About Me

Texas, United States
I am a stay at home Mom from Oregon who has landed in Texas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Finishing November

November is almost over and I just can't believe it. For our Thanksgiving meal we went over to our friends, the Taylor's. It was nice and restful. The kids played good with minimal meltdowns, I held their beautiful new baby boy as much as possible, we chatted, we watched a bit of Wall-E (which looks cute and hilarious), and I had my first Coke in almost 2 weeks! Thanks guys for such a nice afternoon!

We have been trying to talk constantly about being thankful with the kids. Letting them know that this time of year we need to be extra grateful for the things we have and praying for those that have nothing. For some reason Thanksgiving, the actual holiday, hasn't seemed as special lately, and I attribute that to not having a bunch of family around, but we are trying to make it meaningful and not just about food and football! Though those two things will be a part of every Thanksgiving from here until the end of time in the Bowers house!

I am grateful for all that we have. Especially each other. That is one thing I am learning more and more every day. That these people here with me in my home, my wonderful Keith and my two precious monkeys, they are some of the few that will always love me, no matter what. They will always be by my side, and care about my well being and I in turn will always care about them. I am so grateful for my little family!





Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thoughts

1. My kids are really turning on the cute lately. That's not to say we haven't had our fair share of toddler dramatics, but I just love the sweet little things they have been doing. A few examples are:
a) Brady constantly telling me "You are da best"
b) Natalie offering to sing bedtime songs to Brady when I just can't break away from work.
c) Natalie rubbing Brady's legs when she is singing to him, due to his growing pains.
d) The kids "jazzing up" Twinkle Twinkle in the car on the way home from church. My Mom knows what that means, but for everyone else that basically means singing it kinda choppy and snapping your fingers. I will try and get this on video, it is hilarious.

2. I saw the drive through Subway on my way home from picking up Natalie today. A good find, but not for the pocketbook. We are gonna have to try that out sometime soon!

3. Blogger is not emailing me comments, not that I get very many, but that makes the few I get so very precious. And I almost missed some! Stinkin blogger blips!

4. Paying your tithing works. I tell ya. I don't ever really write about churchy things on here, but this week Keith and I were shown just how the Lord will provide when you think you don't have enough, when you really DON'T have enough. If you pay your tithing first it will all work out. There WILL be enough.

5. I have not had ANY sort of soda/bubbly deliciousness since last Saturday. I am really, really, REALLY wanting some. I am not trying to cut it completely out of my life, but for some reason I just haven't had any this last week and I am pretty impressed!

6. Though the darkness is kind of annoying, the cooler weather is oh so very nice. I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week! The year always, always ZOOMS by after Halloween, and this year is no different. I can't believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone, and I just know before we know it Christmas will be upon us!

P.S. For the family: I promise to post some pictures soon, I just haven't really taken any recently, but I will get right on that!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Craziness

Keith and I are just weirding out over here over the fact that it is PITCH BLACK outside and it is 6 o'clock. Kinda creepy. It's one of the downsides of winter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Finally!

Here are Keith's graduation announcements. We didn't order enough to go around, and now we are too poor to get more! LOL! Anywho, Keith came up with the idea pretty much on his own, and I think it really shows his type of funny. We were so concerned sending these out if everyone would get that is is supposed to be funny. Luckily most people are getting it!

Front Cover










Inside pages

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Erin...

...who requested more videos. I took these before I realized that one of my unmentionables is RIGHT THERE on the bed. Ignore it and enjoy the sweetness.
video

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Pretties

Sometimes at work I get lucky to have a slow-ish night and I get to browse the Internets for pretty things. And of course since it is Christmas time there are an abundance of pretty things out there! Here are are a few things that are on my dream wish list this season.

Anthropologie has some really cute monogram stuff here. I especially love these plates and these little ornaments. Oh and their kitchen stuff is to die for! So pretty and whimsical.

I have also been long time drooling over Lisa Leonard Designs handmade jewelry. Her things are so so pretty, and she makes each and every one. Precious! I really like three of them and am completely torn as to my favorite. I am leaning towards the tiny solid circles, with a "K", "N" and "B" of course!

And of course Target has out their Christmas home decorating things. There whole line of Be Merry stuff is adorable. I am in love, love, love with the blue snowflake serving dishes. Of course, not that I need a whole set of special Christmas dishes, but DANG they are cute! But, you can always use another tray or serving bowl, right? Right.

I also really love the Dots collection. Look at these tumblers, and these fun plates. And man! I just found these. These little trays are adorable and only available online. Sad! That means I can't admire them in the store.

