Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stellan is very sick

Pin It UPDATED: He's doing much better! WOOHOO!!

Original post:

If you follow MckMama's blog or if you don't, her baby Stellan is very sick and and in need of prayers. Please pray for this little one!

My Charming Kids

Thank you.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Christmas Not Me List

Pin It Ah, Christmas. I love Christmas. I'll say it again, I love Christmas. I love the real Christmas story, I love the very idea that the Lord of all creation came to earth as a baby. I love to think about Mary and Joseph, and I love to just sit and wonder what it was all really like. I love the magic of Christmas, I love the excitement, I love the cooler weather (well, when it happens around here!), I love the shopping, the planning, the ability to give gifts to tell my family and friends that I love them. I love that my kids become little saints at about 3 pm on Christmas Eve. Never are they as close as they are that night. I love that they try to sleep all in one bed, and I love hearing them giggle and giggle. I love the opening of the presents, and I love the cooking, and I love the eating. (ahem ... see previous post for more about that ...) I love the Christmas Eve service, and the Christmas lights. I love the old traditions and the new ones (new this year - watching "The Nativity Story" - OH MY what a beautiful movie!!)

I love every bit of it ... until about noon on Christmas day. And then I'm ready for life to get back to normal. And then it's time for the "Not Me's" to kick in.

(Yes, whether or not MckMama posts her not me's, these are just DYING to get out!)

I did not begin disassembling the Christmas tree while the children were still opening presents. I love having my house in disarray while the Christmas tree is in the place of the loveseat, and I love having the loveseat crammed into the family room. After all, more places to drape kids ... and stuff ... is all good, right? Not only did I not begin taking the tree down immediately, I didn't insist that the kids help, either. The words "hey, while you grab that present, put that ornament back in the box" never came out of my mouth. Not once, and not about thirty times either.

Speaking of the number thirty ... my tree did not start with one hundred and thirty ornaments on December 1st and end up with thirty unbroken ornaments left on December 25th. My kids ... and cats ... and dog ... aren't THAT destructive. I'm sure I will not be finding ornaments in my son's room for the next six months either. I didn't save all of the broken ornaments that are somewhat repairable and add them to the ornaments that were broken but somewhat repairable from last year, and several years before that. That would be like two thousand ornaments at this point, and the fact that I haven't repaired them from ten years ago really means that I should just accept the fact that I'm NOT going to repair them, and get rid of them. I'm also not so cheap that I've stuck broken ornaments on the tree, if they aren't broken past the point of all recognition. AND, while we're talking about the tree, I didn't just completely let it go this year, have a BADLY decorated tree, and blame it completely on the kids, primarily the three year old. Oh, the cat got her share of blame too. OH! She's also three. Notice a theme here?

I understand that children get tired and overly emotional and overly excited, and I extend them grace on Christmas day when they're just needing a release. I am a good mom and understand that sometimes they just need to work their emotions out. That would be why I didn't send one of my children to her room for the rest of her life on Christmas day. I'd never do that to a child who just needed a hug and a mom to understand her disappointment that a game she got didn't work. I'd never get my feelings hurt when said child storms up and declares it to be "the worst Christmas ever." And I would never send said child to her room, very loudly ... for the rest of her life. I'm not that kind of mom. (I would, however, hug that child and forgive her instantly when she comes up to me all teary and says she's sorry and she loves all of her presents, even the game that doesn't work. I'd also promise to do whatever I can to either fix the game or replace it.)

I did not gain an insane amount of weight in the month of December. Nope, not me. Not only that, but I am disciplined enough that I'm doing well now, and didn't continue to eat junk all day. I didn't plan a meal around junk food on New Year's Eve, and claim that it's all for the children. I am not going to have to work (HARD) all of January just to undo the damage of December, before even moving forward. I'm also not really angry with myself for this! I have not turned the sentence "The holidays only come once a year!" into a personal mantra either. SIGH.

