Sunday, August 3, 2008

Out from under the book...

Well now that I'm out from under the book I can get back to my regularly scheduled blogging! I read all 4 Twilight series books over the past 5 days. I couldn't help myself. They're really good!

I also went to the Breaking Dawn (the 4th book in the series which was released August 2) book release party at Barnes and Noble with my sister and sister-in-law. We even made book t-shirts. I felt like I had stepped backwards in my life about 15 years. And then I realized while I was there that I am offically *old*. I was so out of place! So while the teenage kids chatted and giggled I shopped for homeschool supplies and birthday presents for my kids.

We ended up leaving before the actual book release and going to buy our books at Walmart. There was no crowd... we just walked up to the display, plucked our books off the shelf and paid for them. Incidentally the cashier told us that they had "had these for awhile" and we figured this backwards Rocky Mount redneck Walmart probably HAD stocked them before midnight and we could have been well into our reading before the official release date! Oh well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sucked in by Twilight...

I too have been sucked in by the series. They're phenomenal!

When I first saw one of the books in my sister's bathroom (I know, she reads on the toilet. Gross.. hahaha don't we all?) I opened it up and I read a few lines and thought to myself "Wow, this is really stupid. Its about teenage vampires" And I closed it without a second thought.

Months went by and somehow they came up in discussion with my sister and sisters-in-law and they told me that I just *had* to read them. Being the bookworm that I am, I took the challenge and before I knew it I was thoroughly engrossed. In fact my nose was stuck inside the books for three days straight (even well into most nights... I read til 3 or 4 a.m. until I could no longer keep my eyes open) and I LOVED them. Well at that point the 4th book, Breaking Dawn, was still along way from release so I went on my merry way and forgot about the books.

Fast forward to this week--my sister and sisters-in-law remind me that the book is coming out THIS weekend. I remembered that I enjoyed the books but not so much the fine details, so I decided that I should reread them before this weekend so I can buy the 4th book and read it immediately.

I should point out at this point that it is *extremely rare* that I would pick up a book and read it a second time unless it is something like, oh a COOKBOOK.

So I start with the first book, Twilight. By the end of that day, I have FINISHED the book! I couldn't believe how quickly I was sucked in on the second go round! So yesterday I picked up the second book and this morning I finished the last 50 pages. This afternoon I picked up the 3rd book and I am now halfway through it. They are SO GOOD!

Now of course like all other Twilight readers I have formulated my own theories of what will happen in Breaking Dawn. But I'll save that for another blog post. Suffice it to say, I'm a die-hard Jacob fan. I'm going to be really mad if he doesn't end up happy!

So Stephenie Meyer, many kudos to you for your excellent writing skills! My hat is off to you... but you better make this last one GOOD for Jacob!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is how it went down..

A few weeks ago I was in WV visiting Jason. I had been drinking some Diet Dr Pepper on the drive and had bought some more and drank it while visiting him. That evening my chest began to hurt so badly that I could barely stand it. I went and laid down and over the next day or two the pain subsided and eventually disappeared. I didn't think much of it and went on with my life (but didn't drink more Dr Pepper, not because I made any connection but because as a general rule I try to avoid sodas)

Fast forward a week or two later.. I'm back at my moms and I had a headache, so while I was out I bought a 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper. Drank it all and about 6 hours afterwards I started having chest pains. At this point they were mildly uncomfortable and I went to sleep. The next day I awoke with the pains but they were bearable. I was busy outside for the majority of the day. Around 3 p.m. that day the pains got so intense that I had to go sit down and try to breathe. The pain intensified when I inhaled.

Later that evening I got another 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper, and drank the entire bottle. Still not making the correlation.

The next day Jason was here and we took the boys out and went canoeing. That morning I bought another 20 oz Diet Dr Pepper and drank it while we were out. Later that evening the chest pains were so intense I was considering a trip to the ER.

I started considering what was causing these chest pains. What changes had I made in my diet? Then it dawned on me. The common denominator in the two incidents of chest pain was the Diet Dr Pepper. I began to search the internet and found reference after reference of the dangers of aspartame. There are 92 documented known side effects of aspartame! The video I posted yesterday tells some shocking truths of aspartame. Heart arrhythmias, brain tumors, lupus, muscular sclerosis.. all caused by aspartame! SCARY SCARY STUFF!!

This morning I have been ALMOST 48 hours without aspartame. The chest pains have decreased dramatically. They are almost gone. Needless to say, in the future I will avoid aspartame like the plague. I will encourage everyone around me to give it up and I will NEVER allow my children to have it.

It sickens me that the FDA who is supposed to be protecting the public allows this poison to circulate throughout our society. And it saddens me that so many people don't know what they're getting into when they put it in their bodies.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why haven't I been here? Aspartame...

Aspartame is apparently not good for me--I've been down with chest pains as a result of my consumption of aspartame in Diet Dr Pepper. In fact, on further investigation, its apparently not fit for human consumption.

Pop some popcorn, pour yourself a glass of non-diet beverage and take a look:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Middle Child Syndrome..

Well today I had wanted to post a video of the aforementioned chicken running but I wasn't able to get a good clip. I'm going to try again today and maybe tomorrow you'll see a running chicken.

So today I thought I'd discuss my curious middle child. Now, I've never been a middle child OR a boy myself so he and I have very little in common. He is very active and I am not. I'd rather sit on the couch. He lives in a happy little place in his head that I call "Nathan Land" .
This picture is a very accurate portrayal of Nathan visiting "Nathan Land". He's the straggler back there, just humming along at his own pace. He really does hum, whenever he's enjoying himself (be it playing or just in his thoughts) he's humming. He carries an assortment of toys with him everywhere he goes. Lately its been robots. I call them his "accessories". They go everywhere with him, from the toilet, to the dinner table and even to bed. Although he's in Nathan Land most of the time, he'll immediately come back to Earth if you ask him for a hug. He's the sweetest of all three boys. Now I love all my kids the same but if I had to pick a favorite... well.. I'm just saying.

