Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

Tomorrow is the last day of 2015. The years seem to go by faster and faster with age. Makes me sad.

This year we have achieved a lot of goals and checked a lot of to do's off the list. But, there are always more goals to make.

In 2015 we had goals of travel, running and buying a new car. We traveled to Florida in May as a big family vacation. Loved Captiva and we hope to return some day. We also spent much of July at the Lake of the Ozarks. The kids are only young once, and the Lake is the perfect place to spend summer. I also made my way to Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon with my friend Jen. I am not sure that was on my check list for 2015, but I went anyway! It was a fun weekend, but I am not sure I am up to doing that again this year. And, we did buy not only one car but 2 cars. Yeah! We don't have to look to do that anytime soon. We are set. Additionally, we added a 5th bedroom to our home this year. We had considered adding it for a while but just needed the right contractor.  We also replaced the carpet on the main level after too many foster dogs ruined our current carpet. And, to make things interesting, Chris started a new job AGAIN, at Nelnet in Omaha. All in all, it was a good year.

Let's see...2016 Goals.
1. The Boston Marathon! Yes, I am signed up, room and flights booked and WE ARE ALL GOING!! I am following an intense 12 week program to get me geared up and ready. Honestly, I am not going for a PR. I am going to run the Boston Marathon and hope to finish without getting so sick that I forget the next 5 to 6 hours. Afterall, my entire family will be there supporting me.
2. Yellowstone. We have a vacation to Yellowstone planned this year, rooms booked and ready to go. This will be one road trip to remember.
3. Back to the Lake. Yes, we will return to the Lake a few times this year. Alivia hopes to celebrate turning 12 at the Lake with friends in May, then returning for a longer period, with Grandma and Grandpa we hope, in July.
4. Chris hopes to go on a hiking trip with his brother. I am not sure what mountain or anything about the trip except they are going in July (when we are probably at the lake). So, Chris probably will not get to the Lake in July. :(
5. Weekend away for our anniversary. We skipped this trip this year due to Chris coaching soccer. Next year, I am scheduling it and the assistant soccer coach will have to take over. Seriously, its a volunteer position after all. :)
6. Chris hopes to build some sort of extended patio. We will see if it gets that done. Last year I did garden for the first time EVER and I hope to continue that this year. I may even start my indoor garden soon. Other home projects include continuing to recarpet our home, adding a door to our master bedroom (yes, we do not have a door!), and other odds and ins (like organizing the garage and utility room - fun stuff right?!?). I know, last year I said we would move some place warm. Well, with Chris' next job! He did not have too much time to consider his job change this next time its going south baby!

Tomorrow we will celebrate the end of the amazing 2015 and the beginning of 2016. The kids have friends coming for a sleepover party. It will be one big PARTY here. :) Bring out the chips and dip!

Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas came as a surprise white Christmas this year. They were saying on the news there was a 98% chance of there NOT being a white Christmas, then low and behold it snowed on Christmas Eve Day and has snowed a little more since. I, for one, think now that Christmas is over, BRING ON SPRING!

Our Christmas was quiet. The week leading up to Christmas the kids were home from school. On Monday we went bowling. On Tuesday the kids went with Grandma Kathy to see the Chipmunks movie. I bought the tickets to go with friends. However, I got sick with the stomach flu and could not go. Wednesday and Thursday were spent at home and shopping to prepare for Christmas and Christmas dinner.

Christmas was quiet. The kids got up at 7 and opened their 8 presents each. Alivia got clothes, room decor (like a sheep skin rug, door mirror, etc), Addison got a big dog print, clothes and a new bike, and Asher got an iPad Mini, under armour clothes (I should really buy stock in the company), and a soccer bag. Chris and I got cars. Enough said. :)

My parents came for our quiet dinner followed by more presents. The girls got American Girl Dolls that look like them and legos, and Asher got soccer gear. Asher is a tough one. My mom got him some crazy skateboard thing that Asher insists we have to return (but I have yet to do).

We had a fun day. Chris said my cooking was horrible, but that's okay as long as we were together. Although I was no longer vomiting, I was nauseous for a week. Needless to say, I did not feel like cooking or eating. I am all better now though.

