Dec 29, 2006

Stir Crazy is an Understatement

I've been stuck in my house--almost non-stop--since last Wednesday when I last wrote and left work early because of the blizzard that hit us. Except for Christmas Eve and a short praise band practice, I've been housebound with my three kids who I'll now call "ADHD", "little miss can't be wrong", and "little miss OCD". Yeah. I've been having fun. I just about walked out of the house last night when I found out that I wouldn't be getting to go to work today AGAIN because of a new snow storm and buried my head in a snow bank. Don't get me wrong.....I love my kids more than life itself, but two solid weeks (by the time I go to work next Tuesday) of being stuck to my house is about driving all of us crazy. CRAZY, I say!!

To try to maintain some sort of sanity, I've been immersing myself in "Chicken Soup For The Parent's Soul" which I checked out from Care Bear's (oops....I mean Little Miss Can't Be Wrong's") pre-school library. Reading about other parent's joys and heartaches that come along with parenting has somewhat helped me gain perspective when my kids are throwing themselves down the stairs and building a make-shift slide with the couch cushions down the stairs about breaking every bone in their bodies. One entry in particular really helped me yesterday and made me feel like I'm not the only mom in the world that feels the way I have been feeling the past week or so. I could have written it myself and I'm going to write it here for you to read.

I'm Okay
The house is a mess, the dishes are dirty.
I'm too old for this stuff, I'm well over thirty!
The car is not clean, my hair is a wreck,
And I've already spent next Friday's paycheck.
The laundry needs washing, the kids are too rowdy,
And I never have time for a leisurely, "Howdy."
With all that I do, it's never enough,
It's never quite finished, it always looks rough.
I looked in my mirror and what did I see?
A harried old stranger, where I used to be.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get
Today is tomorrow, and I'm not caught up yet.
My kids are growing at such a fast pace,
That I'm missing their childhood for the sake of this race.
I work and I clean and I cook, and I say
"Hit the books, clean your room!" There's no time for play.
Well, the Lord, for some reason, chose ME with the care
Of three of His children, but I'm rarely there!
I've GOT to slow down lest there's nothing to show
For my role as their mom when they pack up and go!
I'm only one person, but look through my door,
What appears to be one, divides into more!
I'm a chauffer, a cook, a planter of trees,
A teacher, an umpire, a mender of knees.
Sometimes, I forget that deep down inside,
There's a lady with feelings, and last night she cried.
She gets tired and lonely, feels taken for granted
She wants to see blooms from the seeds that she's planted.
Then, amidst all the turmoil in this mind-bending pace,
My little ones look at me--square in the face...
And just when I need it, they all in one day
Say, "Momma, I love you" and then....I'm OKAY!
--Rabona Gordon
Well, now that that's off my chest....I must trudge back through the two new feet of snow back to my three rugrats....who I will resume calling Anakin, Care Bear and Feisty. I love 'em....squirrely or not.

Dec 20, 2006


(Wordless Wednesday is below still....)

Well, I may or may not be back to post again before Christmas. Our area of the country is having a massive winter storm (read: blizzard). Everything is closing down (including our University which never closes down). I would say "yippeee skippeee, I get to go home early!" but instead I'll say, "yipeee skipeee, I get to go home early and be trapped inside my house all day with three kids who will most likely be extremely squirrelly and impossible to please." Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Who knows. Depending on the weather the next couple of days, I'm not sure if I'll be here Friday either. So I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas now in case I don't "see" you all before then. So from my family to yours......
(the picture can be clicked on to see it larger).

Dec 19, 2006

Wordless Wednesday - Tree Gazing

The Santa Myth

First off, I'd like to mention that I am this weeks "Tuesday Guess It" renter over at Her Majesty's Throne . Mosey on over there, take a guess and see if you could be this weeks "Tuesday Guess It" winner!!
When I was a little girl, I didn't believe in Santa Claus. I knew other kids who did, and I never told them that there was no such thing; but in our home, we never "did" Santa. We opened all of our presents on Christmas Eve by the light of the tree and the candles with Christmas music playing in the background. Inevitably every year, my brother and I got a new pair of pajames; usually flannel; and after the presents were opened, we would cozy up in our new pajames and sit in the recliner with my mom while she read us Christmas stories. It's a very warm and fuzzy memory for me. On Christmas morning, we would rush downstairs to see what "Santa" put in our stockings. While we didn't believe in Santa, it was still "Santa" who put the items in our stockings. I don't ever remember feeling bitter or feeling like I missed out on anything by not believing in Santa Claus. I never knew any different. I probably wouldn't have believed even if my parents tried to make us believe because the logic of it all wouldn't have slipped past me: "We don't have a chimney, so how does Santa get into our house? How can Santa possibly transport presents for all the kids in the world on a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer? And how does he get all over the world in one night?"

As years passed, I questioned my mom now and then as to why we never believed in Santa. I don't know if I ever got a specific answer; my theories are: 1) It takes the focus off of the true meaning of Christmas. 2.) Eventually you have to tell your kids that Santa really doesn't exist.

Regardless of the reasons as to why we did or did not believe in Santa Claus as kids, I decided that I would pass the Santa myth onto mine. How much fun would it be as a child to anticipate Christmas and the magical and mystical idea that some man who lives in a far off place that employs tiny men with beards to make the toys and enjoys cookies and milk at every house he visits would be squeezing himself down the chimney while sleeping to bring you presents? So, my kids believe in Santa. I've enjoyed watching them anticipate the idea of Santa bringing them presents and eating the milk and cookies that they leave him. I've enjoyed watching them write letters to Santa and enjoyed even more so their thrill and awe when they received return letters from Santa personally written to them (courtesy of moi).

Anakin is almost nine. He's starting to have questions. He's starting to doubt. He was the first one this year to write his letter to Santa and when he received his letter back from Santa, he was overwhelmed with relief as he exclaimed, "I was starting to think he wasn't real. But now I have a letter from him, so I know he's real!" He carried that letter around all evening and read it over and over again announcing that he would be taking his letter to school the next day to prove to all of his non-believing friends that Santa does, in fact, exist. Dread filled me when he told me he was going to do that. Fear of him getting teased or made fun of over the letter terrified me. While he didn't get teased, his friends did inform him that his mom probably wrote the letter and mailed it to him. He questioned me about it. He questioned why there wasn't a stamp on the letter. (Uh....because I was out of stamps and didn't think you'd notice, oh observant one!)

This has become a rather difficult dilemna. He obviously has doubts. He doesn't believe as whole-heartedly as he used to. He desperately wants to still believe and hang on to one of his few early child-hood beliefs. But deep down, I think he doesn't really believe any longer.

I do not want to lie to the child. At the same time, I fear that if he knows the truth, he will ruin it for his sisters, who are just now beginning to grasp the fun of Santa. I'm starting to see where my parents were coming from when they chose not to tell us about Santa.

Regardless, whether or not Anakin chooses not to believe anymore, or continue on with the farse that he believes; and regardless of how long my daughters believe, its been fun to watch this aspect of Christmas through their eyes. And yes, they do know the true meaning of Christmas.

Do/did your kids believe in Santa? If so, if they no longer believe, how old were they when they quit believing? How did you approach the questions you received about Santa?

Only six more days.....clean out your fireplaces people! ;-)

Dec 14, 2006

Christmas Tour Of Homes

Christmas tour of homes button

Welcome To Our Home!!

