Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little about me...


My friend Karmyn had this on her blog, so I thought I'd participate and let her interview me. You can play along too... see below.

#1 - With a husband, three kids, and two dogs what has been your biggest challenge going back to school?

My biggest challenge is balance. I want to do well in all areas of my life, but sometimes you just have to do 'enough'. I've really had to prioritize the things that are important to me and slow down. Some would say I haven't slowed down at all... well, I have. I truly feel that I am doing this for my family. I've always wanted my Masters Degree and this is the right time to do it. It has also sparked many wonderful conversations between the kids and I about my homework as well as where they want to eventually go to school. Sometimes, it's just hard, but I know that it will be worth it.
#2 - What is your favorite way to get some quiet Alone time?

Hmmm... alone time... sometimes in comes in the form of grocery shopping (by myself), sometimes it's Sunday afternoon and a book, some yarn or a dvd and sometimes it takes a very LONG time to have any alone time.

#3 - If money was no option, where would you and Joe take a Romantic Vacation?

Joe and I would love a romantic vacation. We adore Palm Springs and have vacationed there twice alone (the first time I was 7 months prego with Phineous, the second time baby girl was 2 months old).... it's been awhile. I would love to take Joe to Hawaii because he's never been and we've been craving some time in the sun... there are, however, many locations... too many to choose from.

#4 - What is the one meal you cook for your family that they rave over?

You all know that Joe is the chef around here, but they do love my spatzle noodles. They also love my lasagna (from Costco people).
#5 - Who are you rooting for Superbowl?

I'm rooting for the Packers... what? they aren't in it this year... it must be a conspiracy! Ha, ha... I'm going with the Cardinals!

Anyone wishing to participate must follow the directions below.

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

No Kissing

I have been mesmerized with the Duggar Family for awhile... 18 kids... wow... certainly not a life for me. As I watched an episode late last night, while trying to relax after a long day (you would think my head would hit the pillow and I'd be out) I was amazed at the thought of courtship. Josh, from how I understand it, chose Anna as his wife. They knew each other (I'm not sure how they met... I'll have to research it.) He proposed, there was no dating, they always had a chaperon and before their wedding day the closest they ever came to one another was holding hands... no kissing AND they were fine with it.

As I thought about my own 3 years of dating before our engagement... I can't imagine it. No kissing... a chaperone... Do you really get to know someone if you never have the chance to even have a conversation in private? I believe that when you get married it is forever, but it was important to me to know the person I was committing myself to. Obvisouly, everyone is free to do as they please... which is why I love where we live and our freedom, I'm just in wonder.

I wish Josh and Anna well. They make a beautiful, very young couple.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Buddy

My buddy... my buddy, My buddy... my buddy Wherever I go, he goes
My buddy... my buddy, My buddy... my buddy
My buddy and Me!

Does anyone remember this song? It's in my head after this walk....

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Friday!

1. My homework is finished

2. It's garbage day (my favorite... I LOVE to get all of it out the door)

3. Basketball games

4. Having friends over for appetizers after the games

5. Jeep is off to the groomer

6. The kids are home... no school / teacher inservice

7. Toy cleaning at the preschool

8. A trip to the library (hopefully-- a kid request)

9. Attended a PTA meeting last night
and learned A LOT from a school board member

10. "They" are predicting snow for this weekend (aaagh... we've had enough to last awhile)

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The Roost has a post up today about being a leader which led to a discussion about parenting. I am amazed by people I see that do not parent their kids. I see them parent when it fit in with their schedule, but I do not see the consistency that kids need. My husband and I were having a conversation last night about this... after I had relayed stories about the lack of parenting. "I may not always parent correctly, but I always parent." I mess up all the time. I attending many seminars and read many 'self-help' books. Consistency is the key... my son just came downstairs (and it's early) usually he grabs a book, but instead I heard the sound of the Wii... In our house the rule is no Wii during the week - period. So, all I said was, quietly was... No, Pepe. No fuss, no tantrum... he just turned it off because that was the rule. Kids will always try to bend the rules, but once a rule is in place it is set. Now, if I could just get them to flush the toilet :)

What strategies do you use to parent? Is it consistency? Punishment? Rewards/Priveleges? Do you have a book or a seminar that you've found particularly useful? Let me know...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


As I watch a new page unfold for America*, I'm in awe of the power of word. Words can be inspiring or devastating whether in a large forum or privately in our homes. Today I'm hopeful. Hopeful for serious change; including thought, responsibility and simplicity. I'm hopeful for a better future for my children...

*I support people and kindness and responsibility.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I love weekends... a cleaner garage, posts on craigslist, knitting, basketball (of course), friends and a cold. I guess 5 out of 6 isn't bad?!!??!

There are 4 major 'hot spots' in the garage. This is the area with the quickest results. Mostly a matter of putting things away... hm, what a novel idea. The big shelving unit is for my husbands work stuff... they system isn't working. I'm racking my brain to come up with something else. Any ideas?


