Friday, April 30, 2010

iGoogle Reader...

... I'm sorry. I know your count is WELL over 1,000, you'll simply have to wait tonight. I have a little rug rat that is laying in the middle of my king sized bed waiting for his mama-snuggle. This crazy baby will sleep peacefully, quitely, wonderfully in a car seat or in the swing Josh put together for him but you lay this kid ANYWHERE and he makes so much noise's unbelievable. However, if you're there next to him... he is as quiet as can be. It's inevitable... he is a born snuggler! I love it!

... Mommy's coming, Benjamin. Hang on...

We are Swingers!

My boys are SO wonderful and let mommy sleep in this morning with the baby and I feel like a NEW person! Benjamin awoke about 6am and when he was done feeding, I was still SO very sleepy that instead of immediately getting up and starting breakfast (which I had fully intended to do), I crawled right back into bed and crashed out. I did not wake up until 9:30 a.m. It was SO very much therapeutic and I woke up in the BEST MOOD! Sleep is something you need to be "normal" (whatever THAT is!)

One of the treats I let Josh undertake today was learning to do a project from scratch by instructions and parts only with no input from me. What was his project? No other than the new swing I got from Babies R Us. One huge bonus they have started to do now is include an AC adapter so no more using 5,629 D-sized batteries every month just to operate it. GENIUS! I couldn't be more thrilled.

Little Ben is sleeping soundly, rocking in his swing right now thanks to his big brother, Josh. Pictures to follow (once I take some -- eating lunch was more important!) Ha!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fill It In Friday!!

Friday Fill-Ins Pictures, Images and Photos"> we go!

1. I was surprised that Casey was in the bottom 3 AGAIN on American Idol but I AM glad that Sibhoahn or whatever her name is--was voted off because she was just... bizarre and the way she enunciated some of her words kinda oogied me out.

2. I wanted to get Benjamin's newborn footprints in his baby book and I left my book where? At home, of course... not like going into labor a month early to make you a little scatterbrained on D-Day!

3. Why do I always see to get behind the Sunday drivers every OTHER day of the week?

4. My lack of sleep was in my thoughts today.

5. One of my father's favorite sayings was "Give me a BIG HUG."

6. Love--I know that feeling! I experience it every time I look at my children...

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking Josh to his final dress rehearsal for his play and to Drew's t-ball game, tomorrow my plans include taking Josh to his recital (and picking up Drew there -- having overnighter with Mimi on Friday) and Sunday, I want to try to catch up on at least a couple of hours sleep, organize the house, make a great menu for the week, plan my den's final month before the summer and get to church (or watch the sermon on the internet if the baby doesn't cooperate with me)!

Thankful Thursdays!

It’s that time of week again! Time to list what you are thankful for. This week we are doing things that start with the letter “M.”

Happy Thursday!

I'm thankful for:
  • Moms: Why? Because without them, the world would cease to exist. Moms are amazing, loving, strong, tender, silent champions of children.
  • Macaroni & Cheese: Face it, you're weird if you don't like it! I LOVE IT! Pasta and cheese -- how can you possibly NOT like that?! For the record, Drew is *no longer* weird because he will NOW eat mac and cheese.
  • Minivans: Ha! I'm still trying to talk myself into believing the sliding door machine is cool to drive. Work with me here people... work with me.
  • Movies: Now, I don't watch nearly as many as I could/should/would because of my children/ADD/hobbies/love of sleep but when I do see them, I generally enjoy them
  • Military: With a brother in law in the Army and my best friend in the Air Force, I salute our nation's heroes!
  • Markers: There's not many fits of boredom that can't be solved with some markers and paper! My kids love drawing with them and I have a door FULL of pictures created with markers.
  • Microwaves: Where would we be without microwaves? Seriously? I can't even imagine!
  • Muffins: I LOOOOVE muffins -- banana nut, blueberry, cran/blue berry, chocolate chip and, well, any from Mimi's Cafe! :) Lurve me some muffins!
  • Motorcycles: While I don't have one anymore, I still love motorcycles. The freedom, the wind in your air, the coolness factor. Yep, love the scooters. Ducatis rock!
  • Manatees: I love these "sea cows." They're so huge and cute and blubbery and gentle. You just look like you should jump in the water with them and give them a hug.
  • Mountains: I am NOT a beach girl. Frankly, there aren't many people who look good in a swimming suit. I don't tan. I don't like sand in all my crevices. I'm not a good candidate for the beach, but give me a mountain... cool nights, pine trees, wildlife, hiking trails... I'm SOOO there!
  • Music: I would be NO WHERE without music. I love to sing. I love to sing loudly! In fact, I just spent the last 15 minutes watching and singing loudly to a Bon Jovi concert from our new Verizon Fios "on demand" music channel. How cool is that?
  • Mickey Mouse: What can I say, he's Da Mouse! :) Nuff said!

I'm linked to: The Mommy Files

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stuffed love

Through different times, Josh and Drew have both gravitated toward stuffed animals to have what we call a "snuggle baby" to sleep with at night.

When Drew went through his "Lumpy" phase (if you've ever seen any of the Pooh series, you'll know that Lumpy is an adorable purple elephant (heffalump) that befriends Roo) we had to purchase more than one -- JUST IN CASE! He had one for home, one for the car and one for school. That way we would never forget his snuggle baby. God forbid that happened, because when it did, boy was it a mess of crocodile tears!

