Sunday, December 28, 2008

hangin' with the cousins

It was the first time in three years that everyone on my side (my sister, me, parents, spouses & kids) were all together. What an awesome weekend! Here are some glimpses of the cousins hanging out together.Grandpa got the older three boys remote control cars for Christmas.Snack time!

Races in Grandpa's yard--and yes, Nathan did just take down his little cousin Hannah

And, alas, (or maybe not alas in your case) my computer battery is quickly dying so I must wait to post more later.

Tree climbing at Grandmas in December

Check it out--December 27th and no coats--and no, my parents do not live in Florida!

Christmas Favorites

Here are some shots of the favorite 2008 Christmas gifts:The new rocker in the family. His guitar has pretty much been attached to his hip since he got it

Ashley: new shirt, new jeans, new Webkinz (Jessica), and, if you look really closely, new fingernail polish



There's a new sheriff in town. He's not real fond of the caps but likes the badge, holster and guns. He's also very fond of his new bow and arrow.

new shirt, new jeans, new Webkinz (Lovely) and again, if you look really closely, new fingernail polish.

Christmas isn't over for them yet though! We are headed for the Horn side tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Happenings

So I realized it has been a couple of days since I posted. We've been in the midst of holiday happenings which have included:

  • the best Christmas day ever...it gets better and better as the kids get older. Just wait until you see the pictures of the new rocker in the family. We also made cupcakes with our new cupcake maker and all got addicted to Webkins.
  • traveling to Indiana in the rain and making a record number of stops ("I really have to go this time mom! I didn't have to when we stopped for so and so.") This actually was a monumental trip. It is the first time in 8 years that we have traveled without diapers and wipes. Now that, my friends, is a milestone.
  • hanging out with the Snow family..all together for the first time in three years. I'm afraid our children are corrupting their cousins--a lot of new maybe not so good tricks (some involving cap guns)
  • it was in the 60s here today...WOW!--lots of Christmas frisbee and tree climbing

and now it is time for another game of Settlers of Catan. I'm determined to win at least once and maybe could if they told me all the rules before the game started (no, I'm not competitive at all). Just thought I'd give you a quick update. Look forward to lots and lots and lots of pictures (probably a lot more than you care to see.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE HORNS!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

2008 Christmas Program

Our church had their annual children's program a couple of weeks ago and I thought you'd like to see a couple of pictures of the angels and Joseph & Mary.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ice Storm 2008

I realized I never posted a follow up to my ice storm preparations. Hopefully I wasn't holding any of you in suspense (I'm sure y'all sat around wondering and wondering...does she have power or does she not). Anyway, we did have a whopper of a storm. We were very blessed and maintain power throughout the whole weekend. I must say that I think it is a miracle considering the state of the weather conditions outside. My new ice storm motto is....always be prepared. Even if you don't lose power it's fun to light candles and lanterns for a Christmas party.

The biggest difference between this ice storm and others I've watched from the warm indoors is that our ice isn't going away with this one. They think it may melt on Friday. They are predicting it to reach 40 degrees. I'm somewhat skeptical because it has been arctic cold here and now we have a bunch of new snow on top of the ice not to mention a small layer of ice and snow under our 1/2" of ice. We'll see if it's gone by March. Thought you might enjoy some pictures of our glassy wonderland. It has made some of us feel as though we are living in Narnia.
Yep, that's part of our tree in the road. They had to cut a big limb off so the snowplow could get through the street.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Merry Open House

Last night we held our annual Christmas Open House. We started this when we were in Iowa with our neighborhood. We've expanded since we've moved here and now invite the neighbors, church attenders, and pretty much anyone else we know. We think we had around 80 people come through the house last night. We may need to go to two nights next year....especially considering that yesterday was perhaps one of the nastiest weather days we've had in all of 2008. People had to bear -20 wind chill, slick roads and blowing ice chips to get here. Taking pictures crossed my mine several times, but as you can see there are none. So you will just have to use your imagination. On the menu last night was Joe's fried turkey, BBQ cocktail wienies, chips, salsa & cheese, mini pecan pie muffins, brownie bites and mini chocolate chip cookies and a vast supply of coke products. I think Sara summed it up well "Mom, this party is AWESOME!" It was awesome fun and if you didn't make it this year then hopefully you can come next year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

my exurberant peparations

Well, I'm getting ready to eat my lunch and am wondering if I am completely prepared for the impending ice storm. The last ice storm I experienced was about 2 1/2 years ago (actually now that I think about it, I think it was only 1 1/2 years ago). In any case, it was when we lived in the wonderful great plains state of Iowa. We were in a job search process and anticipating that we were going to have to sell our house, so we were in preparation mode for that. The day that it iced we were painting 2 rooms--Nathan's room and our upstairs bathroom (a gorgeous red color!). As you can probably discern, I was not ready for the power to go out. My house was a big mess. Once it got dark it was somewhat of a problem because I couldn't find anything and I kept tripping over stuff. Then we packed a bag to go over to our dear friends' house (we miss you Gehmans!!!) and that was an even bigger challenge due to the big mess. So this time I am determined to be prepared. I have:

  • done about 5 loads of laundry--it's not folded, but you can do that in the dark, right? It won't have to be done in the dark because I'm going to fold it this afternoon before it gets dark--hopefully!.
  • completely cleaned my boys' room--wow! that was a mess, but very necessary! It does not feel good to accidentally step on a toy combine.
  • cleaned the basement
  • cleaned the girls' rooms
  • cleaned the bathrooms. Have you ever tried using the bathroom in the dark and it not be cleaned? It can be painful to find the sink when you accidentally lay your hand on a hairbrush or, worse yet, your husband's razor! ouch!
  • got out all the lanterns
  • brought in extra firewood so we don't have to chip away at the ice on it outside
  • got lots and lots of books from the library although we will probably spend most of the time reading The Tale of Despereaux--great book! We got it for the kids as an early Christmas present. Joe's been reading it to us all each evening and then we are all going to see the movie. (I kind of got impatient and read ahead--only a few pages--I started feeling guilty so I stopped....shhhhh....don't tell anyone in my family!)
  • I know exactly where the lighters are and where the batteries are and I got the right size batteries this time!
  • ironed my hubby's shirts
  • have meals planned out that we can use for our gas stove

So now that I'm prepared it probably won't happen. Which would be AWESOME--no ice and a clean house! I'd rather have snow, but they keep insisting that it isn't going to be snow--it's going to be ice. The schools have already started dismissing and the sun is still shining. My last step to preparation--a nice, long nap!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sorry to perhaps confuse you with the new blog layout...but they had some great Christmas ones and I couldn't resist...

Cure for the common (or maybe uncommon) December blues...

I have had the worst time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I had seemingly tried everything--put up the Christmas tree, play Christmas music, buy a few Christmas presents, watch Christmas movies, I even had a friend who bought me the cutest snowmen earrings, but, alas, nothing was seeming to work. However, this weekend, I found the solution and I thought I would share it with you in case you were suffering the December blues:

  • Get a babysitter and surprise your husband with an overnight trip (okay, I didn't surprise my husband, but it would have been really cool if I would have)
  • Priceline a hotel room--make sure it is a good one
  • Have the hotel put you in the best room in the place (I know you may not have any control over this, but that's what they did for us and it was great!)
  • Fish tacos at TGI Fridays--yummy!
  • wandering Borders & going out of business sale at Linens & Things without a quartet following us around
  • In bed asleep by 9:30pm--wonderful!
  • Christmas shopping with my hubby all morning
  • All topped off with wings at Buffalo Wild Wings--how awesome--my new favorite restaurant! Did you know they screens all around the restaurant with different football and basketball games--how cool! I made Joe switch me seats so that I could see the Purdue game.

