Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Idol and "Foot in Mouth" Disease...all in one really LONG post!

Okay, so the guys were pretty good except for poor Sanjaya who just didn't have the pipes last night. It seemed like everyone was going BIG and he was going soft...really, really soft. The ladies tonight were really odd to me? Was it the band? So many of the ladies seemed to be off the beat...I mean REALLY off the beat. My first thought was that the monitor might be messing them up somehow, but then Miss Melinda Doolittle, and Lakisha Jones didn't seem to have any trouble at all. B suggested maybe it was the band, and not the singers who were off...possibly.

Anyway, my favorites so far are...Chris Sligh (so talented, and SO funny!), Blake Lewis (amazing talent), Brandon Rogers (he's the male counterpart to Melinda Doolittle--wouldn't it be fun to see them sing together???), Melinda Doolittle (obviously!), Lakisha Jones (my kids just call her "the mom"), Sabrina Sloan, (drop dead gorgeous, and such a smooth voice!), and Sundance Head (I know he's had some rough spots, but I'm still liking him from his very first tryout. He was just so funny, and he has a really good voice when he's singing the right song. I keep rooting for him to do really well each time he sings, to redeem himself after Hollywood Week.)

Okay, so that's my ever so humble opinion on the American Idol wannabees so far this season.

Now as for our day around here...Benji had a VERY interesting day...

Benji had the poor judgement last night to open his big mouth and insert not one, but two feet firmly inside. I was talking to another of the mom's at soccer practice, whom I just met last week, and she was discovering that not only do we have four kids, but that I homeschool three of them. She was commenting on how it must be a lot of work with the baby and all, and she said, "Wow, you must REALLY be "Wonder Woman" if you do all that." And before I could comment on how much my children help me out with the baby and housework and all, Benji pipes up and snorts...he actually snorted in disgust...and said, "She thinks YOU do everything, when WE really do everything. You just sit on the couch all day while we do all the work." No, I'm not kidding...he really said that! He really can be THAT stupid some times.

Now, before you jump to conclusions on either side of this issue, let me explain something...I DO spend a lot of time on the couch. Between my endometriosis, kidney disease, and osteopenia, (Yes, I sister wants to sell my body to medical science!) I have quite a bit of back pain, and rather than pop Vicodin all day, I prefer to sit with my back on the warm heating pad. Therefore; I read my email, pay my bills online, manage my cake and cookie website, do school with the kids, eat my lunch, balance my checkbook, have my quiet time, do my Bloggity Book Club reading, write this blog, read all my favorite blogs, and watch American Idol and 24...on the heating pad...ON THE COUCH. I don't really lie there in a vegetative state ordering my slaves around! In between these activities, I get up and do the housework, bake the cakes and cookies, feed the family, do the laundry, etc. And quite often I am up until midnight doing the cakes and cookies because I don't like to take my time away from the kids to do them if I can help it.

So, needless to say, to hear those words out of my beloved firstborn son...cut deeply. Both because he doesn't appreciate all I do, and because I obviously haven't demonstrated to him how much I do for them because they are my first responsibility. So, here's what I did about it...I turned over the job to Benji for the day! He got to change diapers, unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and then load the breakfast dishes in, sort the laundry and start a load in the washer, fix breakfast for the other 3 kids, make sure everyone had done their morning responsibilities, help the girl with her schoolwork, and get the other boy started on his, while making sure that the baby was staying out of the potty, and down from the shelves, tables, etc. Meanwhile, I watched tv, went outside and jumped on the trampoline, (Benji's favorite thing to do when he gets a break during school time.) and just watched the magic happen. Ya'll, he lasted an hour and a half before he broke down and cried. Real, sobbing tears..."I hate this job...I don't understand what Maddie is supposed to do on her lesson, Jon won't read what I'm telling him to, and Davey won't listen at all!" Point Made???

I then asked him if he would like to switch back...he said, "Sniff...yes...sniff, sniff". Hopefully, he understands now that I do a lot more than he realizes and that when I ask them to help out, it's not because I'm lazy...(at least, not ALWAYS because I'm lazy, LOL) but because I NEED some help to get everything done.

I have started a blog for Benji, because he has some stuff he wants to write, and he wants to have a place to show the pictures of motorcycles he has designed, AND it's a great way to make writing assignments a little bit more fun for him. Over the next few days, I'm going to have him write his side of this whole experience and post it. When he's got it up, I'll link to it, so ya'll can read..."the rest of the story".

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This One's Gonna Be Short Ya'll

Well, the mad rush has begun to get ready for soccer and baseball practice. Last night I was up 'til midnight baking and decorating baby shower cookies for a client, so I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. Today we delivered the cookies and this evening we have soccer practice and then a baseball scrimmage immediately after.

I wish I had pictures of the cookies to post for you, but my camera is still M.I.A. and I didn't get the cookies finished before B left for work with his camera this morning. Gotta do something about another camera!

Anyway, I need more movie recommendations...and Corinne said she WILL go to another movie with me, she's just going to check it out first so she knows it won't be a tear-jerker! Perhaps we'll see the new Spiderman 3 together. We both like the Spiderman and Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so that should work out for us.

