Monday, January 31, 2011

Blizzard? Really?

So I guess it's supposed to snow- around 12-18 inches is what they're saying right now. Cuh-razy. Schools were cancelled and the Governor declared a state of emergency before one single, solitary flake fell.

So I had to go to WalMart after work. Yes, I know it was dumb, but since I didn't do my shopping this weekend, I had no option.  Yes, it was crazy. And no, I have nary a picture to share. My phone was nearly dead. Bleh.

But I had the happiest, most polite checker ever. He loved his job. I know-he told me. He was actually a Customer Service Manager, but he looked about 19. Although I can see why they would promote him. I've never had such good service at a WalMart. EVER. Bobby at the 71st Street store. Tell him I sent ya. :)

He asked the couple in front of me, and then me, "What was the best part of your day?" I told him it was getting the news that we would be closed tomorrow. But what a great question and way to focus on the customer.

What was the best part of YOUR day?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Piddlin' Around

Just been piddlin' around with a couple of projects today.

Abby's hair is at an awkward length now, so pigtails are the best way to go. BUT most of the bows I have are singletons. Plus, some of them are overwhelming on her little pigtails. So I made a set of mini bows to see how they would look. I think they'll be cute.

I haven't glued them to the clips yet. I'll do that tomorrow.

I have also been making a little outfit for my great-neice Zanissa. How can I not spoil her? She's named after me, for Pete's sakes! Great Aunt Mary hand-tatted some little butterflies that I've been saving for a special project. I didn't want to squander them on just anything.

Here's what I have so far:

I'm going to have to reposition the butterfly and add a couple details. I love the headband though. I may have to do one for Abby. I'm also nearly finished with a little white tutu for Z. Hopefully they'll at least put her in it long enough to get a pic for me!

And I made cinnamon pie crust tonight. Josh has been begging for it for a while. I remember my Mom baking pies around the holidays. She always made her own pie crust- which is a talent I did not inherit. I can make a lot of things, but a pie crust? Nope.

But when she made pie crust, she always kept the edge pieces, buttered them, sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar and baked them until they were crispy. A great treat I always associate with chilly winter nights. I cheat and buy pre-fab pie crusts, but I hope the memories I make with my boys are just as sweet.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where I Am From

I am from books, from Strawberry Shortcake and soft part blankies.
I am from the house on the corner, yard full of kids behind the chain link fence.
I am from the sunflower, the fields of waving golden wheat.
I am from card parties and hugging, from Arlene and Phil and the Forsheys.
I am from the Abell's stubborn lower jaw and dirt track racing.
From never say "hate" and He will not give you more than you can handle.
I am from "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and faith is strong, deep and personal.
I'm from Salina Dutch and a little bit of everything (so don't judge people by the color of their skin), popcorn balls and fancy cakes.
From Uncle Garry chasing Timmy up the tree in Tennessee, the reunions every August, and games-every sport with a little brother who never knew and may never know how much he was loved.
I am from photo albums on the bookshelf, memories in the attic and keepsakes stashed here and there. Treasures just beginning to be discovered, embraced and shared.

I took this idea from a blogger friend.
The poem originally came from George Ella Lyon.

Now here is the challenge for all of my blogger friends out there.
Here is the template, you fill it in with where you are from, and post it on your blog.
If you do this please come back by and leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can enjoy yours as well.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Jackson is 6 years old today! He's so big and smart and such a cutie!

He has the biggest eyes, which makes him the only one who can get to me with his "puppy dog" eyes. Plus, he can wiggle his eyebrows. Just ask him the next time you see him. He's been known to get a free dessert with those eyebrows. lol

I'm working on uploading some really old pictures, so this blog is pretty short. And I owe one of my blogger/TMOMS friends a post about Where I'm From. Sounds like a good topic for tomorrow!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Embrace the Camera Thursday

Time to give props to the source of Embrace the that I've tracked it back. I think it's a great idea. I hardly ever get pics of myself.

And now that I'm going through some old pictures that I found at Mom's house, I realize that no matter how bad I think I look in the pictures, someday those pictures will mean a lot to someone.

Just playing around with the laptop tonight:

Poor Josh broke a tooth and had to have a root canal today. It doesn't seem to be bothering him much. He's pretty tough though, but we've talked about that before, remember? Josh's Accident

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mike & Molly

I was just watching some episodes of Mike & Molly that I DVR'd. I love that show. I don't know if you all read the Marie Claire article about how the chick thought nobody wanted to see fat people make out, because it's's worth googling. I pray I was never that shallow and ignorant.

