Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After almost a year.....

I am finally going to have an oven again! Yep, that's right! I have been without an oven for almost a year now! Actually, the broiler still worked, but the bottom coil was broken. So, I have been baking casseroles in the oven with just a broiler. It has not been easy, either! I had to put foil on the top rack to help diffuse the heat and then I would have to broil things on the low setting and it would take three times as long to cook. I made a breakfast casserole last week and it should take 30 minutes to bake and it ended up taking two hours! Yikes!

But, my dad came through and got the coil and took it to the store and ordered the replacement. Last week he dropped it off and DH put it in the oven. Voila! Heat!

So now, I am so excited to bake again! I have made cookies twice and have been making baked dishes for dinner almost every night! Oh, the small things in life that matter!

Life on Planet Mom

I am part of a MOPS group and this year the theme is "Life on Planet Mom" and we have a great book that corresponds with this theme. I was reading some of it yesterday and the chapter that I happened to read was on your relationship with your spouse. I am sure that it was not a coincidence that I read this chapter this week as my husband and I have been having a lot of disagreements lately about the way that a lot of things work in our relationship. He feels that I don't give enough of my time to him. That I spend my time and energy on the kids and the house and myself and I don't have any leftover for him. Well, this is partially true. I DO spend a lot of my energy on the kids and the house and the bills and the laundry and the planning and the appointments and the shopping and the budget and the and the and the......but where he is wrong is the fact that I spend a lot of time on myself. I honestly feel totally drained by the end of the night and there isn't much left for him. I just want to relax and have no one calling my name or needing me. Of course, I am sure that most married women know that at the end of the night is when your husband is calling you and needing you and grabbing at you, this is the last thing you want. The same thing that you dealt with ALL DAY from your kids. Intimacy can seem like just one more chore! Well, I decided, after reading this chapter in my book, that I needed to really try to make time for my husband and I and intentionally leave some of my time for him. So, last night I thought that I was doing this and guess what......it totally backfired! He didn't think that I was doing enough and I didn't think that he was responding to me. It ended in a big fat argument and both of us going to bed upset. Now, we are going to have to have a long drawn out, frustrating discussion tonight and I am not looking forward to it. I already know what is going to be said and what is going to happen. Ugh! I can only pray that God will help both of us to see and understand the other's point of view. I need to just remember that marriage is a long journey and there are going to be bumps in the road.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Please visit!

Please visit my other blog for homeschooling. It has lots of new info on it about some of our summer adventures. I would love to have more readers!

Homeschool Blog

Interesting Article on Homeschooling....

A friend of mine sent me this article on Homeschooling and Socialization. I am so happy that this has finally been thoroughly researched and comes out in favor of homeschooling parents. Dealing with this concern from family and friends is a big obstacle and this gives me great confidence in the fact that we are doing the right thing for our family!

HOMESCHOOLING: Socialization is not a problem

One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack "socialization." It's a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn't properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society?

Since the re-emergence of the home-school movement in the late 1970s, critics of home-schooling have perpetuated two myths. The first concerns the ability of parents to adequately teach their own children at home; the second is whether home-schooled children will be well-adjusted socially.

Proving academic success is relatively straightforward. Today, it is accepted that home-schoolers, on average, outperform their public school peers. The most recent study, "Homeschool Progress Report 2009," conducted by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, surveyed more than 11,000 home-schooled students. It showed that the average home-schooler scored 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than the public school average.

The second myth, however, is more difficult to address because children who were home-schooled in appreciable numbers in the late 1980s and early 1990s are only now coming of age and in a position to demonstrate they can succeed as adults.

Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled "Homeschooling Grows Up," conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.

Until recently, "Homeschooling Grows Up" was the only study that addressed the socialization of home-schooled adults. Now we have a new longitudinal study titled "Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults" from the Canadian Centre for Home Education. This study surveyed home-schooled students whose parents participated in a comprehensive study on home education in 1994. The study compared home-schoolers who are now adults with their peers. The results are astounding.

When measured against the average Canadians ages 15 to 34 years old, home-educated Canadian adults ages 15 to 34 were more socially engaged (69 percent participated in organized activities at least once per week, compared with 48 percent of the comparable population). Average income for home-schoolers also was higher, but perhaps more significantly, while 11 percent of Canadians ages 15 to 34 rely on welfare, there were no cases of government support as the primary source of income for home-schoolers. Home-schoolers also were happier; 67.3 percent described themselves as very happy, compared with 43.8 percent of the comparable population. Almost all of the home-schoolers — 96 percent — thought home-schooling had prepared them well for life.

This new study should cause many critics to rethink their position on the issue of socialization. Not only are home-schoolers actively engaged in civic life, they also are succeeding in all walks of life. Many critics believed, and some parents feared, that home-schoolers would not be able to compete in the job market. But the new study shows home-schoolers are found in a wide variety of professions. Being home-schooled has not closed doors on career choices.

The results are a great encouragement to all home-schooling families and to parents thinking about home-schooling. Home-schoolers, typically identified as being high academic achievers, also can make the grade in society.

Both "Homeschooling Grows Up" and "Fifteen Years Later" amply demonstrate home-school graduates are active, involved, productive citizens. Home-school families are leading the way in Canadian and American education, and this new study clearly demonstrates home-school parents are on the right path.

To read the full study or a synopsis, visit www.hslda.ca/cche.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at 540/338-5600 or send e-mail to media@hslda.org.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sick MOM=Who cares?!

