Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deal of the Week

Here's my favorite deal in a few weeks...

Weis is offering a great deal today until this coming Wednesday!

When you buy 7 P&G (Proctor and Gamble) items, you receive $10 off in Dollar rewards for your next purchase. There are several P&G items that will work for this deal (they are specified in the sale flyer) and they are on sale. Plus I had several coupons from the newspaper as well as from a P&G mailer.
Here's the run down of my dealio...
$9.99 - 8 Double Roll pack of Bounty
$4.00 - 1 liquid Cascade
$4.00 - 1 Cascade action packs
$6.67 (for four) - 4 boxes of Puffs
$2.99 - 1 Cascade rinse aid
Total before coupons and Dollar Rewards: $27.65
Less -$7.49 in mfr coupons
Total OOP (out of pocket): $20.16
It doesn't sound like that great of a deal yet, does it?
I also earned $10 in Weis Dollar rewards for my next trip, so you could say I paid $10.16. That's a great deal. gets better.
There was a rebate tearpad at Weis near all the P&G items for free Crocs if you spend $25 on P&G brand items in one transaction. Well, I did spend $27.65 in P&G items (before coupons) so, not only did I get all of the items for $10.16, I am also going to get free Crocs in the color and size of my choice shipped to me absolutely free! Love that! I think I am going to get purple Crocs this time.
I heart bargain shopping.
*For some reason, blogger is not letting me space this post. I tried several times to space out all the paragraphs and prices, but to no avail. So, I'm sorry it's so squished.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthday Boy

Elijah was four on the 16th. We celebrated on his day as a family and then with my extended famly on last Friday. We combined Grace's and Elijah's birthdays at my sister's house. Here's a cute picture she snapped of him just before he blew out his candles.

I can't believe my little man is four!!! He wanted a monster truck cake this year so we made it red to match his new-to-him truck that he got for his birthday. I had to use so much food coloring to make the icing red, that the icing tasted terrible. Even the kids thought it was gross! My kids' favorite part was the chocolate donuts...truthfully that spurned on the desire for a monster truck cake. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What's coming out or not coming out of my mouth?

Our 8th Anniversary was this past Tuesday. We have good friends who do swap babysitting with us from time to time. I love trading kids. The kids play so nicely together and I always enjoy having their kids around...and I also enjoy having a little break from my kiddos! So, for our anniversary we went out to dinner and left our kids...what a novel idea!

Here's a few pictures of the kiddos having fun...

Our dinner out was sooo good (see, it's all about food) and it was so nice to go out just the two of us. However, the most memorable moment for me came when we came back to pick up the children. The past few weeks have been really hard (isn't motherhood hard most all of the time?). I have been sooo tired, schooling has been hard with Noah underfoot now that he only takes one nap. I'm cranky and moody and the kids are bored with their tired Mom.

When we came backto get the kids, we sat and chatted for a while about our night out, homeschool, and J told me about what the kids did, etc. Then she said them. Those words. Encouraging words. She was talking about my kids and she said, "They're good kids". I almost started crying on the spot and I am not a cryer. It was a toss up between crying or said, "Huh? What did you say?" or "Really?" Not because I wanted a pat on the back for my wonderful children. Most of the time I know that they are not wonderful.

I love each one of them to pieces and in a Mother-sense I think they are the most wonderful children in the world because they are mine, but I question how I am doing as Mom and consequently how they are doing. In short, Motherhood is hard. It's a long day in and day out struggle. It's hard to see the end result when you are in the daily grind of "do's and don'ts" and feeding, clothing, etc.. It's easy to get discouraged.

Being a Mommy is far more than dressing your little baby in a cute outfit and filling a diaper bag. It's more than child safety and cute baby slings. It's more than having the teacher's favorite type of child who knows all the answers and everyone loves. All children aren't designed for that. Isn't that such a part of the pre-conceived notion about kids before you actually have them? "My child's going to be cute and everyone is going to like them." It doesn't take too many years into Motherhood until you realize that not everyone loves or accepts your kid(s) like you do.

Being a Mom is about constant, daily sacrifice in a world that does not trump the stay at-homers. It's about a lot of little daily, moment to moment details that shape a life, but are hard to account for on a daily basis and are hard to see the meaning of when you are in the thick of daily living.

All families are different. They have different house rules, etc. Each home is distinctly unique. All parents are individuals. Some parents are just learning Biblical parenting skills or their child is different or has special needs, or they are just up against a brick wall of not knowing what to do with their child who has an issue. Some parents seem to have it all together with absolutely no problem in sight that we can see. No child is perfect, we each know that our own kids are not perfect, we live with them! Why then, is it so hard to be accepting? Why doesn't it just come as second nature? Why am I quick to judge? Or, almost worse, why do I so often say nothing? Nothing discouraging, but nothing encouraging either. Silence can speak more than words at times.

