Monday, September 20, 2010

Anecdotal evidence...

I realize that this blog has turned into lists and such when it used to be stories that I wanted to record and share. So that's today's task - write some 'anecdotes' for each person! Smallest to biggest...
Ray - Right now I am waiting for his mom to get home so we can show her a 'trick/skill' he has been practicing. More on that later I hope! The other day I swore I heard him say "Buh" for every book we were picking up off the floor! One of his favorite games to play is when you are sitting on the couch and he is standing, holding the edge. He will lean his head back on your knee, expecting you to tickle his belly =) We all laugh! He misses his mom, since she's back at school and working. When she's here he follows her around...he will turn 1 SOON!!! Still only 2 teeth, but there is one peeking out!
Fabi - The other day we were at a chain drug store for a few things and Leah was looking at the Halloween stuff. Fabi joined her and they found a fairy type costume (Fabi loves Tinkerbell!). I told Fabi that we weren't going to get it b/c it was for adults and we would look for a kid one somewhere else. That cute girl wrinkled her nose, looked up at me and said, "Goodwill, Momma, get it at Goodwill?" She knows me too well!!
Moses - After a small adjustment to school, he is taking off! One day he came home and I asked a million questions about his morning. (It's pretty wild not knowing what he did for 4 hours after experiencing practically EVERY breath the kid took!) Finally, he sighed and told me they had cupcakes. "Sweet!" I said. "Yeah, it was Demon's birthday so he brought cupcakes." DEMON??? Hold the phone here, if there are demons in your class, we are quitting public school! I kept asking if he was sure, telling him the kid had to be named something else, when I realized I had a snack calendar. A HA!! DAMIEN. The kid's name was Damien! PHEW! The other thing that is new is that Moses gets the privilege of walking his sister to her class. The first few days he shoved her down her hallway, but now he says goodbye and even gives her a kiss =) Sweet boy! He has taken to carrying around a yellow stuffed duck his friend Martha gave him. Not only that, but he is calling the duck his son. When he was informed that the duck couldn't go to school w/him, he was very indignant that the duck needed his father. I offered to babysit, the same way I babysit Ray while Leah is at school. That 5yo face lit up and he started rattling off the instructions: Moses Jr likes to fed corn baby food, he must sleep in his crib, he likes to be wrapped in the Stephanie blanket, I must be quiet while he naps...etc...=)
Leah - got a job!!! Can't remember if I posted that already...She works at a pizza chain. She wishes for more hours, but she's still new. Maybe that will change. She's learning the balance of how to be a momma who goes to school, works and still wants to do things w/her baby. Personally, I am so stinking proud of her!!! It is so hard to be away from your baby when you work (I did summer school when Mo was little) and she is doing everything she can to get ahead in school. The other day she brought home algebra homework and asked for help. The book was pretty close to the same one I had in high school and exactly the same one I used when teaching ELL math. Her questions were pretty basic about real numbers and integers and stuff....but I had to check back in the chapter for answers! I felt silly, seeing as how I did well in Calculus and college math, but I wanted to be sure, ok? As it turned out, I was half right. We both learned something! As I was explaining all this to Dave (the math minor), I started to get choked up. I was telling him how 'normal' this all feels - doing math homework w/the teenager and having to check my own answers, driving her to work, getting ready for Homecoming, having her friends over to watch TV, etc...It feels 'normal'!! For me, that's saying a lot. I'm not sure I can explain how I feel, but I guess I always felt like I would never get here. It would always be work, it would be hard to have a teen, I could never do this...but I am...SHE is...We are!
Pickles - ok, Pickles is not still in the house, but we have seen her a few times since she's left. Leah and Pickles were friends before Pickles moved in here and while she was here. It's been amazing to get the girls and their babies together!! FUN for me!! Pickles now has a job and her own place!! Praise God, He has been so faithful to her! We are very proud of her too!
Dave - Even though it's never enough, Dave has been enjoying taking us out in the boat! We really enjoy Elkhart Lake and the other day we were able to get out on Random Lake. His favorite thing to do there was chase down the gulls! No calls from PETA, so I guess no one seemed to care! He had a 'crier' this year for the first day of school. It seems every year there is one, but if there isn't, there might be a runner or something. Well this year another mom told me the kid was crying AND running! I'm not supposed to laugh, it's so hard for those kids on their first day...not to mention rough for their teacher! I mean, Dave!
Me - Writing anecdotes about myself is kinda weird...I can't think of any good stories...what do you want to know? If I think of something, I will come back and write it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A slice of life