Being a mom and being sick is no fun at all! I started getting sick about four days ago and even though I would've liked a break, the world just didn't stop turning. I ran a constant fever and had a severe cough, but the kids didn't care.....they still needed to eat! I remember the days when I was sick and someone would tell me to go home and rest and I could actually do that. I could take the time I needed to get better and recuperate. Not now! These days it is basically the same routine I am just doing it all on half a tank of energy and even less patience. I couldn't take a nap, I couldn't just zone out in bed all day. Nope, I had to get up and continue on with my day as if I was totally healthy.

To put the icing on the cake, my dear hubby basically just kissed me goodbye in the mornings and went on his merry way. He didn't ask if he could get me a sitter, he didn't offer to stay at home with me and take a vacation day....nothing! I was so frustrated, tired, irritated, sick and just plain out grouchy. Would it hurt him to just pretend to want to baby me for a day?!

Now that I am on day four of my illness and the fever has finally passed, I can honestly say that the kids weren't as much of a burden as the days before, but they are definitely on their own when it comes to keeping themselves occupied because the fever and coughing has taken every bit of energy out of me and I can't bring myself to play or go anywhere.

I am looking forward to the day when I get to focus on me again when sick!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drama Queen Version 3.0

Having three little girls has shown me that there are certain things that I get to deal with that most moms of boys do not. One of the biggest things is that girls can really be drama queens! Now, I know that there are some little boys in the world who emit their fair share of drama, but in a household of three girls, I get enough drama for about three families!

Now, I have my youngest daughter starting with her version of drama. While most of the time she is a tough little cookie, she can sometimes really play up the little bumps and bruises. The other night she was playing and ended up bumping her head. I don't even remember what it was that she bumped into now, but of course I remember the crying!

My husband's first reaction is to put ice on everything! Every sore muscle, bump, bruise, scrape, mosquito bite....anything! So, on this night, the first place he headed to was the freezer! My girls are now also hooked on ice for every problem and even though Little Bit isn't even two yet, she also likes a bag of ice! We sat her down on the couch and gave her the bag of ice and the picture says the rest! She looked so pitiful with that ice pack on her head, yet in the picture of her "bump" you can't even see anything because the red mark is so small!

Oh the joys of drama queens.....

Baked Goods anyone?!

So the other day I was feeling quite motivated so I decided to do some baking. Now, I should preface this story with s small story about my lovely husband(known as Sir Lovely from here on out) who has known that I my oven has been malfunctioning for over six months now. Granted, the broiler works, but the rest of the heating elements are broken. I haven't been able to preheat my oven to a specific temperature since then. Sir Lovely has been complaining that last summer I bought a bunch of zucchini for bread and yet he hasn't gotten a single loaf. I kept telling him that if he fixed the oven that I would be happy to bake him some bread. Well....Sir Lovely is still to this day avoiding his manly duties and hasn't fixed my poor oven. If I need something cooked, I have to broil it!

So on to the original story! I went ahead and got my electric roaster oven out and preheated it. I mixed up a batch of zucchini bread batter and put it in the roaster(which also doubles as an oven). Lo and behold, it worked! I spent an entire evening mixing and baking bread. I made four loaves of regular zucchini and four loaves of chocolate zucchini. It is so yummy!

While I was at it, I decided to go ahead and bake up a pineapple upside-down cake! It turned out delicious! It was so moist and tasty that it didn't last long at all. Overall, it was a successful night of baking and I had a lot of yummy treats for the kids, Sir Lovely and I to enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coupon Shopping...one of my favorite nights out!

So, it has become a kind of ritual that every Wednesday night that my friend and I go out and do all of our coupon shopping. We clip coupons earlier in the week and plan out our evening and then we get to have the whole night to ourselves with no children! I have come to LOVE these nights out! We laugh and joke and talk about all sorts of things. I have learned so much about my friend in such a short period of time doing this! The bonus is that we get to save HUGE amounts of money! We don't usually get home until around midnight or so, but that is when the fun has really gotten to its peak! We always find something humorous that happened during our trips into town and we like to recall it regularly(remember our Arby's friend, mama?!) and we have even laughed until we almost peed our pants!

I have to say that I truly appreciate these nights out b/c I get the chance to be me for a while. I don't have to be "mommy" or "wifey" for just a few hours and I get to behave like I have no responsibilities. It is such a breath of fresh air for me!

I think that my kids are better off for this "mom's night out" as well. I get to wake up the next morning with a feeling of being refreshed from my daily duties and routine and I get to appreciate being mom again. I can only hope that every mom gets some kind of time away on a regular basis. When I first quit my job, I didn't have anyone and it was a hard and lonely time for me. I certainly don't wish that upon any mom! Although I think that being a SAHM is the most wonderful job in the world and where I think moms should be, I know for a fact that it can't be our whole existence and this couponing trip is my way back to the fun side of mommyhood and having great girlfriends!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post Baby Body Update #1

Well, here I am again talking about this darn post baby body that God has blessed me with. I just wanted to give a quick update and let everyone know that the workouts are going well even though I am not doing them as often as I would like. I am hoping that with the schoolyear starting and a new daily routine emerging that I can make myself do it!

Good news....I am down 15lbs! Yay!

Bad news....I can't really tell it in my clothes yet. Some things are fitting looser, but I haven't had to go down a size yet! That is when it will hit me, I think!

I will be sure to keep everyone updated in the months to come!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mmmm.....Sweet Corn!

We have been very lucky to have three little girls who eat very well. Overall, they are not picky eaters and will try most anything. Well, Rebecca's newest experience was Sweet Corn! She loved it! At dinner the other night, she sat in her dad's lap and enjoyed chewing on that cob for a long time! Then, she decided that she was going to try and share her piece of corn with Alaina! It was cute and definitely a kodak moment!

Yesterday's nine hour adventure!

