More water please!

My name is Lori and I am a Diet Coke-aholic!  I love it.  I love it in the morning, afternoon and night.  I love it with Mexican food and hamburgers and fries.  I don't just love it with junk food but healthy food too.  Give me some broccoli and a Diet Coke, I don't care.  I love crushed ice and stryfoam cups ( I know, I know ).  I love Sonic Happy Hour.  I have a sickness. 
I know I need to drink more water.  I will say I've gotten a little better.  I usually down at least one bottle first thing in the morning and more if I work out.  But I still drink more soda than water.  That's why I was so excited to get this little beauty as a gift from my school.

Not only is it cute but reusable.  I have a thing with straws, I don't know why.  So I absolutely love this thing.  Plus I swear it makes water taste better.  I put some ice in, a couple lemon slices and I'm good to go.  I have actually been debating buying bags of Sonic ice to have at home.  Is that wrong?  I guess my point is I've been drinking more water!  Who knew all it took was a plastic cup and straw?  It's the little things in life I tell you. 
Now don't get me wrong, I'm still drinking Diet Coke, I'm not a saint.  But at least I will be saying more often than not, "More water please!"

To the Victor go the Spoils

I may have inadvertently broken a few child labor laws yesterday.  I dragged out ALL and I mean ALL the clothes out of my kids closets and drawers and our off season closet as well.  They tried on and tried on and tried on.  My daughter loved it, my son - not so much. 
Sadly I discovered they had grown quite a bit since last season and very few things still fit.  Darn you Milk!!  Let's just say I needed to buy hangers when we started and now I have more than enough empty ones.  So on a whim I decided to post some of their clothes on Craigslist. 
It's amazing how God takes care of little things.  I had six different posts with six different sizes and I had a grandmother of 9 buy every last bit!!  Not only that but she paid me $10 more than I asked.  Who does that?!?  So the kids are splitting the money to go buy some clothes that do fit and I am one happy momma!
I went to bed with an absolute sense of satisfaction with cleaned out and organized rooms and closets throughout the house.  It was a long day but well worth it.  I even have some stuff to put back for a garage sale in the spring.  Now if only Christmas would put itself away.....

Baby steps...

As yesterday's post mentioned, my house is a BIT of a mess at the moment.  So I woke up this morning with a plan.  Actually I have a plan of what I want to do over the next few months but that's another post.  Anyway, I wanted to start in the kitchen since it seemed to be the worst.  It always amazes me how during the rush of the holiday season the pantry, frig and cabinets can get so darn messy.  Maybe it's the addition of all those yummy treats!  Whatever the reason, I decided it was high time to weed out the pantry and frig.  Get rid of all those expired seasonings and salad dressings and tidy it up a bit.  I am always fascinated by blog posts about this sort of thing.  That probably makes me weird but maybe there is some other weird gal out there who would like to read mine. 
So here are some pics of what I had to start with:
So several loads of trash and two Michael Buble CDs later, here it is.

Whew!  Much better!
There still are a few random things left from the holidays but nothing makes me more thankful for my home and family than a stocked pantry and refrigerator.  I know that isn't always the case for some, so let's not forget those who could use our help and love even when the holidays are over.
Well I'm off to the kid's rooms.  Wish me luck!

Help! I think a tornado has hit my home!!

This year we made our first out of town trip for Christmas in the last decade.  To say I've become spoiled being at home for Christmas is an understatement.  The packing and planning and driving and oh ya, gas prices!!  Of course I wouldn't have it any other way.  I got to spend the holiday with my parents, grandparents, sister, uncle and of course my hubby and kids so it was well worth it!  I just think next year I'll have a better handle on what I need to do ahead of time. :)

The night we returned home from our trip I was exhausted and decided a bath and bed were the best options.  Sometime during the night a stomach virus got a hold of me and it was not fun!  Now as you can imagine, no laundry had been done, we had no groceries, (remember I said I would plan better next year) and gifts and suitcases were scattered all around!

My sweet hubby has taken care of me and the kids and the house the last two days but if you know me at all you know I told him to leave everything from the trip alone so I can do it all when I start feeling better.  Well this afternoon I got up and wanted to go right back to bed! 

We did make it grocery shopping with Chris at my side and my super excited son. (yes that's total sarcasm)  Somehow my daughter got out of it by being at a friend's house.  But we made it!  I even got some after Christmas sales at Target.  But now I'm home and looking around and wondering if I will get all this done before my kids get back to school.  Hmmm not likely.

