Saturday, February 28, 2015

SNOW-magedon 2015

The weather in Southwest, Virginia, has been brutal these last two weeks.  Out of 10 possible school days, the kids have gone 2, if that goes to show you how bad it's been.  I'm not entirely sure of the total accumulation of snow, but I think it's a fair guess to say at least 10 inches fell.  During the first 6 days the snow fell, ALL 3 of our children had the flu.  I am not sure what strand of the flu the kids had, but it was truly the most sick they've ever been.  Praise God that they are all back to health and that Darren and I did NOT catch any of their germs. NORMALLY, the kids would have been out sleigh riding, building snowmen, having snowball fights, making snow angels, and constructing igloos, but that didn't happen the first 5-6 days that we were stuck indoors due to snow.

The snow started Sunday.  Lilah ws in severe ear pain, but we were stuck.  We could NOT drive anywhere, so she had to fall asleep in pain, on a heating pad. In the morning, she was completely fine and we thought that that was the end of it all.  
Then, Ty got sick. He had a high fever and a really bad cough.  At one point, he coughed so bad, he threw up.  This photo was taken while we were at the doctor's office.  Anyone that knows me well, knows I do NOT take my kids to the doctor EVER, so for me to be there you must know I thought it was serious.  The doctor chalked it up as bad allergies and gave Ty codeine for his cough. Later, we realized he had the flu.  "I want my dad!" said NO sick kid ever!" (Monday)
(Tuesday) Lilah and Jax both caught Ty's flu.  Red faces, exhausted, chills, and hard core fevers.  The highest fevers they have ever had.  It was really pitiful.
The only thing our kids did was sleep, sleep, sleep!  Lilah only got out of the bed long enough to hug Sadie.
 Then she invited Sadie into her bed with her.  I think the photo below is one of my favorite pictures of all times.
 When the kids FINALLY felt better, I HAD to get out of the house.  I was going CRAZY! 
 I considered robbing a bank and escaping to the Caribbean with my "earnings". 
I had all I could stand.  I couldn't take it anymore.  So, I left the kids at home and headed out to Wal-mart.  I brought Thor and Cleo Patra to help me pretend I was living a fairytale.  
One day the kids got pizza, slurpees, and a red box and another day I treated the kids to Dunkin Donuts. Winter is a time to eat "good" food.  I was trying to fatten them up so I could cook them, then eat them.  This was the first time we were out of the house in 5 days.  
Even Sadie was finally starting to show signs of PUPPY!  She was going a tad stir crazy.  As you can see, she was so unpredictable at this point, the below photo is how I had to use the bathroom.  I promise you she wasn't pulling away because I was going #2.  I was only tinkling.
ONE morning, I was tending to sick children and when I was finally able to focus on Sadie, I ran into this... you see four piles of dog poo, but it was actually 7.  It was the first time she had pooped in the house in 4 weeks.  I almost lost it.  She's fully potty trained, so I was NOT expecting this at all.
"Dear Winter, I think we need to break up.  I've been seeing Spring and day dreaming about Summer. It's not me, it's you!"  Ha! Well that's what Sadie thinks of this Winter."
In the midst of all of the illness and dog poo, haha, I was still trying to be thankful.  I found gratitude for my amazing husband. Darren was able to stay home one extra day with us and he made sure to keep up with clearing the walkways and driveways.
Shoveling the snow while it's still snowing is like cleaning the house while the kids are still growing.  
Ahhhhhh...the kids are FINALLY feeling back to normal and school is back in session and then...MORE SNOW FELL! At least this time they were able to enjoy it!
Ty, Lilah, and Sadie stayed out.  Jax wasn't interested.  
I think Ty was trying to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest snowball.  Hehe.
"Hey Elsa, The snow bothers us!"
He is such a mini me of Darren. #thumbsup
Finally, enjoy a few videos I captured of Darren and Sadie in the snow.  I took them ALL in "slow mo!" Not sure why, but I thought it was funny.  Every time Darren started going a little stir crazy, he would get bundled up and either shovel snow or play with Sadie.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Officially "Mom Central" Approved!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the "welcoming" into the family of Mom Central immediately via Google!  You will notice the addition of Mom Central's badge on the right hand side of my blog's home page. Click on it to learn more about what Mom Central is all about. Their motto: "Engaging and helping influential moms build their platform and increase their influence to support the brands they love!" WOW! I am officially a part of a blogging community that will be influencing others to love the brands I love.  