Josh has had his share of snuggle babies, too. When Josh was two, he was attached to this little stuffed alligator we called "little Al." He would hold it, chew on it, snuggle with it and whine to have it with him. I can also remember when he was around four or five, his Mimi gave him a purple teddy bear whom he affectionately referred to as "Grape Jelly." This was the animal of choice for many a night. He has worked his way through several and is now in that age of wanting to grow up but still wanting to be a kid in some aspects. As such, he sometimes will still snuggle with a little fluff at night. More often, however, he's curled up with a book. The trade off definitely has some benefits (for him) but it certainly means that my boy is growing up.

I have mine too from when I was a youth. I have a 3' brown stuffed bear in the top of my closet. His name was Charlie. He was given to me by my grandmother's brother, my great "Uncle Leonard." Why I haven't just taken a photo of mine and put that in the computer and let go of the bear (that will, no doubt, be sent to the landfill) is beyond me. I figure if I have the space and it's not in the way -- who cares if I hang onto it--ya know? That's my snuggle baby story. But back to the kids, about a year ago, Drew had to have two 6 foot plush snakes to sleep with. They were "red snake" and "my-pon." The latter of which is his way of saying "python." (Personally, I love these little Drew-isms.)

As it stands, now, Drew has a little beanie baby-type stuffed friend he calls "Dalmation." I bet you can't guess what it is. Ha. It was one of the first purchases we made for him while putting his room in transition to a big boy fireman room.

Now we have a new member of the family - Benjamin. I wonder what his first snuggle baby would be. If Drew has his way, it will be a green spotted mini Webkinz bullfrog with a yellow belly that he received as a gift from one of my Cub Scout dens. Our family has already started to refer to this little stuffed amphibian as "Ribbit."

Last night, Josh was showering upstairs. Drew was freshly bathed. Benjamin had taken a bath downstairs and I had lay down in the bed next to him (with the false hopes that I'd get to sleep for at least 3 hours before he woke.) Drew came in to say goodnight to me. He left. He returned to say goodnight to little Benji. He left. Then, he returned with Ribbit and lovingly set him on the bed right next to Ben. Why? So that Ben would have his snuggle baby. I've also noticed that if Ben is in the stroller, Drew will fetch Ribbit and put it near Ben so that he has a friend to share time with.

For a mom, it's little moments of exchanged love between brothers like this that you have to cling to. These are the little nuggets that show their true character. Drew is this sweet natured little guy that doesn't want anyone to feel alone. He wants to make sure that the stuffed friend that he KNOWS belongs to Ben is WITH Ben because he recognizes how HE feels when he is looking for his snuggle babies and that's generally through tear stained cheeks and longing sobs.

Makes me smile.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu PLAN Monday

Notice the emphasis in the title of the word "Plan." I did this on purpose. Last week we didn't stick to the plan. Regardless of this fact, having a plan is better than NOT having a plan. As I always say, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Most times, that's so very true!

However, you will see that although I AM a planner in almost every aspect of my life, I am not so inflexible that we can't change the meal plans and so sometimes--we do. And, I'm so very okay with that. So, this week's menu will have some repeats but it's because of several factors: a) our "gifted" meals fed quite more than one day's worth of servings and b) our extra-curricular plans took a little longer and thus, we ate out, got take-out or ordered delivery.

B: Cereal
L: Sonic (special request by the little people)
D: Grilled balsamic chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli with cheese, salad and homemade chocolate chip cookies

B: Eggs, ham steaks and toast
L: Grilled chicken salads (from last night's leftovers)
D: Gifted from a neighbor

B: Oatmeal and fruit
L: PB&J with salad
D: Crock pot cranberry/apple pork loin, noodles with alfredo sauce and freshly steamed green beans along with some whole wheat dinner rolls

B: Cereal
L: Subway
D: Gifted from a neighbor

B: Homemade pancakes and fresh strawberries
L: leftovers
D: Pot roast with veggies in the crock pot

B: Sausage, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit and/or juice
L: Cold roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad

B: OPEN (we may go out to breakfast)
L: Leftovers
D: quickie tacos (chips, taco meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, picante and cheese) in a bowl

I'm linked to: Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Check it out for a list of menus and recipes to suit any budget, diet or flavor!

Friday, April 23, 2010

5 Question Friday

I found a new game to play on Fridays, too! Hee hee. Love me some Memes. Here it is:

1. What was the first car you owned? My first car was actually a Mazda RX-7 but I couldn't afford the insurance on it so I never got to keep it. As such, my first "main" car was a red Ford EXP.

2. What song are you embarrassed to know the lyrics to? I can probably recite (in tune, mind you) all of the songs by the Wiggles and several by Miley Cyrus.

3. Have you ever had stitches? I have had stitches several times. I has plastic surgery when I was a tot to have a birthmark removed from my face (stitch #1). I had my right thumb stitched up when I got it shut in a door and split open (stitch #2). Lastly, are stitches taht comes with having children -- (stitch #3, 4 and 5).

4. What was your first job? My first job was doing ceramics for my grandmother's shop -- Midnight Ceramics. She supplied an interior decorator that finished up model homes and I helped my grandmother keep her warehouse full.

5. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Ooooh, this is a hard one. I love Grover... and the Cookie Monster... and because both my kids love him, Elmo is in a tie for first too. Wow, which one would be my "favorite" -- I'm not sure.

I'm linked to Five Crooked Halos

Fill It In Friday! we go!

1. Where are my Reef flip flops -- seriously, I lost them last summer and have no clue where they are and they're my FAVORITES!?
2. If wishes were horses mine would be covered with freckles and speckles.
3. I'd like to see the sites of Italy, Paris, Morocco, Ireland and a few other places before I die.
4. When I was a teen, I thought 30 was old, boy was I wrong.
5. One of my mother's favorite sayings was "You can get glad in the same clothes you got mad in."
6. I'd have a hard time doing without my Blackberry; I thought it'd be without my television but I've done that for a week now.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Drew's t-ball game, tomorrow my plans include Josh's football game and dinner with the Oshels and the Zachmeyers (our neighbors) and Sunday, I want to spend time with Josh's football team at the park for our BBQ!

