Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Fun Daddy

Last night was a split family night.  We all meet for dinner, then we split.  The boys go home and I take Little Miss to her gymnastics class.  It's a great 45 minutes of absolute MOMMY TIME!  I get to sit and work on whatever I'd like, or simply chat with other moms.  Then gymnastics is over.  Little Miss and I load up and head home to our boys.

The street we live on is pretty long and we live at the very top.  It's not a cul-de-sac, but pretty close to it.  We know which cars drive all the way to the top of the street and which ones will turn.  Basically, I tell you this because...wait for it...we let our kids play in the street.  Ah, the horror of it all!

Anyway, playing in the street is such a small part of my story.  It just happens to be where my boys were as we were driving up the street.  My boys and a few other neighborhood kids.  Steven had organized a baseball game.  When they were tired of that, they had out fishing poles.  Steven had drawn a pond in the street for the kids to cast in.  Eventually, little fish got drawn in as well so the kids could cast and catch the pretend fish.

Not often enough do I take time to thank him for being such a fun, playful dad.  The kids get so excited when he gets home from work.  He thinks of the best games to play, and leaves not one kid out.  Ever.  He makes sure all the kids on our street have the opportunity to play if they want to.  He even worked with our precious neighbor on riding his bike.  He only wanted Mr. Steven to do it.

Steven makes me proud and I just wanted to let the world know.  I know I'm a lucky girl.  I definitely married up.  Now, when I get irritated with him, someone please redirect me to this post.  Sometimes we forget what we have.

Thanks, Babe for being so awesome.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rhea Lana of South Tulsa~Get Your BUY On!!!

A few weeks ago I talked about making money.  Although making money is super fun and important, how you spend it is equally important.  You all know I'm a Dave Ramsey fanatic.  We have a cash envelope for our kids' back to school clothing.  We've been saving for a few months now.  Stashing $20's here and there into the Clothing Fund.  Months later we are ready to spend, but letting go of cash you've saved is a bit hard to do. 

That's why we shop Rhea Lana of South Tulsa.  We get more for our money.  When I get to see the gigantic stack of clothes and the little cash that leaves my envelope, it makes it easy.  Our hard earned money works for us and doesn't slip away so fast.  I can't say the same for retail stores. 

Picture 11

Here's some FAQs and their answers...

Where Do I Go?

Rhea Lana of South Tulsa has one location near 106th and Memorial.  If you can find Chick-fil-a (let's be honest...we all know where those are), then you can find the sale.  It's directly behind Chick-fil-a, and the store front faces the Hampton Inn. 

When Can I Shop?

Sale dates for the general public are August 11-17th.  Click here for specific times.

How Do I Get One of Those Early Shopper Passes?

In all honesty, an early shopper pass is the golden ticket and there are a few ways to go about it.  One way is to volunteer your time.  Go here for more info.  Another way is to bring food to the volunteers and workers.  You can also earn a pass by being a Preggers.  No pillows under the shirt please.  We all can tell! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Monday

Hey, hey, hey!  August begins this week and you know what that means... ARBONNE'S 30 DAYS TO FIT DETOX round 2!

Our first 'clean up' was in April and this is our 2nd go round.  Although I know we won't be absolutely perfect (we have a fun adult only weekend in Dallas in the middle of the month), we are striving for better health always.  Being super strict on our diet and giving our livers a break from, well, junk is welcomed.  It's really not too late for you to join us.  I know it's been on your mind.  You can do this, and you will thank me later for suggesting it for you.

As for my menus, they will look a little bit different beginning August 1st.  Even if you aren't incorporating Arbonne shakes...or Mommy Crack (fizz sticks)...or Craving Curbers (fit chews), you can still clean up your eating and reap some benefits.

Here's my menu...

