Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting ready for 2010

Looking back at 2009 and thinking about the wonderful times, the changes, challenges, and victories, I am so grateful that we made it through! This was a trying year...big decisions, lessons learned, relationships forever changed. 2010 is a chance to start over, do things differently and I am determined to do all I can to get off to a great start! A good friend of mine recommended Managers of Their Homes to me and I got it for Christmas from my fabulous mother in law! I am so excited about using her ideas and techniques for running my household. Even though I am not in my own house right now I still have to manage my little people, school time, meals, etc. I am doing an okay job but I want to do a great job. I think this book will really help me. (Thanks T!)
Managers of Their Homes by Steven & Teri Maxwell

So, yesterday John took all three boys into town and I stayed home to get things organized!!!! I turned up my Pandora station and started cleaning/tossing/organizing. It was amazing. I got everything accomplished on my To Do list and even had a shower before they got home. Ahh, it was a beautiful day! So here's what my desk area (#1 on the list). I should have taken a Before pic...nah, too embarrassing!This was a maybe around #6 on the list but really glad I got to it. (Just for the record: I didn't actually make a list just sort of made it up as I went.) It's the boy's "free time basket" I stocked it with coloring books, games, cards, puzzles, art supplies, etc so when I need a minute to stir the soup, nurse the baby, rotate laundry or whatever, they can easily grab something to keep them occupied for a few minutes.
(Side note: basket = $1 at the thrift store!)

John and I also sat down and set goals, some financial, some for our family, and some personal. I feel good about where we are starting and hope that this will establish a good start for the new year. I am excited to see where this year takes us. It's always an adventure, no doubt. I wish you and your family a VERY blessed and adventurous 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you many warm, sweet memories this Christmas!
From the Amelang Family!

The Lone Ranger, Cheryl, Bumblebee, John & Tyler

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I like....

...when Hunter says "do you want to talk about dinosaurs?"
...that Jay and Hunter always save me a chair between them at every meal
...kissing Tyler's feet while I nurse him
...when Hunter says that I'm beautiful
...when Jay says that my cooking is better than Chili's
...Tyler's baby kisses
...their laughs that are all different but all amazing!
...morning snuggles
...playing "chef"
...when Jay rolls his R's

I'm one happy mama! =)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanks Dr. Woo.....

Psalm 127:1
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

John and I have been facing a huge decision and trying to figure out what the "right" move is. We sold our house back in August and have been living with his dad since then. It's still going fine. Our original plan was to build a house on the acre of land that we own out here. The idea was never totally appealing to us as we really rather be a little closer to town (it's about 15 mins out), not be quite so close to dad, we really want more room to do what we need/want to do and last but not least, this land really needs a lot of work to be the type of place we really want to be. So having some savings and profit from our house we starting looking around for other options. We put an offer in on a house that is about 6 mins from here, a little fixer upper on an acre and actually quite perfect...we thought. We didn't get the house and were quickly back to the drawing board. The whole time in the back on my mind thinking "I know we are going to end up back here...that's just not what I want to do" We used to live here. When Jay was born. We built a tiny little house and it was fine for the time. Buying a house in Brenham was a big step forward for us and I guess I feel like we are regressing if we move back here. John and I really don't want to build a house...anywhere. Ideally, we would find a house and make our home there, but that's not how it's playing out. This past weekend we went to my dad's and had a lot of car time to think and talk about what we need to do...what our next move is. We finally made a decision and today it was confirmed. We will build a house out here on our acre. The confirmed part was made tonight when I checked out Casey Cease's blog and he was talking about why he and his family moved to Brenham and he said that Dr. Woo (not sure who he is...but sounds quite wise) says "When you have several options in front of you, God is usually calling you to the hardest one." This is the hardest one...
I keep saying that this isn't what I want and shouldn't I get what I want? (HA!) But what if this turns out to be exactly what I want? There are worse places to be. We will have very little, if any debt, be close to family, live in the country on land that is paid for. Come on, what am I complaining about? I am looking for the bright side. I am trying to be thankful and know that God's in control. No one said we will live here forever (hey, maybe it'll turn out that I want to live here forever....who knows) This is a any other. So, here we go.....


John uploaded pictures from his phone on to my new laptop as my slide show. I have been enjoying them so much! Here's just a few of my favorites. in no particular order....

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Lil Cutie!

John and I celebrated our 9th anniversary on Wednesday and he surprised me with my own lappy! We named it the "lil cutie" because it's exactly like his only small and adorable!
Thank you honey for 9 wonderful years and my own little lappy! I love you so much! Thank you for all you do for us, taking care of us, and loving us! You are the best...ever!

(picture taken by Jay and "lil cutie" modeled by my other little cuties, Hunter and Tyler!)

Amelang 12 days of Christmas

We are off to my Dad's for the weekend! Our first Christmas celebration of the year. I love spending time with my family. While in the car and thinking about everything we have going on in the next few weeks John and I came up with our own 12 days of Christmas.

