Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fixed my stove

I haven't been able to make homemade bread for a couple of months now, and only non-tempermental oven items for dinner. You see, my stove has been acting funky. I looked at online forums for Whirlpool stoves and figured it was the fuse in the back because the oven completely turns off when you heat it above 350 degrees, or it just gets tired of cooking your stuff.

If I was baking anything, I pretty much had to plant myself in the kitchen and watch the stove, to make sure it didn't go off. Soooooo Annoying! When ordering the fuse, I found that it was discontinued by the manufacturer. nice. The only other option was that it was the $200 control panel. For that price, I'd rather apply it to a new stove- maybe even a gas range with continuous grates and convection heating.

So on to range shopping. I picked out the perfect gas range and was getting a spankin' deal since it was before Thanksgiving. I got the specs to Dear Hubby and wouldn't you know it, the gas range would be too much for our gas line given the gas furnace and water heater. To expand the line would require a ditch and something about ripping into the sheetrock of our newly-remodeled basement. ugh.

So I was back to a new stove, or fixing the stove. I got a new control panel from my favorite fix-it-yourself online store.

The instructions on the panel said to touch metal while handling the part to avoid static electricity and ruining the shock-sensitive part. Both hands were busy, so this is how I grounded myself. Here is the back opened and the finished product. As you can see, the old control panel was black, and the new white one is funky. The manufacturer has discontinued the black control panel for this stove, but not the white one which is insane to me.

The price of the part was more of a headache than the labor.
But my stove works and I can cook without babysitting the stove too. As a matter of fact, my cookies are done. Gotta run.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Expressed my Jealousy

Dear hubby has been working crazy hours, long hours, stressful hours. As soon as he gets home he heads to the back yard.

A few months ago, we got the dog trained to go to the bathroom behind the shed. She was doing great until it snowed. Now she goes behind the shed AND all over the snow. When the snow starts to melt, she tapers back her poop area to just where the snow is. Weird.

So, hubby has been spending training time with her before she eats. Then after she eats, he takes her for a run and gets her to go in the right place. All told, it takes about an hour of his time each night/early morning.

When he came in last night, I nonchalantly asked, "So....if I poop on the lawn, will you start paying attention to ME?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sent a Text

I was trying to bribe the Dear Hubby to drop his work and come home before 7:00, so I sent this text: "I'm waiting, for the one I love, to find me, today."

(You know, from Snow White.)


A minute later a get a response. Thinking I'd get the standard, "gotcha- I'm hurrying :)", or "I'm on my way", I flip open my phone to this:

"Today!!!!!!!!! Loud bass voice, not a good one, but LOUD!"

In case you haven't watched Snow White lately, she sings the "I'm waiting" song and is surprised by the prince who sings "Today!!!!"

Aw, I guess I married a prince.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Found One of my Favorite Sites Again

Even though I don't eat healthy all the time, I do try to eat better.

I hate buying stuff with high fructose corn syrup in it, but I can't always make my own tomato sauce and granola bars. Therefore, I really limit the things with HFCS, and end up spending more money on things, because I feel that they are better.

Yes, sometimes a crazy mom has to choose the less healthy choice for the sake of sanity. It is nice to get reminders or some things that make it simple to know what to feed your family that is healthy and easy. This site reminded me of those things, and of how the Lord is the ultimate "health freak" and made it easy for us to be one too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Won a Gold Medal!

Yesterday, I was working on an acupuncture client while dinner was simmering. Dear Hubby offered to finish making dinner and take care of the now one-year-old baby boy who had just woken up from his nap.

By the time I had finished with the client, dinner was done and the kids were eating. I dished up my plate and sat down as Hubby was wiping off Baby Boy. He told BBB, "Mommy deserves a Gold Medal." I dismissed it, not knowing what DH was talking about.

Later that evening when all the kids were in bed, Dear Hubby said again, "I mean it. You deserve a Gold Medal." Then he proceeded to tell me about how he had given the baby some green beans that were cooking to keep him happy so he could finish dinner. He was shocked at how fast those went down. He gave him another 8 or 10 which disappeared even faster.

Before he could stir the gravy, BB was wailing for more food. Hubby looked for the rice cereal and couldn't find any. So he pulled out a jar of sweet potatoes and had Big Boy feed the Baby while he ran downstairs to dig up a box of rice in the storage room. As he climbed the stairs, Baby Boy was screaming and signing "Please" because the jar was already empty. Big Boy said he was done, and Dad insisted that he scrape the sides clean to satiate BBB until the rice cereal could be made.

Pretty sure that BBB would not eat very much since he had already devoured so much, DH questioned how much he should mix up. Taking a chance, he mixed 1 cup of rice cereal and sat down to feed the baby, and alternated stirring the gravy.

Several impatient yelps, and an empty bowl later, the boy was finally full. He sat in the highchair while dinner was being dished up. This is where I came in.

So to restate, my hubby says that if that is what I have to do every night, every breakfast and lunch, plus other catastrophes that come up on random days, then I deserve a Gold Medal. I laughed it off until he said, "I found myself wishing I had gone into work."

Seeing as he has put in 60-80 hours a week lately (no that's not a typo), and has been so frustrated with work to the point of stating that unemployment would be better, the fact that he was wishing to be there, and appreciated my daily efforts, was touching. It was the best compliment I could have received.

I DO earn my keep, and a Gold Medal for all moms would be a nice reminder of the Olympic feats that we perform out of love.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Followed the path

Yesterday I was lying down trying to get rid of a headache. When I got up, I noticed that Brown-Eyed girl had left these notes all over the house (she just started 1st grade);

She can't spell "commandments",
but the apostrophe is in the right place!
Yea for punctuation!







And last, but NOT least:




There's your Sunday School lesson. Go, do, and be grateful, will ya?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Talked to a Friend

You never see how blessed you are until you talk with someone whose life is really hard.

Case in point: I have a friend who was talking to me about the horrible things her husband has said to her over the years that have broken her down and ruined her self-esteem. The worst part is that it's mostly not physical things like her appearance, but twisting spiritual things to make her feel unworthy of his love and God's love.

Granted, she is not perfect and has returned his affection in like manner. But it got me thinking. Have I said hurtful, damaging things to my husband that have cut him to the core? Or him to me? We have each disagreed over things- temporal and spiritual. We have been emphatic about things, but my husband has never said anything degrading about me. He has never said things to show me that I am less than or unworthy of him.

We joke with eachother; He tells me that I suck after getting my butt whooped by my son at Xbox, and I tease him that Hugh Jackman is my boyfriend. It works out nicely because when he can't get his "honey-do" list done, he tells me to call Hugh. And when I say, "I love H-you," he looks at me and smiles. Then asks if I said, "I love YOU," or "I love HUGH?"

In the end it doesn't matter which one I said, because he's both.

Friday, August 21, 2009

3 Things I am Grateful For

1- That the Lord sees potential in me
2- a mother who taught me to stand up and do things the Lord's way, and to shut my mouth when I don't always get my way
3- Every day opportunities to work on #2

Found an AWESOME Birthday gift

So it was time to get Elder Little Brother Rich a birthday present. What do you get a missionary that obsesses used to obsess about computers?

Hmmm, what to do........

I stumbled across this cute site.

I printed off a design and ironed it onto a t-shirt. this is the design I picked and I LOVED how it turned out;


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stood Taller

I have been shrinking. Literally. Yes, most women lose some height after having a baby, but I lost almost 2 inches. That fact sent me to my MD to start getting annual xrays to monitor my scoliosis.

I remember the one that I had about 14 years ago. It surprised me. This one was different. I was shocked. I almost threw up.

