"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 4: 6-9

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving with Grandpa Schmitz

Sunday evening we went to Grandpa Schmitz home to have a Thanksgiving dinner with the DeMoor family. We enjoyed the nice weather and the kids got to play outside. Ali and Carson spent some time up in the tree! After dinner, the boys played a round of poker with Grandpa. Grandpa Schmitz is 100 years old and he still plays poker well!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Bradley's visit

We countdown the days between Aunt Erica, Uncle Scott, and Benson's visits every few months! We always have so much fun, and the time goes by way too fast, but we cherish each new memory we make with them when they're here. This visit we packed in several fun activities. The first one was some fun at home. The boys were able to play together and just hang out. Aunt Erica enjoyed her snuggle time with Tanner. Tanner thoroughly enjoyed Erica holding him! They became best buddies. We went to Jamie's Thanksiving playdate together too. The next day, we went to a Kindermusik class at Amaya Papaya. Benson was all smiles! He got to explore the fun activities too. Carson was jamming out the whole time! Gotta love our little musician.
We also went to the mall playgroud to let the boys play. They both loved spending time with each other. For the past few days, everytime I put Carson in the car, he says, "See Benson" or "Hug Benson". Even though they are many states apart, Carson still thinks and talks about his BFF Benson.
We love you 3 so much, and can't wait for the next visit. Maybe the DeMoor's will be flying to Arizona soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Thanksgiving Day was very relaxing in our house this year! We watched the Macy's Day Parade and played all morning. After naps, we drove up to my grandparents house in the Villages. Thanksgiving dinner was ready to eat when we got there! Carson loved the famous frye noodles! My Aunt Nancy and Uncle Alan were here from Illinois. Tanner loved being loved on by Aunt Nancy. My Aunt Cathy and Uncle Bud were visiting from Colorado. Bud actually taught Carson how to play the harmonica while he was here!
After dinner, we enjoyed time outside. Carson entertained us all by playing his guitar. He would tell us which songs to sing! Hannah and Carson love spending time with Uncle Jacob. They all have too much fun! Last year we started a tradition playing a game called "Left, Right, Center". It is so much fun, and the winner gets a bunch of $1 bills! We all get quite competitive so it made for a good time. Carson helped each person roll the dice. What a great Thanksgiving. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Some people (aka our husbands) don't understand Erica and I's enthusiasm over CVS deals! I am not ashamed to tell you that Erica and I call each other during the week just to discuss our plan for CVS sales that week - haha! We were SUPER excited to be able to shop at CVS together for their Black Friday deals! The deals actually started at midnight on Thanksgiving day. And yes, you guessed it, Erica and I were at CVS at midnight!! The cashier at CVS when we were checking out pretty much thought we were crazy, but we didn't care. Here is Erica with her $68 in ECB's!! My total out of pocket cost after coupons and rebates was $23.05. I got $86.47 worth in products, and earned $63 in extra care bucks. Pretty exciting!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Playdate

My sister, aka "Aunt Mamie", should really write a book, or have her own TV show, she is the most creative person I know! The playdates she hosts are a blast! She sent out invitations for a Thanksgiving playdate. Inside the invitation was a feather that said, "Carson and Tanner are thankful for..." and the instructions were to cut out pictures, write words, etc. for what you are thankful for and bring it with you to the playdate. Each child brought their feather and glued it to the "Thank you God" turkey. So cute! We had so much fun playing with all of our friends. The kids got out every toy possible!
Tanner hanging out in the exersaucer.
Jamie had Thanksgiving books and crafts for the kids too. She attempted to read a Thanksgiving story, but the kids were more interested in all of the toys!
Carson did take a break and take part in the Thanksgiving craft. He traced his hand to make a turkey!
Carson's favorite part of the whole playdate were the delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!
He had to get every drop of icing off the cupcake!
What a fun Thanksgiving playdate! Thank you Aunt Mamie!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

High School Small Group Thanksgiving

Matt and I have been high school youth sponsors for over 4 years now. When we got married and started looking into buying a house, we both agreed that one of the main reasons we even wanted a house was the ability to open our home to the youth. Our house is quite small, but we still manage to squeeze lots of kids in! Our home group meets every other Sunday night. Last week we had a Thanksgiving dinner. Here is everyone lining up in the kitchen. The food was GONE on the first round.
Here is our high school small group this year!
Gotta love pumpkin italian ice!

