Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful...

.....for the current sickness in our house....

because it has helped remind us to be ever appreciative of our normally good health.

.....for NOT having television.....

because it has given us the gift of time with each other.

.....for the few extra pounds around my middle....

because it means we certainly are not lacking for food in our home.

.....for the zoo that will by my in-laws' house at Thanksgiving, with over 30 people attending.....

because I know there are many who spend this day alone, with no family to surround them.

.....for the fact that I came from what the world would call a "broken" home (though, it never seemed broken in any way to me at the time).....

because now, I really know the value of keeping my family together.

.....for the times I want to pull my hair out when my children are just NOT getting a concept I am trying to teach them....

because it makes it that much sweeter once they finally own that concept for themselves, and put it into practice without Mommy's prompting.

.....for Cameron shouting "poop" in the middle of Wal-Mart...

because that word was preceded by the sentence, "P says 'puh', like.....Poop!" and it means all our phonics lessons are really sinking in.

I'm thankful--to the Lord, of course, from Whom all blessings come--for all the little things and all the big things.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From Faux to Fir in under a minute

I don't know if anyone has ever tried this before or not, but I had an awakening this year, and I wanted to share it.

There is a wonderful Blog Carnival, hosted by Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer, and I thought I would get involved this week and share a tip that's "worked for me".

I am a big Bath-and-Body Works fan.

I also am a big fan of real live Christmas trees--but, for many reasons, we put up a fake one every year. I must say, I do miss that light pine smell that a real Douglas Fir Christmas tree gives off.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a coupon at Bath-and-Body and I decided to try a new fragrance of room spray. As I was browsing the vast selection, I came upon this:

Tree Room Spray. And, an idea came to me.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I am generally not a huge lover of room sprays. They are great when you need a quick burst of fragrance, but they just do not last long.

The reason, though, that they don't last a long time is that you spray them up into the air. They dissipate, and then there goes your yummy smell in a matter of minutes.

"Why not," I thought to myself, "spray my fake tree with this stuff, in the hopes that it will smell like there is a real tree in my house?"

I am happy to report that this has worked like a charm! By spraying the tree and not the air, the fragrance has something to "stick" to, and therefore lasts and lasts. I respray it every few days, just three or four squirts or so, and my house has been smelling all Christmasey ever since!

*Paper* Trail of Destruction

by Ethan Ryan

Besides the daily toothbrush struggle....
I also face this daily occurence.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reasoning, Colin-style

It's not easy to get mad at your son when:

You go into his room for the 4th time,

to find out he is still not asleep for his nap;

you ask him, "Colin, why are you not asleep yet?"

And he says,

"Because Mom, I'm just not at all tired. AND,

I folded all of my blankets up for you, so you would not have to do it."

And you look, and at the end of his bed,

folded (quite nicely) in three little piles,

are his blankets.

Yeah, it's not easy at all to get mad at him for not sleeping after that.

It is, however, very easy to cave in, and let him get up out of his bed.

After all, as he pointed out,

he wasn't tired at all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mr. Man

Last night, Colin got another belated birthday present.

Remember this awesome game?

It's been updated since I was a kid, but is still the same premise. A tiny pair of metal tweezers; a caricature of a man (officially named "Mr. Man" here at our house) with 13 or so cut out areas--with metal around all the edges--in which you put little plastic pieces; and you must use the metal tweezers to "operate" on your patient and remove the ailing parts without touching any of the edges. IF you happen to hit the metal edges, the man's giant red nose lights up and you hear a loud buzzing sound, indicating you have failed, and it is the next player's turn.

Colin, so far, loves this game. And, he's pretty good at it, too.

He and Cameron were taking turns "operating" this afternoon. Colin would take the tweezers, and successfully remove a piece; then, he would hand over the tweezers to Cameron, who would buzz almost instantly upon trying to go for a piece.

Colin would laugh; Cameron would scowl, and then hand the tweezers over to Col.

It went on this way for several minutes. I was waiting....waiting....waiting....

I knew it was going to happen, and it did.

Sweet Cameron got fed up.

He leaned over to go for another piece, and yet again, the buzzer screamed and the man's nose lit up like a Christmas tree.

Cameron then proceeded to bend down, get nose to nose with Mr. Man, and say, in a very low, growly voice:

"Would you STOP buzzing at me, little man?"


When you saw those initials, did you immediately recognize them?

Did they mean anything to you?

If you said no, don't worry. I didn't immediately recognize them either. But, when I read the article and visited the Freedom of Choice Act Website, I was reminded instantly of what I had read in a newspaper article only a few short months ago: that it was the Bill that President-Elect Obama had said would be his very first priority to sign when he was elected.

I personally did not vote for Mr. Obama, because his principles do not, in any way, align with my own. However, now that our country has chosen him to lead, I am praying for him, and those who will serve under him--that they all will make good choices concerning the future of this great country.

