Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Name is America...

Have you read any of the books from the series My Name is America?  If you haven't you should.  I just finished reading one called: My Name is America: The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot.  I am so excited to go to the library and get more to read (I got this one at the Homeschool Store-the consignment store in our area) because this is such a great way to relive American History.  The book is written in the perspective of a boy (Will who was 10 at the beginning of the book) who was orphaned and ended up living in Boston with a writer for the revolution and a widowed inn owner.  It brings American history to life and makes you understand the years of trials that the early Americans went through before they actually declared Independence from England.  I am so excited to start our Unit Study on George Washington and U.S. History as The United States of America became a free nation!!  This book is a quick and easy read (I started it 2 nights ago but only read for about 15 minutes that day.  I read a little last night-Jake has a friend from church over to spend the night because his parents and older siblings were all going to the Temple-and just finished it.  It took a couple of hours total to read) but full of history written in a way that I think will really keep children (and adults!) captivated as they read what it would have been like for someone their age to live during the time period.  When I studied U.S. History my junior year in high school it happened to be the year of the election campaign between George Bush and Bill Clinton (yes I am that old...) so it turned out to be more of a Social Studies class than history.  I am excited to finally learn all about our founding fathers and the true patriots that made this nation great and free!  Read this book and series-you will love them!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things....

We have had a really good week around here and it makes me so happy!  Aaron has 2 nights left of 3rd shift which is AWESOME! Jake and I found this on our walk the other day:

(yes that is our table outside-kitchen reno's required it for cutting on.  It is old and beat up and I am going to repaint it gray when we have a house of our own...hopefully "my house" in SC.)
Only in the South can you find a branch of cotton  on the side of the road in a pile of racked up leaves.  I have seen it in fields all over but never up close and we had a great time examining it.  It is so soft and pretty. :)

Jake had his first piano lesson from Nee and really had fun with it this week.  I of course had to take a picture to document the occasion:
Don't be mad I posted this picture of you Nee.  She is usually well put together but she is wearing her painting clothes in this shot.  Have I mentioned that for the past 3 weeks we have been living in a renovation zone?..I think I have...Aaron and my dad took out the old counter tops in the kitchen and put in a new gorgeous one, a new sink, and put in a back splash.  It took longer than expected (as these things usually do) and there were a few mishaps...Like me vacuuming our bedroom one day and when I turned the vacuum off I heard the dish washer sounding a whole lot louder than it usually does.  I went out into the kitchen to find water ALL over the hardwood floor.  I turned off the dishwasher but still heard water.  I opened up the cabinet under the sink to be drenched by a wave of even more water.  Jake and I (we were the only ones home) ran and got towels and mopped it up as quickly as we could-after I wrestled with the hose under the sink and found the right knob to turn to turn it off!  I then went downstairs into the basement and spent some time frantically moving pictures in frames and other things being stored down there because the water was coming through the ceiling...or floor of the kitchen-whichever you prefer.  BUT that happened last week and so this week is good! Not to mention it was an easy fix, not something major as it seemed the moment it was happening.  I will get up before and after pictures once the chaos is completely cleared. 

Homeschooling has gone GREAT this week which also makes me so happy. :)  We have accomplished everything on the list we wanted to accomplish and Jake make a break through with writing today: he actually liked it.  That is big for him-he is a math and science guy and he HATES to write.  Today was "13 minute Thursday"...I don't know it kind of rhymes...Making up little titles makes writing more enjoyable for Jake.  He has been really into a Zelda Wii game that he rented (with a gift card from the local video store he got for Christmas) and has been playing it every possible moment that I would let him.  The main character in the video game is a guy named Link and I had Jake write a journal entry as if it was Link writing it.  He had fun and it was REALLY good.  I was really impressed and so proud of him.  He has also been having fun doing a unit study on the "Science of Flight" with Papa G (my dad is a retired pilot) and they have been having a ton of fun with it.  We are starting a couple month unit study of the Presidents and US history that I am psyched about.  I just finished reading a book about George Washington in preparation that I loved and I am so excited that our local homeschool store (it is a consignment store that rocks.  You can use a curriculum and when you are done go and consign it and get some money back!  I already had a $7 credit for bringing back the math curriculum I bought and didn't like at the beginning of the year! I used it to buy the George Washington book I read.) carries more of (I have another one on C.S Lewis that is going to be fun to do this summer).  Fellow homeschoolers have you seen  this series?
 If you ever come across them I highly recommend them...or at least the George Washington one.  I am sure the others are great too.  And I am totally counting it toward my 30 new books to read this year. :)

