Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here it is!

A picture of my new HP Laptop. I'm so in love.... Is that wrong?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The 6 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my sister & brother-in-law gave to me...a box of 40 wadded up $1 bills :)

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...half of his Christmas bonus to go buy my much-desired (and much-needed) HP laptop (which came with a free 3 in 1 printer and a $100 gift card) :)

On the third day of Christmas, my aunt gave to me...a basket full of 'Cocolotus' scented body essential from Ulta :)

On the forth day of Christmas, my mother-in-law gave to me...a box/can full of nicely rolled $1 bills - 50 of them to be exact!

On the fifth day of Christmas, Santa gave to early-morning wake up call with squeeling children and lots of hoopla and fun for everyone :)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my uncle-in-law gave to me...more money via a funny Christmas card :)

So, overall, I had a wonderful Christmas. Of course it wasn't all about me, but since this is my blog and I very rarely blog about myself, I decided to change things up a bit. I got more than the laptop, money and body lotions, but in order to make the 'theme' work, I had to choose only 1 item to mention. In addition to those items, I received warm (not sexy) jammies from Victoria's Secret from hubby (something I ask for every year and never get, so you can imagine my surprise and excitement!), a Christian novel by a favorite author (Karen Kingsbury), thimbles from Norway (for my collection from my SIL), a pink ribbon Christmas tree ornament (in memory of my mom), and definitely more that I'm not remembering right now.

Of course, the kiddos had a blast to, but by the 6th day, they were asking if Christmas was over yet! I guess having a birthday only 1 or 3 weeks away from Santa's appearance does make opening presents a bit of a chore after so many days.

Granted, the length of our Christmas celebrations isn't necessarily by choice, but more due to the distance we live from various family members, and the fact that we can't ever seem to get the entire family together, in one place, at one time.

So, here's hoping that you had a very Merry Christmas, received lots of the things you wanted or asked for, and that the weekend ahead will bring you a very blessed & prosperous New Year!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Alex's Letter

Today while cleaning up the house for Morgann's 4th birthday party tomorrow, I stumbled across this:

Dear Santa I wish For a two Wheeler scooter, and a toy shotgun and a Toy phone And a stufft Animel that is soft and please Stuffup my stoking well will you please Thank you Love Alex
(typed exactly as it was written)

Have I mentioned that I love this time of year? I hope my sweet 7 year old boy never outgrows the magic of Santa!!!

*Addendum: I talked to Alex last night about mailing his letter to Santa (which we never do; I keep them safely tucked away in one of my dresser drawers) and he informed me that this was his "practice" letter. He gave the real letter to his teacher. Hmmm...I'm hoping that said teacher will be kind enough to forward said letter to me for safe-keeping! At any rate, I love the fact that there was a "practice" letter written in the first place. Michael informed me that he actually saw the 1st part of the "real" letter and it started with "Dear Santa, How are you? How are your reindeer?" That's all he saw, but I'm sure it only got better from there :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tooting My Own Horn!

Just thought I'd brag a bit...I'm officially finished with my Christmas shopping!
(Cue Angels singing "The Hallelujah Chorus")

After no fewer than 6 hours of shopping with my 2 year old on
Friday, I officially took care of the last of our Christmas gift list. I think this is the first time in about 5 years that we've finished earlier than the week of Christmas - and one year, Christmas Eve! Michael even went shopping for me yesterday!!! It's such a relief to not have that hanging over my head any longer (just don't get me started on the wrapping that awaits!).

And, yes, I know that Christmas isn't about the gifts, but I do think that there should be some thoughtfulness in giving that special gift to that certain someone. Sure, a few of our family will be getting cold, hard cash, but that's what they've asked for. But, I also purchased them a little something that I thought they would enjoy. For me, putting thought and care into the purchase really matters. Of course, there have been years of desperation when I've been so tired, or crunched for time, that a good-old gift card has been the answer to my prayers, but this year, I started looking early, and managed to come up with a few gifts that I think are very clever, and, hopefully, appreciated by the recipients. I'll have to expound on that subject after Christmas since I have several family members that read this blog, but I have to say that I'm really excited about seeing them open their gifts, and am hoping for that special glimmer of joy & excitement when they see what they've been given.

I love Christmas and all that it stands for!!! The Reason for our celebration being the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the act of giving to others, be they strangers, with gifts to the local food pantry, or family during the holiday.

May God richly bless you & your family this holiday season! And, for those that still haven't conquered their gift list, I wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect gift...before Christmas Eve :)

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Another attempt

I thought that I should try again at summarizing our trip last week. But, this time I've decided to take a different approach:

Sunday 11/19 - after several attempts, hubby finally (and successfully) packs up the van and we're off to College Station! There, we meet up with Michael's uncle and mother, who meet in CS every year to Christmas shop. After a chilly picnic on the Texas A&M campus, we meander through the Aggie Bonfire Memorial and discuss our memories of that horrible day. While there, we realize that we are visiting only 1 day after the 7 year anniversary! After saying goodbye to Michael's uncle who had to head home to Dallas, we take the kids over to the polo fields where they are placed into a huge Oak tree for pictures (taken by Grandma with her camera). After running ourselves silly, we say our goodbyes, then head to our friend's house for more fun, dinner and bed.

Monday 11/20 - Our friends have school & work, so we say our goodbyes to them, then head out the door for breakfast. After a yummy hot breakfast at our favorite diner, Denny's, we hit the road for a 3 hour trip to Ft. Worth. Once we arrive at our hotel, we have the fun task of unloading and getting everyone & everything up to the room. After a quick clean-up, we head over to Michael's Grandmother's apartment for a long visit. Around 5PM, we meet up with Michael's aunt & uncle for a yummy Tex-Mex dinner :) Alex & Morgann decide to stay the night with Gma, so Ian, Michael & I head back to the hotel for bed.

Tuesday 11/21 - After a yummy breakfast at the hotel, we load up the van (for the 3rd time now) and head over to Gma's apartment to pick up our crew. From there, we go over to Uncle Joe & Aunt Kathy's for more visiting and fun. We first head to the nearby park for basketball, and lots of climbling, swinging & sliding. Shortly thereafter, we head back for lunch by the pool, then around the front of the house for a rousing game of baseball. When the kids (and the adults) are sufficiently tired-out, we say our goodbyes, then head over to Grand Prairie for a visit with my Grandmother. Upon our arrival to her new apartment, we get the grand tour, then unload the van (again). We decide on grabbing take-out burgers for dinner, so out the door Nana & I go. After dinner, we sit around & visit, then get the kids to bed. To unwind, we watch the movie "50 First Dates".

Wednesday 11/22 - The kids & Nana have breakfast while Michael & I work on getting all of the luggage repacked. Once we are all dressed, we head out the door to see about finding a valance for Nana's living room window. Once purchased, we head to a nearby park for more playing and visiting in the crisp autumn day, with sun & temps in the mid 70's! When tummy's start growling, we head over to a nearby restaurant for lunch, then back to Nana's apartment to hang her valance. We say our goodbye's then head out to the van for another re-load. On the way out, Morgann & Ian have a screaming match over who will 'push the buttons' on the elevator. When Ian wins, Morgann breaks down and begins this squeely, loud sob. All the way through the lobby, both kids are squeeling, screaming and running at break-neck speed to reach the next button - the automatic door opener. Ian wins again, and Morgann melts down one more time. At this stage, Michael's nerves are shot and I am mortified at it all. I drop my bags and head back to scoop up a child while Michael pushes the other one out the door. After loading both luggage and kids, we stop for a quick prayer with my grandmother before heading out for McKinney, which is North of Dallas. An hour & a half later, we arrive at Cori & Chuck doorstep, where we stay for 2 nights :)

Thursday 11/23 - Thanksgiving Day with all the fun & trimmings that entails. The kids (with Cori's assitance and my highly-honed stapling skills) all create their very own Indian costumes, complete with brown-paper-bag vest and construction-paper headbands. Once we've cleaned up our mess, we all head downstairs. The men take the kiddos to a nearby park while Cori & I tackle the task of cooking and organizing our meal. Skipping much detail...... After eating way too much, and enjoying a little wine with our meal, we clean up, then collapse on the floor of their living room to rest (that would be sleep - and that would only be me) or chat. Once the younger kiddos wake up from their naps, we head over to another park for, you guessed it, more playing! We stayed until it got dark, then headed home for baths, a dinner of leftovers (or sandwiches for the kids & Michael), then bed.

