Saturday, May 31, 2008

Expired Coupons

It's the end of the month.  Don't forget to go through all your coupons and get out the expired ones.  I have never read a coupon policy that has said that they will accept expired coupons, in fact they say that they will not take them because they can't receive credit for them and would actually be losing money.  I'm sure you can get away with it sometimes, but let's try to carry on our godly example through our frugality and honor the stores that are allowing us to save so much money.  Just another way to show the world that we are different=)

Find What Works


Yesterday during nap time I'm not sure where my kids went.  See, within 3 days of Zeke getting into his big boy bed they had it down.  It was such a quick transition...until yesterday.  I know they just naturally go through these stages, but they have crossed the line.  I think they were overly tired which lead to way too much energy for a nap.  It was awful!  We ended up separating them just to get them to calm down.  Zeke had to be put back in his pack-n-play because he simply could not stay in bed.  Joy, Josh's sister who is living with us this summer, must have seen the exhaustion on my face during dinner and suggested Josh and I head out for a little quality time together.  We very rarely get this opportunity so we jumped on it.  We didn't go far and we didn't do any regular "date" things, but we had so much fun.  We headed over to Starbucks, of course, to sit and relax for a little bit, walked over to CVS to get next weeks add so I can pull my coupons together=), drove down to the Monroe mall (now that place is hoppin' on Friday night), and went over to check out the future Monroe campus for Southbrook Church, then we finished up at Shomars for a milkshake and our semi-annual business meeting (Shhh, I think I am in love with my boss).  We made a list, yes I'm still a list girl, of the things we need to get done before we head out of the country to Hungry on the 9th.   Anyway, we got home and I didn't even have to ask Joy how the kids did about staying in bed.  She gave me a look and pointed to "Bubby" and Bear sitting on the ottoman.  It was a rough night to say the least, but we HAD to be consistent.  Having these 2 precious things taken away from them is way worse than any other "consequences" at this time in their lives. They stayed in bed the rest of the night and have been playing like angels today.  I wonder if I'll have to sleep with Bear and "bubby" again tonight=)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Words Of Wisdom

Areyna came in the office yesterday and told me;
"I'm a blessing, mom" and gave me a big hug and then Zeke walked in and she said "Zeke is a blessing too".  She is definitely wise beyond her years!  They truly are a blessing to Josh and me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My New Violin Student


Yesterday, after I gave a violin lesson, my student wanted to see the first violin that I used when I was 4 years old. Her mother was speechless as I pulled it out of the case because it's size makes it look like a toy. After they left my little Rainy walked in and with big eyes asked, "Is that just for me mommy?" I told her that it used to be mine and asked if she wanted to play it. So, I started a new violin student yesterday, my own little Areyna. You could tell that she felt so special. You can see a video of her first notes on JOSH'S BLOG. After this video I taught her what every good beginner learns "ta-ka-ta-ka-stop-stop" and she picked it up like a champ. I'm a proud mama=)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BPA - Warning

For all you moms out their that have ANY bottles at home, this is pretty big news. Their are some plastic bottles that contain BPA, a chemical which can have some nasty side effects. One brand is AVENT which I used with both my kids. In fact, Wal-mart is making the switch to only selling BPA-free bottles and in some areas Babies R Us is giving a gift card refund for bottles with BPA in them. You can click HERE for more information on BPA and you can click HERE and HERE to see a list of brands of bottles and other info. regarding this issue. I haven't done much research on this and only heard about it today but I thought I'd throw it out there for a warning to check it out at least.

Pictures And Memorial Day

Here are just a few cute pictures from the Memorial Day weekend with my sister and her family.  The first one of Rainy and Zeke is just a cute one from mother's day that I just love.   













The guys getting ready for water balloon battles.












Me, my sister and our girls=)














Zeke and Rainy having a picnic lunch while we hang out at the coolest pool on the block! Our kiddy pool is pretty sweet=) 












Zeke completely exhausted that he fell off his bed and didn't even wake up.









Friday, May 23, 2008

Things That Only Happen When You Are TOO Tired

1 - You make chicken and cheese quesadillas...without the cheese

2 - You choose to use your ugly voice with your 3 year old for "touching" you under the dinner table and threaten her with "consequences" if she does it again

3 - You fall asleep outside under the hot sun...OUCH!