Super cute stuff, and so much more out there! Happy window shopping!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Imitation Bento

Due to the fact that Natalie gets out of school at 1 2 days a week, it really pushes lunch to an awkward time,and throwing off the other days of the week. It was causing me to get fast food way too often and we wouldn't get down for naps until 2:30 or sometimes later. I finally had a light bulb moment and began packing Natalie a little lunch that she can eat in the car, without making a mess in my car, which is very important to me, I am just a freak that way!

I fell in love with bento lunches sometime when I was really involved with swaps. I love how neat they are, and I also love how creative you can get with them! My favorite site is here. This woman makes some amazing bento! Now, I am just not in a place where I can take the time to make little works of art for Natalie, and seeing as how she is still good with a pb&j minus the j for lunch I am off the hook. But I have started making her a somewhat bento lunch, though not nearly as beautiful or creative as these, mine still count as an Americanized bento. Anywho, it's fun! And Natalie loves opening up her lunch after school to see what treats I have packed. Plus it has saved me so much money, and you gotta love that!

Anywho here is a picture of one of Natalie's lunches. Since I have no real bento boxes, and no good stores around here that I have found that carry them I use these divided rubbermaid containers that work really great. I also use cupcake liners to help keep the foods separate. I want to get some silicone ones, so that I can wash and reuse them, plus they won't get soggy from wet foods, so the amount of things I can pack in her lunches grows.
So, I am not sure what the point of this post is other than to record something I am having fun doing, and maybe give some of you ideas for making lunches more fun!

Old News

I just paid $17.71 to fill up my tank. I know this has all been said before, but DANG GINA! That is cheap! That was $1.83 a gallon. When little over a month ago (maybe less?) we were paying $40 to fill up the car. I like these prices. Now if only they will stay low!

Playing

This was the fun activity of the weekend. And a round and round and round they go!

video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Longest Post Ever

I have just been too lazy to post about last weekend, because, well...it tired me out! And I know this post is going to be HUGE, so just back away now! We had so much fun, and I am so glad we went. The ride down was probably the easiest part of the whole trip, LOL! We were stocked up with books on CD, snacks, toys, and raring and ready to go. It only took us about 4 and a half hours including a stop for a picnic in the car mid way down. And not one single fight. I am not sure how that happened, but they must have been saving up, because they bickered the whole time at Jenny's.

Buckled up and ready to go.

Pit Stop!


The kids started playing right away, and after a little bit of chatting and catching up we headed out shopping! We did a lot of shopping to try and fill up some of the empty space in Jenny's house, and that was fun, it gave us something to do. Plus, I love to shop, especially for home stuff. I totally have the home decorating fever now! We had some good success and a lot of fun browsing. But after a few stores it was evident that the lack of a long nap in the car was now showing in my kids. They were exhausted, that is what happens when you fall asleep 40 minutes before Houston traffic, and then you wake up with all the starting and stopping!

Anywho, then back home for the normal boring stuff, dinner, playing, bath time, bed time. I was so scared for bedtime, but the kids handled it pretty well. We had our very own room, which was awesome (thank Jenny!) and the kids had their little sleeping bags and special blankets and sleeping things, which helped so much. After Momma singing a bunch of songs, both kids PASSED OUT. They were so tired and understandably so, after quite a day! And then Jenny and I headed back out for more shopping! LOL! We went to Wal Mart and basically cleaned out the store. I had so much fun just giggling and goofing off at the store. Plus we found some super cute and inexpensive stuff, including a large trash can that we had to roll all over the store...

Day 2: It was warm, like hot warm, and I have to say I was a bit disgusted. We were going to go to the beach, but we nixed that and headed out for...more shopping! I just think that is too funny! But Jenny introduced me to a store that I had never been too, Garden Ridge, and it was really neat. Yet another place where you could spend a fortune in a blink of an eye. Then we headed back for naps, and hanging out. That night we splurged and went to I HOP for dinner, LOL, and it was yummy! And it was also

I have to say I am pretty pleased with how the kids played so well. There, of course, were squabbles, mostly between Brady and David, who mostly had power struggles I think. But Natalie and Stevie played so well it blew my mind. Of course, Natalie's attitude had to make some cameo appearances, but they were probably more annoying to me than anyone because I can recognize when she is getting extra snippy or when she is just being her own feisty self. Plus I think anytime you are at someone elses home you are harder on your kids that you are at your own place because you don't know what will be annoying to your host! So, at the end of the day we had lots of cuddling and talking and I think that made any hard feelings just float away. After the kids were all tucked in bed and sleeping away we adults settled in for some laughs with My Name is Earl on DVD. That is one funny show.

