Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas and Evite

I love Christmas. I love Evite. And I love Christmas and Evite together. My Evite box fills up and it fills me with Christmas cheer seeing all the fun parties we get to go to. And the shopping for ornaments and white elephant gifts I get to do. The money part for that isn't so fun but the shopping part is. I saw these GORGEOUS gold dipped real leaf ornaments at Whole Foods. I have no idea how much they are but if they're affordable I am going to get them for a party or two, if not then I'll just get one for Brando's stocking. Oh and I just went searching for an image of it and found out Whole Foods has ice skating on top of their building downtown again this year! SO excited!!!!!!!

Can I just say...

I love being back on blogger. It feels like I'm part of a community again. It does have it's downfall of being more ADDICTING : ) which probably means less quality writing thrown in with the good but hey I am writing!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Bad, Awful Day

That would be from Grover's Bad, Awful Day.

It really started this morning when I forgot that I'd washed and blowdried my hair last night so I wouldn't have to do it this morning in order to get J to his chess club on time. Fortunently Brando was home this morning and took him so I would have time to blow dry my hair again and meet up with them afterwards.

But I started to notice my bad, awful day when the boys and I went to lunch afterwards near the chess club place specifically so we could go to the coffee shop that we love near there after lunch. I tried a new place and not only was it expensive but it was not great. That sucked. The boys ate nearby - also expensive and not healthy on top of it. Then we went to the coffee shop and they were out of the one thing both J and I were craving so we decided to skip that and head home and make cookies.

On the way I decide to stop by storage and get out my Christmas decorations. We have storage on the second floor which used to be no problem because it's near the elevators and they had big carts next to the elevators to bring it up and down the elevator. But somebody has been stealing the big carts so now they keep them waaaaaay up by the front office. Which sucks when you have two kids trailing behind you and have to park your car near storage, walk up to the front to get the cart, walk back to storage to get your stuff, put your stuff in the car, and walk the cart back up to the front office. I tried to use a dolly which I could throw in the back of my car but since I decided to get the rest of my Christmas stuff out in one trip instead of having to deal with the cart issue again the dolly might as well have been laughing at me. So up to the front we trek for the cart, I very exasperatedly let the guy know how FRUSTRATING this was and asked if he could kindly pick up the cart when I was done. Poor guy agreed : ) . So back we go with the cart where Shawners promptly announces he has to go potty. Of course being the wonderful and determined mommy I am I tell him he has to wait, so by the time I've gotten my stuff in the car, let the front office know I'm done with the cart and get home which at this point it's starting to rain he's holding it and running down to the house to go. At least he didn't go in his pants!

I'm not even going to think about needing to put the stuff I'm taking down into storage. I don't even have that much and I have very huge closets but with absolutely no shelf space and little critters that like to take apart anything on the ground and free storage, so into storage it goes.

From this point on my bad, awful day is going out the window and even though it's still 80 degrees with solid grey cloud cover outside with a 40 degree cold front coming in tomorrow I'm going to start putting some good in today. See? My boys just brought me a flower.

...except that my neighbor just got home and we vented about our bad days and I started my vent right after I told J to go get S's helmet out of the closet and he sat there and argued with me for five minutes on it because I've told him not to go in the closet and now I was telling him to and he didn't want to go in because I told him not to. ARGH!! Sometimes I can't stand all the responsibilities that come with being a Mom, keeping somewhat of a house, being a sweet wife (at least not a bitch) and still trying to have a life of my own.

Monday, November 27, 2006



Yes?! [ducks and hides] He's a GOOD Santa Claus! (and the lines were short) Doesn't he look jolly? He called the boys last year at home and asked them what they wanted for Christmas. The elf told us he'd heard that Santa Clause would, but this year we found out we were the only ones he called :).

