Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas...

...from our house to yours! 

Here's an out take that I couldn't resist posting.  We tried getting our beloved Curtis and Macy in the picture too...Curtis wasn't having it.

Friday, December 17, 2010


My princess was up this morning at quarter to three with an earache.  I took her temp and she wasn't running one.  She's been dealing with one sickness after another.  I went back and forth with myself in my head about calling the hospital and telling them she wouldn't be in today.  I ended up deciding to go ahead and take her in just in case.  The end result: We are home, my princess is still sleeping, and she still has those pesky tonsils of hers.  Yep, surgery was a no go today.  They sent us home with instructions for her to get better and reschedule.  I am all for the get better part.  Not too thrilled about the whole reschedule...preparation and waiting.  I had a good cry when we got back out to the parking lot and then again after I got my princess resting comfortably in her bed.  I know it's God's perfect timing...and today just wasn't the day.  This Mommy just wants her baby to finally feel good again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My princess is a planner, list maker just like myself.  So, when I came across this bag sitting by her bedroom door, it made me proud.  Tomorrow is her big day...she is saying "good-bye" forever to her tonsils.  Little by little, I have been giving her a heads up on what to expect and what is going to happen so she is a bit more comfortable and not so nervous that day.  Well, I told her on Tuesday, after talking to the surgery department, about a list of things she could bring.  She was very excited to find that she can come in her pj's, bring a stuffed animal, and pack her own special blanket...anything to help her through.  She found a gift bag, labeled it, and began to check things off her list.  She seems to be doing a lot better with the idea....and Mommy just can't wait until it's all over.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gifts in a Jar

This year, the kids decided they wanted to make their teachers something for Christmas.  Last year we made Kait's teacher a gift in a mug.  This year, we went bigger and used a jar.  It was a lot of fun and made me wonder why we don't give these more often to more people.  I got the quart jars on clearance at Walmart and then just had to buy the M&M's and ribbon...we had the rest on hand.  Fun, fun!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Our Tree

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet Traditions

The older the kids get, the more fun it is to make our own Christmas traditions.  Here are a few of the "sweet" ones:

Countdown Kisses: I got this idea two years ago.  All you need is saran wrap, curling ribbon, and kisses (we, I mean I, decided on the mint Hershey's kisses this year...more on that further down).  We take three kisses (one for each kid) tie it off on both ends to make a little pouch and continue on down 24 more times.  Then we hang it up in our living room and each day the kids take turn cutting a pouch off...a sweet reminder of what is coming up.  This year, the last two days (for Christmas Eve and Christmas) we put six kisses in each pouch to share with cousins we will be spending time with in Michigan!

Christmas Cookie:  We love baking rolled sugar cookies and a few other festive cookies around this time of year.  We have already make and decorated cookies in the shapes of stars, Christmas trees, and gingerbread men.  In years past, we have also made peanut butter blossoms...but with my guilty obsession this year with the mint kisses I decided to incorporate those instead of the regular chocolate kisses.  This time I used a sugar cookie type dough, baked that, and then pressed the mint kiss in to each cookie.  I think next time, I will use a chocolate cookie dough for the ultimate guilty pleasure!

Lifesaver Christmas Story Book: Every single one of my childhood Christmas memories includes a Lifesaver Christmas Story Book...and I have passed down the tradition to my kids.  I don't know what it is about them...maybe purely just because I had one in my stocking every year as a kid...but they are very special to me...and my kids will get one every year.  This year, thanks to my parents, one will be waiting in their stockings Christmas morning at Gammy and Poppy's house!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fruit snacks...

I was quite humored the other night while talking to my princess.  She began to inform me about a very close friend she has at school.  His name is Eric.  I began asking questions about her friend and her answers cracked me up.  I first asked her what he looked like.  She said that he has black hair and brown eyes...and big nostrils that he can fit a fruit snack in.  She was pretty impressed by this and began trying to show me with her own nose just how big his nostrils are (and yes, she used the word nostrils).  You have to go big to impress my little girl.  You can be the fastest, smartest kid in the class...but if you can't fit a fruit snack in your nostril you are out of the running.  Way to go, Eric, in my little girl's book you are number one for that fruit snack trick of yours.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Heart

If I tried to make a list
of everything I have to be thankful for
I know I could go on for days and days
and then a few days more

I am really undeserving
blessed beyond all measure
my God, my family, friends, and health
some of the things I treasure

So, this morning as I bow my head
and then think throughout the day
I remember that I would be nothing
without the One who lights my way.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They're Outta Here...soon...

My princess is getting her tonsils and adenoids out...finally.  It's been a long time coming.  They probably should have come out three years ago.  She's the perfect candidate...has every criteria...every single one of them.  I took her in to an ENT yesterday and it was really eye opening and made me feel pretty guilty for not pushing harder for this sooner.  Her tonsils have not been a good friend to her.  They are always enlarged and actually touch eachother in the back of her throat.

