Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sometimes you have to STOP

My lists seem to be endlessly expanding; like your, I'm sure.

Yesterday, I had a small panic attack... no one noticed, it was just for me, but I had to do something. I heard someone say not too long ago that getting one thing in your life in order helps other areas of your life in order. Well, I've tried the panic attack and that didn't work, so I might as well try something else.

My 'STOP' for yesterday was to spend time outside, chatting with a friend, watching/reffing the kids and working in the yard. It was so simple, but needed. It made me feel good. I was able to rake 4 humongous bags of leaves out of the yard, breathe the fresh air, yip with a friend and just be. Maybe that is the key at times, to just be instead of feeling the need to GO.

I could have been in the house attacking laundry, reading/homework, organizing papers, but instead I took advantage of decent afternoon weather. I think it was very good for my mind, body and soul.

My yard is a stress-relief point for me, but lately it was causing much stress. There is so much to do to get it ready... it was at that mucky/yucky phase. I needed to do something about it before it became a daunting task... there is still much to do, but I am one step closer and I feel better.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baseball in the NW

I thought I'd write a tutorial for attending a baseball game in the NW.

You will need:

  • A very warm jacket...
  • A cute scarf...
  • Gloves...
  • Soccer ball for baby girl to play with...

  • Happy to find a frisbee in the car for baby girl to play with when you realize that the soccer ball is not in the car...

  • Hot beverages... coffee/hot chocolate... remember waiting 20 minutes for hot chocolate last week and proudly bring an entire carafe of hot chocolate AND cups!
  • Camera... long lens... run between the two boys games taking pictures like a 'mad mom'

  • Umbrella... the skies love to open up in the middle of a game!

  • Sun screen... the sun will come out. Therefore layer clothing like mad and don't forget the sun screen... you'll feel terrible if you let the kiddos burn...

A great morning at the ball field... the sun only reared up for a few, short seconds and the rain stayed away so we didn't need the sun screen or umbrellas... this time!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Wishes

My baby, actually my oldest, is 9 years old today! He was born 9 years ago on Easter morning; an incredible beginning to life. He continues to amaze me with his incredible spirit, sense of self, admiration, physical ability and general good nature (most of the time). Happy Birthday Pepe!

A year of soccer, first tournament, swimming, first black eye, and friendships (including his brother & sister)!

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Unusual Week

In between getting the kids, myself and Joe over a weird bout of the flu, I've been here...

Pepe #9...

Phinneous #5...

Baby Girl... endures it all (especially if there is laffy taffy involved!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Mini Politician?!?!?!?

Pepe decided to run for Mayor of Spudderville (for his pretend city unity). He wrote a speech, practiced it, and created a poster. Yes, it was difficult for me to step back and let him work. Yet, I taught third grade and it is very important for kids to create... it's okay that he got ink on the edges of his stamps, it's okay that the "s" is backwards, it's okay that he cut letters half off of words. It is his design and his work.

The final poster::

The Process::

This time, he was not elected Mayor, but I'm certainly proud of his effort. Great job buddy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's that time of year again...

Alright ladies, it's that time of year once again!!! I think we need to be reminded of a few things. So my sisters, PLEASE, raise your big toes and repeat after me below...

The Open Toed Shoe Pledge

As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the Rules
when wearing sandals and other open-toe shoes:

I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over
and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.
I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker,
mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back! into
place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr.
Scholl's if my feet need him.

I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me
as I fall and break my ankle.

I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell
and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she
asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.

I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they
actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

I will promise to go to my local
nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $20 or $25 and worth EVERY penny).

I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of
wear... nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.

Don't ! keep this is to yourself - pass it on to other sisters.

Sent to me from a previous parent in my preschool class... she is hysterical! Umm... maybe she's trying to tell me something? No... just hysterical!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things that make me *smile*

I've tried to slow down (some of you would laugh and wonder if I was trying) and smell the roses (as they say) lately. I've had many moments of wondering where the time has gone; which made me realize that I need to appreciate the now and not look and push so much to the future.

My smiles ::

1:: My quiet moment in the morning with Jeep as he wakes up and acts just like a baby. He wants his morning love, scratch pat... several times.

2:: Seeing Pepe work hard on a school project, using my scrapbooking supplies and loving it.

3:: Sitting down to dinner and noticing that baby girl has just painted her fingernails... can't take the first bite until they dry!

