Monday, December 31, 2007

S'mores Ornaments

FINALLY! After nearly 2 months without scrapping, I finally broke down and did a layout. Of course, this required me to deliberately ignore all of the other things that are much more urgent, and therefore should be higher priority. But I've been doing the 'responsible' thing non-stop for weeks without allowing myself much of a break (unless you count Christmas shopping, which wasn't really all that leisurely). So, I decided to be a bit selfish with my time today...since it is a holiday and all.

Back in November, while we were at Grandma & Grandpa H's house, the kids did some Christmas projects (of course, since Grandma H. is the project queen). They did a gingerbread house and some penguin ornaments. Then, Sebastian got the idea to make s'mores snowman ornaments out of marshmallows. He decided they could make their own ornaments like the ones hanging on Grandma's tree. Cute idea, really. So, they dug out whatever supplies they had on hand and set to work. They all 4 made one - Grandma included. So, here's the layout to capture their ornaments.

Journaling: On Thanksgiving break, Sebastian had a great thought. Let's make s'mores snowmen! We'll like them a lot! So they got the marshmallows, chocolate and white, and as they created, their hearts filled with delight. They put on the scarves, the noses and eyes. Then they showed them to Mommy. What a great surprise!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Do you believe in miracles?

I have a story for you. You can decide for yourself if you believe there was any divine intervention. I know what I think...

For his birthday, Isaac got a Notre Dame jersey and a Pirates of the Caribbean movie/computer game combo pack, among other gifts. We loaded everything up from the party, stuck it in the van, and headed to Lucas' parents' for Christmas. The next day, after opening gifts, we packed up the van once more and headed back to my parents' house for another Christmas celebration. Isaac was wearing his new jersey.

We spent the day at my parents. The kids played; we all opened our gifts, sat around and had lunch, and just hung out. We ended up having to stay the night due to the weather (which I already shared in a previous post). So, the next morning, once more, we loaded the van, which was packed to the brim at this point, and headed home.

When we got home, we unloaded everything. Lucas went through all the gift bags and took each new toy, game, movie, and article of clothing out and put it away. When he was done, he asked me what I had done with Isaac's Pirate movie. I told him that I had put it in the red and blue gift bag with some other gifts. He told me that he had seen the other gifts, but not the movie. We looked through everything once more. We looked in the boys' room, in Meagan's room, and even under the tree more than once. No movie. We called our parents and asked them to search. Lucas even went out and dug through the boxes and bags in the garbage to make sure it hadn't been thrown away. Still no movie.

The next day, I was putting the rest of the laundry away. I noticed that Meagan and Sebastian's blue ND jerseys were there, but not Isaac's green jersey. So, yet another search began. I looked in everything - under everything - pretty much everywhere I could think. No jersey. Again, I called my mom and Lucas' mom, and asked them to look. We even went back to pictures we had taken to see if we could see the last place Isaac was wearing his jersey. I had a picture of him wearing it just before we left Guy & Jane's, but we couldn't find any pictures of it on him afterward. Not very helpful.

At this point, I was getting mad. It was almost like things were disappearing right out from under our noses. I know I tend to be a bit scatterbrained, but this was beyond that - it was just plain ridiculous. So I prayed and asked God to return them to us or show us where to look. It seemed like a funny thing to pray about, but I prayed it just the same.

Well, the last time we had seen either of the two gifts was on the 15th (the movie, as we packed up to leave Isaac's party) and 16th (when Isaac was wearing his jersey). Nine days later we find ourselves at our house on Christmas morning opening gifts. I had just given a gift to Lucas. I turned back toward the tree just in time to see Meagan reach into the middle of the present pile and pull out the unwrapped Pirates movie and computer game. Just like it had been there the whole time. I think my jaw might have hit the floor. I know I had looked under the tree two or three times. I know Lucas looked. And each of us looked again as we were putting our gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve. That movie was not there earlier. I will never be convinced that it had been there the whole time and we just continually overlooked was NOT there. Yet, somehow, on Christmas morning, it appeared under the tree, right under our noses as if it had never been gone. At that moment, I thanked God, and I asked again, 'now, can we just have the jersey back.'

About 20 minutes later, the phone rang. My mom had found the jersey. It had somehow gotten shoved into the tiniest opening underneath a big set of drawers in one of her guest rooms. Why it was there, I have no idea. She had looked in that room a few times already, but she felt prompted to look again. She looked through the closet with no results. So she laid down on her back on the floor, and turned her head in thought. As she did, something caught her other way besides getting down to where she was would she ever have been able to find that silly shirt. Yet, she found it. Very cool.

Now, maybe it was just a long string of coincidences. Maybe we had misplaced the movie under the tree and repeatedly overlooked it. Maybe Meagan had stashed it away, just waiting for the perfect moment to reveal her hidden treasure. Maybe. But I don't think so. And maybe my mom would have eventually come across the jersey tucked away in the most obscure spot imaginable. Maybe she would have looked there, but it's unlikely - really, it would be much easier to believe that there was no way the jersey could have gotten under that particular piece of furniture to begin with. For my part, I choose to believe that God returned to us what had been lost, and helped us to find what we may never have otherwise found. I believe it because He's just cool like that! And what better day to show up with a miracle than on Christmas?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

wii wish you a Merry Christmas!

What an absolutely beautiful Christmas we had! This year we continued our 'tradition' that we started last year - camping by the tree. So, on the 23rd (because they can't be in the living room in tents when Santa comes to bring the presents, you know), we set up their tents in the living room. We all watched the 3rd Pirates movie together (finally...long story...I'll share in another later), then the kids went to sleep in their tents with Christmas music and Christmas tree lights on. (Don't you love Meagan's static?)

Christmas Eve, we kept up our tradition of eating at The Gavel, a little hometown restaurant here. Our first Christmas here, right after we moved in, for some reason or other (which I can't seem to remember right now...maybe we didn't have our kitchen appliances yet?) we decided to go out to eat for dinner. Every year since, we've had Christmas Eve dinner at the Gavel. Anyway...after dinner, we came home and let the kids open their one gift for Christmas Eve (yet another little tradition we have around here). This year, Meagan got a Dora Play-Dough set, adn the boys got Moon Sand (which might possibly be the messiest gift ever! We've postponed further moon sand playing until spring when they can go OUTSIDE). Then we headed to church for the candlelight service (which started at, that's an hour past our kids' bedtime, which meant it was 2+ hours past bedtime when they actually went to bed...but it was worth it). I didn't get a chance to take pictures before we left, so I attempted it when we got home...they look pretty whooped, don't they?!

Well, around 6:30 Christmas morning, Meagan came in and got in bed with us, but, thankfully, she was willing to lay still and go back to sleep! Sebastian got up about an hour later, and the rest of us got up about a half-hour after that. Meagan sort of jumped the gun on opening presents...before we got out of bed, I heard her in the living room shouting "Wow, my very own dragon!" after which I got up quickly (LOL). Other than that, Christmas morning went off without a hitch. The boys liked all of their gifts - they've got quite a transformer collection now - and Meagan loved her dollhouse (she calls it her princess castle). I was super excited to get an ipod!!!!! and I spent at least an hour in the evening downloading songs with all of my itunes cards I got for Christmas! And Lucas' favorite gift, I would have to say is the wii. Thanks to our favorite Canadians, we had a wii under the tree this year! We wii boxed and bowled and played tennis, and boxed some more. And my arms turned to jello-y mush, and my shoulders stopped moving the way they're supposed to move, and I'm just all-together sore right now. But it is WAY more fun the I was expecting.

I think tonight was our last bit of Christmas celebration. We went to dinner with the church staff and spouses to celebrate Christmas together. We had a great night and I got to eat turtle cheesecake and drink Mt. Dew, which is always a good thing. Now, we're off to bed to watch The Order of the Phoenix until we fall asleep (for the 3rd night in a row...we aren't getting very far...we're only at Christmas break...maybe tonight we'll stay awake for more than 20 minutes). Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! (Oh, and sorry I didn't get my Christmas cards out - I lost my address book and didn't get around to recollecting addresses in time. Which means I could use your addresses sent to me again in some form or fashion if you get a second...thanks!) Goodnight!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A reminder to me

This evening I went out to pick up dinner...we had a busy cleaning day, and it was 6:00 when I stopped, and by then I was out of time to prepare and cook anything that we have...anyway, not the point of my story, so I'll move on. On the way home, as I turned down our road, I was taken back to December 2004 - the night we bought our house. We turned down that same road - the road we now travel without a second thought - in the dark cold. The road was lit, just like tonight, with Christmas lights on many of the houses. I remember Lucas commenting how well the kids would like our road because of all the lights. I remember how excited I felt as we passed all the lit houses - excited to be moving to a small town in a new state - excited to be moving into such a nice, new house with new windows and a working furnace - and a little nervous about the next few days and all they would bring. But I mostly remember being overwhelmed with gratefulness at all that God had given us and brought us through. I was so thankful. And tonight I was ashamed of myself, because I realized how quickly I have begun to take it all for granted. Instead of excitement about the lights, I have thoughts about how tacky some of the yard ornaments are. Instead of anticipating the drive down the little side street that we live on, I grumble in my head because it's not plowed properly. And I open the garage and pull in and park without giving a second thought to all that we have been blessed with. Shame on me. Instantly my heart flooded with a renewed sense of thankfulness - a realization of how very blessed we really are and how much we have to be grateful for. I hope I don't forget so easily again all I have been reminded of this evening.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The last few days...

