Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Will We Ever Thaw Out?

I have lots to share, but no time in which to sit and compose and edit pictures. There's Bible Quiz, and Jarrett's growing hair, potty training stories, and the great freeze of January 2008.

For now I just wanted everyone (all four readers) to know that I hadn't completely frozen and I will attempt to get some pictures up this afternoon. However, the kids only have half a day of school, so we'll have to see how the day shapes up.

And if you were watching your weather, yes, Billings this morning was -15 (yes that is a negative!), but that was measured at the airport, which happens to sit on top of a big hill. Down in the valley where I live, it was only -6 (yes, that's still a negative!).

Meredith has a doctor's appointment this morning at 10:30. It's only 9:30, but with all the bundling up that need to be done, it may take me the whole hour!

Till later...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keys, Anyone?

Just a few minutes ago I went outside (25 degrees) to load Morgan and go get the other two from preschool. I put her and my purse in the car and remembered I had left my phone in the house. I ran back in and was coming out to strap her into her car seat and get going.

She was so proud of herself sitting in the passengers seat, looking like a giant marshmallow in her pink fluffy coat...with the doors locked. Apparently the lock button was appealing.

I reached into my coat pocket for my keys. That's where they usually are. However, Mike started the van for me this morning with his keys. So I wouldn't lose his keys when I got out of the van, I put them into my purse. That also happens to be where my keys are.

Two sets of keys...both in my purse...both locked in the van...with marshmallow girl.

She was so proud of herself as she continued to push the lock button. I called Mike and continued to encourage Morgan to keep pushing the button just hoping she would eventually hit the UNlock button.

She did!! And I quickly opened the door, grabbed her, and gave her a big hug. Disaster averted...or so I would think.

I looked at my watch and realized the whole ordeal was less that five minutes and we still had time to get to preschool on time. I closed the front door of the van and tried to open the side door. Locked? How did she manage to unlock just the front door? No worries, just open the front door and unlock the rest of the doors. Locked!

Somehow when I opened the door, she must have hit the lock button again. Now both sets of keys and my cell phone are locked in the car, but my baby is not!

Thanks to Terri for bringing my kids home from preschool and to USAA for, yet again, unlocking my van doors. I think this is four times in four years. (The first time was when we had our van for one day.) Time to get a third key and give it to a friend!!!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

57 Days Until Spring

I really don't like snow...and I really don't like wind...but I really DETEST the two together!

That's what we have right now. This past weekend we got 12 inches of snow and Monday's high was 8 degrees! I know just about everyone around the states is dealing with cold and snow or ice, but it was just a little bit ago that it was 60 degrees here and I was wearing walking shorts. Today I wore two shirts and leggings and jeans plus my fake Uggs (better known as fUggs) and my parka, gloves, hat and scarf anytime I had to leave the house.

This is what it looked like half-way through our weekend snowfall. No sitting in the hammock today!

Rumor has it that the weekend will be back in the mid 40s, just in time for more snow next week. Thank goodness there are only 57 days until the first day of Spring. If only that really meant anything. I'm not sure I'll thaw out until June!


This evening I channeled my wanna-be southern roots and made Chicken Fried Steak. My husband acted like he was in heaven and asked why it took 13 years of marriage for me to make it! As I ate it I could feel the fat suctioning itself to my thighs. While I will admit the steak, mashed potatoes, and required country gravy was good, if eaten more than once a year I may grow larger than the house!

Combined with last night's meal of Baked Potato Soup and homemade bread and our family is now starting a regular exercise program!


I promised a few of my six loyal readers I would show you the canvases that I painted for our church preschool. I just used regular latex wall paint and a black paint pen (for outline) and then hot glued black ribbon around the edges to hide the staples on the canvas. The whole project cost about $25 thanks to the 50% sale at Hobby Lobby. (Thank you Hobby Lobby for coming to Billings!) And last but definitely not least, we bought a new bed this weekend at, of course, Costco. Mattress and box spring and memory foam topper. The memory foam part has finally "popped out", so tonight will be the first night sleeping on it. I'll let you know what I think. Right now it just seems weird. However new bed for us meant our bed became Judson's bed and Judson's bed became Jeffrey's bed and Jeffrey's toddler bed is no more. Only one child left not in a "big kid" bed!

