Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry Christmas!

OMG i am so excited. let me give you a bit of background... this Christmas, finances were especially tough. themr and i decided that we would not buy for one another and would use all the money we had for our loved ones. not a big deal, just a necessity this year. now if i were to make a wish list, the item at the very top would be the keurig one cup coffee maker. i have wanted this for months. i love coffee but only if it's fresh. i cannot tell you how many times a day i pour out the coffee and make a new pot. i've tried carafes of every kind to keep it hot and fresh and none of them cut it. as soon as i saw this product i began coveting it. then i saw how much they cost. i then resigned myself to the fact that most likely i'd never get ) and two new starbucks mugs. i am in heaven! i know, it's a little absurd to be this excited about a coffee maker, but i am!!! i can't wait to wake up tomorrow and make myself some coffee!!

p.s. tomorrow i promise i'll talk about my kids christmas and post some pics:) i'm just too excited right now!

25 days of Christmas

i've saved the very best for last, my wonderful husband, themr. words could never truly describe to you what kind of man he is but i'll do my best. the top ten reasons i love this man!

10. he is so funny. sometimes we can sit and laugh for hours. we have total opposite senses of humor but we keep each other smiling.

9. he takes good care of me. whether it's bringing me home my favorite candy bar or getting up with the kids and letting me sleep in, he's always taking care of me. when your days consist of caring for small children, you need someone who will take care of you. he does a good job of that.

8. he's so much fun. he takes the kids for long walks, wrestles with them, takes them to the park and lets them eat cheezits for breakfast. i'm sure when they are grown they'll remember many stories of all the fun things their dad did with them.

7. he can fix anything. even if it's something he's never worked with, he can figure it out. he's probably saved us thousands over the years in repairs.

6. he works so hard to support us. for most of our eleven years together he's had to work two jobs to keep the bills paid and he never complains. he wants me to be able to stay home and he works hard to make sure that happens. i know many women who wish their husbands would work one job, i am blessed to have a husband who works so hard for our family.

5. he's really hot. i mean really hot. the older he gets, the better looking. he works hard to take care of his body and it pays off:) there's not an inch of fat on his body. he's all muscle and tattoo and hotness. i am quite lucky. no wonder i ended up with four kids:)

4. he's an awesome dad. he's fun and attentive and loving. he is an excellent model to our kids of all that a husband and father should be.

3. he loves me unconditionally. even when i'm at my worst with raging PMS and acting like a certifiable crazy person, he still loves me. he thinks i'm sexy even if i haven't shaved my legs in weeks or managed to get dressed all week. no matter how many babies i have or how stretched out this body becomes, he's still attracted to me. some days i don't know why he would want to put up with me but he does and i'm grateful.

2. he loves the Lord with all of his heart. he is the spiritual head of this family and he always puts our best first. he desires to continue to become a better man and become more like Christ every day. he has a gift for understanding the Word and teaching it that i admire greatly. he is an example to me.

1. he is kind, loving, sweet, handsome, funny, compassionate, forgiving, intelligent, diligent, loyal, hardworking, devoted and awesome! how i ended up with a man like him i'll never know but i am so thankful i did. i love you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

25 days of Christmas

i'm down to the last (but certainly not least:) child! what can i say about the baby? he's mommy's boy so i'm a little partial. there is something precious about your youngest. i find myself babying him and letting him get away with things i know i shouldn't, but he's so darn cute! so these are the top ten reasons i love the baby!

10. let's get the obvious out of the way first, he is the cutest guy ever. he loves to give hugs and kisses. he is the only child that will still cuddle with me all the time. he's so adorable:)

9. he's so adventurous, which is a good thing and sometimes a tiring one! he has no fear and will climb anything he can. he's always looking for something to get in to or dismantle. although it completely wears me out and makes it very difficult to get anything done, i know those qualities will serve him well when he's grown.

8. hes such an entertainer. he knows he funny and loves to be the center of attention. he'll have us laughing so hard at the dinner table that none of us can manage to chew a bite of food. he makes the funniest facial expressions!

7. he has me wrapped around his little finger. whenever he wants something, he does the sign for "please" and says "peeeaaase?"he knows i can't turn him down :)

6. he loves other kids, especially babies. even if they are his age, he thinks they're babies. he bring them his toys and pats their head like a dog. he shares his cup and hugs them, whether they want him to or not!

5. he's the only child in our house not intimidated by the dog! the other kids hide and scream when the dog is hyper but he just tries to wrestle with him, even though the dog is twice his size!

4. he loves to help mommy. whether i'm unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up toys or cooking he wants to help. you can hand him any piece of trash and he gets so excited to put it in the trash for you. i used to have such a hard time cleaning and keeping him out of trouble at the same time, now i give him jobs and he loves it!

3. he can entertain himself for long periods of time. he loves to throw all the toys out of his toybox and climb inside. he'll sit in there and watch blues clues long enough for me to make dinner :)

2. he wants us to clap for him every time he does something he thinks is good. whether it's using his fork or throwing away a piece of trash, we always have to clap when he's done. it's really cute!

1. he's funny, smart, sweet, happy, headstrong, loving and utterly adorable. i cannot imagine my life without that little guy. i'm so lucky to have him!

25 days of Christmas

well, i'm down to my last three! i've made it (although not on the schedule i planned:) today i will tell you all about my sweet little princess... and pricess she truly is (self appointed) when i was pregnant with her, i was praying fervently for another girl. i was pretty sure i couldn't live through another boy. turns out, she's much more like her brother than her sister~ who would've guessed! so the top ten reasons i love her are:
10. she is a perfect mix of brother and her sister. she's all girl as far as loving anything pink or doll related. but she's soo much like her brother in that she is a dirt magnet and loves to play rough and wrestle. you never what you're gonna get with her. most days you'll find her dressed in a tutu with princess heals on with peanut butter in her hair and playing in the mud. she's alot like me in that way, maybe that's why i find it so endearing!

9. she's super funny. her sense of humor is a riot. frequently, she doesn't even know she's being funny, which is even funnier. she loves to do impressions of our family members, which are always interesting from a four year old perspective.

8. she's a born performer. whether she's standing on the kitchen table singing at the top of her lungs or making us all be her customers at her "restaurant", she's destined for the spotlight.

7. she has the cutest speech impediment. now that she's four (or as she would say "fowa") we're trying to really work with her on it. it's really hard to do since they way she says things is so cute! she's always said her L sounds as W. her little BFF, James, also has a speech impediment only he says his L's as Y's. every time we leave their house he says "i yuv you yiyah" and she says "i wuv you james". it's so adorable:)

6. she is such a lover. she always wants to get her blankie and cuddle up on the couch with anyone she can get to sit with her. she'll give you all the hugs and kisses you desire, except for her dad. as soon as he walks in the door she tackles him, ready to wrestle!

5. she's a deep thinker. the other day, out of the blue, she looked and me and exclaimed that Mary must be God's wife. i told her that was not the case and she informed me that if she's Jesus' mother and God is his Father then she must be God's wife. a little hard to argue with that isn't it?

4. she loves all things princess and began informing us around two that she is one. she wants to wear her princess gowns everywhere! she will also inform you that princesses don't do things like brush their teeth or clean their rooms. nice try!

3. she is such a good girl. although she can be sneaky if there is any kind of chocolate in the house, she is generally well behaved and sweet. she can fight with her brother like it's WW3 but i usually know i can leave the room to get things done and trust her to follow the rules.

2. she is a giver. she's always coloring pictures for her friends or trying to make presents for them. this past summer, a good friend of mine went on a mission trip to the phillipines. they were taking small toys to give to the children that live on the dump. i asked my kids to pick out some toys that they would be willing to give away for the kids who don't have any. the princess brought me her very favorite polly pocket, the one she takes everywhere (even sleeps with it). i explained to her that this was permanent and she wouldn't be able to get it back. she wanted a little girl who didn't have toys to have her best polly pocket. it warmed my heart!