XRAY.

After I emailed the image to my Chiropractor friend, she asked if it made me sad. I told her that it made me grateful. Grateful that I have had 5 kids. Grateful that I can walk and move with the scoliosis relatively undetected. Grateful that all my organs function in good order (with a little help from supplements and massage.)

I am blessed. I may be crooked, but I stand taller today than I did before I saw it all in "black and white".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

3 Things

1- sitting outside at dusk
2- air conditioning
3- money to spend of frivolous things like cookies and wind-up toys

Was Brave Enough

Yesterday at the park I mentioned that the sprinklers came on. I did not mention that my 6-year-old daughter decided to run through them. No big deal, it's summer! Right? Yes, if it didn't happen to be canal water that the park uses. So I told her, and she looked at me and ran through them again. After we went to the different park, I made her sit there on the bench while the rest of us played. Yeah- say it, "Mean Mommy."

This was AFTER she kept standing on the side of the itty bitty cart at the craft store that looks more like a toy than a functional tool for placing items. No big deal, Right? It would be except for the fact that it was so small, she kept tipping the cart and scaring me and the baby who was sitting in the cart.

Due to these infractions and many smaller ones like haphazardly sweeping the floor just to get done quickly, she only got one "thumbs up" at the end of the day. Putting her total for the week at nine. The kids have to get ten to do a fun activity on Tuesdays, such as painting or making treats. Sooooo, she had to miss today's activity.

She understood and was taking it in stride. I got the call that she (BEG) and Baby Girl could in-fact sleep over to their cousin's house tonight. After packing their pillows and clothes, I told all the children to load up in the van. More than five minutes later, the two older girls were standing on the driveway playing with the dog through the fence. No big deal, right? It would just be the hundredth time I remind a kid, but I was doing THEM a favor, and I had to cruise 30 miles away, come all the way back and make it to Biggest Girl's piano lesson by 3:00. I was tired of hurrying for them and having to wait for them to mind.

I told Brown-Eyed Girl that she could not sleep over (Biggest Girl will miss out on something fun tomorrow as punishment.) Then I called my sister-in-law and asked if she had told her daughter that we were coming. Luckily she hadn't, so I wasn't spoiling her daughter's fun- just my own daughter's.

I dropped off Baby Girl, and apologized to my SIL for not letting both girls stay. She said, "We've all been there. You just were brave enough to follow through."

Being brave doesn't make you feel good, but it has to be done.

Monday, July 20, 2009

3 Things

1- My sister-in-law who is really just a sister- period.
2- That my mom takes my crying baby and works with him with as much love as she does her own kids
3- That my mom is so consistent that I trust her more than I trust myself

Got over my Stuffy Self

Sometimes the grown up responsibilities get the best of us. I often sit at the computer all morning updating spreadsheets, entering invoices, and paying bills. This Monday morning was no different. By noon I had a raging headache. After lunch I wanted to run some errands, but the little man was sleeping, so I caught up on laundry- you know the drill.

By 4:00 I'd had enough. For family night, I decided to go play at the park that we discovered, and the other one close by that a friend told us about with a zipline. We invited some friends to join us with their kids. We had a blast and I played like a kid at times.

The sprinklers came on and we had to run with the kids to another playground. After a few minutes, THAT area was spraying. I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants twice. It's amazing how you can get rid of a headache when you pull your head out of wherever it is, and run like a crazy kid through the sand screaming your head off.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A lot of Aimless Stuff

Cut the girls' hair

Bought a glider swing (for me and those quiet evenings under my nice tree, when the kids are in bed and I am unwinding at night- I'm going to miss my nice, gorgeous, Maple tree)


Listed our house for sale (I'm going to miss the house that we've worked so hard on, but I'll miss the tree more!)
Let the giddy girls stay up and read in my room until they got tired

Took my daughter back to a friend's house to return something that she borrowed, even though I told her that she couldn't borrow anything this time (In my book- that's stealing.)

Helped my sis with her computer (I didn't fix a thing, but I tried)

Felt good and happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 Things I am Grateful For

1- fresh air
2- when my daughter sings at the top of her lungs while she plays
3- singing with my daughter

Friday, July 10, 2009

Screwed with my Son's Head

It goes like this;


"Mom, guess what I'm making?!!!"

"A time machine?"

"No, that's dumb, because if I picked the wrong time, then I'd end up being chased be a T-Rex."

"How far back would you go since dinosaurs never lived on this planet? You'd have to go back to BEFORE this planet was created and end up on the planet where the dinosaurs DID live, and that would be a LONG time to go back."

"Well, if I went into the future then I might land in a war, and maybe I'd appear on the bad side and God and all the righteous people would kill me because they didn't know I was from the, oh forget it. An elastic gun. I'm building an elastic gun." (Insert eye roll and sigh)

I love making everybody else as screwed up as I am.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Did Not Run

Many of you know of my past struggle with Clinical Depression. 13 years ago it was so bad that I would break down in tears at the pressure of answering the phone. Every decision, no matter how small, seemed insurmountable.

I haven't had depression like that for almost ten years. Then a few weeks ago, it came back like an old disease. It was horrifying to find myself spiraling down into the same conversations with myself and finding that nothing brought me out of it.

It was discouraging to find that depression is like what you hear about alcoholism- "Once an alcoholic, Always an alcoholic." I refused to believe that the imbalances in my brain chemistry could uproot my life without the slightest warning. Granted, I've had a hellish past three months, but I'm stronger now, older, more mature!!....right?

Well last night it all came crashing down. I had been running around, and the kids were tired and had eaten and napped in the van. We were all weary. I had only a half of a muffin for lunch, and now we were getting home and it was dinner time already. I hurriedly made some sandwiches and cut some melon for the kids. While they ate, I ran outside to work on some training with the dog. Then Dear Hubby came home and wanted to lay the concrete pad that's been put off by rainy weather, and the children came outside to play.

At 9:00, I went inside to nurse the baby and put him to bed. As I laid him in his bed, I realized that I hadn't eaten dinner myself. I just lost it. I sobbed and wanted to just drive away. The baby was settled and didn't need me until morning. I would gladly check myself into a hospital just for a solid 24 hours of no responsibility to answer mind-numbing kid questions and no disciplining.

The feeling to run away was immense. I called a dear friend and was told to "Hold On. This is just a 'mist of darkness'. Hold on to what you know to be true." The trouble is, I could not think of anything that I knew for sure. I don't know what I'm doing with these kids. I feel like I'm making it up as I go. In that moment, I was sure that I was the worst person to parent them because I am not happy. Life should be happy. It shouldn't be such a struggle. I shouldn't feel that all I do is cuss kids, repeat myself, pull kids out of bed, and put them back in bed- Endlessly, Every day.

If raising kids is this hard, I must be doing something wrong. At least that is what I felt at the moment, so I could not find anything to hold on to. If I was doing it wrong, then the Lord had sent them to the wrong person. So if I trusted the Lord, I would have to trust that he trusted me.

I felt to hold on. That like childbirth, just when a woman feels like she can't possibly go on, her suffering is almost over.

I woke up this morning. Nothing had changed. I still had breakfast to make, five kids to care for, music lessons to drive them to, lunch and dinner, feed myself, and shower (if possible).
I still feel tired, still frustrated, and weary. Somehow, the list didn't change, but it no longer seemed insurmountable.

