Saturday, December 22, 2012

December ... So Far!

My favorite Christmas craft ever.  These are so beautiful and easy to make!  I also made some red and green ones.  I am going to make a red and white one for Valentine's Day and the IU Hoosiers!

Have you ever had a k-cup explode in your Keurig?  This was not pretty.  Coffee grounds and hot water everywhere!

12:12 on 12/12/12.  I took this picture for my husband who was under anesthesia at the time.  Love it!

I was so excited to go watch the IU Hoosiers play!  I was so sad when they lost to Butler.  My dad, who is a Butler alumni, got four tickets to the game.  Noah and I had a blast with my brother-in-law and nephew at the game.

I was so excited to pay $2.77 for gas in Indy.  I filled my tank up, which I haven't done in a while!  I work less than a mile from my house, so I usually just get a half tank of gas, but at this price I went all out.  Gas is back up to $3.25 in our town!

The twins and I went to a library program where they were able to cut out ornaments and paint them.  Then they took them and baked them at a pottery shop.  They turned out really cute!  Our library is awesome and has really neat children's programs.

Can't wait to see what the rest of December holds.  Then it's Happy New Year!  2013 here we come!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sixth Grade Sports

I have always claimed to be a bad sports mom.  I am very competitive by nature.  I am the second girl in my family and the middle child.  So I spent years trying to outshine my older sister and years trying to prove myself.  Now that I have children of my own involved in sports, my competitive side tends to come out even more.

My sixth grader decided to join a travel basketball team this year.  They do not have a sixth grade school team in our town, so travel basketball was our next option.  He was very excited when he made the "B" team.  What we didn't know is we would be in a league way above us!  We are playing teams that have been together for years.  These kids can run circles around us.  And every week his team shows up, plays hard, and gets beat!  I think it is more discouraging for me than it is for my son.  He keeps saying he is still having fun.  And he does not complain about practice or losing.

Here is what I have learned after six weeks, twelve games, and a record of 1-11:

1.  Cheer no matter what!  I tend to be louder than most parents at the games (except for my husband), but I am cheering for these boys no matter what the score is.

2.  What does not kill you makes you stronger!  I keep thinking how much experience this team is getting.  They are playing some of the best 6th graders in the state of Indiana.  They will only get better and stronger.

3.  Life is not fair.  There will be lots of things in life where you lose (not just games), and the sooner you realize this the better.

4.  Break it down.  While my sons team does not score a lot of points, it is exciting when he out-rebounds everyone on the court, or when he makes the most free throws, or when he gets the most steals.  There is always something positive to focus on.

5.  Celebrate no matter what.  A lot of times after losing two games, we go out to eat as a team.  The players get their own table, and the parents and other siblings sit together.  After one particularly bad day of games, my son said eating dinner with his teammates was the best part of the day.

Last Saturday, my son and I got to go watch the IU - Butler game in Indianapolis.  I am an IU graduate, so we were cheering for the Hoosiers, of course.  But sadly they didn't win.  And that is ok.  It was another lesson for my son who is learning it is ok to lose!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I did on 12/12/12

I have always loved numbers!  I love it when the clock says 12:34.  I love to add up numbers and see what they are divisible by (I think I learned this in 5th grade).  So I was very excited about the date today.

My husband decided to schedule surgery for this day.  He was pretty sure nothing could go wrong on 12/12/12.  He was under anesthesia at 12:12, so he had my son take a picture of the date and time for him.  He had the TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) procedure done for his very bad reflux.  He is hoping to be medication free in 2 weeks.  Hopefully his new "flapper" (as he calls it) will work!

Today we had our MOMSnext meeting at our church.  I am so blessed to be the coordinator of this wonderful group of moms.  We had lots of yummy food (someone brought cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks....heaven) and a favorite things gift exchange.  Each mom brought a gift for the exchange.  I loved hearing everyone's story about the item they brought.  I gave away a Chick-Fil-A calendar, one of my favorite places to eat.  My kids love the play area, and I love their peppermint chocolate chip shakes this time of year!!

The boys and I are going to get some dinner, then head to the hospital to see their dad.  He is required to spend the night.  They do not want him to get nauseous, so he had to get anti-nausea medicine around the clock.   If all goes well, he will be released in the morning.

After all of today's excitement, I am looking forward to a quiet day at home tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What I am doing {December Edition}

I cannot believe it is December already.  2012 has really gone fast for our family!  Here is what I have been doing...

{Reading}  I just finished The Same Kind of Different As Me.  My book club is meeting tonight and we are discussing this book.  I read it once last year and then last week for the second time.  I think I cried more this time around!  What a great story.  I highly recommend it.

{Watching}  I am still way into Duck Dynasty.  I call it the highlight of my week.  I think I may be getting some Duck Dynasty merchandise for my husband for Christmas.  I recently started watching Married to the Army: Alaska and love it.  I am at a loss for words when these women go months without their husbands.  It makes me cry!

