Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Favorite Five – August 28, 2009

Happy Friday everyone!  Here are my FFF for this week.   I hope you enjoy and think on your own Favorite’s from this week.

1) Back To School Shopping – I love back to school shopping!  The new shoes, the new folders and backpacks, new clothes – it’s such a reminder that fall is fast approaching with crisp mornings and long afternoon shadows.  The last week and a half, I’ve been able to take the kids back to school shopping.  We purchased new shoes, new backpacks, new school supplies, new clothes and even spent some good quality time together.  I love how they have their own opinions on what color scissors they want, which backpack “looks good” on them, and if they need the 5 subject notebook or 5 different notebooks for each subject.  Yes, school supply shopping can be stressful – especially when you end up having to go to multiple stores to find that specific erasure or calculator, or when your daughter wants 4 outfits, one son doesn’t want any new clothes, and the other only wants death/skull shirts.  But it can also be fun and exciting and a great way for the kids to start preparing themselves for back to school time.

2) Our New Favorite Family TV Shows – Where has all of the great family TV gone?  Remember watching The Love Boat, The A Team or The Muppet Show when you were little?  Now you can barely find ANYTHING on TV that is family friendly.  So we were thrilled when this summer we discovered two shows that was not only family friendly, but such fun to watch:  Wipeout and The Great American Road Trip.

Wipeout is a game show where participants have to go through these crazy, difficult obstacles that involve mud and water and the “big balls”.  As the title implies, there are many hilarious “wipeouts” that just keep us laughing and watching! 

The Great American Road Trip was about 7 families who traveled Route 66 from Chicago to LA in an R.V. with challenges that slowly eliminated the contestants down to the final family.  We got to see how these families worked together as a team, improving their communications skills with each other while spending quality time on the road.  Our family TOTALLY thinks we should enter the next season of episodes – especially after our own Road Trip!

There needs to be more family friendly TV.  There’s nothing like snuggling up on the couch, with a bowl of popcorn, cheering on our favorite team or laughing hysterically as a family.  Thank you NBC and ABC for our summer family TV time!

3) Our Neighborhood – We live in SUCH a great neighborhood!  Everyone is so nice and thoughtful and we all love to hang out together.  Whether it’s late night phone calls about garage doors being open, getting the mommy scoop regarding truth or dare games in the front yard, or even hearing that Bobby has caught rides to and from work or school when he’s been “forced” to walk – I know that we couldn’t have picked a better place to live when we moved here 4 years ago.  It’s so much fun to have Girls Night Out’s,  Couple’s Night Out’s, Block Parties, Bunco, and Holiday parties with these group of friends.  We truly are blessed to have met these wonderful neighbors.  August 2009 083Highlands East Rocks!!!

4) Body Wash – I know this ones seems a little weird to put as a favorite five, but I love body wash.  Unlike a bar of soap, it doesn’t slip out of your hand or melt in the shower/tub; it comes in different scents from traditional soapy scents to flowery/fruity or masculine scents; and sometimes they come with their own body pouf!  :-)   My current favorite is Caress Glowing Touch Silkening Body Wash.   It’s inexpensive, smells so good, and leaves my skin feeling soft.

What’s your current favorite product?

5) Facebook – I know, I know, I know!  Seriously, right?  But I love it!  Yes it’s addicting and a total time suck, but I love seeing little snippets of my friends’ daily lives.  My friends list consists of current friends/neighbors, old high school friends/acquaintances, family members, friends from past neighborhoods, old acquaintances from when I was little, new blogger friends, and people from church/work/school.  Do I talk to these people on a daily basis?  No.  Would I have contacted some of these people otherwise?  No.  But that’s the good thing – people that you would otherwise have had no contact with due to time and distance, you now can reconnect with pictures, chatting, and little wall posts.  Come see me on facebook and be my friend!  :-)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Favorite Five – Great American Road Trip Addition – 08/07/2009

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I posted my FFF.  These aren’t  just any FFF – these are my FFF from the Baker Family’s “Great American Road Trip 2009”!  Woo hoo!

On July 5th at 8:30am (after a spectacular neighborhood block party with awesome fireworks the night before) we headed out for our road trip to the Midwest to see family.  We drove up to Bob’s mom house in Westfield, IN at 1:00am Friday morning, July 9th.  We had a great trip and an awesome 2 weeks in the Midwest seeing family members and old friends.  On Sunday, July 26th at 8:30am, we left Indianapolis for our journey home, with a 2 night stop at Bob’s Uncle Chuck’s house in Taos, NM.  We arrived home at 8:30pm on Saturday, August 1st.  This truly was the Great American Road Trip!

