Monday, December 22, 2008

My own 12 days countdown...

Packed into the last few days -


12 unwrapped presents
11 (or more) desperate prayers
10 cups of coffee
9 hours of sleep (in 2 nights)
8 hours of elmo, barney, and other mindless drivel
7 fun activites cancelled
6 unused cookie recipes
5 broken commitments
4 mounds of unwashed laundry
3 puking kids
2 tired parents
1 fevering sick husband (or 1 van transmission problem)

Bright side - all this is temporary and the kids are already doing better. No puking since Monday early morning. Hubby has seen the doctor and has a diagnosis and meds. We are together! This is one Christmas I am sure we will remember.....

Winner!

My copy of Ellie Kay's "Living Rich for Less" goes to Carrie! Congratulations!

I'll have another soon! Keep coming back!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six years ago.....

Happy birthday to the boy! He makes me laugh and is so kind to others. God blessed us with this kid! He puts up with a lot of females in this house on a daily basis and most of the time does it with a good attitude. We have had to postpone his birthday party because his sister woke up puking this morning and I anticipated lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth. But he was more concerned about his sister than his party. I was so touched by his sensitivity! I don't think I would have been able to handle it as well at 6!

He was also the tallest sheep in the Christmas pageant this last Sunday! It was great how he "snuck" up to the microphone (loudly) only on the words of "Away in a Manger" that he could remember!

He brings joy to our lives daily! May God bless you and keep you and make his light shine upon (and thru) you! We love you!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Short and Sweet....

This will be short since it is 10:30 and I still have to finish a video for Sunday tonight (with hubby's help), make hubby a snack to take to office snack day tomorrow, put a load of laundry in the dryer and such before I can even think about going to bed.

My adorable children went out in the snow today to make snowmen after school (before the thunderstorm). I'll tell you. Snow on the ground and thunder - that's just weird! Anyway off subject. NiNi's snowman wouldn't stay together and the boy is just not patient enough to do his own, so he conned ShaSha into letting him help with hers. But that caused another problem. They both wanted different faces. So voila - a two-faced snowman.

Must be a mom - eyes in the back of the head!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Living Rich For Less

This is the time of year that people start to look for something to craft into a New Year's resolution. I myself don't "DO" resolutions. I prefer goals that are re-evaluated at different increments. Either way, Ellie Kay's, "Living Rich for Less" is an excellent way to help guide those who want to create financial goals for themselves or are just unhappy with where they are.

After reading this book I have dog-eared so many pages that I might as well have dog-eared all of them!

The basis of this book is the 10/10/80 rule. Giving 10 %, Saving 10%, and Spending Wisely the remaining 80%. This book is chocked full of tips on giving, including maximizing your giving dollar, tax benefits, and researching charities among them. Ways to give of yourself and your current possessions are also included in the giving section.

The saving portion reminds us to live in our means, pay off our debt and keep savings in the bank. The spending has so many tips that include information on insurance, budgeting, and even how to make your own baby wipes!

Her Cha Ching Factor tips sprinkled throughout the book offer ideas of ways to save big!

Ellie Kay is the best-selling author of Half-Priced Living and eleven other titles, including A Tip a Day with Ellie Kay and The Debt Diet, with more than 350,000 books sold. She's a regular television guest on CNBC's Power Lunch, Fox News, and CNN; and has been the featured family finance expert in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Family Circle, Women's World, and USA Today. Her financial help columns appear in a dozen periodicals and online, inucluding CNBC.com. a popular speaker, she's Wal-Mart's official financial help expert, and has served as a consumer education and official spokesperson for Proctor & GAmble, Visa Providian, MasterCard, and more. Ellie and her husband, Bob are parents of seven children and live in Palmdale, CA.

Leave a comment by Sunday, December 21 and I'll select a winner to receive a FREE copy! (A NEW copy, not my dog-eared one!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas musings......

Let's face it. This time of year can either be a joyous celebration or a horrible chore. I often find myself too worried about making it a Martha kind of Christmas and not a "Mary" Christmas. (By Martha I do not mean Martha Stewart, either - think biblical). Some comments made by a very wise Christian woman a couple of weeks ago made me realize that we get so wrapped up in the Christmas parties, shopping, Christmas pageant rehearsals, and details that we often lose sight of the things that make this such a wonderful time of year.

these are the things I am trying to focus on this year -

! - A true celebration of the greatest gift ever - a savior!
2 - It is more blessed to give than to receive.
3 - Being thankful for my many blessings!
4 - Enjoying a laid back time with friends and family. (even if it means making prepared sugar cookies from Pillsbury instead of making them from scratch!)


Kind of along the same lines - if you have a chance check this out. I saw this video last night and was amazed!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A way to manage expenses

Just a tip - Purchase gift cards for your own use in advance to prevent overspending. We buy for our favorite restaurants and when they are gone, we don't eat out. We are even able to get them through a fundraising clearing house and donate money to the children's school at the same time. (Not to mention cutting out the running from store to store to buy them!)

(Limited) Success!

I'll spare you the pictures, and I know I am probably speaking WAY too soon, but Gigi pooped in the potty last night! Yea!!!!

I guess I need to get busy and actually work with her. I've never had a child do this first and not pee......

But of course, every time you think you have something figured out, a child surprises you! That's the life of a parent!

Monday, December 8, 2008

When the Soul Mends

This third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series brings resolution to Hannah. After three books and two years, Cindy Woodsmall brings Hannah back to the Amish community that turned their back on her years earlier. Hannah returns to get help for her sister. Hannah struggles with feelings between her new connections and love in the outside world and her former Mennonite boyfriend and forgiving those who hurt her years ago.

Without spoiling the book for you, Hannah does find her happy ending!

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries and When the Morning Comes, the first two novels in the best-selling Sisters of the Quilt series. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Living in the Dark

Please tell me - am I anal about details? Probably. Okay, honestly, Yes!

But how can you live in the dark - without the details?

For example, tonight hubby took the boy to his first basketball practice. When hubby returned I proceeded to ask the standard questions.

Here is our conversation in summary -

What do you think of the coach? Seems like a good guy.
Did you find out anything about a game schedule? Nope.
How many kids are on the team? I don't know. Maybe 8?
How many Kindergarten teams are there? I don't know?

etc.

About this time I realize I am not getting any info.....

If you want something done right - I guess you have to do it yourself...

By the way I also asked him to help remind me of all the questions that I quizzed him with while I typed this post...

Hey, I said I wanted to KNOW the details, I never claimed to REMEMBER them!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank you Kmart....

...for doing SUPER DOUBLE COUPONS right after I decided to try to keep up with them again (with Sha Sha and NiNi's help!)

I saved $90 today with coupons and will not need to buy shampoo, soap, deodorant and feminine products for the next year!!!

Now to find somewhere to store the loot!!!

The boy got his hair gel too - as soon as he gets his haircut he'll have spiky hair!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I'm thankful for

My God
My family
My Hubby
My wonderful children
My church
My friends
My many blessings daily
Turkey
Chocolate
Pumpkin Pie
Cranberries
An opportunity to stay in my pjs all day.......

Friday, November 21, 2008

It wouldn't be Friday...

The last two Friday nights One of my children have come home feeling poorly from school and running a fever.

Ick!

The good news is that we haven't had any major plans either weekend. So it's been okay to just hang out at home. More good news, no quick trips to the bathroom, if you know what I mean.

Just a fever and the whininess that goes along with it.

So nothing exciting for blog fodder will probably happen this weekend. Then again, who knows?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stylish

My son has decided he wants "spiky" hair. I imagine he is wanting it because some of the boys at school have it. I have tried mousse and his hair doesn't respond - it goes back to flat in a matter of minutes. I guess hair gel is the next step. Anyway, Saturday after his bath he came down with spiky hair. I asked him what he used and he just replied, "Something in the bathroom". I asked him to bring me the bottle.



And yes - that is my tropical shave gel. Not only does it make your legs dramatically smooth and moisturized, but it also does wonders to spike the hair of 5 yr olds!!

Potty success?