And speaking of getting healthy, I did not have my feelings hurt by the Wii fit. Nope, it's a COMPUTER GAME and not capable of hurting my feelings. I was not tempted to LIE to the darn thing so that it would not hurt my feelings so much. I mean, I really AM 6 feet tall, right? Not 5'4" like I typed in there. Or maybe it's that I'm wearing really heavy clothes. You know, knit cotton shirts weigh like 25 pounds, right? I'm not sitting here scowling at the Wii fit as I type, just in case you thought I might be.

Okay, I think those are sufficient for the day. It's Monday, the start of a new week. :) My Christmas decorations are gone, the house is back in its normal state of disarray (as opposed to the Christmas version of disarray), the sweets are all eaten, the toys are all played with. It's time to get back to normal, and life is good!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm dreaming of ...

Pin It (sing along with me, all you December diet dropouts!!)

I'm dreaming of some white chocolate
and maybe some chips and apple pie
lots of icing sprinkles
and sugary twinkles
of course dip and snacks to fry ...

(nope, twinkles aren't a new snack food; I just couldn't come up with another rhyming word.)

Seriously, what in the world is wrong with me? We even have no snacks here so I'm improvising with crazy things. So crazy that I'm not even going to tell you what they are!!


Trying to prepare myself for the post-Christmas fast that I'm going to have to do.

For whomever said "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" ... well ...
a) it's been so long I don't even remember what it feels like
b) you've CLEARLY never had peppermint fudge

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nope, Not Me

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Ah ... Monday again!

I am NOT enjoying a ton of laziness that comes from Christmas break. Yeah, it will be a different sort of busy this week, but I certainly did not sleep late this morning and I am definitely not walking around a bit ... um ... hygenically challenged today.

I have not threatened to have children open and then give away Christmas presents as an attempt to bribe good behavior out of them. I'd never do that. After all, these are presents that I picked out especially for the little angels, and my children would never misbehave anyway. Must be some other mom I heard about doing that.

I have not thrown the diet to the wind the past few days, and I certainly do not plan to follow that same pattern this week. What foolishness that would be! To work so hard and then throw it away for some yummy peppermint fudge. And I don't even like peppermint fudge anyway. Nope, I'd never do that.

I did not gleefully pass my children off to my husband last night and go to dinner with my parents all by myself. I did not cleverly plan this excursion way back in November, by having certain Christmas presents shipped to them rather than me, so that there would have to be some kind of trip made to pick up the presents. I did not enjoy the quiet time in the car, and I certainly did not eat too much. (See the paragraph above, I would never do that!!)

And one more ... I have not been searching google for how to handle three year old temper tantrums today. This is CHILD NUMBER THREE for heaven's sake, and I'm a professional mom by now! *IF* I had a child who had seventeen tantrums per day, I would know how to handle it and would not be tempted to resort to banging my head against the wall, and what does Dr. Google know anyway? sigh ...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Letter

Pin It I love to read Christmas letters. I really do. I admire the way people have of wrapping up a year into a few paragraphs and you can feel like you're caught up on their lives after reading it. I love the way people can spin questionable circumstances into a happy story. People are never as optimistic in life as they are in their Christmas letters!

I've attempted several times to write a Christmas letter. I just can't do it. I can't manage to turn "my three year old has seventeen temper tantrums per day" into anything other than what it is. I can be creative and all, but really, who wants to read "my three year old has perfected the skill of expressing his desires in a manner which produces excellent and quick results"? Well, I guess that's one way to put a positive spin on things.

This year I really want to try. I don't want to gloss over our imperfections (for they are many!) but do want to share some of what the kids are into, and how the Lord has blessed us this year. I'm not clever or particularly creative, just so, you know, you don't get your expectations up or anything like that.

So, without further ado, our Christmas letter. It is what it is.

Dear friends and family,

Wow, another year is almost over. How time flies! Here's a 2008 update on our family.

I would guess the biggest change we've had is Jim's new employment. For the love of all things military, Jim has rejoined the National Guard. I think it's mainly for the cool uniforms. He's still at the prison too, the NG is just bonus income, plus he absolutely loves it, so it's good for him.