I have never had surgery myself and the thought of my princess going under is a little bit scary...even if it's just her tonsils and adenoids.  Her surgery date has been set for the middle of December and now the countdown begins.  After I got off the phone with the scheduling department this morning, I found myself a little anxious.  I went in to my room and had to say to myself out loud, "You love her, God, more than I ever could or ever will."  And I know, she will rest well in His hands.

I talked about it all with her last night and she is worried about everything...especially the pain...and how she will be going to sleep.  If you could remember to keep my princess in your prayers over the next couple of weeks...that her fears would be calmed, that she would remain healthy, and that the surgery would go great with no complications this Momma would appreciate it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

National Adoption Month

A little over a year ago, I learned about Reeces Rainbow.  I have spent a lot of time looking at these children's faces, praying for them, and reading about the families that are waiting (or have waited) to bring them home.  My heart breaks that time is running out for many, many of them.  During the months of November and December they are doing a fundraiser where you can go and sponsor a Christmas Angel to help with their adoption costs.  Head on over there, pray for them, and possibly choose one (or more) to sponsor.  

Christmas Angel Tree TwentyTen

CLICK HERE to Put the Angel Tree Bubble on Your Blog! Thank you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

- I am a Survivor fanatic...maybe not the worst, but it is my absolute favorite show (Apprentice coming in a close second followed by Amazing Race)and I have been watching since the show first aired. This season, there hasn't been many surprises. Last night, though, things got a bit shaken up and I was so happy to crawl in to bed knowing that Brenda went home. Pathetic I know...but everyone has their little quirks.

- It looks like my hubby is down to working four days a week through the winter now...getting every Friday off. It's been so nice to have him home with us to take the kids to school, be there when they get home, and have family dinner with him there at night. I am so thankful that his employer balances work so that they are able to keep working through the winter. I am looking forward to those nice paychecks again in the Spring/Summer, but we will all enjoy this little break.

- Kait came down with Strep again this week. Looking back through her chart at the doctor's on Monday, it is clear that she needs her tonsils out. We have been dealing with strep, tonsillitis, snoring, and sleep walking long enough. Monday I am taking her to an ENT about getting her tonsils out. It's a bit scary for me (and I haven't even gone in to detail with her about it yet), but I know it will make such a difference in my little girl.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Monday, November 15, 2010

National Adoption Month : Another Blog

Another blog that I read almost daily is From the Heart.  This extraordinary family has just added a new member...their 4th adoption.  If you have a little time, explore their blog and go back through previous posts on their adoptions of their three beautiful toddlers.  Pray for them while you read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month.  One of my favorite blogs to read is Casa de King.  She is doing National Adoption Month posts all month.  Head on over and check it out.  I love the way she writes, how frank she is about her life with her three adopted kiddos, and the great attitude she has.  Refreshing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New to my playlist...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Only Eight Paychecks

Sometimes it's hard to believe that it's been a little over 4 months since my husband went back to work.  Other days, it seems so fresh.  There are still days when I get a call from him some time other than on his lunch break and my heart sinks wondering if it's happening again.  There are times in conversation, if he's had a bad day at work, that I express my worry about him losing his job.  I am sure it's in the back (or some days, the front) of his mind's changed us...we no longer take his employment for granted.

To think about it happening again exhausts me.  To think about walking that path again makes me cry out to God throughout the day...thanking Him for His provision, but praying for continued rest. 

I guess I imagined my husband would go back to work and things would come together more quickly for us.  The evidence is still all around us: debt, an almost non existent savings, projects that are still on hold, hopes and dreams that we have yet to act upon.  I forget that it's just been four months...that we have just been through two years of hard stuff...that this is still the time to heal....time to keep gathering up the pieces and just walk on.  Yesterday, my God whispered this to my heart.  He reminded me to slow down...that we've only had eight paychecks.  We've had eight paychecks!  My heart is thankful.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Just to see you smile

I'd do anything that you wanted me to

When all is said and done

I'd never count the cost

 It's worth all that's lost
Just to see you smile

I love my middle man...and his smile.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Year

Four years ago, on November 5th, 2006, a positive two weeks before became heartache as I sat in church...instantly I knew.  I was cramping.  I was filled with worry.  I couldn't get home fast enough.  I was losing my baby...and there was absolutely nothing I could do.

I slept most of the afternoon away, curled up in a ball, hoping that somehow it would cradle her enough that she would be safe and all would be well.  Later on that evening, I knew she was gone.

The miracle of life all the more real to me...the guilt burned deep.  Just two weeks before, I saw those two lines.  This wasn't "our" plan.  We already had our perfect family of four.  One more would just complicate things.

It didn't take long for me to come around.  In a couple of days I was planning, excited, dreaming.  And then the day came.  Dreams crushed...and I felt guilty for my initial somehow in those first few days, I sealed her fate.

We chose to name her : Madelyn, meaning magnificent.  Magnificent for what she taught us, what she meant in the short little time she lived inside of me.  Without her, we wouldn't have surrendered our will to His.  We wouldn't have our little man.  I wouldn't have to same view on what a miracle all my children are...every child is.

Shortly after we lost her, I had a dream about what she looked like.  She was gorgeous.  She looked like Landon.  She was okay.  She was safe.  She is waiting for us.

