Monday, December 31, 2007

bring it on 2008!

well, it is almost 2008 everybody! are you ready? resolutions? i don't usually do resolutions...but i figured this year should be different. after all i am going to be 30 this year.

1. i want to be more patient with my kids. i am tired of yelling all the time. i am tired of this being the only way to get their attention.

2. i am going to get healthy. i am going to exercise. i am going to be a more fit, and healthy role model for my children.

3. i am going to try to keep the house clean more. i am going to try to do better about getting rid of stuff we don't need, and keeping the house picked up.

that's it. that's my list. i know it's only 3 things, but they are major items in my life. basically i am going to become a total and completely new person.

well, maybe i won't go that far...just better the person i am.

as 2007 comes to a close, it makes me think of how my kids are all getting older. this coming year, my 2 girls are going to be 6 and 9...and that's just this coming month! my boys are going to be 12, 4, and 3. CRAZY!!!

jeff and i were talking about puberty today. you see, my almost 9 year old girl is getting oily hair. jeff didn't realize this is a sign of puberty in girls. he freaked when i told him. he thought that was something we didn't have to worry about for a few more years (like atleast 3 or 4). i told him about a friend of mine who started her period in 5th grade. we were 10. he almost passed out. to think his baby girl could be on the road to womanhood...ahhhh! so now i have to think of ways to have "the talk" with her. jeff had it with our oldest. i get the girls. how do i say "you are becoming a woman, but not really a woman yet"? i mean, puberty is the start womanhood, but you really aren't an adult. you aren't even mature physically as a woman until late teens, right? i just want to make sure she knows more than i did when i was a kid. i had no idea what a menstrual cycle was until we learned about it in school. NO IDEA! my mom never told me anything about any of the changes happening in my body. i was totally freaked out by it. i want to make sure my girls feel like they can come to me about this stuff. my mom tried, i guess, but anything i asked about...the way she responded was more accusation than answer.
example: me "mom, i think i have a urinary tract infection".
mom "oh yeah? whatever" and she stomped out of the room.

why? well, later she told me she thought i wanted to tell the doctor to put me on the pill.
(by the way, she never did take me to the doctor for that. i got it treated a year later...when i was pregnant.)

but you know what? i have to thank her for that. this was a major example of the relationship i don't want to have with my kids.
thanks

Saturday, December 29, 2007

a nephew, a trainer, and a black hole

well, my nephew will have surgery on his neck on wednesday. the family is giving blood, he has already needed 2 units, and they are wanting to be prepared in case he needs more.

i joined the gym my husband belongs to. with my membership came a visit with a personal trainer. trina was so very nice. we had a lot in common. she recently lost about 60 pounds, and was a stay at home mom, and she watched kids too. she totally kicked my butt too! i am not too sore yet, but i know it's coming! i need to get some cardio going today. she showed me how to work several machines, and some really good exercises for my whole body. she recommended several classes for me, and let me tell you, she totally rocks! if i had $100 extra a week, i would totally do the personal trainer route. (that gets you 3 sessions)

i think there is a black hole in my house. i have no idea how so much stuff comes up missing! it is seriously getting scary. it started out with shoes. ok, i can see how that could happen, we do have dogs after all. now, it's my broom. i am dead serious here! how do you lose a broom? i saw it in the living room...laying on the floor. the next morning it was gone. i have checked the house from top to bottom. i checked every bedroom (i do have a 2 year old and 3 year old), the laundry room, the basement, the garage, the bathrooms, i have checked EVERYWHERE! no sign of it anywhere. i guess i have to run out today and get a new one. i need to get out and get a new vacuum belt too. for some reason, the only bissell revolution belts jeff could find were way too big. so now i have to look all over and try to find one that works.

thank you for your continued prayers for my nephew and our family. it is very much appreciated.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

update on my nephew

he is off the ventilator!!!! he is talking. he will need surgery for his neck. before he was off the vent, he was spelling things out with this chart they have in his room. so we are really hopeful about no major brain damage. i think we are going to try to get up there to see him today. it depends on when jeff gets off work. thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

the kids have handled this pretty well. they all wanted to go see him. the older three got to go in and see him. they weren't scared and they were really positive. zack and josh mostly provided some comic relief for my niece and sister in law. my niece is zack's god mother.

i am still trying to recover from all the christmas. i am exhausted! trying to put everything in it's place is really tough...especially when it's 5 different kids getting all kinds of stuff. my main floor looks like a war zone!

i think we have decided to try to find another home for black sally. she's a great dog. she is just too much puppy for us. i think it's just the puppy thing. she's too mouthy with the little kids. she doesn't realize they aren't puppies like her. if we find her a home, i would be happy. if we don't, that's ok too. i'm going to be picky when it comes to someone wanting her. i'm not going to get rid of her just to be rid of her. she really is a sweet dog.

i think all the kids were happy with what they got this christmas. it was definitely overshadowed by my nephew's accident, but in a good "more grateful" kind of way. after seeing the pictures of what the car looked like, well, let's just say it was a miracle anyone survived. please pray for the family who lost a son in this accident. no one should have to lose a child in that way...especially at christmas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

update on my nephew

ok. he is going to live. he is not paralyzed. he is still on the ventilator and will be for another week or so. he fractured several bones in his neck, but only bruised his spinal cord. his skull is fractured, but they can't do anything about it until they deal with the neck. they aren't sure yet about brain damage, but he does recognize people when they come in to visit. jeff and our oldest three went in to see him yesterday. i stayed out in the waiting area with the younger two. i don't do well with hospitals. i have a nasty habit of passing out in the presence of very sick or injured people. because of this, i stayed home on christmas eve when everyone else went to the hospital and cooked dinner for everyone. my very small contribution. christmas day, we all went to the hospital. thank god for all the family and friends. they have been really great and supportive. thank you all for your prayers. we aren't out of the woods yet, but it is definitely looking better. my sister in law's family will be coming in on sat or sun. her grandfather passed away christmas eve. they are coming down after his funeral.

this brought up a lot of painful memories for my family. my mom's cousin was killed in a car accident on the 23rd of december thirty three years ago. he was also a teenager. he had been sitting in the back seat, and wearing a seat belt. it was a freak thing. the way the car was hit, his neck snapped the wrong way, and he died. it was the same injury christopher reeve had. he was my mom's best friend.

Monday, December 24, 2007

prayers needed badly

my nephew was in a really bad car accident early this morning. we aren't exactly sure what happened. he is in a drug induced coma. he has a fractured skull, some damage and swelling in his brain, some fractures to his vertebra in his neck. he is responding to pain stimuli in his feet, but he couldn't or wouldn't squeeze his hand when told to.
as bad as it is for him, his friend in the backseat died. his friend in the passenger seat has only a bruised shoulder. please pray for all these families...but especially for the family that lost a son. please pray for my nephew. not only is he going to have to recover from his physical injuries, but he is going to have a lot of emotional issues too. he was driving, and his friend died.
so far as we know, drugs and alcohol were not involved.
again, please say some prayers for them all.

merry christmas,
amy

Thursday, December 20, 2007

disney curse

i have decided that i will not be letting my kids become disney stars. it seems that those kids end up going a little bonkers. of course i am thinking of brittany, and christina, and now brittany's little sister. alex asked me if they were going to have zoey be pregnant on zoey 101. i told him they were most likely going to cancel the show.

teen pregnancy does happen to be a topic near and dear to my heart. i was a senior in high school when i found out i was pregnant with my oldest. i turned 18 thirty days before my son was born. it wasn't exactly the easiest time of my life. i started college on my due date. i went a week and a half past it. i was one of the lucky girls. my husband was right there with me the whole time. i went to the local middle schools for a couple of years to talk about teen pregnancy and abstinence. so many of the girls i met were single moms. most of them, the fathers left when they found out she was pregnant. my hubby and i had only known each other for 6 months when i got pregnant. it was pretty difficult, dealing with pressure to get married right away, or have an abortion, and we were still getting to know each other. we got married when our son was 9 mos old. i finished the first semester of college, but didn't go back. i didn't want to be anything but a wife and mother. i don't regret that. i am planning on returning to school soon, but it has to be on my terms. i am a mother, and a wife. those come first.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

where have you been all my life?!

these are a few things i just recently found out about. i love them. really, if i could marry them, i would.

mucinex. i probably just butchered the spelling, but i love it. i haven't used anything that worked this good in a...well, ever! it didn't just shift everything around. you know like when you can breathe, but don't bend over because your head will explode. i love this stuff.

ammonia. i love smelling this stuff. it really cleans the palate. yes i am kidding...about the smelling part at least. i never washed clothes with this stuff before. oh my gosh! i was totally missing out. you see, i am not that good at laundry. it probably has to do with the fact i hate doing laundry. so sometimes i don't get the clothes out of the washer right away...or even the same day i started them. occasionally, they may sit in there for a few days...never more than a week! but anyway, as you know, laundry starts to stink if it is wet for too long. ammonia is the answer. it even works on pee smell. (kids, people, not me) i love it. it does a great job with the smells and everything actually ends up smelling cleaner than before. why didn't anyone ever tell me about this stuff?

on to the daily buzz...

we went to jeff's work party last night. we closed down hooters. jeff and i were the last ones to leave. i had a few daiquiris and (not much, i was driving) got to meet some of jeff's co-workers. they seem nice enough. definitely different. very different. but very entertaining. everyone had a great time.

time to go...the kids took all the cushions off the couch and are now jumping from the steps to the couch. i need to catch them before we end up needing an er visit!

