Sunday, January 22, 2017

Everyday Moments

These random iPhone photos are dark, blurry, and untouched,
but they capture everyday moments from the last couple weeks.

This week Hadley (2) learned how to do a handstand! 
She has been watching Savannah, who is always doing flips and handstands on our couch.
Hadley practiced her handstand about 20 times before she was successful:

Last week Savannah stayed with Grandma Barbara in Salter Path. (After being tracked out/on vacation for the last 4.5 weeks, Savannah goes back to school tomorrow!)
Uncle Benny sent me this picture of Savannah eating jello at Country Kitchen:

During her stay with Grandma Barbara, Savannah got some new earrings:

Butterfly earrings

She also got her hair trimmed. 
Savannah's strawberry blonde hair is getting so long!

Yesterday our family met Grandma Barbara at a BBQ restaurant, where we had lunch and picked up Savannah. At the restaurant, we had a mini family reunion that included our family, Grandma Barbara, Tal's grandparents on both sides of his family, Tal's Aunt Angie, Tal's Uncle Kevin, Tal's cousin Amanda and her daughter Aria. We enjoyed seeing everyone and eating a delicious lunch!

Second Cousins:
Aria (2), Savannah (7) and Hadley (2)

A sweet sisterly moment holding hands.
Savannah and Hadley were so excited to see each other after being apart for a week!

We are glad to have Savannah home after being at Grandma Barbara's house last week!

Check out Hadley riding on Daddy's back:

Savannah riding on Daddy's back:

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Favorite Podcasts

I love podcasts. I love listening when I'm driving, getting ready in the morning, folding laundry, cooking, decluttering, etc. Podcasts make everyday chores so much more enjoyable.

A podcast is free talk radio that you can listen to anytime you want. I love being able to pause a show, skip ahead during a boring part, or playback parts that I missed.

Most podcasts are 30-60 minutes long, so I can easily listen to 1 or 2 episodes a day on my way to and from work.

I listen via the podcast app on my iPhone. I search for shows and then subscribe to the ones I like, so new episodes automatically show up in my podcast feed.

There are thousands of podcasts. I choose to listen to shows about home decorating/DIY/design, as well as shows about parenting, marriage, and finances from a Christian perspective.

Here are my favorite podcasts:

1. Home decorating/DIY/Design:

2. Christian advice on parenting, marriage, and finance:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Everyday Moments

These random iPhone photos are dark, blurry, and untouched,
but they capture everyday moments from the last couple weeks.

January 7
our first snow of 2017 (a view from our front door)

January 7
our first snow of 2017 (a view of our backyard)

Last week Tal thought he broke his nose after Hadley accidentally head-butted him in the nose:

While the girls and I were on vacation last week, we went to storytime at the public library in our neighborhood. We enjoyed listening to stories, singing songs, and checking out new library books afterwards:

As I've mentioned before, Hadley is a daredevil. A few days ago, she nearly gave me a heart attack when I found her walking on the outside of our railings at the top of our stairs:

Thank goodness I found Hadley before she got hurt because she was hanging above the least 10 feet from the ground:

This weekend our family enjoyed having Grandma Barbara spend Saturday night with us. We all went out to dinner, and Savannah played the game below while we waited for our food to arrive. On Sunday morning, Savannah and Grandma Barbara drove back to Salter Path. Savannah is staying with Grandma Barbara this week before she goes back to school on January 23:

Tal and I have been doing meal planning for years. Before we do our weekly grocery shopping, we choose 2-3 meals for the week and then buy the ingredients when we go shopping. We cook our meals on the weekend and eat the leftovers during the week. This week we are eating lasagna and chicken tortilla soup (shown below). We use this recipe:

While I've been on vacation the last 3 weeks, I've been working on potty training Hadley. The good news is that Hadley is mostly potty trained during the day. She has been wearing 1-2 diapers a day for the last two weeks. On Sunday morning, Hadley woke up with a dry diaper!

Hadley wants to be a gymnast just like her big sister Savannah who is always using our couch to do flips and handstands:

Hadley loves wearing this elf hat that Grandma Barbara gave her:

Hadley loves wearing these clips in her hair:

Last weekend I set-up our bill folders for 2017. Tal and I have auto-pay for our all of our bills, but we still receive paper statements occasionally. In our filing cabinet, I have a folder for each of our bills (Allstate, Century Link, etc). After I've looked at the bills, I file them in our filing cabinet in an effort to reduce the clutter on our kitchen counters. Over the last 10 years, I have tried different ways to organize our bills, and this system (that I've been using for 5 years) works the best for us!

I removed our 2016 bill folders from our filing cabinet and put them in an empty diaper box. Tal and I keep our bills for 5 years in case we get audited or need to access them:

On MLK Day, Hadley and I went to the mall. Hadley loved playing in the play area and waving at the choo-choo train. (Hadley LOVES looking at trains, playing with trains, and listening to the sounds of trains. In fact, every night she asks to fall asleep to the sound of the choo-choo train on my phone.)

While Hadley and I were at the mall, we ate a pretzel from Auntie Anne's and got a handful of gum for the candy machine. Hadley LOVES chewing gum!

At the mall, I also bought some Christmas gifts for Savannah's teachers. Last week, I created our budget for Christmas 2017 ($700) and then made a list of gifts to buy everyone. In our monthly budget, I allocate $60 for Christmas gifts, and then each month I buy a couple gift cards or pick a up a few gifts on my list. I've found that it's easier to budget and buy gifts throughout the year!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

IL Road Trip: Part 6 (Return Trip)

On January 3, the girls and I left central IL at 6:30 A.M. and drove 7.5 hours.  We spent the night at a Fairfield Inn in Ashland, KY:

After a long day of traveling, Savannah and Hadley were looking forward to swimming in the hotel pool. Unfortunately, however, we only swam for about 20 minutes because the pool water was freezing cold, and the hot tub was broken:

After eating dinner at Subway, we relaxed in our hotel room before going to bed:

Hadley loved writing in Savannah's reading workbook:

The next morning, the girls and I ate a continental breakfast at the hotel, loaded up our Expedition, and started our last day of traveling:

We drove 3 hours and then stopped for lunch at Wendy's in Wytheville, VA. Then, the girls and I hit the road and traveled the last 3 hours of of our 7-day road trip!

The girls and I missed Daddy while we were on our road trip, and we were thrilled to see him when we got home at 2:45 P.M.We were thankful for safe travels and that we didn't encounter any snow on our trip through 6 states. Daddy took us out to dinner at Waffle House to celebrate our arrival!