Saturday, December 27, 2008

wow, it's been a while! the hubby had an interesting time at his training. he met people from several of the surrounding states. many were very interesting, some were a little freaky. he wasn't excited about going at first, but once he was there he was learning so much, he was actually really glad he went. he said the instructor told him "i'm sure i'll be seeing you in the near future. i can usually tell when someone is on the right track and you are on it". so hopefully they will be calling him back up there in the near future for more training...then he gets to go on to being a store or shop manager.

christmas was very hectic. we had my MIL's house on christmas eve, and then went to my aunt nancy's, hubby's aunt nancy's, and my grandma's house all on christmas day. it made for a very very long day, but the kids had a great time seeing all their cousins.

we have a scavenger hunt every year for the kids. they wake up in the morning and find santa's note, then all the clues that santa leaves through the house (and sometimes outside). they have a great time, and it makes it more fun. they don't get many presents at our house. just one from santa, one from us, and they each pick a name and buy a present for that brother or sister. this year alex bought for haley, haley bought for josh, grace bought for zack, josh bought for grace, and zack bought for alex. it makes it a little harder, you know, taking each one out to buy for one of the other kids...but they love it. they have a better time buying for each other, and watching them open up the present they picked out, than they do opening their own presents. i have to say, i have a better time watching them open the presents from their brothers and sisters than i do watching them open the ones i picked.

i have my first group meetings for 4H this coming week. one for the swine group, and one for the crochet group. i am a little nervous...well, a little more than a little. i am trying to make sure that i teach these kids what they need to know. but i'm not sure that i know enough to be teaching them anything. i have a kid in each group that has a parent that probably knows way more than i do...and yet i am in charge. the swine group i will probably not have that many meetings with. i just wanted to have one to kind of let them know what they need to have before they get their piglet, and what to look for in a piglet. but i don't really know that much about that either. the other girl's dad probably knows more than i do about i think i will ask him to tell the kids what to look for. as for the crochet group, i need to teach them stitches...and i guess i will have them start with a simple single crochet. i just wish i had a project book that had beginners projects in it. i think i may just have them start out practicing some stitches, and then start a project at the next meeting. i know i will have to have at least one meeting a month for them. this way, if they want to try doing a project like a baby blanket, or a real blanket, well, they are going to need a little guidance.

well, i need to go and sanitize my house. i've had 2 sick babies at my house for the last week, and i need to get rid of all the germs. if they are going to be coming here on monday, i'd like to have the house germ-free.

merry christmas all! and happy new year too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

well, i took my hubby to meet up with 4 other guys going to chicago for training this morning. he won't be back until thursday evening. i now find myself extremely crabby. i didn't think it would bother me so much. not that i thought i wouldn't miss him, but i figured it would take me a little longer than the car ride to take him over there.

i finished up making the dough for the peanut butter blossoms. they are a peanut butter cookie that you bake as a ball and when you take them out of the oven, you push a hershey's kiss in the middle. very yummy. we've made these cookies all my life. (if you want the recipe, leave a comment and i'll post it) they are fantastically peanut-buttery. and there is nothing better than one about 5 minutes after they are out of the oven. the chocolate is still melty and the cookie is still warm...........yummmm!

the roosters are starting to crow. when we were leaving to take hubby to the meet-up, you could hear them. it's not the "cockle-doodle-doo" you would expect. it's more like a baby trying to talk. some of it you recognize...but not all of it. they are huge too. we have at least one that rooster that is not going to be shown. he has messed up toes (they bend all funny) and he has a pretty bad cross bite. i think it's a rooster...maybe it's a hen. it's hard to tell because it's a bearded polish crested chicken. i guess i should try to figure that out. to show hens at the fair, you have to have a matching pair, and other than haley's rhode island reds, i don't think we have a matching pair. the poultry superintendents have decided to order chicks from this year. i think we may have to order some more...hubby will be so pleased. he may end up travelling more if i bring home more animals!

i still have some presents to buy. i have to take the little guys out to buy presents for grace and alex. i think that i still have to buy one for grace too. i think i'm just going to give some money to the rest of the nieces and nephews. i think that's all we have left to get. i hope that's all i have left to get! i am so done with shopping.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

hello? anyone there?

hello there! well, it's been a busy week or so here at the zoo!

friday was our "breakfast for dinner with santa". i know, the name isn't the greatest. i have no idea why they couldn't come up with anything a but it is accurate. we had pancakes and sausage for dinner...and the kids were able to get their picture with santa. of course alex didn't want to i didn't make him. i figured he got his "just desserts" by me not making dinner and his friends were all there having a great ol' time...and i let him know it. haley didn't want to look like a baby..even though a bunch of her friends had a big group picture with santa. i don't know what her deal was. but she was super helpful and i was so happy she was there. i pretty much talked the whole time i was there. well, until the work had to be done for the craft fair. we set up tables and chairs...we cleaned up...we brought in took a couple of hours. it probably wouldn't have taken as long if there wouldn't have been 10 kids (and one dad) playing basketball while we were trying to work. poor paul, he had been working out of town all week and came home just in time for his wife to have him come up and work setting up tables and measuring and well, work.

the craft fair went well. it looked very busy. i don't think it was as busy as we had hoped (another craft fair was going on at the same time across town...with santa arriving by HELICOPTER in the morning) but it was better than the first one we did. my sil did well with the doll clothes. i think there were other people that also did well...and there were people that didn't sell a darn thing. i got a couple of things. not much. i'm not sure i spent more that $20 but well, i can't see spending a bunch o'money on stuff i have no need for or that i can make myself. i worked there from 12:30 until about 5:30.

sunday we made cookies at my mil's house. i totally screwed up some snicker-doodles (added twice the amount of butter needed) but my sil fixed them and all was well. they actually turned out really good and fluffy looking. we cooked up there until 9, then i went home with the little guys. (hubby had already taken the older ones home) i love to make cookies. i really really do.

now i am getting ready for tomorrow...josh is joseph in his pre-k play and he has 2 lines in it. he is a little nervous and doesn't like to talk about it. the other kids were disappointed because it's at 11, and they don't get to see it. the girls are in their program on thursday too. haley is a narrator. she has more lines than any one else in the program. grace gets to sing. that is at 2 and again at 7. poor hubby, he has to miss all of them. he works 11 to close (like 9:30) and so he doesn't get to see anything. i'm going to get the video camera going and tape it (hopefully ) for him.

this friday the kids are supposed to spend the night at my dad's house and make cookies with my step mom's parents. well, haley has a girl scout christmas meeting that night. they are exchanging gifts and going caroling. so now i have to let my dad and stepmom know that she's not going to be there right away. hubby is off and i was planning on going out with him, but i'm not sure i will be able to since we may have to take haley over to grandma and grandpa's.

this sunday is the annual cookie bake at my grandma's house. it's also the day my hubby is going to chicago for training with work. i have to drop him off at 10 am sunday morning. he doesn't get back until sometime thursday evening. so i will be a single mom for almost 5 days. i am not looking forward to it. at least i will have lots of cookies to drown my sorrows in!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

homemade gourmet #2

last night i tried the creamy italian casserole. it wasn't bad. not great. in fact, i didn't care for it (i have this weird thing with noodles...don't ask), but the kids ate it pretty well, and some even went back for seconds. hubby liked it, said it was a tad bland, but he liked it. he has such a sensitive stomach, bland is definitely better for him at dinner anyway.

it was these bigger noodles (kinda like mostaccioli) and the mix made a cream type of sauce. add chicken and cheese. not too bad. it was super easy. it took about an hour to cook, but it didn't take more than 10 minutes (if that) for prep. so great for nights when you don't have time to chop and saute and boil and well, you get my point.

so i would give it a thumb's up for ease, but for actual taste um.....a so-so. it was ok, but not something i would go out of my way to buy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

well, i got more than half of my shopping done! that usually doesn't happen. i guess i should say, i have more than half of my expected shopping done, because i always forget something or someone.
i went shopping on friday with my mom and sister. we had such a great time. i didn't buy much (just 3 regular sized shopping bags). between the two of them, let's just say it was a good thing i drove my big 12 passenger van. they needed the room!
my sis and i had a great time. we were funny and sarcastic, and i think my mom appreciated it. even if most of it was directed at her. she cracked up, and cut up, and it was really one of the best times i've had with them. mom teased me about being prepared and having a list...kate and i teased her about her taste in gifts.

i cleaned out the turtle tank (filter died and it smelled quite funky) and gave them some new plants and fish to clean the tank and some for them to eat. it looks lovely! i gotta say, i do like just watching them when it's clean of course. i bought 8 guppies, but actually came home with about 20 because they don't charge for the babies! how lucky is that? so i made sure i got enough plant material for the babes to hide in until they get bigger and procreate and then get eaten. does that sound callous?

i finished the book i had been reading. it was Queen by alex haley. very good book. it was the story of his grandma. she was born a slave and was freed during the civil war. it starts with her grandpas (her irish owner, and one of his slaves) and then her mom and dad, and then tells of her story to find herself. she could pass for white, but didn't fit in, and basically her story of finding where she belongs. it's a great read!

that was my weekend! poor hubby is stuck working 6 days (10 hour shifts) and i feel bad for him...but i'm not complaining! we know too many people out of work right now, and too many facing the possibility of losing their jobs!

hope everyone's thanksgiving was wonderful!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

after talking to my little brother and sister over the weekend, i'm not sure if i feel better or worse.

my sister is a year and a half younger than me, and my brother is two and a half years younger...and they have had gray hairs for a while.

seriously, my baby brother? he's like 27! so do i gloat because i just now started getting them, or do i feel worse because my kid sister and baby brother both have gray hairs too?

