Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wine Tasting GNO

My friends and I like to get together every couple months and have a girls night out. We all love wine and I've been wanting to try some other wines so I decided that for this GNO that we should do our own wine tasting. I put together this invitation and all the gals were on board. We crammed all 5 of us and all our things into Laura's Tahoe and headed north to Little Rock.



I snapped this picture in the elevator of all the stuff we needed for only one night. It is ridiculous but I guess that is what you get when you take 5 girls somewhere. 


Amy and I decided to get personalized wine glasses for us. Amy purchased the glasses and I bought the decals. They turned out super cute. The winner of the wine tasting was the Stella Rose peach. It is only 5% alcohol and just the perfect amount of fizzy. 


Each of us also bought a snack food. Brooke brought pinwheels, Amy made brownies, Laura made some delicious cheesecake dip (I'll be getting that recipe and sharing), Cassie brought veggie dip with different crackers, and I put together a platter of strawberries, grapes, and cheese. The fruit dipped in that cheesecake dip was my favorite. We have decided that all other GNO trips that we need to always bring snacks. It was the best thing getting to graze and getting a chance to taste new foods. 

After our wine tasting we went to the piano bar where we stayed 5 hours singing our heart out. We always enjoy ourselves there. Here are a few pictures I took of the day/night.





Did you do anything super fun this weekend? 






Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update: Spring Bucket List


When it came time to look at my Spring Bucket List I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I'd actually done more on my list than not. The top part of my list is looking a little sad but there is plenty of spring left. 

I even wrote about each of these things in blog posts except for the spring cleaning. That actually got done this past weekend. It feels so nice to have everything cleaned and organized, even if it is only for a little while. 

Here is the post about the Easter Egg Drop.

This post is about our wild trip to the zoo.

Over Easter weekend we played in the rain and I talked a little about it here

So far I can't complain too much about this spring except we have had enough of the allergies. My favorite part about the spring is being able to open the windows and let the fresh air in. Ah, it feels so good!

If you would like to check out other Spring Bucket List updates I've included some below:

Katie's update here
Leslie's update here
Tamara's update here
Sheila's update here
Natalie's update here


Monday, April 24, 2017

2 Educational Toys That All Kids Love

This year in my elementary library I added in educational centers for kindergarten and first grade.  Each class is 40 minutes long. For the first 20 minutes we read them books and then they do centers for the other 20 minutes. There are 5 centers total and three of those are technology (one computer and two ipad centers). The other 2 centers get changed out every five weeks. We've done blocks, dice games, puzzles, but the two favorites are the gears and the magnets. I never would have thought that the kids would love them as much as they do.

Gears
Here is the gears set that we have. The whole bucket is only $37.23 and is enough for 4 kids to play with happily. They really make some interesting things. I'm really surprised by how creative they can get.


Magnets
The idea for the magnets came from our STEM teacher. I thought the kids would think they were boring but boy was I wrong. It is by far their most favorite center. It takes two of this set for 4 children. Each set is only $19.64. 


I can't rave enough about these two educational toys. If you are looking to add in some activities that your child will really love and keep them occupied for a very long time then these are perfect. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Confessions

1. The other day I blogged about the beautiful rainbow we saw at our house. Here is a picture. It was amazing! We are so lucky to live on such a beautiful piece of land!


2. I've been giving the ACT Aspire to 4th grade this week. Next week is 3rd grade. It is a lot of me walking around and I can't even wear my Fitbit. I hate not being able to count those steps. I'm giving tests 13 days days this month. It is very boring. I'm just thankful that I only have 3 more days of it.

3. I found a great swimdress on modlily. It came in today and it fits perfectly! As a plus sized girl finding a swimsuit is not easy so I'm so very happy to have one that looks good and fits good.

4. In one month we will be at the beach! Jack has never been and I can't wait for him to see it. Also, my dad who is 56 years old has never been to the beach. It is going to be the best time.

5. When I do get a chance to watch tv I've been watching reruns of ER.

6. The other day Jack started screaming that he wanted to see "my Maybree". It makes my heart smile that they are more than cousins, but more like brother and sister.


