Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You Go Girl!

This video is for all "my girls" out there (just trying to Keep it Real). When I watched this video (must have tissue close by) I was overcome by thankfulness for all the wonderful friends that I have. I have truly been blessed to know some amazing women. So this video goes out to them and all the other strong women out there. Afterall, we couldn't be strong without support from each other

Lots of love!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Let's Make A Deal

I don't know if it's the post Christmas attitude or what, but whatever it is better end soon! Today I feel like I have been negotiating with our governments best negotiator over candy, no naps, not wanting to pick up toys, clothes etc.

Don't get me wrong, this IS an everyday occurance but today her reasoning and excuses are catching me off guard and making me laugh more than normal. I have had people tell me just to spank her, but with her it isn't that easy. I know this is a controversal subject but I totally believe in spankings. However, her behind is immune to them (or at least mine). We have found that the ultimate punishment for Lauren is grounding her or putting the favorite toy of the moment in time out. As for Evan, he's easy, just give him a stern look and it breaks his little heart & he will apologize and try to make amends. If THE LOOK doesn't work a spanking always will (with him).

Many of today's conversations went a little like this one:

Lauren: Hey Mom, let's make a deal. I will obey will tomorrow IFFFF you let me not take a nap AND play with my leapster RIGHT NOW.

Mom: Hey Lauren, I've got a deal for you; You lay down & take your nap or I'll give your leapster away to someone less fortunate. (She knows I'm serious... She has seen me give away more and without a reason).

She went to bed & was successful at resisting sleep but rested for the allotted nap time. So this one was a draw.

Consequently, after todays little verbal matches with my three year old daugter I absolutely agree that people should take classes before becoming a parent. I could definitely benefit from a negotiating without laughing 101 course.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12 Days Update

Our family had a bit of a late start due to Evan being a bit sick but we are back and making up for lost time. We do know how to count in our household but we are going to be skipping around a bit.

#5. After digging through the attic (this will be a future Tackle-It-Tuesday project) and finding the coats that I had set aside last winter. We made the drop off, the kids are really getting excited about helping others and I am thankful because I have been trying to REALLY build it up for them.

#6. Well each time we pass a bucket we give change... Lauren & Evan love ringing the bell. We usually let them ride the pony at the grocery store but throughout the holidays they have chosen to give their pony-money to others. (My hand is over my heart & I am teary-eyed.... because yes I am THAT proud).

#9. We have been doing quite a bit of "free" babysitting but it hasn't been limited to just the neighborhood and due to many people that I know traveling, no one has needed anyone for the full week.

Internet, Tomorrow we will be passing out dinners and I will keep you posted about the outcome. Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Spirit...

... we are still working on it.

When it comes to helping others, Lauren runs to the front of the line. She LOVES helping and giving things to others. But at Christmas, the one time of the year that we are supposed to give, she only thinks of receiving and what Santa is going to bring her.

We were shopping at the store and purchasing a few last minute Christmas gifts for nieces & nephews. While standing at the register, Lauren asked "Where are MY toys". I responded by telling her that we don't buy Christmas presents for ourselves that we buy for others and give gifts to OTHER people.

She gave it another shot, "Please."

"No Toys, besides you guys haven't exactly behaved while shopping today. Lauren was smashing Evan in the cart and he was being fussy. You guys know that I'm not going to reward that behavior. Why would I want to buy toys?" I explain to her thinking that she knew the rules and couldn't argue with that.

I underestimated her though she turned to me with her cutest face, head tilted slightly, "Well Mom because you LOVE me and I LIKE them."

My first thought was, she's only 3 and knows how to pull my heart strings... I'm screwed. Of course, she did NOT get a toy, but she did get a good laugh from me. Her little wit amuses me to no end.

Flashback Friday

It all started last year, she was only two years old and loved everything princess, doesn't every little girl? So we bought her a Disney princess movie and were excited about... well let's face it... how excited she was at the time. Life was good.

Later that evening, Dad just got home and we were sitting down eating dinner together. It was all quite cozy and then it happened... the sun went down immediately, the lights flickered, and then out of her mouth came THE WORDS... "Dad, you are ruining my life," and then she covered her eyes with her tiny hands and then exasperated, she slammed her head & hands on the table. What was dear old dad doing to RUIN a 2 yr old life, you ask... he simply told her to eat her vegetables. I had to cover my face with my napkin & then step out of the room to hide my laughter. Normally I wouldn't think this attitude was funny but well let's face it... it wasn't directed at me and it was over veggies. Once she actually tasted them she ate all of them but we did have to deal with the drama first. After things cooled down, he came back to the table and my poor bewildered husband asked where his innocent little girl learned such a hate-filled statement.

