Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29

Day 29: Very thankful to have my workout buddy back from England!  Gillian Williams you killed my abs this morning! Tomorrow I might not be able to get out of bed! HA! Feel the burn ... LOVE the pain!

A picture to capture yesterday's Thankful THOUGHT! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28

Day 28: Sweet memories with Sophia as we put up the Christmas tree this morning!

I was also blessed by this excerpt from Ann's blog today ..
“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart — transforming the disposition and the whole character.
Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality.
An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always.
This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful.

When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness.
Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.”

J. R. Miller, 1912

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 25-27

Behind again ...

Day 25:Awesome niece (Lexi Martoia) and nephew (Tyler Martoia) that think their Aunt A and Uncle N are still cool and worth hanging out with!!

Day 26: Great Thanksgiving Celebration with the Kiesel side and some Euchre to finish off the night with a great partner Harv Kiesel!!

Day 27: Family PJ day with our own "church service" during kids nap time! Love listening to Focus on Family podcasts to stregthen our relationship with each other and Christ!!

Sophia: mommy and daddy and jackson

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 21-24

Wow, so much to be thankful for ...

Day 21: Thankful that Nate is home with us all week long!! I don't know who is more excited ... Sophia or myself!!

Day 22: Thankful to have a great gym where I can workout and slowly get back into shape! Thanks Mei Fitness for having awesome equipment and top notch customer service!

Day 23: So thankful for the ability to laugh and smile through life!! I am especially thankful for all of Jackson's sweet, sweet smiles!

Day 24: Is very thankful our family is willing to drive down to Indy to celebrate Thanksgiving! Can't wait to see u Naomi and Mike Martoia, Lexi Martoia, and Tyler Martoia!! Bring your game face!!

... are you having a hard time by the end of this 30 Day challenge?  Ever since reading THIS book, I find myself daily thinking about all of the blessings God has placed in my life!  Also Ann has encouraged us to find even the smallest things to be thankful for in life!! I encourage you to add this book to your Christmas List!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Oats in Crockpot

I found this AMAZING recipe on Pinterest but now can't seem to find it again (I forgot to PIN it! Ugghhh!) 

Pumpkin Spice Oats in Crockpot

1 cup Steel Cut Oats
12 oz milk (used Silk Vanilla Almond Milk)
3 cups water
1 cup pumpkin puree 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinn
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Spray Slow Cooker
2. Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl
3. Pour into slow cooker
4. Low for 4-5 hours or overnight!

Not my pic, but you get the idea ...

Let me tell you ... this was AMAZING!!  It made about 5 cups!  I calculated and it is about 238 cal/cup!  It was so nice to wake up to the amazing smell in the kitchen as well as the AMAZING warm oats in the crockpot!

Highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves oats and pumpkin!!

Any favorite pumpkin recipes???

Day 17-20

Sorry I have been a slacker on the blog ... I have kept up on FB, but keep forgetting to post here too!!

Day 17: I am thankful for the long stretches of sleep I USED to get from j-man and am praying for those back again!! Already can tell I am gonna need a nap today! :( Also very thankful S is an amazing sleeper!!

Day 18: Thankful to have friends that know just what u need to keep u going including playdates and lunch! Kathy Taylor Mulder we r excited to see u guys soon!

Day 19: Date night! 1st one away from both kids in 10 wks!!

Day 20 For God's goodness and many blessings on our lives!! A great church service to remind us how truly blessed we are! Oh yeah, also Jackson's 11.5 hr sleep stretch!! Debbie Lewis Kiesel -- what did you do to get that boy to sleep that long? This past week we haven't hit longer than 5-6 hr stretches!! HA!! Too bad I couldn't sleep to enjoy it!

Sophia: Forgot to ask her ... will get a list from her soon!  She is running out of "new" ideas without prompting .. she keeps saying the same like food, food, food, mommy, daddy, mimi, papa, grandma, grandpa, and on and on and on ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 15/16

Day 15: I am thankful to have a warm place to sleep at night and always food on the table!

Day 16: Thankful for food to put on the table although tonight's meal was an epic disaster! I have NEVER thrown out a whole meal before until tonight!

