Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Finding Church, again :: 3

Guess what arrived via mail?

When Joanne previewed her book on her blog I immediately raised my hand to preview it. If you've read my post 1 and post 2, you know that finding a church has been on my mind. With finding a church brings inviting God into my daily life. I'm not sure that I am completely comfortable with that thought... it's not really a comfort factor, but rather a HOW factor. What do I do? I'm not going to walk around with my hands in the air in praise. If you do that, great, but it's not for me. I devoured the introduction and moved on to chapter 1 which I also devoured. Do you do that... read something so fast because you are afraid it will go away or you won't get to finish. I guess I really needed ideas and comfort, because I'm racing through it. It will have to be reread, many times I'm sure. People that know me must be thinking, "what?"... not really my style... but I say, I'm definitely in a time of search.

One of Joanne's ideas to invite God into your life is through praise music. I enjoy praise music and usually listen to it in the car. (I'm really a country girl, but sometimes the kids just shouldn't be singing along to the lyrics... you know what I mean?) I'm using my ipod to listen to Songs for Worship... they are upbeat and keeping me moving this morning. She gave an example of walking her dog, Daisy and listening to music and enjoying her surroundings. Strangely enough, I took time yesterday to walk Jeep. It was peaceful. I live in a beautiful place with views of the mountains, so we headed to the campus to take it all in; excpet I found myself staring at the concrete ground and my feet. When I read this in her book this morning

Psalm 121:1-2... lift up my eyes to the hills"

I chuckled... why do I stare at my feet and that matter my dog's behind when I can simply lift my eyes and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. I'll work on that. This is an interesting adventure; one that I am not all too comfortable with... yet.

Kuddos to Joanne... I'm enjoying and appreciating your book this morning.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Church, again :: 2

Week 2 at church. Are you impressed? Today I ventured back to the same church (UM) with all three children in tow. Pepe, was less than thrilled. I had to pull the 'MOM CARD'... I am the mom, you are 8 years old... get dressed, you are coming with me. I was feeling a bit guilty, but I got over it quickly. The boys tried to bring their basketball cards... nice try... leave them in the car.

We arrived and slowly got out of the car. Oh no, I don't see my friend. Deep breathe. I can do this. No sooner had I thought that when I heard the sound of my friends voice. Saved. It's pitiful, I know.

Into the little white church we go. Drop kids off and explain to nice lady in charge that the boys would like to stay together. At least while they are getting used to things. I back off and watch her try to ask them if they'd like to go with the younger group of older group.... no response. They are not talking to her. I can't watch a second longer. I head back over and tell the boys that it is okay to talk to the nice lady in charge. They decided to go with the older kids... a good choice, I think. Baby Girl is with her friend, holding hands and ready for church.

We leave and head to worship as we crack a few jokes about PITTING OUT and I silently hope for the best. Enter building, shake hands with the Pastor, get a program, find my seat. Ah, I made it. Music begins... it's different this week. No Praise Team, but a delightful young man on guitar singing (he has the back up guitar, drums and piano with him... just to make me know that I am in an upbeat place)... friend leans over and has coined this young man the rock-star... I like... very nice and then, yes, we are standing again. This time for 5, yes... you read right, 5 songs. I decided to wear heals... my legs were cramping. I did, however, enjoy the music.

I am again impressed with the Pastor. He even made me laugh. I was even more impressed when a man interrupted him to share his testimony. He was a man the Pastor had helped off the street. It was not the appropriate time for this man to share, but the Pastor gave him the floor and again, I was impressed. I even filled out the "friend" card... you know the one you are afraid to fill out because WHAT IF THEY THEN THINK THEY CAN CONTACT ME card. I did it though... I'm getting so mature.

Service is over. Find the kids. Baby girl has had a great time and is already trying to run the show. That's my girl. Find boys... they are smiling, throwing a paper airplane and they turn without being prompted and say thank you. WHAT??!?!??!?! I'm impressed.

