Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friends, Food, Fish, and Fones

My phone must be on strike.  Or vacation.  Or gone to see Eclipse.  It is no longer sensing my finger sliding to unlock!  So unfair.  I have a life to live, and Facebook to check! : )
I can't: answer my phone when it rings.
I can't: scroll to find people's phone numbers that are only stored in my phone.
I can't: make calls.
I can't: read my mail.
I can't: read text messages. (not that I get that many anyway.)
I can't: call people back who call me-I don't know their phone numbers!
I can't: (isn't this fun?) listen to my voicemail.
Ok, I'm done, you get the idea.  I'm not happy about it, but I have to be patient.  I can get my glass/digitizer replaced (again) tomorrow, when the guy gets back into town who can change it out.  It's very mysterious that the glass isn't broken, but it's still not that similar to planned obsolescence (by Apple so I have to buy the iPhone 4) (by the fix-it-glass-man)?  Either way, I've learned it is not fun to not have a phone.  I can remember driving off in any direction (for hours) with no phone, but now a trip to Fayetteville with three kids and no phone scares me!  I know, Planned Dependence.

I had a great day today!  We stayed home for the morning, cleaned up rooms, vacuumed (why do I enjoy this so much?), and it felt good.  I love walking around a clean house.  Ahh...I'm sorry I'm strange, but I love clean, and I love to do it.  Weirder, I know.  I even cleaned toilets.  Yep, really.  We cleaned Mary Claire's fishbowl.  Threw away growing potatoes (they are not supposed to grow in a closet!).  Then had some lunch, and went to Sandra's to let the kids play!  (I think we say we are letting the kids play, but it's just as much for us!) We got to look at the new Stampin Up! catalog, and play with her digital scrapbooking software, the kids played games, played in the water-inventing new games, sliding, then having sno cones!  The weather was so nice-we didn't have that crazy heat like we usually do-it was actually breezy and perfect!  Ahh..summer. and no school. : )
Then we ran by to get some pulled pork for sandwiches (at Sonny's BBQ-which I think he sold, BTW.  He was no where to be found, the pig with Mardi Gras beads was gone, and they barely spoke English!)  So, we had dinner and Ches left to take Clay to boy scout camp, early!  I don't know how we pulled it off, but he left by 4:40!  Crazy-I thought they'd be late.
Anyway, a nice laundry-folding evening, partnered with some swimming, baths, some Judy Moody and LeapPad.. but we have got to work on bedtime.  We are getting later and later.  It was ten before we got them to bed!  I feel like a bad parent-that's crazy late, and they sure don't sleep any later!
I have no fascinating pictures for you, but I do have an iPhone picture I took on Tuesday at Chick-fil-a that I haven't shared (forced on you!) heehee:
It makes me laugh!  Ethan is the only one who would put his head in the cow "hole" to get his picture taken.  The older ones told me no.  Can you believe it?  I mean, isn't it fun to put your head in a hole and take a picture?  What really makes me laugh, is his mouth is full of chicken (and he didn't want to wait till he finished chewing!), and Clay is peeking through!  Ethan wasn't tall enough (to be a cow), so Clay had to give him a boost.  Sweet brothers.

I'm thankful for patience (that I may have a working phone again..) and for friends and food and for sweet boys willing to pose for pictures!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Psalm 103:1

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crunch Berries...Mmmm..Good.

Cap'n Crunch Berries should not enter your house if you are on a diet.  Or want to keep your composure/cool. They are like crack-Very Addictive.  I took the kids with me to the grocery store yesterday (first mistake, if we're counting), and it was near dinnertime (second mistake).  Do Not go to Wal-Mart if it's between 3-5pm.  It's just Wrong.  They should lock the doors, but I'm sure it falls into their Peak Hours (ie. peak income) category.  Ahh, hungry and groceries-bad combo.  We came home with Toy Story 3 cereal (yep, I couldn't believe it either-it looks mysteriously like the old Princess cereal-pinkish-red stars and yellow stars with tiny white sugar dots), gross blue boxes of dinners..Kid Cuisines I think (because they had gummy worms and brownies), a mushroom (not so bad, but random), caramel delite yogurts, mini-chocolate chip cookies, Cool Mint Oreos (sooo good!), sour cream and onion Pringles, hot dogs (which are AwFuL for you!!), and the list goes on.

We also took Mary Claire to the doctor yesterday-she complained about her ear on Sunday after two long days of swimming.  Get this.  She has a double ear infection!  I thought maybe swimmer's ear or something little.  Nope.  She's on a pretty strong antibiotic twice a day.  I'm so surprised-she hasn't had a cold lately or anything.  So we got her medicine, and filled other prescriptions she needed, and..while we were in the pharmacy..Clay found their toy gun section!  He bought a new gun, new caps for the gun, and new gun powder paper-thingies for the toy gun Gigi bought him last week.  He was so excited!  I was so excited he used his own money!  (not that he's paid me yet..)  He's been out on the deck shooting it most of the day.

We had Bible study today, and ate lunch with Ches, and went to two libraries (long story..) making for a busy day!  Mary Claire and Ethan had gymnastics tonight, and Clay had boy scout camp.  You would think summer would lighten the load, but no.  : ) We're still having fun, so no harm done.  We took the afternoon off to lounge-and Mary Claire and Ethan even had naps!  I guess we work hard and play hard.

