Thursday, December 31, 2009

Can It Be?

So I've slacked on the blog, and it's been two weeks. I can't believe tomorrow is 2010!
Christmas came and went in whirlwind fashion.
We've had lots of family time, and I'm sad that it's ending soon. I think one of the kids' favorite things we did was our Christmas lights tour. We all put on pajamas, grabbed blankets, popcorn, and thermoses full of hot cocoa. Then we piled into the van and looked at lights. Daddy wore a Santa hat, and belted out Feliz Navidad. (There may or may not have been a little peppermint schnapps in my cocoa.)

Emma has never been so thrilled with her gifts. Yes, we caved and got her a cell phone. I still can't believe I'm saying that. And, she got clothes from Hollister, which was her dream come true. AND, she got Ugg boots from Grandma. So all in all, she thinks she is one REALLY COOL teeny bopper.

Does anyone think it's funny that when I asked Ryan for some Burt's Bees products, he bought me wrinkle cream???? Moving on.......

We have a big New Year's party here tonight. And yet I'm sitting here on the computer. Must. Get. Off. My. Butt.

Happy New Year!!!

(btw, I'm also posting at Chic Critique today....... visit me over there!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wendesday Night Whine and Wine

I'm feeling the need to whine a little bit.

I've had a bad cold for well over a week now, and I just can't get rid of it. My face hurts, my eyes hurt, my ears ache. I'm tired of blowing my nose and clearing my throat.
I've gotten so little sleep the past week it's ridiculous.
I don't normally pack every day full of things to do. But last week and this week have been nuts. I've had stuff going on NONSTOP, from the rump-crack of dawn, till midnight each day.

I'm not done shopping yet, and haven't even started wrapping. I let the housecleaning get away from me the past two days, and now I'm paying for it. Dontcha hate those days when you don't want to even come home to your own mess? (really, how many pairs of socks can my kids leave on the floor in just one day? I picked up 7 tonight......)

I'm torn tonight between the soft comfy bed that's calling my name, and the glass of wine and fascinating  worthless television watching that will allow me some quiet. Tell me I'm not the only one that purposely stays up late, just because the kids are asleep and it's quiet? I mean, I love sleep and all. But I can't enjoy a quiet house if I'm asleep, right? I knew you'd agree.

And now for the most random jump from one topic to the next.....

What is with that stupid song that I hear every time my daughter turns the radio on? It's called Firelies, by Owl City. It's so weird, I had to look up the name and read the lyrics. Call me whatever sweet thing you will, but I have no idea what that guy is talkin' 'bout. Apparently he'd like to make himself believe that planet earth turns slowly......   umkay........

Moving on.
Where is my glass of whine wine?

John had his Christmas program at preschool this morning. He looked SO goshdang cute. He wore grey cords, a pinstripe button down shirt untucked, and a loose tie, with his hair spiked up. The most GQ little 3 year old EVAH. He frowned almost the entire time he was on stage, and kept yawning. At the end, when the audience clapped, he joined in and clapped for himself. :)

Ok, bed..... or tv.  Bed? TV?

Good Night, Y'all.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tea With the Coffee Gal!

For the past few weeks, I've been looking forward to my very first face-to-face meeting with a bloggy friend.
AND, especially excited because I was meeting Kellie from La Vida Dulce, who is one of my very favorite bloggers.
AND, we were meeting for tea! Could it get any better?

Having never been through an In Real Life meeting, I really didn't know what to expect. I've read Kellie's blog for a year, and just knew I'd love her even more in person. But what if she didn't like me?? What if there was nothing to say?

My worries were for nothing. She was so sweet, even as she walked in and we saw each other for the first time. I've seen plenty of pictures of her, and knew how pretty she is. But truly, she is even prettier in real life!

Just look at this lovely table. Isn't it the perfect setting for new friendship and good conversation on a cold, rainy day?

The food was so yummy. (Except for the deviled egg!) We tried everything, and laughed when we couldn't figure out how to eat the tapioca pudding in a chinese soup spoon. Are there rules on these things??

The scones were warm and so good. And the tea was just right. Doesn't Kellie the coffee gal look right at home with her cup of tea?

One thing I really love about Kellie is that she has such a sense of calm and peace about her. She's gentle and sweet, and it only took one minute of conversation to see why everyone loves her so much. Plus, she loves to shop!

Those 2 1/2 hours went by too fast.
Thanks Kellie, for a wonderful afternoon! I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I've Officially Started Shopping in Ultra Annoying Stores

I found myself in a Hollister store the other day.
I KNOW! What was I thinking, right?
I will just tell you this: I did it out of love.
For my 11 going on 18 year old daughter.

Last week she asked me again why she coudln't shop at Hollister. After all, she's the ONLY ONE OF HER FRIENDS (haha) who doesn't wear Hollister or Abercrombie everyday to school.
(Do you hear me playing the world's tiniest violin?)

She didn't bother asking about Abercrombie. She's been good about it, and she understands perfectly well why she isn't allowed to wear their clothing. She knows about their advertising, and agrees that she'd never want to promote those images.

But the Hollister thing? Well, I admit  - I've just assumed it was just like Abercrombie. I looked around on their website, expecting images of pretty much nude teenagers - but I (thankfully) didn't see that. I decided I'd just have to go to the store and check it out myself.

There are so many battles to pick these days. I didn't want to choose this one, if I didn't have any valid points. So I packed it up on MY FREE MORNING, and went to Hollister.

I no worries about finding it in the mall. I just followed my nose. Have you SMELLED these places? P.U.

After 30 seconds, I'd had enough. I'm not kidding you! They are all about atmospehere over there, those classy folks. The music was SO FLIPPIN loud that I couldn't even think. My sense of smell was in overdrive, from the equivalent of 19 bottles of cologne sprayed everywhere. The bass was so strong that my poor little heart kept trying to leap out of my chest.

And my eyes, oh my poor eyes! What exactly is it about a store that's so dark you can't see that is supposed to be appealing??
I'm not joking. I had to keep stepping away from the shelves and holding up the price tags to see the prices in a little smidgen of light. I. COULD. NOT. SEE.
It's not like I'm 98 yrs old people! These 35 year old eyes couldn't see squat.
I lasted more than 30 seconds in there, though. Know why? I didn't see anything that I objected to. No naked guys on posters. No trashy clothes.
I spent about 40 minutes in there, gasp! And I got Emma a few new things for Christmas.
Know what's funny?
The kid at the register had to keep stepping back and holding the price tags up to scan. Because it was SO DARK EVEN HE COUDN'T SEE!
I politely suggested to him that maybe a spotlight would work wonders back there.
He didn't think it was funny.
He just thought I was old.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here There and Everywhere

A random list of thoughts today....
Whew. A week past Thanksgiving.
I survived a house full of 19 people.
We've finished decorating.
I got to visit with my grandparents from Florida.
I'm getting some Christmas shopping tackled.
The stomach flu came and went in just one day here.
Looking forward to seeing friends this weekend, and going to a party on Saturday.
How about you??

