Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Run Run Run as Fast as you Can!

Today we decorated Gingerbread People.  The only way I could keep Tyce from not ripping open the box the day before was warning him that if the cookies were already magic they may run away!

Decorating cookies is a dirty yummy process as you can see by the faces of the children!  I remember a time when Tyce would only eat the candy and not put any on the cookie!  The youngest in our crowd did the same thing!

I'm not sure if the kids like decorating or eating the cookies the best!  As Tyce ate his cookie he kept making screaming noises!  Apparently his little man didn't like getting eaten!

Take two on the gingerbread cookies! 

I made a homemade batch while the kids tried to put together gingerbread houses.  I am NOT a fan of gingerbread houses!  They are just too difficult to put together for little hands!  Out of five little houses three stuck together so I think we did pretty well!
Lola's house and Gingerbread Person!
All of the Gingerbread People - they lasted two days before they all disappeared into bellies!
Our Gingerbread Village!  See the snowman?
Daddy to the rescue!
Tyce had more sprinkles on the table then on the cookie!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What Was Your First Clue?

Was it the shorter days?  The bare trees?  How about the Christmas music in October?  Or maybe it was that all of the Christmas decorations are on display and for sale in all of the stores?

My first clue that Christmas was three months away was this:

The stack of magazines that arrived daily in my mailbox!  I confess that I absolutely LOVE getting these magazines!  I remember as a kid when the JC Penny catalog showed up at our house and I would sit down and circle everything I wanted for Christmas!  My kids now do the same thing, except they have 50 magazines to look through!  It is a little overwhelming, but it is still super fun! 

What tells you Christmas is on its way??

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Black Friday!

I admit it.
I love Black Friday!
Yes, I love the deals, but there is so much more to Black Friday then saving a few dollars!

These days you really don't have to get in line and battle crowds to get the latest and the greatest at the lowest price.  With a click of a mouse you can order everything online for the same price and companies often offer free shipping.  Obviously, there is more to Black Friday then just the deals.

Tonight I stood in line for 1 1/2 hours waiting to get into a store.  It was freezing - not technically, but 40 degrees is not warm especially when it is windy, but I was prepared in my winter coat, Ryan's fur, obnoxiously warm and goofy looking hat, gloves, wool mittens over the gloves, a scarf, and a blanket wrapped around my legs which were layered with long underware and jeans!  My nose and toes were cold, but otherwise I was fine.

The time I waited in line actually went by very quickly.  One of my favorite parts about Black Friday is standing in line!  I know it sounds ridiculous!  I get to talk to strangers and bond over the oddest things!  During our brief time together we forge partnerships and look out for one another.  Cutters will not be tolerated and my new friends will have my back!  We will look at the people who obviously have no idea they live in Michigan as they freeze in short sleeve shirts, mini skirts, and high heels and shake our heads wondering when they were dropped on their heads.  (Seriously!  How stupid are you people???)  We will save a place in line for someone we have never met while they make a coffee run for everyone around them.  We will tell stories about our lives and share experiences.  Once we are out of line, however, we may never see each other again, but that is ok because for a brief time the girl in the Eddie Bauer sweatshirt, the super skinny girl, the girl who spilled coffee on her leg, and the girl who yelled "No cutters!" every few minutes were all my BFFs in every sense of the word.  We shared something really special in that line!

My other favorite part of the entire experience is the actual shopping.  I don't love trying to get the cart through the packed aisles and around people, but I do love filling it up!  I have my list and I go straight to each item and toss it in.  I don't want to waste time so if I run into an employee I will ask for directions to many different items!  I relish in the amount of money I am saving and take great pride in my gift finding abilities!  If by chance an item is missing on the shelves, do not fear!  You may find it in the wrong place or if you wait around a little bit chances are the shelf will be restocked.  You can also do like I did tonight and get in the checkout lane, flag down an employee and have them get you your missing item while you wait in line!  (He was the fifth person I asked to tell me where an item was.  No one could find it, but he finally did so I wasn't taking advantage!)

