Monday, August 31, 2009

"Nature" Walk

Jamison decided this evening that she wanted to go on a "nature" walk and for me to take a picture of her on the giant rock. I had no idea what she was talking about, but she hurried to get the camera and off we went.

I guess it was a "nature" ride because both kids wanted to ride their bikes. If you look closely you'll see that Caleb does not put his feet on the petals. The toes of his shoes are ruined because of this.

We finally reached the huge was a rock in someone's yard. Here's Jamison helping her brother up. How sweet!

They've conquered the brave.

I love how my kids keep the "adventures" going.

Friend Makin Monday - Ask Me Anything!

Amber has a really fun idea for FMM today...20 questions. I am so excited to answer them and read everyone else's entries (because I'm nosey like that!).

1. Do you cook every night? Lately because I've been mealing planning I've been trying to cook every night. I may not cook on a Saturday night if we're running around or something.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why? I use Tide with Downy mainly because I like the way it smells. I've always wondered what's better...liquid or power. Thoughts?

3. Do you do laundry everyday for loads at a time? OK...I don't do laundry. Aunt Roni does all of our laundry. I told you she's the best.

4. How often do you eat out per week? Currently, maybe once. Before meal planning 2 or 3 times and it was just getting out of hand.

5. Where do you usually eat out? Chipotle, Burger King, McDonald's, pizza or Chinese.

6. What is your favorite retail store? Hobby Lobby and The Container Store. My love for Target is decreasing...sigh.

7. What's your favorite thing to drink? Coke, without question.

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind? No...don't tell my mom.

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do? About 50%. Again, Aunt Roni does most of our daily cleaning. I usually do the deep cleaning, house maintenance, and my room. Rondell cuts the grass and helps me with projects.

10. Do your children do chores? Caleb picks up after himself, but that's it right now. Jamison's job is to set the table with condiments (if needed), close the blinds in the evening, and put all shoes away.

11. Do you go to church? Every Sunday, for the most part. We go to 9:00 service during the summer since my kids are early risers. During the school year we go to Small Group at 9 and then service at 11. I love my church...New Life Gahanna.

12. Do you have a housework schedule? No. I think if I stayed at home I would but I just do things as they need to be done.

13. Do you keep a working budget? I couldn't live without it. Rondell and I are working on it being more detailed. I use Excel right now and it works well for me.

14. What do you do at night as a family? If it's nice we play outside. We might watch TV with the kids or do some kind of art project.

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week? The Simple Woman's Daybook really helps me. I also look at the family calendar, Rondell's work schedule and the weather to map out what we'll do for the week. I almost always do a new To Do list each week.

16. What do your mornings look like? Dark. Rondell and I get up so early so that he can pick up Aunt Roni and then for us to get to work on time, that it's pretty dark outside. The house is usually quiet because the kids are still sleeping.

17. What time do you get up in the morning? Between 5:30 and 5:45.

18. What time do you go to bed at night? I'm usually asleep by 10 or 10:30.

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazine, ads, etc} I try and go through the mail as soon as I get home and throw away any junk and separate the bills. I try and do paperless billing so that there's less paper in the house. With Jamison's school work I go through her bookbag daily and secretly throw away any papers that we don't NEED to keep. I'm working out a system I saw here for her permission slips, reminders, homework, etc. I only get one magazine and I usually read it and then throw it away.

20. How do you keep your household organized? Ha! I'm so far from being organized (well, at least the way I want to be organized). I just completed our family calendar and menu plan which is working out really well (you can see it here). And I just bought a wonderful label maker that I know will come in really handy. This will have to be a "to be continued" kind of answer.

Please join us for FMM!

The Simple Woman's Daybook - August 31, 2009

For today...

Outside my window
...perfect weather. There are blue skies and the temperature is a little cooler. We are supposed to have a beautiful week and I can't wait to get out and enjoy it.

I am thinking
...again of all of the things I need to do this week. Today I plan on mapping out of plan to get it all done. I'd like to be productive this week.

I am thankful
...that I don't have to give a tour today. I was supposed to give a tour today to 120 students and I was feeling overwhelmed by that task, but today I got a message that they have to cancel. Whew!

From the kitchen
...breakfast (we didn't get to this last week), coneys, enchilada bake and probably pizza.

I am reading
...Daniel. I love that we are going through the book of Daniel chapter by chapter. I did also receive my latest Real Simple magazine from the great deal that I got.

I am praying be filled with Christ. I've been praying lately to just be overwhelmed with all He has done for me and all that I need to do for Him.

I am creating
...Jamison's birthday party invitations. I plan on finishing them this week. She is having a pizza party, so that will be the theme of the invites.

Around the house
...more organization. I plan of putting my new label maker to good use!

One of my favorite things
...the season change from summer to fall. I love this time of year, getting excited about fall decorations and the upcoming holidays. Cooler nights for walks with the family or just playing outside. And the smell of fire places burning.

