Thursday, February 28, 2008

last night

in case i haven't said this before, i am not a basketball fan. i've never played it. i never really enjoyed watching the pro's and i didn't really like watching my son play the first couple of years. now, that being said, i do actually find myself getting really involved and interested in the games now. my oldest daughter is going to start playing this year. basketball has been in my family for a long time. my uncle had a basketball scholarship to college (he is only 11 years older than me) and my aunt played when she was in high school. i remember going to watch them play. i was never really coordinated. i still can barely get from point a to point b without tripping. so i never played any sports.
ok, that being said, i went to a high school basketball game last night. my sister in law is the assistant coach for the local catholic high school girls' varsity basketball team. she is also the head coach of the jv team. the girls are playing in the districts. they went to state last year and took 4th. we are hoping that they make it that far again. a friend's daughter is one of their star players. she is a very sweet, very talented, very beautiful girl. her little sister is one of haley's friends. i got to say, i was really into the game. it was amazing. the people who turned out to watch these teams play. the gym was packed (and it's a big gym! troy's gym) and most of them were cheering for our team. it was a great time. we brought the 4 younger kids (alex had his own practice that night) and haley was the only one interested in the game. but even she was distracted from it. she had about 4 girls from her class at the game to hang out with. the gym was filled with alumni-most of which didn't have a kid on the team...they just wanted to support their school and team. it was a really cool experience.

*their was one girl on the other team that reminded me of you rachel. she was 6ft 2inches and a really cute girl. her team lost though. so since i don't think i ever saw you guys play, i'll stop the comparison there.

so to summarize, i will no longer talk about my dislike of basketball. i have been made a fan.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

who are you?

Which Character From The Office Are You?

More on The Office. Created by BuddyTV


that's right y'all! i'm stanley. not sure if i'm glad, or ticked.

although the "make other's tremble in their skin" is a little exciting.

i love my kids, but...

i have a tough time talking about how great my kids are. time after time, when people talk about their kids, i have a tough time talking about how smart my kids are, cute, talented, nice, whatever. i have never been one to brag (i don't think i have been) and i guess that's what it seems like when i say something about them. it's not like i sit in judgement about people who do. i have several people who talk about their kids all the time, how advanced they are, whatever. my sister in law talks about her 2 kids all the time. her daughter is beautiful (and she is) and they boys swarm her. her son is so smart (not so sure about this one) that she has asked for him to be tested for the gifted classes. not the teachers, mind you, she asked. several times. now, i know my kids are smart. i don't have to rub it in when i talk to her. and i don't. i just sit there and nod sympathetically. what else do you do? i know kids make mistakes all the time. i don't want to put unwanted pressure on my kids because they feel they need to live up to my standards. i remember trying to do that for my parents. so i am going to try today to brag about my kids.

alex- my oldest very smart. in 3rd grade he was reading at an 8th grade level. now, he's in 5th and can read anything he wants (except books below a 6th grade level) he remembers everything he reads (like he dad). he has the most beautiful blue/gray eyes. he is helpful and polite at his friends houses. he helps with his little brothers. he loves sports. he's great at baseball, basketball, and soccer.

haley- my oldest daughter is brilliant. she is in an advanced math group and an advanced reading group. she may come across as ditsy, but the child is so very smart. she is absolutely beautiful. i am seriously afraid of my girls becoming teenagers. she is athletic. she is a great softball player, soccer player, basketball player, and swimmer. she is so sweet natured and helpful. she loves to "mother" brothers.

grace- my youngest daughter is so friendly. she makes friends everywhere she goes. i won't say she doesn't know a stranger, but she is always quick to make friends. she loves attention. she is also very smart. she went into kindergarten not knowing her letters very well, and is already reading books. in fact she just started the reading counts program. she makes friends quickly, but she also keeps them. she and her "best friend" claudia have known each other for 3 years now, and are as close as can be! she is such a love. she loves to help me. anything i ask, she's there to do it for me. she is my other beautiful daughter. my girls may not look exactly alike, but they are still beautiful. haley is darker complected, with beautiful brown hair with golden highlights and eyes like mine. grace is blond, lighter complected, with blue/green eyes. they both have those awesome thick black eyelashes like their daddy.