Monday, December 17, 2007

a weekend of crazy

cookie bake day was just ok. in the past, grandma had tons of cookies already done and we had lots of us there to bring in different cookies to share. unfortunately, my aunt was sick. she usually brought the cookies the kids decorate. and grandma decided not to do a big party this year. i guess it's getting to hard for her. maybe i will help her out and do it next year. i don't think anyone else in the family would be able to. it's kind of weird though, my mom and one of my aunts' are living there with them, you'd think that would be enough help. but my grandpa has emphysema and he has been having a tough time with it lately. maybe that's why she's having a tough time. that and their dog humps everything in sight. i swear, if he'd have jumped on one more of my kids, i would have kicked him into next week! maybe not literally (that would be pretty difficult), but seriously!

we got several inches of snow. the kids had a blast playing in it. they built an igloo, snowboarded and sledded down the pond dam (not into the pond!) and just played for hours. it's been a long time since they've been able to do that!

i've decided to edit some of my posts. it seems that if you google some of the names in my posts, they give you my blog. now i don't know why, but that makes me just a tad uncomfortable. so i am trying to figure out what exactly i will start calling people.

one of the little girl's i watch won't be at my house for a while. her mom has pneumonia. she is still in the hospital. she went in on friday, they let her leave with some meds, and then called her on saturday and admitted her. it seems the infection is in her blood stream. iv antibiotics are what they have her on. she will hopefully be home today, but that depends on how the infection is reacting to the meds. please pray for her speedy recovery. she has a husband and 4 kids that need her home!


last but not least....
peanut butter blossoms
1 and 3/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of shortening, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of milk, about 48 hershey kisses.

preheat oven to 375, mix all ingredients (except kisses) well, roll into balls about 3/4 inch diameter, bake cookies for about 12 minutes, when you take them out, press a hershey kiss in the center. (right away!) voila! best cookies ever!

this year though i made peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. i had the chips, and with the nasty storm i decided i wasn't going to leave the house if i didn't have too. they turned out awesome. the kids ate all of my extras. 6 dozen went to grandma's house, and the kids ate 3 dozen.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

a little of this and that

yesterday, i was home all day with 2 kids that had pink eye. somehow i didn't notice alex had it when he left. he got to school, and at church, his eye started itching and hurting. they called me at 9am. thank goodness i could just use the drops i got for both him and grace.

jason's girlfriend doesn't have any kids. apparently that was the other girl he had been dating. she was bartender/singlemom contemplating joining the military. he is actually dating unemployed girl contemplating joining the military while sponging off those around her. whew, what a mouthful!


that wasn't very nice of me to say. she will henceforth be known as the job-impaired girl he is dating.


that's a little more PC isn't it?

anyway, the annual cookie-bake at my grandma's is this weekend! this is one of my favorite things in the universe. i really do look forward to this day all year long. you see i have a bit of a sweet tooth. i also like to eat cookie dough. it is actually to the point they make 5 times what we need so all of us cookie dough addicts can get our fill. i think i will be making peanut butter blossoms again. those are a peanut butter cookie with a hershey kiss in the middle. awesome when fresh out of the oven.

i think tomorrow i will try to come up with a cool christmas post. we still have to put up the tree. maybe i can get the tree done tonight, and the post done tomorrow. we shall see.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ode to the beatles

yesterday, how i long for yesterday (think beatles). well, my day at the spa was fantastic! my stepmom ended up getting me a manicure, pedicure, facial, and haircut and highlight. i got there at 10 and left at 2. it was awesome...except for the fact that i ended up leaving jeff with the kids. not just the 3 he was expecting, but 7 more. you see, school was canceled due to a downed power line. so he let me know how thrilled he was. and he took the kids out to the new playtime party center for lunch. it was a very expensive trip. i think he said it was about $100 after all said and done. i was not happy. he can be so freakin' irresponsible with money. it's not like there wasn't plenty of food to feed the kids here. he just didn't want to deal with them. but anyway, the kids had a good time, and they all liked my haircut. the kids that is. jeff always says the same thing, "why do you even ask, you are going to do what you want anyway". i guess he likes the white trash look i get when i have anything but a short cut. fine hair and long hair don't play well together.

now today, i still love my hair! i also love taking antibiotics for a sinus infection and uti. i also love getting called to pick up my daughter because she looks like she may have pink eye. i love it even more when i get confirmation that she does in fact have pink eye. i love taking children to the doctor with me for my appointment and for grace's and letting my husband sleep until 1pm because he just doesn't feel like getting up. thank god for my hair cut, and my nails. atleast i can look at them and remember yesterday (all my troubles seemed so far away).

what is normal blood pressure? i was always like 120/65 or 70. today i was 140/over 80. i guess it was close enough to normal for them not to say anything. or maybe they thought anyone bringing 4 kids 4 and under to the doctor with them should have blood pressure about there. i don't know. maybe it is weight induced. who knows.

thank god for my stepmom getting me this hair cut. who would of thought something so simple could help so much.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

it's begining to sound a lot like christmas

i am not going to post about how stressed out i am this time. i promise. i thought of something else. today, we are cleaning up so we can hopefully get our tree up today. as i sit here listening to old school rap (some fat boys, snoop dogg, and warren g) it made me think of something.

perhaps not what it may make you think of.

what is your favorite christmas carol and why?

mine is "The Little Drummer Boy". i don't think i even knew why. i tear up every time they sing the line "i am a poor boy too". i loved the movie. i remember people saying things like "why didn't he just give him the drum? why did he play it for him?" well i think it was a lesson on the gifts we give god. we can honor him in so many ways. could we just give god our children (for example)? maybe, but do we honor him more by teaching and caring for them? god doesn't want stuff. he wants us to give of ourselves. as a catholic, i hear our priest talk about the 3 T's...time talent treasure. god wants us to give of ourselves. time is first because it is hardest to give up. talent is something that is great to donate...if you have one. treasure is actually the easiest. how often do we spend a few extra dollars just for the convenience of not having to spend more time on it. we will spend $20 for shipping instead of having to go to the store and pick it up. same goes for lots of people at church. i know quite a few people that would rather give money than have to volunteer their time. that's fine. we need those people too.

now as i write this, i am thinking "after all my big talk, what am i going to do as a gift for god?". i really don't know. sometimes (alot of the time) we lose sight of what this holiday is all about. trying to get to see all our family, rushing around trying to get gifts for those we buy for, we don't take the time to think of god. for us catholics, christmas is the second most important holiday of the year. (easter being the most) i think we forget why it is a holy day.

disclaimer: by the "we" above, i was meaning my family only. i don't know about anyone else's family, and did not mean to point fingers

i am helping grace write her christmas list right now. top of her list...baby sister.
sorry babe, not happening. although jeff told her in a few years we will be adopting. and i think he plans on a girl, you know, to even it out. she seemed ok with that, but she is still asking for a baby sister.

i wonder if the next thing will be mommy and daddy's divorce...because i am sure if i came up pregnant, that would probably be next.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

stress extravaganza

i just have to hang on until the 11th. if i keep telling myself this, maybe i won't go totally nutso. of course i may already be.

what happens on the 11th? well you see, i called my step mom and asked her if she would mind if i made an appt for a haircut. seeing as she owns the shop, i always like to call her first. she tells me she will call me back about what day and time would be best. long story short (because the long story is long and boring) i am now going in at 9:30 for a pedi, facial, oh yeah and a haircut. is she not the best ever?

dawn's new girlfriend is in town. she is really nice. she had a horrible car accident last month. i say horrible because if you saw the car, you would have a hard time believing anyone lived. she had no major life threatening injuries. but she did have extensive damage to her left hand. the doctor said it looked like she stopped her car with her hand. she lost her index finger because it was so damaged. she broke no bones. she just had muscle trauma and major road rash on her hand. she is lucky to be alive.

i was not good company last night. we went out for jason's birthday to o'charley's. home of the kids eat free deal. being as i have 5 kids, this helps when going out as a family. but wait there's more. i also had 4 extra kids. why? well one of the girls i watch, her mom goes to school in the evening. her mother watches the kids normally because her hubby works until 9 or 10. her mother couldn't watch the kids. she had no one else to ask, so of course i said yes. she's a nice lady trying to better herself. her kids are nice kids. they were all fairly well behaved. i just was done with kids. you know you can tell when you are getting pretty stressed. i can atleast. i can feel it in my chest. i had that feeling last night. my sister in law (kim the funny one) asked me if i was ok. sure i am. but, i was thinking i might like another table...closer to the bar. she cracked up. she knows. she's lots of fun. we are definitely getting out for a girls night sometime soon.

