Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Starting over...

Two things I wanted to talk about today:

First.....well technology can be good and bad. For me it was bad this past week. I discovered after deleting an album on my phone with pictures from my blog that somehow it deleted all my pictures from every single blog I had ever written. I had not added them onto my phone so I had no idea this would happen. So I decided to start over... start fresh with a new blog. You can find it here Or here http://www.glimpsesintomylittlelife.blogspot.com

So please if you are a follower of this blog and enjoy reading it please direct yourself to my new page and add yourself as a follower on that one. This will be my last blog on this page.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the tragedy that happened in Newtown. Like so many other parents out there my heart is broken. I watch the news here and there and as soon as I see a picture.... or hear a name... I am in tears. There is nothing I can say to the parents and families out there who lost someone... and as I look around at my friends and families each of us is grieving differently.... each one of us is trying to process this however we can, I wish there was something I could say.....

However I also know the power of smiling... and giving hope. So as it may seem I am "moving on" with my life.... which we all must do even though it's hard... those families will never ever be out of my thoughts and prayers... each time one of my children smiles... or I give one of my children a hug... or each morning when I take them to school.... they are in my thoughts. It's hard to continue on with my "normal" life when so many are experiencing a sad new "normal" in their own lives.

I also know that for some people out there they need to see life going on around them. They need to see pictures of smiling children.... see post about the normal happenings of life...that is what helps them to move on... to mourn and then begin to smile again.

So in my very small way I hope that I can bring some smiles to people through my little life that will help someone ... somewhere... in some small way.

God bless you all and please come visit me at my new blog page!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 14, 2012

What Christmas looks like at our house :-)

I will do a "year in review" in the next couple of weeks to post about all the things I haven't gotten around to in the past few months but for now just wanted a little post to show what Christmas is like at our house. :-) We love getting the decorations out and usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving and take it all down New Years day :-) The boys love moving the marker each day on our snowman to see how many days are left until Christmas. They also take turns arranging..... and rearranging our 2 nativity sets that we have. :-) So here's a few pictures of some of the decorations around our home! :-)

We also usually make cookies at least once. :-)

Hope everyone has a blessed Christmas!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering 9/11/01

Even 11 years later if I see a 9/11 special on TV I am in the same mindset I was on that day 11 years ago. I still have the same reactions, the same tears, the same disbelief. I know that there are people out there who want to "move on" or they don't want to watch specials or see things on the internet because they don't want to experience those emotions again, but for me I don't ever want to forget. I don't want to forget those people who lost their life, the people who sacrificed themselves trying to save others, the heroes that emerged that day. So in honor of 9/11 I am going to share my story of where I was and what I experienced that day as I watched and learned of the attack.

I was working at a Travel Company and Mike and I had only been dating a little over 4 months. I had just parked my car and got on the shuttle bus to go over to my building when I heard one of my co-workers say "how is that an accident? I mean how could a plane not see that building". I had no idea what she was talking about and dismissed it. Once I entered my building I knew something was different. People were talking more than usual and there was just a different feeling in the office. I learned pretty quickly that a 2nd plane had hit and that it was now not a suspected accident but a terrorist attack on our country.

We had many clients all over the country and in other countries. Once they closed down airports everywhere we began receiving calls from frantic passengers who were now stranded away from their families. We had some people wanting us to verify their loved ones were not on the planes that had hit the towers and pentagon. My co-workers began putting up tv's all over the office so we could keep a close eye on what was going on. Mike was at his house sleeping because he had worked the night before and I called him quickly and told him to get up and turn on the TV. I remember listening to him go "oh wow.... oh man!.... " and then hanging up because I wanted to watch more of the coverage myself.

For several days the TV's stayed up around the office then one by one people starting taking them down. They said they needed a break from it, and that they needed to get back to life, which I completely understand, but I just couldn't. I just kept watching when I could and it was hard taking my mind off of it.

I traveled after 9/11 a few times for work and you could see how much had changed. Some people complained but I was thankful. I knew it took longer to get to my airplane but I wanted to make sure they were doing everything they could to keep me safe.

11 years later.... I still watch the specials on the news stations around 9/11. I probably always will. I don't ever want to forget that day. I want to honor the people who died. I will always want to remember the people! I want the families to know that WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Day of School 2012

This morning was the first day of school for our family. Samuel's first day of kindergarten and Joseph's first day of 2nd grade. They woke up in a good mood and Samuel said "Every part of me is excited!"

The other day I found an old picture of them on their first day of preschool back in 2009 and so this morning I had them stand in a similar way so I could see how much they have changed and grown.

It's hard to believe that they are as old as they are! When we got there this monring, Joseph did well and got to pick out his desk and Samuel was blessed to be sitting at the table with the only 2 children he knows in his class. One is our next door neighbor and the other is a friend from his pre-school class last year!

Can't wait to hear all about their first day! Here are some more pictures from this morning!

Hope everyone else has a blessed school year!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

School is 2 weeks away!!!

