Saturday, March 23, 2013

Projects with Parker

If you'll remember, one of my goals for this year is to do a fun monthly project with Parker.  So far, I've managed to keep this up!  In February I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest.  I had visions of making one for us, as well as the four grandparents.  However, three failed attempts before we finally made this one, I said, "Forget it!"  However, I love the end result (pun intended), so much that it is still hanging on the inside of my front door.

This month as I was loading up on Easter basket goodies at The Dollar Tree (my new fave store...everything really is only a dollar!) I spied this little Easter door hanger kit.  I knew Parker would have fun with it!  The only downfall is that the foam wasn't peel and stick, so I had to get the glue out.  Which meant Parker wanted to hold the glue most of the time, but this mommy is a little bit of a control freak and doesn't really like messes, so I won most of those battles!  ;)  Overall, Parker had a lot of fun, which is all that really matters!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Parker's Prayer

Right around Christmas time I  began teaching Parker how to say his bedtime prayers.  I know that there are several pre-existing written prayers that I can probably teach him, but since I was raised Catholic, the only prayers I ever really knew were the ones you recite.  I had a very hard time when I grew up learning how and feeling comfortable about just praying.  So, I'm choosing to "teach" Parker about prayer without the use of those types of prayers (not that there's anything wrong with them). 

The very first time we prayed, I asked him what he wanted to pray about and his response was, "Candy".  So, that night, we prayed about candy.  And by we, I mean I prayed out loud while he listened.  I showed Parker how to put his hands together and when I was finished praying I told him to say, "Amen!".  The next night I asked him what he wanted to pray about and his response was, "Candy".  So, yet again, I prayed about candy!  After a few nights, I suggested that we pray for something other than candy.  He thought this over and said, " Candy Canes".  That night, rather than praying about candy in general, I thanked God for candy canes.

About a week later one of my best friends was able to adopt her foster daughter (Hopefully a blog post about this will come soon!)!  That night I suggested to Parker that we pray for her and her mom.  That was the first time we prayed for actual people.  After that, it was game on!  I would ask Parker who or what he wanted to pray for and he would say someones name.  He has pretty much quit praying about things, which is fine.  I try to make this more about what Parker wants to pray for.  His prayer list typically includes:  Parker, mommy, daddy, Shady, Grams, Braxton, Shannon, Randy, Misty, or Tori. 

After Parker tells me who or what he wants to pray for, we will put our hands together and I pray out loud for those people or things.  When I am finished I say, "Amen!" and then Parker says, "Amen!"

A few nights ago, after he told me who he wanted to pray for, I said, "OK, Parker, you can pray.  I will let you say it."  This is what Parker's first out-loud prayer was:
"Thank you for this day, God.  Bless Parker, Shady, Daddy, Parker, Mommy, Shady, Parker, and Daddy.  Amen!"

It pretty much melted my heart.

Last night I asked him what he wanted to pray about and I got the usual response.  After he told me he wanted to pray for mommy, daddy, and Parker, I said, "OK, you do it."  This is the second out-loud prayer Parker said:

"Thank you God for Mickey Mouse, (as soon as he said this, I'm pretty sure I snorted with laughter because it was so unexpected), Jesus, hair brushes, comb (at this point I am shaking with laughter and covering my mouth so he doesn't hear me and stop), Shady, and the Grammys (can you guess what we had just been watching?).  Amen!"  I quickly composed myself and said, "Good job Parker!  God loves to hear you pray!"

It absolutely topped the charts of the cutest thing I have ever heard him say and I can't wait to hear what he prays about tonight!  Has any one published a book about adorable things children say while praying?  Hmmm....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cotton Ball Bashing

Although I did so horrible with achieving my 2012 goals, I feel like I have hit the ground running for 2013!  I've already worked out three times in the past six days, I have gone through half of my filing cabinet and burned all kinds of paper-work (tax forms from 1996?  Really?!), and, best of all, I did a fun craft project with Parker on Monday!

I had pinned something called "Cotton Ball Bashing" a long time ago, and while browsing through my "Playing With Parker" board the other day for some pinspiration (get it?  Ha, ha!), I saw it and figured we would give it a try.

