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Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Great to Be 8!!








Chloe posing for her baptism picture. Tomorrow is her big day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Escargo





I was attempting to not be completely nauseated by a crate full of slimy snails that my kids collected yesterday by playing the photographer...

"Mom, they tickle when they slide around on your skin!"

Gulp...do not hurl and play it cool....

"Wow, there's sooo many! Sadie, do NOT kiss them!"

"Why not?"

"They live in dirt and poo poo on the ground."

"No they don't Mom, they're clean and I love them."

Ugh.

The best part is that I put the girls into the bathtub and scrubbed them down and we forgot to let them go. This morning there are snails all over my patio, on the ceiling, the window, etc...
We love God's creations but we now had overload.

This morning Chloe, who helped collect them, woke up and said, "Mom, I'm so grossed out, there are snails everywhere outside cuz we didn't let them go and they got out of the box."

Nice.

We've had a great time finding where they crawled off to... ceiling fan, light fixtures, gutter, furniture. They make an amazing crackly suction sound when you pull them off. They also leave a beautiful boogery residue.

In honor of Spongebob, they were all named Gary. All 500 Gary's have now been removed and given a new home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The never ending story...


The story goes like this...
Mom leaves the house to get her hair done.
Mom comes home to make dinner then runs off to back to school night.
Back to school night lasts for 2 long painful hours...
She came home to this in the laundry room.
She came home to the dishes not done.
She came home to a blasting television.
She came home to a stressed out husband that hasn't slept for two days and was still working from home amid the chaos.
She came home to toys spread all over the girls bedroom and she couldn't get to their beds.
Her bathroom was trashed with towels and dirty kids clothing.
BUT...
She came home.
She came home safely.
She came home to happy, showered children.
Did I mention she came home to happy kids?
The "happy" part is the story she hopes to remember and the story that she hopes is never ending.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pictures from my sunday hike...















Have a great week. Enjoy the magic moments.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

shake it like a polaroid...

Today during cleaning time we put on some Disney music to inspire the little girls to help and caught this footage of my youngest "dusting the piano" or at least that's what she was supposed to be doing. How can I get mad at her when her 3 year old bootie shakin' is so unbelievably awesome!??

video

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

As Little Children



Yesterday at my daughters party I was awe struck at that beautiful 8 year old child. I was amazed at her interacting, the color of her hair, how kind she is to her friends, how the heck she got to be 8, and how I hope she is always so happy. Pretty typical mom stuff.

One of the friends that she made sure she invited was a girl from school with learning disabilities. She loves this girl and considers her among her best of friends. The whole party I watched her help the little girl and say things like... Do you need help with that? Can you try to do this with me please? Come over here and be by me ok? She looked out for her at every turn. I was worried that maybe some of the other girls that didn't know this friend from school would be mean or laugh at the things she couldn't do but I think that because of how Chloe treated her, the other girls were just as kind.

Her teachers had told me many times at school how amazed they were at how great Chloe was at helping and loving this child in class. For two years now she has been seated next to her to help the teachers get her through the schoolwork. She is so naturally kind. The other girl is often rude and grumpy with her and she just lets it roll off her shoulders day after day (she never does this at home with us however). It was absolutely special for me to witness and just brought tears to my eyes at how effortless it was for her. I hope she never loses that gift. I stand in awe of that ability to accept and to value people. Love thy neighbor.

This is also the daughter of mine with some uphill challenges. She exhausts me and blesses me. She is an emotional roller coaster. I hope I can continue to have the patience, love, and inspiration that I desperately need to do what she needs me to. I need to raise her knowing how good she is and most importantly to drill it into her head that I love her NO MATTER WHAT. I'll take some of her example in doing this from what I've seen her do. Wow, what I have learned from my children is amazing.

"Verily I say unto to you, except ye be converted, and become as little chidren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fishy Pool Party

It's OVER. Dang that was a lot of work. Everything went well though! Fun theme we had!

Balloons everywhere... blue, orange, yellow.


Made beach bags with hand printed "crabs" this was my example but the girls did much better than I did. I was impressed!

Girls with their almost finished projects.


I filled the pool with tons of beach balls. I bought a bunch and we had a bunch so it was looking like a fiesta. Wasn't fun to blow up but worth it!

