Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giving it ALL

This kid gives it ALL each week.

His determination, intensity and passion speak loudly.

He's struggling right now... not with the game of basketball but with the move of his best friend and his coach (of two sports).

I see the frustration. It manifests itself in pure crankiness and often tears (about something totally unrelated).

He's taught me a large lesson. I need to give my ALL each day when parenting. It's not acceptable to not be intense and determined and focused.

I need to think outside the box with this kid... I need to know how to get out of sticky situations with him. He's an extremely sensitive kid and he often tells me to "not yell at him"... and I shake my head... {I'm not yelling.} But, in his eyes and ears anything stern is yelling and he shuts down.

Oh, the joys of parenting... It's a daily struggle and joy to parent.

Stay focused, be determined, have intensity...

Give it ALL.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I have not sent out a traditional card in a couple of years. That whole Masters "thing" really sent me for a loop... I did create a slide show that I sent via email during that time. While I LOVED the slide show (so many pictures to include and songs, etc) it wasn't the simplicity of a card. So, this year I've purchased cards. I used the picture above... went with the theme of the year... "how many sports can we play at this house"... and had some fun.

Now to address the envelopes... ha, who am I kidding... I need to find the address book!

Monday, November 29, 2010

He's 9!

Phineous is 9! My Thanksgiving (born a month early baby is 9!

This year is a year to celebrate with family... which the kids are skeptical about. But it proved to be a great birthday celebration.

We surprised him with the chance to watch Oregon vs. Duke on Saturday. He went with his two buddies and the three Dad's. He had no idea he was going... we told him to get ready to head to the store (he put on his Ducks shirt... cause he always wears his Duck shirt) and we stalled for the friends to arrive. He kept asking if his buddies could come and play and we kept putting him off. Finally the door bell sounded and his buddies had arrived... he and Joe got in the car and the friends told him where he was going. So cool! (He loved the game!)

The second surprise was an ipod touch. I know, I know... he's only 9. What do you do when it's the only thing he wants, you get a great deal, he's very responsible and it's the only thing he wants?!?!!? He LOVES it. He has even shared with his brother without.being.asked!

It was a great celebration! Which wasn't complete with out plain cheesecake :)

I can't believe he's 9! I'm trying hard to enjoy this year because I keep thinking... I'm going to have two kids in double digits next year... aaaagh! Enjoy this season :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gratitude :: 10

I am grateful for a "girl" day... a fun "Just Dance" workout, a pedicure and lunch. A little spoiling {especially when Mama gets the kids cold} is very nice.

Gratitude :: 9

Grateful to be able {although sometimes not willing} to workout... especially with friends.

Gratitude :: 8

Grateful to practice my teaching skills... I was blessed with the opportunity to sub at my old preschool!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gratitude :: 7

I'm grateful for two boys that {sometimes} get along and do great things together.

Gratitude :: 6

I'm am so thankful for my sense of humor.... sometimes you just have to laugh!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gratitude :: 5

I'm thankful for my couch... sometimes it's just what I need... a moment to sit, relax, reflect and enjoy.

Gratitude :: 4

I'm thankful for my "beast" of a car!

It is on the go very often... hauling kids, dirt, equipment, dirt, stinking shoes, kids, dogs, etc. It may not be the prettiest thing, but it is mine and it is very functional!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude :: 3

I'm thankful for my husband...

I often find myself doing a lot on my own... (anyone else have a traveling hubby). I don't mind doing it on my own... some may call me a control freak.

Lately, there have been numerous occasions where I realize it is soooo much easier to do things with him than without him.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude :: 2

I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate...

bible study / soccer board position / bike first!

Gratitude :: 1

I saw a post about gratitude that I loved.
So I'm going to do my own month of gratitude postings.

I am grateful for my spirited, fun, routine-loving, thoughtful children. Another Halloween, but this time we experienced changes. Friends were of great importance; which was fine, just different. I'm so grateful for these kiddos and all that they enjoy and especially for the joy they bring to me.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laundry Brilliance?!?!?!

