Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Claws are Ready

I have been mulling this over in my brain for a few days so I decided to put it down.  With Christmas season in full swing, the Christmas cards are arriving.  It is wonderful to receive cards and greetings from friends down the street, far away friends and family friends from when we grew up.

One card we received had the usual greetings and well wishes.  It also had some wonderful comments about the girls and how much of a pleasure they are.  It also contained a comment about Little Man and how much of a challenge he is with the underlying message that he maybe is not as pleasant to be around.  Knowing these people, I know logically the comment was benign and not meant to hurt… but it did, deeply.

My heart sunk with the thought that people have this view of my son.  This is my underlying fear for Little Man… that people (family, friends, teachers, strangers) can not see past his behavior challenges to see the real soul that is there.  He may not fit into everyone else's "proper little" 3.5 year old box, but that does not mean he should be written off or looked down on (or that we should be looked down on because we just can't seem to parent him properly to make him fit into some box or because someone thinks we have not taught him the word "no").

He is a soul that is smarter than most 3.5 year olds.  He is a soul that is clever and funny.  He is a soul that is very athletic.  He is a soul that feels his emotions more than most.  He is a soul that is strong in who he is.  He is a soul that is not shy.  He is a soul that is strong willed and stands by his position.  He is a soul that cares for others.  These are all qualities that most would argue will serve him well as an adult.  I am learning as a parent that we should celebrate these characteristics instead of trying to squash them out of kids so they fit into some arbitrary box.  My job as a parent is to create a box for him in today's society that fosters these qualities.

Little Man is a challenge, it is no secret.  He has improved tremendously as he has gotten older.  We are seeking expert advice in how to help him best.  We are not idling sitting by watching and hoping things work out for the best.  We are doing everything in our power to be the best parents to Little Man and doing what works for him.  We are not parenting him based on what everyone else thinks we should or should not be doing with him.

After mulling this over and thinking things through, I am now just pissed.  My bear claws are ready to swing at the first unfair comment or suggestion about how my little boy behaves or how we parent him.  I know the view expressed in the card was colored by other people's opinions who have had very limited exposure to Little Man.  It also hurts to know that our discussions over the years about Little Man's challenges, spoken in honesty and in moments of frustration, have colored people's view of him.  And what hurts more is that view may not be changed, even with time, despite his best efforts or ours.

So my claws are sharpened and ready to defend my son.  He is an amazing kid and I am sorry that some can not see past the surface; it is too bad because they are missing out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Who knew how sweet my Girl's Night Out (GNO) time would be?  A group of five or six friends began meeting once a month about a year and half ago.  The group has grown to eight and we have already lost one friend when she and her family moved to Iowa.  We miss you A!

It all started with a friend of mine asking me and one other person to start this group, we each then thought of one or two friends and here we are 1.5 years later.  The only criteria was that those that joined the group attended our church.  The focus was on friendship and helping each other grow in our faith.

These women have become dear friends that have made me laugh, think and grow in my faith.  We don't spend our time with our noses in the bible and praying.  We talk about our families, kids, work, parenting and some other fun topics that I will not mention here.  Wink, wink.  But the underlying theme to our time together, at least for me, is supporting one another and helping us grow spiritually and as women, wife and Moms.

Last year at our December GNO, we talked about reading through the bible in a year together.  And, for those that completed it by December 31, 2010, we would be rewarded with a GNO weekend away...just us, with no kids or responsibilities.   This has been one of the most challenging things I have done for my faith.  I have read parts of the bible, but never the whole thing.  It has been an act of discipline for sure… it is very hard to keep on schedule with "life" getting in the way.  And, I have 1.5 months to read by the end of the month.  But, I will get it done.  I made the commitment to the group and to myself.  I can not say I am retaining it all, especially now that I am under the gun.  But, it has been such a great experience, good for my kids to see me reading my bible and so nice to read scripture for myself instead of relying on a bible study or sermon to guide me.

I would have NEVER done this on my own.  I would have never stuck with it without these ladies (and the thought of the weekend away!).  It is amazing what a group of women who's only common denominator was attending the same church.  While we are all in somewhat of the same stage of life with our families and kids, we are all different ages (hmmm, and yes, I am the oldest the bunch), different family backgrounds, education, faith experiences, etc.

These women as so special to me and it has been exciting to see our friendships grow and how much deeper we can share things that matter to us.  No one judges, no one tries to one up each other.  We just listen, support, laugh and share.  So refreshing in this day and age.

So GNOs… if you are reading this, know that you mean the world to me.  God Bless.  

Friday, December 3, 2010


Preface - This post is not a debate of the merits of being a working Mom or a stay at home Mom.  Everyone makes their own decisions about what is best for themselves, their kids and their families.  This are just my ramblings and not meant to offend, judge or sway anyone who may be in either camp. 

I think it is safe to say that I am a working Mom now instead of a stay at home Mom, who works very part time.  I guess I have to update my profile on my side bar some day.  I am not sure how I feel about that… good in some ways and not so good in others.

I have gone from working one day a week for a total of about 7-10 hours for the last seven years to working five days a week for a total of about 27 hours.  That is not full time by any means, but definitely those added hours have been an adjustment for the whole family.

The change has been a blessing on many fronts.  First it has added income flow to the budget which has been very nice.  It is nice to have some extra to decide what to do with.  What a nice change.  I think I can actually breathe just a little bit easier.

And the biggest blessing and one that was hidden from us when we made the decision, was how Little Man would benefit.  He has truly done amazing.  His new school is a perfect fit for him.  They love him and see his unique talents.  His class is smaller, more academically based and more structured which has served him well.  He is very proud of all he accomplishes each day… writing letters, completing projects and learning bible based lessons.  Just yesterday he was singing to himself in his raspy little boy voice, "God is good, God is good."  Yes Little Man, he is!  He other favorite is "Many, Many Blessings.  Many, Many Blessings."  While he is still having some behavior issues at school, he has done remarkably well with the transition.

The girls have struggled a little with the time that I am away now.  They are having to manage themselves more and contribute more to the household duties.  Those are all good things, but is has probably been more of an adjustment for them then I realized it would be.  Overall, they are doing great though.  They seem to get along well when they are together and have actually stepped up to the responsibility.  Just yesterday, they decided on their own to dust, sweep, mop and vacuum the house.  Their only assigned chore was to empty the dishwasher.  Those are some good kids!

I guess the one that has had the hardest time transitioning is me.  I want to be home, I like being home.  And while I am not the best SAHM, I think it is so important.  I posted about some of my struggles before.  But, nonetheless, is makes me sad that I am not able to be home in that way any more.