Gabbi is now in the 5th grade and is in a rush to grow up too fast. Sometimes I look at her and see the lady she will be in the future. Sometimes I look at her and see a small child who just wants to fight with her sister though. Ah, the tween years. Such fun. She is Brendan's hero most of the time; the Lord really has put a special bond between those two. She is going to be a fabulous mom one day.

Madelyn is now in the 2nd grade and is my surprise super genius child. I feel bad that we didn't have very high expectations for her intelligence. Her job was to be the cute one. She's a bright kid though! Her other accomplishments for the year include a fabulous Alvin and the Chipmunks impersonation. Except it's not really an impersonation. It's her real voice. It really is the absolute sweetest little voice on the phone. Don't believe me? Give me a call and I'll let her answer.

Then there is Brendan, aka Buzz-Man. He loves to jump off the furniture and has perfected the art of the temper tantrum. These tantrums tend to occur with regular frequency every. single. time. we leave the house. I've gotten more dirty looks from random strangers for being the mom who can't control her fit-throwing kid than I can handle. He's also a really sweet boy though. He loves to help out around the house, even when his method of helping out isn't really all that helpful.

And me? I just continue trying to keep all of the plates spinning. :) Being mommy to three and wife to one is tough some days, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

So there you have it ... I hope you have had a fabulous 2008, and I wish for you the happiest blessings for 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

An Interview With My Children

Pin It I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it would be fun to hear my children's answers. Maybe fun wasn't quite the right word ... interesting might be a better choice.

1. What does mom always say to you?
G - No, you can't have a friend over today. And I love you.
The I love you was an afterthought, probably hoping to butter me up so she can invite a friend over today.
M - Don't fight.
B - Boy.

2. What makes mom happy?
G - A clean room
M - If we clean up our room and don't fight.
B - he just giggled. Guess he knows that his giggles make me happy.

3. What makes mom sad?
G - Ungodly behavior. Just have to giggle at her choice of words.
M - If we fight. Notice a running theme here?
B - yes. he really wasn't so much an active participant in this interview process.

4. How do I make you laugh?
G - by tickling Brendan I suspect that her true answer would have been "by asking me silly questions" if she had thought of it.
M - by tickling me
B - he just kind of ran away when I asked.

5. How old am I?
G - aren't you 38? brownie points to her for shaving off a year
M - 39
B - 6 I guess 6 is way up there, if you're 3

6. How tall am I?
G - 6'7" hm ... maybe she thought I asked how tall Mr. Bob was?
M - 42" um, no dear. That's how tall YOU are.
B - big well, he's 3. LOL

7. What do I like to do?
G - Computer work and blockfeeds
M - Make videos and watch House
B - paint
The girls have observed that their blockfeeds for school take up an ENORMOUS amount of time. Count down with me ... FIVE MONTHS LEFT!

8. What is my job?
G - To do tax stuff and be our mom
M - Watch us while Dad is at work okkkaaay, I'm a babysitter
B - I want Oswald please. He's really just not that into these questions.

9. What do I like to eat?
G - salads
M - shrimp
B - chicken
hey, they're all right! I'm just shocked that nobody said cookies and fudge.

10. How do you know I love you?
G - I haven't run away from home yet and discipline. LOL ... I think she inherited a sarcasm gene from someone.
M - You tell me you love me to pieces. aww~!!
B - I DON'T WANT LITTLE BILL. I WANT OSWALD. He can know I love him because I'm turning the TV off and putting him down for a nap. And if you drive by my house in the next few minutes, you will hear him screaming out just how much he loves me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cantata Pictures and my son is so weird

Pin It The girls looked so beautiful all dressed up in their Christmas clothes for our church's cantata. The AWANA kids got to sing one of the songs with the choir, and it was so sweet! Ah, the sisterly love ...

