Thursday, July 31, 2008

Second Lesson Learned This Week

This has just been a week full of lessons for mommy!

Last night some friends of ours invited us over for a bbq, swimming, and water volleyball, followed up by some cards.

Mike and I packed up the kids and puppy and drove over to their side of town excited about our evening.

The kids had a blast swimming. They have a great in ground pool that has a deep diving area. The kids learned to dive and had so much fun.

We ate and played and had fun.

The kids got out of the pool and the adults played a little water volley ball, while the kids were ball boys/girls.

I got tired and cold and got out. Seth got out and said he had a headache.

Hmm. Seth isn't a big complainer. I figured he had had too much fun and we got him a motrin for his head. Figuring he probably hadn't drank too much, he was probably a bit dehydrated I offered him a sip of water and he said no.

Uh oh. This is where my instincts said pack up and leave. This kid isn't feeling right. But instead we had him lay down for a few minutes, hoping his headache would ease up. After a little bit I checked on him and he didn't look good. I got him up and started to get him ready to go when I looked at him and realized he was going to hurl. Of course we were by the door, and no where near the bathroom.

We started to run but it was too late. Also the door to the bathroom was open and blocking the currently closed toilet, so really the wall behind the toilet and the closed toilet got the brunt of the damage.

There really is no way to explain in words what the scene looked like. It was absolutely horrible. For just an instant I thought of taking a picture because I knew no one would ever believe just how bad it was. But then realized I was covered in vomit as was my kid and my friends bathroom and I skipped the picture idea.

I need to note here that i understand that i have a tendency to exaggerate, but I am in NO way exaggerating here. There was so much vomit covering the bathroom, I didn't know what to do.

Mike cleaned up the living room, floor, walls, door etc (thank God for wood floors), and I started on the bathroom.

Poor Seth. He had to be stripped down to his underwear, I wrapped a towel around him and Mr. Dave gave him his shirt. Thanks Dave!

After quite a while I got it to the point, where I could let Mike in to help me start on cleaning the walls. Then I completely lysoled their entire bathroom.

Seth by this time was feeling much better. We got him in the car and headed home. Jess, a dr. in training, told us to stop and get him some gatoraid because he was probably dehydrated.

We stopped at the Walgreens down the street from our house. It was 10:01, the lady literally locked he door on Mike's face. Nice. We won't be doing any "Gee, isn't Walgreens the most helpful store!" commercials.

I showered Seth (had to be done) and got him in bed with his vomit-bowl while mike ran out for gatoraide.

He of course felt fine by this time. Headache gone, no stomach ache. Slept like a rock all night.

I, on the other hand, dreamed of cleaning vomit covered bathrooms all night.

Lesson here? Trust your instincts mom! You may not always be right and seem a little kooky but it will save you from situations like this.

I need to send some kind of card, gift, paint, new bathroom to give these friends of ours, any suggestions?

Oh, and Seth, he is great this morning and calling me right now from his bed because he is starving.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Well Checks

Busy morning today.

Took the girls to their well check appointments this morning.

Kylee has a possible UTI again. We had no idea.

I didn't expect it and was leaving the office when the nurse came out and said there was blah blah and blah blah in Kylee's urine. Whatever that means. She said they were sending it to the lab and would call. Usually they put her right on an antibiotic, so I don't know if it was the same as usual. She said it could have just been a contaminated sample. I am praying for that.

I've about had it with this. Although, it has been almost a year since her last. I think maybe we need to revisit the tests they took when she was little. Maybe have a different doctor look at the tests and see if they see anything different.

Faith has to have a back x-ray for curvature of her spine. They have been watching it and aren't too worried but want to have the x-ray for watching purposes, I think. She didn't seem to think it was bad enough to result in a brace.

Other than that they were healthy. Faith was 5 foot 1 1/2 inches tall. She was delighted to hear that. Only an inch and a half shorter than me. And then the doctor told Kylee that she thought her top height would be about one inch taller than me. Another happy customer.

It's funny, I remember thinking when they were babies that things like going to the dr. would be so much easier when they got older.

It's not.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lessons I Learned Today

I learned some important lessons today while taking the two dogs to the shot clinic for their shots.

1. A "cheaper" vaccine clinic may not actually be cheaper.

2. Jasmine gets very excited around a lot of other dogs who are all barking at the same time.

3. Little boys get very excited around a lot of dogs who are all barking at the same time.

4. Jasmine should have her toe nails clipped before going anywhere she may get excited.

5. I should never,NEVER wear flip flops when taking aforementioned excited dog to a shot clinic.

6. "This will only take a minute"does not apply to and should not be said when taking two dogs and four kids to a dog shot clinic.


