Monday, November 25, 2013

My eyes are open now, and I love what I see...To quote Jimmy Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life"

I have been thinking a lot about contentment lately. Am I content? What is content? Does being content mean I am not moving forward? I decided to look up the definition of contentment and this is what I found.
noun: contentment
  1. 1.
    a state of happiness and satisfaction.
    "he found contentment in living a simple life in the country"
    synonyms:contentedness, content, satisfaction, gratification, fulfillment, happiness, pleasure, cheerfulness;

Based on that definition, well I guess I am content. I am pretty satisfied with my life.  I think I was confusing contentment and joy. Two similar words with two different meanings. Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. That is what I am missing (or so I thought).

 I immediately thought about my life prior to kids, filled with such joy. You know, traveling to Europe, buying a new computer just because I want to, driving a fancy car, blowing hundreds of dollars on new shoes because they were the must have for the season pure joy, right?

Since kids lets tally up my "joy". Lets start with traveling, in the last four years I left one time for two nights to watch my cousin show her fashion creations in a fashion show. Not exactly a European vacation.  O.k. forget about traveling lets talk indulgent purchases. The last computer I purchased was on Black Friday two years ago, and with tax it was under $400. The most expensive pair of shoes I have purchased in the past 4 years was a pair of Ariat boots for the property. Lets skip over indulgent purchases there must be joy here somewhere... Fancy sports car? not so much (but the car I have now is new and I do really like it) o.k. so maybe some joy there... Wow, my joy levels have really gone down since having kids.

How can I have so little joy? That is when it hit me... Why am I associating joy with material possessions? I have far more joy in my life now than I did prior to kids. That first cup of coffee in the morning... Pure Joy! When my kiddos wake up and they are happy and giddy to see me... Pure Joy! When one of my kiddos asks me for a hug... Pure Joy! When one of my kiddos asks me to snuggle with them... Pure Joy! When my hubby comes home from work and tells me he missed me... Pure Joy! This list could go on and on.  Prior to kids I was so caught up in keeping up, that I had no idea how amazing daily life is. There is so much joy to be found in an average day, as long as your eyes are open and looking for it.

I am content with my life, because for the first time I am overjoyed with life. Do I have days that are more challenging than others?  You bet (this week was full of them)... Moving to the country and starting a family has changed my life in so many ways. I had no idea the sky was as blue as it is, or that clouds could be as white and as fluffy as they are. My eyes are open now, and I love what I see. To quote Jimmy Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life"... I hope all of you are living with your eyes open and enjoying life.

Friday, November 22, 2013

LeiLei has her EEG, and is greeted by Ronald McDonald at the Childrens Hospital

We made it... It was touch and go around 11:30 p.m. last night, more for me than for LeiLei, but we did it. She went to bed at midnight and was woken up at 4 a.m. by daddy. Daddy made her breakfast, did crafts with her and got her ready while mommy slept. They left for the hospital at 6:30 while mommy was still snoozing away. I had the other kiddos up by 7:45 so we could make it to Ademans Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy appointments. Such craziness!

This was the first time I was not with one of my children when they were having anything done to them medically. I did not think it would be as difficult as it was. I was burning up my poor hubbys phone wanting updates every two minutes. I did not relax until I received the call from hubs and LeiLei saying they were on their way home. We are very fortunate to have an amazing childrens hospital so close to our home. Anything our children will ever need medically (or us for that matter) is here in our town. There is something to be said about living near an area with multiple hospitals.  LeiLei did pretty good, the only time she did not cooperate was when it came time to blow the pinwheel, of all things! Other than that the test went well.

She had 30 electrodes on her head. In case you did not realize she is a bit of a peanut so 30 electrodes on her head completely takes up her head. Hubby was only able to snap a few photos because the test is done in a reasonably dark room, and he did not want to get her excited. The goal is to get her to fall asleep during the test, and of course when she fell asleep it was on hubbys arm. So that ruled out picture taking...

