Monday, May 13, 2013

Special Mother's Day Gift

Goodness I love a sweet, homemade gift! Cole brought me home this book on Friday. He was so excited he could not wait until Sunday to give it to me.

Just last week I saw this, and it melted my heart. Then Cole brought this home & it made me smile. Pizza & Green are his favorites for sure...which I guess means they are mine :) he he

Special thanks to the Teachers for making this a priority. I appreciate it so much!

What awesome homemade goodies did your kiddos bring home?

Love & Hugs, 

Homemade Fruit Snacks

My kids love fruit snacks, but I hate them! So I searched Pinterest for a few days looking for options to make homemade ones, after making a few changes & adjustments I settled on this one.

  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Orange Juice (lemon juice if you like sour gummies)
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh or Frozen Berries (I like the triple berry blend, strawberries, raspberries & blueberries - but a plain berry would work just fine!)
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 4TBSP (or 4 small packets out of the Knox brand) Original Gelatin - unflavored
Pour juice and berries into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries become tender & begin to soften. 
Add honey & stir until completely incorporated. You will want the fruit to dissolve quite a bit until you have a compote - but it will still be thin. I like to smash the berries a little during this step to really let the flavors infuse. 
Puree in blender (Vitamix is THE BEST!) until it's a smooth liquid. 
Allow to set for 5-10 minutes, with the lid off the blender. 
Add in gelatin, 1tbsp at a time, mixing in between each tbsp added. You want your gelatin to be completely dissolved. 
Immediately pour into a pan. I used a smaller 7x11 pan I have and it worked great. 
Put into refrigerator for 30 minutes (I didn't even cover mine) then remove & cut. For the size pan I used I got 66 squares...6x11 cuts. I wanted them to be small squares to just hand to the kids. 

Nutritional Info (based on 7x11 pan), 1 small square
  • 6 Calories
  • 1 Carb
  • 0 Fat
  • 0 Protein
  • >1g Sugar!!
So even if you let your kids have 10 squares
  • 60 Calories
  • 10 Carbs
  • 0 Protein
  • >10g Sugar
and compared to Kellogg's...

Kellogg's - Fruit Snacks

Calories70Sodium5 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs17 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars13 g
Trans0 gProtein1 g
Cholesterol0 mg  
Here's the ingredient list copied directly from Kellogg's website...

I'm not even sure I know what half of those ingredients are?! And, these are a whole lot cheaper! 

Here's what mine looked like after 30 min in the fridge...

As you can see, they are really good size!

You could totally get cute & do these in silicone molds, but for me squares work just fine :) 

Do you make homemade fruit snacks? Share your recipe if you do! And if you try these, I would LOVE to know what you think of them!

Love & Hugs, 

Friday, May 10, 2013

What I'm reading

It's no secret that I love to read....especially anything that I think will give me new, fresh ideas. You won't often find me wrapped up in a romance novel...but a self-help book, yep I could curl up all day with that one :)

Here's what I've recently read....

All three are excellent books & I highly recommend them!

Next up is....

I'm super excited to dive into this one. Dr. Leman is one of my all time favorite authors & speakers. He offers real life, practical advice with a seasoning of humor needed to deal with tough situations. Some of his best books (I think) involve a retired man talking about keeping your sex life alive. Seriously hilarious!

What are you reading?

Love & Hugs,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I hope you have wrote a note, purchased a gift or baked a goodie to send in to your child's teacher. If you haven't...don't fret! You still have tomorrow :)

Anyone who knows me, knows how important my son's education is. We have had countless teachers, support staff, therapists & administrators impact our lives in the short 6 years we have been a part of the public school system, and it's important to me to honor them during this special week!

Beacuase we are part of a very small school (in a larger district) I like to do something special for ALL the teachers & support staff in the school. With the amount of lower income families in our area, many teachers don't always get that special little token during this week to say "thank you", so I work hard every year to find something for everyone. It usually has to be inexpensive because we don't have unlimited funds to buy 40 gifts, but with the help of Pinterest, I have succeeded two years in a row with great little gifts!