oh rachel, no one knows about this, and i hope they never do. i wouldn't be able to make fun of them as easily if they know i'm saying it for the whole webworld to see. so shhhh!

oh yeah, i found out my dad had colon cancer. he had it removed on monday, and found out yesterday it was cancerous. they got it all, and he doesn't have to do anything else right now. but he has to have another colonoscopy done in a year. thank god my step mom kept on him about getting the test done in the first place!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

new girl

hey now, i know what you are thinking, "what the heck, does she not have anything better to do?". the short answer is "no i don't".

anyway, i think i may have mentioned before that we met my brother in law's new girlfriend. she seems nice enough. even with the cheek piercing. but not really his type. or atleast what i would consider to be his type. i also have heard thru the family grapevine that this girl has a 5 or 6 year old daughter. jason, jason, jason! what the heck are you thinking!
it's not that i think he shouldn't date someone with kids. that's not it at all. it's more that he was just in a 4 year relationship. it hasn't even been a year since he broke up with kristen. not to mention the rest of us (the family) are still mourning the loss! she was awesome! she was cute, perky, smart, motivated, basically perfect! we loved her. the kids all loved her. his parents loved her. every one (that counts anyway) loved her! apparently not him. this new girl will have to live up to alot.
it took jason 4 years to realize that this relationship wasn't working out. that's a long time. if this new girl has a kid, he can't just leave. we are talking a whole new kind of relationship. if you decide it's not working after 4 years, you aren't just breaking the girl's heart, you are breaking the heart of a child too. that is not something to take lightly. i hope he takes it really slow. don't meet the kid until you are sure that this is it.
this katie seems nice. i only met her for 10 minutes, but nice enough. i feel sorry for her. she is going to be compared to kristen for a very long time. (our vacation pics with kristen are still on my screensaver)

vet

haley recently told me that she wants to be a vet when she grows up. after taking the dogs to the vet yesterday, i think i am going to hold her to it. that way, instead of having to spend $360 for sami to get her shots, her heartworm preventative, and frontline, and the puppy to get her first round of shots, she would do it cheaper (for her favorite mom in the whole world), and she would have lots of money to take care of her dear parents in their old age. $360 seems like alot to me. am i crazy? this is with her only getting 6 months worth of frontline. and to have her spayed...another $180. jeff actually made the appt. why did i send him? oh wait, i remember, he didn't want to stay home with all the kids. so now i have to cancel the appt and find a place that does it cheaper. seriously, it would be cheaper to let her just keep having puppies. i also think i would rather do all the shots we can at home. it would be much cheaper, and easier on me. have you ever tried to get just one dog and 5 kids in a vet's office, and then again in the little exam room? not an easy feat. we would still have to bring them in for their rabies shots, but that's nothing. by the way, black sally weighs 15lbs. this is how much the rest of the puppies weighted 2 weeks ago. i am hoping this means that she won't get any bigger than sami. she ended up weighing 75lbs. considering how she looks right now, she is at the perfect weight.
i guess i just need to foster haley's love of animals. so for christmas, she will be getting any animal loving present i can come up with.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

family

i went to my aunt's wake last night. she was a sweet woman, and it showed! the place was packed the entire time i was there. i got to see my aunt nancy and her husband kevin, my uncle bobby and his wife shirley, and my uncle gerry and his wife terri.
nancy is one of my dad's younger sisters.
my uncle kevin is a great guy. he was always nice to us kids. now my aunt nancy...not so much. she wasn't mean, but she wasn't nice either. she always seemed like she was uncomfortable. they have 2 kids that are 16 and 17. it makes me feel so OLD, i used to baby sit these guys!
bobby is the oldest of the 11 kids
my uncle bobby and aunt shirley are the nicest people. they were never able to have children, so they spent their time building their business up. when they sold it a few years ago, i believe they made several million dollars plus they still made a salary as consultants.
gerry is the second oldest.
my uncle gerry and aunt terri are really nice too. out of the above named aunts and uncles, i know them the best. i am around the same age as their kids, my dad and uncle gerry worked together for years, and we all got together alot when i was a kid. i found out my cousin ben (gerry's oldest son) and his wife are expecting another baby. their first child has had major health problems. i believe he stops breathing when he gets upset, or sleeping, or just plain stops breathing. his first year he was in and out of the hospital all the time. he has a trachea tube to be hooked up when he sleeps, and he is very behind developmentally. he doesn't talk, just started walking a year or two ago (and i believe he is 4 or 5). they have him in a school for autistic children now. he just started a month ago. please everyone, pray for this new baby to be healthy, and for their oldest to improve!

from what i understand, my uncle kenny and his wife ann were there too. it's a shame to say it, but i didn't recognize them. they decided several years ago, they didn't want to be a part of the family anymore. well, his wife decided anyway. we haven't seen their kids in 15 years. well, except for amanda. i saw her for the first time this past november. she happened to be at the same restaurant we were at. she went to college with my brother, so he knew who she was. i guess it's silly, but when i think of those kids, they are still little kids. last time i saw amanda, she was, i think, 8 or maybe 9. she was the oldest of their kids together. ann had a son from a previous relationship, and i believe he was a couple of years older than me. ann never got that being in a big family is different than being in a regular sized family. my grandparents had 11 kids. my youngest aunt is 9 years older than me. and i was only the second grandchild. grandparents have a harder time doting on grandkids when they still have their own kids at home. unfortunately, some people don't get that. when you marry into a large family (as i did) you have to be a little more understanding and flexible.
perhaps, i can give you my thoughts on this another time, right now, i have kids to get ready. bryan freeman is in town (his mom broke her leg really bad and is in a wheelchair) and we are going to see him and his mom.

Monday, December 3, 2007

the very busy weekend

hello again, it's time for another installment of "the very busy weekend"!

the "breakfast for dinner with santa" (what a long long name!) went well. except for the hour i waited in line for the breakfast for dinner part. yes, an hour. i'm glad the kids ate a snack before we came up! they got pics with santa, bought some presents for each other, and ate pancakes and sausage. alex opted out of coming with us. apparently there was nothing he wanted to buy for zack at the workshop and there was no way i could get him to take a santa picture.

the craft fair went surprisingly well. we ended up with about 20 vendors and an attendance of around 100 people. i had to take the kids with me (minus alex of course) because everyone was busy. they were so good. i stuck them in a closet and locked them in...hardly heard a peep!

just kidding, i didn't lock them in. they watched a movie in there, colored, and ate untold amounts of candy. it was right behind where i was working, so it was a perfect spot. the weather was rotten, but not nearly as bad as was expected. i think we may do this again next year!

sunday was the big car club party. they raise money every year for a children's home down south somewhere. it's for kids that were neglected, or their parents are meth addicts. they try to give these kids a good christmas, so they were able to raise around $1000 for the kids. they all talked about how cute my kids are (tell me something i don't know!) and i think they all had a great time.

unfortunately, the weekend was not without it's sadness...my great aunt regina died. she was a great lady. she always had a kind word, and i believe she was my dad's favorite aunt. unfortunately she had a weight problem, and i am sure this must have been one of the reasons she died so young (only 68). it also makes me think of my grandma. it will be 10 years this may. she died 3 days after i found out i was pregnant with haley. we hadn't even told anyone yet. atleast uncle dale will have his kids, and my grandpa to help him thru this.

aunt regina, you will be missed!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

wink wink

my house is so quiet right now. i just have one extra kid at the moment, and i am relishing the peace. for some reason, my eye has been twitchy the last 2 days. i feel like those cartoon characters right before they lose it. this weekend it going to be mega-busy. there is the "breakfast for dinner with santa" friday night (who comes up with these names?), saturday is the craft fair for the playground (i have to work this one), sunday my in-laws have their christmas party for their car club at their house (we go up to help get things ready).

i am actually looking forward to saturday. i am not selling anything, but i have some friends that are, and i am looking forward to seeing what all will be there. not to mention the fact my kids will not be there. i hope anyway. saturday is not exactly a good day for finding a sitter. my sister in law that i can usually count on is going to have a booth at the fair, my mom in law is getting ready for her party...i wish alex was just a tad bit more mature, then i could just have him watch the other kids. maybe my mom or step mom will be able to take them. otherwise, i will just have to bring them with me. ugh!

well, the peace hasn't lasted as long as i had hoped. i must be off in search of a couple of 2 year olds, and a 3 year old. they decided to play outside for a while.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

rachel's meme...i'll give it a try!




ok after 2 hours, this is what i came up with!
this is my first name.



this is where i live now, the 2nd is where i was born. basically the same area.









the first 2 are our dogs' names now.




below was my lizard's name.
























this WAS my nickname in high school. totally undeserved, i swear!









really it was.








i swear!



i will be this old on my next birthday.





add blueberries, and you have my absolute favorite food.












his name was my grandma's too!






i'l like to visit here.



i love this place!












my favorite animal ever!















major in college? liberal arts count?





worst habit ever!







pastimes i love are:








this was my first job. but in the good old us.





below is my favorite job by far.