Okay, I'll try to write a REAL post later this evening after all the sports. In the meantime, if you are in need of a giggle or two, check out Kelli's post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Brighter Day

Oh my...I have been trying to get back here and write another post, but life can be so busy! I just hated to leave such a sad post up for so long. It was cathartic to write, but so depressing to read! I must say, "Thank You", to everyone who left kind comments. It's fun to make new friends, or "Sistas" as Beth Moore calls us!

Okay, so I did eventuallly stop crying, we picked up balloons at the store and each of us wrote whatever we wanted to on them before we sent them up. Maddie baked a little cake in her "Easy Bake Oven" for the baby's birthday, (isn't that sweet???) and we each ate a tiny piece. And, here's the best part...after we released our balloons and ate our cake, Maddie remembered that she wanted to send a card up to the baby, so she got some paper and made a little card. I tried to explain to her that it wouldn't go up without the balloon, but she wanted to try, so she took it outside and tried to let it catch the wind and fly up. When she came back in the house, she said to me, "You were right, it wouldn't go up, so I just left it out there and told Jesus to come and get it and take it up to the baby." She was so convinced that this was going to work! I had planned to go out there after she went to bed and pick up the note so she would think Jesus had taken it to the baby...but ya'll I totally forgot!!! I forgot until the next day when she came to me and said, "Well, my card isn't there, but Benji's flowers are." So, the card she had left out there disappeared with no help from me, and the daffodils Benji planted several years ago that we had been watching come up during this heat wave we've been having, had begun to bloom all in the same night. God is so good isn't He? I love it when He does little things like that for my kids.

Then, last night I invited some of my friends to go out to eat and see "We Are Marshall" with me 'cause I was in the mood for some F-U-N! We had a good time catching up with each other over burgers at Fuddruckers, then there was the movie...I totally LOVED it myself, but Corinne, sitting next to me bawled her eyes out and made a vow to NEVER go with me to another movie...EVER! She said, "Who'd have ever thought...a guy-movie tear jerker?" I'm not sure whether the rest of the crew liked it or not, but for me you can't go wrong with Matthew McConaughey and football both in the same movie! Although I must admit that the plaid polyester pants and the greased down hair were not very attractive, he did such a good job of playing Jack Lengyel, that I still enjoyed myself immensely. Matthew and I share a love for all things football, and it showed in his performance. If only we shared a love for Jesus as well...then his inside could be as pretty as his outside... And yes, B knows that I think Matthew is pretty, he also knows that until Jeff Gordon remarried last year, he was my choice to replace B should anything happen to him, and he's fine with it. Mostly because he KNOWS that he is and always will be my first choice, and that I seriously don't think I could EVER be married to anyone else...EVER...he's it for me for always, and he knows it.

So, chime in ya'll. Did anyone else see any good movies this weekend? I still want to see "One Night with the King", "The Nativity" and "Eragon". Feel free to weigh in if you've seen any of those as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Very Sad Day

"Lord, I don't think I can take any more..."

That has basically been the extent of my prayer time today.

A few days ago, I read this, which stirred my heart and lead me here,
which troubled my heart greatly.

Then, this morning I read this,
which lead me here, which broke what was left of my heart.

To top it all off, today would have been the 2nd birthday of one of the three babies that I lost, and that breaks my heart in and of itself. And as I'm spanking my not quite two year old baby boy for climbing out of his bed when he's supposed to be napping...what I really want to be doing is holding him and rocking him in "our chair" and kissing the top of his little blonde head that still smells so good to me even though he's not really a baby anymore...but I know that if I don't spank him and put him back in bed, he will not learn that he needs to stay in bed for nap time, and he will begin to push many, many more rules. So, I give him a half-hearted little swat on his diaper, give him a whole-hearted hug and a kiss, tell him one more time that it is nap time and he must stay in the bed, and I walk painfully out of his room.

Then, as I often do on these lost birthdays, I pull out the book that my dear neighbor, who has had two miscarriages of her own and grieves with me over mine, passed on to me after my first loss. And I read these words...

Are the Mother--
the guardian of
your baby's memory.
Your heart will hold onto
that memory forever
and keep it in a special place
for you to visit."

...and on the next page...

"Even though I didn't carry you
long enough to bury you,
you have a very special
resting place in my heart.
I visit you there often."

And that is a my truth today.

So, today I will pray for Amy...and Ethan...and I will take my four most beautiful children to the park to release balloons up to heaven because Jonathan thinks the baby would want balloons on his/her birthday, and I think he's right, and I think it's a nice tradition for us to do on each of our lost babies due dates. And hopefully, I will stop crying at some point and just enjoy all that I have been given, and thank God that the four children He did entrust me with are all healthy and strong and that they have healthy parents to be here to love them and spank them when they climb out of their little cribs.

"Thank you Lord for my blessings...again, I don't think I can take much more!"

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Amy's Family Needs Our Prayers

I just read about this family at A Chelsea Morning Please go and check it out and PRAY for this family.