I'm also blogging at Chic Critique today....... come visit me there!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks


May your cup be overflowing today!


Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ His Son.

And now let the weak say "I am strong."
Let the poor say "I am rich."
Because of what the Lord has done
for us
Give thanks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of the Crate

This morning John and I were sitting in the van, waiting to go into the grocery store. One of my favorite songs was on the radio - Mighty To Save.

I used to sing that song to him every night while I rocked him to sleep, and he knows the whole chorus by heart. We were rockin' out in the car singing, and he asked, "WHY did Jesus conquer the CRATE? Was it Chester's crate? What did He do to it?"  (btw, Chester is our dog...)

I laughed and told him that the Jesus conquered the grave,  not the crate. "WELL, " he proclaimed, "I heard that song tell me that he conquered the crate, and that's what it TOLD me."

Ok, three and a half year old. Whatever you say.

The crate, the grave, call it what you will. But either way, Jesus conquered it. My saviour? He is Mighty To Save.

Click HERE and listen to the song for yourself. I promise your day will be a little brighter if you do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times....

I'm talking about shopping on BLACK FRIDAY!!!
It's such a pain to shop early on Black Friday. The crowds, the early mornings, the lines that wrap around a store 18 times.......
But it's a tradition with my mom and sisters. And the deals -  OH, THE DEALS!!!

My sister send me a link to Black Friday ads. I've googled this a millionty two times, and this is the best link I've found.

What I learned this week? The sales this year are even better than last year!
There are some great deals!
Check out the ads at ToysRUs, Walmart, and Target.

I'll be heading to ToysRUs for the $39.99 digital camera, and the $29.99 Leapster. Amazing prices! They also have $10 Nintendo DS games.

By the way, has anyone scored big by finding those silly ZhuZhu pets anywhere? I bought the funhouse and a hamster on ebay a few months ago, and paid more than twice the price. Now I'm kickin' myself.

Do you head out early in the morning to shop on Black Friday? Where do you find the best deals? Have you found a better website listing ads? Do you skip Black Friday shopping altogether? Dish. I wanna hear all about it!

To read more about what others have learned this week, visit Jo-lynne at Musings of a Housewife!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh Break My Heart

It's a sad, sad night......

Tonight my story will probably make anyone reading this think I am a terrible terrible mother :(
Let me rewind first, back in time.....
A few years ago, Clara asked me if the Easter Bunny was real. Not really thinking, I told her no. At the time, both her and Emma believed. They were sad, and couldn't believe the news. I asked them if they really thought a 6ft tall, live bunny bought gifts, hopped into our home, and filled their baskets. They sat with a glazed look, and admitted, "we just never thought about it like that."
Well DUH - of course they didn't - they were little kids!
After a few sniffles, Clara said "I wasn't ready for you to tell me that."
Well break my heart, why doncha.
I felt bad, but it didn't seem like that  big of a deal - we'd never made much of the Easter bunny, since it really has nothing to do with Easter.

It should have been a lesson learned, RIGHT? RIGHT???

Tonight, Emma lost a tooth. Of course being 11, she long since stopped believing in the tooth fairy. When Clara, (who is only 9) saw the tooth, she said "Momma, is the Tooth Fairy REAL?"

Now this was the point at which I should have paused, and remembered the Easter Bunny incident.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.....

I am dumb. And forgetful. And stupid.
Because I looked right at her, and said "NO HONEY, SHE ISN'T REAL."

She stared at me, waiting for me to say "tricked ya!"
Then she put her book in front of her face, and cried.
I just about cried with her.
But honestly - I thought she WANTED to know. Yeah I know - stupid me.
As I tucked her into bed, she sadly whispered, "It was a fun thing to believe in...."

Hearing her sobbing after I left the room just about broke my heart.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Let me know when my Mother-of-the-Year Award is ready.


Have you heard of the Iron Man Triathlon?
Yeah, those crazy people that swim a few miles, then bike 112 miles, and then run a marathon.
Nothing less than insanity.

And my bother-in-law completed it this weekend.

We went down to Wilmington to cheer him on a few days ago. I couldn't even believe he entered the race. He only started training for it a few months ago. We were there when he finished his bike ride, got off the bike, and started the marathon. It was amazing to see him, and all the others that were competing. I mean, my legs and feet hurt when I've been shopping too long, for heaven's sake.

There were men there that must have been in their early 70's. I watched as they finished their 112 mile ride and started running. I don't know how they managed to not collapse right there. But they just kept on going.

No one forced them to keep going, they chose it. And what an inconceivable choice - at least to me. They knew that 26 miles were still ahead of them, and they didn't have to finish.

But there were hundreds of people cheering them on. And for most, there were probably a few special people there cheering just for them. As supporters, we couldn't run for them. We couldn't pick them up and carry them - they had to do it alone.

Seeing this race really moved me, and I've been thinking about it for the past few days. It's such an amazing lesson in endurance, and determination. So much like life..........

No one can run our race for us. Sometimes the path takes us places we'd rather not go, and the road ahead is still so very, very long. We don't know exactly what's ahead, but God does. He knows we should finish. Sometimes we choose to stay put, because we can't fathom going on another mile. And then we hear our faithful friends and family, our "supporters," cheering us on. I can't imagine competing in an Iron Man without anyone supporting me and cheering for me any more than I can imagine running the race of life without faithful, godly friends and loved ones by my side.

How determined are you to run your race well? To hear "well done!" when you finish?
The more time goes on, the more I realize that my race takes purposeful training. Sometimes it hurts to take an inventory of exactly what my "training" consists of. Shopping, reading, talking on the phone, reading blogs, browsing the internet.........  ok in small amounts, but not really getting me the results I want. I'm not going to turn into a woman of grace, perserverance and wisdom all of a sudden.

Sometimes it seems as if I'll never finish - never become that woman I want to be, never make it through the desert spell. I'm sure my brother-in-law must have felt a lot of those same feelings during those 12 imcomprehensible hours.