Friday 11/24 - My family is beginning to drag, but the kids are still up at the crack of dawn. I finally make it downstairs to see that Cori has already conquered breakfast with the kiddos, so I sat around in my jammies for a bit. When we finally manage to get everyone dressed, Michael & I spend the next 45 minutes attempting to pack our suitcases and locate every missing sock & stuffed animal. Then it's time to pack the van again! While we worked on getting our stuff loaded, Cori spent the better part of that time fixing a yummy picnic lunch - you guessed it, another stop at another park! The weather was awesome during our entire trip, can you tell (and by awesome, I mean highs in the 70's with no clouds, sunny blue skies and only a breeze every now & then)! Anyway, on our way to the park, we make a pit-stop at a local Christian bookstore, where I end up buying way too much stuff, including Christmas cards which I had just told Michael I wanted to send out this year :) We eventually make it to the park, eat our yummy lunches, then hit the playground for about 30 minutes. From there, we're off again, heading back to College Station for another 2 night-stay. The trip was nice & quiet - all 3 kids and myself got a nap while hubby made the drive with only the quiet of his thoughts, and his iPod to keep him awake!

Saturday 11/25 - Our morning begins slowly, but we're finally out the door by 11ish for lunch and another park! We first find a huge Christmas tree where we attempt to take family pictures for our Christmas cards. We end up spending about an hour & a half at the park where the younger kiddos played on the playground, while the boys all played a hard game of touch-football. All-in-all, a very productive fun day :)

Sunday 11/26 - We're up early and heading for home by 10AM! By this point, we're exhausted and ready for our own beds. The kids sit quietly playing in the backseat, while Michael & I attempt to de-compress. Once home, we unpack the van for the final time, then it's up to me to unload the bags, get laundry done, hit the local Target then grocery store to stock up the house, cook dinner, clean up from dinner, and hit the sack!!!

So, there you have it! A long-short version of our 8 days away. We had a wonderful visit and captured special moments on film. That said, we've made our visits and will not be leaving town again anytime soon!!!! If you want to see us, get a map and make the trip :)

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I've been working on a blog post for no less than 3 days now, and it's about a third of the way finished. I think I'm just going to leave it in 'edit' mode and move on. I was trying to fill you all in on how wonderful, stressful, and exhausting our trip was, then whine about how utterly busy and exhausted I am, but I just haven't been able to sit uninterrupted to finish it.

So, I give up!

Suffice it to say that the trip was long (8 full days) and exhausting, with no less than 841 miles traveled - inside the state and in a city that is only 4 hours away from here! Only in Texas.... But, I think my favorite part was the visit we had with Chuck & Cori (Mommy Stories). We spent Thanksgiving day with them and, I'm proud to report, we managed an entire Thanksgiving meal with not one adult around to help. Well, OK, we're adults now, but sometimes it's hard to remember that we're no longer the teenagers we once were. But, I'm still impressed that between the 2 of us, we managed to produce turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, squash, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and cake! What a feast it was...I probably gained a few pounds!

For now, I'm busily working on Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, and trying to muster the strength to pull out our 11 year old tree for set-up and decorating. I told Michael that I really wanted to buy a REAL tree this year, but I changed my mind when we went shopping on Tuesday and discovered they were around $65+. I think I'll stick with my fake tree and suck it up when I start getting my yearly rash from putting the lights on the scratchy branches.

Once the decorating has been completed, it's on to my least favorite part of the wrapping! I was the designated gift wrapper at my house growing up. My mother always made me wrap everyone's gifts - except mine, of course - because I was so anal about how perfect the finished product looked. Each bow had to be a perfect match to the paper, color coordination was a must, and every corner had to be sharp and precise. Some things never change! I'm still just as anal about it, but now I loathe the whole process. Of course, it doesn't help that some of our gift wrap is as old as my marriage (11 years and counting)! I'm just tired of looking at it! Every year, I buy a new roll or 2, then do my best to use up the old stuff, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Even our family comments on how old the paper is and how they remember seeing it, again & again, each and every year! So, I think I've decided that while Michael isn't looking, I'm going to toss it out and just buy all new paper. The local party store sent out a flier announcing "50 Yard Rolls of Christmas Gift Wrap for only 69 cents" so I just can't pass up the opportunity to look at something new. Maybe new paper will make wrapping all of the gifts less of a chore and more enjoyable...though I highly doubt it!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

Well, we're getting ready to leave town, so my ability to blog is pretty much non-existent. We'll be leaving on Sunday, returning the following Sunday, with lots of car-time in the middle. Though we're only venturing a few hundred miles from home, we'll be all over Dallas & Ft. Worth. I'm sort of dreading being in the car with the kids, but am hoping for a small miracle - you know, no arguing, no complaining, and no accidents :)

Anyway, I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday week! Have fun, enjoy the company of family (or maybe strangers) and remember to be thankful while over-indulging :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Trouble-maker at Work!

Last week, this is how my son appeared when he was called upstairs for his bath (notice the big smile?). After some research, I discovered my makeup bag on the floor of my bathroom, totally empty, makeup scattered all over the place. But, more specifically, my mascara was open and laying on the floor - thank God none of it got on the carpet!

This is a picture of my bathroom carpet. No less than 2 nights later, Ian decided to 'color' my carpet with my black, waterproof mascara. I called my neighbor in a panic asking her for carpet cleaning advice. She suggested eye-makeup remover. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but after 30 minutes of squirting and scrubbing, this is what I'm left with!

This is the scene of today's crime! He used the dishwasher as a step-stool - pretty smart kid when he wants to be! He gets his brains from my side of the family :)

This is the evidence! This is a jar of peanut butter that had just been opened last week. It was more than two-thirds full as of this afternoon's lunch, but is now two-thirds empty. He apparently has the skill-set to remove a lid from a jar. Who knew?

This is the culprit, and he smells like 1 big peanut!

So, if anyone is wondering why I haven't posted in a while, you can find me at the local insane assylum!!! Send your Get Well cards to "Ian's Mommy" or "That Poor, Poor Woman!" Either way, I'm sure they'll find me since I'll be the one in the white coat that buttons up the back!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just for Fun :)

Here is a picture of: Spider Man, my Beautiful Ballerina Girl....and Grumpy the Clown! I'm not sure I'll ever get a picture of him smiling...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Ok, so I'm sitting here wondering why? Why are things progressively getting worse around here? First it was Alex with a horrible cough that resulted in strep, then Ian that same evening with a high fever also resulting in strep, followed the next day by a nasty stomach virus that induces vomitting, with no warning, all over me 3 times (just on me 3 times, but I think the grand total was 7)!!! Then, Sunday, it was Morgann's turn with the nasty cough. Monday, I took her to the doctor and guess what? Strep and upper respiratory issues (meaning breathing treatments for the next 4 or 5 days!). Just for kicks, I decided to give them all a breathing treatment tonight - no need for 2 of them to feel left out, right?!? And, amazingly, they all stopped coughing...