Anakin, Care Bear, Feisty, Hubby and I are happy that you came! Hubby is behind the scenes taking the picture, but he sends his greetings as well!

Take your shoes and coat off and help yourself to some Rice Krispy Treats or some home-made chocolate chip cookies! The hot water for the hot chocolate and cider is brewing. I apologize; my kids were anxious while we were waiting for you and dug into the rice krispy treats already. They helped make them so I couldn't say no!

This is our Christmas tree. It's an artificial one because we decided with so many little curious hands, the hassle of watering and trying to get it straight in the tree stand and pine needles ending up all over the floor that an artificial would be much easier (for a few years). I miss the smell of pine when I walk into my house, but I can sacrifice for awhile. I took this picture in the dark (unbelievably) with the lights on, but somehow it ended up looking like it's broad daylight and you can't see a single light. Care Bear and Feisty were very much into the tree decorating spirit this year so the garland is a little crooked and most of the ornaments ended up on the bottom but they had so much fun! It was the first year they really "got it" (the whole decorating thing that is.

ornaments 015 This is a picture of the mantle above our fireplace. On top is a nativity set that my mom gave us the first year we were married. I hung a huge garland below with lights stringing through it. I also had a close up shot of the nativity scene, but mysteriously, it seems to have vanished. Hmmmmm.....Shame on me, I should have had a fire going for everyone! Where are my manners?!

ornaments 020

This is a fake plant I have sitting on a corner table. I had a tiny string of lights sitting around doing nothing, and, my opinion, the more lights the better. So I put some lights on the little fake plant. Again, I took this picture in the dark, but it doesn't even show the lights. :-( Whoa is me. You can picture it in your mind, though, I'm sure. (Hubby thought it was a little weird that I put lights on a fake I wierd?!)

bloggy tour 001

This is an adorable little ceramic "toy shop" candle holder that my mother in law gave us a few years ago. The candle goes inside of the toy shop and looks real cute when it's lit up. My daughters both love to play with it with their little tiny toys. Every year, without fail, when I bring it out I hear gleeful little squeals. A little teddy bear that hangs off of it met its fate this year due to their play. Right now, it is perched on my fireplace mantle.

bloggy tour 004 Yet another little gift from the MIL. I can always count on her to give us lovely little breakables every year. This happens to be a music box that is sitting on top of the upstairs entertainment center. We got another one with it, but it got broken. I wonder how that happened......

bloggy tour 002

This is a little crocheted candle. To be honest, I'm not even sure where it came from, or who crocheted it. But it was in my assortment of Christmas decorations. Care Bear spotted it, loved it, and chose this spot for it. So, there it sits. It also gets played with a lot. I have a feeling it was made by a grandmother or great-aunt or something. I don't think it just wandered into my box of goodies by itself.

ornaments 014

This is an ornament that Anakin made last year at school. He is extremely proud of it and so I thought I'd show it off as well.

Well, for now, that is all I have. I had a picture of our outdoor lights that hubby has worked tirelessly on for hours, but somehow that picture disappeared as well. Our decorations aren't the most fabulous or magnificent...I don't see the point when they'll all get broken or messed up anyway. But my kids helped me decorate this year and had the time of their lives. So, it's OK with me.

I hope you've enjoyed visiting our home. I hope the treats were tasty. And I hope you come back to visit sometime! Have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!!


My Entire Family!

Dec 13, 2006

Dec 12, 2006

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm"...

The other day in the mail, I received something from our medical clinic that looked suspiciously like a bill. I had no desire to open it, but when I did, I discovered much to my surprise that it was a check issued to me for $20. Hmmmm.....

I owe this particular medical clinic money. How is it that they sent me money? I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth; but why on earth would they give me money when I owe them?

This was obviously on my mind the other night when I went to bed and dreamed that Hubby and I were friends with Clay Aiken and Clay had decided to pay off our medical bills. He overpaid $20, which is why I was issued the check. Hmmmm....

Do I cash the check and just be happy for a nice surprise in my mailbox? Or do I take the chance of calling the medical clinic and discover that it was a mistake and I have to give the money back? What a conundrum.


P.S. Thanks for all the great birthday wishes. I did end up getting to go out to dinner that evening with my brother and his wife and my cousin and her hubby. Good times

Dec 8, 2006

Christmas Tree Treasures

It's my birthday today.
32 Years old
My daughter did a song and dance for me
I have to work.
FIL won't watch the kids tonight so I can go out to dinner.
I'm alive.
I have a husband and three beautiful children.
Dear Lord, please slow down time. Ok? That's all I want for my birthday.....
And now for....

My aunt, the lovely Morning Glory is hosting "Christmas Tree Treasures" today. It hit me at 9:00 last night that I had forgotten to borrow my mom's digital camera to take pictures for this event so I hustled my 32 year old booty down to her house last night to take some pictures. Can't miss out on this bloggy Christmas fun!! So, here are my Christmas Tree Treasures.

We are a "new" family....meaning we haven't collected a whole lot of ornaments yet. But there are several that are special to me so far. This was given to hubby and I from my aunt for our first Christmas together.

Our First Christmas 2

This is another "Our First Christmas Ornament" that my mom gave to us on our first Christmas.

Care Bear's 1st ChristmasCare Bear's 1st Christmas 2

These are Care Bear's 1st Christmas ornaments. One was given to her by my aunt, the other was given to her by my mom. (The one on the left showed her name visibly so I "erased" it.)

Feisty's 1st Christmas Ball This is Feisty's First Christmas ornament given to her, also by my mom. (and erased).

Anakin's Santa OrnamentThis is an ornament that Anakin made at school last year. This year he questioned me as to why we don't have any of his "first Christmas balls" up on the tree. I had to tell him that I didn't know him when he was a baby. I think he feels left out, but he has plenty of other "special" ornaments on our tree!

Anakin's Ball

This is another ornament Anakin made at school that he is very proud of. To make it, they put glue inside the ornament, filled it with glitter and shook it around to make the glitter stick. We have two of these on our tree...he is very proud of them.

Special Ball

This is one of our special "year" balls. My mom has a tradition of buying a ball every year to commemorate that year. She gave us ths one last year to jump start us on this tradition.

And that is it. I had one more ball that I wanted to take a picture of and put up, it was my first Christmas ball; gold with my name written in green glitter. It was on our Christmas tree every year growing up and when I got my own family and my own Christmas tree, I adopted the ornament and have put it up every year. Including this year. But mysteriously, when picture time came last night, the ornament was missing. I believe it may have suffered at the hands of a step-son of mine who shall remain nameless and who simply can not keep his hands off of the tree. If I find it somewhere, I will officially offer him an apology, but for now......grrrrrr.

Dec 6, 2006

"The Most Germiest Time Of The Year"

My Wordless Wednesday is below this post...

--Adapted from “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Kristen P.
December, 2006 (sung with the same tune)

It’s the most germiest time of the year
When the kids are all coughing
And Mommy is puking
Oh please don’t come near!
It’s the most germiest time of the Year!

It’s the sick-sickiest season of all
When the cold man is calling
And Lysol is spraying
No friends come to call!!
It’s the sick-sickiest season of all!

There’ll be Pepto a-plenty
And stomachs are empty
And hacking is all you can hear
There’ll be foreheads a –roasting
No time for blog posting
It’s not a good season I fear!

It’s the Germ-Germiest time…..


Wordless Wednesday--Thanksgiving 2006

Photo courtesy of Brooke

Dec 5, 2006

Who Needs TV.....

