Wednesday, March 30, 2011

~Words to the Wise, Wednesdays~

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.  ~Author unknown, variation of an excerpt from "The Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Neibuhr

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hallelujer Hallelujer!!!....Picture day is over!!!

Every year, for the past eleven years, around this time of year it gets really tense around our house.  We are making mental checklists making sure we have everything that we need for every dance that Sadie Bug's been in for this particular day....PICTURE DAY.  Except this year it was a little different, we added a new dancer to the mix.  Little Lulee started dance this year in the preschool tap and ballet class.  She is following in the footsteps of her big sister.  She looks up to Sadie, as Brynlea looks up to both Lulee and Sadie.  Pretty soon Brynlea will be dancing right along with her sisters keeping the family tradition going. :)

Tonight and the preparation for tonight was hectic to say the least.  I don't know if it was the excitement of it all, costume changes and hairstyle changes for Lulee or what, but she really was ready to go home before the shooting of the first photo, and there were five that she had to get made....two individuals, two groups and one with her and Sadie.

Lulee showed out and did not want to smile for any of the pictures after the first one.  We had just eaten before we got there and she started begging me for food.  After a couple of shots were made I got her some food and then low and behold if she wasn't begging me for some more.  I was about to send her to Sonic, get her loaded up on a Coney Dog and Tots and then maybe her tapeworm might be satisfied for a minute. ;)

It was tough for her to hang in there that long for all those pictures, through all the hairspray fog and starving like her stomach was gnawing on her backbone, but all the pictures turned out really pretty and the photographer got a smile out of her for each of them.  Maybe not the first time he tried, but he's an awesome photographer and he managed a smile out of all the girls. Brynlea did pretty good as well, she was wheeled around in her stroller for the most part, a friend held her for a little while, she ate and then she fell asleep.  She had a pretty good night, all in all. ;)

The picture that I'm the most proud of, is the picture that Lulee and Sadie had made together.  I remember Sadie begging for a baby sister since she was the age of two and she finally got her sister when she was 11.  She started dancing when she was four, Lulee's age now.  It is really sentimental, for me, this year seeing them both in dance at the same place that Sadie started at Lulee's age.  Not only that, but they are doing a duo together, a sister dance....something that I never thought I'd be able to enjoy watching Sadie do with her sister, having such a big age difference between the two.  It is going to be a very special recital this year seeing the two of them do their dance together....one just starting and one nearing the end of her dancing.

I took some pictures of them getting ready in their costumes tonight, but unfortunately, I got a message that the memory card was locked and I had no idea how to fix it.....so no pics to go along with this post, but definitely soon...of their recital :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

T.G.I.F. can be underated.....

Yesterday, our Friday was full of errands and to be honest, felt more like a Monday to me.

er·rand : a short and quick trip to accomplish a specific purpose, as to buy something, deliver a package, or convey a message, often for someone else.

Why don't you call it like it really is......mini road trips that may last half a day if not all day long, and may consist of major amounts of drama.


I started my morning out as I normally do, taking my Sadie Bug to her bus stop, spending that little morning time with her, that's just mine and her time. Then back to the house to get the kiddos, myself and the puppy ready for our first mini road trip.

We arrive at the vet's office for our newest furry baby Chloe's last round of shots and have to sit in the waiting area....where they have kindly placed a gorgeous feline that is up for adoption right there for every child, especially mine, to see. My sweet 4 year old wanted this cat so bad. She harassed me the entire vet visit...she also did not feel the need to sit still as I struggled to hold our youngest child Brynlea and Chloe. She also felt like it was her duty to scream as loud as she could to let everyone know just HOW BAD she NEEDED this cat....."Mama, you don't have to do anything, but give it water, it will be mine, all mine!!!!!" This sweet child had more energy and more lung capability than all the puppies combined in this clinic. ;) She begged me for at least an hour to take this kitty home. I was very consistent with my answers, "NO, NO and NO!!!"