But anway, apparently it is now my, not strep, thank God! I've never had strep - a doctor once told me when I was young that he thought that I might have a built-in immunity to it because my entire family had a bad case of it, but I walked around with nothing wrong :) Anyway, no, I don't have strep, but I did get a bad sore throat 2 days ago, and now have a nose that won't work when it's supposed to, and won't stop working when I need it to (i.e. stuffy when I'm trying to breath, and running when it's not convenient)!

And, it was only a matter of time...Michael is now feeling as though he's been run over by a truck.

Can't tell you how much fun we're having around here :)

Hope you all stay healthy and avoid all of the nasty bugs that attack from every direction at this particular time of year. I'll be back when the cold medicine wear's off!

Friday, October 27, 2006

An Update

Well, Little W finally went home to be with daddy yesterday, but not for the happy reasons we were all hoping for. And, before you immediately think the worst, mommy has been released from the hospital and was doing well as of yesterday!

Anyway, Little W had to go to the doctor yesterday because he had an awful cough! He spent Wednesday with my neighbor, but by Thursday, his cough was getting bad. So, she called his daddy and told him that he needed to take him to get checked for croup! Thankfully, no croup, but he does have a virus! Lovely!!! He's been sleeping face to face with my oldest for 9 days!

So, guess what happened next? Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone call from the nurse's office at Alex's school telling me that he had a low-grade fever, which meant that I had to go pick him up! Nice!!! Yesterday we spent the day just running errands, him coughing every now & then, but seeming to feel fine. Then this morning, he was coughing up a lung, so I took him to the doctor only to leave with a diagnosis of strep! Great!!

And, now as I sit & type, I hold my youngest in my lap, curled into a little ball, running a 103.5 fever! Couldn't this have happened 6 hours ago when we were sitting in the doctor's office?!? And, to top it off, my pediatrician isn't on-call this weekend, which would mean that either we go see her associate, that I don't like at all, or wait until Monday. So, I had no other choice but to call my sister who works at a stand-alone ER and ask if I could bring him in for a quick strep test tonight. Thankfully, the doctor there said that he would be happy to check him for me for FREE!

It's nice to have friends & family in 'high places' :)

But, alas, this means that we will not be going to our church's fall festival tonight! I was getting really excited about it too - my daughter wanted to be a ballerina, so my sisters and I went through all of our old costumes until we found one that fit her. This afternoon, I went and bought her some 'fake' ballet shoes, tights, and a tiara to top off the look. She was going to look so cute! Oh well!! Guess she'll have to wait until Tuesday now :(

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Silence is Golden!

Ok, so I've been away for a while. But, there is a good explanation for it, I promise!!! You see, we're child sitting, for what appears to be an indefinite amount of time. What started out to be a 3 or 4 day sleepover, has turned into 8 days and still counting. It's no one's fault, and I'm not upset by it, but having 1 more child day in & day out has thrown my 'norm' off a little bit.

A very good friend of mine from MOPS went in for surgery on Wednesday morning (last week). She is the mother of 4 kiddos, so several of us took them so that her hubby would be free to visit her, be with her, or head back out to work after the surgery. On Thursday, something happened, and she was immediately rushed into the ICU. And, there she still is - 6 days later! It's been very hard on her & her husband, but harder still on the kids.

The little guy we're keeping is only 3, so his understanding of what's going on is almost nothing. He just knows that mommy is at the doctor's office. He's not asking about her, not crying for her, not really saying anything about her or daddy - which has been a blessing. That's not to say I'm glad he's not missing his mommy, but I AM! That means he's not homesick yet, which means that his new daily ritual at my house isn't causing him too much heartache. He's been wonderfully easy, and has adapted well to the structure of our household - eating & snack times, waking up early, going to bed early, etc. He even clears his 'spot' at the table after eating, just like my 3 kiddos know they must do after each meal.

The only BIG change (for me much more than him!) has been the fact that I haven't been forcing him to go down for a nap every day. My 3 (almost 4) year old quit taking naps about a year ago. I only force her to bed during the day if her bahavior indicates that she needs some extra rest. But, having Little W around has meant more play time, less rest time! She's loved it! And, really, so have I. But today, I decided to try something. Little W is currently upstairs, where he should be taking a nap. I'm not convinced he's actually doing that since I keep hearing the pitter-patter of little feet up there - I will have to go check on that momentarily. Morgann was off to school today, leaving only Ian & Little W here with me. We had a few friends over for a play date, had lunch, and they left, leaving just Little W up and on his own. And, since I decided that Mr. TV needed to take a break, there really wasn't any reason that he shouldn't go upstairs to, at the very least, rest, and hopefully sleep :)

So, here I sit, in a very quiet house, for the first time in what seems ages! And, as I sit here, I'm thinking about how ready I am to be back to 'normal'. I love having Little W here with us, especially since he's been so easy, but I'm sort of ready for a break! When I offered to help out with Little W, I never imagined that he'd be with us a week later, and maybe even longer! It's hard not to be frustrated with the situation, but I'm trusting that God will continue to give me the Grace to be the extra-mommy that Little W needs right now, that He will continue to bless Little W with Peace, that that same Peace will rest on my kiddos as their lives have be interrupted by a stranger, and that God will be merciful to my hubby, as having another child around is really throwing off our family time! But, I guess most of all, I'm praying that Little W's mommy will experience healing in her body, and that things will balance and regulate so that she can get home to her 4 kiddos that she's missing so terribly!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Finally!!!! It's 67^ outside and there is no chance that the high will reach anywhere close to the 90's! I love autumn :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Out of control

You know how it gets when Life starts getting the better of you? That's what has been happening to me lately. I haven't posted in a while, not because it's boring and there isn't anything to post about, but because I just can't seem to sit still long enough to put my thoughts down on paper...err, I mean screen. Thoughts...well, maybe not thoughts because I haven't had many of those lately. It's more like fleeting sparks that simply appear, then disappear. I've been down in the dumps allot (ok, we'll blame it on hormones because I don't want to think about what else might be causing it) and very, very tired! If I have time to sit & think, I don't. I sit, then fall asleep.

Take yesterday for example, I felt so bad (and I mean flu-type symptoms) and was so passed the point of exhaustion, that while sitting in the chair talking to my sister, I fell asleep! Then, continued to sleep after saying a quick goodbye to her, for 3 more hours! Then, after completing my nightly cycle of mommy tasks, went to bed early (@ 10:30PM) and slept for another 9 hours!

I feel much better today, but my list of things that HAVE to get done before Friday morning (when I have family arriving in town to stay with us for 3 days while my cousin gets married on Saturday) is sort of overwhelming, making me want to crawl back into bed while my little one sleeps. I know that I cannot do that today, because procrastination will only put more pressure on me tomorrow & Thursday, so I'm off to go clean something. And, really, any room I pick will be a huge task! So, I'd better get going!!!!

But, before I say goodbye, I just wanted to post something so that those that read my ramblings will know that I'm OK :) Two weekends ago, I attended the MOPS Convention in Nashville - can anyone say AWESOME? It's amazing what happens when you get more than 5,000 moms in one room, singing their hearts out to the Lord, being refreshed and rejuvenated!!! The speakers were amazing, the smaller group events were outstanding, and the fellowship I had with the 10 other ladies from my MOPS steering team was worth more than anything I could ever ask for. The help I received from my wonderful MIL, sister, and yes, hubby, was a precious gift! I was encouraged and uplifted, and after 4 days away, was ready to get home to my husband & kiddos. I was ready to face all of the challenges that being a mommy can present, and feel like I am equiped enough to handle Life, and all that goes with it :)

This passed weekend was Alex's first Cub Scout camp out. Can you say HOT? It was in the 90's with like 200% humidity, and no breeze! A typical Texas-style October :) I only stayed for part of the day on Saturday, then took the 2 little ones home for baths & bed. Hubby stayed at the camp with Alex and had allot of daddy/son bonding time. They fished, sat by the campfire roasting smores, tying knots, and talking. I know that the 2 of them made some wonderful memories together. I, on the other hand, slept comfortably in my bed, with the A/C on full blast, and the ceiling fan blowing on high :) My kind of camp-out!!!

