John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Date Night, Picnics, and the Circus

This past Friday night John and I got a date night! They seem to be happening more frequently now and I am so glad that they are! Now that Callum is working every single Friday and Saturday night and Kobe is getting a little older and having company over or going somewhere we are just down to one kid...Sam. Well, this past Friday night his school hosted movie night! The kids come to school about 5:45 dressed in their pajamas where they can purchase pizza, popcorn, fruit snacks, and drinks. They can bring a sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow and have a great time with their little buddies! Sam always asks to get beside Myles, Beau, and Alexander. He loves those three boys! This past Friday night was no exception. We spotted Myles behind us in the pizza line and so once we got into the gym Sam made asked me to stand beside him so no one could get Myles' spot! Once everyone was settled we gave our hugs and kisses and left extra drink and snack tickets and got on our way! 

Myles' mom, Lisa, got this quick picture of the boys before we left. What is so unique about Sam and Myles being big buddies is that Lisa and I grew up in the same church and youth group. She used to drive me to and from youth group before I got my license! She has always been sweet and I am thankful to get to reconnect with her and watch our boys be sweet friends too!

John and I had already decided that we were going on a date night and knew exactly where we were headed: The Dish. The Dish is a little restaurant in downtown Florence that is so sweet and pays close attention to detail. Every day they place live, beautiful flowers on each table and I love that it is kind of mis-matched with decor and the silverware. The food is phenomenal.  We had only been during lunch so going for dinner and seeing the candles all lit was so cozy. Generally I have two to three boys and a lot of conversation and attention seeking behavior between myself and John when we are having dinner (out or at home!) but not this night. This night, John sat right beside me. It was kind of quiet in there, although they did have a band playing soft jazz music (which just so happened to be my friend Lisa's brother (Myles' uncle!) and Lisa's parents sat a couple of tables away from us) and a few tables of people. The candles were lit and it was just so relaxing. John chose the lasagna and I chose the graham flour encrusted pork chop with mashed apple and sweet potatoes and asparagus. This was one of the BEST meals of my life! Everything is just placed so nicely on your plate and presented so well! I couldn't quit saying how delicious it was. Every single time an employee walked by I just bragged and bragged! It was truly amazing. The service is outstanding. John and I decided on NO MEDIA so we got to just chat and enjoy the music. It finally occurred to me that I needed to check the time and it was time to go get Samuel picked up from movie night. It was such a great time with just John. The one thing I am looking forward to with my kids getting older (since they HAVE to do it!) is more time with Just Us. 
Dish Gourmet Cafe & Catering

Saturday Callum had to work and Sam and Kobe ended up going target shooting with my dad and uncle Greg. John and I had a leaders meeting at church bright and early so we grabbed breakfast and went to church. Once our meeting was over we decided to head on over to shoot with the boys and my dad and uncle. We drove and drove and drove and drove until finally we decided we just couldn't find where they were. We just drove on old back country roads and talked. We held hands. It was nice. We tried calling everyone's cell phones but they were at the hunting club and there is NO service there so we just decided to head on home. The boys finally got home right before dinner. I cooked a big home cooked, Southern meal Saturday night and we just ate, hung out, and spent time together. 
Kobe is actually a pretty good little target shooter! His favorite part is when my uncle got some propane bottles and placed them FAR AWAY from them and they shot them and they blew up. He said it was just like in the movies!

Sam just HAD to wear his military outfit. He told me yesterday that he didn't need to go to college when he got big because he just wants to be an Army Man. He said that he already knows how to shoot a gun and doesn't need to learn how so he is ready to go in the Army!

