Friday, December 18, 2009

Lightroom

So a couple of weeks ago I downloaded a trial version of Adobe's Lightroom. Now every chance I get I sit at my computer drooling over what it can do editing my pictures. SO amazing, let me just tell you. So when I went to one of my favorite blogs and realized she was having a giveaway for a free copy of this $300 program I was extremely excited. Head on over there yourself for a copy to win!

Friday, November 6, 2009




If you click the button above, you will be brought to a great blog that I frequently read. Right now they are having fabulous giveaways for Christmas! The latest I saw was an amazing collection of 30 Veggie Tale DVD's valued at over $500! Crazy, huh? So go on over there and check it out! Then enter to win!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I most certainly did not go out at 10 pm to buy footless tights the night before my cousins wedding. I am always much more prepared than that. I also did not completely forget to buy them a card or gift. At least I remembered my bible so I could do the reading that of course I had practiced ahead of time, you know, the the car on the way to the wedding.

And I certainly would never feed my children cheese and apples for lunch because we really did not have anything else in the house. And I would never feed them Annie's mac and cheese 3 times in a week and justify it by saying that it's "organic" and therefore it must be healthy. And I would never lie and tell my daughter that that package of cookies on the table? Well, it's empty. Just don't pick it up and shake it. Oh, that's okay, you don't need to put it in the trash honey. Mommy will take care of it.....

I never ever forget that my children haven't bathed in 5 days or that I haven't washed my diapers in a week and that's the reason my son has no cloth diapers to wear today forcing me to use disposables all day long. And I certainly never let my kids run around in pajama's all day and justify that by saying that it's cold in my house and pajama's are just that must warmer than regular clothes. And I get dressed every single morning by 8am. Really. Or. Maybe not.

It's been a while. Again.

So as always it's been a while since I posted last. Always happens. I am just not good at this whole "blog" thing. Let's see. September was a relatively big month. Chris started back at Seminary for the year, which is great, and crazy busy. We're settling into the routine though. And after this year? Only 3 or 4 years to go! It is just our norm for a while, and that is okay, because that's where God wants him, and therefore wants us. I'm okay with that.

On September 20th, my little brother Joshua got married to his beautiful bride, Taylor Goodin. The newest Mrs. Parker. They had the most gorgeous outdoor wedding at her family's home in Bolton, CT. The ceremony was right on a lake, and the reception was under a tent. The weather was beautiful, the food was great, the people were awesome, and the dancing was fun. Sam really went crazy out there on the dance floor, as well as Grace and all her cousins. They all had a blast. Grace asks a few times a week to see pictures of Joshua and Taylor. She is very excited to have a new aunt, and we are all very happy to welcome her to the family. What a crazy, emotional, beautiful day that was. So perfect.

September also held another wedding (Congrats to Chris's cousin Mike and his wife Laura) and other various showers, and a trip to the Big E with my parents the day after my brothers wedding. Yes, we were a little insane, but it was fun! Just exhausting. Clearly 2 days on our feet and no naps for the kids was a stupendous idea. Just kidding. We really did have a great time. I think we also made it to the orchard sometime in September.

October has been just as eventful in my family. On October 8th my brother Jonathan and his wife Rachel welcomed their new daughter, Lillian Magnolia into the world. They had a wonderful birth, and her big sisters, Carolena and Hannah are very proud. We went to visit her on the 12th, just a quick drive to Boston, play, eat lunch, hold the baby, and drive back home. The visit was much too short, and I hope to find a way to get up there soon without the kids for a day.

We also had another wedding this month, just this past Saturday my cousin Stephen got married to Sarah. Congrats guys! It was a beautiful wedding and I was honored to read during the ceremony.

We've had some excitement in our own home lately. About a week and a half ago Chris painted the bedroom off our kitchen PINK for Grace. We put minimal furniture in there and NO toys, bought her a rug at Ikea and set up her new big girl bedroom. She was very excited and most nights falls right to sleep. My hopes that it would help her take naps during the day have quickly become something of the past as I'm realizing she is just not a child who needs naps apparently. She rarely takes naps, although she does have a 2 hour long "rest time" in her room. She spends that time searching through her drawers (even though she is not supposed to) and coming up with new outfits to wear.

In lieu of Grace moving into that room, Sam has seamlessly moved into the nursery and Chris and I finally have the master bedroom back to ourselves. Sam has moved to one nap a day, and sleeps relatively well at night. He is cutting his 10th tooth, a top molar that is giving him a hard time, but he usually only wakes up once or twice at night. Since he goes back to sleep pretty quickly and easily I don't mind too much. He also is mostly walking now, although he still finds crawling easier and faster. I knew this would take me by surprise, even though he's been taking steps for about a month on his own. Until the past few days he still was really only taking about 6 or 8 steps on his own. Today he started walking all the way across rooms like it was no big deal! Even turning and changing direction. And if you give him a finger to hold he practically RUNS. He's going to keep me on my toes from now on. He climbs on anything he gets a chance to, and a couple of days ago Chris found him standing on a kitchen chair at the table eating butter. Yum! I found Grace doing the exact same thing about this age. I guess he's just following in his sister's footsteps!

