Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Year in Review.....

I got this idea from Marian's blog and decided to write my own year in review.

I really can't separate the good memories from the bad....because the bad ones have their own significance, and really had a great impact on my life. This has been an incredible year of testing, faith, family, friendship, and love. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is Good.

  • My pastor's son being diagnosed with leukemia.
  • Getting orders to go to Louisiana.
  • A trip to Disney World with my mother, nephews, sister, and all my girls.
  • The birth of my baby.
  • My best friend coming to visit from MN.
  • Preparing my house for sale, with a newborn strapped on me.
  • Really unbelievably horribly bad postpartum depression, and recovering.
  • Baby's First Smiles, rolling over, sitting up....
  • Watching my husband pull out of the driveway to go to Louisiana and realizing that I really wasn't all alone, and that I am so much stronger than I really thought.
  • The oldest daughter starting public school, and letting go.
  • Homeschooling my middle, and watching her blossom.
  • My oldest daughter getting baptized.
  • My middle daughter understanding salvation, and receiving Jesus as the "boss of her heart"
  • Baby first word..."Dada" and her second word, "Mama", her learning how to wave hello and bye-bye.
  • Skype calls from the husband.
  • Thanksgiving without Daddy.
  • Finally selling our house.
  • Watching the movers pack our things and telling NC goodbye.
  • Arriving in Louisiana.
  • My pastor's son passing away.
  • Christmas together.

Watching the hand of God move on my life. Through every circumstance, He was present.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In search of God...or at least where He resides.....

Actually, I should just title this post "I'm homeless without a church." Because that is what I feel like.

Personally, I feel like finding a good church to attend is the HARDEST thing about moving. Really it is. When we left NC, I felt like I was tearing up the lifelines that I had spent years trying to build. And most of those lifelines were found through the church. And now, here we are in LA, no friends, no family, no church. Just each other. And as much as I do love my dear little husband and's gonna get a little old if I don't find a church to call home soon.

The easiest church transition I ever made, was the year I left for college. First Assembly of God Church in Alexandria, VA was the church that I called home those many years ago. As I was packing up for school, my youth pastor called around for me and found out where the local AG church was and arranged a ride for me my very first Sunday. Done. I had a church family to take care of me. I also remember going to some sort of church mixer type function the first weekend of classes, and all of the leaders of the local churches came and introduced themselves and talked about their church to all of the incoming freshman. It almost felt like they were auditioning for us. When the mixer was over and you had made your decision about which church to attend, you hopped on their bus and went there. It was so simple.

Oh how I wish it was that simple now.

Oh no, it's not that easy. There are so many factors to take into consideration. Does it have a men's ministry? The worship music, is it contemporary or traditional? Ladies group? Community outreaches? What about the children? Do I trust the adults that teach the children's church with my little ones? My can I leave her in the hands of a perfect stranger in the nursery? What are the people the congregation mostly young people? Or a good mix of different age groups? And probably those big nagging question that weigh on me the hardest....Will they like me? Will they decide that I am not worth their time when they find out that we are in the military and will be moving on in 2 years? Will they allow me to find a place among them and be a part of their ministry?

We tried churches the last two weeks and just a few minutes into the service, we just knew that it wasn't the right fit for our family. In a random God moment (at least I think it was a God moment) a lady that was working the window at the local coffee shop asked me if I was by chance looking for a church. Of course we are! She suggested a place, and that is just where we went today. It seemed like a nice place with friendly people....but we didn't get to hear the pastor speak, as he was out of town. *sigh* And the kids in the church....I think it was 80% boys. The Big Apple was one of only 3 girls in the children's church of at least 25 kids. *double sigh* Where were the little girls that my girls could be friends with?

I am not ready to give up yet. Pressing in. There is a place for us somewhere. I just wish I knew where it was already.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Going on a pixie hunt.....

One thing that we have noticed right away here in Louisiana are the trees. They are huge. They are beautiful. These trees are something that my kids did not experience much of on the East Coast of NC. Near the shore, the trees are short and mostly of the evergreen variety. I planted several trees in our yard just to break up the landscape a bit.

There is a park very close to our house. My girls have decided to call it Pixie Hollow.
And why shouldn't they? This place looks truly enchanted. I was pretty sure I saw a fairy fluttering and hiding in that spanish moss patch right there. Do you see it?
The Big Apple decided that the pixies live in the knotholes of the tree and tried calling for them to come out to play. She didn't catch any, but she has vowed to bring them something next time to perhaps bring them out from hiding...what do fairies like to eat?
I was more curious about this little guy that in catching a pixie. And I think he was just as curious about me. I have never lived in a region of the country where I have seen black squirrels like this. He was so sweet and adorable. And tame and fat too. I am sure he is very well loved at this particular park. Perhaps when the girls go pixie hunting and bring treats for their friends, I will bring a treat for my new little friend.

I suppose I should give him a name. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

My oven came over on the Mayflower....

Well, it might have come over on the Mayflower, but I am sure that if the Pilgrims had actually tried to cook with this oven they would have tossed it overboard before they left the harbor.
I am trying very hard not to complain about my new status as a *cough* renter...but some things I think need to be addressed publically. Like this oven, for instance. It is really really old. Like Dinosaur old. And I need to whine just a bit because if you know me at all, I do like to bake. And this oven barely fits a cookie sheet. I had to purchase new cookie sheets to fit this oven. That is truly a sad circumstance to live with.
Today, Christmas morning, I preheated this archaic beast to 325 to cook the Christmas turkey. I put in my savory bird and closed the oven door. It had a locking feature thing on it, so I thought to myself "Wow! A lock! That could be handy because I have a baby and 2 small curious children!" and I locked the oven door, and went on with preparations with the rest of the Christmas Feast.
About an hour later, I started wondering why my kitchen didn't smell like cooking turkey. So I decided to check on the bird. I opened the oven door and discovered that the oven was stone cold. And so was my turkey.
Come to find out that the oven temp turns itself off when you lock the door. Go figure. And now Christmas dinner will be late, but we now have a new fun story in our collection of Louisiana memories.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

See ya later, Josiah....

I am broken inside, and my heart aches for my Pastor and his family. Josiah passed away at home. He is really Home for Christmas, whole and healed and skateboarding with Jesus.

Gonna miss you, Jo. Save a spot for me up there, okay?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Picking up the last pieces to the puzzle...

I made it to Louisiana. We found a house. Our household goods have been delivered. Instead of unpacking the kitchen, I unpacked the Christmas Decorations. I figured the kids would rather have Christmas than a homecooked meal anyway.

The husband and I are in Florida right now picking up the last pieces to the puzzle. I mean, the Big Apples. They were staying with my parents for a few days until we could get everything settled. Then we drove down here yesterday and arrived very late at night. The looks on the girls' faces this morning when they saw their daddy for the first time in months....Oh. My. Goodness. It was like Christmas came early. Such hugging and loving and more hugging and endless chatting. It was wonderful.

And the best part of it is...we are going home. We are driving back to Louisiana tomorrow morning. Together.

Together. I just love that word.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Live....from Mobile, AL!

I made it as far as Mobile, AL today. I would have made it all the way to Houma, but my day was full of 4 letter words.

Rain is a 4 letter word. So is the word Pour. It poured straight through Georgia. I had to drive like 40 miles and hour just to be able to see.

Snow. Another 4 letter word. I saw that today, which is odd for the south. I was told that parts of Louisiana got 6 inches of that dirty word and nobody knows how to drive in it. My husband called and told me that there was alot of black ice down there and some roads were closed. So, here I am at a hotel again.....

Sleet. Okay, I know it's not a 4 letter word. It's a 4 letter word. With an extra letter. Because it's really bad. And it stinks to have to drive in.