Monday, November 24, 2008

homemade gourmet trial #1

well, i tried my first item from my cache. we had a a table at a trivia night fundraiser so we all brought stuff to munch on. i decided to make the jalapeno bacon cheddar dip. i really liked it. so did everyone else at the table. but, it is spicy. so if you aren't into spicy foods, this may be one to skip. it is really really good...and addicting. i couldn't stop eating it.

jalapeno bacon cheddar dip=definite thumbs up!

miracle monday

today i want to tell you about my husband's aunt. she is one of the most remarkable people i have ever met. she has one of the biggest hearts and i want to be like her so much!

aunt "em" and her husband married and moved to another state. he was in the military. they tried for 5 or 6 years to start a family, then decided to adopt. they adopted a healthy little boy first, then when he was about 10 months old, they started the process again. this time they were adopting a little girl. when they were finalizing the paperwork, she found out she was pregnant. baby number three was born less than a year after adopting baby number 2! she had 3 little babies under the age of 3! and that was just the beginning! they moved back home to missouri where they went on to add babies numbers 4 through 10 in the years following. as hectic as life must have been, she always was there for everyone in the neighborhood and family. her home is a warm and loving place where all are always welcomed. she now has 30 grandkids, with one more on the way. her children are her children whether they were adopted or born to her...or just friends of her kids that needed a mom. i don't know if i have ever seen anyone so in love with her family. she sees most of her kids everyday. they stop by on their way home from work to see her. to see if she needs anything. just to be around her. they have one of the most special families i know. i see the love she brings to the world around her and well, she is truly a miracle.

for more miracles, visit beth at

Saturday, November 22, 2008

guess what i found today?

three gray hairs!!!!!!!!!!!

i had no idea i had one let alone 3! i was so depressed this morning (after i removed those offending hairs of course) and i just can't believe it.

i have (had) gray hair.

i know i am thirty now, and i will be getting more of them...but i really thought it wouldn't happen to me. i don't know why i thought this, i just did. (of course i thought the same thing about getting pregnant in high school...and look where that got me! ha) i teased my hubby quite a bit when he started getting them in his chest hair and and he took it in stride. i don't think i will be that easy with it. this is really bugging me!

another thing that's bugging me is that i got those three hairs...but i can't see the back of my head well enough to see if i have any back there.

well, i guess a few gray hairs aren't that bad.

at least they were where they are supposed to be...unlike the stray eyebrows i've had to pluck from my chin!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


well, the last time i posted on a WFMW, it was about how i was using baking soda as a facial scrub. it worked great. it still works great.
but i have dry skin. i needed a moisturizer. i have very sensitive dry skin. i break out in rashes if my skin doesn't like what i use. or i just break out. so i was having a tough time finding something.
i've always had this problem. i've used everything from special salon type moisturizers to clinique to hand lotion...and nothing really ever worked well.
and then i found it...

in my pantry...

olive oil.

that's what i use. i scrub my face (or just wash it) and put on olive oil after i dry my face. i also use it on my hands and any other rough spots. my face isn't oily. my lips aren't chapped anymore. my hands are better than they have been in a long time. i used it on my 6 year old last night. my girls hands get so chapped in the winter they hurt and crack and bleed. i put some on her after her shower last night and her hands were so soft and smooth this morning! i need to put some on my 9 year old after hers tonight.

i change lots of diapers...from 7 to 5, i am changing diapers. as a result, i wash my hands a lot. almost constantly. they are usually so rough, i don't touch the babies faces because my skin actually scratches them. yeah, it's that bad. since i started with the olive oil, my hands are smooth. i don't have them crying from me accidentally scratching them with the pads of my fingers!

that's what works for me, just plain old olive oil. rub it in after a shower/bath. it works like you wouldn't believe!

for more tips and tricks check out

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

so far so good! the hubby still is likin' the new job. i mean, if the man can get out of bed and be at work by 6:30 in the morning (this includes a 45 minute commute), well he must REALLY like the new job. that or he's living off a "new job" high. probably the latter. this week he's working 6 10 hours a day he's making some good money.

sunday we went to visit my mom and two aunts...and my uncle and his little girl...and my sister and her husband and their 3 girls. we had a pretty good time. i love my family. they are a little off their rockers, but i love them anyway. my mom asked me if we were really thinking about getting a bulldog.
me: no. no dogs.
her: well i thought i heard you guys were looking and i thought i might get one for santa to give to the kids.
me: santa would be taking it back with him. i don't want another dog. it hasn't even been a year since we got rid of the last dog. no way.
her: well haley really misses having a dog.
me: she can have all the dogs she wants when she has her own house. i am tired of being the only one that takes care of it. i don't have time and i have too many little ones in my house. no way.
her: yeah i guess you guys are pretty busy.

i am glad we had this discussion when i wasn't PMSing. i might have been a little more ummm pissy(?). i don't want any more dogs. i am tired of neighbors complaining about dogs. i am tired of cleaning up after dogs. i am tired of petting dogs. i am tired of dogs. i have too many kids to deal with...that want and need my attention, i don't need a dog wanting and needing attention too.

that being said, tiger, our cat disappeared last week. i thought he went up to the in-laws, but they hadn't seen him either. no one has seen him. i am hoping someone found him, thought he was a sweet little stray and kept him. i am totally fine with that. he's a sweetheart. he wants lots of love and attention. i think he was getting tired of all the little guys' attention (perhaps being worn as a hat didn't suit him?) and he left for greener pastures. i hope that's the case. i think some of the local toms were giving him some trouble too. he was coming of age, and i guess they didn't want the competition. well, we still have smokey. he's got his little house on our front porch and he's loving life. he is a gorgeous gray with green eyes. he's smaller boned. i'm thinking about getting him fixed...but it seems that as soon as i put money into a cat they i'm not so sure i want to do that. so far he's doing good. but i think he's a little lonely. maybe he needs another friend.

hubby would kill me if i bring home another cat.

still have 16 chickens. they have grown more, and i haven't noticed as much fighting. that may be because the crests are starting to cover their eyes more. i hope that the other roosters don't start picking on them. i need them looking good for the fair.

i found out i have 4 kids in my swine group. i am kind of nervous about having a meeting. i don't really know anything about pigs. add the fact that one of the kids has a dad that was a pig farmer...well, yeah, i'm a tad nervous.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

well, i'm sorry i haven't been keeping up with my posts...i guess i've been a little down lately. that and having a house full o'children most of the time doesn't help much either.
the hubby's enjoying the new job. he couldn't get over the fact that even when he was just standing around and doing nothing...he was still making money. very exciting! especially when you are coming from a job where you could be working for hours and hours on a deal...and make nothing on it because it fell through. so this is pretty exciting for him. the hours? well, I was cracking up when he told me he had to be in at 6:30 in the morning for the next 2 days. why? well, i have a hard time getting him up before noon, so having him up in time to drive 45 minutes to work and be there on time at 6:30? yeah, i was laughing pretty hard. he did it though. all on his own. i was so proud of him.

oh, does anyone remember the bloggy carnival? no, i didn't give anything away...although i probably should...seeing as i've won yet again!!! i don't know if i posted about the earrings i won at the last one. they were really cute and i gave them to haley (my ears aren't pierced but hers are) and she LOVES them. cute little dragonfly earrings. this time i won a big box of homemade gourmet food. check them out at i was thinking that i may start posting on the things we try from my new treasure trove of goodies. what all did i get?
well, i have the creamy italian casserole mix, cranberry almond pasta salad mix, chicken enchilada soup mix, italian mozzarella meatloaf mix, skillet burrito mix, white chicken chili mix, apple pecan vinaigrette mix, grandmothers sunday roast seasoning mix, jalapeno bacon cheddar dip mix, mock spinach dip mix, maria's salsa mix, season and steam broccoli beef mix, awesome oatmeal cookie mix, texas cornbread mix, texas cobbler mix, basic sweet bread mix,basic cheesecake mix, and mini pecan pie muffin mix. more than $100 worth of stuff!
that's one heck of a list! i am really excited to try the cranberry almond pasta salad mix, and i don't even like pasta salad! it just looks and sounds that good! what the jalapeno bacon cheddar dip mix sounds really good too. but honestly, it all sounds really good. i can't wait to try something!
so i guess if i was a good bloggy-winner, i should return the favor by hosting my own giveaway next time...but what could i give? how about a whiny 6 year old? hmmmmm, no probably not. who in there right mind would want that? i don't know i guess i have to think about it...

