Friday, August 21, 2009

School starts

School started exactly a week ago today. My 3rd grader got the hardest teacher in town apparently. When friends ask who he got this year and I tell them Mrs. M, they all look at me with great sympathy and tell me good luck. That's a scary thing to hear when you have a little boy that can act a little ornery at times. He's charming but can be a little sassy when he wants.


I talked to the principal about this "hard" teacher and he told me to give it three weeks and we'd talk again about maybe moving my little H-man to another class. I was gonna give Mrs. M the benefit of the doubt and let her prove everyone wrong. I have a smart, put together 3rd grader. What could go wrong?

Let's just say in the past week, H-man has brought home 2 warnings and a detention.

Guess Momma was wrong in thinking it would all be ok. That's what I get for wanting to believe that people had her all wrong.

The funnier thing is.....H-man still really likes her. He doesn't care that he's getting in trouble. He's enjoying her class. So now do I move him if they will do it or do I let him stay and hope we don't get expelled next? Decisions, decisions!

T-man is in 5th grade now and has two teachers, Mrs. Wyckoff is his homeroom teacher (Reading, Social Studies and History) and Mrs. Vance is his Math and Science teacher. He seems to really like both of them. T-man was excited because in the 5th grade you get to use a real lock on your locker. We are cooking with fire now, boys and girls!

This year I also finally relented and let the boys ride the school bus. It's a year of firsts for sure. I actually beat them home when they ride the bus. They love getting to walk home from the bus stop with about 15 of our neighborhood kids. I think they think it makes them look important. Well, that and they both got cell phones from their Dad this past weekend so they act like business people in a seminar....always having to look at their cell phones like something really important is being texted to them. When in all honesty, they aren't even sending a text or reading one...it just makes you look important to check your phone on a regular basis.
It's so strange how much easier things are getting for us regarding the boys. They're becoming independent little men and it's exciting to see them grow and change so much. It still remember the little 3 year old that wouldn't go to Mother's Day Out because he wanted his Momma the entire day. He was so attached to me, I could have never thought he would ask to ride the bus and taken the initiative to find out where the bus stop was and what bus he needed to ride. They are both growing up so fast but it's a great feeling to know they are becoming more self-sufficient.








Saturday, August 8, 2009

We love Tax-Free Weekend!

This weekend is tax-free weekend in Oklahoma.....which, to many people in this area, is a true blessing! No tax on apparel purchases! And the stores have some great deals on school supplies. We got up early so we could try to beat the crowds. By the time we got to Kohl's, the lines were about 15 people deep. But luckily, the lines were moving really quickly. Mr. Hautemama and I figured out that you have to find the least shopped department and check out there....we went to the jewelry department and did our checking out. Not many people there!

While at Kohl's we found some great deals on Vans jeans for the boys. They don't want the baggy, loose jeans anymore, it's straight leg all the way! I don't like the look of black straight leg jeans (reminds me too much of the goth look when we were in high school) so the boys just bought the dark denim. They actually fit really well on my skinny, long legged boys! Kohl's also had t-shirts on sale for $6.30 and $4.20. We scooped up about 4 or 5 of those. I actually had taken back a couple of dresses I bought for the summer and had a store credit. You have to love store credits, plus Kohl's gives you Kohl's cash back based on the amount of money you spent that day. We also had $20 in Kohl's cash. So, our trip didn't cost hardly anything for about 9 pieces of clothing. I love it!

Some Vans shorts I bought for the boys. Now this is a fad I could get used to-plaid shorts are adorable on little guys!