I've read some stuff about middle child syndrome-insecurity and a bunch of other psychological rubbish about having hard time coping. I think he's going to be just fine! Of course I'm biased because I'm his mother. As it stands right now, I think he's perfect!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's a chick, there's a chick...

My mom has chickens.. LOTS of chickens. Most of them are running around pooping everywhere but some of them are in chicken tractors. Haha no they're not DRIVING tractors, its a movable cage for chickens with the idea that the chickens are fertilizing and cultivating the soil. Back to the point-- Mom has so many chickens that I've taken to calling her the Crazy Chicken Lady. You know like old ladies with hundreds of cats in their houses... well she can't have cats inside so she has chickens outside. She loves those chickens. They all know her and come running when they see her and if you haven't seen a chicken run you are really missing out. If you can imagine a fat lady holding up her dress and running as fast as she can.. even the mental image is hilarious!

So anyway this year Mom was smart and put her broody hens in chicken tractors so she wouldn't double the pooping population running around the yard. One unruly hen slipped through the cracks and showed up a few days ago with TWELVE chicks that she had been hiding and setting on. Well Mom had already dubbed this hen an unfit mother for one reason or another and she proved once again that in spite of her ability to SET she still couldn't take care of them. Kind of like a teenager who gets pregnant who CAN have a baby but doesn't mean they SHOULD! Ha!

So Mom finds this chicken with her babies in a water bowl, about to drown. One had already drowned. So Mom starts operation chick rescue and takes the babies away. We get here (we had been out of town when this happened) and she tells us that we can have the chicks! My boys are delighted, as you can tell in this picture of Hunter! He really is happy... he just doesn't like strangers like you.So now not only are we a displaced family that is pretty much homeless waiting for our house to sell, but we also are accumulating a menagerie-- a dog, a guinea pig and 10 chickens. What will I think of next?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm in love

and I don't think Jason will ever take me there again. Where you ask? Well to Jason's dads place. A year or so ago he bought 50 acres in some little town in the mountains in Tennessee. We visited him earlier this year (I think) and then just recently over the 4th of July weekend.
Well the last visit did me in. I went running while I was there and met this dog, but that isn't what made me fall in love. The views are SPECTACULAR. He lives in a valley and it is just gorgeous. I threatened to bring our travel trailer down and live in his field. I think he thought I was joking... haha he may get a surprise one day.

So now I'm in love with the place. Not only am I in love with it, but I'm slightly obsessed with having my own little piece of the country. Yeah, I always wanted land before but after falling in love in TN I REALLY want a piece of land. Like it consumes my thoughts all day long. And so of course Jason knows about my obsession, which leads me to wonder if I'll ever get to visit TN again... at least as long as we don't have our own little piece of the country.

Here are the boys with Jason and Don after fishing ON DONS PROPERTY! A river runs through it! See why I'm so jealous?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Evolution of the Mommy Mobile

It all started when someone got this bright idea for a wheel.
Suddenly, women didn't have to carry their kids anymore. They could cart them! But since horses were doing the pulling, moms would let their kids ride and they would walk.

Then this genius came along by the name of Henry Ford, and he designed the horseless carriage! No more walking for mom!
Well it got kind of drafty in the old horseless carriage so eventually automobile makers decided to glass in the whole vehicle. Mom could keep her hairdo AND not have to walk.
Then the 60's came along, and the standard glassed-in horseless carriage was fine for getting around, but if you were a mom who liked to have a good time you needed a mommy mobile that you would double as your home, since you were so busy traveling around and spreading the love.

Finally, Mommies realized that all this peace and love was great until you find out that you've contracted some nasty VD. So they decided to settle down and trade in the old love van for a more respectable ride. But they couldn't be confined to the limited square footage of a wagon, so they moved into a 'conversion van'.
The conversion van was great for Mommies of the 80's, but the 90's came along and with it the development of the 'soccer mom'. Make room for the MINIvan. Which is not really very 'mini' at all, but compared to the conversion van I suppose it is a step down.
Well along came the 2000's and with it the bigger houses, bigger value meals, bigger highways, bigger butts, bigger boobs, bigger credit card debt, well... you get the picture. Now the minivan isn't big enough either. For heaven's sake, its called a MINI van! Nothing 'big' about that. So everyone's movin on up to an SUV. And thus, the Mommy Mobile of the 2000's becomes the gigantic, gas guzzling SUV. (Keeping in mind that while these status symbol vehicles seat 8, the average SUV-owning family has 1.8 children.)

BUT as Mommies hurry to buy up the SUV's all over the country, an alarming thing happens. Oil prices start to climb at an alarming rate. And suddenly, people start to care about the impact of their SUV's on the world's non-renewable resources! Hahah gotcha. They only care about their SUV's gas tanks impact on their credit card balance I mean wallet. So here we are in the late-2000's and bring in the HYBRID. The fuel efficient, runs partially on electricity status symbol of the later 1st decade of the 21st century.My prediction is that it won't be long before we're all taking a cue from Asia and traveling around in rickshaws. You oughta buy up some stock in Schwinn because I hear they are working on the American model rickshaw, complete with an MP3 player, global GPS and a cell phone charger. I bet we'll see a lot less Mommy Mobiles at the McDonalds drive through super sizing it when they're pedaling their babes around in one of these!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A terrible sound...

What is the worst sound a mother can hear, traveling along the interstate alone with her three (or more) children ages 5 and under? Well honestly the worst would be a "HUWAAAAAAAAAAH" which would be the sound of a child vomiting all over himself and his brothers. Which is, most fortunately, NOT what happened this time.

So lets say the second worst sound.