When I have these three monkeys to entertain me?? Last night, I had a very enjoyable evening with my children. Not that I don't usually have enjoyable evenings with my kids, but last night, they were in rare form. Hubby was out and about last night paying on his new drum set (yes, he got it), and helping my brother with his DVD player, so I was at home with the rugrats. (I say that in love). Care Bear (as usual) wanted mac n cheese for dinner. It has gotten to the point where whenever they want mac and cheese, I have to get two boxes so that each girl can put in their own noodles, their own butter, their own milk and their own cheese. Since each box is maybe an entire $.60, I don't typically have a problem with this; it saves me the pain of enduring a temper tantrum on either girls' part because the other got to put in the cheese this time. Anyhoo, those two little girls made their own mac and cheese last night from start to finish. All the way down to serving up their own bowls. A few cheesy noodles were sacrificed to the floor or to my freshly cleaned stove, but they were proud of themselves.

After the five star cuisine was complete, Anakin got to work on his homework, and Care Bear got out her drawing board and proceeded to make a very detailed picture of a tree with apples on it (complete with branches), a girl sitting next to the tree which was surrounded with flowers and grass. In the sky were clouds, birds and a sun with a smiley face. When she completed her picture, I was tempted to hide the magna-doodle board from her forever to keep it from getting erased. Anakin (the resident artist in the house) even managed to give her a half-hearted compliment on the drawing.

While Care Bear was working on the masterpiece, Feisty was busily scrubbing the table with a water soaked napkin and then made her way over to me and informed me that she had to wash my face (with the napkin that she had been using to wash the very dirty table). She lovingly and carefully washed my eyes, my nose, my mouth and my hair with that napkin. Anytime I tried to move my face in another direction, she would take her fingers on my face and move it back to her. Anakin informed me that she's going to be a stylist; I told him I believe she's going to be a very good mom.

Shortly, Anakin informed me that he wanted to perform a song for us all. We went downstairs and sat on the couch and he used the bricks in front of our fireplace as a stage and proceeded to sing (in all seriousness) a very butchered version of "Do You Hear What I Hear" (bless his heart). It was very sweet and that child can sing! The other two then had to get in on the action and get up on stage and sing various songs and tell stories. All three of them got up there at one point and did a comedy act, which literally had me in tears and clutching my stomach. I wished I had been taping it because it's one of those "you had to be there" moments to appreciate it and there is no way to describe it in a way to serve it justice. I wasn't politely or obligingly laughing; it was hilarious. They proceeded to entertain me for about a half hour after which time it was time for bed; and it was very difficult to get them calmed down after all that.

Care Bear is always the first to go to bed. She's the easiest one to get there and gives the least amount of complaints, so I always take her up before the other two. As always, we did our good night prayer to Jesus. Lately, she seems to be stuck on what to say so always asks me mid-prayer, "Now what should I say?". I tell her to just say whatever she wants to Jesus; he just loves for us to talk to him. She always wants me to pray first, and almost every night, she interrupts me while I'm praying and interjects her little comments. Here is last night's Care Bear Prayer/Conversation:

Care Bear Prayer
Me: Dear Jesus,
Thank you for this wonderful day. And thank you for my sweet Care Bear...

Care Bear: And help me to not have bad dreams and help Micah to get better...

Me: And thank you that Care Bear had a good day at school and that she gets to get new glasses. And thank you that Care Bear and Feisty were such good girls at the eye doctor. And help Care Bear to sleep good and not have bad dreams, and please help Micah to feel better....

Care Bear: I already said that!!

Me: And we love you, Jesus. Amen.

Care Bear: My turn!! Dear Jesus, thank you for this day and I loved all the things we did today. And thank you for Christmas and help Micah to have a good Christmas. ....Hey Mommy! Christmas is a Holy Day because it's Jesus' Birthday, right? Thank you for your Birthday Jesus because that's why we have Christmas. I love you, Jesus. Amen.

Dec 1, 2006

New Blog Alert!!

Attention one and all!! My sister-in-law (my brother, Kevin's wife) has launched a new blog. You can find her at Twenty Eight Celsius! Let's all show her the bloggy love!

Today Is The Day

Micah is Counting on Us!

Micah (Small) (2)

Nov 30, 2006

TMI?? Perhaps.....

Men (if any men read my blog) may want to stay clear of this post....fair warning.

So, ladies, you know how it is pre-baby.....I mean how your body is pre-baby. And then there is post-baby.

Let's just say that particularly pre-Feisty, I was a decent 34C. Now? I'm lucky if I'm a 34A. But I've been too lazy to go out and buy myself any new bras to fit my decreasing body.

So, I've been wearing the 34C bras; basically might as well not be wearing one at all.

I mentioned to my mom the other day that all I want for Christmas is a new bra. That's it. Just a new "over the shoulder boulder holder" (ten points if you know where that quote is from).

Yesterday morning she presented me with two new bras. She and Feisty went shopping for me. Yes, my two year old daughter helped pick out my new bras.

I'll just say one thing about my new bras that actually fit: I forgot how high up on my chest that my boobs go when I'm wearing a bra that actually fits. Go figure.

Nov 29, 2006

I did it myself!

See this template? See it? I did it all by myself!! Oh yeah! So tell me....the it too hard on the eyes? If so, I'll change it. I certainly do not want to blind anyone and make them not want to come visit. Let me know!

Christmas Tree Treasures

My Wordless Wednesday is below so go check that out, too.

I just wanted to put a plug in for an event happening next Friday, December 8th over at Morning Glory's .

She is hosting "Christmas Tree Treasures" on that fine day (which also happens to be my birthday....had to mention that). For the details, go here and join in on the fun!

Wordless Wednesday

snow angel

My Snow Angel

snow girl

The Abonminable Girl

Veggie Tales Blanket--Olivia


Nov 28, 2006

An Explanation and Some Randomness

I thought I would give a little bit more of an explanation as to who Micah is (who I referred to in my last post) . A couple of people didn't know the situation or who he is, so I thought I'd help you out on that.

Micah is a little boy who was recently diagnosed with eye cancer after his mother discovered a growth on his eye. She initially thought that it was a bump from a tussle with his older brother, but after it didn't go away for quite some time, she took him to the doctor where they discovered cancer. Micah's parents are friends of missionaries to the Church of the Nazarene (which is where I attend.) The prayer request for Micah came through a couple of months ago and they have established a website: where you can go and read in more detail his story, as well as updates as to how he is doing.

There hasn't been a whole lot of response to the "Pray For Micah" campaign that I posted about on Friday, but thanks to those that have responded and linked saying that you will pray for Micah on December 1 at 9:00 a.m. M.S.T. If you decide, after checking out Micah's site, that you would like to be a part of this, just go to this post and sign yourself up! I'd love to have you join those of us who are already planning on praying for this little guy together on December 1 (which is this Friday). If you'd like to even go one step further, feel free to spread the word as well.

And moving on....

Thanksgiving was great this year. Anakin, as is par for the course lately, was with his mother and even though holidays (as his mother loves to remind us) are shared, she made no effort to get him to us later in the day so that we could have some Thanksgiving time with him; and in fact, he didn't come home until yesterday afternoon after school was over. That's all I want to say about that because I'm SICK UP TO MY EYEBALLS of the whole situation.