Monday-BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Watermelon, Broccoli and Cheese
Tuesday-Whole Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Cheesy Biscuits
Wednesday-Enchilada Lasagna, Salad, Watermelon (we have a ton!)
Thursday-Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Tacos, Chips and Homemade Guacamole/Salsa
Friday-Turkey Burgers served on Lettuce, Sweet Potato Fries, Zucchini Tots (omit cheese and use brown rice bread crumb...made from home)
Saturday-Rice Cakes topped with Almond Butter/Strawberries, Greens Salad with EVOO and freshly squeezed lime, cracked pepper and sea salt, Berry Salad
Sunday-Dinner @ Mom's (thankful for a detoxin' Mama!)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bickering and Whining

Every parent knows that nothing gets under your skin more than listening to your own child's whining and bickering.  It's straight up annoying.

A few months ago a friend of mine posted about using marbles in a jar for her kids.  It reminded me of when I was teaching.  Basically, you had two jars.  One was full of marbles and the other one started out empty.  Whenever the class as a whole would do something positive or presented the desired behavior you were looking for, you dropped a few marbles in the empty glass jar.  When the 'positive' jar was all filled and the original jar was empty, the kids got to pick from a list of reward activities.  It was a great tool for a lot of teachers, but it was one more thing for me to consistently stay on top of.  My teaching style and personality didn't fit well with the marble jar and a whole class setting.

Now that I am a parent and just have two big kids who can understand the purpose of the marble jar, it is perfect for my personality.  The rules for our house marbles are as follows:

  • You earn marbles for doing what is expected of you without being asked (i.e. getting yourself dressed, brushing your teeth, making your bed, putting away your toys/clothes, picking your plate up off the table when finished, setting the table for dinner, etc)
  • You earn even more marbles for going beyond expectations (i.e. helping one another, mowing the yard, picking the weeds, showing kindness when others are being ugly to you, etc)
  • You get marbles taken away when you whine about chores or when being asked to do something, when you show ugliness to each other, when you do not complete what is expected of you. 
So far our jar has worked out very well.  Little Man and Little Miss chose Incredible Pizza as their reward treat.  Within a week's time, the kids are already halfway to their goal.  Managing the marble jar with just two big kids is a whole lot easier than managing a marble jar for 25 big kids.

P.S. The Rhea Lana of South Tulsa sale is fast approaching.  Be sure to stay in the loop by liking their FB page and checking out my blog post here for details!  I know on my to-do list this weekend is to go through all the toys inside and outside of the house, and the kids' closets!  Looking to make the most $$$.  

Plus, I am working on my referral list.  I would love to make 80% on my sales.  You can to!  All you need is 5 people who cosign with at least 15 items.  Three people with 15 items gets you 75% of your profits.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chubby Cheekers~17 Month Edition


It's Chubby Cheekers time!  It's hard to believe that next month I'll be the ripe old age of a year and a half.  I've accomplished so much already.  I'm a ladies man, proficient climber, runner, and all around a good guy.  

My newest fascination is Mommy's and Sissy's hair accessories.  I find bows and ties and clips and headbands all so exciting.  Not to mention they really accent my long blond curly cues.  Mommy refuses to cut my hair, but Daddy says it's getting too long.  I prefer the mullet look, but we'll see who wins out.  Daddy mentioned something about being 'Head of the House' and blah, blah, blah, so I think he'll win out.  All I know is I hope there is something left on the back because I love the party going on behind me.  Of course, it will be all business in the front.  

Last week Mommy and Daddy had a stomach bug for a day or two.  Although I felt bad for them being laid out on the floor, I took full advantage of exploring opportunities.  I am so sneaky that I was able to push the bar stools over to the counter, climb up, get into the cabinet above the counter, find the candy jar, and help myself to not one, but two delicious suckers.  Once Mommy and Daddy figured out what was going on, it was too late.  I was already sticky and cute and adorable.  I didn't even get the Mommy Look.  Secretly, I think she was impressed with my determination.

My family has had a lot of fun things planned this summer.  At my church  we got to go to the party out back and Daddy shared with me and my special lady friend his favorite kind of popcorn.  I secretly have a crush on my lady friend, but I'm think she uses that to her advantage.  See if you can figure out what's she's trying to pull...

First, she locks me in with those big beautiful eyes.

Then, she reaches in on MY popcorn maintaining that adorable, but innocent look.  It's okay.  She's still my girl.