Amazingly we already have the test results back, and they are "Normal". Good and bad, good because we can probably rule out non epileptic seizures. Bad because we might be looking at a mental health disorder. We will now regroup and move on to the next series of tests.  Such a journey...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My eyes are burning, lets get this EEG over with...

What is the old saying... "If I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck at all?" Yesterday was that day for me. 48 hours away from LeiLei having an EEG and we ALL wake up with a doozy of a stomach bug. The kind that makes you so nauseous, its all you can do to lay perfectly still on the cool tiled floor to keep you from tossing your cookies. I have decided that there is absolutely nothing worse than being that sick and hearing your child say "mommy I didn't make it to the potty" or "mommy I tooted and something came out" or changing the diaper of a child that has the same thing you have. Yesterday was a record breaking day in our home for the amount of clothes thrown away. Its amazing when you are that sick, how easy of a decision it becomes as to weather or not you should attempt to clean the clothes, or just throw them away. Hope hubby has some overtime lined up!

Today was a bit of a challenge because we really had to change our schedule. LeiLei has her EEG tomorrow morning (thank goodness we are all feeling better).  We have to keep her up until MIDNIGHT tonight. I honestly have no idea how one keeps a 4 year old up until midnight. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, so wish us the best! I decided to keep the kids up until 3 this afternoon and then put them down for a two hour nap, it was more like a one hour nap but beggars cant be choosers.. The plan was to let them all crash whenever they want to tonight, but by 9:30 everyone was a mess so I made the executive decision to just put them to bed. All except LeiLei of course.  LeiLei will then be woken up at 4 a.m. and she will have to remain awake until her EEG. We decided to divide and concur, so I am taking the night shift with the kiddos and hubby will get some rest. Then hubby will get to wake her up in the morning (I am letting him deal with cranky LeiLei) and take her to her EEG, while I get some rest. Not a lot of rest because Ademan still has to be at Physical Therapy at 9 a.m.
LeiLei crafting at around 10:30 p.m. I don't know about her, but my eyes are burning.. So tired!!!

This procedure has me a bit stressed. Not that it is invasive (because it is not) it just seems a bit scary for a kiddo. I will let you all know how it goes...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am a Mom, not a Super Mom... I will tuck my kids in bed tonight and kiss their little heads...

Those of you with more than one child know exactly what I am feeling. Some days are pure bliss, amazing, peaceful, your kids get along, nobody got hurt, you actually cooked dinner and you might even have make-up on. Then there are the other days... You know, you have worn the same jeans for multiple days, your kids are each others worst enemies, you have stopped at least one bloody nose from some form of a projectile missile that nobody wants to fess up to, the naughty corner has a revolving door on it. Do I need to go on?

Want to know what kind of day I have had??? Lets just say we are on day 2 of the same jeans. My kids are practically clawing at each other, LeiLei had a bloody nose (and like some form of Christmas miracle, it just happened, no nose picking, nothing was thrown at it, nobody hit her), we wore a hole in the naughty corner today, at all times some body was crying. My kids will be eating peanut butter and jelly for dinner and as of right now, mommy and daddy might also be eating peanut butter and jelly. The house is a mess and laundry did not get done, oh well...

I know in the blink of an eye all of this craziness will be gone. I am tired, worn out, and sometimes want to scream and cry, but that is motherhood. Anyone who claims being a mommy is always wonderful, is lying. I love being a mommy but it is not always wonderful, that is reality. I know one day I will look back and think wow, not only did I survive but I also thrived.

I am not raising kids so that I can look like a "Super Mom"... I am an average mom raising, teaching, training and loving her kids so that they can become great adults. I am frazzled, but I would not change it for the world.