Last year I made these adorable water bottles. They were a huge hit :)

This year I decided to try some type of snack, and who doesn't love a donut!

I've seen some adorable posts on Facebook of what some of my friends have done for Teacher Appreciation Gifts. I would love to know what YOU did too!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rediscovering God's Word

Yesterday I received the sweetest blessing.

A knock on the door in the afternoon and the UPS lady handed me a box. Inside...the new NIV devotional bible I have wanted so bad. Several of my favorite authors from Proverbs 31 Ministries wrote the daily devotions, and I love how each one speaks right to my heart. When this bible was released, I knew I wanted it. When I saw a friend have it in Sunday School, I wanted it even more! But, my stay at home/do not contribute financially to the home anymore status kept me from feeling like I could buy yet another bible (I own several already). Just for clarification, my sweet husband DOES NOT think this's just the silly voices in my own head that said that, not him! My heart was overwhelmed with gratitude that someone would purchase this for me. Thank you, Julie, you blessed me more than you will ever know :)

Of course I couldn't wait to dive right in last night! I made the mistake of jumping the gun and thinking I could sit down & read before my boys went to bed. Since it was a Monday night we had a little bit of Monday Night Raw in my living room floor with a 38,7 & 2 year old...I can't say I got much reading done then! But as soon as they were down I couldn't wait to crack it back open. Isn't there something so awesome about opening a new bible? I just feel like I have to start right back at Genesis 1 and relive all the awe of those first 7 days of creation. I *may* have also read 3 days of devotions as I excitedly flipped through those pages :)

I love that I'm at a place in my life now where I feel God's Word come alive when reading the bible. It wasn't always that way for me....well, really it still isn't always that way. Sometimes it feels so analytical & confusing, other times it a hard truth to hear...but more than not I'm encouraged these days at His promises. If you have not yet gotten to that place in your bible reading...don't stop! It will come. Try other versions of the bible, sometimes it's simply not the right reading style for you. Even though I'm a big fan of the NIV, I often find myself referencing a scripture in The Message or even KJV to help me understand it better. Read books that use God's Word to drive home the point. 99% of what I read is Christian books geared toward Marriage & Parenting - they all use scripture to support ideas. This was probably one of the best ways for me to get interested in getting into The Word when I was struggling.

Now, I want to know about your preferences!

Do you own this bible yet? Do you have another favorite?

Do you have a translation or paraphrase of the Bible that is your "go-to" reference?

Are you a rebel (like me!) and write or highlight in your bible?

Love & Hugs

Monday, May 6, 2013

Year 3...and still here!

On April 22, 2013 I celebrated my 3 year anniversary as a stay at home Mommy. YAY! The children are alive, I am not in the loony bin & Jason still enjoys coming home at night (I think?!).
Break out the champagne!

In all seriousness, the past two years that was a really big day for me...a chance for me to celebrate the victories, rejoice in all the ways I had seen God work in our lives, and plan for the future. This year however, was a little different. The past 9 months have been a bit more challenging for me...and I really don't know why. I have "mourned" the loss of my old life a little bit, not too much, but a bit. We have also lived in 8 months of almost solid transition...which is HARD, especially when your the one at home trying to just "roll with the punches". So to be honest, I just didn't feel like blogging on 4/22...much like many of the past 8 months. Maybe because I wasn't "feeling" the joy of it, maybe because I was being stubborn when God reminded me that he never promised an easy journey, maybe because I didn't want to admit that I wasn't enjoying every last minute of raising my children.

I think I'm ready to slowly reenter the blogisphere. I enjoy writing (even though I know it's not a strength of mine...that's OK, I'm not looking to publish anything, just a way to express "keep your day job" comments needed! he he) And as I look back at the 3rd year, I realize that even through the gunk & funk I've been in, I can still see the blessings. I can still feel God standing over my shoulder whispering "I'm not done yet, this isn't the end of this story, stick with me". So, I'm going to rejoice each time I see the blessings (like Jason being home everyday!) and I'm going to keep looking up when I feel the funk.

