Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas

I know this is out of order, but I found this at Christmas time and knew that this was how many of us mothers of young children spend a majority of Christmas morning. Enjoy!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1t90Bg9wAw. For some reason my links aren't working properly. Bummer.

New Years


Well, we've all been sick. Needless to say, my Love Dares have been put on hold. Between coughs, sneezes, bathroom issues and sleepless nights, Sug and I have maybe had 10 minutes total in the past week to share any type of information. We did somehow manage to take all the kids to dinner and a movie, where the baby proceeded to throw up all over me. Of course, we were at a hibachi restaurant and we were sitting with a group of other people we didn't know. Good Times!!! Our conversations have been sounding something like this: "Grrrrr" " "You, too?" "New Years Party?" " Everyone's coming" "Blahhhhh" "I know" "Honestly, poop?!?! You've got to be kidding?!!?" "Thinkin' about getting all my certifications this year" "Cool, me too." "Cool" "yuuuuuuuck" "Love you" "Love you too" I'll ring in the New Year starting The Love Dare over. I came across this link that made me think a little bit about what the whole concept of a new year is about. Check it out. . Wishing everyone a safe and happy New Year!!! http://www.aholyexperience.com/2009/12/when-you-cant-figure-out-what-answer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HolyExperience+%28Holy+Experience%29"

Monday, December 14, 2009

On Hold

We had to put it all on hold for the weekend. Sick kiddos. I'll be reattempting the past two days today.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day #4

Well, Day #4's mission didn't go so well. I was supposed to call my hubby during his work day just to see how he is and if there was anything I could do for him. I tried calling him at a time he wouldn't normally call us only to realize that HE'S ACTUALLY BUSY when he's at work, and couldn't talk. I've decided to try again today being as it's a Saturday and he's running errands and such. I have a feeling that this will work out much better! In addition to re-attempting Day #4's challenge, I will be timidly approaching today's challenge with a whole lot of prayer. Love is not rude is the topic, and the dare is to ask your spouse for 3 things that you do that irritates them or makes them feel uncomfortable. Easy enough except you then have to accept it with grace. That's where all the prayer is needed. Excuse me while I retreat to a quieter place to have a conference with my king.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day #3

Sug acknowledged the clean house!!! Yeah!! For Day #2 of The Love Dare, I was supposed to do a kind gesture for my spouse. I really prayed about it, but all I kept getting was that my house was a disaster and needed a good cleaning. I really wan't sure that it would be a kind gesture directed toward my husband, but I did it anyway as if it was. Ends up, he was blessed by it and I followed God's lead!!! Day #3 suggested that I purchase something to let my husband know that I was thinking of him. I'm embarassed and sad to say that I went to the supermarket and bought him the milk and coffee filters he had asked for yesterday morning. So unromantic, but if you know me, you know I ONLY go to the supermarket once a week. If I forget diapers, bread, milk, or any other necessity, it will just have to wait until next week and we'll figure out a way to make due. In this case, I had bought milk but Sug had used it all to eat a whole box of Cocoa Puffs (Gid love him, he's gross like that). As for the coffee filters, he hadn't asked for them and I don't drink coffee, so I didn't know we were out. It may not be what the writers of the book had in mind, but it works for us. I once again prayed about it and did it with a heart for my husband. There was no thanks or acknowledgement of it this time, but it made my heart smile when I saw him taking a sip of his coffee as he kissed us all and headed out the door. Day #4 is a call at work with no agenda. Although we talk quite a bit throughout the day, when I call, there's usually an agenda. He calls on his way to a job, lunch break and on his way home. WOW!!! Typing that was the first time I noticed the effort my husband makes to be a part of our daily lives while he's at work. I may just have to thank him for that...but I'll wait until HE calls ME for that!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Taking My Own Advice

This past weekend I took the baby and headed South to visit with a dear friend of mine and her family. She's been talking about getting seperated and (as if everything is about me) it's freaking me out. Sitting and listening to her, I realized that she's in a very similar place I was a couple of years ago. Every marriage has its own cycle(s). The problem is when one partner wants to break them while the other is content/comfortable in letting them continue. Neither my friend nor her husband are Christian, but I did something I normally would not do. I suggested, and maybe even encouraged them both, on seperate occasions to watch Fireproof . I believe this movie saved my marriage by giving both my husband and myself a new perspective on marriage and what it is meant to be. After we saw it, we purchased 2 of the Love Dare workbooks http://product.half.ebay.com/The-Love-Dare_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ69715089 and quickly found lovely little homes for them to collect dust. Could it be coincidence that coerced my mother into buying us the movie on Black Friday and suggesting I take it home then? My knowledge of God convinces me otherwise. After talking and sharing with my friend and realizing that I have no desire to end up in that place again, I watched Fireproof again. I have also begun Love Dare. Day One explains that love is patient. Wouldn't you know that as soon as I asked God to help me learn to be more patient with my husband, he gave me the chance. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all is way easier said than done. I actually considered leaving my husband's copy on the bed for him to find with maybe a few portions highlighted, but quickly though better of it and decided this 40 day commitment of mine was to my God and my marriage and if my husband, as the man I'm married to, benefits, then so be it. Today, Day Two explains that love is kind. My challenge is to do some kind gesture for my husband. I've decided to clean the house. It's been quite a mess since we've gotten back and it drives him mad. I've made a delicious pork tenderloin dinner and now need to pick Bird up at school. As soon as we get home, it's house cleaning here I come!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm DOing it again, someone stop me!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am doing it again. I am trying to figure out my life. The basic idea that it's my life is comic anyway. My life is in a place I would never have chosen nor hoped that it would be. Don't get me wrong, I love all of it...but, were it my choice there would be housekeepers and much travel abroad involved, let's be honest. I have come to a place where I've been asked into a position I had previously held and had left because I had Bunny. I thought that my leaving would open up the opportunity to persue my doula/massage therapist aspirations. The position is a voluntary one teaching bible preschool. I've been bouncing back and forth as to whether or not I should accept the position.
CON: It eats up 2 morning/early afternoons a week.
PRO: I can bring Bean & Bunny with me both days and my niece with me 1 day
PRO: Bean won't be home those mornings messing up the house (which I'm pretty sure has been her new objective lately)
CON: It's going to make it a whole lot harder/stressful to persue my career
PRO: Bunny is still so young that I really just need to meet the minimal requirements which is 3 births by July
PRO: I'll be immersed in God's word daily which always helps bring a little clarity to things
CON: I'll be affecting the lives of other people like my brother who will have to babysit both of my girls for a few weeks while I'm in training
PRO: I'll be helping to start a program that will enable other mothers (who don't have 'Uncle Brothers' to help them )with small babies to attend the Bible study
PRO: I may be able to toss a little $$$ Brother's way before the holidays

Obvoiusly, the PROS outweigh the CONS right now. I have my husband's support either way. I do love to see God at work....maybe all the babies will be born on the weekends. Hmmmmmmmmm. Something to continue to think and pray about. Either way, I've come to the conclusion that it's not my decision, it's God's. I'm praying for guidance and clarity in this matter and leaving it all up to Him...I'm trying anyway.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Busy Bee


Well, it's been a while since my last post. I've been quite the busy little (using the term loosely) bee lately. we've been using the mild weather to get outside and do some much needed yard maintenance. I've finished up my quilt and sent it off. I'm not the quilt maker I hoped to be, but it wasn't so bad. And yes, Beanbag did cut off all of her bangs a few days before I snapped this picture. At least the yellow highlighter that she had used for makeup was gone. We've been putting the finishing touches on Bird's big girl room. The wall is painted, curtains made and hung, closet organized, and feng shuied to the best of my limited knowledge and capability. We've also established our Missions Board for our Miss Rebecca. We have pictures, prayer requests and maps all on a posterboard to remind us to pray for Miss Rebecca and her ministry StreetHeArt . I've also been preparing for a craft bazaar at the grange after Thanksgiving. I've been finishing up some colored pencil cases, drawing aprons, aprons, and jewelry. Today I plan on starting some wallets and change purses. The car's in the shop and I'm pretty much stuck at home, might as well make the best of it. Gotta go. BuZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, November 2, 2009

Popcorn

Tooth Number 1 and Tooth Number 2 came in within 3 days of each other. Tooth Number 3 is here and has been for 2 days and Tooth Number 4 is fast on its heels, any minute now. I do believe that I also see the possiblity of Tooth Number 5 within the next week or so. These things are popping out like popcorn!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fashion