Yesterday we decided to can some beets and freeze some onions. So we took the kiddos and drove over to the pickin' patch and picked a bushel of red beets and a 1/2 bushel of sweet and red onions. We also picked up some fresh garlic while we were there! Yummo! The kids did a great job and Michaela and I kicked Dad's butt when it came to filling our bucket first! Yay for us!

So, we got home and Michaela really wanted to help me out. So, we found her little apron so that she could look like mommy and we got to work! We poured all of the onions and beets into the sink so that we could get started with the washing. We washed two stock pots worth of beets and got them on the stove and then we started with the onions. Michaela was so brave! Even though her eyes were burning from the odor of the onions, she stuck it out! After we did about 6 HUGE onions, we got two glasses of ice water and sat down in the dining room to take a quick break.

Then it was back to work! We chopped more onions and before we knew it, it was time to skin the first batch of beets! So, we dumped the hot water out of the pots and put the beets in a sink of cold water. Those things are the easiest things to skin ever! The skin just slid right off! So, I got the first batch skinned and chopped and in the jars. We covered the beets with the pickling juice and I thought it was smooth sailing from there. Wrong! As soon as we got the first batch of jars in the hot water bather, a jar busted! Darn it! That always makes me so mad because then you have to reheat that huge pot of water all over again and it it takes a while! So, I got the first batch out of the bather and cleaned it out and got it on the burner again. Meanwhile, I skinned and canned the second batch of beets. Once the water was back up to boiling, we got the second batch in the bather. After that little setback, it was a pretty easy night overall.

We continued canning until about 1am when we finally got our last batch in the bather and I got the dishes and the floor and counters all cleaned up. Fortunately, the counters didn't stain red like I thought they would. It all wiped up rather easily.

By the end of the night I was exhausted, but I am proud to say that I have 25 quarts of pickled beets for the pantry and over 50-2cup bags of onions in the freezer! It was a successful evening!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The "ouch" side of love

My sister gave me a CD to listen to about three weeks ago that was a sermon that was given at her church. It was all about disciplining children the way that God has commanded. It was titled "Disciplining Children: The "ouch" side of love". I listened to that CD and I was instantly convicted. I knew in my heart that God was telling me that I needed to take these steps when disciplining my girls. I knew that while I was already implementing many of the things that they spoke about, I was going about it the wrong way. I wasn't disciplining for all of the right reasons and I wasn't taking the right steps to ensure that I don't lose my temper during difficult times with my children. I felt like God was using this woman to speak to me and to teach me the right way to discipline. It showed me a way that I could discipline the girls in a way that they would not fear me, but still know that I meant business.

One of the things that she spoke about was to never use my hand to paddle the girls. I had never really thought about this concept before. I always just paddled with my hand because that is what was handy and always available. I didn't really put it into a perspective to where my kids would come to flinch or shy away when my hand was raised. So, instead we have started using a plastic spoon when necessary.

Now, I don't want anyone to think that I beat my kids. I don't. I just give my children a paddle when they disobey. Another point during the sermon. You should never paddle out of frustration, or embarrassment, or anger. ONLY for disobedience! So once your children understand the concept of "no" and what things are off limits they are to obey. If they choose to disobey, they have chosen the consequence that comes with that disobedience.

Another point that she made was to never paddle your child in front of others. Discipline is an event. You should take the time to put your child in another room, talk with them about the disobedience, paddle them, and then make sure that they understand that you forgive them for their actions and pray for forgiveness as well. It has taken me a while to fully implement all of the steps effectively, but I can see the difference in my children already! They are responding better when I speak to them. They are taking their discipline in stride instead of rolling on the floor crying. It has been great!

If anyone is interested in this CD, please let me know. I am happy to burn it and let you have it. I have listened to it many times. I am sure that once will not be enough for anyone!

We got a visitor today!

So, today was one of those rare days where I was lucky enough to get all three.....that's right ALL THREE of my children to take a nap. I was so excited to have a few hours to myself that I barely even knew where to begin! Well, I finally decided on a lazy afternoon by the pool reading a great book. So, I get my suit on, grab my towel, sunglasses, hat, phone and book and head out the back door and onto my pool deck. It was a really hot and sunny afternoon, so after about 45 minutes of sitting in the sun I decided that it would be safe to get on a raft and read my book. I don't have any children to splash me, of course! So I slather on the sunscreen, get into the wonderul 86 degree water and get onto my beloved raft. I then grab my book and begin reading while lazily floating about. About 20 minutes later I hear what sounds like a piece of chain being drug down the road. I look up and don't see anything so I continue reading. Again, I hear this unusual noise. Again I look up and see nothing. At this point, I think that I need to get my hearing checked. So, a third time of hearing the clinking I look up and see a dog slinking through my veggie garden heading towards our dog's pen. Eventually he gets up to my dog and they start looking at each other through the fence. I figured that the dog would move on, but after about five minutes I realize that he isn't going anywhere so long as my dog is there.

Now I have a dilemma.....this is a male pit bull that hasn't been neutered, I don't know him, and my children are in the house sleeping while I am in the swimming pool. I don't want to get out of the pool to go to the house, but I don't want one of the girls to wake up and head outside either. While the dog looked friendly enough, you just never know! So, my first thought is to call my neighbor and see if she knows the dog. She doesn't. Strike one. My second thought is to call my husband and have him look up the number for the dog warden. He can't because he is out on the road. Strike two. So, my last thought is to call my friend and see what she suggests since she has had many pitts and has boarded many dogs. Success!!! Her husband is home from work and they are on their way over! My only concern now is hoping my kids don't wake up until he gets here. Well, of course, Michaela wakes up and looks out the garage door and I start screaming for her to go back into the house until I call her. I am so glad that she listened without question and headed back inside!