I will tuck my kids in bed tonight and already the struggles of the day will begin to fade. I will kiss their heads and already be looking forward to what tomorrow may bring us.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Proverbs 22:6, a return on my investment

I am not a big Al Sharpton fan. I applaud him for being passionate, but he is a bit much for me. Although I must say he is not nearly as "loud" as he use to be. He does at times make great points, but sometimes he loses me in how he tries to make his points. I recently saw a clip from an interview he did in which he was talking about his mother and his childhood and he made a statement that I thought was amazing. This was his quote "You know someone loves you when they invest in you and there is no guarantee that they will get a return on their investment." Wow...

This can hold true for any parenting situation but as an adoptive mom this really hits home. I love my children as if they were my biological children. I don't see them as anything but my beautiful babies. They may as well have come from my womb. I will forever invest in my children and I understand that there may not be a return on my investment. When I say return on my investment, I don't mean one of them will become a millionaire and take care of mommy and daddy. But heck if they do, and they want to I am o.k. with that! I am talking about the basics... love, loving their family (us), loving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Loving others and doing unto others as they want done unto themselves. Most Foster/Adopt children come with such inner struggles that it can be hard to achieve even the basics.

Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it".

I will forever invest my energies on my kids and I pray that our Faith will help us achieve a return on our investment.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bounce Houses, Bounce Slides, and Velcro Walls what more could a kid want!

What do you get an 8 year old when they seem to have everything? Well you make them something... Thank goodness this 8 year old likes to be in the kitchen, so I made her an apron. The only problem is that I was totally crazy about the apron by the time I finished it. I so badly wanted to keep it for one of my girls!
I knew just an apron would not cut it for an 8 year old, so I found this darling Disney Princess Cookbook and pink spatula to complete the gift.
Her birthday party was a blast. Here is the deal, I have kids, I love kids, but I dread kid Birthday Parties. Most of the time I would rather be scrubbing toilets then going to kids parties but we have kids so I better get use to it. I actually so enjoyed this, that I think we will be doing it for JayJays party in January. Right around the time we will be up to our eyeballs in snow...
They had two of these bounce slides. Ademan spent almost the entire time going up and down them.
JayJay was the only one of our kids that wanted anything to do with the Velcro wall. She loved it, until we had a little hair snafu... Lets just say her hair does not do well with Velcro...
They had an adventure play area (2 stories tall, puts the play areas at McDonald's to shame), and this slide was a huge hit with my kids. O.K. and me, I kept secretly hoping my kids would get stuck on top so I could go down the slide. It is a black, super steep slide. You cant see anything and you are going crazy fast. There is a reason those mats are at the bottom...
LeiLei and Ademan going down the slide. I took probably 60 pictures and maybe only 10 aren't completely blurred! My kids were on the move the entire time. This place also has 3 bounce houses, mini basketball hoops on the wall, teeter toters, and so much more.
Like I said I think I see a Birthday Party there in our future!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ankle Braces to EEG's and possible Paroxysmal Spells, an update on my kids

I have not posted much about my kiddos lately. I struggle with sharing what is going on with my kids medically. It feels like we are always doing tests, and then the tests come back negative. This morning I was so tired I just wanted to scream and cry. I hit that point of being so tired of not being able to help one of my kids that I crumbled. It is a bit of a struggle when you have adopted children to figure out what their underlying conditions are. In all of our childrens situations their Biological Moms were honest with us about alcohol and drug use. Unfortunately that does not tell us much, it just confirms that there will be problems.  So let me fill you in on what has been going with them.
JayJay going and going and going

JayJay is kind of my Energizer Bunny. She just keeps going and going and going. She has a case of the horrible awful 3's but other than that she is doing great. I cant even complain about the awful 3's because she really did not have a case of the terrible 2's. Thank goodness I have one that (at the moment) has no health issues.