As the summer is nearing its close and school is about to begin here in a little over 2 weeks, id like to give an update on the kiddos as things begin to change once again around here. :-)

Joseph is now 8 years old and will be starting 2nd grade. He spent the summer swimming, playing with friends and of course watching some tv and playing video games :-)

Samuel is 6 and will be starting school!!! I'm thrilled he got the teacher I wanted him to have and I know he will love school but its hard letting another one go... :-) He has grown up so much this summer, and he is very excited to get to school and learn how to read and be in a "big kid school".

Jonathan is 3 and doing much much better with potty training. He has to be 100% potty trained to go to preschool in september so I'm not sure if he will be going or not. He is really doing well so he might just get it by then. :-) He is my wild child, full of energy and always on the go, but also so sweet and loving. He loves to be read to, and although he is speech delayed he has really come a long way this summer!

Anna is 5 months old and just doing awesome. She's a great eater and sleeper. She laughs, smiles all the time, rolls over both ways and is showing the begginnings of crawling. She curls her knees up under her and tries to move but falls onto her back. :-) I know its just a matter of time and I will have a little mover on my hands. :-)

Over the summer we vsited missouri and our friends and family there. We went swimming, went to VBS at our church, played outside, had a visit from my stepson for a month, and the older boys went camping. We had some playdates here and there, and had some visits from cousins and grandma and grandpa. It was a great summer!

I am a little sad about the summer ending, but I'm also looking forward to the school year getting underway. Mike and I will both be volunteering at the school this year so it will not only be exciting for the kids but us too!!!! With Mike's new work schedule (2 10 hour nights, 2 10 hour days) although it's rough, it is allowing him the opportunity to take part in our children's education by going and volunteering. I have done it the past 2 years and it is just incredible! I'm so looking forward to doing it again this year for both Joseph and Samuel!

Hope you all out there have a blessed school year!! Here are some pics from the summer :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Joseph is 8!!!!

Each year since I have been blogging, I try to blog about each child on their birthday. Today joseph is 8 years old. He is my first born biological child. (I have a stepson who is almost 15 :-) )

I remember finding out I was pregnant for the first time and how everything was exciting..... and even now.... as he is turning 8 ...... it is still exciting!

He is a sweet, sensitive child who makes me laugh, loves to cuddle and is learning to love and serve God which makes me so happy as a mommy.

He is an ideal older brother to his younger 3 siblings and he not only looks out for them but wants to help care for and teach them as well. I love seeing them interact and I look forward to seeing how those relationships continue to develop as they grow.

I could go on and on about him but I'll keep it short and sweet :-) I am so blessed to be his mom. Happy Birthday Joseph!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just when you think its going good..... :-)

Well I feel I must be honest.... because it might encourage someone else having difficulty.... I was so excited last week when Jonathan seemed to be picking up potty training extremely quick, only to have him regress these past few days. I don't now what happened but he went from going on his own to the bathroom whenever he needed to go to peeing in his pants. :-(

I was a little discouraged but then I read that usually to fully potty train it takes up to 8 months and so I thought ok... let's go back to square one. So we are back to taking "big kid potty breaks" every half hour or so and hopefully he will get back in the groove quickly.

But no matter what... when I look into his sweet face and see him smiling at me I just can't be mad.... or upset.... he's just too darn cute! :-) And it helps knowing that he will get it eventually... not as fast as i orginally thought... but he WILL get it... and it just takes time and patience....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Potty training, rolling over, laughing... life :-)

Well.... we had a few milestones happen in our home these past few weeks.

First is potty training jonathan. 4 weeks ago he showed major signs of readiness but we were getting ready to go to Missouri to visit family so I wanted to wait until we got back. So 2 weeks ago this Sunday we started potty training. My "method" is to go straight to real underwear. I ask about every 30 min if he has to go, limit fluid intake and so far it's worked for the boys, we will see in a few years if it works for Anna. As for Jonathan, I'm happy to report that 2 weeks later he is about 98% there. He only has accidents trying to make it to a bathroom and those are only once a day or once every 2 days. I'm so excited and thankful to not have to buy diapers for him anymore! :-) and he is so excited to be a "big boy" :-)

Anna has decided to laugh... roll over from back to stomach and scoot across the floor. :-) I can't believe how big she is getting!!! She is 4 and 1\2 months old now..... it goes so fast!

Only 4 and 1\2 more weeks and my sammy will start kindergarten and joe will go to 2nd grade!! We are all enjoying summer but looking forward to school again too.

Here are some recent pics of the kids..... I'm so blessed!! They bring so much joy to my life!

Monday, June 25, 2012

How I do shopping and keep our family schedule easy!

I am not hugely into pinterest.... yet :-).... but I have seen some really great tips on a lot of different things. Friends have asked me in the past to share how I do my grocery shopping and so I thought id share it with whoever wanted to know.... its super simple and makes me stay on budget and have a less hectic week.

I get a piece of paper and since I go to 3 different stores I write them each down and then I write out each day of the week. Where I live we have a bunch of different stores I could go to, but the 3 I like best due to prices, ease of shopping and location, are Walmart, Sam's Club and Aldi's.

