Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Break time...

Not that I will have any "official" break time, so I'm just gonna make some of my own...this week I'm taking a break from meal planning Monday and pretending to exercise. This will also be my last entry until 2009. There will be plenty of time for organization and exercise in the new year! Merry Christmas everyone and a blessed new year.

Triple Grrrrr...

Today was day one of Christmas break for the girls. I always manage to have grand plans for my days that never quite end up grand. First item on the agenda was grocery shopping which went off without a hitch, except dd3 begging for candy at the checkout, as usual. Then there was a stop at preschool, and two stops for final gifts to pick up. The kids were all patient and helpful and got cheeseburgers and apple slices for lunch! They were happy with their treat and bonus for me, easy cleanup. I'm glad that happened as the groceries are still not put away at 10:30 pm. Ds decided his 20 minute nap in the van was plenty for the day so he came outside when the girls played and I shoveled. I spent 30 minutes on the phone trying to figure out year end insurance spending and calling back to try to find a customer service rep who had a clue. It worked and she helped me with my problem. Dh "requested" pictures emailed from deer hunting, "if I had time". To his credit, each item he asked me to do today he prefaced with "if you have time, I know you're busy". I guess he can just hear it in my voice! Dd2 is still not able to keep things in her belly for any length of time but doesn't seem sick otherwise. At 3:00 I figured out that I forgot to return our movies that were due at 5:00. Grrr.... So everyone loaded back into the van and I managed to get stuck in our driveway. Double grrr.... we abandoned ship and any chance of ditching a late fee, headed back to the house and Ds and I both had 1/2 hour naps that we greatly needed! We made it through supper and baths, now it's time to make food and organize presents for the next 4 days. It will be a late night, but I hope to find some fun time with the kids tomorrow(and the next 12 days), since I didn't manage it today...triple grrrr.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

Yesterday Paperman was reading a take home page from preschool to DD3. It was talking about the Savior being born. DD3 listened intently during the story then commented "Mrs. S has a Savior in her class." I had to think for a bit, then it hit me, (one of those "turn around and your shoulders shake trying to be quiet" incidents) the boy's name.....Xavier.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cost Cutter...

That's my Mom. She's our resident cost cutter. (my estimate is that she saves us nearly $1000 a year) Today was haircut day as everyone was getting tangles and heads full of static. A beautician (cosmetologist...) for over 40 years she cuts the hair of everyone at our house, except me. Funny huh? Only the daughter of a beautician could understand. Who wants to blame their mother for their bad hair day! It's much healthier to blame a perfect stranger. . Well, now that I'm an adult, with a husband who is capable of paying for my haircuts, I make someone else, besides my Mother, responsible for the way my day goes. It's just too much to ask....birth me, watch my children, trim my hedges AND be held responsible for my bad hair days...No, I'll pay for my haircut, it's the least I can do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You don't have to laugh, but I did!

On Sunday evening, I had sat the overflowing family hamper in the hallway to start laundry after everyone was in bed. As our laundry is in the basement I also tend to stick other things (toys, books, etc) in the hamper to take down at the same time. DD1 needed a drink so she got up and stopped to talk to me in the hall. As she casually put her hand on the laundry mountain, it began playing "if you're happy and you know it...." in a sing song fisher price tone. I showed her the culprit, a little people car buried beneath a pair of jeans. Her response ... "Freaky..." and rolled her eyes. Then she went back to bed.

Meal Planning Monday, on Tuesday

Better late than never right? I am seriously lacking in creativity and energy right now so here's the exciting meals we'll be eating this week-

Monday Ham, cheesy potatoes, green beans (Cupcakes at dd3's Christmas program)
Tuesday Veggie stir fry, egg rolls, brown rice, clementines
Wednesday Oven friend chicken, acorn squash
Thursday Potato soup, fruit salad (or leftovers)
Friday Christmas get together (morel mushrooms and spaghetti)
Saturday ??
Sunday Christmas #2, weather permitting!

Who knows, with the weather forecast that it is, we could be having some cinnamon rolls or fresh bread...I have this weird yeast/bad weather connection in my brain.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Like a chance at free stuff??

Here's your chance. Just take a survey and you're in for a $100 Lands End gift card. My winter boots that I wear 5 out of 7 snowy days are on their 3rd season. They're still doing ok, but they have new styles and colors now and I could do a lot with $100. The survey is short and painless. Can't win if you don't try!!
Here's a link-

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Girls for my Girls...




Today the girls received their first American Girl dolls. There had never been much of an interest before a few weeks ago when the catalog arrived. They had checked it out before, saying they liked them, but never the response they (ALL!) had this time. "Mom...I love MIA!!!" "If I were to get one, I'd pick KAYA!" "JULIE is so pretty." It's not very often, unless we're talking about ice cream, that the girls are all interested in the same thing, at the same time (pretty much to be expected at their ages and interests). Papa and Paula completely surprised them with their own little girl to love. They're still not as lucky as I am, since I have 3, but I'd have to say...they're still lucky.

I will do better....

Ahhh... back to reality. We've had house guests (my FIL and his wife) from Mississippi for the last 8 days. (I was told by a perfect stranger today that I had an accent...guess they rub off on me!) The times goes so fast during their visits as Paperman and his Dad are hunting (deer in the fall, mushrooms in the spring). The week is filled with family gatherings, fun and food. Guess that's why tomorrow, it's time for me to dig out the treadmill we pushed against the wall to make room for Christmas #1 today. There are plenty of fruits and veggies in the fridge, now I just need to figure out the menu for next week. Paperman goes back to work the next two weeks and I'm just not sure how to deal with that! We all get so spoiled having him around in the fall, when it's time to go back to the real world ...it's a bummer. I'm done with that complaining, as he has a job to go back to and for that I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

See ya later Luann-

Today I attended the most difficult funeral I have yet to experience. I have lived a very sheltered life in regards to death as it has been limited to great aunts and uncles, people over the age of 75 and my grandparents over the age of 80. Not that it's not hard to lose someone who is older, but they have lived a full life and are usually tired and ready to go. Not so with Luann. She was 41 with a loving husband, a 6 year old and a 4 year old. She was living her life to the fullest when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago. Then again about a year ago. She had finished chemo for the 2nd time and was beginning to start radiation again when her headaches started. She knew from the beginning that it was not good even though her dr's told her it was nothing. That was only 6 weeks ago, home, hospital then hospice. She was a happy and outgoing woman with a warm smile for everyone. She loved her household of boys and yearned for a baby girl (she told me each time I had another one!). The service today was one she had planned- a purple celebration as she was a purple loving person. I'm not being irreverant by saying See ya later- as goodbye is forever, but I plan to see Luann again when I fly away. Godspeed my friend. Your boys will be ok, but we'll all miss you here.

Contest link

RT @iatraveler Giving away a copy of The Paper Bag Christmas! Must read! http://tinyurl.com/67st8p (And don't forget to follow me on Twitter!)

Click on the above link to enter the contest. The book sounds intriguing. If I don't win it I hope to get my hands on it somewhere.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meal Planning Monday

This is going to be even more unorganized than last week....but let's see what I can do. We're having carpets cleaned, doing Jr. Achievement at school, a funeral to attend, and dance (2 times) tomorrow so our house (and my mind) is a bit out of sorts. I couldn't do all that but Paperman is home. Thanks sweetie! Friday Paperman's Dad and wife will be here for 8 days. It's an enjoyable time, but I'm not ready...as usual.
We spent $220 at Target today and it seems all we got was pop (sale, and Paperman was with me so he stocked up), cereal, ingredients for truffles and milk. That could add up to some interesting meals! I think we'll try to use up some freezer stash.
Monday- Spaghetti/green beans
Tuesday- Roast chicken- it's a big one and she's thawing in the fridge right now.
Wednesday- Something with chicken...pot pie maybe.
Thursday-fish/salmon, baked potato, broccoli
Friday- Cabbage and ham
Saturday- Paperman's birthday, maybe crab legs and shrimp. yum. The girls love it too.
Sunday- Roast, potatoes, carrots, onions
That's it for now. Have a great week.

