Tuesday, December 6, 2016

California Trip 2016

I thought I better write about our trip, before I forget too many details.  It's picture heavy today, but I want to make sure and save as many details as I can so the kids and Dan & I can read back on it years from now.

We picked the kids up at lunch time on Friday and hit the road.  Thankfully there wasn't too much snow on the pass yet, so we were still able to drive over it.  They only maintain this road until Thanksgiving is over, and then the rest of the winter it isn't plowed, so we have to take the longer route.

I loved that my kids are now big enough to sit together on the plane without needing Dan or I.

Until Dan spilled his coffee all over both of our laps.  Then I was wishing to have sat somewhere else.  ;)  It wasn't hot enough to hurt us, just annoying like wet denim is.

And it kept us humble when we walked through the Los Angeles airport.  No big heads over here.  Haha!  We know we're a mess.

We got into Los Angeles on a later flight, rented a car and spent about a half hour driving to our hotel.  We stayed right across the street from Universal Studios.  I loved this hill, with all the lit up palm trees.

The next morning we got up early and went to the park.

This picture cracks me up.  The girls wouldn't do it, but this boy of mine didn't mind making a goof out of himself.

These walking/talking transformers were probably one of the kids favorite things.  They were huge, and moved so well.  Kind of freaky!

We aren't big Sponge Bob fans in this house, but what the heck...

It started to get really busy and we had seen most of what we wanted to see, so we snapped a quick family picture and left.

We walked back to our hotel which was just across the street, grabbed our rental car and headed down to Anaheim.

This is one of the only pictures I took at Disneyland.
It had been raining off and on, and it was insanely packed.  I don't even know if it's been half as busy when we've went there before.  There were people actually directing foot traffic... in the park.  I think we left by 2:00 and just went back to our hotel to relax and let the kids swim.  Note to self, we will never go when it's that close to a holiday.  We should have known better.

The next morning, we drove over and stayed with Dan's parents for the rest of the week.

We mostly just hung out around their pool and relaxed.  I got some reading in, and soaked up as much sun as I could.

Thanksgiving dinner, with wet pool hair.  :)

On this night we went to watch the Sound of Music.  They had a red carpet to stand on, so you could get your picture taken.  I love this selfie that Jesse took.  And the performance was amazing!
We had a great time and we're already missing that warm sun, but we are excited for the rest of this month and all the fun things we have planned.  December is a good month to be home!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Goals

 Happy December, you guys!
This month is filled with so many fun things.  I can't wait to enjoy it all.

Today, I'm sharing my December goals, and recapping last months as well.

Here were my goals from last month. 

 Walk at least 4 days a week. 

I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't do great on this one again this month.  :(  But the positive thing is, I am determined to make it happen, because I refuse to say I failed again for another month on my goals.  So be ready for an A on my next report card.  ;)

Finish most, if not all of my Christmas shopping.

I can say that I am mostly done.  I have a couple things left to get for my kids, and something for Dan, but otherwise I think I am done.  I left a few things on my list, for when I meet up with the girls to go shopping in a week.

Read 3 books this month.

 I did it.  I read, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Where She Belongs & The Captive Heart.


Plan more family game nights.

 We've played a lot of cards lately with the kids, and we're getting ready to start on a new puzzle.  So I feel like we did good with this one.

Here are my December Goals.

 Walk or ride my stationary bike.

If you read the beginning of this post, nothing else needs to be said.  I'm doing this!

Finish shopping and wrap up all of the gifts.

I love wrapping up all of the gifts while watching a Christmas movie.  So my motivation to finish my shopping is, I refuse to let myself wrap until I'm all done shopping.

Bake Christmas goodies with the kids.

So this might seem like an easy goal to some, but honestly, baking is not my thing.  Especially baking with kids, or anybody else for that matter.  Baking is messy, time consuming, and not at all relaxing to me.  BUT... I want to be able to do this for and with my kids.  So I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine or two, put on a smile and plan to make a mess out of my kitchen and bake yummy holiday goodies with my kids.

Watch as many Christmas movies as we can.

One of our favorite things to do in December is to pull out all the Christmas movies and enjoy our evenings watching them.  The older my kids get, the less they are home in the evenings because of practice schedules, but I'm determined to carve out as much time as we can to sit and watch our favorite Christmas movies together.

Enjoy the month.

Each month seems to fly by faster than the last.  I am determined to soak up everything about this month, and enjoy it for all it's worth, because before I know it I'll be posting January goals.

I hope your December is all you hope it to be.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

I'm a week behind on this, but I was too busy last week, and honestly... it's hard to write about my month when it's not quite over.  So today I'm sharing my What's Up Wednesday.

What we're eating this week

Beef stew

What I'm reminiscing about

The warm weather.  I know I said I wouldn't whine about being cold... well I lied.  I'm whining!
We were just down here.