Monday, November 26, 2007

updates

some updates for you...
the great chicken experiment of '07 has been a bust. due to irreconcilable differences, we have decided to part ways. but fear not, dear reader, hopefully in spring of '08, we shall have more humorous stories about life on the farm. well, at least life with some farm animals. i don't think we would qualify as a farm, unfortunately. it would be great if we could (for tax purposes). anyway, come springtime, we should have a pig, haley will be taking care of a lamb or two, and we may do our own chicken thang.

the puppy has finally gotten a name. the kids still don't know she's going to be theirs. they just wanted to be able to call her something other than puppy. her name is "black sally". it was a combination of blacky and mustang sally. jeff wanted sally, the kids wanted blacky. i actually like black sally myself.

i forgot how totally awesome it is to housebreak a puppy. cleaning up the accidents, taking it outside every 15 minutes because she was sniffing around, teaching her not to scratch up the door, i can't believe i didn't want to try this sooner!

yesterday, i got to play hero. sami and black sally disappeared during an unplanned potty break (zack decided to help and let the dogs out with out telling me. and they were gone for like 45 minutes before i realized) and so we called and called, and then called some more. next we got volunteers and did a search (grandpa and alex rode the 4wheelers around looking for them), and they found sami in the creek bottoms, but no black sally. so they kept searching, i went to the neighborhood behind us and looked, but nothing. when i got back, i took the 4 wheeler and made alex stay with the little guys and went to search the creek myself. i guess when grandpa and alex searched, they never got off the bikes or even turned them off. being a woman (and therefore infinitely smarter) i got off the bike and searched the creek bank calling for her. guess what! i found her. when she heard me calling her, she started crying and i found her. unfortunately she was on the opposite side of the creek, so i had to climb in there and call her until she swam for it. it is, by the way, freezing here. so i had to hold her (completely soaked to the skin) and climb up the 10 foot bank, and then drive back to the house. she got a bath right away, wrapped in a towel, and put in a nice warm cage to warm up and feel puppyish again. now she stays pretty close to me when i take her out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

staying home

i love being a stay at home mom. i'm glad we are able to do it. it isn't always easy financially or emotionally, but it is definitely where i want to be....right now. there are some definite draw backs...
1) i don't get alot of adult time. i feel like a junky sometimes when i see other grown ups. i start jonesin' for a adult conversation fix. just to talk to someone i don't have to tell what to do, or explain why they have to do it, when they need to do it, and how they need to do it would be heaven. it has gotten better, though. since i don't have a new baby or pregnant, i am able to go out with some of the parents i know. i don't know why it stopped me in the past, but it did.

2) i don't feel like i can complain to my husband. i know what you are thinking, "why would you not complain to your hubby?". that's easy to answer, he has to work alot. not as much as he did before, but still alot. his job is a stress filled one. when you work on commission, it will always be stressful, but, when you have a wife who stays home with your 5 kids, it becomes just a wee bit more so.

3) i get alot of kid time. some days, perhaps a bit too much. i seriously can't go to the bathroom without someone right there behind me saying "hey mom". my kids think when a door is locked, it means that we want them to just get the key and come in anyway. i don't even get to sleep in my bed without kids. some days, you can't throw a stick without hitting a kid.

4) i know that these are the best years of my life. these are my babies and they are only young for such a short time. i am scared i am not enjoying my kids enough. you see, i am with them all day. i am worried that by being with them all the time, i don't get a chance to sit back and see them for the great kids they are. (atleast not until someone else tells me)

i hate feeling this way. my kids are my life...literally. i have a hard time being away from them. i can't say i don't get away...i have a great family that loves spending time with my kids. my step mom and dad actually take all 5 overnight. yes you heard right, all 5 (ages 2 thru 11) all night, and they even take the kids out places with them! my step mom actually took all 5 a couple of weeks ago, over night, and my dad wasn't even there to help out. just her and my little bro. (he may be 26, but he acts like 11 sometimes) even with the kids gone, i have no idea what to do with myself. i don't know how to do things without being interrupted 10 times. i will suddenly look around trying to find the little ones, only to remember they are out. i have had a baby on my hip, or in the oven for 12 years (in december). they have been the best 12 years. maybe i am just a little scared about what comes next?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

rain rain rain

today is a really rainy day. now, rainy days usually don't bother me, but today i have 13 (yes thirteen!) kids at my house. normally when i have lots of kids at my house, i send them all outside. even in rain, i could send them outside...but it is cold, and loud thunder...so i think i'll let them stay inside. the girls are watching high school musical 2 (i am doing back flips, i love this show so much) and the boys are downstairs, playing video games. i just finished making pancakes for all the kids. they scarfed them down so fast, i didn't stop buttering and cutting until they were completely gone. they were lined up for seconds before the last kid had even gotten her plate! now, while they are all busy with movies and games, i get to write this post. tomorrow, we are going to my in-law's house for thanksgiving. i need to get over there early so i can help her out. i think there is only going to be 30 people, so it should be easy.

haley had her soccer pizza party last night. i got there late (as usual), but still in time for the trophies and the "show". coach brad took pictures of the girls, set it to music, and showed it on the wall at pantera's. it turned out great! then he had it on cd's for all the parents. awesome! i also found out the girls start basketball practice in march. yes, march. it's an instructional league, so it starts after the normal basketball season. alex has already started practicing. it is so nice to not have more than one kid playing a sport at one time. i get to actually watch alex, then when haley starts, i get to watch her too.

haley starts in a new, more challenging, math and english class monday. she is so excited. basically they are going to start 4th grade math. the teacher is a little worried that it might not be enough to challenge them, but they can up it a little if they need to. english will basically be adding to what they do normally in class. they will be reading chapter books, doing research projects, writing papers, and taking quizzes on them. i am actually excited about the fact she will be bringing homework home now. she hasn't had anything to bring home in a long time. she gets it done so fast in class, she hasn't really had any in quite a while. i am really happy that our school recognizes that some students need to be challenged more and work with that. i am so proud of that kid.

Monday, November 19, 2007

zero

well, not even a full minute after my post yesterday, i got a call i didn't expect. it was the family from that post...you know the one with "butters" the basset hound...anyway, my first reaction was "oh is the puppy ok?" i should have known better. they are totally in love with "token". (that's his name now.) in fact, so was their next door neighbor. she wanted the other male, if he was still available. this actually worked out perfect, you see, the last male was very lonely without his brother. they were like 2 peas in a pod. not that he doesn't love his sister, but it wasn't the same. so these people came out and fell in love with "sebastian". in fact, they were asking about the little girl too. but we had decided (actually i decided) that she was no longer up for adoption. we are going to surprise the kids. they think that we are holding her for a friend of my sister in law for christmas. they really have no clue! we are potty training her because "she would be too lonely down in the puppy pen with out the other puppies" and using our crate to train her. she didn't do too great last night with the crying all night...but i figure we need to get her on a better schedule.

anyway, i have much to be thankful for. we actually ended up with more people wanting a puppy than we had puppies. thanks to all who took a pup, those who prayed for us to find good homes for them, and please pray for my senses to return (i swore i didn't want any more dogs!!!what happened to me?).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

and then there were two!

last night, i got a call from a jen (not the nurse or the vet) that a friend of hers was wanting to come out and get a puppy. this call was at 8:30 PM folks. but as the saying goes in our house..."if you're taking a puppy, we don't care what time it is!" so these people came out...well not just the people, but their basset hound "butters" too, and they decided they wanted the biggest boy. the guy was pretty funny. he said when his wife told him what breeds the puppies were his reaction was "those sound like some ugly puppies". and was (pleasantly) surprised at how absolutely beautiful (his exact words now) they all were. so they left around 10pm, with a puppy. i have been so happy about the homes we have found for these guys. i think every one of them will be spoiled and well taken care of. i hope at least. this has truly been the hardest part of getting rid of them all. i don't want them to end up in a shelter, or cast away outside somewhere. now if we can find homes for the last 2 (or even just 1) by thanksgiving, i will truly have some thanks to be giving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

did you know?

here is something you may not know about me. i have been married twice. now before you start racking your brain trying to figure out how, let me explain.
we were married twice. my husband and i. the first time was after our oldest was born. in fact he was 9 mos old and at our wedding. we were married in a church, not our church, but just a church. i wanted a church wedding, you see. not necessarily a church or religion, just a church wedding. did this wedding mean anything? of course it did. you see, i love my husband. i wanted to be his wife. i also had some mixed emotions about marriage and men (thanks to my parents' nasty divorce). i also had some trust issues to work out. so this first wedding helped me toward being able to believe my husband loved me and wanted to marry me, not just because we had a son together. so anyway, we were married again in 2001. this was the year i went thru RCIA (rite of catholic initiation for adults..i think). i became catholic. which means that i went thru 9 months of classes to learn about the catholic faith and decide if it was really what i wanted. the night before easter, at the mass, i was baptized, given first communion, made my confirmation, and was married again, all in one night and in front of the entire church. i was the only one who did all of this. there were others who received some of those sacraments, but i was the only one who had to receive them all. it was a god-filled night. my two oldest children were there, my grandpa was there (and also became my godfather that night), and people i hardly knew, (but now know) were all there for that night. my first wedding was stress-filled. this one was awe inspiring. god was there for me, took care of my fears and worries, and the following month i found out i was pregnant with my grace. sometimes i forget He has a plan for me, and that i need to trust him. i guess i need to remember those 2 wedding days. thank you god. thank you for those you put in my life, and those you have taken from it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

crazy???

