Monday, April 27, 2015

Benjamin is Turning Five!

Today is the last day I get to spend with my 4-year old, because tomorrow he'll be my five-year old! We had his party two weekends ago because of other stuff going on this past weekend, but I saved the pictures to share today. I also asked him our traditional interview questions just to see what has changed (and what has stayed the same)! You can see his 4th birthday, 3rd birthday, 2nd birthday, and first birthday at those links.

1. What is your favorite color? orange
2. What is your favorite toy? 4-wheeler (he got a remote controlled 4-wheeler toy for his birthday)
3. What is your favorite fruit? straw-bee-bee-bee-bees  (He said it just like that!)
4. What is your favorite TV show? Odd Squad
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Colby Jack cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? My monster truck shirt. And my favorite costume is Batman
7. What is your favorite game? tic-tac-toe
8. What is your favorite snack? Colby jack cheese
9. What is your favorite animal? lions and tigers
10. What is your favorite song? Taylor Swift
11. What is your favorite book? {He was being silly and declined to answer}
12. Who is your best friend? Simon, Paige, Raven, and Jack
13. What is your favorite cereal? Apple Jacks
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? football
15. What is your favorite drink? Gatorade
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, Halloween, and Easter
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? my lion, Baby Tiger, Spot Swat (the snow leopard) and Spotty (the giraffe) and Zipliner (zebra) and Trumpet (the elephant)
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? lime yogurt
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? pizza from Little Caesar's
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a police

Blowing out the candles!

Mommy and Daddy serving cake and ice cream

He's got Baby Tiger again!

Even the wrapping paper was fun!

His buddy D testing out his toys

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How Harry Potter Changed my Life and Other Quirkiness

Are you up for some Old School Blogging! I am! And I wrote this in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, so it might be extra fun to read!!

Are you young at heart or an old soul? Can I say both? Right off the bat, I'm cheating and not following the rules. Please don't tell on me! I think I'm young at heart because I like to laugh and be silly. I'm pretty good at getting the kids to roll their eyes at me. It is a rare day that goes by without a few belly laughs or practical jokes. I don't take most things too seriously.
Halloween 2014

I'd also consider myself a bit of an old soul because I like the classics. I don't tend to get caught up in trends, instead I opt for tried and true. When it comes to music, fashion, or decorating I'm usually a few years decades behind.

Tell me about a movie/book that has changed your life. So many books to choose from!! This is probably not getting at the heart of the question, but here's what came to mind anyway: I'm a big Harry Potter fan. I have read all the books multiple times and passed that love on to my kids. I'm currently reading them the first book at bedtime and I think I'm just as excited about it as they are. But it is the first read that sticks out for me. Ken and I read the entire series out loud to each other. We got the first book when I was in college shortly after it had come out in paperback. I read a chapter or two and he mentioned that he'd like to read it too. So we started reading aloud to each other.

When we started it was just the two of us with school and work and not many other commitments. As the years went by we had to fit in our reading around new jobs, moves, and kids. It got much harder to do and there were many times that we thought about just reading by ourselves and taking turns. But we kept at it and stayed up way past bedtime, read on road trips, and persevered.

I think it helped strengthen us and was a great way for us to honor our marriage and our time together.

Would you like to reconnect with any friends you’ve lost contact with? I did, not too long ago!
I have another story that won't fit here about a friend I've lost. I think I'm still on the fence about whether I want to re-connecct with her. There's a lot of hurt left over from that relationship. That story to me a long time to finally write and I'll likely share it when the time feels right.

Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid? My grandparents' house! The lived a few hours north of us in Texas. They had a huge yard with gardens and gullies and trees and grass and horses next door. And the house had a screened porch area with my grandmother's teaching materials: thin paper that was excellent for coloring on, multi-colored, rectangular crayons, and lots of shelves and cabinets to go through. We played dominoes at the table after dinner and we always had room for butter pecan ice cream because "it melts down into the spaces between everything else in your belly, so it doesn't take up any extra space."

Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends, or with a large group of people? It used to be that I enjoyed larger crowds. Or maybe I just tolerated them better. These days I'd love to have some time with just a friend or two. It would be even more amazing if we could take turns speaking a few sentences at a time without being interrupted by munchkins!

What’s your "quirkiest" habit? I often twist and twirl my tongue in my mouth. You'd probably never notice I was doing it. It starts to annoy me after a while, but I mostly do it without thinking.

What part of the past year sticks out in your mind? I feel like there are so many firsts and milestones happening all the time and that makes it hard to choose. As a family we are moving permanently out of the toddler/pre-school era. For the past 11 years I've had someone who needed more or less constant supervision. Schedules always had to be bent around nap times and meals. It's been a gradual move, and I might not have noticed it if I hadn't tried to answer this question, but my kids are a lot more self-sufficient now. They can do so many things for themselves (or for each other). I won't say I'm not needed anymore, but I will say I'm needed in much different ways.

