Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Plan

When I was young, I celebrated NYE. Went out with friends. Stayed up until well after midnight! After I got married, I am pretty sure hubby and I went out once. We had a nice time, but I'm guessing it wasn't all that great because we never did it again. (My dad calls it novice night :) One of the reasons why NYE is a low key holiday for us is usually daddy has worked that day or has to work the next or both. So, I think for the most part, I have spent the evening by myself. Which is really OK because by 10PM, I am exhausted. And then annoyed when I hear the fireworks at midnight ;) (Always worried they will wake the kids.)

I think the last time I saw midnight on NYE was the year 2000. I was pregnant with Nature Girl and went to spend the evening with my mom, stepdad and Sissy. We watched Notting Hill I think. I was able to stay awake because I was just really curious if the whole world was going to stop because of Y2K!

Well, this year I have a new plan for the New Year. We are going to have a family sleepover in the living room. All of us, except for EG. We are making homemade pizzas and we have hot chocolate and ice cream and popcorn. This afternoon we are going to bake more cookies that we didn't get to before Christmas.

The kids are already planning on where their new sleeping bags are going to go and who is sleep where. They think it is funny that daddy and I will sleep on the couch. We will have a fire and play a game or two. Our Netflix movie should be here, My Fair Lady. If not, we will watch Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, again.

I will try to stay awake as long as I can. My money is on daddy falling asleep first (he has been up since 4), then Boop, next Little Mama, then me. I fully anticipate Nature Girl being the only one to see the ball drop. Maybe she can fill me in in the morning . . .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Joy

There has been a reoccurring theme in my heart for quite some time. And I think the best way to put it is my lack of joy. True joy. Once describe by my pastor as "The deep seeded confidence that God is in control of the details of my life." Don't get me wrong, I am happy. Ask anyone who knows me, I laugh and smile and have a pretty good (albeit sarcastic) sense of humor. I love wit and banter. I don't walk around with a poor me attitude (at least I don't think so.) I don't want to be anywhere in the world but with my family.

But, there has been a reoccurring nagging in my heart. And I know when that happens it is God trying to speak to me. Yesterday I read an article about child rearing and one of the most important parts is to be cheerful. Cheerfulness covers a multitude of sins. As parents we are learning as our children are learning. But the one thing we can always bring to the table, as it were, is cheerfulness. Even if we don't have the right words, wisdom or the correct answers. Or even a clue as to what we are doing!

Then I read a post on one of my favorite blogs about the person I am in public verses the person I am at home. Ugh! That struck a nerve big time. How often am I concerned how I or the kids look and act as oppose to what is in each of our hearts. Sometimes we look more "joyful" in public than we are at home.

I, a lot of times, feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. That everyone is counting on me to do something, fix something, be something. Even though I know that God has called me to homeschool, I sometimes feel the weight of that as well. My children's spiritual and educational needs rest on me, solely. If they don't know their ABCs or a certain religious word, I am to "blame." Some times I think that when my kids are older and they start to find their own way and they make mistakes or bad choices, it will be my fault because I missed something. My mom once mentioned giving up homeschooling if I couldn't handle it all. But, I do know that God has called me to do this. He is girding me for the challenge, He is strengthening me (and my children), He is using me. If I will just allow Him to do His work ;) I need to believe that it is NOT all on me. That others are responsible for themselves, including my children. He tells me time and time again to cast my cares onto Him.

I am not a perfect mother, homeschooler, wife, follower of Christ. I am not perfect at anything, really. I know that, but I am a perfectionist. What a conundrum. I went to the doc on Monday and the midwife was amazed at the fact that I had four kids. She said she is so tired with two (although she also includes juggling full-time work - honestly I don't know how she does it :) I assured her I was no different then her. Actually, I really wanted to stress the fact that I do not have any more energy or patience then she does. And yes, I scream at my children and husband and do all sorts of ungodly things. But, theoretically, I also know that if I humble myself, get on my knees and heartfully ask for forgiveness, He does forgive me. AND, I get to wake up the next day and start all over again! Hopefully learning from my sin and disobedience. (Sorry, I digress.)

I think with the upcoming New Year it has made me think of all of this. I am not big on resolutions. I truly believe everyday we are given the opportunity to grow in Christ. But, I think this year I want to have true joy. The kind that permeates everything I do and say. On the inside AND the outside. At home AND in public.

Is this possible? I know in my head that it is. I have read in God's word that it is. The hold up is me. My unwillingness to just "let go and let God." My pastor also said "Act how you want to feel." I have also read your attitude is also like practicing a piano. If you keep hitting the unhappy keys then that is what is going to be in your heart, unhappiness. If you practice hitting the happy and contentment keys, your heart will eventually be filled with happiness and contentment. It is all about choosing. Choosing to be happy, choosing to be content, choosing joyfulness. (Thank you Debi Pearl.) I know God can help me with that. If I just ask, everyday.

So, for my New Year's Resolution, with the help of God Almighty, I am going to choose to be joyful. And hopefully by this time next year, it won't be a choice, it will be my natural inclination. Feel free to let me know how I am doing . . .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EG's Christmas

It occurred to me yesterday after I already had posted, that I didn't say anything about EG's first real Christmas. (She was like 6 weeks old last year.) EG woke up and kind of looked around but didn't care too much for the goings on. She loved all the activity and might have opened a present or two but really just enjoyed "helping" every one else and just wondering around the mountains of boxes and paper. (Oh, yes and eating. I am pretty sure she ate her way through the Christmas holidays!)

Anyway, she got a couple of gifts that were 3rd generation toys (toys daddy got down from the attic and cleaned up for her.) Her favorite is the activity table that has blocks and things you can spin and flip. She takes the top off and sits inside, just like Nature Girl use to do. Little Mama got her some really cute clothes. Nature Girl got her her very own Ty Beanie puppy. But by far her favorite gift was from Uncle J.J. He got her a puppy that barks and wags it's tail. It really is cute and she just loves it.

Considering we had so much activity and so many things to do, she did great! I know she enjoyed her very first real Christmas . . .

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Overview











I know I have said it before, but gosh how time flies!! It is hard for me to believe I spent all last Monday cleaning for company that have been and gone!

On Tuesday my mom and brother arrived. I haven't seen my brother in about 3 years. He had some extra money this month and decided to fly down to spend Christmas with us. And it really was wonderful to have him here. I know he enjoyed it as well. The kids hadn't seen Grandma in a long time so were super excited to see her!

Another wonderful thing was that my Aunt and Uncle from Wisconsin drove down to spend Christmas with us. This is the second year and I think it needs to become tradition. It is great having a house full of family for the holidays. It really is what makes it special. Of course the kids LOVE having family here and LOVE all the extra special attention they get! And Auntie Karla and Uncle Warren love to shower all of them with attention!

