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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Card Favorite

[front]

Little baby on the hay,
soon there'll be another day
when nails shall pierce
Your hands and feet
as you provide our sin's defeat.
Risen Jesus on the throne,
we lift our praise to you alone -
for You're the gift that we receive
the moment that our hearts believe.

Roy Lessin


[inside]

This Christmas, as you consider
all the awesome things
that have come to you through
Jesus, God's perfect gift,
remember that it is but a taste
of all the good things
that are yet to come.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is that you God?

Gracie was walking thru the house, and asked me where Daddy was. I told her that he was in his room talking to God.

Her reply, "I want to talk to God with Daddy too."

When Alex came out, I told him that she wanted to talk to God with Dad, so they went into our bedroom to pray.

He let her pray, then explained that now we wait quietly to hear what God wants to tell us.

After about ten seconds, Gracie, in as deep of a voice as a 3 yr old girl can muster, says, "I don't like you." With that she was off running and laughing. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LOL Moment

Lillie in the car asked the following question very innocently:
"Mom, did they have Christmas songs when you were a little girl?"

Mom "Yes."

Lillie very impressed exclaimed "WOW!"

Just how old does this child think I am?!?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Lillie quote

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"Mom, some people don't like snow, but I say........♪♪♫LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!♫♪♫"

(you must wave your arms, while singing the let it snow part to get the full effect)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Did you see what I saw?

My first black Friday shopping experience was a success! We started Thursday around 11pm and I was home by 5:30am. Although there was only one item I really wanted, I ended up getting almost all of the girls Christmas. (Thanks, Amber for waiting and grabbing that Leapster for me) I had a lot of fun with two of my favorite people, we laughed, shopped and laughed even more. Love you girls - LOL!

When I got home, I locked all the stuff in my closet so that Alex could see it and then we were going to put away. To set up the following story, I had just told Lillie on THanksgiving that if she peeked at any of her toys, and I found out, they were going to be taken back to the store.

I was cleaning the bathroom on Saturday and Lillie comes running in and says, "Mom, Gracie's in the closet looking at what you bought!" I rushed in and said, what did you see? Her reply was simple, "Just my vacuum cleaner." The rest of the items were in bags, so I am pretty sure that is all she saw.

I told her that I was going to have to take the toy back. She just cried and cried. I explained that when you peek at stuff you know you aren't supposed to see, then that is what happens. I also said, that if she wanted a vacuum cleaner now, that she would have to ask Santa, because Mom and Dad weren't getting her one.

I was disappointed, not in her since she is only 3 - but that I had to tell her that and she cried. The closet was locked, but just didn't get pulled shut all the way and that is why she was able to get in. :(

Sunday morning, I was getting ready to put Gracie in the shower and she looks at me and says very sweetly, "Mommy, I am sorry I saw my vacuum cleaner yesterday. Did you and Daddy take it back to the store already?" Mommy, "No, Dad will on Monday." Gracie, very sadly, "Mommy, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to see it, I won't peek again."

Sunday afternoon, she came to me with a piece of paper and asked how to write vacuum cleaner. I wrote on one page, and she copied it to her letter. She then gave it to me and said that is her letter to Santa. Very cute!

I am not really going to take it back, and she will still get it, but not from us. She will get it from Santa. However, I am curious as to what you all would do in this case. She is only 3 and I don't believe that she went into my closet just to find the toys, but at the same time she also knew she was not to go in there. How would you handle this? :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yes we did

It is before Thanksgiving, and we have our tree up! With the all that is going on in the next week, today felt like the best day to do it.




The girls were so cute while decorating. The tree is definitely not professionally done, but it is done with love (I know cheesy). We don't have a lot of decorations, but enough to enjoy putting them up. I still have to do the lights outside and a few inside.

I have quite a bit of Christmas shopping done, and have paid for very little. We earned a $25 gift card for participating in a survey when we were in Disney last May. With that I was able to purchase 2 presents each for just over $2 out of pocket. Using a Sony gift card we found, from like 2 years ago, we were able to pick up a movie for the girls for free! I have $70 in amazon gift cards just from searching the web (I would have had over $100 but spent part of them for travel games when we went to Disney). I plan on using that to purchase some things for the girls too. This past Tuesday I went to Radio Shack and found Lillie's big present from Santa - Nintendo DS Lite on clearance, saving me $40.

I have never had this many items bought before Christmas and actually it feels really good. I am thinking that I need to start my shopping earlier. I may shop Black Friday, but I am still undecided on that. This would be my first year to shop then, and I am not sure I am ready to take that plunge. lol

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bits and Pieces

It seems like it has been a long time since I have last posted. I think many times - "Oh, I should post that" but unfortunately I don't. :( Hopefully, I don't get too random, but here goes a little update.

Lillie had her first JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) meet this past Saturday. Her team got 4th place. She has worked hard on the questions, but she was not quick enough to the buzzer. I will say the ride there and back was entertaining as we rode with one of her best friends, Josiah. I love listening to their conversations. Too cute!

School is still going great. She has learned many things and floors me with how quickly she picks up new subjects. I love seeing her excitement as she accomplishes new things. Her favorite subject is science - which has always been my favorite too. ;) She is able to read short sentences and is really good at sounding out words, as long as she is in the right mood. There are days, that are harder than others, but overall I am loving homeschooling her.

Gracie has picked up so much through watching her sister. I have been working a little with her about recognizing numbers and letters. Although I think that Lillie has taught her most of what she knows. Lillie, not only is a good student, but a good teacher! Both of the girls love the website www.starfall.com and I would recommend it to anyone with little ones. It is a fun way to work on letters. It is a fun treat for the girls once in awhile.