Ta Dah!! Done with Christmas (other than buying 1 pack of undies for Sebastian's stocking)! Everything is bought, wrapped, tagged and accounted for! Now I'm TIRED!

This morning the kids and I left the house around 10:00 and headed to Target and the mall. Then, later this afternoon, I finished up at Wal-Mart. While the day was full of momentary frustrations, I am happy to say that I (for the most part) kept my cool, wasn't rude - which took lots of effort at times - and I got quite a bit done in the end.

I even put a basket of small things together to take to a family here in town This family has 6 kids, and the youngest is on hospice care for a brain tumor. The mom has had to quit her job to be with him, so they've found themselves in a really tough spot. What I put together for them really isn't much, but I hope it's enough to let them know that people care - that God cares. I'm excited to give it to them...maybe tomorrow. If not, probably Monday.

Well, this past Tuesday we celebrated Isaac's actual birthday. My second baby is FIVE! Yikes! That evening was not only Isaac's birthday, but also Sebastian's school Christmas music program. So, for dinner we stayed in town and headed to Pizza Hut. Sebastian had earned a free pizza for book-it (funny, I remember those from when I was in elementary), and Isaac wanted pizza, so it just kind of worked out. We had dinner, then headed back to the house for presents and cookies. (He picked ice cream cone cookies instead of cake. I must admit, they looked a lot better than they tasted...oh well, he liked them).

Sebastian's musical started at 7:45 at night...WHAT! HE'S IN 1ST GRADE...SHOULDN'T HE BE GOING TO BED AROUND THEN? Oh well. They said 7:45, so that's what we did. It was pretty cute. During one song I was having difficulties videoing because I was laughing so hard. It was a rap - yes, a Christmas rap done by 1st and 2nd graders. 'You're puny. You're small. You're not even tall.' And then, while they were rapping, they were bending and clapping and dong, can you say NO RHYTHM! It was the funniest thing I've seen for quite some time. I tried to control myself, but try as I might, the camera was still shaking, and I am quite sure that we'll hear me laughing on the video when we replay it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh the things she will say

Here are a few funny things Meagan has said, or has been saying regularly lately. Just want to record it now so I don't forget it later...

1) The other day, she stopped playing and came running over to me hysterical. 'Mommy! Fix it!' 'What's the matter Meg?' 'My eye is dancing! Will you kiss it?' (she had a twitch).

2) Every time she pees on the potty she peeks in and says, "Is it yellow? Like an egg? Yep, it's yellow."

3) YETTI YETTI YETTI!!! (This is her call to Daddy whenever she wants his attention. All my fellow parents of toddlers out there will probably recognize this from the Backyardigans. Gotta love the yetti stomp!)

4) A friend of mine was telling me a discipline technique she has used on her kids for years. It's called 1-2-3- Magic. Well, I started putting it into practice on Meagan, since we're having such attitude and obedience issues with her. The idea is give 3 warnings and then put her directly into timeout. That's not all of it, but that's the gist for this story. Anyway, true to form, she has found a way to get in the last word. The other day I gave her her first warning - 'Meagan this is 1.' Her reply: 'And 2 and 3.' So, since she had gotten to 3, I put her in timeout (it was the only thing I could think of to take back the last word, so to speak.)

Happy Birthday! Merry Christmas?

Wow, the last few weeks have been a blur. Life has definitely gotten in the way of blogging (LOL)! I've been going going going between work and kids and church and Christmas shopping and traveling and housework. And on top of it all, my husband wants me to scout out wii's (LOL)! He must think I have nothing else to do!

Friday we headed down south to visit family, have Isaac's birthday party, and celebrate Christmas (since we're all together). Saturday was Isaac's party. We reserved the rec hall at the refinery, so there would be room to run and play...winter parties are tricky when it comes to finding room for everyone to hang out. We ordered pizza, had cake, and just kicked back...well sort of. It still required a lot of energy setting up and tearing down and all that jazz. He had a good party, though. Transformers. Gotta love Optimus Prime.

Speaking of birthdays, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND KELLI!

Last night we headed down to Lucas's parents' house to spend the evening. I had some last minute running to do (finishing Christmas shopping for today, to be exact). It was midnight before I tucked into bed, and nearly 2:00 before Tina got home from work and the guys called it a night. Then we got up at 6:30 this morning...well, I did. When I got up Sebastian and Jane were already in the kitchen eating warm cinnamon rolls. Meagan was just heading up the stairs ahead of me. Guy went and picked up Great-Grandma and brought her over to the house to have Christmas with us. It was awesome to get to see her and spend some form of holiday with her. We usually don't get to do that. Anyway, it took nearly 2 hours to open all the presents, just in time to load up the abominable snow van and head back to my parents' house for another Christmas.

Well, let's just say the usually-40-minute drive took us an hour and ten minutes, and more than once we skated our way across ice on major highways. There was a horrible crosswind and cars and trucks and semis stuck in ditches and snow banks all over the place. So we counted ourselves lucky to make it on our short trip safely, and we decided not to travel home tonight. Lucas called his bosses and told them...they laughed at him. I will just have to do payroll remotely from home and have someone put the checks in the printer for me. And Sebastian will have to take a snow day off of school. Oh well. Hopefully tomorrow will bring better road conditions.

So, for the evening, we're just chillin' here. I may try to get a little work done....maybe we'll watch a movie or two. Just take it easy and recoup from a busy busy couple of weeks.

Friday, December 7, 2007

For the First Time Ever

I finally bought something on ebay! I have been trying and trying to find an Optimus Prime for Sebastian, but they've been sold out for weeks (if not longer). I thought I had another plan when I found a smaller version at Toys R Us online, but that ended up selling out before I got around to ordering it. Eeeek. This is like the one main thing he wants for Christmas, and I haven't been able to find it! So this afternoon, I got up the determination to check on ebay. There were several of them. The one I got was the most reasonably priced, although shipping was a couple bucks higher than some of the others. All in all, though, I ended up spending only about $10 more than I would have to buy it online and pay shipping. So not too bad. Hopefully it gets here in time! But I was pretty proud of myself for finally breaking through my ebay barrier that I've been living with for years!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

I started to post this the other day, but got distracted. Better late than never.

This may not be funny to anyone else - especially if you haven't seen the movie Little Miss Sunshine. Well, our van is really starting to act up on us, but in weird ways. Like, the heater fan only works on setting 3 or higher; The driver's window gets stuck about half way down and you have to give it a push to get it down the rest of the way; the Traction Control System is moody and works only some of the time; and - my personal favorite - the tail lights are totally wonky... hazard lights come on when you back up, the right turn signal doesn't work right if the lights are on, and the reverse lights come on when you hit the breaks.

The other night when we were leaving JC Penny after getting our pictures done, something started acting up in the van (I think the TCS warning light came on or something), and Lucas, with his hilarious and somewhat dry sense of humor, says how much he loves our van - 'Just call me Little Miss Sunshine' he says. It struck me as soooo funny - maybe because all you can do is laugh when there's nothing else to be done - and I just cracked up. I laughed until my cheeks hurt. I could just picture us driving down the road, warning lights on, driver's window half-way down, hazard lights blinking and reverse lights on....thank God that (at least for the time being) we don't have to push start the van on a decline, and we can drive down the road without the horn honking involuntarily! I think at that point it would be time for a new van. :)

Round Two?

Remember the PB&J incident a few weeks ago? at lunch, I saw a glimpse of proof that Meagan remembers it too! She was having a fit about having to sit down in her chair. So to make her point, she decided she was going to boycott eating. She took her turkey off of her sandwich and hauled back to toss it. But as her arm swung forward, instead of letting it fly, she hesitated and held on tight. Then she stuck it in her mouth right away and look at me and said, 'mmmmm.' I just smiled to myself. What looked like the beginnings of round two turned out to be a hint of success. Still, though, we have a long road ahead of us with this girl!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I survived my worst nightmare!