Another year has gone by...another day to reflect more than most...and be thankful.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giant Leaps

The first few weeks of kindergarten were painful ones...both for my middle man and also for his Momma.  There were many tears, moments of kneeling with him in the hallway of the school reassuring him it would be okay, and a teary phone call home.  It broke my heart.  It made me question our decision to start him in school this year instead of waiting until next year.  I prayed, and prayed for my middle man.

Last night we had his very first parent/teacher conference.  I was excited to hear what his teacher had to say...figuring it would be positive.  I was almost certain it would be yesterday afternoon when he came home with a note from his teacher saying, "Landon is THE smartest, sweetest little boy..."  Nothing could prepare me for what I would hear that night though.

I knew that Landon had made HUGE progress in every area since starting school.  The glimpse in to my son at school from his teacher made me beam with pride.  Often I underestimate him because although he is a wild man, he is my quietest child.  He is scoring above average on everything!  She even said that they are seeing him gradually come out of his shell and volunteer to get up in front of his class and read.  The little time we had with his teacher made for one proud Momma and Daddy.

I came home and told him all about our time with his teacher.  I told him how proud of him I am.  I made a comment to him about how on his report card it had "100!!" in the blank where is says how high the child can count.  He said, "I could have counted to 200, but my teacher stopped me."  I guess there is a little overachiever in all of us here in our household.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What We've Been Reading....

It's been amazing to me to watch my kids do so well in the dual language program at their school.  Kaitlyn is especially excited about it.  This past Monday, I got a few more English/Spanish books to read to the kids.  I think my days of butchering the Spanish books are over.  Even though Kaitlyn can not understand all of what she reads, she is reading incredibly well in Spanish.  So, yesterday, we all sat down and I read the book to them in English and Kaitlyn read the book in Spanish.  I can't believe how she has soaked up the "rules" of the language...what letters together make what sound...and getting the basic idea of what is written just by the little that she knows.  I know that the spoken will come way after their understanding but I am so happy with our choice to put them both in to the program.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A "Badge of Honor"

This being a Mommy thing can be exhausting.  Most the time, I do a pretty good job just rolling with the punches...taking life as it comes...keeping a smile on and laughing when things get tough.  But, there is just something about when my kids are sick one right after the other that can get me kinda down...make me want to lock myself in the closet and cry for a bit.  Yesterday was one of those days.

I thought everyone was on the mend.  Then, in the afternoon, I hear more vomit hitting the floor.  Now, I was thankful it wasn't outside in the wind...but I don't know, it's kinda a toss up...on my carpet or outside blowing in the wind...think I will take the wind.  At least clean up for that only entails stripping down and throwing everything in the washing machine.  There's just something I hate about cleaning throw up off my carpet.  At least it wasn't my couch this time.  The guilty party: my princess.

This is the part in the story when I look up at the ceiling and begin to throw a pity party for myself...which at the time seemed pretty reasonable.  I saw, in my mind, what was to meant clean up in hallway one scrubbing chuncks out of the meant more puking where I was to try my hardest not to throw up myself while rubbing my princess' back and cleaning off her mouth.  It meant that there was possibly more to come.  My job was about to become a little harder and I was already tired.

And then in steps my middle man who is rough and tumble and wild...but deep down he is so sensitive and sweet...and loves his Momma.  He had taken a heart that I cut out for him and colored it.  He brought it to me and said that it was for me to wear on the front of my shirt because of how good I did taking care of him when he was sick and because he loves me so much.  And then, this is the part of the story where I packed up my pity party...and stopped my selfish thinking.  This is the part of the story where I stood up and let him tape my "badge of honor" on my shirt, while his stood back and admired how good it looked on me...and asked if he could take a picture...and I let him:

This job is a hard one...but the rewards are better than any bonus...and monetary reward (even though I could really go for some extra cash to fly me away to somewhere warmer right now).  I wore my heart until after dinner and then my middle man had the idea of taping it on my bedroom door...and that's exactly what I did.

My princess is fine this morning...she's on her fourth piece of toast as I type.  She a little famished after the night she had so if she wants to eat a whole loaf...hey, today it's fine by me.  And if anyone else gets sick around here, I think I will put my heart back on as a reminder.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Strep has made it's way to our house.  It paid a visit to my princess last week.  She's a great little sick person...high pain tolerance, hardly any complaining.  She takes it like a pro and is so easy to take care of.  Today, was my middle man's turn.

He went to school.  He complained a little when he woke up, but said after drinking some hot chocolate that his throat didn't hurt at all anymore.  I just figured he slept with his mouth open and he was a little dry.  Well, I got a call around 11:30 that he was running a fever and was complaining of his throat hurting.  Poor baby.  I sped the one and a half miles to school to get to him as soon as I could.  I called the doctor (and called in to work) when we got home and got an appointment.

We got to the doctor and he started getting really whiny.  It was a short walk so I told him I would carry him.  We got two cars away from our car when it happened.

