Saturday, February 19, 2011
In case you are new to Swagbucks, it is basically a search/win website where you can earn Swagbucks when you use their site to search. Then you redeem your "swagbucks" for prizes. My FAVORITE prize is the $5 Amazon giftcard...it only takes 450 Swagbucks to earn one. And yes, it really does work!! I have earned Amazon giftcards and have used them to purchase lots of things on Amazon. If you haven't already signed up, use this link to sign up so you can get started. :)
A few of the ways I like to earn Swagbucks -
* SEARCH and WIN... You won't get Swagbucks for every search. I found for me, there are usually 3 times a day I earn them by searching. First thing in the morning, afternoon, and sometime in the evening. Use Swagbucks as a replacement for your current search engine (google, yahoo, etc..) Use it frequently! In order to get to facebook, I never type in facebook.com, I just go to swagbucks.com and I type in “facebook” as a search. Sure it is one more step, but it’s worth the extra couple of seconds to possibly earn swagbucks. :)
*COUPONS.... Just today alone, I SAVED $16 at Walmart using coupons I printed off of Swagbucks!! I used a total of 9 coupons and each is equivalent to 10 swagbucks. So not only did I save $16, I also earned 90 swagbucks!!
*SWAGBUCK TV.... They have several categories to choose from...Entertainment (celebrity gossip), Fashion/Beauty, Homes and Garden (a lot of stuff from HGTV and DIY), Technology, Food (excerts from Rachael Ray, Paula Dean, Bobby Flay, etc...) as you watch the short videos (usually under 5 minutes), a meter will go from 0-100%. Once the meter is full, you earn 5 swagbucks. Then the meter starts over and you can continue watching more videos. Just think, if you average 30 swagbucks a day through swagbucks tv alone that = 900 swagbucks or 2 $5 Amazon giftcards a month just through the Swagbuck TV.
*SWAGBUCK GAMES... Brayden LOVES to help out with this one. :) They have a limit of 10 swagbucks a day playing the games…but if you earned 10 each day, that can be an easy 300 for the month. Plus he loves knowing that he is helping me earn more swagbucks.
There are a TON more ways to earn Swagbucks, but I won't bore you with them all now. I'll save that for another post later. :)
In January, with the new year, I started my mission to earn more Swagbucks. Not necessarily for any particular reason at the time, other than it is basically like FREE money. Now I have a purpose for earning more Swagbucks...Brayden (and Jason and I) are wanting an Xbox 360 with Kinect. (Special thanks to my sister and her family for introducing us to it.) So our goal is to earn enough FREE Amazon giftcards to pay for at least 1/2 by Brayden's birthday in May. So far, just since January, I have earned a total of $60 worth of Amazon giftcards...getting closer to our goal. :)
And just in case you are wondering why I have Swagbucks, linked SO many times...it does run on the referral system. So please make sure you use my link :) Thanks!!
Monday, February 14, 2011
* Our official anniversary for boyfriend/girlfriendness is 10/10/10...such a fun date, right?!? :)
* A backdated Thanksgiving post will be coming soon, so be on the lookout.
Now that I addressed his part 2 request, I think I will take an opportunity to switch over and let you know just how amazing we think he is. First off...the fact that he doesnt have any kids of his own and he is more than willing to be apart of our crazy life and help fullfill that role that Brayden has been missing for the last 5.5years should be enough to show how amazing he is, but I want to share a little more.
* First off, Jason is a shy guy, but he is also the kind of guy that is willing to get his dance on...
and his singing on....
* He is willing to try new things....like ice skating and going to the hockey games with us. We look forward to introducing him to the FC Dallas games as well.
* He is willing to support and wear to my alma mater...even though it is his favorite team's rival.
* When it comes down to it, he is just a big kid that loves playing with toys.
* He is still learning the joys (and not so joyous moments) of living life with a five year old...but it is definitely an adventure I am so happy to take with him, and extatic that he is willing to take it with us. :)
Goodness, my list could go on and on! I'm definitely one, lucky gal!!
This year for Valentine's Day we decided to go the simple route. You might remember Brayden's Valentines from last year....
They were a big hit, but I decide those were a lil too expensive and a lot of work for all of his classmates...maybe next year we will do them again for family and close friends. This year instead he is passing out Valentine Fun Dip...very easy and something that he LOVES to eat himself!!! I was very proud of him for writing his name on all 24 for them in such a small space. Then we made heart shaped Rice Krispie treats for his teacher and my coworkers. We used strawberry marshmallows so they had a pink tint to them (although you can't tell from this picture). :) We thought they were pretty yummy!
