Thursday, December 17, 2009

Early Christmas

We got our first Christmas present (and most likely, our best) early from Tyler's parents. I have been so excited about it and couldn't wait to tell you about it!

I love updating houses, our first was a fixer-upper and when we came to our current house it wasn't as much so but still needed some cosmetic work. However, I hate the long process! I wish I could do every individual project within a weekend, but it doesn't always happen that way and when it drags out.....I get frustrated and overwhelmed. I was anxious about the upcoming update.......

When we first moved into our house our kitchen looked pretty dated, wouldn't you say??........

The cabinets were in good shape but the wood was not working. Not to mention the top piece that closed it all in. The counters were new and a good neutral color. Stove was ooold and worked half the time. AND the floor was terrible, terrible!

So we got some new appliances and did a faux paint job on the cabinets & after taking the top piece off (sorry I do not know what this is called) and changing the hardware this is what it looked like.....

Better but those floors looked yellower, in person, up against the new cabinets.
Our plans for those floors were new hardwood but we couldn't find any pre-finished to match our hardwoods throughout the house. The price to stain and finish hardwood to match was just about double so we were going to have to save up. But leave it to those in-laws that love to get you what-you-need rather than clothes you don't like or gift cards. For Christmas we got hardwood floors in our kitchen to match our house!
Here is Garyn helping daddy & Poppa lay the unfinished floors...........
Now here is the stressful part, the floors were laid on the weekend and then refinished on the following Fri, Sat, and Sunday. We couldn't walk on it once refinishing started and had everything out in Garyn's playroom from Thursday until Tuesday. The smell kept us out of the entire house, though! Yeah, the smell of the staining & polyurethane that weekend kicked us out. But Oh My how it was worth it all!!! They are just beautiful!! {And here is the plastic that kept us, i.e. Garyn and Gus (cat), out........}
Total view......
WOW! I just love it!! I can't get used to it yet! It just makes the cabinets and appliances pop....ooohhh I am so happy. Go up and look at that first pic and compare......isn't it amazing the difference! Sorry I am biased, but I hadn't realized since it was a slow change, but man it has made a difference. I also noticed the lighting is different which is the work of my own handy man, Tyler, who put 4 (oh what are they called??) round spot lights in the ceiling. You would think I would have more of the lingo down, but its just my poor memory!
Here are some pics from Garyn's snow day of the year! I looked back through pics and realized it has snowed just one time each year since his birth, so this may have been his only chance to play in it. He really wasn't fond of it. He actually told me one day this week out of the blue, "Mommy, I don't like it snow." We were not talking about snow or looking at these pics, he just randomly said that.
I hope to get another blog in before Christmas, but in case I don't.....Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthdays and dreams come true!

Tyler and I have birthday's one month apart, 10-12 and 11-12, born in the same year. I always thought that was neat. We celebrated both with dinner out on our own and then dinner with his family. These are pics of Tyler's birthday dinner...

I didn't get any pics at my birthday dinner, but it would have looked much the same! We both enjoyed our days and still can't believe we are 26.
So I made a little dream of mine come true today. I made some extra dinners to freeze and hope to do a couple more tomorrow while getting things ready for Thanksgiving.
Here are pics from today, I made my favorite casserole, Mexican Chicken. I love that it is: good, has veggies, and everyone likes it in the family!! I often give it as a new-mommy dinner for friends that don't have time to cook while caring for their new baby.

Here are all the cans of veggies and beans that I strain.....

Then I add cheese, sour cream, rice and salsa to the mix. After cooking chicken breasts (from my cheap chicken sale!), I shred/cut it and add it in. Then put it in a casserole dish, cook it and serve with chips, salsa, and/or sour cream. Occasionally, Tyler will roll it up in a tortilla.
Also, if you know Tyler, you know he is a picky eater. Well, he is making huge strides! Tonight, at the dinner table, he said "Honey, I need to apologize to you." I thought "ok wonder what this is about" but knowing Tyler wasn't alarmed since he typically begins a conversation this way.
He then said, "You're right, you can't taste the tomatoes." I looked at his plate and there was not a little pile of tomatoes like there normally is!