Then she does it again.  I see her trying to lock glances, but I'm like, "Oh no, girl! No more for you.  I'll stick with my MOMMY for a main squeeze!"

That was my first date night.  It didn't go so well.  Maybe next time I'll lock glances with her, but keep my snackies at a good distance.  After all she is a cutie pie just like me.

Chubby Cheekers

Monday, July 22, 2013

Menu Monday

When I pause.  When I take a moment.  When I stop and take it in, I see it.  I see time that I cannot stop.  I see life changing.  I look at my husband and see gray hairs that definitely weren't there 16 years ago.  I stroke Little Miss' hand as I sing her bedtime song, and it's not a baby hand anymore.  Chubby Cheekers climbs and talks, and I see he's not an infant anymore.  Little Man makes his own breakfast in the morning, and I know it's the beginning of his independence from me.  I'm going to be real honest, I love the stages of my kids lives, but I mourn what has passed.

{My best attempt of photog-ing the offspring}

This past week I have done a lot of reflection.  Have I used the time with my kids wisely?  Have I focused my energy on what's truly important?  Did I listen to what was important to them?  Did I make them feel important?  Am I helping them grow the spirit within them that God gave them?  Am I helping them realize their purpose?

Can you see my head has been spinning?  I'm thankful for times of reflection and change.  I never want to be settled in my relationship with my husband or children.  So pardon me as I figure these things out and spew my thoughts on this blog.  I know you are all so thankful for my newest level of craziness so you can feel more of a normalcy in your own life.  I get why you come.  It's okay.

For those of you who are already over my deep thoughts, here's my menu...

Monday-Enchilada Lasagna and Corn on the Cob
Tuesday-Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad, Honey Buttered Biscuits
Wednesday-Baked Fajitas and Salad
Thursday-Hamburgers, Chips and Salsa
Friday-Oven Baked Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Saturday-Sandwiches, Salad, Chicken Noodle Soup
Sunday-DATE NIGHT!!!! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rhea Lana of South Tulsa~CONSIGN NOW!!!

Back to school is around the corner and I know what most of you are thinking. 

Money, $$$,'s going to cost a fortune.

Well, what if you flipped that state of mind?

Money, $$$, cash...I'm going to make some!

Picture 6

It's time to empty those toy bins and closets to turn your unwanteds to cash!  Get yourself prepared for back to school time and line your pockets with easy money by consigning with Rhea Lana of South Tulsa.

As a consignor you will be relieved to know the following:
  • Rhea Lana of South Tulsa gaurantees the items you tag in store.  That was a big selling point for me. If for some reason an item gets lost or stolen, you are gauranteed to be paid for that item.  You can trust that your items are safe while at the sale.
  • Only high quality items are allowed in the sale.  No clothing that smells of smoke, stained, or holey makes it into the sale.  Therefore, higher end shoppers love this sale and buys your stuff!
  • You have access to LIVE sales through the website or app.  Basically, you get to know what you are making at any given point during the sale.
  • Consignors pay a low $8 fee (taken out of your check), and make 70% of your sale price.  If you want more back, check here on how to do that!
  • You get your check on pick up day.  No waiting around for it to be mailed to your house.  That's instant gratification!
  • If you should choose to volunteer and meet new mommies, click here.  Maybe I should mention that you will walk out away with new friends AND $10 in Rhea Lana Bucks to be used at the sale!!!
Now that you have the fire lit under you to make some money, here's the info on how to make the most money for yourself.  If you are looking for the biggest bucks go straight for your kids' toys.  Those are always the first to sell.  Don't be afraid to discount them to half price.  If, for some reason, they don't sell immediately at full price, they will sell first on half price day.  Plus, you don't want that stuff coming back in your house, right?  After all, you just cleared it out.

Okay, you're done sorting through the toys.  Now, it's time to go big.  Strollers, pack-n-plays, bassinetts, car seats, exersaucers, play mats, furniture, it all sells fast!  There's no better way to make room in your house than ridding it of big items.  You'll also be thankful to have the space and make money off your big ticket item. 

