Sunday, August 16, 2015

"ORANGE" YOU GLAD TEACHER GIFT BASKETS


Back in July when the kids started school I made these fun "ORANGE" baskets for all their teachers.  I saw the idea for an end of the year gift but thought it would be fun to do it for a back to school theme.  I made the little tag and stuck it on some orange cardstock. 

I found all the fun stuff at the dollar store, to put the baskets together. 
I got an orange reusable cup.  Then I found a pack of 2 orange baskets. I didn't want to baskets to be too big because then it would either look funny not filled up all the way, or cost an arm and a leg to actually fill it all the way up. 
So the baskets I found were a perfect size. 
Then I just walked around the store looking for anything orange. 


I found crackers, a rhinestone lanyard, gum, post it notes, mints, tea for the cups, chocolate, chips, and some crystal light individual packs that I actually put inside the cups. 

I made one for each of their teachers, and one of the teachers that we love at the school that Jacob had a few years ago.  We love her so much so we made her one as well. 



I had each of the kids sign their names on the one for their teachers and all of them write their names on the one for the teacher we love. 

All the teachers loved them and were a big hit. 
I think now that we are in Arizona, I might make these as an end of the year gift for each of their new teachers. 

I have always loved making gift baskets for people since I was younger.  I think it has overflowed into my adult life as well, because this is some of my most favorite kind of gifts to give people.

Do you do back to school gifts for your children's teachers?  Do you like to give gift baskets to people? 

~NICOLE

Saturday, August 15, 2015

RANDOM PHOTOS

I thought it would be fun to share some random photos from my phone with you.  All of them are from right before the move, during the move and after we got here to Arizona.  They are not in any particular order because I added them from my phone. 


This was the night we got our Uhaul.  Jacob and my dad and Jacob's friend Chris from work got everything loaded that was ready to be loaded that day.  The truck was hooked up to our trailer with everything that was going to the dump the next morning.  And then of course it started to rain.  Thank goodness it waited until they were done with the loading. 

Monday after we got here we had to drive to Phoenix for Jacob to do his work physical.  So while we were there, we got my phone fixed at the Phoenix mall in the apple care store.  Then we drove around and looked at a few trucks.  This is the one Jacob ended up buying.  He loves it.  It is a big huge truck that is for sure, and the color is nice.  He is very happy and now we are back to owning 2 vehicles.  We got rid of our expedition before we moved. 

Driving home Monday night the sunset was beautiful. 

There has been many awesome thunder storms here since we got here.  These storm clouds were intense looking with the sunset. 

I desperately needed to clean out my purse because it was weighing so much that it hurt my arm to carry it.  When we moved I piled a ton of stuff in it that I didn't want to loose.  So much randomness in there lol. 

I love that we get free breakfast every morning, as do the kids. They love eating out on the patio.  Unless it has been raining we have eaten out there almost every morning.  One morning we had an incident right as we were finishing up with a bee bothering us, so we just brought the rest of our food inside. 

We had to go to the Post Office on Tuesday morning.  It had been raining that morning, but when we got there it had stopped.  We were in there for about 10-15 minutes and when we came out it was like hurricane force rain.  We were parked right out front and we got soaked just running to our car from there.  It was pretty awesome though.  We are not used to this kind of weather, or rain.  California rain is nothing like this. 

It is just so pretty driving through town. 

A view right into downtown Prescott. 

On Wednesday the kids and I wanted to do a little grocery shopping because we have been so tired of out food everyday.  Before we headed to Safeway, we went into Trader Joe's.  I have never been inside of one, so we were excited to check it out.  They had some cool stuff in there, and some strange stuff too.  We sampled a few things, and we bought a few fun snacks to send back to some family in California. 

This was one of the strange things we saw, and sampled inside Trader Joe's.  It is pickle flavored popcorn.  It was... strange to say the least.  It really did taste just like a pickle.  It was a very strong pickle flavor.  There is no way I could eat much of that.  The few that I had was plenty to tie me over, well for a lifetime I am sure lol. 

