Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ever Had One of THOSE Days?????

Well, I did.  And it is not what you are thinking.  It was one of THOSE days that I don't want to forget.  Not the "I just won the lottery!" days, but a day that made me feel content and like I am where I belong RIGHT now (because sometimes I wonder what I am doing).

We had a stay around the house day for the first half.  Homemade waffles, eggs, bacon and orange juice.  The kids had some TV time and then said they didn't want to watch TV anymore.  Yes.  They.  Did.  Instead they got into costumes and just played.  Like kids do sometimes.  The imagination stuff where one is a doctor or a dancer or a race car driver.  And they played well together.

Clark needed a haircut so he and Daddy headed out for some "boy time" while I was home with the girls.  They wanted "ballet music" so I put in a CD with classical music and then they asked for me to be their ballet teacher.  I don't remember much since I was 6 when I took ballet lessons, but we have a book so we referred to it and did some stretching, practiced first through fifth position and they wanted to do some tippy toe moves as well.  They love to do "ballet hands" and I love to watch them move in the graceful way that four-going-on-five year olds move.  It was a treat.  Kendall got out a couple of stuffed animals and set up mats as seating for them to watch the show.

Daddy and Clark returned home and everyone was ready for a trip to the park, but it was after 1p, so naps were threatened.  We decided to offer skipping naps in order to make the most of the afternoon and the sunshine.  We had a quick lunch and headed to McFee Park in Farragut because it offers a great play area with absolutely no shade on it and that is exactly what we needed on a cool day.

Unfortunately, it was not as sunny as I had hoped, but the kids had fun.  And we did too.  We took a walk around the whole park and gave each the opportunity to be the "line leader" which turned out to be a really big deal.  Daddy found them each their own walking stick and we were on our way.  I even incorporated some Operation Boot Camp-Knoxville moves in our walk with skipping, going sideways, walking backwards, etc.

Clark and Daddy decided they needed more boy exploration time and the girls wanted to get back to the playground.  Emma found a new friend and they played tag, ran around and then collapsed on a bench.  Kendall played "pirate girl" at the top of the slide but told me that I wasn't playing it right when I said "arrrrh, matey!"



We haven't taken the kids out to dinner very often in the last few months, except for McDonalds or ChickFilA.  For some reason, we decided to check out Mr. Gatti's in Turkey Creek.  I have never been there nor had the kids and we figured we would try it out since I had a good coupon.  I won't give it super high marks on the food, but it was pleasant, kid-friendly and we all left with full bellies.

Normally Saturday is popcorn and movie night.  Once the kids were bathed, they headed downstairs and Daddy helped them find something short.  We all snuggled on the couch under blankets and watched a quick show before coming back upstairs to tuck them in for the night. They were all almost asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows.  Success!

Nope.  It wasn't some big exciting adventure.  We didn't win the lottery.  And we didn't spend a lot of money.  But we had time together as a family and it went smoothly.  It's been a challenging week at home, so I welcomed these moments and I really cherish them.  God reminded me of what it is I am supposed to be doing here on this earth.  I am their mom and I need to be here for them and really WITH them.  It was a very good day.  Thank you God for this day.








Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013! And a Christmas Recap.....

We had a relatively calm New Year's Eve but did party it up just a little with Auntie Karen and Uncle Tom, a bunch of appetizers and some of those "fun" NYE horns.  Uncle Tom did the balloon drop and they even had little surprises inside some of the balloons.  This required some popping of balloons.  The Louis booties seemed to be a little too small to pop them by taking a seat, but there was a lot of effort, which was hilarious.  They ran around the house blowing their noisemakers and it sounded like a gaggle of geese were being tortured (as we're the neighbors, I am sure), but they did have fun.

I'm going to try to get back to posting daily, with a photo or something written just to keep the memories "fresh".  Tonight I thought I'd post a little about Christmas too since I missed it here.

As I tucked the girls into bed on Christmas Eve, Emma said I should get to bed.  I mentioned that Santa makes his visits for boys and girls.  Kendall pointed out that he would have to bring me my stocking items, so I agreed that it might happen.  Kendall said that maybe Santa would bring me my "longest hair" for Christmas.  How sweet.