GiGi is sitting on the potty some and asking to be changed right after she goes. I am hoping that is a good sign.

She has even filled the potty once.




No - her urine has not turned pink - that is the whole bottle of strawberry shampoo that she dumped in the potty on Saturday. It was all over her and the floor too. Boy do tile floors get slippery when covered in shampoo.

Upside - She knows to fill the potty with something - just not the right thing - AND the potty smells like strawberries!

Fooling myself

I am wondering if I start going to bed at 8 pm if I can fool myself into thinking its morning and time to get up when GiGi decides to wake at 4:30?

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Mother's Wish

I have to admit that this book was not what I expected. I expected a modern-day Tiny Tim and Scrooge story. What I got was more of a prodigal returned home via a dawning realization and divine intervention story. It is a very easy read but I have to share a passage and what was impressed upon me.

After a rough and tumble truck driver in a diner sings sacred music with the voice of an angel -

"It wasn't simply that Grandfather had sung these songs, but that he had had these songs within him to sing, and a voice that could charm snakes with which to sing them. He looked so much like the others that I had thought him ordinary; now I thought that perhaps each of the others might be equally extraordinary in his own way. I looked again along the line of Big Men and was surprised to see that each profile was now absolutely unique; each face bore its own distinctive road map of creases and wrinkles to track its journey. That was the precise moment I realized that they were not merely Farmers and Big Men; they might well be Heroes and Giants....."


Why can't we look at everyone this way, look past the exterior flaws and see them like Jesus does? Why isn't it enough to love and be loved and accept others despite the flaws?

An affecting tale, My Mother’s Wish by Jerry Camery-Hoggattt will remind you of the power of grand hopes and effect of impossible expectations. You’ll witness the influence every life has on another, and you’ll find new reasons to believe in the comfort and joy in an everyday, American version of the story of Christmas: being known and loved, just as you are.

I think I need to read it again. I'm sure I missed something good.

I also have a hard cover copy to give away. Leave me a comment and I'll pick a random winner on Friday, November 21! (Just in time for the holidays!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obviously I have linking issues....

http://www.wearethatfamily.com/2008/08/when-god-steps-in.html

We think we have it so bad....

Check out these posts and let me know how your attitudes change?

It made me appreciate my life and my God so much more.

Butcher or Baker maybe?

But definitely not a candlestick maker!

This is the result of my first attempt at candle making.
One only stayed together because I softened the wax with a butane candle lighter and stuck it back together. Unfortunately the other two were too far gone. For someone who loves her crafts, this is somewhat humbling. I guess we all need some humbling now and again...Don't we?

(Don't take the butcher thing too seriously, I won't even clean fish for hubby!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Buzz Lightyear?

Sha Sha asked the boy how high he could count.

His response "To Infinity and beyond!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas shopping, er...Consuming?

I have always joked that I am a super shopper! I shop several stores and ads, I compare prices, I drive to multiple stores to skim clearance racks. So I have made Christmas lists for my 4 children (with their strong suggestions of course!)

Today hubby and I started our Christmas shopping. I frequently have done all the Christmas shopping in years past by myself, and I frequently do a lot of it on Black Friday. This year I decided it would be a good bonding experience to do it WITH hubby and start earlier. I am hoping this helps me keep spending under control!

So hubby and I visited our FAVORITE (yes being sarcastic) toy store today.

This is what I remembered. Hubby is a consumer! I am a shopper!

The distinction?

Hubby wants the list and wants to get the items put them in the cart, check out and go.

I want to peruse the aisles looking for the item the children didn't think of, but would love, compare prices with the other ads in my purse, ask the opinion of the salesclerk (which ironically today was her first day...), and then make sure we have the minimum purchase to receive the gift card for our next visit.

We did pick up a couple of items on The Boy's list. A new set of dominoes for us and the pink potty for Gigi (see Potty post earlier.) Oh yeah, and hubby bought a small nerf gun for the office.....

NiNi speaks....

In conversation recently -

"What language do they speak in Virginia?"

and

"That battery isn't dead, it's still alive!"

She makes me laugh!!!

POTTY TIME!!

Gigi went with us to purchase her first potty today. She loves it.

Of course not to sit on. Standing IN it is her favorite activity.....

Each of our kids has had a "Bribery" technique that has worked for them. Often we have had to try several different techniques before finding what worked with each specific child.

The first was easy. Reading a book or singing 10 little Indians (I never claimed it was a PC technique.)

The second was a rendition of "Oh, happy day!" that Daddy had a special knack for!

The third was McDonald's coupons.

I'm kind of hoping the 4th will settle for good old M&Ms and a rendition of "My girl wants to Potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the TIIIIME!"

I'll let you know....

Acrostic FUN!

NiNi is really into acrostics right now. You know where you list a word or name down the side of a page and then come up with descriptive words and phrases to describe it or them? Come on - You know Junior High class elections for example -

Vote for

T - Tenacious
O - Obnoxious
M - ME!

Anyway she was coming up with acrostics for everyone's name in our family the other day -

My favorite words to describe me - Graceful (I don't know who she is watching - but I would not use this one to describe my clumsy self), Young (What 30something doesn't want to be called that!), and drumroll please.... Nothing Wrong???? (Snicker...)

My favorite words to describe her Dad - Merciful (she pegged this one!), Radical (I thought this went out 20 years ago.), Computer Worker and Opposites. When asked to explain Opposites, she remarked - "That's you and Dad, Opposites....". Hmmm...

Hit between the eyes.....

So Sunday morning I was able to sit thru a sermon for the first time in a month (Live is always different from CD listening with interruptions).

I went in with an attitude. I was miffed and offended by something that someone else had done. I admit it. I have a tendency to take things the wrong way, blow things out of proportion, read between the lines.... (I'm sure you get the picture).

Anyway, pastor spoke a message about how we aren't offended by people we don't know. It's not possible. We're not offended frequently by people that we CHOOSE as our friends, because we CHOSE them. Who are we offended by? FAMILY. Those that GOD chooses to put on our lives outside our control. That not only means biological family, but church family too.

It's time for me and the church as a whole to GROW UP and get over ourselves. Our commandment to LOVE our brother needs to be more at the forefront of our everyday. That will speak volumes to the world around us. They will know we are Christians by our LOVE for one another, not our TUDES, not our offenses, not our snide remarks.... By our LOVE!

Thank you GOD and forgive me....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Toddlerhood

I know most of you have seen this - but this is where my youngest child is right now -
Rules of the toddler
 
1. If I like it, it's mine. 
 
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine. 
 
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine. 
 
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine. 
 
5. If it's mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway. 
 
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 
 
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine. 
 
8. If I saw it first, it's mine. 
 
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
becomes mine. 
 
10. If it's broken, it's yours.





It's a good thing she's cute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bumper Crop

I bought a 10 lb bag of potatoes the other day - but I didn't expect one potato to account for such a large percentage of the bag. I just had to post because it was such an oddity. This one potato with a roast and a couple of carrots fed our family of six plus one with leftovers.






Monday, October 27, 2008

How Would Jesus Vote?

I haven't finished this book yet, but I have been challenged by what I have read so far......


Think about the issues. Not Republican or Democrat.....


The 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most important political contests in American history. In fact, Dr. D. James Kennedy believes it will be a watershed moment that could impact our very survival as a nation under God.

Values voters—people whose political views and votes are based on their faith in God—are being targeted as never before. As the campaign season moves forward, the significant players will debate terrorism, radical Islam, nuclear threats, global warming, social issues, gay marriage, immigration, education, health care, and many other essential issues that can create sharp ideological divisions.

Into this overwhelmingly complex political situation, Dr. Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe bring a clear, compelling, and nonpartisan exploration of what God’s Word has to say on these critical matters. How Would Jesus Vote? isn’t intended to tell readers which candidates to support; rather it offers a Christ-centered understanding of the world to help readers draw their own political conclusions.

Author Bio:

Jerry Newcombe is senior producer for Coral Ridge Ministries television and has produced or coproduced more than fifty documentaries. The host of two weekly radio shows, he has also been a guest on numerous television and radio talk shows. He is the author or coauthor of more than fifteen books.

