Sunday, December 18, 2016

Visit with Santa 2016

Last night we were invited to a neighbor's house for a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.  We had such an incredible time!  Once Santa arrived, he and Mrs. Claus answered questions from the kids, made magic snow, read Twas the Night Before Christmas, and gave out gifts!  Ace attended the gathering too, but was more interested in all of the toys in the house than anything Santa had to offer.  Santa made Lydia blush when he busted her on all of her chasing and aggravating boys!  He also told her if she couldn't decide on what she wanted for Christmas that she would end up getting a pack of boy's blue underwear! Needless to say, she quickly remembered what was on her list! Santa agreed that Mackaylan has been a good girl this year and took note of the fact that she wanted an iPod 6 this year.  I can't believe that we are one week away from Christmas!  Here's to a week of family, friends, and lots of fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Much Fun!

We have had a ball the past few days playing in the snow!  It started snowing on Thursday night, turned to a sleet/wintry mix all day Friday, and then back to snow Friday night.  In the northern part of the upstate we ended up with 7 inches.  That's a lot for SC! 

I always consider a snow to be a success when Mickey doesn't have to go in to work, and he has been home with us for 3 days! And let me tell you... he has been the chief memory maker with the girls! He has spent many hours with them sledding, having snowball fights, and taking rides through town.  I can't wait until next year when Bubsy is a little older and can join in the fun too!  

On Friday night, Mackaylan had one of her best friends and her sister over for a sleepover.  They were staying with their grandparents who live in our neighborhood and they girls had spent a lot of time that afternoon playing together in the snow.  They came over after dinner and we took them back home on Saturday after lunch so they could suit up and all do some more sledding together. They all had a blast!

Ace and I came back home before the rest of the crew so I had time to bake some chocolate chip cookies.  When the girls got home with Mickey, we made some snow cream to go with them.  Lydia thought it was so cool that she was eating ice cream made of "real snow!" 

Church was cancelled this morning so Mickey headed over to his mom and dad's to get the "real sleds!"  While we were waiting on him to return, the girls took turns sledding down the front steps of the porch on the disk.  Once he returned, we all had fun sledding down the road.  I love making memories with my family! 

Tomorrow we will enjoy another day at home because the backroads are still very icy and dangerous to travel on.  A Monday at home with these 3 kiddos?  I won't complain! 

Here's to hoping we have a few more snow days in our future this winter!  They are just SNOW much fun!!! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome, 2016!

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone!  2015 was very good to us, but I am excited to see what all 2016 has in store.  A few years ago I started identifying one word that I wanted to focus on for the coming year.  It is a word that serves to keep me focused for the year.  After much deliberation I feel like my word for 2016 should be....


I am very good about starting, but not as good about following through and finishing! ;)   Here are a few areas that I plan to be more consistent in:

1.  Spiritual: I have not been taking the time that I need to to read and study my Bible and spend time in prayer on a regular basis.  For the coming year, I want to make sure that I am carving out time on a consistent basis (everyday) to do my daily devotion and pray.  I'm not sure if this time will be first thing in the morning or after the kiddos are in bed at night, but this has got to be a priority!

2. Physical- I have really fallen off the wagon and it is time for that to change.  It's amazing how much better i feel when I am more disciplined with my diet and exercise. I have tried WW on and off since Ace has been born, but this is the year to get this weight off!  I have debated in my head trying the low-carb/low-sugar thing again, but I feel like WW is a "program" that I can live with long-term.

Also, I am going to be more consistent with my Plexus regimen.  Despite what my hubby thinks, I can tell a difference when I am taking my products regularly and getting myself healthy from the inside out! I am currently using the Triplex (Slim, BioClense, and ProBio) along with the X-Factor multivitamin.  While I am still nursing I can't take the Accelerator, but I'm looking forward to working that back in because I feel like it does make a big difference (for me anyway!)

3. Professional-  This year I have been going through Reading Recovery training.  This is a one-on-one reading intervention program offered to first grade students.  I am loving the training and working with the students, but am looking forward to "graduating" in the spring.  I really want to work hard on keeping my lessons to the 30-minute time frame and doing my lesson planning and paperwork at school.  This will allow me to get in more classrooms during ELA instruction first thing in the morning and keep my time at home with the kiddos and hubby "sacred."