I thought a few pictures might be appropriate here.  Yes you can start praying for me now!

So I think for now I will just sit down with my new magazine and pretend it's already done!

Sending out some treats

I realize it is after Christmas and I am only now posting about this BUT  I find some of these things at garage sales during the summer so better late than never right?  Anyway, here are some of the goodies our friends and neighbors received from us this year.

I think how you wrap a gift is almost as cool as the gift itself.  The candy striped box held some great Pampermint foot stuff from Arbonne....yummy!!  The candle was purchased in a set at Sam's early in the season which made them $5 a piece!  Add a tag and 1/2 price ornament from Hobby Lobby and you're good to go!

 I got this cutie container at a garage sale for like 50 cents.  I'm telling you, I find Christmas containers like this all through the summer and I have a tub I keep in my garage where I put them all until I need them.  They always come in handy, especially if you need a quick gift.  Throw in some cookies or fudge and you're set!  Plus they cost practically nothing.
 Tins from Target Dollar Spot - can't beat it!
I should mention I added the words to these on my own.
 So I tried chocolate dipped pretzels this year.  They were so easy and kinda fun to make.  I chopped up some walnuts, candy canes and used some festive sprinkles as well. 
Well there you have it, some cute ideas that say Merry Christmas without costing you a fortune!


Merry Christmas Kevin Durant!!  From some of your biggest fans!

Why can't they just STOP growing?!?

My friend Melissa, who is a budding photographer, offered to take some pictures of my fam for Christmas.  Well who am I not to help a friend who is trying to hone her craft? ;)  As I looked at the CD she gave me of all the pics it occurred to kids just keep looking older!!  I know this is a no-brainer but I don't like it one bit.  I see them everyday and sometimes I don't realize just how much they have changed until I look at old photos.  No more round cheeks and pudgy fingers.  But they still have those freckles thank goodness!  I know someday soon I will look back on this year's pictures and think how little they looked.  But for now I would just like to pretend that they will be this cute and cuddly forever! 

From the mouths of babes....or nine year old boys

Before I went to run errands this afternoon I sat my son down and gave him some blank thank you cards and a list.  I told him to fill out the thank you cards to his friends for his birthday presents.  I found them on the kitchen table a minute ago and had to share, as I thought they were hilarious.  And fyi, I will be using his exact spelling...hehe

Ezra, Thank you for the bowtie money (Ezra's mom had oragamied the money into a bowtie) I wore it to church Sunday.  From Colby

Levi, thank you so much for the USCopoly. From Colby PS - Levi switched around spells evil

Nate, thank you so much for my birthday gift card and the car. I drove it to school. From Colby

Austin, thank you so much for my gift card there is so much I want. From Colby

Ryland, the orangangtang, Thank you so much for my money I got $80 in all.  From Colby

Adam, Thank you for thoes delicies Nerds and money I got $80.  From Colby

P & E (that would be his uncle Paul and aunt Emily), Thank you so much for my bday money. I got $80 in all. Love Colby

I think it's funny he said Love only on his uncle's.   Boys! :)

Bye Bye Boring Calendar....

Hello Shutterfly book!! 
Every year I get my dad a photo calendar for Christmas.  Ya know, twelve months, twelve pictures taken throughout the year.  Inevitably I wouldn't remember this little project until November or so, leaving me to search through the pictures for the best twelve I could find only to question myself on every month.  Well no more!!  I got an email link from a friend of mine sending me to this little website to make a FREE book. 
Now my first thought was wondering how cool a free book could possibly be but let me tell you....I'm ecstatic!  I love when I find things that make my life easier.  I'm sure some of you have known about these little book treasures for a while but I'm obviously behind the curve.  It took me about an hour and a half to make.  Click, drag, label.   That's it people!  No cutting, no adhesive, no borders, backgrounds or stickers to stress me out.  (Can you tell I'm a recovering scrapbook perfectionist?)
Well, I got my glorious little book in the mail today and I cannot WAIT for my dad to open it.  I have to say it was tempting to keep for myself.  But I figure I can make more...and more....this could truly give my children hope that someday they will be able to flip through an actual book with pictures of their lives instead of dumping out a box of pictures to sort through. 
I ♥ you Shutterfly!  Thank you for giving me a fun orange envelope to open and squeal with delight when I see my masterpiece!!

