Thursday, December 25, 2008

Low Stress Christmas

My Christmas wish came true. For the first time since we procreated Tim and I have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ALONE with our kids. Just our nuclear family. I freakin' love it!! We are blessed with great families on each side but we really wanted at least one Christmas where we were not running over the river and through the woods. We wanted to just focus on our four little ones and we did just that. It was totally casual but with 4 kids ages 10, 5, 3, and 17 months it kinda has to be. We went bike riding and had frozen pizzas for dinner on Christmas Eve. We put up the tree and let the kids decorate it. After writing Santa and letter complete with begging for a Bears win on Sunday, they scurried off to bed. Tim and I then watched church on TV. It was Rick Warren from Saddleback. Interesting guy. . .he kinda reminds me of a white male Oprah with some Jesus-talk thrown in. Got up this morning to open presents and each 2 tubes of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. For Christmas Day lunch? Hot dogs and taco dip. After naps, we're going to take a walk on the golf course and make pasta e fagioli for supper. I LOVE IT! Low stress, baby. The rest of the fam is showing up in the next few days. We'll have a great time~we always do down here~but it was so nice to have a little quiet Christmas in Dixie. All alone.

So to all my bloggy friends Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! And Christmas cards are on the way~they went out int he mail yesterday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Never Say It's Going Well

About 2 weeks ago Tim and I had the "isn't our marriage going great" conversation. We went out for dinner and to a movie to celebrate our 15th anniversary a bit early. We both commented on how we were on the same page with lots of things and we haven't had a big fight in at least 6 months. Of course, that jinxed us. We had a big ole fight on the day of our anniversary. I'll spare you the details but it was one of those fights that thankfully are few and far in between. So I have learned my lesson. No more patting ourselves on the backs about how great we are! The good part was I got a HP Notebook for an anniversary/guilt present. It's pretty cool but I have no clue how to use it!

We're on our way to Hilton Head for at least 10 days. We may come home earlier since we tend to wear out our welcome down there. We are pretty excited about having at least 2 days down there all alone. We're planning to go see Gregg Russell's Chritmas Concert in Harbour Town and maybe hit the Piggy Wiggly. Great fun!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Apple a Day

I used to have a bowl of apples on my kitchen table. I don't anymore.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

OK, So I'm Not Frugal

I love reading Gayle's blog about frugal grocery shopping. She's got great recipes and ideas for stretching a dollar. She feeds a family of 6 for less than $60 per week. While I love reading her blog, it has induced an incredible amount of guilt! I was spending about $150 per week~more than double and I don't have big eaters. Greta eats barely enough to keep a bird alive and Amelia is just starting to outgrow the picky phase. I have spent the past few months working at getting my groceries down to "Gayle level" and I have failed. The best I can do it $100 per week. So what's my problem? Well, it's complicated but a lot of it boils down to what my family likes and what I prefer to feed them. I really am trying to be as healthy as possible and cut down on sugar, sodium, and fat. I also do things without High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and organics whenever I can. Here's what I have learned about pricing and why my grocery bill is stuck at $100!
  • I buy low fat, low sodium, low sugar canned goods. This often removes generics from my list. EX. Meijer brand Cream of Chicken Soup $.79 Campbell's Healthy Request Cr of Chicken Soup $1.39
  • I buy the leanest ground meat~100% white meat turkey/chicken and ground sirloin. Unless it's on sale~and it rarely is~it's up to $5.69 per pound.
  • We always have a lean protein with breakfast. Caroline and Amelia both struggle with concentration in school so a high fiber/high protein breakfast for them is a must. I do peanut butter some days but often it's turkey sausage. I can find them for $1 a box on sale but that's not too frequently.
  • I don't buy snacks with HFCS in them. That doesn't leave a lot of options beyond fruits and veggies. Meijer has a store brand organic that makes some snacks without HFCS~teddy grahams, cookies, ect.
  • On the snack front, I don't bake. This is one place I could save some money but tasty baked goods are a temptation for me so I just try to stay away from that. When cake mixes go to $1 or less I make the WW snack squares. My kids love them and they are lower in sugar than other snacks.
  • I buy A LOT of fresh produce~like 6-8 red/yellow/orange peppers per week, 3-4 cukes, 3 pints grape tomatoes, 2 bunches of bananas, 5 lbs of apples. These are for snacks~I buy more for cooking. In the winter this is expensive.
  • I don't shop at Aldi. I have tried it a few times and the only things that my family eats that had a significant savings were eggs, cheese, and milk. Those 3 things saved me about $3 per week and since I have Wyatt with me when I shop and gas was so high, I figured the 3 dollars wasn't really worth it. Now that gas is cheaper and I can go in the evenings without kids, I may try it again.
Nutrition is a passion of mine and I have been doing more reading about how food affects us. It's fascinating and frustrating at the same time! I LOVE crap food. I love McDonald's french fries and Taco Bells nachos. I love chips and onion dip. I once heard Dr Phil say that is 80% of our eating is healthy and we are somewhat active we have 20% room for junk. I don't know how scientific that theory is but I like it! I try to eat really healthy at home so that when we do go out to restaurants or friends houses we can eat the fun stuff.

So how do you teach your kids about healthy eating? Do you have any good tips? I feel like everything I read is the same thing. "Make a funny face out of fruit!" I need something better than that!

Monday, December 08, 2008

She's a Canuk?

I usually post cute things my kids say on my blog just so I don't forget. I used to scrapbook and now I just don't keep up with it. Caroline has beautiful scrapbooks keeping track of her every move. The rest of 'em? Not so much. I always thought I'd remember everything they said and did but I can't remember if I brushed my teeth today so remembering cute stuff is jsut not going to happen. That being said. . .here's Greta's quote 'o the week.

While listening to the McKenzie Bros 12 Days of Christmas I say, "I love the part where they say '5 goldens tuuks"

Greta~"I like the part where they say BEER!"

Yep. Nice.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday~Enchilada Pie

Tuesday~Parmesan Chicken and Angel Hair

Wednesday~Chili Mac


Friday~Wendy's~Christmas shopping

Saturday~Chicken Cordon Bleu Loaf

Sunday~Leftovers~Chruch Christmas Program in the evening

Thursday, December 04, 2008


1. Brian's Song
2. Ice Castles
3. A League of Their Own
4. Field of Dreams
5. Eight Men Out

1. Jingle Bell Rock~by ANYONE
2. The 12 Days of Christmas (With the exception of the Mackenize Brothers)
3. My Favorite Things~This is not a Christmas song. It's a show tune.
4. Something about a hippo
5. Hark The Herald Angels~Point Of Grace~It TOTALLY sounds like the Sweeny Sisters.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Icky Vicky

Anyone else wanna slap this girl? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Biggest Loser and never ever have I despised someone as much as this chick. Check out this blog entry about her.

