Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a very merry Christmas!  Ours was really nice.  I wanted to share this year's Christmas card with you.  Here was the front:

On the back, I wrote a quick synopsis including some of this year's biggest events.  Here's what it said:

Big Happenings of 2013
·        -We moved! We said goodbye to our first little home and upgraded into a much more spacious, newer home on the other side of town. Love it!
·       -We’ve been busy making the new place our own.  We created a jungle room for Brennan and an owl room for Bryleigh.  We painted the family room and added a downstairs bathroom and hallway from scratch! What a learning experience.
·        -Brennan started pre-school! He goes on Friday mornings and really loves it. We also started community ed classes for both kids. So fun.
·        -This year we gained two new nieces, Audrey (Rachel’s) and Sloane (Mike’s).  Yay, cousins!
·       -We experienced our first kid E.R. visit.  Bryleigh earned that visit with a dislocation of either her shoulder or elbow.  She popped it back into place the following day after tripping on Dad’s feet.
·       -The kids are growing up! Brennan is a champion sleeper and loves his basement bedroom. Bryleigh is a chatterbox. She talks constantly with lots of real words.  She is a little spitfire!  Big bro taught her well! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's Been Going On...

Hi everybody!

I hope this Christmas season has been enjoyable and peaceful for you all.  This year my goal was to get a lot of stuff done early so that the last few days before Christmas don't get too stressful.  All in all, I think I did a pretty good job.  I still have presents to wrap (a couple to buy), and a few special things to prepare like a special note to Brennan from Santa.  He has finally decided to be done with his bottle.  He is going to leave them in his stocking for Santa so that he can bring them to babies who need them.  I'm very proud of him and I want him to know that Santa is proud, too!

The kids are doing a good job of leaving the wrapped presents under the tree alone, which completely surprises me.  I have to give them credit.  They are beautiful, so I'd be tempted to touch and tear if I were them!

Brennan is really growing up.  Everyday he gets funnier and more mature.  I love the little man he is growing into.  I'm noticing an improvement in his art/fine motor skills as well as imagination.  He is suddenly attempting to stay in the lines when coloring and painting, which is a completely new concept for him.  I love it.  His imaginative play has absolutely blossomed into something super cool.  I love listening to him play with his stuffed animals and hearing the conversations that they have with each other.  The new game that he just created is 'Campfire Party'.  Basically he gets into an old pop-up dog kennel with ALL of his stuffed animals and camps.  He builds a campfire out of the nails, screws and construction pieces from his tool bench.  I'm told that I won't fit in the tent so I'll have to sleep in the dark.  I'm also instructed to call him if any ghosts, bats, etc. come and scare me.  If I do, he bursts out to save me.  My little hero.  :)

Bryleigh is something.  That's a funny description, but there are so many choices I could use, it is hard to choose.  She is a spitfire!  She is 1 3/4 years old going on 17- such a little attitude.  She loves to play roughie toughie with her brother and Daddy, but is also a little girly girl.  The other day I was playing music and she ran find a skirt and put it on so that she could spin circles in the living room to the music.  Her speech has absolutely exploded.  Within even the last month it seems that most of her baby words have evolved into real words.  I'm sure a lot of people couldn't understand what she is saying, but I get most of it!  Some of her latest phrases demonstrate her attitude-  "I don't like that." and "Stop it!".  We also hear a lot of individual words as well as questions like, "Where are you?", "Daddy at work?", and "What was that?"  I know they say that the second child commonly doesn't talk as well as the first... I beg to differ with my kids.  I think Bryleigh wants to be JUST like her brother and talk all day!

Ryan broke off a chunk of his tooth yesterday.  We thought is was just a filling breaking, but found out that it was actually the tooth itself.  He'll be getting a temporary crown tomorrow morning.  So fun! :\

Our nephew, Evan, had to have an emergency appendectomy last week.  The appendix did actually rupture.  He was really in rough shape for a while, but to make a long story short, he finally got out of the hospital today after a 10.5 day long stay!  So happy he is home and doing ok.  He still has a long way to go to get completely back to normal, but it is so much easier to do at home.  This whole event has impacted one thing in my own immediate family for sure.  It has helped Brennan's empathy skills.  He has been asking to pray for Evan during his nighttime prayers which we all think is wonderfully sweet. :)

Well, that's about it!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I made a cool new shirt! Review of Allied Shirts!