Without further ado, here are my FFF (ok, favorite 6 and I still had to pair it down!) from this road trip:

1) The Beauty of the USA:  We have such a beautiful country!  It was amazing to see how just from going state to state we could be in the mountains, the prairie, the desert (both beautiful and ugly), the rolling hills, and the farm lands.

We were fortunate to be able to see sights like Devils Tower in Wyoming; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; The Mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers; the St. Louis Arch; Dodge City, an old Western Town in Kansas; the Rio Grande River and Gorge in New Mexico, the beautiful red rocks in Utah, and the Oregon Trail wagon ruts.

Kids and Devil's Tower Quite impressive Midwest Trip home 2009 032  Midwest Trip home 2009 132
It was a beautiful trip with sunshine and good old fashioned thunder storms, beautiful landscapes, and wonderful monuments.  We are truly blessed to live in this Country.

2) Making road trip memories that will last a lifetime: What would be a road trip without memories/experiences that your children and you will remember forever?  Like when we almost ran out of gas while crossing the Montana/Wyoming border in the middle of the Crow Nation Reservation.  No gas for miles!  We put the car in neutral, turned off the AC, and rolled the windows down hoping we could make it to the next gas station.  We put 37.5 gallons of gas in a 36 gallon tank!  Crazy!  Or, how about being so bored in the truck that we were doing Mad Libs with as many gross words/bodily functions as we could and laughing hysterically!  Or how about Bob realizing that he truly is Clark Griswold from National Lampoons Vacation?  Good times….good times!  :-)
Bob's alter ego

3) Technology: I have to give a shout out to my wonderful phone, the Black Jack II. I was able to keep up with facebook, check my email, and text my girlfriends all while traveling on this road trip!  And how about wireless internet access at every campsite we stopped at?  Oh yeah baby!  Bob could keep up with work, I could download my email to read the next day in the car, and I even did a blog post.

Also, there was the wonderful in-car DVD player with headphones for each child!   It kept the kids from killing each other – especially on our drive home.  I think they may have watched about 20 movies while traveling.  Yes, I wish they would’ve looked out the window and taken in the beautiful scenery.  But I also was quite glad I didn’t hear too many fights and much more giggling at funny movies than I thought!

4) New Experiences:  We were very fortunate to be able to take our first ever hot air balloon ride while in Taos, NM.  Bob’s Uncle Chuck set up this surprise .  Every single one of us were super nervous about getting in the balloon.  But what an experience!  It was amazing, exciting, thrilling, scary, and beautiful all at the same time!  And the fact that all 5 of us were in the balloon, experiencing this event together for the first time ---- Priceless!

Midwest Trip home 2009 243
Midwest Trip home 2009 282
5) Seeing Family: The best part of our trip?  Spending 
time with family.  We have lived so far from family for so many years.  We only get to see most of our family members about once a year.  So we were thankful to have so much time together this trip. 

The kids got to see all of their cousins but one (who was in Canada), both sets of grandparents, all 4 aunts and all 4 uncles, and spend time with their Great-Grandma and their Great-Uncle Chuck. 

Highlights from my side of the family:  Grandma teaching Sarah how to sew a Barbie pillow; Alex finally getting to mow the grass on Uncle Cokey’s riding lawn mower; Bobby spending time with Uncle Cokey making deliveries for work; running back and forth between Aunt Debbie’s house and Grandma and Grandpa’s house; watching Grandpa eat Shocktarts; and making fudge with Grandma.

Highlights from Bob’s side of the family: Brownies and deviled eggs at Grammie’s house; family breakfast at Bob Evan’s Restaurant; spending time with Great-Grandma; playing at the park with Cousin Will and the family; catching firefly’s at Uncle David’s house; and visiting Uncle Chuck and his adventurous Pirate Treasure Hunt.

We were truly lucky to spend so much time with family.  Let’s hope it sustains us until we see them all again next year (hopefully)!

6) Finally Coming Home:  “There’s no place like home!  There’s no place like home!”  We were all so very excited to finally pull into our house after driving for 12 hours that last day.  To sleep in our own beds, to laze around our own house, to watch t.v. in bed, to know that the kids could go outside and play with their friends (instead of each other)….it was like Bliss!  Road trips are super fun and should be experienced at least once in awhile.  But coming home and feeling the peace of your own place? There’s nothing quite like it.

I hope you enjoy this very lengthy FFF!  Happy Friday everyone!