Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Special Girl

Today is Chatterbox's 9th birthday. I cannot believe my 'baby' is 9! Isn't it funny how we can remember the day of their birth so clearly? Like it was yesterday. And how have 9 years gone by? I am so blessed to have her as my daughter. She's got a huge heart for others, for serving & helping and for God. I cannot imagine the past 9 years without her. What a delight she has been!

She began her day with a 'Scavenger hunt'. I just wrote out little clues on note cards that she had to find throughout the house and it led her to her card. She had fun with that. She got to open her big present from my mom- the American Girl bathtub. She's been wanting that for forever it seems and it will be nice to not hear her ask for it anymore! Haha! She is SO excited and thankful for it! I also let her open another gift from my mom- pj's for her AG doll. I made her French Toast for breakfast per her request. We will make a library trip today and have a friend over to play. No school here today! As Chatterbox said, "It's a holiday!" Last night she called it her 'birthday eve'!

Happy birthday dear Chatterbox! I love you so very much and am so thankful for you. I pray you have a blessed day and that this year brings you many blessings and that you'll continue to grow closer to God.

Monday, March 30, 2009

can't fall now...

Now guess who's sick? Yep, ME. Ugh! As if I have time to be sick. It seems like every year at this time of year I get sick. I sound horrible and can barely talk. I'd had a scratchy sore throat off and on for days and I guess finally it all caught up with me! Doesn't help that I had sick kids breathing in my face and wasn't getting any sleep.

Sweet Pea hasn't really been sleeping too well lately. She's feeling better though she does have some congestion at night. I feel like she's always waking up! I just want a good night of sleep!

We had a great time with our company Saturday night. The kids all got along great and had fun and us adults did too. We played Bible Trivia and Catch Phrase. I stunk at Bible Trivia and the guys kicked us gals' behinds in the other game. Well, it was close actually but they won. I really enjoyed the fellowship we had that night! I need to get back into having people over for dinner and fellowship.

Yesterday we heard a great sermon at church. It was about the friends who carried their friend to Jesus on a mat and lowered him through the roof. WE need to be those types of friends- the kind who will be there at 3 am for those who may need us. It is rare to find people like this in our world today. Everybody's so caught up in themselves and their own lives that if you feel you have a need you even hate to impose on them because you just don't know. Especially if you've been 'burned' in the past. I had a '3 am' experience (probably more than one but this one sticks out) and I really needed somebody to come and sit with my kids. I couldn't get a hold of anybody who lived relatively close to me and the one person I called 'just put her son for a nap'. That hurt. I honestly NEEDED somebody at that time (it could have been a matter of life or death...not suicide either). On the other hand in that same experience I was surrounded by people to be there through it all. I pray that I will always be a 'stretcher bearer' to those who need it and not get too caught up in my own affairs (no, not marital affairs)!

Today we had a field trip to Hy-vee. It is a grocery store, quite a big one in these parts. I have to admit that the store seems pretty neat. I hadn't even been there for probably a good 6 months that we lived here. I heard their prices were high and that Fareway was better so I just avoided it. But I heard they had Chinese food and I just wanted to see what it was all about. I know, its a grocery store so why get excited over it? I guess that's what happens when you're cooped up all day with 4 kids!!! I was surprised the first time I was in there. It was huge. I'm telling you they had everything. Medicine, a whole foods section, paper goods, books, toys, baby items, deli, bakery, meat department. They also had a photo, floral shop, Starbucks AND they have a place to eat in there!!! You can get Italian, Chinese or some other type of food (I forget what). They've even got a salad bar! I'd seen all this before the one or two times i was in there but it was neat to get a behind-the-scenes look at it all. The kids really liked the cooler and freezer.

Afterward the group was going to Godfather's for pizza. I didn't intend on going but boy after walking around a GROCERY store I was hungry! I thought maybe I'd get to know some of the other homeschooling mother's better. But, I sat at my own table with the younger three kids while Chatterbox sat with some girls. I was reminded of the first time I went to one of their meetings and NOBODY talked to me! I had hoped they'd have put some tables together for moms to sit together and then kids. For me it was confirmation to not join this group next year. Honestly, I don't ever remember a person sitting alone at any of our functions in MS. Our HS groups down there were so friendly- I STILL remember my first meeting at each of the groups in MS and that was over 4 years ago! I did eventually go and sit by a lady I know and talk to her a bit, but only about how I'm putting together a park day open to all homeschoolers.

This being said, my friend Sadie and I have talked about starting our own group with a select number of people we know. And I think we'll do it. I've already got a date set up for our first 'park day' (open to anybody though) as I really miss park days. I guess the groups here are too large and everybody's got their little cliques. Which is fine I guess. I have made some friends here in my area and I'm comfortable with that and with seeing what happens with our group we may begin. At least I won't have to sit alone! (I can't remember if anybody from said group reads my blog but if so please don't be offended by what I've written, it is just my 'take' on it all and my experience).

I've had so many blogging ideas lately but this is quite lengthy so I better save them for another time (if I remember them).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

sleepy saturday

Zach is home. Last night I took Chatterbox to a birthday party and when I picked her up I rented a Wii game. I got Carnival Games. So we put the kids to bed and tried all the games. Some were hard! Some were fun. I want to play again!

You'd have think I would have slept good last night but not the case. Sweet Pea was up quite a bit for some reason. Then she decided to awake a little after 7. Normally the dog starts whining about 7 but even she wasn't whining. So much for being able to sleep until 8. I asked Zach to bring the baby down when he got up and just lay in my warm bed for awhile. Especially when I heard CB exclaim, "It's SNOWING!" Ugh, are you kidding me? Thankfully it is not sticking but it must be pretty cold out there.

We're having company for dinner tonight. I'm excited. It seems like its been awhile since we've had somebody over. I have the meat sauce cooking now so I won't have to do it all later. I managed to go grocery shopping last night but need to run to Wal-mart today to get a few things that are much cheaper than your local grocery store!

Oh, I have to post about my mom. She's at a Women's Conference for church this weekend. She called me all excited yesterday because she met Amy Roloff from Little People, Big World. I haven't ever watched that show but my mom watches it. She must have been really excited because she said she hugged her and told her she watches her and loves her! lol I think she got her autograph and pictures with her too. I am hoping that she did the same with Kirk Cameron, who is also there speaking. Let me tell you that I am trying to not be envious of her. As a kid I had the biggest crush on that guy! I'm glad she was able to go to this. It sounds like she's having a great time with the two ladies she went with.

Alrighty, well I need to take care of the meat sauce and try to hop in the shower. Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

the story of the nasty behind

Last night I found a little poop on the carpet. I was a bit surprised- Daisy has been doing pretty well, although she does like to sneak behind the couch to poop. I saw her squatting again, grabbed her and stuck her on her pad. She didn't go. So in her kennel she went. When we went to let her out later on I noticed poop stuck to her butt so had her go on her pad. Well, rather than it being some little piece of poop stuck to her fur it was huge. She kept trying to get off of the pad and rub her butt on the floor. I don't think so! Poor dog didn't like the stuck poop one bit. Finally, I got up and was determined to get the poop off. Little did I know how disgusting it would turn out to be. I had my nose in my shirt and I could still smell it. I began violently gagging. So bad that I pulled a muscle in my stomach. I managed to get a good portion off but the rest is still there. So, into her kennel she went. Which is where she'll remain until Zach can take care of it this afternoon. I tried. I did my part. I wipe enough kid butts. Puppy butts are a whole other story. Absolutely disgusting. I feel bad keeping her locked up, besides to put her potty, but I don't need poop rubbed all over my floors! Just thought I'd give you all a laugh over it while I'm still gagging over the thought!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

where can i go?

I don't know what it is but I haven't slept a wink since Zach's been gone. I'm not scared, I'm just woken up so stinking much! Between Sweet Pea waking and me cleaning her nose, to Booty Shaker waking up YELLING at me, "MOM, MY LAMP'S NOT ON!!!!!!!!!" and then having to put him potty. Oy. I have no idea how I have the stamina to keep going!

Zach's coming home tomorrow rather than Saturday. Good. I need a break. Maybe Saturday I can sneak away. Alone. I doubt it, but maybe. I need to go shopping for Chatterbox. Her birthday is next week.

Sweet Pea took yet another long nap in my bed this afternoon. I love it. Oh, I didn't mention yesterday that she's now 7 months old. Where has that time gone? It is just flying by!

Anybody else having weird issue with blogger? Weird things keep happening as I type! I think its just saving constantly or something.

Oh boy, this dog and youngest boy of mine are just going berserk. I think they need to take a nap. Oh how I wish.

Chatterbox was done with school at 10 am! Unreal! Oh it was so nice though! I've had a relaxing afternoon, though now it seems everybody has too much energy.

I have some pictures to try to share. we'll see how long it takes me to share them. You know the issues I have everytime I try to share.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I was also going to tell you about Zach. He's gone to Camp Shelby in MS until tomorrow night or Friday morning. That is where he'll be for like 5 weeks this summer when the cadets are training. Apparently its a roach haven there. He said he heard that when you turn on the light in the showers that the roaches just go scrambling. Sick. He said he was going to be taking sheets and pillows from the hotel because the ones at CS are roach infested. I am praying he doesn't take any of those little critters home! That is so sick!

In AL he was staying at a Marriott. What is it with the military and Marriott's? Anyway, I'm sure its much better than staying on the base like he did last time he was there. Last night he was sitting outside with some of the others and a roach went scurrying past. Yuck, yuck, yuck. ONE reason I don't like the south! Before we'd moved there I'd envision that you just see them walking along everywhere. That isn't quite the case but still. Although i do admit these days I'm really missing our house we owned in Ocean Springs.

Anyway, pray no roaches try to sneak into Zach's mouth or bag...

sssshhhhh baby's sleeping

Wow, I've managed to get Sweet Pea to take naps in my bed for the past couple of days. AND last night I put her to bed in my bed when the kids went to bed. Wow, that was nice! I was able to come downstairs and dust the living room and get some things done before I wanted to head upstairs to read. I'm going to continue this trend. It is nice to get a real break! I just got up from taking a nap with her, only she's still up there sleeping.

Speaking of sleep, I barely got any again last night. I was up coughing as I was stuffed and up had some drainage issues. Booty Shaker had me up a couple of times. Then with SP still having a hard time breathing. Oh yea, Sherry, we do use those Saline drops but they honestly don't do much for her! I even have us sleeping 'slanted' on my pillows!

We breezed through school again today. I love it (and I know the kids do too). Chatterbox even commented to her brother how public school kids were still in school! I should really take advantage of the extra time and do extra work for when the days are nice and we went to play but with Zach gone this week I really need the time 'off'. Not like I've taken much time 'off' when I've been cleaning so much! I just have to clean the bathrooms and kids rooms. Hoping to do the bathrooms today sometime and get to the kids rooms at some point.

Yesterday we ate dinner at Fazoli's. It was our first time there and it was REALLY good! Today Happy Meals at McD's are super cheap so we took advantage of that! Got home and the kids had NO fries in any of their meals! I was a bit floored, wondering if they'd cut back on their meals. So, I got my receipt out and called. The lady was real nice and apologetic and I am able to get 3 free Happy Meals. So, we'll have our fill of McD's today (although I don't' think I'll get it again, I'll just eat something at home). I normally never call about things like that but I was really surprised- I had french fries but not the kids. So glad I called. Oh and I have a feeling when Zach's gone so often this spring/summer I'll be taking advantage of all these cheap kids days at places!

There was a man and woman standing by the edge of the McDonald's parking lot. It's a busy area. There are two gas stations you have access to as well as an entrance to Wal-Mart. I thought at first this couple was looking to walk across the street but then I saw the guy holding a cardboard sign that said they needed money for gas. You know, that just really irritates me. You are sandwiched between not one but TWO gas stations!!! How on earth did you get to this spot (there was no car RIGHT there), where's your car, where did you get the marker for your sign and your cardboard? You mean you can't put a couple of gallons in your car to take you home (or somewhere)? This was the first time I'd seen anyone in our town 'begging'. They didn't look like the normal 'beggars' either but I guess they come in all forms. It is so hard to find a balance with these types of people. I know we're supposed to help the poor and have compassion but sometimes its so oxymoron-ish to beg for money in such places! What do you think?

Oh yeah, and I've only been having like one or two comments each post (thanks Kim for your faithful commenting). Seriously, is she the only one reading my blog, besides the rare commenter? Just curious.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

makin' it

Ok, so Sunday was just awful but today and yesterday haven't been so bad. Yesterday we had a productive day in school. I even spring cleaned my bedroom and part of my bathroom. I'm hoping to try to tackle the kitchen here in a bit...at least somewhat. I've got to mop this floor- it just feels so nasty to me!

I have been having sleepless nights. Sunday night Booty Shaker peed his bed so I was up in the middle of the night dealing with that! Last night I was up a lot with Sweet Pea because she's still so congested and was having a hard time breathing. I was also up with the wind and rain. Then I noticed the boy's nightlight wasn't on so I got up to check that out. BS heard me and I put him potty and he ended up in my bed again! I was having weird dreams last night (probably from reading Eclipse) and just didn't get much sleep at all! I am functioning quite well today though, but I prayed that I would!

We finished school before lunch today! That seems like it hasn't happened in awhile! The kids are playing Wii and I finished my book. Later I'm going to go get the last one from the library and take the kids out for dinner. Apparently Fazoli's has $.99 kid meals on Tuesday. I've never been to Fazoli's but it sounds good today. The weather is still yucky out there, but I just feel like I gotta get out of the house.

Speaking of yucky weather, it looks like we may get some snow tonight. You have got to be kidding me! The grass is already turning green! Good thing I didn't put away our winter clothes, although I did throw them all in the basement.

Sweet Pea threw up last night and today, I think from all the junk in her throat. At first I was able to suction tons of snot out. Now its like its stuck. She even has a hard time nursing. I feel bad for her. Last night she fell asleep on my bed way before bedtime. She slept there for over an hour and I got so much done! It was wonderful!

Ok, off to clean up from lunch and hopefully get my kitchen somewhat cleaned.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

all alone

Zach's gone to Alabama & Mississippi for the week so we're all alone. It is so funny how Chatterbox cries every time we drop him off at the airport. I'm not sad in the least and yet she cries and is so sad when he goes. She's fine now, but as soon as she says good-bye the tears fall! And wouldn't you know it I get home and it seems like all you-know-what breaks loose. After lunch I had to send the kids to their beds because they just wouldn't listen and were so hyper. They want to play Wii and I suppose it would keep them from getting into trouble but they need to learn to find other things to do too! So right now CB is playing with the puppy and the boys are playing Legos. In a bit I'm going to go and read with them or something and then maybe allow them to play Wii. Here Zach & I thought his flight took off at like 8:45 this morning and I was a bit disgruntled that I'd have to get up so early to take him, but it turns out he didn't leave until 1:15. Much more manageable! I didn't want to drag the kids out of bed real early, especially when they're still a bit under the weather.

Last night we watched Twilight. The kids brought their blankets down and just plopped down expecting to watch it with me. I didn't really mind, but we were all up until about 10 watching it! It was really good, though not as good as the book! If you've seen the movie but not read the book go and READ THE BOOK!!! They're SO good. I need to finish Eclipse so I can be ready for the 4th one when the library calls and says its in.

Shoot, I thought the kids were hyper...Daisy is running around the house like she's possessed! It is really funny but boy does she need to settle down!!!

Sweet Pea is feeling much better. Still a bit congested and snotty but not at all like she was! She's still a bit clingy but when isn't she? Right now she's on her belly on the floor. She can't stay on her back anymore but she gets mad on her belly. Stinker! STILL no teeth and she'll be 7 months in a few days.

Well, I'm off to spend some time with my kiddos and not in front of the computer!

A recipe to share

I just shared this on facebook and figured I'd blog it for those of you who aren't on there. This has become a family favorite over here. EVERYBODY love it. And it is so easy so I don't mind making it!

*Taken from Southern Living Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites Cookbook
Sloppy Joe Squares
1 lb ground beef
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. water
1 (1.5 oz) pkg sloppy joe mix
1 tsp. dried onion flakes

2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425*. Brown beef & drain. Return to skillet & add next 3 ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Unroll 1 can of crescent rolls into lightly greased 13x9 in baking dish. Press seams together to seal. Spread beef mixture over dough; sprinkle with cheese. Unroll remaining can of rolls over cheese, pinching seams together. Brush dough with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Note: This recipe is easily doubled. My family loves it and devours it so I've doubled it. I've never tried it with the sesame seeds only because I never have them on hand.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

super saturday

Sweet Pea is still under the weather. She hasn't had a fever for over 12 hours now but she's got a lot of snot. I have suctioned so much of that junk! It's nasty! She does seem a bit better though. Thankfully she's still nursing pretty well, even though its a bit hard to do so. I woke up this morning a bit sore and really should pump.