Icky Vicky.

I was so sad to see Amy leave. Hopefully, Vicky will BOMB this week and we can get rid of her. Please.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Lots of leftovers and missed meals last week. Ugh! The week of a holiday plus Tim's work issues made for a nutso week. Hopefully I can get back on track this week since I want to lose 5 pounds by Christmas. Think I can do it?!

Monday~Ham and Turkey Subs

Tuesday~Bar Louie $1 Burger Night

Wednesday~Sour Cream Quiche w/ Crescent Rolls

Thursday~BBQ Pork Steaks
Sweet Potato Fries

Friday~Christmas shopping and Wendy's

Saturday~Enchilada Pie
Rice and Beans

Friday, November 28, 2008

She's On To Me

Amelia: I'm glad my turkey is in Turkey Heaven~that's my tummy.

(Pause for effect.)

Amelia: If that's funny you can put it on your blog, Mommy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pulbic Service Announcement

All 18 eggs in a carton will be smashed when a toddler throws them into a grocery cart. He will then yell "OH WOW!". People will stare and call "Supernanny" on their cell phones.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Crazy holiday week! Tim's family is coming down Friday til Sunday as they do every year. We have made a tradition of House of Kobe on Friday night. It's lots of fun and the best Japanese steakhouse I have been to. We'll order pizza and watch a Christmas movie on Saturday night. I think we'll try "Christmas with the Kranks" this year.

Monday~Cheeseburger Soup

Tuesday~Sour Cream Quiche
Crescent Rolls

Wednesday~Enchilada Pie
Chips and Salsa

Thursday~Gobble Gobble

Friday~Annual House Of Kobe dinner



Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Think I Fried My Brain

One of the things that we're getting used to at our new church is the change in service times. At Crossroads we almost always went to 9:00am service, unless we did Saturday nights. I was internally programed to look at the clock and KNOW that we had to start getting in the van at 8:25. CPCRC has their kids' programs at the 10:30 service so that's when we go because I don't care how traditional I'm becoming I am NOT sitting next to Amelia during worship. We were already ready to go and it was 10:03. I looked at the clock and thought, "Hm, I have 25 minutes. I think I'll have a bite to eat." Soon it was 10:28 and Tim says, "What time is church?" Um, crap. I was TOTALLY thinking on the old schedule that I needed to leave at the bottom of the hour. Being the daughter of Linda and sister of Jefferson that I am, there was NO freakin' way I was going to church 20 minutes late. Oh well. Grace is sufficient.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bah Humbug

I used to love Christmas. I loved it so much that fifteen years ago I got married at Christmas! I loved the lights and the music and the hustle and bustle and the food and the drink and the food and the drink and the fa la la la la la la la. . .but somewhere between there and here I got lost. Here I sit at 30-ish-something and I am wishing it was January. How wrong it that? Very wrong. Somehow in my mom-life the entire holiday season has become a never-ending chore list. Buy this, bake that (or buy this to make it look like I baked that). Go to festive parties with sassy-mouthed girls and a boy who feels compelled to put his grimy paws on every object lower than 36 inches. Keep everyone happy all the time! And don't forget matching! Everyone must match! (OK, that's my own neurosis, but a girl is entitled to one or two.) I want the joy back. I want the peace on earth. I want to not insert cuss words in the middle of fa la la la la la. I don't want my kids to remember Grumpy Mommy at Christmas. They are all destined for therapy anyway but maybe they can at least say, "Mama screwed me up somethin' BAD but Christmas shure was good!"

I have been thinking and stewing and praying and stewing and praying and stewing about this since Halloween. For me to get where I need to be this holiday season, I need to be specific and intentional. So here are my "Holiday Resolutions"

1. I am going to venture into the store I really really dislike~Family Christian Stores~and find a new advent devotional. Then I will order it from Amazon. :-)

2. I am not going to second guess my shopping. When I find a gift for someone, it is done. No rehashing to make sure it's perfect, "fair" to others on my list, wondering incessantly if they will like it, ect. I will follow lists and suggestions but I will not drive myself nuts.

3. I will let my kids be kids. Yes, they will need to follow the rules and not play football with Nana's pretties or Grandma's 785 teeny weeny ceramic things but they are kids. At least at Christmas, they need to play with their cousins and have fun.

4. I will watch "Elf" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" at least 3 times each.

5. I will not try to be Paula Deen because no one really likes my cooking anyway. I will only cook elaborate dishes for myself or for fun. When asked to bring an appetizer, I will bring something I have made before and that is easy, cheap, and quick. I don't need to search everything the Neelys have ever made to find the "perfect" recipe. It doesn't exist.

6. I will try ONCE to get a Christmas card photo. If I can't get it in one afternoon, I will reuse the same one from last year. Only Wyatt has really changed anyway.

7. I will Christmas shop with my BFF late on weeknights. The mall is open til 10:00pm and Chili's in open til 11:00.

8. I will burn CDs of Christmas music I actually like instead of listening to the same 8 songs over and over on 93.9. While I'm at it, I will make a peaceful worshipful, CD and some fun ones too.

9. I will bake for the neighbors and invite them all to church. Again. Maybe the holiday season will make the "no thanks" turn into a "we'd love to."

So there is my concrete plan to reclaim the holiday joy for myself! Fa lalalalalalala. . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Tim ended up working late a few times last week so I have some meals from those days that never got made. Cooked. However you say it! We usually just eat PB&J or whatever when he's working late. Plus this week is a GEMS week so we usually go to Wendy's before dropping Caroline off at GEMS. That should help out my grocery budget. I'm working of getting our grocery bill down to less than $100 per week. That's another post brewing!

Monday~Mexican Cornbread
Chips and Salsa

Tuesday~Chix Tetrazini

Wednesday~Wendy's~GEMS night

Thursday~Pork Tacos
Beans and Rice

Friday~ BBQ Pork Steaks
Sweet Potato Fries


Sunday~Chili Cheese Dog Pot Pie

Check out Laura's blog for great recipes and meal ideas!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dirty Thirty . . .He Gone

It is a sad day at our house. Caroline's beloved Nick Swisher is being traded. Not just traded but sent to the only team we hate more than the Cubs. The Yankees. Eeeewwww. There is weeping and wailing. She will be wearing sack cloth and ashes tomorrow. Bye Dirty Thirty. Guess this means we're stuck with Paulie for another year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Grass Is Not Greener

What do you DO all day?

It must be nice to have so much time on your hands.

I need the stimulation of my career.

Why did you get your degree if you're going to waste it?

Isn't it boring to be at home?

No wife/daughter of mine is going to sit home all day!

Can you do this/go here/buy that/bake this since you're home anyway?

