Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Playing Catch-up

Yes, I've been absent from this blog lately...lots to catch you up on! Since I last posted, my kids have started a new school year.

Hannah is now in Jr. High! Talk about making me feel old...I can't believe I have a kid that is almost a teenager! Seems like only yesterday that she was running around the house in her underware playing dress up. WAIT! That WAS only yesterday...hahahaha. She'll be mad that I wrote that. Good thing she has a pretty good sense of humor most days. Once in awhile I'll go a bit too far in the teasing department and she lets me know it. Mostly she is good for some laughs and takes teasing pretty well. That's important around here because I love playing little practical jokes on the kids and if they couldn't take it, it'd be a problem! Back to Hannah...so far her 7th grade year is going well. She is in volleyball and they have had a good season so far. They've only lost 2 games to (AHEM) Ft. Loramie. She's been doing well with her grades, too. I am always impressed with how well she does in math, and thanking The Lord that she seems to "get it." I struggled in math in jr. high & high school and am so glad that my girls are doing well in that department! She is definitely a big help around here with the younger two. As I type, I can hear her in the other room playing with them. Hopefully it doesn't end in crying and screaming because that tends to be the norm around here. Starts out nice and then suddenly someone's MAD. Sometimes Hannah tries to be the MOM, which is a big problem, especially when I am standing right there. I know she's trying to help, but man, it drives me crazy! Other than that, she's a pretty good kid. Wouldn't change anything except that she hates to shop...don't know how I managed to get a daughter that doesn't like to shop, but I did. It's like pulling teeth to get her to let me buy her anything. If I remember right, she was so miserable the last time I forced her to go shopping with me for clothes for her that she cried! When I was her age, I loved it when my Mom took me shopping (rarely happened, but I loved it). Hannah is pretty self-less when it comes to spending money on her...that's a good quality to have and one that I just don't understand!!! ;)

Chloe, on the other hand, is my little shopping buddy. She doesn't mind my buying her anything and her closet definitely shows it. That girl is my little fashionista and loves anything cute she can get her hands on. I call her my mini-me because she reminds me a lot of myself at that age. If I had a dollar in my pocket, I had to spend it. I always chose the biggest cookie, the biggest brownie or whatever and left messes around wherever I went. I was stubborn about silly things. It's kinda funny that the things I most disliked about myself when I was younger are the things that drive me the most crazy about her! I see those traits in her and it makes me cringe that I somehow passed those things on to her. She is different in some good ways, though. She is great about keeping her room clean and helping with chores (most of the time). She is pretty good with her little brother and sister and doesn't go overboard in the mothering department like someone I mentioned earlier! I also love it when Chloe laughs so hard that she cries (yes, she got that from me). She has this really deep belly laugh and her eyes tear up. She can barely tell me what is so funny because she laughs so hard. Usually it's something funny that Jack says or does. She is in the 5th grade this year and doing very well. She didn't have the normal 2-3 week period that she was totally stressed out over getting used to new teachers and schedules. My girl is growing up! She's great about doing her homework before I tell her to and I rarely have to bug her about making sure she's getting all of her reading in. She just does it. I am grateful for that. Heck, I don't even have to bug her to get to bed...she just does it. Hannah has been staying up later and I usually have to tell her to get to bed. Chloe is usually sleeping before I even think to tell her to go to bed. She's also great about getting up in the morning and getting herself ready for school. Hannah is getting better at it, but like me, is a late to bed, late to rise kind of girl. She's a little slower moving in the morning, where Chloe is up and ready and waiting for the other two to get their rears in gear! This year is proving Chloe to be a good student and a responsible kid. I think she's turning out quite well, if I do say so myself!