Ok, so I just realized they both kind of deal with food!  You can tell I REALLY love food!! Yum Yum!!

Sophia: Baby Hannah (although soon we won't be able to call her "baby" anymore b/c she will be 1!!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 14

Day 14: So thankful for an awesome breastfeeding support group! We have the best LC's!! Janice Miller Record -- love love love seeing your smiling, encouraging face every Monday!! So thankful Jackson is gaining weight and for an awesome milk supply this time around!!

Sophia: Grandma and Grandpa Long coming to visit

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13

Day 13: So thankful for the gift of FRIENDSHIP! I have so many incredible friends in my life right 

now ... I am humbled by their generosity, caring spirit, encouragement, and humble hearts! 

Some are near and some are far ... but all are close to my heart!

Don't ya just wanna bust into SONG?  "Friends are friends forever ..."

Sophia: CHURCH and her black shoes from Faith

LUXbutt organic one-size diaper REVIEW

I want to take the time to welcome Angela H!  She is our guest blogger for today!! :)  Here is her review on the new LUXbutt organic one size diaper!!

Hi, everyone!  First off, I want to thank Go Long, Go Green for allowing me to guest post. I don’t have a blog of my own, so I am very grateful that she is letting me share my review with you.

When my LUXbutt organic one size diaper finally showed up in my mailbox, I was so excited. I picked up the package and instantly thought to myself, “Wow! This is really trim!” It barely felt like anything was in the envelope. Always a good sign if you ask me.

Let’s start with some of the great features…

1. Well, it’s not really a “feature”, but these ladies are clever… and I like clever. Take a look at the tags on the diaper. Reading these just brought a smile to my face.

2. The ever coveted 3rd snap to prevent wing droop. At first, the snaps gave me a hard time. It took me a minute to figure out how they are supposed to line up, but once I got it right it was just like snapping any other diaper. You’ll notice though that the middle snaps in the second row are lower than the rest… but I have no idea why.

3. WIDE elastic, which I am simply in love with. It really helps the back of the diaper hug your little one’s tushy, which in turn helps prevent those nasty blow outs.

4. Elastic sizing instead of snaps. I was leery at first, I will admit. I tried a FuzziBunz one size and HATED the elastic sizing on it. It was just so hard to adjust. Not the case with the LUXbutt. A little bit of trial and error is likely required, but adjusting the diaper is super easy and there are tons of options to get the PERFECT fit. Once you get the hang of it, re-sizing the diaper to go from the younger to older child is a breeze.

5. Amazing fabrics all around… from chic color collections (they have started with “chocolate”) to super thirsty hemp inserts and oh so soft organic cotton velour. I mean, seriously, I want organic cotton velour against my bottom! I am jealous of my baby.

Okay, the nitty gritty. Is this diaper any good? I vote YES! Getting started with the diaper takes a little longer than most… there’s more trial and error in adjusting the rise with the elastic and hemp does take longer to prep, but it’s worth it. Not having to snap down the rise adds to the diapers trim-ness as it eliminates that extra bulk in the front and the hemp insert means you’re less likely to need additional inserts.

The hemp inserts say that it takes about 5-7 washes to reach maximum absorbency, but I was antsy and gave it a shot overnight after only about 3 washes. My 7 month old is a bit of a heavy wetter. With our current diapers, he needs to be changed in the middle of the night. I kept the LUXbutt diaper on him all night and was definitely impressed. It did not make it all the way through the night, but it held out longer than our current setup. If I were to put in a doubler, I am sure we would make it through the night.

I also put the diaper on my 25 month old (sorry, no pictures of him… he wouldn’t hold still long enough). I didn’t do overnight with him, but he decided to test the LUXbutt’s ability to withstand a massive poo. It passed with flying colors. Everything stayed in the diaper and it washed up beautifully (which, considering my son’s ability to stain a diaper, that is saying a lot).

So, in the end, I LOVE this diaper. I would totally save my pennies to buy more (if I needed more diapers).  Or if I was just starting out, I would definitely use their layaway program. Yes, you heard right. LUXbutt understands that cloth diapers are big investment, especially when you are just starting out, so they have LAYAWAY! You pay a deposit and space out your payments however you see fit over the next 8 weeks. How awesome is that?!

