The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jackson, age 3

I am just so proud of Jackson. He never ceases to amaze me. He is so sweet and sensitive. He hates to disappoint me.

Not long ago, we were at the grocery store and he purposefully kicked the chips after I specifically asked him to be careful not to kick them. I told him he lost the privilege of sitting in the cart. He threw a fit which escalated to a full on temper tantrum right in the store, and I even had to spank him when we were checking out, right in front of everyone. On the way home, I told him he was not allowed to talk to me because I was not happy about his choices at the store, and when we got home he spent some time in his room. When he came down, he said, of his own accord, "Mom, I'm sorry I was not a good boy at the store. I want to be a good boy now." For the rest of the night, he was. Three days later, while we were eating lunch, he randomly asked me, "Mom, are you happy with me about the store?" I said, "Jackson, I am not happy you made bad choices at the store, but you told me you were sorry and you have been a good boy, and I forgive you, so I am happy with you now." But he continues to ask me every now and then if I am happy about that one incident, and I always give the same reply. When I tell him I am not happy with him, it really hurts his feelings and has such an impact on him that a lot of times that is all I'll have to say. Oh, he throws his fits, don't get me wrong, but I usually only have to let him know that he isn't making a good choice and I'm not happy about it, and after a minute to think about it, he gets control of himself, and turns his behavior around. However, he is VERY impressionable, so when he is around other friends who are not making good choices, he often gets caught up in it and gets in trouble. I can see that I will have to work very hard at teaching him that he needs to choose the right always, no matter what everyone else around him is doing.

Academically, he has surpassed everyone in our class in every subject, and he is the youngest 3-year-old of the group. He is even performing at a higher level than my 5-year-old preschooler. He knows all the letters and sounds, knows about vowels and their 2 sounds, can recognize numbers up to 100 and can count that high by 1's, 5's and 10's. He can also tell you all the days of the week, and tell you which day comes after a named day. He knows how to spell his name and can even write some of the letters. He can tell you his birthday, how old he is, and his phone number. I have decided that starting in January, I am going to begin to teach him how to read and practice sight words with him. Already, when we read at night, I'll read a page and say, "Can you find the word duck on the page? Think about the sound you hear at the beginning of the word. What does duck start with? Can you find a word on the page that starts with that same letter?" He gets it right every time.

Today I was doing a worksheet with the kids that I quickly realized was pretty over their heads, but I did it anyway with Jackson, and he got it after a few examples. The thing that shocked me was that the first step on the sheet was counting a set up to 5. I realized he doesn't need to count if the set if a group of 1, 2, 3 or 4. He can look at the group and tell you how many are there. That is a skill that doesn't usually come till after Kindergarten! His fine motor skills need to catch up with his brain, but we are working on that. But he can cut perfectly (striaght lines only) almost with no assistance whatsoever.

I also am constantly touched by his sweet spirit. He loves to say prayers and actually gets sad when it isn't his turn. Today I overheard him and some of his friends pretending to have a Thanksgiving feast in the kitchen center. One friend was serving the food and the feasters were about to eat, and Jackson said, "Wait! Don't eat yet! We have to say a prayer!" He said one very quickly and then opened his eyes, and said, "Okay, NOW you can eat!" Then tonight in our bedtime prayers he thanked the Lord for the rain we recently had and asked Him to please bless Sam so his diaper rash will get better. I was so touched that he thought of his brother's poor sore bottom (he has had diarrhea all day).

Anyway, I was just feeling very overwhelmed with love for this sweet boy the Lord sent to me. I know he isn't perfect, but gosh, he is such a joy to me! I wanted to document how I was feeling and all I have been thinking about today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mollie Conroy, inspiration to all...

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, my sister's salon
is having a spa day with special treats and bonuses for breast cancer patients and survivors. They are featuring my mom, and about 70% of their proceeds for the day are going to go to my mom (who will probably turn around and regift it to Susan G. Komen). My sister's work asked her to write a bio for my mom, but since she knows that words are my talent, she asked me to write it. Here is what I wrote:

Seven years ago, the battle of a beloved local teacher and mother began.
On January 1, 2004, Mollie Conroy was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer after finding a lump on her left breast. A prompt lumpectomy was scheduled and doctors removed several lymph nodes as well. Further biopsy of the lymph nodes showed 4 out of 17 to be cancerous.
Mollie, a Broken Arrow South Intermediate High School Law Teacher, Mock Trial coach and mother of 3 children, was determined to be in stage III of breast cancer. Of the four stages of cancer, stage III usually means the cancer is larger, and may have started to spread into surrounding tissues and there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the area.
“I had many sleepless nights. I still had a 9-year-old son at home to raise,” said Mollie.
When she recovered from surgery, she quickly started a dose dense treatment of chemotherapy. Amazingly, Mollie, once honored as SIHS’s Teacher of the Year, continued to teach half-days for the remainder of the semester. “By the end of the semester, I was a zombie. By final exams, my sub just took over. I was too sick. I was so grateful for that.”
Mollie underwent chemo followed by radiation through the end of September. During these months, she lost all her hair and struggled with many of the other side effects of cancer treatment, including digestion problems, a compromised immune system, intermittent fevers, extreme fatigue, and joint pain among many other discomforts.
In the Fall of 2004, she attended Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure in Tulsa. She related, “It was like a big pep rally. I even felt comfortable enough taking off my cap in public for the first time. It was humbling to see how many people were supportive of what I thought of as my own private battle.”
However, despite her battle, Mollie’s thoughts continued to turn to her family. “I saw a teenage boy with ‘In Memory of My Mother’ on the back of his shirt. I thought, ‘I never want my own son to go through that.” Later that fall, a CAT scan came back all clear. There was no active cancer left in Mollie’s body.
Mollie had a 3 year respite from cancer, but her fight was a long way from over. In the Spring of 2007, she felt some bumps on the left side of her collarbone. Unfortunately, a PET scan showed that the cancer had spread to her left ribs and lymph nodes at the base of her neck. The cancer had metastasized and Mollie was upgraded to a Stage IV. Even through another round of chemo, Mollie continued to teach high school, taking off as needed. Her doctor advised her to retire, but she refused. “I loved my job,” she said.
But at the end of the school year, after doctors removed a benign growth on her fallopian tubes, she realized that she had missed a total of 20 days of school that year. Feeling that her students deserved more, she submitted her retirement paperwork in 2008. She left her students and the Mock Trial team she had started and coached for BAHS for 10 years.
Mollie’s work in education didn’t end with her teaching career, however. In 2007, she volunteered with Families and Communities Empowered for Safety (FACES) and created “Hometown Heroes: Teachers Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect,” an in-service program making teachers aware of signs and behavior to look for in abuse victims and the responsibilities they have to report suspected abuse. She has also served on the Board of Directors for FACES twice, as well as periodically returned to assist the BAHS Mock Trial team as a volunteer.
In the fall of 2009, a check-up CAT scan revealed that Mollie’s cancer had returned yet again, showing 6 tumors in her lung. For the third time, she started chemo, this time on new drugs, Abraxane and Avastin. By February 2010, the drugs reduced her tumors and were no longer visible on a CAT scan. She stayed on a maintenance dose until the FDA removed Avastin from the market for breast cancer patients.
Once off the treatment, her tumors returned again rapidly. This time Mollie found a Clinical Trial in Dallas, TX for a new treatment, promising great results for triple-negative cancer patients. “I entered what felt like the lottery, and I was chosen,” she said. Mollie is currently driving to Dallas twice a month to receive treatment.
Through all she has been through, Mollie continues to inspire others with her optimism. “I feel very fortunate to be able to get [this new treatment]. One of my friends with the same type of cancer I have didn’t live long enough to participate in this clinical trial. She wanted to do it, but when she applied, they told her she was too far along. She passed away in early 2010,” Mollie confided. “I feel relatively blessed. I have a husband supporting me so I could have the luxury of retiring. So far, I have no long-term side effects of treatment. I never struggled with depression. I became closer to the Lord during this time, and I became bolder saying so. My family has been my number one support team, and I also received support from my church and the kids in my classes. My cancer brought out the best in people.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some of God's Greatest Gifts...