I have an icky story to tell you tomorrow.  It involves my phone and my inability to make calls with it. : (

My striking Bible verse for today (that isn't in my Bible study, but provokes thought):
My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.  Lamentations 3:20

Lamentations (as the name implies..) is a collection of poems lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple after the Babylonians destroy it.  I think I draw parallels to things I've loved being destroyed.  Does it strike you?  I mean, have you ever been that humbled or saddened-that your soul bows down?  I have.  It continues:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23
This is a song we sing in church, and I just want to add, "Lord, unto thee" at the end!  I've seen sadness, and I've seen immense joy.  Isn't it awe-some that we can live a life full of both?  I think we need both: to appreciate the joy and respect the sadness.  I think I'd rather live a life with both, than a life with neither.  What do you think?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things Under the Bed

Sky-blue pink is our word for that amazing, unusual color that we sometimes get to see at sunset-you know, that beautiful color right after the sun drops down and you see the sky meet the pinkish haze?  Well, tonight we got another gift: an orange-y blue.  It was a great sunny day, but it gave way to surprise showers/thunderstorm this evening, and then we had an awesome sunset: that orangey color!  I tried to get a picture of it, as it was quickly disappearing, but it was proving impossible.  This is the nearest one I could get, but I can only say it still doesn't do the live show justice.  You just had to see it.
And then, guess what I found under my bed!  It is starting to be a nightly thing, but I forgot he was down there, and he's just so darn cute.
Hard to see, isn't it?  Here's a closer shot of my stowaway!
Normally, he's down near the bottom with his feet hanging out, and after he falls asleep, we can just pull him out.  Well.  Not so easy tonight!  I had to totally pull his arm and then pull his body out.  It didn't go so well.  He cried, and it was sad.  I finally got him upstairs and into bed, and then he was asleep and silent!  Bless his little heart.  I just love him too much to tell him to go to bed when he sneaks in there! : )
Ok, here's him from the front-sound asleep.
So, while he's sleeping away, I was sewing. (Yes, in the same room!)  I monogrammed some fabric,
cut out all my pieces, and made Mary Claire a pump pouch (for her insulin pump!).
I bought this fabric the other day, and I'm planning to make a dress that matches it.  I just made the pump pouch first!  I like the fabric even more the more I work with it. : )
I'm sewing again tomorrow with a friend!  She's bringing her serger to play with.  I bought some turquoise polka-dotted seersucker to make some little ruffle capris.  I'll take some pictures!  I also got some 2" ribbon to make matching hairbows, and I have a shirt for her to wear with them, and I'll make a sash to go on the shirt.  It's a shirt I got from Kelly's Kids this spring, but I ordered the next size for her to wear next year!  It's perfect-no iron, and you can add any sash to make it match your pants.  They are on sale 30% off right now-check them out! (if you can't find your daughter's size on the link, you can choose one from another line like the lemonade line, and just take out the sash it comes with.  MC already has this one, and this sash, but I wanted the next size in the shirt!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Matching Swimsuits

What a great day!  We had company-my friend, Angie and her daughter Andalynn came down, and we had a fun girls' day.  We had a church fundraiser dinner at Carrabas, and we'd already bought tickets last week, so we all went!  It was good, but we just got water to drink.  I could have gone for some soda or tea, but the entree was good, and we got a chocolate dessert! : )  Here are the girls:
Aren't they cute?  So sweet.  They enjoyed the bread and dessert! : )
Then we made our way to Hobby Lobby to get more crafty stuff: ribbon, flip flops, stretch magic for them to make bead bracelets, etc.  We got all sorts of ideas!  I just love that place.  Then we came home, got changed into swimsuits (they were matching!), and spent the afternoon swimming:
We lazed around, layed out, and got some sun.  What a great afternoon.  And then, when we got ready for dinner, the girls finally got to work on their bracelets:
Aren't they serious?  They are so careful!  I just love to see them so immersed-they played so hard all afternoon, and then to have the energy to concentrate so hard on those tiny beads!  Bless their hearts.
I hope you had a great day-did you make rainbow bracelets?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Musical Painting

Musical Painting

I'm trying something new: posting a short video to this post. It's taking me a while..I think I have it edited (in iMovie)-you know, all the parts where I'm telling Ethan not to play with the blinds..
They painted birdhouses today, and it was so peaceful-then in the quiet, Mary Claire was singing and humming so beautifully!  I got my camera as quickly as I could, and tried to video her.  Did the beautiful painting make her sing, does she just do it as she works, or did the singing help her painting?  Notice, she even continues humming, never even taking notice of Ethan "licking" at her paint!  Ok, so it's not working so well..I figured out how to add it above!  Here is the link to the video on youtube anyway. : )
Here are the kids painting:
And I'm still debating on the school thing.  If I register for fall, I have to get on it really fast.  The one thing I was thinking about registering for has a deadline of the second week in I'd have to call and request a late admission already.  I'm still thinking.
Here are the birdhouses outside, right after a light summer rain.
We saw the two most beautiful yellow finches outside this window a couple days ago-they looked like they could have been caged just moments before-too beautiful to be just flying around!  They both landed-together-on a shepherd's hook right outside the window.  We wanted them to come back, so we bought birdhouses.  We'll buy feed, but where do we put it exactly?  So the big mean birds don't get it all?  And so the wild cats that come and go through our fence don't get the birds?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sugar Makes Me Crafty

GrEaT photo shoot, thanks, Jeremy Cavness!

Here is the picture from the photo shoot:
At some point, they'll get the quote added and send them to be printed (this is where I want to get in on it!)
Then, we did something even BETTER!  We walked down to the corner, and enjoyed a small reward for our good deed (well, you know).  We each had a specialty cupcake at Kupcakes and More on the Bentonville Square!
 They were absolutely scrumptious.  I had Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mary Claire had Red Velvet (with cream cheese frosting), and Ethan had a chocolate Army Man (from Toy Story) cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting.  All delish.  And then we got to sit at one of the tiny, child-size tables.  It reminded me of when I was little, and my brother and I would go to our friends' house-they had this tiny table set in the kitchen, and I loved to eat in there!  So, I sat on a teensy chair, and we had a cupcake party-fun! 
(I only wish Clay had been with us.  I missed him so much today!  He's staying with Gigi.  I called him when we left the cupcake place, but he's still having fun, and not wanting to come home yet.  Grandmas are always better than home.  He says I'm no fun-I make him clean his room, make his bed, and get dressed-I'm so mean!).
So, then we went back home, got our library books, and went to the library.  We read books and checked out new ones.  I helped Mary Claire this time-she got too many non-fiction last time!
Then we picked up Ches for lunch and went out to US Pizza in Fayetteville-so good!  I must be having a great day-cupcakes and pizza, in one day!  We were all tired after that, but the day must go on.  We headed home for a little bit, then made our way back to Mary Claire's orthodontist appointment.  Just a check-up, so it was pretty fast.  She doesn't go back until August, but we are supposed to do ten more turns on her palate expander.  She wasn't worried-she wanted me to do two tonight-Ha.  Strange girl.  She used to hate it!