So, that's all for now, I guess. I really need to sign-off now. If I don't get my butt upstairs to start picking up, I'm going to regret it!! Say a prayer for me, then have a wonderful Tuesday afternoon :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Things I've Learned

1. It is absolutely impossible to count on a 2 year old! Just when you think you've got his 'schedule' all figured out, and plan his 2nd birthday party for morning, he will wake up crabbier than all-get-out, cry and scream hysterically no matter how many nice things you say to him, and leave you with absolutely no photos showing how much fun he had at his birthday! Well, OK, this photo was taken prior to leaving for his birthday, but, as you can see, there was no way this child was going to smile. No matter how many goofy faces the photo-taker made, the outcome was the same. It was only after the flash went off that he'd sort of smirk at the camera, as if to say, 'Haha! You only think that you can control me!'

2. When setting up the 'area' at the birthday party, one should wait until the birthday boy is far, far away from the cake table. Telling a 2 year old not to touch the construction-themed cake, complete with small trucks and cookie crumbles, does not bode well for the parents, or anyone else in close proximity to the party facility. Not only was he told "Don't Touch!" about 15 times, all followed by screams and cries that caused other patrons to turn around to be sure you weren't punching the child in the face, which would cause these screams & cries, he was also instructed not to throw his birthday plates on the floor, which went over about as well as "Don't touch the cake!".

3. When lighting the 2 small candles on his birthday cake, you find out that your teachings may actually be sinking into his little brain! As soon as I lit his candles, he started screaming and crying, clawing to get away from the flames. I guess all of my "Don't Touch, HOT!" and "Owwwy!" comments when he approaches the occassional lit candle at home have really made an impact :) In light of this new development, I didn't mind having to blow out his candles so he would sit in front of the cake while we all sang a stirring rendition of "Happy Birthday to you".

4. Opening more than 2 gifts with a 2 year old is a cruel joke! After he opens one gift to discover a big truck, you quickly push that one aside and insist he open another one, to find another big truck. After taking that one away too, he no longer wants to go through the motions of opening any more gifts, since it's obvious to him that you will only strip that one away as well. 2 year olds are pretty smart...and stubborn!

5. Last, but certainly not least, when you get home, you should promptly put away all birthday gifts. Leaving them in gift bags, nicely arranged at the back of the living room, really isn't a good idea. As soon as you are out of sight & ear-shot, your 2 year old, with the assistance of his older brother & sister, will most certainly open each & every box and bag, remove all contents of said package and spread them all over the house, making it impossible to walk through any room without stepping on one object or another! And, you can forget finding a place to sit on your couch!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'll return...eventually!

I'm up to my eyeballs in recipes, so I'll have to get back to my blog when this task is completed! I'm assisting my MOPS group by inputing recipes into an online system for a MOPS cookbook fundraiser. Thanks to my friend, Alex, I was given no less than 22 pages of recipes - 3-4 recipes per page - to input as quickly as I could. So, you can guess what I've been doing on this long, wonderful weekend!?! Well, that, and cleaning my carpets on Saturday :)

Have an awesome Labor Day and I'll return...someday!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I think something is missing!

I simply cannot believe that my baby is old enough to have lost his very first tooth! Two nights ago, the toothfairy made her first visit to our house - the first of many - leaving behind 4 whole quarters. Alex was amazed that 'this little tooth' was worth that much. I suggested to him that we go ahead and pull out all of his teeth right now, explaining that he'd make a fortune. Fortunately, he didn't go for my idea :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Doing a little dance :)

Maybe it was the mother driving down the street, honking her horn vigorously at us while shaking her fists in victory and whooping, or maybe it was the cheering from my fellow moms & neighbors, and hugging-all-around at the now empty bus stop that brought a smile to my face, but I do believe that I might have a little bit of an extra spring to my step this morning!


My oldest boarded the bus this morning, enroute to his 2nd first day of school - the 1st being last year's first day of kindergarten. With his fellow Yellowjackets (the school mascot), he greeted a smiling Mr. Dennis, the ever-faithful (and very loved & trusted) bus driver. As he passed us by on the way to the corner, the kiddos all started clapping & cheering when they saw his face behind that giant steering wheel. He greeted each child by name as they boarded, then took the names of the new kiddos just starting out this year. Alex and his 2 best buddies, Cameron & Kyle, found a seat for all 3 of their bottoms, then decided to switch to the seat directly across from the first. Alex reached up & opened the window so that he could yell out at us, waving as the bus drove off.

I'm sure my smile will eventually fade, but even now, my cheeks are cramping :)

*Dancing in my chair, bobbing my head to Kool & The Gang's Celebration.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Playing in the sand box

As I would expect most any other stay-at-home mommy would do, I look for the quiet moments in my day. I treasure them! I also use them to get as much done as I possibly can, whether it's cleaning, eating, reading or posting blogs, or sleeping. If there is a quiet moment to be found, I'll use it!

Of course, sometimes I find out that the quiet moments are simply the calm before the storm. In a house with 3 kiddos, it's bound to happen sooner or later, right?

Lately, I've been forcing my 3 children to play 'nicely' together. It is those times when I'm desperate for a moment of peace, or simply need to do something like say, use the bathroom, that I politely (most of the time) request that they keep their hands to themselves and head upstairs to the playroom. Alex, who will be 7 in December, is the designated babysitter. It is his job to ensure that no one does anything they aren't supposed to do (a job he takes very seriously, mind you). So, when there is a quiet moment, and I've sent them all upstairs, I would assume that the babysitter is doing his best to fulfill his duties, ensuring that his 2 younger siblings are upstairs with him, playing!

The other day, after about 30 blissful minutes of quiet, I went upstairs to see exactly what 'fun' my 3 monkies were having. I hadn't heard any screaming or yelling, no crying or sudden thuds, so I figured it would be safe to assume that they were all dead. Imagine my surprise when I reached the playroom and found only 2 of my 3 monkies quietly playing together. I quickly asked my oldest where exactly his younger brother was? Without flinching, he says, over his shoulder, "I don't know". Hmmm...what kind of babysitter are you? Oh wait! The almost 7 year old kind! So, I simply replied, "OK, would you mind helping me look for him?"

At that, we all went in different directions, me to the other bedrooms & bathroom upstairs (thinking that he was probably hiding in the bathroom, hands in the toilet splashing contentedly), Alex & Morgann downstairs to continue the search. About 10 seconds later I hear, "Oh my gosh! Moooommmmm!!!!!" Of course, that left me no other alternative than to dash down the stairs at break-neck speed (almost breaking my neck on the pile of toys at the bottom) to find out what would cause such a reaction. And then I saw 23 month old, trouble-maker son, playing in the cat box! With a wild smile and sparkling eyes, he looked up at me and started laughing while throwing handfuls of sandy pebbles into the air. He seemed proud of the pile he'd made in the middle of the kitchen floor - the one I'd just finished sweeping less than 5 minutes before. I immediately start wondering what would possess him to do such a thing, then I remembered how much he loves to play in the sandbox at our favorite, family-friendly restaurant. So, after scooping him up, washing his hands (and face) with warm, soapy water, and sweeping the floor again, I squated down to his level and explained that the "kitty box is yuck! Don't touch! Yuck!!!" He smiled, repeated the word yuck, then toddled off.