Now we're back here.

Both gorgeous, one a lot warmer than the other.  ;)

What I'm loving

 I'm loving that we had the chance to get away for a bit as a family.  I think it's good for us to step away from our busy schedules every once in a while, and make time to hang out with each other without all of life's interruptions.

What we've been up to

 We spent a couple of days in the LA area, and then we headed over by Palm Springs and spent Thanksgiving week with Dan's parents.

Also I should mention, Gracie decided to play basketball, Jesse's in basketball, and then Jesse and Emma are planning to join the bowling league again.  I planned on a quiet winter since the kids didn't have a lot planned.  Well they changed their mind, and it's not looking to be quiet anymore!

What I'm dreading

 Nothing that I can think of, except more of this cold weather.  Haha!  And maybe all the running around that the kids sports will require.  But I also know that they are both (the cold weather & the kids schedules) just a passing season.  So as much as I might whine, I am going to try and embrace this season the best that I can.

What I'm working on

 All things Christmas.  I was about halfway done with my shopping, and then I accidentally dropped my phone in the toilet while cleaning the bathroom one day.  Well, my list was in my notes, in my phone.  So that's gone.  Ugh!  Now I've been trying to remember what I've bought, and what I still needed to get.  I'm lost I tell ya!

What I'm excited about

 The month of December.  I know I said it last month, but I'm ready to be home wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, and all the fun things that December brings.

Also, I have a couple of overnight trips coming up this next month.  Dan has a board meeting he needs to attend, plus a holiday party.   Then the following night, all the women in my family will meet up for our annual Christmas shopping trip.

What I'm watching/reading

 Dan and I started watching the new MacGyver.  I watched the first couple episodes.  It's fun, but I prefer the original show.  I did start watching Chicago Med, which I've liked.

As for reading, I'm in the 9th week of the Daniel Bible study.  We are studying end time events and such, so it's pretty deep right now, but I'm really enjoying it.  It's unlike any other study I've done before, because of how intense it is.

I just finished reading, Where She Belongs, which I thought was good.

Right now I'm in the middle of The Captive Heart and it's FUN!  This is one of the first books in a long time that makes me laugh.  It has some of that awkward humor, that I love.  The male character is supposed to come off as very rough and a bit frightening, but I love him... he just makes me laugh.

What I'm listening to

In the car I'm usually listening to the Message.  At home, when it's just me, I don't usually turn anything on.  I love my house quiet.  I'm okay with just the sound of the laundry running, the fan on the fireplace blowing, the train going by... all the little noises in life are enough for me.

What I'm wearing

Layers, more layers, vests and boots.

Someday when I can figure out how to take better selfies I'll try and show what I like to wear.  But seriously, am I the only one who can't take a good picture of themselves?

What I'm doing this weekend

 Running... Gracie has basketball games Friday and Saturday and Jesse has a game on Saturday as well.  I teach Sunday school & then we have church on Sunday.  Thrown in some laundry, tidying up the house and that's our weekend for ya.

What I'm looking forward to next month

 Christmas is fun and all, but I think I love the days leading up to it even more than I actually love the day itself... if not it's a close second.  ;)

What else is new

These white trees.  I bought them at Costco a couple months ago, and I love them.  They are battery operated, so there are no cords, and the kids love when I turn them on and they light up with color.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and that you're enjoying your week!  I'm hoping to recap our trip soon.  It just seems like when you are gone for a week, it takes at least that much time trying to regroup and get caught back up and into a routine again.  I feel like I'm almost there.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm sharing my Friday Favorites again today.

Today is Dan's birthday!
Jesse turned 12, last Tuesday... both of my boys, and both favorites for sure!!!

My sister made me this fun fall sign.  Isn't it great!  I shared one just like it about a month ago here on my blog.  I guess she saw it and decided to make me one.  Yay!   What else should I post for her to see?  ;)

I'm sharing this, but it is definitely not my favorite!  As I was cleaning the bathroom, my cell phone fell out of my jacket pocket and into the toilet.  I pulled it out quickly and put it in a bag of rice for 24 hours.  Sadly, it is dead.  You sure don't realize how much you look at your phone until it's gone.  My pictures were on there.  My calendar.  My Christmas lists of things I've already bought and still need to buy.  I was without a phone most of last week, but thankfully Dan took me into get a new one this last weekend!   So I'm back in business.  A new phone is a favorite though if I have to find the silver lining. ;)

I'm loving this Daniel Bible Study that we've been doing.  We are in week 8 and it's intense!  We are studying about end time events... so yeah, intense!

We are checking the kids out of school today, and heading down to California.  We'll spend the next week with Dan's parents.  If you want to keep up with us while we're gone be sure and find me on Instagram or Snapchat.