7.  I need to put the Easter decorations away but don't have the umph to get it done.

8. Speaking of Easter decorations, two of my glass bunnies no longer have ears (thanks Jack!)



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Survived Easter Weekend!

Our Easter weekend started with being off for Good Friday. I was hurting pretty badly in my neck and so my Mom offered to rub this stuff called Biofreeze on my neck. She said it does wonders for her knee. Well within two minutes of it being on my neck, my neck was burning so badly. I did all I could to clean it off but the damage was done. I had a chemical burn! Four hours later I was home from the ER and was much better. 

Saturday was a much better day. I would even go as far as calling it perfect. We spent the whole day outside playing, coloring our eggs, riding gators, and taking some super cute pictures. We ended the night with a small rain shower where we all played in the rain. Then we got to see a double rainbow. It was almost dark and we decided to have a hamburger cookout. We ate hamburgers and hotdogs. Everyone was ready for some serious rest.

Then all hell broke loose.

First, Jack vomited a few times. It was all.over.the.place. The mattress was soaked. We moved to the couch to sleep. Then it hit me. I was sick all night long. My sister texted me at 10:15 that night saying her little boy was vomiting. The stomach virus had hit.

Easter day Jack and my nephew were feeling better but I was not. My family had a cookout with 20 members of our family. I came out periodically to say hi but I kept my distance. 

I feel a little better today. I'm just not eating anything and I'm chewing ice. 

Here are a few pictures of the happy times!






Friday, April 14, 2017

Feeling So Loved + 1st T-ball Game

Wednesday I came into work and this was sitting on my desk. Of course I loved the gift but the note was the best part. I love when someone appreciates me. These bath bombs are super popular in the town where I work. Once they dissolve there is something small revealed. In this one was a small plastic high heel shoe. 
I am so thankful that she thought of me. It really made me feel special.


My Secret Pal got Jack the greatest Easter basket full of goodies. The cup has his names on it which I love. He loved everything and we are going to play with the bubbles this weekend. Also, Jack is like me and loves peeps. 


Jack wasn't the only one who got a basket full of goodies. I love the bodycology brand and I am going to treat myself to a nice long hot bubble bath this weekend. I am also going to buy something for myself with my giftcard. It's always hard for me to spend money on myself but I'm going to make myself do it. Oh and the mocha was the cherry on top. It was exactly what I needed to get through work. Also, this basket is super cute and I want to do something with it where it can be out all the time.


Now a little t-ball talk. It's been no secret that I've been super stressed about how Jack acts during practice so to say I've been worried about his first game is a huge understatement. It went exactly how I'd thought it would go. While the other team was up to bat Jack wouldn't stay where he was suppose to and ended up playing in the dirt. He loved to bat and did well running to the bases. I just hope that as the season continues he gets more involved. 


Here is his team after the game. I know one day I'll look back at this picture and think where did my baby go. They are all so precious and I'm very proud of them and us parents. 


We are off for Good Friday and my nephew is spending the day with us. I hope to get a few things accomplished but mainly just spend the day playing with the boys outside. I hope you all have an amazing Easter weekend. It looks like we might do Easter a day early due to the probability of rain. We are having family over and having a fish cookout. We will do a small Easter egg hunt after we dye eggs. The Easter bunny will visit and Jack will get his fifth and final Easter basket this year. He has been so blessed! He got a basket from school, my Secret Pal, I ordered one through his school before I knew the school was also getting them a class basket full of goodies from their friends, my mom got him one, and then he will get his Easter bunny one on Sunday morning. I'm going to have to hide lots of candy and just bring it out periodically. I'm sure I'll help him get through it ;)

Happy Easter!!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Women's Service League Easter Egg Drop

Saturday the Women's Service League of McGehee held our first Easter Egg Drop. It was such a fun event!!! I got there at 8 am to help setup. The night before I made my contribution to the bake sale.

This is the cherry delight I made for the bake sale and it was purchased before it even got on the table.

This is my Women's Service League t-shirt. It is the softest shirt ever.