Monday, November 10, 2008

winter is finally here!

haley and alex had their last soccer games of the season on saturday.
haley's was at 8 am. yeah, that's right...8 flippin' o clock in the morning. and it was about 35 degrees. i was freezing!
my little goalie girl. she didn't get in goal the entire game. they had her as a forward in the beginning...and she scored her first (and last) goal of the season! she was so excited. i was so excited. i love love love watching her play any sport...but especially soccer. she has this natural grace and athleticism that is just poetry in motion. not to mention the girl is beautiful. that's not just the proud mom in me saying this...she is really just, well, beautiful. i think the word may lose some of the meaning when we talk about anything and everything under the sun as being beautiful...but in the truest meaning of the word...well, that's my oldest* daughter. anyway, they ended up winning the game, and going undefeated in the season. they were so proud! they deserve to be proud, they worked hard...2 practices a week, 2 hours each practice, not to mention the games! they ran their little tushies off! laps around the field before and after practice, and wind-sprints...they really worked hard!

alex's team didn't play until 3 o'clock. it had warmed up quite a was like 37 degrees. hubby went to the game with me and the boys and grace. haley ended up going with my mom to help watch my nieces. they had no subs. none. which isn't a bad thing when it's that cold. if you are sitting on the bench, you are freezing and asking to go back in so you can run and warm up. poor alex. his team has won maybe 2 or 3 games. he's pretty competitive (with his sisters) so he hates that they have a losing record. but honestly? well, they've had maybe 4 practices all season. they have a couple of kids that just joined the team this year, and we lost a couple of pretty strong players. they haven't had time to work out the "kinks" of the new team dynamic. it's not their fault...and yet it is. they could be out in the yard working on ball skills, but they don't. they could ask their coaches to have more practices...but they don't. so instead they started tearing down their teammates. not cool. not cool at all. there are some kids that have some major talent on the team...and some that are not as strong as they could be ~my kid is in this the ones with the talent and the drive are getting frustrated. i can totally understand that. i get frustrated with them too. i think we will still have enough to play soccer next year...i sure hope we do. alex really isn't that into soccer. he does it to hang with his friends. that's fine with me. it keeps him active and that's fine with me. i told him if he doesn't want to play, that's fine, but he's only got 2 more years of playing with all these guys so he better make the most of it. after 8th grade, they'll all split up into different schools. some will go to the local public and some will go to the local catholic high school.
anyway, they lost their last game too. it didn't dampen their spirits though.

*i say my oldest girl is beautiful because she is. inside and out. i don't mean to take away from my youngest girl, but she's 6. she's cute, and in time will be just as beautiful as her sister is...but at 6...well, kids are cute not beautiful.

Friday, November 7, 2008

looking back...

ok, the complaining about my hubby being home too much, i probably shouldn't have done that. i am really blessed with a loving caring hubby that not only loves our kids...but loves me too.

why the change?

well, yesterday, jessica lost her battle with cancer. this young mom, young wife is no longer with her family. i feel like such crap for saying my hubby was around too much. i can't imagine being in the same spot as her husband.

the day before yesterday, hubby found out someone he knew died in a car accident. he had sold the man a car, knew him well, and the night before last, someone hit him head on in the car the hubby sold him. this man took pictures of our kids at the fair, was very nice and had a wife and 2 kids. a daughter in her early twenties and a son about 15. it's so sad.

and here i was, complaining.

yes the man sleeps a lot, and likes things kept neat and tidy, and has "his" way of doing things. those things can get annoying. but i love him like no one else, and even the thought of him not being around is enough to bring me to tears. i can't imagine what these poor families are going through right now.

please pray for them!
jessica and her family
bruce and his family

Thursday, November 6, 2008

so far, so good

well, the hubby starts his new job on monday. so he's been off all week (that's why i've been away).

he's been home...all...week. i love him, and i love when he's home for a few days...but really? a whole week?

anyway, his former boss told him he could come back anytime. that's always nice to hear. he also had a few other nice things to say. some of the guys he was working with showed up at the bonfire we had last weekend. they also had some really cool things to say. some guys he had worked with a long time ago also showed from about 5 years ago. it's always nice to see some faces from the past.

anyway, the bonfire was a hit.

we moved the chickens outside finally. oh, did i not say anything about them living in the basement for the past month and a half? uh, well they are in the coop now. i also believe i have about 4 or 5 roosters...out of 16 chickens. they're already fighting some. i'm hoping when the crests are a little more poofy, well, that they won't fight as much. it's hard to fight someone you can't see.

well, i have to go get some sleep. the public school is out tomorrow, and my kids are out early. so that means there will be tons of kiddos running around at the "zoo". yeah, i really really really hope the day is nice! i don't want them hanging out in the house all day!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

change is happening...

no i don't mean obama...(i really hope that change doesn't happen)

the hubby, as of tomorrow, will no longer be a car salesman.

he's no longer at the dealership starting tomorrow.

he is going into the Firestone family...and management training. hopefully someday soon, he will have his own store. he's really excited. he's sad to go, he really enjoys helping people find the right car, but well, this is a great opportunity. that's really hard to pass up.

we don't know what his schedule will be. he starts next monday.

oh, and today is his 33 birthday.

miracle monday

i have shared with you the story of jessica. she is the wife of a man i knew in high school...and has cancer.

unfortunately, the news has not been good as of late.

please take some time to visit her caring bridge site and leave some words of encouragement for her and her family.

please pray for her husband and son, and her mother and sister. jessica is an amazing woman and will truly be missed...when that time comes. until that happens, please pray for her. pray for her comfort and strength.

thank you to all who have kept her in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

school confrences

well, the day of the great sickness (that's last friday folks), we also had school conferences. i had to send the hubby in my place. he doesn't usually do school stuff, but since i had been dealing with puke for about 6 hours at that time, not to mention all the other kids, well, he knew better than to just leave me and go to work. so he did the parent teacher stuff.

6th grade alex: his teacher said that he is amazingly smart. well, the standardized testing* said he was amazingly smart. he is in advanced math (basically a grade above his peers) and tested better than 98% of his peers nationally. now, as great as it is to have a smart kid, she also has some concerns. nothing terrible, just that things come easy to him. he doesn't have to work for good grades. so he hasn't learned how to study, or how to work. it is something she's been trained to look for (she's our former gifted teacher) and she's seeing some of that in alex. no surprise there, i've been a bit worried about that myself.

4th grade haley: her teacher is awesome. she said haley is a pleasure to have in class. haley also tested about the same as alex (actually 99%) and the only thing she really mentioned was that haley takes a long time with her work. at first she was a bit worried, but as she got to know haley, she realized that haley takes great pride in her work. her penmanship, the detail in her artwork, all of it she takes her time in doing. as a result, her work is something she (the teacher) really enjoys grading. haley is also in advanced math. her math teacher had no issues.

1st grade grace: grace's teacher is so happy with grace. she said she wants to have grace tested for the gifted program at the school, and also thinks she would benefit from the special gifted program at our local public school. it's a one day a week, all day program that runs through the school year. um, not so sure i would want to do that. i know she's smart. i'm not so sure the benefit would be enough to make it worth the extra school work, and missing time with her friends. i don't want to burn her out on school and learning. i would have to talk to some of the other parents that have kids in the program before i would make that decision. oh, grace is also a wiz at math. the teacher is actually worried that she's going to get bored with the work.

i'm glad hubby was the one that got to hear all these good things about the kids. i wonder sometimes if he thinks i make all the good things up. it was nice to get some really good and positive info on my kids...especially on a day that i really needed it!

*i don't necessarily think that testing is perfect. believe me, i've had my own issues with it and my kids.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

pillow talk

i have been dealing with puking kids since 4am yesterday.

zack woke me up by puking on my pillow.

he didn't get any on me, but not exactly the way i want to wake up.

he continued to puke all day, and by evening he was feeling better. but he wasn't able to go to grandma and grandpa's house. and he was ticked!

i picked the rest of the kids up right before the girls played. both my girls were playing at 9am. alex was complaining about his belly hurting. yeah, great.

except it wasn't him that threw up as soon as i parked the car.

it was haley. she did good though. for the most part, she hit the parking lot and not much got in the car.

so she didn't get to play. and she's missing her volleyball game too. and i'm not sure if i'll be sending her to the game tomorrow.

the weekend isn't all shot though...josh's team won! coach d is out of town (ha go figure) and i was the one coaching. i had 2 parents helping me, but we only had 9 kids today. we have 20 on the team. for not getting much of a break, they played awesome. the kid that scored the goal is one that hasn't scored yet. i was so proud of him. he was so proud of himself. he kept asking me if i saw his kick.

then i got the call that zack puked again at the soccer field.

what a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

well, the chickens are growing...the cats are trying to come in the house every time the door opens...and my sister's 3 girls are spending the night tonight.

i also have kids coming tomorrow starting at around 6am.

my kids are spending the night at my dad's house tomorrow.

the hubby will be playing cards at his brother's house tomorrow.

i will be hanging at the homestead...all by my self.

i think i'll be ready for an evening to myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

works for me wednesday

i had no idea how hard it would be to come up with something that actually "works" for me.

i hate to spend lots of money on stuff for my face. i've never really had problems with breakouts, but i've always had sensitive and dry skin. i love to use scrubs to keep my skin looking fresh and bright, but i HATE paying $20 to $50 for them (salon types).

and then i found something in readers digest. queen latifah was talking about how her grandma had beautiful skin...and used baking soda a couple times a week to wash her face. (i think she said a couple of times)

just about a teaspoon or so in the palm of your hand. wet it ever so slightly, and rub on your face. not too hard, it really does scrub.

i have had so many compliments on my skin since i have started doing this. you do have to use a moisturizer afterwards, but it's really great!

since i started using it, i haven't had the breakouts i normally had with my period.

granted, i haven't been doing it that long, but it's really working for me!

for more great ideas head over to!