Chatterbox said her throat hurts and she's stuffy. But I know sometimes when I wake up I'm that way. Apparently she was up in the middle of the night though and her throat hurt. So something is going around our house. Just in time for Zach to go out of town...

He leaves tomorrow for Alabama. I wish I was the one getting on a plane and going south to warmer temps. He hates to fly. I love it. I am trying to not be jealous of all the flying he'll be doing this year!

Speaking of Zach, he ran out to Redbox before 9 am this morning and got me a copy of Twilight. I didn't even ask him. He says hes not going to watch it but he seems more excited than me that its out! So we'll see if he watches it! I almost don't want to watch it because I know movies are never as good as the book. And I have these characters pictured in my head the way I picture them...now Hollywood will have their pictures stuck in my head for the remainder of the books (I'm in the middle of the third one now).

Booty Shaker has FINALLY broken his habit of peeing his pants at night! He's only 4 1/2! This boy has the smallest bladder and is always going potty...but at last he's wearing underwear to bed and staying dry (besides one night).

Thursday it took Junior Squirrel 3 hours to do a math page and math test! He was still doing school after 4 pm! Yesterday he did much better but I had to sit there with him 'holding his hand' so to speak. I don't know what it is but my kids do not like Math-U-See's Alpha. They liked Primer and Beta but there's something about Alpha. I hate that last year he loved math and this year he grumbles about it. Hopefully when he moves on to Beta next year his love for it will return.

My calendar is filling up. Between chiropractor appointments twice a week and field trips it seems like there's no room for anything else! Not like I have many field trips planned but there are some weeks that are just filled up. May will be fun- I'm taking CB to a Little House on the Prairie play and we're going on a field trip to a farm. I keep meaning to plan 'park days' but with the weather still uncertain (after living in the south for so long sometimes its still cold to me out there) I'm not sure what to plan!

I can't wait to start hitting garage sales. I guess the town we live in has awesome ones. If only I had money I'd be out there this morning! Well, I need to run to the library and grocery store today. Guess I should get ready for the day here soon and get those trips over with.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


While at the park with my friend Emily the other day we got to talking spiritual matters. It was so nice to have somebody so open and down-to-earth to talk with! Sometimes we get so caught up talking with our friends about our kids or homeschooling, our week or food that we often forget to get to what really matters- our spiritual walk. So it was a huge encouragement when somehow the subject arose. I have such a hard time getting into the Word. I can sit and read a book no problem. But why is the Word, which is to be the most important book to a Christian, so hard for me to get into??? Emily said she has an accountability 'partner', where they read the same chapter of scripture and email one another what verse stuck out to them and thoughts on it. She asked if I wanted to do it also. I jumped on that! I knew I needed to get back into God's Word. This would kick me in the pants to do just that. So the past few nights before bed I've been reading Romans. Wow, what a book to start with after neglecting God's Word for so long! I love the book of Romans! I love what God is showing me! So often I listen to the great deceiver and I'm deceived into believing I'll never break free from my sins, that I'll never amount to anything, that I'm just not good enough for God. BUT even in my sin God's GRACE is greater! I SO want to break free from the sins I feel bound in. Emily, if you're reading this, thank you for allowing God to use you to get me back in the Word, back to following God!

Dallas pics

OK, so I think the only way I can share some pictures with you is through my web album. I was going to put just a few on here but its so hard to decide what to put! Enjoy! I leave you with this...

Oh and you can view the pics we took on CB's camera here...

another go

Happy Spring Sweet Pea!

Talk about some love from her brother!

Sweet Pea, how I love you...

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and here I thought I was getting somewhere

I don't know why those pictures didn't turn out! I thought I'd had it all figured out! I am so disgusted with pictures lately! Check back later and I'll try to fix those pictures of SP. Anyway, please pray for Sweet Pea. She must have whatever her brother had last week. It was weird, as soon as we went upstairs to sleep last night she sounded all congested. I was up with her a lot just checking on her and trying to keep her comfortable. She seemed ok this morning and at lunch I was feeding her peaches when she threw up everywhere. Not spit up but tons and tons of puke. Poor, poor girl, I just felt awful for her as I sat there helpless. She seems better now, she's sleeping on me. She's not real feverish. I gave her a bit of Tylenol and the kids and I all prayed over her. She's a bit pale too. Please pray it doesn't last long! And pray for the rest of us! Zach leaves on Sunday for the week and I really don't want to be sick while he's away!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Noah's Ark

These are from Noah's Ark that we went to see before we left for Dallas.

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A Red Skunk...yuck!

They loved the puppets...silly kids

What a resemblance!
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so not funny anymore

I don't know what it is lately with me and pictures. I try a slideshow (on slide.com) and half the picture turns out weird. I try to upload to a Picasa web album and I've exceeded something or another. I blog them and I exceed something. I have too many pictures from the trip to do them individually. I am annoyed and lost and confused. I had no issues with putting them on facebook so I just don't get it. Just wanted to share my frustrations.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

spring fever

Wow, it has been gorgeous here lately! I LOVE it! Here's what we've been up to...

  • Yesterday we went to a Mad Science demonstration. It was neat. I know Chatterbox enjoyed it, I think Junior Squirrel did and I'm uncertain about whether Booty Shaker did.
  • I began my chiropractor sessions yesterday also. Such a weird thing but oh so worth it!
  • It was so nice out that I let the kids play outside and then cleaned the inside of the Suburban once we got home. It took over 2 hours with all the interruptions! Sweet Pea was rather fussy.
  • Being that Spring Break is this week Zach gets off of work early. It was nice that he was here to help with SP so I could clean it out.
  • We have a great vet. I was so worn out and dinner was late because of all of the above. So I was able to reschedule Daisy's vet appointment from last night to this morning.
  • That was the first thing on the agenda this morning. Before we left I'd managed to fold and put away laundry and I even made my bed! I have the windows open upstairs! It was really hot up there last night!
  • After the vet I came home and threw together a lunch for the kids and I. We headed to the park where we met up with friends. What a fun way to spend the afternoon! If only it weren't so windy...there were some moments that I was cold!
  • I think since Daisy was away and confined to a smaller space that she is potty trained. I'm not really sure she's had an accident since we've been back. Maybe one or two. I love it! I'm sorry, I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not.
  • I got my Kraft Food & Family magazine in the mail today. Yum, everything looks so good! If you don't get it you should check it out and subscribe- its free!
  • I have pictures on my computer from our trip but when I was trying to make a slideshow of them it was cutting parts of them off. So that's why I haven't shared them here yet...they are on facebook though. Maybe I'll just upload them in web albums...either way I'll let you know and try to get to it soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

dream, dream, dream

Today I think I found my dream home. After church we drove through some fancy pants neighborhoods. The one 'my' house is in is real close to our house but I'd never driven through it before (its not even completed yet). The pictures I found don't do it justice. It is so beautiful yet simple. Oh and very expensive. But its fun to dream, right? So here's the listing I found for it. Can also see it here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I am so tired. Off and on tired. It comes in waves. We got home a bit after noon today. It felt good to get home early. Most of the laundry is already washed and I'm all unpacked! I just can't stand to leave it sit around. If you know me you know I can't relax until everything is put away! So now I get to relax. I've been playing the Wii a little bit, reading and playing with the baby. She is so happy to be home. She's been rolling around on the floor like crazy!

The kids were thrilled for Daisy to come home! Thank you to the Fisher's for watching our puppy! Daisy had fun playing with the kids and is now sleeping at my feet.

Chatterbox's little friend delivered our Girl Scout cookies. Yum! Apparently its Spring Break here this week. We had ours this past week, although I don't think we'll be doing school on Monday as we have too much going on that day.

Booty Shaker is feeling better at the moment. That comes and goes too. He barely ate breakfast and just has that sick look about him. Poor kid. So I'm not sure if we'll make it to church tomorrow or not. Let's hope everybody's better!

We got Chinese takeout for dinner. I think its our tradition! It seems since we've lived here and gone on a trip when we come home that's what we do! I LOVE it! Sweet & sour chicken, crab ragoons and veggie rice...yum!

Friday, March 13, 2009

last night of 'vacation'

  • We're at the same hotel in the KC area that we stayed at on the way to Dallas. We liked it so much and since the kids didn't get to swim in the outdoor pool down south we figured we'd let them do so again tonight. The staff here is so friendly and the rate is great. And I feel comfortable here!
  • Zach wanted to drive the whole way but the baby would have none of that! She has come to despise her car seat, the poor thing. She is chewing on me, spitting up on me and hitting me with a hard rattle as I type. Cruelty! I bet she's so relieved to be out of her seat!
  • Last night Booty Shaker got sick. Zach got off a bit 'early' so we were trying to think of something to do but BS was just laying there saying he was tired. It is so dumb because everything closed at 5! Zoo, museums, etc so there really wasn't anything to do besides shop and we'd already done that. Anyway, BS fell asleep and had a fever. He said his belly hurt and didn't eat dinner. I prayed over him and Zach went and bought some Tylenol. He began to feel better and was able to eat applesauce. He was fine today until dinnertime again. So rather than being downstairs swimming in the pool right now he's playing Wii.
  • Did I mention we got a Wii? I'd been wanting one for awhile but when it came right down to it I didn't want to spend the money. On our way to Texas Zach ran to the store and came out with one! It sure helped pass the time in the hotel room! It sure is fun too! I love bowling and golfing:)
  • Oh I forgot to mention that on the way down to Texas we stopped at a Taco Bell off the interstate in Missouri. A family had went in before us and when I noticed that the teen girl had on an Ishpeming sweatshirt. I asked if it was Michigan and it was! Turns out they're from the U.P. What are the chances of that? It was neat!
  • Then tonight we ate at Bob Evans. Our waitress is going to a Bible college in the town we live in! She's on spring break and originally from here. How weird is that?
  • Chatterbox has read I think 6 books on this trip! I was going to add up the pages to see how many it is but haven't gotten to do that yet. I love that she loves to read! She read two today alone! I wish I'd brought more for her! She read this one that I got her from the library, a Judy Moody one, a Romana Quimby book and a bunch of others.
  • Today in the car Booty Shaker asked me, "Mom what letter are you?" I asked, "What do you mean?" He said, "You know, like I'm 4". Haha, I explained to him that 4 is a number, told him how old I am and that you usually ask how old a person is not what number they are (he's asked that before). He'll also see a G and say, "That's my letter" since his name starts with it.
  • I haven't mentioned anything about Junior Squirrel yet. He got a Nate the Great book the other day and was reading it today. He's been pretty quiet and good in the car (they all have). It never surprises me the messes he makes with food! He is so stinkin' messy! Half the time I have to tell him to clean his mouth! The whole day he had a food mess all around his mouth.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

another blogworthy moment

The cleaning lady knocked on the door. It was a prime opportunity to go and check out the laundry facilities as it was piled up. I wanted to see how many washers there were and what the charge was. 2 washers and FREE of charge- if you can believe that! I couldn't! I then had a bill to mail so we went up to the front desk. Then we went in the little Starbucks cafe' and got a couple of cookies to munch on. An older man, a worker, came and talked to us while we sat eating our cookies. He was very friendly. I realized I needed laundry soap and went back into the Starbucks to buy some. I bought 4 little pouches (they're white so I don't even know if they're a 'brand') and it cost $8!!! So that's how they get you on laundry. As I finished paying the gentleman worker came back and asked the kids their ages and talked some more. Then he handed me this huge ziploc full of cookies! He must have went into the kitchen and got us some cookies! Very nice! It's about time I feel a hint of friendliness in this place!


So apparently your internet service runs from noon to noon in this place. So yesterday I signed us up going on 11 am and had to pay $12.95. Then in the afternoon I had to pay that again! I will ask Zach to see if he can't get the first charge taken off. It's all on his travel card but still what we don't spend we get to pocket. I am anxious to go home. When we first got here we talked about staying longer to do things. Well, the weather is cold and rainy so there's not much to do and I'm really not in the mood. I'm so tired of this 'ritzy' anti-family hotel. For some reason I honestly don't mind being holed up in here and I think its because of the looks I get when I walk around with my kids. I told Zach not to count on me joining him for conferences again! And I don't just mean the military folks here, its the workers too. Oh, they do have a Great Wolf Lodge here but I think we'd have to plan for something like that. It sure would be fun to do sometime! Well, better get the kiddos fed and get started on my day. I've gotta try to get the bills paid today. Fun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

here i am

Well, we have internet in our room. Guess we just use Zach's travel card to pay for it. It still seems rather ridiculous to me. And I don't have time to blog right now because Zach should be here for lunch soon. I will try to get on this afternoon and give an update. Having a good time, although I admit I feel weird walking around with my kids and not seeing any other kids (not just with Zach's group but within the whole hotel I don't see ONE kid or family). Makes me realize how some places are so anti-child. Sad. So as I feel weird I also try to be proud of my family! And as I walk by people I hear them comment how they miss their children or wish they were here with them.

Monday, March 09, 2009

we're in texas

We FINALLY made it to Dallas. Unbelievable how long that seemed to take! I am worn right out. I was so excited to come and stay at this 'fancy' hotel but now that I'm here I miss my 'comfort' of middle-class living! This place charges for breakfast- like $12! They charge $13 a day if you want WiFi in your room. So, we bought cereal and I'm sitting in the lobby area getting my daily internet fix. It is disgusting how they try to eat money out of you! Gosh, even the alarm clock has a place to stick your Ipod! Craziness! I haven't seen any other children here...definitely a 'business' hotel. I just saw some airline pilots walk by. It is unreal...I feel so out of my element! I loved the Hampton Inn we stayed at on the way down- it was nice, the bed was awesome and it was cheap.

Today since we got here at a decent time we went to Ripley's Believe It or Not & the Museum of Wax. It was SO cool! The kids were scared in parents of the Wax Museum, especially Booty Shaker. I admit even I jumped a few times. BS was so scared when we left that section he had to use the bathroom! I'm still LOLing about it! I got some great pictures that I can't wait to share with you.

Tomorrow I'll probably just hang out here, at least until Zach's done for the day. The thought of sitting in the car again does appeal to me, even if it is down the road. I do want to shop though, there's some awesome shopping around here. It's such a 'ritzy' looking area.

We stopped in Oklahoma City and I got to visit with a friend from college! I hadn't seen her in like 11 years! That was neat! Our families went go-karting and then ate dinner at Cracker Barrel together. It was awesome to see her again!

Other than that I can't remember what else to blog about. I know there's blog-worthy material I just can't think of what. I need to get back upstairs. Like I said I feel out of my element...I am down here in my sweats with Sweet Pea sleeping on me in the Ergo. I've had a guy (turns out he's with the ROTC thing like Zach) talking to me about his son while he looks on at SP. Talk about feeling weirded out...it's not like guys come up talking to me especially about kids!

I hope to update again soon. Meanwhile pray that I somehow 'live it up' like the upper class! Ha! I can't wait to catch up with y'all soon!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy 'birthday' Malachi

Two years have gone by in a buzz and a whir,
So much has happened its almost a blur.
No matter that all this time has gone by
I haven't forgotten you, my precious Malachi.

What would it be like to have you,our boy
Running around bringing such joy?
What fun, what delight, what smiles you'd bring
As we'd watch you grow, learn to expand your 'wings'!

It is with a heavy heart that I think of this day,
Wishing upon wishes that God allowed you to stay.
But also I look at it with great thankfulness
That God has honored me to be your mother, even in shortness.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

in honor of malachi

*I wrote this on facebook.

Two years ago on March 8 I got to hold my baby boy that I will never see breathe this side of heaven. I'll never see his smile, his first steps, hear him say 'Mama'. I won't get to see how he grows or see how he interacts with his siblings and fits into our family. But I rest assured that he is in the arms of Jesus and what better place is there than that?It was February 13, 2007. I was 15 weeks pregnant and had a routine doctor's appointment. Or so I thought. They were unable to find the heartbeat, but for some reason I thought nothing of it. Until we then went into the ultrasound room. It was deathly quiet. I watched the midwife's face. Then she said the words I never imagined I'd hear. My baby was not alive. It was just weeks earlier than I saw him dancing on an ultrasound! I remember laughing about it because he was so active! What had gone wrong? Why?So I was whisked to another doctor and they tried to get me to have a D&E (basically a D&C but because I was so far along it was a bit different). There was no way I wanted to go through with something like that though. I had seen my baby alive and dancing on a 'machine'! I wasn't going to just allow them to do that to my precious child, whether he was dead or alive! We decided we'd 'induce' and they began that the next morning but it never worked! By this point the one doctor really wanted me to have the surgery but I just couldn't.It was a tough and trying time. Trying to plan. Trying to rest in God, knowing there was a reason. Trying to continue in my faith in Him. Going to the doctor for tons of blood work. If anything came up that showed I was in danger they would have had to do the surgery. But I was fine. It took my body three and a half weeks to begin to 'free' my baby!I leaned on God in that time. I grieved. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to go through. But I could feel the prayers of people everywhere, even those I'd never met. I could feel the Lord's loving arms around me even though I doubted Him at that point. It was difficult for me to pray at all, but there were so many others there helping me through it. I am so grateful for them all.My two prayers that I could pray during that time were that my baby would be intact and that I would find out whether a boy or girl. God answered those prayers! He is so good to hear us! I could see His hand in every part of that ordeal. It was the most trying time yet no matter where I turned His hand was there. From the Christian nurse to the ladies from church bringing me meals to the friends watching my children and crying with me.God answered my prayers. Even though my baby hadn't been alive for at least a month he was perfectly formed! He looked a lot like his brother, Josiah. He fit in the palm of my hand. Oh and it was a HE! So we named him Malachi Robert. Malachi means 'my messenger'. I believe my baby boy was sent to be a message to the world around me about how precious and fragile life truly is.I almost died after I'd had him because of the blood loss. I had to get 4 pints of blood! But God stood by me every step of the way! Our precious boy is buried at Biloxi National Cemetary in Biloxi, Mississippi. We hope to eventually 'move' him to Michigan so we can visit him when we're 'home'. Although I miss him and wish he were here I am so thankful I was able to carry him within, even for a short time. God has blessed me not with 4 children but 6 as Malachi also has a sibling in heaven. The recent profile picture is to honor him this weekend. I wish I were in Biloxi to 'visit' him but I am so thankful for my friends who will be there to do it for me. And I know he lives on in my heart and what better place for him to be.Thank you to all who prayed with me, grieve with me and held me through that time in my life.

Friday, March 06, 2009

another guest blogger

I wanted to write yesterday but I was too worn out to try my paws at this weird contraption. The big people got to go out the big door yesterday into the bright light and I barked and whined to go. The big lady who sometimes yells at me let me out but I ran into the neighbors yard where it was muddy and had to get sent to my kennel. I made enough noise and she put some long rope on me and had the big girl walk around with me. I tried to eat grass but it didn't taste too well. I thought maybe it was some sort of treat. Yuck. I really liked running around in all that space! What fun! Then the big people took me on this real long walk. I am so little and they are so big. The big lady was holding the long rope but I wanted to be up ahead with the other big people. Finally the big girl took me and I got to run. It was so fun!!!! The big lady sat down and the other big people got to play around on something that looked like so much fun. I was trying so hard to get off the long rope so I could go and play too but it didn't work. I fussed and whined but I never made it on that fun looking thing to play. Two little people came to pet me. Oh, as we walked I also saw some big dogs but I wasn't one bit scared! I am a brave girl! I was pretty tired out when we got back to our house. I think I slept the rest of the day. Today I got to go for a walk with the big man and the other big people. Well, the little thing that cries and the big lady didn't go. I don't know why not. It was such a nice walk. But I got dirty. Now I have to be in my kennel for awhile. That's ok because I am tired but I want the big boy to hold me. He carries me around a lot and tries to sneak me upstairs. I like to run up those stairs and try to poop up there. But then I get in trouble. And locked up. I thought I was sneaky and pooped behind the couch. The big lady was real mad about that. She thinks that maybe one day I'll get it right. I know I do get treats when I go on the white square by the door. I like my treats. Ok, I am more tired now so I need to rest my puppy brain and paws. I just was dying to tell you about my first time out the big door into the big light!!!
~ Daisy


Well, I found puppy care! It is so weird how people kept thinking they could watch Daisy but then in actuality they couldn't. I'm totally not mad about it, I completely understand but it was a bit stressful trying to arrange it all. Zach called some kennels yesterday but the hours on the one he liked on Sunday are like 5-7 pm. I'd want to drop her off well before 5 to get on the road! So I was wondering what to do. I didn't want Daisy to be stuck in a kennel. I didn't want her stuck at home in her kennel with somebody letting her out periodically. Finally the Lord reminded me about some families from church. Now if you know me you know I hate asking people for things...just hate asking for help! But what can you do?

A family from church is going to graciously watch Daisy for us. It is perfect because they have a number of children that can keep her happy and played with. It is so funny because I just had finished talking to a friend on the phone about it all and she told me she'd pray about it. Right when I hung up I called this family and we worked it all out!

Zach took today off. I was supposed to have a playdate but it didn't work out, unfortunately. That's ok though, with him being home, and I realize I have so much to do! We managed to finish school so that's a relief. It's Spring Break here at M Christian Academy! WooHoo!!! Well, I better get started on my many things to accomplish before we leave.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

record breaking highs

Today we had record breaking temps. It was so nice- in the low 70s. The kids got to eat their lunch outside and play outside for awhile. Once school was done we headed to the park. It was such a nice day for a walk.

Here's the 'pond' by the park. It was starting to thaw out in places and there were Canadian geese. The geese remind me of college...you'd always have to watch where you walked as you walked to class so you didn't step in goose poop! Lots of geese around here!Booty Shaker checking out the pond...trying to get too close for this mama's comfort!

Chatterbox posing for a picture. Smile my boy! See that nice blue sky! I try not to drool over the huge houses that you see.

My 'monkey' hangin' around!

Here's my 3 older 'monkeys'. The baby was sleeping away on mama of course!

Making funny faces. Of course Booty Shaker has a funny face in the picture above too!I love this picture of CB & Daisy!


On the walk home BS said, "Mom, take a picture of me!" It is rare for him to say this and pose so I quickly snapped a shot!

So of course his sister and brother had to follow suit....

He wanted another picture! I can't resist that face, nor the way he asks!

A girl & her pup

Trying to snap a photo of JS on the trail
He wanted yet another...here he's driving his car!!! Great use of your imagination my boy!
He reminds me of a prophet here for some reason! JS the prophet?
Of course once we arrived home I had to snap some pictures of Sweet Pea. She slept on me the entire time on our walk and at the park! I LOVE my Ergo & so does my baby! Isn't she so cute and smiley? I love you SP!


It always seems to take awhile to make new friends when you move somewhere new (I'm sure I've said that before). Our first 6 months here was rather eventful with kidney stones, a new baby and winter (not being used to winter any longer I didn't want to venture out much). I'd joined two homeschool groups hoping I'd make some friends through those but the groups are quite a bit different than what I'm used to and it just wasn't happening that we were meeting people. I did meet one lady at a meeting back in September but I felt like she was the only one. Now, I do have our church family, but being that they're all over 1/2 hour away it makes it rather difficult to get together. I also had a friend through Zach's work, but again she lives about 1/2 hour away! So I was beginning to wonder why we'd moved down here! Sure, I have our neighbors and they're friendly but we just don't have a lot in common with them.

But over the past month and a half I've been meeting more and more people. I don't even remember if I mentioned the Mary Kay lady? I felt like she and I were kindred spirits. It was wonderful to meet somebody so down-to-earth and like-minded. Also back in January I met Sadie through our mutual friend. She lives 'away' too but will soon be moving closer to us! And I met a lady at the Valentine's party and we'd gotten together for a playdate.

The other night I went to a meeting with Sadie. I honestly didn't even know what I was going to, I just wanted to get out and I hadn't' been out with other homeschoolers for a long time! I met her at her friend's house where another lady also met us. So, two more people I met. Turns out the meeting was for a co-op that an ambitious woman wants to start. She has a 2 year old! I am not sure I want to join a co-op next year, especially when I'll be teaching all 3 older kids! But it was nice to meet other women. Sadie and I talked yesterday about beginning our own little 'group'. It sure sounds wonderful. I miss 'park' days and Mom's Nights Out! I miss a small group atmosphere where you can get to know people. I miss people who are real and genuine. As you know from reading my blog I try to be honest. I don't try to portray that I have it all together because I certainly don't! I am human, I am who I am. I have a hard enough time with my faults that i don't want to 'hang out' with those who may be 'holier than thou' (do you know that I've been accused of such a thing???).

Anyway, I've strayed from my point. Figures. I'm so thankful that the Lord has been putting more women in my life. Like-minded women. I hope to have many life-lasting friendships that will form here in Iowa, no matter where the military may take us. So to those of you here in I-O-Wa I am blessed by your new friendships!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

i'm falling apart

Today I went back to the chiropractor to get the results of my x-ray. I really didn't know what to expect. Certainly not what I was told! I am curved all 'wrong' (I don't know all the correct terminology) up by my neck...wow, you should have seen it! He said normally you don't see something like that unless somebody's had a fall or been in an accident. Immediately I remembered my accident about a year ago when I was hit from the left side (drivers side). That could totally be it. Also there were some other issues more toward the bottom of my backbone. So he'd like me to get treatments at least twice a week! He is so nice and willing to work out a 'payment plan' (its a Christian place). I hesitated for a bit wondering how we'd afford it all but also I just jumped in knowing that I need this done in order for my body to be 'normal'. I'm not that old and I don't want my bones going ka-put already! I need to remember to take care of myself! With that said I won't begin getting these treatments until after our Dallas trip. We're supposed to leave Sunday or Monday. I admit that I'm having a HARD time finding 'puppy care' so I am at a loss right now. I'd prefer Daisy not to be kenneled being such a young pup but we'll see what happens.

check it out...

Ok, I decided I'll share this with you after all. I think I told you Zach started a blog. Well, he loves me so much that he 'dedicated' it to me. Seriously, the guy must have nothing better to do. Here I thought he'd make some profound statements but I guess I had too high of expectations! Haha! Without further ado, check out his blog...

P.S. Check out my first comment also...
P.S.S. By the way Zach I'm TOTALLY kidding...all in good humor, right?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

love ya!

This was taken on the computer's webcam! I love it! I know its a bit dark but I still like it!
I realize I've neglected my boys in photos lately. Most of them are of the baby! Hopefully within the next week I'll get more as we'll be venturing down to Dallas! Sorry my boys, I still love you!!! Hope you've enjoyed another abundant overload of pictures!!!
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some of chatterbox's pictures

beautiful chatterbox
tummy time

rosy cheeked mama

with april & coconut

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pictures from THAT night out

Here I am with rollers in my hair relaxing before I have to get readyHaha! Look at those funny curls! Real sexy huh? NOT!
I have never been able to fix my own hair decently but I wasn't about to throw $40 down the drain for this night. Somehow I managed to do this to my hair! I LOVED it!

The rest of these photos were taken by photographers who are 4 or 8 years old so keep that in mind. Here you have my head cut off, but you get a good glimpse of my dress... This was AFTER the event before Zach got back home. Talk about a plastered smile on my face as I was still reeling from such a miserable night!

For some reason my lips look black in this picture. Zach would probably laugh and call it my 'emo' look (he's teasing me for reading the Twilight series. He even started a blog and 'dedicated' it to me)
Daisy must have thought my feet were tasty or smelled delicious...
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This is my favorite picture of the evening. I LOOK like I was having fun! I told Zach he needs to take me to a fancy restaurant WORTH our money so I can get dressed up again (and take the baby along)!