Friday, February 29, 2008

Photo Friday

This is what we Iverson's do on a Friday afternoon
when it's 55 outside on Leap Day!

"Oobleck" from a Dr. Seuss book

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Post Office Conspiracy

I mailed some packages yesterday and found out some very interesting information.

Postage is going up.

Okay, I'm sure that was not a big surprise, but for someone who still hasn't sent out her 2007 Christmas cards, that will make an impact. Or at least give me a deadline.

But the really interesting fact is that when you mail a package parcel post, in addition to asking you if there is anything fragile, breakable, flammable, or radio-active (oh, I kid, but it does seem like that is the next question to be asked), you are now asked if you included a note or a letter.


So they can charge you an extra $0.41! It was explained to me that if I mailed it Priority they would not require the extra postage.

What a scam!!!!

So, Jodi, your package is coming with a note - that I paid $0.41 extra for, but Juliet, yours is's a matter of principle!!

And as of May 12th, it will cost you $0.42!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stuffed Animals

Despite the fact that they are one of my most hated objects in my house, I am drawn to them. Who can resist the adorable hippo with it's puffy cheeks? So over the past few days as I've been cleaning my house, I have discovered an interesting fact.

My oldest four love stuffed animals.

Mikalah has a laundry hamper full of the ones she can not bear to part with. We've tried.

Judson has much fewer, but most of his have the fur "loved off". Each of his animals have special names.

Jarrett sleeps with at least twenty that he arranges in a "picture" before going to sleep - most of them are less than six inches in size. His animal's names are special, but descriptive, like: "White", "Coco", "Snowball", "Cave Lion", "Little Black Bear", "Coyote". He's been known to melt-down if he can not find one of those small animals. He accounts for each one before going to sleep. Here is a small sample of his animals. He took this picture.

Meredith also sleeps with a ton, although her count is usually less than 15. Her names are less creative: "Pink Bunny", "White Bunny", "Green Bear", "Hot Pink Bear", "Light Pink Bear", "Light-up Doll". But you know who she is talking about. She does have one creative one: "Princess Brownie". Here is part of Meredith's clan...taken by her.

Now the younger two don't care for stuffed animals. In fact they seem to loathe them.

I have tried to get Jeffrey to sleep with his bunny, his bear, and even Bob the Tomato. But to no avail. Usually the second the animal touches the bed, he tosses it across the room with a resounding, "NO!"

Morgan loves baby dolls, and stuffed animals, but not to sleep with. She likes hers either on the floor next to her crib or at the bottom of her crib, but not touching her.

Mike also has a few sacred animals. Eeyore, that Aunt Louise made for him when he was a baby & a large brown bear that has no name. Mike thinks he called him "Pooh", but he says that really he doesn't believe in naming them. But they are stored in a box in the basement.
As for myself, I also have a box of stuffed animals in the basement, that I too can not part with. Despite the fact that I have not opened the box in at least five years! My animals & dolls had REAL names, like "Jenny" and "Sally".
Here is a picture of me sleeping, that my loving husband took of me. While I'm not snugglin' with a stuffed animal, those little toes are not mine...they're Jeffrey's.
He has decided that he likes our bed better than his. I guess I've become his stuffed animal. Last night we took him back to his own bed twice - 1:38am & 2:46am.

So this year as Easter approaches, I did what every other sane person did...bought tiny beanie babies for the baskets. It just makes the baskets look cute!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chore Time

This is what happens when you send

Jeffrey and Morgan to feed the dog!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laundry, Lasagna, & Languishing

A week is a long time to go without blogging, and while I do not want to pressure myself to blog every day, sometimes I don't because I think you would think my everyday life is boring. But I have decided to look at this blog more as a journal than just fun info about my family. Which by the way is often funnier than anything I could ever make up!

So to catch up on this past week, I had a great Valentine's Day. Our Krispy Kreme plans started off good, but apparently our Krispy Kreme does not have the heart shaped cutter, so our doughnuts were pink and red sprinkled. Obviously, the kids didn't mind!

After breakfast, we sent the big kids off to school with all their Valentines, and these:
Cookies for Judson's class, brownies for Mikalah's and broccoli and pea pods for Jarrett's. Apparently the kids were allowed to volunteer for whatever they wanted. The broccoli was Jarrett's choice.

The kids all came home from school with stomach aches, saying they didn't want anything to eat. However, they sure ate the heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's.