LeiLei is a bit of a puzzle. We are still trying to put the pieces together. I have had two professionals tell me that she needs to be tested for seizures. Really??? So, I took her to the doctor today and he ordered an EEG. His diagnosis was Paroxysmal Spells. I believe she will have the EEG done next week. I don't have all the details yet, but she has to be awake for six hours prior to the EEG that way they know she will be sleepy. The EEG is done while the child is sleeping. Oh did I mention six hours of awake, DURING THE NIGHT... I am going to be one tired mama!!! She continues to see her Behavioral Therapist which has really helped us, help her.  I fear it will take quite some time before we fully know how to help our little girl. Point of the story... Do NOT DRINK while you are pregnant. Not even one glass of wine... Enough said

Ademan continues to have Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and Physical Therapy every week. His speech is really coming along in regards to the expansion of his vocabulary. Now that he is talking more they are realizing that there is also something wrong with the sound of his voice. It looks like he will have to be Scoped (under anesthesia). The thought is that maybe we are missing something anatomically that is creating a very monotone sounding voice, and causing aspiration. He will be having another Swallow Study in a few weeks to tell us if there is any improvement with his feeding. The Scope will be done some time after the Swallow Study. We just cant seem to shake the whole aspirating issue when he eats. He continues to be healthy, meaning no pneumonia, thank goodness.  Ultimately you do not want to be aspirating. Physical Therapy is going well. They ordered his ankle braces this week so it shouldn't be long before he is rockin those bad boys! Point of this story... Do not NOT DO DRUGS while you are pregnant.

No child deserves this. I have to remind myself not to get angry, because anger does not fix anything. When I look in my childrens eyes and I see the that little twinkle it reminds me that there are no bad children, just bad circumstances. Had we not adopted these three, any one of them if not all of them could have easily spent their entire childhood in Foster Care. None of them have been easy, I guarantee that they would have all been in multiple homes already. In all honesty before we adopted them they were already in multiple homes. JayJay = 2 homes before she was 6 months old,  LeiLei = 3 homes before she was 7 months old,  Ademan = 6 homes by age 1. I say that anger does not fix anything (and it doesn't) but it does drive me to do more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Have OCD... Obsesive Christmas Disorder

Some may call it an illness, a weakness, or just plain crazy...Whatever it is I have it! I was doing pretty good until hubs brought it to my attention (yesterday) that Sirius/XM Radio has already started playing Christmas music 24 hours a day on two different channels. Lets just say I am on a slippery slope with my OCD, Obsesive Christmas Disorder. I might not make it until Thanksgiving! Even with this illness, weakness, craziness I usually try to keep it at bay until the day after Thanksgiving. I don't think I will make it this year, I am already twitching (one of the first signs of this disorder). I know I am not the only one with this Disorder, so let me say this... Free yourself, let the world know you have OCD. Trust me once you get it off your chest you will sleep better at night!
Have a great Friday!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Explain to me why every three year old does not come with a Behavioral Therapist

LeiLei and I just got back from the Behavioral Therapist office and once again I am asking myself why every child does not come with a Behavioral Therapist. I don't care if they are biological or adopted children every child could benefit. Now don't get me wrong, most of the work the Therapist has you do is completely on the parents. So if you think the Therapist will magically fix issues, and all you will have to do is drive the child to and from the appointment you will quickly be disappointed.

Once again the entire session was the Therapist and I sitting in her office going into detail my concerns with LeiLei. LeiLei is there but she is in a room (by herself) playing with toys. You can imagine my shock when she first told my then 3 year old that if she needed us she was to knock on our door and wait for someone to answer. She was not to barge in on mommy and therapist. Amazingly, she does it. We always hear her door open and then within a few seconds she is knocking on our door. Today was quite amazing, only twice within the hour did she knock on our door. I was super proud mommy!

Last session she gave me the following homework:
1) Use High Rates of Praise
2) Begin to use Descriptive Praise
3) Use Precision Commands = Name, PLEASE (behavior I want her to do). Thank You. Only give her 20 seconds to comply. Crazy, right? Only 20 seconds!!!