All the people buying up the goodies

I spent $40 of my own money on some wonderful treats



Some super cute items


Several families brought blankets to sit on and enjoy their treats

We supplied everyone with free donuts and juice.

People donated their own decorations for the event


We had free face painting for the kiddos

The Easter bunny was also there for pictures. Here is my two favorite boys. I'm so happy that these cousins have each other.
We also had a guess how many jelly beans station

I didn't get any pictures of the egg drop but you can watch the video of the eggs being dropped by clicking here.

There were a little over 6,000 eggs and they were picked up within a minute. It was wild but such a fun event. I love being more involved in my community. It was great seeing everyone being with family and friends. We are already talking about how we can add to the event next year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Powersheets Progress Update

I've been doing my Powersheets since January 1 and this has been the first goal tracker I've ever stuck with for this long. I've also never been so productive. I'm sticking to my New Year's Resolutions like never before. It feels amazing!

One of my favorite aspects of the Powersheets is the spring refresh section. It makes it so you are able to decide if you want to keep those goals, throw some out, or just tweak them a little. I love that it is built in so you don't feel like you are a failure if you need to change directions.


Here is a quick rundown of how my life has changed since January 1...


  • I've joined the Women's Service League of McGehee and have participated in my first committee for the organization. I've loved being able to get involved in my community and meeting like minded people.
  •  I'm reading the Bible in a year and have been so surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. I know I'll finish before the year is up.
  • I signed Jack up for t-ball in order to spend more quality time with him and to meet more moms in my community. It hasn't been easy but I'm still glad I did it because we've both been enjoying having something to do together.
  • Move more. I bought a Fitbit and have already upped my goal from 7500 to 10000. I'm easily reaching that goal and will need to up it more soon. I haven't really lost any weight but it does feel good moving more. 
  • Love the people around me. I struggled for awhile trying to figure out what my calling is in this season of my life. After much thinking and praying I determined that I need to focus on loving the people around me. I've been reaching out more to friends. While at work I'm more intentional with my co-workers and students. I've seen amazing progress in these relationships just by doing a little more. I've given small gifts (coffee, candy, cute pillows, bought lunch), checked on students who are having a hard time, written thank you notes, given more hugs, and really listened to those I'm talking to. I've also done the same with my family members. I've given grace, listened, done favors, brought home surprises, and laughed more with the people I share a roof with. 
  •  I was able to secure Jack's future a little more by getting Jack's father to sign his rights away and he'll soon be a Ponder. The day I get that birth certificate will be one of the top happiest days of my life.
  • I started Paxil and I can't say enough positive things it has done for me. I'm so much more calmer now. Dealing with such an active child like Jack, Paxil has been a God-send. 
  • Using Walgreens I created photo books for Jack. I have one for each year and I'm buying one once a month. I'm also staying on top of adding pictures to the 2017 album to make creating that photo book a sinch.  
  • I've been able to start a savings account. I've also been paying on debt regularly and making progress.
  • Getting more organized has also been one of my goals every year. Oh the process I have made. I got rid of a lot of toys, clothes, shoes, and papers. I'm also staying on top of my car which gets cluttered really quickly with a 90 minute commute to work. I've also established a folder that all important mail goes into and then once a week I sort through it and add the important stuff to my important documents/bills binder. I've also created a google sheets document to record my debt that decreases the debt balance on the sheet as I pay on bills. I love seeing that number go down!
Those were all the big progress moves I have made so far in 2017. It feels really good being able to see some actual progress in April. Usually by this time I've given up on my goals. I'm excited to see what positive changes I'll make in April and May. I haven't completed my Spring Refresh part yet but I know once I'm finished I'll walk away feeling renewed and ready to tackle even more. 

How are your 2017 goals going so far? 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ambulance Ice Cream Truck

The other day I'm on the phone with my friend Jessica as I'm riding around town waiting for our supper order to be ready. As I turn the corner I can hear the sounds of an ice cream truck and my friend could hear it too. It was so loud! I was surprised that our super small town would even have an ice cream truck. I keep looking for it but there is no ice cream truck. The ice cream truck music is coming from an ambulance. I tell Jessica and she is like that is not true so I went around the block to take a picture.