My girls were in full holiday mode last Thursday. Care Bear took it upon herself to pick out both her's and Feisty's clothes for the day and if I do say so myself....she did quite well. They looked like little fashionistas. pics from the day. So, you'll just have to take my word for it. The earlier part of the day was spent at my maternal grandparents house with a lot of family, and two hours after we gorged ourselves there, we had to go to my in-laws house for more food. I couldn't even bring myself to eat more than jello at that dinner. Happens to me every year. There's simply too much family around here (not that I'm complaining!!)

Friday was spent decorating the tree/house complete with Christmas music and a fire. This was the first year that my girls really got into the spirit of decorating the tree. The bottom half of my tree is much more decorated than the top half (keep that in mind when you see my pics for the Christmas Tour of Homes. ) They really did a great job, though, and had so much fun. I was a little concerned that they would constantly want to be messing around with the ornaments; taking them off, breaking them, etc....but it turns out that Anakin is the problem where that is concerned. Since he came home yesterday afternoon, 3 ornaments have been broken, and several re-arranged. The girls haven't touched a thing. Hmmmm.....

Last evening, the kids spent time writing letters to Santa; complete with envelopes and return addresses. Do you think I really have to put a stamp on them? I think Anakin wants to physically watch me put the thing in the mailbox. Care Bear wrote her very own letter (with a little spelling help from yours truly) and had very specific ideas as to what she wants from Santa this year. Here are the kids' wish lists:

--Bionicles. That's it. Just Bionicles. Should be easy enough.

Care Bear:
--A Dora (not picky....any Dora will do)
--A new toy playhouse
--A Snowman (I'm assuming a toy snowman)
--A book
--A new backpack
--Dora card game
--etc, etc, etc...

When I initially asked Care Bear what she wanted for Christmas, she pointed at me and said, "You!" Yes, I love her mucho lotsa!

--Not old enough to make a list yet. However, no matter what she gets, she'll want to play with what Care Bear gets; so I'll probably make life easier for myself and get them each the exact same thing.

So far, I'm enjoying the holiday season. Currently, it is very over-cast. I think it's only supposed to get to 15 degrees here tomorrow and there's talk of snow. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

And that's it for today. Have a happy Tuesday!

Nov 22, 2006


Pray For Micah

Micah has been on my mind a lot lately. Particularly as the holiday seasons come upon us. As a mother, I can only imagine the pain this family is feeling watching their precious little boy fight for his life at such a young age.

When I first became aware of Micah and his situation, I mentioned him to Care Bear and told her that we need to remember to pray for Micah because he is sick and he is even younger that her little sister, Feisty. Care Bear has remembered. Without fail. To pray for him at bed-time every night and at meals. She reminds me to pray for him. She has become Micah's little half-pint prayer warrior.

After Care Bear said her bedtime prayer last night (which of course included Micah), I got to thinking about Micah and his family. I know that they have thousands, and maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of people praying for them. And I thought to myself; let's add some more. Let's spread the word. Let's get as many people we can through this great network of bloggers to pray for Micah! Then I thought, let's specify a day of prayer for Micah. Obviously, pray for him whenever he comes to your mind. But in addition to that, let's set a day and a time where we all stop whatever we are doing and pray all at the same time for this precious little boy. Let's get him home for the holidays to be with his family.

I was thinking that we could set the first day of December as our National Day of Prayer for Micah! Say, 9:00 Mountain Standard Time (you do the math if you are pacific, eastern or otherwise. :-) ? You can pray silently to yourself; you can put the prayer on your blog. No matter; as long as the prayer is being said!

If you are interested in joining this time of prayer for Micah, spread the word! Add the button to your side-bar. Whatever you can to get as many people as we can out there in blog-land praying for Micah!

Liz over at Looney Bin 4 Sure created a button for Micah. You can grab the code for it over on her blog here:
You can also put the graphic I made at the top of this post with the prayer date and time on it in your blog if you'd like. Just click on the "write to me" button on my side bar and I'll send you the code. :-)

I hope you'll join me in this effort to pray for this sweet little boy. If you are going to join me, add your name to Mr. Linky. I'm excited to see how many people we can get praying for this little guy. Spread the word, get those people to spread the word and so on and so forth!

**I am going to make this a sticky post to remain at the top until after December 1. New posts will be below this one.

Thanksgiving Eve

Here I sit at work; on the day before Thanksgiving. Out of about 50 people who work in my office, I think about 10 are actually here. That seems like a pretty reasonable estimate. But it's alright. I purposely didn't take time this year because I am trying to save up some time in the hopes that my husband and I will get to take some time to go on a little trip to Arizona for our 5th anniversary in March.

For fun today, I was in my site-meter going through the referrals to see how people found me. A lot came to me through really interesting google searches. Here's just a few of the google searches that led people to me this week:

  • cocoon creatures
  • tribute to a loving grandpa
  • hix contractions
  • spanking mama
  • child blinks a lot then stretches
  • my embarrassing moment
  • grandmas goodnight prayers
  • my baby's eyes are blinking a lot
  • appropriate punishment for spitting
  • I want to quit to be full time mom recommend it or not
  • child's prayer for dinner
  • little prayer for someone frustrated

thanksgiving graphic

Today, in light of the holiday, I would like to give a shout out to all my "moms".

There is, of course, my IRL Mom, who you may know as Grandma Dawn. She's been my mom now for 31 years (almost 32! Gack!) She's a wonderful mom and is an awesome grandma!

Then there is my IRL aunt, who you may know as Morning Glory. I love her to death and spent a couple of fabulous summers at her house with her two daughters. Now, despite distance, we get to keep in touch with eachother on an almost daily basis thanks to the internet.

Over the course of the past few months, there are a few ladies out there who have taken me under their wing and have come to feel like "internet moms". They are fabulous and it's always nice to know that there are people all over the world who are thinking of me and praying for me and interested in my life. So, thanks to my blogging mamas (you all didn't know I adopted you, did you?!)

--Barb from A Chelsea Morning
--Pamela from Just The Two Of Us
--Linda from The Middle Years
--Diane from Partners in Prayer for our Prodigals

I am thankful for so many things, but today I wanted to especially thank the special ladies in my life! I hope your holiday is a blessed one!

**And here's a little tidbit: I am thisclose to hitting 10,000 visitors to my so called life!! Woo-hooo! Think we can mark the milestone by getting me 10,000 comments?! Uhhh....just kidding!

Nov 21, 2006

"Just Keep Swimmin' "

"Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills! You know what you do when life gets you down? Just keep swimmin', swimmin', swimmin. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim". --Dory (spoken to the eternal pessimistic Marlin; Nemo's Dad)

My daughters are huge fans of the Pixar movies. Every week, there is a different one that they choose to watch over and over and over until I want to rip that particular DVD out of the player and chuck it as far as I can away from our house as I can so that I never have to see it again. Except for "Finding Nemo". There is something about that movie that is so endearing to me. Somehow I don't tire of that one. This week, it is their movie of choice.

I love Dory. Dory is the memory challenged, but forever optimistic fish that befriends Marlin in his search for his son, Nemo after he is captured by deep sea divers and fated to live with Darla, "the fish killer".