I was satisfied with his response and assumed that he thoroughly understood what I was trying to say, and would never again do such a gross thing. Boy was I wrong! Now he apparently thinks it's a game...that we're supposed to play daily. I've found myself resorting to screaming each & every time I find a pile of kitty litter next to the box, regardless of whether or not Ian is anywhere nearby. I've started finding litter in some of the strangest places - the couch in the living room, my water glass sitting on a near-by table, the cats food & water dish, the's never-ending! And, each & every time I go looking for him, he's got wads of litter in-hand, just waiting to toss up into the air as soon as I'm within his sight, but not yet close enough to grab before he let's go mid-throw. How do you get a 23 month old to understand "gross" and "yuck" when he loves to get dirty? He's such a boy!!!

So, for now, I'm simply hoping that we remember to clean the kitty litter box at least twice a day, praying that the kitten isn't carrying any funky diseases that can be passed to people, and keeping the broom & dustpan nearby for a quick clean up. Oh yeah...and buying several more bottles of anti-bacterial soap!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Slight Detour

Well, we're down to the official '1 week' mark. I cannot believe that school will be back in session in just 7 short days - even though I've been counting down since last May! Alex will be returning to school on Wednesday the 16th, while Morgann & Ian will be starting Preschool (Tu & Th) & MDO (Th) the following day. Having all 3 kiddos in school means that I will have 1 whole day to myself, each & every week! I am very excited about this prospect, to say the least!!!

Last weekend was spent 'preparing' for back to school. Thankfully it was not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars filling their closets with clothes - they have plenty to finish out the warm weather months ahead - but we did have to get new backpacks and lunch boxes, as well as a nap mat for Ian. So, Friday night, we decided to embark on our search for the perfect new backpacks, making it a family outing. Little did we know that it would take us 3 1/2 hours that night, and about 3 hours the next day to complete this task!!! Ridiculously, we hit 4 different stores Friday night (one store twice), managing to get a backpack for each child, as well as a lunch box for Morgann. Alex & Ian were unable to find a suitable lunch box, which is why Alex & I headed back out the door on Saturday morning in hopes of making a purchase before lunch. I hate to say it, but we failed miserably. Not only did we have to stop for a lunch break mid-shopping, but we ended up leaving the mall with a kitten, rather than a lunch box!

It's a long story that I will not go into great detail over, but while searching almost every store for said lunch boxes, we happened upon a pet fair being hosted by the local SPCA. Alex & I both spotted a cute little Labrador puppy, so we headed over for a quick pat. While oohing & aahing over the cute animals, I spotted a precious little kitten in the arms of one of the volunteers and my heart melted. It didn't take me long to come to my senses, knowing that if I returned home with an animal, I'd be a single mother. So, I quickly passed the kitten back to the kind lady, and high-tailed it out of there. Feeling rather proud of myself, I called Michael to hypothetically ask him what he'd do if I went home with a kitten. After a few seconds of silence, he responded that he wouldn't mind having another cat, then said I could get it if I wanted to. Talk about a shocker!!! Well, I was quick to remind him that we didn't really have the money to purchase her and that it wouldn't be a smart purchase on our part. (Not to mention that if turned out that I bought her and she wasn't a good fit for the family, it would be my fault, yet again!). He just said to do whatever I wanted, but be sure to bring lunch home to him. Alex asked to talk to his daddy for a second, so I passed the phone off to him.

"Hi Daddy! Guess what? Mommy & I found this cute little kitten and we want to buy her. She's cheap!" Pause for a response from daddy. "Yeah, I would take extra good care of her. I'll clean up after her, feed her, pet her, sleep with her." Another pause. "Ok, bye!".

He hands the phone back to me and says, "Daddy said we could buy her!"

At that, he turns around and heads back toward the SPCA's adoption area. Well, alrighty then!

So, based on my previous entry, it's obvious that we now have a new member in our family. On Monday afternoon, we made a trip to the Veterinarian to have her checked out (the SPCA provided us with a courtesy health check certificate to be sure she was in good shape). Except for a slight 'kitty cold', she's healthy & happy, weighing in at 3 whole pounds! The kids are in love and she's adapted very well to all of them (including Ian who chases her around screaming "tiiiy" at the top of his lungs).

Needless to say, we never did find the lunch boxes, but in lieu of getting the kitten, Alex has agreed to keep using last year's lunch box, and will donate an older one to Ian. Such a sacrificial gesture, don't you think?!?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Welcome to the Family

Well, as of yesterday, we have a new member in our chaotic household. Surprisingly, she seems to have adjusted very well. Her feet have barely touched the floor since her arrival, and she has no lack of attention, even when it comes time to using the potty (poor baby has an audience almost every time)! Last night, however, we discovered that she does not like to be alone, which meant that she slept with us - well, on me is more like it! Thankfully she only weighs 2 pounds, so it was more of an inconvenience than anything.

Meet Squeaker (Squeak) - a name chosen because of the "noise" she makes when she tries to meow:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Promises, Promises

Well, I keep telling myself that today is the day that I will finally sweep and mop my laundry/kitchen/breakfast room floors. Every single day, today has been the day! Yet, by the end of the day, the floor jumps up and screams at me that I failed to actually follow through with my promise, again! Well, OK, so I exaggerate a tad - it doesn't jump up...but it does sit there staring at me as if to say "Promises, promises!!!"

So, I decided this morning that today was most definitely the day. But, as of now, it's looking like maybe I meant that tomorrow would be the day. It's absolutely filthy - stains and sticky stuff everywhere, and don't even get me started with the crumbs! For those that frequent this blog, you all already know my distaste for housework. But for those that aren't familiar, you can read previous posts about said hatred.

And, just so you'll know, I really am not a procrastinator. I grew up with one, and live with one, so it is my duty to NOT be one. But, it seems that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to actually doing something that I don't enjoy - or, to be quite honest, hate with a passion!!! It's just that other duties cleaning off the top of hubby's desk so that I can actually put a glass down, or, better yet, do some work...and, of course, reading other people's blogs! This, afterall, is my one & only vice - well, almost :)

So, here I sit, talking about cleaning the floors, instead of actually cleaning them! I mean, that's what housekeepers are for, right? I have one now (thank you so much hubby!!!), but she only comes once a month, and, I'm saving my next cleaning for the day before a party that I'll be hostessing here. So, I guess I have a few choices to make: (1) Finish this post, then get back to work at cleaning off the desk and getting hubby organized; (2) Walk away from the desk that is only 1/2 cleared off and focus on getting the floors cleaned; (3) Put it off until tomorrow.

Hmmm...decisions, decisions....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Trial & Error

First, a big THANK YOU to Jenny at Three Kid Circus for the inspiration of this blog. I've been dealing with a dry-spell lately, being so exasperated by my 3 little monkies that I'm unable to think straight enough to put thoughts on paper...err, blog! So, alas, I'm going to borrow her idea, and give it a little "Chaotic" spin, attempting to paint a picture of what it's like to grocery shop with us! Hold onto your's gonna be bumpy ride!!!

As history would suggest, anything this family does, as a family, might be cause for, ummmm...well, I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward "commitment to the nearest insane assylum"! Anytime we all go someplace - and I do mean with or without daddy - it's a sight to behold. Forget the fact that you only have to be within 100 yards of us to know that we are indeed in the building - oh, who am I kidding? - in the vacinity, it just makes those without children want to consider sterilization! And, forget about being concerned any longer with the looks I get from passers by. You know the ones I'm talking about, right? It's that "you poor woman" look. I've gotten very accustomed to ignoring it because it only re-inforces my own thoughts of ineptitude (is that a word?).

