I made this Shutterfly book a few days ago as a little gift for the kids. I had an amazing summer with them and I wanted them to have a little way to remember the good times forever. I used to keep up with photo albums so well but everyone knows it gets hard to do that with digital photos so I have fallen about 6 years behind on my albums... but the girls love to go through the ones we have from when they were just wee little ones so I think they will love this. What makes this book even better is that it was free. ( i did pay shipping, but that and the tax came just under 9.00, i think its high for shipping but hey the book was free and normally costs 29.99) One great thing about Shutterfly is they always have great offers for free stuff. Even if you do not use them to store all of your photos at least get an account so that you get all of the great offers.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had a busy one and I am exhausted...
There is a whole new world in Instagram... A shopping world...
Instagram is my favorite! I love it. There are some really amazing people and pictures and now there is Insta-shopping. Its a simple way to sell your unwanted clothes. You post pictures of your items and boom they are up for sale. Its so easy and great for getting your items seen by lots of people. The IG community is huge and everyone in the Insta-shop world spreads the word for everyone. Definitely a great way to make some extra money. You can check out my shop on Instagram @shop222.
If you are an Instagram user please come on by and check out the shop. I will continue to post new items regularly. ( i am selling a little of everything, woman's, kids, baby and random men's )
If you are not an Instagram user... well you should become one!!!!
Hope to see you on IG!!!
Have a fantastic Friday!!!
So I am back, after way to long away from this. I had mentioned back in June that my computer was about to die and sadly it has taken its last breath and is now sitting on my desk collecting dust waiting for me to have the time to try to get my entire life in photos off of the hard drive. What fun. For now I am using a computer that Ben was able to borrow since I am no way able to purchase a new one.
Yesterday I sat down and wrote this really long thing talking about my summer and all of the wonderful things we did and then I saved it to drafts. I came back to it 5 minutes later and poof it was gone. Does not exist anywhere. I tried the restore auto save button and nothing. This is the 2nd time this has happened and I am not a happy camper at all. Part of me wants to say screw my summer and lets just move on...
I am going to try to rewrite...
First things first... We celebrated some birthdays. Miss Chesney turned 7 and Miss Austin turned 9. We did our late celebration of Kyle's birthday as well. I know I will say this year after year but it gets crazier and crazier watching these kids grow up so fast.
Over the summer we spent a lot of good times together. My cousin/bestie/sister/daughter/but really my cousin was with us and that always adds to the fun. We went to the library and the beach and lots of swimming at both grandma's houses. Ben and Kyle went golfing as much as possible. We took a short trip to the Keys and the kids got to go to Key West for the first time and we had a blast there. It was crazy hot but we had a great day. We had frozen yogurt once a week and we all looked forward to that part. Kyle and another kid from the neighborhood went treasure hunting and scrapping and made themselves some money and found some treasures. Austin started playing the piano and she is just picking it up so quick. It amazes me and I am so proud of her. Little Ella has turned into a little cheese ball. This little girl is a riot. In June we went ahead and got 4 little baby chicks. This has been such a great experience watching them grow up. I LOVE having them in the yard. So with all this chicken raising we are doing we thought a trip to Green Meadows petting farm would be perfect this summer. I went for the first time when I was in school and all of the kids have gone with preschool and elementary school field trips. Ben had never been and now we have little Ella the animal lover so we went and had a wonderful time. I really like going on a family tour. All my other times were field trips and those tours are a little different.
Now we are in September and the kids have already been back in school for a month. Time really does fly. Next month is my birthday and then we have our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Ben's birthday and Christmas. Before I know it we will be saying Happy New Year.
I had a very busy day working around the house. I have been away from this for a while and so much has happened but at the same time things are just the same... me trying to do a million and one projects all at the same time. So I am going to say goodnight here and go work a bit on another project and then sleepy time.
Have a great Sunday!!!
Below are pictures from the past week... it proves we are all still alive
One happy Mama...
That's me... my girls are back and I am so very happy. Almost whole again. Just a few more days and Kyle will be back and I will feel as I am together again and the hole in my heart will close. I can not find the words to describe how wonderful and amazing it is to have my children home. Ella is in heaven as well to have her sisters.