I'm not the type of person who could be a SAHM.

We've all heard them a thousand times. I have been a Stay At Home Mom for 10 years now and I have heard 'em all. We all know the stereotypes of the SAHM who knows the storyline of "Days of Our Lives" and eats chocolates all day. We also know the rosy image of perfectly groomed mom baking cookies while well-adjusted toddlers play with blocks in the perfect family room. Neither one of those happening here.

I don't need to convince people that being a SAHM is hard. Or important. Or fulfilling. I need to convince myself. I think that is why those comments sting us SAHM so hard. We feel like we are always having to prove that we are not lazy or intellectually challenged. Being a SAHM is the ultimate self-starter position. Think about it. If your job. . .
  • didn't have a boss
  • didn't have clear guidelines
  • didn't have any hard deadlines
  • didn't have a schedule for production
  • didn't have a routine that stayed the same for any length of time
  • didn't have any specific works hours
  • didn't have any breaks
  • didn't have fear of discipline from the boss
  • AND didn't have a PAYCHECK
. . .would you keep that job very long? Probably not. This is a daily struggle for us SAHMs. To quote my "good friend" Kate Gosselin, mother of 8, "My day is make a meal, serve a meal, clean up a meal. Repeat." Trying to keep a home clean while having small children in it everyday is like straining rice with a tennis racket. I am sometimes so jealous of my girlfriends who have careers outside the home. They get to wear clothes that match and talk to people who know more than 50 words. They get to go to meetings and power lunches and say things like "Expense report." I get to go to Target and spend 45 minutes trying to keep Wyatt from contracting typhoid fever from licking the cart all the while comparing prices on toilet paper.

I do love being a SAHM. Most of the time. Some days. Sort of. I love the freedom I have to plan my week the way I want to. I love the fact that my kids are with me. I get to spend time with friends during the day which my dear dear dear husband likes to remind me when we have the weekly "my life sucks more than yours" fight. Yep, I spent 3 hours at the McDonald's Playland with Kary and her two youngest kids. It was more relaxing than a day at the spa. (Note the sarcasm.) These things I get to do are really like business trips. When you have to go to Florida to call on a client you are working. Even though it's sunny Florida you aren't visiting WDW or laying on the beach. Same with SAHM playdates and such. Prettier scenery but still work.

I'm really not sure the point of this whole post. It's not to convince people that SAHM have value. It's not to complain about how rough my life is. It is certainly not to start a WOTH/SAHM war because that is just dumb. We're all moms and make the best decisions we can. I know I get annoyed when a WOTH mom utters the comments listed so I try my very best not to even have those kind of thoughts about my WOTH mom friends. Honestly, I think we are so critical of moms who do it different because we are so insecure in our decisions. Motherhood is a constant state of second guessing. Is this right for my kid or is that right? We tend to beat down the other choice to make ourselves feel better about our own choices. The other reason we make those comments is pure stupidity. Simple not thinking about how it sounds to a mom on the other side of the proverbial fence. Moms are gifted at reading subtext and often use this power for evil instead of good. When a WOTH mom says "I need the stimulation of my career." she means she likes her career. When a SAHM hears that sentence she hears, "I am superiorly intelligent to you and am simply too evolved to spend my day watching soaps and Dora the Explorer in my PJs b/c that is what you do."

Again, I have no idea the point of this post but face it. The grass is not any greener anywhere else. Except if you live in Florida and have a dog to pee on it. Then you have really green grass and mine is brown for fall.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meal Plan Monday


With the non-stop fun of the holiday season coming up, I totally need to get organized and stick to a schedule! So in that spirit, I'm jumping back into MPM.

Monday~Bean and Ham Soup

Tuesday~Slow Bake BBQ Chix Thighs
Smashed Garlic Potatoes

Wednesday~Mexican Cornbread
Beans and Rice

Thursday~Chix Tetrazini

Friday~Mama is G-O-N-E!
Chix and Stuffing x2 for another family

Saturday~Out b/c Daddy is gonna need it!

Sunday~Chicken BLT Loaf w/ Honey Mustard

For lots of great meal ideas or to join MPM, go to Laura's blog!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Barack and Ozzie-BFFs

While y'all know I wasn't exactly thrilled with the outcome of the election, I have found something that Barack will do that I can get on board with!

Check THIS out!

You Say Tomato. . .

Since the elections are over we need something new to fight over. Tim and I have been fighting this battle for years.


Is it "Q-PON" or "COO-PON"


Monday, November 03, 2008

The Homecoming Queen

This kid is going to drive me to drink. That sweet angelic face is a cover for a deep naughty streak. Our biggest challenge with Amelia is she's just so stinkin' happy. NOTHING phases her. Take away her toys? No big deal. Take away computer time? Okie dokie. No TV? Ok, Mommy, I'll just read my books. AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!! Her kindergarten teacher is facing the same issue. A consequence that would send a regular kid into tears doesn't bother Amelia in the least. As Mrs Z wrote on her report card, "Amelia is overwhelmingly perky!" I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not. The worst part for Mrs Z? Amelia is a LEADER! All the kids love her. Girls give her their toys everyday and boys yell out their carpool windows at her. She eats it up. Loves it. She is the Homecoming Queen of 2008.

So all you who knew me back when I was the perfect mom, feel free to yuck it up. I deserve it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's Ebay Time!

All my Christmas and winter auctions are up! Finally. Take a peek, bid 'em up, and free shipping for blogging buddies! Boys 0-12 Months and Girls 0-3 up to Size 12 but mostly 3T, 5T, and 9/10.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Call Doc Baker. . . Wyatt's Got Small Pox. . .Or Something. . .

The Boy woke up like this today. Doc says she hasn't a clue and to keep an eye on it. Um, OK, great. Is he contagious? Is he having a reaction? Can he trick or treat? Not that I have a costume for him yet or anything. . .

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Hanky Sunday

I hope you are all sitting down. I have big news that will be a shock those of you who know me well. Hold on to your hats.

I cried in church today. Twice.

OK, I'll give you a sec to catch your breath. I am not a crier. Ever. Most especially in public. I don't even know if I cried at my mom's funeral in front of anyone. It's just not in me but I did it TWICE this morning. For the purpose of bringing a lot of folks up to date and to try to explain the spiritual journey that our family has been on for the past few years, we'll talk about why I cried in church.