Gently used clothing and shoes do well too!  Get to sorting items by size and gender. 

Who knew making money could be so simple?  Not to mention you can turn around the shop the sale later on for even better savings on back to school clothes and shoes.  We may be doing uniforms this year, but guess what??? Rhea Lana of South Tulsa will have a uniform rack!  Be on the lookout for that one...or not.  Better save that rack for me :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Did you do your homework?  Did you watch the video from If not, hopefully it's not too late to log on and watch.  It's a must.  Have your tissues on hand and your mind prepared for some harsh reality. I thought I was prepared to have some heart strings pulled.  What I wasn't prepared for was the thoughts that have consumed me daily since watching.

The whole message was focused on the movie The Impossible.  Here's a little trailer for the movie...

I never even knew this movie was even out there, but I now want to watch the entire thing.  This family intrigues me so much it has me evaluating how we are raising our children.

The couple in the film was vacationing in one of the most beautiful places in the world with their three sons when the tsunami hit.  I can't imagine the fear that strikes you when you know there is nothing you can do to protect your children.  The force of the water will rip your babies right out of your arms.  You sit and watch and are powerless.  In times like that I am thankful we serve a greater God.  Greater than circumstances. Greater the enemy.  Greater is He.

Beyond the thankfulness, I also cannot get out of my head what this family did to help others.  There is a scene where the mom and oldest son find each other.  The mom is terrible need of medical attention and the son is concerned to get her the help she needs.  However, they hear the cry of a young child.  Long story short, the mom convinces the son they must help even if it's the last thing they do.  I get that.  I would have done the same.  How could I not help the helpless?  After all, I would want someone to do the same for my other two children I have yet to find.  I would want my child and I to help.  For my child to see me help in a time where I know he is safe.

What I cannot comprehend is the later scene from the hospital.  The mom is getting the attention she needs in the best way the medical professionals can in a mass destruction situation.  When she wakes, she asks her boy to go out and help the other people.  Whoa!  I was appalled of the thought of asking Little Man to separate himself from me in a natural disaster situation.  To ask him to go help and see devastation that I feel his little mind is not ready for.  What if I lost him in the chaos?  What if he was taken?  What if I never saw him again because of something I asked him to do?

Then it hit me.  Would I allow my fears to keep him from serving outside of me?  Is that something I would really be asked to do?  What do I truly serve...God, or my fears?  It's a lot for me to think about.  As a parent we look to protect and teach, but where is the balance in this.  I want my children to serve and know there are greater needs out there, but I want them to be safe.  I want them to help those who need help, but not at the risk of losing them. So that, my friends, it what I am currently searching for.  I am searching for balance in my parenting.  Balancing between my job as a protector and my job as a teacher.  

What are some things your family does to teach your children to serve?  What does that look like for you?  How do you keep the fears down when stepping outside your comfort zone in regards to your children?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Menu Tuesday and Some Homework

Did you catch there was no menu yesterday?  We just got back in town from Dallas and Steven took off an extra day.  I used it as a catch up day.  He used it as a day to play with kids.

I apologize for being a day late...and a shotty menu.

Monday-Dijon Crumb Coated Chicken, Roasted Green Beans with Almond Slivers, Cheesy Biscuits
Tuesday-Pizza Bread and Garden Salad
Wednesday-Veggie Loaded Spaghetti, French Bread with Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce
Thursday-Loaded Sweet Potatoes, Spinach Strawberry Salad, Grilled Chicken
Friday-Out for Dinner
Saturday-Sandwiches, Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Sunday-Dinner at Mom's

One reason I love my town is the numerous churches around that all serve different purposes.  Our church is a perfect fit for our family.  We love it.  Our kids love it.  However, our church is not my focus today.  I know most of you are shocked.  I am a Church on the Move superfan.

My sister-in-law and numerous other friends attend  It is an another amazing church.  This month they are doing their summer series called At the Movies.  Steven and I attend one every year.