Yesterday, while Care Bear was at pre-school and Feisty was in the bath-tub (which seems to be her routine every afternoon after Care Bear goes to school--I personally think it's because she gets the whole tub to herself), I settled on my couch with a blanket and my remote to watch "Days Of Our Lives". I look forward to my one hour a day when I can watch my ridiculous soap while Feisty typically entertains herself doing otherwise. However, yesterday after getting out of the bath, she was determined to watch Nemo. Nevermind the fact that she had already watched it once that morning and that mommy was desperately trying to find out what Lucas was going to do to E.J. after he attacked Sami. Nothin' doin'. She wasn't going to be happy 'til she got her 2nd Nemo fix of the day. So, I reluctantly and almost tearfully switched the TV from TV mode to DVD mode and popped in the DVD for her. I determined that I would have to just find out what Lucas did to Sami via Dustin's Days Page.

I plopped back on the couch with "Chicken Soup For the Parent's Soul" to read some awe-inspiring stories of parent-hood when I heard my door knob rattling and someone attempting to get in. I panicked slightly until I saw a little blonde headed girl walk up the stairs and make herself at home. Blondie 2 had decided to pay us a little visit and promptly sat down next to Feisty to engage in Nemo with her. For the next half hour or so, my book took a back-seat to the sheer entertainment and heart-mushy feeling I was getting watching this little 2 year old and 3 year old sit together watching this movie with the occasional conversation:

Blondie 2: "Hey Feisty. They're going to touch the butt". (If you haven't seen Nemo, this particular sentence won't make sense to you. Watch it. It's worth your time).

Feisty: "Yeah. They're gonna touch the butt. I no want to go out there. It's scary!"

A few moments of silence.

Blondie 2: "Hey Feisty! Look at my owie." (Holding up her foot for Feisty to look at).
Feisty: "Oh. Yeah. You should wear shoes!" (Blondie 2 never wears shoes or socks....regardless of the weather).

I got a real kick out of listening to their conversations. I could see my daughter 12 years from now as a teenager sitting on the couch with her friends having conversations like that; but on a more adult level.

As I continued to listen to their conversation, my eyes glanced back at the TV just as Marlin discovered that Dory had dropped the mask that gave them the clue as to where Nemo was located. Marlin believed that all was lost. He was ready to give up. And then I heard the quote. Dory said, "Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills! You know what you do when life gets you down? Just keep swimmin, Just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin, swimmin, swimmin; what do you do you swim, swim, swim!"

And then my mind wandered back to last week; the week of my funk. The week where I felt like Marlin, the pessimist.

And right then I realized, that without even realizing it, that "the funk" seemed to have passed. There was no bolt of lightning that hit me that took me out of it; no defining moment. I didn't just wake up one morning and say to myself, "Wow. Great. The funk seems to have passed." I just discovered that the clutching feeling in my stomach was gone. The "crawly" feeling was gone. The angst was gone. I was actually sitting on my couch, relaxing and not feeling like I was going to jump out of my skin. It was a cool feeling to realize that, and an even weirder feeling to realize that I hadn't noticed it before.

The weekend was great. My girls were great. They had a wonderful time at the birthday party they went to this weekend. They went to bed good and slept all through the night without waking me up. And they had a good time at church on Sunday. I got a nap on Sunday afternoon when my wonderful Dad took them to the park, and we had a good time at my in-laws Sunday evening.

I don't believe that my funk passed simply because they were "good and well-behaved" for me this weekend.....although that certainly did help. Thinking back on it, I believe it was gone before the weekend even came.

The quote from Dory in that movie made me realize that her advice is what I practiced last week in the midst of my funk. No, I didn't keep swimmin'. But I did keep goin'. As much as I wanted to just lay in my bed the whole week with the covers over my head and pretend that nothing and no-one existed, I didn't do that. I really didn't have any choice. I just kept goin'. And by being pro-active, and forcing myself to focus on postive things rather than dwelling on negative, my negative feelings began to cease. Slowly, but surely. And without me even noticing it.

I'm hoping that I don't feel that low again anytime soon, but in the event that I do, I know how to combat it.

A few more positive things have occurred recently as well. The director of Care Bear's pre-school caught me in the hall yesterday and informed me that someone donated some scholarship money to the school and that Care Bear was one of the recipients of that scholarship money. Her December tuition is paid for thanks to the kindness of someone un-known to me.

My husband's attitude towards life lately seems to have changed significantly. And it's all thanks to his being a part of the Praise Band at our church. My husband lives and breathes music. He needs music as much as he needs air and water. Almost all of his free time is somehow spent revolved around music. He used to be in a band with some friends, long before he met me, but nothing ever happened with his band. Since then, he has said time and time again how he wishes he could somehow be part of a band again. Enter: Praise Band. Granted, it's not the type of music that he typically likes to play or listen to. But he has enjoyed it nonetheless. Playing the drums again has done wonders for his self-esteem and his need to play music.

One of his favorite activities is to stand for hours at his CD burner, with his MP3 player and make mixed CD after mixed CD after mixed CD. Most often, unsavory music that I could really do without. However, lately, his tastes have turned to Christian music. His mission: to find songs that our band can play. He spent hours last night preparing a CD to present to our band as potential music to play. He listens to the Christian radio station in his truck. He often talks about ways to improve our performances. And recently, he has been asked by two of the members in our praise band to join their other band that they have. If he can secure a drum set (which we are working on), he's as good as a member of the band. I can not tell you how much this prospect excites him.

He told me last night that he was going through his HUMONGOUS collection of CDs and that there are a lot of them in there that he doesn't even feel that he can play or listen to anymore because they are "too negative". The seeds have been planted.....

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

P.S....I just did the Holiday Meme over at my meme blog. Go check it out, too, and consider yourself tagged!

Nov 18, 2006

Christmas Tour of Homes

Woo-hoo!! It's the Christmas tour of homes, y'all! I am so excited. Go on over to BooMama for the details. Deck the halls, y'all! :-)

Christmas tour of homes button

Nov 17, 2006

Continuing on the Positive Trend

The other day, I did a post focusing on the positive things in my life to keep my focus and combat the negative. In continuing this trend, I thought of some more. It seems to be helping a little, and despite the fact that I had the stomach flu all day yesterday and the hubby had to come home from work to take care of the kids, and despite the fact that our nice, expensive flat screen TV quit working yesterday for some unknown reason, I'm feeling a little better.

  • Karen gave birth to Baby Boy Trade-Off yesterday afternoon at 4:47. He was 8 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches. I've seen pictures and let me tell you; there is no shortage of beauty in that family. Go on over there if you haven't already and congratulate the whole Trade-Off family!
  • My best childhood friend gave birth to a baby boy a week and a half ago. 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.
  • My cousin's wife, Sherry gave birth to an adorable little boy at the end of October. He's a doll baby as well.
  • My other cousin's wife, Amanda, is pregnant with her second child; also a boy.
  • My cousin, Beth got to be in the delivery room when Karen gave birth to baby boy Trade-Off and did a beautiful tribute to the miracle of child-birth over on her blog today. Go read it. It's lovely.
  • My children are lucky enough to be watched by my of charge....rather than go to a daycare or babysitter. She selflessly went part time at her job so I could continue to stay at home part time with my children and not have to pay astronomical day care fees.
  • Care Bear got invited to her first friend birthday party for a friend of hers in pre-school. She's giddy with excitement and has been counting down the days until she gets to go tomorrow at 3:00!
  • I have a Bible Study group who I meet with weekly on Thursday mornings. I look forward to this every week as my chance to get to interact with other young moms going through the same things I am going through. Unfortunately, this week when I could have used that time the most, I was sick at home in bed and praying to the porcelain god. We are currently studying Old Testament history and I have to say it is very fascinating.
  • I have a wonderful immediate family and extended family who are all wonderfully supportive and love eachother unconditionally.
  • I have been lucky enough to have the same job for ten years now, and while it is not my "dream job", I get paid for it, I get benefits, I like the people I work with, and they are willing to work with my part time schedule.....which is very hard to find these days. And when I am ready to go back full time they are ready for me to do so.
  • When I ever get back into school full-time, since I do work for a University, some of my credits will get paid for.