The conversation on the way home in the car is pleasant and typical. Church in the little-white-church is boring... don't remember what 'the guy' (Pastor) said. But it was fun to fly airplanes and next week is Palm Sunday (impressed again... they got that much) and we can have muffins (ah, ha... they'll be back next week for mini-muffin-cafe... a true perk of this church). AND... they are having an Easter Egg hunt... with candy. Yahoo! Well, I guess they are sold on the food... I'll take it, for now.

Originally, I had planned on taking time to check out many churches. However, now that I've been twice and I've seen my kids happy and I know how much I have to stand and sing I think that I'm okay with it. There are several pros at this point...
  • Nice Pastor who can speak
  • A comfortable setting
  • Close to home
  • Mini-muffin cafe
  • Great music
  • Love the little white church for the kids
  • Friendly people
  • Programs in place for the children
  • I didn't PIT OUT today
See... that is quite a nice list for two weeks of attendance. Now, I've asked hubby to check it out. He isn't a weekly church attender and that is okay. I've known that for 15 years. It is important to me that he has a chance to see and hear and I value his opinion.

Until next week...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finding Church, again :: 1

I've been on adventure lately to find a church. For 6 years I've been attending a church off and on, but couldn't commit. After a recent upheaval, I became very aware that it isn't the right place for me.
  • Where to look, where to go?
  • Do I go for me or for the kids?
  • Do I force the kids or let them come if they'd like?

I'd been invited by a new friend (I think we are long-lost buddies) to attend her church. After several months of excuses (I have a cold, my kids have colds, my dog has a cold, etc) it was time to take the plunge.

We went last week, Baby Girl and I. I dropped her off in little kid church and with my friend by my side, went in to worship.

Now, let me give a little background. I was raised Mormon. I quit attending that church when I was 18 and left home. Beginning college, dating, living on my own gave me perspective; the Mormon church wasn't for me. I met my now-husband, and he was raised Catholic. He wasn't attending a church and hadn't for quite some time. I was going to college at a Lutheran school. We got engaged and were married by my Lutheran religion professor. Take a minute and sort all of that out. When my oldest, Pepe, began preschool we attended a Presbyterian church off and on. Now, I'm checking out this new church which is United Methodist...

I sit down in worship and I begin to panic... my kiddo is in kid-church so I have no excuse to get up and leave... no potty breaks, drinks of water, etc. I have to take this like a big-girl. First things first, time to sing. Great... love the music... WHAT? I have to stand. Okay... I can do this, I'll just hold on to this pew in front of me. Whew... that's over. WHAT? we have to keep standing and singing... for three more songs. Ah, done. I can now become one with my seat. Oh, no... not yet, we are standing again!

About this time, whether or not my friend can sense it she is whispering to me and showing me items in the bulletin as I am PITTING OUT! I mean full-on, sweating, heart beating, pulse racing PIT OUT. Feeling the need to bolt, the Pastor stands and begins his sermon. I'm begin to calm down. I'm impressed with what I see. He is dressed in a very nice suit. He is in his mid 50's I assume and his voice is firm, but calming. He stand in front of the pulpit, wearing a microphone. He moves slowly and gracefully across the steps all the while speaking and reciting his sermon. I notice he has no notes. His sermon is delivered and I am impressed. I don't know that I'm so impressed with the sermon as how he managed to give it. I'm a teacher. I appreciate someone with a plan that is executable. He taught, redirected, reaffirmed and never wavered or became off topic. Hmmm, maybe this isn't so bad. And then, we sing... again. Don't get me wrong, I love music. I love to sing. But I grew up singing from a hymnal... no guitar, drums and clapping. Just sitting with a song at the beginning, middle and end of the service. I enjoy this music, I'm just don't do well with change.

Worship is over... I collect Baby Girl and I race home. On my short drive, my breathing becomes normal, and I realize that I am smiling. I enjoyed the service. Baby Girl hasn't stopped talking about her class. Her excitement is contagious. We will return... maybe with the boys in tow next time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We have an issue..