1. she's adorable, funny, beautiful, smart, compassionate, generous, loving and so much fun! i can't wait to see the woman she becomes! i love her so much!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

25 days of christmas

today's post is about my first born son, zaza! when i was pregnant with him, i wanted a boy so much. when i found out i was having one i was so excited! the entire pregnancy he moved around like he was breakdancing in my belly which i should have taken as a sign of how he was going to be! so anyway, the top ten reasons why i love zaza!

10. he is so full of energy it makes me tired just looking at him! he is ready to go from the minute his eyes open in the morning to the minute he falls asleep (usually in the middle of playing). when i get up each morning, no matter how early, he is already up and in a wonderful mood. he is usually completely dressed, hat, gloves and all.

9. he has the most active imagination. when he was three, we removed all his toys from his room because we couldn't get him to sleep at night. we heard him in there the first night laughing and talking. when i went to check on him, he had a stick and several small rocks. he was pretending they were people and cars and was happily playing. we realized then that he just doesn't need much sleep!

8. he wants to be just like his dad. he loves to help fix anything, although i'm not sure he's all that helpful:) he follows his dad around every weekend with his "work boots" and hard hat on just waiting for something to break!

7. he loves to play outside. when the weather is nice (and many times when it isn't) he wants to be outside from morning to night. i have to make him come in for food. i don't know what he does to occupy himself out there but he just loves it.

6. he's a good student. we had many concerns before he started kindergarten how it would go due to his extremely high energy level. but he has flourished at school. he loves his teachers and he tries so hard to please them. he's made friends so easily and loves to go. he asks to go to school on the weekends:)

5. he has such a tender heart. if you haven't spent much time with him, you may not see that. but he is so sensitive. most days of the week he comes home with a "treasure" for me in his pocket. it can be anything from a rock that is shaped like a tree to a plastic gem he found on the ground. anything he finds cool or pretty he brings home for mom.

4. he's almost always smiling and has been since he was born. he's such a happy kid. we can go on a routine trip to the grocery store and he finds the excitement in it. i wish i had more of that in myself.

3. he watches out for his sisters. even though they fight endlessly, when one of them is being bullied by someone else he is right there to protect them. when he was three or four, we were at a cookout with several other families. i overheard some older girls (nine years old or so) picking on the bean. before i could intervene, za went over and pushed the biggest girl and said "you're not gonna talk to my sister that way! come on bean, lets go play with nice kids". it never occured to him that those girls were three times their age. he just wanted to defend his big sister.

2. he can climb anything and has no fear. i really mean anything. he learned how to scale our doorways to the ceiling at two. he climbed out of his crib at 8mths. his life will never be dictated by fear. i admire that.

1. he is sweet, funny, smart, adventurous, talented, vivacious and full of life. i cannot wait to see the man he will become. i am blessed to be called his mother.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

25 days of christmas

i'm on a roll... two posts, one day! hopefully i can get this done while my kids are happily playing together with playdoh. most likely i have about three minutes before they start fighting....

today's person i love is my oldest daughter, the bean! there will always be something special about my firstborn. she is so precious to me, i'd have to post the top one hundred reasons to come close to describing her. i'll do my best to keep it at ten!

10. she's so funny! she is quite witty for a nine year old! one day, a few years ago, she watched Lord of the Rings with her dad. that evening she came to the living room hiding something behind her back. when we asked what it was she pulled out a little debbie and cradled it near her face saying "my precious". we rolled. she is so funny!

9. she's extremely smart. too smart really... she excels at all things academic with little effort. we're a little worried that by fourth grade she'll be smarter than us!

8. she's very compassionate. her teachers tell me she's always concerned for others and that her classmates come to her when they're upset. she's so loving.

7. she takes good care of her siblings even though they drive her crazy. if she thinks one is being mean to another she always jumps to their defense. she loves to carry her little brother around and care for him. she even changes diapers!

6. she has a wonderful artistic side. she loves to scrapbook, write on her blog and make crafts. i love those things too so it's really fun to have a child to share that with.

5. she thinks the sun rises and sets in her daddy. she loves him so much! it warms my heart that some day she will have to search far and wide to find a husband who measures up to her daddy.

4. she is a big helper. she is always looking for ways to help me, whether it's making lunch for her brothers and sisters or watching the baby so i can take a shower. i know she is the same way at school. her helpfulness is really what keeps me sane some days!

3. She loves the Lord. she has an understanding of the Word that is far beyond her years. she understands concepts that she should never "get" at her age. i am so excited to see what the Lord has for her future.

2. in some ways, she saved me. when i became pregnant with her, my life was truly a mess. i was struggling through college and very irresponsible. i realized that i was going to be responsible for another life and i had to get it together. she was the reason i changed. i became a better person because of her.

1. she is beautiful, insightful, kind, loving, considerate, smart, funny and wonderful. i look at her and always wonder how i ended up with such a great kid. i wish i could take credit, but it is just who she is. what a blessing to have the honor of raising her!

25 days of christmas

holy moly i am behind! i has saved my immediate family and my parents for last... and now it's five days till christmas! four kids, one husband, two parents.... doesn't add up! i'm going to try to do two a day to catch up.. wish me luck!

today i honor my mom and dad! this is an easy one, cause i have really great parents. my mom and biological dad divorced when i was a baby and my mom remarried when i was five. my biological dad's involvement in my life was sketchy, so i really think of my stepdad as my dad. he was there for me for all the things a little girl needs a daddy for so he has earned that title alot more than the man who technically made me. without further ado, the top ten reasons i love my parents!

10. they're super fun. i know alot of people don't exactly look forward to hanging out with their parents, but we have a blast! we play cards together (which can get very heated:) we eat good food, and we just laugh!

9. they raised us all to be responsible, compassionate, God-loving people. that to me is priceless. i can only atribute my sucesses as a woman to the way i was raised.

8. they are always helping someone. when i was growing up, we were the family that frequently had some other kid living with us who needed help. my mom was surrogate mom to many others. they were foster parents (to teenage girls none the less) and also spent several years with both sets of my grandparents living with them. that is true love. if i tried to write all the ways they've cared for others we'd be here all day :)

7. they love each other deeply. they've had their ups and downs over twenty five years, but they've modeled for us how to persevere and stay together when marriage gets tough. even in the hard times, we never doubted they loved one another. early in my own marriage, i tried to leave my husband. i packed my suitcase and went to their house. i walked in the door and my mom said "you better put that back in your car. you can stay here long enough to cool off but then you're going home. you vowed before God and your family that you would be married for life and you will not run home when things get tough." if she hadn't taken that stand (which infuriated me at the time :) i may not be married today.

6. they face life's challenges with quiet faith. the last several years have been really trying for them, from medical issues to financial ones. the thing that sticks out to me the most is that through it all, their faith has shone through. no matter what life hands them, they know they will be ok. i need more of that in my own life.

5. they're awesome grandparents. as soon as we enter the door, my kids rush my dad ready to wrestle. they know that grandpa will get on the floor and play with them. each year for each kid's birthday they take that chlld out for dinner and then to the toy store to pick out their present. with four kids, that means so much to them. many times my kids look forward to that more than their party!

4. they've supported myself and my brothers no matter how many bad choices we've made (and we've made alot!) when i was a 20 year old, unmarried, college student i had to tell my parents i was pregnant. i expected fireworks! my mom calmly looked at me and said "we'll make it work". they embraced eli (even though he was not what they probably had in mind) and supported us emotionally as i had a baby, finished college and eventually got married. the funny thing is that eli turned out to be an awesome man and my mom could see his potential long before anyone else did. she's always said he was a "diamond in the rough" and she was right!