Now onto New Years Week. The kids have been keeping me busy with sleepovers, playdates and going sledding. We had more snow on Monday so we took all the Christmas stuff down (what Chris didn't take down on Saturday December 26!) and cleaned up the house. Yesterday we went sledding, to Costco and finished the day seeing the New Star Wars movie at a 7pm showing. The kids could not believe it when the movie was over that they were the only kids in the theater! :)

Merry Christmas. We have enjoyed this break but I know reality is right around the corner. Best get back to sledding!!

2 New Cars

That's right, on December 18, Chris and I purchased 2 new cars. I've decided that buying cars is kinda like child birth. It is very painful, expensive but the end result is usually worth it. :)

As I have posted, I have been looking for the perfect non van family car for a while. I fell in love with the Buick Enclave for its roomy interior. What I did not like was that it was so much more expensive but lacked the technology that we found on much less cars in its class. I also loved the Acura MDX. LOVED that car. However, Alivia crawled into the back and said it was just too small. I knew she was right...but it was such a sweet car. It also preferred premium gas. We did not want to deal with that!

When Honda came out with its 2016 Pilot, I knew it was worth a shot. We saw it, it was roomy, had the ease to get into the back like the MDX had, and I was sold. Our van had 115000 miles on it and was 10 years old. Our Toyota Camry had 97000 miles on it and was 10 years old, too, on 12/15/16. So, I proposed to Chris that we buy 2 cars. He thought I was nuts. But, we had money saved to buy one and could get a loan for the second. I am not a fan of car loans, either, but we could pay it down quickly. So, it was decided. We would get the 2016 Honda Pilot and the 2016 Honda Civic.

On the last day of November we went into Superior Honda to purchase. It was snowy and yucky out and the last day of the month. They did not want to sell us cars on that day. We should have taken our business elsewhere. But, we are dumb.

We ended up, what we thought, ordering new cars from them. The cars on the lot they said were traded. Not true actually. The civic was used to test drive the hell out of. It had 65 miles on it the end of November and when we went to pick it up it had 371 miles on it!! They did not tell us this until they had our money and the dealership was closed. They actually never did tell us...we read it on the last sheet we signed. How crocked it that?!?! With that kinda of miles we could have bought used. I was not happy and let them know ( the pilot had the appropriate 9 miles on it). They didn't care at all. They gave Chris a free oil change and sent us on our way.

One, I will NEVER GO BACK TO SUPERIOR HONDA EVER! I can not believe they can stay open doing business like this. I will be giving the free oil change away. Seriously. And, it will be a while before we buy new cars.

The cars are great. Well, until Chris came home with the pilot yesterday and cracked the windshield. $1000!!! and the windshield is on backorder for 45-90 days. Nice. I have not even driven it yet!! Now I get it all broken. Sweet. Thankfully insurance will pay for some when spring comes and the windshield becomes available.

So far, both cars work for what we purchased them for. The civic gets great gas mileage. Chris drives to work alone and rarely has kids in his car. If he does, it is to drive one kid to soccer. The civic is actually quite spacious and has a lot of backseat room and trunk room in this 2016 model. Chris had to get the turbo addition, which if anything, makes it a quicker car to steal. (Civics get stolen A LOT). We are hoping this car will be driven by our kids in a few short years and Chris will finally get a car he wants to drive (maybe a Jeep Wrangler, but we will see).

I can't say much about the Pilot because I have not driven it much. I do like the big console in the middle. It offers a lot of space for handbags, ipads, etc. It is kinda difficult for Asher to get into the back seat of the Pilot without help. But, with time, hopefully he will get the hang of it. Afterall, it is not a van.

In the end, I am just happy to not have to go to a dealership. Those places are total nightmares! It will take me at least 10 years before I'm ready to return.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Missing Ipad

For Addison's 9th birthday, she received an iPad. She broke her iPod 2 years ago, maybe 6 months after getting it (if that). We were reluctant to give the girl anything after that and the many things she had broken since.

But we gave her the iPad Mini anyway.

She loved her iPad. She is our big youtuber...she looks up everything on You Tube, Amazon, etc and sends us her requests. She recently got on the computer to look up the Elf on the Shelf to see funny things people's elves are doing (no pressure or anything).