Coming up with this list of things to be thankful for has really taken the focus off of the negative things that I feel I have been overwhelmed with. Challenging myself to find the positives rather than the negatives has been helpful. I really do have a lot to be thankful for. And I'm also grateful for my.....

Care Bear Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for this day and thank you for all the things we did today. Please, please help Micah to get better. And please help me not to have bad dreams. and help Blondie 1's wall to not be broken anymore. I mean, help her window to not be broken anymore, because someone threw a rock in it and broke her window. I don't know who did it. But maybe someday I'll know. Help it to get fixed so she doesn't get cold at night when she's sleeping. And I love you.


She then went on to say goodnight to everything: "Goodnight Mommy. Goodnight Moon. Goodnight mush. Goodnight chicken nuggets. Goodnight sauce. Goodnight socks. Goodnight cow....." until she fell asleep.

Nov 15, 2006

Focus On The Positive

I wrote a post earlier today that was extremely depressing. I even posted it and left it up for awhile, but then after reading it I was concerned that someone might call the suicide hotline or something so I decided to take it down. No worries; I'm not that depressed, but I couldn't stand to leave it up. Those of you who subscribe to me through bloglines may still be subjected to it and already have read it. If so, just keep me in your thoughts and prayers. In the meantime, I decided to focus on the positive things that are going on instead of all the negative. Try to be a "glass full" kinda gal. So, in the interest of maintaining my sanity, the positives in my so called life:
  • I had Anakin's conference last week. The good news is that he has a fantastic teacher this year that he absolutely loves, which is always a plus. She is a kind, caring woman who has Anakin's best interests at heart and is committed to helping us with Anakin's ADHD sans drugs. We came up with some plans and ideas to assist him and we're implementing some of them right now. So far, so good.
  • I had Care Bear's conference with her pre-school teacher last week as well. Her teacher absolutely loves Care Bear and has no concerns where she is concerned either academically or socially. Care Bear is ready for kindergarten....and then some. She can spell her name, write her name, recognize her name. She knows the alphabet; she can count to 30 and beyond. She knows the days of the week and the months of the year. She is learning about sounding out letters and now walks around counting numbers on the calendar and sounding out letters all the time. Her vocabulary amazes me every day. The other day she informed me that I am "tremendous", and last night when she was frustrated by her glasses (more on the glasses situation later), she was moaning that "this is so traumatic!"
  • Feisty is feisty; but she is an extremely kind-hearted and empathetic little feisty. She is my little peace maker and is very concerned whenever anyone is upset, sad or angry. She adores her sister more than words can say. Last night when I was down in the dumps, and visibly so, Feisty came up to me and hugged my arm and lay her head on my lap. She told me, "It's OK, Mommy."
  • On the glasses front; Care Bear and Feisty both now have appointments for their eyes on December 4. At that time I will find out if Feisty has to wear glasses and be able to order new ones for Care Bear. In the meantime, the eye center has said that they can fix Care Bear's stem temporarily until we order her new ones after her appointment.
  • Hubby and I were able to get out last Friday night together. Anakin stayed with his aunt and uncle and the girls stayed with my mom. While the "evening out" certainly did not take away the anxiety I seem to be experiencing lately, at least for awhile I was able to try and forget about it.
  • The holidays are coming up. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years....all of them. I'm hoping that the holidays serve as a distraction from whatever my problem is this year, rather than my problems dampening the holidays. I always start to decorate my house the day after Thanksgiving, so in just a little over a week, my house will be decked out, the Christmas CDs will be out and a fire in the fireplace will be a mainstay in my house....oh yeah!
  • Last year, the day we decorated our Christmas tree, my husband went out and purchased "The Polar Express". As sort of a last minute idea, we invited my parents to come over and watch it with us and have hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace. It was such a wild success with the kids that whenever they get the urge to watch "The Polar Express", they have to watch it accompanied with hot chocolate....whether it's the middle of the summer, or if there is snow on the ground. We decided to make it a tradition and our 2nd annual "Polar Express" viewing will be the day after Thanksgiving after we decorate our tree. This year I'm going to make more treats and also invite my husband's side of the family. It'll be a good time. I love that we started a new tradition for our kids.
  • My garbage disposal is working again (knock on wood), and I got the clean clothes put away. As long as I close Anakin's bedroom door, my house looks somewhat clean.
  • My kids love me. Ornery or not; disobedient or not; rowdy or not; they love me. And they know I love them. That's enough to give me a smile.

So, there it is. My list of positives. And now for a.....

Care Bear Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for this day; it was the best day ever. I loved all the things we did today. And please help Micah to get better because I don't want him to be sick. And please help me not to have bad dreams. And thank you for this day. I love you. Amen.

Nov 10, 2006

The Funk Continues

I'm not sure what is going on with me these past few days. Usually I'm a pretty content person. I'll have the occasional day now and then where I feel down in the dumps, but it typically doesn't last more than a day. I've felt this way all week and I can't pinpoint one certain thing that is making me feel so low. I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin, but I have no way to get out of my skin. The smoking cessation isn't going as smoothly as I had hoped. I set a plan in motion for myself to make next Tuesday my "put on the patch" day, but I don't know.

I feel like I want a "getaway" but in picturing my getaway, I still feel "crawly". I feel like my whole body has "Restless Leg Syndrome".

I'm not out of my anti-anxiety medication, which is often a question I get when I'm not feeling "quite right". It's not "that time of the month". I wish there was a plausible excuse for the way I'm feeling because then at least I would know that there's a time I can pinpoint when I may feel better.

I'm almost starting to wonder if there is something physically wrong with me that is making me feel like this, but how am I supposed to explain something like that to a doctor? "Um yeah, doc, I feel like I'm crawling out of my skin. Nothing feels right or normal. Yes, I am taking my anti-anxiety medication. No, I'm not on drugs. But is there one you can give me that will fix this?"

I'm not used to this feeling and I'm not enjoying it. Not.One.Bit. Even then "getaway" of my paying job isn't relieving this feeling, which indicates to me that it's not just the stresses of home-life that are getting to me.

This is not a fun place to be right now, so I don't blame any of you if you remove me from your bloglines so you don't have to keep listening to me whine.

**In some fun news: My best friend throughout childhood gave birth to her third baby; a boy; on Wednesday. 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.5 inches. Can you say huge?

**Anxiously awaiting the news of Baby Trade Off any day now.

**The other day, Care Bear told me I'm "tremendous". At least my kids don't seem to be sensing the way I feel. I feel like the crapola-ness is oozing out of my pours, so good to know that she still thinks the world of me.

Nov 8, 2006

Unabashed Honesty

The last week or so, I have struggled to figure out something to write about. Nothing seems to be coming to me that seems worth posting, or anything that you all would be interested in reading about. I've actually been feeling a little on the bummed out side the past week or so; motivation to do anything is minimal.