josh- my middle boy is gentle giant. he was my smallest baby (8lbs 2oz), but is my biggest kid (4 years old and 50 lbs...not a bit of it fat either). he is into all things mechanical. i know this kids is just as smart as the rest of them. he loves cars, trucks, tractors, basically anything mechanical. he really listens to you when you talk to him. he loves girls too. it's only girls that are his age at my house. he plays with them just as good as gold. he loves his family. he has the same eyes as my oldest...beautiful blue framed by thick black lashes. to look at him, you would think he is much older than he is. he's the same size as most of the kids in grace's class, and speaks just as well. he is, by far, my biggest help in the house. you just ask him to do something, and it's done!

zack- my youngest is the only one that looks like my side of the family. he is a scrappy little thing. he doesn't take any s#%^ from anyone! he has the most beautiful and contagious smile. he also has the same blue eyes at the other two boys. to talk to him, you would never guess he's only 2. he's also the friendliest of my boys. he is definitely not shy! he and josh are the closest out of my 5 kids. not just in age either. zack loves his daddy. as soon as he sees him, he runs to get some pretzels so they can sit in daddy's chair together. he always wants to help out too.

ok, that ends my bragging session for today. you can see for yourself how beautiful my kids are in the picture of my family. just pay no attention to the fact they are wearing clothes that don't match. i am not the most organized mom, so i am just happy they are all wearing clothes!

Monday, February 25, 2008

hearing God's voice

what does it sound like? have you ever heard it? do you hear it often?
well, i have heard it. it was not like a voice, but a feeling. i didn't hear him say "amy, go outside". i felt a push to get the mail. seriously. there was construction outside. it was loud out there. i don't even remember if there was even any mail. i just remember as i walked back to my condo (about 10 years ago) that i heard something. a small voice maybe? "help, please". not loud. in fact i could barely hear it over the concrete work going on across the street. "is someone there?" "please help me" i heard. i walked over to the next door neighbor's little condo, and there was mrs brown. the was hidden in between the big bush and the concrete front patio. she had fallen, and was stuck. i think she had been there for at least 30 minutes, if not an hour. i helped her up, and then helped her into her house. i helped her get her coat off. i helped her clean up her arm (which had a huge nasty scrape on it). i sat with her when she called her friend, and made sure she was ok before i went back to my little condo, and my sleeping little guy.
mrs brown was a great neighbor. when i was 15, i got locked out of my house. i had no where to go, and my mom was going to be at work for at least another 4 hours. she let me stay with her until my friend sara got home. she fixed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and was so very nice to me. i am so glad i was given an opportunity to help her out as much as she helped me!
i think about her and about listening when God gives me a little push.

thanks rachel, for the picture of my family.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

we have returned!

