Monday, November 29, 2010

Top Ten Things I am Thankful For

I guess I should have done this before Thanksgiving, but better late than never. :)

*these are in no particular order

1. Salvation

I don't know where I would be in life if I did not come to know Jesus. I assume I would be a pretty miserable person. 

2. Ryan

What a great man I have! His diligence always astounds me, especially as we are preparing to move (as we are now :-p).  When stuff needs to be done, he will leap up and get to work before the thought of it can even finish going through my head. :) I could go on and on about why I am thankful for him but I'll just sum it up and say I love my husband very much.

3. Hannah

I was blessed beyond measure 5 years and 7 months ago! Hannah is such a sweet, pleasant, and hilarious child that I dare anyone to not smile when they are around her! She is so affectionate and tells me she loves me at least ten times a day. :)

4. Autumn

As she settles into the age of 2, her demeanor has the tendency to match her hair. :) Terrible twos aside, she was the perfect addition to make us a foursome.  She is a Daddy's girl hands down and she is also very silly like he is.  Her new favorite word is "no" and gets a kick out of the reaction she gets by using it.  She loves her big "sissy" and is always beyond thrilled to see her.

5. Our accident caused minimal damage

A claim has been filed and all is well, thanks to accident forgiveness! I didn't realize we had that on our policy! Woohoo!

6.  Our kids love going to church

Both kids have gone to church since they were but a little bean in my womb.  :) Hannah loves going to TeamKid and has even prayed aloud in her Sunday school class (she prayed for her Grendy).  She is now a big girl and sits with us in "big church."  Autumn had a case of separation anxiety going to her class, but that has almost completely subsided! Her teachers, both this year and last, have been wonderful.

7. Homeschooling

The blessing of it all amazes me more every day! I now tell people that I would be more worried and stressed if Hannah was actually in school all day! :-p I've even started somewhat of a curriculum with Autumn, teaching her shapes and colors.  It's nothing real formal but when she's coloring we will just talking about the different shapes and colors and make it a point to make sure to take advantage of all teachable moments.
8. Ryan's job

This is the best civilian job Ryan has ever worked! He's doing exactly what he did in the Army and might even give him a chance to eventually become a DOD police officer! God is good!

9. Veterans

I am related to many veterans so I am very grateful for all the sacrifices servicemen and women makes to serve our country.  I know firsthand what that's like since Ryan was gone during the first year of Hannah's life, but I know many have made bigger sacrifices.  Everyone would much rather be with their families and enjoy a comfortable life, and they are willing to put that on hold to serve.

10. Free Babysitters!

I am primarily speaking about my parents and my grandma who have on several occasions watched the kids so Ryan and I could have a date night or come over so I could go to the gym while Ryan is in Millington.  We are both very appreciative of this and it will be missed a great deal once we are moved! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

We now have permission for snow!

The girls and I had a lovely Thanksgiving at my dad's house with a total of 14 people! Ryan had to work but another co-worker provided dinner for those who are working.  Very cool indeed.  Ryan was able to be a glutton along with the rest of us. The food at my dad's was great and I felt full and fat for the rest of the day! The evening also brought our first bit of perfect for all those Black Friday shoppers who were already in line at Toys R Us that wrapped all the way around the building. :-p I myself was nice and toasty in my own bed knowing that my gifts were tucked safely in my KMart layaway.

Grammie and Emma share a story before chow time. :)

Before we got dressed to go to my dad's.  Hannah said
her bears have better dreams when they sleep in my bed.

Autumn managed to escape outside without her
shoes, walking around the wet ground in tight.
Didn't bother her a bit.

Hannah and her new friend, Janie :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Surprise

Of course the kids don't actually know this is what they're getting for Christmas ;) We just wanted to see which ones they liked.

