Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas (late!)

I hope all of you who read this blog, whether accidentally or on purpose, had a wonderful Christmas filled with light, love, and laughter, and that your New Year is the same. Love and joy to everyone for this new year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010



I am SO loving Shutterfly for christmas gifts this year! What you see here is the beginning of my creation - a sterling silver bracelet with a photo charm on it! The only bad thing about shopping on Shutterfly is that I want one of everything for MYSELF, too!
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4, 2010

Today I am thankful to have a decent roof over our heads and food to eat in our refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3, 2010

Today I am thankful for little girls who talk too much.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2, 2010

Today I'm thankful for too-tight hugs.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

My little "ghouls" at Halloween ;)

Hope your Halloween was happy and safe!

TODAY: I am thankful for sticky fingers, messy rooms, and smooshing kisses.

Holiday cards

Believe it or not, today I started contemplating our Christmas cards. I WAY over-ordered last year, so I still have about 50 left over (the envelopes are gone, of course, since I used them all for other purposes). I like the 4x6 card format, but I'd really like to try a 5x7 this year. I'm looking at Shutterfly's cards, and so far here are my favorites (and why):

Snow Flurries Cocoa Christmas Card

I LOVE the colors on this one. The card is called "snow flurries cocoa christmas card" - and I can see why. The brown really does remind me of hot cocoa, which my family drinks EVERY night during the month of December (hello, beloved family tradition!).

Be Merry red Christmas card

I actually really love this one, too. It's 5x5 instead of 5x7, but I'm kind of digging the square shape. It's so different, you just KNOW it's gonna stick out in the mail when the person you've sent it to pulls it out of the mailbox! The only issue I have with it is that I have 6 names to put on the bottom of the card, and I'm wondering if they will all fit on there!

Starry Starry Snowflakes Christmas card

I think this one has to be my hands-down favorite. Why? The shape (square) is awesome. The color scheme matches the clothes one of my girls is wearing in the photo I plan to use. I haven't made my final decision yet, but so far it feels like I'm only going to use one photo, and this card is ideal for that. Also, I love using blue for holiday cards - all shades of blue!

Shutterfly also does return address labels, so it wouldn't be difficult to match the labels to the color scheme of the card(s) you choose...

Stationary Labels

and what could make a better gift than a photo mug? I love getting at least one per year, and everyone I've ever given them to has loved them too!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I have a hard time forgiving.

Wow... news to you, huh?

LOL. It's true. I can think of at least one long-standing grudge right now that I've held on to for close to 13 years (the person I've held the grudge against apparently thinks I worship the ground they walk on and other such nonsense). I have also held on to several other grudges that have lasted more than a year, and some more than 5.

It's exhausting, and I'd really like to let it all go... but I don't, either.

I'd love to be able to hand it over to God and say, "Lord, just take it. I don't want it anymore." But for whatever reason, every time I do that - I take it right back. all the hurt, anger, and resentment always comes roiling back the millisecond that I even hear the person's name or see something that reminds me of them.

I guess what I'm saying is that I know I have a problem, and prayers to help me let go of it would be appreciated, since I don't know what else to do about it.

Also, I know I have anger issues, and I tend to fly off the handle really quickly - I always thought it was just because I was raised in that kind of home, but I see it in my oldest daughter, and I'm starting to think it might be genetic. I'm already praying about that daily. anyway, my point about this is that my oldest daughter is going to be having her birthday party tomorrow. Friends and family have known about it for nearly 3 weeks... and yet only a select few have chosen to actually let me know whether or not they're coming. Some people have chosen to blatantly ignore the invitation, and others say they're not coming because of something that came up last-minute. Emergencies I understand, trust me. It's when someone can't be bothered to come to a child's birthday party (a family member, at that) that ticks me off. And there's a few that have been consistently invited EVERY year to EVERY child's birthday and have not showed up, but have complained when I haven't showed up to THEIR child's birthday party (How in the heck can I show up when I'm not even invited?). I keep saying "Next year I won't send an invitation. Never again will I waste a stamp on them." But every year I still send one, saying "At least when they don't show AGAIN and disappoint my child AGAIN they won't be able to say they weren't invited or didn't know about it."

My kid's birthday party is gonna be hackin' awesome, whether YOU showed up or not. I always make darn sure of that. Birthdays are days of crazy happy celebration in my house.

Okay... rant over. I'm going to bed and rest up for tomorrow's birthday party, and then trick or treating at the zoo afterwards. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Some of the video picks from my family right now, just for your amusement:

My oldest daughter, who will be 10 next month recommends:

My youngest daughter, who is 4 1/2, recommends:

My middle baby, who is 8, recommends:

My stepdaughter, who is 15, recommends:

My husband recommends:

And I recommend:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where did this last week go?

So the first full week of school has passed pretty uneventfully, which is good in my book. Lulu is loving her gifted/talented classes, and today I even got to go in and watch the classes go to the butterfly garden. It was really cool, and it was even more awesome to hear my kid say, "Look, it's a common buckeye. Look, there are a ton of aphids!" and know she knew what she was talking about :) my oldest has also been enjoying her classes, and is loving the science she's doing. She even drew a picture of a solar eclipse and colored it for extra credit, which she didn't have to do! (we never did a lot of science during our homeschooling year - just a few lessons here and there.) But she is leaps and bounds ahead of the other kids in spelling & vocab, since we focused on that a lot during our homeschool. Now my baby needs to get back into speech therapy, and we're going to do some preschool work for her homeschooling this year.

I've got chicken in the oven baking for dinner tonight, and a roast in the crock pot for tomorrow night... so everything is gravy right now. Here's to hoping that everyone is doing as well as I feel right now!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

on love, in sadness

So my stepdaughter turned 15 today... but she also left us to go back to her mom until next summer. We are all feeling topsy turvy... all very sad. So much sadness. She bawled all the way back to her other families' house (she'll be with them for a day before she flies back overseas). Needless to say, we are not dealing well with her departure. Our family gets to be a complete unit for only 6 weeks out of the year. There's a lot I could say - a lot I want to say - to/about her "other" family... but I won't. In spite of the way things are, I do still pray for them every night to finally wake up and see things as they really are. Praying is all I can do - God has a plan, and I have to trust that He knows what he's doing, even though none of us can understand it.

On top of that, my oldest went to the ER today. Turns out she has bronchitis, strep throat, and a sinus infection... and tomorrow is the first day of school for her and her sister. Fun.

So y'all, I need prayers. lots of prayers. So does my poor husband... because if it's this hard for me, a stepmother, I can't even begin to imagine what it's like for him to have to watch his child leave. I just wish that other people would be more understanding.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

where did the last 5 weeks go?

And I'm not even talking about summer, I'm talking about our time with Taylor. It felt like when she got here, we had all the time in the world. Now we have 5 days left with her. She doesn't want to leave, and we don't want her to go. I have to admit that at times like these, I struggle spiritually. I keep telling her that God is keeping her with her mom for a reason, and we don't know why (and may never know), but all we can do is pray... but I am having trouble not questioning Him myself right now. :( I think I need prayers too. :(

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Things that make me giddy:

* Back-to-school shopping

* Staying in jammies all day to sit on the bed and watch my favorite movies with my girls

* The smell of tasty cupcakes baking

* The smell of freshly cut grass

* The purr of a contented kitty

* The laughter of my children

* getting compliments on photographs I've taken

And so many more things... but that's it for now.

Check out this entry I found on Shutterfly Summer Freedom Contest.

Please vote for my picture!

You get 20 free prints for signing up as a new user!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time marches on...

...and eventually you notice it's marching right across your face!