We have decided to switch churches. This was not an easy or quick decision though because it was not something we talked about much it may seem that way. For 11 years we have been at Crossroads and it has been home to us. Crossroads is a seeker-driven church that has a heavy emphasis on outreach into the community. They do a great job of bring the news of God's grace to many people who would never set foot in a church. While we loved that part of Crossroads, many other things just didn't seem to be a good fit with our family. Tim and I both grew up in Christian Reformed churches with a heavy (sometimes too heavy!) emphasis on knowledge and "book learning" part of the Christian life. We also spent our jr high and high school years in smaller youth groups where we were able to have relationship with our leaders. Even thought I haven't talked to them in years, I still Greg and Mary Beth among the most influential people in my teen years. We also had the opportunity to participate in such denominational events as the YCF Convention, SWIM, and SERVE. While Crossroads has a great youth program, it does not provide these things that we want for our kids. While we are looking for these things in a kids/youth program, we saw a young man make Profession of Faith this morning. He is currently serving in the US Army and will be deployed to Afghanistan next spring. When he stood up there with the pastor and youth pastor and answered those questions, I cried. More than anything, I want my kids to stand up there and answer those questions and we have decided FOR US a different church is the best way to assist us as parents to lead our kids to that point. Just so you know, this is a personal decision for us, we are not making any statements that Crossroads is wrong or ineffective in their ministry to kids.

So after Profession of Faith we are moving at a rapid clip through the service until we get to the Celebration of Communion. We recited the Apostles Creed. If you need a reminder about how much I love creeds and such, you can read this old post. As we said the creed, I got all sniffly again. Not just because I missed it and love to say it but it was at that moment that I had confirmation from the Holy Spirit that we were doing the right thing. I jsut had that feeling that yes, we made the right decision. It's hard to move on. We have lots of friends at Crossroads and I am afraid we'll lose them. That fear~and a big dose of laziness~kept us at Crossroads for probably longer than we should have stayed. Things are starting to fall into place. The new church is starting a MOPS program and I have already been invited to be involved. We'll see if I'm ready to jump into MOPS again! So we are now where we belong for this time and we're happy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Dangerous to Count Other People's Money

My friend Leenie has an interesting discussion going on her blog about spoiled kids. This started out as a comment there but got a little long winded so I moved it here.

Often in our suburban culture we see who has what and we are all quick to make judgments based on that. While I do not know the pain of being stereotyped based on my race or appearance, people often make judgments about me based on my family. My family owns a profitable and publicly recognized business that bears the family name so I spent a lot of time growing up saying, "Yes, I am related to them." I realized this sounds a little like a "poor little rich girl" pity party but hang with me here! I am forever grateful that my parents were able to provide for my sister, brother and I. We all got the gift of a Christian education all the way through college. We got to travel and experience lots great things. My parents were able to assist my grandparents as they aged.

There is an assumption that if parents spend money on their kids they do not spend time with them or teach them anything valuable. Why is it one or the other? It is possible to be a good parent and have money. People make assumptions about me all the time based on my family's income level and sometimes that is really painful. I did not have things handed to me~with the exception of my college education I worked for things (my Guess jeans, my first car, ect.) just like everyone else. My parents were great parents and taught me all the same things that parents who weren't as well-off taught their kids. Spoiled is a mind set, not a dollar amount. Spoiling kids is teaching them the universe revolves around them. You can do that in lots of ways that do not involve money.

Yes, my kids wear name brand clothes. They have American Girl Dolls. They also do not own a gaming system or battery powered vehicles. They have never been to WDW. It's all relative. There will always be someone who spends $1 less on their kids and will call your kids spoiled. Holding a ruler up to a family and making judgments on how they spend their money is stereotyping. They are lots of well-off parents who are teaching their kids unconditional love and respect just as they are lots of parents who struggle financially and don't teach their kids these things. Judging people based on income or possessions is just as wrong as judging people on any other outside criteria.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Bad A$$ Baby Boy

Seriously, Wyatt. You are going to need to do better than that for anyone to be afraid of you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No Veep

Complete bummer. Dick Cheney had an irregular heart rhythm so he couldn't come to Marty's today. We still had a nice lunch and I got to meet a lot of people. VP Cheney called in and did a brief talk about the election on the phone so we did get to hear him. He really has a great sense of humor which kinda a surprised me. He's got such a dry old guy persona.

Thanks for all the advice on what to wear. I did figure it out on my own and did know not to wear jeans even though my dad called early this morning to make sure I didn't wear jeans. I think he was channeling my mother for a minute. I wore a brown skirt, ivory turtleneck sweater, and a tailored denim jacket none of which had baby stains of any sort on them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Are Stacey and Clinton?

I am so geeked! I am going to meet and greet VP Dick Cheney on Wednesday at my cousin's house. Marty Ozinga is running for US Congress and the Veep is coming to support and encourage the troops working to get Marty elected.

What on earth does a SAHM mom wear to this?! Someone told me "business casual". Great. My business casual is a pair of Old Navy yoga pants from 2002 and a pink T shirt with a baby food stain on it. Dressy would be a pair of jeans with a J Crew hoodie. Help.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Love This Harbor

I love Hilton Head. Seriously. It's my favorite place to go. It's probably genetic because my parents love Hilton Head. They went on their honeymoon there and have been back at least a zillion times since. It's one of those places that has that indescribable "thing" that makes you love it but I will try to tell you a bit about it. If you have ever been there, you know what I mean! Though for me, a lot of the love is nostalgia for my mom. She loved it there and it's the only place that I can still picture her.

This past summer we made our third trip to Hilton Head with Doug and Christine + Kiddos. What a trip! The last time we made this joint family vacation I was pregnant with Greta and Christine was pregnant with Wesley so we were at a bit of a disadvantage! This year was easier and harder. We had bigger kids which meant a trip to the park or the kiddie pool was not going to make them giddy but they were almost all old enough to fend for themselves a lot of the time. We did more splitting up this year than in the past but I think that worked out for the best. Tim and I are more "lay around and do nothing" vacationers and Doug and Christine are more "get out and do stuff" kinda folks. Well, maybe not exactly. Some of that is more a function of how old our kids are and how work-busy our lives back home are. Anyhoo, it worked nice to be able to split up or do things together based on schedules or lack of schedules~particularly Wyatt's naps. The big treat this tiem around was grown-up dinner! We went out for dinner twice without the kids and that was the highlight of the trip for me! We had a great time and love the tradition of doing HHI every summer.
Here's Amelia, Caroline, Emily B, and Greta waiting to Gregg to start singing. One of the best parts of Hilton Head is the fun family things to do. A long-time favorite of the my family is Gregg Russell AKA the Jerk Under the Tree. He's been playing under the Liberty Oak Tree in Harbor Town since 1976. Gregg is another Linda thing. She loved him so much. I remember her sitting at his show singing along with him. He's definitely heavy on the cheese but the more fruity grown up drinks you have, the more fun he is!After the show last summer, me and the kiddos with Gregg Russell.