Wow, what a day! I think I packed maybe one too many things into the last 24 hours, beginning with last night, when I decided to stay up to watch Lady in the Water until midnight when I should have gone to bed around the time we started watching it. Oh well.

Anyway, today was full - I worked this morning. I left around 1:30 and got home in time to eat lunch (and watch 10 minutes of the E True Hollywood Story of NSYNC while I ate my microwave burritos - a ten minutes that just made my day complete, as I'm sure you can imagine). After that fulfilling 10 minutes of daytime television viewing, I started getting ready for our family pictures later this evening. First I threw a load of laundry in - the clothes we were going to wear for our pictures...white shirts and jeans I might add...all in one load...I later discovered this wasn't the best decision I've ever made. Anyway, after starting the laundry, I cut Isaac's hair...with a broken set of I nearly buzzed the side of his head down to nothing when the 1/4 inch shield fell off as I was getting ready to cut...that would have made a great family picture hair style! Then, while he was getting a bath after his haircut, I decided to dye my own hair...what phenomenal timing I have. So, I put the gunk on my head, and then washed him off, got him out and got him dressed while it sat. Then, I jumped in the shower to rinse the color the process, I managed to somehow stain my bathroom door with hair dye??? I also managed to get dye splattered all over the inside of my looked like someone had been severely injured in my shower. But, I got all the color rinsed out and got my hair dried just in time to rush off to pick Sebastian up from school. Then off to the bank. Then back to the house to get dressed.

When I pulled the clothes out of the dryer, I noticed a blue spot on my shirt. Then I noticed one on Meagan's. AAAAAHHH! Did I really just turn our new white shirts blue? Yes, I think I did. Oh well, it's either wear blue/white shirts or go naked at this point. So I opted for the shirts. I don't think the discoloration actually showed up the in the pictures, so no harm done. White shirts are really for wearing underneath clothes anyway, right? (LOL - at least that's what I'm telling myself to make myself feel better. Maybe I'll try bleaching them tomorrow.)

Anyway...we got to pictures on time, and thank God we didn't have to wait very long before we went in. We started out with pictures of all 5 of us. Then pictures of just the 3 kids. The family pictures went fairly smoothly. The first picture of the 3 kids went okay. But we had been there for about a half hour by now, and Meagan was quickly approaching her limit. She was actually doing well. But the photographer would get her in position and then would say something to one of the boys - 'Isaac sit up straight,' or 'Sebastian put your hand on your knee.' Whatever instruction she gave to the boys, Meagan would follow also....totally undoing any position we had accomplished with Meagan just moments earlier. Aaaah! We tried. But the more we tried to get all 3 of them situated, the more Meagan lost interest. Then Isaac quickly followed. Then Sebastian's eyes started drooping. It was definitely time to wrap it up! So we called it quits on the kids' pictures. I gave them each a baggie of cereal to snack on while Lucas and I took a few quick pictures together. Then we were done....or so we thought.

I didn't get to actually see our pictures, let alone place the order, for another 20 minutes or so. So needless to say, it was a long night, and everyone was hungry and ready to go. As soon as we could, we headed down the street to Red Robin. Mmmmm, I love Red Robin burgers...usually.

We were so hungry, we didn't even look at our menus. When our waitress came to take our drink orders, we just went ahead and mistake. The food came. I started eating. I checked for mayo, as always, and saw nothing but a BIG pile of lettuce...but it didn't register (at least not until later) that half of the lettuce stuck to the bun when I picked it up, while the other half stayed on the burger...hmmm, I wonder what's making that lettuce stick...nope, that didn't register at all. I started eating. Because I'm weird, I ate around the outside part of the sandwich first...just something I do...the middle part of the sandwich usually has all the good stuff, so I save the best for last. But tonight, the closer I got to the middle of the sandwich, the more I thought, 'Hmm, this tastes weird... Ew, that tastes kind of funky... Is the tomato bad?... Okay, I think I'm done eating.'

At that point, I sat the sandwich back down on the table. When I did, a piece of tomato rolled off of the sandwich, COVERED IN WHITE STUFF! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I started cringing and shivering as the realization of what I had just done began to sink in. I was hit with this uncontrollable gag reflex like I could not begin to explain. Lucas about lost it laughing at me while I sat across the table from him trying not to be ill (I have such a compassionate husband). His suggestion was, 'Just think of chocolate.' What, chocolate mayonnaise?! EW! That's even worse! I downed half of the coke at the table. That didn't work. I ate another french fry. That really didn't work. Finally, I took a trip to the rest room and hacked and spit to try to get the gross residue out of my mouth. (Ew, I'm seriously starting to have issues again just retelling this story! I am such a basket case!) I think I spit a few more times as we walked through the parking lot. And as soon as I could, I rinsed with Listerine when we got home. Needless to say, I didn't get a box to bring home my left-overs. Lucas didn't even want it. He said it's hard to look at food the same once your wife has gagged on it so extensively. I guess I see his point. Anyway, I've survived my worst nightmare. I had family pictures taken at dinnertime in the middle of holiday picture season, and then followed it up by unknowingly eating mayonnaise, and I survived..... barely.

Friday, November 30, 2007

New versions of an old classic

I really need to get my act together - it's been over a week again since I've posted anything!

I emptied out my camera today, and I have pictures on there of soccer from way back in October. Yikes! I'm behind on all my archiving stuff! Some of the pics were of Thanksgiving, and I was reminded of something that I wanted to blog about but never got around to.

For Thanksgiving at Mom and Mikes, Missy and Brandon and their families came over, and we all had a nice dinner together. After dinner, while all the adults were ready to crash on the couches, Meagan and Carmen found a new burst of energy. They spent about forty-five minutes or so sprinting back and forth from one end of the room to the other. When that finally (FINALLY) got old, they moved on to 'Ring around the Rosie.' I must say, I've never seen or heard it played in quite that way. Each of them had their own funny little version.

Carmen just spun in circles saying 'Ashes ashes ashes ashes ashes' until someone (other than her) finally said 'We all fall down!' Then she would topple over (half from dizziness I think) and fall down like the song says.

Meagan, spun in circles singing the following:

Ring around the Roadies.
A pocket full of Ponies.
Ring around the roadies? Don't you wonder what she thinks that song is actually about? We were laughing so hard at the two of them! My mom had tears in her eyes, and I thought my side was going to burst. At any rate, they were 2 of the most interesting and entertaining versions of Ring around the Rosie I've ever witnessed!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We woke up this morning with snow covering everything outside. The kids were so excited that the first snow fell on Thanksgiving. We got up early, had breakfast and got ready to start our day. We went to Wal-Mart this morning, supposedly to buy the ingredients for wilted lettuce. But as we were getting ready, Sebastian's coat zipper busted. And Isaac's shoes wouldn't go on (they've been getting tight for a while). Plus, we still hadn't gotten Sebastian his gloves for winter. So, we added gloves, shoes, and a coat to our shopping list. Then, I remembered that I needed a new powder compact. So, we may as well add that to the list. Then, when we got into the glove area, we decided to get matching hats and scarves (plus Isaac got another pair of gloves to match his new hat and scarf). In short, I went for onion, bacon and lettuce, and I got out of there with $95 worth of stuff. (It's funny how that stuff happens, isn't it?)

We had our Thanksgiving for lunch - just the five of us. Lucas got out of work really early!!! I was so super excited when I heard the garage door opening at 9:30. I was bracing myself for him to be gone all day. Anyway, we had ham, homemade mac & cheese, broiled potatoes, peas, apple bread and apple wilted lettuce. We have tons left over, so I guess we don't have to worry about what we're having for dinner tonight. Tomorrow after Lucas gets home from work, we're heading to the families'. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone....the kids are counting down the minutes until we leave (as well as the days left until Christmas, but that's another story).

For the rest of the afternoon, I'm going to work on some layouts for Grandma's album, and maybe we'll watch a movie or something. Just chillin'. We're a just chillin' kind of family. I'm thankful for that.

Oh, one more thing. Lucas asked the kids today what they were thankful for. Sebastian's answer: the Mayflower. ??? Isaac's answer: I'm thankful for Jesus....and food. LOL! Our kids are too cool.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Here's a layout of the boys playing ninjas this past June. I blogged about it (thankfully, because my journaling came almost directly from the blog entry), so the story may sound familiar, but I really wanted to do something with the pictures. They were sooooo seriously into their imaginations! I love that!