...are unanswered prayers.

Well, really we know that all prayers are answered. We just may not get the answer we were hoping for or an answer in the way we hoped for.

Today I am feeling grateful for "unanswered prayers" in a Garth Brooks kind of way. I am so blessed to live the life I do. I narrowly escaped a very different life. Just happy. Busy, but happy. I wouldn't change a thing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Compulsion: Exercise

It may be a good thing that I am tied to the house for most of the day because if I had more time, I may be a little nutso with the working out. I'm talking like every day for hours on end.

I seriously LOVE working out. I love feeling the burn, pushing myself to the limits of what I can do, having complete control of my body instead of my body controlling or limiting me.

I think it is because I feel strong when I'm lifting weights. I feel like if anyone tried to mess with me, I could take them. I feel fast when I run, like I could outrun any danger.

And I hate, hate, hate the fat that still remains on my body.

When I am working out, I can feel my muscles working and my lungs opening up and my whole body feels alive.

Except the fat.

It sits on my hips and my hangs on to the bottom of my arms and my tummy. It is a foreign mass I can't reach; it is unresponsive when the rest of my body is on overdrive. It makes me angry that I can't control it and make it do what I want it to do. I feel it jiggling when I run, an unwanted hitchiker holding on for dear life. It motivates me to move faster and work harder because I know that is the only way to get it off of me.

See? I told you. CRA-ZY. I have lost a lot of weight, but there is still a ways to go for me to be satisfied. I can't wait until Ben graduates, the boys are in school, I quit working, and I have time during the day to do a few things I want to do. I dream of playing outdoor soccer again, or training to kickbox, or even training to become a personal trainer myself -just something competitive, that pushes me, but Ben's schedule is just too unpredictable right now. Some day, maybe, but for now I have to settle for the few times I can make it to the gym a week, and be grateful for the days when my workout doesn't get interrupted my poopy diapers or a inconsolable child. Does that sound selfish?

And P.S. I wasn't this person (much) before I had babies. What is it about post-babies that turned me into such a workout freak?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Are YOU My Mother?

We have two versions of this book. One, a board book and shortened version, is Sam's favorite bedtime book. The other, the full hardback version, is Jackson's. I probably have read this book to Jackson 6 out of 7 nights every week for the past 2 months.
When I read it to Sam, I always make the animal sound effects and a mmm-mmm hug sound when the mother bird and baby bird are reunited at the end. Now he makes those sounds for me when we read it together. :)
I do the same for Jackson.
Today I was cleaning upstairs and the boys were running around and playing in the loft. I turned off hte vaccuum to hear, "A mother bird sat on her egg..." I walked into the loft behind Jackson, where I wouldn't distract him, and watched and listened as he recited the entire book to himself with about 80% word for word accuracy, complete with sound effects. This book is probably a 40 page book with 1 to 3 sentences per page. I was shocked, amazed, proud, and entertained. SO of course, I did what any mother would do...
I called my mom and snuck up behind him and had her listen. :)
What a smartie Jack is turning out to be!! He makes me smile with pride and laugh at his zest for life daily. I am blessed to be his mom.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Frosty the Snowman

My kids LOVE this movie. Love it so much they'd watch it over and over and over and over if I let them. This morning when they woke me up, I was super tired for some reason. I fed them breakfast and asked Jackson which movie he wanted so I could lay down on the couch for a bit, and of course he wanted Frosty. We have watched that movie all year long. I tried to put it away once, but they begged me for it, so I relented.

If you think I am just describing Jackson, you are quite mistaken. When one sesssion of Frosty ends and the movie goes back to the Menu screen, Sam stomps his feet, points to the TV and demands, "TAAAAH-tee!"

Jackson likes to get out his guitar and play-jam to the Frosty theme music. This morning he was doing this and Sam was doing his silly baby dance. I wish I had gotten it on tape. It was super-cute.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vegetable Pizza

Some of you may already have this recipe because I got it when we had a RS activity a few years ago in the Saginaw ward and I was asked to make it (along with several other people). It was the first time I had ever had it and I loved it! It's crazy because I hate most of the ingredients. (Squash? UGH. I remember that being a hill I was ready to die on as a youth.) But you have got to try it!! Even my kids will eat it (with a little ranch dressing to spice it up.) Okay, correction, Jackson ate it, but Sam didn't, but Sam doesn't count because he doesn't eat anything but bread and macaroni unless I trick him!!

Here's the yummy recipe and it is even good reheated, I think.