#2 screams "I have to poo poo NOW or I'm going to poo poo in my pants!" Of course I start looking for the nearest bush to stop and let him squat behind. Darn the interstate, there ARE no bushes! So I settle for the next gas station. Unload all three kids, run inside and desperately ask the not-so-friendly man-woman cashier where the bathrooms are. He/she points down the hall to her left and grunts. "Thanks" I say and run the kids to the bathroom.

Of course this bathroom is a one toileter. You know, just one big room with a toilet and a sink. No stalls, no additional toilets. Which is fine if you are alone and childless. Not so much when you have two kids who both have to go and who seem to be unable to hold it any longer once there is a target I mean toilet in view. Obviously my boys are better at resolving this problem than I. #1 lifts the toilet seat and side by side they both drop their drawers and pee in unison. Its like synchronized urinating. It was beautiful. If it were an olympic event, they would have won a gold medal.

So after the olympic training, #2 hops up on the pot and takes care of his OWN #2. Thats over, we wash hands, leave the bathroom and then purchase some 'guilt candy' for using the gas station restrooms as a rest stop. (Don't tell me you don't buy guilt candy, are YOU one of those people who just runs out the door really quickly not making eye contact with the attendant? Shame on you!)

Load up the kids in the van and get back on the interstate. So 10 minutes down the highway I hear another voice from the back seat, its #1 this time (remember the synchronized urination, he DID just relieve himself)

"Mama! I have to go potty!"

Those dreaded words.

I'm not saying I MYSELF did this, but meaner moms than I might have just told their son they would have to hold it.

heh heh.

I think I'll hold off potty training #3 until he's leaving for college.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Picky eaters.. made, not born

This has been weighing on my mind a lot ever since I saw a post on a message board about this book called the Sneaky Chef. In this book a mom creates recipes like brownies with spinach, cookies with zucchini, and more and more of the like. Apparently parents in our country are so desperate to get their kids to eat vegetables that they cook them down into a mash, puree them and 'sneak' them into foods that their kids enjoy.

WHAT THE HECK?? That is absolutely absurd. Maybe I've been blessed with non-picky eaters... no wait, thats not true. Because they've all gone through a picky stage. But you know what I DIDN'T do? I didn't cater to them. I didn't let them start a diet of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets. I continued to present them with what the rest of us were eating and let them sit there and huff and puff over how they didn't want it. Sometimes they ate it, and sometimes they didn't. We don't EVER make our kids eat a thing. If they're hungry-- they'll eat. Pure and simple. And they got over it. And you know what? Even the baby will eat brussels sprouts and broccoli now. Without it being pureed into his dessert. I think the picky eater phenomenon in America is being fostered by the parents. Google it, its an AMERICAN thing. Nowhere else in the world do they have this phenomena occurring.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Update on us:

Well I haven't been blogging lately because our life is so incredibly hectic right now. Actually, I HAVE been blogging just not here. Mary (my youngest sister) and I have been blogging about our weight loss on I have lost 20 pounds so far! Hooray!

Ok on to our hectic life. We've had our house on the market for 2 months. We've had FOUR people look at it. So depressing. No offers or anything. Jason is working in WV during the week and living with a guy he works with. We see him on the weekends, usually. The kids and I are at my mom's house because the stress of keeping the house clean while I was home alone with three kids was about to send me into the looney bin. We miss our friends at home and hate that we're away, but where is home now anyway? I feel like we're practically homeless. Our house is for sale so its not the way we lived in it. Most of our belongings are in storage except for furniture. And a great deal of our furniture is in storage too!

Bah. Its just depressing. Hopefully our house will sell and this will all be over soon. We're getting ready to drop the price, which means we'll be having to take out a loan to close when the time comes. HOPEFULLY the time will come soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A MOST yummy snack

Recently I was reading some health food magazine (I think.. I saw it SOMEWHERE anyway and the health food magazine seems the most likely source) and there was a snack mentioned that goes as follows, all measurements are guestimates, I didn't do any measuring and the magazine didn't give directions it just mentioned the ingredients:

Grab 2-3 nice juicy apples. Cut the core out of the center (a bit tricky but do-able).

Mix: 1/2 c peanut butter, 1/3 to 1/2 c rolled oats, 2 tbsp sugar (I used some natural fruit juice extract sugar stuff.. I forgot what its called) and a pinch or two of cinnamon.

Stuff peanut butter mixture into core of apple.
Slice apple into rings so each ring has a peanut buttery center.


This is SOOOO yummy I made it tonight for a little after-dinner snack and we all loved it! Try it, you'll love it. OH I just remembered, I think the original source said something about raisins. You could certainly add those too!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Nature rocks!

Today I picked some fresh lettuce from my porch garden for my sandwich. As I was washing it I saw those little green bugs that are the BANE of my gardening existence! APHIDS! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Well I made sure I washed them all off (they do match the color of the lettuce perfectly so I may have inadvertently had a turkey, cheese, lettuce and aphid sandwich!) ate my lunch and then went out to inspect.

ARGH! I found SOME aphids on the lettuce but not a whole lot. I squished a few (ew. right between my bare fingers. ew.) but I kept spotting these bugs that looked very similar to lacewings but if memory serves, lacewings are green and these were brown. So I came inside to consult my crystal ball (aka the WWW) and found that YES there ARE brown lacewings and that is what I have on my lettuce plants, YAAY!

For those who don't know, lacewings are predators of aphids. But in GREEN lacewings only the larvae are aphid predators. BROWN lacewings are aphid predators in all stages of life! WOOHOO! GO NATURE! So I'm hoping the aphids will disappear and then I can relocate the lacewings to the garden.

In other gardening news:

The stupid, stupid, stupid ants have already been farming their aphids on my pitiful little tomato plants. I don't even know if they will make it. And I found some suspicious eggs on TWO tomato plants today that look an awful lot like squash bug eggs...... AHHH! I had squash bugs SOOO bad last year. I am so upset to find those eggs. And unfortunately, lacewings don't do much about them :(

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It just seems wrong.