Works for me Wednesday--Forgotten Laundry

Okay, I actually learned this from the Flylady, but it's still good advice and it still works for me! I keep a nightlight in my kitchen where it can be easily seen. Whenever I put a load of laundry into the washer, I turn on the night light. That way, when I walk through the kitchen later after having completely forgotten the load of laundry rotting in the washer, I "see the light" (hee-hee) and remember to go put the clothes in the dryer! I can't tell you how many times I have had to re-wash a load of laundry that sat in the washer too long before I found out about this little trick!

For more WFMW tips, go here!

American Idol Crisis!

Okay, so my DVR had some sort of psychiatric break down last night, and when I returned from baseball practice, (a balmy 61 degrees and no wind this week--thank you, Jesus!) there was no American Idol, and no House anywhere to be found on my Recorded List!!! I checked it out, and it's got tonight's and tomorrow's episodes all ready to record, but for some reason it completely flaked last night!!! I missed Chris Sligh!!! So for now, my friends, I must go check out the World Wide Web for any hope of watching the episode online. Then I must check in with BooMama 'cause ya'll know she was watching and can probably give me a recap that is almost as good as being there, and definitely way funnier!

I'll be back later with an actual post for you, but right now I-MUST-FIND-AMERICAN-IDOL!!!

*UPDATE: Just in case you were wondering, I did manage to find a video clip of last night's AI recap that they do at the end of the show where they show little snippets of each performance. Not exactly what I was looking for, but at least I got to hear each guy sing! I tried to post the video here for any of you who might have missed the show as well, but alas it just isn't working today...sorry. And yes, BooMama did not fail me...she gave a brief synopsis of each performance on her site today! Oh, and House wasn't on since AI was two hours, so I only missed one of my shows last night after all!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I got a dishwasher for Valentine's...what did YOU get?

Okay, I really have nothing new to say, but feel that I must. post. something. So, I thought I'd tell you all about my Valentine's Day. Now, may I preface this by saying that I got a new stove for Christmas? Well, I did. And the funny thing is...I LOVED IT!!! You see, in order to properly appreciate life here at our house, you must know that after our second son was born, B and I decided it was time to stop paying rent and actually buy our first home. The problem...we had no money. So after a series of unfortunate events (a different post for a different time) we bought a "fixer-upper" and by that I mean...a dump. (The original intention was to fix it up, sell it at a profit within 5 years and buy a nicer home with the proceeds.) However, it was such a dump that we couldn't move in right away because it was not fit for human dwelling. In the meantime, my wonderful kidneys decided to flare up with their usual stone forming problems and since we had no medical insurance and were still paying for the birth of the second boy...I was trying to pass the stone all on my own. Big deal right? Lots of people pass stones every day. Yes they do, and I have passed my share (over 35 to date), but this one just wouldn't leave. And cleaning up that disgusting hole of a house we bought was just out of the question. (Enter many, many, many church friends and family...again, another post for another day.) So, the two kids and I moved in with my parents while B camped out in the hole and proceeded to make it less of a hole, and more of a home. Two months and a reluctant kidney surgery later, the kids and I moved in.

Two things that had to stay in the house due to a serious lack of money were the dishwasher, and the stove (yet another post for yet another day!) So, I made due and tried not to think too much about the nastiness that lived in this house and used this dishwasher and stove before me. I ran industrial cleaner through the dishwasher on the hottest possible cycle, and convinced myself it would be okay. I cleaned the oven inside and out, bought all new knobs for it, and again told myself it would be okay. Now, said oven was a gas oven that left a film all throughout the house whenever I used it, had a finicky pilot light that went out on a regular basis and had to be relit by me, on my hands and knees fearing for the explosion that would surely come at any moment, and a completely non-existent pilot light for the stove top that required each burner to be lit with a match. It also had hot spots in the oven that required that I rotate cakes, etc. every 15 minutes during cooking to avoid burned spots. Not the best set up for a homebaker with a cake/cookie side business. So, when B used quite the large chunk of his Christmas bonus to buy a new 6 burner, ceramic top, stainless steel electric stove for my Christmas gift, it was the best present he could have gotten me!

Fast forward to Valentine's Day, and above said husband brought home a stainless steel Thermadore/Bosch dishwasher that was removed from the house he is currently remodeling. He installed it on Thursday, and my goodness, I had forgotten what it was like to not have to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. And I don't think I've ever known what it is like not to have to wipe white powder off of the bottoms of the glasses and cups after they have been washed. And did I mention that the previous dishwasher was So! LOUD! that you couldn't hear the tv in the next room when it was on? Now, I have to check the light display to see if the dishwasher is running or not!! Heaven, pure heaven...yes ma'am, life is good!

So, for all you ladies who got jewelry, engraved ipods, or fancy dinners out alone with your hubby for Valentine's your heart out!!

On a side note: the girl and I did get flowers from the guys, and chocolates were given to all (except me, cause I'm not allowed chocolate any more...sob, sigh, single tear falling on cheek...).

