Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our First Day Out

I love having Dawson at home. He is an amazing Dad and husband and we have had a really wonderful and well needed vacation. Yesterday, we "ended" this vacation by going to a local park for a picnic lunch and then Dawson played with Brady in the park while Smiles and I played on the blanket. I did put Smiles in the swing for a little bit, but it looked like he was going to fall out, so we enjoyed playing with toys on the blanket and watching Daddy and Brady go down the windy slide again and again and again. It was a lot of fun. We also had to do some errands and included an impromptu visit with my mom, dad and sis and later on with the Ruda Family - it was fun to see them again and briefly catch up.

After an 11 day vacation, Dawson went back to work today - so, it was back to "regular life" for all of us...sort of. One difference now is that we have a minivan, which means that I can get out with the kids once in a while. So, today, I decided that our first trip out would be to the local (tiny) library! I have not been there in ages! I have been there before with Brady, but not since the Intrepid died in October of last year. Brady LOVED it! We picked out four books and then a few videos too - it is nice to have a new one to show him once in a while - with no extra cost to me!

We had a great time and things went smoothly. This was actually the first time that I was out with both of the boys by myself (I think)! One thing that I realized is that I did not have a lot of time to be out. By the time that Brady and Smiles were done with lunch, and diapers were changed and shoes were put on and other lollygagging ceased :) I really only wanted to be out for about 40 minutes because nap time was around the corner - and that is what they are doing now!

I am so thankful for the new minivan that the Lord provided for us! I am still getting used to driving it (I feel so high up!) - but it is great! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

About a month or so ago, I started to look at the T-shirts that I was wearing. Some of them are nice and in good condition, but, some of them...well, let's say that they have seen better days!

Most of these T-shirts are from college and so I have many memories with them - clubs that I was involved in, supporting my friend's clubs, Hard Rock Tees, Martinique Tee, Special Olympics Tee, Rec-sports floor hockey champs - I have two of these - one I won as a freshman when we beat a senior team in the finals (my cousin was on the senior team - I tried not to rub it in too much!) and the other one was when we were seniors, and others.

I guess it is hard to part with these T shirts because of the memories that surround them. However, after 10- 15 years of use (has it really been that long?!?!) they are starting to look dingy and have stains on them.

So, what do I do with these T-shirts? Do I just throw them out or is there another way that I can reuse these T-shirts? If you have any suggestions, let me know...or they may have to be put into the trash because I am trying to declutter my house! (and that is another post - or two - in itself!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Free Thing For Me!

I don't like leaks or worrying about the possibility of dealing with a leak, so I chose to use Pampers diapers on my children. They may be a little more expensive per diaper than other diapers, but I can probably count on my two hands the number of leaks that I have had to deal with in the past 2 1/2 years of Brady's life and the past almost 8 months of Smiles' life. I think that I have actually dealt with less than than, but I really cannot remember.

Anyway, besides the lack of leaks that I have experienced with the diapers, something that I have participated with for the past 2 1/2 years is their Gifts to Grow program. On each of the packages of diapers and wipes, they have a code on it that you enter online. Each code is worth a certain number of points and then you can redeem those points for some type of prize - gift cards (free shipping) or a book or toy (you pay the shipping).

Well, I have entered the codes, but I have never redeemed any until tonight. I decided to cash in 400 of my 406.5 points for a $50 L.L. Bean gift card! I am so excited about this choice! What am I going to buy with that gift card? Most likely a toiletry bag (or two) that I have been wanting for quite some time. The one that I am using is too small and only has one pouch - not very organized!

Sometimes I wondered if it was worth putting in all of those codes...tonight, I am realizing that my "work" was no in vain! I cannot wait to receive the gift card...and the new bags! Yay! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

1000+ Miles Later

We arrived home safely today from our nine day trip to visit family and friends. The trip seems surreal - one day I am spending time with "Great" Nanny, and the next minute I am at my house and notice a "new big table" (as Brady pointed out to us) on out patio - our neighbors were getting rid of their wooden picnic table and decided to set it up on our patio as a surprise for us! It is great interim patio furniture for us!

The trip was great but I am tired. We were driving every other day so that we were able to visit four different places in nine days. So, now it is time to turn off the computer and cuddle up in my own bed!

It is always nice to visit family and friends...but it is always wonderful to be home again.

Vacation is not over yet though, because Dawson has taken Monday and Tuesday off too! WOO HOO! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Our Newest Addition!

