Sunday, December 27, 2009

And lest you not forget...

Dear Erin-

This year has been one that I know you will forget in the future year.  The reason I know this is because...well you have forgotten the finer details of every year so far.  We aren't sure if it is becuase of the fast pace that you choose to run your life or an early bout of alzheimer's, but none the less writing some things down to remind yourself of 2009 is a good idea.

Don't ever forget the health of your children during this year.  How the doctor still doesn't know at least one of your children because they are so rarely unhealthy and how even if there were a medical necessity there was insurance to provide for those needs.  And never forget how your husband was able to find the medication necessary to take the pain away from his long term injury.  How he lost weight only because he was able to move again, and how even though he frustrates you at times - has been more active with the girls enjoying the pool and wrestling on the carpet with them without wincing in pain.

Please don't ever forget how you were blessed with more work than you needed at times.  Not only for yourself but for your husband as well.  For the different training opportunities that you both had to furthur your jobs and the many customers that you were blessed to have been brought your way.  This has not always been the case.  And in the grand scheme of things this has been a rather easy year financially.

Don't forget how you never had a vehicle in the shop.  There was never a need for major repair or accidents regarding a vehicle.

Don't forget how this year we didn't bury anyone in our family or group of friends and how at this very moment  you don't have to worry about a terminally ill friend or family member.

Don't forget how your children served those in need this year.  How our church provides opportunities for them to actually show others how God loves them through acts of kindness and serving.  Never forget how happy this made them and how proud you were that they were so wonderful towards others who were in need. 

Don't forget how God orchastrated the sale of a home and timing of Sean's settlement to show that even when Sean was in pain and we questioned His goodness, He had a plan.  This still remains something that you are in awe of this year.

God has been good, that is no doubt.  We don't deserve his goodness in our lives, marriage and family.  We are blessed beyond measure and give GOD the glory!

Praise Him in 2010!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's HERE!!!!! It's HERE!!!!!

My brand spankin new hot of the presses spring/summer 10' catalog!!!!!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and can't wait to get out and show everyone! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before and After

Before(literally...I think RIGHT before he started the Biggest Loser Competition)

And this was just a few minutes ago in our living room...p.s.-Sean needs new clothes, pardon the baggy jeans!

Friday, December 11, 2009

How 12 weeks can change your outlook

My husband is a fighter. 

When he was a pre-teen and teen he was an actual fighter, and his ring of choice was inside the walls of a judo studio.  I didn't know him then.

He is still a fighter.

He fought through the pain that he was in during the time that he walked on torn ligaments to ensure that our family was still provided for.  I had no idea how much pain he must have taken head on.

And he continues to fight.

On Wednesday Sean will go through another step of his recovery for his ankle injury when he undergoes a pain block. 

In the meantime he has fought through another challenge.  His very last weigh in for the local Biggest Loser competition is tomorrow morning! As of tomorrow morning he will have lost 51 pounds in 12 weeks!  Crazy right?  I know!  I had no idea just how competitive he was.  I thought I was WAY more competitive, but he has proved yet again just how much of a fighter he is.  For me...I don't honestly care if he wins!  I am the winner!  I have learned SO much about my husband during these last 12 weeks, and I am just bursting with pride!

So wish us luck!  I am taking the girls out to see the results tomorrow morning at 11:30am so that I can get some pictures!  I am THRILLED to have the opportunity to show the girls that hard work pays off, and will update when I get the results.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snowy Days Make Me Sleepy!

But unfortunatly...snow days don't make Grace I must stay awake with her :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Karen Robbins has a new blog!

About 2 1/2 years ago we were referred to a family photographer named Karen Robbins.  She is Great, wonderful, warm and caring and has an eye to get the best shots out of your family and their surroundings!  I am continually astounded by the great atmosphere in her work and how she can coax the most wonderful expressions out of her subjects!

So!  If you like photography or know Karen or her work please go check out her blog!  You will be glad you did!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The steps that have gotten us here...

Step 1 - Sean gets injured during a routine climb(my husband used to climb and build cell towers).  He tears ligaments(2) and starts a lengthy process towards recovery.

Step 2 - September 11th, 2006 - Sean is sent home to recover from his injury and is placed on temporary disability.

Step 3 - September 12th, 2006 - A pregnancy test confirms a VERY unplanned pregnancy with an estimated due date of May 5, 2007.