Adidas pants I need for the Fall now that I don't have to dress up for work!!! I love it! Comfort during the workday! Who knew that really existed!!???
Our next stop was JCPenney's.....Mr. H's favorite store in the world. Can you tell I married an accountant???? He loves a good bargain and absolutely hates to waste money. Sadly, I'm becoming more and more like him! Oh the days of being able to freely waste money on clothes!!!! While at JCPenney, we looked around and found some jeans for my husband (he-he, I love saying that since we got married!) and they were buy one pair and get the second for $1. You cannot beat that deal! We ended paying around $15.50 for each pair of jeans we bought. Awesome! We also used two coupons - one was a mailer and the other was from the internet. That knocked off another 40%!
The last stop was Target where they had a multi-pack of four notebooks for 60 cents! Four notebooks for 60 cents, people! We bought 2 packs. You can never have too many notebooks and at least we'll be prepared when the teacher asks for more school supplies towards the end of the school year. I usually try to buy extra school supplies to help out the teachers here in our little town but this year I didn't do that. Since quitting my full-time job, I'm really careful about how we spend our money. We had a significant cut in our budget but right now I think it's worth it to be with the kids. I know many times teachers have to pitch in their own money to help the kids less fortunate in our area. With the economy in the toilet, there has to be at least a few kids this year that can't afford school supplies, we spent $140 just getting the supplies on the school list. Yuck!
Speaking of saving money, I have a few tips for ya!
Shop the house: Before buying something at the store, make sure to look carefully in the pantry and around the kitchen. Make sure you don't already have it. In the past, I would buy something I thought I needed, only to find it in the back of the pantry! That's wasting money!
Reuse things for a different purpose: Ever used a toothbrush holder as a flower vase? I have and tons of people thought it was adorable!
Decorative idea: For my wedding, we used Ikea vases ($2 each) and filled them with split peas or navy beans and a Dollar General candle - was absolutely stunning....and affordable! Split peas and beans are one of the cheapest things at the grocery store.
Also, buy cheap frames at Dollar General or the Dollar Store and paint them. It doesn't matter if they're gold and you don't like gold, spray paint them black. It's so much cheaper!
Eat more beans: Speaking of beans, eat them at least once a week to save grocery money. There are a ton of different kinds of beans; navy, lima, pinto, split peas. Cook them with some ham and onion, cornbread and some fried potatoes and you have a Southerner's dream dinner!
Generic food: I've started buying the generic Walmart brand....I can't tell the difference. Just be careful and really look at the prices of the generic versus brand name. Sometimes the generic can be more than the good stuff. But, generally speaking, the generic is cheaper. Try Aldi's if you have one in your area, much cheaper. Different brands of food, but actually good food. And, so inexpensive! I even started drinking Sam's Diet Cola.....I can't really tell the difference in taste.

The biggest tip of all: Who cares if all of your friends have an IPhone....I don't. You don't have to have the latest technology in the world. I tell my boys all the time.......
There will always be someone that has more than you...be glad that you have as much as you do....because sadly, there will always be someone who has less than you also.
All in all, I think we had a great day shopping with no taxes! I loved it! The boys are ready for school. After cleaning their closets last weekend, I think they now have more than enough clothes to wear to school. There were shirts that had hardly been worn. This school year I'm putting the clothes that have been worn at the end of the closet and pushing the clothes forward. That way, they wear everything in the closet instead of just grabbing their favorites. We'll see how that works! It'll start a gripe session, I can guarantee it! Ten-year olds apparently really care about what they wear....and Mom (as in, me) just doesn't understand!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Wedding and Reception

As part of Kelly's Korner Blog's show us your wedding and reception.....I thought I would post some pics of the event that only took place about 4 weeks ago. It's almost our 1 month anniversary. Time flies when you're in love!

We got married at a restaurant in our little town called Leon's Lakeside Grill. It's at a new resort in town called CrossTimbers on Skiatook Lake. I love the restaurant and thought it would make such a beautiful wedding location. The restaurant has a lighthouse and upstairs balcony that is so romantic at night. We decided to have our ceremony on the lawn which is right below the outside patio area of Leon's. The lawn is right on the shore of the lake and marina. It is one of the most tranquil spots in the world!