A few plans for the rest of the week
...organize, clean out the kids' bathroom, get the yard ready for fall and then go to Jamison's school's ice cream social on Thursday.

Here are some pictures I'm leaving you with

My mom's co-worker and his wife just had twin boys 3 weeks ago and we got to go and see them yesterday...Isaac and Hunter. They are so adorable and it makes me realize how fast kids grow up.
Tell us about your day here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Small Group Social

During the summer our Small Group does not meet regularly and instead we try and have a social each month. This month Dean and Sabrina hosted the social and tonight we had a cookout. Everyone brought something (I made fruit salad...yummy, yummy) and then we had hot dogs and brats on the grill. The weather turned out to be beautiful and Sabrina had fun activities planned for the kids (and adults), like hula hoop games and a water fight.

Here are some pictures from the evening:

Sabrina came up with a few games using hula hoops and the kids had a lot of fun doing that. I saw a few parents joining in on the fun too.

Here's Sabrina with Tonya and John (and three of their 5 kids!). Tonya and John attend our church as well and it was nice of them to join us.

Here's Sara's daughter Isabelle holding John and Tonya's newest addition...Titus. Isabelle is so motherly and super sweet.

Jamison joining the picture before running off for more hula hoop fun.

Tonya (my Daniel buddy), Jodie and Karynda

Angela, Sara and baby Titus. He was passed around a lot.

Sara's "baby" Samuel. He's two months older than Caleb and just adorable.

Caleb being pushed around (in a fun way) by Drew, Angela's little boy. They really play well together.

Rondell and Elliott, Sara's husband and our Small Group leader.

What's a cookout without the Grill Masters. There's Dean working really hard. It was very tasty grill food. Thanks Dean!

Here's Caleb enjoying his chips. That's about all he ate. I don't know what I'm doing to do with this picky eater.

The girls...minus Angela. In the back: Karynda, Me, Tonya, Meredith, Vanessa. In the front: Sabrina, Sara and Jodie.

The future generation...Reese (Jodie's daughter) and Isabelle in the back; Madeline (Sara's youngest daughter), Jocelyn (Tonya's daughter and Caleb's girlfriend) and Jamison in the front.

"Watch out!" The kids (and a few adults) had a water fight with water guns and spray bottles. It was so much fun to watch them run around spraying one another. I got sprayed a few times!

Our Small Group starts back up in a few weeks and it will be nice to reconnect again. This was a great evening and I'm glad so many people were able to come.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanking God on Friday

** I am thankful for a smooth morning on the first day of First Grade. Jamison was up bright and early, ready for her first day. It is such a joy to see her enthusiasm about school and I pray that it continues.

Here's my baby...oops, first grader, with her Life cereal. That was her request for breakfast.

My first grader!

Here she is walking to the bus stop with Caden, our neighbor. Caden is going to Kindergarten.

On the bus and no looking back!

** I am thankful for Rondell asking me "is there anything you need me to do?" yesterday when I was focused on getting everything ready for today. That meant the world to me.

** I am thankful that our Small Group is getting together tomorrow for a fellowship.

** I am thankful that BSF is getting ready to start soon. My discussion leader called me this week! I can't wait. We are studying the book of John this year.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's Be Honest Here...

My blogfriend JennyKate just tagged me with the Honest Scrap. I've done this before (read about that here), but since I LOVE tags and honesty I am happy to give new information. After you're done reading my list you have to stop over JennyKate's spot. She is just a ball, she's funny, she has these great Confession posts, and loves all things Twighlight.
Here's the deal:

In accepting this award, I need to do the following:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.
2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.
3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving.

1. I have to sleep with a fan. No, you don't understand...I HAVE to sleep with a fan. When I travel, I take a fan with me. When I take a nap, the fan is on. Funny morning Rondell was trying to wake me up. He said he called my name a few times, tickled my foot and I think even kissed me. I did not move. He turned off the fan and I INSTANTLY woke up. Sad.

2. I don't like for my food to touch. I'm actually better about this than I used to be. Now at least some things can touch but vegetables are not to be mixed with other foods. You will often find me with an extra bowl or plate for my veggies.

3. I've never been to a Broadway play and would love to go one day.

4. I carry Bag Balm with me at all times for my lips. I have one for my purse, one downstairs and one upstairs. I've used it forever.

5. I love giving gifts (I stole this from JennyKate, but it is so true for me as well). I love finding something thoughtful and fitting for someone and being able to give it to them.

6. I love my birthday. Really. I love it. I don't need a huge party (although that would be nice), but I like the little extra attention. I also love other people's birthdays and like to do something special for my friend and family member's birthdays.

7. I do this ... a lot. I don't know why, but I do. It's like a pause in my thought.

8. Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday...even more than Christmas. I love to give little gifts and spread extra love on that day.