We have gone trick-or-treating. Lillie was pretty little cowgirl and Gracie was Jessie from Toy Story.




We are getting ready to put up our Christmas decorations this week. The girls can hardly wait for that. Who am I fooling, I can't wait either! One thing I am excited about is all the really good deals I have gotten so far for the girls. I have several presents already purchased and have spent less than $10. YAY! Maybe I will post later this week about those.

You have probably have had enough to read of my life, so toodles until next time! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Super-Dork

I am going to disclose a story to you, not because it tells how awesome I am, but because it shows how God uses everyday life to teach my children (and me) lessons.

Yesterday I decided to fix my rearview mirror with super glue. As I was working, the girls kept coming to the door and distracting me and at some point I got some glue on my fingers which so happen to touch my eyelashes. Yes, I glued my eyelashes together! (feel free to laugh, I am)

Thankfully it was only about 1/4 inch section and I could still open my eye enough to see out of it. I grabbed the package and ran inside, immediately washed my eye with water, but they were still stuck. I read the warning:


I was pretty much in a panic, because I was not going to go to the ER because I glued my eye shut! I called my mom, who said after speaking to my cousin, a RN, to use Vaseline (which I was already) and that should help, otherwise I may have to very carefully trim my eyelashes. So I worked even more diligently because who wants to cut their eyelashes. My mom said she would come over and see if she could help as I was working with only one eye. After several minutes it came loose and I could see again. After calling my mom back and telling her not to come, I got the rest of the glue off (which included several eyelashes) and have no damage to my eye other than a little puffiness.

During all of this Gracie had come into the bathroom with some anointing oil and prayed for me (I honestly didn't realize it because I was too focused on getting my eye opened). She told me afterwards she prayed because she didn't want my to be like this - then she squinted and I told her thanks.

Alex got home from work and I started to tell him about it, to which he did what every good husband would do and laughed. Then he asked how I got it opened. Before I could answer, a very excited Gracie said, "I prayed for mommy and God heard me and made her eye open all the way!"

Now, I am not wanting to glue anything else shut to allow God to teach a lesson, but if thru it all my 3 year old learns that her prays are answered, then I will be an instrument for God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Playing Opossum

Thought I would share a funny story from this morning.

About 4am Alex and I woke up to the dog barking like crazy. Alex got up to go see what was going on and he found two little eyes peering from behind two old sections of fence that was propped up on the existing fence. So, of course we knew unless that thing left our fence the dog would continue barking causing us to not get anymore sleep nor anyone else in the surrounding houses. Alex got the bebe gun out and shot at it a couple of times, it moved and since it was dark he assumed it left the yard.

However, a few minutes later Tallie started barking again. This time I got up to see what was going on. Alex took a flashlight and broom out to knock over the fence and make sure it was either dead or gone. I laughed as he ran for his life, just in case whatever it was came after him. Well, it was a opossum (but not dead yet, Ryan), a big opossum! Alex told me to watch it as he changed out the bebes for pellets. Of course, I did watch......from a far off distance! He came back out and just in time to watch it start going down our fence line, around the back fence and then towards the house on the other side of the yard. Tallie of course barking and trying to catch it.

At the point it turned towards the house, I ran in because opossums are feisty creatures, I am not wanting to get too close to it. Alex shot at it and then it went under our porch (I know, ugh!). Tallie continued to chase it all the way into her doghouse!!!!! Alex had to shoot it a couple of more times and finally finish it off with a shovel. It was tough thing!!

Anyways, I am sure we were a sight for anyone watching us and because Alex had to go to work, all he did was throw it over our fence so the dog wouldn't play with it. He will take care of it when he gets home.

I am thinking that it may make a great present for my little brother who is quite fond of the rat-like creatures. Better yet, does anyone want to come over for dinner tonight? ;o)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hearing from God

We have been having revival services at my church (www.crosst.org) for awhile now, and it sparked this conversation with Lillie:

Lillie: You need to have someone pray for you.

Mom: Why

Lillie: So you will hear God talk to you.

Mom: He does talk to me thru His word (Bible), when I pray, thru our pastors, in many different ways... When you pray, ask God to speak to you, it may not be in a voice you hear, but you will know that it is from God.

Lillie: I can pray, but I can't read.

Then she went back to playing with her sister so I let it go. Later today while I was praying:

Lillie: What are you praying for? For me to hear from God?

Mom: Yes. Lillie, you know you can go to the alter and the Pastor will pray for you too.

Lillie: I can?!? Okay, but I don't know if I will.

I don't think I can express how excited I am about my five year old wanting to hear from God.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

School Time

I am still here! It has been awhile since my last post, and I thought I would give a brief update of what is going on at the Thompson house.

We have officially started homeschooling! Lillie is doing great, and I am amazed at the fact that I am teaching her. I have seen much improvement on her writing and recognition of vowel sounds over the past several weeks and it is exciting. The other day a commercial came on for "teach your baby to read" (or something like that) and Lillie goes, "Mommy, I want you to teach me to read." Don't get me wrong there are hard days, where it seems impossible to keep her attention, but the benefit of homeschooling..........I can take as many breaks as need to keep my sanity and her attention. I am proud of her and all she has accomplished so far.

Gracie and homeschooling is another story. :) She is actually doing pretty good at adjusting, but still wants to have input on sissy's work and have her own "school" too. I do have several worksheets and activities we do together while Lillie is in class. There are also subjects that both can do together, such as science and social studies. Gracie is picking up at recognizing more letters and numbers and tries very hard to write them. She is having class too, but at a more toned down level and she is more free to go play and stuff in her room.

