Friday, November 4, 2011


Both of my children are really coming along in their artwork.  Oldest has a bit more practice so he has a little more skill.  He isn't quite as understanding as I'd like him to be when Youngest's picture needs a little explaining for us to 'see' what he has created.  They are both great artists in their own right. 

Oldest's art teacher uploads his school creations to a website, we don't have that luxury with Youngest yet since he's in preschool, but rest assured we love his art too! 

Here are a few of my favorite pieces that Oldest has done since he started school, they are in no particular order, they aren't even in order of what grade he was in when he created the pieces. 

Keep in mind, he is instructed on what to draw, he does have creative license to make the picture as he wishes.  Most of his 'school art' he's not fond of because he prefers sketching to painting. 

I had this piece made into a t-shirt...

Spooky Halloween
Don't those little cardinals look cold??
This piece too has been made into a t-shirt...
I had luggage tags made from his piece...
This is his latest work...

His 4th grade teacher told us in his conference a couple of weeks ago that he has such a great artist talent.  He draws and paints very well, he is also a great writer.  He has the ability to let the reader hear his voice.  This child LOVES to read and I think that really helps feed his creative side!  I can hardly wait to see what profession he will choose when he gets older...hopefully something he loves!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ghouls and Ghosts and Goblins....oh my!

A couple of weeks ago Oldest had some money burning a whole in his pocket from his birthday party.  He can't hang onto two pennies for any more than a minute, how on earth could we expect him to hold an entire $20 bill?

As expected we ended up at the local Walmart to find something to blow his money on that he couldn't live without!

While Oldest and Hubby were searching for anything in the store that cost $20 the bestest, most coolest thing ever, Youngest and I were strolling around the Halloween department.  Considering Youngest's fear of witches, Halloween is definitely not his best time of year.  While we're looking at the various costumes and decorations, I try my best to steer him away from anything witch-like. 

I turn my back for a moment and he's got a mask on and a tiny witches hat.  I do not generally allow my kids to try on masks in the store mainly because of the gross germ factor. Who on earth knows who's been wearing that before??  That said, I couldn't resist snapping a picture. One picture lead to him trying on ten masks while wearing the tiny hat with ALL of them!  Of course, I had to take a picture of him in all of them, he had me in stitches.  I'm sure the people in the Walmart must have thought we were crazy people! 

Frankenstein....which by the way is what Youngest will be for Halloween this year...although he's elected to be a much less scary version of Franky.




Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Truth is Thursday

Truth family is very blessed.  Hubby and I work very hard for what we have and the good lord has provided us a cornucopia of blessings.

Truth kids want for very little, but they are getting a BIG sense of entitlement!  I want, I want, I want.  YIKES!

Truth is....I've been looking for a way for my family to give back a little, especially as we're approaching the holiday season.

Truth is....our church couldn't have had better timing in offering Christmas Child!  This is a program that brings Christmas gifts to less fortunate children.  You simply grab one of the shoebox sized boxes that are provided and the directions are inside.  We grabbed two (one for each of our boys)!

Truth is....reading over some of the recommendations for these children's gifts made me feel very sad and selfish.  They were asking for things like personal hygiene products, school supplies and maybe a couple of toys.  Keeping in mind that it all has to fit in the box.

Truth can select the age and gender of the child that you're buying for.  Is anyone surprised that both of my boys opted to buy for boys that were their same ages? 

Truth is....we took the boys shopping last night to fill their boxes.  What better way for them to learn that not all children are as fortunate as they are.

Truth is....I shopped and my boys played.  Youngest is still young enough that he's still very ego-centric.  Each time I asked him if 'this' was something he'd like to give the other child he responded by saying 'no, that wouldn't be fair because I don't have that'.  Whatever 'this' was, went immediately into the cart for the other child.  Oldest was doing his best to find a notebook so he can start a journal. Balls were being thrown, armor was dawned, swords were being was insanity!

Truth is....Hubby actually picked up one of the gifts from the cart and said $5 for Uno?  Yes, that really happened.  Yes, Uno stayed in the cart for both of the children we were buying for.  Eyeballs rolling at that comment for sure!

Truth is....I was a little disappointed that the boys didn't take more of an interest in what was being purchased.  After we were done and I showed them what we bought for each of their boxes they both seemed to genuinely approve.

Truth is....while it may not have been what I envisioned, I think it was a positive first step towards teaching the boys a little humility and selflessness.

Truth is....I'd like to thank one of my favorite bloggers, Julia at Surviving Boys, for hosting Truth is Thursday....very cathartic!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


A couple of years ago we started a tradition with my boys, Ghosting (or's the same thing).  In all honesty, my sister started it with her family and we hopped on the band wagon.  I know, I know, lots of families do the same thing, but I didn't know about it until my sister started it, so there!

Each year around the first of October, we buy various types of individually wrapped candy (you could also do cookies), shove them in a Halloween baggie; attach a picture of a ghost and a poem of instructions of what to do next. 

Once dark is upon us, we become ghosts!  We sneak up to our ghostees homes, place the candy bag on their doorstep, ring the bell (or bang on the door) and then get the heck out of there before we're caught! 

Last night we ghosted ten families (one of them was my sister and her family), the other nine families live in our neighborhood.  The boys absolutely love being little ghosts!  They get to be sneaky and see how fast they can run and get out of sight so they aren't discovered by our neighbors.  They were almost caught once last night but they made it out of sight by the skin of their teeth!

Once the ghostee has opened their door and received their bag of goodies; if they decide to join in the ghosting fun there are specific instructions to follow.  The instructions say to tape the ghost that they received to the front door, and then ghost two of their neighbors; then they get to become a ghost! 

It's a lot of fun to watch the pictures of little ghosts popping up on doors and windows all over the neighborhood.  I hope you'll join in the fun!  Happy Ghosting!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rambling Wednesday...

Today I have so much on my mind, that maybe if I write it all down, it will help clear my head!

  • Our dentist appointments went well yesterday.  No cavities for anyone...hooray!
  • The dentist confirmed that Youngest has THREE loose teeth.  Big smiling eyes when he heard that news!  Look out tooth fairy!
  • Several weeks ago our pastor mentioned that one of his favorite things is a Dr. Pepper slurpee!  Where has this been all my life and why am I not drinking one right now?
  • We're having a lot of trouble with Oldest and his ability to tell the truth on even the most trivial questions.
  • There's been a lot of yelling and teeth gnashing over lying and helping around the house.
  • I feel like I'm failing my children.  
  • I'm less than happy with my work life as well.  I feel like our leadership team is trying to make the role much harder than what it is.
  • My work hours recently changed.  I go in about 30 minutes later (not late enough to actually help hubby with ANYTHING in the morning) and I get home about 45 minutes later than I used to.
  • Changing work hours means a change all the way around for the family.  We have less time together in the evenings and we're rushing to get things done.
  • When do we have time to just stop and breathe?
  • Our house is almost always a disaster zone!  We need a better plan to keep it clean.
  • Hubby and I are celebrating our 13 year wedding anniversary next Monday!  WOWZA! 
  • Hubby is working all weekend and working late through the first part of next week.  I don't see any anniversary celebrating this year. With busy work life and two kiddos, that's bound to happen!
  • The following weekend is Oldest's birthday.  We're going camping and two of his friends are tagging along.  FUN!
  • The weather in the Midwest is so unpredictable, we're praying for a dry weekend!  It hasn't rained since my birthday weekend when we took the family camping.  We're due for more rain. 
  • I've been eating my stress lately.  Not only is it not helping my stress, it's not helping my waistline either!
  • I really believe that God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  Sometimes I believe he may have a little to much faith in me to handle all he's given me!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Will YOU take the challenge?

I follow Lazy Mom's blog.  She's funny and witty and has lots of great tips for taking short-cuts.  If you have a moment, I highly recommend her blog.  Today, she's asking all of her followers to join in on the challenge for the month of October. 

We're giving up fast food for the ONE month....and we want you to do it with us*gasp*
So I KNOW my family is not the only one who lets our busy lives take us to the drive-thru far too often!  We're busy, tired, rushed, haven't been to the store recently or sometimes it's just plain easier!

Here are some of the questions that Lazy Mom received when she started this mission....
"Does that include Subway or frozen pizza?"
"Do salads from fast food places count?"

All of those are good questions! 

So.  Here's the deal.  If you'd like to take this month long challenge with me, hubby, oldest and youngest (yes, we're ALL doing it) here's how we're defining fast food... anything that has a drive-thru.  If you can get food from somewhere and never leave your car, it's off the list people. 

I do NOT count Subway as fast food.  If you make careful choices at Subway, you can get a pretty healthy meal.

As for salads at fast food places, here's what I'm saying.... NO FAST FOOD.  Meaning, I'm not driving through a fast food place to get ANYTHING.  Not even a drink.  Nothing.  I'm not spending my money there.  Too much temptation when you're already in line to just grab something else while you're there! 

And what about pizza? Pizza in general is a little borderline, but the pizza that is already ready for you to pick up (i.e. Little Cesar's Hot and Ready)...definitely fast food! 

But here's the beauty of this challenge.  If these rules won't work for you, you can tweak them to fit what's best for you and your family.  Just like anything in life, find what works for you and stick to it.  But I would really love it, if you followed this month long challenge using the same rules we are. 

Besides, here's some side benefits from this challenge you should consider...
1. Weight loss.  Won't it be interesting to see how much weight we lose just by cutting out fast food for a month?
2. More money.  Depending on how much fast food you eat, this could save you big $$!  Can't you feel your pockets getting heavier???
3. Better health.  We all know fast food is bad for us.  We've all seen the documentaries, the hidden cameras, the lack of quality of mass produced food.  So, I'm curious to see if I feel a difference in one month of no fast food.

There will be some pains as my boys are acclimating to this challenge.  They love nothing more than to grab McDonald's or Wendy's for lunch....especially when they are with Grandma and Grandpa.  We'll have to get grandparents on board too (at least when the kiddos are with them.  This is  something that we're going to do as a family for the next month.  All for one and one for all on this challenge.

I'm taking the fast food challenge from October 1st-31st!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maiden camping trip

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, but that didn't stop us from having some good ol' fashioned summer fun!  This weekend my family set out on our first ever camping trip!  Oh sure, hubby and the boys have 'camped' in our back yard...but this time the tent was going to be pitched at a real campground!  What?  Just because the campground was about three miles from our house doesn't make it any less real! 

The novelty of camping was thick in the air as we were setting up camp and the boys took to exploring their surroundings.  There was a playground just a few yards away from our tent that youngest enjoyed hanging out at.  He quickly made friends with a few of the other kids.  He was very disappointed when night fell and it was time to come back to our campsite.  He even offered the solution of taking a flashlight with him so his fun could continue.  Sorry buddy....momma and daddy can't see the playground in the dark!

We cooked on our portable stove top, roasted hot dogs over the fire, told not so spooky stories, and played some campfire games.  There were s'mores to be had and marshmallows to be burnt to a crisp each night.  Just nearly anything that my boys (all three of my boys) could find to burn went in the fire.  We never had any trash, it all got burned!  Like sons!

Saturday started out very hot and humid.  We didn't stick around the campground too long, it was just too hot!  Instead we went shopping for the landscaping project that hubby has started.  Around lunchtime I made the proclamation that a storm was coming.  I told him we'd left all of the windows in the tent down and should probably head back to camp.  My head was beginning to throb and I could see the clouds starting to build.  Hubby said, yeah it's supposed to rain but not until tonight, so we were fine.  We ended up going back to our house to drop off the plants that we purchased, and admittedly I cheated and tried to catch a quick nap in the air conditioning.  I was out for about 15 minutes when hubby woke me to tell me that the storm was nearly on top of us and we needed to get back to camp right away.  I wonder when he's going to start listening to me??  I'm much more accurate than any of our local meteorlogists!  We made it back to camp, battened down the hatches and took shelter in our trusty tent.  We played a few hands of Uno...and the boys played with some of the toys that youngest had packed for this great adventure!  We had a good soaking rain, but I needed for it to pass because the pressure on my head was only increasing as the storm lingered.  By Saturday evening I was so sick to my stomach from the pressure in my head that hubby talked me into just sleeping at home.  As reluctant as I was to stay home, it was nice to be able to take a nice warm shower and sleep in a big comfy bed! 

Not to worry I was feeling a bit better by Sunday morning, and was back at camp by 7:15 to make breakfast for my boys!  It was really chilly Sunday morning so I took all of them some nice warm clothes!  Oldest was really appreciative to have something cozy to put on, hubby and youngest decided to brave the morning in their shorts....although youngest did breakdown and put his jacket on eventually.  As the day progressed it warmed up, and the weather was perfect!  The sun was shining and it was in the low 70's.  My folks stopped by Sunday afternoon and stayed through dinner up until it was almost dark!  It was great to just sit around the campfire reminiscing about silly stories and solving all of the world's problems!  The boys loved telling them all of their camping stories and showing them around the campground.  Oldest brought his pocket knives with him and took to whittling a few sticks.  He had a great time, and even ended up whittling a little bit on his grandparents walking sticks!  We all went for a walk and each of the boys found their own walking sticks! 

Of course, over the course of the weekend we had our ups and downs (the boys were pretty keyed up each night to settle down and sleep right away), but all in all it was a great little getaway.  We were all a little sorry when Monday morning came and we had to go back home and face the reality of another school/work week.  I think another camping trip will be in our near future....maybe even this fall when the weather becomes a bit more predictable. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Missing tooth

For the last couple of weeks, the excitement around my house has been building.  Youngest discovered he has two loose teeth!  These are the first of this teeth to wiggle, so the excitement just could not be contained once he made this discovery.
I'm not terribly surprised that he has two loose teeth at once, when he was a baby and was cutting teeth he would get them either in pairs or four at a time.  Good times!
Yesterday, youngest told me he had something to show me.  One of those teeth was just barely hanging in there.  He allowed hubby and I to give it a yank, but he kept moving his mouth and we'd lose our grip.  The tooth was hitting a nerve and was a bit sore.  He couldn't eat his dinner, he just kept holding his hands over his mouth.  He did NOT want anymore hands near his mouth.  It was pretty pitiful. 
At bedtime, he was beginning to cave.  The lure of the tooth fairy visit was giving him cause to waver.  I read him a bedtime story and once we were done, he said that he wanted me to try again, only he wanted oldest to hold him down.
He laid very still, but silly mom forgot to dry the tooth off first and again I lost my grip. I called hubby to let him have a try.  He told youngest that he was just going to dry it off, as he was pulling his hand back out, he grabbed hold and pulled the tooth right out.  Youngest was still wincing waiting for Daddy to pull the tooth.  He was shocked that he hadn't felt a thing!  Of course, being ALL BOY, he was thrilled that there was blood in his mouth.
He needed to immediately call both grandparents and let them in on the good news.  Of course there was much excitement around the whole thing. 
We got a glass, put a little water in it, plopped the tooth in and youngest quickly went to bed! 
He could not have been anymore excited to wake up and find that the tooth fairy didn't disappoint.  She left him a very loud whistle (because when you lose a tooth, you lose your whistler too, nevermind that he doesn't know how to whistle) and $5.00! 
I'd imagine he's really working on that second tooth today....the tooth fairy is going to be broke if he keeps losing all of his teeth!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hard work does little bodies lots of good....

In my last post I'd told the tale of oldest's woes and having to get his hair buzzed.  He promised he was going to change his ways!  Keeping up with his appearance, making sure he keeps his room picked up, not picking on youngest, etc...We had a sliver of hope that this would be a real turning point.  AND THEN, hubby and I hired a babysitter so we could go out to dinner and catch a movie. 
Before we left, we told the boys to be on their best behavior, to not play in the mud-pile (formerly a dirt pile from a foundation that's being dug next door, but two days of rain quickly turns dirt into mud) and lights out by 9pm.  Most any parent that leaves their kids with a babysitter knows that there is some fudge room in there...that's the fun of having someone new watching you!
So, off we went to re-find ourselves.  We had great mexican food.  We caught up with each other, I mean we had an actual uninterrupted conversation, can you imagine??  We laughed, we flirted, we even discussed another baby (again).  After dinner we headed to the theatre and bought tickets for Captain America (surprisingly awesome!!).  We indulged in some fabulous people watching, and I casually mentioned that oldest is nearing the age that I was when I started babysitting. I idly wondered aloud if he could handle the responsibility of keeping track of the two of them without mass destruction of life or property??  AND THEN....we went home.  My question was answered almost as soon as we pulled into the driveway. 
The list of wrong-doings and misbehavior is quite extensive.  Had they not been so rotten, I would almost be impressed by the number of things they were able to accomplish in a four hour period.  It was almost as though they were working off of a checklist that they'd complied 'let's add this to the list of things to do next time Mom and Dad leave us with a sitter'.  Youngest managed to almost scalp himself (in a few different places on his head) AND clean my table with various chemicals that should not be used on a hardwood table AND play in the mud (again, he was told not to do this).  Oldest helped himself to our video camera and tied it to string hanging it from various unknown locations around the house and yard to capture what can only be described as the dizzying world around him (as well as playing in the mud...again he was told not to do this, but did not have the where-with-all to at least turn the camera off first) AND grabbed his airsoft gun and had a mini shootout with his buddies that came over AND performed experiments in the middle of the street with various pantry products.
Of course, there's more....there always is!  I just wish we could bottle all of this genius and energy and us it for good rather than ornery! 
While I cannot account for where the sitter was or what she was doing, after their night of fun, my party-all-the time boys paid their dues!  They 'happily' washed my car as well as three cars that do not belong to us (thanks neighbors...I hope you enjoyed your free car wash), both dogs received baths, one kennel got scrubbed, and they helped relocate some of the 'dirt' from the mud pile to a landscaping bed that hubby is working on.  Last but certainly not least they have to tuck their tails and apologize to the sitter for their behavior. 
At the end of last night both of my boys had thoroughly and completely learned their lesson!  Mom and Dad's rules apply even when they are not home!
Sometimes it's hard being a's even harder being a parent and figuring out the right way to handle these situations.  I really believe that God allows us to face these obstacles for a reason....for the life of me I can't get a handle on what that reason is though!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Our children have been having a difficult time learning how to be productive members of our family.  The talking back, refusal to pick up after themselves and sassy mouths have hubby and I at our wits end. Don't get me wrong, we would walk through fire for our boys that are normally very good children. It's just as of late, this crazy thing called 'free will' has been getting the better of them and they're having a tough time making the right decisions. 
Just before school started, hubby told my oldest that he needed to get in the habit of making sure his hair was presentable every day before he leaves the house and he needed to keep his room picked up.  He was given two weeks to 'practice' fixing his hair AND keeping his room clean or else he was going to the barbershop and he would be getting a buzz cut (NOT his normal 'do'). Can we predict where this is going???
We land on Saturday morning and that child couldn't get it together and help around the house.  He sort of just lolligags and drags his feet in hopes that someone else will do it for him.  Not this day!  This day....he pulled the final straw. 
Now......he sits in the barber chair.  Learning a hard lesson.  HE is not in control.  HE doesn't make the rules.  HE must learn to be a member of our family.  Now, perhaps when he looks in the mirror he will remember following instructions, keeping himself presentable and watching the sass that slips out so easily.
If this doesn't work....he'll be wearing the outfits that hubby and I choose for him.  White or Navy polo shirt and khaki pants or shorts....a uniform!  Can you imagine? 
Somtimes lessons of childhood are difficult.  Parenthood is always difficult.  Maybe that makes us even somehow?

