unfortunately, I have to bring him back next month for the second flu shot since it’s his first time getting it. Poor guy.

He only gained 6 ounces since his last appointment and he now weighs 24 pounds, 9 ounces. He’s also 33 inches tall which is 2 inches taller than 3 months ago. I couldn’t believe he’d gained so little weight, but the doctor assured me that it is normal for toddlers this age, mostly because they never stop moving! It’s very true in Harpers case that he never, ever sits still. Unless, of course, he’s buckled into his car seat/highchair/stroller etc. It looks like the little dude is growing as expected and doing just fine. Another thing I can be thankful for this month! :)

Counting My Blessings, Day 17

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17) I am thankful for our dog, Ginger. She’s been a great dog all these years, and she is as much a part of our family as any dog could be.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 16

14) I am thankful for my health. I could be in much better shape than I am and it’s something I continue to work on. I am thankful that I don’t have any chronic problems and that I don’t have to take any medications on a regular basis. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

5th Grade Conference

Tony and I went in to Landon’s school today to meet with his teacher. His school does parent-teacher conferences around Thanksgiving break, so we always look forward to seeing how he’s doing in class.

Luckily, Landon is a great kid and his teacher had nothing but nice things to say about him. She said he was a great student, very respectful, and was doing well in general. She said he was reading at grade level and performing well in math also. She believes he will be placed in advanced classes in middle school and that he would probably benefit from the AVID program. I can’t think of any better compliments than the one’s she paid Landon. I’m always happy to hear that my kids are doing well as students, but I’m even prouder of the fact that she called him respectful. That’s something he learned at home, something that I contributed to in making him the awesome kid he is. Being the smartest kid is great, but sometimes being the most respectful kid is pretty great too.

As we were talking, somehow Zoe’s name came up. Mrs. Bell, Landon’s teacher this year, was Zoe’s teacher for fourth grade. Mrs. Bell asked us about Zoe and said she remembered her well. She also said she just couldn’t believe it was so long ago that she taught Zoe, being that she was a senior in high school this year. I told her I couldn’t believe it either and that really it hadn’t been all that long ago…but, I guess it really has been quite awhile! I love that both my kids went to the same elementary school and had the same positive experiences there. I love that they can talk about which teachers they had and liked and other’s that they didn’t care for so much. It’s cool that even though they didn’t attend the same school at the same time, it’s still something they can bond over, and when your kids are as far apart in age as mine are, bonding experiences can be tough.

I realized tonight that that was my last parent teacher conference for elementary school. Not ever of course, since I still have Harper to put in school, but the last one for Landon. It’s another sentimental milestone of sorts because once your kids move out of elementary school, things change. Middle school is just a whole different beast, and connecting with teachers and staff at that grade level is much tougher. I’m looking forward to the adventure of middle school with Landon, but I’ll definitely miss these past 6 years he’s spent in elementary school. 

Counting My Blessings, Day 15

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15) I’m not much of a cook, but I do love to bake. I just tried this new recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and they are my new favorite in the cupcake category. With that in mind, today I am thankful for our double ovens and boundless recipes I can find online. And cupcakes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 14

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14) I am thankful that my mother left me all of her plants when she moved down south. I only had a couple plants in my old house, and with this bigger house we had a lot more space to fill, so her plants were a nice addition to our house. And, every time I see them, I think of her.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 13

13) Sleep. I am so, so, so, thankful for sleep…probably because I can’t get enough of it. Sleep is like a hot commodity in our house and if your getting sleep that likely means someone else isn’t. Fortunately my husband shares some of this burden so I do get to sleep sometimes, but regular sleep is something I ‘m definitely striving for, and I’m absolutely grateful for the mornings I wake up feeling well rested.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

15 Months

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(Don’t worry, the little black speck you see on the picture above is on Harper’s face, not your screen. He’s a messy eater, what can I say?)

Today we mark the 15 month mark. This boy is growing by leaps and bounds and it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly smart he is. Next week we go in for the dreaded 15 month check up (shots, shots and more shots) and then I’ll be able to post his weight and all that. I’m going to guess he weighs at least 25 pounds…he’s HEAVY!

Counting My Blessings, Day 12

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12) I am thankful for date nights with my husband. Date night doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it is soooo nice!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 11

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11) Today I am recognizing how fortunate I am to live in a country full of so much opportunity and freedom. The life I live would not be possible in many places around the world, and I am incredibly thankful for all those service men and women who dedicate their lives to ensuring my freedom. Thank you!

*The folded flag was presented to my husbands grandmother at his grandfathers funeral to honor his service to our country. I am so glad we are able to keep this in his memory and have it displayed in our home.

6 Little Words

Harper is a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to speech. He understands everything we tell him, (and I mean everything!!!) but when it comes to talking, it’s taken him awhile to get going. I’ve noticed that he seems to be attempting to say a little more though, so I thought I’d record what he can say here, so I can keep track of his progress.