Then, our relaxing included some crafts...
I have a prayer partner (a Bible study friend I'm secretly praying for-we drew for names), and I wanted to keep track of all the times I'm thinking of and praying for her.  I resurrected an old idea-paper bag scrapbooks!  I made these for each of the kids in Clay's first grade class, but as I discovered today..that was before I was blogging.  So!  I took a couple pictures so you could make them too.  Super Easy.
You use two or three plain paper bags (you can use white too, if you have them), some ribbon, a hole punch..
Stack the paper bags end to end, with the bottoms at opposite ends.  Make a cardstock cover that is the same size as your bags.  Hole punch through the cover PLUS the bags in the center fold.  Run about 14" of ribbon through the holes, and tie on the outside.  Now, you can get creative, or keep it simple.  I add little matching ribbons tied on the spine ribbon, knotted-add as many as you like.  I usually add at least three or four.  Then, when you close the "scrapbook", you'll have openings in the bags on the right side.  I make tabbed pull-outs to journal or put pictures on.  Cut a piece of cardstock to fit inside the "pocket" (end of a bag), and put a stapled tab on it.  (I have a nifty little punch from Stampin' Up, that I LOVE!), then punch holes (I used this punch), and tie a ribbon through the front and back, to hold all that fun inside!

Here are a couple I made (I had to make Mary Claire one as a bribe for her to go get an old one upstairs-so I could remember!).  You can see the tabs on the pull-outs in the above picture.

I had to cover my prayer partner's name, since it's supposed to be a surprise!
Ok, so it wasn't quite dinner (and I was still sugared up?), and Ethan was still begging for his own backpack (see yesterday!).  I was resisting, since they were a little girly, but I made him one.  He was so happy to see it stitching his name-he is just precious.  I didn't do all the process pictures, but took one of the end product!  His name is in green (his choice) on the tractor fabric, so it's hard to see.  He wanted me to combine fabrics, so here they are:
Then we had dinner, swam, and I researched *wait for it*...going back to school.  I have some time this fall, so I looked into finishing my masters degree.  Except, I have 18 hours in one subject, and am thinking I would switch majors/areas.  Umm..only three hours would transfer, and it's a Maybe/Probably.  So, it'd be at least two years.  But..what else am I doing?  (besides making backpacks and scrapbooks...)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Will she USE the backpack?

Bible Study today was great: like a big reunion!  We all hadn't seen each other in a while-well, maybe at church, but it was good to see everyone.  We had a couple girls that hadn't done b.s. with us before, but I'm glad they came!  I was proud of myself: no crying.  I just didn't go there.  Did I not share enough or was it that today was a medicine day?

I started a special project last night: a "string backpack" (I think the real ones are nylon with satin rope/trim).  I worked all day yesterday to get the font onto my computer, so I could digitize Mary Claire's name to put on it.  I don't know how it takes me so long.  It takes 30 times longer to digitize a font, design a name, and save it to a memory stick (for the sewing machine) than it does to sew the name!
So, I started with these:
I couldn't decide which flip flop fabric to use, but Mary Claire wanted the pink!
So I cut four rectangles (figured what size I wanted the backpack, added in seam allowances and the top gather for the ribbon), and then worked on the monogramming.
I'm the super-slow one, the machine is fast.  So, then I sewed the front/back of the back pack together, and sewed the lining together, then sewed the inside to the outside.  Confusing?
Ok, so then, I put button holes in the bottom to hold the ribbon, and the top for the ribbon to gather it.

Then, I ran the ribbon through the top, and left long pieces on each end to tie to the backpack.  Mary Claire was at mom's, but Ches went to get her (how I had time to finish up!).  I waited to tie off the ends after I tried it on her!

I thought it turned out pretty well!  She liked it, so yay.  Except now she doesn't want to go to camp tomorrow.  Boo..  We have a JDRF photo shoot tomorrow on the Bentonville Square at 9:40-right in the middle of camp.  It was supposed to be at night, but it got moved to day.  I would send her to camp, but I think the pictures will turn out really well.  We got a sample from the Tulsa JDRF office, and they are nice.  They make me cry, but nice.  I'm going to try to get a copy from the print shop.  I might get the price they are giving to JDRF, woohoo!  Let's see if I can find a sample..
It says, "I wish they would find a cure so I don't have to prick my fingers anymore."  I'm guessing Mary Claire will get decide what hers says.  The photographer is sending the pics to a printshop-so I think that's who will do the writing.  I'll show it to you when it's done!
Anyway, that's why Mary Claire is missing girl scout camp.  Again.  She said she'd go on Thursday and Friday, so I'm hoping she even gets to use the backpack!
All right, all's quiet here, so I'm taking my cue.  Hope you have a great day tomorrow!  I'll try to snap some pix at the photo shoot.  Ethan will want in on the action, so I may not get to be the one taking pictures...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Excess Syringes

