web analytics

Life Lately {April 2016}


April was so busy. It was so busy that I didn’t take as many pictures as I normally do. It was just one of those months that alternately seemed to fly past at warp speed but we were so busy that it seemed like the month lasted forever. I know, a total contradiction. Such is my life.

This girl has a real love of puzzles. She adores them. She’ll happily spend a whole afternoon putting together puzzles. I bought her a bunch of new ones at the Dollar Store and she’s a happy camper. I have to admit- I’d much rather help her put together a 100 piece puzzle than play with dolls. Shhhh…

My little man got to go on a little adventure with a friend during Spring Break and he had so much fun. He’s finally at the age where he wants to go out with his friends. For so long he was a mama’s boy who didn’t want to be away from me at all. It’s nice to see him starting to branch out of his comfort zone and experience some new things without me. 

Take a good long look at that beautiful clean kitchen. I took a picture because I knew it wouldn’t last long. And I was right. This clean kitchen lasted approximately 45 minutes until the kids got home from school and dumped their lunch boxes and book bags out on the counters. One day I’ll have a clean kitchen all the time. One day.

Matt has been cutting his hair and the boys hair for years. Ty finally asked for a hair cut when he could no longer see through his thick hair in his eyes. Matt cut so much hair off his head that it looked like a small furry animal had moved in our house. 

We’re trying very hard to teach our kids how to manage their money so Zoey saved up her allowance, and her tooth fairy money, and the money she got from her grandparents for a whole month to have enough to buy this Rainbow Dash play-doh set. And the pride on her face when she paid for it herself was amazing and worth every single second of whining I endured while she saved. Mostly.

We made the hard decision to start preparing to sell our house and move within the next couple of years. We found several neighborhoods that we’re focusing on and we’re making plans to get our house ready to sell. It’s hard thinking about leaving the house that we’ve lived in for 11 years, the house where we brought 2 babies home to, and where a whole lot of memories have been made. But we’ve outgrown this house. 

Maia has really come out of her shell this year in 5th grade. She is on the student council, the safety patrol, the bully prevention team, joined the chorus, and volunteered to be a buddy to a Kindergarten student. This girl…she’s going places. I just love her.

We spent a good part of the month trying to recover from a horrible respiratory virus that swept through our house so getting out and spending time at the cool park was great. Zoey had a lot of fun running around with her cousin, Jax, and getting out some of her energy.

We spent way too much time at the Target minute clinic this last month. We suffered through Strep Throat, Sinus Infections, Walking Pneumonia, Ear Infections, Pink Eye, and Bronchitis. I’ve had enough. Hoping May gets better!

Anytime I can get the kids out of the house and into the sunshine I immediately see their moods improve. These 2 have been at each other’s throats recently so seeing them play nicely at the park together was refreshing. 

Zoey is officially registered for Kindergarten next year. We attended our elementary school’s beginners night last week and she had a blast. I’m still on the fence about the charter school. Zoey has a spot and this morning Maia got offered a spot but Mason is still on the wait list. And it’s not our top choice charter school so it would only be temporary until they get in at the charter school where Ty will be next year. Is it worth it to move them for only a year or so? Parenting is so hard, y’all. 

We took the 3 little kids to the zoo last weekend and they had so much fun. Ty had football camp so he couldn’t come but we have a year pass so he’ll be coming next time. It was the perfect weather- cloudy, in the low 70’s, with a light misting rain every couple of hours. It was so much fun. 

May is shaping up to be another really busy month for us. Decisions have to be made regarding the charter school, Maia graduates from 5th grade, all the kids have field trips…plus EOG’s, and EOC’s. I’m ready for summer!



Life Lately {March 2016}


March was even busier than February but it was a good kind of a busy! It was a productive busy that makes you feel accomplished and on top of life. I’m so ready for the warm weather and outdoor sports and cookouts on the deck. 

I finally chose a color and we painted the master bathroom. See that really high part up above the shower area? I had to climb up and sit on top of the shower in order to paint that top part. Have I mentioned my intense fear of heights? It was awful. Matt had to lure me down with a margarita. This room is never getting painted again.

Mase was awarded the citizenship award for fairness and justice in his class for the second quarter. His teacher always has such nice things to say about it, which makes it all the more bewildering that he turns into a demon when he gets home from school. At least he knows how to behave in public.

The vanities were finally delivered for our master bathroom. They were 2 weeks late. And we paid extra for them to be unpackaged and set up in the bathroom. Instead the company just dropped them in my bedroom and left. So I had to unpack them myself. My rage got me through that experience. Never underestimate the strength of an angry mom.

My poor daughter had to learn a harsh life lesson. The lesson that mom is not going to bail her out when she forgets something at home. Poor neglected child. But guess what? She set her alarm for 15 minutes earlier every day to make sure she’s not rushed. Natural consequences work.