This was a second wedding for both Mr. H and I so we wanted it to be as intimate as possible. Our attendants were my two little boys, T and H, and our dog Allie was our ring bearer/flowergirl. The boys wore matching light blue polo shirts and khaki pants with khaki colored flip-flops. The boys looked adorable and just as I had pictured them in my mind when I was brainstorming about how cute they would look. To begin the ceremony, Mr. Hautemama and our minister walked in, then our Mothers were escorted in by my friend Bobby and Mr. H's brother Josh. Then our dog was walked in by our niece Taylor to the song, Atomic Dog by George Clinton. When the boys escorted me down the aisle, we played Billy Joel's She's Got A Way. It was so sweet and I almost lost it while walking down because we had left an empty seat on the first row and I placed a red rose wrapped with a ribbon on the seat in honor of my Dad, who died 4 years ago.
The ceremony went great but it was so hot outside I had to ask Mr. H one time if I was sweating-I was terrified that I was pouring sweat down my face. I had sprayed hairspray on my face after doing my makeup and it really did set my makeup, not a drop moved during the 90 something degree ceremony. I was impressed with myself that I had accomplished that feat. I actually read about it on a drag queen website about keeping your makeup set during hot weather. It was a great tip!
Anyway, after we walked down the aisle to Queen's You're My Best Friend. The boys walked the dog down the aisle in front, then Mr. H and I followed. When we got to the end of the aisle, there was a rainbow in the sky. That was my Dad. I'm positive. I asked him before the wedding just to watch over me and that was his sign to me. I screamed with joy when I saw it. And the sunset was perfect! It made for great pictures! A rainbow on one side and the sunset on the other-absolutely terrific! After the ceremony, we had a cocktail hour upstairs in the reception room, then a past buffet dinner with ceasar salad. After dinner, Mr. H made a toast to his bride and new children. He almost lost it when mentioning his new sons. It was the sweetest moment! After eating, our friend Tom played some tunes and the kids loved dancing the night away!

Our ceremony with the boys standing up with us

Our sunset after the ceremony

Our niece Taylor dancing at the reception with Mr. H and our friends daughter Abi.

Our cake table with our engagement picture and blue hydrangeas around the cake.

My friend Bobby walking my Mom into the ceremony - didn't she look so pretty!

The boys with my sister Kandie, My Mom and Myself

Look at my youngest - do you see how hard it is to get a serious wedding picture taken. He loves to make goofy faces!

































Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love, love, love






















Some inspiration images I've collected over the past year. I believe the table settings are from This Young House. I don't know where I saw the other pictures.

Now that the wedding is over, I'm going to concentrate on decorating our house. I've spent all day today, except for the few hours I spent training at my new job, cleaning the house and doing laundry. I love doing that kind of stuff. It's a mind numbing, relaxing task that makes you feel more organized and helps cut the chaos in the mind. Cluttered House = Cluttered Mind!







Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Change in Plans

We were planning to drive to Southern Oklahoma to see our best friends Becky and Bobby this weekend but changed our plans. Becky and her family are the best people-we just adore them! They have 4 boys and the sweetest little girl and our boys love hanging out with them. It's amazing how much fun all the kids have together when we visit for the weekend with their family. This weekend-August 7th & 8th is tax-free weekend in the Tulsa area, maybe even the entire state, I'm not sure. Tax-free weekend is a big deal when you're married to an accountant that doesn't like to waste money. He loves a good bargain so off to shop we go this weekend. I'm going to get the boys their jeans for school. They want Levi's 514's, the straight leg kind. I can't stand the skater boy skinny jeans so that is the compromise...just straight leg jeans. I can't believe Levi's are $39 though, my gosh that's expensive!

I cleaned both boy's rooms last weekend and while cleaning their closet and organizing their clothes by color I realized that they don't really need new clothes for school, just jeans because little boys wear holes in their jeans fairly quickly. We took 5 bags of kids clothes to Goodwill so I feel like I've done some good for kids who can't afford new clothes for school. Some of the clothes I donated were really nice still, just too small for the boys.

