Thursday, September 1, 2011

Consignment Junky

Sizes 6 & 7 ready for hangers.
I love a good deal. And once I shopped Oakland Baptist Church Children's Consignment Sale when I was pregnant with Savannah I was hooked. It was like consolidated yard saling (a former love of mine). After I learned how consigning worked, I figured out that if I bought wisely I could then consign the next season and break even or even make money! Now that I have two kids I sometimes have to consign just enough to shop and then double up selling the next season. This fall I am doubling up.

I have some extra time now that we are out of school for a bit because of the earthquake, which is good since I only consigned enough last year in order to shop early. Usually the church makes 30% of your sale and uses the money for a mission. Consignors have the opportunity to discount their clothes at the end of the sale 1/2 price and the option to donate anything not sold. The donated items go to a local children's ministry. Once I bought great clothes from a consignment sale like this one, I could never again bring myself to pay full price for children's clothing. It was just like throwing money away. Remember how much I said I love a good deal?

I have done a couple consignment sales in Richmond that specialize in boutique brand name children's clothing. But because I love a good deal, I usually am disappointed after shopping those sales. I get the most enjoyment out of finding something at a Goodwill store and then consigning it for a profit after my kids have worn it. I'm not making a salary on this whole exchange, but I definitely don't worry about spending too much on kids clothes that's for sure. Louisa has a couple of children's consignment shops and a Goodwill. I hit them every so often and usually find a couple things I could turn around. Maybe I should have titled this post 'clothes flipping'. It does sound a bit like house flipping.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Praise God!

Surprise Lilies at Whitehall ~ 8/23/11
In trying to come up with a title for this post Praise God was the only one that fit. As most of you know our little town of Mineral, and most specifically Cuckoo, was the epicenter of a 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday, August 23rd. It started at 1:51 pm as I and other LCHS folks were starting fourth block classes. One other LCHS teacher and myself were in the Library Pit for iPad training when the school began to rumble and then shake. Books fell around us along with trophies from the top of the bookshelves. Ceiling tile dust and debris rained down as we crawled for cover underneath the library tables.
The quake seemed to last forever. I don't remember when it did stop because I was in such shock. My guess is that it lasted two minutes. We hovered in the library pit for what seemed like ten minutes before evacuating. Once outside I wanted to know officially what had just happened. I wanted to hug all the kids that were visibly shaken and crying. And I wanted to get in my car and go get my own kids. No cell phones were calling out, some texts would go through. Christian and I exchanged text messages confirming we were both OK and then didn't talk until I got in the car to leave school.
Once outside of LCHS, I sat by a student who was in the library at the time because he was an early release student. This means he normally would be leaving early to go to his job, but didn't have to work that day so he rode the bus. Looking back on the day, I know God put him next to me, unknowingly to this student, to help calm me and my fears. As we were talking about what we thought the quake might have been while in the moment, this senior student said he was hoping it was Jesus coming back! What high school kid logically thinks that? Once he knew it wasn't an explosion, and it wasn't a bomb, he wondered if it was Jesus! Really? I think about the day when Jesus comes back but honestly don't picture it as a day when I'm here on earth. This boy was Mr. Calm and talked to me almost like he was the teacher and I was the shaken student. I am thankful to have met that young man, and thankful God introduced us that day.
Once the students were loading buses I jumped into my car to get my babies. Grayson was at the Betty Queen Center sleeping when the quake hit. I praise God because he was safe along with his teachers and classmates. Savannah was at Jouett ES in reading groups when the quake hit there. She did not seem to be that scared from the days events. I'm not sure if it wasn't that bad at Jouett or she didn't realized what was or could have happened. She said they lost lights and then went outside. Once Jouett was clear to go back in, all the students returned to the building and tried to resume some sort of normalcy until dismissal. That is the difference between being a mile vs. ten miles from the epicenter and being in a building that's 25 years old vs. 75 years old.
Our church, Gilboa Christian Church, (built in 1834) sustained major structural damage that is going to require rebuilding. Savannah said it best when she said, "We have to rebuild Mama, that's God's House!" And so the rebuilding began spiritually for us as we started planning how to rebuild our church. Praise God we are all alive and safe!