We had a few scheduling issues because of daddy's having to work on Christmas Day. That meant early to bed Christmas Eve and no assurances of when he would be home on Christmas Day. So, this is the plan that we all hatched. In order for all of us to be able to relax and enjoy daddy's very special prime rib dinner, we decided to make it on Christmas Eve eve. That way, we could eat when we wanted and not have to rush to get to church or get daddy to bed. Traditionally we have had our big meal on Christmas Day but with daddy having to work and all, and considering he is the chef we had to do some flip flopping.

Everyone seemed to have a real nice time and really enjoyed the prime rib again this year! My goal was to have everything just be relaxing and enjoyable, with no real stress or worries about having to be some place at a certain time etc. I think we accomplished that!

The next day, Christmas Eve, we spent wrapping and finishing up little errands. Grandma and Auntie Karla took the girls to lunch and last minute shopping. Uncle Warren played golf and the rest of us just kind of hung out. We went to an early Christmas Eve service and were home in time to have a nice chili dinner and watch "A Christmas Story." My plan was to have everyone in bed VERY early. The year before Nature Girl didn't fall asleep until 1AM.

Christmas Eve the kids were allowed to open their gifts from Auntie Karla and Uncle Warren (they opted out of having to be here at 7AM with all the chaos ;) Each kid received a gift certificate to go shopping, a Webkinz (big hit) and a nice real watch. The kids were soooo excited. Then it was time for the present the kids had been asking for for weeks. The Christmas Eve PJs. Ever since I was a little girl, we always had Christmas Eve pajamas. And Grandma has continued the tradition. The kids love it!

Well, Christmas Eve my sister and I watched 2 movies and played 21 games of Hangman on her iPhone and Nature Girl still wasn't asleep. It was 2:30AM. So, Sissy went in the kids room and shut the door and was going to sleep with them while Santa came. I think I got to bed around 3. But, I am not certain. I was soooo tired.

At 3:30 Sissy went to sleep in EG's room because NG wouldn't go to sleep. Once Sissy was out of the big kids room, Little Mama and NG snuck out to see if Santa had come. NG says she didn't go to sleep until 4. Of course by 7, everyone was up and rip raring to open presents!! But first, a BIG pot of coffee was brewed.

Daddy's boss told him if he would just get dressed and ready to go he could stay home until he got called out. But, of course, first thing he had to go. He was home by 7 though. So we were very thankful it worked out. He didn't get his second call out until we were done with opening presents. And then got called out again during his brunch. After that he just stayed on patrol. But none of us were complaining. It could have been worse!

Nature Girl's big gift was her Nintendo DS. It was from Mommy and Daddy and she made a point later on in the day to say "thank you." That was so gratifying to me. Little Mama's big gift was her iPod from Mommy and Daddy. She was thrilled! And I think just a little surprised. She is so use to hearing she has to be such and such an age before she is allowed to get certain things! She loves to listen to music and to sing and dance along! Boop had two "big" gifts. One was a dinosaur that walks and roars. And then we got him a real big boy rocket that you have to take to an open area, monitor the wind etc. and then ignite it and watch it launch! We had two big family gifts this year. One was annual passes to Wild Adventures and the kids are already planning our next trip (but then again so are mommy and daddy - they have awesome concerts like Chicago that are free.) And we also got a real basketball hoop. Boop has been after daddy all day to put it up!

Of course they got gifts from Grandma and Sissy, Grandpa Joe and Nona Kris, Auntie Karla and Uncle Warren, Grandma Mickey, and their cousin Mickey. Each thing they received was something special just for them.

We (and it seems everyone else ;) spoil our kids at Christmas! Every year we say we aren't going to do it but it happens anyway. We are blessed with all that we have and daddy just loves to make them happy this time of year!

Christmas Day "dinner" was at Sissy's townhouse. So, after daddy got home from work we all went over to her house and enjoyed ham and appetizers. It was an early night, we were all so tired and daddy had to work the next day.

Saturday everyone left and the house seemed so empty. The kids and I didn't do a thing. In fact, we didn't even get out of our pajamas!

I know I am leaving stuff out. Some of which is probably significant or something I knew I would want to remember. But, it all went by so fast. It was like a whirlwind. As daddy and I looked through some of the pictures, he kept saying "I don't remember her/him opening that?" So, I am just writing down the things that are popping into my mind.

It is always kind of sad to me how it is all over so quick. If there were just a way to hang on to those magical moments just a tad bit longer. But, I suppose that is what makes them so special . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Family is here: Grandma, Uncle J.J., Auntie Karla and Uncle Warren. We had our Christmas Eve dinner last night. Daddy has to work Christmas day so we thought it would be a whole lot nicer to have our big meal last night with no rush for church and bedtime.

Today is just hanging out, last minute wrapping, chili for dinner and church. Hopefully an early bed time and, if so, Sissy and I are going to watch "Bride Wars."

I wish each of you an enjoyable, relaxing, blessed Christmas time . . .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gift Giver

My hubby is a GREAT gift giver. He puts thought into all he buys. He has bought me some really great expensive gifts which are always greatly appreciated. But he has also bought gifts that haven't cost a whole lot but were gifts that were really truly for me. That spoke to my personality, my loves, my hobbies.

In the past I have gotten Barnes and Nobles gift certificates (like gold to me), a beautiful gold and amythist ring, a georgeous pearl drop necklace (and matching earrings), a great Vera Bradley hand bag, and iPod, for my birthday a trip to NYC. These are just a few of the things gifts that he has given me. And they are things that through out the year he heard me talk about or just new I would love.

Although I say I don't care about getting gifts (I really don't) I usually am kind of excited or at least curious to see what each year will bring . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What To Do?

This wasn't my original idea for a post today. Daddy's phone call has changed my original idea.

He called this morning wanting to know what I wanted to do with our baby car seat. Now, he knows in the back of his brain that I am not really willing to part with it at this point. This is how it works around here.

Right after the baby is born, for about six to nine months, I get rid of everything as soon as I am through with it. There might be a few things I keep for sentimental purposes but for the most part I am more than willing to pass my stuff on to people who need it. I usually just give it away. I have done this with Little Mama, Boop and now EG. (I did bring a bucket or two to a consignment shop when I found out baby number three was a boy but honestly it wasn't worth all the work.)

But, then I hit the honeymoon stage, usually around 10 to 15 months. That is the stage where I just can't imagine not having a baby in the house. To me (and to Daddy too) it is one of the best times being a parent. They are mobile and want to explore and they are expressive and for the most part happy just cruising around. They are glad to see you and haven't really learned how to throw a tantrum yet. (Although EG is getting the hang of it.)

So, back to the phone call this AM. Daddy knows someone in need of an infant car seat. And asked me what my plans were for the seat. The thought of giving it away brought tears to my eyes and choked me up. He told me that he said to the lady asking him for help "My wife hasn't given up on number five, so I will have to check with her."