The other big changes in our household are that I'm changing jobs next week. I had quit my full-time Marketing Director job to work part-time at an insurance agent's office. I worked from 11:30 until 5 everyday. After about two weeks, I realized that an insurance office is not for me. Everyone has to have insurance which is a good thing for the agent but a really bad thing if you're the girl at the front desk. Let me tell you......there are some really weird people in the world. I want to be someone who doesn't judge and loves all people, but the other day when a nasty lady came walking in and sat down in a fog of marijuana and I had to sit and talk to her and explain why she owed $600 on her insurance because she nevers pays on time.....that was the straw that broke the camels back. GROSS! That was not worth the money I was making part-time and still having to commute 30 minutes into town. I wanted to be in town near my kids when they're at school. I've never been the Mom that gets to attend most of the school functions and I want to be that Mom. My new part-time job is at a tanning salon/fitness club. I pray that I love it. I already like the girls there and maybe it will encourage me to get my behind on the treadmill every once in a while!

I'm praying that it all works out. I love my husband for letting me work part-time, especially in this economy. It's such a blessing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun in the Sun!






One of my favorite things in the world is hanging out in the pool. We don't have a pool so I was beyond thrilled when our friends Roger and Jill put a pool in at their house. We went over the other day to have a pool party with the gang (our group of friends that have been together for about 15 years). It was so fun - and crazy. We had a total of 8 little boys playing in the pool-that's a lot of little ones! Well, maybe they aren't so little now. We were reminiscing about the days when we all had babies and toddlers and never thought there would be a time when we could just lounge around the pool and not have to chase little ones around. Now the boys are from 5 years old to 12 years old. Time flies!

We had the best time. We cooked out and ate delicious hamburgers while sitting around watching the kids splash each other and try to do flips into the deep end. We do have a super cute group of boys, if I do say so myself!

We loved Roger and Jill's pool! It was so relaxing!
Now guess who wants a pool?!
ME!




















Friday, July 31, 2009

Guess where I went.....





Here's a little tidbit for ya.......I live very close to The Pioneer Woman's ranch. Ree Drummond and her family have a huge, and I mean huge, ranch about 30 minutes from my house. We live in the next town from them. I love Ree. I began reading her blog about two years ago and kept thinking to myself how amazingly familiar her landscape photos looked. All of the pictures of her ranch looked just like the farmland around the small town I live in and it was really starting to make me wonder. I finally figured out one day what her name was....Ree Drummond.....the Drummond family. Are you kidding me??? If you know anything about Oklahoma history, you know that the Drummond family owns the largest ranch in Oklahoma. I mean tens of thousands of acres of land. They are the original ranching dynasty. I think that's why I love that she makes fun of herself on her blog...she doesn't sound like a gazillionaire. But she is!
Her cooking is to die for....I would do anything to be able to cook like that.
Last weekend my Mom was feeling housebound because she'd had cataract surgery and had been hanging around the house for a week, so we decided to go on a little drive. We headed northwest and ended up in Pawhuska, a town full of beautiful old houses, some even old Indian mansions. We decided to stop at the Drummond House which is a National Historic Landmark. It is the house that Ree's husband's great-grandparents built in the early 1800's. We toured the house and showed the boys how people lived in the olden days. They thought it was really interesting and couldn't imagine that people lived in houses with no air-conditioning. Trust me when I say my boys would go crazy!
After the Drummond house tour, I told my Mom we were going out to the Drummond Ranch to take a picture. She laughed at me but thought it was a fun idea. I just stopped quickly and jumped out to get the pic. It turned out pretty good though, even though their house is a good 5 miles down the road from the entrance. I would love to meet Ree someday and visit the Lodge, wouldn't you???

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wedding











More pics from our wedding at Cross Timbers at Skiatook Lake. Easily, the most beautiful spot to get married in Oklahoma, hands down. I couldn't have asked for better people to work with - Laura, the restaurant Manager was so helpful and easygoing. I just loved her!





The wedding planning went so smoothly. Heck, I spent five long years thinking about getting married so when the time came, the planning was pretty much done. Jim told me that when he graduated with his Master's Degree on May 11 that we could start planning our wedding. Two months to the day - we were married. He didn't have to tell me twice!





I have to thank my good friends Jennifer and Nancy for taking a ton of photos for me. Their photos are awesome. Enjoy!