In the meantime, it made me an even bigger (pardon the pun) supporter of the show. I hope it runs at least 10 years. Plus it's hilarious. I love the ditzy sister. "Sometimes I think that dog's never gonna catch that chicken."

Do you watch it? What's your favorite line?

Here's a good scene, even though it's not the one I quoted above.
Mike & Molly - UFOs & Bigfoot

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Babies!

My babies are 1 today. It kind of makes me sad. These are probably (because if I say definitively, then we'll get a surprise) our last babies. And this is the end of babyhood. We survived the first year, maybe just barely, but we survived.

I think they are ready to be taken completely off the bottle, but I don't want to. They're definitely not babies if they don't take a bottle. Is it wrong of me to keep them on the bedtime bottle for a little longer???

Here is a little slideshow of pictures from this year. How time flies...

And in case you don't want to sit through all of those, here they are last year:

And today:

I love them so stinkin' much! How can you not?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthday Shuffle

So the babies turn 1 tomorrow. Can you believe it? Last year at this time, I was huge, miserable and couldn't breathe. But I had no idea I would be pregnant less than 24 more hours. And look at them now-aren't they beautiful?

BUT we (meaning me) have decided that we are not celebrating until mid-February or so. Is that horrible? Well, with just finishing Dad's party and Jackson's coming up, I'm just going to be horrible then.

And at this point I think we aren't celebrating Jackson's birthday until next weekend. Josh will be at his Dad's this weekend, and I'd really like for him to be here. Plus, I can't quite muster the energy to even plan another cake just yet. I'm a wimp. haha

By the way- did you know that my kids rode from Catoosa to Salina and then from Salina to Catoosa without stopping? Not once. Shut UP. How cool is that? 4 and a half hours. My kids rock!

And here they are, ready to head home:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

80th Birthday Bash- Check!

What a wild and crazy weekend!

I had a blast helping to host my Dad's 80th birthday! It was extra special, since this time last year we weren't sure he'd make it long enough to see my twins born, let alone another birthday. I guess being ornery has served him well.

We had a great turn out and Dad was so excited that so many people traveled from near and far to bring birthday wishes.

I got to see my Aunt Connie, who I haven't seen in ages. She looks remarkably like my Mom did the last few years- after she got sick and skinny. Mom was so happy to be skinny- leave it to her to find a silver lining in absolutely anything.  (I would say she looks "freakishly" like my Mom, but that makes is sound like a bad thing. It is certainly enough to freak you out though.)

My Aunt Connie is just as gorgeous as I remember her- I hope I age half as well. I always thought of her as so worldly and classy. And she actually is, even looking at her through grown up eyes. Here is a picture of her with two of my Mom's other siblings, my Uncle Richard and Aunt Joyce.

If I told you their ages- 1. they would kill me 2. you wouldn't believe me anyway. Seriously, I love these people.

Becky & Travis even made a flying trip to and from KC in one day. But we WERE able to get pictures of both sets of twins together. Not great pictures, but pictures. I'll have to post those once I get a copy.

I made a cake for the party. Well, actually I made 3, but 2 of them were kitchen cakes. (Cut them in the kitchen and serve them, so it doesn't matter what they look like.)

We also had cream cheese mints. Oh my, if you've never had these, you just haven't lived. I remember Mom making them for baby showers, bridal showers, weddings... this is probably one of my favorite things Mom made. My sisters Carrie & Darlene made the mints along with my niece Jen, while I was finishing the cakes. Jen's hubby Darrin mixed the coloring in the fondant (thank heavens!) to get the pretty blue color on the cake.

Special thanks would have to go to my sister Carrie's mother in law, Larinda, who had the mint flavoring and extra molds we needed and also helped out with tablecloths and set up. She's pretty feisty for being almost 80.

This is getting long, so I just need to say one more thing (and I'll probably put it on FB too)- my kids were AWESOME! I couldn't be prouder. They helped load and unload the van, set up tables and chairs, took and printed photos, got signatures for the memory book and on and on. The babies were good too, but just didn't want to go to bed- it was after midnight both nights. They slept until 9 both mornings, though, and were still sweet to everyone at the party.

Alright, I'm pretty tired, I think I should try to get some rest-it's back to the grind tomorrow. Thanks for being patient while I was out in the middle of nowhere!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is why I don't have time to blog. We're building Westminster Abbey. Joy.