The last day, Saturday, we headed off to the beach. I have never seen the Gulf of Mexico and I have to say I was probably more excited than the kids. I love, love, love the water. And it has been far too long since I have seen a large body of it. I hope one day we will leave near the ocean, but that is a whole different story! Anywho, it was pretty cool and sad to see how run down Galveston looked. Steven said that most of the debris is cleaned up, but I would describe it as looking like we were in the bad part of town, except that we weren't. And yes, there were boats on the side of the road, that was craziness. The kids were amazed. And then BAM there it was. The water! Yay! We got out and tried not to get blown away by the wind, much better normal November temperatures today, and we headed out for a walk on one of the crusty old pier things, and then headed down to the sand to collect shells. We found a TON of sand dollars and little shells. And we practically had the whole beach to ourselves. It was a nice little outing to end our weekend.

Forgot to change the settings on my computer so the pictures are all sun bleached, until I realized!

so cute!


After that we headed back to pack up and get our butts on the road. It was a good weekend, not too long, and not too short. We didn't want to overstay our welcome! So the kids and I packed up and headed out to one last lunch out (at Panda Express, kids choice! Oh and the large drink and Panda is LARGE, I mean HUGE beyond huge!) and then to the store for one special toy to help keep them occupied on the ride home. We were on the road by 2...

We got home at 9 p.m.! Holy Cow! It was the longest ride ever, I tell you what! We made it without incident through Houston, but then Momma had to go to the bathroom and Brady informed me that he pooped, so thank heavens we had an out! Jason lives in Conroe so we gave him a call and he was super awesome and let us stop by for a little visit. That was so nice and so much better than a rest area. Plus the kids played Rockband, and that was hilarious! Natalie was getting really into it and playing with her hands crossed over, oh man, Jason and I were cracking up. Oh, and I just have to say the he has the NICEST apartment, and the nicest location too, for only 20 bucks more than we pay. I am officially jealous of their bachelor pad!

So around 4 we headed off again. Those next five hours were brutal. I have no idea why. Well, I have some idea why. Brady kept rolling down his window, which made it super loud and cold in the back seat. So I had to pull over, get out, and roll it back up. That was the MOST annoying the whole wide world. Brady is pretty much lucky he made it home alive. Especially when two of my choices of places to pull over didn't have an easy on ramp back to the freeway so we were stuck taking the scenic route a few times.

And we stopped for some food and caffeine so that Mommy wouldn't fall asleep in the car, and of course the one time I want a McDonald's so they can run out some energy at the play area, the best I could find was a Jack in the Box, and they even had lame toys. I was SO disappointed in that one, we really wanted McDonald's!! Dang it! I was so tired and so scared I was going to pass out! I was really hoping that it was going to be a straight shot from Jason's to our place, but for some reason the 3 hour drive took 5. I never, ever want that to happen again. It was terrible. I think the reason the ride was so bad was all three of us wanted so badly just to be at home with Keith again, and it just wasn't happening fast enough! But somehow we made it through all the pit stops and crying and blanket fixing and CD changing and toy fetching and we were home! Sweet sweet home!

Whew! Now you know why I haven't posted this! If you made it through that journal entry of all journal entries then props to you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I couldn't stay away...

Other than the fact that I had to turn on my AC on FULL BLAST today (how wrong is that?) we are having a good time. The kids are all running wild and thoroughly ruining any sort of semi-schedule that we had in our lives (example #1, we napped at 4 p.m. today, yes FOUR!). Tomorrow hopefully it will be cooler so we can go to the beach. Jenny and I decided that it was just wrong to go to the beach and potentially get sweaty in NOVEMBER. It's wrong I tell you. Just WRONG.

P.S. There is nothing like a little time away from the better half to realize how much you love and need them in your life. Miss you Keith! You truly complete me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Road Trip!