This boy has had a huge month. He got his drivers permit and is now bugging us to let him drive everywhere. And he got into a top rated amazing charter school for next year. This was my first choice school that I’ve been trying to get my kids into for the last 4 years. And I finally got one in! So the other 3 will have top priority in the sibling lottery the following year. I can’t tell you how excited we are!

Spring arrived with a big flourish. One day the temps were in the 40’s and the next day we hit 80. Talk about an abrupt change but in the very best way. It was so nice to pull out the shorts and tees and send the kids outside to play. 

And yet another IKEA trip. Poor Matt. His eye starts to twitch whenever I mention IKEA. But I’m putting the finishing touches on a lot of different rooms which means lots of trips back and forth to the store. There is light at the end of the tunnel though!

Matt spent a Saturday getting the hot tub ready for Spring! We’ve been in the hot tub almost every evening when the weather is nice. It’s amazing how much stress melts away when you are soaking in a hot tub with a margarita. 

Mase had a weather project due for school recently and he planned out the whole thing himself. He used cotton balls to make his tornado and did the research himself. It’s so nice watching him grow up and be able to do his school projects with less help from mom and dad. 

Check out that master bathroom! It’s pretty much done. All the big stuff is done- paint, vanities, mirrors, etc. I’m still working on decor and accessories but for the most part, it’s done!

I bought the puppies a new bed and they love it. It’s an orthopedic bed. I’m pretty sure it’s more comfortable than my own bed. 

I love having a back yard full of giggling kids and puppies. It’s the best. We’re the hangout house and that means our yard is always full of kids. Teens playing basketball in the front yard, little kids on the swings in the back yard, and tween girls giggling on the porch watching the teens playing basketball. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Matt surprised me with some beautiful sunflowers one afternoon. He knows me well. I’m not a roses kind of girl. I love sunflowers, they make me smile and feel happy every time I walk past the vase. 

I spent hours cleaning out Zoey’s bedroom. Hours, y’all. The child is a mini-hoarder. I pulled out toys that she hadn’t played with for over a year. I pulled out stuff I didn’t even know we owned. We rearranged her room and organized and now all her stuff is easy for her to put away. 

We celebrated Matt’s birthday at our favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse. Seriously, if you have lots of kids then this is the place to eat. First, the music is so loud that nobody will hear the noise your kids make. Second, kids eat free on Tuesdays! And third, they make a delicious Jamaican Cowboy margarita. Yum. 

Spring Break started on Good Friday and the first day was amazing. The kids slept in until 10am, then they played in the hot tub and in the backyard for hours. It was like a little mini preview of summer vacation. Only 45 school days left until summer break starts.

We celebrated the last Friday before Easter with a feast at Red Lobster. It’s a sad day, y’all, when you realize your almost 12 year old eats enough to order from the adult menu instead of the kids menu. A sad day indeed.

We celebrated Easter up at my parents’ house with extended family and friends. It was a lot of fun and they all enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt. It was so good to spend time with our family. 

This little lady got her first visit from the tooth fairy! She had a lot of help from some chewy Easter basket candy and it yanked that wiggly little tooth right on out. Thank goodness because yanking out wiggly little teeth is a gross job that I despise. 


Life Lately {February 2016}


February was so busy. I feel like I didn’t have a moment to breathe. Hopefully March will calm down. Maybe? At this point it’s not looking that hopeful. We do have Spring Break coming up at the end of the month so that’s something to look forward to, right?! The kids are counting down the days already. 22 days and counting…

The never-ending master bathroom remodel…never-ending. Seriously. Between picking out paint colors and vanity cabinets and sink tops and new towels….it’s never going to end. 

The master closet clean out. Oh my gosh, where did all that stuff come from? Seriously. It took days, y’all. I tried on every single thing and got rid of 6 bags and 3 boxes worth of stuff. I can finally find stuff I want to wear in my closet now.

And while I was cleaning out the closet I decided to reconfigure the whole thing. It’s much more functional now and I was able to get the chest of drawers into the closet instead of it sitting in the bathroom. It was so much work but totally worth the effort!

February was full of a lot of basketball. Mase really enjoyed his team this year. The coach was great- more concerned with the kids having fun and learning the basics than about the score and winning. Exactly how a coach should be for the 6-7 year age range. The other coach in the picture above? Not so much. I’m so grateful that Mase had a coach who didn’t yell, belittle, or shame the kids. It was a really positive experience and Mase can’t wait to play again next season.

My littlest football fan! We had a great time cheering on the Panthers in the Super Bowl. We might not have won the game but we celebrated the amazing season anyway. We had friends and family over for the big game and some of Matt’s work friends thought it was hilarious that this adorable little 5 year old was yelling at the TV and knew exactly what was happening in the game. We raise them up right in this house.