12 gifts to give (actually that's not acuate! More like 120 but this song doesn't go that high...)
11 hours of driving
10 packed bags
9 books to read
8 cups of coffee
7 bathroom stops
6 assorted beers
5 Amelangs
4 new tires
3 kids in the back
2 laptops
1 bottle of champagne (for when we survive the holidays!)

Hope your holidays bring you MUCH joy, happiness, and warm memories! =)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bless You!

The boys think this is hilarious!!!! (so do I!) Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Today we start making the rounds, visiting family, eating more turkey than we can imagine, scarfing down delicious homemade pies, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and rolls. And most importantly, spending time with family talking about football, our lives, what we are thankful for, and just enjoying each other. I love this time of year. I love everything about it. I have so much to be thankful for that I feel like my little heart might explode. What a crazy and wonderful thing this life is. I love it! I wish you and your family a wonderful and thankful thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Music and Muffins Piano Class

This is from our Brenham Music Academy Newsletter. Thought I'd post it on my blog too.

I am now into the second month of my Music and Muffins class and still very much enjoying it! The curriculum we are using was designed for busy adults (that's me!) and is challenging but slow paced so I never feel frustrated or bored. As the weeks progress, I am finding that sometimes it's difficult to make time to practice even though I really like practicing, want to learn new songs, and work on the concepts that are introduced each week in class. I have realized that with three kids I'm not going to have a daily set aside time to practice so I look for opportunities to take a minute or two during the day to pull out my music book and play. Even if it's just 2, 3 or 5 minutes at a time. It's a few minutes that I'm doing something that I enjoy and something that is important to me. I am glad that I am in a group. I know that I would have quit (again) by now if I were taking private lessons. I feel committed to these ladies and if I lag behind it effects the progress of all of us and that is motivation to find the time. This may sound silly but I feel like I'm part of something important. I see the enthusiasm and commitment that my fellow piano students have and it excites me! I am building relationships with neat women, learning about more than just quarter notes. When this class ends I will walk away knowing more than just how to play the piano. There is so much more this class has to offer my life. It has enriched me in so many ways!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Boys

The weather was beautiful last week! Here are some pictures from a day at the park with Daddy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Shining Star...

Hunter: Mom, there are 100million stars out tonight.

Mom: Yep!

Hunter: They are beautiful! They are for you...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Playhouse Restoration Weekend

My dad built this playhouse almost 21 years ago. I remember him working on it on the weekends, my step mom walking on the frame before the floor was put down, and the excitement and pride I have always had for this massive, beautiful piece of work. My dad works for an electrical company that sets poles and such (I don't know all the ins and outs of his job...all I know is that as we drive by places he tells me "I set that crew did all that pole work"...etc. I have always been so proud of my dad!) Anyway, he built the playhouse out of cross-arms from work. Yes, the WHOLE things is built out of cross-arms. He's a crazy man. He builds everything out the darn things. I asked him if his house was framed with cross-arms. He said no, but he really wanted to. I'm not surprised...

So, 21 years later the playhouse needs some work. John, my brother Terrey and my dad made all of the appropriate repairs to our beloved playhouse and now J & H can play, pretend, and run around on it like I did as a kid. I have great memories with my cousins and sister out there. "Big girl talk" about things like New Kids on the Block, school projects, and boys at school (of course!). This was also the headquarters of Honey Comb Drug Safety Club where I was the president and our motto was "We Burn Drugs" Man, that makes me laugh now!!! Oh the minds of 8 year olds! Wow, the memories.... it's hard to believe that MY children are playing on my playhouse now. Time passes so quickly...

John and Terrey

My dad!
Note the large crack they are supporting with another beam.

The playhouse!

Another view

The little house on top.

Thanks guys for your hard work to restore our awesome playhouse!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

File Folder Pictures

Here's a picture of my finished games. I have more in mind and hopefully will work on them next week.

Felt Cars, Memory, Colors, Numbers

Jay (my little chicken friend) helping me cut out laminated cards

Hunter making a monster truck with the felt car pieces.

Friday, October 16, 2009

File Folder Games

Schooling has been fun and informal so far this kindergarten year with lapbooks and reading only. It's been really fun to watch Jay learning and enjoying coloring and cutting and excited to see what activity we are going to next in our lapbook. This week we have been reading The Poky Little Puppy and learning about our five senses, obedience, sorting and categorizing animal, and playing Doggy Lotto. Super fun! I always try to involve Hunter in the activities and sometimes he joins us but mostly we wants to cut the papers into microscoptic pieces (not so fun for clean up time) so I deviced a plan to keep his little hands happy and my floor clean from paper confetti. I made 4 (so far) file folder games for Hunter to play while Jay and I are lapbooking. He is still in the room and can hear the story, the lesson, and activity but doing something on his own. He is still welcome to join us for our activity if he wants to. I always make 2 copies of whatever we are working on. Here's what I have so far.

Felt Cars - The fav!
I cut out shapes of cars, boats, monster trucks, delivery trucks, and tractors along with their appropiate tires, windows, headlights, etc. I glued a piece of felt in a file folder for them to stick on and store the pieces in a zip lock with the easy to slide opening so he can open and close it himself.

