Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Grand Harbor Resort

Before Christmas we'd talked about taking a mini-vacation during Zach's 'free' time off of work during Christmas break. I'd looked online for a few things to do but it wasn't until after Christmas that we decided to go ahead and do SOMETHING. So, here we are in Dubuque, Iowa at the Grand Harbor Resort & indoor waterpark! We arrived yesterday and will leave tomorrow. A nice little bit of time away from home! I have to tell you that the pictures make the place look way nicer than what it is. It isn't the worst I've seen, but certainly not as nice as the pictures. We're in a Double Junior Suite (or something like that) and to me it just doesn't look like how the pictures show it! I guess resorts have that issue though. So many families probably come and go out of this place. It was the same way years ago at a resort we stayed at in Myrtle Beach.

Right now Zach and the three older kids are down playing. Abby has been really, really, REALLY fussy! I think she's getting a couple of more teeth. It's really getting on my nerves, especially when I had a headache earlier and all I wanted was some quiet! And all she wanted was me, yet she'd get me and then not want me! Here I'm trying to wean her, and I'm not really sure how to go about it, and all she wants is the boob. Grrr. So I'm hoping with the quiet she'll take a nice nap and I'll get some peace. I also hope they're down there for awhile. I went down with Hannah for awhile, as I hadn't gotten to go on the slides and really wanted to try them. My monthly 'friend' decided to come a few days ago so I haven't been able to enjoy everything as much as I wanted. Anyway, go figure that Abby was fine when I was gone but as soon as I walk in the door she is whining like crazy.

I totally didn't mind not going on the slides, it was so fun walking around with Abby. I just held her hand and had her dictate where we went and it was fun to see her explore! She'd stomp in the water, try to avoid the spraying water and then eventually went and stuck her face right in it! They have a little 1 ft. kiddie 'pool' so we splashed in there for awhile. It was so fun to see her fascination with it all! It was also cute when the kids were getting ready to go down a bit ago how Abby grabbed her suit and was carrying it around! She wanted to go play too! But I opted to keep her up here. She needs the rest and for some reason that place gives me a headache (I'm getting another one). Not sure if its all the chaos, the chlorine or a combination.

Well, I'm sure I had more I was going to say but stinker girl isn't being as cooperative as I would've liked and I really want to read more of my book. Please pray for safe travels for us tomorrow. It's been snowing today so I hope the roads are good for our 3 hr trek home!

Oh, one other thing...there's a restaurant attached to the hotel. Which meant no continental breakfast. Breakfast almost cost as much as dinner last night at Tony Roma's. The food was alright, not the best and not the worst and the service was terrible. We opted to no longer eat there while we're here!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Celebrate Jesus

We had a very good Christmas. It was so relaxing. Hannah awoke about 5 and came into my room. I made her lay in bed with us. She was whispering how she woke at 3 but went back to bed. I couldn't sleep well that night either, but not because of 'Santa' but because the rain was slamming against our bedroom windows. She also told me she thought she heard Santa's boots on the kitchen floor! Ok? It's crazy. We tell our kid's there's no Santa and yet they still 'believe' in him. I don't even write 'from Santa' on the presents, but Mom & Dad and yet they still talk about Santa. Oh well. I don't care, I know it's fun to 'believe' as a kid, but we do continue to tell them there's no such thing.

Anyway, Abby finally starting stirring after 6:30 and by that time Gabe was in our bed too so we got up. I know the kids were very excited. They all went by the tree and were grabbing at gifts that had their name on them and so Abby went over and grabbed a box so that she could have something to open too :) It sure didn't take the kids long to dig into and open those gifts! Even Abby was having fun. She wanted her toys out of their boxes right away! She sure loves her toys- a 'singing' purse, a mailbox, a phone, some baby dolls, a laptop. Hannah had kept asking about this one gift that had been in my closet and then was under the tree for awhile. She wanted to know whose it was but I never would tell her. Finally she found out it was hers. I had double wrapped it. She was so excited to get the American Doll bed she'd really wanted (thanks Nanny). It sure is a cute bed!

The boys were thrilled to get all sorts of different types of Lego's and Bionicle's! I didn't see them a whole lot as they were in the basement building their things. Josiah got a space police thing, a house and some Bionicle's. Gabe got Pirate Lego's, some K'Nex thing and some Bionicle's. Zach spoiled me with some Willow Tree figures. He got me one called Brothers with two boys together (Josiah & Gabe). He got me this little girl holding a balloon that he said is Abby and a girl with a book that he said is Hannah. It was thoughtful!

I took a nap with Abby on the couch, read and just relaxed all day. I made a later dinner of lasagna and then made Peanut Blossom cookies for Zach (they're his favorite and I'd been wanting to make them). That is one nice thing about not having people over for Christmas is you can just relax. I didn't really miss my family too much like I normally do! It was just wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Isn't that what Christmas should be? Too many people stress out about it!

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas also! Oh yeah, Christmas Eve we were supposed to go to church but the weather hadn't been too well so we decided to stay home. Good thing we did as it was cancelled anyway! We stayed home, sang some Christmas songs together and then on Christmas we read the Christmas story.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmastime is here!

I can't even remember when I last blogged. The kids got to open a gift on Sunday (they opened one from my mom). They opened all the ones from Zach's mom yesterday and we took them shopping with Christmas money they'd gotten where they bought some toys. These kids have already made out like bandits and it's not even Christmas! We let them open one a bit ago and they'll open another after dinner, which will be new Christmas pajamas that everyone got. Once Christmas is over I think they'll be disappointed that there are no other gifts to open! Spoiled kids!

Last night we had some neighbors over and we played a game I bought with some of my Christmas money (Apples to Apples). It's a pretty fun game. Hannah had us open the gifts she bought everybody this morning. She got Zach the new Indiana Jones movie, Abby an outfit, the boys Lego's and me a cross necklace. It came in a purple box that had a cross on it and it's got February birthstones and 'diamonds' on the cross. It was a birthstone necklace, which she doesn't know, but she said, "I got it for you because your favorite color is purple." I've been wearing it all day! It was so thoughtful and pretty! She used her own money to get all of us gifts!

We ordered pizza for dinner tonight. We were going to go to the Christmas Eve service at church but it's kinda drizzly/rainy out and I can just imagine it freezing and being slippery. I'd rather stay home and do something here. I think after our pizza we'll open the pj's, get baths, sing some songs, read the story of Jesus' birth and go to bed early. Last night the kids were up until 10:30 because of our company! They were so good though, but I can tell some of them are tired today!

It has been a very relaxing week. I got my baking done earlier in the week, and delivered to neighbors. We did a gingerbread house yesterday. I finished another Christmas book today and started a new one. Today Hannah and I made smoothies.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope yours is as wonderful and relaxing as ours will be! Remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

piggy piggy

Today was the first time I put piggies in Abby's hair! She sat still pretty well while I did it! I had to fix them a few times throughout the morning, her hair is so fine, but she looked so super cute! The reason she's crying here is that she didn't want a picture with her siblings. I dressed them all in their Christmas garb and they all looked so cute. There will be more pictures on my facebook whenever it lets me load them, but I thought I'd share this one here :)
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It's been awhile since pictures...

So I thought I'd show you some of what we've been up to in school. We learned about the Vikings the other day in history. One of Josiah's requests at the beginning of the year was to learn about them. I must admit I don't remember learning about them when I was a kid (I don't remember much of anything, especially history), but it was interesting. They got to make some Viking mask helmets and here are the boys sporting theirs. Hannah said it was too boy-ish and opted out of the project.

As you know, my boys are big Lego fans. They're always asking me to take pictures of their creations. This is an ambulance Josiah made last week. In the back part was a guy laying in there, where he was attached to his 'vacuum thing', which I explained must have been oxygen! Kids are so funny!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

wine & cheese

So, today is Zach's birthday. Happy birthday to him. He had to go into work as they had commissioning. I thought he wanted to rent a movie but apparently there was nothing good at Redbox. I wanted the kids in bed at 8. When he was gone the boys were just little stinkers and I just wanted to relax with Zach and watch a movie. Well instead, here I sit in my freezing cold room with Abby sleeping next to me (although now she just sat up and farted) while he watches a movie with the kids (Star Trek). I'm so not a Trekkie. I know it's his birthday. I guess I should have sucked it up and watched it with him and maybe, just maybe I would have if the kids weren't going to also. So, I'm whining. Just because I can. So, I sit in my cold room on a Saturday night like a woman with no life. I should read or something, but nope...I be bored.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Unexpected Surprises

Last night we had small group. We were told to come, with a nice shirt on. I think the words "there may be pictures" was somewhere in those directions too! They said, feed and bring the kids but don't feed ourselves, that we're doing something special. I just assumed we'd all eat together while the kids played in the basement. Before we left Zach was like, "I'm not really in the mood to go" and I was thinking "Too bad buddy". We'd missed so much, with Thanksgiving, missing a week and our snowstorm. I missed our group!

We get to the M's house and start to get settled when they come by the door and tell Zach & I to keep our coats on. Huh? They handed us an envelope and told us to open it in the car. They did this with the other 3 couples also. Had us drop off our kids and go out! I did take Abby though, as she was rather fussy when we got there. I didn't want her to be a stinker for them! So, they had a pinata and presents for the kids. They also got to decorate ornaments. How sweet!!! I get in the car and open the envelope. There was a note saying how their business was blessed this year so that they wanted to do this for us. They said they wanted us to go to this restaurant downtown, a real nice one that they'd pick for a first date, one of their favorites. There was a gift card for said restaurant in the envelope with quite a good portion of money on it!

Can you say sweet? We just couldn't stop talking about how nice that was and how blessed we felt! It's so rare to find people who do such thoughtful things, you know? So, we follow the directions and get to the place. It just LOOKED expensive! Definitely not somewhere we'd ever choose on our own! I almost felt weird having Abby with us and hoped it was 'toddler friendly'. It smelled wonderful. The prices of the meals were outrageous! To quote Zach, "And I thought Olive Garden was expensive!" I decided I was going to get something I'd never normally get and ordered Three Cheese Beef Medallions. Zach got Alaskan Halibut. It was good food. I enjoyed my medallions until Zach took a bite, said it was good and that it reminded him of liver or cow tongue. I must say I lost my appeal for the food after that! LOL

Abby was very good, thankfully. We enjoyed our meal and had a good time talking. The only downfall? There were gays everywhere. The table next to us and the next two tables both had two gay couples. I even heard the guy next to us say something about Wednesday night being date night. YUCK! You could tell that even our waiter was gay. I just tried not to look that way and enjoy myself! I must say it was a huge blessing and we were just so thankful to the M's to bless us in such a way!

The kid's had a great time! They were very thankful for their presents. Sarah said my kid's were the only ones who said "Thank you" (sorry I had to brag about it). Hannah got this Disney Princess tea set that you paint. They all showed me their gifts at home and when she was showing me hers she said, "I could use this for my Barbies or something" (it is small). Later in the night I got to thinking about it. She's not at all into Disney Princesses anymore and yet she didn't say, "Eh, I don't like this" or anything like that. She tried to find the good out of her gift! I was so proud of her. She is looking forward to painting it later. She also got a movie that she looks forward to watching (The Prince and Me). Just had to brag about my kid's a bit. Ok, I must go and start school.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas-y books

I've been reading Christmas-y books lately. It all started because we were going to read 'The Christmas Train' for our book club. If you want to read it, you can find a link to it under my reading list. It was a good book. It took me awhile to get into it but it sure had an unexpected twist that kept my attention!

I've also been reading Donna VanLiere's books, albeit out of order. I guess I didn't know there was an order when I picked up the first one. And a tearjerker it was. I had to finish the other one this morning before I began school. Another tearjerker, although it seemed familiar so I'm not sure if I read it a long time ago. And it didn't get me as much as the first one. Now I have another I'm about to dig into and then hopefully I'll get The Christmas Shoes one. We have that movie but haven't even watched it yet and I'd really like to read the book before watching the movie. I also have Karen Kingsbury's collection of Christmas books on my shelf. And a few other non-Christmas-y books. Not to mention a list of books people keep recommending to me. I need to make a list! Seems I won't be searching for something to read for quite awhile!

On another note I had to redecorate our tree today. First, it looked dumb to me and was bare in spots. Second, about 1/3 of our lights would sometimes not work. So last night when I was out I bought a strand. Well, they were too bright compared to the other lights on the tree on there wasn't enough of them. Then when I went to plug them in again half of the strand didn't work! SO, I packed up the kids and headed to Wally World! Bought four boxes of lights, just in case. Good thing too, because not all of those ones work! I was so irritated! Anyway, I got all the lights on and they're much brighter than our other ones were. I was able to fix the branches (I had Zach and the kids do the branches this year but I can see I need to stick to that task), and spread the ornaments out a bit more (again). We'll see how long before they're all clustered into one area!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

busy, busy

I guess I *do* have time to blog if I can facebook but it's so much easier to facebook! I only have a minute to blog now. First to say that we saw deer today on the way to the chiropractor in a field. My kids were surprised and Hannah exclaimed, "Mom, are those deer??? I didn't know there were deer in Iowa!" I'm not sure if she only thought there were deer in Michigan or what! Silly girl!

Speaking of the chiropractor, I asked if I can stop going once a week. Now that it's winter its just more difficult. He said he's seen improvement and that I should be able to go to every other week. YES! He also said he noticed this week was 'worse' and said maybe it was from something I did. I told him I shoveled, so I'm sure it was from that. No more shoveling for me as I don't want to mess my back up any more!

We went to the library. It is connected to one of the middle schools. I know how busy it is in that area at that time of day but normally don't get 'stuck' in it. I thought we'd venture to the Dollar Tree afterwards and boy did we get stuck in school traffic! It made me thankful that I homeschool and don't have to deal with 'messes' like that every day!

Ok, must go eat and run to the grocery store, read our book for small group tomorrow night, fold laundry from yesterday and put it away, give baths...the list is endless.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

snow day!

I guess I should blog about all the snow we got! It is just crazy! Last winter we got like no snow and I really didn't think we'd get much, even though they predicted this storm. Last year it seemed like they'd hype up some big storm but it never got real bad. Well baby, was this a storm! Wow! Blowing snow just everywhere! There was so much snow it was crazy! Yet in spots you see the bare ground because of the blowing! Huge drifts. We were all pretty amazed this morning and to be quite honest I wanted to have a snow day too. We did history and a spelling test and called it a day! Zach shoveled out there and then one of the neighbors was going up and down the street with a front-end loader! He cleared out most of the driveways, which was awesome! I may not *like* our *small* house (although I am thankful for it), but I sure do love our neighborhood!

Speaking of neighborhoods, my friend from MS messaged me on facebook last night. On our old street in military housing there were 5 cop cars, an ambulance and first responder (maybe a fire truck too, I don't remember). Apparently the neighbors said the couple had been fighting lately. Somebody said they thought they saw them come out with a body bag. Hmm...I wonder if I'll hear any more on that.

Everywhere we live we draw the 'record' weather (here we had record snow today) and it seems something freaky happens in a neighborhood. Our Ocean Springs house (you may remember me blogging about this at the time) they found a lady had committed suicide in a garage of a house she cleaned. It was a brand new house that was for sale. I remember walking by it and smelling something weird before she was discovered! In NC on the next street over some guy hung himself (in base housing). I can't recall what happened in ND but I'm sure there was something (maybe you can recall something Kim or Jamie). And I really hope nothing weird happens here!

Anyway, the kids loved the snow. I stayed indoors all day! I was rather lazy, but we're allowed some slack once in awhile, right?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

singing 'those' songs

I could keep singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" and it will continue to do just that. We're supposed to get 10-14 inches by tomorrow morning! It's been snowing pretty much all day. The kids played in it yesterday and now already today. Zach came home from work early due to the weather. It doesn't even 'look' bad out my window but I know that doesn't mean the roads are good. I'm sure they're not. I don't remember hearing a snow plow go by at all yet today and its 3:30! And it has been snowing pretty much all day. I went out last night and shoveled. Every other house on my side of the street had their sidewalks shoveled off and I guess it's rather embarrassing not to have ours! So, I am paying for it today- I'm sore. That's it, I don't plan on doing too much of that job. That's a mans job! LOL I made my kiddos hot cocoa two days in a row and they're getting quite spoiled by that! I hope they don't expect it every time they play in the snow! Abby's been quite enthralled with it, the first night it started snowing she just kept moving the curtain and looking at it! Daisy isn't too afraid of it and actually was playing out there with the kids! She blends right in with that snow! lol I can't believe it's almost dinner time, I just want to curl up and relax on this snowy day.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

time to find a new one for sure

Remember my babysitter incident this past summer? Well, if not I guess that's better for you, but I remember it clear as day. Anyway, Zach and I were supposed to go out last night for a surprise birthday party for our neighbor. Called the sitter Thursday and she said she could watch the kids. Great. Got ready, was looking forward to going out for just a bit, and even better it was right down the road! When I went to get the sitter NOBODY WAS HOME!!! I was like, "What the heck!?!?!?" I was so mad! I didn't take my phone because I thought, "I'm going right down the road to get the sitter, I won't need my phone", not like it would have done any good anyway if nobody is home. The cell number I have for her doesn't work.

So, Zach began to play Wii with the kids and I waited to see if I would her from sitter, meanwhile leaving a message on their voicemail. Then I hopped onto facebook, saw my friend was on and asked what her daughter was up to. Turned out she could babysit! I did have to drive halfway across town but oh well. And by this point we'd missed the "Surprise" of the party, but oh well, I still wanted to go out for awhile!

As soon as Haley walked in Abby smiled at her, walked over to her and reached for her. Then she hugged her! WOW! Haley has only babysat ONE TIME! That sure encouraged me though, that Abby liked her so much. I almost feel like Haley's a better sitter anyway. She plays with the kids and spends time with them, whereas the other doesn't as much, it seems.

Anyway, we did make it to the party for awhile. It was nice to get out for awhile, hang out with our neighbors that we don't see too often. But, I'm on the lookout for new sitters. I need a sitter twice this coming week so let's hope I'm successful!

Oh yeah, when I had just gotten to the restaurant, my phone rang (a number I didn't know). It was the *sitter* apologizing and saying she was on her way to my house. I told her I already found another sitter and didn't need her. She may have a good explanation, I didn't' find out, but I've already given her a second chance. I'm done! I need somebody more reliable!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Zach really wants to go home for Christmas. Part of the idea appeals to me, but I'm not completely sold on it. I hate traveling in winter, especially where our family is! I'm not sure we'd have a place to stay, and to be honest the only place I'd want to stay is my mom's. I just want to be in my own home Christmas morning. I don't even know that I want to do a 'traditional' Christmas meal. Maybe I'll make lasagna or something instead? It'd be great to see family, sure, but I hate traveling here, there and everywhere to see them, and like I stated above...winter! I'd prefer to wait until the summer when the roads would be safer! We shall see though, what's in store! I also remember last year when Zach's dad was going to drive down for Christmas and at the last minute got a plane ticket due to the weather. I'd hate to 'plan' a trip home and then have to cancel because of the weather.

For some time I've been looking at The Great Wolf Lodge or some such thing, even before Zach's mentioning 'home' for Christmas. But boy, it is expensive! I remember some years ago we spontaneously went to Destin after Christmas while Zach was on break. That was so much fun! Sometimes those spontaneous trips are the best. I think our best trip yet was the the mountains in Tennessee and that too was spontaneous. So, I got to thinking, "What's to do in Iowa?" I thought maybe we could go the Minneapolis to the Mall of America but that doesn't really intrigue me right now. I could just go for a cabin on a lake. Then I thought of Lake Okoboji. Had never heard of it until I moved here. Now it seems I see it everywhere- sweatshirts, semi trucks, signs. So, I thought maybe we could get a little cabin there and just tuck away as a family for a couple of nights. Then as I search I see they have some awesome little resorts, at least one of which has an indoor water park. That would be fun! So, we'll see what we end up doing. I just know that I don't want to sit staring at one another for many days like we did over Thanksgiving. We sure had a relaxing Thanksgiving break, but it'd be nice to have something to do too!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Last night Abby was so hyper and being so silly! I caught it on camera. The video ends with a big ol' belch from Zach.



Tonight we were talking about how the guy that does ROTC at MTU will be cross-training come May. Pretty much Zach was saying that he could try to transfer there if I wanted to live by home for awhile. I was like, "No, I don't think so." I guess after living away from home for 10 years I don't really want to move back. They have like no summer, the winters are long and dreary, there's NOTHING there, wood ticks. BUT, FAMILY IS there. Which is good and bad! Anyway, I really don't want to move back home. I said to Hannah, "Would you like to move by Nanny and Papa" and right away Abby says, "Myeah!" It was SOOO funny and so clearly yeah! Not like the 15 month old knows what she's talking about but it was so stinkin' cute!

Then we got home and Abby walks straight to the steps. I walked to her and said, "Let's take off your jacket" and she started saying, "Ba ba" for bath. I hadn't planned on bathing her, but I couldn't resist her big blue eyes looking up at me as she asked for a bath!

*Note that I used their regular names again. I thought maybe I'd eventually go back to making my blog public but I don't see that happening at all, so I may as well use their regular names!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We are truly very blessed, are we not? I know I have it so good. Good health, family and a loving and forgiving savior! Today we had a great Thanksgiving at home. Woke up and turned on the parade. The kids were kinda complaining about it at first, but then they enjoyed seeing it. I made turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (Chatterbox actually did this), sweet potato bake, rolls, ham, gravy and stuffing. I had forgotten about the stuffing until we sat down to eat! Thankfully I had a box of Stove Top in the cupboard! For desserts I made brownies, Pumpkin Pies and Blueberry Cobbler (in the microwave). The Packers won so I know Zach is happy! After dinner I played a little Mario with the kids and then napped. I keep trying to read my book but it's near impossible- I either get drawn to the TV or get sleepy! It has been a wonderful, relaxing day! The kids were really excited about it being Thanksgiving. Booty Shaker kept asking if it was 'Valentines' and Junior Squirrel kept asking about the 'chicken'! Silly boys! Tomorrow we're going to put up our tree. A bit early for me, I usually like to wait until next weekend, but I've had to compromise. Everybody else wanted it up at like Halloween- way too early! I hope you're all enjoying family and food this Thanksgiving! Remember to count your blessings and to thank the One who's given them to you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

go figure...

Just in time for the holidays and right after I finally went to the doctor my monthly 'friend' decides to show up! I'm just glad I know and that I finally got it. It is just so weird for me to be late as normally my body is right on. I sure hope I won't have too bad of cramps tomorrow as I prepare our Thanksgiving meal!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is it about Holidays?

I swear I had a similar post to this last year. Last year we decided at the last minute to go home for Thanksgiving. Zach's been 'bugging' me for quite some time this year to go home but I just had no desire to. I thought maybe we'd have some friends over to help make the holiday not so 'lonely'. Also, I was pretty much told not to come home!!!! The more I think about it the more I feel like we're not even wanted there during the holidays! Isn't that sad!?!? Isn't your family supposed to get together at the holidays, if they can? In all defense, I know there's some things going on right now that make it now quite 'ideal' for 'company' but STILL- we're FAMILY. That's what makes them so special! Now, we're only 10 hours from home as opposed to when we were in MS. That's a breeze! We could totally swing it if we really wanted to and were wanted. Of course this time of year isn't always ideal because you never know when the snow will come, especially up in the U.P. I hate having to travel in winter. Maybe I'm just super sensitive right now or something as I ponder it. I just thought that living nearer to family we'd spend more time on holidays with them. I guess I thought wrong. I guess it doesn't matter if we're 10 hours away or across the world, really. Jamie W, I think I've been reading too many of your posts...I'm just ready to complain and not in the least caring who reads it! So later today I'll go out and buy my food for our Thanksgiving feast here at home. Of course we'll really enjoy it, being together. And it's supposed to snow so the kids are thrilled!

Monday, November 23, 2009

new friend

Jenn, whom many of you have been praying for, has started a blog. She's on my friend's list if you're interested. Just wanted to let y'all know!

dreamin' big

Yesterday we went to some Real Estate Open Houses near us. Remember I mentioned awhile ago about the one we went to? It's in this new neighborhood near us. We pass it all the time. We saw 5 different houses. At least two of them were about $800K! Oh, they were beautiful!

This is one we looked at. The pictures don't do it justice. I think there's 5 fireplaces, 11 TV's. It would be a blast to play hide and seek in that house! Wow!

This one is the current Visitor Center. It's amazing. There's like a hidden pantry, a movie theater. Absolutely beautiful!

This here I think the kid's liked the best. Five bedrooms upstairs, at least one in the basement, a playroom in the basement, a 'wet bar', a movie theater. Although the ones I listed above have lots of these amenities too.

Then we looked at 2 smaller, 'more affordable' ones that were still out of our league. It was so fun. The realtor that was at the one that I have linked first was so nice. She's the one that took us to see the last link as it wasn't on open house that day. Apparently people go to these Open Houses often, even without being in the market for a new home. I can't wait to go back and see more! It sure stunk coming home to our little place! I told Zach it'd be fun even to stay in one of those huge ones for like a night, to 'live like a King' for just a tiny bit of time. It's fun to dream! I am sure our mansions in heaven will be amazing!

my bod

First, sorry Sara but I won't be able to do anything about those checkers. This background was premade so I have no clue how to get rid of them!! Wish I were more computer literate to be able to do more.

Second, I have no idea what's going on with my body. I was supposed to get my period a week ago. No period. Took a test. Negative. Took one a couple days later. Negative. Still no period. Took one yesterday morning. Negative. What the heck!?! Like I told Zach, I honestly don't care one way or the other about being pregnant (I'd be content either way), but it sure would be nice to know what is going on. Today I have felt like garbage all day. Nauseous and yet crampy. Maybe it's just late? I am still nursing, but I got my first period 3 months ago and it's always been regular. It's like clockwork with me. AND I've never before gotten pregnant while still nursing, this would be a first Then I can't help but 'freak out' a bit in my head about it. With losing two babies and kidney stones in the last pregnancy all sorts of thoughts have already gone through my head. I just would like to know one way or the other. I suppose I should just go to the doctor and ask for a blood test and go from there. But, for all the M family out there, don't get confused and say I'm pregnant like happened once before! LOL Just a whacked out body I guess!

bloggity blog

Let me know what you think of my new look. I did it myself. There's so many cute things out there!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

pretty much back:)

Thanks to Jen at Blue Yonder Design! I sent her a message via facebook and like right away she got to work fixing my blog! I had read online that it was a template issue and had no idea what to do! Before I read about it online I just thought my blog was hijacked into! If you ever want help with a blog template she's the way to go!!! Thanks Jen!


Something was up with my blog background and now I just can't get it right!!! I hope this doesn't take too long to fix! Annoying!!! I hate computer issues because I'm really not that computer savvy!

where have i been?

I was hoping I'd have time to get on and blog today. I have no idea what I've been up to but boy have I been busy (does that even make sense). Yesterday I ran to visit with Jenn. It was weird- I'd seen her every day when she was in the hospital but hadn't since and I really missed her! Zach and I decided at the last minute to go on a date, so got a babysitter. We talked about going to see New Moon but Sweet Pea was so cranky that we just took her along. There was no way I was going to attempt to see that in a theater with her! So we tried this new burger joint and went to Best Buy and Target. I was hoping to get some Christmas shopping done at Target for the girls, but was unsuccessful. We had such a good date though and when we got home we put the kids to bed and played Wii for awhile (the new Mario Bros for Wii is a blast). Then we were up until who knows when just talking and talking. It was nice, but boy am I exhausted today! I have no idea how we made it to the 9 am church service this morning!

Friday night I went to a Pampered Chef party. She made Mexican Lasagna in the microwave! AND Cobbler in the microwave! The cobbler was only 3 ingredients and was delicious- I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving dinner.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, Zach keeps talking about how he wants to go home but I'm like "No way." It's just such a long drive for such a short time. I wish we knew of people we could invite over (we did invite Jenn but I'm not sure what she's up to yet). We love having people over for the holidays! I can't wait to have a wonderful turkey dinner! Yum!

Another Bust Buy

It was another bust at Best Buy. I know I complained about them in the past. Last night Zach & I went there after dinner (we were on a date). I wanted to look at printers and just yesterday I saw something on TV where if you bring in your old printer you get $50 off a new one. So, I was eyeing this one printer and finally somebody came over to help me out. The one I was originally looking at was a hp and $149. I wanted to know if I could get the rebate with it. Nope, only a select few, but they did have another type, an officejet, for $149. I thought "Great! If I bring in my old printer this one will only be $100 and it's a hp." I've heard great things about hp printers and the one we had was wonderful. The Lexmark piece of garbage we have is just that- a piece of garbage.

Fast forward to today. I have Zach unplug the old laptop and I'm excited to go get my printer. When I go in the officejet is now $209!!! It's impossible to find help in there when you need it and I was in a hurry, but I finally managed to find somebody. I asked if I could get the price it was last night, saying I was in and the guy never told me the price would jump up like that! If I would've known that I would've been back in last night to get it! I was pretty ticked. Anyway, I just go the photosmart one (the first one I was looking at) and pay the $149. But boy, it would've been nice to save $50! Also, I took my old printer back! I figure I can sell it- I'm not just going to give it to those losers!

Then I went to Staples because I had $18 I could use toward ink so I thought I'd stock up before the coupon ran out. I go down the printer aisle. Guess how much that same officejet printer is there? $149!!! Now I could have gotten it and returned the other, but I really didn't mind having a photosmart. And it'd be the same price since it was a Best Buy rebate and not Staples. Boy, how annoying though! So now I have at least one if not two printers to sell and even some ink I found down there that I never used!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

4 4 I's

Now we'll have four four eyes in our family. Yesterday we spent two hours at the eye doctor. Junior Squirrel now needs glasses too. I'm really worried about how well he'll take care of them when he can barely care for any of his belongings! He will have to learn responsibility real quickly! Thankfully Booty Shaker's eyes are still well, but considering how blind Zach and I are I'm sure he'll need them soon enough. And I knew Chatterbox's eyes had changed. We sit in the back row in church and she can't see the words on the screen. Pretty soon she'll be just as blind as I am! Yikes! On another note when I asked him if I'd be a good candidate for laser eye surgery he said my cornea is very steeped and that yes that would make me a good candidate. Zach was going to get it done a couple of years ago but couldn't because his is too flat. Not like I'm even considering it, the thought of it really freaks me out, but it sure would be nice to see without glasses or contacts!

Monday, November 16, 2009

the first time...

Do you know how blessed I am? I just am so glad God moved us to Iowa. I really liked North Carolina but didn't like North Dakota or Mississippi at all. Although now that I no longer live in those states there are things I do miss about them! But there is just something about Iowa. The people are wonderful. God has blessed me with so many wonderful friends here. I think that's really what helps a place feel like 'home'. Friends, fellowship and of course a great church (which we've had everywhere we've lived, but it's just different here). I don't like the cold but that's about my only complaint about this place (so far).

It is really weird to actually like somewhere as much as I do. I keep wondering if it will wear off and if in 2-3 years I'll be itching to move. I have to be honest, I wish I could move into a bigger house, but still in this city. So last night as we were laying in bed I thought on it. I said to Zach, "I don't think I'd mind us retiring here." I've never, ever said that anywhere else we've lived. I have thought that I wouldn't mind moving back to NC but not to retire. There's just something about Iowa. The feeling of 'home'. The friendliness of people. Only God could do that. It's not like we'd ever have chosen to move here (although Zach did apply for the job). He always knows what He's doing, doesn't He? Even if we move away and never come back here I'm so thankful for the time He's given us here. I'm so blessed by those who have touched my life here, for the strong friendships already formed in such a short time. I'm thankful for the different people that have touched my life in so many ways- from the families from Christ Church who prayed for us before we even moved here and who so lovingly welcomed our family into their fold to the new women I'm meeting here in "A" town through church, book group, homeschooling and other friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


It was such a busy week and I'm sure there is much to blog about and I just can't think where to even begin. Wednesday I took the kid's to a Veteran's Day 'ceremony' at the community college. It was very short, but I'm glad we went. I explained the day to them. Junior Squirrel seemed more interested in it than the other kids, asking about thanking the soldiers and all. Zach worked a half day that day so he met us there. After that I went to the hospital to see Jenn. I was there for 3 or 4 hours, I forget how long. I was so glad I could be there for her! It was awesome to be able to see and hold that precious baby. It was also sad. The baby's daddy came to the hospital for a half an hour to meet her. At least he showed up at all, but it's still rather sad!

Wednesday night I went out to coffee with the girl's from our small group. What a great bunch God blessed us with! They were a riot and so much fun. I took Sweet Pea because I'd been away from her quite a bit already that day. I was a bit peeved that Starbucks didn't even have a highchair! Do mothers not go in there? Is it seriously not child friendly?

Thursday I got a babysitter in the morning and headed to see Jenn again. I had a playdate in the afternoon and we had our small group that evening. It was so busy!

Friday morning I woke up so tired. I couldn't wake up and feel right all morning! I was just exhausted from all the running around I'd been doing! I still managed to get a sitter and head out to the hospital again. Jenn had a free meal ticket and fed me lunch (hospital food, but it really wasn't bad). Thanks Jenn! So, we got to 'dine' together in her hotel room. That day was a bit tougher than the day before. More tears were shed as reality began sinking in. I got to snuggle the baby and change another of her diapers! Wow, when I came home and changed Sweet Pea her butt seemed monstrous compared to little Amelia's! I also was able to pray with Jenn before I left. That evening we went and cleaned her house. I also brought some items to bake per her request. Well, Blondie here forgot to add the eggs to the brownies!!! So, in the garbage then went. Good thing Sadie lives closer (for a few more days) and was able to make some yesterday and bring them to her! I have no idea how I did something so stupid!!

Yesterday I had to go out and get groceries. I just wanted to stay home. It feels like I've been running, running, running! This week doesn't look a whole lot better. I think I did stay home once I was done shopping. I managed to get some of the house cleaned like I'd wanted to. I slept so good last night, although I was still really tired in church. Today I've just sat around doing nothing but reading and being online and playing Wii and with Sweet Pea. I have had dinner in the oven for a couple of hours now (Barbecue Beef Brisket, which I've never cooked before). I really hope it turns out. It sure smells good. Is brisket like rich man's food? Boy, was it expensive! I wouldn't have bought it, but it will provide for at least 3 dinners!

Tomorrow night is the 'meeting' for my book club. I'm not sure if I'll make it or not. Tuesday the kids and I have eye appointments, I have a chiropractor appointment and that night there's a homeschool group meeting. Wednesday night is small group. I can't recall what else is written on the calendar! It's crazy because I'd like to help Jenn but have so much going on. I'd like to help Sadie, who is moving, but when do I have time!?! Maybe later in the week I can take the kids or something! On top of it all we have school! We didn't get much done Wed-Friday this past week and I have a goal I'd like to meet before Thanksgiving hits!

I think being a homebody runs in my family. My grandma is a tremendous one and never goes anywhere! You have to pull her leg to come and visit me an hour away when I'm at my mom's! My mom tends to be more of a homebody too. Well, I really enjoy staying home too. I do love to run out and do things, don't get me wrong, but when it's all in a row I just long to be home!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

so much to say, so little time...

I just wanted to let you know I'm still around! I'm just so busy. I don't remember being this busy or being away from home so much in quite awhile! It's weird! I think it will settle down for a couple of days here (I hope). Then it will pick up and be crazy again! I've been away from my kids so much this week and it's been a nice break, but boy have I missed them! Especially Sweet Pea! I'm not used to being away from her as much as I've been! Last night I was gone from her for over 5 hours!!! My milk supply was abundant when I came home and I woke her up to feed her! She probably did better than I did!

So my friend had her baby. That's why I've been so busy! A beautiful, beautiful little girl. I went to visit her at the hospital every day. Last night Sadie, Hannah and I went and cleaned her house. It took 5 hours! Wow! It was weird being there without Jenn, it was weird cleaning somebody else's house and it was weird when she called me on my phone while I was at her house! As I was cleaning I just felt so bad for her (not like I haven't for how long now). I just thought how she was pregnant, caring for 2 other children by herself and no wonder she had no time to keep up on her house! How exhausting!

Now I need to get some attention going on my own house. I managed to get my upstairs dusted, but should clean the bathrooms up there and vacuum. I already vacuumed the downstairs because I kept stepping in crumbs. Yuck! I've got laundry to fold and all I want to do is relax. I'm hoping that I'll get it all done today so tomorrow I have nothing to do. AND I have yet to try to get a few more Scentsy orders in... Will my life please slow down!?!?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Blessings are Growing!

Ok, let's face it. These kids are GROWING! Sweet Pea pulled herself up onto the couch on my lap last night! Oh boy! Mama didn't expect that! She just does so much and its so cute! She 'vroom vrooms' like a car, 'woof woofs' like a dog, pats her leg to 'call' the dog, says 'hi', 'hello', 'bye'. She smacks her lips together when she's hungry or thirsty and will go by her chair or by the fridge from time to time. She dances to music. When you ask her if she wants a bath she'll walk to the stairs and wait for you to move the gate so she can climb up them. She'll be so excited and go straight for the bathroom saying, 'ba ba'. She loves her baths! If you ask her if she wants to go upstairs she'll head for the stairs and sometimes make a 'ppp' sound for up. In the car when we stop and get out she'll put her hand on her red buckle, knowing it needs to come undone. Today at the library she was playing with a train. She doesn't know a train, but thought it was a car and was making her car noise! She signs more and thank you. She tickles my belly and laughs with me. She also likes to stick her fingers under the bathroom door so whoever is in there sees them (and she tries to peek under the door)! She'll climb into my lap if I sit on the floor. She's always moving around when she nurses, and more than likely she's moving a leg around or it is sticking up in the air! She loves the dog and will pat her and sometimes pull her fur and give her hugs. And she let's Daisy lick her face (yuck). She'll try to put our shoes on her feet. Every morning when she wakes up she points to her baby wipes! She uses her block bucket as a purse and will put it on her shoulder! It is so sweet! Right now she just sat her Little People mommy directly in front of her and then looked at us so we could see! She is such a joy! I'm so thankful for the blessing God gave us in Sweet Pea!!!

Another growing one is Junior Squirrel. Just this summer at garage sales I bought him a few pants. Sunday I gave him a pair of nice (but casual) church pants to wear. Can you say holy high waters!?!? When I had him try on another pair, same thing! Yesterday when he put on some pants those were too short too! I swear they just fit him a week ago! So it looks like he'll need a new wardrobe here soon. I was able to pull out a few size 8 pants from the bin, thankfully! As he was sitting at the table next to me doing school today I realized how much his face is just changing. His adult teeth are coming in more and his face is beginning to look more grown up. Unreal. My kids sure are getting big!!!

Maybe another day I'll share how the other two are growing! Just wanted to share these little glimpses into two of my blessings for now!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I need food

Chatterbox's sleepover went well. I gave the girls some of my old makeup and boy did they have fun (and make a mess, both of themselves and the makeup). Yesterday morning CB, her friend, her friend's mom (my friend) and I went to the local craft sale. I ended up buying some hair ribbons for Sweet Pea for Christmas and some American Girl clothes for CB. She saw some of them but oh well! I also changed around our living room last night. What a nightmare! I don't know why I get myself into that stuff. It takes forever and I really didn't want to do that on my Saturday but it feels so much better to have a 'fresh look'.

We went to the early church service again today. It is nice to get out of church so early! I'm really enjoying church. Great sermons, great worship. I do, however, miss our "Story City church" as the kids call it.

On a side, Zach just turned on the 'game' and the announcers were all with the deployed troops. It sure did choke me up. Why do I get so choked up over stuff like that? Am I the only one? You know something that's messed up? Zach doesn't even get Veteran's Day off! How ridiculous is that!

Today I'm having a little 'open house' for Scentsy. That's what my cousin, Sherry, sells. I'm hoping at least somebody turns out! I didn't invite a whole lot of people though. I'm currently having a catalog party. Sherry sent out pretty much every scent so people will be able to smell them. Have you heard of Scentsy? Well, I may have mentioned it before. Check out their site and order something from Sherry!!! I don't even care if it's 'through me' as I'm only doing this to help her out! Remember, her husband is the one going cancer and going through treatments right now. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Speaking of prayers, my friend, Jenn, is supposed to have a c-section on Wednesday. Please continue to pray for her also. Her children were finally 'told' yesterday that Daddy moved out and the 4 year old just said, "Okay." They stayed at 'Daddy's' for the first time last night and apparently said 4 yo came home and sat in mommy's lap just crying. Does that not just break your heart? She must be so confused! Please keep praying for them.

Ok, it's lunchtime in the Mleko household and there's nothing to eat. I'm starving. I have been so ravenous lately. I feel like I could just eat and eat and eat! And no, I'm not pregnant!

Friday, November 06, 2009

the weekend's here!

It is so weird how it seems the weeks keep flying by for me! It seems like it just was the weekend and now another one is here. I guess that's a good thing, huh? I wish time would slow down though. My kids are growing up too fast.

This morning we did history and did some map work with it. The kids got to make a treasure map too. We only had a little school to do and then I was just too itchy to get out and do something so we went out. I was chatting with my mom online and put on the webcam and we talked also. She got to see Sweet Pea and Junior Squirrel got to read to her. It was pretty neat to be able to do that!

For lunch I decided we'd head out so we went to Sonic. I had to run to the post office and then Chatterbox wanted to run somewhere to get one last Christmas present so she could be done shopping. Then ran to the library and Wal-Mart. I bought some dye and t-shirts as I'd like to try to tye dye t-shirts with the kids. When I told Zach he was like, "How gay." Huh, here I thought it'd be kinda fun.

We also went to the park by my 'dream house'. We weren't there too long because it was so windy. I stuck SP in the swing and she had such a good time! Then I took her over to the little slide and she wanted to keep going down. When I took her to another slide she started to crawl over to the other one she had just been at! It was her first park experience where she walked around!!! I just look at her and I'm so startled at how big she already is! What a little blessing!!!

Tonight CB's friend is going to sleep over, but I haven't told her yet. Kathryn's mom watched the kids a couple of weeks ago when we went to small group so Zach mentioned we should have K spend the night. After all, Sonja watched 3 kids as opposed to her 1! So CB has been asking for some time when K could do so. I finally talked to Sonja last night and today and looks like tonight will be the night. Ohhh, I hope I get some sleep!!! I'm not going to tell CB until K gets here. She's going to be SOOO excited!!!

Enjoying each other

Sweet Pea likes to empty the tupperware cupboard. So then her brother thinks he can climb in said cupboard. This is what they were doing this morning!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sweet Pea

Our week in History

We learned about Attila & the Huns. They're pretending to 'sweep' the land on their 'horses'!

We learned about The Dark Ages. We talked about how bloodletting was common and how barbers would do this job in addition to doctors. So we made Barber Shop Poles. Chatterbox is also dressed up like a Queen as we talked about King Arthur. Junior Squirrel was trying to be a King.
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Real Quick...

I must finish school. Distractions. I had to finish my book. Wow, it was so good. Inspiring, happy, tear provoking and just plain good. I was browsing the section of the library 'recently returned books' and had come across it. I read a bit of the back and inside cover and thought I'd try it. Now I can't wait to read this author's other books. Boy, I have a list of books to read lately it seems! Anyway, the book is called The Christmas Promise. It is by Donna VanLiere. She also wrote The Christmas Shoes. I haven't read that one, but I think we have the movie (I need to check). If we don't have that movie I know I've seen it around, though I'm not sure I've watched it. So, if you are looking for an inspiring, good Christmas-y book, this is one I'd recommend. Have you read anything good lately? Ok, off to finish teaching my pupils:)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Manic Monday

So apparently back 'home' all the schools are closing due to the swine flu. Lovely. I hope my family all stay healthy! They're not in school but good still use good health:)

Speaking of flu, I am not feeling like myself. All of a sudden last night I got nauseous, dizzy and just didn't feel right. I laid here on the couch with my eyes closed trying not to move. I thought I was going to lose my dinner and was doing all I could to keep it in. Finally, after maybe 1/2 hour the worst of feeling like that passed. I took my med's I'm on, some Tylenol and headed up to bed. I ended up reading up there and felt alright. Still not 100%, but not how I had felt at first. And today too I feel not quite 'right'. I'm so thankful I don't have the swine flu but it is very difficult trying to take care of kids when you feel off. I was just up to put clothes in the washer/dryer, print some papers and do a few other things and I'm starting to feel dizzy again.

We had a good weekend. I can't even remember what we did! Oh yeah, Saturday I took the girls shopping. At Kohl's I got Chatterbox 2 shirts and myself a shirt and only had to pay $11! Then we went to Bath & Body Works. All I needed was hand soap and it was on sale for $3! I bought tons! That afternoon I had a Mary Kay 'class'. I think that was the same day I ended up giving Zach his Christmas gift. See, Friday night my aunt was online asking him what game I got. She didn't know it was for him or for Christmas. So he came up to bed and asked me what game I got him! I just decided to give it to him that afternoon then. It's American Idol. He loves to karaoke so I thought he'd like it. We all had fun with it Saturday night! I should try to sing again:) haha

Sunday we went to the early church service. We were home by 10:30 and it was so nice to have the whole day free! I had two dinners to make because my neighbor had surgery on Thursday so I wanted to make them a meal. Zach had to 'go to work' because he had to meet the new 'troop'. Other than that I don't think anything too exciting happened (if you can call all that exciting).

This morning my poor little Sweet Pea woke up with some sort of bite on her face. What on earth!?! She sleeps in my bed so I have no idea what bit her. It's weird. But it doesn't seem to bother her at all, she's happy as ever, walking around, digging in cupboards, making a mess. But I love to see her play around and explore! Boy, they grow up so fast, don't they? Oh yeah, Saturday morning when we were going to leave I was saying, "Bye, bye" and I swear she said, "Bye Dada." It was soooo cute!!!

Ok, enough for now. Hope I'm not boring my whole 3 readers to pieces with my updates...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Careful with that aroma

I got this new deodorant today. The instructions said remove cap and push up bottom. I can barely walk, but whenever I fart the room smells awesome.

Somebody posted this on facebook and I thought it was so funny (once I "got" it). I wanted to share with you all!

The Week in Review:)

The other day Junior Squirrel was standing next to me and he kept messing with his pants/underwear. I asked him what was wrong, if his underwear were tight to which he replied, "No, I just don't like when it sticks up." Oh goodness, I about died laughing.

This morning we talked about Attila the Hun in history. I read how the Huns had scarred faces and they asked what a scar was. I couldn't think of any I had on my off-hand, besides my c-section scar so I proceed to show them. In turn both boys stand up and pull there pants down a bit past their belly buttons trying to look for their scars! They're so funny!

Sweet Pea thinks she's such a big shot. She loves pencils, books and papers. She just wants to be like the other kids. She grabbed a pencil and JS's reading book, brought them next to me on the couch and just gave me this look, like "Ah ha." Boy, did I get a laugh out of that! She's no dummy! You ask her if she wants to go upstairs and she'll go over to the stairs. If you ask if she wants a bath she does the same. If you ask her if she wants to eat she'll smack her lips together, point to the kitchen or go to her chair. I am utterly amazed at how smart she is! She's such a joy! She's been getting one of her molars in and not eating and boy was she a stinker last evening. But then she'll do the goofiest thing and just cheer me right up! Gotta love the little munchkin.

I've been taking a break this week from Booty Shaker's normal school. We've been writing letters and words and just practicing. Well, he totally gets it. Yesterday he read me his 'reading' book. So I think next week we'll break out the regular books again. He just needs to realize its ok to sound out each letter in the word to see what it says.

Chatterbox...hmmm. She's just plugging away at school, reading and writing letters to people. She is so much like me when I was her age. She's been playing Lego's in the basement with the boys a lot and made the cutest animal shelter! I am amazed at the things these kids come up with with Lego's! I never was that creative with them!

In regards to my post about my dad, thanks to all who are praying. As soon as I wrote it the thought occurred to me that maybe he was just saying that and 'pulling my leg' again. I really don't know, but I pray for him. I certainly couldn't understand how somebody could NOT believe. In our science we even have little "Evolution stumpers" and boy, it sure makes you think "DUH" in regards to evolution! Sherry, thanks so much for sharing on that one:) It's so reassuring to know! I'm praying for you and Paul daily!

I can't remember what else I was going to post about this week that just got away from me. I'm sure there was more, but this will do. It's the weekend for us, as Zach is supposed to have tomorrow off!!! Of course I'll do some school but we'll just take it easy! I need to get some groceries in the house.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

upside down Sunday

It has been a backwards and upside down day. Have I mentioned on here about my ear hurting? Boy, its been hurting for over a week but I've just not done anything about it. One day I tried to put silver drops in my ear (it's a natural antibiotic) but it felt like it just pooled in my ear and didn't even go in. Great. Then one night I tried peroxide. Same thing happened. Last night I read online some other tips so I tried vinegar and then I tried peroxide again. I was laying there for over 10 minutes and it would not go down my ear! I couldn't even hear out of my ear. And that ear won't even pop. When I was eating dinner last night I could barely chew because it hurt so bad. So I decided right away this morning I was headed to the walk-in clinic. I knew I wouldn't be going to church anyway because Sweet Pea had a fever yesterday.

I've been nervous to go to any sort of doctor. I got there before the clinic opened and was 8th in line. Oh boy you should have seen the people file in. There had to be 30 people in there by the time I got called back, and I was called back fairly quickly. Meanwhile I'm sitting in that waiting room trying to stay clear of anybody and just praying I don't get sick! I wish they'd make all those sick people wear masks! Yuck! As soon as I came home I changed and showered. Anyway, the doctor comes in and then says, "Maybe you have a wax buildup." Ok, maybe but i do doubt it. I clean my ears daily. So, he looks in my ear and says it looks fine. He said he can't see in my middle ear that maybe that's where its inflamed. I was thinking, "Just great, I'm not going to get any relief from this" but he gave me an antibiotic anyway! I'm not a big medicine taker, I hate taking it, but it hurts that bad. So when I picked up my meds I also got acidophilus (a pro biotic) because I'm not letting my immune system shut down! As it is I've been pumping the Vitamin C and D! So I've taken 2 doses now but it still hurts.