I do a TON of laundry! (I know we all do, but today it's all about me.)

I know it will never be done, but I'd like it to be manageable. (Which seems to always fail me.)

I had a thought last night (scary) and I'm trying it today. It's not so much doing the laundry as it is putting it away... sorting the piles of shorts, pants, shirts, uniforms, socks, underwear, sheets, towels... ick!

Here is the BRILLIANCE... wash items according to like-items! {WHAT?!?!?} (I usually do LOADS & LOADS of darks, then whites, then towels, then sheets, then blankets, etc.)

For example... I just went up to my bedroom to the mountain of laundry and pulled out all of the shirts and filled my laundry basket with them until it was full. I'm going to wash the shirts, dry the shirts and then hang them up (or fold them) as they come out of the dryer and they will be ready to put away.

While I was sorting I went ahead and made a pile of pants/shorts/sweats and socks/underwear (I just mixed the whites and colors together and when I do those loads I will do one white and one of colors.)

I think that I may be on to something! {WHAT?!??!?! Do you already to this and you didn't share? I'll let you know how it goes!

And... while we're on the subject of laundry... this room just looks dreamy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

$ Dollar Store *LOVE*

The $ store and I have a love/hate relationship! Sometimes I love what I find, but often the lack of any type of quality drives me crazy. I love to be frugal, but not cheap. Buy less and buy quality is what I'd rather do.

That being said... I found a few treasures yesterday to share with you.

Just for fun... kids sized bowls that I used on a runner down the table. The kids think they should be filled with candy... I'm not so sure! Maybe pumpkin seeds and nuts? I think today I'll have them filled with their after-school snack.

Adding an unexpected Pop... I had marbles and clear "disks" surrounding my candles, but I found these mini pumpkins and acorns. While they are plastic and a bit "cheesy" I think they added great color and texture to this decoration.

Just because I wanted them... I've wanted new wine glasses for awhile and couldn't force myself to splurge. Then I saw these last week and I've been thinking about them. I ended up bringing home 6 of them for $6), ran them through the dishwasher and hung them up. I love them! They are nice and heavy and tall... perfect. Would I love something fancier... maybe someday. But these glasses won't cause me any heartache when they get hit by a football (it will happen in my house) or dropped on the granite counter.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm running?!?!

About 4 weeks ago I was feeling like I was at the depths of despair... okay, maybe not that low, but pretty darn low.

I had some choices to make... get medicated or do something to boost myself.

I chose to do something (although I'm not sure that I'm out of the woods... there is nothing wrong with medication... I'm just going through a lot of transitions and I'm trying to make the right decision for me)... I started running.

OR... maybe I should call it GULPING air! It was pretty awful at first. But I have to say, that surrounded by great friends I have kept at it. I am up to running at least 1.5 miles before I need to stop for a cleansing breath (I usually then walk about 1/4 mile and resume running). My goal has been to run 3 miles... to be able to head out and just run 3 miles. I'm scaring myself that it is getting very near. Last Thursday I went 5 miles... I didn't run all of it, but I ran A LOT!

I have always said... I will never run...

Ha... never say never!

Friday, October 22, 2010

In pain

It is terrible to watch your child suffer... Phinneous is in PAIN!

While wrestling with his buddies he was SLAMMED into a wall. His wind was knocked out of him... I worked to get him under control and then suggested the boys quit wrestling (fyi -- I hate wrestling... someone ALWAYS gets hurt.)

A little while later the boys were running down the stairs and I heard the classic thud, bump, bump, s.p.l.a.t. It was Phinneous.... now he was really not happy. But, he was headed to the trampoline...

A few minutes later I heard the screeching.... MOM!

He couldn't get off the trampoline... couldn't move... I thought he MUST be cramping... he had pitched that afternoon and he must be dehydrated, etc. I had to climb up through the tiny-kid-sized net and retrieve him (visualize my larger arse climbing through everything... not a pretty site). He was pretty upset... I massaged him and got him ice and gave him an ibuprofen... I figured he'd be fine.