hello all! have you missed me? we had a great time on our cruise. i would recommend carnival cruise lines to anyone! this is actually the second time we have traveled with them. the staff they have is the nicest and hardest working bunch. we met people from Indonesia, India, Belarus, and many other countries too. it is amazing when out of the 2600 guests on the cruise, they know you by name...and that's half way thru a 5 day cruise! we did get sunburned (some more than others) and we had bryan getting sick 2 separate nights. well, then jeff was sick the whole ride home. yes the entire 10 hour drive home. it was great getting to reconnect with bryan, and getting to know michelle better. bryan actually enjoyed dinner, and had *gasp* compliments for the chef! believe me, he is very picky about his food (being a chef, that's understandable), so the fact he called several dishes "fabulous" was pretty high praise indeed! we had 2 stops, one in progresso island(?) which was ok. there wasn't many shops, and there didn't seem to be a lot to do. granted we just went to a beach party, but we arrived at 9 am and had to be back at the boat by 3. it just wasn't enough time. nathan took a pretty nasty chunk out of his foot trying to climb a telephone pole for a bottle of tequila (contest on the beach). the man who actually won was like 50 years old, drunk as a skunk, and went all the way to the top. of course on his way down, he tore up his foot and his shin. we saw him a couple of nights later, he said he couldn't even sleep because of the pain. anyway, cozumel was really fun. we went on a dune buggy tour of the island. our tour guide was awesome. he was so knowledgeable about the history of the island. we got to see some crocodiles in the wild. they built a walkway and observation tower out over the water. we saw around 5 crocs close up, and they were around 6 to 8 feet long. pretty cool! after the tour, we hit carlos and charlie's and senior frog's. lots of fun there! and we got to do some shopping. it still didn't seem like we had enough time. we left the boat at 9 am and had to be back by 4. the entertainment on the ship was good. the comedians were funny, and the singer they had by the casino bar was amazingly funny, or we were all really or the other.
i have a different opinion of new orleans now. the first time we went (last year), it was smelly and you wanted to take a shower after being down there. this time was much more fun. we hung out on bourbon street sunday night ( the same night as the NBA all stars game) and had a great time. when we got off the ship yesterday, we went back down to the french quarter and went thru their market place. it was really fun. we would definitely go back.
now, we came home around 1am, and their is snow and ice everywhere. the kids had 2 snow days while i was gone. ( ha ha) the kids were good, and no one had any major problems...well except for the fact alex and haley argued quite a bit while we were gone. (no surprise there)
i think we are definitely going to do this again. in fact bryan and michelle want us to start planning another one for next year!
ok, this has been long enough...and i don't want to make anyone too jealous!

Friday, February 15, 2008

things you never thought you'd be doing in a million years

today, i nair'd my husband's back.

need i say more?

and my hands are super smooth right now.

i guess he was afraid they would be thinking some escaped gorilla was trying to get on the ship.

he is getting some gray hairs back there. so i think its a reasonable fear...being mistaken for a silver back.

poor poor man.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy valentine's day

my husband is the best. i know i may complain about some boneheaded thing he did, but he is still the best. so i thought i would try to come up with a list of things i love about him.

1) he has the most beautiful eyes.

2) he is crazy in love with me.

3) he is a family man through and through.

4) he helped me to mend my relationship with my father.

5) he is always willing to help a friend or family member.

6) he has things he is passionate about (besides me).

7) he is really smart.

8) he totally backs me up with the kids...even when i am wrong.

9) he loves having people over.

10) he's a giver.

ok, that's just the ten i could think of in 1 minute. i unfortunately don't have time to think up another 99. things like he can clean like nobody's business! he can get all the laundry done in one day (something i have never ever accomplished).

he is really the best friend i have ever had. i can talk to him about stuff i never told anyone else. he's there to wipe my tears, and hold my hand. he has supported me in any and all decisions i have made. he's a great dad.

ok enough with mushy stuff.

and happy birthday rachel!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

today i have been bummed about the stuff i will be missing when we go on our trip next week. we are leaving at like 5 am on sunday. so that means i miss grace's soccer game. that monday is josh's birthday, and president's day...which means my kids will be out of school, and i won't be there for my boy on his birthday. tuesday is the day i volunteer to do recess duty, i'll be missing that too. thursday, haley and alex both have basketball practice and a 4-H meeting. grace and alex both have games saturday that i will most likely be missing.
we are celebrating josh's birthday on saturday. we are all going to the monster truck show downtown. yippee. my girls and i are not big into the monster trucks, but josh loves them. so, we go. my boy is going to be 4 years old. it is crazy to think that 4 years ago i was waiting for my inducement date feeling like i couldn't wait for it to be over, and yet really really sad that it was going to be over. we had planned on josh being our last baby. well, jeff planned on him being our last baby. i wasn't sure i didn't want anymore kids. (did that sentence make sense? double negative is bad right?) then 9 months later i found out i was pregnant with zack. i still wasn't sure i wanted him to be my last baby. jeff was though. so any kids for us will be adopted.
with josh, i was induced 2 weeks early. he was born feb 18th, but i was actually due on march 3rd. my doctor was worried about my baby being too big. haley was almost 2 weeks early, and weighed 8 pounds and 15 ounces. she's my only baby that wasn't induced. grace was a little more than a week early and she was 9 pounds and 2 ounces. my boys were smaller. alex was almost 2 weeks late (my oldest) and he weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces...but was 22 and a half inches long. josh was 2 weeks early, and 8 pounds 2 ounces, and zack was 1 week early and 8 pounds and 8 ounces. i had bleeding problems with my bigger babies. well, the girls and zack. more about that some other time.