I tried very hard to implement all of this into our daily life, and we saw a slight improvement. Even her teacher pulled me aside and said she seems to be doing a bit better at school. Wow, this stuff works! I still have my what I like to call my knee jerk moments. Those moments when you react without thinking. Last week my friend and I were taking our kids to the park, when LeiLei decided to act up in the car ride and I had a knee jerk moment. Probably threatening to throw away her favorite minky or maybe even all of her toys if she did not stop, shoot I may have even threatened to pull the car over. That is when my girlfriend looked at me and said "what would the Therapist have to say about that". Of course we both broke out into giggles. Hey, I am not perfect!

Todays homework:
1) Use High Rates of Praise only in regards to her normal negative behavior.
2) Use Precision Commands, and now follow up with Need Commands, if I have the time that allows for a correction.

The plan is to have one more session with just LeiLei, and then we will start having sessions with sister JayJay. Now that should be interesting! I don't know if the Therapist does baby steps for the sake of the children or the parents. Either way I am thankful. I don't think I could handle behavioral modification on multiple children. Eventually we will add brother Ademan into the sessions. It is a lot of work, but I will be overjoyed if my children can learn how to control themselves (and learn their triggers) at an early age.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our unfinished Walk Out Basement is about to receive Drywall and a Sofa from Ashley Furniture!

Five years ago we started the process of finishing our walkout basement. We were so excited to add square footage (about another 1200) to our home. At the time we had planned on adding a pantry, a pool table room, and an area with a bar. Obviously before parenthood, or even thoughts of parenthood. Then we received our first placement, JayJay. My hubby continued to work on the basement, around a new babies schedule. If JayJay was sleeping he was not to lift a hammer. Lets just say that the process slowed down immensely. Then our second baby came into the picture and progress came to a stop. By the time our third child arrived we desperately needed the space but did not have a moment of spare time to work on it.

Now that our kids are a bit older we have been able to collect our thoughts. Our first focus was to finish that basement. So, in the last two months my hubby has put it in overdrive and finished the plumbing, and framing. We had the inspector out today and we can start the insulation which should only take a few days. Then we get to start the drywall process!!! I am so excited. Apparently hubby is excited because as you can see, he already started putting in the insulation.
But now with three kids, what was going to be the pool table room is now the television room. We are so excited that we have already purchased the sofa sectional from Ashley Furniture. Not the best picture, but this is the sofa we purchased. With a delivery of two to six weeks I am keeping my fingers crossed we have it before Christmas.
What was going to be the "Bar" area is now going to hold a refrigerator (filled with juice boxes) and a microwave to make popcorn for family movie nights. Yes, we are still keeping the pantry. Now more than ever we need a large pantry. A family of five requires a lot of food.

I will keep you posted as we finish our basement. I am so grateful that my hubby has been able to do the majority of the work himself. He is an amazing man!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

We found Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at the Library a week ago, and I am not quite sure it has stopped playing since we brought it home. I am pretty sure I can recite every line at this point. Please understand, I am not complaining. I was never a Charlie Brown kid growing up. I never understood the fascination with Snoopy or Charlie Brown. NOW, as a mother of three very active, loud children I cherish Charlie Brown. It is a soothing cartoon, one that you don't mind having on replay for two solid weeks. I think I see some Charlie Brown DVD purchases in our future! If Santa wants to drop a few off he is more than welcome!!!

Another great find that we actually stumbled upon last year at the Library is Albuquerque Turkey. My kids are too young to understand the point of the book, but my husband and I love it. It is about a farmer with a pet Turkey, and the approaching Thanksgiving Holiday. The night before Thanksgiving the Turkey becomes very worried about his future. It is very cute, even cuter if you are a vegetarian or have pet Turkeys! I think I am going to break down and purchase it.