My Mom and my best friend's husband Bobby




Our flower girl/honorary ring bearer Allie, the best White Boxer in the world





Decorations - the text of our wedding program fans






Customized water bottles to help our guests deal with the 90-something degree heat






Guests getting ready for the wedding





























Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Love and marriage......


After five years of wonderful times and great memories....Jim and I finally tied the knot on July 11, 2009. It was the most wonderful night of my life. Right as I started walking toward the ceremony site, it began to sprinkle. Just a slight sprinkle but a sprinkle none the less. I began to really panic inside and turned to the event coordinator and asked what we were going to do if it started to really rain. She said, "We're just gonna hurry up and get married."

The second I got to the corner where I turn to walk into the site, the raindrops stopped and the sun came out. It was a glorious moment.

The moment was only eclipsed by the fact that we were pronounced husband and wife at 8:11pm and when we turned around and walked down the aisle at 8:12pm a brilliant rainbow appeared. That rainbow was my Dad, who has been in Heaven watching over me for the last 4 years. It was a sign from him that he was happy for us. If you've ever heard the song, Holes In The Floor Of Heaven by Collin Raye, you'll understand. Look up the lyrics, it's definitely worth it.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm building an ark!

Wow! We have now officially had 20 days of rain here in good ol' Oklahoma. People are starting to complain that they have seasonal affective disorder from no sunshine. It is getting a little depressing. I have to agree.
Last night we had some really cool storms blow through our area. Luckily no tornado warnings but they had one about 20 minutes from us. Too close for comfort if you ask me.
I took some pics of the clouds as they were rolling in. They were the really puffy, bubble looking clouds. I took Meteorology in college and still can't tell you what the clouds are called. I got a C in that class too-it was so hard!








The boys have 5 days left of school. H-man actually went to the Intermediate school to take a tour with his class since he will be in the 3rd grade next year. Finally, I will have both boys in the same building again. T-man will be in the oldest grade in the building (5th) and H-man in the youngest (3rd). It's so old hat for T-man though. He thinks he will rule the roost next year as a big 5th grader. They have both done so well in school this past year. Nothing but A's and an occasional B. That makes me very proud of them. Even though they are totally different personalities. T-man will worry so much about getting his homework turned in and getting good grades and then H-man just goes with the flow. He doesn't whether he gets his homework turned in or not. I think T is a worrier like his Momma. H is more like my laid-back Dad. So funny to see how they react to different situations.
Speaking of reacting to situations, I had to be the bad Mom on the block for the first time a couple of nights ago. Apparently, we have a kid that has an anger management problem in our neighborhood. He's always acting out - throwing his PSP if he doesn't win a game, stuff like that. Well, I guess he got into a little argument with T about who could skateboard better or some major world dilemma like that and this boy punched or slapped T in the face. When T came in the house and told me, I freaked! I ran outside and told that boy to come over to me and I ripped him up one side and down the other. I was so mad I was shaking. Maybe not the best time to react to a situation but I wasn't going to let this bully pick on my boy! He answered Yes Maam to me everytime I said something. I told him never to come to my house EVER! And, the stupid thing is.....I felt bad the day after I got on to him. I think T should learn to solve his own problems but this kid had done other stuff that had infuriated me so I'd had it. Guess he won't bug my little guys anymore. I'm such a big, bad Momma. But, one thing I instantly felt the second my oldest was born was the instant feeling of being a Mother Lion. You don't mess with my Lion Cubs or you will regret it. I guess that's called being a Mother.
Other than my griping out kids in the 'hood, everything has been going really well. My Mom is going to watch the boys over the summer......do you know what that means???????
NO MORE DAYCARE!!! NO MORE $700 A MONTH TO SHELL OUT BETWEEN THE EX AND I!!!!
You do not understand how long I have waited to not pay daycare. I will pay my Mom but not as much as the daycare. Wow! What a relief.
Over the summer the boys are going to go to the library and check out books like at the daycare. I think reading is the most important thing in the world. If you teach a child to read, they can go anywhere in the world. They will never be bored or lonely either. In some of my darkest days after getting divorced, reading saved me. My hope is that my boys will love reading as much as I do. And.....I adore it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kayleigh Freeman

For those of you that read about Kayleigh Freeman - a special premie that has fought so hard for eleven months only to experience a complication during surgery which left her brain dead, she has gone to Heaven. I am so sad for her parents, I can't even believe everything they have gone through only to have this ending.

