Monday, December 29, 2014

All-In Challenge

After Lauryn was born, I knew I wanted to focus on getting the best nutrition possible while reclaiming my pre-pregnancy self, not to mention having enough energy to keep up with 3 big kids plus a newborn! Thankfully, I had AdvoCare to help me meet those challenges. I focused on clean eating while doing a modified version of AdvoCare's 24-Day Challenge. After 24 days, I was amazed to see I had lost 5 pounds and 14 inches! I was completely out of maternity clothes, and best of all, I felt great!

Because this time of year is when many people start making new goals or recommitting to old ones to focus on eating well or losing weight, AdvoCare is offering special pricing on their 24-Day Challenge through Noon on December 31st!

For Distributors who place a challenge order, you receive:

* Free Expedited Shipping

* A free limited edition blender bottle and wrist band

* Free shipping on your next order of $250 or more in January 2015

If you're not a distributor, you can still join in the challenge by contacting me for your order to receive the same benefits! I'd love to help you reach your goals for a healthier lifestyle and more energy.

Give me a call, email me, or take a look at my AdvoCare website to learn more.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Apple of My Eye

Sometimes I take pictures of my children because I think they're so adorable. Sometimes it's because they're hysterical. Today, you get both!

This picture cracks me up! It's just ... the apple, the hat ... It's too much.

The lip! She's reaching for the apple, which I had taken away from her.

Another apple-hat cuteness combination.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

While it's my job to load the dishwasher, it's Selah and Joe's job to UNload it. During the Christmas season, though, the children often do extra chores or a sibling's chore in order to earn money to buy presents. The other day, Joe took care of Selah's dishes in addition to his own. He had a little helper, though!

Lauryn LOVES to help put away the dishes.

Normally she just puts the silverware randomly in the drawer and Selah (or Joe, in this case) moves it to the space where it belongs.

Joe's expression when Lauryn got the spoon in the right spot!

I was busy cleaning counter tops and cooking lunch, plus I had Kaity helping me rearrange a couple of cabinets. Lauryn came in and decided to help. She picked up the cloth Kaity had been using and started cleaning the fridge.

I guess it looked like Lauryn was having so much fun that Selah grabbed a cloth and got to work, too! 
"Mommy, I want to help, too!"

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Lauryn Snuggling with Other People

As I have mentioned before, Lauryn is a Mama's girl.There are times, however, when Mama kinda needs to do other things! One day I was cooking dinner when Lauryn kept standing at my feet begging to be held. I called Jeff into the room and said, "I know, only Mama can make her happy. But only Mama can cook dinner, too, so ... it's your choice." Grinning, he scooped her up and carried her off to the living room while commenting something like, "Here, I'll just take care of Lauryn for you." That's a smart feller I married.

Big sister Kaity makes a nice stand-in when I'm busy, too.

"The Diggingest Dog" by Al Perkins

Yes, that's a stuffed cat on Kaity's head, Ali-cat. It was a gift from my friend Alicyn when Kaity was very little.

That's a good Daddy right there.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A Kitchen Island

I'm making pizza for dinner and the counters are loaded with toppings and sauce and dough. I look around at the crowded countertops with a pan in my hand and remark, "Ugh, all this space and nowhere to set anything down!"

Jeff says, "You need an island to put stuff on."

"Okay," I say. "I'll take Oahu."

My Super Heroes

So this is happening at my house right now ...

Cat Attack, Lunara, Super Sports Guy, and Fox Baby! To the Rescue!
Their capes are the personalized blankets my mom bought them for Christmas last year, and Joe said, "Maybe I shouldn't have had my secret identity embroidered on my cape."

Introducing: Super Sports Guy! His power glove knocks out enemies with a super strong punch! Pow! With his specially designed glove, he can shoot a laser beacon and tractor beam. He can use his cape to glide! Super Sports Guy also excels at any sport and runs incredibly fast!

Introducing: Lunara! She can control water in any state! She can use her cape to glide! Lunara is able to create invincible forcefields! She uses her handheld super-computer to communicate with her team and to thwart villains with her awesome technological powers!

Introducing: Cat Attack! She has super cat powers including super sharp claws! Cat Attack uses her Clippers (patent pending) to trace villains! She also has a giant gun!

Introducing: Fox Baby! She's super adorable! Faster than a speeding parent! Remove her pacifier to hear her super-sonic scream! Fox Baby uses her Diaper Bombs to attack villains!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

My Little Girls

Poor little Lauryn has had a rough few weeks. She just can't seem to shake an ear infection, and now she has bronchitis! Sunday morning, Jeff and I were getting ready for church when we heard Lauryn start to cough. We looked at each other with that parental sixth sense, somehow knowing that couldn't be good. Sure enough, she had a fever!

I love the precious snuggles I get when my babies are sick but Lauryn more than any of the others is a Mama's girl. No one else will do! Jeff and I amused ourselves last night by exploiting that fact. I held Lauryn while Jeff stood close by. When she looked at him, he would put his hands out as if to take her. She'd immediately and emphatically shake her head, "no", then turn away from him. Hands down and she'd look at him again. Another fun game involved Jeff putting his hand on my shoulder. When he did, Lauryn would whimper and fuss, pushing at his hand and giving him a dirty look. Move the hand, instant calm.

Since Selah hit her face on the side table, she's been pretty snuggly, too. The household chores have definitely taken a temporary back seat to this scene:

It makes Selah feel better to have ice to put on her eye.

The whole time I was trying to read, Lauryn was fussing with my book: rubbing her hand on the page, trying to turn the pages, patting it with her hand. 

