Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-Bye 2009

And hello to 2010!

We have no huge plans this year to celebrate the new year. I am waiting for Gina and Paul to get here, and then picking up my cousin from the airport later tonight.

And I guess like most years- 2009 had its share of ups and downs. Gavin turned 7 this year and is in 2nd grade. He is also playing baseball again and still loves it. Katelyn turned 3 in August and goes to school 3 half days a week. She loves all her little friends and even pretends to do homework at night. She started ballet lessons in the fall and goes once a week to class. She LOVES it. She had her Christmas show a couple of weeks ago and did the whole routine right up on stage. Of course I cried when my little girl came out!

We took the kids to Disney for spring break and Katelyn was in heaven with all the princesses. We also spent a week over the summer in Gatlinburg. Our days were packed from morning to night and we all had a wonderful time.

And Gina and Paul moved from Alaska to Georgia so FINALLY my sister is close to me again! We were able to stop at her new house on the way home from TN. And it was nice to have them be close enough to drive home for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Unfortunately 2009 is ending on a bit of a sad note. A very dear loved one lost her battle with cancer last week. My heart is still breaking for all of her family and friends. And even thought I know she fought until the end and right now she is pain free, it doesn't make it any easier to lose someone.

We are also having my brothers going away party this weekend. He is leaving next week to go overseas and proudly serve our country. Even though he has had his orders for a year now, I am still in shock that he is actually leaving.

I have also let my blog slack BIG TIME that past 7 months or so. I am starting January with many blogging goals in mind-- lets hope I stick to them!

Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hickory Farms ~ Holiday Review ~

I seriously cannot believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone already. Now Christmas is 20 days away!!!

So during this busy holiday time rushing around trying to find the perfect gift for everyone, don't forget about
Hickory Farms Gifts !!!

Who wouldn't love a gift for home entertaining around the holidays?? Hickory Farms Gifts have been a holiday tradition for almost 60 years. They provide a wide variety of sausages, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and even sweets!!

For a limited time this holiday season, for each Party Planner Gift Box sold, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to Share Our Strength, a non profit organization working to end childhood hunger.

Visit to see what they have to offer for the holidays!!

I wrote this review while participation in a blog tour with MomCentral on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a Hickory Farms gift basket to facilitate my review.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ronzoni Smart Taste ~ Review ~

I know I'm not the only mom out there who is constantly trying to make sure our kids are eating healthy foods. I am lucky that Gavin will eat anything put in front of him, but Katelyn is my picky eater. I was more than happy to be able to try out the new Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta.

It looks and tastes like regular white pasta, but Ronzoni Smart Taste contains added calcium and fiber, helping kids get their daily recommended value of both nutrients while still enjoying their favorite food. Other benefits for the whole family include lower calories and fat than traditional white pasta, and no sodium, preservatives, or cholesterol.

And Ronzoni knows the frustrations moms go through when trying to get our kids to eat healthier foods. So in addition to their line of pasta, they have created SmartTaste Supermom at their funny spoof video on YouTube .

I wrote this review white participating in a blog tour campaign by MomCentral on behalf of Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta and received a sample of the pasta to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 What I am Thankful For

Katelyn is thankful for:

My mommy

Gavin is thankful for:

mommy always helping me
that I have very good dinners
trees because they give us fresh air

I am thankful this year for my awesome husband who works his butt off so I can stay home with my babies.

I am thankful that Katelyn is potty trained!

I am thankful that both of my kids are healthy and happy.

I am thankful for the roof over my head.

I am thankful for my friends and family.

I am thankful for diet coke....mmmmm

I am thankful for Dexter and Greys Anatomy.

I am thankful for campfires and marshmallows with the kids.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ Halloween 2009

A sailor

A ninja

Snow White

And we were joined by a policeman and Delta Force guy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Patch & Carving 2009

The long awaited trip to the pumpkin patch finally arrived last week. Katelyn has been talking about getting a pumpkins since the beginning of October when I put out the Halloween decorations. She was so happy to finally get there and kept running around looking for her perfect "baby pumpkin" as she called it.

After Gavin and Katelyn found just the right one, we headed home to gut and carve them. It was so cute to watch Katelyn with the pumpkins. She was amazed that we had to carve the top off and get the seeds and guts out. And she dug right in along side of Gavin!

