Sunday, August 26, 2012

First Day of First and Fifth Grade

I'm so proud of these two littles....

I cannot believe that little Finley will be going into 1st grade tomorrow.  And that Aidan will be a 5th grader!  

They are ready and super excited!!  


You are both going to have an awesome year.  I'm so proud of the big boys you are becoming!  Have a wonderful year!!!  

Love always, 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Mrs. Szymanski!!

I am SO PROUD of this lady right here!!!!  She is my bestest friend, and she has worked so hard to get where she is!!  She is now a full fledged TEACHER!!  And her CLASSROOM is INCREDIBLE!! 

Dear Ashlee,

I cannot tell you how very proud I am of you!!  I know how hard you've worked to get here...and how stressful it has been!!  I know you are going to do an awesome job this year...those kids are so VERY BLESSED to have you as their teacher!!  As this is your FIRST year I'm sure it won't be easy, but you are an incredible person and you will make it work!!  You are an inspiration to me and I love you so very much!!

Love, Ashley

Meet the Teacher 2012

Last night was Meet the Teacher at my boys school...Lake Pointe Elementary!!!  They both said they weren't ready to go back to school, but after our trip up there both boys seemed to be happy about school starting on Monday!  Finley is now counting down the days till school starts...YAY!!

The boys and their back to school supplies {thanks Grandma and Grandpa}!

Finley's desk {he is so happy that our neighbor, Reese, is across from him!!}!

Finn and his new teacher Mrs. Mohan...she seemed very nice!!

Aidan and his 5th grade teacher Mrs. Clyne...I've heard good things about her!!  Yay!

One final picture on our way out!!  We picked up two new Lake Pointe t-shirts on the way out!!

I can't believe that I have a 5th grader and a 1st grader!!  It's amazing.  I am so proud of these boys...they will do awesome this year!!  Three days till BACK TO SCHOOL!!! :)

12 Hours In

So yesterday afternoon I felt a headache coming on....sometimes they go away, sometimes they don't.  I prefer not to take medicine unless I have to...and usually by the time I take some meds it's too late. :(  A little background....

During pregnancy all you are allowed to take is Tylenol.  But Tylenol had pretty much stopped working for me.  My MIL suggested Motrin.  So after I gave birth to Owen I jumped on the bandwagon and was taking prescription strength (4 pills) with every single little headache.  Well after 2 years of that I realized the Motrin was eating away at my stomach.  It was a terrible cycle...take Motrin for a headache, deal with horrible contraction-like stomach pain later {which could last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours}.  It was literally like being in labor with no relief.  I finally figured out why they put that warning label on bottles of Motrin/Ibuprofen!!!  Ha!  So for the last few months I've not taken anything for my headaches.

After a trip to the doctor last week and this week I've been given 2 for my blood pressure and one for my headaches.

Yesterday I had a headache that caused to me cry hard.  I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep.  It felt as though someone was sticking their fingers in my eye sockets and attempting to pull my eye balls out!!  No joke...exactly what it felt like.  HORRIBLE!!  And to top it off last night was Meet the Teacher night at my kiddos school!  Really?  I prayed like crazy and was lucky enough to lay down for an hour or two before we had to leave.  Finally I could stand without feeling like death and we rushed up to school {another post coming}!

After going up to school I ran to get my new meds.  I took both of them last night and they have been in my system for approximately 12 hours.  I was told that the blood pressure meds could make me light headed or dizzy...well about an hour after I fell asleep I was dreaming about being light headed!  I woke up and realized I really was feeling the effects of the medicine!  This morning I am still feeling slightly weird, but I hope this feeling passes.  As for my headache, my head still feels "tender" but LOADS better than yesterday!  Thank the Lord for doctors, pharmacists and medicine!!  I am feeling very THANKFUL for them today!  :)  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Overflow of My Heart

Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.  :(

Right now evil is slip sliding right on out of my mouth....I know it is coming from the overflow of my heart.  