Weekly Shopping Trip

A very divine part of Ryan's new job is that we get paid weekly.  I wish we could bottle how fabulous this is. :) So now I go grocery shopping once a week instead of every two weeks.  Since Ryan is gone the kids go with me.  I would usually rather sick needles in my eyeballs than take the kids to the grocery store, but over time it's gotten better.  Last week the kids wanted to get in one of the carts with the plastic cars attached to them.  I think this was our most painless shopping trip to date! You can see a little bit, but I actually have four children in the cart rather than two--Hannah's brown bear and Autumn's purple puppy.  I'm surprised there was any room left since Hannah was also wearing her new puffy winter coat. :)  Last week I happened to stock up a bit which is a good thing since I didn't plan accordingly the week of Thanksgiving--people shopping for last minute dinner items and of course the infamous Black Friday.  I shop at Kroger so it's not going to be crazy there, right? I'm not sure if I want to take that chance. :-p

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

O Christmas Tree

We actually put up our tree last week. Very early! But last year we didn't get out our Christmas decorations because we were getting ready to move. It was kind of depressing but no matter.  It was so great getting out the decorations since there was all kinds of stuff I forgot we had. :)  Of course the rest of our house is starting to look a little empty since we have packed a good bit of stuff in preparation for our move, although we are determined to keep the tree up until the very last minute.  At first I was worried I would constantly have to keep Autumn from messing with the ornaments, but she has pleasantly surprised me!

Thanksgiving Break

This coming week we are going to take our first extended break from school.  The past couple weeks I've felt myself running out of steam, and I'm sure Hannah feels the same.  We've never taken an official break.  We've had a couple days here and there when time got away from us and we didn't get anything done, but that hardly felt like a break.  I need to start finding some super fun stuff for us to do (baking, crafts, etc).  And if Hannah wants to do some school work, then I sure won't stop her. :) So far Hannah hasn't asked at all for any school work. LOL So far this break has been glorious! Our computer desk in the dining room is where we do all our schooling and such, and it's quite a mess.  I may just spend this week trying to straighten that up.

Unfortunately Ryan has to work on Thanksgiving (boo!), but he will have Christmas off.  I guess if I had to pick one, I would pick him being off for Christmas.  He's actually here in town now and goes back to Millington tomorrow.  On that front, all is going great! He found us a house to rent and he's actually getting the utilities turned on tomorrow after he gets back into town.  The house is super cute and little less than what we're paying now. God is so good!

Our moving date is also official...we are out of here December 27th! This past month or so has gone by so fast, since Ryan first started his new job, that I'm sure it will be here before we know it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Be Thankful!!

Last night on our way home from church we were in a fender bender (my fault, blah).  Everyone was fine and there was minimum damage, so that alone I am so thankful! I don't even think the kids realized what had happened until I quickly pulled over and turned off their DVD.  Anyway, long story short the police came and did a report.  I got cited (yay) and we finally made it home a whole hour and half  after the initial incident.  Of course with any fender bender you  replay the whole thing in your head over and over. ugh. I hate that.  This morning before I had gotten the kids breakfast Ryan already called the insurance company and all should be fine.  Our deductible is low (praise the Lord!).  I hate how incidents like this make us think of all we should be thankful for, but I like to think that even when things are going good I'm thankful for everything I have going in my life.  For one, I'm thankful last night is done and over with. LOL I'm thankful my kids are okay!!!!!  I still hate that they were in the car with me during that, but ugh...if I think about the what ifs I will go nuts! I am thankful to still have a driveable vehicle! I can still get things done on a daily basis. I'm thankful for going to church and teaching my girls about Jesus. They always look forward to Wednesday night church.  I could easily say "If only we didn't go to church last night this wouldn't have happened" but I don't feel like that at all.  I had a great time at the homeschool support group and my girls had a great time in their respective classes. The Lord will work through this and all will be great in the end.

If I really wanted to nit pick, I would say now that this has happened I was thankful to have a dent-free truck. :-p But I'm not complaining at all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 27-29/33

Another not so fab weekend. Please bare with me. :-/


Exercise:  No exercise on Saturday but the past two days I made it to the gym! Sunday I biked 11 miles and yesterday I ran 4 miles. Due to my lack of gym time the past week or so I'm pretty sore so I'm taking today as my rest day.

Food after 8PM?  Yeah, pretty much.

Bed by 10PM?  Yes except for last night. Got to bed a little after 11.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week in Review #12

What a great week! It's like we hit the ground running and didn't want to stop.  I feel like we have been in such a great flow plus I find that I am so much more relaxed.  I cannot plan each day because it never works out.  I just write it down as we do it, and then over the course of the week I look at what we've done and try to make sure we've covered all the subjects evenly and we keep moving forward.

