Friday, September 27, 2013

Kids say the darndest things...

Amelia Jayne says some of the cutest things. She loves to talk, but doesn't always enunciate her words (like Xander always did :)). My all-time favorite thing that she says right now is Xander's name. She either calls him "Xenown" or "Xandu" - both of which bring a smile to my face.

Me: Amelia Jayne, what happened to your face? Did you bump?
AJ: No.
Me: Did you fall down?
AJ: No.
Me: Did something hit you?
AJ: Yes. Xenown.

Remember, nonny is Amelia Jayne's blanket.
AJ: Nonny!
Me: You want nonny?
AJ: Yes.
Me: Where is it? Go find it.
AJ: I want Xenown get it.
She's already trying to get that boy to be her servant.

X: Baby girl, can I have that or not?
AJ: Not.

X: Mommy! Amelia Jayne just hit me! She came over and just hit me on my back!
Me: Amelia Jayne, we do not hit. Tell Xander you're sorry.
AJ: Sawwy.
A few minutes later.
X: I still love you, baby girl. I'm not mad at you, but we don't hit.

Can I just stop right here and tell you how precious it is to me that Xander calls Amelia Jayne "Baby girl?" Oh my goodness. It is the sweetest thing. He usually only calls her Amelia Jayne when he's mad at her. :)
We kind of all call her baby girl, which is where Xander picked it up. And she refers to herself as "baby." I mean, it doesn't help that we gave her the longest name ever and it will certainly be awhile before she can clearly say her own name, but oh my. I'm always reminded of Dirty Dancing when she calls herself baby.
"Nobody puts baby in the corner."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interesting articles and random facts

I read this article the other day. I've read a few of the books. I don't know if I would say they're life-changing.
The Giver is a great book.
Life of Pi made me think, while appealing to my creativity.
The Joy of Cooking has saved my life before. Or at least, my dinner.
The Artist's Way is insightful and I have The Artist's Way for Parents on my "to read" list.
The Fault in Our Stars certainly left an impression. And I would read it again.
Maybe there was some life-change there. :)

I found this blog through work. I really like it. There's some great ideas for story times, but there's also good reader's advisory and book reviews.

I found this app through Beth's blog. I haven't used it yet. Has anyone had experience with it? Love it or hate it?

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage month. We celebrate it at the library through programming and special displays and such. My friend, Vero, hired a Latina Zumba instructor, who does a program called Zumbini (Zumba for preschoolers), to present a program at the library. I took my kids and invited a couple of friends with girls Amelia Jayne's age. They all loved it! Xander talked about it the rest of the day and still mentions Ms. Gina, the instructor. Vero took pictures, so I'll post them on here when I get them from her.

Read this article the other day. L-O-V-E-D it. Can't say enough how true this article is and how much happier we would all be if we remembered that.

Made some stuff on pinterest lately.
Blueberry scones with lemon glaze
Cheddar cookies
Cracker candy
Spinach artichoke bites
BBQ chicken
I would recommend all of them. I might leave the lemon glaze off the scones next time and just eat the blueberry scone, but it was still yummy...and so easy to make!
I really enjoy cooking. And I especially like cooking in my new kitchen. :)

I helped co-host a Pinterest party last Friday night! It was so much fun! We each brought a dish we had found on Pinterest and a craft that we wanted to work on. I brought the stuff to make this wreath. It turned out so cute! I just need to add a bow...and I eventually want to add a wooden "L" painted black. We all enjoyed it so much that we want to make it a quarterly event.

Thought this article was funny and sad. Oh NC, can't we appreciate our teachers more??

I lol when I watched this video. Hashtags make me want to throw up. #puke

My favorite thing I've read lately are the funniest autocorrects of 2012. The language is terrible, so I apologize for that. But you have to read it. You will laugh so hard. David and I read them together and we were both crying by the end of it. You might even need to wear a depends. :)

If you love the Avett Brothers (and who doesn't?!?) then check out this video. David bought tickets for their New Year's Eve show in Charlotte. Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Go Panthers!

