Monday, September 28, 2015

Why my 7 year old needs a cellphone ...

I'm sooooo far behind on blogging our everyday events.  I WILL get that caught up before the end of the year and then I vow to do better next year.  I started this blog to be sort of a memory book for our family and I sure don't want that to go by the wayside.

Normally I would have just made this little ditty a Facebook status and that would have been that, but ... it was just too good to not make it in to more of a story.

Every morning for the past 2, now 3, years of school, Jacob and I have looked at the menu his teacher sends home every month, so he can see what his options are for lunch that day and then make his decision on whether to buy or pack.  It's worked wonders for us EXCEPT the one time I went out of town for a few days and left John at home in charge of getting him to school.  I forgot to tell him that one little piece of information, and so he just sent Jacob to school with no lunch assuming he'd buy and that would be that.  Wrong!  He completely lost it in the lunchroom because he had no clue what was for lunch or what he was supposed to do (keep in mind, he was in Kindergarten at the time).  Whoops!!  We have never made that mistake again ... until today!

This morning we went through our normal routine.  I asked if he wanted to buy or pack and we looked at the menu together.  Tacos.  He wanted to buy.  Okay, no problem!  I go and put more money on his card and tell him he's good to go to buy.  Then I go about the rest of my morning (because half the morning is gone before these kids go to school!  Seriously ... elementary school around here doesn't start until 9:20 AM - they don't get picked up until 9 AM!) and I pack his snack.  We have to send a separate snack to school for them because they have lunch so late, so he has one bag specifically for his lunch and one for his snack, so he doesn't get confused and eat the wrong thing.  It's getting closer to the time we need to leave the house and naturally I lose track of time and we're running late, so I'm rushing us out the door.  I take his backpack from him and put his snack bag in because he was having a hard time getting it and his library books back in it.  Little did I know that was because his lunch bag was still in there from Friday - I thought he had taken it out earlier.

Fast forward to when he gets home from school .. we walk in the door and he very calmly and sweetly says "mom, I have a request.  Next time can you put more in my lunch?"  I stopped dead in my tracks and said "what do you mean? I didn't pack you a lunch today, you said you wanted to buy?!"  I came to find out just a little bit later that he saw his lunch bag and thought that's what he was eating, so he took it to the cafeteria.  He ate .. doritos and water left over from Friday for his lunch today.  :*(  My poor, tiny, skinny little baby!!!!!  I was soooo mortified when I heard this!! I immediately made him a meal at 4:30 PM!  I still feel so terrible about this little mix-up ... This is why I think he needs a cell phone. Lol  Now, don't get me wrong, I've been so against kids having them, but really in this day and age they NEED them.  Not with a bunch of features, but if he could just text me a quick question "mom, is this all you packed me for lunch?" I could have said "NO! go buy something!" and this never would have happened.  I'm sure they have rules in schools as to who can have a phone and when it can be used, but I'm sure in this instance, his teacher would have allowed it.  So there .. that's why my 7 year old needs one and will likely be getting one before his 8th birthday. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hector and Joey's Visit ~ Christmas 2014

I mentioned in an earlier post how Hector brought us another elf on Thanksgiving night, and that the boys named him Joey.  Well ... Joey is apparently a naughty elf whereas Hector has always been very well behaved.  The day after Thanksgiving we found them just hanging out in the boys basketball hoops in the playroom.

That's not too bad, but theeeennn ... one morning we woke up and found poor Hector inside a mason jar and Joey just chillin' right next to him!

Crazy!!  When we traveled to Williamsburg at the beginning of December our elves must have called in reinforcement because as soon as we got to the hotel, we discovered Tito (my parents' elf) had made the journey to come check on the boys.

Joey wasn't ALL bad, though.  He and Hector brought the boys a bag of "magic seeds" and a little note that went with them.  It told them to plant the seeds in sugar and then the next morning they'd have a treat.  They were so excited!

But then we found them doing some shenanigans again later on in the month.

Look, I realize the Elf on the Shelf is a "hokie" thing or some say he's creepy looking.  But guess what? It's a fun family tradition we started for our children that will hopefully be passed along to THEIR children one day.  That's the whole point behind the Elf on the Shelf (at least for us).  Not to make our children behave better (LOL!)  cause guess what?? They don't behave any better with Hector and Joey here as they do any other day of the year.  So to all the haters out there, maybe next year you just keep your Elf on the Shelf hating comments to yourself and keep on scrolling when you see pics of them on FB, mmmmmkay?  And, let the rest of us have a little fun with our children and build memories. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jacob's Winter Party

The last day before Christmas break (or "Winter Break" as it is now referred to) was Jacob's Winter Party at school ... and they got out early that day, so it was basically a free day for them.  Lol

That morning I went in to school to help out with their party and I had so much fun, as I always do when I get to go in and hang out with his class.  :)

I ended up being in charge of the games that day, which was a lot of fun.  The kids had a fun math/snowman game they were doing on their own at their table, but then I also brought Snowman Smash (a bowling game) and a snowball toss.  They had so much fun with the games!  I wish I had snapped more pictures, but I was a little busy resetting the snowmen for our bowling game. ;)

I think it's safe to say that Jacob loves when I come to school to help in his class, too.  Lol  And, I, of course, love it SO MUCH!

