Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just a Little Practical Joke

"...but a child left to himself, [or with dad]bringeth his mother shame."
Yes, the inquisitive young boy is emerging. I thought each family only had one of "those" kids that they had to worry about. But I'm beginning to think it's just boys in general. I refuse to believe I'm the only one so lucky to get two.

I wonder who did this?!!!

Yes this is Sharpie marker.

He used the Sharpie like a Q-Tip in BOTH ears.

I've been trying to clean out his ears the best he'll allow. So with all the ear and QTip chatter this week, we decided to play a little joke on Allen.

I cut a Q-Tip in half.

Then Gabby just barely held it in her ear and asked him, "Do you think I have this in too far?"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

She's Gonna Blow!

I'm reading this book right now...for the 3rd time. Let me just say, I was a much better mom before I had kids. I can remember all my wonderfully wise a.k.a. judgemental, thoughts of the other parents and all their obvious mistakes. I just knew I was going to be the funnest, wisest, most respected and loved mom. In 2000, not only was our 1st little one born, but so was a mom. All the reading and observing in the world doesn't prepare your heart for what you feel when you hold this precious being for the 1st time and you transition from being a woman to becoming a mom.

Nor did all the reading and observing prepare me for what I felt just 3 short years later when this precious completely dependant beautiful gift became this irritable, independent, destructive and back talking individual. Whoever coined the term terrible two's obviously hadn't made it to the trying three's.

I had no idea that trying to coerce a 3 year old to willingly sit down, stand up, come to, go away, open up, quit spitting, spit that out, take a bite, quit hitting, share, use the potty, not play in the toilet, unlock the bathroom door, take the medicine, lay down, use their words, be quiet, sit in the cart, not unload the cart or just let me help them would be frustrating on the nth degree.

Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. More than I ever thought possible. But there are times that I honestly think I might just black out from irritation. Almost every job I've ever had has dealt with some ridiculous individual and I thought I was a pretty patient person. Yet here is my flesh and blood standing less than 3 foot tall that I devote my days to, bringing me to the bring of insanity in zero to 60 flat.

Most times I am only frustrated on the inside, but then there are those moments I snap and say something cutting, am harsher than I should have been, or yell at rather than talk to. Letting those words or tones escape and enter their little ears to never be taken back. Hurting the hearts of these gifts from the Lord. These imperfect little creatures that if something happened to any of them, I think I would literally die from a broken heart. Why is it so easy for me to forget that and take tomorrow for granted? Why is it so hard for me to think it thru wisely when we are in the heat of things? Why is it so easy to forget that I'm an imperfect adult with many more years of experience, still failing daily and that I'm here to lead, love and walk along side them? Lord give me strengthen where I am weak, give me wisdom where I am ignorant, give me grace for them as you give it to me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday Jan 25th

Here is our plan this week in order of Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Supper

Raisin bread Toast & Juice
chimichangas (make large batch), jello, tortilla chips, salad

Rice pudding (make large batch of rice to use later in the week)
Pizza from field trip
Left overs from Sunday (garlic salmon, cheesy garlic biscuits, Parmesan artichoke casserole, salmon chowder)

Oatmeal & banana
Ham sandwich & carrots
Enchiladas (use leftover chimichangas), Mexican rice (from leftover breakfast on Tuesday), refried beans, fruit cocktail

Cold cereal
tuna and noodles casserole
crock pot of bean soup (make a large batch to freeze multiple meals) and hoe cakes

scrambled eggs and toast
bean and cheese burritos (from leftover mashed beans) & tropical fruit salad
cinnamon toast
Chicken fried rice (cook extra chicken) (rice from leftover rice), potstickers, crab ragoon

left overs
chicken tacos (from leftover chicken), cantaloupe salsa, Mexican corn

Allen makes brunch of home fries, deer steak & eggs
Make cookies (for snack, dessert and some to freeze)
Leftovers from the week - clean out frig

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Quotes From the Kids

Gabby: So I'm the only normal kid, huh?
Me: What?
Gabby: Brian and Makensie are "special" kids right?
Me: Why do you think that?
Gabby: Makensie is right brained and Brian is left handed


Brian playing the Wii with daddy
Brian: Mom who's side are you on? Your sweet, precious little boy? or your ugly, fat, old, mean husband?
Allen: You realize I'm sitting right here don't you son?