We have been going outside a lot the past couple of weeks and enjoying this beautiful weather and planning on visiting the Indy zoo here really soon. Thanks to a coupon from facebook, we are getting to go fairly inexpensively. Yay for coupons!!! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

All I want for Christmas is.....

We are all used to hearing, "I want that for Christmas/my birthday". This is usually during a toy or game commercial or while looking at a toy ad.

This evening was no different, while watching America's Funniest Home Videos (the girls favorite family show), Lillie said the above phrase. I looked up to see an advertisement for ..................bug barrier. Yes, it was bug killer. If you haven't figured it out, she does not like bugs.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm a big kid now

Lillie had a dentist appointment today and it went great, but with a sad twist. I have always gone back with her, and she told me today that she still wanted me to go with her. I am trying to encourage a little independence so I told her if she went back by herself, I would give her 3 happy bands. The hygienist calls her name and she gets up, looks back and with a little wave from mommy, went back..................by herself!

Now, I am very proud of her (she even talked to the dentist and hygienist), but sad too. Waiting in the waiting room was one of the hardest things for me. There was a piece of me that wanted so bad for the hygienist to come and get me, but she never did. This was just another way, that my baby is growing up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bedtime

Tonight started a new bedtime routine for Gracie. Most of you have read all my bedtime issues with Gracie. We went from rocking to sleep (which I loved and would tell any new mommy to do) to sitting by the bed holding her hand. For the past couple weeks, I have been moving slowly toward the door and tonight, I left her all together.

We said our prayers, gave our kisses and hugs, and then after tucking in bed I told her goodnight. She, of course, cried (not a lot or very hard), but only left her room twice. After about 10 minutes and she was out! Hopefully it will continue to be this easy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What little girls are made of

On the way home from the grocery store.........

Lillie - can I roll my window down?

Mom - No, little girls are made of sugar and will melt when they get wet.

Lillie (with an attitude) - I am NOT made of sugar, I am made of JESUS!

I love my girls!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Days

I thought I would take a minute to update on our summer. I have noticed that even though I thought it would be pretty slow, I was so wrong. The past several weeks have flown by and I can't believe that it is almost the Fourth of July.

We have been spending a lot of time outside. Lillie has decided that when we are outside, I need to be making clover jewelry. Here she is modeling a necklace, ring, and bracelet. :)
The girls have been in the sprinkler and slip-n-slide so many times I probably could count. They even make their own water slide. We have been swimming at my parents house and at my nephews bday.

Gracie has found a nightgown that used to be mine when I was her age. I sent her to her bedroom to get her pj's on and she came running out a few minutes later giggling up a storm. She yells "purprise" (that is surprised in Gracie talk) as she comes in the living room. I just laughed and asked what she was wearing, to which she replied, "Isn't it funny? I just thought I'd wear this to be funny." She has worn it several times since and each time she laughs. I guess she wasn't too thrilled about my style at that age. :)

Lillie had a performance on Saturday at a park outreach held by several churches. It was soo hot, but the girls did great!

Lillie and Gracie went to VBS at my parent's church last week. The last day as we were leaving, I caught a lightening bug and you wouldn't believe who held it..............Lillie. That is right, my little bug hater, she wanted to and didn't even freak out when it started crawling. That is a pretty big thing for her.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time

My mom sent me this email:

In the faint light of the attic, an old man, tall and stooped, bent his great frame and made his way to a stack of boxes that sat near one of the little half-windows. Brushing aside a wisp of cobwebs, he tilted the top box toward the light and began to carefully lift out one old photograph album after another. Eyes once bright but now dim searched longingly for the source that had drawn him here.

It began with the fond recollection of the love of his life, long gone, and somewhere in these albums was a photo of her he hoped to re-discover. Silent as a mouse, he patiently opened the long buried treasures and soon was lost in a sea of memories. Although his world had not stopped spinning when his wife left it, the past was more alive in his heart than his present aloneness.

Setting aside one of the dusty albums, he pulled from the box what appeared to be a journal from his grown son's childhood. He could not recall ever having seen it before, or that his son had ever kept a journal. Why did Elizabeth always save the children's old junk? he wondered, shaking his white head.

Opening the yellowed pages, he glanced over a short reading, and his lips curved in an unconscious smile. Even his eyes brightened as he read the words that spoke clear and sweet to his soul. It was the voice of the little boy who had grown up far too fast in this very house, and whose voice had grown fainter and fainter over the years. In the utter silence of the attic, the words of a guileless six-year-old worked their magic and carried the old man back to a time almost totally forgotten.

Entry after entry stirred a sentimental hunger in his heart like the longing a gardener feels in the winter for the fragrance of spring flowers. But it was accompanied by the painful memory that his son's simple recollections of those days were far different from his own. But how different?

Reminded that he had kept a daily journal of his business activities over the years, he closed his son's journal and turned to leave, having forgotten the cherished photo that originally triggered his search. Hunched over to keep from bumping his head on the rafters, the old man stepped to the wooden stairway and made his descent, then headed down a carpeted stairway that led to the den.

Opening a glass cabinet door, he reached in and pulled out an old business journal. Turning, he sat down at his desk and placed the two journals beside each other. His was leather-bound and engraved neatly with his name in gold, while his son's was tattered and the name Jimmy had been nearly scuffed from its surface. He ran a long skinny finger over the letters, as though he could restore what had been worn away with time and use.

As he opened his journal, the old man's eyes fell upon an inscription that stood out because it was so brief in comparison to other days. In his own neat handwriting were these words:

Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn't catch a thing.

With a deep sigh and a shaking hand, he took Jimmy's journal and found the boy's entry for the same day, June 4. Large scrawling letters, pressed deeply into the paper, read:

Went fishing with my Dad. Best day of my life.