4 medium baking potatoes, shredded (I cheated and defrosted a bag of hash browns)
1 md onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c of flour
1 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
1 md zucchini, sliced thin
1 md yellow squash, sliced thin
1 md yellow or red bell pepper (all I had on hand was green and that worked just fine)
1 sm red onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic (I used a few small spoons of pre-minced garlic - I don't do garlic - too messy)
goat cheese (Alouette -I think- is my favorite brand - I use it alot with different recipes)
cherry tomatoes, sliced thin
2 T. basil
1 c shredded mozzerella

If you used potatoes instead of hash browns, shred potatoes and onion. Add eggs, flour, and salt and press onto a pizza pan (I sprayed mine first with Pam to prevent sticking, and it still stuck a little.) Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Take crust out of oven, brush with 1T of olive oil and put back in oven for 10 more minutes at 425. Then turn up heat and broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crisp. While crust is in oven, combine zucchini, yellow squash, pepper, onion, and garlic in a skillet with remaining olive oil and cook until crisp and tender, stirring often. Spread goat cheese on crispy potato crust and top with veggies and tomatoes. Sprinkle with mozzerella and basil. Bake for 5-7 minutes more at 425. Yum-Yum-YUMMO! I wish I had taken a picture to show you the finished product, but alas, we dug in too quickly!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blessings & Trials

Well, you were all right. I just had to not only have faith, but leave my problem in the hands of the Lord and it all worked out. As soon as I MADE myself stop stressing about my low enrollment, I got call after call after call. And now I'm full. Completely.

I have been bitten by the craft bug lately and so I made this as a reminder to myself of the lesson I learned from this experience.
As for Jackson being potty-trained, well, he is still 100% pee potty trained, but a week after we got back from the camping trip, he decided the pooping thing was just not his favorite thing again, and so here we are - he is still pooping his pants. I have tried everything. Yes. Everything. I give up. I'm just cleaning up poopy underwear. It isn't that bad. He'll get it. Eventually. Oh well. Sigh...

Today is the first full day of our 8 weeks without Ben. He will be doing a 4 week rotation in Tulsa and then a 4 week rotation in Temple, TX. We already miss him so much. Yesterday when he left, Jackson hugged his neck super tight and said, "Don't LEAVE me, Daddy!!" in this horrible pitiful voice that brought tears to my eyes. But on a lighter note, the other day Ben and I watched New Moon together and I mentioned that although yes, he is very young, I found Taylor Lautner to be quite attractive. To be funny, Ben left a Taylor Lautner poster tacked to the ceiling above our bed when he left. LOL, I'm going to miss my funny husband.

I have been receiving harassing obscene phonecalls at all hours of the day and night since July. I have reported this to the police, and they have assigned a detective to my case. I have traced the call and the phone company forwarded this information to the police, who got a subpoena for his phone records. They think they know who the guy is now, they are just still trying to track him down. Side note - during the same time period that he has been calling me, he has made 4,200 other phonecalls from that number. Meanwhile, I am still getting the phonecalls. I don't answer usually, but this morning I was half asleep and picked up the phone without checking the caller ID, and it was him...what a wonderful way to wake up...with a sexual proposition. At least I am quite sure, along with the police, that the pervert is not one and the same as my creepy neighbor.

Jackson's 3rd birthday was yesterday. It passed fairly uneventfully as we are planning a Super Mario family birthday party for him this weekend when we are in Tulsa for the long weekend, visiting Daddy and relaxing with family. Here are some pictures of what I am working on. (The cupcake tower is the idea I am going to work off of when I make his cupcakes. They haven't actually been made yet. Pics of actual cupcake tower to come...)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lost Book

I'm not sure if this is a testament to how much he LOOOVES books or a testament to the fact that he is his mother's son and MUST keep a strict routine, but tonight when it was time to go to bed, Jackson was trying to stall and ran away from me and hid in the kitchen. So I went upstairs and I waited and waited, and then I counted and nothing, so finally when I was going back down the stairs about to spank him, he came. I told him that since he was being silly and didn't come when I told him it was time for bed, we wouldn't have time for a book tonight. You would have thought someone died. As I type I can hear him in his room, kicking his feet and writhing around in his bed, sans monitor, SCREAMING bloody murder for a book. Is it strange that I feel both frustrated and proud at the same time? :)

Monday, August 16, 2010


Well, I'm officially starting to panic. First day of school was today and not only do I not have full enrollment, but I have 4 empty spots and only one child showed up for the first day of school. Everyone else decided to keep their kids until EMS-ISD starts next week. That means for this week I have lost more hundreds of dollars. I have gotten a few phonecalls and one tour, but nothing has panned out. I was even going to accept a child at 3am since his mother had a wierd work schedule just to get some kids in here, but then his mom changed her mind and her mom is going to keep him. What are we going to do!?

Also, I got a notice in the mail that our children's Medicaid is being cancelled because I didn't turn in some extra documentation that they requested, but I did, so I guess they didn't get it. We have insurance for Jack and Sam till Aug 31. I am freaking out here. I am doing every thing I know to do. I have fasted, searched the scriptures, going to church every week, trying to live righteously, having FHE by myself with my kids, praying, praying and more praying. NOthing like this has ever happened to me before when I was doing all the right things, and it seems like the hits just keep coming. Why!? I don't know what else to do. I'm trying to be faithful and in the meantime advertising like crazy and offering specials, etc, but nothing is working!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This says it all...

Be not afraid of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep. And swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect and a new power. With an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Found that quote today and I love it. It says what I believe about my own life and experiences. Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Samson, 15 months (almost)

Sam is so hilarious these days. He is such a little boy lately instead of a baby, and his vocabulary grows every day. For my own documentation (Because I still look back at my Jackson posts to compare), I wanted to record some of the new things he says and does.

Words he can say:
No-no-no (with scolding finger)
Dooooon-toukk (Don't touch)
Jjsh (juice)
Hi-eee (Hi)
Bah-Bah (Bye-bye)
Ni-Ni (Night-night)
dawh (dog) (The woof-woof sound shortly follows)
duh (duck - not so good at the execution of this animal sound, but he does try)
DAH-duh (Jackson)
YAAAY! (with clapping)
Peeeee (Please)
Mooh (More, which he can also sign)
Tanka (comes out throaty at the end -Thank you)

He can also fold his arms for prayer on demand, give a scolding finger with the no-no, show you where his hair and nose are (and other parts of face on a good day), and he is starting to sing what sounds like the Alphabet song. He can tell you the sounds that a car, a dog, a cat (MEEEE-OOOOW, super dramatic), and a cow make. He gives hugs and kisses with sound effects, too.

But my favorite thing is how much he LOOVES his brother Jackson. If Sam is awake and running around, you can always find him following close behind Jackson. If Jackson plays with blocks, Sam is, too. If Jackson watches a movie, Sam does, too. If Jackson is playing Nintendo (or trying to), Sam is sitting there holding the spare controller, too.