Step 4 - October, 2006 - We move into a duplex which we rent for more space for our growing family.

Step 5 - March 2007 - The insurance company has exhausted its resources(so we are told) and sean is cleared for work despite the fact that his previous employer hasn't returned his calls to return.  We are PAYCHECK less...

Step 6 - April 24th, 2007 - Sean interviews, gets offered and accepts an offer to work for WT Engineering for more money than he was making prior to his injury with a company that is more stable. 

Step 7 - April 25th, 2007 - Our fifth daughter, Kendell Seana is born!

Step 8 - April 30th, 2007 - Sean starts his very first day at WT.

Step 9 - Summer 2009 - My grandma moves to Woodstock across the street from us.

Step 10 - Fall 2009 - Our insurance picks up the treatment for sean's ankle as a re-injury when he falls on uneven ground.

Step 11 - October 2009 - Our house is in foreclosure.  We have been notified that our landlord isn't paying the mortgage anymore and we sign a 2 year lease for our own protection.

Step 12 - October 2009 - Grandma and I meet with a real estate lawyer to discuss the purchase of the duplex(both sides), an offer was made for the short sale of our home and the other side of the home where grandma will move in and live!

Step 13 - November 2009 - Our lawyer for Seans workmens compensation case contacts us to tell us that we are in a position to settle the case.

Some of these things were direct blessings.  We know that.  Some of them were challenges that we have faced together and as a family.  We know that.  But what we didn't know at the time was how this tapestry was going to look while standing back and looking at the big picture.  We only saw the little piece that God was painting...and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't angry with God at times, or found myself asking Him if He really knew what he was doing, but when it is all said and done this is what these steps will have brought us to..

-the purchase of our home at a great price
-grandma living on the other side of our wall(a true blessing)
-Sean getting the treatment and pain block that he needs to be pain free
-the ability to say that we are DEBT FREE!
-a job for Sean with a stable company where he has been able to bring other guys on.
-a spunky and amazing daughter, one that will certainly live up to the "baby" role quite well!
-health insurance
-a 401k
-a stronger marriage

If these aren't things to be thankful for, I don't know what is.  We truly are blessed and the timing of this couldn't be more perfect!

James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Step 1 - Making an offer on the whole house

Today an offer was made on the whole house(duplex).  I would be lying if I said that I wasn't completely nervous about the whole thing...actually...I go from resting in His promises to stressing over the details pretty quickly...maybe it is time to refill the welbutrin...

I think I would like to document this process.  If for no one else but myself.  Like some prayer journals, I like to look back on different documents, pictures, journals to see "where I was" then compared to NOW.  There is a common theme in all of these cases...and that is that God was there.  He was there and even though I often feel like I am standing up all alone being punished for mistakes that I know that I have been forgiven for, HE IS HERE!  And again...back and forth, back and forth in my head.  Stress vs. Peace.  Seems to be a common theme in my life.

Please join us in prayer that this short sale process goes smoothly.  I know that this could potentially take forever to get the banks approval and everything else in order so I am not feeling rushed by any means.  I mean...this is going to be the easiest move ever ;) AND in the end, Nana will be in the other unit!!!!  If that wasn't a God move, I don't know what is!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Update, prayer and a thought...

Yep!  I did it again!  Got too caught up in the here and now to update the blog!  Sorry!  I promise there wasn't anything TOO interesting..(oh yeah except needing stitches b/c I slammed my head in the van right?)  This is the busy season at work(but so is February so who knows!), and I have 15 parties this month.  I am thrilled with the work, customers and extra commission check on the 10th of December!  I am looking at another $1000 just in an extra check!  Enough about that.

There are things going on with our house.  As some of you know the landlord here is in the process of foreclosure.  This has been a difficult transition for me(at least mentally).  I was pretty angry that even though we faithfully paid our rent on time, the landlord CHOSE to drink our money.  I go back and forth in my mind between being angry with his feeling sorry for him because of his alcholism and being angry because I was taking the choice pretty personally. make a long story short, we have the opportunity to buy our side of the house and we ask that you join us in prayer for God's will to be played out in this transaction.  If God were to answer every prayer we have we would have my grandma on the other side of our wall(we live in a duplex) and us in ours so that we can finish the basement, make some improvements and work towards paying off our mortgage.  I think there could be some major bumps along the way(short sale bumps) but God has never let us down and I am resting in that truth!