We're getting ready for Grace's birthday in less than 2 weeks. I can't believe my little girl is turning 3 already. She still proudly says "Two!" when you say, "Grace, how are you?" But she knows that she will be three on her birthday. She also will happily tell you that she is having a Minnie Mouse birthday party. Gotta get going on that one!

Grace-isms:
Talking about the fireworks we saw last weekend that she did not like at all, and was completely scared of, when I asked if she liked them she said, "No, I was a sad face mommy, I was not a happy face!"

The other day at lunch time I made Annie's Mac and Cheese (the best kind, come on now) and she suddenly looked at me and said, "Look at my nose mommy! It's a booger!" while pulling macaroni and cheese out of her nose. And laughing. Sigh.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Hampshire, new news

The last week has been a whirwind. A good whirlwind, though. Chris and I both had last week off, so we spent a couple of days painting the playroom (top half blue, bottom half green, with the intention of painting a jungle scene on one wall at some point in the future). The room came out great, but I forgot to take a picture of it, and now there is a child napping in there who I refuse to disturb. You'll just have to wait for pictures. :)
Early in the week, we got the news that the person who had taken over Chris's job at Klingberg when he left last October was not returning this fall. Chris's old boss contacted him, and asked him to apply, which is what we've been hoping for all along. The principle of the school unofficially welcomed him back last Tuesday, which was a great note to start off our vacation to New Hampshire on. We left Wednesday, spent the day traveling with frequent stops (our children hate the car), and made it up to Jon and Jama Colegrove's house late afternoon. We then spent the next few days relaxing. We spent a little time at the beach:
(Sam likes to eat sand)
Then we spent some time at a lake:






It was such a blessing to have Jon and Jama host us for a few days. We enjoyed their company, their hospitality, their fire, their home. It was refreshing and we didn't want to come home. But home we came, yesterday afternoon, which included running into guy who was my youth leader in highschool (um... like 10 years ago? Imagine his surprise seeing me with a husband and 2 kids. haha)
And now our week has started with a confirmation of Chris's new job. He'll start 2 weeks from today, and we are so very excited about this change. Thank you God for such a wonderful week, such wonderful news, good friends, good family time. There are more pictures, but too many to post here. I'll let you know when I post them somewhere you can see all of them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grace quote of the day

This morning I needed to get to the grocery store before the boys I watch got dropped off for the day. This meant I needed to head out pretty early, and Grace and I didn't really eat a great breakfast, so I decided to stop at Dunkin' Donuts and get a bagel to share and of course some coffee for me. :) As soon as Grace saw Dunkin' Donuts she exclaims, "Look! It's the donut's house!!!"

haha.

Giveaway...

Really quick, there is a fabulous giveaway going on over at a website I visit often called 5 minutes for mom. You can go enter it here: http://www.5minutesformom.com/6697/win-a-chicexecs-babes-in-summerland-gift-basket/

Monday, July 6, 2009

Grace-isms

Grace often says really cute things, and most of the time I don't remember them later. So I need a place where I can put them down so I don't forgot the cute things that she says. Like the way she used to call Sam "Sayam," or the way she calls the refrigerator the "elevator." She often adds syllables to words making them far longer than they really are. When we were at Tusen Takk a few weeks ago someone asked if Sam was her brother and she said, "No, that's mommies!"
She also looked at the canoe paddle on the way and said, "That's a big spoon!"

As time goes on I hope to remember to update this with new things that she says. Time goes so quickly, and before I know it she's going to be off to school, then off to college, then off.... Oh, I can't even go there.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not me! Monday!

I regularly read a blog by a wonderful woman who posts every Monday with her list of NOT ME! Mommy moments. Here's the blurb from the beginning of her post:

"Are you feeling guilty for pretending not to notice as your child sucked toothpaste out of the tube? Feel like a slouch for wearing your husband's big, baggy t-shirts all day? We'll don't! Not Me! Monday was born out of my desire to admit some of my imperfections and reveal a few moments I'd rather forget. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!"

So for the past few weeks I've wanted to join in the fun and post about my own Not Me! mommy moments. Only I always forget them, or maybe I just try to forget them as the week goes by. So this week I've decided I might as well sit down and try to remember some of these moments to share with you all.

Such as...

I definitely did not give Grace cereal and milk on Saturday morning only to have my loving husband point out to me later that the expiration date on the milk was last Monday. Because of course I pay more attention to those kind of details than that!