Well.  That went well.
We had quite a day yesterday!  We'd gone to church on Saturday, so we lazed around on Sunday morning-Clay and Mary Claire had gone to spend the night at Gigi's late Saturday after she got back into town, so we just had Ethan, and he slept till almost 8!
We got ourselves together (we were getting in the van to leave, and I spilled iced tea all over my shirt/shorts/van seat, so I had to regroup and change! I'm just glad it happened before we left the driveway), got clothes for the kids to wear, and went to pick them up.  Mom made lots of fun of my hair (tried to send me with a hair brush, hair clip, and finally I accepted a rubber band, just in case) which I thought was just fine, we got the kids changed, and on the road.  We stopped for some lunch since it was almost one, and Clay whined that we weren't actually moving toward our destination..exasperating.
We were going to Missouri since Ches' brother, Kenny, and his wife Jessie were visiting from Fresno, California.  We went to his sister's (Caroline) house.  So when we got there they had a big blow-up obstacle course thing for the kids to play on and a pool (maybe 2.5-3 feet deep?)  The kids immediately wanted to change into their swimsuits to PLAY!  The blow-up thing was really hot in the 90 degree heat, so they put a sprinkler on it, and it was just right.
The kids were so funny-they'd run over to the pool to rinse the grass from their feet, then run back across the grass to get back on the blow up thing!  Then the kids in the pool would swim in grass.  Yum.  But they sure are cute, those little swimmers:
So after a while, they started to get creative.  There were these tall things that you run around and between in the obstacle course.  So..Clay turns it inside out, stands in it, and it fills up with water.  Only my son.  Although it kind of looks like Ashley is in one too from this angle!
Here's my baby in the grassy water-he doesn't even know the difference!
Ok, so in the midst of all this, we are checking Mary Claire's blood..putting her pump back on when she eats, etc.  Well..when they are all done-four hours later-she's dressed, and we told her to put her pump back on.  She lifts up her shirt, and pulls her site (the sticker part of it) off!  It was not good.  We checked her blood, and she was 511!  All that time she'd been fine, but now that she wasn't getting that insulin all that time, she was starting to go UP!  We got a little panicky.  It was about 7pm, and we were all really hungry.  It was a huge debate whether we should go on home (wait till 9pm for dinner) or look for syringes so we could give her insulin right away (and get to eat dinner there).
We googled Walgreen's, found one (that wasn't a 24 hour pharmacy, so-CLOSED), and went to the next one.  They don't like to sell syringes over the counter, so we had problems.  They CAN sell them without a prescription, but they don't LIKE to.  We had to plead our case to the pharmacist, and he said we could have a box.  He was still very skeptical, and I'm sure he thought we were buying them for other reasons.  He was giving me dirty looks as I left.  I just have to deal with it, and I'll never see him again.
I got in the car, unscrewed the reservoir off her pump, and drew up some insulin (from the reservoir).  I had to figure her bolus (About 3 units), and I fought the tears and fear, and gave her a shot.  I wasn't scared (I just had to remember things I haven't done in six years!), but she was soo nervous.  She cried as we drove around looking for syringes, out of fear of needles and because she was so high.  She gets awful whiny when she's high.  She also had a headache.  I knew it wouldn't be long before she'd start throwing up-and she wanted to eat! We told her it was either wait to get home to eat, or take a shot.  My girl likes to eat, so she opted for the shot.
We finally made it to eat, and kept checking her all evening.  At first the meter read HI (meaning over 600), but then came down to 432, then 224, then 95-we finally brought her down by the time we got home.  Scary business.  I always take her supplies with us, and we never need them, but the one time..Ha-we needed them.  I've learned.  Oh, and the box of 100 syringes were almost $18.  And I don't even need them.  I did use 3, but now I have a whole box-added to the box I've had for 6 years.  Let's see..97 extra 31-gauge syringes.  There's got to be a fun use for them...
I'm just so glad we are home, she's safe, and has a new site in.  Girl Scout camp started early this morning, so we were up and around early!  She's there, was a little nervous when I signed her in, but was sitting with three friends when I left her.  It's hard being a little girl. I have not totally forgotten what it's like.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bless You, Daddy

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers in our lives!
They kiss their sweeties' booboos, say their prayers, carry little ones on their shoulders (or drag them on their feet), dance to the music (when no one is watching!), take their kiddos to the movies, and get them popcorn and drinks, and then take them to the bathroom..they earn a living so we can buy food, housing, and clothing, then they take us shopping, unload the dishwasher..what would we do without them?
We appreciate you!
I heard a good program on Oprah's XM station (channel 156), it was the Derrick Ashong Experience.  He had a father's day show, and he was talking about how strong fathers help out at home and let moms take breaks so they can be better moms when they are with their kids.  It's the absolute truth.  Moms want to be with their kids, but sometimes they need little breaks, so they miss their kids and want to be close to them again!  Sometimes the best thing a father can do is take their kids out for ice cream or just to the park.  It helps them bond, and helps mom catch her breath (or catch up on laundry!).
I sure appreciate my baby-daddy!  He is great at taking the kids out, taking care of the house, and loving me and giving me time.  It makes me a better mom, and that makes us all better!   Happy Father's Day, Honey!  We love you!
I can't forget my own dad too, who hasn't aged since I was little despite the fact that we celebrate a birthday for him each year!
This is us last summer making shutters for Dolly's House (trying to help her get her house sold!)-it's a better picture, but I don't have a better copy!
This is us a couple weeks ago, but I don't have a good one of both of it's Father's Day, it can be a good one of him.  (Love the Jimmy Buffett T!)  I think he was making me laugh anyway-he can do that.