Oh and let me tell you about my Saturday. I know I've mentioned here about my friend, Jennifer. She's about ready to have her baby. She's dilated to 1 cm. Well, she's not due until the 14th but she's feeling ready. Well, at the beginning of the month Sadie and I got together and decided to throw Jenn a surprise shower. Now, we decided to include Jenn's neighbor/friend in on it (who I hadn't met but Sadie also knows) and she opened up her home to have it there. Ok, I mentioned it's a surprise shower, right? Well, how tricky would it be to be right next door! Oh, we had so much fun planning it! The night we were out buying stuff we both got a text from her at the same time! We were rolling in the aisle with laughter saying how we couldn't wait to tell her. We all chat online together at night and it was so hard not to say anything to her! It was a blast planning behind her back when she didn't' have a clue. Well, finally the big day came! I couldn't even sleep the night before. I was so excited!!!

We parked down the street so she wouldn't see our vehicles. Then we called Heather (the neighbor) and her daughter came to 'shuttle' us to her house. As we drove by Jenn's her daughter was right at the door, letting in a friend who was there to 'distract' Jenn. So here we were trying to duck and hide in the car!!! We shuttled most other people down to her house also. It was a riot! Finally the moment came and Jenn opened the door, saw all the people and you should have seen her eyes bug out! She turned right around and I knew she was crying! Of course that got all of us teary eyed too. Even typing about it I'm teary eyed, lol. So, she finally came in and she'd see somebody and be like, "WHAT?" and hug them and then sit down. Then she'd look around, see somebody else and do the same thing! She could not believe how we'd all gotten together! It was awesome! It was wonderful to bless her, to give her some light and laughter during this difficult time in her life. To let her know that we're here for her and we care. Her husband has still not come home and still seems to be proceeding in the direction he's taking so please continue to pray for her. She did finally find a nanny that will begin work tomorrow. It was such a fun Saturday!

Last night Zach had his work 'Halloween' party/dining in. He dressed up as Jesus. Apparently somebody else there had the same costume. Bummer. But I think he had fun. He never did get sent up to the grog so I know he was thankful for that.

Today I managed to clean out the spice/medicine cupboard and the junk drawers. It's nice to find what I'm looking for now! I have yet to plan school lessons for the week but I don't think I have too much to do!

three words

There are three words you never want to hear somebody say to you, much less a family member. Today is my Dad's birthday. So, I called to say "Happy birthday." Then, our conversation turned to other things. Here's part of it:

“So, do you still watch church on TV?” I asked.
“No, I never did. I was just pulling your leg.”
“Really, I thought you watched it?”

“No, I don’t believe in organized religion," my dad said.
“Well, you don’t have to believe in religion, just God,” I pointed out.

We got to talking a bit more about priests molesting kids, pastors and other ‘bad’ things he sees of such figures in the news.

Then he states, “I’m an atheist.”

You have no idea what that did to my heart. I about busted into tears. To hear your father say those three words, words you’d never think you’d hear. Please, please remember to pray for my father’s salvation. I will pray harder than ever before. I thought, hoped he'd at least believed in God but per today's conversation it doesn't appear so. He then changed the subject and asked how the weather is. Safe topic there! It just goes to show that we just do not know the conditions of people's hearts. Don't be afraid to step out and talk about God with people. I know I don't do it enough, but boy I certainly don't want anybody, much less my family, going to hell.

Then when I began to tell Zach about it while eating dinner I finally broke down crying. He wasn't very sympathetic though...more like "That really surprises you?" Actually yes, I'd at least hoped there was a BELIEF in GOD... So, my question is: Do YOU believe in God, in Jesus Christ His only Son? Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and mine, to save us from hell? If you do, what are you doing about it? Are you living for Him? Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you pray and read your Bible? Would other's say that you know Him? I'm not talking about religion. I'm not talking about being a good person. I'm talking about the condition of your heart and the eternity of your soul.

Friday, October 23, 2009

God is SO GOOD!

Wednesday night my friend/neighbor watched the three older kiddos and we checked out that small group. I honestly didn't know what to expect. I think I expected families with 1.5 children, women who work outside of the home and send their children to daycare and public school and younger families. Now there's nothing wrong with this, but it's just that maybe we're not on the same 'page' in life. I mean I have friends that do all of the above and we get along great. But it's also nice to have people who have the same goals for their family, if that makes sense. And being that we were 'different' in a lot of respects at our church in MS I guess I just assumed that would happen here. But, God knew the desires of our hearts. He had the perfect group picked out for us at His perfect time. He is so good!

The leader and his wife were so super friendly and nice. She's the pastor's daughter. They were very welcoming. The other families started coming in. They all have either 2 or 3 children. One was a new baby, I'm not sure she was even 2 weeks old! I think the oldest in the group of children is 7. Anyway, everybody was so friendly. If I remember right all of the moms stay home, two homeschool and the other two are undecided (their children are not yet school age). I think Zach really will have some great connections too- one guy is a police officer, one is a Packer fan, the others are sports fans, one is a coach at the Baptist college here. We're also able to bring our children as most times there will be a gal there to watch them. That's a huge relief! They're going to be doing a marriage book called Love and Respect. It's Family Christian Stores number 1 book and that almost concerned me. I think because sometimes I feel a bit more 'conservative' than most of the stuff out there (if that makes sense). But it looks/sounds like it will be good. We watched part of a video of the guy who wrote the book. He was very funny and it certainly made a lot of sense. I'm really looking forward to building some friendships in this group and getting to know some people from church!

Sweet Pea is walking all over the house. It is adorable! She has really just taken off! Last Saturday she was taking more steps and ever since she's just gone! I don't even count but last night Zach counted 26 steps! She'll walk almost across the house! I love when they just toddle, when they're new at it. It's so cute! And she always looks so proud of herself when she's done. The kids love to see her walking too! They get a kick out of it.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. It will be a blast and relaxing. I just hope it warms up a bit. I ran out for a bit today and brrrr. As I was pumping gas my hands were freezing! I'm not ready for winter at all.

Alright, Booty Shaker is not finishing his dinner so I need to go...sigh. This boy is the pickiest eater ever.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

He blew up!

Last week we made the Solar System out of balloons. They're hanging all over our ceiling. The other evening as I was washing dishes I heard this huge pop- at first I thought it was a gunshot and I jumped so high. I'm honestly surprised I didn't pee my pants! Well, our sun must have been blown so big (he is a big planet after all) that he finally just popped! So now we have our Solar System with no sun. Hmm...that should be our next science lesson. What WOULD we do with no sun!?! It has been a lot of fun learning about the planets and I'm surprised how much the kids remember the order of them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweet Pea again

She's really taken off the past couple of days!!!

Sweet Pea dancing!

Sweet Pea's first steps we caught on tape...

two fer tuesday

Sunday I went to a Lia Sophia party. I wish I were more into jewelry. I really liked their stuff. But why pay that much money for how often I would wear it? When you have small children that kind of thing is just not feasible, at least for me. I could just see Sweet Pea yanking it off of me! But I did manage to find a necklace for Chatterbox for Christmas.

Last night I did a bit more shopping. Mostly to browse, but I did find a book from the Christian bookstore for CB. I also found these great devotionals for boys that I called and told my mom about. We are so done shopping for the boys yet I really want them to have them. The boy's 'devotional' book we have now for our Bible time is not what I thought it'd be. It's great but let me tell you we've not moved beyond like Chapter 2 or 3 because they can't learn to be
R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-L-E! But they ARE boys!!! I also went to my book club get-together. It was a good time.

Today I feel like poo. I know there are so many sicknesses going around and I really hope I'm not getting one of them. I've been to the bathroom many times, my stomach is kinda weird (yet I have eaten my meals today) and I'm a little tired. But this could also contribute to the fact that it is about *that* time of month. So, I sit here contemplating whether I should make dinner. I have items to make homemade pizzas so should I just do that? Then again I have hamburger in the fridge that needs to be used...I just want to rest and yet there's so much calling my name...dinner, unfolded laundry, toys to be picked up, etc.

Small group at last?

