Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cleanin' and Skanks!

Monday, January 30.. Wow, can you believe that January is almost over?!?!?! How can that be? Well, yesterday we got ready for Nana, my mother in law, Brenda, to get here.. I had put off and put off cleaning out her room and closet and decided that Monday, since she is coming Tuesday, is as good a day as any.. **Nothing like procrastinating!!** So, her room is ready for her to get here today; she should be here between 4-6.

So, in keeping with the mother in law, you all know, and if you didn't you do now, that we just don't watch TV. Well, that wasn't going to fly with the mother in law.. teehee.. so, we hooked up DISH at the house about a month ago. Let me tell ya, we are TV watchers now. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm addicted to HGTV, TLC, and the Cooking Network, ugh! Anything that has to do with cake making, babies, cupcake wars, I'm there! So, we use to not watch shows even on regular TV, aka The Biggest Loser and The Bachelor, because we didn't like the commercials. Well, thanks to DISH there is this little thing called a DVR that we have now. Oh boy, we are in trouble! We have our freaking line up now. We have to schedule our lives around who's getting a rose, how many pounds such-in-such lost, which dance mom is going off the deep end, or which body part is going to be worked on in Settle Grace. **Look at cha, I didn't even have to give you names of shows and you knew each one I was talking about!!!** So, I thought, what if I started doing my take on my 4 top favorite shows!?!? Monday, The Bachelor, Tuesday, Dance Moms and The Biggest Loser, and Thursday, Grey's Anatomy!?! If you don't like the idea, you can skip every week, but this will give me a place to vent without doing it to the TV (the computer is MUCH better)!

The Bachelor (January 30, 2012)

What the **** is up with Courtney?!?! Skank and a half! Okay, I got it out, now let's start at the beginning. Puerto Rico, oh beautiful Puerto Rico! Why is it these dates wind up in some area that you would NEVER go on a date at? Who takes someone on their first day to Puerto Rico?! Anyways... Single Date #1, Nikki. I like her, I'm not 100% team Nikki, yet, but you know you have to back the girl from your home turf! Let me just say I'm kinda sad that one of them didn't fall on those slippery rocks, that would have made the date a little more interesting and that white get up that Ben decided to buy, blah! Also, they "just so happened" to come across a wedding taking place, and oh look, there is a bench that we can sit on so that we could watch the whole thing. I THINK NOT! Well, all in all, I still like Nikki, it wouldn't break my heart if she got the boot, but I guess we will have to wait till next week to see. Group Date: I'm sorry, Lindsie, I totally disagree! She said, as they are pulling up to baseball field, "The card said diamonds are a girls best friend, I thought we would have bling, but these diamonds are sooooo much better" (paraphrased) Uh, no, I'm sorry. I LOVE baseball, but I would NEVER say that baseball diamonds were better than the bling, and who does she think she is kidding by saying that. Was it to impress Ben? Probably! Okay, and who's idea was this date?!?! The first part, working out, doing lunges, sprints, not my idea of a "good date." What do I know though!? The baseball game was great, but do you think the producers had a little hand in who were the team captains! hahahahaha Come on, do you really think it was coincidence that Courtney and Emily were team captains? The ones that HATE each other?! Well, I was really disappointed when Courtney's team won, blah, but totally excited that Casey B got the rose! Woohoo! **SHE'S MY FAVORITE** Okay Single Date #2.. Is it me, or did anyone really even know who Elyse was before this date? I didn't! From the get go you could tell that she was trying to tell Ben what he wanted to hear. I'll make this short, unlike her crying loooooooooong exit interview... I'm glad he got rid of her. Now, back to Courtney.. Why? Why, did she have to do what she did? and then Ben, why did he let her talk him into it. You could totally tell that he wasn't comfortable about it, but she kept asking and he gave in. When those other girls find out, **** is going to hit the fan! I would be saying adios, I'm out, both of you are skanks! Then, at the cocktail hour... Emily, keep your mouth SHUT! You just got done saying that you didn't want to bring Courtney up anymore to him and you wanted to focus on the 2 of you, and then you bring her back up! SHUT UP! Lastly... WHY DID HE KEEP EMILY?!?! I liked Jennifer. He was making out with her on the patio and then sends her home. AHHH... he's dumb, and ugly.. haha! We shall see what happens next week!