Whether or not you did or did not vote for Mr. Obama matters to me not. That was your decision, and I am glad you exercised your right as an American citizen--a right that many others bled and died to give you.

I am not trying to take a political stand here, with this post. I am simply doing what I feel is my part in sharing information, in case you are unaware yourself, as I was, about this Bill, in hopes of protecting the most innocent of our American citizens--the unborn.

This terrible piece of legislation called "The Freedom of Choice Act" would establish abortion as a fundamental right (like the right to free speech or the right to vote). It would wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide, including bans on partial birth abortion. It will eradicate state and federal abortion laws that are currently in place--laws that the majority of Americans have already voted to support, such as a minor needing parental consent before an abortion were to take place. It would prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future. And, it means that some of your taxpayer dollars would go to fund abortion--whether you support it or not.

You can help do your part to protect the unborn. You can take two minutes to read and sign the "Fight FOCA" petition at their website, and then you can tell others to do the same.


Friday, November 21, 2008

From an Indian to a Pilgrim in 24 hours

Please, don't look too closely, and don't judge me on the quality of this craft...I'm flyin' by the seat of my pants here, with minimal craft supplies--construction paper, staples, scissors, and crayons--and this was the best I could come up with!

*I know, I know...that's the biggest buckle I've ever seen, too....I overestimated on size*

Colin didn't seem to mind his hat's 'generic-ness'.

He's been wearing that thing since 10:30 this morning! *giggle*

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The questions we Moms are forced to answer

An actual conversation between me and Colin today:

Colin, gazing out the window of our van and noticing that there were some "bird spots" on it: "Mom, why do birds go potty all over everything?"

Me: "Well, I'm not really sure why they do, honey."

Colin: "But, they go potty everywhere. On our car, on our house, on our driveway, in our yard, at our church, on our--"

Me, interrupting--because, if I hadn't, he would have listed 207 things that birds go potty on--: "Yes, Col, they go potty all over. They don't go in a specific spot, they just go wherever they want to."

Colin, after thinking quietly for a moment: "Mom, how do birds wipe themselves with their teeeeeeeeeeeeny little arms?"

Me, giggling almost uncontrollably at the thought of birds with arms: "Well, Col, birds don't have arms, remember? They have wings, with feathers on them."

Colin, thinking about that for a moment, says: "Oh. Well, then, how do they wipe themselves with their teeeeeeeeeeeeeny little feathers, then?"

Me, through more giggles: "Well, Col, they don't really wipe themselves. They just go. That's it."

Colin, thinking again, replies: "Oh. Well.....that's gross."

And that was the end of the conversation.

One little, two little, three little Indians

A sneak peek at our craft session yesterday! We got our Thanksgiving groove on, and decided to make some Indian headdresses to wear to our church Thanksgiving Dinner last night.

Coloring "feathers"
"I like this, Mommy!"

In the midst of all the 'crafting time', I caught a little 'brotherly love time' on the camera

"What do you think, Mom? Am I handsome or Am. I. Handsome?"

Sweet Cameron did so well....he colored all his feathers, by himself, and even used the 'I-only-cut-paper-kind' of scissors to cut them out!

Colin, my main crafter...this kid would sit at a table all day and do crafts if I let him! Wait, what am I talking about....not 'if I let him', rather 'if I could come up with them'.

"Ah, ah, ah, ah,
Oh, oh, oh, oh!!"

Time for some hootin' and hollerin', Indian-style

Those be some da cutest Injuns I ever did see!
Next up on the docket....Pilgrim Hats!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I love you, my Jr. Minty friend

Today, I went and collected my mail from our mailbox.

Normally, not that exciting of a task....'cause it's mostly bills and the like.

But, today was different.

Today, I opened my mailbox to find this wonderful surprise.....

Someone, who obviously not only lives close to me, but also reads my blog and has recently found out about my love of Jr. Mints, surprised me by dropping an entire BOX of minis in my mailbox!

HOORAY!! Written at the top of the box, it said...."Devin, ENJOY!"

I will, thank you very much!

I'm not sure who my secret Santa was, but I am sure thankful for this sweet surprise today. (Identify yourself, my friend! You are awesome.....)

Lesson Learned: flannel on flannel is not so great

If you have flannel sheets on your bed,

and you wear flannel pants to bed,

you might wake up around 3:30 in the morning, after (apparently) turning over a couple of times, wrapped up so tightly inside your pajama pants that you couldn't move. It might almost be as though you were a caterpillar inside of his cocoon--you would be wrapped up just that tightly.

You might almost not make it to the potty in time, because it took you so long to get unwrapped.

Lesson learned. Do not wear flannel pants when your bed has flannel sheets. No matter how much you love to be cozy and snuggly in yummy, warm flannel.