Yeah, that's a line stolen from Steel Magnolias. :)

So we went today and dropped off my oldest daughter at a church camp, and she'll be gone for 4 days. We pick her back up on Sunday morning. She was ecstatic to be going, even though I am less than thrilled about being away from her, I was happy for her. I will be worrying the whole time about her heart though, since she is supposed to sit down so she doesn't overexert herself, and she refuses to do so. I told every adult at the camp who would listen to MAKE her sit down and MAKE her drink water. Other than that, she couldn't wait to get rid of us so she could go to her cabin's pizza party!

Took some beautiful pictures in a local park yesterday. May go back and take some more, I liked them so well. I'll upload pictures when I have the time.

Hope everyone is well... will start posting more in about 3 weeks, when the kids go to school and I am alone with my baby. :(

Thursday, July 8, 2010

fondant fondant everywhere...

Last night I tried my hand at making fondant. Keep in mind that I have never eaten, touched, or otherwise messed with any kind of fondant, ever. Last night I made a batch and tinted it a beautiful pink color. Today I finally got to play with it, and it came out beautifully. I watched a tutorial on youtube (several different ones, actually) on how to make fondant roses, so I played with my fondant and made some. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be! I made marshmallow fondant after reading about how regular fondant tastes terrible, and the kids LOVED the stuff. I made some extra in each color for them and they used it like play-doh... and then ate their creations ;) I am finally calling it a night, after making 40 small butterflies, 20 roses, 6 large butterflies, and lots of little leaves. Below is a picture of just some of the things I made.

On another note, we now have a fan (vent) in our bathroom, which is good... even though the electrician knocked a chunk out of our wall and didn't fix it. Landlady brought us a gallon of white paint so I can paint the bathroom, but I won't be doing it until next week sometime. A/C guy came today and put more freon in the unit, but it is still barely trickling air and even though we have the thermostat set on 68, it stays OVER 80 degrees in the house! We are boiling here!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


So we just spent an incredible weekend vacation in beautiful Brown County, Indiana. We left on Friday morning and didn't come back until Sunday evening, and we set off fireworks at my mother in law's house, even though we'd watched them on Saturday night in Brown county. Then we came home around 10 p.m., and I noticed our kitten was lethargic. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink, and she looked like she'd lost weight.

On Monday morning, my husband woke me up to ask me where my cell phone was (his was dead), because he was going to the ER. He'd suffered through a miserable night with itching and swelling, and he didn't know why. He had been there for about 5 hours before they decided to admit him to find out what was wrong. Turns out he had an allergic reaction to MANGOES, of all things. He'd never eaten one before in his life, and on Thursday he had two (he was completely in love with them), and begged me to buy more. Apparently the same thing that is in poison ivy and poison oak is also present in the skin of mangoes, and can cause the same reaction on skin. so they gave him big doses of benadryl and steroids, and he spent the night at the hospital.

While he was sitting in the ER, my mother in law drove me and the four girls to the animal hospital with the kitten. Turns out she was severely dehydrated, and they didn't know why - all they knew was that if I had waited to take her in, she would probably have been dead by today. :( They kept her overnight and gave her IV fluids, and today she looked good enough to come home, but she is still acting funny. I'm hoping it's just the shock of leaving and coming back.

At any rate, we've had an eventful 24 hours. I baked a ton of sugar cookies today for my niece's birthday party and decorated them all by hand - still need to make more, but I am proud of the ones I got done.

But our weekend was good before all of this stuff happened. We kicked it off with a trip to our local Krispy Kreme (my new all-time favorite doughnut is the New York cheesecake doughnut), then drove to Nashville, Indiana. We had lunch, did some light shopping, and then went back to our cabin. My sister in law and I went to the grocery and got some supplies, and then we all went swimming at the indoor water park (it was in the main lodge, and since we rented a cabin, we got admission with it). Saturday morning I was the first one up and I made breakfast for everyone - pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, toasted bagels, coffee, and juice. Seriously, we went through two pounds of bacon in about 10 minutes! We went out and did some more shopping, had lunch at my favorite restaurant in Nashville, did some more shopping, went back to the cabin and changed, went back to the water park, watched an awesome fireworks display, went back to the cabin and ate pizza, and basically had a criminally good time laughing ourselves stupid. Sunday morning I was the first one up again (I know, so odd, lol). I made a few fried eggs, but nothing huge like the previous day, and we were off horseback riding! It was my first time ever on a horse, and I was sooooooooo nervous. It was a 2.2 mile ride, with uphill and downhill trails. My middle baby, who is horse crazy, rode her first horse and is even more in love with the animals than she was before we went out there. She wanted to go back and ride the horse again as soon as she got off of it! I was so nervous... and I had fun, but was so happy to have my feet down on solid ground again! I have enormous bruises on my inner thighs and my thumb is blistered where I gripped the saddle so hard. We did some more shopping after that, then drove home and set off fireworks at my in-laws' house. It was an amazing weekend! I was sad to see it end!

The horse I rode - his name is Patch.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Only one day left, and our family gets to be a WHOLE, COMPLETE unit for six wonderful weeks!!!

The plumbers are here, working on the bathroom. They arrived at 8:15 this morning, and now it's 10:58. I must admit, after two and a half hours of work, they have me a little worried, as it doesn't look like much is getting done. It actually looks like they keep running in and out... and they keep leaving my door open, so there are a ton of flies in here! :(

I feel very sluggish today. I didn't go to sleep until around 2, and I didn't sleep very well because I kept waking up. Then waking up so early... that is just not on (that means it's not good, lol). I make the kiddos pancakes, and Fifi asked for the dark chocolate peanut butter on hers. I put a little on there, and then she refused to touch it and ate two plain ones instead! Lulu ate three pancakes with the dark chocolate peanut butter on them, and Bud ate two with Nutella on them. As a rule, I don't eat when I wake up... I have a cup of coffee, and then if I start to feel hungry, I might eat. Usually lunch is my first meal of the day. I have always been like that, though - eating as soon as I wake up in the morning makes me feel nauseated the rest of the day. My middle child is my morning person - up at the butt crack of dawn, ready to eat and start the day, and ALWAYS happy, no matter how little sleep she may have gotten. Oh that we could all be that way!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

THANK GOD for good landladies!!!

God bless our landlady! She may be a little batty and have control issues, but stinkin' heck I love that woman! When our hot water heater started leaking a few months ago, we called and told her, and less than an hour later, we had a brand new one. My husband called and told her last week that our a/c was acting up, and that we had all kinds of mildew in the caulking of the tub that no amount of cleaner would get rid of. The same day he called her, she had the a/c guy out here. He changed the filter and put some more freon in the unit. Then this morning, the plumber shows up at 8:30 (we didn't know he was coming). He looked at the bathroom (and was as disgusted as I was, and if it tells you anything I had dubbed it "the scary shower"). He said he'd call her and tell her what he thought and would get back to us. Less than 20 minutes later he called back and said, "I got the go-ahead from [our landlady] - we're gonna put a new bathtub and shower unit in. Can we start now?" I practically shouted YES, and he said, "I'll have my guys there in a few minutes." Ten minutes later, they were already ripping out the gross tub! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Words can not describe how happy this whole thing makes me! And guess what? IT GETS BETTER! I know, you're wondering how it could possibly get any better than a brand spanking new tub & shower, right?? Well, the landlady came over to check out the bathroom for herself (like I said, control issues - I understand, it's her house, she wants to be sure), and looked in the bathroom. She sighed and said, "Well I guess I'd better call my electrician, too." I was baffled, but said nothing and listened as she called her electrician and said, "{electrician's name}, this is ______. I was calling to get a quote. I have plumbers at {our address} and they are installing a new bathtub and shower unit, and I figured it's about time to put in an overhead light and fan. Call me back and give me an estimate." Right now the only light we have in the bathroom is right above the sink, so the shower is dark and kinda scary unless we use 100 watt light bulbs (there are 3 in there) - so the shower is slightly more illuminated and the rest of the bathroom looks like the lights from a football field, it's so bright, lol! So the electrician is coming Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., and the plumbers will be finished by Monday evening. it's funny because they had to unhook the toilet to get the old tub out (it was sooooooo gross), so my husband was the bathroom taxi today, lol! He took the baby to Kroger to pee, then took the oldest to his mom's to pee, and then we all went to wal mart to pee! (And we wound up getting a bottle of 85 SPF sunblock, so it wasn't a completely wasted trip.) I've been taking pictures of the plumbers' progress, though I wasn't able to get in there to get a picture of the disgusting mildew that had been growing behind the thin plastic shower lining! EW!!!

The scary shower before:

after they began ripping the old tub/shower out:

This is what it looked like at quitting time today:

The only bad thing is that the bathroom is on the other side of the room my two younger girls share. Apparently in their drilling, they took a chunk out of the adjoining wall, and none of us noticed until I was tucking the girls in tonight... I just hope I remember to tell the landlady, because she'll be on the warpath!

On another high note, my stepdaughter got into the US okay in the wee hours of the morning this morning, and there's only 4 days left until we GET HER!!! OH YEAH!

I signed up online and got a coupon for a free Recipe Inspirations packet from McCormick. I chose the "Quesadilla Casserole" spice packet, and it looks really interesting. It's all the spices you need for the dish, and it has the recipe on the back. Check it out:

Quesadilla Casserole
2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t oregano leaves
1/2 t crushed red pepper (optional)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c chopped onion
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 3/4 oz can whole corn kernels, undrained
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles, undrained
6 8-inch flour tortillas
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat, drain. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chiles, mix well. Stir in all of the spices EXCEPT for the red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add red pepper to taste, if desired.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture, and cheese.

3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I'll probably omit the beans when I make it, since I personally am not a big bean fan, but otherwise it sounds really good. My oldest will probably eat it with a dollop of sour cream on top, too. She always puts sour cream on top of the tacos when we have taco night, lol.

I have been so worried about my license. Last spring I got a seatbelt ticket (I pulled into the public library's parking lot and unfastened my seatbelt before I parked, and the cop gave me a ticket. In retrospect, I should've gone to court and fought it, but it's only $20, so why bother? It's literally the only ticket I've EVER gotten), and I waited for a while before it got paid. I was afraid my license was suspended this whole time, so I've been paranoid and refusing to drive. My husband was fed up with me! We went to the BMV yesterday, and it turns out my license has been just fine since about three days after the ticket was finally paid! GAH!!!! My worrying was all for nothing!

Looking forward to Tuesday... we're going early to the theater to wait in line, since we have tickets for the midnight showing of Eclipse. My stepdaughter comes at 7, so she'll be with us. SO MUCH FREAKING FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Glee makes me ohsohappy!

Yeah, the music from Glee makes me ohsohappy! I'm listening to one of the cd soundtracks and feeling happy even though I feel oogy right now. My allergies are just kicking my butt today, every time I sneeze, it feels like my ovaries explode! :( Despite that slight complication, I managed to get two rooms cleaned and overhauled today, 6 loads of laundry washed (seems like my kids like to hide dirty clothes at the foot of the bed under the covers, and in closets - ew), dinner made, and a trip to the library on top of it all.

Yesterday my middle child asked me about 9-11. I wasn't sure what to tell her, so I chose my words carefully. She promptly told me, "I don't believe people can be that evil." So together, we watched a video on youtube of the towers falling... and she sobbed openly. After we watched it, she said, "Mommy, I wish you hadn't showed that to me now. I want to un-know it." My heart broke for her. Now she wants to learn all about it, the events leading up to it, and what's been done about it since it happened... she checked a book out of the library today that was written to explain the tragedy to kids, and she read halfway through it before she wanted to discuss it. I answered as well as I could, and when I couldn't find the words, she called her Grandma to ask questions. I'm glad she's so curious about everything and that she takes the initiative to research and learn, but at the same time I am so sad that she had to learn about this. Frankly I'm sad to live in the kind of world where something like this even happened... and I remember that morning as I raced to get my oldest child from the babysitter's house (Bud was 11 months old then): "What kind of world have I brought my child into?" I keep my kids pretty sheltered - that was part of the point of my homeschooling them - I could control what information, music, tv, etc went into their little heads. I could pour in all the good they could hold, and there would be no room for the bad. Unfortunately, I know it's not possible. I guess I just want to keep them innocent for as long as I can, since I know that once they hit the outside world without me, they're not going to be innocent for long. Our culture pretty much sees to that even just sitting at home in front of the TV. I hate having to distract them when there's an inappropriate commercial or something on. I protect my kids, and I am unapologetic about it.

My stepdaughter got on a plane this morning from Germany, headed towards US soil. She was supposed to call us as soon as she got here, but so far we haven't heard anything from her. I am hoping that she's okay and will call us soon - I told her to call no matter what time it is, and it's 11 p.m. now.

On a lighter note, my 4 year old is totally in love with Justin Bieber! HA! All 3 of my girls love his song "Baby." Our summer playlist is as follows so far:

1. "Baby" - Justin Bieber
2. "Bulletproof" - La Roux
3. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
4. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - Cyndi Lauper
5. "If We Ever Meet Again" - Timbaland f. Katy Perry
6. "That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tings
7. "Funhouse" - Pink (clean version)

Every summer we have a certain set of songs that the girls want to listen to repeatedly - so far it's these 7. In all fairness, all 3 Glee soundtracks should be listed up there too, especially Vol. 1, since it's particularly Rachel-heavy and they LOOOOOOVE Rachel, lol!

The moral to this whole story/post? I have AMAZING kids. Even when I complain about them. ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T-minus 6 days and counting!

So my stepdaughter will be here in 6 days, and we're all so excited!!!

Today at lunch, I asked the girls what they wanted. Fifi (the baby of the family) wanted what she always asks for: "a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, but take the peanut butter off." LOL! Lulu and Bud got the same sandwiches: dark chocolate peanut butter from peanut butter & co., topped with a bit of Nutella. I always put everything on whole wheat bread, so at least there was some nutrition in what they ate! I chopped up some beautiful big Fuji apples and smeared some peanut butter on their plates for them to dip the chunks in, and I gave them each a couple of slices of colby jack cheese (their favorite because of their Papaw, lol). Top it all off with a 100% juice juice box, and that was their lunch today. Healthy for the most part... but I can compromise and give in a little bit, especially where Bud is concerned because we have to watch her sugar intake more than the other kids. I don't mind letting her have the Nutella and the dark chocolate PB at lunch, since I don't really put too much on there and she's not allowed to have a whole lot more sugar the rest of the day. I'm making pasta salad for myself (I'm not usually a big sandwich person), and Bud will probably have some of that, too. She's the best eater I have - the only problem is that she also eats a lot!

For dinner I'm making coconut rice and jerk cod. Okay, so it's not really "jerk" spice as we think of it, but it's gonna be pretty spicy, so the coconut rice will cool it down. I am excited for dinner! So is Bud! :)

I have two bunches of bananas in the kitchen that HAVE to be used today. I will either make my husband's favorite (Banana chocolate chip muffins) or banana bread... or maybe even both. The banana chocolate chip muffins never last long in this house, lol... usually just long enough to cool to the point where they won't burn the kids' mouths, and then BAM! They all disappear. It's like magic. ;)

I was looking through photography tips websites last night, and got lots of ideas for the girls' pictures this summer. Just some things I want to experiment with: waterfalls, railroad tracks, mirrors. Let your imagination run wild from there, lol!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

time to decompress

It's time to decompress. I've gotten two stressful situations worked out - at least, as much as they can be, from my end of things.

It's officially one week until my stepdaughter arrives, and the excitement from my girls is almost palpable. I don't know about them, but I am really looking forward to the first week she's here just because of the vacation plans we have. The night she gets here, we're seeing the midnight showing of the movie Eclipse. The next day, we're taking her shopping, then visiting her grandparents so she can open the gifts that everyone has been accumulating for her as early birthday gifts :) The day after that, we're going to a local (AWESOME) pool for the day. Then for the next 3 days after that, we're going to Brown County Indiana, which I LOVE. She and I have already decided we're going to hit the coffee shop we love before we do anything else! LOL!

After that, we have a myriad of birthday parties (including her own) and other outings planned, which is always fun!

Here's to hoping everyone's day was filled with good news as mine was!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So hot!

I hate this stinking hot weather. I'd much rather live somewhere cold or at least cooler (read: mid-70's) all year round. This is why, as much as I love it, I could never live in Florida, or any of the other southernmost states, for that matter. Stupid heat!

Husband called the landlord today and finally told her about the shower. For those who don't know: ever since we moved in, the caulking has been BLACK with mildew or mold or whatever it is. I have tried bleach (both diluted and straight), vinegar (which is an organic way of killing lots of bacteria in my kitchen), and just about every scum remover on the market. I even tried caulking over it, but it came right through. I wonder if our whole shower needs to be redone, because some of the siding is cracked too... hopefully someone will be out in the next day or so to fix it so I can stop calling it "the scary shower." LOL!!!

Took my oldest today to get the x-ray on her wrist, so hopefully by the end of this week we'll know something about whether or not she needs to get bloodwork done to measure her hormone levels. In any case, she was excited to go back and see the x-ray machines, lol.

And I have no news about my climbing garden, lol - as soon as we got home from the x-ray, I camped out inside the house in the air conditioning!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

truth be told, I've tried my best

So I have begun the somewhat daunting task of getting ready for my stepdaughter's arrival in 9 days by removing ALL of her clothes from the closet & dresser and washing them afresh. I wash them every year after she leaves, but they sit there for a whole year, and it's nice to come home to freshly washed clothes that smell good and clean and not like the musty old house, I think. Plus it gives me a chance to throw anything that looks too small into a storage container for the next kid who can wear it. it's nice having all girls, since that means anything I get will get plenty of wear.

Speaking of the stepdaughter, we talked today and she has some things going on in her life that need major prayer. I know prayer can move mountains, so anyone who prays, please keep her in mind the next time you talk to the Father.

I also decided that for her birthday party I'm not going to do 15 different mocktails as planned, I think instead I'm going to have a self-serve Italian soda bar. :) It sounds so much better, and no one will have to stand there and miss out on the party in order to serve drinks, which will be fun for all. Plus people can experiment and try what they want, when they want it. I can't believe it's almost time... I am mailing out the invitations tomorrow.

My garden is out of control! Apparently when I started planting, I didn't keep in mind that most of my plants are vine plants, which means they are creepers... and despite my putting a wire contraption for my cucumbers to climb up, they have wound themselves around the fence we share with a not-so-pleasant neighbor, so I'm hoping she doesn't do anything to them until after we've harvested them. The pumpkin plants' leaves look like elephant ears, they are HUGE!!!

It is supposed to reach temperatures of 100 by Tuesday here, and I hate it. I wish we could have another summer like last year's - mild enough to go swimming if you want, but not so hot that you started to sweat just by stepping out the door. Ugh. I hate the heat.

Oh, yeah... did I mention this?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

So my friend's visit today went wonderfully, I just wish she could have stayed longer- so did my oldest, who really enjoyed the company of my friend's oldest son :) my friend has two sons, and Fifi decided that she wanted to run from one end of the house to the other screaming 'I DON'T LIKE BOYS!!!' Wow...

We made seafood lasagna for dinner tonight, and my oldest was helping me in the kitchen. We don't always see eye to eye, that girl and I, but golly gee whiz we love each other to freaking death. She was helping me by making a basic beschamel sauce on the stovetop (supervised, of course...until a census taker knocked at my door). She and I also sat there and ate the crab cold before putting it into the lasagna, lol. She's definitely my good eater. We decided that this week, I will make pasta and we will soak the crab in (I can't believe it's not) butter and top the pasta with it. Yummy!

Tomorrow is Father's Day, so I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to the men in my family - my husband, my father in law, and my brother in law. You guys rock! You are awesome, and everyone should be so lucky as to have men like you in their lives.

Here's to hoping that everyone has a safe and fun weekend.

Friday, June 18, 2010

So.... tired... and achey....

So my stepdaughter will be here in 10 days, and I have been after my family to help me clean the house before she arrives, right? Everyone completely ignored me. I've been harping for two weeks... and nothing. Nada, zip, zilch, zero - they did absolutely frakkin' nothing.

So a few days ago, I got a message from a dear friend of mine from middle/high school, saying she is going to be in town this weekend and would like to see me. Translation: our deadline to clean the house moved up from 10 days to YESTERDAY so it will be clean for Saturday's planned visit.

It is currently 12:24 Saturday morning, and I have finally finished cleaning everything I can and showered and am decompressing by surfing the web. I really need to get to sleep, but I'm so tired that I can't. Does that even make sense? LOL.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1st burn of the season


I have missed the boat yet again. There's a bible study I wanted to take at church that apparently started at the beginning of this week, and because I have an absolute crap short-term memory, I completely forgot to sign up for it. Sigh.

Today was pretty good though. The girls had worked around Grandma's house and earned some money, and they decided to use it to take Daddy to the Sellersburg pool today. We all had a lot of fun, although I can't find the baby's lifejacket, and my oldest says she wants one to make her feel safer, too. The baby went underwater three times completely by accident... the first time, my oldest was holding her and she slipped out of her arms. She said, "Mommy she threw me in!" It took some convincing but I finally managed to get it across that it was an accident... and then she freaked out, worried that her sissy was "still under the water." LOL. And despite using baby sunscreen that was 40 SPF (the WHOLE bottle was used between the 5 of us), we all got burnt in some way or another. My upper back and the tops of my knees (from sitting on the ledge so long), hubby's upper back, and all of our cheeks... poor things. :( We still had fun though, so they think it was worth it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The dinner game

I don't know what to make for dinner tonight. It's either gonna be creamy seafood lasagna (it's sooooooo good) or pesto pasta, with fresh basil from my garden. it's growing like crazy and I need to harvest some, and this was the tastiest way I could think of doing it... at least, until my tomatoes grow. :) I also need to get out there and put some stakes in next to my vine plants, since they're growing out of control now. The watermelons, canteloupes, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini all have little yellow flowers on them :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Utterly Frustrated

I am at my wits' end, literally. I have been in my daughter's room cleaning for five hours today and still am only halfway done. there are so many more things that need to be done in my house and I am completely frustrated. I broke down and cried like a baby tonight while the kids were outside and couldn't see me and wouldn't know. I just feel like I have no one to talk to about anything. I feel so lonely and crappy right now. I know it will pass eventually because whenever I feel like this it always does, but for right now that's how I feel.

I need a vacation from my life, I guess. Normally I think that my life is pretty great, but this is one of those days when things smack me around a little.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Lulu got in to the gifted & talented program at a local school! The lady who administered it said "she did exceptionally well, scoring higher than 99% of children who took the test."


Friday, June 11, 2010

Doctor Doctor, gimme the news...

So I took all three kids to the dentist today, and none of them had any cavities this time, which is GREAT! Though Fifi is going to be just like me, the dentist just wanted to LOOK at her teeth and she flipped out!