The girls were actually pretty good for me, they cleaned their room, and played nicely. Greg and I decided about a week ago that we were going to get a BluRay player and that same week we got a Disney Movie Club thing in the mail where you could get your first 5 BluRays for only $1 and then you have to buy 4 within 4 years. No biggie, we buy them a movie every Easter, birthday, and Christmas. We can knock those out this year, So, we signed up! We got our shipment Monday. The kiddos received The Princess and the Frog, Gnomeo and Juliet, Toy Story 3, Dumbo, and The Fox and the Hound! They watched Dumbo for the first time yesterday and LOVED it!

I was able to get birthday and anniversary cards filled out for February (I am in charge of sending out the cards in our Sunday School class), did a little Castleville (teehee), colored my hair (you can see a pic when I'm not a hot mess), and played Cootie with the kiddos. It was a good day.

I'll leave you with a pic of what Bella, my dog, thinks of the Bachelor!

3 more days till date weekend!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL weekend. Ours was pretty laid back, yet fun.

Friday wasn't such a good day in the Rice household, again, for the girls. They are being so sneaky. Every time I turn around, they are in the pantry getting things they KNOW they are NOT allowed to have. This time they got quiet, I went into their playroom and they had the fruit Smiles out (the WHOLE box). Emma has successfully already opened 5 packages (that I found) and they had been chowing down. I don't understand why they are doing this. As soon as they wake up they get breakfast and drink. They get a snack around 10, lunch at 12, snack at 2:30 and then dinner around 6. They SHOULD NOT be sneaking food, drink, or anything else they can think of. So, we are going to get a lock for the pantry! We already have a lock for the refrigerator that we haven't been using here lately, and, I think, we are going to have to start using it again. They are still refusing to clean up when I ask them too. Not understanding that one either. They LOVE when their Daddy comes home and he praises them for cleaning their playroom. They LOVE to surprise them, once it's done, but it's getting it done that takes forever (and sometimes my Christianity!)

I did get a little done Friday. I have 2 ladies that are interested in selling Thirty-One under me. (Woohoo) so I got their packets made up and ready to be shipped. I also was able to snatch a coupon on restaurant.com for The Melting Pot. I think this was the BEST deal I have EVER gotten. I purchased a $25 gift certificate for $4!!!! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT!!!

We ended the day at Chipolte (can you tell that's my FAVORITE place in the world?) and then went over to the Dollar Tree. Nice ending to a not so great day.

Saturday, we had every intention of taking the girls to Amazing Jakes (if you don't know what that is check out Amazing Jakes, it's AWESOME), but they were acting up so much. I wasn't going to stay home though, so we got out and ran to the bank and I asked Greg when HE wanted to do. He said for me to go to Allen. I had NO IDEA where we were going in Allen, but soon he let me in on his plans. HE wanted to buy ME new clothes! SA-WEET! Again, I LOVE coupons, so we went to Fashion Bug where I had a $10 off a $40 purchase. When we pulled up, the windows said EVERYTHING in the ENTIRE store was 40% off the price (even off clearance)!! I got 2 pair of jeans and 3 shirts. It would have been $186 but I only paid $70! SWEET!

We left Fashion Bug and went over to Charming Charlies and I got 2 necklaces to go with a navy and a pink shirt that I bought. **Also on clearance/sale** The 1st necklace was regular $12.95 and was marked down to $7 and the other was regular $14.95 and was also marked down to $7. They were having a sale that if you bought 1 clearance item you could get one 1/2 off. So I walked out of there with 2 necklaces that would have been $28 (before tax) and I spent $11 (with tax)!! I LOVE a deal!

After Charming Charlies it was time for lunch, we stopped by Arby's for the girls and Greg ($1 menu!!) and went over to Mama and Daddy's house for some cards. The rest of the night was laid back and full of fun.

Sunday morning we got up and got ready for church. **Have I told ya'll lately I love Sundays?** Then we went back to Mama and Daddy's house for spaghetti lunch and more cards. While the kiddos were napping, my mom and I ran and got my hair cut and eyebrows waxed **OUCH**. (Pics to come soon, just colored it today and need to do something with it)

Sunday night I had my first Ecuador meeting. I posted on Facebook that I was going, and I wanted to give a little background to this decision.

Ever since Bryan left for Ecuador, Greg and I have been talking about doing some missions. God has been really pulling on our hearts the last couple of months. I didn't know where I wanted to go, I didn't know how I was going to get there, I didn't know what was going to happen with the kids, I just didn't know. The only thing I DID know, is God was telling me to GO!