It felt good to stock up the fridge so we don't have to keep eating out everynight.  I got a bunch of dinner stuff so I can put the crockpot to good use and things that me and the kids can have for lunches. 

This is Jacob's new office.  I am so excited for him to get his own office.  I told him that I want to decorate it for him. I am thinking an all Miami Dolphins office.  Wouldn't that be awesome!  I want to make him some wood signs for his wall too.  But for now this is how it looks.  He took our Keurig in there and I told him we need to get him a small refrigerator and a microwave as well. 

Part of our new normal for the moment is having to make sure we have enough quarters on hand to do laundry.  The kids and I did 3 loads the other morning and I will probably do another few loads today or tomorrow as well.  The nice thing is being able to get all the laundry done at once.  I just need to remember to make sure I have enough quarters on hand. 

Lots of rain since we have been here.  Lightening so bright it lights up the sky and thunder so loud it has made me and the kids jump on several occasions. 

This is my favorite road ever.  We have not driven up the road yet, but we see it every time we come out of the gas station.  There is just something about the road with all the trees and how it winds up to the unknown.  I can't wait to take the kids pictures on this road. 

My first crock pot homemade meal in our hotel room.  I put a roast and potatoes in the crockpot.  YUM. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal finally. 

Since the day I saw that there was a Cracker Barrel here I wanted to eat there.  So we went early in the week to try them out for dinner.  The country charm in there is so neat.  I loved all the rocking chairs on the porch.  Our food was really good too.  I had a BLT with chili.  YUM.  Then me and the kids shared an apple pie dumpling for dessert. OMG so good!  Chloe had the mac and cheese for dinner, and I tasted it and it was home made, no boxed stuff.  That was so good too.  Jacob said his steak was really good too.  Next time I want to go there for breakfast, I have heard that is really good too.  They had these turquoise glasses in the store that I cannot stop thinking about.  They were so pretty.  I think they were on sale... maybe I will have to go back and visit them to see if they were on sale.  :)

The kids needed to run off some energy the other day so I finally agreed to take them down to play tennis at the hotel courts.  That was quite an experience.  We had fun for sure, but we chased more balls into the parking lot then actually got hit.  It was good exercise too.  We didn't stay too terribly long because it was very hot that afternoon. 

I will share more photo soon.  These were just some random ones I took from my phone. 

We are enjoying it here so far, but can't wait until we get a house of our own.  I picked up the kids school registration packets yesterday so I have those all filled out and ready to take back on Monday.  So they will all start Tuesday or Wednesday.  I am excited for them but nervous at the same time. 

Have you ever lived in a hotel for a long period of time, or moved out of state with no house to move to when you got there? 

~NICOLE

Thursday, August 13, 2015

WE OFFICIALLY LIVE IN ARIZONA NOW

So we made it safe and sound and all in one piece to Arizona. 
Saturday was our official move day.  It was a crazy two weeks leading up to that day.  Between packing, the kids in school and saying our goodbyes it was long and emotional. 

My sister in law came over a week before we left and we packed for 12 hours.  That was a long day.  Then she came over everyday after that until the day we left and helped me pack, helped with the garage sale and more packing, and then some more packing. 

Friday, the day before we left my new phone also broke so I had to drive down the hill an hour plus away from home and try to get a new one.  That didn't work because the wait at the apple care store was 5 hours.  So AT&T made my old phone work until after we moved.  Thank goodness. 

The amount of stuff we owned is truly insane lol.  It did feel good to get rid of so much stuff, but sad to see just how much we still had left.  I say it is going to be good living in a hotel for a month, so we can see just how much we can live without. 

So Saturday August 8, we headed out to Arizona.  My parents came in their truck, which had all the tvs and the kitchen table in.  Then Jacob' s parents came, and his nephew and his girlfriend came with them, and then Jacob's sister and her husband and their kids came too.  It was so great to have so much help.  We got to the storage about 4pm that day and it seemed so quick to unload the uhaul.   After that we returned the uhual and everyone checked into their hotels. 