Yesterday for the very first time EVER I thought about going back to school.  I was at Kyla's 1st grade musical and noticed that there were about 8 children on the stage who had 1 on 1 aides by their side or at least close by.  I was shocked...8 kids!  That seems like an awful lot of 1st graders who have special needs!  In fact, please tell me if you can think of 8 children in your graduating class who had special needs...because I can't.  And so the shocking part was that I first felt SO grateful that we don't face some of the challenges that those parents face.  I can't imagine how difficult that must be.  And second I actually felt a great deal of compassion for those who are willing to work with these students every day.  They are standing in the gap for the parents, and so I have been thinking about becomming a teacher, maybe an aide...I don't know.  I think I might go to the principal about it to find out exactly what would be required for certain jobs.  So...anyways...that was my "thought".  I am working out the kinks in my mind.  I am honestly too lazy to want to go back to school despite the fact that I know that I would kick a$$.  We will see...maybe this is a new journey for me. other news, Sean is getting his pain block for his ankle!!!  This is HUGE!  It could mean permenent relief in his ankle!  Oh yeah...and he is down 30 pounds and is in 2nd place in the biggest loser competition!  He is just as annoying :) as he was when I met him! 

so...if you are still reading you deserve an award!  This was a rambling post...sorry!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I saw this site on facebook(thanks Molly!)and had to try it out! is a website that sells household items.  Garbage bags, laundry soap, nail polish remover, and SO much more!  I thought I would search the site and see just how much it would cost to get the things that I knew we needed for the rest of this month.  I bought 21 items and it cost me $48.89.  My items included some larger quantity things(toilet paper, paper towels) and some things that I bought specifically the brand that I was used to(toilet bowl cleaner, laundry soap), so I think that overall the cost was VERY comparable to Walmart if not better.  Granted, you could certainly get some of these items when they are on sale and the price would probably be lower, but the great thing about Alice is that they apply any existing web coupons that they have found to items in your cart!  There are also great clearances and items that they have put on sale as well. 

After placing my first purchase yesterday morning and receiving the box this afternoon with ALWAYS FREE SHIPPING(29 pound box mind you!), I decided to look again today for coffee and fake sugar(aka splenda) and was thrilled to find coffee on clearance!!!!  I also found crystal light on clearance! 

My only complaint is that I didn't go through a referral.  If I had I would have scored a $10 credit on my future purchase.  I wish I had known that!  So if you are interested in checking this awesome site out, please feel free to use my referral to get your $10 credit.

And if you have questions please let me know! 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The 5 fairies in the New Tinkerbell movies!

and the amazing nanna who loves them enough to spend MANY hours creating these awesome costumes!  Thanks Nanna!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Wonderful Review

Thanks so much Jess!  I am thrilled!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My new clock!!!!

Now I have NO excuse!  I must be on time!

Honestly, wasn't A product from Uppercase that intimidates me except...this new clock! 

We started selling these clock kits in August.  They are available in all 40 of our colors and include a set of working hands!  You rub the clock numbers and then mount the hands, which was what I was nervous about...the hands!  So, this afternoon I set out to give it a shot!  I figured if I got nervous or if things weren't going my way, Sean could finish the project.  BUT!!!  low and behold 15 minutes after starting I was sitting back admiring the new addition to our living room!  Keeping perfect time, I might add!

I think I should pick out a hot pink one for the girls room now!  The kids one is SUPER cute!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Made 5 of these crazy hats!

Super easy, and so fun! This was my second sewing project! (Karen Robbins took the photo!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Photo Vinyl!

I think I may have a problem...I am rather addicted to our new photo vinyl!

Here is the latest photo to make it to my collection!
Photo before editing.
Finished photo vinyl for my wall in my bedroom...5 feet by 4 feet!
Here is the photo next to my 18" photo so that you can see the scale difference!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be sure to enter this giveaway!

I think I know the demonstrator who is the "annonymous" demonstrator! ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scholastic Online!

My mother passed on a children's book obsession to me. Her eyes would light up when she saw books at a garage sale and she kneeled down to rifle through the books to find the best books for the best price.

This obsession has led to MANY books. In fact probably more than one household can handle. I actually have books in plastic bins that my children have *never* laid their eyes on. Obsessive much?

