Monday, September 15, 2014

vacation post

Forgive me for the length this is going to be, but it's so that I'll have it all written down somewhere.  I thought I would hit the highlights of our week in Branson, Missouri.

Sunday, on the way there, we stopped at the natural bridge somewhere in Arkansas.  I got carsick on the way down the mountain, but it was worth it.  Phyllis snapped this of the six of us.

My best friend Christa and her little girl Annalise came to see us and spent all of Monday with us.  We had so much fun catching up and laughing and eating and swimming.  It was awesome.

After a day spent at the condo all day on Monday, we had to get the kids out Tuesday.  They were driving me bonkers!  My list of things I wanted to do included seeing Table Rock Lake up close and personal and eating a yummy local lunch.  The tamales you see pictured happened because we took a wrong turn trying to find a winery.  They were delicious!  We also ate pork rinds and fudge.  We visited a fish hatchery, explored a campground toured a winery.

On Wednesday, we drove into downtown Branson and took the boys to ride go-karts.  That night we went to the Sight and Sound Theater and saw Jonah, the production.  It was amazing.  The theater is beautiful and we all loved it!  Jonah loved all the merchandise with his name on it~we bought him a cup while we were there.

Thursday we shopped.  All day long.  It was fun and the boys scored some new outfits from some of their favorite stores, like Under Armor, Nike and American Eagle.  Thursday night we went to the Dixie Stampede.  It was awesome and the boys and I loved it.  I had never been to that, so it was a treat for me as well.  After that was over, the boys wanted to stop and get their picture made with this giant elephant statue.  Roll Tide.  ;)

Friday was the day they had been (im)patiently been waiting for~Silver Dollar City.  It was quite cool outside and guess who forgot their jackets?  We bought sweatshirts for them all to wear, and I was glad we did. (I had a jacket, but it wasn't very warm.  When Todd took his sweatshirt off, I wore it instead of the jean jacket I had worn.)  Before we left, the weather turned drizzly.  They all rode roller coasters and I watched.  I'm such a fuddy dud...I can not stand heights or anything that spins.  As in, they make me sick.  But I had fun capturing lots of pictures.  :)  I love this picture of Phyllis and Wiley.  They are as much fun to be with as it appears~I am so fortunate to have them in my life!

We got to see Christa and Annalise one more time before leaving, and this time her hubby Jason got to come with them.  He was out of town on Monday.  I love all these pictures~my boys fell head over heels in love with Annalise and so did Todd.  I am so thankful I got to see them twice in one week!  I miss Christa so much, and having her nearby.  It did my heart lots of good getting to love on her.

We left Sunday morning and got home close to five last night.  It was an amazing week, and our vacation plans for next year are already underway, this time to another place we've never been.  Today will be spent playing catch up on housework and laundry and grocery shopping.  I'm also almost finished with a book I started while we were away, and I want to finish it.  I have to go to the library to return books and I have a week of work to plan for my kids.  But we're starting tomorrow.  Today I am enjoying extra cups of coffee and staying in my pj's for as long as possible.  Tomorrow will come fast enough.

Love to all!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Favorites


I'm linking up with Andrea, from Momfessionals.  (Imagine that.)  

~Number One~
(Image found on Google images.)

I love everything about this season...the weather (as long as it gets cooler), the activities, the sporting events on TV, flavored coffee, comfy clothes, and camping.  I cannot wait to do this activity with my family again...I was too sick all last year to go with them when they had their guy trips.  

~Number Two~ 

Fall colored nail polish.  I love all the fun and bright colors of spring and summer, but when September comes, actually when school starts, I am ready for my favorites.  My number one color of choice so far this year is You Don't Know Jacques, by OPI.

(Image found on Google images.)

~Number Three~

Friday lunch with Dad and the boys.  (I love it even more when my sister Trish is able to join us.)  

The only picture I had was one that I took last week, when we ate at Dyer's.  

Today we ate at Chick Fil A, but that restaurant wasn't nearly as charming as this one.  The elbow you see in this picture is Dad's.  Part of another thing I love about our Friday's is the time we spend talking.  I always feel like if Dad and I could just talk about all the problems in our world, we could solve every single problem.  Most of what we talk about is spiritual~we're reading through the Bible chronologically together.  I don't know if I mentioned that before.  

~Number Four~

Vacation!  I'm so thankful that we are about to leave for a week in Branson, Missouri.  So many of my friends don't ever get this luxury, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I don't care what we do, I just crave time away with the people I love the most.  I look forward to lots of game playing, and lot and lots of laughing.  We go with my hubby's parents every year, and they are so much fun to travel fact, my mom-in-love has been known to get a little wild and crazy every once in a while.  ;)  There was one year that she had one of my kids saying a dirty word during a really competitive card game.  (Not really, but it's an inside joke.)