So the visit was finally over, THANK GOD!!! and we are heading to the front to pay, as I am still struggling holding little
Brynlea, Chloe in her carrier and Lulee's hand so she won't run off to pet everybody's dog, cat, and anything else that came in. We finally got checked out and as I instruct her every time, I told Lulee yet again, "Do not run in the parking lot, you could get hurt. There are other vehicles that will be coming in and going out. Stay with me." I hold her hand and everybody else all the way to the S.U.V. I put Chloe with her carrier in the front seat and I instruct Lulee to stay right by my leg as I put her sister in her car seat. As I have Brynlea half way buckled in Lulee starts to take off. I'm stuck in a predicament now. I can't grab Brynlea because she is partially buckled in, I can't leave her, she will fall out and end up on the pavement.

As I am screaming for
Lulee to come back to me, this man across the parking lot sees what is happening and points to where she is. She is completely on the other side of the vehicle with a truck coming in ON HER SIDE!!!! I finally have Brynlea fastened in and run over to where Lulee is, who thinks it's a game. I am screaming at this point...."Don't ever run away, we talked about this, don't you know what could have happened to you???.....on and on and on.....yada, yada, yada and you are going to be punished!!!!" She finally sees that I'm serious now and she is crying. As we are driving down the road, she starts sobbing and says in between the sobs "Mom, please don't banish me!!!!" I have to calm her down and explain that I'm not going to banish her, ha-ha!!! I'm punishing her, no t.v. for the day.

Then we finally get home, it felt like the longest drive home EVER, and we dropped Chloe off and then we took off again. We went on another mini road trip to get some fish from Captain D's for our Fish for Friday's during Lent. Then for another trip on over to the bank.....moving right along on over to
Lulee's preschool to pick up her spring pictures and her lunch box we forgot the other day.

Finally, the last trip we took was the trip going home and let me tell you, that was the best trip ever and I was so glad to be home!!!! We took a nap and relaxed and the bad part of the day faded away. Later on that night, we had the best time playing games together and just enjoying the rest of our night.

Yes this week, I think I would've rather have had two Mondays. ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's the little things that count...

Sometimes, or in our case, most of the time we are so busy taking the kids here and there, to and from the activities that they are involved in, along with trying to juggle their social schedules and even possibly squeezing in some adult socialization for us parental units, as well. ;) Sometimes it gets so hectic we forget whether we are coming or going, we forget to take the time to slow down and notice the small things in life that make us the happiest.

The kiddos have been sick for a little while. Both of the little ones have respiratory type viruses and the youngest one has an ear infection on top of it. So for a few days we've pretty much been housebound. I did, however, since she WAS fever-free for over 24 hours, let Lulee attend preschool yesterday. They both are still coughing, hacking and snotting everywhere.....but they have been so good about not really being able to go places. Lulee has asked to go to the park and she understands at this time, she is not able to. Once they are feeling better, it's on like Donkey Kong!!!.....We're talking parks, Barbie jeep rides, Greenway trails, the mall, you name it Baby!!!...Watch out.......we will be OUT and ABOUT!!!!

Today, I have enjoyed hearing the laughter from my children, seeing their sweet smiles, seeing the look of love in their eyes, the kind of look that says "thank you for taking care of me" without saying a word. I have shared special moments with each of them today and it's been one of those......"grab you by your heartstrings" kind of day.

I watch my oldest as she drives us to her school this morning. As she walks into the school's entrance these thoughts come across my mind...she is at the end of her sophomore year, with only two years left, knowing she is then out there in the world starting her journey into adulthood. I'm proud, yet I worry...I'm so happy to have the awesome time that we share together, yet I want more time with her being young. I am so amazed at the young lady she has become. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she is beautiful on the inside. She has a wonderful since of humor and she makes great grades...she's got the complete package. I want to make sure to maintain a healthy awesome relationship with her throughout her teen years and on into adulthood.

As I watch our middle child, she is like a little sponge soaking up all the knowledge she possibly can and as fast as she can, learning from her older sister, from us, her family, preschool, church, t.v. She is so smart. I actually keep a word document full of conversations with her. She amazes me, but on top of her being so smart and how she impresses me and amazes me on a daily basis, she displays the best manners I have ever seen from a child her age. Such a tender and loving child she is.