I don't know what has changed. Maybe the Lord removed that one straw that was breaking my back. Maybe he let me carry the same load, and carried me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ran

It was raining torrents and the kids voted to still go swimming. We did and had a blast. I'm glad I gave in and ran through the rain. It definitely was NOT a boring day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Made My Mom Let Me Help Her

For all the things that moms are good for, letting others help them is not one of them. It is natural for children to want to help and please their parents. It is an instinct placed in them to reflect our spirit's instinct to please our Heavenly Father. So why is it that parents have such a hard time letting their children help them?

I acknowledged to my mother that I am aware that I am not as detailed as my other sisters. I have never received the "best painter" award. I will never be accused of being "too patient", but for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to please my mom and help her.

I recall a time when I was about 4 years old. My mom was making dinner and I just knew she needed my help with something. I was promptly assigned the job of stirring a large bowl of uncooked rice. See? I KNEW she couldn't pull it off without MY help!

So with that same persistence, and chubby-cheeked grin, I convinced my mom to let me help with her projects today.

I just have to stop being a hypocrite and let my chubby-cheeked kids convince me to let them help more- while they still want to.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enjoyed this Amazing weather!

It was just too beautiful today. I wish I had spent even more time outside. But I was out there a lot. I even played catch with Biggest Boy, and got all the kids in on a game of T-Ball. Then I let the dog out and she kept fetching the ball when it was hit. The kids laughed so hard, they couldn't decide whether to hold the pee in, or tag the base runner.

It was fun to just laugh and not keep score. I wish I could bottle days like this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Defined Management

We just got an email from one of our children's teachers for next year. The email contained a list of supplies needed for Back to School. I told Dear Hubby that I appreciated the advance notice, but wondered why I needed to send supplies like a ream of copy paper for general school use. His whitty remark was something to the effect of, "Well, that is why the United Order won't work, is because of whiny people like you, har, har."

I continued to vent that I wouldn't have such an issue with sending supplies if it were not for the abuse of the donations that I see. There is no respect or care given to the supplies. The ultimate case in point was this year's last day of school. In my daughter's class, all the pencils, markers, notebooks, folders, general supplies (supplies that parents donated) were laid out on the tables for a free-for-all, come-and-get-it fair. My daughter came home with a huge bag of dry-erase markers, manila folders, pencils, hand sanitizer, and colored pencils. The girl does not need these things.

I will bet that if those things were saved and, I don't know, passed on to the next teacher for next year, I may not have to spend $50 + on school supplies for each student next year. To this my husband responded, "What's your problem? Why can't you be a team player? Be part of the solution, not the problem. Am I catching on to my new Manager role yet?" My retort was, "No, you sound unsympathetic, condescending and self-righteous. If that's what you were aiming for, you hit it on the head."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gave you the answer

Since nobody guessed or even seemed remotely interested, I can only assume that you have seen these before. If you have, sorry. However, I would advice that you read on, because you will be shocked!! I still am and I know what they are.
Remember, these things came from mud tunnels that "grew" within a day or two. The official name is a "mud tube". As I was looking for the type of spider that bit my daughter, I found a picture of the exact mud tubes that were growing around my water heater. I kept smashing them, and the bugs that looked just like the picture on the right (both ant-size) came crawling out. Two days later, a new tube was built.

Are you tired of the suspense? They are termites. The technical term for the ones that were in my house are "swarmers". Did you assume that all termites looked like this?

Now want to hear the good news? (I know, there can't be "termites" and "good news" in the same sentence unless it's accompanied my the words "extended prepaid vacation to Hawaii.")

The good news is that swarmers do not eat the wood in your house. They are the benevolent first sign of a colony about to encroach. Apparently, they are looking for a nice place to start a new colony and I didn't let them. However, NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY, most people get rid of the swarmers and never find out what they were, or think that they have single-handedly scared away the termites. Not so. They will come back, just through another entry. By then, the soldier termites will have started to eat your home.

I can not believe how everything played out in our favor; To find the mud tubes, to happen upon the picture telling me what they were, and after getting the termite treatment, finding out that there was no other infestation, and that the swarmers are really a good warning of what to get a jump on. It really was a blessing.

So, class- to review:


your first exposure to termites will most likely be a swarmer. They look like winged ants. Note the differences in the following chart.
Swarmers build mud tubes near warm, moist areas in your basement or around foundation walls. This is a great time to catch them. Act fast and don't assume they are gone, just because the tube is gone.

Thank you for joining me. I hope to never share a story like this again. Happy hunting.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Found out What this Bug is

So my husband points out some weird, sandy formation around the drain by our water heater and furnace. It's hard and looks like an insect created it. The pictures I took are impossible to see, but they looked like this (but instead were around the drain and the base of the water heater);I poked it with a stick and out came these little black bugs with long wings, and some white larvae bugs. Well, that was it, I sprayed them with bleach, and scrubbed everywhere I could. I kid you not, they were back in 2 days. It was unreal. I made it my morning routine to go downstairs and pour hot bleach water down the drain and around the floor to keep them away.

In the mean time, I scoured the internet. I typed; "mud tunnels", "bug drain water heater", "bug furnace drain", "sand tunnels bug", "exterminator bug basement". I found NOTHING!

Well, the bleach was working, so I figured they were gone. After a month of my morning bleach routine, I decided to stop and see if the bugs would come back now that the weather is warming up and the furnace is no longer running- which means that it is no longer damp by that drain. They didn't come back, so I made the bleach water routine a weekly chore. Simple enough.

Along with warm weather comes children playing outside. My 6-year-old and 3-year-old daughters were playing "hide and go seek". Our yard is the worst place for this game. There is one tree, two bushes, and the grass. Not so challenging. The girls recently figured out that they could crawl into the window well for another hiding spot.

So the other day, I here the 6-year-old yelling that she was hiding in there and can't get out! After I pull her out, I warn her about the spiders and see a humongous one right where she was standing. I grabbed a jar and trapped the black-widow-looking spider. I couldn't see the tell-tale red hourglass on the spider in the jar (which, by the way, is on the under side, not the top side where I was looking- duh!)

About an hour later, BEG started scratching her arm violently. When I looked at it, it was swollen so badly that I knew something had bitten her. Since I didn't think this trapped spider was a black widow spider, I sat down and tried to search for different spiders to determine which black spider this was, which might have been the one that bit her.

It turns out that I stumbled onto a pest site that did not show the spider I had in the jar, but the exact mud things that were in my basement a month ago. You will NOT believe it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Three Things I am Grateful For

1- input about what I can improve on
2- seeing my husband in a crowded gymnasium, thinking he's cute, then realizing it's my husband
3- listening to the crickets after everyone is in bed

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Built a House

I started out wanting to build a dog house for Ceja that the kids could all have a hand in building. My husband made a comment about plans and measuring and that brought out the smart $%*&# in me.

So I tried to build a house from the idea in my brain. It's kind of hard to build a doghouse for a dog that is still growing, and you don't know how big she'll get. This is what we got:
I intentionally made it crooked as a jab to my husband. I found out that it's actually harder to measure and cut asymmetrical pieces than to do it "right". The cool thing is that I got the wood and shingles from Home Depot's "cull" lumber bin all for $10. The paint was from their "Oops" pile for a couple bucks. We threw in the carpet from our basement, and Viola!, a doghouse.

The best part was when we kept the finished product from my husband, and when we showed him, he said, "That's Cuuuute!" Ahhh, a compliment from the symmetry master. It doesn't get better than that!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kept an eye on Sally

During family prayer, DH noticed 3-year old BBG opening her eyes and motioning to no one to close eyes and fold hands. Afterward, he asked me what she was doing. I said, "Oh! You haven't met Sally!" Sally is the new girl that our dear daughter has invented. She only appears during prayer time. Apparently, this smart girl had figured out that everyone has to close their eyes during prayer except for mom, who keeps her eyes open to tell everyone else to close theirs- ironic, yes?