now i know that's not the pc way to put it, but since i'm talking about myself, i figured it was ok. i have been trying to pay more attention to myself lately. i have noticed that during certain times of the month, i am a total horn dog. which my husband appreciates, but worries me some. you see i become way more visual. i start checking out men...any men. i have always appreciated the male body. you know strong broad shoulders, big (but not too big) biceps, nice butt. but that particular time of the month, i am like a moth to a flame. not that i would ever even consider acting on it...but i worry that it could be just a stepping stone? i don't know. then, of course, at other times of the month i get angry. not just crabby, but "want to make someone cry" angry. so i have decided it is time to get checked by a "female" doctor. i saw my family doctor last year, but he really wasn't helpful. all he could say was it wasn't my thyroid, and all my blood work came out fine. i know my mom (i love her dearly) had issues after 30 (ok she had them before then too), and family members that are bipolar or addicts of one kind or another, i am scared to death it could be me too. so hopefully i am going to head it off. this is so hard to talk about. i have talked a little to my friend jen (the nurse). she said it sounded more hormonal to her, and maybe it could be a case of that ppms (?) or whatever the really bad pms is. so i am hoping and praying that's what it is.

ok, enough of that stuff. here's what you really want to hear about. WE ARE DOWN TO 3 PUPPIES!!!! two boys and one little girl left. today, there might be one more person coming to take a puppy. YIPPEE, WHOO-HOO, YAHOO!!!! can you tell i am a little excited? this has been a great experience, the kids have loved it. the pups are so sweet and good with the kids. still, i am ready for them to go to homes other than mine.

4H was last night. i brought 4 kids because alex had basketball practice, and jeff had to work. grace actually does clover kids. that's for kids 5-8 years old. they learned about worms. they got to make a worm habitat and bring home worms. josh and zack were very interested too. they got to make habitats too. so did haley. so we have 4 containers of worms in my kitchen. am i not the luckiest woman on earth? crazy hormones and worms. what i life i live!
alex had his first basketball practice last night. it went well. he loves it. i am not a basketball person. i never really liked watching it as much as football... soccer... paint drying. but i must say, i love watching my kids. i don't care what it is, how boring i may think it is, i love to see them playing.

summary of today's post. i am hormonal. i still have puppies. i have worms.
yeah, that sounds right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

last night, my hubby and i read this http://ofallonjournal.stltoday.com/articles/2007/11/10/news/sj2tn20071110-1111stc_pokin_1.ii1.txt
and i have never been this angry. read it and then come back...i will wait.


ok, now what kind of person does this to a child? i can understand that she wanted to make sure her daughter was being treated right...but these are kids. adults can't get involved like that. but what really burns me up is the total lack of guilt this woman felt. even if she thought the girl had tried this before, wouldn't that make most normal people feel more guilty? to push someone, especially someone that is already fragile, over the edge...and at 13 years old! my heart aches for those parents. to have a child taken in an illness or accident is horrible, but for that child to have chosen death! it scares me that a child would see no way out. i remember when this happened. we had meetings at our school about internet bullying and warning signs, but who thinks of a parent being the bully. i can't even come up with a reasonable punishment...of course she isn't going to be anyway. how is this not a crime? i am sorry i am all over the place with this, but i was up pretty late (not able to sleep) and i am still pretty angry about this. what does that show their children? "sweetie lets not tell the neighbors i pushed their daughter into suicide. what did they give you for your birthday?" i guess the part that scares me the most is these families were friends. what kind of sociopath can cause such havoc one moment, and then ask for favors the next without any guilt? please pray for the meiers, i am sure they could use all our prayers. pray for the daughter of the other woman too. i pray the other kids at school don't put together that her mom caused all this, and i pray she understands that this is so wrong.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

kids and puppies and a couple of jens

my friends, the jens, just left. jen f. is a nurse with 4 kids and a great hubby. she stays home during the week and works weekends in the oncology ward. she has a definite calling. i don't know that i would be able to work there. she came over with her 2 youngest. benny is an adorable newly 3 year old boy. he will be in my zack's class. and meggy (meghan) who is around 7mos. beautiful kids. jen s. is our vet. well, she and her hubby are both our vets. she has 3 kids. she brought over joe (who will also be in zack's class), cora, and syd (he is her friend jessica's boy). this was the first time they had gotten to see the pups. they were all very impressed with the size and friendliness of the whole litter. jen s. said she thinks they will be at least 80lb dogs. if you have ever seen a newfoundland, that is what our fluffy pups look like. if you haven't, just google it, and look at those pics. adorable, i know!

rachel, thanks! i hope i didn't sound like a total freak in my last post. it's just with guy friends, you can get that male perspective. i love my husband, but it's hard to talk to him about him. my friend chris was fun to talk to, but when he started on the whole "well amy, if you stay home, maybe you should do more things like keeping up with all the house work, and doing laundry". i totally dropped him after that. i mean really! he's supposed to be my friend. i'm just kidding chris! you are still my #1 back-up plan if jeff decides that he can't handle the dirty house and annoying kids. (you can still afford a maid right?)

i hope anyone reading this gets that i am just joking about that. (unless it's you reading it chris)

i guess i could go into a little more detail about alex, haley, and grace's report cards and my meetings with their teachers.
i'll start with alex. he made high honors. what that means is he had all a's and only 1 b. (basically a 3.9 gpa) now this is impressive even if you didn't know how much harder the grading scale is in a catholic school. 90% to 92% is a b+. lower than 70% is failing. i was very very happy with his grades, and his test scores on his iowa basics test. that is the standardized test all catholic schools in the arch diocese take. he scored better than 98% of all the 5th graders nationally. congrats alex!
haley didn't make honor roll only because they don't start honor roll until 5th grade. she had all a's. her teacher said she is a great student and always very dedicated to getting her work completed and very neat. the teacher is also going to start her and some other students with some harder math. she said that haley is doing so well, that she is afraid this math that she is teaching is way below their level, and they need to move up to multiplications now, before they get bored. and she was the kid i was worried about. she is my child that has a hard time sitting still. always fidgeting. not in school apparently. she also took the iowa basics test and scored better than 98% of the 3rd graders nationally. who would have thought i would have such intelligent kids?
now we come to grace. kindergarten doesn't have letter grades, but the teacher was very happy with her progress. she is now bringing home books to read, by herself, every night. how awesome is that! she is a reading fiend now! all the time, this book, that book. it is awesome!

i am sooo proud of those kids. not just because they get good grades, but because they try hard and are just good kids. i was so happy yesterday when one of the moms from the field trip told me how good alex was. not that i was surprised he was good, but apparently he was great. he helped her out with directions (he's been there enough, he should know his way around), watched out for his 1st grade buddy, and just a huge help to her. i am so happy with that. it's nice he's that good for strangers. now if only he could do that for ME once in a while!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

nov. catch up

boy it has been a while. i haven't had much to post about. the puppies are growing, and four will be going to their new homes this weekend. six will still be in my home, atleast until i find them homes, or give them out as christmas presents (lol).



kids are all doing well. alex and haley had good reports from their teachers, and alex made honor roll, so i am very happy about that.



we had a bonfire last friday. it went well. the kids had friends come over, and alex ended up with 4 boys spending the night. they were all surprisingly well behaved. not that they are bad kids, just when you have 5 boys at the ages of 10 and 11, you are usually expecting a little more noise and ruckus. several of our friends were there too, and it was nice to hang out with grown ups for a change. i even got a home for a puppy. one of my little brother in law's friends decided to tell her parents about them. they are coming over friday to pick up their little boy.





i have been thinking about my friend shawn again. how i miss him. well not just that i guess. i miss having a friend like him. a guy friend. one you can talk to, talk totally dirty and raunchy, complain without getting advice you can use, just a total goof off type of friend. i never had a girlfriend i could do that with. girls are different. well, maybe nike is pretty close to that type of friend, but she lives too far away...and it's kind of hard to complain about my hubby to her when she knew him first and was always way closer to him. i miss having a guy friend that is MY friend only, not my hubby's friend. i guess, in a way, i miss working outside of the home for that reason. i don't have friends that are mine. they are friends that have kids the same age as mine, or kids play on the same team, or know jeff. to these people i am so-and-so's mom, or jeff's wife, or debbie's sister-in-law, or so-and-so's aunt. not just me. i miss that. some times more than others. i miss shawn because he was someone i could totally be honest with and tell some messed up stuff to because i never really worried about what he would think of me. he was just as screwed up in the head as i was (maybe a little more) and he didn't judge me...well, i take that back, he did. but usually in a laughingly type of way. (that totally doesn't look right, but you get my drift i hope) i had other guy friends i could hang out with in high school, but it always seemed like they ended up thinking it would lead to more. tom, jd (not rachel's hubby, a different jd), joe, joe, chris, were all great guy friends. but things never really worked out. we didn't have the friendship connection shawn and i did. i really miss that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

am i way behind or what?

