Saturday, September 30, 2006

Happy Happy Birthday Mack

It's Mack's Birthday today. He turned 5! We all love him very much. He is a little wild but such a sweet dog. For being such a big dog- he has a very sweet personality. The kids got him a treat quite awhile ago and have been waiting for today to give it to him.
They went out and sang Happy Birthday to him- the neighbors probably think we're nuts!


Here he is with his treat - he wouldn't let it go and had it almost completely in his mouth-
Hope you have a great birthday mack- we love you! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's Friday!

Yeah!! It's Friday!
I love the end of the week. Tonight we have the last Birthday party for the kids- this one is on my side of the family. Thank goodness this is the last party for Halle's sake! ( You know the child who has no toys and it's so unfair etc.....- these parties are just painful for her to see Nick and Arianna getting toys again... and again she gets nothing! Isn't it just terrible how unfair we are to her! sigh...)
Tomorrow is another soccer game- hopefully it doesn't get rained out but it's not looking too good- we'll see.

I just wanted to get some opinions- I just saw an interesting segment on Good Morning America. It was about stay at home moms and motherhood in general. It was about the fact that motherhood and being home with the kids can really be boring some times. The big question was why don't moms talk about this. When you think of staying at home you picture this glorious time of baking cookies and playing outside with the kids etc...
You don't picture all the laundry and cleaning, fighting children, etc...
They were saying it's important to talk about the "reality" of it so you don't have all these false expectations. I have to say I agree with this. Now before I get raked over the coals let me say- I love my children very very much and I'm glad I get to stay at home most of the time. However, There are days when I would dearly love to work 2 days a week just to get out of the house!
A couple friends from church and I have started getting together 1 day a week for a couple of hours just to have some adult conversation and I think this is really important.
So here's my question to all of you:
Why is it so taboo to talk about the down side of being home with the kids?
Just want some other opinions on the subject!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Taco Pie Casserole

I want to share a recipe with you all: I've made similar recipe's to this and I don't know what was different but ALL my kids loved this supper:

1 pd. hamburger
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/3 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. water
1 pkg. crescent rolls
1 c. sour cream
1 c. cheddar cheese- shedded
crushed dorito chips

Brown hamburger and onion. Add water and taco mix. Simmer about 10-15 minutes. Spread crescent roll dough on bottom and sides of greased 1 1/2-2 qt casserole dish. Spread 1 c. crushed doritoes on top. Cover with meat mixture. Spread sour cream over meat then cheese. Top with 1 c. crushed chips. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

This weeks Works for Me Wednesday Shannon decided to do something a little different. She requested that we re-submit our best suggestion. So here's mine:

A quick idea for anyone that loses their keys- clip them to your cell phone and then if you can't find them you can just call your cell phone and you'll know where they are!
Head on over to Shannon's and check out all the other ideas!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

DK is tough!

Halle is in DK this year and the schedule is challenging for her (and me- I forgot to send her to school a day last week! For some reason I was thinking she had it the next day and then I get a call from school asking me to excuse her absence. Talk about feeling like a blonde mother!)Back to the main story.... As you all know we struggle with bedtime with her. School is totally exhausting her and she fell asleep on the bus coming home yesterday. The problem is any nap at all and she won't go to sleep at night. I can't let her sleep when she gets home or it's all over at bedtime. She seems to get her 2nd, 3rd, and 4th winds at about 5:30 and then she doesn't get tired again until 9:30-10:00 and it's a fight to get her to sleep. She has school every other day so it's really messing us up.
On the days that she doesn't have school she sleeps till about 8:00 and then she's ready for the day. I just feel like I can't get a schedule down for her because of not having school every day.
Anyone else gone through this and have any suggestions for me- neither of my other kids did this to me!
I would really appreciate any hints anyone has!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The day finally came!

Arianna has been counting down the days until her birthday party. Friday was the big day. I picked her and her friends up from school and we went to Build A Bear!
If anyone is trying to figure out a birthday party- I HIGHLY recommend this!
I told her she could take 5 friends and they charge $10 a child. I looked into other birthday parties- even doing it at my home and I couldn't do it for that price.
They did such a great job with the kids- they played games, told stories etc...
The kids just absolutely loved it! I was shocked with all the stuff they gave the kids- they came home with a bear and their bear house was stuffed with all the goodies they received! We came home and had pizza and cake and did a pinata and opened gifts. None of the kids wanted to go home ( I on the other hand was ready for them to go home!). Just to back track a little to explain: On the way to the mall my van was literally bouncing from all the movement in the back not to mention the noise level. We get there and the lady leading the party tells the kids; "You don't have to be quiet here- you can scream if you want to!" I about fell over thinking you don't know what you're saying!!!!! Anyway, the kids all had a great time!