Well, this past Sunday, January 22, in Sunday School, I was asked to teach a 1st and 2nd grade girls Wednesday night study. It is about Ecuador and 4 weeks long. The first week I would be teaching them where Ecuador is, the second week we would eat something that they eat, the third week they would write a letter to a missionary, and the fourth week they would talk about what they learned and how they could implement that in their lives. I was, and am, so excited to do this. So, that was cool.

Then, I went to church service and it was about mourning. Kris (our pastor) talked about the healthy, Christian way to mourn, the way God intended it. Well, as alot of you know, my father inlaw was a missionary, he passed away a year ago this past September, and his heart was in the middle of Ecuador. Greg and I have been having a hard time, still dealing with his passing, and this sermon helped me realize that we need to move on and continue spreading the Word like he did.

Lastly, I was leaving service and Kyle (the college group leader) came up to me and asked me if I was going to Ecuador in May with them. I had not talked to anyone, except Greg, about possibly going on a mission trip, let alone this one and to Ecuador, so this came as a complete SHOCK. I told him no, but had a weird feeling in my stomach as I walked away. When we got to the van, Greg and I started talking about what all had happened in just 3 hours. Greg and I decided that God was telling me to go to Ecuador. He was reconfirming it with all the people I talked to at the church and Kris' sermon. so....

I'm going to ECUADOR!

That's really all that happened this weekend. I didn't get a chance to take many pics, but I do have a few I'll leave you with. I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and 4 more days till date weekend!!!!!!

**Emma trying to put Courtlynn's diaper on (I know, we are STILL potty training)**

 **The girls found my hat and decided they wanted their pics with it on**

**Courtlynn wanted to do a "silly face" so I asked her to do a "cute smiley face" first, this is what I got**

**THIS is how you make sure they aren't doing anything while you try to get ready!!**

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Fiddle 'N' Bow (My Sis In Law) Is Doing a Giveaway!

Fiddle 'N' Bow is my sister inlaw. She has started making these SUPER CUTE necklaces and she is giving one away! SA-WEET! Just go to the link below and let her know I sent ya (No I don't get anything out of it, just thought ya'll would like a chance at winning it!) Oh, and there is a super neat idea on how to do your hair on there too.. I'm trying this tonight!

Fiddle 'N' Bow: Something To Do To Your 'Do:

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Some Crafts, Some Spreadsheets, Some Living Social... MY BACK!

Thursday, January 26th, started out to be a great day. I got to work on some crafts that I have been working on.. I don't have them completely finished, but I'll go ahead and show you the pics..

**I still need to put another coat of paint and a coat of sealer on then, but I think they will be fun at parties and on top of my cabinets!**

**I also made these to go on my entry table. Now all I need is some FLOWERS to go in them!!**

So, those were my crafts for the day. Hope ya like.

Now for my spread sheets... Anyone that TRULY knows me, know that I'm a spread sheet nerd! I love the look of them, I love the formulas, I just LOVE them! My budget is done with a spread sheet, my Christmas shopping is done with a spread sheet, everything that can be categorized in my life, is done on a spread sheet. Thursday I worked on our budget for the ENTIRE YEAR! That's right.. I went in and every week we get paid something. I put the date, how much we get paid, which bills are going to come out that week, the total the bills come up with (with formula of course in case I have to go back and change the amount, duh), and then the difference between the amount we are getting paid and the amount going out, the "left over" (also a formula). I know that sounds SUPER boring, but I LOVE THEM! So, I spent a good part of my morning in heaven! :) **If you need to get your budget on track, contact me and I'll get you set up with one of my budget sheets to keep you on track!**

I don't know if you are a part of "Living Social", it's like Groupon. Well, one of Thursday's deals was for $10 you get $50 to spend at VistaPrint.com! SA-WEET! I snagged one of those up and headed to my Creative Memories software and whipped me up a business card! (I was OUT and with the new Awesome Blossom sprint print, I HAD to have some with that!) Here is what I came up with..

If anyone needs business cards, birthday cards, photo editing, let me know and I'll be more than happy to do it for you.

Also, if you need any business supplies, or fun gifts (I got my dad a shirt for Father's Day last year from Vista Print that had the kids' picture on it, he wears it every time I see him) go to This Link (Living Social) and it will give you the deal and if I get 3 friends to use this link and purchase, I get mine for FREE! SWEET!