My heart is frustrated with a lot of things right now...
I'm tired of having headaches.
I'm angry that I'm now on blood pressure medication.
I'm irritated that my weight loss is a stand still...20lbs gone, then nuthin.
I'm pissed at myself for eating crap.
I'm done listening to children whine.  Enough already.  I don't want to have to say "shh" one more time.  I don't want to hear that wonderful noise made from putting one's hands to one's mouth.  I don't want to hear one more high-pitched scream, or see kids running through the house accidently knocking over a baby, or getting disrespected by a 10 year old who thinks he knows everything.
I'm bored with doing the same thing every boring day.
I'm frustrated with living paycheck to paycheck.  It gets old...FAST.
I'm disappointed in myself for all the whining I just did....but I still FEEL all of it just the same.

I need my heart to do some reflecting...
I need to start taking my new headache medicine and see what happens.
I need to be happy that the blood pressure meds are only $4 {an answer to prayers!}.
I need to figure out what's going on with my weight and if I need a new system {but continue to be happy that 20lbs are gone (technically 29 but that's for another post)}
I need to realize "crap in, crap out"!  Ha!  Not literally but it's an awful bad, feel bad, eat bad, feel bad.
I need to remember to be thankful for each little "blessing" God has given me.  I need to be grateful for the job of watching two extra "blessings", which God has provided for me these last two weeks.
I need to realize life is about to get way hectic REAL soon.
I need to stick to our new budget plan and see what happens...we might not have cable, or we might keep it...but either way we can be happy...and we WILL continue to tithe.
I need to be thrilled to have this little space in blogland that I can come and rant and rave then praise and give thanks!!!

I pray that as God works on my heart I can work on my mouth...that I won't spew mean words or use a mean spirit to talk to my babies and my husband.

I pray that God would dig down deep in my soul and give me comfort in the times of frustration.  My Bible sits on my counter so I can go to it constantly for encouragement to make it through each day.  I know that His work on my heart and the Bible on my counter is sufficient for me!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless helper

{look at that precious face!!  yes, I know one day he will hate me for these photos...but they are too cute for words...hence the wordless..or semi-wordless!  haha!}

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Presbyterian Night Shelter

This morning our family had the privilege of serving at one of our local homeless shelters...The Presbyterian Night Shelter.

The largest provider of services for the homeless, Presbyterian Night Shelter is the only free area emergency shelter without length-of-stay restrictions. The Shelter believes in respecting the dignity of its clients, while supplying meals, beds and basic human care to an average of 704 homeless men, women and children every night and approximately 3,040 annually.
The Shelter provides hope to its clients and is working to end homelessness.

We served in the women and children's section...The Lowden-Schutts building.  Here is our experience....

We were approached by a women {Skinny Gina} in our Sunday School class a few weeks ago about serving at a local shelter.  She wanted to have a "Back to School" party....pools, sprinklers, a bounce house, hot dogs, cookies, popsicles and lots of fun!!  Gina's heart was very tender to these women and their plight...a lot of whom were fleeing from domestic abuse.  I was more than happy to help.  She told us it would be safe, but we probably shouldn't bring the two littles.

Fast forward to today....we dropped the littles off with Grandma and Grandpa and headed for the shelter.  As you can guess the shelter was NOT in a nice part of town.  By not nice I mean...VERY scary.  I have been on this road before...we will call it Homeless Drive....and the farther down this road we drove the worse I felt.  I didn't want to keep going.  I wanted Joey to turn around and go back to our safe little cozy streets and  never come this way again.  I had immense trepidation when we pulled into the shelter parking lot.  But I just prayed the Lord would be with me each step.  We had to cross a street filled with men and women to get to the gated area we would be in.  We had a group of about 4 men, 8 women and 11 kids.  We unloaded all our cars and began setting up.  We had a brief meeting about interacting with the people...Rule 1 NO pictures {hence the lack of photos in this post}, Rule 2 no picking kids up that were big enough to walk, Rule 3 side hugs ONLY.

Once all our fun water stations were set up the women and children started gathering around to play.  For the most part the people were happy, curious and talkative.  But there were a few ladies that I could clearly tell were angry at life, they cussed like sailors and yelled at their children. The women were gathered in their own cliques, talking, fixing each other's hair, smoking cigarettes and checking their cell phones.  Some littles ran around unattended, playing in puddles of water {in their footed pjs}, while other kids were watched closely by their mommas.  God calmed my heart with every second I was there.  I could feel my heart soften for these hurting people....but I prayed I wouldn't break down in tears in front of them.