Dr. D. James Kennedy is one of the most trusted and recognized Christian leaders of our time. The senior minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he is the featured preacher on television’s “The Coral Ridge Hour” and radio’s “Truths That Transform”, syndicated on over one thousand stations throughout the U.S. The founder and president of Evangelism Explosion International and chancellor of Knox Theological Seminary, he is the author of more than sixty books, including the bestselling What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400074061

Friday, October 24, 2008

older movie time

I am watching "Yours, Mine and Ours". The original with Lucille Ball. Made in 1968.
What a sweet film.
18 children!! and pregnant? Can you imagine the chaos?

They went to the grocery store and got four overflowing grocery carts for $126! I wish I could do that today.

I loved the line "It isn't going to bed with a man that is love. It's getting up in the morning with him and facing everyday life together that matters!" Of course I paraphrased.

I love older movies.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God has a sense of humor

I had a rough morning, just a lot to do and other junk. But that's not what this post is about. I went and had a wonderful Greek lunch with hubby that cheered me up. Then I got books in the mail!! Then I had issues with the kids and obedience this evening.

THEN - I watched the evening news. We don't watch it all frequently but today we did. Early in the news they mentioned a segment they would be airing regarding wholesale stores. I frequent Sam's especially for milk, snacks, laundry detergent, etc.

A week or two ago I was there while a news crew was there (you have probably guessed where this is going). It was a day that I didn't feel wonderful. It was raining, I had pulled my hair up and not put on makeup (actually that is pretty frequent). Anyway - I tried to avoid the cameras.

So, tonight, when I saw them announce the segment I mentioned this to hubby AND I whispered a prayer out loud that God would have mercy on me....

When the segment aired - I was the first thing they showed...

Hubby laughed....

At the end of the segment, they looped the video and showed me again, AND again, AND again....

Needless to say hubby is offering a premium to anyone who has TIVO......

(I am offering more if you accidently delete it!!!!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bon Appetit by Sandra Byrd

In Bon Appetit by Sandra Byrd, I can identify with the character Lexi Stuart. Our dreams may be different, but we both have dreams and when they work out the way we plan, they don't always work out the way we plan.....

Lexi finds herself in a "fish out of water" situation in France, trying to win over her instructor, her employers, her co-workers and fellow students.

The recipes in the book look wonderful and I will definitely have to try them. The book is delightful and I found myself craving the next Lexi Stuart adventure. I have not had the opportunity to read the first in the series, Let Them Eat Cake, but I found Bon Appetit was great as a stand-alone title.

Here is a more detailed description too.

In this second book in the French Twist series, readers join Lexi Stuart in a crème de la crème adventure!

Deciding to leave her familiar home in Seattle and her could-be boyfriend Dan, Lexi moves to a quaint village in France to pursue her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Life among the French initially proves to be less than easy as Lexi is challenged by her coworkers, missing her friends, and failing to master the perfect baguette.

Determined to find her place, Lexi settles into the culture and life becomes la perfection. She finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine—as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father, Philippe. Even Patricia, the gruff pastry cook, shows a softer side as she mentors Lexi in the art of baking.

Fast, fun, and packed with French culture, foodie appeal, and unique recipes readers will love accompanying Lexi on her journey in Bon Appetit as she tries to choose between two countries, two men and the faith to lean on God while savoring the surprises life brings!


Friday, October 17, 2008

The smell of fear

My little guy has a fear of shots. Even more than most. He does come by it legitimately, Dad doesn't love them either.

Anyway, when I took the kids in on Thursday for the flu shots, he was terrified. The older three actually got flu mist in the nose. That didn't matter to him. All he heard was flu shot and he hid under the sink in the room and hit his head. I dug him out of there and he hid under the exam table. I got him out from under there and he refused to climb up on the exam table.

After the nurse put the mist in the first nostril, he almost decked her. She reminded me of my grandma and I had visions of her falling and breaking a hip. I'm glad it worked out okay. We did give her fits. 4 kids, and 4 charts. 3 with flu mist, 1 flu shot. 1 with pinkeye. 1 immunization catch up. I hope she got it all charted okay....

I hope the boy outgrows this fear....or at least learns to deal with it.

Meanest Mom title revisited

I asked the kiddos repeated times today to clean up their rooms. I have been unable to locate a stink in the house lately too.

Stink found! The 5 yr old boy had stashed two milk bottles from Wendy's in his room. Evidently he thought the shape was fun and wanted to keep them. He had not washed them out and they were RIPE when I found them. At least now I don't have to burn my Buttercream candle to try and cover up the stink!!

The girls told me repeatedly that their room was clean and I went up to retrieve something and found a mess with a capital M!! I got out two large totes and dumped everything that wasn't paper in them and hauled one and a half trash bags of paper out too.

A small part of me wants to do the whole ebay thing. How's this for a title? Lots of fun stuff my kids wouldn't pick up! But does that make me the meanest mom in the world again?

Should I give them a chance to earn it back? Should I donate it to goodwill? I need some wisdom.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Making lemonade of lemons.....

The kids have a four day weekend starting today and we had fabulous plans. A playdate, zoo, powerplay (possibly) and lots of time together. I had it all planned. I had even talked hubby into taking a day off. That is a feat in and of itself. He has such a strong work ethic, which I AM thankful for. (That's a post for another day...) Anyway, we all wake up this morning and I start in on the list of chores that have to get done this morning before we start the fun stuff. As I walk by my beautiful 8 yr old I notice that her eye doesn't look quite right. I turn around and give it a closer inspection and think, "OH, NO! PINKEYE!"

So we went on a trip to the doctor for eyedrops to try and nip it in the bud and keep it from spreading. While there I decide to get flu shots/flu mist for all four and find out Sha Sha is behind on vaccinations. So we take care of that too.

Now comes the fresh squeezed lemonade. A couple of weeks ago I borrowed a book from the library on simple science experiments. We did several today. A couple were a bust. A few were okay and one was a BIG hit!

We had a lot of fun and made a mess, but we were entertained. Lots of tents and forts were built today with blankets too!

Anyway, it was okay. Not at all like I thought when I first saw that eye this morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's in a word?

Gigi who is now 16 months old, has several words and her favorite currently is CHEESE. She must be related to Mickey and Minnie. I definitely don't need to worry about her calcium intake. Her cholesterol on the other hand.....

I might scream if I hear the word CHEESE one more time today!

I think I'll go have some CHEESE!!!!

New job description

Sometimes I feel like the children think I'm the meanest mom ever for making them pick up after themselves and do some chores.

Would anyone else like to trade and be the "meanest mom ever" for a day? I really wouldn't mind giving up this title.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Glad it wasn't me

So - hubby got a virus on our desktop computer yesterday while loading pictures up to facebook. It took him 5 hours of work on an off to finally repair the damage. I'm glad it wasn't my fault - because I would have been in big TROUBLE!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Coffee Fetish

Trolling other blogs I stumbled upon this video. And then had to have hubby help me post it. Anyway, I have a Starbucks fetish although I now only go a couple of times a month - I used to be a much more frequent customer. ENJOY!!



Gigi's Escapades

Guess who tried to Mousse the cat today? 16 mo old Gigi. YES. SHE. DID!

Guess who didn't take it? Felix the cat.

Guess who fell off the piano bench today while climbing?

Guess who hijacked my iced vanilla coffee from McDonald's (Thank goodness she still took a nap today?)

Guess who uttered possibly her first sentence and like any good girl said, "I want that!"

Guess who loves mom's new heels and of course only takes off with one and the other is left 3 rooms away?

Guess who makes me laugh and smile?

To diet or not to diet...

She says as she chews the cookie...

Does Lean cuisine count when you eat cookies and have potato chips too?

I used to do the same thing in high school. Slim Fast and Giant chocolate chip cookies for lunch. (Of course then I was a size 8 - not so now!)

I am overweight now and know it. I used my four pregnancies and nursing time as an excuse to eat what I wanted to and it caught up with me. I have lost some in the last year, but am a far cry from where I "should" be.