Brian: I know how to speak Spanish
Me: Really?
Brian: Yep, just add a "O" or "ilda" to the end of everything. Taco, burrito, enchilada, cheesilda, chipilda, friendo,


I woke up to Gabby sweeping the kitchen last week.
Me: What cha doing?
Gabby: I'm eight. It's time for me to grow up.
Me: Wonderful
And she was been sweeping the kitchen every day since. :)


Brian: Mom drive faster!
Me: I can't, they'll pull me over and throw me in jail
(quiet pondering)
Brian: Will they literally "throw" you into jail? or just "put" you in jail. Because if they are just going to "put" you in jail that won't hurt.


Brian: MOM! MOM! Look how much I've grown in just 1 day!!!!! Yesterday when I stood right here I could only see a little bit of my head in the mirror and today...wall la! I can see my chest!!!!
Me: (Kiss) That's awesome!

I didn't tell him that the mirror had slipped down and was just sitting there and no longer hanging on the wall. ;)


The kids were playing with playdough. The girls of course were making little cakes and decorating them and pretending to own a cake shop.

Brian was making killer King Cobras


(Some of these were on FB already)
Brian: Mom, sorry you are close to a nervous breakdown.

Gabby: If I were a fly, would I be a maget or a fly?

Gabby: For Christmas I want a switchblade knife.

Brian: For Christmas I want a tuxedo.

Gabby: Are beans really the musical fruit?

Gabby: Have you ever killed someone?
Me: No yet

Brian: Mom, I'm SO sorry, I didn't know the bathroom sink would fill up that fast.

Makensie: I was being really nice to Wyatt and sucked all the sour stuff over the outside of his candies for him.

Me: Where would you like to go for vacation?
Gabby: Africa
Brian: The junkyard

Gabby: God gave me the gift of being able to make underarm farts because I wanted to do it so bad.

After seeing Brian walk out of the bathroom naked Gabby yells: That's just GREAT! Now my eyes are RUINED!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas Gifts For the Cheap, I Mean Frugal

I had so many grand plans as always to make wonderful handmade gifts for everyone I remotely came in contact with...friends, family, neighbors, the mail man...I managed to get gifts for family done and that was about it.

This is the one I was most excited about. I found this 1952 gem of a book on Costmotology at the local print shop for 10cents. I picked it up for my sister Debi and held onto it.

Then I tore out all the pages (I'm sure Trish and other teachers and library enthusiast across the land are passing out right about now;)

Added a little matching fabric and some handles and duh da.... I'm sure Debi will love it when I remember to bring it do her as I forgot it at Christmas! rrrrrr....

Next I made aprons. Wendy had several apron tutorials on her site and I was blessed enough to have a great yard sale day last fall and found several square dance dresses for a quarter each. I made these into some rather cute aprons if I might say so myself.

Then I added iron on monograms for everyone. The 1st one I attempted was for my sister Gina. "G" for Gina. However, you'll notice that not only did I manage to iron it on upside down, I figured out later (by way of Gabby informing me of my mistake) that the pretty dot in the middle was suppose to be a period that I cut out to use seperately.

And then there were these coasters. I took glass from the shop and had the glass man sand down the corners and edges for me in exchange for a couple extra kisses. And decoupaged (with homemade decoupage paste) scrapbook paper on the back.

We made springerale cookies, (my didn't look as great as this link, but I did get to use my SU stamps) homemade caramels (fabulous!), orange julius cookies, Chai Tea mix, hot chocolate mix, puppy treats (in the shape of cats) & jello spritz cookies with the press.

We spent Christmas lunch with Allen's family. It was nice, Kathy is a terrific cook and I always enjoy hanging out with them.

This is Allen's mom and dad with all the Grandkids. We took photos of each family and all the grandkids in less than 20 minutes.

Then we headed to my folks for Christmas night. The next day we started family photos in a more professional atmosphere and it lasted almost 4? hours. And Adina (talented sister in law with an eye for good shots) is going to post those soon...right? I thought all the guys were going to loose it. They had to dress up and wait for the girls to primp and do hair and pose and kids were starting to fuse. It lost it's fun quickly for Allen, but I'm sure once we get the photos back, it will be well worth it.