Science - We did four different experiments at 6:30 Wednesday morning! Wow! It was the first thing Hannah asked to do and I knew we hadn't done any science in a while.  We did experiments that involved showing how air works such as blowing air through a straw and making a styrofoam ball float in mid air (so cool).  It was a bit hard to do because it made her giggle so much.  Making the ball float with the hair dryer was pretty fun as well. :) The "bellowing elephant" was a bust since it was quite startling (to both of us!).  It's like when put a blade of grass between your thumbs and blow but it was so much louder!

Math - Hannah is doing addition out the wazoo! I make certain of that. :) Our text is introducing counting by 5's, so I'm counting my 5's really loud in a sing-song voice.  Anything to get Hannah to retain it!  Then on Friday at the library Hannah starts singing it! :-D I was so tickled!  But then she wanted to pretty much perform for the rest of the patrons in the library. LOL I just smiled encouragingly. :)

Reading - We have done a lot of her phonics readers throughout the week, which has been great practice for her.  Although we do need to get back to the actual reading text next week.  I am pleased to say that she can read all the phonics readers from the Level 1 package.  The one she's reading in the picture is "Elk Yelps!" which is considered the more advanced in the package. :) Along with the occasional read aloud from Level 1 readers, we will work from the text to prepare for Level 2!

Handwriting - I think if I had to choose a subject Hannah loathed it would be this one.  When I ask her to write her spelling words or practice writing her full name, she rolls her eyes and moans and groans.  Flipping through her writing notebook I've noticed a few pages where she's partially written her full name. Sheesh. I'm glad her name isn't any longer. My goodness--her middle name is only two letters!  I try to make it a trade off though by telling her she can choose the next subject to work on (which is almost always Early Learner).

Geography - We just started the next section of the workbook which is different types of landforms and bodies of water.  We haven't done a GeoPuzzle in a while, but I noticed that the third section in her workbook talks about different continents so I think we'll incorporate the puzzles into that.

Early Learner - Hannah has been doing the 3rd workbook which is noticeably harder than the first two. This is the subject she always picks to do first--she loves doing the mazes and separating various pictures into categories.  I wonder what we're going to do when she's all done with this...?

Other pictures from the week:

The out-of-place bath tub in the children's library :p

This week was also my Grammie's birthday and
we celebrated at my house with a spaghetti dinner
and cake and ice cream. 

Autumn sharing her Kix with Violet

Hannah loves playing computer games on
the PBS kids website, especially Dinosaur Train,
Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Sid the Science Kid.

Day 26/33

Eating: 1981 calories

Exercise: None really. :-/ I hate it when I barely make it to the gym during the week, but this week was a bit busy with all kinds of running around, errands, and so forth.  At lest it wasn't out of sheer laziness. :-p
Food after 8PM? I got a bit hungry when I went to bed so I had a sandwich.

Bed by 10PM?Yep.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 25/33

Eating: 2540 calories

Exercise: shopping at KMart for our Christmas layaway...does that count? :) It was pretty wearing.

Food after 8PM? Nope.

Bed by 10PM? Yep. I love it when the time "falls back", but it still takes me a bit to readjust.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 24/33

Only 9 more days before my weigh in! I'm getting excited!

Eating: 1992 calories! :-D Not bad since yesterday was my grandma's birthday and we all had dinner, cake and ice cream at my house! Then again, we ran out of cake so I didn't get any which was perfectly fine with me! I was thrilled not to have all the leftover temptation!

Exercise: Nope, had so much running around to do so at least I wasn't just being lazy.

Food after 8PM? a bowl of cereal

Bed by 10PM? Yep.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 22 & 23/33

Eating: Monday, 3408 calories (I have decided NO MORE BAKING unless I am going to a social function where I know it will all be eaten by people other than myself! If it's in the house I'm going to eat it. It's just a fact so if it's not in the house then I should be just fine.) Tuesday, 1877 (ah, much better)

Exercise: The day before yesterday there was no exercise, but last night I went to the gym and ran two miles and rode over 6 miles on the bike! Felt awesome!

Food after 8PM? The night before last I didn't eat after 8. I finished dinner around 8:30 last night. The kids went to bed later than usual so I ate later. When the kids eat I'm usually not hungry which is why I don't eat usually until after they go to bed.

Bed by 10PM? The night before I fell asleep around 9:30..I was so sleepy! Last night I went to bed a little after 10.