We took Xander to his first football game on Sunday. David's dad came with us, too. It was so fun! We sat on the second row, right behind the Panthers, on the 30 yard line. If you watched the game and saw Steve Smith get injured in the first quarter (and thankfully return to the game immediately after the injury) then we were less than 15 yards from where they were examining his back. Great seats!
Xander got his face painted, a souvenir cup and a Panthers football to bring home. The Panthers beat the Giants 38-0 and since both teams were 0-2, they were equally determined to win this game. The Panthers came through for us, keeping David's streak alive (he's been to 6 games and the Panthers have won every game he's been to).
Xander was probably a little too young to understand what was going on. He can't follow the game very well yet and doesn't really get it when you talk about the players and the ball and first downs, etc. He cheered when we made touchdowns and followed everyone else's lead when they clapped and cheered and stood up. Overall he did really well, not getting fidgety or upset, but he was definitely ready to go by the third quarter. We bought him some skittles and that, plus his new football, kept him occupied through the last quarter.
Can't wait to do it again sometime!




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Labor Day love

Somehow I never got around to posting our Labor Day happenings.
We went to Pigeon Forge, TN, for a reunion with David's family.
It was a sweet time to reconnect, celebrate GG's 80th birthday, and enjoy the new generation...
5 "babies" - Xander, Amelia Jayne, Emory, Avery and Ethan.
Lots of love to go around!

Thanks to Ame for the pictures...I stole them off facebook! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Caterpillars continued...

Thursdays are "Show and Share" days at school for Xander.
We plucked a couple of those cute little caterpillars and put them in Xander's bug catcher so he could take them to school.
He talked about them non-stop.
He got home that afternoon, so excited to tell us about his experiences with his classmates. And we let the caterpillars go so they could become beautiful butterflies. :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dear Mr. Blueberry

Have you read this book by Simon James?
I kinda love it.
If anyone would like a pen pal, let me know.
I might ask Xander if he wants to start sending letters to people, just so I can help him write them.
The art of writing letters is dead.
Well, it's not, but I haven't written letters in a long time.
And I really love it.
Kind of reminds me of this book I once read. (GLPPPS)
And loved.
I love sending, but mostly receiving mail.
If you need my new address, let me know.
And send me yours if you'd like a letter, too. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

A multitude of blessings

Tonight I came home from getting my hair did around 8:40 and was immediately irritated. Xander was still awake and helping a frazzled David search for his phone which he had lost somewhere in the house. I could still hear Amelia Jayne in her room chatting with her stuffed animals.

My first thoughts were purely selfish and ugly. Somehow I kept them to myself (though I'm sure my voice and attitude gave away my feelings to both David and Xander) but God knows all my thoughts, so they weren't really hidden anyway. Those thoughts went something like this:
"I wanted some alone time when I got home!"
"Why are these kids still awake when they have to get up for school in the morning?"
"Why must I come home and put them to bed when I was expecting to have a break from the normal nightly ritual?"

But what I initially thought was an irritation turned into a thing of beauty.

I called David's phone and he found it.

I laid down with my tired son and I kissed his head, held him while he drifted off to sleep and prayed for him, telling him how much I love him.

I went into my daughter's room and her head popped up over the crib. She reached for me and I went in to pick her up. Her smile lit up the room. And when I picked her up she clung to me in a tight embrace. And I rocked her. And prayed for her. And held her little body in my arms and stroked her head and whispered words of love and sweet prayers to our Lord. And then she started playing with me. And we giggled. And then I became the responsible mama again and told her that we needed to go to sleep. And I sang to her and she laid her little head on my chest while I sang hymns and precious-to-me songs.

And I was reminded of what a blessing it is to come home to a house full of people I love.


My computer and my brain can confirm this. 
Ah, sweatpants. My forever friend.

4 and 1, but you get the point.


Made me lol.


Friday, September 6, 2013

What I Learned in August

I'm behind. We're a week into September and I'm just now getting this out there...

1. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, nuf said.