Thanksgiving Day


sage, thyme, and parsley turkey, orange and cinnamon cranberry sauce, herbed gravy, green beans with herb dressing, sweet potato souffle, mashed potatoes, salad, sweet rolls, too much dessert, chocolate raspberry cheesecake, marbled pumpkin cheesecake made by brando, pumpkin pie, apple pie, chess with grandma and grandpa, bughouse with four of the grandkids, old superman tv series, brando setting up the house and putting it back, stuffing ourselves until we pop, shawners saying his tummy hurts then burping and saying i feel better now, candles lit all over, grandma, grandpa, aunt w, uncle c, all the texas cousins, pretty holly berry christmas china from brando's grandma from Germany used for the first time, no family drama, priceless memories, sleepy time

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Under the weather

Feeling so sick today, my throat is all hot and scratchy. We woke up at 10am and have been lazing around the house. Well I have. Brando had to work a little to finish up a contract (hopefully!). His brother came by a few times and I am still staring in the mirror at my too long hair that I straightened and still looks froofy. I'm waiting for my hubby to bring my makeup stuff down from the car so I can put my face on and we can go eat and watch Deck the Halls Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause . Super cute!

Happy Anniversary to Us


Six years! Wheeee! Brando just remembered at 12:35am. We just got back from nine hours at Austin's Park & Pizza and dropping my parents off at their hotel to take off early from the airport tomorrow (today). My nephews were giving us crap for smooching today in line at the go karts. Actually we were waiting so long I think they got bored and decided to pick on their auntie! It's our anniversary and we'll smooch if we want to : ) !

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Birthday 5 year old!

Shawners & Batman aka Grandpa

Mr. S, you are 5 today. You are SUCH a big kid in every way but today it is official. You are so sweet, kind, thoughtful, responsible, just, and communicative. You let us know exactly what is on your mind. You're always there for a hug when we need one. You love animals with all of your heart. Today you took your leopard gecko to the zoo with us to celebrate your birthday so he could meet all his friends. Mommy talked about being a veterinarian, a zoologist, or an animal rescuer and you said you will be all of them. Daddy says they are all the same any way so that works. You were sitting behind me right now playing gently with my hair. I got you a comb and now you are combing my hair so softly and sweetly, and you sweetly brushed my hair for ten minutes. It has been such a joy watching you grow into the little man you are today. You blow us away with your wisdom at your age. You are our little man and always will be and it is an honor to be able to watch you grow into the man that you already are.

PS Now that you are 5 you have announced to us that you can wipe your own popo! Whew! But seriously I will miss the adorabley sweet question that you ask every. single. time. before you go, "Mommy and Daddy will you wipe my popo when I'm doing going poopoo?" and the cute little popo that's up in the air waiting for us when we go to help you out.

Tonight as you were going to bed you said, "When I get big I will be Daddy and somebody will have to do what I say. Because I will be big."

Then Grandma told you "Goodnight Shawners. Happy birthday." and you said, "Happy Birthday to you too."

I Finally Left

Check me out at Blogger.

PS Take THAT spammers. Plus it's easier to post pictures. What can I say? I want the easy way.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

The boys are tucked in bed, and my parents are sleeping soundly on their raised queen air bed beside them. The marbled pumpkin cheesecake, orange and spice pumpkin pie, raspberry chocolate cheesecake are made and the green beans with herb dressing and sweet potato souffle are ready to be finished up for tomorrow. We have an oven bag for the turkey which makes the moistest turkey and fresh sage, parsley, and thyme to cook with it. My christmas china set of 20 is out and on the counter waiting to be run through a rinse in the dishwasher. The holly berry design is soooo pretty and I can't wait to use it for the first time! Brando has finally gotten on the same page as me and is helping out so sweetly, down to making one of the cheesecakes tonight and getting the tables and chairs ready. I can't wait!

The bat girl costume. This is the best I got - in the other the top of my mask is cut off!