well, off i go to clean my house. 20 things!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

between the laundry loads

cleaning challenge
i have been keeping up with the house work. this is a huge improvement for me. i won't say i have been keeping the house clean every day, but it is way more clean than it ever has been. i have been trying to do the 20 per room, but it takes me more than that to get my rooms clean. but it has been a starting point for me. what i mean to say is, i start with the 20, and look around and see i only have about 15 more things to pick's so much more managable for me. instead of looking around and seeing only chaos, i see a starting point. and i can use it for the kids too. i tell the little guys to pick up 5 things, and the bigger guys 10 or 20, so i can sweep or vaccum. it actually works. thanks martie for the starting point.

do you have an aldi near you? i love ours. i never ever thought i would hear myself sing their praises, but here i am! not that i didn't like them before, we never shopped there when i was a kid. my mom hit the big stores. my kids love their frozen pizza. it feeds atleast 3 or 4 of my kids (that's saying alot) and its only $1.99. yeah, that's right. i bought their brand of mac and cheese (mostly because the lunch crowd at my house loves mac and cheese) and found out that my kids and hubby like it better than kraft. they said it's cheesier. it was only $.29 when i was there yesterday. their milk is always almost a full dollar cheaper, and their eggs and bread are cheaper too. if you spend $100, you are coming out with a cart full of food.

i finally finished the pink afghan i was making for a friend of mine. her baby is only a month old. now i am trying to get one going for one of the family's that i watch. the mom is due the end of march, but doesn't think she'll make it that long. yeah, nothing like working with a shrinking deadline! this one is tough too. it is a granny square blanket, and has like over a hundred little squares. i have never made a granny square one before. i've made a couple big stitch sampler afghans that turned out really pretty, a lot of baby blankets (2 filet, ripple, shell, 2 sweet dreams, and a rose bud) and i've made a few other full size afghans, but the connecting of the granny squares together always scared me a little. this one is really cute though. i hope it turns out good. i plan on taking it on the cruise with me so i can work on it on the ride down and back..and any down time i get.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

i have been up to...

one week from tomorrow and we (meaning the hubby and i) are leaving for new orleans. then the following day, we leave on our cruise. let the countdown commence!

yesterday, (being friday) alex had a tournament basketball game at 9 pm against one of the other teams from his class. (there are actually 3 teams) tomorrow at 6pm, he plays against the other team from his class. this one for the championship. it's pretty cool seeing how competative these boys are on the court (and before the game), but after the game's over it's like all of the competativeness was left on the court. in fact 3 boys from our team went home with 3 boys from the other team. oh yeah, we had to play them again this morning. we lost that game.

grace played goalie in soccer today. atleast for the first half. well, playing goalie is what i like to call it...what she actually did was play in the net, twirled around, and danced a little. her team won. i think she may have touched the ball once as goalie. the second half she was out running the field.

haley has been a huge help with her younger sibs. she watched them for me most of the games. that way i can actually watch the games. she starts her games soon i think.

josh woke up this morning having one of his "it's not asthma" attacks. i had to give him a breathing treatment, and it cleared up pretty well. last time i took him into the dr's office, she told me it was croup. (not my dr, one of her partners) it's not. i know it's not. although, i'm not really wanting them to call it asthma either. he's fine now.

zack was running a low grade fever last night. it never went above 100.2. he never complained about anything. he just felt warm to me. i hope that's all it ends up being.

the hubby has sold 5 cars so far this month. for those who don't have husbands that sell cars, that is really good. really really good. especially when said hubby will be out of town for a week.

i have been keeping up with my cleaning. i seem to hit it every other day. i don't know why. i guess i just need to get into the swing of things first.

