Monday, January 31, 2011

I Dream of the Beach.



As much as I love the 25 degrees here in the good 'ole state of Ohio, the beach calls for me. Sand through my toes, my sweet boys frolicking in the waves, a cocktail {or Diet Coke} at sunset, relaxing and just soaking in the sun.
Yes, it’s true. I heard we are getting another snow/ice storm {sigh}. So, I will continue to dream. Go ahead dream with me. Where would you go if you could go anywhere on vacation?
 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Welcome to the 'Land of Fun' 

Who doesn't want a place they can escape to and feel like they can do whatever they want and will not get in trouble? As a kid, I would have loved that. Th one thing I have learned with having all boys is they NEED to play. They NEED to run and jump and do whatever crazy things they do. 


Thankfully when we bought our house the basement was unfinished. At the time, that was one of the million reasons I didn't want the house. With the help of Coach W this castle slowly started to grow on me. The one thing I began to realize is that in finishing a basement we could kinda do what we wanted {as long as it was cheap enough}. It was a piece of art work; a clean canvas so to speak. I knew I wanted a playroom and I knew I wanted it to become 'The Land of Fun' and so here you go, take a look....



We have gotten years of play out of this room. The one thing I will say is that Coach W thought of the half wall which has been simply glorious. Because this little man LOVES the door closed, which in turn means I don't have to worry about him because he is playing in the 'Land of Fun'!


So, tell me do have a 'Land of Fun' at your house? You know just a spot {doesn't matter the size} that lets your kids just be kids. Tell me about it, would ya?


Well, I am off to think of something for dinner and iron Coach W clothes for his basketball game tonight. This life sometimes is just too glamorous for one girl to handle! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toddlers Know A Thing Or Two About Strategery

So, here's the deal, I have been a mom for over 6 years. Which automatically means I can certify myself as an expert {or something like that}. On a side note I will be 21 {plus 10} next Friday which means I am even more of an expert at, well, pretty much everything. The one thing I am beginning to realize is someone forgot to tell this almost 14 month old that his momma knows everything and he should REALLY listen.


This kid has totally ROCKED my little world. Granted, my other two boys were somewhat easy. This oh so special little man has not only began to test his boundaries with me lately but he likes for me to get mad. I am convinced he thinks I am HILARIOUS when I am fuming mad at him. Generally he’s really sweet, so happy, wonderfully well-behaved , but I am seeing lots of conscious defiance.


This part of parenting for me is always hard. I have always been so stern with my older two boys. Although the discipline was different for each one. Brady would have to get the occasional good ole butt spankin. Mason, I could just look at the kid and tell him I was upset and it would bring him to tears. So, in our castle we really try to discipline in a way that fits each individual kid. Then you have my sweet and spicy little Cole. He sees his brothers craziness and wants to join in. Can you blame the kid? Here's the thing, 9 out of 10 times he is just trying to be like his brothers but the discipline part for me comes into play when he doesn't realize that he could get hurt. Did I mention I sweep A LOT. Well, Cole will literally pull the plug out of the wall EVERY TIME I flippin start to sweep. He will start laughing so hard I'm pretty sure he pees in his diaper strictly due to how hilarious he thinks he is. 


Yep, six years of being a expert. Hmm.. Maybe I should rethink the whole "expert" thing. I am learning parenting is STILL such an adventure to adjust and adapt to all of the changes it brings and will continue to bring. It’s going to be really interesting to see how his personality continues to blossom in the coming months. I adore this kid. He is walking/running, and communicating with us in surprisingly eloquent ways. He loves to be LOUD, and has an obsession with pushing things across the floor, and will open mouth kiss on command {still working on the pucker situation}, plus he goes to where my i-pod is and starts to dance just so I will turn on the music. So, really he is pretty much the coolest kid EVER.


I know so many of you are moms who read this fabulous blog and some of you don't have kids but are around sweet little loves all the time... So... I would love to hear more about your experience, and how you navigated this phase of your kiddo’s life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you ever get the urge to do this.....