Last night the boys and I went to Kroger and were restocking our fruits and veggies, as we tend to have to do about twice a week. I have been letting the boys each pick a new (or sometimes 'old') veggie to try and they really seem to enjoy it.

So as we're going through the produce department making our selections I had FOUR different people comment on how cool it is that my kids are interested in vegetables. Umm... yes I suppose it is cool that they are interested in good food. But what is so sad is that they even thought that it would be UNUSUAL for a kid to be interested in the produce department! I mean seriously, it is the most interesting, most ALIVE part of the grocery store. We LOVE the produce department. All the colors, discussing what kind of a plant or tree or root the veggie or fruit grows from and how you cook it, etc..

So pondering that led me to thinking about some rotten injustices in our country. For instance-- you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in this country (19 in some states) and for good reason. They MAY cause cancer. MAY, not in everyone's case. Ignoring the fact that they're disgusting and can cause fires, just the health risks. But in the SAME country a FIVE YEAR OLD can go to the counter at McDonalds, order a 1/4 pounder a super value fries and a 44 oz soda. That meal is GUARANTEED to increase their cholesterol levels, their sugar levels, and very LIKELY will cause diabetes and heart disease later in life. And the diabetes are occurring at younger and younger ages.

On the rare occasion that my kids and I go to McDonalds (ok we are guilty of the drive thru about once every other month) I am so saddened to see what parents let their kids eat. We went to McDonalds last week to get out of the house (yucky rainy week) and I let the kids play in the playplace. Now I'm certainly NOT saying that I am the poster child for model eating (I'm 40 pounds overweight after all!) but when we go places like McDonalds I _never_ let the kids have soda or french fries. I am SO happy that they offer juice boxes and apple slices as an alternative. And that is what my kids _always_ have and they don't even think to ask for fries. Actually only one of them even LIKES fries.

So.. while we were there this lady came in with her daughter who was almost 3. She went and got the little girl a cheeseburger kids meal with fries and a soda. A typical McMeal. Then she proceeded to MAKE her child finish the food before she could play--not finish the amount that she WANTED to eat, finish it all. "You still have 3 fries left". Ohhh on so many levels this bothered me! The worst and most sad part is that I bet that woman doesn't even truly realize how bad the food she is MAKING her child eat is for her. Then theres the whole "clean your plate" argument. I NEVER force my children to eat anything, particularly if it is something that isn't even REMOTELY good for them.

Anyway so I was thinking that there needs to be some serious change in this country. Like a cholesterol check to determine what menu items you are eligible for at fast food restaurants. Or a scale! That alone would keep quite a few patrons out of McDonalds. Different weight categories make you eligible to purchase different items.

But I think the biggest thing that is WRONG with this country is awareness. I am aware, but I still struggle. But if it was more of a joint effort, if EVERYONE wanted a change then things would start happening. I hope that day comes before my kids are grown and have over the limit cholesterol levels of their own.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm bored.

I shouldn't be. There is really a lot that I *could* be doing. Well, actually thats not even true. There are a few things that I *should* do but not a LOT. The house is practically empty, the for sale sign is in our front yard. Its been there for 48 hours now. AND NOT ONE CALL! I figured they should be beating down the door by now, the bidding war should have started.

Know anyone who wants to buy a house?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Montessori Math

Lately Hunter's biggest questions/concerns have been how much is one hundred and how much is one thousand. I think these questions started after we read the Usborne book "How big is a Million?" (shamelessly spamming myself! It really is a neat book, hardback and has a HUGE poster in the back with a.. well, I don't want to give away the ending but lets just say it has a million of something!)

So since most EVERYTHING is packed up I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to illustrate 100 and 1000 for him. One of the ladies on my diapering message board is into Montessori teaching and I had seen her post pics of her homemade montessori materials before so I asked her about it. I ended up making 10's bars out of pipe cleaners and pony beads, total cost $4.

So I put 10 beads on a half pipe cleaner and twisted the ends back into the beads to keep them from falling off. I made 10 of these. Then with Hunter we counted out 10 individual beads. Then I showed him how we could replace 10 of those beads with a 10 bar, and then did 11-20, 21-30, etc.. you get the picture. When we got to 100 he got a huge grin on his face and it was like a light bulb went off. He could SEE 100 and actually understand how we got there! AMAZING!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

5 going on 15...

This morning I get up to find Hunter's door closed with a sign on his door. I look closely at it and see that it is a collection of letters.. sounding them out I was able to surmise that "dotgonher" was to my learning-to-read 5 year old "Don't go in here" so I open to door to see what is going on and he informs me that the sign is for Nathan, because Nathan apparently bit him this morning. Later on he added more info-- "wouldn't bite me in here" and then some more words which I am not sure if they are intended to be words at all because Hunter doesn't know what they say either. Then he added the picture of Nathan with the circle and line through it to signify that Nathan wasn't allowed. So later today I informed him that it is THEIR room and not just "his" room so he removed the mean signs and put up nice ones. I asked him if I could have the signs for posterity. Jason and I really got a kick out of them!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unintentional Unschooling

Lately Hunter has been asking me a lot of questions about numbers. The only formal schooling that we have been doing is a phonics program and occasionally we will touch on numbers, but just familiarizing him with numbers 1-10. So the questions have run the gamut from what does a 45 look like to how much is 1,000,000. The other night he was deep in thought, as he usually is, and then asked me if you could spell numbers just like you can spell words. Of course you can, GENIUS BOY!! So eagerly I got out the white board and wrote out 1-10 with their corresponding spellings. He was very pleased with that and tried to sound out each word. Then we continued talking about numbers and he wanted to know what 10,000 looked like. So I showed him.. then on a whim I said "hey I can show you something cool with numbers, how to add!" and he was very excited so I wrote out some 1+1=, 2+1=, etc.. problems on the board and talked to him about how addition works. Then we spent a good 30-45 minutes writing out problems for each other. I would write one for him and then he'd do one for me... mine were HARD like 10,000+10! I was so surprised that he came up with numbers like that. He did really well with that so I've started incorporating some addition into our daily schooling. He really seems to enjoy it. Today he wasn't as into it and we only did a few problems. I'm being very careful not to push anything because he is really enjoying learning and I don't want to squelch that excitement. I think I may look for some little swords or knights or something to use as counters for math to make it more interesting to him. Oooh or maybe some army men. Those are cheap and easy to find.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The offending nose

In case any of you were wondering about Maggie's nose, you know, the nose from my previous post which causes Hunter to vomit if he looks at it while eating.. well here it is:

I suppose it IS a little bit gross looking. Just weathered from the sun. ..its not her best picture.. And now you know. ;)

1 toilet + 4 people = ....