But he did. And I will. It's His plan for me - and I know it's a great one.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reverse Blessings

Sometimes I'm quick to learn a lesson. But usually it's weeks, months, or years before I manage to catch on.
Tonight I was cleaning the kitchen, and trying to rearrange some things in my tea cabinet. Yes, I have a whole cabinet just for tea and tea treats! Anyway....
While I was putting everything away, I realized it's been a few weeks since I had someone over for tea, and thought back to the friend that I brewed the last pot for.

She had come over to help me with something that I just didn't know how to do for myself, in the midst of her crazy, busy day. After the work was done, we sat and had a simple tea party. I brewed two of my favorite teas for her and her sweet little girl, and put out a few cookies and fruit. The scones I'd frozen ahead of time didn't bake up well, so there was nothing special I'd put out, and I'd been wishing that I had something nicer for her. We chatted and relaxed, and she said "Really, you didn't have to go to all this trouble!"
"Oh no," I protested. "I love to do it!"
"I know,"  she smiled. "That's why I let you."

I have no idea why that didn't resonate with me the second she said it. But the more I reflect on that simple, gracious statement, the more I appreciate it.

I was trying to do something nice for her because I appreciate her. But she did something nice for me, by letting me.

What a great, simple lesson - Bless someone else by allowing them to bless you!

So, this has got me thinkin', (oh, no!) about some stuff that I need to change.
I'm not one to readily accept help. I tend to live by the "put on your big girl panties and deal with it yourself" motto. There's a time and a place for this, but it's not ALL the time. I enjoy helping others, so why shouldn't I give my friends an opportunity to do the same?

How about you? Do you allow people to be a blessing in your life? Do you accept help? Do you have friends that let you do things for them, because they know you will enjoy it?

Well, that's what I've learned this week. To read more of "What I learned This Week," visit Musings of a Housewife!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Beginning of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I started Christmas shopping today.


I tried  to find a cute sweater for John for picture day, since the boy has grown out of everything he owns. But I ended up in Aeropostale. John pulled tags off of shirts, harrassed customers, dumped a dozen pairs of sweatpants on the floor, and misplaced all the sale signs. I went hog wild bought Christmas gifts for Emma. Can you beat $5.99 t-shirts?

When Emma was a toddler, and Clara just a baby, I felt like all the Christmas gits were getting out of control. So for many years, (until last year, actually) we had a three gift limit. Santa Claus would leave one big gift, and Mommy and Daddy would give each child three gifts - one for each of the three gifts that the wise men brought to baby Jesus.

In the beginning, it was tough. I had to get over the nagging feeling that giving my kids only three gifts (technically 4, since Saint Nick has yet to actually pay for something out of his own pocket) was mean. I was almost embarassed to tell anyone what we did. But you know what? It made things so much easier! They still got little prizes in their stockings from Santa. But it forced me to really think things through before making a purchase. The kids had happier Christmas mornings. They loved what they were given, and they weren't crabby or exhausted from opening too many gifts. Ryan and I felt content too, knowing we hadn't gone overboard.

Since the girls have gotten older, I did away with the three gift tradition last year. Emma only wanted clothes and music, and I couldn't see giving her only 3 shirts. I still stuck to a budget, but the shopping was actually harder for me!

Now I'm sitting here, looking at the purchases I made today for Emma. So far, three t-shirts and a zip-up hoodie. I don't even know what else I'll be purchasing for her, but I DO know that I miss the three gift limit. I guess it makes me feel like I'm falling into the trap of excessiveness again.

The excessiveness at Christmas frustrates me. It seems almost everyone I know goes nuts with the amount of stuff they buy their kids. Electric scooters, game systems, cell phones - you name it. (Don't EVEN get me started on the "kids with cell phones" thing!)

So I wonder, when does it stop? What's next??

For the 11 year old with the iPhone - what's expected next? And what happens when these kids are in the "real world" one day. What exactly is it that they'll think they're intitled to? And what is it teaching them, to surround them with hundreds and hundreds of dollars of gifts, when there might be a child in their class that doesn't have a warm coat? Now I'm rambling....

SO. How about you? Do you find ourself going "overboard" with your kids at Christmas? If not, how do you keep yourself from buying too much "stuff"? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wowee Zowee Gotta Have It

This week I learned that it might be possible for me to enjoy mopping my floors.

I know, sick and twisted isn't it?

See, my kidlets are piglets. With a capital P.  The stuff I sweep up each day boggles the mind. And the yucky, crusty stuff all over the wood floors? Let's not mention that.

This weekend I borrowed a steam mop from my neighbor, and went to town tackling the kitchen floor. Holy this-mop-pad-is-solid-black-from-the-filth cleaning job!!

Must. Get. This. Mop.

It's this bad boy, right here.

This baby can CLEAN!
All you do is fill it with a cup of water. Plug it in, and wait less than 1 minute. Push, and steam comes out. It cleans everything way better than the Orange Glo I usually use. It even gets up the unmentionable crusty stuff. No chemicals involved, no running out to the store when you're out of cleaner.
I think I might have even giggled a little bit when I looked at the cloth cover and saw all the filth.
Who knew a mop could change my life???
Run and get one for yourself - right now!!!

What have YOU learned this week? To read more, visit Musings of a Housewife.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Best Medicine

After I wrote yesterday's post, which included my weepy story about having glass dug out of my foot, I spent the rest of the day on the couch, with my foot in the air.

When Clara came home, she felt terribly sorry for me. She asked me over and over if it hurt, and became angry at the doctor for hurting me and giving me a shot. After snuggling with me for a few minutes, she disappeared upstairs for a while.

When she came back down, she gave me a big smile, and handed me this.

The picture of course is me, shopping at Marshall's with a hurt foot. (Which is why she says I am sticking my foot out in the picture.) The girl knows that nothing would make me happier than Marshalls.

The other side of the page had this:

Apparantly, I rock! And I fix mistakes, and I love marshmallows. Oh, and also - I'm the best!

That kid loves me. I love her so much.
Isn't that the best medicine of all?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I Leaned - Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Let's see. What Have I Learned This Week?

Last week, my goal was to make it all the way to Washington DC and back on our family trip, without a vomiting incident from little John. I took him to the Dr. on Friday, just to make sure there was nothing else wrong with him. Zilch. Nada. Nothin'. The Dr. gave us Zofran. I faithfully administered it to him during our trip this weekend, and our entire weekend was carsickness and vomit-free. Oh Zofran, how I love thee.  I was almost sent home from the Dr. without anything at all. What I learned was to be a little pushy with the doctors if I feel I need something. I'm glad I did.

