Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Potty Training?????

Over the past month or so I have periodically put Elliana on the potty. I usually put her on when I see her about to poo, and usually she ends up pooing in the potty. Its always me who has initiated getting her to go on the potty though. Today was the next step. We were all sitting at the table eating lunch, and she looked at me and said "potty". (first time she's ever done that!) I asked her if she needed to go potty, and she shook her head yes so off to the potty we went. I expected nothing from her but she sat down and went poo and clapped for herself the whole time. When she seemed to be done, I took her off, gave her lots of fives and cheers and put a diaper back on. Five minutes later she took me back to the potty and said "potty" and tried to climb back up. I put her back up, expecting nothing again, but she went poo again! I guess she wasn't finished the first time =) Everyone always told me the second kid is much easier. Maybe this will hold true on the whole potty training thing!
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Monday, July 28, 2008

God has a sense of humor

I came back from vacation exhausted and ready for a break from the two kiddos. Not getting more than a few hours of sleep at a time had taken its toll, and I was ready for Brent to take over for a bit, maybe even let me sleep in a little in the morning. Instead, 45 minutes after arriving home from our 13 hour car trip, Brent sprained his ankle pretty bad and is now on cruches for the next few weeks! I guess God wants to remind me that He really can be my strength when I have nothing left to give. I don't know how single mothers do it!!!
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Saturday, July 26, 2008


Today is the last day of our trip North. Although I'm ready to get back home and get the girls rested, I'm sad to leave my family. The girls have had so much fun with all their cousins that it makes me sad to think they won't see each other again until Thanksgiving. I'm already brainstorming to see how I can relocate the whole fam to Texas!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun Days in Iowa

I finally got to meet my nephew! Jamison is 9 months old and I finally got to meet him yesterday, and I have to admit, I was pretty excited that he seems to like his Aunt Kari. He's such a sweet little boy! We met for the first time at an indoor play area because, as I said yesterday, it is freezing here! Then tonight, Elliana got to meet her great grandparents for the first time. Its been a fun and fulfilling two days.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where's the long sleeves?

Keller, Texas: 96 degrees and climbing

Des Moines, Iowa: 68 degrees and falling

I only brought one long sleeve shirt for each of us...needless to say, this is the 3rd day we've all worn them! Summer in Iowa is a little different the summer in Texas =)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Road Again

Our time in Chicago has come to an end, and it is on to the next phase of the trip.
We ended our time in Chicago with a trip to the zoo,
and our family gatherings wouldn't be the same without a trip to the mall to play.
On to Des Moines we go!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here's to...

New friends

Celebrating birthdays with family

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Pictures Say it all

This morning was the opening Sunday for Wheaton Bible Church. It was an amazing time of worship and the church is beautiful. Here is just one of the many murals around the church.

I only made it through the music before I was paged for Elliana, so Elliana and I enjoyed the service from the cry room.

Sunday wouldn't be complete without a trip to the pool!

And you can't forget the ice cream =) For those of you who think its kind of gross that they're eating off the same cone...our moto is "sisters share". They're still too young to distinguish what is kind of gross to share!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

There's Something in the air

There's something about vacation air that makes your children not want to sleep. I'm blogging right now in order to remember the fun times we had today and not the 4 hours I've spent today trying to get kids to sleep. So here's the fun stuff...the not so fun stuff, I'll try to ignore it for 9 more days!

Avery learned to ride a bike and Elliana learned how to annoy the snot out of a puppy.
Avery also learned how to hit a ball with a bat, well sort of. I guess she learned the whole concept of what's supposed to happen when the ball comes your way and you have a bat in your hands. Elliana also learned all about stairs. Her new favorite word is "tairs, tairs".

And don't forget the time spent playing Guitar Hero. With 3 nephews in the house, how could I not spend considerable time playing Guitar Hero? Maybe I can make it to the medium level by Wednesday =)

Road Trip

Day 2: 2nd hour...everyone still pretty content

7th Hour: Pulling out the candy for entertainment
9th Hour: Portable DVDs are our friend!
10th Hour: Beauty parlor time...whatever works to keep the peace!!!