Which perspective is yours today?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Softly Sleeping

Setting the stage: I am in the car with Lillie and Gracie and Gracie is asleep. I look in the rearview mirror and see Lillie reaching over and touching her sisters arm.

Mom: Lillie, don't bother her. It is okay that she is asleep

Lillie: But Mom., I have to.

Mom: Leave her be, she will be cranky if you wake her up.

Lillie: I have to, I just can't help myself.

Mom: Please keep your hands to yourself.

Lillie: But Mom, she is so soft when she sleeps. I just have to touch her.

Mom: (smiling) She is isn't she.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to use Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive Swagbucks.com merchandise.

It is very simple to use and you are able to rack up points quickly. I make it the first page (homepage) I see when I log in and use it to go to my email, facebook, yahoo, and blog accounts. I also use it to search for other sites that I am looking for. You can also download the toolbar to make searching even easier (I receive 1-3 points first thing in the morning just because I have the toolbar)!

Besides searching, you can earn points by answering the daily poles, viewing special offers, or entering special codes given out periodically thru facebook, twitter or on their blog. Get as many people to sign up under you as you can, because as they are rewarded, you will receive matching swagbucks. A good way to get referrals is to connect your swagbucks to facebook.

The best reward, in my opinion, is the Amazon.com giftcard (450 points). I have been a member for about 1 year and have earned around $100 in amazon.com gift cards. It is easy money!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birthday Babies

May is my girls' birthday month. Lillie turned 5 on May 3rd (we were at Disney World) and Gracie turned 3 May 25th. It seems like yesterday I was just bringing them home from the hospital, and now they aren't even babies anymore. My how your life changes with the addition of little ones - changes for the better! They have been such a blessing to my life and I have to thank God that he is allowing me to raise such beautiful and sweet little girls.

I went thru a bunch of pictures and found one of each when they were between 6 and 12 weeks old. I can't believe they were ever that little!
Lillie Asriel

Gracie Elizabeth

Here they are on the day of the birthday party:

Lillie

Gracie

Being Goofy

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Fly Swatter"

Gracie and I made a trip to Walmart this evening. On the way there we passed a field with several horses. Gracie started talking about how they swing their tails and asked why. I told her it helps keep the bugs away.

Her reply, "Sissy doesn't like bugs. I wish she had a tail so she could keep the bugs away from her."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pretend Play

For those who don't know, Gracie has pretend kids. To be exact - she has at least 2 babies named Silas and Elijah, at least 3 boys named Phineas, Ferb and Chuck E Cheese, some girls and several teenagers.

We have taken them with us to different places and she randomly talks and plays with them throughout the day. She will also bring a phone to church, the store, or wherever so she can call them on the way there, when we are there, and on the way home to be sure they are being good and just to let them know what we are doing. They don't come with us because of their jobs, in which they don't make any money. I have even been asked to babysit them on occasion. It is interesting some days - to say the least! :)

Yesterday she asked me to play duck, duck, goose. I told her it was too hard to play with only 2 people (Lillie was at her friends house). She replied that her boys and babies are playing, so now we have more people. I agreed to play along - who couldn't with that logic.

She wanted to be the ducker and of course, picked me. After chasing her, I began ducking, even the pretend kids. I decided to pick one of the pretend boys. While running around the circle, Gracie was rolling because she was laughing so hard at me. I sat down and said, "Yes, I won!" While still giggling she replied, "Mommy, they aren't real!" ;o)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Disney Overview

As posted previously - we had a great time at Disney World! This was my 2nd time to Disney, but Alex and the girls first visit. It was also to celebrate Lillie's and Gracie's May bdays. I am not sure who enjoyed it more - the girls or Daddy?!?!?

We choose to drive. We left at 3:30am and drove about 13 hours to Valdosta, GA and finished the drive the next morning (just over 3 hrs). It was a great drive. The girls were awesome and got along great.

It was so HOT the whole trip. The normal highs are in the mid 80's according to Alex's family who lives in Florida. The highs while we were there ~ 93-95 degrees. But we didn't let a little heat bother us, we just spent a lot of time in the pools at our hotel!

We went to Magic Kingdom the first day we were there and needless to say the girls were in awe. I loved the look on their faces the first time they saw Cinderella's Castle! I only wish I had my camera - I forgot it at the hotel. :( We also got to see Mickey and Minnie the first day! One of the funny things that happened to me was when I was going thru Minnie's house. A four yr old boy (I am guessing at his age) smacked me in the bottom and told me to move. When I turned around, he looked a bit embarrassed - I believe he may have thought I was someone else. So, I literally got hit on the first day! :o)

Alex's aunt and uncle from Ft Lauderdale came up Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was so nice because they have been so much that they new where to go and when.

We went to Animal Kingdom on Saturday. The Lion King show was pretty cool. Then we saw a bunch of characters - Timon, Pumba, and Simba at the show - then Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Pocahontas, Terk, Baloo, King Louie, Chip and Dale, Thumper and his girlfriend, Raffiki, and Jimny Cricket. Gracie was a bit unsure of the characters until we got to Pluto and Goofy. She literally pushed me away and informed me that she was not scared anymore. It was too cute.

Sunday we went to Hollywood Studios. Lillie only two things there she wanted to do - go to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area, and eat at Pizza Planet. We did go thru the rest of the park and watched a few shows. The 3D shows are pretty cool, but neither one of my girls liked them too well. It was a little too real for them. We saw several characters there too, even the elusive Daisy Duck - who I have heard from cast members is extremely hard to find.

Afterwards we went swimming (we did that everyday) and then to Downtown Disney. The girls had a blast playing in the fountains that sprayed. They also got to pick out a few souvenirs.

