Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Dunlap Tradition

This is very surprising even to myself.... but we just put up the tree tonight. Yes, you heard right, just now. This Christmas is our first time having a real live tree. I always insisted on having artificial only because I remember the very few times we had a real tree, we constantly had to water it, sap got EVERYWHERE, AND the darn needles spread throughout the whole house. So needless to say.... I grew up with artificial for the most part, and since being married we have always had an artificial tree. BUT, being that we stored our artificial tree in the room where we had our temporary pet.... (the pot-bellied pig) stayed, let's just say.... our tree didn't quite smell too good.

Justin was so excited because this was his chance to finally have his real tree and continue the tradition his parents continued throughout his childhood. I must say...... we were pleasantly surprised that there were some great trees still left. We chose a big, full, beautiful one. Hopefully we set it up nice and tight and we won't wake up to a leaning Christmas tree... or especially one that has fallen over. I must admit..... I love having a real tree. Now the whole lights issue.... Justin grew up with white lights, and I with colored. Tonight Justin tried to find lights and all that was out there was white lights.... so we are holding out for colored, I think. I will post a picture when the tree is finally decorated.

The excitement around our house is at it's highest! Three more days of school and then we ALL have two solid weeks off! What we are going to do with all that time.... we have no idea. I know that Justin has plans to visit the deer lease quite a bit. The kids are great. Bailee was so cute tonight as we decorated the house. Brayden is great too. Poor kid is spending his first few weeks of being 7, grounded most of the time. I don't know what it is, but he is sure spreading his wings and trying to push the limit.

I have noticed in the past couple of months that he isn't as cuddly and snuggly as he once was. This realization is breaking my heart into tiny pieces. I have considered crawling into his bed late at night and snuggling him when he is asleep. He is growing up too fast. If I could just stop the clock......

Last weekend, Brayden and I spent most of the day Saturday with the Morris family. It was a gathering to remember Greyson Morris and his first angel day. We released balloons and spent time enjoying each other. Their strength continues to amaze me. It is not of this world. There was a picture taken that shows Nicole, myself, and Mitzi, another teacher together. We are laughing and having a good time. To me, the picture represents the essence of our friendship, laughing when we were crying inside. I am so thankful for my friends.....My photography business is still going strong. I recently created a website for it. It is very simple and plain.... but I like it. It is www.mistimomentsphotography.com

I have also been very successful with my Scentsy business lately. I am so excited about it! I am one level from being a director and my check from November is $690.00! The crazy thing is.... my sales commissions were only 160.00 worth... the rest of that is from my team! I can't tell you enough how this stuff sells itself. Not one person that has signed up under me.... have I hounded them.... I have never been a hounder.... if you like it great, order.... if you don't, no biggie. But, as I see the potential.... I am turning into a Scentsy junkie! So while I am on the subject..... check out the January warmer of the month.... it is 10% off in January and pre-orders are being taken now. These sell out super fast so get yours now.... of course that is if you want one. Try Scentsy one time..... I promise you will never use a "normal" candle again. It scents your ENTIRE house. See..... I told you I was turning into a Scentsy junkie!

Well..... blogging friends.... my bed is calling..... and I am heeding it's call!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Staying busy and getting older.....

Things are going GREAT around the Dunlap household. It is still crazy as ever! On Dec. 3rd we celebrated Brayden turning 7 at Chuck E. Cheese. We had an amazing turnout and a wonderful time. Brayden swears it was the best party ever! It is amazing how well things go when you don't wait until the last minute to plan!

I have been staying busy with my photography business. I am absolutely loving it and dream of one day being able to do it full time. I've noticed though, that I have not been taking many pictures of my family. I spend many hours editing photographs and need to take time for pics of the kiddos.

Daddy and Brayden have been making weekend trips to the deer lease. I am planning on one day... making it to the lease. We shall see. Bailee is doing great. She is such a big girl. Her speech has improved greatly. She consistently talks in complete sentences finally. She makes her opinion known. We only thought she was going to be quiet like her daddy. She is holding her own with her brother. I have only caught her beating up on him a couple of times...... TODAY! And, this high pitched scream she has started lately.... when she gets really angry.... is going to have to stop! Any ideas?

Brayden is doing great. He is still loving school. He is always either playing football or basketball. He is constantly throwing around one or the other in the house. So far, nothing has been broken. Bailee has been hit, but like I said.... nothing has been broken, thank God! The other day Brayden was going through some change, looking for particular state quarters that he doesn't have on his quarter board collection. The board has a map of the USA on it and on each state you take out the cardboard plug and put in that particular states quarter. Well, he brought me his board and was yelling, "YES! I found a New Mexico quarter. I don't have one yet, and I have been looking for one forever. It look different from all the other states though." He asked if I would help get the plug out so he can put in the quarter. I was able to do so, and he immediately stuck the coin in New Mexico's spot. But when I looked at the coin.... I immediately started to laugh..... "as I said.... that is not a quarter.... that is a peso from Mexico!" We both could not stop laughing. He found some of the money Justin I had brought back from our honeymoon in Cancun. We had an unexpected lesson on pesos....

