Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's that time again

2012 was a great year for us at the Townsend house. Both Eric and I changed jobs - smaller school for me and no traveling for him.  It did take me a little getting used to having Eric here during the week.  But we ended up cooking more at home and saving some money.  Which is always a plus!

I learned to say "No" to my kids.  As a mother, you want to provide them with everything they need and want.  But I realized I wasn't doing them any favors.  If I don't teach them to budget and to save, they will be in for a world of trouble.  Even if they go to college, that does not guarantee them a job in this economy.  Saying "No"  has been difficult at times, but we are in the home stretch now. 

They didn't need to eat breakfast every morning at McDonald's or Hardees before school.  Yes, we are in a hurry in the morning - but Fruit Loops in a baggie, pop tarts, breakfast at school are all great, cheaper, healthier solutions.  They also don't need every new app that comes out.  I could not believe how much money we spent at iTunes.  Ridiculous! 

I sat down and wrote my 2013 goals for next year.  I did this because 1) I am a list maker.  and 2)  This will help keep me accountable.

1.  Read through the Bible in one year.  Our Church did this last year, and I kick myself for not doing this one.
2.  Read at least 24 books on my book list.  This is not going to be a problem.  I love the read.  Reading has always relaxed.  Oddly enough, Corbin said the same thing not to long ago.
3.  Run at least one 5k race.  I am going to encourage Eric and Allie to assist me on this one.  Eric wants to get into shape and us do something together.  Allie is just a natural runner and loves it.
4.  Take at least one photo a day for my Project Life album.

1.  Have monthly date nights with Eric.  This year we did better at this one.  We still need to work on it so I think I will try planning one to make sure we accomplish this goal.
2.  Go on 2 weekend retreats sans kids.  This is going to be a hard one.  Our kids are involved in extracurricular activities that we love to watch.  I also feel guilty that I work all day and think I should spend every waking minute with them.  But I know that when I do get away, I come back refreshed and a better mommy.
3. Go on a family vacation.

1.  Write at least 2 handwritten notes every month to encourage someone.
2.  Go out to eat with girlfriends at least once a month.

1.  Tithe 10% of our income.  It's not "ours" anyway.
2.  Give generously to needs in the community and around the world.
3.  Become debt free except for the house. 

I plan on updating my list once a month and crossing off what I accomplish.  2012 was just a blessing to me, and I look forward to 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

What I'm Learning from my Daughter

Lately it seems, instead of me teaching Allie things, she is teaching me a few lessons.  Here are some of the things I have learned recently.

1.  To have a good time.  Allie is always happy.  I got to talk to her teacher before school got out and her teacher commented that Allie is just a happy -go-lucky-gal.  Her teacher said that Allie talks to everyone and is nice to everyone.  I was so proud to hear this.  I feel like Allie is nice to everyone,but it is so nice when someone else comments on it. 

2.  To let go and move on.  About a month ago, a little boy in her class went out of control.  The teacher had to get everyone out to calm him down.  Allie did not say a word about it.  I ask her every day, " How was school?"  I had another parent tell me.  When I questioned Allie, she said that the boy was special and couldn't help it.  She told me not to worry that the kid liked her.  She was afraid the story would worry me. 

3.  To be content.  Our church has done a lot of mission work for an orphanage in Honduras.  Allie and Corbin's Sunday School class took up donations and money to send them.  I have heard Allie on several occasions tell Corbin to be happy with what he has.  She will say "What if you lived in Honduras and you had to eat molded bread or had no shoes to wear?" 

4.  To take silly pictures of yourself and laugh.  Allie got a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  She told me I could play on it.  I looked at the photo section and saw these two pictures.


Love that sweet girl!  I hope she always stay happy, content, and secure with herself.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

I only have iPhone pictures for this Christmas because I forgot to grab my camera.

We had a fabulous Christmas. We got more than we deserved.

Allie with her cousins, Emma and Ava. Allie and her American Girl doll look so much alike.

Corbin and his gold controller that came all the way from Hong Kong. Ha! He loved it!

I love these two so much! The Lord has been so good to me! I can't wait to see what He has in store for me in 2013.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter Fashion

It is cold here in the South.  I know I complained when it was so hot for so long, but I am not a fan of the cold weather.  I am trying to shop my closet, instead of buying any new clothes lately.  Eric has shut my debit card down for a month.  Ha!  We spent quite a bit on the kids this year.  I can't wait to see their faces when they open their presents.  I am also trying to lose some weight. 