Here they are being "bears" taking the bears to get stuffed.

They are getting the bears hearts ready to be put in the bears

The finished product!
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Father - Son bonding time!

This weekend is the "youth hunt". Young hunters get first crack at the deer before the main season opens up. Nick and Mark have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. It's their first hunting experience together. They got up early this morning and set off for their adventure. They saw a doe and other animals. No buck. They had a great time together and I'm glad the weather held off and it wasn't too rainy on them. I'm glad they spend this time together- what great memories this will make for them.
Of course Mark took the camera and they took lots of pictures. Take note of this first one- This was one that Nick took- it was his idea and I think it turned out great! I'm going to have to start putting together a portfolio type book for him of his great shots! He just might have a career in this- it is what he wants to do- at least for right now!

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bargain of the year!

I have a great deal for you! My blog is worth $53,066.76. For this offer I will be willing to part with it. I would call quickly, with this kind of great deal I imagine it will go very quickly!

If you want to see how much yours is worth go here.
Here's a great deal for you!!!Just let me know if you want to jump at this bargain- call quickly though- I imagine this will sell fast!!

My blog is worth $46,292.28.
How much is your blog worth?

Bargain of the year!

Here's a great deal for you!!!Just let me know if you want to jump at this bargain- call quickly though- I imagine this will sell fast!!

My blog is worth $46,292.28.
How much is your blog worth?

The bargain of the year!

Here's a great deal for you!!!Just let me know if you want to jump at this bargain- call quickly though- I imagine this will sell fast!!

My blog is worth $46,292.28.
How much is your blog worth?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I use this recipe to get my whites really bright. Make sure you only use this on whites though!

1/2 cup dishwasher detergent
1 cup bleach
1 gallon hot hot water

Soak for 6 hours and then launder as usual.
You will be amazed at the difference!

Head on over to Shannon's for more ideas!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Halle's Best Friend

Almost every day Halle will go outside to have a little chat with her best friend.
His name is Mack and he's our dog! It is the cutest thing, she will actually carry on a little conversation with him, asking him how he is today, if he would like a treat etc... She will come in and give me the "mack report" and let me know if he needs anything. I wish I could hook up a tape recorder out there so I could tape these conversations. Sometimes they can last quite a while. According to Halle, Mack tells her every time that he loves her and she tells him that she loves him too.
It really is the sweetest thing how much she loves that dog!

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Monday, September 18, 2006

The rest of the story

Our last day in St. Louis we went to the Arch. It was really a neat place. I didn't go on the Tram up in the Arch and from what I here now- I'm glad I didn't. With my fear of heights I don't think I would have done well!
There's a really neat little museum inside of it- the kids really liked that.
We only had one small incident with the security guards. Mark of course never leaves home without his pocket knife so they wouldn't let him in. He had to run the knife all the way back to the parking garage. Maybe from now on he will leave that thing home!!

What a great weekend we had and I can't wait to go back to see all the other things we didn't have time for. If you've never been to St. Louis- I highly recommend it!

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Please Pray for Amy

Through another blog I was led to Amy's blog. She is a mom of a young child and she is fighting leukemia. She is really going through a difficult health time right now and could really use our prayers.
If you have time read some of her past posts- her faith is so evident as she goes through this it's inspiring.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

We love St. Louis!!!!

Wow- We love it here! This is so much better than I thought it would be.
The traffic coming down here was terrible- it took us an extra hour but the kids did well considering they were traveling for about 8 hrs!
We saw the Arch on the way in and will go there tomorrow to see the sites there.
Mark is busy "WORKING" (golfing) right now so I thought I'd fill you in on our trip.
Mark had to represent his company at a golf outing so we all got to go along and it was paid for! How can you say no to that!
There is so much to do here we had to pick and choose.
This morning we started at the botanical gardens. We weren't going to go there but they opened up the earliest and we only had until noon when Mark had to leave for golf so we started there. I am so glad we went- we loved it! Mari- you have to come here sometime. We all kept saying "Mari and Bob would just love this place!"
It was beyond beautiful - Arianna kept saying "this place is so beautiful". Nick and Halle really enjoyed it too.
I don't know if the pictures will do it justice but I'll try with a few! Most of these are of the Japanese Garden section- that was my favorite. Click on the pictures to enlarge them- You'll get a better feel for the pictures when they're bigger

You'll never guess what we did next!! I can't even believe it!
We went to the Anheiser Busch Brewing Plant for a tour!
The man at the front desk really pushed us to go there because he said the kids just love it. We were trying to decide whether to go or not- I wasn't very convinced I wanted to bring my kids to a beer brewing facility and Nick says to us- but I thought you don't drink. We said we don't but the tour is free- so we went!
It was really cool! The kids got to see the Clydesdale Horses and it was really interesting to see the plant! We got to see the #8 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr- Mari I know you're jealous!!!( with your love of Jr and all!)
Here's a few pictures of that.