Advent Bags

I am trying something new this year. Once again, this is not an original idea, but I'm kind of throwing it together at the last minute, or hour. I guess it is December 1st, but I don't think the kids will mind if I'm a bit behind the 8 ball on this one.
The purpose of the advent bags is two fold. 1. To give us time to focus on others and Jesus' birth during the month. 2. A fun family activity.
I still need to get some bags to organize all the goodies and just did some ordering tonight, so those things will be put later in the month. We may have to do two bags some days depending on our schedule, and how creative I am. Here is what I have so far for activities and treats to include in the bags-

1. Make truffles. DD3 saw a recipe (picture) of some last week and has been begging to make them ever since!
2. Make sugar cookies. We do this every year...it's a mess, but it's a tradition. And thanks to Molly we have an awesome recipe! (I'll try to post it soon)
3. Make Christmas ornaments and deliver to the nearby care center.
4. Read Christmas books.
5. New ornaments dated 2008 for them to put their picture in and hang on the tree.
6. Christmas suckers!
7. Walk to see the neighborhood lights.
8. Kids pick supper (I'll have to be careful when I put this one in the schedule)
9. Jingle bell bracelets
10. Christmas songs on the piano by dd1 and dd2 and sing along.
11. Christmas coloring page
12. Nativity Challenge activity page
13. Read the Christmas Story.
14. Share at a salvation army kettle.
15. Nativity sticker pages.

I plan to put together decorated brown paper bags with directions/ingredients or supplies for each day. I'm hopeful that this can be a fun and meaningful experience for all of us.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snowy Sunday

The first snow of the season did turn out beautiful and fun (even after my inner stressing). DS got to play in the snow without wearing a hat. He actually preferred to eat it, and I did make sure it was pure white in nature!

DD1 decided to play wii instead of going outside the first time, but I guess the excitement was catching and she joined everyone else soon after.

Let it snow???

Argh. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. Last winter seemed so long and with too many nights Paperman didn't make it home. This morning Paperman was up with the two youngest girls and making pancakes. As I laid in bed, enjoying their conversation, I kept hearing the same thing....CAN WE GO OUTSIDE? CAN WE GO OUTSIDE YET? CAN WE GO OUTSIDE NOW??? My sweet patient saint of a husband kept saying, in a minute, pretty soon, when we're done with breakfast....Then the dread starts to pop into my head....I had not prepared for snow. It didn't have to do with having supplies, shovels, sleds, etc... The entry way, meant for a family of 3 (not 6 plus a dog!) was not cleaned, the baskets of mittens were not set out, snow pants were not assigned from the overflowing tote o pants and bikes have not been put away to make room for sleds. I did manage to contain my "argh" and drag myself from the covers, help find dd3's boots and between the 3 girls, they made at least 8 full dress, play, undress, dry clothes, redress, play cycles today. We discussed ideas on how to keep the entry way clean and semi organized (ie: keep mom from freaking out) as a family. General putting things where they belong should help out with this. Maybe by summer we'll all have it down pat!

it's only the beginning...

DD2 had her first sleepover with a friend on Wednesday evening. The timing was right with no school in sight for 4 days and nothing big on the calendar for that evening. The girls even got to pick if they wanted to have dd1 and dd3 sleep with them and they took the "more the merrier" route and said yes. They got to stay up a little later than normal, had pancakes and ice cream cones and made puppy beds out of shoe boxes for their stuffed animals. All in all, I'm up for it again. It's fun to share our family with others, give the kids a chance to really get to know their friends and keep things exciting around here. Could there be any more pink or purple bedding on that air mattress??

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

4 gifts

Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read

How is that for a Christmas plan? I can't claim that as an original, but I think we may use this in our house. Our kiddos also seem to get more from us than Santa. I guess maybe Mom and Dad need some extra points and Santa doesn't want to compete. We keep spending reasonable anyway, but this will help me focus on a category, get it done, and move on. My shopping is basically done, and I think I just need to buy some books.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Dear old treadmill-
I plan to visit you several times this week. Once again, 4 times is my goal. This week is not a normal week schedule wise, but that is no excuse to not visit. I'm sorry for only visiting 2 times last week. I could not fit you in the van for our trip, but that's only an excuse, not a reason. There were 4 other days to the week. Thank you for being patient. I may love you someday-

Meal planning Monday

Monday- Ham and some other things
Tuesday- Tacos
Wednesday- ?
Thursday- Supper at Hillary's. I'm taking mashed potatoes, dessert and rolls.
Friday- Pizza

Sorry this is a bit generic. I plan to elaborate more as I get my wits about me...don't sit on the edge of your seat as that may just never happen! Happy Monday.

We're home!

We went north for the weekend, 5 hours north to my Aunt and Uncles house in Wisconsin. It was opening deer season and that is a huge deal. There are blaze orange dots all over the county side as we travel and trucks parked at nearly every timber entrance. My Cousins, Aunt and I all chip in to feed an average of 20 people per meal for 3 days. It's a lot of food but also fun for everyone. After 3 years of practice it's down to a near science and we all get to enjoy time together and not just cooking and doing dishes. The "cousins" (some 1st cousins, some 2nd) range in age from 1 to 15. That does present some issues with trying to keep everyone happy, but luckily the over 9 bunch of kids are great with the younger ones. They did craft activities, played with kitties, watched movies and helped out with meals and the little one (ds). I had three revelations for this trip. 1. If you don't comb your 4 year old daughters hair (middle of the back length) for 3 days it gets some mighty tangles. (she did brush her teeth while we were gone!) 2. When traveling with children, you take the same amount "stuff" if you stay 3 days or 3 weeks. Our van held- 6 people, 5 pillows, 4 blankies, 1 pack and play, 2 coolers, 1 deer stand, 1 gun, books, movies, craft supplies, 20 outfits, 8 sets of Jammie's, diapers, 4 water bottles, 1 set of jumper cables (the battery is acting up) and all the miscellaneous items needed for a weekend away. 3. I wouldn't trade this special time with my extended family for anything, except maybe a cargo van.

Monday, November 17, 2008

mile marker 4

That's two straight days on the treadmill....I'm off...and walking quickly. :)

Doctor Love

I'm in love with another man. Our pediatrician. Not in love in love, just appreciating what he does for our family. He and his father were the dr's my Mom would take us to when we were too sick to see our small town doctor. He is the doctor we've taken dd1 and everyone else to since they were one week old. I can stress and wonder about anything, but with one phone call he can make me feel at ease. He is very good at being on the safe side of things, but not overreacting. I'm sure most doctors are this way, but today after 5 trips to the doctor in 2 weeks it was nice to be reassured that we are doing ok and our kids are "just perfect" (his quote not mine, see why I love this man!). DD1 and DD2 had their checkups. Yep, a little late for dd2 but I usually do them together, then everyone gets their flu shots, and ice cream. This year the girls got flu mist, and still ice cream. I'm sure he has a huge number of patients (as he's been "in the business" for over 25 years), but he still acts like he remembers us and the little details about our lives, I guess it's kind of like being a frequent flyer member, membership has it's privileges.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meal Planning Monday

Last weeks plan went pretty well as we ate 4 of the 6 meals that were planned. I had to make some quick substitutons as doctor appointments and little ones needing held seemed to creep into my potato peeling time! I'll try to get them in this week. The things I list are general guidlines for me, we sometimes have bread,cottage cheese,and other add ons as I remember or they get asked for. If possible I try to make enough for 2 meals then we have leftovers for another night or lunches.