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Have you seen God today?

One of the songs on my song list is by George Strait and is called, "I Saw God Today."

It's one of those songs that makes you stop and listen...and take a second thought on your life and if you are really appreciating everything God has given you that you should be thankful for.

Sometimes you have to be reminded to just live in the moment...

... to take just a minute to breathe in your life

... to breathe in your miracles...

... to see God in your life.

Every night I get to hold this beautiful miracle named Benjamin... I get to breathe him in... I get to be the one he seeks comfort from... the one he seeks nourishment from... this beautiful creature that God gave me to love, comfort, protect... and every minute I hold him, I see God...

Why I'm on the computer right now is beside me but sometimes you just need to document these feelings, these moments because they're fleeting and with my memory, they'll be gone QUICKLY!

For me, seeing those tiny feet that are already growing out of the baby stage... it's a beautiful job that I am enjoying every minute of. I am so in love with my boys...

Joshua... my tender, people pleaser who doesn't have an aggressive, mean bone in his body. He aims to please and will do anything he can to avoid hurting some one's feelings. I love his heart.

Drew... my considerate son that fears either of his parents being "mad" at him... he is crushed at the thought that he has let someone down to the point of tears and hugs. I love this boy's heart.

Benjamin... I get so teary-eyed thinking that HE is my last son. He is the last one that I'll ever get to rock to sleep at night. He is the last one I'll change diapers for. He is the last one that I'll nurse to sleep and cuddle with. He is the last one that will call me "Mom." How much I am cherishing my time with him is an understatement. I guess it's because that while I'm living his life of "firsts" ... I'm living my life of "lasts" and frankly, I don't like it one bit.

On that note, I think I need to go hold him since they do grow up ever so quickly.

Live in the moment.... overlook the dust bunnies and e-mails tonight, spend time with your kids doing what THEY want to do -- unplug and plug into THEM. They grow up so fast.

Here's the song if you're so inclined to check it out...CLICK HERE. It's a great video that will bring a tear to any mom... close out the world for a minute and live in the moment with the words moving you.

I just walked down the street to the coffee shop
had to take a break
I'd been by her side for eighteen hours straight
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk
pushing up through the concrete
like it was planted right there for me to see
the flashin' lights, the honkin' horns
all seemed to fade away
in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today

I've been to church
I've read the book
I know He's here, but I don't look
near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I'd just slow down to stop and stare
opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

I saw a couple walking by they were holding hands
Man, she had that glow
yeah I couldn't help but notice she was starting to show
I stood there for a minute takin' in the sky
lost in that sunset
a splash of amber melted in the shades of red


I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She's sleeping like a rock
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks
She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes
My brand new baby girl
She's a miracle
I saw God today


Since a recent rainstorm fried the DVR box in the bedroom, I've been without any kind of television programming whatsoever for a few days. It will be several more before it's returned. Why? We're finally switching to Verizon FIOS (fiber optics). It's supposedly wonderful. We shall see.

However, having no TV, no recorded shows to watch... no Glee, no Ghost Hunters, no Guy's Big Bite, no American Idol, no Ellen DeGeneres Show, no Rachael Ray, no Paula Deen, no nothing! Let me tell you, it makes for a looooooong night when you're getting up at 11, 1:30, 3:30 and 6:30 am for feedings! Ugh!

However, Andy DID save the day by making sure that the DVD player still worked. So, instead of getting sucked into movies which are generally well over an hour long, I started watching Seinfeld. The shows are short enough for a feeding and I can see beginning, middle and end without guilt (or being even more sleep deprived.)

As such, I've been reverted back to my "-isms" day. You know the "-isms"... the little phrases that they've coined that you use, too, because they are just so appropriate. You know they're phrases virtually coined by Seinfeld and now they're "Seinfeld-isms" that we all know and love (and I still use.)

High talker
Low talker
Man hands
Soup Nazi
... you know, the Seinfeld-isms that they're so famously known for! And, I LOVE them! LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I truly miss "good tv" like Seinfeld. It was just brilliant! Thursday was a great night for TV then. Now, I rarely watch it unless I have an infant attached to me. :)

However, I do lurve me some Glee! :) Why in the world a woman in her late 30s loves a musical about kids in high school is BEYOND me. I wish, however, that if KIDS are watching this show (and it really is too risque to me for kids) they're learning the risks about having sex at a young age. Wow, I don't remember all the promiscuity in my high school. I'm sure it was there but I guess since I wasn't a party to that action, it seems like it's just "the thing" to do now. How sad that kids just can't be kids anymore. Why do we expect them to grow up so fast? LET THEM BE LITTLE! Seriously, they have their whole lives to be grown ups... let them enjoy being a kid!

Thankful Thursdays!

It’s that time of week again! Time to list what you are thankful for. This week we are doing things that start with the letter “L.”
  • Love - I'm thankful for the love of my life...
  • Larry - My dad... seriously, it needs no reasoning
  • Laughter - This joyful noise brightens my days
  • Learning - I've spent the last 2 years homeschooling my son and it's just amazing to witness his level of learning and how it's heads and shoulders above where it was when we started!
  • Ladybugs - Who can't not feel special to see means springtime and good luck!
  • Life - because it sure beats the alternative! Ha!
  • Landy - because she's a great friend of mine I'm soooooo thankful to have
  • Lipstick - because I never feel "finished" without it
  • Lollipops - because they are one of the sole sources of my parental bribery (Dum Dums)
  • Lists - I am a list maker. I love my lists!
  • Lavender - I luuuuuuuuuurve the smell of lavender in my bath or in my lotions. So relaxing.
  • Laura - My cousin who is more like a sister to me. Thankful for her and her healthy pregnancy!
  • Laurie - Josh's Godmother and one of my best friends!
  • Leather interior in my car - because it's SO much easier to clean up
  • Lanisoh - because man alive did I need it that first week of nursing! UGH!
  • Laptop - though since our router is down most of the time, it really doesn't matter but when it IS working, I'm very thankful for it.
  • Las Vegas - it's SUCH a fun place to vacation!

