Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two year old wisdom

My husband just called Puckey a chuckle-head - and of course, she said, "I'm not a chuckle-head, I'm a dinosaur."

Apparently, according to my two year old, anything someone calls you can be countered with, "I'm not a (fill in the blank), I'm a dinosaur."

Therefore, I'm not fat, I'm a dinosaur. Wow, it WORKS!! Next time one of the kids comes running to me with a complaint of being called a name, I'll tell them to use that line. Somehow I can't see my 13 year old falling for it, but you never know.

Remember kids, you're not a "__________", you're a dinosaur.

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

How lovely are your branches...and we'd like to keep them that way. After a week of having our poor little Christmas tree terrorized by Puckey and The Jib, I decided to try a new route. So here's our antique steamer trunk holding our tree out of the reach of our two littlest.

The train helps keep their focus off of the tree....

I guess I'd better finish decorating the tree looks a little bare

(This was before I moved the tree - note the jubilant look on The Jib's face...)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Funny you mention that....

I was checking my email, and ran across this quote: "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice." - Bill Cosby. HOW FUNNY!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pretty babies

I just had to post these pictures we had done of the girls a few weeks ago. It was a fundraising event for a MOPS group in Frankenmuth, I heard about it from a friend at church. Anyway, they have all of these cute props and stuff, and they supply the little dresses and hats (or bib overalls for little boys). We got a 10X13 (and the sitting) for $10, then we could buy extra pictures for an exorbitant amount of money. Needless to say, we only came away with 3 pictures. At least my mother in law gave us a scanner, so I can send copies to everyone. (Copyright infringement? What's that?!?) I figure it this way, I'm not using the pictures to make money, and they are pictures of MY kids, so if someone has a problem with me copying the pictures - oh well. And maybe this could be a little bit of free advertising for the company - it's called Antiquities. They take beautiful pictures, and the photographer we had was very patient. The girls totally stonewalled him and pretty much refused to smile, but the pictures still turned out pretty good, IMHO.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When Blessings Abound

Wow, what an astounding week our family has had. It's been so full of God's love I just cannot even put it into words adequately enough.

Last Wednesday, a friend of ours surprised us by bringing all the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast. What a generous and thoughtful gift! She said she'd been thinking about us and wanted to make sure we were able to have a nice dinner for Thanksgiving. The extra food came in handy, because...

On Thanksgiving, we were blessed enough to have some of Ande's family over (the total number of people at our house that day ended up numbering 21!!!). Some of his relatives came from Wisconsin, and much to Bubber's delight, two of the boys stayed the weekend with us.

On Friday, my sister & her family came, and we had a delicious brunch of waffles & bacon, then munched on leftover Thanksgiving goodies for the rest of the day. My dad even stopped by for a while, and gave my sister and I a laugh about his request to my sister earlier in the week to be the "executioner" of his estate. (I guess that would be funnier to you if you know my dad). He also informed us that we would be his beneficiaries, but that it was subject to change. We cracked up, and asked him if he was getting married or something. Anyway, we had a nice visit, and my dad seemed to be really happy to see all the kids.

Saturday I took the kids to visit my mom, whom I haven't visited in a looooong time. It's a story that would take me too long to tell, for those of you who don't know the details, so let's just say that it's been a tough few years. Anyway, we had a pretty nice visit, and the kids wore my mom's new puppy out. By that evening, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open.

Sunday was fairly restful, and Monday was spent trying to catch up on some laundry that had been piling up. Tuesday was spent on a bit of housecleaning, and preparations for Ande's cousins to come visit again.

Which brings us to today, Wednesday. Money's been tight lately, especially with Ande trying to get an amp built to be ready to ship by this weekend - last minute purchases have really added up. So we have been praying about our finances, and trying to spend what we do have wisely. We received a card today with a significant amount of money in it, probably enough for Ande to finish his amp and maybe a little left over!!! I cried when I opened it.

