Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mommy Brain is..... your 13-year old son the sippy cup at dinner time and...

...finding yourself with an arm load of clean laundry to put away then realize after standing there confused for a moment too long, that you're in the wrong child's closet.

So I've *ahem* heard....yeah....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just the Two of Us

My Sweetie has often said that my Love Language is NOT gifts.

I'm aware of this. I'm OK with this. I know I STINK at giving gifts. I accept my deficiency in being able to remember to send cards and thank yous.

My love language is a toss up between Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. Melt the two together and I'm a happy girl.

So as MY GIFT to My Sweetie for his birthday I planned a weekend to Chicago.

Just the two of us.

My parents took our boys for the entire weekend; a gift in itself!!!

On Saturday we strolled the Art Museum. This was a huge thing for me because to be honest with you, I was dreading the Art Museum. But, I was willing to do it because My Sweetie had wanted to go for so long and having a weekend without the kids seemed like the perfect opportunity to make that happen for him.

Guess what??? IT WAS GREAT!!!!! It was quiet and peaceful. I learned that I'm not as much of a dunce when it comes to art as I thought I would be. I enjoyed the Monet's and the Picasso's and the different paintings of different biblical scenes and many other unique, beautiful pieces.

Expect for the pile of rocks in the middle of a room....THAT I did NOT get!!!

Oh yeah, and the giant tissue box with a pipe coming out of it....I didn't get that one either.

Overall, it was a great day and I glad that I was able to make it happen for him and glad that I was able to experience it with him.

We had a yummy Italian dinner Saturday night and then went to Howl at the Moon; a dueling piano bar.

It was obvious that the 20 bachelorette parties (slight exaggeration) going on were having a little more fun than us, but I love music, especially music played on a piano and I was with My Sweetie so it was enjoyable.

We walked back to our hotel room from the piano bar and I again was able to experience something with My Sweetie that he loved......walking through the city at night. The weather was cool but not to cold, the streets were calm and quiet and the lights of the city reflecting off the river were beautiful.

We enjoyed a leisure Sunday breakfast and did some shopping on Michigan Ave. before heading home to our boys.

Of course we brought them gifts!!!! Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and Gino's East Pizza which we enjoyed for dinner the night after we returned.

Their Easter Candy also came from Chicago. But they'll have to wait another week for that.

As I do returning from any trip, I found myself suffering from B.R.A.D. as I drifted off to sleep Sunday night.....Back to Reality Anxiety Disorder. I found it hard and exhausting to get back into the swing of things with the kids on Monday. But in the long run, it's always so nice to be able to get away with My Sweetie; nice to reconnect and have time just the two of us.

The Celebration

My Sweetie has often said how much he dislikes birthdays.

It comes from one particular birthday when he received a wallet and a broken watch. I think it was his twelfth. He says it has been all down hill since then.

I've been trying to really make them special in some way for him over the past few years because he is so special to us. As you saw I get the kids involved as well.

He was late returning home the evening of his birthday (March 16th). He is the soccer director of our rec. league and had a planning meeting that went a little longer than he anticipated.

Little Dude hadn't had much of a nap that day and started heading to bed on his own around 8:15 p.m. He just couldn't wait any longer.

I did allow the other two boys to stay up so we could celebrate.

The Daddy came home to a decorated house, gifts of some of his favorite things and homemade chocolate pie.

and a big gift of something he wanted....

Our other grill we received as a wedding gift.....almost 14 years ago. It was time for a new one.

Little Dude woke up the next morning asking if Daddy was home. When I said yes, he darted out of his bed and down the stairs and dashed into our room to announce that it was Daddy's birthday and that he needed to get up!!!!

He had been part of the planning and preparation all day long and didn't get to celebrate. He didn't realize that the rest of us stayed up to celebrate.

But he did get to enjoy part of Daddy's gift.

My Sweetie commented, more than once, on how great of a birthday he had this year.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Theological Analogy

"God is like water and Satan is like paper because water destroys paper....even just one drop of water destroys paper"

Ya Gotta Have Faith

BuhBuh: **sigh** You don't have any faith in me.....

Me: I don't have any faith in you???

BuhBuh: don't have any faith in me to let me stay home by myself........**sigh**

Me: Well, it's not that I don't have faith in you, it's just that you are 7

BuhBuh: **sigh**

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank you God...

I got a call at 8 a.m. from a Church friend whose daughter is in my youth group.

She asked what we talked about at Church on Wednesday night.


I instantly started to replay the evening.

"We talked about confession....." I told her somewhat reluctantly.

There was a pause.

I asked, "Were there some problems???"