Gavin picked out a Batman design to be carved into his pumpkin and Katelyn chose Dora.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hmm, I Think Someone Had Some Chocolate

When she walked into the room looking like this:

I said: Katelyn, Did you get into the Halloween candy?
And she answered: Nope Mommy. But can I have some candy?
And then giggled like a crazy woman. A crazy woman all hoppped up on chocolate!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ Thanks Donna & Merci ~

Monday, October 12, 2009


Gavin: Anyone want to stay up all night with me and sword fight?

Gavin: If my new coach says I'm on the Rays it would be the best day of my life.

Katelyn: Pee Pee on the potty is so boring mommy.

Dropping Katelyn off at school:

Me: Katelyn, Give Mommy a kiss good-bye

Katelyn: Again? I'm tired of givin you all deese kisses!

As Katelyn is sitting on my lap:

Katelyn: Stop putting your nose air on me its making me cold.

Gavin: I love mommy and daddy the best, Katelyn the 2nd best, and my stuffed turtle the 3rd best.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Gavin's been in school for about six weeks now and I have to say all is going well. We have had an increase in the amount of homework he has this year compared to last. But Gavin is doing really well with the material and so far even doing homework with him isn't a nightmare like it was last year.

Gavin also gets to switch classrooms with another class for science. His whole class goes into the classroom next door so that teacher can teach them science while his regular teacher teaches the other class social studies. This is one thing Gavin thinks is pretty cool about 2nd grade.

And, I can really tell Gavin is learning so much already this year. And retaining all of the information and taking it to heart. 2 weeks ago he learned about fire safety. And I guess his teacher told them a story about her garage catching on fire once. Last month, last year, or 10 years ago I have no idea when the fire took place. But it was ALL Gavin could talk about. Now he is going around the house unplugging things so we don't have electrical fires and asking me where our smoke alarms are. He also asked me daily if I thought our garage would ever catch on fire. I spent about a week re assuring him that nothing would happened to our house.

This weeks topic? Snakes. Snakes and the venom they have. The venom that will kill you if a snake bites you. Gavin has already gotten out of bed 6 times tonight to tell me how scared he is now of snakes and venom. Are there snakes in our walls? Can snakes get into our house? Will the venom make him die? OMIGOD what kind of questions are these?? And my heart is aching knowing that is laying there worrying about these things.

I finally got him calmed down by telling him I have anti venom in our medicine cabinet. Yes, I lied. But it got him to finally fall asleep. And I am really looking forward to see what he learns about next week!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Afternoon at the Beach

Since Wednesday's are early release day this year, we decided to take advantage of the great weather and head out to the beach after I picked up Gavin from school.

The sun was shining, breeze was blowing, and the waves were perfect for the kids to play in. Other than some quick questions from Gavin about sharks ( thanks Shark Week ! ) , both Katelyn and Gavin spend most of their time in the water running back and forth from the waves.

Gavin took some time out to build some sand castles and Katelyn chased down some sea gulls.

Gavin also spent some relaxing time in the hammock.....

that is until Katelyn saw him and decided he needed some pushes..
We ended the night barbecuing some hot dogs and watching the sunset.

Not too bad for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rained Out Again

Gavin's first baseball game of the season was scheduled for this past Saturday. We woke up to a thunderstorm outside. We got ready anyway hoping that it would stop raining in time for the game. But sure enough, the coach called and cancelled the game right as we were about to walk out the door.

Gavin was so sad his first game was cancelled and let us know about it all day long :( Poor guy.

Tonight Gavin had a game scheduled for 630. Again, Gavin was super excited to be going to his first game of the season. No rain this time as we walked out the door. But when we got to the fields I knew once again Gavin would be disappointed. All of the fields were flooded from the thunderstorm we had around 3pm. We waited for the rest of the team to get there for the coaches to officially cancel the game due to the fields.

So, Game 1 has been rescheduled for the 3rd time to this Friday night. Then he has a game again on Saturday morning. Let's hope today was the last of the rain!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Ballet Lesson

We just got home from Katelyn's first ballet / tap lesson and OH . MY . GOD . I have never seen anything cuter in my life. For real. Katelyn looked precious in her pink leotard and white tights lined up with all the other little girls.

They did their tap lesson first and learned 3 different moves. Then they switched into their ballet shoes and practiced first position. Then they practiced standing on their tip toes with their arms in the air and turning in circles. Cute. Cute. Cute.