{glass raised}
Here's to another year of blessings, trials, prayers & love :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's been awhile....

So, it's been awhile since I've actually blogged anything. I'm not totally sure why that is, outside of the fact that I've kinda been in a little funk. I've been so wrapped up in the day to day stuff, I just haven't been able to even fathom being creative enough to put my thoughts together. I'm hoping to change that...hoping to get back to a semi-regular posting schedule. Mainly because it's therapeutic for me, but also because it's how I chronicle my kids lives! And they are going to wonder what these big gaps are! ha! (sorry bud...we just slept through 1st grade?!)

Quick updates...

  • Jason is very much enjoying the new job. He's been there for 8 months and has gotten pretty comfortable with his new assignments. He's been on a 3-11 shift for the past 3 months and has Mon/Tues off. That's hard because he & Cole are never home an entire day together. I'm hoping once summer comes that we will feel better about the schedule :) He usually works 2-3 16 hour shifts a week which is nice, easy extra money for us. I'm excited to be paying off some of the bills we've had for the past year. 
  • Cole is so close to being done with first grade, he just can barely stand it :) He has progressed father than we could have ever much so he's going into 2nd grade with no additional supports at all. YAY!!! I'm also excited because my girlfriend is moving grades next year and will be his teacher. I think he will love her & it will be fun to see what new excitement she brings to school for him. Cole is also playing baseball this year, after 2 years of TBall he was sure he wanted to move on. This is the first year of the pitching machine, Mom's nervous. We will see how it goes. It's fun that Jason gets to help out, he's never had a schedule that allowed him to be involved before. 
  • Jacob is my 2.5 year old, full of energy, always climbing something, happy boy! He's that child that secured in my mind "yes, we are done having babies" :) Bless his heart, he is sweet as can be - but he is exhausting too. While we were nervous a little before his first birthday about speech, he has since blown away all age appropriate milestones and has left us with no concerns about his development. (his ability to tear the house down, that's another story!) Because he is not behind in any developmental area, and he has a late birthday, he won't be eligible for our public preschool program until Fall 2014! While it excites me to have all that time left with him before he goes off to school, I also know he needs to get acquainted with outside adult influences as well. ie..he's stuck to Mom's leg like glue 99% of the time :) So we are exploring options for after he turns 3. 
  • And I'm still plugging along at home :) I just experienced my 3 year anniversary being a stay at home Mommy, and I definitely wouldn't change my decision to stay home. I will say that the last 9 months have been more challenging than I would have liked...but I know it's just a season and it these times will come & go. I have had the pleasure of being involved in a large book launch this year, as well as several events at church. I am so blessed to still be able to use my skill set in ministry. 
If there is something specifically you want to hear more about, please let me know. 

Soon you will see our Teacher Appreciation & Mother's Day projects, along with some home renovation we have going on. 

And recipes...of course I'll be back to recipes soon :) 

Love & Hugs, 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hearts at Home encourages Moms to embrace Imperfection!

You always knew you would be the perfect mom. Then you had children.

Now that you know more, it’s probably safe to say that most days haven’t turn out like you imagined.

We've all been there.

When life doesn't measure up to our expectations, it’s easy to feel like we've failed as mothers and we begin asking, “What’s wrong with me?”

The truth is nothing is wrong with you. You are normal. Your frustrations, your disappointments and your struggles are the same frustrations, disappointments and struggles that every mom is going through.

Hearts at Home is offering two opportunities for moms to embrace and celebrate their imperfections right along with others who are doing this “mom thing,” too!

No More Perfect Moms, the newly-released book by Hearts at Home Founder and CEO, Jill Savage, will help moms rid themselves of the “Perfection Infection.” With refreshing honesty, author Jill Savage exposes some of her own parental shortcomings with the goal of helping mothers everywhere shelve their desires for perfection along with their insecurities of not measuring up to other moms.