3. i always go to them first for parenting advice. they raised five kids who have all turned out to be great people, so who better to ask? they taught me how to discipline, how to love, how to say you're sorry to your kids when you're wrong!

2. they are friends with their kids. now that most of us are grown, we have a developed a close friendship with our parents. i can only hope that when my kids are grown we'll have the closeness i have with my parents. my mom is my best friend!

1. they love the Lord with all of their hearts. they serve Him, they honor Him with their lives, they are examples of His redemption. their lives are their testimonies. they inspire me, they love me, they are the reason i turned out ok:) i love you mom and dad!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ode to my sick kids.....

twas the week before Christmas,
when all through the house
children were vomiting out of their mouths.
Papaw was at his job,
while i hold the fort
these are the days it'd be easier to work.
fevers keep climbing
children are whining
haven't eaten all day there's no time for dining.
sheets in the washer,
cartoons all day,
who'd have thought i could miss all that rambunctious play.
one silver lining
there has to be one
with seven days until Christmas we soon shall be done.

Hope your week before Christmas is going better than mine!

merry christmas from the kids!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

a different kind of top ten

i'm vearing away from my normal 25 days of Christmas post today. last weekend, our pastor announced that he will be giving away 3 ipods this weekend to people who can tell him why they deserve it. of course i think i am a deserved recipient. so these are the top ten reasons why Grant should give me the ipod!

10. i am a true music lover. i love all kinds of music (other than country:). i listen to music from the time i get up to the time i go to sleep. .. sometimes i dream about music!

9. i live with four kids. that means i sometimes need a way to drown out the craziness!

8. i always sit in the front row at church, don't i get some kind of bonus points for that?

7. i have four kids that will eventually grow up and be tithers (is that a word?)

6. i always laugh at the sermon illustrations, even if they're not particularly funny.... i mean they are really funny, but i'd laugh anyway just to be nice :)

5. i dislike cats

4. i'd fill it with worship music

3. i download songs from itunes, which is helping the economy, right? that's very christian isn't it?

2. i posted my reasons on my blog, which averages about 200 readers a week, instead of just emailing it. that's advertising for the church!

1. i actually have a music player cell phone, so i'd give the ipod away. there is a wonderful person in my life would love to have it so much, but would never be able to afford to buy one. it would feel so good to give that person this gift simply because i love them!

Grant, are you convinced yet?

Monday, December 15, 2008

25 days of christmas

i know, i know.... i'm way behind. this is going to go way past Christmas! who knew the busy season wouldn't be conducive to vowing to blog every day? anyway, today's people are easy, because i love them sooo much..... My in laws, Mark & Marla! when i married my wonderful husband, i not only inherited a great set of in laws but an entire extended family who are equally awesome. their family is huge and they are fantastic. but i digress... today is in honor of mark and marla!
so the top ten reasons i love them are...

10. they're very stylish. she always looks fantastic. i can only hope that when i'm in my fifties i'll look half as good as she does and my husband will dress well!

9. they're great cooks and taught me most of what i know. when we got married, i knew nothing about cooking. so naturally, i found the person who made the best food and watched her like a hawk! she'll tell us she doesn't have any food in the house and then manage to "throw together" an awesome meal, while mark is grilling the best meat you've ever had. if she had a superpower that would be it. seriously, it's that good.

8. they're great grandparents. they take my kids and always finds some fun activity to do with them and they just flourish under the attention. all of my kids were enamored with grandpa mark from a very young age. i realized one day that it was because he was one of the only people in their lives who would drop everything and give them undivided attention. if he's out fixing a car, you can bet one of my kids is out there "helping". his patience is unmatched. she thinks they're the greatest kids, faults and all, which makes me love her even more.

7. she's the queen of bargains and gift giving. it's always fun to shop with her because she will find the best deals and usually will have a coupon in her purse to go along with it. if you met her, you'd think she must spend a fortune to look that good, when in reality she finds all the good deals! mark happily goes along with her, never complaining (like many husbands). i think the secret is that marla lets mark pick the restaurant when they're out shopping:)

6. she's a wonderful mother and he's an awesome father. their devotion to the family and the love they pour out on them is unmatched. they would do anything in the world for their kids and they all grew up to be amazing people because of it. thankfully, my husband has learned how to be a great dad by simply emulating his own.

5. they're very funny! she has a great sense of humor and always makes me laugh. he has this wit that comes out of nowhere and cracks me up!

4. they love each other. they have been married now for 30 something years and they are still so in love. they way they look at each other, take care of one another and make each other laugh is an inspiration. their three children have a perfect model of marriage in their parents.

3. they're just good people. whether you need help fixing something (which we always seem to) or an ear to listen, they're there. they have supported us through good and bad, thick and thin, and we always know we can count on them and i hope they know the same about us!

2. they never lecture or nag. they can give excellent advice (hey, they've been there!) while not nagging. that is priceless!

1. they are an example to us all of patience, love, compassion, loyalty, respect... just how to live life and treat others. i am so thankful for them!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

why i can't blog every day

while i was writing that last post, my two year old climbed up on the counter. he poured out a whole bag of sugar, a full container of cream of tartar and some lotion. he then preceeded to rub it all round on the countertop, the coffeemaker and the roll of paper towels. all in the four minutes i was not with him. today may be the day i lose my mind....

25 days of christmas

before i begin, i just have to state that i'm not very good at posting every day! i know, i know.... i have four kids, a husband, several babysitting jobs and a house that never stays clean. i didn't anticipate that i would have such a hard time keeping up! all that to say, sorry i've been a little inconsistant! without further ado...

today's person that i LOVE is my brother's wife, ashley. it's not hard to love ashley. she's just so sweet! not in that fake, ungenuine way... she really is just sweet! so these are the top ten reasons i love ashley.

10. she's really fun! she's always smiling, laughing, enjoying life. she makes those around her enjoy life too.

9. she's intensely loyal. she loves those around her deeply and will truly do anything in the world for them.

8. she's trustworthy. you can tell her anything and know that she will keep it private. i know i can call her with my "secrets" and she'll keep them secret.

7. she loves my brother, faults and all. they really compliment one another and bring out each other's best. she's made him a better man.

6. she's a great mother to my adorable nephew! she loves him and takes such good care of him. i could never have been such a good mom at her age.

5. she knows how to make every curveball life throws her be something positive. i know things haven't always gone the way she may have thought, but she's turned all their circumstances into a good life for herself and my brother.

4. she's a good homemaker. she takes pride in making her home nice and does a really good job of making it a home with whatever resources she has.

3. she's a woman of God. she loves the Lord and tries to be more like Him each and every day. the depth of her faith astounds me. i can only imagine where i would be if i loved the Lord as much as she does at 20.

2. she's a good friend. she's by nature a giver. she always has an encouraging word and a smile. i need that in my life!

1. she's beautiful, smart, funny, sweet, compassionate, loving, devoted and passionate. she's the perfect addition to our family!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

25 days of christmas

today's post is for my cousin, Emily. Em and i were the only girls in our family. we were born four days apart. we grew up together managing to get into lots of trouble along the way! you'd think being the only girls in a family we'd be the easy ones, but we sure did find trouble any chance we could. i spent alot of time at their farm growing up and i have so many good memories there. my life as a young child could be somewhat insecure, mostly due to my relationship with my biological dad. those weekends at the farm were so normal. from swimming in the trough to sneaking downstairs after bed for a snack, i cherish those memories. so these are the top ten reasons i love emily!

10. she's the total opposite of me, in a good way! where i'm loud and outspoken, she's quiet and thoughtful. where i'm short and roundish (is that a word?) with unruly curly dark hair... she's tall and willowy and blond. we're total opposites but that's what makes us so interesting:)

9. she has this adorable, charming baby girl. i love that baby!

8. she's an awesome photographer. she has probably saved me thousands over the years in pictures. all the professional pics you see on this blog were taken by her. you can see her work at (shameless advertising? why yes!)