Journaling: What happens when Daddy falls asleep watching a movie while Mommy is in the basement scrapbooking? The boys watch the movie still playing on TV and begin to imitate it. Today the movie just happened to be House of Flying Daggers. The next thing I know, the boys are flying around the house babbling made-up Chinese, like 'hung chu ku do wa' and other such nonsense. Occasionally, English prevails in the form of 'OW' or 'Mom, he hit me!' or Isaac, no throwing swords!' It's great to be a kid - to be a boy growing up with a brother to play and imagine with. It's the best to play 'ninjas' with pirate swords that have blood colored on them with red crayon (very creative, I might say). But the best is knowing you've passed a warm day in june playing outside and having a grand adventure. You just can't beat that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grandma Jesus

This morning after breakfast, I turned noggin on in the living room for the kids, and I went upstairs to fold some laundry. While I was folding, I decided to watch a tivo'd episode of Joyce Meyer (for those of you who don' t know, she's a lady on TV that teaches about Jesus). I was about 1/2 way through the show when Meagan walked into my room. She looked at the TV and said, 'Aaawww, I don't want to watch Grandma Jesus. I want to watch Word World.' I almost couldn't believe my ears. Did she really just call her Grandma Jesus!?! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! What makes it so funny is that Meagan picked it up all on her own. I've never told her what the show was about. She just figured it out...what an observant little girl we have!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


One more layout done for Grandma's book. I'm getting down to the end! I had a bunch of miscellaneous pictures of Grandpa from his younger days. I thought it would be more effective to group them together than to scrap them individually.

The quote says, 'It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.'

Pregnancy Prevention

This was a few weeks ago now, but I thought you might get a kick out of this glimpse into our daily lives. (This is one of those stories I meant to tell you, but then couldn't remember when I sat down to type.)

I think it was 2 Mondays ago...I went to pick the kids up from Nicole's, and in conversation I asked how the kids were that day. "Meagan was horrible," Nicole says. She went on to explain that at lunch she wouldn't eat her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and in fact, she chewed it up and spit it out all over. She screamed and yelled. She woke the babies up at nap time, and she bucked all day about the potty. Lovely. It was a Meagan day, to put it mildly.

That night for dinner, I ordered Applebee's for Lucas and me. The kids all wanted PB&J, so I made them sandwiches instead of ordering them something (way cheaper that way anyway). Even though Meagan had made such a fuss at lunch about PBJ, she asked for one for dinner. So that's what I made her.

She started out good. She took a few bites of sandwich without incident. Somewhere along the way, however, she decided she wanted her sandwich cut into 4 pieces instead of 2. I explained it was already cut, but she insisted, so I cut her 2 rectangles into 4 squares. Oh, that's when it all started! She screamed at the top of her lungs, 'NO YOU BROKE IT!! FIX IT! PUT IT BACK!!' Are you kidding me?! She went on for a few seconds, until I got her attention and told her to knock it off. Clearly not in the mood for authority, she took her stand. In a matter of seconds, she had peeled her sandwich apart (so the peanut butter and the jelly were exposed), and threw both pieces across the room. They stuck flat on the kitchen floor. I whipped her up out of the chair and marched her straight over to pick them up. She bucked and threw herself backwards and screamed and yelled, and ultimately got herself a 'consequence.' Finally, she appeared to have given up her struggle. She bent down and reached for the sandwich. BUT, when her hand got about an inch from the bread, she froze. I could see the wheels turning in her two-year-old brain, and clearly, they were turning in the WRONG direction. She paused, stood up, turned and looked me straight in the eyes. And then she crossed her arms and STOMPED on her sandwich, smashing it onto the floor.

Needless to say, there were more consequences for her actions. When all was said and done, however, she picked up her sandwich, sat down, and actually ate the sandwich that she had just picked up off the floor (her idea, not mine...I just wanted her to pick it up). She finished dinner without another word or another step out of line. Lucas joked that I had tamed the beast, but, WOW, that child has a will about her! (I'm thinking of lending her to a pregnancy prevention program! I think she would be an effective tool! What do you think? LOL!)

Girls' night!

I've not forgotten about you! I don't know what my deal is, but lately every time I sit down with a free minute to blog, I can't think of anything to write about. During the day the kids will say and do funny things, but then I totally forget them by the time I get a chance to come downstairs to the computer. Sad, isn't it? My 7th grade history teacher used to say, 'You know, your memory is the second thing to go with old age ... I can't remember the first.' He was an interesting character. But right about now, I am starting to understand what he was talking about! LOL!

Here's one thing I can remember...

This past Friday I had a girly spa party. If you know me, you know that I DON'T do home party things. I tried once, and the only person that showed up was my mother (thanks Mom!). But I had gone to a spa party a few weeks ago, and it was really a lot of fun. I decided to give it a try, so I broke from the norm and scheduled a party at my house. I was hoping for at least 4 or 5 people to show up, since the lady was driving from an hour away to do the party. I was shocked...8 people came! It was a great time (although my living room was barely big enough for the demonstrator, myself, and 8 guests!)! And I even got to know some people that I don't know very well, and do some good ol' girly bonding with those that I do know.

During the party, Lucas took the kids to McDonald's to eat and play, and then they went Christmas wish list shopping through the isles of Wal-Mart. The next day, the boys had a list a mile long of things they saw that they just have to have! Now, if I can only remember them all when it comes time to buy Christmas gifts, I'll be good! I know there were several transformers on the list! And some video game from Isaac (no surprise there). The boys picked out 2 new chess sets - one Pirates (I think) and one Transformers. And Meagan wants one of everything Dora and Diego. We'll see....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

When can we get a back yard like this?

Tonight the kids and I went to a bonfire at our children's pastor's house. She and her husband live about 15 minutes from us, way out in the country, on 3 acres of beautiful, wooded property. Well, when we showed up, it was about 7:00. We rang the doorbell, and no one answered, so we headed out to the back yard where the fire was. We walked around to the back of the house, which has a walk-out basement and gorgeous landscaping that backs up to a big wooded area. Isaac looked at me and said, "Mom I like this back yard. When can we get a back yard like this?" Funny, I think his daddy might feel the same...especially with the permanent tree stand about 50 feet from the back of the house.

The kids were great! They were the only kids there, but they were really well-behaved. They went back and forth between playing in the toy-furnished basement and playing in the big back yard. They had a ball and were bummed when it was time to go. But with all that energy they thought they had as we were leaving, by the time we got home, 2 out of 3 were asleep, and the 3rd was only minutes away. I had planned on giving them a bath tonight, but I just stuck them straight into bed. I guess they're gonna smell like camp fire for church tomorrow.

The Art of Word Use

I think it was yesterday that this happened...

While I was making dinner (or maybe lunch?), Sebastian got out one of those giant coloring books that's about 3 feet tall and started working on a dinosaur page. He was taking his time, being very detailed, as he typically does - that's just the Sebastian way. Well, about 10 minutes into his masterpiece, Meagan wanders into the kitchen and decides she would like to join her brother in his coloring adventures. Sebastian offers to share, but tells her in no uncertain terms that she can't color his page; she has to color the page opposite. So she starts scribbling all over some tree tops and whatever else is on the page to scribble up (although she really was giving it her best shot). Well, as I was finishing cooking, Lucas walks in. As I got plates together, the kids greeted Daddy, and the coloring book clean-up was neglected.

Well, our dinner conversation finds its way to what the kids had been doing that day, and Sebastian proudly announces that he has been working hard on coloring in the dinosaur book. 'I bet you can tell which page is mine,' he says, pointing to the book still laying open on the floor. Lucas, teasing, points to the other page - the one Meagan had been working on. 'You mean the one that's not scribbled, right Dad?' Lucas points again to the scribbled page of trees and says, 'Yeah, I mean that one.' Trying his best to be patient, Sebastian says, 'You mean the one with the big dinosaur, right?' 'No, the one with the trees,' Lucas says, somehow keeping a straight face.

With a hint of exasperation, and a notable amount of shock, Sebastian says, 'No Dad! That one's not mine. It's all scribbled. Mine's QUALITY!'

We about rolled out of our chairs laughing. All Lucas could say was, 'That's a great use of that word, Buddy!' That kid cracks us up!

Friday, November 2, 2007


For those of you who are wondering, Sebastian is doing much better. Thursday he stayed home from school. He was still pretty lethargic and had a low fever. He didn't eat much, and he slept a little during the afternoon. We went to the doctor that afternoon (for me actually), and our doctor put all of us except Meagan (and Lucas, because he wasn't there) on medication. So we all took it pretty easy Thursday.