Uncle Scott's 50th Birthday

We headed to Lake Weir for my Uncle Scott's 50th Birthday Bash! We had so much fun celebrating! We ate delicious ribs and pork that had been smoking on the grill all day - yum! We had a time of sharing and entertainment. My cousin Alex made up a dance to a remix of music from the 60's. She did great! Carson couldn't help but get up and boogie too!
My cousin Maddy wrote "50 things I love about my dad" and read it aloud. It was incredibly sweet! What a great Daddy he is to his girls.
Afterwards, we headed out on my uncle's boat. Carson's very first boat ride. It was a little windy, which made the water a bit choppy, but Carson got to sit and "drive" the boat for a minute. He still talks about "Uncle Scott, boat, go fast!!!"
My uncle loves to take photographs of nature, and for a gift, my aunt had some of his best shots framed. This one from Colorado is absolutely breathtaking!!
Happy Birthday Uncle Scott, we love you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

Our church participated in Operation Christmas Child via Samaritan's Purse Organization this year. We were so excited to pick up our shoeboxes and talk to Carson about what we were going to do as a family to help others in need this Christmas. Before we went to the store to purchase the items we were going to put in our shoeboxes, I told Carson about other kids just like him who didn't have any toys. To my surprise, our little 2 year old picked out a ball at the store and said, "Doesn't have any toys!" He gets it!
We came home and got right to work packing our shoeboxes.

What a great opportunity to give to others, and for Carson to see what Christmas is really all about. Here is a short video on Operation Christmas Child. We can't wait to follow our box and hope to hear from the little boy God picked out for our shoebox to go to.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pinocchio's Marionette Theater

Carson went to his first marionette puppet show at Pinocchio's Marionette Theater. We saw the performance, Santa's Holly Follies. It was so much fun! I was a bit unsure if he was old enough for the show, and was prepared to leave if he wasn't able to stay seated, but he totally shocked me and had an absolute blast. Here's my big boy ready for the show!
I snapped this picture during the show of Carson totally mesmerized by the puppets. He couldn't resist the urge to stand up and dance around when the music played.
We will definitely be returning for another show in the future.

Monday, November 15, 2010

C is for Carson & other things!

I am happy to report that we have completed letter C! It only took us 2 weeks - but it was a fun 2 weeks and Carson finally knows his name! "I Carson" as he says it! C is for caterpillar! We made a caterpillar out of an egg carton.
Making another caterpillar on the letter C.
C is for cloud!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My bargain jungle gym

I am always on a hunt for a bargain, so when I found this climber type jungle gym for Carson for $20, I was ecstatic! It's perfect for the age he's at right now, and it keeps him busy outside. Climbing up the sides!
Big slide!
Peek a boo! It has a cute playhouse underneath. So fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

5 months

Where is the pause button?! Tanner is 5 months old! He is changing everyday and we are so blessed to have such a happy little boy. This month, Tanner has really started interacting more, especially with his big brother. Tanner laughs out loud if Carson jumps in front of him, and he watches every move Carson makes. Carson loves to sit and lay with Tanner, and Tanner will grab ahold of him if he gets within arms reach! Tanner is one laid back kid. He's the typical second child I guess you could say. He just goes with the flow and only crys if he's tired or hungry. Here he is just chilling out in his bouncy seat (which he's getting way too big for!). He is doing great eating cereal and we are looking forward to venturing into baby food in the next few weeks! Happy 5 months TT!

Friday, November 5, 2010

4th Anniversary

It really is so hard for me to believe that Matt and I have been married for 4 years. We have had so many exciting adventures since we said "I do" and so maybe that's why the time has gone by so fast. My parents were gracious enough to take on the task of watching our 2 angels for a full 24 hours! Matt and I took full advantage of our alone time together. Matt planned a special date night out. Our first stop was Starbucks and a stroll around Lake Eola to watch the sunset. It was beautiful! A couple of months ago, Matt called in to a radio station to comment on a subject that the DJ's were discussing. He ended up winning a $50 gift certificate to BoneFish, one of our favorite restaurants! I LOVE their crabcakes - simply delicious!
After dinner, we hit the streets of downtown. We stopped at The Dessert Lady for some coffee and dessert.
Their pumpkin cheesecake with ginger snap crust was amazing! We were so quick to dive in, that I only have a picture of it half eaten. :)
The next morning we headed to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival. This is something we do every year, but this year, it was extremely crowded. The lines were incredibly long, so instead of waiting hours to get little tastes of food from different countries, we went straight to Mexico for some authentic mexican food. We had such a great weekend celebrating and enjoying each other. Our boys had a blast with their Nana and Papa, and we were glad to see them. We are looking forward to another great year!