Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mom's Nagging Song

This struck me as rather amusing...and I counted about 25 phrases in here that I use.  I guess that's makes me a nag. :)  I found this video posted on Sharon's blog at By These Fruits .  

I hope you all get a chuckle out of it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Randomness

I have multiple things on my mind & I couldn't get excited about writing on one specific topic today.  And, so I thought I'd share some ramblings with you.

1.  My house.  I'm struggling folks.  I'm struggling with finding the balance between trying to keep my house orderly (a losing battle) and relaxing & enjoying my children.  I've come to the conclusion that with 4 young boys & one husband, the house is not going to be perfect...or even close to perfect.  At best, it will be less chaotic at times.
    I would love to have a clean house...really.  But for now I have to settle for an OK house.

2.  Envy.  I see pictures of other people's houses on their blogs.  And, I'll say it, I'm really jealous...and a bit embarrassed.  We live in an old house...verging on dilapidated.  It's less dilapidated than it was when my husband bought it 10 years ago.  But, it has glaring imperfections.  Too many to list...but here are a few.

  • 50+ year old, cracked nasty linoleum on our kitchen/ dining room floors (project on hold, because to replace the flooring, we need to even out the floors.  They are warped & definitely not level).
  • unfinished ductwork (for an upstairs heating system my husband hoped to install) going through old, broken drywall
  • a collapsed ceiling in the sunroom & rotting wood in the corners of the room
  • 80 year old windows in the downstairs that desperately need to be replaced
  • 2 different sets of kitchen original to the house, one from the 70's.
   As I said, the list goes on.  And, I hate to admit it, but when I see pics people post from their new, sparkling, large homes discontent takes root.  This is something I've battled for a long time.  And, I remind myself that even my less than perfect house would be considered luxurious by so much of the world's population.  Does it really matter what kind of house we live in as long as we are warm, dry, & happy?

    But is it OK to wish for something better?  To work toward something better?  Or should my attention be focused on advancing God's kingdom and being the best wife & mother I can be?  Should I just try to make my house now as homey as possible?  Even so, when do I find the time to do things like paint kitchen cabinets?

3.  Strong-willed children.  What do you do when your child is making you crazy?  I have one son who is high-spirited, precocious, very intelligent, and , at times, belligerent.  I've tried just about every parenting technique I can think of.  But sometimes he just pushes my buttons.  And, I don't know how to remain calm & control my own anger.

4.  Keeping perspective in blogging.  I lost a follower of my blog.  I get so excited when I see each time I have a new follower.  And, I was so disappointed when one day I noticed I had one less.  Then, I start to question - Did I say something to offend?  Am I just boring?
    I am hoping that she just deleted me by accident, but insecurity has a way of rearing it's ugly head.  And, I have to remind myself the reason I started a blog.  It wasn't to see how much readership I could gain (although I'm seeing how easy it is to get sucked into caring about that too).  It was to do something I could call my own, a way to keep my brain sharp, and to have some creative outlet.
   So why do I care?  I guess I've found something else through blogging that I didn't expect.  And, that is community.  It's fun to meet other women through their blogs - to encourage & to be encouraged.  Even though I haven't met them face to face I feel like they are new friends.

5.  Summer projects.  I have decided that I need to make a list of projects I want to complete & just do them.  I'm not sure how or when I'll find the time...but here goes...

  • paint my kitchen bench black.  I have the paint & paintbrushes bought already.  I just need to get started.
  • strip the nasty fabric off my kitchen table benches, sand them down & paint the whole thing.
  • Replace the old venetian blinds in our bedrooms with curtains.
I've got a ton of other projects I could add, but lets start with these & see how it goes.
Baby steps.  Baby steps.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Missed It Too Much

My old header is back.  I just missed it.  Maybe I'll fiddle around with designing a different header again sometime.  But for now, my blog feels like home again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Time To Get Serious

Ok.  I have a confession to make.   A while back I posted about my desire to lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday (coming up this November).  I was calling this little (actually, big)  project "40 by 40".  Um.  It hasn't exactly been working out like I had hoped.

Apparently, in order to lose weight you need to do more than just wish that you weighed less.  Apparently, you need to adjust your eating and exercise.  Which, I have not.

Soooo, I know how this goes.  I've struggled with my weight ever since my pre-teen years.  I have to get to the point where I absolutely can not stand it anymore before I get serious about doing what I need to do to lose weight.  I think I may have reached that point.

We had a birthday party for Wyatt on Saturday.  We had our families and a couple friends here.  There were lots of cameras snapping to capture the fun.  Unfortunately, my sister-in-law captured a bit more than just the fun.  I was in the frame for several shots helping Wyatt with his gifts as he was opening them.  And, there it was.  My much-larger-than-I-realized bottom.