I am stuck behind an SUV that has parked at the stop sign. They put the car in park and then walked over to the ice cream truck so I'm just stuck there which works out because I need to get that picture. I'm sitting there taking a few pictures and the lady driving is just staring at me. I felt so uncomfortable but I had to share the picture of the ambulance ice cream truck with my friend.

After the people in the SUV get their ice cream they drive on and the ambulance pulls up beside my car. The woman says "Boo I'm sorry. I'm just trying to sell ice cream boo." I try to explain to her that I'm just taking a picture because it is funny that there is an ambulance ice cream truck. She then says "Boo, don't call the police I'm just trying to sell ice cream". I finally get through to her that I'm not taking a picture to show the police but am really just taking a picture because it is a funny sight to see.

You would think being an ambulance ice cream truck that they would have a clever business name but no. On a cardboard sign it read Q & J Ice Cream. I could really help them out with their branding. I'm thinking they need to be dressed as paramedics for starters.

Well I can't end this post without showing you the now infamous ambulance ice cream truck.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Jack's Zoo Shenanigans

It had been two years since we had been to the zoo so it was time. Living with Jack is like going to the zoo every day so when you mix the two together things get really wild. I was prepared with the backpack leash. It was a great thing that I had it. Before I get to the Jack shenanigans let me share a few precious pictures that makes it look like we had a breezy relaxing time.





The first thing we did was feed the fish and then headed toward the penguins. Jack kept sticking his fingers into the area trying to touch them. Then suddenly we hear Jack screaming "penguin stop biting me". I had to pull Jack's finger out of the penguin's mouth. It was bleeding but Jack didn't cry and he kept sticking his fingers back in there. In October Jack got bit by a pig at the pumpkin patch. The boy just loves animals and can't keep his hands off of them. His hands bring me to the next Jack zoo story.

It was Toad Day at the zoo and throughout the zoo they had small stations set up for kids to learn about different toads and frogs. Some stations had ice cream or coloring. Jack and I walked up to one station that had two small plastic cages on a table. We walk up and the woman starts saying "this is the world's most poisonous frog". At that time Jack grabs the cage and takes off. The woman is yelling "don't open it, don't open it". Thankfully I had him on the leash so we were able to get the cage from him before he could open it. I have a feeling that the worlds most poisonous frog will be kept in something a little more secure next year. Y'all pray for me.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

T-Ball

I signed Jack up for t-ball back in February. I really thought it would be a fun activity for him and I and well it has been, most of the time. 

There are 10 kids on the team and about 75% of them have a fairly good idea about how this whole thing works even though they too have never played before. Jack wants to do what he have done in the yard which is let him hit the ball over and over. At home there is no one he is taking turns with and usually he runs and gets the balls he hits. 

At the very first practice he had a meltdown because someone grabbed the ball before he did. I'm talking in the grass, screaming, kicking-meltdown. Fun times! I wanted the ground to swallow me up. Even the kids who have no idea what they are doing just stand there. Not Jack. He runs off. He throws his glove in the hair. He pulls up the grass. He has zero interest except when it is time to bat. 

After the second practice I had to take Jack to my Mom and I went riding around so I could cry in private. He acted a straight fool. I so badly wanted this to be a fun activity and all I felt was stressed. We have since had another practice that went better, not great, but better. Thankfully, another kid decided to act worst than Jack that time. I talked to that Mom and we bonded. We are having a playdate today. 

I have an active child and I'm really trying to let the stress of t-ball not get to me but y'all it does. It isn't that I want him to be a good baseball player. I just want him to not run after the tractors that are driving down the road. Also it would be nice if he would stop throwing his glove into the air. 

I got a cute shirt made because well if I have to deal with a fit throwing kid then I at least want a cute shirt.

Jack and his coach Macie

Team picture. Oh the cuteness!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Spring Break was full of fun and getting stuff done. Since my son Jack and my nephew Bennett were also out of school they hung with me this week. On Monday my dad cooked out while Jack and I went to his first t-ball practice. It was so sweet. At one point Jack just sat in the grass and started pulling it up. He is number 01 on his team of 10 kiddos. I already can't wait for the next practice. 