Now, in my head I know that we will not be having any more babies, my heart is a different story. If Daddy was on board I would definitely have more. But I know he is ready to move on. And I love him enough to respect and honor his decision (most days :)

This morning he did not pressure me in any way. He asked me to think about it and I told him I would let him know this afternoon. I just had one question "Do they really need it?" And he said "Yes." I am pretty sure I know what my answer will be. I think it would be selfish for me at this point not to consider giving it away. We have been blessed in so many ways so many times over.

Time for me to pass the blessing along . . .


Monday, December 21, 2009

Wild Adventures

Yesterday we took a trip to Wild Adventures. The plan was to leave after church and go up to ride some rides and see the lights. We had heard it was pretty cool during Christmas time. We didn't tell the kids until Friday and they were soooo excited. They love it there. When they finally saw the big American Flag over the park, we practically had to peal them off of the car roof!

We went with two other families. Ten kids under 8 and six adults. Near as I can tell, everyone, including the adults had a great time. This was the first time I was willing to ride some of the rides. We had plenty of willing hands to watch the kids who could not go on the rides.

We bounced back and forth between the kiddie park and the little bit bigger rides. I think everyone got to do what they wanted to do, at least once!

Nature Girl, Little Mama and Boop love the roller coasters. Thankfully so does Daddy. I rode two of the rides and actually enjoyed them. But, for the most part, EG and I hung together. Daddy did take her on the Merry-Go-Round. She did pretty good considering she was in the car for about an hour and a half then had to stay in her stroller for the most part.

We had dinner there and rode some more rides.

It was COLD. We had layers and layers on. Hats, mittens, gloves and I had a scarf. Of course the kids didn't really seem to mind. Although when we got back in the car they were glad to be warm.

We headed home around 7:30. The kids were silent and exhausted!

Little do they know that one of their presents for Christmas is annual passes to the park . . .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa





Yesterday after lunch we went to visit the jolly big fella all dressed in red. The kids were excited. We had lists made and the kids rehearsed their requests while waiting in line.

Highlights: Boop had to go potty when we were the next ones in line. Nature Girl decided not to give Santa her list and then caved to peer pressure from her brother and sister. Little Mama told Santa "But I want more stuff." then what was on the list. EG smiled when we approached Santa and had no problem sitting on his lap.

I love my kids and Christmas time . . .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Fun


We went to one of our local Christmas hot spots to see lights and decorations. Little did any of the three families realize it was "Elf Night" so half of the town was there (an exaggeration of course.) The three families included 4 adults and 11 children.

Caption to the picture sent to me "We had fun despite the crowd and the chaos." That about sums it up . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life Lessons

I love when the opportunity for a life lesson comes along. Especially when it is about 10:30/10:45 at night!

For the second night in a row Nature Girl has come out of her room scared because of cartoon she has seen. Both nights I was already asleep. The first night I told her I would lay on the couch until she went to asleep. Far as I know that worked.

Last night I kind of figured out that we needed to try something a little different because I really didn't want a night number three of being woken up and sleeping on the couch ;)

So, NG and I started to talk. I asked her what was the frightening part and she explained. She went on to say that no matter how hard she tried she couldn't keep the scene out of her mind. (I didn't think the cartoon was really all that scary. It was Garfield and the other kids didn't seem to be bothered by it. But, it just goes to show how different each child is.) Anyway, life lesson number one that we talked about was how I felt it was part of my responsibily to "filter" what they watch and listen to. Because once an image or a word is seen or heard, it is permanetly in your head and can be very hard to forget.

Nature Girl responds to stories much better than "lectures." She loves to hear how daddy and I handled things when we were little (whether handled well or not.) So, I told her when I was just a little bit older than her, I had seen a couple of movies that scared me for many nights. And that even to this day I remember the names of those movies.

Then we started talking about solutions to her current problem. I, again, told her a story about me from a couple of years ago. Although the problem was a little different, I felt a possible solution was the same.

I told her after Boop was born I would lay awake a night worring and thinking about all the things that I needed to do. It was impossible for me to go to sleep because my mind would just not shut down. This went on for a long, long time. One day, it came to my mind to pray at night before I went to sleep. So, the next few nights, when I started to worry and think, I immediately started to pray. I told her I talked with God about all kinds of things, thanking him, praising him, asking him for things, praying for friends and family. At first I would have time to pray about a lot of things. After a time, I would barely get out the words "Dear Lord" and I would be asleep.

She giggled and repeated the words "Dear Lord" and then acted like she was asleep. Who knows what she did when she got back in her bed but she did fall asleep pretty quick. She did come to my room after daddy went to work and asked if she could get in. She told me she wasn't scared, she just wanted to sleep with me in our bed.

I can't blame her, it really is like sleeping on a cloud . . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Post Office

If, by chance you have read my previous post from today and were offended by its contents, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I did not mean for it to be. I was just trying to brag on my kids.

If you did not read my previous post this is the gist of it.

Yesterday at the post office a lady who was standing in front of us commented on how well behaved my children were.

I was proud yet humbled. Proud because some one noticed their efforts to behave and humbled because God has given me such an awesome responsibility . . .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Angel

Sometime when you have oooodles of kids, it can be very difficult to coordinate and satisfy every ones' desires. I don't, for the most part, have a problem with that. I could never hope to fulfill every ones' needs and wants. It just isn't humanly possible. But, because I can't, I think it helps them to develop a sense of God (who can fulfil their needs) and a sense of other peoples needs and to try not focus on themselves first.

OK, that being said, sometimes I feel really bad when the bigger kids don't get to do something because of the littler kids (usually EG.) Yesterday was one of those days.

EG has been sick - cold, cough, horrible diaper rash, inconsolable at times, getting her molars, not sleeping well. I HATE calling the doctor because they always want you to come in and it is never convenient and they really never do anything. But, I called the doc first thing in the morning to get an appointment and it happened to be for 3:30 in the afternoon. The only time available. Of course, that was right during the girls' friend's Christmas ballet recital which we had been planning on going to since the beginning of the year.

I felt horrible about it. I called daddy numerous times for advice (the advice given was much better than toast.) He said EG's health is more important and he was right. But it has been such a weird holiday season. And we haven't had time to do much of the fun stuff. I just hated telling the girls we wouldn't be able to go.

After EG's morning nap she seemed better. So, I called and canceled her appointment. Less than 5 minutes later, after changing her diaper and seeing the rash was worse, called the doc back again and asked for our appointment back.

I then texted my friend to let her know we would not be there to see the recital. Her response was "Do you want me to take the girls?" I about fell over!! It is hard sometimes with the families we hang with because everyone has multiple children so picking up an extra two or three can be very, very hectic! (She has two children and a 9 mos old.) Plus, there is always a transportation problem. I texted her back and conveyed my excitement and gratitude and thanksgiving!! When I spoke with her I told her she was my angel. She had rescued me and I was truly blessed. My children were truly blessed.