My dear Lord - I know that you will always care for our needs, because you care for the birds in the sky and the flowers in the fields - and we are so much more important to you. What amazes me is the depth and breadth of love and generosity you so freely pour out to us to fill our needs! You know exactly what we need, and you ALWAYS are there to provide it when we ask. Help me to have a generous attitude, as you have given those who have given in your name to supply for our needs!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

When you ask, God answers...Just not always in the way you would think

The other day, I had one of those moments where God just totally wrenched on my heart to get it back in the right place. Ande and I were in Borders with Puckey & the Jib. We went back to the kids' section so Puckey could "ooh" and "ahh" over all the books (which she absolutely LOVES). So we're back there browsing around, and this couple comes back there. The young woman was pregnant (quite far along by the looks of her belly), and she was looking intently at one of the sections. The young man made some sort of comment like, "well, there's the kid's religion section over there...they gotta get to them early". I don't remember the exact words, but I do remember the snide tone of his voice and the haughty look on his face. The girl said something like, "uh-huh" and continued looking. I heard her say something about The Giving Tree and how she wanted to find that book. They were looking at a shelf with Shel Silverstein's books on it, but The Giving Tree wasn't there. After a few moments, the guy said, "Let's check the computer" and they walked away. I was pretty ticked off about his comment against religion, and had several smart retorts swirling through my head. For whatever reason I didn't say any of them when they were standing there. I DID say to Ande after they walked away, "Did you hear what he said? It made me want to punch him in his head!!" (Yeah, I know, GREAT Christian response, right? Good thing my body doesn't do what my heart and head sometimes want, or I'd be in BIG trouble.) So anyway, as I was leaving that section, I looked down and saw The Giving Tree. Now, being that this is one of my favorite books EVER (I cry every single time I read it), and I think the message of the book is similar to what God does for us so often (He gives and gives and we take and take), it only took me about half a second to decide what to do. I picked the book up and walked towards the couple. I said, "well, it's not a special edition or anything, but it comes with a CD. This is one of my favorite books.", as I handed it to the girl. She thanked me, and as I walked away I heard the guy say, "That was nice. It really surprised me." Now, I don't know if he saw the daggers shooting from my eyes when he made the comment about religious books for kids, or if he'd just never had something nice done for him before. Either way, I had been asking for God to help me to walk a better Christian walk, and He gave me the opportunity to do something nice for someone who said something that really offended me. Now, if only I can use ALL of the opportunities God gives me like that!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mom to a teenager?!?!

Am I really old enough to have a TEENAGE SON? I can't even believe how time has flown by. I can still remember the morning Bubber was born - 3 days PAST my due date, my water broke at 5:15am, we were at the hospital by 6:00am, and he stubbornly refused to make his first appearance until 9:23PM. (Little did I know at the time that he would be one of the easier of my 4 experiences giving birth.) I remember my parents and (ex)in-laws coming to the hospital and waiting anxiously in the hall. My sister and brother-in-law came with my BIL's little brother (from Big Brothers/Big Sisters) and shared in the wait. One of my step-sisters called from Tennessee because she "had a feeling" and called all of our area hospitals until she found me! I pushed for 2 hours before Bubber finally arrived - all 8lbs 6oz of him. It was a scary, exciting, and exhausting day for me, but well worth it!

Sure, we've had our "moments" over the years, and there have certainly been times that I look back on and wish I could change things. I'm not always a good parent (not that I don't like to think I am, but I know better), and Bubber isn't always a good son. The good thing is, we've both learned to accept each other's faults and know how to interact on a more positive level. Bubber's turning into a wonderful young man, and I can see that he is more and more often making effort to be the kind of person God wants him to be! I wish I could take credit for the change, but I would venture to say it has a LOT to do with the folks at UPBC this summer. He came back from camp with much more interest in God than he's ever had before. Now, if we can just keep that fire stoked...

Some little known facts about Bubber (I "borrowed" this concept from the Wissman Family. They are a phenomenal group of people I will write about in a separate post):

He shares his birthday with his Great-Grandma, Marge Martin.

He has a freckle on either side of his nose (they are symmetrical).

He knew the alphabet, his colors, and shapes by age 2 1/2.

His first best friend was our Rottweiler, Nisa.

He has a Harry Potter-like scar on his forehead (although his was from a fall, not from an evil wizard).

He has had stitches on 3 different occasions. (Boys will be boys)

His real name means "smelly hair".

He loves his little sisters, even when they get into his stuff.

He became officially taller then me when he was 12. (Not a big feat, I'm only 5'1")

In first grade his teacher was amazed at his ability to answer questions correctly even when he didn't even seem to be paying attention.

He's got the world's coolest mom...LOL! Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention!!