17 hours and 2 days later, we are finally in Chicago!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


By 6:00pm I finally had all the girls' stuff labeled and organized and ready to put in a suitcase. I just need to finish my stuff and clean the house. Sometimes getting ready for a trip is exhausting!

Tomorrow morning the girls and I will leave for our 10 day trip North. I can't wait to see my sisters and brother-in-laws and all their kiddos! I pray it will be a good time. I don't do well without sleep, and I don't sleep well when I'm not in my bed. I also don't do well without Brent kicking me in the butt telling me to get over myself and my tiredness and have a good time (figuratively of course =) ) I'm praying that Elliana sleeps past 5:30am (her standard waking time when not in her own bed). I'm praying Avery will sleep even though she has to share a bed with me. I'm praying I will sleep even though I have to share a bed with Avery. And most of all, I'm praying that we'll all just relax and not worry about the 2 weeks after vacation when life is a bit rocky as the girls readjust to reality. Vacation here we come!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Did she just say that?

Avery has this game where she calls for whatever it is she is waiting to get. For example, "milk cup, where are you?" "Church, where are you?" "Wal Mart, where are you?" "House, where are you?" You get the picture.

So tonight we had spaghetti for dinner, and after dinner Brent was on the floor under the table cleaning up all the sauce that never made it to the girls' mouth, and we heard, "Daddy, where are you?" Only this time it wasn't from Avery. It was Elliana! She did it 2 or 3 times with Brent. Then as I was getting her ready for bed, I told her to go get her milk cup and off she runs to the kitchen yelling, "milk, where are you?" Her first 4 word sentence at 14 1/2 months! And we all thought she was going to be the quiet one in the family.

Grocery Fun

I'm extremely excited this week. We refund our grocery envelope on the 15th of each month, and for the first time since Elliana was born, we still had $12 left in the envelope when we went to fund it!!!!! I'm usually in the hole $10-15 by the end of the month, so this was way exciting for me. Maybe we can double it by next month!

So here were my deals this week. If any of you buy diapers, you should definitely go to Target this week. If you click here, you will go to the Target coupon generator. There are 3 coupons you can use at the same time to buy diapers this week. There is a coupon for $5 off the purchase of Pampers diapers and wipes (the wipes are on sale for $5 this week). The next coupon is for $3 off the same purchase so now you've already taken $8 off the total purchase. Then there is also a coupon to receive a $5 gift card when you purchase the combo of diapers and wipes.

The first time you make the transaction, you'll pay $7 for the combo of diapers and wipes but you'll still have the $5 gift card which is almost like paying $2 for the diapers and wipes. But the coupon generator lets you print as many coupons as you want so if you go and do the deal a 2nd time, you can you use your $5 gift card, only pay $2 out of pocket, and walk away with another $5 gift card. In essence, you would make $3 off the deal. Pretty fun!!!

At CVS this week, I bought 2 tubes of Colgate toothpaste, a gallon of hormone free milk, and some mascara for $5. Not bad since a gallon of hormone free milk at Wal Mart is $5!!!

I'm loving this money saving game. My goal is to have $24 left in the envelope this month. We'll see how I do!

Friday, July 11, 2008

20 minutes at the Waterpark

Apparently this is why they say no running at the waterpark. 20 minutes into our fun family day at the pool, Elliana's body wanted to go faster than her legs could move, and she face planted into the cement. Since blood and public pools don't mix, we headed home to take early naps. Those 20 minutes wore us all out!
It doesn't seem to bother her much though, and as long as you pretend you're beeping her nose like a car horn, she'll even let us put medicine on the cut. Her older sister should take lessons from her!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Saving Money

I am on this quest to save our family money on our grocery bills. I started by trying the grocery game. It was a great place to start because it got me used to cutting coupons and looking at store ads. But with the grocery game, I needed to have a surplus of money for a couple months in order to buy the great deals plus the items we needed each month. Needless to say, we never had that extra money! So I canceled the grocery game and have started searching those countless blogs for ways to save money. It sounds weird, but it has become a fun pass time for me =) I've always been a frugal person so this whole saving money thing is like my new drug! So my two favorite blogs are money saving mom and the Centsible Sawyer. These blogs do all the hard work for me. They tell me what coupons to cut, link me to websites with valuable coupons on it, and then list all the store deals for the week. All that to say, here are my accomplishes for the week =)

Target: I got a jumbo pack of Pampers diapers and then 231 pack of Pampers wipes. Paid about $8 for them and received a $5 gift card from Target. Which means I really only spent about $3 for the diapers and wipes! YEAHHHH.