Apparently because of some low pressure hanging over our region (or whatever the weather people said this morning) it is incredibly windy hurricane hang on to your children outside windy.  Which would mean that throwing up in this wind would be a terrible thing...but that's exactly what my middle man did.  I had enough time to throw him off of me...I mean set him down ever so gently...and the puking started...and the wind took it in every direction.  I had my littlest man with us and he was screaming and ran for cover trying to avoid being covered in vomit like his brother and Mommy.

I don't do well with throw up.  When someone is throwing up it makes me want to throw up.  I see it a lot at work and it's all I can do to hold it together until I can leave the room...and then I gag down the hall all the way back to the lab.  So, today, when the vomit tornado was hitting me from all directions it was almost more than I could take.  Landon and I had puke on our coats, hands, jeans, faces, and in our crocs...the squishing in between my toes was the worst.  I just stood there, rubbing my middle man's back while he heaved and heaved.  Three kind strangers in the parking lot went and got napkins from their cars and one patted my back and said she hoped my day got better.

We walked in to the office, covered in puke with enough time to spare that we were able to get cleaned up in the bathroom before checking in.  We did the best we could and made our way to the front desk still smelling of vomit.  All I could do was look back at my pale, sickly little man and laugh to myself.  Man, I love that kid...even if he did throw up all over me today.  And because of my youngest, the doctor heard all about "Wandon frowing up in yours parking lot."

Monday, October 25, 2010


Collin and I head to our local library for story time every Monday.  Today, my little man wanted to dress up.  So, he went to story time as a cowboy.  Most weeks, he sits through the three books just so that he can do the craft and play with the trains at the end.  Story time today was a bit different...which might have been because they started off with his favorite game : The matching game.  I was relieved because maybe I will now get the day off.  He rushed right up there and got his game face on...and ended up winning...I was so proud that all of the hours of practice with Mommy had paid off.  He actively participated the rest of the time and even started conversation about his alien pumpkin that his Daddy carved for him over the weekend.  When asked what he put inside his pumpkin after it was carved he enthusiastically yelled, "FIRE!".  That's my boy.  We walked out of there with his craft, a take home work sheet, and a little pumpkin that his teacher gave to him.  He has informed me that it's sleeping in his bed with him for nap.  We love our library program!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quiet Time

I don't consider us to be a loud family.  But, aparently, my middle child needed some quiet time away the other day.  I couldn't find him.  I noticed our bathroom light was on.  I snuck in, got up on the counter with my camera in hand, and took this picture of him all cozy in our (dirty) shower...coloring away.  I should try this some time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I "heart" Jewel

I am aspiring to be crazy.  Thursdays have become my new shopping day all because that's when the new sale week begins at Jewel.  I haven't been blogging about the deals I have been getting the past couple of weeks but today I scored big.  I felt like I was stealing as I walked out of the store with a cart load full that I got for (drum roll please)...$35.20.  My receipt said that my savings was $86.89.  I *loved* seeing that!  So here's what I got:

Thanks to my sister-in-law and a site she gave me...and a tad bit of thought on my own...I have been doing pretty good with our grocery budget.  And my make shift pantry is stuffed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another 26.2 miles...

...I rounded the corner, took out my headphones and soaked in the crowd cheering. I gave it my all in that last quarter of a mile. I crossed the finish line with my hands in the air and my head bowed in thanks...fighting back tears. I didn't start crying until I walked up to have my medal placed around my neck and the lady said, "This is what you have been waiting for". Yep, it really meant that I had crossed that finish line. It meant that I conquered another 26.2 miles....

This past Sunday, I ran my second full marathon. You can read about it over at Running My Victory Lap.

Friday, October 15, 2010

To the Birthday Girl...

Once upon a time
Actually upon this day
just 27 years ago
my world became a little brighter
I was given a gift
Actually my parents were
given a gift
that I got to partake in
I, being 18 months old, didn't even know
what blessing had been
sent down to me
oblivious to just how special
that day was and what meaning
it would have in my little life
a bond, a trust, a love
a forever friend
my first friend
someone to turn to when
the world seemed so cold
when my heart was broken
when hope was lost
an ear, a shoulder, a hand to hold
someone to run beside
to stand beside
in comfortable silence
to pinky swear and
share even the darkest of secrets
to double dog dare
and laugh hard in the darkness with
to create memory upon memory
memories so many
that I don't recall many
without her growing up
it was on this day
twenty seven years
I was blessed with a friend
the truest form
one I call
my sister.

Happy Birthday my Calist. Though miles upon miles separate us, are hearts are forever bonded. It's unthinkable to imagine life without you. Thank you for all you have been and what you continue to be in my life. My heart aches to be together with watch our kids grow up spend afternoons call eachother up just for the purpose of going for a run together...but, I cherish the times we do get to spend together. I am proud of the woman you have become, the mother and wife you are...what a strong person and an inspiration you are to me. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and may you be blessed more this year than you have been so far. I don't say it enough : I love you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kind and Loving

I have the privilege of heading up and teaching our Sunday preschool program at our church. I currently have my youngest in my class which is a blessing, but can also be a distraction. Sometimes he doesn't listen so well to Mama when he is with me.