And so, that is the official prescription for the December blues. Tonight I'm wrapping all those presents and watching White Christmas...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Wednesday

Okay so here are some random thoughts for the day:
  • I lost my brush for 3 days. I just found it five minutes ago--in the medicine closet. Good thing I have short hair and am not picky about my hair brushes.
  • I got a new pair of shoes today. Yeah...due to my, um, frugalness Joe told me last month that I am required to budget for a new pair of shoes a month. Evidently he looked at my shoe rack and took great pity on me.
  • My son John informed me today that he does not know who or what the Muppets are...so sad.
  • Nathan's favorite store is Sam's Club.
  • Do you know that there are only 15 more shopping days until Christmas?! Yikes!!
  • When my unnamed daugher does not put on fresh socks everyday her shoes, socks and feet really, really, really, begin to stink. This is now a required question for me every morning "Are those clean socks?!"
  • Ashley wants to start her own blog.
  • I'm having a big Christmas Open House in a week and a half. You are all invited. It is going to be AWESOME!
  • I am listening to The Living Room Sessions-Christmas by Chris Rice right now.
  • I think I'm going to have to get a new cell phone. Mine keeps telling me that my battery is invalid---whatever that means. Like I'm trying to trick my phone with a new battery or something...
  • The other day in the car I kept telling Sara to take her hat off because it was going mess her hair up. She kept saying "but I'm cold." What kind of mother am I????
  • Nathan is playing with about 200 pennies right now. Wonder how long it will take before they all come crashing off the counter and we get to play penny pick up?
  • The Illinois government has evidently decided that they won't be putting much salt on the roads this winter. They've decided to let the winter sun melt it off. And they've developed a new motto for all of us "ice and snow...take it slow". They think the "green" approach is better then salt. Hmmmm, wonder what we do when it snows and or we have ice at night...
  • It is time for my nap--yea!

Monday, December 8, 2008

two words I never thought I'd use in a sentence together...

Karen: "Joe, I think your bologna is burning".

As a side note...don't you think there should be a "y" at the end of the word "bologna"--phonetically where does that "e" sound come from?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the winter fruit

The winter of fruit at our house is.....grapefruit! Surprised? That is the one fruit that all my kids like and ask for (well, they all like apples, but they don't exactly crave them). And I can honestly say that I don't even put much sugar on them--just enough to cut the tartness. Here's some pics of them enjoying their afternoon snack.A big thumbs up from Nathan

Good to the last drop!

The must sees of the day

The girls wanted to be sure I took pictures of them today. Here are the things that they thought you must see:



Ashley is celebrating the fact that her hair is long enough to put into pig tails (barely! but they amazingly stayed put all day)


Sara pulled her own tooth at school today so it will be a little bit more difficult for her to eat all those wonderful Christmas cookies although I'm sure she'll manage.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Overheard at the breakfast table this morning...

Cyara (the girl I babysit): I don't like eggs. The chick is still in it. Gross!
Sara: No it's not
Cyara: How do you know?
Sara: The chick is only in there if the rooster salts the egg.
Cyara: Are you sure?
Sara: Yep, I know that is what happens. I learned it in first grade.

Begs the question...kosher salt, sea salt, regular table salt??? Inquiring minds want to know! (I did ask the question, but she didn't know.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A couple more favorites..




Snow pants



I love snow pants! Actually I've never worn them, but aren't they awesome! I didn't always feel this way about snow pants. When Sara was entering kindergarten I got her school supply list and was excitedly making my list before I did the Walmart run for the first time as a parent of a school-aged child. I think I was more excited then Sara. Anyway, I was writing...markers, 2 packs of crayons, 2 glue sticks, 2 boxes of Kleenexes, snow pants. WAIT! What was that? Snow pants on a school list. My thought...seriously, are they really necessary?? I never wore snow pants. If long underwear and two pairs of jeans were good enough for me, my five year can certainly survive the winter without snow pants. However, I trekked to the store when fall hit and very grudgingly bought my family's first pair of snow pants. Come to find out they ban any children from playing in the snow on the playground if they don't wear snow pants. (wimps I say, wimps!) So when it snowed (which it did quite a bit in Iowa--where we lived at the time) I packed her up in them and sent her off to school. Then came the day that there was a snow day and I sent the kids out to play at home. WOW! They are the greatest invention ever. She was totally dry and stayed completely warm. And no more layer upon layer upon layer of clothing to the point that you can barely move. What a novel idea--actually being able to walk out the door when you go out to play in the winter. So from then on I've been sold on the idea of snow pants to the point that I freak out when they get in the snow without them. I'm afraid I've turned them into wimps, but I still love snow pants.

My guys

Okay, I am just going to start out by apologizing to my girls--I am posting a lot more pictures of the guys then I did of them. This was not intentional. I'm just not around them as much as I am the boys since they are in school all day *sigh*. I will make it a point to snap some of them tomorrow. Here's some recent shots of the guys in my life.... My butcher man

What a better way to spend a snowy afternoon than snuggling on the couch

Nathan said "good-bye" to his blanket when he turned three and then 2 days later he said "hello" to Rosie the bear his new best friend
Aren't they handsome?



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Note to self...

the next time your boys are fighting over the spiderman boots when there is no snow outside and you hide them to prevent the fighting--write down where you put them!! Then when it is snowing and one of your boys actually needs to wear them you can find them!

(P.S. I put Nathan on the task and he found them before bed. That child may become one of the world's greatest detectives.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

My mighty hunter

Hunting is my husband's passion. (well, I guess I should say his recreational passion. He is passionate about other things as well.) He's gotten to live out his passion the last couple of weeks. The great thing about my husband's passion is that I benefit. I get food to cook. The other thing he is very skilled at is butchering. Now I'm fairly frugal (some would say cheap) so I appreciate the butchering aspect as well. Meat's a lot cheaper when you don't have to pay a locker. In years past when Joe has gotten a deer, I clear my kitchen counters, get out the food saver for him, label the food saver bags and then disappear to watch the kids. I honestly wasn't trying to get out of work--one year we had four kids ages 4 and under. We still have four kids but my baby is 3 so this year I decided I should be the proper helpmate and at least offer to help butcher the 2 deer that he and a buddy shot. My dear husband graciously said "If you could just keep me company that would be help enough. (Isn't he great!) Well, as I was sitting there drinking my coffee (so I could stay awake into the night hours) I began to feel a little guilty and lazy. And then I decided "hey, I could do some of that." So I decided to offer my actual physical assistance. We decided it would be best if I "cleaned" off the bones for meat to grind. (I don't think I could cut steaks). I did fine until he brought in a shoulder. I don't want to gross you out so let's just say that the shoulder on this deer is where the shot entered and that does certain things to the meat (and creates a lot of blood). I tried my hardest, but after washing my hands every 30 seconds I realized that I truly am a girl. So I took my seat and let my manly husband finish his job. (Now I know why most meat counter personnel are men.) So here's to my husband the provider of food! I would be lost without a grocery store and a meat counter. (I took pictures but you'll probably be thankful that I didn't post them--especially if you are getting ready to eat lunch.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but our small town had our Christmas parade on Saturday. A bigger town nearby has their the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so as to not try to compete (I'm assuming) we do ours on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Anyway, the girls got to be in their first parade. They walked with their girl scout troupe. I got to walk with them and for some brief moments was exclaiming to them how excited I was to be in my first parade as well. Then my memory of high school kicked in. I've been a lot of parades and I'm sure my parents are thinking "how could you forget that??!! We stood in countless cold (and hot) lines to watch you walk by for thirty seconds!" I played trumpet in the marching band in high school. However, this was the first parade that I was in that I wasn't in the band. It is an entirely different kind of experience. You actually realize that there are people watching you. When you are in band, you are basically clueless that there is anyone watching you (at least I was). You just hope that you stay in step and don't run into the person in front of you. So we took some pictures before we left the house and then, in all the excitement, I completely forgot to take my camera to the actual parade. I felt like the abominable snowman (and look a little like one too!). I was so paranoid that I was going to get cold that I had about 3 or 4 layers on the top and bottom. My girls were complaining when we got there that they were sweating. But my motto is --always better to be too hot then too cold in a Christmas parade!

