Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Rest is Gravy

I love Appetizer Day. I love the Thanksgiving meal. But another meal I love is the turkey and gravy, a family tradition. A couple days after Thanksgiving, my mom makes a big pot of gravy with pieces of turkey. Then she bakes some biscuits. We pour the turkey and gravy over the biscuits and enjoy. It is just one of those a comfort food. Yum! I enjoyed every bite. (And there were still leftover appetizers to enjoy as well as...Christmas punch. :) It was a delicious end to the week. And I may have just overindulged tonight. I hate to see a good stuffed mushroom go to waste!

We had a good day leading up to this good food. Once again, we slept in until 9:00. Two days in a row. I was shocked and amazed and a little confused...that just never happens around here. We had just a lazy morning (my favorite kind). Then a little bit after lunch, a young lady from our neighborhood came down to watch the kids for a few hours. Mark and I got to go on a "double date"! We met up with my sister and her husband for a movie matinee. (We saw "The Blind Side" which I will comment on in another post very soon.) We even got to run a quick errand before heading home.

And now I am back to the beginning. Our delicious dinner. Along with the dinner, we had a very intense Razorback game on in the background (didn't go our way today but it was a good game). Loved the casual conversation (and sometimes teary, other times full of laughter) conversation with my mom and sister, those are special times to me. I so wish they lived closer and we could do that more often! And I loved the entertainment. With seven kids in the house, ages 10 and younger, there is a LOT of entertainment. They entertain each other (sometimes to our chagrin) and other times they entertain us. There was a lot of laughter this evening. A house bursting with love!

There is more to add but I am fading. We had another late night, so my time is more limited.

More later,

PS Thank you for the link for the reusable bags, Kathy. I will check them out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Confession is Good for the Soul

Sometimes you just have to confess things to feel a little bit better. Okay, obviously if I am posting this on a public blog, it isn't anything earth shattering. Sorry to disappoint. :) But I am just in a mood (playful), so indulge me...

Confessions of a tired, working mom...

1. I have never read any of the Twilight Series. It doesn't interest me AT all. I am not in anyway criticizing anyone who has. (I have found that some Twilight fans can get a little defensive via conversations on Facebook :) In fact, most of my friends have read it and have seen the newest movie by now. I know several people have said, "If you read one, you will be hooked, even if you don't think you will be." And that could be true. I LOVE to read. But my reading time is SO very limited, and I already have several books/authors I do know that I love to read (Nicholas Sparks, Francine Rivers). So I am passing as of now.
2. I think I have mentioned this before, but as the weather cools off, I am reminded even more...I do not like warm/hot drinks AT all. The smell of coffee is very unappealing to me. Don't like tea in the slightest. And as much as I like chocolate...NO hot chocolate for me. :)
3. I haven't been to a certain store that starts with a W in over 11 years. People around here (which is WM territory) always drop their mouths open if I mention that and ask me incredulously, "How do you survive?" Yet, somehow I do. :)
4. We have not decorated a bit for Christmas. Again, not criticizing anyone who has. I just like to wait until after Thanksgiving. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think "harvest", not "Christmas Tree". So, we have harvest stuff all over the house. Every time we travel at night (or these days, late afternoon), Lauren asks why "everyone else" has their lights up and we don't. I keep remind is only November. We do have time. She (my planner) is a bit panicky I think. ;)
5. I like vacuuming. I am first of all thankful for the vacuum cleaner. We use it a lot, especially under the breakfast table which is where we eat almost all of our meals. For some reason, I don't like the thought of vacuuming or getting it out (like it is that hard...pull it out of the closet, ready to go). But I love the power of the vacuum, being able to aim it at the wayward Cheerio or the cobweb that appeared overnight and suck them right up. And I also love the fact that I cannot hear much of anything when I do vacuum. Arguing? Cries for "Mom?" Can't hear a thing...
6. I am hooked on cooking shows. You would think I would cook a lot more as much as I watch them. :) Mark actually is the one who started me on them and now I am hooked. Top Chef, Iron Chef, them.
7. One of my greatest joys (well, one of many) is NOT setting my alarm clock. I don't get to sleep in much with the kiddos, but I still would rather wake up to them than to that buzzer!
8. As I have mentioned a few thousand times, I LOVE my Mtn. Dew each day. But I don't remember if I have mentioned that I also LOVE Coke...from McDonald's. I typically just get a small and only for certain meals (typically NOT McDonald's). But just thinking about it now makes my mouth water.
9. I LOVE sugary cereals. Right now we are eating Cocoa Pebbles. I also love Apple Jacks, Lucky Charms, and Frosted Flakes. Oh, and Captain Crunch with Crunchberries. :) I know that other cereals are much more healthy but they aren't nearly as tasty to me...
10. When I cleaned out under the kitchen sink yesterday (a project I have wanted to do for months but just haven't found time to do), there were probably 70+ grocery store bags under there! Actually that may be a low estimate. We do have a bag saver, and we do save bags for the trash, transporting items, etc. But that (the "saver" can only handle so much. So the others have just been stuffed over months. Needless to say, just taking out the extra bags cleaned out most of the cabinet area. Oh, I will be taking them to the school;we have someone who recycles the bags. By the way, I am still trying to figure out how to reduce that number. We obviously buy a lot of groceries. And I am interested in finding reusable bags to bring the groceries home in...but they would have to be just right size wise and material wise. That is on my "to do" list for the next year.