I made ours for tonight and these two extra. Felt pretty good about my start to freezing meals!
Sadly, we lost the game Friday. It was a good game, 13-14, our extra point got blocked in the last 40 secs of the game. It was a good season, though. Here is Garyn ringing some bells, it was pretty cute!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Full Recipe for Chicken Mexican Casserole...
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 can black beans
optional can of corn
1 cup minute rice
3 cooked/shredded chicken breasts (sometime I boil, sometimes I microwave)
2 cups cheese (can add more if like it cheesy)
8-12 oz of sour cream
8-12 oz salsa (can spice it up more if desired)
wash and drain all the canned items
mix everything else in with veggies
cook in a dish for 30-45 minutes on 375 covered with aluminum foil
then take off foil and cook another 10-15
serve with tortilla chips, salsa, and/or sour cream
(note: variation in time depends on how much you strain everything, you don't want it soupy, so may need to cook longer. Also, we can not ever eat a whole one, so I typically divide it into two smaller dishes and freeze or give-away one)

Friday, November 20, 2009


Due to my procrastination and the lack of computer/internet access at my house lately, I have been unable to blog like I want, but here is some pics of our life lately...

Play-by-play of Halloween...

Daddy trying to gear Garyn up for his costume, note this is the 2nd costume we bought; Garyn is afraid of a lot of things right now and Halloween worsened it all!

Garyn saying "No Dinosaur, Mama!"
Me saying "Its ok, Garyn"

Garyn now saying, "You're so silly, mama" (me and about 5 other adults are being goofy so that he would laugh)

Yea!! Dino Garyn! I think at this point he was too worried about everyone's costumes and scary decorations to worry about his own. His new phrase is "Its ok mama, don't be scared" which actually means "I am scared"

We had a good Halloween, I, obviously, was worried when he wouldn't put on his first costume, a Lion, nor his 2nd. But once it was on, he did great all night!

This is him dancing in my new cowboy boots that were only $2 at a yard sale!!! Meg found them for me! Thanks Meg

Red Bank is in the 3rd Round of Playoffs tonight!! 12-0 so far!

(my camera is funky right now! wish these weren't blurry)

Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To dream a dream....

Have I mentioned that I love this site I would so love to be able to do this one day and not have any excuses for eating out, nor spend $$ on those prepackaged meals. Just love it!

Not sure if Tyler would eat those frozen waffles over his beloved Eggo' is the link to this exact blog post and the yummy sounding recipes....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

WAY too early...

The most obvious characteristic that Garyn has of mine is slowness to wake up....And Tyler reminds me of this almost daily.

There is no jumping-up-out-of-bed and ready-to-go in my blood....Instead I take at least 30 minutes to wake up..............My father past it along to me and I to Garyn.

When I was growing up at home, my dad and I were quiet in the morning, I ate breakfast in silence while he sat in his chair in silence drinking coffee (if he wasn't already at work, once I was driving). One might come by and think we hated each other or were mute, but no we just didn't want any stimulus, our minds weren't cranking yet. In fact, just the other day, after a mix up, dad was late getting here to watch Garyn. I had to call to wake him up so that he could come here to watch Garyn while I slept. He got here not long after me and was not talkative like normal. He actually said a couple of words to us, put a pot of coffee on, and then sat down on the couch. I chuckled to myself knowing he had not had his 30 minutes to warm-up, unfortunately, Garyn had already and was jumping all over the place.

When Tyler and I first got married, I thought I could shoot him some mornings. Tyler wakes up smiling, happy, talking......"Whats going to be for dinner, honey?"..."What time will you get off work?"...."You know I really would like ____ for lunch?" Meanwhile I am in the shower, or something, trying to just think! I would hardly ever answer and he would get offended. Finally, I would speak and say "Please just be quiet for a little bit so I can wake up...I don't like stimulus in the morning" So I finally got used to him and he I.

Garyn is the same way. He doesn't want you to change his diaper right off, nor eat right away. He just wants you to hold him and be quiet. He typically comes into my bed around 7-7:30 and we just cuddle until getting out of bed around 8-8:30. Yes, I know we are lazy, you could say.
I love it!

Last week, Garyn had a Dr.'s appt at 9:45, no big deal, I thought, I will have to rush in the morning but I can do it. Well then, I got a call asking if we could reschedule or bump it up to 8:15.....ok, in my head I was thinking (8:15! yikes Garyn and I aren't even out of bed by then, but I really don't want to post pone this) and I think the lady thought "hello?" So I took the 8:15, set my alarm, got ready (just as I like it) on my own without waking Garyn until 7:20. Then had to juggle rushing him without making him upset.