Monday, October 20, 2008

miracle monday

how about another birth story?

my grandpa just had a birthday, i think he's 73. this is the story of his birth...

my great grandparents had tried for several years to conceive a child. they had several years of sadness and no child.

then my great grandma found out she was pregnant. it was a pretty normal pregnancy. no major issues. she went into labor at home, and he was born at home, and pronounced dead at home. you see, he was over 11 pounds when he was born. he wasn't breathing, or moving. they assumed he had died, and put him in the sink so they could finish with my great grandma. she was pretty messed up from having such a big baby, and consequently was never able to have any more children. she asked to see my grandpa, and when they picked him up, they found him actually breathing. his arm was not moving right (they thought it was trauma from the birth) and thought it would be crippled. my great grandma wrapped it close to his body, and it healed. my great grandparents were so thrilled. they had prayed so long for a child. they doted on him...spoiled him, and even with all he was given, he was (and still is) so kind. they raised a wonderful person full of love and kindness. he has always given so much to those around him. we are so lucky my great grandma wanted to see him. i don't know that they would have looked at him as closely if she hadn't.

for more miracles, go check out beth at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

garden '09

well, i'm trying to think of what i want to grow for next year. you know, what worked, what didn't.

i don't think i'll be doing watermelon again...ever. the kids wanted me to grow them, so i did. we got about 5, and they ate part of one. that's it. i can't stand watermelon, so i didn't eat any. so i wasted a lot of space on something no one ate.

i want to to zucchini again. hopefully i can figure out what happened to my plants. they all died. i got maybe 4 zucchini from my 4 plants! i thought they were a plant you couldn't kill!

maybe one cucumber plant. so many people i know liked them. maybe i'll try to make pickles next year.

i need a greater variety of tomatoes. i grew all big ones, and i really missed having the smaller cherry or grape tomatoes.

the sweet potatoes turned out good. some of my kids really liked them, some were not too impressed. my in-laws like them, i liked them ok.

peppers, well, i didn't have too great of luck with some. the bell types i had didn't really produce, but i think i overcrowded my garden. the hot ones did great, but i didn't' use them as much as i should have. and i didn't do any freezing (dumb, i know). so i wasted them. the smaller ones, well they were so hot, alex was sick for 3 days with acid indigestion from just part of one on his quesadilla.

broccoli, well, there is nothing better than home grown fresh broccoli. i will keep growing them.

green beans, i'm not sure. they didn't produce like i thought they would. the flowers are beautiful, but i only had one plant that survived being outside...that and the sweet potatoes spread out over them.

the lettuce didn't turn out well at all. it was tough and bitter. it was green leaf lettuce, and i'm not sure if that's the way it's supposed to be, or if i let it go too long. this was my first year with lettuce. it's easy to grow, but i'm not sure i did it right.

i think i would like to add regular potatoes, carrots maybe, onions, yellow squash, and i'm not sure.

so next year's garden will be tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onions, yellow squash, cucumber, some peppers, and maybe another type of melon.

i would LOVE to plant some blueberry bushes, some strawberries, and some fruit trees. i don't know if that will happen, but it's a goal.

Monday, October 13, 2008

miracle monday

i know everyone is scared about the economy. people are having a tough time getting loans, losing money in the market, paying an arm and a leg for gas...and well, i think many are afraid for their jobs.

not exactly the best time to be a car salesman. (like my hubby)

he's been having a tough time the passed few months. he "sold" many cars, only to find out the people couldn't get financed.

and here i am, staying home with our kids. i was feeling pretty low, not helping him out much on the financial front.

so i said a few prayers...
one for thanksgiving. how could i not thank him for our health, the fact my husband has a job, our kids and our families.
one was for direction. how could i help my husband? how can i help take some of the burden from him? the man makes himself sick with worry, how can i help?

this month, God sent me another little one to watch over while his parents are at work.

and the possibility of one more a couple of days a week.

i was worried that i might be taking a little more than i can handle. with caring for my own kids, and the 2 little ones i already watch during the day, but He quieted my mind. He sent them into my life, for me to help their families. if they weren't meant to be here, their parents would not have chosen me to watch them.

i can handle this.

please check out Beth at for more miracles!

Friday, October 10, 2008

the new count

well, i went to orschlen's and bought 8 more chicks. 3 rhode island reds and 5 ameraucana chicks. then, on the way home, my oldest totally ratted me out to the hubby.

to say he was not pleased, well, that would be an understatement.

you see, his brother had offered to give haley a few chickens. these hens are close to a year old...or are a couple of years old. my brother in law doesn't believe in handling or interacting with the chickens. you go in, feed them, give them water, take their eggs, and that's about it. no handling unless you are getting them out to butcher. not exactly what she needs for trying to show. you have to be able to handle the birds. the judge needs to be able to handle the birds.

not to mention the unpleasantness that surrounded the last time we dealt with chickens and my brother in law. not something i want to experience again.

anyway, hubby was not pleased. he said, "the coop is only 8X8 and that's not big enough for that many chickens". um, excuse me? the plans said it was for 25 chickens. "there's only 4 laying boxes". um, so? why would that matter? brother in law only has 12 laying boxes and about 40 chickens. it works ok. they don't need their own private condos! all they are doing is laying an egg, and then leaving.

how do i make him understand that i had to get more chickens? the 8 i have right now, i have no idea if we have hens or roosters. they were straight run. for all i know, they are all roosters. and even if they aren't, they aren't the "production" type of chicken. they are more "ornamental". they will lay eggs, but they won't have the output of other breeds.

anyway, i'm excited.

rhode island reds look like this

ameraucanas look like this

oh, and i was told wrong about one of the polish ones. he's a black one with a white crest.

cool aren't they?


i think i'm addicted. i'm off to buy more chicks. i'm not telling my hubby (he will want me to...well, none of your business) and i'm going to take the kids and pick up a few more.

i'm doing this for the kids you know. and well, we like eggs. and i have lots of rationalizations for you, but you don't really care, do you?

haley needs some laying hens...and i need some others to look cool and lay eggs. that's right. that's what i said.

so after my shower, i will head out to pick up some more chickens. i think haley will need 3 or 4...and i guess i can get by with 4 or 6. whatever. even numbers. i have 8, if i add 8 more, i'll have 16 chicks, if i add 12 more, i'll have 20. hmmmm, guess i'll update you when i get home on what i got and how many. and then in june, we'll add a few more for the other kids (market chickens).

Thursday, October 9, 2008


last week, i met with a lady that was trying to find someone to babysit her baby boy. she was also going to meet with a lady i know, and another i don't know, but have heard great things about. the lady i know, well, she's fantastic with kids. she would be a person i would totally trust my kids with. the lady i don't know, well, she's great with kids too.

i told the lady interviewing me all these things. i was the first person she met. i answered her questions. i asked her what other names she was given by our parish secratary. these 2 other ladys and myself. i told her that she couldn't go wrong with whoever she chose. the other two ladies were great, and i wouldn't get my feelings hurt if she chose either of them.

finding a sitter is a huge job for parents. you are trusting your child/ren with someone most of the day. babysitters have a big impact on your kid. well, not just the kid, on parents as well. finding someone that fits the needs of your family can be really tough.

i got the call on friday that she had picked me. me? i was pretty shocked. i guess she liked me. i met her husband last night and he seems nice too.

so baby boy starts on monday. he's going on 8 weeks old, and he's 12+ pounds already. bald, but a cutie, and very mild mannered.

i'm a little excited. it's been a while since i had 3 babies at one time. when zack was a baby, i had 2 other babies. they were all born the same week. one was the 10th, zack is the 12th and one is the 15th. i only had all of them at the same time maybe once a week. it was funny lining them all up on the blanket, changing diapers, and seeing the size difference. zack was in the middle for sure. the older one was bigger (still is much bigger), and the younger one is smaller (still is a lot smaller).

anyway, i'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


i called our 4-H poultry leader to let her know we had our coop. she was checking out different hatcheries by ordering a bunch of chicks this fall. there were a lot of problems with the hatchery they had used previously*, so they wanted to find one that was better. basically she has an abundance of chicks right now, so we are getting 7 polish crested chicks. some are golden, some are silver, and one is white with a black crest.

what will they actually look like?

goldens look like this

silver look like this

and the white with the black crest will look like this

don't worry dear friends. we will still be getting more. haley is wanting to do laying hens (so she says) and so we have to get some white leghorns for her. not to mention the market chickens we have to get. so our little 8X8 coop will be full...eventually.

and no i haven't told the hubby yet. believe me, he'll be taken care of.

