Thursday, July 22, 2010

School Dream

Had a dream last night about the beginning of school.

It was morning time, we were all rushing around the house (rushing is probably an understatement). Lunches to pack, couldn't find my clothes, much less all the kids' clothes. Cecil was trying to help, I was crying. School bus showed up, we missed it. (The kids don't actually ride the school bus, but I guess it just added more stress to my dream).

Next morning, same thing. Something spills on my clothes. School bus arrives, David has no shoes or socks on, can't find his shoes. So I just send him in socks, girl socks no less. I broke down, literally sobbing that I can't do this.

I was up at 2:30 am with my stomach in knots because of this dream. I know that the beginning of school is no big deal, really. But wondering what this all means. I really feel anxious this year, although not as anxious as my dream. Not sure why.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dinner Tonight

Didn't do a menu this week. We had so much food in the house from the week before. I actually didn't make half of what was on the menu for last week. So we're eating what we have. It's Wednesday and I haven't been to the store since last week. A huge accomplishment for us. We don't have bread or milk in the house. Maybe I should get milk for the babes, but they haven't missed it thus far. And I'm considering making a loaf of bread, for toast and such, just to avoid going to the store.

Making Baked Teriyaki Chicken for dinner tonight. Would really love some zucchini or broccoli to have with it. But we're eating what's here. So, green beans it is.

Here's the recipe I'm using:

(adapted from a recipe from Allrecipes)

1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced
black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine all sauce ingredients, simmer until it thickens.
Put chicken in a greased dish, brush chicken with sauce on both sides.
Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Turn chicken, brush again, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Sounds yummy doesn't it!

Wonder Pets with a "Kick"

David doesn't have any ninja turtles. We have just never bought any, didn't think he was interested. But his cousins have them. His cousin, M, was over a few days ago and left one of his belts for one of his ninja turtles. A couple of nights ago, Cecil went in to help David pick up his room. A few minutes later, he came looking for me and showed me this:

David had taken the ninja turtle belt and put it around Tuck to make his own ninja turtle. This struck me as completely hilarious, and incredibly resourceful. It was priceless. I think he will probably be getting a few ninja turtles for his birthday in a few months. So poor Tuck can go back to being the sweet, nonviolent saver of the baby animals.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Day I Learned about Procrastination...the Hard Way

School uniforms are bought. Supplies will be purchased in the next few days. We are already nearly halfway through July! Where, Oh Where did the summer go. I have been having this anxious, pressing feeling that I need to get everything done so that I'm not waiting until the last minute. It feels a bit like nesting. Except of course, I'm not getting that sweet-smelling, cuddly newborn out of the deal, I'm getting a classroom full of third graders. Some of which may be sweet-smelling and cuddly.

I get this way every year right before school starts. It all started the year Alyssa started Kindergarten. Well, of course it did! That was our first year of having anybody in school. But really, some significant event happened that day (night before actually) that she started school. That always causes me to feel like I really need to get our affairs in order so to speak. And anybody who knows me knows I am a habitual procrastinator. But this particular time it bit me in the backside.

Cecil was in Iraq. He had been away for just about a year and a half. Our baby was starting her very first day of Kindergarten. We were both excited and nervous. I couldn't wait to walk her to her classroom in her adorable plaid jumper, with her long golden hair pulled back in a sweet little bow. I would kiss her goodbye and in complete Alyssa fashion, she would say, "Bye, Mommy" and be off to make tons of new friends. She is our social butterfly.

A few days before I had flown to New Mexico with my sister who was in a wedding and needed help with her toddler and infant. And I, well to tell you the truth, I needed a vacation and the plane ride was free, so I jumped on that opportunity. Well, the entire time I was there, something just didn't feel right. I felt nauseated and could hardly eat. But I chalked it up to being very nervous about being so far away from home. I had the horrible images of Army officers showing up at my door to tell me something had happened to Cecil and I would be across the country and they wouldn't be able to find me. I was a tad neurotic during deployment.

Anyway, we returned just in time for me to go to the orientation meeting at Alyssa's school on the Sunday before she started school on Monday. I had to pull over in a parking lot because I felt so horrible and was in so much pain. But I knew I had so much to do so I drove home, picked up the girls from my sister and then went to buy school supplies, school shoes, school bag etc. Yep, it was Sunday, she started school the next day and I needed to get all the necessities.