We went to the library for a change of pace while studying today and the librarian, Ms. Gayle, signed us up for the book club we forgot about next week.  And can you believe it-they actually had the book there to check out!  We always seem to have to wait for the last minute to check it out 2 days before because it is always checked out. See how good our week is going?

Another awesome thing that has happened is this:
I finally found the perfect shade of gray nail polish I have been searching for, for over a year. (and that is a sneak peak of the new counter top!)  Granted my search has be confined to Walmart and Target...but I looked every time I went!  I have even purchased 2 others that didn't pass the perfect color test. One was too dark (I still like it and wear it is just wasn't exactly what I was looking for)  and the other ended up having a lavender undertone that I couldn't see until I got it home and painted my nails and was a way from the florescent lights of  Target..(..That one really bummed me out because it was $7 but I was so sure it was the right shade that I bought it even though $2.50 is my usual max on nail polish.)  I actually got this the end of last week but I am just so happy about it I had to share my joy.  It is the simple things that make me happy.

And while I am talking about material things that make me happy...Let me introduce my new bag:
For those of you who have been here a while you may remember I have been searching for a year for a large black bag to replace the one our new (at the time) puppy had chowed the strap off of (you can see the damage here if you need a reminder.  I have searched in vain for a black bag but found this rusty red (? I don't know what else to call it) one that I loved and my mom bought it for me for Christmas.  It is the perfect size and it stays on my shoulder great.  I was lucky and my sister-in-law got me an adorable brown bag with a C monogrammed on it in a teal color that I love!  I haven't taken a picture of it yet (what am I thinking?!) but I will and post it too because cute bags make me happy. :)

What makes you happy?  I guess you could call this a Simple Pleasures post...(Cocoa used to do a link party every Thursday on peoples Simple Pleasures.  I miss that Cocoa you should do it again!).  I may have to start doing those again because it is a good thing to count your blessings.  I have more than I can count and I don't even deserve it! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jake right 2012.

We do this every year.  Here it is from 2011.  We missed 2010 I guess because I couldn't find it...Part of  my posts from 2009 and 2008 aren't up anymore...Aaron saved them somewhere but I can't remember where so I can't link up to it. That was back when I couldn't put any more pic's on my blog...long story.  The posts still exist I just can't remember where.  I am going to print them I just haven't yet. :)

Really quickly before I go on with the tradition: check out Jake's bangs in this picture of Aaron measuring him:
He will kill me if he knows I am putting this on here but it is my blog and we are documenting our life here!  Last week Jake was sick...That really doesn't have anything to do with the story but he says it does.  It was in the morning before Aaron left work (Jake keeps saying: "My dad is a teacher.", with a big grin on his face.  He thinks it is pretty awesome...okay back to story) and I was walking down the hall.  Jake came out of his room and stood in front of me.  I immediately noticed that he had massacred his bangs.  Have you seen the movie Dumb & Dumber?  If so picture Lloyd Christmas with his "pumpkin pie hair-cutted freak" hair do.  Yep that bad.  Jake needed a trim in the front and around his ears but other than that his hair was perfect!..Before he cut it I mean...In his feverish, sickly, state (he really was sick poor kiddo) he got annoyed by his bangs being in his eye a little and cut it...with safety scissors...I was a little ticked off at first because he never cut his hair when he was 4 like other kids do...He did it at 10 YEARS OLD...After a few minutes I could laugh about it-which Jake liked even less than me being mad. :)  I fixed it the best I could...and by mistake took a chunk out of one spot...I forgot that I was using a smaller guard than usual for winter..He has never had a professional hair cut and I have NEVER messed up so bad...Poor kid.  Any way-it will grow and Jake will never do it again because he was pretty bummed with the results.  Sorry Jake-I had to post it-for posterity's sake. :)

