Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010 is over, but was a lot of fun with our boys. Austin couldn't get to sleep Christmas Eve because he was so excited, and he woke up early to open gifts. Poor thing, we made him wait until his little brother woke up!

Tony and I got what we were hoping for this Christmas - Drew is now potty trained! We started this past Monday and he only took 2 days to be accident free. I love it!

Tony surprised me with a ring that I can wear to nursing clinicals (and future job) - my ring now sticks out and catches on gloves, so I just haven't been wearing it to school. I was shocked because we weren't supposed to get each other anything, and I think he was pleased with my reaction because he said my facial expression was priceless when he had Austin get the ring out of the tree.

Austin said this was his best Christmas ever (funny because he says that every year!) and it was more fun this year because Drew was really into the whole Santa thing and actually knew what Christmas entails. Austin has been putting together his legos every minute we have been home and Drew sleeps with his pillow pet as his main pillow now (so cute!).

Christmas night we went to my parents' for dinner and gift exchange and then today we went to Tony's mom's for lunch and gift exchange. We got to see Tony's aunt and uncle who were passing through on their way home, so that was nice.

Other than our tree's lights slowly dying over this month, it was a great Christmas season. We actually have plans for New Year's Eve so Tony is excited!

See you in 2011

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I am so thankful I don't have to work and go to school at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I might go crazy just with studying and taking care of my family (and really, sometimes the home life is a little neglected).

I am so thankful I have a husband who can cook and likes to cook so I don't have to worry about dinner most days. He possibly just doesn't want to eat my cooking, I'm not sure. But I really don't care! I'm just so thankful he cooks!

I am so thankful Austin is old enough to have cleaning the kids bathroom as one of his chores, so that cuts down on my cleaning also. He usually does a great job too!

(I can't give up control of the laundry though. I tried last year, and Tony did fine, but my anxiety over him drying some of my clothes in the dryer was worse than me popping loads in when I have time. I don't mind the folding either, just the putting away. Clothes usually stay in the basket for a few days, or until the boys run out in their dressers!)

I am so thankful the weather has been nice (70 today) so we have been going to parks to play everyday. It is a joy to watch my boys play and they also work off some energy!

Last but not least,I am so thankful people have started putting up some Christmas decorations outside. I probably won't decorate fully until after finals, so it is nice to look at other people's Christmas decor!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


10 Things I am Thankful For:
1. God's grace and forgiveness
2. My husband
3. My two wonderful boys
4. My mother in law always willing to watch Drew when I am at school, and wanting to watch both or one boy on quite a few weekends
5. No car debt
6. A roof over our heads
7. Good friends who are honest when needed and uplifting
8. Good health
9. Air conditioning
10. More food available than I could ever need

10 Things I would Like to Accomplish in Life:
1. Strong, God-centered marriage
2. Raise Godly children
3. Adopt a child
4. College degree
5. Volunteer as a family on regular basis
6. Travel outside the USA
7. Move back to Greenwood
8. Visit my friend in WA before she moves back to IN
9. Buy a house
10. Buy a fairly good car with cash

10 Things I need to Change:
1. Deal with stress more constructively
2. Exercise more more (at all!)
3. Better food choices
4. Less TV
5. Remember hubby and I are in it together, not to take stress out on each other
6. Purge some stuff
7. Quit feeling inferior to others for whatever reason I can think of that they must be better
8. Listen to more music at home since it relaxes me and brightens my day

I know I have more I can change, but since I've been up since 6:15 this morn with 2 energetic little boys, I can't think of any more at the moment. By no means am I going to try and change everything at once, I don't think that would help me change #1 (deal w/stress more constructively). Some of the future accomplishments are already in the works and some are a bit farther off. Who knows what will actually happen, that is part of the excitement of life -nothing is certain.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Straight No Chaser concert

Amazing a cappella group orignally from IU. I found them last Christmastime when pbs showed their concert and have become a fan since. The concert was at the Embassy Theater and Tony and I got really good seats; the first row of real seats (4 rows of temporary in front of us). We are in the pictures SNC took from stage :) We stayed afterwards for the meet & greet and Austin got his new t-shirt signed by each of them.

Austin with Jerome at meet & greet. Possibly my favorite of the group.

Love it!

I highly recommend everyone go to their concert if they are in the area. I can't wait to see them do a Christmas concert!

Birthday Boys!