...Like a Mustard Seed

Sometimes I am so prideful that when I hear the phrase, "Have Faith," I just get so frustrated.

What if I am doing the absolute best I can to be right with the Lord, and I fervently pray about something, and I feel like the Lord is pleased with me, but then signs in my life point to otherwise?

I really need a couple of changes to occur in my life, and they just aren't happening; things that will very soon be very detrimental to my family and my daily life. I keep trying and trying on my end, and I feel like I am pushing against a brick wall. Nothing is happening, so I pray and pray harder, and I focus more on being righteous, but still...nothing. Today, out of a complete loss at what to do and total frustration of how I handled a situation, I decided to just sit down and open my scriptures and just read until I felt inspired with an answer. So I randomly opened my scriptures and found Matthew Ch 17. When I got to the verse where the apostles asked the Lord, "Why could we not cast him out? referring to their attempt to cast a devil out of a crazy child, I thought of "Lord, why am I not being successful at getting this change made in my life?" and I felt that the answer was in the next verse. I'm sure you know it. "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Argh! I DO have faith!! I mean, I know the Lord will answer my prayer, and that it may not be the answer I want, but what does that mean? That doesn't tell me what to do!? That I just sit here and wait? Doing nothing? And my problem will just be fixed? Or keep trying and trying, getting nowhere, meanwhile, instead of moving forward, I'm being pushed backwards by some invisible force until I am looking over the cliff I am about to fall over!? I just keep telling myself that the Lord knows how much I can handle, so even if I think I can't handle it, and might go crazy, He will take care of me, but I'm just such a dang control freak, that I admit I am panicking a little!! I feel like I am already walking through the valley of the shadow of death, how much closer to I have to get before I lose it!?

I want to go home. I miss my family. I know they would help me if they could. I don't want to be an adult anymore. Can I close my eyes and be a teenager again, like this is all a bad dream!? I promise that I'll be good this time, and I'll be the sweetest to my mother who I was so horrible to!! I'll be the best example to my little sister and brother...let me try that whole teenager thing again and then maybe I'll be a little better prepared to be an adult woman on my own. Are there do-overs? :)

Monday, August 2, 2010


...And we are officially POTTY TRAINED! Fully. Yes, that's right. He pooped. and pooped. and pooped again.

So now we can pee-pee in the potty. Sleep in underwear at night and at naptime with no accidents. (That has actually never been an issue, thankfully.) And now we can poop. Okay, so I have always been able to do that, lol, so when I say we, I really mean Jackson...:)

I have definitely been taught a lesson here, and that is that nothing is too small to pray about. I had thought it was too trivial for prayer, and although it has been a major struggle in our lives now for months, I kept trying to handle it on my own. Finally, Jackson and I both came to a traumatizing point in the potty training process, and we both added it to our prayers, and I guess that was all the Lord needed. Less than a week later, Jackson has absolutely no fear about pooping in the potty.

Strangely, the first time he was successful was while we were on our family camping trip. He really wanted his bb gun that his Papa De had brought for a present (Don't even get me started on that...picture fumes coming out of my ears...nuff said), so I told him that I would only get it down for him if he would go poo poo on the potty Daddy had built for us at our cabin. (It was a potty seat attached to a metal chair frame - rustic, but better than being in the very vulnerable position of squatting in the dark, praying fervently that the slight brush against your naked bum was a mischievous plant blowing in the wind.) never saw a person get up on a potty and push one out so fast! So of course, we praised him. And praised him. And praised him. We gave him candy, toys, and...grrr... the promised gun. And he got to play with it (unloaded, safety on, and with me and Daddy within arms reach) for a few minutes until he smacked his brother in the head, and then I snatched it back, and then out of sight and out of reach it returned.

We wondered if that experience would transfer, and the first day back at home he was't interested, but when we reminded him about his gun, we have had no problems since. Every day since we have been back, he has made a bowel movement. No constipation, no tears, no turmoil. At this point, if I had to dip a little into redneckville to acheive said status, then so be it!! Actually, I have been fairly successful at distracting him from the gun reward and giving himcandy or toy rewards instead. After a 2 week period, I hope to remove all treats and we'll just have a completely potty-independent kid!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm in love!!

A friend of mine shared a link to this website on fb, and I have found myself absolutely glued to it, so I added it to my blogs that I follow.
Here is a project I found from following a couple of links, originating on that page. I am planning on doing since we are currently redoing our bathroom. My bathroom project started with Ben FINALLY putting in a new tile floor since ours for the last year has been the wood floor under the carpet I ruined when I was pregnant with Sam and left a bath running for 45 minutes. Since we were redoign 9ur floors, I decided the bathroom (which has never been painted and it still yucky builders off white) needed a fresh coat of paint. I bought a new shower curtain, rugs, and accessories to match and was just thinking abotu how to decorate the walls when this project came along.

Now to actually do it!! Well, it IS summertime and I HAVE been saying that I wanted to do stuff like this when I have more time. No time like the present right? I have been feeling particularly crafty lately...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One year and 2 months later...

My how they've grown, huh? They keep me laughing every day. Jackson is so truly sweet to Sam and Sam looks up to Jackson SOOO much. He follows him around everywhere. It is funny to see them interact and play with each other. Sometimes they are just being silly laughing at something that only they get, but it makes us all smile! I hope they always get along this well, but I won't count on it. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

And then there was #2

I was awakened this morning to the sound of a frantic pounding on Jackson's door and him hollering, "MAMA! I need-a go pee-pee!" About a month ago we had put the childproof lock back on the inside door knob of his door because his newfound freedom was causing him to think it was time to get up every time he woke up, even if he happened to wake up at 5:30 am. Anyway, I rushed in to let him out and take him to go potty, and his diaper was dry, and he peed on th epotty...a lot! YAY, victory #1.

Later we dressed to go to the gym, taking a potty break before we left, and being the forgetful rushed mommy that I am, I did not remember to take him while we were there. We had to leave the gym early since Sam had suddenly decided that 45 minutes was way too long without mama. On the way home, we hit up Sonic and got a snack to help us be happy for our next errand, the car wash. After the car wash, we ran over for one thing at Wal-mart, but when we got there (at this point, I had completely forgotten about potty breaks and such), I noticed Jackson dancing around a lot. I said, "Jackson, do you need to go potty?" "Yes," he said, so we raced to the front of the dtore (we came in the side at the auto center) and we made it! Dry diaper, and LOTS of pee-pee. The time in which he had held it was almost 3 hours and that was with a sippy sup of juice and most of a small Sonic slush in his bladder! YAY, victory #2.

