Sneak peak

This may look like just a scribble....
But it's a design idea I have for something fantastic I hope to have time to do this weekend!
Just thought I'd tease you with the rough sketch.
Any guesses on what it might be?!?


Life Lessons from the Bar

I always laugh at the reaction from people when they ask me where I work. 

Preschool teacher by day, bartender by night.

I realize it seems like a contradiction, but there are some days these two jobs go together pretty well. Like on days where I've had enough of 3-year-olds and need some adult interaction. Or on days where I can break through cold hearts/broken lives in the bar by telling a precious story about my preschoolers. Sometimes, I need both to balance out.

Last night was a particularly slow night @ the bar. Not much to do but clean every nook I could think of. And when I clean - watch out! - I think.

I was thinking that every now again, I let that place suck me in. If I let it, it can effect my attitude, my demeanor, and my language. There are a lot of days I don't want to be there. But then I remember the little lessons I never thought I'd learn from working in a bar:

1. God is everywhere
I've posted about this before, but it's amazing to me how God meets me in places I don't expect. Like the lives of broken people in a bar, pouring beer. Hearts are open and receptive, people are looking for something more...

2. Everyone is vulnerable
I had this false notion in my head that worldy people have made it in their minds that God is not for them and they've put this armor on against anything religious. That is simply not true. In most cases, I find that people believe but don't know how to transform their lives. They don't know where to start. They have baggage they think is too much for God. They are vulnerable, just like everyone else in the world.

3. Everyone hurts
I know a few people (regulars) that have a lot of money. I mean a lot. Like they could pay off my life debt and not blink an eye. As jealousy starts creeping in, it's always stopped with the understanding that their lives are broken too. Money most certainly does not buy happiness. Even people who seem to have everything hurt. And need.

4. Man is Good
I see a lot of evil working in a bar. A lot of infidelity, gossip, deceit, gambling, drugs, etc. But what I've learned is that underneath all that, people are innately good. People love. And give. And sacrifice. Some days, I see more good deeds passed through the bar than through the church.

5. A smile goes a long way
If I could measure this lesson in a tangible way, the evidence would be astounding. I can't count how many times a simple smile has eased someone's pain, made some feel welcomed, or has broken barriers. I've had people return as customers because of a smile. I could measure it from tips received because it helps, but it's so much more than that. This is true with so many things in life. When you approach a situation with a smile, it's hard to not have a different perspective on things.

Some days, I need these reminders. I'll take these life lessons with me wherever I go.

Thanksgiving 2009

Well, I've been MIA the last few days. Here's why:

This week, we spent American Thanksgiving in Canada. Beamsville, Ontario to be more exact. For the first time since April, we've finally been able to cross the border and coordinate time off to visit my in-laws for a few days. I figured it was only fair that we do it on our Thanksgiving since the hubs hasn't been home for a Thanksgiving in 7 years. Plus, my family was out-of-town anyway.

In honor of their American daughter-in-law and the fact that they didn't get to celebrate with us for their holiday, we were made a delicious Thanksgiving meal...mmm...

I didn't have a lot of internet time there, so I was saving my Thankful Thursday post, since it is the last one:

I am so thankful for:

*my husband's family - they're awesome
*delicious comfort food, even if it did set me back caloric intake for the week!
*the silly way Caleb says 'lasagna' (zanyanya) =]
*warm blankets
*late nights playing games with family/friends
*stolen kisses
*good-night voice mails from my kids
*second chances
*sweet tea
*sleeping in my own bed

I really did have a great Thanksgiving break. Get ready for this week, I fully intend on getting back in the swing of things: decorating for Christmas, updating my Weight loss Wednesdays, and some other random things on the menu. I know you can barely contain your excitement.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Fun with Scrapblog

Stumbled across an amazing website today.....Scrapblog.com!

I've been playing with this site all day.  A lot of it is free, so you can create almost anything...like my new blog header, if you haven't noticed! I'm finally getting around to sprucing up my blog, and this site has been the easiest help by far!

Anyway, here's a fun page I made with the rest of my family photos:

So cute, right?!?


Family photos

So, I've started thinking about Christmas cards, etc. and what we were going to do this year.
Then it occurred to me:

Our family hasn't taken a decent photo together since the Dude was born.

That realization made me very sad. Now, I still plan on taking some real family photos (not my sad attempt with our crappy camera), and I still plan on figuring out how to do some photo layouts (MckMama did a great tutorial on this, but I can't figure it out on my program).

So here are the last-minute-no-one-to-take-pictures-so-we-used-the-garbage-can-in-the-backyard family photos. Some them are decently cute!