Well if BBG can't seem to keep her eyes closed, she devised a way to justify this- she's making sure that "Sally" is keeping HER eyes closed and arms folded. See? All better.

When I shared this hilarious tidbit with my mother, she mused aloud about what would happen if I informed BBG that since I was watching all the children during prayer, I would keep an eye on Sally too, so BBG can close her eyes. I tried it. Surprisingly, she was willing to let me, and even laughed that I was wise to her. Smart cookie!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Snickered in Silence

You have never seen rage until you have seen my husband yell at a puppy for pooping, yes, ... on the lawn!!!!

This is not a new pet peeve (pun intended). Dear Hubby used to drag poor Shazdeh and stick his nose in the poop whenever it was outside of the invisible circle where he was supposed to poop. Mind you, this was the sweetest, most docile, 130 pounds of fur you will ever meet. People who admittedly don't like dogs, liked Shazdeh. Unfortunately for him, his only fault was my husband's biggest gripe.

My argument, in defense of the dog that I had before a husband and kids, was that he was just too old and shouldn't have to change. I realize the irony since I DID manage to get my too-old-husband to turn a doorknob to shut a door and to leave the room before blowing his nose. So I guess I could have worked on getting a dog to limit his Executive Wash to a section of the yard.

But seriously, now we are trying to train this new pup to poop in the "invisible circle"? This is what we got the dog for in the first place- to present the children with abundant opportunities of feeding, walking, grooming, training, and, dare I say, picking up endless logs around the yard. Picking up poop builds character.

If pooping all over the yard is Ceja's only flaw, I've picked another great family dog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

3 Things

1- That I have all my fingers
2- my son's injury wasn't worse
3- that my son seems to have learned the difference between "brave" and "stupid"

Monday, May 11, 2009

3 Things That I'm Grateful For

1- that I live close enough to my mom to "pop over"
2- home made Mothers Day cards
3- a good laugh

Started Children in Rehab

I just realized that my four oldest children are addicted.

The kids have been coughing for over a week. I usually buy the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, red dye #5- free cough drops. This rogue cough would not be abated by anything natural. The only way I could fall asleep at night was to secure a chemical-ridden treat inside my cheek and suck away. When the kids started coughing, I would break the drops into smaller pieces and put them in a container by the bed for them to suck on during the night. It really helped.

Now the coughs are slowly dissipating. But the requests for cough drops are still going strong.
Who knew that Halls mentholatum cough drops would be the downfall of my family? I figured, "At least they aren't asking for candy." Wait. They are the same size, color and sugar content of candy, just with the vaporizing essence of menthol. My kids are addicted to candy that clears their sinuses.

We are just one step away from street drugs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prayed First

I'm a little behind on posting because of the funerals, sick kids, and this:


We have been without a dog for a little over a year. Now, you might be like my neighbor and scoff at me, "What are you thinking? Five kids AND a dog?!?" Yes, I thought the same thing as we drove the hour and a half to get her.

I have been seeing my otherwise sweet kids turn into selfish, whiny brats this past year. If I have them get up earlier than 8:00 on a weekend, it's as if I put them on the rack. My neighbor informed me that it's natural, "Kids are naturally selfish." Well I don't think I have to let them wallow in it. Therefore, we got a dog so they can take care of something else before they think of themselves.

We had to start with a puppy so my girls can grow with her and not be afraid as they were with our last dog. I wanted an Australian Shepherd because they are quick learners, can handle hot summers and cold winters (something I felt so guilty about with Shazdeh being a Husky in the hot Utah summers.) Aussies are also good with kids if they are raised with them.

Now a name. She looks like she has eyebrows, so we looked up "eyebrows" in other languages. Nobody liked Augenbrauen (German). French and Swedish interpretations were just as painful. The Spanish word for "eyebrows" is "Ceja", which is pronounced "say-ha". I thought it was cute and changed it a little. The vote was unanimous to name her Ceja, pronounced Asia with an "S" in front, "s-Asia".

Then the REAL work began. I had to be the where-to-poop trainer, the get-off-her-leg grabber, and the nipping-the-heals nipper. It's been a month and she's doing really well. The kids are coming along as well. It is as every mother knows; it takes longer to train a child than to just do it yourself.

If I hadn't prayed about getting a dog now, the type of dog, and whether it was best for our family, I would have broken down long ago. That goes for getting married and having each of our children too.
I would have waited indefinitely until I felt I could handle it. Then, I would never have kids. When you feel that something is right, you also have the support of heaven through each difficulty.

This has been a good experience, and I am seeing the benefits of having this new responsibility in our family.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

3 Things That I am Grateful For

1- Rain, no more snow (for now)
2- Safe return of loved-ones
3- when my son leaves me notes that say, "Thanks for helping me in my hardships," after we worked on a biography assignment for hours. So sweet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

3 Things that I am Grateful For

1- renewed relationships
2- sisters, lots and lots of sisters
3- children's birthdays

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

3 Things

1- walks to the park
2- that my husband fills in for me (holding a fussy baby, kids' field trips, laundry, and so much more) when other priorities take my time and energy
3- songs that fill your heart

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally Realized I am Loved

I have always been an odd duck. I'm kinda kooky and that's after I've mellowed over 30 years.

When I was younger, my grandma and almost every other adult would rather have my other sisters stay with them. My mom would try to soften my hurt feelings, but I knew that I was too talkative, too straight-forward and too opinionated to appease most people.

While planning my Grams' funeral, I have felt even more insecure and inadequate. Thankfully, I shared these feelings with my brother. He spent a lot of time with Grams and she shared thoughts with him that she didn't share with others. He told me things that Grandma said to him about me. That we were alike; second daughters, "black sheep", out-spoken. But the most important thing that he shared was that my Grandma had expressed how much she loved me.

I had heard these words from her towards the end, but I didn't internalize them because I wrote them off to the thankfulness of an old woman who was just grateful for someone to help her to the bathroom. Now I hear from my brother that her words were sincere, and the agedness just took away her inhibitions to share those feelings.

But the best proof that I found was while looking at my pictures. It was right before me all the time. The picture of my Grandma from my last post was a picture taken by me. She is watching me take a picture of my daughter (she didn't know I had her in the picture too.) The look in her eyes is such love. And she's looking at me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Said "Good-Bye"

As of this minute, she is not gone yet. But I got so tell her that I love her and stroke her head as I held her hand. She is the woman who blazed the trail for women's rights, for the gospel, for technology. She is my mother's mother.

I got to listen to her stories and the many experiences of her 83 years. Because of her testimony, I am able to stand taller and fight a little longer and harder for injustices that I see in my life and time. Because of the lineage that she comes through, she has a birthright given by the Prophet Joseph to her great-grandfather and his children, and therefore, me.

She is a spunky, wise, faithful servant of a Father whose love for her has been apparent these past few months. She has been a part of every aspect of my life and I am a better, stronger person for having been graced to be called her granddaughter.

Save me a place in Heaven.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Discovered what is Germaphobic-Worthy

I am a germ freak. I use my right hand to answer the phone, pull weeds, open doors, etc. so that my dominant left hand can be "germ-free" if I need to eat or write something. I'm a freak I know. Unfortunately, I have passed this trait on to some of my children and not so well to others that SHOULD be afraid.