Both my boys are September babies. Here are some pictures from the family parties:

Austin getting his microscope on his actual birthday. (Please ignore the messy room)
Playing "Almost headless Nick" hot potato at Austin's party.

Austin's Hogwart's (and lake) cake made by Granny.

This happened to all the kids' teeth from the icing!

Drew's cake made by Granny.

Pinata time! Uncle Josh is holding the pole/rope for the pinata. Notice how far away he is (white shoes)! When Austin was little Uncle Josh was accidentally hit during pinata time.

Pin the birthday hat on the dinosaur. (Drawn by Daddy)

Austin is having a kid sleepover in a couple of weeks with just a few boys. Drew got a basketball goal for his big present and Austin got a microscope. Austin loves to look at things under the microscope! He is becoming quite the little scientist.
It is amazing to me how much they are both growing. Austin is in 4th grade, in student council and reading The Hobbit. Drew is 3 and loves to dance, sing and play with his big brother and Daddy. He also loves to draw and paint.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fall 2010

Here I am again at the start of another semester. I'm taking 15 hours this semester, with 2 supposedly "easy" classes. We will see . . .

First of all, I have a nursing seminar, Intro to Nursing with a clinical, and Nursing Skills with a lot of check-offs. There are a lot of extra things to do for these classes also, including community days, working at Focus on Health, and other shadowing type deals.

Other than my nursing classes I am taking an online detective literature mystery class and an Intro to Music Therapy class. As long as I do all of the reading on time for the mystery class I will be fine. As for the Music Therapy class, we do a lot of stuff in front of the class (usually in groups) so I will need to get more comfortable with this. Being more comfortable talking in front of people is actually one of my goals while I am in school so I won't be nervous about speaking up for my patients when I am working.

Other than my school, things have still been pretty full lately. We are helping Tony's mom get a house, so there have been a lot of showings and mortgage people meetings and a very long (but thorough!) inspection. We will see if the current owner fixes any of the major defects that were found. Tony is coaching Austin's flag football team this fall and I am looking forward to going to the games and cheering with Drew. Austin is doing well so far in ALPHA at school (but his teacher said they have been taking it easy on the kids so far). I think there will be some frustrating times but he will do well overall.

Both of our boys have birthdays this month and we are planning gifts and parties for each. Austin really wants to take a friend to Cedar Point for his bday but I am not willing to go on a weekend, so he will have to be happy with a sleepover with a bunch of crazy boys. Drew's party a family only dinosaur themed party. I'm sure he will have a lot of fun no matter what!

Last but certainly not least, my brother's son was born almost a week ago. He is precious and I could just sit and hold him for hours. Except if he poops, I am giving him to his mom and dad because I heard he has some blow outs! He is such a cutie and Drew has totally fallen in love with him. We try not to let him touch too much, but Drew likes to sing to him and kiss him on the head. Austin likes him also, but when there are other big kids to play with, he is good to go.

Oh and I would just like to say that I think it is time to decorate for fall! Please tell my husband I am right!

Friday, July 30, 2010

From the mouths of my sons


"Mommy, can I sleep on your head?"

"Kiss each other!" (tells Mommy & Daddy this when we are putting him to bed)


"Two dumbs make a smart." (said about his parents sometime when we were talking about ALPHA)

"I think I will finish college and be single, then meet someone on eharmony." ~Austin and I were talking about the correct order to do things: college, marriage, baby. I told him some people still meet in person instead of online!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2010 Indy 500

The day started out the night before. We dropped the boys off at my parents' house and got my brother in law, and we were on our way. We arrived at the track around 1:30am and decided to walk around a bit, as there were still many people out. It was an interesting time to say the least!

When we arrived back to our car I saw a man standing very close to it. I thought he was mistaking our car for a urinal (and still think he did), but as we got closer I saw him take some things out of his pocket and put them on the hood. Tony went up to the man and said "How we doing tonight?" If he hadn't just peed on out car I can guarantee he would've then! Once he found out Tony wasn't a cop, he proceeded to roll a joint (or three) on the hood of our car and go along his merry way.

We moved the car a bit farther away from the main walkway and went to sleep. At 6am I was awakened to the sound of cannon blast from the track. We got up, used the (still fairly clean) port a potty and started setting up for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, biscuits, juice and the boys had sausage and gravy also. We hung out in the parking lot for a few more hours and then made our way into the track.