After:I started knitting this scarf out of leftovers for baby girl, but realized that it wasn't going to be enough. I went ahead and finished it and it is perfect for her doll... she is so happy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I just had to share a quick picture... Phinneous played in his basketball game last night against a former preschool friend... SHE is an awesome player and is the only girl in the entire boys league. Phinneous and M were matched against each other and yes, she's a full head taller than him (and he's no shrimp)... so cute! (M's dad and I went to highschool together...)

#14 vs #14

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Checking in with the goals...

First of all, let me be clear that I am procrastinating... I'm suppose to be writing a paper for school. I've written about a page and I'm stuck... everything I write is horrible so, here I am.

1. Exercise...

Move with Me

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Ugh... I'm trying. This is such a difficult area for me as I WANT to exercise, but finding the TIME is very challenging. However, it was on my calendar today. I changed into my cute new workout pants and headed to the gym with the three kids. One child in daycare, one in swim team practice and one in limbo. Phinneous, the middle one, just 'graduated' from daycare and can now hang out in the junior lounge (which is very cool). One problem, he doesn't want to... I know he'll love it, but he needs Pepe to go with him. Okay... plan B... Phinneous can shoot hoops and I will go to the track, which over looks the gym. We make our plan... I head up to the track, step onto the eliptical (this allows him to see me easily) and look down to check on him. He is standing on the sideline holding his basketball... the big boys basketball team has come in and claimed the court for practice. So, down I head to collect Phinneous and try to get him into the junior lounge... no go... so we sit and watch Pepe swim. No exercise... what a bummer.

2. Children/Frustration
I woke up in a bad mood. Ijsut couldn't shake it so I spent much of the morning pretty quiet (I didn't want it to rub off). I sat on the couch enjoying my cup-o-joe. Pepe was having breakfast and I heard the SPLASH! I looked up and saw Pepe covered in milk... I mean it was dripping down from his hair. I tried to think about that old dumb saying... don't cry over spilt milk... I looked at him, directed him to the shower and wiped everything up... fuming. When he came down my only question was HOW did you manage that? (Who created that dumb saying anyway?) I didn't get anywhere, so I walked away... you know... not wanting to have my bad mood rub off on the boy before school. All day as I thought about the milk running down and out of his hair I started to giggle... it really was quite funny. Fast forward to afterschool when I asked him again HOW he managed that... quite simple... "my toast fell on the floor and I bent down and picked it up and put it in my mouth and my elbow hit my mug of milk and it dumped on my head." Guess what... that was funny... we laughed and laughed and laughed! See, I appreciate Pepe's humor :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Advice, please

Edited to add: Thanks for all of your comments. I appreciate each one... I have a lot to think about... I'll keep you updated.

We are not members of a church. I've been trying out a church off and on for many years, but something isn't right. My kids have attended their 'Kids Club' during the week for 3 years. The first year they went every Wednesday, participated in the spring play and loved it. The next year we were there most of the time and didn't participate in the final play performance as we had a conflict with a trip... it was like pulling teeth to get my oldest to keep attending. This year, the oldest doesn't want anything to do with it and now the middle one is following suit. I want to force them to participate, however, I haven't made a commitment myself so I feel somewhat hypocritical. Any suggestions. If it is this hard to commit to this church does that mean that it's not the right one?

Monday, January 12, 2009


We've not only heard about the bad economy, we've all felt in some way or another. I had a moment to catch Oprah this afternoon. She was recapping "Your Best Life"... health, fitness, sex and finances. Suze Orman has made her finance book available to the public for FREE... but only until Thursday night. I downloaded my copy... I have no idea if it will be what I'd like it to be, but for FREE, I'm willing to give it a shot. Download your copy soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Call me crazy...

I was asked (coerced) into joining an Altered Book group... my first question... what is that? Well check out this, this and this and then you will know. Basically, you take a book and "scrap" it into something completely different. There are amazing people out there that actually make old books into pieces of art... they are truly talented.

I am simple, but I enjoy my creative time. So, even though I've started another class towards my Masters degree, I have committed and started the project... guess what? It's very fun and I am very excited about the end result.

Thanks Karmyn for 'asking' me to join ;).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Organizing is in the air

It must be the time of year... fresh start, wind blowing, rain pounding... time to organize!

Raising Russells, Mustard Seeds, and Life at 7000 Feet to name a few. When I googled 'organizing blogs' my hit was over 2 million... we are all addicted to it. I really like to have my stuff organized, but what about the stuff in my head and heart. I enjoy reading posts at the Simple Wife to help me think and organzie that part of me.

This is the year of declutter... in all areas of my life. We are busy as is everyone I see, but it certainly helps to have a plan. Dinner has been prepared for the past two nights (before 5 o'clock peeps... I had a plan), the house is reasonably picked up (I wouldn't be embarassed if you stopped by for a cup of coffee) and I've managed one workout (my arms and legs hurt) and I have another one planned for today. It takes a plan... let me rephrase that... it takes a flexible, realistic plan!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Words, Routines and Things

I am a routine girl. I like a schedule with flexibility. I like my kids. I love my kids, but it was time for everyone to be back on their routine. That being said, Pepe, the oldest, broke the routine yesterday (the first day back to the routine) with a boom... I don't want to swim on the team anymore... Wwwwwwhat?!?!?!

