Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday shortcuts

Lately Dan has been working a lot. Today unfortunately he had to go in to work after church so I have had to cut a few corners to keep my sanity. Since Sunday is after all the day of rest I thought I would share with you a few shortcuts to help you get through your day. These may or may not be things that have happened in our house today, but they probably did.

Wake up with approx. 1 hour until you need to leave for church to get there early and get all your kids to their classes. Perfect that leaves lots of space for a shower (in case you haven't taken one in like 3 days). First run down and preheat the oven so you can throw in some need to get used up so you don't eat them  in a moment of desperation for sugar cinnamon rolls. While in the shower mentally pick wardrobe for church.
Shortcut #1
Go with leggings so you only have to shave about two inches above your ankles.

Arrive at church 20 mins late...

After church if you need to run to the store and all went smooth. Get your kids buckled up and get ready to go. If for some reason your 3 year old starts screaming that he has to PEE RIGHT NOW!!! but you don't feel like getting every one out and going back in. That's ok
Just let said three year old hop out and pee in the sewer drain next to your car. Stand very close and make it look like you are both looking at a bug or something else. No one will know and this whole process will only take about two minutes with no one peeing themselves. Don't judge me!

When you return to your home with your family and your 18 month old is covered in a full beard of chocolate from the cookie you got to keep him quiet in the store. Don't worry about it.
Shortcut #3
Stick him in bed and wash the sheet after nap time. Between the milk he drools out and his sweaty head you know the sheet will need it anyway. Plus, that sweat may aid in getting the chocolate off his face.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ecomaids of Dayton review

So, a few weeks ago I won a free cleaning from Ecomaids of Dayton from Mommin it up. Friday was the day that they came to clean. I was super excited. One thing that made me really happy is that all the products they use are ecofriendly. We are (for the most part) a bleach free home. I started this long ago before Dan and I were married and I try to maintain this especially with little ones around. So, the idea of having professionals come in with products that won't hurt us or the enviornmet made me jump up and down. Seriously, when I won I jumped up and down like I'd won a thousand dollars. Plus, the fact that some one else would come in and do my dirty work was pretty exciting.
                                                                                                                                                                           The ladies who came were very friendly. They got right to work and didn't mind my kiddos and the craziness that came with them. Before they left I had to do an inspection. So, I did a quick look at each room and they all looked great. The counters were sparkly, the microwave looked like new. The front of my fridge looked great. They had dusted my entertainment center so my kids couldn't practice their art skills in the dust any more. My bathroom looked great. No smears on the mirror, no pee on the floor (yes, this is common in my house), even the faucet looked good. I saw them dusting out the fans, and they even did floors! So with my inspection done I signed a paper saying I was satisfied and then they took off. They left me a cute little bath set, too. I do love presents! So, I was happy.

However, once I got into my kitchen I was standing and admiring how pretty it looked I did notice a few things. my stove top was sparkly white, but the burners and pans had not been touched. There was still a noodle that had dropped from dinner the night before just hanging out there. Then I looked at my base boards and they didn't look a whole lot cleaner. So I took a wet rag to them and noticed the corner still had a ton of crumbs. My rag was full of dog and cat hair and dirt and kitchen yuck. I was a little bummed because I surface clean most days. I was really hoping they would be doing some deep cleaning.  Next I moved to the living room. Before they left I had asked about window since mine were still a mess. They said they don't do windows...ok, no biggie, but when I went to clean them there was still a decent amount of dirt in the bay window. My bedroom also looked pretty, and really the only thing I noticed right after they left was that they didn't dust the blinds. Again, not a big deal, just one of those deep clean things I was hoping they would do. At bed time though I did find some dust clumps from the fan that were hanging out on my bed. Then there was the bathroom. I was the most excited about this. With as many little boys as there are hanging out here my potty can get nasty. So, I was very pleased to have a deep clean here. However, when I lifted the lid the bowl had not been cleaned. That isn't even a deep clean kind of thing. It's more of a first thing kind of thing. My shower had been cleaned, but none of the bottles on the shelves had been lifted and wiped under. Both things were very quick and easy fixes, but I would think they would have been done.