If you want to do some cotton ball bashing for yourself, it's pretty simple:

  • cotton balls
  • equal parts of water and flour (I did 1 cup of each) mixed together
  • food coloring (optional)

Coat the cotton balls in the water/flour mixture and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Stirring the flour and water.

I asked Parker if he wanted the cotton balls to be a color and his answer was, "Orange!"  That is his favorite color so I was not surprised.

Coating the cotton balls.

"Mama, my hands are dirty."
 Apparently my son takes after me in the I-don't-like-to-get-my-hands-dirty department.  About half way through he began complaining that his hands were dirty and I had to coat the last few cotton balls myself.  Oh well!  After I had all of the cotton balls coated and on the baking sheets, I baked them in the oven.  
After I took them out of the oven I let them cool for a few minutes.
Have you ever seen an orange cotton ball?
Now, this is where the fun part really begins!
Parker was ecstatic when I told handed him his hammer and told him to bang on them!
At least, that's what I thought.  I had expected the cotton balls to kind of shatter.  They did not.  Instead, they sort of bounced back into their shape.  (Wouldn't they do that even if we hadn't done anything to them?)  At first I was letting Parker bash them on the pan, then I decided to see if they would be more fun to bash if I took them off.  Warning:  Do not try to use a spatula.  Just tear them off with your fingers.  It's easier! 
And....they don't do anything!
Since "bashing" the cotton balls wasn't working out so well, I gave him some other tools and told him to go to work!
Once they were off of the pan they were a little bit more fun to play with!
The highlight was when one bounced off the island and landed right in Parker's shoe!  He thought that was awesome!
That smile is the reason I'm looking forward to doing these fun projects with him every month!
While I considered the project to be some what of a bust, it did keep Parker entertained for about three minutes.  Then, he was over it and I had weird looking orange balls all over my kitchen island.  While he was napping I threw them away.  When Parker woke up, he came into the kitchen, looked around, and said, "Mom, where are my meatballs?"  That explains why he tried to eat one of them...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Since it's Wednesday,  I thought I'd link up for:

These are a few of my favorite recent pins:

Source: via Felicia on Pinterest

Source: via Felicia on Pinterest

Happy Pinning, Y'all!

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Goals!

Here's my shiny-new goals for 2013! 
1.       Do a fun craft with Parker every month.  I'm not much of a "crafter" but there are so many fun toddler crafts I see on pinterest.  Parker is a very hands-on type of kid (as I'm sure most are), so I know he would really enjoy doing a neat project every month. 

2.      Take a daily multi-vitamin.  This really shouldn't have to be a goal, but I have a bottle of Vitamin Code vitamins in my pantry that expired in November.  That's how long I've had them.  I'm horrible at remembering to take vitamins, but considering the fact that I'm a mommy, I really should try to take better care of myself.

3.      Wear a bikini this summer.  Don't get me wrong; I've wore a bikini every summer ever since my parents finally allowed me to do so.  Even while I was pregnant (because being pregnant doesn't equal being fat)!  However, I wore a bikini last summer, and really, someone should have stopped me.  Holy cow!  Literally!  So, while I'm not technically saying I'm going to "diet" I do have several plans to help bring my weight down before I hit my all-time high, which, sadly, I'm very close to hitting.  How will I do this?
A.  Do not eat seconds.  (This was so hard to do last night when I made meatloaf and broccoli, cheese and rice casserole).
B.  Do not finish Parker's meal.  (This was so hard to do when he was sick and didn't eat all of his home made lasagna).
C.  Do not drink soda.  I was in denial by telling myself that I only drink one or two Coke's at home.  However, every time we go out to eat (and if you read my last blog post, you can tell we tend to eat out a lot), I order a soda.  No more!  I am now the queen of water or iced tea.
D.  Work out on my wii.  ( I haven't done much of this, but I LOVE doing the Just Dance game and last weekend I bought a Jillian Michaels cardio workout.  )
E.  Have a friendly little weight loss competition with Greg.  (We started keeping track and weighing in right after Christmas...which was dumb considering we always have a big NYE party and then a week later we were going on vacation)  However, I'm proud to say that today is weigh-in day and I'm already down 4 pounds!  Woot!
F.  Eat more fruit.  (Yesterday the box of brownie mix in my pantry was practically screaming my name.  I ignored it and ate a kiwi instead.  Small victories, people!)