I watch our youngest, full of excitement as she learns about this new world around her. Her face lights up with amazement and laughter over the simplest things. I love it. She is our last baby and I cling on to each sweet sentimental thing that she does. She is so loving as well, she will give you lots of hugs and kissies and will kiss her babies too. She's just so precious. And as I catch her watching me and Hubby out of the corner of my eye, it is such an amazing feeling knowing that she is watching us, learning from us, wants our approval and even at 14 months of age, she desires for us to show her how proud we are of her by just a little smile, wink of our eyes or clapping of our hands.

No matter how hectic and busy your life gets, you must stop and take time to smell the roses or in my case today pick some weeds.....those beautiful purple ones that look like flowers. I picked them for Lulee and she loved them so much. Just the look in her eyes made my heart smile. She said "Mom thank you so much for these lovely flowers" I said "I wanted to pick the beautiful flowers for my sweet and beautiful girl." I put them in a vase for her and she was so proud.....it's the little things. :)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

~Words to the Wise, Wednesdays~







“A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reorganizing ~ One of my favorite things to do~Really!!!!

During the Lenten Season, it is a time to renew and cleanse our minds, body and souls. I have been trying to do that more and more. I've been reading the family our books that were given to us by the church and trying to pray more. I had set a plan of staying off Facebook for long periods of time and doing random acts of kindness throughout Lent. It was a little harder than I thought to get on Facebook and just get off. Once I was one there.....I was on there for a while and did not realize where the time had gone. Needless, to say it was time to reevaluate my plan, so I decided since the temptation was too great, I gave up FB altogether throughout the whole Lenten season and will not be back on it until Easter. I have even asked my smart, savvy, IT Hubby to disable the connection so I will not be able to get on it at all. That will be a long time, but it is definitely worth it. Now I will be able to get things done that I need to get done, spend time with my family and focus more on my "God time."

That being said, along with it being a time to renew and cleanse the mind, body and soul, it is also time for Spring cleaning. A time to renew and cleanse my house!!! Reorganizing and getting everything in tip-top shape is very refreshing and it gives me the ultimate feeling of accomplishment. I love this time of year. I love to clean and I love to throw away!!! I also love to neatly organize the articles of clothing that the smallest child will be able to wear in a couple of years in a clearly labeled, tightly sealed bin that gets put in the attic. When the bin is opened each season....it's just like Christmas going through it all!!!

We started this Spring cleaning by washing all the "new to us" clothing that we purchased at the Kid's Market. I put them all on the chair and couch of the living room until I was able to make room for them in their closet by taking out all the fall/winter clothing out. I cannot describe to you how much pleasure this gives me!!! Anyway, after the clothes were washed, Hubby, the kiddos and I hit the half off ribbon sale at Hobby Lobby so I could make hairbows for all the new outfits. I make them for my girls and I also sell them. It is a passion of mine and very therapeutic as well.

After getting all the Spring items washed and ribbons matched up to make hairbows.....into the younger two girls' closet I went. I had to pull all the Fall/Winter stuff out to make room for the Spring/Summer. Thankfully, at the last Kid's Market sale, which they do seasonally, we had purchased several items for Lulee our soon to be 5 yr. old, that she will be able to wear next year's Fall/Winter. So we are set.....and I love the fact that these items will be worn yet again, by our youngest child, Brynlea, who just turned 14 months!!! The price for two children's wardrobes this Spring with one going to be able to be worn twice was a total of 40 something bucks!!!!! Not bad huh?!?!


Up above are the clothes pulled out of the closet that were too small, but Brynlea will be able to use in a couple of years.




These are clothes that Lulee will be able to use next Fall/Winter.


I organized all the drawers.....they have a trundle bed that has drawers for storage underneath and I put Lulee's pajamas in the first drawer, shorts in the middle and she and Brynlea's shoes in the last drawer. We also have the dresser put in the closet sideways to make more space in the room and I reorganized all those drawers as well.

This picture was not rotated on my camera or even when I went to select it, however it chose, own its own to rotate and I am unable to fix it. Don't you hate when that happens??? I do!!!


After putting everything on hangers and getting everything just right.....the cleansing and renewing had taken place.....at least in the younger girls' room.


Here is the newly organized closet. Lulee's clothing on top, Brynlea's on bottom. Lulee is growing like a weed, soon her's will be on the bottom and Brynlea's switched to the top.