Monday-Baked pasta with veggies, fruit salad
Tuesday- Scalloped potatoes, carrots
Wednesday- Crock pot roast/cabbage/apples
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Lasagna, bread, salad
Saturday -Ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Sunday- Leftovers

I run for life....

Ok, for those of you who have seen me lately, stop laughing at the title. I have never been a runner, a medium jogger maybe, but never a runner. I did (jog) a 5k 10 months before ds was born, and haven't done a 12 minute mile since. :) I have a perfectly good treadmill in my basement, a baby monitor and an mp3 player if Paperman is home. The excuses have to go and I will be spending 30 minutes on that baby 4 days a week. Where do I plan to add this between bon bon eating and soap opera watching you ask? 6am or 9pm. I am a total night owl, mostly because I'm preoccupied with keeping my head above water so mornings aren't my specialty- and never have been. I also have no problem exercising and going straight to bed. It erases stress in my mind and body and I can fall right to sleep. About the title of the post, I run for life by Melissa Etheridge (google the song title to listen, it rocks!) became my anthem as I was training for the 5k. My Mom had just finished her treatment for breast cancer and I was running the race in her honor. Since then I have had 2 aunts and 2 friends diagnosed. Are those 5 women not a good enough reason to dig 30 minutes out of my day? Do I need more reasons? My kids, being a good example for them and more energy to keep up with them. 2011, my 20 year class reunion. Tropical getaway, it will happen, and I will be ready when it does! Here's to my cancer fighting, heart healthy, jean fitting, good example, easy breathin workout plan. Feel free to comment or email if you want join me!

Putting my hat on again....

Or in one word, a RECAP. Our week in a nutshell, fevers, strep, viral. Yep, 2 girls with fevers, one with strep (dd2) and one "just viral" (ie:wait it out, question your parenting abilities, take stock in advil and sprite with straws) (dd3). DD3 is entering day 6 of fevers above 103 degrees. She's been such a trooper. While the meds are working she's watching tv or letting us read to her. When the temp spikes it's nap time. It may sound a bit odd, but I don't mind my babies being sick (just to a point) as I like being able to be at home and snuggle. If we could just stay home and snuggle WITHOUT being sick that would be even better. As I look at it, we are getting all the sickies out of the way, no one will be sick on Christmas and it's smooth sailing through February. It's ok to hope/wish and pray right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

beep, beep, buzzzzz

Zoey, we really do love you, or else we wouldn't be doing this. We wouldn't be putting limits on where you can roam and run in this beautiful and interesting world we live in. We wouldn't have gotten you a new collar and transmitter to send you some not so pleasant messages to keep you safe and close to home. You are growing older, and braver and are just wandering too far for our comfort. It is fall and people are hunting and trapping and that is not good news for a pretty girl who loves mischief. So, you'll get some extra time with us, learning your new boundaries in the next few weeks and we should all be happy soon. Tonight you made us so proud staying in your "down" for 6 minutes! What a big girl. DD2 was just too tempting when she made that pass right beside you. I don't blame you at all, I like to play with her too. That's ok, we've got 4 more weeks until another training session and you'll make your 10 minute "down" assignment. Being good will have it's advantages. But I can guarantee you'll never get to take Paperman up on his offer to join him in bed. That's my spot Missy.

Meal Planning Monday, on Tuesday...

Oops. I thought about my weekly meal plan yesterday, but I also went to bed at a decent hour, and as you may tell, most of my blog posts don't happen at a decent hour!
Last week went pretty well with the meal plan, except Thursday my sweetest bestest neighbor friend watched my kids, fed them supper AND sent home lasagna for the next night! What did I do to deserve that?? Anyway, it was greatly appreciated for a busy week and I'll try to get her back soon. I made the chili and chicken soup on Saturday which worked out great as my my brother in law and sister in law were here for supper. I took those leftovers to my parents today as there may have been a mutiny if I tried to serve them the 3rd day in a row. Enough...now on to this week- I'll be trying to do some freezer potato recipes as I got 15 lbs for $4.59 today.

Monday- Chicken soup and chili (for the last time!)
Tuesday- Mushroom pizza and oranges
Wednesday- BBQ pork sandwiches, oven fries and fresh veggies
Thursday-Baked pasta with veggies, fruit salad
Friday- Scalloped potatoes, carrots
Saturday- Grilled turkey tenderloin, green bean casserole, apples

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I openly and honestly admit I have been a blog slug this week. I have been gone every night with DD1 as it's "tech week" for the musical that opened last night, tonight and another show tomorrow. So last week in a nutshell was Ds had an ear infection, flu shot and a climbing addiction. DD2 had snack day, orthodontist appointment and dance. DD3 had brown/rectangle day at school, dance and speech. Paperman hunted and changed the dryer vent. I cooked, cleaned, laundried (new word), and drove people places. But it was a good week. I got to spend time with dd1 that doesn't happen often enough. We also got family pictures done, some Christmas shopping, caught snowflakes on our tongues and played some wii. It was great having Paperman around, even with a busy week we still had quality time with the kids. The downside of the week is I have 2 friends (not close, but more than mere acquaintances) who were diagnosed with cancer. Pray for them and their family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One vote...

I have been so amazed/proud/surprised how involved and interested the kids are in this election. Just one more point to show that what the adults are into around them carries over (also the effect the MEDIA plays). I had not made it to the polls yet when dd1 came home and I told her I just wasn't going (jokingly). She said "Mom, you have to, every vote matters."
It may also be a ploy to stay up later as dd1 said "I just want to see who wins Iowa." She knew very well that would take her to at least 9:15 and it was only 8:30 at that point. She also knew which states were "battleground", what electoral votes were and generally understood that process. wow. I think I was 30 before I kind of "got it." I posted on my facebook account the I had not sung yet but was warming up....over an hour ago and NBC just quoted me. Do you think they've been reading my facebook somehow? HA! Anyway, the people have spoken, they want a change, and I truly believe, it's gonna come. I earned the right to complain if I don't like it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm just waiting for the call...

Teachers are mandatory reporters right? So, I'm waiting for the call . In 3rd grade they have a list of vocabulary words and the kids write sentences containing these words each week. I'll give you a sample from DD1's list last week-

sudden- All of the sudden the dog died.
tunnel- DS was not going in the tunnel.
dust- There is dust in the bathroom.
struck- DD2 struck DS with a knife today.

When I asked her why she wrote the last sentence DD#1 said she "couldn't think of anything else to write!" ok, that's a good enough explanation for now....just don't answer that phone. (For anyone beginning to worry about DD1, she's ok there were other sentences about going into space, growing buds, ice cream and pizza and Ds being cute.)

Meal planning Monday...

