Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coupon 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.