It is funny… I think it is so important for my kids that I am home, knowing what is going on with them and that they are important and matter.  But at the same time I also think it is important for kids to see their Mom work; doing something for herself and the family. I think kids need to know that the world does not revolve around them and their every need and interest catered to.  The real world does not work that way and I think a false sense of entitlement can be created if Mom's are not careful.  My kids have all benefited immensely from being in a positive daycare setting for many years; many kids miss out on that.

I guess after such a long time being mostly at home and doing most all the SAHM things, it is hard to think of myself any other way.  What is ironic is that I have never been a full SAHM.  I have always worked since I have had kids, from three days a week, to full time to one day a week.  I am not sure why I have thought of myself as a SAHM all these years.  But I have.  A more accurate title for me over the years, and especially now, would be a WPTAHS or a Work Part Time at Home Some Mom.   It is just hard to re-program my brain to view myself another way.

I feel out of the loop with friends.  I have no time to myself without children around (this is the first year I was getting a little bit of time to myself when they were all in school, but is was very short lived).  I still have all the responsibilities that I had before but less time to do it all in.  And the biggest struggles is getting "it" all done without impacting the kids even more.  Sigh.

Don't get me wrong.  It is getting easier and I can not tell you how thankful I am that I am not working full time.  I know I should be thankful and celebrate the fact that I seem to have the best of both worlds (did you hear the Hannah Montana song in your head there for a minute?).  I have to start to recognize the benefits everyone is getting from this change and not focus so much on what everyone may be missing.  Logically, I know I am not failing as a Mom by working more.  I know that deep down, but it is struggle in my Mommy heart all the same.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Birthday Post

My oldest child turned 11 last week.  It is hard to believe I have been a Mom for over a decade.  And even harder to believe is that my first born is so old.  How can that be?

Soccer Girl is an amazing kid.  She is wise beyond her years and always has been.  She is my worrier… I have taken to calling her Wart, as in worry wart.  She worries over us getting speeding tickets, over a sound she hears outside…she worries about being late anywhere we go.  She Hates. Being. Late.  While her worrying seems unreasonable at times, it is only because she cares.

She has a huge heart.  Last year on our Christmas cards, I wrote that she has a "quiet heart" for God.  She is my kid who silently prays when we see a homeless person or upon hearing about someone who has been hurt or is sick.  She prays for her friends and family that do not know Jesus and worries (again my wart) that they will not be in heaven with her.  I could certainly take a lesson or two from her.

I am so proud of her.  She is a good student, a good friend and a good sister.  While Lizard and Little Man drive her crazy, especially now that she has hit the "tween" years, she loves them and looks out for them.

I can foresee the upcoming years are going to have some rough patches ahead for the two of us.  But, I will do my best to carve out that special time she craves and let her know through my actions (it is true that they speak louder than words) that she means the world to me and that no matter what, I am proud and love her beyond words.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl.  I Love You.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It Has Been Awhile...

I can not believe I have not posted anything since the beginning of September.  It has been a crazy few months with lots of changes for us.

The biggest change is that I started another part time job!  It was one of the first resumes I sent out and I got the job.  It was truly a "careful what you wish for" type of feeling.  I can not believe with how many people out there looking for work right now, I got it.  I feel very blessed.  It is part time Monday-Friday in the mornings only…. I am back home by 1 o'clock.  Mondays are long though since I moved my other part time job to the afternoon.  And also on Monday I do my third part time job after the kids go to sleep.  But overall, I like the people and the job.  I am using my brain which is a very good thing.  And, it has added a cushion to our budget which was the desired result.

It is funny, the hardest thing I struggled with was having to move Little Man from his preschool to a whole new day care/preschool set up.  He did really well with his old preschool teacher despite how much of a challenge he could be.  I could have pieced together care for him during the week and keep him there, but he would have had four different care givers during the week.  And that would have only been through the end of the year.  That was not going to work on many levels, but most importantly, it was not fair to him to shuttle him around so much.  So we made the decision to make a complete change.

It has been the best move for him.  He LOVES his new preschool and teacher.  Just yesterday when I picked him up, we were walking out to the car and he said "I just love this place."  Oh Little Man, I do too!  While he has had some difficulties, he has not seemed to struggle with behaving like he did at his old preschool.  They see how smart he is and what a sense of humor he has.  They see him positively, not negatively.  I so need to hear that when it comes to my Little Man.

Since I pick him up after all the other kids that are still there have gone down for rest/nap time, he has to sit at a table and quietly play and wait for me.  I thought this would be a big negative.  But it has turned out to be wonderful for him.  He is getting about 30-40 minutes of one on one time with a teacher, sometimes two!  He is coloring, practicing his letter and using flash cards.

And, he is at a home daycare on Mondays with a wonderful loving, Christian women from our church.  He can snuggle on the couch if he needs too.  And, she also does formalized preschool activities with the kids so he is getting five days a week of "education."  Fabulous.

The girls are enjoying their new found responsibility of getting themselves to school.  They have worked together well and Soccer Girl has really stepped up to look out for Lizard.  They have surprised me.  They are doing the chores I leave for them and getting their reading done all before school.  Yah for responsible children!

It is funny how everything fell into place and the timing of it all.  The location, the hours, Little Man's care, the girls stepping up...The answer to prayer is not lost on me.

The other fun thing that has happened is the number of photography jobs I have gotten.  I have done five senior portraits sessions in the last three months and have a family session coming up this weekend.  I love it!  I has been hard to balance the time commitment it takes in editing the photos with all that has been going on.  But it really has been fun.  I see my photography as a fun creative outlet for me, a much needed service for people looking for good affordable photographs (did you know that senior pictures can cost upwards of a $1000… can you believe someone would pay that and that someone would have the nerve to charge that?!) and something that earns us some extra spending money.  A win-win-win!