Okay, enough confession for now. I was just in a mood for "light weight" conversation. I better head to bed...tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have a lot of blessings to count before bed tonight!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cabin Fever

Well, we decided last night that I would stay at home with the kiddos today while Mark went to church. Our little guy's allergies continue to get the best of him. I really don't think he is contagious, but unless you really love him, you may not want to see all of the coughing, dripping (nose), etc. And I am still struggling with a cold or a virus (something that is making me ache all over). Mark needed to be at church to help with the Lord's Supper, and that meant nobody was there to supervise remaining children. So we had a family (five out of six) church day at home.

I was glad we did. I woke up hurting all over. Even my teeth hurt. And child 4 woke up with a matted eye. It thankfully isn't pink or anything, and I really don't think it is pinkeye...I just think the allergies/cold are in his eyes. And Hunter slept until 9. So in the end, I was glad we chose to be at home.

Home church wasn't quite as neat of an experience as it was the last time we did it. The youngest doesn't get the point at all...imagine that. :) We tried to have a family prayer time, and he kept rolling over his big brother and bringing out any and all toys he has that make noise. Child 3 was a bit on the grumpy side, so she wasn't really "into it", and even the oldest was just kind of ambivalent about it all. I did try though.

Tonight we were supposed to have our life group (community group). However, my mom (who usually watches the kids) wasn't feeling so hot either. So Mark went alone, while I stayed back with the kids. (He offered to let me go, but I still am dragging a bit)

All that to say, I have a little bit of cabin fever! (And thankfully that is all of the fever I have even though I keep thinking I do have a fever) I am really too tired and achy to go anywhere, but I think tomorrow, I may dash out of the door!

That being said, I have enjoyed the time with the kids. We have had some good conversation. We have enjoyed playing some games (not even just video real games!). And we have been able to catch up a little on housework. And I did get a nap today, which is always a plus. :)

I do have a few prayer requests, being that it is Sunday and all (or was when I started typing this).

Please pray for Hannah Grace. I have mentioned her before. She is a four year old daughter of a local teacher who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. I will admit, when I first heard her diagnosis, I thought, "Okay, this one CAN be beat." And it can. But little Hannah has had to deal with a lot of extra complications and difficulties (such as strokes), more than anyone could have imagined. I would guess her parents feel like they are on a roller coaster ride of emotions. She will have a good day then suddenly she is back in the ICU. Please pray for her healing and for her parents' strength and energy as they face each day, each new challenge. They have a strong faith, thankfully, but no matter what, as a momma it is agonizing to see your little one in any kind of pain.

Also, please continue to pray for Bonnie. She is an incredible lady if you ever get the chance to meet her. Even as she struggles with learning to live life without her husband, and even more, being a mommy (a very tired one at that) without her husband there to help, she has this genuine compassion and encouragement for other people. I can just imagine (or probably can't) how difficult the holidays will be this year...more new "normals". Please think about her and just pray for His strength.