Here are all the hairbows I have made them, minus a couple that have gone M.I.A. They are on the inside wall of the closet above the dresser. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to put the other ones that I make. May have to start filling up the wall on the other side. ;)



Here are all the Lulee's dance outfits that are hung
up on the right side of the closet all together so they
are very easy to find.


Now I have to move on to Mine and Ryan's and help Sadie, our oldest daughter who is 15 if she wants help....probably not, but I do love doing it. :) Then last, but not least I will do all of our storage closets, game/linen closet, towel/toiletry closet. Fun, fun, fun!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.

In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy.

As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


The Definition of Lent

Lent in the Catholic tradition, is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the Canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan. Thus, Lent is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently.

This practice is common to much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans.


I hate that my family and I were not able to go and receive the ashes today, but we will be following the prayer and the Lenten season.

I, myself, am planning on praying more to become closer to God and I also plan to do more pay it forward acts of kindness. I also intend on giving up being on Facebook for long periods of time to be able to accomplish these goals of prayer, acts of kindness and to spend more quality time with my family as well.

What are you planning on doing more of or giving up for Lent?


*everything written in this post was looked up online and taken word for word from reputable sources. I just wanted to spread the meaning of Ash Wednesday and Lent to those that do not know about it.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Last Day of My Facebook Sabbatical

Day 4 and last Day!!! : Today was an awesome day; however I am glad that it is my last day of the sabbatical and I'm proud to say "I MADE IT!!!" I actually followed through with the challenge that I made for myself. My willpower stayed strong and won!!!! To those of you who didn't think I could do it, I was secretly on your side at first. I didn't think I'd make it either, but I did and that's all that matters.

Today was another one of THOSE kind of days that actually provided a great distraction for me. This week has been full of them....Some good, some bad, some not so bad and today, sooo awesome!!!

This morning I was given the opportunity to read to Lulee's preschool class in honor of Dr. Seuss week. I dressed up as the Cat in The Hat and dressed Lulee and her baby sister Brynlea up as Thing 1 and Thing 2. I got them both red shirts, painted a white circle on them and took a black sharpie and wrote Thing 1 on Lulee's and Thing 2 on Brynlea's. I even dyed their hair blue with Kool-Aid and put their hair up all over their heads. They were a big hit. ;) Hubby made Thing 1 and Thing 2 cookies and I ended up reading 4 books, instead of the intended one, which was even more fun.





We stayed a little extra to help out with craft time. They were making an edible craft.

The Hat~ from (Cat in the Hat):
1 Ritz cracker
3 red life savers
white frosting
(per child, per hat)
You put the Ritz cracker on the bottom, put a layer of frosting on top, add a life saver, put a layer of frosting and repeat until you have three red life savers.It was a fun craft and the kids loved it. We had such fun time.



Then our oldest daughter texts and needed something brought to her at school....Muwahahaha!!!.....the evil laughter started in my brain and got the ideas brewing on how to embarrass her with my cat outfit on. We walked into her school, Hubby went first....with the camera recording her and I walked in after that with Thing 2 on my hip. You will just have to see the look on her face for yourself. It was priceless!!! We are still laughing over it!!!


video

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 3 of My Facebook Sabbatical

Day 3: Started out really busy and had quite a bit of distractions. I didn't really miss FB earlier today. The day started out great. Woke up spent some time with my Sadie Bug and then took her to the bus stop. I came back started cleaning....cooked breakfast. Had fun with the younger girls. Lulee, the four year old and I were in her room and I saw a black mass by her bed. I asked her to go over there and pick it up, thinking it was a little sticker or a toy or something. It was a swarm of ants. She totally FREAKED!!! She started screaming and shaking ANTS, ANTS, ANTS!!!! They were everywhere!!!

I have asked her not to eat in her room, but somehow she sneaks off before I know if and crumbs galore will end up all on her carpet, barely able to be seen unless you are face down on the carpet. It's Berber carpet and it hides things pretty well. Needless to say, the invasion of ants scared us and got us all in a frenzy even the Hubby got involved. He called our pest control and they came out here within 15 minutes. They were on it!!! BTW did you know that if you kill an ant with your finger that it leaves a peppermint odor behind. It might sound psycho, but seriously, try it next time you kill one. It is the weirdest thing. So my child's room, as many as there were, smelled like I had put a peppermint candle in there. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little, but you get the picture.