9. I am not a night owl. It's not unusual to find me asleep by 9:30. If I'm up after 10:30 then it must mean I'm really into what I'm doing or I've had a few too many Cokes.

10. I am driving my dream car. I truly love my Honda Odyssey and have no desire for any other car. The only thing I would add to it is satellite radio and a navigation system...maybe on the next one.

I tag... Mandi, Shaila, Tanya, Amy, Laurel, Bobbi, and anyone else that I tagged previously but you have yet to post honestly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jamison's Special Day

Last year Rondell and I started a tradition of treating Jamison to a special day before school starts. Last year we went to Bob Evans and then to see her school (since that was the first year of her attending her elementary school).

This year we took her to lunch at Red Lobster, her favorite restaurant. Aunt Roni and Caleb went too and we had a wonderful lunch. Jamison told me that she was very excited to have everyone there with her for her special day. She's so sweet.

My almost first grader!

Give this girl a pair of sunglasses!

Posing in front of Red Lobster...she had the popcorn shrimp.

Jamison and her personality twin...Daddy.

Here's a picture of them last year. Wow, how time flies.

My friend Tonya and her little girl Jocelyn came over last night for dinner. Rondell made cookies with the kids. Jamison loved that because she loves to bake.

Here's a picture of Caleb and his future bride, Jocelyn (sorry for the bad picture):
We had a really fun day and I'm excited to continue on with this tradition. Tomorrow is the big day...I'll keep you posted.

Oh Boy, Oh Boy

I have wanted a label maker for a little while now. Yesterday I was looking online for prices...dreaming. I ended up seeing this on Office Max's website:

Isn't she beautiful? Wanna know the best thing about her...she was only $9.99 (you can see details about her here). Originally she was $39.99 and this week she's on sale for under $10 (don't you just love how they advertise that way). My honey ran out last night and got her for me and I can't wait to start labeling!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday - Learning My Cricut

I will say I've been slower at breaking in my Cricut than I thought I would be. I guess because it's new and sometimes new things make me nervous.

While my sister was here I thought it would be fun to make name tags for the girls' doors. I had them pick out the paper they wanted (not really the colors I would have chosen, but it's not my door). They also picked out shapes they wanted to include on their name tag.

Here's Toshianna's name tag.

I had Rondell laminate them for me and then I used a hole puncher to make a hole and then tied on some ribbon so that they can hang on their doors.

Here's what Jamison came up with.

I used a pink ribbon for hers (sorry for the blurry pictures).

I'm happy with the Cricut so far, but of course now I want more cartridges and they aren't exactly cheap. Once I get back into scrapbooking I will use it much more and I have some thoughts running through my head for some fun fall crafting. My only complaint is that I don't care a lot for the sticky sheet you have to put the paper on because then you have to pull it off and it curls the paper. It's a small complaint compared to how much I know I'm going to love it.

So, I'll be continued!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Help...Please...Don't Pass on the Comments

UPDATE: This is why I love all of you, each and every one of you! Thanks so much for the comments. I know it seemed like a simple question but my instinct was just to grab a big trash can and pitch everything. I've decided to throw away the mats and donate the other pieces. We have an AMVETS drop off near our house, so I'm going to take them there. Thanks again!

I need your help friends! You know how I'm in the middle of redoing the bathrooms? OK, well maybe you don't remember, but I've been in the long process of trying to redo the master bath and the kids' bath.

My question is...what do I do with the old stuff. Do I throw away the bath mat and trash can from the college days for hold onto them? Do I try and sell the duck bath stuff that is 7 years old or just let them hit the trash can?

Please answer...I need all the help I can get. I'm big on throwing things away, but I want to make a smart decision.

The Simple Woman's Daybook - August 24, 2009

For today...

Outside my window...
blue skies and sunshine once again. The temperature is lower today, in the 70's and I love it.

I am thinking...
about what I should do this week. I have a few things that I would like to tackle, like the kids' rooms, the basement and my room, but I don't want to overwhelm myself so I need to figure out a plan.

I am thankful for...
talks with my husband.

From the kitchen...
burgers on the grill, Chinese (thanks to my mom), BLTs, meatloaf and mac and cheese, breakfast and pizza on Friday. There is a Little Caesar's opening near our house this week and we'll have to stop by on Friday! Saturday we're having a Small Group get together, so we'll eat dinner there.

I am reading...
the book of Daniel. This study has me so wrapped up that I'm fully concentrating on it right now. I do plan on reading Captivating next.

I am praying...
for a better handle on our finances.

I am creating...
My plan is to put together a system for papers and materials needed for homework. I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Around the house...
a lot of cleaning to do. I have been slacking on that lately.

One of my favorite things...
hearing Jamison and Caleb have a conversation. Caleb is starting to talk better and it is so much fun to listen to them interact (when they're not screaming).