Anyway...I've just been thinking about how the Lord has blessed me with a fine young son, and wanted to share some of those thoughts.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

You Tube

I love You Tube - I have seen videos that made me laugh, cry, think, get angry, etc. It's a great place to see some of the funny, interesting, and/or sometimes strange things people do. It's where terrible singers can showcase their "talent", where bad actors can perform for millions, and where proud mommies and daddies can show off their little sweeties.

So now You Tube has a contest in which you can win a grand prize of $18,000 worth of LG products. (Washer/dryer, flat screen TV, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, etc...) I'm usually not much for contests and things, mostly because I don't think I've really ever won anything (except Ande's heart...GARSH!!), but I thought it would be fun to enter nonetheless. The theme of the contest is "Life's Good When..." and you have to finish the sentence. We are allowed 10 video entries, which I've used 4 of so far. Thought you might like to see the ones I've done. Turn the volume up if it's muted, so you can hear the music as well...

So, I might not win, but it's been fun making these clips! I must admit, though, having a house full of brand new appliances wouldn't exactly break my heart, either!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The War in Iraq

The following is a newspaper article I read in a local newspaper. I did not write or change anything in it. It was written by Foster Childs and he edited and adapted it from an article written by General Vernon Chong, USAF. As the writer states - EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD READ IT. It's pretty long, but worth the read.

The price of defeat

Can we lose the war in Iraq?

If so, what does losing really mean?

We can definitely lose this war, and the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the question "what does losing mean?"

Most that rail against the war in Iraq think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going about our business. This is extremely dangerous and about as far from the truth as one can get.

What losing really means is that America would no longer be the premier country in the world. Losing means that the attacks would not subside, but steadily increase. Radical Muslims want us dead, not quiet. If they wanted us just quiet, they would not have carried out an increasingly escalating series of attacks against us over the past 18 years. And they are not stupid - like any competent aggressor they have a plan. Their plan is to attack us until political infighting and dissension divides us. Once divided we lose our greatest weapon - the rabid, unselfish patriotism that has held our enemies at bay for over two hundred years. And once we lose that, we lose everything.

We would have no future support from any other nations, for fear of reprisals. They would see that America cannot protect them as we have in the past. Once that happens, our entire economy will collapse. And our way of life, as we have known it for 200 years, will vanish. Any country that dares to trade or deal with us will be threatened with violence by the Muslims. Because if America doesn't have the fortitude to stop the Muslims, how could anyone else?

The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning - at any cost. It's about time America realizes it and becomes likewise committed to winning - at any cost. And until we recognize the cost of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100 percent of our resources and efforts into winning.

So, how can we lose the war? The answer is simple. We can lose the war by "imploding." That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and what is really at stake - our very way of life. The only way to avoid this is for all Americans to unite in our support of one goal - victory.

Some in Hollywood have gone so far in their criticism of the war and the Bush Administration that it almost seems they would like to see us lose. I don't believe it is because they are disloyal - they are just too absorbed in their own little play-acting world to grasp what losing means. Nevertheless, their rhetoric gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. This encourages our enemies, while causing distress to our allies and, more importantly, to our troops.

Americans have been accused for many years of being arrogant. I agree with that. We are arrogant in that we believe that we are so good, so powerful and so fearless, that we can defeat any evil in the world! The truth is that we can, but only if we stand united. If we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.

America can never be defeated by mere military force. We can only be defeated by ourselves - politically correct piece by politically correct piece.

If we are united, there is no way we can lose.

If we continue to be divided, there is no way we can win!

(Okay, now these are MY thoughts...)
I know too many people who either are or recently were in the military to not be affected by articles like this. My brother in law served twice in Iraq. I know a son/brother/husband who will be serving in Afghanistan in the near future. Both of these men are fiercely patriotic and would die for their country and families. Non-military people have NO idea what our troops are doing for us overseas. Even those of us who have ties to the military probably only get a glimpse of what they do. Regardless of what you think about the war, you have to remember that those men and women who so fearlessly defend OUR freedom are doing their jobs. They signed up for this. Any person who has joined the military in the last four and a half years did so KNOWING that they might end up going to Iraq, or at least the Middle East somewhere. To say they are being forced to go is like saying a police officer is "forced" to go into dangerous situations to arrest criminals. Or that a firefighter is "forced" to go into a burning building. Be it law enforcement, fire fighting, or the military - these men and women CHOOSE to put their lives on the line for us. If any one person goes into any one of these professions with the illusion that their life will NOT be endangered at some point, that person is living in a fantasy world.

