Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Almost Over

Summer. It's almost over. Some would say it's already over, but not for the Smith's. We've still got a beach trip to enjoy in a week.

Howeeeever, we have just about wrapped up our summer activities. Excited about fall happenings, but sad to see the lazy pool days of summer come to an end. I have a feeling next summer will be a bit less lazy for me...  with an additional baby around and all. :)

To take advantage of the pretty weather at the beginning of the week, we went to the zoo this week.

We also went to Open House at our new pre-school, St. Mark's. They will start next week. Charlie going on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Annette going Tues, Thurs, Fridays.

I'm super excited about them starting up school. It's been a while since I've had chunks of daytime to get caught up on house stuff. Plus, they are going to learn so much! I got overly excited when I saw the same calendar and poems on the walls that hung in my own classroom years ago. Eeeek! Teacher becoming students' mother... new role for me. And I'm going to have to contain my suggestions/opinions/etc. Won't be easy for this passionate momma.  
As for my little students, they loved the teachers and new school setting as much as I did. Immediately. 
 They both just about cried when it was time to leave. My mom was kind, kind, kind to join me for Open House. Glad she came because my kids ran in two different directions most of the morning. 

The teacher in me was mentally taking note of all the books they had in the classroom. As I started checking off which ones I've read to her and thinking "Oh! I need to get that book out and read it to her before Tuesday", I had to remind myself that I must stop these crazy teacher-mom tendencies. 

It was a great time. Don't think I embarrassed them yet. 

My mom came to help me through Open House, yes. But also to take the kids to her house afterwards. She was super-Granny again and watched them overnight while I went to Memphis with some girls from church. We stopped by the Pottery Barn Outlet, a church to visit their children's program, and some fun restaurants including a delish crepe place. Loved, LOVEd, spending time with those ladies.
While in Memph, I found this fab deal. And I had been in search of a bigger backpack for A and C! Perfect timing.

Thankful for the chance to go and have some girl time.

Last night we went to Isaac's parents for his birthday dinner. I've said it before, but Connie Smith can COOK! She had sea bass and salmon and halibut and like 10 other amazing sides for us to enjoy. 
This chocolate cake is Isaac's absolute favorite. Might be mine too.
She even made a table full of these for the groom's cake at our wedding.

That's Rachael, Isaac's lil sis above.
Below, Charlie makes hilarious excited noises as he helps open gifts. 

Then today, I met a friend to plan some Bloom Bible Study stuff.
Our kids entertained themselves with the elevator buttons, dry erase markers, and the playground.

Planning was accomplished.

So that's a smattering of the Smith family's weekly events.

Squeezing the last bits of summer out of this year, while also excited about fall.
Especially this first Razorback game.

I'll be working Saturday, but Ike (aka Super Dad) is still debating on whether he wants to take kids to Fay for the game. I don't blame him. I'd love to be there with them. Yet, taking two toddlers SOLO might prove more work than fun. We will see.
We might just end up at the lake for the long weekend. 

Hope everyone has a fun weekend.


Monday, August 27, 2012

On My Roll

The past several days according to my phone's camera roll...

Walks to Red Mango, Kroger, and the park were nice with this weather.

A picnic at the park. Yes, that's a rotisserie chicken. Perfect instant and healthy option.

Charlie lovin' tumble n play time with little friends and Mrs. Cammie.

Me loving date time. We went to a Big Bro Big Sis event this night.

We stayed home Friday night and made homemade pizzas with the kiddos. They really really like doing this.

We also celebrated Isaac's 31st birthday with a date to R.J. Tao, a newly opened restaurant near our house. It's owned by the Sushi Cafe people, so we figured we'd like it. We sooo did. We had delicious food and a great time. 

And this morning I took my two to the dentist. Charlie did very well for his first visit. Annette, who loved the dentist at 2, was not as willing at 3. While there, I was also given the no-paci talk. Not surprising, but not the easiest thing for me to go and live out. I know it's past time to get rid of it, but Charlie has started taking 2 hour naps consistently, so I'm a bit afraid this will mess those precious naps up. Yet, it has to be done eventually and getting it done pre-baby-#3 seems logical. Maybe 'the talk' will be the motivation needed for me to actually DO it. I'll let you know how that goes :)

Looking forward to dance and pre-school starting up next week. Surely with a bit more free time I'll get around to finishing the re-do of our table and do at least a couple of things (like move Charlie into Annette's room) to get ready for this December baby. But if not, I know we will be just fine the way we are. 

I'd like to think I'm pretty good at improvising. 

Hope it's a great week for everybody :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I've Found Wednesday

The other day, I came across this blog post about what to buy and not buy at the dollar store.
I love this kind of thing, because I'd rather spend my alotted money on what I consider 'fun' stuff instead of on household necessities.

I shop at the Dollar Tree about once a month. With my kids. They each get to pick one thing to put in our basket. This keeps them happy throughout the trip. A well spent $2 in my opinion. Annette will say, "I changed my mind. I want these glitter glue sticks instead. I'll put the Strawberry Shortcake Shampoo back." While Charlie usually chooses something pole shaped. He loves long things like water squirters or foam swords that he can poke at us.

Much like the gal blogger mentioned above, I have started a mental list of what is a bargain and what is really just not even worth a dollar.

My mental list of yesses and no-no's are now a written list.

       This is the bread I always buy at Kroger or Walmart or Sam's. And about every other month, I have found it at the Dollar Tree. Less than half of the price I pay other places. This bread freezes and thaws very well too, in case you want to buy several loaves and can't eat them all before they go stale.