Let's see if this will work. I am trying (as I have been forever!) to get in a meal planning routine. Each meal won't necessarily happen on the day it was planned, but at least the ingredients will be here for when it does. The reasons for this, cook ahead, buy what we need and not stress at 2 pm everyday. My plan is to post this on Monday, as if everyone CARES what we are eating, but so I do it and follow it. If you ever want a recipe (not that I use them...) I'd be glad to share, but I must have one of yours back! Have a great week-

Monday Tuna and Noodles peas

Tuesday Breakfast Egg Casserole spinach salad

Wednesday Pork Tenderloin, freezer mashed potatoes, green beans

Thursday Tacos, refried beans

Friday Chili and Chicken soup, beer bread, fresh veggies/dip

Saturday leftovers

Sunday Curtis' Birthday party, I don't have to cook!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fresh from the farm

Wednesday was chicken day. We had ordered 8 farm fresh, no antibiotic, free range chickens for our freezer. Paperman and I were both raised on this kind of chicken and whenever he eats (the other) chicken it's just not the same. Of course, I'm sure if his Mom made (the other) chicken it may be better! I stewed a 6 lb chicken today with salt/pepper/carrots/onion and celery. I covered it in water and let it simmer about an hour then sit in the broth for a while (it was still quite warm). I removed the bones and skin and came up with 2 gallons (!) broth with a lot of flavor and 6 cups of chicken. I packaged everything into quart ziploc bags and now have the fixens for chicken soup, chicken and dumplings or chicken and noodles anytime we want. yum.
At $2.25 a lb the chickens are a bit pricey compared to (the other) chicken but we should get at least 4 meals out of this one chicken by adding a few staples and veggies. Now I'll have to ration the remainder of the chickens as we won't be able to get more until July.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat...

We had a great Halloween day. The oldest girls didn't have school due to the end of the quarter, not Halloween becoming a national holiday. That may be the next major change in the country depending on who becomes our new President! :) DD3 had her costume parade and harvest party at preschool and the rest of the family got to go. What a treat seeing 45 four year olds so proud of their costumes. We got to see our neighborhood friends as they were going trick or treating then we went on a hay rack ride around the neighborhood with around 30 kids (ages 1-14) and adults. The weather was beautiful, the kids were well behaved, and Chocolate. Papa and Grandma came to our house to see the kids as we weren't sure if we could make it to theirs without some type of meltdown.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A+ for education...


This was dd1 and dd2 kindergarten teacher. The award is so neat as she is a wonderful person and teacher. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She challenges each student, she has control in her classroom and welcomes the entire family to be part of the first year of school An example of the relationship she forms with her students is dd2, in first grade now, has to get "Mrs. Paulsen hugs" every day. She sets the bar very high and this is only her 3rd year of teaching. We've always known she is awesome, now the whole world does! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Here's some pics of my bbb (beautiful baby boy!). I know I'm prejudiced, but hey, pictures don't lie. :)

What were you doing 9 years ago?

October 28, 1999. My due date. I worked a short shift (dr's orders!), stopped at DQ for blizzards for Paperman and I then came home. We ate our ice cream (pumpkin pie for me and choc chip cookie dough for him) outside at the picnic table as it was a picture perfect fall day. We decided to go for a ride to see a friends' house he was building, back a long gravel (bumpy) lane. I guess it was bumpy enough...after we got home Paperman went hunting out back and I made supper of chicken breasts, green beans and apple crisp. Then I sat down to watch tv (I thought I remembered what show....). I felt a 'pop'. hmmm...then I thought I peed my pants, a little. (sorry) Nothing else felt different so I waited for Paperman to come back, about 1/2 hour later. He was telling me about his hunt and I kind of listened....then I told him, I think my water may have broke. So we ate supper (I paid for that later), finished packing some last minute things and headed to the hospital. On the way my contractions started. They continued to pick up but I was only feeling things in my back, nothing like I had imagined. I was around 3 cm when we got to the hospital. We got checked in, the contractions worsened, still only in my back....(from this point forward, for any of my children's births, if I say "contraction" it means BACK LABOR. I've had 4 kids, and not a single "regular" contraction....oh the things we miss out on.) I was the normal, stars in my eyes, first time Mom thinking I wanted to do a non medicated birth. That lasted a while, but I wasn't progressing much (around 6 cm at 1 am) and the only thing I was saying was "help me, help me...". I got an epidural and 20 minutes later I said I needed to push...they didn't believe me, but I did. So I pushed for about an hour and the dr came to check on me. She said she could use a vacuum to get her out now, or I could push for another 2 hours....(she had a c-section to do!). Fire up that vacuum! At 3:45 am on October 29, 1999 DD1 was born. Paperman is an awesome birth coach and maybe could become a doula if times get tough! In fact, I kept him on for the next 3 births. :) He got to call our parents, who didn't even know we were at the hospital, to tell them the news. My Dad was the first to meet DD1 as he stopped on his way to work a few hours after she was born. We brought her home on Halloween, a beautiful 80 degree day. Such a fitting beginning. I love you dd1, thank you for being part of my life and our family. You'll always be my #1 baby.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bye Bye Betsy

Yep, we name lots of things around here. Even trucks. Paperman has owned "Betsy" (a 1987 ford f150) since 1988. That's half of his life. It was the first vehicle he purchased. It was what he was driving when we met. Betsy had served him well. Her speedometer was broken, wipers didn't work consistantly and she was rusty, but she still ran well. Until a year ago Paperman drove her back and forth to work on a regular basis to save miles on the "good" truck. After I did some wheelin and dealin' (mostly dealin' as we sold her for 1/2 of our starting price) she went to a teenage boy who does a lot of 'coon hunting. Perfect. The girls yelled "Bye Betsy" as they drove away. The best part of it all (besides the extra parking spot!) was when Paperman walked up to me and said "Here's your money." Gotta love him. My money. Is that grocery money for the next 3 weeks? Is that pedicure and shopping money? More than likely it will go into the general fund (as everything does). But I do hope for it to be Christmas money as we dislike greatly writing the check in January to pay the piper for November and December! That got me thinking, what can we sell next October??

4 little pumpkins

I assume most families do this as they head to the pumpkin patch... pick out pumpkins based on birth order of the children (add parents if they get pumpkins too). Ours worked out that way this year anyway. The kids had been asking for a week to carve them, and I wanted it done, but needed a chunk of time that I was feeling pretty caught up with things to make a mess of the kitchen! That was hard to find. So Sunday morning I promised they would be done before bedtime. Forward to 7 pm, finally, pumpkin carving time. This was not the best judgement on my part as we had spent the afternoon outside at a Halloween party (45 degrees and 30 mph winds!) then came home and worked in the yard (mowing and raking up locust tree pods). This tends to wear most anyone out, especially kids that have been up later than usual 2 nights in a row. I wasn't going to break my promise OR miss out on the first time Paperman was around for pumpkin carving. I usually use this as an activity to pass the time when he's gone. It's amazing how his presence can make any activity go more smoothly. Anyway, the kids did great cleaning out their pumpkins, ds really got into the whole process and we've got some cute decorations for the front step! Happy Halloween week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Walk a mile in their shoes

I know, they don't make the fashion week runways. I know, some people think they are UGLY. But I also know, they look cute on kids and some adults can pull them off too. They are also perfect for our summers. They go from the garden to the pool to the neighbors lake all with just a toss in the washer! They keep my kids' feet clean and safe. Toddlers can put them on themselves and they get to express their individuality by picking their colors and/or decorations. So....here are my girls' crocs. Aside from size, you can easily pick out whose is whose if you know my girls. They tell the story. They write the book. I was sentimental hanging them on the shoe rack thinking of where those crocs took us this summer. How they probably will be too small in the spring. How I let dd3 pick orange thinking ds could wear them when he's 3 or 4, but the dog chewed them, and I'm still glad she picked orange. It's not her favorite color, but there's not many people with orange crocs, and there's not too many 4 year olds like dd3 either. :) She did have a butterfly and ladybug decoration, but they fell off. DD2, pink mary janes with flip flops. If only she had ballet slippers and a big heart, just like hers, stuck on there too. DD1, black with a football helmet. That's her story, throw in a softball, a book, her desire to learn and help and there you go. My girls (and their shoes).