A very dirty toilet? Yes.
A mom being chased off the toilet while trying to poop? Yes.
Boys being told to go out and pee in the backyard? Yes.
Mystery puddles on the floor in front of the toilet? Yes.
Moms falling in the toilet in the middle of the night due to the seat not being put back down? Yes.
Scared at the thought of a fourth male becoming potty trained and using said toilet? YES!
2 bathrooms at the top of the list of MUST HAVE criteria in the next house? YES YES YES YES YES!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

..and another thing...

The one on the right was supposed to be asleep. I just couldn't help myself, when I'm feeling stressed about this job I can just go and look at them and realize that it is all worth it.. and wonder if I will get the same warm fuzzy feeling watching them sleep when they're teenagers and I'm wondering where their peckers have been...

HEY! I was just looking at this picture and realized that little one on the right isn't supposed to have that blanket! I wondered where it had gone to when I was doing laundry, it got peed on a few nights ago!!! Ahh the fun life I live. Off to retrieve it!

They're coming out of the woodwork...

... I keep hearing from more and more people that they read my blog! Of course nobody comments but Mary but now I know that I have readers, so I'm motivated to keep going. Besides, I post the stuff here that nobody wants to read elsewhere.

Like today while the younger two were taking naps (which was a total fluke, by the way. Nathan doesn't nap anymore, at least not intentionally!) Hunter and I painted these clay pots. I tried to be all fancy and artistic with mine (those things at the top are supposed to be strawberries, since we're planting strawberries in them.. though they turned out more like apples! I am no artist!) yet Hunter's looks better. Go figure. Anyway, I had a blast doing that with him. I even tried to put it out of my mind that he got acrylic paint on his only decent looking pair of pants. That is my fault, of course, because I for some idiotic reason thought that because this is the kid who can eat a popsicle and not get a drop of it on his face or shirt that he would *somehow* be able to paint a pot with acrylic paints, which stain clothing, without getting it on his clothes. I think I'll go bang my head on a wall!

Anyway we had a great time. While we were doing it I was trying to think of how this could be considered homeschooling, other than the obvious-- art class-- but then I decided to just enjoy the moment. He kept commenting to me about how great mine was turning out as I kept painting it and it just made my heart melt. He is the sweetest kid ever.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The artist....

He's still at it. He fills notebook after notebook of his renderings. Here's one of the latest from his collection-- it features airplanes, his favorite, and a train, Nathan's favorite. Ahh brotherly love!

Oh and the second one was too cute to not share. The little airplanes have so much detail!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ren Garbing

Are you the kind of person who watches a medieval era movie and then says to themselves-- I was born in the wrong time, I would have LOVED to have lived back then. Well, thats me. And my sister. And apparently many others across America due to the many Renaissance Faires and SCA's and such.

Sooo sister Mary has been going to Renaissance faires dressed in garb and I decided that I MUST get in on that action. So I've been sewing like mad creating garb for myself and the munchkins to go to the NC Ren Faire next month in Cary, NC. Here's a bit of what I've accomplished so far:

The bodice... I was so excited about it. I thought it would look so glamorous. I thought the fabric that I chose was PERFECT.. however, now that it is finished it looks like an 80's vest and I am *not* happy with it. It only took me about 3-4 hours to sew which wasn't bad considering it was my first ever. It has 3 layers- the outer is a home dec upholstery fabric. The hidden inner layer is some heavy duty canvas to give it some incredible body. The innermost layer is a lightweight twill. I am hoping it will look better with the grommets on it but I have to wait to do that because I don't have a grommet press. It also takes grommets at the shoulders-- the shoulders are currently safety pinned. I used duct ties-- gigantic, industrial zip ties which come in 36" lengths. I read about using those for boning on the Renaissance Festival site's sewing forum. They work great and are nice and stiff.

The little shirt is a t-tunic. I made one for each of the boys. They turned out really cute. I didn't use a pattern I just used generic t-tunic instructions found on the web to give me an idea. I did do a lining inside the neckline so I didn't just have raw fabric there-- turning it under would have looked bad and been a pain in the butt. So there you have it. My so-far garb.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Still kickin..

I'm still out here. Haven't been blogging as much lately because things have been crazy hectic recently. We are just hanging in there- kids driving us nuts, as usual. Dog making us crazy, as usual. Speaking of- she landed herself in the pokey last week. She took off, as usual, when she realized that she was free. I didn't chase after her because that just makes her run more so I waited for her to come back.. hours went by, no dog. Loaded the kids up in the car and drove around the neighborhood calling her-- still no dog. So went about my day, figuring she'd show up. Later that day, still no dog... ok you get the idea. By bedtime I was pretty depressed because of course I assumed that our dog must HATE us and she ran away.