Oh well, I finished the cookie. Now for the lean cuisine....and Pepsi of course!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

new developments

Gigi is cutting molars, initiating peek-a-boo, giving high-fives, trying to walk up and down stairs, climbing like crazy, throwing fits, all within the last week.

Noah is reading several words already after just a few weeks of Kindergarten.

Elayna is recovering well from surgery. Getting tired of tv and mom, I think.

Alicia is so mature and grown up. Her kindness toward her sister during this recovery time is very admirable.

God is good and continues to bless us.......

Just have to remind ourselves of it sometimes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Too much stuff

You realize you have too much "stuff" when no one in the house (including myself) can be a good steward of aforementioned "stuff".

or when it takes a whole afternoon to pack away and weed thru summer clothes

and then what do I do

buy more "stuff". Arg!!!

Changes and my reaction

Change is a constant in life. Yet it is so hard sometimes. Some changes effect everyone we come into contact with, but what we have to consider is God's plan for us and our families and some of the other relationships in the grand scheme of things are not a significant part of that decision. I get so wrought up over changes in my relationships with others sometimes that I begin to think its all about me and forget that I am only a small blip in their lives and probably have nothing to do with their decisions.

We all go thru phases in our lives (or "seasons" for those fans of Ecclesiastes) and the transitions are sometimes hard. Especially when relationships change.

Women are so relational that sometimes these changes are harder for us to accept than our husbands. Men are much better about seeing things from a matter-of-fact perspective. I can only speak for myself, as a woman, when I say that I let my emotions get in the way.

I don't know that I had a point except that I need to get over myself.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

RV Park here we come.....

Hubby went in for a dental cleaning last week. Our dentist has a new hygienist. She asked if he was retired!! (He is only 36!) He will be 37 in Nov. In her defense, hubby is graying some and the hairline has receded quite a bit.

Needless to say hubby was not delighted. He is considering a box of "Just For Men" like his dad. I have been covering my gray for a while now and he's made fun of me, but I think he's seeing the light. Maybe I can graduate to salon coloring......

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Training the next generation

The girls were helping with dinner last night. Their Dad was encouraging them and told them they needed to learn to cook so that they could cook for their perfect men someday.

NiNi piped up - "OR our husband"

Ba, dum, bump. (rimshot)

Monday, September 29, 2008

No pity party here!!!

I don't post for a week and now three in one night!!! Aren't all 3 of you lucky!!!! A post for each of you.

Anyway - I started reading a book by Dr. Laura at the Laundromat tonight. "Stop Whinig and Start Living." Great title, huh?

We all know Dr. Laura, common sense and the truth even if it's harsh and or it hurts. Has anyone ever heard her talk to someone on her radio program who she didn't berate? I wonder why people continue to call in. Do they honestly expect a pity party or sympathy? They are going to the wrong place if so, they must not listen to her program very often.

I used to have a boss that listened to her every afternoon in his office to laugh at the people who called in and the straight talk from Dr. Laura.

Anyway, even before I picked up this book, I had been thinking about my week last week. Single parenting is for the birds! I have great admiration for parents out there who have to do it all the time because of their circumstances. I missed my hubby and all he does.

When husbands are home, wives can usually only see the laundry on the floor, the dishes left out, the toilet seat up, but let me tell you, when mine was not home, I noticed the lack of an extra set of hands to hand off a crying toddler, the lack of time to read with each child, supervise everyone's homework, bathe everyone, run everyone where they need to be, and the list goes on. God definitely designed families to have two parents!!

Dr. Laura's whole point is to live in the now and look at the positives in your life, not the negatives. I pray that God continues to help me focus my life that way....( not that it's not okay to vent now and then).

Reminds me of Phillipians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, [Rom 14:18; 1 Pet 2:12] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. "

Sympathy and Empathy

I got to wondering about the difference between the two the other day.

Dictionary.com defines sympathy as the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, esp. in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration. It also defines empathy as the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

To me it seemed like splitting hairs and I did what we all do now when we are curious about something - I turned to the internet. I ran a search on Empathy vs. Sympathy and found the views of a psychologist, Lawrence J. Bookbinder, Ph.D. - This is what I found interesting -

"This sharing of the painful feelings of another person is characteristic of both sympathy and empathy. However, the person using sympathy would pay more attention to the pain than to the love for the father whereas the person using empathy would pay equal attention to the pain and love.

If the friend added "I'm sorry for your loss," this statement would also be characteristic of sympathy, but not of empathy. The person using empathy would share the grieving man's emotional pain, but not necessarily feel sorry for or pity him. Of course, one can use both sympathy and empathy, for example: "I feel your pain and also your great love for your father. I'm sorry for your loss."

(This is not an endorsement of this psychiatrist or psychiatry in general. I do not know this man - I just found his observation interesting.)

The reason that I got on this tandem of thinking is that Gigi cries anytime she hears anyone else cry. Her brother or sisters cry, she cries. Mom cries, she cries. Another kid in the doctor's office, grocery store, church nursery etc. cries, she cries. And get this, if someone on television cries, she cries!! (It's actually a hoot!) I was wondering what was going on in her little head. If she was sympathizing or panicking or if the right term was empathizing, etc.

Anyhoo, what do you think? Is there a difference?

Shopping...

Okay, it wasn't for designer shoes, clothes or purses, but I did get to do some shopping today!!

I bought a new clothes dryer!!! Everybody say yeah!!!!

Why is it that when your husband has a week of laundry and nothing to wear to work that the 15 year old dryer decides to die (and I mean DIE)?

God did bless me with a sale at Sears and a ultra quick delivery date (tomorrow), so hubby will have to only wear dirty clothes one day!!! (just kidding.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

when the cat's away..

the mice will sleep?

hubby out of town
went to bed at 9:30 last night after church, soccer game, birthday party (hour away), and visit to grandma & grandpas
had nightmares both nights hubby's been out
nothing good to watch on tv
whiny tired kids after "the most awesome field trip ever" (their words, not mine)

No good chick fliks on demand.

where's the sleeping pill when you need it?

80s throwback continued

Did you see Dancing with the Stars tonight? I didn't get to see the whole show, but Edyta and her partner (some comedian I've never heard of) danced to "Play that funky music white boy" and she had on , get this, chiffon "legwarmers" !!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Electric Company

When I was in high school, I had a friend whose mother chased her around the house chanting the name of the local electric company when my friend left a light on when she left the room. At 14, I obviously thought she was crazy with a capital C!

Now I know, she was a mother who was DRIVEN crazy (that doesn't sound like proper Englsih...)

Tuesday evening hubby and I went different directions. He went with kiddos to soccer and I went out to bible study. They left before I did and I thought that I should examine all their fingers later, because they were obviously broken. I walked around the house and turned off 10 lights and one ceiling fan. (Yes, I counted them!!)

Cut the Cord

We took away Gigi's paci two days ago. (nevermind my last post about silence, there isn't much right now at bedtime and naptime.....) We had her down to just naptime and bedtime for a week or two, except of course for the paci tucked away by her and "found" while playing. Since she hasn't had one in a couple of days, I think she has either forgot where those treasures are or I have snatched them all away.

Pray for me. The 20 minutes or more of crying is wearing on my nerves.

Next tackle is the bottle, but I think I'll wait a little while......

For my sake, if not hers.

Silence is Golden

There was a time in my life when I couldn't bear a moment of silence. I studied with the TV or radio on, I cleaned with the radio on, I even slept with the radio on sometimes. Silence was my enemy.

Now, as every mom can attest, silence is a commodity. Really, it should be traded on the NYSE or NASDAQ. I'm sure it would do well with mommies around the world.

Anyway, anymore when I find myself alone in the car (which is rare), I turn off the radio and enjoy the silence. It's a good time to pray and listen and rest. Of course you can only rest to a certain degree while driving, but you get the point. Tuesday evening I found myself alone in hubby's car and I rolled down the windows, enjoyed the breeze and listened to the cicadas. It was not complete silence, but it was glorious....

I had to roll down the windows anway because hubby's car is perpetually stinky!

Monday, September 15, 2008

80s again?!!