7. she's comfortable in her own skin. she knows who she is and she's at peace with herself. i admire that greatly.

6. she's adventurous. she's always off on a trip whether it's europe or mexico. having a baby hasn't slowed that spirit at all. she just packs that baby up and takes her with her! which brings me to number 5....

5. she's a great mom. motherhood has just come naturally to her. where most women take several months (at least) with their first to really get into the groove of motherhood, emily just seemed like she'd always been doing it! she's patient and calm and loving. i have no doubt her daughter will turn out to be an awesome woman because of it.

4. she's funny, in a laid back, unassuming way. if you don't know her, you'd think her very shy. but in reality, she's very personable and quite witty.

3. she has a well hidden "ornery" side. i'll never forget when we were kids and we came up with a great way to scare people at a family christmas gathering. we were all at our grandma's house. em and i went into the basement with a broom and one of grandma's wigs. whenever someone would go to the bathroom, we would put the wig on the end of the broomstick and push it up through the laundry shoot in the bathroom closet. to the person on the toilet, it looked like a head was coming out of the closet. we got in a lot of trouble for that one but we thought it was hilarious!

2. she's a good granddaughter. our grandmother is now in a nursing home and her health has been failing considerably for several years. she is technically dying of heart failure. unfortunately, she's not a sweet little old lady, she tends to be a bit abrasive and judgemental. emily goes to visit her weekly and takes her things like pictures and treats. as a mom, business owner and wife, i know it requires alot of planning on her part to do so.

1. she's kind, compassionate, talented, witty, smart, gentle, beautiful and full of life! i love her!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

25 days of christmas

today's person of honor is my oldest brother, adam. adam was born when i was almost ten years old, my first sibling. i was so excited to finally have sibling that i carried him around everywhere i went as if he was my own baby. he was the happiest infant. he just smiled and laughed all the time. that sweet baby is now a grown man with a wife and a sweet baby of his own. our relationship has really transformed in the last few years as he's gotten married and had his first child. i'd always been so much older so its pretty cool that now we're both in similar places in our lives. so these are the top ten reasons i love adam!

10. he was my first brother. we had a bond of being the only children. when he was little he would cry for me instead of my mom.

9. he has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor. he really makes me laugh. people that don't know him well tend to think he's very quiet, but spend a little time with him and he'll have you rolling.

8. he gave me my first nephew. i could not love that baby any more if he was my own.

7. even though i'm technically the oldest, since there is such a big age difference he's somewhat the oldest also. (after him were three more boys every two years) we share a lot of similarities in our experiences with our parents. although he will tell you that he couldn't get away with anything because our parents had learned all the "tricks" from me:)

6. he married an awesome girl. having four brothers, i realized several years ago that i really hoped my brothers would marry girls i like. adam definitely did that. ashley is the perfect addition to our family and the perfect wife for adam.

5. he's a great husband. he adores ashley, you can see it in the way he looks at her. he truly loves her and i have no doubt they have a long, happy future together.

4. he has awesome taste in music. you'd think being nearly ten years apart we'd have very different taste in music. but he's very wise for his years when it comes to music :)

3. he's a wonderful father. you can see in his eyes that the sun rises and sets in that chubby little baby. he plays with him, wrestles with him and generally just has fun with him. jonah will be fortunate to grow up with a dad that wants to spend so much time with him.

2. he's alot like our dad, in a good way (don't get mad adam!) he has all our dad's good qualities, none of the bad ones. he may be too young still to admit that:)

1. he loves the Lord and strives every day to be a better man. there is nothing more endearing to me than his desire to keep growing. i have so much hope for his future, his marriage, his children, his life. i am blessed to be a part of it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

25 days of christmas

today's person i love is my sister in law, marcie. before i give you all the reasons i love her, i need to give a little background. i have four brothers, four! every time my mom announced she was pregnant (which seemed like all the time) i prayed for a sister. obviously i never got one. so fastforward to eleven years ago when i met my husband. he had a sister who was sixteen at the time. she was funny, sweet and very mature for her age. we hit it off immediately. over the years, she has truly become the sister i never had. she is the only girl in her family so she never had a sister either. i've had the honor of helping plan her wedding and seeing her first baby born. we were always close, but going through those things together has brought us even closer. i truly love her as though she were my blood sister. so these are the top ten reaons i love marcie!

10. she's wickedly funny. her wit is unmatched. we have some of the stupidest (is that a word?) inside jokes but to us they are hilarious. MCGRUBER!

9. she's absolutely gorgeous, but she's totally unaware of it. it makes her even more beautiful.

8. she feels things deeply. she is compassionate to a fault. i love her tender heart.

7. she married an awesome guy who is just like her dad. (who is one of my very favorite people in the world) he fits perfectly in our family and my husband thinks of him as a brother. i have many friends with strained in law relationships and we are all truly one big happy family!

6. she makes super cute babies. olive rae makes me smile just thinking about her :)

5. she's always up to try something new. she just has a zeal for life. i love that about her!

4. she's extremely loyal. she's this tiny little woman, but don't mess with someone she loves! i always know she has my back

3. she's a good daughter. she loves her parents so much and is always finding ways to help them out. even as she's become a wife and mother, she never neglects those around her.

2. i can tell her whatever is on my mind, anything at all. i can be real with her and she with me.

1. she's sweet, smart, funny, interesting, affectionate, confident, sassy and lovely all around! i am so thankful that i married her brother and she was part of the package!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

25 days of christmas

well, i was supposed to start my 25 days of christmas posts on the 1st! but.... i got sick this weekend and have been totally out of commission. i'm still sick, but geez it's the third i have to get on this! so without further ado, day 23.....
THERESA! this girl has been my BFF since we were 16. for all intents and purposes we have really grown up together. we've seen each other through boyfriends and breakups, moves and homecomings, skater boys and graffiti artists, marriages and babies... with lots of dancing along the way. so these are the top ten things i LOVE about theresa....

10. she's just cool. we love the same music, we love to dance, we love to laugh at all our inside jokes.
9. she has one of the cutest babies ever. seriously, that guy is so cute.
8. no matter what state we live in, no matter how long since we've talked, it never feels like we've been apart.
7. she's beautiful and she doesn't even know it. imagine the offspring of a caucasian man and a korean woman. she's just gorgeous, inside and out.
6. she has awesome taste! (i mean she's friends with me, right?)
5. she never forgets a birthday, ever. she'll make you a card and always remember to call.
4. she's a really good mom. motherhood has just come naturally to her. you can tell she does a great job by how great her kid is!
3. we have been through so many things together, it's awesome to have a friend who knows your history. we made our histories together.
2. she is so encouraging. i'll be having the worst day and then i'll get some random text from her telling me what a good friend i am. it's always when i most need to hear it.
1. she is fun, spontaneous, smart, classy, beautiful, sensitive and a blast to be around! i love you T!

Friday, November 28, 2008

25 days of christmas

this year, i find myself excedingly thankful for the wonderful people in my life. two years ago we lost a dear friend a week before christmas. we hadn't seen him in a while and i know my husband will always regret letting "life" get in the way of maintianing relationships. so beginning dec 1st, i will post each day about a person i am thankful for. instead of 25 days of christmas movies, music, etc, i will have 25 days of honoring those i love. i encourage you this holiday season to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. you just never know when it may be your last chance!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

we were sitting around the table tonight eating dinner and i asked each of my kids to tell what they're thankful for:

the bean: (9) i'm thankful for my family and my church and my school. i'm also thankful that we live in a country that lets us love Jesus.

zaza: (6) i'm thankful for my mommy making good dinners and for getting green cards at school.

the princess: (4) i'm thankful for God, polly pockets and potato chips.

well, that pretty much sums up our thanksgiving! hope yours was truly blessed!

happy thanksgiving!