{Drinking}  I have been trying to drink more water, especially in the morning when I first wake up.

{Listening}  My favorite Christmas carol is Oh Holy Night.  I have four versions of it on my playlist right now.  I also love the Third Day song Born in Bethlehem...great lyrics for the Christmas season.

{Making}  I learned how to make some fancy paper hangings.  I have been making them like crazy!

{Eating}  Reese's bells.  Love them more than any other Reese's cup!

{Going}  We have been going to watch my oldest boy's 6th grade travel basketball team play 2 games each Sunday afternoon.  His team is 0-8.  It is not fun watching them get beat (badly) every week.  I keep hoping and praying he is learning life lessons this season!

{Shopping}  Not at all.  Christmas is coming!  It comes every year!!  I need to get busy!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Random Things from last week!

The Friday after Thanksgiving, I did not have to work.  So I decided to drive down to Kentucky with my father-in-law with my three rowdy boys to visit my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife, and my all grown up nephew.  We spent over 6 hours in the car that day!  Whew!  The boys did really well until the last 30 miles when they started hitting.  Then there were tears.  Then there was yelling.  And then they fell asleep for the last 10 minutes of the trip, of course.  I think Molly, the large St. Bernard in the picture was very excited to have some company!

When we got home, my husband had made a giant pot of jambalaya.  I ended up going straight to bed. I think the 6 hours in the car did me in!  So the boys dug into the dinner while I slept.  Thankfully I woke up the next morning and felt much better.

Saturday afternoon we all went to pick out a real live Christmas tree.  I say all of us except for Moose (my middle son).  He decided to stay at home and play with his cousin and my mom (who had just dropped off my oldest son).  I threw out my old pre-lit tree last January.  The middle section of the tree would not light up, and I was tired of fighting with it.  So I promised the boys a real Christmas tree this year.

Of course, we took a wonderful family picture at the Christmas tree farm without Moose.  We just may have to photoshop him in.  I think this would make an excellent Christmas photo card!!  We had such a fun time picking out the perfect tree.  I think it's a humdinger of a tree!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What to write about?

I feel like I have a lot of things I want to blog about these days, but I feel like I don't have the time it takes to sit down and come up with something coherent.  So I will just talk about a few random things.

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary.  I chose to celebrate by working some extra hours at my job (we get so busy towards the end of the year)!  My husband chose to celebrate by spending the day out in the woods hunting.  We have to be the most romantic couple in the world!  Fifteen years goes by really fast.  I remember the weekend we got married it was unseasonably warm for Indiana, and gas cost 99 cents a gallon.  I remember the gas price because my college best friend and I couldn't believe how cheap gas was.  I think we talked about it a lot that weekend!

For our tenth anniversary, we spent a week in Hawaii.  So for our fifteenth anniversary, I decided I wanted a new wedding ring.  I have been talking about this off and on for a few years.  And this year my husband made me go ring shopping.  We went to two stores, and I came out empty handed.  I just could not bring myself to spend thousands of dollars on a new ring.  I decided to get my old ring's prongs fixed and dipped in rhodium.  It looks a thousand times better and only cost eighty bucks.  My sister thinks I am crazy for not buying a ring.  Oh well, maybe in five more years I will be ready!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dinner Funk

I have been in a real funk when it comes to meal planning and dinner making.  My poor family has eaten lots of corn dogs, turkey sandwiches, cold cereal, and spaghetti.  We also have eaten out way more than normal lately.  Maybe I know the holidays are coming (which they always do!), and I know I will have to cook then.  That's what I'm doing (wink wink!)!  I'm saving all my cooking energy for the next 4 weeks.  Maybe my family will actually talk to me then.  I do have two funny dinner stories that happened this week.

Thursday evening, I had a meeting to go to, then a literacy night at the twins school, then I had to get my oldest son to his basketball practice.  I knew I would not have time to sit down and eat with them, so I made a simple dinner that my husband could throw onto plates for everyone.  I opened a can of green beans and 2 packages of smoked sausages and threw them into the crockpot.  I also got all fancy and bought a package of The Original King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (which we all love!!).

When I got home from my first meeting, they were sitting around the table, and no one liked the sausage.  It was turkey sausage (which I don't normally buy), but it was all they had at Aldi that day when I was grocery shopping.  So no one liked it, and I think my husband was the only one who actually ate it.  In one of the quiet moments that evening, my middle son burst out with "At least she cooked us some dinner!".  I love that boy.  Ironically, his favorite part of the meal were the sweet rolls which involved opening a package.

