Saturday, December 29, 2007

My moment of knowledge

Joe asked me a question today. "What is the difference between a roll and a biscuit?" My reply "A roll has yeast and a biscuit does not." "Oh" said Joe.

Then I realized it--I knew something that he didn't know. It was an amazing moment. Especially if you know my husband, you exactly how amazing this is. And so now it is recorded forever--or however long the internet exists.

Our treasure hunt

We (Joe & I) went to see National Treasure this afternoon. A great movie. I always love treasure hunting movies--Indiana Jones, The Mummy, etc. I leave the theater feeling exhilerated, ready to look for adventure and treasure. Normally, reality sets in after a day or two; today it smacked us in the face in the parking lot--we couldn't remember where we parked the van. Then we remembered our trip to Target before we watched the movie. We were looking for couch covers and could not find them. After about 10 minutes of looking, we finally found them only to realize that we had been right next to them earlier when we got distracted by some red pillows; all we needed to do was turn around. We would probably get sooo beat if we ever ran in the Amazing Race.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Random Thoughts

Nathan thinks that the new lawn mower we got him for Christmas is a vacuum.

Our DVD player caught fire on Christmas eve. Seriously, there was smoke and everything.

You may wonder, how does she ever was Nathan's blanket if he is that close with it. I just tell him it's time to take a bath--it's the only thing he likes better.

I was vaccum sealing leftovers from Christmas and accidently put the ham in the eggroll bag and the eggrolls in the ham bag. That could be interesting in a few months.

Christmas is over at our house. Everything is boxed away and I finally choose organization over frugality. It has become a tradition at our house--every year after Christmas we visit the store and they have all the Christmas decoration organization stuff on sale. And Joe always says, "I think we should get some of that stuff (ornament boxes, wreath box, etc.). Then I always say "Our boxes and trash bag (for the wreath) works fine. Those are expensive we don't need it." Well, this year we were at Target, and I finally said, what the hey, go for it and get what we need. I think we threw out 2 huge boxes, lots of smaller ones, an abundance of waaaaay over used tissue paper for ornament protection and now I have lots more room for other storage. Yeah Joe!!!! As always, I'm not really sure why I don't listen to him more often.

I froze 3 bags of left over pecan pie muffins to take to my parents. I got two of the bags out this morning and I just got the third bag out because the kids and I are probably going to finish off one of them before we leave. Very yummy....

I am going to be an aunt 3 times over next year. Actually, one of them may arrive yet this year. She's due on the 31st. The next one is due in April and then my sister is due in June. Believe it or not, her three will be closer together than my oldest three. Is that possible????

My computer is near death I fear. We actually looked at new ones the other day, but they all have Vista and, from everything I've heard, I am more paranoid about Vista than I am excited about possibly getting a new computer. Now that is really paranoid!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Me and the girls

I don't have very many pictures of me with the kids because I'm usually the one taking the pictures. The girls got new outfits from Aunt Kim, so I decided to take the opportunity to have my picture taken with them while I had the camera out. We're even somewhat coordinated.

December pics

Okay, before I even begin on this post, I need to say that I think I misspelled niece in my last post. Is it "i" before "e" except after "c" or "i" before "e" except before "c"? I'm pretty sure it is the former which means I misspelled it in my title. I could go change it, but it's Christmas eve and I'm being lazy, so I will just let you know that I know I messed it up.

I finally got some pictures off my camera. This isn't all of them, but it will give you a flavor.

The gang with their favorite food--pizza!
I can't remember what they were doing--checking out the first snow? looking for birds or squirrels? waiting for Daddy to come home? saying goodbye to Daddy? This is a fairly favorite pose for them all.

My spiderboys

The boys sporting their new Christmas robes from Grandpa & Grandma Snow

My neice and nephew

As you may remember, I visited my sister and her kids a few weeks ago. Her husband, who is a pilot in the Air Force, was deployed at the time. Praise the Lord he got home yesterday evening--just in time for Christmas! I finally got the pictures off my camera and, in order to spare you some time, I only included two of the bazillion pictures that this proud aunt took.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

The annual Christmas Open House

Our annual Christmas open house was last night. Here's how it went:

What was different:
Normally we have it for our neighborhood. This year we were going to have it for our neighborhood on one night and our church family on another night. Due to various circumstances, we only had it for our church family. So next year we'll try to have it for both.

What I listened to on my iPod while I was preparing:
In my opinion, preparation music is really important to how efficiently and effective the preparation is so here was what I listened to: Carrie Underwood, Third Day Christmas Offerings, Metro Austin Unplugged. Yes, I realize Carrie Underwood isn't very Christmasy, but Joe gave me an early Christmas present of her newest CD and I could resist to listen. At one point I had a serious attitude problem, and so I needed a little praise/worship music to help adjust it---thus Metro Austin

What was on the menu:
chicken eggrolls, chips and salsa, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs, and pecan pie muffins

Minor glitches:
We were going to have BBQ meatballs, but I could only find Italian, so I switched at the last minute to eggrolls.

I temporarily lost one of my favorite oven mitts. Now I realize most people do not have favorite oven mitts, but I have an unusual fear of burning myself when I reach in the oven and I feel very protected with my favorite mitts. Thankfully, after about 15 minutes I found them again so it was only a minor glitch.

I turned the oven off while the last batch of pecan pie muffins were in it. As my husband says, I got a little too efficient.

Unusual occurances:
I ironed the tablecloth by my own initiative. To fully appreciate this, you have to understand that I am not the iron master in our home--Joe is. I really do not like to iron and never do it unless it is to iron Joe's clothes or he has strongly suggested that I iron the clothes that I have on. (This usually takes place before church.) But, he must be rubbing off on me, because yesterday I decided the tablecloth needed to be ironed before the party. About halfway through I was really questioning my judgment, but at that point I was fairly committed to the project--a half ironed tablecloth would have looked worse than one I hadn't ironed at all.

I cleaned the kitchen first. I usually always clean the kitchen last, but for some reason yesterday I shook it up a little, really reached out of my comfort zone and cleaned the kitchen first and the living room last. I am not sure that I will do that again--I started getting confused as to what still needed to be cleaned.

What was showing in the movie room (AKA kids' room):
The Santa Clause
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

What didn't get done before the party:
I didn't get a Christmas party playlist put together on my iPod, but as it turned out you couldn't hear the music over the crowd anyway. So I guess it wasn't that much of a big deal.

The Final Result
I think everyone had a great time and we didn't have any really major child meltdowns, so I call it a success.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nathan's blanket

We all are really creatures of habit. Our Nathan has a blue blanket that is his best friend. Honestly, the other day he fell and I was standing very near him. I said in my best mother voice "Oh, Nathan, come here so I can kiss it." Instead of running to his dear mother--the person who loves him and nutures him and feeds him and is full of compassion--he ran the other direction crying "Blanket, blanket, blanket!!!!". He normally sleeps with it. Actually, normally isn't the right word. Always would be a much more appropriate word. He sucks two fingers on his right hand and holds his blanket right next to his face. (Yes, I know, we are raising Linus--seriously, his blanket is blue) Yesterday afternoon I had to wake him up from his nap to get the girls from school. I gently shook him and called his name. His eyes popped open and, out of his habit, his two fingers immediately popped into his mouth. Then he shut his eyes again and lifted his other hand and began to feel around for his blanket. I decided I would hover and observe what was going to happen next since his blanket was all the way on the other side of the bed. He blindly moved his hand around grabbing onto everything it came into contact with...his shirt, his bear, his bed blankets and finally my shirt (I was leaning over him.) Evidently my shirt felt like his blanket because he grabbed on and pulled it towards his face. Of course, once it reached his face, his eyes popped open and he looked at me obviously very confused. Then confusion turned to disappointment and frustration. He let go and dove for his blanket. And even though it was only a brief moment of being able to help my child--I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is there really a Santa Clause??

