Monday, July 30, 2012

Julie's back... Again!!!!

Yes! Our favorite Dane has come back to visit once again! There is a certain little boy who is soooooo exited to have her back! (We are all very excited, but Jackson is the only one who had an asthma attack from running/jumping/hollering due to so much excitement.)

Due to an internet outage, I'm posting from my phone and so I don't want to go into the ridiculousness we went through to pick Julie up from the airport. Poor Julie got off the plane with no one to greet her! :( But we did find her after lots of running and frantic searching.

There's also a good story of how I didn't get Julie's flight info before she started traveling, so after scouring the internet with only her arrival time, I decided I needed to email her family...not all speak English! But I was desperate to find her flight number so we wouldn't have to wander through every terminal looking! Her brother saved the day, but we still wandered (ran) through two out of three terminals anyway...


Jackson was SO excited to show Julie the sign he made with Grammy! And like I mentioned, he was ecstatic to see her and he barely l left her side all evening.

Even though I knew she'd be so tired from 20 hours of travel, I planned a surprise welcome party for her! Many if her favorite friends were here to welcome her back to the states. Everyone was just as happy to see get as she was to see everyone else!

And lastly, Julie got to see her new room! And by new room, I mean brand spanking new. Like... I just finished sanding and painting this morning. Just last week, it was barely even framed. But thanks to many volunteers the room has been wired, drywalled, sanded, and painted with doors and lights installed too!

(because I'm posting from my phone,I can't caption or pick the placement of   photos--they are ask just stuck at the end!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Video Dump

This post is mainly for my sister who is suffering through withdrawal from my kiddos being in California for the summer. But for your viewing pleasure, I thought I’d go ahead and share with all of you guys in case you want to take a break from watching the Olympics to soak up some of this cuteness.

Belle has been anti-sleep lately, but that also causes her to fall asleep while chewing…

{just so know you how anti-sleep this girl is—after I picked this girl up to put her to bed, she never went to sleep. This little pseduo-nap, all 15 minutes, was all she slept that day.}

Both of my kiddos love books. We read, and read, and read all the time. Jackson wanted to read Belle a story before naps one day and I caught it on my cell phone! {which is why the quality is terrible… but at least I captured it!}

While he may be a little difficult to understand {bad quality, whiney Belle, bad pronounciation… “for” = “Thor”}, he was pretty right on with the story! And for the record, the super hero he asked me about… that’s Falcon. I had to go look it up. I know I sound mean when I say, “I don’t know…” but I was really just trying to figure it out. Quite honestly, besides knowing his name, I have no idea who Falcon is.

And Belle likes to read books herself!

{bet you didn’t know Belle could speak Dinosaur!}

And this video is actually from March… Jackson is showing off his dance moves to LMFAO.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bowling 101

Jackson and I went bowling yesterday morning. It was on my list of things I wanted to do with him this summer and I’ve been desperately seeking indoor activities for him to use some energy because this month-long heat wave/drought is really putting a damper on our typical summer activities!!

A lot of bowling centers participate in the Kids Bowl Free program, but we traveled over to Lee’s Summit to take advantage of their Mommy and Me bowling program. For $3 {each} we got a game, shoes, and pop! Jackson was almost as excited to have his very own pop as he was to bowl.

Here’s Jackson style bowing 101…

Step 1: Find the green little kid big boy ball and figure out fingers/holes puzzle… That’s tricky. 2012-07-25 09.43.06

Step 2: Offer a cheesy-smile just so Mommy can hurry up with the picture and you can get on with the game.
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Step 3: Balance ball up to the line. Whew! That’s a workout!2012-07-25 09.43.22

Step 4: Maneuver the ball to knock down the pins. Option A—bend and roll.2012-07-25 09.37.41 

Option B: Hip throw 2012-07-25 09.55.01

Step 6: Watch the ball go! {when using option A, the bend and roll, the arms stay up until the ball crashes into pins}2012-07-25 10.06.42

During this stage, also giggle as the ball clinks from side to side on the bumpers. More clinks = more giggles.2012-07-25 09.52.03

{this is my favorite picture from the day—check out that ball dead center as it approaches the pin. Too bad it was going like .0000005 miles per hour and only knocked over a few}2012-07-25 09.39.48 

Step 7: Race back to see what number you got on the big screen!2012-07-25 09.43.44

Step 8: Stare into tunnel waiting for the ball to come back.2012-07-25 09.57.53

Lastly, step 9: REPEAT!