That's when it happened.. I have my mother's, my grandmother's, my great grandmother's, and I'm sure my great great grandmother's jeans. I can be sitting still and pull my back. This time, I was in the floor changing a poopy diaper.. YEAH! I don't know what I did, but when I started to get up, I had the most horrific pain shoot up my back. It took me a good 10 minutes to get out of the floor in tears. I texted Greg letting him know what happened and sat my booty on the couch the rest of the afternoon. My hubby was such a sweetie and texted me back.. 

I love him!

So, that was my day really.. We are having a HARD time with the girls not wanting to go to bed at night.. It usually takes us a good 2 hours to actually get them to sleep.. Braxton has started his devil stunts. At around 4-5pm he just starts screaming for no reason until Greg gets home and then he's as happy as all get out.. Who know, maybe he's going through a growth spert or maybe he just wants his Daddy. I hope whatever it is, it stops.

Here is a funny pic to leave you with. Courtlynn randomly came up to me and said, "I want to take my picture for Bry Bry my silly face." So here is the pic that we took for Bry Bry (Bryan, my brother) of her doing her silly face.. Oh, and I promise my children aren't ALWAYS naked, it's just easier with the potty training to have her this way. :)


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That...

Howdy again.. It’s been a crazy week and weekend. We decided that Saturday we were going to go and check out this new Walmart in Dallas (yes, we ARE that boring).. It’s pretty cool though. There is a Walmart on top and Sams Club on bottom. It has a parking garage and all. The store was cool, but the staff… BLAH! I have NEVER been to a Walmart where they treat you THAT bad! It was over all, a waste of time, but sometimes, you need that! J

After we got back from Walmart, we called Mama and Daddy up and they came over and played cards and I made dinner. I made Chicken Cordon Blue, Parmesan Knots, and Salad! YUMMY!

**Sorry, I didn’t get any pics.. It was eaten before the camera could even make it out.**

Sunday, oh how I love Sundays! We went to Sunday School, oops, I mean “Growth Groups” and then to a wonderful service with Praise and Worship and then a sermon on “Mourning.” If you have never been to FBC Wylie, you must visit sometime, we would LOVE to have you!

After Church, we went to Genghis Grill and stuffed ourselves. That place is so nummy. I could eat there and Chipolte EVERYDAY! We finished eating and headed to Crazy 8, children’s clothing store for those who don’t know, and bought Braxton THE CUTEST little shirt and hat for his pictures at 3:00 pm. We rushed out and, THANK GOD, the kiddos slept for an hour in the car on the way to McKinney. B’s pics went great, he was super cute, as always, and I can’t wait to get some of them sent over to me.

So.. Highlight of the day… while we were in Sunday School/ Growth Groups, I was approached by a lady in the class and was asked to help lead a 1st and 2nd grade girl’s study. I was asked to do the missions part of the study and focus on ECUADOR!! Then, as we were leaving service, one of the leaders in the church came up to me and asked me if I was going on the Ecuador mission trip that is schedule for May. Okay, you have to know a little bit more to know how WONDERFUL this is. As you know, my brother is a missionary in Ecuador, this team going in May is going to be working with my brother, I have been praying for clarity if I should go (worried about leaving the kiddos and Greg), and then BAM! God totally made it super clear to me. He said, “GO!” so I am!!! I will be going on my first mission trip to Ecuador in May 2012! Praise the Lord!

The 3rd Monday of every month we have a Ladies Craft Night where we make goodies for the nursing home. I love to participate whenever possible. This month we were making little weaved hearts from paper and ribbon and filling them with Hershey Kisses. They are going to LOVE them.

Tuesday, I literally did NOTHING because Braxton has become a little pill. I know, people are saying, “Not cute little B!”, but believe me.. HE’S THE DEVIL COME 4 PM!! He did nothing but scream and it wasn’t just 4 pm.. NO!! It was all day long. I know he is getting 3 teeth in at one time, but little man, you have to give Mommy a break every once in a while! So, I sat on the couch, holding Braxton, and watched Grey’s Anatomy ALL DAY LONG! (Okay, I guess that’s not half bad!)--Teehee~ Oh wait, I did do something.. I couple of things.. I went through the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator and made a list of EVERYTHING that was in there. Then I sat down with my trusty PINTEREST and made out a list of 25 meals that I could make and I'm only going to have to buy 15 things to do it! Woohoo.. I also got an idea from Pinterest to start a "Family Planner".. I looked at all of the pages and decided that I didn't need ALL of them in my binder since I am home all the time with them. So, I started a family planner, April style.. once I have all the pages made, I'll share them with you. :)