It's a warm 85 here but it's pretty comfortable. I wish we had more time we're thinking maybe for spring break to come back- what a neat city!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Nick

All I can say is wow- to think that you are 14 just really blows me away!
14 years ago, I was in the hospital holding my first baby and I was speechless then too! I remember the Dr telling me that you were the cutest baby he'd every seen and I had to agree with him. I remember how very proud dad was of his boy! I don't think he slept at all that first night he was so excited. You were such a good baby and I'm so thankful that you're still a "good" kid! I'm so very proud of how you are growing up into such a caring person. I love that you stand up for the other kids when they are getting picked on. You know what is right and wrong and most of the time you make good choices. I love your kind heart, your fun personality (even though sometimes it scares me how much you are like your dad!!), the fact that you are growing in Christ and your desire to do so, the love you have for your sisters (some days more than others!),the respect you show to us and others and I could go on.
You are the best son I could imagine and you make us proud! I'm so thankful God blessed our lives with you,
We love you so very much,

Word Association

Let's play the Word Association game: Just answer the first thing that pops in your head:
Here are the words and my replies:

Rack- of lamb
Master- Chef
Lemon- meringue pie
Mirror- image
Seven- The age Arianna was 2 days ago
Talk- phone
Fall- pumpkins
Vacation- Hawaii
Favorite Hymn- It is well with my soul

I look forward to hearing your association responses too!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Arianna

Well my little girl is fast turning into a little lady! I can't believe that it's been
7 years already! You started out as this tiny, tiny 12 pound 1 year old and now you're a petite 8 year old!! You are growing up so fast! I am so thankful that God chose us to be your parents. You sure do keep daddy and I on our toes- but you are without a doubt worth every moment. You are a very special little girl with lots of talents, personality, smiles, hugs, beauty (inside and out) and you are such a gift!
I am so proud of you honey- we love you very very much!
Happy, Happy 8th Birthday!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I had just gotten a new sweater and I moved a candle and spilled the wax on my sweater. I was sick about it. I had heard this tip and thought I'd try it.
It worked beautifully- not a spot left. If it ever happens to you try this- it really works!

Heat your clothes iron, just as if you were going to iron a shirt. Once it's warmed up, place a few paper towels on top of the candle wax stain. Place a few sheets around the stain, which will prevent scorching other areas. Now this is really simple, just iron the sheets of paper that are on top of the candle wax. The wax will liquefy and be absorbed by the paper towels.

As you iron the paper towels, the wax is absorbed into the sheets of paper. This looks like little spots of water or grease on the paper towel. Once you've seen these spots, you know the wax is coming out of your carpet or clothes.

Head on over to Shannons to get more great ideas!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sorry- these are a little late

With all the happenings last week I didn't get to post about our labor day weekend.
As you can see from the pictures- I should emphasize the word labor
The kids all enjoyed their last time of swimming. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend. Grandpa even got in the pool and played catch with Nick. Fun times and great memories!

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9-11

September 11 is a day that will forever be sketched in my mind. I can really remember it like it was yesterday. I vividly remember being in the kitchen with the Today show on in the background and then the commotion of them showing the towers with the gaping hole and then actually seeing the next plane fly into the building. I was just glued to the tv. I couldn't turn it off- it was like my mind just couldn't believe this was happening. It continued with the Pentagon and then the feeling of not being safe. I knew our area wouldn't be a high target area but it was just so unsettling. The next day I heard a very loud plane flying very low over our house and I flew out the front door to see what was going on and my neighbor came out of her house because she heard it too. It was a military plane and it was just so unsettling.
I think I cried every day for a week. The thought of all those children without dads was just so so sad. The question of were those people saved was also on my mind. I remember praying that God through His miraculous ways touched those people in those horrible minutes at the end of their lives.
I hope our country NEVER forgets that day. I remember my parents talking about the big historical events in their lives and how you never forget those moments. For me 9-11 will always be one of those moments in my life.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Arianna couldn't wait to start soccer. She played it at school and fell in love with it. Well the day finally came. She had her first game Saturday. We all went to cheer her on. I am a proud mama so bare with me! SHE DID AWESOME! WOOT WOOT!!
She drove that ball all the way down the field and she scored a goal!!
I have to say I am so impressed with her playing. I really didn't know what to expect but I think she has real talent with this! I even heard the other team talking about her and how good she was- I wanted to stand up and say Yes- that's MY daughter you're talking about!!
The game ended up being tied because of 2 silly mistakes by our goalie but that was a nice way to start the season with neither team feeling badly.
We got in the van and we were all telling her how good she did and she tells me "I told you I was good at soccer!"
Yes honey- you really are!!