It was only 4 short days ago that I broke my own cardinal rule - I went grocery shopping with all 3 kiddos! This is something that I try to reserve for the evenings, after all monkies under 4 foot tall are in bed, and daddy & mommy have had a chance to visit & discuss our day, and/or eat dinner. But, on this very special day, I was forced to go out, in public, by myself, with all of my children, to the place that I hate the most! You see, on a good week, I take the time to sift through my fridge and rummage through my pantry, noting all of the items that we use, but happen to be out of. Most of you call this a list. I refer to it as my life-line - you'll understand in just a minute. But, I'll admit to you all now that since this hadn't been what I'd call a 'good week', I left the house without giving another thought to jotting down a few notes on the nearest scrap of paper to help me remember what I'd need while shuffling up & down the aisles of our local market. I knew that there were several 'staples' which we had depleted, and I just knew that I'd remember to pick them up when I saw them. That was the beginning of my downfall.

Before leaving the house, I sat the 2 older kiddos down on the couch and explained to them that we were going to make a quick trip to the store to get food. I then explained that if we didn't get food, there would be no dinner, so I really needed their help & support. Giving mommy help & support meant NOT asking me for 20 different things, at the same time, or making any sort of PDU (public display of unruly-ness). Doing so would only cause the trip to the store to take longer, thereby delaying our getting home to eat dinner. And, since it was already 4:15, I figured that their empty stomachs would help their little brains to comprehend the need for their help & support - yet another error in judgement by Your's Truly! So, after waking the youngest from his 3 hour nap - yes, I know, another stupid, rookey error - off we went to the grocery store only 3 short blocks from the house.

Upon arrival, we poured out of the van, then had a mini-fight over which basket mommy would push for the next hour (or 2). Since I was the mommy, and designated 'cart pusher', I won that battle - should have known that the war was only a few short minutes away! We entered through the automatic sliding doors, and were immediately bowled-over by the icy blast of A/C - not usually a bad thing when the heat index is well over 100 degrees, but when it's blowing so hard that it takes the 22 month old's breath away for even the slightest second, it doesn't bode well for the rest of trip. Onward I pushed (after a quick consoling hug), first reaching the produce department. As is the custom for us, I gave each child 2 plastic produce bags to hold, which they are supposed to hand-over at the appropriate time. The 2 older children are experts at this ritual, but the youngest is still learning what it means to share. So, after filling 4 of the 6 plastic bags with various fruits & veggies, then grabbing several more bags for later use, the youngest decided that he indeed wanted to share - screaming at me when I didn't respond to his new-found knowledge within seconds. Then, in the same screaming-breath, beginning to chant "nana...nana...nana". This, of course, meant that he'd spotted his favorite fruit...bananas. Now, I don't know about any of you, and I'm willing to take any advice you can offer, but I haven't yet figured out how to make a 22 month old understand that he must wait to eat said fruit until it's been paid for. I spoke in the most soothing tones I could muster, explaining over & over again that he had to 'wait'. I even did my best 'distraction' moves by pointing out the 'red balls' (apples) already in the shopping cart, then attempting to show him the other cool items I could toss in as I picked up the pace. I had to quickly admit defeat and decided to do what any other parent would do - move faster and do my best to act as though his ear-piercing screams weren't affecting me in the slightest, all while being eye-balled by several older women peeking over their bifocals at me!

On we moved to the bread department where yet another argument ensued with the little guy at not being able to 'hold' the 2 bags of bread I placed into the shopping cart (next to the bananas) - he's a squeezer! Then at last we reached what I refer to as "heaven in grocery store" - the Bakery! We made a mad dash to the bowl of FREE cookies, only to behold an empty saucer. This just wouldn't do...I had to have cookies, now! I think the little lady behind the counter saw terror in my eyes, and came running to the rescue, giving my little monkies the choice of which cookie box they'd prefer to open. We (I) chose the chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, knowing full-well that the sugar rush would send them into a sugar-induced trance, buying me some time to get up & down the other 35 aisles of the store, through the check-out lane, and out the door. Besides, I had grabbed the bag of wipes as we exited the car, and knew that whatever mess they could create, it wasn't anything that a few heavy-duty wipes wouldn't cure :-)

As we wound up & down the next 4 aisles, I successfully fielded repeated requests for this, that or the other, noting that on the peanut butter & jelly aisle, I needed to grab a jar of each. However, directly opposite the PB&J were 3 shelves, brimming with boxes of various styles & flavors of fruit snacks - roll-ups, twistables, sweet gushers, sour gushers, mystery flavors, and any number of animated characters. So, knowing that I would indeed not win the Battle of Fruit Snack Hill, I found myself asking my 3 children to decide which 'one' they preferred. And, as you can imagine, another mini-fight ensued, but this time between the 2 older children - the youngest just kept screaming "Nack! Nack!" and pointing. During said battle, it came to my attention that I was in the way of those that might want to move past me. It took me a second to realize it, but while waiting for my daughter & son to come to some sort of agreement, I was blocking one side of the aisles with the 'Expedition-sized cart' I had chosen 30 minutes earlier. While being shot looks of disgust, and (loud) irritated sighs, I came to realize that I could not move - I was indeed stuck between 3 cart-pushing, child-free morons! It seemed to slip right passed their God-forsaken brains that if they wanted to me to keep moving in a forward motion, someone was going to have to move their cart first! It was only after several awkward seconds of staring at each other that the older lady directly in front of me realized that she needed to move her basket, so that I could move mine, so that she could continue her stress-free shopping experience. So, as I proceeded forward, so as to allow the other patrons to pass, my 2 older kids felt the need to escalate their whines to yells. Again, as regret began to set-in, I realized that I had only 1 choice to make - grab 1 box of fruit snacks for each child, and move on - leaving the necessary PB& J behind - and not on purpose!

At this point I was considering abandoning my shopping cart - and maybe my kids* - making tonight a fast-food dinner night. But, something overtook me and I decided that I would indeed conquer the rest of the store - at lightning fast speeds. So, onward I pushed, grabbing various & sundry items, paying no heed to price or value. I just knew that if I didn't get through the store with everything I needed, I wouldn't be able to hold my head up as I pushed past the other patrons from the fruit snack aisle. It became my quest. But, that's not say that my kiddos were doing anything to help me!!! Alex just kept making these roaring-fighting noises, much too loud for my liking, Morgann kept on with her whining and begging, and Ian just kept screaming! My head was spinning, and regret of attempting this task was almost too much for me to bear! But, onward I pushed, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

As I approached the end of the store, I did a quick inventory of my cart, but realized how pointless that was! It was piled high, which meant that I had no way of seeing what might be at the bottom. Oh well! I was sure that I'd managed to grab everything on my (mental) list, so we headed off to the checkout line. As luck would have it, I was able to pull into an empty line - how often does that happen? I'm thinking that maybe they saw me coming and quickly opened up a lane, just for us, so that we'd hurry up & leave.

Once home, the kids happily assisted me in carring in the 'light' bags. After unloading and putting everything away, it was time to start dinner. I pulled the defrosted chicken from the fridge, then headed to the pantry for my bread-crumb coating, only to notice that there was no bread-crumb coating - I'd forgotten it! Aaahhh! Ok, wait, don't panic. I had a package of non-frozen ground turkey that I could cook. So, rummaging around the pantry, I decided on tacos. After getting the meat on, I began pulling out all of the 'fixins' - tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados for homemade guacamole, queso, and ummm....well....dang it! No chips!!! Right about that time, hubby walked in the door from work. He's the one that usually wants chips & queso (it's just a bonus for the rest of us), so I left the ball in his court. I quickly informed him that even though I'd just returned from the grocery store, if he wanted chips for the queso, he'd need to turn around and leave again to go get some. If looks could kill....

...see, that's why a list is my life-line!