Thanks, Dad, for all the life lessons, my love of great music (like the Eagles), and teaching me how to wash my car and use Armor-All!  I still love to wash my car (well..I use the drive thru now..)!  So-Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Heroes and Toys

Toy Story was a total joy.  It was so sweet, and the toys always find a way to stick together.  It was a tiny bit emotional near the end (precious), and the kids were so engrossed!  They never made a peep or needed to go to the bathroom.  It was rated G, and it was pretty innocent.  There were some scary-ish things, but not bad.  I liked that Ken and Barbie rubbed noses instead of any kisses.  I mean, it is a kids' movie.  The only thing they said that was questionable was when (Ken told Barbie he liked her leg warmers and) Barbie told Ken she liked his "ascot".  I miss Bo Peep, and we don't know where she went.  Overall, it was great-I was glad to see all of them again.  We've been watching them on video and playing with their toys so long, it's like we are old friends!  I can't wait to see how they do this weekend.
I found out another friend has/had breast cancer.  She has had a double mastectomy/reconstruction since I saw her last!  I haven't seen her since she was pregnant, so I didn't even know.  Bless her heart.  She has a seven-month-old baby and found out about the cancer when she was breastfeeding.  She now has a picc (I learned it's a peripherally inserted central catheter) line since she'll start her chemotherapy soon.  She is doing well, very brave.  They took out her lymph nodes too, but the chemo and radiation are preventative.  She has kids to look after, after all!  She knows she's going to lose her hair, and she already has some wigs.  And her hair is looking awesome!  Just pray for her.
Some people are just so strong, and amaze me.  I think we learn by being around everyone-I aspire to be like some people, in a totally good way.  "I would like the strength she has, the faith she (:pointing over there:) has, the determination she (:pointing over here:) has, etc.  All my friends have some awe-inspiring talents and strengths--God placed them in my life to shine like beacons!  They are my everyday heroes.  I don't need superstars or models; they aren't real to me.  I need those awesome ladies who can: cook anything, inspire me to pray harder, make me laugh, teach me to shop for bargains, make me see the other side of people, introduce me to new things, talk to me about raising kids, look fear in the eye-those are my heroes.
Now excuse me while I look exhaustion in the eye. : )  May you sleep peacefully under God's watchful gaze.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Say What You Need to Say

Ches and Mary Claire went to the Daddy-Daughter event at Chick-Fil-A this evening-so sweet!
This is before and after:

Don't they look similar?  One was before they left-with her Bella and Violet (unicorn and tiger), and after with her new tiara, rose made of Hershey kisses, and a pink balloon!  She had a great time with her daddy.  I have to hand it to CFA, they have created some memories in our family.  Mary Claire was there on her first birthday, and we are there all the time.  Remember, just yesterday we ate there with Ches?  And on Tuesday night Ches took the kids and they made the Father's Day foam picture frames?  We like it so much, apparently we go every day!  Maybe tomorrow too?  Just kidding.
Tomorrow is our exciting Family Movie Event!  We have our tickets to see Toy Story 3 at 2:55.  The kids are ready-and we are too!  We've been waiting a year-and there still isn't a great preview/trailer that tells you exactly what will be happening.  We only know that Andy is going to college, there are new toy characters, and that Barbie "hooks up" with Ken.  As long as there are lots of toys, and we get to see Buzz and Woody, we'll be happy (code for: Ethan will be happy and let us watch the whole movie)!

One more thing.
I had an unpleasant conversation today.  Is it ever okay to be rude to someone just because you don't have empathy for their situation?  I was told there was nothing wrong with me, that I need to stop taking the Lexapro ("since it's just a placebo, you should just take a Tylenol everyday"), "you are from strong stock", and the best: "then don't talk to me about it anymore".
It's painful that my feelings aren't important, that my emotions don't matter, and that the time I took to tell her was wasted time and energy.
If someone calls and you don't want to talk, don't answer.  If they go where you can't, get off the phone.  Don't be rude.  Don't you think there's already enough of that in the world?
But, if you find yourself not caring, think about your own life.  Has that same person listened to you and your troubles, heard you cry, reassured you?  Don't you owe them?

One more note:
Don't even begin to think my life is all perfect and rosy.  There are all kinds of junky things I get to deal with.  I got sweet comments at Bunco about lots of things and how I'm so good at everything.  All I could say is, "There are so many other things I wish I was better at."  Like how to say what needs to be said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Broken Glass

A life is a series of one lifetime lived after another, a day at a time.  Whew.
Another great VBS today-and Mary Claire has remembered her Bible verses every day!  Yay!  I just asked her the one for tomorrow-and she already knows it: I will study His teachings, and follow in His footprints.  I looked it up, and don't know where it's from.  Now I really want to know!  It's on her little bracelet, so I'll tell you tomorrow.  : )
I had a really rough day.  I think it was my 9th day without Lexapro or something.  I cried and was pathetic, and I just couldn't deal with it.  It's like having a child that keeps whining about one thing, and you just want to tell them to move the whining to their room for a while.  I wanted to put it back in the closet for a while.  And it worked.  I took one right before I picked up the kids, and it took a couple hours, but...better.  Less crying is always good.  Maybe I'm not ready yet to get off?  I mean, is there ever a right time?
Ethan and I went to pick up the kids then met Ches for lunch, then I took them all to the Fayetteville library-leaps and bounds ahead of Springdale's!  They have a good section of parenting books, and I got one on Left-Handed kids.  I haven't read it yet, but it talks about when it develops, and why (in utero).
Then, we got stopped in traffic for twenty minutes on the way home- i think it was construction or something.  We saw lots of trucks picking up the cones and signs telling us to merge left.  ??  I'm just glad we got out of it halfway home-it could have been worse! 

