Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cool!! An Award!!

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Sweet!! My friend Krystal at Show Us the World gave me a blog award! Thanks Krystal!! Y'all check out her blog. She's the mama of a "family on the road" and writes about all of their adventures. Fabulous pics and great stories too! I've known Krystal for, I'm guessing, about nine years now. We were in a small group of online friends, and this past spring, we finally got a chance to meet in person. What a treasure!

Okay, here's the list of questions I'm supposed to answer:
(OOPS!! These were supposed to be one word answers! Okay, leaving my original answers, but putting the one word answers in italics!)

1. Where is your cell phone: tethered to my computer here
2. Your hair: brown with an unmentionable amount of gray brown
3. Your mother: love her to pieces; she's about to have her hands FULL busy
4. Your father: love him to pieces; he reads my blog regularly ... Hi Dad! similar (to me)
5. Your favorite food: um ... I pretty much like all food. Mexican
6. Your dream from last night: I dreamed that I had a sweet boy snuggled up next to me ... and I did. :) snuggly
7. Your favorite drink: splenda sweetened tea tea
8. Your dream/goal: to be completely debt free peaceful
9. What room are you in: dining room at my mother in law's house dining
10. What is your hobby: reading, scrapbooking, photography reading
11. What is your fear: snakes and confrontation snakes
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: happily homeschooling happy
13. Where were you last night: Spokane
14. Something you are not: friendly
15. Muffins: blueberry with crumb topping blueberry
16. Wish List items: obedient children and clean floors ?? no idea how to sum that up in one word
17. Where did you grow up: Tennessee and Texas
18. Last thing you did: swiped the icing off of a corner of Brendan's piece of cake swiped
19. What are you wearing: sweatshirt, tee, jeans, fuzzy socks sweatshirt
20. Your TV: is off off
21. Your pets: two cats, one dog, one four year old cats
22. Your friends: amaze me daily :) love!
23. Your life: crazy busy
24. Your mood: sleepy
25. Missing someone: Jim
26. Vehicle: minivan
27. Something you're not wearing: bracelet
28. Your favorite store: Kohl's
29. Your favorite color: red
30. When's the last time you laughed: a few minutes ago as Gabbi was tickled at making a ukelele make funny noises earlier
31. When's the last time you cried: Tuesday
32. Your best friend: Micah :)
33. One place you go over and over: Target
34. One person who emails me regularly: Annette
35. Favorite place to eat? eh, depends on my mood Jason's

Now it says I'm supposed to pass this along to six people. I can't possibly do that. I love all of your blogs and I want to see all of your answers. So, if you read this, consider yourself tagged and awarded! :D

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bittersweet

Pin It Do you ever really miss being a kid?

I do.

I had a mini breakdown in an airplane yesterday because I wanted to be a kid again so bad it hurt! I was watching how very excited my kids were and I remembered that excitement like it was yesterday! And oh my heavens, it took me back, and it broke my heart.

We are at Grammy's house for Thanksgiving. Cousins will be arriving today.

Growing up, we were the family that came in from out of town for Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least while I was a little girl. I remember packing and being so excited I couldn't stand it to see my grandparents and my cousins and just hanging out. Seeing my middle one just quivering with excitement yesterday ... oh my goodness, I remember.

All of my grandparents are gone now. How I miss them! Particularly this time of year, because when I was a kid, this is the time of year we would spend with them. Their houses that may have been overcrowded at holidays (which honestly I don't think I ever noticed!) and the food that they would make, and the noise level, and mainly the total delight they had in us.

Yesterday Brendan wanted to bring this toy inside. The toy had been in the sandbox (it was actually his toy from this summer, which "moved" here because of it's time in the sandbox.) Toy filled with sand. He brings it in and I said "no, it's all sandy! Don't bring it inside!!" and Grammy said "it really is fine. It's just sand, we can vacuum it. I don't care if he gets sand in the house!" Yep, I remember that too. I had grandparents that didn't care if we got sand in the house too! (And this goes for my parents too -- my parents would have been telling me not to bring sand into the house, but I'm fairly certain they would have no problem with Brendan doing it. haha)

I laid awake ... um ... for a very short while last night. LOL I think I went to bed at 7 Spokane time, but I got up at 4:30 Houston time ... so you do the math! Anyway - I was just remembering holidays as a kid and how very much I loved them. I'm sad to not be spending Thanksgiving with my parents. The traditions are different here, which is not a bad thing, just different. I miss having my husband here too. I'm just plain in a weird place right now. I'm thankful for all these memories, thankful for how excited my kids are to be here (even with very little snow - let's all pray that it will snow this week!) thankful for the fabulous relationships my kids have with their grandmothers and grandfather, thankful that at least the girls got to know their other grandfather. I'm sad to be missing my own grandparents, I'm sad to not be at my home for Thanksgiving, I'm sad that my husband is so far away.

