Tuesday, June 10, 2014

13th Anniversary

You know I've been married a long time when I am sitting here at 11:00 at night on my 13th wedding anniversary writing a blog post about said anniversary, while my husband is sitting across from me belly laughing while watching old episodes of Frazier.  We are lively aren't we....lol...

This is one of my all time favorite shots of my husband and I.  
I love it so much :)

Well, we do have a big date planned for Friday night, so I guess that is something.  We got take out and milkshakes tonight to celebrate and posted lovey dovey things to each other on Facebook.   I still can't believe it has been 13 years since we were married and 17 years since we met.  Here is a shot of us when we were first dating.  

We met when I was halfway through my sophmore year in high school and he had already graduated the previous year (I was always after the older guys, I guess).  We lived 100 miles apart and he just happened to tag along for a road trip with a friend of his who was going to attend my best friend in high school's sweet 16 party.  He didn't even know my friend (who's party it was).  It was the most improbable meeting ever. Below is a shot of the very first moment I took notice of him at that party.  He was asked to sing (he has an amazing voice) a song that he and a friend had written.  This picture is of him in the back ground singing and me looking at the camera with a huge smile on my face, turning to complete mush, because I was SMITTEN!

Can you tell this was from a high school girl's birthday album...haha!  I am the one all the way to the left in the foreground and my husband is the one all the way to the right in the background. 
This is one of the most precious pictures to me.  Not many people have the very moment they met captured this way. 

We both formed crushes on each other this night, but we both thought we'd never see each other again...until I bumped into him a few weeks later on a trip to Columbia, SC (I was from Charleston, SC) to attend the circus.  He got my number, we went on a few dates....and it was LOVE.  We only dated for a few short months (6) before he headed off to serve a 2 year mission in northern California for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We promised to meet back up once he came home.  I dated other boys while he was gone, graduated high school and when he came home, we basically picked right back up where we left off.  

This is us the very day he came home in 1999.

We did one year commuting back and forth 100 miles to see each other every week.  I drove up to see him once a week and he drove down to see me once a week.  When my little sister passed away that very same year (pictured above sitting on the floor in front of me), I moved up to Columbia to have a fresh start and to live near him.  We were married one year later.  I was 19, he was 22 (almost 23).  He saw me through the hardest thing that ever happened in my life, and I knew that he was it for me :)  

Our Wedding

We have seen each other through the hardest of times and the happiest of times.  I love this man more than anything in the world.  He is the best man I know.  He is always the most hilarious person in the room, always has everybody in stitches....he is usually the smartest person in the room...he talks to me every day, tells me everything he thinks and does, he is my very best friend.  He always finds me attractive no matter how much of a mess I am, and how many pounds I may have gained.   I've never met another person who is more genuine than this man.  He is fiercely loyal and does not ever compromise what is right, no matter what.  I have never met anyone who is more sure of them-self.  He is full of integrity and does not follow the crowd.  At the same time, he is also wonderful with people.  He is able to always stand his ground and buck the trends and people always love him for it.  I am always in awe of him, every day....even after all of these years.  He is an incredible example to those around him and most of all to our children.  I could not say enough good about this man.  Here are some pictures, of us over the years.  



Easter with just two little boys 

Pregnant with our first daughter here on my birthday in December of 2008


Love this one...it shows his real smile...and I am clearly cracking up at something he did


The birth of our fourth child...an emergency C-section....super scary



the beard (in case you can't tell, it goes down to his chest).....  You can't say I'm not a supportive wife.  Oh, the beard....

so glad the beard is gone

Easter this year.  Not sure why I look so much larger than him here...

And this was my tribute to my husband on our Anniversary.  Love you Babe! With all my heart :) 


Friday, June 6, 2014

A Day in The Life. My Summer Schedule for Six Kids

What a summer this is going to be!  I am going to be babysitting all summer, which means I now have two extra kids for the summer....that makes SIX y'all.  They are, as follows: 11, 8, 7, 5, 3 and 2.  I love having an extra child to babysit during the school year.  I only had 1 child home with me during the day this year and this gave her someone to play with and it helped with the cash flow.  Part of the deal, though, is to also watch her big sister during the summer.  I didn't really think that through, I think...ha!  I wasn't remembering that I'd have all of MY kids home too.  Oh well, it is what it is and I'm not about to go back on my promise to anybody.  Six kids it is!