Well my obsession has been fed yet again! This year when Kiara came home with a cursive worksheet, I checked the worksheet to see where it came from(which publisher). It was a scholastic workbook so I quickly went on the scholastic website to see if I could get her another workbook to have at home. I was so pleased to learn that you can now order your monthly scholastic book orders online! They still ship to the teacher and the teacher gets the credit from your order to supply the classroom with more books! Talk about a win/win situation!

In addition to being able to order from your monthly sheets, you can also see over 500 other titles to add to your order. The great thing about this is that you can now get pre-k books even though your pre-k child isn't in school OR you can surf the clearance section for the $1 books! And there is no shipping fee!

The only catch- your teacher has to sign up to allow you to order online(you need a username and password from the teacher), but when they do they get an extra book for EVERY online order that you make!

So, if you are obsessed like me...or looking for something specific be sure to check out the scholastic site! And if you don't get book orders but would like me to add something to our list, I would be more than happy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fuel your Morning!

I am really bad at eating breakfast. I mean...I don't think I ate A breakfast during my high school years, and if I did it was probably at a local restaurant NOT something that I figured out on my own.

Well...I am a big girl now(in more ways than one!) and am figuring out what works and doesn't work to help me feel full and know that I am providing the nourishment that my body needs to keep up with my family, business and endless stacks of laundry! is my steel cut oat recipe(I make a big batch so that I can refrigerate)

-6 cups water
-2 cups milk(I use 2% because its what we have in the house)
-2 tsp. olive oil
-pinch of salt
-2 cups steel cut oats
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-8 Tbsp. flax seeds(this might be major over kill and can certainly be omitted)
-cinammon to taste

1. Pour water and milk into a big pot on the stove. Add the oil to the water and milk so that the oats don't get too sticky.

2. Turn heat up and wait for a boil. When boiling add the oats, flax seeds and pinch of salt, stir and turn the heat down to low to simmer.

3. Stir the pot every once and a while until you get the consistancy that you like(I like mine pretty thick and it takes about 20 minutes on low) Add the cinnamon to taste.

4. Remove from heat and pack it up for storage(I keep mine in a plastic container with lid in my fridge)

-You can add anything else that you want. These are great with raisins or nuts and you can certainly use brown sugar splenda if you prefer to save the calories.

*If you use my recipe your serving size is 1 cup and you should have enough for more than 8 days. 1 cup = 6 points.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Biggest Loser!

Sean that is! Ever since he found a med that actually takes his pain away he has been un-stop-able! He is swimming, rock climbing, running, biking, lifting weights and...nagging me! LOL! I am super proud of him and his desire to get healthy again!

He recently joined the "Biggest Loser" competition at Premier Fitness in Algonquin. Premier Fitness is a personal trainer type gym where you go to get one on one help. They opened up this biggest loser competition and I signed up...when Sean found out that the med that he was put on actually took his pain away, I traded my spot for his(I can do this at home, and wanted him to have something of his own). There are prizes for the participants who are in the top three percentages lost and for team loss(they grouped them up).

This week he lost 4.06% of his starting weight and I lost 3.55%. It has been fun sharing in this loss and gathering information that we think is helpful for both of us!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Finding out that Chicago was in the running for the Olympics was so first. But today I am releived that we didn't get it. Especially considering our new presidents wishy washy view on terrorism and protecting our country from it. So...maybe you are bummed, but be thankful that this alarming event will not be occuring in our backyard.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Fall Chicagoland!

Here is a list of the available events for October throughout Chicagoland. We don't do haunted houses but figured I would post the entire list! Happy Fall Everyone!

Johansen Farms & Children's Zoo Festival
9/15 - 10/31
710 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook

Didier Farms
9/19 - 10/31
16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Prairie View-Lincolnshire

Sonny Acres Farm Fall Festival
9/19 - 10/31
29W310 North Ave (Rt 64), West Chicago

Shades of Autumn
9/26 - 11/1
Stade's Farm & Market, 3709 Miller Road, McHenry

Dungeon & Labyrinth of Doom
9/25 - 10/31
2701 Deborah Avenue, Zion

Dream Reapers Haunted House
9/25 - 10/31
1945 Cornell Street, Melrose Park

X-treme Hauntings Haunted House
9/25 - 10/31
76 Honing Road, Fox Lake

The Children's Farm Fall Festival
12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park

Sweet Dreams Haunted House
9/25 - 10/31
Fun Time Square, 11901 S. Cicero Ave, Alsip