We got to our seats and surveyed the scene. After a bit drivers started going to their meeting. Tony has a tradition where he yells out each driver's name as they walk past. We are so close to pit road that many actually hear him and look over and wave. This year the best were Vitor Meira, TK (Tony Kanaan) and Sarah Fisher. He also yelled at Jamie ______ from ESPN and she looked over and waved to him. He was proud.

Next came probably my favorite part of the entire day. I get goosebumps each year as I see the military parade past and the crowd cheering and clapping for them. They are the reason we are free today and I am so grateful. Back to race day: military parade, "America the Beautiful", "God Bless America", "Back Home Again (in Indiana)" and the "Star Spangled Banner". This year Jewel sang the nation anthem and did a pretty good job. I think the jets were a little late though, usually they fly over just at the end of the song but this year there was a pause after she was finished.


The beginning of the 500 is always exciting. This year Jack Nicholson definitely got a workout with the green flag, since there was a crash on the first green lap and then on the restart also. For a lot of the middle of the race I was in the infield in the shade trying not to pass out! It was so HOT and our seats are not shaded at all. Good thing there is a large screen to watch the race. I went back to our seats around lap 160 and stayed until the end, spraying myself with water then entire time.

TK started out in 33rd and not far into the race was 16th. He got as high as 2nd and I thought he might actually pull out the win at the end. Unfortunately he had to get a splash of fuel on lap 196 or so and killed his chances for this year. Dario Franchitti(sp?) won the race on yellow (because of the Mike Conway/Ryan Hunter-Reay crash). Dario did lead most of the race, but I was truly hoping Dan Wheldon would pass him on the last lap. I believe if the yellow flag hadn't come out Dan would've won.

We left the track right after Dario won and went back to the car. We then set up for dinner, which was amazing! Grilled chicken and beef kabobs and grilled corn on the cob. We hung out for a few hours until the lines died down and it was easier to get out of town. It was a nice trip to my parents to pick Drew up, Austin was at a friend's house for the night, then home to sleep.

Overall, other than the heat it was a good year. I had hoped TK would win but there's always next year. He does have the 7-11 car and next year is 2011 so I think it fits very well. Austin will be 10 next year and gets to go to his first race. He is very excited and I am looking forward to sharing the Hakel race tradition with him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BBB! (Big Boy Bed)

Drew has graduated from his crib into a big boy bed. We decided to keep him in there as long as possible (we got Austin a big bed when he was about 18 months), I thought I had until about age 3. Last week he decided to speed things up a bit and climb out of his crib MULTIPLE times during naptime. After the second time I went into his room and said "show me" - he did it (fast!) and then put his hands up like "TA DA!" He is so cute I couldn't help but laugh, which doesn't help me convince him not to climb out again.

So that night Daddy and Austin put together Drew's big boy bed. It is a toddler bed and although he was a little wary at first he now loves it. He is so proud and tells people all about his big boy bed and that we said bye-bye to his crib.

Drew usually goes to sleep at night pretty well, some nights I stay in there longer and sit by him but usually just for one song on his cd. Naptime is a different story. Right now it is about 50/50 for Drew actually sleeping, the other times he reads or plays. I have told him that if he doesn't want to sleep he still has to stay in his room and be quiet until Mommy gets him after naptime is over. Most days he leaves his door closed and either sleeps or I hear him playing with his toys.

Today however, he kept opening the door and checking for me in the hallway. Then he came out (less than 5 minutes after I put him in his room) and said "I wake up!" It is so hard to keep a straight face and just walk him back to his room. Must remember to laugh AFTER I close his door! Finally he stayed in his room and played the whole nap time. When naptime was over, he still told me he woke up. He either slept for 2 minutes or can play toys in his sleep!

Thankfully he was so tired tonight he went to sleep just fine. One song and he rolled over and said "Goodnight Momma."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another change