And, if you purchase the book any time between February 3-9 (online or at a store…and yes, electronic versions such as Kindle and Nook count too!) and send a copy of your receipt to, you'll be given access to well over $100 worth of resources that will help you on your mothering journey - absolutely free! 

What will you receive? Click here (link to: for a full list of audio workshops, printables and books and all the details about how to buy the book!

Then plan to join thousands of moms, just like you, as they celebrate their imperfections on March 15-16, 2013, at the Hearts at Home 2013 National Conference, on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, IL.

Registration is open!

Choose the two-day Friday PLUS! option for a main session and three or four workshops on Friday, plus choose three or four additional workshops on Saturday or choose to attend either Friday or Saturday. Add Moms Night Out on Friday for a great day – or two – away!

Main sessions feature keynote speakers Candace Cameron Bure  (link to: – mom, producer, New York Times’ best-selling author and actress, and best known for her role as "D.J." on Full House – and Jill Savage (link to: – author and CEO and Founder of Hearts at Home.

Moms Night Out welcomes Anita Renfroe (link to:, well known for her pop culture parody of the William Tell Overture-Mom Style and special musical guest Meredith Andrews (link to:

More than 30 workshops with titles including Seven Habits of Highly Effective Moms, Real Ways to Connect With Your Kids, Boys R Us--Raising Boys from 2 to 22, and Wise Women Raising Wiser Daughters, give you the opportunity to design the day around your own needs.

With a sell-out crowd at last year’s conference, early registration is encouraged. The Best Value Registration Deadline is February 20, 2013.

Click here (Link to: for full descriptions of all speakers and workshops and to start the registration process. Group discounts are available!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the {perfect} Saturday

It's Saturday morning, here I sit in my comfy chair, sipping coffee with a great book while I watch my dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed boys play peacefully. The house is clean, the refrigerator is stocked, the bills are paid, the errands are ran. The entire day is ours to do with whatever our heart desires.

.....and then I woke up.

Rather, it's 9:45a, my boys are WOUND UP & the TV is blaring. I have a ginormous pile of dirty laundry at the bottom of the stairs (right in he path of where you must walk to access the kitchen or the bathroom) waiting to be washed, dried, folded & put away. My 7 year old is running around in his boxers (like he is everyday 20 minutes after he gets off the bus) and my 2 year old is completely commando on the bottom half....he thinks if he pees in the potty like he's asked their is no need for pants of any kind, oh and the kitchen floor has yet to clean itself.

Reality is, Saturday's are never "perfect" in my house. Well at least not what my brain thinks perfect is. But, my boys do get to play together (which they LOVE) and I do get catch up on some housework (sometimes), and usually we have the house in a semi-clean state before my dear hubby gets home. Saturday nights are movies, popcorn, games & good fun in our house. And if we're lucky, some time in the hot tub for my dearest & I after the kids are in bed. I guess perfection is what you make it. Does this mean that I'm content with the state of my, I'm stressed to the max most Saturdays, but I'm content with the state of my family...and that's more important in my book :)

Happy Weekend Mama's :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

my {not so} perfect home

The book I've been reading No More Perfect Moms has challenged me in just about every chapter. The 8th chapter, No More Perfect Homes, was so eye opening for me. I am self-diagnoses OCD, I need order, I need cleanliness or I'm stressed to no end. Prior to children, this was obtainable. But now...well, now I have 2 very active little boys with lots of stuff and I'm practically always in a state of panic over the condition of my home. I "know" it's visual clutter & not dirt...but I "think" other Moms can keep it cleaned up better than I can. As Jill would say "I'm comparing my insides to someone else's outsides", not exactly apples to apples!