Bengston's Pumpkin Fest
9/26 - 10/31
13341 W. 151st Street, Homer-Glen

Dollinger Family Farm
9/26 - 10/31
7502 E. Hansel Road, Channahon

Goebbert's Farm & Garden Center
9/26 - 10/31
40 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington

Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch
9/26 - 10/31
Route 47 & Reinking Road, Hampshire

Tom’s Farm Market Fall Festival
9/26 - 10/31
10214 Algonquin Road, Huntley

Siegel's Cottonwood Farm
9/26 - 11/1
17250 Weber Road, Crest Hill

Raven's Grin Inn
9/28 - 11/1
411 N. Carroll Street, Mount Carroll

10/1 - 10/31
Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago

The Children’s Farm Pumpkin Patch
10/1 - 10/31
12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park

Franken Plaza
10/1 - 10/31
Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago

Diane Ladley's Historic Ghost Tours
10/1 - 11/15
Quigley's Irish Pub, 42 E. Jefferson Street, Naperville

Eleventh Hour Haunted House
10/2 - 10/31
Bertholds Garden Center, 434 Devon, Elk Grove Village

The Fear Haunted House
10/2 - 11/1
Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago

Apple Festival
10/2 - 10/4
Long Grove (Routes 53 and 83)

Ghost Tours of Naperville with Kevin Frantz
10/2 - 10/31
Central Park, 36 S. Washington Street, Naperville

Lambs Farm Haunted Harvest
10/2 - 10/31
14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville

Ditka Haunted Mansion and The Asylum 13
10/2 - 10/31
730 N. Bolingbrook Drive, Bolingbrook

Richardson Corn Maze
10/2 - 10/31
9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove

2009 Oktoberfest Celebration
Vernon Hills Metra Station, 75 Route 45, Vernon Hills

Chicago Country Music Festival
10/3 - 10/4
Grant Park, Jackson Blvd & Columbus Drive, Chicago

City of Chicago Halloween Activities
10/3 - 10/31
Chicago Parks, see website or call for location near you

Fright Fest at Six Flagst
10/3 - 11/1
Six Flags Great America, 542 N Route 21, Gurnee

Lombard Jaycees Haunted House
10/8 - 10/31
email for info
1000 N. Rowhling Road, Lombard

Crypts of Campana, A Factory of Fear
10/9 - 10/31
email for info
901 N. Batavia Avenue, Batavia

Scarecrow Festival
10/9 - 10/11
Downtown St. Charles

Autumn On the Fox Art and Craft Show
10/9 - 10/11
Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Avenue, St. Charles

Scream Scene
10/9 - 10/31
Oakton Park, 4701 Oakton Street, Skokie

Trail of Scream & Fear Asylum
10/9 - 11/1
1006 W. Lincoln Avenue, Belvidere

Screamatorium & Fear Fest
10/9 - 11/1
6512 Manchester Road, South Beloit

Fall Fest & Adventure Race
William E. Brook Bandshell, Downtown Antioch

Pumpkin Trolley
10/10 - 10/18
Fox River Trolley Museum, 365 S. LaFox, South Elgin

Haunt 31
10/10 - 10/31
340 S. Annandale Drive, Lake in the Hills

St. Pat's Haunted High School
10/11 - 10/31
Aquinas Catholic Academy, 366 E. Hickory, Kankakee

Brookfield Jaycees Haunted House
10/15 - 10/31
Jaycee Ehlert Park, 4315 Park Ave, Brookfield

Haunted Halloween Happening
Aldrin Community Center, 391 Illini Drive, Carol Stream

The Hair Razor Maze
10/16 - 10/31
St. Thecla Church, 6725 W. Devon Ave, Chicago

Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour
10/16 - 10/31
Citywide event, 8 North Avenue, St. Charles

St. Matthew Haunted House
10/16 - 10/31
24500 N. Old McHenry Road, Hawthorn Woods

Fall Family Fun Fest
Village Hall, 2 Lagoon Drive, Hawthorne Woods

10/17 - 10/18
Historic Village, Route 59 & 83, Long Grove

Midnight Circus
10/23 - 10/31
Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago

Haunting in the Valley
10/23 - 10/24
Spring Valley, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg

Order of the Arrow's Haunted Hike
10/23 - 10/24
Methodist Campground, 2000 E. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines

20th District Haunted House
10/23 - 10/25
CPD 20th District, 5400 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

Halloween Happening Parade
150 N. State Street, Chicago

Haunted Trolley
10/30 - 10/31
Fox River Trolley Museum, 365 S. LaFox, South Elgin

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adding something to our schedule!