As I am getting use to the new schedule, I think I will be back to posting more often.  I have lots rattling around in my brain that I think needs to be written… thoughts on working more and how that impacts me and how I view myself as a Mom, updates on Little Man, making things a priority that should be…. lots in my brain.  I am feeling a little less frazzled so I think I can begin to formulate my thoughts so I can document this time.  After all, the name of my blog is "simply capturing life" so I should do that, capture our life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Start of Another School Year

All three kids started school yesterday.  Backpacks were ready and lunches made the night before (we have turned their lunch making responsibility over to the girls – yahoo!).  Clothes picked out, baths and all were asleep early.  We were ready!  I took the obligatory photos in the morning on our front porch, in front of the bush with yellow flowers, in front of the hydrangeas, and the stairs with the backpacks.  Soccer girl has it down by now, directly the other two where to go next.  Little Man cooperated and I got some fun shots of the three of them.  Such a great day and a bittersweet one too.
Soccer girl started 5th grade… her last year in elementary school.  She seemed very nervous, but excited to start the year.  She has always been my worrier and wears her emotions on her sleeve.  I hope for a challenging year for her that prepares her for middle school… academically, socially and emotionally.  And, I am just saying, but the kids in her class look so big.  I swear there was one boy who was a tall as me.  I am ready for this, but on the other hand, I am so NOT ready for this. 
Lizard started 2nd grade.  She was a trooper and eased into her class.  She was quiet from nerves, but also very confident.  I think Lizard will do well as she leaves the ease of first grade.  She is eager to do big girl things and hopefully this will be the year she comes onto her own and matures.  She is looking forward to getting homework.  Hopefully second grade will meet her expectations.
Little Man started 3’s preschool.   He was so excited, wearing his backpack and carrying his lunch box even when walking the girls to their school.  He did well and other than telling me he did not want me to go, he seemed to be having fun.  I was able to leave and sneak around and watch him.  I am curious to see what this year brings for him.  
Since I am stealing this from a friend’s facebook post I can not claim any brilliance in writing it, but I think it sums up my wish for my kids this year…
May you find a friend that likes you because you are nice, not because you are cool.  May you have a teacher that makes you eager to learn, not just eager to please.  May you treat all your peers equal, not just the one’s that you want to impress.  May your year be blessed and your memories rich. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Want a Cracker!

We are on week two of a gluten and dairy free diet for Little Man and Lizard. We took Little Man for food sensitivity testing and his wheat (whole wheat, spelt and gluten) and dairy (whey and casein) were high. Not off the charts allergic, but high enough to warrant a go at it to see if eliminating gluten and/or dairy would help with his behavior and his eczema. We are also following this for Lizard to see if we can pinpoint the cause of her ongoing stomach aches, which to date we have not been able to figure out.

It has been a challenge for sure. Not insurmountable, but a challenge. And very expensive. We eat an above average diet – not the healthiest out there for sure, but far better than many people. Even with that, it has been interesting to try to come up with alternatives to our normal choices. You can’t just grab a bag of goldfish crackers to fill the kids up. There are gluten/dairy free alternatives, but one box for $4.00 is the size of one snack – for one kid - maybe! Plus it is a challenge to find items the kids will eat. It has been some trial an error but we are making our way.

We started out thinking the whole family would follow it. But due to cost and the impact on our food budget, we are only following it strictly for the two kids. It is maddening that alternative foods… organic…gluten free… or whatever… are so much more expensive. It is actually ridiculous that I just referred to it as “alternative” because the general public should be eating THIS food, not the processed, chemical filled “food” the food industry shoves down our throats through coupons and cheap options. The more I learn, the angrier I get. It cuts to the core when I have to make a food choice based on cost and not on what is the healthiest choice.

In the end, I am not sure eliminating dairy and/or gluten will make much difference for Little Man. I guess I am hopeful that it will have a positive impact in improving his behavior; but skeptical at this point. Maybe I am reaching for something to “blame” for his actions, his defiance and his difficult nature. I know I must explore all the possibilities for my kids to be successful and provide that to the best of my ability. At the same time, it is hard to swallow that Little Man’s behavior might not improve despite our best efforts. I hate that he might be labeled the difficult kid… the trouble maker… the one that the other parents roll their eyes at and talk about. We have already had a small taste of it.

What I want people to see is that he is so full of life, funny and smart. He is amazing. He is athletic, runs faster than any kid I know and has a smile that lights up a room. He says the funniest things (like just the other day telling Soccer Girl, “hey you have polka dots on your face” referring to her freckles, as if she didn’t know!). I think people can see it a lot of the times when there is no structure and he is free to play on his own and on his own terms. But if structure or directions are involved, it is not as visible.

One of the other things Chief and I have talked about is our role as parents in his behavior. There is cause and effect in most things in life… when we react a certain way to Little Man’s behavior it can cause him to react a certain way. We are trying to monitor our reactions. I know there are times when I have escalated his negative behavior due to my reaction.  It is funny, people say by waiting to have kids until you are older, you are more mature and can handle the ups and downs better. Maybe so, but I have found I have less patience and am more tired than I was when had my other two and was "younger."  My challenge is to be calm, quiet and thoughtful in my responses.

We will keep plugging away at things for our Little Man.  He deserve that.  I know there is purpose for this struggle even if I can't see it right now. 

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It is Hard to Grow Up

This summer has been a whirlwind... I am actually not looking forward to school starting... just yet.  Usually I am ready for school to be back in session a few weeks after the kids get out, but not this summer.  And, I am not sure exactly why.
Maybe I know I will have to be earnest in my job search (although I am coming around to the idea of working more and have put out a few feelers already).  Maybe I know now that the grind of making lunches gets old by about day three.  Maybe it is because my youngest is starting preschool (how can that be?).  Maybe because we have not had as much arguing this summer as last summer (still lots of bickering, but not as much or is it that I am getting immune to it?).  I think maybe the main reason is that my oldest is starting her last year of elementary school.  
Her little kid days are very numbered and I realize that.  The things she wants to do, the discussions she wants to have, the questions she asks are not little kids things any more for the most part.  Soccer girl has always been mature for her age and very observant of life and things going on around her.  We have even had to have the “birds and the bees talk” with her well over a year ago when she was 9 or so because the subject came up among her friends.  Bless Chief’s “Dad of a Daughter” heart when he initially told her to wait and we would talk about it when they saw the “movie” in school.  Can’t get away with waiting that long in this day and age.  And the wonder of Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are long out of the bag.  Sigh.
The age span between my kids has been very evident this summer.  What entertains a 3 year old does not really entertain a 10.5 year old.  The most recent example was last week when I told the kids we were meeting friends at the park (where she is the oldest kid in the group), “we are going to a park, really do we have to?”  Kids want to play at the park, for pete sakes... right?
It is a struggle to let Soccer Girl do things, while Lizard pouts because she does not get to do all that fun stuff.  It is hard for a seven year old to be the one who is told no all the time.  Soon her circle will expand, but not soon enough for her.   
So I am letting the last few weeks of summer unfold, buying school supplies and a few new clothes.  The last few play dates and sleepovers have been scheduled.  It is hard for kids to grow up these days, but I think it is even harder for this Mom to let them grow up.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Won!

Wow!  I won a blog giveaway!  I am much more of a blog lurker... very rarely do I comment on blogs, even my favorite ones.  I commented on a whim to enter the drawing for an t-shirt from Uncommonly Cute.

