Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mars vs. Venus (vacation planning)

It's 5:41 am and I'm up blogging! I'm a lunatic...

I have always been one who can't sleep when "something is looming". Now this can be negative when the thing looming is a test, a doctor appointment, a difficiult conversation, jail time (that one would be really bad, thankfully I don't have personal experience, but that's where my mind goes at this hour).

But when it's vacation looming, well then...other than being slightly annoyed that I can't sleep, it's an exciting thing to be looking forward to. I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were laughing about how women prepare for vacation and how men prepare for vacation (maybe your experience is different, but at least two of us find the following to be true).

1. make lists for everything (packing list, food list, toy list, car ride list, things to do list, how to leave the house list, things I have to do immediately when I get home list, and...the list of all the lists) (didn't you read the first line, I'm a lunatic)
2. clean the house (my mother would beg to differ here, my clean and her clean are totally different, but I did get this quirky habit from her)
3. cancel the mail (oops, forgot to do that this time)
4. pack about three days in advance (then we have to wear crappy clothes for those three days because I pack all the cool clothes, and for me, the packing is light, I'm not very cool these days)
5. lay out the car outfit the night before (just in case we have to rush???? in the morning)
6. google every town we'll drive through on the way, all parks within a 15 mile radius of where we'll be staying, restaurants that are kid friendly, and sites with coupons for family attractions
7. get the countdown going about three weeks in advance (I didn't do this for this vacation, three weeks in advance I was busy with this little thing called VBS and we didn't do our proper countdown. Miss M mentioned it yesterday "mommy we don't have rings to tear off for vacation" oops...mommy fail)
8. buy snacks for the ride and the week that I don't usually buy any other time of year (cheesy popcorn, poptarts, Lucky Charms, candy, chocolate milk...c'mon it's vacation...yes,yes I buy grapes, pretzels, and bottles of water too, calm down)
9. lay out things I think Prince Charming should pack, but I don't dare pack for him
10. clean out the car (this is a monumental task, we're slobs with our car and everytime I clean it out I say we won't let it get so messy next time, and then we always do, I mean vacation itself totally messes it right back up!!)
11. go to the library and get books on CD, fun books for the car, and something for myself to read (yeah, who am I kidding, vacationing with a three and five year old does not lend itself to much reading...maybe in bed before I zonk out each night)
12. wake up at the crack of dawn anxious to get my organizational plan moving...

1. packs 10 minutes before we leave (which is always about 45 minutes after I think we should have left)
2. says he'll plan the route and then just relies on his GPS on the day of (and mysteriously those infallible GPS contraptions usually get us lost)
3. uses the phrase "you know there are stores in " as often as he can (this is generally in response to one of the many things on one of many lists)
4. gets in the car sweaty and grumpy because he has now been nagged about how late we're leaving, packed the car frantically, fought with the portable DVD player hooker upper thing, and packed all his "cool clothes" and has nothing to change into.

All in all it's a real hoot. The thing is I plan and plan and plan and then Prince Charming comes along and makes sure we actually have a great time! We're really a good team, we've got everything we need and we ALWAYS have a fabulous time together!

Peace out blogger, we're off...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I am deeply sorry

2 boxes of 24 crayons
20 sharpened pencils
2 pink erasers
6 glue sticks
1 bottle glue
2 cans of playdoh
4 2-pocket folders (yellow, green, blue, red)
1 marble composition book
2 red pens
clean white sock
art smock
2 pieces of poster board
1 sketch book
pencil box for inside desk
1 container of clorox wipes
1 backpack
1 lunchbox
2 boxes of tissues
boys-gallon ziploc bags
girls-sandwich ziploc bags

I taught first grade for 9 1/2 years and this was my back-to-school list.

I now have a child entering school and her list is...something else! Mine might have been worse though, so I apologize to anyone who might be reading this that was ever in my class. I'm pretty sure that noone reading my blog was ever in my class, but I still feel the need to apologize.

I can give you rationale for all of it, but that doesn't make it easier to swallow when you're the one buying it all!!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Change of Season

It's been so long since I've posted that blogger looks completely different. Oops!

I'm sure you know why I haven't been blogging...I mean life has just gotten so quiet and boring that the children and I just sit on the couch staring at one another. I have nothing to blog about!

Actually, life has been busy and I have felt really convicted about the amount of time I spend on the computer/technology that I could have been spending with my kids, cleaning the bathroom, reading my Bible, or just resting. So I took a break and have worked on mending my ways.

I started my job as Co-Director of Children's Ministry back in February. It has been a wild ride ever since. I really like the job and the people I work with, but I'm not going to lie, there have been some surprises along the way that I wasn't expecting. Work related surprises are par for the course with a new job. How can you really expect everything that is going to come your way?

The bigger surprise has been my struggle with loneliness since taking this job. You may be wondering how I feel alone. I'm either at home with my two busy kids or I'm at work in an office full of people. Yeah, obviously I'm not physically alone...EVER! But the isolation from friends, that as a stay-at-home mom I had gotten pretty used to seeing and talking with whenever I felt like it, is a challenge for this extrovert.