Want to buy a LUXbutt (or two or twelve) of your own? Their Grand Opening Sale goes through the 15th!

Thanks again Angela for the great review.  Head over to their website and check it out!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12

Day 12: Thankful to have my favorite seester (Sarah Kiesel-Jeffers) living only 5 minutes away from me!! It has been fun watching our girls grow up together! Plus it would b horrible if we had to fight over the grandparents time! right Debbie Lewis Kiesel? "Now it's 1-stop shopping"!

Sophia: Aunt Sarah and Hannah banana

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 11

Day 11: So.very.thankful for the brave men and women that have fought and will continue to fight for my safety and freedom! (Cue Lee Greenwoods God Bless America)!! Also thankful for my MOPS group, especially my awesome table!! What an encouragement on Friday mornings!

Sophia - milk

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10

Day 10: So thankful that my in-laws come out one am per wk to give Sophia 100% attention plus free me for a few hrs to workout!! Also so very thankful for Jackson's 10hr stretch on this 10th day of Nov!!! Holla!

Sophia: yogurt and crafts

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Go Green at Walmart

Check out what I found at Walmart for Sophia's lunch!!  I was so excited to find these! BPA free, machine washable, and easy to wipe down!  They were less than $8 for the set of 3!  These patterns are neutral so they will work in an adults lunch too!! Great for diaper bags, purses, and even coat pockets!!

What GREEN tips do you have when packing you lunch?

Fun Pictures

I finally had a few minutes to myself (Ahhhh) and decided to organize the pictures from the camera and get them in their respective file folders on the computer!  I realized I didn't take one picture of Jackson during the month of October (besides Halloween)!  Can you tell we had a rough month?  Poor guy ... 2nd child syndrome already!  Hope he isn't scarred for life!  I now understand why my sister has lots fewer pictures during the early months!!  Hehehehe ...

I have kept the camera out this month in hopes of taking more impromptu pictures of him!!

Holding sissy's hand!


One of my favorites!

Actually got them both to look!! :)

Hanging out with mommy while sissy is at school!

Actually doesn't scream during tummy time like sissy always did!

As most of you remember, I am in love with Pinterest.com!  Here is a fun playtime activity that I tried out with Sophia!  Just take Popsicle sticks and little velcro dots (from walmart or the dollar store) and attach them all over the sticks.  Then let your child create away and have fun making shapes, houses, planes, etc! She had a great time!  It is a fun, easy busy-bag activity too plus it is super quiet!  I even took a few caps from water bottles and put velcro on the tops!!

I let her color her sticks!
In other news, Sophia got her HAIRCUT!!  I just love it so much!  We have the best hair stylist in TOWN!!  Now we just need to let those pesky bangs grow out and we will be on our way to easy-peasy hair!!  No more tangled messes like you saw in the previous blog post!! HA!!  It totally makes my little girl look at least 4!  Don't ya think???

Best smile I could get ...

So cute!  
Hope you have enjoyed the pictures as well as the 20 Days of Thanksgiving blog posts!!  I have enjoyed reflecting on the many things in life that I am thankful for!!

Be blessed!!

Day 9

Day 9: I am very thankful for Sophia's incredible preschool program! I can't ask for a better place for Sophia to grow, learn, and develop!! Thanks for all your hard work Beth Jennings Welch! Plus I love having all Wed AM to spend alone with my baby boy!

Sophia: Miss Paula and Miss Dawn (her teachers)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8

Day 8: Thankful for my wonderful father, Brad Kiesel, and celebrate with him today the big 6-0!! Also thankful for Jackson's 9 hr stretch last night! Finally thankful for the right to vote!!

Sophia: Isaiah, Miss Jenn, Mr. Adam

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

Day 7: I am so thankful for incredible parents! They have always been so loving and supportive throughout all the stages in my life! They totally rock in their new role as grandparents to 3!!

Sophia: Mimi and Papa Kiesel, Grandma and Grandpa Long

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6

Day 6: Thankful for a great church and a wonderful Sunday School class! We have the best teacher ... a wise man .. Jon Arvin we always look forward to 9am Sunday!