Here is Brayden on the big day....cheezing of course. :)
Now on to my special Valentine gifts...
First, I was surprised at school with these BEAUTIFUL dozen roses (in a GORGEOUS ruby red vase), cute teddy bear and chocolates from my very, very special boyfriend. LOVE THEM ALL!!
Aren't they GORGEOUS?!? I definitely think he is a keeper. :) Then I also received lots of adorable cards, chocolates and gifts from my sweet students. After school, my parents took Brayden and I out to a yummy Mexican dinner at Gloria's. Gotta have chips and queso on Valentine's. :) My mom also made us each an individual red velvet cake and chocolate covered strawerries... D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!! She did such an amazing job on both of them!
Thankfully, my mom also got me the Biggest Loser: Power Walk DVD
after eating all these yummy sweets and chocolates, I'm going to need to do something!!
I'll leave you with a few of our favorite, SUPER CUTE Valentine books we have read this year. All would be great books to save for Valentines next year to use in the classroom or at home. :)
Click on any of the links above and you can purchase them directly from Amazon...just a reminder they have free shipping on orders over $25.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Fast forward to last night....we had just walked into the Allen Event Center for the Americans hockey game and as we started to walk up the stairs to our seats Brayden turned to me and said he lost his tooth. I said, WHAT?!?!? At this time, all the lights were going down as the players skated onto the rink, so I had him come back down the stairs because I wasn't sure if he really lost it as in couldn't find it or just lost it. Thankfully, he just lost it. I think it was so loose that his tongue must have nudged it out and he felt it and spit it into his hand....no blood or anything. We were both so excited. I think everyone within his radius found out he lost his tooth...of course, including the cheerleaders. He was grinning from ear to ear the whole evening!
He couldn't wait to put his tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy. Of course, it only took me once to tell him that the tooth fairy wouldn't come unless he was asleep. This morning, he was so excited!!! I could hear him calling "mommy, mommy" so I went into his room to find him beaming with joy.
He was a lil disappointed that the tooth fairy actually took his tooth. He didn't understand why she would need it..."doesn't she already have plenty?!?" He told me that if he would have known she was going to take it, he would have tried to hide it better. He also thought next time, he is going to keep his tooth in his hand, so then he can feel the tooth fairy land in his hand to grab the tooth.
He is so funny....now that he has a lost his tooth, he is officially a big boy now (in his words). He even asked me if he could stay home all by himself....like when I go shopping at Walmart. I told him absolutely not and he just couldn't quite understand why not...since he is so big now. :)
Monday, February 7, 2011
And now here he is, 100 school days later...
Still fast asleep afterwards... (and yes, he really is sleeping in this pic...I know his eyes look just closed, but I promise he really is sleeping.) :)
Doesn't he look so grown up now?!? He can barely even squeeze into the Hobby Lobby shopping carts!!
While he has been in kindergarten he has done a lot studying.....
[When I asked him what he has learned this year, he claimed "EVERYTHING!!"]
He has met a lot of new friends building those social skills and a lot of new lil girls to crush on...
He has discovered Friday is his favorite weekday. Hmmm... I wonder why?!? :)
It's so hard to believe that it won't be long before he is in first grade with me! He is very excited to graduate kindergarten and move on to first grade. :)
He also wanted me to show you his 100th day of school project that he made. He is very proud of it. :)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I took a TON of photos today but here is our final photo that we submitted:
Here is a short lil video of Brayden introducing everyone...
In case you can't hear him....the lil snowman is his "baby sister" and the middle snowman is his "medium brother." Not sure where he came up with that idea...but he does have quite the lil imagination! I apologize for my voice being sooo loud.
Here are a couple of other cute videos of Brayden playing in the snow...
He keeps saying "he absolutely LOVESS Christmas" thanks to his obsession with the Eloise movies.
Thankfully he doesnt hold a grudge, just a few moments later....
Friday, February 4, 2011
Today though, we did at least venture outside the house...even though it was for only 10 minutes and not much further than the front door step.
First thing we did was measure the snow...
and according to our calculations as seen on eye level, we measured 5 inches of snow!!!
Next thing on the agenda...snow collection for our snow ice cream.
Finally got enough....
And of course we couldn't come back inside until after he made a snow angel. And in keeping with our stay at home pj days....he does still have his pjs on underneath his snow pants and jacket. :)
After we came back inside and warmed up with hot chocolate and brownies we made our snow ice cream. We used our big bowl of snow, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk and a lot of vanilla (probably 5-6 tablespoons.) It was DELICIOUS!!!
Sadly this picture was taken AFTER I dropped my camera. :( I think I broke the lens...it wasn't taking pictures properly or using the auto focus. I'm going to have to try my other lens to see if it still works correctly.