Monday, August 15, 2011

PreK & Second Grade

Why do I feel like my daughter is a fifth grader when she just started second grade? Oh My Goodness. She is so mature and smart and beautiful and sweet. I sometimes forget she just turned S-E-V-E-N! I am so blessed. (Please remind me of this tonight during the 'witching hour'.)

Here's the cutest picture from this morning's photo shoot. Do you think Grayson is captivated by his big sister? After all, she does get to ride a bus to school. He is still hopeful he can ride a bus like Savannah one day when he 'grows up'. Days like today make me love being a mom.

I posted Grayson's 1st day of school pictures a few weeks back on Google+ to give it a try. For those not with Google+ yet, check out my little man on his way to preschool. He was so proud of himself and has since grown leaps and bounds socially. I'm not sure I was prepared for that part. One lil' taste of independence and he is all grown up. Just ask him. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blue Ribbons

We always know when it's time for the Ag Fair because the temperature gets about as hot as you think it can and then the fair starts. Every year I get in the mind set that I can handle the heat. I try and think of all the people that work on farms outside ALL day and certainly I can handle a couple hours lingering around the Ag Fair. Wrong. This heat was so hot it made it hard to even linger, in the shade, with ice water.

It helps that my mom is usually there with the Women's Farm Bureau group and Savannah is always interested in seeing what ribbons she earned on her entries. She brought home many blue ribbons but was most proud of the sweet pickles she made with her "Gram" (that's Christian's mom). Underneath this blue ribbon is a jar of pickles that she personally cut and seasoned according to Gram's directions; and one that won first place among all adult entries at the fair! Now I just need to have her teach me how to make pickles. :)

All in all, Savannah won a number of blue ribbons and red ones and white ones and green ones! She entered artwork, jewelry, flowers, and photos. She has such a creative/artistic ability with which she has been blessed. I hope I can keep up!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Savannah turns 7!

My sweet Savannah turned seven this week and we had a 'ball' planning her birthday bash. She planned backyard games and water stations from Jouett's Fun Day and we added in games we saw in Family Fun magazine. If you don't subscribe to that magazine, go sign up now! They have THE cutest projects for your kiddos.

Since we started planning and shopping soon after school was out, which is the end of May here, we found a great selection of fun summer goodies at stores like Dollar General, Michael's, Wal-Mart, and Oriental Trading. I love reading crafty-mom blogs along with perusing Etsy and planning a party just gave it purpose!

Christian and Savannah made the 'Kid Wash' after the pattern Family Fun offered online. It was a smash hit and will be enjoyed for weeks to come.

Our local ice cream shop, Sweet Creations, made the sand castle cake with yummy Hershey's ice cream and the 'Candy Table' was inspired by the Anders Ruff blog. Sorry parents to load your kids up with sugar and send them home. Well kind of. :) I hope the crash was after bath time and closer to bed time.

We knew we wanted to decorate like Anders Ruff 'Splish Splash' collection but we needed it in girly colors. DimplePrints on Etsy had an amazing custom package of printables for an Under the Sea party. The package included custom invitations, 100+ pages of printables, AND custom thank you notes all for around $30! What a deal!!! I printed everything at home on my inkjet printer. I LOVE printables and keep thinking maybe I could create and sell some. I'll add that to the long list of other crafts.

My favorite decoration was the balloon wreath. I had bookmarked the blog HowDoesShe a while back hoping to return to it. There is a blog post just on the wreath and how to make it! I pulled it off alright but it took MUCH longer to make than I thought and took WAY more balloons that I had originally purchased.

My uncle, Steve Fuller, made fun-shaped balloons at the end of the party for all the kids to take home. The fishing poles and monkey-in-a-palm-tree seemed to receive the most requests. I'm amazed how he can make these and love how excited kids get to take home one of his creations. Thanks Uncle Steve! (P.S. You can hire him for your own party or event. Did I mention he does Magic Shows too?)