So much to do, so little time
 and I wish for just one second I could stop to do this!


or this...



If you haven't tried this you totally should. Go ahead... try it! A good scream/cry always helps me... What about you?

For more Fabulous Wordless Wednesday photos, visit 5MinutesforMom.com and Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Famous Interview: With One Uber Cool Rock Star.

I am the "Reporter" for goodness sake so I thought I should do what is expected of me and score an interview with one of the most uber cool little men I have ever met. As I pull up two chairs, one blue and one white, I look at my interviewee and he can't stop smiling. I wonder if this is his first interview? He has curly blonde hair and these eyes that just melt your heart. He knows I am up to something.


I stick out my hand to shake his. He shakes my hand. Did I mention this little man is just adorable? He giggles and then says, "Mom, who are you?" I proceed in my best {interviewer voice} and tell him that I am a mommy reporter and so many people want to know what makes Mason... well... Mason. So, I proceed with my first question.


Question 1: Are you a rock star? "Yes." When did you become a rock star? "I don't know. Did God make me one?"

Question 2: If you could eat any food what would it be? "Um. Pizza and pickles but I don't want pickles on my pizza."

Question 3: What is one thing your mom always says to you? "That you love me. Are you my mom?"

Question 4: What songs do you like to hear playing in your house? "B*I*B*L*E and you know, those one songs you play and dance to on our i pod."

Question 5: What is your favorite animal? "Monkey" Why? "That's easy, it's starts with M and Mason starts with an M." "Am I done yet?" No.  "Are you still a reporter lady." Yes. "You sound silly."

Questions 6: If you could play with any toy what would it be? "I-pod" Why do you like it? "Because it has a basketball game on it and I try to beat Daddy."

Question 7: Who is the one friend you love to play with? "You know, Alec. I play with him at school and at Brady's basketball games. Oh, and Cami and Isabel but my teacher wont let me talk during school to them so..."

Question 8: What your favorite movie to watch? "UP... and every other movie. I love movies"

Question 9: Who is better Boys or Girls? "That's easy, boys." Why? "Because boys are WAY better"

Question 10: What is your favorite sport? "All of them" Okay, well lets choose one. "Ok, soccer, baseball and basketball."

Question 11: Sir, Do you like being interviewed? "Yes" Why? "Because I like when you shake my hand and act like a mommy report." "Oh and I like that you call me sir. Who is Sir?"

Disclaimer: This interview was not free it did cost me one fruit snack.

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have You Ever Asked Yourself This?


Ah, life choices. Take one path, and you're working as a professional dancer or a well known interior designer. Take another, and you're cleaning up crunched up goldfish off the floor, wiping butts and are covered in baby throw up. And while you enjoy mommyhood,  if you are like me you often daydream about what life might be if you hadn't taken that path. 

What would you be doing right now if you weren't a mom? Kinda crazy to even think about isn't it? Maybe thats a good thing. I don't know. What I do know is that in the midst of the tantrums, the tears, the discipline, the crunched up goldfish on the floor, the giggles and the hugs I soon realize there is no alternative

There is no "what if"... this is my path. This is the journey for my life mapped out by a God who knows me and loves me far more than I could ever imagine. So, yes, I daydream on occasion of what my fabulous life would have looked like had this not have been my "path" and then I catch a glimpse of a smile from my three little men with killer dimples and realize there is no other place on earth I would rather be.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A bit of ...

erspective....

I tend to flip out about the littlest things.... your shocked, right? Yeah, not so much. Last week our plasma completely stopped working. Working one minute, dead the next. And although I am thankful we have two other t.v's in the house I was so bummed. We are going on two long weeks without a t.v. in our family room. Kinda pathetic that I miss it so much but I do. We decided to order a new one off of Amazon. The only thing I was worried about was that it would be here by today.