We told our children that there is no Santa Clause. Horrible parents--I know. I'll give you the back story. Several years ago, when Sara was around 3, we tried to live the fantasy. Joe grew up thinking there was a Santa Clause. And even though it was understood in my house that there was not a Santa Clause, in my childhood mind I always wondered if maybe he really was true. So we tried, but then when one lie ("yes, Santa is real!") turned into a web of lies, (how exactly do you answer--"how does he get in our house since we don't have a fireplace") we decided we needed to be honest. So either last year or the year before we broke the truth to them. The problem is that they have short term memories--especially John. So each year we go through parent guilt of telling them again that he is not real. This year the girls remembered. We did tell them not to tell anyone in their classrooms that he is not real. How horrible would that be--a kindergarten and 1st grade classroom either full of tears or fist fights because my girls decide to announce that he is not real. So, they've been really good about that; however, they are very, very concerned because everyone else--including the kindergarten teacher--believe that there really is a Santa Clause. Now John did not remember this year what we had told him last year--and even after we broke the news to him again--I'm not sure he believes us. He's been playing his odds. I think he figures "What do I have to lose if I play along and act like there is a Santa Clause? Now if I don't play along and he really does exist there is a ton I could miss out on!" So he was very insistent that we visit Santa at some point before Christmas eve. We do this every year. So on Monday night we went to see Santa and let me just say that John turned on the personality and was out to impress Santa. He waved from clear across the room and made sure that he was the first one on his lap. And then he chatted him up for quite some time. In the car later, we asked him what he and Santa chatted about. He relayed this:

Santa "What do you want for Christmas this year?"
John "A yellow car"

At this point, we questioned the yellow car--this was a new Christmas item to us. He said that Santa had a basket of toys next to him and there was a yellow car in it. John: "I know he has the yellow car because I saw it. So that is what I asked for."

John continued to relay the conversation that took place:

Santa "Were you a good boy this year?"
John "Well, ummm, ummmm, well, ummmm, ummmm, well, yes!"

I guess there he played the odds that Santa doesn't really exist and wouldn't know if he lied or not.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My recent observations

I am spending the weekend at my sister's and hanging out with my niece and nephew. Things have been great except for the fact that I think I have somehow managed to come down with a bout of pink eye. Not sure exactly if that is what it is or not--however, they are bright red and light kills them. So I am typing most of this with my eyes closed. Pretty talented, huh! Anyway, I flew out early Friday morning (the flight left at 6am). Here were some of my observations on my journey:

  • I probably shouldn't be allowed to drive at 4am. I was listening to the radio and there was an ad for an oil change place. They kept advertising their 1995 oil. I kept wondering what about the year 1995 made the oil so great. It seriously took me about 5 minutes before I realized they meant $19.95 instead of 1995.
  • I am also prone to singing along with Willie Nelson to Jingle Bell Rock at 4am.
  • People talk on their phones at 5:15am in the airport. My question: "Who in the world are you talking to???" Even if the person on the other end is EST it is still only 6:15. Maybe they know people in Europe than I do.
  • There were 14 rows on the plane that I was on. And, yes, I was in row 14. Row 14 was only on one side of the plane, because, guess what?!--yep, the bathroom was on the other side. Now my flight time was approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. I think at least 15 people had to visited the bathroom in that time frame. Now, I try to avoid airplane bathrooms at all costs. However, all the traffic back my direction made me curious--is this a special airplane bathroom. I hadn't flown in around 2 1/2 years, maybe they changed the bathrooms on airplanes to be more hospitable. They had to be for that many people to decide to use it. So, I finally gave into the temptation and decided I would check it out, and, uh, no they have not changed just in case you are curious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So what was that exactly?

I decided to branch out in my food preparation for supper. Usually we stick with a meat entree, a vegetable and a salad. Occasionally I will include some kind of starch--potatoes, rice, biscuits or some sort of pasta. Tonight I tried couscous. Now before you become too impressed, it was a boxed version. In fact, it only took five minutes to prepare. To be specific, it was Parmesan couscous. I personally thought it was pretty yummy when I taste tested it after it was done. So I dished it out onto the plates and we sat down to eat. Just in case you were wondering, we had sticky honey chicken wings to go with it--very, very yummy. Anyway, after we prayed everyone dug in. The couscous seemed to be a big hit and brought the same question from everyone:

"What is it?" was the resounding chorus
"It's couscous." was my response
"Is it chopped up rice?" asked Sara
"No, it's couscous." I responded
"So what is it?" asked Joe
"Couscous!" I said
"What is couscous?" asked Joe
"Is this goose poop?" asked John
At this point the conversation went decidedly down hill. And ended with me stating very strongly "It is not rice, it is not potatoes, and it is definitely not goose poop. It is couscous!"

So I decided I should look it up on to find out exactly what we did eat this evening for supper.

couscous: a North African dish consisting of steamed semolina, served with vegetables and meat

Now, I'm sure you all know what semolina is, but I will provide you with the definition (just for my benefit, of course!)

semolina: a granular, milled product of durum wheat, consisting almost entirely of endosperm particles, used chiefly in the making of pasta.

Ahhh, I'm so glad we cleared that up. What I can assure you is that we did NOT eat goose poop for supper.

Maybe I never really matured to adulthood

I think I'm still a kid. Here are some recent examples that have rather proven this:
  • At the recent Christmas parade I was urging, rather loudly according to my husband, my children to make sure they got the "good candy" ("Mommy, please don't push me...")
  • Last night I was petitioning my husband to let my children jump and dive onto my couches in the basement. It is winter, afterall!
  • I was up around 4:30am really, really hoping for a snow day. I had the TV on at 5am so I could make sure I could plan out the day with the kids. Much, much to my disappointment, it just rained here so everyone went wherever they were suppose to be. Bummer.... (Sara: "But Mommy I really want to go to school" I guess I should be thankful for that attitude...)
  • And, last but definitely not least, I am perhaps the worst person in the world to give a present to before you are ready for me to open it. Yes, I still peek.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another first for me...

Well, it is time for me to record another first in my life--the first time I have helped lead a children's Christmas program. We had our program tonight and what a wild ride it was to get there! I led the music portions. You have to remember that I am part of a smaller church so we don't have an over abundance of children. So pretty much everyone who is able to do a speaking part has a speaking part. That means if anyone gets sick we also don't really have any back-ups. So the director and I had some stressful moments before the Lord praying for sick kids and then today praying for the weather (church this morning was cancelled due to ice). But everything came through and all the kids did so awesome. I was so proud of them and what a rush it was for me. I think I'll be lucky if I'm asleep before midnight. I would share pictures with you, but since I was up front directing the music and Joe was sitting with Nathan in the back, alas we have no pictures of the kids--except John singing Jingle Bells. BTW, John was Joseph and was soooo adorable. His favorite friend got to be Mary and they really did make a cute couple for four year olds. Anyway, I know it got video taped and others had cameras so I'm hoping in the next few days to have some I can share with you. If not, I'm sure there will always be next year. And now it is time for me to kick back and enjoy my Colts whipping up on Baltimore.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My night on the town

