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Preview: The Newman Four

The Newman Four



Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper



Updated: 2016-09-07T23:30:31.360-05:00

 



I realize. . .

2010-09-02T14:56:23.612-05:00

I am a TOTAL blog slacker!!!!! It has been far too long since my last blog post. We have such an amazing summer, spending so much time as a family with Russ being home a little more. Pepper did not go to Mother's Morning Out this summer, so having both girls home all day, every day, has forced us to keep busy with friends and activities. I also did that awesome CrossFit boot camp 3 days a week. Seriously, we have just been busy. I do realize that is not much of an excuse.I have been in the weirdest of funks off and on this summer too. Russ has been home more, took some vacation, but has been preparing for the deployment the whole time. He actually just got home today from a 3 week annual training away from us. It is just too much to bear at times thinking about the year long deployment that will be on us in such a short time now. We have done it before, hope we won't do it again and will make it through this one for sure, but some days I just feel funky (or crunky as a very good friend of mine would say)!!!!!School starts this week. Pepper will be going to 3 year old PreK every day this year, soooo excited for her new adventure! Vesper will be going to Mother's Day Out 2 days a week, which will give me a few hours each week with no children. This will be a first for me in over a year. So hoping for some quiet to stay out of funk and get this blog back to normal. Thank you to all the peeps that are still here and reading, hope there is at least one of you out there in blog world. Hoping to get caught up on my fav blog reading too!!!! LovesI promise to post on Vesper's first birthday party soon. Here is a family pic from the partyRuss has been learning some new songs for the girls, they LOVE to sing with himone of my favorite times in this world, watching my girls chase each other around in the countryThis will be an awesome post coming up soon! Can anyone guess what very cool happy T and Papa got for Pepper?!the girls at a very cool Alice in Wonderland themed birthday partythis is what happens when I try to get a picture of the two girls together, THEY RUN AWAYjust a very cute one of Vesper, in her brownie-goose[...]



Anyone else up for it?!

2010-07-12T22:33:19.587-05:00

You guys have heard me griping and going on about CrossFit, well this is the last week, sooo sad. I really am addicted!!!!! I will be getting my bodyfat done at the end of the week, to share the exact change. I am hoping for a big change! I will be taking a 3 week break and then starting another CrossFit bootcamp at the beginning of August. For this next session we can bring a friend. Anyone want to join me!!!!!! PLEASE!!! There is a 6 week and 9 week session, both starting in August. Please leave a comment or email if interested, and I will get you the info. I would LOVE to do this with more friends!!!!! Stay tuned for my results after the first 6 week bootcamp



Baby Vesper

2010-07-10T07:23:36.963-05:00

Sitting here listening to The Black Crowes station on Pandora (Led Zeppelin at the moment) and needing to write Vesper's 1st birthday post. This is sooooo hard!!!!!! Our baby is 1 tomorrow, WTH???!!!!! Where did the year go? Why is she growing up so fast? How we love this little, petite bundle of happiness and joy. She is just so content, mellow, happy, chill, lovey. I am going to try not to compare her to Pepper a lot in the post but when you only have one child, then the second comes along, you just tend to compare and expect the second to be a lot like the first. Well, Vesper is NOT Pepper and thank goodness. We can only handle one Peppercorn round this joint!Vesper is talking and will mimic just about any sound or word we say. She LOVES to dance and when I say, she loves to dance, I mean it! That girl will get jiggy wit it on cue, music or not. Her best move has got to be her head nod, much like A Night at the Roxbury, LOVE!!!!!! She has taken as many as 7 0r 8 steps all by herself at one time. She is so tiny and petite and is just preciousness. She weighs about 19 pounds and doesn't have an ounce of chunk on her. She has a lot of curls in the back and not much on top, very Dr. Phil. She has piercing blue eyes, even bluer than Pepper and very white hair on top. She likes to play next to the big girls and really doesn't put everything directly in her mouth like most babies. She eats real food usually with baby food every now and again to fill er up. She still drinks formula (doc said keep her on it til 1, guess because she is so small) but no more bottles, drinks everything out of sippy cups. She LOVES to sneak drinks of Pepper's big girl cups too. She takes a paci when sleeping and in car. She is just a typical, happy baby on the verge on toddler hood.We could not be more thrilled with our little girls. Vesper has been such a joy to this family and especially Russ. He missed all this "baby" fun with Pepper, learning to crawl, walk, eat food, talk, dance, play. Russ has thoroughly enjoyed watching Vesper go from a blob to an almost kid. Pepper has good and bad days and moments with her. I know she loves Vesper but just hard not having all the attention any more but she does good most days. Vesper adores Pepper like no other, it is awesome to watch Vesper light up at her sister, hope that lasts forever!!!!!Happy Birthday Vessyboo, we love you!!!!!!!!![...]