I had to include this picture. It is such a classic Ashley expression and I think it is the first time I've gotten it on camera. Definitely one of my favorites...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A sure sign....

that I'm committed to counting my calories this time around: I said "no" to an offer of M&M's earlier today. I LOVE M&M's--this was a big deal! The last time I said "no" to someone offering me M&M's was when I lost 50 pounds so here's hoping...

joking John

John has gotten into joke telling lately and I must say (at the risk of sounding biased) that he's got the gift. He's gets it from his dad. I couldn't tell a joke to save myself. I either forget some pertinent information or my timing is way off. Actually, now that I think about it, usually both of those things occur. So, with that in mind, I'll share one of John's favorites with you.

John: What do you get a gorilla for his birthday?

Mom: I don't know.

John: I don't know either but he'd better like it! (or is it "you'd better make sure he's likes it" I can't remember!)

Anyway, once John got his first laugh he was sold on jokes. I found out that as soon as he got to church on Sunday he began telling his Sunday school teacher his jokes. His biggest problem is that he needs more material. I think I see a joke book in John's future....

Monday, November 17, 2008

So I went and got my haircut...

and in retrospect I'm not sure it was a good idea. Joe and I need to get new pictures of the two of us. We are going to have our favorite photographer Lindy take them. We need them for our church's website and bulletin. So I decided that I should get my hair trimmed up before we got them taken. Here's a before that I took a couple of weeks ago--kind of a cheesy picture (which is why you haven't seen it until now) but it works as a before picture.
I don't really look like I need a haircut, do I? Well, on my behalf, it had grown some since that picture--my hair grows really fast. Anyway, we headed to my favorite salon this morning--the Cost Cutters at Walmart. Whenever we move I try out the different Cost Cutters to find one that consistently has good hairdresser. They are fairly cheap and I never have to worry about making an appointment. So I arrive this morning and get signed and notice that there is a new gal. I really wasn't too worried. She calls my name, I tell her what I want and she takes me back to wash my hair (I splurged!). I normally look forward to getting my hair washed, but today it was a torturing experience. I'm sure my hair is clean, but my scalp still hurts. She mentioned that she did eyebrows and since I hadn't had mine done in awhile and I was going to get my picture taken I went for it. Obviously I also had a short memory and forgot the kind of pain she had caused me when she washed my hair. Again, my eyebrows turned out great but wow! did it hurt. She asked me if it hurt too bad at one point, but I never know how to answer that. Isn't it suppose to hurt when you put hot wax on your tender, fair eye skin and then rip out the hair. I was a little nervous at this point. The eyebrows looked good but were mightly thin. It turns out my concern was not for nothing. When she started on my hair I knew we might have a problem. But what do you say when she says--how's that look? Once it's gone it's not like you can put it back on. So here's the after with my handsome hubby

I'm not sure the picture does it justice--it is short. And you have to realize that it is a "stacked bob" style. So the back is shorter than the front. She had to take an electric razor to the back of my neck. Yeah, that is short. My poor neck has been cold all day. The kids keep asking me why I am wearing a scarf in the house. But, on the upside, my hair grows fast, I won't have to get my haircut for 3 months (that will save money!) and my husband likes it. Actually, it is kind of growing on me as well...

...completely unrelated--I finally got blogger to upload my pictures on my computer! I wish I could say I used all my intellectual powers to fix it, but nope. It just started working again for some reason. So you can look forward to more pics to come...

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Blogroll

Okay, so I think I've solved my blogroll problem. Instead of having them listed in a long line in my margin, I will set this post up as a link. I will also update it occassionally to include new blogs that I'm checking out. (Many thanks to Life in the Parsonage which is where I got this idea!) Oh, and sorry for the line spacing issues--I just don't have to time to fix it today.

Amazing Time Management Secrets

Bullhorn (my husband)

Cup O' Joe with Bill


A Day in the Life...of Me

A Day in the Life of the Bowers

Growing the Garden

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

popcorn and Braveheart

We got a big screen TV last week. It's a long story so I won't go into it, but it was a gift (yes, there is no way we would spend my husband's pastor's salary on a big screen) and we are really, really enjoying it. We also got speakers for the surround sound that was wired in our living room when we bought the house last year. Every night we decide which movie will look cooler on the large screen and if there would be cool sounds that could sneak up on us from the back speakers. The last two nights it was Braveheart--not that I really wanted to see the battle scenes like I was there, but the music was pretty awesome. Joe was skyping with his sister after the kids went to bed, so I decided I would be in charge of snacks so I popped us some popcorn and settled in front of the fireplace to finish the movie. We did and went to bed around 10pm. Now popcorn makes me dream. So last night I dreamed all night about an attack hamster. Evidently it was mad at me for stepping on it. This is why I should never check on Fluffy after tucking in the girls, eat popcorn and watch Braveheart on the same night.

always looking for an adventure

(Evidently Nathan learned about Noah and the rainbow in MOPS yesterday)

Nathan: Mom, can we find a rainbow someday?
Mom: Yes, I'm sure we can do that Nathan.
Nathan: Good--because I would really like to slide down one

my passive aggressive one

I was putting braids in Sara's hair yesterday. We don't do it too often, but occassionally she gets on a kick where she wants them braided. That was yesterday morning and we had about 5 minutes to get the job done. Usually I only have about 3 minutes so I was feeling pretty good--definitely had time for "do-overs" if needed. About halfway through the first braid we had the following conversation:

Sara: Ow!
me: Sorry!
Sara: Mom, how did you learn how to do braids.
me: Well, my mom showed me and then I practiced
Sara: Did you practice on your Barbie? Ow!
me: yes, actually I did
Sara: Well, it's a good thing that you practiced on a Barbie
me: Why is that?
Sara: Because it wasn't a human that you could hurt!

Gee, do you think she was trying to tell me something?

Friday, November 7, 2008

my choleric child's anthem

Nathan laying in bed this morning at 5:40 singing:

"I just can't wait to be king!"

why I don't have a dog

You may remember Fluffy, our hamster. Here's a good picture of him. (Click here.) I was just thinking last week how good and uneventful he had been lately. Never a good thought.... It all began Saturday morning when I decided I would help teach my children some responsibility. Dad was getting some much needed sleep, the kids had chores to do and I had an urgent need to go to the grocery (no bread, no milk, no eggs--yep, it was pretty much Old Mother Hubbard). As I was preparing to go Ashley was cleaning out Fluffy's cage and he was happily running around the house in his ball. She clearly understood that she needed to wait and put him back in his cage until I returned. So I left a list of additional chores for each of the girls, left them phone instructions if they had questions, grabbed the most mischievous son to go with me, and headed off to the grocery store. The phone rang a couple of times with minor questions. My girls don't get to use the phone much so I think it was more out of excitement to use the phone then an actual question--that is until the final phone call I received that went something like this:



Mom: "Hello"

Sara: "Um, mom, I think Fluffy is loose."

Mom: "Yeah, he is running around in his ball."

Sara: "No, mom, he's loose"

Mom: "What do you mean?" (I was kind of distracted by the deli section.)

Sara: "I mean his ball is split open and he is gone."

Mom: "You're kidding...."