So, in honor of Jill's 3rd Thursday Blog Hop over at Hearts at Home, I'm opening up my home to all it's realness! (sorry about the quality of the photos, I was planning to do a video tour, but have a sickie today so I didn't think you would want to hear all the fussing along with it! So I just snapped some pictures with my phone of what things look like here this morning)

This is a stack of Christmas Decor, it's been sitting on the Dining Room table for about 2 weeks, waiting to be put in the basement. The basement is about 10 steps from the DR table, just in case you were wondering :)

This is the mess in living room floor from last night. Just in case you missed it, that is a pair of underwear laying on the rug, size 2T...jury's still out if they were dirty or clean, after about 10 seconds of debate I tossed them in the laundry rather than take a wiff. Also a random slipper...even Mom leaves stuff out from time to time :)

And the kitchen table...random sock (same rule applies as the undies..just tossed in the laundry! ha!), Uno Attack, Robot & Mom's glass of ice tea from family game night :) ('s looking like Mom isn't doing so hot on her own standards, huh?!) 

 Monday - Friday my little buddy hangs out in the high chair. Saturday & Sunday it's a catch all. That would be Lego's, Sunday School crafts & anti-aging products. Yep..I'd guess they all have a home OTHER than the high chair tray!

And this my friends, this is the kitchen counter...full of dirty dishes. This is my biggest reveal yet. What a mess! Ugh. Who wants to start Monday off like this? NOT ME!

Ladies, these pictures could go on & on. I could show you my floors that need cleaned, the toilet with the ring in it, the toothpaste splatter on the bathroom mirror, or the stained carpet. How about the microwave that sporting last week's spaghetti explosion or the refrigerator crisper drawer with the "mystery juice" under it. Yep...this is my life. But, I'm learning it's also real life. Is it how I live everyday? Not all of it, but some of it! 

I also struggle with wanting more space, no decorating sense whatsoever & a desire for "curb appeal" that I can never follow through with. 

Being a wife & mother is hard work! If all we did was clean all day everyday our homes would be sparkling (maybe), but our relationships would stink. If we invested in everything we see that we want, our visual appeal might be better, but our bank accounts would be screaming. We still have to carve out time for our husbands & children, time for God, time for rest & renewal. We still have to live within our means. Without these things the Mommy Monster shows up...and that is no fun! 

So today, if you have any messes like this, give yourself grace. And if you don't have any messes like this...we can't be friends anymore. Sorry. :)

Love & Hugs!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Favorite Homemade Pizza

In this house we LOVE pizza. While my boys would be fine with frozen pizza 3 nights a week, I prefer the really good, thick & crisp, gooey, meatiness of a pizzeria pie. Unfortunately my pizza of choice gets EXPENSIVE! At $16-20 for a large pizza (which, we admittedly need 2 of those for our family of 4!), we can't afford to treat ourselves to those near as often as we would like. So, we did the next best thing....we found a crust we love & now we make it at home! 

I really can't remember where this crust originated from. My FIL made it for me once & I was in love with it!  Sorry I don't have a site to reference, but I will post the recipe below :)

This is what the crust looks like when you roll it out. This recipe will make either 2 round stones, or 1 round & 1 jelly roll pan. I love pampered chef pans for my pizza, but only once they are good & seasoned. Once you roll out your dough, gently lift it & sprinkle yellow corn meal under the dough on the pan, this will help the crust crisp up well. I also drizzle Olive Oil & Oregano on the raw crust and rub it in really well. 
I then bake the crust only for 5 minutes or so to get it started. 

Once you remove it, lather on your favorite sauce, toppings & cheese. I always season the raw pizza with Salt & Pepper to give it that wonderful flavor. Your pizza will need to bake for anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how many toppings, how much cheese, how well you like your crust done. Remember to rotate it between the top rack & the bottom rack to evenly cook the crust & cheese of the pizza :)

Does it seriously even get any better than this? Oh man, we absolutely LOVE this pizza :) And our whole family gets into it. Once I have the crusts prepared the boys top the pizza (Jason is a master at this!). Our favorite toppings are Pepperoni, Ham, Sausage, Bacon Bits, Mushrooms, Onions & Green Peppers.