So what are YOU thankful for today? I'm linked to:The Mommy-Files

Monday, April 19, 2010

Springtime in Texas

In Texas, we like to tease that we have two seasons: Summer and Hell. Though I don't necessarily agree with this 100%, ask me in July or August and I most certainly will substantiate these rumors. However, one thing that we Texans look forward to every year is springtime. Though it's generally very short lived, it's still a beautiful site to behold as most of the greenways along the interstates become fields of wildflowers. And, not just any wildflowers -- the Texas State flower: the blue bonnet. How it gets its name is beyond me because, they look purple. A man probably named them.

I love getting photos in the bluebonnets. One of these days IIIIII will actually be IN these photos BUT this year I got the next best thing -- photos of my boys in the blue bonnets.

Just outside my neighborhood in our subdivision we have a place called "Wildflower Hill" and there are blue bonnets that spring up this time of year. The last two years I've missed the opportunities to get photos there (or anywhere for that matter) but not this year! I'm quite excited! Take a look at these Texas beauties. (And, for the record, I TRIED to shrink the photo size on Photobucket but the photos of Josh/Drew seem to be showing up huge on my blog still for some reason and blogger isn't real user friendly for resizing photos without making them disproportionate in some way. Just FYI.)

Big man, Drew (5)

Older dude, Josh (10)

The boys together

Them finding a ladybug.

I, obviously, do not have any singles of Benjamin since he a) can't sit up b) can't smile on comand, and c) to me, setting him on a blanket on a hill on a blanket in some flowers that are surrounded by bees really didn't seem like that good of an idea. Call me crazy.

I know that my mother and my mother in law do not check out my blog (I hope) so I'm posting our Mother's Day gift on here too. I can't decide if I want to choose one and blow it up to 8x10 on a canvas and put it on an easel for them or if I want to choose them both, print them to 5x7 and then put them in a black frame with a double white matting and prop the frame on a black, wrought iron easel. Regardless of which one I choose to do for them, I hope they love these photos as much as I do! I think they're priceless -- but that's just the mother in me talking.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Oh yes, I have a plan yet again this week! Aren't ya proud? Yeah, I know me either but at least I'm attempting some form of "schedule" with my new life. It's a juggle for now.

B: Sausage, homemade biscuits, gravy
L: leftover Swedish meatballs, rice
D: Dinner is being brought to us by someone from my Cub Scout Pack

B: Oatmeal, bananas, toast, milk
L: PB&J with strawberry-banana smoothies
D: Cranberry/apple pork loin in the crock pot. (From my Once A Month Cooking session)

B: cereal
L: OPEN (likely, leftovers or soup/sandwiches)
D: Grilled chicken, brown rice, steamed veggies (From my OAMC session)

B: Bacon, egg, cheese sandwiches with juice
L: Subway
D: Someone from my Cub Scout Pack is providing dinner this evening for my family

B: Homemade waffles topped with warm berries (from frozen - heated in the microwave)
L: Lunch with Andy before the big tour!
D: We have a 6pm t-ball game which means we'll need to be there about 5:15... so dinner is DEFINITELY from the crock pot tonight! Pot roast with veggies.

B: yogurt, granola, fruit
L: Lunch on the go -- Josh has to be at football field at 10:45 am which means we'll have to leave at 10:15 -- for a 11:45 game so we'll be eating take-out I'm sure.
D: My once a month dinner club between neighbors. I'm bringing dessert -- still undecided what I'll serve. I'm thinking perhaps my no bake banana pudding, strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream or perhaps bananas foster.

L: Snacks (fruit, cheese, milk) due to the early dinner at the park
D: We will have a dinner with Josh's football teams' at a cookout. Burgers/dogs and a bunch of sides.

Modern Conveniences or Pain in the Rump?

There are certain products that have the appearance to be a convenience for the purchaser but, in reality, they're a COMPLETE pain in the butt!

What in the world am I talking about?

The one that immediately comes to mind are these oversized bottles of laundry detergent. I have a front loading washer, so I need to use liquid detergent. I think that the more you can purchase the better, right?

I mean, think about it -- a larger bottle usually means a lower price per ounce of detergent so while it's a greater expense up front, the savings are "over-all" savings based on the unit of measure. However, generally these larger bottles are meant to be stored on their side and dispensed just as you would water from a 5-gallon water jug... with a little dispenser button at the bottom.

The bottles of detergent I traditionally purchase have the lid that doubles as a measuring cup which is then stored upside down on top of the pour spout after you've used it to measure the amount of detergent you need and pour it into the washer receptacle.

However, with these new, larger bottles, there are two factors that DRIVE ME NUTS!

1) There IS no where to store the lid after you've used it to measure out your detergent and pour it into the wash. If you store it upright, there builds a goopy level of soap "scum" on the bottom that will a) throw off how much you're actually pouring into the machine and b) be impossible to clean off unless you rinse it and store it upside down to drain EVERY TIME you use it

2) Most cabinets in laundry rooms aren't deep enough TO store these bottles of detergent becuase they're typically LONG instead of wide and deep. So the cabinet doors don't shut.