4 - Your kids decide that THIS is the day they want to invade your personal space while following your every move around the whole house...VERY CLOSELY

5 - You have to go back to read your sent messages because you can't remember if you e-mailed the list of people you had on your to-do list

6 - Zeke only wants to play the drums on all the hard surfaces around the house

7 - Your 2 year old decides that he is going to use your white chair cushion for a drawing board instead of paper, like he knows he is supposed to.
Yes, that was my chair after Zeke put the pens to work on his new canvas. I tried my Tide To Go pen...Nothing. Then I remembered that I bought 2 Magic Erasers for practically nothing at the grocery store and also remembered my friend Jenn's post about her little girl's "canvas" and decided to try these Magic Erasers. Jenn said I was going to get addicted. After it instantaneously removed the blue and pink pen marks from my chair I went around the kitchen wiping up coffee stains from the counter tops and splattered food off the walls.

8 - If I wasn't so tired today Josh wouldn't have INSISTED that I take a mandatory "time-out" and I wouldn't have seen him work with the kids to get the kitchen cleaned after dinner. He helped Areyna load the dishwasher and get it started and then helped Zeke take out all the cans to the recycling bin. He's such a good dad=)

What Helps You Sleep?

I was just laying in bed, tossing and turning, going through my mental check-list of what I could have possibly done to make me so wired at 1:30 in the morning.  

1-Some people get a high when they go shopping.  For me, it's getting rid of "stuff".  I like to consolidate and organize (and re-organize) and "toss".  So, maybe I'm still so thrilled that I got rid of 2 old lamps (1 of which I'm sure is a fire hazard by now), 2 big trash bags full of misc. items which included unused baby/kids items, like Rainy's old feather blanket which I never saw feathers coming out of in the first place but whenever I'd go to vacuum under her bed an inch of feather build-up would be staring me in my face as if to say, go ahead and try to sweep me up.  I'll just float to the other side of the room! Ha!  Also included were a pair of shelves that Josh HATED putting up because they were impossible to get even.

2-Caffeine?  Nope, my personal cut-off for that stuff is about 4pm or so.  Josh would love for me to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him at night but I have to remind him that he's staying up with me so I'll have someone to talk to all night=)  He quickly changes the subject.

3-Exercise?  I've got 2 toddlers so I think I'm good in that area.  They turn off around 8pm so I've not done anything too strenuous since then.

4-Maybe God's trying to tell me something.  Hmmm.  I prayed a little and definitely don't think this is one of those "spiritual" awakenings tonight.

5-I've found that if I push myself down toward the end of the bed and hang my feet off the edge I sleep better.  

6-I've got ALL my pillows.  One for the head and one between my knees.  You should see my bedtime "station" I set up when I'm pregnant.  I've got like 5 pillows surrounding me.  It takes forever to get in position.

7-Banana?  Yup, had one of those.  I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a banana usually helps with that.  Not tonight.

8-List?  I have an on-going list.  Somehow my mind goes into overdrive about the things I've got to get done the next day while I'm trying to get to sleep, so I write it on the list so I KNOW I won't forget it.

9-I do have company coming tomorrow night.  I'm so excited my sister, her husband and their 3 kids (the baby whom I've not even met yet!) are driving down from the DC area.  They've not been to our house in years so we're pretty stoked.

I can't possibly think of what is keeping me up, so I'm going to go try again.  Maybe I'll sip on a warm cup of Cozy Chamomile Tea.  What keeps you up at night or helps ensure a good night's sleep?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's Been Months

Josh and I played at Parkwood Baptist in Gastonia again last night. We love it there. Pastor Jeff really brings the Word, no matter how hard the message may be. The kids like it there as well. Areyna remembers Parkwood because they have a "mini" stage below the main stage where they get to sing and dance while the band practices. Well, if you've been following my blog for any amount of time you know that Zeke has had a little trouble in the nursery department. It takes him several minutes (if not LONGER) to gain his composure after I drop him off. On occasion the teacher has even told me that he has had a rough time, the whole time. Well, on my way to drop the kids off in their class last night I was bracing for the worst. As we neared the classroom door he clung to me for dear life while whimpering in a hushed tone. I walked them in, put him down and handed him his "bubby". I gave Areyna the "big sister" pep talk to let her know that Zeke needed her and she leaned over and said "yes ma'am" while giving me a hug and kiss. THEN, Zeke walked over to me, gave me a hug and kiss and went to go play. What???? Are you serious? Is that it? I was completely speechless as I walked out of the room to go play. That hasn't happened in months. They even let me get a whole practice in with the band after the church service, which went after 9pm (way after their bed time). They were content to sing, dance, and play with mini magnets and a container of buttons my mom put together for Areyna for her birthday=) (thanks mom, those gifts have been a lifesaver!) Since the church is about an hour away, the kids didn't make it to bed until almost 11pm so we all got to sleep in until after 10am this morning, and I didn't even feel guilty about the extra sleep=)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pools and Lightning