It's really, really big.  I mean I don't see it that often unless someone takes a picture of me.  I don't own a full-length mirror.  I rarely shop for clothes so I don't get a full-length view that way.  I knew I was much larger than I wanted to be.  I knew that my 'fat' pants are way too tight.  But, I really didn't realize exactly how out of control things in the back had gotten.

Therefore, unless I am content leaving things as they are, which I am not, I must make some changes.  Instead of thinking of all the things that I shouldn't eat (so restrictive), I'm going to brainstorm some yummy stuff that I CAN eat and still work toward achieving my goal.  I'm going to list a few of my ideas...please feel free to give me some more ideas!

Oh, and summer produce is finally starting to come in so I'm going to try to reflect as many fresh items as I can.

  • Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar & olive oil
  • Fresh greens salads with plenty of chopped tomatoes, onions, & a bit of cheese
  • Vanilla lowfat yogurt topped with granola or fruit
  • Fresh fruit salad flavored with chopped mint & lime juice
  • Bruschetta
  • Grilled chicken & veggies
  • Sauteed zucchini, tomato, & onions over brown rice
  • Smoothies made with fresh fruit & lowfat yogurt
  • Home-made pizza, light on the crust, heavy on sauce & veggie toppings
  • Frozen grapes, banana slices dipped in yogurt, & blueberries
  • Salsa with lots of cilantro & baked tortilla chips
Wish me luck.  And, I'd love to hear some of your favorite healthy food options.

P.S. - I'm not sure if I'm digging my new header.  I kind of miss my photo collage header.  Any thoughts?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My First Babe

My first baby turns seven today.  Seven!  Sometimes I already see glimpses of the man he will be.

 Happy Birthday Wyatt!  I love you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Header woes & Am I the Only One?

I was playing around with my blog again last night instead of sleeping.  I finally went to bed frustrated.  I downloaded one of those scrappy headers & incorporated it into a collage.  But, I feel like I need more photo options, but wasn't coming up with what I wanted in my picture files.  AND, I can't get that header placed on the top of my blog like I want it.

It's not centered.  And, it's making me crazy.  I tried fiddling around with the pixel size when I exported it from Picasa.  I thought that would do the trick.  No go.

Anyway, just thought I'd warn anyone who is OCD that looking at my blog is probably going to really bother you until I get this header thing figured out.  I don't think I'm OCD and it definitely bothers me.

So, if anyone is more tech savvy than me & has some suggestions...bring them on.  Or, should I just go back to my photo collage header?  Decisions. decisions.

In the meantime here is a little piece I jotted down yesterday as I worked throughout my house.  It's called,

"Am I The Only One?"

Am I the only one who knows that....

  • hangers got hung back up after removing the clothing from them
  • trash goes in the trash can
  • dirty laundry goes in the hamper
  • dirty dishes go in the sink (and if you really want to knock my socks off, in the dishwasher)
  • used toilet paper goes in the toilet, and then gets flushed
  • for that matter, pee should also preferably go IN the toilet
  • toys go back to their respective locations 
  • shoes go on the shoe racks

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Prayer for Fluffy

We must have a nest of baby rabbits near our house.  Unfortunately I don't think it's a very safe place for them.  We found a dead baby bunny earlier this week in our front flowerbeds.  Originally I blamed my dog, but now I'm thinking it's my cat, Monster, who is responsible.

Last night I was upstairs changing Joseph's diaper when I heard Wyatt coming up the stairs saying that he found Monster laying beside a baby bunny outside & that he thinks the cat was trying to kill it.  I turned to see that Wyatt was holding the bunny in his hands.

Now what?  Can I be really honest in saying that a part of me just didn't want to be bothered with this bunny?  But, for the sake of my son who was earnestly concerned about it's well-being I knew we needed to do something.

We made a little bed of old t-shirts in a box for the shivering, scared bunny.  I did some research on-line on the care of bunnies.  And, we also consulted with my in-laws who live two doors down.

And, somewhere in that time, Wyatt had named the bunny, Fluffy.

 I went back and forth in my mind.  Do we try to care for the baby bunny?  Or, do we find a safe location to release it?

My research was showing that wild bunnies will often die if kept inside even if  they're being well cared for.  They just need to be outside.  I wasn't entirely sure the bunny was big enough to care for itself, but it's eyes were open & it had started moving around quite a bit inside the box.

We adults thought letting it go might be best.

Wyatt finally agreed.  He was trusting our judgement.  Let's let the bunny go.  We searched for the ideal spot. And, we decided upon a cluster of raspberry bushes in my in-laws back yard.  We said a prayer for Fluffy.  We asked God to watch over Fluffy and keep him (her?) safe.

And, by this point, I also cared about what happened to Fluffy.  I started second- guessing if we'd done the right thing for the bunny.  And, I said another prayer in my heart, "Yes God.  Please take care of this rabbit."