Shopping online may only take a few clicks and a few minutes, but then I would have missed out on the entire experience of it all!  There is no fun in that! 

And don't tell me that you Black Friday shoppers out there don't like the crowds, chaos, and challenge of it all!  You have to like or you wouldn't be out there!  Bask in the glow of those sale lights and hum to the rhythm of the crowds - 'tis the season and there is nothing like it!!  Have fun!

Friday, November 18, 2011

How My Kids See Me....

I am amazed at what great children I have!  We went to conferences for all four of them and had not one complaint from one teacher!  Pretty amazing!  Especailly taking into consideration how they behave with each other at home!

One of our children had to write a book of similes about his family which his teacher showed us.  He did an awesome job!

"Dad is as smart as a computer, knowing how to build a fort, knowing how to manage money, and he's always helping A with his brutal homework."

Wow!  After reading that I was excited to read what he wrote about me!

"Mom is like a chef, making the best tuna noodle casserole."

That's it??  I make him food?  Yes I do do that, but don't I do so much more??  I did feel a bit better after seeing that A had written about me being a person who was very important to him.  I'll just pretend that making him food isn't the reason!

Friend for Life

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." - Robert Southey

A few weekends ago I drove seven hours to go visit a friend I have had since I was two years old.  I haven't seen her in a year and a half, but when we get together it doesn't feel like any time has passed.  I walk into her home now and feel completely at ease, as if no time has passed - not like a typical guest.  Over the years we may have lost touch once in awhile, but through it all she has been the friend I can continue to turn to in times of joy and times of sorrow.  And no matter where we were in our lives, I could always count on her to remember my birthday!  

We became friends at such a young age because of our proximity to each other.  Her mom used to say she knew exactly when spring arrived because I would be in and out of her house ten times each day!  There was no knocking on the doors to ask to play, I just ran right in.  It felt like an extension of my family.

We wrote plays together, made haunted houses, and schemed how we would trick our sisters (we both have two sisters)  We walked to the bus stop each day sniffing which house was drying their clothes.  I saw my first PG movie at her house and we found a "dirty" magazine for the first time together. (we were maybe 6 years old and had no idea what we were looking at!)  We had little inside jokes and shared so much over the years.

More then three decades have passed and even though we live states away from one another, are older, have children of our own, and are busy with life, I still feel so blessed to have a friend in her!  So today reach out to an "old" friend of yours and cheerish the place they will always hold in your life!  There is no replacing a friend like that!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Distracted by Dogs...

I have been a terrible neglectful blogger lately. It isn't because I don't have anything to say or share, in fact, I have a ton of things that have been going on! The main reason that I haven't posted much is because I have been distracted by other things; namely travel, Christmas gifts, and exploring getting a dog. (and our laptop died!)

I love dogs! I know they can be smelly, messy, annoying, destroy your yard and your home, but my kids can be the same way! :) They are a fun, loyal companions that can teach our family responsibility, compassion, and how to love unconditionally.

Ry and I both grew up with dogs and we had dogs up until about 4 years ago when God threw us for a big loop giving us two babies within 3 months of each other and saying it was time for our oldest dog to leave this earth. It was a very chaotic time to say the least! I miss my dogs and I want my kids to grow up learning from dogs the same things that I learned.

Now I know that this dog will be my responsibility. I know I will be the one who feeds it, trains it, takes it out and walks it, so I have tried to talk myself out of it! I have been doing what I always do when I get an idea in my head that won't go away, I've been researching it! I have been hoping that by knowing full well what I am facing I won't want to continue. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case!

In my research I first focused on what breed may be best for our family. I know that all dogs have their own personalities, but certain breeds have certain tendencies and there were some things I wanted to steer clear of. The breed I am in love with for our family is the Boston Terrier. He has funny little face, but his personality and demeanor seem to fit what I am looking for! Once I decided that the breed was the one for us, it was then a matter of deciding to get a dog from a breeder or a rescued dog.