In case you are wondering, that is about as far as I have gotten in my Thanksgiving planning. I have an idea of what our meal will be. We are not traditional Thanksgiving people so I think this year our meal will be Prime Rib and Crab Legs. Sounds good to me!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

24 Days of Christmas... Its a good thing JoAnns Fabrics is having a big sale, I have craft supplies to purchase!

Since I announced that I was going to do the 24 Days of Christmas, I figured I better sit down and come up with my calendar of activities. My 24 days of Christmas will involve crafts, family time, and giving. As our kids get older I look forward to incorporating more giving but since they are pretty young we will be doing more crafts and family time at home. I am really looking forward to being able to spend quality time each day with my kiddos in the month of December. Trust me I am realistic, I know they are not all going to go well, and I know there will be days when I question why I put so much time into preparing all of these activities, but I do think it is a start to a good family tradition.

The only reason I am doing this post a few weeks before the start of December is because the amount of time it takes just to prepare for all of the activities. It took me almost three hours just to come up with my list of activities. I still have to make my shopping list for the craft supplies, do the shopping, and then do all of the prep work for the craft projects. For some people the prep work may not take all that long, but for me I need a two week cushion.

Let me share my 24 Days of Christmas with you...
Dec 1.
Family Movie Night / Watch Polar Express
Dec 2.
Crafts / Paper Santa Hats with Cotton Balls
Dec 3.
Crafts / Paper Christmas Trees decorated by Q-Tip painting
Dec 4.
Donate gently loved toys to Goodwill
Dec 5.
Make cookies to take caroling to the neighbors that evening
Dec 6.
Crafts / Make candy canes with pipe cleaners and beads
Dec 7.
Breakfast with Santa
Dec 8.
Crafts / Make a paper chain for our Christmas Tree
Dec 9.
Crafts / Pony Bead Snowflakes
Dec 10.
Crafts / Decorate a paper Christmas Tree
Dec 11.
Purchase 3 Grocery Gift Cards and give them away to 3 strangers
Dec 12.
Crafts / Decorate Paper Mittens
Dec 13.
Family Movie Night / Veggie Tales, The Star of Christmas
Dec 14.
Crafts / Melted Pony Bead Ornaments
Dec 15.
Family Game Night
Dec 16.
Crafts / Popsicle Stick Snowflakes
Dec 17.
Crafts / Make & Decorate a Paper Plate Wreath
Dec 18.
Leave a Note & Gift for the Mail Carrier
Dec 19.
Crafts / Decorate Pine cones in Glitter
Dec 20.
Leave a Note & Gift for the Garbage Collector
Dec 21.
Go Look at Christmas Lights
Dec 22.
Family Baking Day
Dec 23.
Crafts / Make a Reindeer with Foot and Hand Cutouts\
Dec 24.
Pick up our Christmas Eve Meal from the German Deli
(Already a Tradition in our home)

 I hope you are all inspired to do 24 Days of Christmas with your family.  I would love to hear about some of the projects and activities you have planned. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cabin fever?... Must make brownies and all might be o.k.

I feel a bit guilty, my kids have been stuck inside for three full days. That is never the goal for any mom, because kids need to stretch their legs and be loud. We are almost at our breaking point today!
Tuesday we had a little outside time (while it was snowing) we had a power outage, no T.V. and no heat. So I thought why not bundle up and play outside. I was nearing the teeth chattering stage when I begged my kids to come back inside, I only had one taker. The other two stayed out for at least another twenty minutes.

Yesterday just kind of got away from me. All of a sudden it was time to make dinner and we had not gone outside all day. Today was suppose to be Library day but the fog and rain rolled in, and the thought of getting three kids in and out of the car in the rain did not seem like a good time for anyone. As soon as nap time is done, I think I am going to have to do some serious kid friendly activities. I see brownie making, painting, and I may even resort to grabbing something out of the Christmas gift box (my stash of extra Christmas gifts). Amazingly, we have not had a single melt down in the past three days. We have had a few tears, a few "Mom, so and so pinched me" or "Mom, so and so is in my bubble"... The usual sibling battles.

Thank goodness tomorrow the girls have school and Ademan has Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. It will force us all out of the house, and give everyone some social interaction. I hope your week has stayed more on track than ours!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thanks / Thankfulness... Have I been living under a rock?

