Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gone Fishin

A beautiful Saturday afternoon in pictures. . .































Saturday, May 28, 2011

Aubrey in "E-I-E-I-Oops"

The Third Grade put on a fun little musical called "E-I-E-I-Oops". Aubrey played a cute little mouse:) We used minnie mouse ears and tied a black sock around the red and white bow to cover it up...cuz we're clever like that:) She had a speaking part and did a great job! She wasn't thrilled about her part-she had hoped for a different one and even tried out for a solo(which I didn't find out about til later, I was so surprised!). I was so proud of her for doing that! I just can't believe her confidence and bravery lately! Anyone that knows Aubrey knows that she isn't a loud and outspoken girl, but at the same time she isn't super shy. Shes in the middle:) Which is perfect. But I still would've never imagined her trying out for a solo. She has surprised us this year with her singing and dancing abilities! She didn't get a solo, but she still got a great part! I told her to make the best of the part she was given and she totally did that. We were proud of the super job she did...and I think she was the cutest mouse ever.











The barnyard scene






I think this is a cool picture-she made eye contact with me right as I snapped the picture:)

Aubrey and one of her best friends Courtney after the show. They are such sweet girls and such good friends.






Friday, May 27, 2011

Contest clarification

I'm excited there are so many entries for the giveaway already!

I do need to clarify how to enter because I've noticed a few of you have only left one comment even though you are a follower(which qualifies you for 3 more entries!)... if you qualify for additional entires(whether you are a follower or have blogged/facebooked the contest), you have to leave a comment for each additional entry. Otherwise, if you've only left one comment, you only have one entry. Make sense? Basically each comment is going to be assigned a number. I'll be using an online random number generator to choose a number and whichever comment is that number wins! So go back and add more entries/comments if you need to! And the comments don't have to say anything other than "follower" "follower 2"(for second comment) "follower 3" etc. You don't have to keep complimenting me, hahaha.

Good luck everyone! And thanks for visiting and for all of the sweet comments :)

1000 Posts!!! And my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY

I just hit 1000 posts! WOOHOO! I've been rambling on and on for almost six years and 1000 posts now. Lucky you. And to celebrate, one lucky reader will get 1000 dollars!!!

Psyche.


Okay, I'm not giving away a thousand bucks. But I will do something else. My first giveaway. Ever. Yes, I'm finally selling out! :) But I don't look at it that way. I look at it as a way to give back to my wonderful readers!!




So here are the rules:

Leave ONE comment on THIS POST telling me what you love most about this blog(yes, I'm needing some ego strokes here...:) and you'll receive ONE entry.



If you are a follower of my blog(or become a follower), you will receive THREE additional entries(make sure to comment on this post one time for each entry).
If you post about this giveaway on your blog or link this post on Facebook, you will receive FIVE additional entries!


Again, make sure you comment for each entry! Basically each comment is a number so if you only leave one comment for all of your entries, you are cheating yourself. Leave a comment for each entry and you have more chances to win! One lucky winner will be randomly selected by a random number generator and notified via email (if I don't have your email please leave it in one of your comments!)



Winner will be selected and announced on Friday, June 3 at 11:59pm.



Oh, and the prize. . . .drumroll please. . .







$15 giftcard to Cold Stone Creamery! Okay, so its not 1000 bucks or even close, but I ain't made of money y'all:) I thought I'd share my crazy love of sweets with one of you! Cold Stone is SO yummy!!! Good luck!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In N Out Hits Texas

The west coast sensation, In N Out, has finally come to Texas! And not just Texas, but 15 minutes from our house! And of course, we went as soon as we could. No, we didn't go the first day it was open. . .we didn't really want to wait for two to three hours to get a burger. We did drive out that way just to see how busy it was and it was seriously unbelievable. The drive thru line was MILES long. And people were lined outside in the rain waiting to get a taste holding their little umbrellas while it thundered and stormed. It was so funny. There was even a chick on the news later crying about it, thats how happy she was. Hilarious. We love In N Out, but we aren't that crazy :) I've never seen crowds like it. Well, okay, honestly, we would've stood in that line and waited if we didn't have 4 young kids:)

So, it was a few days after it opened that we headed out that way for dinner. Joey called me late in the day from work and said, "Its time. " Joey is from Southern California so he is a big fan. And he introduced it to me a few years ago and I converted:) Forget Whataburger! I know, I'm totally betraying my Corpus Christi roots, but In N Out is better. It just is. I think it is the king of fast food burgers.