I made two boards and glued them on the insides of the folder, made cards, and got it all laminated. Jay cut out all the laminating while I stuck magnets to the board and to each card. I bought a roll of stick on magnets so it was super fast and easy. This makes a great car game because they all stick to the board so no flying cards! I store the cards in a zip lock also.

I made pockets out of colored paper and labeled the color name on the front of each one and made more little cards. The object is to match the color of the picture to the colored pocket. There is one white pocket to store all the cards in.

I made 3 boards with the numbers in different places on each one and cards with pictures numbering 1-12. The object is to match the number of pictures on the card to the number on the game board. I glued a little pocket in the folder to store the cards.

I got all the cards laminated so they last longer. We took them to a restaurant on Friday and they played with them quietly at the table. Now I just need something easily portable to store them in. I'll check Higgins Branch! =)

I'll post pictures when I have a better internet connection!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Play Date at the Park!

Ok, so I feel like a total nerd, but figured I'd throw it out there anyway....
This month is my one year anniversary for Brenham Mommies and I have having a play date for mommies from Brenham and surrounding areas to come meet other mommies and play! It's October 18th from 2-4 pm at Fireman's Park. I'm in the process of talking to local businesses and getting a coupon book put together and door prize donated for the event. It should be a lot of fun so spread the word and see ya at the park!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Playing Duets

Jay and I started piano lessons this month. He is doing Music for Little Mozarts with a little friend and I am doing an adult group class called Music and Muffins. (We drink coffee and eat muffins before we hit the piano lesson!)
My first lesson was on Monday and I loved it. I married into an extremely talented, musical family and the only keyboard I play is the one I am typing on now. So, the music school (where I work...see I need music lessons!) offered an adult group class and I jumped at the chance to finally take some lessons.
I have tried lessons in the past with my talented musical family but something always got in the way and one of us canceled the lesson. So now I am in a class that has a time and other ladies so I have to practice and show up! It's going to be a lot of fun!
Jay and I practiced together today...this is going to be awesome!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Friday and I am so grateful!

I'm grateful because it's been a good week and I have so much to be grateful for! This is the good right it is!
  • Three sweet dirt covered little boys
  • Homeschooling
  • Watching the sun rise with good friends
  • Telling jokes
  • Changing the plan
  • Late night chats about life with my husband
  • Costume changes
  • Music Lessons
  • Gymnastics
  • Slobbery kisses
  • Piles of laundry
  • Reading children's books
  • The quiet time before everyone wakes up
  • Coffee
I fall more in love with these handsome little faces everyday! They challenge me to be a better person, seek a closer relationship with God, and focus on what is really important in life. (Hint: not me!) Even in the rough moments and chaos, I try focus on the wonderful gift of mommyhood that has been so graciously given to me and remember "THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF!" This is just a seasons as any other...enjoy the good parts and breathe slowly deeply through the tough bits!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Monday again....horray!

So, last week was good! I feel like I'm back on top of my life. It's amazing that a goal and a little determination can get you where you want to be. ;) This week had it's trials, like any other, but I feel good! This is week two. I hope I can stay this focused and determined!

Last week we finished our If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Lapbook. The boys had a great time with it.

This is we will do Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and go see the movie this weekend. I'm really excited about it! Lapbooking is amazing and fun! I'm off to start some breakfast before my little people wake up! Hope you have a great week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

This is the week....

This is the week that I get on top of life...and I get life OFF OF ME! The last few weeks I have hardly been able to keep my head above water and this is the week that I get back in the boat, grab an oar, and I get to decide where we go from now on. This morning I woke up at 6, rotated laundry, walked a mile with my good friend Ginny, put banana bread in the oven and now doing a quick blog update before I look at the dinner plan. It's a good start! I'm going to look at starting a....*biting nails...gasp*...schedule! I have to manage my time better. I can't let life smother me anymore. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If I had time to blog this is what I'd blog about!

It's been WAY too long since I have blogged...I miss it! And I know you are dying to know how we are doing! ;) So I'll tell you...mostly in pictures!

Quick Update (without the pics) We closed on our house and moved in with the in-laws. It's going really well. It's actually been fun hanging out with everyone and always having some to chat with in the kitchen while fixing breakfast or doing the dishes! I've laughed A LOT in the last month! =)
Here's what else we've been up to!

Jay lost his first tooth! (and now another one too)

My sweet little Boo-Ba!

I was invited to attend the birth of Juliet Faith Davis! She was born on August 16th and weighed 9 lbs, 10 oz and 21 inches long. This was my 6th birth to attend! (well, 3 were my own, but I was told that they count to...since I was there and all...) It was amazing and I am so honored to have been invited! I love babies, birth, and serving mothers while they experience the most amazing gift that God could give women. I love it!!!!

The Blue Hit was the TLM Showcase Series artist in August and they were awesome! Velvet Vocals, Groovy Guitar, and Charming Cello! Doesn't that description make you want to check them out! September is going to rock also!

The sound guy and the intern!

Iceskating for my mother in law's bday party!!!!

The boys working on their Family Lapbooks. They are so fun! I'm in love with lapbooking. Check it out!

So that's the Amelang update!