Monday, February 28, 2011

Such a good helper!

I LOVE having a girl … soon to be 2 girls! Not that I ‘m not excited about boys, because I am, I just love being a mom to a girl right now. I was actually telling Dave the other day that I’m a bit afraid to have a boy only because I feel so called to be a mom to girls at the moment, but that’s another story!!

I’m blogging today because Monday is grocery shopping day. Cori is at such a great age to grocery shop! She sits in the cart and eats her sugar cookie while I get all my shopping done. She holds the list and I read it off to her and explain what we are getting and why as I put it into the cart. I actually look forward to spending Mondays in the grocery store with her! HA! I don’t know what I’m going to do with I have TWO of them, but for now, I’ll just enjoy my shopping with one. :)

It used to be that I stressed out about getting all the groceries upstairs. Mostly because I would have to carry her AND the bags up, and it would take me 3 or 4 trips up and down the stairs with a baby. Ugh! Now little miss walks herself from the car to the front door and crawls up the stairs all by herself while I carry the bags up. Oh, it makes life so much easier!

So, now for the title of my post… Normally Cori goes right to sleep when we get home from the grocery store so I can put all the groceries away and start dinner, but she was VERY into the groceries today. So, I let her help me unload them. She unpacked the bag with the boxed goods while I unpacked the rest. She was SO PROUD of herself and even tried to put some of it away in the pantry. :) Once all the groceries were put away, she decided she would get the potatoes out of the pantry and attempt to carry them and the grocery bags around the kitchen. Pretending to pack and unpack her bag. It amazes me the amount of imaginative play one little girl can have at 14 months. Yes, today she turned 14 months old! I just can’t believe it!

Here are some pictures of her helping me with the groceries…

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I am SO IN LOVE with her!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Dave and I were driving home from the gym yesterday when this song came on the radio. I’ve heard it many times, but as the artist sang, Dave pointed out that this song is so ME! And, it is! I’m sure it’s many of you too, as we tend to get carried away in the little things gone wrong, that we forget about the bigger things gone right! Praying this song speaks to you as it has me! You can listen to it here.

This is the Stuff, by Francesca Battistelli

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'cuz I can't find my phone
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I'm running behind
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
And I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some GREAT Deals!!

Today I headed to Publix for my weekly grocery shopping trip. Boy, was it a good one! I’m always about saving money at the grocery store. Being that Dave is a resident and I stay at home with Cori & sell jewelry on the side, our grocery budget is TIGHT! Our ENTIRE budget is tight, but that’s another story! :) So, every week before I go to the grocery store I spend some time on a GREAT website called, which gives you the Publix weekly add with buy-one-get-ones, things on sale, AND COUPONS!!! Online coupons are linked by item and newspaper coupons are labeled so I know which Sunday and which insert to find them in. Whoever actually spends the time to post all that wonderful information is a SAINT in my book! I’m so thankful!

If you haven’t been grocery shopping yet this week, listen up!! There are some great deals out there! I spent $53.09 at Publix and SAVED $102.54!! Check out my groceries…


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Want to know how I did it? Well, I used a $15.00 off $75 competitor coupon from a local heal foods store. Progresso, Pillsbury, Hunts, Green Giant, and Totinos were all either BOGO (buy one get one) or on sale. I had multiple coupons (store, manufacturer, and competitor) for individual items, plus Publix was offering $5.00 off the purchase of 20 Progresso, Pillsbury, Hunts, Green Giant, and Totinos items. I bought 40 items (which means I used TWO $5.00 off 20 items coupons) to stock the pantry and boy is it STOCKED!! The best part was paying approximately $11.00 for all 40 items!! Oh, and Perdue chicken was on sale for $2.99 lb AND I had a $2.00 off coupon per package!! I bought 2 lbs. of chicken and paid 99 cents each! What a deal! Publix also paid me to buy Bertoli pasta sauce because it was BOGO and I had a store coupon plus a manufacturer coupon!! Can’t beat that!

Sometimes the act of couponing can be stressful and time consuming, but on weeks like this, I am re-energized and so EXCITED about coupons! After all, we would be eating straight beans and rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if it weren’t for those fabulous coupons that allow me to add some variety to our diet! I even got tons of fruit, cereal, lunch meat, cheese, ingredients to make 2 dinners that will last us all week, and so much more! Potato/broccoli soup & breaded chicken, and spaghetti and meatballs. YUM! I made the soup for dinner tonight and it turned out delicious!

Can’t wait for next weeks deals! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Play Group

When Cori was 9 weeks old I began attending a Postpartum Luncheon for new moms with babies 4-16 weeks of age at a local hospital in town. Tuesday was the day I would make sure I actually got dressed and left the house with my sweet one to meet and interact with new moms just like me. And, the best part of all, FREE LUNCH! Wahoo! I was in!