Jack, my little man, is in Kindergarten this year! I can't believe he's grown up so fast. He is a constant source of laughter (and NOISE) in our house. The boy has the loudest voice for a 5 year old. He has no volume button. You tell him to whisper and he just doesn't know how to do it! He also has the loudest girl scream of anyone in this house. It pierces my ears and makes me CRAZY! Most of the time it's because one of his sisters is chasing him or took something away from him. Usually it's justified, but makes me nuts none-the-less! Jack has been doing well in school. I was a little afraid that morning kindergarten would do us both in, but so far he's been doing okay getting up in the morning (me, not so much!). Mrs. Dapore says he follows directions well and works hard. They are learning "popcorn words," which are high frequency words, and he is finding them everywhere we go. I am happy that he hasn't gotten in trouble for talking because boy, can that kid talk! I think he saves is all up for home because he doesn't stop talking until he falls asleep. By 9:00 at night, I am just ready for some QUIET! He has been a little less loving with his baby sister since he started school, but played well with her today. She idolizes him and does everything just like Jack. Good thing he's generally a pretty good boy! It warms my heart when he calls her "sweetie" or "baby girl" and plays with her. He's been such a source of joy in our family and can always bring a smile to our faces...we love having him around!

Abby just turned 3 yrs. old on the 21st of September. She wanted to have a princess party and boy, did she! Princess this and that...most of her gifts had to do with princesses. She didn't quit smiling all day long! We kinda bribed her to get her princess party...she wasn't doing too hot on the potty training front. We'd been working on it all summer long and she was kind of hit or miss. She rarely told me when she had to go...I had to catch her...and she never just went by herself. Hannah did a great job helping me out over summer break. I told her I'd let her have a party for all of the girls in her class if she managed to get Abby potty trained...whatever works, right? However, Abby just wasn't interested in doing it without constant reminding. I was so tired of hearing the buzzer on the stove going off all summer long that I was about to give up. I mentioned to her a couple of times that she couldn't have her princess party if she didn't go on the potty all of the time. The week before her birthday she suddenly just started going to the potty all by herself and staying dry all night. We have had her in underware ever since and she hasn't had even one accident! I can't believe it! No more diapers! Anyone need some pull-ups? They have monster trucks on them (that's because my husband doesn't take the time to see if they are boy or girl pull-ups when purchasing them. No, this isn't the first time he'd done that. Yes, it made me crazy)! We are happily not needing them anymore. However, I do need a belt for the skinny-butt! None of her pants will stay up without the extra padding! I am very proud of her and so glad that potty training is OVER! She seems so much more grown-up in other ways now, too. She isn't getting into quite as much stuff as she had been and I am enjoying the couple of hours in the morning that we have by ourselves. It's hard to believe that she will also be going to school in just a few short years. That is going to be so hard to see my baby get on the school bus, but it will be nice to have a whole day to myself!

Who am I kidding? Then hubby will be shoving the help wanted ads in my face and telling me to get a REAL job!

Speaking of Hubby...his 40th birthday is this Sunday! I still remember when I used to think 40 was old! Now, not so much! We got together with some of his high school buddies this past Saturday. He seemed to be having a good time when I got there and he paid for it Sunday morning with a bit of a headache. I had to videotape a wedding, so I got there late, but I enjoyed seeing everyone and ended up having a good time, even though I was pretty darn tired. We don't get together with them as often as we should.

Sunday is also my baby sister's birthday. Shelly is only going to be 24...what a young pup. I still remember when she was born and I couldn't wait to hold her. She has been so much fun to have around and is one of my bestest friends. I can't imagine what I'd do without her! Happy Birthday, Boogs!

I have been very busy with weddings this month. I usually only schedule two a month to keep from going crazy, but I have 4 weddings in 5 weeks, plus the Senior Class Play to videotape. After that, I have a lot of time off and will be so glad to catch up on editing all the videos that are piling up on me! We also have several Woods parties to attend in my parents woods. Hopefully the weather will hold out and we will have some beautiful fall days. I also told Hannah she could have the "potty" party I promised her for helping with Abby's potty training. I think that we'll have that in the woods, as well. Hot dogs and s'mores and campfires and 20 girls...sounds like a recipe for FUN (or trouble)! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

4-H Fever

What do you call someone who waits until the last minute to get her Tweens 4-H photography projects developed, framed and/or put on a poster board? One sleep-deprived crazy loon of a Mom who really needs a nap and/or some MAJOR chocolate!