Sometimes I scratch my head, wondering to myself what rock have you been living under? I like to think that I am pretty hip and with it, but occasionally (or more often than I like to admit) I will hear about something that seems like a brand new concept and then I come to find out it has been around for years. For example, apparently I am the last one on the planet to here or take part in the 30 days of Thanks/Thankfulness. So long story short, no need to watch my Facebook timeline for a new "thankful" post every day this month.

Let me tell you the two things I am grateful for.
1) My Savior - He is the reason I have so many things to be thankful for.
2) My husband - He is my partner in life. He makes sure that I continue to be the person that My Savior intended me to be.

O.K. so I may have missed the boat on this one, BUT let me declare I will take part in the 24 Days of Christmas.. Even if it kills me (and it might). I heard about this from a friend and thought it was a great way to connect with your kiddos once every day in the crazy month of December. It will take some planning so I will start working on it now. Basically it is either a craft or an activity that you do with your children each day. It can be anything from making candy cane ornaments out of pipe cleaners and beads to driving around looking at Christmas lights, to helping a neighbor shovel their snow.  I think this will be a lot of fun (as long as I am prepared).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November or Snovember?!?! Bring it on Old Man Winter, I have snow tires and I am not afraid to use them!

We had a nice long summer, and a pretty decent fall so I am not complaining. I am just a bit caught off guard. To say I was expecting the nearly 2" of snow we received today would not be entirely accurate. I was expecting maybe a half inch, and then to have the half inch all melted by noon. Ya, Mother Nature is still laughing at me. So I did what any other person living in a cold climate would do, I rushed down and had my snow tires put on. Probably one of the dumbest things you can do. You see any other time of the year you are in and out of the tire shop in about an hour, first storm of the season and you are looking at 4 hours.  In all fairness I actually had an appointment for an oil change and to have my tires switched out.

This was quite an odd day. It started with a wake up call from my LeiLei at 5:19 a.m. when I went in their room she requested that I turn on the television and baby brother was already busy playing. I knew immediately my day was ruined!! Meaning everything was going to be a struggle with these tired kids. Then our feeding therapist was an hour late because of the many accidents she got stuck behind on our slippery snowy roads. by the time she got to our home at 11:30 I had two little girls that were so out of their minds they burst into tears when I asked them what they wanted for lunch. All I could think was how in the world am I suppose to take three crazed kids to the car dealership and sit there for three hours...

I actually called in a favor, which I try not to do very often. I promised my Father-N-Law the kids would stay in there room if he could come watch them for me. It worked!!

I cant tell you how exciting it was to sit in the car dealers waiting room for two and a half hours with no little kids. I busted out 1 1/2 scarves while I was there (kid size). Yahoo!!!  I don't get many moments of quiet, but todays was awesome!

So let me say this Old Man Winter, I now have snow tires and snow boots... Nothing is getting in my way!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Operation Christmas Child and a Si Robertson quote

The school which our girls attend has adopted Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse as their community outreach project this Christmas. The program provides a shoe box sized gift box to children ages 2 - 14 around the world.

We decided to take home 2 shoe boxes, one for each girl to fill. My girls were very excited when I told them we were going to fill it with toys, and goodies. It took them a moment to process the next part, which was, and then we will put it in the mail so that another child who does not have many toys will receive it for Christmas. Both girls said hurray, and then about 5 seconds later LeiLei turned around and shot me a "What you talkin about Willis" look. It was hard not to laugh. Then I had to go into the pre-school age conversation about how not everyone has lots of goodies like we do. We are very fortunate to have so much, and since we do, we need to make sure we also share.

I checked out their website to make sure it was an organization I wanted our family to give to. Imagine my surprise when on the front page was a photo of Si Robertson. If you read my Duck Dynasty post, you know I am a fan...