And speaking of paying attention to details, I most certainly did not forget Grace's bathing suit and swim diaper 2 days in a row over the weekend forcing me to scrounge around and see just what I could throw her in the pool in.

I certainly didn't let my refrigerator get so bare that today for lunch we ate pasta shells with butter and shaky cheese. I also did not let the kids eat oyster crackers for snack. I certainly did not let Grace eat 2 pieces of icecream cake (and nothing else) at a birthday party on Saturday afternoon fully knowing that evening she'd be going out for icecream with my parents. Why would I do that? That would be crazy. And unhealthy.

So what did YOU not do this week?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tusen Takk Photos










Tusen Takk


We had a fabulous weekend at Tusen Takk! What a great place to get away from the world for a while. No cell phones, TV, internet to distract. Just good friends, campfires, s'mores, fishing, canoeing, eating, laughing, playing games, eating, and more eating. We had some amazing chinese food thanks to Cliff's wife Michelle (who is from China), and also some incredible burgers thanks to Maria. It was just a really good time with really good friends, and we left feeling very blessed. And very possibly a little less crazy.

And for some reason this is only allowing me to add one picture. So enjoy the picture of Grace in the great big adirondak chair while I figure this out... maybe a separate post...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I wonder why it is that I don't post more often? It's not that I have nothing to post about, I do. I guess it's just that I wonder who cares anyway? Who even reads this anymore? (um... I guess nobody since I don't post? haha) Okay, so who would read this if I post should be the question. It seems every time I post I end up playing catch up. Let's catch you all up on my life for the past oh... 6 months? I don't even know how long it's been.

Let's begin with the children. Since they take up oh, 90% of my time and energy, that's a good place to start. Grace is 2 1/2. More accurately, she is 32 months old. And she is not a baby anymore. Oh sure, she still wants her cuddles every now and then, she still wants me to sing to her at bedtime, and yes, she is still in diapers. (more on that issue later...maybe) But she is for the most part, a beautiful, independent little girl who is simply blossoming before my eyes. I am blessed every day to see her grow and change and learn new things. She now wants to sit and read her own books (which she has always loved to do, but would eagerly bring me piles of books to read to her, as well). She can play for hours (it seems) by herself, playing dress up, singing, telling her dolls stories, coloring or whatever else she feels like doing. At least I know she still needs me. It's evident in the fact that she still comes to "check in" with me every once in a while, showing me what she's doing, asking for a hug, or to sit in my lap for a moment. Sometimes she wants to "help" me with whatever chore I happen to be doing. She loves to help me cook or bake (especially when we use chocolate chips which she calls raisins!) She can talk my ear off, and tells amazing stories. (um...sometimes they are about poop. Where did that come from? No idea. I thought only little boys thought it was funny to talk about poop!) She calls herself a princess (or more recently a queen!!!) and she is certainly a daddy's girl. She loves to go on dates with daddy! (Could be the icecream, but really I know she just craves time with him.) She also loves to pray, both at meal times and at bedtime. She likes to thank God for everything and everyone she knows and loves. One of those people that she loves is her brother Sam, and let me just tell you. Watching her with Sam just melts me into a puddle. You could mop me off the floor when she tries to comfort and love on him. She gets this little maternal look on her face, leans into him, talking in this high voice, "Oh my sweetie! Come here sweetie! It's okay sweetie..." It's so stinking adorable.

And speaking of adorable...

Sam. That boy is 10 months old next week! Where did the time go? He's recently learned to sit himself up from laying on the floor, and just today started to get up on his hands and knees. About a month ago he started to pull himself along in an army type crawl, when for a couple months previous he had just been rolling wherever he wanted to get (boy was he fast... he'd get anywhere he wanted to go!) This morning he got his knees up under him and started rocking back and forth! He's been waving for a couple of months (at least), playing peek-a-boo for a couple of months, and a couple months ago he was saying mama and dada. He hasn't said it as much recently, though. Sam is nursing like a champ, and eating 3 meals a day. Unfortunately, he seems to have the same gag reflex issues that Grace does, and anytime he has food that is not pureed he gags, chokes, and throws up his whole meal. So for now he gets only pureed foods and those little puffs that melt when he puts them in his mouth. Even those though are a step in the right direction for him, and he's only had them very recently. I'd say most of his nutrition still comes from good old breast milk! :) Now if he's just sleep through the night... haha. He is a very happy, content baby, and I constantly have people asking me if he's "always this good?" Yes. Really he is. Am I jinxing myself? I hope not! The kids is just one happy boy, and if he's fussing I know something is wrong. And usually when I thinking he's fussing other people look at me crazy. "That's fussing?! He seems okay to me!" They don't understand that for him to whine at all is fussing!