A few plans for the rest of the week...
tonight my mom might bring over Chinese (yum), Wednesday we are taking Jamison to Red Lobster for lunch and then my friend Tonya is coming over that evening, Friday Tonya and I are going to my Stampin Up rep's house to do some crafting, and Saturday we have the neighbor's birthday party and then our Small Group social.

Join the Daybook here.

FMM is Back!

Our friend and founder of Friend Makin' Monday, Kasey, is taking a blogging break. Amber, sweet Amber, has taken on the task of hosting FMM for a little while.

Today's task:

10 Things I Loved About This Summer

1. Being able to go to the pool. We didn't go as much as I would have liked but the times we did were fun times. I even had the occasion to go alone once.

2. Crafting. This summer I was able to really dive into my love for crafting and learn new things. I have been able to use great tutorials and even come up with my own ideas. This is a start of a wonderful hobby.

3. Staycation 2009! We had the best time on our week off in June this year. We're thinking of doing it again next year.
4. Spending lots of time with these two munchkins and watching them grow and learn new things.

5. Sunflowers in my window.

6. Reading. I made a reading list that was supposed to be for the summer but I'm sure it will move into the other seasons as well. I have enjoyed quiet evenings with a good book.

7. The Beth Moore Daniel Study. I'm not done with it yet but I have truly enjoyed this study so far and would say it is a highlight of my summer.

8. Discovering Stampin Up. This is a great company and I found a wonderful representative (you can check out her blog here). It has been fun to see all that can be done with its products. I've decided to make the invitations for Jamison's birthday party and this past Friday I was able to get together with my rep and she helped me (a ton) start them. I'll be sure to show you the finished product once I've mailed them out.

9. The purchase of my Cricut. Can you tell that I've really enjoyed crafting this summer? I got my Cricut for an amazing deal that I just couldn't pass up. I haven't done a lot with it yet but I'm sure we'll have many dates in the future. Tomorrow I'll show you the first real project that I completed using the Cricut.

10. Family Sundays. Rondell and I decided that he would not work at Best Buy on Sundays and we have just been having some great family time. It nice to have a guaranteed day that we're all at home (if the kids aren't at his mom's).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Did It...I Did It!!!!

I created by first digital scrapbook piece. I am beyond excited! I saw this fun idea here (of course) to make a bookbag tag for Jamison. I had this cute picture of Jamison and her new teacher and thought that it would be a good picture to use so that when she's trying to find her class for the first few days the helpers will see who her teacher is (sorry for the bad grammar).

I found a cute, and free, digital scrapbook kit from Shabby Princess and she also had a WONDERFUL tutorial on how to use a kit with PhotoShop. I watched the tutorial last week and tonight I created my page with the tutorial. I love the result!

This may very well be a new adventure for me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Air Mail

Jamison and I were talking in the car about how she wanted to mail something to her friend Hannah. She told me that she could use air mail and asked if I had ever heard of air mail. I told her yes. Then I asked her how she thought the mail got in the air...she said with a bird. I said "you think birds deliver the mail?" She said "yeah, if it's a male bird. Get it male/mail bird?"

I had to laugh.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thanking God on Friday

** I am thankful for the Beth Moore Daniel Study. This is my second Beth Moore study and I am in love. I did Psalms of Ascent last year through my church and it didn't quite hit home for me, but this one is striking me right in the heart, down deep. I love learning all of the history and Beth (I can call her Beth because we are like this and she tells me she loves me all of the time) really makes the scripture come alive. It is amazing to me how people can pull out the lesson that scripture is teaching. God has truly given her a gift.

** I am thankful for tutorials with pictures on blogs. I have learned so much through the blogging world and I learn so much more when there's a step by step tutorial with pictures. It's how I was able to do my magnets (shown here) and other fun things. I love that I can see how someone has organized her closet or car and learn from that. Thank you ladies for your great tutorials!

** I am thankful that it is cooling down outside. I love warm weather, but here in Ohio it is so humid and that's just no fun. According to the forecast I will be able to turn off the air and open the windows in the morning. I can't wait for that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod

UPDATED: Well, it's 10:12 pm and Hannah just left. She was just a bit homesick and decided that she would rather be at home. I called her parents and since they were already out they came by to pick her up...and Jamison went with them! Too funny. Jamison will be home in the morning.

Jamison's very best friend in the whole wide world, Hannah, is spending the night with us tonight. Jamison and Hannah were in the same Kindergarten class and bonded pretty quickly. They have been asking me to have a sleep over for months and I finally gave in.

Jamison and Hannah

Here they are watching a Backyardigans DVD. Notice Caleb is not too far away from the girls. It was hard trying to keep him out of the middle.

Here are the girls set up in the tent watching another movie. They said it's like a campout.

So far it seems like they are both having a good time...whew!