And then there's the boy. Clearly, he needs some slippers. Yes, those are what you think they are, and yes, he did this all on his own.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Year in Review

Pin It Totally stolen from April's blog. Please feel free to take it and do your own list. I love stuff like this!

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Still thinking on this one ... I'll edit if I think of something

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kind of kept them. I will very likely make more for 2009. Maybe I'll do a better job with them this year!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several friends did. :) And one good friend JUST found out that she's pregnant and several other friends are pregnant, so there will be lots of new babies in 2009.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my uncle.

5. What countries did you visit?
Louisiana. What do you mean that's not another country???

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
More self-discipline

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
September 13, 2008 - Hurricane Ike

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
potty training

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm not debt free, and expected to be. It's okay though, we're close. I guess if that's the biggest failure, the year has been a success!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
eh, just strep

11. What was the best thing you bought?
It's a toss up between the car and the camera. LOL Yep, I love my camera THAT much.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gabbi, who learned that it's easier to just sit down and get the schoolwork done without arguing than to argue and get in trouble and still have to do the schoolwork. It doesn't *always* work, but most days school is easier with her than it's ever been before. And maybe my own behavior as well ... since I'm 45 lbs lighter than this time a year ago. :)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My mama always said that if you didn't have anything nice to say, then to stay quiet, so I'm going to stay quiet on this one.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills and the car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
potty training

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
Any of the High School Musical stuff

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier/sadder,thinner/heavier,richer/poorer?
happier I think, thinner (but still not thin ... sigh ...), richer probably, at least less in debt

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
laughed with the little ones

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
wasted time

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Having a fun family Christmas at home, and going to spend a day at my parents' house.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
I'm not a big phone conversation person. I'd guess my mom, Micah, and Valerie

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
nope, other than falling more deeply in love with every member of my family

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
six :-P

24. What was your favorite TV program?
my vice ... House. Also a fair amount of Blues Clues, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Hannah Montana thrown in.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
hate is such a strong word! I don't think I hate anyone.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
book/Bible study - Daniel by Beth Moore

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
the local Christian radio station

28. What did you want and get?
my camera :)

29. What did you want and not get?
instant knowledge of how to use that camera

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
I think Fireproof may have been the only non-kid movie I saw this year! I loved it though!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Jim and I probably went out to dinner? (Hm, maybe we saw Fireproof! LOL) I was 39.

32. What's one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
being able to end 2008 debt free. Really though, I'm satisfied with my life. :)

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
clothing that fits LOL

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm finding that most celebs are quite a bit younger than I am. This really hurts my feelings. I'm rejecting them all.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
ugh, the P word.

37. Who did you miss?
my grandmothers. Hearing a little girl call her grandmother "Dedo" caused me to just lose it at church a couple of weeks ago. I really miss both of my grandmothers. :(

38. Who was the best new person you met?
hm ... I think really the only "new person" I met in 2008 would be Michael, who I just love to pieces. I've gotten to know a lot of people a lot better in 2008, mainly MOPS moms, and I have been so blessed by that! (Even though they're quite a bit younger than I am ... which hurts my feelings. LOL!!)

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Don't trust anything the National Guard tells you The Lord really can direct two people who love Him in different directions, and it doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong, or that one is a real Christian and one is not.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
It’s hard to be cool when you’re behind the wheel
Of an eight passenger automobile
In a big bubble, cruisin’ down the street
With Barney blarin’ and a baby seat
Hey it can be done, but I’m tellin’ you man
It’s hard to be cool in a minivan.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brendan's Snow Pictures

Pin It I did NOT wish to wake Brendan up at 6 so he could play in the snow! Unfortunately that meant it was melting when he did wake up. He really enjoyed it though!

And, I had to snap a pic of the most pitiful little snowman.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh Beautiful!

