Saturday, February 27, 2010


The tulips have bloomed, a beautiful reminder that spring is just around the corner.

They are sitting right next to the poinsettia, a gentle reminder that it is still winter.  

Also a shocking realization that I've kept it alive for three months.

Another Post About My Kids

In addition to all the craziness in my life over the last six weeks, Isabelle and Jackson started going to a new babysitter.

It was a very difficult thing for me to tell the previous sitter, very emotional.  Lots of tears, snot, and other bodily fluids.  Not to mention the anxiety.  And all that was me.  The kids were fine.  

The kids have been at Miss Mary Jane's for a month now, and we could not be happier.  Every morning after breakfast they sit around her kitchen table and have preschool!  She is teaching Isabelle how to write her name, trace, cut, they talk about shapes, colors.  She reads  books everyday before naptime.  She is the new love of my life.

This is the story Isabelle told me tonight:




what Isabelle?

Today, Miss Mahy Jane put a egg in a jar!

she did?

and then, she poured some stuff on the top!


and then, the egg? it turned into a PEACH!!

Isabelle loves it there.  Even the boys that "break my heaht".

Miss Mary Jane lets her paint.  And paint she does.  Here are two she made this week:

Today, she broke my heart.

Jackson's first painting.

Miss Mary Jane put paint in a bag with this paper and let him squish it around.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mama's Tired.

Last week at the end of a long day, I picked Isabelle up to take her up to bed.  At the bottom of the stairs, I said: "Oh Isabelle, Mommy is to tired to walk up the steps" The next thing out of her mouth?

"Elizabeth....come carry me and Mommy up the steps"  which made me chuckle.  As I started up the stairs, she says: "see, you can do it."  "You're a big girl".

Yes, I guess I am.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Elizabeth has always been our little queen.   Ruler of everything.  While we don't mind, and love her for it, Isabelle is very aware of her position as Princess.  I do believe that eventually Isabelle will overtake the throne from Elizabeth. I'm sure there will be fight.

Sunday afternoon our little Princess got her very first royal haircut! 

She perched very nicely on her throne.

T. was very quick,

did a wonderful job.

The Princess is very pleased!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Me, Today.

How does one get it all done?


As I sit here and watch the snow fall lightly out my window, and listen to my children argue, I'm trying to remember, how did my mom get it all done?  

How about all those other great moms I know?  

As I think back,  I do remember my mom writing out jobs on slips of paper, giving each one a dollar value, tossing them in a big jar, and each of us (four kids) pulling out jobs to do.  If I remember correctly, that was one time, and we had a ton of company the weekend before, and perhaps my mom was sick for a couple of days....  

I do not remember our house being messy everyday like my house is now.  How did she do it?  Am I just remembering the good times not the bad?  Perhaps my children will do the same?  Maybe it gets better as they get older?  Maybe I shouldn't think about it so much.  Just enjoy them while they are small, and try my best.  Who knows.

Right now, this is my reality.

I need to put away the folded clean clothes so that I have room to fold the clean clothes in baskets so that I can sort the dirty laundry to get washed today.

I need to put away the clean dishes so that I can reload the dishwasher and have room on the counter for the hand-wash ones.

I need to take out the trash so that I have room for all the trash that does not fit in the bag currently.

I need to clean the can guess why.

This weeks mail is scattered all over the island, I need to make food for our dinners next week, and our son is a climber.  Dancing on the dining room table.  I do not have time to take him to the ER today when he cracks his head open on the tile.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Valentine Weekend

*phew* It was a busy one!

Ryan has worked every weekend since Christmas.  He was ready for a break, and we were ready to spend some time with him.

Friday was a fabulous night out with my "Bunco Babes".  Laughing, laughing, laughing.  It felt so good!

Saturday, the men in our house brought the ladies flowers for Valentines!

Ryan got each of the girls a pink rose, and me a bouquet of yellow and pink.

William picked out tulips for us because he knows they are my favorite.

He looks adorable in the photo, and I look like crap.  We'll keep it anyway!

Saturday night found us at a Steak/Seafood restaurant in the city with friends, Amir & Nili.  I had the orange roughy, it was delicious.  Almost as good as the wine!  And then to "Couples Retreat".  I was laughing so hard I wasn't making any noise.

My good friend Pandora kept the kids overnight for us.  So nice to sleep-in in my own bed!

 Sunday morning coffee in my love mug.

Sunday night 3 of my African mission-trip girls went to see "Dear John" and to Buffalo Wild Wings.  