This morning when Sebastian woke up, he seemed much better. He had a lot more energy, and quite a big appetite. I still made him take it easy on what he ate...thankfully, because he got full a lot more quickly than I think he thought he would (after not eating for 2 days, he thought he could eat one of everything!). Anyway, there was no school today, so he stayed home again. We ended up going to motor development this morning. He seemed to do fine, and he ate a little more at lunch. I think we're on the road to recovery. So there's your update.

Speaking of updates...I can't seem to leave things alone! This layout was bugging me for some reason. It felt too harsh and empty for what I was trying to do. So I opened it back up and messed with it a little more tonight. I think I'll have to look at it for a little longer before I decide for sure if it's really an improvement or whether it's just the mood I'm in right now...LOL! I'm such a moody scrapper. Tomorrow I may like the older version better! But I thought the background of this one felt softer. Anyway...I'm gonna try to leave it alone now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Princess, the Recycled Storm Trooper, and the Poor Pirate

What a day this has been! The adventures started around 1:15 this afternoon when the school called me at work and asked me to come get Sebastian because he had just gotten sick. He had been sent to the office to lay down and rest for an hour or so until their class Halloween party. He hadn't been in the office for more than a few minutes when he got sick. Poor guy - they sent home a bag with treats from the party, but it's just not the same - no costume parade, no games, no party time with friends. Big bummer.

Well, I had left work in the middle of paying the bills, which can't be left undone, so we went home, got him some clean comfy clothes, grabbed some blankets and the DVD player and some movies, and headed back to the church. He laid on the floor in a little back room in my office and watched movies until I was finished. The whole time he was there, he did fine - no more getting sick, no complaining, nothing. He was very quiet, and he was warm, and I could tell he wasn't feeling his best, but he was a champ about it.

After dinner, Lucas and I talked, and we decided that since he seemed to be doing fairly okay, and in an effort to not completely ruin his day, we would take him trick or treating to a FEW houses. So, we got the kids all dressed up, and just as we were beginning to leave, it started raining - just a light misty rain, but it was WET nonetheless. So, we did a handful of houses and headed home. The kids got on dry cozy PJ's and watch Charlie Brown while I passed out candy. At about 7:00, Sebastian got sick again, and he was burning up - the thermometer read around 102.6. I gave him some Motrin and checked him again a half hour later. When I checked the second time, he was, isn't Motrin supposed to make it go down, not up? So, I left Lucas with the other 2, and Sebastian and I headed to urgent care. They never really told me what he has, just red ears and a red throat. He needed antibiotics, but they couldn't give it to him orally because his stomach was upset. So, on top of his already-pretty-rotten day, the poor guy had to get a shot.

Right now he's snoozing. I'm hoping he can get through the night without getting sick again - for his sake as well as mine. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Oh, and on top of all this, I had forgotten to charge the camera, so I didn't get many pictures. Here are a few that I took.

Neither of the boys were too cooperative with pics, so most of them are of Meagan... hehehe.... I wanted her to wear her pretty little crown/tiara/headband thing, but she didn't want to. So I told her it was her pretty princess magic candy hat, and she had to wear it to get candy. Can you believe it actually worked!! Once she even stopped and asked me to put it back on her when it started to slip off! But she looked so stinkin' cute in it! She even sat still while I french braided the top part of her hair! What a princess.

The boys were both going to be pirates, but at the last minute Isaac decided that he wanted to be a storm trooper AGAIN (same thing he was last year). So he put on last year's costume, and we were one pirate short... whatever makes him happy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The stubble patch

This was a new one to me...

Two days ago I was getting Meagan dressed, and as she put her leg into her pants, she brushed her leg up against my arm. For a brief moment, I thought I noticed that her leg hair felt a little scratchy, but I blew it off as nothing and went on about my day, not giving it another thought. Well, yesterday when I picked the kids up from Nicole's, Nicole asked me if I had shaved Meagan's legs. Um, No, why would I have shaved her legs, she's TWO? 'Well someone has shaved a patch on the back of her right leg because it's starting to grow back and it's all stubbly,' she said. At that moment, I realized that I had noticed the same thing, but that it just hadn't registered to me at the time that someone might have possibly shaved her leg. WHY would I have thought that her legs would have been shaved??? Anyway, I asked Isaac about it, and, though he was reluctant to fess up to it at first, he did finally admit that he shaved the back of her leg. LOL! I couldn't even scold him, it was just entirely too funny to me at the moment. I just fell on the floor laughing. I never saw that one coming!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

2 pages in 1 night!

I must have been on a roll tonight (a roll that is now coming to an end because I'm tired, and I'm gonna go to bed as soon as I'm done posting). Two pages in one night!! The quote says, 'I feel worthy of every kiss I laid upon you for in each of them went a part of my heart.'

All My Life

I am getting down to the end of my pages for Grandma's album. I've got a lot of miscellaneous pictures that are kind of hard to group together. These 3 pictures were just such pictures. At first I thought I would put the formal picture on a layout alone, but I finally decided to combine the formal and the casual - since that's more true-to-life. I'm down to the pictures taken in 2003-2005 mostly, with a few exceptions. Hopefully they'll all come together quickly and we can give her the second half of the album for Christmas this year!

Quote: I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Husband the Cube-Head

Okay, can I just say I'm tempted to call Will Smith and ask him how to solve the Rubik's Cube so that he can give Lucas a few pointers!! For Halloween, Dad and Nancy sent the kids a box of goodies, and in it there was a Rubik's Cube. This is something Lucas has always wanted to try, but never has, so he snatched it up and has been holding it hostage. He won't let any of the kids touch it! LOL! For two straight days now he has been spending every free moment working on this cube.

Last night we were both down in the basement on our computers. I got tired around 10:00 or so, so I turned off my computer and headed up to bed. He had just finished his game on the computer, so I figured he would be up behind me. I watched some recorded shows while I waited for him. When I ran out of recorded shows, I tried to find something on TV. Ultimately, I feel asleep way before he ever came up. When I woke up this morning - I kid you not - I rolled over to find a CUBE in bed beside me! LOL! He worked on it so long he turned into a cube!!

...actually, he had brought it upstairs with him after finally giving up on it for the night, and he sat it on the dresser by our bed. Well, when Meagan got up this morning, she must have found it and been playing with it before I realized she was in the room. But it was just funny to find a cube where my husband should have been!

Monday, October 22, 2007

4 Generations

I got another layout done for Grandma's album last night. I'm not so sure how I feel about it, and would welcome any opinions / feedback / suggestions etc. Well, back to work (I'm posting on my lunch break)....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend Review

Friday night I got to go to a friend's house for a spa party. What a great way to spend an evening. I usually don't get all the way into the home party scene. But it's hard not to enjoy pedicures, mini facials, hand rubs, back rubs and head massages, and time with friends. I usually don't do this kind of stuff (I've tried once before to have a home party, and my mom and I were the only 2 people that showed embarrassing!), but I scheduled a party for Nov. if any of you are interested in coming, you're all welcome! The more the merrier - it's a lot of fun!

Yesterday afternoon we went to watch a friend of ours' son play hockey. It was at a big sports complex that's about 15 minutes away from here. While we were there, we peeked into all the different arenas that had stuff going on - peewee flag football, gymnastics, travel hockey, indoor soccer, and high school hockey (at least that's all we could see). Meagan was FASCINATED by the gymnastics. She kept saying 'Look at them Mom. I can do it, see? I want to go there,' and on and on. And she figured out in the hockey game that if she told me she had to go potty, I would take her and she could see the gymnasts again...I caught on to it after her 3rd request to go potty in 10 minutes time. LOL! So, we got some info and I think I'm going to look into putting her into a toddler class. We'll see.

Today was a chillin' out kind of day. We just hung around this afternoon and played (and napped - at least Sebastian and Meagan did). A little boy from across the street came over and played for a while. And we cleaned up the basement. Not the most exciting day to report on, but I sometimes quite enjoy the not-so-eventful days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Flashbacks

Just finished 2 pages from our trip to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch last year. We had high hopes for our trip, but it turned out to be sort of a dud. The kids had a blast, though, which is all that matters in the grand scheme of things.

Journaling: When we lived in Toledo we had a special pumpkin-picking spot. This year we wanted to find a fun place like that where we could go and make a fun memory instead of getting our pumpkins out of a crate at Wal-Mart. So, we went to a nearby orchard. By the time we got there, the patches were already closed, so we still had to pick our pumpkins out of a crate. I was disappointed, but the 3 of you didn't seem to mind at all. You loved the fresh air, the wagon, and the wide open of the outdoors. Memories were made - crates and all.