Case in point: We took the kids to the Pioneer Museum today. BB, as usual, refused to hold his younger sister's hand as we walked along the busy downtown road. After yelling at him that it was his sister, and he better hold her hand or I'd make him put his arm around her, he relented. This is the boy that I am trying to break of the habit of washing his hands with his pants down because he doesn't want to get toilet germs on his zipper.

We had an enjoyable time at the museum, and happened to be there for the anniversary party of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. They were having cake, treats and punch for all the visitors. I allowed each of my kids to get a little loaf cake and sit on the steps to eat. BB was acting goofy and I asked him what he was giggling about. He said that he had dropped his cake twice and picked it back up. He was eating it again.

With raised brow, I asked how he could eat cake off a public museum floor but couldn't manage to hold his sister's hand? He had no answer, and I am sad to say, I still kinda get it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Made Broiled fish

Looking ahead and trying to get my kids into a reverent mindset, I wanted to have an Easter dinner. I read that the Savior asked for something to eat to prove to the apostles that he was not a ghost. They gave him broiled fish and honeycomb. I couldn't find honeycomb, but bought some fresh salmon.

I sliced some bread to dip in olive oil and vinegar, and opened a can of olives. I read the last chapter in Luke where he gives the account of the Savior visiting the apostles. The girls all whined about the fish. The boy whined about the olives.

I told them that we were going to have a biblical dinner. It was either this or what John the Baptist ate. I'm glad they stopped complaining because I didn't want locusts and honey for dinner.

Monday, April 6, 2009

3 Things

1- The Sacrament
2- kids who are grateful for the presents they got
3- kids who are more excited about what they are giving than getting

Celebrated the Birth of Our Savior

Yes, I know it's not Christmas. But for our family it was- Nativity set, presents, excited children getting up at 5:30.

I don't believe that Christ was born in December. If you wonder why, call or email some time. It has something to do with sheep, mud and taxes.

It was really nice. The kids seemed so happy and it was a beautiful spring day. My favorite part was sitting around the manger as the kids were wakin
g up to the "Hallelujah Chorus" and gathering around together. As the song finished, we stared at this life-size newborn baby doll in the manger. I don't know why, but I had never thought of Jesus as I looked at a helpless new baby. There's baby, and there's JESUS, the Messiah. It was surreal when I looked at that baby and imagined I was one of the shepherds. I cried at the awe of the beautiful moment that must have been. How simple. A loving mother and her husband. A barn. A baby. Straw. And a fulfilled prophesy that would change life (and death) for everyone, everywhere. Hallelujah!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

3 Things

1- that the oven worked
2- warm bread out of the oven
3- goofy school plays where you are so proud of your kids- and other people's kids too

Made Authentic "Finger-Hole" Bread

I dedicated today to making this bread to put into family gift baskets for Easter. It's pretty easy, I don't know what took me so long to try it out.

First you mix the milk, water and yeast. Add sal
t, flour and honey. Mix. Then after it rises in the bowl, you separate and put it into the pans to rise.

While the loaves are rising, now HERE IS THE TOUGH PART:

Leave them on a warming oven and take your fussy infant out of the room. Forget to threaten your 3-year-old. Come back into the kitchen and notice your wonderfully created Authentic "Finger-Hole" bread- all ready to put into the oven. Viola!

If you have mixing skills and a mischievous 3-year-old, you too can make this rare delicacy.
It's almost as much in-demand as Kopi Luwak coffee (It's coffee made from beans that were pooped out by a monkey.) http://www.thecoffeecritic.com/fusion3/html/kopi.shtml




Ahhhh, a nice quiet morning with a cup of poop coffee and finger-hole bread. The best part of waking up....


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

3 Things I am Grateful For

1- family that drives way out of their way, at dinner time, with 4 kids, just to show my daughter that they care
2- just-out-of-the-oven bread
3- good night kisses from uninhibited kiddles

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3 Things

1- cards in the mail
2- hearing my friend's laugh that I've missed for 11 years
3- Google

Skipped to Bed

When Daddy is home at bed time, the kids all get "Rocket Rides". I can barely heft the 21-pound 8-month-old, let alone lift any of the older kids and "fly" them around the room, down the hall and to bed.

Three-year-old BBG got ready for bed, and I thought she was going to ask for a Rocket Ride from me, since dad wasn't home yet. Instead I got a big kiss and the following request, "Can you skip me to bed?"

Now I can do THAT! "Sure!" And we skipped her to bed, and she slept happily ever after.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Learned a new Anatomy term

I was raised to use polite words for things. Not "pregnant", but "expecting". Not "breastfeeding", but "nursing". You get the idea.

With my kids, I have just always used the word "bum" to describe the area covered by underwear. That goes for the whole area. Then if a child tells me that their bum hurts, which every kids does, I narrow down the problem by asking a follow-up question, "Front or back?"

This seemed specific enough for the problem at hand, until my son realized that he had front, back and a "hose". Which required different attention and altogether different alarm. And, no, that is not the new Anatomy term.

Tonight I get this: "Mom I think there's something wrong with my "Pee Emitter"."

I laughed so hard that my pee emitter malfunctioned.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3 Things

1- sleeping in
2- baby Oragel
3- children excited about scriptures

Started "Sunday Stations"

I stumbled onto an article written by a child about Sunday activities that his family does. It was ground-breaking. I finally implemented it in our family today. It was soooo fun.

First you designate several activities to keep the children engaged. These are the "Sunday Stations" that I set up;

Scriptures
Stories with Dad
Family Home Evening assignment
Computer
Communication
Comics and Puzzles

Each child chooses a Station and we set the timer for 30 minutes. You would not believe how fast each 30 minutes flew by and there was reverence while we also enjoyed time together. You can set up fewer station to fill up less time. My trial run today took up 3 hours (6 30-minute stations)

The Scripture Station is self-explanatory. It gives the kids a chance to finish any worksheets or assignments they have from class. Stories is where they read the "Friend" with Dad or they can color and do other activities from the "Friend". Family Home Evening assignments always get put off until the last minute, so this Station gives me a chance to help the younger kids. If the older kids have their assignment reasy, they can use this 30 minutes to practice their instrument. Computer Station is for playing some cute scripture games online or printing off pictures for the "Stories" Station leter. Here's the two websites I like most:

http://www.christiancomputergames.net/
http://www.sermons4kids.com/colorpg.htm

Communication Station is set up with envelopes, paper, stickers and an address book. They can write a note or letter (great for those forgotten missionaries or Grandma.) They can also call someone. Comics and puzzles is just that. I go through the comics and circle the ones that I think are appropriate, and they read them and/or do puzzles that I've set out.

Time went by so fast, and it was soon time for dinner. The kids even found a game in the "Friend" magazine that they wanted to play after dinner. It was full of scriptures and we had a blast right up until it was time for bed.

They all voted it as a success, and I am looking forward to more interactive, engaging Sundays.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Questioned Whether I am a good mom

If your kids do things for themselves, is it because you have taught them independence and responsibility? Or is it because they have HAD to do things for themselves because you are too preoccupied, flaky, selfish, or uncaring?

Case in point. Well, two in a row for me. Last night, BEG (Brown-eyed girl, 6-years old) was downstairs playing. Ten minutes earlier she had just complained that her stomach hurt and said it was because she had worked so hard setting the table for dinner. I think my response was, "Oh for heaven's sake. Finish the table and stop whining."

I was dancing with the two youngest in the frontroom, when I heard someone behind me making noise. I turned around just in time to get sprayed by projectile vomit coming from BEG. She had walked all the way upstairs to tell me that she had a mouth full of vomit and was trying to get my attention but couldn't talk. Hmmm. Why not?