Have you ever broken a glass, and then freaked out about no one walking near the pieces or stepping in it? Uh, yeah. I personally found out why it's such a big deal. I stepped on a little shard of glass Saturday night. It hurt like crazy, but I couldn't see a piece of it. It killed to walk on my foot. I hobbled around for 3 more days, even walking up a mountain to pick apples on Sunday. I finally gave in and went to an urgent care today. An x-ray showed glass in my foot, and I had to have it dug out. I'm grimacing just thinking about it. So I'm sitting here with my foot elevated, wishing I'd just gone and had it taken care of right away. Lesson Learned.

One other bit of randomness. While in DC, we went into the Smithsonian American History museum. I got to see the real Star Spangled Banner - the flag that inspired our nation anthem. Did you know that flag is over 40 feet wide? Crazy!! It was amazing to see it in person. Sorry, no pics - it wasn't allowed.

And for my final lesson. We stayed with my cousin this weekend at her home near DC. I haven't spent time with her for 20 years. I'd never met her kids. My huband had only met them once. But as soon as we arrived, we fit right in. We laughed and talked and joked about old memories. I wished I hadn't waited so long to catch up with them. I learned that I shouldn't put off seeing people I love. And I also learned that for the people who matter, it's never really too late.

So how about you? What have you learned this week?
To read more, visit Jo-lynne at Musings of a Housewife!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Made My Day

And they say customer service is dead...

Yesterday I stopped by the Whole Paycheck Whole Foods store for a few things.
After last week's shopping trip there, I was hesitant to go back. I brought home rotten strawberries, and stale tortilla chips.
I didn't get a chance to go back the following day, and had thrown out my receipt. I decided yesterday that I'd mention something to the manager, just in case I could get the items replaced.

The manager didn't care that I lost the receipt. She said she wanted to take care of me right away. She gave me an extra bag of chips, and gave me a gift card with double the amount I'd paid for the strawberries. I thanked her for doing so much. She said "It's not too much - it's how we always do things."

Well. Just pick. me. up. off. the .floor.
Maybe shopping there does take almost an entire paycheck.
But I'll hand it over for some good, old-fashioned customer service.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Come and Find Me!

Come and Find Me!

I'm blogging at Chic Critique today. Come on over and leave me some comment love!

Just click right HERE!

Not The Skills I Enjoy Practicing

I'm not the world's greatest picker-upper. Or the greatest cleaner-upper. Not that I mind.
But someone seems to think I need more practice.

And I'm not thinkin' it's so funny anymore.

Why? Well, because it keeps involving v.o.m.i.t.
(I had to spell it because I can't even say the word anymore.)

My little guy has been getting carsick. Sometimes he'll start crying, and I have to quickly pull over and let him throw up. (Like what happened here.)

That happened last week.
Then, he actually got the stomach flu. He got sick 5 times.

Yesterday, I went to deliver a contract to another Realtor's office, and I had John with me. 5 minutes into our car ride, he started whining about his tummy. Inside the other agent's office, I found her cleaning a huge soda explosion in her fridge. I laughed and said, "Oh, I'm an expert at cleaning up explosions. I have three kids."

Well thank goodness she didn't take me up on my offer of help. 30 seconds after pulling out of the parking lot, John threw up. ALL. over. the. inside. of. my. van.
And I  freaked out and almost swerved off the road from the smell  remained calm.

Let me just officially say right here that I am so sick and tired of vomit!!!!!!!!
I mean, come on! 7 times in less than 2 weeks?  I think I've proven my vomit cleaning skills are second to none. Can we just move on to bandaging wounds, or something???

I shouldn't have said that. That guy Murphy, with his silly law,  is probably listening, And I don't like him one bit.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stuck On You

A few days ago, I was talking with Clara about God's unending love for us. Sometimes it's so hard to grasp, even as adults, just how wide and deep and unfathomable His love for us really is.
Like anyone else, she was struggling with the idea that she could come before Him with all of her thoughts - the good, the bad and the ugly. We talked about how far away God casts those sins after we've been forgiven - as far as the East is from the West. I told her that there was nothing that she could ever do that was unforgiveable, and nothing that could separate her from His love. I explained, word by word, that "neither life nor death, angels or principalities, things present nor things to come or powers, nor height or depth, or any other created thing, would be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord."  (to read about that for yourself, go to Romans 8:38-39)
I finished explaining those verses, and wondered if she "got it", and if I had explained it to her in a way that would really make sense to a 9 year old. She stared off for a minute.
And then she smiled, and said, "So, it's like I'm stuck to Him!"
I smiled.
Stuck to God. How perfect.
I think God smiled, too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All In a Day's Work

It all started when I left the house last night to meet my friend for coffee. After an hour of chit chat, I hopped in the car to head home.  Glancing at the clock, I noticed that it was only 7:30.

7:30 means stores are still open for an hour and a half  I'll still make it home to help put all the kids to bed. Much to my dismay, right at that very second, I passed a Steinmart. So,  I did what any reasonable woman would do. I cut across a lane of traffic, and did a u-turn into the Steinmart parking lot.

I walked in, breathed the scent of new clothes, and started wandering. First, I found an amazing belted trench coat with brown zebra stripes. The arms were too short. Drat. 

Then all of a sudden, I heard voices singing, and lights were shining down and guiding me towards racks full of jeans. (I think it was divine intervention. But there is a slight chance it was just the radio and overhead lighting.) ANYway.

It was my lucky night. I scored 3 pairs of Seven jeans! I quicky drove home to tell my husband how much money I had just saved him!

Fast forward to this morning. John was not cooperating. He didn't want to eat. I still managed to get three kids off to three different schools at three different times. (I just said three, three times.) I had people to see, places to go, wearing my new jeans of course.

After running out of Target with some new silver ballet flats, ($6!!!!!!!!!) I went to pick John up. They told me that he was complaining of a tummy ache all morning. So I made it better by taking him to Chick-Fil-A. We met a friends, he played, ate, and drank a very large cookies and cream milkshake. On our way home, he started crying and saying his tummy hurt again. I may or may not have said something that sounded like "I told you not to drink that entire milkshake."  The crying got louder, and I realized that he was probably about to throw up. And I remembered that he was wearing a brand new, white Ralph Lauren shirt  felt really bad for him.

So again, I did what I knew I must do. I swerved across another lane of traffic, and onto a side street. Throwing the car in park, I jumped out of my seat, grabbed him, and turned him away from me with only one arm. Is it bad that I was thinking about not wanting puke on my new jeans as he vomited into some poor, unsuspecting person's yard?

I'm proud to say that there is no vomit in my car, I saved his shirt, and my jeans stayed clean. All in a day's work.

What I Learned - Come and Find Me!

