Sunday, December 30, 2012

School in December

Not much to report as far as school highlights in December because we took most of the month off, but here are a few fun photos of Mr Malachi and school! 

                                  Making Jello Jigglers for J day (Malachi's most favorite letter!)

We choose one child to take on a "date" once a month.  This month it was Malachi's turn to go with Daddy. They went to the library!  Malachi loves to read!

                  And Malachi's HUGE 10 Ice Cream cone he made! This picture cracks me up!

2013 Is Upon Us!

Well, we're on the brink of saying goodbye to what has been another wonderful year for our family and we look ahead to the beginning of a new one.  I also think about and anticipate what the year ahead will bring.  There are always things to look forward to and a year always holds new surprises - some good and some bad.  It's kind of a mixed bag but we have to take it all as it comes.  So 2013, I hope and pray that you will be good to us!  

As we approach a new year I also often have new goals for the coming year.  I don't have any "resolutions" or anything of that sort, because everything I desire in 2013 we are already in the process of doing and hope to continue to do throughout this year ahead.  So, I bring you a few hopes and goals for this coming year.  Hopefully I can reflect on this in a year and can say we did good!

1) Continue to get in shape!  Peter and I have been working hard to reach our running goals.  I am not a runner and still don't consider myself to be good at it. It is not natural or easy for me, but it is also something that now that I have worked through (most) of the knee pain I don't want to quit.  We started running in June when I was 2 months post-partum.  Since then I have reached a point where I can consistently run 3 miles pretty easily and Peter (the runner of the family) has worked himself up to where he can run 12 miles!  Some of the goals on the top of my list are being able to run 4 milees (which I should attain today!), being able to average 10 minute miles (definitely hoping for that for my 5K in March) and being able to run a 10K at a 10ish mile pace by our Disneyland 10K in September.

Along with continuing my running journey, I also want to continue to lose more weight.  I gained 35 whopping pounds with my last pregnancy (thank you bedrest). Since I gave birth to Sabrina 8 months ago I have lost 40 pounds.  It is a great start, but I am not content to finish this journey there.  I will be happy if I can lose another 5-10 pounds bu ideally I would love to get rid of another 15 pounds.  I refuse to allow myself to obsess about it and believe that slowly and steadily with some hard work I can get there!

2) Continue our year of focus on our marriage relationship.  I won't lie - marriage has had its difficulties this last year.  Nothing major at all, and I still think we have a very strong and good marriage.  One thing I pride ourselves on is that we always strive to make it better and work through everything!  However, a difficult pregnancy and adjusting to a 3rd child in 2 years did remove some (or possibly most) of the focus off of our relationship together.  We sat down on our 6th anniversary (way back in July) and talked and made goals and agreed to spend this year of marriage focused on making it better!  Not going to go in to the details here, but we are doing great and I can't wait to continue to build and invest in our marriage this coming year!    

3) Make Financial Sacrifices.  We are avid Dave Ramsey fans in this house!  We've worked our behinds off on getting financial freedom since we started our Total Money Makeover in January of 2009. To date, we have paid off over $28,000 in debt, and got 6 months of expenses put in to savings!  This has allowed us enough freedom that I have been able to be a stay at home mom which has been the biggest blessing of my life!  With that being said, having 3 children back to back took our focus to meeting immediate financial needs and we haven't been able to continue very much.  However, that has changed in recent months!  We are at a place now where we can continue our focus in this area!  We broke Dave's "rules" a bit and focused on getting our savings in order when I became a Stay-at-home mom.  That seemed like a higher priority than continuing our debt snowball.  But now it is time to get our focus back on our final (and largest) debt of Peter's student loan.  If we make some huge sacrifices, we can get this loan paid off in the next 18 months.  18  months of sacrifices and we will be DEBT FREE, which will give us so much more financial freedom and peace!  I hate feeling indebted and a huge weight will be lifted if we can get this taken care of!  I know it won't necessarily be easy, but my new Mantra is "Sacrifice for a short time!"  So, if all goes according to plan 2013 will be the year of Financial Sacrifice in our household. Time to say no to the spending and we will be well on our way to being debt free when the clock rolls over and 2014 begins!  I have some big and exciting plans once this debt is repaid ;)

So 2013 we welcome you!  We know it is going to be a year of hard work and dedication but the life long rewards of meeting our goals will be so worth it!  We're ready for you 2013!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Eagle Crest

 The day after Christmas we packed up our little family (and half the house) and headed off to the mountains for a bit of family time with my family at Eagle Crest resort! 