Please say a special prayer for their family tonight.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Planning Monday



Monday - Pork Tenderloin, green beans with new potatoes
Tuesday (soccer practice night) - Hot dogs with chili and cheese
Wednesday - Italian Pot Roast (recipe below), mashed potatoes, salad
Thursday - Pork chops, scalloped potatoes, steamed broccoli
Friday - Sandwiches (grilled cheese or turkey and cheese)- packing for trip

Italian Pot Roast (Crockpot)

3 or 4 lb. pot roast- whatever size you want to use-just needs to fit in the crockpot

1 can Coca-Cola

1 package Lawry's spaghetti seasoning

1 large can (14 oz. I think) of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can of beef broth


Place the roast in crockpot, then pour and sprinkle all ingredients over roast. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. The roast will completely fall apart.

I serve it with mashed potatoes. The sauce is awesome.


~To help support the Pork Industry, which I have to say, has gotten a bad rap in the past couple of weeks, I'm serving pork this week. Our family loves pork and I think the media has scared the general public to death with this Swine Flu or H1N1 flu. I feel sorry for any pork producer in the country. This latest scare has got to be hurting their business.

It's been raining like crazy here again, I think we're on the 10th day straight. I'm counting on soccer practice being cancelled due to the soggy fields. That gives me more time to plan for our trip to North Carolina at the end of the week. This weekend is a long awaited, exciting trip for us. Mr. Hautemama is graduating from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina with his Master's Degree in Accountancy. I'm so proud of him. He has spent many late nights studying for his Masters. I feel like our life has been on hold for the last two years, as we couldn't travel because Mr. H was worried that he wouldn't be able to access the internet on vacation. He took an online degree program which was actually very interesting. The class discussions were all online in a message board form. His professors would post the quizzes and tests online and then Mr. H would post his finished test back to the professor. Honestly, anyone with an accounting degree gets my respect. I'm an English and literature type of girl. Numbers scare the heck out of me. Heck, I even despise balancing my checkbook. And....to think that 5 short years ago I was a licensed Financial Advisor. Guess you know why I'm not one anymore. I hated numbers.

This will be one of the first times I've ever left the boys, except for business. My Mom is sweet enough to step in and take care of them while we're gone. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. I'm a list maker so I've spent the entire day listing out everything we need to remember to do before leaving.

Speaking of lists, I have the best site for downloading lists to help keep your home organized, as a matter of fact, that's what the site is called Organizedhome.com.

I keep a household notebook, which is basically just a 3 ring binder with clear tab dividers. The notebook is divided into the following sections:

Meals and Menus
Sections:
Freezer Inventory
Pantry Inventory-as shown on the enclosed photo, when you put something in the pantry, you put a mark through the box. When you use that item, you complete the X by putting another mark through the item. You then know it's been used and you need to replace it.
Menus - monthly
Shopping Lists
Pricing Form - to remember what an item is typically priced at a certain store



Sorry for the blurry pic. It's hard to take a pic of a page.




Money and Finance
Budget/spending record-very important in this economy
Bills to pay
Credit card list
Insurance Information-I put copies of my insurance policies in a clear page protector

Family and School
School schedule
Holiday list
Lunch menus
School information
Daycare information


Home Management
Household cleaning schedule
Seasonal chore schedule
Children's chore checklist
Home inventory
Home decorating ideas
Car maintenance schedule
Magazine subscriptions


Planning
Calendars
Schedules

To-do lists
Scrapbook ideas/page layouts


Phone list
Master phone directory
Emergency phone directory- doctors phone numbers-good to take out and post on the fridge when the kids are with a babysitter

Activities/School


My household notebook has been so much help. I now can tell when I have plenty of food in the pantry to menu plan. In past years, I've forgotten what was in the back of the freezer - now I don't.

This is how happy I feel after organizing my home!