We have an issue and it is very serious. For some reason, when our socks come off of our feet, we FLING them... doesn't matter where they land... our toes are free and WE ARE HAPPY!

I find my kids socks everywhere... it's really bad. My friend, Frugal Fanny now checks around my house to see where they next pair of socks has landed.

Can you see them in my car? That is my basket that sits by me to keep me organized... not a happy mommy who finds socks next to them... stinky, basketball socks!

Can you see them on the stairs... in the basket... why not in the laundry room?

Can you see them behind the couch?

Can you see them under the couch?

Can you see them on the couch?

Can you see them behind the TV?

Can you see them in the 'kitchen'?

Suggestions? Comments? Ideas? I'll take them all... it's bad, it's really bad!

Friday, March 27, 2009

*** smiling ***

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date... ME (and the kids). I'm on spring break... so much to do, so little time.

It's been a very busy winter. I'm staying home for spring break... I have my lists (too many of them) and I have my goal... to enjoy my house, my kids, my homework, my organizing... my life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ewwww... That's Gross!

After a very busy week, including a busy Friday night, I was finally home. I was so excited to get into my pjs and relax. I pulled into the garage and the routine began... let the dog out of the kennel, kids take shoes off... Baby Girl was taking her shoes off, standing at the front of the suburban and says... "Mom, what's that?" while pointing to the front of my car.

(This is not a real picture of my car... I couldn't do that to you... just some random suburban.)

I look and then I look again and then I look again and screech, "DON'T TOUCH IT!" I was scared, but I looked further... it was feathers. Quickly, in my mind I say a little prayer... please let it just be a couple of loose feathers, please let it be a coupld of loose feathers... look a little further and I see claws... OH, MY GOODNESS, I think it's a bird. The three of us (baby girl, Pepe and myself) scream like little girls and shake (because you know, that helps).

Just then, Joe pulled up with Phinneous. "Ummm, honey. I need you to look at the front of my car."

He looks and does the, "NO WAY!" shout. With one fell swoop, he grabs a bag and pulls the poor bird out of the grill of the suburban. I couldn't watch... I ran inside. I'm just so brave, you know.

We both sat and wondered... when did it happen, how long has it been there, etc. I finally ask, "Was it warm?" "Yes", he replies... but that could be because you've been driving around like that all afternoon/evening.

Ewwww! That's Gross!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Rock

Watching the kids discover, learn, touch and wonder is an amazing joy as a parent.

Sharks, stingrays and starfish to behold.

Looking and watching from a different view.

The joy of writing in the sand... we rock, I love my family, mom and dad rock (from Phinneous).

Loving each other.

Quiet time together.

Playing together... star wars in the dunes anyone?


I've learned so many lessons from my kids. On a day like today, when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope I look at these pictures and smile. I can get through anything (even a really hard class that has me in physical pain); my kids learn, wonder, watch and grow everyday. I think I feel myself grow too. Take a deep breath, smile and make it a good day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

YIKES... a little creature!

Monday night... beep... beep... beep... 24... my FAVORITE show! Joe and I were watching and he had just commented that the show is too short. We were hooked... it was awesome. And then I heard my husband say, "mouse"... I didn't really hear him... "what"...

"there's a mouse" and points.

I look over (one eye still on Keiffer) and there it is. A little mouse crawling across the baseboard of my dining room. Not calm, I shout, "GET IT!"

He jumps up and springs into action. The mouse heads behind my large basket of scrapbooks. Joe grabs my Pampered Chef pot holder... I scream... "not my potholder". He puts it back and grabs a piece of cardboard from the counter (recycling). I laugh (still with one eye on Keiffer), "that won't work". He grabs a cloth napkin off of the dinning room table and throws it on the mouse.


Um, no... now what are you going to do? He thinks, he ponders, he looks through the house (the entire time the mouse just shivers under the napkin). He finally comes out with the dust pan.

Now, you need to understand that my husband is 6'5" tall. He's a big guy. I've got one eye on Keiffer and one eye on Joe doing this funky little dance. I was in hysterics!