Three wonderful nights out in a row.  But today is Monday, and I'm left with my pleasant memories while I do the dishes and pick up the house...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Day.


5:30 am:  hit snooze.

6:30 am:   holy crap, it's 6:30.

6:32 am:   wake up Elizabeth and William.  after 3 days off, not pleasant.

6:34 am:  let the dogs out.

6:36 am:   fastest shower ever. find clothes that match.

6:46 am:   feed dogs.

6:53 am:   make coffee, throw work stuff in car.

7:02 am:   dress the screaming monkey otherwise known as "Isabelle"

7:06 am:   buckle the screaming monkey in the car.

7:09 am:   run around the house gathering last minute stuff: socks, detangle spray, hats, coats,     shoes, turn off lights, put milk away.  all the while, talking to the big kids:  did you brush your teeth? where are your socks?  I have NO idea where your homework is. did you get your valentines?  What's for lunch? do you want to pack? sorry, no time. breakfast??? grab a granola bar.  yes, you have to brush your hair.  no, you may NOT have a sucker for breakfast. you'll get plenty of candy at school today.  I said, NO SUCKERS FOR BREAKFAST!

7:16 am:   LETS GO! WE'RE LATE!!

7:17 am:   jump in the car.

7:18 am:    where's Jackson?  crap.  still in bed.

7:20 am:   buckle the little snuggle bug in his seat.

7:22 am:   where's my coat??

7:23 am:   back out of garage with all four children, pray that the dogs go back in so we don't have to chase them around the yard.

7:30 am:   pick up carpool kids.

7:34 am:   loaded and ready to head to school.  *phew*

7:52 am:   drop kids at school.

8:05 am:   drop kids at day care.

8:15 am:   walk in office.  breathe.

11:55 am:   lunch meeting.  chicken noodle soup.  productive.

1:00 pm:   teach.  50 third graders about vegetables.  25 good. 25 bad. very bad.

2:45 pm:   stand in line at post office.  what in the world is he sending to the czech republic?

3:00 pm:   pick up kids from school.  chat with my peeps.  scam on the left-over Valentine snacks

3:22 pm:   after school snack at Modocs. otherwise known as my mommy support group.

4:00 pm:  quick trip to the grocery store.  that is being re-modeled.  really?

4:42 pm:   grab cash to pay sitter.

4:56 pm:   pick up kids from sitter.

5:34 pm:   unload kids at home.

5:37 pm:   give babysitter instructions for evening.  ignore dirty dishes, floors and laundry.

5:39 pm:   second fastest shower of all time.

6:35 pm:   cocktails at Beth's.

7:08 pm:   dinner with the Bunco Babes.  laughed so hard my cheeks hurt.

11:40 pm:   carry the sweetest little screaming monkey to bed.

11:48 pm:   say goodnight to the sitter.

11:50 pm:   check facebook and decompress on my blog....

Bunco Babes Forever!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Show and Tell

Want to see what I saw today?

A Bald Eagle!

Sorry about the photo. Me, slamming on the brakes and turning around scared the poor fellow, and he had to fly to a branch farther away.  Never have the good camera with zoom in the car when I need it.

Think Before You Speak? not much.

A few (two?) weekends ago while attending a baby shower for a friend, I spotted a really (really) cute bag across the way. Toward the end of the afternoon, I wandered over to the owner of the bag, and said: "That is a really (really) cute bag, where did you get it?" to which she replied, her husband had lovingly picked it out for her for Christmas. (With the help of a printout and a neon arrow pointing at the exact bag).

Turning to leave, I said: "Well, it's really (really) cute". She then, off-handedly said: "It's a Vera".


My head spun around, my eyes bugged out of my head, and I choked on my own saliva.

"You've got to be kidding".

" I HATE Vera Bradley bags".

As many of you know, I received my first Vera December of 2008. A diaper bag for Jackson. I use it every day. don't tell.

And this really (really) cute bag

is my second. Purchased by the very same co-worker who gave me the first one. She found it half off in her home town.... can you believe it?

A wise woman once told me, "There is always a different emotion behind hatred". (and anger...not relevant). I've decided my emotion behind the Vera Bradley hatred is jealousy. Yup. I can make bags. Lots of pockets in them too. Better fabrics ta' boot. Why didn't I think of THIS???

Now, the burning question is: do I wait until spring to use it? Or go ahead and start carrying it now? Would it help to know that I've carried the same bag for a solid year? never changed for summer, fall or winter. I'm ashamed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's Up?