While I may or may not have woken up grouchy this morning from a less-than-stellar night's sleep, I am now on a high from the fact that it is only 11 a.m. and I have:

  • cleaned my hallway bathroom (including the tub, which, for some reason, was less dirty than I would have imagined it to be)

  • vacuumed my entire house

  • loaded dirty dishes, unloaded clean dishes, and then reloaded more dirty dishes into the dishwasher--PRAISE GOD for dishwashers, by the way

  • done two loads of laundry

  • took some garbage out for garbage day

  • changed my Fall bedding to my Christmas bedding on my bed

  • had learning time with Colin

  • had coloring time with E and Cameron

And, had time to blog about it all. I love laptops.

All of that being done mean that I can spend at least some of the afternoon online, searching cool toys for my littles for Christmas, doing bills (ugh), emailing, and blogging....WOOT!

But for now, I'm off to make Indian headdresses with the boys....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Haley's wedding

Recently, I had the honor of singing at my cousin Haley's wedding. We grew up together--she is only 3 1/2 years younger than me, and we were together all the time. She was a beautiful bride, and the day lended itself well to lots and lots of good pictures.

Haley and her new husband, Jason

A kiss from her Dad (and Mom)

My four favorite boys

Me and Shane

Me, my Grandma Franzi, and my mom

My crazy three :-)
(they were a little to close to that Unity candle, for my comfort)

And, my new favorite family shot!

I love weddings!


If you had not cleaned your bathtub--like, on-your-hands-and-knees-scrub-with-the-tough-cleaner cleaned--in about six weeks....

....and you, hypothetically, came in to the bathroom where your three wonderfully industrial little men were bathing in very sudsy, bubbly water....

....and you found them, all three of them, using your three loofahs (if you, hypothetically, had three loofahs) to joyfully scrub down the shower walls, the shower doors, the sides and the bottom of the tub....

....and you sat and watched them, as they worked like happy, busy little beavers, just dipping your loofahs into the soapy water and scrubbing every surface they could reach....

....dipping and scrubbing, dipping and scrubbing....

....if this were, say, a situation that happened to you, my question would be:

Do you throw away your three loofahs, or is it okay to just clean them well and continue using them, since, you know.....soap is self-cleaning and all?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ethan takes revenge

On any given day, I can find Ethan wandering around the house like this:

This child has a special affinity for his toothbrush.

All my children, actually, love brushing their teeth. It's kind of strange to me...when I say, "Okay, guys, time to brush our teeth!" they get all excited, and race to the bathroom. You would think that I had said, "Okay, guys, time to go to the park!" by the way they react. It's really quite a site.

Ethan, however, is a bit different.

He seems to not be able to stop brushing his teeth.

Now, until recently, I haven't minded this. I would give him his toothbrush when we went in the bathroom, and he would just brush to his little heart's content. No harm, right? He would brush for probably 10 minutes (more if we allowed him), until we actually physically pried the toothbrush out of his little death grip took his toothbrush away from him.

However, now he is actually able to open doors himself (ugh). He is also a fantastic climber.

All of that means that now, he is able to go down the hall, open my bedroom door, then open my bathroom door, push the stool over to the sink, climb up on the stool, reach the toothbrushes (all of them--not just his, by the way) and brush away.

Like I said before, I wouldn't mind this. Really, I wouldn't. Except for two things:

1. Ethan has no discrepancy as to which toothbrush he uses. He might grab Col's, or Daddy's, or makes no difference to him. That one that he is using in the above pictures is actually Cameron's. (We actually found him one day this week wandering the house with one toothbrush in his mouth, and four more--all of the remaining family members'--in his hands.)

Now, I'm quite sure that reactions on that one will range from the 'that's mildly icky' to the 'I am extremely grossed out by that'--the whole sharing-a-toothbrush-with-someone-else thing--but, personally, I don't find this to be that big of a deal. I mean, my kids have been slobbering and puking on me for years now--I can handle a bit of spit swap every once in a while.

However, even with that being said, this is certainly not something I would want to become a habit.

2. The fits he throws when I tell him that we are all done brushing teeth. Case in point, what happened today when I told him exactly that:

I mean the throw-yourself-down-on-the-floor-and-scream-like-there's-no-tomorrow kind of fits.

But, Today, it got even better.

Today, my sweet little baby, who is not even two yet, decided to actually take revenge on his mean ol' Momma for not letting him continue brushing.

He left my bedroom (after recovering from his fit) in a seemingly good mood. Everything seemed fine.

Until, not 20 seconds later, I heard a crash.

"What on earth?!" I thought.

Camera still in hand, I ran out into the living room to see this:

That little stinker had--purposefully and with malicious intent, no doubt-- knocked my ficus tree over. All by himself. And, did you notice? He was smiling about it!

Smiling about it, that is, until he saw me in the corner of the room. In an instant, his expression changed. His lip pooched, and he became 'sad' at what he had done. Yeah. Right.

Whoever thinks young children aren't just as smart as adults, and they don't know exactly what they are doing, needs to come live at my house for a day. My littles would change their mind in 24 hours flat. Or less. Guaranteed.