It's THAT time of year again...

The furnace had been set on 66 and was running. This gets Paperman's goat as his yearly goal is to NOT have to fill the propane tank. He works hard getting the woodpile ready to keep his family warm and toasty all winter long and running the furnace is not part of that plan. So today started the 5-6 month process of fill the cart, bring the cart to the garage, feed the fire, feed the fire, feed the fire, fill the cart.... It does add work, it does add dust and a bark trail from the garage to the wood burner and I'm sure somewhere it does add to global warming. But, it also adds to MY warming, and it hardly costs us any money. I love being able to control how warm my house is and not thinking about having to pay for it next month. It's just one more way that Paperman takes care of us and provides for us. Thanks to my hunter/gatherer Paperman! (the picture is proof, that I do keep the home fires burning....)

mom & co.: Flammable when dumb . . .

CAUTION- the below post is rated R for strong language, but is extremely funny. Reminded me of something I would do and made me laugh out loud! So skip it, or click on it, read it and enjoy.

mom & co.: Flammable when dumb . . .

Reaching the limit....

I think the tire swing was close to reaching it's load limit, but not the kids. They could have hung around for much more bouncing, running, digging, climbing and haunting, but it was time for lunch! We took our family and 3 of dd1's friends to the pumpkin farm for some birthday agritainment. (for those unfamiliar with that term, basically, fun on the farm or how some farmers supplement their income....) It's 10 days until her official birthday, but with no school and no work for Paperman, it worked for us. We had beautiful weather, exhausted kids and dd1 said it was just what she wanted, so the day goes down as a success. Happy almost birthday!(dd3 was not crying in the photo, just saying something like "pumpkin farm" that gave her that look of ahhhhhh!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wii are ready to play!

Since last Christmas the girls have been asking for a Wii. They've seen it on tv, played it at their cousins house and heard about ALL THEIR FRIENDS having them at school. We found this to be the perfect chance for a lesson in "save for what you want". They jumped right in for the challenge. Birthday gift cards, tooth fairy money, garage sale proceeds, unexpected dollars from Grandpa....it all went in the pot. They did a great job and saved over $200. We kicked in the remainder and an extra wiimote. I offered supper to my 15 year old nephew if he would come set it up. What a lifesaver as I didn't have to try to figure it out and ruin the fun with my impatience and limited electronic knowledge! Thanks Curtis! The timing is perfect with the cooler weather on its way and my wish for a Wii Fit for Christmas. ;) Everyone had a turn tonight and from the initial reviews- we all had fun.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's the little victories....

Today was one of those hang out Mommy days with the exception of a quick trip to town. We had two things to get done. 1. Head check- DD1 and DD3 both have head lice in their classrooms. Bummer. I have gotten over the stigma of it all (as I've seen it cross all social and economic boundaries), but I know not everyone has. But girls, girls with long hair and sensitive scalps live in this household. Nightmare. I've been itchy ever since I've read the notices. We need to pull out the tea tree oil and start the daily checks. My Mom did it today as Paperman was working. 2. Target trip. DD2 is attending a birthday party tomorrow and DD1 is having a birthday party on Monday, we needed supplies. We were home for a late lunch and naps then we broke out the puffy paint and made trick or treat bags. The girls did a great job being creative. After all that fun was over we were ready to head outside. Dd3 has just learned to ride her bike on the rocks so she wanted to make it to the end of the driveway (lane would be a much better way to describe our approx. 1/10 mile entry from the road). I was up for the challenge so I said sure. Her sisters were in especially helpful moods too. So off we went. Here comes the little victory part- DD1 OFFERED to push DD3 and help her make it to the top of the hill and the whole time dd2 stood at the top saying "I know you can, I know you can, I KNOW YOU CAN!". DD2 had a smile so bright at the end of it all we should have had sunscreen on. Ahhh. My kids rock.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hangin' with the girls...

DD3 had her friend and neighbor over today for a "play date". She was so excited. Most of the time we just say, "Coming to our house." but today she kept asking, "Is this a play date?" Sure. DD3 is in love with building tents, forts, and tying things up (she'll make a leash for her puppies out of anything...). So we made a tent ( I didn't want her to tie Ellie up!). The girls had fun in it...ate goldfish and marshmallows, played with trolls, decorated it with clothespins, and went in and out, in and out....

Then ds woke up, much to Ellie's delight as she had been waiting her whole visit to "see him!" This was much to DD3's dismay as that meant she had to pick up trolls and he wanted to tear down the tent, that was until he got IN the tent. He thought that was so cool, especially when the girls would play with him. For anyone that may feel the least bit sorry for this little boy in the house with 3 sisters, don't. He hasn't had his toenails painted or waited in line for a bathroom, yet. But he has had his hair done and been the lucky recipient of much of their (and their friends') love and attention. Now I need to go hide the fingernail polish...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My daughter, My Friend?????

Question mark? Why a question mark. Until today, please don't take this wrong, I had never thought about my daughters being my friends. I have thought about being THEIR friend, but that goes a bit against my parenting philosophy, I strive to be their MOM (for now). But, I can't wait for them to be my friend and to be theirs. I have the potential of getting 3 bright, beautiful, funny, creative and fun friends in a not too far off future and I can't wait. As long as I don't screw this Mom thing up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tucker, Tom, Ted, Taylor, Crawler.....

Well, he doesn't officially have a name, and he's not going to stay, but those are some of the ideas got thrown around tonight. For reference we'll just call him Mr. Turtle. The big girls were riding their bikes and going to get the mail tonight when dd2 came in to tell me "There's a turtle on the road!" I was thinking the size of my hand (ended up the size of my THUMB) so I grabbed a bucket, gloves and Brady and out we went. He was not moving except for his tail, a little. He was covered in dried mud and just didn't look well. We brought him back to the house and put a little water, some rocks, grapes and dead flies in the bucket. (Franklin likes flies, we thought he would too) Pretty soon he was sticking his head way out and hiding whenever he would get attention. When I told Paperman about him he asked if it was a snapper, I said I don't know, he said does he have a pointed nose, yep. "He's a snapper and he'll bite your finger off!" As I'm looking at Thumbkin I was thinking "How?" Then I explained how small he was and I think Paperman felt there was less imminent danger at that point. I'm thinking it's illegal or something to take a turtle from the wild. Please don't turn us in, believe me, we don't need another critter in this house any time soon. He'll be going back to the wild as soon as he's well! (We had a toad earlier in the day, but he has since been returned to his original habitat of the front porch.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our newest addition...

How's that title to get all you naysayers going? (HA! I knew they weren't done. It's officially fall now, when will we hear? DS needs a brother, he really does. They still have one empty seat in that van of theirs, wonder when they'll fill that up?)