A few minutes later, my friends show up and he heads in to the backyard, prepared in case the dog is mean and realizes that he is not aggressive and approaches the dog. He has his tags on since he still has his collar AND lead attached to him. We find the name and number of the owners and they come and get the dog. He ended up being a really friendly dog, but I just didn't want to take any chances of our uninvited guest being less than friendly!

I guess these are the perks of country life!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Do unto others....

That is the saying that has been running through my head for the last two days. I find it funny that for the most part, my life is an open book to my friends. I trust people unless given a reason otherwise, I am very honest about my viewpoints on religion, politics and just everyday life. I have even give a select few a glimpse into some very personal parts of my life. I have opened up and laughed and cried with these women. I have shared my struggles and joys. My highs and lows. All that I ask in return is the same courtesy. No, you don't have to share personal things with me if you don't want to and no, you don't have to call me every time you are struggling. But, the least that you can do is be honest. If you have something you want to say, just come out and say it! I don't appreciate when people beat around the bush. I feel like you are belittling my intelligence and disrespecting me in a serious way by not valuing my friendship in the same way that I am valuing yours.

Unfortunately, God has designed me in such a way that I tend to be very easy to read. You can look at my face and 99% of the time you can tell what I am thinking and feeling. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot cover it up! I guess I am just NOT a good liar! That can be good and bad. I know that when I see these people again, they are going to see my hurt and my begruding and sinful nature. I hate that part of me, but it is in my DNA. Personally, I would just love to be honest and up front, but I have seen and heard the denial before and am not in the mood to try and hash out the details with someone who doesn't come to the table ready to be completely honest. If I have done something to you that makes you not trust me, then tell me! If I have hurt your feelings or earned this treatment that I am receiving, then man up and spit it out! I am willing to tell you if you have hurt me. I feel like we are all big girls and we should all be wearing our big girl panties, so we can handle a little bit of disagreement and constructive criticism from time to time.

I am trying to pray for guidance during this time because I really want to handle this situation with the most class and dignity possible. I want to be able to show my girls that I have done the right thing and that even though there will be times of angst and disagreement among friends that it is possible to handle it in a mature way. A way that is pleasing to God. As I continue through my journey of handling conflict in a Godly way, I will be sure to keep you all updated. It seems like this may be one that is going to require a fair amount of reflection and soul-searching.

Friday, August 7, 2009

And the verdict is.....

CELLULITIS! Yep, that darn bee gave poor Alaina cellulitis in her foot! Poor thing! I am sure that it has been painful, but we are finally going to get it under control. The pedi gave us an antibiotic and also a handful of samples of Zyrtec. That should help the swelling and the itching and she may finally be able to get her foot in a sandal once again!

Thank you for all of your thoughts and well wishes!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poor Baby!

Poor Alaina got stung by a bee yesterday afternoon while we were at the park. After repeated attempts to get her to put her shoes on, my little country girl finally reaped the consequences of her actions. She cried for a little bit and so we cleaned it up and she went along her merry little way, but in the middle of the night she started crying about it itching and hurting. When she woke up this morning her foot and toes were swollen. I called the doctor and they told me to keep my eye on it. It is now about 11pm and she has gotten up from her bed again crying about it hurting. It is even bigger now and HOT to the touch. I think we are going to be heading to the ER for a quick checkup. Wish us luck!

Ever since I was pregnant with Rebecca, I knew that I wanted to get a tattoo to represent my daughters. I wanted something beautiful that I could carry with me my entire life. So, back in May I found the perfect tattoo but I needed it modified a bit. I took it to my tattoo artist and he drew it up for me. I loved it!

Monday night, I finally went and got my tattoo and it turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined it would have! I am so happy with it! I am really excited to show it off! The girls' initials are in each of the butterfly's wings if you look closely.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I wish I would've gotten a picture!

I had a busy day of working in the kitchen yesterday afternoon so needless to say my story takes place there! I was making my food for supper swap, so I was busy making pie dough and kneading it and cutting it out. While I was doing that, Rebecca was "innocently" playing on the floor. I didn't think much of it, so I just kept on about my business. After a few minutes, I turned around to see my little girl had turned blue!!!! I don't mean the "she can breathe and needs CPR blue", I mean the "she got into the food coloring gel and has it EVERYWHERE" blue!!!! She looked like a little smurf!! At the time, I was so busy and I got upset, but now that I look back on it, I laugh a little bit! I wiped and wiped her hands, face and belly, but the blue just wouldn't come off! She ate lunch a little bit later and all of her food ended up with a blue tint from her fingers. Now that it is over, I sure wish I had used my camera!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Going on a road trip!

Yay! I am so excited! After a year of trying to make things happen, we are finally taking a road trip down to Texas to meet my online friends! I am really excited to finally meet them and I am even more excited for a road trip with the girls! We have decided to make it an educational trip. We are going through four different states(at the least) that we have never been to so we are going to stop along the way and visit some landmarks and hopefully learn the states, capitals and other useful information! We are going to take pictures the whole way down and then make a scrapbook for a school project on the states we visited.

I feel so blessed that we are able to make it happen and hopefully have a great time on a budget! We found a hotel for $39/night and that is unbeatable! We also have fuel rewards at two different places that we are able to use to help save on gas costs.

So let the countdown begin.....we are leaving Sept 2nd!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Reflections for the day.....