I'm not sure what it is they are doing... they came up with some waterballoon on the trampoline game. Hey, it kept them happy and outside... all good.

Swedish fish to decorate our blue frosted cupcakes.

The treat table...
The place mats were obviously modeled after Goldfish crackers.

This is my impromptu centerpiece. Basket, shells, silk flowers, cake pedestal. I am so happy I kept that shell collection!

Pinata. Do they ever break open like they are supposed to??? Ours didn't. I had to shake it once it split cuz it wouldn't spill out.

And they all had fun and left happy :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Have Mis-filed My Gray Matter...



In searching for some paperwork last night, I discovered that I am not as organized as I thought. These papers are from 2003 to present. Papers I thought were properly filled and organized were found in the weirdest of places, which scares me. Can I please have my brain back? Has anyone seen any run away gray matter? I really think I am going crazy.

Besides the fact that paperwork hates me and runs away from my stinky little hands all the time, I have too much on my mind. I NEED THE TITLE TO OUR CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband got an awesome trade in deal and I was up way into the night looking through boxes of unidentified papers.

I seriously am starting to believe that maybe I threw it away. IF I did... I'm in big trouble. CROSS YOUR FINGERS!!! I'm off to search some more! I hope I come across my missing mind in the process!UGH...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tears (aka My Super Power)

WARNING, SLIGHTLY DEPRESSING BLOG ENTRY... and no, I'm not depressed I promise! I am just the kind of girl who always wants to make it better.

So far this has been a month of tears. Not necessarily my tears, but I have shed my share. Tears because I wish I could help people I care about. The nightly news alone is able to to bring one to tears with all the doom and gloom, things out of one's control.

TEARS from children who are frustrated. Typical, heartbreaking, and frustrating. Just loving on them more helps sometimes and then there is the times when they need that tough lovin'.

TEARS from an elderly mother in law... she is obsessed with the end of life stuff. She cannot have a conversation without shedding tears of concern and anxiety... and that's WITH medication. I hope she is taking it anyway.

TEARS from my parents, I'm always worried about them and wish I could help them more. All I can do is pray for them, call them, and be there however possible.

TEARS from friends and neighbors. Sad news it seems is bombarding my brain and hurting my heart these days.

So with all these sad tears flowing around me, sometimes I cannot help but to cry along with them. Sometimes I take a step back, always I want to make it all better. It's hard not having super powers!

So I look to heaven...

It all makes me have a greater sense of awe and gratitude for our loving Father in Heaven. He knew we would come here and be tested, struggle. I'm sure He sheds many tears for us in our times of trouble. I do not doubt that the times we are at the lowest of the lows life throws at us HE is there with us. Sometimes I think we blame him rather than turn to him for help when we feel it's too much for us to face. I guess I must take my example from Him on how I can help others... love them.

I think about how angry people get at the Almighty when life turns dark and the why me's start. I have done that myself. Why us? Why now? Why so much pain? Is this how we grow? Is this how we prove we are good as Job in our hours of need?

Sometimes I think "why not me"? So often it's so much more painful to have to watch horrible, hard things happen to others, and I want to take it away and carry it for them. Tears sometimes are the greatest release of frustration in those times, the pressure release of stress. A blessing.

Sooner or later rock bottom comes and everything looks clearer. We are not immune to pain, none of us are. Why should we be? Even the Son of God came here and felt every burden, every sin, all suffering, and all for us. He was not spared it. He knows what we feel, he is hearing our prayers for help. That brings me the most unbelievably thankful tears.

I LOVE to cry tears of joy. Tears of gratitude. Tears of amazement. Happy tears. The best thing that I've realized this week is to always see the HOPE. So, my super power? No, not tears. It's much better and I think we all have it- HOPE! Followed closely by faith's powerful inspiration.

Busy summer goings on...

My daughter turned 13 and it was, once again, sleepover time. Her theme was "Happy Campers". The best part was she wanted it to be just a few of her bestest buds. Activities went something like this...

swimming...

scary movies in the tent, roughing it girl style.

s'mores by the pool in the "pit", she likes them with dark chocolate

Fear factor for feet... she tortured her girlfriends with 3 concoctions we made earlier in the day and they had to identify with their feet. Jello, pudding, and cooked carrots pieces that were dehydrated (yuck). Blindfolds on, of course. They loved it, but my neighbors probably didn't love all the screaming. They were all sticky after the third stinky unidentified substance so she snuck up on them with the hose and let them have it. That led to more swimming.