So the line was still pretty long to get inside so we did the drive thru, which was still a good 40 minute wait. We put a movie on in the car for the kids to watch, Disney's Aladdin. From the looks of this picture, you would think we were playing a horror film. LOL. Joey and I were laughing so hard in the front and I secretly took this picture. That scary Aladdin movie. . .





Their little faces quickly changed once they got their hats, milkshakes and dinner. They loooved it. Ella finished her first hamburger, ever, in her life. She usually only eats half. See, its good stuff people. Aubrey said it was the best burger ever. Cali's favorite thing was her choclate milkshake. They keep asking to go back! I would have to say their first In N Out experience was awesome. Maybe next time we'll actually get to eat inside:)

My California man ready to finally taste some California goodness.





Yumalicious.




A happy man.







And here is dorky little me. I like wearing the hat too. And making stupid faces.





It is so awesome that we have In N Out so close now. And not just one, but actually two close by! Joey has one about two minutes from his work in Frisco. Lucky man. I better not find out about any secret In N Out runs without me. . .j/k

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

I won't tell anyone how old you are today(but it rhymes with nifty! Hahaha. Can't resist Mom...it'll be me someday...I know:), but Happy Birthday to the most wonderful & beautiful mom on the planet! We love you so so much!! You are the BEST!!!!!!!!! And you don't look a day over 40. (Shes still got it! She has ALWAYS looked ten years younger than she really is. I think its because she is also so young and fun at heart! :)



My cute mom with her 4 favorite little people in the world. We hope you have a wonderful day! Can't wait to see you soon!




Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friends are GOLD

I am so blessed to live in an area with so many great gals! I love my friends here, absolutely adore them. I've lived in areas where I have had like, zero, friends:) When we moved from Corpus(where I grew up and stayed in the same ward my entire life, where I was surrounded by family and people I knew) to Austin, I was not very outgoing. I felt a little bit lonely and shy. I never felt like I was a huge part of the ward there (that kinda happens when they call you straight to the nursery though!). I don't feel like many people got to know the real me. I didn't really bond closely to anyone until just a few months before we moved(of course!). And we only lived there for a year and a half so that wasn't much time. So when we moved to the Dallas area, I decided things were going to be different. I wasn't going to wait for people to say hello to me. I made a serious goal to be more friendly. To put myself out there. I decided to try and organize playdates and plan get-togethers. To unshy myself:) And I did it. It worked! I love to plan girls night outs, playdates at the park, birthday celebrations, you name it. I'm always trying to think of a way to bring people together. Its fun! Its been an awesome way to connect with other moms and make friends. Women need each other. While we have our husbands as our best friends, we also need that special connection with other gals. Its so nice to chat, vent & laugh together. I love the women here and don't know what I'd do without them!




This past month two close friends of mine, Sarah & Emily, had birthdays. They both celebrated their 28th birthdays(youngins:). I helped plan both of their parties and they were super fun! Emily's party I hosted at my house with the help of my bud Amanda- friends, food & fun! I made chocolate cupcakes and made a silly trivia game:) I even made punch that wasn't a powder mix!(Now, thats something:) Everyone brought an appetizer to share. It was awesome! I love ya Emily and I'm so glad I know you!! I am especially glad to have gotten to know you so well this year. She is one of the most generous people I know! She is also so nice to everyone, always. And its so crazy how much she and I have in common-I didn't know there was someone out there(besides myself and my BFF Laura:) that loves sweets as much as me! You are a wonderful person and friend Emily! Happy Birthday!


Amanda, Emily & I



Talking and eating: the perfect combination.


Time for the birthday girl to blow out her candle:)




Not long after, we celebrated my dear friend Sarah's birthday at McAlister's Deli. Katie headed it up and I brought balloons and ring pops(to make it fancy:) lol. It was fun to get together for lunch, fancy delish cupcakes & girl time. I love you Sarah!! You have been a wonderful friend for YEARS! She is the type of girl that I've always been able to count on for anything. She is so fun and so sweet. And she is always thinking of others. I don't know what I'd do without you Sarah!! xoxo Hope you enjoyed your birthday!


I love how Jennie is showing off her bling:)


Ooh la la. I had a raspberry filled cupcake and it was fantastic.