Toting the dress

Yeah, I know it's blurry, my phone sucks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shopping Buddy

So I bought Abby a new dress yesterday. When I got home, I pulled it out and showed it to her. Yes, I know she's too little to understand, but I was just talking to her. That's what I do.

But do you know what? She took that hanger from me, and tried to put the dress on. Then she carried it around the house. Every so often, she would sit down and try to put it on again. Cute, right?

This morning, as soon as she got up, she found her dress again and started carrying it around. I told her to show it to Daddy, and she DID. She carried it in to him.

Tonight, just to test her, I handed her one of AC's shirts and she was not nearly so impressed. She tossed it away. She has good taste.

She's already ready to shop, I think. Man, I love that little girl. I'll have to see if I can get a pic of her with her dress. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Good Day

I made a trip - by myself - to Michael's to buy party supplies for the big 80th bash I'm planning. I also stopped by Target for diapers- absolute BEST buy on diapers- and the new Carter's store. The Carter's store was having a clearance sale!

I got a new dress for Abby for the party and a coordinating shirt for AC. Plus lots of new jammies-they are wearing the knees out of their old jammies when Daddy lets them crawl around in them all day. :)

I got the jammies below for a little over $4 each. Not bad, huh?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Growing up

I let the babies feed themselves tonight. They did alright. Avery held onto his spoon the whole time- even when he was picking up food with the other hand. :)

Speaking of growing up- Josh has armpit hair. Dude. When did that happen? I am NOT okay with this. Not to mention the whole teenage attitude thing. Any one have any tips on raising teenagers? I am not sure we're all going to make it out of this alive.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Missed a day, didn't I? Technically I did two the day before, so you're not going to hold that against me, are you?

Yesterday was a strange and busy day. The babies have been sick, so Randy took them to the doctor and I met them there. Dr. K. tested them for RSV, but they were all clear. Whew. Hopefully they'll be all better before we head to Kansas.

After that, I finally got ahold of Ernie & Anna- my cousins from Topeka who are in town for the Chili Bowl Races. Had fun meeting them at Ted's for a great Mexican lunch.

When I got back to work, a package had been delivered. Hmm? It was 2 dozen red roses from a company I work with! What a nice surprise!

When I left work, I stopped for a Starbucks- which Jackson spilled almost as soon as I got home. Randy was off work, so I could have ventured out. An evening in PJs sounded better though. And I didn't even mess with the computer (strange, I know).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Words of Wisdom

I used to think my Mom was nuts. She would say these...things...and I would just roll my eyes.

It's funny how your perspective changes as you grow older.

I remember when I was pregnant with Joshua and I got what I call "Pregnancy Brain." You know, where you are flaky and forgetful and it's a wonder you can even function? And I had to call Mom and I said to her, "Mom, I've lost my mind just being pregnant one time- it's a wonder you have a brain left after 7 of us!"

The wisdom I'm calling on today is what she used to tell me when we got bad news: "He will not give you more than you can handle."

I've had to call on this wisdom way too much the last couple years, but so far it's always been true. Let's hope it stays that way.

And yes, I know I'm being cryptic, but until diagnoses are final and treatment plans are in place, there is nothing to tell. Right? Miracles DO happen.

New Header!

What do you think? My cousin, Shelli designed it for me- cute, huh? And so ME! Thought the graphic was particularly appropriate with the whole Family Playbook thing.

More later, as I AM at work!

Thanks again, Shelli!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is It Bedtime Yet?

This one isn't anything fancy, because I am whipped! Jacob had a basketball game tonight in Oologah. For you non-Oklahomans, yes, that's a real place. I can't make this stuff up. It's between 30 and 45 minutes from home, depending upon whether I'm in a panic when you ask.

So my evening went like this:

