Thursday, January 31, 2008

Work, Work, Work...

Today is my third day at my new job and so far so good. The people are extremely nice and so easy to work with. The biggest hurdle I have is sorting through all the files and stacks of paper that the previous person left behind. (However, I have no worries at all since I tend to be a bit OCD on my office being organized.) And of course, familiarizing myself with all the procedures, lingo, etc. Tomorrow is a short day, 7:30 - 2:00 and I'm looking forward to that. It will be great to get errands done in those three hours of free time. Ya know?

Little Miss Priss (Anna Kate) is sick. She's had this nagging congested cough for almost two weeks now, so we took her to the doctor yesterday afternoon. She has 'acute bronchitis'. He detected some wheezing, which we're hoping is associated with the bronchitis and not the onset of Asthma (her daddy has asthma). She's being treated with Prednisone and Zithromax. Poor baby just doesn't feel good, but she wanted to go to school today (she's not contagious). Hopefully her medicines will knock out the infection quickly. We need our happy 'Spunky Monkey' back!!!

So that's all for now. Check back later for a few pics :-)

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Projects

I've had a series of pictures of Anna Kate that has been in my 'pending projects' file on my laptop for some time now. I knew I wanted to do something with them, I just wasn't sure what at the time. Well, I sat down last night and today in hopes to put something together for her playroom. Actually, my friend Spring shared some pics of her daughter and as soon as I saw them I knew they would make perfect storyboards. After I finished laying them out for her, I was inspired to do Anna Kate's.

Preface ~ Anna Kate LOVES her playroom and would eat, sleep and be merry in her Rose Petal Cottage. That's her little world in there. So capturing her expressions and personality while playing in there, well I just HAD to do it. This will be framed in a 10x20 white frame and displayed in her playroom. (As always, click on the image to enlarge.)






And this one, well it's more for me :) I really enjoy shooting railroad pics and these are extra special ones.....




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Saturday, January 26, 2008

My Last Week Of Freedom

Does it really have to end? Yep, our checking account says so. I have really, really, really enjoyed my time off, and truthfully, I'm not 100% ready to jump back into the working world. But alas, I must....... I start back to work on Tuesday. I interviewed for a job that I was recruited for and from what I understand I made a great impression and they were very impressed with me (*patting self on back*)! My new job title is Office/Business Manager for ATN here in Eufaula. I will be receiving a large salary increase, as well as awesome state benefits. The hours aren't bad either ~ 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Thursday and 8:00 to 2:30 on Friday. The only thing I'm not thrilled about (and it's minor and will be something I just have to get used to) is I only get thirty minutes for lunch. I am so accustomed to coming home for lunch and relaxing for an hour, but it will take me 10 minutes to get home from my new job, so that's just not an option any more. ATN is its own entity, however they are very much associated with the two year college program. We are located on campus, so I will at least have the opportunity to eat in the cafeteria. Like I said, that's such a minor issue, but one I will simply need to adjust to. And the best part??? All the electronics/gadgets I will have access to. We all know just how big of a computer geek I am and I can only imagine the things I'll possibly get my hands on! (It's okay, you can roll your eyes at me if you wish. I KNOW I'm a nerd.)

So, as I mourn the days of sitting on the sofa with my laptop and laughing with Ellen, I am also very excited about what's ahead of me. A new job with better hours, awesome benefits, a salary increase and all the 'techy' stuff I'll get to do......right up my alley.

I certainly don't want to end this post without giving credit where credit is due. I know all of this was the work of the Lord. No doubt in my mind. When I think back to when I lost my job, I was never really upset/angry about it. I was honestly relieved to get out of that 'situation'. Jeff encouraged me to take some time to destress and look for something that I would really enjoy, as well as spend some stay-at-home-mom type time with Anna Kate. I had three great weeks of 'Katie time' and have enjoyed every second of it. I don't feel the least bit anxious or nervous about my new job, which is just further confirmation that the Lord has prepared this path for me. (Oh, I forgot to mention that I have to drive to Birmingham on Thursday to attend a corporate board meeting. I will be attending all corporate meetings on a regular basis. I'm not sure what I'll be contributing to said meeting given that I will have been on the job for a total of three days, but I will be there to fill a chair as expected.) And so the next time you 'hear' from me will more than likely be an update on how my first day went.....stay tuned.

But before I close I want to leave you with some pics of Anna Kate & I's latest project. When we were in Wal-Mart last week she spotted some Strawberry Shortcake fabric and DEMANDED I make her a blanket. I had some fuzzy purple fabric at home, so I bought two yards of the Strawberry Shortcake fabric and headed home. See the results below.