Now, I will say that I didn't get a deep clean. I just stuck with the freebie that I had won. So, some of the things I had hoped for are a little extra from what it looks like. Some of the things that weren't done are supposed to be done in a routine clean.  

I am so thankful that I won. It was great timing because we have a birthday party today. I am so glad that it was free help. However, I think had I paid for the services I might be a little disappointed. I felt like overall it was a great surface clean. The ladies did a good job of making my house look pretty. I don't think that this was the deep clean I was hoping for, but I also have never had my house professionally cleaned so I don't know what is normal to expect. I did pull up the site and here is the cleaning checklist they used. So, if you are interested in using Ecomaids you can have a more in depth idea of what to expect.

Update: I wanted to let you know that Sid, the owner of Ecomaids, called after the cleaning to ask if I was satisfied. I let him know about the areas I felt were not done well in my opinion. He sent a team out to fix anything I felt was not 100%. He even came himself to make sure the job was done well. I am very impressed with a business that guarantees their work and is willing to fix any inconsistencies. The customer service is fabulous. Thank you, EcoMaids.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Fave!

I just saw this and I had to share! Family Christian has The Jesus Story book Bible on sale for 50% off. It is marked down to only $12.49! This is my favorite kids Bible. It was given to us by our friend and it is a huge favorite around our place. We loved it so much that we bought the deluxe set (which is what this is) with the audio. The kids love this.

A cool idea I saw was to use this as a kids quiet time. Isaac loves his Bible time. He sits with head phones and listens to the stories while following along. It is a great way to start the habit of spending time each day with Jesus. We also will play the CDs in the car and since now we have two books the boys can each read along. 

The thing I love about this Bible vs. other children story Bibles is that Jesus is tied in through every story. From creation to the cross it is explained how Jesus is the Hero of the story. The illustrations are fun and the stories are worded in a way that helps kids understand. We love this, and hope you do too!

Happy Birthday

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday!
I'm so thankful for him. He is my best friend. 
God is so good to have given me such an amazing man. 
Every day he points our family toward Christ. 
He is the best daddy in the world. Every time the door opens there is a stampede and cheers for "Daddy!"
He works so hard for us. I am so proud that he does such a good job at all he is given. 

He is a leader to not only his family, but also to those around him. 
He makes me laugh. He keeps me sane. 
He is constantly serving me and his family. 
He sets an example to our boys of what a Godly man looks like. 
I am so proud to call this incredibly handsome guy my husband.

He may be a little bit nerdy. 
But he is mine. 
He is super athletic.

 He is the keeper of the camera.

He's my other half, my best friend, my pastor, and my love. 
He is the driver of the car. My favorite person to road trip with.
He is the keeper of the chaos. Without him we'd go crazy. 
He is the best daddy ever. 
He is MY super hero.
I love being married to this man. I love our family. I love that God has blessed me so much by bringing us together. I hope to wish him many many more Happy Birthdays! 

Happy Birthday to my Love!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Levi on a mission

As a parent there are those moments where you have to ask yourself "where is my kid".
 So you go in search and this is what you find.
 A little boy who wants to be just like his brothers.
 yep I found him today in the sink. Brushing his teeth.
 with both his brother's toothbrushes.
So, on our Kroger trip today we picked up a few new toothbrushes for everyone. :)

Home school ahead am getting so excited to start Kindergarten! I know I should have started it like 22 years ago, right! I am so excited to get to start officially doing Kindergarten with Isaac and preschool will start with Asher. We have been doing preschool for almost 2 years around here to see if it could really work for us.