Journaling: What an interesting experience this turned out to be. What started as a trip to the apple orchard ended up as quite the memorable day - for reasons both good and, well, shall we say, not-so-pleasant. The fall weather; our first apple-picking experience; the train ride through the orchard; the kids' faces filled with excitement and joy. The bad...lost keys; lost gloves; low supply of apples remaining on the trees; and, believe it or not, a rotten, dirty diaper that someone put in the tree and left for the next unsuspecting soul in search of apples - which was, of course,, gross! While it may not have been the perfect fall day we were hoping for, it was, without question, one to remember.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm having a baby triceratops!!!!

Over the weekend Grandma H. came up to visit. While she was here, she gave each of the kids a magic egg to put in water and watch it hatch and grow. Each egg got its own container of water and we marked them so we would know whose was whose.

Sebastian's was first to hatch - a baby T-Rex. Very cute, and pretty much what everyone was expecting. Meagan's was next to hatch. Hers threw a kink into things, because while we were expecting a baby dinosaur of some sort, she hatched a baby crocodile (or maybe alligator - how do you tell the difference?). No sign of activity from Isaac's egg. I could tell he was feeling a little impatient. I could also tell he was slightly worried that he wouldn't get a dinosaur, but that he might get something else like Meagan did.

Well, this morning, we all got up, and I told the boys to go down and pick out what they wanted for breakfast while I put Meagan on the potty. As I was on my way down the stairs, I heard Isaac screaming at the top of his lungs. "Mom!!!! Mom!!!!' It was so frantic, I thought for sure that Sebastian had done something and Isaac was gearing up for a tattling. But when I came around the corner, Isaac yelled, "Mom, I'm having a baby triceratops!!!!" He was GIDDY he was so excited. He kept getting up from the breakfast table to go check on his baby and talk to it. "I knew you were a dinosaur. I just knew it."

He is just too cute.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Silence is golden...and so are dry undies!

Time for an update, since our successes are fluctuation from day to day (or minute by minute in some cases). Last night went MUCH better with Meagan. She got up once, and I sent her back to bed. When we went up later to go to bed, we checked on her. We found her laying on a blanket in the hallway between her room and the boys'. Neither one of us was about ready to pick her up and put her back in bed for fear of waking a sleeping giant. So, I covered her up with a second blanket, and she slept outside of the bathroom all night...but she SLEPT! LOL!

And today she was in the same pair of undies ALL DAY at Nicole's. She has been doing GREAT with potty training. It's about time I get an easy kid, after what I went through with the boys! For three days in a row now she has been in big girl pants...there's a light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bubble trouble

Today must have been the first time Meagan had ever taken notice of someone blowing a bubble with gum. She saw me blow a bubble, and she asked me with a tone of fascinated interest, "Are you eating a balloon, Mommy?" She then proceeded to try to imitate me by first sticking her tongue out and then blowing spit bubbles.

I take that back...

I posted last night's scoop about the paci some time around 9:30, at which time, all was well. But, the storm was brewing under the surface, and it all erupted around 10:30. Meagan had been sound asleep from about 9:00 until 10:30, when she woke up hysterical. I think she woke up because she was coughing, but it doesn't matter WHY she woke up - just that she DID. It was all over from there. For the next 5 1/2 hours, she screamed almost non-stop. She was going full force for a while. Then she got exhausted, at which point she would fall asleep mid-scream. But the sleep never lasted more than a minute, which was about how long it took for her to start 'sucking' in her sleep, and realize she didn't have her paci, then the screaming started all over again.

I tried EVERYTHING I could think of. I stayed firm with her for a while - kept putting her back in bed every time she got up. Didn't talk to her. Didn't touch her (other than to put her back in bed). But she kept coming in and waking Lucas up, or her brothers occasionally. Finally, I thought, well, maybe if I laid in there with her it would comfort her. NOPE. NOT AT ALL. Well, that's not exactly true. She did fall asleep once sitting up on my lap (which means I was also sitting up - in the middle of her bed with nothing to rest against - at 2:00 in the morning - obviously could not be a permanent position for the remainder of the night.) Once she had been quiet for about 10 minutes (or what felt like ETERNITY because my back was quite uncomfortable), I took a change and laid her down (because, like I said, I couldn't sit there like that for the rest of the night). WRONG thing to do! The screaming started all over again within seconds. Nothing else I did had any ounce of a calming effect on her.

Somewhere around 3:30, I was desperate for just a few minutes of sleep. So desperate, in fact, that I found myself out in the van looking for her illusive purple paci (the same one she mentioned that I posted about yesterday). In my state of weakness and exhaustion, I thought up a tricky plan - LOL! I was going to wait until she fell asleep mid-scream, then slip the paci in her mouth, so she wouldn't know she had it, but so she could stay asleep long enough to get into a deep sleep...pretty tricky huh? But, I couldn't find the silly thing ANYWHERE! So I just had to let her scream it out.

I'm not sure when it was that she finally fell asleep because I think I crashed way before she did. When I checked on her this morning though, she was sprawled out on her back in the middle of her floor. Clearly it was a rough night for her.

Nap time, once she settled down and actually laid still, was great - no screaming and yelling, and she slept for 2 1/2 hours. Hoping tonight goes more nap time than like last night. (I might be raising the most determine and persistent child God ever created. We'll see how long it takes her to accept her new-found paci separation.)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Time to say Good-bye

It's been coming on for a while now. It started with a tiny crack in the pacifier that eventually grew into a hole about half the width of the paci. Today, I tore it in half - it was too torn and I couldn't let her use it any more because it would have been a choking hazard. So I tore it.

I showed her and I explained to her that paci is broken and we don't have any more. That means it's all gone and she has to go to bed with no paci. She didn't miss a beat - 'That's okay. I have purple paci.' She actually may have purple paci somewhere because it just sort of vanished. But I haven't seen it for weeks. 'No, sweety, sorry, purple paci is all gone too.' I explained to her that she's a big girl and doesn't need a paci. She seemed okay with it really - but that was at dinner, so who knew what bedtime would really bring.

Well, bedtime eventually came, and I was bracing for screaming and DRAMA. To my pleasant surprise, she asked for a drink of water and that was the end of it. We've had ZERO paci related drama so far. Not at all what I was expecting, but I'll take it!!

On top of saying goodbye to paci, she is getting lots closer to being potty trained. Over the weekend we had lots of success, and she was being quite cooperative. Today Nicole put her in potty pants (you know, those big puffy cloth undies) and she stayed dry all day (until, of course, I left here home alone with Daddy while I went to get dinner - then she pooped in her pants - just because she loves Daddy so much! LOL! But still, one accident for the whole day is a pretty big deal.) I got her some vinyl pants to try tomorrow, since I'll be home with her. We'll see how it goes. (Keeping my fingers crossed).

No paci. Going potty. Don't look now, but I think we are leaving the baby years behind. :o(

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


EEEEEEK! What an evening this has been! The day was going along well. And then I came home from work. I got home around 4:30, and ran into the house to go to the bathroom quick before I went to get the kids from Nicole's. But, when I went inside, the answering machine beeped, so I listened to the message. It was school calling (at 4:15) to let me know that Sebastian was at school and needed to be picked up. She would try my cell phone, blah blah blah. Well, I totally forgot about peeing, and ran next door to get the kids. They were eating snack when I got there. Isaac crammed his snack in his pockets and came with me...Meagan opted to stay and finish her snack in peace. So Isaac and I raced off to the school (on the other end of town - where I had just come from a few minutes before). The whole way there, I'm thinking to myself, 'You cannot go in there steaming mad. You have to settle down and be calm.' Well, I walked into the office, and the lady said Sebastian hadn't been feeling well, and was in the bathroom when the buses left, so he missed his bus...understandable, and a big bummer for him, so I wasn't mad...I guess you could say had been defused (LOL). Just to be safe, though, I covered with the office worker and the principle that, unless I call or send a specific note, he is to ride the bus home. That way he isn't stranded, and they don't have to stay an extra hour waiting on someone to get there to pick him up. I think I've now made myself quite clear, and I am REALLY hoping there will be no more issues.

So anyway, I realized that, in my rush to get to the school, I left my purse on the kitchen table. Which meant that I had to go back to the house before I could go get dinner (since I haven't been to the grocery for over a week and a half...we are OUT of food!). So I rushed home, loaded Meagan into the van with the boys and we headed to Wendy's. I got home from Wendy's and started getting everyone's food out and ready...only to realize they had left out Meagan's nuggets, and my sandwich was SLOPPED with mayo. No thanks. So Lucas pulled a Geico commercial and thought he could just wipe the mayo off and it would be okay...How long has he been married to me? Doesn't he know by now that once any part of the sandwich has been contaminated, the whole thing is shot? He should know that by now, shouldn't he? So, I donated my altered sandwich to my daughter since she didn't have anything to eat. And I ate fries and Mt. Dew for dinner.