2. Though I lean towards girly things - I love a mani/pedi, sparkly jewelry, bubble baths, dolls and lipstick - I also have a deep appreciation for certain "boy" things - I like lots of sci fi and guy movies. I'm also not afraid of bugs or guns.

3. Though my husband seems to like "boy" type movies and TV shows, I've learned over the years that what he really loves is relationships. He may have started watching "Friday Night Lights" because it was about football, but what kept him coming back was his love of the characters and the relationships they had. Not to divulge too many of his secrets, but he loved the show "Felicity" and once I finally convinced him to watch "Parenthood" (one of the best TV shows on the air) he adores it. And he also laughs at "The Mindy Project" but, unfortunately I think that's because he's dealt with me over the past 9 years...

4. I am not a finisher. I start a project and move on to the next, only to go back and find all of my half finished projects sitting untouched. It's the way I work. (This is why I have 42 drafts sitting in my blog archives...yup, you read that right. Forty-two. Most of them you will never see.) With the exception of my outside-the-home job, I start something, move on to something else and then go back to my original task. (I do, however, finish things at the library. I kind of have to or I would get fired. But I don't do it in the typical way. I'm glad to have a job that caters to my work style.) BUT I'm learning that I LOVE to finish things. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. Probably because it so rarely happens. :)

5. I want to be a gardener. Our new house has lots of opportunities for me to test this out. I lack confidence (as I do in many areas of my life), but I'm determined to be brave. And just try.
This desire came back to me when our inspector told us there is a Japanese Maple (which is beautiful) in our front flower bed that needs to be moved. It's slow-growing, but eventually the roots will grow into the foundation of our front porch if we don't move it. I'll probably hire someone to move it considering I don't know what I'm doing and it's a beautiful, not to mention expensive, tree that I would hate to kill. But I have big plans for other things in our yard and flower beds. I can't wait to start!!

6. I knew I loved to read, but I've read so many books this summer! I guess I'm reminded of how much I love to read. And a reminder is a great lesson.

7. I want to be unique. My husband's probably laughing as he reads this. Hello, Mr. Glass. :)
I see so many bloggers and things on pinterest that are truly unique, and I love the style, but I don't want to copy them. I want to be unique, too, and enjoy my style and what I do and the things I have. Maybe I need to learn how to showcase what I have and what I do? Perhaps that's what I need to focus on? Anyway, there are tons of things I would love to try out over the next few months and years. I'm so excited to get started. :)
Of course I am. See number 4.

8. Though I want to be a consistent blogger, there are times when I just can't do it. Life kind of gets in the way. Thank you for understanding and I hope I get to post lots more in the coming weeks.

9. I LOVE our new house. I love my bedroom and how spacious it feels. I love my closet and how amazingly large it is (I'm pretty sure I'm going to make one end of it Mommy's quiet place. I have plans for that space, oh yes. I have plans to add a chair and a lamp and maybe a little side table with a coaster for my coffee. I love my kitchen. I love setting up my computer at the kitchen table with the blinds open and sunlight filling the room. I love sitting here with a cup of coffee. I LOVE coffee.

School Days

My babies started school this week.

Preschool 2013.

Amelia Jayne is in the older toddler class and Xander is in the 4 year old class.

Amelia Jayne screamed her head off cried when I dropped her off at her classroom. I hope she gets used to it again soon. It breaks my heart to have her cling to me and scream out my name. Luckily for me, David will be the one dropping her off the majority of the time. :)

Xander is in his element. They learned the rules the first day of school and he came home telling me exactly what he's supposed to do at different times of the day. He told me all about how he should  treat his friends and books and how to take care of his lunch and his potty business. I mean, he already knew all these things, but it makes him happy to tell me all about it. :)

"I'm strong! I can do this!"

"See ya, Mommy!"

Those two.
Be still my heart.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Interesting articles and random facts

I am proud of this mother for sharing this article. I think we are so ashamed sometimes of who we are or who we are perceived to be.
From the article:
"God did not create us to pull ourselves up on our own. We are given grace every moment of every day, and the trick is learning to receive it."
Grace can come in so many different ways...