And finally they did a little dance with a partner.

Katelyn goes once a week for 45 minutes. The first class of the month is considered visitors day and all the other days I wait for her outside. She also received a ballet book which will let me know what moves she is learning and how her behavior was in class. Its called Princess Behavior- which is right up Katelyn's alley!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Katelyn's First Day of School

Katelyn is back in school!! She started back this Monday and goes 3 days a week instead of the 2 days like she did last year.
Monday morning she got up and was sooo happy to be getting ready to go back and see her friends. As we waited in the car line for her teacher to come out and get her she told me she was going to read books, have snacks and play on the playground.
When her teacher came out to the car to get her Katelyn gave me a good-bye kiss on my arm and hopped out and never looked back!
All 3 days this week went wonderfully for her. And when Thursday came and she found out that it wasn't one of her days to go to school, boy, did she have a fit!!
Oh, well, I am at least happy that she enjoys going!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Katelyn

To My Dear Princess Katelyn,

Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet baby girl. I can still call you that even though you tell me your not a baby anymore, your a big girl. And yes, you are my big girl now too.

You have made the transition from crib to toddler bed and are now fully trained on the potty--thank goodness! Both of these accomplishments have made me a tiny bit sad at just how fast you are growing up.

Your favorite things right now are coloring, playing with your tea sets and kitchen, playing with all your babies, and ANYTHING that has to do with princesses. Princesses are by far your favorite thing of all time right now. You know all their names and most of the stories they come from.

This past weekend we had your birthday party and sure enough, you chose a princess themed party.

We even had a Cinderella pinata

You had a wonderful time opening your presents and were completely overjoyed by each one.

And your smile could not have been bigger than when you saw your cake! You were mesmerized by it and were grinning from ear to ear while we sang you Happy Birthday. Then you blew out the candle like a pro!!

Katelyn, 3 years ago I was overjoyed that you entered my life and today I feel so incredibly blessed to be sharing my life with you!
Happy Birthday baby girl!

First Day Of School ~ 2009 ~ 2nd Grade

Its not until the first day of school that you realize just how fast the summer went by. Or that I realize I still haven't posted about our summer vacation yet!!

Today is Gavin's first day of school. A big 2nd grader. He was torn between being excited to go back and not being happy about having to actually do schoolwork again.

Over the summer Gavin's school added a new 2-story building to accommodate more kids. Gavin and I were both very happy to find out his class would be in the brand new building. I walked him in to his class this morning and was very excited for him. His new class is HUGE! The room is connected to another 2nd grade class by a little walkway where they have a shared bathroom which is nice.

Gavin quickly found his desk and started to unload all his new school supplies. He found where the backpacks and lunch boxes go also. I asked him if he wanted me to come inside at the end of the day and he told me he wanted to go thru the car line. Ok then.

And he was also happy to see about 10 kids he knows from previous years. After he was all settled in there was still about 10 minutes before the final bell rang. I asked Gavin if I could go or did he want me to stay longer. He whispered to me "GO!". I asked him if he wanted a kiss goodbye and he acted like it was the worst thing he heard his whole life. Ha, ha, oh well!

Now I cant wait to pick him up to find out all about his day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ok, so I have this thing for socks. I love them. I wear them all the time in the house. Most likely you will never catch me without socks on.

I like plain socks, funky socks, soft socks, fluffy socks, or knee high socks. LOVE THEM.

Sooo, I think my love of socks has passed along to my son. He doesn't wear them around the house all the time like I do, and he even is quick to tear off his socks and shoes when he gets home from school. BUT, if he spots a funky designed sock- he wants it. When he was in kindergarten he got ahold of Danyelle's knee high Spongebob slipper socks. The were too huge on him but he wore them anyway. Even to school once. (shudder)

Last year he found a pair of socks that Paul had sent me from Alaska. They were dark blue with purple, pink and teal swirls thru them with ALASKA written in bold letters. Again, he wore them to school. Pulled up to his knees. (double shudder)

While we were in Gatlinburg a couple of weeks ago I thought I died and went to heaven when we there was a store on the strip entirely devoted to socks. My oh my. Before I knew it I had 5 pairs in my hand. I got pirate socks, dolphin socks, and some ladybug socks. I got Katelyn some knee high rainbow bright socks. Too cute.

