Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I'm not a huge fan of Halloween and all things scary, but it is fun to dress up and see all of the fun costumes (and eat lots of candy!).  We usually just dress Addi up and go to our church fall festival.  This year, Addi has a horrible sinus infection, so we are planning on staying home. Her daddy is home with her today and they are watching a ton of Annie!  I know he loves that :)  My mom is coming over and i'm going to make chili, grilled cheese sandwiches and ooey gooey pumpkin bars - yum!  

I bought a cupcake costume for her to wear, but when I tried it on her Saturday, she flipped out.  Plan B is dressing her up in a way where she doesn't know she is dressed up - haha.  Therefore, she's going to be a cowgirl!  Since she LOVES her boots, I figured this would be the perfect costume!  Even if we don't go anywhere tonight, i'm still going to dress her up so I can take some pics.

Here are some pictures of Halloween's past...

2010






2011








Monday, October 29, 2012

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

Those of you who read this little blog of mine will probably see these boots A LOT this fall/winter!  She will not take them off.  Yesterday, I told her to go get her shoes and she said, "No!  My boots!"  These boots were Brad's when he was about 3 years old.  Which means they are almost 30 years old!  While in Wal-Mart yesterday a girl came up to me and asked where I bought them.  When I told her they were my husband's from when he was little, she said "I thought they looked antique" bahahaha!  I'm guessing I need to go ahead and buy another pair since her foot seems to grow what seems like a size a month.  Thank goodness she let me put her tennis shoes on her this morning for school!  Also, I just recently bought myself a pair...






Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our Weekend

This weekend was fabulous and I'm still not ready for it to end!  I happened to have a three day weekend.  Friday, I slept until 10:30 (off and on) and it was much needed.  A couple of friends from work and I went to the spa that afternoon to get massages.  That night my bff Janna came to town and we went to dinner and then to our high school's football game.  It's hard to believe it has been almost 10 years since we graduated!  Time has really flown by.  

Saturday morning, Addi and I went with Sadie and Leah to Old Baker's Farm to the pumpkin patch.  Addi was SO good.  She loved the hayride and picking out a pumpkin.  However, the animals at the petting zoo were not her fav.  It was really cold that morning and thank goodness they had an arts and crafts festival type thing, so I was able to buy her a little hat to wear.  I took my camera, but when I got it out to take a picture, I realized I had left the SD card at home - oops!  This is the only picture I took w/my phone.  Leah took some pictures, so I will do another post once she e-mails them to me.


That night, we went to Gadsden to my aunt's house for a little Halloween get together.  Addi had a blast with Uncle Cecil and followed him around all night.  She came home with a bag of candy that she has loved getting into!


We didn't do much today except relax, but tonight we met up with our small group for dinner and to assemble boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Each couple is doing two boxes and I chose to do one of the boxes for a 2-4 yr old girl so Addi could help me fill it with some of her favorite things.  She had fun picking out "prizes" for our box.  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Trip to the Dentist

Addi has been to her fair share of doctor's appointments already in her short little life.  Most of the time she does great and they can even manage to get a smile out of her.  Today's trip to the dentist, however, was horrible.  It started off great b/c they had a slide in the waiting room.  She had so much fun having it all to herself.  Even though she kept saying "my turn" and she was the only one playing on it - haha.  



Once they called her name she marched in there like a big girl.  The hygienist explained to her what all of her instruments were and let her hold them all.  So far, so good.  UNTIL....we actually needed her to lay down and open her mouth up.  She screamed and cried.  Bless her.  We had to kind of hold her down so she could quickly brush her teeth and look at them.  The dentist said her teeth look great, she has all of them, but they are really close together and I will need to try to floss her teeth.  Um, how in the world am I supposed to floss a 2 year old's teeth??  This should be fun!  At least she loves brushing her teeth {she just refuses to let anyone else do it}  He also told me to start saving for braces.  Joy.