And then my precious Clark said Jesus would come over for dinner for his birthday on Christmas.  He explain that he would make pirate hats and I would need to get all of the other birthday "stuff".  That's my boy working on hosting a party for Jesus.  ;)

We spent the early morning opening gifts before heading to Auntie Karen and Uncle atom's house for  brunch.  It was a special gathering of friends and family including Tommy, Stephanie, Ricky, Doug, Nanny Barb, Mr. Jerry and Josh.  The food was amazing and it was a pretty relaxed time for all, except for the mustard incident.  Clark found a very interesting lazy Susan and wanted to give it a spin.  Unfortunately, it had two different types of mustard in open dishes that went flying onto the carpet.  I believe Clark has left a permanent reminder of his silliness on their carpet.

Aside from that, the kids enjoyed spending time with everyone, opening gifts, being silly and playing with their new toys.  Clark got a Lego camper and truck which got put together pretty quickly with a little help from Josh and Nanny Barb and Mr. Jerry.  They are SO handy!  The girls got new Barbie dolls and some accessories.  Clark and Emma also each got a kid's camera (one that Kendall had already), so they were ready to take photos of everyone.  It was also funny that the girls decided to show up dressed in their brand new Disney princess costumes.  They each got two  costumes and have worn them almost every day.


We also announced to the kids that we are GOING TO DISNEY WORLD in January! I am so excited that I just wanted to be able to tell them it is coming. I don't think they quite understood it like I had hoped, but I know they are going to love it!

Santa brought Kendall a skateboard along with knee and elbow pads (for all).  Emma got a baby doll with some play items/clothes from Santa.  And Clark asked for a Lego set and a toy motorcycle. Apparently all three had been good because Santa came through for them.

Dinner was at Poo Pa's and scheduled for 5 or 5:30p but we all fell asleep and didn't wake until until 6:10p when Teddy started barking like a crazy dog. We were lucky that Poo Pa, Uncle Stevie and Uncle Albert tolerated us being over and hour late, but we were so happy to get the chance for a meal and some Christmas celebrating with them as well. The kids were thrilled to get to share some of the excitement of their new toys with their grandpa and uncles, so I think it was awesome.

We are so blessed to live so close to family and be able to make Christmas memories.

Merry Christmas (belated) and Happy 2013!











Monday, December 10, 2012

Winners of National Geographic Super Readers Giveaway!

Sarah and Bzelenka are the winners (see comments on the original post here).  Please send me your contact information (including email address) so that the company can make arrangements to send your National Geographic Super Readers package!  Congrats!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Product Review: Xlear SparX Candy - Sweetened with Xylitol





Once again, because I'm a Mom Ambassador with Moms Meet, I received a product for review and wanted to share my experience with anyone who might be interested.

Xlear SparX candy samples were provided as well as some Spry Children's Tooth Gels.  Xlear (link to their Facebook page) SparX is manufactured by Xlear (please check out the website link because they have many other products including nasal sprays).  SparX is a candy that is sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a plant-based, dentist recommended sweetener. It does, in my opinion, tend to make the product taste really sweet and almost "cold".   The flavors I sampled were Fruit and Citrus and I thought both tasted pretty good for something that is made with a sweetener other than sugar. The packaging was nice because it snaps closed and didn't just fall open in my purse or bag. They are small, round little pebbles in pastel colors.

According to the information provided to me by the company, Xylitol has been proven to improve dental health and strengthen tooth enamel. This is pretty important to me since I have a VERY sweet tooth, and have had some issues with cavities over the years, despite the fact that I love to brush my teeth often. I have also recently completed chemotherapy treatments which can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth, so I thought this might actually be helpful.

I would recommend this to friends who are trying to avoid sweets made with sugar as long as they like products made with xylitol as a sweetener.  Sometimes these sweeteners can be an acquired taste but I have had it xylitol, so there were no real surprises.  My teeth will probably thank me later. :)  Should you still be looking for those stocking stuffers, SparX would be great for kids and adults who enjoy sweet treats without all of the dental work that might follow.  According to the information provided to me, the SparX candy retails for $1.49 per tube, which seems pretty reasonable.