On the way there, I realized how much I love working nights (which has only worsened my sleepiness-in-the-morning habit); how much my dad, Garyn, and I are alike in this sense; and how much Tyler is not night person, like us, but a day person. As I write, it is 10:25 and Tyler is in bed while Garyn and I are still up.

But you know, I also love, once I am up, having much more time to just do whatever that day entails...guess I can't have the best of both worlds!

So are you a morning person??

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quick update

1. We attempted potty training this week. I wasn't entirely sure he was ready, but after 2 1/2 days, he was refusing to sit on the potty......I mean kicking and screaming, I would have to drag him there......and I was getting way too stubborn about it myself, to where I wanted to discipline when he wouldn't I just said, "Ok, back to diapers!"

We are both stubborn and I didn't want him to reject it or think he was insufficient when I would obviously get frustrated that he didn't use the potty. I mean don't get me wrong, the first day and a half we were having fun with it and he would actually pee in the potty, I was fine with the accidents in between the successes. Then something flipped in him and yesterday afternoon, he stopped being excited to sit on the potty. He would have to pee but wouldn't until he stood up and walked out of the bathroom! Tyler came home and I wanted him to work with him and give me a break.....that didn't help much, so then I ended up crying and Tyler was was a mess! With no difference this morning in Garyn's attitude, I made the decision to stop driving us both crazy!

It is so true of most of us, at least I know it is for me. My friend Sarah over at Ooey Gooey Daily News posted about it and I liked it so much I wanted to post about it!

3. Football, Football! We are 4-0 and hopefully after tonight will be 5-0! Tyler stays busy with football and his master's program schoolwork. Garyn and I enjoy the games, though. He loves the end of the game the most when we go onto the field! Last week, they had old football players come for their 70th anniversary of Red Bank football. It was neat seeing all the different generations of players. In honor of Tyler, I wore his old jersey.... :) I felt nostalgic, like I was in high school again, cheering on my boyfriend at the game! All the while I was wrestling our child and didn't see much of the game at all! Ha! What a change! These are some pics of Garyn and I before the game, I loved how our expressions seemed to match, I was using the self timer and was trying to keep him looking at the camera until it took.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good deal

So you all know I love a good deal..
Here are my latest deals:

HUGE watermelon for $2.99, Garyn's favorite! (added to give you a pic of Garyn mostly)

Chicken breast and tenders for $1.50/lb (sorry for the lovely pic)

Gymboree shirt for Garyn, on sale for $2.99 plus 20% off, plus my own 20% off coupon = $1.97!

I asked before purchasing to make sure that $2.99 was right...all the other long sleeves were $12.99....she said it was YES! I got a brand new Gymboree shirt for $1.97!!

Then my biggest rack up:
5 pairs of pants
6 shirts
1 turtleneck sweater
4 items for Garyn
1 Lion halloween costume (not pictured)
ALL for $33 at Goodwill's half off Saturday!
Hope you all are finding some good deals out there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Princess Warrior

I am doing Beth Moore's "Esther" Bible study right now, whoever knew you could stretch the story of Esther out over 10 weeks and learn so much about your faith and God!

Beth Moore is amazing at bringing the Bible to life, God truly gave her this gift for Christians to have a deeper knowledge of the Bible. I feel just simply reading the Bible is no longer sufficient, every word of the Bible has been planned out by God to mean so much more than the face value. This is now my second study of Beth Moore's and I love the work she does researching and bringing forth a different light to the Bible. I know there are other great studies and Christian writers out there, I am just partial to her right now.

Beth Moore is not tyring to start a women's revolution, but the study exemplifies the characteristics Christian women need.

to be brave and confident
to be humble
to spend as much time on your inner beauty as your outer
to be courageous
to trust in God's plan for you

The Bible states it best in Proverbs 31:10-31. This verse has been brought out to me twice already this week....I think God is showing me how to live in this world as a Christian through these words...

Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trust her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life........

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.....

She extends her hands to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out to the needy....

Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her;
"Many daughters have done well,
But you exceed them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

The Hebrew word for virtuous is valor and brave pertaining to a warrior.

So Princess Warrior..........that's what I believe I will be once this study is over if I truly put the effort into letting it resonate in me. Our study group has taken on this term, as it isn't something Beth Moore has necessarily focused on, its just what we aspire to be. We may even make some t-shirts proclaiming our new confidence and bravery.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Setting Goals....