Friday, August 19, 2011


My youngest has always been afraid of storms.  When he was much smaller and still sleeping in a toddler bed, thunderstorms would occasionally wake him in the night.  Of course, he wasn't about to stay in his bed, he would bravely walk down the hall to where hubby and I sleep.  I was woken by a face about 2 inches from mine saying 'That fun-door cared me right out my room'! That made two of us that were now 'cared', I was certainly not expecting to wake up with someone standing so close to my face.
Fast forward to current day.  My little man is now 5 years old, still scared of thunderstorms.  Last night we had a BIG storm blow through our area.  This was a vicious storm that left the backyard a mess and lots of people in surrounding communities without power.  While this should be old hat, I was still surprised to have a visitor around midnight telling me he was scared.  He hopped up into bed and almost immediately fell back to sleep.
As any parent knows, children come equipt with about 900 knees and elbows.  They somehow hide them as they carry on with their everyday lives, but when they are in bed with you all you can feel are knees and elbows merilessly jabbing you!  This is not the most pleasant way to spend a night's sleep!
As soon as he was asleep, I carried him back to bed.  Two hours later, the storm was still going strong and there was my youngest, scared again...poor guy!  I threw in the towel and just let him stay in bed with us.  How does one body manage to take up so much space?  Somehow that wiggly little body managed to put itself horizontal on the bed.  I had feet in my back or stomach all night and hubby got the rock-hard head!  There was our little boy sound asleep with not a worry in the world.  Ahh to be young again!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Handle with care....

Fragile: easily broken, or destroyed, constitutionally delicate : lacking in vigor

Yep, that's about right for me today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And we're off....

Hello!  I'm so glad you're joining me here!  I've decided to start keeping track of all of the craziness that happens around me, that adds up to life. 

A bit about me....I'm a wife, a mother of two, doggy parent of two, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and always looking for an easier way!  The main stars that you will see here will be my family of four and the possible innocent bystander that dares to cross our paths!  Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey with never know what the day might bring!

To bring you up to speed, this year I took 4 consecutive weeks off from work and soaked up some much needed time with my kiddos (ages 9 1/2 and 5).  The first week, my hubby and I took a road trip with our boys to South Dakota.  We'd been planning the trip for about 5 and a half months, but kept the whole thing a surprise from our boys!  About an hour before we left, we told them we were going on vacation, they were shocked!  All of that secret keeping was worth it in the end. The weather, scenery and company were perfect!  The last three weeks flew by!  Between various play dates with cousins, trips to the swimming pool and basketball camp I'm not sure where the time went.  I've been back at work for a little over a month and in no time at all it was like I was never gone.

In the meantime, I've come down with a severe case of baby fever! I was a bit blind-sided by this overwhelming need, as both my hubby and I have felt like our family is complete for quite awhile.  Now, I keep thinking....what if we had just one more???  It seems that everywhere I look I'm surrounded by baby things lately!  Pregnant people, neighbors with new babies, commercials for babies.  I hear a new little bundle calling my name.....maybe!