Second side note: in case you were wondering it's been almost 8 years, we have still not completed the renovation of the house, (two more kids, and various other medical bills etc...have slowed the process considerably)...but it is now less of a dump. B is an amazing carpenter/contractor, so what has been fixed up is above and beyond beautiful, but there is much, much, more yet to do. One of these days I'll post some before and after photos.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Things I've Learned About God From My Kids

Okay, have any of you ever heard any of Michael Card's Lullaby CD's? They are my favorites! And I can't recall the song at this juncture, but there is a line in one of his songs that he sings to his baby boy that says, "'ll show more of God than I'll ever teach you..." That line touched the deepest part of my heart the first time I heard it. And the longer I have kids, the more I realize that it is so very true. Case in point...

Today stunk! I have not felt well for days...and I'm not still talking about the CRUD. I am afraid I am having kidney trouble again. I've had headaches, trouble with my eyes, pain, and I hate the nausea! Anyway, each day that has passed in which I have not gotten anything remotely productive accomplished, I have told myself "That's okay, SURELY I'll feel better tomorrow, and I'll catch up then." The problem is, I haven't felt better, and now I'm so far behind that the idea of catching up seems like quite a lofty goal. I mean, I know I'll eventually have a clean house again...I always do...eventually...and I will cook a full meal (with all four food groups) for my of these just seems to be getting farther and farther into the future! But I digress...the point of mentioning the whole "today stunk" business was to make it clear that I am not feeling too good about myself these days. I've kind of fallen behind on the whole mom thing and especially the whole wife thing. Which is pretty much what I'm supposed to take care of first, so I've been feeling pretty much like a failure at life.

Now, to the good part. Yes, there is a good part to this post! (I know you were fixin' to switch over to BooMama, or Big Mama, 'cause right about now you could really use a good laugh!) When I'm feeling like God must be completely disappointed in me, and sorry that He ever entrusted these beautiful children to me, He recalls to my memory some of the lessons that my children have taught me about Himself and His very nature...

#1) There are times (rare though they may be) that my kids drive me completely bananas. They fuss and bicker with each other, they question every! single! thing! I! say!, and they have to be threatened to extremes before they accomplish a single task I put before them.

#2) My kids can be selfish, self-centered, and completely unappreciative of all that has been given to them. (Again, on rare occasions only!)

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now, keeping in mind the above noted behavior...I find myself every now and then (although it also is a very rare occurance) able to go out and do the grocery shopping, or everyday errand running without the kids. This is usually after they have been trying my patience all day, and I don't want to take them with me. Inevitably, however, I will find myself looking at things in the store that I know one of them would really like, and it doesn't matter how mad I was at them earlier in the day, or how disappointed I was in them, or how irritated they made me. I still want to buy it for them just because I know how much they will like it. I still want to give them good gifts whether I feel they deserve them or not just because they are my kids, and I love them, and enjoy bringing them joy. And it occurs to me at times like this that God feels the same way about me! It is so hard to accept, but I know it's true because I know that if I can feel that way about my kids, being the sinful mother that I am, how much more can my Heavenly Father love me, being the Perfect, and Holy Father that He is?

So, I said all that to say this...If you are feeling unloved, and unworthy today, you need to know that no matter how unworthy we may be, we are NEVER, EVER, EVER, unloved. And our Heavenly Father still desires to bless us with His good gifts.

So now I want to ask all of you, if you have any lessons that God has taught you through your children, would you share them? I'd love to know other ways that God has used our children to reveal Himself to us! Let's see if I can make this Mr. Linky thing work, and you can link back to this post with your lessons learned.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007's started again...

Baseball that is. Yes baseball officially began last night at our house with the first practice of the season. Now, this is the time of year when my neighbors run into me and say things like, "Oh, do you still live here?" Because, you see, during baseball season, we are NEVER HOME. Now, this year, I only have one playing baseball, but Jonathan has discovered soccer and so we've just traded in one sport for another. That means we will be at practices a minimum of 4 nights a week between the two of them, (provided they don't end up with practices on THE SAME NIGHT) and then we juggle games on weekends. Now, don't get me wrong, I LIKE baseball season. I enjoy baseball, and I LOVE watching my kid play. And even though soccer is not my favorite sport, I do love watching Jonathan play. However, I do not look forward to the daily mad rush to gather all the gear together and get everyone out the door and to practice on time. AND adding practice to the day gives me even less time to get all the stuff done that I don't have time to do as it is!

Now, did I mention that last night was the first practice of the season? And did I mention that it was really cold last night? It was 41 degrees out there, but the real problem was the wind! It was blowing so hard, that the cold went right through every layer we had on!! The kids and I lasted about 5 minutes in the bleachers before we all headed back to the parking lot to watch practice from the comfort of our nice warm van! Fortunately, we had parked in the perfect spot, so we could see the entire practice from there, and when the baby started to get fussy, we were able to put a movie on for him. I know, I know, my family in Minnesota would be ashamed, but I live in TEXAS for a reason people, I DON'T LIKE TO BE COLD!!!