Fashion is one of the battles of life with my girls that I choose not to engage in. Not only do I feel that clothing is a way to express one's individuality, but I also like that they dress themselves. I have to admit that I do highly encourage modesty and frown upon the lack thereof. I will give my two cents on picture days and the like, but I will usually stay out of it. Today was one of those days that maybe needed a little more battle from my end. Bean's been out of preschool since last Thursday because at any given moment SOMEBODY was sick in our house and I just hate sharing cooties. So, being that it was her first day back, she decided she wanted to wear her jean dress. It has long sleeves and is really cute. It's a bit short for my liking so I usually suggest pants or tights and have been received quite well, until this morning. Yesterday was my day of illness and I asked my father to pick Bird up from school (she was the first one to be sick and is well over it) and grab us something for dinner. Not only did Poppy bring pizza (favorite), but he also brought each girl a huge tattoo. Bird's was a sparkly silver bird and Bean's was a flaming heart. Both girls decided to put their tattoos on their shins. Now I'm not sure if it is because the tattoos are huge or if their shins are so small, but Bean's entire left shin is covered with her flaming heart which is completely exposed due to the lack of pants or tights. Bean also decided to wear her red sparkly 'Dorothy' shoes to match the red in her tattoo. When she sat down to breakfast, she commented on how her 'butt was chilly'. When I told her she might reconsider the pants/tights subject, her response was a matter of factly stated "But then it won't be fancy." Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It is important for us girls to feel fancy, especially after being sick, isn't it? So off my 3 year old went to preschool with a miniskirt, tattoo and fancy shoes. Fashion beat Function today! Tomorrow? The dress will be donated to Goodwill.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mommy Birthdays


Well, today is my 34th Birthday. I have to admit, I have very few feelings about today. As a matter of fact, until a few days ago I actually thought I was going to be 35. I was talking to one of my nearest and dearest friends. We actually lived with one house separating us, our parents had never met until a week before our shared first birthday. We've been besties ever since (By the way, she'd kill me for using the word besties.). I actually asked her if she had any big plans for our 35th and she said she wasn't sure but she'd take the year to think about it. I guess that's what happens when you have kids. Their birthdays stand out and yours fade into the background. I used to walk around wearing a tiara on my birthday and would plan for weeks on how I was going to spend it. Today, my husband wished me a Happy Birthday when he woke up (he's good like that), I got to pray without interruption, I got to take a hot shower, I got an email from my chiropractor, my dad's taking me out for breakfast, my facebook page has well wishes from those who noticed the announcement, my in-laws gave me a little cash (!!!!), and I expect a couple of phone calls from my siblings and mother. I also share my birthday with my cousin/sister's (she wasn't an actual sister, but we grew up very close and still are) daughter. She'll be 1 today! All in all it's starting to pan out into a really nice day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Putting The Pieces Together

Yesterday, I decided to start my newest project for Craft Hope . I have made a couple of blankets in my time, but never a quilt. I decided to pull out all the scraps of cloth I've been saving for "something". I made a template out of the smallest scrap and cut the rest to match. I assorted them into a complete mismatch of hodgepodge and began sewing blocks of 4. When this is done, I plan to lay it out and see how big it is and if I need something to seperate the blocks in order to make them a more cohesive piece. I'm also planning a trip to my favorite fabric store. It's about 45 minutes-1 hour away, but all the fabric is $1.99/yd. I will also be picking up fabric for the girls' new rooms. I need a backing for the quilt, 3 sets of curtains and possibly some stuff to make each of my girls a quilt or bedspread. We'll see.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Transition Period

Being as there has been virtually no fall here in the Northeast, my household has been in the midst of our summer to winter transiton period. This time usually takes a whole season to accomplish but this year it is all being jammed into a 2-3 week period. I have actually been messing around with clothes for about 2 weeks now. What started out as our usual change of season/size clothing swap turned into something much bigger. After we were all done, we got an invitation to an actual "Clothing Swap". We were to bring any clean, gently used clothing which would then be displayed and set up throughout my friend's home as a shop would. Any left over clothing was going directly to the Rescue Mission in our area. What a great idea, I had to get on board especially after realizing how many clothes we actually have and how few of them we actually wear. We ended up donating 11 bags of clothes from size newborn-size 14 Womens. I was also able to organize our collection of clothing totes so that each tote houses 1 size from newborn up to my stuff. Not only did we donate clothing, but also shoes and accessories. Bird and I made the swap a date night and had a great time. Bird came home with a few tee shirts and some jewelry to share with Bean and I came home with a quilted LL Bean fall jacket. I may not be able to wear it this year, but I expect that next year when I do get to wear it, it will be quite a gift. Sug and I have deicded that after our yard clean up (hopefully this week)the girls will be getting their own rooms. This will afford us the opportunity to donate toys (the "extra room" is currently a disaterous playroom) and give each older girl a place of her own. We will also be setting some new house rules/disciplines/family times into affect. Sug and I haven't gotten the time to sit and talk about it all yet. Sug has been busy chopping wood for our hastily appraoching winter, but I was able to secure some free babysitting at the Clothes Swap for 3 hours next Sunday evening. Wow!!! Although, I'd rather leave such things out of our rare date nights, I think we can come up with some things that will afford us some more quality time inthe future. Whoever said that the only constant is change sure knew what they were talking about!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking out the Trash


I've hit one of those times in my life where I can't handle any of it any more. I went away for the weekend with just the baby in order to get a little relaxation. When I returned home, I realized the difference between relaxing and resting. Relaxing to me means the absence of daily chores and household maintenance. Which is exactly what I did while visiting a very dear friend and her family. Resting to me (which is now obvious) is sleeping. Hours upon hours of lost sleep regained through a day or two of uninterrupted SLEEEEEEEEEP. Needless to say, with Bunny being with me, my version of rest did not occur. So, when I came home to all the usual mayhem and chaos, I couldn't handle it. Sug wasn't feeling well (we know how that goes). Bird has been feeling particularly rebellious and defiant, and Bean is out of control. Her screaming, whining and crying has been a constant for a few weeks now. My sleep deprived mama brain can only bear so much and the amount has been exceeded for a while. I would be lying if I said that I didn't consider abandoning it all. I had plotted a month long undetected escape. Unfortunately, the type A personality that thrives within my being got caught up in the logistics and I was violently thrashed back into reality and the need for change. It is time for our family to take out the trash. Potty mouths, violence, back talk, disobedience, whining and screaming are all being kicked to the curb. Last night, I watched about 6 episodes of Supernanny and began to really take notes on what seems to work and why. I also began to pray to know and understand my children better so that I can execute the proper guidance and discipline required to each as an individual. I will also be implementing a special Mommy time and Daddy time for each child each month. My time away with Bunny will be her Mommy Time for the month. Bird and I will be attending a clothes swap this Friday evening and Beanbag and I will be touring our CSA farm and how it operates on Sunday afternoon. As far as Daddy time is concerned, I really want them to figure it out on their own (says the control freak). I'm ready to change the atmosphere of this house from children vs parents to our family vs the world. Keep us in your prayers as I am well aware of the fact that I can't do this properly on my own.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shots


To immunize or not to immunize that is the question. It freaks me out to think that every time I allow my children to get a shot, I am allowing them to be exposed to harmful chemicals. Not only are they exposed, but they are being infested by them. I have to admit my lack of research and knowledge in this department. I only know by past experience. Beanbag got one of her MMR shots and ended up with a case of the measles. I think she was somewhere around 8 months old. Today, I have to bring her in for her yearly physical and in order to keep her in the preschool she currently attends, there's a good probability that she will need some shots today. I will be bringing Tylenol for the pain and have promised chicken nuggets for lunch, but I will be praying the whole way there and for the next few days that all will be well. This may be just the thing that starts my research. Unfortunately, it appears as thought the public school system has made my decision for me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ahhhhhhhh

The big birthday bash is over. I can breathe a sigh of relief. It rained. We survived. The kids actually had a great time playing in the mud and rain. Overall, it was a good day. Although, I have to admit that I am experiencing quite the hangover. No, there wasn't any alcohol at my daughter's 3rd birthday party. But there was copious amounts of time, energy, stress, thought, and money spent in order to bring it all together. I went to sleep last night feeling guilty, pained and even slightly embarrassed about what had just occurred. I feel the same way this morning that I used to feel after a night out drinking. I feel deep remorse and slight confusion over it all. I hate that I wasn't able to spend much quality time with anyone at the party. When left to look over all the left over food, the pile of beautiful/thoughtful presents, the amount of things that I had bought/created that were never used, and the sheer exhaustion and crankiness which ultimately led up to ungratefulness and sense of self righteousness and pride in my girls, I cried. I just began to think of all the people who have NOTHING and here we are sitting in abundance and feeling as though we deserve it. I am glad that my daughters and their friends had a great time. I just feel badly for neglecting what I have. I have an amazing circle of friends and family who care about us and love us. I have 3 beautiful, healthy, smart daughters, one of which is now 3 and believes in the depths of her being that 3 year olds use the potty and now lives by it (day 2). I have a husband who loves us deeply and does everything he can to provide for all our needs. We have all been blessed enough to bless each other with our time and gifts. The joys of this world are so fleeting and our time here is so short. There is a good chance that I will fall into this pit again as I do so love to create, make, focus, and dream big. I'm just hoping that I will put what is important first next time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Drumroll Please