Here's a shot of Doug and Tim getting ready for another fantabulous part of Hilton Head. A little family tradition we call Happy Hour. We start prepping at about 4:30 with the official start of HH on the screened in upper deck at 5:00. In addition to your choice of cocktail, there is always fresh local shrimp and oysters, cheese and crackers, veggies, and all kinds of other goodies. You could make a full meal out of Happy Hour and we often do!

Just one last shot of me and the girls last Christmas in Harbor Town. We love to go down to Carolina for Christmas. It's warmer than the Midwest and has great shopping!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What to Blog About

I want to blog about the presidential campaigns. But I won't. I want to blog about my family's spiritual journey. But I won't. I want to celebrate a Sox division win. But I can't. I want to blog about how cute my kids are. But that's annoying to everyone except me. I want to blog about how difficult one of kids is right now. But I won't.

I got nothin.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Recipe Box

I have a shoe box FULL of sauce-stained 3x5 cards dating back to the 80's when I first started my recipe collection. I have tried lots and lots and lots of different ways to store them and they just end up in a box under my desk. Since I have beccome blog-savvy, I have started a recipe blog to store them and add my own comments/memories to each one. My problem is that I totally forget about it and forget to add them. So my goal is to add one recipe per day til Halloween and I need you all to keep me accountable.

So go check out my recipes and add your own comments. Just click HERE!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I heard this stat on the radio today.

Among MARRIED women McCain is up 11%

Among SINGLE women Obama is up 14%

Why such a big difference? Discuss.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Selfish Soapboxing

Let me get up and preach for a sec here. I kinda feel bad doing it but hey . . .it's my blog. :-)

Please for the love of Pete, be an informed voter. Don't vote for McCain b/c Dr Dobson told you to. Don't vote for Obama b/c Oprah told you to. Obama is a gifted speaker and has lots of energy to bring to the office. Don't vote for him because of that. McCain is a admirable patriot and war hero. Don't vote for him because of that. Don't pick your candidate based of what your parents or grandparents have always done. Don't cast your vote b/c some mom at your kids' school heard that their neighbor's best friend's cousin's mailman got an email that said Obama doesn't say the pledge of allegience. Don't cast your vote based on the 30 second sound-byte you heard of Whoopi Goldberg on The View talking about going back to slavery if McCain is elected.

Above all, READ. Go to each candidate's website and read. Ask yourself this question. "What is the fundamental role of gov't in our society?"

Off my soapbox now. Go Bears.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One Pitch Away From Jumping

Me and my BFF at our first Sox game together.

As we watch the Sox do their traditional fall fall-apart, we have lots of chances to get our hopes up only to have the come crashing down. I have no illusion that we were going to repeat 05, but it would have been nice to win the division, make the the playoffs and maybe go out in 5 games to LAA. Alas, it shall not be cuz we just suck.

We did have a great time at the game with Ben and Kary last night. Pretty sad night when your Pick To Click is Dewayne Wise AKA at our house as "Dewayne Wayne". . . .and he wasn't even drunk.

Kary and hubby Ben thought we were negative fans. Nope. Just realistic. Well, Paulie DOES hit into a lot of DPs! Speaking of Paulie. . .I was expecting to wake up this morning and hear that he had blown out his ACL and his career was over. The guy rolled around and cried like a little girl. Dude, it's a sprain. Butch up or go to the NL.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

With a Rebel Yell. . .

I did something spontaneous and stupid today. I took my baby boy for a haircut. It WAS getting long and girly looking~not cool long but scraggly long. So I took him in to some butcher who made him look like an infant version of Billy Idol. AFTER this was all done, I remember that I have not taken him for his one year pics yet. AAHHH!

Here he is before the massacre~happy and smiling.
And here is my poor shorn baby. He really does have about an inch of hair left but it's so blond you can't even see it.
He's like a smiling sweet baby Billy Idol. I am the worst mommy ever.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Do you have ANY idea how many times Caroline wore this set last fall?!?! About a zillion. It was her favorite set. I KNOW I didn't pay any where NEAR that for it new. Gulp. I (heart) Ebay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bento Baby!

In addition to sending Amelia off to kindergarten and Greta to preschool, I have embarked on a another new adventure this fall. Bento lunches! What are bento lunches? They are based on Japanese box lunches that are made with yummy things like fish, eggs, seaweed, and rice. They are lunch boxes that divide into little compartments. This blog is a great overview of Bento lunches and I'm getting lots of inspiration from her! The idea is to send your kids with something more nutritious and to cut down on waste. It's GREEN! I know what you are thinking~who kidnapped Jen and replaced her with a tree-hugger?! I'm all about cutting down on waste if it saves me money. Less ziplocs to buy more cash for. . .um. . .the Gap?So here's Amelia's for today~ham chunks and colby-jack chunks, whole grain crackers, grape tomatoes with ranch dressing, one lone baby carrot, 3 organic oreos (do not laugh), and a small bag of pretzels for snack time. They eat one snack outside so it has to be in a disposable container.

Caroline's was a bit funner! She has Granny Smith apple slices, sliced mozzarella cheese, & whole grain crackers. She made these into little sandwiches which are super good! She also has grape tomatoes and organic oreos.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And They Are GONE!

I won't re-write my same post from the past 2 years. You can read them here and here. Nothing new to report this year except we did have our first case of nerves. Amelia melted down during the lay-hands-on-the-teacher-and-pray portion of the Open House last night. There was no stinkin' way she was going to TOUCH some person. Oh well. She'll do well in the CRC.

So here's the pics of the morning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Scaling Back

One of the greatest things about being a mom of school-age kids is that you get to do the New Year's Resolution thing 3 times. For me, the start of a new school year is about as blank slate as you can get. So here I sit starting 180 days in the face and trying to re-vamp yet again. What do I want to do this fall? How do I want things to go? What are my goals? Why do I think in Dr Phil's voice? I have literally lost sleep trying to organize my thoughts and plans. I struggled with answering the questions "What do I want our family to be like? How do I get there? What is standing in the way that can be altered?" Here's what Dr Phil's voice said.

1. I want our home to be warm and peaceful. Not necessarily quiet but peaceful.
2. I want our house to be organized and have routines that are well-run.
3. I want our marriage to be strong and to work with our personalities and not try to be the couple we are not.
4. I want our kids to love being at home and want to bring their friends here.
5. I want to parent my kids not just react to them.