Got off work (in Broken Arrow) at 5:00
- realized I was almost out of gas on the way home.
- stopped for gas.
- called Randy to confirm which gym in Oologah.
- responded to various texts to tell parents which gym.
- got home and the babies are not dressed-Jacob is not in uniform-and no shoes on the boys. (!!)
- Randy is ready to walk out the door to work. (!!!!!!)
- I have a whopping 15 minutes until I need to leave the house.
- Randy says "You don't have to be there until 6:30."
- my head spins around- spewing pea soup a la Exoricist "It's at least a 45 minute drive!" I... reply. Loudly.
- discover Jacob's uniform in the washer, wet. Throw it in the dryer.
- dash around throwing clothes on various bodies willy-nilly. Randy wisely decided to stick around and help.
- load up the van with various trips back into the house for phones, scorebook, shoes.
- get to Oologah in record time. We're there 10 minutes early. (hehe Sorry, Honey.)
- nice guy at the door comments on how full my hands are and lets me in free. It's only 3 bucks, but hey, I'll take it.
- distribute babies to various moms and big sisters.
- as game time hits, we find out we're at the WRONG GYM.
- repeat frantic van-loading scramble from above.
- get to the other gym just in time for tip off at 7:00 (I have to mention here that the game takes about the same time as the drive to Oologah.)
But it was all worth it (I guess) because Jacob's team FINALLY WON!! 12-8 woohoo!

And after the game, I was scrambling again to let the other 4th grade team know they were at the wrong gym, too. We race home to get everyone in bed and Jacob announces he forgot his shoes. UGH! Hope they're still there Friday when we go BACK to Oologah. Seriously? lol

Welcome to my world. I love it, but it does get a wee-bit crazy some days!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family Playbook

So yesterday I mentioned my famous Family Playbook (FPB). So some of you asked more about it. Well that's kind of like showing someone yourunderwear drawer. And frankly, my drawers were a little ratty. So I decided to grab a new binder on my lunch break today, and I found the cutest five tab dividers- so the FPB got a makeover!

See the cute tabs? $1 for a 5 pack at Target. $2.74 for the hot pink binder and $1-something for a purple velcro pocket thingy to keep odds & ends in until I file them.

The first thing I see when I open the Book is my weekly calendar. I keep two weeks right in front. Also, there's a handy pocket where I put the good coupons I get. I don't coupon as well as some people do, but I'm trying to use one or two each trip. My niece Becky is amazing at saving major bucks when she shops, but I'm just not at that level yet.

I also have a monthly calendar behind the weekly. And there's another calendar in the "Finances" section, where I keep track of what should be paid and when. I like calendars, I guess.

The weekly calendar shows practices, meetings, games, Randy's nights off and paydays. This page has the most critical information because if anyone in the family (Randy) needs to know something, they probably won't look past the first page.

Then it is the "To Do List" section. Sometimes I have more than one going. Especially if I'm planning any sort of special event.

Then I have a "Shopping List" section to keep track of various non-grocery items I need to pick up. Diapers, birthday gifts, clothes for the babies (that seems to end up on there a lot "black leggings to match the cute new sweater," etc).

And then the "Grocery List" has its own section. Keep in mind, I usually print these ten at a time, so I use one, throw it out, and I'm ready to shop again.

Then we get into the Football-Basketball-Soccer sections. It might make more sense to organize by kid, but that's just not how I did it when I started. Maybe something to think about.

In several sections I also have the clear plastic page protectors that work great to drop receipts in when you pay for football registration, soccer uniforms-things like that.

And my biggest trick/secret/confession? I pad the list. I list things that are easy to do, or are partially done, so I have something to mark off. That really helps me get started.

I don't know if this will help any of you, but that's how I'm doing it. Any one else doing anything that works?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sad Sunday...

Don't panic, it's not THAT big of a deal to most of you- but my Chiefs lost. Dadgummit.

I got my grocery shopping done pretty much before it started and had chili made by halftime. Man, I love that chili recipe. Totally worth the extra work not making it from a mix. Also made up some applesauce for the babies.

I dragged my "Family Playbook" back out for my shopping trip. Some of you know that at the beginning of the school year, I put together this binder to keep track of...well, everything. We had football for Josh, soccer for Jacob and Jackson and with Randy and I working full time, communication and planning were crucial. It still didn't fix everything, but it helped. We got into the groove of all of that, and the Book fell into disuse for a while. But I feel things slipping again, so I busted it out.

I tell you all this to tell you that as I was loading the conveyor to checkout, a gentleman behind me was apparently admiring my open playbook with a comprehensive, detailed list including prices and coupons. He said "Wow, you look organized." I have to admit- I laughed in his face. "HA!" Then I composed myself and tried to not sound too rude. I explained "with 5 kids, I have to be." I need to be, but I'm just not. Maybe using the Book again will help? What do you do to stay on top of things?

It did help me, in that I didn't even spend $100 this trip. And I think I might have enough food for the week, aside from milk. This is remarkable for me, since I typically spend $175-200 a week on groceries. I HAVE to be missing something right? Stay tuned...we'll see how long we make it.