Now, don't be scared by the recipe for the might look intimidating at first, but I's EASY!

Pizza Crust

  • 2 & 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 & 1/3 cup of up to a cup more for sticky dough
  1. In a saucepan, warm water. (measure the temp to 110 degrees...this is actually really important for proper rising) 
  2. Dissolve yeast & brown sugar in warm water (in a separate bowl, not your saucepan) and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir the salt & oil into the yeast solution. 
  4. Place 2 & 1/3 cups of flour into the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can mix it by hand if your really ambitious!), and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix on low until it begins coming together. Place remaining 1 cup of measured flour into mixer & continue combining the ingredients. **this is where I add to the dough is always WAY to sticky, so I usually add in another 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at this point. Your dough has to be workable without sticking to your hands!
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and coat with a light dusting of flour. 
  6. Coat a LARGE mixing bowl with Crisco liberally (I don't even mess with generic shortening... Crisco all the way!), then place your ball of dough in the bowl & turn once or twice to coat with some shortening. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour, your dough will just about double in size. 
  7. Punch down dough and separate into 2 balls. 
  8. Lightly flour pizza pans & begin rolling out dough. 
  9. Follow directions above for making pizza!
If you try this pizza, I would love to hear from you! It's my absolute favorite! Well worth the time to make the dough :)

Love & Hugs, 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

But if you WILL....

Normally Sunday's are my day to sleep in (which incidently means we are perpetually late to church). Fortunately my husband is AMAZING and always gets the boys & himself ready, allowing me to leisurely apply make-up, straighten my hair, and change clothes 3x before meeting them at the car (after they have been waiting for a good 10 minutes mind you). Yes folks, he's a saint. Well...he's on a day shift right now and is of course working Sundays, which leaves Mama alone with the 2 precious littles. In case your the 5 weeks Jason has worked Sunday's the boys & I have made it to service twice. Let's set the stage of our morning...

I was up & ready by 7am (This is GOOD..very, very good), Cole got out of bed, immediately got dressed & brushed his teeth (we're on a roll!), I have the car started at 7:15a...all I have left is get the toddler dressed. Surely that can happen in 15 minutes, right? {chocolate donuts in the car for breakfast...we're operating on essentials only this morning ladies} And this is when it all started going downhill.....Mr. Jacob had a colossal meltdown when I went to take his PJ's off..."No Mom, my jammies, my jammies, I dress, I dress". Then he chose to kick his feet the entire time I tried to change his diaper, whopping me in the face at least twice. By the time his coat was on & zipped I had successfully sweat every ounce of my make-up off and my hair (which was last nights anyway) is now levitating far above it's intended place. By the time we reached the church parking lot Jacob was covered in chocolate donut! My dear friend who happened to be greeting this morning asked me how we were today, my response "I've realized if I was a single Mom we may never attend church again" as I continued dragging the chocolate covered beast behind me. I had one thing on my mind...drop this kid in the nursery!

As I sat down in the pew I was all but ready for my mind to wander and to not feel connected in anyway today. Then Pastor Randy read the call to worship, Psalm 9:1-2. 

will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 
will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

{sigh} Peace. That's what I felt. I had the choice at this moment to Praise Him. I had the choice to be glad. I had the choice to Rejoice.

Sometimes it's not easy, especially during these early years of parenting. My heart reached out this morning to every single Mom out there to who faithfully does this every week. God Bless You, Mama's. It. is. hard.

Sometimes you just don't have it in you. But if you WILL, He will meet you where you are. And that's just what happened today, I was filled beyond measure. I was blessed because we pushed through. My Children were blessed because we pushed through. My husband was blessed because we pushed through. 

And now I'm off to clean chocolate out of church shirts :)

Love & Hugs, 

Friday, January 4, 2013

No More Perfect Moms - A sneak peek for YOU!

Happy Friday Mama's :)

Are you still focusing on your imperfection? It's time to change that!