--My garbage disposal has been giving me fits the past couple of weeks so dishes pile up
--I've got clean clothes piled up all over the place that need to be put away
--dirty clothes that need to be washed
--the kids seem extra ornery these days
--My husband and I haven't been out together in months
--Money, to put it mildly, is tight as a drum.

To use Karen's term, I'm in a funk.

The money thing is what really has me down right now, and the huge weight of that is making the other things that much harder to deal with.

--Care Bear needs to new glasses; her stem came off and they are being held together with tape right now. They are so scratched up I don't know how she can see out of them.
--Feisty, I'm concerned, may need glasses, too. She's blinking a lot lately, and when Care Bear was diagnosed with amblyopia I was pregnant with Feisty and they told me that the likelihood of the baby I was carrying having the same thing is high. I've been obsessively monitoring her eyes since she was born and lately I wonder if I need to get her into the eye doctor.
--My insurance doesn't cover eye care. What is wrong with that picture?! I work for the state.....shouldn't they assume that a good percentage of the people (which is thousands upon thousands) maybe, just maybe, may have the need to have their eyes cared for?!
--Anakin needs to get some cavities filled; Care Bear needs to get a cavity filled.
--My wages are currently being garnished a ridiculous amount out of every paycheck for a hospital bill from several years ago. This shouldn't be going on much longer.

And (here is where the unabashed honesty comes in), I have a habit. The habit I've had has been with me off and on for about 10 years now. The habit came along during a stressful time in my life and while the habit is anything but healthy, it helps relieve stress. Those of you who don't have the habit probably will see that as a cop-out and can never understand how it relieves stress, and how extremely difficult the habit is to break. But the habit is expensive. Given the fact that my money situation is in dire straits, that I have kids that I don't want to expose to this habit anymore, and that eventually the habit could literally be the death of me, I want to quit. But it's harder than anyone can imagine. Add to that the "funk" lately, adding quitting the habit to all of that could easily make me a very irritable and not fun person to be around.

I hope I don't embarass my mom to tears that I am divulging this information to the world...or the ten people who read my blog....but it's my blog and it's something I'm dealing with that I could use the support of all the wonderful people I've met here in blogland. And I sincerely hope that those of you who think I'm this great person don't lose your respect for me and instead see this as me being completely honest and wanting to do what's best for me and my family.

The habit is smoking. When I'm being constantly harassed by people to quit the habit, I always tell myself and them that there are far worse habits out there I could have. I don't have a drinking problem; I don't do drugs; I don't gamble; I take care of my kids. I hear stories all the time from Anakin's biological mom of people she knows who have lost their kids to the system due to habits that they have that make them incapable of taking care of their kids. And smoking doesn't keep me from taking care of my kids in that I'm not incapacitated to the point that they are getting themselves ready for school and making their own meals.

Awhile back, I told my mom that I wanted the patch to see if that could help in anyway. That day she ran out and got me a box of the patch. It's been several weeks and I keep "mentally preparing" myself for the day that I open that box and stick the patch on. But it's the mental preparation part that is hard. What do I do when I get stressed out? When I need a few minutes away from the chaos in my home? It is a habit, and any habit is hard to break and takes time and patience.

I rue the day that I first lit up one of those things and put it to my lips. I was in a vulnerable and impressionable time in my life and "everyone else was doing it". I know that's not an excuse, but that's how it happened.

So, there I am putting it all out there for you folks. I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. I've done things in my life I'm not proud of. This is the one remaining thing that I have that I continue to hold on to and is very hard to get rid of. And these are things that are on my mind today. I'm just a big, giant ball of stress right now, and I thank you for listening. And I hope you still love me.


**Anyone who reads my blog and knows me in real life....please don't pass this information on to others that know me who don't read my blog. I appreciate it.

Nov 1, 2006

Wordless Wednesday--Two For the Price of One

Anthony the jack o lantern

Anakin the Jack-O-Lantern

my little lady bug

Feisty--my little lady bug

Oct 27, 2006

The Return of The Award

Morning Glory tagged me for the "Refrigerator Meme", so I put that up over on my blog meme: Mama's Memes. Check it out if you're so inclined. :-)

Does anyone remember an award that I used to give out? An award I said that I would give out every Friday after trying a new recipe submitted by one of you wonderful readers out there? I called it something like, "I Helped Kristen Cook Award"? Is that ringing a bell to anyone? For any of you out there who are new to my blog, I'll give a little background. I am no Martha Stewart. I am no Betty Crocker. I dread dinner time every day because I face the dilemna of what to cook for my unbelievably picky family of eaters. Awhile back, I asked my readers to start submitting recipes to me to assist me in my cooking woes. I received many great recipes and decided that on Fridays, I would hand out a little, albeit "cheesy", award for recognition in helping me cook. And then I got lazy. People quit submitting. I ran out of ideas....again.

Awhile back, a blogger named Code Yellow Mom submitted a recipe to me in my comments. And this weekend we tried it and it was delicioso! A hit with all the family (except for Care Bear who would exist solely on peanut butter and cheese if she had the choice). So, I am bringing back the award this week to recognize Code Yellow Mom for her fabulous contribution. If anyone is interested in contributing to this cause, feel free to submit a recipe in my comments, or by emailing me; my address is in the sidebar. So, without further ado, the return of the "I HELPED KRISTEN COOK AWARD".

I Helped Kristen Cook

Awarded to:

Code Yellow Mom

And here is her recipe:


2 lbs. lean boneless pork loin (or roast)
1 large onion
2 large red bell peppers
1 clove garlic
1 lb. small new white potatoes
2 Tbs. parsley
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp. basil

Cube the meat. Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add the pork, and garlic and saute until pork is lightly browned on all sides. Chop the onion, add it to the pot. Chop the peppers and add. Saute until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes (undrained), parsley and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the pork is tender, about 20 minutes. Seriously hearty and delish. Hope you like it!(I'm waiting until it's cool enough to make it here.) Oh - and I like to do Rhodes frozen rolls with it and sometimes a salad if I feel like chopping more veggies. :)

Oh - the potatoes go in right after the peppers. Cook all that for five minutes before you add the tomatoes.

It was so yummy! I highly recommend it! Thanks Code Yellow Mom!

Care Bear Prayer

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for the snow today! I got to play with Blondie 1* in the snow today and it was a lot of fun; except then my hands got really cold and I had to come inside and take a warm bath to get warm again. But it's OK because Blondie 1 said she was going to make me something really cool.
Please help Micah** to get better. Mommy told me he's sick and I want him to get better because I want to meet him someday.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to ask you about my dreams. Please help me not to have bad dreams. I love you.

*Blondie 1 is Care Bear's best buddy in the neighborhood.
**Micah is a little boy that Grandma Dawn told us about the other day that has an urgent prayer need. Please click on the link if you are interested in praying for this little guy.

Oct 25, 2006

Prayers of Children

Have you ever listened to a child pray? Have you noticed how simple and coversation like their prayers are? At least that's how Care Bear's prayers are. Obviously, as a child, she doesn't have the capability to do a long, grandiose, complicated prayer, but Jesus listens to her prayers just the same. And my suspicion is that Jesus may just prefer the simpleness of the child's prayer. It's as though they are sitting right there, on His lap, just telling Him about their day. Like they would their best earthly friend.