*there were some problems with chicks being deformed. so they have decided not to use them anymore. i will not post the name of the hatchery, but if you want to know, i can email it to you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

boy i'm glad i'm me!

well, maybe.

today i only have 2 extra. well, until school lets out. yay me...

i was early starting out to the car, you know to take one of my b.s. (babysitting) kids to the bus stop.

unfortunately, the cat had been locked up in my van all night.

i don't keep a litter box in my van.

that's ok, he just used zack's car-seat.

yay me, again...

i didn't find the mess until i had almost put one of the babies in it...of course, i also realized, just then, she had made a mess of her own. yeah, it was all over her onesie, pants, and even her jacket.

yay me, three times over!

so far, i have spent my day cleaning poopy car seats, poopy kids, and well, it's not over yet.

alex comes home today. they are running late because their plane was waiting on a part. it's ok, the part was in chicago, they are in orlando. it should be in sometime today.

i can't complain too much, though. i made it in time to get kid to the bus stop. i got the car seat sprayed out in time, you know before the rain. and it is hopefully going to be dry enough for the kid pickup at 3. i made it in time to pick up josh from school. i made the kids their favorite sandwiches (cheese and mayo). and i've only had 3 poopy diapers to change.

it could always be worse. the cat was in the van all night. i only found that one mess...of course i didn't actually look any farther...oh, i hope there isn't any more! the kids will find it for me i'm sure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

miracle monday

when i was 16, there was a terrible car accident before school, and a friend of mine was killed. he had been a passenger in the car, driven by his best friend, and the driver was the only one wearing his seat-belt.

the driver (i'll call him jay) and i had been close our freshman year. closer than we had any business being. we ended things because, well, he didn't feel the same way i felt.

and i hated him.

well, hate may be too strong of a word.

it hurt to be around him. to see him.

our junior year, we ended up having a class together again.

and it still hurt to see him.

and then the accident happened.

and we both lost a friend.

i visited him at his house afterward...and i forgave him for all the hurt. it's horrible that it took our friend's death for me to see how short life could be. how forgiving him was also forgiving myself. i was just as much to blame for what happened between us as he was.

we became friends again. just friends.

our senior year, we had our last class of the day together. we sat at the same table together. he helped me so much. we talked more than we ever had before. we talked about what had happened our freshman year. i got a better understanding of him. of the man he was becoming. and then i became pregnant with my oldest. he never treated me any different. he saw me as the same person. he helped me in so many ways, just treating me as he had before. most of my guy friends kept their distance, they didn't want to be mistaken as the dad. jay still treated me as he had before.

for that, i will forever be grateful.

i would like to ask for you to pray for jay's wife. she has been fighting cancer for too long now. they have a beautiful little boy, and a wonderful family together. please pray for them all.

this is her caringbridge site she is a remarkable woman.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


it's not the pox!!!! i am really happy that, well, it's not chicken pox.

what is it?

well, it is something bacterial...

like a strep infection in the skin (been there done that before)

or a small staph infection in the skin (been there done that too)

or impetigo (don't think we've done that one)

basically, while it is still spreading, it isn't nearly as bad as it was the other night. doesn't make sense does it? she's still getting little bumps (like bug bites) but they don't itch that badly, and they don't hurt as bad as they have been. the ones from the other day have started to fade quite a bit. so she's getting better...but i still have to give her some meds.

and she's not contagious.

so i let everyone at the school know that it's not the pox. and i let all the family know, and the families that i watch. so we should be good to go!

i'll let you all know about alex's soccer game, and baseball game, and leaving for his trip to (ha you thought i was going to tell you!) and the bookfair family night. no major funny-ness, or anything. just boring old me.

*thanks for the prayers for rachel, she's doing well!

a pox upon your house!

grace could have chicken pox.

just in time for the book-fair family night tonight.

i don't think it is, but my MIL said it looked like what her kids had when they had the "pox".

they only itch a little bit, but they hurt if you touch them.

they are only on her trunk.

they looked like whiteheads on her belly, sternum, and sides...oh and a few on her back and arms.

no fever, no feeling bad. just these hurtful little bumps.

and she's had the vaccine! couldn't go to pre school or regular school without it.

we see the doctor today...hopefully it's something else!

**please pray for my dear friend rachel. she's having surgery today. you can check her out here

i need to get back to my scratching. ever since i saw those spots, i'm the one itching!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

am i asking for too much?

2 things...

1. yesterday was a long day. i had fewer kids to watch, but i had 3 of my kids that had soccer practice, and one that had a baseball game. i left at 5:20 and didn't get home for the night until almost 10. i had to bring all the kids with me to soccer (well, minus alex who didn't want to come) and then dropped them all off to hubby and picked up alex for his baseball game. i had a brat at the game...that was my dinner. i get home, and hubby says, "i made some cheese bread it's really good. go get some." i'm thinking AWESOME, he finally cooks! and get a piece and take a big bite...

and gag! the jerk made it with miracle whip instead of butter!!

knowing full well i can't stand the stuff!

he sat there hiding behind the computer screen watching me...and then had the nerve to call me a baby when i spit it into the trash.

2. this morning zack was whining about his pants. he needed help buttoning them. i'm curled up on the couch, all comfy and warm under my big fleece rams blankie. "come here" i say. i reach and help him with his snap...

and it's a little wet...

"why's it wet?" i ask.

(you all know what's coming next, don't you?)

"i peed on 'em a little"

just by the snap though.

just where i would have to touch it.

am i asking for too much when all i want is a husband that doesn't try to poison me, and a son that keeps his urine to himself?

Monday, September 29, 2008

IT'S ALMOST FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my dad, my little brother, and my kids, are almost finished with the chicken coop. they had to work on it at my dad's house because, well, my brother is not allowed to leave the house. (long story, and not mine to tell) anyway, they started on it saturday, and for the most part, it's done. it just needs the nest boxes, and some stain, and i think i may put in some linolium (for cleaning). that's it! well, it needs a door, and it needs to be moved to my house.

my dad had the kids all help him. he was really impressed by zack though. he said zack was hammering like a champ. he was most impressed with the way he did it correctly (bending his wrist). how many 3 year olds do you know that can do that? shoot, i'm 30 and i can't!

alex leaves on friday for his "birthday present" trip with my stepmom. alex still doesn't know where he's going! i don't think he would ever check my blog...but i don't trust the kid so i won't say until friday where he's going.

this is bookfair week. i already have been there, and helped out. but i have to go back on thursday for the "family night" event. my sister in law and i run that. it's pretty easy. really really easy. all we do is make dinner for about 200. no sweat! we usually have about 6 helpers, and that's plenty. the money we raise goes to our library, and buying tests for the kids.

and apparently this is also the first day for the runners club at school. i thought it didn't start until next monday. i still have to send in all the sign up stuff to school. and bring clothes and snack and water up for my kids that are doing it.

that's about it for now!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


yeah, after yesterday's post, um, well, i broke the youngest child. not my youngest, the "youngest" in the previous post.

well, i didn't exactly break him, he broke himself...but at my house and on my watch.

i heard some screaming and yelling (not exactly an uncommon sound at the zoo) and so i went out to see what was going on, and to yell of course. instead, there is youngest with a mouth full of blood. not the "oh i bit my lip" bloody saliva, but the "i think i knocked all my teeth out and bit my tongue off" blood drip-age*.

i got him a cup of cold water and had him gently swish and spit in the sink. as he screamed and cried, i tried my best to comfort him...but i find that soft voices and nurturing words often make them more scared. (sounds mean, but that's what i've found) so instead i told him to calm down and quit his screaming...

and then he pulled out his tooth...

and i about puked...**

and then i thanked God it was just a baby tooth.

and he kept gently swishing as i babbled about tooth fairy money...

and then his sister came into the room and said "oh my God, oh my God"...

and youngest started crying again, and screaming again...

and i told her to get out that wasn't helping...

and i told him to be quiet, screaming was only going to make things worse...

and he believed me...

and he swished and the blood stopped...

and i looked in his mouth, and about puked** again..

i then called his mom's cell phone to tell her about the gash in his gums, and that it may need to be looked at.

what happened? well, he and josh wanted to see who weighed more. there's a pvc pipe out back that they put in between the fork in a tree trunk (think teeter-totter) and each took a side. i guess youngest won, and then fell off his side and busted his mouth on the pipe. after seeing his mouth and all the blood, all the children agreed that they never ever ever wanted to do that again.

*i have no idea how he did this, but he didn't get a single drop of blood on his clothes. tell me, how do you have a mouth full of blood, and not get a single solitary drop on your white shirt?

**i have some issues with blood and injuries. i tend to pass out or get sick when i am around it. granted, most of the time, it was mine, but i have actually passed out at the bedsides of sick relatives. so if i hear you are in the hospital, please don't expect me to visit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

adventures in babysitting

just a warning, this is a self serving complaing type of post! basically i just needed a place to let it out...

i lied. there was no adventure. only aggravation. not even a major one at that.
as i'm sure you know, we have soccer practice on tuesdays and thursdays. haley has practice both nights, josh has it both nights. i also watch haley's coach's kids after school. on tuesdays, the oldest one stays at school for some activity. the younger one hangs with me until around 5 when his dad picks him up.

except for yesterday....yesterday, dad forgot.

not the "oh man, i need to turn around and grab him real quick" type of forgetting either. the "had no clue because i'm too focused on one kid" type of forgetting. to focused on making his oldest a great athlete, and completely forgot all about the younger (not athletic at all) kid.

not too big of a deal. i just stayed at my house, waiting...and waiting some more. finally at 5:25, i loaded all the kids up and left. i was late for josh's practice. this would normally not be a big deal, but coach d. wasn't able to be there because he had to meet his new boss. not a meeting you can miss. i thought i would have no problem getting there in time. i had 3 kids, hubby took 2 (zack and alex) to alex's game. sometime between 5:45 and 6, the mom called another coach's cell to find out if i kept the youngest with me or left him at my house*. he was with me. she picked him up and apologized profusely. then later last night, her husband called to apologize too. i told them, not a majorly big deal. i just would have liked to have known so i could just take him up with me. that way, i'm not all pissy when i get to my practice.

whew, i feel better letting that all out.

*oh, like i would leave a 7 year old at my house alone!?! seriously? why would you leave your children in my care if you think i would do that?