Back to our originally scheduled broadcast...

Height: 57 3/4 inches
Shoe size: 5
Clothes size: 12 for pants and XL for shirts.  He even has a couple of men's size small in the athletic cut (they are slimmer than regular cut) because they didn't make that particular Star Wars shirt in kids. :)
Fav. color:  the color of bacon  (we had bacon cheese burgers for dinner tonight...)
Fav. food:  Creamy Crock Pot Chicken
Fav. drink:  Chocolate milk
Fav. dessert:  Fudge
Fav. book:  Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo.
Favorite TV shows:  Phineas & Ferb, Lego Ninjago, Lego Star Wars the Padawan Menace (TV special).
Favorite Wii games:  The Legend of Zelda-Sword Skyward, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Lego Harry   Potter years 5-7 (last years was the old H.P-this year it is the new one.
Favorite things to do: Play the Wii, Play with Sadie, and play with Mommy.
Favorite songs:  Party Rocker Anthem, Live Like Your Dying-Kris Allen, I'm Yours-Jason Marez
Favorite place to be: With family.
Things you couldn't live with out (things not people):  Wii-which includes the TV, Lego's, 4 wheelers. (When he heard the answers from last year he wanted to change his 4 wheelers answer to Blue Boo-his blanket he has had his whole life)
Best friends: Corey, Spencer, and Mommy.
Goals for 2012: Be nicer, think about other peoples feelings, appreciate Sadie more.
Habits to break in 2012: Picking on Sadie so much, and stop being annoying.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Brain Declutter: Because random is the best I can do right now....

Yes, we have been busy.  Yes, I do have pictures to prove it.  No, I am not going to post them because I just don't feel like it. I have been slightly anti-blogging as of late.  Not sure why but I am just not feeling it.  It could be because Aaron is home more (only 4 more days of 3rd shift!!!!) and I would rather hang out with him (....or maybe because I love the mindlessness of Pinterest.  I think it is a little of both).  Two weeks from yesterday we are going on a date.  We don't have any money so it may just be a throw back to our courting days-Taco Bell; but that works for me.  Aaron will be home past 9:00pm and not have to sleep during the day...I think I remember what that used to be like...

Jake has been sick this week so there has been a LOT of TV watching and video gaming.  I know that sounds really pitiful but I think if you are really sick (not just faking) than you should be allowed to do things that cheer you up since you are all pitiful otherwise.  Jake was coughing up a lung and asked me to give him and hug and to say: "Oh my poor baby!" which apparently I used to do when he was little much more frequently than I do know.  It makes him feel better he says.  So I have been saying it a lot.  A few coughing fits he had to say "say it Mommy..." to remind me.  What can I say?  He is growing up and I am kind of okay with it (I don't really have a choice). I have learned when bigger kids are sick it okay to treat them like they are little.  I am making that note to self so I won't forget it next time.