My husband treated me to an early Christmas present last night. He bought us floor tickets to the Jars of Clay/Third Day Christmas tour at the city near us. We got ready to go and tried to be as stylish as we could be. I even chose my healed shoes versus my pratical, very comfortable shoes. We had a new babysitter so we left the house later than anticipated and I underestimated the amount of time that it would take to get there. And so at 7:30, the start time of the concert, we were driving around the arena looking for a parking space. Finally we settled on one outside of a bar (I'll spare you the name of the bar) and started making our way on the snow slick sidewalk to the concert. It was at this moment that I was seriously reconsidering my decision to look stylish--especially considering my bum toe (see my previous post). We were comforting ourselves by trying to convince ourselves that the concert wasn't going to start on time. However, as we entered the area doors, handed the doorman our tickets, and our pants started to vibrate because of the bass music we realized that the concert had indeed begun. So we made our way to our seats; I'm sure we annoyed everyone else in row fourteen as we stumbled over them trying to be graceful as we carried our soft pretzels and drinks. (My husband likes to do it right on a big date :) ) I settled into my seat and was enjoying the opening act--Jars of Clay--who could have headlined a show if they were with any other Christian band besides Third Day. I looked at Joe--his face clearly showed the sacrifice he was making on his wife's behalf. He leaned over and yelled in my ear--"My pants are still vibrating and the lady next to me is filling up half my chair." I am somewhat more of a rocker than my husband. But, even I after about 10 minutes, was feeling rather old. I kept thinking about the fact that the next day I was going to be spending 4 hours with elementary kids practicing a Christmas play and then I was going to have to clean my house for a small group party that we were going to host. On top of all that, I kept sneezing and was become more and more convinced that I was coming down with yet another cold. So, had we really made the best decision? It was seeming anticlimatic. Their final song was somewhat inspiring and I was feeling a little more encouraged--at least my feet had stopped hurting from running all the way from the truck for about 5 blocks. We finished our snack during intermission and then enjoyed sometime chatting. I took an opportunity to look around a little and realized that I wasn't as old as I thought I was--pretty much everyone else in our area of the arena was my age. At least that was encouraging. And then Third Day came out and I have to say--IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH IT!!!!! Even now as I sit here completely sleep deprived (we didn't get home until midnight), with a new cold, a completely dirty house that will be full of guests this evening, and facing 4 hours with singing elementary kids--it was still so worth it. I'm not really sure what my favorite part was--the highlights were Born in Bethlehem (Joe's favorite), Show me Your Glory (my favorite), the fact that they mixed in their classic worship songs in with their Christmas music, they had all the words projected on the screen so everyone could sing along, and all of this done by the very, very talented Mac Powell and his band. It was by far the best concert either Joe or I had been too. And, even Joe who remember is not really my rocker husband, wants to sign up for their fan club just so he can relive the concert. (You can watch it online if you join.) He even gave me permission to buy whatever tickets I wanted to get the next time they come into town. And so, thank you, my dear husband for giving me a very, very good Christmas present.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My injured toe

I whacked my toe on Wednesday. I was cleaning and accidently kicked the chair as I was passing through the living room--obviously I was walking too fast. So I hit my toe, said ouch and went about my business. Then about 5 minutes later I realized that my toe still hurt--really, really hurt. So I sat down, took my sock off, and examined my hurting toe. It looked very normal, so I put my sock back on and continued picking up the boys' rooms. Finally, around lunchtime, I was convinced that I had seriously hurt my toe. I couldn't really walk on it. So I looked at it again hoping for some swelling or blackness. You see, I figure if I injure myself, it might as well look really, really bad so that I have something to show for it. Now it is two days later and still no really black or gross looking toe. Joe & I determined that I jammed it. It did turn quite purple at the base of it, but not cool enough for a picture. Aren't you thankful?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

They're baaaack.....

I had a child shooting my Christmas tree this morning. I stepped on 4 cars on our living room carpet last night. We had to read a dinosaur book 4 times last night. My deal of a train is no longer underneath the Christmas tree and my vacuum cleaner is out of its hiding place wandering around the house somewhere. Yep, my boys are back home from their vacation at Grandpa & Grandma Horns. And it is great!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Christmas movie list

There is an ice storm outside, a fire in the fireplace and an awesome movie in the DVD player--White Christmas. (We only briefly lost power this afternoon--kind of a bummer. I was prepared for it to be out all evening. I was looking forward to the adventure. I wonder if I really could have made chicken noodle soup in the dark? I guess now we'll never know.) Anyway, it made me think of what great Christmas movies there are. So here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order--not sure I could put them in an order...):

  • White Christmas (of course! maybe someday I'll convice my sister to sing the sister song with me)
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Lost in Paradise (love this one!)
  • The Christmas Story (and no, it does not involve a nativity scene--only a really ugly leg lamp)
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone (we watched this one this afternoon before we lost power)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original--not Jim Carrey's version)

Well, I'm sure I've missed some good ones, but we are almost to the scene where they sing the sister song and I don't want to miss it. So, if you want to add anything, feel free in the comments.

My Christmas train

For the last several years I have wanted a train to run under my Christmas tree. Have you ever priced the trains that run underneath the Christmas trees? That has pretty much put the big NO to me wanting a train. That and the fact that I have 2 boys ages almost 4 & 2--seriously can I really expect them not to play with a $100 train? So anyway I was at a store (let's just say the store had the word "Dollar" in it) a couple of weeks ago and came across my dream train. Okay, it wasn't my dream train, but it was at my dream price. And who cares if when you turn it on it sounds like an actual freight train is in my house--it looks great and if the boys mess with it I'm only out about $5. Yeah me!

Nathan's lounge chair

The bathtub has become my son's new lounge chair. At the risk of being, ahem, too revealing, I only included a headshot. You can imagine that his feet are crossed, because they are. And when I came in his hands were behind his neck. This has become his traditional bathroom pose. Getting him out is no picnic either--of course, I wouldn't want to be pulled from my warm lounge chair either.

My planned spontaneous fun

I had a friend comment to me yesterday that she really appreciated how fun loving I was. I left lunch feeling a little perplexed because I certainly wouldn't describe myself like that. Then I got to thinking about it--I am fun loving at heart. In fact, before I had children, I was extremely spontaneous and fun loving. One weekend when we lived in Dallas we drove 5 hours to San Antonio to spend only about 4 hours there on Saturday morning before we had to drive back. We decided to go about 3pm on Friday afternoon. It was a blast! We did that kind of stuff all the time. So I decided yesterday evening that I was going to be more intentional about having some fun. Well, this morning while we were eating breakfast out, we were discussing what we were going to do if we lost power today. (We are in the middle of an ice storm again (we had one of these in March too). What are the odds of that? Joe said do you live in the Midwest? Well, I guess that answered my question to what the odds of that are) Anyway, we decided we were going to play UNO by candlelight if we lose power. Then I came up with the great idea that we could play UNO by candlelight even if we didn't lose power. It was at this point that I said to Joe, very proud of myself, that see I can be spontaneous and fun. Joe's response "Yeah, if you have plenty of time to plan for it." Ahh, once again he speaks the truth.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The fairytale wedding

We've been discussing next summer's family vacation and one of the options was Tennessee. This also happens to be where Joe & I went on our honeymoon. Yesterday I mentioned this to my girls. Then I asked them--do you know what a honeymoon is? Ashley immediately pipes up: "Yep, that is where the married people are going in their carriage." Ahh, the fairytales--I'm just glad that we have managed to live happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Horn children Christmas meeting

Last Saturday morning the annual Horn children Christmas meeting convened around 8am. Sara was appointed secretary and was responsible for initialing each toy that was desired for Santa's list this Christmas. As you can see, this meeting is taken very seriously at our house and was very productive this year.

