Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Photos

When we were in Michigan for summer vacation in August, the Ackerman clan had family photos taken. Do you know how difficult it is to get 6 adults + 3 kids smiling and looking at the camera all at the same time? :) Ben Pancoast was our photographer and he did a stand-up job with the craziness he was given. Thank you, Ben!

In other news, we went to our first Texas High School Football game last night and it was a BLAST! Our neighbor (and babysitter) is on the drill team for Tomball High School. Her family invited us to watch the game and see her do her thing. Football in Texas is kind of a culture shock. But Jon and I were prepared because we love Friday Night Lights, ha!! We hadn't been to a high school football game in a few years and it was so much fun! Tomball won and is now in the playoffs which is awesome.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hermann Park

Yesterday was the first Saturday in a while in which we were all three home together. We decided to celebrate by going downtown to Hermann Park for the evening. We had such a good time! The weather is beeaautiful right now.

We rode the train around the park which the B man loved since he's a little obsessed with Thomas the Train. When we were leaving the gift shop he said, "bye bye, Thomas". So cute!

We walked around, fed the ducks, watched the helicopters and enjoyed the night.

Why would he play with the dozens of fountains or playgrounds when he can play with our stroller?

We ate a quick dinner at Bodegas Taco Shop and my burrito was twice the side of my head, it was HUGE. But I ate it all. Can you believe it? YESss. I'm thankful for these days. How was your weekend?

Friday, October 22, 2010


I recently Netflixed Gilmore Girls and am totally loving that show. Now I'm super tired because I stayed up too late watching it, ha! Here's a few photos of what we've been up to lately.

We took Brennan to McDonald's after church a few Sundays back and bought him his first Happy Meal. And guess what? He hated it. He eats a pretty healthy diet so I wasn't surprised. Funny kid!

This spring during our neighborhood wide garage sale, we bought this bike trailer. It was missing a small part that we had to buy online and we just never got around to it until last weekend.
Brennan looved it!

Last Friday night (two Friday nights ago, I can't remember. . . ) we went to Vintage Park to hang out for the evening. We love Vintage Park! It has a fun little square with fountains and restaurants and there's always a live band playing on Friday nights. Brennan loves to run and play in the fountains and make a spectacle of himself.

Lastly, I've been wanting to take some Kyrlon Oil Rubbed Bronze and spray paint some wood items I have to black. Unfortunately, I went to Lowe's and they don't carry Krylon so I had to settle for another paint and it turned out too glossy. But here's the before and after:

Before. . . brown antiquey looking mirror I picked up at a garage sale for $2.00.

After. Much better (but still too glossy for my taste). I love all things black!!

Wider shot

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When your sweet toddler. . . .

Hey friends! My mother in law pointed out that I haven't blogged in a while to which I responded, "I just don't have anything interesting to say!". Because really, life has been going along pretty well and we've been busy with friends and church and volunteering and etc. but nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

However, yesterday was an exception. Brennan locked me out of the house. He was inside the house, I was outside, and every single door was locked. Yep.

I ran out to the garage to get his sippy cup out of the CRV. I shut the door to the garage behind me because I didn't want B to run out and think it was time to play outside. When I went to open the door, I realized he had locked it. At first, he thought it was funny and kept laughing. After a few minutes though, he started to whine and then full out cry when he realized I wasn't coming back in. I tried to talk him into unlocking the door, but he had no idea how he did it. He locked me out of the car a few months back and somehow unlocked the doors but this wasn't the case this time.

So I ran to my neighbor who works from home and used her cell phone to call Jon. He thankfully wasn't too far away scouting a site for a video, so he came and rescued me. I had to sit by the front windows and talk/sing to Brennan til he came and that was a LONG ten minutes.

I'm roasting sweet potatoes and pumpkin right now so I should run. I will be back sooner than last time, PROMISE!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ackerman Version 1: Ways to Save Money

Dudes. Rough week. I am blasted with a hard core cold right now with a fussy baby (dear antibiotics, please kick in). But it IS Friday and I have lots to be thankful for (whilst crossing my fingers that he just might take a longer than 1 hour long nap, pleeeeaase?). I've basically spent my week inside with Brennan, blowing my nose and wrestling him down to the ground while I try to wipe his nose.

One thing I have been working on this week is our cash envelope system. As I mentioned before, Jon and I are facilitators for Financial Peace University at The Met this fall. Although we are debt free, it's such a good brush up for us. Moving kind of throws a wrench into ones financial planning and basically, we needed to get back on track. EVERYTHING is different when you move cross country. Some things cost more, some less, you have to rebudget, figure out additional expenses, pay movers, and security deposits, and change drivers licenses, and register cars, etc. etc. In order to help us get back on track, we've gone to the cash envelope system for areas in our budget that aren't automatically withdrawn from our bank account and the areas we always go over in each month. We chose our date night money, our personal blow money, our groceries and our gas to be in cash envelopes. I will let you know how this month goes! It's been MUCH more of a reality check than I thought it was going to be. Whew. Cash = accountability.