I keep saying I am trying to lose weight, yet I have yet to eat better or work out.  I need to get busy on that goal.  I read the blog , and she had some Pinterest fashion ideas that I love.  I already have most of the pieces, too.  So I am going to try to pull off these outfits in the near future.

I have a long pink maxi shirt, leopard scarf, and light brown cardi.  This outfit will be easy to duplicate.

I have a short black dress instead of the longer version so I will definitely add tights.

I love, love this outfit!  The yellow skirt is so bold and playful.  I am on the hunt for a yellow skirt now!

I love reading blogs and looking at their outfit suggestions.  My only problem is I stay on the computer too long!  Happy Saturday!

Most Unusual Christmas Gift

As a teacher, I get lots of little knickknacks for Christmas. I have gotten my fair share of coffee cups, ornaments, necklaces, candy, Bath and Body lotions, etc.

This year I am teaching in a small country school. One of my boy students brought me deer antlers from a deer he had killed. Ha!

I can say I have never received that gift before. He was so proud of his gift.

My husband and son thought this was the best gift ever.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chicks with Sticks

Allie took an after school class - Chicks with Sticks- this semester. She loved twirling the baton. They were in the Christmas parade and did a great job. So proud of her!

Allie and her friend before the parade.

Allie with the CFA cow!

During the parade

After the parade and worn out! Ha!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Piano Recital 2012

Corbin and Allie did so good in the first piano recital. We were so proud of them.

Corbin went first and played the best he's ever played. Allie played second and hit the wrong first note and then giggled. Ha! She regrouped and played beautifully. She is a very silly girl.

Allie and two friends that came to support her.

Group picture #1

Group picture #2
We love Ms Jessica and are so thankful for her. We look forward to next year's recital!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Catching up!

December arrived with a bang, and it hasn't slowed down yet.  Between our jobs, Christmas events, and both kids playing basketball, we are never home.  I know it will slow down soon though.  Here is what has been happening with the Townsends.

1.  Allie and Corbin had their piano recital.  They both did a great job, and we are so proud of them. Allie seems to like it more than Corbin, but Corbin had expressed interest in playing the drums in middle school next year.  I found out that band teachers like to have their drummers have piano lessons.  So we are making him stick with it a little bit longer. 

2.  At piano recital, one of my former students was there.  He is a freshman this year and not your typical piano player.  Ha!  He did amazing.  He played Silent Night and Just a closer walk with thee in a jazzy, Southern Gospel way.  You could not help tapping your foot along with him.  I was so proud of him.  He had a rough 8th grade year, so it was so good to see him doing something positive. 

3.    I have come to the conclusion that my Allie is going to be an athlete and not a dancer.  I know this is silly, but I am not an athlete at all.  But she is going to be tall and she is fast, so I know this is right for her.  I will cheer her on no matter what she does.  Love that girl!

4.  Corbin had a rough patch at school and at home.  I call it the "preteen" disorder.  He didn't want to do his homework or his chores, arguing, not cooperating, etc.  You know how that goes.  But after a good talking to by his dad, he has turned a corner.  Taking the Xbox away might have helped that, as well. 

5.  Tomorrow is Eric and my 12 year anniversary.  Wow!  Where has the time gone?  Both of us just wanted to order a pizza tonight and watch movies on the couch.  Crazy, I know.  Years ago, I would have pitched a fit because we were not doing anything grand.  Oh, how time changes you.  Plus, I am worn out.  I just want to stay in my sweats all day.  This is the only Saturday we will have off for 2 months.

Hopefully, I can add the recital pictures soon.  Life is crazy busy right now, but one day I know I will look back and smile about all the good memories. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1

Allie had her first basketball game today.  Go Allie!  She is playing on a new team and has a great coach.  Here they are pregame for a coach's conference.

Her team won and Allie scored 6 points.  After the game, we let C and A play on the playground behind the school.  Today was such a beautiful day!

Daddy and Mommy might have played on the playground, too!  Ha!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You "Beta"believe it!