Got him home, positioned him in bed and just waited for him to pass out... which he did... yay! That was short lived as at 2am he was up and in pain. I repositioned him and thought {^&*}... do I take him to the ER... did he break a bone... is it muscular... can it wait til morning...

I chose to wait till morning, but I was up several more times repositioning him... needless to say... no sleep!


Dr. Report... muscle strain... heat, ibuprofin and no physical activity for a week! Hot tub is a great idea (so glad I have one in my backyard)! And Ty!eno! 3 for bed time... yay!

So now I'm exhausted and I'm still waiting for him to pass out. However, he has found the Duck game on TV... it's going to be a long day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Real Housewives

Addicted... not because I aspire to be like them, but I am enthralled with them.

Did she just wear that? Say that? Do that? Think that? Portray that?

Totally addicted... I'm also addicted to Sister Wives... I wonder what that says about me?

I think it says... I'm a woman without homework and I've rediscovered TV!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other wordless wednesday posts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Just cute

Cleared 370 pictures off of my camera and found baby girls bday photos. She just makes me smile! This was her year to have a family party... she wasn't too keen on the idea, but I think she loved it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parenting -- ick!

My son had a total break-down about school last night... broke my heart.
  • playground -- specifically the soccer field -- kids are mean, telling him "he sucks". If you know my son you know that he is an athlete... are they just happy when he makes mistakes? He is not my boastful child... he does well and lets it be.
  • classroom -- hates where he sits, was moved from his friends (because he's the kid that can sit with the kids who won't behave). He feels ousted from the group.
  • just plain bullying -- "I can break your wrist... I'm in karate."
  • I'm mean -- I don't like play dates during the school week. Occasionally is fine, but we are busy with practices and homework and they don't get home from school until 4 and I like them in bed by 8:30... doesn't give us a lot of time for play dates. I squelched that one... told him that we do not have play dates on a school day, but I told him I would work harder to set things up on the weekend.
What do I do? My first reaction was to call all the parents of the children he mentioned and "give it to them". Knowing that was not the right thing to do I waited... I calmed down. I chatted with Joe...

We both agree that...
  • this child of ours has most likely been experiencing these things for awhile (he tends to take a lot and then burst) and for whatever reason it all came out today.
  • He is also VERY sensitive... wears his emotions on his sleeve. We are always working with him to let things "roll" off of him.
  • He doesn't understand why people would be mean... he's not a mean spirited kid
So... I can counsel most parents through this issue, but when it comes to MY kid I'm at a loss for what to do.

Advice? (I already emailed the teacher and asked for her observations.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My First Bible Study!

Well, I've joined my first Bible Study with a great group of ladies that I'm looking forward to getting to know even better. After over a year of being invited, I finally felt that I could actually focus on a bible study. So... here we go.

If you've read my "finding church" posts, you know that this is a difficult area for me. That being said, I want to learn and find for myself.

Week 1 (last week) -- I was able to stay at bible study for 15 minutes. It was an insane evening of schedules. I persevered and was glad to make it. As I began my homework for the week I was completely overwhelmed.
  • What am I doing?
  • I don't belong here?
  • I don't even know what they are talking about/referencing/
  • You want me to pray?
  • My bible... it's burried on my shelf... haven't opened it since college.
  • I should quit... this isn't me.
  • I can't do this?
  • I didn't even know that was the name of a book in the bible?
The thoughts and panicked swarmed. I finally decided that I would get "something" out of this bible study. It may not be an epiphany, but I will learn. As I was driving one afternoon, I realized that it felt as though I was reading a foreign language. And then I had even more compassion for my daughter... who is struggling with learning to read. I see her frustration and I feel for her... it's a foreign language to her.

Week 2 -- Group
Cautiously I told the group about my feelings of feeling overwhelmed and I shared my feelings of it being like reading a foreign language. The women were great and even agreed that it felt difficult to them as well. I felt better. I will keep plugging along.

The quote I pulled out of the dvd and that I will hold onto is this...

Are you looking for religion or a relationship [with God]?