Wasn't the 80s bad enough a fashion mistake the first time around?

I went shopping with Sha Sha Sunday afternoon and was floored by all the 80s influences.

Check this out, rolled sleeves (in the 80's worn with two layered pairs of slouch socks...)

It is probalby hard to see in this pic, but yes, these are "skinny jeans" with pinstripes AND ankle zippers!!!


and what outfit wouldn't be complete without a pair of ankle boots!!

You also can't forget the bangle bracelets (which we also saw) and legwarmers (only if you don't have the slouch socks) .

I hope we don't see "side" ponytails anytime soon.

I should have kept all my clothes from high school. Who am I kidding, I haven't been able to wear a size 7 since then....

BTW - Hubby was playing Axel F on the keyboard in the synthezizer voice while I typed this post. If that doesn't have you ROFL than you must be too young to be reading this.....

Divergent realities?

I was thinking the other day about people that I know and what we have in common. I thought about how different paths I have taken and decisions that I have made in my life have caused me to meet some very interesting people.

I think about some of my current friends and how I wouldn't have met them if we had moved somewhere else after college. I think about friends made in college and how we would not have met them unless we went to school where we did. And on, and on...

Obviously God can use you where ever you are planted and use others planted around you to touch your life, and I don't wonder about what might have been. Quite on the contrary, I wonder about what might NOT have been.

If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would be where I am today and who I am today, I would have thought you were crazy. God has different plans than ours. I realize that the decisions were mine to make, but God has been faithful to "work it all for good".

I don't know that I am getting where I really wanted to go with this post....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Selective memory

With 4 1/2 years between the boy and Gigi, I forgot a lot of things. I forgot about how expensive disposible diapers were. I forgot about the joy of all the firsts that come so rapidly in the first 2-3 years. Gigi started saying "no" this week. It is still enjoyable and everyone laughs at her as she shakes her finger at you. I forgot about the nap battle and the planning around naps (although with a 4th, everything is more laid back).

I had forgotten about the doomed meal prep time with the baby hanging and/or hanging on the leg....

I commented to a pregnant morning sick friend the other day that God blesses us with selective memory so that we can go forth and populate the earth......

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finally!!

Techie hubby finally has his own blog! He is also much funnier than me....

Check it out http://youcanonlylaugh.blogspot.com/!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Come and Get It!!

I like cooking. Really cooking. Not just meal preparation. (We discussed the difference at a Bible study earlier this week). Lasagna, Cashew Chicken, Chili, Homemade Soups, etc.
But I only enjoy cooking when I can do it without a million interruptions and distractions. With 4 kids under the age of 10, that doesn't happen....

There are always tussles to mediate, homework to check, books to read, sippy cups to fill, a baby clinging to a leg screaming, a baby in a cabinet, someone crying because they scraped a knee, soccer clothes to find and wash, soccer practice to get to, etc.

SO, I resort to meal prep sometimes. We grilled hot dogs for lunch yesterday and being the frugal mom, I don't want leftovers to go to waste. Tonight we had macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and pears. When my children came to the table and saw dinner their response was, "This is the Best Meal Ever!!!!" Only if you are under the age of 10!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lots of Misc

First, for the few that read this and know me, you know I'm not really a practical joker. Now, the funny stuff - I was in the grocery store with the children a couple of weeks ago and tod each child they could pick out a package of cookies. Two of them picked out cookies immediately and Sha Sha decided to peruse the selections and carefully consider her options. About the time that I was losing my patience, she reaches for a package of "grasshoppers" and asks, "What are these, Mom?" And in complete seriousness, I respond "Chocolate Mint (insert pause) and grasshoppers." Let me tell you that you have never seen someone jerk back from a package of cookies faster. It also made the stockboy's day!

I knew that Doodle Animals were a bad idea. That's why I never bought any. Someone else bought one for NiNi a couple of years ago. They boy found one of the markers today and NiNi told him what it was for. A few hours later we find that he has taken a REGULAR marker and marked on a handful of REGULAR stuffed animals. Which has been my objection to the Doodle animals all along....the fact that some children will not be able to make the distinction.....

A friend of my hubby's wife is expecting their first child. She is overdue by a couple of days. He called hubby last night and told him they were headed to the hospital. Today we found out it was a false alarm and they were sent home. Hubby commented, "Poor guy, that's rough!" To which I respond, "What do you mean poor GUY! His poor WIFE! I know how miserable it is to be that pregnant and be sent home!" Hubby responded, "You don't know what it's like for the guy. To which I respond, "No I don't, but I do know what it's like to squeeze something out of your body that is 5 times the size of the opening!!"

Wow that seems like a lot of ranting....

The holiday tomorrow promises to be relaxing. A good part of the laundry is done, homework is done, the house is fairly clean, the hubby should be off work and it should be a good day. If only the kids would sleep in past 6:30.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What to blog about?

Homework? Nah...
Being tired? Nah...
relationships? Nah...

How about my evening? Why not?

After discussing surgery with a doctor this afternoon for 2 of my 4 children...

made dinner,
ate dinner,
sent hubby to rescue mom with flat tire,
disentangled baby from cinnamon gum that baby dug out of trash
listened to Sha Sha yell and run in circles on the patio because she was being "attacked" by a grasshopper,
listened to son yell and cry because he thought he was locked out of the house,
went over spelling words,
read with kids,
went over flash cards,
sent kids to bed.

No wonder I'm tired. (This was just between 6 and 8:30).

Now to veg......

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Need some time

Hubby is on edge about stuff at work this week. It's taking time for all of us to adjust to school and the new schedule and getting things done.

Hubby and I need some time alone.....

SOON!

SAD

My Olympics are over...

No more world records broken.
No more testosterone competitions in the pool and on the track.
No more controversy.
No more fake hugs next to the gymanstics apparatus.
No more beach volleyball spikes and digs. (Not to mention the double standard for uniforms between the men and women)

What will I watch now?

Sesame street, Clean House reruns, who knows?

SAD

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

productive?

What have I done productive with my time since the kiddos went to school?

Chased a bored toddler EVERYWHERE!
Done a little laundry.
Gone to the grocery store AND Sam's with only one child (that was actually glorious in comparison....)
Had Pepsi with a friend and watched our little ones fight over 2 small pieces of plastic in a sea of toys. (Still quite enjoyable)
Had a couple of doctor appts that I didn't take up the whole waiting room with my crew.

AND

Had a couple of glorious naps!!!

Now I need to put groceries away, do the dishes, mop the floor that just had kool-aid dumped on it, supervise homework and make dinner....

SIGH!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New wallpaper

As I walk down the hallway, I notice blue construction paper cutouts on the wall outside the boy's room. I inquire as to how they are staying on the wall in an oh so patient manner. My actual words, "I know those aren't glued to the wall...." (As I had seen the glue stick in his hand earlier at the table....). His response, "Yep."

I don't think so.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

You'd think I'd know better.

Flip flops are all the rage. (I still feel like calling them thongs, like when I was a kid, but that brings up totally the wrong image...)

Anyway, that's all my kids want to wear (flip flops, not thongs, sheesh...)

So the 5 year old boy wears them out to Target and every two minutes we have to stop because he's lost a flip flop. Or we have to stop because he's wearing them on his hands, or his sister is annoying him by stepping on the back of them, or he's falling back out of the van onto the pavement because he's trying to jump into the van from the curb and the flip flop gets caught.....

Ugh! Curse you flip flops!!!

Yipee!!

I officially finished back-to-school shopping today! Now all that's left on my list is haircuts....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ten things I learned on vacation

1. I like my bed and my house. For all my complaining about needing a new bed, it is mine. All the lumps and crevices belong to my body and fit me to a tee!


2. Those brake cooling pullouts on the way down the mountain should be used BEFORE your brakes catch on fire!)


3. I am a city girl. I don't like bugs (although I pretend to be interested when NiNi and the boy present one and ask for help identifying it), I love being 5 minutes from several variety of stores, and I absolutely loathe dusty gravel or dirt roads.