I know its not the new year, but I am trying to be more far I have been failing miserably this week. However, new recipes, money saving techniques, organizing ideas, teaching opportunities with Garyn, and money-making ideas are all fluttering around my head as of late. Not to mention, staying on top of my devotion time. Friends are inspiring me and also just knowing that Garyn is growing up fast and I need to focus on making these days great for him and us, not to put any pressure on myself though, right!? I made a "To do" list a week or so ago....a loooong one...and I have done ok with it so far. I am giving myself some slack because it is a hefty list.

One website I have really been checking out lately, and growing more in love with is moneysavingmom. There are lots of great budgeting, freebies, and coupon ideas on there that I have been looking into. You know how I am about coupons, remember this. Tyler noticed the other day that we have been getting a lot of samples in the mail......I spent maybe 45 minutes the other day during Garyn's nap filling out every free offer she has on that site. It has been fun getting them in the mail!

Anyway, no real theme to this post. Just wanted to feel you in on my doings!

For some Garyn updates...........

We have had a much better time at night the last few days. I stopped putting him completely to sleep once we had 3-4 good nights of rest and chanced laying him down partially awake. He did cry and get up out of the bed, but I would put him straight back to bed with little to say. Within no more than an hour, he has been going to sleep after being put back to bed! We have had a couple of times that he has come in around 2 am, but I would put him back in bed. He would cry a little, stomp even, but didn't keep coming to our room. I hope this sticks!

Last Friday was the football Jamboree at Finley Stadium and Garyn, as always, heard music to dance to! FYI there is a part where I thought for sure he was going to fall, just brace yourself......

Sorry it is so long, I didn't realize how much I talked in it either.

Goodbye for now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Switching Gears....

Summer is pretty much over so now we are switching gears into new routines....

Tyler is back at work, not sure he ever left, but now he must be there all day everyday.

Football season is in full swing. I love the games and Garyn seems to, as well. Every Friday will be spent at football games for awhile. We haven't missed a game yet! After every game, we always go down and see Daddy, that's Garyn's favorite part! Here is a pic of Garyn his first football season. Daddy couldn't wait to get him down on the field.

Here is a video of him dancing last year.....he loves to dance (sorry for the sideways view, note to you moms: you can't flip the image around when you turn your camera to take a video vertically)

Other changes in our routine is that I am working 2 nights in a row, in order to go to the football games. This makes it harder for me in that I don't see Tyler at all from Sunday lunch time until Tuesday after football practice. And I only see Garyn for a couple of hours on Monday before going back to work. I dread working now, but like having 4 full days off in between.

I have to admit, I was craving routine again. I love the summers when Tyler is around more and we get to go on vacations. However, things like cleaning, sticking to the budget, devotion time, and eating at home tend to get pushed aside. I am trying to bring all of those things back in focus now.

Garyn is switching gears, too, as he is forever growing and changing. Sleeping patterns are at the top of the list as of late. We are still having nighttime troubles and now naps are getting shorter and harder. He is talking like crazy; singing a ton; loving puzzles and his trains; and constantly trying to get his way!

I love the fall season because of these changes and because it means Thanksgiving/Christmas is around the corner! YIKES!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Big Brother??

We have been wondering what Garyn will be like when he is a big brother.......

WAIT!! .............................................................

I am not pregnant! Gotcha, huh?

Garyn is around some little babies but not much and not when I am taking care of them, so I always wonder what he will be like.....jealous, loving, helpful? Yesterday we got a little trial run you could say......

Little Miss Virginia Grace came to stay with us yesterday......she is precious! She is a great baby, too! Her mom said she fights sleep.......well Garyn must have killed sleep because he was screaming, crying, kicking 30 min into getting him to take a nap. Virginia Grace went to sleep 5 minutes into rocking her......ahhh...maybe the next one will be easy. Actually, he was a good baby, I just probably stressed too much about him going to sleep on his own. After last night, I wish I had stressed a little more or maybe a little less because he still doesn't know how! I'll get back to that in a minute.

But we had fun yesterday. Garyn was not jealous and was helpful. He threw away diapers, got her toys, knew to be quite when she was asleep. I was very pleased. She really liked him and would follow his every move. Once, I told him to get his guitar for her ( a leap frog one ) and he pressed the buttons for the music to play, handed it to her, and then would dance in front of her. It was so cute!!

Here he is tickling her.......