His name is Joe. As in Scarecrow Joe. Every scarecrow we've ever had has been named the same. Tradition or lack of originality, I guess. In years past we've went to Michael's and picked out just the right one, to sit in the rain and fade and look too shabby to put up next year. Attempting to be frugal, creative and find something for us to do this weekend, I went to the Internet searching for instructions. I found a fun website http://www.monkeysee.com/. It's a fun how-to website, with videos for those of us that learn by seeing not just reading. Then I went to the phone and called my parents. Not that they have a lot of old shabby clothes lying around waiting for some use, but hey, my Dad's a farmer, even though he lives on 1/10 of an acre. Once a farmer, always a farmer. He grows tomatoes now instead of cows and corn! And he has overalls. The girls did a great job stuffing Joe with leaves and drawing his face. We ran into trouble as everyone wanted to do his eyes, so we "drew sharpies". Paperman and I decided the eyes would be black, nose blue, and mouth green. Then the girls picked a lid, whoever got that color, drew that facial feature. Tears avoided. Joe is now placed on a bale of straw, with pumpkins and mums at his feet at the end of our driveway. He's also covered in cayenne pepper. Zoey would love to chew him up, but the cayenne worked to keep her our of our flowers this summer and we're hoping it will prolong Joe's life. Something I realized, this scarecrow, though wearing my Dad's clothing (except for the hat and kerchief), looks NOTHING like my dad. Maybe the clothes don't really make the man after all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Odd but true...

Did you know?

Paperman and I both went to 1A schools (about 80 miles apart) that have football uniforms that are white with red lettering? (I know that because they were both featured on Friday night lights)

We both attended college for 1 year at a state school then transferred someplace else for "roughly" another year. (We're poster children for attending a community college, get your aa then figure out what you want to be when you grow up!!)

We both saw Bon Jovi and 38 Special in concert, though he was a freshman in college and I was in 8th grade.

In high school, Paperman wrestled, and BEAT the older boy who used to pick on me on the bus! Now, he works with his brother.

How you like those apples??? Just 4 more little known facts that prove we were destined to be together.

4 kids and a pumpkin....

Did I mention I LOVE fall? Leaves, our anniversary, dd1 birthday, pumpkin blizzards, Halloween parties, chili, hayrides, bonfires, sweatshirt weather, football....what's not to love.

I wanted to capture this evening as it was one I didn't want to forget anytime soon. Temperatures in the low 70's, beautiful piles of leaves, kids playing nicely.... (dd1 was playing basketball with her new ball from her teacher, in the background. DD2 and DD3 were hunting for a new pet bug, digging in a mole run. DS was training to be a NASCAR driver climbing through the window of the little tykes cozy coupe.) I know the kids kind of steal the photo, but check out that pumpkin! We got a picnic table full and then some from Paperman's cousins. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The one in the photo was dd1's pick, no dirty flat spot, sits great, nice stem...what more could you ask for! Maybe Ben and Jen should go into the pumpkin business. I'm also thinking this one could be a great roller. A week or so after Halloween we drag the pumpkins to the edge of the timber at the top of the hill and take turns letting them roll. It's a big contest to see who's goes the farthest, with lots of "do overs" and treats for the deer or our other timber friends.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I love garage sales. I could be one of those people who plan to spend every Friday morning hitting the pavement. I think I have pretty good judgement and try not to buy junk or things we don't need. Yes, the kids do get the occasional 25 cent "have to have it" stuffed animal, but I said try.... My sister was our original garage sale shopper in the family, then she inspired my Mom and I. Paperman swears the car pulls whenever we drive by a sign or a front lawn full of treasures. Mom is now the scout, she goes out early to check out the sales and lets us know what's worth our time, saving a lot of in and outs of the car with 2-4 kids in tow. Today she alerted me that Lisa was having her sale. You might be a die hard garage saler if you know the owners by their first name! :) It so happens that Lisa is in the same size range of my Mom and I and we made out like bandits. Seems that I'm usually picking up things for the kids at sales, but today it was (almost) all about me.
2 piece Ralph Lauren Jammies
2 piece Nordstrom sweat suit
tommy t-shirt
Dress barn sweater
Long sleeve brown t-shirt
1 pair athletic pants
2 tshirts, a turtleneck (new with Von Maur tags) and a book for DD1
Grand total- $16.50
A bit refreshing to have new clothes and not feel guilty on a day the market "plummets" for the (is it 8th??) day in a row...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Living green...

I'm not sure where it came from, I'll blame my kids for this again (sorry sweeties, but this is a good one!), I am trying to do my part to keep this world a healthy one for them. Changes I have made in the last year....recycling glass (I never had a separate container, so I pitched it), cloth diapers, ditching the swiffers for microfiber cloths, using vinegar and baking soda to replace windex, stove top cleaner, etc..., Charlies Soap for laundry (check out their website, if you're interested, I get mine locally, free delivery). Reusable shopping bags, as long as I remember to take them IN the store. I got a clothesline and use it when all the planets align. I think that's about it. Seems like a lot from 10 years ago when I couldn't bring myself to wash out a can, I thought I was too busy!!
There are things I have tried, but reverted back....making my own dish washing soap (baking soda and borax), I got a film, I think it's our water. No bleach. I tried, I really really did...but there are those time when things get stinky or really really dirty and they just need it! Oxyclean does ok, but good old pollutin chlorine, there's no match. Paper napkins, I've looked for cloth, but I'm not willing to shell out the money right now. Maybe we'll use cloth diapers for our dinner napkins when DS is potty trained. (just kidding, you can still come for supper!) I'm hoping to run across a stash at a garage sale someday. Paper towels, I'm working on this one too. Some things just need thrown away and some days the washcloth/dish towel drawer is just plain empty! Water bottles. We have cut down on the plastic ones we buy and use, but recycle the ones we do. The other issue is the #7 plastic, bpa, etc.... Once again, simple economics come to play. I'm thinking stainless steel water bottles for Christmas. With anything, it's a work in progress. Babysteps.

Never forget?

I've always said to myself, as I'm sniffing the top of my baby's head, I'll never forget this. I'll never forget the way (even 14 months later) his head fits right under my chin, like he's been there forever. I'll never forget the way his infectious giggle can turn heads in a crowded store as his sister plays peek a boo to keep him from climbing out of the shopping cart. I'll never forget how angelic he looks when he finally gives into sleep, only to recharge his tired body for the next day of adventure. I'll never forget what a true miracle it is to see his perfect little body, running naked across the living room, doing anything to keep from getting dressed. I'll never forget the way music moves him, stops him in his tracks and makes him boogie. I'll never forget how he gets a cup from the drawer and stands at the water dispenser on the fridge waiting for his turn. I'll never forget how I can say and sign "eat" Are you hungry? and he runs to his high chair to fill his hollow leg. I'll never forget how many times I hear "you got your boy", "he looks just like his daddy" and "look at those eyes". I'll never forget the things we thought were childproofed, but not DS proofed, the air vents (pulls them out), the ottomans (stands on them) the end table (pulls it over), the bathtub (pulls himself in), the toilet (he's obsessed). I'll never forget how 8 years ago, pregnant with DD2, I was worried...how to love another baby as much as DD1, but I didn't worry for DD3, or DS as I did learn, with more, love does not divide, it multiplies. Oh, I pray, I never forget.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hello, hello, hello...

Is there anybody out there? If you do happen to stumble upon this blog on occasion, stop and leave me a comment (click on the #comments at the bottom of the post, it should guide you from there). Kind, sweet and full of compliments only please. If only I knew how and was organized enough, I could offer you some type of prize for leaving a comment, but you can just enjoy the fact you made my day! Have a happy one.