Wednesday.. Oh, Wednesday.. I got a lot done today. I managed to find EVERY STITCH of dirty laundry that was EVERYWHERE around this house. (That’s A LOT) I did 10 loads of laundry, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, made a batch of cookies (from the “Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER” recipe), all while dealing with “the devil”.. **I say, “The devil” with all the LOVE in my heart**

So, now, Gregory is home, I have had a nice relaxing bubble bath and sitting here in my room having quiet time. It’s nice having a hubby that can take over sometimes when my day has been rough.

On the agenda for tonight.. FOLDING! BLAH!!!

Have a GREAT day everyone!

Here are a few pics from the last few days..

 **This child ate 1/2 PB&J, Peaches, 1/3 banana, Fishies, and then 3 helpings (this size) of pasta.. I think she was hungry!!**

**Looking at Mommy through the Pack 'N Play**
**See they can be sweet.. On Monday, at nap time, I thought I heard them talking, went into their room, and this is how I found them.. Too sweet**

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My Friday, Oh My Friday!!

My Friday.. Oh, my Friday.. The day was Friday, January 20th, 2012! This is the day that I had my first Mommy breakdown in a LONG time! Here is what happened..

Emma and Courtlynn refused to do ANYTHING that I told them on Friday. They decided that instead of taking a nap, they would get in their closet and get 2 200 piece puzzles out and dump EVERY SINGLE PIECE on the floor. I was after them for 3 hours to clean it up... I said jump, they sat, I said sit, and they jumped. It was that kinda day. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without them doing something they KNEW they weren’t supposed to do.. Well, anyway.. Later on in the evening I decided that I WAS NOT cooking and called Greg to see what he wanted. We decided to go to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. Sweet.. So, not too too bad.. YET…

I called Mama and Daddy to see if they wanted to go with us, hung up, went to put the girls clothes on them, and COULD NOT believe what I saw. In the amount of time that it took to call my parents, they had gotten into the pantry, gotten the V-8 Fusion (orange) and bag of Doves chocoltes and took them back to their room. When I got in there, there was V-8 all over the middle of Emma’s bed, there were red Solo cups scattered throughout the room, and they had chocolate covering every inch of their bodies! Even Braxton had gotten in on the  mix and had chocolate running down his chin, down his chest, over his big ole belly, and into his diaper! I COULD NOT believe what I saw and just started crying. The girls thought it was funny… Needless to say, their Daddy did NOT find it funny when he walked in the door less than 30 seconds later!

They were told that nothing “special” would be happening for them that weekend. The cinnamon rolls that we had bought for a “special” breakfast.. NOPE.. Going to the park… NOPE.. They had to do whatever Greg and I wanted to do all weekend long. I’ll be telling you about the weekend in the next post, but I have to tell you some of the things Emma was saying throughout the weekend.

We were at Sams and we decided to eat. She looked at her Daddy and she was totally serious. This is how the conversation went…

E: Is ice cream special
G: Yes
E: Is skateboarding special?
G: Yes
E: Is climbing a mountain special?
G: If you liked climbing mountains, then YES that would be special too and you wouldn’t be doing it..


Oh, Greg also made the girls clean up their mess in their room. We stopped at Dollar Tree and bought each one of them a scrub brush, a thing of carpet cleaner, and some gloves. We thought it would be punishment, but Emma kept asking Greg, "When can we vacuum?" teehee

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Friday, January 20, 2012

I Was Gone (Again), but Now I'm Back!

I was gone, but now I'm back.. that has so many meaning in my life.

1: I left the blog world, again, and I'm truely sorry. I'm back and not going anywhere. I didn't think anyone was reading my self centered blog, but, on the contrary, I have found there are a handful of you that actually do.

2: I am a Thirty-One consultant. I want to take this to the next level. I want to become a Senior Consultant and then move on up to director in the  next year. So, I had stepped away from trying to recruit, make relationships, and build women up, and now I'm back.