Last night I received a phone call from somebody regarding small groups. I was out so asked that he contact Zach. Apparently Wednesday night is the night this particular group meets. So, tomorrow will be the day. I was trying to ask Zach questions but he was tired and wasn't too helpful but it sounded like they want you to find babysitters for your children. BUMMER! See, our small groups in North Carolina were perfect. We got to take our kids with us! Then they'd go off into a separate room and play (sometimes a teen watched them or one of us moms would go and keep an eye on things). Here in Iowa i don't know a lot of people babysitter wise. Our usual sitter has church on Wed. nights as I'm sure most Christian teens would. That doesn't leave a whole lot of options. Tonight I'm going to ask one of my friend/neighbors if she'd be willing to watch the older 3 tomorrow night and we'll take Sweet Pea, but I'm not sure what we'll do every week. BUT, the leader's wife requested to be my friend on facebook and I told her how we don't have family here and may not be able to find a sitter. From the sounds of it some of the people take their children there and they play in the basement that while. She said not to let it stop us from coming. Soooo....we'll see how it turns out. Now I'll be nervous until I meet them! I hate situations like that. I'm all fine and good when I know somebody but it's that initial meeting that kills me;) Although I guess I could get to "know" her through facebook. And we were always the 'younger' family but now it looks like we'll be the 'older' ones! It's so weird, I certainly don't feel 'old'!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Christmas shopping in October

Yesterday I began Christmas shopping. It had to have been the earliest I've ever done so. It is easier this year because I have ideas what to get the kids. So, the boy's are pretty much done, I only need maybe one more thing for the baby and I have yet to find what I want for Chatterbox. But at least it's started! I went with friend's and we had a good time. We went out to lunch at Ruby Tuesday. That was the fanciest RT I've ever been in! RT makes me think of the times in North Carolina when our CARE group gals would get together for birthdays. Those were fun times and I sure do miss them.

After I came home I went out again to Kohl's and Wal-mart. I needed to find a winter coat for Junior Squirrel. How is it that a size 7 is like $50 yet a size 8 is like $80!?!?!? I bought the size 7 but its a bit too snug. I'd like it to fit awhile! So I guess I'll return it and try to look elsewhere. I should have picked up the nice one I'd found at Old Navy!

Last night after dinner and baths I played Clue with Chatterbox. That sure is her favorite game. Then the boys brought up a game and were playing next to us. Fun times!

I could not sleep last night. I was so tired so I went to bed after 9. Then I could not fall asleep. Probably the junk I ate and the pop I drank later at night. I swear I was probably up more than I slept. I'm not too tired yet but I bet come about 3 I will be. I had lots of time for thinking and had an idea. I think I want to host a "Game/Snack" night. Sounds like fun, huh? I ran it by Zach but he said, "You mean only one family, right?" He doesn't like a bunch of wild kids running around! It's crazy, when kids come over mine just go nuts! Especially the boys. You won't see the girls too much. But I'm thinking maybe if we can do Wii games or movies for the kids. I'll have to give it more thought. I was also thinking about progressive dinners. It'd be fun to do something like that.

We had church at home today. It was nice. We even had communion. I am getting a little annoyed that we STILL haven't been plugged into a small group at the church. What are they waiting for? Last week a guy told us that he talked to 'Abe' and that he'll get us into a group, that it shouldn't be 'too hard'. Ok, but WHEN? Next year? I loved our CARE group in NC and I'd love to have something like that here in Iowa.

Oh but speaking of church, this morning when we were singing Sweet Pea was just dancing away! It was just so cute and funny. I couldn't sing for I was laughing so hard and then I was crying from it because it was so cute and I was laughing so hard. She was holding on to the couch and like bending her legs and it just looked so funny the way she was moving her butt! Speaking of Sweet Pea, she took 4 STEPS in a row yesterday and ever since she's been so much braver and taking a little here and there on her own. I think my baby's growing up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

funny of the day...

Today I gave the kids balloons. Wow, you'd think they were energy drinks. Those kids were bouncing off the walls like you wouldn't believe! I finally sent them in the basement! But before they got sent away Chatterbox was pretending she was having a baby, with her balloon under her shirt. She kept asking if I wanted to feel the heartbeat! Then she said, "Oh my baby's about to hatch." I busted out laughing and asked, "Hatch?" She was like, "Oh yeah, be born." TOO funny!!! Much more to post about at another time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's Thoughts

I've been itching to paint. Yesterday I picked up some paint samples. I'm very tired of my drab, dirty walls. The thing is I don't want to do it. I'd much rather pay somebody. I wonder how much they charge?

The dog had poop stuck on her butt. She was either outside or locked in her cage for like 24 hours until it got taken care of. I don't even feel bad for her. Time for her to get groomed! I have enough of issues with my kids that I really don't need to be dealing with poopy butted dogs.

My stomach has been hurting off and on for a few days. Sometimes it feels like cramps but other times it just hurts. Frustrating. I didn't even drink my normal can of pop today because I just don't want it to hurt any more! AND I drank some juice (I never drink juice).

I must admit that I have a tiny bit of fear of the stupid pig flu. More so because I read a link somebody had posted on facebook about the flu mist and how people who get it are contagious for like 21 days. So, I could be in the store or at church and be getting exposed because somebody got that stupid thing! I hate flu shots. You won't catch me getting one. Nor my children. So I'm really trying to be aware of germs and such lately. Of course I also know God is in control and trust in Him, but I can't help but have a tiny nagging fear.

Why is it already this cold? Brrrr. Although today it was in the high 40s and it felt warmer to me than I thought it would. Am I already getting used to these cooler temps? Of course, at least we don't have snow like back home!

I know there was other things I wanted to say but Junior Squirrel wants to read to me and then I'm going to play Clue with Chatterbox. So, this'll have to suffice for now:)

Sunday, October 11, 2009


That's what this weekend consists of and it is wonderful! Yesterday I tried to sleep in bed longer. It was nice to have the whole bed to myself, wrapped up in my flannel sheets, but I could hear the excitement in the kid's voices downstairs, exclaiming over the fallen snow. I did not want to get out of bed and see that white stuff BUT it was rather exciting to hear their delight over it, so I managed to leave the comfy confines of my bed. Then I declared that I wasn't going to do a thing all day! We had leftovers for lunch and dinner and Zach took care of feeding the kids. I just laid around. I finished a book I'd started a day or two before. I played on the computer a bit. The kid's were great. Sweet Pea took two naps. The others played Lego's in the basement pretty much all day. They were to good that I ran to the grocery store and picked up some ice cream as a treat. Of course THEN they started to get hyper and crazy. I wanted to play a game with them but we couldn't really come up with one so we ended up playing 'hot potato'. I was in control of the music. Even Sweet Pea was throwing the ball around! It was so cute and she was getting so excited about it! Today for dinner we're going to get Pizza Hut. I have been craving it for a few days now.

Did I mention it is cold outside? Brrrr. On the way home from church it said only 36* on the suburban! Way too cold for October. Speaking of church, I recently discovered this song (I can't remember if I saw it posted on somebody's blog or on facebook or what). I've had it in my head lately and yesterday I downloaded it to my iPod. Guess what song was sung in church for the first time today??? THAT one! That isn't the first time I've had a song in my head, go to this church and they sing that very song! Such a cool GOD thing! Anyway, you can listen to the song here.

Speaking of cool God things, the benefit for my cousin's husband was yesterday. Remember me mentioning how he has cancer? Well, there was a benefit for them. My mom said they made like $5,000 on the ticket sales alone. I'm curious to see what the total is. We live in a small community and this just blows me away! I'm so glad people came out and pulled through to help them! God is good! I wish I'd been there to help in some way.

Well, my Sweet Pea just made a mess of all of Booty Shaker's kindergarten books so I better go clean up. I forgot what else I was going to tell you!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

How I get distracted~

TWO DAYS AGO SWEET PEA TOOK HER FIRST STEPS!!! And I forgot to blog about it! Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table talking on the phone to my mom and I look over. There is my little SP TAKING STEPS! I have no idea how many the stinker actually took before I caught her. I probably scared her with my shrieking, "SHE'S WALKING AGAIN!!!!!" but I couldn't contain myself! My mom was telling me to get the camera ready, but of course if I'd gone to grab it then she wouldn't have walked again! Today I think she took just a couple here and there. Ohhh it is so exciting! My little baby is growing so much, the sweet thing. I look at her and think how much I love her and wonder how people can NOT want what I have! Then again I look at my older children who can disobey, talk back, etc and then it makes a little more sense:) Don't get me wrong I love them too, but they're just not as sweet as a baby!

Yesterday Zach had to drive to Offutt AFB. He took Chatterbox with him. So I only did a bit of school with the boys. Then we grabbed some Happy Meals, went to Kohl's, played the Wii and did some drawing and puzzle building. I was going to take them to the library but never did make it there.

I've got cabbage rolls cooking in the crockpot and I made bread in the bread machine last night. Ohhh did the house ever smell good when we went to bed! The kids and I ate some for lunch and boy is it good. I wasn't sure how it'd turn out since I only had all-purpose flour and pretty much every bread machine recipe calls for bread machine flour. I didn't know if it'd make a difference or not, but it didn't to me. It's the perfect day for using the crockpot....cold, wet and dreary. Oh and I heard the word snow today. Possibly for this weekend. That is just NOT right. It's weather like this that really makes me miss the south! But I do love spring and summer here! I'm just not a cold weather fan!