*rachel, with my kids, i always wiped for them. when they learn as young as 2 or young 3, it's hard for them to get themselves clean enough. atleast their behinds. that, and the fact my kids all have very chubby bottoms, and that makes it even harder for them to do a good job. usually around older 3 to 4 years is when they start doing for themselves all the time. atleast that's been my experience. i will let them try first, but usually they just make a bigger mess.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


ok, yesterday, i don't think i did a proper challenge post so here it is.
7 out of nine rooms i got atleast 20 things picked up...but i didn't do any sweeping.
one of those seven rooms was the little boys' room (my extra focus room) and the boys and i cleaned in there. it is better. not great. not even passable. but it is better than it was. we are going to work on it more today.

i haven't mentioned this earlier (only because i was afraid to jinx it), but zack is in the process of toilet training. well "in the process" sounds so formal. how about "my kid is going on the potty now"? sounds better. he still has accidents, and definitely needs help still, but he is consistently going in the toilet. can i get an "amen"? i was really scared he was going to be like 6 and still in diapers. i was also scared that the lack of a child in diapers would send me into a "i want a baby" tailspin...but so far so good. i don't know why i was so worried about him taking too long. he is only 2. well 2 years and almost 7 months, but who's counting? he's about the same age my other 2 boys were. the girls were way different. the month they turned 2, that was it. no diapers, not even at night. my first son, he showed some interest at 18 months...he would get out of the tub to go. i didn't push it though. now my little zack is in spiderman (or thomas, or cars, or scooby) underwear.
by the way, does anyone have a good way to get the pee smell out of couch cushions?
perhaps i will actually get some computer time this evening to post my challenge numbers.

i won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

promises are made to be broken, right?

well, if you remember my previous post on monday, i had promised to start on the little boys' room. well, i didn't. in fact, i didn't do a gosh darn thing yesterday. well, except vote...and picked up kids, and did recess duty for about 2 hours, and make lunch, oh yeah, and almost finished a blanket. but, i totally slacked off on cleaning.
today is another day. i decided that before i can go anywhere (playdate) we have to get some cleaning done. in fact, before the kids could eat breakfast (believe me, they aren't starving. they've been snacking all morning), they had to pick up all the toys in the lower level. that's the living room, kitchen, dining area, and hallway. sounds like alot, but it's basically one big room. they did a great job. they weren't too keen on the idea of having to pick up in the boys' room after breakfast...but if they wanted to go anywhere or do anything, they had to help. i didn't get it done. i think we are about half way there (oh oh, living on a prayer...sorry, bon jovi took over my body for a second). i am going thru stuff as we pick it up, and i am getting rid of a lot of toys and clothes. their room looked horrible when we a toy store ate a bunch of clothes and then threw it just looks bad. that's an improvement, right?
we have 2 basketball games this weekend, and an indoor soccer game. the basketball games are against the same team...alex's friends. the other school team. it should be a fun time. i actually like playing against them. i can root for both teams, and cheer them by name. except for the win/lose aspect of the game, it's the most fun.
i am so excited that jericho starts in a few days. i love that show. i know it's kind of gloom and doom...but skeet ulrich is so so hot. i know, that's not a good reason to watch a show. but he is seriously, seriously broodingly handsome. (did i just make up some words to describe his hotness? i think i did) perhaps i will come up with a good "sexy men i see on tv" post someday.
ok, time to get ready for the playdate.
i will update about my challenge numbers later.

Monday, February 4, 2008

martie's challenge

cleaning challenge:
kitchen: 20 (this includes wiping down the counters, sweeping, and a couple loads of dishes)
dining room: 20 (this includes taking out the extra chairs, sweeping, and spot cleaning all the chairs)
living room: 20 (this includes all the above, plus i made the kids pick up 5 things each)
hallways: 20 (this includes vaccuming and spot cleaning the floor)
upstairs bath: 10 that's it
main bath: 10 that's all that was need
master bedroom: didn't even think about it. it gives me hives just thinking about it.
master bath: 10 that's all it needed
my main focus room: ok, i didn't even start. i am still a little scared of it. but i will start tomorrow. i promise. really i do!
so i did all this, plus made lunch for 6 kids, and 3 adults, took kids to the bus stop, picked up one at the bus stop, picked up kids at school, and folded about 8 loads of laundry. (i just added this paragraph to make myself feel better about how i totally slacked off on my main focus room)
my personal goal is 20 items per room.
i have 9 (gulp) rooms.
my extra focus room is the little boys' room (yikes!)
i think the lbs' room will need extra attention all week. yes it is that bad.