We got home, had lunch, and during which, Jackson said he needed to go potty again, so I got him down and helped him go, and again, DRY diaper and a successful #1 in the potty! YAY! Victory #3.

After lunch, he got really agitiated and danced around again, straining and saying that he needed a blanket - this means he needs to go poop and wants to hide himself from my view. We have not been pushing the #2 in the potty because he is so freaked out by it that he will simply NOT go. for days. We had to give him 2 doses of laxatives over 2 days one time to get him to finally just get it out, so we always encourage him to go no matter what for that need. But this time, he was in the middle of the act, so I just raced him into the bathroom, stripped him down and had him finish the push and let the #2fall in the potty, and we made it! No poop in the diaper, no screaming meltdown about pooping in the potty, and a technical successful poop in the potty! Now I know this isn't our end goal, but I'm hoping that maybe it is a step in teh right direction because he was so dang proud of that poop, you'd have thought he deserved a gold medal! Of course, I made a big deal about it, too, so here's hoping'! YAY! 4 potty victories at the Blake house today! Maybe, just maybe, we'll be completely pee-pee trained for GrandMollie next week and she'll only have to worry about poop accidents. (GrandMollie is keeping the boys for me Wed-Sat while I am at girls' camp next week.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

12 months of Samson Jay Blake

This is a little belated since Sam's birthday was actually May 22...Happy Birthday, Sam! You are sure a blessed addition to our eternal family. You are so happy, and funny, smart and loving! I don't know how we ever lived without you in our lives!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The sweetest thing...

is when Jackson randomly says, "Mama, you're my best friend." I just wanna squeeze him silly with hugs when he says that to me. He is also VERY into Book of Mormon stories right now. He likes all the fighting and action. :)

His favorite book is a Book of Mormon stories board book we got him. He loves the Alma the Younger story, and also frequently requests that Living Scriptures video as well. I'm not sure why he prefers that one over others, but that is his favorite.

Sam has added a few new words to his vocabulary lately, too. He shakes his little finger and says, "nonono," He walks over and says it to Jackson when he is in time out, he scolds the preschoolers with it, and he even does it when he is getting into something he knows he isn't suposed to get into. Think he has heard that a few times? ;)

Sam's other new word, which we rarely hear, but has been witnessed by GrandMollie, is "Peeeese." He doesn't really know how to use it yet, but hey, at least he can say it, right?

Sam is now a full fledged walker. He can even stand himslef up completely, without pulling himslef up. He is quite speedy now, too. He almost keeps up with the preschoolers running around. He loves to walk around and explore outside.

Today I took him tot he doctor tho because he had two goopy eyes that only seemed to be getting worse with time, and yes, he has a double bacterial eye infection. We got his one year stats while we were there tho. 24 lbs, 29.25 inches long, and 18 in head circumference.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer, I love you...

I love the sun, it just cheers me up. I don't even care that it is humid outside and I get sweaty just running errands. It gives me life and energy. If I could, I'd live in molten hot weather all my life, preferably near a beach somewhere, but I'm realistic, so I'll take Texas sumemrs.

I love the excuse to wear less clothes instead of bundling up in thousands of layers to stay warm. I love summer clothes: t-shirts, shorts and flip flops.

I love working out in the heat, and the challenge it presents in extra conditioning.

I love the smells of freshly cut grass, and grilled food wafting through the warm breeze.

I love summer food: fruit, like watermelon and strawberries that are SO good this time of year, and grilled foods: hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, etc.

I love to get a tan on my skin, and that I get to wear less makeup because of it.

I love outdoor water activities, going to the lake, and trips to Hurricane Harbor. I love to watch my kids laughing in the sprinkler. I love the excuse to play in my swimsuit all day.

I love the inherent laziness and lethary of summer, and yet, the flurry of fun activities that we get to do because we have so much time off.

I love outdoor projects and landscaping and time to do home improvements.

I love camping and hiking and all things outside, even if I get sweaty. I don't care, I like to sweat!!

I'm so excited for my summer break to begin! 8 more days!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Missionary Conversation

Lately I have been really impressed with Jackson's mental abilities. He is remembering, recalling and understanding so much these days. He randomly tells me and/or Ben the activities of his day, things he liked/didn't like, when kids got in trouble, and what for, and things he learned. He is really turning into a little boy! I love it!

This evening when I put Jackson to bed, we went through our normal bedtime routine of bath, teeth brushing, book reading, and prayer. Tonight, as I tucked him in, I asked him if he wanted to sing a song before bed. He had been singing The Happy Family Primary Song lately and I didn't teach it to him, so I suggested we sing it, but he said, no, he wanted to sing, "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission."

So we sang that instead, and afterward I seized a teachable moment and said, "Do you know what a missionary is?"
"No, " he said.
"Missionaries are teachers, just like I am a teacher, but I teach kids about ABCs and counting, and when you are a missionary, you get to teach people about Heavenly Father and Jesus. Do you want to do that?"
"Yeah!" he said.
"You want to be a missionary?" I asked.
"Yeah, I want to be a missionary and teach my friends."
Very excited and a little proud, I said, "You do? That will make me and Heavenly Father so happy."
Still thinking, he said, "Yeah, I want to be a missionary...and I want to be Frosty the Snowman."

Hmmmph...maybe he doesn't quite understand as much as I thought. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Guns, Toddlers, and the Rangers!!

No one ever told me that when you have boys, anything and everything is turned into a gun. Literally. Wrapping paper in our cart at Wal-Mart turned into a lethal weapon and Wal-mart patrons were enemies. A peanut butter sandwich strategically bitten looks similar to a gun and coupled with my favorite *read sarcasm* shooting sound, it's like WWIII in our kitchen. My list goes on and tools = guns, sticks = guns, Tinkertoys = guns, blocks put together juuuust right = guns, sometimes even things that couldn't possibly look at all like a gun, surprisingly will work just fine. I am NOT a fan of this gun phase. Anyone else have experience with this or should I be worried?

I have outlawed gun-play in the preschool with strict consequences, which may seem silly, but public schools are strict on this issue, too, I know, so I am trying to be consistent with what they do. He really didn't get into guns until a new kid started coming to our school who likes to make shooting sounds. Even Sam has started making the popular sound. Should I just throw up my hands and hope the phase passes, or should I continue with the anti-gun-play rule?