This year I started sending out a Hello, Monday! Memo with important dates to remember, websites to visit, and other teaching tips and ideas.  However, I haven't sent them out as often as I would have liked.  So, for the remainder of the year my goal is to send out 2 each month.  I will create time in my weekly schedule to work on it so I am not still putting the finishing touches on it on Monday morning! ;)

I could write down a few more professional goals, but I think I might save those for a blog post on my professional blog, Lana's Line of Learning.

4.  Personal- On a personal level, my goal is to update the blog at least 1x a week.  I also want to have Mickey add a line in the budget to get the blog books we haven't had printed printed out so we will have them for the girls to look through.  I have said from the beginning that blogging is my way of scrapbooking  and documenting our life together so I need to do a better job of not just documenting the big, fun things, but also different aspects of our daily life.

I also want to be consistent with tedious household chores so that the house and laundry stay in order.  This means taking time each day to pick things up and put them back where they belong and to do a load of laundry at least every other day.  These things sound simple, but as a working mother the last thing I want to do when I get home is clean and fold laundry!  However, when my house is in order every other aspect of my life feels like it is in order too.

Well, I guess I could go on and on with all of my goals for the coming year, but I don't want to have so many that I am not successful with any of them.  I think that is why I like the One Word idea.  While all of the things above are pretty explicit they all relate back to being CONSISTENT in some shape or form.  My next step is to take my word and the list and create some kind of word art to hang as a reminder throughout the year!

I love the start of a new year.  It is full of new possibilities.  New goals.  New beginnings.

2016... Let's do this!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Keeping it Real

While you can tell from the previous post that we had a great Christmas.  I must keep it real and also document that this Christmas has also been full of sickies and trips back and forth to the doctor.

Our break started off with a trip to the doctor on Friday night that ended with a RSV diagnosis with sweet, Baby Ace!  Since it is a visas there is not much you can do, but we did end up getting a breathing machine and giving him breathing treatments to alleviate some of the symptoms and open up those airways.  He wasn't the biggest fan of the treatments, but I figured out if I could time them with his morning nap and bedtime I would wait until he fell asleep and then hold the mask on his face.  That worked like a charm!

 On Christmas Eve, Lydia woke up with a low-grade fever.  She had already been having a nasty cough (which we have battling on and off for about 2 months) so I called and made her appointment. After a "diagnosis" of allergies we were sent home and told to try Claritin and honey to soothe her sore throat! 

 Fast forward to the 26th.... 2 days later.  Her fever had been getting higher everyday.  When it peaked at over 103 on the 26th we called the nurse on call.  After answering a few questions and hearing a bit of her history we were told to get her to the ER "right now" because she needed to be evaluated by a doctor.  It was a wild few minutes as we worked to get everyone dressed and out the door!  Thank goodness Grams and Aunt Betsi were at the house so they helped get Mac to my mom's (because we were to be celebrating Christmas with them that night) and Ace went to Grams' house to stay with them until we could get back.  Mac was in tears for her sister, Lydia was in tears b/c she thought she wasn't going to get any presents at Granny's, and I was fighting back tears because just 2 days ago we were told it was allergies and I knew then something wasn't right!!!

After a big does of Tylenol, a dose of an antibiotic and a steroid, a breathing treatment and a chest x-ray, we left with a diagnosis of bronchitis, an ear infection, and the beginning stages of pneumonia in both lungs!!!  Really, allergies?!?  I'm just happy that we called the nurse, followed her advice, and we were seen in a timely manner.  We were only there about 2 hours total and were able to get to Granny's just in time for gifts and dessert! 

I took Lydia back yesterday for a follow-up and she is still wheezing pretty bad so her doctor wants to continue her on the steroid for a few more days and added in a dose of Singulair every night for the next few months until we are out of cold/flu season.  We go back next week for another recheck!

While we were there, I went ahead and had him check Ace to make sure he sounded okay.  He is still coughing pretty bad at night, but has just been fussier than normal.  Well... we left with a diagnosis of a double ear infection for that little guy!  CRAZY!