Evidently I forgot to tell them to shut the stair door. Fluffy took a massive roller coaster ride down the stairs and ended the ride with freedom. Needless to say we did not find Fluffy on Saturday. By lunch on Sunday it had been over 24 hours since we had had a Fluffy sighting. Joe and I were in discussions on how we were going to break the news to the kids that Fluffy was probably gone forever. That evening around 6pm there was pandamonium as Sara ran up the stairs announcing that Fluffy was in her room. Joe, of course, was not home and I am not good at catching Fluffy. So for about 5 minutes I provided the entertainment downstairs for the kids while I ran around our playroom looking for the "rat in the box" as Joe affectionately calls him. We made the full circle of the basement at least twice and then he ran back into Sara's room. The chase came to a very abrupt end when I stepped on Fluffy. Yes, I stepped on the treasured family pet and he was partially flat on the floor, eyes closed, not moving---dead. There was a silence that fell heavily in the air and then the weeping and wailing started. My children's mourning ritual could easily rival any of the middle eastern country's traditions. I, obviously, felt like the world's worst mom and started the hugs and apologies. My forgiving children murmured their forgiveness in the midst of their tears. Then I realized that I must "take care" of the dead pet. I ran upstairs, grabbed some paper towel because I refuse to touch a dead hamster--even if it is our beloved Fluffy--headed back downstairs to begin the burial process. When I arrived back in Sara's room, the mourning was continuing and I looked over at Fluffy. I thought I saw his eyes open. No, I thought, he's dead. About that time he stood up and took off. He was gone. Elation filled the room with shouts of "it's a miracle!!!!" and I couldn't help but hear my husband's voice in my head saying "Now why didn't you pick him up right after you stepped on him??" I was exhausted from chase and the emotional roller coaster of a possible death so I decided that he would enjoy his freedom until Dad could catch him which he did one day later. And now you know one reason why we don't have a dog...can you imagine me with a dog?? This is also why we will never clean out Fluffy's cage again while Joe is away...I can't be trusted.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

friendly ladybugs...I think not

This is what happens when you play with a "ladybug" (those orange ladybugs that are nasty) all morning and then rub your eyes before you go to your sisters' Halloween parade at school. It does nasty, nasty things to you if you have allergies. Needless to say, we made him keep his mask down all night so as to not really, really scare anyone. (Oh, and they are much, much better now.)


Happy Birthday Nathan

I can't even begin to describe the elation I am feeling right now! I got a picture to upload on my blog. I finally gave up on my computer. I'm on Joe's while he is out being the mighty hunter (he and his dad have already shot (is that what you use to describe the arrow hitting the deer?) two bucks. The poor things--they were confused and thought they were getting ready to battle another buck for a doe. Little did they know the lust for the doe would be their last moments on earth.

Anyway, last week my baby turned 3. I can't believe it and it was a more bittersweet day then I anticipated. I'll have to blog about that later because it doesn't involve pictures. Here's some more pics of his special day:
Notice the camo on the gunThank you Uncle Chris & Aunt Kim and Luke, Hannah & Drew!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday's question

We got in a discussion in the car last night and now I pose the question to you:

Do you wash your ears every time you take a shower?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

It's Halloween and you know what that means......popcorn balls!!! No? Not what immediately came to your mind? Popcorn balls are a Snow family tradition. I mentioned this to Joe several years back and he said "Oh, you were one of those houses." So to put everyone's mind at peace, I will assure you that we are not passing out popcorn balls tonight. We've got the good stuff. Anyway, because I used to have them as a kid everytime Halloween rolls around I get a hankering for a popcorn ball. I was pumped this morning because I found an easy recipe for them and didn't have to dig out my candy thermometer. They are very yummy, but, of course, this is just one mom's opinion. Since I have four kids, I get to have four more opinions concerning any food I make. I'll start with the youngest because in some since he doesn't really count when it comes to food tasting. This is because he is the "Mikey" of our family. You know the kid in the commercial from the '80s "Have Mikey try it....". Nathan will eat anything and the popcorn balls proved no exception to that rule. John ate them without any comment, but he hadn't really had much to eat earlier in the day because he didn't like his breakfast eggs so he was fairly hungry. When school was out, the true test came. Ashley examined it and proceeded with her 20 questions, "What is it? How did you make it? What is in it? Will I like it?...." Her conclusion..."It's kind of sticky mom." This is the girl who will dig up worms in the dirt, so not a real great sign. Good manners, but not real hopeful that she liked it. Sara was next. She immediately dug in. I questioned her and her response was..."Well, I kind of like it. It isn't too bad."

Then about five minutes later she emerged from the neighboring room and stated: "You can have the rest of mine mom."
Mom: "Didn't like it, huh?"
Sara:"No, not really"
My response "Well, you know what that means."
With the roll of her eyes "More for you mom."
Me: "Yes! That's right!" And I honestly have no idea how many popcorn balls I've consumed today.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's official--I'm SUPERMOM!

My kids along with the two girls that I babysit headed straight downstairs after school while I worked on the after school snack. I usually have it all ready to go for when we arrive home, but, alas, it just wasn't to be today. Anyway, we don't have many rules when it comes to playing in the basement. It's the official playroom of the house. Stay off the elliptical machine and don't turn the lights on and off. That's pretty much it. Well, with Halloween and all the light thing has been a great temptation for them. I noticed a troublesome hush soon after they had clamored down the stairs so I took a gander and noticed that all the lights were off. So I used my mom voice and told them to turn them back on. Now the stair lights and the family room lights are on a different switch. I noticed both lights went back on, but my gut told me to stay put so I did. About 10 seconds later, they both went off again. In my little bit meaner mom voice I once again told them to turn them back on and they all went back on. Still not convinced that they had seen the way out of the temptation, I stayed planted at the top of the stairs. About another 10 seconds later, the stair light stayed on, but the family room light switched off. This time I made it very clear that all lights need to stay on permanently or .... Then I heard this proclamation (in a loud whisper) from my eldest and, I think, very wise daughter "Turn them on! She knows everything and can see everything! She can even see through walls!" Yeah, I have superhero powers...

my excuse this week

I really need to start exercising again. So I scanned over my scheduled and determined that I needed to eliminate the afternoon nap. Yikes--I love my afternoon nap, but that is the best time if I don't want to keep jumping on and off my elliptical refereeing, or, um, training my boys. So I stated my committment to my husband thinking he would be excited and could provide some accountability. He responded with some great hesitancy. It wasn't that he didn't want me to exercise. No, I think his exact quote was "um, well, you get kind of grumpy when you're tired". I have to admit he's right and kind of grumpy doesn't really describe it. I've always required more sleep then the general human. I can take a two hour nap in the afternoon, go to bed that night at 9:30 and sleep until at least 5am. So we decided to compromise. I would "rest" for around 30 minutes and then hop on the elliptical until I had to get the girls at school. It worked great on Monday. And then the massive snore- and cough- athon began at 4am on Tuesday morning and has occurred every morning since. Family colds do a horrible thing to a mom--they wake her up and then she can't go back to sleep and then she can't exercise the next afternoon because she has to take a nap. At least that's my excuse this week....

my love/hate relationship

I find my emotions towards my computer rather interesting. It is hard to find something to compare it to when you get something to work for the first time on a computer. I mean it feels reall, really good. However, an hour later you can be seriously considering throwing this very, very expensive piece of equipment across the room. The latter is how I felt yesterday. I cannot get blogger to accept any pictures. I've tried to download them from my computer and I've tried putting them on photobucket and linking it. I'm convinced my computer hates me. And I certainly do not love it right now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good News!

While I was looking for Ashley's hat and gloves I found Sara's lost kindergarten pictures and Ashley's girl scout bag that we thought was forever lost. (I was pretty sure I had thrown it away in one of my closet purge fests...) Now if we could just find Ashley's hat and gloves....

Friday, October 24, 2008

My blog list (is it really a list if there is only one???)

The hubster is bringing pizza home for supper so in his honor I started my own blog list on the right side. He's been requesting to be listed for awhile now. I figure it is the least I could do since he is feeding us tonight. This turned out to be slightly more complicated then I realized. First of all, he has consistently called it a "blog roll". There is no such thing in my list of "blogger gadgets". So after first being confused (and distracted--kids can be that way sometimes), I figured the "blog list" must be the same thing. Once I got Joe's blog listed (the Bullhorn), I got into it and began adding some other blogs. Now it is down right embarrassing to say how many blogs I read on occasion. When I started adding them I realized that you really don't want to see all of them. So I would need to be selective. Once I realized this I began to feel the same awkwardness that I felt when I had to choose bridesmaids for my wedding. You know the feeling..."well, if I ask her then I will have to ask her and if I ask her then I will need to include her, etc" Before you know it you can see why some women end up with 15 or more bridesmaids. So I decided to do what I did with my wedding--stick with family. Then I realized that half my family's blogs are private so I couldn't exactly advertise them. And so that is how we ended up with just Joe's blog listed on my blog list--enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

an emergency???

So about 20 minutes ago I saw our local cable company (there's only one in the town that I live in) race down my street with the yellow light on top of the van flashing. Now what kind of emergency constitutes a cable company even needing a yellow flashing light let alone racing down a residential street? Oh no! Is someone missing Oprah?!