When I dropped the girls off before EG's appointment, she graciously offered to take Boop as well (her son is a year older than Boop.) They were planning on taking two cars to the recital anyway. Boop was sooooooo excited to play with his friend (and not have to go to the doc.)

It was such a blessing for me, also, to go to the doc with just one kid!! And oddly enough I enjoyed being there with just her. I was able to watch her play and explore. Nothing like quality time at the doctor's office. But, as a mom, with a few kids, I have learned to cherish the opportunities no matter where they come from.

Unfortunately the doctor didn't have anything that could help me. EG's ears were fine (which I am thankful for) but his solution to her rash problem was cloth diapers. Yes, you heard me CLOTH DIAPERS. Her rash is not food related. It has gotten irritated somehow and the disposables and medicine are just not allowing it to heal.

So, today I am on the hunt for cloth diapers. And still very thankful to my angel and her family for helping us out in a time of need . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

Now I Know Why

About 9:45 last night EG woke up just screaming. She hasn't felt well, cold and pretty bad diaper rash. She wakes up occasionally in the middle of the night but usually settles herself back down within 5 minutes. Last night was not one of those nights. I could just tell.

I gave it a minute or two but knew I needed to go get her. I picked her up out of her crib and tried to rock her in the easy chair that is in her (Boop's) room. She wanted no part of that. She just kept screaming. Everyone else was in bed. I brought her into the living room and tried to rock her in the chair out there. Still didn't work. She just kept screaming. I walked and walked with her and nothing seemed to settle her down. I was a little concerned. (She didn't have a temperature.) I don't remember having to go through this before. Sure, I have had sick kids in the middle of the night, but usually they settle down when I pick them up or rock with them.

I gave her some Tylenol in case she had an ear infection and just kept walking with her, singing to her and trying to rock her to settle her down. Still, there was no relief. Finally, I went in my room to get daddy's opinion and advice. Now, I can name on one hand how many times I have ever bothered daddy in the middle of the night with sick kids. One time comes to mind when Nature Girl threw up everywhere and I just couldn't get it clean and hold her etc. all at the same time. Other than that I can't really remember, although I am sure there are other times.

Anyway, I went in and woke him up with a screaming baby. I just needed some advice because I was at a loss. The screaming baby did not wake him up. That should have been a clue. So finally after saying his name rather loudly he woke up. I explained very briefly what was going on. Then, I waited with bated breathe for the answer to my dilemma. Daddy, usually, when I am perplexed, has good, calming advice. Last night his answer was "Give her toast." My reply "Toast? Toast!?"

Needless to say, I walked out of the room and shut the door. Now I know why I don't wake him in the middle of the night . . .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things I Would Like to Do . . .

before Christmas.

Get a tree and decorate it.
Bake cookies for us and for friends.
Have lunch with friends.
Drop baby toiletries off at pregnancy center.
Drive around and see Christmas lights.
Make up hospital goody bags.
Finish making Christmas cards and mail them.
Mail Christmas packages.

Thirteen days until Christmas and counting . . .

Friday, December 11, 2009

One of Those Days

Because I was trying to do too much in one day things just seemed to go a little awry.

EG wore three different outfits yesterday. Two before lunch. Won't go into the details as to why.

While entering the grocery store for our weekly shopping trip, I put down our eco friendly green shopping bags to get EG situated in the cart. I asked the kids to pick them up and put them in the bottom of the cart. I got distracted by a lady commenting on all of us at the store and then I walked away. We get to the checkout line and our eco friendly bags are no were to be seen. I had left them on the shopping carts at the front of the store. No one turned them in. Apparently someone stole them. Bummer.

While Christmas shopping last night, I noticed the cashier accepted a $10 coupon of mine that didn't apply to anything I bought. Naturally I had already checked out and was headed for the door before I realized it. I looked back and she had two other people in line. Oh, how I wanted to just keep walking right out the door. But God was nagging at my heart. I turned my buggy around and went back to her and explained what happened. She immediately fixed my problem. I felt so much better.

Out to the parking lot I went. I spent 7 minutes looking for my van. I always make sure I know where I park. It is just one of those things. I looked and looked and couldn't find it anywhere. Part of me wanted to panic. Then it dawned on me, I didn't have the van. I had my sister's car.

Of course, when I got to my next shopping destination, the thing I wanted cost twice as much as what I originally thought so I had to rethink my plan. By this time I only had 45 minutes left to finish all that I wanted to do last night. Plus, I needed to get something to eat.

These are just a few of the bigger things that happened yesterday. I function best when I have one or two things to accomplish in a day. Anymore than that and things go a little haywire . . .

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Thoughts on Tim Tebow

I hate the Florida Gators BUT I am a huge Tim Tebow fan. I try to listen when they interview him and I try to read articles when I come across them. These are my thoughts regarding him (of course, I don't know him personally.)

I am in awe of him for so many reasons. He is homeschooled so that immediately piqued my curiosity. Then I started to watch him as an athelete. He is good, very good at what he does. He is a great leader and motivator. Lastly and most importantly he has incredible faith and is so willing to profess it AND live it! I am sure he has faults and I am sure he makes mistakes but how can you not like what you see and hear? Who wouldn't want a son to grow up to be like him? Even if he did play for the Gators?? ;)

When Florida played Alabama last week, of course I wanted the Gators to lose. It is what you do when you are a Seminole fan. But, honestly, if they had won I would have been happy for Tim. (I have to be careful who I mention that around ;) I felt bad for him when they lost. I thought it was incredible that he had no problem showing his emotions for all the world to see. He is human and an incredible athlete and he has incredible passion and intensity about everything he does. It has been my experience this year that you either love him or hate him. But he is a good man, a godly man. I have a hard time finding things not to like about him. Except for the one kind of insignificant fact that he plays for a rival football team. :)

Anyway, it was amazing to me this week to see all of the Tim Tebow trashing that took place after the defeat. Because I am such a chicken and afraid of going against the flow, I never put my two cents in unless some one directly asked me. When my sister texted me about Tim crying I said I thought it was sweet. She said "you would." :)

If any of my children are willing to do what he does, believe what he believes and live out their faith they way he does, they can do what ever, where ever, when ever, and I would feel truly, truly blessed. For what it is worth, my two cents . . .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Favorite Things

Stealing this idea from a friend ;) These are things that if I just think about them they make me smile:

Books, books, books, books, books
The first cup of coffee in the early morning
A fire in the fireplace or in our outside fire pit
A 65 degree day with a breeze, sun and the windows open
Giggles and laughs from my children
When hubby gives me a love pat
My iPod with all kinds of music, music, music from country to classical
A really great hug
My PJs and lounge wear
My new necklace that makes a "tinkling" sound

I am sure there are many more things. But, those are the first ones that come to mind. To be continued . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day. It started with Little Mama joining me during my quiet time. I put my writing aside and had her lay her head in my lap. We just sat there, together, quietly.