And this one is in honor of my mother. Mom, this is for you. We love you!















(p.s. those are Anna Kate's hands)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Trip To The Playground

Jeff and Anna Kate were off/out of work and school yesterday, so we took the opportunity to make a trip to the playground. It was cold, but we bundled up and besides, Anna Kate needed to get out of the house. Take a look at the slide show and all the fun that was had.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Self Portrait

I need some help deciding on which of the following three photos to use for Jeff's Valentine's Day gift. I took these myself this afternoon and I'm pleased with how they turned out. One thing that was brought to light while reviewing them on my computer........I'm aging! I've never noticed the fine lines and wrinkles as much before. I'm in need of some major moisturizer and wrinkle cream!!!!!!


If you will, please leave me a comment on your vote for #1, #2 or #3.

#1




#2




#3


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Prayer Request

Please keep the Burgess Family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve the loss of their two year old son, Bronner. He fell into their pool and drown on Saturday. Take the time to hug and thank God for your own children and their good health and safety. Rick and his family are certainly being remembered in our prayers.

The Lee Family

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Putty Round II

Good morning my Sunshine's :-) As promised, I have the silly putty report from yesterday. IT WORKED!!! Of course, it helps when you use the right glue. At first it was really sticky (like bubble gum), so I put it back in the bowl and added a tad more liquid starch, then dabbed the excess liquid with a paper towel and we had perfect green silly putty. Anna Kate had SO MUCH fun playing with it. We plan to make another color this afternoon after school. I like this stuff so much better than Play-Doh and a lot less messy. It wipes right up with a dish rag, doesn't crumble onto the floor and won't stain clothes. Thank you Spring, for the recipe and I hope you don't mind me sharing the recipe here.

Serious Silly Putty

You'll Need:
- 1 cup of white Elmer's glue
- 1 cup of liquid starch (found at WalMart in the laundry aisle)
- Food color if desired

Directions:
- Put glue in old container and add food coloring.
- Pour in liquid starch a little at a time (*very little at a time*)
- Keep stirring until the mixture holds together in a putty (it will be stringy)
- Feel with your fingers. If it's too sticky, add more starch and then dab excess liquid with paper towel.
- Have fun pulling, stretching, rolling and breaking!
- Store in airtight container (such as Zip lock baggy)

Additional Notes:
Don't be disappointed if it seems stringy when you think you're finished. Just plop it on the counter top and will begin to take on a blob shape and lose its stringiness. You can use cookie cutters and kid friendly scissors to cut and make shapes. Enjoy!

And as to not disappoint my readers....................

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Afternoon Activities

I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying being home in the afternoons when Anna Kate gets out of school. After picking her up today we ran a few errands and picked up the ingredients to make our own silly putty. She was so excited to make 'what's that stuff you said we're making mama?' but I made her eat some lunch and rest a bit before we started. (She has pretty much stopped napping, however she NEEDS her down time in the afternoons. I've explained that she doesn't have to go to sleep but she does have to sit quietly and watch a movie, read a book or whatever she would like that doesn't involve playing with toys and being loud/active. It worked great!) With only two ingredients in the silly putty recipe you would *think* I couldn't mess it up. Wellllll........after our silly putty disaster (yes, Mommy used the wrong glue) we decided it was time to prepare dinner (we'll try the silly putty again tomorrow). She helped peel the potatoes, mix the dressing and tossed the potatoes in the dressing and placed them on the baking sheet all by herself. She was so proud (as was I)! She is becoming quite the independent little girl. Then I started to patty out the ground beef for our burgers. I couldn't believe it, but she wanted to help with that as well. She did pretty good too (although she didn't eat hers.)

Speaking of not eating, we have been having battles in this house because Anna Kate doesn't understand that if she doesn't eat her meal she doesn't get a snack two hours later when she's hungry. Boy, it's been a battle. Do you remember the sticker chart we started to reward her for sleeping in her bed? Yea, well that chart has one sticker. *insert rolling of my eyes here* Okay, so she's clearly not ready to sleep in her own bed yet (sigh) and I don't want the chart to go to waste, so it now serves as her Chore & Achievement Chart. Basically there are daily things that she either needs to do or already does but needs to improve on that she will receive a sticker for. If by the end of the week she has all her stickers (give or take 2 or 3) she will be rewarded.


Here is a picture of the chart - * click to enlarge


And yes, your eyes are not failing you. First thing on the chart is 'TT & Wipe' because you see, just like her mother, Anna Kate is not a morning person, to say the least. So waking in the mornings and going potty and wiping seems to be one heck of a chore for her. It's a 10 minute ordeal every morning. I'm hoping the incentive of receiving a sticker for peeing and wiping herself will remedy this problem.....The rest is pretty self explanatory.