Age Old Problem

If you are a parent of children, who can talk, I am sure you can relate to what I am about to write.

Today, after we had finished up our school time I was having everyone do a quick tidy when I came into my little office space and found my new trash can filled. I got a bag and began dumping it when I noticed that there were pencil shavings in my trash can. Now, this may seem like a small thing to you but I can't tell you how much I despise pencil shavings. And when I bought my new little trash can for my office space I asked the kids individually to please not put their pencil shavings in my trash can, they can dump them in the big trash can in the kitchen.

So, I was a little annoyed that this had happened. It now needed to be cleaned out. I called the kids together and asked who had done it.


Of course. I could have told you that was who did it before they said it.

Do you ever just get so tired of this "nobody". I know it is nothing new. I remember being a kid. I remember reading the family circus cartoons and the ghost "nobody" did everything.

But I'd had it with nobody this time. I was pretty sure I knew who the culprit was but wanted him to admit it. So I told them they were all grounded until the person who did, admits to it.

I thought I was pretty sly here. I knew the one who I suspected wouldn't be able to stand for this and would come forward. Or so I thought.

The next thing I hear is Joshi's little voice say,"Mommy, I did it." (yeah I am about 99% positive it wasn't him)

Oh no.

As they all stood around staring at me waiting to see what I would do I told him he was now the only one grounded for the day. He would have to go to his room and sit there.

This sucks. I know he didn't do it. Someone talked him into taking the fall and now he is being punished. This went totally wrong.

He is sitting in his room upstairs, crying. All because I tried to beat nobody.

Now what? Is this "Nobody" unbeatable?


Tonight is the Night

While the kids were gone in Arizona Mike and I had so much fun, but we also got a ton of stuff done around this house.

I totally re-did my school room(which now rocks!), cleaned out the laundry room, put ceiling fans in all the bedrooms and bought paint for my bathroom.

Notice I said bought paint for my bathroom.

It is the only room I have not painted in this house. I am kind of a nut about paint. It is a cheap, easy and a fun way to change a room. Also makes kids fingerprints not so noticeable.

Anyway, I held out on painting my bathroom because I wasn't sure what I wanted.

But then, I came up with this idea. Try to picture it, with bright pink paint I want to paint about a foot border up at the top of the wall and then paint the rest of the wall a dark brown, above and below the pink. I think I saw it on a chocolate box.

The other exciting thing about this paint project is that I was blessed when I bought the paint! I had a Lowes gift card I had received a while ago and had not yet used so I knew I was going to be getting paint free of charge. Then on top of that, the weekend I bought it Lowes was having one of those five dollar rebates, so on top of the fun gift card I was also excited about the good deal I was going to get. I told the guy I needed the small can of pink and a gallon of brown, but when I came back he had made two gallons of paint. I felt bad but told him that he had messed up and he said he sure did and I could have the gallon of pink for five dollars because it was now an OOPS paint! Very excited about that!

So although I was excited about my idea,I think I got intimidated by my plan for painting. That's the only answer I can come up with for why I have not painted my bathroom yet. That is really not like me at all!!! Usually, once I begin a project it is completed soon after. I don't do well with half done stuff. And the paint in the garage is mocking me.

So this is it. I am doing an inventory of my paint supplies and I am starting this project tonight when Mike gets home. I need his help because for it to work right we are going to have to be painting pink and brown simultaneously, and I don't know if I can do that alone :)

I will post pictures of my development.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Kylee's Cake is finished!!

It's finished!!!! It was a pretty easy cake and didn't take too long. And Kylee is out of this world happy with it, so it is all worth it.

We the girls and I are gearing up for our day at the water par, pray for me.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Spent the Afternoon Putting Bikinis on Bears

Kylee is finally getting her birthday party tomorrow.

Since we are doing a one-friend-fun-day for birthday's this year Kylee chose to go to a water park for the day with her best friend Allie.

I asked her what kind of cake she wanted and she chose this. I don't know how close I am going to come to it, but here is the beginning. I am going to finish it in the morning.

Wish me luck!!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grilled potatoes

I don't know about you, but in the summer I would much rather cook outside.

Grilling doesn't heat up the house and doesn't leave you with a bunch of dishes. All good things :)

I have been trying my hand at grilled potatoes and haven't been doing very well.