Having 5 girls is sometimes a juggling act. These three to school, those two stay home, that one does pre-k, that one does not, those two to soccer, that one needs more art supplies, those two need a get the idea! And I am sure some of your lists are MUCH longer! I have a feeling that we have just begun this hectic go go go lifestyle! But why do parents do these things? How do they choose which activites to run to? In my opinion...that has alot to do with where your treasure lies...but that is another topic!

In an effort to provide more wholesome activities and events for our girls and to expose them to things that are "out of the livingroom" we are signing K1 and K2 up for 4H. K3 will also go and will be involved in Cloverbuds until she is 8 when she is eligable for regular 4H.

Maybe you have heard of 4H? If so, you probably think just what Sean and I did at first..."isn't 4H for farm children?"

As a short! There are so many different things that you can learn about in 4H and famliy participation is definatly needed...especially when you are working with 8 year olds! This can provide my girls with some of the things(cooking, dog training, butterflies, etc.)that they are already interested in, at a deeper level! And we are excited to get started!
Here is a link to the 4H site in case you were interested in learning more!
So my do you choose which activities/sports/programs your children participate in? Do they ask? Do you watch them to see if specific skills are present???

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adventures in Odyssey- Safe, Fun and Focused!

Maybe you don't know all about Adventures in Odyssey.

Adventures in Odyssey presents original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience. These fictional, character-building dramas are created by an award-winning team that uses storytelling to teach lasting truths.

I have listened to many of these episodes and I and highly recommend them for kids ranging from 6 years on up(some of you might have exceptional 4 and 5 year olds...but mine are squirmy)

Today I stumbled upon a great website for those of you who are interested in sharing this show with your kids.

Every day they put on a different FREE story to listen to on your computer. Today's story was on manners/judgement and the seven deadly sins.

In addition to the radio show, I also purchased the series pictured above from I picked this particular one b/c the specific episodes that it features aren't ones that we are going to find on the free broadcast, AND mostly because I hope to implement the principles taught to bring Godly perspective to the every day things. Once we are done with them we would be happy to borrow them out to another family :)

Pre-K First Day!

Today was Gracie's first day at Pre-K! She didn't qualify for the "at risk" program which is REALLY great! And because there are too many 4 year olds, she didn't qualify for the "pre-k for all" program either.(probably next year) So! She is at our local high schools pre-k program! Every one of my girls have done one year in this program. It is a great way to expose the high school students who are interested in early childhood development to pre-k'ers while exposing the pre-k'ers to many different teachers. This is all head up by the child development teacher who certainly is qualified to teach all of the pre-k'ers all by herself(they take 15 in this program)

Gracie was so excited to go to school! Here she is with her new tote!
And how is Kendell you might ask??? Well...I took this photo right after we got in the car to leave. Her reaction "where my gracie?" Have no fear, she has gotten over it ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo Vinyl- Take 2!!!! :)

I GOT IT!!!!!!! What is it??? My custom photo vinyl order of course!

It is 2 feet by 2 feet and only costs $29.95! How great is that???

The quality is great! The vinyl is very durable and easy to wipe down to clean, and I can't wait to order more!

So...what do you think??? Cool? Interesting?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Small kids in the BIG league!

Kellyn and Kiara were born at 35 weeks 5 days. They were 5lbs 5oz. and 5lbs. 9oz. T-I-N-Y! In fact, Kiara went home from the hospital just three days later at 4lbs. 12 oz. This all happened in the dead of winter...crazy right? And yet I had them to church only a few short days later b/c I wanted to celebrate with those around me their long awaited birth.

They have worn slim jeans since they got into a size that "had" slim jeans! They often outgrew the height long before the waist and I was SO thankful when I discovered adjustable waists!

Last year they started playing soccer. They would run after that darn ball with everything inside of them, but did NOT have the skill to be considered "good". They did have something that the other kids didn't have though...the ability to just keep going! If you have never seen a 6-8 year old soccer game then you have no idea what I am talking about but as expected after awhile of excersize some children just s.t.o.p. They stop moving and start watching the ball go past them. My girls NEVER did that. They weren't great, but they were certainly driven to try.