And finally, please pray for us as we guide our children. We are dealing with behavior things with all of them...not big things but still things that must be dealt with. It can be tiring at times and a bit discouraging. Please pray for our wisdom and guidance as we figure out how to handle each situation that comes up, whether it is the impulsiveness of a toddler or the temper of a "big kid". There are days that it would be much easier to throw in the towel, to just "overlook" some flaws and issues, but in the end, we know now is the time to handle things...before they grow into bigger things.

Okay, one more finally, please pray for our health. So far we have avoided any major sickness, though I know it is all around. We are looking forward to the holiday, especially spending time with family. I am hoping we will all be well enough to enjoy each and every minute!

If there is something I can pray for you, let me know.

Off to bed...I DO have school tomorrow.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Night...

Okay, it is just Saturday afternoon. It just didn't have the same sound to it as "Saturday night". Besides, the rate I have been going, it may be Saturday night before this ever gets published.

I am enjoying a little peace and quiet. Mark has taken the girls to the school carnival. The youngest and I are still battling allergies or a cold (not sure which) so we opted to stay home. Apparently the oldest is too old for such things, so he stayed home too. Child 4 wanted to go outside, but I am tied to the stove making baked potato soup. So Child 1 agreed to take him out for me.

It is very heartwarming watching the two of them explore in the backyard. When we first started adopting, Child 1 wanted us to adopt a boy from France (he has a fascination with France) that was his age. I was worried that his little brother would be a huge disappointment to him, coming as a baby and obviously NOT from France. But from the beginning, the two boys took to each other. They are eight years apart, look completely different, but totally love each other. Oh, they drive each other crazy on occasion, but overall, Child 1 is exactly the big brother to Child 4 that I hoped in my heart he would be!

Even as I type, the boys have come in twice to show me treasures they have found...things like a red leaf and acorns. I love to watch Child 1 share his fascination and curiosity about the world with Child 4. They are both special boys.

Whew! What a long week it was! Most of us were dealing with allergy "crud" (such a precise word, isn't it?). And the younger two were a bit...emotional? They gave me a run for my money I will say. I felt like I spent much of the week in correction/discipline mode. I keep hoping it will pay off in the end but there were a couple times this week I was ready to throw my hands up in despair.

Last night (I did mention these are random thoughts, right?), we rented our second Redbox movie. I am really enjoying this convenience. We are such an exciting crew...we rented Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaur and ordered queso and chips for dinner. Really, aren't you envious of our Friday night?

I will admit, I only half watched the first part of the movie. After all, it is the third installment. How good can it be? Except that partway through, I realized it was very funny, as in those deep down laughs that come from the gut. The oldest was gone for the night, but the rest of us just enjoyed hanging out and chuckling throughout the movie. One of my favorite parts was when a giant T-Rex type dinosaur was chasing after one of the characters. The youngest started screaming at the T.V., "No bite, Dinosaur! No bite!" He is a funny boy (most of the time). He also chuckled pretty hard in some spots. He definitely has a sense of humor.

Another part that warmed my heart was when a baby mammoth was born. Child 3 was sitting next to me. She was particularly loving yesterday anyway. She watched the three mammoths, the two parent mammoths holding the baby, and she got the most tender look on her face. She said something to the effect that now she guessed they were a family. And that is how she sees it.

Another kid funny: Later that night, Mark was getting the youngest ready for bed. He was on the changing table while Mark put pjs on him. Mark said he was wiggling or something, so Mark fussed at him. He said that our son stopped and then lowered his voice and said, "I want Mommy." It is hard not to laugh sometimes!

Oh, and earlier that night (nothing like going backwards in your storytelling, good for confusing the readers), the girls decided to play hair stylist. Child 3 insisted on fixing my hair. I will NEVER complain about that. I love to have my hair played with, it is SO very relaxing even though at the end it is flat and probably greasy. Anyway, Child 4 got into the act (the joys of older sisters) and "fixed" my hair too. He then told me, "Mommy, you look pretty." Over and over. Really, how could you ever tire of hearing that (especially knowing what I really looked like)?

