Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Party!

This last week we had a cute little Christmas party for the kids. I decided to do a KID ONLY party and honestly loved it! It was so fun to have kids at our house and do something fun for my own children. I made it simple, short, and sweet. We started the party by making "Reindeer Food", they each filled a jar of food for Santa's reindeer. You leave it out on the porch in Christmas Eve and while Santa fills your stocking the reindeer can refuel. There was even silver glitter so the reindeer can see the food, and "Flying Powder" (powder sugar) to give them a boost through the night. -Now thinking about it, it kinda sounds like we drugged the reindeer! LOL! Next, we decorated cookies, which I didn't even have to make. My cute friend started a little bakery business from her home and made them all and the frosting for me! And they were really yummy too! Then we had a "candy cane hunt", which is basically the same thing as an Easter egg hunt but with candy canes- OBVIOUSLY! We ended by watching Frosty the Snowman and eating popcorn. This kids then just played until their Momma's came.  I felt it was perfect, I am now much more open to the party idea thing when it is kids only! It is less expensive and you don't feel the pressure to impress anyone! At least for me that is what I feel. I think we will make this an annual event as long as the kids are into it! 











Becoming Minimalist

I am always getting "caught up" with my blog that I never get to write about the "now"! So I will catch up later and discuss what I am doing in my life recently.

As some of you know I am a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan! We even gave books to friends and family of the Total Money Makeover to friends/family for Christmas last year as their gift! ...It was not received well! lol! But honestly we just believe in the system, it makes sense and works for us. We have just begun to make a dent in our debt and we can already see the blessings it is bringing to our lives.

We are on the SAME financial page, which honestly helps us be on the same page in just about all aspects of our life! It has helped our communication, my our honesty, trust, and has shown us how to reach and achieve the same goals. I encourage EVERYONE to get on the plan if they are not already and I swear it will start feeling good to not be a slave and to feel some financial freedom. Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

On top of becoming debt free and eventually building wealth, we I am working on becoming a minimalist.

Now this is not in my natural nature. I have learned a couple of things about myself in both of these processes.
1) I like to spend money and buy new things.
2) I am an organized hoarder.

I keep things just because it was free and I MAY use it someday! RIDICULOUS!! Now that I can see how ridiculous this is I am working on decluttering my home! Not just reorganizing and packing things away but actually getting it OUT for good!

My habits are not going to change over night so YES I do still have things I have packed and put away, but I am making "large" baby steps, more like adolescent steps, on dejunking my house! I came across this idea of becoming a minimalist from Google searching "How many toys should a kid own?" this is the greatest website that came up (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/)

How many of you are CONSTANTLY picking up toys and getting frustrated by the dumping of toys to get the one thing on the bottom or to actually play in the bin the toys were in? Well I am sooo sick of it!... I tried the sorting, it would end up still all in one place. I tried the pile everything in one bin, it would just get dumped even more often in the day. And I even tried the rotation of toys, where some are packed away and others are out. Nothing worked very well... Bottom line we own too many toys! They aren't blessing my life or my children's... that is the number one thing to remember when becoming a minimalist. If it isn't adding value to your life than get rid of it!

I am in the process of selling things and taking loads to the DI. I even made Lenore go through her toys and get rid of HALF her things! I was so proud of her because out of all the children, she actually plays with all of her toys the most. She loves and cares for each of them. It was hard to watch her pick and say goodbye to somethings that I pictured her playing with, but it was also such a wonderful thing to see her be so willing and obedient. I held up 2 toys at a time and had her pick between the two, one would go in the keep basket and the other would go in the DI/sell basket. I just picked for the boys, because they don't play like Lenore does, so I only kept their most played with things and I don't even think they have noticed.

I still feel overwhelmed with what I need to get to and how much stuff I own, but the things that I have gotten rid of has made a significant difference in that space.

I am working on clothing right now! I spend so much energy, stress, and anxiety over laundry. I DO NOT like laundry! I will even go as far to say I HATE it! It is never ending and I do not enjoy my life by being stressed and overwhelmed with laundry all the time.