3: Finally, in the last 5 years, I have been so focused on being a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, and so on, that I have forgotten who April really is. Well, I'm out to find out who that is again. I am out to find out what makes me, not only a great mom and wife, but what makes me, me. I love to sew, I tried making it into a business, but selling my things just wasn't making me happy. I started making tile jewelry and selling that. I didn't mind selling it, but it just didn't do so well. It really didn't "click" with me until I was at the Spring reveal for Thirty-One that I realized, I LOVE WORKING FOR THIRTY-ONE! I love the relationships I'm making, I love that the company is based on Christian beliefs, I love that I get to stay home with my children during the day, I love that I am making money to help out, and I LOVE helping each and every person that I come in contact with. I was meant to do this job. I have prayed that something, anything, would come my way that God wanted me to do, and I believe, no, I know, this is it. Many times at meetings, they have asked us our "Why", why we joined the company. All I could come up with was, I loved the product, now I look back at what I just wrote, and THIS is my why! This is why I'm doing it, this is Why I'm going to continue doing it, and this is WHY I'm taking this business as far as I can!

Wow, I totally wasn't expecting all of that to come out like word vomit, but I guess I know what I need to do..

Let me go ahead and fill you in on some things that I have been doing...

I don't know if I told ya'll, but my mother inlaw is moving in with us on January 29th, so I have been frantically getting rooms moved and closets cleaned out. Braxton's bed and changing table are now in the play room. Stuff is being moved out of the play room closet and into the garage and his stuff moved into the closet. Busy Busy!

I have taken sometime for "girl time"... The other night Raquel called and asked if I would like to go to dinner, and, of course, I said yes. We had a great time talking about life and how, we as women, sometimes get too involved in being Mommies and wives that we forget to treat ourselves. It was nice!

Guess where we went:.......

As mentioned above, Thirty-One did something a little different this year. We had a spring reveal party at a movie theater. It was so much fun and I can't wait to share all the exciting new prints and products with you. While we were waiting for it all to start, they had a count down on the big screen.. I just couldn't help myself.. teehee...

So, we have started the Oh So Dreaded POTTY TRAINING!!!
Let's just say, we have our good days and we have our bad days. I still don't trust her out of the house in just panties. I got this E-Book a while back (blogged about it earlier) and tried that. Well, it didn't work. (they are supposed to be potty trained within 3 days!) Here are my reasons as to why I think it didn't work, all could apply or just some:

1: The author is a quack and wrote the book to pry on helpless moms, like me, that will do anything to get their kiddo potty trained just to make a buck.
2: I didn't follow the book to-a-tee.. Hello, I have 4 other children in this house with me at all times, by myself, how am I supposed to be at her side ALL DAY LONG!? And you want me to sleep on the floor in her room for 3 nights, I don't think so.

3: I have a VERY STUBBORN red head that loves to do EVERYTHING that I tell her NOT to do. (and this is why she tells me, "I pee my diaper!")
That is my observation. Pick and choose.. I think it's a little of all 3! :)

 **1st Day of Potty Training... 7 pairs of panties!!**

We were also invited to Maddie's 5th bday party at hell Chuck E Cheese. I REALLY need to talk with Megan about this whole Chuck E Cheese business. I think the past 10 birthdays (she's only 5!!) have been there.. AHHHH!!! Anyways, the kiddos had a blast. We got there a little early, so the girls decided they would entertain themselves by dancing infront of the tv.. Maddie had a GREAT party, and I'm sure we'll be back next year! :)


**Emma and Maddie with Chuck E Cheese**
Emma and I got to have a date night, last Friday. It was so much fun. We went and saw Beauty and the Beast 3D and then went to dinner. At first she said that she wanted Subway, I know, she's weird, but, as we were driving back to Subway in Lavon, she saw Culvers and yelled, "I WANT CHEESE CURDS!" I turned around and that's exactly what we had, chicken tenders and cheese curds! :)

**I don't know what's up with that smile, but, hey, it's the best I could get**

Back up to between the movie and dinner, Emma said she had to pee and couldn't hold it. I stopped at a gas station (I usually don't let her pee there, but she said it was an emergency) to let her to pee. When we got back out to the van, this car was parked beside us. A man got out and had Lotto tickets in his hand. It was kinda said because I think he was LIVING in there.

This scratched showed up on Braxton's back a few days ago. I didn't really pay it much attention until yesterday. I was giving him a bath and the place just didn't feel right. I got him out, dried him off, and then REALLY had a good look at it. It looked like a burn, but he hadn't been around anything that could have burnt him. I was so dumbfounded that I texted a picture of his back to my mom and asked her what she thought it could be. I knew my mom was a genius... not even 2 seconds later she said...... CARPET BURN! I got to thinking back and, Tuesday, Braxton was playing in Emma and Courtlynn's room with them and Emma didn't want him in there and drug him by his leg into the living room. I didn't think anything of it because Braxton was laughing. Well, looks like Emma has given Braxton his first carpet burn! 