And of course new beds mean cleaning...the vac behind the bed, under the bed, and find all sorts of treasures...most not valuable...kind of Spring Cleaning...except Spring is still too far away!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Morgan's Words

  • thank you
  • please
  • bye
  • go
  • daddy
  • mommy
  • ka-ka (Carrie)
  • JJ
  • sissy
  • bubby
  • mee-mee (Meredith)
  • mo-mo (morgan)
  • cooter (scooter - jeffrey)
  • woo-hoo (mitzi the dog - there's a story with that one)
  • puppy
  • baby
  • downstairs
  • house
  • eat
  • juice
  • puppy
  • elmo
  • dora
  • diego
  • boos coos (blues clues)
  • night-night
  • car
  • hat
  • nose
  • eye
  • ear
  • cheek
  • belly
  • no
  • cow
  • sheep
  • no touch
  • mine (gotta love that one)
  • no mine (see above)
  • pray (makes up for the ones above)
  • Jesus...amen (that's her short prayer)
  • shoe
  • boot
  • sock
  • teeth
  • hair
  • bowl
  • snack
  • cup
  • potty
  • powder
  • mouth
  • again
  • more
  • book
  • car
  • coat
  • out
  • bubbles
  • I want more
  • map (dora related)
  • boots (also dora related)
  • color
  • ball
  • coming (says when you call her)
  • TV
  • button
  • one
  • two
  • I love you! (particularly special since Jeffrey is saying, "I don't love you, Mommy!)

I'm sure there are many more, but it amazes me that my baby is less of a baby every day! She is beginning to put sentences together and develop more of an independent personality.

On the one hand I am so ready for this, on the other hand, I miss the baby stage. But there will be no more babies for me...(loud cheers and yippees!)...just the nursery at church! I'm down to a single stroller, leaving the diaper bag in the car, and only three car seats!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Random Photos

I haven't posted pictures in a while and these really have no rhyme or reason to them, just life in our crazy house.

Here is Morgan on Sunday morning. Usually she doesn't come into my classroom, the infants, because she thinks she is too big for the baby stuff. This morning she decided I had some fun toys.

The other day I was changing the sheets on my bed and needed Mike's help flipping the mattress.

Side note: in the upper left hand corner of my mattress I have JFM, AMJ, JAS, OND on different corners. Since it is January, JFM should be in the upper left corner, when April rolls around, we'll flip it again.

Anyway, I was in a hurry to get the bed made and Mike wanted to relax. So I started making him into the bed. I couldn't get the fourth corner attached and I begged him to get up. He said he wasn't moving until I got my camera so I could blog about it.

Before Christmas, Morgan and Jeffrey helped me make blonde brownies as gifts for people. They unwrapped all of the caramels and put them in a bowl. they did wash their hands first and surprisingly didn't eat any of the caramels.

Mikalah and Judson are both playing basketball this winter. I did not manage to get pictures of Judson's game because it was at dinner time and kids were not cooperating.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Email Funny, but True

An old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.He followed me into the house, down the hall, and fell asleep in a corner.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.The next day he was back, resumed his position in the hall, and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar:"He lives in a home with ten children -- he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Going Green

That's the buzz I keep hearing.

So again, new year, new start.

Some ideas recently given to "go green".
  1. purchase a hybrid vehicle
  2. replace light bulbs with compact florescents
  3. compost
  4. wash clothes less often
  5. reuse plastic containers
  6. recycle

And now my responses:

  1. Do they make a hybrid 15 passenger van? At this point, I'd just be happy to get double digits in my gas mileage!

  2. Yuck! I need to do everything I can ta make my house warm and friendly and my aging skin to look good, and compact florescent lighting is not the answer!