I think I've mentioned before what a great host my mom is. Every holiday gets a big deal made out of it. I stayed up late Christmas night helping finish pies with her in the kitchen. It is always nice to go "home". She always has a huge spread anytime we go home and the house is always decorated. The entire sunroom was filled with pies, candies, desserts, chips, dips, manicotti. Every year, she makes bon bons and my favorite pie ever, sour cream raisin. My dad makes several different batches of homemade fudge. We got in an afternoon of Bunco as well. We love playing games and it is fun as the grandkids are getting old enough to play along.

Almost every room at my parent's house has a decorated tree. This is the guest bathroom, and she has mini shampoos, soaps, etc hung on for decorations.

This was the tree in Allen and I's suite.
This was the little bathroom tree in our bathroom, also decorated with bathroom goodies.

This was the tree in the toy room with all the homemade and odds and ends ornaments.

And I didn't even take any of the trees upstairs. Some day mom....I'll make you proud, but this year the kids were lucky I got a tree up. :)

Santa comes every year to Grandma Connies and brings gifts for all the little kids.

And this year he brought a six pack for all the big boys as well. :) Yes, at Christmas.

Here is Wyatt helping the other "babies" as he calls them eat all the gummy bears that were left unattended.

Don't Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow

Or is it the other way around?

If I would just regularly sit down and update this blog quickly nightly, I wouldn't have these hodge podge of things I'm wanting to record and overwhelm all 3 of my friends that read this. :)

Makensie is taking ballet lessons and had her 1st recital. She felt really good about what she achieved. She is graceful and beautiful.

We are so thankful for her teacher, Miss Anna, as she has done a wonderful job instructing the girls and helping them to appreciate and use their bodies to glorify the Lord. And thankful that Miss Anna is offering this to our home school group.

We celebrated afterwards with Pizza and a cake.

We had round 2 of the Keepers of the Home with using royal icing to decorate Christmas Cookies. Once again thank you to Miss Kathryn for opening her home to a great group of kids and the mess that comes with that.

I always thought it would be fun to make a gingerbread house but was pretty intimidated with it. So we bought a $7 kit at WM this year and were pleased and plan to make it a tradition and maybe even make our own gingerbread next year.

Sugar Overload.

Our stockings (that my aunt Helen custom made for us) all hung by the fireplace with care, with hopes that the kids don't have nightmares from the wall of death above.

I had to share this photo of Brian. He was having a donut and coffee (yes I give my kids coffee, and they have even shown up at the local Mothering group with a sippy cup of it and I don't feel quilty...much.) He went and got the newspaper, mind you he can't read yet, to look at and be a "real man". I don't know where this came from because Allen doesn't drink coffee or read:)

Celebrated with friend for her birthday. (That's the cake to the left of me that I made for her)

Went to Kansas and enjoyed some snow! (I realize this isn't a great photo to show fun in the snow like the 4 foot drifts out in the country would have been, but it just then dawned on me to take one.)

Brian asked for a tuxedo for christmas....???....Aunt Gina bought him a shirt and tie...which he LOVES and has worn several times now for any reason he can.

This is the card that Gabby made me for my birthday. She drew the cat and cut her out. She loves art. She was blessed with art lessons for her birthday (thank you Aunt Gina) from Rich Davis when he taught the homeschool group this summer.
Makensie had 11 inches cut off her hair, by Aunt Debi. We are going to donate it to Pantene.

And of course now that she no longer has long hair a friend informed me of this site for hair styles for girls.

So Gabby let me practice on her:

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I don't want to sound crass, but I'm not a huge pet person. I enjoy cats more than dogs. I don't like pet hair or pet smells or pet licks or pet poop. My kids however did not inherit this non-pet-enjoying trait. They would gladly bring home every stray animal in the world if allowed. I know that animals are suppose to be therapy, but so are plants and art and baths. :) Don't get me wrong, I don't hate animals, just don't want them in my yard or house or licking me.

All that to say, we adopted a dog several months back, a sweet girl puppy and named her Marley and bought food and gave her a bath. She lasted all of 3 days before she ran off to greener yards and probably less kids or at least less attentive ones.

So then we had a cat show up. She just walked into the house as if she owned us. Which is pretty typical of cat personalities. As she walked in I felt her say, "This looks like a nice place. Think I'll check it out. See how it feels. I'll let you know if I need anything." She is a white calico we named, "Cookie". She has been a great pet for the kids. She lets them tote her around all day, she has only scratched after repeated warnings with a hiss that she would rather be left alone, hence the reason she was hiding under the bed. We thought she was pregnant, but I think she is just eating better than before. She is like a dog in the fact that she has no litter box, just meows when she would like to go out and scratches when she would like back in. She is not a loud cat, nor does she try to kill me by tripping me when I walk thru the room.