As I sit her listening to the Ice Cream maker hum and my children laugh together, I sometimes wonder how there are people out there in the world who don't take the time to be at home with their children. And worse, don't want to! I am currently reading the book by Ted Nugent called "Ted, White and Blue" The Nugent Manifesto and it has confirmed to me that I am not the only person left who wonders what happened to the way things used to be. The American Way. When did "keeping up with the Jones's" become so important that people **choose**(and by choose, I actually mean choose and not those people out there who have to work to survive) to be at work all day instead of at home raising their own children. We are allowing outside influences raise the generation of tomorrow. The government takes control of the majority of our children's learning at the tender and influential age of five and they are trying to make it even earlier by implementing universal preschool! Where are the parents of these children?? Why aren't they fighting for their children and the few precious years they have with them before they are sent off to the voluntary brainwashing we call the public school system? When did mothers and fathers become so incompetent that they are no longer good enough to educate our young people?

As a homeschooling mother to three young girls, I am appalled to see what some school districts are teaching their young people! It is no longer up to the parent to teach abstinence and procreation to their children. They leave it up to the teachers. Parents no longer want to teach discipline at home. Instead they want to leave the discipline up to the teachers while they focus on being the "cool" parent and their child's best friend. But, if the teachers get too harsh, watch out! Those same parents are quick to retaliate against the school system saying that their child was treated unfairly or disciplined too severely.

Although I think that it is a personal decision to homeschool your children or send them to a public school, I cannot feel more strongly about my decision to teach my children at home in a structured environment where they are free to practice their religion w/o feeling pressured to change their mindset and where they are learning the importance of saving your virginity for marriage. I want them to learn that there is a difference between respecting other people's choices and accepting them. I am happy that they will learn about all of the religions of the world along with other historical figures w/o feeling the need to agree with all of them b/c some "activist" told them they should.

So, as I continue to sit here and watch my children ride their bikes and feed their animals and talk amongst each other, I thank God that my husband and I have chosen this simple life for ourselves and our children. I am thankful that they will value the dollar and not expect to get all of the finer things in life just b/c someone else has them. I am thankful that we have chosen to put our children above money. I am thankful that God has given us the ability to make these choices for ourselves and most of all, I am thankful that my children have helped me see that the simple things in life can be more exciting than any shiny new toy that can be bought in a store.

Supper Swap....my new favorite thing!

If you have never heard of supper swap before, or if you have heard of it and never done it, I HIGHLY recommend that you join a group NOW!

Supper Swap is where a group of women get together each month and plan meals for each night of the week. So, since there are four women in my supper swap group, there are four nights that we get home cooked meals and one night where we have to fend for ourselves. My cooking night is Wednesday evenings. So, I decide on a meal that I would like to cook and I suggest it to my group. If they are interested in it, I will put it on the calendar for one of the Wednesdays that I am doing the cooking. When my day comes up, I make meals for myself and the three other womens' families in my group. So, I make a total of four meals in one day. Then, I go around and drop those meals off to those families at 4pm. They have a fully prepared meal and they didn't even have to do anything! Now, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, they do the same in return(on their scheduled day) and I have meals brought to my house and I don't have to think about dinner at all! I just pop the 9x13 pan in my oven and let it cook until ready to serve! What a grand idea! As I am typing this, I am smelling a pan of sausage and scalloped potatoes cooking in my oven that I didn't even have to prepare! Talk about wonderful!!!

Now, get on the phone with some of your friends and family in close driving distance and set up a meeting to plan your first month of supper swap! You will be soooooo happy that you did!

How much is that doggy in the window??

Because lately I have been willing to trade three little girls for that cute little puppy for sale!

Well, not really, but I am sure that most moms can relate to times when our kids drive us insane! We are all trying to adjust to a new schedule with my niece now having a job and needing to be picked up at 2:30 each afternoon. It is a 1/2 hour drive each way and is right smack dab in the middle of nap time! How convenient! Not only am I dealing with the nap situation, but we are also dealing with two little girls who are trying to see how far they can push mom and dad! They have tried being defiant in public and when it is time to go to bed, among other times. But last night really took the cake! Fortunately I wasn't there for the fiasco, but Marvin had to go to the store to pick up some milk and the girls wanted to go with him. From the bits and pieces I got of the story, it is my understanding that the girls were given specific instructions at some point and decided to ignore those instructions and continue on with whatever it was they were doing. That did not fly with good ol' dad and when they got home, they both got a firm swat on the behind and put in bed for the night!

Now, most times I would have felt somewhat bad for their poor end to their evening, but last night was an exception. They had been defiant with me that afternoon when we stopped at a store and had also been extremely mouthy throughout the day. My patience meter had run out and those girls didn't get an ounce of sympathy from their mama!

I can only hope and pray that the end of this phase comes sooner than later!

Post Baby Body

Well, as many moms know, your body after you have a baby can be soooo different than the one that you had just a few short months before. Of course there are those lucky mama's out there that can keep a great little figure(these are the ones we despise! J/K!!) but most of us feel like we are dressing a completely different person! I am no exception to this rule and I have noticed that after giving birth to my three little heathens angels, that I have changed in many ways. So, I have decided to do something about it! I was doing Weight Watchers for a while, but I got tired of counting points, so now I am following the 8 simple habits in a wonderful book that was recommended to Marvin and I from his dietician! It is called "Water With Lemon" and it is full of great ways to lose weight and get healthy without counting points, calories, carbs or even feeling "dieters guilt"! Both Marvin and I have been doing well on this new lifestyle, but after talking to my PCP about it, I have decided to incorporate regular exercise into my daily routine. I have been walking at night with a friend a few nights a week, but it didn't seem to be enough. So, this week, I have started doing cardio workouts on the treadmill for an hour each morning. Wish me luck as I try to maintain this new habit! Maybe in a few months, I will have progress pictures to share with you all as well!!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Saga at the Pediatrician's Office!