Anyway, the boy did good, and he even hit one good line drive to the outfield, so cold as we were, it was fun to watch. But now, I must stop rambling because I have more cookies to make for an order that must go out today...I told you adding baseball practice to my day would mess with my ability to get everything done!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 12, 2007

15 minutes, Commercials, and Prayers

Before you read this post, there are some terms you will need to know: 1)A 15 Minute Day is a day in which I have a bazillion things to do, and a gazillion things I want to do, but I am having trouble getting started on anything, so I start with the most important task before me, and I work at it for 15 minutes, then I STOP, and move to another task for 15 minutes, then STOP, go back to the original task for 15 minutes (if it wasn't completed), and then I get a 15 minute break to rest or read, or anything else I want to do. After the break, I start the whole thing over again. The point of this system is two-fold: If I KNOW I only have to wash dishes, scrub bathrooms, wash windows, etc. for 15 minutes, I am more willing to jump in and do it. Also, knowing that if I don't finish it in 15 minutes, I will have to come back to it after 15 minutes on another task, makes me work faster to try to get it all done in the original 15 minutes if at all possible! (Did you know that you can completely unload your dishwasher and get everything put away in 5 minutes???) 2)A Commercial Day is usually a day when I am having kidney trouble or other illness and 15 minutes seems like an eternity. On these days, I find some good movie, or sporting event to watch on tv, and every time it goes to commercial, I get up and work on a task until the show comes back on. Believe it or not, I have actually accomplished quite a lot this way that wouldn't have ever gotten finished otherwise!

Now, I had expected today to be a regular Monday filled with ballet class, lunch at Fuddrucker's, grocery shopping, housecleaning, and a visit to the library for storytime. But about 10 minutes into ballet, I realized this was going to be more of a 15 minute day. I guess I'm still not fully recovered from the CRUD, because watching ballet class completely wiped me out! I managed to make it through that, take the Girl to lunch, and go to Hastings to pick up the book for our Bloggity Book Club, and let the Baby play outside for about 15 minutes or so before I fell on the couch and began to develop roots. As the roots began to grow and entwine themselves into the cushions of the couch, it became apparent that 15 minutes was just too darn long and this was going to have to be a Commercial Day after all. So, I am sitting here recovering from my commercial break, trying to do something productive while I watch the coverage of Speed Weeks on the Speed Channel. (I do love me some NASCAR, yes ma'am I do!)

Which brings me to the "Prayers" part of this post. (The "productive" part, not the "Nascar" part!) I am currently using Lisa Whelchel's "Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer" prayer journal in my quiet time. One thing I have added to this journal is a celebrity to pray for each day. Sometimes I pray for a celebrity that I would like to see get saved, sometimes I pray for a celebrity that is already a Christian -- to give them strength and influence with those around them for Christ. So at the moment, I'm praying for Wynonna, because she is a dear Christian sister and she has publicly asked for prayer for her new blended family. (By the way, I did email her and let her know that I was praying for her and I got a very nice response from either her or someone on her staff!) So anyway, I've added a new list to my blog that let's you know who I'm praying for today so that, if you choose, you can "storm the gates of heaven" with me for these people.

That said... little explanation about who is on the list this week besides Wynonna...
Our President--obviously has many important decisions to make, and is under constant attack and therefore must be continually held up in prayer.
Our Governor--is in the middle of a huge controversy regarding the new HPV vaccine and needs the wisdom of God to fall all over him.
Kelli--is one of my favorite bloggers and is in need of a kidney transplant. If you click the "For Kelli" button, you can read the details and see how you can help.
Emma--is my niece and although I am not at liberty to discuss her situation, I do know that my sister would appreciate all prayers being lifted on her behalf. Just pray that God would take over, and that should do it!

So, that's my rambling for today. If you were able to follow along all this time, I salute you! If not, please come back and try me on a more lucid day! And if you choose to pray with me for these things, please leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Good Book

BooMama and Robin are hosting a book club at Robin's blog, and I'm joining in! We are reading Beth Moore's book "Get Out of That Pit!". For all the details head on over to BooMama's Blog and check it out.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And the First Shall be Last

Wow, for some reason it is really hard for me to start to write about Benji. Benji was my first baby. I prayed for him. I asked for him. He was a direct answer from God to my prayer. When Benji was born it was just he and I all day long until Daddy came home. Benji was an angel baby. I took him EVERYWHERE and he was never fussy. We went to the mall, to movies, on walks to the 7 Eleven for a Slurpee, and he was happy and pleasant, a true joy. He sat still and quiet while I got my hair permed (2 hours mind you), he patiently was passed up and down the rows at church because everyone wanted to hold him, and he sat quietly in his carseat during Worship Team practice because both Daddy and I were on the team. People stopped me wherever I went to look at him because he was so beautiful. He was the perfect baby. He made me want to have 10 children. He's now 11 years old, and no longer quite so perfect, but he comes pretty close...most of the time!

You will see from the before and after pictures above, a big part of Benji's personality. Benji likes to have FUN! And fun sometimes comes at a price. (Our dentist has suggested bubblewrap!) He fell in our hotel room when he was 4--while we were frantically packing up to get out of there by checkout time--and split his chin open requiring 4 stitches. (I still haven't forgiven Ben (Daddy) for making me stay behind and finish packing while he rushed my baby to the ER.....without me. But that's a different story.)Then, when he was 8, he fell out of a tree at the park and tore his spleen. (This time I rushed him to the ER and left Daddy with the other kids.) We spent 4 days together in Children's hospital, he and I, after that one. And most recently, as you can see, he was playing "Hide-and-Seek" in the dark and ran into a hanging plant and broke his tooth. (Now I should note that his lip was completely unharmed...meaning, he was smiling! BIG! when he hit that pot!) None of my other kids have ever been to the ER at all. Apparently, they have learned well from Benji's mistakes!