BFF

2010-07-07T14:11:22.042-05:00

Pepper has a sweet, sweet friend named Jude. He is my friends Rachel and Seth's little boy, and he is precious. We took Jude to the Natural Science Museum last week for the morning and here are some pics of sweet three year old friends.

Look at sweet baby Vesper, watch out her 1st birthday post is coming up far too soon!!!

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is Jude not the cutest little boy you have ever seen?!

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Pepper loves her some Jude

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Don't forget to go check out Rachel's new blog, Little Sparrow, I have done a guest post on homemade laundry detergent



For all you "green" mamas out there

2010-06-28T19:37:40.423-05:00

My friend Rachel has started a new blog, Little Sparrow, a mother's guide to living green. I couldn't be more excited!!!! We have really been on this eco kick lately and love to talk about composting, cloth diapering, recycling, anything "green." Check it out, follow, check often, comment, ask questions!!!!! I think she will be using my composting story soon, so check that out too



CrossFit is the devil

2010-06-28T19:34:34.225-05:00

This CrossFit boot camp I have been doing with friends is much more than we ever expected!!!!! It is literally the hardest thing we have ever done. You go in there thinking you are in decent shape, having ran a few half marathons, not completely lost in a gym, HA HA HA. This isn't even in the same league. We have been spending an hour 3 times a week at 12 noon in an unairconditioned warehouse pushing ourselves physically further than we ever thought we could. It is amazing and feels like hell during it but after what a sense of accomplishment we feel. We do head straight to Chick-fil-a after also, LOL! We did get our body fat done and will share all the before and afters when we are finished with the boot camp. I am hoping for some amazing results, like Heidi Klum style results but those chicken sandwiches might prevent. Stay tuned for another update. Sorry I haven't explained more but it is just really something you have to experience to understand!



I just might yak. . .

2010-06-06T19:43:15.946-05:00

tomorrow during our first day at CrossFit!!!!!! Rachel, Aubrey and I are starting a 6 week session of CrossFit. We are all determined to give this a real shot! I have heard great things about it and the videos I have found online are amazing. If anything is gonna flatten this tummy, CrossFit will do it. Having 2 really great girl friends to go along with is super comforting. If we all puke together, maybe none of us will be mortified, LOL! Will try to post after tomorrow and will most definitely keep you all updated with our progress. Hoping to be bikini ready by the end of summer. Good thing our summer here in the dirty south lasts til Thanksgiving!!!!!!



dandelion design

2010-06-04T22:01:02.709-05:00

There are so many creative, talented moms in our area. Here I am going to introduce you to just one. Sarah owns dandelion design, a collection of hand painted items and artwork. She is a graphic designer by trade and also has a design business. Through dandelion design she does notecards, sticker labels, magnets, etc with her own watercolor artwork. She does canvases and can match colors or decor. But my favorite items are painted stepstools and watercolored wedding invitations.She does the most beautiful hand painted watercolor on wedding invitations. I LOVE this idea for wedding gifts!!!!!!! I just hang on to the wedding invitation I get in the mail, pass it on to Sarah and she hooks it up something fierce. She will mat it for you, wrap it up sooo cute and mail it back all for around $30, minus shipping. Every bride I have done this for is just in awe and so surprised. I wish I had one of these from when we got married!The newest item we have ordered from her is having Pepper and Vesper's stepstool painted. I didn't want it to look real childish or be themed. I do have some monkey stuff in their bathroom right now but who knows how long that will last. I requested some swirly flowers to match our shower curtain, and Pepper requested pink glitter, of course. Sarah did not disappoint!!!!! It is just precious and Pepper loves it. I really wish you could see the detail better in these pics and how glittery some of it was, so girly and cute.does Pepper look proud or what?![...]