4:: Watching Phinneous realize that his basketball season is almost finished and instead of moping about it, he is taking on baseball fully... what does that mean for mom... now I have to sit through baseball games on ESPN... by the way, basketball games move much faster. I can move laundry, feed the dogs and return library books and the same guy is still up at bat!

5:: Watching my husband do it all... listen to a book on CD, tv on (muted) working on a Suduko puzzle... that was hilarious!

6:: The sound of baby birds...

7:: Tulips blooming...

8:: Coversations with kids...

9:: Sorting Easter candy... it's theraputic for me... sick, I know.

10:: Giggles and laughter

Spring Sounds

Ah, the sound of baby birds in early Spring. They make my ears perk up and make me want to work outside in the yard.


Aaaaagh, the sound of baby bird at 4:30am!


WHAT?!?!? WHERE is it? We've all gone to look... we can't find the nest (not that we want to hurt the birds, but they are so loud, I'm just curious as to where and what they are.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finding Church ::

Easter Sunday... even many non-church goers find time to attend church on Easter and Christmas. Because of our prior commitments (an incredible brunch with long-time friends... which I don't want to change), we were unable to attend church. Okay... I could have gone to the 6:30 Sunrise service, but I chose not to.

Guess what... something was missing yesterday. I missed what I'd found over the last three weeks. It just didn't feel the same. What does that mean? Am I maturing, growing, finding a place that really fits or I don't know. I just know that if felt like I'd forgotten something.

So now I'm in an interesting place this week... a lot of thinking, seeking and waiting for my next opportunity.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Celebration

double click to enlarge

This is beautiful. Our cousin from Germany sent it... enjoy... enjoy your celebration this weekend.

As I personally struggle with the stress of with who to please (hunts, dinner invites, etc.) I am drawn to the real purpose and meaning of the glorious time.

Check out this book... one of the grandparents in my prek class mailed it to me... I loved the message... I did the number one bad thing and read it to my class without pre-reading it... but I knew the grandma who had sent it and I was right... it was a wonderful message.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Finding Church, again :: 4

I hadn't been to church for three Sunday's in a row in a very long time, but that's exactly what I did. I had a little moment when I checked the box that said "3rd time attending"... especially when I looked at the next box that says "regular attender"... hmmm.

The kids were up and ready to roll... all three of them. I was a little, okay very surprised that my oldest, Pepe was so ready, so willing and wanting. He talked about the 'new' church all week and asked several times if he could invite a friend. (We did end up having a friend come who had been thinking of checking out this particular church for quite some time.... kids were very happy, especially the boys' as now they had their 'friends' with them.)

This particular Sunday was deemed "Mini Muffin Cafe"... you got it, they were going to feed us. And not just muffins, there was entire menu... Pepe was VERY excited about it. We left and hour early, just so that we could fill our tummies before service. It was very nice, the ladies were helpful and caring.

Breakfast ... check
Potty break ... check
Drop kids off in kid church ... check
Enter worship... check
Nervous factor... IN check.... WHAT? Could I be comfortable all ready? I actually managed a smile, I think. I felt like I belonged.... and then I looked up... HOW could they do this to me? They moved the piano and the front pews. I looked at Frugal Franny with that look... why did they move everything on me. In only a way that she can... she calmed me down (insert... she told me to get a grip... maybe not in those exact words, but it was what I needed to hear).

I knew that the service would be different today, it's Palm Sunday, and I was right. We had our palms and we waved them as the choir sang (which is why the piano and pews had been moved, duh). Then, in paraded all of the children... my children included, waving their palms. I smiled... only one of my kids, Phineous, looked like he need to run.

The service continued with a choir contata... LOTS of singing. I was okay with it. Music and I get along. I relax with music, music helps me to learn so I felt good and the choir was nice to listen to.

Then... it happened... the PITTING OUT! It was time for communion. I know that communion is a gift, a remembrance, but it has always stressed me out! And I know why it stresses me out. For 18 years, I sat in my seat as each Sunday the bread and water was passed out to the congregation... I never got up, never walked down and isle, to the front and was put on display. That's how I feel about communion... people are going to watch me... see me... I will no longer be invisible. Even as I write these words, it seems very silly to me, especially since I don't watch other people (okay I really do as I'm a people watcher, but not to be mean, but in interest), I guess I'm saying that I don't watch people to critisize how they take communion. In fact, this would be only the second time I'd actually taken communion and the other time was just in December.