After the Thursday fiasco, we decided to eat out Friday at Steak-N-Shake.  We were going out to eat without any coupons, and not on the kids eat free deal (which our Steak-N-Shake does on Saturday and Sunday).  So I was all upset about how expensive our meal was going to be.  But then they made my husband's burger wrong, so he had to wait longer than the rest of us.  So they took his entire meal (including his shake) off the bill.  Cha-ching!

The manager who came to talk to us was once a waiter, and my oldest son congratulated him on his promotion!  He was so nice to us, and thanked us for not yelling at him or our server.  I'm just glad my family actually ate the dinner (that I did not make)!

Maybe next week I will do a little better with meal planning, or maybe not!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blogging about weight loss

I typically don't talk about losing weight on my blog.  I find other topics much more interesting!  But recently I have had so many people ask me how much weight I have lost {which is a beautiful thing!} that I decided to blog about it.  First let me answer that question by saying I really don't know how much weight I have lost.  I am a tall girl (6 feet tall to be exact) and I weigh a lot.  Always have.  So I just hate weighing myself.  I only get on the scale at the doctor's office.  So I really do not have a weightloss number to give.

Second there was something about the year 2012.  I would be turning 38 in August.  I had a 20 year high school reunion.  And my daughter was getting married.  I wanted to look good as a {step} mother of the bride!!  So when I found this little sign on pinterest, I decided this was going to be my year.

Third I bought an elliptical machine in January and parked it in my bedroom right in front of a television.  This is the first piece of exercise equipment I ever purchased.  And I told myself I was going to use it.  Every. Single. Day.  Not five days a week or four days a week, but every day of the week.  And I have used it.  I love it!  Coming from a girl who hadn't worked out in years, I can truly say I look forward to getting on my elliptical machine every night.  I have also watched hours of mindless television, but I keep telling myself I am getting healthier!!

So here is the proof.  The picture on the left was taken October 2011.  We had family pictures taken, and I loved them...except for the ones of me.  I kept thinking why did I wear a sweater that showed all my fat rolls?!?  But in reality, no matter what I wore, I would not have liked the pictures of me!  The picture on the right was taken on Tuesday {yes, that is my I VOTED sticker}.  And when I looked at the difference I was shocked!  I really didn't do anything magical the past year.  I just decided This Was/Is My Year!  And maybe I will inspire someone else to have a year like mine.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November!

It was really cold this Halloween!  Once it got dark, it got even colder.  Before we went trick-or-treating, we ate Papa Murphy's pumpkin pepperoni pizza.  I decided to pick one up on a whim yesterday.  We hadn't gotten Papa Murphy's in a long time because the kids would not eat it.  They prefer Papa Johns or even Little Caesars.  My husband and I love it so much that when we first moved here from Colorado (almost 10 years!), we would drive over 40 minutes to pick it up!  Now we have one just a few miles from our house!  I was pleasantly surprised when all three boys ate a piece and did not complain.  Maybe bribing them with candy helped a little bit.

My oldest son whose dream is to play in the NBA (what 11 year old boy doesn't dream of this?) decided to be Rajon Rondo for Halloween.  He kept going back and forth about trick-or-treating and finally decided not to go.  I was a little sad, but we let him stay home and pass out candy.  We saw lots of kids older than him in our neighborhood, so maybe next year he will want to.

Captain America and Thor were all about the candy for about 10 minutes.  Then they got tired, a bag got too heavy, a bucket got spilled after tripping and falling, it got really cold, and they were done!  We only stayed out for about an hour, which was more than enough time to collect more than enough candy.

Now that BOO! BOO! is over, it's time for GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!  I cannot believe Thanksgiving is only three weeks from today.  The days go slow, but the year goes by fast.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What I am doing

QUOTING...everytime my husband and I watch Duck Dynasty, we come up with new quotes to use.  "My hands smell like taco meat."  "I'm like an owl.  I don't give a hoot!"  "I'm fixing to go crazy redneck up in here."  Just to name a few.

FASTING....Our church is in the middle of a series called FREEDOM.  One of the things they encouraged us to do was to give up something for the month of October.  I chose to give up facebook.  It was really hard in the beginning, but now I really don't miss it.  I deactivated my account and don't know if I will reactivate it in November.  It's been really freeing not logging on!

WAITING....For some IU basketball to start.  I am so excited about the season this year.  I get to go to a game on December 15th and cannot wait!!

READING....I just finished reading this book by one of my favorite authors, Rick Johnson.  This is a great book for women no matter how long they have been married.

