Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our new home...

We've been renting for a while, and I've been monitoring the local real estate listings for longer than I care to admit, but finally, we found a house. This house wasn't even on my radar because of the price; then, in early July, the seller made a huge price reduction. I made Max drive past it as we were out running errands, but we didn't get our hopes up because we needed a lease/purchase home and had a feeling this one would be sold in 2 or 3 days. Fast forward 3 weeks later, and the house was still on the market. I made a call to the agent, found out the seller was agreeable to a lease/purchase, and we made our first visit. Three weeks later, the final contract was signed.

This home is our favorite floor plan (and trust me, we've seen a ton of floor plans): a split 2/2 with 2 bedrooms sharing a jack-and-jill bathroom and the third child's bedroom next to a third full bath. The kitchen is huge - there's even an extra "nook" space that we are thinking will be an office or library space...I'm still deciding. The yard's not huge, but the backyard is private, and there's plenty of space for tossing a football or getting on a mean game of bocce. :)

We love the extra bonuses in the neighborhood - a community playground, pool, and tennis courts, not to mention the golf course. Not that my husband would be swayed by an 18-hole golf course down the road. ;)

Considering where we were less than 2 years ago, this is such an amazing blessing. God has been so faithful to us, and He really has blessed us beyond what we ever expected.

Now, I'm off to homeschool and then pack. In the next five weeks, I need to craigslist some furniture, pack the house, go on vacation (yay!), move, and then have surgery. The vacation, which was planned months ago, is our breathing time (thank you, Mom and Dad, for having a timeshare!).

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. --Romans 15:13

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Menu Plans to Share...

I really, really need to be a better blogger. Five months between posts is just embarrassing. I've got pictures to upload and memories to share, but I just haven't made the time to sit down and post. It's on the to-do list. :)

In an effort to simplify things in our house (ha!), I've decided to start menu-planning a week or two ahead of time. Since Word is my buddy (I didn't completely ditch Microsoft when I got the iMac), I made a some menu plans, and saved them to pdf so I could share. Feel free to download and print if you'd like.

Menu Plan Green

Menu Plan Black

Menu Plan Red

And by the way, the "Location" heading is so I can fill in which book or website the recipe came from. I have the memory of a gnat, and I need all the help I can get. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been thinking about this post for a little while now, so here goes...

First off, I am so absolutely, incredibly thankful that God gave me Max. He is my best friend, and I genuinely like being around him. We've said more than once that we could be together 24/7 and still get along, and it's true. That's not to say that we don't ever fight or just plain get on each other's nerves...we do. Especially when Max chews his ice cream. Or I fall asleep and leave the bedside lamp on. All night.

But, at the end of the day, we both know that the other one is there - no matter what. Marriage is not easy - there are a lot of adjustments and compromises that need to take place - but it is so worth it. I know that no matter how cranky or unloveable I act, Max loves me. And he knows that even when he's at his grumpiest, I love him. It's not a question in our minds. We made a commitment to each other before God that we are in this for life. And we didn't make that commitment lightly.

Some pretty major things happened to our family this past year and a half...things that break up some marriages. But I can honestly say that our relationship is stronger now than ever. When I was at my weakest, Max stood by me in a way that I've never seen before. And for that I am eternally grateful.

He lets me vent to him about work and politics and injustice. He makes me laugh even when I'm mad. He knows just when I need a hug. He thinks I'm beautiful. He loves God. He is an incredibly hard worker. He is an amazing Daddy to our three boys. He's my husband, and there's absolutely no one else in this world I'd want to spend my life with.

I love you, Max. Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laryngitis is not my friend...

It all started with a sore throat last Monday...and it went downhill from there. Tuesday I woke up with laryngitis, and my poor voice hasn't come back yet. (yuck.)

So, we've had a pretty low-key week, mostly hanging out around the house. I think even my homebody boys are starting to get cabin fever. I'm hoping this week will provide us some opportunities to visit the park.

I did pull out the paints and create a little wall-hanging for Andrew's room. Max says it looks like it was painted by a 4th-grader, but that's sort of the point. Plus, it was my first attempt at painting more than chipboard or a solid color background. Christian wants a construction vehicle for his painting, but I'm thinking I may try a little mixed media for him. I'm feeling brave! ;)

The boys did help me bake this week. I'm beginning to think they only offer to help so they can do clean-up (see video below). :)

(My voice is better now than it was on the video, but it's still kinda pathetic.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Last week in January...what???

Maybe it's just me, but January really seems to be speeding this year. It feels like we were just celebrating Max's birthday, and it's already time to start planning for Valentine's Day and Christian's big day (of course, my poor Leap Year baby doesn't get his "real" birthday until next year).

And speaking of Christian (nice segue, eh?), he had a blast playing with a pit bull puppy this weekend. We just had a little house built over our well (we've had major issues with our water freezing - not fun). On Saturday, the guy who was building the well brought his puppy for some socialization. And of course, the boys were more than happy to oblige. ;)

Christian is very much like me and loves animals. This little puppy is a sweetie and he followed Christian around the yard. We have Oreo the cat, but he really wants a dog...hopefully after we move.