Each week, I incorporate a verse for the 3-5 year olds to learn. A lot of times I wonder if what I teach sinks in with what little time I have with them. Our verse for this past Sunday was "Be kind and loving to each other" - Eph 4:32. On Tuesday, I got proof that, in fact, it had with my little guy.

I had just gotten home from picking up my oldest two from school. It takes about a half hour for us to get settled in and get used to all being together again. The boys were having a tough time getting along...Collin wanted to be the boss and Landon wasn't having it. Some words were said between the two of them and then it got physical.

Collin came crying to me and said, "Wandon isn't being kind and loving to each other." I tried to be serious and not beam with pride that it had actually sunk it and he was actually applying the verse to everyday life. I dealt with the situation and used that verse to reiterate to them the rules of our house...which got me thinking that I need to do more of this will all of my children...use scripture more to teach my kids instead of because "Mom says so" or "Dad says so" or "because you treat others how you want to be treated".

And more often than not, I end up learning a lot in the end too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin in a Dixie Cup

Kaitlyn came home from school yesterday raving about a pumpkin dessert that they made in class. I was asking her about it and she was able to rattle off all the ingredients but now how much of each...until she told me that the recipe was in her backpack. It was good timing since I just found that pumpkin yesterday.

I read the list of ingredients and how much and we had everything we needed. Since it's mixed in a freezer bag, Kaitlyn did everything but putting it in the dixie cups. It was such a hit (with the kiddos and Mommy) that I thought I would share:


1 gallon freezer bag

2 2/3 cup milk

2 little packs of instant vanilla pudding

15 oz pure canned pumpkin

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

graham cracker crumbs

25 dixie cups

1 can whipped cream

Combine milk and instand pudding in freezer bag and mix well. Add the pumpkin and spices and kneed and mix well. Place 1/2 to 1 T of graham cracker crumbs in bottom of cups. Cut corner of freezer bag and squeeze filling in to cups. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

It's the perfect snack size and gives you just enough sweetness.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

100% Pure Pumpkin

I hit the jackpot today. I have been searching and searching for pumpkin on the shelves of my local stores...with no luck...until today. I really almost did the happy dance in the aisle and then my mind started racing with the endless possibilities: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, icebox pumpkin dessert... things that I haven't had in over a year because of the terrible pumpkin crop last year. Now, my first instinct was to buy up every single can of pumpkin on the shelf like it was bottled water before Y2K or something. But, I couldn't very well justify using up our grocery money for the week on canned pumpkin. So, I bought four cans...four big of which is spoken for this weekend...Pumpkin Pie!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Marathon # 2

Exactly two weeks until my second marathon! I am beyond excited. Below is a post from my running blog : Running My Victory Lap:

It's oddly familiar
painfully familiar
It creeps up on you
when the miles add up
Something I never thought I would miss
but now welcome as a lost friend
cramping, stiffness, shooting pain
pain from a long run
a run well run
oh how I have missed you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A day with my little man...

Yesterday, I went with my little man on his first field year ago I took the same trip with my princess...which made me somewhat of a pro. He had fun and it was nice to see him with his little friends and also spend some special time with him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Weekend Marathon Relay

Over the weekend, I went to Iowa and ran the QC Marathon Relay with a few of my running friends. You can read about it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

En Espanol

Yesterday I headed to our local library to check out a few books for the kids in Spanish. I figured I need to start doing this. I didn't want to get in over our heads since I know very little...probably less than Kaitlyn does now. I found a couple books in Spanish that we have in English at home. This was a favorite in our house for a while...a huge hit with the kids. So, I read through it a few times with Collin before the older ones got home so I wouldn't sound like I was fumbling over every word. When they came home, I surprised them with this one and four others. We had a great time!
And, Landon had his first tear free day yesterday!! He said, "Mommy, I actually (we use that word a lot in our house) talked to my teacher today!" I said, "That's great Landon! What did you say to her?" He replied, "I said, 'Hi, Mrs. P'." I chuckled a bit inside...bless his heart.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tres Semanas

Last year, we were introduced to the dual language program in our school district. I went for an observation one morning and I was nothing but impressed. It was decided that we wanted our kids to be a part of this...we wanted this opportunity for them. Not only to be fluent in another language, but what doors being fluent in Spanish would open for be able to put "bilingual" on a resume or job application.

We are in week three of school. Kaitlyn is adjusting very well. She is soaking up the Spanish that they are teaching her. It was so neat to see one of the assignments she brought home...not only is she a little artist, she had written out what everything was in Spanish. She loves both of her teachers and has made many new little friends...who she already wants to invite over to play. She has discovered that a couple of her friends already know Spanish and she is amazed that they can speak right back to her Spanish teacher in class. It's cute hearing her talk about what goes on in there. She told Landon that if he doesn't know what to do, "Just ask one of his friends that speaks Mexican for help."