Sunday morning we got up and went to church. I LOVE going to church. We all had a great time at church and afterwards we had a little surprise for the boys. We went on a picnic. We drove to the UNA campus, found a perfect picnic spot in the warm sun and plopped a big blanket down and took our shoes off and had a great time. We were right by the lions so Sam kind of ate and walked because he loves seeing Leo and Una. We didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked by the lions because we were taking them to the Chinese circus that was preforming on campus that afternoon. We finally found a spot to sit and settled in. The whole time during the first two acts the boys were just constantly saying "OH WOW!" "THAT'S AWESOME!". I just loved hearing them so excited and having a good time. Sam ended up sitting up in Kobe's lap and they just sat there so sweetly. Once the circus was over we headed home. Kobe left right away to go to Army of the One which is a discipleship program our church holds for 5th graders who are going to be moving up to junior high (not ready for that!). Kobe loves this program and is really enjoying it. It only lasts for 6 weeks so he is getting the most he can out of it. The rest of us stayed behind and hosted our life group. We had a great time with our life group friends. After the life group was dismissed my mom and dad came in with Kobe (they picked him up since we were unable) and I had been cooking spaghetti in my crock pot so we all sat down for dinner together. We had spaghetti, salad, and garlic/cheese bread. I love family dinners with my parents!
Una and Leo, UNA's live lion mascots

Perfect Day for a picnic! I have to get better at taking more pictures!
New Shanghai Circus
New Shanghai Circus

New Shanghai Circus

We had a very busy weekend but we had a fun time and definitely spent some good quality time together. The are the days that I wish I could freeze time! I just love being with John and the boys. It is my most favorite thing to do! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

52 Home---Week 8

My friend Lisa shared this photo with me. This is Sam and his little friend Myles. They are in Kindergarten together. This was at "Movie Night" at their school last week. What a blessing movie night is... kids go in the PJs to watch a movie and eat pizza and parents can get a date night!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

52 Home --- Week 7

Sam learned a little about Mardi Gras at school... he decided to wear his mask into Wal-Mart on Fat Tuesday...

Happy Hearts Day!

This past week was Valentine's Day and with it being Winter Break here on campus I was lucky enough to get Thursday, Friday, and Monday off from work! 

I decided to stay up late on Wednesday night and decorate the house with little homemade banners. Some I made and some I printed off of the Internet. I placed banners above all the doorways inside our home, decorated our front porch swing, decorated around the dining room (replaced pictures with Valentine-y pictures), and set the table for a surprise Valentine's Day breakfast.

Normally, my kids get up, get dressed, and we head on out the door fairly quickly. The two oldest boys eat breakfast at school (which they love!) and Samuel normally eats something easy in the car on the commute to his school. I wish I had the time to get up leisurely every single morning and cook a BIG breakfast for my kids, but let's just face it: I have three kids at three different schools in two different cities. That means three different school traffic zones plus I have to go through campus traffic and fight find a parking place. SO, it is just easier for us this way. BUT on Valentine's Day morning they woke up and found that I had decorated with hearts and flowers and placed little heart shaped bits of encouragement around the house! I made heart shaped pancakes with heart shaped sprinkles baked inside, bacon, and strawberries. 

While we were eating we heard a knock at the door and it was my dad. My dad ALWAYS has flowers delivered to me at work each year for Valentines Day but since I wasn't at work this year, he hand delivered them to my door! I always look forward to getting those flowers from my daddy. He has done this for as long as I can remember and it is always a special treat to get something from him. He also came bearing jerky for the boys. Not just any jerky...deer jerky. Deer jerky made from the deer they killed themselves...they thought they were so manly to be eating jerky for breakfast...especially jerky made from something they killed with their own hands!

After breakfast was finished I got the boys off to school and I went grocery shopping and to pick up some last minute little surprises for my guys! I ate lunch with Kobe and then went to party with Samuel at his school. My mom decided to join in on all the fun at Sam's Kindergarten Valentine's party. They exchanged Valentine's day cards, decorated their own heart shaped cookies, made cards for their sixth grade buddy, and ate heart shaped pizza. They had such a sweet time!

I decided that this year I wasn't going to cook a big meal. I decided on curbside takeaway from Outback. We all enjoyed our steaks while our favorite Pandora station played in the background. I set the table and used the boys' candy and cards as their name card for their "seat" at the table. I gave each boy a gift card (iTunes and Chuck E Cheese) and a couple of boxes of their favorite candy and picked out a sweet card to go with it. I ended up having to leave Callum's on his entertainment center in his bedroom because he had to work that night. I bought John all of his favorite snacks and just gave him a goody bag. 