By the way, I figured out that Blogger wasn't being stupid.  It was just me...I had the compose page on "edit HTML" instead of just "compose" Ooops. Oh, well. At least it's not the website. :)

Week in Review #11

Yep, I'm a little late in posting this. I guess this is more of a review of what's going with all of us rather than just what we're doing for homeschooling. For some reason, Blogger is being stupid about posting pictures so this post might seem a little bland. :-p

Last week for school consisted of a lot of review. It seemed we needed to stop with everything and just review, which was perfectly fine.  No sense in moving on to the next lesson when Hannah has yet to grasp what we just did. She read a lot of her little readers, did lots of addition problems, and wrote lots of spelling words. Hannah is reading her readers with words she supposedly hasn't learned yet, but she just sounds it out like she's been doing it her whole life. :) I'm so proud! We also made it to the library for the first time in two weeks. I don't think since early summer we went that long without going to the library. Pretty strange. It felt good to get out of the house and do something productive. The girls sure love those puzzles. I would want some for the house, but it would just be me keeping up with all the pieces and becoming totally OCD over it. :-p We'll just leave the puzzling for library time.

Ryan's new job is still going swimmingly. As always we are most anxious for the lease to be up and get moved! At least Ryan is able to come up here every weekend. That's always quite lovely. Monday morning he went to Fort Campbell for the review on his medical retirement to see if his condition has improved or stayed the same to determine what percentage we receive from the VA. There's a very very very slight chance they could even see him fit for duty and generate orders for active duty! I just leave it all in God's hands. What else can we do?

Autumn has officially started potty training. I suppose it's going so-so. She's used her potty twice so far and peed on the floor about four times. I'm have serious deja vu from when I was potty training Hannah, mopping up the carpet and chasing her around the house when she's wearing underwear to make sure there are no massive accidents on the floor. Good news is that Autumn is all about sitting on her potty and is very excited about wearing pull ups and all that fun stuff. Hopefully it will take a little less than the 11 months it took with Hannah!

Annual Check Ups

Yep, I'm a little behind in getting the girls' well-child check ups. With Hannah being homeschooled I didn't feel quite the same pressure to make sure her immunizations were immediately up to date. :-p

Our appts were on Monday and both girls are perfect, as I figured. ;) Hannah came in at 3'8 and 41 lbs. Autumn was at 2'10 and 29 lbs. Autumn was missing a hepatitis shot and they were both due for flu shots so we went to Fort Campbell on Tuesday. I didn't go on Monday since I didn't know how long it would since it was in the middle of the afternoon. But going first thing in the morning yesterday was perfect! No one else at at the immunization clinic! :D Autumn was too young for the flu mist so she had to get two shots. :( Hannah got the mist. Autumn only cried for a minute after her shots. I was so proud of her. Definitely one of the most painless experiences with shots I've had.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 21/33

Eating: 2375 calories

Exercise: ran 3 miles at the gym. felt amazing!

Food after 8PM? Nope!

Bed by 10PM? Oh, yeah! Even with Ryan in town I still managed to catch up on my word count for Nano and get to bed at a decent hour!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Days 16-20/33

Yes, I am still doing the challenge! I haven't forgotten about it or given up.  Our internet protection expired so naturally I was afraid to get online.  Couldn't renew it until payday (Thursday) but it's now renewed and everything is well in the world yet again. :)

2,925 (this was a Wednesday, what can I say? those are the worst for me :-/ not to mention the peak of my Halloween candy intake)
2,595 (I had baked banana bread and blondies--I'm thinking baked goods are a big trigger for me so I probably shouldn't be baking unless it's for some social function)

So, 3 out of 5 good days. Not too shabby at all. :-D

Exercise:  I had not been to the gym all week! It didn't seem like a good week for anyone to be able to baby sit the kids which I understand. I went for a walk yesterday pulling the kids in the wagon which felt great! I really need to get out and do that on days I don't make it to the gym. Here's to better exercise next week!