Happy Thankgiving! I have so much to be thankful for every day of the year. So i will post my top ten things i am thankful for!

10. a house to live in with heat, electricity and running water

9. a church that teaches the Word of God and is made up of people that are like family to me.

8. living in a country that allows me religious freedom

7. two cars to get us where we need to go

6. my husband's job

5. coffee shops:)

4. true friends

3. beautiful, healthy children that make my life worth living

2. a husband who knows all the worst things about me and loves me anyway

1. my savior, Jesus Christ, who took the punishment for my sins and gives me wholeness and eternal life

I hope all of you have a blessed thankgiving among the ones you love. may you be thankful today and everyday for all that you have.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

i entered my first blog contest!

i've entered a contest from the blog boutique! if i win, i get a free layout! YAY for me!

one word

One Word Answers
One Word Answers...what could be easier... I took this from mom on the run I'm changing the rules slightly. If you want to play, do a post on your blog. Let me know in the comment section that you answered the "One Word Answers." I'll come by and visit you.Remember, you can only type ONE WORD! Not as easy as you might think. It's really hard to only use one word answers. You can only type one word, on each line.
Here's my One Word Answers:
Where is your cell phone? somewhere
Where is your significant other? work
Your hair? curly
Your mother? best friend
Your father? uptight:)
Your favorite thing? coffee
Your dream last night? none
Your dream/goal? ministry
The room you're in? living
Your fear? fire
Where do you want to be in 6 years? right here
were you last night? tv
What you're not? unforgiving
Muffins? yum!
One of your wish list items? blackberry
Where you grew up? Midwest
The last thing you did? diaper change
What are you wearing? sweats
Your TV? love
Your pet? Dog
Your computer? slow
Your life? Beautiful
Your mood? Content
Missing someone? nope
Your car? minivan
Something you're not wearing? underwear:)
Your summer? short
Love someone? intensely
Your favorite color? Blue
When is the last time you laughed? today
Last time you cried? awhile

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Baby!

my little man turns two today! we had his party yesterday. as you can see, even after opening presents he just wanted to play in the box! i can't believe he is so big. it feels like just yesterday that he was a tiny baby. i love you so much little man!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


this week marks the anniversary of my friendship with my BFF, mandi! we celebrate it every year, mainly because we are big dorks. how we came to be friends is a long, complicated story that i do not have the energy to type. but in honor of this momentus occasion i submit the top ten things i love about mandi!

10. she has the best hair. ever. it is absolutely gorgeous. i am totally envious

9. she is a social worker, like myself, so we tend to see people in the same way. not sure if that's a good or bad thing :)

8. she and i went through a very traumatic experience together that molded the way we view friendships and makes us really appreciate each other even more. she is the only person who can truly understand what that was like.

7. when she's having a crazy day, she calls me and warns me ahead of time that she's going to be crazy. i really appreciate that. i wish some other people in my life would forewarn me when they're going to be crazy.

6. she has this very dry sense of humor that never ceases to crack me up. i can always count on her to make me laugh.

5. she genuinely likes my kids (maybe she doesn't spend enough time with them?) i can call her and share my stories and it doesn't bore her.

4. she has a really similar relationship with her father as i do mine. it helps to have someone who understands that dynamic. she just gets me...

3. she's not afraid to tell me the truth, even if it's not the easy thing to hear. i have a very abrasive personality so alot of people are probably hesitant to make me mad :) she manages to say what needs to be said in a calm and rational way.

2. my husband loves her. it's good when your husband loves your BFF. just makes life easier.

1. she's funny, kind, inspiring, beautiful, talented, compassionate, smart, loyal, sweet and fabulous. i'm so lucky that she calls me friend!

wednesday is the new friday!

my kids came home from school today talking about thanksgiving. they wanted to know what our plans were and how many days they get off school. i explained to them that they get wednesday through sunday off and that themr would be home also. (this is a really big deal for us since this is his first job where he gets paid holiday time! he used to only have the actual holiday off but no others) the bean said "so wednesday is the new friday?" i guess so! yay for government jobs.... we'll actually get to spend some time together.

Monday, November 17, 2008

can i be serious for a moment? i know that's not my normal M.O. but bare with me. i've been really stressed lately because i have no idea where i'm going to come up with money for christmas. with four kids and a huge family, that's stressful. i'm the kind of person who lies awake at night and obsesses about it. today i watched a documentary about poverty in america. they followed three families and their daily struggles. one of the families had five children and lived in a shack with no running water or electricity. both parents would go out each day looking for manual labor or odd jobs to buy food. neither had a high school diploma or car so there was little else they could do. it broke my heart. here i am worrying how i will buy my kids christmas presents, when people all over my own country are going to bed wondering if they will be able to feed their children tomorrow. or worse yet, worrying because they couldn't feed them today. i looked around my house and realized how very blessed i am. while i like to complain that we have six people in a two bedroom, one bathroom house; there are people who would weep to have this house. i have heat, electricity, water (clean water), clothes, food, gasoline, two cars, and so many toys that we live in constant danger of breaking a leg if we get up during the night. i have a marriage that gets better every year. i have four beautiful, healthy children. every day when i wake up i know that my kids will have a three healthy meals and warm clothes to wear. i have awesome parents and in laws. i have a big family who loves one another and supports each other through anything and everything. i attend a church full of people that are like a second family. my husband has a good job, health insurance and a pension. i am able to sacrifice luxuries so i can stay home and raise my children. i am so incredibly blessed. i just needed to say that.

jumpin on the bandwagon

Everybody's Doing IT
What about you? Are you doing IT? It seems that all my friends, IRL and in the blogosphere are doing IT. I want to jump on the bandwagon and do IT too.So please, I don't feel like being creative today. I'm turning it over to you guys. Ask me a question, any question. Ask me 1, 3, or 5 questions, or MORE. And then, hold on tight, I WILL ANSWER THEM. Oh la la. WOW. That's never been done before. I can hear a pin drop. The audience is gasping at the novelty of this idea. And then maybe, one day soon, I will turn the tables and ask YOU questions. Now wouldn't that be fun?For those of you who think you know everything about me, I bet you don't.

DISCLAIMER: i stole this from mommy mo:)
DISCLAIMER PART TWO: if anyone asks me if i'm having any more children i will strangle you.

yesterday my oldest daughter started her own blog! she enjoys reading mine and loves to write and asked if she could. i helped her set it up and send the link to her friends and family. she wanted to call herself "the miss". is that so cute or what? she has so many of my good qualities and not that bad ones. she really is the best parts of my husband and i. what a cool thing :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


i added a music player.... this would basically be the soundtrack of my life!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

need some help from my blogger friends

ladies~ can someone please tell me how to get a new layout? one other than those provided by blogger?? i found one on a site i really like, but when i tried to put it on blogger said i would lose everything. i'm so confused. i get bored easily, need something new. just ask themr. he'll come home from work any random day and find me rearraging the furniture. any advice??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Pics!

we did pictures yesterday of the kids for christmas! that sweet baby girl is my neice.
haircuts for four kids: $45
coordinating outfits: $20
gas, suckers for bribing & time: $30
getting the perfect picture for the grandparents: priceless!
** pictures taken at emily's photography in south charleston, ohio. check out the website! great deals, awesome pics! she also does pet photography!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

i need....

MommyMo said i have to do this... i hope she has all those kids occupied to read this cause it may be long!
I have a new game to play. Would you like to play along? The more players, the more fun- promise!1. Write a post on your blog filling in the sentence- I Need......2. Leave me a comment letting me that you are playing along, that way I can go check out your list and see if I "need" to steal any of your "needs".3. Your list can be short or it can be as long as you like.4. Have fun, get creative.

1. i need an uninterupted phone conversation. it's like they have a radar "oh mommy is on the phone, i think i'll try to talk to her!"