Simplicity

2010-05-24T07:37:14.579-05:00

I lay here in my bed, watching my precious 10 month old daughter sleeping with a death grip on my iPhone that is softly playing Ray LaMontagne on Pandora. This is a moment that should be frozen in time. What a blessing to have not one but two perfect little angels to love, raise, learn from. I am just in awe of what I have been given in my little life. I have a hubby that will do whatever it takes to care for his family and thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have 2 beautiful daughters. I have a mom and dad that are still married, love me and my family like crazy glue and would do anything for us. I have a brother that is one of the smartest people I know and actually thinks I am cool every now and again. I have friends that give good hugs and mean it. I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry, all the basics that we all take for granted on a daily basis. I am just in AWE!!!!!!!!!

This post is about simplicity, there is some needed around here. I crave a life of less excess, less stress, less crap basically. I crave the simple things! Maybe Amy got me thinkin

I really don't even really know where I am going with all of this. Selling everything and going to live someplace else with just the basics and actually doing something that makes the world a better place seems like a damn good idea right now. There is so much crap, excess, wealth, greed, NEED in this world. Here I lay in my bed with one of the sweetest children on earth, gripping that iPhone playing some cool music, makes a lot of things just not matter at all. I do realize my job as a mother and wife is important and take the job of raising these girls VERY seriously but can't I be doing more. Do we really need all this stuff? It's not that I am not thankful for all that we have, I AM, but really is it all necessary? Can't we live without some of it, with less, and in the end wouldn't we have more?!



Beach vaca 2010

2010-05-20T20:12:14.395-05:00

Our little family of 4 plus my parents (Gran T and Papa) and my brother Kyle took a vaca to the beach last week!!!!!!! We decided to try out Orange Beach since it is a TON closer than Destin, just cannot travel very long with those kids in the car. It turned out to be a very good decision. We stayed at The Wharf and am very glad we did. It is a little resort among itself on the harbor in Orange Beach, so not on the beach at all. It has a ferris wheel, restaurants, shops, and most importantly an AWESOME pool area. I hate to even call The Oasis a pool, it was MUCH more than that!!!!! The Oasis was a wave pool, kiddie area with slides, and best of all LaZy RiVeR!!!!!!! There was a bar with drinks, beer, etc right there with immediate access to the lazy river. Pepper and Vesper both thought this was the best part too, LOL. We did actually go to the beach one morning and it was very nice. Vesper even took a nap on the beach, LOVE IT.I will not bore you with every little detail of our trip but will share that we were terrified of it being a complete washout. We had rain the first full day and that was it, thank goodness! The one night we went for raw oysters, that particular restaurant sold out the night before but that was okay. We ended up eating some really great food and then for some of us, one place was not so great food, others loved it! It was a great vacation, and Pepper cannot wait to go to the lazy river again. I will do a quick rundown of photos and brief descriptions of each day along with them.On the way, passing time in the car, making funny facesbest face ever, going through tunnel in MobileFirst morning waking up in condo to a smoothie!!!!This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. This was at brunch during the rain. It says so much about how Pepper feels about her Papa, and how her Papa feels about her!!!!Just two pics that HAD to be shared!!!!!This was our first day at the "pool." I think I was telling Pepper to get in the middle of the slide so she would go FASTER!!!! Kyle is the one going down the other slidePepper enjoyed the slidesDaddy with his littlest angel, VesperPepper really enjoyed having a playmate in Kyle this tripGoing down the lazy riverThe must-have group photo at the table eating, LOLThe Three StoogesWatching a movie in the bed as a fam, LOVESecond day at the "pool," we got wise and used Vesper's ring on the lazy riverOne of the best family photos we have ever taken!AWESOME pic of Pepper with her TWe did actually go to the beach tooWhat else does a 10 month old do, but eat sand. . . and sleep?!And of course, we had to bury someoneOur sad attempt at a family photo, thank goodness for the good one from the "pool"[...]