Like I said, it's a weird place to be. Bittersweet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Me ... um Sunday night

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Well, I wasn't going to do one of these this week in the interest of being so busy keeping my plates spinning, but since it's 11:30 Sunday night and I've got a good 20 minutes before the dryer is done, and since I just know that if I don't put the clothes from the washer into the dryer tonight, I'll forget about them completely, and I definitely don't want that to happen, I'll do a not me.

First thing - I would never ever post a humongous run on sentence. I'd never do something myself that would cause me to pull out my handy dandy red pen and mark all over it if my children did it. Nope, no double standards here.

I am not using the children sleeping excuse to not vacuum my floors. And I certainly did not avoid doing this chore that I hate all day long, for the express purpose of using the excuse of sleeping children to get out of it. I would never do that. (so ... um ... if you come over, just don't look at the floors, mmmkay?)

I did not have a fit over a pair of slipper socks that one child HAD TO HAVE and then promptly lost. Nor did I have a fit over a missing shoe, a dribble down the front of a shirt, dirty boots, a stepped-on toy, spilled cat food, or a dog that would. not. stop. barking. I'd never have a fit over such things.

I did not procrastinate this week. Not once. I certainly did not grade co-op papers that I had all week long a couple of hours ago. I put a lot of thought into grading and working with these kids, so I would never ever put off even looking at their work until the last minute. I'd also not have considered putting it off until tomorrow morning, except that I was worried something else would come up and I'd forget them altogether.

And with that said, the dryer just buzzed. WOOT! Good night everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Pin It We interrupt your regularly scheduled whine to bring you a little thankfulness.

Let me tell you about my day today.

First, after taking Brendan to MDO, I came to the house to see if I could find my lab orders to take and have that done. When I finally found them (why is it that I can find a receipt from a year ago without any problem, but a paper I had THREE DAYS AGO gets lost?) I ran out the door to rush to the doctor and there was a man in my yard. It took me a minute to realize it was one of my neighbors, who also goes to my church. He was meeting another church member so that they could cut a dead limb that has been dangling in one of our pine trees for a year now (thank you Hurricane Ike.)

:-O I made a random comment to my neighbor one day, I think about someone parking under it or something, and he just showed up to cut it down for us. Wow.

We have been so blessed. I'm behind on my thank you notes, which is kind of a good thing. Okay, maybe not a good thing if you're the one who hasn't been properly thanked yet, but bear with me. Because I am now 40, my brain no longer works. (Hold on you young people, it will happen to you too.) SO, I have a handy list where I keep track of people to whom I owe thank you notes. This list stays right near my computer, and you may have guessed that I spend a fair amount of time by my computer every day, so this thankful list is usually pretty nearby. It's so nice to just have the reminder in front of me that we have been so blessed.

Meals.
Babysitting.
House stuff.
Limb removal.

Amazing. I can't even say the number of times that I've been talking to someone just working through keeping all the plates spinning, and whoever I'm talking to has some solution to whatever the problem of the day is. It's just amazing. I know it's the Lord working to bless me, and working in the lives of my friends as well. Amazing just to be a part of that.

Tonight I had a great time visiting with friends and stocking my freezer. The Main Dish We giggled and visited, and prepared freezer meals. YUMMY freezer meals. The girls and I had so much fun tonight figuring out what we were going to eat tomorrow. The price was very reasonable, and it was just fun.

The kids and I planned the rest of school for 2009. I do so much better when I have a schedule in front of me, and I believe the girls do too. We're going to be working hard to get lots done before the end of the year. The girls seem to be willing to get to work and I have been so thankful for their good attitudes.

I know I've been all whiny and complaining lately, so I wanted to just take a minute and let you all know how thankful I am too. :)

(Now back to your regularly scheduled whine, already in progress. haha)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Could I have some instant gratification, please?