Girly Night

I was feeling brave last night--well, brave and very busy. Sara wanted her fingernails painted and I didn't have much timee, so I decided that the girls could paint their own fingernails. So after taking proper precautions (multiple threats about getting it on stuff other than the fingernails with multiple towels laid on the counter), they went at it. I must say, they did a great job, I think. Maybe even better than if I had done it for them. I even got in the spirit and painted my toes bright pink--nope you don't get to see pics of them.

Sara's pretty pink
Ashley's pretty pink
Proof of 1st time success. They didn't even have to wipe any off their skin.

John's new hobby

I am not a puzzle fan. Actually, that is putting it mildly. Working a puzzle is probably one of the last things I would choose to do in my free time. John has recently decided that he LOVES puzzles. And his 25 piece puzzles were becoming too easy so I went in search of a 50 piece one for him. Unfortunately, in a town this size, puzzles don't come in many sizes or varieties. So we came home with this one--a lion that was 100 piece. He really wanted a dinosaur one, so maybe we will attempt that at Christmas. So we spent the day the other day working this one 3 times. Ahh, the things you will do for your kids...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Autumn

It has become a family tradition to do pictures in the leaves every year. Okay, it might not be a family tradition--I think it is just a mom tradition. I'm determined to do it every year. I've included this year's pictures. And, since I don't have a video camera, I thought you would like the commentary that went along with the pictures.
Okay, that was good. Ashley, why don't you try sitting up in the next one. And, even though we've never done it before, let's try to add Nathan to the picture this year. (After playing tug of war with Nathan, I decided the sidewalk chalk and blanket could be included this year as well). John, look at me please. Seriously, Ashley can you sit up.Nathan, please don't eat the chalk. Nathan, Nathan, I'm over here. Better Ashley, but I kind of meant your whole body, not just your head.

Okay, great new pose. Everything was great. John, I really need you to look at me and not the leaves.

Seriously, Nathan don't eat the chalk!

John the camera is up here!!!
(The pattern between Nathan eating chalk and John being fascinated by the leaves went on for several more shots, but I thought I'd spare you the agony of having to see them all.)
Okay, that is definitely a wrap. We will try again next year for the perfect picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let's hope they don't end up in California!

Our mighty hunter and provider heads out tomorrow morning at 5am for the big deer hunt. I have an empty freezer that I am ready to have filled again. I was communicating this to my kids and my Ashley, who happens to be very partial to deer steaks, got straight to the point (as usual): "So Daddy's going to shoot a deer, cut it's head off and put it on our wall. And then we get to eat the rest?!" You could hear the eagerness in her voice. "Yes" I responded cautiously, not sure if I should encourage this conversation or not. Sara, in a dreamy, hopeful voice "Yeah, I sure hope he gets a buck." So, I left the conversation confident that somewhere out there is a little boy who will one day love to marry my supportive daughters. They could be in trouble though if they end up moving to California before they get married!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You know you're bored when...

you start measuring your belly button to see if it really is the size of a button. We'd been in the doctor's office yesterday afternoon for at least an hour and Ashley got bored. Somehow she got on the topic of belly buttons. "Why do we have a belly button? Why do they call it a belly button?" etc. I, of course, answered I don't know to all the questions put forth. And so she decided she needed to measure it to see if it was the actual size of a button. I was bored too, and so we both had a good laugh over it. And, no, I did not measure my own belly button!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Nathan! (Okay Belated--it was Oct 28th)

I am so glad that Nathan probably won't remember his 2nd birthday--it really was quite a bummer. It started with a trip to the emergency for the croup. Then to treat the croup he had to eat applesauce with crushed up steroid pill in it. Now, I wouldn't even want to do that on a normal day--let alone my birthday. So then he comes home and I'm so wiped out that I didn't even remember to get the poor kid birthday candles for the cake that his daddy had so graciously made for him because I had been gone the day before. However, since Daddy made the cake it split three ways so it kind of looked like an earthquake had occurred. (I actually think it was caused by over beating) Fortunately, that doesn't effect the taste and it was delicious. And the spider man pajamas from Grandpa and Grandma Horn pretty much kept him happy all day. So Happy 2nd Birthday to you Nathan. Here's hoping that it was the worst day of your next year of life.

The herd at the zoo

Before all the health chaos broke out at our house we went to the zoo. It has taken me awhile to get these posted to the blog. I had some others, but I need to talk to one of my techy friends and find out how to do one of those slide show things. Those look so cool. Or I need to use photobucket or something. Anyway, here's a snapshot my herd at the zoo.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fa la la la laaa la la la la

Evidently there are 48 days until Christmas. So says the sign at Walmart. Ashley returned to school today and so I emerged from my diseased house and made my entry back into the world. I honestly don't remember the last time I actually went shopping to a couple of stores. And, man, did the price of gas jump while I was in seclusion. Seriously I know it was around $2.80/gallon when the surgeries began and today it was $3.18/gallon. It made me wonder if somehow my house turned into a time machine and jumped forward a few years. But I have digressed. I noticed it in the first store I entered--Christmas music. I know Halloween is over, but did anyone remember that Thanksgiving is between October 31st and December 25th. However, the longer I shopped the more I sang and the more I sang the more I thought about Christmas and the more I thought about Christmas the greater urge I had to buy, buy, buy, and buy some more. I was formulating Christmas lists in my head and thinking about getting this great jump start on all my shopping. I even had a toy in my cart!!!!! Fortunately my sanity returned as I reached for the second present--the subliminal messages had worked!!! And I usually pride myself on not giving in to any sales tactics--I mean, everyone knows that if you start buying Christmas presents now you will buy more than you had planned because you have so much time to shop some more and see the ultimate gifts that my kid just can't live without. This doesn't happen if you are seriously disciplined--even I don't have that kind of discipline in my shopping life. So I returned the toys to their shelves, pulled my original crinkled up list out of my pocket and became determined not to sing anymore Christmas music. I think the next time I'll wear earplugs...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Sequel Movie Idea for Disney

We were on our way to Taco Bell for lunch today in honor of Ashley's last day home from school. She loves chicken taquitos so I decided to treat her to some. So we were in the van and John was reintroducing himself to all the dinosaurs in the back seat (some of the dinosaurs stay in the van so he can be entertained). About half way there he began the following conversation:

John: Mom, can we go see some dinosaurs?
Mom: No, John there are no more dinosaurs.
John: Can we go to the zoo so I can see some dinosaurs?
Mom: No John all the dinosaurs are dead. We can't see them anymore.
John after a moment of thought: Mom, are there T-Rexs in heaven?
Mom: I don't know if there will be T-Rexs in heaven John
John: Will they not be there because they don't believe Jesus died on the cross for their sins? (--at least he is getting the gospel message)
Mom: Uh, no John, remember dinosaurs are animals and animals don't have spirits like we do.
John looking very bummed: Oh, I want to see a dinosaur.