Yes, I did it again. For some reason, I just cannot get my rear into gear to help my girls finish these projects ahead of schedule. I say I thrive under pressure. Hubby says I LOSE it under pressure. I think it's a wacky mixture of both. My best ideas come at the very last second but I nearly lose my mind in the process. I make my kids and husband crazy with last minute changes that I am convinced will help them bring home the coveted "Outstanding of the Day" ribbon. I turn into one of "those" Moms who go a little overboard...get a little competetive...catch the 4-H Fever. Purely for the sake of the kids, of course.

Last night was no exception. While the girls and I had matted and framed their photos on Sunday (yes, 2 days ahead of schedule), Hannah and I finally tackled the project that took the most creativity and time. Last night. At 10:00. What was I thinking??? Thank goodness that I am a night owl by nature or I might not have been able to keep my eyes open long enough to finish. Not to mention having to keep poking Hannah every time her head bobbed and drool started to appear in the corner of her snoring mouth. We actually came up with a game plan pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the execution of said plan shatters my fantasy of cranking the project out and being able to sleep like a baby within a half hour of starting the project. Again, WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Hannah chose to take photos of various church steeples for her "photos in a series." This project has been in the works for over a year because we were GOING to do it last year, but decided at the last minute that we liked sleep more than an extra project! Hence, we gave ourselves an entire year to figure out exactly what we were going to do. So, when did we start said project? You guessed it! Last night. Judging for this project was this morning at 10:10. We finished applying all photos and lettering (which had to be cut out individually) to her poster board at 2 a.m. You might not think that seems like a lot, but when the title of her project is "Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple..." you suddenly realize just how many letters that is and how many e's you have to cut the tiny little hole out of. My fingers have yet to recover from holding that scissors for an hour straight. Yes, Hannah was awake. She was working on getting the photos framed nicely and secured to the poster board. It was during the gluing of the letters that I thought I was going to lose her to the sandman! Needless to say, we managed to finish it and were pretty happy with the results.

But, 7 am came a bit too early for me. So much so that I thought I'd close my eyes for just a little longer...then I awoke with a jolt and discovered it was 7:45 and I'd wanted to leave at 8:15! Fortunately, I'd told the girls to get their clothes ready the night before and I had everything pretty much ready to go. When we got there, we were amongst the first to arrive! YEAH! We actually scored some seats! Last year the girls' times were later so all seats were taken by the time we got there! That's a LONG time to stand with two tired, grumpy girls!

Needless to say, The girls both received all "A" ribbons on their projects. Hannah was awarded an Honorable mention for both her Black and White entry and the storyboard we pulled an all nighter on. So, I guess it was worth the extra trouble. Who needs an Outstanding of the Day ribbon anyway? In my mind, the Honorable Mention is better than the Outstanding of the day...you still get some of the glory without having to advance to the State Fair! I will just be happy with what the girls got. After all, I don't want to be one of "those" moms and obsess over what they could have done better, you know?

Now, I gotta go. We have some work to do for next year's photography projects...Tweens, where are you? (I think they're hiding under their beds) Momma has an idea...........!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back Seat Driver

So, the other day, Jack and I were going to Troy to run some errands. Slowing down at a stop sign and thinking out loud, I said "I wonder what the quickest way to get to Troy is from here." A second later, Jack says "I know the quickest way to get to Troy from here." I thought to myself "this ought to be good" and asked him what he thought. He said "the quickest way to Troy from here is to DRIVE FASTER!" I burst out laughing and told him he cracks me up. Straight-faced he said "It WASN'T a joke!" which, of course, made me laugh even harder.

I find the times he isn't trying to be funny are the times he makes me laugh the hardest. Gotta love that boy!