Sam is going to be one next week, and he does so much for himself now. He is an excellent walker, almost never falling (unless Jackson pushes him down, which sadly, is frequent), and I even watched him just this week master bending at the waist to pick up a toy and standing back up all without the aid of a nearby table or chair. He says Mama, Dada, claps hooray, and occasionally waves bye-bye, but doesn't say it yet. He can point to the basic parts of my face on a good day, but always knows nose. Lately we have been working on animal names and sounds, but the only one he says upon request is duck, and it comes out "Da" which is just Dada, with only one Da. He loves to play chase and laughs heartily when he is chasing Jack or me or when Daddy is chasing him to tickle him. He also has entered the love for Elmo stage. This is convenient since Jackson loved Elmo, too, and we already have a ton of Elmo gear. He will eat completely on his own, but he is such a picky eater! Jackson woudl anything and everything, so I have struggled with this. His least favorite thing to eat is any kind of meat. I try to hide it in small bites mixed in with applesauce or baby food, but he finds it in his mouth, uses his tongue to hold onto it, swallows the other food, and then spits out the meat. Little stinker!!

This is Sam trying to steal food off of Jackson's he won't eat his own food, but he'll steal his brothers'!

We have been to two Texas Rangers baseball games this month and took Jackson to both (we got a sitter for Sam). He was really good, especailly considering he was up past bedtime. The second game had fireworks, which, of course, he got super-excited about. Now he walks aroudn the house randomly shouting, "Let's go Rangers...(clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)" or "Let's go, C. JAYYY! (pitcher)" or "GOOOOOO Rangers!!!" I'm glad he is getting excited about sports and I can't wait to watch him play his first game of t-ball. For an almost 3 year old, he is fairly coordinated and athletic. He is a good dribbler, too, so I hope he might find some interest in soccer, but I won't push it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This is an awesome blog!

If you don't already know about it, check out "Or so she says..." It is the 1/2 owned blog of one of my adolescent friends, Mariel. I just found some really cool DIY mother's day gift ideas on here. If you are looking for something like that, you have got to check it out!

Here is the site:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Celebrations and Surprises

Two 2-year-olds in "jail" (behind the soccer net).
Everyone loves Sam, especially his self-appointed second mom, Sophia. Although you can't tell from his expression, he loves her, too.

Easter bunny glasses!! This isn't the whole group, only about a third of it, but these were the ones willing to pose for the picture.
Best Friends - Sam hates to be separated from Jack and well, Jack mostly likes to have his tag-along brother with him. They even have a special scream they call each other with.
"Hey! I found one!"
"This Easter egg hunt is wearing me out! I gotta take a candy break..." Sam found the biggest (and might I add BEST) egg ever!
I just LOVE these boys!
In the midst of hunting, look what else Jack found!
and here is his reaction...
This is Sam's new favorite thing. Good thing Jackson still loves Elmo, too, because we had moved past the Sesame Street phase, but he will still patiently watch SS with Sam.
Ben put up a tent in the backyard, thinking he'd sleep in it with Jackson last Sat night. That so did not happen...
but they had a blast playing in it after naptime on Sunday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How does YOUR garden grow?

After 'me n the boys' got home from the gym this morning, I fed them lunch and put them down for naps. They stayed up very late last night since we made a huge family trip to the grocery store, and Sam doesn't believe in sleeping in no matter what time he went to bed, ergo Jackson was awakened early, too. Anyway, long story short (too late for that, huh?), they are both taking super long naps right now.

Ben was outside doing yard work and it was a beautiful day so I joined him to weed my flowerbeds for the first time this year. When I say flowerbeds, I really just mean beds where flowers should go, as I have yet to plant any this year. On that note, flowers are so dang expensive! What if I planted seeds? Does anyone have any experience with that? What types of flower seeds would I likely be most successful with? I tried to plant seeds last year for the preschoolers to have flowers in the Mother's Day flowerpots they made, but it didn't go so well and I ended up buying some flowers and putting them in the pots with some soil. Any tips you have are much appreciated because my flowerbeds are longing for some beautiful color in them, but I just can't afford to fill them all with already grown flowers.

As I was working in my front flower bed, trimming back the dead canna debris to make room for the new shoots, I was thinking about the state of my flower beds and the backyard in general. (We are having a hard time keeping grass in the backyard since 10 preschoolers are stomping on it for over an hour every day.)

I was thinking about the last house I owned and remembering working in the front yard in my flowerbeds, and how when I moved out, how sad I was that I didn't have time to do more landscaping. I had a beautiful little yard with lots of older developed trees and shade. I had a pear tree in the backyard and some very pretty bushes and flowers in the front beds. My old yard had such potential to be a place of beauty and peace with just a little cultivation, but the marriage deteriorated and I moved out of the house and lost the yard.

As I was reflecting on that and ripping out and trimming back dead debris from my current yard, I noted how quickly things can deteriorate in life if they are not nourished. I was making the comparison (and bear with me cuz I'm no green thumb) that our lives are a lot like plants and flowers. My previous marrige was not rooted in the gospel, and so it had no solid foundation and no continuous nourishment from good things to help it grow and flourish. It started with so much potential, but wilted fast without getting what it needed to sustain life.

This analogy can apply currently as well. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we let obstacles hinder us from stretching up towards the sun's nourishing light. Other times, unimportant objects can blow into our flower beds and trash it up or we neglect to weed our flowerbeds and the focus on the beauty of the garden as a whole (eternal perpsective) is lost. If we don't make time to constantly clear those things out, so that our nourishment can be constant, we will begin to wilt as well.

Anyway, just seem deep Colleen thoughts I thought I'd share. I like to try to make everything an analogy. I don't know why, but it helps me understand things better, I guess.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The best part of my day...

Wow, what a day I had today!

The culmination of all my training: Ab Crunch Challenge! Up till today, the maximum number I had crunched was 1200. My goal was 1500. Today I crunched 3,194 times, and I didn't even place. First place did over 5000, second place did 3700, and third place did 3400.

Ben came to watch me, and they asked him to be my counter which we hadn't planned on, but it was so awesome to feel his support while I tested my limits. For some reason I always feel this need to prove to him that I'm no weak woman! That (among many reasons) is why I always want him by my side during labor. I'll push myself harder if he is there. He was whispering encouragement the whole time and telling me how proud he was of me. He is just awesome!

I was a little disappointed that I didn't place as I'm a pretty competitive person. So after I put the boys down for a nap, (Ben was watching a movie.) I decided to go for a run. I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to run, but my stomach was not sore after crunching, just numb, so I thought I'd just see how it went and stop if I felt like I needed to. I ran 6 miles in 57 minutes., topping my previous record (last week) of 5 in 45 min.