Changing the subject a little (however if you'll bear with me, you'll see where I'm taking this and how the two subjects tie in), have you ever watched the Care Bears movie (the old one in particular)? All the Care Bear's have tummy symbols. The symbol that they have on their tummy indicates both their personality, as well as a certain "power" that they have when they do their "Care Bear Stare". The Care Bear Stare is used when the Care Bear's need to ward off evil or bad things. Their tummy symbols give them the power to do this when coupled with the stare. My Care Bear received this moniker from me due to her undying love of Care Bears and her ridiculous collection of Care Bears. (not to mention that she is very caring little girl!) My Care Bear just enjoys her Care Bears and prefers the new Care Bear movies that don't really get into the whole "warding off evil" and "Care Bear stare" stuff. And she just likes to play with them.

Last night, after Care Bear went to bed and had done her "good night prayer" to Jesus, I had to smile thinking about her and her prayers and how much Jesus must enjoy listening to her prayers. We can all receive inspiration from a child's prayer and the simplicity of them.

If you read Maine Mom, then you know that recently she began doing a fun little thing at the end of every post where she tells us "what's under the bed". Adopting this idea from her, I thought it would be fun and inspiring to post at the end of my posts "Care Bear Prayer". (instead of Care Bear stare--clever huh?) Just giving insight to a child's prayer, and the power that is still within a child's prayer despite the fact that she is not praying complicated prayers revolving around serious issues. Jesus still hears her prayers (and everyone's of course) and loves them just the same. I am going to post two of her prayers today from this week, and then whenever I post after this, I'll do her prayer from the night before at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy hearing her prayers as much as Jesus and I have!

Care Bear Prayer

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for this day. And help me not to have bad dreams tonight. And thank you that we had a fire in our fireplace tonight. Even though it wasn't a real fire log; sometimes we have fires and we put paper in the fireplace, but tonight we just had a fire log but we didn't put paper in the fireplace. I love you Jesus, Amen.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for the cool dream I had last night. And help me not to have bad dreams tonight; only cool dreams and happy dreams and funny dreams. And thank you that I got new toys two weeks ago, and new clothes two weeks ago. And thank you that my Grandma C came over to my house and my Grandma P came over to my house and my Grandma Dawn came over to my house, even though Grandma Dawn just lives a block away. I still love her. Amen.

Have wonderful days today!

Oct 24, 2006

Oh, Yes...I Am The Queen!

No dis-respect intended to the Queen of all things, my lovely cousin Queen Beth of course. However, I definitely crowned myself Queen of my home this weekend.

I am bestowing myself this honor due to everything I accomplished this weekend. Most of what I accomplished had nothing to do with housework, or anything as un-interesting as that. Let's go down the list:

1.) Friday evening after work was "carve pumpkins night" for our kids. Care Bear already had her pumpkin from a field trip she took with her preschool to a pumpkin patch. She had the distinction of picking out the largest pumpkin of anyone in her class; most of the other kids were able to fit their pumpkins in their cubby holes, but Care Bear's had to sit along side the cubbies because as she proudly announced, "It's 20 pounds!!" Feisty informed me she wanted a "little pumpkin just my size" and Anakin was more than miffed that Care Bear had the largest pumpkin of the three.

Our children refuse to do your ordinary run-of-the-mill triangle eyes and nose and toothy smile jack-o-lanterns. They have to do those fancy schmanzy pumpkins that require some sort of artistic ability, of which I have none....or at least I thought I had none. Usually hubby does the carving of the pumpkins because I've never felt that I had the patience or ability to do the kind of carving that our children desire. However, this time, hubby just wasn't getting it together. He was pre-occupied with making mixed CDs and it was already getting late, so I took it upon myself to get the carving going. I ended up carving the girls' pumpkins and hubby attempted Anakin's pumpkin, but it got severely screwed up. So, here is a picture of the girls' pumpkins courtesy of their mama: (they don't look as good as they did at first because they're sagging a little and they decided to get a little creative and color all over them before I was able to get a picture).


2.) Feisty and Care Bear were both in desperate need of haircuts. Feisty, although she is 2.5 years old has never had a haircut. (Don't judge me, please.) Feisty doesn't have a plush head of hair and I kept putting it off because I just wanted it to get long and feared by cutting it that she would look bald again. But this weekend, it was just time. So, while I was at praise band practice with hubby, I had Grandma take them to get their hair cut. (I know that this isn't really something I personally accomplished so it doesn't fit in with the theme of this post, but I had to post the pics of Feisty's first cut that my mom took since I couldn't be there). Presenting Feisty at her first hair cut: (she did wonderfully).

hair cut 1hair cut 2

hair cut 3hair cut 4

3.) Grandma P (hubby's mom) was in town this weekend from a far off northern state for her bi-yearly visit. Whenever Grandma P comes, she comes bearing ridiculous amounts of gifts for my children, and while this is nice for the children, it is a huge pain for me trying to find space for all their new toys and space in their closet for all their new clothes. Every time she comes, I feel the need to go through their toy boxes and their closets and weed out things to make room for their new stuff, but I never get around to it, so it all just accumulates. In addition, most of the toys she brings include the disclaimer: "adult assembly required" and tiny, tiny little pieces that inevitably get lost within minutes of getting opened.

Anyway, I don't know what got into me this weekend, but instead of leaving it up to hubby to assemble all their new things, I decided to do it myself. Knowing hubby, those new things would sit around for days, maybe even weeks before they got put together, so once again, I took it upon myself. The girls each got a "My Scene" toy: Care Bear got a make-up shop, and Feisty got a coffee shop. Here they are after their assembly (minus most of the tiny parts which I quickly grabbed and bagged up in their little purses before they got lost; they know where they are when they want to play with them):

coffee shopmake up shop

4.) Anakin got a mega-blocks ship model to assemble which included over 560 itty bitty lego pieces to put together. He wanted it put together right away yesterday and when I told him he should probably wait for daddy to get home to help him he asked me, "Well, can't you help me?" Now, I'm thinking to myself, "Pumpkins I can do; little girly toys I can do; but a LEGO SHIP model with over 560 pieces?! That may be stretching it." But he was so eager and daddy wasn't home yet, so I sat down at the kitchen table, pulled out the instructions and got to work. I finally put it down at 1:00 a.m. for the night, and as I was taking it upstairs to hide from Anakin so I could surprise him the next day with my progress, I ran into the baby gate, dropped it and it fell apart! If I was a cusser, I would have cussed; instead I cried. I was able to salvage most of it this morning and worked on it before work, and here it is: (still got a little left to do, but most of it is done...and I'm bummed this picture is so dark)

Lego Ship

5.) Grandma P also got them each flags to attach to their bikes. Care Bear wanted me to put it on yesterday, but I told her to wait for Daddy to get home. However, while she was at pre-school yesterday afternoon, I thought to myself, "What the hey....I've done so many other things this weekend; I might as well give it a shot." And I got it on. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture because while I was taking pictures of all these things, Care Bear was off somewhere on her bike showing off her new flag.

6.) Feisty wanted me to put her flag on her tricycle. However, there was no way to attach it to her tricycle, so instead I asked her if she wanted me to help her learn how to ride her tricycle. So we rode up and down our street, over and over, and she finally got it! She's not a "perfect" rider yet; she still needs my help on hills and over bumps, but she's got the idea now! Here she is on her tricycle, and very proud.

tricycle rider

Phew. That was my weekend. In addition, Saturday and Sunday night, I had 12 people over at my house for dinner (pizza one night; KFC the next courtesy of Grandma P). Suffice it to say, I am tired!

So, how was everyone else's weekend? ;-)