WATCHING and CRYING...I have been a big fan of Parenthood since the beginning.  But this season.  Oh. My. Word.  It is really getting to me.  Every episode I cry the ugly cry while doing my elliptical machine.  Not a pretty sight! new Tim Tebow New York Jets jersey.  My husband surprised me with this yesterday.  I really am not wearing it backwards; I took the picture in the mirror and couldn't figure out how to flip it.  Can't wait to wear this on Sunday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why I didn't buy Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Countertop spray at Target

A few weeks ago I was in Target and decided I wanted to look at the Mrs. Meyers selection of cleaning products.  I felt like I needed to get some new cleaning supplies. After looking and smelling and pondering what to buy, I made the decision to go home and see what I had to use up first.  Good thing I did!!  Looks like I won't need to buy any cleaning supplies for a while.
One of the things I did while I was avoiding packing for our vacation was to organize my cleaning supplies.  So now that they are all organized, hopefully it will motivate me to clean more often.  So after I use up everything I already have, I can go back to Target and get that wonderfully smelling Lemon Verbana Countertop Spray!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I learned about Walt Disney World in October

We had the privilege of going to Orlando, Florida for seven days over the boy's fall break. I had not been to Disney World for seven years, so I had pretty much forgotten everything about the parks and rides. We had a great time with my parents and I thought I would share what I learned while down there.

 1. People say it is not crowded in October in Disney World. This is a lie. I think it was just as crowded as it was seven years ago in July.

 2. It is still very hot in October in Orlando. Like shorts and tank tops hot!

 3. The food stands will give you free ice water if you ask. I was seriously shocked at this. I don't know how many cups of ice water we consumed in seven days, but it was a lot!

 4. They do not sell gum in Disney World. My kids were very disappointed when I ran out of gum at one of the parks and they had to wait to get to our room for more.

 5. My kids love roller coasters.

 6. I wish I had an accent. It is so much fun listening to all the different accents!

 7. There are adults who spend some serious money on Halloween costumes. We went to the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party one evening and were thoroughly entertained by the costumes.

 8. Disney World is much easier without having to push a stroller. I was so thankful my kids were able to walk and keep up with us the entire trip.

 9. We averaged 18,000 steps each day at the different parks! I know this because I have been wearing a pedometer for work.

 10. After being at the mercy of the Disney World bus system for seven days, I was very excited to see my dirty, sticky, old mini van!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Christmas is Coming!

Guess what?  Christmas is coming.  I know that's a big shock to some.  But I promise you Christmas is coming.  It comes every year right around December 25th.  I know we haven't even gone trick-or-treating yet, but it seems like right after October 31st, the rest of the year flies by!  Boo-Boo, Gobble- Gobble, Ho-Ho, Happy New Year!  And then it's February of the new year.  I am reminding everyone that Christmas is coming so they can start getting ready now.

On that note I am already starting to think about our Christmas Photo Cards that we will send out this year.  I have been sending a photo card since 2005 and just love them.  I love getting them from family and friends also.  I would say I mail or give out about fifty cards each year.  In the past years, we took a family photo in front of the fireplace, but last year we had professional pictures taken in October so I used one from that photo shoot.

This year at our daughter's wedding we took a family photo and I might use that.  Although one of my sons looks kind of like an alien.  If not we will be able to take a family photo at Thanksgiving because Megan and Garret will be here from Colorado (YAY!)!!

Have you heard of Tiny Prints?  Well, they have just launched their new 2012 Holiday Collection of cards.  They have high quality products and some of the cutest styles I have ever seen.  I love that you can choose how many photos you want to include in your card, then it takes you to the available styles. You should also check out their Special Offers page to help save some money on any order.

You can also follow Tiny Prints on Pinterest where they have some really cute ideas or check out their blog for some great holiday inspiration.  I think I will have to wait until our Fall Break is over to really start looking at the card options.  Because when the kids are home, my productivity goes way down!

*Please note this is a sponsored blog post from Tiny Prints.  I have ordered from Tiny Prints before and love their products, so I am happy to share them with you!*

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Break!

It's fall break time here in our town.  Our school district went to the balanced calendar schedule this year.  So we have 9 weeks of school then 2 weeks off for Fall Break.  Then this continues for Winter break and Spring break.  Very exciting times for us.  You have no idea how good it felt to sleep in this morning.  I work on Mondays and get up very early, so today was my first day to sleep in.

Because we had a very busy summer (with graduation, a wedding, and surgery) we only took a 3 day trip to Chicago and decided to save our real vacation for now.  So in a few days we are headed to Orlando, Florida and Walt Disney World.  The boys are so excited.  It has been about seven years since we were there last.  I am looking forward to sunshine and warmth (it got really cold here recently) and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!

While I should be packing for our trip, I have been doing everything but.  Today I made monkey bread for the kids, then I decided I needed to organize our cough drops, then I cleaned out a cabinet (I found 8 empty ball jars and a snowflake plate).  After that I tried to get bathing suits and goggles together which led to cleaning out a towel closet.  So I will probably be packing late night before we leave.

On a totally different subject, have you checked out the new NERF fire vision football?  My boys are totally loving this new game.  They are really into back yard football with all the neighbor boys right now.  And now when it gets dark, they can play a little longer.  I love their slogan...LIGHTS OUT! GAME ON!  I totally wish we had a basement where we could turn out the lights and send the boys down there in the dark when it's raining outside.  Oh well, a girl can dream.  I was sent the Nerf Fire Vision by being a BzzAgent.  Check out their website if you want to review fun products like this!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When is it ever enough?

 A few months ago I was upstairs plugging away at my elliptical machine.  I have really gotten my moneys worth since January when I bought it.  I told myself that if I was going to buy a large piece of exercise equipment, I was going to use it!  So I have faithfully been exercising since January, except for the two weeks when I thought I was going to die. But I am back in the saddle again.

I have watched a lot of mindless television during the 30 to 40 minutes I exercise each night.  But there is one thing that I will remember for a very long time.  I happened to be flipping through channels and stopped on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) to watch Oprah interviewing Paula Deen.  What an interesting interview.  They were cracking me up with all their silly chatter and they even jumped on a trampoline in their pajamas.

The one thing that I will remember is when they got all serious and Oprah started asking Paula questions.  It went something like this.

Oprah: "When did you know everything was going to be okay for you and your boys?"

Paula: "When I still had money to go out and buy groceries the Wednesday before payday Friday."

Wow!  Talk about an eye opening conversation.  There have been times when my husband and I had extra money (when we were young, I worked two jobs, and he had a construction job with lots of perks!).  And there were times when it felt like we were broke (paying college tuition, medical bills, and just the craziness of life).  So I am no longer going to look at my savings account (or lack thereof), my retirement fund, or the college accounts (which we need to work on).  If we have money in the checkbook on Wednesday before payday Friday, we are doing just as well as Paula Deen!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall is Here!!

I know September 22nd was the first official day of fall.  However I do not recognize the beginning of fall until I am able to find pumpkin ice cream.  I love pumpkin anything (muffins, bread, pie, pumpkin roll, etc...), but this pumpkin ice cream is my absolute favorite.  I now have three cartons in my freezer hidden from my children!  I see many extra minutes on the elliptical machine in exchange for all the ice cream I will be consuming.  Happy Fall to me!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Highs and Lows


*2 pair of my jeans no longer fit.  They slide right off my hips!  Guess I'll just have to go shopping.

*I got a new book in the mail from an author friend of mine.  I answered a question for him (a long time ago), and he used my paragraph in his book.  Yes!  I have 18 lines of my own words published in a real book!

*I am finally starting to feel normal after my long illness.  I keep saying I am at 97% and holding.  But at least I am up and walking and can actually be my normal self.

*My oldest son made the 6th grade travel basketball team.  He is so excited about this.  He loves basketball, so hopefully this will be a good experience for him!


*My vintage Schwinn bicycle got stolen out of our front yard.  I am really bummed about this :(

*My oldest son's bike also got stolen from our front yard.  Maybe we can find a really good sale on bikes!

*I am feeling better, but now have a wicked sore throat.  I keep ignoring it hoping it will go away on its own.

*After not working out for 2 weeks, I overdid it yesterday and am very sore.  Hopefully that will go away as I continue working out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Lose a Week

Last week, I was sick.  Not just sick, but SICK!  I started calling it the death illness.  I spent 6 days in my bed.  I had fevers, chills, body ache, no appetite, headaches, night sweats, and a bad cough!  I got up twice to go to the doctor's office.  You know your sick when the doctor walks into your examination room and says, "You must be really sick.  You never come to see me!"

So after a negative flu swab, four vials of blood, and a chest xray, they finally put me on Augmentin.  I think they were tired of my whining.  That or they were worried about me having a fever for 7 days.  Either way, I am finally starting to feel better.  I have lost 11 pounds and haven't worked out for 12 days.  I don't have that much energy yet.

I do have to say how thankful I am for my husband who did the laundry twice!  And he went to Walmart every day to get stuff we were out of or really needed.  What a great guy!  Here's hoping no one else in the family gets this illness.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A sign of the times

Winter is coming.  It comes every year.  Although it is still September and hot and humid here in Indiana, we all know winter will be here.  The past few years we have been using a wood burning stove in our house.  This means every fall my husband starts cutting and splitting wood and bringing it home in big piles. 

Then we all go out in the back yard and help my husband stack the wood.  And then we wait for fall to end and cold weather.  Then we start hauling the wood inside, cranking up the wood burning stove, and then I get to sweep the floor a few hundred times a day.  But I'm not complaining because our gas heating bill stays very low and we stay very warm!
While we are waiting for winter to arrive, I have also started a countdown to the Duck Dynasty!  The one show my husband and I watch together.  Since Downton Abbey doesn't start until January, this is what I have to look forward to in October.  October 10th Jack!!  In the words of Si Robertson, "it's on like Donkey Kong!!"

Saturday, September 1, 2012


READING ::  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton & Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst.  It's not unusual for me to read two or even three books at a time.