What happened to the strong sense of unity that we had when we watched, as a nation, the World Trade Center collapse into a pile of rubble? What happened to wanting to protect our nation from further attacks? If you believe that our military presence in Iraq is bad, consider this - if we are not fighting the terrorists on THEIR turf, they WILL come and fight on OURS. 9/11 is a perfect example of that. I see footage of the streets of Baghdad, and I know that I do not want my children to have to ever see anything close to that here at home. If America loses this war, that is exactly where our country is headed.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Now Playing: "The Wizard of Oz"

I'm not too sure what happened here, but after a brief moment of panic because she wasn't IN her bed, this is how I found Puckey this morning at 6:30am.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Squirrel, it's what's for dinner...

So, this is what the kids found in the pool this afternoon. Dead squirrel. Must have jumped in sometime after I pulled the plug to empty the pool this morning and then couldn't get out. Poor little guy. Please ignore the leaves and sand in the picture...I really did keep the pool clean while it was actually warm enough for the kids to swim in it!

It is dinnertime, and of course, I have NO CLUE what to feed my angry mob. So, being the kind, gentle, animal loving sort that I am, I suggested that we could have the squirrel for dinner. I mean, it's already dead, so no killing would be involved, right? My 12 year old Bubber thought that was a FANTASTIC idea - he said, "COOL, squirrel is SO good!!" Um, right. Well, I'm not about to TOUCH, much less cook, a dead squirrel.

I am still waiting for Ande to "dispose" of the little rodent. The kids offered to fish it out of the pool with our skimmer, but I envisioned a bizarre game of "toss the squirrel" breaking out. (Hey, when I was a kid, we thought it was funny to toss fish heads at each other...)

So, now I'm trying to think of something to eat that does not, in any way, shape, or form, have the potential to resemble cooked squirrel. Pizza, anyone???

Monday, September 24, 2007


Quote of the day...

When asked why he was in the garage in his underwear at midnight, my husband responded, "I needed to measure something."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Makes me smile

My little Puckey just makes me smile. I mean, just look at how cute she is?!?!? Of course, I do not have a biased opinion just because she's mine. (yeah, right) Oh, and for those of you who don't know, that handsome fella in the pictures is my husband. He's pretty cute, too... I know you probably can't tell, but in the pic where they are walking away from me, Puckey has her monkey backpack/leash on - it is SO cute. I remember a guy who bags groceries at the store near where we live saw her on the "leash" and said, "Now, what kind of parent puts their kid on a leash?" I said, "I do, because it's a lot easier than trying to chase her down in the store with a cart full of groceries (and her baby sister)!" Hey, the guy's pretty young, and apparently doesn't have kids of his I guess I'll let him slide. I have to admit, when I was younger and saw parents with these crazy looking harnesses on their kids, I felt bad for the kids. Then I had kids of my own. My how times have changed. Of course, the only real reason I bought the "leash" was because it's a monkey, and Puckey loves monkeys. The fact that it had another purpose other than just being cute was just an added bonus for me.
Ande just walked by and said, "She's so cool" when he saw the pictures of Puckey. It's so awesome to see the love in his eyes when he looks at her. He loves his older daughter, too, but they just never got to develop a deep connection like Ande & Puckey have. He's starting to grow a strong bond with the Jib, too. He's trying really hard to be a good dad, and I think he's doing a great job! I always knew the potential was there. (Part of the reason I married him)
I guess I didn't really have a point tonight, other than I just wanted to post those pictures. I'm a proud momma, what can I say?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Clearing some clutter

Ande's been itching to get our garage cleaned out and organized for months. He wants to get his tools all organized and set up a work space. He also wants me to be able to actually park in our garage. It's almost sad, our garage is big enough to easily hold 4 cars, yet the only time I was able to park in it was right when we first started moving in. Then all the boxes got put in the garage and my parking space was gone.