I wanted to get a "first time at the dentist" picture, but this is the best I got b/c she refused to stand by herself.  We go back in May and hopefully she will do better then :)


Things actually got worse when it was time to leave b/c she wanted to slide some more.  I took her out kicking and screaming and it took me a good 10 minutes to get her to sit in her car seat.  Once we started Annie and went through the Jack's drive-thru for "hashrowns", she was good to go!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Homestead Hollow

I'm a little late on this post, but last weekend we went to a local arts and crafts festival not too far from our house.   Addi did really well and just rode in the stroller the whole time.  I think she had fun watching our friends' two little boys.  She didn't care anything about riding the ponies, but she liked looking at them from a distance and looking at the turkey, chickens and ducks.  I didn't take that many pictures, but here are the ones I did take...







Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend

The weather was absolutely perfect this weekend!  Friday night, Addi experienced her first high school football game.  My little cousin is a cheerleader, so we took a little road trip to see her.  I was kind of nervous to see how Addi would do at the game, but she loved it!  She was mesmerized by the bands as well.  She LOVES my cousin Bill and she loved sitting with him.




Saturday, Brad was playing golf, so we spent some time at the park and Chick-Fil-A with Nana.  Brad's mom came to get her that afternoon so she could spend the night with them.  I put Brad's boots from when he was little on her and apparently she HAD to wear them this morning to church with her smocked dress and refused to put on her dress shoes!  I hope Honey took a picture b/c she was already changed by the time I got home this afternoon.



After church, mom and I went to lunch and did a little shopping.  We came home to little miss priss pitching the biggest fit ever.  She finally got over her attitude and we have had a great night.  I'm exhausted and 5:15 is going to come realllly early!  I hope everyone else had a good weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

SUYL - Favorite Charities

I have had a lot going on this week and just haven't been in the mood to write lately, but I thought I would join in with Kelly today over at Kelly's Korner.  Today's SUYL is on favorite charities.  I know our monthly tithe partly goes towards missions, but besides that we try to give in other areas as well.  These are two of the charities that we support.


Footprints ministry is near and dear to my heart b/c we have experienced life in the NICU.  Footprints strives to show Christ's love to families who have a child in the NICU.  Each monthly meeting is spent creating gift bags that include: a bible, notepad, pen, monogrammed burp cloth, gift cards, etc.  The bags also include a prayer card that allows the group members specific information to pray for.  Having a child in the NICU is mostly unexpected and something most parents don't plan for when having a baby, even though they probably know the risk is there.  Footprints steps in and tries to make it easier on families who are going through this hard time.


We also help support a couple who is involved in Campus Crusade for Christ.  They help spread the gospel on college campuses.  The couple that we sponsor works with international students.  It's hard enough going to a new school, but I can't even begin to imagine going to a new school in a new country!  What a great way to share the gospel with international students by just helping them out on campus, showing them where to go, or even just inviting them to dinner or bible study.  Love this ministry!

Another group that has been on my heart to sponsor is Compassion International.  I think it will also be a way to show Addi how important it is to help others. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2 1/2 Years

I have posted a few tid bits here and there about everything Addi is up to lately, but I haven't done a full blown blog since she turned 2 1/2.  So, here it goes...

My little munchkin is just so stinkin' cute, I want to eat her up with a spoon!  She has the best laugh and it's so contagious.  She loves to tickle us.  The other night I was getting on to her for telling me "no" (which is still her favorite word btw) and right after I got on to her, she looked at me and said "tickle, tickle, tickle" as fast as she could and began trying to tickle her daddy - haha.  I couldn't help but laugh at her and immediately forgot what I was getting on to her about, which i'm sure was her little motive!



She also has this new thing where she wants "dip" with anything she eats.  Before I even set her plate down for her to see what we are having for dinner, she starts saying "dip pease".  She was dipping her breadstick in ketchup the other night - disgusting!  I made roasted carrots (sidenote - I've decided I can eat any veggie as long as it's roasted w/just a little olive oil, salt and pepper - yum!) she grabbed one and took a bite and immediately spit it out.  I'm convinced she thought it was a cheeto when she first saw it!  She could probably use some better eating habits, but she still eats well at school.  Her fav foods are yogurt, oatmeal, bananas (which she has just gone from calling them "nana's" to "beanas"??), chips, pizza and yogurt.  


Whenever I fix her hair she wants it in "tails".  Her teacher at school has been putting it in pig tails and she loves it.  I'm glad she is starting to let me play with her hair, but I honestly have no clue what to do with it other than "tails" or a just pulling it back.  I tried french braiding it, but her hair is so fine that it looked a mess.  