Current happenings

Here's exactly what is happening right now at my house:

We are all listening to the radio and the dishwasher

Ashley is dancing around the living room singing "o my monster, o my monster, o my monster, frankenstein"

Sara is reading Ashley's school library book about the planets.

John is "reading" his Blue's Clue book

Nathan is trying to convince me that I need to vaccuum the couch. He's already taken half the cushions off. BTW, it is clean. I just vaccuumed it last week.

I'm sitting next to a box of kleenexes wondering how long my cold is going to stick around since the kids (except Sara of course) have had theirs for about a week and I'm day number 2. I'm also staring at the chicken that needs to be pounded for supper.

Well, blogging time is over. Ashley is now doing ballerina twirls (kind of) and attempting to teach John how to do them. Nathan is shouting "cannonball" off the couch. And the chicken isn't going to pound itself.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I kissed a stranger at the airport...

Okay, not really, but I knew it would grab your attention and it did kind of feel like I was kissing a stranger. Joe returned from his 2 week long mission trip last evening. And he had grown a goatee. It actually didn't look that bad. He looked completely different. Alas, you won't get to see it because he shaved it off almost as soon as he got home. And, no, it wasn't because I begged him to. I think it was driving him CRAZY! He said that if I had said "WOW, you look totally hot with that goatee!" he would have kept it. Of course, I think he looks totally hot with or without the goatee! Welcome home Joe!!!

capital & capitol

Way to go Mom (Horn that is)! I figured you would probably get the answer being an english major and all. Joe, of course, also knew the answer but I will cut him some slack on not leaving a comment since he's just flown across the country and is suffering jetlag. A simplified version of the answer is capitol refers to building(s) where legislation occurs. When capitalized (Capitol) it refers to the building in Washington DC. Capital is used for every other definition of using that word.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

new trivia question

Okay, this will be the last one for awhile--I promise. This falls into the category of vocabulary. What do the following words mean? capital and capitol They were on the challenge spelling word list for Sara and I had to look them up to figure out the context to put them in while we were practicing. Remember no cheating--I know dictionary.com is just a click away...

The dew answer

Okay, here's the answer to the dew question. The reason that dew collects on the ground is because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. So as the temperature cools to the "dewpoint" (thank you Garden Girl) the moisture collects on the ground. I think the dew point figure moves based on the amount of moisture in the air. I think the more moisture there is the higher the dew point? The book didn't address this so I'm just winging it.

As far as new dew in the mountains (Kristen) I think this is because the air is so dry there is no moisture to fall out of the air. I'm not sure why mountains tend to have a drier atmosphere. But this does explain why winter weather is drier.

I'm not sure I ever knew that cold air couldn't hold as much moisture as warm air...

Hats off to Joe the Plumber

Well, Joe hasn't been around to be able to comment on the upcoming election, so I will take a shot at it. However, my post is more about Joe the plumber than it is McCain or Obama. I really like Joe the plumber. You might think it is because of his name. Nope, I'm really only partial to one Joe and I think you know who that is. Or maybe I like him because I agree with him politically. Honestly, I'm not even totally sure where he stands on all the issues politically. Some of the things I've heard him say I agree with, but I don't know all his political views. Or perhaps it is in honor of his pursuit of the American dream by purchasing the plumbing company that he now works for. I think that it is great that he is trying to better himself, but that is not the whole reason why I like him.

I like Joe the plumber because he is completely all American. In the last 3 days he has gone from being an average guy in Ohio to a guy who now is holding his own press conferences in his front yard. He's got his own fan page on facebook and said that he wants to copyright his name. That is what is so great about America. In a matter of days, you can grasp the American dream and have most everyone know who you are, make some money and enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. He is living it up to the fullest. Hats off to you, Joe the plumber! Only in America!!!!

how I keep my sanity

I've learned in the past that the key to surviving Joe's occassional long absences is to become project oriented. I'm really good at this. My kids would probably argue that I'm too good. I kind of tend to be a tad unflexible when it comes to my project lists. Anyway, I have projects for the kids and projects for me to make the time fly. Well, maybe not fly, but at least the clock moves more than 2 minutes every time I look at it. Here are some of the things I've gotten accomplished in the last 2 weeks:

  • Cleaned all the windows and screens on the house. Wow! do my trees cause dirt or what?!
  • "winterized" the yard; aka raking and trimming. I also mowed the front yard. It was all I could manage. For some reason yard mowing is the one tasks that announces to all my kids "Now is the time to fight about all the stuff you've been wanting to fight about."
  • Cleaned out my office. This may not sound like a big deal, but then you didn't see it before I cleaned it.
  • Organized Nathan's baby pictures for his 1st year picture frame. It has a place for a picture a month. And, yes, it is difficult to remember which picture is from which month when he will be 3 next week.
  • Cleaned out the laundry room and storage room that is connected to it.
  • Cleaned out my refrigerator and figured out where all my tupperware was.

Also wanted to let you know that there is still time to answer the trivia question below. I won't post the answer until this evening. And I have another trivia question for you--this one isn't weather related. It is vocabulary. I know you can't wait! ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dew

I learned something tonight or I should say, relearned. At least I hope I learned this at some point in my life and have just forgotten. What causes dew? Do any of you remember? (and no cheating by looking it up before you post your comment.) I learned it in Ashley's baggy book tonight. I was very excited.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reason 231....

why I hate moving. I can't find Sara's kindergarten picture ANYWHERE! I did find the luggage tags though. Too bad I couldn't find them last Friday before Joe left...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saint Louis

Most of the time I've spent in St. Louis has been at the airport. When we lived in the DFW area we would fly home via St. Louis on TWA. Hey, it was cheap. We spent A LOT of time in that airport during a four year period. And saw lots and lots of stuff and have many, many stories that include things like Karen's first plane flight ever! possible sighting of Slobodan Milosevic in the late '90s, a for real sighting of Troy Aikman & Jason Garrett, storms... Those are for another post. Today we went to the zoo. I think I've been to the zoo before, but it was right after we got married so there is very little chance that I remember anything of it. We had a really awesome day and I thought I would share the highlights with you:

  • On the way there--Nathan: "How old do I have to be to drive a semi?" Mom: Umm, 21. (where did I get that number???)
  • I got completely nauseous watching the 3D movie and this was even after I took the motion sickness medicine before I got there.
  • The train, the train, the train--we rode it so much I'm surprised they didn't kick us off.
  • Ashley really, really wanted to see the snow leopard
  • Nathan really, really wanted to see the camel--odd? I think so.
  • John didn't care what he saw as long as it was huge and made a cool noise.
  • Sara got to see tons of butterflies. She was in heaven. It was great.
  • John can do a great elephant imitation. Not real sure the others on the sidewalk completely appreciated it
  • The hippos were swimming around. They are HUGE!
  • We managed to avoid the carousel as I wasn't sure I would have been able to ride it with them without throwing up.
  • We also managed to avoid the snake house--yeah, me!
  • The appearance of a seeing eye dog drew the male lion out of his cave...that was entertaining.
  • Sara's quote(s) of the day : "Oh, yeah I know that. I learned that in school." yeah school!

And now I'm off to find my monopoly pieces (if I can move). I may have won...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What are the odds?

Between Joe and I there are a combined 9 siblings on both sides of our family (including spouses and us). Right now 6 are (or soon to be) out of the country. And they are not traveling all together on the same trip. Okay, so in this particular family the odds of that happening may be greater considering we have both a military family and another family that lives semi-permanently out of this country. But still...

Monday, October 6, 2008

It was an interesting morning...

I had to figure out how to explain to John the difference between a 2-wheel drive vehicle and a 4-wheel drive vehicle. I just hope I was right. I could have really messed him up. I can hear him wrongly correcting the son of a car buff in his kindergarten class next year. (Mrs. Horn, your son got into a fist fight today...)