I had to take everybody to Walmart the other day and I really didn't have any choice.  I took a picture because, well, I had six kids in Walmart....we made it out alive though :) My oldest son is too funny in this picture, he is hitting that pre-teen age where everything embarrasses him.  I had the three little girls in the first shopping cart, and the three older kids walking, with my oldest pushing a second cart full of groceries.  It was nuts. I was constantly fussing at the little ones to sit down and to not fight, while the 7 and 8 year-olds chased each other in circles around my shopping cart. 

I am taking the opportunity this summer to really crack down on our whole family.  I HAVE to.  We will not make it through this if I don't.  

We have instituted new rules.  It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally enforcing the "only eating in the kitchen" rule.  Everything in my living room area is wipeable, so I've always let them eat on the couch and watch TV for lunch and snacks (not dinner)....the problem with that is they always manage to sneak off with food into the bedrooms and we all know what kind of problem that creates.  It just adds to the chaos as well.  I am being super hard core about chores.  My boys have to do a whole bunch of chores each day in order to have one precious hour on their beloved Xbox.  I am also really working hard to not repeat myself when I am dealing with my little girls.  It's hard, but I'm trying to make sure I punish them immediately if they don't listen to me the first time. We are going to be working hard on consistent exercise and diet as a family....stuff like that.  

I also have a pretty tight schedule that we are going to follow.  I thought I would share it with you guys.  

It starts at 7:00 am (I'm still working on getting up this early...I'm still sort of rolling out of bed at 7:30 when the kids I watch get here).  Ideally, I would get up at 7:00, start a load of laundry, do my morning walk through (mentioned here), make breakfast and get dressed before they get here.
7:30:   Kids arrive and I get all of the kids to sit down to breakfast, (I usually make mine at this point too).  Unload the dishwasher and wipe the counters down after breakfast....maybe start laundry at some point in the day (gotta get better about this!)

8:30:   Get the kids ready and head out the door! (the gym is 5 minutes away...it takes the rest of the time just getting in the car)

9:00: We all go to the gym....ahhhh, time to myself :)  My gym allows me to bring kids I babysit, so this helps a lot.  They also have a pool, so we are going to rotate one kid per day getting to come swim with me for a little one on one pool time/swim lesson. 

11:00:  Head home, kids do chores and play while I make lunch. I'm going to make up a big chore chart soon...but for now, they just do what I tell them to do. We also make sure to pick up all toys that have been pulled out before lunch at this time too. 

12:30:  Eat lunch, clean up after lunch...do some dinner prep (crock pot) or maybe make cookies or granola bars with the kids. 

1:00:  Quiet time.  The only child I have that takes a nap is the youngest.  I lucked out and she is a super heavy sleeper....so I just put her down on the couch and have the rest of the kids line up and sit on the couch with her.  I put her to sleep with the TV blaring, so the other kids don't wake her up with their inevitable noises.  It works like a charm! The older kids don't need a nap anymore, but they definitely require some down time.  I put the little girls on the couch with a movie and I let the older boys go up to their bedroom and play on the Xbox (because they worked so hard to earn this time earlier doing all those chores) The boys each get 1 hour on the Xbox and the girls have to sit quietly for at least an hour, and then they can play quietly until the little one gets up.  I use this time to sweep the floors, do any other small chores that need to be done and then log some computer time.  

Quiet time :)

2:30:  Quiet time is essentially over at this time and the kids just play until 3:00 when the girls I babysits' mom comes to get them. (that was an awkward sentence to write) 

3:00:  Take a huge sigh of relief because we have gone from 6 kids back to four.  There is nothing like adding two more kids all day to make it seem like the ones you have aren't that much work.  We usually just do whatever we want for a little bit.  The kids get snacks.  I will blog, or work on projects.  The kids play or watch TV.  I will have my oldest watch the little girls and I will go take a shower (at this point, I'm still all sweaty from the gym).  Sometimes we will run errands or play outside....whatever...it all seems like a break at this point. 