Joining in (a little late!) with  What I Learned This Week at Jo-Lynne's

What I learned this week is this:  Every other Thursday, I will be blogging over here, at Chic Critique

Woo hoo! I'm so excited! Please find me there, and leave me some bloggy comment love!

What have YOU learned this week?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Which I Attempt to Describe Myself...

This weekend, I had to write a short bio about myself. Not just any bio, but one specifically related to fashion and beauty products.

I thought all the way back to childhood days, and laughed at all the memories. I mean, how often do you ever sit and think about how to explain yourself to others?

It got me thinking. (scary....) If had to actually write my entire boigraphy, or even just a shortened version, how in the world would I describe myself??
I could list all the things that I do...
"Bathe, dress, apply makeup. Pray. Make breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Shop. Check homework. Pray. Eat chocolate. Shop. Drink tea. Talk on the phone. Shop."

Or, a description of my likes and dislikes....
"Loves lavender. Hates vanilla candles and bath products. Loves a good bargain, pulling tags off new clothes, and cute boots that don't hurt her feet. Dislikes mushrooms and red wine. Likes watching The Office. Hates when people chew with their mouth open. Loves the sound of her kids laugher, and the feel of a good neck massage."

Maybe describing all the things I don't do would clue people in to the real me....
"Does not scrapbook. Does not even print out pictures for the scrapbook that she does not make. Does not always do dishes, or consistenly keep up with laundry. Does not get her money's worth from her gym membership. Does not buy only organic foods. Does not always send field trip permission slips in on time. Does not care if her toddler occasionally drinks Coke from a sippee cup."

Or my appearance?
"Crazy head of blonde curly hair. Blue eyes. Freckles. Two wrinkle lines on her forehead. Not the same size as when she graduated high school. Would never be caught dead in mom-jeans. Or a turtleneck. Or sneakers if she is not working out."

I have no idea how many of these things my friends know about me and see in me. In reality, none of that stuff really matters, does it? (well, except for the mom-jeans part. I need people to remember that I never cracked under pressure.....)

I think I'll spend a few minutes pondering what it is I want to be remembered for. But in the meantime, how would you describe yourself???

Friday, September 4, 2009


I have a lot of sayings that I use with my kids.
Some are funny, and some are serious.
For instance, I get teased a lot by my family for always saying to my kids, "You are responsible for your own fun!" And years ago when the girls were really little, we'd tell them that it was "time for their butts to go to bed." It eventually got shortened to "It's Time For Your Butt!" And to this day, they know what it means!

Some things end up getting said more often to one particular child. In my middle child's case, we have some issues with obedience. Somehow, after 9 years, she still sees obedience as being optional. (But don't we all, sometimes?)
I'm sure she doesn't like hearing it, but my saying to her has become this: "Your job is immediate obedience!" And I have to say it all. the. stinkin'. time.

A few days ago, I may have lost my cool. (Maybe just a little bit.) I heard myself asking her, in exasperation, "WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE??? WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT???"

And suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My question had been flung out to my daughter, but it came hurling back toward me. I heard God asking me, "How do YOU feel about immediate obedience?"


You see, sometimes that might be a teensy problem. Or sometimes a big one.

Here's a big shocker: I don't always obey. And if I do, I can't honestly say that it's always immediate.

Here I've been, flustered at my 9 year old's lack of comprehension about obeying immediately. And here I am, 35 years old, expecting it from her but not giving it to my holy God.

I'm trying to imagine what my life would be like if I took my own advice. Immediate Obedience. Every. Single. Time.

I am SO THANKFUL that His mercies are new every morning...... Great is Your faithfulness Lord, Unto me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This 'N That

A few random gripes and smiles today, because that's all my stuffed-up head can handle.

Oh wait, that was gripe #1. Yes, the day the girls went back to school, I came down with a whopper of a cold. I had a crappy night's sleep last night, and I feel even worse today.

But on a positive note, I had a lovely time at tea with friends this morning. Good tea, treats, and conversation. And my parents even watched John so I could enjoy my sipping kid-free.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be feeling better by tomorrow, which by the way, happens to be my birthday. Ugh. (35 is sounding a lot older than 34.)

The SMILE is that Ryan just emailed me and said he's taking the day off tomorrow to celebrate. He said the world is my (stuffy, sneezing) oyster. Hmmm, what to do, what to do.....

I came home to dog poo a little while ago. Someone needs to explain to Chester that it's not the gift I was hoping for.

On a brighter note, my sweet friend Amanda brought a scrumptious chocolate birthday cake to tea this morning. And Su fixed a wonderful African tea to go with it.

When I arrived at my mom's, my belly sloshing full of tea, I was told that my son has been spreading rumors about me. Yes, the cute 3 year old with a smile that lights up a room, told Grammy that "Mommy does BAD THINGS." GASP! When Grammy asked for more juicy details, she was told that "Mommy yelled at me." Ahem. Me? Yelling? Moving on......

And there you have it. The past 12 hours in full detail. I think I should keep countin' my blessings, cuz my little gripes aren't looking so bad. As a matter of fact, it's a pretty sneezy, I mean sunshiney day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unexpected Tears

After 11 years of being a mommy, I've been through a lot of firsts with my kids, like walking, talking, teeth, big bed, and first day of school.
Last night, in preparation for becoming the mom of a middle schooler, I had an unexpected first.

Emma layed all her clothes out, showered, dried her hair, gathered all her things, and recited her locker combination 10 more times. But after her shower, she decided that she needed to have her legs shaved before walking through the doors of middle school. Yes, this is a first. And nope, I wasn't really ready for it.

Have you ever shaved someone ELSE'S legs? It's kinda weird. Especially when it's your own kid. And especailly when I don't think I am old enough to have a kid who shaves her legs!!! (because it's all about me, right?)

I politely told Emma that I would help her shave once. (It's pain enough to shave my own legs, and I'm not reallly in the market to be shaving two pairs....)

My eyes got watery as I finished. So stupid, I know! Crying about a leg shaving ceremony.

This morning we were up at dark-o-clock. I fixed her breakfast, prayed with her, and sent her on her merry little middle school way. And I got teary again.

So I guess I learned a few things this week. 1) I do not like shaving other people's legs. And 2) My little girl is growing up. (sniff sniff sniff....)

What have YOU learned this week? To read more about what others have learned this week, go to What I Learned This Week at Musings of a Housewife.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Out of the Mouths (of kids...)

I had such a huge laugh yesterday, I just had to share!

Last night a friend was over with her 6 year old daughter, who I will call Sally. We were all sitting on the couch, and Clara was sitting and listening to all the conversation too. My friend was laughing at how she always tells her daughter that when she was born, she "shot out like a football." (Ok, ignore the TMI...)