And then I had to subdue Nathan in the doctor's office while I got John checked out (his allergies have been absolutely horrible). Nathan is usually really, really good in the doctor's office (actually they all are at this point), but I evidently didn't prep him enough today. Why was he upset? He wanted to get checked out and was very upset that they didn't look in his ears. (Definition of very upset: laying on the floor kicking and screaming and very verbally expressing exactly why he was upset) Yes, I think I sometimes work too hard at making my kids enjoy things that most kids hate. I tend to pay for it later.

The nurse at the doctor's office was shocked that the boys knew who Eeyore was on her shirt. I guess the Disney channel version doesn't have Eeyore anymore. What's Pooh without Eeyore? It would totally take the fun out of reading it if you didn't get to do (as my sister-in-law puts it) the Debbie downer voice of Eeyore.

On the way home John paused and took a breath between questions. After we all enjoyed a moment of silence John proclaimed : "I ask a lot of questions, don't I mom."

And in the last 5 minutes I have realized that I have done something to my finger. The crazy thing is that I have no idea what or when. I've narrowed down the time frame to carrying the groceries in the house. It is throbbing at the top joint and starting swell. I think I pulled something. Is there anything up there that can pull?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

So What's Up?

I haven't been real diligent in keeping you up to speed with the happenings here. So I'll give you a brief update while I wait for my coffee to finish brewing. (I really slept hard this afternoon and need a pick me up. I also missed Peyton bringing the Colts from behind. I should have known not to fall asleep. It is the Colts afterall.) Anyway, here's what's up:

Ashley lost another tooth. This one is on the bottom. There is absolutely no sign of any teeth emerging on top. In case you didn't know, I am missing two top permanent teeth as is Joe's sister (the same two teeth--what are the odds?), so anytime the permanent ones are a little slow in showing themselves we tend to worry, panic and continually question how in the world we are going to pay for implants. Then one day we are proven that it was all for not--here's hoping that is the case here.

Sara is enjoying getting letter grades in 2nd grade. This is the first year that she doesn't get a E, S, or NI. She actually gets grades and she is thriving on it. She is studying for her pretest spelling tests so that she can get a whole new set of challenge words for the actual test on Friday. She's very driven--not really sure where she gets that from...

John is, well, John. His current passions are batman, star wars (he alternates between Luke & Darth Vader), and basketball. He also experienced a crushing moment the other day when he found out that he doesn't actually get to start kindergarten the day after his 5th birthday. I think he cried for an hour. He's most recent stumping question: "Why is honey sticky? Bees aren't sticky so why is the honey sticky?"

Nathan is almost potty trained!!! I'm not sure how many posts I have begun about the transition of our family now that we are diaperless and he literally proves to me while I am typing that he is not fully potty trained. He turns the big 3 the end of the month.

For those of you who are interested, Joe has made it to where he is going and we are all doing fine. I'll try to add some pictures later. I'm still have problems getting them to upload.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The laundry needs to be folded...

so I think I'll post here on my blog. There's always laundry to be folded and I've had something bugging me, so you'll have to bear with me while I vent. As you regular readers know, I usually let my astute and wise husband handle all the political stuff for our house on his blog. (Actually he has posted several really good completely non-political stuff the last couple of days that you should check out). He's much more well read on the topic and can debate on an intellectual level with the best of them. I, on the other hand, tend to think more with my gut. I know what is right, but usually can't explain it or defend it. Well, my gut has been doing loops of frustration the last couple of weeks. I've had two interferences into my life that signify to me the change in our country. One was on a state level and the other on a federal level.

I'll deal with the state level first--I got a call from the school two days ago informing me that they didn't have the dental forms on file for my girls for school. And they didn't have the vision form on file for my 2nd grader. Yep--they have to have proof of both a dental exam and a vision exam for school. And I know from experience with a letter I received last year that if you don't provide proof that the sheriff will show up at your house. It's the law and they mean to enforce it. (As a point of clarification, the sheriff did not show up. It was just threatened. And I am a fairly responsible parent--our school just doesn't do a great job of communicating what is needed each year--especially when you've just moved, but that is for another post.)

The federal level--we don't have cable TV. We don't want cable TV. This is not because we have a moral issue with it. It is because we honestly don't have much time to watch TV and it's expensive for a pastor's family of 6. We also do not have a new TV. I think our TV is probably around 10 years old. All I remember is that we bought it at Sam's Club when we lived in Dallas before we had kids. Needless to say, it's analog with an antenna. Yep, we are impacted by the whole digital TV conversion in February (or is it January...). So we got our $45 converter box so we could watch Sid the Science Kid on PBS once February hits. Yes, I know about the coupon, but who are we kidding--the government provided the coupon. I pay the government. So I paid or will pay the full price for my box and probably someone else's box as well. Then I hooked it up and realized that to watch it correctly we will probably have to invest in a new atenna that has much more power than ours does--not sure how much that will cost but I'm sure at least around $50.

My point: do we truly want a government who will regulate when my child should get their eyes and teeth examined or determine what kind of TV I should watch? On the slippery slope, what is next as it relates to just those two topics? And now I leave you to chew on that food for thought while I go fold my laundry...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The depth of my competitiveness

My husband added a blogroll to his blog (the Bullhorn). When I first glanced at it I was a little miffed that my blog was not at the top of his list. I am, afterall, his wife. Then I realized that blogger put them in order based on the most recently updated blog. So this post is solely for the purpose of being on top of his blogroll. Seriously, how lame is that..even after realizing how competitive it is, I am still, obviously posting. So now you truly know the depth of my competitiveness.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I want to play football

John wants to be a football player when he grows up. You may wonder what has caused this recent phenomenom--perhaps we got to go to a recent football game, maybe he has a buddy who plays pee wee, or maybe he just really enjoyed watching the Colts play last week. Nope--none of those things. Honestly, I'm not sure if he could even tell you what football is. (Sunday is a work day around this house so we don't always get to catch the games.) So what has caused this new excited anticipated career for him? The homecoming parade...you see homecoming is a HUGE deal here. In what small town America is homecoming not a big deal? The weekend of homecoming here they let school out early on Friday, people take off early from work and everyone gathers downtown for a huge parade. Candy, candy & more candy was the driver of most of the excitement in my kids. The band ranked up there on their cool list as well. But then the football players arrived--the stars of the parade presented at last at the very end of the parade (well, in front of the horses of course!). The football players come in on the the ladder fire truck and they sit on top of it in between the rungs on the ladder. I pointed this out to John and told him who they were and he was immediately sold. With eyes wide and complete awe in his voice he declared "I want to play football."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rabbit

Winnie the Pooh was on the reading list tonight before bed. We had just returned from the library and I actually found a Winnie the Pooh book in which I hadn't read any of the stories. I was pretty excited. It was about halfway through the second story that it was determined by the reading group (who happened to be all my family) that I am a lot like Rabbit. Now in case you haven't read Winnie the Pooh lately, I will share a few Rabbit quotes and descriptions so that you can fully understand who I am being compared to:

A Honey of a Cake "Let us help you, Rabbit," Pooh pleaded...."No,no,no" Rabbit insisted, lining up his mixing bowls on the kitchen table. "I want this cake to be the best--and too many cooks spoil the honey cake."

The Best Gift of All (Roo is in search of the perfect gift for Kanga for Mother's Day) Roo hopped off to see Rabbit, who was busy watering his garden. "Careful!" he (Rabbit) called..."Stop jumping about there! A garden is a very serious place."

Rabbit's Reunion "Rabbit was always a very busy person..."

You get the picture. It isn't the most flattering comparison. However, after that one was made it was determined that Joe was like Owl. That made me feel better....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you feed a cold and starve a fever...

what do you do if you have both? I mean, does the runny nose trump the shivering fever? Or does the fact that you have both mean that they cancel each other out and you have the flu?

Friday, September 19, 2008

You have not because you have asked not...

that is Nathan's philosophy in life. Small example (things like this happen all the time). Joe & John left earlier this morning for a father/son trip to the rodeo. He does this with a group of guys once a year. I found out this year that evidently there is a rule that the son must be at least 3. He mumbled something about potty training and diapers (chickens, I say, chickens). Anyway, so that left just me and Nathan to hang out this morning. I asked Nathan where he wanted to go. He responded..."um, I think, probably, the beach" And, no, we haven't moved. We don't live anywhere near the beach. Can't blame the kid for trying...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Words I never dreamed I'd say...