On a similar topic, I just realized the other day that I don't have to cut the crust off Jake's bread anymore...I don't even know when that happened!  What kind of mother am I to not notice these changes?!  Just kidding.  I have beat myself up enough over not really remembering what his first word was (I am pretty sure it was Mama...) so I don't feel so guilty about the whole crust thing.  Am I the only one who isn't really the mother I thought I would be and it took me several years to realize that is okay?  I am a good mom.  Good enough that Jake tells me I am the best mom and that I am his best friend.  That is something right?   He has others too (best friends...not mom's) of course but he doesn't "hate" me.  I have seen some kids "hate" their parents by this sad they don't rock as much as me.  I am humble too... :) Good enough that having a slumber party with me is still fun...even if we are pretending to be Ninjago (if you don't know what that is than you don't have a Lego lover in your house...) characters and in the middle of a battle (not acting it out jumping around-just doing the voices) I hear him say "okay it is time to go to sleep" because I am already dozing off...I don't remember what his first word was!  So shot me.  I do remember he said it to me and he still says a lot of things to me that parents don't hear from their kids at his age.  I am good with that. :)  I am trying to remember that he won't care if I didn't write in a journal every day of his life (that was my plan...that never happened) to make of a record everything thing he did.  The only person that puts that amount of stress on me is me.  In 2012 I will not do that to myself any more.

In my head, I have the paint color picked out in every room in "my/our house" in SC  Have I mentioned that here yet?  I blog in my brain so sometimes I can't remember if I really posted it our have it stored in my brain...Please tell me you do that too my blogging buddies?  I have looked at a house that is for sale 3 times now.  It is 2 houses down from Nana and Papa.  It is walking distance from the Martin's (the Martin's=cousins that are awesome, and sister/brother/in-laws that are...well they are redonk!). And it is in the town that Aaron was born and raised in. It is a big yard that backs up to the woods we go "4 wheelin!" (picture Aaron saying this in a really crazy voice while we are going insanely fast on the 4 wheelers and having a blast).  It is a great deal (the potential to be very cheap....) and it is a dream right now that I am slightly obsessed with.  What can I say it is fun to decorate a house in your mind whether you are actually going to live there or not, right?  We shall see if it is in the cards to be there in "my house".  If not there will always be other "my houses" but they will all be in Aaron's home town because that is where we want to be and where we know the Lord wants us to be.  We will just have to see if His timing is the same as ours and "our house".  And no that isn't #9 for anyone who is still wondering what that is...Keep wondering because I am still not quite ready to tell yet. :)

And on last bit of randomness that just popped into my head like all the rest of this has:  I have actually seen a movie that was better than the book.  There is a first time for everything!!!  The movie is "The Help".  I read the book and liked it.  I loved parts of it and hated other parts, so that averages out to liking it.  The movie I heard was amazing.  I didn't see it in the theater and I have waited since it came out on DVD for a little while. I finally decided to rent it and LOVED it!  Which never happens to me.  I usually wait too long and build up how great it is going to be in my head and them I am disappointed.  A great example of that would be: "The Blind Side".  Great movie-don't get me wrong!  But I was bummed because I was told by so many people I was going to cry & I knew too much about it was a let down...even though it was good.  Please tell me you know what I mean....The Help was not a let down because it was way better than the book!  My apologies to the author....

Enough for now...I am heading to bed.  As a friend of ours father likes to say: "Church comes early in the morning!"   I chuckled a little when I typed that because I hear it in the voice of mocking from a couple people who will remain nameless...Don't feel bad if you are wondering why I think it is funny...Or if you are wondering why I am typing that at all...because I am starting to wonder that my self.  Anywho!  The longer I declutter my noggin of randomness, the greater the chance I have of dozing off at Church like I did while playing Ninjago with Jake at our slumber party. :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just call him Mr. Harmon...

He of course had to make a cheesy face because he is a picture taking party pooper (PTPP).
It's official!!!  Aaron is a teacher.  He interviewed today, got the job today, and started today. He has to observe for 10 days and when the new semester starts on the 23rd he will be teaching Geometry and Algebra 1. Just a few more days of 3rd shift!!!!

(Ignore the walls behind him.  Wall paper was stripped and it will be painted once the counter top is done and there is a sink again.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brain Declutter: Back to Blogging...