WATCHING ::  Downton Abbey.  One word.  Hooked.  After a friend of mine told me about it, I rented the first two seasons from our library.  January 6, 2013 cannot get here fast enough!

DRINKING :: Coffee with pumpkin spice creamer.  I made myself wait to open it until September 1st. It is so yummy!!

PLANNING :: MOMSnext.  I am the group coordinator for the second year.  So excited to share with a great group of moms!

WISHING :: For fall weather and cooler temperatures.  After a HOT summer, I hope we have a long fall season!

MAKING :: I have been making broccoli salad a lot!  I am in love with it.  Seriously!

CLEANING :: My oven.  It's sad that the smoke alarm goes off when you are preheating your oven. After happening several days in a row, I decided it was time to clean!

NEEDING :: To find some new dinner ideas.  I am in a dinner making funk!  We cannot live off corn dogs, chicken nuggets, and hamburgers alone!

BUYING ::  I want to buy new clothes and new dishes.  I have been pricing Fiestware lately.  A few years ago I bought dishes with my Christmas money and have not really liked them since!  Maybe I will start saving for some new ones!

BAKING ::  I have made two batches of No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  I think I have eaten all but two small squares of them.  That's why I shouldn't bake!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

I don't know who has changed more in a year.  Noah or Rufus?  Rufus is Noah's bearded dragon who has lived in our home for one year now.  As far as reptiles go, this is one I can tolerate.  He is pretty low maintenance, just feed him some broccoli, a little fruit, and some sort of protein, and he is one happy bearded dragon.  I tell Noah all the time that Rufus is going to college with him.  I can just see Rufus hanging out in a fraternity house in his older years!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I have been doing!

School started August 1st for us this year.  Our school district went to the "Balanced Calendar" this year.  Which basically means we are in school for nine weeks, then out of school for two weeks, until the summer which will be eight or nine weeks.  So we are really looking forward to two week breaks in October, December/January, and March.

I had a list a mile long of things to do on August 1st, however my youngest son was sick.  We thought he just had the flu, but it lingered for days.  He said the entire time his whole belly hurt.  He threw up.  A lot!  He didn't want to eat or drink or do anything.  So finally being the good mom and nurse that I am, we went to the walk-in clinic at our family physician on Saturday (by this time he had missed the first 3 days of school).  A few hours later we ended up in the Emergency Room at our local hospital.  And then a few hours later we ended up the Riley Hospital Emergency Room.  So now I know the signs of a small bowel obstruction in the pediatric population.  Vomiting longer than 48 hours, no fever,  no appetite, decreased energy, and belly pain.  All of which my son had when we thought it was just the flu.  The fact that he had several abdominal surgeries shortly after birth adds to his chances of getting adhesions which can sometimes be the cause of the bowel obstruction.

So needless to say, after two days in the hospital, the surgeons decided it was time to do surgery. Thankfully he was able to have laparoscopic surgery to take down the adhesions.  So Monday night he had his surgery and he was able to come home on Thursday, after he passed gas and some form of stool.  He even went to school on Friday!!  You know when your 2nd grade boy is begging to go to school, he is over the whole thing.

So the start to our school year has been just a little crazy.  Now I can think about all the things I want to get done.  All the legos I want to organize.  All the books I want to read.  All the stores I want to go to by myself.  Because now that summer is over, my productivity goes way up!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quick Update

So my youngest son ended up having exploratory surgery late Monday night.  They were able to do it all laparoscopically which was a huge praise!  So they ended up taking down the adhesions from his previous surgeries (which were 7 years ago) and repairing a small area by his colon.  The surgeon was very pleased with everything.  And poor little Devin had to have an NG tube attached to suction for 2 days.

On Wednesday evening they were able to remove the tube and let him start having clear liquids to drink.  It had been 8 days since he has eaten any real food and 4 days since he had swallowed a drink.  This morning they are letting him try real food.  If he able to keep everything he takes down, passes gas, and eventually poops, then he is good to go!

So we are just waiting waiting waiting for poop!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Joyful. Patient. Faithful.

I have a chalkboard in my kitchen that sits on an easel.  Oftentimes it is covered with papers, coupons, lists, and what not.  Sometimes I write a verse or a quote I like on it.  The other day, I wrote this verse down.  God knew I was going to need it.  I was excited about the new school year for the boys.  I was looking forward to a few hours of peace and quiet.  I was gearing up for homework, fall sports, emails from teachers, and all the stuff that goes with a new school year.  

Then Tuesday night, my youngest started throwing up.  A lot.  And it didn't stop.  So 5 days, one doctor's appointment, and 2 ER visits later, we are at Riley Children's Hospital waiting out a bowel obstruction.  Hoping he will start moving things on his own.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I am going to practice what this verse says as best as I can.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random Thoughts I found when going through paper work

I have been going through paperwork like crazy around the house.  I found a bunch of notes from different seminars I went to over the years.  I wanted to put the notes in a safe place and forgot about them for years.  So here is what I thought was important.