I have a good friend that works part-time and has a little one. She has often told me that she has felt this same way, and I always thought she was making too much out of it. Now that I'm walking in her shoes I get it. I owe her a big hug and a few extra phone calls, maybe we can keep each other company :)

I'm trying to develop new friendships, or mold the old ones in such a way that they fit into my new life, but it's been hard. In the process I'm reminded that everything has a season. A change of season usually means a fresh start, so as I settle into this season of my life, I am looking for new opportunities. Instead of seeing this as a sad change, I am trying to focus on all the blessings that have come my way over this last few months. People and things that wouldn't have crossed my path if I hadn't taken this job. Opportunities to minister to people that I would have overlooked because I was too busy going to the playground or chatting on the phone. Some days are more peaceful than others in this journey but such is life! Nothing a few extra sprinkles can't improve!!

Monday, February 27, 2012


I've been thinking alot about Easter this last week. I've been thinking about how I want to celebrate it with my kiddos. Mind you it's Miss M's fifth one, but she's old enough now that traditions are important to start and making things meaningful is now relevant!

I got thinking of ALL the 'stuff' I/we do for Christmas. Let's be honest here, I start celebrating Christmas the day after Thanksgiving! Decorations, music, crafts, baking, gift buying/giving/returning, etc. It's a crazy but fun season of life. And even though my two are young, they are clear about Christmas...they know it's a celebration of Jesus' birth and they know it's time for fun!

Easter. Not so much fanfare, at least not at my house. But I really want to make an effort to change that. I'm on the search for good ideas, fun books, cool crafts, yummy recipes and meaningful moments that will teach my kids first that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and second that is a time to be joyful...a way was made so that we can live eternally in heaven! What is not to celebrate!

So I plan to share ideas that I find in the next few weeks to prepare my kids for Easter and for fun! I'm starting with an idea I read on a blog at Christmas time. That particular blogger keeps her Nativity set out from Christmas to Easter to emphasize the connection between Christ's birth and his death. I love the idea, although I didn't leave it out for two months. I put it somewhere I can grab it and I will do so about a month prior to Easter. I just found a Resurrection set in a catalog (nice perk of new job...Christian catalogs out the waazoo), it's the same idea as a Nativity set only it has a tomb instead of a stable, Jesus is an adult and Mary and others are featured, along with an angel. I'm hoping to order that by the end of the week. We can set both up and learn about the similarities and differences between these two significant scenes.

I'm boiling over with some other ideas but I'll pace myself! Feel free to post any traditions your family has, I love new ideas. Look for future posts about Resurrection Eggs, Benjamin's Box, neighborhood egg hunts, and dyeing eggs!

PS--you can find the Resurrection Set at item number PS265

Friday, February 24, 2012

oops...I forgot to blog...

It's been a crazy two weeks here and blogging never even crossed my mind! Let's play a little catch up, WARNING there may be a bit of a rant on the end of this. Unless typing these thoughts is theraputic enough I am pretty annoyed about my lunch out today!!

Last week my new job became real work. This is not a negative comment, it is just that the reality of steadily working, dealing with people and having more responsibility hit me hard. I still really love what I'm doing but the pace is quicker than I have had to move in quiet awhile.

At the end of a very busy week we went away for a weekend with friends from church. It was a terrific time away. Our friends and us have some mutual friends from other areas of life so they were there too! It was great to catch up with some "college peeps" and to spend time with friends we see more regularly. My two were the youngest of the seven kids that were there, really JB being the only "baby". The kids played fantastically all together all weekend. It was glorious, we had lots of opportunity for conversation and even a game or two. A little snow would have made everyone a little happier, but the indoor pool seemed to ease their sadness!

This week started off lousy, but my two days of work went well and now here it is Friday, I love Friday!

For fun (????) I took the kids to get their hairs cut today. Miss M really wanted long locks but it is like World War 3 every time I have to comb it. Last Friday we told her that if we couldn't comb her hair nicely every day than we would have to get it cut short.'s short!! It looks fantastic, she really has the face for short hair, and it makes her blue eyes even bluer (is that even possible). JB went under the clippers too, got his a little shorter than usual as well. They both look scrumptious! And they were so good getting it done that I told them I would take them out to lunch.


When asked what they wanted the answer was "hot dogs". Really??? How about pizza? Nope Chicken nuggets? Nah Salad, a cheesesteak, soup, turkey, no, no and definitely NO!

Where in Newtown can one buy a hot dog? Aside from the grocery store and 7-11 (of course, I now know Lee's and Slack's have them, I've put that in my memory bank). So I took them to Jake's Eatery, a lunch joint that serves sandwiches, burgers, soup and hot dogs! I haven't been there for lunch so it was new territory! When I walked in you might have thought I was bringing in two people with signs on their backs that said "Bubonic Plague, stay away" was like they had never seen children before!! I asked for a booth, I could see one was empty. The guy hemmed and hawed (wow, that looks funny, I say that alot, never write it), then an older gentlemen came in the door, said "just me today", and he was promptly whisked off to MY BOOTH!!!

They finally took me to a table that couldn't have a high chair at it, because it would be in the aisle. I open up the menu and...a kid's meal is $5.50...for a hot dog and chips!!! You have got to be kidding me, Newtown is killing me!! I ended up ordering them each a hot dog from the adult menu and one dish of fries and it cost me $6.25. The waiter wasn't happy, but neither was I!