Tomorrow is the big Wizard of Oz birthday party, and there is still a bunch of things to do. I need to assemble the 'Rainbow Birthday cake'. I made 6 white cakes: red, orange, yellow, gree, blue, and purple. I will be cutting them in half and layering them to make two 6 half layer cakes. I will be covering them with blue frosting (sky), a little rainbow and a number 3 candle. I will also have green macaroni & cheese and Toto hot dogs (teeney weenies) among other things. I also need to cut doors and windows in Emerald City. Here are a few pictures of some of the stuff I've finished: The Wicked Witch's legs, Tinman party hats, Cowardly Lion Apple Toss, Dorothy's costume, Yellow Brick Road and lolipops as big as your fist. I've finished much more, but instead of snapping pictures, I need to buckle down. We're expecting close to 50 people (98% family) and it is now supposed to rain. I had planned a route around my yard, but it looks like I'm going to need to regroup on a few things. I may even need to make a rain date.

Lesson in the process of being learned:
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Helping Out in End Times



If there is any doubt in your mind that the End Times of the Bible are closer than ever, just watch this and recall the words of Luke 21:10-11.

Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

One of my dearest heart friends is teaching in Manila. She has been experiencing these things first hand. If your heart prompts you to help, please do. The Earth is beginning to experience the pains of labor as we move closer to Christ's return. We must become doulas to those hardest hit. If we can't physically or financially participate, we must find it in our hearts to pray and believe that it is all happening for the Glory of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

I have also been referred to my friend's church (http://victoryfort.org/)to help financially. Please keep the people of Manila in your prayers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

From Lunch Box to Lunch Bag


The face of school lunch has changed drastically since I was a kid. Growing up in the days of Captain Kangaroo, The Muppet Show (my personal favorite), and Romper Room, the average homemade lunch would be in a plastic lunchbox with a huge plastic thermos which left very little room for anything but a sandwich and small snack. Our food would basically cook in the heat of our cubbies and generally stunk up the whole cafeteria when they were opened. Now a days, the homemade lunch looks much different. In my quest to go a little greener, I have come across a couple of things for my Bird's lunch that I would like to share with you. Firstly, the plastic cartoon character lunchbox has been replaced with the ecofriendly lunch bag. A few years ago, I found this . Bird and Bean both have the pink one with their names embroidered on the top. The only problem is that they are probably not BPA or lead-free (not things I was even aware of at the time I found them). This has a little compartment to put an ice pack to keep things cool. Genius. Instead of the huge plastic thermos, I found this . It's a little small and pricey, but it is nontoxic and cute. I also have opted against paper napkins and instead let Bird pick out 5 different pretty washclothes (one for each day of school). The only two problems I am currently wrestling with now are finding the actual food containers. Currently, I am using small plastic storage containers for most of her food (again less trash, but not necessarily non toxic), and wax paper for her sandwiches (more trash, not as toxic (I hope)). I honestly thought that I would have to settle, until now. I found this site . They have containers AND food kozies, who would have ever thought. They sell the whole lunch bag set!!!! They are beautiful and well priced. Who knew I could have avoided all that frustration by just one click of the mouse? How did I find this amazing website? Through a giveaway at my friend, Tracey's site . Check it out. I really hope to win the set of stainless steel containers, but, you can bet your buttons, if I don't, I will be using the 15% discount and I will be purchasing a set of those kozies, no matter what.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Faux Pas

I just committed a horribly embarrassing world wide web faux pas! One of the blogs I follow is giving something away (a gorgeous day planner for 2010) and all you have to do is leave a comment, which I did, TWICE!!!! Now, not only do I look like an idiot, I look greedy. Basically, my computer burped after I sent the first one, and it had a message on my screen about disconnecting from the site I was on. When I went back, my post wasn't there, so I decided to try again. I basically wrote the same thing (even more embarrassing) but (come to find out) with many more spelling errors (horrors!!)!!! After my computer burped again with the same messgae, I checked back only to find the TWO of them. I thought about posting an apology, but decided that would just make things worse. So here I am to blog it out. That's what these things are for right? Time to move on, nobody's been hurt, if I don't win, they'll never think of me again...I hope.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Time Has Come

I woke up this morning with aching joints, a sore scratchy throat, and sharp pains in my ear, head and neck. I believe my time has come. Although Mommy being sick doesn't stop the spinning of the world, it certainly seems to slow it down a bit. Why is it that everyone else is healthy, strong and completely wound up from days of being in bed, and then I get sick. This isn't going to be pretty people. Pray for me, my 'sick socks', my Tylenol, and most of all my family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For Every Season


Since Bird was home 'sick', yesterday, I took the opportunity to start to switch our clothes from summer to winter. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that Bird was sick when I picked her up from school, but all yesterday's activity told me otherwise. To find out last night that she had a temp of 100.0 still, baffled me. Upon waking up this morning to the same (even after another night of 'sick socks') just didn't seem right. After some diagnostic testing, the verdict is that the temporal thermometer is broken. Bean had pulled the tip off and replaced it after I had taken Bird's temp a few days ago. So, with a day of us all stuck at home, 'sick', moving clothes it was. I have to admit that after 5 years and three kids, I have finally gotten the system down. I am blessed to have quite a bit of storage in my basement (being as it is unfinished). I have a storage tote for each size: 0-6, 6-18, 24-2T, 3T, 4/4T, 5, & 6+. The 6+ is for all the clothes that people give us that have not yet been designated a tote of their own because nobody is big enough to wear them. At one point, I tried to even separate summer from winter, but I realized that I usually hang on to at least 3-4 outfits from the previous season to help make the transition smoother. There is nothing worse than having an unusually warm day in October, and no short sleeve shirts to celebrate. I begin with Bird, I clear everything out of her dresser and closet and fold them out into sizes/seasons. I bring up the totes for whatever size is in her closet/drawers and the next size up. I pick out a few key items from this season to hold onto, and try on things from the next size to see where we're at. This year, Beanbag had more things than would fit in her drawers and closet, so I let her go 'shopping'. I picked out anything that was stained or I didn't quite like and set them aside. Ithen let her pick out what she liked and packed the rest back into the tote (Bunny may have different taste by 3T). Today it's my stuff and Bunny's stuff. Going through Bunny's stuff always makes me sad because I realize it may be the last time I'm seeing these things. Whether we decide to have another child or not, there is no guarantee that it would be another girl. My clothes on the other hand are depressing for a whole different reason. Because of my constant increase (maternity/ size 22 at my largest) and decrease (size 6 at my smallest) in sizes the past 5 years, it's always a chance drawing on what actually fits and corresponds with the season. Pray for me and my current endeavour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sick Socks


I need to send the greatest internet shout-out ever to my friend, Tracey for her post yesterday. It was perfect timing. I'm one of the many people that Tracey had recommended this treatment to a while back. It is known as the "Wet Sock Treatment", but around these parts, they're known as "Sick Socks". I can't believe that I forgot about "sick socks". They were what got us through our usual tri-annual sick phases last year in record time. Our first tri-annual sick phase is when it starts warming up and things start growing and the pollen is thick in the air. Our second tri-annual sick phase is now, when things start cooling off, dying, and decomposing. Our third tri-annual sick phase is when we start the wood stove (our primary source of heat). Each phase lasts about 3 weeks each. Last year it was maybe a week each, and we avoided Beanbag's tri-annual visit to the ER for croup. How could I forget something so detrimental to our well-being? I'm going to blame it on my post-partum mama brain (or lack thereof). For the past week or two we've all been experiencing a sniffle here, a cough there, a few sinus headaches, a twinge of a sore throat, but yesterday, Bird got sent home from school with a fever. I have to be quite honest with you, fevers freak me out. I only have 3 kinds of over the counter medicine readily available in my home: homeopathic eardops, homeopathic cough syrup (for Beanbag's croup, which also freaks me out), and Tylenol for every age group. After reading Tracey's post, I was reminded of the first time she had told me about "sick socks". Everyone in my house had been sick for about two weeks with no end in sight. Bean had just started barking, Bird was throwing up, and I had the worst headache (it may have been because I was sick or it could have been from listening to Sug complain about how sick he was, either way). I have been friends with Tracey for years and although some of the stuff she comes up with may seem a little off the wall, they are very rarely wrong. So, I collected clean white cotton socks for all of us, the hard part was the wool socks for the kiddos. Besides ordering them from L.L.Bean (which don't have them, but Rugged Bear does), I couldn't think of a place, locally that would sell such things, so I headed out to our local Salvation Army store and bought a wool sweater. I cut off each sleeve and made two pairs of kids wool socks out of them. They may not be pretty, but they work. We all hated putting the ice cold wet socks on our feet, but by morning, when they were dry and we felt better (and slept so well) there was no going back. Yesterday when I picked Bird up at school she had a temperature of 100.8 (30 minutes after being given Tylenol). She was asleep on the floor when I went to pick her up and she continued to sleep until 6:30 when I woke her up to eat something. I then gave her a bath and set the "sick socks" to work. She immediately fell back to sleep. Bird woke up this morning with a a temperature of 100.0, but she's feeling much better. I will be using them again tonight and keeping her home from school again tomorrow, but Thursday...it's on. Thanks again Tracey.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thank God