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Weight Loss Journey

It's no secret that I've tried (and failed) to lose weight in the past.  I'll lose 20 lbs, get bored with exercising and then gain it all back.  Well, last February we bought an elliptical machine for in the basement and I've been working out several days/week.  I've been in numerous "Biggest Loser" competitions and although I haven't won one yet, I've managed to lose 29 lbs since February 2014!!  I'm pretty proud of that!

I've been making small changes here and there.  For instance, I no longer drink diet soda.  In fact, I don't really drink soda at all anymore.  If I get a really bad headache, it's usually from lack of caffeine and so I'll drink a regular coke then, but for the most part I only drink water now.  I also stopped eating fried foods (most of the time).  My biggest issue is carbs and sugar.  I love me some bread and chocolate!  It's still something I struggle with daily, but I'm hoping to cut those both back tremendously this year, so I can lose 30 more pounds!

This is the only real good "before" picture I have of myself.  It pains me so much to post this, but I need to so you can see where I began, where I am now and then hopefully in a few months, you'll see where I end up.

This was taken in September, 2013:

Then, just less than a year later in August, 2014 at approx. 20 lbs down:

And, on NYE at another 10 lbs down:

I still have a really far way to go to get to my goal weight and what I'd LIKE to look like, but I'm definitely on the right path!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Williamsburg Trip!!

The first weekend in December is the Grand Illumination weekend in Williamsburg.  I've been a few times, but never really seemed to care too much for the actual Grand Illumination festivities.  I just want to go to Busch Gardens to Christmas Town!  Lol  This year I really wanted John to be able to go with us because the last time we went he was out of town on business.  He ended up not having to go out of town for work this year, so he was able to go with us.  Yay!!

We took that Friday off, picked Jacob up early from school and left town around lunch time.  It was a beautiful day out, but it was pretty cold.  When we got down there we checked in to our room and then went to Hooters for dinner.  Yum!

The next morning we got up to .... RAIN. :(  Christmas Town doesn't open for business until the afternoon, so we went to breakfast and then stopped at the Christmas Mouse where I got our family's Christmas ornament for 2014.  :)

It's cute, no?  And, different than anything else we have in our collection.  John also spotted Advent calendars for the boys .... something I've been wanting to do with them for a few years now and I just never remember to look for them.  They really loved them, though I think they still missed the Christmas story because they were more interested in the daily morning candy.  Lol

After the Christmas Mouse we went to the giant Yankee Candle store!  I loooove that place!!

We browsed all the different sections, checked out the awesome decorations, listened to some carolers and the boys even got to write and MAIL letters to Santa.

So ... after the Yankee Candle store we decided to drive out to Busch Gardens and try it in the rain.  We got in, got parked and then ... it POURED.  Worse than it had all day.  We waited a few minutes to see if it would let up, but no such luck. :(  Time to call it ... we left and we never did get to go to Christmas Town this year.  Well, John and I didn't.  The boys and my parents went back down the weekend before Christmas, so at least SOMEONE got to go.  :-/

To kill some time we decided to check out the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum as none of us had ever been to that one.  I'm glad I can say I've been, but I don't think I'll be going back any time soon.  Lol  It was just .. ehh .. okay.

Jacob enjoyed the giant Iron Man and Transformer.  And, I personally thought the tallest man was pretty neat ... 

And, since I'm really intrigued by the Titanic, I liked seeing a piece of coal from the Titanic.

But, then there was some stuff I wish I could UNsee.  Like this double headed goat.  WTH?

There were some games that the boys enjoyed like this shooting game.  And, there was a "mission impossible" type game that *I* really enjoyed. Lol  You had to make it across and room and back without breaking any of the lasers.  I did pretty good even on the "hard" setting when my husband turned it up and didn't tell me.  Lol

Probably my favorite part was this 3D movie we got to see when it was over.  It felt almost like a motion simulator  yet the seats didn't move, so it was safe for the kids.  Henry, however, FREAKED OUT about halfway through and I had to hold him so he couldn't see the screen while he cried through the rest of the movie.  Thankfully it wasn't a very long movie!

