Saturday, October 23, 2010

Celebrating my Children and.......

I have been reading a book that is hands down, the best "self-help" book that I have ever read. It is called, "My Single Mom Life", & it is by Angela Thomas....a Christian author.

I was at the Christian bookstore nearly two months ago to buy a gift for someone else. I found my gift right away but did some browsing. (Even though I couldn't afford to buy anything.) Funny how we do that. I came across this book, opened to a random page, & knew that I NEEDED to read it. I also knew that one of my closest friends would need to read this as well. So, I called up the library while still outside the store to see if I could check it out for free, instead of dropping the cash. They didn't carry it, but they borrowed it from another library.

I got the book the day before I went out of town for my girl's weekend in NYC. I took the book on the plane & I think I cried 3 times in the first 10 minutes. I figured that the lady sitting next to me would think that I am nuts so I put the book away. It felt like Angela Thomas was writing my story, thoughts, & worries. I wanted to read more but I think that I was worried that I would learn something, if that makes sense.

Bascially, Angela is a single mom. Her husband left & she is raising 4 children. She talks about being a Christian mom, the challenges, the joys, etc. I am pretty sure that this book is going to become like a Bible to me. I have learned many things that I am sure I will cover in future posts, but there was one thing that stuck out to me this week that I could implement immediately & see instant reward & joy from my children. Angela is helping me to become the best mom that I can be & I am so blessed to have found this book.

In life in general, I do not feel as though we "celebrate" enough. Birthdays are once a year, there are few holidays that we make a big production of & we spend so much more of our days filled with stress, worry, financial problems, health issues, etc. We need to celebrate more, & we need to celebrate more with our children. We need to make sure that they know (in THEIR daily life struggles), that we love them unconditionally, home is their safe place, & we will always pay attention to them & "celebrate" them.

Just as Angela mentions in her book, we often give our kids our leftovers, the worst part of us. We work all day, go to functions for the kids, work, or ourselves, we run errands, pay bills, do chores, travel, etc. etc. By the time we sit down with our kids (single parent or not), we are spent. They do not get the best of us. I too many times have told them that I can't play, listen, or spend quality time with them....because I am too tired. Well I am TIRED of saying that! My kids need the best of me. They deserve it & so do I.

So, I happened to notice the date yesterday & it was the 22nd. It was Allyson's half birthday! Brandon's would have been the 15th, but better late than never. I decided that we would celebrate our half birthdays as a new tradition. Why not? No presents, just a special day for just them, that day, & nobody else. Since it was last minute & we already missed Brandon's, we had one celebration this weekend & I will let them both choose their favorite meals this week.

We made cupcakes & they are YUMMY! Coconut cake, vanilla cool whip frosting, & coconut on top. My mouth is watering. Here are a few photos.....


I hope that you enjoyed our party. We dropped a few cupcakes off already & will be taking a few to church tomorrow. I mean, the three of us don't need 18 cupcakes. LOL

This is where I need your help. How do you celebrate your children? What makes them feel special? What is your mommy tip for making life easier?

Have a great rest of the weekend & I can't wait to hear all of your advice & suggestions! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010


I am not sure what brings it on sometimes. I will be having what seems like a "normal" day & then emotions just HIT me. Last night, I was getting ready for bed & somehow started watching Kayleigh's videos. 

I hope that you don't mind taking a trip with me this week as I upload Kayleigh's videos to our family blog & on Facebook. It is sure to be emotional, but that's okay. I love her, I miss her, & I never want to stop feeling & remembering our lives with her. We love you Kayleigh!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our Beach Adventures

Just like my last post, this one should have been done months ago. Sadly, the kids do not love the beach as much as I do. So, there are many days that I had to beg, threaten, or bribe them to go down with me. Most of them time, I don't mind going alone, taking a nap, & enjoying the peace of the crashing waves....but sometimes, I really want them with me more. This particular day was a day that I had to really argue & beg Allyson to go with us. Brandon was excited & he was up for anything. 

We got down to the beach & after about 30-45 minutes we were all getting ants in our suits so I suggested a walk. This is where the real begging (arguing) came into play. Ally, bless her heart, doesn't like any form of exercise very much. Love you Ally! I promised that we would have fun & we DID! Here are a few photos.