Recently, I had the chance to design my very own shirt through  The entire process of custom designing the shirt and ordering it was a snap.  After I finally thought of what I wanted printed onto my shirt, the entire designing and ordering process only took a few minutes.  It really was very simple.

Of course, I designed something very chic and classy...

Yes, that is a giant squirrel and yes, that does say, "Eatin' squirrel brains is where ya get your smarts."

There are two reasons behind this shirt.  Number one: I've semi-recently become a huge fan of 'Duck Dynasty' and this quote by Miss Kay just cracks me up.  Who doesn't want a squirrel shirt?!?!

Number two: We have some newish friends that are absolutely blown away by the fact that I hunted and ate squirrel as a child.  They just couldn't wrap their heads around it... so squirrels/me is kind of a standing joke.  No.  I didn't REALLY eat the brains.

But back to reviewing the product.  The shirt itself is very comfortable.  It seems to fit very true to size.  The printing is clear and crisp.  Washing the shirt didn't alter the printing at all.  I'm very satisfied.

As for the website and the design process.  I'm also pretty impressed.  I already mentioned the ease of use, but I also appreciated the choices of products available.  The only negative thing I could really think of is pretty minor and I am probably one of the few people who would even notice/pay attention to it.  There are several font choices for the lettering, but I wished there were a few more.  I wanted something that looked kind of italic and this was the closest I could get.  I was satisfied with how it looks.  I'm just used to getting to choose between hundreds of different fonts when I work on Photoshop projects... spoiled, I know. :)

All in all, I highly recommend!  A custom shirt would make a great gift!  You could create something silly like mine for that quirky person on your list, or maybe a shirt with all of the Grandkids' names for Grandma or Grandpa.  Their custom shirts would also be great for bachelor/bachelorette parties, fundraiser, teams, etc.

Go check out and while your at it, check out their other brands: and Printcopia for custom signs and home decor.

Monday, December 2, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 30

Lastly, I'm thankful that someone started this idea of publicly posting what you are thankful for.  I've always realized how blessed I am and tend to be thankful for it, but I know I still take a ton for granted.  Doing this project forced me to focus on my blessings for a good chunk of time. It really made me think.  I feel more blessed and thankful because of it.  I hope that this impacted others in some way, making them realize their own blessings, too.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 29

I'm thankful for convenience items.  Quite often, I think about how thankful I am that I can do laundry in my laundry room with an automatic washing machine (and dryer in the cold weather). Even though I get sick of trying to keep up with the laundry, this is SO much better than having to lug all of my dirty laundry down to a creek somewhere and scrub it on the rocks until it looks semi-clean.  Same goes for the dishwasher.  I have lived in a home with no dishwasher for 2 years (I know... poor me... ), so I can truly appreciate the convenience of having one!  We have a gas fireplace.  As much as I love a real wood fire, being able to walk over to the wall and flip a switch for some extra heat and ambiance is crazy convenient.  I was already thankful for cars a while back, but they really fit here, too.  No having to hitch up the horses to a wagon and ride in the cold wherever I want to go.  No horses to feed or stables to clean either.

I'm thankful for convenience!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 28

Well, I need to finish up my last 3 days of gratitude, even though it is December.  We got awfully busy over Thanksgiving weekend, so I didn't have a chance to write up my posts.

I am thankful for caring strangers that help others even though they don't have to.  I'm talking about the road-side tire changers, the person who lets you use their cell phone, the guy in the drive through line that pays for their meal and the person's behind them, the lady who always has a kind word, the person who waits an extra moment to hold the door open for you.

When I see someone doing big or small things to help others, it puts a smile on my face.  I'm so thankful for kind people doing kind things.