So maybe it will be easy for him to have a baby in the house....or maybe Virginia Grace's 7 hours here were not realistic! Oh well, I was just glad he didn't pitch fits and try to step on her or anything!

He did want to do everything she did though, I got out this Boppy pillow for her and as soon as she would get out of it, he wanted to sit in it. He also wanted to play with all of her toys....

Back to Garyn and sleeping.........

The last week and a half or so he has been doing pretty good in his bed. I have been able to put him down slightly awake, very droggy though, around 9:30 and then he might get up around 6ish and come to our bed. I am fine with that, I am not strict about him not being in our bed but just not every night! Well Tuesday he had a short nap, feel asleep in the car around 8 and then woke up when we tried to go ahead and put him in bed.

WELL.......that sums up to a disaster in parent world, most often! And ringing true to that, he didn't want to go to sleep at 10 , 11, or 12! I finanlly gave up and put him in our bed since I had worked the 2 nights prior and was very tired. The last 2 nights since then we have had trouble again about him not wanting to go to bed at all and getting out of his bed and into ours. Last night, at 3 I got into bed with him after numerous times of him coming to our room and me putting him back in his! UGH! I was so frustrated. At those moments, I wish I had been better about not rocking or nursing him to sleep. But I also wonder if he really would still do this no matter what?

Any suggestions out there?! I don't want to make habits, but I know this may be over with soon just like it was when we first put him into a twin bed. So should I lay down with him till he goes to sleep or keep putting him back in his bed?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garyn's 2nd Birthday

Garyn turned 2 this past Friday and after a whirl wind of house cleaning we got to have a good weekend celebrating...

Thomas the Tank and Bob the Builder are high on the totem pole these days at our house.....Thankfully I saved a brand new Thomas table from The Big Much knowing after ten years of being in the business that little boys looooove Thomas. We had pondered giving it to him this past Christmas, but he just wasn't quite into it yet, I knew it wouldn't receive the WOW factor.....I am glad we waited cause he is so much more excited now than I think he would have been then.

It felt like Christmas in July though because we anxiously waited for him to go to bed on Thursday night so that we could put it together and have it ready on his birthday morning.......

We covered it with a sheet that night and the next morning he was a little speechless but all smiles!

Pure bliss in Thomas world:

When breakfast was ready, he had a crying, screaming fit because he didn't want to leave the Thomas table. Welcome to having a 2 year old, right! Once he finally settled down to eat, he ate in an even faster mode and was ready to get back to the table within 10 minutes.

We went to the Creative Discovery museum later and enjoyed the new Curious George play area......

Garyn loves music and dancing.......

From there we met Nana, Poppa, and Uncle Gary for some birthday lunch at Southern Star, yummy. Garyn got an iced cookie and ice cream for dessert.....

That night while Tyler was away at football events, Garyn and I went to Chester Frost with the Sunday school friends and got to ride on a boat for the first time this summer. He absolutely loved it and did not want to get out or take the life jacket off, which BTW was pink and green.....I found that funny, Tyler probably would have insisted on a different one if he had been there.

Then Saturday morning we went to Carson's Thomas birthday party and Garyn diligently scoped out a way to get to the cake, which I don't think he realized was cake, it looked just like Thomas. (and his cake that you will see below) I kept him away for the longest, but he finally got past me and scrapped the cake! Ugh, I felt so bad, it was not very noticeable though. (It was however in the middle of picture taking with the cake so everyone saw it) So I showed Garyn how good those fingers would be if he just stuck them in his mouth.......

So we came home from that party, took a nap, and then had his party! Thomas themed as well and fun of course! The little boys stayed at the Thomas table for the first 30 minutes at least. Here is Garyn's cake, which was just like Carson's cake he stuck his fingers in.

My Aunt Joy and Tim came bringing a radio flyer trike and Garyn went from not wanting to leave the table to not wanting to get off the tricycle.
He even stayed on it to open presents.......

So that was our birthday weekend. He loved all the attention and is now enjoying his new toys, thanks to all. Of course there are a couple that we are ready to take the batteries out of like his new trucks that make reeving noises and tire squealing sounds! Can't wait to return similar gifts to those parents! lol! No really we are so blessed and enjoyed spending time with everyone over the weekend.
Garyn is now in a big boy bed. It took some adjusting, but the last couple of nights have gone smoothly. The room is now cowboy themed. Here he is reading in bed...........


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