The answer for me was so clear... I'm looking for a relationship.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


You can participate here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This little girl is a gift. She is sweet (with a bit of sour). We comment regularly at home about how she is our easy child... the one who smiles, makes us smile, is cheerful and helpful. She is very independent and will spend hours playing in her room or in the sandbox. However, there are times when she is very dependent and wants her mama. In the recent past (during that Masters degree) I found myself putting her off, having few patience with her. I've vowed to change that. I could feel myself pushing her away and didn't want to, but didn't have the effort to put into her needs. (sad, very sad) So I'm on a quest to meet her needs (and mine) in a loving manner.

She loves our nightly reading together... we snuggle up on the couch and read from her American Girl books. She puts on her little glasses and we sit together. I still squirm at times (it's like I get claustrophobic or something), but I'm learning to set my boundaries.... lovingly.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To pay them, or not (allowance)!

The issue of allowance is always staring me in the face... what to do, what to do, what to do?

I do believe that my kids need to earn money AND spend money at this age to learn to be responsible for the future.

I do not believe they should be paid to help out in the house that they live in... isn't that part of their responsibility... they should just pick up their own undies and socks (I'm just sayin').

I did get tired of hearing, "Mom, can I get the new lego, sports card, littlest pet shop, NFL jersey, lipstick, baseball/soccer ball, _______ insert annoying request."

I caved... Allowance... it's alive and well.

Here's what we're trying and it seems to be working for us...

1. Children do normal jobs... just because (brushing teeth, making beds, etc are not a paid job)

2. Children willingly help with jobs when mom and dad ask (without eye rolling or huffing)

3. Some of my children have figured out that if they ask for a job at least once a week they make their mom REALLY happy (and she may or may not think that they are the golden child for the moment).

4. The giving of allowance is heavily weighed upon the childrens behavior for the week (I LOVE THIS)

5. Allowance is given on Friday AND the children must ask me for it. They may not ask on Thursday and if they wait till Saturday (that's a bummer). It's given on Friday. (Note... you should have cash on you on Friday... ugh... that's embarrassing)

6. Some portion of the allowance must be put into Long-term savings. The parental unit will match the amount put into long term savings (like a 401K). Some portion of money should be put into short term savings (i.e. saving for the new lego set, ipod, etc). And children should have a couple of dollars for WAM (walking around money -- love that acronym)

That's it... that's the plan.

The results...

Week 1... Children asked for allowance (mommy was out of cash... still paying them... pathetic... note to self... go to the bank)

Week 2... Children forgot to ask... remembered 2 days later (what a bummer)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello Me, Meet Me

Day 2 on my own.

I was "blessed" with a phone call from my professor... and found myself with some additional work to do (not a big deal). I did half of it this morning... so by 11am I was ready to head out on my adventure.

{Really, I was tired of working and needed a break... the house was soooo quiet that I had to leave.}

I picked up some of Baby Girls birthday surprise (I will have to blog about that later). I ran to Target, Home Goods, Sports Authority and Ross (for the second day in a row).

{Really, I couldn't focus yesterday while shopping and forgot half of what I needed to get.}

Then I came home and did dishes, laundry, made kids beds, sorted soccer uniforms, made dinner, chatted with my sister and got the kids off the bus.

{Really, I tried hard to move my feet. I certainly could have napped, watched a movie, cleaned and organized the chaos.}

As I did all of this {I really didn't do anything} I looked around and became a bit overwhelmed with all of the projects I see around me... how will I accomplish this. I have the time NOW.

Then it dawned on me... normally I am sooo many pressing deadlines that I have to schedule my time tight. Right now I don't need to do that and I'm floundering.

{Hello Me, Meet Me}

I need a list... a direction... a plan (hello me... teacher).

I got into the habit of not making lists because they were depressing... they never got accomplished. But now, I can make lists!

Daily lists :: Short Term lists :: Long term lists :: Lists for the kids :: Lists for Joe :: Lists for the family

Isn't it wonderful.... anyone have a pad of paper?

For this moment...

For this moment I am officially a stay-at-home mom, again.