After getting her cleaned up and stomach settled (it took two more hurls), she was sleeping peacefully. But not after I felt like a crappy mother and reassured myself that it could happen to anyone. Kids DO make up lame excuses to get out of work.

Now tonight, I hurry the kids to bed and am trying to get BBB (baby boy) to crawl and wear himself out for bed. BBG (Baby girl, 3 years old) was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. I halfway noticed that she walked down the hall and into the kitchen. I didn't look up until one of the other children pointed out that she too had made her way into the frontroom and was proceeding to vomit. The difference here? She had stopped herself from throwing up until she had marched into the kitchen to get a container to carefully barf into. How perfectly responsible of her.

So I ask: Is this the making of a neglected child that needs to care for herself because she knows that mother isn't going to do it for her? Or did I just raise some dang good kids? If it's the latter, I think I'll start teaching the baby to change his own diaper.

3 Things

1- cozy family dinners
2- knowing that I was taught wonderful standards and principles
3- seeing my younger brothers and sisters desire to continue those standards

Friday, March 27, 2009

3 things

1- cheesecake
2- having a husband that I love AND like
3- my grandma

Got off my Soapbox

There are a few things that have been bugging me lately. I need to vent;

I hate it when you make an appointment- or worse- have a standing appointment with someone and they don't call you to tell you that they are running late. This also goes for when someone has a appointment to come to your house and you have to call THEM an hour and a half later to be told, "Ya, I'm on my way." Really? Really? I thought that an HOUR AGO!!!

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that if I can feed, dress, corrall, tell 7 times to get coats- no not jackets- coats and get shoes AND socks for five kids, then you can show up. I strategically plan when to nurse, when my kids (including the baby) nap, when they eat, when I eat, when to leave, take into account the weather, time of day and direction I will be traveling so as to account for traffic. The LEAST you could do is pick up your phone and let me know that you are running late for the thing that I am paying you for. Seriously- AAAAAHHHHH!

There's more, but I don't think I should vent that much in one post. You might get to know me too well, and that's not good for either of us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3 Things

1- The ability to talk with my Heavenly Father through prayer
2- humbling awareness that He answers even me
3- That my son is sleeping- safe and sound

Listened

Have you ever felt prompted to turn down a different road, or go check on a kid, or call someone? Many times we feel these whisperings. When we do what we are prompted, oftens we never find out why we felt to do what we did. It could have been a test or the Lord helping you to avoid something physically or spiritually dangerous.

Today while driving to pick up my son, I felt an urgency to pray for him. I could hear him crying for help and felt almost panicked that I couldn't help him. I prayed the rest of the 5 minutes until I drove up. When he came outside, he was fine and happy. After casually talking to him, I realized that the promptings and my following through with the prayers saved him from something dangerous that even he was not aware of at the time.

I am so grateful for the Lord and His still, small voice. I am grateful for the POWER of prayer. I am grateful that I could gain the knowledge that the Lord loves this son that I get to take care of. I am grateful that He heard my prayer and acknowledged such a weak, fallible person.

Pray for your kids. The Lord loves you, and He loves those kids that you are babysitting for Him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

3 Things that I am Grateful for

1- answered prayers
2- The Lord's patience with me
3- The Lord's love for my family

Came Back Online

Yes, I have not posted for a while. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to do first, not at all and always. I seem to have crossed a few things off my list and will post periodically.

In the end, if it comes down to posting or snuggling with the baby even though he's been asleep for an hour, I'll opt to snuggle.

Essentially, I created this blog to remind myself that I am useful and productive. And also to share insight or experiences that might help the people I love. If only to show that I have the same faults, weaknesses and frustrations so we can cry together and then get over it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

3 Things

1- a baby that sleeps through hubby's snoring
2- a genuine, down-to-earth, small town mail carrier who goes out of her way
3- work bonuses

giggled

My mom commented on one of my posts. She claims that she is computer illiterate, but she put this sign after her comment :0 That looks pretty "with it" to me, mom. Thanks for all you do. And for making me smile today. :-)

Friday, February 27, 2009

3 Things

1- the party is over
2- helium-filled balloons to play with
3- children that respect other peoples' property (most of the time)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

3 things

1- Chinese take out
2- fresh-cut fruit
3- the energy you get right after you exercise

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

3 Things

1- measuring tape
2- MP3 players
3- french fries

Bought French Fries

I had to go to the Social Security offices to fix a mix-up with BBB's social security number, so we can claim him for taxes.

After sitting there for 40 minutes (
while we waited the girls played so quietly with a measuring tape from my purse -for measuring Easter dresses- and listening to my MP3 player), I was told that the Department of Health had processed his Birth Certificate wrong and I would need to go there first and have it amended, then drive back and they would issue a number. Lovely.

On the way to the Dept. of Health I promised the girls that if they waited at the next place and were patient when we went back to the Social Security office, I would buy them french fries.

Well, we didn't make it back to the Social Security office. Not because the girls weren't astonishingly good, but because the Department of Health is retarded. Since we didn't decide on BBB's name in the first week, his birth certificate only says our last name. I was told that I was supposed to send it back with the proper documentation, notarized signatures, a pint of blood, and a urine sample. Well, I missed that note when they sent me the first birth certificate (read with sarcasm.)

The woman said that there was no note, it was all my fault, blah, blah, blah. No birth certificate today. I get to take a form and have it notarized AND get busy DH to find a notary and sign it. Why do they need two parents' signatures? Anyone? Anyone? I could have signed it and finished today- but they need both parents. Retarded I say.

So to sum up; I got nothing done, the girls sat quietly during the nothingness, and I rewarded them with the well-deserved fries. I ordered a root canal and a Brazilian wax to go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3 Things

1- a phone call from a friend to check on me
2- that my son had a good day at school
3- that my daughter misses seeing my sister (her former piano teacher). I miss her too!!!!

Gave the Deer a Throw-up bucket

The two younger girls were playing outside. As BBG came in the house, she was carrying the ornamental deer that usually lives in the flower bed. I told her that she had to leave it outside. Surprisingly, she marched right back out, but not before announcing that the deer needed a throw-up bucket.

I let her get a container to catch the deer "throw-up". The poor sickly deer is still sitting on the driveway waiting to vomit.


Monday, February 23, 2009

3 Things that I'm Grateful for

1- my children surprising me and actually liking the tomato soup I made for dinner
2- the knowledge that it is really okay to let my well-fed, clean-diapered baby cry himself to sleep once in a while
3- the ease of computers

Bargain shopped


I love girls in matching dresses. I just don't love sewing them. and I definitely don't love spending $40 for each of them.

With Easter quickly arriving, I am running out of time to design and sew three dresses that match but don't match. They have to go together, but not embarrass BG, who thinks it's dumb to match her little sisters and won't wear her matching dress that I gave them last year.

In desperation I looked at thrift stores. I figured that if I could find one of the girls' dresses for around $10, I could justify making the other two. I looked on KSL.com, classifieds. If you haven't been there, go there. I love it.

I found a woman who was selling her daughter's flower girl dresses, and they were the color I wanted: yellow. So I drove over to see them.

You would not believe it! There was a yellow dress BG's size, a yellow and pink dress BEG's size, and another yellow one BBG's size. They are all different, but will match.






I'm done and it only cost me $5, YES FIVE DOLLARS, a dress. Now to find me a blouse that matches. Oh, and yellow shirts for the fellas, ooooh and......

Now I'm getting spring fever. Watch, now it'll snow tomorrow.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

3 Things

1- A husband who knows how to thoroughly vacuum
2- children who know how to fold laundry
3- the fact that they'll do it and more with a smile

Didn't ask: "What did YOU do all day?"