A last-minute brainstorm hit me Saturday as I was cutting the printables and that was to ask my friend Kristol Faucheux of tMoot to photograph the occasion since she is starting her own photography business. It's always so stressful for me to get pictures at my kids birthday parties while coordinating and keeping things moving as well. Looking back on the whole day, I would HIGHLY recommend asking a friend to take pictures or hire someone like Kristol. Didn't she do a super job? Having that photo pressure off my shoulders helped me soak up all the mommy-moments as they happened. What a perfect day filled with so many blessings.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Season for School Supplies

It all starts once the Independence Day merchandise goes out and newspaper ads begin advertising "Back to School" sales. And there marks the start of the school supply season. I love it. And I'm fairly certain my daughter has caught the bug as well. Pens, pencils, highlighters, markers, paperclips, pushpins, notebooks, excites me to find the latest fun makeover of the simplest of supplies. My excitement is a carry-over from childhood. Shopping for school supplies was a little different back in my day, because it was done before the era of school supply lists. Crazy I know, but we managed to buy school supplies without teachers telling us exactly what to buy. Each summer we traveled to Kansas for our annual family vacation which included school shopping at Wal-Mart. We didn't have a Wal-Mart in Virginia then, and so our tradition of school supply shopping in Kansas was born.

Original site of McPherson, KS Wal-Mart built in 1986.

It is mid-July and our school shopping is done. Savannah and I have successfully found all the supplies she will need for this school year, (plus a few extra boxes of crayons for 40 cents each), and after price shopping a few of the regular stores, Wal-Mart STILL has the best prices. 

Let the labeling begin! I have toned down my label addiction a bit from SGG's Kindergarten year when I labeled each crayon in her crayon box so no classmates could claim her crayons as their own. Doesn't that just drive you batty when someone else is convinced your fill-in-the-blank is theirs? Anyhoo, I've matured in the last couple of years and instead of printing my own at home I have become addicted to Lovable Labels. Addicted might be a strong word but I just love these labels! I love them because you can put them on EVERYTHING! They are waterproof, peel-proof, sun-proof, and come in super-cute colors. Savannah is about out of her label supply from last year since I could use them on all her extra-curricular activity stuff as well. It's amazing how hard it is to recognize your child's tap shoes in the dance recital dressing room. Grin.
We label backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, Tupperware, coats, hats, GLOVES (does anyone ever have both gloves at the end of the winter season???), folders, binders, glue, pencil box, you name it. 

And my Lovable Label Tip of the Day... take one of your child's labels and cut off the cute pictures along with their first name and label your family dishes or coolers for safe return after any pot-luck! They stay on even after being washed several dozen times in the dishwasher. Are you sold yet? Get 10% off with coupon code LizGLB1.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Deflated, but not defeated

Our family's lack of summer routine has put me at the edge of insanity today. It's 1:25pm and both my 2 and 6 year old are fast asleep. I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened in their lifetime. Today I enacted mandatory naptime for both children at the same time.

It's not that either child is particular bad but they are both wearing me out with the little things. The little things are habits/reactions/behaviors that I am trying to help them grow out of but am unsuccessful at this point. Little things like saying 'huh', asking who I was talking to when I get off the phone, and pushing each other's buttons knowingly. Ack...Calgon, or anything for that matter, take me away!

I often think about doing chore charts but my 2 year old is a bit young for that in my opinion. I guess I could put a daily schedule on the wall like Supernanny but the beauty of Summer for me is that we don't have plans.

Savannah is swimming on the local swim team and those practices are 9:30am and 6:30pm. We try to make at least one per day but sometimes go twice a day and some days not at all. It is very flexible thank goodness. The somewhat-of-a-routine with swimming is that it usually gets us up and out of the house each day which is as close to a schedule as I really want in a summer.

For now, I'll sit back and enjoy my Diet Pepsi, in the A/C, all by myself.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Full Swing

Summer is in full swing here at the Goodwin household. In fact, I'm a bit overwhelmed after taking a week vacation, followed by a four-day ISTE conference in Philly, and then coming home to a dog that lost a match with a beaver. Beau, one of our two black labs, ruptured his Achilles tendon and needed surgery. I will omit the part where we had to pay an unbelievable amount of money and just say he is doing remarkably well with his splint and basement confinement.

Savannah is swimming on the Louisa Gator swim team this summer and earned 1st place in her breaststroke and backstroke heats! Go SGG!!! I am so proud of her. While I was in Philly she practiced twice a day and it immediately showed. Just that little bit of recognition has her pumped to keep up the rigorous practice schedule. I just hope I can keep up with her.