And before I close, I'll leave you with a slide show of our afternoon activities. Enjoy and check in tomorrow for Silly Putty Round 2.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weekend Ramblings

Happy Saturday everyone! We have actually had a good week despite the news I last posted about. It's been so great to stay home and clean, organize, and get caught up on the endless laundry I've had piling up. It's the first time in 12 years that I've been able to do that (3 with an extra little person to clean up after.) I know Jeff has thoroughly enjoyed coming home to a clean house and home cooked meal without me being stressed out. It has made such a difference in the 'atmosphere' in the house.


Anna Kate had a good week at school. She is learning to write her name and currently learning the letter 'N' and number '4'. On Wednesday I picked her up at dismissal time at 11:30 (she usually stays for extended day until 5:00.) She was SO excited. She thought she was hot stuff that day :-) Jeff gets off at 12:30 on Wednesdays, so he came by the house and picked us up headed to Montgomery. We enjoyed some play time with E and Aunt D, fed the ducks and fish and then ate pizza, while Jeff went to Bass Pro Shops to spend his gift cards from Christmas. It was a fun day! Thursday was back to the regular schedule and Friday I picked her up at dismissal time again and surprised her with meeting daddy for lunch at her favorite restaurant.......Wendy's (she loves their chicken nuggets).

Today has been v.e.r.y. laid back. We've all had a nap and, well, that's about it. I did convince Anna Kate to go out for a Valentine's Day photo shoot this afternoon and pretty happy with what I ended up with. But the BIG news of the day*********Anna Kate slept in her bed all night last night! WooHoo!!!!!!!!! I made a calendar and bought special stickers. How it works is that she gets one sticker for each night sleeps in her bed. Since last night was the first night she was rewarded with a 'prize' today. Now she has to get three more stickers in order to get another prize. Then it moves up to a full week (7 days) for a prize. If by the end of the month she has slept in her bed every single night she gets a Disney Princesses sheet set for her bed. So, tonight is night two and she is excited about sleeping in her bed again. Hopefully tomorrow morning we'll be adding another My Little Pony sticker to her calendar.

And you know I can't end a post without pictures, so here are the ones I took today. I have my favorite, which is yours?


#1




#2





#3






#4




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Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Time For Change

First of all, I want to start this evening's post off with a bright, smiling face. This was taken this morning before leaving for church.


And now to the 'meat' of the post. You know how they say 'where one door closes another one opens'? Well that is ringing true for me now. I found out Friday afternoon that after eight years of service, my job had come to an end. It wasn't a choice I made, but nonetheless, it is done. Most of you know that I had been unhappy with that job for the better part of the past three years and was in the process of finding something 'new'. However, when you have been employed with a company for almost ten years, make good money and have established benefits, it can be difficult to take that step outside of what's comfortable for something different. So when I sat down with Jeff Friday night and gave him the news he said, 'now is your opportunity to find something that will coordinate with Anna Kate's school schedule' and he's right. I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking for yet, but the good part is that I don't have to jump and take the first thing that comes up. I can take my time (obviously not too long) to find what I want and what a perfect time to try and get my photography business off the ground.
So while this is all happening so fast, I truly believe it is a blessing in disguise. I know everything happens for a reason and at a certain time in our lives. Do we always understand it? No. But I take comfort in knowing that God knows and will take care of me (us) if we remain faithful.
So with that, I am headed to bed. Anna Kate starts back to school tomorrow and I have some contacts to make, so I need my beauty rest. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I will let you know as things begin to unfold........
G'nite!

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Movie Night

for you.......

Prepare yourself to be entertained :-)


'Tub Chatter'

video

'A Day With Santa'

video

'Live On Stage'

video

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Budding Artist

A girl after my own heart....Anna Kate is really showing an interest in art. She thoroughly enjoys painting, coloring, drawing, tracing letters, glueing, cutting, glitter, etc. Basically anything that is involved in making a 'project', she LOVES it! Last night she wanted to get our her new poster paints (washable, of course) so after I cleaned up the kitchen I set her up. She had a blast but I think her daddy needs to supervise this activity because it stresses me out! She doesn't do it 'right'. I try to just let her do it however she wants, but it drives me nuts. She wants to use one paint brush in all the paint. Maybe I just need to pour the paint out on something, rather than let her dip out of the paint bottles.

Anyhow, here are some pictures of her masterpieces.

She said this one was dinosaur dots (?)






















She had me paint a flower and she filled in the 'white spaces'














And this is her tiny little hand

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