So first thing the next morning (when I was supposed to be leaving for mom's) I call the vet/pound-- the vet IS the pound in King William County--and SHE IS THERE! Hooray! Well they tell me to bring her rabies certificate-- no problem! Uhh oops yeah. There is a problem-- unbeknown to me the FIRST rabies vaccination is only good for a year. I haven't had a young dog in a long time so I just ASSumed that it was good for 2 years. Sooo her rabies were out of date. CRAP! Can the vet/pound vaccinate her then? NO, the vet/pound doesn't have a vet on duty! What the heck? I thought you were the VET/pound. Soooo I had to go pick up Maggie and drive her 5 miles down the road to another vet, get her vaccinated and take her back to prove that she has been vaccinated. All with three kids in tow. Did I mention the three kids before? Yes I had to drag all of them along. Nathan took a donation box at the vet/pound and stomped on it-- shattering it. How embarrassing. Fortunately they were understanding and didn't even make a sarcastic comment. I probably wouldn't have been able to hold it together as well.

So anyway. That dog is a pain in our butts a lot of the time but I love her. Jason begs to 'put her on craiglist' every day but NO WAY she is a part of our family. It makes me so happy when Hunter draws a picture of our family, he always puts Maggie in the picture even if he doesn't like her and says that if he looks at her nose while he's eating he'll throw up. <3

Monday, March 3, 2008

I've found my niche...

Ok two niches actually. First of all, I'm REALLY enjoying web design. I'm taking a web design class from JSRCC right now and I am loving learning to write code correctly. I have spent the last couple of days working on this site for Jason's hunting club. It is also redirected from but its a trick. It says it will redirect you but it doesn't, you have to click the link. I haven't figured out how to get it to do that yet. I even designed the banners and buttons in photoshop! Go me!

My OTHER niche is these books. I LOVE THEM! I decided to start selling them instead of becoming my friend Jill's biggest customer. They are highly educational. They are printed on paper from sustainable forests (which means they don't hack the whole thing down) They remind me of the DK books if you are familiar with those. Homeschoolers love them. The best part is that after I submit $120 in sales I don't have to buy anything else ever if I don't want to, and if I go inactive all I have to do is submit an order to reactivate myself.

The books are AMAZING. I will have to post some pictures. The pages, even in the paperback books, is nice and thick. They have some really neat books like the "Things to Make and Do" series. We have the Knight book of Things to Make and Do and Hunter loves it. The best part about it is that instead of having a book of things to punch out or cut out and color like most activity books these days where really, where is the creativity in that? These books give ideas and directions how to make things ALL ON YOUR OWN. Imagine!

So anyway, I created this very basic yet direct banner to put in my signature on the forums that I visit. I'm hoping to drum up a little business from there, not really to make money but really to spread the word on how great these books are!

(The banner will take you to my website for online ordering, by the way! ;) )

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I feel like a thief!

...because I got a STEAL! I just bought a bike trailer for $25!!!

We've been looking at/thinking about buying a bike trailer for awhile. We both need exercise and we have these nice bikes we bought in Japan but haven't been able to ride them together in years because we keep having kids.

Soooo I went to Walmart today (I know, UGH, don't usually go there but needed fabric and didn't want to drive the hour to downtown Richmond for Jo Anns) and as I was headed to the fabric department I passed a small section of clearance toys. I was trying to speed past so the kids wouldn't look and thus start the chorus of "I wants" but I happened to glance over and saw a large box with a $25 sticker. Imagine my delight when I took a closer look and realized that it was a BIKE TRAILER! I snatched the box up immediately and then spent a good 2-5 minutes finagling it into the cart trying not to squish Nathan. Fortunately I had decided to use the "Oldest pushes the youngest in umbrella stroller" technique or I would have had a kid in the basket and then I guess I would have strapped the bike trailer to my back because I was NOT leaving without it. Called Jason to get the 'ok' although I'm not sure why, I would have bought it regardless of what he said. I guess because I wanted him to rejoice with me. Of course he said fine anyway.

I was a little worried that it would be missing some pieces, the box was pretty dinged up and it looked like it had been taped closed again several times. I figured I'd do like I always do and call the manufacturer to complain if parts were missing. So I got home and got to putting it together--it was actually quite easy to assemble and ALL THE PARTS WERE THERE! HOORAY!

The boys couldn't WAIT to go for a ride in it so I got to find out real quickly just how out of shape I am. Now hopefully with my new bike trailer my butt will start getting smaller. That would be nice.

Ren Faire Costumes, housework, etc..

Since the goal is to blog once a week I figured I oughta blog today. Is oughta a word because the editor on here doesn't seem to think it is. Oh well, the editor is obviously *not* southern because I believe oughta is in the southern language dictionary. Oughta, coulda, woulda, they're all proper adverbs if you ask me.

So anyway. Last night I finally got around to ironing my muslin to make my blouse for the ren faire. Now I'm actually starting to get excited about making it and going! Hunter was hovering while I was cutting out the pattern pieces and saw another pattern that I have for a kids knight costume and immediately wanted it, of course. But it looks pretty labor intensive plus it requires this metallic fabric that is undoubtedly expensive. So we looked on the internet and settled on an easier McCalls pattern M4400 which is a knight tunic with built in sleeves (as opposed to putting the tunic over a separate shirt) so I guess I'm going to be off to the fabric store sometime, hopefully not TODAY, to buy the pattern and fabric. He will probably bug me about it until I do it. Oh and the pattern is for mens and boys so he wants me to make Daddy one and Nathan one. I don't think I'm going to waste my time making one for Daddy because I'm 95% sure that Daddy would never wear it outside of the house. Heck, he probably won't even wear it INSIDE the house except when Hunter begs him to and then only for a few minutes. Sooo..

Housework. I am so terrible at it. Actually I know what my problem is, and Jason has caught on as well. I get sucked in by the internet vortex. Yes, I'm here now and I shouldn't be but the kids aren't up yet and I NEEDED to blog. I'm not supposed to stay on the computer anymore. It drives Jason batty. Like wants to throw the computer out in the road and run over it a few times batty. I can understand, it drives me nuts that I get sucked in however I would never destroy it. My friends live in it! LOL So anyway. Yesterday I maybe used the computer for an hour at the most. I got a lot more done around the house and the kids were generally happier because I was interacting with them instead of sitting on my butt and giving commands. Hmm.. maybe there is something to this whole 'staying off the internet' thing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Our budding artist

Hunter lately has picked up drawing and he LOVES to draw. He will go through an entire notebook in one day filling up page after page with depictions of his imagination. Here's one of his most recent pieces, these are Lego Star Wars guys. The guys on the left are shooting the creature on the right and there is even someone in a spaceship giving air support!