Now, back to today. It truly is Saturday night. Such is the story of my life. I start things then get distracted (not sure how :). We had baked potato soup for dinner. Yum. And then turkey sugar cookies (as in with a picture of a turkey on them, not made out of turkeys). And we had a little game time...Child 2 and I played Uno while Daddy played Memory with the little ones. Then books and bed. Pretty nice evening if you ask me.

Well, I better wrap up.

More later,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Countdown

I do love school. I really do. I enjoy being there. My heart goes all atwitter when I get a new book order in the mail. I still have a chalkboard (right next to my dry erase board) that I love to write on each day. One of my favorite times? Snack time. Not because I get to eat, but because at times throughout the year, we make something fun and different to eat (like bread and homemade "butter"); I love to watch my students experience new things. I have wonderful co-workers; they are like my second family away from home. And the hugs, the notes, the smiles I receive throughout the day, the sweet voices telling me that I look very pretty today or that they are having fun learning...all food for my soul.

That being said, I am ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The kids are too.

If you don't believe me, just step into the school. Listen. There is a definite buzz in the air, an electricity you can almost feel. Combine that with "snow like weather" (that never produced a flake), it is more than they (or I) can handle.

Even at home, my sweet children are pushing each and every button I have. I keep tripping over dirty socks. I hear tattles from the time I wake up until the time they are go to sleep. I feel like I am working some days at a complaint department in a department store...complaining, complaining, complaining. Just now, little Miss Child 3 came in distraught because her pants were falling down. That is how I am starting my day.

Oh, the joy of it all.

Five days (including today)...five days.

I can do it. Right?

Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remembering to Give Thanks

Okay, today was a day. (Technically, yesterday, but since I am not in bed, it is today for me :)

I could write a long diatribe of what the day was like. Some of it might make you cry, some of it was actually humorous. Or might be for me one day.

Instead of complaining (which I will warn may still emerge on occasion), I thought I would throw in a few more little things I am thankful for.

  • I am thankful for the sweet students in my class, eager to learn. They are a loving group, with complete devotion and adoration even on my grumpy days (which doesn't happen too often...I don't think)
  • I am thankful it didn't snow no matter how disappointed my son was (to the point he went on a short-lived hunger strike to protest :); I am just not ready for snow right now.
  • I am thankful my car started this morning so that we could be to school on time (instead of the dead battery I dealt with in the parking lot of Child 4's school.
  • I am thankful that I am at the same school as my kiddos (well, three out of four, the one and only time :(). Today, a group from the oldest's class came to share a reader's theater with my crew. It was a true joy to get to watch my son "in action".
  • I am thankful for some time to come home and eat lunch by myself, enjoying the peace and quiet.
  • I am thankful for the man I don't know who just happened to be at Child 4's school when my van battery was dead and "jumped" it for me so we could get on our way. Thank you!
  • I am thankful for a husband who went to the grocery story for me after we both had had long days.
  • I am grateful for the smell of pork tenderloin cooked in the slow cooker that is still drifting through the house.
  • I am still thankful for Child 1's orthodontist appointment yesterday which went much better than I expected.
  • I am grateful I can call my mom any time I am having a rough time as a Mommy. Or even a joyful time as a mommy.
  • I am thankful for early bedtimes (for little children).
  • I am grateful for a monitor so I can do just that...monitor, especially that ugly cough I hear coming from across the house. :(
  • I am thankful for my shoes even though tonight my feet are aching from wearing them all day.
  • I am thankful for my warm cozy bed which is where I am headed right now...I am wiped out.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow...


Monday, November 16, 2009

Million Dollar Smile

Our oldest had his first visit with the orthodontist!