About 8 weeks ago, Addison revealed to us that she lost her iPad. I was, of course, not happy about it. Addison's room is generally an absolute mess. Walking into her room, you put yourself at risk of not walking out. Her floor is usually covered with toys, stuffed animals, clothes, trash, you name it. Her desk, the same on Alivia has that remains in mint condition, is an absolute mess. It is covered in marker, paint, etc and has trash hanging out of the drawers. Some of the drawers do not have pulls on them even. She is on her second lamp, having broke the previous one. She broke this lamp 2 months after receiving it. The same story on her is a mess.

In summary, Addison is far from responsible or respectful.

Losing the iPad was the last straw.

I, of course, started in her room. I cleaned her room from top to bottom. No luck finding the iPad though. I walked out of her room and she immediately destroyed my cleaned progress. Her desk is now lost in a mess of trash. It didn't last long. Sigh...

I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. No luck. Seriously, what did you do with it Addison? I would ask her. She didn't know.

I told her no to sleepovers and fun things because she lost her iPad. I was beginning to believe she lost it at a soccer game or something. As we tried to trade in our cars, I was worried the iPad was in some hidden compartment and we would not find it (someone else would!).

Today, as I prepare to sleep my days away and work all night for the upcoming future (I work on 2, off 2 back on 2. By off 2 that means sleep one, sleepy the next then back to work), I put on fresh sheets on my bed (which I have done many times since her iPad has gone missing). Today I pushed the mattress up towards the head of the bed and something was sticking out below the mattress on top of the box spring. What is that? I asked myself.

Low and was Addison's iPad!!! She obviously had watched something on our bed or left it on the bed and it had fell down the foot of the bed. Eventually making its resting place on the box spring, covered by the mattress. How in the world that ever happened is BEYOND ME but it is FOUND!! I am amazed. The girl wanted Beats for Christmas and I told her no because she didn't have anything to plug them into! Luckily, I believe Grandma believed and bought headphones for her anyway.

Happy Happy Day! I can hardly wait to show Addison when she gets home from school!!!

Asher's 8th Birthday!

Asher turned 8 years old this past weekend. Unbelievable that our baby is 8!!

The Birthday questions, favorites:
Fav color: Red
Toy: Elf on the Shelf (his says its a toy...hummm).
Fav fruit: Grapes
Fav Show: Jesse
Favorite Lunch: Soup
Fav game: Soccer
Fav snack: Chocolate Graham Crackers
Fav Song: 
Fav book: 
Best Friend: Michael
Fav cereal: Chocolate Special K
fav thing to do outside:play soccer, climb trees, ride his knee electric scooter or new bike
Fav Lemonade
Fav Holiday: Christmas
What do you take to bed with you at night:Coloring books, he colors until he is sleepy.
Fav thing to eat at breakfast:  Eggs and bacon (or pancakes since he asks for me to make them all the time).
What to eat for your birthday? Hamburgers, mashed potatoes, corn and white cake and icecream!
What do you want to be when you grow up? a Computer worker (like Daddy?) or a pilot
On Saturday, we loaded up 8 boys (Asher included) and went to our local movie theater to see The Good Dinosaur. The boys had fun eating popcorn, fruit snack and a drink while watching the movies. The boys were contained and it worked out great!
After the movie, we came back to the house BRIEFLY for cake, ice cream and very nice presents from Asher's friends. Asher's favorites were $20 and $25 gift cards to Dicks that he will put towards new soccer shoes, Air Hogs hover craft toy, legos and a Nerf Gun (or course). The boys were loud! and Chris and I needed noise cancelling headphones to survive it all.
Sunday, his actual birthday, we celebrated with his Grandparents. Per Asher's request, we had hamburgers, mashed potatoes and corn, salad, grapes and a soccer ball vanilla cake. It was all very good. Asher received nice presents from his grandparents including an electric scooter (that is very cool), a bike from us (along with an Under Armour shirt that the Elf took credit for), a radio, the lego city (that they put together that night, and a lot of coloring and activity books. He had a blast. After the girls recovered from their thoughts that Asher got more than they did (seriously!!!!), they had fun playing on and with his new things, too. The weather was wet and crummy, but we were able to make the best of it!

It was a fun weekend spent celebrating. Happy Birthday Asher Wade. We love you!