Benji is also my athlete. He has LOVED baseball since he was 3 years old. He has played on a team since he was 5, and from time to time has dreams of playing in the Big Leagues. He also LOVES football although he isn't as good at football as he is at baseball, he REALLY loves playing the game. (That's MY boy!) Benji's only problem with sports is his see, growing up, I was a skinny-and by skinny, I mean BONEY-kid. EVERYONE made fun of me to the point that I wore sweat pants under my jeans to make myself look "normal". I am also about 5'2" tall. Now, I did try...Ben (my sweetheart husband) is 6'2" and about 175-180 lbs. Very healthy, very athleticly (is that a word?) built. Unfortunately for Benji, he is his mama's boy. He just doesn't have the size and power to be a true force at the bat or on the football field yet. So, he plays skill positions and doesn't care that he's little. I like that about Benji, he's just having fun playing the game. He doesn't care about being bigger, or stronger, he just wants to play.

Man, I could write for three more days and still think of things to tell you about Benji, but then who would feed the kids and the man? However, what I MUST tell you about Benji is that Benji is truly "Benjamin--the son of my right hand". Benji is my helper whenever I need him. He helps me with the cakes, he helps me with the other kids, and when my kidneys are acting up and I can't get up off of the couch, he helps take care of me. Benji and I are more than just mom and son, we are friends. He still gets up in the morning and comes to snuggle with me before everyone else gets up. He still kisses and hugs me in public, and tells me he loves me in front of his friends...sob... And he still looks for me in the stands during his games after he has made a good play to see if I saw it. (Are you crying yet? I'm darn close over here myself!)


Cookies are Finished!

As I promised, here are some pictures of the cookies I was making last night. The Bouquet is for our church youth group to raffle off, and the bags of cookies are for my forever friend, "C" who asked so nicely! If you are wondering why I put them in individual bags if I am just giving them to a friend??? It is because if one receives cookies in individual bags, one automatically sees each bag as an individual serving and psychologically this helps one to pace one's self. Because, you see, with these cookies, one MUST pace oneself! (The bags may or may not work, but we at least have to put forth the effort!) If you want to see close-ups of the cookies in the bags, you can go to my cake and cookie website where I have added them to the slideshow on the homepage.

Okay, I'm off to deliver the cookies! And I PROMISE to introduce you to the last of the kids later today.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Word Block

No pictures yet of the cookie bouquet, but I did find this idea for custom "word blocks" on another blog and thought it was kind of fun. If you want one of your very own, just click here. I like mine so much, I plan to order one of their shirts.

Good night all,

Feeling Better...finally!

Yes, I am feeling better this morning, and it's a good thing because I promised to make a Valentine Cookie bouquet to donate to our church youth group so they can raffle it off to raise money for their annual ski trip, and tomorrow is the day. I'll post a picture of it and a real post later, (you still have one kid to meet!!) but in the meantime, I have FINALLY updated my cake website, so if anybody is interested in seeing the cakes and cookies, you can check them out here.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Got the CRUD!!!

Sorry there have been no new posts for the past couple of days. The CRUD has hit our house and 4 of the 6 of us are down with it. I'm still not up to sitting up long enough, or thinking clearly enough to put a post together, so I will refer you to this one of my favorite blog posts to date. I hope you enjoy it.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Heeeerrrre'sss Jonny!!!

Actually, it's Jonathan, or Jon, or Jo-Nathan, but NEVER Jonny. Now, how do I describe Jonathan to you? Well, do you see the picture above? That's Jonathan...some of the time. The rest of the time he's, well...shy, angry, or LOUD...REALLY, REALLY, LOUD! I tried to find some other pictures on my computer to illustrate the many personalities of Jonathan, but I just don't have any on my hard drive at the moment. Now believe me when I tell you that Jonathan could read this, (although he wouldn't because Jonathan must be coerced, bribed, or otherwise tricked into reading ANYTHING that is not about pirates, animals, or was written by Dr. Seuss!) and he would not be offended by it in the least. Jonathan is a very self-aware child. If you ask him to do something that he doesn't want to do, he'll simply say, "No, I'm too shy."

Now shall we discuss work ethic? Again, Jonathan has more than one belief system on the value of hard work to go along with the multiple personalities mentioned above. Work Ethic #1) Daily chores are useless and should only be accomplished if food, or outside playtime is being held hostage until they are finished, and THEN one should ONLY do the absolute minimum amount of work one can get by with. Work Ethic #2) Schoolwork should be finished as quickly as possible so that it is over and done with as soon as is humanly possible, but again, with the minimum effort required to complete the task. Which in this case often translates into doing it correctly the first time because our curriculum is set up to MAKE you go back and correct anything you got wrong before you can continue. So, not always a bad thing in this situation. Work Ethic #3) Any task that has to be accomplished, but carries no reward at it's conclusion MUST be done as s-l-o-w-l-y-a-s-i-s-h-u-m-a-n-l-y-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e... Now, keep that in mind as I relate to you the following story...