Here is the one with the top of my head cut off. I decided to show it since it shows a little more of the costume including my super cute earrings and that bat tatto on my arm : ) . Excuse the pink, our Sony camera was on our way to a bloody screen (pink lines all up and down the lcd screen) aka "known sensor malfunction" that I need to send it into Sony to repair for free - yippee!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last Night

I had given my Mom the boys blankets to give the boys who stayed at a hotel with her and my Dad last night. She got there at 10:30pm after taking my sister and I out shopping and for a girly dinner. Justinbustin was still awake so she gave him the blanket and told him Mommy said to give it to him. He wrapped it around him and turned over and went to sleep.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home Alone

That would be Brando and I. And we're on our computers. But we love each other really! We're just saving it up for later : ) . And savoring the moments alone.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just checking how easy it is to post photos in blogger


Love it! These are from our camping trip on San Marcos.


Shawners wakes up this morning and tells Grandma, "Something is wrong with Grandpa's nose. It sounds like this [snort]."

Back to Blogger

And loving it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shawners Thoughts on Grandma & Grandpa

It's taking too long for them to come.

Actually I don't want them to come. Because I love them. And when they come I will hug them and hug them and never stop hugging them.

I'm excited for Grandpa and Grandma to come because then it will be my birthday week.

I'm excited for Grandpa and Grandma to come AND for my birthday.
>in response to are you more excited for Grandma and Grandpa to come or for your birthday to come?

Fun Stuff

My current blog won't come up so I'm using this one.

Thanksgiving drama. Ever heard of it? Oh yeah. My sister closest in age to me and I just figured out whenever my brother has been involved there has definently been a dose not easy to forget. This year everything has been in motion for a month or so now. Thanksgiving turkey at my house. Menus are prepared, recipes printed, pre shopping done. Then my oldest sister throws in the loop that we should have it at her mil's. Fine. Then she takes it back and wants to have it at her house with a warning she'll be on PMS. Fine. I'm over it! I'll have it at my house still but all the excitement has been sucked out of me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bubble Bath

I got home tonight from running around all day, going to my Bible study, taking Justin to school, going on a date with Shawners, 30 minutes back home to get my Christmas china out of storage and put it in our garage, then 30 minutes back to pick up Justinb, back home to get his rock collection for cub scouts, back out to cub scouts, then finally home at 8:30pm. Brando was waiting for me and had candles lit all over the living room as we walked in the door, all the way to our bathroom where he had written me a love note and filled the bathtub with bubbles and warm water and candles all around.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'd Camp Out! (had I known)

Brando heard on the radio that the last three or four IKEA stores to open the first person in line got a new car or a furnished room or something as spectacular. I heart IKEA but I'm STILL not if I really would've camped out for that.

Early birds camp out at IKEA
11/13/2006 6:45 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

Anxious customers are already getting in line at the new IKEA store in Round Rock that’s set to open on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

A handful of people have set up tents hoping to win grand opening prizes while workers put the finishing touches on the store. The first 100 people inside the doors get an IKEA chair worth about $80.

"I'm here for IKEA, being here for three days, I have nothing else to do, take time off and I'm here because I love IKEA, love the furniture and the free chair," camper Andrew Tingley said.

Moments before the doors open, store manager Jeff O’Shaughnessy will welcome the community with a traditional Swedish log-sawing ceremony, bringing good luck to the new home and all its future visitors.

To celebrate the grand opening, IKEA will give away thousands of dollars in gift cards:
• Pick a Card, Any Card – The first 2,500 people to visit IKEA Round Rock on Wednesday will receive a random prize envelope with vouchers for goodies such as IKEA Gift Cards ranging from $10 to $250 or “Buy One, Get One Free” hotdog or frozen yogurt treats.
• Enter to Win When Entering our Home – From Nov.15 – Nov. 19 visitors may enter a drawing to win one of ten $1,000 IKEA Gift Cards. IKEA will match the prizes (a total of $10,000) with a donation to benefit the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center, a local assistance provider to abused children.
• You Say It's Your Birthday – Bring proof to IKEA Round Rock on November 15 that it is your birthday and receive a $10 gift card.

Additional grand opening festivities and customer appreciation prizes include:
• Take a Seat (And We Mean Take It!) – The first 100 adults (18 and over) in line at the IKEA Round Rock grand opening will receive a free POÄNG armchair.
• For the (Truly) Young at Heart – The first 100 children (under 18) in line at IKEA Round Rock grand opening will receive a free FAMNIG heart-shaped cushion.