Back to step 1: more cheesy pictures for Mommy…2012-07-25 10.14.25

While we were bowling, Grammy was bringing this girl back from a three-day spoil-athon up at her house! I really enjoyed some special one-on-one time with Jackson, but we really missed this smile!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What’s that mean?

This is so my life.


I answer questions all.of.the.time. There are requests for snacks, candy, and tv continuously throughout the day. Most questions are asked at least 3 or 4 times each, even when an answer has been given.

Today we went to Target just to kill time before Derek got off work. I told him ahead of time that we were going to buy zero things {that’s a Jackson phrase} and yet he still asked throughout every single aisle, “Can I get this?”

The most common questions are, “What’s that mean?” and “Because why!?” Derek has been explaining lately that the phrases “copy/roger that” are the same as “yes/I understand” while I have spent most of yesterday and today explaining that “twice means two”. I have caught myself a time or two carefully planning my words in conversations with him and even just when he is in ear shot, just so I don’t slip one in that he’ll ask, “what’s that mean.” He needs to know what every single word means, even if I’m not talking to him and ESPECIALLY if Derek and I are talking in code.

And nothing is worse than the questions in which I don’t know the answer! Mostly they are about Autobots, Super villains, dinosaurs, and how things work.

I love Jackson’s inquisitive mind. He’s a sharp little boy. But whew… I really do feel like I’m playing 21 questions 5,424,349 times a day!

Last week, during VBS though, Jackson was asking great {albeit a lot!} questions about Jesus, the Bible, and Heaven. His wisdom of those topics at his young age nearly brought me to tears. Next time you see him, ask him about Heaven. He’ll get all excited and say, “Heaven is a place where Jesus lives! And when you love God, you get to go to Heaven when you die!” Oh, the faith of a child. I love it.

While I’m talking about VBS, this is Jackson’s recap of the story one day: “Daniel was with the lions. He had NO music, NO pillow, and no place to eat for THREE WEEKS(?)... but God and Jesus saved him. They were the superheroes.”

Lastly, I saw this today too and it too fit perfectly. Custom designed baby.304825_445928782106636_1996047488_n

Monday, July 23, 2012

Preschool Prep!

Saturday evening, Derek and I enjoyed a nice impromptu date night! Honestly, the kids were driving me bonkers {to be fair, I worked until 2am the night before so my patience level was VERY low…} and I just couldn’t deal with all the talking or kid whining! I sent out a quick text to our babysitter and thankfully she was available and was over within the hour.

I was craving some Texas Roadhouse, but there just aren’t any close and I didn’t want to drive forty minutes. Derek found a place called Logan’s Steakhouse and it was exactly what I was in the mood for. It totally hit the spot. We headed over to Barnes and Noble and we browsed a little bit together, but I bailed when he started reading computer magazines.

As most parents do, we did spend a good portion of the evening talking about the kids—how cute they are and the funny things they do. And I spent a good portion of browsing time checking out preschool curriculum for Jackson because I’m wanting to start something this fall.

…and then I stumbled across the clearance section! I found this preschool kit for $12 {originally $49.00}! I am so excited about it! And it was the one thing I allowed myself to buy that night.
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I was kind of planning on putting it away until I really started planning a “school” time in our day, but I just couldn’t wait. And Jackson just loved it. Here’s what we did this afternoon.

Jackson colored {with black, his favorite color, of course}

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The coloring pages are waxy, so the crayons can be wiped off and used again. The lines of the picture are raised so it helps teach how to color in the lines. {The crayons are a mega fail—Jackson can barely hold the two inch ones that came with it!}

This was a cool activity and Jackson loved it. The letter cards slide behind the gel pack and Jackson would trace it with his finger and then when you take the card out—you can see the letter.

2012-07-23 12.34.01 2012-07-23 12.34.18

Jackson loved this activity—alphabet fishing! In fact, after nap, he opted to not watch a tv show that I allowed him in order to play this again… WOW! He is really good with letter recognition and he had fun spelling his name. And it was definitely good practice for his motor skills.

2012-07-23 12.37.19 2012-07-23 12.39.33

And he had fun spelling other names too…2012-07-23 12.44.182012-07-23 12.48.24 2012-07-23 12.51.07

And then he played with the reusable sticker shapes to make the pictures. This was definitely the most challenging as he was pretty upset when his little rectangle wasn’t exactly like the picture. I told him it would just take practice. He did have fun and asked to do this after nap as well.

