Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back in the Groove

I'm baaaaack! Unfortunately the winter/holiday blues sort of got the best of me and now spring has sprung and I am finally back to blogging. Thank you everyone who has encouraged me to get back into it. I really appreciate so many of you who took notice I haven't posted in awhile and checked in on me :)

I thought I would just give an update/summary on what we have been up to the last couple of months.

* I just recently finished up my coursework for my Master of Education degree. My last two classes were an absolute writing NIGHTMARE to say the least!! They were the main reason for my lack of blogging. It was a challenge for me to balance writing formally for my professors when my style of blog writing comes more natural to me. Plus having to write so many papers on various education administration topics sort of sucked out all of my creativity. Thankfully now that it is over, life can finally get back to normal. Although I am finished with my coursework, my actual graduation is not until May 15th so I'm counting down the days until it is official. ** Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my laptop screen went out the weekend before my big 36 page portfolio was due for my final class. I get nothing but a white screen on it. Now my less than 2 year old laptop is more of a desktop...I had to purchase a new external monitor to use as my screen which completely defeats the convenience of a laptop. Hopefully over the next few months I can find a good deal on a new laptop.

* Brayden and I have both gained new friendships. He became really good friends with one of his friends at preschool and it just so happens that his mom and I have hit it off really well too. :) We have really enjoyed going out to dinner and having playdates. We also went to our first hockey game with them and Brayden became an instant fan! Their friendship has been such a blessing for both of us!

*We both had a snow day from school (doesnt happen to often here in Texas) also just happened to be the Friday of our Valentine parties but luckily they were just postponed to the next school day.

(His Valentine's that he made for his friends.)

* Brayden started Spring Soccer for the first time and he LOVES it! It has been so comical watching him learn how to play. The first night of practice, the coach told him to stand in a certain spot while they kicked off. Well, Brayden stayed in that spot and stayed in that spot. When I tried to tell him that he is supposed to go to the ball and try to score, he informed me that his coach told him to stand in that spot so he's not supposed to move. :) He had his first game and I wasn't quite sure how he would do. I thought he might be a little nervous since he is the only one on the team as a first year player. Well as soon as we pulled into the parking lot he commented to me, "I am not going to be shy mommy, this is sooo AWESOME!!!" Now he has us watching soccer on the Spanish station just so he can learn some new moves.

Yes, he slides just to slide. :)

(He does have a real jersey, but his coach accidently forgot it the morning of his game. Luckily it was the only 8am game on his schedule...that was waaay to early for us!)

* Another thing we have been up to the last few months, you might remember this post about Brayden's "farming addiction". Well now he has me hooked, I am addicted. For some reason I get pleasure out of doing such a mindless activity. I know it's pathetic, but it's a great activity to multi task as I catch up on the DVR in the evenings. :)

* We have some new neighbors that moved in a couple of weeks ago and Brayden ABSOLUTELY adores them. They are such a sweet family!! I feel so fortunate that they moved in so Brayden can experience playing with "the neighborhood kids" especially right before summer break. He is going to have so much fun with new pool buddies! They have a second grade girl and a sixth grade boy that Brayden has idolized since their first time playing together outside. He now enjoys sitting on our guest bed watching out the window in anticipation for their garage to open...his sign that they are ready to play. And yes, every few minutes he ask me when they are going to come outside and wonders why they aren't already out there. He's one persistent lil guy!!

Well that just about sums up the last couple of months for us. I promise to start posting on a regular schedule again so check back soon. :)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's so hard to believe Christmas is already over and done with! I thought I would give a quick little recap of our Christmas.
We started off with one of our family Christmas traditions. Since I was little, we always were able to open one present on Christmas Eve. Growing up I remember being so anxious to open that first took me quite awhile to realize that first present was ALWAYS going to be new Christmas pjs...gotta look good for those pictures and video the next morning. :) Well each year I have carried that tradition on with Brayden. This year his present mysterously showed up under the tree as he was playing Wii. He was SO excited at the chance to finally open a present...

All dressed up in his new pjs:
Now on to the milk and cookies for Santa before bed...
While he was all snuggled in his bed, Santa came to visit:
He was so excited to see the Battleship game...although he has yet to actually play it. :)
Opening a few gifts:
Getting a few more out of his Santa toy bag:
Whew! Finally, all done...
Althought he LOVES all of his gifts, his most played with are actually a couple of things that I picked up for him on Sunday after Christmas when the new weekly ads came out: Wii Sports Resort and the Wii Nerf N-Strike Elite Bundle. They were both on sale so I just had to get them. Does anyone else do that? Buy more gifts after Christmas? Each year I seem to find a couple more toys that I feel he just can't live without during the after Christmas sales. I think next year I might as well just purposely plan ahead for it. :)

We were also blessed with a rare White Christmas:
Brayden and my dad went out to make a snowman the next day:
Had to give Frosty some smooches...
He also had to make a few snow angels...
and toss a few snowballs...
Overall we had a great Christmas, there were a few things that I learned.
***Discuss with him ahead of time that he is NOT to open any gifts until Christmas morning unless I tell him otherwise. This year I didn't have the conversation, for some reason I just thought it would be obvious to him. Well he opened a few gifts early completely on his own without permission. His innocent response was "Well they had my name on them." Lesson learned. :)

***He DOES pay attention to the wrapping paper. I had a feeling he probably would (he pays close attention to lil details) so I made sure Santa brought his gifts in different wrapping paper. And it was a good thing I did because one of the the first things he said when got to open his Christmas pjs was that there was already a gift with that same wrapping paper. Who would have thought 4 yr olds would actually care about the wrapping paper?!?

***Don't base most of his gifts on Black Friday sales...some of them weren't quite worth the good deal.

***Don't purchase the premade Gingerbread House kit from Wal-Mart...candy is hard as a rock and the icing was even yucky.

Few things to try out for next year:
**A Christmas tradition that I read on another blog that I thought sounded really fun that I would like to do next year is to wrap 24 Christmas books. Each night in December your child gets to unwrap a book to read before bedtime with the last one being "The Night Before Christmas." I thought it sounded like a great idea and can't wait to do it next year. :)

**An advent calendar

**Wrap gifts BEFORE Christmas Eve so I'll get to enjoy all my hard work for more than a few hours.

Hope everyone had a great one and Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with their family. :)


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oprah's O Magazine and other Great Deals

I just came across a GREAT deal on Amazon that I thought would be PERFECT to pass along...Amazon has a 1 year subscription to Oprah's O Magazine for only $5!! I was thinking it could be perfect for a last minute Christmas present or maybe even as a stocking stuffer. You can always get yourself a Christmas present right? :) Hurry and click the link below, the deal ends this Saturday, December 19th.

Here is one of my personal favorites for super cheap also:

Family Fun is only $9.95 then it has an instant $5 off to make it only $4.95 for a 1 year subscription...can't beat that!!

Here are some other great magzine deals too:
Good Housekeeping has an instant $3 off, so that makes it only $4.97 for a 1 year subscription and Better Homes and Garden has an instant $5 off to make it only $9.97 for a 1 year subscription.

On a different note, you might remember this post from when I first started using Swagbucks as my search engine. Well, I wanted to share a quick lil success so far that I have had using far in just a lil over a month I have been able to redeem enough Swagbucks to earn $25 worth of FREE Amazon giftcards. So exciting and it was so EASY!! If you haven't started yet, be sure to sign up using this link so you can start earning your own FREE amazon giftcards or other prizes of your choice. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have about it and I'll do my best to answer them. :)

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