By the end of last season(this spring), they had improved their skills and they got pretty darn good! I enjoyed watching their games and would call Sean if he wasn't there to tell him stuff like "they weren't afraid to kick the ball away from the other team" or "you should have seen them, they are just getting so good!". I was impressed with their ability to stick with something that didn't seem to just "comet to them" easily in the beginning of the season.

This season they have moved up a level in soccer. They are now playing with 8-10 year olds...yep 10!!!!! year olds!(why does that seem so old?) They are back to the akward feeling out stage and I am nervous that they are going to get discouraged and want to quit or not go to practice. But they won't. I know that even if they lose EVERY single game or NEVER score a goal this season, they will stick with it. And I am so very proud!

I am amazed how God teaches us through our children, and I am blessed to have been taught by my 8 year olds.

I often want to stop something because it isn't working RIGHT away. I often get discouraged, mad at myself and throw a tissy fit because well...I can! I am reminded today of those girls on a soccer field running after that ball and even though it might get kicked the other way...they turn and run after it again. Praises to HIM for this lesson of endurance!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Making it easy!

Once again Uppercase has launched a new promotion to support its demonstrators! I can't be happier! When I joined Uppercase Living as a demonstrator 19 months ago, we didn't have too many promotions. We had some pretty great ones...but they were certainly not as frequent as they are now.

Starting today not only is our brand new mini catalog launching(if you requested is in the mail), BUT if you host an Uppercase Living Party (9/15-10/15) you will automatically get a bump up in hostess credit! SWEEEEEET! This is available on regular parties OR catalog parties! I LOVE being able to get my hostesses their wish list for next to nothing! In fact the hostess that I just worked with on Sunday is receiving over $150 off her order!!! She is using her credit to buy Christmas gifts, which I am sure will certainly help out!

It is so nice to feel supported by the company that you represent!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My first Photo Vinyl purchase!

I placed my first photo vinyl order a few days ago. I am SO excited to see it in person and show everyone the capabilities of this high quality product! We have two different photo vinyl options. The first is contour cut and the second is not cut, so it is like a regular photo, but made of re-useable vinyl. I bought a 2' x 2' of the picture below. It was only $29.95 which I think is pretty amazing considering they are taking your photo and making it into reuseable art...really a good frame costs much more than that AND that is without the photo! So this is a start. I am thinking of doing one of each girl at this stage in b & w next to each other. I think it will be a great statement AND when we move I don't have to worry about where it will will go with me when I peel it off the wall and put it back on the backing paper for storage!

Now if I could only keep the girls this small forever!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo Vinyl!

Check this out!!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today's Message

Today's message at Willow by Darren Whitehead was about believing. Well...that's what it was titled but it was really more based on the whole Matthew 7:7-12 passage.

7 ¶ aAsk, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask for bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

I walked away remembering a few things...and maybe some of you can help me process through my thoughts...

1. God wants to bless our lives in ways that we can't even imagine.
2. I am too selfish to stop what I am doing and ASK him to change what I think is just going the "normal" way in life.
3. If I were to ask for the desires of my heart, would that be selfish?
4. What isn't selfish to ask for?

I mean...this got really complicated for me, and I don't think that Darren intended people to get confused. But I struggle.

Does God want us to just ask that he heals Sean's ankle? OR for the surgery to just be scheduled already? I know that I have prayed time and time again(fully believing)for Sean's ankle to just be "fixed", for God to take the one thing that plagues Sean's mind and body and bless his socks off by taking that pain away. And yet, I know that God's timing is perfect AND that he hasn't left our sides during this frustrating process. But was it selfish to ask?

What about my business??? Is it selfish for me to ask God to increase the number of customers or work that I have? I LOVE my job...and I am not just saying that. I really do have a certain passion for helping people change their homes or their lives through providing income for their families. But is that what God really wants from me? Sometimes I feel so out of balance when I am running ragged from party to party. It does help me cherish the time that I have with my little ones but is it selfish to ask for him to bless me through my workload?

What about us buying a home? I know that he has provided us the home that we have now. Why am I not content? Is it selfish for me to ask him to provide a larger home where we are not running all over each other?