*When raising kids, remember things may not always be equal, but we will always be fair.

*I am called to be obedient, and God is responsible for the results.

*I need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life!

*The days go slow, but the years go fast!

*I need to parent the actual kids I have and the life we are living right now!

*Sometimes you just need to paint the walls, instead of decorating the whole room!

*Earthy people are prone to do earthy things.

*You only see the front porch of people's lives.

So these are things I wanted to remember and now I can throw away recycle more papers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Animals in Chicago

The Monday after Megan and Garret's wedding, Steve, the boys, and I headed up to Chicago for a 3 day road trip.  Since we are going to the balanced calendar school schedule this year, we decided on a mini vacation before school starts.   Then in October we are going to Disney on Orlando with my parents for a week!  

So we went to the Chicago zoo (in the hot humid weather!) and Shedd Aquarium. We ended up buying a Shedd Aquarium membership just so we didn't have to stand in the long ticket line in the hot sun!

The boys were very excited about Stingray Bay at the Brookfield zoo.  There are 50 cownose rays swimming around in a big shallow pool.  They swim right past and you get a chance to pet the rays.  Thankfully their barbs are trimmed making them harmless!

At the Shedd Aquarium we were very excited about the jellies exhibit.  I had no idea there are so many species of jelly fish.  They are beautiful and mesmerizing to watch.  My son took this awesome picture with an iphone!

The twins got an opportunity to dress up and act like penguins.  They had a penguin slide that was fun for them.  I think twin penguins are adorable!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Backyard Basketball Court

In May we had a backyard basketball court put in.  The boys were very excited about it!  There have been lots of games played on this court and lots of practicing.  With 3 boys who love to play sports, the court makes an excellent place to also play kickball.  After all the work was done, we decided to try and plant some grass.  The dirt was excavated and smoothed out, we put down grass seed, then covered it with hay.   Then it never rained again at our house.  We tried watering it, my husband, oldest son, and I taking turns.  But we failed!

And now the cold hard truth...this is what our back yard looks like.  Weeds, hay, and dead grass. We are in a major drought here in Indiana.  We will not have grass this summer.  My husband wanted to get rid of the play set because our boys are 7 (the twins) and 11.  But I am too nostalgic and won't part with it yet.

There are a few plants that did pop up on their own.  I think this is a zucchini plant, but not sure.   I'm sure it is from something that was left over from our garden 2 years ago.  I finally gave in and started watering this plant in hopes of getting at least one vegetable from it!

And this is the best surprise from the backyard.  I love sunflowers!  I had a sunflower kitchen in Colorado back in the day.  I have a sunflower tattoo on my ankle.  I love driving through Kansas during the summer and seeing all the sunflowers!  And this little beauty popped up in my ugly backyard.  Beauty among all the ugly!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Megan and Garret's Barn Wedding

My daughter (from marriage) who just graduated from Ball State in May and moved to Colorado two weeks later, came back to Indiana to get married to her Colorado cowboy.  He is taking his new bride back to their new home in Pueblo this week.  I cannot begin to describe how much fun everyone had at their wedding.  It was a simple affair planned from start to finish by Megan.  Everything looked beautiful, the food was excellent, the dancing was so much fun.  I didn't want the night to end.  Our good friend Dean Nester performed the marriage ceremony in his cowboy hat.  He fit right in!!

This is my husband and I.  I wanted to pull off the country chic look and he wanted to pull off the Duck Commander/Duck Dynasty look.  I think we both succeeded!

Here I am with my oldest son who was an usher in the wedding.  He did a great job and acted very professional which is a great accomplishment for an eleven year old boy.  I think this will be a great picture for the slide show at his wedding.  (If they are even doing that when he gets married)

The twins were the ring bearers for Sissy's wedding.  My sister made this adorable sign for them to carry as they walked ran down the aisle.  They looked so cute in their cowboy boots and shirts.  Once they got on the dance floor, they unsnapped their shirts and looked so so cute!

And lastly my adorable niece was one of the flower girls.  Megan was Audrey's favorite babysitter ever.  We are all so sad she is moving to Colorado!

During the reception, you could text song requests to the DJ to play.  So my son borrowed my phone to request two of his favorite tunes.  Little did I know that the song requests would show up on the screen.  And my son did not know that my texts send my signature automatically at the end.

So imagine my surprise when I looked up on the big screen and saw the following:

I'm sexy and I know it   Denise

Oh yea!  I'm sexy and I know it.  Denise

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What We've Been Doing

Is is HOT here in Indiana.  We have been in the 90's for days and have not had rain in 24 days.  Makes me thankful I didn't plant a garden this year!  Today it got in the 100's.  I haven't heard the official high, but it is HOTT for sure.  With all this hot weather, it's hard to keep boys entertained.  Here is what we've been doing.