Piggy back rides and

naked dog wrestling.

How 'bout you?

Loudest Little Toy

Jackson received several pull-type toys for Christmas and his birthday this year.  This little inch-worm I found in Shipshewana is one of his favorites.

He pulls it up, down and all around the kitchen, yelling at the top of his lungs while it clickety-clacks behind him!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's Not a Bribe, It's a REWARD.

We started a new incentive program here at our house.  I would like to tell you that I brainstormed for hours and came up with it all myself, but then I would be a liar.  But I can tell you that it is working like a charm!

I made several list, the first one names "Daily Responsibilities".  (clean room, all personal items in their place, feed the dogs, etc.)  When these things are accomplished, Elizabeth, William and Isabelle earn 1 penny.

The second one is a list of jobs they can do to earn additional pennies.  (take out the trash, sweep, good grades)  They can only earn these pennies if their daily responsibilities are finished.

The third list is a few of the ways they lose pennies.  (being disrespectful, talking back, being unkind to each other)

They each decorated a jar to keep their pennies in, 

and made a box for the items they are allowed to purchase.

We only get the "Prize Box" out once a week, on Friday or Saturday.  I comb the clearance aisle at Wal-Mart, Dollar General, I even picked up a few things at the Thrift Store last week.  They  also can  purchase coupons for bowling, movie rentals, McDonalds, and the "take a shower in Mom & Dads shower" voucher has been the most popular!  I have items priced from 1 penny to 400 pennies.

William spends pretty much all his pennies every week, although he has made an "advance" on a larger item he would like.  Elizabeth is saving hers.... she's not sure for what yet.  And poor Isabelle.  She has the least amount of pennies.  I need to think of some more ways for her to earn them.

Elizabeth and William both have lost pennies for bad behavior, but Ryan and I both can see measured improvement!

(Ryan was shocked last week when he announced that he was going to take the trash out, and William jumped up and said: "No, Dad, I want to take the trash!")


I am happy to report that I did indeed get into the local "fair trade" store last week to donate seven hygeine kits for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Thank You so much for commenting....I take great pleasure in the comments!

And the lucky winner of the cute, cute photo-holder reindeer ornament (made in Haiti) is.....

#3! Lisa! over at a Happy Little Family. Congratulations!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fine Then. I'll Do It Myself.

On Sunday mornings, while I am making coffee/going to church/helping with the bigger kids/conducting my own little "Sunday School", Jackson hangs out in the nursery with all his little friends. I'm sure they'll start calling him their friend too - as soon as he stops pushing them over.

I've been getting rather annoyed with the fact that I have to label my bag, his cup, and him with the most awful stickers. Basically, because I forget to take them off, and after they go through the washer and dryer or dishwasher, there is no getting them off.

Now, Ms. T. who is in charge of the Children's Ministry at church, is (one of) my nearest and dearest. Last weekend at the football party, I told her: "hey, I'm going to buy some stickers that will come off my stuff without leaving all that crap and donate them to the church." And do you know what she said? "NO". Are you kidding me??? She went on to explain that she wants the Mommy's/daddy's to label their things BEFORE they come to the nursery. (and a small note that we have a blue million of those awful labels, and they are free). To which I replied, "WELL, I'm sorry, I'm a working mom, and I do not have time like those OTHER mommies who get to go to "MOPS" and make cool little tags for their bags" Let alone spend four hours trying to get it off a sippy cup after it's been through the dishwasher.

And then, I remembered these:

Do-it-yourself luggage tags. Grosgrain hosted the tutorial from Skip to my Lou...

Here's the link: Skip to my Lou

They were so easy to make, and I think turned out fabulous.

I'm hoping to make some more - with fun & funky fabric and cool different fonts...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Work, Work, Work.

Oh, my little blog, how I've missed you!

I have been so busy, and TIRED, that I have not been able to post in almost a week! I cannot believe how much I missed it. You would think with my writing skills, I would not think this fun at all!

First, I have to tell you about Rae. Over on her blog, "madebyrae" she is celebrating boys with a month long of boy-oriented hand-made things. I am so excited. CHECK IT OUT!

William is always a little sad when I make things for the girls. So excited to find some fun things for his active imagination.

Second, Marissa from "raegunwear" introduced me to this brand new online magazine:

Don't forget to check out the great things over at grosgrain!
and now, i need to get back to work!