Friday, January 30, 2009

Working out for Florida

Working out/exercising is a pain in the booty- literally and figuratively speaking. Not only does it take up time throughout your day (at night for me), but it also wears you out, makes you sweat, and leaves you with that "achy muscles" feeling the next morning.
Even after all of that though, I guess the benefits of doing it outweigh everything else and so I put myself through it anyways. I have been working out 5-6 times a week for 1/2 hour every night (after the kids go to bed). Dad D. went out and bought the family an elliptical machine, so we set up a whole exercising room upstairs. We brought the BowFlex up and got a tv hooked in so we could have something to watch while we worked out. They also have a treadmill, but we couldn't set that up because Brad's aunt is borrowing it. We made ourselves our own little gym.
Every night I do a 20-30 minute fitness program on the elliptical machine, then sit-ups, leg lifts, and other random things with the Bowflex. I have really been pushing myself every night so that I can tone up my body, lose a few pounds, and get a little muscle.
Although those are the main reasons for my working out, the BIG reason for all my hard work is so that I will look decent in a bathing suit when we go to Florida. I have casually mentioned our upcoming trip to the great state of FL, but haven't expanded on it at all. That will all come in another post. However, I will leave you with a few pictures of where we are going!!

Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, FL

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's New with Parker and Halle

What's new with my two kiddies?? Well, quite a bit has changed with them lately, but one thing stays the same- they keep me really busy!!!
* Is in a 2nd grade reading level at school (she's in 1st grade)
* Is starting gymnastics lessons this Saturday
* Is already into the 2nd level book in her piano (she just started lessons this school year)
* LOVES to do crafts/make food- she could honestly do a craft everyday if I would get on the ball and plan some crafts to do
* Weighs about 50 lbs; wears size 7-8 girls in clothes
* Wears a headband everyday to school (it doesn't require a lot of work, so she resorts to it)
* Has two good friends- Kate (at school) and Bailey (her cousin)
* Her favorite color is blue these days
* Misses North Carolina a ton- she talks about it a lot and wishes she still lived there
* Has already gotten a whole bunch of new clothes for our trip to Florida (I haven't gotten anything)

* Does not use his bottle to go to bed anymore
* Eats! Eats! Eats! He must be growing because he is constantly eating
* Says "No", "Da" "Eye" (while he points to your eye), "Ma", and all the different sounds animals make very clearly now. He won't say "horse", but will say "neigh" when describing animals.
* LOVES football, even though we aren't in football season any longer
* Loves to read books...He would do it all day if we had enough time to just sit and read
* Is attached to his dad...I'm chopped liver when it comes to choosing between Mom or Dad...oh well
*Weighs about 25 lbs and is off the charts in height (still)
* Wears 18 mo. clothes
* Is attached to his blankets- maybe more than he is to his dad- If he sees his blankets, he must have it/them in his hands. He is usually carrying around 2-3 blankets at a time
*Has lots of teeth and more are coming in now...They make for the sweetest smile ever!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brad's New Job

The exciting news of this past weekend was that Brad got hired as the Director of Business Development for the Michigan Bucks soccer team. They are a minor league team that play in the Detroit area. Brad is going to be in charge of finding sponsors for everything that happens at the games/camps/etc. It is a great job because he can work around his school schedule and it is not a real stressful job, but hopefully will make us a little extra money!! Today was his first day. He got to learn the ropes and set up his office. The facility that the Bucks play in is amazing!! Can you believe there are 3 full size outdoor soccer fields inside this building??
We are excited that Brad was given this opportunity and looking forward to all the new things he will learn and become involved in. Brad has always loved and played soccer, so this job is perfect for him. Pray for him that all goes well and that he will stay up on his school work!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Praying for Harper

Many of my blogging friends already know all about the Stamps and their baby girl, Harper, but for those of you who don't know, I would just ask that you pray for this family. I have never met them and only know them through Kelly's Korner (their blog), but they are the sweetest couple who struggled to get pregnant for a long time. We have all been counting down the days with Kelly until she gave birth to her little girl. After Harper was born this past weekend, they realized something was wrong with her lungs. She is in the NICU and will stay there for quite a few weeks. They have set up a blog especially for prayer for Harper here.

Weekend in Grand Rapids

This past weekend was filled with lots of fun! Everything started on Friday. First, we got an extra day to our long weekend because it was too cold to go to school on Friday. So, we got to sleep in and relax all day on Friday. We did go and see "Mall Cop", which was really funny! On Friday night we met up with my family at Olive Garden to celebrate Halle's birthday and Allyson's birthday. Al's birthday is on Jan 18-just 8 days after Halle's. Since my mom was out of town around Halle's birthday, we hadn't had a chance to celebrate with them yet. Olive Garden is Allyson's favorite restaurant so that was the place she wanted to go for her birthday dinner!! We all had good food and our waiter was really good, which made for a nice birthday dining experience.
Al and Hal opened their gifts at the restaurant

I got Al this really cute orange purse- She liked it!!
After eating, we all headed back to my parent's house and Halle played with the gifts that she got-"Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago" computer game (sidenote: I had this same game as a kid and loved it...I also really wanted to be on the Carmen Sandiago tv show back in the day), Coloring books, and the Human Body game with a working stethoschope (from Andy). The rest of us played Scattergories and we all ate cake and ice cream!!