But found this recipe and they turned out sooooo good.

potatoes sliced
cream of chicken soup
onion sliced (optional)
1/4 cup of butter sliced
seasoning-garlic salt, pepper

I just cut up enough potatoes for our family (six) and mixed them in a bowl with the soup and onion slices. Poured it all out on to a piece of foil and cut the butter up all over it. Added seasoning and sealed. (I wrapped another piece of foil around the whole thing because I wanted to turn it over half way through the cooking.

I grilled it on the top rack of the grill for an hour, at med. heat, turning once.

Then when it was done I dumped it on a tray and sprinkled cheese over it to melt.

It was so good.

Mike and I decided that it was so yummy and could become very versatile depending on the type of soup you used. I was thinking maybe a cheese/bacon soup (is there such thing?) would be good. You could even make them Mexican style by using cheese soup and salsa or chilies. The original recipe I stole it from had cream of mushroom soup and fresh mushrooms which sounds soooo good but I would not make to serve my kids. No good would come from that!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Final Stats on the Pharaoh

I can't tell you how many times i have been asked how the Pharaoh is doing. So here are his stats:

He was officially 3 lbs. 7 oz the last time we weighed him. Today when we removed him from the salt he was 2lbs. 12 oz.

I didn't want to remove him from his salt until I was sure he was good and dry. Our climate isn't exactly like Egypt's you know! But today we removed him and let me tell you he was dry!

Very cool. Everyone except Faith wanted to touch him. She took pictures.

He is now wrapped in linen. I need to get some resin to finish him off.

Then what?

Well of course he needs an appropriate burial location. I don't know where that is going to be yet. Any suggestions?

Chicken a la Pharaoh- Final Burial Preparations

Joshi's Birthday cake

I wasn't so happy with the way the bowling ball turned out.

I wasn't going to post it but then felt lame that I would only post the ones I thought were good.

I think it would have been better had it not been green. A black ball would have been more realistic. Also, if I had had a ball pan I think it would have looked much better.

But the best part of this cake is that it tasted really really good!

I did use the bake and fill pan, and Joshi picked chocolate mint pudding to use as the filling. Also since I only starred the number and the rest I just frosted and pressed flat, I was able to use the good frosting!! Yum!!! The good frosting recipe is here. (I use half butter half shortening) Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


My friend Amy in AZ is in the process of becoming a certified Doula!

I am so proud of her. I wish I were there to do it with her.

I investigated it for a bit, the certification and such, and seriously considered it but I wish I had someone here to motivate me into doing it.

I know she will do great. She is a super sweet and caring person, who truly loves women and babies. I know that she would be a benefit to any women who is looking for some Doula support either prior to, during, or after a birth. Or if you know someone who is expecting, I believe that you can give her services as a shower gift. What a cool thing to give someone who just had a baby!!! Here is her website. If you are in AZ and expecting and looking for a fabulous Doula I know she would love to talk to you.


Is that A Baby Ruth In the Pool?


We had a Caddy Shack moment in the pool yesterday.

My kids were swimming and all of a sudden some kids, on the end I was sitting at, screamed,"There's poop in the pool!"

The kids who shouted it then continued to dive and look at it.

After a couple of minutes they went and got the life guard. This is where I realized that there might possibly be poop in the pool.

I retrieved my kids and their friends out of the pool and we watched the poop recovery process.

The lifeguard stood on the side looking at the suspected poop, not trying to get it out with her net, and also not blowing her whistle to empty the pool.

Now, I don't want to tell her how to do her job, but if there is suspected poop in the pool, BLOW YOUR WHISTLE!

Then the six children who discovered the poop begin diving for it! (where are their mothers?)

They are diving and chasing it around the shallow end until one comes up and says,"EW, it's slimy."

Then the littlest one (maybe 7) catches it. (Seriously, where are their mothers?) Puts it on the side of the pool. This is where the life guard takes out her rubber gloves!

I am in complete and utter shock at this point.

Then she picks up the possible poop, squishes it, smells it and declares to the other lifeguard, "Yeah, it's poop"

Then they blow the whistle.

But that isn't all folks. I am packing up to go home and sterilize all my kids when all of a sudden, I am covered in a powdery substance. Not knowing what it is I begin to brush it off. Faith's friend's mom is sitting next to me and says,"It's in my eye! She just threw shock in the pool and she got it in my eye!" The very same bright life guard who didn't blow her whistle with the suspected poop had just thrown chemicals all over me and several other moms.

I would have tried to rinse off the chemical that was eating away my skin, if the showers hadn't been full of kids trying to clean the poop residue off of them.