We were all starving at this point and found a pizza place not far from our hotel.  It is like a chuck e cheese, or John's Incredible pizza.  The pizza was really good and it was nice to be able to sit and visit with everyone after the long day. 

Sunday my parents came by our hotel room to say goodbye and headed home, then we went to lunch with Jacob's family and then they came back to see our room before they headed out about 4pm. 

There is no way we could have made this huge move without the love, support and help from our families, and we will forever be grateful for each and every one of them. 

I sat and reflected on all that had happened in the past 3 weeks of our lives.  To think we just packed up our entire life into boxes, packed it up into a uhaul, drove it out of the state, put it all into storage and now live in a hotel.  CRAZY!  But I am so looking forward to this next adventure in our lives and think that this is such an amazing opportunity for Jacob in his career and for our family.  I feel so blessed to call this new place our home. 

Ill share more later, this week has been just as crazy with having to travel to Phoenix for Jacob's work physical, buying a new truck so we have 2 vehicles again, figuring out the kids school information, going to the DMV, getting settled in the hotel and looking for a place to live. 

It is so beautiful here, I will also share some pictures. 

~NICOLE

Monday, July 27, 2015

IT IS OFFICIAL!! WE ARE MOVING!

Life is in full swing of crazy mode now.  We found out last Monday that for sure we will be moving to Arizona from California.  YIKES.  So in less than 2 weeks from today we will be official Arizona residence.  YAY.

But it is so exciting and scary at the same time.

But my prime focus at this moment is packing the entire house and making sure it is all ready to go on the day we leave. I am having a big garage sale next Saturday to get rid of some of the bigger items we do not want to take with us.  We are giving some away and then throwing some out as well.
We head out for our official move day on Saturday August 8th.

I am going to try to check in and document all of it.


The next few weeks are going to be crazy.
We will be in a hotel for around a month once we get to Arizona and start looking for a place while he starts his new job.

~NICOLE

Friday, July 17, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL 2015


This summer sure has flown by.  Well that and the fact that the kids go back in July sure doesn't make it seem slower by any means either.  
So this week has been a crazy amount of getting all our last minute school shopping stuff done.  We had to get them their new shoes, and socks and pick up their shirts from the embroidery place.  


Then last night was Back to School night.  What that is exactly is the school opens the gates and all the teachers are in their classrooms.  Then we go find out who their new teachers are and go see their classrooms and meet the teachers.  It is nice to be able to do it the night before so there isn't any extra added crazy to the first day of school craziness that already exists.  

The boys were not excited to go back at all. Chloe was so excited to start Kindergarten she could barely contain herself.  

They got up this morning and got ready with no arguments at all.  I made them biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  They brushed their teeth and we of course had to go snap some morning photos.  
We walked Jacob to class first and he was good, he is in 5th grade now, so he even offered to walk himself to class alone lol.  We still walked him.  


Next was Caleb, who wasn't as excited, and a little nervous.  But he went in and was still all smiles.  


Chloe was last and we stayed with her for a bit and then she was waving bye to us with no problems at all.  She was right to work writing her name when we left.  






It was so strange walking out of the school with no children when it was time to go home.  It was like part of us was missing.  

They only had short day, so we were back at the school at 11:30 to pick them up.  That was like a crowded jam of parents like they were afraid the school was going to keep their child.  Madness I tell ya.
They all had great days.  Jacob is excited because he has the teacher that he really wanted.  Then Caleb go to earn class money so he was totally excited about that.  They can earn it and spend it on things in class.  Chloe has been talking about her first day since we picked her up almost 2 hours ago.  She loved it and even before we got home she was giving me all the paperwork from her backpack that has to go back on Monday.

So overall a successful day for all of them.
We are so proud of them and the little people they are growing up to be. 

~NICOLE

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