Mother's Day

2010-05-10T21:08:27.493-05:00

Russ is gone this week, so my mom came up to help me out with some stuff here for the weekend. We did literally NOTHING for Mother's Day, and it was so nice!!!!! My dad and brother rode their motorbikes up for the day, mom cooked lunch and we chilled. I did actually remember to get mom to take a pic of me with the girls. I wish I would have remember to put makeup on, LOL. We meant to take one of all the girls together but totally forgot, of course! Hope all of you mommies out there had wonderful days!!!!!





New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

2010-05-02T21:24:19.478-05:00

or just plain Jazz Fest! My parents got myself and the girls tickets to Jazz Fest this year. Cheryl and Jon (my dad's sister and hubby) LOVE them some Jazz Fest too, so came down to go with us this year. We suspected rain, but really thought only a slight shower or two late afternoon, really nothing big. We did go prepared for rain though, especially with the girls. I have MacLaren strollers (if anyone has one, you know how AWESOME they are!!), they come with rainshields. Now I know truly how awesome those things are!!!!!It was a decent cloudy day when we got there, got set up in the field where The Black Crowes would be playing last that day and as soon as we all got comfy and some headed off for beers, it started raining. A slight sprinkle, little bit harder, by the time all got back to our spot, I had Vesper in the stroller all covered up with the rainshield and just trying to hold everything down in the wind. It just started raining harder and harder and harder, thunder, lightening, it was a freakin storm!!!!! We got Pepper in her stroller under the rain shield and just made her stay in there, it was COMPLETELY dry under those things. Vesper needed to sleep and would not give it up, so I had to hold her and rock until she feel asleep. I just bundled up under our neat sheets that Dad and Jon were holding over us.Long story short, we finally decided it was not stopping any time soon and moved on. Luckily, we had a place to move on to. My dad retired from Shell Oil, they have a tent for their employees and retirees with beer, food, tables, restrooms. It was our saving grace!!!!!! It was crowded but we made due and stayed there for pretty much the entire day, HOURS!!!!! Pepper didn't care, they had plenty of beer to keep the adults happy and a bartender that just seemed to be giving them out free to my dad. Needless to say, I didn't drink at all, someone had to stay sober to take care of the girls and drive home!It did let up some, so we decided to venture out. It was fine at this point, just a light sprinkle every now and again. We walked around seeing all the tents and stages, food, people. Pepper had the BEST time ever!!!!!! She danced in every puddle she could find, we were soaking wet so it didn't matter. Pepper is so our music festival child, will take her every year now. Vesper hung in there with the best of them and was completely content most of the day. We made our way back to our spot just as The Black Crowes were starting to play, MY FAV!!!!! Pepper and I danced and sang and had the best time ever. The only thing that would have made it a better day was if Russ had been there with us. He misses everything but comes home tonight, YEA!!!!!Vesper just chilling, before the rainPepper had the CUTEST hat!!!!!Mom and me after the rain, UGHCheryl and Pepper eating some free candy in the Shell tentPepper dancing in the rainmy little hippie!my other lil hippie[...]



6 years and we still like each other

2010-04-17T16:12:22.648-05:00

Today is our wedding anniversary, 6 years of wedded bliss!!!! We do not spend as much time together as we would like, things have changed (for the better) since having children, but we sure do love each other A LOT. We feel super lucky to have found each other and be so committed to our marriage and family. Family truly is one of the most important things to us, and we cannot wait to raise these little angels of ours to be strong women. We really do not spend very much quality time as a family and almost zero as a couple and pretty soon now we will get NONE for a long time but that doesn't get us down. We cherish what time we do get and look forward to all the fun things we have planned these next few months. Making memories is what it is all about. Here is the newest picture we have together, from Easter, pretty funny one too!!!!!! Love you babe!