I've already started working on my list for the next shopping trip, making sure to plan it so that I can go in the evening. I think that just works best for all, the kids, the other patrons, the grocery store staff...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mission...Almost Impossible

Why is it that anytime I'm getting ready to leave town, or be away from my home, my OCD kicks in?!? I say that tongue-in-cheek because anyone that knows me, knows that I in no way, shape or form, exhibit OCD. Just a peek at my house would send any real person with even the slightest OCD over the edge, I'm sure of it! The sheer fact that I'm sitting here typing this, rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut-off, is miracle enough. It's just that when I know I'm going to be gone for more than 24 hours, I shift from the "I don't care how my house looks, I'm not going to stress out over it" woman, to "Oh my God! I need to finish the laundry, fold & put everything away, sweep & mop the floors, and every last dish must be washed & put away" crazy woman!!! My stress level rises to it's absolute highest, and my kids know that it's time to run & hide. Hubby disappears too! It's the strangest thing...

I'm supposed to be getting ready to leave for a weekend-long MOPS retreat today, but I'm forcing myself to sit & blog about my 'problem'. I'm doing so in hopes of finding another mommy or 2 (or just 1, really) that can feel my pain, and relate to my OCD-ness. I need to know that there is another mommy out there that totally loses control, and feels compelled to have her house in perfect condition before vacating the premisses for even the shortest span of time.

I think my problem stems from a number of things - the first being my paranoid mind. Do you really want to know what rolls through this brain in my head? "What if I leave, and something happens to me? My family & friends will come to my home and find that I live a life of clutter and mess. My husband won't be able to function because all of the clothes will be in the hamper, or worse, clean in the basket, and wrinkled beyond all recognition". That's it! Really, that's why I become this posessed, crazy woman. Then, of course, there is the "While I'm gone, my kids need to be dressed in clean clothes, not left to run around the house (and/or yard) in their underwear or jammies" feeling. That one sends a shiver straight up my spine! To think that my neighbors would see my kiddos running around with hair in their eyes (Morgann) or sticking straight up in the air (Alex & Ian), still dressed in their jammies or skivies at 2PM makes me want to cry. Why? I'm anal retentive when it comes to appearances I guess. Not the fake, 'I want to put on a show and make people think we're someone that we're not' sort of appearance, but the 'even though mommy isn't home, hubby is fully capable of running the house with one hand tied behind his back' appearance. I know, I know! I'm a sad, sad shell of a person!!! I'm sinking in my chair as I type this, um...errr...confession. I know I'm expecting allot from a man that works 40+ hours a week, away from the house. To think that he'd really care about something so small and insignificant makes me feel badly. But, at the same time, it's not small & insignificant to me. So, seeing as how I am super-woman, it is my duty to be sure to give this man that I love every opportunity to fulfill my hopes & wishes while I'm away.

So this means, leaving the house in some semblance of order, with clean dishes, a fridge/freezer stocked with easy to heat & serve meals, clean clothes put away in their appropriate place...and a sister-in-law willing to come over to be sure the kiddos are dressed and well-fed :)

My only real demand for hubby? "Please be sure the dishes are in the dishwasher when I come home...oh yeah, and that no one runs out into the middle of the street!" (but, I digress!!! - there's a story behind that, but I dare not go there right now.)

*I love you my sweet man and appreciate your willingness to let me leave for a weekend of fun with the girls!!! You're wonderful and I truly appreaciate all you do for us :) So, about those dishes...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why kids should not be left alone!

I'm afraid this will be Ian at some point... Maybe allowing him to go through a whole box of band-aids from time to time isn't such a bad idea!!! Thanks to my friend -M for passing this email along to me :) And, thanks to the mommy in cyber-land that decided to share this photo of her precious little one with the rest of us! It's all in your perspective...

Have an awesome day!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Just too busy!!

Hi All! Hope this post finds you well :) I have so much to blog about, but I'm just too busy to stop and think right now! It seems like every day is busier than the last, with this week being no exception. So, just know that I'm taking a few precious minutes to read YOUR posts, and hoping to come up for air by next week.

Happy Blogging!

Friday, June 23, 2006

The End

Well, here I am at the end of a very fun, but long, week! We just finished our week-long VBS program - Fiesta! Where Kids are Fired up About Jesus :) It was awesome!!!

On Monday, I was wondering what I could have possibly been thinking when I signed up to be a crew leader. As already stated in my previous post, I found out that I am not very good at handling children with severe behavioral issues. I came home worn out, and frustrated, thinking that if the rest of my week was going to go like that day did, I didn't think I'd be able to fulfill my commitment to VBS without totally losing my mind. At any rate, our bible point for that day was "Jesus is our Friend" (this is where you raise your hands into a 'V' and yell VIVA!).

Tuesday was much better. I had my entire crew, minus the 'trouble maker' and it was wonderful. God gave me an awesome group of well-behaved kiddos. Everyone was polite and helpful, and, most importantly, could listen to and follow instructions :) Our bible point on this day was "Jesus is our Life" - again, the obligatory VIVA! should be yelled at ear-piercing decibles.

Wednesday, our bible point was "Jesus is our Leader" - uh-huh, you guessed it...VIVA!!!

Thursday, our bible point was "Jesus is our Savior" - yep, VIVA! This day was most important because this was the day that we shared the salvation message with the kiddos in attendance. Do you know that I had 2 girls give their lives to Jesus? It was very moving and exciting for me to be a part of bringing them to the Lord. I now know that my participation in VBS truly meant something...

Today, Friday, our bible point was "Jesus is our Helper" - come on, one more time...VIVA! And, yes, I can relate whole-heartedly to this one! Not being a morning person, I felt His help every morning with the simple task of dragging myself out of bed each and every day. I'm a walking zombie at this point of the week - is it bedtime yet?

In short, I thorougly loved being a part of such a wonderful week of worship and fun! I would strongly encourage you to jump on it anytime you're given an opportunity to be a part of something like this - be it a VBS week or just assisting with a kid's camp. You won't be sorry! We may not see the rewards immediately, and may even feel some frustration (as demonstrated by me on Monday), but the long-term affect you've had on a child's life may have a lasting, eternal reward greater than anything else you could have imagined!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ah, the Memories...

Remember was a hot summer day (for those that lived in the south, anyway) and your mom woke you up at the crack of dawn and instructed you to get dressed and head to the table for breakfast? No, I'm not talking about summer school...I'm referring to Vacation Bible School. That's what we're in the middle of right now.

I decided a good way to get us all out of the house was to sign up to be a crew leader at our church's VBS this year. Didn't quite know what I was in for, but it's safe to say that today was a much better day than yesterday. The reason? One of the children that enrolled yesterday morning wasn't there today. Upon some investigation, I discovered that she is ADHD, and apparently hadn't taken her medication - or maybe she had! Uugghh!!! (and shudder). Anyway, with her absence, peace reigned. Now, I know it is very, very wrong me of me to feel this way, but fact is fact! She was a huge distraction for the group, and I've discovered that I have absolutely no coping skills when it comes to dealing with children with severe behavioral problems. So, last night I prayed for decent enough weather so that she could attend the summer camp she's signed up for, rather than our VBS. I know that's absolutely horrible of me, and I repent (really, Lord, I do!), but I just knew that if I had the original group, minus the never-ending-running-mouth-running-feet-meddling-hands child, I'd have a better day. And, I was right!!! Even one of the older kids in my group commented on how much quieter it was...without my coaxing him in the slightest!

I thoroughly enjoyed today with my other 6 kiddos - none of whom were related to me. My children have been assigned to other groups, by design, mind you, and are loving it! We've been singing our songs over lunch the last 2 days, discussing our bible points and scriptures, and giving daddy a run-down of each activity we did while eating dinner! The kids are having a blast, which is what I was shooting for. I'm having a blast (well, today, anyway!). And, most importantly...we're all taking naps when we get home :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just a filler...

