Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day Of Pre School 2008

Yippee!! Today was Katelyn's first day of pre school. Today was a half day for her and I got to stay with her so she could get used to the classroom, other kids, and teacher. Tomorrow ( Friday ) will be her "real" first day without me! She will be going Thursdays and Fridays from 9-12. Not too bad for her age.

Katelyn woke up this morning in a great mood and happily said "Yeah" when I asked her if she wanted to go to school. She even let me comb her hair without fussing , which NEVER happens, so she must have been excited to be going to the place I kept calling school.

When we got to the school she didn't want to put on the name tag the teacher offered her and just chose to ignore anyone who spoke to her. She finally found the playdoh table and sat down. She had a good time rolling out the playdoh while still cautiously looking around the room and making sure I didn't go too far.

She did seem to like her teacher. They played a little toy together and Katelyn was even laughing!

Then she colored a paper for all of 10 seconds before moving on again.

Time passed too quickly and before we knew it, it was time to clean up. This is what Katelyn was playing with when it was time to clean up:

Clean up time did NOT go well with Katelyn. The tears started flowing and before I knew it she was HYSTERICAL. She kept going back and trying to get the toys out again and the poor teacher had to keep redirecting her elsewhere. Tears and snot always make a great impression on the first day of school! She did finally calm down before we had to leave. And as we were leaving I told her to say goodbye and she turned around in the hallway and screamed "BYE" and then slammed the classroom door closed. Oh boy.

Hopefully she has a great time tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Great Giveaways

MomDot is having another one of their awesome giveaways. The current contest is giving away 4 great prizes.

Mommy Calling Cards from Little Ladybug Designs

A Personalized Diaper Wipe Case from Baby Boudoir

A Satineesnugs Duck from My Embroidered Gifts


A Princess Burp Cloth Set from One Posh Kid

Head on over to MomDot for your chance to win!!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Birthday Girl

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gold Kit

Me and Gavin's conversation just now:

Gavin: Mom, do you want a gold kit?

Me: What is a gold kit?

Gavin: You just call the number and they send it to you.

Me: And then what?

Gavin: They send you something that you put all your gold and jewelries in that you dont even use anymore. And when you give it back to the people they send you a check for a lot of money in a couple of days.

Me: Oh really?

Gavin: ( very excited now ) yeah and the lady said when she cashed her check she went on vacation. Mom, do it so we can go on another vacation!!

Me: I'll get right on that Gavin

Twice Loved ~ Book Review ~

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Twice Loved

Avon Inspire (July 22, 2008)


Lori Copeland


Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. They are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995 after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has more than 95 books published including Now And Always
and Bluebonnet Belle.


Texas, 1865 Willow Madison and her friends, Copper and Audrey taught school in neighboring Texas communities until the Yankees rode into the area and burned them out. In the midst of fear and chaos, survivors banded together to fight for what remained of their homes. Then word reached the people that the terrible war was over.

Now penniless but still hopeful, Willow vows she will take care of her friends, Copper and Audrey, and her ailing uncle, in Thunder Ridge, Texas, even if it means having to marry wealthy Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior. But standing in her way is handsome sawmill owner Tucker Gray, with his enticing eyes and infuriating headstrong manner—the man Willow cannot get out of her head . . . or her heart. Even though her friends beg her not to give up her dream of happiness, Willow is determined to do the right thing for those who are dearest to her. But which path does God want Willow to take: a life of duty and commitment . . . or a life of everlasting love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Twice Loved, go HERE

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Katelyn !!

Happy 2nd Birthday my dearest Katelyn!! Two years ago today you entered our lives and made our family complete.

This past year has been filled with so many milestones for you. You mastered walking and running. And climbing. You love to climb onto the couch, table, and all of our beds. You moved from the high chair to a booster seat at the dining room table. You use your fork and spoon for every meal too.

You say so many words now too and are speaking in 4 word sentences sometimes. Most of the words only Mommy can understand like when you say " I hurley " you are really saying I'm hungry.

Your favorite shows right now are Dora, Max & Ruby, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Sesame Street. You love Ernie and Elmo.

You absolutely love to play with Danyelle and Gavin. Right now they are your two favorite people. And they love to play with you too. You play right along side of Gavin and zoom cars across the floor and battle him with light sabers.

And right now you are all about playing with your babies. You love to feed your babies and make them go night night. And once your baby is in bed you tell all of us to shhh. You also love to play with your tea party sets too.

And lets not forget how much you are a Daddy's Girl. You love to sit on his lap and share a bowl of popcorn or ice cream with him. You scream with happiness when he gets home from work too. And at nighttime before you go to bed, you climb into bed with Daddy and watch TV. And when I come in you say to me " No Mommy Go Bye ". And then you don't let me in the bed either. Just you and Daddy!