The 252,000 square-foot store is located along Interstate 35 at the University Boulevard exit. The store employs 300 coworkers, and features 10,000 exclusively designed home furnishings all under one roof, a 300-seat IKEA Restaurant, a supervised children’s play area and 1,200 parking spaces.

From today:
Round Rock's new IKEA store officially opened for business Wednesday morning.

Customers walk through the doors Wednesday at the new IKEA Round Rock.

More than 2,500 people had already walked through the doors of the new store by 11 a.m. Wednesday. It's located at the La Frontera shopping center off Interstate 35.

Amid much fanfare, IKEA opens to mass crowd on first day
Austin Business Journal - 11:40 AM CST Wednesday

Dozens camped out overnight and thousands lined up in the blustery winds this morning to be among the first to enter the massive retail store. The doors opened at 9 a.m., and by 9:30 there was still a line of people waiting in front of the store.

Shawner's Favorite Animals



Pikkie Daggoes (Little Doggies)




I printed out every single one of those for him to color, which he is doing right now.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Embarrasingly Large Amount of Credit Card Debt

Inspired by Courtney.

Credit card debt $20,000.

Okay due to popular demand (ha) I'm taking off the house and car debt. We still want to get rid of the car debt but credit card debt was the start of this.

I'm putting a link to this in my sidebar because I don't know how to just put it in there. The point of this is to help motivate us into getting rid of it! Well we're working on it before this, but this might be a good accountability tool.


Yay! The minivan is OUT of the shop. So now we're at another fork in the road. Sell the minivan and pay off more of the VW, so we have a car with less miles on it that will work well for Brando's work if the other one needs to go in the shop. Or sell the VW and pay off the loan and keep the minivan so we have a paid off car. I think we're leaning towards the first as the second means keeping a Ford with 85k miles on it and we're not sure how wise that is, as we're probably just asking for more shop trouble.

Sorry to bore you with more money posts. It seems like we hit a plateau there for awhile, like there is in anything, but now things are moving along again, uphill, but with a little more ease. Yahoo!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Not Tired

Shawners: [yawn] I'm a little bit tired. ... Actually I'm not tired at all.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

For Sale SOLD

An excerpt from an email to a friend - Hi Bec!: We sold the van today! Yay! It was an answer to prayer! I prayed it would go to the right family and asked my Mom to pray for that as well. A wonderful couple who have older children bought it. It's perfect for their 15 yr old daughter who has band practice, and her friends, and their 20 year old son who is at Texas State. I believe they were Christians as she mentioned how God works that out where it goes to the family who needs it, as he did for them when they sold their station wagon to a man buying it for his wife and brand new baby when they left Tennessee. Such a comfort! They offered $250 over asking price (we also had another offer at that same price, and one $50 over). That's a praise you could pray for and not a concern : ) ! I am praying that it would serve them well, especially on their road trip back to Tennessee they want to take it on.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Go for the Gold

A little update on the money situation...

Currently we have four cars. Tomorrow we will try and be selling one (pray we don't get scammed! selling a big ol' van to who knows who kind of scares me!) to be able to get another out of the shop, then we will hopefully sell that one and pay off the VW a bit. Or buy another car and then sell the VW. We've decided not to keep the minivan with that many miles on it. We are currently working on having some sense of a budget. My leader at Bible study shared her budget that she's been using for 33 years with me. SO cool and SO simple I couldn't believe it. We are working on personalizing that for ourselves. Later this month we're meeting with a guy at our church who ran his own financial planning business for six years and see if he can work with us (I don't think he realizes our income situation yet : ) ! In January Lord willing we'll be able to start a Financial Peace University class and hopefully continue on the path of changing our money mindset.

Dose of Cute

Shawn says to Daddy this morning, "Why do you do that every day?" (talking about shaving) "Oh yeah, I know. So you won't scratch us."