With all the major things in life, all the hurts, pains, needs that people have, does God really care about this rabbit?  I believe he does.  The Bible tells us that not a sparrow falls without his knowing.  The Bible tells us to cast all our cares on Him.  Not just the big ones, the 'important' ones.  All of our cares are important to Him.

Because I love my son, I took the time to care about that rabbit.  And, because God loves us, I believe, he cares about what matters to us.  We can take anything, big or small, to him in prayer.  It took a baby bunny named Fluffy to remind me of that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So Many Blogs, So Little Time

I am absolutely enchanted with other people's blogs.  I keep leapfrogging from one blog to another to another.  There is no shortage of fun, interesting, smart, inspirational, challenging blogs out there.

I'm trying to find some balance in my blog surfing.  I've got many blogs listed on my sidebar under 'Blogs that make me smile', but those aren't even the half of them.  I've got about a gazillion more bookmarked that I also like to read.  I've come to realize I can't read them all every day.

And, I keep finding MORE that I want to visit again.  

What's a busy mom to do?

My boys have already picked up on the fact that if they can't find mom they should check in the computer room.  My oldest has even made the comment to me, "You're on the computer again?"

Sooooo, I guess I need to set aside a certain amount of time each day and limit myself to that for spending time in blogworld.  

I just wanted to let all you fellow bloggers out there know how very much I'm enjoying all that you have to say.  Keep blogging!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Camping 2010

We have returned from our annual camping trip.  We're all a little exhausted, but overall it was a good time.

Here's the breakdown...
8th year in a row we've made this camping trip with this group
4 days, 3 nights
9 families
23 kids between the ages of 6 months (my Joseph) and 16 years.
20 of those kids were boys!!!

Yup.  You read that correctly.  20 boys.  Most of them were middle school & high school age.  Our boys are some of the youngest in the group.  But, it is so fun to watch this group and see where my boys will be in a few more years.

We did indeed use a tent.  We invested in a new, larger tent this year.  We really needed to upgrade our tent.  With 2 adults and four still in the pac n play we needed some space.  We also invested in camp cots for my husband and I.  Best investment ever!  I actually was able to sleep somewhat comfortably. 

 Here was our humble abode for the trip...

 My parent's accomodations were a notch above us with their pop-up...

 The rest of our group camps in style...

It was such a blessing to have my parents, my sister Sharon, and two of her friends camping beside us.  We wouldn't have been able to camp with four boys without their help.

 My Dad

 My Mom

Sharon (far right), Tasha, and Ashley

My idea of a great camping trip....
  • sitting by the campfire
  • eating
  • reading
  • journaling
  • eating some more
  • taking leisurely walks
My boys' idea of a great camping trip...
  • fishing
  • swimming
  • riding bikes
  • digging in the dirt
  • fishing and swimming some more
While I didn't get to do as much on my list as I would have liked, the boys definitely accomplished theirs.  And, at this stage of life, that's the important thing.  And, it was vacation so they got to enjoy things that would never happen at home.

Donuts & Oreo Cakesters for breakfast?  Check.
Drink two juice boxes in a row?  You bet.
Stay up late to watch the campfire and eat S'mores?  Absolutely.
Go to sleep caked in dirt and still wearing the day's clothing?  No problem

Worms for fishing

Fishing with Dad rocks!

Charlie's favorite past-time...getting dirty.

John gearing up for his annual trek to the Cecil County drag races.  This is a Friday night event about 20 minutes from our camp area.  So, he always brings his motorcycle to participate in the races.

The town of North East MD is only 10 minutes from the State Park.  We usually go in to town to enjoy a meal at Woody's Crab House and take in the sites.  It's a quaint little town with lots of antique shops and other cute shops.

Just to show that vacation was not all roses & sunshine, here are some pictures of a very irritable Charlie who had his share of the whinies.    Other not so wonderful parts of vacation?   90 degree heat, trying to discreetly nurse a baby (the tent was too hot to sit in during the day), minimal washing, and having to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Other folks from our group

My (pregnant) sister Lorinda & her husband, Jason, came to visit Saturday afternoon.

 Sharon holding Joseph

 Yikes!  Really bad picture of me with my sister & brother-in-law but I have to show that I was actually along on this vacation.

 John took the boys fishing once as it was getting dark.  This was Edison's night-time catch.  He was sooooo proud.  Can you tell?

 Our group ate together for many of the meals.  Each family worked with one other family planning, prepping, & serving a meal.  My family along with my parents and sister had Saturday morning breakfast.  This picture shows some of the adolescent boys descending upon the food at one of the meals.

 Here's Gabby - one of the 3 girls and Edison's new best friend.

Can't wait to see what's in store next year!
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