A few weeks ago, my favorite blogger, Jill Dubien, at MeetTheDubiens began sharing some of her beginnings with me.  She was sharing with me, after she received a recent email I sent to her, congratulating her on her BIGGEST and latest gig with NETFLIX.  Now that's HUGE! Jill lives in Canada. Here is a small excerpt from her email, 
The only company I work for that I didn't wait for them to contact me is Mom Central Canada. I'm sure they have a similar program in the U.S. Basically, they send out emails a few times a month for collaborations with certain brands.  Generally you have to write a post about that brand, test out their product, make a recipe etc.  You apply to be considered for each post and then they contact you if you are successful.  They pay you about $-.-- a post and you also get free products to try out.  I've done loads of campaigns with them and have gotten some cool stuff to try out - I'm getting a new refrigerator this month! Through them, I've worked with big names such as Campbell's, General Mils, Rubbermaid, Fisher Price, Hasbro, Fridgidaire, and more!
She encouraged me to look for Mom Central in the U.S.  I wasted NO TIME and located a U.S. Mom Central.  There is an application process for bloggers. Not all bloggers are approved and welcomed into their blogging community. To be totally honest, I forgot that I applied because there has been so much going on in our lives: snow, delays, snow, delays, snow, more delays and SICK KIDS! While out with the kids today, I checked my inbox and came across an email with the title, "CONGRATULATIONS! PLEASE READ! IMPORTANT INFO!" I almost pressed DELETE.  I get so much SPAM it's unreal.  I am so glad I didn't because had I deleted it, I would have never been able to have this amazing opportunity!

As you see above, the beginning of the email stated that I am "officially [welcomed]" What an incredible feeling and accomplishment.  And to go further, it stated that they spent an extensive amount of time "vetting" through hundreds of bloggers who wanted this position.  I'll be honest! I had to look up the word "vetting". The definition reads: "making a careful and critical examination of something."  ANOTHER, W-O-W! And it just so happens that if you turn that W-O-W upside down, it spells M-O-M.  I am just thrilled that our blog was carefully considered and critically examined and STILL APPROVED!  You can see (below) another small excerpt from today's email!  Specifically, I am sharing what expectations had to be met in order to be chosen.  In return, I will be given the opportunity to participate in campaigns and write on my opinions/viewpoints about particular products, hoping to influence other curious moms to love them too!
I cherish my blog readers and value my blog followers even more! Will you start following my blog today?  Allow me to take the pressure off of you by sharing my ideas, experiences, and thoughts, not to mention my adorable family members with you!! Hehe.  Click on the right hand side of my blog to become a follower.  I'll be sure to let you know when I receive the FIRST opportunity to work for Mom Central by reviewing an item or items. All glory goes to my LORD & Savior for giving me this public opportunity to let His light shine and to help others in my community, as well as, globally.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jax's Basketball Season Comes To A Close!

Darren and I were really proud of Jax during this season of basketball.  There's no humble way to say this, but I think it's okay because it's a fact... Jax was the best player on his team!!! Jax was placed on a team that sincerely seemed "young" and almost didn't even know how to dribble the basketball (quite frustrating for someone who has such knowledge of the game). Jax did have a female teammate that was very impressive though; I believe her name was Parker.  He enjoyed having someone he could rely on. Either way, Jax was such an extremely fair and helpful teammate. He passed the ball, instead of being a ball hog, when he could have easily stolen the show.  He was an amazing defensive player. He always had his hands up. This league didn't allow the ball to be "stolen".  Basically, each player had to wait for the ball to go out of bounds or wait for the opposing player to loose control of the ball.  That rule was so hard for Jax to follow, even though he did follow it and well, because he knows the sport and knows that that's not "real basketball", as he had said over and over again, on the way to each game. The idea behind this league is just to simply increase the players  knowledge of the game and to teach them how to be a good team player.  It was a short 6 weeks, but Jax did a fantastic job and we can't wait to watch him play "REAL" baseball this April. I am so glad he's finally old enough to let his light and skills shine!!!
Capturing a good photo in the gym was so hard! I am having the same issues during Ty's basketball games.  I may have to look into a new flash or lens before next season.
Receiving his trophy! Shy guy!
Jax received his trophy, but was too shy to let me take his picture. I begged and begged, but he started to cry, so I let him be. His trophy now sits on his dresser for all to see! He didn't seem to get overly excited about it.  He said, "I already have a trophy!"  LOL! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! Love Your Favorite PAIR!