The quiet didn't last long ;) We started out our day by flying solo for Meals on Wheels (usually my MIL helps us out.) And met some very sweet elderly people. It is amazing to me the life that some of these older folks have had. One lady talked with me and Boop for at least 20 minutes. She was totally alone. Her husband had passed away on Christmas Eve (his favorite holiday) nine years ago. She is 86 years old and was in the process of pulling out and putting up her Christmas decorations. Not for anybody else but herself (and because she knew her husband would like it. :) She had buried parents, siblings a spouse and children. But, she kept raising her hand to God saying she knew she was here for a purpose. Amazing!

After our route ended, which happened to be right by one of our neighborhood parks, Little Mama asked if we could go play. We had about an hour or so before lunchtime so off we went to the park. The big kids had a great time on the monkey bars and the really big slides. Boop, EG and I swung on the bench swing.

EG hasn't been to the park since she could walk so that was really very exciting! I kept her in the stroller as long as I could and then let her run wild! She loved watching the big kids come town the tunnel slide. Little Mama took time to slide down the little slide with her. I don't know who enjoyed it more! We met a man with a little dog that Nature Girl loved. Then we took a walk on the path that led by the lake that is slowly starting to fill up again (after the sink hole emptied it.)

The day ended with Nature Girl joining me on the couch at about 10:45 to watch the Packer game. Even though it was very late, it was a real joy to spend some quality time with NG.

Our good day has continued into today. This morning we watched "White Christmas" while making Christmas cards. I could get use to this being on a school break . . .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Market Days



Yesterday the girls and I went to Market Days (the fairgrounds full of handmade crafts.) I think I had been there once before and really didn't care much for it. I just remembered it being very crowded and lots and lots of stuff I really didn't care for or better yet, appreciate.

I had to go yesterday because I was in search of one of my Christmas presents. A mom that I know has this really great necklace. I asked her where she got it and she told me Market Days. She said she goes every year and if I was interested she would try to find the pendants for me. Well, that was a couple of weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago. When I saw that Market Days was coming, I asked her if she minded picking them up for me. Well, she and her family decided to go to Disney the same weekend as Market Days. Aaahhh the nerve - just kidding of course!!

So then I tried to find the charms/pendants on Etsy. But they only things I could find cost 4 times the price she had paid. That wasn't happening. So, my next plan was to go to Market Days myself.

Daddy watched the little guys and the big girls and I went to the fair grounds. At first the girls didn't want to go (and I didn't blame them.) But, when we got there, they LOVED it. And honestly so did I. It was mid afternoon and it was closing in a couple of hours. There were not many people so it was easy to see everything and walk around.

The girls were amazed at the things that people created. Everything from handmade baby dolls to jewelery made out of sea glass. They each found about a half dozen things they wanted to buy. I pacified them by getting business cards for everything and told them if there was something they really wanted we could look up their website or email them. I did buy two things. One was a plaque for the girls' room and it says "I am smiling because you are my sister. I am laughing because there is nothing you can do about it." I thought it was very appropriate for a room that will eventually have three girls in it! The other thing I bought I can't mention. It is for daddy and he just might read my blog ;)

There was one booth called "Grandma's Sewing Attic." We had to go back to it on our way out. She had the most expressive baby dolls and she made all kinds of clothes for babies and American Girl size dolls. As we were leaving, the "Grandma" said "Come back and see me next year." The girls enthusiastically said "yes!"

Another neat thing was the kid tent where little entrepreneurs sold their handmade crafts. We happened to know two of the families participating so that was cool. The girls chatted with their friends and looked at the crafts that other kids made. My friend's kids made really neat Christmas gifts out of the wood and twigs from their yard - twig Christmas trees and stars; fire starters made with candles and pine cones and bigger branches with holes drilled out and candles in them. All really cool.

I am thinking about seriously pursuing my card making "business" next year so it was neat to see how and what type of things are created. I will be looking at much smaller venues but it gave me ideas and a little motivation. The girls also got a little bit of the entrepreneurial spirit. We will see how that plays out during the course of next year. But regardless, I told them we will go back next year. We will take more time and have our Christmas shopping lists handy . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sign Language

One of the neatest things I learned when Nature Girl was born was that babies could sign before they could speak. That was intriguing to me. Back then, though, I didn't realize how useful it could really be!

It is such a strange time for a toddler. They understand so well what you are saying but lack the verbalization to answer or talk. A lot of times that turns into frustration for the child and the mom. I do not like being "yelled" at by a toddler who is unable to communicate. And because of the signing, I honestly don't remember there being a big problem with that.

I have a friend who has also taught her children basic sign language and she blogged one time about her son and signing. She was still nursing her baby boy who I think was walking at the time (if I have the story right) and he would follow her around the house signing "milk" meaning he wanted to nurse. Every time I visualize her little boy toddling around, following her "saying" "milk", "milk" it makes me smile!

Anyway, we mostly use it when we are eating. I start right away with signs for "more" and "please" and "thank you." A great one is "all done." After doing it for so long, I tend to make the signs even when they are not necessarily needed anymore! EG is a screamer. If she wants something she yells. And, of course, everyone in the house jumps to get what she needs. I am trying to get the bigger kids to encourage her to sign "more" or "please" so she doesn't get into the habit of being demanding. (Although, to some degree, I think it is too late ;)

It has been so wonderful to see my babies watching intently as I say a word over and over again and while signing the word. You can actually see EG's brain translating it! Unfortunately I have stopped at just those few basic words. The older kids have learned some signing along with VBS songs and I have thought many times that I would like the kids to learn sign language as their second language. It has been offered a number of times through our church.

I guess right now I will settle for "please", "thank you" and "all done" . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Nutcracker

We just got home from the Nutcracker. I think this has been our 5th year and the whole family went this time. I just love it every time I see it. And the music and costumes, are to me, all that is right with the world. All that is lovey and beautiful.

The girls loved it too! And even EG sat through it pretty well. As Nature Girl said "She only had two outbursts." Boop and Daddy liked it well enough to sit through it like a perfect gentlemen. We had great seats which helped, three rows back on the floor, right in front of the stage.

It is one of our Christmas traditions that I just love and look forward to each year . . .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coupon Day

I never use to care about the grocery flyer in our local paper. But, now, it sometimes is the highlight of the week! Just kidding, sort of ;) Anyway, since I have been clipping coupons, I almost get excited to see what this week's deals will be at the grocery store.

I am not a professional coupon clipper by any stretch of the imagination. As a rule of thumb we spend about the same amount of money but get a least a third more groceries including things like discounted gas cards for example. So the cost for gas is included in our grocery bill but it will save on our weekly gas cost. One of the luxuries we have stumbled upon now are really great candles. The grocery store will have a sale on them or Buy One, Get One (B1G1) and with a coupon or two that I have clipped we get great smelling, name brand candles for next to nothing and the girls LOVE candles.