Oh well, the kids ate every bite, were pleased as punch that I took them to "a real restuarant" and came home and layed right down for naps!

Did I mention how cute they both look????

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Lovely Library Day

We started a tradition on Miss M's first Valentine Day...books! I'm sure you're not surprised. Our rationale, not that it's any of your business, is that Christmas and her birthday felt pretty close. Valentine's Day is only a few days later, more stuff is the last thing we need, so a new book for our collection seemed like the perfect gift. I always try and get a Valentine book or a least a love themed story. This year Miss M got Charlie Brown, she really likes the Peanuts gang! JB got a book that has nothing to do with love or Valentine's Day, it just looked like a cool book that he would like:

I got a little smarter this year with Valentine's Day dinner. In the past I have tried to make some romantic dinner for Prince Charming and I. Some years we ate after we put kids to bed, other years we ate our yummy adult dinner and I gave the kids something different. Since we have been having our little "Hunger Games" issue here, I decided to just make a yummy dinner that everyone would eat. Without complaining. Or arguing.

It worked! Homemade meatball sandwiches, fries and peas. I made chocolate pudding for dessert in little heart tins my mom used every Valentine's Day (she always made red jello--my kids would rather have pudding). It was a fun dinner, with books for presents afterward. The best part is they went to bed early! They played outside for a good part of the afternoon with Grandmom and they didn't nap much.

Now onto the real Valentine's Day celebration...

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've really come to appreciate Monday in the last two weeks. I usually work on Tuesday and Wednesday, have pre-school co-op on Thursday and then the weekend starts! Sunday has become a "work day" by Monday I'm thrilled to relax, clean-up, spend time with the kids and re-charge for the week ahead.

I made a terrible pot of chili yesterday, a recipe from a trusted friend went horribly wrong. Unfortunately my entire small group had to pay the price, by the time I realized it wasn't good it was too late to make a new dinner for everyone (and I was mad that I had wasted the money to make it). Everyone was gracious, but I'm sure they had a good laugh all the way home :) It's okay friends, I can admit my error!!

In other news, I'm learning how to listen to people complain and be unhappy but not react. I had this skill when I was a teacher and had kind of lost it whilst parenting. If the kids express their unhappiness with me they usually get a reaction!! One time when I was teaching Kindergarten at Willow Dale Elementary, we had a lice epidemic. One mom came in with a bowl full of her daughters hair, in water, to show me the eggs that I had "put in her daughters hair". True story!!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, are you doing anything fun for your family?? I think we'll start off the morning with some pink pancakes, it's kind of a tradition. I wonder if I can get my mom to make them heart shaped sandwiches?!?!!? Too much to ask the free babysitter?? I'll just have to make a special Valentine's dinner...I'm taking suggestions!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Hunger Game

No, this is not a post about my favorite book trilogy (but have you read it yet, it's fabulous). This is a post about the current game going on in my house. It goes something like this: I make a meal they like (breakfast, lunch or dinner), they refuse to eat it, they are hungry in between meals. I don't care for this game, the only comfort I have is that I know some of you have the same game being played in your home, and if it's not being played today than it probably was last week or will be next week...

Usually when my kids play this game it's for dinnertime, this week it's all meals. I'm so fed up with it that tonight I didn't want to make dinner. I get a little tired of making the effort only for the food to be complained about and untouched. So I ran to the Farmer's Market in Newtown, picked up a chicken potpie and popped it in the oven. At least Prince Charming and I are going to eat something yummy!

Lo and behold (what in the world does that mean??), anyway, lo and behold they both gobbled up the chicken potpie like it was an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Amish Food".

So what do you think it was, here's a couple of options for those of you who prefer multiple choice:
1. The Hunger Game took it's toll, they were starved, and they would have eaten dog food if I had placed it in front of them.
2. They actually like chicken potpie.
3. They knew I really like chicken potpie and they didn't want me to be happy, so they ate most of it.
4. God answered my prayer, they ate.

Now, if you're a person that grew up going to Sunday School I know you're going to pick number four. Isn't the answer always Jesus, Bible, God??? Although I am sure God had something to do with it, I personally believe he always does, I think some of the other options are also viable.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Library Day

Today, I returned two DVD's to the library. That's it, that's all I have for you regarding Library Day.

I find my new job rewarding, I totally enjoy being there and talking shop all day long. Today we even went to Target and Toys R Us for work...who wouldn't love this job?!?!?! I am tired and for two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, I feel slightly disconnected to my family. Then I have Thursday-Monday (with a big splash of work on Sunday morning) to enjoy them and be thankful for how God has provided!

Maybe I'll switch Library Day to a day I'm not working, I really do love posting my Children's Lit ideas, but by Tuesday night...

put a fork in me

I'm done

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6 :)

February baby girl is turning five!!!! Five feels big, like those little years are behind us and now the big, wide world is in front of us! This year will bring new friends, old and young when she steps into Kindergarten. She'll learn all kinds of great things, like hopefully how to read! She'll probably learn some things I'll wish she didn't have to learn, things like the word stupid and dumb (and probably worse) and that kids aren't always kind. We'll have to talk with her more about privacy, strangers, and other scary topics. Wow...I was good with pre-5...this is starting to make me nervous :)

On Miss M's birthday my mind always goes back to those years before I was pregnant and so desperately wanted a baby. I will always remember that empty feeling, but for me it will always remind me that my God is faithful and he answers prayers, my prayers!

I am so thankful for my beautiful, spirited girl. She is smart, brave, funny, kind, creative, tender-hearted and bossy. She gave her little heart to Jesus, just the other day, and I think the two of them will make an awesome team! I can't wait to see what's ahead, I just wish it came a little slower!

Happy Birthday precious girl, I love you!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Fun

Prince Charming brought a giant box home from work the other day. He had the idea we would make it into a pirate ship. I was behind him 100%! Yesterday when I dragged it out the kids wanted it to be a playhouse. So, I changed gears and here is the result:

Here is the back of the house, with curtains :)

Sorry for the sideways view here, I couldn't figure out how to flip it. Anywhoo...we made a nice front door that they can walk in and out of. We have since added marker and crayon artwork to all sides of the structure. They seem to like to stand in it to watch a show and to pretend it's where they cook the food when we play restuarant. Hey, whatever makes them happy!!!

We also started some Valentine fun. Last year I tried to adopt a really awesome tradition that some family friends do. It involves a Valentine train, making each other cards and presents, and then a big unveiling on Valentine's Day. My kids are really just a little young for it, so I think we're going to try that again in a year or two. For now we talked a little about who first loved us, Jesus! Then we made a little garland of hearts and wrote down all the people we love on them.

Next week we have to make some actual Valenine's for our preschool coop friends. Looking forward to the kids having their first ever Valentine's party with friends!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughts about work

Well, two days down, eternity to go :) That makes it sound bad, I really had a great two days in the office. I love the people God has me working with and I love talking about Children's Ministry all day! I have to say I'm a bit of a pansy...I came home Tuesday night and was EXHAUSTED!!! I've been chasing two kids around for years now, how is sitting at a desk and going to meetings all day more tiring? Oh well!

A few random thoughts about being back in the workforce:

+I wish life was like the webinar I "attended" yesterday. The guy teaching the class could mute us and only accept questions and comments when he deemed appropriate...LOVE. IT.

+I packed my lunch for all my years of teaching. For the last few years packing a lunch meant...cheese stick, yogurt drink, pb&j, cut up fruit, sippy cup. I got a few strange looks on Tuesday when I unpacked my ladybug lunchbox and whipped out what looked to others like "lunch for JB". Gotta work on that!!

+The church office is CRAZY busy...they are working their tails off in there. Go easy on them!

+The joy that comes from listening to my own music/radio stations in the car on the way to and from is satisfying!!

+I miss my kids, have terrible mommy guilt and feel like I have to use my moments with them even more preciously! To those of you that work full-time, and always have, I don't know how you do it!

Today we are doing a lot of nothing and I can't wait! We aren't doing preschool because of some sick kids. There is a huge box in my bedroom that Prince Charming brought home from work so the kids could play in it. I think we'll transform that box into something cool and just have a great time being together!

Oh, and I think I need to start packing a bottle of sprinkles in my lunch for those moments when I miss home :)

Monday, January 30, 2012


Burnt two bags of popcorn last night in the micro...a real pinterest disaster, or shall I say, epic fail! By the time I burned two I was mad, frustrated, the house reaked of burnt popcorn and I was afraid the smoke alarm was going to go off and wake the kids up...I had to try one more time though, I was craving the treat! Finally success...popcorn with cinnamon and sugar...yummy! Doing it in the micro (it's not "micro popcorn")...never again!

Had the best night Saturday with friends doing a murder mystery. Good times, had by all...I was looking on-line to see about buying one to host ourselves. Was amused to find there were "conservative versions" that were billed "perfect for church groups". There were also adult only versions...hmmm...who'd a thunk it?!?!

Although my new job officially starts today, tomorrow is my first day in the office. Looking forward to it. Wasted an obscene amount of time last night on pinterest pinning all kinds of Children's Ministry stuff. Prince Charming was busy wasting his time watching a terrible movie with friends...he does not recomment "The Gray".

A kid I had in youth group a billion years ago got a SAG award last night for his part in the movie "The Help". Kinda' surreal...

This morning I couldn't go out until I did a load of laundry. I was so busy trying to catch up on everyone else's laundry I forgot to do a stitch of mine. Jeans and a sweatshirt worn more than one day is fine...but...

I feel a good week coming on! With or without the sprinkles :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Fun

I had a rare moment with JB today. I say rare because usually from 1-3 he naps and Miss M rests (usually for only about an hour). Today, however, Miss M slept for two hours and JB only dozed for about 45 minutes. I had seen this idea either on pinterest or in Family Fun magazine and thought it would be fun to try. This was the perfect opportunity, some one-on-one time with the boy doing something just for him.

Out came the cornmeal, a cookie sheet and an old bed sheet, to save the carpet. He picked out all his construction trucks and we played "digger". He LOVED it, I mean really, he was in his glory!! The mess was really minimal, noises coming out of his mouth were at the max...too cute!

Of course Miss M eventually woke up and she thought she should get in on the fun. I had actually figured this into the equation and knew it wouldn't work to have them both working in the same pan of fun. So I unloaded a bag of dried beans into another pan, gave her a bunch of kitchen tools and told her to have at it. Unfortunately that didn't tempt her much but JB was willing to trade so they took turns going from one tray to the other.

I made the mistake of getting up to go to the little girl's room...

Oh well, they had a blast for another 15 minutes making pies and soups with the mixture. When they were all done I cleaned it up in less than five minutes. It was definitely worth it for the fun and the memories :) C'mon, give it a try!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BIG day, really BIG

On the way home from preschool today Miss M started asking me a ton of questions about heaven and Jesus. I would respond and she usually came back with "I don't really understand". I kept trying to give her answers she would understand. The conversation ended with "Mommy I want to pray and ask Jesus to live in my heart"...mind you I'm driving my car on the Newtown by-pass...I tried to get her to wait until we got home but she said, "no, I want to pray to Jesus right now". So all on her own, in her own little, sweet words, she invited Jesus to be her Savior! I know she's four and limited in her understanding, but she was confident enough to pray and express what she knew in her own's a great beginning to what I pray will be a long and loving relationship between her and her Savior!

Best. Day. Ever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Version...

I saw this on pinterest and loved it...

So I tweeked it a little, to suit my likes, and made this...

It's for my "new office" :) It's Miss M's handprint, JB's footprint and a heart I painted all by myself (no applause necessary). My good friend Mary did the printing, I like her font!!

I like it so much I may make another one for home...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Library's a messy one :)

I'm not the biggest Dr. Seuss fan myself, but a few of his books are certainly on my list of must reads. This isn't actually one of my favorite stories, although it's a great lesson in learning to say 'I'm sorry', but I do love the activities that follow a lively reading...

And the recipe, for all of you brave enough to try it is: 2 cups cornstarch, 1 cup water, mix well. You can add food coloring for fun, we like to make ours green! When it starts to get a little dry from all the play, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time.

You can have some pretty great discussions with older children about solids and liquids after making oobleck. It is firm and melty all at the same time. Miss M was fascinated by it, JB didn't really like the feel of it, he cried for the first few minutes, but finally warmed up to the mess at the end!

It makes a big mess but it is very easy clean-up, just soap and water, or a wet rag in most cases. It even dries in their hair and then flakes right off...just in case you were wondering :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just in case anyone wondered...

Well, yesterday was my debut (hee hee). I found it a bit overwhelming, I hope everyone else wasn't as sick of me as I was by the end of the morning! For those of you that read this and aren't a part of my church family, yesterday it was announced at my church that I am the new Co-Director of Children's Ministry :) Remember a few weeks back I posted about a top secret job opportunity...well that was it. I officially start next Tuesday, although I've already been to one staff meeting, had a few informal things, and today I'm having a meeting with my co-director. I'm really looking forward to jumping in and getting started.

I was thinking I'd tell a little bit of the story of how I got to this point. Stop reading now if you don't want to be bored with the details. You've been warned...

It's probably no secret that Prince Charming and I have struggled financially for a long time. Sometimes it's been because of poor choices we've made, and sometimes it's been "the cards we were dealt" as far as jobs, timing of children, etc. Since I've been home with the kids we've had some pretty low points, God has been very gracious with us, but it hasn't been easy. This past fall we came to the conclusion that this would be my "last year home" with the kids full-time. Miss M will go to Kindergarten next September and the thought was I could go back to teaching. We found two local private schools that I could teach at, if they would hire me, and the kids could attend free. This seemed like the best case scenario, I would be using my abilities, the kids would be taken care of as a benefit, and we would all be in a Christian school. The only problem was it made me physically sick to my stomach to think of going back to teaching while JB was still so young, I wanted more time with my little buddy!!! It was my dream to be mommy...could this really be what God wanted?!?!?!

We really just couldn't see another way, it made no sense to get a meaningless job at The Gap (sorry if that's your lifes dream, just isn't mine), get payed very little and have to find full-time childcare for the boy. So we started to pray and prepare ourselves mentally for the process of searching, interviewing and hopefully getting a job at one of these schools.

I warned you...stop reading now if you don't want your eyes to roll in the back of your head...

All of the sudden, completely out of the blue, I was approached one Sunday morning with the news that the church was looking for a Children's Ministry person, part-time, NOW! Wait, what? I've considered this 'position' two other times, in other forms, and God never gave me peace about it. Prince Charming and I could hardly wait to get in the car and figure out if this was an option. We decided it could be, so I threw my name in the mix with the thought "I don't know why I shouldn't at least apply". Well, thankfully the process took a few months, we needed that time to really pray through this, see if it was financially helpful to us, figure out childcare, and most importantly, see if God was giving me a burden for the children, and their families, at BFC. I had multiple interviews, which could be whole different post but I will spare you, and many conversations with various church staff members and my Mom (chief babysitter). God just kept opening the doors, and we kept walking through. This has been HIS journey for me right from the start!

Through the process, not only were we thrilled to learn that this would make a substantial difference to us financially, we saw God really open our hearts and get my "teacher" juices flowing. I am thrilled to be using my training and my gifts to serve families at BFC. The thought of being part of any child coming to know Jesus, being encouraged to live their life for him and possibly sharing that with their family or friends is priceless! We feel like God has blessed us with the best of both worlds. I can contribute to my family, I can use gifts and abilities that I love using, my Mom can help with the kids and I can still be home the majority of their waking hours :) Wow, I am a child of a GREAT, BIG GOD...He provided this and I can't wait to see what He is going to do now...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally...but I'm done!

When we asked Miss M what she wanted for her birthday a few days ago she answered, "a snow storm". And she meant a literal, God-controlled, blizzard...pretty please with sugar on top. We have been very nervous about the fall-out from our complete inability to grant her this wish. But God has been listening and he answered our prayers...and I must say, we were pretty happy with the details in which he answered with!

I am NOT a snow person, don't like to be cold, don't like to be stuck home while my husband is working on people's snowy roofs, don't like to wear all the gear for five minutes and then come inside, don't like to drive in get the idea. There are really only two instances I can think of that I like snow. First, when I was teaching I did LOVE snow days (I was pretty famous for leading snow dances in the faculty lounge to encourage the flakes and for getting the kids all wound up about wearing their pjs inside out). Second, my kids love to play in it. This second reason is the only reason I tolerate it without much complaining these days. This snow was great, just enough to go outside and have fun, but not enough to last for weeks at a time. A little wetter might have been nice for snowman building, but overall, still a good storm for us!

As you can see from the picture above, we dress our kids in the latest snow bunny fashions. Yeah, right!!! All of those items were either bought at consignment shops, thrift stores or handed down from someone else. All except JB's hat, that is mine, given to me by a Jr. High youth group girl a million years ago. Yes, his head is big enough to wear my hat! Keep your comments to yourself about that please!!

So Lord, thanks for finally bringing us some winter white! The kids had a blast and it lent itself to a nice fun, lazy family day! Now Lord, don't fell compelled to bring us anymore, we're happy and content with what you've provided.

Now I can birthday shop somewhere other than on my knees, Bible in hand...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Totally random

*In my continuing efforts to be mother-of-the-year, I gave the kids a lollipop at 8:30 this morning, on the way to preschool. Miss M got one at Cubbies last night and was enraged that she couldn't eat it before bed...sadly, I didn't hide it well enough and she found it this morning. I couldn't give her one and not

*On the way home from preschool I was following a little yellow car with advertisements printed all over it that read 'the MAIDS'. It was all I could do, when we stopped at a red light, not to hop out of my car and BEG them to follow me home and clean my house for ANY price!

*We have been eating leftovers since Monday...if I don't cook a real meal tonight my entire family may revolt!

*The nebulizer got pulled out today, hasn't been out since Thanksgiving. It's a much better winter than last year, so far. Of course this post probably guarantees I will use it from now until April non-stop!

*I'm not pregnant, but I do have'll have to wait until Monday for me to post about it ;) (and the reality of this is that both of you who read this regularly already know the news, so...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Library Day

Tikki Tikki Tembo was a book that I took out of the library over and over again as a child. I was thrilled when Miss M found it on the shelf a few years ago and we have been enjoying it together ever since. At the Langhorne branch of the library they even have a big book know the kind teachers use ;)

Now, I'm pretty sure some will argue this book is politically incorrect. In fact, I'm slightly surprised it's not on some banned book list. I mean no harm from this book. We really just love the silliness of having such a looooong name...Tikki Tikki Tembo Nosa Rembo Bari Bari Ruchi Pip Perry Pembo...or something like that. Miss M has had it committed to memory since she was about two, we're working on JB now :)

We took it out this week and were enjoying the story for 1,000th time when Miss M made a connection (the teacher pride/mommy pride value is high here). "Is this story in China?" "Yes, why?" "Is it Chinese?" "well, kind of...what are you thinking about honey?" "I'm thinking about Sierra, she knows Chinese, does she know this story?"

We had a nice little talk about China, learning Chinese, Sierra's family, and then God reminded me of our friends in China that are there to bring the good news of Jesus to those they encounter. I told her all about my friends there, why they went, how difficult it is for them to be away. It was a sweet conversation, we ended by praying for our friends there and then she spouted some 'phrase' that she is convinced is Chinese...Sierra taught her ;)

Teachable moments. Prayer. Missionaries. Good books. Lot's of sprinkles :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A winter list!

I'm really into making "bucket lists" for each season...things we want to do. The kids have fun with helping me think of things and it really motivates me to plan fun things instead of sit home in our jammies watching Octonauts (oops, that's what we're doing today, Happy MLK day :) )

Our Winter List for 2012
1. build snowman
2. go sledding
3. go to "the gym" (meaning gymnastics gym)
4. ice skate
5. make a birdfeeder
6. go to the Please Touch Museum
7. make moonsand
8. have a living room sleepover
9. drink hot chocolate
10. visit Aunt Barb
11. make cinnamon buns
12. go to the Academy of Natural Science Museum
13. get bunkbeds
14. potty train JB
15. snuggle often
16. make ice lanterns

We've already done numbers 3, 9, and 10, not to say we won't do all three of those things again! One good snow would be fine for me, we can build a snowman and sled all on one storm. The ice skating can be inside, no need for low temps!! The sleepover will occur sometime in March, as each kid is getting a sleepbag for their birthday. So that actually might not happen until spring. I've had number 6 and 12 on the last three bucket lists...can I cross them off this time?!?!?!?

If anyone would like to volunteer to accomplish number 14 for me, I'd pay you...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The week of Yum

I posted, maybe too proudly, that I was going to try new recipes every day this week. My friends did a pretty good job of keeping me accountable on this one, I got comments, fb messages, phone calls and direct questions. I'm in trouble if everyone gets this involved in all the projects I propose on this blog! Because to be honest, my blogging is very visionary but the reality is sometimes less fabulous :)

Between all the nagging, I mean encouragment, and the fact that I actually went food shopping and bought all necessary ingredients (and nothing else) the week of Yum actually occured and it went better than expected. Here are the results:

Recipe One: Poppyseed Chicken...Prince Charming and I loved it, the kids ate what they were given without complaining. Neither of my kids are big fans of things that are 'saucy or gooey or wet' but they did okay with this. It's a total casserole, so if those aren't your thing, don't ask me for the recipe. Otherwise I'd be happy to share it!
Recipe Two: Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes...LOVED it! We all did. Miss M won't eat the peppers but they were easy to avoid. This was so easy, and it felt warm and hardy...comfort food for sure!
Recipe Three: Anne's Sweet and Sour Chicken...okay, disclaimer here, she gave me this recipe on fb and it was really just a list of ingredients. I thought I could handle it, I mean it's three things plus chicken...c'mon. Well, it smelled great, cooked up easy and looked pretty. But I made it too spicy and the kids and I were down for the count. We ate the rice and some fruit that night, but Prince Charming loved it. Clearly I need to reconnect with Anne and figure this out, because the idea of it is yummy AND I have half a jar of apricot preserves left over :)
Recipe Four: Stuffed Shells...YUMM-O (to coin a Rachael Ray phrase). I have been making stuffed shells for years but I always do cheese filled. JB has a bit of a dairy issue and so he can't eat mine at all, which is sad because we all love them. This is a meat-filled version from my friend Ghazelle (it's in the MOPS cookbook) and they were so great! Mind you, in the recipe it says makes 20...I have 48 of them...but I happen to love that. Some in the freezer, some off to a friend and some in my belly!

Overall a great week of cooking and eating, all of these recipes will make it into my monthly, if not weekly, mix. I'm trying a few more this week from Deb, Kim and MOPS...but I don't want the hounding so I'm saying no more :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Desperate Times...

I have been in a cooking funk since Christmas. I'm tired of the battle at dinner with the kids almost every night. I'm tired of eating the same old food all the time. The problem with these two statements is that if I don't cook the normal food they eat than the battles will be more frequent and quite possibly more painful. But if I just keep making the same things over and over, just exactly the way they like it, they'll never learn to like new foods and to try new things.

So I'm taking the bull by the horns and I'm going crazy this week. I'm trying a new recipe every night, except for the built in leftover nights, which are still new recipes, kinda'. I sent out a desperate plea on facebook for new recipes then I got this crazy email chain letter (which I never do and hate getting) about recipes. I apologize now if you got that chain letter from me, feel free to ignore it, and you don't need to notify me. I really don't care, I've already gotten a few new recipes to try so I'm happy. I also finally got my new MOPS cookbook so this weeks menu looks like this:

Monday: Kim's Poppyseed Chicken, noodles and a veggie
Tuesday: Kim's Sauasage, Peppers and Potatoes
Wednesday: Leftovers (this is our normal routine, cook twice...get a break)
Thursday: Anne's Sweet and Sour Chicken, yellow rice and a veggie
Friday: Ghazelle's Stuffed Shells, raw veggies
Saturday: Leftovers (see how this works...cook twice...get a break)
Sunday: Mexican Mac and Cheese from pinterest

We'll see how this goes. I'm trying to at least add a side to each meal that I know the kids will eat (ie noodles, yellow rice, sliced cucumbers, etc) I may resort to hot dogs and meatloaf by Thursday if these first few days don't go well! I have another whole weeks worth of ideas/recipes to try if this experiment goes well! Wish me luck!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Fun

Today's fun is slightly sad and totally a chore, not a fun activity. Well it wasn't a fun activity, until I opened my big yapper!!!

We have to take the Christmas tree down today. It is a fire hazard, has been for about a week now, but I didn't want to take it down. If the branches weren't so brittle I'd probably leave it up until the end of January (I guess this is an advantage to fake trees...they don't die). Last night, when I mentioned to JB that we were taking the tree down he burst into tears. I remember last year, after we disposed of the fire hazard, one of them kept asking "Christmas over?". Too sweet!