Since Christmas, I haven't been doing that much crafting. I really don't know why. Maybe it was the business of the Christmas/Thanksgiving holiday that I took a step back, or maybe it was my mother inlaw that introduced me to Castleville and Cityville that did it.. teehee! Anyways, I'm back! I decided that the wreath that I made out of coffee filters was a: was going to be too hard to store and b: was too pretty to be stored, so I decided I would keep it up all year long and change it out every month/with the seasons/whenever I felt like it. I couldn't JUST change my wreath, so I changed the whole mantle and gave it a Valentine's look.

**Those are conversation hearts in there now instead of red hots**
***The 3 tiered votive holders in the middle are temporary, I'm getting a picture of Greg and me printed off this weekend and going to frame it and put it there!***

I was going to make a 3 wine bottle art piece for the middle, but 2 of my 3 pieces didn't turn out. Reasoning: I'm too impatient, and tried spray painting too many coats at once and it RAN! BLAH! So, only 1 turned out, but lucky for me, it was the one that I loved the most anyways. Now it sits on my front entry table. It's the only Valentine-y thing on there right now, so I guess I'll be crafting some more this next week... STAY TUNED!

That's all I have for today. I probably won't do a post this weekend unless it's something quick. I will leave you with a funny pic that I took of Braxton. I think it's time for a hair cut again.
**He's going to hate me when he's older!!**

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Wowzeers What A Time!

Well, I've been gone for a while, so first off, let me say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

There has been alot going on these last couple of weeks... Let me fill ya in... 

Last time I posted, it was Braxton's birthday. Well, that same day my  mother inlaw came in for Christmas break and I also had a vendor fair that night! Busy Busy day! 

  **This is my table at the vendor fair**

Three days later, December 23rd, we went to pick up our "special" present for Christmas. For some of you who don't know, and I know most of you do, but I want this for my "journal", here is the back story...

Bryan, my brother, is a missionary in Ecuador. He left in May 2011 and he is there indefinitely. Well, he came home in October for his friend's, Amy, wedding and was not able to afford to come home for Christmas. He was okay with that, he would have his Ecuadorian family. That all that changed as time got closer to closer. Also, my mom and dad.. wow.. My mom was in a DEEP DEPRESSION state. Every time we would talk about Christmas she would break down and start crying. I COULD NOT just sit by and watch my mom and dad be miserable for Christmas or have my brother 1000+ miles away. I went to Greg with the idea of bringing him home, but we both knew there was no way that we could afford the ticket ($1400). There had to be a way to be able to get him home. I got on the computer and emailed around 10 radio stations and about 20 other companies requesting help getting him home, Nothing (although I heard back from Kidd Kradick). I sent out some other emails to friends and family that traveled alot asking them for air miles. A friend of mine's, Jessica Smith, dad called me that night and said that he had enough miles to get him home for Christmas. I bawled, gave him the info, and realized that he had enough to get him home, but not back to Ecuador. I was kinda crushed at first, but then I had an idea. I got on Facebook, made a private group (that Mama and Daddy couldn't see), and invited all my Facebook friends (minus the 'rents). I posted that if everyone donated at least $1, we could buy a one way ticket for Bryan to get back to Ecuador. Within 5 hours, we had enough money to get him back. Within 1 day we had him 2 one way tickets purchased and he was COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

Bryan and I talked, and we decided that we were not going to tell Mama and Daddy about him coming home. We had it all planned out how we were going to surprise them. I was going to go and pick him up from the airport, head to Mama and Daddy's house, I would go in, he would stay outside and call them on Skype, and then they would realize that he was infront of their house. TA-DA!

Well, it didn't wind up that way. The Thursday after we had bought the ticket on Monday, Mama called me bawling asking if we would come and help them put up the Christmas tree (which they weren't originally going to even put up). I agreed, got off the phone with her, and called Bryan to tell him we had to tell her. I 3-way called her with Bryan being silent and told he I had an early Christmas present for her and Bryan started singing, "I'll be home for Christmas".. She bawled some more and then finally got out, "Are you really!?!" It was great! We conferenced my dad in and he did the same thing. 100% best gift EVER!