She started telling a very quick birth story, and it went like this: "Right before she was ready to be delivered, I felt so sick. I kept telling the nurse that I had to throw up. The nurse told me to just get it over with. So I did. I threw up, and when I did, Sally shot right out."

We laughed together about it. Clara's eyes got real big. With her mouth hanging open, she asked, "Sally came out of your MOUTH???!!!"

Sorry, but that is just too funny!
Enjoy your weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Does That Make Me?

This morning, I drove my lucky little girls over to Grandma and Papa's house, so they could go to a waterpark together. On the way there, I heard them discussing the Jonas Brothers.

A recap of the conversation:
Clara: "Did you know Kevin Jonas might be engaged?" (really? says who??) "I mean, he's like 22 years old!"
Emma: "Oh my gosh. He's like old as dirt!"

Allllllll-righty then. So what does that make ME??

Well, I guess I learned this week that I'm even older than dirt. To read more about what others have learned this week, visit Musings of a Housewife!

Monday, August 17, 2009

When Worlds Collide

I went to get the mail today, just like any other day.
I walked up the steps, tossed the mail on the ottoman, and continued my online search for the perfect Vera Bradley purse for Emma to carry with her to Middle School next week.

I was getting aggravated because I wasn't finding what I was looking for. And the one I liked was a few dollars more than I preferred to spend. And for goodness sakes, what does an 11 year old need with an expensive pocketbook, anyway?? I found a cute one for only $35 dollars, but it wasn't the perfect color.

Then I opened the mail.

I had a letter, and I just love getting lettters. This one was from a little boy named Sam. He lives all the way across the world, in Uganda. I couldn't wait to read what he has to say.

You see, even though we've never met, he loves me. And my family. He tells us so every time he write to us. He prays for me. And he thanks me for everything I do for him. Every. Single. Time.

What breaks my heart is that I don't think I really do all that much for him. I write a check for $37 each month. I pray for him. And I occasionally send him a letter. Just $37 measly dollars - the amount that I would toss away so Emma can carry a purse she likes better than the multiple purses she already has.

I read Sam's letter today. He told me that he thanks God for me every day. He is joyful. He goes to school Monday through Friday, and on Saturday he goes to "the Centre." He said he loves that, because he always eats a good meal there. He wanted to know if I also live in a grass hut.

Was it even possible that just moments before, I'd been irritable over a purse?

He asked me to pray for him, because he would like wisdom.

Oh my, how I desperately need wisdom myself. So much more than this precious little boy could ever understand.

I long to hold him. To live just one day in his shoes.
To see the world through his eyes. To see my God the way that Sam sees Him.

I can put him out of my mind if I choose, for a time. Sometimes I do that, although I'm not proud to admit it. And then our worlds collide, and his reality unfolds before my very eyes through his letters.

I can never be the same. And I pray that God will continue to stir my heart, so that I never want to be blinded again.

I wonder some days if I am really the blessing to Sam, or if we are a part of each other's lives because God knew that I would need him.

If you don't already, would you consider sponsoring a child who desperately needs your help? It's so easy.... just go to

If you already sponsor a child, or if you've just decided to, tell me about it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This Supermom is Still Recovering

Last week I became a supermom.
Despite all the things I've done for my kids over the past 11 years, nothing I've previously done for them has qualified me for that title. (apparantly...)

My girls have spent the past year gazing at their teen idol Disney Channel stars - Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato - plastered all over their bedroom doors and walls. Dreaming of what it would be like to actually see them in person.

Last week, with the click of a button, I bought tickets to the Demi Lovato concert. (Because my dream has always been to attend a teeny-bopper concert.) Emma was so excited she was almost in tears. They couldn't believe that in one short week, they would actually be in the same room as Demi Lovato!!!

Yesterday, while the girls made posters to cheer Demi on, I popped a few Advil. And packed some earplugs.

Like any good soon-to-be-supermom, we picked up two more friends and their earplug-packin' mamma. The demands for blasting the new Demi Lovato CD started before we were out of the neighborhood.

Two hours later, we were there. The girls lugged their massive posters, positive that Demi would see them.
(Have you ever heard thousands of tween girls screeching and shreiking at the top of their lungs?)

We saw Jordan Pruitt (who IS she??)
Then David Archuleta. Remember him from American Idol? He was actually really good. I was kind of impressed!
Then finally, almost two hours later, Demi came out in all of her glory. Actually she rose up through the stage in clouds of smoke.... anyway.....

My friend and I had to keep most of our giggles to ourselves that night. And we had to try and not keep staring at the girls - they were watching us to make sure that we weren't watching them, and to make sure we didn't embarass them. But we kept waving our glo-sticks in the air.
I'll admit, Demi Lovato gave a really good concert. She's actually very talented, and she has a great voice. It was pretty darn fun.

The hysterics didn't die down during the hour and half car ride home. My girls said "Thank you SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!" a millionty-two times. The kids staggered into bed. I took some Tylenol PMs.

I laid in bed and thought about how much fun it is to make my kids' dreams come true.

And this morning, I took some more Advil. I'm pooped! Might ears might even still be ringing. I want to lay around in my pjs all day.
All in all, mission accomplished. I've had my amazing-mom-moment of the summer. I think it was worth it. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun N Games

Today is Ryan's birthday.
I won't say exactly how old he is. But the great thing is that no matter how old he is, I'll always be 3 years younger!! Ha Ha!

Ryan loves his birthday, and as a matter of fact, he celebrates birthday week. Yes, a whole week.

He's been outside this morning since 7am with 17 pounds of pork butt on the smoker. YES, we are having people over, and won't be consuming that much bbq ourselves.

I just made what is supposed to be a copycat version of Macaroni Grill's chocolate cake. And we've been playing around outside. We bought him Corn Hole for his birthday. For those of you who aren't rednecks, it's two wooden boards with a hole cut out. You toss corn-filled bags into the holes. I KNOW. We are very fancy around here.

But it's fun. AND, I found out that I can kick some booty playing it. I'm talented like that.

Not bad for an ordinary Tuesday!
What are you doing today?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Nights

I've been thoroughly enjoying the sounds of summer the past few weeks.
Of course I like the smells, and the sights. But I love the sounds.