He finally scoops up the mouse into the dustpan... napkin and all. He looks at me.......... I finally say, "well, what are you going to do now?" He looks back and shrugs his shoulders.

I'm laughing, he's irritated, but laughing as well. Finally, he tells me to open the front door. I do... the mouse is never seen again (and I need a new dustpan).

It was quite something... back to Keiffer... beep... beep... beep...

The best part... our huge 120lb puppy never moved. He didn't move when we screamed, laughed and screamed again. He finally moved when the front door opened... what is he good for anyway?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ugh -- I gave in

Crazy night at our house as I'm sure yours was as well. We had a limited amount of time for dinner and I was without a plan (very bad). So, after the speech appointment and before meeting the basketball coach and baseball practice I pulled the big, 'ole Suburban through Bur9er K1ng with the intention to 'just get something for the kids'. As I rattled off the order, I caved... 'and an original chicken sandwich'. We headed home and I pulled out the sandwich... I took two bites without thinking and then realized 'this doesn't taste good', but, it's dinner because I don't have a plan. A few more bites and I was still thinking 'yuck'! At that point, I'd eaten half of it... I was disgusted. I wrapped it up and tossed it into the bag and then promptly threw it away when I got home.

Why do I sabotage myself? Especially when I've been working hard. I was disgusted with myself when I got home. But, I had to realize that I had also done something good... I stopped and threw it away! Yeah for me. Now, I need to make it over the next hurdle to a) not stop and b) HAVE A PLAN! I tend to let my dinner plans go when hubby is traveling, but I just can't do that. I need to have simple, make-in-a-hurry meals for these kind of nights.

Just to add insult to injury, I looked up the caloric information on this site. Oh my goodness! I knew it was bad, but really...

okay -- here is the damage... 1/2 a sandwich
330 calories
20 grams of FAT
26 grams of carb
12 grams protein

Oh... and just to make me feel really good... to work it off I'd need to...
  • 92 mins of walking
  • 38 mins of jogging
  • 28 mins of swimming
  • 51 mins of cycling
Well, ladies... the conclusion:
1. Have a plan
2. Don't do it
3. Check out the caloric intake and what it takes to burn off the junk we put in our bodies.

All of that for 1/2 a chicken sandwich
that didn't taste good at all!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bad Mom...

Do you ever get up, not prepared and then have to move quickly and chaotically through your morning?


Well, I do... and I did this morning.

I'm feeling like a bad mom... kid's not wanting to get out of bed, kids in the shower for TOO long, kid's without coats (it's snowing out), kid's eating too slowly, kid's that can't get their shoes on. In the midst of it all, I keep saying... come on, we've got to go, get moving... We all know that it doesn't help, at all. If anything it panics everyone and slows the process down further. Fully knowing that, I kept saying it and thinking... I'm a bad mom...

I'm turning my bad Monday morning attitude around and I'm going to make it a great day! Please do the same...

I guess we are all guilty of bad mom moments... the key is to make the bad mom moments disappear.
If this sand picture is yours (I found it on a google image)... you are hysterical!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

LIfe with 3:: Tip 2

** Divide & Conquer **

It's a term my dear friends have heard me utter many times. We are all about time at home, time together and being a family. But over the last year or so, as the kids have become more involved with activities, the term 'divide & conquer' has become a normal occurrence in our vocabulary.

1. one parent takes the boys, one takes the girl and get's things done.
2. one parent takes the kids, the other takes the grocery list
3. one parent takes a kid to one side of town, one takes the others to the other side of town.
4. one parent runs the errands, one stays and gets housework, laundry, yard work, etc. completed

Just divide the tasks... they may not be equal, it's about what makes sense. Then when the tasks are complete... enjoy your time together... play a game, watch a movie, make dinner together... be a family!
* Tips are not listed in any particular order... usually just as I use them!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I found myself, amongst the stress of life, happy for the JOYFUL moments of the week...