Baby. Ok, the littlest apple is officially spoiled rotten. I plugged the DVD player in so that my 8 month old could watch Baby Einstein shows. Every now and then I would pass her a new toy from the toy bucket, or toss another pacifier to her because she chucked her's into the floor. And we had to stop to nurse every 3 to 4 hours, so that carved out some of our day today too. So we better add the word Milk to our list of 4 letter words.

Poop. Yeah. It's a stinky 4 letter word. I had to pull over 4 separate times today because the baby made some. And imagine yourself trapped in a small enclosed space, such as my mini van, with something akin to a skunk spray filling the air to capacity. I was literally gasping for air out of my window, and praying for a rest stop at the next exit.

Bath. It's what the baby and I both had when we checked into the hotel this evening. Ahhhhh.

King. The size of bed that the little apple and I are sharing tonight. She is so cozy to sleep with. She puts the perfect end to a very hard day on the road.

And tomorrow, we reach our destination. Our new home. And into the arms of the missing link in the apple family.

What was your day like in 4 letters?

From somewhere in GA...

I'm not exactly sure where I am. I know I am in GA somewhere, and this hotel bed is just toooo comfortable for words. The bed has 8 (yes, I counted correctly, eight!) fluffy pillows. I am in pillow heaven. I hope I feel like getting out of this bed and hitting the road again sometime today.

There were a couple of issues surrounding closing and I will detail all of those things in a different post. I will leave it to say that I left our home town a full day later than I intended, and in the middle of the afternoon, as well. So, my mom and I decided to travel as much distance as we could on that day. We traveled to Florence, ate dinner together, and then our journey no longer took the same road. I kissed my older girls goodbye, and they headed south to Florida with their grandma, and I headed southwest on my way to my new home. I am sure that my children are waking up at grandma's house this mom, God bless her, seems to have that ability to drive forever. I, on the other hand, started seeing double while I was driving in the pouring rain and the dark. So I pulled over and found this delightful hotel with the mountain of pillows. Ahhhhh. I slept better last night than I have in an entire week!!!! The baby, spoiled rotten as she is, is sleeping in the other bed, as we speak, in the center of an enormous nest of pillows. So sweet.

The plan is that the big girls will stay with their grandparents for a couple of days. We have found a house in a great neighborhood, and the moving truck will be dropping off our household goods on Monday or Tuesday. After I have unpacked a couple of things...I think I will unpack the kitchen and THE CHRISTMAS TREE, the husband and I will drive over to FL to pick up the little girls and bring them back to our new house so we can spend Christmas together as a family.

It's been a long time coming, this entire journey....and it looks as if the LORD has done it again. He's dropping everything into place according to HIS plan. Isn't He great?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Moving Day!!!!!

I know I said that I was signing off from Blogland for a little while, but I just couldn't leave yall in the dark about my move, could I? So, in true applesofgold style, I must tell you some of the things that have happened to me in the last couple of days.
With typical military moves, the TMO office takes care of all the details for us. We don't get to pick who comes to pack up our stuff. We get whoever shows up at our door, and hope and pray that they will find our stuff just as nice as we think it is. And I have had horrible things happen during packing....the big burly men (who were either just ignorant or hadn't had any coffee that morning) packed my wedding dress in the same box as the vacuum cleaner. Or the time only half of the baby's crib ended up in the moving van, and the other half never to be seen again.
So you can imagine my feeling that I had the morning that the packers were due to arrive...I was a bundle of nerves, and just about ready to puke. When they arrived, I opened up my door, and this is what I saw. These lovely smiling faces.
These ladies, named Cocoa, Roshanna, and The Girl Whose Name I Forgot, swooped in, and packed away everything! They were neat, respectful, and efficient. They packed away things that really had no monetary value but only sentimental value in a box labeled as High Value. My mother was actually sitting on the couch when CoCo snagged a pillow out from underneath of her and stuffed it in a box, just laughing and chatting the entire time. It was almost as good as having good friends come and pack your bags for college. It was so comforting. I am so glad for these women. They made quick work of my house, and only one of them had to return the next day to pack the garage. Some items got packed that I didn't exactly want packed. For instance, my daughter went to school this morning in 25 degree weather, with no coat. We opened several boxes looking for her coat, but it never showed up. Of course, we will find it in Louisiana, where the weather is warm and muggy almost year round!
And then a shocking thing happened this afternoon. I was looking over the packing list and happened to notice that the destination scheduled for our stuff was listed as Houma, AZ. Houma, AZ?!?!!?!?!? I'm going to Houma, LOUISIANA!!!! So, this could have ended in disaster, with my stuff in a totally different state, lost somewhere, and me in Houma, LA with 3 kids and no stuff. How fun and adventurous that would have been!!!!. A few phone calls later, it was found that whoever entered my paperwork into the computer made a mistake. What a blessing that I paying attention to that page!
So, we will be closing on our house tomorrow, and saying our last goodbyes to our small town. I am really going to miss this place afterall! It took a long time to learn to love it here, but once NC sinks under your skin, it's hard to forget. Now. Next time, when I hit the publish post button, it will be from another state. Hopefully in Louisiana. And hopefully my stuff will be there too. See you then.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Going least from Blogland

So, the moving van will be screeching to a halt in front of my house the day after tomorrow. I can almost smell the end of this whole ordeal. I am really going to Louisiana after all! Can you believe it?

The last few days, I have spent an unbelievable amount of time sorting, and washing, and cleaning, throwing away, and donating. I totally forgot just how much stuff I had. I really don't need all this stuff. So, the rule of thumb was....The second my hands touched something, I asked myself "Self, do you love this?" and if I didn't totally LOVE the item, I got rid of it. I cannot believe the amount of stuff that I have collected over the course of the 4 years that I have been here. Stuff that I really didn't love. *sigh* God isn't finished with me yet. I am too sentimental about things...I would probably keep a pile of doggie doodle, if it had any sentimental value to me at all.

But the whole family has gotten into the spirit of getting rid of stuff. The girls have gone through their toys and donated 2 garbage bags full of toys to Salvation Army. Lets not even begin to talk about the amount of clothing that has left this house, destined for bargain racks. The baby, well, she had no choice in the matter...all of the stuff that she didn't use anymore like her swing, bouncy seat, countless bags of clothes, well they all went to my new favorite cause, Lifeline Pregnancy Center. The ladies from the center, I wish you all could have seen their faces when I opened my trunk and it was FULL to overflowing with gently used gifts for pregnant women and their soon-to-be-born precious little babies. I loved that warm fuzzy feeling when I got when I closed the van trunk again, it was empty... and all I got in return (besides my warm fuzzy feeling) was a tiny slip of paper that said "Lifeline Pregnancy Center thanks you for your donation." Such a freeing feeling.

Well, with all that being said, I won't be blogging for a little while. I promise you that I will be very busy the next few weeks. Packing, searching for a place to live, unpacking, finding a new church, new friends, enrolling The Oldest in a new school, getting The Middle acquainted with a new homeschool group, and finding my way around our new town. I will keep yall posted when I can. Wish us luck. Pray for us.

I will see yall on the other side.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Year of Thanksgiving.

A few months ago, a church friend remarked that I was having "My year of Job." I have been tossing that statement around in my little pea brain for sometime now and I have come to a conclusion. Sure, this has been a rotten year, all kinds of things have happened that have been less than favorable, but I would hardly rank it up there with all the stuff that happened to Job.

As I reflect on the past year, in the spirit of Thankfulness, I pause to count the blessing in the midst of my chaos.

Lord, I am thankful....

This year, You blessed me with a beautiful healthy child. How many years ago was it said to me that I would never conceive, nor carry to term. And you saw fit for me to have a 3rd child. And yet I questioned the rotten timing surrounding her birth, I whined and complained about how it was going to be possible to tote a newborn across country in the middle of a transfer. But, You knew the whole story...the bigger picture. The parts that You had all figured out, and I was too blind to see. Too blind to see that March was the perfect time for a child to be born, that I was going to need that wee child to keep me company during the many lonely months to follow without my husband. She has brought me more joy than I ever thought imaginable into my life.