"Well," she said. "There have been two miracles since"

She continued to tell me about a conversation she had with the mom of another girl in my youth group. The mom said there had been some interesting conversations and she had seen some behavior changes in her daughter since Wednesday. The mom was wondering what happened at Church.

My Church friend also had noticed some drastic behavior changes in her daughter since Wednesday. It wasn't until after her conversation with this other mom that she wondered too if it had something to do with what had happened in Church this past week.

I remember talking to our Pastor after we were done and he commented that what I did was good.

Frankly, I was frustrated and just didn't have that "good feeling" I sometimes get after a good night.

From my perspective I saw kids wiggling around and not to pay attention; how could they have heard a thing I said or seen any of the words I had chosen so intentionally to put on the PowerPoint or heard the powerful words of the songs I had purposely chosen.

I feared maybe I had been a little "too deep" for this middle school group.

I never expected that it would lead to parents taking notice in behavior changes in their children and calling me.

I don't do what I do to get a pat on the back from the Pastor or from other parents.

I didn't share this story on my blog to get a "kudos" or a "good job" on my comment page.

God did this.

Not me.

The phone call I received from my friend was a God Moment. It simply opened my eyes just a little bit more to all that is Amazing, Awesome and Good about the work that God is doing in others through others.

Thank you God for answering my prayers before I met with the youth on Wednesday.

Thank you God for working in the hearts of the youth.

Thank you God for showing me, once again, that you can use me as a tool to make a small difference in Your Kingdom.

My only desire, is to be used by You.

Forgive me God, for doubting Your power, grace and mercy.

Thank you God for loving us even though we have all fallen short of your glory.

Continue to stir in the youth and in myself, Your Spirit so that we may continue to be more Christ-like in all that we do. ~Amen~

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Birthday Preparation

For each birthday The Daddy comes up with a new, amazing creation of what I like to call "Steamer Art". Last year he made Herky the Hawkeye for The Boys birthday and he made a Light Saber on our ceiling for BuhBuh's birthday.

I thought it would be fitting to have the boys decorate for The Daddy's birthday.

Did you know that you can get 8 rolls of streamers and two rolls of tape from the Dollar Tree for only$6????

Do you know what happens to your house when you give 2 boys each 4 rolls of streamers and a roll of tape???

And leave the roll of duck tape in reach and turn your back for a moment???

Oh, was WRAPPED around the bottom side of the table a couple of times.

Me: BuhBuh, Tell me about your streamer art...

BuhBuh: 'Da blue ones are for each time daddy yelled at me and 'da red ones are for 'da happy days.

Me: Which color has more??

BuhBuh: I donknow....dey about equal

I think they both have a new appreciation for what their daddy does for their birthdays each year.

BuhBuh asked, "How long does this take daddy to do for us?"

The Boy had lots of frustrated grumbles.

But in the end I think they both had a sense of pride about the streamer art they created for The Daddy to come home from the end of a long day to see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

35 Reasons why I LOVE My Sweetie

1. He's put up with me for 15 years. (Some days I'm sure it's harder than others.)
2. He calls me multiple times a day
3. He's spontaneous
4. He's always coming up with new ideas
5. He's my best friend
6. He spoils me (rotten and I LOVE IT!!!)
7. He is smart
8. He makes me laugh everyday
9. He looks GREAT in a suit....and I get to see him dressed up at some point during the day about 6 days a week
10. He allows me to use him as a giant teddy bear while we watch TV at night
11. He will stop at the store a hundred times a week to get that "one more thing" that I forgot at the store just so I don't have to go back into town and I secretly look forward to seeing what the "extras" that ended up in his cart are because they are always things I would never buy
12. He loves to buy me gifts.
13. He makes FANTASTIC pancakes
14. How hard he tries to push The Boy to be the best we know he is capable of
15. How he can get BuhBuh to do chores and do homework better than I can
16. Watching him be a dad to a third boy is just as fun as is was the first two times
17. How good he is coaching on the soccer field.
18. Watching him sing at Church
19. Hearing him lead prayer. (He doesn't do this at home, so when he does it at Church I just love it.)
20. He didn't use to talk about God or Jesus with me or around our kids. Now he does.
21. The affirming words he speaks to me....they fuel me more than I think he'll ever know.
22. His kisses....always in 3's
23. He's a beer snob and proud of it
24. He has a better sense of style than I do.
25. He works hard for our family
26. He is a kid at heart....that's why he's such a great dad.
27. He plays with each one of our kids in a way that speaks to each of their hearts. I hope they always remember how much their daddy loved having fun with them.
28. He cleans up after the kids throw up because he knows I can't handle it
29. He knows how to fix things around the house. Some guys don't. I'm glad mine does!
30. He is generous
31. He is supportive of my choices
32. He's a great role model for our boys. I know they will be great husbands and fathers because of him
33. He delivered two of our boys.
34. He takes great photographs
35. He makes me feel like a princess even on days when the house is a mess and I haven't had a shower.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time For Bed!!!!