For simplicity, here are the links provided in my review:

MomsMeet

Xlear website

Xlear Facebook Page

DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the MomsMeet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a MomsMeet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

National Geographic Super Readers Program - A Review and Giveaway



I am excited about my first opportunity to review and blog about a product as a result of being a Mom Ambassador through Mom's Meet.  The National Geographic Super Readers program is a great way to get kids motivated to read about nonfiction topics.  My family always subscribed to National Geographic magazine when I was a child and young adult.  When my children turned 4, we subscribed to the National Geographic Little Kids magazine and they enjoy the wonderful photographs and activities that are a part of the magazine.  This Super Readers program is just another wonderful way that National Geographic brings "the world" home to children, so I was glad to have a chance to share this with my kids.  National Geographic makes it easy to keep up with new publications via their Facebook page at National Geographic Books.

Since my children are not yet five, I appreciate the fact that the program is broken down into reading levels (Pre-Reader, Level 1, 2 and 3).  This makes it much easier, as a parent, to decide which books would be right for my children as their reading skills progress.  While we have one who is an avid reader (all on her own), my other two LOVE books but are not able to read independently.  They all love discovering new books on the shelf and I can find so many new and interesting subjects they haven't yet experienced as a part of the Super Readers collection.

We received Sharks!, a Level 2 reader in the National Geographic Super Readers Program.  The full-color pictures make the information very exciting (at least when describing sharks, as you could see the teeth of one VERY clearly on the cover).  Since this is a Level 2 reader, we did read this book together and I'm sort of glad since it was such a slightly scary topic, but really interesting.  The kids are always interested in animals, the ocean, etc, so it was easy sitting down to check it out with them.

The National Geographic Super Readers Website provides a chance for the kids (and parents) to download a poster which lists the readers by level and title and allows them to track their progress.  Downloadable bookmarks, magnets and even an iron-on transfer can be found on the website as well to celebrate their participation.  My kids are thrilled to have a chance to display any sort of accomplishments, so I expect that each one will have their own poster to track their progress reading through other books in the Super Readers Program.  The website also encourages children to continue reading and achieving a higher reading level by offering other rewards and incentives.  The games and activities will further enhance their experience.

I am able to offer THREE lucky winners a National Geographic Super Reader book, poster, bookmarks and badges.  I will select the winner via Random.org on Sunday, December 9th, 2012 at 10:00pm EST.  Please leave a comment below to enter.

DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Fall Ya'll 2012

Here are some shots from the other day when Daddy made a pile of leaves for the kids to attack.  Clark decided he didn't want to be part of the shenanigans since he was busy "mowing" and fixing his mower.  This means, of course, that I have LOTS of pics of the girls and didn't get many of Clark.  I did try but he wasn't in the mood.  The good news was that Daddy conveniently located the big pile of leaves right at the bottom of the slide.  This proved to be a really fun location!














Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

I'm just trying to get some pictures posted from Halloween.  I had trouble getting clear shots of the kids because 1.) it was getting dark fast, 2.) there are three of them and one of me, 3.) I haven't had a lot of time with my camera lately and I tend to keep it set on "auto" which means I don't always get what I was hoping for when I clicked.

Enjoy!








I should mention that I am NOT a fan of anything scary on Halloween.  I love to let the kids dress up and have fun, but I do not like being creeped out by scary costumes or anything.  I was thrilled that Kendall wanted to be Sleeping Beauty, although by Halloween, she decided on Tinkerbelle instead.  Clark really wanted to be a dragon and somehow I didn't really have anything that would work (or so I thought).  We went to an indoor trunk-or-treat type event the day before with another little friend of theirs who was dressed as Woody (from Toy Story), so we sent him with his Buzz Lightyear costume and he seemed happy.   Emma was Skirt Girl.  Come on.  You've heard of her/ She's the newest and greatest super hero of them all.  OK, not really.  She is Emma's hero.  She said she wanted to be skirt girl and when asked what that mean, she replied "I wear a skirt and look beautiful."  I asked what else she would wear and she said that she would need a long or short-sleeved shirt and some pretty things.   I missed the "pretty things" but she seemed to love her outfit.  I think she will be able to help us stay creative during future Halloween costume-planning-sessions.

All three kiddos have been sick off and on for about 2 weeks.  Clark was home with me for two days last week and Emma has been home this week.  We had originally planned to return to the BEST NEIGHBORHOOD EVER for their incredible parade and opportunity to trick-or-treat, but decided to stay home.  The kids were bummed until we said they could go out (with Daddy) to a few houses.  They only hit about 5-6 homes that evening (including, of course, Poo Pa's house) but they loved every minute.  Parenting success!

I hope that everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween!