Friday, December 17, 2010
On a side-note...about all those presents your kids just have to have? DON'T DO IT! I cannot tell you how much happier Christmas can be when you spend the money on a family oriented gift and family holiday activities! I feel good knowing that without a shadow of a doubt our gift will get much, much use and if you feel the itch to do some holiday shopping? Do it but drop it in the Toys For Tots box on your way out of the store! Why should those presents sit in the corners of your house where your kids never got to them or only played with them once, when there are kids out there that would truly appreciate them :)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I am thankful for my connection to spirit. Spirituality is my riches. I have learned to recognize it and since then all things are more alive. Every time Carter runs through the house laughing like a hyena and I am sure he looks brighter than his surroundings, I know spirit is with me. Every time Trent and Donovan and I are rolling with laughter at some inside joke, I know spirit is with me. Every time Dan comes home, hugs me and I actually feel a little happy zip through my body, I know spirit is with me.
I am thankful for my Husband. Before Dan I was a different person. I was sadder, my light was duller and I was treading water just trying not to drowned. In the house that is me , Dan is the support beams. Sometimes I wonder how one person can be so awesome and how on earth he ended up loving me! When we met my belief in soul mates was cemented.
I am thankful for my children. They are adorable to look at and teach me so much. Trent has taught me a lot about patience and unconditional love. Donovan has taught me the power of positive thought and the blessing of miracles. Carter has taught me about the healing powers of love and what tenacity can accomplish. They are each so different and I fiercely love them all.
I am thankful for the time I had with my Mom. She taught me way too much to list here, but she enriched my life and I love and miss her greatly.
I am thankful for my Dad. My Dad gives a lot. He gives to me, my brother, his other family members, his neighbors...everyone. He shares his time by doing repairs, he shares his money, he shares his excess food, he even shares his home by giving people a place to live. On top of all this he taught me some of the lessons that enriched my life the most. He taught me there are good men out there and to take a chance to find one. He taught me that no amount of bad that has touched your life has to define it or you.
I am thankful for my mother-in-law (yes, you read that right...not all of them are bad!) Here is a woman who not only lights up a room and makes every child who meets her love her, but she also raised 3 kids that turned out awesome! As a mom I appreciate this accomplishment and I appreciate that she admits she wasn't perfect. Somehow that gives me hope knowing you can turn out some awesome kids with out being the perfect housekeeper, therapist, chef etc.... Plus she is just a really nice,loving, genuine human being.
I am thankful for Nancy and Jamie. I met Nancy and her awesome daughter Jamie when Jamie and I were like 3 and 2. These are the people that we spend Easter, 4Th of July, Thanksgiving (except this year!) and Christmas with. We may not be blood related but this IS my family. Jamie is my best friend and Nancy my surrogate mother.
There are many, many other people I am thankful for but my bruised tailbone says no more sitting so I will have to cut it short. For everyone and everything that blesses and enriches my life , Thank-You!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Musta been blind after so many flashes to the face, lol!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
1. She hates grocery shopping. It is pure torture to her to have to go into a grocery store and shop. After she had her baby I came to help and the only thing she really wanted was someone to do her grocery shopping cause she hates it that much.
2. She has 5 -count em 5 kids all under 13 (for a few more days) the 2 youngest being 4 and 10 months.
3.She lives almost an hour away from me.
So basically she packed her 5 kids into a car to drive an hour away (and eventually an hour back) to go into her nemesis (the grocery store) and buy someone else groceries and bring them over! To top it all off she also pulled out a "Food Network" magazine just for me..... It is more than one girl can handle. Too much. The more I think about it the more I want to cry. I just wanted everyone out there to know what great girl and friend she is. Thanks to my BFF, I will never forget this kindness. Just don't do it again :) I can't take it! Seriously!
Love You Jamie!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Why do I bring this up? Well, because recently I found myself in a social situation and, shockingly, I was not the least bit uncomfortable. It all came about from a burning desire to get rid of all my junk. My friend Jamie and 3 of her other friends were having a garage sale and offered to let me join. Now Jamie I have known my whole life and one of the other ladies I had met a handful of times, briefly, and hadn't seen in 4 years probably but the other 2 I had never even laid eyes on. Kind of a nightmare scenario for me. I imagined me being there ,off to the side, all creepy and silent for 2 whole days. Had it not been for my overwhelming desire to purge my house of unwanted crap I probably would have declined. Boy am I glad I didn't! I had a really great time and we even got together again this week for scrapbooking. I didn't analyze a thing. I felt no pressure to small talk. I wasn't even uncomfortable at all . It was really a riot .The fact that they could make scrapbooking fun and hilarious is a testament to how easy I found it to be around them! So I am thankful that I gathered so much junk it force me to put myself out there!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Trent- When Trent was little (around 4) he mangled some pronunciations that really made me smile! Hamburger was hang-gamur and backyard was back-in-nard.
One day Trent and I were discussing a toy he wanted. I told him I didn't think he would be getting it anytime soon. He said "wait" looked up at the ceiling was listening for something and the proceeded to tell me "God says you should get me that toy now".
Donovan- When he was littler (around ) Donovan had a very strange habit of wiping his mouth on the table at dinner. If he was eating something away from the table he would wipe his face on the floor!
Donovan is known for replying to almost everything with a question, so when Dan said "Donovan you have something on your face." Donovan looked at him confused-like and said "What face?"
Carter- Carter wanted Dan to come play cars with him so he said " Come on" when he was done playing with Dan he told him to "come off"
Carter still has some trouble pronouncing some consonants (especially pronouncing 2 in a row) so calls his Aunt Becky and his Papa Chuck; Aunt Ducky and Papa Duck.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
We like to watch Top Chef and one of the episodes found the cheftestants having to cook a dish and present to ,not only the judges, but their competitors as well. They found out the competitors would get to decide who's dish was the least delicious and would be up for elimination. So, Dan says "I'd just make something they were allergic to and couldn't taste so they couldn't judge me. Instead of that beef carpaccio I'd make them some delicious bees carpaccio".
Now traditional carpaccio is very thinly sliced beef so what I am wondering is do they make a knife that allows you to thinly slice bees? :)
UPDATE: I asked Dan what kind of knife would allow you to thinly slice bees and he replied "Exacto? but I would probably go paillard and pound them with a mallet. That would make them pretty thin" Gosh, I just love that he has learned all these cooking terms....
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I took a piece of scrapbook paper and cut it to fit my container and glued some images (the ones I got from that walmart party book I used in an earlier post) to it. then I decoupaged it into the inside of the container making sure to press evenly and not leave air or glue bubbles. I let it dry completely and then filled it with all of the odds and ends kids collect.
I just took the board out back and put some coats of the chalkboard paint onto it and hung it at Carters height on the wall. I also found a spare container and decoupaged some images on it and hung it next to the chalkboard. I then gathered up some spare pieces of sidewalk chalk, stuck em in the container and done. Now my preschooler can draw on his wall without having to visit naughty spot time-out afterwards :)
Monday, August 9, 2010
I had introduced the rest of the family so it wouldn't be right not to give a shout out to sweet Hercules. So...this is Hercules! He is the smallest member of our family but he has a BIG personality. He got his name because he is very strong and likes to move everything in his tank around, no matter how big it is! He likes to go crazy and splash like there's no tomorrow when he sees us coming into the room. He also has the nickname "Big Fat Turtle". He got that nickname by consuming 13 rosie feeder fish in just 30 hours! As you can see in the photo, he likes to peek his head out and say "what's up?" every now and again. When I asked him if there was any wise sayings he wanted to impart he just blinked twice and splashed me. I am sure there is profound meaning in that somewhere......
Friday, August 6, 2010
He says "Here, get bunk beds" To which I reply "Bug, this is only a few dollars." and he counters with "Get bunk beds at the dollar store" and my response is "I would not want to sleep on bunk beds you could buy for a dollar, seems unsafe"..... Gotta love how kids think :)
Monday, August 2, 2010
In to this cool Toy Story wall artIt is a super simple project that can be adjusted to your child's tastes. All you need is scissors, mod podge, something with images you like on it (magazine pages,printouts,fabric,napkins etc..) something to mount the image on (I have used clear plates, old picture frames, boxes,table tops..anything) and a paint brush.
First cut down the image to fit whatever you have decided to mount it on
Then apply the mod podge to the top of the mounting piece and the back of your paper and glue it down
I have some other little projects I am going to do to fancy up Carter's room. I will share more as I finish!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
At Psychology Today they have loads of fun self tests http://www.psychologytoday.com/tests and this site had a nice "What your taste in music says about you" quiz http://www.outofservice.com/music-personality-test/
Monday, July 26, 2010
Recently I have been thinking a lot about babies. It started at a clothing swap I went to with my friend Jamie. After everyone had picked up whatever clothes they needed for their little ones we were all looking at what was left. Jamie kept picking up all the little girl baby clothes and telling me I needed to have another baby, a girl this time. I was kinda like "yea, right...not gonna happen". Then I saw the fuzzy pink polar bear (my nickname for Dan is bear) feety jammies and it occurred to me, I did want that baby girl. (yes, I brought the jammies home with me)
I had always said I wanted boys. That they were easier and the fact that I am not a "girly girl" would leave me with nothing to offer a girl, but the truth is that I don't believe that. I also feel like somehow I am missing out on that special mother/daughter relationship. Yes, my Mom and I had some rough years but in the end we were the best of friends and I admired her and she was not a "girly girl" and boy or girl I just felt like we were meant to have just one more little one. I had learned so much in life and and from raising my other guys that I had a lot to offer. So, I thought, maybe we should try it. Dan is always saying how much he misses having babies around and that we needed more, but when I mentioned it in serious terms he said, of all things, No. The reason for the no is my reason for the post.
He said no because we can't afford the cost of more family members. Sadly, he is right. We live on one income, his. I started my stay at home mom life when Donovan was born @ 25 weeks and came home with an oxygen tank, 5 medicines and 5 doctors he had to visit. I realized then that there was nothing better than being the one there to raise your kids everyday and ,although we have had to be frugal, we could live on one income. I thought I would go back to work when Donovan started full days of school but then I found out I was pregnant with Carter,SURPRISE!
So, still we live on one income and although Dan works extremely hard the pay isn't great and living in Michigan we aren't likely to find better. We live frugally paycheck to paycheck, have not a penny in savings and very ,very little in retirement. Even though I would breastfeed there is just no money for cribs (Carter uses his as his toddler bed now), strollers, car seats, diapers, clothes, Dr. visits etc..
In most ways I can accept this. I made the decision to stay home with my kids and not get a job. I have wonderful kids and have had a wonderful time with them. Everyone is healthy and happy and I know I am so very very lucky and so are they for having a dedicated full time parent. In today's economy that isn't always an option. Even so, I just think about that little baby that will never be, we'll never get to laugh at the funny things they do ,never get to marvel over how beautiful they are or how fast they learn, never get to wholeheartedly love them to pieces....and all because of money. I can't help but be heartbroken over that ,but I am accepting it. I wont spend hardly any time wallowing in self pity. I will look at my sweet boys, be grateful for all that I have and enjoy my family completely. I think I will also post this for all the other money challenged individuals so they know they are not alone. We can collectively strike a blow against money by continuing to be wildly happy without hardly any of it :)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I have always been a creative type person and I have always loved eating and one day the Food Network and my boredom made it click.... you could be creative with food.....
BRILLIANT! I started out slow. Just following the recipes that were marked easy. Some of them were good but just needed a slight alteration to my own tastes. Soon changing a few things became standard and next thing I know I would have unique recipes popping into my head . Now I cook and create all the time. My DVR is stuffed with cooking shows and with our shift to organics, regional produce and a drastic cut to meat products in our home we are getting healthier too.....well, maybe healthier is a bit drastic. I still can't curb my baking habit :)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
One reason is we have a lot in common. We like the same things...discussing current events, rpg games, action movies, reading, camping. We have a real good base to start spending time together. We also have some interests the other doesn't exactly share but will participate in such as Dan being my "patient" to practice reiki on or me playing some card game that Dan slaughters me in repeatedly. It is nice that we will do these things for each other but I think the main way we bond is in doing things together we both really enjoy. It is effortless to have a really good time when you are doing something you are comfortable with and makes you happy.
Another reason is we truly support each other and it makes us feel happy to do so. I never feel put upon when Dan needs me to pick up the slack or take care of him. I genuinely am glad I get the chance to be useful to someone who gives me so much. I know he feels the same because he told me so recently. Our dishwasher broke and I hate doing dishes! So slowly I was falling behind on dishes. I would end up with these enormous piles of dishes that I would have to finally deal with only for them to pile up again in short order. Well, I was talking about this endless cycle when Dan said he would help me do them. I said that I feel bad that he would have to help me do what is by rights my "job". It isn't like he is bringing home portfolio reporting work from work and asking if I would chip in. He just said "Oh, don't ever worry about that. I like helping you out" and you know what I believe him cause I feel the same way about helping him.
Also, I find him adorable! After all this time I am still so glad to see his cute face come through that door. I still get all a flutter when he hugs me...and he still can make me giggle with his compliments. I actually do a happy dance when he gets vacation time off work. I don't just deeply love this man I genuinely like him as a person.