Pin It I'm frustrated. And irritated. And to be honest, just plain ticked off.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday. I was expecting it to go a little better than it did. Somehow, in six months, I managed to lose eight pounds. I'd like it to be more, but at least it's something. That's not what I'm so frustrated about.

My average blood sugars managed to go up a fair amount. Terrific. I think the actual result was a little misleading too, and not in a good way. Diabetes medication #17 was a fail because I kept getting lows with it. So, I know I took this medication faithfully for about a month, had a bunch of lows, which *should* have skewed my average blood sugars down. And yet it went up. Not only that, my blood pressure was up also. (It really is fine when I check it at home ... either my monitor isn't terribly accurate, or I just get all freaked out when I'm in the doctor's office. Not sure which.)

I exercised a lot. I kept track from mid-August up until now, and did not exaggerate at all. I ate well. I did everything right.

Are you following? I did everything right, lost like 1.2 lbs per month, my blood sugars got worse, even in the midst of a bunch of low blood sugars. My blood pressure was still elevated. In my mind, that makes everything over the last several months pointless. And that is frustrating.

Tomorrow I'm going to have the rest of my bloodwork done. (You know, the cholesterol and stuff like that.) I couldn't do this on Monday because my appointment was after lunch and I need to be fasting for this bloodwork. May I just say that I really REALLY want to see some improvement somewhere? Something to make the work worth it?

I know this sounds like a bunch of whining. Well, darn it, I feel like whining. Or eating ice cream. ;) It really is nice to be able to wear smaller clothes and to walk quickly to the park and not get winded. I mean, I definitely can see the benefits of the exercise, but if I still have doctors chasing me down with new prescriptions that I don't want to take, well, it's just frustrating to me.

So there's my pity party for the day. I'm really hoping and praying that tomorrow's bloodwork will look better than the bloodwork I had done six months ago. Just some kind of good results will be nice. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me

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Yep, even in the midst of having nothing of substance to say here, I do have some not me's. Go figure!

I have not let the laundry pile up to disastrous proportions. I am not actually SCARED to start tackling it right now, because there is enough of it that it could actually take over the house if it had a mind to. There would be no reason for me to let it get that bad, I was home every single day last week.

I am not having to remind myself constantly that my daughter is still not herself after having her tonsils and adenoids removed last week. We have not had a spree of bad behavior on both her part ... and mine ... especially yesterday. Poor little thing, I know she's not feeling well. She did not take that as an excuse to display some completely AWFUL behavior. I was not embarrassed by the behavior and way more interested in just making it stop than in trying to figure out what was going on. There was not a ton of rejoicing last night at bedtime, simply because the day was over.

And, I am not sitting here having a temper tantrum myself when I received something that was different from what I wanted and expected. This tantrum is not something that is just going to hurt me in the long run, and I'm not completely justifying it by sticking my fingers in my ears and saying "LALALALALA I'm not listening and I don't care!"

(hm ... can't imagine WHERE any of my children may get their fabulous tantrum throwing abilities ... )

Okay ... headed to sort some laundry. If I don't blog again in the next few days, you'll know that the laundry won, and I'm crumpled on the floor somewhere trying to beat it off with a stick. Those who survive will be wearing out of season or too big/small clothes.

(oh, and as I typed this, my son did NOT lay down and take a nap. At 4:15 in the afternoon. I am not anticipating a really long night for us now. SIGH.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I got nothin'

Pin It I seem to be taking an unintentional blogging break. Weird. I just don't have anything to say. It's been a crazy week, but relaxing other than Monday. I've been loved on by friends way more than I deserve (I say as I am munching on a casserole that a friend brought us last night.) My daughter is recovering nicely from her surgery. I read an entire book! My laundry was done yesterday, the sink isn't full of dishes, and the floors ... well, I should have stopped with the sink.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, another day that (unfortunately) hasn't meant a whole lot to me in the past. I tried to write something about it yesterday, but everything I wrote sounded forced or stupid. I think that I'm too much in the thick of life right now to even properly reflect on what it means to me now. Don't think I'm selfish or petulant or even self-absorbed by that. Well, maybe I am. It's just that dwelling too much on it is a place I just can't go right now. Maybe that will make sense to someone. It's not even making sense to me, so let's just say "it is what it is" and move on.