"Thumb, Selah!"

What a pitiful face!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

PE, Home School Style!

Last night, Jeff broke out Wii Sports again for the first time in a while. He and Kaity and I played, then fruitlessly tried to teach Selah. This morning, Kaity and Joe convinced me to let them do Wii Sports as P.E. for school, on the condition that they clean up the living room first!

I had forgotten about one of their favorite games, which involves Wii Boxing. Joe is a world-famous boxer and Kaity is his trainer. She encourages and critiques and trains from the sidelines (are there "sidelines" in boxing?) while he boxes.

"Left! Rgiht! Nunchuck! Wii remote!"

It's important to stay hydrated.
 Kaity draped my robe over him, just like a real boxer, while waiting for the match to load. He complained that the robe was a little girly for him so Kaity told him he could just pretend to be Gorgeous George.

 And despite the fact that it LOOKS like Selah has been boxing, she hasn't. She and Kaity were being silly last night; Selah fell off the recliner and lost a fight with the side table.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Our Four & The Four

Sometimes my mom teases me about how I don't post about the "big kids" as much. It's not MY fault they don't say ridiculously funny things like they did when they were little-bitty. Like this little gem. Joe doesn't stall when he goes to bed. And they just don't do things like this anymore!

Perfect example: Which picture is funnier?



Clearly, teenagers are no fun.

Also, this is what happened the first time I tried to take Kaity's picture!
Photo Bomb!
However, despite being no fun, Kaity has been hard at work on her very own novel! She accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge to finish a novel in the month of November. Her goal for National Novel Writing Month was 35,000 words and to write her adventure novel, The Four. She met, and exceeded, her goal! From the author, a summary of The Four:
"Four kids discover that their parents are formerly superheroes and set out to find the source of their parents' power (four magic crystals) and inherit the power in order to stop a rising super villain threat, Lord Angstrom."
We're so proud of her accomplishment! It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice to complete her goal and she did an amazing job! I think Kaity would agree that it couldn't have been done without the support of her parents, who read her story aloud using funny accents (hillbilly, posh Briton, etc.) in order to encourage Kaity in her work.

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Pajama Time!

The other day I was playing on the floor with Lauryn when she grabbed my hair brush and walked toward me. I bent my head over and she started brushing my hair! She thought that was the best thing ever. Kaity tried to capture Lauryn's delighted expression, but every time the camera appeared, Lauryn put on her Camera Face, otherwise known as the Dull Stare of the Dairy Cow.

Saturday night Jeff and I gave the little girls a bath. We had just gotten home from grocery shopping, it was late, and that could have been a recipe for disaster, but the girls were really sweet!

Just look at that precious profile! And those little curls!

Selah wanted Daddy to brush her hair. Not. Mommy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dining Room Transformation

It seems like every week there's a new project going on in our house. Sometimes it's little things like unpacking yet another box or hanging pictures, and sometimes it's big, wonderful things! This weekend was a big, wonderful kind of project. A friend of ours and his two sons came over and helped move the last of our furniture from Jeff's parents' house! We inherited a corner cabinet from Jeff's grandmother years ago and since we didn't have space for it, it's been at the Pittards'. Also, for Christmas this year Jeff's parents have graciously given us their dining room table and chairs! It is such an overwhelming blessing to have a place for all of us to eat together.

There are also two leaves that expand the table to seat 10.

I'm so glad to have my china back home again! We received it as wedding gifts nearly 17 years ago.

Cheryl and her sister reupholstered the chairs in this beautiful fabric.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Double Date

Last month Jeff and I were very excited to get to see Alton Brown on his Edible Inevitable tour! It's like a live episode of Good Eats (which you should definitely check out if you never have). Or Mr. Wizard meets the Swedish Chef. At any rate, it was awesome.Totally worth the long wait, considering we bought the tickets in June!

We had a chance to go on another date just last week. Jeff had a couple of vacation days to use up so he picked a random Thursday and Friday for a nice long weekend. Thursday, we put Lauryn down for a nap and left Kaity in charge of Joe and Selah, then headed out to the big city of Statham to check out all the antique stores! We had so much fun browsing through and dreaming of what we could use in our house. At one point I was musing over a mirror, knowing just where I'd put it. As we wandered away, a man who had been rearranging a display behind us spoke up and asked if we were interested in the mirror. I replied affirmatively, and he told us that he was preparing to mark it and everything on the wall down by 40%. Naturally, I wandered my little self right back over to that mirror and started calculating. In the end, I picked up three things:

This is the original mirror that caught my eye.
"Hey, y'all!" This mirror is 30 x 40 and doesn't yet have a home. I have several places in mind, so we'll just have to see.
I've been wanting a big United States map for the schoolroom, and this one is perfect!
The only problem is that Jeff fell in love with it and suggested we hang it in the living room so we can see it all the time! (Side Note: Every time I look at a map like this I always think of that scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Sam says, "Where's Seattle?" Jonah points, and Sam says, "Where's Baltimore?" Jonah's stumped and Sam retorts, "Tha-a-at's right!", jabbing a finger at the map. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... it's like, 26 states away!")

Total price of my three finds? $37.84! I think we'll have to start dating more often.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We Didn't Start the Fire

We recently got a fire pit but haven't really had a chance to enjoy it. The other day, Jeff decided it was time to try it out! I didn't even have any marshmallows for roasting, which was a great disappointment for the kiddos, let me tell you. It was fun just watching it and spending some time out on our deck anyway.

Why, yes, that IS our fire pit sitting out on our wooden deck.

Fire is so mesmerizing!