1st Place!


This past weekend, Ella and I travelled to Columbia, SC for her first dance competition.

She performed two routines – jazz & tap.

Her group won 1st place for jazz and 2nd place for tap!

I was so proud of her!  She sure has come a long way since she was 2 and cried when I tried to put her in dance.  Now, my once-shy, little girl has the courage to get up on stage infront of an audience and compete against other girls from all over the area in dance.  


Next up:  Nexstar Dance Competition in Greensboro, NC this weekend!!!




Here’s a recap of the past several weeks in photos:

Matt’s parents took the kids to the circus a few weeks ago – they loved it!

We made boxes full of goodies to donate to the Ronald McDonald house here in Charlotte for LOVE WEEK 2012.

Ella has taken up knitting.  She is making a little blanket for a special someone, but I’m not allowed to give away that secret yet (I promised her)!  She even took this photo herself.

The children have been doing a lot of jumping with all the nice weather we’ve been having.

Valentine Making

A new game from Grandma Farwell.

I finished book #1 of the Hunger Games series, and I’m currently halfway through book #2.  I am so excited for the movie, which comes out later this month!

We had a bit of drama cleaning up the playroom.

Since Matt is actually home before bedtime on Friday nights, we have been ordering pizza and watching a movie to celebrate our one family night per week.  And, you just can’t have movie night without candy or popcorn, right?

It’s that time of the year again.  Mmmm…frozen thin mints.

The kids are in art class now for the next 8 weeks, which means I get an hour to myself (and with the hubby) to sit outside, drink Starbucks and read.  Thursdays rock!

Working hard to get all of our curriculum finished by mid-May, before Andy’s expected arrival.

I hope this shot of my preggo belly doesn’t gross you out.  I love that the kids have been getting to feel their little brother kicking up a storm lately.  I love having big kids during this pregnancy – it is so fun that they get to take part in what is happening.

Love this furry, little guy!

Hooked on Phonics

A favorite breakfast or snack around here:

blueberries, vanilla yogurt, strawberries, more vanilla yogurt, granola and chocolate chips on top

Justin’s drawing from his 1st art class on cartooning…the alien from Toy Story.  Pretty good, huh?

Getting ready for baby.  I finally registered for my upcoming shower.  It’s weird to be starting over after 6 years.  I am starting to panic a little though – we haven’t really done a thing to get ready, and he’ll be here in about 12 weeks!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I’ve been taking tons since I am doing Project Life this year, but I’ll tell you about that in another post soon!

Last year I discovered the wonderful world of online grocery shopping.

Anyone who has children knows how stressful it can be to take them to the grocery store, and the older mine get, the harder it gets.  I can no longer contain them in a cart, and for some reason, they love to fight with each other in the grocery store.  It is extremely hard to focus on what I need to get when I have 2 kids arguing, tattling, climbing on and off the cart, getting in the way of the other shoppers and nagging me to buy junk food.

And not only is it challenging taking them to the store, it is also very time consuming.  Since we homeschool, I don’t have a lot of extra hours to do errands during the day, not to mention get every other household task accomplished that I am in charge of.

So for $5 per order, online grocery shopping has become my new best friend.  It is the best feeling to pull up in front of the store, roll down my window to push a button, have someone load all of my groceries in my car for me and pull away without ever having to exit my vehicle.

Whoever came up with this idea must have been a genius…or a mom!

My mom came to Charlotte this week to meet our newest family member, Ainsley, my brother’s sweet baby girl.

Today she came over to play with Ella and Justin.  My brother and Ainsley came too.

  It was great, because while my mom was playing with my kids upstairs, I finally got a chance to hold my one and only niece.  I had Ainsley all to myself for about an hour.

It’s rare that I get a chance to hold her for more than 10 minutes, because there’s usually a little someone who likes to steal her away from me.

Yep, Ella really loves babies.

I’m thinking she’s going to make one really good helper when Andy is born.