Since our crazy summer schedule, we haven't made it into the actual church, but I caught one online yesterday.  Tomorrow's post will be all about it.  Please go to When you get there look in the top right hand corner.  If it says 'Live Now', click it.  If not, it will show you when the next service shows. Tomorrow I will reference the service.  You don't want to be lost do you?  You will want to know what I'm talking about, right?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Family Field Trip Part II

Our main purpose for traveling up I-44 last weekend was not to reminisce of old times.  It was to visit my grandparents.  My grandma just got herself set up in an upscale apartment, and my grandpa was accepted into the VA in Mt. Vernon, MO.  I have so many good memories of my grandparents and I love that the kids know Mimi and Great-Grandpa.

Mimi showed off the kids to all her new friends and gave us a tour of her new place.  I have to say I was quite impressed with the restaurant and activities she has right there on site.  Not to mention the beauty of the place.

When it was time to visit my grandpa, he treated all of us to ice cream.  Of course, the kids LOVED that.  I have some pretty special grandparents.  They have really set a great example of how to manage money, but erring on the side of giving to others all the time.  I wish everybody had the opportunity to experience grandparents like mine.

Aside from visiting my grandparents, we also took advantage of Springfield, MO wonderful parks.  Our usual spot is a giant rock climbing, running trail, pond with ducks, and playground a couple of miles from the house.  This time we visited Wilson-Rutledge City Farm Park.  It is completely run by Springfield's Parks Department.  It is one of a kind and a HUGE hit with the kids.  They are already asking to go back.

My baby with the baby goats.  I think he liked them.  A lot.

Climbing fences are a must.  Even if it says, "Do not climb the fence."

One of these days I will get a perfect picture of those 3!

This is how you milk a cow, right?  We actually have dairy farmers in our family and I am quite certain they would shake their heads looking at this photo.

Needless to say, if you are ever in Springfield, MO this is the place to be.  The highlight of the trip was watching the gigantic sow poop.  Yes, you read that right.  My highly educated and mature family watched the pig poop.  We laughed, said, "ewww", and almost took a picture of it.  Glad I didn't get that one, huh?

Enjoy your Friday!!!  See you next week.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Field Trip

I-44 seems to be the interstate of choice for our family.  Kind of a no brainer utilizing that interstate when almost all of our extended family lives in either Springfield, MO, St. Louis, MO, or Chicago, IL.

Almost always Steven and I have the same conversation about an hour and fifteen minutes into our drive.  It goes like this...

ME: Hey, Honey?
ME:  You wanna take a tour of your favorite place?
STEVEN:  Nope.  Why would I want to visit that hell hole?
ME:  (laughing)  Just thought I'd ask.

About 15 years prior we took that exit full of hope and a little sadness.  He was going to his first ever college football experience at NEO (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College).  It was a sad time for us in our relationship, but an even harder time sports wise.  Usually, 'hell hole' doesn't fit in our vocabulary, but that is exactly what that place was for him.  No family other than his brother, nasty food, nasty dorms, nasty girls throwing themselves at future NFL prospects, coaches that use curse words like while talking about the local weather.  It wasn't a good place.  

So you can imagine my amazement when I struck up our usual conversation about taking exit 313, and Steven said, "Yeah, let's do it."  I about choked on my own saliva, but there we were driving down the road to his old stomping grounds.  

He actually really enjoyed going back.  He loved showing Little Man his locker room, practice field, game field, and old dorm.  Most of those places have been redone with the exception of the dorms.  I'll let Little Man's words be known to you when he walked into his Daddy's old room, "Daddy, this is NOT a nice place."  I didn't even go in.  I knew what nastiness resided in there.  EWWWW!  Not to mention I was afraid Chubby Cheekers would touch something and contract a non-curable disease.  As for Little Miss, she was too taken by the fountains to know anything else was going on.  We hung out there waiting for the boys.

All in all, we are glad we stopped.  It allowed us to reflect on how far we've come since 1998.  Please also note the adorable photo bomber in the bottom corner.  Picture compliments of Little Man. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Menu Monday

We hit the road for a few days and returned home just in time for the week to begin again.  My menus have been a mess.  Impromtu dinners with family left me shuffling items here and there, but it all worked out.  Unfortunately for you, there are some repeats and some open spots.