Food after 8 PM? Yes, pretty much every night. :-/

Bed by 10PM? Probably around 10:30 mostly.  I'm participating in NaNoWriMo so I like to do as much writing as possible after the kids go to bed. A good thing is between 10 and 10:30 I do feel myself getting sleepy so I think I have adapted my body to wanting to go to bed at a certain time. A very good thing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo and Me

This year marks my fifth time participating in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo (pronounciations vary).  It's a fantastic creative challenge for those of us who have always wanted to write a novel, but always said that they didn't have time or talent.  The goal for the month of November is to write 50,000 words in 30 days (quantity is what counts, not quality--editing is for other months besides November ;-p).  That's about 175 pages in Microsoft Word, give or take.  Anyone who makes the goal by the end of the month is considered a winner.  Thanks to this, I can honestly say I've written four novels. :-D They might be terrible, but I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere.  Obviously, the challenge lies in doing this along with all the other craziness that already consumes your life! I did this for the first time in 2006 when Hannah was 19 months old.  I'm quite curious about how  I would do without any kids.  That would be amazing, but I think it's even more amazing I managed to squeeze this in with two kids! In 2008 I did this after we moved to Georgia from Kansas and were still living in Army lodging.  Autumn was only 6 weeks old. Ryan is also a great help and is very supportive in my literary endeavors. That same year we were driving back to GA from TN after Thanksgiving and Ryan told me he would unload the car and the kids while I went in the house and finished up my wordcount since there were just mere minutes left before NaNoWriMo would be over.

Now I am continuing the novel I started in 2006, the only year I didn't "win".  I've spent the last couple days reading what I had written so I can get on track.  It's nice to see it with fresh eyes, and I'm really enjoying what I've written.  I'm so excited to continue with this novel and see where it goes. It's a young adult mystery (a'la R.L. Stine minus the murdering), and I don't even know whodunnit yet.  Check back with me...this thing will take on a mind of its own!

Happy Halloween!

Love how Hannah looks all prim
and proper here. :)
Long gone are the carefree days of trick or treating, going off with your friends on Halloween night for hours on end without a second thought. I think the safety concerns override the yearning to bring back such a tradition. We attended 2 trick or treating alternatives this weekend. One was at my grandma's apartment building. There wasn't a huge turnout but the kids still had fun. Emma was there, too, all in her bumble bee glory. :) Hannah was a bumble bee her first Halloween but she was 6 months old. I still have that costume somewhere...Anyway, the second was trunk or treat at our church. Last year they had about 800 kids, not including the parents, so I was bracing myself for what to expect this year. It actually wasn't too bad. We got there a little early before the crowds started. There were three bounce houses which quickly became jam-packed. The girls were excited to see their Grendy's trunk open for bsiness and frequented it more than once. :) Strangely, only the pics from church were acting up so you only get the ones from Saturday.

Hannah growling like
a polar bear

Autumn is not such an
aggressive bear.

Hooray for trick or treating at
Grammie's apartment!

Day 15/33

Eating: 1966 calories. Yay! Getting back on track feels great!

Exercise: I had a great time running around the park with the kids this afternoon.  We met some other moms from the homeschool group

Food after 8PM? couple pieces of Halloween candy

Bed by 10PM? no, I didn't get there until 11.  The internet was acting up so I was trying to see what I could do to get it up again. Couldn't get anything done but I called Charter and got it all resolved.
I can honestly say since going to bed at 10 (aside from last night) is making me feel so much more rested! I actually feel ready to start the day instead of struggling to open my eyes while Hannah asks over and over if she can have Golden Grahams for breakfast. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 13 & 14/33 (Halloween weekend isn't pretty)


Eating: 2764 calories.

Exercise: No...actually this weekend felt so busy with our Halloween activities and having some family time while Ryan was here.

Eating after 8PM? Maybe a little Halloween candy

Bed by 10PM? Yep


Eating: 2978 calories.  Again, very shameful. I am actually quite embarrassed for having taken on this challenge and I am sure that I haven't even been under 2000 calories half the time! Not to mention those "fun size" candies easily add up. Ugh.

Exercise: walking around with Ryan and the kids at our church's Trunk or Treat...while eating candy here and there. :-p

Food after 8PM? Yeah, pizza rolls and ranch dressing. :-/ I felt like doo doo after eating them...I haven't eaten those in forever and I'll be sure not to include those in my diet in the future.

Bed by 10PM? Yep, yep.  I think Ryan and I were both relieved all the festivities were over (for now :-p) and happily fell right to sleep.  Ryan got up around 2 AM to go back to Memphis.  He like stay with us and sleep in his own bed as much as possible. He did this last time and it worked out pretty well. :)

I am so happy to have a fresh start with a new week! Here's to better moderation!


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