The kids are doing well. I left my son at MDO *not* in tears today. (Him and me!) He wasn't exactly overjoyed to be there, but he handled it well. Maybe it was the m&m bribe, and let me tell you -- I would buy m&m's by the truckload if it would stop his heartbreaking crying when I leave him. Whatever made a difference today, I was so thankful!

So that's it. Maybe I'll have a post of substance soon. Or maybe not.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

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What a fun and busy week we had! With all the fun and busyness, you'd think there wouldn't be any "not me" moments, right? HA. I have just a few to share.

I always thought it was so sweet when I would teach little 3 and 4 year old boys in Sunday school that they wanted to grow up and marry their moms. Awwww. So therefore, I have to tell you that it is NOT my son who does NOT want to grow up and marry me. Nope, not my son. Of course he wants to grow up and marry me. He did not at all, when I asked him who he was going to marry, loudly declare "Gabbi!" Nope, my son does not really love his sister more than he loves me! It was so darn cute though!

If you've read here any time at all, you know the struggle I'm having while trying to lose weight. That's why I would never have agonized over whether to spend 40 calories by putting mayonnaise on my sandwich or not. And I would never have decided to just save those 40 calories in case something better came along. And I certainly wouldn't sit down immediately after this internal debate and eat a bag of cheetos. Nope, not me. (btw - I'm sure the 40 calories I denied myself really do balance out the THREE HUNDRED TWENTY calories in a bag of cheetos.)

And since we're not me-ing, I have to tell on my daughter for just a moment. She had some friends over a couple of nights ago. They did not watch and giggle through the "Love Comes Softly" movies. Then they did not go to bed and stay up until 2 am, giggling and ... are you ready for this? DRAWING. They ILLUSTRATED the movies. One girl was giving drawing lessons, and the others were following along. No makeup, boy talk, or any inappropriate behavior whatsoever. Just drawing. I was not enormously blessed by this!

And now we are not about to rush out the door, because once again, I am not running late. I never run late. Just so you know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Pin It Kind of a speechless Saturday post. HAD to share this, in case anyone missed it.



Now I'm just hoping one of my neighbors does some fabulous lights this year so I can pull out my "ditto!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halfway.

Pin It We've reached the halfway point of Jim's deployment. Wow, five months down. Here's a little rundown of how we're all doing, really. (You know that conversation. "How are you doing?" "Fine." "No, how are you doing really?" Well, here's the answer.)

Gabrielle: This girl is amazing. Of all the changes in the kids, hers are the most amazing. She is the one Jim is absolutely not going to recognize when he gets back. When he left, she was a girl. When he returns, he will find a young lady in her place. I'm serious. To have had some anger issues at the start, she has adjusted well and has really stepped up. Sure, we butt heads from time to time, but for the most part, she is incredibly helpful around here and is able to maintain a healthy father/daughter relationship with Jim through skype. She has been given more responsibility around the house and has graciously (most of the time ;) ) accepted it well. She is well-adjusted and happy.

Madelyn: This girl is a riot. Maybe it's her age, or maybe it's her personality, but not much really seems to affect her. She misses her dad and is ready for him to come home, but she has accepted that this is a season in life and is rocking along in typical Madelyn fashion. I have seen some atypical moodiness in her over the last week, but she's going to have her tonsils removed on Monday and she's a little nervous about it. I believe that when Jim gets back, there will be no adjustment required on her part; she's typically a "go with the flow" kinda kid.

Brendan: Right now, Brendan is having a hard time. He's gone through several stages of separation anxiety in his life, but the past month or so has been incredibly difficult. It's kind of interesting; I can leave him with a person, or a person can come get him without any problem. When I leave him at co-op or mother's day out, or even Sunday school, he completely freaks out. I'm really not knowing how to handle it. I've always thought that if you just firmly do it and reassure them that you will come back, it would take care of itself after a couple of weeks. It seems to be getting worse though. The thing is though, once he does get settled, he enjoys his activities. On Tuesday, he cried and cried when I left him at MDO. When I picked him up, he cried because he didn't want to leave. He has also perfected the art of the tantrum, and has many every day. I know part of that is the age, but it wears on me when every. little. thing. is a battle. He really does miss his daddy, and I think he really doesn't know how to express that. Or something like that. I'm sure a lot of it is typical four year old boy stuff too. (btw - just after I typed this, he came up and put his hands on my face and told me I was his "fazorite". LOL)