Monday was Lillie's 5th bday. (I can hardly believe she is that old!) She wanted to go to Magic Kingdom and see the princesses. We got to see Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle. Plus we saw Pinochio and few others. My favorite that day that we saw were Tigger and Pooh. After getting pictures done, Tigger sat in Gracie's seat. Gracie hung her head and ran to Alex crying. Pooh came over and consoled her. Tigger did get up, and thankfully didn't break my friends stroller, and apologized to Gracie. Then he sat on her lap! It was cute. The girls also got their ears that day. After riding all the things the girls wanted to, we went back to the hotel for some cake for Lillie's bday. That night we watched the SpectroMagic Parade. It was so cool! The girls LOVED it. Lillie didn't stop moving her knees the whole time and I thought Gracie was going to lose her arm because of how hard and fast she was waving. We did not stay for fireworks any night. It was just too crowded and the girls were barely staying awake as it was.

We spent our last day at Magic Kingdom seeing the fairies and Mickey and Minnie again. We took our time and saw everything we wanted to that we had missed and then whatever the girls wanted to see again.
Our drive home was not as pleasant as the trip there, but we made it after a stay just north of Atlanta. Those carseats are not the most comfortable things to ride in for 15+ hours. I had brought plenty of surprises that made it somewhat better.

I have so many things I could tell you, but I will leave it at the basics and maybe share a story or two later on. :) We took almost 300 pictures, so I am only sharing a handful as not to bore you.

The girls and I have already begun saving for another trip to Disney! It may take a couple of years, but I am sure we will get to go again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Disney Cost

We made it to and from Disney with no problems and we had a blast. I think that I will post a little about our budget/cost today and then pictures and more in a few days.

We booked our trip thru the Disney Site. Our trip included 5 days, 6 nights plus the quick service meal plan.

We stayed at the All-Star Music Resort in Disney making traveling to and from the park a breeze - we rode the Disney buses.

The total of the above was $1693.74 plus because we booked before march 27th, we got a $300 Disney gift card upon arrival. While at Disney, we spent less than $70 out of pocket!!!

I recommend the dining plan to whoever is going, it saves time and is pretty reasonable. Our dining plan allowed for 2 meals and 2 snacks per day per person. Since Gracie was under 3, she didn't count for this, but they give you so much food that she shared off everyone's plate happily (she is quite the mooch anyhow). If we would have purchased our meals, the bill would have been around $35 - two meals a day = $70 a day. Snacks could of easily cost us $20 a day. We brought stuff for breakfast and also used some of our snacks for breakfast items. I know you could bring your own food, but that means one more thing to prepare and think about when you are trying to have fun and relax. I, personally like the convenience of the dining plan.

We used our gift card to buy souvenirs for each of us. We each got at least one shirt (Alex and I got 2) and we also got a beach towel and 2 mugs. The girls got ears, necklaces, and stuffed animals, puzzles, and several other trinkets that they wanted. ALL purchased thru the gift card. The girls also got to pick out a toy from Grandma and Grandpa - who gave them each some money before we left. I would not have normally let the girls get so much, but since it was not out of my pocket, it didn't bother me. (All this doesn't include what Alex's aunt and uncle got them for their bdays)

Overall, after factoring in gas, hotels on the way to and from, meals when we were traveling, and misc items needed our total out of pocket cost would have been just over .................$2100.00 !!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Smile Moments

Watching my 2 yr old laughing, squealing, smiling as she chased after a butterfly. She was so sure she could catch it. Pure joy!

Watching my 4 yr old praise dancing to the Lord. She just turns on the radio and starts dancing and singing before the Lord.

Innocent and without a care in the world.

(I wish I had taken pictures, but I was enjoying watching them too much to get up and get the camera.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Picture Post

Here is my previous post in picture form:

Park Visits:


Easter:


Flower planting:
I many more pictures, but then this post would take forever to create. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update

It seems like forever since my last post. I actually have started to post something several times, but was interrupted (as many of you probably have been). The Thompson house have been loving the warmer weather. We have had a few adventures to the park, and plenty of time spent outside. Maybe even so much time out that our inside as suffered a bit.

Easter was great. We colored eggs on Good Friday. Lillie asked me why we call it Good Friday. I started talking about the Jesus being crucified and she jumps in with, "I know why it is good, since Jesus died for us - we can go to heaven." It just fills my heart with joy hearing my girls talk about Jesus.

We made the Easter cookies on Saturday. Honestly, I struggled with whether I was going to or not going to do this because no one ate the cookies last year. But Lillie asked me if we were and that just made me realize that it is not the cookies that matter, but the fact that my girls are being taught a very important Bible lesson. We went to church the next morning where Lillie performed with her salvation dance and praise ministry.

For those who would like to see it, you can go to http://www.crosst.org/ and click archive services, then find the April 4th service, and click the icon for the video. She is about 44minutes into service. She comes on stage about the middle of the song and is in the back left corner of the stage. She did awesome!!

I have gotten a lot of shopping done over the last several weeks. I have found that many of the things that Lillie was able to where at Gracie doesn't fit Gracie. They are built completely different. I do think that we are ready for our trip to Disney World. We only need a few items like sunblock and snack items for the trip.

Lillie has really started getting into riding her bike. She rode it a lot last year, but was very anxious the whole time. Now she hops on and takes off without much encouragement. Gracie rides the trike and tries to keep up with her big sister. She does great, (and pedals - which Lillie really didn't do much of until last year) but her trike can go forward and backwards so she sometimes switches. The chalk bucket is getting lighter due to all the art we have made on the driveway. If you were to drive by my driveway you may think it is a crime scene since they love being traced on the driveway.