 2012-07-23 12.53.49 2012-07-23 12.56.26

I think I got a steal of a deal for $12! It came with a nice instruction book for lots of activity ideas using these supplies and a really nice organizing case too!

But, I’m curious about what preschool curriculum/activities you use! I’m not concerned about his knowledge as much as I would like to help teach him how to sit and work on something for more than just a few short minutes. And I won’t ever commit to something super regimented or complex. Just something fun, but educational! Thoughts?!?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Instagram photo dump

This is just a photo dump post of a ton {or 24} pictures from my phone that haven’t made it to my blog yet.
  1. Belle feels the same way about doritos as her daddy!
  2. Playing sherriff at grandma’s house—Jackson sure has that mean face down!
  3. Chilling during break time at the pool.
  4. Oklahoma Joe’s—the best BBQ in town!
  5. I was so proud of my “initial pancakes”!! My mom used to make these for us!
  6. A total bookworm. He’s reading me the story—almost word for word.
  7. Storytime before bed.
  8. Cuteness!! Love that smile.
  9. Aunt Ashley and Iron making a cake
  10. The finished cake balls—Jackson helped with the whole process
  11. Never too early to start teaching the kids about laundry! {we made a trip to the laundry mat to wash our comforter}
  12. Holding baby Yooli. He loves babies!
  13. There’s a daddy underneath there somewhere!
  14. Jackson got the Queen Frostine card while I was still just a few spaces from the start. Needless to say, he won the game.
  15. Dried beans provided much entertainment for this gal!
  16. Jackson gets to drink an entire “sod-EE-pop” when he hangs out with Papa Johne.
  17. Squirt guns with Uncle Phil
  18. Belle was giving Uncle Phil quite the stink eye!! {in her defense, I had just woken her up from nap}
  19. Another rock concert with more free tickets from the radio station!
  20. Messy hands for a special project!!
  21. Girls night out gone bad. Car broke down. A bazillion degrees outside. Walked to Panera. Pushed car. Not a relaxing moment. :(
  22. We’ve enjoyed the 50¢ cones at BK too much!!
  23. Jackson performed in his first program at VBS…  and by performed, I mean he sat down and didn’t participate one bit.
  24. Walking through the grocery store with Optimus Prime!
Never a dull moment with us!! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fall Wardrobe

This upcoming fall is the fist season in which we would be filling Jackson's closet all by ourselves. We are beyond blessed to get hand-me-downs from several friends and up until now, we've just been supplementing an article of clothing here and there. As I pulled out Jackson's spring and summer clothes a few months ago, I realized that the hand-me-down drawers were empty and I even panicked a little at the thought of spending buckoos of money on clothing.

I began shopping for this fall back when garage sales started back in March and April. I purchased items one or two at a time and stashed it away in my closet. I dug it all out today to take an inventory and I've figured we are just about set for fall and winter.

We've got five pairs of pants. Clockwise, upper left: blue pants- $1; jogging pants- $.25, Wrangler Jeans- $1, Cherokee khakis- $1, Gap Jeans- $1. 
TOTAL $4.25

Jackson already wears ths Spiderman shirt, but I'm holding onto the others for now. I will probably pull them out when he starts wearing jeans. Iron man- $.25; Superman- $.50; Spiderman- $.50.  
TOTAL $1.25

Dress shirts for church. Blue and white striped- $.25; blue and brown- $2
TOTAL $2.25

I was beyond thrilled when I found these Mizzou shirts at the thrift store. Jackson loves him some tiger clothes, but buying them new is way expensive. These shirts are marked at $3.99 each, but I made sure to buy these on the day when blue tags are 50% off, so I only ended up paying $1.98 each! 

 These long-sleeve shirts are practically new. The big brother shirt might have been worn a time or two, but I'm thinkin the other two haven't even been washed yet. I paid $1 for each of these.
 TOTAL: $3

These shirts are still is good condition {no holes or stains} but they have definitely been worn. Jackson goes through really picky phases of what kind of shirt he wants to wear, so I tried to pick up a variety to match his interest! There's guitars, dinosaurs, motorcycles and basketball. These were all a quarter each.