I just wanted to use this post to thank God for being God. Who am I that HE (the Creator of Heaven and Earth) should care to even acknowledge me, never mind care for me and love me and be so abundantly patient with me. I am so ungrateful and dense for all that He has given me and to the plans He has for me and my family. It may sound ridiculous to thank someone for being themselves, because I guess they just are who they are. I am thankful for God's sovereignty, His holiness, His perfect love, His listening ears, His giving hands, His plans for salvation for here on Earth as well as eternity, His holy word, His encouragement, His wisdom, His patience, and His consistency. There is no way I could list it all, but for this small moment in time I am truly thankful.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Olivia


I just had to share some words of wisdom that I overheard on the cartoon Olivia, a few minutes ago.
Olivia was explaining to a friend, that she would like a ferret as a pet, but couldn't have one because "My mom says that 3 kids, a dog, a cat, and a goldfish is enough." (Olivia's mom, I hear you, sister! I couldn't have said it better myself)
Olivia's brother asked his friend what he would like to be when he grows up. His friend responded "I'm just trying to take one day at a time." (Speak it!)
Now that's quality programming!

Grasshopper


Earlier today, I took Bean and Bunny over to my father's house. As you may know we are planning a Wizard of Oz birthday party for Bean, and I needed some hay for all things Scarecrow. My father just had someone come to harvest his hay a few days ago so there is still quite a bit that can be raked up and bagged for our purposes. After stuffing 2 huge garbage bags full and loading us all back up into the car, we headed home. The ride home is literally 5 minutes (if you get stopped at the light). I had on the country music station and was lost in my own little world of song while Bean counted to 10 in Spanish over and over again (thank you,Dora). All of a sudden, blood curdling shrieks of panic filled my eardrums and fear filled my heart as I tried to figure out what was happening. Then, I saw it. It was sitting in Bird's booster seat right next to Bean, it was the biggest grasshopper ever. Maybe not quite, but it was a good 3" at least. Bean was scrunched up all the way to the other side of her carseat, crying, screaming, and gasping for breath. I pulled over as quickly as possible, wondering if grasshoppers had ears, and set our newest passenger free. This was one of those things that was way more entertaining after the fact. I'm actually still chuckling at the thought. I'm just glad the grasshopper didn't actually land on Bean or her carseat instead. This could be a much different post.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Projects

I've got a few projects and hopes of projects going on for the next couple of days. I've started my yellowbrick road for Beanbag's birthday party as well as sent out the evite. Almost everyone has responded and is coming! I have a 500 yd roll of yellow plastic table cloth material on which I am tracing a book with black Sharpie. It's coming out pretty well so far. Normally, I'd be totally against using that much plastic for anything, but I actually have plans to reuse it for our teepee. I've tried the cloth cover and it just grows mold way too quickly, this yellow brick road ahould be a perfect cover for it. I am also trying to take notes from "The Maker's Diet" so I can have the 'important stuff' set aside for review when necessary. I also have high hopes of baking some zucchini chocolate chip cookies with the plethera of zucchini I have accumulated from my crop share over the past 2 weeks. Finally, I have a friend who just had her first baby, and I have yet to pay a visit because Bird and Bean have had a little cough. I sent over dinner with the hubby, but today I hope to be able to drop off some 'hiney helper' to aid in her recovery. 'Hiney helper' is the name I gave to the tea soaked gauze pads that my midwife made for me. With comfrey, chamomile and raspberry leaf placed in the fridge/freezer, these pads soothe, cool and heal. So, in addition to getting the kiddies off and keeping up with some household stuff and my first day of BSF questions, it looks like I may have a very busy day! Oh, and I forgot to post that Bunny got her first tooth the other day!!!! It's really cute and there was no fuss or muss about it. I actually happened upon it by chance!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today is MY Day!


Today is the day I've been waiting for since Bunny was born. Today was my first day back to BSF. BSF stands for Bible Study Fellowship (International). About 8 years ago when I came to the realization that Jesus was the real deal, I had no church and really didn't want one until I knew what I believed. I wanted to choose a church based on my beliefs rather than beliefs based on my church. A friend of mine had encouraged me to join BSF. At that time, they had just begun a study of the book of John and I went. I have been in and out of the program (due to pregnancies and having young babies) ever since. I LOVE it. It is a 4 fold study/learning/training program. FOLD 1:You are given a question sheet that leads you through a portion of scripture each day for the week. Some questions are factual, some are conceptual and some are personal. It can get pretty deep and intense, in a good way. FOLD 2:Then, on BSF day, you go over the questions in your small group. This was really intimidating for me at first, because I didn't feel as though I knew much, but once I had realized that some of the more seasoned Christians were coming up with the same answers that I had, I really began to enjoy it. FOLD 3: Next, all the small groups get together for a lecture on the same things we've been studying and talking about. (I want to say that this is my favorite, but it's all my favorite) FOLD 4: Attached to the next weeks question sheet are 4-5 pages of notes. Talk about in depth study! Not only is this something that I look forward to, but they have a preschool program that is AMAZING. The kids actually learn the same things that the adults are learning....in preschool! As if that wasn't enough, we were informed today that they will be opening up classes for toddlers as well as infants (6 months +). The babies will be prayed over and the toddlers will be learning the same things as the adults and preschoolers! I can't wait. The infant program won't begin until January, but bet your buttons, Bunny will be one of the first babies on that list. This year, once again, we will be studying the book of John. Wow!!! The last time I did this study, I wasn't even engaged yet never mind married with 3 kids. I can't wait to look back on some of my old material to see what things God was revealing to me then and how it is similar to or totally different from what He's showing me now. BSF is an international worldwide program, they are everywhere! They can be found at . They are open to anyone who desires to study the Bible whether you are a church-goer or not. Check them out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hugs

Did you ever just want to hug someone so deeply that you were afraid you could squeeze them straight through?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Parenting 101

Don't you wish they had a class? Well, I guess they do. There are probably tons of classes, not to mention TV shows, books and movies on the subject. What most of these Parenting 101 venues fail to mention is that each and every kid, each and every parent, and therefore each and every family is different. Unfortunately for me, I love to study and read. In my childhood and growing up, I learned a lot about how NOT to raise children and how NOT to create a loving home. I am not mentioning this to be disrespectful or dishonoring to my mother, as she has admitted such and has asked to be forgiven for it. Granting her forgiveness may have been a whole lot harder to do if I hadn't already been a mother myself. Having a small outline of things NOT to do is a world away from having a small outline of things to do. So, my studious self decided to set out to finding the secret of parenting. No one resource had the answers I sought. Surprised? Believe it or not, I was. Even my beloved guide to life left me with more questions than answers. This weekend, we had the mother of all meltdowns at my house. The crying and screaming was atrociously embarrassing and the children were really misbehaving, too. They had us completely undone and pitted against one another. Not acceptable. We finally calmed down and held a family meeting. Mom and Dad are in charge by order of God Almighty Himself. We must discipline by order of His Holy Word. It may not be pretty, and we may not be making any friends in the process, but there is nothing to lead us to believe that being our child's friend is of any importance in the kingdom of God. Needless to say, we dropped the proverbial hammer. We started to bless the goodness and restrict the garbage. Right now, we are using money (dimes to be precise). This is very similar to the sticker system; good behavior earns stickers and when a specified amount is acquired, the child will receive a reward. We tried this, but my kids always ended up sticking the stickers to the floor or wherever and fighting over whose was prettier... So money it is. The children never actually receive the money, as I don't think they should be paid for good behavior, but they can use the money to 'buy' TV, computer or movie time. They can also share their dimes with their sibling in order to make a shared decision for something they couldn't afford separately. We're only 3 days deep, but with this system in addition to our scripture based "naughty wall", life has been totally bearable, dare I say enjoyable. This is what is working for us right now, in a month or two it could be different. I have faith that God will iron out all the details and when my children are old enough they, too, will be able to forgive their parents for not knowing exactly how to do it right. With God's refining power, by the time Jesus comes back, maybe someone in my lineage will have this parenting thing nailed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