Here are some things that I have figured out or just work for our family:

Now that we have cupboards full of all kinds of things, we only by nonessential stuff when they are B1G1 and I have two coupons.

Our breakfasts, lunches and snacks consist of things that I have bought on sale.

Dinners, for the most part, are planned around what is on sale.
We don't have to buy things just because they are on sale. I have noticed a pattern on things, to some degree. Like paper towel and toilet paper are usually on sale and I usually have a coupon.

I always buy diapers and wipes when on sale because I am going to need them for at least another year!

It kills me now to buy things for full price or even when they are not B1G1 or without a coupon. (Which sometimes causes me to buy things that we may not really need only because I don't want to need them and then pay full price ;)

I have found coupons for just about everything. I now carry around a plastic storage bag with all kinds of coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond to coupons for a couple of dollars off Fisher-Price toys. I keep them with me because I never know when I will be in any of those stores or need any of those items. We just got back from TCBY with having 3 coupons for free kids cups.

One thing I won't do is go from store to store. I do most of my grocery shopping with all of the kids. I refuse (I know it is a strong word) to get in and out of the car three times just to get a deal.

Daddy will go to W/D to get meat on sale. We wait for the B1G1 free roasts etc. and then stock up.

We don't have much use for brand loyalty anymore. It buy basically what is on sale. For those few items that we will not budge on brand, I collect as many coupons as I can and when those things go on sale we buy much more than we need at the time.

Another thing I have to be careful of is buying junk food because a lot of times that is what is on sale or what we have coupons for. I try to the best of my ability to have three healthy meals and two healthy snacks a day. So, I will not, for the most part, buy junk food just because it is on sale.

I have learned to ask questions at the grocery store. Before if I couldn't find something or didn't understand a price or what exactly was on sale, I would just not worry about it and either buy it or not. Now, I ask questions. And so far, if something is mismarked or not placed properly the store is more than willing to make up the difference.

I never in a million years thought I would do this just for grocery shopping. (Just like I never thought I would drive a minivan ;) Now, I find it to be a challenge, almost a game. And, my way of contributing to the finances of the family.

Off to "clip" more coupons . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent

In the past we have never done much for Advent. Honestly, until yesterday I didn't even really know what the word meant. The kids and I looked it up yesterday. Advent: the coming or arrival of something extremely important (freedictionary.com). WOW, that about says it all!

Because we are basically through with school until after the holidays (just finishing up a few loose ends), are routine has gone by the wayside. So, in an effort to keep Christ in Christmas and to continue starting off our day with quiet time and reflection on God we are doing Follow the Star together. Follow the Star is an online Advent daily devotion. The verse that the devotions are based around is "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10. It is so easy during the holiday season to get caught up in all of the unimportant things - food, gifts, activities. So, I thought the verse was very appropriate to help us stay sort of focused this year.

As we read the beginning of the devotions, its purpose is to help us stop and reflect what the Advent season is all about, not only as a preparation for celebrating the birth of the Christ child but also a preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.

Yesterday we talked about not only the birth of Christ but about the day when He will come again. We will not know the year, the day or the hour when He will come again. But we do know He will come in the clouds. Yes, it is important this month to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. But, how much more important to be preparing everyday for His coming again. . .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heartache

My heart is breaking right now. In the big scheme of things it may seem silly. But, it isn't just what it is, it is what it is all about.

This is a rant post. I have said what I can say in public venues (and will continue to do so.) This is about a man, an inspiration to so many kids who didn't have inspiration or guidance or direction. It is about a man who came to a college where a 6 and 6 record was historical. It is about a man who spent the majority of his life living FSU football to the benefit of the university system.

When I first came to FSU I didn't know a thing about college football. I knew there where two teams in Florida and that was it. :) My first FSU game was in the "erector set." That is what everyone called the stadium. Just last week I had the pleasure of driving by campus to see the stadium that Bobby Bowden built. It was because of him, his dedication, his sacrifice, his love of the game that we have this great big beautiful brick and mortar stadium (new classrooms and offices I might add.) Not to mention the brand new baseball field. The sight was overwhelming!

I don't know stats and I don't have the facts, but I know that Bobby Bowden brought GREAT things to Florida State University as a whole. Every department, every area, every nook and cranny benefited from the powerhouse of FSU football. The team that Bobby built.

How can a bunch of men, that I know are my age or a little older forget all that?? How can you treat a man so disrespectfully who has sacrificed so much? I have explained to my children that what has happened to Bobby Bowden is all that is wrong with the world. That greed and selfishness and pride have dictated what happens to a loving, giving man. It is a travesty. It is deplorable. It is disgusting.

It is only football. Yes, just football. A man, a life is bigger than a sport. Bobby Bowden deserved to go out on his terms. He has made the university millions. He should have had one final farewell season. He deserved AT LEAST that. . .

Off and Running

In the past we have started our school holiday the week of Thanksgiving. Not picking up school again until the second week in January. But because of getting a little behind last year with the birth of the baby, I decided we would try to do school this week.

Ha, ha! So far this week we have done Meals on Wheels. (Daddy came with us this time!) This morning all three kids have dentist appointments and Friday is the Nutcracker. So, that leaves Wednesday and Thursday for school. Hmmmm, so this is our last week of schooling!

My guess is we are done for the holidays. One of the big time benefits of homeschooling. On to all the FUN Christmas time stuff . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Rewind

I don't have pictures because after packing all 5 of us there had to be something I forgot. So words are just going to have to do. It has been our tradition for the past couple of years to spend Thanksgiving with my hubby's side of the family. He has four other siblings, three of which we spend Thanksgiving with. All total there is 19 of us for dinner.

My brother and sister-in-law have this great big music room that seats all of us around a really large table (about 5 tables put together). And there is still room left for my BIL's drum set (he plays in a band.) Anyway, we all gather together early afternoon and hang out, chat and play outdoor games. It is great because they parents always play along. There is usually a kickball game and this year we learned a new game called "Clump" and it was really fun!

Dinner is always great with good food and so much of it! This year my girls got to help write out place settings cards and set the table. So that was neat for them. But I would have to say the best part was the annual Thanksgiving Day play. All of the cousins get together and script a play in about an hour. Each kid gets a part (speaking or nonspeaking depending on if the child is willing to talk in front of people :) This year there were a couple little twists. The background music was the FSU war chant and this year there was a dog that belonged to Squanto (Boop) and a cat that belonged to the Pilgrims (Nature Girl). While the Pilgrims were sitting down to their Thanksgiving feast, the dog and the cat started to fight and had to be separated! Of course, we were all laughing!