Then I took Bud to her pediatrician appointment. They froze a plantar's wart off of the bottom of one of her feet. She switched her from Claritin to Zyrtec, told me to give her melatonin an hour before bedtime to help her sleep, since she has such trouble with sleeping. She also said she has keratosis pilaris on her face, which is a kind of eczema (according to the pediatrician). Bud now has to wash her face twice a day with special soap and moisturize after each time with special lotion. When she uses sunscreen this summer, it'll have to be a special, specific kind, too. There are other, more personal problems, but the gist of it is that the pediatrician is afraid that she's developing too quickly, and has ordered an x-ray of her wrist to look at her growth plates.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Sir, With Love


The title of today's post comes from the Lulu song, most recently performed by the cast of Glee in the season finale. I have watched it twice now, and bawled both times. Gosh, I love that show!

Didn't do much of anything today, except play around with some photos in photoshop that I took of my niece. I also made plans with someone awesome (seriously, I LOVE my husband's family - see my list of things to be thankful post several entries ago) to go and take some pictures when my stepdaughter gets here! Can't wait! We have so much planned just that first week, it's going to be amazing. Eclipse midnight premiere that night, shopping the next day, and for two days after that, a trip to Little Nashville in Brown County, Indiana!!! LOVE IT!

The thing I'm dreading is cleaning my oldest daughter's room next week... I HAVE to clean it before my stepdaughter gets here, as she and Bud share a room upstairs. I have bad problems with arthritis in my knees, so I do well just to make it to the basement and back to do laundry... I rarely go upstairs. Unfortunately, my less-than-neat daughter takes advantage of this fact, and as a result, her floor isn't visible! I am SO dreading the cleaning it's going to take to get that room ship-shape.

Tomorrow... which I guess is technically today, since the clock is currently reading 12:13 a.m. - we have dentist appointments for all 3 girls, and then in the afternoon a visit to the pediatrician for my oldest daughter's yearly checkup. I will also have to make a stop at the Dollar Tree to get some wrapping paper - I always wrap up my stepdaughter's gifts before she gets here. She loves opening gifts, and we love watching her do it, she's so funny!!!

Okay, I'm going to say goodnight to blogland and TRY to get off of my laptop... my husband complains that he thinks it's attached to my lap anymore! LOL!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

it's over...

Lulu took her test this morning, so it's over. Phew. We won't find out the results until Monday or later next week, though they did say Monday would be the earliest we'd hear anything. The lady told us it would take an hour, but my girl finished it in 20 minutes! She said it was easy peasy, so we'll see.

Since we got up at the buttcrack of dawn, I was dragging. We came home and I crawled back into bed and fell asleep totally without meaning to... but my wonderful husband let me sleep and he took care of the kids, even made them an early lunch! Thanks, honey!

In 20 days, my stepdaughter will be home. I finally ordered the invitations for her birthday party, and hopefully once they arrive here I will turn around and get them straight back in the mail! It's going to be a busy several weeks around here!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday blahs?

I woke up with a weird feeling today. Not a bad one or anything, just weird... does anyone else do that? Sometimes I get the feeling I've forgotten something important, and it eats away at me until I remember what it is. Sometimes I get a funny feeling and it lasts and lasts until I go to bed, and then somehow it's magically gone. I know it's all in my head, but still.

So this is shaping up to be a busy week for us. Yesterday the girls and I went outside and put the canteloupes, watermelon, and corn in the ground. They were all 3 inches tall or taller, so it was time. Today I have to go out in the heat and put the tomatoes in the ground - I HAVE to, or they'll die. They're running out of room for their roots in the containers they're in right now. My garden is starting to take over my back yard... right now there's: rosemary, greek oregano, common sage, sweet basil, mint, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, canteloupes, watermelons, corn, and cucumbers. Now I have to make room for the lettuce, onions, lavender, thyme, chives, parsley, and carrots. Sigh. I have a feeling I'm going to be giving some seedlings away - anyone interested? ;)

Tomorrow I take Lulu in the morning to take the NNAT to see if she gets into the gifted program at a local school. If she doesn't (which I am sure is unlikely, I have the utmost faith in her), then the girls will continue to be homeschooled next year. If she does, then she and Bud will probably go to the school, which is a little ways away from us. We should know something by the end of this week, supposedly.

On Friday, all three girls have dentist appointments in the morning for their 6 month checkup. Then in the afternoon, I have to take Bud for her yearly checkup at the pediatrician - which actually works out really well, considering that she has a plantar's wart on the bottom of her foot that needs to be burnt/frozen off, and she's started to have tiny bumps all over her face. I don't know if it's the beginnings of acne, or if it's heat rash.

Tonight we're going to the library. It's time to sign the girls up for the summer reading program, like we do every year. And my husband (God bless him) volunteered to cook dinner tonight for me - BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, and baked beans... his favorite meal, lol.

But for right now... we're all camped out on my bed, watching a rerun marathon of America's Next Top Model... lol!




L-R: rosemary, sweet basil, greek oregano, common sage

L-R: common sage, mint, pumpkins, squash

L-R: pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cucumbers

L-R: cucumbers, canteloupes, watermelons, corn.


Chinese Lantern flowers.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

3 day lapse


Wow, I've been really lax about posting for the last three days. I can't help it; I've had so much to do around the house. And on top of everything, my allergies have been kicking my butt. I stepped outside the mudroom door yesterday afternoon, and my eyes immediately starting itching, burning, watering, and swelling up. I was miserable.

Today was good. We got Papa Murphy's pizza and took it to the in-laws' for Sunday lunch, and hung out for a while playing with pictures and whatnot. I love my mother in law, and I love that she likes messing with pictures on the computer. Then we went to my niece's dance recital, and she did so well! It was a lot of fun. I like stuff like that, though - dancing and singing and theater-type activities. :)

Right now my head is pounding though, and even though I took two ibuprofen during the intermission of the recital, it still hurts. I am going to hop offline and relax for a while. Good night, people in blog land!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

so tired

I am so tired. I think my allergies and the repeated trips down to the basement and back up are finally taking their toll on me. The back of my legs burn and ache all the way up and down! But hey, at least there's not a scrap of dirty laundry in the house, right? Right... I think...

One of our neighbors was outside today, mowing her grass for the THIRD TIME THIS WEEK. I kid you not. Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I blew up the only lawn mower I had access to... so yesterday my husband asked the teenager (boy) across the street to mow it (he does it for $20 a pop, too expensive for my tastes but we NEEDED it this time). he said he'd mow it today after school. So I'm in the kitchen as the girls and my husband carry the groceries inside, and my husband comes inside steaming mad. I said what happened? and he said, she (our neighbor) stopped me and said, "I was just wondering when you are going to cut your grass." My husband explained that the neighbor boy was going to do it today, and he told her what happened to the mower, and she cuts him off and says, "because you know there's a law about having to cut your grass." and walks off. How incredibly rude! We lived next to people like this once before, and let me tell you, it is not pleasant or a happy thing to know we live next to someone like this again. It's not like we didn't plan on cutting it soon, but we have to roll with the punches as they come. Sigh.

We had taco night for dinner, which all the kids love. Taco night is the best night in our house, they love putting their own tacos together! Then we watched Alice In Wonderland (the new one with Johnny Depp) - we'd seen it in the theater but we just love it so much! Then we had ice cream. It was a pretty good day, I'd say! You know... except for the nosy, rude neighbor...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Got the ball rolling

I finally have the ball rolling on this whole school thing, though I'm not sure I like it. My husband heard from his sister (who works in our county's school system) that the school she works at has a gifted and talented program for advanced kids. Well, when my middle baby was in first grade during the 08-09 school year, her testing showed she was off the charts for a first grader - she read at a fifth grade level (actually the teacher said she probably read even higher than that, she just didn't have time to keep testing her). The class shared a "reading box" - a box of books that they were supposed to read when they had completed work and had free time. My child had her own box, since the other box of books was too easy for her. The teacher said she was worried about my daughter getting bored, since she completed all her work (correctly) way before the other kids got done. She's been homeschooled this last year, and her appetite for learning has just been voracious. I had the girls reading The Secret Garden, which is 5th grade level reading. We did tests and everything for that, and she was still passing her older sister in the work we did. she has done leaps and bounds more in math, as well, and I am still teaching them both French & Spanish. My husband thinks the G & T program would be good for her... I am undecided and want to keep them home, but at the same time I don't want to deny her such a wonderful opportunity... so I have been calling the admin building for a week. Finally got in touch with the woman in charge of the program today, and so a week from today at 9 a.m., she will take the Naglieri test to see if she gets into the program. She wants to go, but at the same time she says she doesn't want to leave me. For every reason she finds to go, she finds one to stay home. I told her not to worry about it until we find out whether or not she makes it in. She wailed, "I'm gonna fail!" I assured her you can't "pass" or "fail" this kind of test.

My oldest daughter keeps asking me to take her shopping for a training bra. She is 9, will be 10 in a few months. I don't know why she's in such a hurry to develop and grow up - I suspect that since her almost-15-year-old sister will be here in 27 days, she wants to be like her and wear a bra. She went to the bookshelf this morning and got the "Care & Keeping of You" American Girl book that I bought when she started needing deodorant. She's reading the section on developing chests... I don't want to discourage her from learning about it, but I know it's making her Daddy VERY uncomfortable! She keeps wanting to ask me stuff, but he's in the room so she says she'll ask me later.

So. On to subjects that I know how I feel about, lol. Gardening, yay! ;) I now have three green something-or-others in the lettuce pot, 6 lavender shoots, and the two thyme shoots are still the only ones in the pot. One of Lulu's Sweet William flowers began to sprout this morning, so of course she's out of her mind with excitement. She also has 13 greenish things in her pot of Chinese Lantern flowers. :) I need to go out today and get some things in the ground, too.

I've been doing laundry like crazy the last few days. I discovered that I actually find it soothing to sit and fold baskets of laundry... except for fitted sheets, which make me want to pull my hair out. I (literally) have done 15 loads of laundry in the past four days. Every time someone dirties something, I grab more stuff to be washed and take it downstairs to the machine. I am starting to think I may be addicted to doing laundry, as I can no longer stand seeing dirty clothes ANYWHERE. Or maybe I'm addicted to the smell of the clean laundry - I guess that makes more sense, lol. I just know I feel calmed when I sit and fold the clean clothes. Speaking of which, I need to go get some out of the dryer, and take down this basket of dirty stuff that just popped out of nowhere this morning... heehee....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the mean reds

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

Sometimes I suffer from the mean reds. Quite frequently, actually. And yes, Breakfast at Tiffany's is my all-time favorite movie, hands-down.

This morning I got up and went into the kitchen, where I'd moved my lavender, lettuce, thyme, parsley, and rosemary pots in an effort to keep them away from the birds. I have 5 strong-looking lavender sprouts and one pretty decent lettuce sprout. Nothing yet in the pot of rosemary. Two weak looking thyme sprouts, where I used to have about 15. Stinking birds. :( I also noticed a weak parsley sprout, but hey, weak is better than nothing, right?

My back hurt so bad last night and I am so weepy this week. It sucks to be overly emotional and physically in pain at the same time.

My stepdaughter arrives in 28 days, so we are doing our spring cleaning before she comes. We worked together and got the family room clean in less than 15 minutes. Next room is my bedroom, which is going to suck, because no matter where we've ever lived, my bedroom is always the catch-all for all the crap in the house. :(

Today is another marathon of America's Next Top Model, and the girls are thrilled. They love that show, lol.

Well, I've done my daily blogging duties, so I guess it's off to to begin work on my bedroom, and then start dinner... we're having garlic shrimp pasta tonight. Love to all, hope you had a great holiday weekend.

Monday, May 31, 2010

chick flicks

So my stepdaughter and I were talking on the phone today, and it's 4 weeks until she comes home. I was telling her about all these movies that I think she'd love, and we decided that we are going to have a chick flick movie night when she comes home! We're going to pop popcorn, have sodas, pizza, ice cream, and chocolate and watch chick flicks all night long! I already have a stack of them waiting, and it's four weeks away! LOL!

Today we celebrated Memorial Day by going over to my sister in law's house. The girls played with their cousin outside in the sprinkler and had a good time. There was a very bad part of the day, but it's too fresh right now and I don't feel like going into it. Suffice it to say, other than that, it was a pretty good day.

Tonight I replanted Fifi's carrots. At one point she had a sprout, but then it disappeared and never came back. I planted some more seeds, and in 8-12 days hopefully we'll see some sprouts, and I'm going to pretend like they're the ones she planted. She is so upset every day, going out and seeing Bud's thriving watermelons and Lulu's (now TWELVE) Chinese Lantern flower sprouts, I think she'll be thrilled when the carrot sprouts pop up.

Other than that, I just have to print and mail out my stepdaughter's birthday party invitations. I'd like to do them on cardstock like you would for a wedding invitation, so does anyone out in the blogosphere know where I can buy some nice blank ones pretty cheap?

Sunday, May 30, 2010


OH GOSH I HATE BIRDS!!! Fifi had a carrot sprouting in her pot, and now it's gone. I had tons of thyme sprouting in my pot, and now it's gone. In the interest of saving the five tiny lavender seedlings that sprouted today, I have brought them in overnight. I also brought in Lulu's nine (that's right, it went from one to five to NINE) Chinese Lantern flower seedlings, my two greenhouses (with 144 seedlings in them, combined not each), the pot of corn seedlings, the chive sprouts, and the as-of-yet-dormant rosemary seed pot. I now have 9 pumpkin plants growing in one pot, 6-8 cucumber plants (haven't counted exactly, I just know they're freaking tall), 8 cantaloupe plants, 12 tomato plants, 5 watermelon plants, 10 squash plants, and 7 zucchini plants. We are (hopefully) going to have fruits and veggies a-plenty this summer and fall! I can't wait to use tomatoes, basil, and oregano from my own garden to make my own spaghetti sauce. I plan to can it myself, so we can use it through the wintertime, so if anyone has canning experience and wants to share tips with me, please feel free to!

Around 8 p.m., my husband was walking through the bedroom (you have to walk through our bedroom to get to the family room), and he stopped and said, "How long does it take you to make those cinnamon things?" I frowned and thought for a minute, and then I realized what he was asking about - the cinnamon raisin biscuits I made a week and a half ago for breakfast that my younger two kids didn't like. I made a dozen of them then, and between my husband and oldest daughter, I didn't get one of them! So I said, "The cinnamon raisin biscuits?" And he said yes. I said, "Oh, about 20 minutes, if that." He said, "What would I have to do to get you to make them for me?" So I went in the kitchen and baked a batch of them, and he is eating them as he watches Deadliest Catch on his DVR. LOL!

I watched Oxygen last night, which I rarely do, but they played Sweet Home Alabama and then How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which are two of my favorite movies, so I watched them. Tonight they played the exact same lineup, so I am currently watching HTLAGI10D. He was walking through the room and saw the part with the poker game, and LAUGHED HIS BUTT OFF. I was in the kitchen and said, "Which part are you laughing at?" And he said, "I was reading something - I wasn't watching this!" He's so funny, not wanting to admit he thought it was funny!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Super Saturday... it's so not.

My girls have given names to certain days of the week (usually to do with our homeschooling):

Math-y Monday
Terrible Tuesday
Wacky Wednesday
(Thursday has no name)
French-y Friday
Super Saturday
Spectacular Sunday

So can you tell that Sunday is their favorite day of the week? LOL. It's because we spend all day Sunday at Grandma & Papaw's house (my husband's parents). Today is not such a Super Saturday for me. I am cranky, achey, irritable... can you tell what time it is for me? :P

I have done probably 10 loads of laundry between yesterday afternoon and right now, and I still have a ton to do. It piles up with 5 people dirtying clothes, I'm telling ya!