Well, the kids and I are taking a much needed vacation and heading down to the Galveston area to visit my good friend Jenny and her family! The oil is changed, gas is topped off, the $100 fuel thingamabob is fixed, and we are ready to go. We are all very excited, and I think it will be such a nice change of pace for me and the kids. And I have to say I am excited for a sleepover and a getaway, I only wish Keith could come too, but on the plus side he will get some great QUIET study time to work on a paper he has coming up. Anywho, the blog will be abandoned for the weekend. I am sure all 5 of you will be so sad, hehehe. But I will return bearing pictures and hopefully feeling refreshed!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TV Talk

A few thoughts on some of my current watches. Yes I know I watch too much TV, but in my defense I watch it while I work, or when the kids are napping. In no particular order:

1. Kath & Kim: Are you watching this? It is hilariously awful and so dang funny. I love it.

2. Biggest Loser: Vicki is a psychopath. Seriously. What is WRONG with her, she is PURE E-vil! How glad am I that Amy stuck up for herself tonight! Boo ya!

3. Grey's Anatomy: SOOOO glad they are getting rid of Haun. Seriously that whole story line was gross and disturbing. And yay for Alex and Izzy, it's about dang time!

4. The Ex List: I thought this one was really cute, and I have to say I am sad that it got cancelled. I hate when they do that because I have no closure!

5. Private Practice: I am loving this show. When I have a ton of DVR'd crap to choose from I watch this one first.

6. How I Met Your Mother: Such a good and funny show. I am rarely disappointed.

7. House Hunters: Probably my favorite "housey" show. Natalie and I love to watch this when I am working to get lots of good ideas. I can't WAIT till we can be looking for our own place!

8. Anderson Cooper 360, and all other CNN: I am just addicted to CNN right now! If there is nothing else on late at night, I watch the news. This is totally new for me, but I am loving how much I am learning. I was so in the dark about anything and everything news related before, and I like watching it. I think that means I am getting old!

And I am embarrassed to say there are so many more shows. But these ones are at the top of my likes right now. What shows are you into right now? and what are your thoughts on the ones I listed above?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Right now I'm...

...working by low lamp light, feeling very cozy.

...sipping on my first cup of hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) of the season, in my favorite wintery mug.

...bundled up in sweats and socks, and loving it!

...listening to the wind and the rain and the occasional thunder.

...loving fall.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sue Strikes Again!

Oh man. Go here and watch this YouTube video. It is hilarious and brilliant, and I would have embedded it here, but I know Sue likes traffic. And I like Sue (and I am obviously crazy because I talk about her like I know her). Which I don't but I wish I did. I have officially crossed over into blog stalkerishness with her, but I also know that if I link to her posts, she often comes to visit me here! Hey Sue!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy November!

I know I am a little late, but better late than never! I can not believe that it is November! So many of my favorite holidays and birthdays are right around the corner. The spirit of giving is in the air and I love it! I just love bringing smiles to peoples faces with thoughtful gifts and kind deeds! And on top of all that Keith is graduating in one month! His last final is one month from today. I may have said it before but OH MY GOSH! Woo Hoooo! All this hard work is drawing to a close. And then he gets to start studying for the BAR, LOL! So, we are not out of it yet, but almost!

I finally got to pull out my few fall decorations and my favorite are these little pumpkin people. I am realizing that I really don't like the country style for my house for every day, but during the holidays? Bring it on! Beady eyed people/snowman/santas and all! I love all the kitschy warmth and cozy feel that it brings to mind. *sigh* I love fall.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A good good day

Monday was a good day. A good family day. And I don't want to forget it! The kids and I did nothing special, we ran some errands, mailed off some eBay packages, hung out and watched movies, crafted a bit. Then Daddy came home bearing a take and bake pizza from WalMart (the supreme is SO good!) and we topped that off with ice cream and brownie sundaes. Then after some more family play time and bedtime and stories and snuggles, Keith and I were able to sit down and watch a movie together (we watched Iron Man, so so good). The first time in a long time. It was nice. I love days like that. No screaming or yelling or crying or timeouts (for kids or mommy). All love and fun and sweetness. Days like that don't happen very often, there always seems to be at least one scar on the day. But not Monday, Monday was a good good day.

Here is our craft project. Fuzzy caterpillars. So fun and so easy.

Classy

I just have to say that WOW. McCain's speech after the voting was so good and classy and it really raised my respect for him that much more. The changes are a comin' and I for one am really interested to see what is in store for this country. I know I will be watching the news a lot more now. And whether you like him or not, Obama is going to be our new President, and I think that is saying something about this country, you can decide good or bad. And his speech was pretty good too, it started out a little annoying, but he was not as exuberant as I thought he was going to be and that is a good thing. I hate when the winner rubs it in, and I was afraid he was going to do that. And you know what? I may not agree with all that he stands for, but I think it is pretty darn cool and groundbreaking that an African American man was just voted the next President of the United States.