Ok, so I don't really have the energy to post anything right now, but I saw this on Minivan Mom's blog and thought it might be fun to do. Granted, I've never watched the Simpsons, so this doesn't mean allot to me, but maybe someone else will find it funny. Anyway, here you go!

You Are Ned Flanders

A good neighbor and a devout Christian, you are a community leader.

And you are called to make the world a better place, especially for left handed people.

You will be remembered for: your goofy expressions - "hi-dilly, ho-dilly!"

Your life philosophy: "I've done everything the Bible says - even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Day to Remember

Happy Anniversary to me...Happy Anniversary to me...Happy Anniversary to me (and, ok, Michael too)...Happy Anniversary to me :)

Tomorrow (Saturday), we celebrate 11 years of married bliss! I can hardly believe it's been that long...err...I mean that it's only been that long...err...I can hardly believe it!!! And, yes, we're celebrating this year. We have arranged for a babysitter to come relieve us of our parental duties for a short 6 hours, followed by a recruited grandmother (Michael's mom) to relieve the babysitter, followed by an aunt (Michael's sister) who has graciously agreed to spend the night with our little monkies. Meanwhile, Michael and I will spend some much-deserved time alone, seeing a movie (for the first time in about a year), having a quiet, romantic dinner, and finally a night all to ourselves - for FREE thanks to those wonderful reward points I earned while working as an events planner several years ago, using 1 specific, large hotel chain for meetings and accommodations. Boy, was that smart-thinking on my part or what?!?

So, I sign off and drift off to dreamland, in hopes of bringing my (I mean our) day off from life & parenthood here sooner! You know, like when you tell your kids "If you hurry and go to bed, fall asleep really quick, and do not get up, for any reason, Santa will come sooner!" That's the goal, anyway :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Too Many Changes

Change is good...change is good...change is good...change is good. In case you can't figure it out, I'm chanting...change is good...change is good...

I've had allot of changes taking place over the last few weeks, and with all of those changes has come some new responsibility. Even though, by nature, we as humans are creatures of habit, it has been said that change is good. I would have to say that I usually agree with that statement - that change is good - but sometimes too much change, all at the same time, can send one into...well, chaos! Though chaos is a typical event/feeling in my life (as witnessed by so many interesting blog postings), this chaos is a little different. It's not being caused by the goings-on of my children & husband, but by extended family and changes in the season. And, no, I'm not referring to allergies - though those have wreaked a minor havoc on 2 of my kiddos. I'm referring to seasons in life.

For instance, school is ending. Last Thursday was Morgann's last day of pre-school, while today is Alex's last day of Kindergarten. It seems like only yesterday that I was blogging about his first day of school...watching him board the school bus without even so much as a glance over his shoulder. And now? He's going to be a First Grader!!! Aaaahhhh!!!! He was up this morning, a bit late, running around yelling "Today's the last day of school! Today's the last day of school!" He seems just as excited about the last day of school as he did about the first day of school. I, on the other hand, am just as aprehensive about the last day of school as I was the first day of school. You see, this means that I will now have all 3 children, at home, with me, all day! For 3 kids that require so much interaction with others, this means that I will now be their teacher, events coordinator, referee, short-order cook (because I now have to provide lunches every single day!), and taxi driver. Please don't misunderstand me! I do all of those things I mentioned on the weekends, and the occassional holiday, but, for the most part, I thoroughly enjoy the days when 2 of my 3 children aren't here with me. Their absence allows me un-hindered access to do whatever I want - like going to the grocery store in peace, running to the local Target to browse, or taking the occassional well-deserved nap :) And as any mother knows, the occassional nap may be the only thing we have to look forward to when facing mountains of laundry and empty refrigerators! So, now I'm faced with the daunting task of entertaining my little monkies for the next 11 weeks (and, yes, I've counted!). Just the thought of it makes me tired!!!

Then there is the temporary loss of my MOPS group for the summer. This is another change that makes me shudder. As shallow as this may sound, attending my MOPS meetings every 2 weeks gives me the rare opportunity to sit at a table, having grown-up conversation, while eating a hot, home-made breakfast or brunch. It's absolute heaven! Childcare is provided, so for 2 1/2 glorious hours, it's just me and other mommies that can identify with the sheer bliss of eating a meal with no little fingers grabbing at the plate, and no shrieking, whinning children! Now mind you, I will still have contact with many in the group over the summer - thanks in part to the monthly moms-only dinner nights and planned play-dates - but, I've also joined the steering committee and, as a result of doing so, am blessed enough to have several over-the-weekend retreats to look forward to :) And, don't get me started on's in Nashville this year for 4 blessed days! My heart-rate just it September yet? But, I'm still left without my bi-weekly meetings and encouragement until next August, so even though I'm looking forward to a few MOPS events, I'm still sad about losing my support group meetings for a few months.

Then there are the changes taking place with my grandmother. This is my mom's mom, currently residing in Grand Prairie, TX (just outside of Dallas). She just celebrated her 82nd birthday! She too is facing a change in her life - leaving her home of 40+ years. Though she says she's excited about moving into an apartment for Senior Citizens, her actions and speach suggest otherwise. She's finding every reason in the world why moving isn't a possibility for her right now. And, to add to the long list of problems surrounding this situation, her daughters (my aunts) aren't all on the same page. While we all feel that getting her moved is very important, the way we all want to go about it differs, greatly! While one feels that allowing her to make her own decisions and determine her own destiny is the way to go, the rest of us feel that getting her out of harms-way is of utmost importance. She's in a very bad part of town, in a house that is crumbling around her. My mom, who would have moved her years ago - with our without her cooperation - isn't around to make it happen. So, knowing how my mom would have handled things, I feel a deep resposibility to take care of her mother. It's an added responsibility for me, and one that I am taking very seriously. My problem is that I live 3 1/2 hours away, and do not have the authority to make certain decisions. So, while I am working feverishly to do whatever I can, my hands are somewhat tied. It's frustrating, to say the least!

So, let's re-cap, shall we? My daughter is moving up to 3 year old preschool in the fall, my oldest is going to be a first grader, and my youngest will begin Mother's Day Out - this means my children are growing up - and changing. I am now faced with the daunting task of entertaining my children every day, sun-up to sun-down, and keeping my sanity at the same time. My last MOPS meeting for the year took place yesterday, so I'm left with no support-group meetings to attend for another 12 weeks. Can I make it on my own? Ok, well maybe not on my own because I still have play-dates and phone calls, but still... And, don't even get me started with the things happening within my extended family! Just thinking about it sends my brain into overload.

Change is good....change is good....change is good....change is good....

Maybe if I keep saying it enough times, I'll start to believe it.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

OK, So Maybe Not...

Seems that we are indeed not in charge of our lives, as we once we assumed we were. Well, not when we deliberately and intentionally hand-over the steering wheel to a Higher Being anyway. What I said earlier, in my last post, yesterday...forget it! Hubby has not changed jobs, he's staying put!

Yep, the new position that he'd accepted as of the time I posted that blog is no longer his. Not because it was taken away, but because after accepting it, he turned it down. While speaking to his current (or what would have been former) employer, he was offered a chance to stay, but with a much better salary and position. So, duh! It was a no-brainer for him to accept the new offer and stay put.

So, don't go about changing your bookmarks yet! My normal blog will be back online within a few days, so stay tuned to for more :)

Hope you all are having an awesome Saturday!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm Back!!!

Well, I'm back! Not that I ever really went anywhere, but I'm back on blogger's site for at least a while. We've had to shut down, but this isn't a sad day. Hubby is changing jobs effective today, so that required that we turn off our webserver effective immediately. So, anyway, hopefully you all got my messages and will be back to visit often. There are too many things happening right now, at this very minute, for me to be able to post anything new, but I'm sure new stories will show up soon :)

Have a great weekend!!!!