(This competition has aroused a desire in me to compete in something athletic. I'd like to run a marathon, learn to rockclimb, start training to kickbox competitively, or re-join an indoor soccer team. I have always had such a need to push myself physically and I realize it is something I have been missing in my life.)

For dinner this evening, we had homemade shrimp alfredo (YUM) and for dessert I made a strawberry shortcake with strawberry cake, a strawberry and strawberry glaze mixture, and a whipped cream/cream cheese topping (YUM YUM).

After dinner we were able to bribe Jackson to poop in the potty (barely) with some dessert. We made quite a fuss over the smallest poop you ever saw, but at least it was a step in the right direction! :)

Also today, Sam decided to accompish many milestones in one day. (Recently he started clapping. It is super cute! We can just say, "YAY!" and he starts clapping. It is also really cute how he sometimes acts bashful and hides his head under his arms when we clap with him.) Today I asked him, "Where's mama's nose?" and he reached out with his little pointer finger and, with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, he touched my nose! I was astonished that he actually did it, so I asked him to do it two more times and he did. Then I asked him to show me my mouth and my eyes; he did those also! What a little smartie I have! He just barely turned 10 months!!

He also started saying Mama today. Out of the blue, he was sitting in Ben's lap, trying to get down and crawl to me, and clear as day, he babbled, Mamamamamama. Ben put him down and he crawled right to where Jackson and I were playing Memory. Of course, that was the end of the game as Sam wanted to put all the cards in his mouth and we couldn't keep up with his octopus arms, but it was awesome!

But the absolute best part of my day was when Sam and I had a few moments to ourselves as I gave him a bath and got him ready for bed separate from Jackson tonight. We played in the bath, had a one-sided mini-tickle fight, and then I dressed him, read him a story, and rocked him as I sang hymns to him. He NEVER sits still enough for me to rock him lately, so it was such a moment. When we started, I had him facing forward, but he turned himself around and snuggled up to me and buried his face in my shoulder while I sang. In that moment, I felt the Spirit confirm to me that Heavenly Father was pleased with me and my family, and I cried a little because I was just so overwhelmed with love for my child and happiness with my life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bad Dream

Do you ever remember things that happened a long time ago and feel like they happened yesterday? And do they make you angry? Like a dream that felt so real that when you woke up the emotions carried over?

I'm struggling today. I don't know why, but things have been brought to the front of my mind today that I wish I could pretend happened to someone else.

Every day I am so happy and grateful for the blessings that I have in my life. That I probably don't deserve. But dang it!! I'm going to hold tight to them and work every day to BE deserving of them.

When these angry feelings get the better of me, I know they threaten my happiness and the happiness of my family and marriage. It is such a struggle to fight them off!

Like the dream, I tell myself it isn't relevant to my current reality, but nevertheless, my mind keeps floating back to the angry thoughts and I get re-angered.

Forgiveness is a daily battle, I'm convinced. I never knew that until I had to do it. I thought you could just snap your fingers and say ,"I forgive you," and that was it. All was restored to a peaceful balance. Not so. At least for me.

And you know what? It is totally Satan. And I know that. My Heavenly Father who loves me so much, and blesses me so much, wants me to be happy, and to let it go. And I want to.

So I'm going to fight the fight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Potty Frustrations

Monday (our first day back in the swing of things) was a great day and Jackson went all day in big boy underwear with no accidents (made for day 2 of no accidents). Till we got to the gym that night. This is his second accident at the gym and the pee gets all over the floor, so the day care worker asked me to stop sending him in underwear, to put him in pull-ups when he comes to the gym. Sigh...embarrassing.

Tuesday was a horrible day. Accidents all over the place and I finally had to put him in a pull-up because I had changed his clothes 3 times. Today has been better, but still at least 2 accidents, but I just didn't have the energy to put him in underwear today because he has seemed to regress a little and I think it is causing him to hold his poop in and not go. He still tells me when he needs to go pee-pee, but then sometimes he goes and doesn't tell me.

He has yet to poop in the potty. He was so afraid that he hasn't pooped for 3 days. Finally last night we had to give him some laxative powder. Solved that problem and he has been tooting all day - which he thinks is hilarious, and so do the preschoolers.

I think we are going to get through Thur and Fri doing the best we can and have another naked weekend this weekend. Like I said, if we could just get him to poop in the potty, I really think we'd break that barrier. He gets so upset when he has a pee accident! I really think he has been trying hard with the pee, but the whole constipated thing has messed him up. He'll strain, trying to poop, and pee instead. I don't want him to get frustrated because so far he has had such a positive attitude about everything, just not pooping. I don't know why he is so stressed about it, but I don't want to make it worse.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Potty Progress

WARNING: At some point, I plan to have my blog bound as a hard copy of my journal, so many things I document for my records and family reference. The following blog is about potty-training and may include more details than you want to read. Proceed at your own risk!
I vowed to put everything I had into Potty training Jackson this Spring Break since we weren't planning on going anywhere this year. He did really well, and made several steps in the right direction. I truly believe that he would be potty trained already if I had the time to be more consistent with him, but when you are taking care of 10 kids and 4 are still in forget. A lot. Whenever we really try to encourage him , he jumps right in and goes potty. He is proud of himself and he likes to go, so I couldn't in good conscience give up until I had given it one last good try.

On Friday, Jackson didn't have any accidents all day (I don't count the time he peed a little on the carpet because he was trying to push out a little toot, haha)!! He will now tell me he needs to go pee-pee and go take care of it completely on his own, but only if he is naked. If he is dressed, he doesn't even think about it.

Several times when he was naked, he needed to go poop. He wigged out!! The first time, he came running toward the bathroom all flustered, saying "I wanna lay down! I wanna lay down!" (That is what he says sometimes if he has a poopy diaper and wants me to change it.) and as he was running, I saw a little poop hit the floor. When I realized he needed to poop more, I tried to get him to sit on the potty and he would sit, but the second he was about to go, he'd freak out and jump up. I don't know why, but he seems to be scared to poop in the potty.

I told him he'd get in trouble if he pooped or peed on my carpet, and that seemed to work - no more accidents on the carpet when he was naked. (Not my finest moment of parenting, but I did that because he sees our new puppy get a spanking when she has an accident on the carpet and it seemed to connect with him that the carpet is NOT the place to go if he needs to. I tell him puppies pee-pee and poo-poo outside and big boys go potty in the potty, but we do NOT go potty on the carpet.)