so not much is going on. the big 4h meeting is tonight. i get to sign up the kids for the farm animals of their choosing (pig for alex and sheep for haley). thank goodness for the man in charge of the sheep...he keeps them at his farm, we just visit, and in july haley has to go and start working with her lamb to get it ready for showing. now the pig, on the other hand, gets to live at our house. yes, i know, i am the luckiest woman on earth.

soccer is almost over for grace. she only has 2 games left for this season. she LOVES soccer too. the other monsters have until the 2nd weekend in november for soccer, and then basketball starts. it is a never ending cycle of sports.

alex and zack had their yearly checkups. zack is 29lbs. whoo-hoo! (what is really sad is alex weighed 29lbs at a year). 2 years old and hasn't broken the 30 mark. that's ok, he's the runt (like his daddy) i can't expect major growth. he is in the 50-75% for his weight and the 75-90% for height. alex is 11. he weighs over 120lbs!!! now granted he is over 5 feet tall now, but i didn't weigh that much until i was pregnant with him! i am trying not to make a big deal about it. if it doesn't bother him, i won't let it bother me. i just am trying to implement some healthier choices for food in our house. what is really crazy is, he isn't a fat kid. he is a little chubbier than the other kids, but he's not what you would think a 120lb 5th grader would look like. jeff was like that too at his age. he went thru a really chubby stage...i mean unrecognizable chubby stage. he said in 7th grade, it was like someone threw a switch, and he grew and thinned out. of course he started lifting weights around that time too. (which is why he is the shortest of his brothers...he being only 6' and they are all well over) so only time will tell. he isn't getting teased in school, he is still active in sports, i know he is ok with it right now.

puppies are growing like crazy. they are averaging out to 4lbs each. they aren't even 3 weeks old yet. some of them are going to have the golden retriever type of fur (they are so soft and furry) and the others' fur look more like mastiff (more coarse). they are barking and growling now, and eating puppy food. they are getting personalities, and are just so freakin' cute. unfortunately 2 of the 5 homes we had fell thru. i think after the 3 people who definitely want one come and pick up theirs, then i will start actively trying to find homes for them. i want to make sure these others get first choice. after all, they have been waiting patiently for the past 3 weeks.

that's it for now.

Monday, October 8, 2007

weekend potpourri

well, since last posting, we had a birthday party (well a half birthday party), kids' had a day off of school, we closed up shop at the bookfair, had 4 soccer games, and met the girl that broke nathan's heart about a year ago. it sounds like alot, but it didn't seem like much.

the birthday party for haley went really really well. it was a sand volleyball party for haley and her friend katy. all the girls from the class showed up, and one boy. (apparently the boys had a soccer game at the same time) the kids had a blast, it was really inexpensive, and the girls got a lot of very nice stuff. and the parents who stayed had a great time too.

today the kids were off school for teacher's workshop. alex spent the night at a friend's house last night, so i still have yet to see him. the kids here had a pretty good day. it didn't rain so they played outside for a while. they painted their nails, and they went to grandma and grandpa's house for a while. fun had by all but me...got a mean belly ache today.

closing up the bookfair was more of a hassle this year than the past years. the teacher that normally oversees us is a regular teacher this year not resource/gifted so she had to go to the meeting friday and i ended up closing it down with debbie, and a bunch of kids. not so easy. we were constantly having to remind the kids where they were supposed to be putting stuff, and making sure the teachers had all that they were supposed to have. not the most fun 2 hours i have ever spent.

the kids had their soccer games. haley played goalie again and didn't let a single goal get by. and they played a tough team too. alex's team won their first game. they had moved up to division A and the competition is fierce, but there is no reason why this should be the first game they have won. grace had 2 games, she played goalie in the first one and let 3 goals by...she didn't play goalie in the second game. unfortunately they haven't won a game yet...but they don't know that.

we met this girl last night. she and nathan started talking again recently. apparently she had an epiphany about how she is self absorbed (shocker?) and realized (with her parents telling her constantly) that she never gave the relationship she had with nathan a chance. she seems like a nice girl. jeff works with her. i don't know if they will start dating again. i told him that he needs to take it easy. she hasn't exactly proved to be someone he can trust with his heart. so i am really hoping that i didn't totally overstep there. i couldn't say i didn't like her, because the whole time he dated her (like a year and a half) she never once met his friends or his family. not one single time. he met her family, friends, acquaintances, whatever. she had no interest in his family or friends. strange, huh? oh well, it will work out the way god wants it to.

oh yeah, we have 6 boy puppies and 4 girl puppies. i guess the kids had a harder time figuring out which was which. but i think we have homes for 5 or 6 so far. not bad considering they are just over a week old. i hope it works out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

hey mom!

today, when my 3 year old son came out of the bathroom, he ran to me saying, "hey mom, my butt don't stink anymore, i brushed my teeth!".

ahhhhhh, the wonders of having a 3 year old.

apparently what he really said was breath, not butt. (but right now i am happy neither stink).

he also told my brother-in-law, jason, that he had dingleberries hanging from his tree. jason, who is 26 and has no kids, found this hilarious. so did my husband.

i am going to be very busy tomorrow with the bookfair dinner. my SIL (sisinlaw) and i have been in charge of this for the past 3 years. family night at the bookfair is also a "see the teacher/sign up for conferences" night. i am really glad i finally talked them into doing a dinner. we have been in charge of it for 4 years, but all i could talk them into the first night was some snack type stuff. i thought it was kind of ridiculous that we have this family book fair night right at dinner time, and offer nothing for families to eat. so now my SIL and i get to make chili and hotdogs and tatertots for about 150 people tomorrow. good times.

i have been thinking more and more about polygamy. i really hate housework. maybe if i had a sister-wife, we could divvy up chores to make it easier on us. i get to take care jeff and the kids, she gets to clean the house, do laundry, and make dinner. i think i need to do some more research on this subject, get jeff's input, but it just might work.

jeff has started working out...(did he see that i was thinking about getting another wife?) i am not going to let him get skinny before i do. i want to be in shape for our vacation in feb. we are going with the freeman brothers, their wives, and nathan and whoever he brings. i am going to be the youngest woman (by 5 years) in our group. but i am also the one with the most kids (bryan's wife has 2, and mike's has 1). i don't want to be the "fat one". so i am going to lose weight, and tone up. believe me, i will never, i mean NEVER, be in a bikini again. i just want to not scare small children when i get in a one piece.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

shall i start something new?

i would like to start something completely new to me. i would love to not be completely boring. ok, i may not be "completely" boring. there are times when i insert my foot into my mouth, thus causing everyone around me to become uncomfortable. i feel like all i ever talk about is my kids. there really isn't anything i do. it is all about my kids, what they do, what my hubby does, what the freakin' dog does. i don't do anything. and when i do open my trap it's to say "hey cindy i heard you adopted a little girl." only to hear "no actually that fell thru last week". oh, this isn't the first time i've done this. i asked my aunt when her baby was due (this happened several years ago), she told me she had a miscarriage. yeah. i felt like total dog doo on the bottom of someone's shoe. people like me shouldn't be let out of the house.

rachel, thanks for turning me on to the Krunchy mom. i read her blog everyday now.

kids have soccer practice today. all 3 in one day. what will i do with the other 2 days we normally have to run around to and from practice? jeff is selling cars still. he really likes the new place. the dog still has 10 pups...5 boys, 5 girls. some are still black, some are gray, one is getting some brown in his coat. i haven't gotten much of anything done.

some very nice people keep leaving bags of clothes on my porch. seriously, i have had 5 trashbags full of clothes on my front porch in the passed 3 weeks. very nice, but i have like 25 loads of laundry everyday as it is, and now i have another 10 to work in. plus it reminds me i need to go thru my own kids clothes to pass around the the youngers. this is not a chore i relish. which may explain why it rarely gets done. thank you driveby-bag-leaver.