Moose got to go to soccer camp in the record heat.  It was from 5:30 to 7:00 pm for four days.  He did great and learned a lot about soccer.

We are also getting ready for a big barn wedding this Saturday.  Megan is getting married at the Riley Party Barn in Anderson.  We have been getting our boots shined and our western shirts ironed.  It's going to be a lot of fun!

We have also gone swimming every day that I am home.  We have great friends who let us use their pool anytime we want.  It is such a blessing to be able to swim on these HOT days.  The boys are excellent swimmers and we all have rocking tans.  We will look great in the wedding pictures on Saturday.

If all else fails and it is too HOT to go outside, there are always LEGOS to play with.  I love seeing their creations.  This has taken up permanent residence on our dining room table.  Which is okay because I haven't been cooking very much.   I don't know what it is about summer, but I have a hard time planning meals and cooking!  We have eaten a lot of corn dogs, mac & cheese, and Lunchables here lately.  Guess the boys will have to wait for a healthy meal until August 1st when school starts and they can get the cafeteria lunch tray.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Something always happens!

"Just when Billy-Boy gets ahead...something like this happens"

Picture my best friend from college and I sitting in the back seat of the car with my dad driving.  He had just picked us up on the East side of Indy after the old car I was driving suddenly died.  As a girl with absolutely no car mechanical skills, my only choice was to pick up the pay phone, pay 25 cents, and call dad for help.  

I forget where we were even trying to go.  I just remember my dad not being very happy, and my friend and I trying not to bust out laughing while my dad was talking to himself.  My friend and I would repeat this quote over the course of our college years many times.  And laugh about it now that it was all over.  I don't remember what was wrong with the car or how much my dad had to pay to get it fixed.  I just knew it would cost him money he did not want to spend!

Fast forward many years later and I have had my fair share of these moments.  Last month in fact.  We had just paid our last tuition payment, given our lump sum of money for a wedding, and all but moved Megan out of the house when my husband had a motorcycle wreck on a round-about in our town.  A ride in the ambulance, Emergency Room visit, insurance companies (theirs and ours), deductibles, a totalled motorcycle, and a fractured clavicle all brought back the "just when I get ahead...something like this happens".  

And it is so true.  And it will probably be true for the rest of my life.  Just like my dad said.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cracked iPod Touch

Now that school is out, I get to do fun things like going to the bank and grocery shopping with 3 boys.  On the rare occasion that one of them has something to do, sometimes I get lucky and only have to take 2 boys.  Shopping with 2 boys is really not all that fun and I usually spend way more money than I would if I were shopping alone.  The grocery bill has gotten considerably higher the last three weeks, but at least I am not writing checks for school lunch every other week.  I have to look at the brighter side of things!

Last week, my middle son decided to bring his iPod touch with us to Aldi.  Our local Aldi is neat and clean and also pretty small.  There are a total of four aisles to go up and down and the shopping is done.  I go to my Aldi at least once a week, sometimes more.  So while my oldest son was at basketball camp, the two younger boys and I went shopping.  As we were finishing up the first aisle, my middle son who climbed in then out of the cart dropped his iPod on the tile floor.  He picked it up and kept going.  We get to the last aisle when he notices his screen is cracked badly!  He throws a fit, starts to tear up, blames his brother (who was no where near him when he dropped it), blames me, then decides it still works all in a matter of 30 seconds.  I did tell him we would have to put it up while he earns money to buy a new screen and have it replaced.  So far he is about halfway there.

So the moral of this story is don't drop your iPod on a tile floor.  It's not a good thing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back Yard Bird Nests

This Spring I joked with my husband that the recession was over, so I decided to buy bird seed again.  It's not like we won the lottery or made way more money this year than last.  But I did feel like we weren't struggling every month to pay our bills, pay for college tuition, pay for shoes when the boys feet grew, and still save a little bit of money.  With Megan graduating from Ball State in May, I felt a big sigh of relief knowing that she was able to graduate with no student loans and we did not have to go in debt to pay for it.

So that's when I decided I would start buying bird seed again.  Which turned into a new bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder also.  Shortly after I hung up the new bird feeder, I noticed bird nests popping up everywhere.  In a backyard with three rowdy boys and all their rowdy friends, I was impressed that so many birds decided to actually build their nests so close.

Aren't these little baby birds adorable!  They are just waiting to be fed by their momma.

 And one bird even made a nest in our wood pile.

All these nests reminded me of a children's book that I love called The Best Nest.  In this book Mr. & Mrs. Bird search for a new place to build a nest only to discover their old nest was actually the best all along.  A great lesson in contentment to read to the kids this summer!