Sophia: her friend Maeve

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5

Two very healthy children who bring smiles to my face and joy to my heart!!

Sophia - The outside and trees

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4

The 9 hr stretch Jackson just gave me and I had to wake him to eat!! Woot woot!!
Sophia's Gratitude Journal ...

Day 1 - Daddy
Day 2 - Mommy
Day 3 - Jackson
Day 4 - Herself ... hahaha

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness Day 1-3

This year I wanted to join in on Facebook for the 30 Days of Thankfulness and thought ... heck, why don't I blog each of my days as well!

Catching you up...

Day 1: A wonderful, loving husband that supports our family and allows me to stay home and raise our children!

Day 2: The 7 hr 25 min stretch that Jackson just gave me!! I *think* he might be catching on to this sleep thing at night!!

Day 3: A saving faith in Jesus Christ with the knowledge we are not home yet!

Have you joined in naming the 30 days of gratitude campaign?? I really encourage you to write them down in a journal!  I plan to include Sophia's as well on the blog!  It could be quite commical! 
We are very blessed!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am still alive ... promise!

Wow, life has sure been a blur for the past 8 weeks!!  I can't even believe the big guy is 2 months old!!  The first 3 weeks seemed really easy, then as they say .. the "crap hitteth the fan" ... life became a whirlwind, zoo, crazy, insane, frustrating, yet all the while joyful!  Jackson's newborn sleepiness wore off around 3 weeks, he started getting up every 2-3 hours at night, eating around the clock, became difficult to lay down for a nap, and on and on ...

Just this past week (#7), life became a little more normal.  He started giving me a 5-6 hour stretch off the bat at night, followed by another 3-4 hour one.  Sleep makes all the difference in the world!  Also, I was able to get back to the gym for some "light" workouts.  It really helped my sanity as I started getting that serotonin flowin' in the good 'ole head again!  Gym time = happy mama = happy family = peaceful and less stress.  I know it is hard to believe and some may say crazy ... but I LOVE WORKING OUT and the feeling it gives me!  It is my natural version of Prozac!  For all of you that worry about my milk supply, never fear ... I am taking it easy, little bit by little bit, and hydrating to keep it up!  I have been also making sure to replenish with good, whole, raw, natural foods too!

The other thing that has really improved my life is my new found obsession ... http://pinterest.com/  Have you checked it out?  It is the latest social media craze ... it is an online pin-board!  It is perfect for those like me that are not super crafty ... it has given me TONS of ideas for new crafts for Sophia, preschool homeschool-type activities (to supplement what she is getting at Discovery Days Preschool), craft ideas for myself, new recipes, famous quotes, household tips, etc!  It seriously is more addictive than FACEBOOK!  I never thought I would say that!!  Hahaha!!  However, it is more productive than facebook ... meaning, it gives me ideas to improve my life and my families life!  When Sophia wakes up from her nap each day, I have been trying out new crafts/projects!   Sure beats turning the TV on!

Here is an example of two projects I found on there ...

Giant crayons .. just melted old crayon pieces in a cakepan in the oven.
Princess shape sorter ... Sophia matched the colored shape to the shape on the crown and glued them on!  
I can't wait to blog more about the fun PINTEREST ideas I try out!  Have you joined?  Any fun pins I should check out?  I can't wait to check out the letter hand writing pages and see if I can get her started on writing actual letters!

Well, nap time is coming to a close ... so here are a few pictures to tie you over till the next entry!  Oh how blogging does a mind good ... can't wait till I have a little more time to do it more frequently!

Kelsay Farms Cow Train!

Milking a cow!


On the hayride!

Jackson, Al, and Sarah

Zoo Boo 2011

The group at Zoo Boo!  (Thanks JEN for inviting us!)

My little RED HOT CHILI PEPPER! (and boy was he hot!)

The FAM!

Annual play date at Beasley's Orchard!

Happy Halloween!

My Princess on Halloween!

My sleeping red hot pepper!

Loving time with her little brother!

My little Indian! :)  

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!  A little glimpse ... until next time!