Many of you may already know that we have been dealing with chronic diarrhea with Rebecca for a few months now. Well, this morning when I got her up and she was covered in poo, I finally decided that I had had enough! I called the pedi and made another appointment. So we get there and the next step is to get a stool sample to have them tested. Great....I have more waiting to do! I am so sick of cleaning up a dirty crib every morning! Hopefully this will give us some answers. We have done everything we know to do up until now. We have stopped giving her dairy, put her on a probiotic, taken away juice, put her on a BRATT diet and limited her food intake. We are at a loss right now! I know that we surely could use prayers right now!

To top that off, we also found out that Michaela may have strep throat and her throat is soooo sore and bright red. She had a fever, too! We are waiting for the strep culture to come back, but I have the prescription already written out so I can get it as soon as I get the results.

Last but not least, Alaina STILL has a double ear infection. We had her into the doctor two weeks ago and they put her on amoxil for her ears and today they were both still infected so she is now on a z-pak so hopefully she will get some relief soon!

Summer is finally on its way, so hopefully all of the cold germs will take a hike, too!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why does this happen to MY children?!

Poor Alaina woke up this evening around 11pm and was having a horrible time breathing. She was coughing and gagging and sobbing all at the same time. Needless to say, anyone who has experienced the croup knows exactly what I am talking about! It is such a disturbing childhood illness. While most people will never experience the croup because you have to be prone to it, the lucky few who do get it know how awful it is to see your child have it! We stuck her head in the freezer to let her breathe in the cool air, we took her outside and neither of those worked, so we finally gave her an albuterol aerosol treatment. It didn't help a lot, but enough that she could breathe a little bit without coughing. So, I finally got her calmed down and she is now sleeping in my bed and I am dreading going in there to sleep because she is a really violent sleeper and I won't get a wink of sleep tonite! Oh the joys of childhood croup.....


I always feel so bad when one of the girls has a nightmare. There is just nothing that you can do to make them stop! So, last night, Michaela came down in the middle of the night sobbing and wanting to sleep in our bed because she had a nightmare. Of course I let her get into bed and sleep with us and I tried to calm her but she just cried herself to sleep. So, in the morning I tried to talk to her about her nightmare so I could help her feel better but she just immediately started crying and told me that she didn't want to tell me what it was about, just that it was about me. So, I decide to leave it alone and I head off to the store for a little bit of shopping. When I come home, she finally decided to tell me what her nightmare was about. My poor baby dreamed that I ate a worm and it blew up and killed me!!! Poor thing! It just broke her little heart. Later on this evening she even drew me a picture of her dream. I felt so bad for her! I just told her not to worry because mommy would NEVER be eating a worm!

Monday, March 30, 2009


I shopped at both Giant Eagle and Walgreen's today and I did awesome!

In total I spent: $82.36
My total savings for the whole day was: $106.48!

At Giant Eagle I got:
*2* Boneles Sirloin Tip Roasts~BOGO Free, so I saved $11.33
*6* 36 count packages of Chinet Paper Plates~4/$10-$1/1 MFQx6=$9.00
*6*Bottles of Shout~2/$5-$.55/1(this doubled to $1.10/1)x6=$8.40
*40*Yoplait Yogurts~20/$11-$.40/6(this doubled to $.80)x6=$6.20

My total spent at Giant Eagle was: $48.18
My total savings was: $39.41!!!!

At Walgreen's I got:
*2* Dawn Dish Soaps @ $.99/ea=$1.98
*2* Packs of 100ct Vanity Fair Napkins~2/$2.99-$.50MFQ=$2.49
*3* Boxes Aluminum Foil @ $.89/ea-$1/1MFQ(3)=$.33 overage!!!!
*5* Dial Foaming Hand Wash@ $1.99/ea-$.35/1MFQ(5)=$8.20
*6* Bottles of 24ct Bayer Aspirin(3 of them were 100% more for free!) @ $1.99/ea-$1/1MFQ(6)=$5.94
*6* Bottles of Febreze @ 2/$5-$1/1MFQ(6)=$9.00
*2* Bottles of Softsoap Body Wash~ $3.99 for the 1st and the 2nd was FREE!(Going back for more of this rolling RR this week for sure!)
*10* Packs of Mentos Gum @ 2/$2-$1/1MFQ(10)=FREE!!!!

My total spent at Walgreen's was: $34.18
My total savings was: $67.07!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tea Party with the girls!

Ever since Michaela had a Tea Party at her homeschool co-op she has been wanting to have one at home, so I finally decided that while Marvin was gone on a side job this evening we would have one. The girls decided on a PJ Tea Party. So, after dinner, all of the girls helped clean up the kitchen and the table and they got ready for the tea party. They set out some cute little dessert plates, picked tea cups and heated up the water. We also thawed out some carrot cake and made a pan of brownies. We lit some candles and Michaela decorated the table for us with little wicker-style purses and tiny stuffed animals. Michaela's bear also joined us for our tea party! What a great addition to the group!So, we munched on cake and tea and just laughed and had a great time. Just us girls! What a great memory to share with my children! I will never forget how happy they were sitting at that table just enjoying some fun time with mommy!

Now, they have decided that they want to have a tea party with friends, so we are gonna invite some friends over during spring break and have an "official" tea party with the girlies!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A great Week at Walgreen's!

Last week Walgreen's had a GREAT diaper deal and I couldn't wait to take advantage of it! If you purchased $25 worth of participating products, you got $10 in RR, so I bought three $10 packages of Huggies Diapers for $30 and I had three MQ's for $1.50/each. That brought my total down to $25.50 and then I got the $10 RR and that brought my total down to $15.50. I spent only $5.16 per jumbo pack of Huggies Diapers!!! I was so excited! Now I can't wait to go use my RR this week on some more great deals! Yay for couponing!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Please Read! This is scary!

This is from a website that I read and I wanted to pass the information along!