I know this is just nit picky stuff but seriously, it's like so annoying now because a) I'm having to wash the stupid little cup every time I use it and it's left a snail trail of soap scum on my counter from when I didn't do it because I was trying to multi-task (make dinner AND do laundry at the same time). Sometimes, you just want to start a load and get out of the laundry room, not have to dispense, pour, rinse, wash, rinse (detergent is THICK) and then either dry or turn it upside down to drain. It's annoying!

Any of these that YOU can think of? I have several! LOL Like THAT would be a shocker to anyone that knows me! ha ha

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time spent with friends...

... is some of the best times you'll ever have.

One of my best friends, Gene, and I have been friends since 6th or 7th grade. When you're 37, that makes for a mighty long time. We've stayed in touch through sickness and health, through relationships, his frequent moves (he's active duty air force), divorces, children, etc. Whatever has happened in our lives, we've had a common bond of friendship that has withstood the test of time. It is one of those relationships you treasure. He was my "witness" at my wedding in Hawaii. He was my date to the 8th grade dance at Lamar Junior High School. He was like my brother, but so much better because we didn't have to share a bathroom -- or parents (his mom was a real piece of work!)

Gene, who was just recently stationed in Oklahoma, now comes down for frequent visits to the DFW area. I mean, it's our "stompin' grounds," we have tons of friends in the area still. It's "home" to him. I love these visits and am so thankful he's now close rather than living in Minot, ND where he has spent the last few years. Up there it's like... brrrrrr freakin C-O-L-D! So cold you have to plug your car "in" so that it doesn't freeze. I can't even imagine--which is why I never visited. Ha ha!

One of the best things about these weekend visits is that sometimes we get to steal him away for a night. My boys love their "Uncle Gene" and the time he shares with them when he comes to visit. Photobucket

He and Andy get to hang out and talk "guy stuff." He and I get to sit and talk about (and laugh about) the past, discuss the present and project the future. It's the best friendship and I'm so thankful for it.

PhotobucketUnfortunately, just hours prior to his weekend visit, we received notice that he will be going back to Iraq for 6-8 months. He is scheduled to leave in a couple of weeks. He doesn't want to go. We don't want him to go but, it's inevitable when you serve in the military that you will ultimately be shipped abroad to a less-than-friendly area. He will be doing some convoy duty.

Please keep him in your prayers so that he comes home safely!!

We wanted to make this a great night for him. I invited my mom to come have dinner with us... she's like his "adopted" mom now and he loves her just like he would love a mom. Andy went and bought some FANTASTIC steaks and veggies to grill. I made super stuffed baked potatoes and asparagus. And, of course, I made his (and my) favorite dessert-carrot cake. It was a meal fit for a king. It's the least we could have done knowing where he was headed. I hope he enjoyed it... and I hope he knows how much we love him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fill It In Friday!

It's that time of the week again -- fill it in Friday! we go!

1. I'd like to teach the world to sing... in perfect harmony (bwa ha ha haha!)
2. One of my most favorite romantic memories is when my husband asked me to marry him. It was when we were coming home from a trip we took to Las Vegas for my birthday. He has worked with his mom to set up a whole area in the formal dining room with snacks, candles, music and my ring was in the box... we walked in the back door and there was this arrangement and he got down on one knee and proposed. It was beautiful, and intimate and PLANNED in advance! It was just a beautiful moment.
3. Last night, I had southwestern soup and cornbread for dinner courtesy of the Jardine family.
4. Sorry for the dustbunnies in the corner. I've got more important things to do -- like spend time with my children.
5. Can we go home now?
6. One of my worst temptations is sweets; for me, sugar is so hard to resist!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Drew's baseball game, tomorrow my plans include a football game for Joshua and Sunday, I want to see my friend Elaine, get Benjamin's photos taken and have a successful den meeting (weather permitting)!

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oh the drama!

Today hit an all time HIGH with the drama level in my abode. A few new experiences have entered our household.

  1. Obviously, the birth of the little guy has thrown my schedule for a loop

  2. Josh started playing tackle football with two plus hour practices 2 times a week and a game every Saturday. The practices are from 5:30 to 7:30 or 5:45 to 7:45 which means they're home about 8:00 or shortly thereafter. Dinnertime for him is thus -- very late -- as is a shower and he's not getting to bed until around 9:30 - 10pm. Most nights Drew is on that same schedule. Let me be the first to say that THAT is NOT GOOD.

  3. Drew has baseball practices about 2 times a week and has one game a week. Some of the games do not begin until 7pm... over at 8pm... same rigmarole with the late dinner (no one wants to eat very early here for some reason).

This has just taken a toll on both of the boys and they are just tired.

Yesterday afternoon I set up a play date with one of Drew's little friends that he's been asking to play with for a month or more, Austin. Austin and Drew were best buds for the last 3 years at the school Drew still attends. Drew is still there, Austin moved up to Kindergarten (he has an earlier birthday than Drew).

Fast forward to yesterday evening... I was in a cleaning fury because my housekeeper was coming this morning. I asked Drew to clean up the playroom. He basically refused. I asked later for his help but he was NOT helping. He was making more of a mess. My simple solution? He's now grounded from the playroom for the next two days. I wanted to be sure all the little pieces/parts/guns/heads/light sabers/etc. of the Star Wars Lego's kits were accounted for so it HAD to be straightened!

Pat comes, cleans and the house looks fantastic again. I love my "Pat days." While I'm out running a few errands while Pat was here, I figured -- let's go get Drew while we're out. It's a little early but we'll go get a treat so I run by Braum's and get us all an ice cream cone (I've been wanting ice cream but didn't want to buy an entire half gallon - just wanted a scoop!). I'm thinking -- these kids are great. What a fun mom I am! I not only got him out of school early but I also gave him a great treat! We get home and he IMMEDIATELY starts whippin my arse about, "Tell me when it's time to go to Austin's!" "When is it time to go to Austin's?" "What time is it?" "What time does Austin get out of school?" "Is Austin coming?" ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON! Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. At least once every 4-5 minutes he was asking something.