The song "Tomorrow" is still a hit in our house.  I have a video of her singing it, but it was right after bath time and i'm not all for putting naked videos of my child for everyone on the internet to see, so I will try to take one while she is clothed :)  She could seriously sit in front of a mirror and sing that song over and over again.  She mainly just sings "oooomorrow, oooomorrow, day aaaaaa wwwwaaaaayyyy"  over and over.  She ALWAYS requests to watch "Annie AND Sandy", never just "Annie".  

Thanks to one of my bff's at work, Addi has a closet slap full of clothes that should last her all the way through NEXT winter!  I'm so thankful for hand me downs, especially those that I wouldn't necessarily be able to afford otherwise. Right now she can wear 2t/3t stuff, but most of the clothes I was given was 4t, so she will wear them this year and prob next in order to make use of them better as long as they don't swallow her hole :)  I have banned myself from shopping for her until the first of the year.  Except for shoes, it's amazing how much that little foot of hers grows and I can't just buy the cheap shoes b/c she wears a wide.  I have to buy the expensive stuff. 

Now on to potty training.  I received this note from her teacher yesterday on her daily report...


She has been telling us she needs to potty and then about 80% of the time she actually goes.  I have not been pushing it at all, but if she asks, I definitely take her.  I have been giving her smarties as a reward, so I don't know if she's doing it because she really has to or because she gets candy.  Apparently, her teacher said she's been going at school as well.  We will try to start full on potty training come Monday.  I'm hoping and praying for good results, but i'm not holding my breath!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Loving Others


Loving people.

Lately, I feel like God is trying to tell me something about this subject.  It's like every bible verse I read or song I hear is about showing love towards others and forgiveness. I struggle with this way more than I used to. 

I used to be a people pleaser and desperately wanted everyone to like me.  Anytime I ever hurt anyone's feelings or something bad was said about me, I would seriously get so upset and would do anything to make things right.  My willingness to trust everyone would often allow others to take advantage of me.  

I'm not sure if it's because i'm a mom now, or I've just been burned one too many times, but I have definitely changed these past few years.  Sometimes I think I've changed too much and have put up a wall towards people and I simply just don't care anymore.  Don't get me wrong I love, love, love my friends and family, but what about those people who have done me wrong?  Do I love them?  Do I show them forgiveness?  What about people I don't know?  Do I show them the kind of love I should?  

Yes, I think we should always show kindness and love to others, even those when you just want to say "Shut up, no one cares what you think!" every time they open their mouth (yes, I have one particular person I have to deal with on a daily basis that I just want to scream that to every time they say something.  Wrong?  Absolutely.  I'm just keepin' things real.)  It's really hard at times to be nice when someone has done something to hurt you, but that's where the whole forgiveness thing comes in.  I know I have thought I have forgiven someone, but then I find myself saying bad things about that person, or wanting revenge in some sort of way.  You know, I want them to learn their lesson.  So, have I really forgiven them?  If i'm still dwelling on it, then no, I haven't.  I need to just get over myself and just show them Christ's love.  I don't think forgiving someone means you have to be bff.  In my opinion, it just means not dwelling on the past and instead focusing on a better relationship in the present.  

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

I've definitely learned that I can't put my trust in other people the way I used to.  We are all born with a sinful nature and we all screw up at times.  It's okay to put up boundaries with people.  You aren't meant to be friends with everyone. God made us all differently with unique personalities and not everyone is going to get a long.  I've accepted the fact that not everyone will like me and I will not like every one else.  Some people just clash.  That's life.  Just because we are different doesn't give us the excuse to be mean and hateful towards each other though.  

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:36-39
 
Walking right past someone you know without even a smile or a friendly "hello" is not showing Christ's love to them (no matter who it is).  Instead, it's giving the other person the impression that you are rude and simply don't care or that you think you are better than them.  Even though I'm not really concerned with what people think about me anymore, I still want my focus to be so much on the Lord, that His love just shines through me.  I definitely don't want to be known as a hateful person. 

I have found myself trying to pray for those who I don't get along with (and how I respond to them) instead of just opening my mouth and saying something I shouldn't.  Not only have I become less of a "people pleaser" in the last couple of years, but I have also become more vocal and have been speaking my mind a lot more.  Sometimes this isn't a good thing! Haha!  