We all came home and scrubbed.

Got to love group pools!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


My friend Joni tagged me. So here it goes.

10 years ago I was:
The mother to a 2 year old and a one week old.
Alone a lot. Mike was in school full time and working at Motorola full time.
Serving and teaching at a halfway house every Sunday with Mike and a group of friends.

Five things to do today:
Do math lessons with all kids. (done)
Go on nature scavenger hunt for science at the nature preserve. (done)
Lay by pool while kids swim. (done)
Water veggie plants. (not yet)
Make dinner. (almost done- chicken cooking for enchilada casserole)

Snack I enjoy:
Salty stuff. Then sweet. Then back to salty.

Things I would do if a Millionaire:
Pay off Orchard's mortgage.
Pay off our mortgage.
Pay off cars and debt.
Adopt baby from another country.
Have a vacation place in Jamaica.

Places I have lived:

Chula Vista, California

Tempe, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Gilbert, Arizona

Troutman, North Carolina

Naperville, Illinois

Running a Smooth Ship

I was asked recently about how we manage chores and allowance in our family. I thought I would share what we have used for years.

Mike and I decided when the kids were very little that we needed to train them while they were still young to help out. We decided on a list of chores, and assigned an amount to each chore. I don't assign anyone particular chores, they are fair game to anyone who wants to do them. And the kids are motivated because they know how much money they are earning each time they do a specific chore. Some are worth more than others and some are worth less just simply because they can be done at least once a day. They will get paid for that chore every time they do it even if they do it twice a day. ( Taking out the garbage would be an example of that.)

I saw on an Oprah show many, many years ago where a finance guy, I can't even remember who he was, was talking about teaching your kids financial responsibility and he said you should definitely give your kids money for doing chores, but that they should put some away for savings each time. He suggested breaking their allowance into several groups. I got the idea of breaking their allowances up into fours groups for them. So this is how we do it.

1/4 of their allowance goes to God.
1/4 of their allowance goes to Savings. (they have bank accounts)
1/4 of their allowance goes to family tax. ( we use this money to do something fun as a family, like go to the movies or bowling)
1/4 of their allowance goes to themselves. It is their money to do what they wish. I put no parameters on it. If they choose to save it for something they may, or if they choose to spend it on candy and gum, they may. It is totally theirs to do with as they please. So the money that Kylee and Faith saved up came from the 1/4 of the money they get to keep. (Faith also earned money for babysitting.)

I am a firm believer that the only reason our house runs as smoothly as it does, and I don't feel like pulling out all my hair and running away from home each evening, is because of our chore system. Our kids are responsible for everything from doing all their own laundry (washing, folding and putting away) to picking up dog poop. Any chore that can be done is worth something and if it isn't on the list I can find a place for it and they will be paid for it. There is one exception, and that is the cleaning of their rooms. That is their own space and they are expected to maintain that. So they are not paid for cleaning their rooms.

The last thing I have to say about chores is that we work together everyday to keep things in order but we take about 1-2 hours every Thursday to really clean the house. All the kids know that is the time it is going to happen and they do great banning together.

As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago on a Thursday, while we were still doing our regular school work we had just about finished up with their school work and I got a call. I went up stairs and by the time I was off the phone I came down stairs and they had all finished their school assignments and had picked chores off the list to start our Thursday cleaning. They had done it all on their own!!

Hope this helps someone. I know I couldn't live with out it!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Kylee's Song

Here is Kylee and her new guitar. And yes she is sitting outside because for the first day no matter what she did the guitar was attached to her. We got her to put it away to go to bed :)

Her Daddy took her on Friday to pick it out.

He brought her home and showed her how to hook it up to his amp down stairs in the basement.

Mr. Ron, her teacher, gave her some things to practice on it. But soon after her lesson on Friday she started playing five of the chords she loves, over and over again.

Very excited about this, she came running upstairs and told me she was writing a song. She said she didn't have the lyrics yet but she has the beginning music to it. She thought maybe her daddy would help her with the lyrics.

She paid for it all with her birthday money and the money she had saved up.

And you can't see it in the picture but the strap she picked out, she paid extra for, because it is black with blue flames on it.

Yeah, she is just like her daddy.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We keep telling her there is no going back now. She has officially hit the double digits today! Kylee is 10!

What a gorgeous kid, in every way. And Kylee has also been saving up her money. But not for a puppy. Kylee has her heart set on an electric guitar that she found in one of her dad's music mags.