4. I do enjoy the quiet of the country with no neighbors within a stone's throw. (Maybe I can take up residence in a city park?)


5. Hotel swimming pools are often COLD. However the temperature and the blue lips accompanied by shivering does nothing to persuade my children that it's time to stop swimming and thaw out in the A/C in the room.


6. Those who say eastern Colorado and western KS are a hard drive, have you ever tried southern Wyoming? At least in CO or KS you see a clump of trees once in a while. WY was wild sagebrush and nothing else for miles and miles and miles and miles.


7. However badly mannered I think my children are in restaurants, there is always someone else who has it WAY worse.


8. McDonald's on a morning during the week is a land of old men who speak about prostrates and want you to sit in the playplace even though it's not open yet. (Yes, they did ask us!!)


9. I like my family. For all our quirks and tiffs over the week and a half, I wouldn't have chosen to do the trip with anyone else.



10. Riding in a "teacup" at 34 doesn't maker me any less nauseous than it did at 16!!

Of course there are others.....

What will I do...

when the kiddos go back to school and I no longer have "cheap labor"?

(They wouldn't like to know I was calling them "kiddos" either...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nothing says summer...


Like a face full of water from the super-soaker!!! (But you do have to open your eyes to see where you're aiming...)


Monday, August 4, 2008

When it rains...

This week we have had to replace the garage door opener and cable and today bought a new refrigerator (after I bought 2 weeks of groceries and realized the ice cream was too soft...).
I bought school supplies for 3 kids (at least most of them). I had a doctor tell me that I probably have carpal tunnel, a compressed nerve in my shoulder, or some kind of neck issue that is causing pain in both my arms.


I'm praying we're done for a while....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Farm livin is the life for me....

Well, maybe not quite...

I enjoy the quiet and the wide open spaces, no neighbors so close you can see them brush their teeth, and the nature too.

I don't enjoy all the bugs!!! Not to mention the fire...
And not being able to just run to the store to pick something up. The nearest Wal-Mart is over 30 minutes away and their supercenter is half the size of the ones back home. Selection is limited.

There is a combination gas station, bait shop, convenience store, curio store nearby. However, a gallon of milk for $5 is a bit rich for my blood.....

I can't wait to be home and run to Target 5 minutes away for the laundry soap I forgot on the last trip (and to troll the clearance aisles....)

update

The fire nearby doubled in size today. It's now 3 square miles. We can see and smell smoke everywhere near the house we are staying in. We are leaving tomorrow morning early to start heading home. We saw tons of wildlife yesterday. Elk, coyotes, ravens the size of Gigi, deer, tons of buffalo, chipmunks, ground squirrels, trout swimming upstream to spawn and even three black bears. Waterfalls, geysers, and lots of mountains too. Gigi is running a fever too. I am praying that it is only the tooth that is coming in and not another ear infection....

Monday, July 28, 2008

HELP!

Pray for me!!! Three reasons - two serious and one not so....

First, pray that the forest fire raging 20 miles from here stays 20 miles from here. It started Saturday with a lightning strike and has spread to over 600 acres. Those that we have asked about it don't seem too worried, but this city girl is terrified...

Second, I haven't been feeling well. Exhaustion probably has a role in it, but I think there's something else going on and I don't feel right....

Lastly, that all my children make it home in one piece. All this snipping, teasing and fighting is driving me batty!

On a good note, today was our first day in Yellowstone. We spent 8 hours exploring creeks, waterfalls, geysers (including Old Faithful) and looking for wildlife.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Aye, Aye, Aye

Adventures abound.

5 days down and we have visited -

Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD
Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD
Wall Drug, Wall, SD
Badlands, SD (only from a distance in a thunderstorm)
Mount Rushmore
Custer State Park and Black Hills Forest scenic drive
StoryBook Island in Rapid City, SD
President's Park in Lead, SD
Devil's Tower outside Sundance, SD
drove over BigHorn mountains (10,000 ft elevation) and saw SNOW!!

We have seen a lot of things that those in the natural would attribute to evolution and the Big Bang, etc. What it has done for me has solidified my belief in my Wonderful Creator.

His attention to detail in every mountain, every forest, every animal species, is all amazing.
We have seen two rainbows, too. What a great reminder of His Love for us. Yesterday two thunderstorms were on both sides of the highway and all we received were a few sprinkles.

I mentioned earlier that one of our motels had the pool right next to our room. It made for a little noise, but it was okay. What I failed to mention was that it was next to a helicopter tour landing pad.... or the Alpine Slide where you ride up the hillside on a ski chair lift and come down on a sled in a track....

Today, we were halfway down the BigHorn Mountains when we smelled something....
we pulled over and the brakes WERE ON FIRE!!!

So we grabbed our water bottles and doused the brakes and waited for them to cool down and as we descended the rest of the mountain, I prayed and called the town we were staying in (Can you say ROAMING fees?) to see if anyone could look at the brakes, on a Sunday. We found someone to look and them and it turned out that something was actually caught in one of the brakes on one side and that was what caught fire. He only charged us $6.00 to look at them, too!

We reached our rental vacation home tonight (after a trip to Super Wal-Mart - Don't try this with 4 children who have been cooped up in the van for 6 hours in a strange store).

Anyway, the vacation home is AMAZING! I wish we could stay longer. It is an old farmhouse that has been redecorated with all the modern conveiniences and decor. It has 50 acres of land to explore and is in a valley between two mountains. A stream runs through the property right next to the house.

I have taken well over 300 pictures. I'll have to sign up for a flicker account so I can show them all off when I get home.

It's amazing. God had been looking out for us and blessing us every step of the way....
even though Gigi cries now every time she even looks at the car seat.....






President's Park was a bit of a bust. We

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Math

2 days
900 miles
3 tourist traps
3 thunderstorms
1 minivan
4 kids
1 nice hotel room
1 noisy motel room (near the pool)
unending wildlife sightings

all equal

a few whines (okay, maybe more than a few)
a lot of pictures
a lot of memories
a lot of fun

and six exhausted travelers....

I'll have to tell you later about the ordeal getting out of town the first day.... It will serve as a good reminder for future vacations....

a lot of tired travelers

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Competence in question....

Ever had one of those times where you are driving and end up on auto pilot and end up in another place, not the place you had planned on going?

I was immersed in my own thought world yesterday while running errands and passed our destination or turn a few times.

My son was oh so kind and told me that I was "uncompetent". Where a 5 yr old gets that word?

(BTW - I did inform him that the correct word usage was incompetent, and that he had no right to call me incompetent when he can't even tie his shoes.)

My dear Sha Sha then informed me that she had taught him the word over-confident the day before and she thought he was trying to impress me......

Didn't work.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "D" Word

The Boy came running into the room today and told me that Gigi just said the "D" word.

I'm thinking, "Where did she hear that? and Where did you learn the "D" word?"

So I ask him, "What D word is that?" Knowing that I could be possibly asking for trouble....

He pipes up "Daddy".

Hot or Cold...

You know you say something too much when you hear it out of your child's mouth.

I often tell my children to "Chill" when they get riled up. Today I found myself at a loss for words at which my 8 yr old NiNi said, "I know, I know, Chill!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Put me in coach..

The boy has been going to t-ball twice a week (when it hasn't rained) since the beginning of June. He hasn't shown a ton of interest, until tonight. His interest wasn't in hitting, batting, catching or throwing and especially not running. He was playing third base WHILE coaching the other teams runners. Every time one of them made it to third he'd urge them on and he must have been convincing because, every time, they hesitated and kept going (with the REAL coach yelling at them to go back to third!!)

I think we've found his talent, COACHING, or maybe a salesman.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do as I say.....



NiNi had an eye exam a couple of weeks ago and was excited to find out she needed glasses. Her big sister has been wearing them for 4 years and she idolizes her big sister. We went and picked them up yesterday and 2 hours later she wasn't wearing them. She complained that they were uncomfortable. I explained that it is an adjustment but that she can't just lay them down whereever she wants, or she will lose them. Then, I asked my children to help me find my glasses, because I couldn't find them...

new discovery

Gigi's most recent discovery is that there are things behind cabinet doors and in kitchen drawers. Even though she is sweet child #4, all the cabinets and drawers in this house don't have latches, since the boy was 2 when we moved here and he could care less about tupperware.
(Don't worry, anything dangerous is out of reach or locked up.)