My bliss was ended when Gavin and Ken walked in. Gavin went nuts over all the choices. I tried to steer him in the direction of socks that would fit him. He ended up finding a pair of womens knee high socks. With horses on them. And big letters that said "I LOVE MY HORSE".

I said "Gavin, these socks are too big for you. And they say- I love my horse. You don't have a horse."

Gavin thoughtfully looked at me and said " I think I love horses"

I said " well, your not getting these, find different ones"

He went on to find a pair of mens black socks. With a bear riding a motorcycle on it with orange and red flames. I again explained how they were too big and wouldn't fit. Gavin didn't care.

So here he is --- in all his glory. Wearing mens socks that go up past his knees. And yes, he wore these out on our vacation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

$.99 Ice-Cream! Yummmmmy

Vanilla, Strawberry, Butter Crunch, Chocolate Almond Chip, Maple Walnut, Purely Pistachio, Black Raspberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

Mmmm, Did that get you in the mood for ice-cream? If it did, then I have a great offer perfect for these last hot days of summer.

From now until August 23rd you can get a Friendly's Ice-Cream Cone for under a buck!! Yep, that's right an Ice-Cream cone for $.99!!

So, what will it be? Forbidden Chocolate or Hunka Chunka PB Fudge?

Whatever the flavor- hurry in before the offer ends!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

VBS ~ Day 1 ~

We got back from our vacation Sunday night and bright and early this morning we started VBS. Updates on our vacation coming soon.

Ken took one more day off of work so Katelyn got to stay home instead of going to the nursery at church that she loves so much ( sarcasm ).

Gavin and I headed out bright and early at 8am ( YIKES ). I am volunteering again this year to be a group leader. Last year I had elementary aged kids and Gavin was in my group which was so fun. This year I am in charge of the pre-school aged kids - 4 and 5 year olds. I was kinda excited when I was told I would be getting the younger kids. I kept imagining cute little cuddly babies.

I got to my station this morning and was ready and waiting to welcome my kids with open arms. I have 5 kids in my group- 3 girls and 2 boys. Girl #1 arrived and started talking nonstop about her school, friends, cats, dogs, pets of her friends, and anything else you can thing of. Boy #1 arrived and and ran away from me screaming. Boy #2 arrived and spent the first 20 minutes this morning laughing uncontrollably over nothing. Like a patient out of the loony bin. Girl #2 arrived and cried hysterically and didn't want her dad to leave. When he finally did leave she grabbed ahold of my leg and sobbed for 20 minutes. Girl #3 arrived and started running around in circles chasing herself.

And that is how we started the morning. The boy and girl who started the morning off crying quickly got over that and their true little selves came out. My group of kids really got along well thank goodness! But they are quite the wild bunch. No cute cuddly little babies here.

I learned quickly which ones I had to hold hands with when we moved from station to station. I learned which one liked to wander away and leave the group. Which one is the one who asked 500 times if his mom was back to pick him up. Which one who told me repeatedly he was bored and just wanted to go outside and play. Which cute little one kept giving hugs to everyone and not letting go. And all of them like to run from me when I am talking. I mean, WHAT is going on here???

And the best part?

Are you ready?

I learned which one likes to take all his clothes off when he is in the bathroom. Yep, that's right. Naked. I only know because other boys came out of the bathroom laughing about the naked kid. And I happen to have 1 boy in the bathroom. I sent my other boy in to see what was going on and he came out laughing that boy #1 was naked. OH. MY. GOD.

I stuck my head in the bathroom door and pleaded with him to put his clothes back on. No response. I asked my 14 year old nephew who was there also to go in and help the kid out. He told me no and walked away. Finally another adult male walked by and I told him I REALLY needed some help. It took him about 10 minutes to convince this kid to get dressed.

Lesson learned. Day 2 of VBS is tomorrow and Boy #1 will be holding it all day if he has to go the the bathroom.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Vacation ~ Arrival ~

We have arrived safe and sound to Gatlinburg. We left our house a little after 12:30 am and headed to Larry's to drop off the work computers. Then made a big old U Turn back to our house when I realized I had forgotten the camera cord and more importantly--- my CHI! So we finally got on the road about 1:30.

Gavin put the Transformers movie in the DVD player and Katelyn fell asleep about 1/2 later. My night owls Gavin and Danyelle stayed up and watched the whole movie before finally falling asleep.

We were in Georgia when I woke up around 7, the kids woke up around 9 and then we stopped for breakfast.