So once the excitement was over, the girls and I decided to take a nap. I woke up feeling like I had lost my best friend. I didn't have time to think about FB or anything earlier during the day and then once things started slowing down, I realized that other than FB I really don't have that much communication with the "outside" world other than by phone and church weekly and occasional preschool programs and parties and waiting with the other dance Moms at dance for our kids to get out of class. FB is my way of communicating, my way of pretending I'm still getting out of the house on a daily basis. I used to like going to work and having the fun part of seeing people that you considered family and catching up with them daily and joking with them daily. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE staying at home now, being a full time Mommy, but I miss the interaction . That is what I get from FB and today I realized I was missing it. Not so much as an addiction, but an outlet, a chance to reach out to the "outside" world, a chance to vent, listen to people venting, a chance to joke and listen to others jokes, listen to how peoples days are going, tell how mine has been. I truly care about these people and how there day has been.

I have gotten to know a lot of my Hubby's friends online that he used to go to school with years ago that I helped him get in contact with since we share an account. He never uses the account so I'm always on there and I have conversed with many of these people and find it very interesting and awesome to have gotten to know them. Facebook has let me reconnect with many, many people that I had been searching for, for years and now I'm able to pop on there and talk to them daily. I realize now that how often I was on FB was more than often and probably a little on the obsessive side. ;) But being off of it just lets me know that it is something that I do love, I will not stop, but I will do it in moderation and less often than before to give myself a chance to do the other things that I had been missing out on doing, i.e. my blog and having my house in tip-top shape and being able to jump and run to have fun and not have to worry about the mess I will have to come back home to.

Tomorrow is Friday and it is the last day of the Sabbatical. I had challenged myself to stay off for the rest of the week.....not the weekend.....who knows....I might pop in on Saturday to say hi or I might decide that Sunday or Monday might be just as good. In other words, I'm going to get on it when I want to because I want to....Not because I feel like I NEED too. I'm in control...not the other way around. So far the willpower is winning!!!

On a side note....took the girls out to dinner tonight and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. No distractions, just good conversation....good times....LOVE my kiddos!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 2 of My Facebook Sabbatical

Yesterday's withdrawals from Facebook were actually not that bad. I only brought Facebook up in every conversation that I had. And I HAD to ask everyone that I talked to if they had been on Facebook, but there were no convulsions nor sickness to my tummy. I made a lot of progress in the house. I reorganized and cleaned the younger two girls' room. Made it sparkly and new as Lulee, our 4 year old called it. Stella, the laundry mountain, has packed up and moved on. I Mopped and got the kitchen clean, cleaned the girls' bathroom where you could practically eat off the floor. Changed out the bedding in two bedrooms. I even had time to relax, watch shows, and spend time with the family....it was very nice to say the least. :)

Day 2: Today was not near as bad as yesterday. I woke up and didn't go for the phone right away. Didn't feel the urge to go to the computer to get on Facebook. I did think about everybody and the one's that had prayer requests and that are expecting babies.....wondering about that, but other than that I did pretty good. My sister-in-law sent me a text message saying that I could get new glasses if I go to this page on FB....(I thought she was joking with me) and I sent her a text back and said "Nice try". I went to Swagbucks, earned bucks without accidentally entering Facebook for my destination.

The biggest distraction that I had today to keep me from falling victim to running to the PC and getting the latest status updates was the visit to the dentist office. I went in to remove an old filling and get it replaced and get a cavity filled. It took a little extra numbing meds to get me good and numb with a fat tongue and big lips.....it even made my ear go numb. When they told me to bite down to get the bite adjusted right, I somehow bit my tongue so bad that it is now punctured and bruised, and is bruised about the size of a quarter. I would provide pictures, but I decided to not show such a graphic site. I can't even stand looking in the mirror. ;) It hurts!!! I can hardly talk, I sound like I've had waaaaay too much to drink and it is hard to eat. I think I'm going to resort to drinking my meals....guess I'll have to call Montel and ask him how to start juicing. Now's a good a time as any, right?!? I guess then I'll start having problems with IBS ;) Regardless, this distraction has proven to be a great one to keep me from giving two squats about Facebook.