You love to play outside and watch the birds. You also have a love for bugs. You follow them around the ground and try to pick them up or squash them.

This week you are going to be staring pre-school 2 days a week for 3 hours. I know you are going to enjoy it so much!

My sweet princess, I have enjoyed this past year with you so much. You make me smile and laugh every single day. You are already such a strong independent little girl and you make me so happy.

Love you forever,


Friday, August 22, 2008

Back To School

So today is day #3 for Gavin in First Grade. He has done great all week with returning to school. He let me walk him to his classroom on the first day and I got to see him put all his things away in his desk. After he put his lunch box and backpack away he told me to leave. There was still 10 minutes to go before the bell rang and he wanted me out of there.

And I picked him up in the car line that afternoon. I really wanted to walk in and get him but oh no, he's a big boy.

Gavin's review of the first day was so-so. Yes he had a good time and really likes his teacher. But, can you believe this?? There is no outside play time and no inside playtime. They have to work all day long. Gavin was flabbergasted by this. This first grade thing is really cutting into his play time. Ha ha. He said his teacher did explain to them playtime was only for kindergartners.

He said he saw some of his friends from kindergarten while eating lunch in the cafeteria. He only has one boy in his class from last year.

Yesterday and today he got dropped off in the car line and picked up in the car line. He feels so independent doing that! Though on his second day of school when I dropped him off I wondered if he really knew where his classroom was. I guess he found it!!

And since today is Friday we are keeping with the traditions from last year. He is wearing his school Tshirt for spirit day and brought lunch money for pizza day in the cafeteria.

Homework starts after labor day so I'm sure life with get interesting then!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Game About Manners

That's right - there is now a game about manners. We received this in the mail a little while ago from Noodleboro and had such a fun time trying it out. Gavin, Katelyn and I loved the little picnic basket that came with the game. Though Katelyn didn't technically play the game we let her help us out by saying "please" and "thank you" before she reached into the picnic basket for a game piece. Such cuteness!

The game itself is very simple- try to have a picnic by collecting the matching game board pieces without the pesky little ants bothering you. And remembering to say please and thank you too. It was fun to see Katelyn get the hang of it and knowing when to say please.

This game also came with 2 extras! A book about manners for bedtime and a sing-a-long CD. Very nice!

Noodleboro also has 2 other games coming out that promote learning: Learning to Share and Learning to Listen.

You can enter for your chance to win one of these game by clicking HERE.

Good Luck!

Wordless Wednesday ~ First Day Of School ~ 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dangerous Days of Daniel X ~ James Patterson

I recently received the new James Patterson book The Dangerous Days of Daniel X. Not only was I happy to receive a new book to read, but I was excited to be reading my first James Patterson book. I was not disappointed- I loved this book!!

With this new book James Patterson is launching a new series aimed toward encouraging young boys to read. The book is about fifteen-year-old alien hunter Daniel X who is on a mission to finish the job that killed his parents – to wipe out the world’s most bloodthirsty aliens on The List.

This book is full of action and mystery. The plot was great and easy to follow. I am looking forward to the second book in this series that is due in July 2009.

To see the trailer for this book you can go here . And if you end up reading this book, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fay Update

So far we haven't heard whether or not there will be school tomorrow because of the storm. Right now our area is under a "hurricane watch". The latest track has Fay hitting south Florida around the Naples and Port Charlotte area.

Those areas are very south of where we are. Right now our skies are just beginning to turn cloudy and it might rain in a little bit. I'm sure we will be getting lots of rain and winds for the rest of tonight and into tomorrow, BUT nothing compared to what we could get if the storm was coming closer to us!! So I thank God that hopefully my family and house will be safe.

Thanks for all the well wishes I received earlier!

Please keep in your thoughts Lisa from JujuBoo who lives in the Naples area. She is preparing for the storm too.

Also, my brother and his family who just moved into a brand new home around the Port Charlotte area. I am hoping they don't get hit too bad!!!

Hurricane Fay

As of right now, Hurricane Fay is expected to be by our area Tuesday ( tomorrow ) afternoon. No reports have been issued yet, but I am pretty sure Gavin's first day of school tomorrow will be cancelled.

This is the first hurricane of the season that impacts us in any way. So, I will spend today getting ready for the storm. I plan on packing our suitcases so if we have to evacuate we are ready to go tomorrow instead of running around in a panic ( which I would do ). Right now the storm is only expected to be a Category 1 when it passes by us. Which gives us about 75 mile per hour winds.