Friday, September 28, 2007

PUPPY WATCH 2007 IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!!

that's right folks. sami delivered her pups last night and this morning. all 11 of them. she only lost 1. pretty good for a first litter. they are all black (i guess, they were still a little wet when i saw them) and a few had white markings. all seem healthy and of good size. i was a little surprised though, i thought for sure we would have atleast one that looked like sami. perhaps a mastiff sized golden retriever? or maybe a golden retriever sized mastiff? by the way, anyone out there in, say, the greater st. louis area need a new puppy? they will be ready around thanksgiving! of course christmas follows shortly after thanksgiving.

oh yeah, the contest! guess who picked 11! NOBODY!!!! ha ha ha ha! we all actually picked around 11. i think jeff and i were the closest...i picked 10, and i gave him 12. (i guess i should say my 2 guesses) so no kids get to fight over which puppy stays with us. darn!



has anyone seen the new show on nickjr called yo gabba gabba? the weirdest show i have ever seen. i think the creators are perhaps involved with drugs and raves...seriously, watch it and tell me what you think. it actually is a pretty funny show, but seriously weird. (if you can find the episode with the "party in my tummy" song, watch it. i cracked up for hours afterwards! i know, it doesn't take much to entertain me anymore.

perhaps i will be able to post some puppy/kid picks soon. but don't hold your breath! (that means you rachel)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

POD-PEOPLE HAVE LANDED!!!!!!!!

i am not sure if this is a joke yet. i am actually a little worried. you see my husband has been displaying some very strange and worrisome behaviors. it all started with me telling the kids they could do 4-H.....

strange behavior #1

alex tells us he wants to do a pig project in 4-H. instead of yelling about responsibility taking on an animal like that is, or saying "no way they stink too bad" he says the strangest thing he has ever said: "as long as you keep it in the house and treat it like a pet"


strange behavior #2

i tell the kids "lets have a contest about who can guess how many pups sami will have"
the kids start guessing, i write them down. jeff says "whoever guesses right, gets to keep a puppy"


strange behavior #3

this is actually related to #2...i ask him if he realized he just said this in front of our children (these comments i usually reserve for other people's kids) he responds by saying "i think it would be pretty cool to keep one of the puppies. it wouldn't be so bad having 2 dogs would it?"


now for people who don't really know my husband, these are not common thoughts of his. he is more of the "pets are complications." "i had enough of animals when i was a kid." and the ever popular "amy do you know how many holes i had to dig to bury dead calves, foals and pigs?" in case you haven't caught on yet, my hubby is not an animal lover. you wouldn't believe what i had to do to get my 4 little chickens! (but that is a little personal) anyway, i am not sure what exactly is happening to him. maybe i am slowly changing him? is he becoming more like me? would that be so bad?

wait a minute...does that mean i am becoming more like him? well if i am, i guess i'll at least get a clean house out of it. (ha ha ha)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

puppy-watch 2007

that's right, we are definitely expecting puppies. in fact any day now. poor sami is panting constantly now. her belly is getting pretty big and you can actually feel the pups moving around in there. it is pretty cool. she seems pretty miserable though. we have 2 possible leads on homes for atleast 2 pups. we shall see. i am pretty sure they will be golden retriever and mastiff mix, but since she was out a couple of times without anyone watching her (thanks kids) i can't say for sure he is the only possible father. i am trying to decide if i use this as an example for the kids to discourage sex before marriage. usually i just watch the paternity shows on maury for that, but this is a little closer to home.

anyway, it is testing week at school for haley and alex. it is similar to the mmat tests we did in school, but the arch diocese uses a different test. the kids love this week because there is no homework, and they only test half the day, so the rest of the time is fun stuff. i don't know how i feel about these tests. they give the kids 2 different tests. one measures what the kids know, the other is similar to an IQ test, but it tests their ability to learn. now (not to brag or anything but) my kids always test very high in the "what they know" test. alex has done horrible on the IQ part though, and haley didn't do that great either. according to that test, my kids should be testing in the lower half of their grade level. not to brag, but they actually test in the 90% in most things. (basically they tested higher than 90% of their peers) so my question is, how accurate is this test? can't wait to get the results back this year.

jeff has started his new job. the hours are sooo much better. he works shorter shifts during the week, and saturday is longer. so he is either leaving for work at 9 and getting home at 3:30, or leaving at 2pm and getting home around 9. we actually see him way more. he can help me more with different errands. it is really great. and they get more walk in business there too.
so he has been much happier lately.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

say WHAT!!!

lots of things going on now.
jeff decided to change jobs...well not exactly. more like decided to change employers. he was working for a ford dealership. dan (jeff's brother jim's brother-in-law) gave jeff a shot at selling cars 4 years ago. he was pretty helpful as far as showing jeff the ropes, etc. now jeff is going to work for behlmann carnection in st. peters. jeff's new boss is a great guy. he has been coaching alex's soccer team since he was in kindergarten. they sell used cars only, and jeff was pretty impressed by the quality of cars they sell. plus it's in st. peters. the only down-side is that he's going to have later hours than before. they open at 9am (a plus) but they close at 8 or 9 at night (not a plus). anyway, i hope things work out well.

our puppy, sami, is looking like she's expecting pups. i think the dad is probably my brother in law's mastiff, brock. (cane corso mastiff...not near as big as english) brock is a beautiful dog, gray on gray brindle with blue gray eyes.
unfortunately i don't think brock is handling his upcoming fatherhood the way he should. he has tried to commit suicide 2 times now. (running in front of jeff's truck while jeff is going down the driveway)

brock, if you are reading this, (and i doubt you are...rachel is the only one reading this most likely) it's not worth it buddy. it's ok. we are preparing to financially take care of the little guys until they are old enough to leave the nest. we aren't expecting anything from you. sami isn't expecting anything from you either. i'm sorry she hasn't been over to hang with you lately, she just hasn't been feeling up for it.

anyway, i don't know for sure she is. honestly she has had a false pregnancy in the past. so i am hoping it's just another one. her belly is pretty big, but i haven't felt anything moving in there. so in case there are any pups, let me know if you are looking for one. golden retriever and cain corso mastiff. or if you can come up with a cute name for the mix. you know like pug+beagle=puggle, or lab+poodle=labradoodle. hopefully these guys will be cuter than those. or i guess i could go back to the old standard "mutt". but honestly, it feels like calling a baby of unwed parents a bastard. kind of scummy. but, if i would have gotten her spayed, i wouldn't have to be worrying about this. i feel like i should have a tattoo on my forehead saying "irresponsible pet owner".

last, alex and haley are wanting to join 4-H, and do livestock. haley wants to do sheep. that's fine, i know who to talk to about it. but alex wants to do pigs. (thanks to jeff's dad, he suggested pigs and cows) i have no problem with them doing this. as long as they are the ones doing it. i don't want it to fall on me because they lost interest. especially the pigs. the sheep will be at a friend's farm. he knows all about them, and has been involved with kids and sheep in 4-H for like 20+ years. so i will let you know what we end up doing with them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"SUPERMOM!"

do i feel like supermom? depends on what you think supermom would feel like. what thoughts do you think would be going thru her mind? i think of her as being comparable to superman. maybe not the "flying and faster than a speeding bullet" superman, but the "fighting against futility" superman. for superman, there will always bad guys to chase, innocent people to save. it is a never ending battle. for supermom, there will always be laundry to do, dishes that need attention, bathrooms to clean...and then there are the kids. i feel a little like supermom, without the "super" part. to me, supermom would be able to tackle those things and ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. maybe not world peace, but even something as mundane as having a clean house for like 5 minutes. me? i'm just mom. plain ole ordinary mom. i don't even get 5 minutes a week (unless the kids are gone for like the whole week. then by the time i get it all done, it's 5 minute before the kids are home). i wish i could come up with a way to get them to help me out. but honestly, between homework and sports and allowing them some time to be kids outside, there really is no time for them to help. the only thing we require them to do is clean their rooms and the basement before spending the night out. we have been trying to be consistent, but it is way easier said than done. i do admit to getting worn down. but i must say, when the kids are trying to wear me down, they take the chance of me getting so fed up i ground them for the night/weekend instead.

tomorrow is alex's 11th birthday. it is amazing to see the person he is becoming. to witness this, truly brings tears to my eyes. i love this kid sooooo much. he may drive me completely crazy some days, but i wouldn't have it any other way. he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Friday, August 17, 2007

1st full day, for my kids anyway

i'm still coming down from my "only have 6 kids in the house" high. today was the first full day-7:30am to 3:10pm-and it was awesome. ok, so i had to do playground duty for an hour and a half, but that's nothing! (playground duty definition: volunteering to go to school and watch the kids after lunch for play time) this included the entire school...pre-k thru 8th. they are all pretty good kids, fairly respectful for the most part. you will always have one or two that drive you crazy, but you will have that anywhere.

the girls are at a "high school musical 2 sleepover" tonight. crazy huh? i must say, as annoying as i may find the shows for kids on nick and disney, they are awesome for kids. you don't have to worry about any of the content or commercials. it isn't easy to find something that would entertain ages (almost)11 thru 2. they all love hannah montana, drake and josh, and zoey 101. it's pretty funny to see them all singing songs from these shows and dancing around the house! (even alex sometimes does)

my cousin, tim, left today. he had been staying with us since last saturday. he's a good kid, but definitely needs some guidance and a good kick in the a@@ to get him motivated. he is 17, a senior in high school, and has never had a job. now this wouldn't be a big deal to me if he was working hard on his grades, or in alot of after school activities, but he does NOTHING! he spent all summer at home. he gets bad grades. he has no ambition. he doesn't look adults in the eye when he speaks, he either looks at the ground or at his shoes. he has had trouble in school. i just don't know what to do with him. yeah, i know he's not my kid. but he is my cousin. when we went to see my aunt and uncle after tim was born, my uncle put him in my arms, and handed me the bottle. now coming from my uncle, this meant alot to me. his parents have always been there for me. my aunt babysat us when we were little, and this was before and after tim was born. i was 11 when he was born, and out of my 30 cousins, and 20 aunts and uncles on that side of my family, i am closest to them. i want to do right by them. i don't want my cousin to end up being one of those losers in warrenton you see smokin' meth and living in a run down trailer in a dump of a park. i hope my lecture about getting a job and figuring out what he wants to do in life, helped him.