The rest of our drive was so pretty through the mountains. And don't ask how Ken got us here around 1130am, when I know it takes 12 hours to get here!!

So right now, we have checked in to our villa and are waiting for our room to be done. We are hanging out in the clubhouse. There is a pool table, video games, and a ping pong table. Ken, Gavin, and Danyelle are playing ping pong and Katelyn is trying to put a puzzle together between running up and down the stairs of this 3-story clubhouse. I cant even post the pictures I've taken so far because that darn cord that we went back for is somewhere in the back of the car right now! Pics and updates to come!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Gavin

Happy 7th Birthday Gavin! My sweet little baby boy. I cannot believe 7 years has gone by since I first held you in my arms. I've watched you grow from a baby and toddler who needs me all the time to a very independent 7-year-old.

I absolutely love the little person that you have become. You have a huge heart and love your sisters more than words. And you tell them all the time. My day is almost always filled with hugs and kisses from you for no reason.

You have a true love for every singe sport and aren't afraid to try out new things. I love watching you discover new things and the happiness you get from each and every day.

You constantly surprise me every single day I spend with you. Whether it be eating sushi with me or explaining something about the computer to me. Every day is a gift that I have with you.

I've said Happy Birthday to you so many times throughout the years, but none of them can truly express how much I mean it.
I love you Gavin! Happy Birthday, Love Mommy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guitar Hero ~ Nintendo DS ~ Review ~

The makers of Guitar Hero introduced Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits for the Nintendo DS system. The game features 28 songs, all radio-edits of modern rock hits from bands including Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, The Strokes, Sum 41, and Finger Eleven.

Since our house is big fans of Guitar Hero for our Playstation, I was thrilled when MomCentral gave me the opportunity to try out the new Modern Hits for my Nintendo DS.

The system comes with a guitar grip that mimics a guitar fret board and fits right into the side of the DS. And it comes with a pick stylus so you can strum on the touch screen. I only got to play a handful of times before the game was quickly taken over by Danyelle and Gavin. They LOVED it. And the best part of the system is that it has a wireless feature that allows song streaming and multiplayer modes. So when we make our long drive to Tennessee in a couple of weeks Danyelle and Gavin can challenge each other from each of their DS's.

For more information about this new game and to see videos and images of the game go to:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Totally Awesome

Gavin came out of his room the other day sporting this ensemble:

Some ugly sunglasses cousin Ryan gave him, his new karate headband, and a hat. And then he asked me "Do I look totally awesome or what?"

I had a hard time saying yes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Our Summer History Lessons

Got a question about the corrosion of our underground water pipes? Just ask Gavin.

Want to know when the Space Needle is going to fall or when massive flooding will overtake New York? Ask Gavin.

Gavin has a new hobby this summer. He stays up at night watching the History Channel. Last week he watched like 4 hours in a row of the show Life After People. Now he spends his days giving me facts of what is going to happen to the earth when we are no longer here.

Mom, did you know there is going to be a huge wave go over the city and into all the buildings? Yeah, and no people are there just animals. And then the trees and grass grow everywhere and all the buildings come crashing down. Its called the Space Needle, did you know that Mom? And all the animals are really hungry cause no people are here to feed them. So they fight each other. yeah, mom, that's what happens when no people are around. I think it all happens in 1000 years.

Then he watched some show about the underground water system.

Hey mom, did you know we get our water from pipes in the ground? yeah, they are really big and built a long time ago. Sometimes they break too. And water comes up everywhere flooding peoples houses. And the inside of the pipes sometimes gets clogged, its called corrosion mom. All the pipes are really old and could break. Do you think our pipes are going to break mom? Cause I don't want water everywhere in our house cause then we cant live in it. When are the men coming to fix our pipes? Huh mom? When?

I'm starting to wish he would just go back to Spongebob. I cant keep up with these conversations!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gavin's Purple Belt

Testing was yesterday in Karate for Gavin. He has been preparing for weeks now to test to get his purple belt. We had been working really hard on Kata #2 which he HAD to know to advance to purple belt. Gavin really struggled with learning all the moves but did awesome during the test last night.

Gavin was presented with his new belt, a headband and a framed certificate.

Gavin with his new headband and belt:

And after testing was over we took Gavin to Rita's to celebrate.

Congratulations on your new belt Gavin! Love you so much, Mommy