If I close my eyes and imagine summer, it's filled with so many of my favorite things. To me, it's kids shouting and calling out to each other during a game of flashlight tag. Laughter. The squeak of the hammock swinging. The slam of the back door. The tick-tick-tick of the sprinkler. Giggles at late night sleepovers. The squeals of kids and the jingle of the tags on the dog that's chasing them. The crackle and pop of firecrackers, followed by the ooohs and ahhhs of the kids sitting on the driveway watching them. The thump of the soccer balls being kicked in the street. The screech of bike pedals - eight kids all riding in a row. The croaking of tree frogs, and the chirping of crickets.

Isn't that what summer is all about?

My kids have all been going to bed ridiculously late this summer. But I just can't bring myself to put them to bed at a reasonable time. I mean, half the fun of a summer day happens after dusk, doesn't it? That's when the games of tag start. The firecrackers. The popsicles that get passed out to half the neighborhood. The chatter and laughter of the parents standing around in the street.And it's so much more fun to swing and slide and cuddle in the hammock after the sun goes down!

The sweet sounds of summer - I wouldn't trade it for the world.

What does summer sound like to you?

Friday, July 10, 2009

We Did It!

After months of talking about it, we got the boy a "big boy bed" yesterday.

AND, he wore underwear for the first time, too. I KNOW, what was I thinking, right??

He was so proud of those underwear. They had tractors on them, and his life basically revolves around tractors and other heavy equipment. Last night as we were out in the driveway washing down all the furniture (bought off Craigslist!). There were a bunch of neighborhood kids hanging around, and in the middle of the driveway, he just pulls those britches down and tries to start peeing. I laughed so hard - he had no idea there was anything wrong with it. When I told him he couldn't pee in the driveway in the middle of other people, he just pouted and said "But I wanna pee outside like a man!"

Ryan and I hauled the bed upstairs, and then freaked out when we couldn't find the gate for his bedroom door. Call me crazy, but the thought of a 3 year old running around the house in the middle of the night doesn't sound so good. But there was no turning back, so we told him that if he got out, he would have to go back in the crib. It was 11:00pm by the time he was tucked in. We prepared ourselves for a VERY long night. And prayed.

When we checked on him half an hour later, he was in the exact same place we had tucked him in. He slept ALL night, and even called me to come get him when he woke up at 8am!

This here is one proud (and non-sleep deprived!) mama!
Here's the big boy bed. (covered in tractors, of course...)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boy Stuff

Boys still confuse me.
Is that normal, since I've been married for 14 years? And I have a son?
It's the little guy. This boy thing thing just baffles me sometimes.

Why does everything in his life have to do with farts? Or butts? Or poo? Or pee?

Why has he created his own super hero named.... brace yourselves...... Butthole Man???? (yes, I so badly wish I was kidding about that one, but alas - I am NOT kidding. How embarassing...)

He tries to chainsaw and drill the dog. When he runs around naked (still potty training) he threatens poor Chester with "I'm gunna PEE on you!!!"

I have to constantly tell him, as he runs around naked, to keep his hands away from his bottom. I guess I've cemented in the fact that his bottom has germs. So now he uses that knowledge as a weapon, of sorts. He's figured out how to swipe his bottom, and chase his sisters with his finger pointing out at them, yelling "Butt Finger!!!"

He had a meltdown at church this weekend, because he wanted to take his gun out of the diaper bag. (WHY was that thing in there in the first place??)

He thinks he's going to live in the Bat Cave when he grows up. He tells me that I can live there with him. But he says I will NOT fit on the motorcycle with him. Aww, MAN!

AND, he melts my heart. He squeezes my neck with all his might, and tells me he loves me so big. I tell him to pucker up, and he gives huge kisses. He wants me to rock him before bed, and he strokes my hair as we snuggle. I asked him the other day how much he loves me. He said "Two." Huh? Then I realized that when I say "I love you, too" he's thought I was saying "Two." But last night, he said he loves me "three." I guess his little heart is loving me even more.

Right now, I just overheard him proclaiming: "I'm goin' commando, baby!" (Oh be still, my heart....)

Any insight into BOYS???

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Perfect Ending

I've got a cup of coffee, and the laptop on the couch.
The dog is snoozing next to me.
And I'm listening to....... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!
HaHa! Jealous??
It's cool and overcast this morning, so the a/c isn't even making any noise. All I hear is the tap tap tap of my fingers on the keyboard.

How do I achieve this blissful silence? Let me tell you how.

Send the kids to sleep at Grandma's house!
Yes, normally I like it when they stay over on a weekend night, because then hubby and I get to spend a kid-free morning together. But this...... Ahhh. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy it.

I can't believe the whole holiday weekend is over. We went to the pool, out for breakfast, to a Durham Bulls baseball game, horse riding, blueberry picking, out to the lake, fireworks, church, and grandma's house. I loved every minute of it!

And now... It's all over. Daddy is back to work. The festivites are done. What normally feels like such a let down when the holiday is over has ended in the perfect way.
Some unexpected quiet. What a great weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Friday

I'm glad it's Friday.

Today has been kinda crummy. I woke up way too early. Everyone has been crabby today. Clara doesn't feel well, and Emma has a headache. John has been a little stinker today, dumping bowls of soup all over the kitchen, spilling my iced coffee all over the couch and carpet.....

Hubby woke me up at 6:40 to tell me that deer had eaten every one of our tomatoes - probably about 25 at least. (we have 14 tomato plants this year!) I think they also ate the cucumber plants. Not a great start to my too-early morning.

I've been SO excited to start picking some of them in the next few weeks. I've had big plans to can them and make huge batches of marinara. I'm SO bummed! Trying to look on the bright side..... I guess maybe there will be some more to pick in another month or two??? :(

I think I might take the kids to the farmer's market tomorrow morning. Raleigh has a huge farmers market. I just love going there and seeing all the gorgeous colors and shapes of the produce, and browsing all the plants and flowers. NC peaches are so delicious! I'm planning on getting a bunch and trying my hand at canning some peach jam. Or maybe strawberry-peach. Anyone have a good recipe?

The kids are looking forward to July 4th. Our tradition is that they always get to have a rootbeer float for breakfast that day! It always makes for cute pictures.

Going to a girls night dinner at a friend's house tonight. Is it 7pm yet???

Today is Donut Day..... every Friday in the summer! I still haven't bought any. I think we'll have to make it an after-nap treat today. Sprinkles, anyone? :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random 10

All I'm capable of this morning is a random list, so here goes....

1) I saw A Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn last night with some gal pals. Great movie! I was suprised. It was a good picture of a critical spirit, how others view someone with a critical spirit, and what happens once someone really starts accepting others and "feeling". If you haven't seen it, go rent it and watch it! Plus, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart are in it, too!