I've whittled away at the boxes a little bit, but realistically, I have a hard enough time keeping our house relatively clean - like I have the time (or the energy) to be out schlepping boxes around. Ande and I have come to realize that we really just have a lot of stuff we simply don't use anymore. So, since he's not currently working full time, Ande's been sorting through HIS boxes and getting stuff organized in the back of the garage. It looks much better already! We have our old couch and Bubber's old mattress set in the front of the garage, and I'm in the process of giving those to a local family in need. I had thought about trying to sell them, but frankly I think this is a much better idea. We've been fortunate enough to have been given a lot of nice things recently by members of the family who were moving or bought new stuff, so why not help someone else out? I'm feeling pretty good about it. (Added bonus, I may actually be able to fit the van in the garage after the stuff is gone)

I think I had a point when I started this post, but I started it at like 4:30am because I can't sleep and now it's nearly 6:00am and I don't really know what I wanted to say anymore. I think I'm going to try to go back to bed now. I'm sure once I fall asleep, one or both of the babies will wake up. Yippee!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When it rains it pours...

Well, some good news...Ande finally was able to convince the director that he had to have that number to file for unemployment. She gave it to him, and when he called to give the number to the unemployment agency, they discovered they DIDN'T need it afterall. Apparently because it's a non-profit agency, it doesn't count towards unemployment. But they had to have that number before they could find that out. Go figure. Ande, being the good guy he is, called the director after finding that out and explained the situation to her, and thanked her for giving him the number. I love him so much.

Now, some not so good brother-in-law called tonight from California and told Ande that both he AND his wife got letters from the military calling them back up for duty in Iraq. They're both former Marine MP's, and my BIL already served once in Iraq. His wife suffered a premature birth of their first daughter at 24 weeks and he was allowed 10 days to come home for the baby's funeral. Then he went back, because it was what he knew was the right thing to do. Now they have 2 little girls, one 1 1/2 and one 4 months. Needless to say, they don't want to have to go to Iraq. Fortunately, it's highly unlikely that they will send both of them, but if my BIL pleads his case and they tell him he can stay home, it's VERY likely that his wife will have to go.

My poor MIL is on the verge of a breakdown. Here are her sons, who she loves to a fault, and both of them are going through some really tough stuff. I mean, in my BIL's case, how do you choose? Do you put yourself in harm's way (even though he's technically disabled because of a back injury) to protect your wife? Or do you plead the disability and make it an almost guarantee that your wife will have to go to war? I know my BIL will lay his life down to keep his wife safe. That's not even an issue for him. But I also know it would be incredibly hard for him to leave her again, and now with two small children to care for? My heart goes out to them both.

I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm, which is an awesome reminder of how God is there for us, no matter what trials we have in our lives.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NIV)

Many times we hear that psalm in relation to someone's death, but it also applies to our lives. I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME. That should be a daily affirmation for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.

The lives of Christians aren't made easier by believing in Christ - sometimes it makes things harder because we have to not get caught up in the world. But we need to remember that Christ is always with us no matter what, and whatever garbage we have to deal with in life will be replaced with the glorious eternity in heaven. I don't know about you, but I'd certainly rather live a sometimes crummy life on earth, knowing I have a mansion I get to spend eternity in. And to think there is NOTHING I've done to deserve it? How awesome is that?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to School

Well, like many families out there in the US, today was the first day of school. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the cheers of joy from parents everywhere. At our house, I heard "I want to ride the bus. I want to go to school. Bubber! Ash-we!!" Poor Puckey was heartbroken when her bubber and sissy got on their busses today. (I think Bubber was pretty broken up over the whole thing, too. He's not exactly a fan of school.) I had to force Bubber to let me take the picture of him, although Bug was more than happy to pose. She's a bit of a ham. Both kids reported that school was "okay", so I figure that's a good start.

On the job front, I'm not sure what Ande's heard today, as he's been gone since about 10:00am. He had to go to Detroit to drop off his laptop & cell phone and pick up his personal items from the office. I'm sure that wasn't much fun for him. And since he doesn't have a cell phone, he can't call me while he's on the road. Not that it would matter much anyway, since I spent most of my day sitting at the bus stop. (yes, I waited for a total of about 2 hours at the bus stop today. I wasn't a happy camper).