God Bless America!

I voted!

I have to say it was kind of anticlimactic. I didn't even get a sticker! Not to mention cookies and juice! LOL! But, I did vote. My first ever Presidential election. Brady got to come along with me and he was pretty happy he got a sucker while I paper voted, the line for the 1 electronic booth was WAY too long. I am pretty proud of myself. I also have to say it was a LOT harder than I thought it was going to be. I didn't want to just blindly vote, I wanted to know who I was voting for and what they believed in and whether or not the things I believe in would be important to that person. It doesn't help that I am so different on different issues. It made it hard to decide who to vote for. The more I read and researched the harder it got. But I voted, and I think I am OK with who I voted for. It will be interesting to say the least, to see how today plays out. I hope you all go out and vote if you are registered! Don't let those registered votes go to waste!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Um...

Well, I just love daylight savings time in the fall. That extra hour is SO wonderful, and when you wake the next morning because your daughter is telling you it is time to get up and you look your husbands clock and it says 7:15 and you tell your daughter to go play because Mommy is sleeping and you roll over and go back to sleep for another 20 minutes and then you look at YOUR clock and you realize that it is actually 8:35...that is craziness. I don't know if that is a good thing that happened or a bad thing, but it was cool that the kids slept in till 8:15!

The only downside is that now it gets dark SO early. Like super, super early. It is almost 5, and the sun is pretty much gone. That severely cuts down on park playing time, BUT it also helps fool the kids when we want to put them to bed earlier than normal (which in this house means 8:00 rather than 9:30) because it's dark, and that must mean bedtime! Right? Right.

And can I just say you would be surprised what sort of dinners one can come up with from a pantry of random things when you are postponing a trip to the grocery store. I am pretty proud of Keith and I for the things we have come up with these last few days.

Bangs!

By request. Pictures of the bangs. And don't make fun of my double chin. And my magic eyes (they magically disappear when I smile big!) Oh, and they yellow pictures, I took them in the bathroom. Not sure how to fix the lighting on that, and I needed the mirror!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Feeling a bit better

This is what the kids like to do to me when I am working (over and over and over). It was too funny so I sneakily set up the camera to capture it. I was looking away the whole time, and of course acted surprised.

video

A bunch of sickos in our house.

Cream of Wheat for breakfast, and cuddles and movies all day. That is our daily plan, of course on our only family DAY together. bleh.

More Halloween Festivities

**why the heck is blogger being so stupid with the picture uploading? anyone? it is messing up the order and the HTML is all weird! It's driving me CRAZY!**

Natalie's school had a little party on Thursday, and I didn't really get any pictures, BUT I did get a picture of her and this little boy Angel. He has a (not so)secret on her! I kind of thought so because he is always looking at her when we get to school, or just little sweet things, but Thursday his Mom confirmed it! How cute! She said that he talks about her at home, and he even gets the ole cousin tease about his "girlfriend", LOLOL! She told me he says, "She isn't my girlfriend, just my FRIEND!" Oh my goodness, that is so cute! So the sad part is that they are moving! Thursday was his last day. So no more cuteness watching the googly eyes! And Natalie was really torn up when I told her that Angel AND Stevie weren't going to be coming back. I don't think she realized that her fun at the park and McDonald's was pretty much the last time (until we get some moolah, and then League City here we come!). Anywho, Angel is adorable!
I swear every single picture of these two, oh my goodness. Natalie either does this smile coy for the camera thing....
...or Brady does this CHEEEEESE thing. Family pictures (when we ever get around to it) are going to be so. much. fun. (sense the sarcasm?)
Brady with another version of the CHEEEESE, and Natalie is thinking about playing it shy in this picture, her arms were getting there, but her shoulders hadn't reached full effect yet. This is pretty much all we get for posing with costumes this year! Oh well, at least I am keeping record of their anti-photo phase! Keith took the kids trick or treating around a nice neighborhood with Bryce and his boys tonight. I think they had fun. Brady came back with a nice chunk out of his elbow, but they also got glow necklaces and fireman stickers, and they FINALLY came home with some good loot (aka fun size candy bars! woot!). So it was a pretty good wrap up to this CRAZY Halloween season.

I am going to say I am SO GLAD Halloween is over! Holy Cow! This is BY FAR the most use they have ever gotten (or may EVER get) out of their costumes! But we did it for them, and they had a blast! I am pretty sure we taught them about Halloween and next year they won't forget it! Although I am thinking I might regret teaching them to love it so much when next year does roll around!