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And of course the obligatory "It SNOWED?!? HERE?!?" pictures!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Thoughts While the Oven Preheats

Pin It First of all, I have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to Micah and Tammy, both of whom went WAY above and beyond the call of duty in keeping my kids yesterday. (And who probably both went to bed with prayers of thanks that each of their kids were not twins, after having doubles all day long!) Thank you so much girls! All three of my kids had a fabulous time yesterday. One so much that *he* didn't want to come home! I hope I can return the favor for each of you! :)


This is it. The busiest week of the year. There is always a week in May and a week in December that are just too busy to deal with. Between going to Houston yesterday (and winding up being there all day ... I mean seriously, just how much time CAN a person spend at Ikea?) and then MOPS and choir today, and Whimsical and Children's Chorus tomorrow, and choir on Friday, and the Chorus concert on Saturday, and the AWANA hayride on Sunday, and the co-op Christmas party on Monday ... Oh my, I need a nap just reading the list. Somewhere in there I need to get my Christmas cards finished and printed and sent out too. And the annual pull out the gifts and make sure they're at least CLOSE to even, and the poor middle child doesn't have half the gifts that the other two do. (Oh my, how I love that middle child. I totally get what my middle child brother complained about all those years though!)


So, I mentioned going to Ikea yesterday. Like, seriously we spent HOURS at Ikea yesterday. We dropped my car off thinking it was going to be done at 2:30 and they called us and said, nope, think more like 5:00. Okkkkaaay. We took both vehicles so that we could go seriously shop at Ikea. We bought a table! And chairs! WOOHOO. Our current table was bought shortly after we got married and discovered that the table I had been using was too big for the small space we had. We bought the absolute cheapest little table and chairs we could find, and they have all served us well for twelve years. It was time to replace them, and I'm delighted with what we found. Jim and I had a good time hanging out without kids for the day too. That's so rare! (Not that we had a good time, just being without kids!)


Okay, my oven is preheated, off to make cookies before the little helpers awake!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not me Monday

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I have NOT been a victim of procrastination again (you like how I'm a VICTIM? This just HAPPENED to me; I certainly didn't do anything to cause it myself!) I did not put off some work I needed to do until the very last minute, only to discover that I didn't have enough forms to get it all done. I am not going to have to skip out on co-op this morning to run to Office Depot to grab some more forms and then zip home and get these finished. I have not had this work sitting here to be done for over three weeks now. (insert blushing face here.)

I have been sick this week. (Really, I have.) I have not used this as an excuse to really do absolutely nothing all week long. I have not spent way too many hours in bed, and I have not passed off as much of the parenting as humanly possible to my husband. I am not totally rebelling at the thought of rejoining my life, decided that I have really enjoyed doing nothing.

I have not lost all of the exercising I had built up. I was doing Couch to 5K and had finished week 2. Then being sick, and being lazy, I haven't done it in over a week now. I am NOT happy about having to start over.

I am not sitting here avoiding taking a shower and getting ready for the day because I'm writing this post. I am not going to have to rush this morning because of this. My kids are not still in bed and my clothes are not still in the washer.

And with all of that said ... I'm off to the shower!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rebel FOR a Cause!

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As some of y'all know, I LOVE my Canon Rebel camera! Well, it's been something of a love/hate relationship as I'm learning to use it, and learning that it's smarter than I am. LOL

You have a FABULOUS opportunity to WIN a Canon Rebel XSi and a SLEW of other fabulous prizes! Go to MckMama's blog and read all about it!

The best part - all proceeds from this raffle benefit some fabulous causes.

String of Pearls
No Hands But Ours
The Elison Project

So GO!

Under construction again


Okay, all Christmas-y. Still a work in progress, I want to sparkle up the header and tags, but I'm thinking it will have to wait until I'm feeling better because my brain is just too fuzzy to remember what scrapbook kits I have and where they are!

Does your house look like this? Some Christmas stuff out, while a lot of fall stuff is still out too? Mine could look like that for WEEKS.

I am working on putting away the fall stuff today, at least on my blog. Hopefully by this afternoon, I'll have pretty new Christmas banners made and up.

In the meantime, you'll just have to enjoy the mix of fall and Christmas. Hey, cut me some slack. I've been sick!