Ty had a big group of friends over to watch the Super Bowl and clearly it was a hair raising experience for him. I know it’s not the popular opinion these days but I really enjoy having teens. Ty’s a great kid with great friends and I enjoy them. I always thought I was the mom who loved having little kids but I’m finding the teens to be just as awesome. 

Check out all that yummy. It’s my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Oreo Brownie Bar. Basically- diabetes in a pan. And so good. A layer of chocolate chip cookie followed by a layer of double stuff Oreo cookies topped with a layer of brownie and finished off with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Like I said….Diabetes in a Pan.

The recorder. Oh the recorder. It makes my ears bleed and my head hurt. But Maia is having fun with it. The dogs love to howl along with whatever song she’s trying to play. That’s fun. And loud. I think it might mysteriously disappear after school is out. 

I got tired of all the mess in Ty’s room. All of his clothes were folded because he doesn’t have a closet. Well getting a 15 year old boy to fold his clothes on a regular basis is pretty much a nightmare. So instead of continuing to fight the mess I decided to just buy the kid a wardrobe from IKEA. It took Matt 2 days to put it together. The above picture was taken when Matt realized that step 4 was done wrong. And he was already on step 37. Naughty words were said.

The stomach flu made the rounds in our house. I was hoping to avoid it but no such luck. First Maia then Zoey then Mase. Zoey got it the worst and we actually ended up in the ER with her so she could get IV Zofran and fluids after she couldn’t keep anything at all down for over 24 hours and her fever wouldn’t break. It was not fun and I want to curl in the fetal position just thinking about it.

Ty’s basketball team won their first playoff game but lost the second one due to horrible refs. I mean, really really bad refs. Our team was down by 1 point with a minute left. We scored a 3 pointer and a free throw. Someone those 4 points managed to be given to the other team. So we lost by 5 when we should have won by 3. Not happy. I was THAT mom yelling at the refs. 

Ty has completed 2 out of his 6 required driving classes to get his permit. His next class is at night so I took him out in his dads car the other night so he could practice. It was not nearly as terrifying as I anticipated it being. He’s a very good driver. I’m still scared to turn him loose but I still have some time before that happens. I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a kid driving. 

Maia made the A-B Honor Roll again for 2nd quarter. She was 1 point away from straight A’s so she was bummed about that. She also won the Citizenship award for Justice and Fairness in her class. She’s so awesome. 


Life Lately {January 2016}


Just a little bit late on my January Life Lately post. It was a busy month! Life just doesn’t seem to slow down at all around here these days.

Maia finally saved up enough money to buy her camera. She’s been saving for about 6 months and the money she got for her birthday in November and then Christmas finally put her over the top. She’s been taking tons of pictures and she’s really very good.

Wood flooring was delivered to install in the living room, Ty’s bedroom and the upstairs hallway. The leak in the window in our living room was the catalyst for this particular home improvement project. 

The leak in the master bathroom led to the ceiling falling through in the garage so the water remediation company had to come in and cut out all the wet drywall. It took over a week for the big fans to fully dry out this area. I’m starting to think our house hates us. 

Our washer finally died so I went ahead and replaced the dryer too so I could have a matching set. The plus side is that now that I don’t have front loaders I could finally put up the bifold doors again. I love my new washer- I got the biggest size I could fit in the laundry closet and what used to take 3 loads can now be done in 1!

And of course, nothing can be easy in our house. Turns out the floor in the living room and Tyler’s room is uneven. Very very uneven. It cost a whole lot of money to fix the issue before they could even start laying the wood flooring. Can you hear my checking account crying?

Mase had basketball pictures done. Ty declined to participate in such lunacy. Teenagers. Of course, they scheduled picture day at 9am on Saturday at a school across town from the school where they had a game to play at 9:30. Why do they do this to us? That’s way too much stress on a Saturday morning.

Biggest and littlest. Almost 10 years apart in age and he’s still her favorite. She’d follow him everywhere if she could. He’s amazingly tolerant for a 15 year old. 

Mase has become quite the free throw shooter this year. He’s 16 for 17 this season and doesn’t even get nervous anymore. He’s really enjoying basketball and I’m hoping he wants to play again next year.

This boy started the driving portion of Drivers Ed. I’m terrified. But his instructor said he’s great. He said Ty was in the top 3 out of 2800 students this year. That’s good to hear. But I still don’t want to ride with him. Ha!

We had our first snowfall of 2016. We got about 5 inches of snow and quite a bit of ice. The kids missed 3 days of school and ended up with a 5 day weekend. It was fun. It was more fun to watch them play outside from in front of the fire. I’m a girl like that.

All 3 pups had a great time in the snow. They ran, pounced, rolled, tackled each other, and ate a whole lot of snow. We had a great time watching them. Poor Bailey was so demoralized because I tried to make him wear a sweater. I think the puppies were laughing at him.