My people.  I love them so much that it hurts.  

Thanks for reading my blog!  I don't know if I'll be on the blog next week, I haven't decided yet.  Part of me thinks no, but another part of me thinks I might document our days so I'll have it to look back on.  I hope you enjoy your weekend with your loved ones!  Love to all. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

what's for dinner Thursday

Because, why not?  Truthfully tonight, I either wanted a pizza from Costco with a Caesar salad or I wanted to eat at Chick Fil A for our homeschool group's spirit night.  Neither of those things happened, and now that I'm sitting here stuffed, I'm glad.

Drew was my hungriest kid tonight, so he got to pick what kind of dinner he wanted.  He was asking if we could go to Chili's or Subway or Texas De Brazil.  ???  He chose Mexican food.  We made a quick run to Kroger for all the goodies then came home and he made the meal.

We made this tonight.  Mexican enchilada casserole.

(Photo credits go to Mix and Match Mama.)  If you want the recipe, click on her name and it'll take you straight to her website.

It was amazing.  And Drew did a great job of making his first dinner.  All I did was guide him in how to put it all together.

Another new thing I made tonight is homemade salsa.  I love, love, LOVE salsa.  I love it even more when it's an awesome homemade recipe.  This one was, and it was super easy.  My friend Belinda made some last Sunday night for our community group and she shared her recipe with me.  If you're interested, here's her recipe:

2 cans of Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 can of Mexican tomatoes
1 small can of green chile's

Blend all this together (I used my food processor) and pour into a container, covering the top with a heavy layer of garlic powder.  I tasted it at this point and added a tablespoon of salt and chopped some fresh cilantro to garnish it with, probably a couple tablespoons' worth.  If you like sugar in your salsa, you can add two tablespoons of sugar instead of the salt, but I prefer mine with salt.

It was delicious.  We finished off an entire bag of tortilla chips and a gallon (almost) of tea.  Have I ever told you that we go through two gallons of tea a day?  We do.  All my family drinks is water, tea and milk.  We no longer buy soft drinks, so I've had to jack up the amount of tea I make daily.  My kids make it, actually.  Thanks to my awesome hubby for teaching them, while I was recovering from my hysterectomy.

How was your dinner?  Do you have a recipe you'd love to share?  I'd love to hear about it!  I'm going to start making my Thursday's the "what's for dinner" installment on the blog.  That being said, leave a comment and let me know how your dinner was.

Love to all!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

what's been happening Wednesday

I'm going to try to change my posts up a little and not make it so journal-ish.  I might fall back to that some days, if I can't think of anything else to write.  And I'm smiling because I'm writing as if I'm writing to a million people, and I don't believe that to be true.  I do know some of you read this (because you tell me so), and thank you for reading through the years.  I'm hoping to get some new readers, by linking up to other blogs more.  Hopefully I'll have a subject to write on each day.  At least, that's my plan.  Who knows if it'll actually go like that?!

I will confess that since yesterday, I have become borderline obsessed with the Momfessionals blog.  I've gone back and read through a lot of her older entries.  I love finding new blogs!  They inspire me.

If you're into organization and writing, you should go read today's post on her blog.  And in doing that, I found ANOTHER new blog to read.  :)  It's probably better that I just stay off of the computer all day.  It's getting me into trouble!

Emily Ley.  Let's just say that I might try her awesome planner this year, instead of the Erin Condren one I've been using.  It's been great~the Erin Condren one~but I love that this other style has a separate page for each day.  I also love the corners of the planner and the band that holds it all together.  (I'm thinking that I will use my birthday and Christmas money to buy this, since I totally cannot justify spending that kind of money on a planner.  What better gift, though, for someone like me?)  #firstworldproblems

Anyway.  Back to today's post.

I was so excited to see this month in my daily reading Bible.

September is the month we will finally make it into the New Testament in the chronological Bible I've been reading through with the ladies from my church.  I am so excited!  It's the small things in life, people...really, it is.

I captured this pretty picture at Graham's friend's house the other day.

Makes me want to live in the country so bad.  Someday.

I have been hanging some things.  I'm in the mood to re-purpose the things in my home.  Thanks to my Mom for giving me some new things to hang, I will spend part of later this week doing just that.

I love to decorate, but I don't love spending money on my hobby.  I love to take things in areas of my home and find new homes and uses for them throughout.  It's re-purposing.  :)  My sister Trish is genius at this task, and she's the one I learned from, I'm pretty sure.