That night we had dinner at Captain George's ... our consolation prize. Lol  After that we just went back to the hotel and hung out the rest of the night.  John and I had to get up early and leave to come home the next day, but the kids stayed and hung out with my parents.  They got home later that night in time for dinner.  We had fun quality family time, but I'm still bummed over not getting to go to Busch Gardens!  Lol

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Color of Heaven series by Julianna MacLean

I haven't done a book review on here in awhile.  I've been reading a lot lately, but I've been behind on blogging our day to day stuff, so I really just didn't have the time to review EVERY book I've read recently.  This series I've been reading over the past six months, though, is seriously the best series of books I've read in such a long time!  There are two books left that I haven't read yet, and I'm really hoping she continues to write more, so I can keep going with it.  I'll be so sad when it's over for real!  Although I do have them all on my Kindle now, so I guess I could always re-read them.  Lol

Anyway, the series is called "The Color of Heaven" by Julianna MacLean.  I first found book #5 on one of my daily freebie FB pages I follow for the Kindle, so I downloaded it and then did a little more research realizing that there were four books before it.  So I looked them up on Amazon and lucky for me, book #1 was free also!  (Each image below is linked to where you can download it on Amazon)

The second book:

The third book:

The fourth book:

The fifth book:

And, the sixth book, which I just finished today:

Each one of these books has several main characters, their lives are intertwined and they each tell you their own story from their point of view.  Each book is about real life struggles and real things that can possibly happen ... lots of loss and near-death experiences, too, which is very intriguing to me (the near-death experiences .. not so much on the death thing, lol)

There are two more books still for me to read and I can't wait to begin those!

Here's my review I wrote on Goodreads.  I rarely write reviews on books, but these are just too good NOT TO.

The Color of Love (Color of Heaven Series, #6)The Color of Love by Julianne MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found book #5 of this series on amazon as a free download for Kindle, and then discovered the first book in the series was also free, so I downloaded that one and have been hooked on the Color of Heaven series ever since! This is easily my favorite series I've ready in a really long time! I love how all the books are intertwined and you never really know what direction it's going to take next. I also love how each character tells you their side of the story, so you get all the perspectives. They're just all fabulously written and I'd recommend them to anyone! I can't wait to read book #7 .. The Color of the Season!!

View all my reviews

You can friend request me on Goodreads if you want to see what I like to read and so I can see what you like to read too.  It's a great way to get recommendations on new books to check out too. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The week before Thanksgiving, Jacob's school had "Thanksgiving lunches" so the parents could come in, hang out for a bit and then have a turkey lunch with their child.  I love getting to go in to Jacob's school, and this year for the Thanksgiving lunch John was able to come with us, so it was even more special.  When we got there they were working on their "fraction turkeys".  So cute!

When they were done, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch.  And, btw ... two years of this and I finally found out that *I* don't HAVE to eat the turkey lunch.  I can just come in with a packed lunch to eat with him.  DEFINITELY doing this next year!

Thanksgiving Day this year went like it does every year ... we had dinner at our house and I cooked it.  Lol  Pretty boring, but we love it.  We used to go to PA for Thanksgiving, and honestly I'm not sure why we don't anymore, but now we just stay home.  I think we stopped going up after Henry was born.  I know that first Thanksgiving after he was born everyone came to us, but he was only a month old, and it was just easier that way.

Anyway, back to 2014 ... I had the house spotless the day before Thanksgiving so that ON Thanksgiving I could get up and be lazy.  All I really wanted to do was sit on my butt and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  My favorite Thanksgiving tradition!

So, for dinner we had the same thing we always have, lol, and hopefully next year I'll remember to take pictures, so I can share the recipes with you all! I basically only make this meal once a year.  We're not the types of people to have a turkey dinner on just an average day.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner menu:

Turkey (duh! of course)
Mushroom Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Dinner Rolls
Cranberry Sauce

And, I just realized we didn't really have a vegetable.  That's terrible!  Oh well, I guess. Lol

Oh, check out our "fine china" I bought at our new, amazing Dollar Tree!

I'm terrible at timing meals for a certain time to eat, so we always end up eating super late. :-/  I have GOT to get better about this!  So, the boys were getting a little restless waiting for dinner.

Henry was mad at my mom for some reason, lol, so hence the really nasty looks he's giving.  Good thing he's cute!

FINALLY dinner was ready, and so we ate.

After dinner the boys put their elf jammies on that Gee got them because Hector was coming that night!  They get so excited when he comes back to visit.  I'm definitely going to have to remember to bring him back over the summer for a mid-year check-up.  I always forget to do that!

After they were dressed we sat down to read "Hector's story" like we do every year.

We were only a few pages in when there was a knock at our door!!  Jacob ran to see who was there while Henry went to the window and started screaming "It's Hector! It's Hector!"  So Jacob opened the door, and lo and behold, there sat Hector with two presents and a card taped to the top!

I don't have the actual note at the moment to write was written inside, but basically it said to open the top present first, then read the card attached to the second box and then open that one too.  They began to open the top box and what did they find?? Another scout elf!!

And thus .. Joey was born!  Now the boys each have an elf of their own, and some day when they leave the nest and start their own families, they can each have one of the elves to take with them.  THAT is how traditions are born, my friends. :)

Now, on to the next letter and box.  This one said for them to both open the box and to share the contents.

They were so happy!  :)  Henry took custody of the stuffed elf because Jacob already has one, Jacob took the activity book and then there was a poster and a puzzle that they're sharing, believe it or not.

Now that all the excitement was over, we put Hector and Joey up on the shelf in the dining room and went back to reading our story.

I think I know how Charlie is going to act the whole way through the Christmas season (and I was right!)

We hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving as we certainly did!