Now, in my heart of heart, I've known that this would come. The team has been a great opportunity and it has provided much for him, but I knew that it wouldn't last. I just wasn't ready for it to be over. I've always said that I want my kids to have many experiences and as long as they put forth effort and didn't 'quit' that I was happy. I don't feel like Pepe is quitting... he's been at it for almost a year. He loves his coach, he loves the water, but he's done. I was, I must admit, crushed at first. Not because he doesn't want to swim, but this is one of the first things in his life that he is taking control of. I have a responsibility to raise a man... and yes, I do believe that it starts now.

So, as we work through this week I have to be careful. I do not want to guilt him into continued swimming (he also plays soccer, basketball and baseball... it's not like the boy isn't busy... it will help me out not running him to practice 2x a week... but still my heart is heavy) so I have to be careful of my words (see the Simple Wife's post about words) and my tone. Knowing Pepe, he's been having these thoughts for awhile... he is like his Dad (okay... and me) we think about things. So, if he's verbalized it, it is probably time to hang up the gear. I want Pepe to walk away with the confidence that he tried something new, he stuck with it and when it didn't fit he walked away respectfully. He should be proud of what he has accomplished, because I certainly am.

Now... what am I going to do with all of his extra energy in the middle of winter?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Look over there... to the right...

Move with Me

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator - Create Your Own

Join me... I only did it tonight because I told you all that I would. How's that for caving to peers!

Reduce, Reuse, Organize

The garbage hadn't been picked up for three weeks... I was going crazy. I love garbage day... it's a fresh start for me each week. Watching my garbage and recycling accumulate for three weeks disgusts me. I've been cleaning and organizing during our Arctic Blast these last weeks and generating more 'stuff' to get rid of. I was down to one of my last projects (not last projects in the house... don't get me wrong) to complete during vacation... the kids art supplies. I was ready to dump the crayon tub, the marker tub, paper tub and just start over. But, I thought of all of my garbage and recycling sitting at the curb and decided to be more frugal about the process.

I began with the crayons... do we need 10,000 crayons for three kids. NO... they don't appreciate their crayons. Why pick them or not break them when you have 10,000. So, I began sorting. I love crayola crayons, so I pulled all that was left out of the box. I was left with 9,000 crayons... so I sorted them back into their containers to drop off at an undisclosed location (thrift store). I wanted them to look nice so that they would get a new home (what's wrong with me). See the brown basket... I picked that up at the undisclosed location while dropping off a huge bag. I think it will work beautifully for the everyday art supplies.
  • set of markers
  • set of crayons
  • scissors
  • glue/ tape
  • pencils / sharpener
  • ruler

Don't you think that a child will love these organized crayons? I sure do. My kids are left with a manageable amount.

Same process with the markers. I really think that because we had so many, the kids didn't have a need to care for them. I was appalled by the number of markers that I had to throw away. Here is what we are left with... no pink, red, etc. In due time, I will buy a new set and we will have a set of markers. I'll let you know if my experiment works.

Ah... organized in the basket. But wait... I really thought that I'd be getting rid of the big organizer, but I couldn't justify it. I have it, it works... it just needed to be tweaked. It is now organized and labeled. I don't have a fancy label maker (would love one) so I used my handy pen and sticky notes cut in thirds with a fresh piece of tape. The art area is now the family art area... it's now just the kids. I've added some of my supplies... I let the kids use them anyway, we may as well store them together. I also moved the art area to the laundry room. They can do art at any time... maybe this will help all of us. I feel good about the things I got rid of and even better that I didn't dump the entire thing and start over. There is a time and a place to dump it all and begin again, but his wasn't one of those times. Reduce, reuse and organize!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Move with Me

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We all of goals to meet... one of mine is to continue my quest for a healthier self... making wise choices with my food as well as exercising. I don't love to exercise, but I do it. Maybe all of you can Move with Me... walk the dog, take the kids to the park, a dvd in the morning, jump roping in the garage. My goal is to move 3 times a week (at least)... there, I said it, now I must do it. I'll post my button in my post each time I accomplish my goal. Move with Me!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's a new year...

It's a new year and time to think about our life... what are my goals for the year. I've given this a lot of thought, but as always it will change as our life changes. As much as I like 'routine' you have to be ready and willing to go with the flow.

  • take note and enjoy my children's sense of humors
  • encourage my children to not be afraid to try new things
  • tell my husband how much I appreciate him (I appreciate him, it's the "telling" part I need to work on)
  • lead by example... health, nutrition, laughter, reading, studying, orgainizing... enjoying life
  • when frustration comes to the top... take a breath and relax (sometimes, it's just not that big of a deal)
  • make memories
  • celebrate the peeps in my life

What are your goals? Goals are meant to be achieved... how will you achieve? For me to achieve, I need to make a plan. I'll share that plan as soon as I have one. For now, another cup-o-joe and I'm off to enjoy my children.