Well, imagine my surprise when at a soccer tournament (sitting out in the blazing hot sun), I got an email that I won.  It made my day.  

Thanks Katie for the giveaway.  Read Katie over at Intentionally Katie... one of my favorite blogs and daily reads!  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Six Simple Words

The girls have fairly large white boards in their new rooms. They love to play school all the time and use them a lot. Money well spent if you are pondering getting one. One of the fun outcomes of having those boards is our nightly ritual of writing something on each board before the kids go to bed. Sometime I write; sometimes Chief writes… sometimes both… sometimes the girls write to each other. The girls love to read what we wrote before they go to bed or when they wake up, if we do it after they are asleep. It has been a really easy way to encourage them, give advice, joke, practice math facts or whatever. They love it and we do too!

One night a few weeks ago I wrote on Soccer Girl's board. She was really tired from lots of activities – soccer practice, speed and agility training (holy smokes!), play dates, a sleep over and a soccer tournament. She was a little overwhelmed and just plain exhausted. I wrote a few things and then wrote…”remember to rest, read, play, pray, listen and love this week”. I had not started out writing with those thoughts in my mind, but as I wrote rest and read (trying to encourage her to lay low and not be on the go so much), the other words just flowed out of my hand… to the lime green marker I was using… to the white board.

Now several weeks later, those six words are still on her board, written up in a corner in small print. I noticed the other day that she had now underlined them. I have thought of those six words a lot since then. I think they are brilliant, if I do say so myself. Each is so simple in meaning, but has so much impact.

Rest… everyone needs true rest from life’s busyness; time to themselves, just for themselves.
Read… there is so much to learn, adventures to take and humor in books. So much can be gained by making time to read.
Play… taking the time to truly play and enjoy life does a lot for your mind and body.
Pray… so much peace and focus comes from praying.
Listen… we all can learn so much more if we stop talking and stop our brains to just listen to others.
Love… how much better would this world be if we let others know how much we love them? Show them with your actions and words (and the thoughts in your head).

So while I may have written those six words down for my daughter, I think I also wrote those six words for myself. Words to live by…six simple words.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Summer is in full swing… we even had some 95+ degree weather. Man it was hot. Thank goodness for air conditioning. I honestly don’t know how we lived so long in this house without it.

We are overbooked for sure. I tried to be proactive this summer to keep us busy and to not let the kids miss out on opportunities. But I think it has backfired to some degree – we are all worn out. I am sweating often just making sure everyone gets to where they need to be and picked up on time. Soccer girl is dragging, Lizard can only handle so much activity before she implodes and Little Man...he is just carted everywhere, when he just want to play in the dirt. Then throw in a few unexpected doctor appointments, surgery for the dog and other stuff. What do you have? The makings for Mom overload!

Whatever happened to the “lay around and do nothing” approach to summer? A lot has to do with my kids getting older and then are involved with more things and have more friends. A lot has to do with me and not wanting us to be at each other’s throats when we have too much time on our hands. But, I think a lot has to do with society and how we are a go-go-go society. Heck, we can get annoyed if someone does not text us back right away (after all, I know they have their phone with them all the time!). This little video of a comedian on Conan O'Brian is only about 4 minutes, but cracks me up every time I see it!


Once August gets here, we slow down quite a bit. We will enjoy more popsicles and run through the sprinklers more (we have some, but not enough). I will try to remember this feeling for next summer. As with anything in life, it is about choices and being thoughtful about those choices. One of the verses I am trying to memorize this summer pretty much sums it up for me.

“...a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Belated Birthday Post!

My Lizard turned seven on June 9th. I have finally had a chance to sit down and put my thoughts about my seven year old on “paper.”

I can not believe how fast the time has gone and that she will be starting second grade in the fall. I am so proud of my girl. She is growing up way too fast (much faster than her big sister did). So many things are a blur and fuzzy in my memory. But when I think of Lizard I think of…

• Her absolutely contagious belly laugh
• Her freckles and especially the one in the middle of her nose
• Her pistol-like personality; happy one minute; foot-stomping mad the next
• How she has excelled in school in all areas
• How much she loves to read and how well she does (she loves those chapter books)
• How much more social she is then we thought she would be given how quiet and shy she was when she was younger
• How she is still finding her voice with her sister and among the kids in the neighborhood
• How she and Soccer Girl sneak into each other’s beds to sleep with each other
• How she is a card shark – really don’t play card games with her; you will lose most of the time!
• How she loves to play school
• How she can needle her brother and sister into a rage almost on a dime
• How hard she is to wake up in the morning (I dread the teenage years!)
• How she is a home body and likes her alone time
• How she gently rubs Little Man’s face during some quiet time (and he loves it too)

She is such a joy and my little peanut (all 40 pounds of her when she is dripping wet!). She loves to help and help cook.  I have to remember to let her do it more often; it may be faster to do it myself but what really is the rush?  She still loves to play with baby dolls but has outgrown most of her other little toys…sniff. Do seven year-olds these days really not play with many toys any more?

She wants to play basketball. She is fast and can dribble really well considering she has not really played much. Lizard has informed Soccer Girl that not everyone loves soccer and she does not have to play soccer just because her sister does! Go Lizard. It is hard for her to keep up with her sister, but I think she is learning she does not have to and she can make her own choices.

We are so proud of you Lizard.  You will do great things…in your own way and in your own time. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What is Happening?

My Little Man has been in big boy underwear one week as of tonight! He just kind of started on his own last Tuesday evening and I looked at my schedule and thought let’s go for it. I was able to be home for the most part for 6 days straight before he had to go back to the babysitter today.

He has done so well! I am so proud of him. He still is having some accidents (mostly with the whole poop thing, sigh…). But, for the most part, he is holding it for long stretches of time and gets himself there. Since he is so stubborn, I figured it would take much longer for him to get it. We are not out of the woods for sure, but we are well on our way. Well done, my Big Boy!

I so want him potty trained, but am sad that my diapering days are pretty much behind me. I love the crinkle sound of the diaper when my little ones toddle by and the smell of Desitin, oh man, I love it. I joked with Chief that I might just buy some so I can smell it when I need a baby fix.

The remodel is done… Soccer Girl is in her own room and Lizard has her own room back! Their rooms are painted and they love having their OWN space. They have asked to sleep with each other many more times than I expected already. Maybe somewhere beneath all the bickering, they will truly be friends.