I met some amazing moms at our Tuesday luncheon and a year later, we still get together every Friday to play. I LOVE them!! Today, we decided to meet up at the mall for lunch and take one year photos at Picture People. Cori is actually 5 weeks older than the rest of our play group, who were born back to back to back in early February. It has been such a blessing to have them in my life and I so enjoy getting together every week to have mommy time and play time for the kids. It’s so nice to have people to call during all the adjustments of being a first year mom who can encourage you and be right there with you. I remember the talks of, “how long should I let him/her cry it out before I intervene?” to “he/she isn’t sleeping through the night, what do I do?” to “what Sippy cup works best for you and when are you getting rid of the bottle altogether?” to “are you using whole milk or 2% now that they are one?” We have walked through every milestone together and have always been there to cheer one another on. I couldn’t have asked for a better play group! :)

So, here we are…


Me & Cori, Jen & Aaron, Julie & Brandon, Emily & Claire



I LOVE this picture because it highlights each of their sweet personalities… Aaron screaming and ready to play, sweet Claire smiling like always, Cori focused on the camera, and Brandon soaking it all in.

Oh,  how I love each and every one of those girls and their sweet children! I can’t wait for sweet Finley Grace to meet her big sister’s play group. Oh, yeah, that’s her name! :) Already half way through pregnancy and can’t wait to see her sweet face!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Love Love

Bundle of Love

My OH SO SWEET bundle of LOVE!

Happy Valentines Day, only 2 days late!! :) Our Valentines Day started out with a trip to a local nursing home to pass out Valentines with a few friends of ours. The old folks were so appreciative of their sweet notes and the kids had a great time passing them out! Cori was a little unsure of her surroundings for the first 15-20 minutes we were there, but once she warmed up, she had a great time! After we passed out Valentines, all the old folks gathered around the community room and watched the little ones dance. We must have been the dancing entertainment for at least 30 minutes, but everyone loved it.

Then we headed to the mall to celebrate Beckett’s 3rd birthday. His actual birthday is on Valentines Day and he is just a sweet bundle of love. We had lunch and then headed to the play area. Here are a few pics…

Cori and sweet Evie. They both just adore one another!!














Getting some advice from Dylan in the picture on the left :)


That’s the birthday boy underneath Cori :)


Taking it all in…


Time for a nap!


Daddy got home early from work with flowers for me and a balloon for Cori. CB LOVES balloons. She spots them from long distances and gets so excited about them. She thinks every balloon belongs to her. We are working on that one! :) Auntie Amber came over to babysit so Dave and I could have a date night on Valentines Day. We are so lucky to have her in town!! She probably babysits once a week for one reason or another. Thank you Auntie Amber!! :) Cori does LOVE her though!!


Happy V Day


We snapped this sweet family picture before heading off to Yamato’s for dinner. It was delicious and such a needed night out for the two of us. I think my favorite part of the night was getting DQ after dinner and sitting at a table in the corner with no one around just chatting and laughing about life. I do LOVE my hubby oh, so much!!

Hope everyone had a sweet Valentines Day! Until next time…

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tot School

~CB is currently 13.5 months old~



Well, we’re back up and running. I am so excited!! CB has graduated from Tiny Tot School and has now moved on into big girl Tot School!! Wahoo! In case you are just catching Tot School for the very first time and are wondering what that is, let me explain. It’s really just purposeful play with my girl. I select specific activities that are fun and good for learning, and spend about 30 minutes a day just sitting on the floor playing and learning with those specific toys. It’s amazing to watch her learn!!

I spent some time creating a corner for her in our living room with activities specifically for Tot School. It’s been wonderful! I got this 9 square bookshelf on sale at Target. It was already painted pink which was a winner in my book since we are officially going to have 2 GIRLS in our home!! There are only 4 squares open to Miss CB during Tot School time. Her 3 Tot School activities for the week are on the bottom and books are on the top. Since my girl is s sucker for books I HAD to have those out and ready for all parts of the day!! Inside the 5 boxes are other toys and activities stored away for future Tot School weeks. During regular play time she typically only goes in one of those boxes. The pink box in the middle on the left contains all her little cell phones and you know how my child LOVES to talk on the phone!! HA! :)

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We officially started up again last week. The activities you see in the bottom squares above are the ones she played with last week. From left to right you will see puzzles, Leap Frog Caterpillar, and foam books with 3 square stackers. She didn’t care much for the square on the right, but the puzzles were the biggest hit of all! So big, that I kept them out this week too! (I change out Tot School activities weekly). Something that I REALLY like is keeping the puzzle pieces in a bowl, separate from the puzzle. This encourages her to take the pieces out of the bowl one at a time and place each piece in it’s place. Then, she takes them back out of the puzzle one at a time and puts them into the bowl. It adds one extra step for learning and helps with clean up!!