Today was pretty awesome! I was able to go out for coffee w/some friends - Tracy started this adoption/foster care support group and I am so glad we are meeting again! It's not formal or anything, we mostly just talk, but it's so nice to be able to talk w/people who 'get' it. Then I cruised home - Dave was working on a house project and had already taken Leah dress shopping for homecoming! Yeah, I was bummed to have missed it, but she already knew what she wanted anyway. It was still fun to see her dress and the accessories she picked out. We talked hair and I had the realization that I'm not all that into 'girl stuff' but here I was sticking it out in a conversation w/a teen girl (almost woman!) who valued my opinion about hair and a dress. Me? Have you seen the sticks of straw coming out of my head? And I am fashion-challenged, so I know only God could have authored these types of conversations, you know what I mean? Sorry - that was a tangent. After collecting a few things we hopped in the car and met my parents and Moses (he had slept over the night before). It's such a blessing to have them so close! Even having only one kid gone for a night is a re-charge to our batteries! We got home and Leah had a turtle! A friend of hers had found it wanted to give it to Ray. (Don't fret, we already let it go in the back 40.) But the kids got to see it waddling in the grass and we all looked over Dave's shoulder as he looked up the species or whatever online. (BTW - we decided it was an ornate box turtle. They don't have webbed feet and they have a very dome-like knobby shell.) We watched some football, Dave showed me the door we're planning to use as a headboard (he had applied paint stripper), and I actually got some cleaning and purging done! Whew! And today is not over! See what I mean? Yeah, I need more days like this. It was a pretty good formula for success. Tomorrow is laundry day, church and more football! Maybe even a boat ride...I LOVE FALL!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ouch! Fell off my own wagon.

I challenged myself to post more and then I did ok and then I didn't. But you already know that and aren't surprised! Life has been more of a blur than usual, but yet some things are moving really slow. Today I want to analyze (b/c I do a lot of that!) what is working and what is not...
WORKING: Everyone has been getting to school on time and doing the necessary things they need to do. Leah started her job and that's going well too! We put up a marker board to keep track of everyone's schedule for the week and this huge board is filled already. Stuff we forgot about kept getting added and amazingly people are actually not missing stuff, thanks to the board! Who knew?! The garden has been 'working' - we just harvested 16 squash, 9 pie pumpkins and 5 eggplants. Basil is still there, still going strong...Fabi has been getting extra calories at school in the form of free breakfast and snacks. Not sure she's gaining any weight yet, but I hope it will happen soon. Mo's quiet times in the afternoons have allowed me lots of time to get stuff done, as well as baby Ray's morning nap times. Can you believe I've been actually getting lunches and dinners on the table pretty regularly? It's working! The planning and the using veggies and the cleaning the table 57 times a works! (Mom, you're supposed to laugh...!) Something else that I marvel at - baking soda and vinegar. I have been cleaning bigger stuff now that I have more uninterrrupted time and I am so glad we don't buy commercial cleaners anymore. Why would we? I have cleaned so much stuff and I didn't need any of it! I just made more homemade dishwasher detergent and I even figured out why the dishes were so cloudy. I feel so smart!
NOT WORKING: I'm worn out. I need a vacation. I'm doing better, but any prayers would be appreciated. =) Since I'm worn out, I haven't been working out. =( That stinks and doesn't help my attitude. I hope to get that back on track soon. Also, finding a decent used single stroller. Where are they?? I am finding tons of doubles, of which we have 2. So I bought a somewhat cheap one but I don't like it. I haven't been diligent enough about getting breakfasts together. Stuff w/Fabi's feeding therapy keeps getting changed and delayed and that's really annoying. She's doing so much better but I can't help but think, "How much better would she do if she had her therapy week?" We will soon be attending court for the 3rd time in regards to TPR and I hope it will be the last, or at least the 2nd to last. I don't deal well when things are 'in limbo'. Something else that isn't working too well - purging. We started but then it gets late and we crash. Then the next day we don't get a chance to get stuff out of the house and it sits. So any kick in the pants you can send our way would be great!

That's a small summary of things around here...hopefully I will be a little more coherent next time!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Onward and Forward!

A friend shared a link about personal goals for us mommas, and the title was "Making Mom's Health A Priority". I admitted to her that the title made me cringe and feel self-conscious. Taking care of myself is not exactly one of my strong points! But needless to say, I clicked on the link (mostly b/c I admire my friend Amy and aspire to be more like her!) and I am VERY GLAD I read it! I love the woman's goal sheet and really hope to create something like that for myself. Bear with me here, as I brainstorm some personal, physical and spiritual goals for myself.

