Tuesday, January 27, 2009

i am really starting to hate the snow. another f'ing snow day. another day with a house full of kids that can't even go outside to play and burn off energy. no, i just get to listen to them fight and argue because there is nothing for them to do.

my kids actually spent the night out last night. my step-mom brought them home this morning. hubby got off work at a decent hour, so we had a night of fun.

no, not that kind of fun. aunt flo saw to that.

we went to the mall. i haven't been there in at least a year...maybe longer. we got josh a birthday present, tried to get some monster jam tickets, went to the pet store (i know it's not P.C. to like them but i can't help it), and we ate at sbarro's (yum!), and then we went and saw the newest eastwood flick.

let me just say, i love clint. even though i am "technically" young enough to be his (grand)daughter i think he's sexy as all get out. i know people have said he always plays the same type of character. that's ok with me. he has it down. total badass, with a slight bit of hero-shine. in this movie, he plays a believable old guy that could still kick ass. (made me think of my grandpa...he's that guy) my hubby and i cracked up at some of the movie, winced at some of it, and i almost cried at the end. ( i HATE to cry and do anything not to.) there is definite unexpected plot twists, and the kids that play his neighbors were great. i don't know why they got flack on not being "real" actors. they were WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY better than sandra locke. you remember that chick that was in a lot of eastwood's movies because he was dating her...then she sued him saying he ruined her career because she was only in his movies. newsflash lady, you weren't any good! at least not on the screen. clint must have seen something, but we sure as heck didn't!
anyway, i really liked it. hubby really liked it. the 2 other people in the theater liked it (i think). so if you dig eastwood, go see it!

off to yell at some more kids and check on my veggie soup!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

10 years ago today...

it's amazing to think that at 12:30 in the morning, 10 years ago, my water broke and we left for the hospital.

it's also amazing to think that haley was almost 2 full weeks early, and an ounce shy of 9 pounds. (just like i told the doctor)

she had rolls on her thighs. it's unbelievable how cute those little rolls were.

i remember our nurse, a little bit of a woman all of 4 feet 10 (maybe), telling me not to "worry" about her being "too big" because she was her mom's biggest baby at 9 and a half pounds. she didn't know the genes haley had gotten. now that you are 5 feet 1 and 95 pounds...with a size 10 shoe.

she walked the day she turned 9 months. october 22nd to be exact. how do i remember? well, because she is the ONLY ONE I DIDN'T WITNESS TAKE THOSE FIRST REAL STEPS!! we had a wedding or something to go to, and so she and alex stayed with my sister-in-law...the next day she says "why didn't you tell me she was walking?" um, because she wasn't. i knew she was close, she walked around the furniture barely touching it, but she didn't have the confidence to just "walk". until she went to aunt debbie's anyway.

i was so worried about her going to school. girls can be so catty..and (not that i'm biased or anything) she is just so gosh darn beautiful. and nice. but a touch on the goofy side. i was worried about her getting bullied. little did i realize how much confidence she has. if someone was mean, she told them exactly where they could put their opinions. my darling girl did not get this from me. i am so glad she has such a strong backbone, and knows how to make good friends.

she has such great choices in friends. not that she isn't nice to everyone. but the girls she is close to are really great kids. they have really great families.

she has a strong backbone, but a soft heart. i L.O.V.E seeing her encouraging other kids when they are struggling. nothing compares to witnessing the compassion in her heart.

she is so incredibly smart. i feel bad because i didn't see it. not that i didn't think she was smart, but she was/is a little dingy. that's ok, it's just her personality. the intelligence she has is staggering. she reads books that are 600+ pages. i love reading, but i was a lot older before i read books with that many pages. like high school, not 4th grade. she is doing 5th grade math...and it's easy to her. she's doing better than my nephew who is in 5th grade.

this kid loves animals. she rarely complains about doing her chores like feeding or giving water to whatever animal i tell her to. she is the one kid that i could see giving a puppy to.

in case you can't tell, i love this kid. she has such an amazing mind and personality and heart. i have been so blessed with having such an great kid.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

as i sit here finishing up my lunch (a ham, bacon, cheddar cheese and cream cheese wrap...affectionately known as heart attack on a flour tortilla), i was thinking about all the things i have done lately, and all the things that are coming up.