And ever since she found it she has been saving and drawing.

Yes, drawing. She draws guitars everywhere.

She is going to be a rocker like her dad. So Friday her daddy is going to take her down to Guitar Center and she is going to buy her electric guitar.

The part she is most excited about is the whammy bar.


Practicing Piano

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Joshi is Six!

This is what Joshi said to me last night before he went up to bed;

"Mom I just have one thing to say to you, I'M SO EXCITED TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY!!"

Six is a big year apparently. He has been really, really looking forward to turning six. Makes me a little sad. He really isn't a baby anymore. I could somewhat talk myself in to thinking he was still little when he was five but six and first grade, that isn't little anymore :(

He was born the day before Kylee's fourth birthday. So at the time of his birth Seth was one year nine months, Kylee was one day from being four, and Faith had just turned six. Oh, and Mike was working a full time secular job and working full time for a church. That maybe why much of Joshi's babyhood was a blur!

Today, I will make him a special dinner. Whatever he wants. And this is what he chose, terriyaki meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a double chocolate layered pie. He gets his birthday cake this weekend when his two best friends, Sam and Luke, are coming over for a bowling/sleepover.

His cake? It will be a green bowling ball filled with pudding, at his request.


Monday, July 7, 2008


Yeah not so good at posting pictures with captions so here it is in this post. Faith took the gorgeous pictures of her puppy you see in the next post, and if you click on the second one in the first row and make it bigger you can actually see Faith in the puppy's eye. Too cute.

Little Junie B. loves flowers. Almost obsessively. She loves to smell them, lick them, and yes, chew them.

There is one somewhat blurry picture of Jasmine, posing so sweet for a picture.

And the last one of Mike laying in front of the crate? Yeah, he was trying out his dog hypnosis.

Pictures of the two dogs coming.


Baby Pictures

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Puppy Love

A few months ago Faith said she wanted a puppy. And not just any puppy but she wanted a Boston Terrier.

Knowing these were expensive dogs Mike and I felt pretty safe telling her that if she saved up her money she could have one.

So, by the first of June my child had saved up enough to buy her dog. Not only did she save up the money from babysitting, and just saving her chore money but for every 20 dollars she tithed 5 dollars back to God (her choice). Also during this time of saving she bought all her own clothes and extras. What an awesome example of God blessing you financially for being a good steward. We are so proud of her!

So this week, she found an ad for a Bugg puppy. For those who don't know that is a Boston terrier/ pug mix. A designer dog as they call them. A mutt as I call them. She wrote back and forth with this women and Faith decided she would just go and look at these puppies to see if it was a right fit.

We drove down part way to Springfield, Il yesterday and met this nice couple in a parking lot. They had their kennel with three bugg girls and two pug boys. The lady told her to just sit down and open the kennel and see what she thought.

Oh my. They were all adorable, of course, but this little one ran right up to Faith and started licking and licking her face. I took one look at that and knew it was all over.

She told me she was in love.

So, she paid the lady and off we went.

She was pretty good last night and Jasmine is okay so far with her. I think she will like her better when she is a little bigger and can play more on her level. Luckily, Jasmine doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body and loves other dogs.

As parting I thought I would post one more picture of little dog. Oh, her name is June Bugg. Or Junie B. Jones. If you have little girls you will get that, otherwise you can Google it.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Kids are Back in Town

The kids are back. I am now just trying to get myself back into the kid mind set again.

Monday was too cold for the pool so I had eight kids in the house or around the house most of the day. Also there is some neighborhood watch report going around about a strange man in the neighborhood so the kids have been banished to the back yards or inside houses. That is so lame. Bad people suck.

So yesterday as I was trying to read a chapter of my book, outside, in the sun, I sat down on one of our lawn chairs and up popped a furry, black spider right beside me. Yes, just like the nursery rhyme.

I jumped but then realized this was a great distraction for four little boys that desperately needed something to do. They came running and captured him in the little bug habitat that they were carrying around.

Today was warm enough for the pool but that only lasted for three hours. We came home. Today we had a different four extra kids. I took the boys out front to play for a bit and they found a baby grasshopper they decided to put in their bug habitat.

We were watching the spider and I was, of coarse, narrating, in nature t.v. style, when the furry black spider pounced on the grasshopper!! We were all amazed and it was great fun.

So the boys, now numbering 5, found some more grasshoppers and Mr. Spider didn't disappoint. He grabbed them stung them and webbed them right up. The 5 girls in the house were less impressed with this spectacle.

Too cool.