Grayson is about 70% potty-trained. Is it OK to put a percentage on that? I think so. Last night was his first dry night. He woke me about 2 am and then again at 7 am to use the potty. I'm so proud of him. We haven't really focused hard on it but it just seemed to be the right time for him. The M&Ms help too of course. :) I've enjoyed buying him big boy underwear. I was especially happy to see some stores sold boxer/briefs for little guys. How cute!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beach Bound, Paradise

5 days and counting for our annual family beach trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina! Things I'm looking forward to:

1. Seeing my kids play with their cousins (both are walking)
2. The choice of pool vs. beach
3. Time with family
4. Sam & Omie's
5. Jockey's Ridge kite flying
6. Naps
7. Shopping
8. Morris' Farm Market
9. The Virginia Diner
10. OBX sea breeze

Before I can enjoy the perks of a vacation I must get our family packed and ready. I recently discovered Night Sky Farm's Wash Time Laundry Soap in Lemon Verbena scent from a local co-op we joined this year. This soap is amazing! I love how it is low suds and how it smells but most of all I love how it cleans bathing suits!!! I never can get that icky bathing suit smell out and this soap does it! Have I used enough exclamation points for you to understand my love for this soap? :) The farm also has a blog if you'd like to read more:

Since we are getting ready to collide worlds with two 1-year-olds, I am planning on labeling a few things before we head south. I originally bought my first round of Lovable Labels when Savannah started preschool and have since bought a second round for her and one for Grayson as well. I love buying the labels as baby gifts too. These labels are so useful on toys, cups, bibs, any clothing or shoes. Labeling school supplies and items for Savannah's recent dance recital was so easy because I already had the labels. It's been just my kids at the beach up until last year and now that we will have 2 toddlers plus my 2 and 6 year-old. Let the good times roll!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Virginia Beach

I got to tag-a-long with Christian on a work trip for a few days this week to Virginia Beach. (Insert big cheese smile here.) And speaking of tag-a-longs...I had no kids with me! How amazing of a treat is that??? We were able to work out childcare for both kids with family and friends. We are continually blessed. Really.
Upon arriving Friday, Christian headed to work and I headed to the spa for a pedi and massage followed by some sun-rays on the beach! Ahhh. We then had a fabulous dinner with a view at the newly renovated Isle of Capri. The first time we ate there we were taken by the ultra-cool table-side made Caesar salad. Yum. Best Caesar salad ever. Although we did not get the salad this time, I did enjoy some cooked-to-perfection pork medallions along with Confetti Cake from local bakery Confetti Caffe & Gelato.
Christian and I enjoyed going for a morning jog/walk on the boardwalk. Man what a nice place to exercise in the morning! It sure beats our uneven gravel driveway. I took a few pics for my blog. I wish I was a better photographer but the DROIDx will do for now.

The first is of the King Neptune statue on 31st. What a gargantuan statue! We stayed right next to the amphitheater there and it was rocking for the International Sand Soccer Tournament. Who knew there was even such an organized sport? The second photo is the view today from under my beach umbrella. The chairs here are so comfy. Ahhh...what a treat! And the final shot is looking at the bike path between the hotel and boardwalk. The palm trees almost make me forget I'm in Virginia.

Christian will be back soon. We are going to try a restaurant from my informal Facebook survey! :) Tomorrow my mini-vacation ends and Dance Recital Madness sets in. Soon after that we set sail for Nags Head, NC with both Christian's and my family! I love summertime.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

Savannah has been dancing for two years now at the Diane Hale School of Dance and is preparing for her first recital with the school. The school has a recital every other year apparently because it is such a large production. This should have been my first warning I was in over my head. :)

We've already received our costumes, taken class photos, ordered t-shirts, stood in line for over 2 hours for tickets (yes to my own child's show), and are now approaching the last week of class and the DRESS REHEARSAL. Ack! I never realized how many details could possibly go along with a children's dance production. What have I gotten us into?

Hair up in a bun for the first dance, hair in a side ponytail for the second dance, pink tights for this dance, tan tights for that dance, bright blue eyeshadow and red blush only, eye-yi-yi. I think I'm in over my head.