We blew up our kiddie pool yesterday, actually I blew it up all by myself, which is no small task!  Areyna has practically LIVED in the thing since I filled it up!  We don't have any pool toys so we've just been using our bathtub toys.  By the way, I'm not quite sure if we are off water restriction so please don't report us=)  Besides, I think it should qualify as a bath since we very diligently conserve water by only giving our kids 2 (it that) baths a week=)  Anyway, if we aren't eating a meal Areyna is IN HER POOL.  Zeke is not a water boy at all.  He doesn't even really like baths all that much.  So, Rainy and Zeke have constructed a game that conforms to both of their worlds.  Areyna plays in the pool, minding her own business, and if any of Zeke's balls come in the water she just throws them back out and giggles.  Then, Zeke goes and chases after the balls, stands on his little designated place, giggles and throws them back in.  It's kind of nice not to have to get Zeke water-ready.  Another funny thing is that I hate taking wet bathing suites on and off, so if Areyna has to go to the bathroom she just gets out of the pool and pees in the grass.  I don't have to move a muscle.  Call it lazy, but I call it fertilizer for our thirsty lawn=)  After dinner we were outside for our late evening dunk in the pool and a storm started rolling in.  I LOVE storms, especially thunderstorms, and Areyna is definitely following in my footsteps.  She squeals with delight when she hears thunder and jumps up and down with the sight of lightning.  We sat outside as long as we possibly could before the storm came.  It was an awesome storm.  We even lost electricity for a few hours which is a definite sign of a good storm.  Areyna liked it until we put them to bed and they couldn't have their fan and music.  After our devotion she even asked us to pray for her because she was sad about the lack of electricity=)

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Little Obsessed

Zeke is definitely going to be a rock star when he grows up. He knows when a song, whether it's live or on a CD, is almost over and starts asking for "more, more" in a frantic tone until the next one starts. He plays air guitar like nobody's business and sings himself to sleep almost every night. His favorite songs right now are "Happy Day" by Tim Hughes and "My Jesus" by Josh Via. We listen to each of these on an hourly basis=) "My Jesus" was written by Josh for the kids while we were celebrating "Holy Week" before Easter to help give them a little understanding of what Easter is all about. We never thought it would be such a hit! Here is a video of Zeke only days after the song was written so you can only imagine how much louder and more animated he has become with it=) video

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The First All-Nighter

I'm a little speechless this moring.  After Zeke's little "climbing out the pack-n-play" episode yesterday morning Josh and I decided to put the pack-n-play in the closet and just work really hard with the only option we had left.  I put the kids down at about 2:15 yesterday afternoon and after 3 rounds of "consequenses" for Zeke and 1 round for Rainy they were both asleep by 2:45ish.  Last night was even better!  The kids had an awesome nap (they didn't get up until 6) and they had wonderful attitudes all night long.  Oh the joys of getting back on schedule=)  Josh and I had to go to a rehearsal dinner for a friend of ours so Josh's sister, Joy, was in charge.  She's living with us again this summer, YEAH!!  She is like a second mom to the kids and she does so well with them.  Anyway, they know she sticks to mommy and daddy's rules so when nite-nite rolled around she got them ready for bed and laid down the law before leaving them alone in their room.  Well, Areyna had about 3 rounds of "consequences" BUT Zeke didn't even have to be scolded one time and this is what we walked in to see!!  PLUS, when I went in to go get them this morning at 9am he was still in his bed waiting for me to tell him he could get out.  What a precious little boy we have=)

Friday, May 16, 2008

He Did It!!!

No, he didn't make it all night in his big boy bed.  No, he didn't get potty-trained over night.  No, he didn't have an extraordinarily "happy heart" all morning.  But he did learn to climb out of his pack-n-play!  Yep, I heard the kids at 8am (early for them) and wanted to go settle them down and let them know it was still night-night time and I found Zeke cuddled up with Rainy in her bed.  Hmmm, I'm glad we are already in the process of the transition to a big boy bed.  We couldn't help but laugh at what we saw.  How cute is that.  He just wants to be so close to Areyna ALL THE TIME=)  What a great friendship they have.  I hope they are always as close as they are now.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Love Thursdays