Okay, I know...I've been missing from posting on this blog for ages now! I have had so much going on since Easter that I haven't taken the time to write it all down on this site. Even though we've been very busy, it's all seemed pretty mundane and not all that fun. I guess I figure there's not much worth writing about. Who wants to hear about the end of the school year craziness, the runny noses I've wiped, how many times I've cleaned this house, the wedding videos that I'm working on editing, the tweens in this house who enjoy making me crazy, the potty training toddler, the almost kindergartner who loves sleeping in and watching tv almost more than breathing???

I guess I might just have to post daily, interesting or not! So bear with me on those days that I just don't seem very creative. I'm sure there will be days in between filled with antics from Abby and the funny things Jack says to keep you coming back! And, if I miss a day, just assume my tweens have driven me to the looney bin, k?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hope You Had a "Hoppy" Easter!!!

Christ the Lord is risen today...Allelulia!

Our Easter Morning started out the same way it usually does. Kids waking up way too early after Mom stayed up way too late! Hunting for eggs never seems to bore the kids and it was extra fun this year to watch little Abby running around collecting eggs. The kids were so sweet to her and let her gather more eggs than they did. Even Jack showed her where some were instead of taking them all for himself. I guess that's what it should all be about. Selflessness. Just as Jesus died on the cross for us. Thinking of others before yourself. I'd like to think that was the main motivation behind my little "bunnies" behavior, but I'm sure knowing that they would get most of Abby's candy when it was all said and done didn't hurt!

After egg hunting came the mad dash to not only get to church, but to make it to church EARLY! That seems to be a near impossible task most Sundays, but we managed to arrive 15 minutes early. We still had to sit in chairs so we could be together, but that was okay. If only Chloe hadn't decided she suddenly hated her dress and pout the entire mass, it would have been a much more joyous time!

After church we were on to lunch at Barb & John's (Doug's parents). It was nice to get to sit and chat while the kids played. Abby actually took a rare nap, so I got extra time to relax. That was MY Easter present! Then, we were on to my parent's house where chaos usually abounds. I guess you'll have that with 13 kids under the age of 13 all hopped up on sugar! My Mom still loves to spoil us with Easter baskets filled to the brim with candy she's spent all week making and little gifts for the kids. I often wonder if she knows just how much we appreciate all the extra effort she goes to! She's also like that on St. Nick's...she always finds just the right things to fill our stockings. Those are the memories I hold dear and hope my kids will always remember.
We hope you had a wonder-filled Easter, too!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My "Sweet" Little Man...

Okay, so you know there's a boy in the house when the dinner conversation goes something like this:

Out of the blue, Jack says "Hannah, you're a boobie. Boobie boobie boobie. You are a boobie." I tell him to stop. Hannah proceeds to chase him around the house for a minute. She then says "Jack's a nincompoop." He doesn't know what this means, but knows it probably isn't nice. A few seconds later he comes back with "Wiener. Wiener wiener wiener. Wiener." Of course, inappropriate laughter follows even though we're trying not to let him see. Hannah follows with another name (can't recall what it was but it was pretty harmless).

Now, if you've ever been in a name calling row with Jack, you know he runs out of names pretty quickly. He then looks around the house for some random thing to call you. Normally it would be something like "chair" or "fork," which are funny just because they make no sense, right? Well, on this particular evening he happened to be sitting by the window. We watched as he was looking around for something to call her and wondered what he was going to come up with. We see him looking out of the window towards the swing set. Then he says "Swinger...Hannah, you're a SWINGER!" I practically choked on my tuna casserole and the girls burst out laughing. I'm certain I saw milk shoot out of Chloe's nose. Fortunately, the kids had no idea what that actually meant. They just thought the RANDOM name he came up with was hilarious. Makes me glad they're still naive and I didn't have any explaining to do!

Ahhhhh...life with a boy is definitely unpredictable! And on Good Friday and all. I wonder if it's too early to start bringing the boy to confession?!?

Friday, April 10, 2009

I've added Lion Tamer to my resume'...

This is what I wake up to every morning. Yes, she IS usually as grumpy as this picture indicates!