Tallie also love that we have been out more. The only complaint - wasps. They are everywhere!! We have had our troubles with these "demon insects" and I am praying that they don't stick around this year. I don't go out without my handy can of wasp killer. Just call me one shot Sarah as I tend to get the kill on the first spray!! :)

Since I have given you quite a bit to read for a post I'll wait on the pictures. So I promise to post pictures some time over the next several days.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Cookie Recipe

My family did this recipe last year and it has made an impression upon my girls. Lillie has asked me if we could do the "Easter Cookie" recipe again this year. She went as far as to tell Alex that he needed to get his Bible out for tomorrow. :) FYI - Alex has his Bible out daily!

Here is the recipe, I hope it makes as big of an impression on your children as it has already on mine. Because what really matters isn't eggs and bunnys, but the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


To be made the evening before Easter
1cup whole pecans
1tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
tape
Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.

Add 1 cup sugar.Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Rambling Post

I just love this weather!! Yesterday Alex and I took the girls to the park for a little while. It was so much fun. Swings, slides, rock walls, and many more fun things. They didn't want to leave, but it was getting late and cooler. We have some pictures, but I am too lazy to get my camera to download them today, maybe next time. ;o) I am looking forward to another trip later this week.

Today the girls and I made a trip to the mall to go swimsuit shopping. Last year I waited too long and had little to pick from and was not too delighted with what I finally bought. This year I had more choices, but still it is not like it was when I was younger. Everything fits differently and what I thought used to be flattering, is not so much anymore. I did find a suit that I think is pretty cute and even a size smaller than I thought I was going to have to get. We went by ourselves, so I also had Lillie picking out suits that may be cute on a size 0-4 but not on a mother of two - still fun to look at her picks. She didn't care that my body isn't perfect in my eyes, because in her eyes I am beautiful. We could learn a lot from our little ones. I love my girls!!

We also got a package in the mail that contained our luggage tags and vouchers for Disney. We won't get our tickets until we check in, but this just makes me more excited.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

35 and Counting

35 Days until we leave for Disney!!!

We are pretty excited as you can imagine. I am pretty much ready for the road trip. I have several travel games - hungry, hungry hippo, connect four, crocodile dentist, and several other craft and activities to help keep the little ones busy. The car trip is sure to be the longest, but hopefully goes smoothly.

The girls have tried on some of their summer clothes and thankfully most still fit. Lillie is pretty much set for the trip, and Gracie just needs a couple more items. Grandma even bought them some new Minnie Mouse pajamas for the trip. Me? I have to make the dreaded swimsuit shopping trip. I have been working out, although not as consistently as needed, enough to make me feel better about the way I look.

I ordered some free maps from Disney for the girls, which they carry around and study daily. They are so excited and have watched the Disney vacation video several times and beg for me to go online so they can look at the park rides.

Other than enjoying the weather and planning for our trip, there is little going on at the Thompson house.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

BOGO Coupon and Question

Freebie alert for those little girls at your house!! If you have little ones who play My Little Pony, you need to visit www.hasbro.com and find the coupon link. They have a buy one get one free deal plus lots of other good coupons. At Wal-mart there are two different types of ponies the coupons work with. The ponies are $5 each, with the coupon it would be $2.50 each. A great idea for the Easter baskets!!! My girls used coupons and their chore money to get two each yesterday.

Question:

Lillie's well-child checkup is coming up and this is the year of the kindergarten shots. How are you, or did you, handle your child's shots? I am undecided if I should talk about it before hand, or just wait until we get there. I have talked about how shots help people feel better and stay healthy, but have not told her that she is due for some in just a matter of weeks. She is a bit apprehensive about needles, since the stitches last summer. Please, please let me know what you did and what you think is the best way to handle the upcoming visit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Photo Freebie

I have another free photo offer. If you have not used CVS Photo before, you can sign up and get 50 free prints. If you choose to ship to store, the prints will be absolutely free. After you sign up, you must check your email and click the link in the email to get the freebie.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Freebie

FYI - If you have pictures that are stuck on your camera or computer (like me) then you will love this. If you go to www.kodakgallery.com and use the code 50FREE you will receive 50 free prints. All you have to pay is shipping, which is only $1.99. Plus if you have never joined Kodak before, you can get another 50 free prints. The code is only good until March 11.

I definitely did this because Gracie was born after we got a digital camera and thus has very few pictures of her out. When we look at pictures of Lillie as a baby she asked if the baby is her or Sissy. I feel so bad about it and have decided to start printing out some every month. I would be so upset if something happened to my computer and I lost all the pictures I had one it. :(

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 1, 2010

We Shall Overcome

Recently Lillie joined the Salvation Praise and Dance Ministry at our church. She did really well considering it was her first time and most of the other girls have been doing it for several years. :o) I am so proud of her. Alex even took the day off work unexpectedly so he could watch. Lillie was pretty excited that he was coming. Earlier in the week she asked him if he was coming or working and when he said working, she looked so sad.

Here is the first two minutes:

Lillie dancing.

Lillie and the girls in the ministry. Lillie is centered in the front row.

If you want to watch the whole performance, visit www.crosst.org and look under the archive services for Feb 28, 2010 am service. She is approximately 30 minutes into service.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The mouse is out of the bag

Well, I couldn't keep it a secret any longer.

We told the girls that we were going to Disney World.

Actually, Lillie told me that she knew where we would be going for vacation. I asked her where she thought we were going, and she replied, very nonchalantly, Disney World. I talked to Alex about it and we decided to go ahead and tell the girls. They are pretty excited!

I have picked up several items to pack for the trip there and back. I found that I love the dollar craft section at Joann Fabric! I am also going to use my amazon money that I have earned from swagbucks, to pick up some travel games such as Hungry, Hungry Hippo; Crocodile Dentist, and Guess Who.