Then, I got out of the van and dropped my phone.  It certainly changed the course of my day.  I went in, and started making calls and checking online for service.  I found out that you only have 90 days of coverage.  Even if you have the AppleCare plan (extended insurance), it still doesn't cover accidental or intentional glass breakage.  AT&T didn't used to have insurance available for the iPhone, but they don now-for $13.99 a month!  I didn't have that option when I got mine last September.  So.. onto the next options.  I could get a refurbished phone for $249, get a new 3GS 16gig for $349 or a 3GS 32Gig for $399.  Umm-no thanks!  So I explored other options.  My phone was still working great-it was just my glass!  If I'd thought it would make it, I would have let it go a few days, but already when I wiped my finger across it, it was losing chunks!  Dangerous.
I found a guy locally (Paul) on that would change out the glass for $50.  It totally seemed worth a gamble to get it fixed for only $50.  Since my next best option was $250!
I got totally nervous.  I had Ches and the kids go with me, just in case.  My plan was to have Ches go with me to the door (an apartment complex), to be safe.  Then I thought-what if they kidnap us both and the kids are out waiting in the car?  I called my mom and gave her the guy's address-so she could give it to the police in the event of our kidnapping.  She ended up staying on the phone with me while I gave the man my phone (minus the sim card!).  I only had $49, so we ran to Wal-Mart to get Zyrtec and more cash!
By the time we got back, he was done!  It was so fast, and it looked good!  I have to say I was so happy! : )  It was perfect.  I put my sim card back in, and it worked great.  It totally turned my day around to have if fixed!  Ahh..a bad thing made me stop and think, and appreciate the good.  I'm pretty sure that's why He allows the bad to happen.
I'm thankful for honest people who can perform much-needed services.  I'm thankful for warm little-kid hugs.  I'm thankful for not getting kidnapped.  I'm thankful Ches changed his plans to go with me.  What a life! : )

Thank you, God, for my friends

Hey ya'll!  Had a great, busy day getting ready for Bunco tonight! ..SO much fun!  I always have fun, but tonight was great.  We had good food-and dessert! Yum : )
Kids had another good day at VBS, and we remembered Clay's medicine, so he was better.  We dropped more clothes off at the church for some friends.  It feels SO good to see my dining room floor-that's what else Bunco is great my house!
Ches took the kids to eat at Chick-Fil-A and then to the movies to see Marmaduke.  It was crafty-family night, and they made the cutest little foam briefcase picture frames for Father's Day.  I am going to try to get some pictures printed at Wal-Mart for the kids to put in the frames.  So sweet.
Did I already tell you what we got Ches?  I will wait to tell you till Sunday afternoon-just in case he sees this! : )  We are being a little sneaky, and have a surprise for him.  Heehee  I just love surprises!
He told me what he wants for his next big birthday-a new Orbea bike!  I have to start saving now to buy it.  It's really I will start a new savings account.  If I save about $125-$150 a month, I'll have enough.  Whew.  He also reminded me I have a big one coming up-and asked what I want.  Umm..what do I want?  A baby.  Can you buy those?  Just kidding.
Well, the kitchen is clean, dishes washed, dishwasher finally shut down, kids to bed (at 11!), and we are all tired.  I love going to sleep in a clean house.
I had turned on the pool lights and the twinkly lights around the pergola and the water/deck jets.  I went out there to shut them off, and it was so beautiful and peaceful.  I just wanted to sleep out there!  That water splashing makes me sleepy (but calm).  I had planned to swim tonight, but I'm too tired.  Once we hit really hot days and nights, the water warms right up, and it's like bath water at night!  It won't be long.
I hope you have friends to eat with, play games with, and to make you laugh.  What precious gifts they are.  God sends them to say the sweetest things, and it just fills my soul with love.  Now I have to send out more nice things..I gotta pay it forward!
Praying you have a handful of friends, and sending you hugs tonight!

ps-here's my luscious lemon bars from tonight-they were AmAziNG! : )
pps-be sure to follow the commenter, GingerZin's, instructions and use extra lemon zest and juice (I did, and they were awesome!!).  This is what I used.  (website recipe calls for only 1 t. lemon zest and 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice).
ppps-Just 'cause I like ps'ing..heehee  I squeezed the lemons over a colander over a bowl, and so I didn't have to pick out seeds.  That could be VERY problematic.


  • 2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  cup  cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 4  large eggs
  • 2  cups  granulated sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  lemon zest
  • 1/2  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • Powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
2. Stir together 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir together baking powder and remaining 1/4 cup flour; whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over hot baked crust.
5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift from pan, using foil sides as handles. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Remove foil, and cut into bars; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Note: To make ahead, prepare as directed. Cover tightly, and freeze up to 1 month.
Cook's Note: Make them on a night that you'll have company or you'll eat them all.  heehee

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Acquainted with the finer things

Today was the kids' first day at VBS-and they had fun!  Mary Claire liked that the saint of the day was Clare (not her spelling, but she loved it anyway).  The word was Trust-and she wore her little trust bracelet around-precious.  Clay had mostly a boy class-and was having so much fun!  I'm glad they are excited to go back. : )  They got t-shirts (hers blue, his purple: color-coded by age level), and are supposed to wear them every day.  Um..that would be the same bow every day for a week!
I got ready to make a new one that matched perfectly, but got sidetracked a couple times (a little too normal for me..), so I quit.  She can wear the nearly-perfect one tomorrow.

Ok, so I won't rattle on about my day-but today here are the highlights:
One-Ethan spilled chocolate milk all down his shirt/shorts at the Target "diner", and we had to get back in a cart (not me, just him) to go get some new clothes-I wish I'd taken a picture.  It was really bad.  (It all came out in the wash today though-hooray!)

Two-Krispy Kreme! and I got a dozen, and have some left.  Not.  Good.  Must get rid of them.