So yes, we continue on with our busy lives, but wouldn't change a thing. Stay tuned for future stories of unexpected lessons we learn here in the Dunlap household.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our New Business Venture

About 6 months ago, Justin came up with a new business idea. He is always thinking of business ideas and we had never acted on them. When he came up with this one..... I instantly believed in it and saw the potential. We began getting our ducks lined up and got the ball rolling. We had a website built by Wishbone Media Works and we were soon live on the web.

The name of our business is Loaded Livestock. It is built on the idea, that livestock marketing is catching up to technology. Many auctions are now done online. Buyers can purchase animals while sitting at home, at their computer. Many of these auctions have still photographs of the animals that will be auctioned off. Justin, saw the need for there to be video footage of the animal moving. A still picture does not give a true representation on an animal. Video footage provides that and much more.

So..... that is the story of how Loaded Livestock was developed. It is beginning to take off and Justin has been traveling the area and doing videos. He loves what he is doing and it makes me so happy seeing him be successful. In a couple of weeks, he is heading to Oklahoma to shoot more video.

If you know of anyone needing our services, please send them our way!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Tonight we headed over to Uncle Ron's and Aunt Sue's for their 3rd annual Halloween Bash! My dear friends The Morris' were able to join us and so was Nicole's mom, Ms. Parks. We had such a good time. Of course, we had Bailee that refused at first to put on a costume, then of course poor Riley was shot in the eye with a NERF arrow/bullet, and ended up with a scratched eyeball. So yes, we kept our tradition for drama.

That reminds me of the other night.... a good friend of mine and I were talking and she made a comment about drama..... and I said.... "oh, drama, I hate drama, but everywhere I go, it seems to follow me." She of course just chuckled and said.... "yeah, sure Misti." But in reality I do..... but yes, my life is full of drama.

Having a little girl is adding to that drama. We went through THREE costumes this Halloween. ALL THREE itched her so, and she refused to wear them. We were finally able to get her in the Cinderella costume for just a bit. Oh, and her latest antic of refusing to look at the camera when I pull it out.... now THAT is about to drive me CRAZY.

Then of course there is Brayden...... as we are trick or treating tonight...... there was this particular house..... well let's just say their garage was overflowing.... and the home owners were in the driveway handing out candy.... as we were walking up to them.... Brayden yells out... "hey look, it's a garage sale too!" Daddy and I about died.... we were so embarrassed. The funny thing is..... our garage is in the same shape and we aren't having a garage sale any time soon. Ugh.... kids!

All in all we had a wonderful night with family and friends. Here are some of shots from tonight. HAPPY HALLOWEEN ALL!
Here is my favorite shot..... daddy wearing Bailee's tiara. Doesn't it look like he is having a blast?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flag Football

Today Brayden played his first game of Flag Football. He only tackled once. All afternoon before the game he kept saying.... wish me luck mom, this is my first game. He was so excited to get on that field. During the school day, at recess, his favorite thing to do is play touch football on the playground. He says he has been practicing ALL year for today.

We enjoyed watching him thoroughly. It was great! His expressions as he is playing are hilarious. Although he seems a little on the small side for his age.... he is a heck of a football player. I said in the previous post that he looked just like daddy but was 100% me.... well I sorta lied... his athletic ability came from daddy. I don't have a sliver of athleticism in me. I was able to get some great action shots. Check them out. Can't you see the determination and competitive attitude in his face?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch

I have been on an unintentional hiatus from blogging. It has been so crazy around here, I haven't taken the time to blog and I miss it! A lot of things have been going on around here.... for one... Bailee has decided she wants to potty train, and no longer screams at the top of her lungs when I try to put her on her potty. In fact, she regularly goes and does it herself, granted the potty is dry but at least she will sit on the darn thing. Potty training a girl is much more difficult than a boy. Brayden was potty trained at 2. Being that she is my last child.... there is no rush, although the savings would be nice!

Brayden has started flag football about four weeks ago. But, between him being sick and the rain we have had.... he hasn't played one game. Tomorrow will be his first! School is going great for him. He loves his teacher and his school. He has become crazy about reading Junie B. Jones. There are nights were long after putting him to bed, he is up reading. I have had to get on him about putting down the book and going to sleep. I never in a million years thought I would be having to get on him for staying up too late reading! He may look like his daddy but he is his mommy 100%.