Lake Anna

We visited with some friends this weekend on Lake Anna and were reminded what a wonderful retreat is so close to our own backyard.

The kids enjoyed the little beach area while taking turns on a jet ski! Thank goodness my handsome hubby doesn't mind taking them for a ride. This retired lifeguard still isn't comfortable with lake water or lake bottoms. Yes, I wore my flip-flops in the water. Teva's are so 1990's and I have finally retired mine.

This day spent with family and friends will go down in my book as one of the best yet. Oh how we are blessed. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thank you goodies

Now that I work part-time I decided I was going to get crafty with end-of-year thank you gifts for Savannah's teachers. I always read about cute ideas online and in my mommy magazines but never seem to plan well enough in advance to get anything together. This year I did and I am so excited to share them on my blog!!!
The first gift we made was a bouquet of chocolate for the bus driver, teachers, and the Principal. We changed the wording according to their responsibilities. We bought Easter grass on clearance along with the beach bucket after Easter and taped Kabob sticks to hold the candy up like a bouquet. The note included the name of the candy and a sweet thank you message. Feel free to download the jpg to use the wording as your own.
And the second gift I didn't really make but loved the 'little birdie' PDF I did make to go along with it. This was for our male Assistant Principal that likes to stay fit. I thought he might like something other than chocolate.

Our family has been continually blessed with amazingly kind and loving teachers, staff, and administration. We are thankful Savannah loves every part of her school day whether it be the bus ride, the lunch line, the classroom, and every resource class! Jouett Elementary is a special place.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Farmer's Market

Mineral has a fabulous Farmer's Market on Saturday's from 8-1pm. We try to shop there weekly to support our local growers and craftsmen and women. I thought I would blog about some of our family's favorite finds.

To start out we always go by and visit with Clyde & Sue Harkrader at Pink House Pigs. They sell pasture raised heritage breed pork. The breakfast sausage is our family favorite! We usually enjoy an authentic French chocolate croissant or sun-dried tomato quiche from the market while visiting with the Harkraders.

Fresh strawberries help wash everything down but sadly, they are almost out of season. Henry Foster has the best strawberries and always has the best produce of what's in season. Plus, he always gives my kiddos a 'Scooby-Snack' which they love! I love buying from Henr because I know he's raised everything he sells. Mmmm. :)

For gift buying and drooling I love to stop at Kristol Faucheux's The Magic of Ordinary Things (tMoOT) tent for some genuine craftiness. She makes adorable bags, frames, calendars, and broaches. And because of her fun blog I have been inspired to try blogging again. Thanks Kristol.

We purchased our kids' picnic table last year from Jim Groelke of Periwinkle Springs Woodworking and have gotten some great mileage out of it since then. Our dogs seem to like it as well as it helps them in their role of patio kings. I'm not sure how I feel about that with the recent improvement of their groundhog hunting skills.

Last week Christian and I ran into a high school classmate, Stef Florie, selling her Wired Stone Designs. Anyone that knows me well knows how much I love all kinds of jewelry. I hope to add a piece of her jewelry to my collection soon. Until then, I'll keep window shopping at her booth.

Once my daughter wakes up we'll be off to the market for this week's trip. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Field Trip to CMOR

We love visiting the Children's Museum of Richmond at Short Pump (aka CMOR). Since the new Short Pump location is one large room I can let Savannah go from station to station on her own and still keep an eye on her while sticking with Grayson. The museum has tables in case we want to pack a lunch and eat there. We have been known to bring Chick-fil-A on occasion when in desperate need of groceries.
Grayson especially enjoys the hourly train ride and the pirate ship. (See below.)

I think Savannah spent at least half of her time in the craft room. I'm not sure where she picked up an interest in crafts. :) Thanks Grandma and Grandad for our CMOR membership. We love it! Did I mention it has great A/C on days like today?

A fresh start for summer!

Summer started this week for the kids and I. We are all excited for the fun days of summer. Play dates, sprinklers, bubbles, Popsicles, Play-dough, and swimming are on the agenda. Writing a family blog is something I continually ponder. It's the time commitment I struggle with like many hobbies and interests. So with a fresh start to summer, and now the month of June, I thought I would give blogging another try. :) Maybe if I can blog from my phone I could blog on the go? We'll see. Happy Summer!

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