Once I feed the little lion cub some breakfast (rice crispies is her cereal of choice these days...probably
because it makes the most mess possible) and pull that mane out of her face, she is usually in a much better mood, as THIS picture indicates. Watching her favorite tv show also seems to help and gives me a few minutes before her "curiosity" gets the best of her and she finds trouble (and undoubtedly a mess) around every corner!

If anything ever happens to me...please, can someone take care of this girl's hair?!? Hubby doesn't usually touch it if I'm gone and the poor girl walks around pushing it out of her face all day long! I keep trying to train him to just spray it with water and comb, but he just doesn't take the time. It looks as if it should take a bunch of stylists (aka mane tamers) to take care of her wild mane, but spritz and fix is all you have to do! ANY TAKERS??? I think men just don't have the ablilty (or don't give a $
*#!) to deal with hair more than 1/2" long. Must be something about that opposable thumb thing!

Pink is her favorite color~part deux

I didn't think that first picture did justice to how great of a job Abby did in coating the entire top of her foot with that lovely shade of pink!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pink's Her Favorite Color!

Okay...I want to prepare you for what you are about to see. It is just the latest in the Adventures of Abby. Actually, this happened a couple of weeks ago, but since I didn't have this blog then, I thought I'd fill you in. I figure it will, at the very least, give you a big laugh, especially if you know this little sweetheart and all the antics she gets herself so joyfully into! If you don't know her, you soon will! I'm pretty sure 90% of what I post on this blog will be about her!

Generally Abby gets into the majority of trouble when I am on this computer for any extended period of time, which is often. You would think her brother would alert me to what she's doing, but he generally doesn't think to utter a word until the deed has been done. Her trouble making usually goes in spurts. I think she's part werewolf and gets ornerier as the moon gets fuller. Seriously, it seems like she has a two or three day span where she is getting into one thing after another. Fortunately, we usually have the other 27 or 28 days to recoup before another bout of mischievous madness hits. Don't think she doesn't get into any trouble the other days of the month, it's just usually one or two things a day instead of the countless things that the full moon brings on!

Okay...so check out this picture:

Any guesses as to what that bright pink stuff is all over her little body? Marker? No. Paint? No. Blood? No (but it almost was when I realized what it REALLY was!!!). Finger nail polish? DING DING DING! You are a winner! Seems the little stinker...er...I mean cutie finally figured out how to both turn the doorknob and push the door to enter a room. Her room of choice on this day was Tween #1's room. Tween #1 is into painting her nails. Tween #1 swears she screwed the cap on tight. Mom JUST SWEARS!

Initially I thought it was marker and wondered how on earth she found one since we'd taken such care in confiscating each and every one of them around this house after the permanent marker incidents (I'll have to fill you in on a later post). So, I started to rub her hands with a wipe when I realized this was no marker. It was thick and had a distinct odor. One I've smelled many times before...what was that smell??? Horror when I realized it was nail polish. Absolute horror when I realized it was all over her little body, even the bottoms of her feet. Terror when I realized she'd walked all the way through Hannah's room, through the hallway, down the carpeted steps, over the hardwood floor and into my bedroom. With nail polish coating her hands and feet. What had become of my floors and my walls? Worse yet...where was the nail polish bottle and it's remnants?!?!?!!
I dashed up the stairs and into Hannah's room. No hot pink trail leading in or out. That was a good sign. No crime scene looking fingerprints on my walls. Another good sign. Then I spotted the nail polish bottle. Laying on its side. On the carpet. My heart started to beat a little faster. My brow started to sweat a bit. The brush lay beside the bottle on the carpet. And there, on the carpet was...a few spots of polish! That was it! RELIEF is an understatement! It's strange to think that I found any joy in those spots on the carpet, but I really did. I don't know how she managed it, but she kept most of it on her body. I went back downstairs and then got a really good look at her...polish coating the top of her feet, her fingers and nails, her chin and lips (she must have thought it would make good lip gloss!). I laughed out loud. Then I thought...if she got it on her lips...LET ME SEE YOUR TEETH!!! Sure enough she gave me a buck-tooth grin and her front two teeth were PINK! Good thing it's her favorite color!
So, I decided a call to good ol' Mom was in order. I calmly asked her "So, how do you suppose I should go about getting nail polish off a little girls hands and feet and mouth and lips and...TEETH?" Mom's response was "Oh no, what did she do now?" She decided to come over to help me with this little dilemma. When she walked in the door, I was videotaping Abby because I needed proof of just how extensive her little polish episode was! Mom scolded me when she saw the video camera and said I really shouldn't be drawing so much attention to it. Then Abby turned around and Mom got a good look at her. Laughter (even though she was trying hard not to let Abby see) ensued and she totally understood why I needed to document this for future blackmail...ahem. I mean use.