36" 24" 36"


Well, not quite. Bunny is 5 months old, yet it feels as though I've been wearing nursing bras for an eternity. In my last trimester of being pregnant with Bird, I was so excited to try on the brand new, clean, crisp white bras with the little snap out middle that would soon be useful for feeding my newest little one. That was more than 5 years ago and being as I conceived Bean 1 week after weaning Bird and conceived Bunny 1 month after weaning Bean, those sweet little nursing bras have been working over time. For my past two pregnancies, I started wearing my nursing bras sometime in the first trimester. I started showing earlier and earlier and needed something more comfortable for my ever expanding rib cage and bustline. A few months ago, Bird saw me get out of the shower and, to quote a sad truth, exclaimed, "Wow Mommy, your boobahs are long!". Ten years ago my boobahs would have been described as anything but long, never mind the fact that they weren't even called boobahs. So here I am, 5 years and 3 well nursed/nursing babies later, with long boobahs. To add insult to injury, I have lost very little baby fat in my midsection and have been feeling as though the only thing holding my breasts up these days is my stomach. Pretty picture, ehh? It has all been bothering me for at least a couple of weeks now, so today was the day. I headed into the big city to have my first official bra fitting. I have no idea what size I am right now, and because I wanted something to hold me up and shape me (no more uni-boob), I figured I'd do better in the hands of a professional. Man, was I right. The bra I wore in was a wireless nursing bra that had seen better days, the one I walked out with was exactly the same size (a total coincidence), but with an underwire and a molded cup. This bra is pretty and does what it's supposed to do. I can still nurse with it, by popping my breast out of top of the cup, but I think I may save it for date nights and days when I'm expected to be around other people. I actually look a lot more like a woman than like a sad, old, overmilked cow.

I had a teacher in the fourth grade, Mrs. M. I loved her so much and thought she was so beautiful. Mrs. M was a full figured woman and during silent reading time, she would hold her book with one hand and set her cup of coffee (or it could have been vodka for all I know) on her large shelf like bosom. When she said the Pledge of Allegiance, it looked like she was holding down a couple of helium balloons. Please don't think I am writing this to be cruel or hurtful, because that is not the case. I wanted to be just as voluptuous and curvy as Mrs. M. Today, I can say that I may not be the same size as Mrs. M., but I have the comfortable confidence in this not quite size 2 body, that Mrs. M. had all those years ago. I would just like to thank God, Mrs. M., and the woman with the warm hands and measuring tape.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Good-Bye and God Bless


Today is the day that we are shipping our sock monkeys off to California! With a kiss and a prayer, they will be delivered into the hands of a child who will love them, not that my own children weren't willing to do so. They weren't perfect, but they were cute, and I learned how to do something new while helping out a great cause.

PS The guy on the left was finished before bed last night.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soccer


I admit my ignorance. I don't know a dang thing about soccer. My brother played in high school and there was always a week or three of it in gym class, so I get the general rules of the game. When it comes to outfitting a 5 year old soccer player, I'm totally lost. Cleats- my 5 year old really needs shoes with spikes on the bottom....all the better to hurt your sister with, my dear. Shin Guards- I had to call my MIL about this (she's been coaching soccer for about 20 years now). Her response was "they basically need to cover the shin". How high/ How low? Do they come in pink? Where do they sell them? Today's mission has been set before me. I've measured Bird's shin, 7 or 8 inches long, and have 3 store suggestions. Pray for me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

God is Faithful


When Sug and I were looking to buy a house, I was completely overwhelmed. Bird was almost 2 and I was pregnant with Bean, and I loved EVERY house we saw. Sug was only interested in looking at houses from only 2 different towns and scheduled all the rest for me to see during the week. Now, I had been in prayer about a house for a while and I truly wanted to follow God's lead as I know He had the perfect place for us. I know that in following the path God has set before me, I can be quite dense, so I asked Him to make it abundantly clear as to where He wanted us. After weeks upon weeks of what seemed like silence, I finally knew that we would be paying a specific certain amount for our home. The control freak in me then began to only look at houses in that particular price range. I totally believed God, or so I thought. During this particular time, I was also trying to trust God in my marriage. Submission is a dirty word in my book, or at least it was until I really started practicing it. After a few more weeks, I knew that my husband was supposed to choose our home, and no matter what he chose, or for what reason he chose it, the house he picked was the one. Now, I may take God at His word and know within the depths of my being that it is true, but you can believe me that I had quite a conversation with God on that subject. After finally submitting my will to that of the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth, and subsequently, my husband, we found a house online that was quite a bit out of our price range. When we went to see it, there were about 10 other people with us. The stench of urine burned your eyes and nostrils about 15 feet before you even go into the house. The entire house (except the bathroom) was covered in carpet that had obviously not been vacuumed for a LOOOOONNNNGG time. In one of the back rooms, there was a tree/shrub/bush that had grown in through the open window. The bathroom had a stack of wet towels leaning up against the wall that was up to my chin and reeked of mildew and mold. In the master bedroom, there was a piddle pad for the dogs on the floor surrounded by 3-4 piles of dog poop. The amount of cobwebs and dust would naturally lead one to believe that the house was abandoned, but the sink full of dirty dishes told another story. Finally, we were led into the basement which to quote the high-heeled big haired supermodel standing beside me "it smells like raw sewage, I'm sure that is raw sewage... I gotta get out of here." My thoughts exactly, sister! After walking through the house a second time, I knew it. He hadn't said anything yet, but I knew this THIS was the house Sug was going to want to buy and I knew God wanted me to go along with it! WHAT?!? There was no way, I must have heard God all wrong. You can bet your...bottom dollar that I went straight to God with that, right there and then, while I stood in the driveway and my husband and beloved real estate agent trekked through the waist high grass to find the exact parameters of the property. I think I recall our conversation going something like this: "God, I love you, but you have got to be crazy. I have a little girl to think about and a baby on the way. We can't live here. There is a plastic tote full of tub, shower and sink water in the basement that is being pumped into the backyard where my kids are supposed to play. It's out of our price range anyway (scary but true), and I'm beyond sure that you don't want me or anyone in my family to die of Lyme's disease. I am so pregnant that I can't even help with any work that this house would need and being the super nurser (I don't mean that I'm a great nurser, I just mean that I do it a lot for a decent period of time)that I am, it will be quite sometime before I can help. (then my sensibilities kicked in and I remembered who I was talking to) But God, if you made this for us and it's ours to have, I need a couple of things. Firstly, I need something...anything...to hold onto as a sign of hope. I also need the actual price of the house to be THE number, or I will be convinced that it is not from you and that it should be passed by. Thirdly, I need to know that no matter what, we will be able to pay the mortgage. And, what is the name of this post? Amen, He is, God is Faithful. During the second walk through of the house, the person who lived there was home and gave us her own tour, explaining everything. They had tried to make the house as undesirable as possible because they didn't want to move, her parents, the owners, had informed them quite matter of factly and there was quite a bit of bitterness and hostility in the air over it. She then began to show us all the fruit trees and the little porch swing that was covered in junk and finally, the answer to my prayer, a little side porch that went completely unnoticed because of the overgrown brush that covered it (which come to find out was actually the most beautiful thicket of Wisteria). On the top of this little porch were two of the most beautiful little stained glass windows. This was my something. My anything. From that point forward, I was on board. No shocker, we paid exactly what I knew we would for the house. Three years later,(2 weeks ago)our house is actually our home. Septic system fixed, hardwoods installed, field mowed regularly, bathroom replaced, we are at home. Don't get me wrong, there is still so much that needs to be done, but either way, it is our home. Oh, and the whole point of this post? God has been faithful to provide each and every payment thus far despite my husband throwing his back out and being on TDI for an entire summer, and me being in my current state of unemployment. Our mortgage is due on the first. We had $112 in the bank and still needed groceries. Yesterday, a friend of ours called to drop off some money he owed my husband. Sug has been helping this friend clean out properties that have been foreclosed. This friend, had sold one of these properties and in addition to the usual hourly rate, included a bonus which totalled to this month's mortgage payment!!! He is Faithful. He is Good. He is our Creator and Sustainer. As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, these are things I should expect and know, but it's always nice to be reminded.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Greening the Cleaning