Hidden provision in Stimulus bill!
Stimulus Rations Health Care for Senior Citizens!

Take Action!

Call your Representatives and Senators and Demand this Provision be Removed!

February 11, 2009
Over the past 48 hours, specific details have unfolded about a little-known provision hidden deep within the 1500-page Obama-Reid-Pelosi “stimulus” bill (H.R..1). This provision allows the federal government to create a health information monopoly, a giant stepping stone toward nationalizing health-care. Betsy McCaughey, best known for her 1994 article, “No Exit,” which exposed the details of Hillary-Care and opened the door to its glorious defeat, has done it again! Just two days ago, her latest column, “Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan,” specifically detailed exactly what the intentionally vague stimulus bill language means for all Americans. She confirms that the provisions flesh out the health care strategy which fallen HHS Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle laid out in his 2008 book called “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.”The “stimulus” health care plan begins with Congress endorsing a very broad, not-well-defined concept in the form of a bill, and then bureaucrats, lobbyists, and unelected officials write and decide the “details.” The stimulus health care “details” are as follows:
Rations medical treatments, doctor's appointments, procedures, prescriptions, etc. by setting up a federal database to track and monitor every American’s medical records and activity.

Creates a new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, which will monitor all treatments of every American in order to ensure that your medical procedures are deemed “cost effective” to the federal government. The ultimate goal here is to have a single-payer system where medical procedures you elect to have are viewed as a “cost” to the government, since the health care market will ultimately be taxpayer-funded.

Harms senior citizens and the elderly the most. The Federal Council will be granted authority to intervene and prohibit a patient from receiving a particular health service on the basis that it is not “cost effective.” This means that the government is more likely to deny an elderly person a service than a younger person, because the younger person will benefit a greater number of years from the medical treatment than the elderly person.

Imposes penalties on hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users,” meaning that those who do not abide by the mandates will be punished. The stimulus bill does not specify what sort of penalties will apply, and this is intentional. Obama will leave these controversial decisions up to the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.Of all the problematic provisions contained within the Stimulus bill, this is arguably the most dangerous. This provision is Hillary-Care in disguise, stealthily and covertly inserted into a massive spending bill.

Worst of all, time is running out! The “stimulus” has now passed both the House and Senate and is headed to conference where the differences in language will be resolved, but we are receiving reports that the liberal Congressional Majority is aiming to cut Republican conferees out of the House-Senate negotiations! This cannot stand!

I finally got one!!!!

After two long years of waiting, I finally got a Wii!!!! I am so excited!!!!!!! We were never really able to afford the system and the things needed to make it worthwhile, so we never bought one, but with our income tax returns this year, we finally budgeted the money to purchase one! I am so glad that we did it since my sister, cousin and some other friends also have one and we can play games online together. It seems so silly to be excited over something so simple, but I have been waiting patiently for my turn to buy something fun and it has finally happened!

Poor sick little baby!

My poor Alaina has been so sick this week! The week started off good. On Monday we had a playdate with some friends of ours and they played all day long. Then, at 2:30am she came down to my bed telling me that her belly was hurting. She slept on the couch until about 6:00am and then I heard her crying while sitting on the potty. I thought she just had an upset stomach and needed to go to the bathroom because she ate breakfast and acted okay later that morning. Since it was her birthday, she decided that she wanted to have lunch with her dad so we made the hour long trip to his job to have lunch. She cried almost the whole car ride there and then didn't eat any of her lunch and cried that her legs were aching. I didn't know what else to do so I called the doctor and got her in to be seen at afternoon. The doctor seems to think that she has strep throat since her throat was really red, she had a headache on the top of her head and she was running a fever. She also complained of a stomach ache and achy legs. The doc gave her a script and sent us on our way. It is now day three of the medicine and she is still laying on the couch, not eating and sleeping intermittently all day long. Her fever is still up, but not as high as yesterday. She also threw up this morning. NO FUN! I gave the doctor's office another call this morning and I am waiting to hear back from them. I am not sure how long I should wait it out since she is not really eating. Hopefully she starts perking up and feeling better soon!!!

Two more Birthdays!

Alaina and Marvin both had birthdays this week! Alaina turned four on February 10th and Marvin turned 28 on February 11th!! Yeah! This has been a fun week for us!

Happy Birthday to both of my loves!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

I cannot believe that I am wishing my daughter a Happy 6th Birthday! That is unbelieveable to me! She is getting so big and is so beautiful! I can't wait to see what this year brings for her!

I love you, Michaela!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Is my name on file there???

I think that it is time for old man winter to take a hike! My kids and I have cabin fever so bad and it is getting worse by the minute. Let me start out my story by saying that my two oldest girls share a bedroom and have a 50 gallon fish tank in there just until we sell it. They always behave well with it and haven't had too many problems with it. The worst thing they have done is "go fishing" and get fish out with the net and put them in other buckets. Well, last night we were having a Superbowl party and my nephews were over so the kids were being a little more rambunctious than normal. They decided to open the cupboard with the fish supplies in it and they found the CureIck bottle. They sprayed it all over the place in the bedroom and it stains things blue, so my hubby and sister went upstairs and cleaned it up and disciplined the kids. No biggie.

Then today came!

I was preparing Michaela's school schedule for the week and I gave the girls a movie to go upstairs and watch until I was finished. They were up there for about five minutes when Alaina came running downstairs and told me that I HAD to come up and see what Rebecca had put in her mouth. So, I started up the stairs and I see Rebecca standing there and her teeth and lips are all blue! You guessed it! She had been drinking the CureIck! Alaina and Michaela for some reason decided to get back into the cupboard and got it back out and the baby got her little fingers on the bottle and tried to drink it like a bottle!!! AAHH!!!