Al and Hal blowing out the candles on the cake

Mom and the Birthday girl

Me and Allyson

Parker getting cozy with Amber

The group

Me and Brad

Me, My brother-Andy, My sister- Allyson

Saturday morning we got up and headed to Grand Rapids, MI. It is about 2 hours away from where we live on the west side of the state. Brad's aunt and uncle live there, so we went to see them and see their new house (they actually moved into it a year or so ago, but we haven't had a chance to see it until now). Brad's parents went the night before so they didn't have to drive through the snow storm like us. Thankfully, we made it safely, even though we saw a lot of cars in the ditch or in accidents on our way there.

Their house is really nice. Just picture a Potterybarn catalog and that's what their house looks like. I totally forgot to take any pictures, but you get the idea. Everything was super organized and decorated so nicely.

When we first got there, we made homemade French Dip sandwiches (Brad's fav) and snacks. Then all the girls took off and went to Rockford, which is only 10-15 minutes away from where they lived. It's a cute little town with a bunch of different shops. We only went to a couple stores because we didn't have a lot of time and it was snowing like crazy. We went to The War Chest, which is a really awesome shop. It is owned by missionaries who go around the world and buy women out of sex slavery and give them a chance at a free life. They teach the women a trade, such as making jewelry, so that they can provide for themselves and their kids. The jewelry is beautiful and their stories are so awesome!!! We all got some jewelry and I will definitely go back again and get some more. We also went to a store called Jade, which has a bunch of neat clothes, purses, etc. I got a bright yellow shirt for when we go to Florida.

Saturday evening we just played games back at their house. Some good friends of theirs came over, so it was nice to get to know them as well. They are really trying to get Brad and I to move over there!!! It is a nice place to live, so we'll just have to see....

On Sunday, we went to their church, Blythefield Hills Baptist Church. It was really nice! Afterwards, we all went to Logan's for lunch! We sat with Nate and his girlfriend, Lisa. My stomach was really upset, so I honestly didn't enjoy the lunch at all. I wanted to eat, but I just couldn't. We headed back home afterwards and spent the evening relaxing!!!

It was a very enjoyable and fun weekend. We were glad we were able to make it over to Uncle Chip and Aunt Sharon's house and see them and their kids while we were there. They are a sweet family and hopefully we can get back over to that side of the state again this summer.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Halle's Birthday, Part 2

Today we celebrated Halle's birthday with the DeLange and Williams families. Every year I let her decide which meal she wants and what theme she wants her party to be. This year she picked homemade macaroni n' cheese and punch, and the theme was Hello Kitty. We bought Hello Kitty plates, tableclothes, napkins, and got a bunch of balloons and pink and white streamers. I made homemade mac 'n cheese, corn, rolls, bananas and oranges, and salad.
This was a board I had made just for fun, but Halle wanted to put it up at her party... Can't say I know how to draw Hello Kitty very well....
I also made Hello Kitty cupcakes. I think they turned out pretty cute!Halle opened up her gifts from the DeLanges. She got the Wii Mario Cart game and 8 weeks of gymnastics lessons!!! She is pretty excited to start that!!Bailey (her cousin and best friend) got her make-up and a big coloring board.

I can't believe Halle is already 7!!!! These years are flying by way too fast!!! These past 7 years have been absolutely great with Halle!! She brings me so much joy! Happy 7th Birthday Halle!!! I love you lots!!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Halle's Birthday Part 1

To begin our celebration of Halle's 7th birthday, we decided to take her to Splash Village in Frankenmuth, MI (it's only about 30 minutes from where we live). We got all packed up and ready to go Thursday night so that we could leave right after Halle got out of school on Friday. On Friday, I had to work, so Brad took up McDonald's and ate lunch with Halle at school. He also took up cookies for everyone in her class. She was so excited to have him there. Halle also wore a "Birthday Girl" sash to school on Friday. Once school got out, we took off to Splash Village. We have been there before, so we were all geeked up about all the fun we were going to have.
Halle in her sash

We spent about 3 hours at the waterpark on Friday. Around 7ish, we were all starting to get hungry. Seeing as how it's snowy and freezing here, we had absolutely no deisre to go anywhere out of the hotel, so we got dressed and went down to the restaurant at the hotel. There wasn't hardly anyone there, so it was nice and quiet and relaxing. All of our food was good and Halle got a blue slushie as her birthday dessert. We had planned to go back to the room and watch a movie, but Halle opened up her birthday presents from us and then played with them the rest of the evening. We were all pretty tired and were in bed and sleeping by 10:30- which is super early for Brad and me.

Here's part of the park

At dinner

Halle opening up her presents in the hotel room-Parker wanted to helpShe got a disco ball!!

And of course, the blessed HSM 3 cd!!

On Saturday, we went to McD's for breakfast. Parker was hilarious because he was SO hungry. He kept stuffing his face full of food. I think he ate more than Brad. Halle ate all of her meal too!!! I guess all the swimming made them hungry. We then went back to the hotel and played in the waterpark for about 4 hours. Halle loved everything there! She was going non-stop!!!!

Parker wanted to play basketball in the pool the entire timeHalle going down on the slidesBrad and Parker
Halle enjoyed running across on the slippery lily she took a spill

Halle went down the 2 big waterslides a TON of times! They are super fun!We came back home mid-afternoon, went out to eat with the DeLanges, and then Halle went to see "Bedtime Stories" with Brad's parents and Jess. I made Hello Kitty cupcakes and got all the groceries bought for tomorrow's party (Halle's Birthday Part 2- look for that on tomorrow's blog).

Everyone had a blast at Splash Village!!! Halle couldn't stop talking about it all week long!! She counted down the days until we went! It was such a nice way to celebrate her birthday this year!!! We had so much fun, it might become a new birthday tradition!!!