Hand, Foot, WHATever. . . I am freakin tired!

2010-04-16T05:01:35.341-05:00

So Vesper has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. She didn't sleep one night, had fever, then slept fine but still fever. She also has runny nose and horrible cough. To the doctor we go!!!!! He said her throat looked horrible, it was either HFMD or strep. Strep test came back negative, so GREAT, it is a disease there is no treatment for. He sent us home with instructions to treat the fever and pain and drink plenty of fluids. Vesper has really been fine since the fever is gone, sleeping better and eating great! I haven't noticed any sores on her hands, hoping that doesn't happen, sound disgusting. It is highly contagious, had to cancel all fun for the rest of week and weekend. Missed the FUN tax day bar b q with friends, cancelled 9 month pictures and will miss Parish Party for church!!!!!!!! Pepper also missed swim lessons, was so scared she might have too and didn't want to get anyone else sick.

And now I seem to suffer from insomnia for the first time in my life. I get a LOVE of sleep from my mother's family and obviously the insomnia from my dad. He regularly gets up around 2 am!!!!! He is actually passed out on my sofa right now because he got up about 1 this morning and now has fallen back asleep, GEES!!!! I have not been getting into bed til maybe 11 or so lately (and this is LATE for me!!!!) and then laying awake for a while, wake up maybe 500 times during the night and frequently wake up and cannot go back to sleep. So do anyone of you suffer as well? NEED HELP!!!!!! I am not one to really take meds, so would rather not take sleeping pills. I am here alone with the girls 80% of the time, so need to be easily awaken in emergency situations. I do exercise regularly and eat fairly good, but do have a lot of stress being almost a single mom with ZERO break from the girls. I would appreciate any advice you other moms out there can give, and I know some of you guys must suffer as well.



Easter

2010-04-13T21:59:11.239-05:00

I have GOT to get back into this blogging regularly again, just cannot find the time to sit down. Russ has been gone for about 3 weeks for the military school and has about 3 more weeks. He did come home for Easter for about 24 hours, HA!!!!!! No kidding, less than 24 hours at home, insanity! We took Pepper to see that new dragon movie, church and then his dad's house for lunch and egg hunting. We had a nice time and of course got hardly any pics. I have been soooo bad now that we have 2 kiddos.I did end up going to an orthopedic doc, and he also believes that my injury is IT band syndrome. He prescribed a anti-inflammatory and physical therapy 3 times a week for a month. I am now on my second week of PT and not really seeing much of a diff but gonna stick with the stretching and get this better as soon as possible. I am DYING without running!!!!!!The prescription of PT 3 times a week was terrifying because of the girls. What in the world am I supposed to do with them for an hour 3 times a week???!!!! So I finally buckled down and found a sitter and we LOVE her!!!! She has been great, and Pepper warmed up to her immediately. Thank goodness for a good sitter and hoping to keep her around a while.cuties in the bathI LOVE this pic!!!! At the zoo one day, Pepper walked around holding the side of her dress so prissy the whole timeVesper getting so much biggerPepper being soooo sweet to her baby sister, at Mother's Morning Out egg huntSweet Vesper on Easter Sunday, finally a BOW!!!!!!Pepper RAN for eggs at Pop's house, because there was cash money in the eggs. It was soooo funny!!!!! She was so sweaty in this picture[...]