I am so thankful.

I whined and complained when our house did not sell as quickly as I wanted it to. I failed to simply trust You and Your timing. And yet, You sat patiently by as You taught me lesson after lesson about accepting help from others, how to put aside my pride, and how to bravely carry on without my husband, standing on my own two feet. I learned patience for my children, acceptance of my shortcomings, and appreciation of my partner in life, my faithful friend.

I am more than thankful.

I watched the news in horror as a hurricane wiped out the very town that I was supposed to be living in....and was on my face apologizing for questioning Your timing surrounding the sale of our house. Our home could have been one of those homes. And You spared us. I am thankful for my home. Here. There. Wherever it is. Because I have learned this year, that where ever the people that you love are....that is where home is.

I don't thank You enough.

This year, I have watch our pastor and his family struggling with his son's leukemia, and I am thankful for the health of my children. I have whined about how many colds my daughter has brought home from school and shared with the family, but did not once stop to thank You that one of my own children is not laying in the hospital gravely ill with cancer.

So thankful.

No, this hasn't been my Year of Job. This has been my Year of Thanksgiving. This is the year that I have discovered that God has been so good to me, and blessed me even though I am completely undeserving. And I give thanks to Him. In ALL things, give Him thanks. In good times, give Him thanks. In bad times....give Him thanks.

Thank you, Lord.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Sometimes...You just know that you must be doing something right as a parent. Most of the time, parenting is a fly by the seat of your pants thing for me, and half the time, I feel like I am failing. But sometimes, you catch a glimmer of that shiny stuff called gold that is on the inside of their hearts. And sometimes, that glimmer shines through enough that you know that you must be doing something right. Today was such a day.

I went to my daughter's school today to take some pictures of her classmates for a scrapbook that I am putting together for her to remember her North Carolina friends. I had a great time following her around playground, as she pulled her classmates over to have her picture taken with them. Not only did she introduce me by their names, she also had a kind word or description of each of them...proudly saying kind things like "Mama, this is my friend D___, he has the nicest handwriting in the whole class." or "Hey, this girl is L____, she builds the best sandcastles!" Did you catch that glimmer?

Then there was the bulletin board. It was covered with the traditional pilgrims in honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday....and wishbones. Wishbones, those things that come from the inside of the turkey, each person takes a side of the bone and pulles. The person with the bigger piece when it breaks, gets their wish. On the bulletin board each student wrote their wish. I scanned the board and read their wishes. Most of the children wished for things like video games, or a million dollars, or wished to be a super hero. No surprise there. Most 6 year olds would wish something like that. I found my girl's wishbone on the top right corner of the board. And here is what it reads....

That gold is shining through now. just know when you must be doing something right.
And sometimes, you get your wish.
Daughter, we are going to be with Daddy sooner than you know! We are going to Louisiana to be with him VERY VERY soon.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fryday Contest!!!!!

The fabulous Mckmama is having a contest! And I am advertising it right here! She's giving away a custom designed blog header (how did she know I needed one?) AND she's giving away camera goodies!!!! Camera goodies! Lenses and stuff! She must have been reading my mind on this giveaway, since a new camera is the exact thing that I am treating myself to once the papers are all signed at closing on Dec. 10th. I mean, after all of this big ordeal, I do deserve a little treat, don't I? I knew you would think so too.

So, do me a favor, hop on over to My Charming Kids, and enter her contest too. And if you win, think about me, with my new camera and boring looking blog with no header! Just kidding! Enjoy your winnings.....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tag! I'm it! Tee Hee!

My friend Anna, got tagged and posted on her blog, and now the tag rests on me. The rules are simple. The Rules: In order to accept this Bloggy Award/Tag, you must do the following.....
  1. Write a post showing it, together with the name and link of who has given it to you.
  2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Honest Weblog’.
  4. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. And then, pass it on.
So, I am not all too eager to post 10 things about myself without this appearing like a horrible confessional. So I am going to try to keep this lighthearted. Fun is funny, right?

  1. I am a yardsale-a-holic. Majorly. If there is a sale and I know about, I am there. I will throw the kids in the car with a piece of toast, and call it breakfast. If they behave themselves while we are out, which they usually do, I give them a quarter to spend on whatever they want. Sometimes they save it, but more often than not, the spend it on something we end up donating to Goodwill later. But THIS, is THE YARD SALE JAR! I take it with me whenever I head out the door to a big sale. Believe it or not, this is a collection of about 3 years worth of emptying my husband's pockets before washing his clothes. See, it does pay to be the laundry fairy.
  2. I am very hard on my bluejeans. I love my jeans, but when I find them in the store and I like them, I have a little talk with them to prepare them for their life with me. And here is why: I blow out the right knee on all of them. Every single time. Within a month or two of getting a new pair of jeans, the right knee gets destroyed. It's not that I have a fat right knee or anything...but I do spend lots of time on the floor with my children, and it's primarily my right knee that hits the floor before my bumper does.
  3. If I was ever going to get marooned on a deserted island and was only permitted to take one thing, besides the answer of food, water, or a friend....I would bring.....My hairbrush. I have this obsession with my hairbrush. See, I have had this same hairbrush since I was 12. There just isn't any replacement of this hairbrush, which is why I have driven over 6 hours to pick up my beloved hairbrush when I left it behind in a hotel. My hairbrush no longer gets packed in luggage when I go on a trip, it goes in my purse. I carried it on the Appalachian Trail when I have gone hiking, even though it is considered a serious luxury and took up alot of space in my pack. I just really love this hairbrush.
  4. Along the lines of the hairbrush, I pretty much have 2 basic styles for my hair. Long, and short. I grow out my hair for 2 to 3 years and then hack off 10 to 12 inches and mail it off to Locks of Love. I have donated 4 times in the last 10 years. I could care less about styling products, perms, colors, or paying out the nose for visits to the Salon, I kindof like being the "Ponytail Mom", it's just easier! And Locks of Love is a great cause!
  5. I read Little Women once a year. Okay, I know it's silly. I just love this book and it always gives me warm fuzzies, even on the coldest of winter days.
  6. I don't like to wear shoes. I don't enjoy wearing socks either. If I could go barefoot every day of the year, I would. So, when I do need to wear shoes, I wear as little as possible....flip flops, sandals, crocs. I do think socks with crocs should be outlawed, and people that wear socks with sandals should be hung by their sandal straps.
  7. I am very passionate about a few things in coffee, my cookies (OREOs to be exact) and my kids. And if there is a moment where these three items can be combined, I am a very happy camper. So, I would love to say that all of us sit down together in the afternoons after school is over everyday and revel in that chocolate cookie/caffeine goodness, but that just wouldn't be smart. If it became an expected event that occured everyday, it just wouldn't seem as special. Soooooo, when my daughters have done something extra special (gotten a good report card or tackled a problem that was particularly hard) I pull out the OREOs milk, coffee, and the nice china. We have a special little tea/coffee/milk party. We put on a party dress and our finest costume jewelry, sometimes deck ourselves out in tiaras and boas. The kids have really enjoyed this special time together.
  8. I have a big problem. I am hugely sentimental. I have a hard time letting material items go because I have special memories attached to many items around my house. So...with this problem comes another problem...clutter. And I can't seem to get rid of stuff. I have a collection of odd items such as pregnancy tests, umbilical cord stubs (I know, gross!), kid artwork, scraps of wrapping paper, dried flowers, hair clippings, church bulletins, ring boxes, dishes, ticket stubs....the list goes on. I am slowly slowly more willing to let some of these items go and tackling my clutter. My secret weapon you ask? My digital camera. I am taking pictures of some of these items and letting them go. I am having a harder time letting go of some of the baby clothes now that my last child has outgrown them. So, I am making a quilt out of some of my favorite pieces. I am sorry if this seems selfish, but I just can't let those little clothes go!
  9. I am an extreme night owl...I love to stay up late, and to a fault....I am worthless when the alarm wakes me up in the morning. At least until I have pushed the "brew" button on the coffee pot. And for this reason, bedtime is non-negotiable for my children.
  10. I am having issues coming up with a 10th item, so suffice to say that for my 10th thing about myself....I spend entirely too much time on blogs. Reading blogs, writing blog entries, looking at blog backgrounds. Blogging is a bad addiction, I am hooked.
There you have it. 10 things about myself. And now to name some other bloggers to be tagged.....well, if you read this, consider yourself tagged. Yes, I know it's cheating to not actually name the specific blogs by name, but well, that eliminates the pressure from people who get tagged down to whoever actually WANTS to get tagged. So, write up some things about yourself and post it! It's kind of fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Kid speaks....