How can you not love that little guy! Sooo cute!
There are so many people out there that breed dogs to make a buck and I'm sure you have heard about puppy mills. I began researching breeders who know the entire lineage of their dogs. I had no idea that you could get a puppy that is already house trained and crate trained at eight weeks old! If they are a reputable breeder, they will begin early on training the litters to be the best dogs out there! The best way to find a breeder like this is to go to dog shows and talk to people. You have to know the right questions to ask!

After learning about puppies and how much can affect their young lives I was leaning toward getting a puppy. However, that thought didn't last long. There are just too many dogs and puppies already out there that need forever homes! (just look on It just didn't seem right to promote the breeding of more dogs when there was probably the perfect dog already out there for us waiting!

So... it looks like we may get a dog and it will be a rescue. I don't know when or if it will in fact be a Boston Terrier or a mix of some sort. We will see! In the mean time, I will keep researching how to train a dog and hope this isn't a huge mistake!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ears like a ...

I wonder if anyone has ever done a study comparing the hearing of women before they become mothers to after they have babies.  I'm not talking about our ability to tune out our children unless we hear a certain tone or cry.  I think that one is a learned survival technique.  I am talking about our ability to hear glass being shattered in the basement where our children are playing when we are two stories above at the neighbors house.

I think my hearing has gotten much better since I have become a mother!  Last night we had our door shut, the fan on, music on in Tyce's room and I still heard him yell Momma in the middle of the night waking me out of a dead sleep! 
I really think becoming a mother has sharpened my senses.  I wish it had given me super powers too!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Driving me Crazy

I have to share that tonight I had had it.

I think the children do a kind of tag team thing on me.  They take turns pushing me to my limits.

Tonight I told the children at dinner that they were "driving me to my grave."  My youngest replied, "I'm not.  I don't know how to drive!"

At least I will laugh on my way there!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is Halloween for Adults or Kids????

When I was young I remember Halloween being all about me - the kid.  The candy was for me.  The costumes were for me.  The parties were all kid friendly and for my enjoyment.  I don't know if somewhere along the line the rules of Halloween changed or if it has always been more about adults then it is about kids and I was just that self centered!  Either way, I love Halloween more as an adult then I did as a kid!

Getting the kids all dressed up and seeing them go crazy for their parties, carving pumpkins, and Trick or Treating is contagious! I love going to their parties, watching the parades, and seeing them run from house to house getting treats! It is the sweetest thing to see Tyce exclaim with pure surprise after each and every house that they gave him candy!

I'm looking pretty excited!!

Lola's class - LOVE Mario and Luigi wrestling in the front!
Jackson's party

Jackson and Daddy carving a pumpkin
Even A carved a pumpkin!  A first for him!

Dressing up is more fun now then it was when I was a kid!  What other day of the year is it totally acceptable to dress up however you want to and not be arrested for it?  As an adult I will most definitely dress up and take the kids through the neighborhood!  No party to go to?  No worries!  I will still dress up!  I don't remember adults dressing up when I was young, except for the one crazy neighbor who dressed up as a scary thing to jump out at us to make us pee our pants!  I now see many adults dress up for the big day! (some should NEVER even try on some of the outfits they wear out in public, but that's what the one day is for right?)
Jackson's teacher (he is really a man)
Tyce and his good friend at their party!
My Parents

Lola and Jackson

A and some girls from school about to go out for his first Trick or Treating ever!

The pirates handed out candy

I love seeing grown Chickens walking down the road!

Some of the kids - they really got into their characters!

When did houses begin to give out more then just run of the mill candy?  Adult beverages as treats for the adults?  I don't remember this from the past, but I sure am glad they do it now!  That eyeball jello shot really warmed me up and gave me the boost I needed to pull the wagon just a little further!

Whether it has always been this way or not, I'm just glad that it can be a holiday for the kid in everyone (with the adult twist)!
Our Family! (A wasn't dressed for the event yet..)

And one of my favorite moments....