Got to Shoe Dept. Picked out a cute pair of white leather Keds. Then it hit me as I was in the check-out line. I was sweating, could hardly stand up. Literally could have laid on the floor right there and cried. I got the kids out to the car, I was in so much pain. I called my mom on the way home and asked her to meet me at home because I needed to go to the hospital. She knew it was serious, because A) I'm not one to ask for help much and B) I'm certainly not one to admit that I need to go to the hospital. Honestly, I knew long before that I should have gone, but I was NOT going in and have them tell me it was gas or something. But this....this was not gas. Of that I was now sure.

She and my dad arrived to find me crying in my bed. Dad carried me to their vehicle. My sister stayed with the girls and asked me where Alyssa's stuff for school was. I started crying even more and said that I hadn't gotten it yet. I felt awful for waiting so long to get what she needed. And now I'm having to rely on someone else to do it for me. Hated it.

I figured I'd be home later that night and would bring her to school the next morning.
Not So. I ended up having an appendectomy that night and staying in the hospital for a week after fighting off gangrene that had set up in my appendix. Turns out I was only alive because it was abscessed and the infection hadn't spread throughout my body. So, I missed my baby's first day of kindergarten. Thankfully, Nana and Papa were there to fill my shoes. Oh, and Cecil did get to return a couple of weeks earlier than scheduled because of the whole situation. So, I guess it wasn't all bad.

But just in case, some other medical emergency arises, I feel like I must get all this done ASAP. I have about three weeks left, I better get busy.

Menu Plan Monday 7/12/10

Tuesday-Cinnamon Rolls
Wednesday-Toast w/Peanut Butter and Banana
Friday-Cinnamon Toast and Apple Slices
Saturday-Eggs and Toast

Monday-Chicken nuggets and Mac n' Cheese
Tuesday-Turkey/Cheese Wraps
Wednesday-Cheese Quesadillas
Thursday-Sandwiches, Chips
Sunday-Pot Roast, Rice/Gravy, Carrots


Monday-Herb-Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Carrots
Tuesday-Pastalaya, English Pea Salad
Wednesday-Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday-Homemade Pizzas
Saturday-Chicken Club Sandwiches
Sunday-Hamburger Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Peas

What are you cookin' this week?
I'm and Organizing Junkie is the home of Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fingers Crossed!

Go check out The Chatty Mommy's super great giveaway! I've got my fingers crossed, hoping to score a sweet, red totebag from CSN. I so love new tote bags, and with work starting in just a few weeks it sure would be great to go back in style.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Lesson in the Dairy Section

We made a trip to Wal-mart this afternoon to pick up a few necessities. We swung by the brownie aisle and picked up a box of Ghirardelli brownies. Hey, I did say necessities, didn't I? Knowing I had used the last egg the night before, we headed to the dairy section, and grabbed the first carton of eggs without any broken ones. We rounded the corner of the next aisle and I noticed that Alyssa was near tears and really upset.

I asked her what was wrong and she stated that it was the two girls on the last aisle while I was getting the eggs. She said that they looked at her, then whispered and giggled to each other, then gave her this "real popular kinda look".

Can I just tell you that this absolutely broke my heart. Not so much that the girls were talking about and laughing at her-I don't even know if they were- but that she felt that they were. That is such an awful feeling, that can stick with you even if the girls really had never even looked at her. I can remember as a kid and teenager, feeling so self-conscious, about nothing specifically, but stared at and uncomfortable just the same. I hated that feeling, you know when it seems like that certain few people are looking right at you, talking about you. I think it's something that most young girls experience at some point,(if you haven't, you were probably in that certain few that were looking at me and talking about me,)but that doesn't make it anymore fun.

So what did I do, how did I respond? First I told her that they were probably laughing at me because, "I have on a black shirt with brown pants, and that is sooo not cool". Yep, that was true, I was wearing black with brown. But she responded that I was getting the eggs and that they weren't even looking my way. So then I brought out the big guns.

Alyssa is pretty mature and sensible. She has accepted Jesus as her Savior and is learning what it means to have a relationship with God.

So I asked her, "If those girls, were doing that, do you think that their hearts are where they need to be?" She replied, "No, ma'am". Me, "So where would you rather be, where you are, or where they are?" Her, "Where I am." And her demeanor completely changed. I hope that she can understand, and it is such a hard thing to grasp, that her value and her worth doesn't come from the "popular girls" or boys, for that matter. I want her to know that she is beyond valuable in my eyes and above all, in God's eyes.

I know that today was a tiny instance in the grand scheme of things. But the look in her eyes said that a bit of her self-confidence was chipped away. And so it begins...the fight for young girls to love themselves for who they are not who others say they are.