I got this idea from Nicole's blog and just copied her questions right here onto my blog. Today, I sat down with The Middle and asked her the questions. The following are her direct quotes.

What is something Mama always says to you?

You're a goober!

What makes Mama happy?

When I give you a love pat. And when I listen and obey.

What makes Mama sad?

When I break my stuff.

How does Mama make you laugh?

When God mows the lawn.... (Remember this story?)

What was Mama like as a child?

She liked toys, just like my toys.

How old is Mama?


How tall is Mama?

Really taller than me. Can I eat come cheezy crackers now?

What is Mama's favorite thing to do?

Play with the baby. And bounce around. And drink coffee. You drink buckets of it. I will share these cheezy crackers with you if you want some.....

What does Mama do when you're not around?

I don't know? Wait for me to get back?

If Mama becomes famous, what will it be for?

Telling funny stories.

What is Mama really good at doing?

You are good at playing games with me. And you are pretty good at making the baby stop crying.

What is Mama not very good at doing?

(tilts head to one side, looking confused) I thought you knew how to do everything?

What is Mama's job?

Cleaning up. Drinking coffee. I don't know, read me stories and be my teacher, too!

What's Mama's favorite food?

Spinach. Snakes? (okay, this made me really laugh!)

What makes you proud of Mama?

When you make good choices.

If Mama were a cartoon character, who would she be?

You would be a pirate. Or in a Barbie Movie. Rapunzel, probably would be the best for you. But your hair is short right now, so you would have to wear a wig or something.

What do you and Mama do together?

We glue stuff, like when we made that picture frame for your birthday.

How are you and Mama the same?

When I grow up, I will BE the same as you.

How are you and Mom different?

I am different...I am (enter her name) and you are Mama. God made us differently. (Whoa, deep thoughts here.)

How do you know Mom loves you?

When you give me love pats. And kisses. And when we pray together at night.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sometimes, you just gotta get your hands dirty....

Or your feet. Or your belly. Or behind your ears. Or... well.... whatever part of your body isn't dirty yet.

"Go out and play in the mud," I told my kids after we had arrived home from school today. It has been that kind of week. The kind of week where you just need to shed everything that just happened from Monday thru Friday, and do something wreckless and immature.
They looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my ears.

The Oldest scratches her head and cocks her head to one side, processing what I had just said. "You want us to do what?"
"You heard me, put on some play clothes, your crocs, and skiddaddle!"

Chaos. Pandimonium. That is what happened next as they scrambled to find appropriate attire to wear. And then they were gone.
I managed to capture a few shots until they discovered that frisbees held a goodly amount of muddy water and proceeded to dump it on themselves, and eventually one another. And eventually me. Ah well. If you can't beat em', join em'!

They are now taking a warm bath and sipping hot cocoa with marshmellows. I plan on hanging out in my bathrobe the rest of the evening. Yes, I am glad that it's Friday.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

For The Record: How I Met My Husband...and then there was Jack

So, I have met my husband of the future, and didn't know it yet. And then there was Jack.


My heart skips a beat when I think about him. His beautiful eyes, his glowing golden skin. The way he captured the heart of many others...young and old, male and female alike. At least 35 people claimed to love Jack, and that was just at my last count. And the reason why I speak of Jack in the past tense, well, he is no longer with us. He is swimming with the fishes. Actually, Jack WAS a fish......a goldfish to be exact.

I taught preschool at Beverly Hills Preschool in Alexandria, VA and Jack was the classroom pet. Jack was just your ordinary, run of the mill, 10 cent feeder goldfish that I picked up at Wal-mart. But the second I carried him into the classroom, he became a celebrity. We had been studying fairy tales, and that week, we had been talking about Jack and the Beanstalk. The children had all planted beans in little baby food jars and they were sprouting nicely on the window sill. I plunked Jack, in his glorious goldfish bowl, right there next to the sprouts. The kids took a vote, and Jack had a name.

Jack grew during that school year, he survived going home with every single student for a weekend, Christmas break, and Easter break too. He was an amazing fish. Made of some really tough stuff.

At the completion of that school year, Jack was getting thrown out of his home on his ear. He needed a new home because I had no place for him to live. I was taking a little time out from teaching to work on my graduate studies, and be a part time nanny. So, I started asking around to see if anyone had a tank. But it couldn't be just anyone that took Jack, it had to be someone really special. I asked around the Meat Market. Indeed, Eben had a tank. I felt pitiful for Eben, living all alone in that apartment, how he must need a friend. A friend like my Jack. So, I let Eben have ownership of my beloved fish. We met up, and Jack went home with his new friend.

A couple of months later, Eben was hosting a barbecue for several of the singles at his apartment, and not only did I want to visit with some of my church friends, I wanted to see Jack. So I went. Jack had grown enormous in size. He was obviously very happy living with Eben.

Why am I dedicating an entire post to a goldfish? Something happened during that trip to Eben's apartment. I saw him with new eyes. He was different, changed somehow. He had stopped smoking. And the girl that he had been interested in had sort of brushed him off and steered him in a different direction. It was at that visit, where I thought that I was just visiting my goldfish, my heart was drawn to a magnificent guy! And I felt the need to show him that I cared. That we could be really great friends. (Little did I know that he would become my best friend!)

I did something really silly and embarrassing then, and the others that were visiting his apartment that day, took note of my actions. I started washing his dishes. I know, it doesn't seem like a terribly romantic gesture, but if you know me....there are two things that I detest doing. Laundry, and, you guessed it....dishes. And I didn't really mind doing his dishes at all!

If you fast forward this story about 7 months, you would see Jack, getting loaded into a Tupperware container on our wedding day, and getting chauffeured from Alexandria, VA to his new home in Duluth, MN by my new brother and sister-in-law. He was a traveling fish! Jack was just too special to both of us to leave behind. In a sense, Jack was a part of our family, the fish who started this whole crazy marriage.

There are so many other tidbits about our courtship that I cannot wait to share with you. Softball? Trumpet? or Coffee? Decisions, Decisions.


What became of Jack, you ask? Well, Jack survived our first 6 months in MN. But it was when we moved to our first real house, that Jack perished. His fishtank water had not been properly prepared when he was put inside. I cried for days and days. But he lived a pretty full life, wouldn't you say?

Friday, November 7, 2008

For The Record: How I Met My Husband Part 2

It is my hope that my husband will join me in these posts, perhaps as my special guest blogger, because his opinions are rather funny. He still talks about his reaction to me, when he first saw me. He is actually the one that coined the term "Meat Market" in regards to the church singles ministry. But his remembrance of me upon first meeting me goes something like this "Wow. That girl is just too cute to be single. What is she doing here? She must have a kid or something. Wonder what kind of baggage she has."

I guess my baggage was mostly, bad boys. A dude with an ankle bracelet, and before that guy, well....I just better not even go there. The details are just too pitiful to go into. I had done my round of what I call "Missionary Dating." I was a born again Christ-Follower, doing the best I could to live for God. With little or no example of what Christian dating was supposed to look like. So, I dated many guys....some Christians, some not, some I thought that I could fix by bringing them to church, and some I was just hanging out with hoping that they would get saved. Hence, the term, missionary dating.