Friday, December, 23 @ 2:30 pm, Bryan landed. So that it could be a surprise to SOMEONE, we didn't tell the girls he was coming. Here is a video of when he was coming down the escalator!


That Friday, Greg and I finished up all of our Christmas shopping too. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, I know!!

Christmas Eve was BUSY!! We woke up that morning and finished up some last minute wrapping and started on making lunch. My mom, dad, brother, mother inlaw, husband, kids, and I ate a "snack type" lunch/dinner and then unwrapped gifts from each other. I am a bad mommy and forgot to take pics, but Bryan took some and I'll have to get some from him. 
I got a bunch of cake decorating things, Bath and Body Works, and money for clothes from my parents and a homemade candle holder and socks from my mother inlaw. Man, I'm loved!!!
After Christmas Eve with my side of the family, we went to the Christmas Eve service at our church and then came home to do it with Greg's side of the family. My mother inlaw, sister inlaw, Amber, brother inlaw, Mike, Nephews, Seth and Luke, and niece, Zoe, all came over for brownie sundaes and presents. 

I got a homemade scarf and stationary from Mike and Amber. LOVE both of them.

**I've only worn it 100 times since I got it!!**

Greg's shirt from Mike and Amber cracks me up!!

Christmas Eve was a LONG night. The inlaws (minus Brenda, mother inlaw) left late and Santa still had to come.. WooooHoooo.. Emma and Courtlynn put out the Grinch Cookies that we made that morning and milk, and Emma went to put the "pickle" ornament (see previous story about pickle) by Santa's milk. Poor thing dropped the pickle on the tile floor on her way to the table and broke it. She was so upset she almost cried! She wanted to write Santa a letter and tell him that she was sorry for breaking the pickle. **I thought that was so sweet**

**Emma's letter to Santa: "Dear Santa, Sorry Emma broke the pickle. Please leave gifts under the tree"
--Santa back to Emma "It's okay Emma. We can find it next year. Make sure you are good for mommy and daddy. Enjoy. Love, Santa"

**Before kids woke up**

**"Mommy, Santa Came!!"**

Sunday, December 25, we woke up early because SANTA CAME and then got ready for church. After Church service, we came back and started preparations for Christmas lunch. We had a BIG group at our house this year for Christmas. We had our family (5), my mother inlaw, my parents and brother (3), my Aunt Tammy, Uncle Allen, cousin, Ross, cousin, Crimson, and her kiddos (4), cousin, Melynee, and her family (4), my grandmother, Maw, and cousin, Mike, and his daughter. **If you need help with math, that's 23 people!!! AHHHHHH!! It was fun though. We decided that we wouldn't have the traditional Christmas brunch. All the families brought an entree, side, and dessert. I called it the "Golden Coral Christmas!" It was very nice. We ate, did white elephant, and everyone left (except my parents, brother, his mom, and us) and we had a quiet evening.

Christmas DONE!
**I know you aren't supposed to take down the Christmas tree till after the New Year, but have you ever tried keeping a 1 year old out of the tree!?!?!?! It's DOWN!!**

Braxton's Birthday Party
We decided to a family only (minus his BFF, Colin) Birthday Party for Braxton. I got to use my cake decoration stuff I got for Christmas for the party. Monster cupcakes!!! WooHoo!

**Emma didn't eat her lunch, so she didn't get a cupcake, therefore, I didn't get a pic (bad Mommy)**

I made a spaghetti lunch, we opened presents, and then had some cupcakes. BADA-BING BADA-BOOM! Braxton's first birthday!

**Some of Braxton's presents**

New Year's Eve

We have been in bed by 10:00 pm for the past 2-3 years for New Years, so this year we stayed up (it was some work)! Bryan had a get together at Mama and Daddy's house. We got over there and had some food (what good Baptists don't have lots of food) and played some games. **I'm NO GOOD at Mafia** Then we were part of the BEST New Year's celebration EVER! Around 11:15 pm we stopped playing games, prayed and then started singing in the New Year with praise and worship music. What better way to start 2012 then with singing God's praises. LOVE!!!

So, Happy New Year, let's do 2012. Remember to thank God for everything that he has given you and lean on him through the hard times.

I'll finish off with some random pics for the past 2 weeks that I love!

**New clothes + cleaning out closet = LOTS OF HANGERS**

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