Austin was recently tested for the ALPHA program in his school district and qualified. I may have already said this but it is a program for gifted/talented students that is self-contained, instead of the kids being pulled out of regular class to do enrichment work.
Tony and I went to a meeting for prospective parents last night and learned a lot, go to meet the 4th grade teachers and a few of the other parents (that we don't already know). After the meeting, we finalized our decision to send him to the program. We really think he will thrive in that type of environment, and while I am sure there will be frustrations (esp. in the beginning) he will end up really liking the harder work. His teacher this year is amazing, but he is still bored a lot in class. They just can't teach to all the different levels of learning at once. In the ALPHA program all of the kids in the classroom are fast learners, and the teachers make the students go more in depth when answering, always asking "why" instead of just filling in the blanks on a worksheet.
So next year, he will be doing 5th grade math, 6th grade language arts, reading novels in class, finding Greek and Latin stems every day (yay!) and going deeper into social studies and science.
Oh also he will probably come home and cry when he walks into the door the first few weeks. He has such high expectations of himself and is very critical of himself (where does he get that? no idea) and the cutest thing to me is he will NOT let himself cry at school when he is frustrated. So he walks in, I say "How was your day?" and the floodgates open. Last night the teachers were talking about the kids being overwhelmed at the beginning, especially since 4th grade is a big adjustment no matter what school the student goes to.
Feel like I am rambling but let me wrap this up. He is going to ALPHA next year, which means switching schools (again). He is not so happy to leave his new best friend behind, but I told Austin they will be together again in middle school. Another friend from soccer and basketball has been accepted into the program also, so I think that will help Austin adjust. The principal and teachers seems great at the new school and although he will be pushed, I know he will excel once he gets into his groove.

Totally unrelated - I FINALLY turned in my application for the nursing program! I should find out mid to late May if I got in. I'm not really worried about it since I have all A's in the pre-reqs, but then again you never know. We will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, Drew and I are going to the zoo tomorrow for the first time this year. He has only been asking to see his horse (the draft horse at the farm) every day for about 2 months! Tomorrow should be a beautiful day to visit the animals. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

To Preschool or Not to Preschool


We have decided to wait on the preschool. The church I was looking at is more than I want to pay for 2.5 hours a week, and others I have checked out start at age three. Guess we will have to play with more friends instead!

Original post:

I saw the other day at a church near our place that they offer preschool to 2 year olds. Drew misses the 3 year old cut off by 7 days, but no problem there. It will get him around kids he will be in elementary school with, and he will always be one of the oldest kids in class.

I haven't called for prices yet, but Tony and I think it could only be a good thing for Drew. It will get him around more kids on a regular basis and he will learn new things. The church is also only about 5 minutes from us. We can choose one or two mornings a week.

My only reservation about sending Drew to preschool now is that he is still so young. I know we waited another year to start Austin, so he had only 2 years of preschool and Drew would have 3.

Will update when we decide . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Updates

Watching Straight No Chaser on PBS right now. They are an amazing a capella group that started when the guys all went to IU Bloomington. Love them, just wish they had a tour date closer to Fort Wayne!

This year has been a weird one. A lot of people have passed away that are relatives/friends of friends. The most important one to us is Tony's grandma, who passed away at the beginning of February. She was a wonderful 90 year old lady who left behind a family that loves her very much. Although she was older it was still a shock because she hadn't been sick or anything like that. I am so glad we had dinner with her every week since we moved back, it is good to know we spent time with her and our boys got to know her well. Drew still asks where she is when we are at her house (Tony's mom lives there still). I am also glad I was able to spend some time getting to know her as I interviewed her about her life for my nutrition class last semester. We love you Grandma Lucas!

On the other end of the spectrum, our friends had their first baby this past week. He is such a cutie pie and I am very happy for them. I know they will be great parents and their son will grow up to play football in the NFL (right Brian?).

I am applying to the IPFW nursing program for next semester. I am a little freaked out about it but don't really know why. I have all A's in my prereqs and I'm sure will do well on my TEAS test. I guess because it really sets my academic path in stone once I get in. I listen to others who are in their first semester of clinicals talk about them and I know I will enjoy it and learn a lot, it's just the unknown I guess. But I have been here before and every other time I've started something new it has been better than I thought.

I asked Austin the other day if he likes his school (since he has been there almost a full year) and he said "No." Pause. "I LOVE it!!" I am so glad he likes his school and I know a lot has to do with his teacher. She is loving and kind but firm when needed and she teaches to the higher acheiving students instead of the lower ones. (I get to watch her teach when I'm volunteering) She is probably the perfect teacher he could've had to move back to a traditional school setting. He will either stay at this school for the next 2 years or move to the gifted program which is housed at another of the elementary schools. We will know after April 15 if he gets in.

Andrew is loving the warmer weather. His favorite things are to play at a playground or play chalk or blow bubbles outside. He has started actually tracing the letters in his dry erase marker book and sometimes asks me what they are. I love that something can be so fun for him and he is learning (but doesn't see it as work!). We haven't even started potty training yet, we may try this summer but I am not interested in any kind of power struggle or backsliding like we had with Austin. He is always amazed if he sees his dad or brother go to the bathroom- hopefully that will help him want to go like a big boy. His brother didn't get potty trained until after age 3 so if it happens before it will be a nice surprise!