And I have to say that it is a darn good thing that he is SO easy. Because my job? Not so much. My job is to watch 2 little boys here at my house 3 1/2 days a week. It equals about 30 hours a week, but most weeks I feel like I've worked twice that. I won't go into much detail, just enough to say that I watch a 4 1/2 year old and a 2 year old, and they are both tough kids. The 4 year old has issues I can handle, but the 2 year old has issues that I'm not sure I can some days. If we didn't NEED me to be doing this financially, I would quit tomorrow. But we need it, so I do it.

In actuality, Chris and I could both use a change job-wise. Chris just finished his first year of seminary. It's been tough on us, and honestly something will have to change before the fall semester. We are praying every day for a new job for him. He's looking at going back to the school he used to work at, or going into a ministry position. Last fall when he accepted his current position, he felt that it would be a good move financially and be something he did while he went to Seminary. We've found that not to be the case in either category. So he's looking. Please pray that God shows us where to go from here.

This weekend we are looking forward to a nice break from the norm as we head to a friends lake house for a reunion with some of Chris's college friends. I am SO excited to see everyone. Unfortunately, it seems that this weird weather is going to follow us through the weekend, so we may be confined to the indoors most of the weekend. Kind of disappointing since we'll be on a lake, in the woods, in a beautiful location. Oh well. It's the fellowship I'm looking forward to. Chris had some amazing friends in college, and I'm so glad that we've kept in touch with them and they've become my friends as well.

How's that for a post?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm determined to start posting on here more often. I haven't written down any milestones for Sam yet, and this is one place where I could really quickly type up some of the things he is doing once in a while. If I just do it once a week that would be much better than I'm doing now! At his four month appointment (almost a month ago now, though!) he was 16 lbs and 27 1/2" long. That puts him at the 95% for height and 70% for weight. Crazy long boy. He's already in 9 month clothes, and in fact I'm quickly running out of clothes that he fits into! I had some hand me downs when he was smaller, but somehow I have a gap between 6 months and 18 months. I have a few 12 month things, but hardly anything for 9 or 12 months! Whoops! He got a few sleepers for Christmas and right now I'm washing those a LOT and rotating through them! It's cold in our house, so those are the easiest things to put on him with layers. Sigh. Need to find someone else who has hand-me-downs! :)

For my own reference, Sam is cooing, smiling, laughing (at random things, like my parents dog running by, or Chris rolling around on the floor with Grace- she loves to roughhouse with him in the evening, SO cute!), "talking", almost rolling over, he loves to stand, we put him in the exersaucer for the first time a couple of weeks ago and also tried the bouncy seat in the doorway (he loves them both!). Other than that he loves to nurse and he is a decent, although not a great sleeper. He's been taking great naps, but at night he wakes up a bunch of times to nurse. He's still in our room, in a crib across the room from us, b/c we have not figured out a solution to our space issues. We have 4 bedrooms, but 2 are on our first floor, and 2 on our 2nd. Right now Grace's room and our room are upstairs. I don't think that Grace would do well sleepwise with Sam in her room waking up every few hours. But I also don't like the thought of her on a different floor than us. Any ideas? I'm wondering if I should just TRY putting Sam in her room and see how it goes, we could always put him back in our room. I wish he'd just sleep through the night, then I could put him in there with her! What to do, what to do...

Grace is amazing. She turned 2 on Halloween, and she is just an incredible little girl. She has been able to say her alphabet and count to 10 for about 6 months now, she knows tons of sign language, verbally she is beyond some 3 year olds I know, her favorite songs that she sings are "Twinkle Twinkle," "Jesus Loves Me," and "Away in a Manger." She knows all the words. Most of her books she can recite to us, and she is starting to get quite the little sense of humor. She is also a little mommy! The other day I was sitting on the couch nursing Sam, Chris was in the kitchen, and he had me go look in the playroom (off the kitchen). There was Grace, sitting in her little rocking chair, nursing her baby (complete with a blanket over her baby's body), talking quietly to her "sweet sweet baby". She loves to help me with Sam, loves to take baths with him, hold him, burp him, get his paci, etc. She's a great big sister, and has really never shown any jealousy at all.

I'm in love with my children.

In other news, Chris finished his first semester of seminary, and just started his 2nd. He's doing well, and we're adjusting to the hectic schedule he has to keep. I'm looking into a couple part time childcare jobs, watching children here in my home. I'm talking to a family with a 4 month old (actually 3 days older than Sam, it'd be like having twins!) who needs someone on Mondays for almost 10 hours (!), and a woman with a 5 and 7 year old (girls) who would need to be picked up from school 4 days a week and watched until 7:30. When we origionally talked this was only going to be 2 days a week, but it has changed now, and I'm not sure I can do all 4 days. It would be Tuesday-Friday, which means I'd have other children here every day. Financially it would be enough (although still not ideal) for me just to do it 2 days a week. For me I think I need a couple of days when it's just me and my children. So I'm going to talk to her about maybe doing it 2 or 3 days and seeing when we can come up with.

Gotta go make dinner!