We took this child to the dentist when he was probably 1.5 years old for his first check up. He got a good report overall. However, the dentist mentioned an ominous warning..."I can already tell you he will be in braces one day." Ahhh, music to my ears...NOT. :)

Over the years, we have watched his teeth grow in. In. Not out. He has only lost four teeth total. We kept mentioning to the dentist we were concerned; he wasn't losing teeth like most kids his age. The dentist was never overly concerned...probably because he reads x-rays MUCH better than I do. On the last visit, our dentist said, "It is time; he needs to see the orthodontist very soon." He even offered to make an appointment FOR us, which told me it really was time. No more putting it off.

Today was the day. We ended up cancelling the appointment with the orthodontist he made the appointment with. I am sure that orthodontist is fine. I just never felt a "peace" about it. One Sunday I mentioned at church our search for just the right person (a big plus- accepting our dental insurance). Immediately the folks in our Bible Fellowship (which will always be Sunday School to me) told us that we needed to see Dr. G. Not only does he go to our church, but he apparently he is just a neat guy.

The appointment was at 3:15 which is when I can officially leave school. So Mark picked Child 1 up (and also delivered Child 4 to my mom's), and then went on to the appointment. At 3:15, I hightailed it out with the girls, dropped them off at my mom's, then went on to the appointment. The office is not a quick drive, which is a negative. On the way there, I was beginning to wonder what we had done.

Thankfully I got to the appointment before the ortho had even made his way in. The assistant who had taken a lot of pictures of Child 1's mouth shared some information with me. I knew some of it but had forgotten most of it (I will get to that in a second). Child 1, who had been a tad bit nervous about the appointment (I am pretty sure he envisioned having braces strapped on his teeth on the first visit, ending his popcorn eating days), was completely relaxed and in pre-teen heaven. He had a DS in hand and was playing some kind of video game.

A short bit later, the ortho appeared. He goes to our church; Mark knows him, but I only have seen him from afar. He immediately put me at ease. The best words I heard was "There is no reason to do anything right now. We need to wait until all of the permanent teeth are in first." Big sigh of relief. I have heard stories of kids getting braces young then having to have them again a few years later.

The funniest words we heard were "Wow, I am really puzzled. I have not ever seen x-rays like this." Our son is missing four teeth (permanent). The ortho said that it is not very uncommon to be missing two on top. It is a bit more rare to be missing the two on the bottom. Apparently it is VERY uncommon to be missing both. :) We have always said our son was unique. Now we have proof! (Sadly, the four teeth he is NOT missing are his wisdom teeth.)

By the way, the missing teeth explains why Child 1 hasn't lost more teeth. There is nothing to push the baby teeth out of the way. (Ironically, one of his other teeth IS loose, the permanent tooth is already pushing it out of the way.)

Overall, the appointment was good. We don't have to go back for six months. There is definitely work to be done, but the ortho said as much as he wants to get in and fix things RIGHT now, the best thing to do is wait until all of the teeth have moved into place and then go from there. So we have some time left before we start shelling out for the million dollar mouth. At least with this child. I have a feeling the 8 year old is next in line for a visit!

Oh, and while the drive is not really convenient which a few months ago I would have said was one of my top requirements, I am glad we have made the choice we made. We are all very comfortable with Dr. G and feel like he has our son's best interests at heart. The staff was very friendly. The assistant even printed off a copy of our son's "smile pics" and his x-rays per Child 1's request. All that makes for a happy kid and two happy parents.

Now, I am off to bed.

More later,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thankfulness Abounds

Okay, before I forget, I have a PS for Santa Claus...I need someone to match all of those single socks that are piled high in the basket on top of the dryer.