We started off the week with a trip to the library and to the beach. The girls were able to get their very own library cards and they were so excited and proud to to that. You could see their eyes light up as they signed their names to them. We went a little book crazy but hey... there is no such thing as to many books. Then we grabbed some slurpee's and headed of to the beach. It was cool and overcast there but we still enjoyed just playing in the sand and Ella had the time of her life getting as dirty as she could. She LOVES playing in the sand. Ella just loves being outside and I love that.
The girls started their summer journals last night. I am excited about our summer learning plans. We have so much fun stuff planned and I hope I have the time to share it all.
I am definitely going to enjoy this summer.
Hope all is well for everyone...
Lately I have been working on another long list of a million projects that I want to get done before the big kids get home. I am excited about everything going on and I am super excited that my big kids will be home soon. The girls will be back on Monday and then Kyle a week later. He is going to do a week of golf camp with his friends at his dads next week and then come. He has really been into golfing since Ben took him over spring break. He loves it and is doing really well. We are super proud and Ben is loving his new golf partner. I am in heaven seeing my two favorite boys in the world golfing together. I love it!!!
We have finally removed all of the rocks from the front planters and all we need to finish that is some fill dirt and mulch... we will get the dirt when we dig out the side of the house by the kids rooms to get ready to plant there. We are going to have them plant a butterfly garden outside of their windows this summer. I did a super cleaning of my room. We moved the bed out and cleaned all of the walls and baseboards and well EVERYTHING. Then I put new curtains up and changed the duvet cover and sheets from our normal dark grey and purple to white. We are really enjoying the change in there. We need to change the pictures on the wall but that will come when something we like is found. My mom bought Kyle a new bed and I cant wait for him to get home to enjoy it. He needed it. We have been slowly getting him into some older kid furniture to take him into the teen years. We are also updating the girls room a little. They have been in these bunk beds that they have outgrown. They were a cute set that I bought as 2 twin beds when the girls had their own rooms at our old house. Sharing here we put them up as bunk beds and it just was not working anymore. So they are fine with sharing a bigger bed until we move and they have more room to have the 2 separate beds in one room. Two twins is like having a king and that would take away all of the free space for them to play so next week we will go and get them a new bed at Ikea. We are going with my mom and my cousin Cara and we will make a girls day out of it. So I am moving all of the other furniture around and giving them each a personal space in the room and I am also cleaning and cleaning in there. If only it would stay so perfect. I love my girls but they are very very messy... They are going to come home to an updated room and then they are going to pick out some things to part with and we will save some for Ella and then the girls are going to have their own yard sale. So every day this week I am working on their room and painting the dining room and living room. This paint job has turned onto a huge project. The previous owners were not very kind to the walls here so we are trying to repair some spots and make it better but really I dont think there is much hope without replacing lots of drywall. I am really liking the new color. Its a light creamy color. When I bought the house the walls were gold and they have been this gold for 3 years now. My mom has been bugging me to paint them but I had not found a color I wanted to enough to put all of this work into. Once I did I sat the color chip around the house and thought about it and weeks went buy and I was set on this color so this past weekend we went for it. We are almost done with the dining room and I can not wait to get the furniture back in its place and see the room put together with the new color. It has changed the entire inside of my house. Its going to be amazing when the living room part is done. Now I need to convince Ben and my nephew to move that piano of mine again to paint behind it. They are not very happy with me about this.
So I am trucking along with my millions of projects and thinking what would I be doing if I was not doing all of this. Ya maybe out seeing wonderful things but I enjoy this too. Its fun to work on the house. I notice that I have a bunch of things I want to do and I make these deadlines for myself for upcoming things and then I push to get it all done. Right now its get everything super clean and fresh for the return of the kids and the start of our summer adventures. We have a lot planned this summer. I have made a summer learning plan and I am finding all sorts of things to go along with each week. I am just really excited right now. I want to have a great summer break. I have missed my kiddo's way to much these past 5 weeks and I am ready for my crazy, loud house full of kids back!!!!
Hope everyone's summer is going great!!!