this weekend was spent traveling to a town about 45 minutes away. every. single. day. on friday, haley had a tournament game there at 7. her coach picked her up and drove her there because there was no way i would be there early enough for her to warm up. they won that game. the coach's daughter spent the night with us, and then haley spent the afternoon with them while i went to alex's game, then they met me there. then alex and haley both had regular season games in the same town. so saturday was spent there. alex's game was a mess. the boys weren't playing their best, but the officiating was horrendous. we had boys getting smacked and elbowed in the face, in front of refs and parents, and no calls made. even the parents from the other team were upset at it. no one wants to win that way because when you don't call a fair game, it makes your team look weak. so they lost. haley's team won by more than 10 points. they played a really tough team on sunday (second tournament game). this game, we knew, was going to be tough. they are a very talented bunch of girls. one girl in particular was a monster. she's fast and aggressive...but fouled out because she let her emotions get the best of her and didn't keep herself in check. we won that game by more than i thought. hubby's cousin's little girl was on the other team, so we sat with them during the game. talk about awkward! but we cheered for both kids, and had a good time talking about how the families are. this was the first game we were held to 3 pts in the first half...and they only had 2. i think it ended up being 16 to 4 (most of our points were scored after that girl fouled out or because of her fouls). haley had 4 points in that game, and 12 on saturday. she is at least 2 or 3 inches taller than most of the other kids. her games had different refs than alex's. i don't know why they would put adults out to ref 4th grade girls and kids to ref 6th grade boys, but oh well.

we celebrated my girls birthdays and my sister's 29th birthday. haley's birthday is this thursday. it's hard to believe she's going to be 10. it's even harder to believe that 10 is also her shoe size! YIKES! i sure hope that means she's going to be tall, and not some clown footed freak. oh, i kid! so i will have a post on her coming soon.

my boys spent all weekend at my dad's house. it was much easier than dragging them to games all weekend. and we were going there anyway on sunday. haley spent the night there on sat and sun nights. grace went to a birthday slumber party on saturday night, and then had 2 of my nieces spend the night sunday night.

i got rid of 4 roosters on monday. thank you craigslist! a guy sent his son to pick them up and we are now down to 11 chickens...and 2 too many roosters. though i can't convince josh or haley of it. i asked josh if he would take money for his rooster, and his eyes started welling up...and i was all "bud, i'm just asking, i'm not going to make you!" oh and we now have a cute little black and white girl kitty.

our 8th graders from school are in washington d.c. this week for the annual pro-life trip. what a bad week for that. it has got to be crazy up there right now...not to mention not exactly pro-life friendly. and 4 years from now, it will be my haley going to d.c. hubby and i already had a talk. neither of us has been there yet, so we are taking turns. i can't wait for alex's teacher to get back (she went with her daughter) so we can all hear about the trip. i guess that would be the deciding factor of whether or not i would want to go with haley...or send hubby instead.

well, i am off to take care of my waking babies!
well i finally did it.

i made laundry detergent all by myself.

thanks to lacy, and her fantastic recipe for liquid laundry detergent, i finally felt capable. well that and i finally found the washing soda i have been searching stores for during the last month or so. turns out shop n save carries it. unbelievable! i had been searching all these other stores (farm supply stores and walmart) and the grocery store has it.

anyway, it is so so so very easy. lacy's instructions are so easy to follow. if you think it's something you want to try, check out her post (link is at the bottom of this post) and seriously give it a try. i couldn't find the bar soap she recommended, so i used another brand that said it was all natural. i couldn't find it without scent so i picked the scent i liked best and it has worked beautifully.


oh, yeah, we have another cat. i snuck out last night and brought smoke a new friend. her name is sammy and she is a beautiful black and white cat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

my oldest asked me the other day if he had to participate in a math competition. i guess it's something all the local catholic grade schools do. grades 6 through 8 get to answer questions and compete (if you are in 8th grade) for scholarships to the catholic high school. sure you can i said. let me know when it is and i'll be there.

i guess i missed the intention of his question. he doesn't want to do it. all he would tell us is he "just doesn't want to do it". so we kept pressing and finally he said he just doesn't like being the center of the attention.

i don't believe that for a second. if he issues with that, we would have seen that in other things like shooting free throws after a penalty in basketball, or batting in baseball...i think he is afraid of not being "smart", or maybe being too smart. i think he's scared of being considered dumb, so he just sits back and does the little that he has to to get by.

then haley chimed in with how she and alex were both in the spelling bee...and neither of them wants to do that well. well enough, but not so well that they have to compete on a larger level. i don't get it. they are so competitive against each other...and in sports...but when it comes to academics, they want to sit back and watch.

this is the exact OPPOSITE of what i've been trying to instill in them. i love that they enjoy playing sports and all, but learning is WAY WAY WAY more important. i have extremely intelligent children and i want them to be smart. i want them to know they are smart and be confident in it. what am i doing wrong?