Probably the most important of all is we make each other laugh. I mean really really laugh. We have any number of running inside jokes and the same slightly dark, slightly off sense of humor. Dan is the king of the witty one liner, while I can see the joke in the ridiculousness of it all. Just tonight Dan and I were watching something on TV where the hero was going to sacrifice his life to fly a bomb away from innocent people. He wants to tell his daughter goodbye so he calls her and tells her he will be flying this bomb away from the city and she is crying and asks "but how are you going to get off the plane?" and Dan says in his straight faced monotone way "The bomb. It's going to blow me out of the plane. That's how I'll get out. Wasn't she even listening?" He is always making me laugh and when I am laughing the whole world seems more manageable.
I spent many years in relationships that didn't work. I tried so hard to make them fit and repair the damage so they would be great. It turns out when it's right it isn't hard. It doesn't feel like work cause you are enjoying all the moments. I know people say relationships take a lot of work and probably they do but when it's right that work feels to me a lot like love and I can get on board with that anytime!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I will post more summer fun pics when I get them into the puter. Hope everyone out there is well and having as much fun as we are!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
No one likes the perfect Mom...including her own children. We all probably know a Mom who just thinks she knows it all. She uses the "latest" child rearing techniques, keeps an immaculate house, has her day wrestled and scheduled within an inch of it's life, her kids take lessons on the lessons they take, she tablescapes for every meal, her kids wear only name brands as does she, her husband jumps into action when she gives an order, she is probably head of the P.T.A....well you get it. Someone like this is more of a chore than a friend and as her children you would have a hard time ever measuring up or realizing she is actually a human being. It is all surface and no depth. I think the deep dirty depths is where all the good stuff is.
Also, I am not perfect and trying to outwardly project that I am would take up too much time and energy. I have flaws. I can be impatient. I am often single minded. I swear like a drunken sailor when I am super angry. I sometimes get super angry. I am human and trying to be perfect would drain all the spunk, creativity, realness right out of me. I can't imagine how much time it would take out of my life to keep the house "company ready" constantly or make sure I was brushed up on the next trendy parenting book,device, etc.... I mean I have a 3 year old people! He is like the perfect storm just plowing his way through my house everyday. Right now I hear him upstairs moving the stool around to reach something he shouldn't...be right back.
The most important reason of all is I am not the role "Mom". I perform acts of mothering because I care about and love these little beings I brought into the world. Just as I do not belong to the role of wife...I do not identify myself with the role "mother" I don't do things because it is what is expected or because the role is who I am. I just Am. There is no role, no word, no dictionary definition that could define me. I like things that have nothing to do with mothering. I don't believe that mothering is the "whole reason I am here" "the most important thing I will ever do" and all those other little phrases that are used to rope and guilt us women into thinking that our kids have to be every part of our existence and if we aren't doing it all with style and grace we failed. I believe that following my passions and showing my children my flaws and how to overcome them and that there is always room to learn and improve is a wonderful thing for them to see. The truth is that there isn't one single thing you do that is that important in the big scheme of things. The bigger truth of it is that your kids will grow up and move away and if all you ever were was "Mom" than a.) your kids never really got to know you b.) you never really got to know you and c.) you are gonna have a really tough time when they leave.
I believe my objective in this life is to improve and learn all the lessons that are brought before me. Mothering teaches a lot of lessons and being blessed enough to share some time ,love and knowledge with the children you are gifted with is awesome. So, I offer an alternative to perfect parenting. Throw the shallow surface scraping perfect parenting out the window. Just be yourself ; face each present moment really experiencing your children and let them experience you and how you improve, love, laugh, fail and learn. Today I will probably get immersed in my own world for awhile, might skip the dishes, heck I might even drop an "F" bomb if I stub my toe and that is O.K with me.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
My Mom's name was Carol. We had a rocky relationship to say the least. I didn't appreciate how much she did and she didn't appreciate my uniqueness. She wanted me to be thin, perky, impeccably dressed and on the road to college. I wanted to find what made my heart soar and make me feel complete. I rebelled and figured out how to get around her. She yelled and picked up all the pieces when my plans tanked. We continued on this path for 10 long, painful years. I crushed most if not all of her dreams for me. She never got to see me graduate high school, let alone college. She watched me marry (and divorce) the wrong guy. She watched me put on weight. She watched me suffer. Although she never turned her back on me she did stop trying to tell me what to do and instead just listened and most importantly started talking to me, not at me. Now I don't know if my Mom ever really understood where I was trying to take my life or not but we certainly started to have some good times.She really became my best friend, who woulda thunk it. I liked going scrapbooking with my Mom and our pow wow cleaning days. I liked how we shared that same dark sense of humor. I liked making her laugh till she almost peed her pants. I liked how she told me things about herself that she didn't even tell her friends. I liked how sometimes she would completely surprise me and do something so kind and thoughtful it could bring a tear to your eye.
I am sad to say I never really appreciated all of her wisdom, time and energy until I really was doing it all on my own and she wasn't there with me anymore, but I realize that a lot of good still comes from her even though she is gone. I think I try a lot harder to reach all of my goals and do my best because she deserves that. I may not be all of the things she envisioned I would be but if I am all the things I hoped I would be I think she will be proud and happy all the same.
It wasn't just me either. She was a huge part of many people's lives. We really depended on her for so much. If you needed food ,money ,clothes ,a room painted ,a push, a shoulder,a fundraiser,a holiday planned organized and executed, anything at all she would give it or do it. Yea, she was controlling,opinionated and sometimes hot-tempered but the woman got things done and it was always for someone else's benefit never for her own. She rarely thought about herself. Toward the end of her life she went on a trip to Hawaii with her best friend Nancy. Mom was retired and living on a fixed income and knew eventually she may have to get another small job to make up the money but she went anyway because she said "you never know what could happen tomorrow". I am forever grateful to Nancy for throwing caution and money to the wind and agreeing to go with her. It was one of only a few things she ever did just for herself and she was right. You never do know what could happen tomorrow.
I love you Mom
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I learn so much. Learning is one of my absolute favorite things. My friends and family teach me new skills that really improve my quality of life. I also learn virtues : patience, charity, joyfulness, flexibility, just to name a very few. I can not tell you how many times I have been in bed at night thinking about something one of you taught me just by our interactions on that day. My life would be so empty and I would be so shallow without those lessons.
We live very much pay check to pay check and so many of you give us your gently used stuff and overages or impulse buys. I have to say I absolutely love this. First off it goes to good use. Second we get some things we never would have bought ourselves but completely enjoy and third it is earth friendly because it is passed down.
So, hats off to you! Take a few minutes to pat yourselves on your backs. Know that the little things you do without even thinking about it have changed some one's life and made them a better person. If you like me than take credit cause each and every one of you have helped to make me who I am today. Love you!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
See, I have this bad habit. I have had it for a long time and it always sets me up for failure. I tend to be passionate with things I decide to put time into. Alright, I was sugar coating it. I get down-right obsessed. My newest obsession is couponing. As a family of 5 living pay check to pay check we are always on the look out for ways to ease the money pinch and when I learned just how much money you can save when you know the "right way" to coupon I was stunned and brimming with hope.....that turned into obsession. I am spending hours on the computer trying my darnedest to pick out the "right" coupons...spending hours in the store trying to find the "best" deals...I am up at night worrying that I missed something. I have a binder and notebooks...my printer shudders when it hears me coming and then just whimpers when it sees the coupon-crazed glint in my eye. All this focus and determination! ......Gets me nowhere because I do not know what I am doing. I just randomly print out coupons then research where to get the best deals and then just wander around the isles completely forgetting everything I learned during the research phase. It is a pathetic sight I am sure. I realized in Walgreen's today I had been walking back and forth down the shaving isle muttering to myself about BOGO's and doublings while my 2 year old was unscrewing all the caps.
Then I got home to realize that tomorrow my 9 year old's science project was due, dinner still needed to be cooked, the house was trashed and it was already 3:00! I pulled myself together, we cranked out an awesome project, I made a delicious organic meal for my family, did the dishes by hand (with help from my awesome Hubby), read to the little guy and tucked him in, swept and mopped and finally had a moment to relax. I went to my computer and next thing I know I am looking at freaking coupons! That is when I decided on a self intervention. I am calling myself out and taking the rest of the night off. I still believe that coupons can save money but tonight the only thing I am researching is the DVR menu.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I will start by saying I am totally outnumbered. It is me and my boys. There are 4 altogether. The mini men are as follows : Carter is the youngest (3 in May), then there is the middle man Donovan (9) and on top is Trent (11). My main man is Dan (he is ageless and awesome). As you can see if I need a jar open or something heavy lifted I am all set and I have a pretty good life. It hasn't always been that way and maybe when I get used to this sharing thing I can share some of the nitty gritty, but for now, I want to talk about all the reasons I started this blog.
Dan has alot of family living a pretty far leap away so I thought it would be nice to share cute stories and pictures somewhere. Also, I wanted to practice my writing. I am not very good at telling a tale and have always wanted to be. Another reason is I fancy myself quite spiritual and to grow sometimes you have to be a little uncomfortable and tackle new challenges and lessons(like how to show yourself to others and fight the fear of how you may be judged) and lastly, sometimes in my quest for knowledge I learn something I just can't unlearn and darn it I need to tell some people about it!
So ends my first official post.Hopefully I will be back and not scared off :)