No, Spiderman does not liked to be peed on...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

update

update: we are down to two sick, still have spots (but they are fading), Nathan sounds like Darth Vader (don't tell John--he'll try to get sick), Ashley is going on new allergy medicine if the pharmacy can ever get it in (I will call the next time before I go--I've learned my lesson with two trips sans new scrip), the neighborhood cat is not my friend, and the only thing I got off my to do list this morning was mowing the back hayfield (backyard).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spots

Oh, and I forgot to mention spots....Nathan also has spots.

My two new best friends

Well, I think we've set a record related to sickness at our house. Now it is pretty impressive when we set a record because there generally isn't very much that we haven't seen--I mean we've had hospitalizations every year for the last 6 (and this does not include child birth!). We haven't been to the hospital yet this year--should I even say that? Anyway, our new record--4 out of 6 are currently ill. Sara, whom we've affectionately dubbed "the immune system of steel girl" and I are the only two that have escaped. Fortunately, I don't think anyone has anything serious. Three have stomach stuff, one has a weird fever and nothing else (probably what doctors call a "virus" (something they call it when they can't find anything specifically wrong) and one has croup. Now if your brain is in gear this morning and you've done the math you can see that what I just listed equals 5 people not 4 people. That is because one has both stomach & croup. Yes, I think that is a first as well. It is probably the same virus. He's (Nathan) getting checked out at noon so we'll see if it "virus" or something else. Anyway, introducing my two new best friends (even if they don't work, they give me hope! well, pic upload isn't working so you will just have to stay in suspense. Time to go to the doctor...):

Monday, September 15, 2008

my crisis

I think I'm going through a mid-30s life crisis. I refuse to call it a mid-life crisis because I'm convinced that I will live past age 70. I do, however, have those days where I look to the sky and say "please come back today Jesus!". Anyway, maybe mid-30s life crisis isn't an appropriate name. Maybe it is a toddler mommy crisis. I have felt this desperate need to work my brain lately. I don't know what has caused it--perhaps too many days filled with a lot of potty training talk, perhaps it is the fact that in the last month I have lost or almost lost at least 4 important documents, or it could be that my 2nd grader's spelling words are becoming too challenging for me. Whatever the cause is, it is being reflected in my behavior. I've spent the free time in my evenings doing trivia challenges--most recently this has consisted of world capitols. (Did you know that Belize is a Central American country that borders Mexico?) I've also been playing memory games. And this weekend there was a definite sign that strange things are afoot with mom--I worked a puzzle and it wasn't a 50 piece floor puzzled of a barn or a princess castle. It was a 600 piece world map puzzle with oddly shaped pieces and a lot of ocean. I don't like puzzles. I finished it in a day. Something odd is definitely going on...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

my boys

So as we were desperately trying to convince Ashley that Disney toys were no longer discontinued (see previous post) Christmas was entered into the conversation. How can you talk about Disney toys and not talk about Christmas? That prompted the following conversation with our boys:

John: I want a helmet for Christmas.
Mom: What kind of helmet John(thinking perhaps Darth Vader or Emperial fighters--he's really into Star Wars at the moment)
John: A bicycle helmet. I need one to protect my brain while I'm riding my bike.
Mom: John you already have one of those. But if you start wearing it, do you think you could ride your bike without your training wheels?
John (completely horrified): NO! I need both the helmet and the training wheels to keep me safe.
Nathan: I want a helmet too.
Mom: That's great Nathan.
Nathan (after a brief pause and a glance out the van window): I want a helmet and a motorcycle like that one.

Seriously, could they be any different?

Friday, September 12, 2008

There are no more Disney toys....

according to Ashley. This was after we discovered that the Disney store has closed at our local mall. There was complete panic and of course tears--lots and lots of tears. And it wasn't just tears over the store being closed. Oh, the panic and trauma. Apparently she was under the impression that the only place you could buy Disney toys was at that particular store. I'm still not sure she believes me that they are still at Walmart and Disneyworld still exists.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lesson of the day...

if you are potty training a two year (will be 3 in 1 1/2 months) and you tell him to go to the bathroom and go poop, you need to be sure to tell him that he needs to sit on the potty to do it. ("You said to go to the bathroom mom...")

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nametags

I've become horrible with remembering names lately. You can just ask any of the kids I teach in children's church. In fact, on Sunday one of my very wise 5th graders suggested that I get nametags for them. I think that is a great idea and may do it next week. I am sure that Taylor will appreciate not being called Logan, and Austin not being called Gage, and John not being called Nathan, and Sara not being called Ashley (yes, those last few kids were my own and I even get them mixed up).

My brain fades have also been frequently reflected at home. Joe has introduced a great classic movie trilogy to the kids--Star Wars. Now I think I may have only seen Star Wars movies once. And my movie memory is very poor. But I actually think this has its advantages. I can watch a movie and a year later watch it again and get the same thrill and excitement the second time around because I don't remember what I saw the first time. Half the time I don't even remember that I saw it the first time. Anyway, with Star Wars I remember the main themes. I think you can remember the main themes even if you've never seen the movies. The thing I've been having difficulty with is, well, the names. Yep, I keep getting the names mixed up--especially PC3O or CP3O, or CPO3 or, and I think this is it, C3PO (I had to ask Joe to verify that was the correct one). Yesterday Joe got so tired of correcting me he finally said "Seriously, if you are going to be the mother of 2 boys you have got to get this right!!!!" If only C3PO could wear a nametag...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

the next DaVinci

Not sure how closely you looked at the pictures of the kids' painting for Joe's birthday. I missed something on one of them that I think you probably missed as well. All my kids have written their names backwards when they begin writing. John has not failed to live up to this reputation. However, he has added a level of difficulty to it. He not only writes his name backwards, he writes the mirror image of his name. We didn't teach him how to do it. It just comes naturally. According to Joe (who knows all such things) DaVinci used to write like this too. Ahh, our next DaVinci....you have to admit that it takes some talent.
(I cropped the picture and rotated it so that you could see it too)

Nathan and an egg

Have you ever noticed that when you don't want an egg to break you always have to treat it like the most fragile thing ever created and when you do want it to break you think they've added cement to the egg? At breakfast I'm always afraid that even if I breathe on it that it will break the yoke and my husband's eggs' over easy will be forever ruined. However, when I place an egg in something like cookies or pancakes I feel as though I'm going to have to take an axe to it to get it to break up. I think my Nathan is related to eggs. Whenever I don't want him to go potty, he has to go right now (Walmart, in the car, at nap time!) and whenever I do want him to go you would think I had told him that I was going to sell all his toys on ebay (oh, the wailing!). Oh well, at least he likes to wear pants now! One thing at a time...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Belated birthday pics

Last week we celebrated Joe's birthday. I decided to be brave and have the kids paint pictures. I got some framed canvas and let the kids get creative. (Yeah, Hobby Lobby!). We don't do this nearly as often as we should because I get way too concerned about mess. They did a great job and I only had to bite my tongue a couple of times as I watched them paint (are you sure you want to make a flower--your sister is doing that; aren't lions suppose to be brown--yes, I know, stifling their creativity!). Here's some pictures of the painting event:


Online again...

I can't even begin to count the number of times I've sat down to post in the last couple of days. After numerous plugging and unplugging and resetting my router, my wireless is finally working. Yes, I'm very, very spoiled. Anyway, now that the holiday weekend is over, I can get back into my scheduled routine and post more often. BTW, my parents came to visit over the weekend and I took the weekend off while they were here. That meant that I got to spend Labor Day, well, laboring. I did 6 loads of laundry, three loads of dishes, had the kids try on all their winter clothes (and realized that Sara has only one pair of pants to wear for school and they won't even make it to Christmas before they will be too short), ironed 4 shirts and a pair of pants, and cleaned my bedroom and the boys' room. Whew--it was a very productive day.