I don't really feel like doing much else today. I may go and make myself a root beer float and sit on the porch - NOT. It's way too friggin' hot to sit outside right now. I barely lasted the 5 minutes it took this morning to check on my plants! (I have 4 chives, Lexi now has THREE chinese lantern flowers, lettuce, lots of thyme sprouted, and now 6 pumpkins are in the pot. I really, REALLY need to start getting my plants transplanted from pots to the ground!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fabulous Friday... not so much.

My middle baby is sick. She was running a fever of 101.9 last night, and she has been congested and coughing. My youngest baby has been congested too, but luckily that's it. I hope they both start feeling better soon... my middle baby doesn't even feel like eating anything, which sucks because I just baked two dozen chocolate chip cookies, and we're having Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner tonight (a half cheese/half pepperoni pizza for the two younger kids, and a taco grande pizza for me and my oldest girl - SO GOOD).

My oldest and I went outside today and watered my plants - saw that now I have three green somethings in the chives pot, the corn is getting taller, and I definitely need to be transplanting my tomatoes into the ground within the next few days. Middle baby now has TWO Chinese Lantern flower plants sprouting in her pot, which makes her SOOOO happy, since we waited for over a month for them to start growing. She told me that it just goes to show that patience pays off... I agree. I just wish I had more patience.

My yard is growing out of control. If you read this blog regularly, you know I blew up the only lawnmower we had access to. I have no clue what we're going to do now - the neighbors on both sides have mowed their yards TWICE in the last week, and my grass looks terrible! It looks like no one lives here! :(

Youngest baby is finished with speech therapy until the fall, which is awesome. She was both happy and unhappy about it - she loves going, but she was glad not to have to. Silly girl.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am SO blessed

You know, I was thinking about something earlier tonight. whenever I get into a funk, I always think about the things that I want, things I don't have, things I'd like to do and probably never will, and people I'm jealous of for whatever reason. It's at those times that I need to come back to this post and remember these:

1. I never wanted kids in school. I used to tell my family (quite vehemently, I might add) that I would never get married, and never have kids. Now I have 4, and I couldn't imagine life without them.

2. There have been so many times when it would have been "easy" for me to walk away from my marriage, for whatever reason. I almost did once, a fact that I am not proud of. But here we are, 12 years later (together for 13), and I'm so glad I didn't take the "easy" way out.

3. While my relationships with my side of the family are completely varied and not always good, I have a mother in law and father in law who more than make up for it. They are the most wonderful people on the face of the earth, and (I'm pretty sure) they love me like a daughter - they are the kind of people who would do anything for you. I couldn't have asked for better grandparents for my girls, either. The girls worship them.

4. While my extended family has not always been accepting of my husband, his extended family has always treated me with kindness and acceptance. I always feel welcomed around all of them.

5. Ever since I started having children, I have wanted to stay home with them. This year I have been blessed enough to be able to do that, and homeschool them. This past year of my life has been the best one yet.

6. So many stepparents have bad relationships with their stepchildren. I am so blessed to have a wonderful stepdaughter - I love her like my own child and would do anything in the world for her. She is an amazing young lady and I have been blessed to be able to be a part of her life.

7. For the past 3 years (prior to the summer of '09), I lived in a really crappy apartment complex. We had so many problems with neighbors and the management. Then last summer we found this wonderful house that we live in now - pretty good neighbors on both sides AND across the street, and so much more room than we had before (even enough room to go crazy with gardening, lol).

8. My friend Amanda invited me to her church once, and we went, and we've been going ever since. I have the best church family in the entire world! I would be completely lost without all of the people I've met there, and I feel so privileged to be able to be a part of the Northside family.

9. GOD. Wow, if I ever had any doubts that he had (and still has) plans for me, I don't anymore. How else would everything have happened the way it has? It seems like such a small, simple thing to believe in Him, but it's so huge. He does so much, and I take it for granted. I'm trying not to, but I know I do. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

hoo hah

So my corn now has three green sprouts, my chives have one, and my squash and zucchini are growing like crazy! Now I'm getting impatient to see some veggies so I can use them! I am especially impatient for the chives... I want to dice some up and add them to my mashed potatoes! So yummy!

American Idol... sigh. I don't know why Lee was even in the top two, let alone why he won the thing. Crystal has been my favorite since her audition. I can't stand Lee. At least my pick on Dancing with the stars won. Tonight is the beginning of "So You Think You Can Dance," and the girls and I always love watching the auditions. :0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Semi-green thumbs of the world, unite!

Everyone knows this is my first go at gardening, even though I've wanted a vegetable and herb garden for a looooong time. So naturally, you all get to share my excitement whenever a new green thing pops up!

Like my corn... (see, there's two in there!)

Or Lexi's Chinese Lantern flowers, that have taken over a month to sprout...

Or my pumpkins, which sprouted this morning after I posted yesterday that I thought the birds had eaten all of the seeds...

I'll post more as they grow. It's like Christmas morning every morning, waking up and running outside to see what's sprouted!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Woo hoo

Went outside in the SWELTERING heat this morning to water the plants, and I noticed that the corn I planted last week has started to sprout!! YAY!! so the birds didn't get ALL of my seeds... have I mentioned how much I hate birds? Because I really, really do. I hate them. Loathe them. of course, it is partially my fault that they can get to the seeds, since I don't have anything covering my pots, but still. I checked the pot I planted the pumpkin seeds in, and they are ALL GONE. There was a huge hole in the soil where the birds (or maybe another animal, I don't know - but I suspect it was birds because of where I had the pots sitting) had dug in the soil to get the seeds. It was the same in the pot of thyme and the pot of lavender. Thank goodness I planted some of all of those in my little covered greenhouses, but still! (I'm saying that a lot today, huh?) Grrr!

Monday, May 24, 2010

playing hookey

We played hookey today. I started to make them do work, and they begged me not to, so I let them put on their new swim suits (thanks, Grandma & Papaw!!!), and we went outside. I dumped buckets of cold water on them repeatedly! So much fun! the best moment was when I asked Grace to do something for me, ran outside and grabbed a bucketful, and hid. When she came out, I soaked her, shorts and all! (she had put shorts on over her suit to eat lunch, since we had the a/c on in the house.) We had a blast, but decided they need squirt guns to shoot each other with. A future trip to the Dollar Tree is in the works. ;)

They're not gonna love me so much tomorrow, though... lol. Lots of work to catch up on!

I feel like I got a lot done today. I called in refills on the girls' allergy meds (all 5 scripts), made an appointment for Lexi's 8 year checkup, called the school admin building (long story, I'll go into it later on another post), and STARTED to try and mow the grass. I got one strip done before the mower started smoking and STOPPED WORKING. apparently I blew it up!!! It needed oil and I didn't know... so it's ruined. :( (Sorry, Father-In-Law who let me borrow it!) :(

We also tried a new thing today that we heard about from a friend... a fluffernutter! It's a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich. Sounds gross, but it was so good! The kids are addicted!

Tomorrow night my niece graduates from Kindergarten, so we're all pretty excited about that. I'd better charge my camera! ;)

Here's a photo that sums up our day :D

Sunday, May 23, 2010

holy crap

Holy crap, it was friggin' hot today!! We always go to my in-laws' home on Sundays and spend the whole day there, and I forgot to water my plants before we went. when we got home, my tomato plants were all but wilted! I watered them and five minutes later they perked up a little and looked better, but I need to get a garden built for the veggies and get them in the ground!