1. JOYFUL that Phinneous is finally feeling better. He was out of school most of the week. He put himself to bed on multiple occasions... 15 hour stretch one night, 7 hour naps... just plain sad.

2. JOYFUL for Joe's return home from his business trip... I always miss him and appreciate his return.

3. JOYFUL to watch father and son working on throwing, pitching and catching... and happy about it. I stood and watched with joy.

4. JOYFUL for Baby girl who keeps me on my toes... her questions, need for love, snuggles and time makes me feel needed.

5. JOYFUL for friends. I called a friend for help with my Research class... why go it alone, when you have resources... right?!??!? And Frugal Franny for her willingness to slap down coffee.

6. JOYFUL for my quest to exercise and set a healthy example for my kids. It's very hard for me to squeeze it in... but I think that is a problem for most of us. I'm trying to teach my body to run (which I HATE, by the way). I found this program and I'm thinking about giving it a try.

8. JOYFUL for sleep... I slept in today. Felt great, but woke feeling groggy... I hope I'm not getting ill. Took a nap, a very long nap, this afternoon... I hope I'm not getting ill.

9. JOYFUL for my coworkers... they came for lunch this week. It is very nice to have an off-site staff meeting.

JOY... what are you joyful for?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life with 3 :: Tip 1

A dear friend gave me this advice when my kids started getting active with organized activities. It's simple, but it works...


We have a bag for each activity. Sometimes it seems like the back of my car is full of bags, but it so so helpful when dropping kids off for different activities. Whether it be music class, baseball, swim team, basketball, etc. Pack a bag.

Music Class:: Bag provided. Ours is purple. Easy to find... everything stays together.
  • Instrument remains in the bag when not in use.
  • Folder with practice sheets and class papers stay in the bag.
  • Need to bring something to class... put it in the bag.

Swim Team:: We have two bags.
  • One mesh bag with equipment... kick board, pull, goggles, extra goggles.
  • One bag for shampoo/conditioner (in a ziploc bag), comb, extra underwear, etc.

Baseball:: Trust me... put it all in a baseball bag. The fields get gross. You do not want that muck and mud rolling around in your car. For baseball season, the boys' have real baseball bags.
  • At first, we tried to use a regular duffel bag, however, the beauty of a baseball bag is that it can be clipped to the chain-link fence in the dugout. This makes it very easy for the boys' to keep their things together. I never played ball, so I didn't understand this concept until my kids started to play. Also... if your boys' loose/forget their gear in the dugout... just give their end of game treat to their sister (or threaten to) and I promise they will never forget their gear again. Seems harsh, but it worked... the first time.
  • bat
  • glove/mit
  • baseball
  • batting helmet
  • baseball hat
This goes for soccer and basketball as well. Pack a bag.

Snacks:: Your kids are playing hard and every mom should be prepared with snacks.
  • I like to give them a little something before practice (this can certainly be given at home, but sometimes, it's in the car).
  • I also like to have something when they are done practicing. Lately, I've been buying organic chocolate milk from Costco in the cartons. I read an article that chocolate milk is very good at quickly replacing lost nutrients while exercising. The kids love this treat.
  • I also bring along granola bars, individual bags of crackers (no need to purchase pre-bought bags, just fill bags/small containers at home and pack them), and fruit (apples, bananas and oranges are pretty easy). I tend to have a snack bag... makes it easy to find...
  • Don't forget to keep 'baby' wipes handy
  • Water bottles. Kids need water. I've purchased sports bottles and we wash and reuse. Sometimes I'll add a powder flavor mix to their water for variety.

Mom Bag:: I find myself with wait time.
  • When we have practice at our health club I take time to exercise.
  • If I'm outside at a park, I play with Baby Girl.
  • I always have my i-pod,
  • a magazine and book,
  • mail to be read (I don't take bills to pay or financial info with me... I'd rather take care of that at home),
  • easy homework assignments, etc.

Take the time to pack your bags...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kid Talk

Do your kids have fun ways to say words or phrases? Mine sure do... here are a few.