Friday, August 31, 2007

A tough road ahead

Today started out nice - the Jib slept until about 6:30am, Puckey until after 8:00am. (So I got a decent night's sleep) Ande got out the door on time to make his monthly drive to the main office for his employer, which is about 2 hours from here. So at about 9:30am he calls me and says, "Well, I'm on my way home..." (Which means he might have spent, oh, 10 minutes at the office) So I asked, "What happened?" and he told me that when he got to the office, the owner of the company asked him to come into the conference room. When he went in, the owner and the two co-owners were in there. The owner told him he was being laid off indefinitely, effective immediately, and that he wasn't going to give him an explanation. (Nice form, right?)

Needless to say, I burst into tears. Ande was very calm and said that he figures it must be God pushing him to move. (Ande has not been happy with his job recently, and we have been looking for other opportunities for our family) After I got off the phone with Ande, I was still crying, and my sweet little Puckey looked up at me with her dark chocolate eyes and said, "It's okay, Mamma. Don't cry." That, of course, made me cry even harder. Babies are so sweet, and right there was proof that they can sense when you're hurting.

To top things off, Ande talked to his ex today, and she is moving about an hour and a half away with his daughter. Poor Nans cries for her mom just about everytime she's here (I think because she doesn't really feel like this is "home" because she's only here 4 days a month), so what's going to happen when she comes to visit now and her mom is an hour and a half away?? We don't know when it's going to happen, but I would imagine soon. Her husband already took a job there. Ugh.

So now I sit here thinking of what God wants me to do with this situation. I know I need to trust in Him, and I am really trying hard to do that. I've never been in a position like this before, and it's freaking me out. I am thankful that my best girlfriend in the world told me that she would be happy to help financially if we need it, and my MIL said she would, too. I am just praying that it won't come to that. It's good to know that we have some support out there, though. I know our church would help out if needed as well (which is so awesome, especially since we have a REALLY small church).

Ande looks at it like it's a blessing, because he has been wanting to find something else for a while, and this is going to force him to move on that. He's got a lot of talent for doing just about anything he sets his mind to, and I know that will really work to our benefit in this situation.

For anyone reading this who prays, please include us in your prayers. It's going to be a challenge for us, but we will get through it. Thanks a lot. I hope I have good news to post here soon.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maybe she's trying to tell me something?

Poor little Jib. She was playing on the bed this afternoon while I was taking pictures of some stuff to put on eBay. There was some laundry on the bed next to her, and I looked over and she had a pair of socks hanging out of her mouth. Of course, by the time I got the camera into position, she had dropped the socks, so I made an attempt to re-create the moment. The above picture was the best I could do. I wonder if I should start feeding her more solids?!? LOL

I don't wash my hands in the toilet for a reason...

Okay, so yesterday I was reading an article about parents who potty train their babies from birth. Now, while I do not have the time, patience, or energy to follow my babies around waiting for them to "signal" to me that they need to go to the bathroom, I do give the parents who do credit. (Puckey tells me "go potty, mamma" but it's always AFTER she pees...LOL) It seems many are concerned about protecting our environment, which is a good thing. Some parents just don't want to change diapers or have to carry a diaper bag. Still others may even find it charming and cute that their 6 month old can "tell" them when he/she needs to poop. Hey, if you have the time and want to do that, GREAT. Good for you!

BUT....this morning at 6:30am (because I obviously have nothing better to do like SLEEP), I woke up and remembered one part of the article, and I was suddenly deeply disturbed by it. The article interviewed a woman who held her 6 month old over a sink in a public bathroom waiting for it to go pee. So, she was using the sink as a toilet for her baby. Now, it's bad enough that there are some people who don't wash their hands when they use the bathroom. I try to avoid using public restrooms unless absolutely neccessary for this very reason. But for those of us who DO wash our hands, now we need to be aware that some parents let their children pee in the sink that we are going to wash our hands in? UM...GROSS! I do not wash my hands in the toilet for a reason (and if you have to ask, you probably should just stop reading now). I don't think I should be subjected to having to wash my hands where someone may have just peed. I don't care if it's a baby, a grown woman, or my grandma! That's just not right! If a parent wanting to potty train his/her child wants to use their own kitchen or bathroom sink as a urinal, by all means, don't let me stop you. But come on, at least go in the stall in a public restroom. Either that, or carry around some cleaning supplies and wash out the sink with bleach before you leave.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Well, the babies had check-ups yesterday (Puckey, 2yr and Jib 7 mo). My little Puckey is 34 1/2 inches tall and 26 lbs. The Jib is 28 inches tall and a whopping 19 lbs 11 oz. Yup, it's official - she's a chunky monkey. I think most of the weight is in her head - it's 18 inches around, only 1 inch smaller than Puckey's!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Birthdays, birthdays all around