4.      Paint all the doors in my house and bunk house.  Sometimes when you do so much remodeling you tend to just say, "eh...screw it!" when it comes to detail items.  But, it's been a year now, and there are several doors in my house that need a coat (probably two) of paint:  my master bedroom door, Greg's closet door, our back door, and if we install a new door for our hall bathroom, that will need to be painted as well.  Also, there are three doors in our bunk house, none of which have been painted. 

5.      Plant sod in my court yard.  Last spring we rocked most of our front yard, but made a "court yard" in the middle with rail road ties.  The idea was to sod it, but we never did, so instead it's a big octagon of weeds and dirt.  It's pretty ugly.  I'm ready to have a nice pretty patch of green!

6.      Read a piece of classic American literature.  Don't ask me why, but I just want too.  And, if I don't accomplish this measly little goal, then someone needs to slap me.  Why?  Because while at a library book sale a few months ago I bought two classics:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.  I read The Catcher in the Rye in high school, and while I remember enjoying it (mainly because it had a lot of curse words, which made me feel like a little bit of a rebel), I don't remember any of the plot.

7.      Go on a Valentine’s date with my husband.  *ahem*  Since VD (the term we lovingly referred to Valentine's Day as when I worked at a florist) is on a Thursday, I would even settle for a day-after date instead.  Anyone want to baby sit?  Mom?

8.      Re-decorate Parker’s room.  Now that Parker is approaching three, I want to give him a proper little boy room.  His nursery has a star theme, and now I'm going to upgrade it to a rock-star theme!  I'm so excited!  In fact, today I even bought some pictures for the walls!  I have visions in my mind of re-doing his entire room on his birthday while he is at day care, so he has a surprise.  We'll see what happens!

9.      Refurbish our living room furniture.  Our coffee table and two end tables are all pieces of furniture Greg had when I met him.  For several years now we have wanted to refurbish them.  However, now that we are trying to make our house look like a beach house, the idea I had pictured for them has changed.  I'd like to paint the two end tables an antique white and then on the drawer and doors, paint a crackle paint with turquoise blue showing in the cracks.  Then, I'd like to paint the coffee table turquoise and distress it. 

10.   Clean out my file cabinet.  This is a task that probably needed to be done a few years ago, but it's one of those "out of sight; out of mind" type of things.  However, with both me and Greg being self-employed, with another business on the horizon (opps, did I just say that?), I think it's time to be a lot more organized, and we need extra filing space!

11.   Organize my kitchen pantry.  It's a little embarrassing right now.  I'm hoping to get some pinspiration real soon!

12.   Become a public notary.  Not only will it be another service I can provide as a Realtor, there are other ways I could use being a notary to make some additional income.  I've toyed with this idea for a few years now and think now is as good a time as ever to become one!

13.   Make a scarf.  Years ago my sister went to some foreign country and bought me some fabric that is a burberry knock off, so I could make a scarf.  However, the scarf has never been made.  I think its been long enough (I can almost see my sister nodding her head!).

14.   Make a facebook page for Texoma Remodeling.  I've been trying (and usually failing) to take before and after pictures of different projects that TR has done.  Now it's time I put those pictures to use! 

15.   Clean my car out at least once a month.  Being a responsible 31 year old woman, I really shouldn't have a car that is always so cluttered.  So, this is my attempt at change (my husband is cheering!).

16.   Have family photos taken by Art and Soul Photography.  I have several amazing talented friends who are photographers.  But there is just something about Art and Soul Photography that I absolutely love, and I have followed her blog for about three or four years now!  I think it's simply that the pictures are always so vibrant and colorful!  I would be proud to hang a family photo on my wall and say it was taken by the amazing Angel Porch.