So maybe Disney should look into doing a sequel new movie called All T-Rexs Go to Heaven.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Quest to be Normal

The word normal rolled off my tongue a lot last week. "I just want life to be normal." was my constant mantra. By that I meant I wanted my husband to have a "normal job", I wanted my kids to have "normal" health (which I actually think they do), I also wanted my husband to have "normal" health. I wanted my financial situation to be "normal". I wanted my friendships to be back to "normal" because when you move your friendships are not "normal" for awhile. Basically I wanted to have the "normal" suburban lifestyle. I have said this before in my life. I say things like this in the midst in discouragement. This morning the Lord dragged me out of bed at 5am and I could feel the Holy Spirit begging me to get back into the word of God. (Why is it when we face discouragement we tend to distance ourselves from the one thing that we need the most?) So I expressed my desire to be "normal" to the Lord. He brought me to Psalm 73 which was the Psalm I read the last time I was in the word--last week. It was in my small group study book on a lesson on Doubts. I can remember when I went through the lesson how, what I now recognize as pride, set in. I may get discouraged or frustrated, but I NEVER doubt the Lord, was my feeling at the time. I had a different attitude as I read through the Psalm again this morning. My feeling of wanting to be "normal" was just a reflection of my doubt and lack of trust in the Lord. My perception was that if I was "normal" life would be full of goodness, because, afterall, all those around me who seem to be experiencing the "normal" life have very minimal hardships. The wicked do seem to prosper and for whatever reason " feet came close to stumbling; my steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant, as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They are not in trouble as other men; nor are they plagued like mankind." (Psalm 73:2-3,5 (NAS)). This is just the beginning of the Psalm. The Psalmist continues to describe what he sees as the success of those who don't follow the Lord. Then comes the key to the Psalm "Until I am into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end." (Psalm 73:17). I had become "senseless and ignorant" (vs 22). I am so thankful that I serve a God who loves me and forgives me and stays with me regardless of my stupidity. And I praise Him that even when I feel that I am failing, He is still my strength. And so, thanks to Him, I can now praise Him that I am not normal and that He has chosen me to serve Him.
"My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
(Psalm 73:26 emphasis mine)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My most recent conspiracy theory

I'm home from church this morning to nurse Ashley back to health. She's actually doing pretty well. She ate two meals yesterday. Her ears are hurting today, but codeine did the trick and she's already ditched the hot pad. So while she is watching a movie I decided to catch up on some blog reading. Both of the blogs that I went to had posts on daylight savings time and the affect it has on their children. And, yeah, it does affect my kids for a couple of weeks, but what about ME!? I know that sounds selfish, but seriously changing my clock affects me for about a month. I was wide awake at 4am this morning after going to be at 11:30. (I know, I know the bedtime part was my fault, but what can I say-I only get a date with Joe once in a blue moon!) All the research that I've seen talks about how detrimental the affect of changing the clock can be on your health. So Mr. Government--why are we changing our clocks if it is hazardous to our health?? And, seriously, there are not really more hours of sunlight in the day because of it. We may be the most powerful country on earth, but I don't think we control the sun yet. Maybe it is just a conspiracy to turn us insane...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ashley's big day

I would like to say that I am really good under pressure; that I am one of those people that you can always count on to keep their cool no matter what the circumstance. As I said, I would like to be that way--the last few months have again shown me that I am truly not very good under pressure. I tend to freak out--especially if I'm tired. So Ashley must have her father's genes because she was absolutely AWESOME today when she was under pressure. By the time we left the hospital she had downed 4 popsicles and drank a whole container of grape juice. She was feeling great considering what she had just been through. And every time we have asked her to drink or eat a popsicles, she hasn't argued a bit even though I KNOW her throat must horribly hurt. She didn't even complain about it hurting until tonight and I think that was just because she was tired. So, here's to you Ashley, you truly are AWESOME under pressure. I'm so proud of you!

Ashley and her new friend Winston.
She loved her hat. In fact, probably the saddest moment of the day was when we lost it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My new mystery job

So where do I begin? Usually when I post I know where I am going in my post and how I'm going to get there. With this one, I have no idea where this post is going to end up and, therefore, no idea what the road will look like. So enjoy the ride.... I went "bake home again" this past weekend. Friday night I actually went to a high school football game with my sister-in-law. It was so much fun!! I don't remember the last time I went to a high school football game--it was probably senior night when I was in high school. Then I returned to my in-laws and "partied on" in a married woman sort of a way and went to bed close to midnight. Reality set in around 1am when Nathan woke up wheezing and then he wheezed on and off all night. So, you guessed it, the next morning I was at the prompt care. He tested positive for strep. I came back to the house, tried to keep my eyes open for lunch and then headed to my other sister-in-law's house for yet a third sister-in-law's baby shower. Then we loaded up and headed home so we could be sure to be at church on Sunday. This, however, was not to be. Nathan had another horrible night and ended up in the ER on Sunday morning. Do you know what a mystery shopper is? I feel like at some point I became a mystery "responsible party for the patient" at doctor's offices and hospitals. The only problem is that no one informed me that I got signed up. Seriously, the prompt care where Nathan was treated called me today with survey questions. "Did Dr. (so and so) introduce himself to you?" My response "I have no idea." It was 8am, I was running on maybe 3 hours of sleep and NO COFFEE! So if I am signed up, they should let me know so that I can be more prepared for my next visit. Anyway, I'll spare you all the details, but will let you know that Nathan also had croup and we had John in the doctor's office today with the croup. Oh, and not sure if you remembered, but Ashley gets her tonsils out tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The synopsis of how I feel about fall

As one who has Hoosier blood running through my veins I cannot get through a cool, crisp fall morning without the words of James Whitcomb Riley running through my head:

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bare-headed, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
They's something kindo' hearty-like about the atmosphere,
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here--
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetisin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur that no painter has the colorin' to mock--
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
The husky, rusty rustle of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries--kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below--the clover overhead!--
O, it sets my heart a-clikin' like the tikin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!
James Whitcomb Riley

Monday, October 22, 2007

One lightbulb away from KABOOM!

Let me set the scene--it was the Thursday before Joe's surgery. We had a doctor's appointment we had to be at right after we dropped the girls off at school and had the boys picked up by the wonderful friend who was watching them. This meant that I actually had to be showered, dressed and looking presentable by the time the girls went to school. So the morning was hectic. Sara was having a horrible time determining what she wanted to wear to school, so I decided to help her muttering the whole way down the stairs "I don't have time for this" I flipped on the light switch and as the light went on it had an onimous flicker to it. I had just enough time to think "Oh, please don't go out" and then it went dark. Sara's room is in the basement and we don't have the egress window (large window) in yet, so it was utterly and completely dark. Time to change the light bulb. Of course when I took the light bulb out, I dropped it, it hit the chair and shattered EVERYWHERE. So know we are in the dark with glass on the floor and I haven't showered yet! I get a lamp from upstairs and plug it in. It is at the moment that I look up that I realize what a blessing this chaos has turned out to be. For the picture below is what I saw:

Now, seriously, how in the world did this not burn our entire house down!!! And so, my chaos turned into a blessing as, after further investigation, we realized this wasn't the only light fixture in the house that looked like this. And, I even had time for a shower before we left!