PERSONAL - I'd love to work more on scrapbooking and the baby books. It would be nice to have time to sew or be crafty in general. I think I could dedicate one night a week to something of that nature. I like to read too. So maybe log 70 minutes reading for pleasure each week. I would also like to have a date w/at one family member a week - it may be something simple like just taking one kid to the grocery store, or maybe something more elaborate like getting a babysitter and going on a date w/Dave.
PHYSICAL - I should get to bed earlier, like by 9pm. I would like to drink more water. Working out at least 2 times a week is definitely something I miss. I'd like to lose 15 pounds. (There - I said it!! Well, at least I wrote it....)
SPIRITUAL - Wow, you have no idea...this is an area in which I fail miserably. I would like to memorize a verse a week. So now you all have the task of telling me your favorite verse and why! I will learn your verse and pray for you =) I also would like to start attending or leading a small group at my church. So that means I need to email my friend Vicky. I hope that 70 of the minutes of reading that I do for pleasure could be matched for Bible reading each week.

In the article, the author then goes on to talk about how you can put these goals into your daily routine. Her first task is to get up an hour before her children. Um, my child wakes up before 6 am!! That's not happening. The place I find extra time in my routine is after the kids go to bed, which is usually by 7pm. I also have some time during the morning these days since Ray naps almost the whole time the kids are in school. As far as the dates go, I need to be more deliberate in planning them. We now have a marker board to keep track of everyone and I'm finding a visual schedule is soooooo helpful! Why didn't I think of that before? It is easier to see 'free time' when we could squeeze in dates =) Working workout partner is my cousin. We used to go twice a week, but I think that might be hard to do that w/more kids in the house this fall. I am going to aim for once a week and then try to do something on my own 1-2 times a week. I think if I plan for Thursdays to be a day that I can run or try one of the programs on DVD, it will help. Drinking more water doesn't sound hard, but for me it is. I need to drink a glass of water with breakfast and one before the kids come home. One at lunch and another during nap. Then if I have one for dinner that would be 5. That is HUGE! I will need to set aside one night to get together a list of verses and email Vicky.

PHEW - Hope you are all finding time in your daily routine to work on your goals! (Don't forget to send me your favorite verses!)

Monday, September 6, 2010


I just realized...tomorrow is the first day of school for my preschoolers.
I just realized...Fabi is almost all the way potty trained w/o much help from any of us!
I just's September and I'm spring cleaning.
I just realized...we have been eating a lot of meatless meals for dinner w/o even planning it.
I just realized...I'm seriously slacking failing in the bike dept.
I just realized...certain winter clothes don't fit as well as they did last year =(
I just realized...we've experienced 'smooth sailing' w/all 4 kids over the past 4 months.
I just husband has asked me to find a microwavable 'hippie' travel mug (his words, not mine). Is he coming to the green side??
I just realized...I have been keeping up w/the dishes lately.
I just realized...I could eat these muffins every day!
I just realized...I am really grateful for my former students. I am in contact w/some of them on facebook and they are some really great kids!
I just realized...this was an amazing summer! And I can't wait to write more about it...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And then one day I was on the run...

It was the first day of school for Leah, but the preschoolers don't start until the 7th, so that meant I had baby Ray, Fabi and Moses all to myself! We were running all day! The baby was asleep when Leah left and we were all getting ready. About a half hour before we were supposed to go to Moses and Fabi's school to meet their teachers, Ray woke up and we all loaded into the car. Met the teachers, visited Ray's teachers from last year...went home for lunch, left and met w/Dave to look at new strollers. (Side note - why are solo strollers w/no car seat so stinking expensive??) Came home and the baby was already asleep so put him and Fabi down for a nap. Cleaned the kitchen (!!!), picked up the living room and put away some things we had picked up. Leah came home, went to her job interview (PRAISE GOD SHE GOT THE JOB!!!), Dave came home, we made dinner w/3 kids underfoot and then we all went to church for a special Weds night service. They prayed over all the kids going to school this year =)

In case you were wondering, you don't need to buy special shoes for this kind of running!!

I am not the only mom running today, I know a lot of moms were running - to their first day as a teacher, to their job, to the store, to the hospital to be w/a family member, to school, to do errands, to be w/a friend, this is not like I'm trying to win an award for working harder than anyone else, but I just mean to explain how I/we are starting a new school year, a new week the preschoolers will go off to school and I will be learning a whole new routine! It's pretty amazing how a day like today makes me feel tired but then God knows exactly what I need and then refreshes me at church tonight =) I am so grateful for days like today...