A trip to TN

We all took a trip to TN this President's day weekend. Jason's father and his newish wife Donna bought a 50 acre farm in Pikeville last summer and we hadn't been to see their new place yet. So we finally got to go and WOW we were impressed and admittedly, a bit jealous! Their acreage is mainly open farmland with a sizeable river running along one of the property lines. They also have a small manmade pond.

Jason's younger brother Ian and his wife came up to visit. Ian's wife, Amy, is 8 months pregnant with their first child so we were really lucky that she was able to make the trip! Ian brought his 4-wheeler with him and Ian and his wife watched the boys for us so Jason and I could go for a ride on the 4-wheelers and we had a great time. It was the first time in a long time that we'd been able to do anything by ourselves.

After visiting in Pikeville we stopped in Chattanooga for a whirlwind visit to Jason's mother, his oldest brother Scott and his grandfather Papaw. Here is Jason and the boys with Papaw, you can see clearly in this picture how THRILLED they were to get to take a picture with their great-grandfather!

All in all, it was a nice trip. We got to see everyone on our list and got a fair amount of visiting done. We look forward to our next visit when Ian and Amy's daughter will have been born!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Making a card...

Nathan saw these scrap booking embellishments at Target and just *had* to have them. I told him they were for making cards but he insisted.

So we get home and he tells me that he is ready to make a card. Ok, I tell him, I'll get you some paper. NO! he screams. PUT THEM IN THERE!! Where is there? The kitchenaid mixer. He apparently thinks that they are some type of cake mix? So I gave him a bowl and let him have at it. He stirred and stirred, I'm not sure if he ever got the desired result.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

West Virginia, here we come..

At least we don't have any relatives there for my kids to form unnatural relations with, right?

<-- Well, I found one thing to be happy about. With any luck we can conduct our winter homeschool sessions on the slopes. Thats science, geography and oh yeah, physics.

Use the force, little one

Jeremy says, "Hey! Thats a baby toy! Gimme, gimme!"

"Yeah, thats right. BACK OFF!"

Hunter got light sabers for his birthday. Really, its the perfect present for a 5 year old and his two younger brothers. Toys that are designed specifically for fighting. As you can see, it truly is what EVERY one year old needs. Run out and buy one for YOUR one year old, I dare ya. And the best part? It was my idea.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I must have missed that day in Parenting 101...

Conversation with Nathan, just turned 3 years old:

[Nathan, playing in bathroom sink using way too much soap]

Me: Nathan, turn the water off and come on out of the bathroom.

[Nathan completely ignoring me]

Me: Come on Nathan, NOW!

[Still ignoring me]

Me: Ok Nathan, one, two...

Nathan: Why are you counting?

Me: Because you aren't listening!

Nathan: What is listening?

GAH! Honestly, I don't even know why I was counting. I guess I learned it from my parents! All I do at the end of three is pick him up and move him. I guess thats why I was counting. Counting the seconds until I go CRAZY! What is listening? Wow, I guess I need to teach him listening before I can count for it huh.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

How VERY cool

This is a repost from this blog:, who reposted it from somewhere else! I just had to share:

A sliced carrot looks like the human eye The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye…and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, bok choy, rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, avocadoes and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .. It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, oranges , and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What a comedian.

So I'm sitting here at the computer, wasting time. Hunter comes running in, sets up something on the table beside me, starts snickering and runs out. Apparently this is what I look like:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Schooling, unschooling, homeschooling...

Today Hunter and I resumed working on his phonics program. Yeah we've taken a couple month hiatus. I don't know why I get so unmotivated. I guess I"m the only one, because he was SO excited we did THREE lessons in a row! He really wanted to start learning a new letter (the program has you learn one new letter a week) In the meantime he's learned the numbers 1-10 entirely on his own. He is learning how to read a calendar just by asking questions. He looks at a clock (granted it is digital but still..) and knows that the first number means it is X:o-clock, which he picked up on his own as well. I'm starting to give some credence to the whole 'unschooling' thing. He naturally learns things he is interested in. I was going to buy a math curriculum for next year but I think we're going to do more natural things and see where it goes- get a clock for his room and talk about the time, pay more attention to the calendar, discuss the fractions on measuring cups when cooking, etc...

Way cool.

Oh and we made masks to go along with learning the letter 'm' today and used stickers to decorate them. I left the stickers out because he wanted to put stickers on paper and now he is in there using the stickers to make pictures (like putting many stickers together to create stick people) How creative! I'm a proud mama.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No, you're not my father! by Mary :)

Mary is such a Star Wars fan she wanted to star in her own Star Wars clip. Here is Mary as Luke Skywalker, just as Darth Vader tells Luke that he is his father. Hahahahahahahaha

Ugh. Eww. Barf. Ick. I'm sick!

Starting Sunday I was feeling queasy, by Sunday early evening I was puking my guts up. That went on til about midnight, then yesterday I just had a general case of green-ness but everything stayed in. Today, I got it coming out the other end, if you know what I mean. I need to catch a break! My house is in disarray, the kids have been watching WAY too much TV and I'm letting my flying slide! ACK!

On the plus side, Jason really came through for me. He took good care of the kids on Sunday night and went to get me some saltines and ginger ale and then came home early from work yesterday and did EVERYTHING he even made the kids a healthy dinner complete with VEGETABLES! I was so proud. So in spite of whatever negative things I may say about him, he does have some redeeming qualities. <3

Here's hoping the rest of the week I'm on the mend (and that nobody ELSE gets sick! EEK!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Seriously unbelievable!