Chief’s new job is going well. He is able to work from home quite a bit which has been great, but also required some adjustment on our part. I think the best part is that he is not being micro-managed and trusted to do his job. I can see his confidence returning and he is so much happier. I am so happy for him.

Summer vacation starts next week. I am looking forward to the more relaxed schedule, but also know that causes trouble for us. I am going to do my best to have a plan each day. We need a focus and activities to keep everyone from getting on each other’s nerves. It will be a challenge to keep all three entertained as what is exciting to a 3 year old is not so much to a 10 year old or even a 7 year old. But, I will do my best.

I am going to start looking for another part time job to hopefully add to or if need be replace my current jobs. We have long wanted some more financial breathing room each month and have finally decided that I need to earn some more income to do that. The trick now is what to look for… I do not want to be tied to a job 9-5, commute and all that – never again! I want to be home when the kids get home, I want to hear about their day first hand, and most important, know the teachers and their friends and their parents, etc. The trick is that I do not know what I want to do so it is hard to even look. I do not want to HR any more. After 20 years, I am done with it. I want something from home ideally that allows me the flexibility to be home when my babies get home.

I am struggling (or probably more accurately dragging my feet) with the idea of working more. I haven’t really pin-pointed why yet. It is not because I don’t want people to know we need more financial flow each month – I could careless about that – I am putting it on the internet for Pete’s sake. I think it is the idea of not being home for my kids and the perception that I have failed them somehow. I really don’t know. I have always worked either part time or full time. I do not have an issue with putting my kids in childcare; I honestly think it is good for them. I also know that I am not the best stay at home mom. I frustrate easily and am bored. How can someone not be good at being with their kids? That could be a big part of it too.

I want so much for us to have some extra to do things (not a lot of extra, just a little bit) – like a vacation, like proper repairs on the house or upgrades. Most of our “vacations” are typically visiting family and while that is wonderful, it does not create family memories for the five of us. It is not an experience that the kids will remember and look back on. While I am not a “keep up with the Jones” type of person, it is hard at times when friends or family are renting houseboats for a week in the summer or re-doing their floors. I am not judging anyone on how or why they spend their money. It would just be nice for us to have the freedom to do some of those things without going into debt to do them and being able to keep my current schedule. I guess it is just hard to swallow that it will not happen.

My struggle continues and my half-hearted search continues…maybe the perfect job will land in my lap tomorrow? I just hope I recognize it when it lands.

So that is the update around here and my record of what is happening at this time for my little family.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Tough Long Week

It has been a tough, long week… we have all been sick to varying degrees, I am on general overload and we went out of town for a soccer tournament which added logistical stuff to my plate on top of everything else. I am sitting here now with day three of stomach pains, a week and half of an annoying cough and the general “I feel like crap” feeling… plus my annual exam is today (neat!) and potentially jury duty later this week (even better!). Yes, it has been a tough long week.

I have been doing some research on diet and how it impacts behavior. We have long suspected that food dyes and high fructose corn syrup (and the like) impact Lizard’s behavior and that she may have some level of intolerance. She has vomited with 30 minutes of consuming certain food items. Curiously, it is not every time that she has that food, but it is clearly food related. And Lizard knows… today is “Kool-Aid” day at school (they are counting down the alphabet to the end of school – like Apple day, Ball day, Crayon day, etc.). We have already talked to her teacher about this suspected issue, but Lizard talked to her teacher about not wanting Kool-Aid and she brought her own organic-less-sugar-no food-dye juice. I am very proud of her.

And, after Little Man had his 3-year check up last week, I am wondering how much his diet is impacting his behavior. His doctor suggested some of his behaviors could become worrisome if they are not controlled within the next year. She did not indicate that she thought he might have ADHD or anything like that at this point. And after doing some research, I would be very surprised if that were the outcome (and very sad). But, I am beginning to wonder how much of his behavior is the “boy” in him and how much his behavior would improve with a better diet.

I have had many people…his doctor included…tell me repeatedly that Little Man is more “active” than most children at his age – boy or girl. That is helpful, but I often wonder if it is their polite way of saying “your kid is out of control.” I don’t think so, but in my exasperated state with him many times, I have to wonder. He is defiant, impulsive, destructive, loud and hurtful a lot of the time. On the flip side, he can sit and play cars, likes to look at books and watch a video. So he can settle down. And he is very smart, silly funny and the cutest 3 year old I know. But, my days are mostly filled with refeerring, disciplining and negotiating. Now, most would say that is what you do with a 3 year old. And, yes, I agree; but, not to this degree. I am truly worried about how he will do in preschool this fall.

I want so much for Little Man and all my kids succeed. What parent wants their kid to struggle? I want to make sure we have done everything we can to help ensure they are successful. So my research continues… family decisions regarding food choices and our budget are to be made… So, yes, it has been a long tough week on many fronts.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Proud Mom

I am so proud of my Soccer Girl! She had her competitive soccer tryouts this past weekend. She made it! Soccer Girl is a very good soccer player – a great passer, very calm on the field – she does not get flustered, good ball handling skills - she can dribble the ball through people, and understands the game and the position she is playing. Where she can fall down is in her aggressiveness. She gets “offended” if the other team is pushing too much. It is quite comical really that she gets offended over something like that in soccer. Sometimes after a game she will go on and on about how they were shoving or whatever. At one game, I went down the side line to where she was playing defense and caught her attention. I said “don’t let them run you off the ball.”  My Soccer Girl mouths the words to me “they are shoving” while lifting her arms out to illustrate. So I promptly yelled back, rather loudly so my point was made, “then SHOVE them back” much to her dismay (and probably to the opponents parents who heard me). As a side note, I don’t say much from the sidelines as I am usually chasing Little Man, but I felt my motherly instincts kick in at that game.

So we have to remind her often that it is okay to shove to fight for the ball, to not let the other players run her off and to let them know she can hold her own. I have even resorted to paying her a dollar if she gets a good shove in to get the ball or if she runs someone into the boards in indoor games to get a ball. To clarify – we do NOT encourage her to play dirty or unfairly. We DO encourage her to use her skills, fight for the ball when she needs to and to not let the other player “run over her” – all fair in proper soccer play.