Landon, on the other hand, is having a tough time. I think he would be just fine if he stayed with one teacher all day, but he has a difficult time when he has to switch to his Spanish class. He says he doesn't like it over there because (I quote), "I can't understand because they don't speak Eng-a-lish". It's a total immersion idea and I think as the weeks go on, he will do much better. This is just a big change for him. Not only is he in his first year of school, it's full day kindergarten, and he is in the dual language program. I am proud of him. I knew it would be hard but he's trying. He loves music and gym. I have been informed by my little man that he has made seven friends...and only two of which are who's name in Falkin and the other Diego. It will take time and I just have to keep praying that one of these days we will have a tear free day at school.

P.S. - I am hoping to be able to join the parents class : Spanish as a second language. Not only would it be beneficial for me at work, it will also help in the future when my bilingual kids are conspiring against me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Another thing I have been working hard at is stretching our money when I grocery shop. I have been finding some great deals lately. Now that I only shop with one child in tow, I can go to a few different stores. Here is an example of what I got yesterday:

With in store deals and coupons that I had, I spent a grand total of $11.01 for everything in the picture! I walked out of there with a huge smile.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Despot of My Oikos

Meaning: Basically, the keeper of my home.

It's been really easy, with everything going on the past two years to let the little things fall by the wayside. Being a Mom is hard work...being a working Mom has been even harder for me. It's a hard juggling act and many times it's a lot harder than some make it look...hats off to all the working Mom's out there.

After cutting back my hours a couple of weeks ago, it has been so nice to get reacquainted with being home again and all that entails. Now that school has started and we are developing a new routine here, I have been eager to get started on coming up with ways that I can run my household more smoothly and be a better keeper of my home.

With that, my first step was to paint my entry way and back door...which had never been painted in the six years that we have lived in this house. I got away with only spending $10.10 on this whole project. I was able to use some old paint that I had saved and it freshened it up a whole lot. I was very pleased with the results.

Next, I have been working to clear the clutter. I am a saver...sometimes of the most stupid things. I had too many paper piles that needed shredded or thrown away. It took me one whole day but I managed to get it all cleared out and organized. No more paper pile on my kitchen counter!! My husband was very appreciative.

I have also been working at a way to clean my house more efficiently and have a certain day to do certain things around the house. I like to clean and don't mind spending a whole day doing it, but I don't want to take time away from my alone time with Collin and I certainly don't want to take time away from the other two after they come home from school. Yes, I still "pick up" the house every morning...but set aside a certain day to wash my floors, clean my bathrooms, clear out the fridge, change the sheets, and stuff like that.

I have had to get used to being home for dinner every night of the week...and the cooking of those meals. Working second shift, I was gone around three nights during the week. It's been an adjustment having to come up with menus again, but that's one thing that I found I needed to do. So, on Sunday or Monday, I plan out the menu for the week. It makes prep and shopping much easier to know a head of time. As the weather gets colder, I also want to start doing the OAMC thing again (Once a Month Cooking).

Next on my list to tackle is our "junk"/storage/pantry/office room. It's in some serious need of organization. I have a plan and a vision of how it will look...I just need my hot carpenter and a little bit of money to get it done. It's the one area of our house that I am embarrassed for anyone to see. There is just too much going on in there. Hopefully, by the end of the year, things will come together and I will be able to post before and after pictures.

I am breathing easier and feeling lighter...and what a difference it makes to only go in to work one day a week. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have been encouraged these past couple of days...out of the blue...pretty unexpectedly. And that little bit of encouragement from a few unexpected people has made a huge difference. It also got me thinking. How much of an encourager am I? How often do I go out of my way to encourage someone? It's not as much as I should....and it has been noted and put on my To Do list...starting right here in my own home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Start Day

The school year has started today for us. Unlike my kids, I hardly slept a wink last night and was so nervous when I woke up. I knew it would be a little bit of a hard day for Momma. Another realization that time is passing way too quickly.

We made it through the day with no tears (well, if you don't include Momma). I dropped Kaitlyn off smiling and I picked her up smiling. I dropped Landon off with his hand in his mouth (what he does when he is anxious, nervous, or scared) and picked him up with his arms at his sides. It was the first whole day for them both. From what they have told me, they did great and had a good day.

From my Kindergartner:

He didn't make any new friends.
He didn't go to the bathroom the whole time.
He was able to open his drink pouch and his gogurt all by himself.
He sat by a little girl and a little boy...the little girl chewed with her mouth open.
He got wood chips in his eye at recess...but didn't cry.
He stood in too many lines and had to look at his teacher too many times...but he likes her.
He didn't like wearing the necklace with his name on it.
He didn't have to go to the Principal's office...but a boy who cut should have.
He wants to be the goodest boy in his class.
Since he dressed nice today, he wants to dress bad tomorrow.
He wants to go back tomorrow.