I hated to deflate our balloon full of happiness but I had to be the bearer of bad news... it was Disney. I'm not knocking Disney, after all they have made some of my all-time favorite movies. But as we both already knew our daughter was in the middle of her "Mimic" stage, she would repeat everything she heard and saw throughout the day. She would take it all in and then apply it within the next few days... it was always easy to tell what those around us were up to just by watching our daughter. She was amazing. So like she did with everything else, she watched the show then played it out. I had to explain to Corey what happened in the movie; Miss Princess wasn't allowed to marry the one she wanted because he wasn't a prince, so she told her dad that he was ruining her life. As I was replaying the movie for him, I was still laughing and enjoying myself a little too much. I explained to him, hey we gotta give her credit she totally used it in the correct context .

We still watch Disney, but we decided to shelf the princess movies for a few years. We aren't ready for the drama, the temper tantrums and ughhhh... the whining. The Princess movies have great moral stories to teach but for now we'll find another way for her to learn them, without the baggage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Poor Lil Baby Boy

Little Evan,

It hurts my heart to see you like this. The last two days have not been very easy for you, you've had a high fever, chills, runny nose, and a nasty cough. If I could take it away and suffer for you, I would in a heartbeat. In the picture above, you are wanting to eat, you put in a specific order knowing exactly what you wanted for lunch, but when I made it for you, you couldn't eat. You were full after just a few bites... all that darned drainage. You already have a few passions in life and food is at the top of that list. (You get that from me). So when you looked at the food that still remained on your plate with such a sad face, I totally understood. It was as if you were saying goodbye to your best friend that you wouldn't see for a LONG few HOURS, which is FOREVER in two year old time. That expression on your face said it all, but you asked me to please save your food in case you made room in your belly. Afterall, we couldn't abandon a friend like that; your motto, "No food left behind".

As my son, you have changed my view of parenthood in many ways teaching me new things everyday. Once I was listening to a friend griping about her job; how her boss didn't appreciate her and she worked her tail off without any breaks and no thank you's. I wanted to tell her, "well stop accepting a paycheck and you've just defined a SAHM (stay at home mom)". But realized that wouldn't be productive so I just let her vent and it's a good thing because the very next day, after I changed one of your many diapers (you were barely one year old at the time) you turned back to me before running to grab a toy & dash off and said, "Tay too" (a.k.a Thank you). I sat there for a minute feeling stunned and so appreciated. I had NEVER heard a child ever thank someone for changing a diaper... it's a given as your parents, we are SUPPOSED to change them. Well that was just the beginning, you still make me feel very appreciated and I love taking care of you. I couldn't dream of a better job. I thank God for letting me have the opportunity!!!!!

You have changed my life in so many ways, and have shown me love like I've never experienced before. Your sweet tender soul has taught me so much about God and God's love that I am amazed on a daily basis. I thank God everyday for my two beautiful blessings that He has brought into my life and I pray that I am all that He wants me to be for YOU.

You are the sweetest little boy and you melt my heart each and every day.
I am praying that you get better soon little one. I look forward to seeing you bouncing off the walls again soon.

I love you!

Evan all wrapped up in his comforter because of the chills waiting for his lunch to cook

Monday, December 15, 2008

We Are Not Worthy

A few nights ago, the moon was so breathtaking and bright that the night sky was a beautiful blue. The roads were busy with people traveling home from work but I wasn't the only person that pulled over on the side of the road to get a picture. (I had to actually get out of the car because the vibration of the motor was causing the picture to be too blurry... and let me tell you it was... COLD, but worth it).

Later that evening my husband told me that the moon was the closest to the Earth that it has been or ever will be again during our lifetime. So needless to say, I was very pleased to have a picture to remember the moment.

At moments like this, I am so thankful to be able to enjoy all these experiences that God offers us. I feel extremely fortunate and so thankful for his amazing grace. Because let's face it...

(Doing my greatest Mike Meyers' SNL Wayne's World impersonation)...

We are not WORTHY! We are not WORTHY!

Ice Age

I came across this and thought this was a step up from alphabet soup and a great way to encourage the kids to drink more water.


I finally finished changing the template. I have found a site that makes it so easy with only ONE problem... deciding which template you want to use.


I'm so excited...

... and I just can't hide it. I know it doesn't take much, however I have good reason this time.


Kameron from A Wrinkle in Time just opened her new Etsy store and had a grand opening giveawayto kick it off.

So I wanted to say a special thanks to Kameron and to let everyone know about the cute store that she has just opened. Check it out!

The Store:

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Skin I'm In

... is mistreated.

Lots of time spent at the beach & lake (sun damage... worth every memory)
Lots of time running, biking, boating, & motorcycle riding (wind damage... again worth it)

I know I'm terrible. So now I am trying to make up for "the memories" that I've inflicted on my skin. I was very fortunate during my teenage years and had great skin, rarely had a break out... I was sickeningly lucky. But that "luckiness" turned to laziness so NOW I am paying for it. I never developed a good routine nor did I have the knowlegde of what was best for me (Dad, if your reading this you can STOP saying "I told you so... or That's what I was trying to tell you then"... this is about something TOTALLY different).

This is about skin.

Dawn at Dawn's Diversions posted a blog that I really appreciate. Thank you Dawn. Like I said, I need someone to sit down & point blank tell me what to do when it cames to skin care. Afterall, there's 50 bajillion things out there. AND I'm very grateful to find out that the things that are the best ARE NOT the most expensive. YooHoo.

I was thankful to read it's easy and not a long list of different things to use. I don't have the patience to have even a 4-step skin care regime, nor do I want to stand in front of a mirror for a long period of time. So this was perfect.

Since she has already taken the precious time to write down the information that she gathered from Dr. Oz, I would recommend that you go to her blog to view the post. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12 Days of Receiving

I am so looking forward to this contest. I read about this contest last night and it definitely peaked my interest. I realize that I am not helping out my odds by sharing about the contest, however by sharing I am entering in the Lucky #13 contest. If you are interested in seeing what she is doing, check out the link.

My fingers and toes are crossed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Wreath Edible Craft

This is an actual recipe but I would only give it one star out of five. I have to add, I don't like cornflakes and neither do our kids... in any shape or form (even wreaths) so that little fact may have a little to do with us not caring for the taste. HOWEVER as for the craft I would give it FIVE stars. We had so much fun making them. They loved measuring the ingredients and counting the marshmallows and helping me mix everything up. Their favorite part, of course, was eating the skittles & twizzlers that we didn't use. We all had a blast!

1 Stick Butter

30 lg marshmallows

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp green food coloring

4 cups cornflakes

Red Hot Candies (or Skittles or M&Ms)

In a saucepan melt butter and marshmallows, stirring frequently. Add vanilla and food coloring. Pour mixture over cornflakes and stir well. Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper. While cookie wreathes are hot decorate with red hots.

(Moms: If you use Skittles you may need to use two spoonfuls of cornflakes to make bigger more proportional wreaths. I probably don't have to say this, but I'm a worrywart so... Please test the hot cornflakes before you let your kids help form them).

12 Days of Giving


1. Take cups of hot drinks to people holding "Going out of Business" signs at the intersections. -Man, what a crummy job, eh? And you have to be pretty desolate to take it, I would imagine. I always think they look so cold.

2. Purchase and donate a toy to Toys for Tots. We are doing a community toy drive and taking all toys to a few organizations, majority go to the Salvation Army. This is a BIG help.

3. Bag of Food. -At some grocery stores you can opt to purchase groceries or a Turkey/Ham for a family in need. $7 for some groceries or $10 for a Turkey/Ham at Smith's/Kroger's.

4. Deliver Dinner & gift to neighbor. (If you don't know someone who needs it, contact a local church they usually know of a few people who could use the dinner or assistance).

5. Donate coats -A Christian charity in town is collecting coats for kids in need. We have many coats. Don't really need 4 coats per kid.

6. Collect Change to put in the Red Bucket at Wal-Mart. -We're going to scour our house and look for loose change laying around and then take it over and donate it.

7. Food Drive Scavenger Hunt. -We're hosting a little 'Party' for the neighborhood kids. Part of this party is that we are sending them out on a 'Scavenger Hunt' for food items to be donated to the local Food Bank. Food Banks around the nation are completely tapped out. More people than ever are in need of them and they can't keep up with the demand.

8. Buy lunch for someone holding a sign that says 'Please Help'. -Initially we said Homeless Person, but maybe they're not homeless. *shrug* We can buy them lunch. (I keep bags of chips or cereal bars in my console for them... something is better than nothing).

9. Watch a couple of the neighborkids for the week, for free, while they're out on Christmas break so their parents don't have to come up with daycare money.

10. Take cookies to the Fire Department with husband of course (after all he enjoys the firetrucks as much as my son... They NEVER grow out of that).

11. Take flowers to an elderly woman who may be alone for the Holidays.

12. Whatever God lays on our hearts.

While trying to play catch up on reading blogs, I came across this one and had to pass it along. I love the heart behind it. For those of you with kids this is a great time to curb that thought of entitlement and teach them to give and think of others. I realize that many people are on budgets, this is also a great time to get them involved and teach them about sacrifice and let them help you decide what they would like to give up (a night eating out) so that they can help someone else.

If you like the idea, grab the button above, make a list, or blog-lift this one (I kinda did), and pass it along. Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I realize that this post is old (11/28/2008) but I was waiting to get the pictures from my camera. After all they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I guess I am REALLY trying to save you reading time. :-)

I absolutely love the holidays and decorating for Christmas. This year I had the outdoor lights up a few weeks before Thanksgiving and I was just waiting for the clock to strike midnight so I could flip the switch. I would love to say that I was more patient with the tree, but I can't. I had the big red totes sitting in our living room for a week before I could actually open the lids. And I do mean "could"... you tell a two and three year old no they can't break out the goods after they have seen all the sparkling decorations and twinkling lights. For that matter tell a 33 year old that... getting the "no" through to me in that situation isn't much better.

During that moment, and only during that moment, I understand what happens when a My Little Pony commercial comes on TV (I've banned TV during the holidays... too many commercials)... she goes into tunnel vision, she can't hear me, a fire truck driving through the living room, much less her brother who is lying under her screaming "Geta offa me" in his 2 yr old language because she stopped dead in her tracks when the commercial began ON TOP OF HIM. The great news is that as soon as it ends she regains all of her senses, she can suddenly hear again, see the rest of the world, and feel that she is on top of her thrashing brother who is trying to get loose. (The funny part of that is she can't hold onto him when she is trying... only when she is in the My Little Pony trance can she best him in wrestling). Once I get Lauren off Evan and wipe the drool off her face... I wish I could say that it wasn't that bad, but it is. Now just picture a grown woman going through that with Christmas decorations. I know it's pathetic, but I don't regret any of it, not a single once of drool. :-)


Evan's favorite part of the evening was the hot chocolate
A Perfect End to a Perfect Evening

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Cab Ride

The Cab Ride

So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.

'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.

'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Cowboy

I have seen this a few times but the wisdom in the message touches my heart each time. I hope that you enjoy the video.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The pregnancy epidemic

About six months ago... It's a question that every parent fears. "Where do babies come from?" For me, when the question arose it felt like something out of a horror movie. My heart began to pound like the hooves of a racehorse and my thoughts were racing through my mind... which story should I choose. I thought back (yes, WAY back), to what my mother told me... OH DEAR LORD... no way, that version was entirely too graphic and disgustingly detailed. It sounded like she was reading it from a medical journal. So I went with the stork version. She laughed and didn't believe me, but the distraction worked. I dodged that one... now hopefully it won't come back up for 15 more years.

About three months ago... Corey, Lauren, & I had to go to the dermatologist for our annual skin checkup. Unfortunately we were both blessed with beautiful skin that loves close attention from a doctor and we passed that on to our lovely daughter. Knowing my husband, I scheduled our appointments together so he couldn't sneak out the back door or just find something else that HAD to be done at that specific moment. So Lauren was lucky enough to have front row seating while I had a mole removed from my belly. (I was sad, it was a dark freckle that looked more like a beauty mark, I thought it was cute. AND I'm not fond of being cut but it was potentially a hazard to my health so it had to go).

The following day... I was taking Lauren to the park and in a sing-song extremely excited voice, Lauren exclaimed "Mommy, you're going to have a BABY." Since God has gifted this little girl with the ability of knowing things that she shouldn't KNOW yet, I was amused and ready to hear what she had to say.

Mommy: "Why do you say that Lauren?" (Dreading that her next words would be that my belly was getting big... I gain 5 pounds and she notices).

Lauren: "Because Mommy, I SAW the doctor put the baby in your belly yesterday."

Mommy: "OH So that's how babies get in your belly... well I thought that the doctor was just removing a mole for Mommy."

Lauren: "No Mommy, he took the mole & left you a baby... and it's going to be a girl so that I can have a sister".

Mommy (Totally waving my white flag; she is very strong-willed and doesn't give up easily so I've learned to pick & choose my battles. If I fought them all it would be difficult to hold onto my sanity) : Honey, Daddy is the only man that can give Mommy any babies and I think that he already gave me the ONLY two babies that he had. And I love the babies that he gave me because they are the best. (At this time my fingers & toes are all crossed in hopes that she accepts that and we can move on).

She didn't say anything else & I thought that book was closed.

A month ago... we were all gathered around at my parents home with ALL my siblings & their spouses and my brother. My brother was watching Corey & I with our nieces & nephews and asked us if we were going to have more kids. I said no and left it at that... But Lauren couldn't. She piped in saying, "No, they can't have any more, Daddy has had a vasectomy." At this point, all I can say is THANK GOD I had just swallowed my drink otherwise it would have come flying out of my mouth. Everyone around us erupted in laughter... just hearing the words from a 3 yr old's mouth and knowing that she understands what it means baffled them all... and me. So much for the stork or the magic dermatologist stories.

In all honesty, I can't blame the girl for being curious. She is only three. There are ten, yes you read correctly... 10... little cousins under 4 yrs old. So in her little lifetime, she has always had two to three pregnant aunts & mom at all times. There has not been a time in her life where at least one of the adult females around her were not pregnant. So the curiosity is justified. But then yesterday I looked in the backseat and saw this...

Lauren was sitting in the back seat with her belly all poofed out and she was rubbing it as if she was pregnant (and sucking her thumb... and no I did NOT rub my belly & suck my thumb while I was pregnant. At least not at the same time. Just kidding).

So I asked her what she was doing and she told me that she was "just rubbing her baby" . I couldn't help myself... "well honey I hope you can be patient because you have to wait for 27 more years AND until you are married before your baby will be finished growing. With a sweet smile Lauren just responded, you're so silly Mommy. I laughed & said no I'm SOOOO serious.

Disclaimer: I know that I REALLY need to start carrying a camera because the camera on my phone just really doesn't do "life" justice... but it's better than nothing.

Green Monday on 12/8/08

To be totally honest... I didn't know that there was such a "sale day".

However I am finding some great discounts. I will create links as I find them and add them to this post. Happy shopping.

Green Monday

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Spirit - Giveaway

This isn't the typical blogger's giveaway post.

I am a strong believer in blessing others as you have been blessed.

At Christmas Corey has organized a toy drive in Sapulpa and he collects toys to give to the children & organizations that have kids in need of gifts. Over the last four years, the toy drive has grown each year and other businesses have chosen to get involved and help. It really has been a blessing. This year they are reaching out to even more in the community by accepting toys during the Sapulpa Christmas parade. I realize the economy is really taking a hit but I do hope that people are able to spend a few dollars on a child... it's worth the smile on their face. It's a reminder to them that people do care about them.

I have adopted a family... They don't know it yet. I have known of this family for sometime, and God has really put them on my heart lately. They are foster parents and wonderful parents to their kids. Very loving and helpful people who ALWAYS go out of their way to help others. The mother works with kids all day, then goes to work at two other jobs to make ends meet. She does whatever she has to do to help ALL of her children in such a loving manner. (I don't know when she sleeps).

The organization that has received most of my attention lately has been the Organ Transplant Fund at Believer's Church in Tulsa. It all started when we found out that my dad was going to need a double organ transplant and his insurance wouldn't cover it. Believer's church set up an account to accept contributions to help cover medical costs and we began fundraising. Since then I have learned about so many others in need of financial help due to organ related medical issues... people from the ages of ten months to 55 years old. In the future I have hopes to help out many others through fundraising for this cause.

There are many churches in all of our areas that are trying to help single moms and families that under difficult times. I do hope that all of us are able to put our situations "lifestyles" in perspective and do what we can to help others in need. Keep in mind, many of these churches and organizations accept the donations which are tax deductible to you, then can bless these families in need.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Each day Evan had a routine, he wanted to look at images and videos of dogs (boxer and golden retreiver puppies) for HOURS on the computer. He never seemed to get tired of it. I thought that if we spent time online watching the dogs that he would get bored and that would save me from sleepless nights of potty training and house-breaking a puppy. It didn't. After nearly six months of watching videos we met Luke, this sweet boxer puppy, and I couldn't stop thinking about him.

I thought Evan was too young for a puppy. I tried to resist... but both the puppy and Evan could easily see the "SUCKER" tattoo that I have on my forehead in large bold letters. Enough of the right statements and sweet little snuggles (from both Evan & Luke), I couldn't say no. It only took spending twenty minutes with Luke, Lauren & Evan playing together to convince me.

As we walked away from the puppies (yeah, I actually walked away... I couldn't believe it either), I knew the real challenge was ahead of me. I wasn't sure how I was going to talk my husband into having a pet. Daily, I had been trying to talk him into a family pet for nearly a year but he had a great argument; we were already trying to potty train two beings, why would I even think about bringing another into the house. And the simple little fact... he doesn't like dogs!

After nearly a week of expressing how I couldn't live without the puppy, he once again was the family HERO. He contacted the woman selling the puppies and arranged to surprise us with Luke. We had the happiest little BOY ever. Evan, 2 yrs old, has been great at helping me train Luke, feeding him, and letting him out to go to the bathroom when Luke rings the bell. It has been a great learning experience for Evan, teaching him responsibility, and such a joy watching their friendship grow.

Then we have Lauren... I thought it would be my son that I had to worry about, but no. Lauren loves to hug, kiss, and wrestle with Luke and is soooo rough. I have to admit I was relieved when Luke started growing and quickly getting bigger. (At least then he had a fighting chance against her). Now that the playing field is even, life is good and we can't keep them seperated. If she had it her way when Luke is outside, she would be out there in the dog house too... as happy as she & he could be.

We have learned to compromise with Dad, Luke gets to play inside and hangs out with us during the day, but when Dad comes home he goes outside until bedtime. The length of time that Corey tolerates Luke being in the house in the evenings is getting longer & longer, but I still wouldn't quite label him the Dog Whisperer just yet.
Normally I would advise anyone that asks to wait to get a puppy until after their kids are out of diapers but I have to admit, like most things in life, the reward has definitely been well worth the work.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Tackle it Tuesday

I spent the day with my son enjoying a special "Mommy - Lil' Man day" so I didn't tackle any household projects other than the usual cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. However, during his nap time I did relish in some computer time and found a project that I would love to share.

Cheryl's Magnet Tutorial, or "Sherwool" as Evan calls her, took de-cluttering the outside of her fridge one step further with her magnets and I thought that it was a cute idea.

Another magnet project on her site:
I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Football Fans...

Tonight we are just kicking back and relaxing, watching a football game (just us). It feels so unfamiliar. We are usually VERY busy... each minute of our day seems to be planned. On those moments that we are at home to watch a game, we usually have at least twenty other people in the house with us that we are entertaining.

Usually Lauren & Evan are running around with the other children, so having them join us for the game is nice. Evan, being the boy that he is, is alternating throwing the toys at the designated targets (the decorative breakables) around the room and playing "house" with Lauren (he does love his sister). Lauren was deperately trying to put her babies to sleep. However, every time a touchdown was scored Daddy (Grandpa) jumped up, scooped up Lauren & babies, and did his victory dance. After the fourth touchdown in the first third of the game she has given up on "house" and broke out the mardigras beads and decided to play dress up with Daddy instead.

I have to say he looks good! Not many men could pull off wearing spakling necklaces quite like that. Lauren is so proud of her arrangement of necklaces, patting them as if to say "the masterpeice is complete", then finally turns to me and asks

Lauren: Mommy do you like it? Doesn't Daddy look silly?

Mommy: Yes, Lauren I love it! He is VERY silly. (Calling someone silly is the best compliment that someone can receive here. "Silly" is the champion of compliments... second to no other.

Lauren obviously finished with this game now and trying to decide what to play next looks around and says "hmmm"

Then Mommy (me) being my "silly" self can't help but smile while looking at Daddy (eagerly anticipating his reaction) throws out an idea to help my dear girl with her dilema : Hey Lauren, do you want to borrow some of Mommy's makeup?!!!

The look on his face was priceless... the perfect combination of "No you didn't and FEAR (because YES I DID)!!

Christmas Pageant Costumes at Costume SuperCenter $17.99. Shop Now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Your body is a wonderland...

I try to be careful about what music is playing when the kids are around. Just the thought of my kids singing some of the songs that play on the radio makes me cringe... for example Crazy B*&%... yeah, words like that are not something that I ever want to hear my innocent Lauren say, sing, or even think. I do want her to remain innocent as LONG as possible.

Recently she was walking around the house singing Your Body is a Wonderland. At first it caught me off guard and I didn't know what to think about it. Her little voice made the song adorable and I definitely didn't want to say ANYTHING to discourage her from singing. So I struck up a little conversation with her:

Mom: Lauren, your voice is so beautiful... I absolutely LOVE the way that you sing that song.

Lauren: It's my favorite.
(This must mean David Cook has received the boot. She used to be his No. 1 fan).

Mom: Oh yeah? Why is that?

Lauren: Because it's about the fair.

Mom: (More than a little amused) Please tell me more.

Lauren: Well my throat is the water-slide...

Mom: A slide?

Lauren: yes MOM... you are so silly. You know the RIDE at the fair. And my tummy is the Tilt-a-Whirl (one of her favs) spinning 'round n 'round mixing up all my food.

Mom: Of course! Silly me. Your little body is a wonderland (amusement park, fair).

As she was walking off singing the song, I was trying hard to conceal my laughter. The way her little mind works cracks me up. I love how she understands (and misunderstands) what people say, including me. (Her version is ALWAYS better). The world through her eyes is definitely a BEAUTIFUL and LOVING place. I am just thankful to be a part of it.

(To hear her song, click on the link below... and type in John Mayer)

Apple iTunes

A special Thank You...

... to Jackie for the award.


Here are the rules that go along with this award (Rules to encourage the winners to "pay it forward").
1. Put the award up on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog

My nominees are:

Cheryl - she is the culprit that inadvertently encouraged me to start blogging. Her blog inspired me!

Thank you all for sharing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What a DAY!

Every day is definitely an adventure with my little ones. I never know what to expect next, but I can always count on being amused by them. Today was a typical day like most others, this may give you some insight into what I consider "normal" these days.

This morning as we were driving to school (the kids are enrolled in a mother's day out program a few days each week), all of a sudden I noticed that the back seat was silent. In my world, silence is not golden... this is usually a precursor to finding your son emptying the ENTIRE refrigerator looking for "chocowat wilk". Quickly I found myself thinking, it can't be that bad they are buckled into the seats in a moving car. I was terrified to look in the rear view mirrored. However, once I did I was extremely relieved and laughing hysterically.

They both had reached into their backpacks and pulled out their "spare" undies and put them on their heads. Once they noticed I was looking at them I received the full performance which was followed up by a goofy laugh that sounds like it came straight from a "Dumb & Dumber" movie (disclaimer: no they have not ever seen this movie nor do I plan on letting them anytime soon. They come up with enough crazy things on their own).

And to think... this was just the beginning of our day.

Always aiming to please

I recently found an old notebook with a few stories of funny & cute things that the kids have either said or done. I hope that you enjoy them. Here's one:

Evan was thirsty and asking for some juice and after hearing the request Lauren agreed that juice was a great idea.