She says 'make-up plate'... it's really 'make-it plate' ... in reference to do it yourself art plates.

She says 'libs'... it's really 'ribs'... in reference to (make smacking sound with lips) I really love libs.

He said 'gotfor' it's really 'forgot'... in reference to I forgot to put my toys away.

He said 'azzics' it's really 'Asics' in reference to Mom, can you fill up my Asics waters bottle for basketball practice?

There are more... I'll post them as I remember them... post yours in the comment sections... kids are too funny!

Edited to add:

Goodnight... don't let the bug-beds bite!... of course it should be bed-bugs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Life with 3

Life with 3 may become a recurring post. I often hear, "How do you do it with three." It's not I'm the only person with three kids, but my husband has ALWAYS traveled. Often, I am by myself with the three of them.
Phinneous did not acknowledge Baby Girl for over a month. He didn't want anything to do with her. I was sad, but knew to give it time. He was so little and he was still my baby.

Pepe was born in April 2000. Before he was 1 I found out that I was preggo with Phinneous. Phinneous decided to enter life a month early, thus the boys are 19 months apart (he was born in November 2001). By January of 2003, we learned that I was preggo again. Baby girl decided that it was really important to enter our lives and arrived 5 weeks early (after being held off for weeks). Therefore Phinneous and baby girl are 21 months apart. So... there I was with a not quite 3 year old, a 21 month old and a newborn... with a traveling husband... UGH! It can be ugly at times, but truly life is good. There are many moments of their toddler years that are a blur... but I have pictures! Pepe couldn't get enough of Baby Girl. He held her for hours after she came home. He too, still felt like he should be my baby, but he very quickly became a BIG brother.

Not to say... "do it like me"... but I think we can all learn from each other. So in that regard I want to share my experiences, my do's, my don'ts, my joys, my lows... my Life with 3...

My two boys visited me daily in the hospital while we let Baby Girl finish 'cooking'. It was hard on everyone... especially daddy. I don't know how other women do it. I was on strict bed-rest for 12 days... some of you do it for months. (Although, they day they released me, I turned right back around and delivered Baby Girl.)

My kids are now at the age of extra curricular activites and in our house that equates to EVERY SPORT POSSIBLE. Some, think I'm crazy. I think "I have two boys that are 19 months apart and are awesome students and leaders and they need a way to let go"... (Off of my soap box now...) As much as I enjoy my time at home, I do not enjoy hearing myself YELL at my children... BE NICE, NO HITTING, SHARE THE BALL, DO NOT TELL YOUR SISTER TO DO THAT, etc, etc, etc. I have chosen to help them with their needs to move with playing sports. This is possible for us because of how they perform at school. Each year I reasses how they are doing. I don't want to over burden them, but I do understand the need that my kids have to move.

Weekend Happenings

...edited to add pictures...

1. Found the site 24/7 moms (see button on side and click to view)... looks like it should be a good one.

2. Did mounds of laundry... none of it is put away yet.

3. Walked with a friend and kids and dogs... always an adventure.

4. TONS of homework... I may be posting as much over the next 6 weeks... this is a research class and I am overwhelmed already with only 1 week in.

5. Attended the school carnival (YUCK!)... not a fan, but the kids had fun.

6. Boys' were invited to a birthday party (together), so we took baby girl for a date night. She picked App!ebees (r
eally?). It was all worth it to see her excitement. Dinner for 3 at App!ebees is not cheap... if I'm going to spend that kind of money I should be somewhere else. Don't get me wrong... App!ebees is fine... for lunch with a girlfriend, but not date night with hubby.

7. Boys' cut off all of their hair... pictures soon.

8. This clothing site looks promising for kids... a part of Gymboree, I believe.

9. Clipped coupons, shopped and saved $12 just in couplons... under $100 in groceries for the week.

10. Last month I challenged us to cut our grocery bill in half... just because... we didn't get it in half, but we did cut it by 1/3... YEAH for us... it felt great and we still ate great... we just made better choices!

Happy Monday!