You don't think he's learned how to stall bedtime already, do you???

You Might be a Redneck If.......

Your window treatment is a micro fleece blanket

and is being held up with duck tape

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Do you read the Sunday Funnies???

I really enjoy Baby fact that's usually the only one I read. There is one that My Sweetie cut out a while back hanging on our fridge right now.

Most weeks I giggle because they are cute. Some weeks I laugh or sigh because it is so true to our life.

I've recently been reading the Zits Comic Strip because it deals with a teenaged son.

Most weeks I giggle because they are true. Some weeks I laugh or sigh because it is so true to our life!

On January 31st of this year Zits published a comic strip that struck this mommas heart stings. I haven't been able to forget it since.

Check it out here.

I don't think I could have said it better myself.

Me: Hey, Buddy, wanna play a game??

Little Dude: YEAH!!!!!!!

Me: What game would you like to play??

Little Dude: Mario!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Teenage Makeover

I drug The Boy away from his video games Saturday afternoon to take him to buy some much needed new shoes.

He sat in the passenger seat of the car curled up and fell asleep.

He shuffled into the store and through the shoe department and quickly made a decision.

And then we browsed the shirts.....he perked up a bit.

Then he spied the "accessories".

A deal was made.

I would buy the shoes and shirts and he could buy the accessories.

I arrived home with this....

He relished in the attention that this "new look" got him at Church Saturday night and Sunday. He earned a couple of double takes.

Monday morning he graced us with his presence dressed once again in jeans and a hoodie.

Apparently it's just too hard put THAT much attitude and style into the ones attire at 6:30 a.m.

But I'm sure we will see THIS again soon....

Did you know.....

That I am one of THE world's meanest moms???


My 13-year old was accusing ME of child neglect the other day.

Because I MADE him.


Play outside in the 40+ degree, sunny weather.

I know, right! I should be cuffed and turned over to the authorities.

He's actually been really good about getting out to play this winter....the only problem the other night was that the snow is mostly melted.


To keep them for driving me batty about coming in I told them that they couldn't come in until 5:30.


After lots of begging, pleading, whining and negotiating (seriously, when will they learn that I won't change my mind and that I will ALWAYS be more stubborn than them!) The Boy resorted to this......(cue the violin strings)

He decided to recycle himself to a new family who would care more. (His words not mine.)

Poor thing.....don't you feel sorry for him????

You don't see a resemblance here at all, do you???

*No feelings were hurt in this post. The Boy has decided to not be recycled and is perfectly comfortable with the Oscar the Grouch analogy as he went to the store this weekend and picked out a newt-shirt....with Oscar the Grouch which he is wearing at school today*

Friday, March 05, 2010

Confessions of a Stay Home Mom

This morning I yelled a little louder than I should have at The Boy...then lectured him afterward just to make it clear that I meant business.

I was a grouchy mommy to BuhBuh who was a little squirrelly getting ready for school this morning.

Did I tell either of them I loved them before they got on the bus??

I worry daily about how I parent my children.

I worry most about how I parent The Boy.

I spent most of my morning on the computer surfing for new houses, reading blogs, and researching vacation ideas while Little Dude watched too much TV

Some days I really want a new house.

Most days I am perfectly content because I know that we are financially comfortable and I do enjoy being "close" to everyone when we are home.

I do want a kitchen make over though.

I was glad that My Sweetie had a long drive to an appointment today because I got to talk to him on the phone. We communicate best that way.

I love him so much.

I hope he knows it.

I thought about swatting Little Dude's butt because he continued to sit on the train table after I moved him multiple times

My floors are dirty

I have sheets and blankets that need to be washed

I have not yet balanced my checkbook for February

I have laundry to fold in the dryer and piles to put away

I had fun playing games with Little Dude after lunch.

I'm so glad he's part of our family.

I was too busy texting my brother while Little Dude and I were playing ball and he got upset with me

Little Dude had no desire to take a nap at 1 p.m. and had a meltdown letting me know

I closed the door to my bedroom and let him cry

He peed his pants while screaming at the bedroom door

I wonder if that was my fault?

I suppose I'll do more laundry

Once he calmed down and I read him some stories, it took Little Dude 2 minutes to fall asleep next to me.