Anything more that a Category 1 I would seriously consider leaving. We are only 4 miles from the beach so of course flooding and high winds kinda scare me!

I guess we will just play it by ear and see what the storm does throughout today. Tonight is also Gavin's meet and greet with his teacher. I am hoping they don't cancel that.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

She Struck Again

Yep, Katelyn's misbehaving continues. Today I found purple marker all over our dining room chairs.

When did she do it? I have no idea.

Where did she get the marker? I havent a clue because I thought I hid them all.

Where is the marker now? That's the really scary part- I have no idea. I may be in for a few more purple surprises.

CFBA Book Review~ That's (Not Exactly) Amore

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

That's (Not Exactly) Amore

FaithWords (August 14, 2008)


Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years.
She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.

Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.

She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.


When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.
Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.

"Tracey draws us into the world of family and friendship with a few surprising twists along the way Bravo!"
~RACHEL HAUCK, author of Diva NashVegas and Sweet Caroline

If you would like to read the first chapter of That's (Not Exactly) Amore, go HERE

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not So Wordless Wednesday

My house is a horrible horrible mess. I have finally realized that its really just a big waste of time to try to clean it. Because of the little redhead that lives here. She likes it messy. She put a new roll of toilet paper in the toilet yesterday. Then took it back out. And put it back in. Water and bits of toilet paper were all over the bathroom. And the ruined roll of toilet paper was at the bottom of the toilet. Which I had to fish out. Yuck. Oh, and change her outfit because she was soaking wet.

And she is tall enough now that she likes to reach up onto the counter and grab stuff off. Like the blueberry muffin batter. That went all over the floor. Or Gavin's drink. And her bowl of yogurt that I wasn't ready to give her yet. But she got it anyway.

Then theres the laundry. I washed, dried, and folded it. It even made its way into my bedroom to be put away. The story doesn't end nicely though. Katelyn threw all the clean laundry out of the basket all over the bedroom floor. At least I think it was her because she was nowhere to be found when I walked back into the bedroom. And I wont lie- I didn't even pick all the laundry up, I just turned around and walked away.

And if anyone wants to bring their dog over to clean my floors that would be great. Because it is covered in food that Katelyn no longer wants. Today I gave her a bowl of raisins. She took the bowl out of my hands, looked into it, then promptly said "NO" and dumped them all on the floor. Nice. She also likes to get the cereal box out of the pantry and dump it on the floor. And most of the time her dinner ends up on the floor. I should just save myself time and start feeding her down there on the floor.

Good news is that I have been having no problem falling asleep at night anymore. I'm so darn tired after running around after Katelyn all day that I cant wait to hit the bed! Like now- Good Night!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

VBS Recap

The last 3 days of VBS went by so fast. All the kids got to make their own VBS Tshirt and wore them on Friday to celebrate the last day. Craft time was Gavin's favorite part of the day he told me. On Wednesday he was really excited to make green slime!

I also really enjoyed going this year too. I had alot of fun with the kids in my group all week. And I really liked that they all called me Miss Melissa. Even Gavin. Isn't that funny? I didn't tell him to call me that he just did because the other kids did. I loved it!

Katelyn stayed home from nursery on Wednesday because Ken was off of work, but she went back to the nursery on Thursday and Friday. No crying at all and she had alot of fun! Now we are ready for her pre-school to start in about 2 weeks.

Gavin's first day back at school is in a week. We already have all his school supplies, new backpack and lunchbox, and school clothes. I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for having all this stuff bought about 2 weeks ago. Now I'm not rushing around the week before school starts and scrambling to get everything ( like I normally do! ). The only thing we have left is to get Gavin a haircut this week.

That's it for now. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ St Augustine

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Big Boo Boo

Day 2 of VBS was just as great as the first day. I really love all the kids in my group. They are all very talkative and like to have fun. Today we made a water bottle contraption that had 2 toy men inside that you had to try to hook together by squeezing the water, learned about static electricity using pepper and balloons, and did obstacle courses blindfolded. A great 2nd day.

Well, except for Katelyn who decided she didn't like the nursery anymore. She lasted about an hour before she was taken out and spent the rest of the morning with my mother in law ( who works at the church so that worked out great ). We will try again tomorrow.

This evening we were supposed to get all the kids pictures taken. And when I say all the kids I mean my kids and my 2 nephews. My MIL likes to have this done once a year with all the kids together. But a couple of day ago Katelyn decided to do this :

That is a VERY bad rug burn on her nose. She was pretending to be a snake and was pushing herself around on the floor face down. And when she lifted her head up- no more skin on her nose. Now I am struggling with her to keep her from picking at it. So the point of the story is- we had to reschedule the kids pictures. I guess the good news is that I have the cuteset dress ever for her to wear, whenever we get to do it. :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

VBS 2008

Well today was the first day of Vacation Bible School at our church. Its all week from 9 until noon. I volunteered to help out again this year. Last year I was in charge of crafts for the pre-schoolers. This year I am a small group leader with the elementary aged kids.