Daddy was home last Monday when we started so he spent some time with her during Tot School. She LOVED that! Here they are working on her puzzles…

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Moving on to square # 2… the Leap Frog Caterpillar. This learning toy is great because it tells you the letters of the alphabet, the sounds each letter makes, colors, and sings a few fun songs. It also has a string attached to its neck and CB LOVES to pull him around. Here she is multitasking with a book and the caterpillar! :)

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She really didn’t play with anything in square # 3. I tried to get it out and show her how to stack and how the number stackers actually went with one of her books, but she wasn’t having it. Looks like this activity will be put away for some time before we get it out again!! One of the biggest things about Tot School is having FUN! So, if an activity you chose doesn’t seem fun to your tot, put it away and try again later! :)

This week has been exciting as well. Like I said, I kept the puzzles out because they were such a big hit, but added two new activities to the mix. A fruit and veggie tray made of stuffed fruits and veggies, and some tot sized pots and pans. She LOVES them both!! It’s been so fun playing with them this week!!

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She held that star the ENTIRE time we did Tot School the other day. She refused to put it in the puzzle or back in the bowl. It was hilarious! I guess my girl likes purple stars!! HA!


This was my favorite Tot School day this week (hence ALL the pictures!!) We cooked up some fruits and veggies in our pots and pans! CB was so engaged in what she was doing as she put each fruit and veggie into its own pot or pan. I was truly amazed watching her do this and praised her along the way. Such imaginative play! :)

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She also had a grand ole’ time banging pot tops on the table. It sure was a sight to see!! The picture on the left is definitely a FAVORITE of mine!!

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To wrap up the week, CB also likes to play in her random toy bin during Tot School time. It has various toys in it from when she was a baby and she still likes to sort though this bin, take all the toys out, and put them all back in.

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I really am having fun planning activities for CB and spending one on one time with her playing with purpose each day. It reminds me a lot of planning for school when I was in the classroom. It also prompts me to think about the possible decision of homeschooling one day. I NEVER thought I would homeschool my kids. I actually didn’t really agree with parents homeschooling until I had a child of my own. That sure puts it all into perspective. David and I definitely haven’t decided one way or the other, but we are praying that God will show us his plan and lead us in the way he would have us go. I do love teaching my own child. I love the time I get to spend with her and I love being able to shape her character throughout the day. It truly is amazing. But, we will see where God leads us. Until next time…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Word…

bethI started a new bible study at church a few weeks ago. I just have to say that I am a bible study junkie! If there is a bible study, especially with Beth Moore, you can bet that I will be there! I have done LOTS of studies with Mrs. Beth, Esther being my all time FAVORITE, but I must say, this one is pretty good too. This bible study is all about David. Not my husband David, but rather King David from the bible! :) Beth Moore is only one of the teachers for this study. Pricilla Shirer and Kay Arthur are writers and speakers for this study too. I LOVE me some ladies from Deeper Still! If you don’t know what Deeper Still is, look it up!! It’s a weekend conference with Beth, Pricilla, and Kay and they have SO MUCH to say about the wonderful works of God. They are so knowledgeable it amazes me! I only WISH I could know as much as they do. Maybe one day I’ll get there.

The study began 2 weeks ago with Pricilla writing and speaking. She is a woman head over heels in love with our Lord and Savior. As she was writing her particular section of the study she talked a lot about her life as a mom with 2 small children. Oh, how I can relate, even if I only have 1 small child at the moment. Her section was all about being anointed by Christ, like King David was anointed by God. We don’t have to be a king to be anointed, we just simply have to have given our lives to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Anointed means to be given a divine empowerment to accomplish God’s purposes for our life. David’s anointing led him to be King. Our anointing may never be a title like that, but it’s still important. … I think the most important piece of information I got out of Pricilla’s section on anointing was seeing David return to God again and again for wisdom. David was anointed well before he even became King. In the midst of his waiting and even in the midst of his time as ruler, he never stopped seeking God’s presence for wisdom. David had a God consciousness. I need that too. God HAS to be the central focus of EVERYTHING in our life. From doing the dishes to creating a budget to spending time with my husband and children – God HAS to be the central focus. We must keep returning to God for wisdom on a daily basis, on a hourly basis, on a minute by minute basis. For if we are seeking Him, we have the divine empowerment to accomplish God’s purposes for our life. Amen to that! It’s such a reminder that God has specific direction for ME and MY LIFE. And, the more I know God, the more I will be able to hear Him. Oh, how that empowers me to spend more time in the Word.