And for me ... I have good days and bad days. I notice that the really bad days happen somewhat cyclically. Imagine that. ;) I'm trying harder to relax in some areas (ahem, under the beds) and to relax a little less in other areas (like schoolwork. If I get up thinking "I don't want to do this today!" that doesn't necessarily mean we should take the day off!) I'm generally DONE for the day at about 7 - 7:30, and the kids aren't done for the day until 10:00, so the main "bad times" in our house happen right around bedtime. I still crave that quiet time, even more than I crave sleep, so I'm still up too late at night. I was hoping with the time change, we might could move bedtime up a little, and that has happened a couple of nights. I still need to come up with some kind of bedtime solution.

(As an aside - bedtime has always been something of an issue here. I'd love to institute a 9:00 bedtime, but even when Jim is home, that doesn't work because he's after 9:00 getting home two nights per week, and it's tough to send them to bed when daddy is going to be home in half an hour.)

So, I guess that's it. That's how we're really doing, all of us. I can't believe we're halfway through this now!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Homeschool Mom Universal Translator

Pin It Oh, this is so fabulous! I just read this and HAD to pass it along, as soon as I stopped giggling long enough to type.

The Homeschool Mom Universal Translator

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This is How Rumors Get Started

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Yesterday was my anniversary. Thirteen years. Wow. This is kind of an interesting place to be thirteen years later!

Look at these gorgeous flowers Jim sent me!


And look at this one; the special thirteenth rose:


Brendan is totally confused that these flowers are from Jim. I had to step into another room to cry for a moment when I mentioned to the girls yesterday morning that I would have a flower delivery from Jim, and Brendan said "DADDY'S COMING HOME?!?" Man, I'm getting all teary again just typing that out. Pretty heartbreaking, huh?

Anyway, so the flower delivery man brought the flowers, and Brendan wasn't here when he came. He was very confused when he got home and saw the flowers. I told him they were delivered; that daddy sent them but didn't bring them to me. So now he thinks that Jim physically sent them to me. He had several questions about how the balloon fit, and did Daddy blow it up. Then he seemed to kind of figure it out. The mailman gave me flowers.

So, if you see my sweet son, and he tells you that the mailman gave mommy flowers, you'll understand, and won't have to look at me questioningly. And give him a hug, he's really missing his daddy.

And happy anniversary to me.

(Love you, Jim. The flowers are GORGEOUS! Happy anniversary.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Me Monday - the Halloween Candy edition

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Ah, halloween candy. I have three types of candy-grabbers. One wants only the good stuff, preferably chocolate. One wants all. of. it. Good stuff, yucky stuff, doesn't matter. Volume is most important to this child. The third is okay with whatever comes into the bag, not picky, and not after a ton. I have not managed to use this to my best advantage.

(What? Don't tell me you don't rummage through the kids' halloween candy!!)

Okay, so the system that I did not devise looks something like this. a) the "good stuff only" kid really just can't be messed with. This kid keeps inventory and the only way something is coming out of that stack is if a stray candy not liked by that child happens to find its way in there. Just ignore that stack. Best to not even look at it. (And it's probably under lock and key anyway, lest *anyone else* around the house be tempted.)

So now we're down to:
b) the "volume" kid, and c) the "whatever" kid. Bag b is the bag to dig through. This child really isn't all that concerned with what's in the bag, as long as the approximate weight is as remembered. SO, if I were going to *borrow* some halloween candy, which I'm NOT, but if I were, it would look something like this.

Dig through bag b and pull out some good stuff. Realize that peanut m&m's are a lot heavier than pixie sticks. Dig through the c bag - remember, that's the whatever kid. Take heavier stuff from c bag - gumballs, stuff like that, and put it in b bag. Then practice looking innocent when the owner of the b bag is digging through the bag and says "hm, I KNOW there were some peanut m&m's in here just a little while ago!"

Not that I would ever DO anything like that. And I know you wouldn't either. Oh, and if I did, I probably wouldn't justify it by saying that the children really don't need so much candy anyway. See, actually, if I WERE to do this, I'd actually be doing them a favor. Because I'm a good mom like that, that's why.

Just in case you were wondering, the words "mama's coming, hide the tootsie rolls!" were NOT heard at my house at any time this weekend. Not even once.

Oh, and I would never ever consider Halloween candy to be a meal. And if I did, I would never post about it on my blog.