*Thank you to those of you who have kept Cole in your prayers.  He went through the surgery wonderfully and the doctors were amazed at how well he was doing just the day after.  It is just the beginning of the journey but it is going well so far.  No doubt due to all the prayers. :) 

*I have no real reason for not starting 2012 by keeping up with my blog...We have been doing a lot and my blog/journal/scrapbook is the place I am supposed to document our journey!...
*That  makes me think of my non-resolutions...I don't do resolutions.  But this year I am making goals. Same thing? Probably. But resolutions just don't happen for me.  Here are some of my 2012 Goals:
   1. Lose 100 pounds.  Yep, I am that fat people.  To accomplish that I will:
        -Do Weight Watchers.  It works if you really do it.
       -Exercise 5-6 days a week (Zumba, Walk/Run, Wii Fit)
       -Get back to drinking water...
       -Cut WAY back on my sugar in take.
   2.  Read 30 books I haven't read before.  I have a habit of rereading books I love instead of looking for a new one I will like.  I know I can and will read way more than 30 books but the past couple I have read have taken me a while to get through them...I want these goals to be obtainable so I am being realistic. :)  I am counting the book I am reading right now even though I started it last year...I am reading Emma by Jane Austen on my Kindle.  It took me reading to about 43% before I really started to not be able to put it down.  Before that it was my "I can't sleep.  If I read this for 10 minutes I will be down for the count..."  Not my fav. Jane Austen book so far but I am really starting to love it.  I think I know what is going to happen and I can't wait to see if I am right. :) 
  3.  Start writing down some of my crazy dreams.  I think if I put them all in a book it would become a best seller for people who are slightly insane.  These aren't my best examples, but the other night I dreamt (isn't that a word?...spell check is giving me a hard time with it...) that  I let Sadie out to go to the bathroom and someone else let her in.  When she came into the room I was in she was no longer a black lab mutt-she was a taller, sleeker brown dog.  The strangest part is that no one noticed the difference but me.  I kept telling everyone that it wasn't Sadie and they thought I was crazy.  The same night (this one was long but I will give the Readers Digest version) I dreamt my family was in my Grampa Smith's yard looking for a GIANT grizzly bear that kept coming around.  I looked over to the house and there it was laying inside a white picket fence and I had to run around everyone standing frozen while it chased me.  It knocked me down and was hovering over me about to claw my face off...when instead it touched my cheek and said "Pat my face." in a sweet little voice.  I am talking GIANT grizzly!... I have dreams all the time where someone is trying to attack someone in my family and I go to beat them up and no matter how hard I hit them it was like I was just patting them softly...I think a shrink might think I was crazy.

*****Aaron JUST sent an email and resume to a high school in our county and already got an email back (literally 4 minutes later!) saying "Can you be in my office in the morning?"  He is going in @ 8:30 in the morning!!!!!  Say a prayer for him please!!!!!!!!!!***********