what am i talking about? the cleaning challenge at martie's house at she had 9 kids and keeps a clean house. i only have 5 and my house looks like a tornado went thru it most of the time!

how 'bout that superbowl?! i was so excited to see the underdogs win. i don't know what it is, but tom brady really rubs me the wrong way. i don't know why. but peyton manning used to do the same thing to me. now i love the guy. i think it is all the commercials he does. he is so freakin' hilarious. congrats to the manning family! 2 superbowl champs!

both my girls have colds (please let it just be colds). they have the cough and runny noses, no fever and no stomache aches. we have been exposed to the flu. twice now actually. 2 different families that i watch have had it in the past month. (is it past or passed? i can never remember) i don't know why it would be only my girls that would get it though, it was the boys' friends that had it. we shall see.

2 weeks until we leave for our cruise! i'm getting excited, but nervous. my dad will be in florida. my step mom wants to take care of the kids for me. or at least the ones not in school. the only problem is that she is having foot surgery a week from this coming friday. she was stung by a sting ray the last time they were in florida. the venom didn't dissapate in her bloodstream, it formed a ball of infection in her foot. so now she has to have surgery to remove the infection. she said she can still watch the kids, and the only day she would need help is on wed when she goes back to work (hairstylist). i just hate doing that to her. my mother in law and sister in law also said they would help.

friday, my alex is doing the "stations of the cross" in church. he volunteered to do it. (huge)
he is playing barabas (i probably butchered the spelling). he is doing this in front of every one at church...and this is usually pretty packed. i am so proud of that kid. i don't think i would have been able to do it. i was a little more shy. that's one of the great things about our school. from kindergarten up, the kids are involved in speaking in front of church. it could be readings, or just saying a few petitions (prayer petitions), but they get up in front of everyone...and we have daily mass, so the kids get many opportunities.

Friday, February 1, 2008

hubby had a dream

unfortunately it wasn't as uplifting and inspirational as MLK jr's.
let me start this by saying, my husband has some very vivid dreams, and they usually don't make much sense. i think it's from the oxygen deprivation (i believe he suffers from sleep apnea).
anyway, he woke up this morning and hugged me tight and told me how much he loves me. not that he doesn't do this every single morning, but this morning it was a little more intense.
in his dream, he and i decided to split up. according to him, it was a mutual decision. it didn't take him long to realize how insignificant and worthless his life is without me. (hehehe) he wanted to tell me he changed his mind and wanted to make it work. he couldn't find me. i disappeared. he spent the rest of his dream searching for me.
it's funny, i thought after the split he would have looked at the house and realized how clean and neat his life is without me. apparently he loves the chaos that is me!

today was a snow day. the kids were all out of school. i ended up with around 18 people for lunch...that includes myself and my sister in law and her 2 kids. (not the one that gave us the dog) if you do the math, i had a total of 14 kids in my care. that includes my five. my house was loud all day. it is cold in here still, and i am supposed to be getting it cleaned up for the superbowl party we are having. will this be possible? your guess is as good as mine. i am usually a pressure cleaner. ie, i clean right before people are supposed to show up. so i will be crazy tomorrow. today, i am going to play cards with all the in-laws. hubby is working late, and his family is playing texas hold'em. hubby is not really into playing cards. his family is pretty competative. we have a good time though. we laugh alot. usually at someones expense, but all in good fun.

i am totally snowed in. i love my 12 passenger van, but it sucks in the snow. any more than an inch of the white stuff and i am stuck in the house until it melts. last time it snowed about 4 inches, i was stuck for about a week...even though the snow had melted on the 3rd day. we live on a gravel driveway and when the snow packs into the rocks it turns to ice. everyone else can get around in their 4 wheel drive vehicles, and i am stuck at home with my red short-bus.

enjoy your weekend and GO GIANTS!!!