Needless to say, I ran downstairs, grabbed the phone, and called poison control! Of course this isn't my first time around the block with them and so I knew what to expect. I patiently answered all of her questions and waited on hold while she looked up all of her facts. I just kept thinking to myself...."I wonder if my name is on file at the Poison Control Center!". I sure hope not! In the end, everything was fine and I just kept an eye on her. She has done amazingly well all evening and is being her normal self. Just in case anyone is wondering, Formalin is the active ingredient in CureIck and is a form of formaldyhide. It is a super low dosage and won't hurt them. She will just preserve well! Haha! Just kidding! Well....about the preserving part, that is!

So, that is my interesting story for the day!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tag :)

Tag :)January 30, 2009
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

5 things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
1. Getting Ready to graduate from High School
2. Dating my future hubby
3. Rebelling from my parents
4. Working at Kaufmann's
5. Playing in the Marching Band

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. Laundry
2. Shopping
3. Getting food ready for this weekend
4. Cleaning for my guests tomorrow
5. Get the prescriptions for my kids

Snacks I Enjoy:
1. Cookies
2. Cheese and trail bologna
3. cake
4. nachos and cheese
5. grapes

Things I Would Do if (ahem, when) I Were a Billionaire:
1. buy a ton of property do I didn't have any neighbors nearby
2. Buy a new Ford Expedition
3. Pay of the mortgages of family members
4. Help my church build
5. Adopt more children

5 Bad habits
1. Eating fast food
2. Biting my nails
3. sleeping in too late in the morning
4. Watching smutty reality tv
5. going to bed with makeup on

5 Places I’ve lived
1. Canton, OH
2. North Canton, OH
3. Massillon, OH
4. Minerva, OH
5. in a trailer park(haha!)

5 Jobs I’ve Had
1. Claims manager for bankruptcy
2. McDonald's
3. Kaufmann's
4. Nursing Home

5 Things People Probably Don’t Know About Me:
1. I can sing....shhh!!!!
2. I wanted to have as many children as God allowed without contraceptives
3. I have low self-esteem a lot of the time
4. I wish I could go back to college
5. I have a tattoo and want more

I am tagging: Bekki, Stacy, Mel, Ashlee & Amy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Watch out for that......wall????

I haven't laughed until I cried in a long long time, but the other day I was watching Becca walk around and just take in the sights. She is the nosiest little girl and she watches everything. So, she was innocently walking into the next room and she heard a noise behind her. She turned around to see what it was, but her feet didn't stop moving in the direction of her original destination. Before I could call her name to get her to stop, she turned back around to face forward again and smacked right into the wall! It was so funny because she was holding her sippy cup and she fell backwards onto her butt after she slammed face first into the wall and her sippy cup went rolling across the floor. To top it all off, she didn't even cry! She just got back up and kept on going!! Kids......it's like a sitcom, only funnier!

God has a sense of humor

In case you were unsure. It is true. God has a wonderful sense of humor! He finds it amusing to keep dropping snow in northeast Ohio and making my cabin fever show up in full force! I hate being stuck in the house all day knowing that I should not venture outside! The roads are like a skating rink and it's so cold that even your nose hairs get ice crystals on them! I am ready for old man winter to take a hike!

A look back in time....

As I am sitting here trying to update my blog, I realized that I have a ton of pictures on my computer of Michaela as a baby and I thought that I would share. She was such a wonderful baby and the Lord definitely blessed me when he trusted me to care for her! Here she is!

Rebecca's First Birthday Party

What a wonderful time I had planning and executing her birthday party! We had it at the church building and it was nice that we did because it gave us plenty of room and we also had lots of fun stuff to do there since the youth group has an air hockey and a foosball table there. I didn't have a particular theme, but I did have all of the decorations in hot pink. I even found her a hot pink tutu to wear that matched with the decorations! She was so stinkin' cute in that thing!!!

I was so proud of myself because I also made her birthday cakes myself. I baked them and decorated them on my own and I think they turned out pretty good for being my first time! We had a yellow cake, a chocolate cake and a red velvet cake so that everyone could have a little variety. I also made the favors myself. They were flower shaped suckers and they turned out really cute! I guess I was feeling kinda crafty! Go me!

Rebecca didn't waste any time grubbing on her cake when it was time for her to eat! She picked up that huge piece of cake and just started stuffing it in her mouth! She was so funny to watch because she knew that everyone was watching her, but she didn't care! She just kept right on eating!

When it was time to open gifts it was a madhouse! Marvin made the mistake of letting the "big" kids help with the gifts and they took full advantage of it! They were tearing through the gifts so fast that no one even knew what she had gotten and who it had come from. I was losing my patience with some of the children there, but I couldn't scold other people's kids when the parents were sitting right there letting them do it! Oh well, in the long run, it didn't really matter all that much! She got a lot of really cute clothes and some toys that she really enjoys and that is all that matters!

Online Birthday Exchange

As some of you may know, I have made some WONDERFUL friends online with a pregnancy/motherhood message board that I am part of. A lot of these girls know more about me than my friends or family in real life. I love them all dearly even though I have never met them face to face. Although, I will be getting the opportunity to meet some of them in June when we get together for a meet & greet. I am so excited! Anyways, we planned an online birthday party for all of our babies and we exchanged wishlists and were assigned a name of a person to buy for.
The girl who bought for me is from NM and she only has two sons, so I am sure she had a great time buying for Becca. She did a great job, too! She bought her some really cute onesies and Christmas socks from Old Navy! They are perfect! We really needed warm clothes for Becca and these are nice because they can be put on easily with a pair of jeans or just worn alone around the house! Thank you so much Rebecca and Ethan, we LOVED the gift!