A few dozen cotton wipes doused with nail polish remover and a good soak in the bathtub later, we got her skin color back to it's normal shade of pink. Thank goodness! It actually came off easier than the permanent marker...but that story is for a future post! Stay tuned!

Oh, by the way...are you wondering how we got it off of her teeth??? Yeah, turns out it scrapes off quite easily with a few swipes with my good old fingernail. Who'd of thunk it?!!! ;)

Monday, April 6, 2009


Have you ever had a day that's chugging along just fine? No toddler getting into any trouble, no preschooler asking question after question until you want to change your name from Mom to I'm not here? No tweens ripping each other's hair out? Everything is peachy-keen. One of those days when you should just KNOW something's lurking around the corner waiting to burst the little bubble you've managed to create for yourself.

Then along comes Hubby. Hubby with an agenda. Hubby with a million and one things to do. You try to ignore the under his breath mumblings and hang onto what's left of your day in your little bubble.

Then you're so innocently trying to go downstairs to the basement to put some things away and the bubble not only bursts, it explodes. Immediately when your left foot hits the top stairs and lands on a very hard metal thingy that Hubby put there. Right in the middle of the stairs. I think he was trying to do me in for the insurance money...why else would he have put it there?!?! He claims it was because he was in a hurry and forgot to move it. I say he wanted the $$$$! He says I'm worth more alive because the amount of insurance $$$$ he'd have coming wouldn't pay to hire a nanny and housekeeper. Ain't love GRAND? Hahahahaha! (We really were joking when this conversation was going on...please don't call the police!!!)!

Needless to say, I managed somehow to NOT tumble head over heels and break my neck. I think my left foot fared the worst and I have a distinct bruise the shape of said metal thingy on the bottom of it and a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my right cheek (and I ain't talkin' about my face)! The right ankle is trying to decide whether or not it wants to be sprained and my left elbow looks a bit worse for the wear. Not to mention my bruised PRIDE when my tweens and their tween cousin poked their head around the corner of the doorway and burst out laughing. I can't imagine the sound I must've made, let alone the metal thingy as it bounced down every single step (after I threw it)! Then my oldest tween says "Mom, you really ARE getting old!" Just what a poor injured mama wants to hear.

Hubby sorta apologized in his own way. Basically said he got busy and forgot. Hmmmm. I think I should get busy and change the locks! I'm sure it will all be funny to me after my back quits hurting and I can walk without a limp again. Until then...please don't mention it, k?!? ;)

Day One of my Blogging Journey!

There are some things in life that I've always wanted to try.

Ride a roller coaster with my kids-CHECK
Take a vacation to a fabulous place-CHECK
Work from home-CHECK
Drink Wine from a box-Nope, haven't done that yet but think about it daily & hope to soon!

High on top of my list is journaling my life and the crazy "ride" that my kids take me on DAILY! Since I've been a terrible mother when it comes to filling out baby books and making scrapbooks chronicling my children's lives, I figure this is the best way to do that since I'm on the computer for hours a day anyway. Now I can at least be productive at the same time! Also, I hope it will help family members and friends who I don't see often enough to keep in touch, hopefully providing you with a good laugh along the way! So sit back and enjoy the ride...the Good Lord knows I'm trying to!