Yesterday and today, I have been on a field trip with the Beta Club. We were in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel.

This was an awesome field trip. The kids were great, the chaperones were easy going, and Opryland Hotel is beautiful!

These are iPhone pictures. They do not do the hotel justice. I was in Beta Club myself when I was younger. But I learned so much about the organization at the conference. Their motto is " let us lead by serving others.".

I loved seeing young people proud of being good kids. They were proud they made good grades and were responsible.

Of course, we went to the mall. That was the icing on the cake. Ha!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Since Thanksgiving is approaching, I figured I would write my "thankful' list.

1.  My salvation.  I got saved at 13, and I am so glad that Jesus died on the cross for a sinner like me.

2.  My family.  I need to start telling Eric, Corbin, and Allie everyday how much I love and appreciate them. 

3.  My friends.  I have a handful of friends that I know I could call on any time, and they would drop everything and help me.  I am blessed to know some beautiful women - inside and out.

3.  My job.  Last year, I was seriously thinking about leaving the teaching profession.  I prayed and prayed for God's will.  This year, I am in a small, country school that I absolutely love.  I actually love getting up and going to work. 

4.  My house.  We don't have the biggest and best house, but we have a good house.  We have good neighbors that look out for each other.  We have woods that they kids can build forts in, and trails they can ride their bikes on.

5.  My students.  I have such a good group of 7th graders this year.  They work hard for me and have a great sense of humor. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Oh, my!  This is only Wednesday, but I am exhausted.  I hurt my back Saturday trying to lift something heavy.  So Saturday night, and all day Sunday I was out of commission.  Well, the rest helped heal my back by Monday, but I am so far behind on house work. 

This morning was horrible.  Corbin had no clean jeans, so he wore shorts to school.  Ha.  I had to hunt and hunt for some socks for him.  I had not been to the grocery store, so packing lunch was "whatever you could fine."  I am sure Allie packed brownies, chips, and cookies, and more brownies.

After school, I finally went to the grocery store.  Yea, we have food.  But that put us getting home late, so I didn't go to church.  And I love my church, and I really miss not going.  Eric took the kids so I could wash clothes, wash dishes, etc.  Fun times!

I am really debating getting someone to help me clean the house.  Eric works probably 50-60 hours a week. So I feel bad asking him to help.  He would help, but he works a lot right now.  I have tried to "train" my kids, but they don't clean like I like them to.  Ha!  

Maybe that's what Eric will get me for Christmas.  Someone to clean the house for a WHOLE year.  That would be wonderful.  Eric, if you are reading this post - pretty please!  Ha!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Just Want to Thank You Lord

One of my friends at church sung this song last Sunday.  I just love the lyrics, and Beth did a great job singing it. 

For making the sun to shine, putting the stars in the sky,
For the flowers that bloom, the ocean so blue, thank you Lord.
For the sparrow that sing and makes sweet melody,
For the rivers that flow, the rain and the snow, thank you Lord.

I just want to thank you Lord, I just want to thank you Lord,
For everything you’ve done for me thank you Lord.
I just want to thank you Lord, I just want to thank you Lord,
For making me whole, saving my soul, thank you Lord.

For my whole family, for the joys you’ve given to me,
For the shoes on our feet, plenty to eat, thank you Lord.
For the church where I worship and pray, for the freedoms I have to today,
For your Spirit I feel, presence so real, thank you Lord.

For being a friend so dear, giving my sad heart cheer,
For holding my hand when I could not stand, thank you Lord.
For giving your life for me, on a cross at Calvary,
For taking my place, mercy and grace, thank you Lord.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What I am loving lately

I am loving skirts, tights, and boots.  They are definitely my go-to winter outfit.  Boots are not cheap, so I try to really take care of mine.  I have tons of skirts that I alternate.  Here are a couple I would like to add to my repertoire.

The first two are from Eddie Bauer.  They might look a little short, but I am petite and I would order the regular so it would be longer on me.  They are on my Christmas wish list.

I love the vibrant colors of the green and blue pencil skirt.  They are from JCrew.  I don't normally shop there because of their prices.  Hopefully, I can find some skirts similar to these.  I think pencil skirts are so lady like. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just call me the Crazy Coupon Lady

This weekend, I have used more coupons than I have used my whole entire life.  Ha!  Remember Eric and I set a budget.  And we are sticking to our budget.  Here is my weekend.