Monday, September 22, 2008

happy birthday!!!

today is my dad's birthday. he's 54 today!

today is brendan's birthday (one of the kids that i watch), he's 12 today!

today is little mia's birthday, (nike's daughter) she's 4 today (i'm pretty sure, that or 5).

happy first day of autumn too!

miracle monday (and some other stuff)

the kids are home. they had a great know, almost dying on the river.
that's how they put it...almost dying on the river.
i guess the river is a little high, and well, a little cold. they got the raft stuck under a tree. as it filled with water, my dad said all he saw were the little faces in the raft with him..."thank God i brought the kids that can swim" was what he was thinking. (he brought my 3 oldest...and skipped my 2 neices that are in between haley and grace)

this actually happened when i was a kid, too. except when i was a kid, the raft popped. my dad went under, along with the cooler, and for several terrifying seconds, we didn't know if he was going to come back up.

he did, and he still had the cooler. priorities man! the cooler had all the beer! (the soda was in the kids' cooler).

only half of the raft popped. but it was next to impossible to paddle. so they gave it to us kids, and we took an extra couple of hours (no joke) to paddle it back.

*the place we rented the raft from actually tried to make us pay for the raft...saying that we did it on purpose. i don't think we ever went back there after that.

those were some of the best hours...just me and zack and caleb (my dad's friend's 2 sons that were so very very very cute).

that is one of my most favorite childhood memories. i'm not sure why my dad almost drowning in a river would be, but it is.

anyway, back to the kids. they had a great time. no raft popping, just one lost fishing pole, some name calling, and lots of laughing and fun.

next weekend, my dad gets to help us build a chicken coop.

whooo-hooo! i am so glad he's home from detroit!

now i have to design it, and decide where it will go.

do i put it directly behind the neighbor's house? or ours? or do i move it all the way down by nathan's? who should i stick with the stink?

anyway, hope everyone had a great weekend!

**beth, i'm not sure if this would be considered miraculous...if you don't think it is, feel free to delete the link.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

my josh...and my team

WE WON OUR FIRST GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i was so proud of those kids! they played their positions. we have a new little guy on our team...i was really scared he might get hurt. he's not "clueless", but he's pretty uncoordinated and well, really small. i think he has some kind of "condition". i'm not going to ask about it. it's none of my business, but i do try to be a little more aware of where i position him...and who with. i try to put him with two stronger players, that way they take more of the attention away from him, and he doesn't get run over. i don't think he noticed. he played all the positions (except goalie...i don't think i would put him in there). and he did his job.
anyway, i had several kids score goals today! no one scored twice, but.....................


he almost scored at the first game, you know, the game i wasn't at. i am so glad he did it today! i would have felt horrible if i missed his first one! oh, today was pictures to. i don't know if they got his goal in their action shots, but how cool is that? tomorrow, we play again.. i sure hope they play as well as they did today.

you know, it's not that they won the game, or that they scored several goals, it's that they listened to what we've been saying. seeing them actually use some of the stuff we've been working on with there is nothing better!

well, and seeing your son score his first goal is pretty cool too!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ballgame, ball practices, and a couple of sign ups

i love it when everything hits at once. alex plays baseball tonight at 6, haley and josh practice at 5:30 until around 7, and we have to sign the kids up for 4-H tonight.

i sure wish i had a money tree growing out back.

oh, well.

it looks like there will be 6 children raising chickens at my house.

funny, i'm pretty sure i only have 5 kids...and only 2 that can actually raise animals in 4-H...

i told the parents of the kids i watch, and those that i used to watch that it would be ok if they wanted to raise them at my house. these kids live in subdivisions, so it's not like they can raise chickens at their houses. plus, they spend quite a bit of time at my house. plus, by the time the chicks get here, they will be getting out for summer break. plus, these kids are great kids. they are always helpful. i know that they will be responsible.

so, i am really looking forward to my dad coming home. he's been stuck in detroit (apparently people up there don't like showing up for work*) and he's hoping to get the job site to a point where he can come home...with some stuff to help us build a chicken coop.
well, chicken and turkey coop. alex wants to do turkeys too. i told him to think about guineas. they eat ticks. that would be pretty darn useful!

so i guess i will be missing alex's game tonight. he's going to miss his soccer game this weekend (him and grace both) because they will be on a float trip. haley's going to miss her volleyball game (darn, 9pm game, and i'm going to miss it). they're going to be back for haley's soccer game on sunday.

*i've never been to detroit. i'm not "hating" on it. that's just the issues my dad's had with some of the contractors up there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the bestest doctor ever!!!!

hello all. i think everyone has had experiences with doctors that were less than ideal. my first ob/gyn was not the most friendly...he treated my questions as annoyances. perhaps that had to do with the fact i was 17 and a senior in high school. most of the people he saw were welfare recipients and/or teens. i guess it's understandable...but, well, i i needed more than that.
then i found the bestest doctor ever. i was 19 and pregnant with my second child. we had decent insurance at that time. this doctor had really long hair he wore in a ponytail. he was very talkative, and i probably know more about him than i know about my own father. that being said, the man listens. he loves babies. oh, did i mention he listens? he has a great bedside manner. he delivered my middle 3 kids.
then our insurance changed. i had to find a new doctor. the new doctor i found was adequate. he was a 5 minute appt man. in and out in 5 minutes. no time to answer questions. when i told him about my 4 previous labors, and some of the issues and what we did that worked, well, he smiled and said "uh-huh". let's just say, i was not impressed with him, or his 2 partners (2 of the 3 women i mentioned above).
i realized how special my other doctor was. well, not just him, his whole staff. i went back for the first time today for a regular check up. only one change in staff has happened since last time i was there...4 years ago. his wonderful (seriously if she had been an ob/gyn, i would have gone to her) nurse died of cancer a few years ago. she was just like him. you could talk to her. she was there when i was having bleeding when i was pregnant with josh. she was there for me when we had some family issues to work out. she was truly a wonderful woman.
ok, back to my doctor. he is a doctor that takes his job seriously. i may have to wait an hour in the waiting room, but if it was me in labor, i would want him to be there for me like that. in fact he was, 3 different times. his care is worth the wait.
anyway, if you live in the st. louis area.. and are looking for a great doctor, let me know. i'll give you his name!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

miracle monday

i have been thinking about this post for a while. i guess trying to figure out the right way to put this out there.

when i started high school, my mom asked me about some of the people in my know, names, in case she knew anybody's parents. it is a small world, and as it turned out, she actually knew a couple of people's parents.
one in particular was terry. he was in a wheelchair. our moms were friends in high school. as terry put it "we rode in car seats next to each other". terry's mom had lost her brother tragically, the year before he was born. she named him after her brother. she was young, i think 16 when she married terry's dad, and had terry.
our moms lost touch after both of them moved. they kept up with each other a little through a mutual friend...but really didn't keep up as they should have.
and then we had to move, and i went to high school. and there was a wheelchair. he had been diagnosed with MD when he was a pre-teen. he had been athletic..played sports, and was a pretty outgoing kid. his parents were told it would be a miracle if he lived to be 18.
terry was a party guy. my husband and several others would go and pick up terry and take him to all the parties. he had lots of friends, even if he couldn't walk, and you had a hard time understanding him sometimes. high school was great for him. he wasn't left out, as some may have been. he lived his life to the fullest.
funny thing about doctors, they aren't always right. terry lived to be 18...and 21...and fact, he's still around. it hasn't been easy. his MD has progressed.
for his privacy, i won't go into how he's doing as of now...
please pray for him. i had no idea how much pain MD can cause. please pray for his mom, she is having a really hard time right now. please pray for his sister, and the rest of their family.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

busy busy day

i have about 45 minutes before we start going...the two girls have games at the same time at two different places. after that, josh plays right away, then alex plays 90 minutes after that at a field that is about 30 to 45 minutes away. i should be done with soccer, and home around 5 tonight. then volleyball at 8.
these are the times i really miss having a husband that is home on the weekends.

Friday, September 12, 2008


hello all!
hey, i have a favor to ask, please pray for my hubby.
he is making some pretty major decisions right now...and i think he could use all the help he can get!
nothing bad...just change, it's never easy.
please pray for God to lead him in the right direction!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

soccer and a mayo sandwich

let's start with the mayo sandwich...i know you are all wondering "what is that?"
well, my boys like cheese sandwiches with mayo/miracle whip (same thing in my book). but i don't have any cheese today. hubby cleaned me out. so zack wanted just a "bandaise samich". he ate every bite. now haley used to eat pickle and mayo sandwiches.

no, i have no idea how my kids come up with such weird ideas.

on to soccer practice.

josh is having some breathing issues lately. i guess it's the asthma flaring up. i hope so anyway, as i was giving him breathing treatments. he did really good, considering he lost steam about 20 minutes into practice. we had enough kids to scrimmage. we worked on playing in our positions. i don't mean to sound like i know soooo much, but my half of the team played their positions...and even scored a couple of goals. coach d's team, uh, not so much. i made sure my side knew their jobs: offense-score goal, defense-stop the ball, goalie-catch the ball. coach d focused too much on just the offense, so his defense was playing in the grass. i think as long as you are making sure they are staying focused, it's an easy job. focus is the main thing they need to learn. they are little kids, so it's not easy. you have to make sure you praise them when they are doing the right thing. if they stay in position, that earns MAJOR praise. that's one of the hardest things for them to do. they have to focus on doing their job. it's really rewarding to see them do what you tell them to. and when it works, and they are scoring goals, it shows the kids they are doing it right.

hubby is taking haley to the doctor right now. she has poison ivy (i'm pretty sure) and in the week she's had it, none of the normal treatments have helped. in fact, it's spreading more. she has spots of it all over her lower leg. one is pretty big. we've tried caladryl, ivy dry, benadryl, and cortisone. all of that, and it spread. so off to the doctor. hopefully they don't put her on steroids. poor alex put on like 15 pounds the first time he was on steroids. well, i guess it doesn't matter as long as it clears it up. it's really nasty!

off to finish my lunch!