I'm not sure if any of you are currently dealing with this, but these were just the thoughts that have been running through my head lately and I thought I would share :)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Recap


Another weekend has passed with no pictures to account for it!  It mainly consisted of friends, football, food, shopping, family time and a date night.  I also managed to buy a few mums and pumpkins to decorate our door step.  Side note, if we ever buy another house, we will have a huge front porch!  Here are some other highlights of our weekend...

I have managed to keep the house clean all weekend - I'm determined to stick with my cleaning schedule this week.  Here's to keeping our laundry under control!

Addi used the potty 4 or 5 times and each time she told me she had to go.  She is definitely making some progress and i'm hoping this is a sign of no more diapers/pull-ups in the near future!

We had our small group at our house last night and I made lasagna for the first time - it was really good if I do say so myself!  The leftovers were even better today for lunch :)

I finally bought a pair of boots that fit me.  Check out the Avenue if you have wide-calf issues like myself.  Some of their boots were kind of cheap looking, but I ended up purchasing these boots in cognac.

Addi LOVES our friend Chad.  I told her he was coming over and she kept saying "Cha's coming!" - it was too cute!

She sang the song "Tomorrow" from Annie for seriously an hour last night.  It was so funny.  Every time I would look at her while she was singing she would say "No, no, mommy!"  In the middle of singing she would also throw in the ABC's and then go right back to singing "Tomorrow".  Haha - she cracks us up!

I hope all of you had a great weekend as well!  


Friday, October 5, 2012

SUYL - Favorite Tailgating Recipes



Isn't my new "Alabama" turkey cute??  I thought he might fit in with today's SUYL from Kelly's Korner.  Today is all about tailgating food.  Pretty much every weekend during football season we are with friends watching football at someone's house.  These are some of my favorite football foods...

Bacon Wrapped Crackers

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 sleeve of Club crackers
1 lb bacon, cut in half

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  Top each cracker with 1/2 teaspoon of the parmesan cheese.  Gently wrap each cracker with 1/2 piece of bacon and place on a broiler rack on a baking sheet.  Bake for 2 hours, or until bacon is cooked.

Hot Cheesy Artichoke Dip

1 can of artichoke hearts, not marinated
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of mayo
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
garlic salt, to taste
dill weed, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I like to chop up the artichokes in my food processor so they are really fine (I like the flavor of an artichoke, not the texture so much).  Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer and pour into a 9 x 13 inch dish.  Bake 15-20 mins or until bubbly.  I like serving this with Triscuits.

Cream Cheese Sausage Rotel Dip

8 oz block of cream cheese
1 can rotel, drained
1 lb breakfast sausage, browned and drained of fat

Put all ingredients in the crockpot and cook about 1 1/2 hours or until everything is melted and hot.  This is one of my favorite dips.  My friend Amber makes it every time we watch the games at her house - it's so good!

The guys are kind of obsessed with their smokers, so we usually eat a boston butt and baked beans as well as yummy dips and desserts.  This weekend, however, I have talked the hubby into grilling ribs - his are seriously the best ever.  They always fall off the bone!  My mouth is watering just thinking about them - yum!



Thursday, October 4, 2012

EI 6 Month Review



Addi had her 6 month review with Early Intervention this morning.  I am so pleased with her progress and she continues to amaze me every day!

She started EI with just seeing a physical therapist and she eventually got to the point where she didn't need to see a PT at all - Praise the Lord!  She still makes me nervous going up and down the stairs b/c she's so clumsy and just doesn't pay attention at all.  She's the type that has to do everything herself, so you better not even try holding her hand while she walks the stairs.  I just try to stand in front or behind her just in case she falls I can catch her.  Luckily, she hasn't fallen yet, but she just trips a lot :)  Other than the whole stairs thing, she's doing fantastic!  

Currently, she's just working with a speech therapist (who we LOVE!).  Today, an occupational therapist came to evaluate her and said she's doing great! She said that the only thing that she really needs to work on is her grasp.  She said that the way she holds her pencil/crayon couldn't be better as well.  The OT is going to be visiting her once a month to work on a few small things, nothing major.  