  • Hot; sounds like ha
  • Dog; sounds like gog-um or gog gog
  • Uh-Oh; sounds like eh-eh
  • Ball; sounds like ba
  • Apple; sounds like ap-o
  • Mama; sounds like music to my ears

*He also said bye-bye once when he was with my mother-in-law, but I haven’t been able to get him to say it again, so I’m not counting it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Playtime

This morning I took Harper to a free Gymboree class. I loved taking Landon when he was little, and I thought Harper would probably really enjoy it since he’s at the age where he just loves to climb all over everything. He woke up pretty early this morning (thanks, stupid time change!) and he was ready for a nap at 7am, so I wasn’t too sure the whole Gymboree thing was going to be such a great idea, but I made him stay awake until the 9:15 class anyways with the hopes that he’d just take a really great afternoon nap.

He fell asleep in the car on the way. I made every effort to keep him awake with snacks, no blanket and a slight breeze coming in the car window, but he still managed to conk out at some point. But, I still wanted to get him in there and see how it went, so I woke him up and in we went.

Apparently my boy only needs a quick snooze because he was in a good mood despite the quick nap and the minute he saw all the climbing equipment his face lit up like I’ve never seen before. It was like a look of disbelief…like he hit the jackpot. Once we got in the play area, he acted like he owned the place. He went over and under and through every obstacle they had out. He bounced and kicked and threw the balls. He ran and walked and crawled on the mats. He giggled and laughed and screamed with delight.

He had an amazing time and he was very fun to watch. I didn’t bring my camera because I wanted to focus on what he was doing and not worry about getting shots of everything. It was nice not having to worry about my camera and just soaking up the moment. And, besides, if I sign him up for the classes, I’ll have lots of photo opportunities! :)

Counting My Blessings, Day 10

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10) I am so thankful that we eat dinner as a family almost every single night. We started doing this when it was just the three of us many years ago, and it’s something we’ve held onto all these years later. It isn’t always possible to eat together, but if there is any way we can, we do. I love the family talk and the laughter at every meal we share and I hope it’s something my kids will appreciate and remember as they get older.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Counting My Blessings, Day 9

9) Today I am thankful for my mother-in-law. She is always willing to help us out whenever we need it and is a great support. Whenever I need a babysitter, for any reason, she is happy to do it. If we are ever in trouble in any way, she does her best to help remedy the situation. She does so much for us and I am lucky to have her in my life.

*Thank goodness I don’t have to worry since I already forgave myself for not having a photo to post! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today

Today was waking up from a good night’s sleep.

Today was a fast paced walk around the neighborhood.

Today was stew in the crock-pot.

Today was beautiful weather.

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Today was taking two kids to the dentist for check-ups.

Today was cavity-less.

Today was playing outside in short sleeve t-shirts.

Today was popping bubbles.

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Today was listening to birds sing.

Today was watching a ladybug on our window.

Today was dancing to music on the radio.

Today was watching the dog run in the yard.

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Today was reading our favorite stories.

Today was playing video games.

Today was getting homework done. Without help.

Today was swinging on the backyard swing.

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Today was beautiful.

Counting My Blessings, Day 8

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8) I am so thankful for the beautiful view out my window. These trees aren’t in my yard, but I love that I can see them from all the windows at the back of the house.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black and Yellow Argiope

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Tony and I were doing a little bit of yard work this afternoon when Tony came across this giant spider hanging from one of the shrubs. I’ve never seen a spider this size in our yard before! I’m so glad it’s out in our yard and not in the house because I wouldn’t want to catch it or kill it. I’d be too scared!

*I’ve been itching and scratching ever since I started writing this post! When I googled black and yellow spiders to find out what this was, the image results gave me goose bumps! Ewww!

Counting My Blessings, Day 7

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7) I am so thankful for the two fireplaces we have in our home. They keep us toasty warm and help to keep our heating bill a little lower. We set our thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter, and while we’re up doing stuff, we aren’t cold, but once we sit down in the evening to watch TV or something, it seems like 68 might as well be 28. The fireplaces really warm our whole house too since the upstairs in open to the floor below. And, there is just something very “home” about sitting around a lit fire…

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Counting My Blessings, Day 6

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6) I am incredibly thankful for technology. I can’t even remember what life was life before computers and cell phones! It’s crazy how much has changed since I was a kid (man I feel old saying that!) and I feel very fortunate to be able to use so much technology on a daily basis.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Diaper on His Head

Harper LOVES to look at books. He will sit and look at them alone for quite awhile, but at some point each day he will bring me a book so that we can look at it together. Whenever he comes to me with a book, I drop what I’m doing and sit and read it to him. We’ve read books on the kitchen floor while breakfast waited. We’ve read books in the hallway, right in everyone’s way. We’ve read books in the library, in the living room and at the dining room table. We take books to the store to read in the cart while we shop and in the car he will  look at the book while I recite it word for word to him from the front seat.

Baby Signs

One of his current favorites is the book above. He loves to look at the pictures while I tell him what the baby is signing. While he likes the whole book, his favorite page is the one with the sign for diaper. It looks like this:

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The other morning we were talking about this page and I asked him if he could put a diaper on his head like this baby did. He immediately got up and went to the table where we keep his diapers, pulled one out, opened it and put it on his head! I couldn’t believe it so I asked him to do it again and I grabbed my camera:

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Getting this picture just made my day! It’s so him right now, copying everything he sees!