Enjoy the rest of the week :)
Banana Pancakes ( i think the best ever banana pancakes)
So when I made butter I told you that you get that wonderful buttermilk from it so I needed something to use it for. Well I am not a pancake person. I do not really care for them or waffles. I know some people think I am crazy but I really just do not like them. Ben makes them for the kids and at Christmas I tried to make some Red Velvet pancakes but those did not turn out that great. So even though I do not like them I still make sure that the kiddo's get them.
But this has recently changed... I knew that Ben wanted some buttermilk pancakes made from our fresh buttermilk so I went looking for something one night as a dinner surprise for him. I found a recipe and about 20 min later I took a bite of THE BEST PANCAKE EVER and I now like pancakes.
To make these best ever pancakes you will need...
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 banana, mashed
1 tbsp butter for the pan
You can find the full recipe to these wonderful pancakes here.
I sure hope you all enjoy these as much as we do. I can not wait until its time to make more butter this weekend so that we have some fresh buttermilk for them.
My son was born and I became a mother for the first time. My life was changed forever. My little baby boy who today turned 10 years old will have my heart forever. I love this child more than there are ways to describe. I am so proud of my son. He is a beautiful soul.
I have cried today... tears of sadness and tears of joy. I am hurting because I was not able to spend this day with my child. I feel like someone ripped my insides out today. I just want my son in my arms. I just want to reach out and touch his face and smile at him.
I want to slow down time because he wont be a little boy much longer. The next ten years will turn that boy into a man though he will still be my baby. The next ten years will go by so quick and he will be so busy with life that sometimes he wont have time for me but I know I will be so proud of him and I will enjoy watching him grow up. There is another 10 years of firsts for him. There will be first girl friends and kisses and the first time driving and and a million more awkward firsts as my baby grows up. I want to be there for my son and I want him to know that I will always be there to help him. I know there are going to be days that I wont be happy with him and other days that I will be the proudest mom in the world but no matter what I will love him every day.
I have thought about a million moments today. Moments that fill my heart with memories of the last ten years. The moment he was born, those first steps, and every cute and cuddle moment we have. I remembered when I was pregnant with Austin and Kyle would blow raspberries on my stomach and the week his father left me I was so broken and I was laying down and he came up to me and said " Mommy, whats wrong? " I told Kyle that my heart was hurting and he told me to wait a minute. He ran off into his room and I heard him digging around and then a few moments later he walked back into my room with his toy stethoscope and said " see mommy, I can fix it for you". There is nothing more amazing in the world. I will never ever forget that. My boy is the sweetest child in the world and I love him so so so much. I could go on with a million moments of this child's life but I am having a hard time typing because I can not stop crying. It's late and I am sitting here alone not having to take care of anyone or anything and I don't have to fight the real crying back so it kind of just took over me.
While I was pregnant with Kyle I fell in love with the movie Duets and even today its still on my favorite list. I got the soundtrack for Christmas and I started singing this to Kyle before he was born and after I would hold him and dance with him to this song. When he was around 3 and 4 we would still turn it on and dance.
Hopefully he will have a dance with me when he gets back...
Happy Birthday Kyle!!! I love you baby!!!