So I am watching her clear out the tupperware cabinet every five minutes and putting it back. The advantage - I'm finding all kinds of things that have been "missing" since we moved in the house over 3 years ago! The lid to the cool tupperware snack cup, the insulated mug from the hospital that keeps drinks cold into the next millenium(even though the straw is a pain to clean), and lids to bowls I haven't seen in ages. She is my new "Flylady" helper.

It's also cute to see her "drinking" out of our huge plastic tea glasses!

Maybe I should help her dig out the stuff in the linen closet next....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No escape....

So yesterday was hubby's and my 16th anniversary. We havent' been out much alone in the last year. We were dreaming about a nice evening out alone. Last night we went to a nice restaurant, kid-free. After arriving, we were pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant had live jazz on Friday and Saturdays. What a nice touch!

As we were enjoying our salads and talking, the music started. About three songs in, I found myself starting to sing along in my head and stopped, mid-bite and stared at hubs. He asked me what was wrong....

"They are playing the theme song from Sesame Street!!!" He listened and confirmed my suspicion. Not only the theme from Sesame Street, but the Extended Play version. At least 4 loops thru with improv in between....

So much for an adult dinner. Just kidding, we still had a good time and a good laugh.

BTW - no homemade perfume concoction gift, but he did good!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Preparing future generations.....

Last night hubby snuck out to shop for our anniversary. He decided to take the boy for some father-son time and to prep him for the future. First, he swore him to secrecy. Not necessary, because they came home 2 hours later laughing and smelling strongly of women's perfume. They smelled like the salespeople had chased them with 50 testers! (Mixing all those scents is not good - trust me!) I've heard rumors that they had a perfume fight between the two of them, but I honestly don't want to know.

They came home empty-handed. I think its an excuse to get another chance to goof off, but it's no wonder they didn't find anything.....

The peanut gallery told me that -
The boy thought video games were the perfect choice and he and his dad also looked at big-screen tvs.

Hubby was also put out by a couple of salespeople at jewelry stores who suggested he must be in BIG trouble.

I'm glad they had fun, but I sure hope they weren't off trying to "mix" their own perfume concoction for me.....

If you catch a whiff of a blend of spicy, florals, oriental and clean scents, you'll know......

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dinner conversation

"Mommy, are you 20 feet tall?"

"Not anywhere close, I'm around 5 feet 5 inches."

"That's because you stopped growing when you quit drinking your milk."

Dad pipes in, "Or starting drinking coffee, you know it stunts your growth."

Note to family: Don't mess with my coffee!!!

Family vacations aka The joy of childhood.

It's no wonder that we didn't take too many big vacations as a kid. They are a lot of work.

Planning, budgeting, making reservations, packing lists, arrangements for obligations while you're away.....

I think I'd much rather be the kid who could....

1 - Offer "suggestions" about where to stay and what to do after looking at the tourism brochures. Along with the obligatory " but, what if we NEVER get to go there again?" and "It's ONLY $30 per person!"

2 - Plan on packing my whole room of toys (and start a month early - so I wouldn't miss any).

3 - Remind mom and dad of how many more days until we leave (not just daily, but hourly).

4 - Stand over mom's shoulder while she is doing computer research on landmarks, routes, fees, etc. to make sure she doesn't miss anything.

5 - Whine about needing to go to the bathroom 10 minutes after leaving home (and conspriring with siblings to do the same, staggered every 20 minutes or so for the rest of the trip.)

6 - Beg for souveniors because I didn't save my allowance that my parents asked me to save for just such a purpose.

7 - Have mom funnel me snacks, sugar-laced juices and kool-aid and surprises to keep me in a good mood.

8 - Leave something in every hotel along the way. (Just a little something for them to remember me by).

Ahh! The joy of childhood.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Stairs or elevator

At the dentist's office last week, my son asks as we walk in the door, are we taking the stairs or the alligator?

The alligator, son. (Snicker)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sha Sha is 10!

Double digits for my darling!!! It's hard to believe our family started 10 years ago. Our lives have changed so much and we were sooooooo clueless! Thank God for his grace....

My least favorite things to shop for...

3. Cars
2. Swimsuits
1. Bras...

Ugh! Enough said.....Had to do some shopping today.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Woo Hoo I won!

First - I never win anything! I signed up on the big mama blog to win a Third Day CD and I won. She had 10 copies to give away and 331 people who left comments. I know the numbers were randomly generated, but that doesn't make me any less happy!

Thanks to Mrs. Nurse Boy who told me about the blog.....

shopping withdrawl

It's been soooo long since I trolled the clearance racks, I am having withdrawl.....

Not that hubby would complain.....

(I might actually pay full price for something....AACK!)

Now that's a new one....

The children often don't like what I offer them for dinner. Last night I made what I thought was a pretty safe baked chicken dish. Not a casserole, no fancy sauces or herbs. Just baked chicken with a garlic honey glaze. We've had it before, but last night no one would eat it, and of course, I made extra so we would have lunch today....

Anyway, as I was warming it up for lunch today Nini pipes up....

"Mom, I think I am allergic to that chicken.....AH-Choo!!"

Nice try, but it didn't work.....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gigi's 1 yr pics

I couldn't resist. The littlest is 1 year old and I had to share these adorable pics.

After the wait she did pretty well - here are a couple of the 50 rejected poses.




Don't you just hate people who write silly captions for their photos? (Like I am about to do...)


Caption #1 - What does "smile" mean?












This bear doesn't know the meaning of "personal space".














Now, of course, I have to show the "mommy approved to go to grandparents" photos....










Monday all over it.....

Today has certainly been a looong day. The ear infection is causing a lot of breaks in sleep for Gigi and myself. The day itself hasn't been too bad - just the lack of sleep....


It makes me wonder how we get thru weeks of little sleep with newborns. God definitely extends his grace. Now that I think of it, those weeks always seem like such a blur.....

I pray this resolves soon.

I am so tired and have so much to do......

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good times

NiNi's birthday was yesterday. A whole eight years old. Daddy brought her flowers.....

Thursday and yesterday went well in comparison to Wednesday. Lots of laid back fun with the kiddos. Same today.....

There is sometimes something to be said for staying home and laying low.....(besides saving gas $).

Ironic

I went to the intersection where I got my ticket again today (see previous post). Where I stopped and waited for the light to turn before I made my right. And was cussed at the entire time by the woman behind me for not turning right on RED! Evidently she didn't see the signs either (or didn't care).

I also watched three other cars turn right on red when I was across the street running an errand.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My day

Gigi has another ear infection, her fifth in six months. So, not so much sleep for me.... I didn't like sleep anyway....WHO DO I THINK I'M KIDDING? I LOVE MY SLEEP!!!!!

Just keep in mind this post is colored by my bleary eyed, lower caffiened state.

My three girls all celebrate birthdays within a two week span. They all received gift cards on Sunday to a store quite a ways from home.

Today was a good day to go, so I packed them all in the van and invited my mother and grandmother along. I leave the house and just as I am getting on the highway realize I have left the baby tylenol at home. Gigi is teething and has an ear infection, not to mention she had shots yesterday.....Needless to say I needed to have tylenol handy. I thought to myself that I could easily pick some up while I was out, but why waste the money when I have two bottles at home and we aren't that far from home....

I proceed to the nearest exit and at the end of the exit is a light. I want to turn right and the light is red. I look for traffic and turn. Then I see THE LIGHTS!! It is an officer of the LAW!! At this point my children are very silent, (Four children, silent in a minivan, doesn't happen all that often.) I rack my brain for a reason that I was pulled over......

Are all the children buckled in? ( I glance, yep!)
Do I have a taillight out? (Who knows, I'm not very often BEHIND my van when it's on....)
Was I speeding? (Hard to speed when you're accellerating after a stop light....)

You've probably already guessed there was a "no turn on red" sign that I missed. Not an exit I use very often and I was distracted thinking about the tylenol....