Counting My Blessings, Day 5

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5) I am thankful that I get to watch my kids participate in something they enjoy. I’m not an athletic person, but both my kids are. Landon plays soccer, swims, played basketball and baseball and may even try lacrosse. Zoe played soccer for many years and has run track since entering high school. I love watching them play and I’m impressed with how dedicated they both are to their sport and teams.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five on Friday

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  1. No more baby food for this guy. He’s eating pretty much anything we put in front of him and I’ve just had to come to grips with the fact that he’s extremely messy when he feeds himself. He’s very happy sitting like a big boy at the table feeding himself and I’m happy to let him. I can’t believe we’ve already moved on to this stage though.
  2. Zoe has to work every day this weekend. Tonight and Sunday she only has a four hour shift, but on Saturday she has to work from 9-6pm. I’m kind of missing her being around when we go to dinner at my mother-in-laws. It’s just weird to have that seat empty at the table.
  3. Landon has 2 soccer games this weekend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday. Then next weekend he has one more game and the season is over for him. He’s learned so much this year and when he isn’t at soccer practice, he’s outside practicing with the neighborhood kids. I think he’s found his sport.
  4. I am so ready to put away all of our Halloween stuff, but I’ve just not had the time to do it. I’m sick of looking at it now. I know it’s wrong, but I’m ready to start decorating for Christmas. Christmas is so much work and I hate to only have it up for a short time because of it! I’m holding out, but probably not much longer…and I’m looking for a company to hang my outside Christmas lights because I really don’t want Tony climbing up there to do it again this year. It’s really scary to watch him and I really don’t think single parenting is something I’m capable of.
  5. I started watching Long Island Medium this week. I am definitely a skeptic, but every time I watch her I am totally engrossed. Zoe’s watched a couple episodes with me and she’s hooked now too. My mom loves this kind of stuff so I told her to record it and now I’m just waiting to hear what she has to say about it! If you’ve got thirty minutes to kill, you should give this show a try!

Counting My Blessings, Day 4

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4) I am so grateful that I have a daughter who loves art. I never would have thought that I’d be interested in art, but it’s another thing I’ve become aware of as I’ve gotten older. Luckily, Zoe realized her love for art when she was very young and started coloring and then drawing. She’s done several wonderful pieces of art in school, and because she knows how much I love her work, she almost always gives me the final product. I’ve got a couple pinch pots, several drawn pieces, some mixed media designs and this great vase. Each piece is unique and beautiful…just like her.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Counting my Blessings, Day 3

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3) This dude makes me happy. He’s my best friend, and I realize that I hit the jackpot when I found him.

(I’m stopping here because I know he reads my blog and I don’t need him being all big headed about this.)

Playing in the Leaves

Yesterday we were all home for a few hours (at the same time!!) and I thought it would be a good time to get some pictures of the kids. I get pictures of Harper all the time, but Zoe and Landon are a little tougher.

We have this one tree between our house and the neighbor that turns every single color of fall, I swear. This one tree is brown, yellow, orange, and red, all at the same time.

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It’s been dropping leaves for weeks now, but now they are falling much quicker and we were able to rake up a small pile. Of course, I grabbed Harper and sat him right in the middle of it, to see what he thought about it. (He couldn’t have cared less!)

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He liked “helping” mommy rake better.

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Landon, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to run and jump into it!

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Zoe didn’t really feel like playing in the leaves, but she was a good sport and got in them long enough for me to get this shot of her and her brothers.

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And then, we got a couple shots of her just for the heck of it.

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And, one of her and Landon, for good measure. :)

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He’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S

Harper’s first choice for breakfast these days?

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Banana’s.

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Banana’s seem like a pretty good choice when it comes to breakfast, but I’ll bet you don’t know how messy banana’s can be. IMG_9448

See, if you turn a banana upside down, part of it might break off and fall on the carpet. And then, if your mom isn’t fast enough, you might be able to squish it into the carpet with your foot. Banana’s feel funny on your feet. Don’t worry, the dog took care of the carpet…

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Water Cycle Project

Landon had to make a poster board about the water cycle for a project at school. It’s really the first time he’s done a project like this on his own, and he got an A on it, so he was very proud of himself. I thought he did a great job on his poster and I was impressed that he marked everything so clearly and even colored it all nicely! (Drawing and coloring are not things he enjoys!)

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I don’t keep every single thing my kids bring home, but I do try to get pictures of these more important papers just to remind myself how far they’ve come. It’s really amazing to see how their work progresses from year to year! (Landon wasn’t happy that I took a picture of this because he knew that meant I probably wasn’t going to keep it. He likes to hang on to EVERYTHING. He’s like a miniature hoarder or something.)

Elf Antics

I've made it to day 9 without forgetting to move Peppermint and I have to admit that even I'm surprised. Here's what our elf has...