TOTAL: $1.25

And lastly, these pajamas. Now these were by far the most expensive things I've purchased! It darn near KILLED me to pay $4 EACH! But... I've searched high and low for 4T footie pajamas. The very few I've even seen at garage sales have had the feet cut out. These are brand new {with tags} and along with the 4Ts we used last year, we should be good to go.

My grand total is $24.
Wow!! That's practically the price of one pair of GAP jeans brand new!

I'm still looking for a winter coat and maybe one more pair of jeans and/or dress shirt. It's weird to be looking for these items in the midst of these horrid temps and scorching drought, but if I just need to be thinking ahead.

I'm pretty picky about what I purchase. Even if it's only a quarter, I don't want to bring home items that have holes or look dingy. And I frequently see items at garage sales that I think are way overpriced. But if you just keep looking, you'll come across some good finds.

Browsing through the racks at the thrift store and going to garage sales does take time. But it's so worth it. And, I think it's pretty fun. It's important for me for my kids to have nice clothing and it's a nice treat to find clothes with their favorite characters and hobbies! It is totally doable on a one income budget with just a little effort.
Do you enjoy garage sale and thrift store shopping? What have been your favorite buys?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lots and Lots of Birthdays!

We’ve been celebrating lots and lots of birthdays lately! There was a period of time in June when we had three birthday parties in two weeks! {Yes, I am just now getting around to posting these}. We’ve had a few more celebrations since then and have thus enjoyed lots of cake. It’s been good. :)

Belle was invited to her first birthday party. It was a spa party and she got her toe nails painted!414094_4087492950883_594835783_o

She was mainly entertained by giving kisses to the cute girl in the mirror.SAM_8958

When our cousin Gabe was in town, we celebrated his 3rd birthday.IMG_20120609_153224


And the next day, Jackson had fun at a birthday party for his buddy, James.IMG_20120715_220458

I love this picture!

Later that week, we all went out to Ryan’s to celebrate Grandma Linda’s birthday.

And just yesterday, we had a big family celebration for my Grandma in honor of her 80th birthday!!! There were around sixty people over at my parents house to celebrate with us!20120714_120631

And here’s a sweet picture of Belle and Gram Gram.IMG_20120715_214918

… and here’s a not-so-sweet picture of me and my grandma thanks to my RIDICULOUS mother!

{her response to this post will be, “Why did you do that!?” and my response will of course be, “Well, why did you do THAT in the first place!” Love you, Mom!} :)

Birthdays are so much fun! And I’m already starting to plan a party for Jackson’s birthday in October! It’s just too much fun!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

It’s the small things

Tonight wasn’t a super special night and it barely even seems “blog-worthy.” But tonight was one of those nights that I just want to remember. Nothing super cool was on the agenda, but just an enjoyable evening with several “small things” to make it great.

We started out taking Jackson to Wal-mart to pick out some Super Hero Squad action figures for no other reason than because we knew he’d love them. We were right. We bought them around 6 tonight and they haven’t left his side yet {and they are currently in bed with him and I even had to tuck them in and kiss each good night, as well}.

Waiting while Daddy gets a hair cut, “Time to hero up, Squaddies!” {Jackson got a much needed hair cut too. You can see it in the pictures below.}


This girl entertained herself by crawling {!?!} around the hair place. As long as she was happy—I wasn’t about to stop her.


Then we went out for ice cream {50¢ cones at BK for the summer… yes please!!}. It was Belle’s first ice cream cone—all to herself. This girl loves ice cream, is it obvious?!

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She wasn’t a fan when Daddy had to take it away to help “reshape” the cone… She had a mini fit, like, every time. 20120713_195353 

Jackson enjoyed his cone… and he shared with Captain America and Wolverine, too.

 20120713_195534 20120713_195149

He shared with Belle, just out of the blue… I’m so glad I was able to snap a picture. He said, “I shared with Belle because I love her. I’ll always love her like I’ll always love you guys, Mommy and Daddy!” Seriously, I was speechless… I just couldn’t stop smiling. What a precious moment!


By the time we got home, it was already past bedtime. And while it’s normally a countdown until cranky kids go to bed, tonight I just wasn’t ready to be done hanging out with them! What a wonderful night!

…especially because I got to eat the very last bite on all four cones tonight! Derek shared just because he’s an awesome hubby. I, of course, had dibs on mine, and then both kids were done with their cones before completion. No wonder tonight was such a good night!!!! :)


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