1.  Saturday, my mom gave me two $5 off coupons to a grocery store.  You had to spend $30 to get $5 off.  Which is no problem for us.  I had Corbin and Allie steer one buggy, and I had the other.  So I had the cashier ring up two separate orders and saved $10.  Score!

2.  My kids wanted lunch after the grocery shopping.  So I went to Sonic.  I got Sonic coupons in the mail on Friday.  We had to each have separate orders to use our coupons.  Ha!  But we saved $4.

3.  Allie had gotten Build A Bear reward certificates ($10 each) in the mail a couple of weeks ago.  She had a great report card and tried her best in soccer, so we went to Build A Bear.  I told her I would give her $5 if she needed it.  My girl is a smart shopper.  She decided on a Small Fry and two outfits.  I only had to pay $4.04.  That's the cheapest I have every left the mall.  Go Allie!

4.  Then Corbin wanted a pair of pink football gloves.  Yep, you heard me right.  Pink!?!?  So we
went to Dicks Sporting Goods.  Eric had given me a $10 off coupon a while back. I had forgotten I had the coupon until I got into my car.  I made Corbin and Allie go back in with me to use the coupon.  The cashier gladly took the coupon and gave me back $10.92. 

5.  Since C and A were cooperating and in good spirits, I decided to tackle some Christmas shopping.  I had a $100 gift card from the Disney store.  Somehow I received it after out Disney trip this past summer.  I purchased all 4 of my nieces and one little girl from church Christmas gifts.  I spent NO MONEY.  Winner, winner Chicken Dinner!

6.  Sunday, after church, Eric wanted to go to LJS.  Yep, I had coupons.  I had the cashier ring 3 different orders and saved $ 6.25. 

I used to get so embarrassed when my mom would use coupons. But now, I totally understand why.  My mom was the first person I called to celebrate my victories!  Ha!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Last soccer game and party

It was dark and this is a phone picture. Not the best, but the only one I got.

Soccer ball cupcake cake

Allie with her trophy.

Allie and Sierra

Crazy Anna Beth

Allie and Anna Beth

Allie and Madison

Allie and Madison again!
Allie loves these girls and will miss them so much!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Spiderman was there!

Unleashing a web . .

Alice in Wonderland

Family group picture!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thank God for unanswered prayers

My friend Jen and I used to sing that Garth Brook's song so much when we were younger.  We both did not marry until late 20's, and we were both so grateful that we did not marry any of our exes!  Ha!

I think only recently did I realized how true the words in this song are.  Eric and I have been married for 12 years this December.  Like any couple, our first couple of years were hard sometimes.  I got pregnant with Corbin three months after we got married.  Then two years later, we had Allie.  So needless to say, we were very busy the first 5 years of our marriage.

I feel so ashamed to admit that I used to give Eric such a hard time.  Bless his heart, it seemed like sometimes he couldn't do anything right.  I remember him saying, " Just tell me exactly how to make you happy."  Ha!  Eric is a down-to-earth country boy and could not understand how I wasn't happy.  We were and still are so blessed.  We have both had good jobs, several houses, and two precious kids.   We were alive and healthy.  What more could you ask?

And then I learned that happiness was a choice.  I did not have to act the way I did. I was making a choice.  Instead of being Negative Nancy, I should start thanking sweet Jesus for all that he has blessed me with.  There are always going to be people with more things, better jobs, and prettier.  If I always compare myself to others, then there is no way I will ever be happy. 

So I started leaning on Eric more instead of pulling away.  Which has made our relationship better.  He is a strong, secure man and wanted me to do that for years.  I eliminated friends that were full of "drama" and always talked badly about their husbands.  I became content with staying home and enjoying my family. 

I still have a long way to go.  I pray each day and thank the Lord for unanswered prayers.  I thank the Lord for saving me, for Eric, for my precious kids, etc.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Christmas Wish List- Corbin and Allie

Corbin's list:

1. Kindle Fire

2. Go- Cart

3. Video games

Allie's list:

1. Kindle fire

2. American girl doll loft bed

3. American doll bubble bath

I realize that each kid only has 3 things on their list. But they have very expensive tastes! Ha!

The Townsends

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