It works out perfectly. My husband's birthday is the first week if September. In order for me to have people over for his birthday (which is also the birthday of my twin sisters), I need to clean my house. In my world, cleaning is VERY different from straightening up. Straightening up is done 1-3 times a week and includes throwing all the toys in the playroom, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and occasionally dusting. Cleaning happens 2-4 times a year and consists of walking around to each room with a bucket of supplies, vacuuming screens, dusting ceilings and the like. Since I got pregnant with Bunny, I started becoming a little more aware of what I've been doing to the environment. I've slowly been replacing our household cleaning products (bleach, ammonia, Lysol...) with all natural, frugal, and environmentally friendly products (baking soda, vinegar, soap nuts, Mrs Meyers...). It's been pretty difficult to convince the hubby that vinegar and water is just as effective as Windex, so I've been a little devious and when the Vinegar Windex bottle was empty, I just refilled it with vinegar and water, and we are both satisfied. (Because I confessed this to the cyberworld, the next time I see him using it, I will have to confess it to him as well.) Today, I'm really excited to clean because it is the first time I will be using only all natural products to clean (not including my toothbrush and sponge). I've been using soap nuts for my laundry detergent, but yesterday I whipped up a batch of concentrated soap nut cleaner. I found the recipe here: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/09/using-soap-nuts-for-household-cleaning.html. And since I will be using it in conjunction with my Lemon Verbena scented Mrs. Myers, I will be adding a splash of lemon juice to my mixture. I will also be washing Bunny's dirty diapers with it. Yeah yeah what a day! I may have to take before and after pictures, but they will never make it here as I don't want the world to see the before pictures.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jam


We've been living in our own little Garden of Eden for about 3 years now. Our approximately 2 acre property has a mini assortment of free growing fruits. We have pears, peaches, grapes, apples, strawberries, crabapples, blueberries, and raspberries. Usually, we only have enough grapes, pears and crabapples to do any canning without having to use some from the supermarket or farmers market, but this year, we had more than enough peaches, too!!! Not only was I able to make a substantial batch of jam, but I still have enough ripening on the counter to can as they are for winter! I have been messing around with jelly and jam recipes since we moved in and only this year did I find the perfect (any fruit) jam recipe. I found it at my favorite site www.allrecipes.com but the specific site for the jam is http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Jam/Detail.aspx.

Here's the basic jist of the recipe:
4 cups of fruit (mashed)
4 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice

Fill your canning pot with water and start it on a high temperature burner so that it will be boiling by the time the jam is ready. Place 3 dishes in the freezer to test the consistency of the jam. Mix all ingredients in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Set the heat to boil, as the pot and ingredients are heating continue to stir occasionally until the sugar has melted and the pot is at a rolling boil, then stir continuously for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, take a teaspoonful of the jam and put it on one of the plates that had been placed in the freezer. Run your finger through the jam. If the jam runs back together, continue to let it boil for another 2-3 minutes, and try again. If not, turn off the heat and continue to stir until the jam has stopped boiling. Put into clean sterilized jars and begin your canning process.

I love this recipe because I don't have to mess with pectin and the sugar to fruit ratio is 1:1 as opposed to most recipes which are usually 7:4. It is perfect as far as sweetness and consistency go, and you can always make it a little runny to use as an ice cream or waffle topping.

Easy peasy and super delicious. This year for Christmas, each of my husband's siblings and their families will be getting a basket of fresh jams and homemade bread as well as homemade personalized aprons for each of the children. So far, I've made strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and peach. Within the next week or so, our apples will be done, and it looks like I won't have to add any of them from the market this year either!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Smelling Like Roses


So here it is....Since having children, I have yet to have a day that I end up smelling like roses. 15 days ago I began a mission to have one day (not even a 24 hour period, just from 6AM-8PM) that I did not have to deal with poop. I know I still have to change Bunny's diapers, but does she need to decide to do her happy dance just in time to get it on her foot and kick it all over my arm? And I know that Beanbag is potty training, but do I have to find out that she had an accident by sitting down in the exact chair that she pooped herself in? And I know Chloe hates me, but can't she just prove it by eating out of the trash again instead of stepping in a pile of the stuff she left in the middle of my kitchen floor? And I know I need to clean out the litter box, but why is there poop on the outside of it? And then there was the day of the mystery poop, which still goes unresolved. I was cleaning the house and while vacuuming the living room, I noticed a smudge on my arm, which was most definitely poop. Where it came from, I have no idea. I just have to chalk it up to another poopy day. Today has already been crossed off of the potentially poop free day, but there's always tomorrow. I have been praising God for things like baking soda, vinegar, soap nuts, and anti bacterial hand sanitizer as well as hiney wipes, paper towels and house rags. The first day without poop will be a cause for celebration, but I know that the first year without poop will be a cause of sadness and reminiscence of days gone by. Everybody is going to have a crappy day, and today is just one day in a long string of crappy days, and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Party Planning


I LOVE to plan parties. In college, I used to house sit for my German professor. She has the most amazingly beautiful home that is perfect for entertaining. I would throw huge extravagant dinner parties there, taking a week or two to plan the guest list and dinner menu. Then came the mother of all parties, my wedding. Months upon months of planning and accommodating the needs and wishes of all involved. It wasn't always pretty or perfect, but I had a great time and so did my guests. The skinny dipping in the hotel pool which had glass walls facing the completely full lobby was sign enough for me. Now it's time to have parties for my girls. I so look forward to them and put so much energy into them that I've decided that thy have to rotate major birthday parties (family parties). My husband is 1 of 8 children almost all of which are married and have children of their own. I also let my girls invite the same number of friends (and their parents) as it is their new age, so "family parties" tend to get a little large. So far, only Birdie has had a family party, as a matter of fact, she's had 3. We celebrate their first birthdays with just us, small and intimate, recalling the special day that they joined the family and our lives were changed. Beanbag is going to be 3 next month and has yet to have a family party. So, it's time to start planning. The theme? The Wizard of Oz!!! How fun!!! My girls love the Wizard of Oz, Annie, Mary Poppins, Little House on the Prairie... Any of these would have been great, but the Wizard of Oz can be incredible. Imagine a rainbow arch of balloons, Find the Lollipop in the Scarecrow's Straw Patch, Pin the Heart on the Tin man, Cowardly Lion Beanbag Toss, huge spiral lollipops, the Yellow Brick Road, The Emerald City, characters galore!!! I am amped!!! Let's get this party started. Today's the day to firm up the guest list. It's a "family party", so the family will be invited, but should I allow her to invite her whole preschool class or just 3 friends? If I invite her preschool class, I may also allow her to invite 3 friends as well, because by then, what does it matter? Oh I look forward to the thoughts and ideas that I will be experiencing today!!! Got to go, I'm off to see the Wizard!

PS Bean's birthday isn't until October. I know I'm nuts.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Tale of A Tail


While sitting in the car, waiting to leave our fabulous cabin in Maine, Birdie asked where her daddy was. I responded that Daddy had to use the potty before we left. She then asked if daddy sat down when he used the potty. Beanbag quickly responded with "Hims can't sit on the potty, hims has a tail."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Survived

I dropped my small daughter off at a building full of people that I have never met, with little more than a bag lunch and a few .art supplies. My heart and mind were completely confounded as she slid smoothly into the line of other small children, face forward, eyes intent. Her strides toward a building she had barely set her foot in, were strong and long, keeping in pace with all the others. She was all business. Her last words to me still hung in the air like a dense fog. Her words revealed more of her compassionate, kind, loving heart than I could stand. "Mommy, I'm going to bring home lots of pictures. I'm going to draw a picture of each kid in my class and I will tell you all of their names. They will be my friends, so I'll tell you who they are.....OK, Mommy. I'll have fun. I love you." Although, we had a busy day, my thoughts were with her and what she might be doing at any given moment. How was she being treated and how was she treating others? Was she being shy or bold? Was she going to be able to open her new thermos all by herself? And if not, would she be brave enough to ask for help? From 2-3:00 was one of the longest hours of my life. My husband and I piled into the car with Bean and Bunny. I tried to keep it cool, but ended up in an argument with the hubby when he jumped out of the car to get her and expected me to sit in the car and wait EVEN LONGER with our other girls while he just ran in. After a few short moments, he relented and opted to stand outside of the car with the camera poised. I stepped into the small cafeteria, my eyes scanned the crowd of children, parents and teachers hoping to catch a glimpse of Birdie talking with a new friend or staring back at me with wide eyes and a smile that couldn't fit her face. Instead, I had to lean around a group of adults who obviously knew each other and were having a fine time recollecting, to finally see her. There she sat on that cool metal bench that ran along the picnic style lunch tables, all by herself. She was looking at her shoes or her hands and she looked like the tiniest little child ever made. It took her a moment to see me and it was perfect. Her eyes were bright and smiling while her grin lit up the entire room. "It was a great day, Mama! Where are Daddy, Bean and Bunny? I want to show them my new bag." I survived, I survived all of it, and even more importantly, she thrived and can't wait until Monday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kindergarten