It's been 4 years since I've said that.

Staying-at-home is a difficult task for me, but I'm determined to give it my all. I've been given the time {opportunity} to be a mom and a wife and I'm jumping in with both feet.

I know it won't be easy... I've done this before, but this time I feel at peace with it. I'm excited to be slow, be still and enjoy the chaos. While during the day I don't have little feet under mine {except Jeep, but he's not little} there are meals to plan, a house to reorganize, unfinished projects to complete, a woman, wife and mom to "find" and laundry... there's always laundry.

So during this time, it will be an adventure. It won't last for long and I'm embracing it... for this moment.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last day of summer!

Today is the last day of summer for my kiddos (do you see my dancing feet).

It has been a great summer... we've enjoyed many fun days and nights and camps and vacation and soccer tournaments and a basketball tournament.

But, all good things must come to an end. It's time... time for school, routine, structure and fall.

It's time for my children to like each other again. These last two weeks of summer have been terrible... everyone anxious and grouchy.

But tomorrow, I will put all three of my darlings on the bus. Then I will drive to the school and get them off the bus and walk them to their classrooms and then... I will be on my own for.the.!

Goodbye summer, hello fall!

Monday, August 2, 2010


A small compilation of photos from our trip. We head back home in the morning (and really I'm just procrastinating my packing duties). I have so many thoughts swirling in my head. I had time to think, ponder and reflect. As much as I beat myself up for all that I have not done, I also thought about those things that I do. It's an interesting list... and I'm sure I'll share more of it... later.

For now... goodbye beautiful lake... hello home!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have a fear... of canoes.

Silly, right?

But real.

When Joe suggested we borrow a canoe for our lake trip I was very honest with him about my feelings... NO!

Being that I am so mature, we brought the canoe along and I requested that I not need to be in the canoe. He made my dreams come true. He took the kids out without me. I stood dock-side to take photos. The lake was very windy that day and there ride lasted all of 5 minutes. Pepe was thrilled to help paddle. Baby girl was very nervous and began to cry (that's my girl). And Phinneous... he just went along for the ride.

In the end... Pepe's dream of canoeing was realized, my dream of not canoeing came true.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


At home, I have all of my things around me that make me comfortable... favorite cup, blanket, squooshy spot in the couch, etc.

On vacation, I've realized that I immediately find things to replace my comfortable things. As I was pouring coffee this morning I realized that I reached for the red mug. The house we've rented has a set of nice yellow striped mugs (which I gave to Joe) and I took the red one. I prefer to sit in the big oversized brown couch and I've found my favorite water glass... it's green... I gave Joe the pink one.

Hmmm... even though it's only "stuff" I have found a way to create comfort.

Monday, July 26, 2010

And we sat...

we sat at the end of the dock, in our chairs (pushed really close together) with a blanket spread out over the two of us. We watched the moon rise, the sun set, the fish jump, the birds dive and we sat. We talked about our trip, but mostly our day with guests at the Lake House. It's not often that we find the time to just sit with each other, to listen to each other and just BE.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just a little bragging!

Pepe had an incredible soccer tournament last weekend. We are soooo proud of him. He played tough, aggressive, smart and most of all consistent! The team went 2 and 1 to make it to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, they lost in the semi's, but Pepe made the only goal for our team in that game... he hadn't scored since last fall (and when he scored last fall I missed it... I was coaching one of the other kids teams).

I was soooo excited... I went to mommy crazy town (you know when you forget where you are and you let it all out... with a huge YAHOOOOOO!) I stood up to cheer and about dropped my camera. That's when I realized that I didn't capture "the moment". I then started clicking away without even looking through the lens. I was able to capture the excitement on his face and high-fives with teammates. I love the goalie getting the ball out of the net.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Winner -- Winner

The boys have done their share of camps this summer and most of them independently. But they had the chance to attend the Martell Webster (formerly a Portland Trailblazer -- we are so sad that he's been traded) basketball camp.