5:00:  Start preparing dinner

6:00: Sit down to dinner. 

After dinner, the little girls clear the table and scrape food into the trash, my oldest scrubs all of the dinner dishes and loads the dishwasher and my second oldest does a walk through of the main living areas and picks up toys, etc.  Everybody makes sure their bedrooms are clean.

7:00: The boys go off to take showers, we give the girls a bath (realistically, we usually alternate boys one night, girls the next, unless someone is exceptionally dirty).  

7:30:  Read scriptures as a family, family prayers, kids brush teeth, put little girls in bed. 

8:00:  Little girls are asleep by now and we send the boys off to their room.  

8:30:  Start dishwasher, Collapse on the couch and have a nightly chat session with the hubby and watch our TV shows.  

11:00:  If I haven't sacked out on the couch already, we go to bed!  

If I can stick to this schedule, I can handle everything.  If I veer away, things fall apart and I become an overwhelmed crazy person. 
We also have lots of fun things planned for this summer as well.  I started a play group with a bunch of friends, so we will be doing a different fun thing with friends every Tuesday (instead of the gym), and I figured we make sure to plan at least one other outing per week as well.  We have plans to go to the beach a few times and for my older boys to have "movie nights" with their friends and we just took a bunch of them to the arcade last night.  I think it will be a good summer.  Funny thing is, the fact that I have so many kids to watch is what is going to force me to make sure this will be a fun summer instead of years past where we would spend day after day in our jammies.  

Well, guys, wish me luck!  

What kind of summer will you be having? 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Teacher's Gifts: DIY Monogrammed Clip Board

Good Morning Friends!

Today is the last day of school for my kids.  My oldest had his graduation from elementary school yesterday (I can not believe it!!!) and they are all having parties and lots of fun today.  I am going to be spending my whole day running between classes at the elementary school (with three little girls in tow) delivering teacher's gifts and bringing class party supplies, etc.  Should be crazy.  I'll let you know how that goes....

I thought I would share with you what we made for teacher's gifts this year.  I have seen this idea all over the blogisphere, but I didn't really copy anything I've seen out there.  The best thing about this project is that it is super cheap, but it comes across as something really special and personal.  I bought 6 plain clip boards, a big pack of really cute scrap book paper, pulled out my Modge Podge and went to town!

I had a friend of mine cut out the letters on her Silhouette, but you could easily do this by printing out the letters on printer paper, cutting them out and then tracing on the scrap book paper (would be a pain, but it's doable)....or even put your scrap book paper into the printer and print the letters directly onto the scrap book paper, you just have to make sure you remove all of the printed letter while you are cutting it out.  If you aren't familiar with the Modge Podge process....here's how it goes...really simple:

  • paint it on
  • stick the paper on
  • paint it over the paper
  • repeat if you want to add more layers of paper
  • let it dry

Here are the first two we made for my daughter's preschool teachers.  The kids call these teachers by their first names, so we used first names for them

#1. Back

#2. Front

#2. Back

I tried to choose papers that seemed to go along with their personalities.  Not sure how well I did, but they both seemed to like them! 

The next four are for the elementary school teachers.  I went with initials only for these, since the kids don't call these teachers by their first names.  

#3. Front

#3. Back

#4. Front

#4. Back

#5. Front

#5. Back

#6. Front

#6. Back

I thought they were all so fun!  I can't wait to see what the teachers think of them :)  

After letting them all dry for 24 hours, I sprayed them down with a clear coat poly (in a spray paint).  It helps keep them from being tacky.  They didn't feel tacky, but in my experience, things finished with Modge Podge will stick together if something is left against it for a long time....and clip boards will probably have papers stuck to them for more than five minutes.  I'd hate for the papers to stick to the modge podge...so better safe than sorry.  

Hope you all have a great day!  

linked up at 
liz marie blog