So now that I figured out what I want I needed to figure out how to get there and what was blocking it. I have come to this stunning conclusion. I have too much on my plate. Many are great and wonderful things. Church things. Things other moms can easily do without disruption to their families. Things I enjoy. These are things that are keeping me from being the mom I want to be. One example? Feeding these people. I love to cook and nutrition is a passion of mine. (As is double cheeseburgers but that's another post!) I rarely cook a big meal b/c I am so busy doing A, B or C that I'm too tired or we get home just in time to throw a pizza in the oven. Some things can't budge. Tim's work schedule has no flexibility. The kids have to go to school. So what goes? Everything else that I don't love. That leaves Ebay and Bible study. I love doing Ebay. It provides me a "thing" that is all my own and lets me shop! It also covers a big chunk of our tuition so Ebay will continue! My Tuesday Bible study at church is also great. I love the study and time with grown-ups. Everything else? Gone. I need to be at home. Period. I can not accomplish the goals I want by doing 700 other things at once. While driving.

So as we start this new school year I have to be prepared to say "No." "I'm sorry, but now isn't a good time for me." "Thanks for thinking of me, but I really have to pass." While I understand lots of other moms can do 700 things at once and do them well, I can't. I'm done trying.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jose Cuervo Would Have Stuck His Landing

We are down here in Hilton Head having a swell time! We have swam (or is it swum?) til we're prune-y, eaten copious amount of food, had Happy Hour every day, and gone to see the jerk under the tree. Last night was a first for us. We went on our first Adults Only dinner and followed it up with Adults Only games~not THOSE games. . .get your mind out of the gutter. We had a bottle of tequila and a few limes and Olympic womens gymnastics. What a great combo. When the US women stuck their landings, we drank. When the Chinese women fell, we drank. By the end of the bottle, we drank cuz we liked the Russian girl's leotard and b/c Tim Daggett said "Beautiful body line." too many times. We might try it with swimming tonight.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dude, She's OLD

Happy birthday to my beloved oldest daughter! Caroline is 10 today. Eek. I am old. 10 is old. I REMEMBER being 10. It involved a lot of back talk and singing of Barbara Mandrell songs. She has spent much of the day complaining about how much her birthday sucks. We are leaving on vacay in a few days so I'm doing laundry, cleaning, packing, ect. She is PO'd that the rules of the house still apply and she is not the queen of the world. All in all, she's a sweet kid who is developing the life skills of shopping and golf. She's also a crazy White Sox fan. . .she actually shed tears last week out of fear that her beloved Nick Swisher might get traded. So happy birthday Caroline Rebekah. You've got 8 more years of free-loading and then you're out on your ear.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Our lovely second daughter Amelia is what my grandma would call "full of the dickens." She just spouts off whatever comes to mind. Out loud. At that moment. Here's a few of her most recent gems.

Upon hearing an organ for the first time in a traditional CRC
"MOMMY! WHAT is that NOISE?!?!"

Upon opening her birthday present from Aunt Seana and Uncle Jeff
"I am the luckiest girl in the world."

At our family reunion she got a pin with her name on it and picture of her Great Great Grandma on it. She walks up to the hostess of the reunion and says,
"This is my grandma who is dead."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is It Just Me?

  • who goes to bed thinking about what I get to eat tomorrow?
  • who is finally sick of Jon and Kate + Eight?
  • who wishes summer was less busy?
  • who has a drink after VBS?
  • who checks the radar every 20 minutes in case a storm cell develops? Oh wait. That's not me~that's my husband.
  • who hates Wal Mart but loves Target?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Fun

As a corollary to the Hair Metal, here is a fun QUIZ. I got all 10 correct. I think I am embarrassed to admit that.


1. Def Leppard
2. Poison
3. Warrant
4. Winger
5. Guns N Roses~~I hesitate to include them since they really aren't "hair metal"

1. My thighs
2. Hiding in the dining room to talk on the phone since there were no cordless phones!
3. Cheerleading camp
4. Cruising Bremen mall to pick up boys from the public high school (gasp!)
5. Seeing every movie that came out

(She's away at camp this week.)
1. Having another non-toddler in the house.
2. My gopher
3. Someone to share my excitement over the new fall clothes popping up online.
4. Her sweet willingness (well, most of the time!) to help her sisters
5. Her chores being done. I have had to unload the dishwasher all by myself! :-)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Boy is One

This was the little peanut last year. SO teeny and cute cute cute! Wyatt Nathan was only
5 lbs 2 oz and 17 inches long~the smallest of all my babies. It is a miracle that he has survived his sisters' "love" for an entire year. To read all about his birth story GO HERE.

Here is the big boy now. Of course he is nowhere near walking or even standing alone but his sisters were late to that party too. He crawls faster than I can run and screams like a girl. He was a great eater but lately has been on a hunger strike. I don't know if he's protesting high gas prices or lack of cheeseburgers for each meal but he eats like a bird. I'm not too worried since as Aunt Kim says, "Well, he can live off his own fat for a few days."

And so with this picture you can see my first boy mom dilemma (well, other than my constant worry that his boy part doesn't look "right") What to do with his hair? It is starting to get long and girly looking. As my ever-hip dad said, "That's the way the kids are wearing it these days." I am aware of the return of surfer/skater hair for boys but Wyatt has no curl or wave. Just stick straight locks. I really want to trim it so he can sport a faux hawk or at least get some product in there to wave it up. Hmmm. . . .
Here's one picture of Wyatt opening a present from Grandpa and Grandma up at the lake. He was pretty interested in the whole operation but his sisters were much more into stealing his toys and fighting over them. Ah, the story of his life. He will have a party at the end of this month that he will get to share with 2 of his sisters who also have summer birthdays. Just a small family thing~no ponys or jumper things. I still don't even have a menu.

So to my sweet baby boy Happy First Birthday! We're so glad Amelia hasn't scarred you for life. Yet. We all love you!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clarifying and De-Junking

First off for today, I want to clarify my last post. I wrote it after reading a magazine article about how kids don't have enough time to play and it got my brain churning. I was truly surprised that "lack of free play time" was a big enough issue that I was reading a magazine article about it. I wasn't trying to be negative about kids being in sports and activities but that's totally how I came off. SO sorry about that. I think sports are GREAT for kids to be involved in and as mine get older I'm sure we will. I was just stating why at this time in our family's life, it doesn't make sense for us, time-wise, financially, and otherwise. I'm not saying we CAN'T afford it, but just that it makes more sense for us to spend our cash on things we can all do together. With 3 little ones, schedule is huge. If we get off kilter for more than a day or two, Mommy pays dearly!

Moving right along, I'm on a quest. I have been reading a lot of labels lately and I'm getting serious about removing junk food from my kids diet. Now, I'm not going crazy and outlawing McDonald's or anything but I want our eating at home to be as healthy as possible so that things we have elsewhere are a treat. My first goal is to remove refined sugar from our house. It is SO much harder than I thought. Sugar is in everything! I have started with the basics~all natural peanut butter, applesauce, yogurt, ect. I am trying to get rid of the high fructose corn syrup type sugars. Some things like dried fruit are higher in sugar but are also high in vitamins and fiber. I'm also trying to keep all processed foods to an absolute minimum. Things like hot dogs, Spaghetti Os, and such.