Ashley--my little me

The day I took Ashley to the doctor last week, I had at least 5 people say something to the effect of "WOW!!! You certainly can tell that she is your daughter." So I had Joe take a picture so I could get the full effect of what other people see. And, yeah, I guess there is somewhat of a resemblance... If she had red hair, she would know what she would look like in about 20 years.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My little post-modernist

When I had children I expected to have to teach them truth at some point--as in telling the truth versus lying. And, we have had some lessons on that in our house. However, John, recently, has been taking the matter of what truth is to an entirely new level. There was a time this last week that I actually thought that maybe he had become a post-modernist. It all started a few weeks ago. We were on our way to the doctor's office (imagine that :) ). We have to go over the river to get to our pediatrician's office. So, as we were crossing the river, John said that he saw a sailboat. There was no sailboat where he was looking. There was, however, a very large buoy. I said, "no, John that is a buoy." His reply "No, mommy, that is a sailboat." After several exchanges mirroring the above statements, he finally said "Okay, mommy, how about if you call it a buoy and I call it a sailboat. It can be a buoy for you and a sailboat for me." (How's that for relativism?!) It was at this point that I said "Well, you can call it whatever you want, but the truth is that it is a buoy. You would be lying if you insisted that it was a sailboat." I think he eventually got it because the next time we crossed the bridge, he very emphatically told his sister that it was indeed a buoy. Well, this last week on our way home from dropping the girls off at church, he was in deep thought in the backseat. Finally, he posed this question "Mommy, can I call yellow white and white yellow?" "No, John, the color yellow is yellow and the color white is white." Of course the next questions were "Why, mommy?" And "Who named the colors?" It was at this point that I answer like I do a lot of times as a mom "I have no idea, John." John: "I want to call yellow white and white yellow." And so I again explained the matter of truth. Needless to say, we have been reinforcing with him where he can find Truth, but I do think he will give his philosophy professor in college a run for his money--not to mention the kind of challenges he will give me before he leaves home. I should probably brush up on my apologetics.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My rain maker

We have a garage semi-attached to our house. It isn't attached in the sense that you can go through a door in the house and walk through it and be in the garage. You have to go outside and then go into the garage. However the roof line is attached to the house and the walkway to the garage is entirely covered. So, I call it a semi-attached garage--not sure if that is the technical name for it or not. In any case, it also has an automatic garage door on it. I think this is so cool because it is the first house that I've ever lived in where I have an automatic garage door. When we first moved in, it wasn't working real great and you had to push and hold down the button on the wall to get the door to go down. However, now, thanks to a guy in our small group who works on garage doors, it is fixed and it works perfect! I even play little games with it to see how far away I can be and still get the door to open. I also occasionally check and see if my opener will open anyone else's garage door. Do they program those things? In any case, you can bet that I ALWAYS park the van in the garage now. And I've kind of made it a big deal to everyone that we can now get in the van without getting wet when it rains. The bummer is that we really haven't had any rain since it started working. That is --until this weekend when I didn't have the van parked in the garage!! The truck got parked in the driveway a little funny and so, in order to ensure that I wouldn't hit the truck, we left the van in the driveway. And by the time I was ready to drive it again, it was raining. I couldn't believe it--I actually got wet! Then, again today, I went shopping this morning. I didn't park it in the garage when I got home because I had a bunch of stuff to unload from the car. Keep in mind it was a beautiful sunshiny morning, but now, within an hour of leaving the van out, I just looked outside and it was raining. Also, I kid you not, I went outside, pulled the van into the garage, and it immediately stopped raining. In fact, as I look out the window I see the sunshine. Kind of least now I know the next time what I should do if we begin having a drought.

The new description of my son

My son Nathan has more energy than a stick of dynamite. Joe added that he can be more destructive than dynamite as well. Am I getting old or do two year olds really run faster now than they did when I had my first child? I told a friend the other day that I should have had my boys first--when I was in my 20s. She said I would have to take that up with the Lord. I just may...

My future doctors

So what have I been up to lately since it certainly hasn't been blogging? Believe it or not I have been spending some more time at the doctor's office. This time it was with Ashley. It was determined on Monday that she is to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Plus she is going to have some tissue in her nose trimmed. At this point, she thinks this is all going to be pretty cool. And, so far, she has handled everything like a pro. She had her blood drawn on Monday afternoon. I must say I was at least slightly worried about that. Anytime you mention needle, shot, blood, or anything of the like to her in the past she completely freaks out. So we did some major preparation before they took her blood. She sat on my lap and I began my speech about how you don't have to watch and maybe it would be better if you just looked at me, etc. Personally, I pass out if I watch them draw my blood. Okay, so it doesn't have to be my blood--I pass out watching them draw any one's blood. So the nurse prepped her and then poked her. After a really big shout of "OUCH!" from Ashley, she stared completely mesmerized by what was taking place. And, then when it was finished, she stated "That was so cool. Did you see all the dark blood they took from me Mommy?" And, of course, the next day we had to keep the band-aid on because "I want to show it during show and tell, Mommy." Who knows, maybe we have a future doctor on our hands. John is showing signs of that as well---when Joe got back from his surgery, John was very insistent that he wanted to see what tools they used to cut Daddy. He was a little too fascinated with Daddy's cuts.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My corrections to the previous blog...

On our way to visit the surgeon this morning I was relaying my previous blog post to Joe. As I was relaying it, he began correcting me. Joe has to correct me a lot, I mean, a lot. I don't know if I just get in a hurry in life and don't pay attention or what, but I've learned that 99% of the time when he corrects me he is right. And so, even though he was in so much pain that he had to take morphine, here are the errors that he corrected.

  • It was not called the Skinny Cow. It was called the Spotted Cow. I guess there are ice cream sandwiches that you can buy in your local grocery freezer section that are named Skinny Cow. And so, even though I got it wrong for where I ate on Tuesday night, I still ask who wants to eat a skinny cow or look like one?
  • Second thing I got wrong--not sure how this happened--the doctor's name. His name wasn't Joseph. No, in fact, his name was James Brown. Yep--that is almost even better than if his name was Joseph. I'll let your mind wander on that one...

He goes in for surgery tomorrow afternoon to remove an organ that God gave us, but we evidently don't have to have in order to function in everyday life. I'll keep you updated!

Look at all the pretty houses!

Tuesday night we decided to check out one of the ERs in town. This is something that we try to do when we move--especially when we get bored. And seeing how we had nothing else to do on Tuesday night, we decided that would be the night. Okay, actually, Joe had been sick since Monday morning and was in really, really severe pain by Tuesday evening and so we made the trip. (I wish it was because we were bored.) Anytime you have to go to the ER there are interesting things that happen. Tuesday night did not leave me disappointed. It happened around suppertime (doesn't it always!). And so I put the half cooked hamburger in the refrigerator, gave very brief instructions to our wonderful friend who was going to watch the kids and jumped in the truck to take Joe to the nearby town where the ERs are located. You would think I would have been a little more prepared since he had been sick since Monday, but, honestly, I hadn't really noticed how sick he really was. I won't go into details, but let's just say Tuesday was a crazy day even without our trip to the ER. So, we are in the truck headed to the ER when I realize I don't even really know where I am going. (We are new to town, remember?!). I ask Joe which hospital he wants to go to. (Fortunately he had already had to make a couple of hospital visitations so he was a little familiar with them.) He tells me. And then I mutter somewhat under my breath that I don't know if I can find it and I wonder if Joe can tell me how to get there. At this point Joe says "Stop worrying about little things and just get me to the hospital!" Obviously he either didn't here me or he had completely lost perspective on what the big things and little things are! So I make my way blindly there and start cracking jokes (I had early been informed that I needed to "be strong" and "not cry" so the only other option was making jokes). His pain seemed to come and go quite a bit so I thought we should start timing them. We knew how to do that since we have four children. He didn't think it was as funny as I did, but I found out later that the pain actually is very similar to childbirth. Anyway, we got to the ER and you can always find funny things at the ER. Here are just a few things I came across:

  • The nearby cafeteria (I hadn't eaten supper, remember) was called the Skinny Cow. Now why would you name a restaurant the Skinny Cow? Have you seen a skinny cow? Do you really think you want to eat a skinny cow? Are they trying to give you subliminal messages and make you think you will look like a skinny cow if you eat there? And even then, again I ask, have you ever seen a skinny cow--I don't think I would like to look like one either!
  • What are the odds of the med student, the doctor and the patient all having the name Joe? (Okay, technically the doctor's first name was Joseph, but you know no one actually calls him that.) This prompted all kinds of things to go through my mind, like "how many Joe's does it take to find the patient's gall bladder with a bedside ultrasound?"
  • They gave Joe morphine--need I say more? Okay, even though I don't need to, I will. We were driving to the pharmacy after they dismissed us and Joe kept saying (keep in mind it was dark!) "Look at all the pretty houses." When I mentioned that it was dark to him and I couldn't really see the houses, his response was "But aren't the lights just beautiful." And, no, the people did not have Christmas lights out yet, they were just the regular city lights.
Joe is doing a little better as far as the pain is concerned. It was determined that it is a gall bladder and we see a surgeon today. Pray for us!