Those who are interested in earning prizes just for searching the web, need to clink on my swagbucks link. It is a pretty neat little site that has helped me buy Christmas gifts and now travel gifts simply by searching the web. Swagbucks randomly awards you points for searching the web, if you use their site to search from. I have them as my home page and their toolbar at the top. This makes it convenient to use. I earned over $25 in amazon gift cards in the first six weeks of this year!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spilt Dog Food

Sometimes we forget that God loves us and takes care of ALL of our needs and he will gently remind us. Yesterday after finishing my much overdue grocery shopping, I caught a bag of dog food on the cart, spilling almost two cups in the parking lot. I was frustrated and grumbled about being clumsy and how it was a waste for me to use a coupon if I was going to spill that much of it. I finished loading the bags and started home.

That is when a song pops into my head - His Eye is on the Sparrow. God takes care of the sparrow, making sure there are trees to build nest in and food to eat. How does the sparrow thank Him - by song. I was able to go grocery shopping because he provided the funds and how did I thank Him - by grumbling about spilling dog food. When in fact I was being used by God to feed the sparrows (okay - blackbirds). Maybe that seems like a silly thought to you, but God uses silly thoughts to get His message across sometimes.

He loves me enough that not only was I able to buy the necessities, but the extras. Sorry for not taking the time to thank You properly for taking care of my family...... Thank You!


God is providing your daily needs - how do you thank Him?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Recap of Our Week ...

Monday - Lillie felt much better and I took her to a Christian Ballet. Our church bought tickets for the girls in the flag/dance ministry, so I purchased one for myself and accompanied her on the trip. I had a nice night out with her. When we got home, Alex asked about the ballet and she goes, "I got to ride the church bus and it was really bumpy." To be honest, I believe she enjoyed the bus ride more than the ballet. She has asked to ride the bus since she was old enough to form a sentence. :)

Tuesday - I woke up with Gracie at 4am. She started running a fever and for most of the day ran a constant temp of 102. She was extremely fussy and needed to be held for the most part by Mommy. Since Lillie had been to the doctor a few days prior, the doctor just called in an antibiotic. I slept with her on the air mattress that night, which included 3 1/2 hours of talking starting at midnight. I could tell she was feeling better, but really wished she was asleep.

Wednesday - Both girls were somewhat back to normal. Nothing really exciting happened. Oh, I did clean out our linen closet and if I do say so myself, I did a fine job! :o)

Thursday - I had a rough day. I was tired, hurting, and just didn't feel well. After several weeks of Gracie not sleeping well (yes that is weeks - not sure what is going on with that) and then I had spent the last several nights in her room on the floor part of the night - I was sore. My head hurt and body ached, it must be that age thing. But my little ones were troopers and dealt well with my cranky-ness. Before bed, I did make sure to go to them and apologize for being moody. Just because I don't feel well, doesn't give me the right to be grouchy, they were just being children.

Friday - Well, that is today. I got quite a bit of sleep last night - I went to bed at 8pm and only had to get up a couple of times with Gracie. I am planning on being in a much better mood and spending the day catching up on cleaning and playing with the girls. If I get motivated, I might just shovel some of the drive way. I really need to go grocery shopping and won't be able to get out too well with the HUGE drift in front of my side of the driveway.

Saturday - Unless cancelled, I am going to try and make it to my nephew's ball game and then spend the day with my family.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

....Once Upon a Dream....

It is official - we are booked for Disney World!!!


Alex and I have been talking since the end of last year about taking a trip to Disney with the girls and last night we booked our trip. We are so~o excited! We are going the first of May and will be there during Lillie's fifth birthday. A few months ago after seeing a Disney commercial Lillie says somberly, "Maybe we can go to Disney after I turn 5." Little did she know that was already in the works. :)


We are not going to tell the girls until time to leave. First it will be a great surprise, but mostly because they will be asking everyday how much longer until we go. We will drive down. My plan, for those of you who are also going and driving, is to make a fun chart listing the main cities we will go thru on our way and the girls can put stickers by each to help them know how much longer until we are there. I am also going to start (I already have a couple items) collecting little games and such to save for the car trip.


I will try not to post too much during the upcoming weeks about our trip, but lets face it, there's not too much more exciting than a trip to Disney with two princesses! ;o)


I would love to hear from those of you who have gone with little ones as to where is the best places to go and things to do. Please leave me your comments and suggestions!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Gracie Short

Gracie had lovely long hair, but unfortunately, was longer in the back than anywhere else. Due to the "mullet" like appearance when left down, we decided to take her in and get her first haircut. Alex's Aunt Emily cut her and then trimmed up Lillie's hair, who decided she wanted her hair left long. Here are a few pictures of Gracie's 1st haircut.
Before we got started.

After the cut, the bangs are a bit short, but that is probably because i usually trim those and I am definitely not a beautician.

Yesterday I looked over to see Gracie performing a puppet show after lunch. It was so cute! She had found a pig finger puppet. Gracie would hold out her hand, turn her back and then make it sing "this little piggy". I wish I could of gotten video, but she was being quite bashful and I had to sneak just to get a snapshot. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Laughing Matters

My girls have kept me laughing the past few days.

Gracie and Lillie have been talking about the tooth fairy since a friend of Lillie's lost a couple of teeth recently. Yesterday Lillie explained to Gracie that when you lose a tooth the tooth fairy gives it to a new baby and you get big girl teeth. This morning Gracie woke up, moved her tongue around in her mouth and exclaims, "I still got my baby teeth!" :)

Later today she working at the desk, runs to her room and comes back with a pair of star-shaped sunglasses that are missing one lens. I ask what she is doing and she said, "I am reading Daddy's Bible." She proceeded to go thru every book on the desk "reading" just like her Dad.