We then rushed off to church to get there before the buses left. And believe it or not, the part of my night consisting of 50 kids from ages 4 to 14 was the easy, relaxing part of the night. Once we dropped the kids off, I headed back to Wendy's and got my sandwich remade. So, I had dinner at 9:30 at night. Love it!!

Hoping for a chance to do laundry and maybe get to the grocery in the next day or two. My house could use a little TLC. It's sorta been neglected this week (which only adds to the chaos when the house is messy and there are clothes mountains in the hall LOL).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

this extra[ordinary] life

Journaling: Have I ever mentioned how much I love this life? I mean really LOVE it. Every day I live through at least one moment when I realize how totally blessed I am. This day was loaded with those kind of moments. It doesn't look like much I know, by I was so taken by it - watching the 2 of you pacing the yard with your 'mowers' like Daddy; the contrast of the sun and the shadows on the ground; the reflection of the light off of your hair. Just the easiness of it all - beautiful. But I got the most joy out of watching you be you. Hair in your eyes, as usual, dirt streaked across your face, and wearing Sebastian's shoes. Not a care in the world, you marched back and forth in those too-big-for-you shoes, pushing Home Depot, mowing the grass. Not an extraordinary moment by normal standards, but so worth taking notice of. I thank God that He puts these kind of moments into every-day life, and that He has taught me to see them for what they really are...priceless. Life is made up of far more ordinary moments than extraordinary ones, and it's the quality of the every day that makes a difference. 2007.
(This was a day earlier this summer. One of the stand-outs in my mind. It was simply a great day. Laid-back. Beautiful weather. Simple, good memories. Thought I'd try to capture it.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

We have a winner!

What a vast improvement in soccer playing from 2 weeks ago to today. Two weeks ago, Sebastian's team lost by more goals than we could keep track of. Today, they won 6-2. Sebastian did much better not falling down so much, and getting up quickly when he did fall. He even had an assist (if there is such a thing in soccer??) on one of the goals. He was excited about winning and playing well, but I think his favorite part of the game was having an extended audience since Grandma and Tina were both up to watch.

After the game, Sebastian and Isaac 'taught' Grandma how to play PlayStation (aka - they played and told her what they were doing while she watched). Then we went to Red Robin for lunch. Since all the girls were up talking until almost 1:00 last night, everyone was pretty tired afterward. When the kids laid down for nap, so did Grandma. I thought about it, but was afraid I would be groggy the rest of the evening, so I worked on another page for Grandma's book instead.

Tonight we're going to take it easy - get early baths and watch Ice Age the Meltdown. (And I'm looking forward to an early bedtime for myself.) It was a lot of fun having visitors for the evening yesterday and through the afternoon today. I don't always realize how much I miss family until they come to visit and then leave again.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Wow! This afternoon I had an idea that seemed to just fall from the sky, and this evening I ran with it. The toys and books and clothes and such were starting to take over the floors in nearly every room of the house, and I wanted the boys to help me out by cleaning up everything that was theirs (which was quite a bit of it). But, to curb the complaining and grumbling that usually comes with a request for cleaning, I put a spin on it. This is what we did:

We had four things to accomplish this evening. 1 - Clean up. 2 - Baths 3 - Story. 4 - Bedtime. So, I made up a 4-level video game that we were going to play. Each level had different tasks, and if they did them well, and did them quickly, they passed the level.

Well, the first level was clean-up. So I told them that all of the clothes and toys on the floor were hearts and legos that they had to get and put away in the right spots. If they got all the hearts and legos, they won (which Sebastian added his 2 cents and said that if they got it all then they would have a full lego bar. Isaac agreed, and I sorta kinda had an idea of what he meant, so I went along with it. Hey, they were willing to embrace cleaning up, I was willing to let them!) Anyway, while I finished the kitchen, they hurried and cleaned up the living room and their bedroom. I must say that by the time I was ready to give them baths, they had picked up and put away everything except for a book and 2 pair of shoes. They almost got a full lego bar, but since Mommy had to pick up a few of their things, they lost one. Maybe they would get all of their legos on level 2.

Determination set in to get all of their legos, and they were geared up for bath time. For level 2, they had to wash their bodies and their hair, and not spill water out of the tub. And they had to do it all before they ran out of time for the level. You should have heard them reminding and encouraging each other. They even worked together to wash each others' backs so they wouldn't lose legos if Mommy had to wash them any. How cute is that! So, they passed level 2 with flying colors.

Anyway, you get the idea. We had an awesome, rather cooperative, low stress, and quite imagination-filled bedtime routine. The boys were totally captivated by earning their imaginary legos. Isaac even asked if we could clean up the basement tomorrow. My kids requesting a chance to clean?! Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It has begun.

This is the general conversation I had with Sebastian the other day...

'Mom, all three Lauren's in my class think I'm cute. That's what they said. That I'm cute. And there's an Ashly and she think's I'm cute too.'

'Oh yeah?'

'Yup. And Lauren C. said I'm her.....what's that word? When you like someone but you don't tell them? what's that called?...... Oh yeah, I'm her crush. That's what she told me. And Abby said she would marry me if we were old enough because I'm smart and cute and funny.'

'I think you're a little young for marriage yet.' Realization sets in at this moment that for the next 16 years of my life (at least), this is what I will deal with. Girlfriends. Boyfriends (on Meagan's part). Phone calls. Drama. It has officially begun.


Here's a layout i did last night. Another page done for Grandma's book. I'm inching my way closer to being done!!! So maybe this Christmas she can get the second half of her album LOL! I really never intended it to take me this long, but it's a pretty big undertaking to scrap a man's entire life. I underestimated the job a little, I guess you could say.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Beautiful dreamer, beautiful boy

One of the high points of my day was buying some new digital scrapbook stuff to play with. I usually don't buy much stuff unless its SUPER discounted, so it was quite the break from the norm for me. But, I did have a coupon code, and the stuff I bought was all already on sale on top of my coupon, so it still wasn't all that big of a leap. Anyway... I got a bunch of stuff from designers I've never used before, and it's always fun to have a fresh style of fun stuff to play with.

Here's a page I did tonight of Isaac. I love this picture of him that was taken earlier this summer at Meijer Garden. One of my favorite things about him is, and will always be, the way his smile lights up his entire face. Even in black & white, you can see the sparkle in his eyes that comes whenever he smiles. One of the best things in the world is to hear and see him laugh - it's infectious. He definitely lives up to his name (Isaac means to laugh). Another thing I love so much about Isaac is that he is a dreamer. He isn't driven by facts and circumstances. He thrives on imagination, and is fueled by emotion. (Maybe the emotion part is a bit of a challenge at times now, but I know that once he learns how to direct his emotions, this is going to be an amazing quality in him). I wanted to capture that side of him in this layout. He is such a beautiful little boy.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Dear Santa,

I would really like a football helmet for Christmas. A gold one if you have one because Notre Dame is my favorite football players. And I like the Lions, but the Buffalo's are stinky. Love, Isaac

blow-outs and wipe-outs

It all started yesterday when Meagan asked me if we could take a bike ride. Lucas got the bikes down and ready, only to find that I had a flat rear tire. So, not wanting to break my promise to her, I went to Wal-Mart and got a new inner tube. Lucas repaired the bike, and we were good as new.........we thought. We headed off. Thankfully, Lucas had switched Meagan's carrier to his bike so he could take the back wheel off of mine. We got to the end of our road, stopped at the stop sign, and looked for cars. No cars were coming, so we headed out onto the main road. I took about two pedals away from the stop sign when, all at the same time, I (a) heard a loud noise like a car backfiring and (b) felt my rear end drop an inch or so with quite a thud. It took me a second to realize that the two events were related. I looked down, and the tire was completely off the rim, shreds of the new tube were flopping out the sides, and a white cloud of baby powder was just starting to clear...I blew a tire!! It may have taken a minute for me to register what had happened, but Lucas, who was behind me, was laughing hysterically. He said when the thing blew, there was a big puff of powder that burst out everywhere like gun smoke. LOL! So, we busted a U-y (how on earth do you spell that?), and I had to hoof it back to the house. Thankfully we weren't all that far because I don't think I could have carried the back end much further than I did. Really, you don't see that every day!