(The porthole looking mirror is something my Mom gave me the other day.  I love it!  I would like to add something else, maybe a small G, under it though.)

This big "G" was that lime green, and yesterday, the kids and I painted it red.  I'm going to hang it on my front door, but I don't have the right things to use to hang it at this time.  It turned out really great and I love it.

The kids have been great at helping out around here all week.  My list of things to do is a mile long, and yesterday, Jonah rewarded himself for his hard work by spending time drawing.  We considered it part of our homeschool day, under the subject of art.


In case you're wondering, he was drawing army vehicles.

This was my kitchen table this morning.  I thought I had already done this week's Bible study homework, but I had not, so I had a lot of work to do.  We meet tomorrow, and for those who have never done a Precept Bible study before, it's NOT recommended until the day before to do all five days of homework.  Three and a half hours later, I finished.

Seriously, it is not for the faint of heart, but it is so good!  Just when I think I'm not "getting it", I will remember back on something I studied two years ago from an earlier study.  Studying the Bible is my number one hobby, and the Precept upon Precept way (by Kay Arthur) is all about studying certain words and why they're sometimes used over and over in a certain passage.  It's also about how to study the Bible in context with the entirety of it...not just taking one little verse and making it mean what I think it means.

I always feel smarter when I'm done.

As I finished my Bible study homework, Jonah worked at the table alongside me.  He was doing grammar when I took this, and he was staying close by, in case I needed to answer any questions he had about prepositional phrases, compound subjects and infinitives.

I love to see him figure out how to break down entire sentences.  And I love our grammar book!  It's called Easy Grammar Plus, and my sweet friend Andrea loaned it to me.  :)  They all work from it.

Well.  That's about all I've got for now...aside from all I've written, the boys have been inside the fort they made in their room.  I love forts...have I ever mentioned that?  They pulled out every pillow in the house, along with the mattresses off their beds and the giant teddy bears from Costco, and turned all that into one giant fort.  It was awesome.  I really wish I had gotten a picture, but I think they've disassembled it by now.  I think they were doing their school work in the fort at one point, but I made them stop, because they were getting zero accomplished, at least judging from the amount of noise that was coming from the vicinity of their room.

I'm such a meanie.

Enjoy the rest of your day!  Love to all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

what's on...

My project list.

I thought I would start something new and fun (for me), because I talk about the same old things all the time on this blog.  I was supposed to get started yesterday, but better late than never, right?  We will be going out of town for a week on Sunday, so this week, I have lots and lots of projects going on, but what about the rest of September?

1.  This week I will be all about lists~packing, food, vacation dinner menu, what to tell Chandler when he house and dogs sits for us~so I will start working on my many lists today.

2.  I will also start the process of getting things 'vacation ready', meaning that we will be keeping things clean around here all week.  I like leaving my home nice and clean so when I come home it's the same way.

3.  Vacation stuff aside, I have GOT to better at meal planning.  September through February are my favorite meal planning months.  I love the cooler nights we'll be having, and I love ALL THINGS FALL.  :)

4.  I really, really want to paint my kitchen cabinets.  My husband promised me that we would do this task this year, and I am going to hold him to it.  My only problem is that I cannot decide on a color.  I've gone back and forth between white, black and grey.

5.  I always feel like my closets in this house are a mess.  Probably because they are, with the boys around.  I would really like to remedy that problem this month.  I'm hoping to get the playroom closet all cleaned out and organized.  It's a huge closet that gives me nightmares every time I think about it.

6.  I want to decorate for Fall!  I have a few things laying around in the attic that I might pull down this week.  If not this week, then definitely the week we return home from our trip.

7.  I need to assign jobs for my kids to prevent all their arguing.  They drive me bonkers with the bickering they do over who does what and when.  I was talking to some friends about this Sunday night, and I am glad it's not just me who battles her kids over this.  I might start working on that today.

8.  I want to paint my front door.  The kids and I can knock this out in a day.

And because I can't think of anymore, I'll be done.  That might not seem like a huge list, but I like to start small so I can expand if I finish what's already there.  I need to get moving~we are all dragging this morning!  Love to all.

(I'm linking up to Momfessionals.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

random happenings

I usually clean and straighten up our house on Monday's and Friday's.  After and before the weekend, because that makes perfect sense.  The house is messier when we're all in it, all weekend.  After doing this on Friday, I sat down and loved my view.

I actually love my whole house.  We are colorful people, and each room is it's own fun color.  :)  See the arrangement on my piano?  My mom gave it to me on her birthday.  That vase is the greatest color, and might just be my newest favorite thing.  Most of the things in my home were given to me by Mom.  She's pretty awesome like that.