So many times we as a society dress to impress other people, which leads us to have so many clothes to not over wear the same thing again and again in fear someone will see us in the same outfit in the same week! Heaven forbid! Well I no longer care! Not that I was one to ever really care that much anyway. When you have so many clothes and none of them are clean because you don't even know where to begin because there are just to many so you are wearing this!! IN PUBLIC!
You aint impressing NOBODY! So I am in the process of trying to keep roughly 6 outfits a person and 3 church outfits (a few more for Hannah and Lenore because let's be honest girl clothes are just so cute!). But everything else is gone!

I obviously am holding on to a few pjs, socks and underwear as well, but once it doesn't fit or I buy a new set the ond ones are out! I actually was buying my kids new pajamas because their old ones got to small, but I wasn't getting rid of the old ones, I was actually still putting them on my kids and not caring that they were small and looked ridiculous because I was the only one going to see them! Well if they are still good enough to wear than I do not need more! So my new rule is I have to be willing to get rid of old clothes before I buy anything new.

All of this is still a work in progress but I thought I would share in case anyone else was struggling with these things yourself and needed a place to start!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Lenore

 So I wrote this at Lenore's 2nd Birthday and never posted it and found it in my drafts, so to add to it I thought I would now extend it to her 3rd birthday as well...

I really try not to complain about my life to much ( I know some of you think I am probably really bad at it!) ... but really I have such a wonderful blessed life and I have 3 kids who are healthy and bring me so much joy! I honestly don't know how I got to be so blessed! I have had over the last couple years some really close friends and family of mine lose their children, and pieces of my heart ache for them everyday. My point is, things sometimes things are put into perspective and I realize just how completely blessed I am. The test that someone would have to go through, such as losing a child, is more than I think I could possibly bare. I am so appreciative for the countless blessing I receive everyday! It puts so much in perspective when you realize the trials others are going through. This has nothing to do with today's post, just something that has been on my mind when I think I am tired or having a hard day.

As of recently my little Lenore has been talking up a storm! She is so excited about the smallest things in life. "Princess!" "Minnie!" "Jammies!" "Shoes!" These are a few examples of things she likes to scream when she sees them and especially when she receives them as a present. She is ALL girl! We went to Chuck-E-Cheese for her 2 year birthday party! She got to pick out a prize with the few tickets we won and out of everything in the unorganized display she picks out a necklace and a princess wand! At 2 years old that girl knows what she likes! She plays with dolls and princesses all day! She loves taking care of her babies and tries to treat Hudson as a baby, but the fact that they are relatively the same size makes it difficult. :) She finally has reached 20 pounds and surpassed 30 inches at her last appointment! It only took 2 years!

Now a whole year later...

Lenore is now 3 years old and as sweet as ever! I am loving that she is my easiest going and most agreeable child. With that comes other challenges such as potty training, but all in all, she doesn't give me too much grief. She is ALL GIRL! That is for sure! She still loves princesses and anything pink! She can be a sass at times, but I think she gets that from her Bennett side when her "little boss" comes out. ;) She LOVES her brothers and they in turn LOVE her! She is their best friend. I don't know if she has a favorite brother, but being smack in the middle of both of them, she is favored over the brothers themselves. They both have very special bonds and relationships with her!

She is still small but growing bigger! She finally is is 10% for height, but still a skinny little thing at 2% for weight. I am not going to lie she weight less than her little brother and makes it very nice to tote her around on my hip sometimes!

She turned 3 this February and she got to celebrate by staying the night in a hotel with her Grandma Johnson. She was spoiled with gifts and attention and came back a little rotten... but had the time of her life! She also got to go on our girls birthday weekend and had so much fun shopping and swimming! She had her own money to buy things she wanted and of coarse picked out a princess wand and princess sunglasses from the Disney Store.

We are still working on potty training (whoever said girls are easier did not know this little girl). I will forever be grateful for how easy Carlyle was for me in comparison! Any tips please send them my way... She loves her family! Especially her grandparents! She adores them and loves visiting them or when they come visit! We are very lucky to have 2 sets of wonderful grandparents. She never forgets to pray for each of them in her prayers along with her cousins and aunts and uncles. Her love is genuine and they love her right back!