My leg was cramping from running with the kids earlier (My body is trying to tell me that I am getting old). So I pleaded with them to "Just give me a minute please, then I will get juice & pineapples for both of you". Also secretly hoping that the idea of pineapples would buy me a few more seconds to rub the cramp out.

Lauren jumped up & exclaimed, "I'll get one for you." I assumed that she was still talking about juice, so I said again "Just a minute please."

So she walks over to Daddy who was watching basketball on TV and asked him, "Daddy will you get Mommy a minute so she can get us some juice."

We both started laughing and enjoyed her sweet heart and loved that she was so eager to help in any way that she could.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Appreciate the Flowers!!!

Isn't it amazing how something so simple can alter someone's mind. There's no wonder why people send flowers when someone isn't feeling well or just to say that they care. This simple gesture can so easily and quickly change your attitude. It is difficult to have a bad day with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in front of you.

My aunts sent these to me after I was Totally Mummyfied. So girls, I hope you are all reading this and know that I am very thankful!! (If not reading this, you will be getting your thank you notes soon). :-) They are beautiful and brighten my day over & over again. Thank you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Aquaphor, The Cure-all (another funny)

My daughter has had eczema and lovely skin reactions since she was just six months old. In our march to find out what has happening to our baby girl... our first born... my world, we went to multiple doctors and received many "possible" answers. Our answers were numerous prescriptions, creams, lotions, baths, oils, steroids, and a possible ritual dance. And we tried everything! Finally still choosing not to give up the good fight, we marched her into yet another doctor's office. Lauren jumped up on the table and waited for the doctor, she is a pro by now... quizzing me about all the tools in the room and how they are used. (She could teach a few things to some med students). This doctor explained that often eczema is brought on by an allergic reaction so he sent us off to an allergist. I was so excited... another "possible" solution.

This time wasn't like all the others. After we went through the dreaded testing process (they drew her blood not the pricking skin test), we found out that she is allergic to bananas and egg whites. Yes, bananas and egg whites. Bananas are her favorite snack and eggs... we would eat them in at LEAST one form once a day... scrambled eggs, french toast, pancakes, cookies, cake, just to name a few. The information was very enlightening and saved my daughters skin and my mind.

Lauren is very logical so the transition from eating her favorite things went much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Maybe the sores caused her so much discomfort that it was worth it to not eat the food... I hope not. I hope that she just understood that it was better for her. In the mean time our new and now cherished doctor has given her some steroid cream for bloody breakouts & told us to use Aquaphor for dry skin. I don't know about other mothers out there, but Aquaphor to me is like Windex for the Greeks. It is the cure-all for everything. It was the ONLY booty cream to help diaper rash without encouraging a skin (yeast) infection and it is a great moisturizer for my all too dry hands. (I'm constantly washing dishes) and not drinking enough water. It has become one of the items that I don't leave home without these days.

It doesn't matter where we are if she has an itch, she wants to break out the cream & take care of it right away, and she is very informative in telling all those around us what she is doing and why.

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to babysit a friend's babies while they went out after a wedding and Lauren absolutely loved being a "little mama" and helped me take care of the little ones. When the baby had a little diaper rash, Lauren was only too happy to jump up & exclaim, "I'll get the AquaPOR, Momma". She really does have such a sweet, sweet heart & loves to help others. She makes me proud.

My ode to Aquaphor ends as we were entering the post office a few mornings later and I had a little dry spot on my cheek, I wasn't wearing any make-up and vowed to put moisturizer on it as soon as I returned home. Lauren watched me closely, studying my every move... finally she asked, "What are you doing Mommy?" I explained that I had a little dry spot & that I was putting some cream on it so that it would get better. My son chimed in, "boo-boo". Glad that they got the concept and happy that we could move forward without having to go into it any further we got out of the car & headed into the post office.

As always when we go anywhere, it seems we found a line. Lauren doesn't mind this, she enjoys meeting new people and looks at these lines as a great opportunity. I was proud... they were actually behaving in line today. After a few minutes, the man standing in front of me stated that I had cute kids. This break in silence caused more people to stop and admire these little beauties. Lauren loves to make people smile and thought this was the perfect moment to break the ice & for us all to get to know each other. She decided to share first... "Guess what, my mommy wears booty cream on her face." She succeeded.

CNN Hero of the Year

Seriously, if I had only known that this contest existed I would have nominated my husband. He really is an amazing man that gives lots of his time & resources to helping others, everything from buying groceries, paying their bills, yard work, helping pay for their cars to be fixed, moral support, and even helping them rebuild their home when someone was living in an unsafe environment. He really does a lot for others and for our community and I love that about him. I do believe that we are all supposed to take time and give to others whether it be time, friendship, moral or financial support, but what my husband is best at is giving others hope and happiness. He is great at making others smile and helping them enjoy themselves (much of the time he makes them laugh at his expense). I'm only sorry that I wasn't aware of this contest in time consequently, I'm announcing the WINNER of A MOXIE MOM's Hero of the Year Award:

Congrats Corey. We love you!!