I know y'all are gonna think I'm crazy. I go back and forth on the whole living "clean" or "natural" or "green" or "environmentally friendly" thing. I like the idea of cutting out chemicals, but man it takes a lot of work to transition your whole life to this! I might try a cleaning product (like this*) and either hate it or love it  so I might or might not be "all natural" in that area. I see a sale on something that's "green" and I try it out.
I absolutely love my current shampoo and conditioner, and I mean, it's already paraben free plus it has some green initiatives. I've been using it for almost 2 years now and it smells so heavenly, while preserving my color-treated hair.
(I know what you're thinking - isn't color-treated hair actually chemically-treated hair? Yes. But I can't cut that out just yet. I'm too young to be completely gray...which is basically what I would be if I didn't color my hair. I'll look into it, but I make no promises. Sheesh.)
The thought of trying something new is scary and exciting at the same time. I read this article the other day and thought about going more natural, but I don't know what baking soda and vinegar will do to my color-treated hair. Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
And I think I may try this sometime soon, too...
*For the record, I was very indifferent to soap nuts...I didn't hate or love them, but I needed something stronger to get out stains, typically using oxiclean stain remover which is considered an environmentally friendly product.

I haven't talked about the library much lately. I think I'll dedicate a post to the library in the next couple of weeks. Until then, check out some cute fingerplays and songs that I found recently...on a blog I've known about for a long time, but is worth talking about!

I didn't watch the VMAs.
I'm too old to watch MTV or the VMAs.
Honestly I guess I've always been "too old" having never been one to watch MTV anyway.
I wasn't a huge 'Nsync fan, so I wasn't hyped about watching the big reunion, which I know is why the majority of 32 year olds watched it...right?!? Please say yes.
Even though I didn't watch, I sure have heard a lot about those VMAs.
At first I was curious, but then I decided it would be best for me not to watch any clips on youtube.
Some things just can't be unseen, you know?
Although I didn't see the actions performed on stage, and I really have nothing to weigh in on having to do with the VMAs, I read this article and it hit home for me.
The letter posted in that article is worth saving for my son.

This article about parenting little ones was so real and hilarious (and man, I love it when people keep things real and hilarious) that I emailed it to my husband. His response?
"I don't remember writing that..."
He's so funny. :)

I had run across this website before while doing some research at work, but this particular article seems very appropriate considering we have an emerging reader on our hands! :)

I know this song is old. And I know I've heard it about a thousand times, but I just can't get enough of it. :) Thanks, Hillsong.

Since we're on the topic of's another one that I just can't seem to get enough of...

Ooh, and Relient K's most recent album? Love it! Especially "Lost Boy."

I met the Nester a few weeks ago and I can't get enough of her! She's very encouraging about having confidence in decorating. My house is (and probably always will be!) a work in process...kind of like me, I guess.
I also love this article she wrote about schooling your kiddos.

Have any interesting articles or random facts you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them!

Books I've Read - May-August 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home
by Wiley Cash
I listened to this story on audiobook in the car. Sometimes, if a book is read really well, it's almost worth listening to it instead of reading it yourself. This was one of those. I don't know how much I would have enjoyed this book on its own, but hearing the voices of Adelaide Lyle and Clem Barefield made it more likeable. Their voices were soothing, caring and kind. I guess it just goes to show that you're never too old to be read to. :)

Kisses from Katie
by Katie Davis
Oh how I love stories like this. I get so caught up that I want to be a missionary, too! It seems crazy that I have to remind myself that I have children and a husband to care for. I wanted to go to Africa as a missionary so badly while I was in college. I planned to go for a year after graduation, but it didn't work out for me. I researched it, looked into it, called, even began making plans in my head! But it just wasn't meant to be. I admire Katie so much. I could NOT do what she does. Each. And. Every. Day. But I admire her and people like her. I hope to visit Africa one day - maybe I can go on a mission trip with my children and meet up with Katie there. :)

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
by Ayana Mathis
A recommendation from my mom. I'm pretty sure she wanted someone to read it so she could chat about it with them. I would not recommend it, though. It was interesting and intriguing, yet disjointed. It was fairly sad without much joy throughout. Overall, not my kind of book.