Friday night, I loaded up my car with kids and we went to the park.  Except that when we got there, it was closing.  So instead we went to see my in-love's.

Then to Sonic, for milkshakes.

This is Emma.  She's like the daughter I always wanted~fun, not dramatic, and she can sing like an angel.

I didn't think my kids would ever embarrass me as much as this one does.  He was dancing in front of my car and waving to everyone who walked past.   He is special, indeed.

I found this picture on the internet.

This is my best song right now, to quote a friend who always says that.

On Saturday, I did NOTHING but watch Netflix all the day long.  And I ate an entire bag of popcorn by myself.

Graham and Drew worked until two, and Todd watched football all day.  Jonah and Noah were at a friend's house the whole day.

At church yesterday, our adopted grandparents were recognized for their sixty-three years of marriage.  Mr. Frank was giving God the glory for that, and Mrs. Audrey was embarrassed that they had to stand up.

And Toddley worked the camera in front of me during the service.  I thought he looked cute and took this picture during prayer.  :)

I found another picture that I love on the internet last night...I love this verse, we talked about it last weekend at the Beth Moore event.

I say this verse all the time~when we allow the enemy to get a foothold in the smallest way, that small foothold can quickly become a large thing, if we aren't careful.  We constantly have to be on guard against the enemy~he is very real, and he can play tricks on our mind.  He is smart and knows our weak points.  So...stay alert!

Last night we had community groups, and we ate an insane amount of nachos and watched God's Not Dead.  Well, the teenagers watched and the adult leaders sat and talked.  ;)

It was a great weekend.  And it's not over yet!  I'm thankful for another day to be off.  I am letting my kids off the hook with school today, since it's a national holiday, and we'll be enjoying dinner with my mom and step-dad tonight.  We're having a fish fry.  Graham and Drew are working until two today, then we'll go out to Mom's after that.

I pray that you have a great day and that whatever you do, you enjoy it!  Love to all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy birthday, Mom!

My beautiful mom turned fifty-nine (again) yesterday.  :)  Truthfully, she turned seventy, but she doesn't look a day over fifty-nine!  Graham thought she was turning sixty yesterday and corrected me when I told someone she was turning seventy.  Isn't she beautiful?

We went to Carrabba's for her birthday dinner.  It was so good!  It is so expensive for us to eat out as a family, so we never do this...needless to say, last night was a treat, because it was a real restaurant!

They brought her birthday ice cream.

My step-dad with Mom.

We met at the one by The Clark Tower in Memphis.  My boys were mesmerized by this massive building.

I took this picture while Graham and Drew took pictures of their own.

Here's Drew's version.

He did some editing, but still.  The kid has a great eye for photography.  Imagine what he could do with a real camera.

Mom with the boys.

And me with her.  I am so thankful for this sweet lady.  She was and still is a wonderful mom.  She gave me her love and skill of cooking, she is the best baby nurse I ever had and she is an amazing caregiver.  I witnessed her take care of her mom for years, and she took great care of me when I was in the hospital after my surgery.  She's the only person my husband would leave with me.

I love her dearly and am so glad that we got to celebrate her last night.

Love to all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

catching up

The rest of our weekend was a blur to me.  I had to take a nap after I got home Saturday afternoon, because I knew that we had a long night ahead of us.  We went to a Redbirds game~the last game of the summer that would have fireworks.

We met up with Todd's parents, his brother and their family.  I love getting together with them, we never see each other as much as we'd like, so I knew it would be a fun night.  Even if it was a thousand and nineteen degrees outside with not enough wind blowing.


Sweet cousins...I hate that I didn't get a picture of all three of the eleven year old's.  Nathan is about six weeks younger than Jonah and Noah and they are best buddies.  They love being with him!  Joseph is below the picture of Nathan and Noah.  I love his sweet smile!  This boy is full of all kinds of joy.

I also did not get a picture of Zeke by himself, but he is every bit as cute as his brothers.  :)

All the Goodwin grands.  Left to right: Drew, Nathan, Zeke, Noah, Jonah, Joseph and Graham.  These kiddos are a hot mess when you put them all together.

My loves.  We were nasty and hot and sweaty and all fought over the showers when we got home.  I got first, though, and loved every bit of the coolness that sprayed me.

This week has gone fast~Todd was home sick both Monday and yesterday, but he was feeling better this morning.  We've had a great week of school work so far, and a couple of really fun days, with projects and experiments.  I'm thankful that my boys are loving this school year so far...I'm praying they keep that level of enthusiasm.  :)  You can join me in praying that same thing, if you would like! household stuff is calling me.  Love to all!