Since then every time he needs to poop, he runs back and forth from the playroom to the potty. He'll sit, then jump up and run away, then he'll come back and sit, and then jump up and run away. He has yet to poop in the potty. He needs to go right now, in fact, and he keeps begging me to put his diaper and jammies back on. I keep refusing and telling him that big boys go poo-poo in the potty and if he needs to go, he should go sit down. We have tried sitting there and singing songs and I have even promised him a Chocolate Santa left over from Christmas which he wants more than anything!! I feel like we are close and if I can just get him to sit and go, we'd break that barrier, and he'd see it's not scary, and we'd be mostly done with potty training.

I wish today wasn't the last day of Spring Break because I feel like if I could just have a couple more naked days and then maybe a transitional few days in big boy underwear, then we'd be there, but I worry what will happen when all the kids come back tomorrow.

Welcome Spring!

(This picture is wishful thinking...)

This weekend Ben went back to Woody Woods to work more on the cabin and hunt a little. He didn't get a Spring Break, so he was in dire need of some down time away from the stresses of life. He recruited his dad, my brother and my father to go with him.

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. This Spring Break has been absolutely beautiful weather, with temperatures reaching above 70, but Saturday (yesterday) was the one day we were almost guaranteed a day-long thunderstorm and cold-front. Saturday morning that cold front cold very cold, and the rain turned to unexpected sleet and snow and!

I made a trip to Wal-mart at about 7:00 with Jackson, while my mom (who stayed with me in FW) stayed with a sleeping Samson. The conditions at that time were blizzard-like. As I was trying to get Jackson & groceries in the car after shopping, the strong winds blew my cart away several times and my door slammed shut twice. The snow was coming down so strong I had to close my eyes and protect my face from stinging sleet. We didn't end up getting much snow that stuck this morning, but what we did get turned to a layer of ice. As we watched the news debating on whether we should go to church, we saw that there were many accidents and even some fatalities already by 9 a.m. (We decided NOT.)

So now I am worried about our men coming home from East Texas where temps did NOT get below freezing and they got off and on thunderstorms. I cannot call them because they are deep in the Davy Crockett National Forest (We have family land and a cabin there.) and they get no service. I can only hope that by the time they get to this area, the roads (and temperature) will be warmed up and used enough that they will no longer be hazardous.

However, my FIL and my family have to continue on to Tulsa. Tulsa was expected to get up to 10 inches of snow and temperatures will not be above freezing until Monday afternoon. We'll have to see what my dad thinks when he gets here, but I predict that they will be staying here an extra day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Photo Update - V Day to Spring Break

Jackson was watching a movie before bed and got seats for his baby bear and his puppy to watch it with him. I just thought that was so cute.
"The guys" are taking a ride in Daddy's shoes.

Bathtime with brother is so fun!! "He got me all wet," is what Jackson says. He doesn't like Sam's splashing, but they both laugh a lot.

Sam is Mr. Mischief these days. Today I caught him splashing around in an open potty. Heaven help me when he starts really walking. He could if he wanted to right now, and he has taken a few steps, but he is such a speedy crawler he doesn't want to take the time to try to walk. It slows him down too much.

Last Friday we were playing "sleepy zombies". Mama was a sleepy zombie chasing him, and Jackson has a bad habit of running without watching where he is going and this time the couch taught him a not-so-fun lesson. It looks better now. He didn't get the complete black ring around his eye, but he had a nasty cut and bruise on his eyelid.

February date night: We went to Main Event. We bowled, played in the arcade, ate dinner, and even played some laser tag.

We got a four day weekend for President's Day courtesy of record-breaking snowfall. I only had one kid in school that day so we adopted him into our family for the day. We made snow forts, had a snowball fight, and then warmed up with hot chocolate. It was a fun February surprise!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


So Mrs. Olivia and I were talking today about the kids while they were cleaning up and transitioning to handwashing/lunch. We came to the conclusion that not one single child I have ever had in my (full-time) care has a complete original family originating from the same two biological parents who are still together. Not one. Here is the breakdown:

Total of adopted children I have had in care: 4

Total of children being raised by a single parent: 4

Total of children with one or more parents remarried, with half-siblings: 4

I am just stating facts here. I have been remarried myself, and could have easily had a child from that marriage, so I'm not judging. I just think these stats say something about the deterioration of the family, and how Satan will go to great lengths to destroy it.

Now, in contrast, every single kid I have ever had in part-time care (don't know why that makes a difference) HAS come from a two-parent, original biological parents, non-half siblings family.

Makes me grateful to have an eternal family!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sick of Sickness

I am so sick of my kids being sick.

and the preschoolers being sick.
and the wiping of runny noses and dispensing medicine
and sanitizing and cleaning up the hoards of tissues we are going through.
and the phlegmmy coughs, that sometimes turn to puking (in Sam's case).
and checking kids temperatures to see if they need to be sent home.
and the non-sleeping.
and the crankiness.
and the fact that it is too cold to go outside and the kids are too sick anyway when I just want them to run around and wear themselves out and stop whining and fussing over every little accidental "Jackson-bumped-into-me" or overreacted "EEEEW! Sam-spit-up!!" or "She-took-my-toy" or "He's-not-cleaning-up."

I'm cranky.

Is it Spring Break yet!?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The novelty has worn off

Poor Roxy. A week into her new home and she gets no love these days. Of the 2 boys who were so infatuated with the adorable puppy, one crawls up in my lap and clings for dear life when she comes near him, and the other eggs her on until she starts to play too rough and then he gets hurt and wants nothing to do with her. She is quite an exuberant puppy, a side of her we didn't see until this week.
And me?

Well, *sigh* I knew better. I'm cleaning up enough accidents off the carpet with spit-up and potty-training, I wanted nothing to do with this from the start, but saw the value in having a larger and younger dog with fresh ears to protect us when Ben is gone. So, alas, I have one more to clean up after.

I swear, after this, I am ripping up my carpet and staining the concrete! Ben has taken most of the responsibility for training her and cleaning up after her and for that I am grateful. We love her, but we are already ready for the puppy stage to be over with!!

Then there is Lady. She either hides in her crate or in a corner, giving me death-looks, as if to say, "What were you thinking!?" If Roxy chances to get too close, Lady barks and growls ferociously, saying, "Don't even think about it small-fry! I may look old, but I will rip you to shreds if you get in my face again!"

I think it will be a while before we all come to appreciate her fully, but we are being patient. After all, she is really cute...

Monday, February 8, 2010

This is what happens when Daddy does bath and bedtime...

Your feet look like Curious George! Ben said he realized after he put them on that they were mitten and not socks, but by then he didn't think it really mattered. They kept his feet warm while he slept just the same. Hahahaha! I laughed til I cried!