Let's just say, I am so thankful for doctors and modern medicine, but I am so sick of having to visit them.  We are praying that this next round of steroids will knock this out of Lydia and she will be ready to start back to school 100%!  And while Ace, isn't acting like he is in pain (or even running a fever), I want those ears to clear up so he can be back to full-speed too!

Here's to a healthy start of 2016!

Christmas Recap 2015

 It's hard to believe that Christmas 2015 is in the books!  We had a great holiday season with our family and friends.  In order to get the blog as up-to-date as possible before 2016 this is going to be another picture post with highlights from our Christmas.  Please excuse the picture overload! :)

 I never got Christmas cards out this year, but I am debating doing New Year cards.  If I do you better believe that this picture of my three greatest treasures will make the cut! :)

On the 23rd we always gather with my dad's sister (aka Jahpa) and her family.  This is the 2nd year we have had this gathering at our house.  Aunt Martha makes the lasagna (our tradition) and the other ladies bring all of the other fixings.  "All" I have to do is get the house ready which shouldn't be a big deal, but with 3 small kiddos.... Either way, we always have a great time and it is the even that officially kicks off our Christmas!

Ace and Jahpa

 Ace and Granny

 Lydia loves all things Shopkins!  

 This year the adults did the Christmas Swap for our gifts.  It was fun to switch it up!

 Me and my mommy!

 "G" and Ei

 Nothing beats this precious smile!  He is scooting all over the place.  I'm not sure he will ever crawl, but he will get to where he needs to go I promise that! 

 These two sweet girls were such a big help in the kitchen!  They both love helping out and I enjoy sharing these traditions with them! 

On Christmas Eve we always get together with my inlaws for our traditional soup dinner and gifts. This year I made Taco Soup and Potato Soup.  They were both delicious and so super easy!

 My sister-in-law, Betsi, had back surgery at the beginning of break so this was her first official outing since being home.  

Lydia loved unwrapping gifts!  We had to have more than one conversation reminding her of the true meaning of Christmas and how fortunate she was to receive all that she did.  I know that is hard for a 4-yr old to comprehend, but it made me feel better! ;) 

 Ace loved the bows and paper!

 Mackaylan... Why does she look like she is about 13 in this pic? She is growing into such a wonderful young lady.  She purchased all of her Christmas presents this year from her own money and put so much thought into each one.  So special!

 Pop O. Pop O. Bam. Ba-Lam!

 Aunt Betsi

Grams puts so much thought into the purchasing, wrapping, and giving of gifts each year.  Yes, she does go overboard, but from one whose love language is also "Gifts" I totally understand! I am so blessed with the BEST in-laws!

 Mackaylan is into Simply Southern shirts right now!  (Just in case you couldn't tell! LOL)

Christmas Day always begins with everyone opening their stockings on our bed.  I'm not sure how that started, but it's a fun tradition!

 Santa brought Lydia a Marker Maker!  She didn't have many things on her list, but thanks to You Tube she did have the Marker Maker and the Chocolate Pen on it.  Santa came through with both! 

Santa brought Mackaylan the America Girl Flip-Top Desk and the Mary Ellen TV along with several other things!

 One of Ace's big items was a Fisher-Price Race Track.  He also got an activity table and a kiddie robot that sings and dances.  

After we "did" Santa we went upstairs to the Family Room to open gifts from each other.  Mickey started off by reading and discussing the Christmas Story with us.  I'm so blessed to have a husband that is the spiritual leader of our household.  

 Christmas jammie shot!

 We didn't really do presents with each other this year, but I couldn't resist these Chicago Bear sweatpants when I saw them!  Go Bears!  (The funny thing is they are "joggers" which are supposedly really in style, but maybe not for a 36 yr. old man. LOL  He likes them though and said he will wear them to lounge around the house!) 

 Mac wanted Just Dance 2 Disney Edition and Daddy came through!

 Mickey and Lydia working on making markers.  It amazes me how she knows exactly what to do since watching all of her You Tube tutorials. 

 Mackaylan loves Lego Friends and she got a set from Santa and Lydia.

 The afternoon consisted of going to The O'Shields for Christmas with the Rush family.  We always have a great time eating, opening gifts, and being together.  

Yep, you can tell by these smiles we had a great Christmas!