17.  Yell at Parker less.  I know what you're thinking; HUH?  Before  becoming a mom I knew a mom who constantly yelled at her kids.  I always thought, "I am not going to sound like her when I have a kid".  Now, guess who I sound like?  I feel like since becoming a parent I have lost all patience.  I need to remind myself that the first time I say, "No", I don't have to scream it.  I know that a "no" that is spoken, can still be effective.  I also need to remind myself that I didn't like being yelled at when I was younger, and yelling needs to be reserved for when it's really important or life threatening.

18.  Go to a play.  I have really been having the itch lately to be on stage.  But, since I know that's not going to happen any time soon, this would be the next best thing!
19.  You know.  And although I hate to admit it, this sucker is going to stay on the list every single year until it's done!  I will not give up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Year in Review

I know all three of my readers are on the edge of their seats to hear how my 2012 goals panned out...right?  Well, do not fret, I'm finally posting how horrible I did...
(To read my explanations as to why I wanted to achieve these goals, click here.)

1.  Give my blog a makeover.  Well, if you've been reading this blog for the past year, you are well aware that with the exception of some added bucket list items, things pretty much look the same around here.  One day I did spend about an hour trying to change things up a bit, but it has been so long since I've done anything to the layout that instead I got a headache and said, "forget it"!

2.  Drink more water.  I do think that I am drinking much more water than I was a year ago.  Case in point:  I'm at the office, it's 2:50 P.M. and I just finished the last swing of water from my 24 oz. bottle.  That's good, right?!

3.  Read 10 books. Well.....this one is kind of iffy.  I did read ten books, but I believe I specifically wrote in my explanatory statement that I needed to read ten books that were on my bookshelf.  Here's the list of books I read in 2012:

1.      * Snow Angels…Fern Michaels

2.      *Fairy Tale Weddings …Debbie Macomber

3.      *Hotel Vendome…Danielle Steel

4.      *Southern Lights…Danielle Steel

5.      *The Ghost…Danielle Steel

6.      50 Shades of Gray….E.L. James

7.      50 Shades Darker…E.L. James

8.      50 Shades Free….E.L. James

9.      *Heaven is for Real….Todd Burpo

10.   Water for Elephants….Sara Gruen

11.   The Help…Kathryn Stockett

12.   *Leap of Faith…Danielle Steel

13.   *L.A. Candy…Lauren Conrad

14.   *The Little Prince…Antoine De Saint-Exupery
* Books that were on my bookshelf.
You be the judge!

4.  Get caught up on Parker's baby book.  I am ashamed to say I haven't even cracked the thing open.  Epic fail!
5.  Have a tan.  Score!  I totally did this this year, tan lines and all!  Granted, now they are almost invisible, but I think this summer I will tan a little quicker now that I have a base tan started!  Please keep in mind, I tan very responsibly, with SPF 30!

6.  Take Parker on a fun outing every other monthCheck!  I'm pretty sure I did this!
February-A car ride trip to Colorado!  He got to play with some of his "play group" buddies!
March-A trip to the circus!
April-His 2nd Birthday Party!
June-A trip to the bounce house!
July-A trip to the OKC zoo!
September-A trip to the park!
October-A trip to the pumpkin patch!
December-He was in our community Christmas parade!  We took him to his first movie at a theatre!

Not to mention all the times we went to the beach, had visitors stay with us, went to family members houses for various holidays, etc.!

7.  To only eat out 75 times the entire year.  Lets just say I quit counting some time in March.

8.  Refurbish Parker's rocking chairI haven't done this and I'm totally going to blame Greg!  One day I was all pumped up and ready and even hunted down the wood filler.  I asked Greg if he thought the wood filler would be enough to fix it, but after his inspection he said that it needed a whole wooden piece added at the top.  (I'm sure this would make much more sense if I had a photograph to reference too, and if I knew the names of the parts of a rocking chair!).  Needless to say, making a rocking chair that "works" look pretty is not on the top of Greg's priority list.  And, since he does so much for our family, I haven't pressured him about it, either.