Mike had planned a dinner out that night with Carrie watching the kids. That's just tradition. I think we figured that she has watched our kids every year for the last six years...what an awesome friend...what a pro!!!

Judson had basket ball practice still that evening and Mike was the sub-coach. So we went for a late dinner after b-ball practice. Great salad, yummy steak, and amazing company. Topped off with a trip to Walmart. That's right, but we had a good reason. Never mind that most of our dates end up at Costco, but at 10:30pm the doors are closed. But, why go to Walmart? Because we needed an extra part for my Valentine's Day present.

I have had my eye on this:surprising, I know. But this is what it was replacing:It took Mike quite a while to realize that I was not tricking him into getting a laundry sorter for me. I was not expecting flowers or chocolate or jewelry. I just wanted the laundry sorter. It doesn't mean the romance is gone, it just means he knows me well enough that I don't really NEED jewelry or chocolate, but the laundry sorter was a huge WANT!!!! I've eyed that thing for months & faithfully waited for the coupon at Costco. It just happened to coincide with Valentine's week!!!

On the weekend, I took the three older kids to Helena for a Bible Quiz meet. the kids did great, and I tend to think of it as a mini-vacation. If you can call a five hour drive to and from in a van with seven children a mini-vacation. (The extra four were Jill's, when she claims them!)

Sunday was a great morning at church - a few new people, and our first class for this session of Financial Peace University. A few had asked who Dave Ramsey was in a previous post. He's kind of a financial guru, in addition to radio host, public speaker. I'm sure there is a better description, but you can check out his site here.

Yesterday, I spent 1 hour with my friend, Terri, and we made four pans of Lasagna. This is the same lasagna recipe I have had since college, where Elaine and I experimented. Elaine, you'll have to tell me how your has evolved over the years.

Brown 1 lb. hamburger with chopped onion and minced garlic.
Add 32 oz. tomato sauce and 6 oz. tomato paste.
Add a lot of spices...
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. tarragon
1/2 t. rosemary
1/2 t. italian seasoning
1/2 t. parsley

You will also need lasagna noodles, 1 lb. cottage cheese, & 4 c. mozzarella cheese.

I put the noodles in the sink full of very hot water to soften. I do not cook them.

Layer 9x13 with thin smattering of sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, cheese, noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce, cheese.

Sprinkle top with parsley.

Bake at 350 for 45 min. covered & 15 min. uncovered.

Now, I'm thankful that I made lasagna yesterday, because I also took Jeffrey to the doctor. His ear was draining and that was just not good. Thinking he probably had an ear infection, we went in. Turns out he actually has strep. As does Jarrett who was at home with a fever of 103 and Judson with a fever of 101. After writing three prescriptions, my pediatrician asked if anyone else was feeling bad at home. Well, my throat is a little soar, but not too bad. She insisted on doing a strep test on me as well, and...positive. So I went to the pediatrician for what I thought was an ear infection and came home with four prescriptions for strep including one for and adult.

We've had a rough winter as far as colds. On the one hand I start to wonder what we are doing wrong. We are almost anal about hand washing, eat our vitamins every morning, drink plenty of water, get good sleep (most of the time). My doctor said that we are doing everything right, and Ryan Seacrest said on last night's American Idol that this has been a very bad cold season. So with those two authorities I'm just chalking it up to a bad year and am looking forward to Spring...and allergy season...yeah!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Back Seat of the Car

Just an update to Wednesday's far as #1, I cleaned out the van today.

9 socks
100 candy wrappers
2 bowls
4 water bottles
3 costco cups
25 legos
2 starbucks cups
2 backpacks
3 coats
5 stuffed animals &

but now it's pretty!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Because I'm Brain Dead Today

60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Oh that I had a back seat. I actually have 11 of them and there is not room to name all the junk back there! However in the very back storage area of the van I have a Costco bag full of emergency gear, and ice scraper (used too many times since Jan 1st), paper plates and cups for church, a rolling cart full of my junk from my friend, Patty, and a stroller not colapsed, but set up because it's just easier that way and because I have the room to do so. There's also probably a renegade sock or two from the two year old that refuses to leave his socks and shoes on in the car.

2. When was the last time you threw up?
I'd like to not try and remember that!

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Oh golly! (thanks to Shannon) and yes, that's about as bad as it gets around here. The kids will occasionally catch me saying the "s" word...stupid.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Mikalah, Judson, Jarrett,Meredith, Jeffrey, Morgan, & Mike (you didn't think I really be able to choose only three!)

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
At the dentist office getting my teeth was like a mini-vacation!

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Helping five children with Valentines - that's a lot of Valentines! This year I wimped out on making Valentines and bought them from Wally World. Next year we'll be more creative!

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Hopefully relaxing in the living room with my husband while the children are dreaming of sugarplums!

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Nope...dumb question

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
No, you may not have anymore candy!!!!!!!

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Tall skinny carmel latte

12. What are you wearing right now?
jeans & a sweater

13. What was the last thing you ate?
leftover brownie I made for MOPS Open House last night

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Do new shoes for Jarrett count?

15. When was the last time you ran?
Does chasing a two year old count?

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Mikalah's basketball game last Friday. I tried to video some with my phone - bad quality!

17. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Mike wondering what we were doing tonight..."Same thing we do everynight, Pinky...try to take over the world!!!!!"

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
MOPS Ministry Outreach Coordinator, replying about open house

19. Ever go camping?
unfortunately yes

20. Do you have a tan?
Let's remember where I live!!!!

21. Where was your last vacation?
What's a vacation?

22. Do you travel by car, train or plane?
When travel happens in our household, could you imagine the bill for plane tickets for eight? As a family, by bus (the Ivy Bus), by myself, definitely by plane!

23. Favorite drink?
Because my mother occasionally reads my blog, I respectfully decline to answer this question.

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
no, but I do like it over ice...lots of ice

25. What did your last IM say?
who's my IM?

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Mike says I am, although, I am so unworthy to be called so.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Since it is Valentines Day, I getting Krispy Kreme's at the crack of dawn, figuring out something fun for dinner, going to Bible Study, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning out the van (aka bus), packing the three oldest kids for Bible Quiz meet this weekend, making lunch, laundry, cleaning the kitchen from breakfast, lunch & dinner, laundry, mopping the floor, making beds, doing kids hair, bathing kids, laundry.........

28. Where is your mom right now?
I assume at home, but haven't been able to reach her today.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
Window to the backyard, Judson's backpack and coat, and an ugly green chair (note to self: get rid of green chair)

30. What color is your watch?
Silver and Pink - gift from the hubs

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
Keith Urban

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
A few years ago I would have said YES! Now that I have a pre-teen daughter, I'd say no. I don't want her to get the impression that I am dissatisfied with the body God has given me. Besides I was pretty happy with it until I had and nursed six kids. Would having surgery say that I wished I hadn't had and nursed six kids? Probably not, but I don't want her growing up thinking if she doesn't like something she can just have surgery to "fix" it.

33. What is your birthstone?

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
When there is money in the "Eating out" envelope we don't usually choose fast food. Otherwise I'd say drive thru.

35.How many kids do you want?

36. Do you have a dog?
Yes, and right now she's the most expensive kid! Two ear infections in the last two months!

37. Clean or messy desk?
I wish I could say it was clean, but things just appear on it! I think they are multiplying when I'm not looking.

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Jill Riley

39. Any plans today?
See Question #7

40. How many states have you lived in?
Eight...New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Nebraska, Texas, Washington, Indiana & Montana

41. Ever go to college?
Yup...LeTourneau University

42. Where are you right now?
at the computer...duh

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
constant messes...everywhere

44. Last song listened to?
Superhero by Go Fish

45. Favorite TV show?
Hello, writer's strike!!!!!

46. Are you allergic to anything?
children & cleaning

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Depending on the day...of those mother's whose children are old enough for her to put pretty things back in her house

49.Is anyone jealous of you?
Oh that's funny!!!!!

50. Current weather?
Gray, dreary & 36...6 inches of snow expected over the next 24 hours. But it'll be 60 on Saturday!

51. What time is it?
time to eat and we can't think of something to eat that doesn't involve cheese...we're out of cheese.

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Just about all of them!

53. Do you eat healthy?
Healthy portions as in "my, isn't he a healthy boy!"

54. What do you usually do during the day?
damage control

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
definitely not!

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
When the phone rings 50 times each day!

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Several times, my husband LOVES roller coasters...once said he was going to design them for a living. Now my life is a roller coaster!

60. How did you get one of your scars?
c-section from my oldest child!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Overheard Today

Jarrett: Mom, can I play on the computer?
Me: Sure, just a sec and I'll type in my password.
Jarrett: That's okay, I know it.

Mikalah: Can I take Hunter's Safety this Spring?
Don't you know that make her daddy's heart sing!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Oh Dear, What Could the Weather Be?

Look what I woke up to this morning... Yesterday there was no snow in our front yard, and despite the fact that it was 45 and very windy (40 mph), we really didn't need coats.

This morning it is 3 degrees and snowing...again.

But don't feel too bad for me, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 45 again!

***Side Note: In the first picture you can see my pink, tan, and green skinny brick. Just to give you another glimpse at my 1950s house.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Memories of Tom and Jerry

Funny kids story today...only not my kids.

My friend called yesterday to tell me that her sons (6 & 4) were watching Tom & Jerry. They do this almost every weekday so that mommy can have some quiet time.

Today however, when she put it on, the oldest says, "Oh, I've seen this one before. It's the one where Tom is chasing Jerry and Jerry is in front and Tom is in the back."

I think I may have seen that one too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Tribute to Dave Ramsey

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked.

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS !' replied the homeless woman. 'I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'

'Well,' I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was shocked. 'Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.'

I said, 'That's okay. It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.'

** NOTE: I really am thank ful to Dave Ramsey and have no fear of being homeless.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

I know you are all tired of hearing me complain about how cold it is. Which is especially funny since it is currently 41 degrees. It just feels really cold! I am on my second cup of apple cider this afternoon and I'm not really minding folding laundry...because it is warm.

Last night my solution to the cold was soup. It was sooooo delicious I thought I would share.

Remember it is still winter and we are still wearing big sweaters and jeans. We aren't too worried about calories...yet!

Baked Potato Soup

1 lb. bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
3/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp basil
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
9 c. chicken broth
6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 c. half-n-half
1/2 tsp. cayanne pepper
shredded cheddar
sour cream

In large stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Spoon out and drain off fat. Saute onion & garlic in bacon drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil & pepper. Mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Add cream, cayanne pepper, bacon pieces, and parsley. Heat thru until potoatoes are tender, but DO NOT BOIL. This basically means you are stuck in your kitchen, so pull out a magazine and stir the soup often. Garnish with shredded cheese and a dollup (an official amount) of sour cream.

I served this with raw veggies and some bread and I was in heaven...or just about. I'm pretty sure this will be served at the banquet table that God has gone to prepare for us! The leftovers were yummy for lunch today even without the cheese or sour cream.

Winter Blues

That's what I'm blaming my hiatus on.

There is a craziness to this time of year and a boring mundane part.

I do things like make many trips to Costco for normal groceries...

...but also for events. Things like Super Bowl party, car trips to Helena for Bible Quiz meets, and Financial Peace class at church.

Yeah Giants, yeah for the Manning family! Sorry just had to put a little interjection in there.

Jarrett and his team earning their ribbon at Bible Quiz Meet. I think they came in third...I should remember and document such things. If you look closely you can see that Jarrett is beginning to look like a shaggy dog. He wants to grow his hair out. He thinks it will make his cowlic lay down. I love his cowlic...and so will all the girls...maybe the shaggy dog look won't be so bad!
Where we ate on the way home. The food was so good! And it reminded me of when my family bought a jar of Kim-chi to try since we were adopting Joy from Korea. My mom opened the jar in the kitchen ignoring the "contents under pressure" warning. The jar exploded and my grandmother, sitting in the living room, was almost instantly in tears. It was potent stuff!

This is our group that completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class. It's a much better picture than this one...
It was an amazing class. It is a lot of common sense money principles that really aren't common sense. I learned a lot about investments and insurance and mortgages as well. I feel like I have the tools to understand financial stuff now. That doesn't mean that I completely understand MY finances! Seriously though, it does feel good to have a solid handle on our finances and to have a plan for our money. It 's not just coming in and going out. Although I do use the phrase, "Darn you, Dave Ramsey" with some frequency. It is said in love, people, in love!

In the 12 weeks, the class as a whole paid of over $67,000 worth of debt, saved over $10,000, and turned down over $3 million dollars worth of credit card offers! We decided to cut the cake with one of the remaining credit cards to be shredded!

The rest of our days have been filled with PTA events at school, daily homework and chores (you know, make a meal...clean up from a meal...make a meal...clean up from a meal...make a meal...or maybe bathe a a load of laundry...bathe a a load of laundry...bathe a kid...maybe that's just if you have a million kids...that's how many I have you know...I'm sure of least it seems like that from the mess they make!)

oh, and Hannah Montana...
But they are all lovely children...especially in sweaters sent by grandma in Texas. (mom, they all fit great with some growing room!)
And now I think it's time for some winter hibernation... least until we get above freezing!