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Prayers please

If you think about it today please keep Mark in your prayers. He's not feeling very well and he has to drive to Indiana very early in the morning and will not be back until late at night. He will have about a 19 hour day to get through.
It always makes me a little nervous when he's driving that far and is up so early in the morning and not getting home till late, but I really just wanted to ask for you to lift him up since he's not feeling well on top of it.

My baby went to school!

Yesterday was Halle's first day of school. She was so excited! We had a fog delay as you will be able to tell from the picture below. That didn't go over very well with her- she wanted to go to school and go now!. I did very well- I thought I would shed some tears but I didn't. It was very strange in the house all by myself. I kept thinking- I've got to check on Halle- it's way too quiet- and then I would realize that she was at school. I'll get used to it though. I cleaned the girls room and the living room and it actually stayed clean!!! Unbelievable!
She got off the bus and ran and gave me a huge hug- that was wonderful. When I asked her how school was she said "It was really great!"
I'm so glad and I hope the rest of the year is really great as well.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I just saw this idea in a magazine and thought it was great!

Trash Bag Switchout

I store my new kitchen trash bags at the inside bottom "corner" of my kitchen trash can. That way when I remove my filled bag, I reach into the bottom of my trash can, pull out a new bag, wrap edges of bag around the lip and I'm ready to go.
You can go to Shannon's for more ideas.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Arianna's 1st day of school

Here's Arianna all ready to head off for school. She is so excited and can't wait to see her friends again. She's very excited to tell them about her birthday party coming up. She wanted to know if since she was in 2nd grade now if I would still be out at the bus stop like I have been every other year when she came home this afternoon. I told her of course! She told me she would have a big hug for me when she got home! It struck me a little when she got on that bus how fast the time is flying by. I still see her as a little girl but she's going to be 8! Not so little anymore! Good thing my age is staying the same and my kids are the only ones getting older- right??!?!?
Nick didn't want his picture taken- he's way way way to old for that!! He was a little anxious but I know he'll do fine as soon as he get there.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

The happy dance

I saw this post and I have to say- I could have written that myself! You see I love my children dearly, but it's time that they go to school and I go home and can enter the bathroom by myself, do my daily chores without being called in 3 directions at once, don't have to stop bickering children, etc.... You all know what I'm talking about.
I will be so very glad to see them in the afternoon but is it wrong to tell you my big toe is already doing the happy dance in preparation for tomorrow??!!?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Change of Plans

Well Mark was on call for work this weekend and he ended getting called to go to Indiana today. We ended up all going along to bring this very much needed part down there. On the way home we encountered this "parade" of motorcycles.
I have NEVER seen anything like this. At first we just thought it was a group of bikes. Not even close! It never ended- they were being escorted by the police and there were people lined up and down the roads watching and waving. We were going 45 miles per hour and this lasted for 20 minutes!! I caught myself with my mouth hanging open because I have never seen so many bikes in my life- Mark thinks there were about 4-5000! I came home and looked up bike rally's in Indiana and it turns out this was a rally for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the Labor Day weekend. The website said each bike had a fee of $30 to ride in it- so I think Jerry's kids did quite well this weekend if this is any sample of how the fundraising went.
Here's a picture- this doesn't do it justice at all but it's the best I could get!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

Today we are going to Mark's mom's trailer for the afternoon- she has a beautiful trailer in a seasonal lot by the lake. It's a very nice campground and the kids will get to swim in the pool and play with their cousins. Tomorrow is church and then Monday we have a picnic with my extended family. I'm praying it doesn't rain!!
Mark is busy trying to do the brakes on a car to help out a family and it's been trying to say the least. The rotars had NEVER been changed and it's an older car so things haven't been going too smoothly. Hopefully he's done before we have to leave and he can just relax for the afternoon.
I hope everyone has a restful weekend- Enjoy the last bit of summer!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thank you God for families

I've pretty much always appreciated my family and I know how fortunate I am to have been born into my family. I am the youngest of 4. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. When I was younger, my sister Terri (who is closest to me in age) and I used to fight occasionally (my mom might have said a little more than occasionally!) When I got to be about 17 or so we were pretty much the best of friends. I truly don't know what I would do without my sisters. I can't imagine being an only child. I have seen around me other families that just bicker with each other and aren't close to each other. I think that is just so sad! It is my prayer that my kids will be close to each other when they grow up and realize what a gift they have in each other. I especially think of my girls- the face that we found Halle-(or I really should say Halle found us!) who is Arianna's full birth sister is absolutely a MIRACLE! God is so good!
I know getting Halle pretty much turned Arianna's world upside down but I pray that she will realize what a miracle that was.
Thank you God for the family you gave me and I pray that we never take each other for granted!

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