I mentioned last week that I had been fortunate enough to be selected to be on the launch team for Jill Savage's new book No More Perfect Moms. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I tell you, she's talking right to me girls!

Even though the book doesn't release until 2/1/12, you can preview the first (almost) 3 chapters on Amazon here!. I promise you, this book is worth your time!

Don't forget to sign up for the 31 day challenge! You will receive an email each day, encouraging you to let go of that Perfection Infection we all suffer from.

My book awaits :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What we've been up too!

Yes, it's been forever since I last posted. The only redeeming factor is that we have been having such an AMAZING summer & fall...and now into winter!!

Here is a brief update on what we have all been doing!

  • played T-ball again this year and did great. his attention span is still short, but he only hit off the tee twice all year! we also discovered that although he's a lefty, he hits way better right handed. watch out Chicago...he's headed your way!
  • we ended up getting 2 child sized four wheelers this summer and boy are they getting use! Jas, Cole & Jacob race around the back yard for endless hours. my yard looks more like a motocross track now than a yard, but who cares :)
  • had his first week of swimming lessons in July. he learned 4 new strokes! free style, underwater, back stroke & another thing on his back. he is swimming so well, it really boosted his confidence. less than a month later he was going off the diving board into 9ft water at the public pool!
  • we've also had our fair share of problems. it seems 6 and three quarters is the perfect time to develop a terribly smart mouth "tone" without even knowing your doing it. it makes my skin crawl. fortunately I have wonderful friends that know Cole & remind me that not everything makes the same sense to him that it does to me. baby steps.
  • in August he started First Grade with virtually no additional education supports...which is shocking with his diagnosis! to date (Dec) he's doing wonderfully and still right where he needs to be with his class.
  • this fall Cole played soccer for the first time. he hates to run, so it was interesting for sure :) no doubt he enjoyed the interaction with friends and it was a good way to keep him on a routine for the start of school.
  • in Dec. Cole was chosen to be the 1st grade Santa in the Christmas program! that was really exciting for us all :) video to come...
  • went from hating the pool to loving it, it just took the right flotation device :) "1-2-3!" is all we hear before "SPLASH!" and he's in the pool. 
  • became my first child to have stitches. (in the face none the less)
  • is talking so much. i'm trying hard to keep track of word counts for comparison, but it's something new everyday now.
  • is still very attached to Mommy. makes it hard for me to go anywhere without him (unless Daddy's home).
  • wants to do EVERYTHING brother does (which is not always fun)
  • went back to the ER for a bad burn on his leg (darn 4-wheelers!)
  • celebrated his 2nd birthday with both sets of Grandparents as his Dad & I were VERY sick with the stomach flu :(
  • has initiated us well with the "terrible two's"...he's quite the character, to say the least!
  • has totally taken after his brother with his electronic 5th sense...he can navigate the ipad much better than Mom or Dad
Jason & I....
  • the BIG news of the year is that Jason got a new job! In October he left for the academy in Springfield and spent 6 weeks in training. He now works as a CO very 12 miles close to home! He is home at some point every's amazing. I feel like I'm on my honeymoon all over again, seeing him everyday! The kids love it :)
  • In October I took a break from much of my volunteer work, and it was such a relief to enjoy the holidays this year without 5 extra to-do lists waiting on me. I plan to step back into many of these roles at some capacity, just hopefully not as much as before. 
  • we are continuing to plug through all the little home improvement projects on the list....we finished the laundry room re-do this summer....and now I've decided I do not like the paint color with the's never ending :)
  • One of my goals for 2013 is to try to give myself a break. I am pushing to let go of my Perfection Infection! If you want to join me on this journey, check out Jill Savage's new book No More Perfect Moms. You can also sign up for her 31 days of encouragement here. It's going to be really good! I will host an online book study Mid-February. If your interested in being a part...let me know.
As we move into this new year, I pray that each of you are blessed with health, happiness & the joy of The Lord. Love to all!