hubby told alex if he wants to play baseball in the summer, he better compete at the math competition. not sure i agree with that. i want him to actually want to do well. not be forced into it. i tried to tell him if he wanted any chance of going to the local catholic high school that he has to do well with these things and try for scholarships. we don't have an extra 7 or 8 grand just lying around to spend on one year of school for him. i don't want to add lots of pressure either.

i understand that it's hard to get up in front of people like that and compete. been there done that. i didn't like it either. i still have a hard time in front of people. my face gets bright red and hot. i lose my train of thought. my hands shake. and on rare occasions i break into a rash. it's not a pretty picture. i don't want them to be like that. i want them to be comfortable in front of groups. that's why i am totally for the kids reading in front of church. which is basically the whole school. they get to see everyone makes mistakes during their readings...everyone messes up once and a while.

i just wish i knew what the right thing to do is.

Monday, January 12, 2009

miracle monday

well, i'm a little late, but here it is...

on december 24 of '07, my nephew had a horrific car accident. he was driving his car too fast, and of the 3 kids in the car, one had no injuries to speak of, one died, and my nephew had a broken neck, and a fractured skull with major brain trauma. we spent the entire holiday and several days just praying for him to live...and several weeks praying for him to not be paralyzed and months praying for him not to have have major memory loss or loss of brain function. he was a brilliant kid. he was a gifted athlete. we were hoping and praying that we wouldn't be saying "was" for ever.

fast forward to today...he is in college going for a degree in engineering. he is walking and has no major issues from his accident. (aside from some weight loss that he is trying to gain back still) he has had some battles with depressions, and with adjusting, but he is doing well now.

it's so hard to believe he has come so far in such a short time.!

note to self

seriously consider the ramifications of teaching a 4 year old about calling 9-1-1.

you would think that the child in question, being the 4th kid, well, i should have it down by now. but i didn't. and i was a tad surprised when i picked up the phone (after he slammed it down) to hear a 9-1-1 operator asking if there was a problem.

we had a nice little discussion...

which ended with him in the corner...

for quite a while...

and he actually fell asleep there.

i don't think he'll be doing that again.

at least not any time soon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

wrap that hoe in a towel...

or how i got spaghetti sauce off of the porch ceiling.

how'd i manage to get spaghetti sauce there? well, i was throwing a couple of leftover meatballs to the cat...and it was cold outside...and he is always trying to get in the door...so i tossed them out the door. unfortunately i was trying for some distance...and well, the balls hit the ceiling and then rolled off the porch.

it's been like that for a couple of days.

man it was cold outside. i'm not going to try to get frozen spaghetti sauce off the porch ceiling!

today it's actually kinda nice out. so i figured i'd get to that sauce, you know, before the hubby sees it and goes ballistic.

but i don't have a ladder, and the chairs outside left me about 2 feet shy of touching, so i sprayed it with some cleaner from the chair, and got out the good ol' hoe from the garage and wrapped it in a wet towel and went to work. and it worked...for the most part. it got most of the sauce off. then i came inside, instructed my 4year old on how to dial 9-1-1 in case mommy falls, and took a bar stool out and finished the job. it worked well. and i didn't fall.

but i came close when i heard my boy repeating 9-1-1 over and over under his breath.

so lesson learned! no more going for distance!

seven today

my grace is 7 today. it's hard to believe that the little 9lb 2oz baby i brought home is now a 65lb 7 year old that is taller and prettier than i ever hoped. and smart.
man is she smart. she's a bit of a ditz, and because of that, i didn't realize how truly intelligent she is. (i seem to under estimate my girls for some reason)
she has a kind heart, except on the soccer field...there she's a monster!
she may not be the most graceful child, but she's more than i ever was! she does cartwheels through the house, and enjoys sitting on her head on the couch. yeah, i know, she's totally weird.
she is a math whiz, and loves reading as much as i do. i love having kids that i can share that with.
she's not much for animals though. i don't see her wanting to raise a pig. she doesn't even like taking care of the cat!
she wants to be a babysitter like me. which gives me conflicted feelings...it makes my heart sing because she wants to be like me...and yet, i want her to be her own person...and if her own person means a college graduate with a home, husband and kids that she can stay home with without too much of a strain, eh well that's ok too.
this kid is the biggest baby...and by that i mean she still wants to sit in our laps and wants to be carried...unfortunately she's 65 lbs, and i just can't do it anymore.
she's growing up before my eyes and it's scary! even if i complain about her whiny tone of voice, i'm going to miss it when she grows out of it (if she ever outgrows it).
she likes american girl dolls, webkinz, the jonas brothers, hannah montana, zack and cody, and all those tween shows on disney and nick.
she has crushes on boys already (YIKES)
i can't believe it's been seven years since you entered this world.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

here i sit at 10 o'clock on thursday night baking brownies and totally mis-spelling every other word. no joke! i am soooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo exhausted! i'm not exactly sure why i am so tired. sure it could have something to do with the fact that i am getting myself (and kids) used to the "back to school" schedule. or it could have something to do with the fact my youngest ran a fever for 4 days (one night it got to 104.6 folks!) and i was up a lot making sure he was ok and comfortable or i was waking up sweating because my little oven boy had crawled into bed with me. that could be why, but i think it has to do with the fact that i had to read this book. no i am not kidding. i seriously think i have a real problem. perhaps i should join a "compulsive book-readers anonymous" group. if a book is, say, 350 pages or less, i must read it to the end. how is that a problem? well, when i say "read to the end" i mean i don't do anything else. kids are hungry? fix yourself something to read, can't you see mommy's got a book? i don't eat, drink, talk, go to the bathroom, whatever, until the book is done. and if i get interrupted? whoa, watch out! i am a raging bitch. after my oldest was born, i stopped reading for several years. it was tough. but i couldn't get into a book and forget about everything but the book when i have a little bitty one around.

ok, that was last night. i am not changing it. that's me, totally exhausted and jonesing for the next book in the series i just started. i just read Dead until Dark by charlaine harris. um, totally awesome! i have been thinking about this book and have even re-read it. it's the story that the HBO show Trueblood is based on. i so wish i had hbo again. well, that and the new season of Big Love is starting soon. i hope it comes out on dvd, then i can rent it at blockbuster. i have heard a lot of good things about it.

i know you probably are thinking i'm a total vampire freak. no, i'm not. i love a good scary book/movie/show. of course i happen to like monster/supernatural stuff more because i can tell myself it's not real. i get too freaked out by psychological thrillers. if it's about some freak serial killer, um i don't care for it as much. well, i won't say i don't like them...because i do. i just get more scared now that i have kids and things like that could really happen. i love a good stephen king book...or dean koontz....or anne rice....and now charlaine harris.

i am waiting for the library to get the next book in. can you believe some one has the audacity to check out the book that i want to read? i may have to wait until sometime towards the end of january before i can read the next one! ahhh.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

well, the youngest has pneumonia. yes i know what a horrible mom i must be...my mom and mil have called me a couple of times each in the first 24 hours of finding out he has a very mild case...like he's on a regular antibiotic that the rest of the kids have been on for things from ear infections to strep throat. so please forgive me for not totally freaking out and crying and lamenting on how i am the most horrible mom ever. i mean, if i did that when only one of my kids has ever had it...well, what would that say about my sister in law (both of her kids have it at least once every single year). i don't want to cast dispersions, or make it sound like i don't care, but he has a cough...he had a fever all weekend (started monday and ended 3 hours after his first dose of antibiotics) and is now coughing a little more, but i figure that's a good thing.

and he is yelling for me right now to wipe his butt. i love being a mom.

ok, i'm back. he's doing so much better. he's back to his old self...and i am so happy. well, i am off to fix some lunch and take care of some kiddos!

Monday, January 5, 2009

well, we are down to 15 chickens. i gave away the big white ameraucana rooster. the lady that took him asked me if i was sure...he was beautiful and she was planning on showing him...uh, yeah...he tried to spur my 12 year old in the face...can't have a bird that's like that. i have too many little kids around to have that kind of aggressive bird around. she is our project leader in poultry. she said we may find that we have problems with whoever steps up to the top of the pecking order. she also recommended that i "get rid" of all but one rooster. that means the 5 of the 6 roosters we have left. well, haley wasn't too happy...and josh cried for about 20 minutes...until i told them that i wouldn't "get rid" of their roosters...yet. haley's rooster she has eating out of her hand...but he pecks everyone's hands when he comes close to you now. he's a nice looking rhode island red (well except that his comb isn't perfect), so if you know anyone that would like a nice rooster...let me know. josh's is a beautiful ameraucana rooster. but he's not a solid color so he can't be shown. he's a beautiful white with black splashes. he's actually pretty nice too. i mean if my 4 year old can pick him up and hold him in his lap and pet him? he's got to be pretty good. as for the other roosters? they are all polish crested. not much meat to them. i'm not sure what to do with them. i would like some whole chickens for cooking, but i don't know if they would be worth it. haley's and josh's would be, but i don't know that i can do that to them right now.