Dinner and theater for Thanksgiving. A great family tradition . . .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

We are rushing around this morning. We are leaving this afternoon to go to our Thanksgiving destination. Daddy is there!!! And we have not seen him in 7 days!

We celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's mother, three brothers and their families. Quite a large gathering! We have a good time and the kids love seeing their cousins.

I will be taking a few days off from blogging. I will probably be back Saturday, if the mood strikes me.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving . . .


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Picture Day

Yesterday was our annual pictures. I had such great ideas, such neat plans. I wanted them to look all wintry and cozy. But I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, couldn't find the sizes for everyone, and then ran out of time and settle for Christmas pictures. (I had to buy new Christmas outfits anyway ;) The kids looked fabulous and were so well behaved. We kind of draw a little attention to ourselves because everyone is dressed so nicely. But the icing on the cake is the fact that they were polite, kind and obedient. And I know that it didn't go unnoticed.

Anyway, I digress. Yesterday went well. As good as could be expected. The picture taking thing is getting increasingly more difficult. Not that the kids were difficult but it is virtually impossible to get everyone looking at the camera WITH a decent smile on their faces ;) And EG was a wild woman. She was all over the place, pulling on the camera pole, sitting in front of the fan. In one of the poses the kids wanted her to sit in a little chair and they all stand around her. She wanted no part of the chair. She wiggled and arched her back. The big kids only job was to look at the camera and smile so that if we got EG in a decent pose the photographer could snap a couple of pictures.

But, of course, EG antics were hard to ignore. She wasn't being ornery. She just wanted to go, go, go. If we gave her a gift box to hold, she would rip of the top, throw the box and shove the top in her mouth. She did like the little bear for a little bit. But I really didn't want stuffed animals in the picture.

Out of about 20 shots (maybe not quite that many) I got about a half dozen that were keepers. There again, none of them were perfect. But, part of that assessment is I was in such a rush to pick out pictures. Not that the studio was rushing me but it was a long time to make the kids sit and wait while I was trying to decide. Thankfully CoCo was with us and she took EG for a walk and the big kids watched the TV.

I am always pleasantly suprised when I pick them up. They always turn out better than I remember. Another holdiay "chore" accomplised. Sixty-seven more to go . . .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sleeping Alone

Not! I thought it would be fun to have each of my babies sleep with me while daddy was away. They thought it was a great idea! It is funny how each child has his/her own way to sleep. What they need, what they do, how they sleep. I would never have even considered it had we not had a king size bed. I am such a light sleeper that every turn, every cough, sniffle, shift, literally wakes me up so having that extra space in between came in handy ;)

Boop was the first. He brought 4 blankets, two pillow, three stuffed animals (one of which is as big as he is) and his lovey Lion. He crawled into my bed and I told him he must stay there, he can't run in and out of the room or run around in my room. I heard him "reading" and playing and then I heard nothing. He fell asleep mid activity. He is a good sleeper, doesn't move around much. Or snore. I tried to cover him up but he just kept coming uncovered. My alarm went off at 6, I took a shower and he never moved.

Little Mama was next. She brought three blankets, two pillows and two small stuffed animals. She stayed in Nature Girl's bed until it was time to go to sleep. She crawled into my bed and just sat there watching the TV through the doorway. I told her I would be in a little bit and she finally she fell asleep. She doesn't like, necessarily, being by herself. Next time I will go in early just to lay with her while she falls asleep. When she sleeps she always looks like she has just fallen from an eight story building, all sprawled out with her purple lovey blanket over her mouth. She wakes in the middle of the night just to see what time it is. She was bothered by the fact that daddy's clock is set really fast. I told her just to peek over me and she could see my clock that has the real time. She was up when my alarm went off. She just laid in my bed until it was time for her to get up. She slept great and I know she just loved being in the bed with me.

Nature Girl was last. She brought one blanket, two pillows, books and magazines and more stuffed animals then I can count! One of which is a big white tiger and of course her lovey puppy. She LOVES being in our bed. She just laid there and read. I never heard from her. I think she felt like she was on vacation. She is the one that really appreciates being alone at times. It was about 10:30 when I went to bed. She was still awake and wanted to talk. So we chatted for about 10 minutes. I promised her that in a couple of days when it was her turn again I would come to bed REAL early so she and I could just talk. She is my snorer. And boy she can snore! Thankfully each time it happened it was just for a couple of minutes. Either she stopped or I just went back to sleep. She is also my night owl so when my alarm went off at 6 I knew even if she did wake up she would not want to get up ;) Thankfully it was Saturday so she could sleep in. In fact, about 8:00 the next morning she poked her head out of the door and I asked if she was getting up. She said no and crawled back into my bed. She just loves being warm, comfy and cozy.

Because of the number of days daddy will be gone, each child will get to sleep with me again. They love it and honestly so do I. It is great to get a little alone time with each one. Even if it is with them sleeping . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Service Project Number Two

Well hopefully the beginning of one. We have a ton of baby stuff. Some of it new. And some of it gently used. My first reaction was to give it to the girl next door who is having a baby girl any day now. But, days went by and I never saw her outside. Heaven forbid I go and knock on the door. (I just don't like to do that because I feel like I am intruding - strange, I know.)

Anyway, I knew of a place called A Women's Pregnancy Center. I had heard about it a couple of years ago. It is a place where women can go when they find out they're pregnant and have questions and don't know where to turn. From everything I have heard, the center encourages women to keep their babies or at least not terminate them. And then provide support to these women. At one time I had considered volunteering as a counselor but as I remember they have kind of time intensive training course. Well, at least more time than I had with little kids at home. So, when deciding what to do with our baby stuff, I decided to give them a call.

The lady explained that they give each mother a brand new layette and that each month after that the new moms can come back and pick out some of the gently used stuff. So I told her what we had and she said to bring it by. Little Mama asked if we were bringing toys. I told her probably not this trip. I explained that some of these women might not even have enough money to buy diapers for their babies so we needed to concentrate on the most basic needs that a mother and a baby have. Maybe as time goes on, we can see what kind of toys they might need.

So, yesterday the kids and I brought our stuff to the center. When on the phone with her, I had asked her if there was anything in particular the center was in need of. She told me baby toiletry items such as shampoo and lotion so I told her we would be back after Thanksgiving with those items. I figure the kids can use some of their money and I will use some of mine to buy the items they need. I also asked her if there were any type of projects they needed done that we could do as a family. She said maybe lawn work or the kids could sort out the donations. She said she would check with someone about that.

When we were leaving the question was asked exactly what the place was. So we had a very brief discussion about the sanctity of life and that some women did not have a support network that sometimes can be needed when you are pregnant. I explained that some women, when they find out they are going to have a baby, might be scared or unsure. I told them that the ladies there help the women to understand what is going on in their bodies and what it means to be pregnant. They answer questions and give guidance and information and provide much needed support.