I want to get some breakfast, lunch and snack ideas for summer and for fall lunch boxes. Breakfast is the easiest but snacks are killing me. Once you get past fruit and veggies there is not much left! We already do things like low fat string cheese and yogurt. The big girls love hummus with whole wheat pita chips.

The other big challenge with healthy eating is the cost. It is more expensive to go all natural for many reasons but so far in my experience, the biggest reason is the removal of generic products from the mix. We go through applesauce like crazy here but only Mott's makes a "No Sugar Added" applesauce so I'm stuck.

So throw some ideas at me! What healthy snacks do your kids love? What healthy options are good for lunch boxes? Do you have budget friendly tips?

Friday, June 27, 2008

If Play Is the Work of Childhood, How Come None of My Kids Gets a Paycheck?

"Children today do not have enough time to play."

"As difficult as it is, we must encourage unstructured free play for our kids."

Am I the only one who finds these quotes a bit, um, nuts?! All my kids DO is play. Not one of 'em did a lick of work today. Not one of 'em earned a paycheck. Not one of 'em did a single thing to earn their place at the dinner table. They are a bunch of free-loaders.

I have never been a joiner-type mom. My girls have never taken dance. No one in our house plays soccer. They wouldn't know a T-ball if it hit them in the face. Gymboree is a store we shop at not a place to have "Mommy and Me" class at. I don't like chaos and all these activities would seem to bring a whole lot of unwanted chaos to my world. I like days at home. I like all my ducks in a row.

My other issue is money. All these things cost lots and lots of cash. I don't want to spend my cash until I am totally convinced that it is something they will truly love and benefit from. Stalin-esque mom that I am, I also require them to kick in some funds for an activity. Yep. Caroline is forking over some of her allowance for this week's golf lessons. I'll probably let 'em hit VBS for free being that it's spiritual enrichment and all that jazz.

So back to unstructured free play. Um, I guess I'm a good mom cuz I spend most of my day saying, "GO PLAY!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a Garage SALE Not a Garage GIVE AWAY

I survived Day One of my garage sale. Heck, I thrived on Day One! I cleared just under $1000 and I am pretty cleaned out. People were buying things as Tim pulled them out of the basement. My glider that has rocked four babies~2 of whom had reflux~sold as we carried it out the front door. The funnest part was by lunchtime I had people showing up telling me their friends were calling them to come to my sale. Hee, hee. I'm famous.

Lady #1~How much for the glider?

Me~Um, $45?

Lady #1~Sold. Just keep walking it to my truck.

Me~Okie dokie.

The one thing I hate? The barter. I do make offers when I go garage sale-ing. If my pile is $12 I will offer $10. I had a lady this morning and it goes something like this:

Lady #2~Can you add me up? (As she drops about 15 outfits at my feet.)

Me~Sure. Add, add . . .$48.

Lady #2~Will you take $10?

Me~Uh, no. I'll take $45.

Lady #2~Well, all I have is a $20. Will you take $20.

Me~No, I'll take $45. You can come back Saturday afternoon and I might take $30.

Lady #2~Fine. (All huffy.) Here. (shoves $45 at me.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Evidently, It IS a Toy

My sweet baby boy is a man. He has discovered his winkie. Last week at a routine diaper change, his chubby little hand accidentally ran into the member and The Boy broke into a huge grin. Now any time he can, he shoves both chubby little hands into his Manland to play. He giggles. He squeals with delight. He yanks, pulls, and twists. I get a little green just thinking about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008


1. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves~Cher
2. Dead Man's Curve~Jan and Dean
3. Leader of the Pack~Whoever sang it?!
4. Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun~Julie Brown
5. Mr Roboto~Styx

1. I don't have to get dressed til lunchtime.
2. Caroline is here to play with her sisters.
3. It's warm.
4. I don't have to remember to read 900 papers every night.
5. School lunches.

1. Who else will I talk to at 7:30 am?
2. She gets me, man.
3. She doesn't laugh at my strange quirks.
4. She reminds me that my house really isn't that small. :-)
5. She goes shopping with me in the "backroom"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wearing Her Wooden Shoes

My conversation with Caroline this evening while listening to the Sox game.

Caroline~How many people in baseball are named Cabrera?

Mommy~Lots. In the Spanish speaking world it is like. . .

Caroline~Van Drunen?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Preschoolers and Baseball Do Not Mix

We took the girls to the White Sox game today. THAT was an experience. Some dreams were fulfilled and some went unrequited. Amelia was begging to leave in the top of the 2nd inning and Greta slept from the 4th to the 6th. Yep, you read that right. She slept. Not even Alexsi Ramierez's 3 run shot complete with fireworks could wake her up. It was Kids Day so the girls got to meet some players and get lots of "phonographs" (as Amelia referred to it as!)

Too bad Tim and Wyatt aren't in the pic~this would make a great Christmas card! Well, at least Mark Buehrle and I look good!
You can't see his face but at this moment Caroline's dreams are coming true~Mark Buehrle is signing her jersey! Other girls dream of meeting Miley Cyrus, mine dreams of baseball players. She was positively star struck.Greta on the other hand was not. She asked every player she saw, "Is you Bobby?" Lucky for her, they either laughed or didn't speak English. Unlucky for her, no one could point her to her beloved Bobby.

Ah, the ballpark hot dog. At least Tim got Greta's order of "plain" correct. Somehow my request of "Polish with onions" was heard as "hot dog with mustard." I hate mustard. Always have.

Just plain pre-nap cuteness.

Amelia was true to form. She either loved something or wanted to go home. She cried when she heard AJ wasn't signing today but perked right up when she got a bottle of Gatorade. She was too hot, she was too cold, it was wet, it was boring and on and on and on. . .Nighty, night.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Summer Resolutions

So tomorrow is the last day of school. Yay! I think. . . I am so excited about sleeping in~if you can call 7:15 sleeping in~and not having to go go go. I am not so sure I want 4 kids in my face ALL. DAY. LONG. This is the first summer in eons that we are FREE! It's been a long time coming! Summers past. . .

2002 My mom died in June so that was kinda a crazy summer.
2003 Amelia was born in June
2004 I found about I was expecting Greta in early June and spent most of that summer puking and sleeping on the couch.
2005 Greta was a teeny baby and I was post-partumly messed up.
2006 We moved in the middle of July.
2007 Wyatt was born in July.

SO 2008 is going to non-stop fun and games! I think. . . This is my solemn vow.