Here are some other ways we've recently saved money:

-Switch insurance companies. We were with Nationwide for our auto and renters insurance. I just switched us to Allstate and saved OVER $500.00 a year. (I sound like a commercial here, don't I?).

-Switched to a cash envelope system for areas we consistently spend over.

-Played the drug store game at CVS. I was doing it at Walgreens and wasn't seeing much result. CVS has MUCH better deals and it's easier than Walgreens. Why didn't I switch sooner?

-Have a garage sale! We're having one with our friends in a few weeks and I cannot wait to sell some crap we've had lying around.

-Netflix! We cut cable a while ago and switched to netflix for $9.00 a month. Not only can you request any movie/tv show or documentary you could ever want, you can also watch some things instantly. Awesome. is also a lifesaver if you don't have cable or DVR. You can watch shows the day after they air, which is awesome if you're like us because we rarely catch shows the actual night they're on! They only keep the previous 5 episodes so beware of that.

-Buy fruits and veggies in season. And if you're super cool (we're not), you can can or freeze those items. We don't have a second freezer (and we were afraid things would spoil anyways if a hurricane came through and we lost power), but we're thinking about buying one. Buying in season saves tons of money on fresh produce. We don't eat a lot of processed foods so this is an area we try to stick within. I'm so glad apple season is here!

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sicky Sickness

What our past few days look like.

I took Brennan to the doctor's yesterday after his fever on Monday and his extreme fussiness. I'm so glad I did- he has an ear infection and a virus that's giving him blisters on his throat. Yuck.

Some moments are okay, like when he perks up for a few minutes and runs around to play or when he cuddles with us on the couch. But it's been a rough couple of days for me. I don't want to infect other people so we're staying in. I tend to get bored staying home for more than one day and more than that, I can't really get anything done even while were home because he's really needy and not napping well at all. I need more patience. Anyone have any they can hand out? It'll be okay, this too shall pass and other women are going through far more intense trials than this. But I cannot wait for this guy to start feeling better!

Monday, October 4, 2010


For Jon's 31st birthday, I got some friends together for dinner out at the best Tex-Mex around, Pappasito's. They ended up serenading Jon not once, but twice (and once in a sombrero, ha!). Check out the video:

Tonight, for his actual birthday, we had a good meal at home (I made these and BBQ chicken) and Jon opened up his birthday gifts.

Happy Birthday, Jon!

(in unrelated news, the B man is sick sick sick. He has a fever and runny nose (and perhaps other symptoms we can't tell because he can't tell us). He was just a limp rag doll today, laying on our chests all day. We tried to break the fever with alternating motrin/tylenol, cool baths and washcloths but so far he still has the fever. Poor little man!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dust and Clothes

Right now, Jon is dusting our ceiling fans (because I'm too short and he's sweet like that) and it is NASTY. We keep our ceiling fans running constantly to keep the air flow going in our house and for the first time yesterday actually turned them off to see how horrific they looked. Lord have mercy, it is black on top of those things!

Anyways, I thought it'd be fun to think about "if money weren't an option, here's the fall clothes I would LOVE to get". I would like to think that if I worked outside of the home, I'd feel more comfortable buying clothes for myself, but even when I did work full-time, Jon still had to really push me to ever buy anything for myself. Right now I'm wearing a shirt I got at a garage sale and jeans I bought with gift cards. ha! But I do love clothes, especially FALL clothes, so here's my wish list:

These puppies are Numero Uno. I am partial to tall boots, especially tall brown boots!

I think wrap dresses flatter almost every figure and they are so cute! I like this color and the fact that it's 3/4 length sleeves.

Chunky brown jewelry. Can't go wrong. I picked up a couples pieces like this from Forever 21 a few weeks back, so cute!

A brown leather crossover bag. YUM.

And I just really like this sweater jacket. It's probably too hot in Houston to wear this except a few times, but it's so cute!!

I'm hoping to do a post for my hubby's birthday tonight or tomorrow so come back soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Favorite Children's Books

I thought it would be fun to record what Brennan's favorite books are for memory's sake (since I don't have a memory that functions properly, or at all. . . )

Sandra Boynton is such a good children's author! The pages are short enough to hold attention spans and they're colorful and cute. And obviously, my son likes to chew so we're thankful they're cardboard books.

Brennan LOVES this book. Grandma A bought it for him and it saved our lives on our flight home from Christmas. The book is a love letter from the parents to the child, and it even has an insert where you can put your child's picture in it (and the book sings a little tune when you open it up).

And last but certainly not least, our son loves any book about cars. His Aunt bought him a set of books about a police car, an ambulance, a helicopter and a firetruck and we read those about 5 million times a day.