We just love having Lenore in our family and cannot even imagine this life without her! She fills our home with so much love and sweetness you cannot help but want to snuggle her and spoil her- even when she is being naughty or whinny! She is the whole reason we are so thrilled to welcome another little girl into our family and she too looks forward to the arrival of her little sister this July!

3 year Questionnaire:

What is your Nickname?: Pink/ Lenny and Kickers
How old are you?: 2 or 3/ 3
What is your favorite animal?: Monkey
What is your favorite book? Nancy Nancy/ Fancy Nancy
What is your favorite TV show? Mcstuffins (Doc Mcstuffins)
What is your favorite movie? Cinderella
What is your favorite song? Let it Go
What is your favorite food?: Mac and Cheese
What is your favorite snack?: Tookies (cookies)
What is your favorite thing to wear?: Clothes/ Her princess dress ups
What is your favorite game?: Cat Dollies/ ????
What is your favorite toy?: I want barbie!
Who is your best friend?: Hudson/ Both her brothers are!
What is your favorite thing to do? Play my Strawberry
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play
What is your favorite holiday? I want my birthbay
What do you like to sleep with?: My kitty cat
Where do you like to visit? Grandma and Boise
Where is your favorite place to eat? Chickalay (Chick-fil-a)
Where do you want to go on vacation? I don't know
What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna princess dress
What do you want for Christmas? get a candy cane
What is your favorite color? I want purple










Carlyle's Birthday and Winter Blues

I have so much I want to get caught up on. There have been some major changes in our home since I last wrote and I would like to write them down before I forget...

First of all, back in late October or early November we found out we were expecting another baby this July! We couldn't have been more thrilled! Shortly after finding out, the morning sickness set in and it was 24 weeks of (being dramatic here people) hell! I could barely get out of bed the first trimester and even though it lessened it went into my second trimester as well. I felt like the worst mom in the world most days. The TV became the babysitter and bananas and granola bars became the menu item of choice. My children did learn to become more independent and work out some problems on their own, which I guess is a good things that came out of it. Especially when the baby get here it will be a nice skill to have mastered. Carlyle has had to step up and help a lot more around the house. He gets the kids drinks and toys for them and will go downstairs to get pajamas before bed time. He doesn't know where Lenore's are in her room so he always grabs 2 pair of Hudson's and she wears those most nights! For the princess she is, she is a trooper.



I was so sick I couldn't keep anything down and the only thing appatizing for about 6 weeks was chicken tacos from La Tormenta, an AMAZING mexican restaurant that isn't much more than a whole in the wall! But I never got food poisoning and I still enjoy eating them to this day, not as much, but still like them. I went everyday for several weeks and only ate about once a day. I actually was losing weight for a while, which isn't really a good thing, but don't worry I have gained plenty over the last few weeks to make up for that time!!

We celebrated Carlyle's 4th birthday at Lagoon! It was SO much fun! The kids were all so good that day and the ONLY fit we had from open to close was when Hudson had to get off a ride. Carlyle is fearless and will go on anything he is tall enough for! That makes it especially fun. We believe Hudson will be the same way, where Lenore maybe a little more cautious... Time and height will tell... The weather was perfect and even though Frightmares was going on the lines weren't all that bad, especially for the kids rides. Carlyle was patient and excited for his turn when we did have to wait a little. Because of Frightmares there are people walking around in Halloween costumes, because most of the day we were by the smaller rides we didn't see many scary people. But, when we went over to the other side of the park to give James and I a turn to ride Wicked we walked by a masked character with a chainsaw. Of course as soon as we walk by him he turns on the saw and Carlyle jumps 2 feet into my arms! He may have no fear of roller-coasters, but chainsaw massacre guy is too much for him to handle! I don't blame him...   I can't find the Lagoon pics so when I do I will post them.