Our first interesting find. Dead, but all in one piece. 

Jellyfish - There actually aren't that many around here. 

He was chasing us. This is the biggest live crab I've ever seen on the beach. The picture doesn't do him justice. 

Now, this is when the REAL fun began. When you get to the North end of Wrightsville Beach, the water is very calm, & is much like a little lake. The kids had a wonderfully fun time jumping in, getting out, jumping in again, swimming around, splashing, laughing, & having a blast. This has become a favorite spot for us. I had no idea that my iPhone would take such great action shots. 


I'm not sure if you can tell, but both of the kids are in the first photo. Brandon is in the second & then Allyson is in the third. What fun!

I hope that you enjoyed our field trip. We did.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yogurt Search - The Results.....

Hello Everyone! I has been SOOO long since I have been able to post. I love doing it & have plenty to write about, I just can't seem to find the time to sit still long enough to get it done. I started this blog so that we could look back as a family & be reminded of all of the fun things that we did together. Plus, it is a great way to stay in touch with all of you at the same time. So, I at least try to post on my Facebook page several times a day.

A few months ago (we won't say how many), I asked you all for some yogurt recommendations. The response was overwhelming & we appreciated it so very much. I think I expected that the same brand & flavor would keep coming up, but that is not what happened at all. I am not sure if the exact same flavor AND brand came up twice. LOL So we went out to the grocery store & picked up 10 different selections based on what you all had to say.

I knew going into this that the thought of yogurt makes my throat close up & I feel like I am going to lose my cookies so getting a few toppings was going to be key as well. Why would I put myself through this? Well, I am not a protein lover. I eat meat, but I don't look forward to it. If I ever say, "Let's go out for steak." I REALLY want a steak. I like seafood & can only eat chicken so many times. I need a protein that is fast & I can eat on the go, take to work for lunch, etc. etc. Yogurt seems like a good choice so I really wanted to like it. Did I?

Let's start of with the toppings. I LOVE fruit! I thought that some yummy, sweet fruit would be a good option & even if I hated the yogurt....I still had the fruit. :) We also picked up some granola. Looks yummy, smells yummy, sounds yummy, so it has to be yummy. Years ago I did enjoy eating the parfait from McDonalds & theirs had fruit & granola so this is what I was going for without having to go to their drive through everyday & pick up fries while I was there too. LOL Here were our selections....

If you can't tell from the photo, it is strawberries & blueberries. Yum! So now we need our yogurt. Here are our selections....

Yoplait Whips Chocolate Mousse Style
Chobani Greek Yogurt Vanilla Non-fat
Yoplait Light Fat Free Banana Cream Pie
Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch
Yoplait Light Fat Free Strawberry
Yoplait Light Fat Free Key Lime Pie
Yoplait Delights Parfait Chocolate Raspberry
Light & Fit Vanilla
Light & Fit Pineapple Coconut
Stonyfield Low Fat French Vanilla

We weren't sure what to expect & we didn't want to go into dairy over load so we broke this down into two nights. Besides, it gave us an activity for two nights as a family so it worked out.

We sampled each one - plain, with fruit, with granola, & then with both. Here are our top five results, in order. 

1. Chobani                                                    
2. Whips Mousse                               
3. Stonyfield                                        
    Banana Cream Pie

1. Stonyfield                                                                                     
2. Whips Mousse                                                                        
3. Chobani                                          
4. Banana Cream Pie                            
5. Pineapple/Coconut                            

2. Banana Cream Pie
3. Chobani
4. Stonyfield
5. Whips Mousse        

Here is the short version....

Aimee - I really could only bear the Chobani. I MIGHT in the future be willing to try other Chobani flavors. (loaded with fruit & some granola) Plus, it has the most protein so this is the brand that I wanted to like the most. I haven't eaten yogurt since. 

Allyson - She hasn't eaten yogurt since either. 

Brandon - Actually liked a few yogurt flavors before this test. However, because we did this, he found a new flavor that he picks up nearly every time we are at the grocery store. The Pineapple/Coconut with a little bit of granola. 

We had a ton of fun with this, tried new things, laughed a lot, & really enjoyed the fruit! Thank you all for your suggestions.