Jonathan, who has wanted to be a policeman, a NASCAR driver, a member of a NASCAR pit team, and, of course, a pirate (thank you Johnny Depp), announced to me last week that he now KNEW what he wanted to be when he grows up...a janitor. Now, this announcement has met with many different responses from other friends and family, but to this busy mom, it meant only one thing..... an apprentice of my VERY own! So... I was mopping the kitchen floor in a MASSIVE hurry because you know that the FLYLADY says that housework done incorrectly still blesses your family, so it doesn't ALWAYS have to be done perfectly, it just has to be DONE! But I digress...anyway, I'm mopping and my sweet curly-haired boy says to me, "Mom, can I do that?" Translation, "I am the most perfect child any mother has ever known." To which I lovingly replied, "That's okay sweetie, you go on outside and play, this is Mama's job"...NOT!!! I handed the mop over, showed him how to mop correctly, (because the Flylady's rule doesn't apply to kids doing chores. LOL.) and turned him loose. When I returned to check on him, the side that he had mopped was so much better than my side, that I made him redo my half! (Keep in mind, he was ENJOYING himself and was looking for other things to mop.) Now before you get too excited and decide I'm totally spoiled rotten...the next day I asked him to sweep up the kitchen floor, and showed him how to use my fancy new "One Sweep" broom, to which he replied, "No thanks, that's too hard for me." Like I said, Jonathan has multiple personalities and apparently they don't ALL want to be a janitor when they grow up!

Now, a post about Jonathan would not be complete without a funny story because Jonathan is, above all else, hilarious. He also KNOWS he's funny which just makes him even funnier to me. If any of you have ever watched "American Chopper" you can just look at Mikey and see what life is like living with Jonathan. You won't get a whole lot of work out of him, but you will laugh your head off.

Okay, so Jonathan has this habit of NEEDING to tell me something EVERY time I go into the bathroom. He yells at me through the door and expects me to answer. Well, to me this is my 2 minutes ALONE during the day, and I'd like to keep it that way, so when Jonathan came to the bathroom door while I was putting on my makeup one morning, and announced to me that David (who was barely a year old at the time), had accidentally closed the laundry room door... with Jon's head in it, I knew he couldn't be hurt too badly, so I simply replied, "I'm sorry Jon, are you okay?" but I did not open the door and let him in. So he tried again..."And it REALLY hurt!" Again, I did not take the bait, "I'm REALLY sorry Jon. Who's watching David right now?" To which he pulled out the big guns..."AND MY HEAD ACTUALLY FELL OFF AND I'M HOLDING IT IN MY HAND!!!"

And NOW, you have had a small peek at the joy that is Jonathan!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Next, Meet...the Baby!

Well, I was going to introduce you to Jonathan this morning, but the baby woke up at 5:30am screaming for attention, so I decided to tell you a little bit about him today. David was a very special gift from God. After 3 beautiful children, and 3 miserable pregnancies. I was ready to be finished having babies. Although in the back of my head somewhere I was still a little disappointed because I had always wanted to have 4 children. Well, the day came when I realized that God MUST have put that desire into my heart because we found out that we were expecting our fourth child. Unfortunately, my world was completely rocked by my first ever miscarriage. I was absolutely broken in pieces. This, of course, refueled my fire for having a fourth child and so I began desperately trying to have another baby. Lo and behold, Fertile Mertyl over here couldn't get pregnant. (Now I won't get into details, but I have not only gotten pregnant without really trying, I have gotten pregnant while trying to avoid getting pregnant!) 11 MONTHS! passed before I again was pregnant, only to find out that at 6 weeks, the baby had died. I was devastated. I was convinced that at 39, I was just too old to have a baby. My wonderful doctor suggested that perhaps I had endometriosis and didn't realize it and that was what was causing the problem. I looked into it and found that I had had many of the symptoms, but had written them off as related to my kidney problems.

So....the doctor removed the endometriosis, we got pregnant three weeks later, and 5 months before my 40th birthday, baby David was born in all his blue-eyed, blonde haired glory! Now, imagine my surprise as both my husband and I have brown hair, neither very light (at least not without the help of my hairdresser and friend, Candy!), and all 3 of the other children had their daddy's DARK brown eyes and brown hair. I do have blue eyes, so was thrilled to finally get a blue-eyed baby, but the blonde hair is still a mystery. I like to tease Candy that she put a few too many blonde highlights in my hair while I was pregnant!