I'm ATTEMPTING to work with Josh on some Language Arts issues he's having. We are attempting to learn to recognize adverbs -- how they can modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. For the last two years we've been homeschooling, I've asked him the SAME FREAKIN QUESTIONS when figuring out anything to do with sentences: Who or what is the subject about? What did ____ do? When you're trying to figure out what the verb is you ask yourself, "Can you _____?" If is truly an "action" word, you can do it.

We get to a question that he's struggling on (seriously, however, he has missed almost every one that we didn't do together).

Since we've started adverbs, we have a list of questions to look at once we have found the verb -- does anything answer these 5 questions to modify the verb? Are there any adjectives that describe a noun or pronoun? Are there any adverbs that modify the adjectives? Seriously, it's all a system. We've been doing this for TWO WEEKS... the kid is just shutting down.

So, today Drew goes into the playroom and starts to get something out. I kindly reminded him that the playroom was off limits. He wasn't thrilled about that but remembered. He walked to the table where Josh was working on his school work and struck a pose. It was a goofy little pose. I have no idea why he did it but the he just hauled back and kicked Josh. Josh (of course) had to make all kinds of drama like he was so seriously maimed in the leg (I hate drama, have I mentioned that before?) and so I asked Drew, "Did you just kick Josh in the leg?" He smiles. HE SMILES?! but he does admit that he did it. I said, "Fine, to your room. You're not going to Austin's today."

You couldn't have paid an actor to do a better role of an agonizing, defeatist death... It was beyond pathetic.

And, mind you, I had no intentions of NOT taking him to Austin's house to play -- the fact is, they're best buds and hadn't seen each other in a while. I just really wanted him to understand the "currency" that he stood to lose. I generally give my kids one "gimmie"... they just never know when they're going to get it. Today was his because, frankly, I wanted him gone for a bit. Dont get me wrong. I love my boys. Sometimes, I just need a break too. :) Today was one of those days.

We went.

They played.

All was happy in Drew-land again.

The funny thing... he came down from his room and Josh realized that HIS actions (the ridiculous over-acting as if he were dismembered) was a great part of the reason for the punishment Drew received... he owned up to it and told Drew (after Drew went in to profusely apologize for kicking him) that he was okay and that they were to tell me that Josh forgave him. LOL

Their little hearts do have moments where they shine really brightly. It's those times when they're covered with tar I tend to lose my cool.

Thankful Thursdays!

It's that time of the week again when we give thanks for a specific theme of something that we're thankful for.

What am I thankful for about SPRING?!

  • The ressurection of Jesus Christ - Easter is celebrated in the spring and what a better reason to be thankful that your redeemer has risen!
  • Green grass! I love being able to see the green peeking through the lawn. It'd be one thing if we lived where it snowed because during the winter when it snows, everything looks blanketed in pristine white flakes.... it hides all the bland, yards of dead grass that are slumbering. I'm also thankful for how the smell of fresly cut grass fills the air this time of year
  • Springtime rains - I love the smell of rain in the air.
  • Flip Flops -- it starts my flip flop season. I'm thankful for my flip flops. I love them. I need to find a new pair that is just like them!
  • Bluebonnets and wildflowers-- I'm thankful for the beautiful miracles that God sprinkles all over Texas this time of year!
  • Sports -- I'm thankful spring starts (the real) baseball season (although our town has fall baseball too) because I love watching my little Yankee team play.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies -- I am thankful for the bountiful harvest that God gives the farmers! I love farmers' markets and can't wait to go to them. Home grown tomatoes are THE BEST!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Can't... Wednesdays!

Sometimes you just have to ask the question, "Why Can't....." so following with the alliteration for Wednesdays, I'm creating "Why Can't... Wednesdays"

And I encourage you to partake in the fun! Ask now, Why Can't...
  • ... the calories in donuts just fall right out the center hole?
  • ... Cheetoes be a food group?
  • ... Benjamin learn to sleep through the night like he does through the day?
  • ... grey hairs be sexy on a woman?
  • ... we all just get along?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Constant need for organization

I'm in a constant search for the life organizing solution that will work for me. There are all kinds of ways out there to start to get your life in order... books, magazines, stores, binders, journals, Yahoo groups, blogs, file systems. Literally, you name it -- there is something out there for everyone! You just have to find the method that will work for you. Kind of like that whole "to find your prince, you gotta kiss a lot of toads" kind of scenario. Well, lets just say, I'm tired of puckerin up for the little suckers. I want a life organizer!

I tried It's got a lot of great elements but I can not stay true to that system as my life is TOO fluid with three boys going three different directions, a cub scout pack to run, a cub scout den to run, scrapbooking to do...etc. I think it's good--in theory-- but for someone like me, I'm too Type-A for that system.

I figured one thing I need to do is get the "important stuff" in order. Seemingly, when you bring a new life into the world, you start thinking about all the "what if's" and realize that you need order in your life. I remember seeing a system at The Container Store and I've thought about buying it several times when I was there (if I even ventured to that portion of the store). I have yet to do that, however.

I like the idea of a family "Control Journal" and actually joined a few Yahoo Groups from time to time who had the goal of helping its members create one. Some were extremely intense and some were just... well, dumb. I saved several e-mails for a few of those groups. But, again, it just wasn't something that suited me.