Now, as far as CNN is concerned they are putting together their own contest. These men & women are wonderful applicants (I still think that Corey would have won), so choosing just one may be difficult. I really enjoyed reading about the wonderful things that they are all doing!!!

I'm a strong believer in "paying it forward". I want to say a special thanks to any and all of you that aren't on the list that donate your time and your efforts to helping others in need, thank you for sharing the love!!!

Here's a list of the TOP 10 Heroes with details about why they are being considered for this honor. I'm not campaigning for any particular person so here is the why & who so that you can make your own choice.

Top 10 List

All those listed have taken the time and put forth lots of effort to help others in need to make our world a better place. Please take a LITTLE moment to vote. Most people do these wonderful deeds out of the goodness of their hearts I think that honoring them is a nice way for us to say that we appreciate them (and hopefully motivate more people to think of other's needs).

Vote Now

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Barbeque Pot Roast

With two young kids, it is not easy to find perfect meals that satisfy my husbands taste buds as well as the kiddos who crave processed foods. However we have found a winner here, and one that is easy to make... icing on the cake.

- 1 pot roast (4 lbs)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup water or beef broth
- 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed & minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preparations / Directions:
Rub roast with salt & pepper. Brown all sides in melted butter over medium-low heat. ( I do this in the slow cooker). Add water, tomato sauce, and crushed garlic. (**Improvising: If you like onions you can add 2 medium onions chopped here**). Cover and cook over low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over pot roast. Simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours longer, or until VERY tender. Serve with hot buttered noodles or mashed potatoes, along with green beans and asparagus..

Photo Organization X-treme

I'm just a baby bloggger so I hope that I don't step on any toes and that I share this correctly. I was hoping to share a photo organization system with you from another blogger. She is very detailed and for those of you who love to perserve your pictures as much as I do, you may find her "system" interesting.

Check it out:
Photo Organization X-treme

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wise Words

I have learned that I have to be very careful about what I say as well as others within a 1 mile radius (my daughter has impeccable hearing). I have many stories that I can list here and most of them seem to occur in check out lines. To fix this situation I have decided that online shopping will be the answer for the next few years. So when I was forwarded this joke it made me think of my beautiful kids and I had to share:

The Sermon

I think this Mom will never forget: this particular Sunday sermon...

'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face, 'Without you, we are but dust....'

He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?'

What is Moxie?

I have had a few people ask me what exactly moxie meant. So here is what had to say:

1. energy; pep.

2. courage, determination.

3. Know-how, expertise.

Now I MIGHT have to rethink the title of my blog. While I think that I have energy & pep; after 15 hours of entertaining my two and my three year old, I have learned that it is sheer adrenaline pumping through my veins carrying me to the next destination. Seriously, my reflexes are in better shape than ever. My children have no fear and a lot of faith that I will be there to catch them. I have learned that I can cook with my daughter and jump over a kitchen counter to catch my son from trying to do a swan dive off the back of the couch simutaneously. Kids really do teach you about many abilities that you never knew you posessed.

Courage & Determination; I'm not going to say that I love "difficult situations", but I have faith in God and His purpose and that we can learn from it and overcome any situation. L & E are young but I try to teach them with every opportunity that arises to work hard and to finish what you start. Their faith is so strong that I believe it has been them that has been teaching ME. They give me courage to overcome any obstacle so that I can be the mother that God needs me to be for them.

However know-how & expertise, I don't know about expertise these days, it feels more like a "Jane of all trades". You just do what you have to so that you can accomplish your goal. As a mom I've learned to use my resources more than ever to acquire the "know-how". I am definitely a DIY girl. I love learning how to do new things and then completing a project. Much enjoyment can be found while sitting back and seeing the fruits of your hard work.

Totally Mummyfied

OK, maybe not totally, but at least from the neck up.

I had sinus surgery earlier this week and my head is stuffed with gauze in almost every orifice and then wrapped as well. Not exactly the most comfortable situation but definitely worth it. Of course I don't know if I will be able to breathe better... yet, but I have faith. It has only been a few days and I can already feel a relief from the pressure around my eyes. My use of visine for those red eyes was beginning to get a little astronomical. I do feel very sorry for the Pfizer shareholders out there. I'm afraid that the stock might take quite a hit since I won't be going through a bottle of visine a day. (I haven't had to use a drop in three days and I am ecstatic. Yes, I do realize that I am easily excited. I always have been and I am happy with that). I am ready to remove all this fabric from my head because I am beginning to feel like an extra from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. And yes, it IS that scary.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank A Veteran

I am very thankful to my parents for teaching me at an early age to respect our military and all that they and their families have sacrificed for our freedom. Words cannot express the appreciation that I feel. I do admire and respect their commitment.