I ran a few errands taking the baby with me. There was a list of things that needed to get done for Saturday. The older 4 kids were left with Dear Hubby for the 2 1/2 hours I was gone. Each child knew which jobs to do, and they were almost done by the time I Ieft.

When I arrived home, I at least expected the kitchen to be cleaned up because that is one of DH's specialties. Nothing looked different. I am ashamed to admit that I wondered, "What have they been doing?" But I didn't ask.

Apparently, I had forgotten about a conversation a few days ago about the greasy dust on the top of the cabinets. The conversation went something like this;

DH- "Ew! Have you seen how gross it is up here?"
Me- "Yes, I tried wiping it 9 Saturdays ago when I had all the laundry caught up, no one was hungry and I felt well-rested. I think it needs a vacuum, because using a rag was useless."

Now I did actually try the vacuum, and found that I am too short AND weak to stand on the counter tops, while reaching with the vacuum hose over my head with one hand and hold the vacuum in mid-air with the other. Yes, I could have rested the vacuum on the side, but the hose is not long enough, so it would require someone to hoist it halfway between where they are standing and the top of the cabinets where they are vacuuming.

This is where DH comes in. He apparently took pity on my pathetic story of lifting and stretching and decided to vacuum up there himself. It's not so easy you say? When I got home, I was told how it took a scraper and muscle AND the whole two hours I was gone to clean the greasy dust that had accumulated.

Now it all made sense. That was a job that needed to be done. No one will ever see it. Even when it was done, no one but the doer knew it had been done. There are no blisters, cuts, EKG records to document your hard work. No, just the quiet satisfaction that you've done it. Plus the explanation to the spouse to answer the question they dare not ask, but you know they are thinking.

I just hope that Dear Hubby remembers all of his hard work today. Because he will have to restrain himself from asking the dreaded question, when I'm the one standing in the messy kitchen looking like I've scraped greasy goo all day, with nothing to show for it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

3 Things

1- That my kids love the baby, and fight over who gets to feed him, hold him, and catch his sneezes
2- holding a sleeping baby and not having to get up
3- crisp, spring-like air

Thursday, February 19, 2009

3 Things

1- funerals, because we need a reminder that even a 72-year old life is short
2- tears
3- a light at the end of the sickness tunnel

Monday, February 16, 2009

Found out what a Jew is

BBG was walking around pointing to people saying, "Jew! Jew!", laughing, and then running away. I could not figure out why she was doing this. Had she been around my anti-Semite relatives? Was she recalling the Jesus of Nazareth movie that we watched?

After careful observation, I figured out what triggered this new-found expression. It WAS a movie! But not one with any Jews (well, that I know of). It was Star Wars. BBG was pointing her finger to resemble a blaster and "shooting" people.
"Jew! Jew!" is the blaster sound effect (say it out loud while pretending to shoot someone.)

Now that you know, you too can point to people and yell "Jew!", then laugh and run away.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Huh?

I have been sick and delirious for two weeks now. Once I get my head together, I will write something coherent. Until then, here's food for thought:

I slowly car and book the calendar. But you know up of the falling herd. Bring me living breezes for us all to light.

(Now you know how messed up my brain is right now. Enjoy.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

3 Things

1- a reliable vehicle
2- sleeping babies
3- sick kids who put THEMSELVES down for a nap!

Supported my Son


My son is in 4th grade. His class trades with the other 4th grade teacher for science and social studies. This other teacher gave an assignment. There is a poster in the school that reads, "In God We Trust". He told the class to make a new poster. They would display the new posters so that those in the school that don't believe in God could see that they at least have something in common with their peers; In FAMILY I trust, or In NATURE I trust. The problem is, my son doesn't want to put anything but God. He's a very sober kid and tries to do what's right almost to a fault of breaking down at the slightest mistake. It turned into a family discussion about what we trust. In the end, my son says that anything else that we suggest to put isn't as trustworthy as God. My husband wanted him to just put God then. I was trying to come up with words like, "truth" or "Jesus", but my son says that that's only playing into the teacher's trap to remove God. After calling the teacher to feel out whether he would accept my son choosing to leave the word "God" as what he trusts, he wouldn't bend. He insisted that the kids should know that there are others things to trust in other than God. I told him that it sounds like a good lesson in bringing awareness to the fact that not all others believe like you, but that if my son should respect their choice not to trust God, they should respect his choice to put God as the One he trusts. I told him that it's like he's saying, "If you could have grass be any color than green, what would you pick?" If my son considers the options and researches other alternatives and STILL says, "I think green is the best choice after all," isn't that still a choice? A choice to leave it as it is? The teacher would not accept that argument. The thing is, this teacher always sends home notes about how much he admires my son and his respect for others. My son gets awards for being respectful and helpful to teachers and peers. I told my son that I'd support him in whatever he chose to put, but that his teacher might not accept the assignment if he didn't change the word. He is willing to take a failing grade ON THIS ASSIGNMENT to show the other kids that also wanted to leave it as "In GOD we trust" that they could choose that, to show the teacher and the Lord that he isn't ashamed of his trust and thinks that there's nothing to apologize for.

My son came home and said, "I have to fight this battle. The teacher kept saying that we have an 'In God We Trust' poster and that I needed to change the word. I changed the words. My poster said, "In GOD I trust." He felt that the "I" meant "You can trust whomever you'd like, but I trust the Lord."

I am proud of his choice to put what he believes in. After all- What is right isn't always popular, and what is popular isn't always right.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chatised Creepy Lurkers

You know who you are. So just drop a note and say, "Hey- I read your blog like you asked. It's lame, it's boring, it sucks." I don't care what you comment, just let me know who is stopping by. And IF you have something else to say, I'd love to hear it.

Not stop loitering or I'll call the cops.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

3 Things

1- Gilmore Girls quotes website- ahhh memories
2- Children's Motrin
3- the luxury of having a lazy Saturday if I need one

Had Empathy

It was good that I've been sick since Monday. Today, was the first day that I felt like a real person again. Just in time for the little ones to get fevers. BBG just moved from one spot of the house to another and rocked back and forth in the fetal position. I was grateful that I felt well enough to get her some toast and tea, and keep her stocked with chewable vitamin C.

But when she started moaning and screaming, and didn't want anyone to touch her, talk to her or turn on a light, I started losing my patience. After all, I DO have four other kids to take care of. Then I quickly remembered how miserable I felt just 24 hours ago. The other day, after 2 days with a soaring fever, body aches, and swollen throat, I went in my bedroom to change into pajamas. The girls had pulled out all of my shoes and left them on the floor. The folded- but not put away- laundry had now fallen onto the floor had been trampled by the aforementioned girls. All I wanted were my comfy pj's and I couldn't find them in this mess. I had no energy to keep looking and no brain power to think of where to start looking. So I did what any 34-year old mother of 5 would do when she is tired and feels like crap. I stomped on the ground, waved my fists and started crying, "Where are my pajamas, someone help me!?" I found them and felt like a complete baby, but knew that I had lost it, and desperately needed rest.

So when a REAL 3-year old acts her age and does it while she's sick. I think she deserves A LOT of my patience and all the empathy that my lap can hold.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

3 Things

1- my immune system
2- a husband that took time off work over 5 days to nurse me back to health.
3- a mommy that sent me love-filled, homemade, sure-to-get-you-better soup.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Went to the Spa and Got a Massage

Okay, so it wasn't so much a full-body massage as a gum massage. And it wasn't a spa - more like a dentist. But, it was time by myself, having someone take care of me and I had a reason not to answer stupid questions. Which, by the way, why DO dentists ask you questions as they stick the drill into your mouth. My dentist has finally learned not to do that because I feel compelled to answer and I am his only patient that CAN answer with the drill in my mouth. But since he doesn't know sign language and I prefer that he look at my teeth rather than my hands, we agreed to keep my visits conversation-free.