Now that I have that out of the way, I thought I should actually turn thoughts to Thanksgiving which is happening before Christmas (no matter what the stores say or do). I would hope anybody reading (Here I feel a Bueller coming on, "Anyone? Anyone?) would know some of the obvious things I am thankful for, such as my husband, kids, extended family, my God. But here are a few more things I am thankful for to add to the list (just in case I sounded too whiny in my last post)...
  • a dishwasher. Oh, I joke (somewhat) about wanting another one. We use our dishwasher a LOT. And I am already mourning the day it decides to quit, though I don't blame it one bit. But I am SOOOO very thankful for the one we do have. Life would be very different without it.
  • a husband who goes with his wife's crazy schemes, like "I know we have stuff at the beginning of the day and you have a game to attend at the end, now, let's spontaneously jump in the car and head to the zoo..." without complaint. Or much complaint. (Pictures coming soon)
  • Sharpies. Do you know how often I use Sharpies both at home or at school? I am thankful for them.
  • Our newspaper. It isn't the same now; Mark's newspaper and MY newspaper are now ONE newspaper (cuts down on our recycling volume). I am just thankful we get a paper at all; I know they are a dying breed. While I do find a lot of my news online, for the best and most current local news, I cannot beat the newspapers.
  • For my minivan. I do complain a lot about it, and yes, I am still in mourning over the loss of my Honda Accord (which never would have held all four kids in the backseat). But it is a good vehicle for our family. It gives us room to move and store things, like books and other entertainment devices.
  • KLRC, our local Christian radio station. It is an uplifting experience each time I listen. Even more, I love to listen to our daughter join into the songs.
  • Ice cold Mountain Dews at the end of a long day. Love my Dews.
  • Ghiradelli dark chocolate with caramel squares...not only delicious but also healthy for my heart (the dark chocolate :)
  • My heated throw, especially on cold days.
  • Velcro shoes. If you have kids, you know why.
  • Digital cameras. I remember all too well using film. You had to be careful not to expose it to sunlight before it was finished. Then you would wait a few days for your pictures to come in, only to find your thumb was covering the lends in half of them...
  • Redbox movies. We just got our first one yesterday. I LOVED being able to walk right up, choose, and leave with a movie. Easy. My favorite kind!
  • DVR. I love being able to say, "Record this show any time it is on". Much better than being in the middle of the grocery store and realizing that you aren't home to set the VCR when needed.
  • A job that I love and look forward to each day.
  • Comments. I almost always enjoy the comments people leave on here. Usually makes me feel not so alone in the trials and tribulations of parenthood.

I can go on and on, and may do so this week. But for now, I keep dozing off. So I need to say farewell for tonight!


PS What little things are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa, I realize it is a bit early to send you a letter. However, the stores have NO problem playing Christmas music, I am seeing Christmas commercials on t.v., and there are already Christmas decorations going up wherever I look. Since I have quite a list of demands, I mean requests, I thought you might need a little extra time to work your magic.

Now, Santa, I think it goes without saying that I would like world peace, a thriving economy, for every orphan to find a family, for the pain and suffering of those with cancer or illness to be healed. Please know that while this list is mine and mine only, I would obviously wish for the above requests long before my own.

However, if you do take care of all of those requests, I have a few of my own that I would welcome...

I would like...
  • five minutes in the bathroom without one person coming to the door, yelling, "Mom???" then not having any type of emergency, at least real emergency.
  • two minutes without having a child seek me out to tattle on another child in the family.
  • for every child to wake up happy, to get dressed (with no help), and to be ready five minutes early.
  • for every child to be happy, no...thrilled, to partake in the meal that I have made. And even better that they might TELL me.
  • to get one picture of everybody in the family looking at me (the photographer) and SMILING a natural smile.
  • to have a fresh coat of paint (especially on major walls, doorframes, and baseboards) without me having to actually paint it.
  • a Roomba...I think it would always get to snack in our kitchen under the breakfast table.
  • an extra hour to my day (not to my kids' though)
  • an easier way to change the sheets on a bunk bed
  • an additional dishwasher so that dirty dishes never have to be IN the sink
  • a self-cleaning refrigerator
  • cute stylish pants that would automatically adjust to my body's weight and size
  • someone who could match all of those lonely socks I have piled in a basket on my dryer
  • a chauffeur to deliver children to their extracurricular activities
  • a magic wand to magically clean those rooms that belong to little people, the very ones that make me cringe each time I walk in the door
  • a volume control for anyone ages 12 and under in the house, including a mute button to be used when needed
  • an exercise program that requires little energy or effort but burns millions of calories
  • a guidebook to give me step by step directions on how to handle any situation or conversation that arises in our house on a given day
  • a personal hairstylist to fix the girls' hair in a cute and unique way every day instead of the one lone scrunchy I know how to put in (sometimes unevenly)
  • (thanks to my friend Robin for this one) a refrigerated oven that I can turn on remotely to start dinner
  • a professional landscaper to come and create a delightful yard that fits the needs of all of our family (and throw in a neat fort/swingset to boot)

Santa, I know there are so many more things, but I don't want to take up my fair share (I am trying to tone down Christmas after all :), so I will save those requests for another day.