In case I forgot to tell you this, we are having Team Dinner at our house tonight. For many this isn't a big deal but for me I have to have the house perfect {why, they are teenage boys} and I tend to freak out that we wont have enough food. Thankfully, I have built an awesome relationship with our local Olive Garden and they provide all of the food for FREE. My boys have literally had a countdown going on our fridge. This is quite possibly their favorite day of the year {even more than Christmas} and if I am being honest I love having all of the kids over for a meal and to hang out. The conversations, the laughter, the craziness, the games, all of it... I LOVE!

Back to the T.V. situation. We get a brand spankin new t.v. last night and open it up only to find that the screen is completely busted. So, we now have an awesomely BROKEN television. Then I get a call from my mom to say that we are getting a snow storm. Hello, don't you people realize I have cleaned my house, made cookies and have TONS of FREE food coming. It can't snow...

Coach W looks at me and says, "Is it really that big of a deal?" I didn't answer because I knew that it wasn't a big deal at all. In fact, the night before I found out that a dear girlfriend of mine was called into her Dr. office because a recent scan she had was not good. She is having an immediate hysterectomy on Friday. She will also be finding out then if it is cancer. Did I mention she has three little kids? Did I mention I don't think it's fair that she has to be going through this? Did I mention this makes my STUPID television situation embarrassing? Here, my dear friend is worried she is going to be in for the fight of her life and I am worried about a flippin television.

It's funny how the Lord can quickly bring you to himself. Here's is what I do know.  Elizabeth loves Jesus more than anything else. She has so many people praying for her and loving on her and her family. So, I am asking all of you to please pray with me that her surgery goes well tomorrow and that there is NO cancer. I serve a mighty God who is able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine. So, for today I am resting in that.

As for the stupid television... We went to the store and bought another one last night. I am thankful that in the midst of my irrational freak outs and moments of stupidity, He still loves me and continues to extend His grace to me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Are you making time for family dinners?

Ok, close your eyes and picture family dinner. June Cleaver is in an apron and pearls, Ward in a sweater and tie. The napkins are made of linen, the kids are clean, the steam rises from the freshly baked casserole... {sounds like a great idea for my upcoming photo shoot... thanks Meghan and Courtney for the fabulous idea}  


This however isn't how it looks in our castle. It is more like a whirl wind of craziness. Boys are not so clean, I burnt the dinner and my sweatpants apron has kid germs all over it. Now am I speaking your language? Ok, good. With Coach W in full basketball mode, the boys playing basketball, zumba and the list goes on and on, I am beginning to see how difficult it can be to just sit down and eat together as a family. 


This has always been one thing I said I would make my family do whether they liked it or not. For me this is something I feel will help strengthen our family and helps me to connect with my boys on a deeper level. Sounds weird, well hear me out. 


Studies show that eating together as a family has huge benefits for not only kids but also us as parents. Here are  10 Reasons to make this a priority in your castle.
1. Family dinner is good for the kids. Study have study shows that children who eat dinner with their families, on a regular basis, are less likely to get bad grades and are less likely to have substance abuse problems. {According to a Columbia University study}
2. Family dinner is good for you.  Even though rushing around the kitchen can be somewhat stressful at times it gives you a chance to sit down and just enjoy your family. 
3. Frugal. I will be the first to admit we aren't big on going out to eat. With three little men six and under it just isn't fun for us at this point. However, we LOVE to go pick things up {not good for the budget or waist line} Eating together as a family at home is less expensive than eating out.
4. Helps to develop good eating habits. You have some control in what the kids are eating. You can make it healthy for them. Plus, kids are more likely to try something new sitting at the dinner table versus out in a restaurant {at least mine are}.     
5. Family dinner is a great time to connect. Your kids will begin to realize that this time is special. A time during the day where everyone can talk about their day, listen to each other and connect as a family. If you’re sharing a meal, you are most likely talking while you eat. Kids will often share things and talk while relaxing to dinner. It’s a time to unwind and discuss the day’s events. It is such a great time to check up on what’s going on in their little lives {and by the way, my four year old can tell you all about his day at school, who was bad , who was good... young or old they have a lot going on we just need to talk to them more}  
6. Family dinner can become a great memory for your kids. I am sure you can tell I am big on creating memories for my kids. For me, it just seems like a great way to create a fun memory my boys can have of us a family. Will there be times it's not enjoyable? Yes. Will there be times I make something that is nasty? Yes. Yes. But you know what they will remember it!
7. Family dinner time helps provide discipline. I will be the first to admit this is a daunting task in the upcoming years. It is already crazy now but if you are disciplined to know that this is what you we as a family are committed to doing it becomes a daily discipline like many others areas of our lives. 
8. Family dinner time provides stability. Kids need schedules and routine {at least mine do}. They need thing to be in order and to know ahead of time what is going to happen.   Having a regular mealtime, same time each evening, can be very important. Even if your main course is pizza, try and eat at the same time as often as possible. 
9.
10.
 Don't worry I didn't forget the last two. I wanted you to fill them out for me. Why do you think it's important to eat together as a family? For families whose schedules make evenings together a challenge, try breakfast or lunch. So pull up some chairs. Lose the TV. Let the phone go unanswered and break bread together as a family.