Let me introduce you to my boyfriend, Jason....
And yes, it does feel extremely weird to be a mother and almost 32 years old and say that I have a "boyfriend." It sort of makes me feel like I am back in highschool again....which by the way, is ironic because Jason and I actually DID go to highschool together. In fact, we even graduated the same year together. The funny thing is, back in the day we never even said two words to each other. (Just in case you are wondering, our class wasn't all that big, maybe 400.) We did know of each other but we just hung around different groups. He was a shy, football player that always hung out with the guys and I was a golfer who was always tied up with a boyfriend. In our four years of high school, we never had one class together, lockers were never near each other and we both parked on opposite sides of the school building...so basically we just never crossed paths...until 12 years later...Thanks to Facebook!!
It all started last March I had made a status update about introducing Brayden to the 80's movie Space Camp and Jason commented how that was a classic 80's movie. So of course I had to do a lil FB stalking and I noticed he doesn't really comment on anyones status' so of course I felt extra special. :) Then I noticed on his profile it said he was single...but I couldn't imagine how/why so I wasn't totally convinced he was single. Then I noticed where he lives...Rogers, AR so my detective skills got to work on yahoo maps and I discovered we were 5 hours apart..... 5 hours!!! Keep in mind the most I have been in a car since my parents moved closer to me is probably about 3 hours and that just about did me in...so again I had to ponder the 5 hours. Then I took another look at his profile pic and decided, yeah it was totally worth pursuing. 5 hours isn't really that long right?!?
So over the next few months I would think about him often and check out his page. I noticed he wasn't really all that active- no status updates, no comments, no new pictures, etc... so it had me thinking maybe he really was single. Then back in May he made a comment on my graduation status/photos and again on my birthday in June. Each time, my mind would begin to visualize what life would be like if we were together. (I know that sounds cRaZy.) Then July 4th came around and he sent me a Happy 4th of July message. I thought it was extra special because he included Brayden in it too. Of course I was on Cloud 9 and replied back to him wishing him a safe trip to Houston to visit his family. Since he initated the communication I was super excited and again started thinking maybe he really is single. But being a single mom of a 5 yr old, my self confidence wasn't always the highest so I tried to convince myself he was "just being nice" and nothing more than that. But of course that didn't stop me from thinking about him...and let me just say I have a lot of thinking time during summer break. :)
Then August came around and Money magazine voted for the Top 10 cities to live in. McKinney (where I live) was voted #5 and then I saw Rogers, AR voted as #10. Perfect conversation starter!! So I emailed him the link and told him that I was thinking about him since both of our cities made the Top 10 list and that maybe we should share our cities with one another. He replied that he had actually just read the article before he saw my email and that sounded like a great idea. We had a lil more small talk back and forth but then it fizzled out. Jason will be the first to admit he's not always the best conversationalist and I think neither of us wanted to admit we had a crush on one another in fear of rejection. Then a few weeks later as Brayden and I were frequenting the neighborhood pool we befriended one of our neighbors and her boyfriend. They were telling me how the boyfriend was going to be traveling back home and I asked where he lived...believe it or not....he lived in Rogers, AR!! Talk about a small world!! I definitely took it as a "sign." If they were able to have a successful long distance relationship between McKinney and Rogers, why couldn't I at least give it a try. So of course I really started visualizing our relationship.
Then Labor Day came around and I was pleasantly surprised by an email from Jason wishing us a Happy Labor Day...so then we had a lil back and forth conversation and I noticed now was my chance to finally admit I had a secret "crush" on him....so I took the plunge and told him. Then I anxiously awaited for his reply. Luckily the feelings were mutual...and the rest as they say is history. :)
Jason still lives in Arkansas but is hoping to find a job in the Dallas area very soon. I know 5 months doesn't seem like that long of a time to get to know each other, but it has been a very natural relationship and we both feel like we have already been together much, much longer. Thanks to todays technology (Skype, email, high phone bills, etc..) we are able to stay in constant communication and probably communicate more than dating couples that live in the same town. We are both more than ready to be together on a daily basis rather than weekends only. It still amazes us both how we use to live 5 minutes apart from one another and never even talked and now we drive 5 hours just to see each other on the weekends....for less than 48 hours. Hopefully one day, sooner than soon, that day will come where we can be together full time. :)
Here is our first "family" pic taken at the Texas State Fair back in October.
Brayden ABSOLUTELY ADORES Jason and he can't wait for him to be apart of our life full time too.
On another note, stay tuned for more "back" dated posts...I'm really starting to get the hang of blogging again and I promise they won't be so wordy. :)