9.  Personalize my home-office space. I have started this!  The main thing I want to do is re-furbish the chair that I use at the desk.  It's an antique and I've had many people gripe at me when I tell them what I want to do to it.  So, a guilty conscience has kept me from having fun with the chair!  I also want to get cuter organization items to place on the desk.  So, what did I do?  Remember this

10.  Learn how to make fork jewelryTo get started I will need Greg's help....which means it hasn't happened!  Also, I haven't bought any materials yet.  Maybe one of these days...

11.  Learn how to crack an egg with one handI seemed to forget that I hate to get my hands dirty.  After a few attempts I gave up.  Perhaps I should have watched a youtube video to see how to actually do it!

12.  Exercise at least four times a weekHa, ha, ha!  I did buy a hula-hoop and used it a lot in January.  Now it just takes up space in my house.
13.  Contribute to our family financially.  Yay!  I actually did this!  Granted, real estate did not pick up as much as I had hoped it would, but at least I contributed!  I also signed up to do BPO's (Broker Price Opinions) which was an option when I sold real estate in OKC but never tapped into it.  All of the BPO's I did did not add up to much, but something is better than nothing!
14.  Find a church to attend regularlyI think this would be easier if I lived in a bigger city.  I would love to find a non-denominational church that has a great youth chapter, but I have yet to find one.  I visited a few different churches, but the services either lasted too long (1.5 to 2 hours!) or they were too far away (45 minutes one way).

15.  Take a wild guessIf you remember what I was talking about, you could probably take another wild guess and say that I didn't accomplish this goal.  You would be correct!  However, I am still pushing forward!  I worked on two of my photo albums this year, and have labeled every single picture I ordered last year!  It's just a matter of the beginning meeting up in the middle with the end!  And yes, I am still the person who actually orders pictures, I don't just keep them on my laptop.  It's probably safe to say I ordered at least 500 pictures last year alone.

16.  Write a will.  Finally!  I can cross an item off the list!  Granted, we just did this the last week in December.  And the fact that we went on vacation, sans Parker, last week was the real motivation.  However, now that Greg and I both have wills, I think that what we really need is a trust.  But, I'm not really sure.  Being a responsible adult is complicated!

17.  Open a Savings Account for Parker.  Oh!  I did this, too!  Funny story:  Parker LOVES suckers!  Our bank usually has suckers that they will hand out.  Well, one of Parker's great Aunt's sent him $20 for Christmas.  I told him if we went to the bank, they would trade him his $20 for a sucker, and he said, OK!  Obviously, as he gets older, I know it will be harder to convince him that he needs to put money in the bank versus purchasing a toy.

18.  Go to a concert. Concerts are expensive and we are trying to live within our means.  Blah!  Luckily, we will be making up for the lack of concert-going this weekend!  I received two free tickets to the Toby Keith concert for this Saturday night.  Granted, I'm not really a big fan, but I'm looking forward to a fun evening with my husband!

19.  Begin working on my Brokers license.  I did not do this, however, I did look into it.  Unfortunately, since my license was in-active for several years, my license has to remain active for another two years before I can begin taking Broker's classes.  With that being said, now I'm not sure if I will ever do it.  If I were still selling real estate in OKC the decision would be a no-brainer.  However, I'm not enjoying selling real estate in this sleepy lake town as much as I enjoyed the fast-paced sales in OKC.  Getting a brokers license in Oklahoma involves a 90 hour course (none of which are provided near-by, so I would have to do this on-line, which I am not excited about), the course is obviously not free, then you have to pay to take the state test.  I have heard rumors that the hours for the brokerage course are about to increase, which does not excite me either.  Basically, I'm not sure I want to invest the time and money into this added credential when I'm not making much money selling real estate in the first place.

20.  Become active in the community.  I'm really hoping that driving around our neighborhood every night in our ranger counts.  Otherwise, this was another goal that I did not achieve.

21.  Learn CPR.  What really irks me is that this is the last item on my list, and yet again, it's something I did not do.  However, I just discovered last month that they offer CPR training classes in Durant, which is a city that is about 45 minutes from where I live.  This is still a life-saving skill I would like to learn, especially as a mother who lives walking distance to a lake.

There you have it!  Don't worry, I'll be posting my goals for 2013 soon.  I have a feeling there will not be as many!