Dear who ever is listening,
I am here and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I am so behind on so many things because Ben has been working away from home for over a year and now that he has been working near home I am trying to play catch up and spend some time with him. I am overwhelmed with getting pictures from Ella's beautiful birthday together. I have some on my phone and some on the camera and really I did not take any myself.. maybe like 4...It means I have to sit down and focus and that's been hard. Ella has me on my toes. She is a climber. She also figured out how to move the pack and play that I use to block off the playroom so she would be confined in here with me..( my desk is in a corner of the playroom ) and its not really a spot that a baby gate would work. She is such fun though. I am loving every moment with this little girl. She gets my heart worked up all day long with all her cuteness and love. She is a very very loving little girl, who likes to give kisses and hugs and if you are really lucky she might just tell you she loves you. This little girl LOVES books. She is always walking around with a book and she will just plop right down somewhere and open it up and start checking it out. She tried to walk through Goodwill yesterday while reading. She is just so darn cute!!! The big kids finished school this past week and are with their Dad for 4 weeks... I think I just might die being away from them for that long with no visit!!! As much as Ella is melting my heart there is a huge hole in it when I am away from the older ones. They are still my babies even though Kyle is going to be the big TEN on the 30th. I can not believe that!!! He was just born... Kyle is my special boy. With all of these girls and him being the only boy its a special thing we have. Since he will not be with me this year for his birthday I am going to send him a "party in a box". I did this with Austin last year since she was with her dad. I will make cupcakes in jars so they stay nice and fresh and put a ton of confetti and other birthday treats in a box and mail it to him so it arrives right on his birthday. Then we will get on skype when he opens it and we will wear party hats and eat cake together. Its the next best thing. Before skype I will get some balloons up and a happy birthday banner so it will be decorated around me when he sees me. Then as soon as they come back we have a special day planned for Kyle and his friend. So when my heart is broken when I am away from my babies on their birthday I try to have something planned for them that I get excited about to keep me positive but it is probably the hardest thing ever to be away from them on birthdays but fair is fair... even though I don't think its fair because I gave birth... but that's the life of divorced parents. Then there is my computer. It is about to die. I am working on getting my pictures moved over to a hard drive but that's years of pictures and it takes a long time so I am doing it in small batches but I still have some that I have not organized into the right folders and yes I am OCD with my pictures and my folder system I have them in, but hey we all have our things. I am afraid to even turn my computer on and its so hard to use because its so slow and old and just well broken. What should take me 10 minutes to do takes me a half an hour and things like opening a page can take ten minutes if it even works. I need a new one but I do not see that happening in the near future so I am trying to be nice to this thing. We also are trying to finish projects at the house. I have told you before about the half finished this and the half finished that well we are starting to finish things. The kitchen did get painted before the birthday party.. GO US!!! We do have some more work in there though. There is this horrible back splash that we are going to take down but then we have to fix the wall and find some new tile. Our bathroom that has been holding until after Easter and the party is back in full swing. My Uncle did the tile in the shower and now we have to finish the rest. Ben took the toilet out tonight and after over a month of debating, we are going to change the tile on the floor to match the new shower. We were not planning on it since removing tile is one b%#@h of a job but since Ben is home a lot more right now we figured we will go ahead and take the plunge and do it and this allows us to use a bathroom vanity that we have at our other house that we like instead of buying a new one. So it will be a bit more work but it will be worth it when its done and it will save money. Now I just have to keep Ben reminded of all this when he is in there taking this tile up. I need to have some more serious yard sales as well. We finally got some stuff listed for sale on craigslist and I hope to start emptying things out. We are still going to be moving when the other house sells so we have got to get rid of this stuff. There is no way we would be able to move with all of this. Saving so much has helped me a lot of times... just with Ella, most of her clothes and toys are things that I saved from the older kids but my garage is just out of hand with stuff. I also would like to make some room in there for the kids to be able to use it to play in this summer. We have an almost finished garage so we have AC, flooring and finished walls out there and the people before built a little stage and I think the kids would have fun if the girls could play school and have music bands and Kyle could put up the pool table for him and his bud. So even though I have lots of motivation, I walk out there and become instantly so overwhelmed. Hopefully my want to make it a nice space will help me out in the next few weeks before the kids get back and we can get this going. I will feel like a million pounds are off my shoulders when its done. We have more work in the yard as well but we did get a huge project out back done before the party. Ben finished my landscaping around our porch and I LOVE IT!! So yes we are getting things done but as always there are a million more adding up and a million other stresses with moving and Ben's work and future school and of course the big one... MONEY... but we keep going and moving along and I am trying to focus on the pretty things to keep a smile on my face. So much of our future is unclear right now and in other people hands and that is so hard but I am keeping my fingers crossed that in the next few months things work out.
I hope life is going well for everyone else out there. I hope the stress is low.
Have a wonderful week!!!
P.S If my computer stays alive there will be some upcoming posts about pancakes, jam, our dolphin pictures and of course a little girls birthday party...
P.P.S I know I am overwhelmed a lot but hey thats life...right?