The point is, I wasn't ready for the man of my dreams. And the man of my dreams wasn't ready for me either. God had alot of work to do.

Sometime after things didn't quite work out with ankle bracelet guy, and I had broken up with yet another guy, I gave up on dating. Actually, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, literally. I felt like I was done with it. I was fed up with dating and was prepared to just let God do the choosing for me. It was springtime at this point, and I was ready for absolutely nothing to happen in the love department.

I made up a list. A crazy, detailed list of all the qualities in a guy that I desired, and another list of qualities that I didn't like. And I simply prayed over my list, stuck it in a box, and put the box on the top shelf of my closet. For God to take care of. I would take a picture of this list, and post it here, as I still have it, but for one, you wouldn't be able to read my chicken scratch for handwriting, and secondly some of the qualities are too deeply personal to state out here in the open for all the world to see. But suffice to say that it was a long wist. Quite the tall order for God to fill.

Some of the items on here say: a born again believer, hardworking, sense of humor, giving, easy to love and gives love, understanding when I goof up, Listens, honest, gives compliments, knows when to say he's sorry, intellegent, good looking, and the list goes on.....way on. And very near the top of the qualities that I did not want in a guy: a smoker. Now, I am not here to judge anyone that is a smoker, and there are several here that read my blog. If you are a smoker, that's your own business. But a smoker is simply not a quality that I wanted in a man. And that is an important detail to remember, because of my previous post, in which I first met my husband. Where he had cigarettes stuck in the front of his shirt pocket. Which I found disgusting.

The next part of the story I will most definitely have to have my husband help with, because it involves his heart condition. And then there is Jack. We can't leave Jack out of this story. And how the other love of my life, Jack, became Eben's roommate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

For the Record: The Day I Met My Husband

I think that this is a memory that I need to keep fresh, because the day that I met my husband was a very important day. The day that I met my husband was rather unexpected, and it wasn't for several months later that we would even become interested in each other.

Back in 1998 (wow that seems like million years ago!), I was freshly graduated from college and living, yes I will admit it...I was still living with my parents. I was attending the same church from my teen years, a member of the choir, and regular attender of the church's meat market Single's Ministry. The ministry met twice a month for prayer, Bible study, and fellowship.

The night that I met my husband happened to be on a chilly February night. I had prepared my finest dish for the pot-luck that night.....Yes, I wanted to prove my gourmet cooking abilities, so I prepared one box of rotini noodles and dumped a jar of store-bought sauce on top of it. And because I was feeling really dangerous, I sprinkled the whole thing with a generous dose of Parmesan Cheese. I put on my very cute red sweater, sassy blue jeans, chunky boots, a black knee length coat, and a furry black cap. The furry black cap has a story all it's own about how it came to be mine, but I will leave the black cap story for another edition of For the Record. And the only reason I have any clue what I wore that night, is because my darling husband remembers. Because I totally don't remember at all.

Now what makes this story interesting is the fact that I wasn't even interested in meeting anyone at the Meat Market Single's Ministry, because I was already interested in someone else. And I will make the embarrassing confession about this person. I had brought this particular person to several church events, and the reason that I brought him, did the picking up, the driving, payed the tab, etc...ugh, just spit it out already, Jenny! Okay, the guy was on House Arrest. For drug charges. There I said it. He wore the ankle bracelet and everything. Whenever we went out, we had to get special permission from his parole officer. And since my father was a police officer, permission was always granted. The reason why he was on house arrest and not prison? He was battling cancer. I did not pick him up for this particular meeting because he was not feeling well that evening. And incidentally, my friend passed away from his cancer, a few months later.

So on this particular chilly evening, I strutted my stuff (and my gourmet pasta dish!) into the meeting. When I walked into the door, I noticed a new guy. Cute, yes, but not striking at the time. The other thing I noticed right off the bat about this guy was the cigarettes hanging out of his pocket, and was immediately turned off. Ewwww. Then there was the fact that he came with another guy that I really didn't like because he had a very bad habit of lying to other people about me about random I was going to marry him, of all things. Double ewwwww!

As the evening progress, and my disinterest in particular the new guy, he finally did introduce himself to me as Eben, and complimented me on the on the item that I had brought. I smiled sweetly, and replied, "Thanks! It came out of a jar!" I am sure that he was totally impressed. I asked what he had brought, and he had added cornbread muffins to the evening's affair. I had tasted the corn muffins earlier, and they were the dryest, nastiest things ever. I felt sorry for him, having to go home and eat whatever it was that he ate on a given day, and asked if he would like to take home some from the jar gourmet pasta. He did.

I went home that night, the same way that I had came. Alone. And with only a faint memory of a guy that made nasty cornbread muffins.

It was several months later that we would become interested in one another. But God was not finished preparing us for one another. And how we came to be a couple is yet another story...and it involves a heart condition, a softball game, a trumpet, a goldfish, a king sized mattress, the two ladies that turned out to be my bridesmaids, and a sink full of dirty dishes. But we will save all that for another day, since this post has turned into a mini-novel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



Well, it doesn't say that on the sign outside yet, but we are now in Sale Pending. We finally have a buyer for our house and will be moving. The closing date is set around Christmas, but who cares...we might be living out of boxes on Christmas day, but at least we will be together!

Did you just hear that great big sigh of relief?

It is finally going to happen. Our family will be together again. Finally, after 6 long months of unending stress, I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today is a very big day, and a very proud day to be an American. It's Election Day!

I have always thought that Election Day is a very important day, and should be treated as such.

So today, in honor of our proud day, The Kids and I dressed up in some of our finest. We were all dress in the nicest red, white, and blue clothing that we could find. I even managed to get up early, put on makeup and fix my hair. The girls all wore very nice hair ribbons in red, white, and blue as well. I wanted them to feel just how important today was.

We went to the polls before we did anything else. Before driving to school, before playing, etc. When we arrived at the fire hall, which is only about 500 yards from my house, we got out of the car with much fanfare and excitement. The girls had many questions about what it was going to be like inside, what kinds of things that we would do, and what voting is in general. It took quite some time to get through their questions, so we just went in so that I could teach them by example.

We went in, no fuss, no muss, and filled out our voting sheet with little neat bubbles on it. The oldest remarked that it was much like taking a test and that we don't know any of the answers. I told her that you know which bubble to fill in if you did all your homework and knew who you wanted to cast your vote for. I let them feed my ballot into the machine.

My favorite part of the experience? The Middle proclaiming to the entire room that she wasn't old enough to be President yet, (we had discussed at home that you need to be at least 35 years old and that since I am only 33 that even I can't be President!) but when turns 35, to look for her name on that voter paper.

She already has MY vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

For the Record, a letter to my firstborn.

It occurred to me in the shower this morning, (I do all of my deep thinking in the shower for some reason!) that I have not really used this blog for all that I intended. I have not shared some of the moments from our past, but mostly moments as they have happened here in the present time. Because of this profoundly deep thought (har har) I am starting a series called For The Record. In these posts, I hope to chronicle some of our more defining moments from our past. This first one is a letter to my oldest daughter.

My darling daughter,
From the time that I first married your father, I wanted a child. Deep within me, I felt a longing to love and to cherish a little person that was ever so much a part of me. Little did I know just how much the Lord was going to bless me with the desire of my heart when He created you.
The day that I found out that you were growing inside me remains a memory very vivid in my heart. I was working late at the school that day, and I decided that I couldn't wait any longer to find out if my suspicions were true. I took a test and took a peek at it. I didn't really believe for a moment that it could be true, and had a dear friend look at the test too. She told me that I was definitely pregnant. Right there in the middle of the administration office of the school, I fell to my knees and cried and praised God for the tiny miracle that was growing inside of me. The miracle of you.