The key component here is still that I know I need something and so my journey is continuing to find the system that is easy for me to maintain and gives me a feeling of "a place for everything and everything in its place." I'm talking information AND stuff.

So, I go visit one of my favorite blogs: 3 Boys and a Dog and see that she has a review of a product by an organizational/productive living-type website called Get Buttoned Up which is the NEATEST SITE! Especially for over-achieving-compulsive-organizers like me! It's got lots of tips (I LOVE TIPS! -- I actually SAVE the tips sections from the magazines I get and put them in a file and go through them every now and then to find another good trick to helping me stay more organized and such. Yes, I'm THAT weird!) and LOTS of products to get your life ... well, "Buttoned Up." So, go check out her review and then if you don't then want to go visit Get Buttoned Up, I think you may need to have your head examined! Ha! (just kidding!)

Oh, and did I mention that she's ALSO got a GIVEAWAY of one of their organization kits going on right now? Oh.Yes.She.Does. Go check it out! Seriously. If I don't win, I definitely think it's worth the small investment and who knows, it could just be the solution I need to get my life organized!

Crossing fingers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My little Yankee

Thursday while I attended Josh's scrimmage Andy coached Drew's t-ball game. The coach's wife is sweet enough to take photos and she got some GREAT shots of Drew in action on the mound. I was so proud of him....and very sorry that I missed the game when he wasn't in the outfield.









Menu Plan Monday

I'm still adjusting to a new schedule with our newest family member. Sleeping in (though it's not really sleeping "in" it's more like catching UP) is something I will do if I have the chance instead of being low on sleep, my kiddos are being low of hot breakfasts. I figure something has to give this first few weeks until I find some sort of "normal" in a schedule. As such, right now, I'm not going to plan breakfasts because frankly, if I get the opportunity to sleep in a bit, I'm going to!

L: Drew's choice (we eat out on Mondays)
D: Being brought to us by one of my Cub Scout Pack families

L: lunch with Andy and Benjamin
D: Italian shredded roast beef sandwiches (OAMC - in freezer), salad

L: sandwiches, soup, apples
D: grilled marinated chicken (OAMC - in freezer), steamed broccoli with cheese sauce, brown rice

L: Subway
D: provided from one of my Cub Scout families

L: pizza or leftovers
D: Breaded chicken breast sandwiches (frozen, from Costco) with lettuce and tomato on wheat buns, fresh veggies with ranch dressing

D: steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, salad and rolls


**Saturdays and Sundays (right now) are used to do anything I didn't do during the week, to clean house, eat leftovers, etc.

I'm linked in HERE at

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pity party prayers

Sometimes when you're feeling weak in spirit and tired... you can start to dwell on the fact that you have problems. I have them. You have them. We all have them. The true test of your spirit is not the fact that you have them, but how you deal with them.

For instance, today, I'm severely lacking in sleep, good nutrition and suffering from a near migraine... and while I started my pity party, I was reminded how fortunate I am by my good friend JD Ross. His son, Garrett, who is the same age as Josh has undergone not ONE but TWO heart transplants. This weekend, his body started signs of severe rejection. They're at the hospital in Denver now. He's got a long road ahead... and the whole family needs our prayers.

JD has a blog he created for logging Garrett's Journey (which is what it's named) and you can check it out HERE. The email I received today isn't posted on his blog... but I wanted to record it here so that you could all see how serious this is and ask that you include Garrett and the entire Ross family in your prayers.

What a difference a week makes.

One week ago, Garrett was walking miles
through a broken creek bottom in Kansas looking for turkeys. Today, he's back in
Children's Hospital with a severe rejection.

He had been feeling great
until about a week ago, when he started complaining about not feeling well. His
stomach was upset and for the past several days, he's been off his feed a
little. He's been more lethargic and cranky, too. He's been tired and pretty
restless at night and just no himself. Then yesterday at baseball practice, he
definitely was not on his game. When the other kids were running, Garrett would
walk and said he just didn't feel good. Even still, he got a pretty good hit
during scrimmage and fielded a couple of good plays.

Last night I
checked his vitals and his heart rate was 135-140 bpm and his face seemed
fuller. We called the transplant coordinator and they wanted to see him 1st
thing today. It was a pretty rough night because Garrett was really restless.

To make a long story short, tests today confirm that Garrett has a
pretty severe rejection. They were pretty concerned but think we got to it in
time. He has fluid around his heart and lungs and his liver is distended. They
immediately admitted him and started him on a battery of medications aimed at
reversing the negative effects of the rejection. This will go on for about
another week and then, hopefully, we'll be able to move outside the hospital for
another week or so. There is a chance we'll have to re-locate to Denver again
for about 3 months.

We won't know a whole lot more for a few days, so
for now I just wanted to update everyone and ask for continued prayers of
healing. Again, we never saw this one coming and it snuck up pretty quick. Best
case scenario is that we'll be back home in a couple of weeks and have to return
at least 2x a week for 3 or 4 months for check ups and he'll now be on
additional medicine the rest of his life. But the steroids and other meds will
drive his immune system extremely low for most of the summer. His school year is
done again, and probably his baseball season too.

Don't want to startle
anyone, but wanted to let you know that our little cowboy warrior has another
fight on his hands. I'll update when I know more. Praise God for His mighty
hand, because we believe He'll carry us through this battle.

God bless,


Please pray for the Ross family.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Parenting tid bits

I saw this on The Mommy Journey and just thought it was HILARIOUS so I wanted to share it with you too. She got it from a great site I checked out called Effective Parenting

Parenting often contains surprises, some delightful and others, well... How many of the following might you be able to relate to? Hint, if you smile at any one, it's probably because you've experienced it in your home.