It's so much easier when they are younger and get their feelings hurt because someone won't share their toys.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quick Little Vacation

Last month we took a trip up to Kentucky to visit my sister, Alicia, her husband, Dewayne, and their four kids. It was a looong 14 hour drive. But all four of the littles were fantastic on the drive. We left in the wee hours of the morning so that they could sleep for a few hours. Note to self: If you want them to sleep, do not put the DVD player on for them. They didn't end up going back to sleep until after lunch. I think they were so amazed that they could watch a movie in the van that they didn't want to sleep and miss it. We had borrowed the DVD player from someone and don't usually have one in the vehicle.

When we got there that evening, we caught fireflies in peanut butter jars. We just thought this was the greatest thing since we don't really see them down here in the swamp. Maybe our giant mosquitoes eat them up, j/k. Anyway, for the kids, this may have been the most exciting part of the trip.

The next morning, we got to watch Alicia's oldest daughter play softball. It was steaming hot that day at the ballpark, but still not as hot as it was down here with a heat index of 106. We had a great time, but the heat zapped everybody, so we went back to her house and just hung out for the rest of the day. Oh, and had some of the very best Fetuccini Alfredo ever. Better than Olive Garden, I'm tellin' ya.

On our last day there, we traveled to Cumberland Falls.
Now, Alicia has some of the most pleasant, respectful, helpful kids you'll ever meet. Case in point: The drive to Cumberland Falls is full of twists and turns, and winds up into the mountains. Completely miserable if you are one who gets carsick. Thankfully, I'm not nor are any of my kids. However, on the way, Alicia, who was riding with me behind the rest of her family, stated that at least one of her children always get sick on the way to the Falls. Sure enough, when we parked we saw Dewayne jump out of the front seat, hurriedly open the back door and throw out Zach's baseball cap. He had taken it off when Hayden started throwing up, so he wouldn't throw up in the car. They really, really are great kids.

We spent a few hours posing,


and slurping.

We then headed to the Great American Balloon Race. I had never seen a hot air balloon in person, but they were really neat. I would love to take a ride in a balloon. I think I'll do some research to find out where we might go to ride in a hot air balloon.

** and for some reason blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures**

The next day, we headed out on the long drive home. The kids cried because they didn't want to leave, but all in all the trip was great! Thanks, Alicia!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Mayor Newsom (mayor of San Francisco):

I am not a citizen of your "fine" city of San Francisco. However, I am a citizen of the finest country in the world and as an American citizen, I strongly object to your executive order to ban sugary drinks in your city. What type of people do you govern, if you suspect that they are not in the conscious state of mind to choose what they drink with their lunch. Are your citizens so absent-minded that they need someone to make these type of mundane, every day choices for them. I think not. And how dare you take that option away from them! I would, personally, be highly offended if you were my mayor, to know that you thought so lowly of my intellect!

I agree that sodas are not the healthiest option. But that is just what it is-an option- that I, myself, am capable of choosing for myself. I don't need anyone, especially, any form of government, ordering me to eat healthy, or drink healthy, or exercise regularly. You see, Mr Newsom, it boils down to personal responsibility. Each individual human being has to learn to make responsible decisions on their own. Sometimes learning to take personal responsibility means making some crucial mistakes and suffering some unpleasant consequences, maybe like being 20 pounds heavier, or suffering from heart disease, or developing lung cancer. These are all consequences that may or may not occur from personal choices Americans make everyday. Would I ever want anyone to suffer these consequences? Of course not. But I would never advocate taking away the right of a person to make the choice of whether or not they want to take those risks. I cannot stress enough that these are not the decisions that the government should be concerned with.

We all know that anything in excess is not a good thing. Let's take alcohol, for example. When not used responsibly, alcohol use can be fatal. However, we are still allowing Americans to make that choice. Let's just say,hypothetically, that in 1992, when over 18,000 drunk-driving fatalities were reported in our country, the same year that your PlumpJack Wine Shop was founded, our "well-meaning" government passed legislation to end the sale of alcohol. They would have, of course, done this to protect our country's citizens from the dangerous act of using a legal substance in an irresponsible way. Much like drinking too many sodas. Now let's think about how that would have affected your business, PlumpJack Wine Shop-the same business that grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise. I'm thinking that it wouldn't have been good for business and that you would then be advocating that grown, responsible human beings can, in fact, choose whether they would like to have wine with dinner. Apples to apples, Mr. Newsom.