So I was in Walmart today (possibly my first mistake-- but its th eonly place in town they sell bernat softee chunky yarn which is so cheap and so nice!) and this lady comes up to me. I'm thinking she works there because she was wearing a blue shirt and tan pants and didn't have a cart or anything but she had no name tag.

She says a comment I'm used to hearing: "All boys huh?"
Me: "yep, all boys" (then try to keep on my way, its past lunchtime and naptime)
Lady: "You're helping out the male population, it seems like everyone has a string of girls nowadays"
Me: "Yep. Good for me" (continue moving away..)
Lady: "Are you going to try for a girl?" (another typical comment)
Me: "I don't know. Not now." (keep on moving but am being FOLLOWED, not going too quickly as not to be rude...."
Lady: "Well have you tried different positions?"
Me: "uhhhhhhhhh i have heard about that" (getting really red in the face now and STILL Moving in the opposite direction, not wanting to discuss my SEX LIFE with this stranger!)
Lady: "Well do you remember what position these were conceived in?"
Me: "Ummmm NO!"
Lady: "Well I've heard that doggy style makes girls and lying on your back makes boys"
Me: "Really." (Moving away quite quickly now but lady is STILL in persuit, me looking around to see if any of the other shoppers in the vicinity happened to notice this woman discussing DOGGIE STYLE with me in Walmart!!)
Lady: "Maybe you can try that next time"
Me: "Yeah. uhhhh bye."

OMG! I walked away as FAST as I could! I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT! I wouldn't believe it if it didn't happen to me! WHO DOES THAT? WHO WALKS UP TO A COMPLETE STRANGER AND ASKS THEM ABOUT THEIR SEX LIFE???? And worse, tells them about DOGGIE STYLE! IS it even legal to SAY doggie style in Walmart?!?!? ISn't that sexual harrassment or something???

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's not fair.

I woke up this morning at 5:15 or so with Jason so I could have some time by myself. Lately, the kids have been sleeping until 8ish so I figured that would give me almost 3 hours alone, right? Wrong. Nathan is up already, and its only 6:10. What, do these kids have a radar or something? Mom's alone, QUICK, get up and go BUG HER!!

In other news, I can't seem to lose weight. I can't seem to do anything right on that front. I am SO sick of being overweight but it is SO hard for me to lose weight. I really am addicted to food. It really sucks. I don't want to be overweight anymore. I'm stuck at OVER 180 lbs. If I could just see the 170's again that would make my day. :(

Monday, January 7, 2008

Flying along.....

On December 31, 2007 I re-joined the flylady site. (www. My house is a complete disaster. I'm extremely lazy or something.. basically I'd rather be doing anything but housework. I am easily distracted by anything and everything, and then when I finally realize that I can't see the floors anymore and it is time to do something about it I don't have a clue where to start. It doesn't help that the three musketeers are toddling behind me messing up as I clean up.

Sooo back to flylady. I have started from scratch. I was successful at the flylady thing back in Japan for awhile but I don't think I ever started from the bottom, you know (er, well, maybe you don't if you've never gone to the flylady site) she has you start with "babysteps" and the first 31 days are outlined for you. You just do what she says on each day, take it one baby step at a time. So thats what I'm doing. Babysteps. And I feel like I'm actually going to do it, I can actually stick with this. I sure hope so, I need it.

That brings me to my next point. I just started school again. I'm taking 3 online classes. WHAT AM I THINKING?!?! I have no time in my day as it is! Now I'm going to have to figure out how to get schoolwork done? Well this may be the push that I need to quit wasting all my (free) time on the internet and do something productive.

Friday, January 4, 2008

So much to do, so little motivation......

I don't know what my problem is. Maybe its that I am oh, around 50 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT but I have no motivation lately. I am downright lazy. It doesn't help that I am battling this food addiction. Yesterday I was literally wandering the house in a daze, trying to keep myself from eating. Is that terrible or what? I did it though. I managed to NOT stuff my face all day. I did eat more than I should have at dinner but I realized that I can't beat myself up over my small failures or I'll give up on the whole thing. My weight is a serious issue now. I weigh more now than I have EVER in my life, except for the times that there was a baby in my belly. And that doesn't really count.

A few things I've noticed about being this overweight:
I have a hard time getting up off the couch, just like when I'm pregnant.
My legs ache after being on my feet for awhile.
My clothes are getting too tight!
Its uncomfortable to lay on my back in bed- I can FEEL the fat squishing my lungs!!
My heels crack in the summertime.

Thats just to name a few. I have finally realized that if I don't make a change now, my weight and my eating habits are going to set the tone for the REST OF MY LIFE. I don't want to get bigger, I don't want to set a stuff-my-face example for my kids. So, here I am. Once again trying to make a change. Hopefully this time it will stick. Its for my future.

So much to do, so little motivation......

I don't know what my problem is. Maybe its that I am oh, around 50 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT but I have no motivation lately. I am downright lazy. It doesn't help that I am battling this food addiction. Yesterday I was literally wandering the house in a daze, trying to keep myself from eating. Is that terrible or what? I did it though. I managed to NOT stuff my face all day. I did eat more than I should have at dinner but I realized that I can't beat myself up over my small failures or I'll give up on the whole thing. My weight is a serious issue now. I weigh more now than I have EVER in my life, except for the times that there was a baby in my belly. And that doesn't really count.

A few things I've noticed about being this overweight:
I have a hard time getting up off the couch, just like when I'm pregnant.
My legs ache after being on my feet for awhile.
My clothes are getting too tight!
Its uncomfortable to lay on my back in bed- I can FEEL the fat squishing my lungs!!
My heels crack in the summertime.

Thats just to name a few. I have finally realized that if I don't make a change now, my weight and my eating habits are going to set the tone for the REST OF MY LIFE. I don't want to get bigger, I don't want to set a stuff-my-face example for my kids. So, here I am. Once again trying to make a change. Hopefully this time it will stick. Its for my future.