“Look here, this is Si Robertson, all right? Hey, Jack, share your love by packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, okay?”

 To find out more about Operation Christ-mas Child visit:

It was a "mom" jeans and oversized Adidas sweatshirt kind of a weekend

Most people go crazy in the Spring with Spring cleaning. I have to tell you I am just as crazy in the Fall as I am in the Spring. For those who live in cold winter climates I am sure you understand. There is this urgency to get things done before mother nature shuts down the entire operation. I am not talking about just outside projects, I am also talking about inside projects.

So needless to say I spent the weekend wearing "mom" jeans and over sized sweatshirts, because I had cleaning to do.  On my to do list for the weekend was to take out our living room sofa (which I am actually trying to salvage because the woodwork on it is amazing) and place it in the barn. O.K. technically it was on my to do list for my hubby. You see, 4 dogs and 6 cats have "loved" it to pieces. Lets just say I am tired of looking at the pieces. I also wanted to start cleaning my craft room which to be quite honest has been neglected for almost 4 years. Nowhere on my list was cleaning the laundry room, but for some crazy reason on Saturday I decided that it needed to be done. I also kept staring at 4 large plastic bins that needed to be filled with the ever growing pile of outgrown childrens clothes. So on Saturday that got thrown into the mix as well.

Sunday, actually brought us a dusting of snow. The first snow of the season always makes me so giddy. I do have a love hate relationship with the snow, in the beginning I love it, and by the end I hate it. I will be the first to admit that usually by the middle of February you may here me cursing the snow, under my breath. But for today I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. By 10 a.m. it was all melted but don't be fooled it was still cold outside.  The gloomy weather really makes me want to be in the kitchen. I now have four pumpkin chocolate chip loaves in my freezer to prove it. Hubby even got in on the kitchen duty, he turned out about 40 large pancakes that we wrapped in wax paper and froze. If there is one thing I love more than a freezer full of go-to meals (dinners) it is a freezer full of go-to breakfasts. Around nap time I actually got around to cleaning my craft room, but I think I underestimated the amount of time that room will take to be organized. I am hoping that by the end of this week I will have a functioning craft room again. We will see!

This was a very full weekend for us. I didn't even list all of the things my hubby accomplished. It almost felt like we were nesting...

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick-or-Treat we have something good for you to eat!

Halloween was so awesome! I did everything as planned (if you read yesterdays post) except for the hot cocoa. After nap time I got our kids all dressed up complete with blush and red lips, except for Ademan who was Mickey Mouse.

Once we were all dolled up we headed out to Walmart and loaded up on candy. I must admit Walmart was almost a game ender, it was so busy that my kids quickly went into ding dong mode making moms blood boil.

 Once we got back to the car I was able to regroup (and give them each a piece of candy because that is the smart thing to do). I placed all of the candy in their Trick-or-Treat pails and headed off to our first stop, the Post Office. You should have seen the looks on the employees faces when we announced "Trick-or-Treat we have something good for you to eat" then each child would let an employee take a piece of candy from their pail. Our next stop was our local grocery store, I knew that we would have a great time there, and we did. It was so much fun to go to the Bakery counter and actually give the Baker candy as opposed to them giving us a cookie which is normally what happens. We hit the customer service counter, the pharmacist, the store manager, all the checkers, and all the baggers, not to mention a few customers who looked like they needed candy. Then we decided to stop at our small library. We gave the two librarians candy and every person that was in the library.

By the time we came home I was filled with such joy. To watch your kids give their candy away is really quite awesome. Lets be real I asked my kids to not only not eat the candy, I also asked them to give their candy away. They did it with smiles on their faces.

I did allow them to hit a few homes by us, and they were totally spoiled by our neighbors. It was great I was able to teach them how sometimes when we give something without expecting anything in return, we do get rewarded. I know, they wont always walk away with a bag of Cheetos, large box of m&m's, and homemade popcorn balls every time they do a good dead, but it is Halloween and I am proud of them.