Monday, September 8, 2008

miracle monday

i spent this weekend with my mom. we have not always seen eye to eye. to say we have "issues" is putting it mildly.
my mom loves me. it may not always be apparent in the choices she's made or her actions, but she truly loves her kids. she has done her best to be a good mom.
we talked quite a bit over dinner saturday night. we talked about when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer (she never had HPV for those who think the vaccine is a cure-all) and when she had her surgery. we didn't get to see her for weeks. that was her choice. she had left my dad about 6 months previous, and we were stuck at my aunt's house, going to a school where we knew no one, and our mom was totally out of commission living at our grandparents' house because she wasn't able to take care of us. i guess is still held a little resentment about this.

and then it happened.

she told me about how hard it had been to not see us. how scared she had been because she hadn't been told about how hard this surgery would be on her physically. i don't think she thought she'd be walking out of the hospital the next day, but to be almost completely unable to walk on her own for weeks...well, that she wasn't prepared for. how, it took all her strength to put on make up for the one and only visit we were able to have with her in the hospital. she waited until she was off of most of the machines (or they were well hidden) so not to scare us more than we already were. (i tend to pass out with that kind of stuff...something i got from my dad.)

i started to see things a little differently. God opened my eyes. i know that as a mother, i make mistakes every day. every single day, i pray that i have done right by my kids. that i haven't done anything that will damage them as a person, or that they will hold against me in their hearts.
i realized that is exactly what i have been doing to my own mom. she has made plenty of mistakes. some she takes responsibility for, some she doesn't. that doesn't matter. i know, mother to mother, that she did the best that she could. she tried. she succeeded for the most part. she didn't raise perfect children, but she did the best she was able to. that has to count for something.
i forgave my mom. in my heart, i know she meant me no harm. she did what she thought was best. that's what really matters. i love her.
thank God my hubby talked me into going with her, and having an open mind and heart.

weekend in chicago

well, it's official. my weekend is over, and i had a good time. we didn't get in until 9pm friday night. i was pretty tired (so was my mom) so we had dinner on our way up, and just slept after we got there.
saturday we had to be at the spa at 8:45. we went to mario tricoci's. let me just say, those people working there are so nice. we had a great time there. we started our morning with massages (hot stone one for me) and it was the best massage i have ever had. sometimes, you feel more bruised after one (especially if they have to work hard on specific muscles) but i got up feeling absolutely wonderful. thank you louisa! then on to the facial. it was good. i've had better, but she did a good job. then it was off to have an olive oil scrub. you have to take off everything, and then put on a disposable thong. yeah, laugh away. i was basically scrubbed with olive oil, plus a few other types of oil, and sea salts. it was harsh, but in a good way. you come out glowing with radiant skin. i've never had anything like that was pretty cool. my skin still feels soft and smooth. then they put makeup on me. my mom said it looked great (really heavy around the eyes) but i just think it was too much. i don't really wear makeup...not unless i'm going somewhere special. so maybe it was just the fact i don't wear any that made it seem like too much. anyway, then i had a manicure and pedicure. a pumpkin pedicure to be precise. very different. but my feet are so smooth (and pumpkin smelling) and pretty right now. i screwed up my manicure when i changed my clothes (my fault totally). just one nail. after that we were done (my mom got the same stuff done that i did) and we headed back to the hotel. i washed my hair (it was pretty nasty from the oil) and we went to pizzeria uno. really really good pizza. after that we went back to the hotel and took naps (i know, how exciting.) and then went out to dinner. we went to this place down the street from our hotel, flemings prime steakhouse. oh, my, gosh, it was some of the best food! of course i had a steak. it was perfect. we both had a wedge salad with blue cheese. i've never seen that much blue cheese on a single salad before. it was more like for a salad to feed 4+ people. really really good. then i had a baked potato that was one of the best i've had in a while. butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon...mmmmmm!
sunday we went to shedd's aquarium. it was ok. lots to see. but it made me miss my kids even more. we didn't stay there for long, just enough time to see a few exhibits and pick up some stuff for the kiddos. then we drove home. it was a pretty good time. very little talk of politics (thank God for that, we are total opposites) and we got along pretty well.
the kids were excited to see me. i was so happy to be home. jeff kept me updated on how all the games went. alex's team lost their game...pretty badly. haley's team won their soccer game. she played goalie and only let one get by. they won 6 or 7 to 1. they had a lot of shots on her, but she blocked all but one. josh's team lost 2 to 1. he almost had a goal, but my MIL walked up as he was getting ready to shoot, and he stopped to wave at her. priorities! grace's team won. she played goalie for half the game, and had an assist. her little friend claudia had 3 goals. she's the size of my 3 year old, and 6 months older than grace. small but mighty! haley's team lost 2 out of 3 of her volleyball matches. she did good, they just haven't had much practice.
that pretty much sums up the weekend. well, my poor hubby was so lonely. the kids stayed the night saturday at my dad's house. so he came home to an empty home. poor guy!

anyway, got to get back to the kiddos!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

only a couple of days left...

until i go to chicago. actually i leave on friday. i am excited, but i'm also a little worried. it's just me and my mom. we are about as different as you can get. she is waaaaay more wild than i ever was.

no, seriously.

i'm not joking.

i'm not much of a drinker. i'm not much for being pushed to drink, or whatever. so, we will see. i really hope i have some great stuff to tell.

anyway, coaching is still, well, coaching. last nights practice was cancelled. well, coach d and i cancelled josh's, and grace's was cancelled (not that she was going to go, she came home from school with a headache ) but alex and haley still had theirs. and since i had to be there anyway, well, i had a very small practice. just josh and 3 or 4 other boys. and another dad helped. he was very nice. cracked me up too. he tried to tell me he'd never played soccer before. well, he had some pretty mean foot skills, so i find that hard to believe. anyway, he was there helping me for about an hour. his little guy is so adorable. all of the boys are adorable. i'm actually surprised at how fast i've learned most of their names. the only one i still mess up (in my head) is one little guy i want to call "paco" all the time. his dad is the one that was helping me last night. and yes, they are from mexico. but that's not why i want to call him that, he actually looks a lot like paco. (rachel, you remember him? he was a senior when we were freshmen) his dad doesn't, but the little guy sure does.

anyway, i need to be off to haley's volleyball practice. she's doing really well. she's one of the few girls that can serve the ball over the net and in the court. and she can hit the ball once it's served to her. that's pretty me. i don't know about anyone else.

sorry, i got distracted. kids are watching the cheetah girls movie.

dance me, dance me if you can!

ummm, no, i can't dance.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

today, my hubby called me to say some a friend of ours' spouse has moved out. this friend is one of the kindest people i have ever met, and i don't think i have seen a better parent...

i feel so badly for him. you hear so many stories about husbands that don't help much with the kids (like from me for example). this guy takes their 4 kids to their games and practices, gives them their baths, takes them to church, cooks...

their youngest was born 3 days after my littlest, zack. their oldest is a year younger than my oldest. these kids are some of the most well behaved and nicest kids around. their 3 child is my grace's bestest friend. i love them like family, and it hurts to see them going through this.

i guess it brings back that fear of being 30. the wife is only 3 or 4 years older than i am. she is repeating old family patterns...her mom left her dad with all 5 of them, her being 18 months old at the time.

why do people do that? i don't want to sound like divorce is evil, and always wrong, but how do you go from loving someone enough to not only marry them, but create 4 beautiful children together...and then decide it's not what you want? i just don't get it...and i hope i never do.