I decided to make dessert and it was DELICIOUS! It was a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo cookies, and then a layer of brownies on top...served with a side of vanilla ice cream! YUMMY! Let's just say this was our "cheat day" for the week.

Samuel was out of school on Friday so we had a little mommy/Sam date. We went to Chuck E. Cheese where he PROUDLY paid with his gift cards. We ate pizza, drank Pepsi, and played all the games our hearts desired! I had such a fun time just getting to spend time with him alone. I am really trying to do that more often. Last week I took Kobe to buy some things he wanted/needed and then we had a Sonic date and got Reese cup blasts and just chatted. I did learn something while at Chuck E. competitive nature can't be tamed...even when I am playing a child's game against the cutest five year old on the planet!

Friday night and Saturday were filled with just family time. Just hanging out and being together! Kobe had his last two basketball games for the season and Samuel decided he is ready to get signed up for wrestling. Sunday we had a great time at church and decided to take the kids to Rice Box for lunch. Sunday night Kobe started "An Army for The One". It is a discipleship class that our children's minister has put together for the fifth graders. I am so proud of our church and what all they offer. This is a six week discipleship that ends in a graduation ceremony and that is when they will be promoted to the "youth group". OH MY! I am not ready for all of that just yet! Kobe will move up to the youth group and Samuel will move upstairs to Faith Kids from Kidztown. Boy oh Boy are my babies growing up on me. 

Heart banners! The one on the table has pictures of cookies and milk, peanut butter and jelly, and things like that. It says "We Go Together Like..." in between the pictures.


Those little pictures say "BEE MINE" and the other says just cute little things about sweeties.


Sam's Valentines he gave out to his class: You're O-fish-ally the best Valentine!

I "Mustache" you a question!  I bought little mustaches to go on our straws and of course they ended up getting stuck on our faces instead! Fun, FUN times!

He was supposed to be separating the cards from the candy and I caught him unwrapping and "testing" each piece of candy! He says I scared him! and my Valentine!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ABC, Easy as 1-2-3i

I have noticed a new ABCs of Me floating around and I thought I would do one here as well. It is fun and it gives insight about me to my kids about things they may not have otherwise known!

Here goes:

Age: 31 
Bed size: Queen
Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathroom! My boys only have to do ONE chore a week (besides put away their clean clothes on Sunday nights) and that is definitely one that we alternate between the boys!
Drink of choice: Publix DIET Sweet Tea
Essential start to your day item: Other than my alarm, Wheat toast and a can of Diet Pepsi
Favorite color: PINK
Gold or silver: Silver
Height: 5'6''
Instrument(s) you play:  Uhmm... I played violin when I was about 5 and the piano when I was about 13...Now? NOTHING!

Job: I work at a University
Kids: Callum: 15 years old, Haley: 14 years old, Kobe: 10 years old, Samuel: 5 years old
Living arrangements: John, myself, Callum, Kobe, and Samuel live in a home in the center of our small town with our dogs: Buster, Chief, and Levi. Haley lives with her mom in Indiana and visits as often as possible. 
Mom's name: Sara Ellen
Nicknames: Mom
Overnight hospital stay other than birth:  I had heart surgery when I was about a month old and stayed for a little while and then when I had Kobe and Sam.
Pet Peeve:  I am a tad bit OCD about certain things so I would say way too many to list!
Quote from a movie: Gosh! Whatever I feel like! ---Napoleon Dynamite {My kids will get this!}

Right or left handed: Right
Siblings: None
Time you wake up: Usually around 6:15 a.m.
Underwear: Always
Vegetable you hate: Beets
What makes you run late: Not getting up when my alarm goes off!
Xrays you've had: When I broke my wrist and when I had pneumonia 
Yummy food you make: Chicken Casserole, Potato Soup
Zoo favorite: Otters

Friday, February 8, 2013

52 Home--Week 6

I told Sam he could wear ANYTHING he wanted to school today...this is what he chose!