I need to get with it on these birthday plans- but I'm overwhelmed. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sooooo close!

So Jacob's team ALMOST won their game today. We lost 12-10. And we actually lead in the 3rd and most of the 4th quarter. This is remarkable, since we've been losing with scores like 24 to 6. But don't they look bummed?

Randy is coaching- which is great for me, because I'm not expected to go to the practices. He has to be there anyway, right? lol Thing is- Randy has never in his life played a team sport. Never. Ever. With that in mind, he's doing a great job. The boys are learning and getting better every week. I'm proud of all of them!

And after the game, since the babies missed their nap, they had a late nap-and so did I! Woohoo! And after a quick dinner, I actually watched a movie for ME. It was the new Twilight movie. I haven't seen the others, but it wasn't bad. It did, however make me want to read the books again. So I am going to try to read a little before bed. Which makes this a pretty self-indulgent day. I'll have to get more done tomorrow. Goodness knows there's always plenty to do.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Whole Lotta Crazy

Can I just say that we have more than our fair share of Crazies where I work? It's exhausting.

And after all that crazy, I came home, made a quick supper, changed the babies, packed their bag and headed to a basketball game.

Jacob is playing 4th grade bball and Randy is coaching. Tonight he had to work though, so one of the other dads stepped up and coached in his place. We stunk up the place, but not as bad as usual. I'd love to post a picture here, but I am the scorekeeper, so I'm always far too busy to dream of taking any pictures. I'm lucky to keep up with the scoring- let alone who scored any particular goal.

And I have to admit, I'm kind of a sports snob. I really only like football. We do soccer and basketball too, but not by my choice. Not that I would ever stop the boys from doing something they wanted to do, but ugh. I love watching them. And I yell and go nuts at every game.

I used to like a lot more sports. Maybe I'll like them more when they get better at it? What do you think?

Here's a cute picture from last night. And yes, you might have noticed that they were wearing the same pajamas last night, from the night before. Apparently Daddy decided it was pajama day yesterday. So I gave the babies a bath and put them in fresh jammies. While they were waiting for me to dress them, they were sporting their robes. Very Hugh Hefner:

Did I mention I am exhausted? I'm going to wrap this up for tonight. More basketball tomorrow. Maybe I can get someone to take pics on my camera???

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Do you ever meet people and things just "click"? That's how I feel about a lot of my new TMOMS friends. It's so nice, and encouraging- inspiring even- to be a part of this group of amazing parents (Moms plus Steve). But there are a couple who just are especially awesome.

It's nice to not be the only "freak show" with 5 kids. It's nice to talk to another woman struggling balancing a career and being a Mom. It's nice to find someone else who is a great Mom but can't seem to stay on top of the super clean and organized thing. And of course, there's a kindred spirit-an ornery one, but kindred all the same.

I had a great time Tuesday evening at the meeting. I'm going to make an effort to get to more of these meetings and outings and maybe create some new friendships along the way. Sounds like fun, no?

Tonight was a laid back evening - no practices, games or errands. And Randy thought we should order pizza. Who am I to argue?

I'm going to work on taking a few pictures each day. So that falls in with the "click" thing. And I'm really going to try to make sure to get all the kids, not just the babies. Although, not everyone wanted to cooperate:

Poor Josh was the last to get our stomach bug, and he's still not feeling 100%. Here are some better pictures - even though I hate pictures of me.

I need to work on a fancier layout, but this one will have to do for now. At least I'm blogging, right?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What now?!

All the talk about blogging today, and now I can't think of a thing to say. Not one. That's pretty rare for me.



Okay- well here's something. The other night we were all out at dinner. (Which is sadly almost the only time we all sit down and eat together.) And for some reason I started telling the big boys stories about when they were little. And they were cracking up. I think we forget that even though they were technically there, they don't usually remember it.

Like when Josh was about 4 and asked me "Mom, are we driving like a idiot?" "No, Josh." "Oh, just all those other people are?"

This evening was a little rough. The babies were off their schedule today (all my mom friends can chime in here) so they didn't get an afternoon nap. This is why that's a bad thing:

That's a seriously tired, sad baby. Awww...

Abby was sad too, but she perked up when she saw I was taking her picture. lol

She's such a cheeseball.

Anyway- everyone, help me out and Follow me. There's a little clicky thing over there >>>>
It would be nice to know if anyone is reading this. Thanks. (I promise I'll be wittier next time. I'm pretty funny most of the time. At least I think so.)