Last night the study moved into Beth’s section, which is all about being transformed. Let me just stop and say the Beth can bring a WORD like no body’s business. That woman inspires me because of her deep desire to know and serve the Lord. As I was watching her speak last night, I thought about what it would have been like to grow up with someone like her as a mom or an aunt. Not that I don’t love my own mother and aunts (I most certainly do!!!) But being in the presence of Beth (even through video) feels a little to me like what it must be like to be in the presence of God. Although I am certainly not comparing her to God!! None of us are anywhere near! But, you know what I mean, right?!?

Anyway, since I got off on a little bit of a tangent there, let me get back on track! Last night, Beth spoke on God being conspicuous in US. Having a life transformed that when others look at your life, they don’t see you, but rather they see God. I was actually talking to David (my husband, this time, not the King) about this very thing the other day. We were talking about whether or not when people looked at our life, they saw Jesus. And, praying that they do. Because if they don’t, then we are certainly not living to accomplish God’s purposes in our life. Beth said something that stood out to me. She said, “God wants to do something in your life that makes HIM show up!” I thought that was profound. It goes right back to what Pricilla was saying about having that God consciousness.

Oh, Lord, please do something in my life that reflects YOU. Allow others to see YOU when they look at me. Help me to have a God consciousness when I wake in the morning, when I prepare breakfast, when I change diapers and wipe runny noses, when I play with my sweet daughter, when I interact with my amazing husband … in EVERYTHING that I do, Lord, let me do it for the divine empowerment to accomplish YOUR purposes for my life. Thank you for your Word. May it be reflected in me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A few pictures of my sweet girl… That’s right, the bows are back!! :) She might not let me put bows in her hair, but she has no problem with headbands and hats! SO happy to have those bows back!!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Growing Up…

Today, Cori did something she has never done before. She pooped on the potty!! :) No, we aren’t potty training yet, but the moment arose and I seized it! HA!

Here’s the story … (It may be a little TMI for some, but it’s going in the family blog book of memories, so, sorry!) During lunch today Cori got this terrible look on her face and she began to make a few funny noises. As her mother, I know exactly what this means. So, I walked over to her highchair, asked her if she needed to go poopy, and told her that today we would poopy on the potty. I took her into the bathroom, stripped her of her bottoms, and placed her on the potty. Since we don’t have a toddler potty, I had to hold her on the potty the entire time. She clutched to my shoulders and hugged me as she cried. Apparently this pooping thing isn’t too comfortable for her at the moment. It’s all that 2% milk she is drinking!! I told her calmly that it was okay to poopy on the potty. A few moments later, she did it!! She was so surprised and even had to turn around to see where it went. She was very curious about this weird looking thing that you go potty on. It was pretty funny. Her daddy and I clapped and praised her and you should have seen her sweet face. To say she was proud of herself would be an understatement! She walked around clapping for herself for quite sometime after! Oh, what an exciting day!

Now, I know this doesn’t mean that she will poopy on the potty every time. She may do it every time I catch her attempting to go and can get her there in time. I am hoping the more we do it, the easier potty training will be, but we will see! Either way, my baby girl is growing up … way too fast!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It’s official … it’s a GIRL!

baby 2 - girl 18 wks


At our 13 week ultrasound, the tech said she thought we would be having another girl. Well, today, at our 18 week check, our doctor confirmed that it was a girl indeed. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be the parents of sisters so close in age! We are praying that Cori is the loving big sister she is to her baby dolls – so sweet and caring. We pray that she takes her big sis role seriously and sets a Godly example for her little sister. We are also praying that her sweet sister looks up to her in so many ways.

Our sweet baby girl is healthy from head to toe. We are so thankful. Her bones are strong, her heart is in perfect condition, all of her organs are in place and she is growing perfectly. She is also quite the mover, much like her big sister! I have been feeling her move for about 2 weeks now and we got to see her move around A LOT today on the screen. I LOVED every minute of it!

Our doctor is absolutely WONDERFUL and so thorough in his descriptions. As he was spending time looking at each organ, he was talking to us about how each little thing has to form just right. SO MANY things have to happen just right for babies to be healthy. It made me stop and think about our Great Creator. The way a baby is formed is a complete miracle. A miracle that didn’t just happen one day. A miracle that didn’t come from a piece of matter somewhere. There is nothing spontaneous about the way we are formed in our mother’s womb. It’s a miracle from the works of someone Divine. It’s a miracle from God, our Great Creator. I don’t know how people can watch the way a baby grows from a small cell to human life and not believe in the wonders and works of God. Yet, there are people all over who chose not to. It’s mind boggling. We didn’t just happen by chance. We happened by the powerful and amazing hands of God. I pray that if you didn’t realize that before, you do now. Our God is truly an awesome God!

Thanking the Lord for the life growing inside of me and praying she stays just as healthy as can be!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17