So on Sunday – it all came together for her. She “showed up” (as I told her) to show them what she can do. It was so fun to watch her and all the girls play their hardest and show off their skills for the evaluators. She loves soccer and playing the sport with her friends. I am so happy for her. And what a good life lesson…if you go into something prepared and do it with focus, you can be successful. As we know, life does not always turn out that way even if you are prepared and focused, but it was a perfect lesson for her, right now. Just perfect! Yes, I am one proud Mom.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Man

My Little Man turned three yesterday. I can not believe how fast these three shorts years have gone by. He is my blond-haired, blue-eyed “handsome” (as I call him) and I love him with all my heart. And so I don’t forget these things in the years to come, here are some of the things I think of when I think of my Little Man, right now at age three:

He says the funniest things...
-“cupit” (ketchup)
-“cooowboy haaat” (said with a funny little voice that I can’t even describe)
-“my want to” or “my do it” (I want to or I do it)
-“Drewsa no like” (said with kind of an Italian/Mafia type accent)
-“fing” (swing)
-“fick it” (fix it)
-“you soft my soft” (says this when gently rubbing my face and loving on me) Can you stand it?

Little Man loves cars and trucks. He loves any construction related vehicle and knows all their proper names (I honestly had no idea how many types there where – he will correct me if I call a mini loader a tractor – heaven forbid). He loves running and playing outside. He loves it when he can play in the backyard by himself, digging in the dirt with “his guys” (his small construction vehicles) with no one to bug him or tell him “no.” He is so fun to watch through the window…digging, then running, then kicking a ball, then rolling in the grass, then chasing the dog… all with pure joy on his face.

He is a lefty - kicks a ball with his left foot and throws left handed and holds his fork or pencil with his left hand.  He is already a mean little soccer player. He loves baseball and really any game with a ball. He is just like his Dad.

He is really slow to wake up from a nap. It can take him a good 45 minutes to get into the swing of things again. He is snuggly and grumpy all at the same time. He sleeps hard since he plays hard. He has taken to coming into our room around 3 in the morning most days to try to sleep with us. He loves to watch Barney and Thomas the Train videos and seems to love the movie “Everyone’s Hero” (an animated baseball movie which is a great family movie, by the way). He knows his colors and can count to ten usually (having asthma and counting to ten while breathing into his inhaler helped with that!) and is starting to learn his letters.

He is NOT potty trained. Enough said.

He is extremely challenging and exhausting most of the time. He is an envelope pusher in most everything he does. But he is so funny and silly most of the time too. He is a true little boy with all the mess, noise and busyness that goes with that. He has added such joy to our house. I truly can not imagine what my life would be like without him to chase around. Happy third Birthday Little Man. We love you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another Two by Four!

Shortly after finishing my post this morning, I logged into my Girl’s Night Out (GNOs) Bible-in-a-Year blog (a group of friends of mine that get together once a month agreed to read the bible in a year and we have a private blog to post our thoughts). I am severely behind in my reading, but we all have promised each other to keep plugging along and posting our thoughts. I didn’t have anything to post (again I am behind!), but thought I would check in and see what was happening.

I read some, then clicked on a link to a devotional blog posted by a dear friend. I read the blog for a little bit, then scanned the blog topics. I immediately clicked on the topic of complaining. I sat stunned and humbled to say the least.

I read on that devotional blog "...my "wearing" of complaints and grumbling was most affecting my home." And then I read in another post "...The problem really is the balance between the reality of life's little (or big) frustrations and a complaining heart. Where does one end and the other begin? Where is the balance? It is okay, of course, to be frustrated when I splash the bleach on my pants... but how much frustration, for how long and how many times do I need to notice it and say "dang!" I don't know. What I do know is that generally I don't live the balance and I so want to. I want to live in and with a thankful heart. When I allow my frustration to overtake the worship or thankfulness, is that the line?"

After reading this, I knew my last post was just a nice way of saying “poor me.” My so-called complaints and frustrations just hit me between the eyes with a two by four, again.

Wow, God does not sugar coat things. But without my GNOs or that private blog or God, I would not have "heard" it today. And I so needed to.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Ramblings of a "Would-Be" Fly

I often would like to be a fly on the wall of my friend’s homes. Not out of some crazy “I like to snoop” type thing. It is really just to see if I am a typical Mom in my daily struggles. I often feel like I am the only one who could possibly have such frustrations and annoyances. Now friends will commiserate with me about the struggles and frustrations with their kids or whatever. But, come on, do they really have it as bad as me? (I say that with sarcasm). Hence, the fly on the wall idea.

It would really be a good reality check for me. Little Man is mentally and physically exhausting most days. Lizard is snuggly happy one minute then screaming mad within the next nano-second. Soccer Girl is a tween with all the hormones starting to do their thing; really stuck in that middle ground of being a little girl and a teenager. How would my friends handle my daily messes?

I have the best kids in the world, a great marriage, we are healthy, and have food to eat and a roof over our heads. Why then, am I exasperated much of the day? I think part of is that parenting is much harder than I ever imagine…I regret lots of the choices I make as a Mom…I feel like an unappreciated maid many days…I miss time with just Chief…

We tell the kids often to choose differently so you get a different outcome. That is great advice to dish out, but much harder to follow myself. There are days when I can choose differently…change my tone of voice, give choices, spend the quality time I need to with my family. But then there are days that I am mentally “done” before I have even gone downstairs and bark orders like a drill sergeant.

I am in a season of mental “doneness” right now. Chief said to me last night that I don’t seem happy. Honestly, deep down I am happy. What appears as unhappiness is probably frustration, tiredness and an underlying feeling that the tough parenting falls to me most of the time. I get that this is the nature of my “job” to be home with the kids. It is a choice we have made and one I would not change. But, who knew it would be so much harder for me then going to a 9-5 traditional job every day.

I have sometimes rolled my eyes at the advice “take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.” I am finding some truth to that at this time of my life, especially today.  I think I am going to have to reprioritize things and put myself near the top. If I continue down this path, it is going to get bumpy and ugly. I don’t want that and neither does my family.

So…if you see a fly on your wall that looks a bit like me, I am not snooping, really. I am just trying to make sure that I am okay.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Message for the So-Called Artists from a Mom,

I have a message for Lady Gaga and the hundreds of other similar so-called "artists" of our day.  Your 15 minutes are up and it is time for your careers to fade into oblivion.  I will listen to you, and let my children listen to you, when you can actually write a song and perform it without using vulgar words.  And I will actually sing your praises if you could perform a song that does not include overtly sexual or abusive behavior messages.  You do a good job masking these messages with a great dance beat.  It gets past a lot people, but not me.  Until then, go away.  I am tired of looking up lyrics and thinking this one might be okay for my daughter until you, in your "artistic" immaturity, slip "I want your vertical stick" or "I want your disease" in there. 

Being an artist is about more than singing about sex.  And just a tip...if you have to shock people and wear crazy costumes to get noticed - you are not an artist.  And you target the youth of today - MY kids.  That I take great offense to.  Some day I hope you figure things out.  And when you do, let's hope you will have some of your millions left to actually do some good in the world.