On Tuesday the boys and I stayed outside from 9 am until 6 pm. My dad had purchased a huge pile of sand so the boys played in that for most of the day. I decided to make laps around the yard while listening to books on Audible. I had my headphones on and at one point I looked behind me and they were following me. I took out my headphones and asked them "what are you doing?" and Bennett said "we are just doing what you are doing". I will say that on Tuesday I reached over 15,000 steps!


On Wednesday I started out my day by going to Pine Bluff for my yearly woman check-up. Oh the fun! They left me in the room for an hour with my gown on. Of course the actual procedure takes a whole five minutes but I ended up being in that room for almost two hours. I then had to walk over to the hospital to get some tests done for the colonoscopy I was going to have that Friday. I finally made it back home and watched Trolls two times with the boys before heading to my friend's house in Monticello. We had a girls night out. My sweet friend Brooke (pictured below) got me some really cute birthday gifts. My favorite was the hog necklace. Go Razorbacks! 


Thursday started my colonoscopy prep. Now that was miserable! All I wanted to do was eat something and I couldn't plus I had to take medicines to make me go. It involved a lot of cramping. By the end of the day I was so tired and weak. I've had one before so I knew what to expect but it was still awful.  

Friday I had my colonoscopy which was nothing. I was awake and the next moment I was out and then I was awake again. It was all over! 

I was happy to get a couple different appointments out of the way without having to miss work and get some time to spend with my two favorite little guys. I was also able to listen to two books by Sophie Hudson whom I adore. 

For all of those that had Spring Break last week I hope it was a good one. It was good but I'm still ready to get back into my daily routines. Oh being a creature of habit.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello 35!

Wednesday was my birthday! I had such a love-filled day. I've gotten so many sweet calls, texts, and messages. When I got to work I found on my desk a mocha and a basket filled with goodies.


Inside the basket I found a Plunder box, a shirt, a gift card that can be used at various places, and LOTS of my favorite candy. Also, the basket is super cute and I'm trying to decide where I want to display it once my candy is gone. 


Here is the shirt. Hopefully, you know where these lines are from. I'm actually wearing the shirt right this minute. 


This is what was inside the Plunder box. I adore it. The pendent is a lot bigger in person. I love the color and the pearl accent. 


The biggest surprise of the day came when I walked into work and someone said go look in the lounge. This cake was sitting on the table. Kimberly's birthday is the day before mine. She is one of our janitors and she is the sweetest women I know. The woman cleans up poop, pee, and puke all day but you will never hear her complaining and she is always so joyful. We still don't know who bought the cake. I sent out an email to the staff telling whomever thanks. 


THEN, in walks Ms. Joann, the lady who helps me in the library, and she is holding an Italian Cream cake. Y'all I had cake for breakfast and lunch. Lucky me! She also surprised me with a gift certificate to The Sweet Shop which is where I eat lunch every Thursday. They have THE BEST Italian Chicken Salad. 

Throughout the day I got lots of homemade cards from darling students and a many birthday wishes from them also. I guarantee I heard happy birthday 200+ times. 

Once I made it home I had more gifts to open. Melissa, one of the girls I met through the Powersheets Facebook group, sent me an adorable planner. My bestie Jessica sent me a $50 gift card to Amazon. In the package there was a note saying I had to spend the money on myself. I can't wait to go shopping!


Jack got me a super cute pair of Corkys that are so comfy. My mom gave me a membership to our towns newest gym. I'll be adding some fitness plan to my Powersheets come April. My dad got me what he always gets me which is a card with a $100 bill in it. 


My beautiful sister got me a beach bag, my favorite Simple face wipes, a pair of shoes, sunglasses, and a git certificate to get a pedicure. I'm going to use my certificate the week before we go to the beach. 

My dad cooked fish for the whole family and my mom made a chocolate cake with help from the boys. I couldn't eat any that day because I'd had too much cake already and I was stuffed from the fish, fries, and hushpuppies. 

I am feeling so blessed and to top it all off we are officially on Spring Break!!!