What you have embarked upon is a slippery slope. I hope that the nice people of your city, state and this country realize this. Now you ban sugary drinks. What's next? Mandatory gym memberships? A regulated diet for all your constituents? Fines for not being at the ideal weight for your body type? Now there's an interesting way for your state to generate some much needed revenue.

I'm writing this letter to you as I sip on a cold, half-finished Dr. Pepper. No, I am not overweight, I am college-educated, I make responsible decisions and I am capable of running my own life. I don't need you or any of your colleagues to do it for me.

Thank you very much for your time. Now please use it more wisely!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No More Babies??

Has this ever happened to you? You start a post and then before you are finished something comes up and you leave it in your drafts....and then forget about it.

Well, I was just cleaning out some drafts and I ran across one from March 22. As I was re-reading it, it reminded me of a few things. I thought it was actually pretty good. Just note that it was from 3/22/10...we have not been sick and the marriage conference was back in March.

We didn't make it to church on Sunday because of a stomach virus. We were very blessed at a marriage conference at our church on Friday and Saturday. It was a conference with Steve and Debbie Wilson and if you have the opportunity to hear them speak, I strongly recommend it. They are just so pleasant, genuine, and the love Jesus. Just truly sweet, sweet spirited people. I got so many things out of the conference but one thing that it got me to thinking about is whether I want to have more babies.

If you know me well, you probably know that I am chronically torn with this particular subject. I'm constantly going back and forth: "I want at least one more, no, I'm done...we will be out of diapers soon." Part of the reason I go back and forth is my position on birth control. I feel like that it is God's choice whether or not we have more babies. Isn't he in ultimate control? Up until now we have completely let God plan our family. Who am I to tell God that I don't want any more babies?

Another reason that I go back and forth on this decision is that I think my identity has become primarily being "Mommy". I'm not at all saying that there is anything wrong with that. I rather like that identity. But at times I actually become afraid of my children growing up, and not being "Mommy". Afraid of not being needed so much, afraid of my children being independent. Because where does that leave me? I have always hated when people make comments that they can not wait until their kids are grown and are out of their house. I actually dread that day. I know, I know, that is what all this hard work is for, to teach them to be productive, God-loving citizens. But that is just how I feel.

However, this weekend has made me realize that I am looking forward to being my husband's wife, when my kids are grown and gone (not too far, I desperately hope). But I am actually looking forward to the empty nest. Please don't get me wrong! I don't want this season in my life to pass any quicker than it absolutely has to. However, there is a life for me after my children are grown. A life where


And this is apparently where I got interrupted because that's where the post stops.

This has recently popped its head up again as an issue in our home. One more, or not? I opened up a brand new pack of diapers the other day and, knowing it may be the last pack we buy since we are potty-training Ava, the smell brought tears to my eyes as I thought about that very first pack of diapers you open for your newborn. Such a wonderful smell. Gosh, this is just so hard.

Cecil says that we can't keep having babies just to have a baby. But is it true that my identity is so reliant on having an infant that I can't imagine being me without ever having another baby in my arms? If so, that is a sad state to be in. I've got to get back to that place where I am looking forward to growing my children. Looking forward to this new season of our lives. Not to say that I am not looking forward to it, but to be content in this season.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just some thoughts

It's been a while....I'm sure you all (all two of you) have been waiting on pins and needles to read my next post. Just kidding!

I've had things happen and choices to make that just wouldn't let me sit down and write. My mind has been occupied with negativity and confusion and hurt and that'sjust not what I want to spew on my blog. I've spent a lot of time and prayer and my mind and my heart is a bit clearer and happier.

With that said, I've been reevaluating, ok, really just thinking about why I started this blog. I know some start blogging as a means of keeping family members up to date on happenings. Some start blogging as a type of scrapbook to keep a record of their children's growth and milestones. Some start because they have something they want to tell the world, they feel they have something to say that could help, inspire, or motivate someone else. And many, many more reasons. All of these reasons are really good reasons, no one can tell you why or how you should blog. However, I'm struggling to know where I fit in.

My ideal blog would be full of inspirational, motivational, and instructional words of wisdom. However, sometimes when I sit down to write I struggle with being to open, as I am a pretty private, reserved person. I can't seem to find the line of what I feel comfortable posting for privacy's sake and what may be beneficial to someone else at the risk of feeling a little uncomfortable. So I resort to writing about my kids and family, which I am thrilled that I do when I look back over the last year of this blog. However, as we reach one year I am wanting to deepen the scope of the material I write about.

I guess we'll see what happens. Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!