Sparkly Green Earrings
by Melanie Shankle
I laughed so hard! Very true, relatable and hilarious - for all mothers out there. I am so glad I read this book. Rarely does a book make me laugh out loud, much less spray coffee out of my nose whilst reading it. My sides still hurt from the laughter. :) Thank you, Melanie Shankle. Well done.

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
I was fascinated by this book. The imagery, the amazing happenings, the wonder of it all. I truly enjoyed it. The end threw me for a loop. I won't spoil the ending. I'm just amazed at the wonder and beauty and depth of feeling we see past each and every day simply because it's unbelievable.
David and I are going to have a date night soon and rent it. I'm looking forward to it. And I know he is, too, since I talked about this book incessantly while reading it.

The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
Eh. It was an interesting premise and I had hoped for a great story. It just wasn't. A tad bit juvenile - since the main characters were in middle school and the subject matter didn't seem overly adult, I think it should have been categorized as "Young Adult Fiction" but it was just "Fiction" in, for adults. (I'm not knocking YA fiction...I have read many YA novels that I love and which far surpass this book.) The story didn't develop as much as I would have liked. Disappointing.

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
Supposedly one of the summer's hottest novels (it came out last summer, so maybe it was last summer's hottest novel, idk). Rarely do I read novels when they're popular, but I got on this one early purely by accident. I read a review on it, put it on hold at the library and had it in just a couple of weeks. Now I seem to be hearing about it everywhere. Plus, looks like Reese Witherspoon is making a movie out of it.
It was interesting. It had a couple of plot twists (though I called the main one long before it was revealed in the book), but the ending was a tad disappointing.

One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp
As my husband says after I described the premise of this book to him while at the beach, "Not really a typical person's beach read." I'd have to agree. I also agree that I'm not your typical person. I tend to pick up very heavy or inspiring books when I'm on vacation. I don't really know why. However, this is a great book. It'll really get you thinking. And praying.
*I have to admit that I'm not quite finished with this one. I will be in just a week or so, though, so I figured I'd go ahead and add it here. I also bought the devotional recently, so I may post more about this book as I go through the devotional.

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Oh, John Green. How I've missed thee. I forgot until I started reading this book just how much I do like his books. They're so witty and charming and you can't help but like the strange cast of characters. They're all very endearing, really. I had read An Abundance of Katherines before and really enjoyed it, so when I saw this one come out I thought I would give it a peek. I may check out Finding Alaska next...I wanted to read it a long time ago and just forgot about it. Anyway, this Young Adult novel is fantastic. It will make you LOL, cry, smirk, smile and overall appreciate life more. I am so glad to have read it.
Apparently there's going to be a movie based on this book, too.

Sex God
by Rob Bell

I cannot say enough about Rob Bell's books, sermons, videos, etc. He is such an amazing thinker who comes up with many ways of looking at things that I would never have seen on my own. I'm always very challenged and encouraged after reading Rob Bell's books. This book is no exception. It fit very nicely with the series "Future Family" that we're doing at church right now. I highly recommend this book. And don't forget about another of my favorite Rob Bell books Love Wins.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Lion King

This is a picture of my boys just before we took Xander to see The Lion King on stage a couple of weeks ago.
Man, was it fantastic! I'd seen it before, but this time was even better. In a strange turn of events, David and I got put on the front row. WOW! Seeing it that close was truly amazing.
The costumes.
The make-up.
The literal in-your-face moments.
I was slightly bummed that I didn't sit with my boy, but Grandma had given him his ticket for Christmas, so it was only fitting that he sit with her. Plus, he really wanted to sit with her anyway. :)
And David and I got a mini-date. :D
Xander did amazingly well. He's the only little four-year-old I know who can sit through a three hour musical (with one intermission) and not make a peep or get antsy or fidgety. I was very proud of him. Of course, a kid who can handle a wedding alone should be fine in a play, right? :)

If you haven't seen this amazing musical, you should.