Friday, August 29, 2008

twelve years ago today

today my oldest child turns twelve. i can't believe my boy is almost a teenager. here's a picture of him with bebe. isn't she beautiful? i still can't believe she's been gone. almost a month now. it still feels like a weight on my chest when i think about her. still feel the tears...anyway, back to my boy...twelve years...amazing.
i remember him as the most beautiful baby i had ever laid eyes on. i know what you're thinking, everyone thinks their baby is the most beautiful. they may think it, but i know it. he was a week and a half late. i was swollen and miserable. but i will never forget being surrounded by friends and family the entire day. i mean the whole day. my labor started around 7 am, and he was born around 10:30 that night. long time not to be able to eat or drink. i remember the hubby asking if it was ok if he watched him come out. if i was comfortable with it. i remember the tears in his eyes and how he told me how much he loved me and our baby. i remember my father in law, coming in to see his newest grandson, and crying like a baby. alex was number 8 for them, but i think he was special to them in a way the other kids (none of the other grandkids) will never be able to touch.
i remember how excited he was when he saw haley for the first time. how he just stared at her, laying there naked in the warmer...and then asking where her penis was...
i remember him playing outside at my in laws, and really never having to worry to much about him, because my brother in law's rottweiler loved him more than anything on earth. she watched over him and kept him from harm all the time she was alive. God help the poor dog or cow that came near my boy when seirra was around!
i have watched my boy welcome each new member of our household, each new brother and sister with loving and open arms. i have watched him take his little brothers to the pond, and i must say, i love to see the look of open admiration those little guys have for him.
my alex is not perfect. i do not expect it from him. and yet he is constantly surprising me with how well he does with school, how athletic he is, and how kind he can be.
i have been so blessed with him as my oldest child.
happy birthday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

change is on the horizon

i'm not sure why, but i know some big changes are coming for our little corner of the universe. not "the" change for least i don't think that's it...more like something is coming. i'm not sure what, i'm not sure why, but i can feel it. i'm hoping it's just a weight and inches change...but it feels bigger than that. i can't say if it's good or bad...just that something is coming.

soccer is going well. we had our first practice tues, and another one tonight. the guy helping me is really nice (i'll just call him coach d). but, well, a tad on the boring side. i kind of let him take the lead, and i think that was a bit of a mistake on my part. not major, he coaches his older son's team, so he just has his way, and i have mine. i think kids learn by doing. he likes to make them listen to him explain...and explain...and explain some more. out of the hour, i think the kids got to use the ball for maybe half the time. maybe. i just don't work that way. 4 and 5 year olds want to do, not be told how do it. they don't know how do dribble the ball, or kick it in the goal. they have no clue how to pass it to their team mates. that's not something you can explain. they have to try it. he wants to test them on what a corner kick is, or a fullback kick. uh, hello? they are 4 and 5. i didn't even know what they were until 2 years ago. they just need to get the basics of a) kick the ball b) don't touch it with your hands. this is tough enough.
sorry, i kind of started ranting on you. it's my hubby's fault. if he just would have let me rant and rave about it tuesday night, i would have been over it by now. instead he told me it was all my fault, and to either change it or shut up about it. (well, a little nicer than that, but you get the idea)

alex has his first baseball game tonight. they actually started on tuesday, but he had been sick with a stomach bug, so he wasn't allowed to go. (no school, no sports is our motto) he's pretty excited. they won the first game, and they had just had a soccer practice right before the game. haley has practice today. i don't think grace has it tonight. i think she's just on tuesdays. they are all so excited about games starting the 6th.

our parish picnic is this sunday. i love the picnic. we always have so much fun, and see so many people. i help out with cutting the pies (home made pies) and jeff helps seat people at the dinner. kettle cooked beef that is the best stuff around. i don't know how they make it, but oh my gosh, it's heaven on a fork. yes, it really is that good. there is also fried chicken, hamburgers, liver and gizzards (blech!!) and so much more! and that's just the food. they have bands, and beer, and wine, and a kids' section with games and inflatable rides, and a "train". i must say, i love working there. you meet so many other people in the parish you may not normally come in contact with. the kids are excited about it too. alex gets to work it too. kids in 5th grade and up get assigned stuff to do. he's working by jeff. i got to start getting stuff from the garden, they always need tomatoes and anything else from the garden. they have a country store they sell fruit and veggies, and anything homemade. jellies/jams, breads, deserts, anything.

well, i'm off to pick up kids from school.

Monday, August 25, 2008

miracle monday

today's miracle involves my little brother. he's a great guy. he's funny, charming, and a good looking guy (reminds me of myself. heehee). he's also had a drug and alcohol problem from the time we were kids. like preteen years. yeah, that young. there's three of us kids, i'm the oldest. my sister is almost 18 months younger than i am and my brother is 14 months younger than her. so there are 3 of us in less than a 3 year span.
anyway, my brother has been in trouble here and there all through his teen years. he had 2 DUI's before he was 21. but honestly, he hadn't had any since then...until this year. he had 2 more. now, there has been almost 10 years in between the first 2 and the last 2, but he could have been facing up to 7 years in the state prison. he hadn't hurt anyone, or caused any property damage, just got caught. plain and simple. with his third, he didn't seem to "get" it. he was into this "poor me" mind-set. you know, they're out to get him. he was driving my dad crazy. poor dad, i can totally see why his blood pressure is so high...he's had a rough go with us 3. the 3rd of july, he was picked up again. no one knew it. he had gone to see a friend who was in a rodeo, and didn't get back the next morning. my step mom and dad were pretty worried, but couldn't let on because they had all the grand kids there. he called them at 12. he explained what had happened, and that he needed a ride home. my dad went up to get him, and on the ride home, my brother talked to my dad. my brother finally took responsibility for his actions. he realized he needs help, and that pot and alcohol aren't it. he's going to AA and counseling and has made peace with the fact that he may face jail time. he's talking to us. he's opening up. he's not as angry as he had been. he's finally dealing with some of the crap that's been dealt to him since our parents split when he was in 4th grade.
so you see, it's a miracle that he never hurt anyone or himself while driving. it's a miracle that he is finally taking responsibility for his actions. it's a miracle he finally see's that he does have a problem. thank God that he has watched over my brother as much as he has.

please pray for his continued recovery.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


i'm not usually one for profanity...ok, let me rephrase that...i don't use a lot of profanity. the occasional slip here and there. but today? well, the wtf, that almost slipped right out.

i took the kids to the flea market today. i like to go up and see if they have any good deals on produce, check out the animals, see if anyone i know is there. you know, fun stuff. i brought 3 of my 5 kiddos with me. we walked around and were on our way out when i spotted a sign that said "free kittens". oh buddy, i had to check it out. inside this kennel were 4 kittens. one was black, one was solid gray, one solid white and one that was white with some spots. super cute. i couldn't resist the gray one. i picked him up, held him, checked under his tail (looked like a boy to me) and then the crowd came. everyone had a kitten. this crazy lady with the little white one decides she wants to find out if hers is a boy or a girl and proceeds to rub her finger over the cat's butt. i kid you not. this woman was feeling up this poor kitty. then she does it to my little gray one (you know, for comparison) and i have never felt so sorry for any animal in my life. she ended up not even taking one, so i took the gray one...and the white one. what can i say, i felt so sorry for them both. i hope i was able to hide what i was feeling at that moment.

seriously, who rubs a cat's butt?

Friday, August 15, 2008

math? isn't that for geeks?

my kids started back at school today. *happy dance* i picked them up at 11 am. i know, why bother even starting the day if you are going to be out in just a few hours? this was the question my kids asked me. well, a school day is a school day. that's it. period.
alex asked me if i knew who his math teacher this year. well, duh...the same teacher you had last year, right? nope. guess who is in the accelerated math now. that's right. so i have 2 math whizzes. at least 2 so far. grace is no slouch. i have told my kids that math is pretty easy. well, maybe easy isn't the right word. math is constant. 2+2=4 that will not change. once you understand the principle, that's it. i wasn't a math genius, but i did alright.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm i smell brownies.

oh yeah, that's right. i'm making brownies with chocolate chips in it. i'm celebrating my pounds dropped. a whole 3 pounds.
i'm going to pack them all back on!

i talked to the guy in charge of soccer. guess who volunteered to coach the prek/kindergarten boys soccer team. that's right. yours truly. haley's team is joining up with my niece's team. neither team had enough players. so it actually works out better for me. if i need to send haley with someone for her game...i just send her next door. perfect! hubby's boss is still alex's coach. i 'm not sure when they start practices, but i hope it's soon. he's going to be one tired little pup. with soccer and fall baseball, he's going to be tired.

josh is so happy. he gets to start school next week and he gets to start soccer too. i'm actually excited about coaching soccer this year. the first year or two are easy to coach. at least for me they are. i just cover the basics of the sport. i don't have to come up with plays. i have my whistle. i can yell pretty loud. i handle little guys all day long.

alex leaves for his fishing trip today. he's going with my mom. they both sound pretty excited about it. i need to talk to my brother though. i heard that my mom may have been saying unkind things about my dad and stepmom within earshot of my kids. or directly to my kids. if that's the case, well, we will be changing the amount and how my kids spend time with her without hubby or myself present. if it keeps happening, well, let's hope it's not happening at all. my kids come first. my kids love my dad and stepmom. i will not let her damage that. end of story.

and that, dear friends, is the end of my bloggy free time. until the next time!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

who do you like?

there are certain actors, or well, people that i love to watch in movies. maybe they aren't actual "actors" but do act in certain movies. others are classically trained actors i just love.

1. Clint Eastwood. ok, the man was totally hot back in the day. i have loved his movies all my life. my dad and i would watch the spaghetti westerns, but my absolute favorite movie of his is Unforgiven. this movie has so many scenes that can bring you to tears. if you haven't seen it, go out and rent it, or check and see if it's on some channel. go to this site if you have no idea which movie i'm talking about.

2. Gene Wilder. sorry johnny, he is the first and last Willy Wonka for this sugar fiend. that was the first movie i had ever seen with him. then when he teamed up with richard pryor, well, how can you not love those movies?

3. Willie Nelson. i watch Honeysuckle Rose every time it's on tv. he may not be an award winning actor, but i love his movies, and tv appearances.

4. Mel Brooks. need i say more? the man is a total genius.

5. Johnny Cash...and June Carter Cash. i fell in love with them when they made a few appearances on Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. try watching Stagecoach sometime. it has johnny, june, willie, kris kristopherson, and walon jennings. oh and john schnieder (one of the dukes, or superman's dad depending on which generation you're from). great movie to watch.