Now, the time has come and we will be starting on Kindergarten material soon! So, I thought I'd share with you some of our curriculum plans.
I have decided to use My Father's World as our curriculum structure for the year. One of my friends allowed me to borrow hers so that was a big savings. I will let you know what I think once we get into it a bit, but for now I love that it is Bible based. I feel like Isaac is a little further ahead of where this starts, but I will use this for both Isaac and Asher just moving at a pace that works for each of them. This will cover our Bible, science, and some social studies. I will use some of the ideas for phonics, but from what I have heard it is some what weak in the areas of reading and math. 
We have been slowly working through the hooked on Phonics K program. I LOVE LOVE LOVE hooked on Phonics! I bought a few different sets awhile back when they were running some crazy awesome sales so I have K-1st already. I can't say enough about Hooked on Phonics. I am an ADD mom and some of the programs I have looked at have made my head spin or bored me to death. These come with everything you need in the kit, it is fun and colorful, and so straight forward. I can't say enough good things. 

For math we will be using A beka math for Kindergarten. I am looking forward to researching more math programs and land on what we plan to use in the future. We are attending a home school conference at the end of March. I plan on checking out a lot of our choices for next year and beyond.

I will have lots of other fun supplemental manipulative and other goodies as well, but I feel like I have narrowed down my basics. Until I go to the conference and see all the cool stuff that is out there.  :)

Free episode- Jake and the Neverland pirates

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that my cool new ipod touch is not my own. Although it was intentioned to be a special mommy thing. The reality that my kids LOVE it is overwhelming. Now, at times this is not a bad thing (i.e. today in the grocery store). So, I like to have a few babysitter distractions for the kiddos loaded on my pretty pink toy.

So, I was excited when my friend over at DealsforDayton posted about a free episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates from itunes. Holla! Can you say 'watch this so Mommy and Daddy can eat in peace at a restaurant'. I can! Needless to say it is downloading right now, and, yep, it is going with us tomorrow when we go out to celebrate my hubby's Bday.  (who needs a sitter when you have a portable movie). 

Just so you know my kids don't get my ipod often, and we don't usually let them watch movies in restaurants. But since we couldn't get a sitter for tomorrow night there is a good chance we will be pulling out the big gun distractions. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Green Giant Review and Giveaway

Myblogspark contacted me and asked if I would be interested in trying Green Giant veggies and hosting a giveaway. I was super excited because we love Green Giant vegetable in our house. Honestly, we just love vegetables. (Well, at least the grown ups). So, we were sent a box of the broccoli and cheese to try. I was glad to get it, but it was not our first time trying this variety. We love us some broccoli and cheese sauce makes it even yummier. 
The other cool thing is that Green Giant is now endorsed by Weight Watchers. The  broccoli and cheese is only 2 points per serving, and they have lots of other flavors most of which are either 1 or 2 points per serving. The boxed varieties were so easy. Just pull out of the package and microwave. I will say one box was probably not enough for our whole family, but if you are using it at lunch for kiddos this would be a great way to get an easy vegetable serving in for them. Isaac who is a big fan of broccoli kept asking for more. I think he would have eaten an entire box himself. 

One thing I noticed is that the broccoli tasted very fresh. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like many times when I cook frozen broccoli that it tastes soggy and just not as good. They sauce was not too thick and not too runny. I can't seem to ever make my own cheese sauce. It comes out too runny or gets chunky. This sauce was just right. I only got to try a few bites since the boys liked it so much though. So, I may have to go get some more. :)

Green Giant through myblogspark has generously offered to send one of my readers a fun prize pack just like they sent me!
If you win you will get a coupon to try Green Giant boxed vegetables, an insulated bag, mixing bowl, and serving spoon. 
Here is how you enter:
1. Check out and tell me one recipe you'd like to try
2.  Follow me and leave a comment telling me you do. (If you already do that counts too!)
This giveaway will be open through March 1, 2011. The winner will be chosen at random using
*Green Gian provided me with the above prize pack and information through All opinions are my own. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu plan Monday

Here's what we are eating this week.

Monday- Stuffed Shells, green beans, salad
Tuesday-House church- biscuits
Thursday- Orange chicken
Friday- Date night
Saturday- Chili dogs
Sunday- youth group

Sunday, February 20, 2011

5 years ago

5 years ago today
Life changed in an instant
I became a mommy
We started growing our family
You came into this world. 