We sing a song once in awhile that goes "when you mix red and blue, you get purple, when you mix red and blue you get purple. When we mix the two, we see a new color magically, when you mix red and blue you get purple." We usually go thru several different color combinations and then on to some goofy ones such as when you mix peanut butter and jelly you get a sandwich.
Well, today Lillie said she had one and sings, "When you mix Mom and Dad, you get kids. When you mix Mom and Dad, you get kids. When we mix the two, we see a new kid magically, when you mix Mom and Dad, you get kids." I chuckled, and then thankfully she went on to a new verse without any follow-up questions. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaching Moment

I love how God opens doors to talk about Him with my children.
We went to the grocery store this afternoon and when we left it was a pretty nasty mix of stuff coming down. I told the girl it was nasty out and then I started a quick little prayer asking God to keep us safe on the road - I really wanted red meat to eat for dinner tonight! :)
Lillie then goes "stop this stuff until we get home, amen." Almost immediately it started to just spit snow.
Lillie then goes, "Look, it is better already." I then got the opportunity to talk to my girls about faith and how God answers prayer.
She then told me that God doesn't always answer fast enough. I laughed and said maybe not to us, but He is always on time. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How may I serve you?

While working a Bible verse with Lillie:

"The master said Well done, my good and faithful servant....."

Lillie - Mommy what is a servant?

Mommy - Well, if you have someone who cooks or cleans for you, that would be a servant.

Lillie - Oh, like you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bible Lessons as told by Lillie

The Wise Men

The girls were playing church and Gracie had just told a story about David and Goliath. Lillie decided to talk about the wise men and the baby Jesus.

Lillie to Gracie - The men brought grownup presents to the baby Jesus. Baby Jesus didn't have money to go back to where he was from and the wise men wanted to give him stuff. I don't know why they brought boring presents to a baby, but (dramatic pause and a "what were they thinking" look) they did.

Heaven

Lillie - You know what, Gracie? When we get to heaven Casey (our dog before Tallie) will be waiting for us. That's right, God has us a home already waiting for us and Casey is there too.

Gracie - How about Tallie?

Lillie - Well, if she dies before us, she 'll be waiting for us too, but right know it is just Casey and God.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This and That

This week has definitely been a week! I really thought this would be a quiet and pretty normal week, but things don't always go the way you think they should. :)

Last Friday I took Gracie to the doctor to find out she had a double ear infection. I wouldn't have probably taken her if it wasn't for her complaining one night of an earache and she hadn't slept or ate well for a few nights. She hadn't ran fever so I figured everything was fine, but learned that most do not run fevers with ear infections. hmmm. - didn't realize that since my children tended to run high fevers. After a week of antibiotics, she seems fine other than the massive purple bruise on her forehead. She was climbing on our couch and fell off the back. She cried for about 10-15 minutes, but after an ice pack and few minutes of loving, she was back to normal. I had made eggs and went to sit by her. She sat up, looked in my bowl and says, "eggs, that make me feel better!" It was too cute, and you would think that she would have learned not to climb on the couch, but no, I caught her at it again the next day. :)

On Tuesday we decided to get out of the house and let the girls spend there Christmas money. Lillie has been asking for princess skates for a lo~ong time and had enough to get them. Gracie, of course couldn't be left out and picked out a Tinkerbell set. They skated for awhile when we got home and then it was off to bed, but not for long! Lillie woke up sick about an hour and half later. Alex and I rotated staying with her while the other slept. Thank goodness he was off the next day! By morning she had stopped throwing up and was able to handle a diet of applesauce and toast all day. Other than just being worn out she is fine now.

Things are back to "normal" now and I am hoping that they stay that way for a long time!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Here is a bit of what we have been up to the first of 2010:

Playing Barbies - They were getting ready for a wedding at the castle.
Reading - I love watching the girls read together. They really love each other and it shows at these times. :)
Swinging in the Snow - don't ask me why they wanted to, but hey, why not?

And last night we started what we hope to be a continual event at our house - a game night! Sorry no pictures. We ate dinner, then everyone helped clean off the table so that Mommy could play everything too. :) Then we had four rounds of twister (everyone wanted to be the spinner or needed a break). Afterwards we played princess fishing, go fish, and old maid (yes, I did end up being, ur, I mean having the old maid :P). It was nice to just have fun and enjoy each other's company. The girls had fun, didn't fight and wanted to know when the next time would be.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goal Setting 101

Well, I have given it some thought and prayer and here are a few goals I have for the new year:

1. Read the Bible thru - I have never made it thru in a year unless you count my children's Bible when I was little. :)
2. Tone up and lose a little weight. I have exercised before, but never consistently. This year I want to get back to pre-baby weight.
3. Take one day a week to do more of what the girls want to do. Possibly a "memory making Monday"?
4. Go to Disney World. Okay, that one is a definite, we have been planning a trip come beginning of May.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year

Happy New Year's!!

My house was quite the party on New Year's Eve. The girls were in bed by 8pm and I was asleep by 10:30. Alex watched the Tennessee football game and then went to bed shortly there after (before midnight). Try not to be too jealous that you weren't here. ;o)

We did get to go to my Grandma Jackson's house for lunch on New Years. It had been awhile since I had been there (actually too long) and had a nice time visiting. We went to my parent's afterwards to do our last Christmas celebration with my siblings. My brother and his wife were up from Louisville, oh, and their puppy Cocoa. :)

As for New Year's resolutions......I need to spend a bit more time deciding what to focus on this year. I don't like to make too many as I tend to lose focus and not complete them.

Until next time, I hope you and your family had a great 2009 and an even better 2010!