Okay, is anyone else sick of winter yet?  We’ve had such a mild winter that I really shouldn’t be complaining, but I am so done with rain and wind and cold and dark nights.  I am ready for warm weather and flip flops and daylight savings.  Yesterday, it rained and the temperatures were in the upper 30’s.  Yuck!  I can’t take anymore.  Please come now, spring.



Do you ever feel like in every blog you follow everyone has a perfect life, perfect kids, the perfect house and a perfect job?

Maybe it’s just the blogs that I follow, but everyone always seems to have everything together.  They take beautiful pictures, make crafts with their kids, sew, cook, bake, decorate and their kids are always wearing coordinating outfits.

It started me thinking that even on here, on my own blog, I usually just post pictures of the fun things that we do.  Special events, holidays and pictures of my kids smiling seem to be the main focus around here.

I thought I’d get real this post.  It’s time for some confessions of the things that you don’t see on my blog.

Confession #1:  Last week I had a couple of friends and their kids over for a little valentine play date/party.  They came over Friday afternoon for lunch.  I made a very yummy quinoa salad for lunch (for us grown ups, of course).  I didn’t get around to doing those dishes (or any dishes thereafter) until Monday morning.  That’s right, a straight 72 hour pile up of dirty dishes on my kitchen counter.

Confession #2:  Lately, my kid’s first instinct is to check for clean clothes in laundry baskets or the dryer.  About 3 weeks ago, Justin came to me and told me he didn’t have any clean outfits to wear.  He hadn’t even checked in his dresser.  Sadly, we had actually put his clothes away in his dresser (and I’m saying we, even though it was really my husband), but because he hadn’t had clothes in there for so long, he didn’t even think to look.

Confession #3:  Last week I ate 3 bags of Skittles.  I like to blame it on the pregnancy, but we all know I really love candy.

Confession #4:  Last night I asked Ella to read bedtime stories to Justin so that I could take a nap.  It was awesome.

Confession #5:  Last week my maternity jeans fit fine.  This week, they are really tight.  But not in the belly, in my thighs.  That’s not where the baby is (insert sigh).  Hmmm…maybe I should consider confession #3?

Confession #6:  Today I told my kids they couldn’t have any valentine candy as a punishment for their bad behavior.  Then, about 2 hours later, I totally forgot I said that and let them finish their heart box of chocolates.

 Confession #7:  I never wash off my eye makeup at night.  Face yes, but not the eyes.

Confession #8:  I don’t make the bed, except for sheet changing day.

Confession #9:  I never get gas in the car until the gas light has been on for a day or so.  My dad always taught me to fill up when you get down to the last quarter of a tank.  I don’t follow that, because I hate stopping until I absolutely have to.

Confession #10:  My kid’s playroom is so messy, you can hardly see the floor.  But, I totally don’t care, because I never look or go in.

Confession #11:  It took me about 3 hours to watch the 2 hour episode of The Bachelor this week (on the DVR, fast forwarding commercials), because I have ADD when I watch TV, and constantly pause my shows to do other things, like look at Pinterest on my iPhone.

Confession #12:  One thing’s for sure – I am not a perfect mom.  Recently, I left the kitchen table for 5 minutes while my kids were finishing their lunch.  During that 5 minutes, they got into a fight, and threw the juice from their mandarin orange cups at each other.  My freshly mopped kitchen floor was so sticky, that it sounded like velcro when I walked on it.  I yelled at them, and then I cried.

These confessions just cover a smidgen of the things that I wouldn’t take a picture of or write a post about.

I just felt the need to clarify that my house is often messy, I don’t always eat what I should, my kids don’t always behave the way I want them to and most days, we are just trying to survive.

And Repeat


Another sick day for Justin.

Yesterday he played outside all day long with as much energy as you could possible imagine.

Today at church he kept lying down on the floor, including the asphalt in the church parking lot and inside the lobby.  If you know Justin, you know that he never sits down, let alone lies down, unless he’s sleeping, so that was a telltale sign that he wasn’t feeling well.

Back home we went for yet another day on the couch, infront of the television.