I got the opportunity to spend some girl time this past Friday night with a great group of ladies. I have known most of them for about 5/6 years but since we lived out of town we hadn't spent much time together lately. It was a great evening with no kids, no husbands and positive people around. I am looking forward to the next time we can hang out together.

Well my wonderful Andrew has decided he isn't going to nap so getting him ready to go to Granny & Papaw's for dinner later. Oh and GO BUTLER! Beat Syracuse!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

5 Things about today, Thursday Feb 25.

1. I was thisclose to Martina McBride at one point during her concert tonight.

2. Trace Adkin songs either are either rockin' or make me cry.

3. I am so glad the Canadian skater Joannie won a medal.

4. I got a call from Austin's principal.

5. Martina McBride's voice is amazing! (already knew that but just had to say it)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taking a Break

Thinking of taking a break for awhile. I know this will affect my 3 readers greatly! I have a lot on my plate right now and so I'll be back later. For now I need to get my rear in gear and do really well in my classes.

This may be a short break, may be longer. . . who knows???

Friday, January 15, 2010

One week down . . .

The first week of the semester is over. I must say that I really enjoy only having class Tues, Wed, and Thurs. There are quite a few people I have all of my classes with, and one gal I even have both labs with. She is also applying to the nursing program for the fall. This semester is looking pretty good, I think it will be interesting and hopefully I will get good grades, although the subjects are difficult (anatomy/physiology, microbiology, and pharmacology).

This weekend I am watching my friend's youngest son. He is such a happy boy and Drew absolutely LOVES him! It also makes things easier for me most of the time because I don't have to be the playmate all the time for Drew.

Although I am keeping my resolutions for 2010 that are in a previous post, I am adding another one that I think is even more important. ~BUT~ I am keeping it to myself. I would rather look back on this year and know that I accomplished it without anyone else knowing what I am doing.

Tomorrow Austin has his second basketball game. He did a great job at the first one and I am looking forward to watching him play!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

2009 ended with a little bit of fun for us - we went to my brother's new girlfriend's house and hung out. She has two kids and my sister and her son were there also so the kids had a (loud) blast! We stayed only until 11:20 or so, wanted to stay until midnight but Drew was NOT going to make it. We got home with about ten minutes to spare and Drew was fast asleep when 2010 came around! Tony, Austin and I toasted with some apple juice and then watched a little more TV before going to bed.

New Year's Day was a good and calm day. We just hung around the house and Austin played the Wii and read a new book, while Drew and I played with his "farmer" (little people) toys and his choo-choo tracks. We had a tasty dinner and I was very glad the little fire that happened didn't turn into a bigger fire! Surprise - Tony was doing the cooking, not me. He had a pot that was too little to fry the potatoes and it overflowed. (I won't even mention I wanted them baked instead . . .)

I do have a few Resolutions for 2010. One should be a definite and others complement each other.

1. Apply and get into the nursing program. Don't see any problem with this.

2. Find a home church! This one has proven to be more difficult than I would've thought when we moved up here. Our church in Greenwood is so wonderful, I think we have very high expectations for a new church. But - we need to just bite the bullet and go for it.

3. Lose some weight/inches. This will happen by watching what I eat more and exercising more often. I have this thing about other people seeing me exercise (even family) so I need to either start getting up earlier or figure out a time when Tony will definitely be working and not come out of his office. When the weather gets warmer my mom and I walk together two times a week and that is fun and good for both of us. Until then I need to get out my DVDs and just do it!

4. Less TV. I want to institute one night a week when we leave the TV off. This involves participation from others so I need to work on them a little bit. I personally would prefer to leave the TV off during the week but I don't think that will float in my household, at least not yet :)

5. Eat healthier. This goes along with #3. It also is for the entire family. I don't want Austin to keep going for chips and other junk when given the option to choose his own snack. This may be painful for awhile, because I know how much we love the foods that don't love us, but it will lead to healthier lives overall. Especially since I am going into nursing and I just took a nutrition class I think I should use my knowledge to better our lives. More whole foods, less processed foods is my new motto.

I know that some of these resolutions are pretty lofty, but I figure any steps we take in the right direction are a good start. This past year Tony has started voluntarily recycling cardboard and I could stop asking him everytime , so I know the new year holds great things for us. It can be done!