  3. compost pile + dog + little boys = Huge Mess!

  4. Am I suppose to wear them with food and baby goo? Do this apply to a potty training child? What about the 6 & 9 year old boys that have forgotten what napkins are? Work-out clothes?

  5. You mean most people don't? I draw the line at cool-whip and margarine tubs!

  6. Do the pop cans that we turn in every three months for $6 count?

I think our push will be in turning lights off. that benefits the environment and my checkbook. Any other suggestions?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shaving my Legs & Potty Training

This morning I dragged myself out of bed early to get ready.

It was our first official day of preschool and I was taking Meredith and staying while Mike stayed home with the kids. Not because I couldn't stand to see my little girl leave for preschool, but because we need two adults there. So I got some peace and quiet and sat at the front desk to answer phones and greet anyone who came in.

(Note: the phones didn't ring and no one except parents dropping off and picking up the children came.)

So while I was in the shower at an ungodly hour of the morning I was trying to decide what to wear. I thought grey walking shorts and green hoodie sweater would be cute, but required me to shave my legs.

After my shower I got dressed and noticed that I forgot to shave my legs.

The "old Jenn" would have changed or at least dry shaved on the side of the tub, but the new relaxed Jenn decided if anyone was close enough to see my legs I probably had other problems.

See I'm working on the OCD stuff.

Thankfully at the time I didn't think of the cute doctors that would be taking care of me should I be in an accident and would see my unshaven legs!

I did have clean under wear on though!

Speaking of under wear (see how I tied that in...amazing isn't it!), Jeffrey is now on day three of being completely dry through the day! Hallelujah!

Never mind that I bought a giant box of diapers last week at Costco for $37!!! I think diapers have gone up in price!!!!

This does however mean that he should soon accompany Meredith to preschool and for two hours, three days a week I will have one child! WOW!!!

Of course then I'll have to get five children up, dressed and fed by 8am three days a week...ugh...no more walking shorts and shaved legs for a while!!!

Happy New Year!

I love the new year because it is like a fresh start. So is Feb 1st, March 1st, etc. And then so is every Monday. Before you jump on me and say Sunday is the first day of the week, my Sunday is like the day the project is due...it is a busy day...not a restful day. Monday is my beginning.

So every New Year's I come up with things I want to accomplish in the next year.

Getting Birthday & Anniversary cards to everyone on time is a reoccurring goal. However, seeing as my Aunt Laura and Uncle Mark celebrated their 32nd anniversary last week, I'm already behind! My Grandmother was so good with birthdays. She had the envelopes addressed and ready to go I think for the whole year. When she died in August, we still got a birthday card for Mikalah in September in her handwriting. What a special time!

And of course there is the diet and exercise goal. And the chocolate orange I ate yesterday threw that one out the window. But this morning I did get a skinny, sugar-free vanilla latte at Starbucks. That's a start.

But most of all this year, I have decided to focus on relaxing.

Not watching movies and eating ice cream, but deciding what is important and necessary and focusing on only that.

I want my house to be drop-in guest ready, but that doesn't mean the whole house. That means one bathroom, that living room/dining room and kitchen. It can look like someone lives there, but I'm not folding laundry in the living room anymore and making massive piles on the couch.

It will be some one's responsibility to load and unload the dishwasher after every meal, and the dirty dishes that need to be washed must be washed or fit in the sink.

My bathroom (the one everybody uses) will be wiped down every morning as I brush my teeth.

My desk in the kitchen is getting an overhaul and only the things that I use every day will stay. Everything else will find a home elsewhere.

The mail now has a sorting spot right by the garbage can and the kitchen counter (where it collects if I don't sort it immediately!)

Now I'm sure the rest of my house will be a bit scary. Like the fact that you can't walk through the basement without stepping over 1 million toys. That will be a project for another day.

Right now I have to get a handle on the immediate.

And the Christmas card that has now become the New Year's card and can not become the Martin Luther King Day card will be handled this week!