Anyway, a huge event happened last week. I am now the proud owner (well, at least pay the mortgage on) of an official five bedroom house. Nope, we didn't move. We had egress windows put in the girls' bedrooms in the basement. So now our girls can safely get out of their bedrooms if there is ever an emergency. Here's one of windows partially completed (the trim isn't put in yet on this picture). I'll have some better ones to include later.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My new DSL

No I haven't fallen off the planet. I've switched to DSL and I love the DSL but I haven't gotten it hooked up to my wireless yet. And I'm frankly lazy at night when I usually post. I like sitting on my couch or lounge chair not my hard stool at my counter. I have several posts that I'm going to share, but I'm afraid it won't be tonight. It has been a bone weary day and the couch is calling my name. Hopefully this weekend...Stay tuned...I cleaned out the refrigerator and that is always bound to be entertaining.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE! I LOVE YOU!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Country X's egg

I think I've only had one post concerning the Olympics which is rather surprising considering how much I've been watching them lately. I enjoy Bob Costas. I know that may sound weird, but he isn't dry and occasionally has some really good lines. I think his best one was last night. It was concerning a country which did very poorly at some track and field events. The country will remain nameless as I don't want to cause further embarrassment because it really was painful to watch (if you know what I'm talking about I'm sure you agree!) so we will call it "Country X". Anyway, when they returned to Bob Costas after these two very embarrassing events occurred, this was his quote:

"Well, it looks like Country X laid a very big egg tonight at the Bird's Nest."

I'm still laughing--I don't think I've had enough sleep this week...

My proud mommy moments of the week

I've had two proud mommy moments this week related to the girls going back to school. Well, I've actually had many more than two, but I have two very memorable ones that I am going to document. And, yes, I'm going to brag on them because they are my kids.

The first one is related to Ashley. She very excitedly had her first homework of the year tonight. It was her "baggy book". They bring home a book to read every night and we evaluate it to see if it is too difficult, too easy, or just right and she just happens to have the same color hair as goldilocks. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Anyway, she had her first book tonight and it was a book on butterflies and the life cycle of butterflies. And she read the word "chrysalis"--didn't even have to sound it out. Yep, I was proud. Okay, so maybe she already knew a lot about butterflies and the life cycle of a butterfly, but I was still rather impressed. She is only 6 afterall and we had to mark that book as too easy. (It could have something to do with Joe being her father...)

The second proud mommy moment that I am going to share is related to my eldest. It is a story that she shared with me today. Earlier this week her teacher had asked the class a multiple choice question. There were two choices. He asked all those who thought "A" was the answer to raise their hands. The entire class raised their hands except for my Sara. Then he asked those who thought it was "B" to raise their hands. Sara was the lone student. (Wow, I really don't think I could've done that in second grade!) Then her teacher took the time to recognize Sara's bravery and told them that they shouldn't be afraid to go against what everyone else was saying especially if they know it is wrong. Then she got a piece a chocolate. And (I'm sure you're wondering) she got it right! I was and am so proud.

I truly can't wait to see what God is going to do with all my children. I feel as though they are turning into leaders for the Lord right before my eyes. Actually, that's wrong. I feel as though they already are.

Can you see a brain grow?

So I think my boys' brains are going through a growth spurt. Here are some of the questions I've had to field while riding in the car lately:
  • Why is gum white?
  • What is the difference between a kid and a baby? Is a baby a kid? Is a kid a baby? When does a baby turn into a kid? Am I a baby or a kid or a baby and a kid? When will I be an adult?
  • Is a mosquito the smallest insect? (no, I informed them--you know what's next) So what is the smallest insect? (guesses anyone? remember I'm in the car--no internet access)
  • Do dogs like water?
  • Why do terradactyls (yes I had to look up the spelling) have wings?
  • What are campers and sprinklers for? (no idea how those two got connected)
  • What do banana splits taste like?
  • What are the buttons for (at the drive thru at the bank)?
  • What's a check?
  • And my personal favorite from John: "What does "since" mean?" (As in "we haven't seen Grandpa & Grandma since vacation") "I know that "cents" means change for money but what does "since" mean?" (That one took me awhile.)

And keep in mind the last 7 question were just on the way to the bank the other morning. And my bank is less than 1 mile away in a very small town. No wonder my head hurt by lunch. I feel like I've gone back to school. I'm surprised I can't physically see their brains growing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My new job

Well, my work week is over. Yes, you read that correctly--my work week. I am officially (at least according to the IRS) a working member of society again. When I thought about it earlier I was excited about adding a new job experience to broaden my life job experiences. I already have stuff like accountant, factory worker, dishwasher, and, oh, babysitting. I guess it's not something new because it is, indeed, babysitting. I'm watching two girls down the street before and after school 4 days a week. They are in kindergarten and the first grade. Believe it or not our house can get even louder than it was previously. Actually, by the end of the week it had calmed quit a bit as the novelty had worn off for everyone, toys were found and my structure was set and in place. I think my structure was somewhat of a shock to them (meaning the girls I babysit--my kids are used to me being neurotic). But, seriously, if one child gets up during breakfast without asking to be excused it is a matter of less one second that every other child is out of their chair, breakfast not eaten and complete chaos has ensued. Actually chaos doesn't even seem to be a strong enough word. And with the end of the first week comes more structure that needs to put into place because homework starts next week. I'm rather insistent that homework gets done immediately after school. Well, you can have a snack first, but immediately after the snack it is down to business. Wouldn't it be easier to wait for the other two to leave you may be wondering? Probably, but I'm always up for a challenge. It just makes life a little more interesting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the pain of school

What I call my morning of distractions began at 8:35 am as I walked out of my girls' school after dropping them off for the first day of school. In order to keep the tears from flowing as I greeted fellow moms who were milling around talking and wondering what to do next, I began to force my mind to focus on what was next in my morning...laundry (isn't there always laundry to do?), the dishes weren't done yet, maybe we could go to the library, I can make cookies for the girls. The first day of school is always a tough one for me and it surprisingly isn't getting any easier. It is a day of contrasts as I look at my kids--they look so old and proud when I take their pictures and then when I drop them off they look so very young and scared and innocent. Early this morning I allowed myself to ponder exactly why this morning every year was so very difficult. I determined that at the root of it was what my kids would learn and the pain that would be associated with it. Oh, I'm not talking about math, reading, or even science. I can combat evolution with the best of them and help my kids learn how to read and learn their addition and subtraction good enough to ace any time test. I'm talking about learning life lessons and hopefully growing in their relationship with God as they learn. They will experience pain and it will probably be deep pain. They will experience broken friendships, unfair teachers, sickness, loneliness, and horrible fear. They've both already experienced some of it even while they prepared for the first day of school--especially that fear one. As a mom I'm not sure that there is anything worse then watching your kids that you would die for experience any of that stuff. My natural instinct is to hide them and shelter them from all that this world can do to cause pain. And, yet, the Lord has taught me how much that is necessary for them to grow into adults that He can use in a mighty, mighty way. And, also, while I hurt with them (maybe even more than they do) as they experience all the pain that this world has to offer, I also feel more joy than I could imagine when I see what God has done in their lives as a result of that pain. I actually saw it this morning and experienced the joy. Sara found out that one of her best friends was in her class and then she recognized how much God had blessed her without her even remembering to ask Him to make it possible. She was so afraid as we walked down the sidewalk and in that brief interaction with Emily she grew in her trust in God. And it was a joyful moment for her, but I wonder if God did it for her or for me. Because it was also a huge reminder to me of God's deep love and compassion for my child and my trust in my Father also grew. And so as I plug on through this very long morning I learn that school is good both for my kids and for me. Praise God that He loves us enough to allow the pain so that we will grow closer to Him.

my new favorite picture(s)




On the first day of the...

first grade, the first day of second grade... (I love the song). Yep, summer is officially over at our house. Today was the first day of school. I now have a first grader and a second grader. I didn't have to do the first day of kindergarten today so it was a little less emotional but not much. I'm so proud of them. Here's the traditional pictures:


the second grader


the first grader