Carlyle's 4 year Questionnaire:
What is your nickname?: Squishy and Ant/ Squish is Hudson's nick name and Bug is his...lol!
How old are you? 4
What is your favorite Animal? Elephants
What is your favorite book? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
What is your favorite TV show? Micky Mouse
What is your favorite movie? Jingle Bells (Jingle All The Way)/ He LOVES movies!
What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and ABC's
What is your favorite food? Carrots and Lettuce/ I wish!
What is your favorite snack? Fruit Snacks
What is your favorite thing to wear? Shirt and Shorts
What is your favorite game? The car one/ ????
What is your favorite toy? Buzz and Woody
Who is your best friend? Nick/ He has lots of BF's but Nick is his new neighbor and he is 8 so that is pretty cool!
What is your favorite thing to do? Play golf/ James takes him and he has his own clubs and is supposedly pretty good!
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play at the park
What is your favorite holiday? Swimming/ Christmas or Birthday
What do you like to sleep with? Tigger and Pooh
Where do you like to visit? Grandmas house ( He loves visiting ALL his grandparents the best!)
What is your favorite restaurant? My house/ Oh soo sweet! and TRUE! He loves eating at home!
Where do you want to go on vacation? Camping
What do you want to be when you grow up? Doctor
What do you want for Christmas? a puppy/ not going to happen!
What is your favorite color? Green




We sure love having Carlyle in our family and adore his little spirit! He is the best son and big brother we could ask for! He is very smart and well behaved (most of the time). He makes our job easy and we love how much he loves his family and friends! People genuinely like Carlyle and want to be around him. He is caring and fun and even though he is very sensitive, it makes his little heart caring so we wouldn't change it for a thing!

For Thanksgiving we had the Bennett's come stay with us and have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with them. James is very busy that time of year so he stayed here by himself while I took the kids to Boise to spend Thanksgiving day with my family and attend my cousins wedding. It was hard driving while sick, but it was a nice week away. Before you feel too bad for James, he got to sleep in and watch uninterrupted football all day and eat left over turkey for Thanksgiving, I am sure it was his favorite Thanksgiving day ever! :)

We then had my family come for Christmas. It was a long night for Santa and his little elves. We were very grateful for my dad and brother staying up to do some manual labor setting up cars and aping pong table. It was a magical morning for the kids and it took all morning to get through opening presents and eating quiche (which is James and I's family tradition). We also went to Japanese food for Christmas Eve to carry on the tradition I grew up with, where we would go to Chinese on Christmas Eve. It was kind of a disappointing experience because this is our FAVORITE restaurant and they gave us (the largest party there) the cook who was working his first day. The food was still good, but the entertainment was disappointing and because of it, I have not yet talked James into going back! I think this year we will be going to another place. Oh and Lenore was the only one brave enough to sit on Santa's lap!


Lastly this winter, the Johnson family farm house was officially torn down to expand the road. :( It was sad for our extended family to see this place go. It was filled with all of our most precious childhood memories of riding horses and playing at Grandma and Grandpa's farm. This is where my grandparents raised 9 kids and about 60+ grandkids, not to mention all the great grandkids too. I am grateful my kids had the chance to go to the house and spend some time there even if it is in there very young age of life. I will cherish the memories I have with them there.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Time Part 2

I have like 5 passwords I rotate through when I log into my things and because the sites make me change it so often I can never remember which one is for that log in, and it take me 3-5 times every time! This introductory statement  has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but it just happened again so I wondered if that happens to anyone else?? lol!