Monday, October 8, 2007

My new view

Any of you who remember our old house remember that we had a halfwall between our dining room and kitchen. I loved that halfwall. It is where the kids hung out a lot--especially Sara and Ashley while I was cooking. And so, now you can see my new kitchen view. We got barstools for our breakfast bar. It feels a lot more like home now that I've got these smiling faces to look at while I work in my office (AKA the kitchen) each day.

Maybe we should try a smaller scalpel...

My future surgeon
Seriously, is there anything cuter than a 3 1/2 year old boy?

My knight in shining armor!

Check out what I made for dinner the other night--looks real appetizing doesn't it?!
And so my knight in shining armor comes to the rescue!

Blue state bureaucracy

Yep, I'm still alive. Actually I'm the only healthy one in my family. (Oops, I probably shouldn't have said that out loud! Who knows what will happen tomorrow now!) Today I made my third trip to the doctor's office since Friday. I also went Tuesday of last week. So I guess that makes 4 visits within a week's time span. My pediatrician aptly said today that we evidently don't get along with our new locale's germs. To be fair, today's visit was a physical for the girls so they could continue to attend school. Now usually in this blog I stay fairly apolitical, but I can't resist to comment on the blue state bureaucracy that I ran into this last week concerning my girls' physicals. It all started last Monday when I got a letter from the school--a fairly harsh letter involving words like state "code" and "said child will not be allowed to attend school" and "truancy" and "sheriff will be notified"--I think you get the idea. Evidently they didn't have the appropriate physical form for Sara to be attending school--and Ashley as well although I created that one myself by letting them know that Ashley didn't have our current state's physical form either. Now a phone call or previous letter would have been nice, but that is a whole other story. So I got the appointment made for their physicals so there would be no need for a sheriff's visit to our house. Now here is the beauty of this whole situation. The form that needed to be filled out was basically just their vaccinations. So the school gave me a copy of the vaccination sheet that they had received from Sara's school records and from me for Ashley. I took the copy of that vaccination sheet to the doctor's office. The doctor (actually the nurse) wrote the vaccinations that were on the school's sheet onto the official form, the doctor signed it, and we are all set. How absolutely, unbelievably crazy is that! Ahh, you gotta love living in a blue state--it adds humor to my life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I guess I've made you wait long enough...

So here are the long awaited pictures of my new table. The pictures soooo do not do this beautiful and magnificient table justice. But since I promised to show it to you, here they are. Just so you know that to get the full impact of its beauty (especially when I put the leaves in) you will just have to come and dine with us.

It's a bird, it's a plane, NO it's....

It's Clark Kent!
No, It's SUPERMAN!!!!!

Less Hours in the day

Okay, it is official. There are less hours in the day in the new state that we live in. There has to be because I get to the end of the day and the clock says that it is time to go to bed, but I look around and there is still about 20 items left on my to-do list--At least 3 hours worth of stuff. There used to be only 1 1/2 hours worth of stuff on my to-do list when the clock said it was time to go to bed. And so I have concluded that, for whatever reason, there are less hours in the day now. This is quite the bummer because now I don't get to watch Big Fat Loser on Tuesday nights (or is that The Biggest Loser?--Joe says I always get it wrong...I'm sure it is the latter because I can't imagine a TV station agreeing to the first title and honestly who would sign up for that!)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Nostalgic or old and boring??

Joe and I are spending our evening like this--Joe is ironing for me while I catch up on bills and generally putting all of the other papers that pass through our house into order. And on TV is Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I got a deal on DVDs of it--20 hours worth of the classic show. Now I don't know if I'm just nostalgic or old and boring, but I am really enjoying watching it. So now you know how we spent our exciting Monday evening. I'm off to clip coupons and watch the round up of wild horses off the coast of Virginia.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Gin game is on!

You may notice a new listing along the left side of my blog. I will explain. Joe and I have begun playing Gin every night after the kids go to bed if we are both around and I'm not asleep. So, obviously, it doesn't happen every night. But, in order to keep us both honest, I decided to keep a running total of wins on the blog. We are both, ummmm, just slightly competitive. Only slightly--we've only had to ban one game (Monopoly) from our house so far because it was determined that it wasn't healthy for our marriage if we continued playing it. And so, in the spirit of honest competition, each day I will provide the added updates to the wins just in case in a few months one of us is tempted to make claims about who is winning overall that maybe aren't necessarily true. (Just for your information, we played to 100 the first two games. This has been changed beginning in the third game so that the game can last more than 4 hands. The third game is currently in process. For the sake of my pride, I won't currently divulge the score. Besides, it's not over yet.)

My AWESOME present

This morning I received my early Christmas present, and Valentine's Day present, and Birthday present, and Anniversary present, and probably Christmas of 2008 present as well. My new dining room table arrived. I don't have the picture of it yet, but this occasion definitely deserves two blog posts and so I will post the picture in a different post. It is sooooo awesome! With the leaves it sits 10! So when we have people over now we can actually all sit at the table and not be scattered about the house on different seats. The only, only drawback is that I've become rather harsh with the children concerning the new table. It has been determined fairly quickly that bar stools for my kitchen counter are definitely going to be a necessity. I'll just have to find some place else to put the computer. Now, you know it is a big deal if I am actually sacrificing counter space that is currently used for my computer! That space has extremely high real estate value in this house. However, if it will keep my table and chairs pristine for centuries to come (yes, I am planning on willing them to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren), then I am willing to make the sacrifice. The picture will arrive soon--I can tell you are all waiting with bated breath...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What every mother dreads hearing

Ashley's friend after school yesterday: "Mrs. Horn someone in my class threw up on someone in Ashley's class today"
My response (laughing): "EEEWWWW that is really, really gross. Ashley did that really happen?"
Ashley, very, very somber: "Yeah, that was Emma. She didn't feel very good"
My response (now feeling very sheepish and childish over initially laughing): "Yeah, I bet not."
Ashley, brightening a little: "It's okay now though. (The principal) cleaned it all up."

Only it was at this point that I was thinking, "No, it is not okay now". For at least two days now my family will have to put up with my paranoia that someone in my house is going to throw up. I HATE the stomach flu. So, I think last night alone I took one temperature (it was normal, but in my defense her cheeks were red), and asked 4 different times to various children "Does your stomach hurt? Do you feel okay?" It could be a long morning if anyone is dragging...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When the going gets tough...