So, as I sat there panicking, literally sweating, palms drenched I finally told myself to 'get a grip'. It was communion... it is a gift... use it to remember. I just kept repeating 'this is a gift, this is a gift, this is a gift' (I wonder if anyone heard me?). I got through it... I don't even think that anyone paid attention to me. I was finally safe, back at my seat and my breathing became normal, the PITTING OUT ended and I may have even smiled to myself... I did it.

The best part was after church, my frugal franny friend just smiled at me and said softly, "you even made it through communion." Was I that obvious? Maybe to her as she is my friend. I'm so glad that I have someone willing to walk down this road with me.

As we were making our annual plans for Easter Sunday, Pepe piped in... What about church? Will we miss it? My answer had a sad tone to it and I realized that yes, we would miss church. What is it about this church? Maybe it is the comfort found with my family. I'm even thinking about getting up really early to attend Sunrise service. We'll see what happens.

As for now, I go about my week, using my quiet time to find myself and reflect about all of the lessons I am learning. Go figure.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Random Spring Break

First of all... I forgot my camera... no pictures of our fun day, but we have our memories, right??!?!

1. Swimming at Bonneville Hot Springs with the kids is very fun, however, I don't know that the $80 we spent for the family was economical... or maybe it was... did we stimulating the economy?!!?!

2. Pizza in Stevenson is very good ... I think the name of the place is 'Andrews'. We ate the entire family size...

3. I'm always looking for fun/free/next to no cost activities for the kids... we stopped at Bonneville Dam (which is free) and the kids loved it. We haven't stopped since Pepe was very little. Unfortunately we got there 30 minutes before they were closing. It was pretty cool being the only people in the place and we did see a fish swim up the fish ladder. If you go plan on packing a lunch (or drive 10 minutes up the road for pizza). You can walk around outside as well. I also found out that they have free story times during Spring Break.

4. I *heart* Co$tco! I've been looking for a new swim suite and find the prices ridiculous... I mean really... over $100 for a small piece of cloth that makes me look horrible... So, I was very pleased while shopping in Co$tco to find a great selection of tankini's for.... $22!!!

5. I'm reading a book by Nora Roberts... I haven't read a book for pleasure for awhile (since I've started my masters degree). Quick, fun book!

6. I still have many projects to complete this week and they may or may not get finished. It's okay, I've realized. I will adjust and do the things that are important for me and my family.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A morning with Auntie!

Cousins love to play together; especially during Spring Break! So that's what we did... let the cousins play.

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of the big boys playing... they played the wii, with light sabers, Nerf guns, computer games, built a fort, and had fun.

It was little monkey boy that I had to entertain. I haven't had a 20 month old around for awhile.... this is what I taught him...

Lesson 1: How to properly unload the dishwasher.

Lesson 2: Love your family.

Lesson 3: How to take out the trash with a light saber in hand.

Lesson 4: How to protect yourself with a light saber.

Lesson 5: How to learn your ABC's... don't mind him... I'm sure he's not really shooting Elmo with a Nerf gun...

Lesson 6: How to make and save your money.

Mister Monkey... what a cutie pie!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An End in Sight

In September I started back to school to get my Masters of Education. I jumped in... I had thought about it for years and realized that there was 'no time like the present', so off I jumped. It's been a complete whirlwind. I've managed pretty well, so far (of course there are times when I really should just check into a hotel and save my family from my insanity... like right now trying to write my action research prelim paper) but I was frustrated as I wasn't really sure of my plan.
  • Which classes do I need to take?
  • When will I take them?
  • How will these classes fit into my personal life? (I'm a mom first!)
Today I made my way onto campus. I love being on campus. I wish I could take classes on campus instead of on-line, but that does not logistically work with three kids, many sports, a traveling husband, etc, etc, etc. I was overjoyed when I stepped back onto the familiar ground. The cherry blossoms were just as I remembered. The old brick building with ivy cleaning to the sides. The campus is changing. It is expanding. There are new buildings in progress, a new library in the works and a sports complex, I believe. What a transformation. I have so many happy memories and now I making new memories. I was able to connect with old friends and make new contacts. It was a great morning... now I must do my homework!