The Princess and The Dude (I feel like that should be a title of a new movie!)

The ladies...

The fellas...

The Kings

There are more cute ones that I'll post later!!! =]


Hodge Podge Chili

I'm pretty proud of myself.

The other night, I attempted to make Chili, cause I had some pinto beans I had no idea how else to use them. I ended up just throwing a bunch of things together I had to use up in my kitchen. And you know what?!? I thought it was pretty good!

It was a little thick (the hubs did prefer so many beans - but really liked the flavor). This is the result of:

1 bag of Pinto Beans
2 lbs of lean ground meat
1 can of corn
1 can tomato soup
1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 can Hunts original spaghetti sauce
Left over Meijer organic salsa
Left over Paul Newman's pinapple salsa
2 pack of chili mix
Chili powder
Salt & Pepper

I will definitely try it again....will less beans! It was YUMMY!
How's that for not being a very good cook?!?



Just found this and it made me smile. It's old...like from August, but I just came across it and thought I'd share since I didn't before. This is from the Children's Musical our church did this summer:

That's my little lady bug, Faith. Distracted much?!?! LOL, I love how she gave a little wave to one of the older girls behind her that she just loves...then just stared! This was just a practice run, she did get better each time! =]

Hope this brightened your day as much as it did mine. If watching little 2-3 year-olds sing doesn't melt your heart a little, something must be wrong with you. I'm just saying...


Thankful Thursdays

--The long weekend coming up next week (I totally need the break!)
--Getting to FINALLY see my in-laws for the holiday!!! (We haven't been to their house since April!)
--Watching my kids' faces light up when their daddy gets home.
--My church family - They totally ROCK!
--Nap time
--staying in to snuggle and watch tv with my man
--Sweet Tea

This week at preschool, we made 'Thankful Turkeys'. Each feather represented something the kids were thankful for. This was Faith's list:
-My Mommy
-My Daddy
-My Caleb
-Taco Bell


What are you thankful for?


Guilty pleasures

Everyone has em...

You know, those silly indulgences that you would never admit to anyone. You'd be mortified if anyone knew how much you loved it - either because you're way too old to love it, too young, or it's completely ridiculous:

I call them guilty pleasures.

Well, welcome to my dirty laundry. I'm airing it out. I've decided that I am secure enough as a woman that I can be at a place to admit these secrets loves of my life.

(Reading the following may force you to think less of me)

Guilty pleasure # 1:
Cheesy movies
Okay, I realize I am not alone on this one. Most woman would admit to liking the sappy romantic comedies/dramas. My favorite genre is action/suspense, but I will totally admit to loving girly movies. But I love the really cheesy ones. I tend to watch them by myself so I don't have to answer to anyone why I would possibly watch it: Like watching The Ice Princess. And loving it. And downloading the Ali & AJ song from it. Or 'A Cinderella Story' - Apparently, any Disney teenie-bopper movie, I'm all over it. Shhh....don't tell anyone.

Guilty pleasure # 2:
Zac Efron
Again, with the disney teenie-boppers! I admit it: I have a cougar crush on Zac Efron. It all started with my daughter's obsession with High School Musical. This kid is seriously a force of ridiculous talent. Adorable: CHECK. Actor: CHECK. Sings & Dances: DOUBLE CHECK. My daughter has good taste!

Guilty pleasure # 3:
Salt & Pepper
Hopefully, this will redeem myself from my previous guilty pleasure (or at least, balance it out)...but I love older guys who can rock salt & pepper hair. I totally think it's sexy. Like Pierce Brosnan.
Or George Clooney.

Something about an older man who knows who is, has a sense of maturity (even if we know it's a myth), and can get sexier every year.
And no, I do NOT mean Taylor Hicks, thankyouverymuch.

Guilty pleasure # 4:
Anyone who has read my blog knows I love Slurpees. But my love borders on obsession. I've cut way back recently in honor or reaching my goal of a healthier me, but there is a slurpee shaped hole in my stomach. And it aches. I could drink them non-stop. ALL DAY. It's a disease, really. I should seek help.

Guilty pleasure # 5:
Jordin Sparks, 'Battlefield'
I actually love all things Jordin Sparks. I think she is an incredible singer, a great role model, and has the most unbelievably beautiful skin. But, I've recently become addicted to her song 'Battlefield.' It's constantly stuck in my head. I crank it anytime I hear it on the radio. My kids know most of the words. I love the drive. I love the range. I love Jordin Sparks, and I don't care who knows it!