Fun with phonics

The scene: reading through dd2's "Friday folder" from school with help from dd3. I was showing her the work her sister had done at school the previous week. A sheet, obviously used to help dd2 continue to read the words she'd been reading for 2 years came up. It featured a picture of a writing utensil, below it dd2 wrote p-e-n. A picture of 3 males, dd2 wrote m-e-n. So on and so on. As dd3 is seeming to be in the "wanting to learn to read and spell stages" I was having her "help" me read the words by looking at the picture and sounding out the first letter of the word. Pen. Men. Next, a picture of the poultry that might say "Kentucky fried" above it.... word starts with an H - dd3 answer- of course, it's a H-i-c-k-e-n! I did one of those "look the other way and shake until tears roll down your cheeks" and said- "well, yes, good, but another word might be a hen." If you don't see the utmost humor with the above post, that's OK. Paperman just grinned politely as I was retelling the story, nearly falling off my chair. So then I called my sister, at least SHE laughed, nearly as hard as I did. Maybe you did have to be there.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yellow tape

If you see our property surrounded by yellow (do not cross) tape, do not worry. It's just the health department doing a quarantine on our household for germs that just won't leave us alone! Go as far away as you can and come back in a week. We thought we were safe. Thought the worst was over. Thought we could have a weekend together as a family (it's only been a month!). Nope. Not happening. Paperman came home today in the middle of the day. I was excited for about 4 seconds (thinking they didn't need him at work and our weekend started early), he's sick. DD1 has very high confidence that her good health will continue. I'll go with her on that. We have her sleeping in the garage and bathing in rubbing alcohol. Just kidding. Get better soon Paperman, we love you and miss you when you can't go places with us!

Look what I can do!

DS's newest trick- balancing a spoon on his head. Now this boy could really go places. When we finished up supper Wednesday night he was sitting in his high chair making the biggest mess possible while I was loading dishes in the dishwasher. He started saying "ahhhhh???" After he got my attention I said "Where's the spoon?" He would smile very big and grab it....and start the whole thing over. He must have his Daddy's talent, as Paperman can balance a spoon on his nose, and has taught that trick to each of his daughters. Ask to see it sometime. Along with the spoon balancing, DS's climbing skills have improved this week, to my dismay. His current escapades include the dining room chairs and the ottomans, he climbs up, then stands up, then I run! We are almost 9 years into this parenting thing and no stitches, how's that to jinx us. My prediction the other day was that ds would have them before he's 5- a bet I would clearly love to lose.

Hey Mickey...

Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind Hey Mickey!!!! I'm not sure what you'll be more surprised at, that DD2 had this song to do her Poms routine to or I knew the singer, without looking it up on the internet. Toni Basil. The year was 1982, I was in 4th grade! In my research ( didn't know what year it was) I did see that it is one of the biggest cheerleading songs out there. The other age groups of girls danced to My Boyfriend's back and Let's hear it for the boy....oh the golden oldies. I guess it also makes ME an oldie. DD2 is a cheerleader at heart and can hardly stand still watching cheerleaders or just thinking about it. It's great fun for me watch her do things I stumbled around at in my youthful days. She ruled that 50 yard line tonight!

Monday, September 29, 2008


How's that for a creative title? One word that conjures up a lot of feelings from excitement to frustration depending on what context it's used in. An unexpected bill...frustration? A sudden windfall...excitement? There is so much public talk about money right now, and I am no expert but here is a link to some one who is


Dave Ramsey. In the link above he helped me, for the time being, put this "financial crisis" in a realistic mode. I do realize all in all, any of those who bring home paychecks, including Paperman, could lose their jobs. But don't panic. Dave Ramsey has also done a lot for a lot of people. Read around his site if you're interested. To be honest, I have not read any of his books, I have never listened to an entire radio show or podcast, but I consider myself a convert, by marriage. :) (Not that Paperman needed a radio talk show host/author to teach him to be frugal....) What has Dave done for us? He has given us the inspiration to be completely debt free (ie: no mortgage) (1) in a (short)time frame that still lets us live our lives (2). I'll explain the numbering system. Dave and Paperman came up with the first half of that sentence, I came up with the second half. It's all about compromise right? Not everything we do is "by the Dave Ramsey book" but our general debt philosophy is. So for now, Paperman still works his Heine off and I try to clothe and feed our family in a fiscally responsible way (Aldis, garage sales, Von Maur sales racks...), the 96 Concord keeps on ticking and I'll keep dreaming of the home addition. My favorite quote from Dave is "live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else." I guess if everyone had bought into this saying ( bankers AND borrowers), there would be no financial crisis... (check out Iowa Geek and Green 3 to see some other very insightful money articles. You can find their blogs in my profile under blogs I follow.)

Bowl training....

We've all heard of crate training a dog, potty training a child, ever heard of bowl training? We try to bowl train our children right about the time they have their first bout of stomach flu. For the girls it has been around age 4 (see Sprite with straws post). This was dd3's first time. Bowl training (not something that had a name before now!) means basically, once that ugly vomit monster rears his head the bowl is your friend until you feel all better. I must say it has saved many carpet cleaning bills and loads of laundry. I have never had a one year old ask for a bowl or need one for that fact, until today. DS, as usual, wanting to keep up with his sisters, has joined the "need a bowl club". Of course, for all who know me, I NEVER have any unusually high expectations for my children, he didn't get a bowl. I just covered the area rug with a sheet and his carseat with a towel and let him play. Poor baby, hasn't eaten since lunch, wants to chug water (against the dr advice, sips only), but he's sleeping now. Sweet peaceful dreams baby boy....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Girls rock!

Yesterday was our school run pass and kick competition. They hold this every year around homecoming as a fundraiser. DD1 has entered every year but thought it wouldn't happen this year due to softball practice. Practice was cancelled, we got her registered, and she took 2nd place for third graders. We're so proud of her!

Sprite with straws

Yep, the sickies have hit our house. My last entry was Wednesday- that's the day my mom went to the hospital (stomach virus). I really wasn't too worried as the last time we had spent with her was last Saturday at a softball tournament. We were outside, it was a long time ago, what to worry about?? Thursday morning- dd2 started, Friday morning my dad, Friday night ME, Saturday morning dd3. Who is next? We are hoping and praying NO ONE!!! So, the drink of choice around here has been sprite with straws, hoping to calm the tummies, keep some fluids down and the bright spot in a day of not so bright activities. The tv has not blown up from overuse (yet) and Paperman has been hero of the week around here. The laundry has more than doubled, it was time to "do diapers" (I said to go to disposables until further notice!), he's trying to get grass to grow and the healthy girls have had a busy weekend with activities. His woodcutting treestand checking plans for the weekend pretty much went down the drain with everything else. Thank you Paperman, you'll always be my hero, even when you're not doing laundry. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One heartbeat at a time

One heartbeat at a time is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman. He is a christian artist who was in the news last year as he lost one of his daughters in an accident. One of his older sons ran over his little girl in a tragic turn of events. This family is amazing. Their story is full of faith, forgiveness and hope. Here are some of the lyrics-

One Heartbeat at a time-

You're up all night with a screaming babyYou run all day at the speed of lifeAnd every day you feel a little bit lessLike the beautiful woman you areSo you fall into bed when you run out of hoursAnd you wonder if anything worth doing got doneOh, maybe you just don't knowOr maybe you've forgottenYou, you are changing the worldOne little heartbeat at a timeMaking history with every touch and every smileOh, you, you may not see it nowBut I believe that time will tellHow you, you are changing the worldOne little heartbeat at a time

Thanks Mom. Thanks Jean. Everything you've done, one heartbeat at a time, it mattered. I hope to follow in the big footsteps.

Happy Fall Y'all

I'm not sure if it was in the air, if the kids were remembering that it was "officially" fall all day today, or just the fact that they LOVE to make leaf piles. The rakes, buckets and even brooms came out in full force as 6 kids (ages 8-1) worked together for (a record) hour to make this pile. It was so much fun to watch them with one common goal in mind-the big jump! Maddy was the first to take the plunge! (no toads were harmed during this photo shoot- they were reluctantly released back into the wild without kisses- if you double click on the picture of dd3 you can see what I mean)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

oh the Lord is Good to Me....