From my First Grader:

She knows a few girls in her class from last year...but one of them is the black haired Jackie not the brown haired Jackie.
She didn't get to pick where she sat and doesn't know anyone at her table.
She didn't speak any Spanish.
She loved seeing her music teacher again.
The librarian was nice and let them use the library to have music...and they didn't have to sing in a whisper.
She went to the bathroom and the toilet flushed by itself, the water turned on by itself, and the paper towel came out by itself...she wants to back in there tomorrow.
She sat with her class at lunch...but finished at the same time as Kasen so they walked to the playground together.
She didn't play with any girls for recess...just Kasen and Caleb.
She doesn't have to share a locker.
She hopes she can have homework soon.
School wasn't long enough.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

730.484398 Days

I don't think there will ever be another September second that I don't think back to the one in 2008. There won't be another September second where I don't remember the phone call...the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach...crying off and on all day long...the look on my husband's face when he got home from work...the wondering, "what are we going to do now?"...the crying out to God.

I am so glad that on this September 2nd, my husband is not unemployed...that we aren't spending this September 2nd "celebrating" another anniversary. I really don't think my body, my soul, my mind could have taken it...and my God knew that.

It was predestined before the creation of the world that on that day in 2008, my husband would lose his big fear of "what if" would happen. My world, my marriage, my little family would be turned up side down. I would struggle with God, plead with God, until I finally learned to wait on God and trust His plan. I would feel lost, lonely, forgotten before feeling loved, surrounded, and remembered. I would spend countless days on the floor of my bedroom, with the door locked, crying in to the carpet hoping the kids wouldn't hear me, but knowing God did. I would sob out loud while driving home from work late at night hoping it wouldn't be much longer. It was a roller coaster ride that I would want to jump off of. It was a season in my life that was sometimes more than I thought I could take.

My God knows me. My God knew how much I could handle with Him. He knew what I needed in my life. He knew what I needed to learn and he knew just how He could teach me. I can stand here today and remember the pain so vividly that it brings tears to my eyes. I can think back on certain times and get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. But no matter what I remember, what I think upon the past two years, I. am. thankful. My God cared for me so deeply, so tenderly...wrote a story so beautifully...and I feel beyond blessed, beyond privileged to have been chosen to walk this road. Two years ago, I felt...I thought...that my world had ended. I have learned as I walked this road with my God that it's on that day that the restoration began.

I stand here today and there is so much more I could say...or try to put in to words...but there is part of me that just can't find the words. My heart swells with thankfulness. Satan tried and tried over these past two years to ruin ruin our marriage, to ruin our hopes and dreams, to ruin everything. He wanted so badly, I know, to take this time and twist it to make us believe that God wasn't there, He didn't care, He left us. My love is too deep for the One who first loved me. He never left me, He cared for us and ever detail so tenderly and it leaves me speechless before Him. Just speechless.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fun at Gammy's Park

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another CRIM

I just got home from a few days spent in Michigan and another CRIM under my belt. You can read about it here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An End...

This week marks an end. It's actually bittersweet. Two years ago, I took a job...a job I despised, but I did what I needed to do. I worked there for six months, all the while praying that God would get me out of there. He did. I was hired in January of 2009 and have been there ever since. If I couldn't be at home, I was thankful to spend my evenings there. I am doing what I love to do with some fantastic people. Still, my heart longs to be at home with my kids, to fix my family dinner, to give baths, read bedtime stories, and tuck everyone in at night. As the end of our two years of unemployment was drawing near, I would walk the halls at work and pray that it wouldn't be much longer. And I could hardly believe it in July when my time came. So, after this week, I will be going to a PRN status at work. I will be working three Saturdays a month and every third Monday...picking up hours when they need me, but on my terms. I will also have two weeks off between the end of my regular schedule and the start of my relief position. So, again, I am feeling so blessed and so thankful. What am I going to do with all of my extra time?! There are about five things on my list so far and three of them start with K, L, and C. ;-) So good to be home!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crowned (part 1)

We were told by our dentist that because of Landon's high fevers and being sick so much the first couple years of his life, his back teeth have no enamel on them and are like chalk. They are eroding away. So, we were sent over to a pediatric dentist (which I absolutely love!!!) for him to get two crowns put on his two top back teeth. He had the first one done yesterday.

My little guy was so nervous. He sat on my lap and clung to me in the waiting room. I felt terrible for him. They called us back and took us to a room where he would "be crowned". I was able to sit right beside him and rub his leg the whole time. He did fantastic. He followed every direction and did everything the dentist said to do. It helped that the dentist was singing and has such a calming voice that it almost put me to sleep. After his crown was in place, his assistant took Landon to look in the mirror and then handed him a ticket for a free ice cream at McDonalds. It had a sparkly golden arch on it so Landon called it his golden ticket. Thanks to that little ticket, Landon can't wait to go back to have his other side done.

Too often, I underestimate my little man. He was so very brave. We walked out of there and he turned in to a chatter box talking to me about everything...he was still numb so he had drool running out of the side of his mouth and was talking funny. After three shots in his gum, having his tooth shaved down, and having a big crown rammed on, I was and am so very proud of my little silver toothed drool monster.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seven Dozen

I heard some wonderful news a few days ago. You can freeze eggs and they keep for up to a year in your freezer. I did not know that...and have never thought of doing that. The local grocery store was having a dozen eggs for 79 cents and I thought that now would be the perfect time.