Race and cute pics

2010-03-16T20:09:48.938-05:00

Sorry the race update is soooo late! I have really been enjoying my Internet break during Lent. Not that I haven't been attempting to keep up with most of you and haven't missed your wonderful comments here, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the free time this break has allowed me to just rest in my thoughts and regain some calm.For those of you that do not know, I (along with my race running buddies aunt Rita, cousin Lori and her husband Jeff) ran the Mardi Gras half marathon at the end of February. About 3 weeks before the race my knee started KILLING me!!!!!!! I self diagnosed my injury as IT band syndrome and took those weeks before the race off from running. I stretched it as much as possible and was just going to run through the pain. I had no idea how debilitating this injury can be! Around mile 4 of the half, I literally could no longer move my left leg, the whole thing was just frozen up in pain!!!!!!! I was in so much pain, I wondered how I was even going to make it to the finish line. Lori and I were running together at this point. I told her to go on, because we were really trying to make a certain time. She reluctantly left me on the sidewalk stretching. I would hobble about a block and then have to stop and stretch more. Finally I stretched it enough where I could at least walk.Here I was WALKING my first half marathon!!!!! I was MAD, sad, pissed at myself, ego bruised, all these emotions at one time. I just wanted to cry as all the runners zipped past me!!!!!!! Maybe a couple miles later I hear my name, turn around and there is Rita! We left her around mile 1, she basically needs a knee replacement but is so addicted to running and race day, that she attempts the races anyway. Boy was I happy to see her! Long story short, we limped across the finish line about 2 hours after my cousins. I did get my medal and take a picture after but will not order it and barely look at that medal. I am still in the moment of disappointment in myself. Guess finishing the next half in my goal time will heal that!I have been rehabbing my IT band myself at home and still have pain, so guess I am headed to a doc soon. Really I need to make sure it is really my IT band and not something more serious. Sooo looking forward to running again and never letting THIS happen again!!!!Here are a couple new, adorable pics of the girls. We are spending as much time as possible outside with friends and family and spending Spring Break this week at my parents house. Russ is gone for about 7 weeks for a school for the Guard, and we are missing him already!just a swangin at Papa and T's houseVesper's first time at the beach[...]



Mardi Gras and beginning of Lent

2010-02-17T19:28:12.564-06:00

The only parade we went to for Mardi Gras this year was Endymion, which is one of my favs. Russ, my dad and brother are all away at work this year, so Mom and I loaded up the girls for some parade fun with the fam. We have been parading at this spot for Endymion since I can remember. Thanks so some great men that sleep there on Friday night to stake our spot and make friends with "neighbors" for our parking and pottys. Love them!As some of you know, I am training for my 3rd half marathon (Mardi Gras halfmarathon on February 28). This weekend I needed to do 9 miles. Running can get very boring if you are alone and running the same routes all the time. I figured a 9 mile run could be very interesting on a parade route in New Orleans. We are very near City Park, so I mapped out a run online Friday night. As soon as we got there and set up, I took off on my 9 miler. It was great!!!!!! I got offered several cookies and many weird looks. Some people even asked me if I realized it was Mardi Gras, like crazy lady, why are you running???!!! It took me nearly 2 hours (SLOOOOOW runner) and made it back to our spot in plenty of time to change, eat and grab a beer or two before the parade. Now just gotta get through a 10 miler this weekend, UGH!We had some great visiting with fam and friends and enjoyed most of the parade. It just started getting TOOOOO cold for Vesper and Pepper was getting tired, so we packed it up to the warm van and waited until we could get out of the parking lot. Blake (my cousin) got some great pics, as always. I am really glad we went in for this parade, since it was are only one of the year.Pepper and BlakePepper and Courtney great series of photosVesper and ErinMommy and her babiesOk, first of all I do realize my text is all of a sudden underlined here, UGH!!!!!!! Apparently I edited Html somehow, LOL. I am too scared to try to fix it and lose my post so just gonna leave it. Sorry, I know it is aggravating.Today is Ash Wednesday, start of Lent. I have really thought long and hard about this season this year. I am going to give up most of my time on Blogger and Facebook. It seems some days I feel as if I am a slave to checking up on every one's profile and blog. Time for a break!!!! Not only am I going to take a break but going to fill that time with some meditation and reading. Lent should be a time of reflection, humbling and penitence. This is what I am truly going for this year. I am also vowing to go to church every single Sunday until Easter. So, I will be missing a bit here for a while. I am going to allow myself about an hour a week to catch up on all of you and post here and there, especially after the half marathon at the end of the month. God Bless![...]



Lent IS a season

2010-02-15T21:55:39.997-06:00

This post will probably be all over the place, as I have just come home from a margarita birthday dinner for a very good friend! First, I would like to express my happiness in having finally found a group of friends that are just R-E-A-L. Thank you Rachel, for introducing me to these women, love u all!!!!!!