So, that was yesterday's attempt at family fun. Tonight, we kept it local, and we hung out front-yard style. We had 2-on-2 (with a third floating randomly between teams, and in and out of the game all together) football - of sorts. It started boys against parents. We had hockey nets set up at either end of the front yard as goals. And it was some morphed form of football, which included lots of passing back and forth, running the wrong way, and tackles and blocks that I'm SURE would have drawn penalties had there been ref's around. Man, those boys are scrappy. I wiped out a few times, because they latch on around the knees and hang on until they've twisted and wound in and out of legs and you can do nothing but fall and hope you don't squish them. We had lots of wipe outs, and we all had grass-stained feet, but it was fun. I was the first to bow out of the game. Isaac took me down pretty hard once (I know, go ahead and laugh), and I banged up my hip and leg a bit (the same leg that had taken more than its fair share of helmet blows to the thigh). Ah, well. I was a girl, an only child, and a gymnast - all factors working against me when it comes to growing up playing football and taking beatings. LOL. But, clearly, I've got some practicing to do because I have a few more years of having boys around!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Got 1 more for ya

I finished one more layout tonight. Lucas was playing on-line, so we recorded Survivor, which pretty much left me with an evening of nothing-much to do. So, other than re-putting the kids to bed a few times (nap time was too long today I think, so no one is sleeping tonight), I just scrapped. (I got more RAM in my computer, so now it's quicker and more fun to scrap with.) Mike took this picture of me at Meagan's birthday party this summer. I don't have many pages with pictures of me, so this seems weird to me.

Journaling: so many elements of this picture capture who i am... casual clothes, sitting outside, camera in-hand, watching the kids play in the yard. i'm not used to seeing pictures of myself, but this time i've been caught.

In my journaling I left out the fact that no matter how happy I am, I typically don't look like it (as you can see in this picture). My neutral face (you know, when I'm not laughing or whatever) is a little grumpy looking - I think because my mouth turns down at the corners, so I always look like I'm scowling. This is at least a 4th generation trait, because my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mom all have the same turned down mouth, and we all tend to look ... hmm, how to say it nicely... sometimes maybe a little less-than-happy?? Oh well...just know that I really am happy in this picture. (wink)

Okay, off to start watching Survivor until I fall asleep (which I've been doing rather quickly lately). Have a good night!


Just think...I was a year and a half old when these pictures were taken - December 1979. I struggled with this page some because it's my style of scrapping, but I was afraid it was too busy for Grandma...??? Hopefully she'll like it. If not, I can make her a new layout. These are some great pics - I especially love the one of Grandpa being eaten by the alligator...reminds me of something my father-in-law might do...wonder where he gets it? LOL! The only problem with the pictures is that they aren't very crisp, so I couldn't make them very big on the page because of blurriness. Hopefully they will print large enough for Grandma to be able to see and enjoy.

Day Off

Today is my first day off this week. I have decided to work on Monday's and Wednesday's every week, and then just go in as-needed beyond that. Well, Tuesday I had to go in because we had to take care of some bank paperwork, and yesterday I worked longer than I normally would on Wednesday. Pastor Mark is leaving today for a mission trip to Kenya, and I hung around a little into the afternoon so we could get some last-minute things squared away. All in all, though, the dust starting to settle from the transition, and I think soon I'll be able to really only go in on Monday and Wednesday, and work from home the rest of the time.

So anyway, I had a surprise this morning on my day off - Lucas took the day off too. So we get to hang out today, which we don't often get to do. Unfortunately, somewhere in the midst of hanging out, I need to do laundry and clean the bathrooms and pay bills. But we should still get some time to have fun with the kids and just chill a little.....if he ever gets out of bed LOL!

Oh! While I'm thinking of it, CONGRATULATIONS to Tony and Laura! They had a beautiful baby girl not so very long ago (although I can't tell you exactly when because I'm getting my info from Lucas, who got his from Tony...guys don't really give too much detail *LOL*). Her name is Amelia (like that name, Mom?!) We just wanted you to know we're thinking of you and we love you guys! CONGRATS and send us some pictures when you get a chance!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

3 More Layouts

I got a few more layouts done last night. These all came together pretty quickly, which doesn't happen often for me. It usually takes me a couple hours on each layout, but I did all three of these in about 2 1/2 hours total.

These two are not meant to be a 2-page layout, but they are meant to sort of coordinate, since they'll be side-by-side in the album. These are pictures from our trip to the butterfly exhibit at Meijer Garden this past spring. One of these butterflies was actually in a little room because it had just hatched from its cacoon and wasn't strong enough to fly yet. But the little room made for an ugly picture, so I put him on a leaf instead...can you find the butterfly that was photoshoped into the picture? (I'll give you a's the green one LOL)

Wasn't Isaac a cute baby! I love the expressions on their faces in these pictures. My journaling says, 'One wants to be like his daddy...the other, to be a man worthy of such an aspiration.'

All three of these layouts were made using Sweet Genevieve products, as well as Paint the Moon designs. Click here for credits.

1st Soccer Game

This morning was Sebastian's first soccer game - SO CUTE! It was freezing, but the sun was out at least. We went armed with blankets and hooded sweatshirts (Sebastian wore a winter hat and a long sleeved t-shirt under his jersey).

It was maybe the cutest thing I've seen in a while. Mass running and kicking and legs flying. Sebastian was his scrappy self and did a good job getting through people and right into the middle of the action. If they would have been calling for holding, I'm pretty sure he would have been called for it. A few times I saw him grab a guy by the shoulder and pull him backwards to give himself the advantage (wrong sport, kid).

He did a good job breaking up a few plays by getting into the middle of everything, although I'm not so sure he actually knew that's what he had done. LOL. But because he was in the middle of flying legs all the time, he was constantly falling down. Once, while he was down he got kicked in the thigh, and was taken out of the game for a few minutes to recover. The coach gave him a choice to sit out and take it easy or go back in. He chose to go back in - I was proud of him for that. So every time he fell, we (myself on one side of the field, the coaches on the other) all started yelling 'Get up Sebastian!' I think toward the end of the game he was getting a little tired of picking himself up off the ground because he got slower and slower to get up with each fall.

He scored one goal, but it didn't count because he kicked it a second or two after they blew the whistle. Oh well...he still did good. He might be the tiniest guy on his team, but he held his own.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can you do that?!

Today was a bit of a hectic day at work - not bad, just crazy. I'm still getting adjusted to where things are and how things have been done in the past, etc. So I'm working a little slower than I would hope. It doesn't speed things up any when you lock yourself out of your office LOL!! We have the kind of doors that stay locked and you just open them with a key. Well, I had my door propped open all day, so had completely forgotten about it being a 'locked' door. Well, I got a phone call and pushed the door shut for some privacy....still not a big deal because I was IN the office on the phone. After I hung up though, I decided to take a potty break. I opened the door, walked out and left the door (I thought) standing about half-way open. Well, apparently they not only are the kind of doors that stay locked, but they are also the kind that shut behind you if they're not propped open. So when I got back from the bathroom, I was locked out. My keys (and every spare key to the door, I might add) were in the locked office where they were of absolutely no use to me. Luckily, another of the ladies whose office is off of mine was only out to lunch and had plans to return to the office. So, I waited for her to get back, and she let me in, and all was well again... I only lost about an hour and fifteen minutes of my day doing absolutely NOTHING!!! LOL! I got a good laugh at myself - lesson learned...let's see if I can NOT do that again!

Since I was running behind after my lock-out, I asked Lucas if he could get home in time to get Sebastian off of the bus - about 4:45. Well, at about 4:35 my office phone rings. It's Lucas. "Hey, there's a message from the school saying that Sebastian never got on the bus today and is waiting here for someone to pick him up." So, he gets back in the truck, heads to the school and gets our goofy kid. When he asked Sebastian why he didn't ride the bus, his response was, "Well, I've never been picked up from school before, and I thought today would be a good day for it." CAN YOU DO THAT? Can you just decide that without sharing the information with anyone else? Apparently you can. Because he did. What a goofball. Really, though, I think I'm going to have to call the school and talk with them. They have three contact numbers for me, and three for Lucas, yet they only called one number and left a message. And why, when you have no indication in writing or otherwise, from an adult saying that Sebastian would be picked up would you NOT make him get on the bus. Why do you just take the word of a 6-year-old when it comes to matters of finding a way for him to get home? That's what I would like to know. Seems the situation could have been handled a little better, so he would have only been waiting about 10 minutes for me to leave work and get to school, which is a lot better than an hour. Anyway....

Well, now that my crazy day has ended, my kids are in bed, and I'm on strike for the rest of the night, I'm gonna go veg in front of the TV until its time to crash. Later.