2. i need a tropical vacation alone with my husband. one where we lay on a beach all day and someone brings us drinks with little umbrellas in them. we've never had one, we even had a kid on our honeymoon. A breastfeeding kid. and we forgot the packnplay at the airport so she slept with us. romantic, huh? (oohhhh.... so that's why you're supposed to get married before you have kids!)

3. a spa day. i've never had one of those either. i can't even remember my last haircut. with hair like mine you need to have frequent haircuts.

4. a new wardrobe. i've lost 45lbs since february so i am now wearing winter clothes from three years ago. it's not good.

5. a housekeeper. one who cleans, cooks, does laundry and runs errands. actually i'll run the errands, i need to get out of the house.

6. a tummy tuck and a breast lift. just because i've lost most of the weight, doesn't mean all this skin disapeared. you can't gain 60lbs four times and think the skin will not remain. it's sad really. these breasts have fed lots of babies and they show it. thankfully, my husband still thinks i'm hot.

7. i need someone to teach me how to eradicate tantrums for good. today is a day that one more tantrum might put me over the edge.

8. i need my husband to go back to working first shift. i'm not a fan of putting kids to bed alone every night.

9. i need to remember things better. i've always been your typical type A, always on top of things. every since kid number 4 my memory is shot. if i don't write it down, i will not remember.

10. i need the pink blackberry pearl. ok, i really don't need it, but really want it! it's so cute!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

ten things you can't live without if you're a mom!

10. bandaids, cause everything can be fixed with a bandaid
9. a vibrating bouncy chair so you can actually shower occasionally
8. a dvd player because even though before we had kids we said they wouldn't watch tv, eventually they outgrow the bouncy chair and you still need to shower
7. a pizza cutter! i use it for everything.... pizza, pancakes, spaghetti, pb&j
6. an extra large capacity washing machine
5. every dr. suess book
4. a dustbuster, because then even young children can vacuum!
3. a good coffee pot, unlike mine which leaks coffee all over the counter. since i enjoy having one more thing to clean up....
2. a girlfriend who has kids. no one else can truly understand what it's like to want to rip your hair out one moment and want to hug your child the next than another mom.
1. unending energy, creativity, patience, understanding, laughter, grace and most importantly love. and on the days that we don't have all of those, a husband who comes home with flowers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


So sassymomma Tagged me in a post... I have no idea what to put here so, I'm just gonna try my best.
Here are the rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

1. all my kids except one were born on their exact due date!
2. i'm addicted to social networking sites
3. i can fit my whole fist in my mouth
4. i have slight ocd. i have to count the number of words people are saying if i'm nervous
5. i love coffee, its an addiction. i can't live without it
6. i have 2 tattoos and 6 peircings but i'm a conservative republican
7. i've never seen any halloween movies nor been trick or treating
8. my biggest phobia is fire.

i'm tagging lisa, mom on the run & emily!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

of course, i went to vote this morning. i told the kids on the way to school that today is the presidential election. the conversation went something like this:

zaza: mommy, i think you should vote for george washington

the bean: you can't vote for him bubbi

zaza: why not? he's on money

the bean: because he's dead

zaza: i'd vote for him anyway, or for Jesus

the bean: Jesus isn't running

zaza: then i'd vote for the one who likes Jesus

so apparently a six year old gets it. i was proud :) then when we arrived at the polling place, the princess kept pointing to every man and asking if that was the president. i don't know how many times i explained to her that the president wouldn't be there. eventually she stated that he should be cause he's about to loose his job! that brought some amusement to several other people in line. outside the polling place, there were members of a certain candidate passing out bottled water and cereal bars. can you say desperate? i'm sorry but if you have to bribe people with breakfast to get a vote, it's time to wrap it up. anyway, wherever your political views lean, get out and vote today!
~on a side note, if you take your "i voted" sticker to any starbucks today, you can get a free coffee! sadly, we dont have one in our town. i did consider driving the 25 mins to the nearest just for my free coffee, but then i realized that's a some addictive behavior. but i sure do love some starbucks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Run for your lives..... it's global warming!

so, if the earth is getting warmer and warmer why is it 30 degrees in october in OHIO? this is absurd. last week, we had several days with highs of near 80. last night's low was 30. where did fall go? did we just skip it this year? did i not get the memo? this is just the latest in a year of bizarre weather for the midwest. we get floods, tornados and earthquakes. 2008 will forever be remembered as the year we had a hurricane in ohio. category one hurricane. in ohio. now we appear to have completely skipped from summer to winter. do you know how hard it is to dress children appropriately when it's 32 when they get on the bus and 72 when they get home. how do you dress for that? i saw on the news the other night that the ocean level in alaska is shrinking due to the glaciers melting. um, wouldn't melting ice cause the levels to rise? am i missing something here? i also read that the global temperatures have increased one degree in the last fifty years. one degree??? alert the media and get out your sunscreen folks. i don't mean to be glib (well maybe i do) but this is the crisis i keep hearing about? back to my original point, if the earth is getting hotter and hotter, why is it so darn cold in ohio in october? i know that most likely i'm going to recieve comments from lots of put out environmentalists. i'm ok with that. if you can give me some proof then bring it on. where's al gore when you need him?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

as stated by my kids

with four kids, it's inevitable that there's lots i will forget. i already find myself saying "when i was pregnant with one of the kids..." or "when one of the kids was a baby...." but i cannot remember which one! so about two years ago, i bought this inexpensive journal and started trying to write down every time they said something really funny or memorable. well, about a week ago i realized that i hadn't written in there in a long time. and guess what, i can't find it. story of my life! i started that notebook because i can't remember these things, now i can't remember where i put the notebook. i had so many funny things in there... for example, when the bean was about three years old, i told her to clean her toys up. later that afternoon i asked her why she hadn't done it. she said she forgot and then told me (in all seriousness) "you know i have short term memory loss." what three year old says that? or even last night at dinner, it was the princess' turn to pray. she said "dear jesus, thank you for this yucky dinner. thank you that daddy goes to work so we can have money for mommy to buy this food and tell us we can't get a new toy at the store. amen" uh, that's not exactly what i had in mind when i asked her to say the blessing. at least she's honest. or when the princess was still small enough to sit in a booster seat and she fell out of it at dinner one night. zaza hopped up and helped her back to her seat without us asking. when we thanked him for being such a kind big brother he replied "i just do what i have to do". these are the things that are so fresh in my mind now, but i know years down the road i will forget. as they get older, the hilarious statements will come fewer and farther between. they will eventually be intelligent, well spoken adults (we hope) who won't say things like "pajina" when the doctor asks if they know what "private parts" are. they won't inform the cashier at kroger that mommy looks pregnant but she's really not (thanks zaza). they won't even ask me each night when being tucked in if they are still my "favorite yittle grill" (that's assuming that the princess eventually outgrows the speech impediment AND eventually decides that she no longer wants to be a little girl) those days will live on only in my memory... or my notebook, if i can ever remember where i put it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

a few new pics. a morning at the park with the mr, a trip to the zoo, my nephew's first birthday, me and the girls.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


i've been thinking alot today about online identities. i'm reletively new to the world of bloggers. i started mine in the last year and have also started reading others. it's funny how in a short period of time other bloggers start to feel like friends. i feel as though i know these people. i had a situation today that reminded me that i know nothing about these people. they are just screen names in the vast space that is the internet. it also made me take stock as to whether or not i am careful enough about my identity and that of my children. i went back through my postings and realized that although i do at one point mention the state i live in, i do not give a city or my last name. but then i also realized that i give all four of my children's names. and how likely is it that anyone else has four children with the exact same names as i mine? so i've decided to remove their names from my site and use nicknames. you just can't be too careful, especially when your kids are as cute as mine are:) what are others' thoughts on this issue?