4.  Read the Standard Works: Book of Mormon (the rest of it.  I am in Alma and I am not starting over now.  I will finish it then move on to the others.  We also read the B of M as part of our morning routine for homeschooling so I will still be reading it daily), Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl Of Great Price, Old Testament, and New Testament.  This is going to be tough for me....That is a lot of reading!
5.  Sew a quilt.  I don't sew.  I have sewn a few things...But for some reason I feel the need to sew a quilt....Actually I am changing that to sewing the aprons I got patterns and fabric for last January. AND the pillows I want to recover with the amazing fabric I bought myself for Christmas. :)  If I accomplish those I will then sew a quilt...I am trying to be realistic here people.
6.  Do more of the wonderful things I see on Pinterest and not feel guilty for being addicted to it. :)
7.  Do the 30 day mom challenge every single month of this year.  If I miss a day I will just move on.
8.  Go on tons of dates with Aaron to make up for all the dates we should have gone since he started working 3rd shift when he gets the job he is interviewing for tomorrow. :) 
9.   Leaving this one blank for something I am not ready to let the world know yet (NO I AM NOT PREGNANT...I would have no problem telling everyone if I was.),  but will soon...Mysterious I know...:)
10.  Be nicer to myself so I am nicer to my loved ones.
11.  Make more time to read my favorite blogs...Which I have run out of time to do tonight but I will be doing tomorrow...I have a lot of reading to do to catch up with everything you guys have been up to!
12.  When painting a room/rooms this year I am going to be the tortoise not the hare.  I like it to be done so I can stand back and see how pretty it is.  This year I will take my time painting so I don't have to do some much fixing. :)  That is a random one I know but I need to work on it...and I am thinking it will carry over into other facets of my life not just painting. Examples would be:
   -Weight loss: it is better to lose 2 pounds a week, than to quickly lose 12 and stop there because I have driven myself crazy.
   -Organization: It is better to start with one closet-not all the closets in the house at once....
   -Homeschooling: Don't drive myself (or Jake) crazy with new ideas 3 days after trying another idea.  Give it chance to work...or not.
   -Sew an apron before jumping right into a quilt....
See where I am going with this?  Baby steps need to be made.  It doesn't all have to happen really quick.  I can let an idea marinade-I don't have to do it pitifully right when I think of it.

*Back to the brain declutter part of this...Am I the only one who puts away all the Christmas ornaments...only to find that one ornament or little candle holder you forgot to put away...and then you just stick it in a random place instead of pulling out the huge heavy Rubbermaid again?...then you curse that little ornament the whole year every time you open the drawer you stuck it in...just to realize it really isn't the ornaments fault but it is easier than admitting you were being lazy....? Please tell me you do that too.

*Sadie is a year old already and she is a pretty good dog in spite of how horribly we spoil her.  She is simply too adorable to resist.  Every morning Jake and I cuddle her on our bed and she talks to us (you know how dogs "talk" to you when you find their itchy spot?  It may just be my dogs...I talk to them so much they talk back), and gives us millions of kisses.  She is a mess and we love her. 

*I am going to go back and post my Christmas pictures and change the date to make it look like I actually posted them last year.  The great part of this is that I am in no rush because no one will really see it since it will come up several posts back.  No pressure is a good thing. :)

*We are changing out the counter tops here in my mom and dad's house and we haven't had a kitchen sink since Friday.  Kitchen sinks are really important.  We have been washing dishes in the bathroom. Actually rinsing them and putting them into the dishwasher we can't use until the sink is back in...I feel a little like I might barf when I think of washing dishes in a bathroom.  Not even possible in my book-way to many germs to even think it is getting clean.  I went in the bathroom yesterday and there was a plastic container that had been holding taco meat soaking in the sink....Since I am the mother of a boy and wife of a man who has the tenancy to act like a boy, I will just tell you that the little bits of meat reminded me of pooh and I vomited a little in my mouth.  I DO NOT do well with "bathroom germs" as I call them.  I was very appreciative to my dad when he cleaned it out because I just couldn't do it.  Seriously gross.  Sorry if you live in a house full of girls and aren't used to hearing things like that but it had to be said. I am adding thank you for kitchen sinks to my prayers tonight. :)

Okay that is enough decluttering for now...I feel like I have more space in there and less stress already. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Please Pray for Cole....

These pictures are a little old but I wanted you to see the sweet little guy I am telling you about....
Our good friends Norb and Elizabeth (and their daughter Morgan) need your prayers for their sweet little boy Cole.  They just found out he has 2 brain tumors (the doctors believe that they are non-cancerous) and he is having surgery tomorrow to take some of the fluid off and relieve some pressure.  He will then have to have radiation to shrink them because they are inoperable.  If you would like to join us in a fast Friday, January 6th and Sunday, January 8th, that would be wonderful also. We know the Lord hears our prayers and this amazing family can use ours now.