Apparently there's a school in this area that has a gifted and talented program for elementary aged students. My husband is really pushing for me to let our 7 year old take the admission test to get in the program. I talked to her about it, and she vacillates between excitement and reticence. She wants to go because it sounds amazing, but she doesn't want to stop being homeschooled. She wants new friends, but doesn't want to leave me or her sisters. She wants to be involved in a music program if they have it, but she wants to be able to stay home and read what she's interested in. For every reason she finds to want to go, she also comes up with a reason to want to stay home. The test isn't until June, so I told her to wait and see how the test goes before she decides (my husband has declared that she WILL take the test).


My stepdaughter will be here in just over a month, and we can't wait!

I dyed my hair again. I went a little darker this time. I think it looks good on me. Unusual, since I've had lighter hair all my life, but decent enough.

I just hope tomorrow turns out cooler than today, since I want to mow the grass!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

too hard on her

I know that I'm too hard on my oldest daughter (she's 9, will be 10 in a few months). I don't know why. I know that she's my learning child (all the firsts I experience come from her - first lost tooth, first day of school, you get the idea). My husband tells me frequently that I'm harder on her than the other kids. I know I am too, I just can't figure out why or how to stop.

There's a few times when I've been in the middle of yelling at her for something she's said or done, and then the voice in my head says "Is she gonna do ANYTHING right today, Momma?" And I shut my mouth. I just wish that voice would speak up more often. I don't want to tear down my daughter's self esteem or anything like that. She is creative, outgoing, and funny, and I don't want to ruin those things, I want to protect them. I want to shelter her and let her know how loved she is, and how wanted she is. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to do to her what was done to me growing up.

I always tried so hard, I made good grades, and I rarely got in trouble, but nothing ever seemed good enough for my mom. I was lonely, I grew up in a single parent home, and since my mom was sick all the time, I wasn't allowed to have friends over. I wasn't one of those kids who, after getting a license, was allowed to drive the car all the time. My mom grudgingly let me get my license so I could drive her around after she got sicker. Even then she didn't want to relinquish that control over me.

I want my daughter to be different. I want her to be able to come and talk to me, and really talk. I want to be her confidant, and be able to give her good sound advice when she has problems - not lose my mind and freak out over stupid crap. My only problem is that I don't know how to do that. My husband helps, and he will step in when he feels the need - the only problem is that he feels the need EVERY time she gets in trouble, and that aggravates me, because he has a tendency to favor her over the other kids when it comes to disciplining them.

I don't even know if I'm making any sense now. It's 11 am, I didn't sleep well, my coffee is cold, and I'm crying because she's gotten in trouble and I freaked out as per usual. I've already apologized to her and given her a hug and told her I love her, but I can't follow my own advice. I tell my kids all the time to watch what they say, because you can always say you're sorry, but once you say it, it's out there and you can't make the other person un-hear it. (Just like music they shouldn't listen to or TV they shouldn't watch.)


Friday, May 21, 2010

who cares?

Why is it such a big deal that I like to spend time with my family? I don't really have girlfriends that I go out with. I haven't been out with "the girls" for 13 years. I got married, and I wanted to spend time with my husband. Then when my stepdaughter was around, I spent time with both of them. Then I started having my own kids, and I wanted to spend time with them. I still do. My kids are the most awesome people on the face of the planet. We like the same things, we hang out and we have fun. The laughter in my home is so amazing - I only wish I'd grown up in a home like this. Why do people look gobsmacked when I say "I'd rather stay at home with my kids," as opposed to going out to a bar or something? I don't drink, I don't dance, and honestly, I don't really understand people who do. Don't get me wrong, I'm not disparaging people who do these things - I'm just saying maybe y'all shouldn't be so judgmental. While you're judging me for being a family-centered homebody, I'm wondering why you live the way you do, too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


What? I don't have a problem. I can stop any time I want to!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Addicted to Gardening?

Apparently I am becoming addicted to gardening. I had already planted squash and zucchini seeds, the girls planted watermelon and carrot seeds... and I had two tomato plants, one cantaloupe plant, sweet basil, greek oregano, mint, rosemary, and common sage. Today I planted sweet corn, pumpkins, lavender, thyme, chives, lettuce, cucumbers, and rosemary. I know, I already have some rosemary growing that I purchased, but I am determined to grow it on my own too! The girls talk me into buying seeds every time we go to the store... they said next time, I have to buy sunflower seeds! We'll see what else is next!

My herb garden! From L-R: Rosemary, Sweet Basil, Greek Oregano, common sage, and mint.

My potted seeds, along with the seedlings we'd already planted :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So the girls have decided that they want to spend all of our classroom time on Geography and Languages. I am battling this, but in the meantime they have all the states and capitals memorized, as well as postal code abbreviations for the states. Now I have to find a blank map and start working on locations of the states in the country... which I am terrible at! Gah!

Every morning feels like Christmas morning, waking up to go and see the progress of our seedlings outside! We planted squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, tomatoes, mint, basil, sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and chinese lantern flowers. I have seeds to try more stuff, but am running out of room to put everything! We can't wait to harvest our first fruits and veggies!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homeschooling blabber

Sooooo apparently my kids love their homeschooling, for the most part. Lexi enjoys everything, and always asks for more work to do, no matter how much we've done during the day. she catches on to things quickly and seldom needs anything explained more than once before she understands it. She loves it all - poetry, grammar, story comprehension, handwriting, math, French, Spanish, history, geography - especially math and geography. My oldest, however, detests everything EXCEPT language. She adores French and fights me on dang near everything else. She is having lots of trouble with math... which leads me to think that next year, Lexi will be in a higher math class than her older sister. Right now technically Lexi should be in second grade and Grace should be in third, but they are both doing the third grade curricula. Grace's ADHD doesn't help with not liking school, either... my baby is doing some preschool work here and there. I'll freely admit I haven't been very consistent about it because she's only been 4 for a few months, so she has plenty of time before we buckle down. We pretty much just do work whenever she feels like it. She has worked on opposites and number recognition from numbers 1-3.

On a positive note, one of my two cameras is finally repaired and I got it back today after a nearly three week hiatus. I am overjoyed to have it back - but I told my husband of all the things that went bad in the last two weeks: one down, about fifty to go, right? :/

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So today we officially started my herb garden. I mowed the lawn, front and back, and then we relaxed with some cold bottled waters... and then it was on to digging a space out for the plants. I bought seeds for lavender, sage, and rosemary, and bought a mint plant that was already started. for the girls' projects (we're doing a unit on The Secret Garden right now, and this week's big assignment was to plant something of their own), they picked their own seeds. Bud picked watermelons, Boo picked chinese lanterns (beautiful flowers), and Fifi picked carrots. They are very excited to see them start growing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stir Fry

Just wanted to share this recipe, since it doesn't seem to be up on the Bravo website anymore! it's a recipe that chef Antonia Lofaso made on season 5 (I think) of Top Chef, and we love it!

Stir-fry noodles

Package whole wheat noodles
1 lb chicken breasts
1/2 bunch bok choy, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup edamame

Cook and blanch noodles. Saute chicken, bok choy, pepper, onion and edamame; add some teriyaki to deglaze. Stir fry noodles with teriyaki and vegetables then add chicken breasts.

The amount of teriyaki you add is personal preference. I add 4-5 T of it. Also if edamame isn't available, I use peas.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long time, no update... sorry!


Outside my window... the neighbors' nice, mown yards... and my wild one!

I am thinking... about my niece

I am thankful for... my husband

From the kitchen... apricot scones

I am creating... a brag book for my niece's new baby

I am going... to church later today

I am wearing... my pj's

I am reading... The Secret Garden with my kids

I am hoping... for lots of rain today!

I am hearing... the kids laughing in the other room

Around the house ... the kitten is on the prowl...

One of my favorite things... Coffee in my Wicked mug

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... a homeschool field trip, quizzes, and more

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...