So I am sure everyone is waiting on the edge of their seat with anticipation about what else we did this summer!! Well back in April James and I felt strongly about trying to have another baby! This was a pretty big surprise, especially to me, because we hadn't planned on it for several years. (Having 3 kids in 2.5 years will make you feel that way!) But when your husband who has sworn off children forever tells you we need another one- YOU LISTEN!! Who knows if he will ever say it again! Don't scare the "feeling" away! So about 3 months after deciding to try we found out at the end of July we were expecting! We were thrilled! We couldn't wait to tell our families and share in this joy of expanding our family once again! We had 3 very healthy pregnancies so we felt insensible that anything but a healthy pregnancy would occur. The pregnancy was going great. I wasn't sick AT ALL!! Which was really weird for me because with the others I was pretty sick pretty early! In fact it was going so well, I never really felt pregnant. James would ask me, "Why are you not excited?"  I would tell him of course I was excited, but just don't feel like I am pregnant. One night I felt a few cramps and actually looked up signs of a miscarriage, I then felt I was just being paranoid and went to sleep. I got up the next morning, got everyone ready and was about to leave on a walk with the kids. I then discovered some spotting and knew right away what had happened. I called my mom when I couldn't get a hold of James and she comforted me. James eventually came home and we went to the doctor to confirm our knowledge of the miscarriage. Our hearts were broken, but we knew we didn't want to sit around the house all day in self wallowing. We have so many things to be grateful for we thought it would be wise to dwell on those things instead. So we packed up the kids and went to Cherry Hill amusement park for the rest of the day and enjoyed the wonderful children we do have! It helped heal our hearts and spirits.

We are obviously sad we don't have a baby on the way, but we can see the blessings we have received through this. We are okay! We understand God's has an individual plan for us. Heavenly Father will send us more children on His time and not our! (We should have learned that lesson from the first 3!) This experience has helped us count our blessings and truly empathize with those who have had similar sufferings. Our family is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father and I hope to never take that for granted again!

Here are my youngest at Cherry Hill: (James was taking Carlyle on one more slide when these were taken.)





On a happier note... we got to spend a week with our nieces! We had so much fun with them here, while Ashley prepared for her new little baby to come! We were honored to have them and hope it helped give her a small break to rest before she brought her newest addition home. We went to the movies and the park and played played played the whole 5 days! It was nice to have some individual bonding time with these 2 cute little ladies!

Here are some pics of the fun week we had:






The summer isn't over yet... So take care! ...Until next time! :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer Time Part 1

Well I have definitely been on a blogging hiatus for the last 3 months and thought since James has left me on my 5 year anniversary for 5 days I have more evening time to write. It was that or Netflix cheat on him. (What we and Bill Simmons call watching a show you watch with your spouse without them!) I swore I wouldn't "cheat" while he was gone and I suppose this is more productive anyway!

I cannot believe the summer is already over! It went by so fast and we are already fast approaching the holiday season. We had a fun summer though and I suppose I should recap these last few months and the latest things that are happening in the Bennett family!

We started off our summer by moving into our new home. We are loving it! The kids are finally adjusting and feeling more at home. Carlyle had the hardest time with the move. He would throw fit after fit anywhere and everywhere over anything and everything! I was losing my mind and seriously considering going back to work to make him someone else's problem! ( not joking/ joking) He slept in our bed every night for the first 6 weeks and if he did fall asleep in his own bed, sometime in the middle of the night he would find his way up to my quarter of the bed. -Needless to say my sleep was limited for the first little while! He is well adjusting now and has been on up and down behavior wise, but have recently seen a climb upwards! We are making strides with him and I lean strictly on inspiration regarding his needs, otherwise I may or may not just be screaming and spanking (and hiding) from my children all day! :)




After moving we went to spend a week in the Boise area for my family reunion. We had so much fun camping and eating and playing with cousins! We look forward to the next one in two years! Unfortunately I have no pics of my own from this reunion but here are some of the kids chillin this summer.



The last big event in my life (I say my life and not ours because it literally only effected me!) was Lenore getting her hair cut! It was so sad and if I could take it all back I wouldn't have done it. I am spontaneous and irrational sometimes and when I think of something for like a second I proceed to carry out the plan without giving it much thought at all! I cannot count the times I have literally gotten out of bed to order something on the internet I felt at that second I needed, or actually ran to the store to get it because seriously in the morning is when I will need to use it and it could not wait another day! (I am working on it). Well... Lenore's hair cut was the same way! I swore I would NEVER cut it until I absolutely had to and even then it would be a trim! Well this particular morning I was having a hard time doing her hair- I really am not great at girls hair!- and so I thought it would be easier to to if I cut it! So without so much as a second thought I made the decision and followed through... I have to admit she looks adorable and she LOVED it! (She was looking in the mirror and tossing her hair around all day) but I miss her long locks and the only way I don't lose sleep over it is knowing that hair always grows back! Whew! 
Long Hair
She doesn't smile for pictures so you know she is excited!