Well, yesterday was Puckey's 2nd birthday. We celebrated it by going to my brother in law's mother's house to celebrate my niece's birthday (which is really today). While we were there, we realized that within the group of us (which numbered 19), there were 4 birthdays all within 7 days of each other, and each of the birthday girls have names that start with an "A". We had Anne (8/19), Abbey (8/20-something I can't remember the day), Asha (8/25), and Amelia (8/26) How weird/cool is that?

Other current events: A tornado touched down near my mom's house on Friday. Several homes in the area were damaged, but my mom's house escaped without a scratch. She is without power, though. Ande, the babies, and I got to test out the basement as a storm shelter for the first time. I decided we needed to get some chairs and toys down there for future occurances.

We get the occasional tornado here in MI, but it always seems weird to me. Several years ago, a tornado hit the manufacturing plant I was working for at the time. It was so bizarre, because Ande and I were running late for work. So we're cruising down the highway, listening to CD's and trying to get to work on time. I heard a weird sound (like a train whistle) and Ande commented that it was really windy. There was still traffic on the road, and we didn't see anything that unusual, so we just kept going. When we got to work, I first saw the party store located on the corner, and it's roof was GONE. At first, I thought they had had a fire, because there was a fire truck there. Then we pulled into the parking lot of the plant and I noticed that all of the trees between the plant and the party store were laying on the ground. A tornado had hit both our plant and the party store next to it!! Fortunately no one was injured, but there was a lot of damage to the buildings. We realized after the fact that we must have actually driven through the path of the tornado on the way to work, but since we didn't see a funnel cloud it didn't register at the time. WEIRD!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot - my sister was going to have my niece's birthday party at their house on the other side of the state, but they couldn't because there were severe storms in their area on Thursday that knocked out their power. So they came "home" to where our parents all live, and the storm hit and knocked out my mom's power. Fortunately my brother in law's mom still had power, or I might have ended up having all of those people over here!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Begging Puckey (aka Drink Face)

Well, since there's a new video feature, I just had to put this's a few months old, but it's Puckey in her best begging shape...enjoy!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A bad morning for Puckey

This morning has been pretty rough on little Puckey. First she woke up and decided to "washey hair" in the toilet. Daddy had gone to the bathroom and not only did he leave the door open when he was done, he left the seat and lid up on the toilet. Um, yeah, thanks Daddy. I was putting laundry away in Bug and Nan's room when I heard Daddy say, "OH NO" I bolted out into the hallway just in time to see my wet-headed little Puckey combing her hair with my comb. YUCK. Daddy got her cleaned up, and all was right with the world again. Still deciding what to do with the comb, though...maybe I'll just throw it away.

So I guess I should have known putting that shirt on her would be trouble...

After Daddy left for work, we were in the bedroom and Puckey was taking advantage of the fact that I was trying to do some stuff, so she was jumping on the bed. I no sooner told her to sit down and started to walk over to her, when "thunk!" goes her nose to the window sill above our bed. Her nose isn't broken, but I think she's going to have a doozy of a black eye (actually it looks like she might end up with two black eyes). My poor Puckey. I hope this will be the last time she decides jumping on the bed is a good idea. Knowing her, though, probably not.
****************UPDATE...NO BLACK EYES! YEAH!!!!*********************

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I hate housework

A partial view of my kitchen
Of all of the things I have to do as a stay at home mom, I think the worst thing is housework.

I DESPISE doing dishes.

I LOATH washing laundry.

Sweeping makes me SICK.

Vacuuming makes me want to VOMIT.

Waxing makes me WEARY.

Polishing?? Oh, PLEASE.

That said: Thanks, God, for providing me with a hard-working husband who works 2 jobs so that I can stay home. Thanks, God, for allowing us to buy this great house to live in. Thanks, God, for giving me 5 beautiful, healthy (albeit SLOPPY) kids to love (and clean up after). Thanks, God, for the healthy body you have given me, so I CAN do housework. Thanks, God, that I live in the era of automatic washers, gas dryers, dishwashers, microwaves and hot water heaters! Thanks, God, that I don't have to haul water from a river and heat it up on a wood stove so that I can wash mountains of dishes by hand. Thanks, God, that we don't have to share bathwater when we take a bath at night.