Today the kids and I, Mimi, Aunt Shelley, Uncle Brian, and little Luke all headed to Bracken United Methodist Church's Pumpkin Patch. It is a fabulous pumpkin patch with FREE hayrides and a HUGE selection of pumpkins. The best part is.... it is only 1o minutes or so from our house! The kids had a great time and thanks to Mimi & Opi, we have a HUGE pumpkin. I will be posting pictures of it after we carve it. This year for Halloween, Bailee is going to be TinkerBell and Brayden is going to be Bumblebee from Transformers.

Well.... I am signing off.... headed to bed so we can make it to early church.

In this picture... Bailee was refusing to look at the camera and decided to keep her eyes closed. Brayden, as you can see, thought that was hilarious.
She finally decided she would cooperate. Oh, that girl! (wow, they really look alike in this one)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meet Timon!

I want to introduce you to Timon. Timon is a little boy who lives in Tanzania. We as a family, are sponsoring Timon through Compassion. Compassion is a great organization I found out about through a SHE event I attended with Rebecca St. James. I have always wanted to sponsor a child but worried that my funds would not go directly to the child. Well, I have researched Compassion and it is the REAL deal!

I have to admit, I was nervous about committing to this child. Money is tight. But, I couldn't pass this up. My heart led me to it. It is 38.00 a month to sponsor a child through Compassion. The way I looked at it.... that is 1 1/2 pedicures. I can sacrifice my occasional pedicures and use that money for a better cause.

What an opportunity this is for my children. I can't wait for Brayden and Timon to be able to write letters back and forth. As I introduced this to my family tonight, as we were all huddled together on Brayden's bed, Brayden's eyes lit up with excitement but soon became teary when I told him about Timon's life.

You see, Timon lives with his grandmother. He lost his parents to AIDS. There are four children in the family. The grandmother is sometimes employed as a farmer. His favorite game is hide-n-seek. Our sponsorship will provide Timon with Bible classes, health screening, educational field trips, sports, hygiene education, picnics, school uniforms, and educational materials.

I encourage you to research Compassion. Read the testimonials from people like Micheal W. Smith, he has sponsored the same child for years and has been able to meet his child. See what it is all about. Click here to visit their website. Join me in giving up that extra something and sponsor a child! I look forward to hearing about your experience and I look forward to sharing our experience with you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

Well.... prayers were said for rain, and as always, God provided. We have had approx. 9 inches of rain since yesterday morning. As soon as we got home today, Brayden did what boys do best.... he played in the mud. He was covered from head to toe.

Before long... Bailee joined in the fun. She wasn't too sure of it at first, but as you can see from the pictures, she also had fun!

We are so thankful for the rain, and the cheap entertainment.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things....

Obviously... I am running low on blogable events.... BUT, I do want to take a minute to share some of my favorite things with my blog friends. The following "things" are some of my all time favorite. I wanted to share with you. I encourage you to share some of your favorite things with me and why they are your favorite. Let me know if you blog about it. At different times of my life..... my favorite things change, but at this point in my life.... these are some of my favs!

The first is all about my obsession and love for coffee. For our anniversary, my parents bought us a Keurig single serve coffee maker. It is AMAZING. It is one of those things that when you get it, you wonder how you lived without it.
I have a favorite perfume that I just love and have for years and years. It is Tuscany by Estee Lauder. I have tried to change, just for something different and nothing compares. LOVE it!
I am soooo not a fashionista.... that is FOR SURE. I am all about comfort. I have found these shoes called Volatile. I bought mine from Dillards. They are super cute and absolutely the MOST comfortable shoe EVER. I will say, that the first day I wear them... I have to break them in and my feet hurt a little.... BUT after the first day... I am good to go. These shoes are a higher heeled flip flop but they completely feel like tennis shoes. I just got my second pair on sale for $29.99. My mom... has a terrible time with her hips and legs, and even she loves the too!
Moving on.... I don't take care of my skin like I should. I am bad, bad, bad. I have found that these Oil of Olay cleansing clothes are soooo good. I am always rushing and in a hurry. These are perfect for quick cleansing. I notice improvements in my skin soon after using them religiously. Normally I use Mary Kay. But when I am in a hurry (which is all the time) I use these.
The next three items.. are not surprising. They have to do with photography. The first is my Nikon D90. This camera is incredible. I absolutely love this thing. It is my baby. It has taken my pictures to a whole new level. It has allowed me to make a little extra money.
The next is the 50mm 1:8 lens. Love this thing. I can get up close and have the background beautifully blurred.
The last item... My Nikon SB-600 flash. Wow, this thing is amazing. I even use it in bright sunlight to take away the subtle shadows. I prefer natural light.... but this thing is a must have, especially in low light situations.
Lastly and more important than ALL of these "things", I have a song for you. Yes, JUST for you. It is absolutely amazing. I dedicate it to all of the woman and young girls out there. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Celebrating 10 years!