On the freezing things note...  The other day I was at Kroger when I found the soy milk I buy for the kids was on sale for $0.50 a half-gallon carton. That's like TONS less than I usually pay. I bought lots of them, hoping to freeze them before they went past their expiration date. I'd just read a blog about how thrifty moms freeze milk when it goes on sale and how it tasted just the same. Well well well. Soy milk does not thaw real well. Won't try that money saving trick with milk again.

These foil babies are perfect for taking dinner to a friend, a dish to Bible study, or for a messy baked dish. 
I use my Corningware and glass casserole dishes often, but it's pretty nice when I use these and can just toss them after our meal. Three for a dollar is way cheaper than they are at my Kroger. 

This one is a no-no. Do NOT waste your dollar on these safety pins unless you are using them to attach paper to clothing for consignment sales. Or some other very light task. They will not hold two pieces of fabric together like the JoAnn or Hancock's brands. Flimsy flimsy. 

These are a Yes in some situations. Isaac gets mad when he grabs one of these for a marinade and starts shaking. They ain't that strong. But, for other tasks like grouping toys or for storing non-liquid leftovers in the fridge, I quite like them for their dollar price tag. 

Bandaids! We go through way too many of these. These are cheap and work just right. And there isn't a $4 box of princess ones sitting on the same shelf calling out to Annette to start begging. Huge perk. 

Another No-no. These things fall apart way too easily. Who knew that clothespins could be poorly made?!? Not me. Until I bought these. I use them to hang artwork on a string above my kitchen sink now. They aren't strong enough for the 'real' jobs like hanging clothes or cinching a chip bag closed. 

For selling and shipping things on eBay, I've found these supplies to be quite nice. They have bubble wrap, envelopes, and the brown craft wrapping paper that I use to keep my packages light weight. (My pal Mandy taught me shipping tips a while back : )

I've tried their dishwasher detergent. It takes like the whole bottle to get one good wash done. So that's probably also on my no-no list.
I do buy number and letter workbooks that Annette currently thinks are super fun and big-girlish. 
We get construction paper and markers there. And googly eyes. Not crayons-- theirs aren't great. And when you can buy Crayola for a dollar right now at the back to school sales, who'd want to settle for less?
 No bright white paper either... that must cost way more than one buck to make because I've yet to find that in any Dollar Tree.

There are lots of things I haven't really tested yet.
- light bulbs
-pregnancy tests -- according to the blogger above, they work. interesting. 
- foam rollers for painting
- scissors
-trash bags (though I LOVE buying mine at Sam's. They're like 150 for 9 bucks.)

Anybody tried any of those? Or have any other tips on things I should buy while there?

Hope to learn some other Dollar Tree goodies!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week end Peek in

On Friday night, my mom and dad watched the kids overnight. We continually feel blessed to have family so close and ready to babysit. I dropped off the kiddos and Isaac and I hightailed it to the lake. We met some friends for dinner and had a great time with them riding around on the boat on Saturday afternoon once the rain had cleared out.

Had time to read this great book recommended by a librarian friend. It's a young adult novel based on a true story of a boy and girl growing up with very limited access to clean water. Getting to read a good book without interruption = a refreshed Morgan. 

We headed back to LR for dinner with my parents and Lauren and about 50 more friends and relatives. Notice I am wearing same exact thing. I packed lightly to say the least.

My aunt and uncle on my dad's side of the family celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday night. What an amazing thing.... to be married for 50 years. Such a blessing. One that I hope Ike and I get to enjoy 45 years from now.

Above, my dad playing with Charlie.

Below, Lauren and I visiting with my great aunt Hilda. 


Annette learning life lessons from Aunt Hilda. It's nice seeing them together. Annette never got to meet my AMAZING 'granny', Mattie Burnelle. Sad face. 
But, I'm thankful she at least gets to be around her little sister, Hilda, every now and again. 

The Setzler and Anthony families chatting and hugging and reminiscing.  A wonderful evening.

And here are the kids at church this morning. 
It was a fun and packed morning with all the new third graders moving up. I was in giddy first-day-of-school-teacher mode. I even laid out the kids outfits last night before church. I never do that. We were still late. Less late though : )

And for dinner tonight, we had some lovely neighbor friends over to grill out poolside. No pics, but lots of fun was had. 

All refreshed and geared up for a new week. We've got the zoo, library, and swimming on our agenda for the next two weeks before A and C start their little preschool a couple days a week. Oh,, AND we are headed to the beach in a couple of weeks too. Pumped!

Happy beginning of a new week.

~ morgan

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Diaper Shower

We had a little community group diaper shower for our sweet friends Laura and Taylor who are expecting their second.

This is the table that Isaac and Chris built for me for my 30th bday. LOVE it boys.

We missed our satellite-CG-couple, the P's out in NC.
Isaac kept them with us in spirit with his We the Peeps JDRF shirt.
Love you, Amy and Ray.

Isaac truly is the Grill King. He got his amazing cooking skills from his talented mom. Thank you, Nonnie, because I certainly am the beneficiary. And the new grill... Isaac's early birthday gift from my mom. It's a great one, Granny, thank you. 

We swam, ate corn and burgers, and got all caught up on life.
Annette helped me get the tables ready this afternoon. The girl loves to decorate. She picked the flowers for the kiddie table and made artwork for me to hang on our light fixtures inside :)

Popsicles to get a group shot....

Baby Piper Grace Moore will be arriving in just a couple of weeks! It's exciting to think of the new babies that will be added to this group in the upcoming year.

And I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Laura and her cute baby bump.

Too busy having fun I guess.

Excited y'all will soon be a party of 4, Laura, Taylor, and Adelyn!