The easy part for me is dropping things off or giving money. The little bit harder part is giving of myself and my time. But, I am going to call her back after Thanksgiving and volunteer us for whatever they can find for us to do. I am also thinking, again, about when the kids get a little older, to maybe be a counselor. What greater purpose could there be, then to encourage, support and pray for a woman who is struggling about the "decision" to be a mom. I know if it is in God's plan and I make myself available, He will use me for this precious purpose . . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Am Lazy

I am not going to deny it. I am busy all day long. Not because I necessarily want to be but because I have to be. But, it is very easy for me to sit down at this computer and type my blog while there are dishes in the sink and an unmade bed along with the ever growing list of things that need to be done. I, at the moment, am OK with this. I can give you a million reasons why, a million really good reasons why. Reasons that if I were having a face to face conversation with you, you would say "It is OK. You deserve a little down time."

But, inside, I know the real reason. I am lazy. It actually works to my advantage to have four kids and homeschool. It comes in as a really handy excuse sometimes. But I know, I am lazy. I was hoping this weekend, I would be motivated to become unlazy. To really change the way I think. To take every moment and use it for a good purpose. To get it together.

But here I sit, with a sink full of dirty dishes, laundry on the living room chair and a messy school room. Laziness is hard to over come. Especially when you don't feel like not being lazy . . .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Big Hole

Things are fine. But, I have to admit, when we got home from the doctor's office yesterday and daddy had already gone, it felt weird. It didn't feel right. Like something was missing. Even the kids felt a little out of sorts. It is hard to explain.

A few minutes after we got home, I received a text from a friend asking if daddy had left yet and if so how it was going? I answered her honestly. I was kind of panicky. Weird. The kids and I spend a lot of time alone in the house so that part was not all that strange, really. So as she and I corresponded I explained it this way: He is my security blanket. He is gone a lot but always a phone call away. Always in the area. I call him when I am not sure of something I should do. I call him when someone asks me something and I don't know how to respond. I call him when I don't feel well. I call him when I am frustrated. I call him when I am at wit's end. I call and ask him to come home ;) I call him to tell him funny stories that I know I will forget by the time he gets home.

If we have car problems or any other unforeseen problem, he is the one I call. No matter what he is doing he takes care of my problem. Sometimes he doesn't personally take care of it, but he gives me direction, guidance, calms me down, helps me to see things differently. I suppose I could still call him with all of my dilemmas but what would be the point of his vacation.

Another thing I notice is that I appreciate him much more he isn't here. Why that is, I don't know. Why can't I appreciate him more when he is here, I don't know. I usually tell myself "When he gets home I will do such and such." Something to let him know how much he was missed, how much he is appreciated. Honestly, in the past, that lasted about a day. This time I am sending him a text message every day while he is gone. Funny thing is, I am not overly confident that he will see it. Texting is not his thing. And if it isn't a yes or no response, I know he will not text me back. But, as I am learning it sometimes is the small things that we do to show appreciation. Who knows.

All I do know is that we (I) miss him and hope he is having a great time . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doctor's Visit

For Boop and EG. I have two spring babies and their annual check-ups are together and now my two fall babies have their annual check-ups together.

And today went as well as to be expected. Sometimes it is harder when it is for the little guys because the big guys want to answer all the doctor's questions. I have to keep reminding them, that I am the one the doctor is talking with. Oh yea, and let's not forget the information that all of the kids volunteer! It usually is never very flattering.

Anyway, back to the appointment. Boop was first and he is almost 3 and a half feet tall and 37 pounds. The doctor had absolutely no concerns with him. And neither did I, except for maybe the fact that it seems to me he doesn't eat enough to stay alive. He is just tall and thin and she assured me that as long as he was being offered a variety of food everything was A-OK.

EG on the other hand had gained a tremendous amount of weight. As everyone says, she is solid. A polite way of saying she is a porker! Anyway she weighs 20 pounds, some odd ounces and is as healthy as a horse. She still has a rather large soft spot but the doctor said it has definitely shrunk since her last visit.

It is always so reassuring to know for a fact that I have happy and healthy babies. . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That Time of Year

Daddy is preparing for his trip to the Frozen Tundra tomorrow. I am very thankful that he doesn't ever travel. I mean he doesn't ever go anywhere unless it is with us. So, every year, the week before Thanksgiving he goes on his annual hunting trip. I think this is his 9th year.

It is funny because it is actually my side of the family that he hangs with. He sees them more than I do! Anyway, he usually leaves on a Wednesday or a Thursday and comes back on the following Tuesday.

We do OK. I don't stress about it. It never fails, though, that some one will be sick. But, as I have mentioned in previous posts, because of our bought with the flu a couple of weeks ago, I feel pretty confident that we will be healthy. How is that for optimist thinking!!

I have tried to make some plans with friends etc. to make the time pass. Not necessarily for the kids but for me ;) If I have any concern at all, it is the fact that I have no other adult contact unless I make an effort! So, I have reached out to my sister and some friends and tried to find us some diversions. But, honestly, even if I didn't make other plans we have tumbling and the library and sports and church and life. All of the usual activities that make time fly by faster than I care to acknowledge.

Cooking will fall by the way side. As you all know I am not a huge chef as it is. But, laboring over dinner for kids who don't really care, isn't going to happen. Spaghetti, red beans and rice, fast food one night, pancakes, hot dogs, some kind of easy chicken dish, chicken chili.

This year is a little different. Daddy flies in and out of the city where we will be spending Thanksgiving. So, I will be driving with the kids to meet him when he gets back. That probably makes me a whole lot more nervous then him being gone! I am pretty sure my mother-in-law will be riding with us. So that definitely makes it easier.

Daddy looks forward to this trip every year. He works so hard for us and there is so much he does for us that goes unappreciated. I would never, ever dream of asking him not to go. (That is why he got to go last year when I had a 5 day old baby :) I hope he doesn't worry about us too much. I hope he doesn't miss us too much. I hope he has a great time. I hope he is safe. And I hope the time passes quickly, for us. . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

EG's Birthday Party






It was a small affair. Just family. But, she loved beign the center of attention (of course, she never gets attention.) Anyway, it was daddy, mommy, Nature Girl, Little Mama, Boop, Sissy, Coco, Uncle C, Aunt C and K. But we had big fun!!

Watched football, ate chili, had cake and wished EG a very Happy First Birthday. She got a dog book and a game that makes animal noises, a pair of shoes, matching hat and gloves and, of course, lots of great clothes!

The best part was sitting her in front of her very own cake. Just watching her try to figure out what to do was histarical. She would put her hand over the frosting at first but never really touch it. When she did, she just wiped it on her body! Finally, I cut her a piece and put it in front of her. She grabbed it and shoved it in her mouth.

I just can not believe my baby girl is one. . .


Sunday, November 15, 2009