I am potty training my almost 23 month old. I just wrote a note to a friend about it and it cracked me up so I decided to write about it here as well. This is the earliest I've ever tried to potty train a child, but I have caught myself a lot lately saying to Nathan "No, you cannot go to the potty." and then I catch myself saying "Self, what are you saying??!!" I think he has been watching his siblings go too many times. We try to keep a closed door policy in our house, but when you have 4 kids and the oldest is 6 it is difficult to enforce. This is especially true when Nathan sometimes likes to make a grand entrance just to say "hi". The other motivating factor is my sister. My sister has a little boy exactly one month older than my Nathan. He turns 2 on Friday (Happy Birthday, Luke!!!). And, you guessed it, he is almost completely potty trained at this point. Now granted he is a first born and he only has one sibling. But that sibling is still a baby and I figure if my sister can do it, surely, surely this experienced mom who has already potty trained 3 others should be able to do it. (Actually, I probably shouldn't count Sara & Ashley because they were so easy that it could probably be considered that they trained themselves. Someone once asked me about Ashley "How did you do it?"and my answer was "I have no idea!") And so, we are in day two of potty training. It is going well as long as I say "good boy!!" whenever he sits on the potty. He quite frequently reminds me that I need to say it. But you should probably check in with me next week, because my potty training motto seems to be "When the going gets tough, the tough quit potty training and try again later!"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The first pictures from inside our house

Well, I finally got part of my house clean enough to take some pictures. I don't have the pictures organized on the walls. I just kind of put them up because I figured they were safer there than on the floor. At some point we will be getting some bookcases and that will help determine where the pictures go. So, here is part of our new house:

Our living room: view from the front entry way

Our living room: view from the kitchen

Our entry way and dining room: view from the living room

Our kitchen: view from the dining room
We were getting ready for small group when I took these pictures. At some point in the next couple of weeks we will be getting a new dining room table. So you will get to see more pictures then. I also need to get better pics of the kitchen. It is fairly large and these don't really do it justice.

Happy Birthday to You

Nathan learned how to sing "Happy Birthday to You" when Joe recently celebrated his 34th birthday. The only problem is that we aren't sure he knows exactly what or why he is singing. Recently we have noticed that he always sings it when he sees fire. We did our cook out last weekend and Nathan thought we were celebrating a birthday. I lit the stove yesterday (it's a gas cook stove) and evidently that signified to Nathan that someone must be celebrating a birthday. And so, we've been celebrating a lot lately.

Today's quote from Sara

In observing her parents, Sara said "What are you doing?!?! It looks like you are chomping on each other. That is so gross!!!!!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The journey to Jamaica

Ashley said to me this morning "Mom, do you remember that religion that we learned about? It was the one where people in Southeast Asia had to go to journey to Jamaica once in their lifetime."

Yes, she is a little confused, but who can blame her for thinking Jamaica would be a good destination to have in a religion.

Lite Bologna

Our local grocery story had a mix and match 10 items for $10 sale this week. So I made my way over to the store after I dropped the girls off at school. I was slightly in a hurry because I had made a deal with John that if he was good at the grocery store he could watch Super Readers when we got home. Super Readers starts at 9am so I had exactly 36 minutes when I pulled into the grocery store. So we were off to the races--literally--the boys were riding in the car cart beeping the horn at everyone we saw. Sara loves Bologna. Joe can't figure it out. I think she must get it from me. Anyway, Bologna was one of the mix and match items so I picked up 2 one-pound packages of it among other things. We arrived home at 8:57 and John had been an angel at the store so we ran inside and turned on Super Readers. As I unloaded the groceries I noticed that I had picked up two different kinds of Bologna--one regular and one lite. That's right--Lite Bologna. Let that sink in and then answer this question--who eats lite Bologna? While you answer the question keep in mind that the lite Bologna was not $1. It was $3.19. (I would like to blame the grocery store for putting them near the $1 Bologna, but I will take responsibility for not shopping more closely.) So now I guess the answer to the question, is that we will be eating it. But I will always be curious if there are people out there who actually buy lite Bologna or if it is just people like me who buy it by accident that are eating it.

So are microscopes really a good thing?

Sara brought home a magic school bus book from the library last week. If you are not familiar with the magic school bus, you either don't have kids or your kids aren't very old. The magic school bus is a bus that a science teacher can shrink and travel to all different kinds of places to learn about science. This particular book is about germs. Well, it isn't totally about germs, but that is what I have been focusing on of late partly because Ashley has been sick. Reading this book has almost turned me into a germ phobic. It talks about all the microscopic stuff that you can't see. Yesterday I actually went OCD on washing my hands. Not really sure how many times I washed them, but at one point I caught myself beginning to wash them again right after I had dried them because I couldn't remember if the towel that I used to dry them was clean or not. Had I used the towel before to dry my hands? That is probably a problem. Fortunately, I think we are almost finished with the book. We are on chapter 8. As we finished reading last night, the bus was getting ready to travel inside a boy named Alex's body. BTW, Alex has a horrible cold, so tonight we are going to get to see what a cold does to the inside of a body. Yippee! I am beginning to believe that there is a reason that these things are microscopic. God knew it would freak us out if we could see them. By tomorrow I may not even allow my children to emerge from the house, but whose to say my house is even clean. Maybe Joe should finish up the book for me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My great day

There was frost on the rooftops this morning. It was great. The only time of year that I look forward to more than fall is Christmas. You can't really beat Christmas, can you? Anyway, fall ranks up pretty high for me. I love wearing sweatshirts, feeling crisp cool air, and everything about fall. Today was perfect fulfillment of fall--with the exception of visiting an apple orchard. The day started with two cups of perfectly brewed Starbucks coffee. Joe made a big roaster full of chili for our small group tomorrow night so that aroma filled the house. Then a little later we went outside and cleaned out the fire pit in our backyard. I planted tulips for next spring--so excited about that! Then Joe built a fire and the kids played in the yard. Nathan was chasing the squirrels. We live near our high school and there was pee wee football going on this morning, so I even somewhat got to experience a football game while we roasted our hot dogs and marshmallows for lunch. It was great. It was all topped off by an afternoon nap appropriately in front of the TV with a college football game on. Did I mention that it was great? I need to come up with a better descriptive word, but it is closing in on my bedtime so I think great will have to suffice for now.


We went swimming this afternoon at our community center. The boys wanted to wear their "swimmies" for their arms. We could only find one set, so we ran to the store before we headed over to the pool. As Joe was looking for another set in the store, I was blowing up the set we had in the car with the kids.
Sara commented :"So those are for the arms?"
Me: "Yes, Sara"
Sara: "So your arms will float."
Me: "Yes Sara."
Sara: "Too bad they don't make those for your head."

True, so true--it would be nice if they made floaties for your head.

I'll make you an offer you can't refuse...

Joe took John with him today when he (Joe) got a haircut. John was a little nervous. The last time he had got a haircut I accidently nipped his neck with the scissors. It didn't bleed or even leave a mark--at least a physical one. It has very definitely left an emotional scar. I guess on the way to get Joe's haircut they had the following conversation which Joe relayed to me:

Joe: You can sit and watch while I get my haircut.
John: I want to stand and watch.
Joe: Why, John?
John: I don't want her to cut my neck
Joe: Well, John, she isn't going to cut your hair. She is just going to cut mine.
John: What will happen if she cuts my neck?
Joe: Well, mommy wouldn't be very happy.
John: So when we go home and tell mommy she will come back and get rid of her?

I guess I've developed a reputation with my son...

Friday, September 14, 2007

My new slippers.

I have been looking for slippers like these for a long time--since last year. I was at a sleepover with Sara last year and a little girl had fluffy flip flop slippers that I thought were really cool. So I started looking for them and never found them--until today! Now, normally I am a fairly practical person. This is not true when it comes to shoes. I've never been practical when it comes to shoes--what they look like is much more important than how they feel or whether they are serving their appropriate purpose. These slippers are a great example of this--exactly how warm to do you think my feet will stay wearing flip flops on tile floor when it is 20 below in January? I know, not practical, but won't they look cute?! (The picture does not do them justice.) BTW, my girls put their very strong stamp of approval on them--I think the jeweled heart sold them.