Now David has been different in more than just his looks. I have lovingly referred to him as my "high maintenance" child. First of all, he was colicky, I mean walking back and forth through the house at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, etc., etc., etc. in the morning! I had NEVER had a colicky baby before. For those of you have had one and then willingly gave birth again, my hat is off to you! Then, I got pregnant again...again despite GREAT effort on my part to prevent such a thing. But again, the baby didn't live past 6 weeks. However, that pregnancy began David's aversion to nursing. Now, I had nursed all my babies for well over a year, and intended to do the same with David especially knowing that this was most likely my last one. However, David, while I KNOW he loves me, wanted to have nothing to do with it any more. So, I reluctantly bought my first ever can of formula, and viola...instant happy baby! No more colick, no more crying, no more waking up in the night at all! All of a sudden I began referring to him as the best baby ever! He took two (count em) TWO, 2+ hour naps a day. He went to bed by 8:00pm and slept peacefully until at least 7:00am. And in-between that time, he sat nicely and played quietly, or watched "Signing Time" in complete mesmerization. Life was good!

Then, David began to crawl, and stand up, and walk, and...CLIMB!!! That beautiful, extremely high-maintenance child now climbs EVERYTHING and gets into EVERYTHING... something else that not one of my other children ever did. He opens the pantry door (yes, he can open doors!), climbs the shelves, pulls out whatever looks good, brings it to me and, smiling sweetly, says, "pweese?" He climbs on whatever he can find, or drag to the scene of the crime, opens the DVD player and changes the discs, but not before adding 1000's of fingerprints to them first! There are some that are missing and may never be heard from again! Oh, and did I mention that he LOVES to splash in the toilet...perhaps I should have kept that little nugget private. Oh well, you mom's understand, right?

Anyway, if any of you have read the book, "No, David!" you have seen a small glimpse of life at our house with our beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, baby boy!

What a magnificent gift he has been!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Who am I

This song has really been speaking to my heart this week. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Introducing...THE girl!

Well, this weekend has been a blur. It was mostly about cakes and cookies this weekend as I had orders for 2 dozen painted cookies, 2 dozen "pool ball" cupcakes, and a "pool table" cake. I also attended the first day of the Capital Confectioners 2007 Cake Show. That was a blast as well as a nice break away from the house. And of course, I had to make a "Super Bowl" cake to take over to my brother-in-law's house to watch the big game. Way to go COLTS!!!

However, it is Monday morning and while the kids are getting ready (I hope) to take the girl to ballet, I'm stealing a few minutes to add something to this blog. Since today is ballet day, I thought I'd introduce you to my one and only girl. The "Princess of Pink" otherwise known as Madeleine is the only girl out of four beautiful children. And yes, I am perfectly content with that! I really enjoy having a girl to dress up, and do fancy hairdos on, but one is enough. We have our special "girl things" that we do together, and it's kind of fun to just share those things between the two of us.

How do I describe Maddie to you? Well of course beautiful comes to mind first! She is beautiful both inside and out. She likes ballet and dancing and frilly pink dresses, but she also likes playing baseball and wrestling with her brothers out on the trampoline. She is a cheerleader for her oldest brother's football team, but at home, she likes to play football with the boys rather than watch from the sidelines. She likes to help me bake the cakes and is always ready to offer her services as an icing and fondant taster! For her birthday we bought her an Easy Bake oven and we got matching aprons that say "cake" on mine, and "cupcake" on hers! I found them at last year's cake show and this year they even had a bib that said "petit four"! It was so cute it ALMOST made me wish I had a baby girl to buy it for...almost.

One of the ladies at my husband's office asks him each week to tell her stories of the funny things my kids have said over the weekend. One of her favorite stories was on my last birthday. Madeleine was helping me to bake my birthday cake and suddenly gasped and said, "Mom, I still need to buy you a present!" I decided to take one more opportunity to tease her about wanting her to stay 5 years old forever, and I said, "Well, you can just stay 5 years old and that will be my present." To which she quickly retorted, "Nah, I already drew you a picture!" That's my Madeleine...

Well, I guess I've rambled enough for today, and I need to go make sure the little darlings are all actually getting ready to leave rather than taking an opportunity to goof off while Mom's busy! Nobody else's children ever do that, do they??? I didn't think so...

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, February 2, 2007

That's My Life

As I sit here contemplating what should be my first post on this blog, I am thinking to myself that I am giving the wrong impression with the title of my site. "Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and that order", is NOT the order in which I believe my life should be focused. It just happens to be the way it usually turns out!

Of course, being the good Christian wife and mother of four, the proper title of this site should be "Christ, Husband, Children, Church, and Ministry". Wouldn't that be GREAT??? Unfortunately, my daily life is all to often guided by what we referred to in college as "the tyranny of the urgent"! In short, whatever is most urgent at the time is what gets taken care of first!

I'd like to elaborate, but; my oldest decided to wake up early this morning and encroach on the only time I (usually) have all to myself during the day, so I am already behind in my daily tasks; and I received an emergency order for a cake and 2 dozen cupcakes today along with the 2 dozen cookies already on my schedule for today; I have a dishwasher full of clean dishes to unload so that I can reload it with the sink full of dirty ones that are staring at me; and everything that my darling daughter wants to pack to take to her grandparents' house this weekend is dirty and needs to be washed before she leaves!

See, just like I said...Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and Laundry...that's my life!

I hope you check back in again, and I REALLY hope I have had something worthwhile to post for you by then!

Thanks for stopping by,