2) Emma got the worst sunburn the other day. She wouldn't listen when I told her to reapply her sunblock before I left the pool, and she stayed on with friends. She came home much later than I expected, and she was scorched. I felt terrible! Her face looked like a tomato, and she had a rash all over her chest. How long does that last? She says it still itches.

3) I love going to the pool, but sometimes it seems like such a hassel! The amount of pool gear just seems to build every day. And I'm getting tird of washing towels already. Would it be mean to give my kids one of those car wash thingys that sop the water up and you can squeeze out? Hmmm...

4) John has been sleeping till after 8am most mornings!

5) And I'm glad he's been waking up later. Because I've been going to bed so ridiculously late most nights. I'm on another reading streak. I need some good books to read. Any suggstions?

6) We've had our new dog almost 3 weeks now. Chester is 1 1/2, and he's a Shih Tzu/Maltese. He's very sweet. But he doesn't go potty outside very often. And he STINKS. He's had one bath here, and last week we had him groomed at PetsMart. He smelled again within a day. I feel bad, but I don't want to be very close to him because he smells so bad. I don't know what to do. And I'm worried that my house will start to smell like dog. Again, any suggestions?? Help!!!

7) I still have a large box of individually frozen Tilapia filets. I made some last night with roasted red pepper, olives, sundried tomato and feta. It was yummy. But I need some other new ways to fix it. Any great fish recipes out there?

8) The kids want to reinstate a summer tradition from last year: Ice Cream Mondays and Donut Fridays. Maybe part of the tradition should be heading to the gym right after Dunkin Donuts....

9) The girls have been really good about their chores this summer. Ryan decided a few weeks ago that instead of us remembering to check up on them, it would be their responsibility to come to us and have their list signed each night. If they don't have it signed, they don't get credit fot it. So far, so good!

10) Is it sad that the most exciting thing happening around here is that "The Princess Protection Program" premiere comes on Disney tomorrow night???

What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Disposable Is Indispensible

There are so many things I love about summer. The pool, the relaxation, not having a schedule. I LOVE not making school lunches every morning, and not running around like crazy trying to get everyone out the door. I love not having to shop for all the typical school foods and snacks. It's a relief to know that sometimes I can just pop chicken nuggets in the oven instead of packing sandwiches. But sometimes I feel like a short order cook while all the kids are home. And I HATE the mess that it makes!

So a few years ago I came up with my summer time solution for keeping a relatively mess free kitchen. At the start of each summer, I go to a warehouse club. I buy huge amounts of paper towels, cups, plates, bowls and utensils. For most meals, at least breakfast and lunch, we use disposable stuff. Do you know how nice it is to have paper bowls? Little things make me happy....

But it has seriously cut down on the amount of dishes and mess. We even use it once in a while for dinner. Things seems to get messy so quickly during summer, this has been an awesome way to cut down on mess and stress. It works for me, and I love it!

What works for YOU?
For more Works For Me Wednesday, go to We Are That Family.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Weekly Crack-Up

Time for What I Learned This Week.... hosted by Musings of a Housewife!

Some of my most amusing times are listening to my two girls discussing something with each other. At 8 1/2 and 11 years old, their conversation is always peppered with interesting tidbits. Ususally it comes from 8 year old Clara, who is always making me laugh. This week I've got two new phrases, courtesy of Clara.

Scene one: Emma and Clara, arguing in the back of the van. I guess they couldn't keep their hands to themselves (WHEN will that end??) and Clara was sick of it. Emma threatened to pinch Clara. Clara, with her fist in the air, proclaimed "Well then, my hand will just go on an adventure to your face!" An adventure?? Ryan and I did everything we could to keep from busting out laughing. Is it ok to laugh out loud at physical threats??

Scene two: Me, Emma, and Clara in the hammock. Clara: "Emma, you're going to be a teenager soon. Now you have training bras, but pretty soon they will get really big and you'll wear cup holders!"

There ya go.... what I learned this week.

So what have YOU learned this week? Have your kids said anything that cracked you up?

To read about what others have learned this week, visit Musings of a Housewife!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Somthing Special

Well, the birthday celebrations are finally over. Emma had four days of nonstop partying.
I'm exhausted! Yesterday we had 12 girls over to the pool. They swam, had pizza and snacks (thank goodness for $5 pizza from Little Cesars!) made crafts, came to our house and had presents and cake, and then went outside for a campfire. Hubby, who is an only child, had his ears plugged half of the time. The noise was close to unbearable! I couldn't plug my ears - 11 year old conversation is just too interesting! ( I know, I have an exciting life...)

It was really interesting to sit and observe all those little girls. I could see very quickly who was bossy, who was shy, who was an attention-getter, who was helpful and who took charge. It was a good group of girls, but they each definitely had their own personality. All her friends brought gifts that I knew they put some thought into. Emma loves things with the peace symbol on it right now, and many of them bought her peace tote bags or peace earrings. There were a few girls who really stood out to me. One was super sweet, and even made sure to try and include little John. She helped him gather his toys, and found him a spot to sit during gift time. Another stayed back in the dining room, and started clearing all the cake plates that the rest of the girls left behind. Another special friend put hours and hours into knitting and felting a special little jewelry bag. That touched me the most out of anything. It's not often these days that kids are selfless enough to devote a whole day to doing something special like that for someone else. Emma said it was her favorite gift of all.

I'm so proud of Emma for choosing her closest friends so wisely. She is really something special, and so are those girls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Think They Need A Scoop

Joining in the "What I Learned This Week" Carnival at Musings......

Today is Emma's 11th Birthday. Yay, Emma!
We have a birthday tradition for the kids. They get to go have ice cream for breakfast on their birthday. We started it a few years ago, and it's been so much fun! I love seeing the looks on their friends' faces when they hear about it!

Speaking of looks on people's faces.... We went to Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts this morning to celebrate. Emma had a friend with her. At 9am, there were my kids, lining up at the ice cream counter, trying to decide what to have for breakfast. I was calling out "Say Cheese!" and snapping pictures. No offense to older folks, I love 'em to death. But to some of them out there -- Loosen UP!!! I mean seriously! You should have seen some of the looks we got this morning. I think their hearts were bleeding for my poor kids, who were stuck with a mother that shoved sugar down their throats in the morning. Give me a break!!! The first few times I just ignored the looks. Then I changed things up a bit. We sang Happy Birthday to Emma. (maybe just a little bit loud.) And then I made full eye contact with the gawkers, and smiled a big, sweet smile.

Cuz you know what? My kids were eating ice cream for breakfast, and I was proud of it. What I learned was that maybe some other people need a few scoops in the morning, too!

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?
What did YOU learn this week? To read more, go to Musings of a Housewife!