Addi still has a way to go with her speech.  The clarity of her words and vocabulary could definitely still use some improvement, but I just love seeing how much she has progressed since last year!  

I know I've said it before but the Early Intervention program has been such a blessing in our lives and I'm so thankful for them!  I'm sad that once she turns 3, they will no longer be able to assist us.  

Now it's time for me to get home and clean, clean, clean!  We are having company this weekend and thank goodness my sweet momma is going to help me out tomorrow!  I am also pumped b/c I just got an email saying that my Cinderella pre-order just arrived at our house!!! That was one of my favorite movies when I was little and I can't wait to watch it again with Addi!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mrs. Forgetful


Ever since I became pregnant with Addi, my memory started slipping.  I can't remember anything!  I used to be good with names, but now you could tell me your name and I would have no clue what it is 5 minutes later.  It's not that i'm not paying attention b/c I totally do!  If I was a teacher I would be in pretty bad shape b/c there is no way I could remember all of my student's names. haha! 

Case in point - twice in the past two weeks I have forgotten Addi's shoes.  TWICE!  Usually, I get Addi fully dressed w/socks and shoes before we head out the door, but if i'm running really late, I just grab them and I put them on once we arrive at daycare.  Well, last week, we were about a mile from the daycare {30 minutes from our house} and I realize I forgot her shoes.  Thankfully, my mother-in-law had an extra pair for her, so I just ran by her house which is a lot closer to the daycare.  She saved me!  Today, I was rushing to get ready and I had Brad put Addi in the car while I continue to search for my shoes, etc. and he was rushing me {I will blame it all on him :) } and apparently I was in too much of a hurry to even think about getting her socks and shoes.  I realized this when I went to get her out of the car and saw she was barefoot!  I almost had a moment in the church parking lot and tears were definitely starting to form! Thank goodness I had put a pair of shoes in my car that I was going to sell.  Granted, they are a size too small, but they weren't too tight and will be ok just for today - I obviously deserve the mother of the year award!

I think all of this would be solved if I could just get up maybe 30 minutes before I do now.  I'm NOT a morning person and I wake up in just enough time to shower, dress myself and Addi and then out the door we fly.  I would LOVE to get up and be able to take my time.  Heck, maybe even sit down for a cup of coffee before I wake her up.  Most mornings my quiet time is done in bed before I even get up.  This has got to change.  I'm going to set my alarm for 5:00 tomorrow and i'm determined to not press the snooze button!  Wish me luck! :)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Me Monsters


At the conference I went to a couple of weeks ago, Vicki Courtney spoke on raising narcissistic children, or "me monsters" as she referred to them.   In a quick summary, she discussed the importance of having a God-centered home and not a child-centered home, the importance of putting God first, your husband second and your children third, and letting your children deal with the consequences of their poor choices.  

A lot of people {including myself} buy into what the world thinks a good mother should be.  Some examples might include throwing elaborate birthday parties or buying them anything and everything they want for Christmas.  All this is doing is feeding their inner "me monster" and raising them to think it's all about them.

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself" Philippians 2:3

I definitely don't want to raise Addi to become a "me monster".  It's VERY easy for me to give into things she wants, but i'm trying to stay strong and set up boundaries.  I have been around kids who rule their parent's house and run around like wild banshees and it makes me realize the importance of rules and boundaries.   I want her to be respectful of other adults and not to interrupt me when I'm talking to someone else.  I want her to love others and not think she is better than anyone else.

I hate to say this, but it's so easy for me to make things all about Addi and just ignore Brad b/c i'm so wrapped up in her.  Date nights are going to become a regular thing in the Alston household.  Even if it's just us letting Addi stay with one of her grandparents and us coming back home to watch a movie together, it's going to happen more often.  One thing that Vicki said that really stuck out was, we need to be friends with our husbands b/c one day our children are going to leave and it will just be us two left and you want to know the person you are living with!

I'm determined to teach her that Christmas is more about giving than it is receiving.  We will focus on Jesus more than the presents. Yes, we will still have "Santa" and it will be a time of fun, but that's not going to be our main focus.  

Most importantly, I want Addi to love Jesus with her whole heart and desire to do His will.  I want her to be a disciple and share Him with others!

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6