You see, dear one, we had received news from the doctor just 3 months before that we would never conceive a child naturally because of certain medical issues. And yet, God had a plan. For you. For me. For our family. God must have had a plan for you, because He saw you through a pregnancy that was very difficult...morning sickness, an appendix that had to be removed and put our pregnancy at high risk, bed rest, an extremely long labor. And yet, you arrived. Intact, unscathed, and ready to face the world.

The moment that you were put in my arms, I knew my purpose and place in this world. I had been changed forever with the knowledge that this is what unconditional love was, and what God has for each and every one of us is even bigger. This in itself was mind blowing to me.

I now sit watching you as you are now six years old, and am totally in awe at what God has presented me with and what you have become in just these six short years. I love everything about you....Your braininess for starters, you could read Dick and Jane when you were 3! Your artistic abilities, the way you can put everything that your mind is thinking and feeling on paper with crayons. Is there not even one door in our house that you have not covered with your creations? I also love your complete lack of grace in dancing and sports, and the scar on your arm from breaking your arm in dance class to prove it. I love your determination to figure things out, like the way you continued to dance and broke your arm again. I adore your compassion for others, like the way you picked up every single piece of candy at the parade in town yesterday, and made sure that all of the people around you had a bunch. I love how you donated your flowing blonde hair to a child with cancer, telling me that you hoped that he/or she really liked blonde hair because that is all you had to give. I love it when you're timid and shy, and I love it when you get into your comfortable place and become very outspoken. I love your sense of justice and injustice and your search to make all things right in this world. I just adore every single fiber of your being and I praise God for what He has made you to be.

So, my dear child, I pray that you continue in this world to be that light that shines in the darkness. You have certainly brightened up my own little corner. I am honored to be your mama, to help you as you traverse in this road of life. May you find your way easily, but not without struggle, because it is those struggles that make us strong. Let God lead your way as He has done these 6 years and you will go places. I am proud of you.

I love you.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Me Monday.

Good morning. At least I can say good morning. It's Monday. And to break up the monotony of today, I am posting all of the things that I really did not do. It's my humorous detailed denial of my faults and weaknesses. I hope that you will join me over on MckMama's blog to read other Not Me's.

This is not my living room at this exact moment. As a matter of fact, those are not piles of clothes that have been folded to be put away, and those are not baskets of toys, and that certainly is not coffee table covered in my computer, coffee mug, and assorted books. And my realtor certainly is not going to call me to ask to show my house today. That would never happen.

I did not wake up with a bad ear ache. And I am not putting off going to the doctor to get an antibiotic just in case my ear ache wants to clear up on it's own by a miracle.

I did not totally come unleashed this morning when one daughter couldn't find her shoes and the other misplaced her book that she is reading for school. I did not snap at them both to get in the van that we were running late. My ear ache had nothing to do with my mood and attitude. I did not make the shoeless daughter wear her sandals in the cold because she lost her shoes. Nor did I make the bookless daughter go to school and practice in the car saying that she was irresponsible and misplaced her book. That would make me a mean mother.

I most certainly did not laugh at the baby shoving handfuls of cheerios into her mouth, since it's a brand new thing that she has learned to do, and then I did not start weeping uncontrollably because she learned this new skill and is growing up way too fast.

I did not realize that my Not Me's are really not funny today, so I did not leave gratuitous pictures of a pig in a shopping cart in my previous post for you to see.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I bet you have NEVER seen anything like this before. I bet money on it.

Meet Oscar. He's a pig. See him smiling for the camera? He likes to go shopping. He likes to go shopping at my favorite store. That makes Oscar my friend. I was quite surprised that Oscar was allowed in the store. Actually, I am more surprised that Oscar's family actually got him into a shopping cart.

I was even more surprised when my daughter did this. I laughed hysterically when after the kiss she exclaimed "Nope. Not a prince."
There aren't many people that can say that they have actually kissed a pig.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

We are family.

We have these little people toys that we use in our homeschool math, that you can sort by size, color, male, female, child, etc. We normally use them for patterning lessons and story telling. Today, this little family was formed. Our family. Together. United. Whole. With Daddy with us.


It's going to happen for us, right?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A story I want put on record.

This is the story about how my darling husband almost killed himself with a bullet. But bare with me here, I swear to you, this is a funny story. This particular instance happened a number of years ago, but in the true spirit of trying to embarrass my husband, I felt the impulse to record his story here for all future generations to read.

Once upon a time, my husband, who is a hunting type fellow, decided to go out squirrel hunting (or maybe it was grouse?) . So he packed up his .22 and a couple of bullets, his pipe and some tobacco to smoke and went on his merry way.

He decided on that particular day to hunt on some property that belonged to a friend of ours. He was gone for several hours, and when he didn't shoot anything, he decided to take one last smoke and call it quits. When he was done, he put the pipe in his pocket.

Fastforward to the next day.....

My husband arose early to head to work. It was chilly that particular morning, so he grabbed his coat as he headed out the door. About halfway to work, he decided that he had better take his smoke (what a dirty nasty habit, isn't it?) So he loaded his pipe with tobacco and lit it up.

As he did, he heard a loud BANG and something hit the window. He looked down and saw his beloved pipe blown to smithereens.

Apparently, a bullet from the hunting excursion the day prior, had rolled into his pipe while it was in his pocket. And my husband unknowingly had tried to smoke it. He's lucky that he's alive. He's lucky that the bullet didn't kill anyone in traffic that day. He's lucky that he didn't get into a wreck. He's lucky that I didn't ring his little neck.

So, anyone else out there have a husband that smokes bullets and lived to tell about it? I didn't think so.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not me Monday, IV

I need to be teaching and cleaning up my house, instead of posting another list of Not Me's!!!! Here is my list of the things that I am totally denying that I did this week.

****I DID NOT pull a washed disposible diaper out of the washing machine this week. I mean, really, I totally check all of the laundry before I stuff it in the washing machine. And I am always sure to sort all of the laundry before washing it so that my children don't have to wear pink socks.

****I would never use a bowl scraper to eat the contents of the blender. The sides were so yummy looking with the sweet potatoes that I had just made up for the baby, I would never so dream as to eat my baby's food! No way!

****I soooooo did not forget to put a lid on my chicken and veggie stew that I put in the microwave. And that stew soooooooooo did not explode all over my spotlessly clean microwave. I mean, I didn't already have to scrub out my microwave that same morning because I overcooked the strawberry cream of wheat and had to spend 20 minutes getting that cooked-on creamy goodness out of my microwave. Oh, and then, on that same day, I certainly did not have to evacuate all the children from my house because I BURNT a bag of popcorn (which I was going to serve my children for dinner!), the air in the kitchen definitely DID NOT fill with smoke so thick you couldn't see to open the windows. And the reason that this did not happen? I didn't get tired of trying to scrub cream of wheat off the spinning plate thingie for the microwave, so I didn't stick it in the dishwasher. So would never do such a thing as stick a bag of popcorn in the microwave without the spinning plate thingie. SOOOOOO, by the end of the day, I DID NOT totally think about just tossing the microwave in the garbage because of my stupidity, and take the children out for icecream sundaes instead.

****I did not totally overextend myself on Saturday by offering to help a bride with her wedding. I did not lose my cool even once when I only had about an hour to feed the baby, curl both of my girls' hair so they could toss leaves, and make sure that everyone was in their places. I did not snap at a couple people when the candles would not light, the foyer of the church was full of boxes of food instead of looking lovely like I had left it the night before, and I did not get the slightest bit miffed at the bride when she showed up late. (Hether, when you read this, it's all good, girlfriend! I was soooo glad to be able to serve you on your wedding day. It was so beautiful, and your marriage will be so blessed!)