What do you use more often: your intuition or logical reasoning? Most of my decisions get made based on a gut feeling. Oftentimes I will list out the pros and cons, or try to look at something from all angles, but ultimately I go with what feels right.

Where is your favorite place to go out and eat? I'm not terribly picky when it comes to food. Especially food that I don't have to prepare! When he do get the chance to eat out, we try to pick local places and not chains for the most part. There's a new restaurant downtown called Jimmy Madison's that we've tried a few times and really enjoyed. Brussels sprouts are their specialty and they are delicious. Last time we were there I had a shrimp and spinach salad that I talked about for days: big grilled shrimp, spinach, julienned Granny Smith apples, candied walnuts, hard boiled eggs, and a peach vinaigrette dressing! Yum!!

What was the last song that was stuck in your head? I just listened to this great parody of Uptown Funk! Now both versions are stuck in my head.
What is your ethnic heritage? On my mom's side I am 1/4 Native American. That's the main piece I claim. I think my dad's family has more of a Scots-Irish background, but my brother will probably email me to correct me soon.

Give me the story of your life in six words. Quite an adventure; more to come!

Want to play along? Answer these questions and link up here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's Nice to be Appreciated, but can we Schedule it when I'm not so busy?!

If I move around a couple of things on my desk so I can get to my calendar, I can see that today is Administrative Professionals' Day. Woohoo! That's me!! I have a program to go to this morning and I'm getting a certificate for completing a series of training workshops. It's only taken me about two and a half years to finish it! And technically I still have one class left, but they're letting me "graduate" anyway as long as I promise to finish that class this summer.

Looking at the calendar on my computer, I can barely see the graduation program through all the other things scheduled. I work in academia, so this is the big push to finish up the semester. It's also when we start the count down to the end of the budget year. Our office is hiring seven students for next year and that entails 12 interviews. I also have two trainings this week and next week to go to. I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting. My planner is pretty ridiculous at this point.

There's also lots going on at home. While the hours don't overlap, the space in my brain does and it's getting harder to keep track of all the things that need to happen.  There's a workshop called Healthy Brains/ Healthy Child going on tonight at my daughter's school. I was really looking forward to it. Especially because dinner and childcare are provided. That's my love language, right there!!

Just this morning, however, I realized that it's not likely to work out. Henry meets with his big sister today and doesn't get home til 5:30. Frances has a program with her after-school group that goes until 6. Ken could keep the kids and let me go by myself, but we've only got one vehicle right now and he wouldn't have a way to pick them up.

It's nice to be appreciated, but I'm wondering if this couldn't be scheduled at a better time of year?

I'm linking up with the 1 Word Blog challenge. This week's words are forgotten and ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

And he's Mine...All Mine! #TuesdayTen

As with most things in life, the work you put in directly impacts the results you get. I don't think I truly knew this early on in my marriage. Sure, Ken and I loved each other. That was easy. We had lots in common and we had been friends for a while before we started dating. By the time we got married, we had dated for 5 years and known each other for about 9.

The wedding was the easy's marriage that takes work! We have certainly had our ups and downs, but I truly am glad that we found each other and made a committment to be together forever. I don't tend to write about him often, but for #TuesdayTen and Couple Appreciation Month, I thought I'd share:

  1. He has a great sense of humor. We both tend to laugh about the same things and we have our own inside jokes after 14 years of marriage.
  2. He works hard. He enjoys retail work and he's good at it. He has always placed the customer's needs first and it shows in customer loyalty.
  3. He is a good cook! He likes trying new recipes and he has gotten me to like many things I haven't always liked to eat: zuchinni, squash, Brussels sprout.
  4. He's a good dad. Thanks to him, the kids are exposed to nice British TV like Top Gear and Dr. Who. He gladly engages them in light saber battles in the front yard and has enough toys for the neighborhood kids to join in.
  5. He handles the morning bus route and walks Henry to school whenever he can. He took care of getting both older kids to school last year and will get the boys on the bus next year when Benjamin starts Kindergarten.
  6. He sleeps on my side of the bed to warm it up if he goes to bed before me on cold nights.
  7. He gives nice backrubs. Especially the ones when I don't have to ask, but he just knows I've been tired and sore.
  8. He doesn't roll his eyes excessively when he says "good night" and I reply that I'll be there "just as soon as I finish this blog post."
  9. He had infinite Lego patience (although it is sometimes hard for him to share his Legos with the kids).
  10. He's got my back! When I was fretting about Benjamin's birthday cake on Sunday, he calmly said, "Did you make it? Just for him? Then it's perfect!" And it was!
What do you appreciate about your spouse, significant other, or other half?

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Come link up again next Tuesday, April 24th when our topic will be 1o Movies or TV Shows You Wish Were Your Life

The Liebers

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