Then the first thing I do is plan a meal for each day of the week. Sometimes we do "on our own" if it's going to be a busy night or we won't be home at the same time. Then once I have planned a meal for each day of the week I write down all the things that I need for those meals under one of the stores. After that is done I add our "staples" to each store. For example milk, bread, crackers etc....

I also look at my budget ahead of time so I know how much money I can spend. I take my list shopping with me and next to each item I put in the cart, I write down next to it how much it is. I keep a tally going as I shop and if I reach my spending limit then something gets put back on the shelf until next time.

Now as far as keeping my family organized with things such as appointments and activities, a few years ago I found the best thing ever!! It's called a "Mom's Plan It Calendar"

It's great because I can put every family member in our house on the calendar and can see at a quick glance if we have conflicting activities on the same day. I then can plan ahead on how to get each person where they need to go or if I need to call and re-schedule something. I also keep this calendar right next to the phone with pens in a jar nearby so that as I am on the phone making appointments I can see quickly what days are open.

Well I hope these ideas have helped some of you, I know they save me a ton of time and money!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Samuel is 6

Its always hard when one of my children has a birthday. I'm so excited to see them grow but also a little sad as well. I look back at pictures and think how fast time is flying and how much I want it to slow down.

Samuel brings sooo much joy and laughter to our home. I call him my "cuddlebug" because he loves to snuggle with me. I can't believe it but today he turned 6 and in a few months he will start school..... my sammy is growing up....

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Their first camping trip!

As a child and even as a teenager I never went camping. As a small child I don't recall ever wanting to or any of my older siblings camping. As a teenager the thought of being outside all night in the heat and surrounded by bugs was not on my top 10 things I thought would be fun.

However as I became a mom.... and kept having all these boys.... I didn't want to deprive them of those outdoorsy experiences.... so fortunately I realized I was married to someone who was willing to do those things for our boys. :-) My husband grew up exposed to hunting, fishing and camping but it wasn't something he was ever really into, but being the awesome daddy he is... he does it anyway. :-)

Last summer was an intro to camping for joe and sam. On our summer visit to missouri mike took the older 3 boys, michael, joseph and samuel out to gpa's house and camped out in the backyard. Boys survived and so did mommy.  :-)

This summer I wanted boys to have a "real" camping experience away from home. So mike, michael, joseph and samuel went camping. It was for one night.... away from home.... with smores... hot dogs.... games.... swimming..... and they LOVED it!! It was a bit too quiet at home for my taste but I survived... especially knowing what a great time my boys were having. Next year they are going to add on jonathan to the crew.

Someday I may go too..... and as I said in an fb post..... if their is a/c, showers and a comfy bed :-) :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lessons learned......

ok.... I should really say Lessons I'm learning... :-)

I was part of the bible study Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst and I made it to 2 out of 6 but with Anna, and Samuel's pre-school I just couldn't make it to all of them. However I am still reading the book on my own and finishing the study, and every chapter speaks to me about something new. This following excerpt really spoke to me.

"I think alot of us try to get filled up with things or people. In Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, I talked about how I walked around for years with a little heart-shaped cup, holding it out to other people and things trying to find fulfillment. Some of us hold out our heart-shaped cup to food. Others demand that husbands love us in ways that right our wrongs and fill up our insecurities. Sometimes we expect our kids to be successful so we look good and have our worth validated by their accomplishments. Or we overspend our budget on an outfit we just have to have.

Whatever it is, if we are really going to stop circling the mountain and head north toward lasting changes, we have to empty ourselves of the lie that other people or things can ever fill our hearts to the full. Then we have to deliberately and intentionally fill up on Gods truths and stand secure in His love."

It made me think about what I use to try and fill up my "heart shaped cup" ...... Makes me question if i'm way to caught up in what the world views as important and not enough about what God thinks is important...... I know this is something I will be doing some pretty heavy thinking on...... and hoping to seek him more than things of this world....

Friday, May 25, 2012

YAY!! Summer vacation is here!! :-)

I am so glad summer is here. Samuel and Jonathan's last day of pre-school was this week and Joseph's last day was today. I am so excited to spend some relaxing time with my family without having to run around. I'm looking forward to staying up late with the kids and sleeping in..... :-) Although I am not a big fan of the heat, I do love summer vacation! As for other news the kids are doing great. My stepson Michael is here to visit for a little while over the summer break. We are enjoying having him with us and his brothers are so excited to spend this time with him.
Anna is growing big! She just had her 2 month check up a while back. When I told the pediatrician how she was sleeping 12 hours a night straight through and taking 2 naps, he said with a huge smile, "be careful what parents you tell that to...." I told him that after having 3 other children, 2 of which were still getting up several times a night until they were almost a year old, that I deserved one like Anna. :-) He agreed. :-) He said she is growing wonderfully and right on target!
Jonathan is growing up so much too. He is speech delayed due to ear infections during his first year of life but he is coming along great. We are going to potty train him this summer. His speech has improved so much and I feel he will do really well. *fingers crossed*
Joseph & Samuel are doing great as well. They are so happy to be done with school and looking forward to doing some fun things this summer. These are the pictures I took of them on their last days of school this week.
All in all we are doing great! I'm one blessed mama!