****I did not lose my cell phone with the ringer turned off. And I did not blame my middle child of passing gas when she was sitting on the couch....only to discover the cell phone on vibrate stuck between the cushions, where it certainly did not fall out of my pocket when I wasn't taking a nap yesterday. I mean, I NEVER need naps after weddings, church attending, and benefit dinners. Never!

How was your week? Anything going on that you um.....didn't do, either? Head on over to MckMama's blog and see what everyone else is up to.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way....

Oh yes. The election. Not generally a topic that I would normally blog about. But today, I simply had to share with you this story.

A funny thing happened on the way to putting up my political candidate's sign in my yard.

We have a very elderly woman that lives across the street from us. She is 97, lives completely alone, and is almost entirely self reliant. She grows most of all her own food. But she has a few little issues.....she is very hearing impaired, her eyesight is about equivalent to that of the moles that dig in her garden, and she has a drinking problem. I chuckle as I write this because on numerous occasions, she sits outside with her coffee mug full of what she calls her "cough medicine."----a 50/50 concoction of Black Label Jim Beam and honey. We adore her.

Today, was such an occasion. I had just returned home from my political party of choice's office with a few signs to put up in my yard. Hetty was out on her porch, kicking her legs in her rocking chair, snapping green beans, and her famous cough medicine right there next to her. I tooted my horn in greeting and parked my car.

I had no sooner gotten out of the car and had started sticking my signs in the ground, when my drunken neighbor started charging across the street, as fast as her 97 year old legs would carry her, coffee cup in one hand, cane in the other.

"Jenny! What are you doing?" She crowed.
"Well, I am hanging up some signs Miss. H." I answered.
"What's that you say?!?!?!!? Hanging up signs? But you already have your house for sale."

Well it's true, I do. And I have had the same for sale sign stuck in my lawn for 6 months now.

"Well, Mrs. H," I answered her (and I am almost yelling so that she can hear me), "Yes, I do have a for sale sign. But this is a sign for the Election."

And just as soon as the word 'election' came out of my mouth, I knew where I had gone wrong....and this was about to get really wrong really fast.

"WHATS THAT YOU SAY!?!?!? WHO'S HAVING AN ER*ECT*ION ?!?!?!?!" (and I type it this way so that creeping internet types doing a naughty word search don't land on my blog) If she had not been standing right there, I probably would have peed my pants laughing so hard at her. Then she promptly turned on her heels and trotted back to her house as fast as her 97 year old legs could carry her without waiting for me to respond.

I don't think I will ever be able to think about the election with a straight face again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Works For Me Wednesday! Pumpkin Cake!

I have this super duper easy recipe that I would like to share with all of you. As a matter of fact I made it today, and it is sooooo simple and delicious.

All you need is 2 little ingredients.

1 Box of Cake Mix (I really like how this turns out with Spice Cake)
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin

Set your oven to 325 degrees, and get out a big bowl. Combine the 2 ingredients really well. (Do not add anything else! Have faith, this recipe will turn out great!) Use a spoon to mix it with, as the batter will be very stiff, and egg beaters will not cut it.

Spread the batter into a greased cake pan, cupcake pan, or bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it in. This is about 40 minutes for a Bundt pan, 20 minutes for cupcakes. Melt some frosting and drizzle it on the top. Accept compliments graciously.

I hope that you like this recipe, it's so stinking easy. It's got fiber in it, and pumpkin is a veggie right? So no guilt if you feed this to your kids twice a week for snack ;) !!!For more ideas for things that make our lives a little easier, hop on over to Rocks In My Dryer, and see what's working for other friendly faces!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not Me Monday, 3rd Edition.

It's Monday! Hooray! And there is no school today, so I am more than thrilled. As part of my thrill of the holiday, I am posting my Not Me's for the week! If you enjoy these Not Me's come on over to MCK and read some more! Hey, you might just want to make up your own list.

  • I did not fall on the floor laughing my head off when my 5 year old fell into the toilet when she was using it.
  • I did not let my dishes pile up in the sink, to the point that I had to use the sprayer to fill up the coffee pot. I would NEVER do such a thing.
  • I did not make a whole pan of apple dumplings for the church homecoming, taste one, and decide that I couldn't carry them to church because they are too good to share. Nope. And I certainly did not whip up a carrot cake to replace the missing dessert. That would be terrible of me!
  • I did not wear pants to church today because I didn't feel like shaving my legs.
  • I did not borrow my 5 year old's strawberry glitter lip gloss to wear to church today.
  • I did not skip a day of home school lessons with my daughter simply because the sun was out and it was magnificent outside.
  • I did not accidentally/on purpose blow off someone's request for my baby girl's outgrown baby clothes because I am selfishly hording them and thinking she will either shrink to fit them again, or that by some miracle I find some time to make those clothes into a quilt.
  • I did not intentionally leave the complete link to my whole blog, instead of just my Not Me post, so that you would read the hilarious post directly underneath of it.
  • I did not keep a post it note handy this week to keep some of my Not Me's fresh in my braincell depleted noggin. And I am not posting this a day early. Really. Check your calendar.
I hope that you enjoyed my little confessions this week. I can't wait to read yours.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Morning Wake Up Call.

All week long I have been cursing the "up before the crack of dawn" alarm clock. Today, the alarm went off at the usual time, and I rolled over and cheered as I turned it off. It's Saturday. And it's raining. I don't have to do anything other than provide for the basic needs of the brood.

This morning, after I cheered at the alarm clock, I went back to sleep. 3 hours later, I was woken up by the sound of little whispering voices and a cooing baby. The conversation outside my bedroom door went something like this....

"Awww...the baby is so cute! Do you think we should tell mama that she's awake?"
"No. Remember what today is? It's Saturday."
"Is it? I need to look at my calendar." Pitter patter of little feet to the kitchen.
"Oh, it is Saturday. Oh....and it's raining too."

The cooing baby becomes a hungry fuss.

"Wake her up, the baby is hungry."
"I'm not waking her up, you wake her up."
"But it's raining. And you aren't supposed to wake her up when it's raining."
"Wait, I have an idea! Follow me."

Pitterpattering feet to the kitchen again. A few minutes pass, and then the feet return. I pretend I am still asleep when the kidlets come into my room, do something, and then tiptoe out, shutting the door.

Here is what I found.....
Shall we take a closer look? not only is the clock set for exactly 5 minutes from now, there is a faint tick tick sound.... I removed the paper and found this....

Ya think I should spank them now? or later? Actually, I won't be spanking them at all, I was laughing too hard.

And soooooo, our Saturday morning begins. How did your day begin?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

...just like a little girl.

My daughter and I were reading in her Bible this morning before she headed off to school from the book of James. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The daughter asked what the word flee meant. So I explained to her that it meant run away very fast, like if you were scared of something. She started laughing. So said that she had a picture pop in her mind of the devil, running away in fear, screaming like a little girl.

Okay, so after I got over my initial shock of her using the phrase "screaming like a little girl" and trying to figure out where on earth she had heard it, I thought of the same mental image....the devil, running for his life, and screaming just like a girl. And I had to laugh.

But this is what God wants us to know. That we do in fact have that kind of authority over the enemy. The Bible stated it very clearly in words that my 6 year old could understand. It simply states to give yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will run away screaming like a little girl. Well, not in those exact words, but you get the idea. Having that mental picture sure does make me want to resist the devil a lot more.

The Middle Child cracked open the bathroom door (I really need to learn to lock that thing) about 10 seconds before I was going to jump in the shower. She has impeccable timing, you know. And asked me for some lunch. I told her to please wait until I got out of the shower and that I would make her some. But she could get a banana out of the fruit basket if she wanted. She scampered off to the kitchen leaving me to my apple scented shower gel and panteen shampoo.