The camp was held during the three hottest days of the summer. Needless to say they both worked very hard, got very sweaty and red in the face. The boys love Martell... he is so good with the kids. He even brought squirt guns and water balloons to the camp to help everyone stay cooled off.

Joe headed to camp on the last day to take a few photos. The boys didn't know he was coming and they were a little stunned!

Pepe -- going through one of the drills. He did a contest at the camp and took 3rd place in bump.

Phinneous also competed in a contest called hot shot. You have to shoot as many baskets as you can from different locations and you earn points. He made it to the finals and finished the contest in front of all of the campers. He "drained" two 3-point shots and had a final score of 57 and won the contest. He beat everyone in the camp. He competed against 13 year olds! He won a signed Martell Webster jersey. He was ECSTATIC! The thing that just blows my mind... he told me the day before the contest that he was going to win. I watch this kid and see the determination he has and I am impressed!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Do you ever stop and realize that you've just learned something knew about yourself?

I know I will always keep learning and growing and developing, but sometimes I just laugh when I realize something new.

New #1 :: I like drinking water out of a straw.

New #2 :: I like to listen to instrumental jazz music when I study.

New #3 :: I can't work if the kitchen isn't clean... something about doesn't let me focus.

New #4 :: I like good food... we went to I22y's the other night and I wanted a salad. I made my salad and as I ate it I realized that the ingredients were just not up to my standard. I admit I am spoiled... I get organic vegetables every week from the farm and they are really good. So disappointing.

New #5 :: I don't like large crowds. Really this isn't new, but reaffirmed. I took my kids to the movie last week and I chuckled when I realized that I always take them to a small theater.

New #6 :: When I start my homework it takes me about half and hour to get settled in and really work. Interesting.

What's new with you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh, those silly boys!

I just found these pics and laughed hysterically. What a fun night! One of those nights with Joe out of town and myself running kids back and forth.... baseball, soccer, etc. I remember dropping Phinneous off at baseball and running Pepe to soccer. Pepe finished soccer in time to catch the end of Phinneous' baseball game. We headed down and when we stepped out of the car it started POURING! The field was disgusting, but they kept playing.

Phinneous had a great hit and ran the bases... the coaches were yelling for him to slide into third base... which he did pathetically. The field was so gross... so I was yelling for him to stay on his feet. He had to slide into home and it was muddy. It happened to be their last game, which was a make-up game.

Afterward, the boys ran the bases like they usually do but decided to slide into each base. I was in shock -- MUD. And then I see Pepe... in his soccer gear running the bases with the team and sliding... so GROSS! Must they ride home with me?!?!?!?

I live with this daily!

Pepe had already removed the mud filled jacket he was wearing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sometimes you've got to throw the kid a bone.

Phinneous has a LIST of movies that are "must see" this summer. I am very frugal (some may say cheap) and we typically only see 2-3 movies each year in the theater. Maybe it's because he's the middle child (the forgotten one -- ya right), maybe it's because of that blonde hair and those blue eyes, maybe it's because he wrote me a list of all of the characters, maybe it's because he was able to compare the first two movies in detail or maybe I just caved.... but I took the kids (plus 2 friends) to see
Toy Story 3.

After getting past the ticket cost and snacks (we kept it reasonable... 1 large, refillable popcorn, 2 large sodas and they threw in a box of candy for an extra $.50)... a whopping $62.50, we settled in to enjoy the movie. It was darling. I haven't seen Toy Story 2, but I have seen the original MANY time. I must say that I liked both of them... for different reasons, but they are both good.

One movie checked off of Phinneous' list. (And a priceless moment for mama when I looked down the row as the movie began and saw the look on his face... excitement, thrill, surprise, love... it was the best!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

In a jam?

We've had non-summer like weather, which pushed strawberry season way, way back.

But, I finally have my flat of strawberries and that means... jam time.

Last year I made raspberry jam and no one in my family liked it. I liked it, but I ended up giving it away as gifts. (Which was fine, because who doesn't like a homemade gift that you can eat?)

Phinneous likes strawberry jam... (but now he tells me he only likes Smucker$ -- what?)

Looks good, huh?!?!??!