Three-Lori came to get the teaching stuff-my garage is 7% cleaner!  Yay!  And I got to see her-even better! : )

Four-We had to go get my sangria supplies for Bunko tomorrow, so..we loaded up and all went out tonight.  We went to Benton County (DRY!) Sam's, so we stopped by Macadoodles (Washington County-woo-hoo!) on the way home for the alcohol.    So..I took anyone who wanted to go inside.  That would be all three kids.  Again.
Anywho-it was anxiety-causing (why don't I say no?  I already told you.)  since there tends to be lots of glass in a liquor store.  And, I didn't know what I was looking for or where to find it.  I got help immediately.  I needed limes, pineapples (they didn't have them), triple-sec, and some more red wine. (Yes, Ethan and I already picked out a pretty bottle earlier today!  Such a lovely white label with pink swirly things-looked like toile!  Who cares what it tastes like.  It's beautiful.)  So..while I'm following two sommeliers around, the older two are reading shot glasses.  Souvenir-ish shot glasses.  Mary Claire comes to me and asks what one says.  "Royal _itch" and it rhymes with witch.  Umm..ok, so this is why people don't take their kids in.  They also want to know why there are so many pictures of things (frogs, people, etc.) smoking and drinking.  (Try explaining that one!)  They found one that said, "Catholic School Survivor" and something about "I'm not as think as I drunk" (Clay thought that was great).
So.  Lesson learned.  They know their way around, have no anxiety, and will have decent memories (of me explaining the language they learned).  Clay asked that I talk about it with daddy after he goes to bed.  He was embarrassed, and I'm glad to say-that's great!
Anyway, I made my sangria, and it's "letting the flavors get acquainted overnight".  Those flavors are gonna par-tee tomorrow! : )

ps-here's my recipe.
Best Party Sangria Recipe 
  • 1 Bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
  • 1 Lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 Orange cut into wedges
  • 1 Lime cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Splash of orange juice or lemonade
  • 2 Shots of gin or triple sec (optional)
  • 1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
  • 1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
  • 4 Cups ginger ale


Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the frig. - allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Does more shopping = Less eating?

I should try to write earlier-I feel like I'm always saying how tired I am!  (since I wait till last thing at night..)
I cleaned Mary Claire's closet this morning, threw away at least 20 pairs of shoes, and packed up about 20 pairs and some clothes to give away.  No, I am serious.  She still has tons of shoes left-I just like to buy her stuff.  Totally my problem. (I'm starting to think that when I'm shopping for her..I eat less.  I'm eating lots now, and not shopping for her.  =  It pays for me to shop more for her.)
We played around, swam all afternoon (well, Ethan and Mary Claire fell asleep outside on loungers-and we shaded them!), grilled dinner (more potatoes and corn I told you about and pork chops-yum!), and then I headed out to the grocery store.  I was there for two and a half hours!  I didn't realize what time it was, or that the sun was down.  So, time warps in Sam's and Wal-Mart!  What is it with me?  I had to back-track around the store since my (premade) list is out of order now-they moved the store around!  (well..about a year ago, but I've yet to reorder my list!)  So, I end up wandering around-I might as well be list-less.
  But..then I'd pick up lots of junk.  If I make the list before I leave the house, after I've eaten, I do better.
Do you have trouble finding ladyfingers when you want to make your favorite dessert: tiramisu?  I get so mad.  I've looked all over, repeatedly, and only found them ONE time at Sam's-years ago!  What's up with that?  I looked up substitutions, and found you can use angelfood cake, Nilla Wafers (but someone else said not to), and Twinkies.  Aren't Twinkies good enough on their own?  Who needs to coat them in chocolate, coffee, and cream cheese? (since you can't get marscapone at Wal-Mart either!)
Ches forgot to brush Mary Claire's teeth and turn the key to her palate expander (to stretch/widen her the roof of her mouth) wake her up or not to wake her..that is the question.
ps-My answer is no.
pps-if you get lucky, I might post a picture of me turning the teensy key in the roof of her mouth!  But not tonight.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Make a Blog Header!

Welcome Back!  I'm going to break from tradition, and try to...teach you what I learned today!  You might tune out (if you don't blog), or you might ThAnK Me! : ) heehee  I'm so excited.
Ok, did you notice I have a new background and header (thingie at top)?  Well..I have been playing around, and getting a teensy bit better.  I'd really like to pay to get my blog overhauled/redecorated, but I don't even know what I'd like..colors, design, theme, etc.  So, I'm playing around.  I don't think the red, white, blue color scheme would work long-term (if I spend the $, it'll be for a while!), but it's fun for July 4th!
Ok, don't get mad if it's not perfect-I've been working at it for a while, and I'm getting ready to take a class or get lessons.  Wanna take a class with me?  There's one on Friday mornings this fall from 9-12!  Photoshop is kicking my butt!

The Good Part:
Alrighty, here goes:
1-Must have Photoshop (I have Adobe Photoshop Elements for Mac).  You can probably use something else, but I can't help you there! : )
2-I put a little Uncle Sam sticker on a red card stock background, and cut around it. (In real life, not digitally)  You could pick any little sticker, shape, words, etc. or totally skip this step.
3-I laid the little outlined Uncle Sam on a piece of basic scrapbook paper, near the center. (again, near the window to get a little shadow)
4-I took a picture (with my camera) of the paper/sticker from about 16 inches away, and used my zoom to get closer-only scrapbook paper in the frame.  (I did it near a window and used a flash, just to get no shine, but a clear picture.)  I did a couple, and did one without the sticker, just in case I changed my mind.
5-Then, I imported the pictures from my camera.
6-I opened them in Photoshop, and clicked Image > Resize > Image Size.
7-Change the resolution to 100 pixels/inch.
8-Change width to 6.5 inches, and height to 3 inches.  (I'm sure you could resize to something else, but this is what I've learned.)   Click OK.
9-You can go to Image > Crop, then drag around the sides to get it just right. (I wanted Uncle Sam to the left, so I pulled the box to the right.)
10-Now, you go to the left hand side, and click on the T (horizontal text tool), then click where you want to type inside the box/picture.
11-At the top of the screen, you can choose a font from your computer (or go to for some awesome free fonts!)  Choose a size that fits, and then make it bigger, center it, whatever you need.  I centered and made mine pretty big.
12-Next, I just played.  I used the shift + 8 (for an asterisk) which was cute, and a huge period (like 72 pt. I think!), and copied lots of them.
13-Ok, to get them moved around (I swear this took me at least an hour to figure out!), click on the top left Move tool (a plus with an arrow-looking thing), double-click it, then move whatever you just typed.  I used this to center the asterisks and periods.
14-You can be done now, or you can keep going (this could go on all day!).
15-I went out to my desktop and played with some pictures of the kids that kinda went with my summer red/white/blue theme (swimming and fun).  To do this, I opened each one, changed the resolution to 100, and made them 1.5 inches tall, and whatever the width (about an inch).  I had to crop to make their heads about the same size.
16-Now, you have to import each one.  Go back to Photoshop, and go to Open > and find your picture(s).
17-It will open the pix big, and your background will seem to be gone (!).  You have to double-click on your background on the bottom work panel.  Now drag the (miniature/moved) little picture from the bottom panel up to the background pic that is now big again.  (use the arrow/+ sign to drag it where you want).
18-Keep playing till you get it just right.
19-Now, IMPORTANT: Go to File > Save As..  Go down to FORMAT: and choose jpeg, change your file name if you want, choose a location, and click OK.  (This is what tripped me up for over an hour-and I was yelling at my computer, but it was me! ha.)
20-Now, go to your blog page, and go to your Design (old Customize if you use Blogger) and Back to Blogger (if you ask me, it was better before they "changed it"!).
21-Add a gadget up at the top, or edit one you already have.
22-Click "remove image" if you already have one, then click "from your computer", and click Browse.
23-Choose your picture (header you just created), and wait for it to upload.  Click "save" and View Blog.
24-Do you see it?  Yay, you did it!
25-if you don't, keep trying.  I repeated this step a billion times.  I had the wrong format (still had .psd, and kept forgetting to change it).