1. The later you stay up, the earlier your child will wake up the next morning.

2. For a child to become clean, something else must become dirty.

3. Toys multiply to fill any space available.

4. The longer it takes you to make a meal, the less your child will like it.

5. Yours is always the only child who doesn't behave.

6. If the shoe's expensive.

7. The surest way to get something done is to tell a child not to do it.

8. The gooier the food, the more likely it is to end up on the carpet.

9. Backing the car out of the driveway causes your child to have to go to the bathroom.

10. The more challenging the child, the more rewarding it is to be a parent...but you usually have to work overtime to get that reward.


Saturday, oh Saturday. It's a beautiful day... sun is shining... birds are chirping... it's beautiful, simply BEAUTIFUL outside. And. Drew. Woke. Up. With. Croup. How do we know this? He had an early morning visit to Care Now (an urgent care facility) and got a prescription and was told to drink lots of fluids and consume lots of calories. Croup. BLECH!

As such, he missed his sibling class at the hospital. I need to call and reschedule that for him. Bummer!

So, Andy's taking Josh to his football game. He has team pictures at 3:15 p.m. and a 4:45 p.m. game and I'm going to miss it. However, ANDY will certainly be the one to appreciate the football game much moreso than I will since it's just a sport that I don't really "get." Heck, I don't even know what position he plays! My dad is going to attend as well as my in-laws so he will have a little cheering section there. I forgot to send the camera but Andy doesn't like taking photos with the big dog (Canon Digital Rebel). I'll hope for better luck next Saturday.

Also, I didn't participate in our HOA's neighborhood wide garage sale today. While I really, REALLY wanted to, it just wasn't going to happen with having a newborn, choosing items, pricing them, setting it up, breaking down, having to nurse, etc. It seriously wasn't going to happen. My mother in law has a neighborhood garage sale coming up fairly soon (in a couple of weeks) and so I **may** piggy back on hers but that's still going to be a pain setting up at someone ELSE's house. However, it beats waiting until the fall for my HOA's next community-wide sale. However, maybe September will work better for me. I don't know. I do know that I'd like to get rid of this stuff now instead of storing it for yet another season. Ugh! They're almost too much of a pain in the butt that it seems like it's not worth the couple hundred dollars you'll make at one for the time commitment... it's almost just worth it more to take it to charity! :) There's an idea!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring is in the air

spring(: Pictures, Images and Photos

I love spring! The trees are budding, tulips popping up from their winter slumber, the smell of freshly cut grass, baseball season starts, the desire to get OUTSIDE and ENJOY THE WEATHER hits you! However, while I do love spring, I don't enjoy it as much as fall or winter. Why? Let's face it, not everyone looks good in a pair of shorts but almost anyone can work a pair of jeans and a sweater! Also, that winter "moon tan" you're sportin' doesn't look so hot in a pair of shorts as it does in jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt.

So, while it does bring elements TO look forward to, there are probably as many elements that I already hate about it...

1) Why can't everyone get on the same page/time when they're going to mow and edge their lawns. Don't they understand that by coordinating this activity, it will alleviate all the dogs barking at all the neighbors at different times? This way they can all have their bark fest at the same time and then we all can collectively enjoy the open windows and sunshine together without the WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRR of the weedeaters afterwards.

2) Why can't we enjoy spring without all the pollen that causes my husband's allergies to go into overdrive... forget overdrive... they're in hyper drive... That pollen enters his nose at mach 10 and doesn't leave. I feel for the man.

3) Why can't my neighbors HEAR THEIR FREAKIN DOG that is right OUTSIDE. THEIR. DOOR? I (the neighbor two doors down and BEHIND YOU) CAN HEAR the bark... bark... bark... bark... bark... bark... barking NON FREAKIN STOP. Put the dog in the house before I feed it some "special" meatballs. OMG that is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves!

4) Why are there birds are chirping at ONE IN THE MORNING outside my window??? WHY? Do they not realize that it is not MORNING YET? Seriously! I want a loaded shotgun with an open range to fire!

5) I think spring is a female season. It's a season that can't make up its mind. For instance, why is it freezing in the morning and hot in the afternoon? It's so hard to put away your winter wardrobe when it's 40 in the morning and near 80 in the afternoon. The air conditioner and heater get a workout in the same day. It's bizarre and a little shocking to the senses.

Oh spring... it's a love/hate relationship... it almost makes me want to just say, "COME ON SUMMER!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fill It In Fridays!

Friday Fill-Ins Pictures, Images and Photos

"> we go!

1. In 1992, I was twenty, loving life and working at The Southwest Meat Association in Arlington, TX as an Associate Director.

2. The laughter and smiles of my children make my life complete.

3. Do what you can, with what you have, where ever you go and you should have no regrets.

4. Visiting the beautiful mountains in Colorado is where I'd like to be.

5. The budding trees and presence of spring flowers are telling me the pollen count is going to be high and therefore Andy will probably snore me out of the room.

6. The list of messes our "leaders" are leaving for our children and our children's children to clean up is one that just keeps going on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking Josh to his coach's house for a pizza party, eating some lasagna with Andy and Drew, tomorrow my plans include possibly having a garage sale, hearing how Drew enjoyed his sibling class at the hospital and Sunday, I want to get this house back in order -- all laundry done, all rooms picked up and a platform built for the co-sleeper!

I'm linked to: Friday Fill Ins

There is HOPE!

I spoke to a friend of mine today and she said that just because the classes are showing zero availability right now, it may be possible that in May, when people forget to PAY for what they've registered for, the classes will be dropped and he could still go! Perhaps that's why he got in last year. So, just because people are REGISTERED for classes right now, they possibly haven't paid yet (because it's not required right now).

I hope someone forgets!!! ha ha...