Well, I guess that I am officially a soccer Mom. No, my kids are not old enough to play soccer yet, but I have the "wheels" to get them to their practices! :)

We have waited until October of last year to save the money that we needed to purchase a second car for our family - and that is exactly what we did yesterday! Some of you guessed it!

I am so excited that we are the new owners of a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan!!! Dawson and I went to pick it up yesterday and I drove it home! It was great!!! I love it!!! We wanted a minivan so that we could take vacations and cram all of our stuff into the vehicle and we also wanted to be able to drive more than our family around with us - so we prayed, waited, saved our money and the Lord provided this vehicle for us that fit our budget!

I have looked out at our driveway a few times already and I have to say that the minivan is such a blessing to our lives. I still cannot believe that it is really ours - we paid for it in full, and I am so thankful that the Lord helped us to save the money to pay for it so that we can continue to live debt free. God is good.

Well, now I have to continue to pack...we are going to take a little vacation! I guess the van came just in time! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Worth the Wait

I am really excited because in about an hour, I am going to do something that I have been waiting since October of last year to do!

Any guesses? (and it does not count if I already told you!)

More to come later! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Always Fun To Watch

I really enjoy watching the Olympics. I have watched them ever since I was a little girl. In fact, the first time that I really remember watching them was when I was in fourth grade. I had chicken pox really bad - I was covered from head to toe - and I missed the last week of school! I was really bummed about that because I missed the end of the year party - but, my sister was great and brought my autograph book into school for my friends to sign and she even picked up a plate of goodies that my classmates put together!

Anyway, I remember watching the gymnastics and I thought that what they did was amazing! I think that what I loved about it most was watching the athletes perform and seeing the look on their faces when they would succeed - a dream come true. They were so excited to be representing the USA (or whatever country that they were from) and I laughed when they laughed and cried when they cried. It was great!

Last night Dawson and I watched the opening ceremonies. I have not actually done that in a long time. China put on an amazing show. I could not believe how many people were involved in the show - I think that they said it was 15,000 - and their were no repeats! As they said last night, they have the people - so, why not use them! It was also fun watching the teams come out. There were definitely some interesting outfits - what was up with the hats the team USA was wearing? Not sure about that move that Ralph Lauren made with the outfit - I guess I like to see people's faces a little bit more!

One thing that I was not impressed with initially was the way that our basketball players walked in. They did not seem as excited about being there. They walked in acting like they were "all that and a bag of chips - and dip"! Next to them were people that were waving at everyone with huge smiles on their faces, and the basketball team acted like it was not a big deal. Are they so used to large areas of fans that this did not phase them at all, or were they just "too cool" to show their excitement? Maybe I read things incorrectly, but I was not too happy with their attitudes that they showed - they had the little gangsta walk going on and everything...I just hope that their game is better than it has been in the past. Ok, I will get off of my soapbox.

I have to say that I am looking forward to watching gymnastics, swimming, diving, track and field and soccer them most. I look forward to watching people's dreams come alive! So, what events are you looking forward to watching?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I LOVE FREE Samples!

I enjoy getting "fun mail" in my mailbox, and since I do not get many letters from people - email is so much easier! - I have enjoyed getting free samples that I have signed up for.

About one month ago, I heard about signing up to get a free sample of Colby's Kettle Corn - which is basically "gourmet" popcorn...well, it is healthy popcorn that has really cool flavors like Chili Cheese Obsession, Peppermint Frost, Salty Sweet Addiction, and Cinnamon Sugar Sensation. I expected to get a little snack size bag of popcorn, and to tell you the truth, I forgot that I signed up for it!

Yesterday, a box was delivered to our door, and when I opened it, I was so surprised to see that I was sent a sample of ALL four kinds of popcorn! It gets better than that...they were full size bags!!! (6 or 7 oz) If you go to their site, you can see that they sent me the variety pack - for free!

I am so excited about this really cool sample and I cannot wait to try some of it! We have been a little busy and did not have a chance to sample it yet. We will have to open a bag up tomorrow to try it out!

I'd Rather Be Getting A Massage!

On Tuesday of last week, I experienced being thrown up on by my 2 and 1/2 year old - so, I titled my post "I Would Rather Clean Up Spit-up."

Guess what I did on Wednesday? and Thursday? and Friday? get the point.

However, I do have to say that I still prefer cleaning up spit-up over throw-up...I don't dry heave at all...but it is something that I will not miss once Smiles is through this stage!

So, I suppose I need to be more "cautious" with the titles that I choose for my posts! Hence, the title that I chose for this post! :)