Reba, a.k.a. the Mom

PS Yes, despite what my children have said, I have been good or good enough all year long...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grand Schemes

Such grand schemes I had today. I was going to leisurely write an entry on here, get a LOT of projects done around the house (while working around a doctor's appointment which is why I wasn't at school), exercise for thirty minutes. Ha!

The day started when I got up to eat breakfast with the kids so I could send them on their merry way. And it might have been merry had it not been for a certain little boy who has been a roller coaster of emotions since the time change. Oh my. The youngest has always been a bit high energy and high maintenance (slightly...not as much as he could be :). But the past couple of words to describe it. He did get up happy enough, even willingly sat in his high chair (that varies from day to day). And he was just fine until his banana fell apart. Then he was not fine. And that set his mood for the rest of the morning. It was only an hour, but when Mark finally walked out of the house with him, I was wiped out for the day!

My first order of the day was grocery shopping. I had a BUNCH of other things I really wanted to do be doing (not even "relaxing stuff", more like cleaning/organizing). But the grocery store was a priority. I made a menu for the week and I needed the supplies. I will say that it was a treat to go to the store by myself and not after dark when I have taught and mommied all day. It is still not one of my favorite chores, but it was much needed. (Side note...I have really been making an effort to cook more)

Just to show you how tense I still was from the morning, I impulsively (which I don't do often) bought a devotion book called Time Out for Tired Moms. Of course, I am not sure when I will get a chance to read it, but simply buying it and knowing I wasn't alone was a bit of therapy for me...

I came home and had just enough time to put the groceries away before heading to my appointment. (Just a checkup)

After the appointment, I swung by Target to pick up a few needed items for my organization efforts. Then I drove through Sonic to grab a light (are Cheddar Bites light :) lunch. By the time I ate and relaxed for just a minute with a magazine, I had about an hour and a half to do any kind of organizing which is what I had hoped to do a lot of. Sigh!

I had a long list of projects I wanted to work on, like our laundry room, a pile of magazines I need to deal with, filing bills/invoices, cleaning out our son's closet, cleaning out underneath our kitchen sink. But I decided to work on a hall closet that had gotten out of control. I also needed to create a little space for the girls' overflow clothing. Winter clothes are so bulky anyway. When you have two little girls sharing a room, well, clothes, clothes, everywhere! So now one of our hall closets has two plastic drawers where we can put the overflow clothes. Then I can cycle them in and out as they get washed. I also tackled a mess of wrapping paper, gift wrap, and bows that had exploded all over a hall closet. I didn't quite finish but I did get most of it the way I wanted it.

So after all my grand schemes, that is what I accomplished. One doctor's appointment, a few groceries, and a somewhat organized closet.

Sigh again.

After school, I picked up the kiddos. Not surprisingly, the youngest's teacher admitted, "He has been a bit ornery today." (Do you think I was surprised? Only that I don't hear that more often :)

After snacks, I announced that we would play in the garage (so I could clean it). The kids LOVE to do that...they get to play on the driveway which we don't do very often...I worry too much about safety. They were ready to go. And play they did. They had a wonderful time playing. As for me, well, that grand scheme of cleaning was a bit out of reach. The two younger children require full time supervision since they have yet to find any kind of fear of the road and its occupants. I did get a few boxes moved around and hopefully cleaned out so I don't hear any complaints form the peanut gallery about how hard it is to park in there...time will tell on that one.

The kids would have stayed out forever. We ended up with a yard full of neighborhood kids plus my own. There was sidewalk chalk all over the driveway, basketballs rolling down the street, scooters and bikes parked by the side of the road. And when he could, Child 4 just delighted in running around the yard. Cheap fun. My favorite kind!