So the officer explains that to me, and I plead ignorance (which really isn't a defense). I would have plead for mercy, but I have a feeling it wouldn't have helped. Maybe if Gigi had been crying hysterically, HMMMM!!!

Anyway, while the officer was in his car filling out my citation, and checking my license, the boy makes me laugh.....

"Mom, are you getting a ticket?"
"Yep"
"Are you going to jail next time?"
"Hopefully there won't be a next time....(while suppressing giggles - I don't want the officer to come back to me laughing!!!)"

Officer approaches car and hands me the ticket and leaves.

me - "Well, there goes $70...."
Boy - "Great, there goes allowance for a lonnnng time."
me - giggle - "Not your fault, won't affect you"

When I called hubby - his response - "That was expensive tylenol!" NO KIDDING!!

Then I am supposed to pick up my mother, and we had a miscommunication, so I went to 3 places before finding her, the whole while dialing what I thought was her cell phone number and grumbling because she wasn't answering. I transposed numbers!!!!

The boy is the whole while in the backseat enumerating my "mistakes" for me....

"That's two mistakes, that's three mistakes..." I felt like I had "the Count" from Sesame Street in the backseat....

I throw back to him - "maybe I shouldn't have gotten out of bed" He replies "maybe not"

This is all before we even make it to the store......

The store is typical. Four children wanting to go 3 directions and wanting to spend more than they have, wandering, not paying attention....all which overwhelmed my mother and grandmother......

I was never so happy to get back home to the safety and confines of my "haven"

I'm exhausted!!!!!!

Just sad!!!

Whoa! Over 3 months since my last post.... You would think my world had stopped turning or something. But it didn't. You would have thought that I had nothing to say..... but I did (at least hubby thinks so after I talk his ear off....) I could blog about adjusting to summer vacation (but everyone's been there). I could blog about family stress over a parent being out of work (but I don't want to dwell on it and want to leave it to God). I could blog about my health and my quest to better my family's diet and activity level (such a sore spot with some of my brood). I could blog about my funny children and how they make me laugh almost daily. I could blog about my toddler's milestones. ...

I don't have a good excuse....I just haven't done it.....

Friday, March 7, 2008

What I found cleaning out the laundry room

In my last post, I mentioned our laundry sorting bins. In order to make room for them, hubby and I had to clean up an area in our basement.

This is what we found -

1. At least a dozen empty detergent, fabric softener or color safe bleach bottles. (We always forget to change this trash can on trash day.)
2. Lint.
3. Surprise beyond surprise - at least 2 dozen mismatched socks (of which, most mates were probably given up on, and therefore tossed, long ago).
4. A ski snowsuit given to us 2 years ago that is still too big for our oldest....
5. Old raincoat.
6. More lint.
7. Two tablecloths. I like to use them for special occasions and then wash them and they end up on the laundry line in the basement and then ?????
8. A sleeping bag and a couple of blankets.
9. Loose pocket change.
10. Spiderwebs! EWWW!
11. A "rumor weed" toy (Veggietales) that has probably been missing for over a year!
12. A teddy bear and stuffed puppy dog.
13. My basement floor!!!

Laundry, Laundry, Laundry (you get the idea)

I decided last weekend that I had to DO something about our laundry sorting technique at our house.

Old technique:
1. Let everything pile up in rooms and on floors, etc.
2. Nag children to pick up and put in laundry basket.
3. Follow after them to pick it up when they don't listen to nagging.
4. Trip over piles in my bedroom, because children find it a good dumping ground when they do pick it up after nagging. After all, out-of-sight....
5. Have a marathon sorting....

New technique:
1. Laundry sorting bins in basement laundry room with color-coded signs(for those in the family that can claim being unable to read).
2. ONE laundry basket in each bedroom.
3. Residents of each bedroom are responsible for transporting their laundry to the basket and the basket to the laundry sorting bins, AND sorting it.
4. Laundry not in the sorted bins, doesn't get washed.
5. Laundry not picked up off the floor results in allowance penalties. (I am hoping to go negative here - maybe I'll get paid the next couple of weeks LOL!)

What I hope to accomplish:

No tripping in my bedroom when I get up blurry- eyed in the night.
Responsiblity for your own stuff.
A nicer looking bedroom, too....

What I've done so far:
Made a place for sorting bins.
Enlisted children to make color-coded signs.
Nag to get laundry picked up.
Gotten annoyed at bins falling apart.
Smacked my head on cabinet above sorting bins, while retrieveing laundry to wash. (Hard enough to get dizzy! - Although hubby would tell you that I am good at smacking my head on anything - we often discuss putting up caution tape!)

Anyway - the best laid plans always have a few kinks to work out.

Obviously, I have to still help the boy and do Gigi's as well as being responsible for mine and hubby's....but, training has to start somewhere....

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A regular Partridge Family and talents

Well, hubby is musically inclined. No mistake that God gave him an ear for music. The children are picking up some of it too, at least the enthusiasm, if not the talent.

It's really too early to tell. NiNi received an acoustic guitar for Christmas and is gung ho about learning. ShaSha is learning piano from Dad and today the boy informed me he wants to learn the drums!

Then NiNi explained to me that we are going to have a family band. Dad will play the guitar, too. (His most recent purchase - an electric guitar). NiNi generously offered the baby(Gigi) the moroccas (probably spelled wrong). When I asked who would sing, I was told that was my job. I graciously informed my daughter that God did not bless her mommy with an iota of musical ability and if she wanted this band to really work, she should look elsewhere for vocal talent.

She became serious and asked, "What ARE you good at?" What my insightful daughter didn't realize is that I have been struggling with this for the past few weeks. Feelings of inadequacy and direction (or lack thereof) and opportunities to put my gifts to work aren't exactly abounding at this season in my life. This blunt question from my daughter made me think and put voice to the talents God gave me. We are so caught up in a need to be humble that we sometimes feel like we are boasting, so we hold back. How is holding back helping anyone? How can our gifts be utilized if left hidden and unknown to those around us?

I realize that at this time in my life, my first obligation is to my husband and children and that the day to day just naturally presses in and takes over, leaving what we perceive as little opportunity to utilize our gifts. I know that I am imparting to my children, but as every mom knows, it is hard to impart, and impart, and impart, and give, and give, and give and feel like there is little fruit, or wonder if you are planting correctly. I may make no sense at all and this is more of a ramble than I first intended.....

Back to the family band - I told my daughter that I was fairly good at organizing things, to which she replied that I could be the manager!!

An aside..... When NiNi asked what I was good at - ShaSha piped up and said "cooking"! That put a smile on my face. If anyone would have told hubby 15 years ago that someone would think I was a good cook, he would have fell down laughing --- we ate Manwich, mac & cheese, Hamburger Helper and Pizza for our first 2-3 years......

Offense?

Have you ever torn yourself up over whether or not you have offended someone?

I am doing it currently.

Someone who seems to have put distance between us.

My husband is going nuts at my speculation and thinks I am reading WAY too much into it. I'm not so sure.

But why don't I ask? For fear that if there wasn't any offense to begin with, that I will offend by asking about the imaginary offense?

Make any sense? No, I guess not.....but, I probably still won't ask.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Flexible as a steel rod

Yes, I am aware that steel rods are not flexible. Point made.

I am always telling myself and others that in order to be a mom of 4, you have got to be flexible.

And I'd like to think I am, I really would. But in truth, not so much.

I am a person who would like to plan her life daily for the next 30 years. "To do" lists are my friends. Schedules, calendars, all keep my life orderly. Maybe it is a need to "control" my environment. Actually, there is no maybe about it.

I'm not one much for surprises. This becomes all the more a realization when last minute events "pop up".

Don't give me 2 days notice for soccer practice (especially when it is a year to buy cleats!)
What are they going to do anyway, we've had so much rain/snow, everything is a swamp and it will be dark 20 minutes after they start!! Oops - off track again.

Exceptions to the surprise rule - coffee/playdates and of course, any good surprises from hubby - for example jewelry, flowers, chocolate.