On a totally different note, today we made playdough - and I still have the food coloring stains on my fingers to prove it!

Andrew showing off his blue coloring.

My Will...

Andrew's "grumpy" face:

Don't those F's look good? :)
And my little stinker about 30 seconds after the previous pic...yes, he's trouble! ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As part of Max's 35th birthday celebration, we took the boys down to Jacksonville for the Winter Jam concert this past weekend. Will, of course, was in heaven...he has not-so-secret plans to be a drummer (and just doesn't understand why Max and I won't buy him a drum set!). Christian wasn't so into it; he kept asking if it was time to go home yet. And Andrew had his moments. He wasn't so into the first band, Red, as evidenced by this picture:

However, it got better for him...he was dancing once David Crowder came on the scene. By the middle of the Newsboys though, he was sound asleep. Only a little one could sleep at 100+ decibels!

I had the hardest time getting a picture of Will - this is my best shot and he looks like a deer in headlights!

Will played air guitar and air drums and danced and waved his arms and had a great time. Unfortunately, it was too dark at our seats to get a decent picture. But I hold his joy in my really is remarkable to see the change that comes over him when he's surrounded by music.

I was excited about Francesca Battistelli (love her new music!):

And who doesn't like David Crowder?

Max really enjoyed Kutless:

And of course the Newsboys:

They did a meet & greet after the show, but the line was so long and the boys were so tired, we didn't go through. I did manage to catch a picture (notice the kinda scary looking security guard):

And finally, just because I didn't get a decent picture of my Christian at the show:

I seriously love this kid!

Our next concert is tobymac in April...just so happens to be on Andrew's birthday. :) I ordered our tickets this week (15th row center). Will is ecstatic - he's already counting down!

I started the new quarter at work. I'm still on my hybrid/online course schedule - and I'm very thankful to my dean who allows me to only come in once a week. It's been such a blessing to be home with the boys and still bring in a paycheck each month.

Max and I are working to build a house later this year (unless our dream home comes on the market very soon, but 5 bedroom houses seem to be in very short supply in south GA). Right now I'm doing a slow purge of this house, going through and deep-cleaning/sorting/tossing all our stuff. And then I get embarassed that we have so much stuff...seriously not necessary. But I'm working on it.

And now I need to make a late breakfast for my boys. Their late-night chat fest last night made for a late morning. :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy 2011!

I'm not so much into resolutions, but I'm definitely hoping to be a better blogger this year. Part of the reason is entirely selfish though...I've been slowly re-arranging several rooms of the house. Possibly the most cluttered space is my scraproom (eek!). I've got paper and embellishments all over the place. So, I'm challenging myself to create 100 projects before buying anything new (except adhesive). (Now, where's my "thud" emoticon when I need it?)

I'm putting it out on my blog as a way to hold myself accountable as my self-control is pretty pathetic. And with CHA around the corner, all those emails with sales and new releases are VERY tempting. ;)

Right now, I'm in the midst of re-organizing the scraproom. I just got a new bookcase that will be replacing a large table (that's not serving any purpose but to hold a couple baskets). Max is going to cut the legs of the table in half and we're re-purposing it as a table for the boys. It's a win-win! ;)

For now, though I'll share some pics of the boys. We didn't get too many pictures right around Christmas because all three of my guys caught that nasty bug that's been going around. Christian held off the longest, and he's almost over it - just a bit of the sniffles left.

I tried - really, really tried - to get a nice picture of the three of them in front of the fireplace, but Andrew just was not cooperating. So, here's part one and two:

Fast forward to New Year's Eve...we ended up having a family sleepover in the living room. Christian and Andrew were on the couch and love seat, while Will, Max, and I were on sleeping bags on the floor. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of our indoor camping site, I (strangely enough) got a pic of our last dinner in 2010:

And really, who can resist breakfast for dinner?
Christian lost his first tooth of the new year. He's been wiggling it for a while, and it finally came out during dinner. :)
He's holding the tooth (the part of the photo that's in color), but it's really hard to see in the picture.

Yesterday was Max's 35th Birthday! I love my husband so much, like ridiculously so, and enjoyed spending his special day with him (he got off work for a mini-vacation...sweet!). We're taking the boys to a concert next ( as his "present".

And, finally, today we visited Chick-fil-A in the morning for our free spicy chicken biscuits (super yummy!), hit Chancy Drugs at lunch for free hot dogs and chips, and visited a couple parks in between.
At the first park, we took a nice walk and spotted the Hahira Fire Department cleaning their trucks. As they were leaving, the fire fighters tooted their horns for the boys. :)

We only had a short stay at park number 2, as Andrew decided to go down a slide and land in a puddle of water (there's a reason we call him "Trouble"!). I did catch this photo of him riding what he dubbed the "Bumble Bee Train". He keeps us hopping, that one.

It's been a busy 4 days already, and I'm hoping and praying that 2011 holds only the best!