She grabbed a banana all right. Actually, when I got out of the shower and saw her sitting at the counter, swinging her chubby legs back and forth, and a banquet set out before her... she explained that she had MADE her own lunch. This, I had to see. On the counter was a half eaten banana, a fudgecicle wrapper and stick, a Dora yogurt (complete with a measuring spoon that she had used to eat it), 4 cheese wrappers, and the remainders of an untoasted english muffin....spread an inch thick with butter. She told me that she had saved the fudgecicle for last, since it was a dessert item.

Well, I can't say that keeping her home alone with me this year to homeschool hasn't been totally life changing for her. I am watching a beautiful and independent spirit blossom out of what was once a totally selfish and needy toddler. I am very proud.

We cleaned up her lunch mess together.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Me Monday, again.

It's Monday, and it's time to confess again that I am not the perfect Mother/Wife/Person. Time to be brutally honest, and live to tell about it. Please join me at MCK to read some other real life confessions.

This week, I most certainly DID NOT hide in the pantry to eat a piece of chocolate birthday cake for breakfast while my children grumbled and complained about eating cream of wheat at the breakfast table. And I didn't eat some more of that chocolate cake for dinner either.

I did not put my baby to bed in the clothes that she was to wear the next day because I would rather sleep in an extra couple of minutes. I did not pass my baby off to the first available elderly person at church so that I could worship God with my arms empty for a change.

I really really used that 4 day wait rule between trying new foods with my baby...nope, I certainly did not try out apple, pears, sweet potatoes, and peaches all in one week.

I did not wear the same shirt 2 days in a row this week. I certainly washed it. And I certainly did not throw a sweatshirt on top of it when the baby spit up on it. I would never do that! I did not just put a hat on my head to take my kid to school this morning....oh, no...I took a shower. And I certainly did not just take the garbage out to the curb this morning in my fuzzy pink bathrobe, and wave at my daughter's teacher, who coincidentally lives right next door.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

If this doesn't break your heart....

If this picture doesn't just break your heart, well then something is wrong with you. This is how the baby knows her Daddy.
The funny man in the box. If I had audio of this, you would hear the two of them having a conversation together. I really long for the day when this whole ordeal is over.
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Friday, October 3, 2008

What's cooking in the blender....

I only have a moment to type here, and then I will be putting the blender into overdrive tonight.

The little apple has finally reached what I believe may be my most favorite time in babyhood. She is eating solids. And from the sheer size of her, anyone can tell, that she loves eating them. She is graduating from rice cereal and oatmeal. She has taste tested applesauce and smashed bananas. She is just itching to dig into the plethora of different foods that are available. Thus, my trip to the grocery store.

I completely bypassed the baby food in the jar section and headed straight for the produce. I am so excited. I purchased fresh peaches, pears, green beans, peas, acorn squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. My kitchen is busy with food steaming and baking. I really, really love doing this. I have honestly missed doing this. It's been too many years since the last time I have prepared baby food.

In just a few minutes, I will be blending, blending, blending....and then pouring these wonderful things into ice cube trays and freezing. Those frozen food cubes will be put into freezer bags and labeled for future use. I can't wait for my little darling to try all these wonderful foods.

Oh, I wish she could stay this age forever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Staff Only and Armpit Farts

The Oldest is really enjoying public school. It makes me very sad that she loves it so much, but I am seeing so many changes in her behavior and maturity in this short time....I have to admit, being among a throng of children her own age has been very good for her.

For the most part.

Except for some little eensie weensie little issues. Today, she had "Walking Recess." This is a punishment issued to a student when they have done something pretty stinking bad. There are only 2 punishments worse than "Walking Recess" and that is a note going home to your parents, and a trip to the principal's office. Walking Recess means that the student has to miss recess and must walk laps around the field during that fun for that child. It makes some students cry. I know mine did.

Now you ask, what on earth did my perfect child do to deserve such a horrible punishment? The heinous thing she did was.....(dramatic music here!) She used the Staff Only restroom. Now I have to chuckle about it now that she is tucked away in her bed. Apparently, she needed to use the bathroom during Computer Lab time, so she and another student were to travel together to the restroom in the First Grade Hall. According to my daughter, the Staff Only restroom was soooo much closer. So her traveling friend for the bathroom told her to go on in there....then the friend split. Didn't wait for my daughter. So when she opened the bathroom door, there stood two teachers. She was in pretty big trouble. Especially since 1) She knows how to read the words Staff Only and 2) She isn't considered staff. Silly little girl. But she took her punishment well, and I sided with the teachers on that one. I don't care if the other student told her to use that particular bathroom. My kid knows better. Staff Only means exactly what it says.

And my other eensie weensie issue with public school?

My darling six year old daughter learned how to do an arm pit fart today. She showed me in the car. Does it get any better than that? *shaking my head in disbelief*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quick Quiz....Baby Food

This is for all you moms out there....

It's dinner time, and the family (the six month old baby girl included) is gathered around the breakfast bar eating a take out pizza. The toothless (and pretty much solely breastfed and cereal fed) baby leans forward in her high chair and grabs a slice of pizza and starts sucking the corner of it. What do you do?

A) What's take-out pizza? I cook every meal from scratch! Only the best for my family. And....whoa, did she just say everyone was eating at the breakfast bar? Not in my household!

B) Freak out. The world is coming to an end! You know for sure that your baby will either die from choking on the pizza or from a allergic reaction to pepperoni grease.

C) Remove the pizza from the baby's mouth, and use your spit to clean the grease off her face.

D) Wait to see what she does. I mean, come on! What's a little bit of cheese going to do? If she doesn't like it....well, she probably will spit it out.

If you answered are probably a brand new first time parent. Trust me, it does get easier. If you answered B, still haven't graduated from First Time Parenting School yet. If you answered C, you have your 2nd child and are settling in to this parenting thing.

Then, there are those of us that are 3rd time parents. Yes. I have to answer D to my own quiz.

My Little One was the one that grabbed the pizza off my plate this evening and managed to get some in her mouth. I just calmly sat there and watched her do it. And I enjoyed her reaction. I watched my little one roll a little bit of cheesy greasy goodness around in her mouth, practice trying to chew it a little, and then spit it out. And then she started vocally expressing her opinion on pizza. She yelled for more. Oy.

She sure is growing up fast. In just a few short years, she will be old enough to call for her own take out. *sniffle*

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not me Monday.

I'm coming clean.

MckMama over at My Charming Kids, has a fun little way of confessing all of our little shortcomings. It's actually very therapeutic reading about how NOT perfect moms can be. So, here own little confessions, out in public for the rest of the world can read. I may be totally in denial about these things, but...I really did them.

  • I totally did NOT just take all of the clothes out of the dryer and toss them in the floor in the hallway, nope, not even in a basket...straight onto the floor. I am not thinking about folding them some other time....and I am sooooo NOT going to pull something out of that pile and put it on myself tomorrow morning before driving my kid to school.
  • I Did Not just go to McDonalds 3 different times this week to buy happy meals...just for the Madam Alexander Wizard of Oz toy. And I DID NOT take a handful of duplicates back and plow through the stash at the counter to get that coveted Flying Monkey for The Oldest.
  • I did not let my kids run through the church's sprinkler system today...simply because it looked fun. And I did not apologize to about 5 other parents when their kids started doing it too. Nope, not me. And I did not have to drive home sopping wet children.
  • I totally deny plopping the baby in a swing, knowing full well that it wasn't her nap time, so that I could sneak a nap myself. I would NEVER do THAT! *snicker*
  • I really didn't give my middle child a second fudgecicle after lunch because she missed having her older sister at home.
  • I did not lock myself in the bathroom this morning for a half hour so that I could finish a really good book....while my children wrote messages and shoved them under the door, stating that they were starving children from Africa and wanted some breakfast.
  • And Finally...I did not just borrow High School Musical from the Library on Friday, watch it for the first time, and enjoy it as much as my daughters....nope, not me!
Those are my little confessionals for the week. What have you got to share for Not Me Monday? Hope on over to MCK and read what other people are fessing up to.