I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Let's Have Coffee

Good morning, friends.  Grab a cup of coffee and lets chat.  I'm asking a few random questions that I'll be answering and I'm hoping you will answer some as well.  Chime in on whatever questions you want, and lets have some fun. 

How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging since 2009.  I started this blog and then deleted it a couple of times.  I really, really wish I wouldn't have done that because now I wish I had all of those old posts back... back when my kiddos were really small.  Emma was 2, Jesse was 5 & Gracie would have been 8.  What was I thinking?!

Where would you love to go on your next Vacation?

I have so many places that I would love to travel and see, but if I had to pick right this minute, I'd head to Mexico with Dan.  I've been to Mexico before, so it's not new, but it's faster to get to than some places, and I would eat more than my share of Mexican food, and lounge in the sun for a whole week with my love and a stack of books.

Tell me where you would go if could board a plane right this minute?  Would you be nice and take your kids, or maybe go on a girls trip, or would you take your spouse, or maybe even go all by yourself?

If you knew you would be successful, what would you do?

I would love to be an Author... I love thinking of all the quaint little places where I would sit and write my books.  I have so many different stories in my head.  Maybe someday I will make time to sit and get them all out on paper.

What about you guys?  If you knew you would be successful, what would you do?

How do you stay up to date on your favorite blogs?

I used to bookmark my favorite blogs, and then I started saving the blogs I liked to read onto my blog, so it would show me which of the blogs had new posts.  And then about a year ago, I switched over to Bloglovin... but I'm still not totally satisfied.   Anyone else have any tips or advice on how you stay up to date on all your favorite blogs?   What's the easiest way to stay up to date on the blogs you like to read, without clicking on each site... because nobody has time for that.  Seriously, help a girl out!

Okay, that's all I've got today.  Make sure you chime in and answer something about yourself.  It makes it more fun when we can learn about each other.  Plus, if we were actually having coffee and chatting, I sure hope I wouldn't be the only one talking.  ;)


Monday, November 14, 2016

From This Day Forward

Deborah has been in love with her longtime friend Toby, and when another good looking man shows up in the picture, it doesn't take long for to Toby realize what he wants.  He's just hoping that he hasn't waited too long.

I have read most of the other books in this Blessing series, and even though this book had it's own story, I have to admit I was most excited to read this book to see what was going on with some of my favorite characters from past books. The town of Blessing and it's people are truly one of a kind.

This book is one that I would recommend starting from the beginning of the series in order to truly enjoy it.  There is just too much history in this town for you to start this far in.  If you've read the series up until this point, I would recommend reading this one as well, to find out how the town of Blessing keeps changing.  This book wasn't fast paced by any means, but more of a leisurely read into the lives of your favorite characters. 

* I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Favorites... All Things Cozy

This Friday, I'm posting all things 'cozy'.  It has been cold and rainy here for what seems like all of October.  That being the case, cozy is on my mind a lot.  Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite cozy things.

I'm linking up today with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.


This magazine is worth the money. 
I can't tell you how many magazines I have bought that I flip through and then don't try a single recipe.  Some have ingredients that I've never heard of or the food isn't that original or it's too different for my style.  Well I lucked out on this magazine.  I just thought I'd give you a heads up, in case you're wanting some yummy new recipes.


This tomato soup from Costco is my favorite. You just shake it up and pour it into a bowl or a mug and heat it up.  Put it back in the fridge and you have at least 2 more days worth.  It's my favorite... I probably eat this for lunch 3-4 days a week.


We've been working on puzzles and playing cards which is one of our favorite things to do once it gets colder out.


 Snuggled up on my bed on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, a blanket and a good book is my love language.

I'm in the middle of a book right now, and when I'm done I'm thinking I could reread Gone With The Wind...

or maybe even reread Redeeming Love.  I end up reading Redeeming Love about once every 2 years, and I think it's about time.  I have yet to find a book that I like better.  It's the best book all wrapped up in one.


One Fine Day, is one of my all time favorite movies.  Definitely an oldie, but a goodie.

I watched You've Got Mail, a couple weeks ago as well, and it falls into the same category.  I Love it!

And Grumpier Old Men, because it's just funny, and who doesn't love a good laugh.  :)


Slippers and blankets are cozy necessities.  These slippers from Amazon are cute and they're only $19.99.

I just bought a blanket similar to this one, but I got mine at Costco instead and in a lighter color.  I don't know about your families, but my crew loves blankets.  I think they each get a new blanket each year.  They slowly start to take over mine, and then I get myself a new one and then I get them a new one so they'll leave mine alone.  But in time, they gravitate back towards my blanket and the cycle continues, as it's never my old blanket they want, it's always the new one.  Anyone else understand this madness that I speak of?


The next time I make it out of town and stop at Bath & Body Works, I will be buying this candle.  Salted Carmel anything is my favorite!

Well, that's my list of favorites for the week.  What do you think of, when you think of cozy? 
Have a great weekend!