I did finally force my kiddos inside so I could get started on dinner.

The bad news is my grand schemes were just that-schemes...nothing more. Nothing every truly came to fruition. I even thought (mistakenly) that having that time alone would help me not feel so tired at night. As I sit here fighting to stay awake, it is clear to me that it is who I am right now...has nothing to do with my day or my daily activities. It is also clear that I need a whole week of no kids, no interruptions. One day is just not enough.

The good news is that I did get a little down time (even just belting out a song with my i-Touch with nobody there to tell me how bad it was :), much needed.

Tomorrow, it is back to school.

More later!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I am a bit behind in blogging. I wanted to share a little (not all the details...I don't kiss and tell :) about our anniversary getaway two weeks ago. I want to remember it on those days when I wonder if we will ever have time alone again...

Our anniversary was officially October 26, a Monday. However, on October 24 (a Saturday), Mark surprised me by sharing that we would be dropping the kids off at my parents' house for the night and would have basically the next 24 hours to ourselves.

What a true gift! We love our kids, we really do. In fact, I said I would be ready to start date night only after we had hiked Tanyard Creek with them. But I have also mentioned a time or two that we just enjoy our time together. Alone. No interruptions. We are different as night and day but we have a lot of fun together.

So after the hike, we did drop the kiddos off. I don't know that any of them noticed. They were too excited to be at Grams and Grampops' house (more screen time and yummier food :). We went home and got ready for our date...dinner out.

For dinner we went to a place called Theos down off the square in Fayetteville. Just being there was a treat. It is a grown up place. No crayons offered at the door. I don't think there was even a kids' menu. We did learn that reservations are quite helpful at this restaurant, but thankfully they squeezed us in.

We enjoyed adult conversation. We enjoyed not having to wipe anyone's hands or cut up anyone's food. And we (at least I) REALLY enjoyed the filet mignon which was one of the most tender steaks I have had in a really long time. Or ever. It was delicious. Lately Mark and I have been watching cooking shows like "Chopped" and "Top Chef". When our food was brought to us, we both said right away that it had a "Chopped" look to it. Quite delicious! After we devoured our steaks (and I am not afraid to say I did), we treated ourselves to a dark chocolate caramel molten cake. Usually when we share a dessert, Mark eats a polite big then I finish it. Except this dessert was delicious. Mouth watering. Really, indescribable. And we had to fight over the last bites.

It was a wonderful evening.

In the morning, we slept in. Nobody woke us up demanding to eat or asking to watch cartoons. We just woke up at our leisure. I would be lying if I didn't was heavenly. :)

After we got up and around, we headed down the road to Devil's Den to tackle the Yellow Rock hike. We love taking the kids hiking, but it was a treat to hike by ourselves (well, and the several other people with the same idea) too. Here are a few pics of the fall decor...

Mark checks out the land...

One of the many little creek areas we encountered

Yes, another together picture. We cannot help ourselves. :)
The view from Yellow Rock looking down at the creek below

Apparently it is called "Yellow Rock" because of the yellow tint it has to it. I know there is a more scientific explanation, but I am too tired to research it...
This time someone actually offered to take our picture together. A rare treat! (Windblown look and all)
Climbing uphill (probably what he feels like marriage to me is like each and every day :)
Another beautiful creek to enjoy!
Me and my honey
A little off road exploring

After the hike, we headed back to NWArk for a late lunch/early dinner at Carrabas (yum). Then we decided we had just enough time to go to the movies, a very rare treat, especially if it is not a cartoon. We saw the movie "Love Happens" with Jennifer Aniston. I am pretty picky with movies; I don't like horror movies at all and only watch an occasional adventure movie. I tend to stick with romantic comedies. Well, the movie was romantic, but it was not much of a comedy. I wasn't expecting it to be quite as heavy or sad as it was. I am not saying I didn't like it. I did. It was just so emotional.

Even through the tears...loved our night/day away. A true treat! (Thanks to Grams and Grampops for keeping up with our little people so we could have the together time.)

I better get busy. I am having a hard time keeping up this week with much of anything. I don't think I am handling the time change well.