After a nice cleaning, I proudly announced, to a less-than
-impressed dentist, that I have actually flossed and brushed several times a week in the last 6 months. EWWWW! you may say. If you say that, you are either not a mother, or you are not tired enough to complain about my lack of dental hygiene when I am too tired after putting 5 kids to bed, 5 kids BACK to bed, and doing everything that can be done while all is quiet and I have a moments peace.

So I enjoyed my massage by Hugh Jackman in the wonderful spa in Barbados. I don't need more than an hour to regenerate. Just some good flouride and an active imagination. Why should that slow down? Nothing else does.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

3 Things I'm Grateful For

1- flash drives
2- to be able to tell our children that even though they miss dad because of his work schedule lately, at least they can count on him being home weekends. How many kids' dads are dead, on active duty or just don't care?
3- weekends

Saved The Planet

No, I'm not the organic, froo-froo type that eats only things that are brown and oozing, or wears clothes that feel like they are made out of burlap because they are.

But DH saw a news report about the thousands of plastic bags clogging up the landfill and the half-life of each bag. He begged me to find an alternative to the bags that we use.

So to do our part, we not using the plastic bags that our groceries come in as trash can liners. We are buying these cool biodegradable "plastic" bags.
www.greatergoods.com/store/waste-reducers/biodegradable-items/8-gal-biodegradable-trash-bags-50-count/prod_367.html

We are supposed to use the cotton reusable bags at the grocery store now, but I always forget to bring them in. I have a hard enough time toting my kids and not being tempted to leave them in the car. Now I have to bring my own bags too? It seems a little too much.

So I end up getting the plastic bags from the grocery store and recycling them. It's a start. Here is my new favorite line of soaps and cleaning supplies. They are cost-effective and smell great. Did I mention that they are, shhh, environmentally friendly?
www.mrsmeyers.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Three Things I am Grateful For

1- youth, for now
2- a mother that I choose to be my friend
3- comfy bed

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did Nothing

BG has a diorama due in 2 weeks on harp seals and their environment. Usually she hems and haws until the last moment then whines and cries that I'm not helping her and throws something uninspired together. So I decided to wait and see if she was going to make good use of the 2 weeks to plan, sketch, design and create.

She surprised me. She asked for a box right away and I told her to put her ideas on paper first. She had some great ideas and started to work on the box. Then BB offered some ideas that got them both excited and they brainstormed on how to make it work.

She started gluing and cutting. I was popping in and out not quite sure what to think of this new-found exuberance. After 2 hours of work, she carried in her diorama and I was floored!


There is a top layer of ice with a hole in it. Next to the hole is a polar bear. Under the ice are blue fish and eels (which harp seals eat) hanging by string. The seals are to the left under the ice. They are attached to a stick that moves back and forth so the seals can "catch" the fish. The big white chunks of paper on the top of the ice are the icebergs.

I was impressed. And she did it herself. No whining. No procrastinating. Just good, old-fashioned creativity and 2nd grader know-how.

Then the girls had some time to kill before bed, so they decided to play cards. BEG didn't like where she ended up sitting because she would have to look at the cards upside down. She started crying and pouting. I was about to announce that she was too tired and should go to bed, when BBG told her bigger sister that she could trade her places and "have my spot- K?" AW! What a sweet peacemaker. I told BBG that I was proud of her for being so grown up. And I told BEG that BBG knew how to be kind because she had seen the examples of her older sisters. I was glad that the older two could see that BBG is watching what they do and that there lots of good to rub off onto her.

Three Things

A few months ago, my mom challenged me to end each day by writing down 3 things that I'm grateful for. I haven't been diligent, but thought I could start here and now.



1- disposable diapers
2- a son that still cares about my opinion
3- a husband who works hard and doesn't complain about it

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Read a story (or started at least)

BBG was deliberately bothering others. I was tempted to send her to her room to play. Then I realized that she was looking for interaction. I told her to go get some of her books and we would read together. It took her so long, I thought she got distracted and forgot. Then she apperared in the hall carrying a stack of 12, yes 12, carefully selected CHAPTER books. She was huffing and puffing as she dropped them at my feet. BEG laughed and said, "Well that's what you told her. Now you gotta read them ALL to us." Then they both cuddled up while we read a few chapters. Luckily the oven timer beeped and dinner was ready. Otherwise, I'd still be reading.

I guess even a three-year old can figure out that once you get mom's attention: Grab on and hold tight, because the moments are few. Mom's do that with soft cheeks and kids that like to cuddle.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter swimming

DH took today off work. I could have run errands, sorted pictures, dried the batch that has been going moldy in the washing machine. But, I didn't have a headache, I felt rather good actually. Everyone was healthy. BBB is old enough to go a few hours without eating, so... we loaded up the kiddies and went swimming at the local indoor pool. The advertised temperature of 86 degrees actually feels colder than I expected. Other than that, the kids had fun, we all floated around and acted like nuts AND we did it together. I didn't regret one moment of it, and the kids didn't make me regret taking them. They were pleasant and grateful the rest of the day. Ahhhh.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Taught the Pediatrician about Children

Yes, I know, It sounds self righteous. There are just some tricks that I have figured out on my own or been taught by my mother that work. And I mean, ALWAYS WORK.

My kids' doctor has been expecting the arrival of his twin grandbabies. At my son's appointment, the doctor announced that they had arrived and that his daughter was having an especially hard time with her 20-month old being jealous of the twins. I told him that my mom taught me to get the last "baby" involved with the new baby and they won't be jealous. It also inducts them into Big Kidhood.

I told the doc that from the time my second was born until our latest, I have always put the youngest in charge of getting a diaper and a wipe for the baby. Then, as I get the bottom ready, the young one holds the wipe in their hands and is the "Wipey Warmer". Essentially you need the cold wipe warmed so as not to alarm the unsuspecting baby. Who better than the now-big-sister/brother? It works like a charm. The diaper change only lasts a minute and then they are tired of helping and ready to go back to their toys. But it's just enough time to make them feel special and helpful. Isn't that what we all want?

And if you do it right, they will (as BBG puts it) "Be yo gawbage gurl" and happily take the messy diaper to the garbage for you. And they'll thank you for giving them the chance to be included.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Quit My Job

I have been praying about what I should improve about my character. Be careful what you ask for. I have seen MAJOR character flaws. For example, today while driving the kids to school, I was following an annoying driver. You've seen them- the type that you wish would turn the opposite way just so you don't have to share the road with them. I happened to follow him the whole way to school, and into the school parking lot. As he pulled to the curb, and I drove past him, I found my self looking at him. "Why? Why do you need to see his face?" I asked myself. As I pulled to the curb, and my kids shuffled out, I realized that I am a vindictive, mean, grouch who can't let things go. So, why I wanted to see his face? Because I wanted to keep score about what the idiot looked like so that the next time I saw him in the school, around the neighborhood or at the store, I could give him his well-deserved scowl and feel better that I had delivered justice upon this unsuspecting person. Yes, I was keeping score. Who am I to play traffic cop to all the idiots who forget to put on their blinker, forget to turn it off, go too fast, go too slow, or just do anything that I deem annoying? So, I decided to quit my job as traffic cop and stop keeping score. After all, I don't need ANOTHER job. Especially one that doesn't pay.