This Mom will not let her 10 year old daughter listen to your so called "music."  I may be known as the uncool Mom, but I am not changing my standards.  I think all the other parents out there should change their standards... or more accurately... raise them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes it Takes a Two by Four

We searched for my wedding ring for an hour and a half.  I cried and I mean really cried; sobs that did nothing to help find it but did reflect how I felt.  I was kind of surprised by my reaction.  I have always loved my ring.  But in that hour and a half, I realized my ring is the one material posession that I love deeply.  I love looking at it... love when the sunlight catches it just right and little rainbows appear... love the weight of it... love the coolness of it when I put in on.  My ring is insured, so I could replace it financially.  But when faced with the idea of not having MY ring - the one Chief put on my hand - I realized I did not want it replaced.  I wanted MY ring and all that goes with it. 

I should back up just a bit.  I took my ring off to go running Saturday morning and put it in it's normal spot on the back of the sink on the little stopper thingy.  After returning from my run and getting ready, I reached for my ring.  It was not there.  I immediately knew Little Man had gotten a hold of it.  In the past, he put a gold band down the over flow drain the sink.  So I figured he put it in there.  I started to panic.  I started searching, everyone started searching.  Chief took the sink apart, but it was not in there.  To really know if it was caught in the sink, we would have to remove it (and probably replace it and repair the tile).  I started to cry.  I could not imagine where it was.  Chief figured he threw it (like he does most stuff).  We looked high and low, I tried to convince Little Man to take Mommy to where he put my ring.  Nothing. 

Finally, I started to pray.  I asked God to please let us find it.  I thought about posting on facebook - "prayers needed right now."  And, you know what?  About 5 minutes after I prayed, Soccer Girl found it.  She found it on top of a dresser in our room behind a picture.  Little Man did throw it and it landed up there.  I had just looked on that dresser.  Coincidence, I don't think so. 

My first reaction is not usually to pray... it takes me a while to think of that.  It took a two by four Saturday morning for me to realize I need to take my requests, desperate needs, and worries to God first!  I can't do this by myself.  God, I might need a few more two by fours before I really get it.  But I certainly got it Saturday morning, loud and clear.  I did not miss it.  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

I found this recipe here.  I just made these last night for my monthly Girl's Night Out.  They were wonderful - very refreshing and very easy to make.  It would make a great Easter dessert.  Enjoy.  Yummmmm!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Weight

Unless you are a Mom (or Dad), I think it is hard to understand the saying “it is like wearing your heart outside your body” or whatever that saying is that people tell you when you are about to become a parent. A lady I work with is at the hospital right now, delivering her first baby… a girl. That seems like so long ago to me when I was at the hospital delivering my first baby.  But at the same time, it seems like just yesterday. I can still remember the excitement, the way my husband looked, the anticipation, the fear of the unknown regarding delivery, the first time I felt in my heart that I was a parent and the feeling of responsibility I had when the nurse took my baby to the nursery so I could get some sleep that last night in the hospital…

But, as I sit here 10 + years later as a Mom of three kids, it is really seems to me that the magnitude of my responsibility did not hit me until my kids got older and were away from me more. I could manage feedings, nap times, play dates, schedules, diapers - all that baby stuff with ease. I know many have different experiences, but for me that was the easy part. I get overwhelmed NOW with worry… am I making the right choices for our family, showing enough grace to my kids, are they learning enough, social enough but no so much so to be a slave to the social pressures of today… whatever. When I say overwhelmed, I don’t mean I lay awake every night, ringing my hands. It is a weight that hits me at times when I hear about something that happened at school, or about a family situation of a friend of my daughters and how it might impact her or how difficult Little Man can be and will he struggle as he gets older. Or it is the guilt or regret on my part when I don’t parent my kids like I should; will my kids grow up to hate me.

Sometimes the weight lasts only a few minutes, sometimes it can last awhile. The weight creeps in slowly at times or hits like a ton of bricks at others. The responsibility of raising three human beings is huge. But I am slowly learning that the weight is not mine alone to carry…

When I pray, the weight is amazingly lighter.
When I seek guidance from Chief and a wise friend, the weight is lighter.
When I remember that being the Mom to these three little souls is THE “job” God personally selected me to do, the weight is lighter.

Parenting is a journey, not a destination, as I once thought that day in the hospital when my first baby was born. My journey as a parent is long, bumpy, hard, joyous and exhausting but mostly it is amazing even with the weight. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Now that is love

As I was rounding the corner this morning on my way to the store, I noticed a pigeon standing on top of a dead pigeon in my neighbor's driveway.  I could not believe it.  I turned the car around and ran home to get my camera (note to self - need a little point and shoot for this very reason!).  So I return and he is still there, standing so protectively over his mate.  I get my camera set, quietly get out of my car, and as I bend down to snap the picture, he flies away carrying his mate with him.  Amazing.  I did not know that pigeons were so loyal.  It struck me that we should love our loved ones like that... caring, loyal and attentive... everyday, not just after they are gone. Thank you for the little reminder God.  

Friday, March 5, 2010


Good news came through for Chief.  He will be starting a great new job at the end of the month.  He has been able to resign from his current employer which in and of itself is a huge blessing (think working for a manager that supports none of your decisions, is unethical/falsifies documents and is power hungry at the cost of her people).  And that he is going to a great new opportunity is just icing on the cake. 

While no job is perfect and the new one will have ups and down for sure, it is an exciting opportunity in a growing industry. His expereince has been recognized and rewarded.  I am so proud of him and happy for him.

We have prayed for a new opportunity for a loooonng time and have been frustrated when things have fallen through in the past.  We now see why God was waiting for this time, for this opportunity.  I just need to trust more. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I want certain things for my family.  I pray for them, praise God for all we do have and plead at times for things to turn out the way I think they should.  I do believe God is in control and things work out the way they should for a reason, even if I don’t agree with or understand it.  But to truly believe God is in control…deep down…is a difficult thing for me.  Especially when I think something should happen for someone I love. I reason with God, that “if you just do this, we will see You so much more in our lives.” But that is not truly trusting God to work his plan; my wants are not a bargaining chip for faith.  I am not sure why I wrote this? Maybe a simple visual reminder to myself of the battle going on in my brain right now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Today is the day of  "love" the day to show everyone you love just how much you love them.  The idea of the day is great - take time to say you love a person.  Chief and I did not exchange anything, mostly due to lack of time and saving our budget.  I got the kids each a little something which they enjoyed. 