So in the middle of the outburst of tears over the dead tree I heard myself say, "Oh buddy, don't cry, taking the tree down in a fun game". Really??? Did I just say that??? Am I brainless??? Of course this comment did not go by unnoticed by bionic eared Miss M! She squealed with delight at the prospect of a fun game (the squeals of delight will turn into squeals of horror if she doesn't perceive herself as the "winner" of whatever the game is...that's a whole different post though).

So today after nap we are playing the "Christmas Tree" game. I'm going to take down all important, breakable ornaments while they are napping (I'm not completely brainless). Then we are going to have some fun! We'll start in the dining room, I'll give a command like "go find an ornament with a mouse on it" and they will run to the tree, get the ornament and run back to me in the dining room. Then I will lovingly put the ornament back in it's box while the kids run to get "one that looks like a candy cane" and so on...

Dumb? Sort of! Time consuming? Yup! A memory with my kids that will probably have us all giggling and possibly the tree falling over? Absolutely :)

When we're done I'll have hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles all ready!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Library Day

My friend Cheryl cleans out her closets/garage/attic every once in a while and passes along all kinds of treasures for my kids. She has been chief supplier of board games, floor puzzles and hardcover children's literature. This book, "Dog's Colorful Day," was passed on to me over a year ago and for some reason we never really got to it. I found it a few months back and both kids love it! JB in particular, the themes of colors and counting are a little simple for Miss M anymore.

Today feels like the first day back to reality, after all the holiday hoopla! Prince Charming had yesterday off and it was wonderful to have him home for a day that had no real purpose. We cleaned the house and had some family fun in the evening. However, for the last few days we have been noticing that our kids are just out of sorts. Their schedule is totally off from the combination of mommy getting sick, Christmas, the week between that mommy declared "I'm not doing anything week", and then New Years. Thier behavior has been poor, they're extra cranky, they won't eat and they keep thinking there should be something incredible to do every minute of the day! WRONG!!!

So today we are working at getting back to the basics. We started our routine this morning with our regular two shows (yes, we've been watching more TV than could possibly be healthy for about two weeks now), breakfast at the table (yes, we've been eating in front of the TV for a bit now too) then play time while mommy gets some work done. It went well, although we had a couple of time-outs and other assorted consequences as I slowly tackled some of the backslidden behavior!

I decided we would need a little activity for when they get up from nap, we're not going anywhere and that will make them mad. So...I got "Dog's Colorful Day" out and I traced, on white paper, a big picture of dog. We're going to read the story and add the spots to his coat as they come (the story is about his day of getting messy, each mess leaving him with a different colored spot). We got markers in our stockings at Christmas and this will be the perfect activity to break them out for!! I figure when the spots are done JB can work on counting them, he could us a little practice from about 7-10. That's a little too easy for Miss M so I'm hoping she can retell the messes in the correct sequence. I think she'll be great at it since she'll have made herself a visual clue with the markers!

I checked out amazon and found that "Dog" has quite a few other adventures, we might have to check them out of the library next week. It's a simple story but it's fun and the pictures are really great, again simple but sweet.

Happy reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


A random pet peeve of mine about facebook is the month of November. The month is fine, it's the activity that many participate in that sort of irks me. You see, for the last three years or so, every November regular facebook users decide they are going to say something they are thankful for each day...a month of thankfulness. What's so bad about that you might ask??? Well, nothing, except that some of the people that participate in this activity then use the other 11 months to whine and complain about every little thing in their lives. I do have some good friends that do this thankful activity that live very thankful lives year round, and to those friends I say, excellent idea...keep it up!

One day this past November I was giving Prince Charming an earful about this very tradition on fb and he responded with (and I hate when he is right about something I'm about to mount my soap box about) "isn't that the same as you doing the thankful tree with the kids...just in November". Swallow, gulp, swallow. Well yes, Prince Charming, I suppose it is, thanks for mentioning it!!!!

Thus began my quest to live a more thankful lifestyle for my own sake, but also to model it for my kids. There is nothing worse than ungrateful children, they irk me and I don't like it! So I began my task of trying to think of things we could do more regularly to foster this character trait of being thankful.

I think I'll post another time about some of the day-to-day things we're working on, but I really enjoyed our New Year's Eve efforts the other day! I got our calendar down off the wall and we started back in January 2011 and read all the things we did/saw/visitied/experienced, etc. I had Miss M and JB (lets be realistic here, mostly Miss M and by the time we got to August it was very mommy directed) listen to all the things on the calendar and pick something we could turn into a phrase of thankfulness. January was easy, my mom had some eye surgery and it went perfectly. February is Miss M's birthday so she wanted to be thankful for her party and the presents she got, sounded good to me. And on it went, some months we had to be creative but it was fun to look back at the whole year and do it with our thankful glasses on (hey, I should make little sunglasses to wear next time and we can "look" for things to be thankful for...). Others that made the list were baby Trey arriving safely to some good friends, a visit with Keerstin and Heather, Daddy's new position at work and of course, Jesus' birthday!

Our list is hanging up so we can see it. Then we made a teachery "web" of things we are looking forward to in 2012. The beach, vacation, more birthdays, Miss M going to kindergarten and JB going to Cubbies plus much more made that list.

I think I might have started a new tradition, if I keep these two lists each year we'll have some great memories to look back on. Happy New Year everyone!!