The problem is... the things that I am asking him for feel worldly(except for Sean's ankle)...and I know that he also says to be content! I am just so confused. I want to ask God and not forget his promises but also "not be selfish about it". Does that make sense?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chalkwall...ALL THE RAGE! :)

Remember when I mentioned that Uppercase Living had a great new promotion...that was for a limited time...chalkwall??? WELL!!!! It is now one of our number 1 sellers and is here to stay! There are so many things that you can do with chalkwall! Our great cutout kits are perfect for a pre-teen room, dorm room or playroom! Our organizational kits are great for kitchens, refrigerators and offices and the blank chalkwall is just the thing to add a personal touch to! These are GREAT!!!!!! And the best part...THEY ARE REUSEABLE! So...if you don't like them where they are...move them! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two 3's and a 1

My how they grow. I know...I don't need to tell you, but lately I have been thinking more and more about when they were babies. How they wiggled, made grunting noises, moved their mouths towards food. They are SO big and I realize this problem can only get worse! :) I realize that if I feel today like I am letting them about 10 years I will feel devestated by the fact that I have to allow them to leave this nest. I love these girls. Oh goodness...I want to slow time so that I can cherish every second with them, and yet I am sure those who have gone before me feel the same way. Here we go again. I praise God for their healthy bodies, clear minds and kind spirits. They are truly wonderful little girls!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holy Smokes! I can't even believe it!

Uppercase just released it's Summer 09 newsletter and I was starting to read through it...when I got to page 10 I realized that my NAME WAS ON THE CABIN UPGRADE LIST!!!!!!! HOLY SMOKES!

I know...big deal right???

Well....a few stats. 21 demonstrators even earned cruise. 5 got an upgrade... 1000's of demonstrators across the country...

HOLY SMOKES! I can't believe it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9 years! Say What????

Tomorrow is our 9 year anniversary(yes...I remembered this year!). I still can't believe how time has flown! Together we have been through twins, job loss, car trouble, living in a tiny apartment, debt repayment, struggling to make ends meet, pregnancy after pregnancy after one more pregnancy!, moving, extended family issues, injury, disability, church changes, and most recently landlord issues. Whew! Sounds like alot! But honestly those were the struggles and I truly believe that "every true stregnth is gained through struggle", and "God is present in every struggle".

So today I reflect on the fact that God has never left us. He brought us together and has blessed us each day along the way.

Love you babe!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I love these kids! :)

Even the big one!

Friday, August 7, 2009

And in March 2011 I will be...

on an all-inclusive trip to the exotic Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe resort in the Mayan Riviera!

Yep, you guessed it!!! This is the next trip for UL demonstrators who earn it! I am thrilled. This seems so fun, so inviting, so warm!

Here is some more info about the location-

Barcelo Maya Palace All Inclusive is situated on the Mayan Riviera, nine miles from Xcaret (theme park), and 45 miles from Cancun International Airport. This location is also 13 miles from Playa del Carmen, 16 miles from Xel-Ha, 20 miles from Tulum (Mayan ruins), and 90 miles from Cancun. The property's amenities include the meals and snacks, beverages, watersports, snorkeling (one hour a day), kayaks, tennis, basketball, miniature golf, salsa dancing lessons, daily shows, and use of the swimming pool, spa tub, beach and pool chaise lounges, and kids' club. Motorized watersports, scuba diving, spa and beauty services, laundry and dry cleaning, airport transfers, premium beverages, business services, and babysitting are available for a fee. A buffet-style restaurant, and 3 a la carte restaurants are also available on site. Barcelo Maya Palace guests have access to the whole Barcelo Maya complex and may use any of the pools, restaurant or public areas they desire. Other amenities on property include children's pool with a slide in a water park, a fitness center, an 18-hole miniature golf course, seven lighted tennis courts and two lighted multi-sport courts, a business center, and a discotheque. Gift shops are located in the lobby. All rooms feature modern decoration in bright colors, air-conditioning, cable TV, in-room movies, minibars, coffeemakers, complimentary bottled water, bathrobes, voicemail, dataports, sofas, and balconies or terraces. Bathrooms are large, well lit and are finished in marble. Closets are spacious and in room safes are available.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back! And Thrilled!

to have a new catalog to offer! I can't even believe how many of our requests were met by our company! This catalog will be so easy to sell and my hostesses are going to be so happy that they will get their wish lists for free or half price! Here are just a few photos from the convention!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gonna miss...

this and

this and

this and
this and

this and

maybe these

but definatly not this!
Don't worry girls, only three sleeps and we will be home to see you! You are in good hands with those whom you love and love you! We will see you soon! xoxo mom and dad