Treasure hunt... I made 10 riddles on strips of paper that sent them around the neighborhood. At the end they found some "campy" water bottles that I filled with goodies such as airheads, fruit roll ups, jerky, nuts, mentos (long narrow food fit best). The tag on them said "Birthday Recovery Kit". (Thank heaven for the dollar store!) This one got half eaten before I got a pic.


They slept in the tent, heat and all. I have no idea what time they went to sleep but since they slept outside and not in my family room, I actually got some zzzz's also.

In the meantime...

My son is still in love with his car, and all he can do without an adult is sit in it and dream...


Then my seven year old is getting ready to celebrate birthday #8, a fish themed swim party...
so far, we've got the invites made... they'll have a bag of "whale" crackers attached.



She also wanted an aquarium with fishies for her birthday, perfectly themed. That is getting set up today so that the water in it will be just right for her to get the fishes from Petco on her birthday.

Also in the meantime... My youngest is learning to swim without her bubbles on...


video

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What knee's are for..

This week has been a bad week for child #3. She is out of control. I lost it a few times with her and that always makes things worse not to mention what a horrible parent I feel that I am after. If I had perfect kids and I was perfect myself, things would not bother me so much but they do since that state of perfection is not reality yet, maybe someday, but who is perfect, really.

Yesterday there was an incredible adventure going on in her room. There was a whole civilization built for her littlest pet shop animals. After about 2 hours she came out and realized that we all had been doing Saturday cleaning- the dreaded chores. She was asked nicely to please go back to her room and clean up so we could vacuum in there. She went nuts. The fit of all fits. She said she was too tired now, the mess was too big, that she couldn't possibly clean it up by herself, she was now wanting a new family, she was running away. It's all typical statements a cranky kid makes.

This time was going to be different I determined. I refused to lose it and I refused to let her get to me. I also refused to let it go. After about an hour of encouragement I turned it over to my husband. He went in there and put on cleaning music and danced around for her to make her (hopefully) stop crying and get to it. She just got up on her bed under the covers. She didn't do it. POWER STRUGGLE.

So I went in a while later and said that she had 5 minutes to get it done and I would clean up the toys that were not the little pet shop mess. I did that small task but she sat there crying like a loony. She kept HOWLING, what she sounds like truthfully. She hits a note on the scale of piercing that is so incredibly painful. Anyway, I kept my cool.

Five minutes later she is in the pantry looking for food. I told her that she was welcomed to have food when her ONE chore of the day was done. More howling ensued. I think the wolves were summoned, or at least she got their attention with all the ruckus. I was getting really close to losing it but I said to myself, she needs to know you mean it and it's really not too much for a seven year old to take care of. So putting my arm around her shoulder I escorted her to her room in silence (the whole time thinking about what I was going to do now).

As we came in her room I stopped, dropped to my knees. She happily flopped along side of me on the ground. I started to pray out loud with my arm around her. She shot me a look like she couldn't believe I was actually praying with her, what is mom up to? She quieted down. I muttered something like..."Please help her to know how much I love her, help her to make good decisions, let her know she is an important part of this family and to not feel sad, help me to be a good mom although I am not perfect, help her to learn how to work hard and help her to be cheerful today."

She was stunned. So was I frankly. I didn't know I was going to do that. She sat there looking at me as I explained that if it wasn't cleaned up by the time I came back with the black garbage bag I was taking the toys away. She didn't do a darn thing. So with her decision made, I cleaned up all the toys, put them into the black bag, and told her because she chose not to even try to clean them up they were gone for at least a week. She started crying about how much she miss them, and not my favorite toys mom... blah blah blah. I explained that decisions have consequences.

They are hidden in my closet now, in the sack, behind my clothes. No more games. She cried in mourning for the toys for a while and then came out and asked for a treat. I reviewed the deal with her and what had happened and how I expected cooperation in the future or she would lose all the toys around here. She said ok, she understood. Hmmmm... we'll see. I don't know if I did any good but I know I turned it over to the Lord and things did get better after that, not perfect, but better. I like better, it sure beats things getting worse.

Now I know why we have knee's. As I raise these four kids, mine are getting pretty worn.