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't be alarmed.... Noone was hurt in the shooting of these pictures.

Cole and I were doing a photo shoot for Nikki James Photography a few months back I got this brilliant idea to have the photographer take a picture of me with duct tape on my mouth. I know, a little strange but I liked the idea and thought it would be a fun and different New Years Resolution blog post. The best part about the photo shoot was we just kept trying different shots until we found one we really liked. It was a blast! Over the weekend I met up with two old friends who I adore and they asked about the pictures and because I adore you {and told them I would post them} I thought I would show you the ones we didn't choose..... Please be warned Coach W said it looks like I am being held hostage. I am not. If you have done a photo shoot before you can sometimes get carried away... Hence these fabulous but oh so scary pictures....

Not gonna lie I scare myself in this one.






This is the one that I used for the blog post

Yes, I know, only I would do something like this but if I am being honest I kinda liked it! Which is why me and my boys will be doing a photo shoot on the 30th. I wanted to get you involved so.... First, go click the follow button and follow me. Second, leave me a comment with an idea of a fun picture for myself or my boys and if I choose your photo {which will have it's own blog post, lucky you} you will win a Gift Certificate to Outback Steakhouse {perfect for a Valentines Day dinner date}! So, get those creative minds a thinking and leave me a comment. I know you all have some fabulous ideas and I can't wait to read them. Get excited people I know I am! 


Friday, January 14, 2011

Sometimes we all just need a reminder...

One of my favorite songs by Mercy Me....

Days will come when you don't have the strength
And all you hear is you're not worth anything 
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart 
They'd see too much

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight 
Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
But they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
In His eyes

You're beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful!
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful!
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His

Thought you should know.... You're Beautiful! Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Conversation Between Two Brothers...



Mason: Did you get a stamp at school today?

Brady: Yeah but your breath is so stinky.

Mason: I'm tellin Mom.

Brady: Okay.

Mason: Well, your not going to be on my buddy team or my schedule.

Brady: Your breath still stinks.

Mason: Then we aren't twins.

Brady: Twins? Really Mason.

Mason: Yeah Brady were bruders, best friends...twins.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Packing up to take a trip...


Not sure when or where but one day ....


it will be just US and a suitcase off to see the world....

For more Fabulous Wordless Wednesday photos, visit 5MinutesforMom.com and Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What makes your house a home?

I’ve always believed that you can make a home anywhere. Because it truly is about the people who are inside the walls that make your house a home. With that being said, I have long been attracted to the whole concept of home. I love having a cozy place to call my own, to nest in at night, to nurture my family, to create memories, and to find peace and comfort. But for some reason I get very caught up in other people’s beautiful homes. Don't get me wrong I am blessed with a beautiful home but I always find myself wanting more. {sounds like a contentment issue to me} Then, I realized if I just changed a few things up every now and then it made me enjoy this wonderful place where I get to raise my family even more. 