Thursdays are my favorite days. Especially today, after having such hard day yesterday. Let me just give you a couple of examples why yesterday was such a rough day. Zeke was especially whiney, Areyna found a whistle and blew it non-stop ALL DAY, both of them kept getting into things they KNOW they aren't supposed to get into and doing things they KNOW they aren't supposed to do, Zeke kept insisting that Nemo, our beta fish, needed to be fed every 10 minutes. Josh readily agreed to let me "go cool" off so I headed to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and I read almost a whole book (I was there a few hours)=) If you know me at all you know I don't read much, especially very quickly, but strange conditions call for strange actions. Anyway, while I was gone Josh put the kids in an extra room time while he prepared for small group. After several minutes he heard Areyna calling out. She got louder and louder and here is what he walked in on; her dresser was tipped over, being held up by all the open drawers with her in the bottom one and all the clothes on the floor. WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! So glad I missed that one=) My poor kids are just getting readjusted to being at home, but my goodness. All this to say, I especially love this Thursday. There are also the regular things I love about Thursdays too...the one day of the week we don't have lessons, small group, traveling (most of the time), band practice, grocery shopping...the list goes on and on. I have been painting picture frames all day while the kids paint pictures for their friends. Ahhh, it's been a good day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Am I Doing Right Now?

I'm glad you asked.  I am currently waiting and listening.  Why, you ask again?  Well, we upgraded beds last night.  The rotation begins.  Areyna is now in my twin bed that I grew up in and Zeke has Rainy's toddler bed.  The first night was not successful at all.  I am just wondering why the first "consequence" of the evening was for Areyna, the 3-year old, you know the one that's supposed to be the good example.  For some reason she must have thought that she had to set the tone, I guess, because she was the first one out of bed.  Hmmm.  After Zeke had 2 chances he was put back in his pack-n-play for the night.  I wasn't even about to play with my precious nap time so we are just going to stick to practicing at night time.  Oh wait, hold on a minute...
I'm back.  Zeke just had his last try and is now in the pack-n-play for the night.  He was in the dresser pulling out his outfit for tomorrow=)  At least he made it longer tonight.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Survival and Catch-Up

Well, I survived yet another fun-filled weekend of ministry (and other stuff).  Our mother's-day-trip to IKEA was successful.  I officially shopped more in one day at IKEA than I have ever shopped in a whole year put together.  It was so fun to get together with some of my favorite moms for some quality conversations and encouragement.  Thanks Kelly and Jenn!  As soon as we pulled the packed car into Kelly's driveway I unpacked my IKEA "booty" and took off to band practice for Journey Church.  We co-led worship there, where one of Josh's brother's is on staff this weekend.  What an experience.  They all made us feel right at home.  It was so natural to be there.  We are headed home in an hour or so.  We have had a Great time but I'm sure ready be home!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Take-Away and a Get-Away

Well, the women's conference went GREAT.   One thing that I'm gonna try to do is get a little notebook and start memorizing whole books of the Bible.  I want to know THAT BOOK inside and out!  Ruth talked about how she will go walking every morning and take her little notebook with her that she has started writing verses in.  What else is there to do while getting in a little exercise than to memorize scripture.  I've been learning short passages and verses that have been helping me with parenting, but I want to learn big chunks.  Anyway, that is my little takeaway from the conference.  You can check out Josh's blog to get more of the details about our packed weekend.  
We got home late yesterday afternoon.  The kids did great on the trip home because they were asleep 10 min. down the road and they slept all the way home (straight through lunch).  This morning I woke up and went to my last Bible Study of the season.  I love those ladies=)  It's been a relaxing day.  I even went and got in a CVS trip on my way out to my study this morning.  I got a big bag of baby wipes, some razors, a toothbrush, some toothpaste and some Tylenol for under $2.  That always makes me in a good mood=)  We have no plans for the rest of the day, except for our lessons which will be here any minute, but that doesn't take long.  Then, we'll do laundry tonight and pack up to leave for Raleigh tomorrow.  We are playing at Josh's brother's church called Journey Church, on Mother's Day.  But first, my friends Kelly and Jenn and I are heading up to IKEA for a little Mother's Day get-away.  I love that store and can't wait for some quality girl-time with some friends (actually family) that I miss dearly.  Since traveling is part of my job description I wouldn't normally call a "trip" a vacation, but going to IKEA with some best friends...that's worth it!=)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Memories

Josh and I are leading worship for a women's conference this weekend in Wake Forest, NC.  The pastor's wife, Kelly Parkison, used to be my sweet-mate in college.  It's been so good to see her again after so many years.  You may recognize her from the Miss America pageant a few years ago or from The Amazing Race on TV a couple seasons ago.  I know she'd probably hate I just put all this on here about her but I just think it's cool that I know someone that's been on TV=)  Anyway, the great work that God is doing through their lives at Wakefield Baptist Church is apparent.  Who would have ever thought that the Lord would bring me back together with so many friends during this ministry journey of ours.  The speaker this weekend is Ruth McWhite.  Her husband is head over Missions at NGU.  It's been nice to be back here in Wake Forest.  I think Josh and I will always feel at home here because of our wonderful seminary days.  I'll share more about the conference later!