The kids start school in a couple of weeks and I want to make the mornings go as smooth as possible. Over the weekend I made up a bunch of pancakes to put in the freezer to just pull out on school days. Eggs would be another great option. I also plan on doing french toast and waffles.

Today I bought 7 dozen eggs @ .79 a dozen and a box of quart freezer bags. I put a half dozen in each bag and then in three of the bags I put 2/3 dozen for weekends when Dan is home for breakfast.

It was quick and easy to do and now all I will have to do on school mornings is pull out a bag of eggs the night before....not to mention, I am pretty set on eggs for now until another sale comes up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Guess Who's Ready for School?!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Little Man is a Whole Hand!

Five years ago my little man was born. Welcomed in to this world by a Kutless song...still reminds me of his birth to this day. I really can't believe it's been five years...five just seems too old.
My gorgeous boy has really grown up this year. He has become so helpful around the house. He is the best cleaner upper out of the three of them. He is the most giving out of the bunch too and really cares for his siblings, cousins, and friends. He has been really working on saying his t-h's and l 's the right way...all on his own. It's going to make me so sad when his little quirky ways that he says some words are all gone. He has also been counting past 100 all on his own. He is off to kindergarten in a few weeks...and although I worry about him because he is so shy, I am sure he will do very well. It's his Momma that is going to have a really hard time not having him home all day. He has really taken a liking to golf. Daddy cut down a few clubs for him so they are his size and he loves to go out in the back yard a hit a few balls around. He's actually pretty darn good at it. I am really looking forward to seeing what's in store for my blond hair, blue eyed boy this year. I am blessed to be his Momma.
My whittle Wandon, Happy Birthday, baby boy! You are such a joy and a blessing to me. I love how you wander in to my room and just sit on my floor by my bed and wait patiently for me to wake up. You are a patient little boy. You have been such a big helper to me and are such a good big brother to Collin. I have loved watching you take more of that roll this past year. I have loved watching you learn to give to others and put others before yourself. You are the first one to give up a toy or a seat that someone else wanted. You are always willing to share your candy or a special treat that you have gotten. I pray that you will always remember what a special little boy you are. I feel so blessed to be able to nurture you along in life and I pray that hugs and kisses for Momma will still be cool for a few more years. I love you Landon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Super Mario Party

I have a little boy who is obsessed with the Super Mario Brothers. Other than his first birthday, he has always shared a birthday party with his little brother. Since he is turning five this year, I wanted to make it super special for him and throw him a Super Mario Brothers birthday party.

My in-laws graciously allowed us to use their house for the party...they have the perfect place :a big space, a huge deck, and a refreshing swimming pool! I kept the decorations simple...mostly primary colors. I did splurge on the plates and napkins though. The plates had Mario and Luigi on them and the napkins had mushrooms on them.

The centerpiece.

Landon (super excited) waiting for his guests to arrive and the party to start.

Immediately following lunch, all of his guests sat down and played Super Mario Brother's Bingo...I found a free printable file on one of my many searches. The game was a hit!

After a little swimming, I brought out "Mario" for pin the mustache on Mario. It was pretty funny to watch...and it was totally worth the time I spent drawing him.

Mario after all of the kids had a turn.

Homemade red and blue cupcakes!!

The birthday boy and his Momma

Takin a dip in the pool

The party went very well and Landon had a great time! I was so happy to give him a memorable day that made him feel so special.

Friday, August 6, 2010

She Did It!

It was decided that we would not pierce Kaitlyn's ears when she was a baby. I thought the younger the better, but Dan wanted her to be able to make that choice for herself.

It wasn't until recently that she started talking about it. She would ask where she would have to go, how bad it would hurt, and other things about having it done. Then, at the beginning of this week, she said that she wanted to get them done after they got their pictures taken at JC Penney. I figured that she would later decide not to so I didn't even have her ask Dan. Well, it wasn't just a passing thought and she mentioned something to her Daddy and ended up asking his permission...which was granted.

After the kids' pictures today, we headed out to the mall to get her ears pierced. I still was not sure whether she would go through it or not, but wanted to give her the opportunity. We walked in and she said she needed a few minutes to think about it. So, we walked around looking at the earrings, headbands, and purses. A few minutes passed and I asked what she had decided. She said that she wanted her ears done and she was ready. So, I got the lady, she picked out the green earrings (which shocked me that they weren't red or pink), and sat there as still as a statue...with a worried little look on her face. I signed her life away (ha ha) and then held her hand. The first one went in and she didn't scream, cry, or hardly even flinch...not even a tear came to her eyes. I was shocked...again. I held her other hand, told her how proud I was of her, and the lady did the other ear. Not one complaint, cry, or scream...again. She hopped down with a huge smile on her face and saw herself in the mirror. I almost started to get teary looking at my baby girl, who is not so little anymore.

We left and made our way back to where we came from. A few times I looked over at her and told her just how proud I was of her. She kept saying that she couldn't believe she did that and she said that she even surprised herself.

My princess and her pierced ears...she can't wait to show them off!