Then they came inside and all collapsed on one doggie bed and slept for hours all snuggled up together. 

Mase turned 8 during the snow storm. He had a great birthday celebration full of cupcakes, snowball fights, hot cocoa with marshmallows, pizza, Hotel Transylvania 2, and good friends. 

Teenagers versus garage lantern. Pretty sure the teenagers and the basketball won that battle. This house seems determined to drive us insane and everything wants to break at one time. 

January was really busy but so far February hasn’t been any calmer. Maybe March?


Life Lately {December 2015}


I’m a little late on this Life Lately post for December but with the stuff going on in our house over the last few weeks it’s a miracle that this post is even happening. 

I finally decided to buy the tree I’ve been wanting for years for the family room. I’ve wanted a white tree with brightly colored ornaments in there ever since I redecorated in 2013. I’m so glad I did it because I love it. So many nights were spent sitting and staring at this tree while we watched TV.

Jingles the Elf made her reappearance and I’m a little concerned that she needs a 12 step program based on the number of times she fell off of a perch during the month of December. Poor little alcoholic elf.

We finally had a chance to celebrate Maia’s 11th birthday. She was sick on her actual birthday and then we were all sick for 2 weeks after her birthday. She wanted a girls day at the mall with my sister and me so we did that and it was so much fun. 

We had 3 basketball games for Mase in December. They lost 1 and won 2. He’s really enjoying playing and he’s pretty good. It’s been fun to watch the teams progression each week. The first game- nobody wanted to shoot the ball and everyone ran the opposite direction from the basket. By game 3 they were all ready to shoot the ball.

In early December we took all 3 youngest kids to see the pediatrician at the same time for well kid check ups. Our pediatrician is 2 hours away from us because he’s amazing and we didn’t want to switch when we moved 10 years ago. He’s family. So this year we combined 3 kids into one visit- Maia had her 11 year old check up and got her middle school shots, Mase had his 7 year check up (11 months late but who’s counting), and Zoey had her 5 year check up and Kindergarten physical with shots. Now we’re done until 2017!

We spent lots of time with cousin Jax in December. He and Zoey are best friends and they play so nicely together. Plus my sister and I get to hang out so it works out for all of us! The Chick-Fil-A is literally 1 minute away from us so that’s our favorite destination.

We also had 3 games for Ty in December. Having 2 boys playing is tiring this year. Ty practices for 2 hours 2x a week then has games on Friday night which are 40 minutes away from our house. Then Mase has practice on a different night and games early Saturday morning. That’s a whole lot of basketball.

We bought a new fridge. Actually we bought a new fridge, dishwasher, range, and microwave. I finally upgraded to stainless steel and I’m in love. There’s a whole saga about the installation that I’ll share tomorrow.

The kids had so much fun driving around the neighborhood and looking at Christmas lights. This house definitely wins an award…for what, I’m not sure. But definitely some kind of award. The kids thought it was amazing. I’m just glad that I’m not their neighbor.

We made delicious Santa Crunch Popcorn for family movie night. It was so yummy and I can’t wait to make it again! The kids loved it and so did I! 

72 degrees in the house in December without the heat on? Unheard of where I live. We actually had a string of days so hot that we had to turn on the air conditioning. In December. I’m fairly certain we’re going to pay for that in January and February. Mother Nature is taunting us.

My 4 kids ready for church on Christmas Eve. I had gorgeous coordinating sweaters for them to wear on Christmas Eve. Too bad it was 75 degrees outside so they couldn’t wear them. 

I just love Christmas. I love seeing the twinkling tree lights surrounded by presents on Christmas Eve. I swear I’m always as excited as the kids on Christmas morning. This is the last year that this tree will be in our living room. Next year I plan to have a really tall tree in there and this tree will go into the upstairs hallway. 

Christmas morning…the aftermath. Hours spent wrapping presents and it’s all over in 3 minutes. The kids had a great Christmas and everyone was really happy with their gifts. Cam and my parents did not join us this year because Cam is recovering from knee surgery.

We joined Sams Club finally. Now that we have a total of 3 fridge/freezers in our house plus the second pantry it just made sense to finally buy in bulk. The kids were enamored with the cafe and the free refills on fountain drinks (I don’t buy soda so they rarely have it). I was enamored with how much money I saved!

IKEA had Kids Eat Free for the last week of December which pretty much means we’re there. We can feed the whole family for less than $20! IKEA is only 10 minutes down the road from us so why not? Plus I got to wander around and pick out new furniture to replace the stuff I’m donating this week. 

And we rounded out December by taking all 3 pups to the vet at one time. That was….exciting. But better to get it all over with at once plus our vet gives us a 10% discount if we bring them all at once. That saved us $53 this time! Heck year for savings.

December was busy and January looks to be even busier. I’m counting down the days until summer break. Ha!