Fun times with fun girls!! There were also a couple of other good friends birthdays last month that we celebrated too-it was a crazy fun party month:)


And I'm already thinking about who's birthday is next. . . Katie. . thats you. :)





Saturday, May 21, 2011

C-a-l-i





Cali can write her name! I was starting to think she never would:) She is a stubborn little booger sometimes. Everytime I'd sit with her to try and get her to do letters she would get really frustrated and angry. She really just had no desire to do it. At. All. I don't think it was because she lacked the ability, but she lacked the patience. This week I decided to try again with her and she did it! I will admit, however, that I gave her gum to chew while I was working with her:) The key to this kids heart is candy or bubble gum. It puts her in a really good mood! I'm so bad. But I was desperate! Lol. We are very proud of you Cali! She'll be ready for preschool now that she is a pro at writing her name:) She count count to 20 and say her ABC's. She can recognize lots of letters and numbers and can write a few of them too. It seems since shes turned 4, she has grown up so much already! We love you cutie pie Cali! I can't believe you'll start pre-k in just a few months! I've told her all about it and she is most excited for snack time:)




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Elder Oaks wrote a letter to Aubrey!

A couple of weeks ago Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the area for a special conference. His words were inspiring and uplifting. It was an amazing conference! We weren't able to be in the building he was speaking at so we were a little bit bummed to watch via satellite just a few minutes down the road from where he was...however, we were surprised when we arrived and found out he would be coming to our building to meet with and shake hands with the members where we were after the conference! We were so excited! During the conference, Aubrey had the neat idea to write him a letter so that she could give it to him when she met him. She even wrote her address on it(she is a great little thinker) so he could write her back. It was a sweet letter that thanked him for coming to visit us and that she was excited to meet him. She told him a little bit about herself and her family. She also wrote that she has loving and caring parents that teach her the gospel of Jesus Christ(It was so sweet!) She handed it to him when she met him and he thanked her and put it in his pocket. This girl is amazing. She truly is. I am proud to have her as a daughter! We all hoped he would write her back. I had a good feeling he would.







And sure enough, he did:) Last week a letter arrived in the mail(he was fast!) from the office of the Quorum of the Twelve. She was thrilled. What a special day for her. We videotaped her opening it and reading it aloud even:) We had Joey on speaker phone since he was at work. There were lots of smiles. Here is a video of her reading it. . . and then Cali getting angry. I turned off the video camera right as she was about to sock Aubrey in the arm. Which she did. Which then ended in me sending her upstairs to her room. And her throwing a fit. Ahhh, it was lovely. Cali keeps it real thats for sure :) Anyways, still a special day:)








And a couple of pictures. . .











I am truly grateful that Elder Oaks took the time to write our sweet daughter back. It bore powerful testimony to her and helped to strengthen her own(and mine as well). I know it is something she will treasure forever. And its a memory I will always treasure. Thank you Elder Oaks. We love you, sustain you, and appreciate the work you do on our behalf. I have a strong testimony of the leaders of our church. I know they are men of God.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Bath buds

Ammon started using his bath seat last month and is thoroughly enjoying being a big kid in the big bathtub now. He especially loves to splash with his big sister Cali:) Cali is so cute with him. She is always so sweet to her little brother.







Here he is enjoying playing with his spinning toy.





And here he is all squeaky clean. This is one of my favorite baby items-this froggy bathrobe. I just love to wrap him up in it. Isn't he adorable?




Sunday, May 15, 2011

Create

I have the privilege of being one of the Activity Day leaders for our ward at church and I just love my calling! I've gotten to know lots of the little girls in the ward and its been fun to have that quality time with Aubrey. We meet two Wednesdays a month with the girls ages 8-11 and do things like crafts, service projects, gospel related lessons and activities and sometimes just plain fun. Aubrey and Joey went to a daddy daughter recognition night at church last weekend and had a lot of fun. We planned the night around the theme of "Create" from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk (Click to view. I love this video! It is truly a powerful message.) The girls with their dads watched the video and then one of the leaders talked about the power of creation and how we are each a beautiful masterpiece of God. The kids then got the opportunity to have some fun with their dads in being creative. One of the fun things they did was decorate a cake together. There were cakes and icing bags and all kinds of supplies to build their own cake masterpieces. Aubrey and Joey made this beautiful mountain scene-I thought it was pretty creative! Aubrey and Joey had a fun night together. And of course the night ended with eating cake(along with icecream!). I love the programs of the church and the support they give our family in helping to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tower Templates