Today is Birdie's first day of Kindergarten and it's nothing but waterworks over here. She doesn't even seem to realize that I need for her to eat the breakfast I made. I also need her to let me help her get dressed. I guess I'm just supposed to sit back and smile at how self sufficient she is becoming, and take heart in the fact that she's ready to be away from her Mama for a long day at school. She's really living up to her nickname today, and my heart vacillates between feeling like it is being torn from my chest and swelling with intangible amounts of pride. God has to keep reminding me that she is His and He loves her even more than I do. Today, He promises to keep her safe and brave. I can't ask for more than that. The God of the Universe will be watching over her and keeping her safe and brave. He does this every day, but He also knows that I need the reassurance.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Maine

All packed, ready to roll. Vacation in Maine here we come!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Gift of Marriage


Last night at my bible group, we were helping a sister walk through something,and I had the opportunity to share something that God had shown me a little while back. Until this year, my marriage has been really hard (not just for me, I'm sure). We both came in with a lot of baggage and attitude, which is not a good recipe for a healthy long lasting marriage. But, we did do one thing right. We asked God to be part of our marriage and a cord of three is not easily broken, especially if one of your cords is the Creator of the Universe. Both of us were very unhappy, but marriage was not designed to make you happy, it was designed to make you holy. Our whole purpose on Earth is to strive through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be more like Jesus everyday. If being married doesn't teach you forgiveness, patience, long suffering, and self control; I'm pretty sure that nothing on Earth will. Some may think that having kids teaches you those things, but raising children is what tests them (my theory on why God wants us to be married before having children). Anyway, in a particularly hard time in our marriage God gave me a special gift of understanding. He helped me realize that of all the people on all the planet, I am the only one who is allowed to love my husband the way that Jesus would if He were here. It's a huge honor, because God loves my husband so much, He wanted to give him someone to love him like He would. And that's ME! I'm meant to be a gift and a blessing! I also realized that revoking that privilege would be detrimental to me, my husband, our marriage, and our family. It makes sense doesn't it? No matter how hard or yucky our marriage has been, if I ever saw my husband being hugged in a deeply loving and comforting way by someone else, or if he felt more comfortable sharing his thoughts and feelings with someone else; man, woman, or camel, I'd be devastated and deep down I would know that it was because I was not fulfilling my purpose as a gift from God to my husband. No one is allowed to love him like I do. Anyway, there it is, pulled from the archives to benefit some else. Oh wait, I think I really needed to know that again. Maybe instead of keeping it in the archives to pull out for others, I will start trying to keep that at the forefront of my mind, and just maybe my marriage will continue to prosper. Novel idea, let's go with that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today

Whose day am I going to let this be? Mine? or God's? My day will consist of my daily choeres like feeding and dressing everyone, as well as, cleaning the playroom and bedrooms, bringing Bunny to her doctor's appointment, dropping some stuff off to a friend, packing, somehow squeezing my last bible study homework page in, and to be finished off with a meeting with my bible group. God's day will consist of humor, beauty, joy, challenges, surprises, and maybe even a miracle or two. Whose day is it going to be? I'm looking forward to what God has planned for me, today. Oh, and tomorrow, I may even try it again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fleas

I wish it weren't so. Just yesterday I found 2 fleas on our Lil Mo Cat. If this wasn't the week it is, this could have meant total devestation of our home. Since we moved in to our house 3 years ago, we have been battling fleas. The people who owned the house before us had quite a few animals and a houseful of flea infested carpeting. The first thing we did when we moved in was tear up that nasty carpet and put in hardwood floors. That should have solved our flea problem, right? Apparently not. Evidently, the fleas were so bad that they had been living in the insulation under the floor and ended up taking over our house. It was so bad that we bombed our house 3 times last summer. This summer has been so much better, there hadn't been a trace of fleas until yesterday. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the summer, Mo had an allergic reaction to the all natural flea repellant I put on her and she had to start taking antibiotics. I'm a little frightened to put Frontline on her, but I can't have her riddled with fleas either. Thankfully, we are going on vacation. Mo will be going to my father's and Chloe will be going to the kennel. I'm going to bathe them both and treat them with Frontline before I send them off and we will be bombing the house while we're gone. It's a bummer that this has come up again, but the timing is perfect. Thank you, God.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Color of Money


It is only too obvious that the color of America's currency is the same color people get when they are filled with envy...Green. Coincidence, I think not. The basic premise is that we all want what other people have, especially in the green department. I have to admit, there are days that I wish I had the money to buy an electric wheat grinder instead of using my hand grinder, but I think there is something to be said for the results of hard work. I didn't grow up with money and at times it was hard, but it makes you resourceful and innovative. When my husband and I began our lives journey together, we decided that we would rather be poor and raise our own children than be working our tails off to have a little extra coin and pay to have someone else raise our kids. That's what works for us, and I had a heads up that our financial life would be where it is. This blog entry is not going to be about how I want money, but more so a small complaint about those who have a little too much money. Why is it that those who have the least tend to give the most? I have quite a few people in my life who are not nearly as financially challenged as we are who hold on to their money as if it's all they have. These are the people who complain when the price of milk goes up and you know that extra 7 cents a week is far from destroying them. Now, I have been the beneficiary of quite a few things that my wealthier friends and family members no longer have a use for. We have literally only purchased 7 pieces of furniture for our whole house. Needless to say, thankful is an understatement. I'm just having a problem understanding how people who have money complain about it so much. Even more perplexing is that they would complain about it to someone in my financial situation. Instead of being green with jealousy or envy, I'm turning a little red with anger. I just want to scream out, "Well I doubt you cry when you pay your bills, or pray for a miracle so that your mortgage gets paid, or even hold off on buying shoes until you're sure that everything else has cleared! I don't care that you're upset about the extra 5 cents that gas went up since last week. I have to pay for that too!" I'm not usually this worked up about money, but I had a small incident this morning with a family member who fits this profile, and has asked me (that's right, me) for help so that he/she can save a little money ($1.50/month to be precise). Of course, I will help out in any way that I can. I just need to put on my rose colored glasses and flash my pearly whites. I am so thankful for this outlet to get my thoughts straight so that I don't confront others with my initial thoughts. Thank God for providing ways to change our hearts, even if it's for the love of money.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Social Butterfly