She normally stays off the counters as well. Until today. She was trying to escape the 2 year old that is constantly too amazed with her. She jumped up on the window sill counter between the kitchen and laundry room. Where I had a candle lit. Cat hair stinks. Here's to hoping that Cookie will stick around and continue to give us grace for all she has to put up with. We are all growing quite found of her.

Maybe I should go all out an order a Martha Stewart suggested compilation of relaxation music for pets.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To Trust or Not To Trust?

This is an except from a book I'm reading....

Most of our lessons in trust have been incredibly painful. Haven't we all been disappointed by people we thought would treat us fairly or compassionately? Perhaps you've experienced the betrayal of people you considered close friends simply because you no longer served their needs or desires.

Through the course of life we learn to keep a wary eye on people, knowing how few trustworthy people there really are. That may sound jaded, but Jesus lived that way, too. He didn't entrust Himself to anyone because He knew what was inside people (John 2:24). So of course our attempts to trust others will often be frustrated, but that's because He never wanted us to trust others. He wanted us to love others but to trust Him alone.

But learning to trust Him can also be a struggle. In my spiritual journey I've often been disillusioned by trusting God. It seems so easy when all our circumstances are pleasant, but when painful and desperate circumstances come crashing down on us, He sometimes seems to ignore our most ardent prayers. Who hasn't trusted God to do something, then watched Him seemingly fail? How do those moments help us learn to trust?

Interestingly enough, they do! I used to think that being disillusioned with God was sinful, but I have since learned it is a valuable part of the process. Being disillusioned with God means I have illusions about Him that need to be "dissed." The fact is He has never failed to love me completely, despite how it may have appeared. He didn't do what I expected, not because He loved me less, as I feared, but because His way of resolving my need exceeded my own. "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, " is how Paul phrased it (Eph 3:20).

Looking back, I thought I could trust God to make my life easy, to provide what I wanted and steer me clear of any painful experiences. That wasn't God's agenda for me at all. He wanted to imprint His glory into my life, to make me a man who would bear His image to a fallen world. So He rarely dealt with circumstances the way I wanted, and by not accepting the way in which He was loving me, my confidence was eroded. As long as our trust in Him is based on circumstances (and our misinterpretation of them), it will shift as often as the winds.

Through the cross God provided a way for us to trust Him that would transcend our own preferences and intellect, a way that is able to take us through the darkest circumstances, not doubting His love, but resting in it.
He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen

Friday, January 01, 2010

Another Year of Us

Today we have been married 11 years. I read thru my post from last year on "The Story of Us", and there really isn't more I can add except to the list of things I love about Allen. I know I give him grieve but only because we he knows I'm just giving him a hard time. He has been my friend when I felt there were no others. He is the love of my life and I'm so thankful for the gift that the Lord gave me in him. And in him I find it all the more sweeter for all that I had to endure to find him.
-He really tries to get me anything I even mention I might like.
-He has way more patience with me than I deserve.
-He makes me feel safe. I know we could survive in the wilderness indefinitely.
-He touches my back gently almost every time he walks by me.
-He isn't afraid of wearing the pants and knows he is the leader.
-He has grown so much this past year thru many trials and came out shining brighter than before.
-He is a good man, good father and good husband when he didn't have a good example growing up.
-He loves being self-employed.
-He lays down his life and wants for the best of the family most of the time.
-His skin is weathered from working out in the bitter cold and scorching heat year round.
-He takes the kids with him to work when he can.
-If he's late, I don't have to worry about where he is, just if he's ok.
-He loves it when I don't dress up or wear make-up but tells me how pretty I am when I do.
-He doesn't care if I've spent the day playing with the kids rather than picking up house.
-He won't allow there to be questions and doubts about us homeschooling. He is 100% in favor.
-He is a command man and knows what he wants.
-He is a stable man and doesn't make rash decisions or emotional ones.
-He wears Cowboy Cut Wranglers, long sleeve button up shirts and boots better than anyone.
-He loves to help others.
-When he gives without receiving a thank you, he lets it go.
-When he is wronged or hurt by others, he lets it go.
-He would gladly give his life for us and be proud to do so.
-He chooses to do the right thing.

I love you Allen. Thank you for loving me for all this time.


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