Monday-Grilled Chicken and Peppers with Brown Rice
Tuesday-Taco Soup, Salad, and Cornbread
Wednesday-Chipotle Sweet Potato Skins and Green Beans
Thursday-Baked Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Salad
Friday-Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole and Honey Buttered Biscuits

I actually know what we'll be eating on Saturday and Sunday, but I'll leave some suspense.  Suspense?  In a menu?  Aye, aye, aye!  I need a life :)  Nah, I've got a pretty good one here with these guys.

Tommorrow I'll share all about our weekend adventures.  We took a little trip down memory lane, visited my grandparents, and introduced our little city slickers to farm life.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our Big Secret

Last August Steven and I made a decision that would impact our family greatly.  It has been something that I have mentioned a few times that we were saving for, but I wasn't ready to share until I had a good story to tell.  For the most part, our story has come to an end and I'm ready to share how one big decision made from uncertainty has turned to a story with answers.

Shortly after Little Man began Kindergarten, we decided it would be his last year in public school.  We did not have a negative experience in public school (we loved his teacher), but we both wanted something a bit different for our children.  Public school wasn't going to get us what we were looking for.  I bet you're wondering if I am homeschooling.  I'm not.  So that leaves us with one other option.  Private school.  Little Man and Little Miss will be attending private school this Fall.

Your next question...How are they going to afford that?  I love that question.  We wondered the same thing last August when we made the decision.  Almost a year later, I have an answer for you.  Back in August I just had a plan and a whole lot of faith.  I love how God works.

So many events have taken place after we made the decision to send our kids to a specific school.  I want you to know that sometimes you take the leap first.  Our desire for the kids to go to the school we chose is for them to fully understand that when you are submissive to God's plan, you will be the most successful.  The Creator of your life will guide you to His plan, and His plan is a plan for success and making a difference for greater good.

After our leap, so many things began to happen that still blow my socks off.  Without going on and on and on, I'll give you the cliff notes version.
  • We were introduced to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  This program did not increase our funds, but it did teach us to monitor every single dollar coming in and going out.  It gave us the discipline to save more. 
  • We received a larger than normal tax refund.  We put that directly into savings.  Keeping our eye on the prize. 
  • Steven's boss took another job, opening up his position to Steven.  He has not been hired for the job, but is currently in the acting role.  This brings in additional money we were not counting on.  All of that has gone to savings.
  • I said yes to network marketing.  I am so glad I did.  This month alone, I will be able to save an additional $1,000. 
All of these extras blessings we never saw coming have been amazing to look back on.  Not only are we prepaying for this year's tuition, but we already have a great headstart on next year's tuition.  I tell you this not for bragging purposes, but to encourage you.  Maybe there is an area in your life that you know needs a change.  Maybe you're wondering how it will be done.  You can commit to the change and trust God will see you through.  If I have learned anything since quitting my job as a teacher 5 year ago, it's this.  God is faithful.  He will not lead you down a path to fail.  He leads you to success.  It stretches you in ways that are uncomfortable, but in the end you look at the road you've traveled and you can't believe it.  What you thought was bumpy and windy, was actually the road to your success.  You hopped over those bumps and took the turns to find a you were being led to the most glorious place.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Menu Monday

Oklahoma has always had my heart.  There are so many things I love about my great state.  For one thing, the weather is always changing.  This week alone we should be experiencing upper 90's and some 100's.  Instead we're looking at upper 50's for the lows and 80's for the highs.  Hello, Oklahoma!  I love you.

Here's our menu for the week...

Monday-Blackened Chicken Salad, Honey Buttered Biscuits
Tuesday-Lentil Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Wednesday-Key West Grilled Chicken, Grilled Peppers, and Brown Rice
Thursday-HAPPY 4th!  Family Cookout
Friday-Dinner with the Hunley's and Frey's
Saturday-Visiting Grandparents
Sunday-Sandwiches, Raw Veggies, and Fruit