Which means I have Gavin in my group which is pretty cool. I think he really enjoyed having me as his "teacher", but we will see how the rest of the week goes! Haha.

This year we have 250 kids attending VBS which is about 100 more than last year. Makes for a pretty wild day with all those kids. I have a total of 5 kids in my group and we go from activity to activity all morning long.

This years theme is Power Lab. FUN! Today we saw an experiment with dry ice that the kids really liked, made test tube keychains filled with glitter and gel ( so messy! ), and tried to put someone in a soap bubble.

Katelyn is spending her mornings this week in the nursery. I am happy to report there was no crying this morning when I dropped her off. That's a load off of my mind. Last year at VBS she cried for the whole 3 hours. This year I guess she is a big girl. When I picked her up the nursery workers said she did wonderfully all morning. Except at snack time. When she shoved her banana in some boys face. Boy I love that girl!

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A New Book

I am so happy to say that we received a signed copy of the childrens book My Name Is Not Isabella. I won it in a contest a little while ago. This book is written by Jennifer Fosberry and she autographed the book for Katelyn. The inside reads "Katelyn, Dare To Dream".
This is what Monkey Barrel Press had to say about the book:
Follow Isabella from breakfast to bedtime as she spends a captivating day experiencing the lives of pioneering women who made history. Some heroes include U.S. astronaut Sally Ride, activist Rosa Parks, sharpshooter Annie Oakley and Isabella’s own mother. Isabella draws strength from these extraordinary women and learns the importance of being her own extraordinary self.
I am going to love reading this book to Katelyn. To teach her about all of the strong women in history who changed the world.
This book will be available in bookstores in September or you can order them at Monkey Barrel Press.
Thanks so much Jennifer for this wonderful book!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summer Fun Photo Contest

I love this picture of Gavin and his cousin Ryan. They sat in the sprinkler like this forever. The sprinkler is such simple summertime fun. I am entering this picture in the Summer Fun Photo Contest over at 5 Minutes For Mom. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation Recap ~ St Augustine ~ Part 3

Ok, this is my last and final recap of our trip to St Augustine. I promise :)

St Augustine has its very own wax museum - Potters Wax Museum . They had over 160 wax figures ranging from presidents, explorers, royalty, and celebrities. It is kinda creepy in there with all of the people being so very life-like. Danyelle and I thought we could see their eyes following us when we moved.

Danyelle actually enjoyed herself in the museum this time. She was about 6 the last time we were here and the wax museum scared the heck out of her. So much so that we had to literally drag her through the museum. I am not kidding here- she was frozen with fear and wouldn't move. Haha, I am laughing now at the memory. But, I wont embarrass her even more by showing the pictures from then, because even though she was scared to death - you bet I was still snapping pictures!!

Gavin loved the wax museum and was really excited to see his friends from Star Wars:

We also saw super cute Captain Jack Sparrow and Harry Potter:

We don't have that many pictures from the wax museum because Katelyn was screaming her little head off the whole time. She wanted OUT of her stroller. So I went through rather quickly and waited outside for everyone else to finish. Which seemed like forever with- did I mention?- a screaming toddler.

We also visited the St Augustine Lighthouse. This is the one stop that we were all so excited about. The lighthouse was constructed in 1871 out of brick. The original stairs are still being used. Katelyn was to little to be able to go into the lighthouse, so she and I couldn't make the trip to the top. And I was very relieved about that. For one, I knew there was no way either Ken or I could carry her up the stairs, and second, there was no way in heck I could make it to the top!!

It is 219 steps to the top and the tower is 165 feet above sea level. That's alot of stairs. So right before they started into the lighthouse I told Danyelle to take alot of pictures because the lighthouse is very haunted. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face when she heard that. I was really hoping to get some good pictures with a ghost or two in them, but nope, nothing. Maybe next time!

This is a picture Danyelle took out one of the windows on their way up. They were only about 1/3 of the way.

Then this next one is of the view when they finally reached the top:

And then of course here they all are at the top. Notice how each one of them is holding onto the railings for dear life. And the one of Ken and Gavin where Gavin is holding onto Ken's pants.

I am bummed out a bit they didn't take a picture of me waiting at the bottom. Haha. And one of the lighthouse caretakers took this picture of us in front of the lighthouse.

We really had a wonderful time on this vacation. So much to see and do in St Augustine! We will definitely be going back.