I really thought as I entered my 30's I had found a place of great self confidence but loneliness. I was finally in a place of not having to worry about my weight, what my hair looked like or what kind of purse I carried. That was awesome!!!!! But it was also a place of loneliness. We were back in a town (not new) where I really didn't have any "friends." I had no one to call when I was pissed off or upset. I had lived here before but not as a married woman and Mommy. It was all new to me! In my search for a true church home, I stubbled upon the most awesome person and someone who has become a true FRIEND!!!!!!!

She has opened so many doors for me and Pepper, introduced us to so many people. I sat at a table of beautiful women tonight and just thanked God for true friends that are easy to be around, accept you for who you are, and are just real! Tonight was all for Rachel but at the same time was an eye opener for me. When you meet someone that is willing to open their group of friends for you and just be REAL, that is something to hold on to. Happy Birthday Rachel and thanks chickie!

Ok, now for Lent! I am going to limit my time on all my social networks, Facebook and blogging. I am going to only spend an hour a week on both of these combined! So that will probably leave little time for posting blogs. I am thinking I will blog about Mardi Gras tomorrow before Ash Wednesday! I am only doing this in an effort to give more time to meditation and reading during lent. In addition to this (thanks Mary), I am going to vow to not miss a Sunday at church during Lent. Even if this means finding a church at my parents', I will do that! Last year I gave up chocolate (while preggers), this year I am attempting to be a little more repentant and giving, remembering the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

Whether you "celebrate" Lent or not, God Bless you all!



Awards make me happy

2010-02-14T19:48:27.423-06:00

Becca at Made with Love gave me a very sweet award, thanks chickie! Happy 101 sounds like a very easy college course, HA. I am supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and pass it on to 10 bloggie friends that make me happy.


1~Good morning kisses from my Pepperbear
2~Good morning smiles from my Vespermonkey
3~kisses from my hubby
4~reality tv
5~a really good run
6~times that Russ, my dad and brother are all home from work at the same time
7~Holy Eucharist on Sunday
8~chess squares
9~coffee in the morning
10~opening the mailbox and seeing children's clothing catalogs

I will pass this award on to
Destiny
Leahbeth at The Turpin Family
Natalie at One Porkchop



LOVE

2010-02-12T17:20:52.813-06:00

Happy Valentine's Weekend and Mardi Gras to you all!!!!!! These girls are our loves, cannot imagine life without them. We are so thankful they adore and love each other the way they do. Hope you all have wonderful, LOVEly weekends. We are headed out to Endymion, our favorite parade, tomorrow. Russ is away at work this week, so there will be no Valentines for us. We don't really celebrate that big for Valentine's Day anyway. Monday is a very good friend's birthday celebration, super pumped about MaRgArItA's!!!!!








half a year old

2010-02-12T16:21:33.837-06:00

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This post is about a month late. I guess that is what happens for the poor, neglected second child. Vesper is 6 months old already!!!!!!! Here is a short list of what she is doing at 6 months old.

~smiling (toothless)
~laughing, mostly at her sister but also at herself in a mirror
~passing toys from one hand to the other
~"eating" her toes
~cooing and "talking" a lot, especially in her crib in the mornings
~rolling from her belly to back consistently
~rolling from her back to belly every now and again, seems to be extremely LAZY
~sitting with support
~putting weight on legs while supported
~eats about 2-3 jars of food a day and 4 bottles
~LOVES her cloth diapers, ha ha ha

Cannot believe she is halfway to 1 year old, insanity!



Decided. . . for now

2010-02-08T10:17:52.196-06:00

We have news about school for the fall. We decided to apply first to a local church preschool for the fall. We have heard nothing but wonderful things about the teachers and curriculum. I was super worried that there would be a long wait and might not even get in, well I was wrong! Pepper got in, and I feel like there has been a HUGE weight lifted off!!!!!! I am still seriously considering homeschooling the girls but only think that will be a real option when Vesper is a little older. With Russ deploying again in November, it is gonna be hard enough all alone AGAIN, now with two girls. I am trying to not put too many things on my plate at one time. Pepper will be going to "big school" 5 days a week for half days. Vesper will probably be going to a Mother's Morning Out program at that same church 2 days a week. YEA for some decisions made!!!!!