It's amazing what a little sunshine and fresh air will do. Even though my girls and I tend to flit around here and there quite often, it's usually also quite solo. We go places like the supermarket, the farmer's market, Uncle Brother's, doctor's appointments, to a friend's house, quick trips to the playground, visiting friends and family out of state, things like that, very rarely do we do anything with buddies. I have to admit the fact that my car can only fit my family is a bit of a hindrance, but not this weekend. This weekend was awesome! We started our weekend on Friday and I'm just waking up from it today. On Friday, we went to the local fair with a great friend and her two kiddos. This is the friend who introduced me to cloth diapers and got my fires burning about getting better acquainted with my sewing machine. This friend also makes her own bread and lives a frugal lifestyle in order to be a SAHM. This friend has also known me and been my friend for...let's just say over 10 years. This friend had a nice warm bar stool next to mine and can share the stories about me that I don't want my kids to hear. Unfortunately, this friend also live out of state and bopping by each others' houses is pretty much out of the question. This tends to be the trend with me. The people I feel closest to, aside from my bible group and my family, live the farthest away. I can't complain though. As soon as I see them again it's like we were never apart. We made plans to get together and check out a movie soon without kids! Anyway, we ended up staying at the fair for 8 hours! That's like a job! In all actuality, it wasn't. The kids were amazing and had a great time. Birdie was helping Bean on and off all the rides, they were holding hands and waiting patiently in lines. It was amazing. we then headed over to my sister and brother-in-laws new house. They had just bought it and we decided to stop by and show them some love and support on the big job of starting their married life without roommates finally. We also committed to being there on the actual moving in day to help out. On Saturday, we visited with some more old friends, this time it was on the hubby's side. His next door neighbor from childhood got back from his 5th?!?! tour in Iraq and has finally decided to settle down. We went to their house for a BBQ and ended up leaving with an invite to their rehearsal dinner next week! Yes, they're actually getting married on Friday night, so we were planning on coming back early from our Maine vacation, now we're just coming home a day earlier than that and Sug's heart is filled with love and appreciation for a friend he started to feel separated from. Yesterday, we visited some more friends, these friends are in the transition from party animals to parents. Daddy-to-be is over the moon about it and has been practicing his baby soothing techniques on our little Bunny. D-T-B actually met me at my car to talk all about the childbirth education class they had just finished on Saturday! This isn't all that odd as I have been attending births as a doula in training for over 7 years now (gosh, that's way too long, I've got to get that thing nailed down). In speaking with Mama-to-be, there seem to be some concerns (obviously) over which battles are worth fighting with the docs who want to schedule a c-section 2 weeks before she is even due, because she has gestational diabetes. Needless to say, I offered my services right there and then without even talking to Sug, come to find out at the same exact time, he had offered me up to D-T-B for the same thing. I now have a date to bring over some materials and answer any/all the questions they still have. Now, I don't know if anyone noticed, but I have at least 6 engagements on my calendar (although the baby's birth is written in pencil), not to mention that as soon as we get back from Maine, my friend from Germany will be here for a visit!! (see what I mean about long distance friendships) All of a sudden, I'm some sort of a social butterfly, and it's with a whole bunch of people I love and feel comfortable to be myself around. I don't know how it happened, but this one weekend set the stage for a whole lot of fun and fellowship and all I had to do was leave my house!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Rubber Meets the Road


How exactly does one give their past over to God? I should know the answer to this as a majority of my past is His for the keeping. I understand that I have been forgiven and that my life experiences will be used to help others in some way. I know that He wants us to forgive, but not necessarily forget. He doesn't want us to be tortured by memories or guilt or shame. He wants us to be truly repentant and turn our lives over to Him so that He can make us more like Christ Jesus. He's in the business of changing broken lives around. My God is a testimony maker. That being said, why can't I give him my childhood? He's walked me through it over and over again and it gets easier and easier each time,until...He asks me to give it to Him. How can I let Him have THAT? I need to be afraid so that I can keep the same things from happening to my children. I need to be on guard at all times so that I don't suffer the same shocking fate as my mother. I need to be wary of people in order to protect my family and myself. Doesn't God understand that? How can He even think of taking that away? Fear, anger, resentment are all things He's healed me from in the past. Why can't I let this go? Jesus, my Lord and King, is asking for my garbage and junk so that He can make it beautiful. I know that He will, He's done it many times over. Why is this one so hard? How easy would it be for me to just blame Satan, but I'm the one holding the great neon sign that says "If you want to keep me paralyzed from prospering God's kingdom in any way, push THIS button" with an arrow pointing to the absurdly large flashing button that is my childhood. I know I can trust Him with this, so why don't I? How do I distinguish the Holy Spirit's prompting from my own personal blockade of fear? Well, if the fear is gone, there will be only one voice, that WOULD make it easier. I know that I will have to pry my fingers off this thing daily, but with His help it might not be so bad, right? I guess, with that thought, I'm beginning another mission from God. I know it's from Him because it's hard and I don't want to do it, but it will be life changing and epic. It will be one of the many places I can build an Ebenezer in my walk with Him, so maybe the next time He wants something from me it won't be as difficult as it is right now. Praise God for His Glory and Grace. For this moment my childhood is His and although my eyes are stinging and the tears are flowing, it feels good to be set free, if only for a short while. Thank you, God for showing me my junk. I can only get through this mission with you at the helm. Please lead and guide me along your path to complete freedom. Praise you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mommy Sex


Yes, I said it...Mommy Sex. In my life, the two words are complete contradictions, not because I wrestle with that Madonna/Whore thought process and the necessary mental jumps that tend to accompany that, but because I'm a mommy and I'm tired, and sex (if done properly) is a lot of work. My husband and I recently had a passive aggressive joking spat about our sex life. Now, as a Christian, I believe that after loving God with all my heart, mind, body, and soul; I need to love my husband and respect the bonds of marriage above all else. This includes sex on a regular basis. Unfortunately, being a Christian and believing something doesn't automatically make it happen. I have hundreds of excuses and some of them are quite valid: Bunny sleeps either in our bed (to nurse once or twice a night) or in the hanging crib next to our bed, Beanbag wakes up at least once during the night and needs to be snuggled back to sleep or she'll begin screaming at the top of her lungs waking everybody up which results in being awake for hours (not to mention hubby's temper tantrum from being woken up), and Birdie and Chloe have something against anyone sleeping any later than 6:45....the list is endless, but most of it revolves around the reality of sleep deprivation. The recent spat began after Sug thought it was a good idea to put the "moves" on me at 5AM. Although he thought he was awake because of his unbridled passion for me, it was actually because I was just climbing back into bed after putting a fully nursed Bunny down in her crib. I had already been up twice with Beaner, twice with Bunny, and neither of the big girls went to sleep until 11PM (Ridiculous). Needless to say, Sug's enthusiasm far exceeded mine. A few minutes into our little make out session, Beanbag wakes up screaming....again. I had to "go, go, before she wakes everyone else up!". Later that day, I was confronted with the jokingly said statement of "How can I make myself more attractive to you, I'm already the best looking guy I know. It would be nice to be surprised by you every once in a while." I can only assume that everyone knows exactly what Sug meant. So, in a very respectful way, I posed a challenge to my dear husband. He didn't have to stay awake with me, but he did have to wake up every time that I did through out 1 night. He accepted my challenge. Last night was a fairly slow night. The girls went to bed easily and on time, Bunny only woke up around 1 and again around 5:30, and Bean only woke up once around 3. I never saw my husband move until 5:30. I had assumed that he did not participate in the challenge, until I received my morning phone call. Sug usually calls at about 7:15 to check in for the morning, my call this morning did not arrive until 8. I answered the phone to the words "Alright, you win. I woke up every time you did, I couldn't stay awake and I'm exhausted today, already. I just want to go to sleep. You win." Now, don't think for one minute that I win by us not having sex. That would actually be the biggest lose/lose situation ever. I think that what I was trying to show my husband was that the way that I feel about him and my enthusiasm for him has literally been exhausted by my duties as "Mommy". Sug will keep trying, and maybe I'll even surprise him sometimes, but it's nice to know that he can appreciate where I'm coming from. Instead of being angry, confused, feeling unattractive, or unwanted; he can understand and sympathize with our reality at this season of our lives. There truly is a season for everything. I am grateful and humbled by the fact that my husband loves me enough to accept my challenge and has taken it to heart. We've come a long way in our marriage, and this could easily have been another hurdle. It could have easily become a source of confusion, pain, resentment, and distance. Instead, we were able to take practical steps to understand each other better and open the table for discussion. Hopefully, in a few more months, Mommy Sex won't be such a contradiction.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Day to Myself

I had a day to myself yesterday. I had Bunny, of course, but Birdie and Bean were having a lovely day of their own with their Uncle Brother and his family at the beach. Uncle Brother got his name because he is the only boy in our family. So instead of calling him by his real name, my sisters and I just started to call him Brother and with the births of all of our children it evolved into Uncle Brother. I had so much planned for my day to myself. I had picked up a bunch of delicious cucumbers from my CSA and planned on making some pickles to bring with us on vacation for Bird's birthday. Didn't happen. I planned on being able to read a couple of chapters of "The Princess Bride". Didn't happen. I planned on cleaning the house from top to bottom. Didn't happen, I didn't even take the clothes out of the dryer from the night before! I planned on making 4 sock monkeys for Craft Hope. Didn't happen, although, I almost finished one, she needs 1 eye and a smile! I planned on doing my Bible study. That I did do and it set the tone for my whole day. It may have seemed like a wasted day to the untrained eye, but to me, it was perfect. I did my bible study and spent a huge majority of the rest of the day playing with and snuggling and kissing my Bunny. During the average day, she gets so overlooked by all of the vocalized needs of the big girls, the discipline and training that's going on, and the day to day stuff of life. Bunny is so mild mannered and goes with the flow so easily, that I rarely get to just spend hours upon hours lavishing love upon her like I did for my Bird and my Bean. So that's how I spent my day to myself. I learned more about my God and my baby girl. It was totally worth the sink full of dishes, the dog hair tumbleweed covered floor, and the still unopened cover of a beloved book.