While he was falling asleep I read my Bible

I'm glad to finally be done with Exodus.

It was mostly boring and I skimmed most of it.

The next two book pairings are Leviticus and Hebrews

I doubt Leviticus will be much better.

I'm not allowing the kids in the house when they get home.

I'm making them stay outside and play.

I plan to join them.

Dinner will be late.

I plan on making Tilapia.

I don't like cooking fish.

I should be spending some time finishing up with the planning of the Sunday evening Lenten service.

I should also probably put a little more thought into the Monthly Youth Night I am leading tomorrow night as well.

I'm not worried because I know I will get it done

Tomorrow is a new day......(THANK GOD!)

The best part about Saturdays is not having to get kids ready for school.

I hope I can sleep in until at least 8

8:30 would be best

9 would be a dream

Anything after 9 would just be too selfish

I will not feel guilty about them helping themselves to pop tarts and watching TV

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Oodles of Moodles

I LOVE homemade Chicken and Noodles.






I remember that my Grandpa used to make them. I remember having them for Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncles house.

My mom made them for us kids too. She has a home video of her and my brothers and I helping her make noodles when we were kids.

Although I much prefer when my mom makes them (I think they taste better) this has been one of our staple winter meals in our home. In fact I have lost track of how many times we've had this dish this winter. When chicken and potatoes are on sale and it only takes flour and eggs to make the noodles it is a very cheap, yummy meal to feed my family and there is ALWAYS leftovers! YUM!

I know my older boys at one time or another have helped me make noodles. So I figured it was time to teach Little Dude how to make them too.

He helped mix the eggs and flour

Helped to roll out the dough

And was most thrilled when he got to unroll the dough

He excitedly declared, "SNAKES!!! SNAKES!!!"

After explaining to him that they were not snakes, he then was just as excited to sit down and have "Moodles" for dinner.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Hiccups in my mouth"

Monday, March 01, 2010

February Catch Up

February is generally a very slow month for pictures in our home....this year it seems I have a few more than usual. So, here's a catch up report from the Laundry Trenches.

I'm sad to say that our Valentines Day pictures are gone. I don't know exactly what happened, but they were deleted from our camera somehow. I didn't think it was too big of a deal since I had already downloaded them onto the computer....then while downloading the rest of February they were saved over because they had the same "code" as the new ones I was downloading. I had a great picture of our dinner......candlelight with chocolate fondue and lots of yummy dippers. There was also a great picture of The Boy and I which is the photo I'm most sad about losing.

In my attempts to make homework time better, when we have an evening with no plans, and the weather is decent I've been trying to be a YES mom by allowing the boys to play outside when they get home from school.

I thought I had a picture of Little Dude but it must hiding with my Valentines Day pictures. I even said YES and allowed The Boy to go to a big (scary) hill to sled with a friend. He loved it.

Little Dude is a crazy cereal eater. Seriously, I fill his bowl sometimes 5 times.

He loves cereal.

I don't tend to buy the "junky" cereal so I guess it's OK....there are worse things he could be eating I suppose.

We took The Boy and BuhBuh to a dinner theatre to see a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was a family Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. Both boys really seemed to enjoy the entire experience. It was fun to watch them enjoy the evening.

BuhBuh attempted to make fake money.....

he really paid close attention to the details making sure there was a picture of a face in the middle of the money on one side and a building in the middle of the other side.

I asked him why he was crumpling them up into tiny balls and opening them up again. He said it was because money is wrinkly. Um, yay for creativity????

You don't think I should be worried about anything, do you???

Another February family outing was to see the Motor Cross Competition.

It was a little cheesy I thought but the people riding the motorcycles and bikes were really AWESOME!!!

This past Saturday the Daddy got some good help from BuhBuh and Little Dude in starting some early planting.....(note the bowl of cereal)

We now have lettuce, chives and a couple of other things growing in our basement under the grow lights. Mmmm....basement lettuce!

Little Dude enjoyed when BuhBuh was giving the trays a nice misting of water....

He would lay in just the perfect spot so that he could get misted too.

BuhBuh wanted to get 3 more spray bottles and have a holster to hold them in. (hehehe....look in the background....The Boy is giving Little Dude raspberries on his tummy)

My hibernation months are coming to an end. The Boy has his first Quiz Bowl meet this week which will last through the month of March. Soccer practice will be beginning soon for him as well and practices will overlap with Quiz Bowl for just this one month. Games usually begin in early April. Baseball practice will be starting up sometime in April for BuhBuh with games beginning in May.

Although the boys have 2 full months left of school, it will go fast. Before we know it, we'll be into our summer break where life takes on a whole new level of "busy".