and to rachel, and any of my supposed ssr's (secret stalker readers to any ssr that didn't find me thru rachel's site). thank you for reading. any comments would be appreciated. unless you are going to tell me i need to have another baby...seriously i think 5 is plenty of babies for this womb!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

august in summary

wow, has it really been that long since i posted? sorry rachel! (i think that you are the only one who reads this)

we went to branson/tablerock lake the first weekend in august. we had a great time. we went boating on the first two days and the third day we went to branson and played with the kids. i think we all had a pretty good time. the boys had fun playing mini golf. (if you haven't taken 7 kids between the ages of 10 and 2, you haven't lived!) grace actually got a hole in one. haley got 2 i think. i don't remember much about it except that i was constantly chasing zack and dodging the club when i picked him up. we turned our 4 hr drive home into a 10 hr drive by stopping and sightseeing. we went to the bass pro shop in springfield. it was so cool. they have a wildlife museum and the aquariums were spectacular! we also went to lambert's cafe for lunch. (the home of the throwed roll) the kids love that place, and the food is pretty good too. it's home cookin' and they give you alot. i mean alot! i had porkchops. i could only eat 1 because they were HUGE. anyway, we also hit meremac caverns. we all had a good time there...well except me, i had to hold a very poopy very stinky little boy. since he went after we had entered the cave, we had to finish the tour. he was very funky by the end of the tour, let me tell you! we finished up our day with dinner at stephanina's. great pizza. long long long day. that was our vacation.

today was the first day of school for my kids. grace was nervous about today, but it worked out ok. she knows alot of kids in the class, so it made it so much easier. alex is in "middle school" this year. basically it means they move around the hall and change classes. he is still in the same school, in the same class as always, but he gets to go to different teachers for english, science, and geography. tomorrow is the first full day of school. i can't wait!

Monday, July 30, 2007

29

what do i want for my birthday? that was what jeff asked me today. well, i really don't know. i am 29 today. i have 5 healthy kids, a husband who loves me, a roof over my head, parents and extended family that love me, seriously...what else do you need? i really have all i could want...

...

...

...

now if he could lose weight for me, get me in shape over night without having to put any work into it...now i might be tempted. but since that won't be happening, i don't want anything.



since it is my birthday, and i am on the subject of presents, does anyone remember having a birthday wish that wasn't fulfilled? i don't mean like "i want to be a rock star and sing with rick springfield" type of wish. more like "i want to have a pony" type of wish. something that was actually possible and attainable. the thing i always wanted, what i asked for every year was...a turtle. yes, a turtle. a real live turtle. pathetic i know. what little girl asks for a turtle? i'll tell ya who, ME. i wanted one so badly. what did i get every single year? a turtle, or 3. but not real ones. i got glass turtles, turtle earrings, turtle shirts, turtle pins, you name it, i had it. but they didn't breathe, eat or grow. i wanted a real turtle. i used to catch turtles in my backyard. but i always had to let them go, or they mysteriously would run away.

now i am an adult. my birthday wish was fulfilled last year. we now have 2 baby painted turtles.



yesterday i received my first birthday present. a lady i know made me marble squares for my birthday. (marble squares are like brownies, cheesecake and chocolate chips mixed together) she is the nicest lady. her husband built our house. her son is alex's baseball coach. her grandson is alex's friend. i told her she didn't have to do it. that it was so nice of her to think of me, but it was really ok. she said i deserved them, that i do a lot for others and she wanted to do this for me. ok, i felt so unworthy. i mean really, what do i do for other people? i don't do much. now, she does stuff for others all the time. she is one of those ladies at church that is constantly helping and getting involved in anything they can to help anyone who needs it. she really is a great lady, and a really nice person. so i guess i need to go write a nice thank you note to her.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

a picture of strength

ok, this is a pretty sad and difficult post to write.

my niece dani has a best friend who has had cancer 2 times now. she is going into 2nd grade. my kids also know this little girl, grace plays with her, josh loves rubbing her bald head, zack calls to her to come play with him...you know, little kid stuff.
this little girl lost her father when she was 4. he died of lung cancer...he had never smoked, and was only 29. they were diagnosed within months of each other. she is his only child (her mother was pregnant at the time they were diagnosed, but lost the baby).
they did genetic testing on this little girl. unfortunately her cancer is something that will keep coming back...until the cancer or the chemo kills her. they don't know how soon it will come back again, could be ten years, or it could be 1. could be the same kind again, could be bone cancer, brain cancer, or leukemia. they don't know for sure. basically, they told her mom she probably won't make it out of grade school.

her mom is one of the strongest people i have ever met. how do you deal with this? i know god only gives us what we can handle, but who could handle that? she is one of those people that you meet, and feel comfortable with. she doesn't care about others' opinions. she has been so strong for her daughter. i can not even comprehend how she does it. my eyes fill with tears and my heart feels like it has a 20lb weight on it, and i just know them. i look at my kids and i can't imagine facing the prospect of losing one of them. i don't know that i could make it through that. i know god has a plan, and we all have strength inside. but so far my tests have been "life". what i mean by life is, god blessed me 5 beautiful lives to care for. i look at this woman, and i could not imagine the pain she is feeling right now, and keeping from her little girl.

i look at them, and i am in awe. so much love, and i just pray that my kids know i love them that much. please everyone, pray for mackenzie and her mom shaina, and her stepdad jason. they need all the prayers you can send their way!

Columbia

haley and i went to the "show me" games in columbia this past weekend. we had a blast! the red roof wasn't the best (no pool and not the cleanest room), we had a couple of restaurants around us (not the best food), but haley and i got to hang out together and with friends. she played great, so did the rest of the girls. they made it to the semifinals. haley played great defense. she had a great time playing with her friend katie, and i loved getting to know the other moms better. i hung out with katie and their friend emma's mom. katie spent the night with us that first night and the second night, jeff came up the second night with the kids, and haley ended up spending the night with katie.

it is pretty cool to see little girls who have alot in common find each other and become friends. haley, katie and emma get along so well and have so much in common. and i can see myself in them. i was really into animals, just like they are. i wasn't a girly girl. i loved to play outside, but i don't remember really finding anyone like me in school. i am so glad haley has found some friends that are just like her.

it's funny, her friends' moms are closer to my mom's age than to mine. in fact katie's mom is my mom's age, emma's mom is 2 years younger. they both have older girls (both only have girls) that are in college or going into college. i guess what surprises me the most is how comfortable i am around them. silly huh? why would that be surprising? i need to get over the feelings of inadequacy around older moms. these moms have really helped me a bunch (without even knowing it). they tease me about being young, but i can tell they aren't being bitchy about it. that hasn't been the case with some of the other moms.

all in all, the trip to columbia was really fun. i can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

mixin' it up

haley and i will be leaving for columbia on friday morning. she's playing soccer in the show me games. she is sooo excited about it too. she's playing up with an older team that has been undefeated since kindergarten. so there is a little pressure to play her best too. she plays 2 games on friday and then 1 for sure on saturday. i guess, depending on how they do with the first 3 games, they may play on sunday too. and this is just haley and i. no other kids. no jeff. just me and haley. i am a little nervous about this too. i know i am going to sound like a dork, but i have not done anything like this before. i mean, i have never been the "adult in charge". jeff is usually with me. i have never been the one checking into the hotel, driving long distances, basically i haven't been a "real" grown up yet. i find it kind of funny, i am on the cusp of being 29 and i still don't feel like an adult. sad to say, but i still feel like i'm babysitting my own kids sometimes. weird, i know.

zack's birthday went well. we didn't do anything. jeff put up the swingset yesterday. well...most of the swingset. so far, it has been a 2 day job, with one more to go. he has done an awesome job though. i helped some, but i am not exactly handy. so basically my job was to hand him the screws, or the hammer, or hold something for him. oh and my personal favorite, the "get me a drink" girl. (he says please) anyway, zack loves it. he was on the slide like 50,000 times last night.
zack's party is next week. i guess we are having jeff's family over on sunday. we are going out with my family (adults only!!!!) on sat night for my birthday. i love this new tradition we started. on adults' birthdays, we have an adult only dinner. the kids hang out at my dad's with a sitter, and we hit the town. it may not sound like much to the average person, but the average person does not have 5 kids. so i get my little snippets of freedom when i can! after that, the following week, we head to tablerock. vacation with the family...mine and jeff's. should be fun, i hope!