So, if you don’t have the time/money/inclination for an expensive remodel {we don’t}... If you are not the type to do extensive DIY home projects every weekend {we’re not}, and if you are not especially artistic or lucky in finding beautiful armoires or vintage furniture by the side of the road {one day I will be}!  Still, your home can be adorable, modern, comfortable, personal, welcoming and nurturing. Here are some things I do and thought I would share them with you!

1 Clear the Clutter
Throw your stuff away or donate it to Goodwill. A lot of us {me included} have SO much junk. It is amazing what a really good Spring cleaning {even in a winter storm} can do for the soul!
2. Use What You Have
Along the same lines, I have found tremendous fun in challenging myself to home decorate using whatever I find around the house. Most of us already have so many things. I found that once I stopped longing for new things, I was able to use and enjoy my own and have fun putting together things I hadn’t used in a long time.   
3.  Clear the Dining Room or Kitchen Table
 The table is to be used to eat, to create memories with your family, to do art projects, to read ... It's isn't your closet or a storage area... it isn't where you just throw all of your junk. It is amazing what a CLEAN table can do for the "look and feel" of your home.
 4. 
 Rearrange
 This is my favorite thing to do. Rearranging the furniture can be very fun and give you a much needed change. Even if you don't have a lot of space try rearranging smaller elements in the room. It will keeps things fresh as new.  
5. Pictures
As you know by now, I LOVE pictures. I love the way they capture memories or just a moment that you will have forever. So, print out your favorite pictures and get them on the walls. Create a photo wall in your house. It adds SO much to your home! 
6. Paint
I am a sucker for color. My first house {that I adored} was plum, mustard yellow and green. You are thinking... what? Oh. it was so yummy . With our house now we did a lot of tan but accented a bunch of the walls with fun colors. Try painted just ONE wall. Or even better yet, go get spray paint and your nasty gold mirror that you have had for 10 years. Spray paint it black. You will LOVE it and it will give your room a whole new feel!
7. Candles 
Add some smell goods to the house. I firmly believe just like first impressions you get a feel for a house within minutes. So, have a candles going. Super easy, Super cheap, Super practical!
8. Laughter
My mom always says, "I just want you to laugh a lot." Why does she always want me to laugh because then she knows I am happy. Create an atmosphere in your home that makes people smile. A place where your kids can, where YOU can laugh and simply enjoy what you have blessed with. 
9. Encouragement
Sounds weird but hear me out. Your house should be a place where you can serve others. Where they can feel like they can be themselves/open up/ laugh/cry/be encouraged  and just chat it up in your home. If you come into my home my desire is for you to leave feeling better then when you stepped foot in our doorway. I want you to feel encouraged and loved whether you are one of Mason's friends or a 90 years old women.
10. Love
Twenty years from now when my boys have families of their own are they going to remember what color mom had on the walls? No. Will they remember that we had a fancy rug in each room? No. What they will remember {i pray} is the love that we all shared as a family. The times we sat at the dinner table and talked about our days. The times we played video games together and had team dinners. The times we sat in bed and read the Bible. The times we prayed together as a family. The times we sat snuggled on the couch and watched our favorite movies. The times we played in a serious game of basketball. The times we cried together and the times we laughed until our bellies hurt. That's is what they will remember about our home. 

I can remember one of the greatest compliments I ever received was from a man who had been finishing our basement. When the job was complete {which took about a month} he told me that he looked forward to coming into our home because he just felt a sense of peace and warmth. Seriously, it brought me tears. He didn't have to say it but I am so thankful he did. I don't tell you that to say I am great but to let you know that your home creates some type of atmosphere. Is it chaos/peace/laughter/Jesus/joy/anger/bitterness? 

My question for you is two fold... 1.)What atmosphere does your home create? 2.)What makes your house a home? Is it your kids drawing or a favorite bookcase? I would LOVE to know!  
This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda  
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