i had the kids put the chickens out the other day. it was really pretty out and i thought they would like getting out. they did. of course the kids were all gone and i looked up and saw it was dark...and the chickens were still out. so i got my coat, grabbed a bucket of feed, and went out to bring in the chickens. they were all huddled in the corner..but i heard a rustle in the opposite corner. so i went over to make sure it wasn't one of the darker ones hiding in the dark corner...nope, it wasn't. then i saw movement at the top of the pen...it was an opossum. well, it took me a couple of seconds to react, well, correctly. at first i was going to grab it by it's tail and look at it a little closer (not a smart move). i stopped myself, held the bucket in both my hands and hit that little sucker as hard as i could off the top of the pen (without spilling the food).

*question: do opossums eat chickens? i mean like pretty much full grown chickens? i could see them getting some chicks, but they are more scavengers than hunters (i think). *

it was pretty funny though. i told my hubby about it and he gave me a hard time about it. "what if it was a mom with babies in her pouch?" "maybe you should go look and see if you knocked any out when you hit her". no no, dear reader, he isn't really worried about that little creature. he just knows that they are one of my favorite animals, and was surprised i was so protective of the chickens i guess. or he just likes giving me a hard time. yeah, i think that's more like it.

now we are ordering more chicks from http://www.ideal-poultry.com/ (thanks jayedee). we are getting some quail belgian d'anver bantams, and some buckeyes. please don't tell the hubby! he's wasn't too happy when i said something about getting some different ones. so i figure when they get here in march, he should have forgotten by then.

good pic of the bantams here http://www.waidinmiki.com/Ryan/Ryan.html

good pic of the buckeyes here http://www.mypetchicken.com/images/product_images/Large/buckeye-bc.jpg

now i'm not a huge fan of the buckeyes. they don't look very cool to me. i really tried to talk him into getting some black australorps. they are really pretty with shiny black feathers. http://www.mypetchicken.com/images/ChickenPix/medium/FRE_AstlrpCk_1_M.jpg
but he's raising them, so i'm trying to let him choose. i tried to talk him into the japanese bantams too. http://www.freewebs.com/professorchickensbreeds/japwheatenpair.jpg. well, i hope he does well with them.

i have to go. zack is going to the doctor today. he's been running a fever since friday, with a cough and runny nose...oh and throwing up a couple of times too. saturday night his fever was 104.6...and it only went down to 104.2 an hour after his dose of motrin. i had to put him in the tub to get it down. talk about freaking me out. i hate it when they get sick! especially when we haven't gotten the new insurance card yet. we have insurance, they just haven't sent our card to us yet.

Friday, January 2, 2009

happy new year to all of you!

how did we celebrate? well, hubby worked until like 9 because for some strange reason all kinds of people want to enter the new year with cars that work and new tires and stuff. my brother came out and hung out with us at my in-law's house. he even spent the night...although i don't think he will be doing it again any time soon. something about trying to sleep on the couch with 4 kids one of which is so WIDE AWAKE he keeps asking you if you "want to watch this movie" or "uncle chris, you have to see this part!". all night long folks. i took him home at around 10 so he could actually sleep. it was really nice having him around.

my 4h meetings went well. there isn't much to say about the swine meeting...i have one other kid in there with my haley. it's funny...they are the same age and have the same last name...and yet are not related at all. now what's really funny is that this other little girl has the name we actually had talked about for our haley. anyway, we talked about what to expect with their pigs, how to choose, what they would need to do...most of it was stuff she could find out from her dad (his family raised pigs when he was younger).

the crochet meeting went well. i had 3 girls, and 2 of their moms stayed to help me. thank goodness. they needed some help! i wasn't sure how much they would know before the meeting...but i had to show them how to do it all. it made me a little self-conscious because apparently i hold my hook completely different than anyone else. i hold it like a pencil. none of the other moms did. and the 2 girls that had a little (i mean very little) experience were getting confused by the way i explained how to do it. i don't know, by the end of the hour, they were getting the hang of it. they each had projects they wanted to start...and i don't know if they were ready for it or not, but 2 of them started them. the other girl was still trying to get the hang of it. i think once she gets it, she's going to do really well.

well, i have high hopes for '09. i don't make resolutions anymore...i don't keep them. so i'm just going to make plans. plans for a bigger garden this year, plans for teaching my 4h groups, plans for our family...you know, hopes for a better year.

hope you all had a great 2008, and an even better 2009!