All of our workers did an AMAZING job interacting with the kids and women!!  It was awesome to see the smiles of the kids when a worker would pay attention to them!

I was honored to work in the kitchen...and I mean honored.  I truly felt like I was making a difference.  I was serving them...serving others.  And oh my goodness it felt incredible to feed and serve all these people!!!  We fixed about 200 hot dogs, went through 10 bags of chips and a million cookies!!  AND they had popsicles later!  We had to follow strict health codes...gloves, a hairnet {ME ONLY}, no trash cans in the kitchen...and then the director had specific directions for us.  It was too detailed to go into, but needless to say it was work.  But what I wanted to share was what I saw while putting plates together.  I happened to be working at a window...which led to the street...which was FULL of homeless people.  Oh how my heart ached for them.  During my brief stares I saw a man pass by, pick up an old Bic lighter, test it and then throw it back in the street....I saw a woman dressed from head to toe in red white and blue wave a flag constantly, I saw a worker from somewhere talking with some of the men and women, and I saw what looked like ONE good samaritan pull up and hand out cold cokes out of his trunk.  I just tried to take it all in...

After everyone was fed and seated our sweet K brought a short message from the Bible.  She was fighting Satan to be heard...through hardened hearts and loud kids she pressed on.  It was an amazing lesson and I know she touched the hearts of those women!!  I was fighting back tears!!

As we started packing up, Gina brought in a bunch of clothes our group was donating to the shelter.  With each load we took back to the cars we passed the women going through the bags of was incredible!!  I wish I could have just sat there and watched them....they were SO happy!  Again...I was fighting back those tears.  I wanted so badly to run home and empty my closets!  I don't think I will ever donate clothes to Goodwill again...ever.  I will bring them down to this shelter.

We had an amazing time...I would be thrilled to do this again....maybe during Christmas!!  Thank you Lord for letting us be a part of such a wonderful event!!

Hope you are having a great weekend! :)  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pinterest: My Style

I thought I'd share a few things that I've pinned that I consider "My Style"...a lot of the things I probably couldn't pull off, but that doesn't stop me from LURVING them!! ;))  What's your style?  Have you pinned any of these?

Starting with CLOTHES:

{not really a fan of the flared pants, but oh well}

{be still my heart!}

{yellow and gray: a perfect pair}

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

{simply gorgeous}

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

{the first "outfit" I pinned...and still my number one favorite!!}

Now let's look at JEWELRY:
{you might notice a slight trend}

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

{love, love, love, love, love, love}

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

{did ya see the trend??  I LOVE me some turquoise!!}

I'll share my love of handbags and diamonds in another post!!  Ha!  Happy Monday all!!  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grateful, Thankful, Blessed

I just feel the need to do a post on some AMAZING people in my life...

Mom and Dad...or Gaga and Grandpa to my kiddos...we are so blessed to have them so close and so willing to spend TONS and I mean TONS of time with the kids!  The Fab 5 {Gaga, Grandpa, Aidan, Finley and Breslyn} have been busy ALL summer.  They have vacationed, played in the pool {about 100 times}, boated, put on a production of Wizard of Oz {another post on that later}, read about a million books and had about a zillion sleep-overs!!  My parents are so sweet to spend so much time with my kids...and I am beyond thankful to have such involved parents!!  I have benefited greatly from the big three being gone a house is not as messy, I've finally conquered my nasty Master Bathroom, I might have taken a few naps and really enjoyed some one on one time with Owen.  It has been so wonderful!  Thank you Mom and Dad aka Gaga and Grandpa! kids Great-Grandma...I am so grateful for her help....on countless occasions!!  She has taken my kids to appointments, scrubbed dirty spots out of my carpet {yes, on her hands and knees...scrubbing}, folded 4,268 loads of my family's laundry, taken us to eat dinner every Tuesday night, and that is AFTER she buys us a load of groceries at SAMS!!  My Grandma is such a blessing....she makes me feel number one, important, that what I say matters!!  What an incredible Grandma!  She loves on my kids and they love on her!!  Thank you Grandma!!