Monday, November 06, 2006


I've just completed doing J's lesson plan, doing Language Arts review and tests, reading and spelling words, Math textbook, workbook, manipulatives, and Intensive Practice with J, ordering protective book covers for his primary phonics books, and making lunch. The things still on my list are get dressed, take a shower, plan Thanksgiving dinner, and make contacts for the Go Fish curriculum, the house and laundry. Please tell me a sane person could not get all that done. Oh I forgot I need to do science and history with Justin too but that I pretty much know I won't get to so I've written those off for today. At least we spent 3 hours at a Fossil Fest this weekend, that counts for science.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


This morning in the car on the way to church Shawners said he wanted to go to his brother's Sunday School class with his brother. We asked him why and he says, "Because he is my best friend."

Tonight as I'm cuddling him after he got out of the bath he looks at me and says, "You are beautiful. You have beautiful blue eyes. You have beautiful brown hair."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh my God (literally)

I am sick to my stomach. I literally want to throw up. My boys rooms is SO. FREAKIN. DISGUSTING. that I am actually having my seven year old THROW everything into his closet. It is like one of those people you see on TV where their house is so disgusting you just want to throw up and you wonder how it ever got that way. It's only their room but I'm sure my blood pressure sky rockets when I go in there because I start to hyperventilate and every muscle in my body tenses. I walk out of there on edge, the one where one little thing will make me snap. I don't know how it got that bad. I know it's not the boy's fault. Brando and I have learnt to keep our own areas clean - our room, the living room, the kitchen, the laundry room, the dining area - but haven't taught them how to keep their areas clean. Frankly I don't know HOW to teach them. I did find a system where you take care of the beds, then the dirty and clean clothes, throw away the trash and then put all the toys in a basket. But you have to put the toys away as soon as you're done, otherwise the kids get different toys out and then go to the baskets to get the toys out of there and it just throws up all over the new toys they just got out, making it twice as bad as it was before. We're not so consistent about the putting away of the baskets and Brando refuses to do it with the boys when he cleans their room with them (hey at least he cleans their room with them!) so that hasn't worked well. I think I'm going to throw up.

I will post a picture later so maybe you can at least join me in the pure putridness of it all. Maybe it will humiliate me enough to take care of it, if only I knew how to keep it that way.

The Grossness
The Grossness

The Disgustingness
The Disgustingness - a closeup. Notice how I put a little corner of cleared carpet in there just to make me feel a teensy bit better.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

San Marcos Camping

We went camping this last weekend just ten minutes or so from the San Marcos outlets. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL with tons of greenery and huge trees directly on the San Marcos river. It was the guy who had invited us family's private property of 1500 acres. They are all tradesmen so it had a full kitchen, covered eating area, men's and women's bathrooms with two toilets in the women's which I almost took a picture of to scrap but forgot. Hehe. He has a boy who just turned seven whose birthday the camping trip was for. He also had some friends out there with another little guy who was celebrating his birthday as well, so we had two pinatas Saturday evening. The two of them provided all the meals and good ones at that - hamburgers and hot dogs Saturday night, sausage, potatoes, bacon, eggs on Sunday morning and sandwiches Sunday lunch. All we had to do is set up our tent and go! The boys fished, waded in the water, went out on the row boat and had a blast. There were a few other boys there to make six in all, which was great! Brando and I enjoyed the conversation, roasted marshmallows and s'mores (oh yeah the kids enjoyed those too : ), and I played board games with the girls while Brando fished with the boys. There was another young couple that are our age who came Saturday for dinner, pinatas, and cake, but didn't stay the night. It was fun to be able to meet them and hang out with them for a bit. We had such a fun and relaxing weekend and a camping trip that was more than anything I'd hoped for!

The setting
The setting

Justin fishing

By the riverbank
By the riverbank

Big Rope Swing
Rope Swing Tree

The setting
The setting

View from the kitchen
View from the kitchen

Our tent
Our tent

The s'more producing device
The s'more producing device, and one of the bathroom's and a cabin in the background. It wasn't THAT close!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...