There you have it: my guilty pleasures. I warned you that you might think less of me...

What are your guilty pleasures?!?!? I'm dying to know!


Thankful Thursdays

I would like to give a disclaimer before this post:

Recently, I made fun of a friend for listening to Christmas music (in my opinion) way too early...and I was called a Scrooge. All in good fun, mind you, but I feel sad for Thanksgiving not getting it's proper respect as a holiday...people glaze over it with the insane pull of Christmas. Let me make something clear. I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. And I love Christmas music. But I love Thanksgiving and all that it represents.

Therefore, in the honor of Thanksgiving, I am dedicating my Thursdays in November to Thankful Thursdays, thanks to the inspiration of another blogger. I get caught up in my own life so often, it's good to take a minute and remember all the things I have to be thankful for.....like:

- having a job (ok, 2 jobs. Ok, 4 jobs between Jer and I...do whatcha gotta do)
- my beautiful (and hilarious) children
- supper club Thursdays
- laughter
- how sexy my husband looks all dressed up
- watching my preschoolers' lights go on when they learn a concept
- the accomplished feeling of running 10K. All. By. Myself.
- the way Caleb says 'noodle' (noonul)
- Faith singing along to 'Party in the USA'
- accomplishing a goal for myself. And no one else.
- scrapbooking
- family and friends

I could go on and on....but I'll save some for next week. Thanks, God, for all these things. You rock.

Weight Loss Wednesday

I haven't updated with Weight Loss Wednesday in quite awhile. Partly because of time and my insane life right now. And partly because for the last month, I've been stuck.

I didn't lose any weight for a month.

It was very discouraging. Mostly because I am still overall so much healthier than I ever was before. I'm still trying to watch what I eat, make better choices, eat more often with smaller meals...you know, all the things you're supposed to do lose weight.

No luck.

I said earlier that my goal was to feel comfortable in my own skin. I wanted a more balanced life, and that weight loss was to be a great bonus. But truth is, I want the weight loss. I want to fit in my old clothes. I want to feel 'skinny'. But, why can't I have both a healthy life AND weight loss?

So, I had to re-gear. Let's be honest, crazy schedule, stress, Halloween candy (ok, ok, I admit it) = plateau of weight loss. I had to kick myself again to get back on track. Here's my update from the last goals:

1. Eat breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking up.
I'm actually pretty good about this one, only because I have a schedule every morning and because I am up so early. I get up. Take a vitamin with a huge glass of water. Eat breakfast. If I don't get to it, I drink a protein shake on my way to work.

2. Run at least 3X a week to prepare for a 10K race
This has been almost impossible. 3 days a week have been really hard to achieve. HOWEVER, I realized I'm capable of a lot more than I gave myself credit for, because even with 1 day a week, I've met my mark of 10K today - running. Non-stop. This may not seem like much, but I've never run that much. EVER. I'm pretty stoked. Especially since I found out this week I will not be in town the day of the race, so I've achieved the goal all on my own. YAY ME!

3. Cook/eat more meals at home.
This has actually happened by default. I've been forced to this cause I'm broke. HA! Probably a good thing though. I don't really prefer to cook (I do love to bake, but when is that ever healthy?!?) so it's really an effort. But it's happening.

4. Go to bed at a decent hour when possible.
With the exception of tonight as I stay up late to blog, I've been to bed before midnight every night this week. That's huge for me. But I didn't do it consciously....I blame old age! So, goal achieved again by default! =]

So, with the tough month I had of no weight loss (and I do realize that I've built a lot of muscle running), I only have one goal this time:

1. Lose 15 pounds by Christmas.

EEK! I really have to watch out for holiday food, stress, etc. if I want to do that. But what I am coming to realize is that I can only cheat myself. I am the only one getting in the way of my goal. I decided on this goal last week, and I've already broke through my plateau, losing 3 lbs. this week, which puts me at:

X - 20 lbs!

Phew. I feel good again. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. =]


Fall Happenings

Just uploading some photos for Facebook today from October, thought I'd share. We had a very busy, but fun month! =] Here are the highlights:

My teacher's assistant, Randi, and I dressed as Tigger and Pooh for our preschool Halloween party - I know, cute right? And props to Faith for taking a decent photo!

We decided to bring our bikes to the park one beautiful fall day. They don't get to ride much at home and Caleb hasn't taken his bike out of the basement. They were excited to say the least.

Faith brought her scooter. This kid scooted almost 2 miles around the park!

Faith sitting proudly in front of our carved pumpkins.

My cuties. They love each other. Really.

Looking forward to an eventful November....


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