Looking at how hard pioneer women had it, I guess housework these days isn't so bad after all. Every now and then it's good to remember how relatively easy I have it, and to say thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing lowly little me such a fantastic life.

Happy people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of what they have! (A great quote I heard one day, which I try to remember when I start feeling like I "deserve" more...)

Monday, August 20, 2007

From toothless to two teeth overnight...

Jib then...... and now
My little Jib is getting so big. It's too fast. This morning she was sporting two little stubby teeth where last night there were just smooth slobbery gums. Next thing I know she'll be crawling and then walking....ugh. I'm not ready!! Is there any way to keep her just like she is? My cute little round-headed cherub...I don't even mind changing the diapers and the occasional spit up. I love her big toothless grins (which she technically still has, since you can't really see her teeth yet), and the sweet way she smells when she snuggles up next to me. I don't even mind when she wakes up hungry at the crack of dawn some mornings. (Although don't ask me that while I'm stumbling blindly through the kitchen at 5:00am trying to make her a bottle while she's bawling her eyes out - I would probably not respond nicely.)

I wonder how long it will be before I'm sitting here thinking "we need another baby..." (Remember, we have 5 already). Fortunately, Daddy already took care of that issue, so we shouldn't ever get a suprise visit from the stork. We have talked about someday (when the big kids are out of the house probably) taking in foster kids, but that's a long way off.

Something that's not a long way off is the start of school. My wonderful mother in law took the kids on their now annual school shopping trip. I feel so fortunate to have in-laws who can, and are willing to, do things like that for the kids. And the kids love it, too. We usually get the shopping done in about an hour or so, and then we get to go to lunch. Today we went to a Mexican restaurant that my step-daughter recommended. It was VERY good (thanks Hannah, for the suggestion). We'll have to eat there again sometime. It's nice, because it's close to home and not super pricey. I love Mexican food.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My favorite time of day

In the morning, before everyone else wakes up, I sit here and sort of revel in the quiet. There's no cries for milk, no "she's touching me" from my 12 year old son (who happens to be the lone boy in a sea of girls), no running feet through the house, no cereal spilled on my recently swept kitchen "thanks, Mom" for fixing what's broken, no sweet sticky kisses from my Puckey, no toothless grins from my Jib, no "can I help you with...?" from my older kids, no call from my sweet husband to see how my day is going, no sitting at the table sharing a meal and some laughs with the kids, no hearing Puckey repeat just about everything she hears, no snuggling on the couch with one (or all) of the kids, no watching them play, no seeing the love in my Puckey's eyes for her big Bubber, no seeing the smile on my husband's face when he comes home and Puckey yells "DADDY!" and runs to be picked up...So then I sit here in the quiet waiting for my favorite time of day to come....when everyone else gets up!

Can you believe it, it's almost 8:45am and the only ones up are me and the Jib?!? (Well, Daddy's up too, but he's already gone to work :-( )

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Skebadi O's

This is a picture of Puckey and Jib (their names have been changed to protect the innocent....
I love it when my little Puckey (my 2 year old) says Spaghetti O's. Since she says many words very clearly, it makes it even funnier to me when she asks for "skebadi o's". She also likes just plain spaghetti (skebadi noonels). This morning we had "wassles and shawshages" (waffles & sausage) for breakfast. She likes to eat "corners" (corn), too. Kids are so awesome.

Puckey is at the age now that she'll repeat just about anything she hears, which can make it tough to have a conversation. She also just says things to complete strangers that suprise and amuse them. This morning some Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by and when I answered the door, Puckey says to them, "come on in!" Good times, good times.

Of course, my husband was most thrilled when she said one of her first words (other than momma, daddy, ba ba) was "STARBUCKS!". I type it in all caps with an exclamation point because that's how she said it. Ande is trying hard to pass on his love (or more accurately ADDICTION) for Starbucks on to our children. We even go to story time at our local Starbucks (Thanks Katie for the great stories).
Hmm...Puckey just walked by and smells suspiciously like stinky diapers, so I guess I need to go. Besides, I have to go wash my sheets since she decided to color on my pillowcase with the green crayon she had previously been content to color my toenails with. What fun.