7lbs 6oz 21.5in long 4:22am
You look just like your daddy
You act just like your mommy
You have made me smile every day for five years

You are growing up 
You are a wonderful big brother
You care about your friends
You love to learn
You make us laugh
You give crazy hugs and wrestle to love
You are energy in motion
You are perpetual noise
You never stop talking
You love being surrounded by people you love
You love every one

My oldest child
lover of soccer, hot chocolate, and wii
my  pickle eater
The keeper of the schedule and man with a plan
My great traveler 

I can't believe five years has gone by
It feels like not long at all ago that they put you in my arms
I had no idea what I was doing
Then they sent us home and it started to feel real
Yep, we were parents, and this baby is ours
Now, five years later I can't imagine life with out you

You still look just like your daddy
You still act just like your mommy
You have taught me so much
And you continue to teach me more and more
I am so proud of you
I am so thankful that God saw fit to make you my son
I love you

Happy Birthday, Isaac!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm back!!!

I have been absent from the blogging world for a bit. I went on vacation to see my family in Arizona. The trip out there was not super awesome, but we had a nice time while we were there. The way home went much better, and I am so happy to be home with my hubby. So I have lots to catch up on. Hopefully the next few days will be full of all the fun stuff going on. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another brilliant idea...kind of

My oldest has been growing like a weed. So much so that he was only in size 5 for about 3 weeks before we had to do something! So I went out and spent that month's clothing cash on pants that I had to have right then. Which means I had to spend more than 1 a pair. :) So, I was able to get 7 pair of pants (including 2 pair of sweat/athletic pants). I figured this was a great solution. If I only have to store a weeks worth of clothes it isn't cramming the closets, I will keep up on laundry better, and when it comes time to store the clothes for the next kid there is a lot less to take up what little storage we have.

This has worked for the most part. The only downside is that I have to keep up on the laundry. Assuming I do a load a day on our hamper rotation every one has the clothes they need. Until...our dryer went out. Now, I have drying racks, but we do laundry in bulk and my kids think the drying racks are a tent. :) So, needless to say. Laundry doesn't happen without a dryer around here.

Thankfully, we have a wonderful friend who is willing to help us fix it. We thought it was the heating element, but it looks like it may only be a component. Which is a cheap fix, Praise the Lord! So, hopefully our dryer will be back in commission soon. Or Isaac may be wearing some interesting outfits. We are one day away from running out of pants...  :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome February

Wow, can you believe it is already February! I feel like Christmas just ended, but we are gearing up for our busy month. You see in our house month number 2 carries 2 big birthdays, a big game, a big trip, lots of fun parties for friends, and a whole lot of off schedule.

My super handsome hubby will be turning 28 this month (not too far from the big 3-0).
Oh, and this one hits a momma hard. My baby will be 5! When did this happen? I can't get over how big he is. I am so proud of him. He is learning to read, doing great with his writing, and loves to learn. Plus, he loves Jesus, which is the best thing a mom could ever ask for. 

We will also be heading out to the heat. We will be visiting my family out in AZ. By we, I mean me and 3 crazy little boys. This is coming up so I am getting excited. I haven't been out there in a long time so it will be great to see everyone. 

This weekend apparently there is a big game of some sort...All I know is that we will be hanging out with some of the coolest high school students on Sunday. Oh, and there will be wings. :)

We also have lots of other little friends who are celebrating birthdays this month. Maybe it has something to do with the rush of spring weddings, but there sure are a lot of Feb birthdays...just saying. 

The boys will be having a Valentine's Day party at Tuesday school next week. So fun for them!

We will be going on a double date with our good friends this weekend. I love date night. Plus, hanging out with friends and no kids for a few hours is great. ( I really love my kids, but a little time away is good too.)

I find it kind of ironic that the shortest month of the year is one of the busiest for us, but it is all fun busy so bring it on!