Bill and Linda...Memaw and Papaw....they are wonderful in-laws and great parents to Joey.  They spend such quality time with our kids!  They make the most of every single moment that they are together!!  They have gone to the movies, played in the pool and gone on vacation!  What awesome grandparents!  Thank you both!!

Ashlee {My Ashwee- said by Breslyn} best friend....she has shown me you can really enjoy your summer!!  She knew how anxious I was about summer and how much I HATE the heat!!  She has invited us over a ridiculous amount of times to swim in their pool, have dinner, play out front, play at the splash park, go to dollar movies, sweat at local parks and just enjoy the time together!  She is SO great with my kids...and I am so blessed to call her my BEST friend!  Thank you Ashlee!

Lastly the LORD....I can't THANK Him enough for all the ABOVE people!!!  How blessed am I?  Anytime I feel down...throwing myself a pity party...wanting stuff I cannot have {and don't need}...I think about how much the Lord has given me, all the wonderful people in my life and can't help but SMILE!!!  Seriously...B.I.G. smile!!!  :)))))


Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Year, New Class

Happy Thursday everyone!

Yesterday I found out I will be teaching the 3's class at Grace Place this upcoming year!  First...I have taught the 3's in the past and I L.O.V.E them..seriously...a lot!  Second....I am teaching with a great girl...who, is ridiculously beautiful!  Third, I am so excited to get into a new room...which is HUGE!!  Last year we kind of struggled for wall space...because of a particularly ugly "room" mural!  But this year our room is plain and ready to be decorated!!  Yay!

Today the kids and I ran up to school to begin the "alphabet" process.  Each year each student makes an alphabet book {we provide the letter, they craft it up}.  For that to run smoothly we have to cut out roughly 80 million large letters, cut the same amount of construction paper to 8 1/2 X 11, glue the letters to the paper and punch holes in the paper.  VERY time consuming, but the kids like it and the parents LOVE it.

I have to get together with my co-teacher soon to discuss decor, curriculum, etc before we start our week of training {begining Aug 28-31}.  I'm so excited to get this process started...not so much ready to get rid of my relaxing days, no alarm days and low-stress days!  I am ready for structure, for my kids to get back in school, for my kids to get back in school and for my kids to get back in school.  ;D

Tomorrow is my last day of "freedom"...beginning next Monday I start watching Joshua and Keggan for two weeks until school starts.  LOVE those boys, but it will definitely make for long days having 6 kiddos all day!!  Ha!  We are gonna play and have fun and enjoy every last minute!!

{Joshua 7}

{Keegan 3}

This time next year I TRULY fear I will be on medication to make it through my biggest boy going off to middle school and my baby girl going to Kinder.  I am crying now just writing that. :((

So there ya go...New Year...New Class!!!  Hope you could follow all my randomness!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Halloween Wordless Wednesday

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

I can't wait for Halloween...well, really Fall...but still my favorite thing will be the COOLER weather!!  :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Friday...

Joey took off Thursday and Friday and we planned on a relaxed, but fun time as a family.  Thursday was fine, Friday was okay.  I could just feel Satan was working against Joey and myself Friday!  He had little patience...I was irritable....the kids were disobedient...just not the best day.  :(  But we went to dinner as a family and really enjoyed ourselves.  Then we came home to have our own MOVIE and ICE CREAM party!!  I ran to Wal-Mart and got ice cream, all the fixin's and a new movie...The Spiderwick Chronicles.  

This is our night in pictures.....

 ice cream on the nose and everything...little poot!!
 aidan's concoction....
 plain vanilla for finn....

 oh...that mess you was WAY WORSE when I went to clean up the table...good grief Owen Brady..
 onto the movie...a pallet full of punks!!  Love these little rugrats...

Lulu and me...silly little pup!!

As far as the movie...I thought it was too scary for B...I wouldn't show it to a kid under the age of 7ish.  It was full of imagination, but a bit too frightening!  But overall I'm glad I bought it...especially for $5!!  

As for today I cut about 400 70 little planes out of foam for our upcoming VBS at church this week...thanks BABE for helping me!!  Love ya! AND I just finished switching out newer pics of the kids in our foyer frames!!  Whoop for getting a much needed project done!!  Now I'm going to go cut strips of burlap, roll them into rosettes and finish up another project {well, part of a project!  Pics to come!} 

Hope you all had a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.