The boys loved their room for the time being (even if it ended up Mal sleeping with Grandpa and Grandma, Bina with mommy, and Daddy in there with Eli).

My niece's (and future babysitters) playing with their baby cousin!

Opening just a few presents to wear and play with up at Eagle Crest.  (Christmas is still to come)!

Everyone seemed to love baby Bina's play makeup table!

Game time with cousins and Peter and I spent a few of our evenings playing games too! 

The hot tub right outside our bedroom door that we did get to enjoy after the kids went to bed! 

And of course the highlight of the trip - SNOW!  We really enjoyed the snow!

                                              Eli loved chasing mommy with snowballs!

                                                       Malachi made a snowman!

So beautiful!  I often remind Peter that this is one of the few places I would move to in a heartbeat if he could find a job in the area.  Unfortunately that would be a great challenge for him!

We even made time for a run on this trail.  Whew, between the elevation, the cold air, and trying to avoid falling on my behind on the icy roads it was a tough one! 


                                                                       Cute girly girl!

                                                             The view from our condo!

                                                        Lots and lots and lots of deer!

We really wanted to take the boys swimming, but unfortunately we just ran out of time but they were pleased enough to "Swim" in the jacuzzi tub so it was all okay! 

                          And ending the last night with some popcorn and movies!

It's back to reality tomorrow.  Time to get Christmas taken down (even though we still have a bit more of Christmas festivities to come!) and get back to the normal daily grind.  Fortunately Peter still has 4 more days off! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

3rd Day of Christmas

Are you bored yet?  Well, you still have a few days of Christmas posts to go ;)

It was finally Christmas morning at our house!  This is the first year that Santa really has gone all out for the kids.  In reality, we still tried to keep it simple.  Henry the elf, left all the kids Christmas jammies, we got each of the kids a special book that I wrote a special note in. We bought them all 2 presents and Santa left them a gift and a stocking!  

Santa sure did fill those stockings with lots of goodies!  


                    Lots of very fun presents under that tree!  Having 3 little's sure has been fun this Christmas and the boys are at a perfect age!

                Then it was some Christmas colored pancakes and lots of fun with new toys!

After some very long naps, we were back over to Peter's parents for more gift opening with the Great-Grandparent Keyser side!

Another fun day of celebrating!  Next post will be from someplace very fun for the family.  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another AWESOME Old Navy Sample and Share!

I was the recipient of yet another awesome opportunity through Crowdtap and Old Navy to participate in a Sample and Share for Old Navy Activewear.  This one was pretty darn perfect for me as I was in desperate need of some new winter running clothes! 

This was my best in store shopping experience with Old Navy.  It was a busy time for the store and yet they came around the store, gave us a free shopping bag and a coupon for an additional 30% off of any in store purchases for that day! Side note: We were able to combine that offer with some really great sales to get baby Bina some super cheap outfits to put away for next winter :)   Another great thing I recently learned about Old Navy is that there is an app called Snap Appy that you can use on your phone.  You just find an Old Navy logo, snap it, and spin the wheel.  I quickly was able to snag a $5 off a $5 purchase with this app - so check it out! 

Okay, so back to my Sample and Share.  I quickly globbed on to a jacket that I knew would be the extra layer I need for these really cold runs right now and it has been perfect and it has lived up to my expectations! (Which BTW is on sale for $15 right now - check it out: Amy's Choice! I paired it with a pair of active pants and we were in and out!  Didn't even have to wait long the weekend before Christmas to check out!  

So thank you once again goes out to Old Navy and Crowdtap.  If you haven't joined Crowdtap yet, then what in the world are you waiting for - it is fun and easy to earn gift cards and awesome sample and share opportunities :) 


Christmas Take 2

Christmas Eve we have always as far back as I remember, had a tradition of going over to my Grandma Fair's house after Christmas Eve Service. 

We were able to have a really laid back morning with lots of playing and making GREEN cookies for Santa to enjoy! 

After naps (which were pretty much non-existent) we got everyone all dressed and on the way to Christmas Eve service! My boys sure looked handsome and lil Miss Sabrina was as beautiful as ever :)

Then it was over to Great-Grandma Fair's house for ham and turkey and pies and presents for the little's!

The kids did awesome for what became a pretty late night!  We headed home where Henry our elf had left a goodbye present for the kids of Christmas jammies!  Our beloved Henry had to return to the North Pole with Santa after he dropped off the loot!  But he will be back again in 11 short months!

It was another wonderful and exhausting day.  Did I mention that we didn't quite get the kids to sleep until after 1:30 in the morning!  Whew!