I really do promise to get back into this blog updating full time again VERY SOON!!!!!! My awesome Christmas gift, MacBook Pro, has proved a little difficult for me to learn. I just need to make the time to sit down and learn how to use this thing. I still have all my pictures on the other laptop, which is aggravating to post blogs from there, when I would rather be posting from the Mac. I am going to try to make some time this week, but with Mardi Gras may be difficult.

Also, WHO DAT SAY THEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS???!!!!!! How awesome was that game last night???!!!!! Man, I don't care who you root for, the Saints winning the Super Bowl was an emotional, well needed ride for the city of New Orleans, state of Louisiana and the whole Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. Bless you boys!



delurk for Haiti

2010-01-17T09:56:49.591-06:00

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Just like all of you, Haiti has been on my mind and heart. I read this post yesterday and thought about it since then. Haiti needs our help, the children need our help. Please leave a comment here, on this post. For each comment on this post our family will donate $.50 to Red Cross.


UPDATE: I also post my blogs on my Facebook, so I will also be included any comments on this note on Facebook.




Crazy thoughts again

2010-01-15T10:07:44.752-06:00

I have been throwing around so many new ideas this year so far and the past months. I don't know if I changed as a person (I am sure I have changed some, that is what getting older is all about, right?), "became" a parent, or if ideas that were always there are just now surfacing. Between cloth diapers, composting and now homeschooling, I guess I might as well move my family out of our house and into a tree to live. I kid, I kid!!!!!!

With Pepper starting 3 year old PreK in the fall, we have been looking at our options for schools. Around here, registration starts like NOW. We have several very good private schools in our area and preK entry can get pretty competitive. Now, we are not in a position to afford the tuitions for these great private schools right now, which can get as high as $5,000 to 6,000 a year just for PreK3. Insanity to me! There are a lot of church programs that are much less expensive and have great reputations. We are looking at a few of those, LOL!

In all of this craziness, I have been looking at homeschooling as an option. I am not saying we are ready for this step right now, but it is definitely something we are considering. There are several reasons why homeschooling could be a good fit for our family.

With Russ' work schedule taking him away from the home every other week, homeschooling would allow us to spend more quality time as a family. We could literally have school anywhere and anytime. This would allow us to teach the girls VERY hands on, taking them to actually experience what we are learning without missing school.

I have a VERY hard time with the fact that traditional school calls for children to sit in desks, stand in lines and only do certain subjects for certain amounts of time. This seems so limiting for a children's natural curiosity for learning. Why should they go to school from 8-3, 10 months of the year at such a young age?

As for the socialization aspect that so many people have a problem with, homeschooling allows for interaction with adults and children of all ages, not just children their own age in their class. With as many support groups as are out there now for homeschooling parents, taking classes and field trips with other children is readily available.

I have been reading about Charlotte Mason and her thoughts on schooling. She didn't believe in traditional schooling before the age of 6 and then her ideas are far from traditional. She taught that children should be spending HOURS outside a day, exploring, collecting, cataloging and learning. She liked the idea of reading "living books" to our children, instead of mindless cartoon books, and afterwards having them tell the story back to you. All of this really speaks to me as a parent wanting my child to learn to think for herself, understand what she is learning, and be able to speak intelligently.

Ok, so what are your thoughts, experiences, criticisms on homeschooling? Also, please leave any online resources you may have come across in your own homeschooling journey.

I pRoMiSe to have some cute pics of the girls in the next post!!!!!!!



National De-Lurking Week

2010-01-12T13:50:00.998-06:00

Come out, come out, wherever you are!!!!! I know you guys are there, whether you read all the time, never commented, or always comment. Go ahead, leave me a comment, question, sarcastic remark, whatever floats your boat today, LOL! We all love getting comments on our posts, don't we?! Thank you all for coming by our little blog. I love to "meet" new blog friends!!!!