Finished product

Well I will wrap up for now but tune in later this week because there are some hum dingers you will want to hear about! Especially if you need a good boost to feel better about yourself! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Catching UP!

So it looks as though I have some serious catching up to do! It is FINALLY summer and I am so determined to have the best most fun summer I have had in a few years. I get to enjoy 3 walking kids and no pregnancy! I have to say being a college grad ROCKS! It is especially wonderful having both James and I finished. We have more lounge time in the evening, we feel the weight we have been carrying lifted from our shoulders! and again...just in time to enjoy the weather and get the kids out of the house! We are in the middle of getting ready to move to our first home (we closed today in fact!) and even though it is taking a bit longer than originally planned we feel so blessed to be getting this home! I look forward to more space and a fenced in back yard!

Recently, Carlyle went to his Nana and Papa Bennett's house and had the time of his life! I missed him like crazy and even looked at the cost of a plane ticket for a weekend visit and but stopped myself with the support of my husband. I know he had a great time because he still is talking about it. He will say "remember mom, when Nana bought me this?" or my favorite was the other day when I had lots of errands to run and packing to do, I needed to get the kids up and out the door. -one of those mornings when everything was so unorganized the thought of making a mess for breakfast in the kitchen was sending me into an anxiety attack- So I told Carlyle, "We got to hurry out the door and we will pick up McDonalds for breakfast." His response, "McDonalds is closed mom, so let's just go to Carl's Jr." That got me laughing pretty good, for a couple reasons, 1) where did he come up with the idea to tell me McDonalds was closed because he didn't want it? and 2) because Nana took him to Carl's Jr. a few times and it is now, and I quote, his "favorite". He loves telling me what his favorite things are, and I love hearing about them! I love that Carlyle got to spend that special time with his grandparents. I know he cherishes it and even though I missed him too much to do it again for 2 weeks anytime soon! I too appreciate the love my kids have in their life by so many people!

So like I stated earlier, we closed on our home today! Yahoo! We hope to be moving in this weekend so right now our home is literal chaos! Boxes everywhere! I need to get cleaning a packing so I have to stage my home to stack the packed boxes because we do not have a garage. I really hope we aren't delayed and can actually clear this house out before the weekend is over. I hate packing and moving and if I have things my way, I will hopefully not have to move for a very very long time, if ever again! This will be the 5th home we have lived in since we got married and the 13th home in my lifetime! I think it is about time I stay put for awhile. :)

On another note... Hudson has finally decided to walk full time now! After 2 months of walk and crawl combo he has put his knees to rest and his feet to use! I love when my kids can walk! They seem to get a little older when they start walking and can listen a little better to direction. I don't want my children to grow up, but the hassle of picking up a heavy child every time you want them to go where you go get strenuous. Hudson is such a sweet pie! I honestly LOVE him cuteness so much! He is a HUGE mammas boy and follows me EVERYWHERE! Seriously massive fit if I leave him on his own for even a second, unless he is in him crib. He actually really likes his crib. He also throws fits when he is eating bananas and yogurt and he eats it all gone. It makes him very sad and I cannot peel the second or third banana quick enough for him! He gets so excited, his body convulses with his arms flailing and a HUGE smile on his face! Nobody should be that excited for food! haha!

Lenore is growing up right before our very eyes! She is the biggest sassy pants and the biggest sweetheart! She may be borderline bipolar... She likes to scowl and shake her finger at you. Says "no" just about half the time you ask her to do something and "ok" with a precious grin the other half. The worst part is you never know what response you might get. It doesn't matter what mood she is in at the time either, she is completely unpredictable!