CVS: I did 3 different transactions. The first transaction I bought a Venus razor for $8 and received $3 Extra Care Bucks back. (they are store credit). I then bought 2 cans of shave gel and some girl needed products using coupons and the Extra Care Bucks. I only spent $2 out of pocket and received $3 more Extra Care Bucks. I then went and bought 4 bottles of dish soap using only the Extra Care Bucks. So total I spent $10 and still have $3 Extra Care Bucks to use next week on a purchase. I was pumped.

So this post has nothing to do with the girls or anything that most of you want to read about, so sorry =) But I am pretty pumped about possibly finding a good solution to stretching our grocery money a bit further. I'll let you know at the end of the month how it worked with our budget!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Memorizing Scripture

About 2 months ago, Brent and I started noticing Avery's ability to memorize things. She would memorize songs after hearing them just once. She could repeat everything Brent or I ever said, and she definitely could memorize any cartoon we let her watch. As we talked about it, we decided that instead of filling her head with untrue things, we would teach her to memorize the truth of scripture. So we bought this book that has a verse for every letter of the alphabet, and I'm spending 2 weeks on each letter and each verse. For the letter "A", we made cardboard A's, went on scavenger hunts, taped words together, and just did all sorts of fun things, all while memorizing Matt. 7:7. For the letter "B",the verse was Gal. 5:22-23. We've spent the week singing songs, making sugar cookie B's, and then I made a chart of all the fruit of the spirit so every time she displays a fruit of the spirit, she gets a sticker in that square. We're hoping that will help teach her what love, joy, peace, etc... mean! I posted a video of her saying her verses below.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 4th

We spent the 4th of July at Grapevine Lake with our friends Susan and Andrew and the Oestreich Family. Earlier that day, we had been pretty sad that we weren't in Iowa this year sitting at the Urbandale parade, so we were grateful that Susan and Andrew had the great idea of heading out to the lake. We all had a great time!

Elliana was still a bit sick, so she spent the majority of the time with me on the blanket in the shade. She had a great time playing on that blanket. It is amazing was a 1 year old can find to entertain herself.
After a couple hours on the beach, we met the Oestreich's at the dock and they were gracious enough to take us for a ride on their boat. This picture was taken right after we got on the boat. The girls had never been on a boat before so they were still a little uncertain about what was going on.
By the end of the day, they both loved it! I asked Avery what her favorite part of the day had been, and she looked at me with a little spark in her eye and said, "the boat. Let's do that again mommy!"
We still haven't seen fireworks in person in 2 years, but Brent and I enjoyed the ones on TV last night =) We figure one day our kids will be old enough to stay awake until its dark outside, but for now, we enjoyed the relaxing day at the beach, on the boat, and the Boston Pops fireworks on TV.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Avery's Bible

Avery's favorite book right now is her Bible. She "reads" it all the time. A few weeks ago, Elliana spilled some water on the table and a little bit got on Avery's Bible and she said with her arms on her hips, "Oh no. My Bible. I read it every morning!"(those of you who know her well, imagine her high squeaky whiny voice at this point) Pretty cute. We love that she loves reading her Bible, except maybe after the 100th time she asks me to read it to her in one day =)
Tonight after I finished reading a few stories to her from the Bible, I left the room to get her some milk. When I came back, she was reading to herself, and this is how her version of the Bible read. "Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, the giant can't come to my birthday party. Go back to school giant." So maybe the salvation message hasn't penetrated her mind yet, but at least she has the habit of reading the Bible every day =) Oh, and tonight as we were praying, here was Avery's prayer. "Dear Jesus, be with Goldilocks and help the bears be nice to her. Amen." Don't you love kids?!!!