And so I thank the Lord, for giving me, the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed.... (From the Johnny Appleseed song, DD3's favorite prayer) We have plenty to thank HIM for, and plenty of appleseeds now that we've went apple picking for the 2nd time in a week. I'm not quite sure why I went again when the first picking was still untouched, except for being brought in the house, then back to the garage when I decided I was just too tired to even think about applesauce much less make it! The oldest girls got out of school early and got to go with us this time (along with their friends) and DD3 was an old pro at the apple picker. DS enjoyed his apple enough to keep him in the stroller. The group photo kind of sums it all up....

So many apples, so little time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Full tank of gas to drive to tournament site ( 2 round trips) - $65

Snacks/drinks/concession stand for 5 people - $40

Daily tournament admission- $8

New Bottle of Sunscreen- $7

Sliding pad, sliding shorts, glove, hat- $120

Watching your daughter do something she loves and make new friends- PRICELESS
(Great job this weekend DD1!!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Decision 2008

As I was listening to some election coverage on the news I got teary eyed. This is just a guess, but I'm not sure this happens very often unless you are a candidates wife (or husband) who has just lost "the big one" or you're a semi emotional over tired mom. Why would I cry at election coverage? No, MY candidates weren't losing in the polls (especially since it seems to be neck and neck right now), I realized that the election meant a lot to me this year and why. I want my kids to grow up in the same safe, happy and comfortable world that I grew up in. The world where I wasn't really scared or worried about too much. There was the nuclear threat with Russia and the Johnny Gosch abduction (I always thought I'd be next), but over all safe, happy and comfortable. I know that Paperman and I plan to do our very best to make this happen and I guess part of that is helping them stay little and grow in their own ways, embarrassing our kids by being overprotective and voting in November.

Make me feel like it's my birthday

The other night we were having supper with another couple, it happened to be the day before the husband's birthday. He and his wife were having some kind of friendly "discussion" and he said "Hey- Make me feel like it's my birthday!" It has stuck with me for some reason. I'm thinking t-shirt material here.... take it how you want to. In my opinion a child could wear it and I also think it could be in the naughty t-shirt category. If you happen to see it somewhere sometime, just remember- you saw it HERE first. (thanks Steve-Happy Birthday)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Works for me Wednesday-BIG baby bibs

If you have a super messy eater, serving a super messy food OR both try this out.
I used old hooded baby towels no longer in use. Cut a slit in the seam where the hood is connected to the towel big enough for your baby's head. Put this on them so the towel part is in front. It covers all their arms and body with enough to make a "shelf" to catch all the extras! Click on the title of this post and it will take you to Rocks in my dryer- and LOTS more Works for me Wednesday tips.

Recipe: Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

This was our supper tonight. I called it Brown Sugar chicken to get DD3 to try a bite. (I also make brown sugar (baked) beans) Hey, you do what you have to do...
It received 2 thumbs up from DD1 and DD2. We ate it with brown rice and green beans from Mom and Dad's garden. (THANKS!)

1-2 lbs chicken pieces ( I used boneless skinless thighs)
1/2 c soy sauce
3 T Brown sugar
1 T sherry
3 cloves garlic
Mix and dump over the chicken in crock pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until done.

It's apple picking day!

It's apple picking day, it's apple picking day. We'll pick an apple from the tree and eat it right away! (from the Dinofours book- Apple picking day. Check out the series. They are really cute books.) Today dd3, ds, Susan and I went to pick apples at a farm up the road. There were 6 or 7 trees with the branches touching the ground from all the weight on them. I guess the trees are trying to make up for leaving us "sans applesauce" last year! It was such a beautiful day weather wise with temps around 75, sunshine and a nice breeze. Ahhhhhhh, nearly perfect in my book. DS was in need of a nap but hung out in his stroller munching away on a freshly "jean shined" apple. Seriously, he chewed on that baby for 1/2 an hour!! DD3 was in heaven. She reminded us to "twist the apples until they come off, don't just pull or you can hurt the trees" (once again, from the book). DD3 really got the hang of the apple picker and loved getting the high apples with no holes! We did a lot of pulling and filled bags and laundry baskets. Susan is my inspiration for food preservation as she's making pies and sauce to add to her bounty of other canned and frozen goods from her garden. I hope to make sauce and if there is enough, some sliced apples too (for crisp in the middle of the winter). (No pictures from this adventure. I did take some on my phone, but can't quite figure out how to get them to the computer.)

One of the joys of home ownership...

The picture above is "before".

This picture is "during". I am hoping the after picture will be some lush green grass with an in ground pool, maintenance free deck and some drinks with little umbrellas in them. The reality will most likely be a huge bill in exchange for a worry free septic system for the rest of our lives. The system we are replacing is 36 years old so we are expecting to be traveling around the US in an RV visiting our 16 grandchildren by the time it needs work again! As with any project we've done around here, it's never run of the mill, by the book, easy. A tree had to be moved and replanted (the "unlucky" buckeye tree we planted 3 years ago) and due to the hard to access location, around 80% of our grass will need to be leveled and reseeded. Country livin'. Ain't it grand??

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Nephew!

Happy Birthday to you, remember Jesus loves you, he made you so special, Happy Birthday to you! (This is dd3's special version of Happy Birthday, which she insists on singing, by herself, at nearly every birthday party. Sing on sister!) Five is cool. Have a happy day tomorrow and every day.

The kids and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon celebrating our godson's (nephew #3) fifth birthday. He is a Thomas, dinosaur, snake loving boy. It was fun to get all the kids together and see the other half of my family also. The kids got to play with 2/3 of their cousins. The other 1/3 came to our house tonight for pizza. He's almost 15 and we don't get to see him nearly as often as we like or used to. Something about friends and sports that take up his time now. So much for little cousins and aunts and uncles.


I had mentioned in the previous post about ds being patient in his stroller (at the state fair). Not wanting that to end and knowing we were dangerously close, I took him for a walk to find an appropriate place for a rock/cigarette butt/paper eating toddler to burn some energy. The first place we came upon was the gentleman selling hog panels (I only know what these are from stories Paperman has from his days on the farm), livestock waterers and other farm equipment. The salesman looked friendly enough, the grass was semi green and clean so I let ds out of the stroller. He was so happy to be able to move on his own he plopped right down, took his shoes off, and even laid down in the nice shady spot. Thank you Mr. Hog Panel selling man.

Who are you and where is my dad?

While going through our pics from our visit to Des Moines and the Blank Park Zoo this summer I ran across this picture. It made me laugh. At a quick glance this looks like our family. Look closer and the man holding the little boy is not Paperman, nor is he holding ds. The girls belong, the boys do not. Go figure! I think the real men from our family were just a bit out of camera range for this photo. We had a great day at the zoo and even made it to the state fair for some time that evening. Then back to the fair the following day. The girls got to ride horses, eat ice cream, ride the sky lift and participate in story time with Dan from IPTV. DS was patient in his stroller, got to pet a calf, and even had a nap. More fun for him next year.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I finally did it...

My maiden post! I'm so excited. I hope this blog will help me remember and also be able to share with family and friends what is happening in our ever changing household. I may share opinions, things we learn or like, and even a recipe or two. In my "previous life" I took pictures thinking "that would make a great scrapbook page". Now I've started thinking, "I'd love to write that somewhere" so here I am. Feel free to leave comments (only nice ones!). This blog will refer to my husband ( Paperman), oldest daughter (dd1), middle daughter (dd2), youngest daughter (dd3), only son (ds). If you're wondering about the name of the blog, read the right hand side of the page "about me".