Justin and I the summer of 1994:
Who knew.... that 15 years after this picture was taken.... that we would be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary! I will tell you who knew..... and that was God. He knew from the moment I was born... that there had to be someone special made and chosen, just for me. God knew that this man had to have the patience of Job, and a heart of gold. That special someone came into my life in 1992. At that time.... we were friends and nothing more. We travelled the stock show circuit, showing sheep... him placing his sheep and mine hitting the truck, EVERY time. It wasn't until May of 1994 that we decided to become more than friends. It was a decision that would change my entire life for the better. It would make me into the person I am today. Because of the example both sets of parents set for us..... we celebrate 10 years of marriage.

My mom, to this day, tells the story of our first date.... we were headed out the door and she said..... good luck Justin, she is a handful, but it she is worth it. Like me, she knows that God only created one person that could handle me..... and Justin is this person.

I can't imagine it any other way.....

He we are at his Senior Prom...
I found this today..... from our first anniversary as a dating couple.
And here is the one from our 10 year wedding anniversary.
Here is my favorite picture.... it is our first as husband and wife. September 4, 1999.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sliding Into First!

Today was Brayden's first day of 1st grade. It couldn't have gone any better. It was fantastic! He was amazed that everyone knew him there....... (by the way.... his Mimi teaches there, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that was the reason). His teacher is fabulous! We are so excited to share this year with her. I had put the whole teacher decision in God's hands and decided not to fret over it. God provided!

This morning daddy dropped him off at Mimi's and she took him with her. When he got to her house, she had cooked breakfast. Apparently Brayden ate all the bacon she cooked, which included Mimi and Opi's share. I didn't warn her how much he loves bacon!

Tonight he had a paper bag that he was to put three things in that told about himself. Here is what he chose...... the baseball that was given to him by a player at the Hooks game, a plastic toy sheep, and a golf ball. All three of those items tell about his life at this moment. I say, that he tried to take his mutton bustin belt buckle but we were too worried about him losing it.

The baseball was responsible for his losing his first tooth, the plastic sheep.... need I say more, and the golf ball is because daddy and Brayden have really gotten into golf. They went on Saturday and ended up tying!!!! I told daddy either he was pretty bad, or Brayden was really good.

Here is a picture of my first grader this morning..... The second picture is his first day of Kindergarten last year. He has grown so much! Time PLEASE slow down!

First Grade

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More birthday fun~

Today we had a pool party to celebrate Bailee's 2nd birthday. On August 12th, my baby will be 2. I can't believe that is possible. I again find myself saying.... where did the time go? My sweet girl is developing a mind of her own. At one time we thought she was going to be our quiet and reserved child. Not so. She is really testing her independence. She has also started calling her daddy and I a meany, when she gets mad at us. Daddy has even swatted her behind. That is saying A LOT. Daddy isn't usually the disciplinarian in the house. He normally leaves the dirty work to me.

My parents offered for us to have it at their house so we could enjoy the pool. Trust me..... it cooled things off a bit for those of use that chose to jump in.

Bailee is set.... she received a ton of clothes and toys. Just before bedtime tonight she was dressed up as Snow White, holding her Snow White doll, and having a tea party with her brother and I...... all after her "grocery store" shopping trip with her new grocery cart and groceries.

Yes, life is good.

Here is Bailee before the party. Can you tell she is excited?
She takes after her daddy. She loves sweets!
A 6 year old big brother helping his 2 year old sister open presents.... = chaos!
After the party, we cleaned up and headed home. Bailee was eager to try out her knew tricycle from Uncle Ron and Aunt Sue. She rode a while, and then cooled off in the sprinkler.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Birthday Celebration

Last weekend, I travelled with some friends to the Houston area. It was Hannah's first birthday celebration! This little girl is a medical mystery. But, she is a fighter.

I enjoyed spending time with her and her family. There were a ton of people there. It was great to see so many celebrating this precious little girl.

This is just another example of what little Greyson has brought into my life. It is because of him and his legacy, that I met Hannah and her family. Thank you Grey.......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Need Help With Meal Planning

Calling all folks in the blogosphere, I need some help. Currently in the Dunlap household, meals are planned on the fly. This has become frustrating and totally unhealthy for my family. I am ready to make some drastic changes. That is where you come in. How do you do meal planning? How much in advance do you plan? What about grocery shopping? What works for you? If you are not able to leave comments, please email me at dunlap9499@gvtc.com

I look forward to seeing how it is done by others.

Help me make our meals go from this.......

To this......

Who Knew? Update Version..... Please pass it on.