Ok, hope you learned something, and it works for you.  : )  (If it helps you, and you learn-pay it forward, and teach somebody something!)

ps-We saw Karate Kid with the kids, and it was so good.  Such a real look at how we feel when we are out of our element (like me working on this!), and how it changes your life to have someone come along, teach you something (like kung-fu), and then you can integrate and are on top of the world! : )  I'm glad the kids got to see it too.  Clay was on the edge of his seat, and I loved seeing him into it and smiling.  Mary Claire and I held hands at the end during the big tournament scene, and it was good.  I love when the underdog wins.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Amazing Things Water Can Do

Today was Bedroom Cleaning Day (if your room is upstairs..).  I got my shower early, we ate, and got right to work.  (I was encouraged to let my hair air dry now and then to avoid the heat damage-first mistake was heeding said advice.)
Commercial Break: We started our summer with the breakdown of life: I think I told you a couple weeks ago that the kids were acting a little spoiled.  So..we had them make a list of chores they'd like to do (at least eight), and decided to let them do all of them!  Anyway, one of Clay's was to vacuum upstairs, so I let him start today!  I'm still not totally done making their charts, but I'm working on them..
We also started a reward system (not tied to the chores).  It's called Jones Dollars.  (totally not my idea, but love it!)  The kids made their own money (dollars) last Thursday.  We just folded a sheet of paper into eighths, and they designed their own money, then we copied and cut it.  They also wrote down lots of things they'd like to buy/earn with their Jones Dollars, and Ches and I are still valuating them.  Some of the things they wrote were: playing Wii, playing a game with us, swimming time, arts & crafts time with me, having a friend over, having a sleepover, buying a $15 toy at Target, etc.  Clay still wants the Lego train from Florida, but we valued it at $3100 Jones Dollars.  It might take a few months!  He's working hard, so he could totally make it.  I had a "sale" yesterday for Mary Claire since she really wanted a friend over, but hadn't saved enough money yet.  It was maybe $25, so I ran a sale for $15, since that's what she'd earned.  (pretty creative, huh? heehee)
Ok, so back on track with cleaning-we started with Ethan's room-pretty easy.  Then moved to Mary Claire's-scary.  Then a couple hours in, Dad called and invited us to lunch-and all I could think about was my nasty, air-dried hair!  I would've taken a picture, but it would've embarrassed us both.  So, I worked faster, then tried to curl some pieces of hair-it was so bad.  I'm glad I didn't see you today.
We made it through the rooms, and they feel fresh and clean now-I can sleep sooo much better when the house is clean.  Really.  I was just telling Mom this evening I can't imagine where I got the love of cleaning.  I mean, I don't necessarily love the act of cleaning, but I love me some clean house!  Is it normal?  Maybe you shouldn't tell me if it's not.  ahh..vacuum lines.  : )

Oh dear, things are going on in the world that are much more awesome than my little world today!  Check this out:
(Ok, I stole these off Mom's FB page!)  She's there, and these pictures are so beautiful!  This is Slot Canyon in Arizona.  It's rock that's been weathered by wind and water over time.  We have nothing similar to this in Arkansas, so they are awe-inspiring!  Here's one with a person walking through the narrows (in the 6" deep sand along the bottom):
Can you see him walking down there?  It's a guy that got lost down in there, but made it out later in the day.  Can you imagine?  You can get lost-it's like walking a river bottom-sometimes you can see the sun, sometimes not.  You can't really tell north from south by looking up.  She said on rainy days you can't walk in since you could die from rain (it would flood the canyon, and there's nothing to grab ahold of!).
(Thanks, Mom, for the pictures-just amazing.)
Which leads me to the flood we had last night in Albert Pike (kinda southwest of Little Rock).  I can't begin to tell you-but the Caddo River rose from 3 feet to 23 feet overnight.  There were people camping in tents and cabins in campgrounds along the river-and even the cabins were swept off their foundations, if you can imagine.  They've found 16 that didn't make it, and the waters are still rushing.  Here's our local link, if you want to see the slideshow/news.  The water rose about 8 feet an hour, it was pitch black, had sketchy to no cell phone service, no sirens in that area-just awful.  Please just pray that there are still people hanging on, and for the families of those that couldn't.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth..
Psalm 121