Monday, September 22, 2008

a weekend away!

well, i just returned last night from four whole days alone with my husband. that's right, FOUR DAYS! we've previously never left our kids for more than 48 hours, so this was heaven. it's not that i'm one of those moms that thinks i would miss them too much ( i was counting the minutes till we could leave) it's just that who on earth can i ask to keep four kids? so, we decided that we needed to get away and the only way to do so is to split them up. we carted them all of off to different people. my parents, sister in law & best friend. now, as if packing and preparing for six people isn't enough, last sunday we get a hurricane. in ohio. i'm not making this up. we had the remnants of hurricane ike here which produced winds up to 80 miles an hour, downing thousands of trees and knocking out power to 40.000 people just in our town. so we stayed here sunday night and when i awoke on monday, still no power. that means not only can i not turn on any lights, but i can't make coffee. somebody call FEMA, this is an emergency. as soon as my kids woke up (it took all my self control not to wake them) i got everyone ready and in the car. first stop, coffee shop. they didn't have power either, but were open making iced drinks. hot or cold, i don't care, as long as there's expresso in there somewhere. next stop was picking up breakfast for the kids and then off to drop off all of our groceries that had survived at our pastors house since he still had power. turned out, we didn't get power until tuesday night. we stayed at the in laws (who didn't have cable or phone, but did have electricity) thankfully, i really love my in laws. my mother in law is the best. she's so fun to be around, and so wonderful. not once during that time did i feel that she was put out by having us there. if i had raised all my children and had finally arrived blissfully at the stage of living alone with my husband, i think my children and four grandchildren might drive me a little bit crazy. but they were wonderful. my father in law is the man every person would want for a father. he tends to be on the quiet side, but when he speaks it's either very insightful or hilarious. and he would literally give you the shirt off his back. he'll drop anything and come and help you. i have a lot of friends who have less than desirable relationships with their in laws, i'm so blessed to have the ones i have. so after that beginning of the week, we were finally out of here! some plans had to be rearranged, since one of my childcare providers still didn't have power, but we were finally on the road. i was nervous about leaving my youngest, because he's my baby :) but i knew he was in good hands. we went to cleveland and stayed in a really nice hotel downtown. (pic above) we walked all over downtown, eating and talking and laughing and people watching. we went to cedar point, the rock and roll hall of fame, and took lots of naps! it was so nice to be able to have no schedule! with four kids, our life is very regimented and very scheduled. it's the only way to maintain sanity. so a break from that was so nice. we came home sunday and all the kids did great. on top of the wonderful love and care they were given, every single person sent their respective child home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. can you believe that? after keeping my kids for four days, they did their laundry too. it overwhelms me that i am so blessed to have the people in my life that i do. even the puppy had been given a bath and had a nice new collar on! we were so happy to see them all. we lasted an hour or so before we remembered why we needed a break in the first place.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a few random pics

just a few pics. the girls at libby lu for the bean's birthday, samson

(the puppy) & an afternoon at young's dairy!

just another day in the life

yesterday was a long day. much longer than 24 hours. there is NO WAY that was only 24hrs. two kids with a cold (which makes them snotty and grumpy) and a vomiting dog. not to mention no husband. i think i cleaned up more human and animal bodily fluids yesterday than a zoo keeper and a nurse put together. i went through an entire roll of paper towels by noon if that tells you anything. so by the time naptime rolled around, i was ready. got allll the kids down together, the dog outside, and peace! there is nothing more wonderful than naptime. i love those kids and i love being home with them, but naptime is the only reason i can make it through the day without having a nervous breakdown. as i was putting them down, my four year old looks up at me and says "mama, am i still your cutest yittle grill?" (she has an adorable speech impediment). of course i melted :) i swear God puts those moments at exactly the right timing to remind me why i'm here. why i gave up a career i loved, why i don't get to shower every day, why i am still in my husband's boxers at 3 in the afternoon. it's all for these moments. when all the stress evaporates and you're reminded that you are here for them. it ain't always fun, it's definitely not glamorous, but the rewards are infinite.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

in Remembrance

today, the seven anniversary of 9/11, i cannot in good conscience write my usual humorous, sarcastic post. as i sit here, remembering that day with a clarity that i can't attribute to many other days in my life, i am humbled. there are those days in history, where everyone can tell you where they were, what they were doing when they heard. and somehow, sharing those stories is healing. i was on my way to work ( i was a case manager) and had just found out the week before that i was pregnant with my second child. i was running late that day and as i was driving i heard them talk about the first tower being hit on the radio. the dj's kept saying that if you were anywhere near a tv, you just had to see it. so i went back home (hey- i'm already late, what's a few more minutes?) i think at that point i assumed it was a small plane, just an accident. when i turned on the tv i was shocked by what was before my eyes. as i'm watching this report, live, the second tower was hit. at first, i thought they were replaying the first tower. then i realized what was going on. my mom, at that time, was a school nurse. i called her at work and asked if they knew what was going on. nobody did ( i wouldn't think anyone would have a tv on at the beginning of the school day). they turned on the tvs in all the classrooms, not realizing what horrors the kids were about to see. people jumping out of windows, firemen running out of the building holding small children, people running through the streets bloodied and hysterical. they quickly had to turn it off and my mom said she spent the rest of the morning comforting children who were having panic attacks. my husband was working at the dayton airport that day. they had no idea what was going on either until planes just started coming in all over and landing. finally, the foreman turned on a radio and they found out. he called me to make sure i was ok and to tell me not to go to work ( i was already there). my office was about 2 miles from Wright Patt Air Force Base, which is one of the largest in the country. i remember spending a good part of the day, holed up in our supervisors office, watching in horror. all i could think was "how can i bring another child into this world? we're going to war". that afternoon, our boss sent us all home. when eli got home, again, we just sat in front of the tv. suddenly, he looked at me and asked "did you hear that? it's a plane". we ran outside and before our eyes, air force one flew over our house. it was so low, you read the insignia on the side. every neighbor on our street was standing on the sidewalk watching, in complete silence. the thought that the president may be just a few miles from our house scared me even more at that point. our church had an emergency service that for worship and prayer. we went and i think i cried through the entire thing. those of you who know me would know that's not normal for me (i'm not a crier:) each year, on the anniversary, i watch foxnews in the morning. they replay their newscast in real time from that morning. although it's still upsetting to watch, i want to remember. i am honored to live in a country that stands up against terrorism and banded together in a way i've never seen before or since. i thank the firefighters, policeman and other service members who were heroes in manhattan on that day. i thank our president, who stood tall and made the right choices with the information he had, and has kept us safe from attack for the last seven years. i thank the men and women who have sacrificed it all to fight a war for our protection. i pray today for the families still grieving their loss. and i'll never forget.

where were you the day the earth stood still?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

fall is here

so, school has begun, which means i have resumed babysitting. i do daycare each year to pay for my children's tuition to private christian school. normally, i watch one child full time. this year (being the princess' last year home) i decided to do two part time jobs so that i would always have at least one day a week with just my kids. it just turned out that this week, i would have both jobs today. that's my two younges (21mths & 4), a 22mth old, a five year old, and another 21mth old. normally, i take my two oldest to school before any of these kids get here. i'm a big believer in teaching kids to be independent, so mine pack their own lunches and put their clothes out the night before. that way in the a.m., i only have to supervise them getting ready and get the two little ones ready. but this morning, i get in the car and it won't start. the battery is dead. now, my husband and i keep jumper cables in both of our vehicles (i've never had to use mine). but two days ago, i loaned mine to my brother. so i don't have any. i have to call my dad to come and jump the van. (and thank goodness he could do it, i wonder if i'll reach an age where i won't need to call my dad in emergencies?) by the time he gets here and it's taken care of , two of the babysitting kids have arrived. so i load all six of them in the car (that's right, five in carseats!) and off we go. we come home just in time for child number three to arrive. it's smooth sailing for about an hour, as we play outside and read a few books. suddenly, it's time to take the five year old to kindergarten. i get everyone in the car, five more carseats, and it won't start again! i have to get everyone back in the house and make some calls to get her a ride. that accomplished, it's time for lunch for the little kids. Note to self: never make three one year olds spaghettiO's for lunch. one of the three actually ate them, messily, but he tried. the other two decided it would be more fun to fling them at each other with spoons. that lasted about 30 seconds when i cleaned them up and removed them from the table. ( i also have a firm "i am not a short order cook" rule. in this house, it's eat it or starve.) so after a few minutes of being down from the table they decided it would be worth their time to return and finish lunch. luckily, after lunch, i let the puppy in and he cleaned up all the food on the floor :) ok, one more hour till naptime! we play blocks, watch blue's clues, and only have to break up one fight. finally, they all go down for a nap. thank you Jesus for naptime! so the moral of the story is this:

Watching 5 kids under 4: $50

Spaghetti O's, carrots & apple slices for lunch: $25

Getting them all down for a nap at the same time: PRICELESS

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the most mature parents ever

last night, my husband and i had a standoff. let me preface this by saying that in general, we get along very well. we are one of those rare couples who very rarely don't get along. we just really like each other. but last night, we were both very tired and very stressed out. so we manage to get all four kids to bed, lunches packed, laundry put away and house clean. we sit down to watch a movie together. about five minutes in, it starts skipping. i ask eli to clean it off and he wants me to. i refuse and the standoff begins. we probably sat there for ten minutes, each waiting for the other one to give in and do it. the phone rings and i answer it, a call i need to take. when i'm finished, he's still sitting there. eventually, I get up and clean the DVD. by this point, i'm furious. so for the remainder of the movie, a comedy none the less, i refuse to smile or laugh (even though it really was funny). afterwards, we go to bed, still not speaking. as i think about it today, i realize how COMPLETELY ridiculous the whole thing was. just goes to show that sometimes four kids gets to even the happiest couple! i know when he gets home from work tonight, i'll need to apologize for my lack of maturity, which i really dislike doing :) maybe tonight we could try movie night again. and if it starts skipping, it's HIS turn to clean it.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

top ten ways you know you are a mother of four

10. when you offer your baby fruit, he automatically thinks you mean fruit snacks.
9. you take your kids to the store with one dressed normal, one as spiderman, one as a princess and the other in a onesie and barefoot. and you don't care.
8. you now offer them cartoons so you can go to the bathroom without someone outside the door talking to you.
7. you find yourself putting them to bed at 7 since they can't tell time yet.
6. you realize that nursing bras are more comfortable than regular ones, especially since you've worn them more than the other.
5. your maternity clothes are now your regular clothes.
4. your baby is crying and you ask your older children to put the binky in his mouth so you can finish the paper.
3. someone gives your baby a bite of cake and you laugh instead of being appalled.
2. your idea of a break is going grocery shopping with only one child.
1. you have more love in your life than you could ever have imagined!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

who are these people and why are they calling me mom?

that's the kind of week i'm having. my husband has been working over time for a week now (out the door at 6am, not home till around 9:30pm). i'm at a point where i would offer money to a stranger walking down the street to watch these kids for a few hours. that's desperation for you. it's not that my children have been unruly, they've just been kids. and four kids, a puppy and PMS is not a good combo. i've had alot of errands to run this week and anytime you have to take that many kids to multiple locations is not good. especially considering that three of four are still in carseats. i'm so tired i would trade my left arm for some sleep. maybe even my right arm. i'm sorry for complaining, but i am in serious need of conversation with an adult and this is the closest i have right now! the most frustrating part is that for once, i could afford a sitter but don't have one. hence eyeing strangers walking down the street. anywho, hope you're all doing well. and not leaving your kids with strangers.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

she's here! my beautiful neice has arrived! miss olive rae managed to make her appearance and i could not be more in love! i had the honor of being there for the birth, which was one of the most incredible things i've ever experienced. my dear sister, marcie, was so strong. i wish i could put it into words, this woman worked so hard to get that baby here. i have no doubt she's gonna be a great mom. olive is so very tiny. she has this sweet little baby girl cry. makes me sad that i won't be having any more :) i've always wanted to eventually become a liscensed doula, and this experience has brought that home for me. i hope in the future i'll have the opportunity to do that. i am so thankful to be a part of that little girls life!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

forgot to post this one!

happy memorial day! ( a day late at least :) we had a great weekend. memorial day is one of my favorite holidays, along with july 4th, i love the parade! my family has a tradition where we all go together and we bring a camping stove. we make a full breakfast at the parade. over the years, friends have joined and now we have a rather large group. it was a little crazy this year, with an 18 month old, but still fun. we spend the whole day outside which was really nice. so this morning i decided we would stay home and clean. i was hoping the get the house is good order before the kid's summer break begins. about 10 am i got a call from the school that my son who's in kindergarten had put a nerd candy in his ear. are you kidding me? when i got to the school to pick him ( i had to take him to urgent care to have it removed) i asked him WHY he put it in his ear? actually, the conversation went something like this:
me: where did you get the candy?
zaza: on the floor
me: why did you put it in your ear?
zaza: you told me not to eat candy off the floor.

oohhhh....ok... that makes so much sense! i don't know if he thought by putting it in his ear it would still make it to his stomach or what! at least he remembered not to eat candy off the floor! the doctor at urgent care gave him a nice lecture as to why that's not a good idea, and then asked him if he will ever do that again. isaiah replied that he might not. i'm not too convinced by that answer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

so i went to kohl's today, with the two little people. i don't have any money (what's new?) but we were having one of those mornings where if we didn't get out of the house someone wasn't going to live till naptime. they're tired, i'm tired, not a good combination. anyway, we're walking around the store, just looking at things and enjoying being a part of civilization. i turn around and realize the princess isn't behind me. i look back and she is standing rubbing the chest of a male manniquin. i told her to come on and she says "hold on mom, i'm checkin this guy out"> really? she then informed me that she's gonna marry that guy. i figured, well, he doesn't have a head but that may be a good thing! i can't decide if the whole thing was cute or a little bit creepy....either way it was definitely funny. she's become obsessed with getting married. she talks about it constantly. i've never had a three year old who thinks about gettting married. i'm not sure if its the wedding part, or what, but she has marriage on the brain. she decided last week she was going to marry a guy my husband works with. when we stopped by his job, she informed phil that she loves him and he's going to be her husband even though he'll be "pretty old" by the time she's old enough. he thought it was cute. where does she get this? maybe too many disney movies? at least we'll have lots of funny stories to use for the toast at her wedding!

Monday, May 12, 2008

mothers day top ten!

happy mother's day! the pics are of my wonderful mother's day gift! how blessed i am to have a husband that knows i am not a "flowers & candy" kind of mom :) its the hebrew of a verse from song of solomon.."i am my beloved's and my beloved is mine". i have been waiting several years to get this. what a great gift!
i decided to write a list today, my top ten reasons why it's great to be a mom.

10. its a good excuse for not being skinny!
9. no longer have to battle being self absorbed, its not an option anymore!
8. at least four people tell me they love me every day!
7. there's nothing like seeing your own faults mimicked by your kids to drive you to be a better person!
6. their smell after a bath!
5. seeing my husband be a dad, who knew i could love him even more!
4. making someone overwhelmed with excitement over a toy that cost a dollar!
3. seeing the grumpy man who was MY dad be a big pushover as "papaw"
2. knowing that i can make a difference every day in four little lives
1. having the honor of being called mommy

hope your mothers day was a blessing! whether you spend your days covered in spit up, nursing, driving your kids to endless activities, working (and then trying to get it all done at night!), or you've moved to the esteemed title of grandma... you deserve this day. for all the things you do, big and more importantly small, you are Mom. the best job description in the world!