Our "PAIR" of TWINS gave their bus driver a PAIR of earrings for Valentine's Day!

Gifts Of The 5 Senses!

I was truly stuck for ideas, for Darren, this Valentine's Day.  I knew there were a few things that I failed to get him for Christmas, that I could give, but it just didn't seem exciting enough, nor did it "fit in" with the typical gifts, from wife to husband, for Valentine's Day.  I decided to use the gifts I did buy him and create a fun presentation instead. I was able to fit each gift into a category; the category of "The Gift Of The Five Senses": see, touch, taste, smell, and hear.  I used my food friend accessories as little hints for each gift and hid each hint in little heart shaped boxes.

The kids enjoyed watching Darren receive each gift.  We blind folded him and presented him with a different plastic heart for each of the five senses.  
The first gift I gave, to Darren, was the gift of "smell"!  
There is NEVER a dull moment of comedy with this man!  He had to act each gift out.
It consisted of hair/body wash, foot lotion, lemon body creme, a thin mint cookie candle, and a peanut butter chocolate cookie car jar!
The second gift I gave, to Darren, was the gift of "touch" or "feel".  
At Christmas, Darren wanted a heat massager for his back, but I completely forgot about it. PERFECT!!! I am glad I was able to recall this idea and use it to fit the category perfectly.  
This homedics massager emits heat and kneads your back all the way up and down.
The 3rd gift was the gift of "taste".  The key to every man's heart is food, right?  
Darren's gifts of taste included a really nice bottle of red wine, a gold arrow wine cork, and powdered peanut butter.  Darren puts peanut butter in his oatmeal every single morning and I thought this would be an interesting twist.  I guess he could also use it for his protein shakes.
I also made the MOST delicious meal for him.  It was filet mignon, cesaer salad, heart shaped pasta with a garlic and oil sauce, and a pretzel roll.  Darren and I, BOTH, were talking about this meal three days later.  
The 4th gift was the gift of "hear".  
I wrapped his fourth gift in a victoria secret bag and he was getting a little nervous, thinking the kids were about to "hear" see something inappropriate.  
Darren is a watch collector and it's been a while since I purchased a new watch for him.  I was excited to see that fossil had a new collection, which included a navy band.  Darren doesn't have any navy banned watches.  I thought the "ticking" of the watch could fit the category of hear.
The 5th and last gift was "see".  Ty apparently snooped and looked at the gift before I presented it to Darren, so he was jumping up and down with excitement.  He said over and over, "Dad this is the best gift ever!"
I presented the gift, to him, in a heart shaped box.  Inside, instead of the holes being filled up with chocolate, I filled them up with little basketballs. 
There was a note inside that read:
"We are going on a date ALONE to do something you would like to do! A Virginia Tech Basketball Game!"
Ty started crying immediately.  I think he thought the gift included a ticket for everyone in the family! It was so comical and then got a little ugly because his sadness turned to anger and frustration.  We immediately sent him to bed for not rejoicing with others. It was 7:30 pm at this point, so that was a huge punishment for him.

Darren is always so appreciative and complimentary of the gifts I give and the creativity that goes along with it.  I think the presentation is sometimes more exciting than the gift.  Anyone can wrap a gift or throw something in a gift bag. Go that extra mile once in a while.  If your gift isn't very exciting, but the presentation is, the gift will still be enjoyed.
Oh and the morning of Valentine's Day, I chose to give part of Darren's "taste" gift to him, to enjoy.  It was a box of Dunkin Donut k-cups (his favorite coffee), a new coffee mug with a sweet note reading, "Amour", and an adorable engraved spoon that read, "Let's Spoon".  I purchased this spoon from etsy, at a shop called Block and Hammer.
Other than the bus driver's gift, this post 98% completes our Valentine's Day celebrations! There was an insane amount of detail and thought that went into EVERYTHING this Valentine's Day.  I hate to say it, but I am a little glad it's over.  LOL! Until next year...