I will take the kids to the library once a week.
I will cook a real dinner 4 times a week.
I will do a fun craft/activity with the girls once a week.
I will say "yes" to more sleepovers.
We will all make our beds every day.
I will make a new chore chart next week. (Stay tuned for that post)
I will put sunscreen on everyone every day!
We will have ice cream for dinner once.
We will play in the sprinkler.
I will make lots of healthy snacks so we don't eat junk all summer.

Check back in Sept. . .

Monday, June 02, 2008

Jesus & Joanna, Sunburns and Plaid

We were at my niece Joanna's Profession of Faith all day on Sunday. At the risk of sounding totally cheesy and old, she's growing up so fast!! Joanna was born right before Tim and I got married. She was my first niece and I had so much fun with her! She's almost 15 now and so pretty! And TALL! She's a sweet girl and totally lets my girls look up to her. They think she walks on water so hopefully she'll be the perfect teenager!
Yes, I am aware that sun causes sunburn. Ouch. I was so comfy in my chair at the party after church yesterday. Wyatt was sleeping in the house and the girls were playing in the barn. I was so relaxed and now I'm paying for it. Ouch again.My children have been taken over by a strange plaid virus.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meal Plan Monday---On Tuesday

Monday~~Sweet and Sour BBQ Chicken
Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday~~Bar Louie $1 burger night

Wednesday~~Sonora Chicken Casserole
Rice and Beans

Thursday~~Dr appts for the girls~SHOTS! so leftovers

Friday~~Skillet Shrimp and Rice

Saturday and Sunday~~Going to Michigan for Joanna's Profession of Faith on Sunday~might leave Sat, might just go for the day

Friday, May 23, 2008


1. Kai-lan
2. The Upside Down Show
3. Zaboomfoo~Whatever happened to the HOT Kratt brothers?!?
4. Sesame Street
5. Super Wy!

1. Can't Buy Me Love~He is NOT McDreamy. He is Ronald Miller.
2. Say Anything
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
4. Back to the Future
5. Less Than Zero

1. Grace
2. Scarlett
3. Bronwyn
4. Charlotte
5. Reagan

1. Wilson
2. Hudson
3. Jack
4. Patrick
5. Reed

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Have the Asian Typhoid South American Parasite Tapeworm. . .Or Something Like That

I have been fighting this weird thing for 5 days now. According to WebMd, I either

A. am Lactose Intolerant
B. have just returned from a third world country
C. have an intestinal parasite
D. have a tumor
E. have scurvy or dysentary
F. am going to die

Hm. . .I really don't like any of my options. All I can say is that the 7-Up and Chicken Soup diet had better get me to my goal weight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Hate Mother's Day

There. I said it. I hate Mother's Day. For years I hated it because I wasn't a mom. I tried so hard for years and nothing. I lost my first pregnancy at 10 weeks on May 1, 1997 and week later was Mother's Day. I cried a lot and I'm not a crier~ask my BFFs, they'll tell you. Then later after I was granted temporary earthly possession of my babies, I hated Mother's Day because I didn't have my mom. I miss her. She should be here to laugh at her granddaughters falling into the pond (story for another blog) She should be here to yell at me for not watching her granddaughters and allowing them to fall into said pond. I miss having a mom. I have a great stepmom. Judy has been a great addition to our family~she truly has a gift of being a grandma to my kids without making me feel as if I can't miss my own mom. She has never once tried to mother me~which I appreciate SO much cuz I really don't like to be told what to do. (I needed to add that in case anyone was unaware!) Today I hated Mother's Day b/c it was the same as any other day. I got up and made the kids breakfast while Tim slept. I put them all to bed and did 90% of what happened in between. No rest for me! Amelia and Greta fought all evening, Wyatt fussed and refused to sleep and Caroline "forgot" her homework that is due tomorrow. Ugh. Would I trade back to Mother's Day 1997? Nope. Not in a minute.

Friday, May 02, 2008


1. Candi
2. Laura
3. Carol
4. Kim
5. Melissa

1. Wyatt is covered in snot
2. PMS
3. The anorexic runner girl hogs the treadmill
4. I haven't done laundry so I have no clean work out clothes.
5. I don't wanna

1. Linda Cardellini
2. Uncle Jesse as a Bad Boy Doc
3. Mekhi Phiefer~Yum
4. They still turn medical cases into thinly veiled political statements
5. I wanna be a doc

1. He's been in charge of Ozinga-land so why not more?
2. Red and white will be come the official colors of his district
3. Ruth throws sweet parties
4. Because we all need one more reason for people to say "Are you related to . . .?"
5. He can't possibly do a worse job than some other IL politicians.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Can You Hear Them?

The angels. They are singing. Loudly. The Hallelujah Chorus. Why? I'll tell you why. This is no longer our house. It is done. The very nice people moved in today. I love them. We are now the proud owners of only one home. Yippee.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Of Sliders and Sox

Oh what a week! All kinds of fun and games. Things have been pretty stressful around here with the house not selling thing and business woes so some fun was just what we needed! Wednesday I blew off all my chores and went to meet Christine for breakfast and to shop ALL ALONE at The GAP. Oh the fun. Got some great deals for the kids for summer~gotta love those clearance racks. Now for the fun with pictures!

On Thursday night we met Dad and Judy at the Cell for a Sox game. They had the tix and parking passes so we needed to figure out a way to meet up. Dad called Tim's cell as we were coming up to the Dan Ryan and asked where we were. We told him and looked out our window and they were right behind us. Couldn't have planned that if we tried! Anyhoo, our tickets were for the JIM BEAM CLUB. The pic above is the view from the seats. Even better, it's all you can eat and drink! I think I slipped into a food coma somewhere around the 6th inning. The cherry on top? The Sox beat the Yankees! I hate the Yankees.

It was a week of firsts for Wyatt. We took the kids to White Castle for the very first time. Everybody but Greta loved it. She was very put off by the lack of cheese and small square burgers. Here is the Boy with his new favorite food~sliders. He scarfed almost a whole one all by himself.

Lastly, Caroline and I went to the Sox game on Sunday afternoon~great tix again courtesy of Dad. We were right by first base and had a great view of the game! Only downer was I believe we were seating in the Ligue Family section. Holy drunk dudes, Batman. Since we were right near the visiting dugout all the drunk folk from all over the park came down to heckle the Orioles. We got there a bit too late for autographs but Caroline did get to run the bases!

The view from our seats.
AJ Pierzynski with a bit of a lead.

All the kids running the bases. Caroline is there with the Schutt boys.
GO SOX! Caroline got really good at screaming all of her favorite players names. Over and over and over. She also truly believed that the Fan-O-Meter would go up if she shrieked loud enough.
We had passes to the Stadium Club so we went to share some nachos and hot chocolate before the game. I *thought* I saw Ron Kittle at one point so I ran around like a crazy woman trying to find him. I know I can stalk him out here but hey. He's my fave.
Here he is.