Ella has become obsessed with making these things called "Tower Templates" at school. Basically they are these 3D 4-sided paper towers where each side of the tower is a word/subject that is part of a group that has a theme. And then she writes a description under each word. For example, she did one on different subjects in school where one of the words was "Math" and underneath it she wrote, "I don't like Math." That one made us laugh. Another one on that same tower said, "Reading" and she wrote "I love to read." And yep, she sure does. She reads all the time! She has done towers on different types of dogs, seasons, different types of clouds, animals, candy, family members, she has done LOTS! For a couple of weeks she came home with at least one every day. And this isn't part of an assignment, its something she and a couple of other overachieving girls:) work on at the computer during center/free time. Its something special the teacher lets them do that really gets their brains going. I love it! Ella is so good at stuff like this. She is only 7 years old and can create amazing powerpoint presentations, blog posts, word documents all by herself! And she isn't just good on the computer. She is amazing at reading and learning in general. Her teacher who has taught about 25 years said she has never seen a child read so much and have the desire to read as much as Ella. I was wowed by that statement!


Here she is with her collection of tower templates. She really loves them and has worked hard on each one. Ella is such a hard worker. We are really proud of her!







Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Mother's Day weekend

I'm going all over the place as far as order of things lately, but oh well:) I'm backtracking back to Mother's Day to share all of the wonderful things my family did for me. I just have to document it all-it was perfect! The best Mother's Day ever. That Friday, Ella's class had a Mother's Day Reader's Theatre and Breakfast. They read and acted out the story, "I'll Love You Forever"(total tear jerker!) and served us muffins, fruit and juice. They also sang us the cutest little songs. On top of each child's desk, was a picture they had drawn of their mom. The moms had to guess which one was them and I guessed right away! I know Ella's artwork(and the freckles she drew helped:) There were homemade paper flower "coupons" for tasks they will do for you. A couple of Ella's said, "Watch the baby" and "Clean your bed" :) lol. There were also little corsages they made us and a booklet all about their mom. There were some pretty funny things inside that book...like the year I was born is 1950:) I'm lookin good for 5o years old! She wrote about one of her favorite times with me being "girls night" where I took the girls to The Cheesecake Factory for our own little girls night before Ammon was born. It was sweet she remembered that and cherished that night like I did. And she wrote about how she loves it when I cuddle her on the couch. Oh, and how could I forget the "When my mom gets angry, she..."(C'mon first grade teachers, what are you trying to do to us moms? Get us arrested!? j/k:) She finished that sentence with, "my mom gets really red in the face." (Not too bad:) Here are pictures from that special morning with just me and my girl, Ella bean. . .














Please remember this was bright n early in the morning! Uggh, I look icky. But Ella is cute so hopefully her cuteness overpowers. . .:)












Mother's Day morning I got to sleep in! And then Joey and the kids all brought me breakfast in bed: chocolate chip pancakes, bacon & eggs. So delicious! And homemade cards, beautiful tulips and candy. The kids put so much time into the things they made me and the sweet words they wrote. Aubrey had made me a beautiful card at school but what touched me was what she wrote, "Whenever I am sad or upset, you are always there to make me feel better.":) And Ella helped Cali make me a card and Cali even gave me some money:) And Joey of course never disappoints and always makes me feel like royalty whether its Mothers Day or any day. He is amazing and made sure I knew he appreciates me as a mother. His card was so sweet and he also gave me a gift certificate to get a mani/pedi. It was such a wonderful morning. Ammon didn't make me a card or tell me he loved me, but he still gave me one of the best gifts: how excited he was to see me when they came in that morning. His little feet started kicking like crazy and he was smiling soooo big. It really made me happy:) I'll never forget that little face on Mother's Day morning! He loves me, he really loves me!

Here are pictures from that morning and later that day when they also helped make me a delicious Lasagna dinner(Joey's first time to make it and it was great!)









Even Ammon helped stir the batter(Another gift to me was the fact that Joey and the girls took pictures that morning while I slept. Going through the pictures later of them hard at work doing things all for me warmed my heart!)









Perfection.
Please, no comments about this picture. . .I'm only posting it for journaling purposes. . .












Joey took this picture. Isn't it beautiful?


Me and my favorite little people in the world after church that Sunday. I sure love these precious kiddos.


My three cute maitre-d's for dinner :) It was Aubrey's cute idea. And don't you love their shoes? They spent half the day wearing my shoes around the house. They are cute little mommies:)








Dinner is served.









Thank you Joey and kiddos for a wonderful weekend I won't forget. I love you!