Pretty lights and warm fires

I decorated my first Christmas mantel and I must say I'm pretty happy with it.  I received the picture last year as a gift from my mom so this was the first time I got to hang it up.  It reminds me daily of the real reason for this season we are in.  Of course the pictures do not show me putting the garland up only to realize I forgot the lights. Taking it down and doing it all over, adding the extras, lights, ribbon.  Trying to hang the picture with wire then reading the sticker that says DO NOT HANG WITH WIRE.   Well guess what?  I hung it with wire.  I'm waiting for the day it comes crashing down.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

In the daytime...
 In the night time...

Close ups of the garland

I got the bells at a garage sale of all places and the stocking holders half off at Hobby Lobby

Here's a closer shot of the picture.  I love it!
It reminds me of the movie 'Nativity Story'

Well I'm going to go snuggle up around the fire!!

Bowling anyone?

So my baby boy turned nine!!  (Insert tears here)  I cannot believe he is almost double digits.  I need a baby in my life quick.... I don't want to HAVE a baby, I just want to love, cuddle and squeeze a baby then send it on home with its mama!  But I digress....
What do you do with a group of hilarious, fun albeit occasionally rambunctious nine year old boys?  Well you go bowling of course!  I came in last - LAST place to children.  I really need to work on my game. 
Happy Birthday Colby, I love you sweetie!!  ( And don't forget you promised to stay nine forever )
 His friends got to sign the bowling pin for him to take home...too cool!
Thank you Target for pulling off what I couldn't!  hehe
Not sure where this ball is going to end up

Don't mess with mama when she is bowling!

They knew how to keep score better than me, so I let them

 Present time....
 Who knew car shaped colgne would be such a hit?
 Dad is proud
 That's a bow tie made out of money by the way

Good times with good friends!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

I LOVE decorating for Christmas.  So my decorations have been up for a couple weeks including the tree but minus the ornaments.  These days finding a night when we are all home long enough to do something is getting rare.  But we did it!  I love watching the kids go through their ornaments from years past and telling stories about mine from childhood.  Ahh Christmas memories!  So here's a peek at my tree.  I'm linking up with this cute blog!

More Christmasy fun to come!!

My brain is going to explode.....

This is how I've been feeling lately.  (This is a webcam pic of my daughter by the way- I'm so proud! :) )  Then I read this blog post and it made me start thinking even more about the pressure we as women put on ourselves and sometimes others.

Alot of my problem boils down to my personality, or that's what I tell myself.  I don't like to start things unless I can finish them and do them perfectly.  Of course, I have to start things because that's life but I rarely feel good about them.  Add in the complete inundation of information these days....facebook, twitter, TV, magazines, "helpful" books and blogs -  my gosh the blogs!! 

I love blogs, obviously, I have one.  But I will sit down to browse through my list of favorites and jot down ideas I see or things I want to do.  What was suppose to be 10 minutes turns into 2 hours and I finally tear myself away feeling inadequate and lame.  Why can't my house look like that?  Why didn't I think of that?  I should be better about that.  I should always be prepared and have a plan like they do.   How does she do all that and still have kids?  I wish I had a super big fun craft room.  I wish I had this and this and this and time for that and that and that!

But I don't.  I do what I can, when I can.  Somehow it never seems good enough.  Well I say.....enough!  I will quit trying to be supermom/superwife/superfriend/superchurchlady/superemployee/supervolunteer (yes those are all words)  I will  be me!  Flaws and all. 

Blogs sometimes read like an annual Christmas letter.  Perfect pictures with perfect stories and perfect lives.  I hate to burst anyone's bubble here but I am far from perfect.  I don't always have it together.  It is the night before Thanksgiving and I still have 5 pies, cookies and a casserole to bake and I am sitting on my computer blogging.  But ya know what?  That's okay.  The food will get made and we will have a wonderful day with my family. 

That's what is important after all right?  Not how much you get done or how pretty you look doing it but that you make an impact on those around you.  That when you leave this earth they don't just say, "Man she made a mean pumpkin pie!"  They say, "Man she was a generous, loving, compassionate person and I will miss her!"  So relax this holiday season ladies!  Do what you can do and forget the rest.  I guarantee your kids will not remember if your wrapping paper matched but the time you spent together celebrating the birth of our Savior. 

Now, I'm off to do some baking!!