But honestly, I think it is kind of a silly holiday.  Spending tons of money on flowers that die and endless candy and other things (I think I have Chief convinced NOT to buy me any more roses; I am more of a fresh-cut wild-flower kind of girl and think spending $80 on roses which keel over in just a few days is a waste!).  I think it is the everyday things that show you love someone...the random flowers given for no reason at all or a letter telling someone why they are so special to you.  Those are the things that I love.

One of the best romantic memories I have with Chief was one of our first dates ( I think our 3rd?)... we spent the day wine tasting in Napa.  We went to several, but the one that stands out was one where you take a tram to the top of a hill where the tasting room was.  The day was a perfect spring day - not too hot and not too cool.  Just perfect.  We sat outside on the patio.  It was back in the day when tasting was free and they just kept filling our glasses, brought cheese and crackers.  We just talked for hours.  I don't remember what we talked about, but I do remember after after that day, I knew I was in love with him.  It was just perfect!  Now almost 14 years later, I am still in love with him and it is just perfect... still.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How I'm Doing

Well, two out of my three main goals for 2010 are going well. I have been keeping up on my reading of the bible and I am making headway on launching photography and should meet my deadline of March 1st.

Losing weight has not gone so well. I am down 3 pounds but that is probably more from being sick the last few days then my mad skills at losing weight. It is curious to me what triggers people to lose with and work at it so diligently. I lost 37 pounds about 4 years ago. I just made a decision and worked at it – no looking back. I ate the right foods – veggies and fruit, did not eat fast food, and drank tons of water. It just clicked.

Here I am again but it has not clicked for me this time yet. I am happy to say I did not gained all 37 pounds back and that is all with turning 40 and having a 3rd baby! But I don’t know what IT was before. My original goal was to lose 50 pounds and to be healthier and shop where ever I wanted. I did that and stopped at 37 pounds because I had meet my ultimate goal of being healthier. I was happy. I can still say I am healthier then I was and can still shop anywhere. But I don’t feel that way deep down.

Some things have clicked for me though - no more fast food. It is not that I eat it that often, but when I do, I feel horrible almost immediately. I am done with being lazy, because that is most often when I eat fast food – I haven’t planned a meal, am running late, whatever. I am better off not eating then eating that stuff and feeling like I have the last few times.

I am not giving up for sure and will keep plugging away. Pray for some more “clicking” to happen for me soon!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NOT like everyone else?

Today while waiting at the drive-thru-window for our food, I looked inside the "restaurant" (if you call Taco Bell a restaurant) and saw about eight high school girls waiting to order.  What struck me immediately was how much all the girls looked alike.  Same hairstyle, same color, same style of clothes, same make up... same everything. 

I immediately thought of when I was in high school and how I always wanted to fit in, to be like everyone else and not stand out.  I don't recall going to extreme measures to fit in like falsifying who I was or wearing the most trendy things just because everyone else was even if I didn't like it.  But I do remember that underlying desire to be accepted. 

Then I thought of my girls.  Oh, how I want them to stand out!  I want them to stand up for their friends in a crowd, show people grace in all circumstances, be excited about learning new things and show their true character in all that they do.  I want them to fall within the loose boxes of what is acceptable so they can manage life in our society.  But, I want them to also be sure enough in themselves to not be afraid of going against the "world view" when they know they should.  I want them to be strong enough in who they really are to do that.  And to do it with God's grace behind them. 

We talked to Soccer Girl just the other night about being graceful to her sister even when she feels like Lizard does not deserve grace because of her behavior.  We talked about how important it is to show people grace when they least deserve it.  I explained to her that I hope that others do that for me when I least deserve it.  

I think it is important for me as a mom to foster my children's character in such a way that they feel that fitting in is something they can do while NOT being like everyone else.  And I need to do that with God's grace behind me. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine Card Idea

Okay - I am totally doing this for my kids Valentine's Day cards for school and for family.  Soooo much better than the dumb character cards we buy each year. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

iPhone Apps

Okay, this is a simple post to link to something so I don't forget.  How shameful is that?  I love the blog We are that Family - funny, faith-filled, great ideas, etc.  Kristen has a post about free iPhone apps for toddlers that are educational and help keep them busy when waiting in line or whatever. 

I don't have an iPhone yet, but in March when our contract is up, I will.  Okay, why is it that cell phone companies make you wait to upgrade or they charge you a fee?  They give you some song and dance about how cheaply they sell you the phone and it takes about 18 months for them to recover the cost, blah, blah, blah.  Hmmm, yah, right.  I am willing to buy a fancy phone and pay them more each month, but, I'll play their game and wait.  Sorry that was a little tangent, wasn't it.

Sooooo, here the link.   

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Psalms 6

Love this one - "do not rebuke me in anger"... "my soul is in anguish"... "the Lord has heard my weeping"... we were reading last night together as a family and I was reading out of Lizard's children's bible this Psalm.  It is straight and to the point. Let's just say it hit a cord and I started crying - wow. I should say this was after a particulary difficult afternoon with the kids with some "fine parenting moments" on my part (said with much sarcasim) and I was not feeling like the a good Mom (or even a semi-good one).  I am learning that God puts passages in front of me at just the right moment. Even today at the first day of bible study, the speaker hit me right between the eye with her words, or should I say God's words.

And, the kids loved reading together. It was a very nice way to end a difficult day.

Homemade Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe's

16 ounces ground beef
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (I usually leave this out-can't stand cooked celery!)
1 small onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (use your favorite)
1 tblsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard (I never seem to have this so I just squirt in some yellow mustard)
salt and pepper
1 tblsp. Worcestershire suace
1 tblsp. vinegar

1.  In a large skillet, brown beef, celery and onion and drain fat.
2.  Stir in remaining ingredients, simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  If looks too "loose", leave the cover off and let moisture evaporate.
4.  Cook until it's the consistency you like for serving on buns.

This is super easy - I usually double and put some in the freezer.  It is great with some french fries and with cole slaw (put it on the bun with the Joe).  Yum!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting My Moxie Back

I am feeling very optimistic about 2010 - we watched the "Night at the Museum Two - Battle at the Smithsonian" with the kids on New Year's Eve.  In there, Amelia Earhart talked about "moxie". 

Moxie according to the definition here is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; gumption, guts, nerve.  That's how I feel we are facing the new year - with gumption, courage and spirit on many levels.

I am signed up to run the Hippie Chick half-marathon again in May and will start training again this week to build up my base mileage.  Running for me takes moxie because I am not a natural runner; absolutely hated it as kid.  And, I am slow.  But it makes me feel strong and that I can do anything.  So I am starting off this New Year gathering up my moxie and it feels good.