I'm so guilty of being silent when instead I should have spoken up with kind words. Encouragement is easy, cheap, doesn't take much planning, and is so meaningful. Moms with "good" kids need it. Moms with "bad" kids need it. Moms who "have it all together" need it. Moms who are struggling need it. Moms who act like they don't need it still need it.

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

The best encouragement I find is in God's Word. Simply trusting in the Lord to bring his desired end for my children and family in spite of my shortcomings as a Mom. Not that that is an excuse to act however I want at, but it is hope for their future beyond what I can provide for them. Sometimes after failing my children I have the tendency to feel defeated, but I don't have to be. The Bible says, "And be not weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." After failing, I need to get back up, confess my sin, forsake it with the Lord's help, and keep on trying. It's hard to not want to give up on the long, weary days when it seems there is no end and no tangible fruit for your labors.

The next best thing is encouragement from someone else. It's one of the main reasons why we are in a local church, to edify and to build each other up. I want to find creative ways to express pray to be an encourager and have encouragement on my mind each day and not just my needs.

I am so thankful for my friend's sweet, simple encouraging words. They meant more to me than a night of babysitting, a special gift, or a fancy party. Three words. That was all.

Lord, help me to not be silent, but to instead open my mouth with good and sweet words. Please help me to find at least one person whom I can encourage and guide my tongue to say the words that you know others need to hear.

(please excuse this long, rambling post. I hope it made some sense. It's getting late. I think I need to get to bed.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We have this doll

What do you think it is saying? Sophia got it for her birthday in July and I never noticed that it said this until I read about it in the news and it really does sound like it is saying, "islam is the light". What do you think?

Ice Cream Mishap

*Preface/Warning* When I am, ahem, expectant, life revolves completely and entirely (almost) around food. Sooooo, you may read many, many, many posts about food in the next several months, because it is a subject very near and dear to my heart at this time. Thank you.

I knew I hadn't posted in a while, but didn't realize it was almost a week...oops. I was too busy eating. Our anniversary was on Tuesday and we actually went out for was wonderful, the FOOD was great!

Tonight Graeme had to run into work to do something that he forgot to do, and because food is on the brain, I suggested we make it an ice cream outing! Graeme's bday is coming up and he had a free Coldstone coupon. He took a couple kids inside to help him pick out the ice creams. I had a feeling that this would be a big mistake. He got kid size for the kids of vanilla. Okay, not bad, I'm not a huge vanilla fan, but it's a great "base", kwim? He handed me his birthday creation and it had chocolate chips on top. "This is good, I thought".

In general, the hubs and I have vastly different views of what is good in the realm of ice cream. He likes vanilla, I like chocolate. He likes neopolitan. I eat the entire strip of chocolate and leave the rest. Him, butter pecan, Me, PB cup. You can see where I'm going with this. Before he went in, and because he knows of my food crazed, deranged state he said, "mint ice cream okay". "yes", I replied excitedly, thinking I could trust him to deliver the goods. When he returned with the chocolate chip encrusted creation I quickly realized that the ice cream indeed was not mint. Taupe ice cream, I thought, surely it's coffee. Wrong. It had an interesting smell to it, and I asked, "what kind is this?" "French Toast", he replied. I knew, right then and there, that the ice cream excursion was a total and utter failure. There are some things that should just not be done to ice cream.

1. Rum Raisin - totally gross. Since when do raisins belong in ice cream?

2. French Toast - It's just wrong my friends. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It was actually a very good thing for me as I had already had ice cream today. The scale at the Dr.'s office will thank me, or I'll thank it. After we got home I had a little piece of a donut and, well, that just made everything better.

What is it with food and me? I am hungry all.the.time. This pregnancy closely resembles Elijah's in hunger and mental weakness (ie. deranged-ness). I think this babe is going to be born a dark haired, dark skinned, big, hungry slovak as was its big brother...and its mother for that matter.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Feminine Friday

I decided to participate in Feminine Friday this lovely Friday! This week was pregnancy pictures!

I have none on the computer from Sophia...pre-digital camera days. I have almost none of Elijah, and I have only these shots of myself the Sunday before Noah was due. I was already 2 days late at this point, he was born the following Saturday...8 days late.

Look at how tired my eyes look in these pictures. Either they are tired or I forgot to wear eye liner or something...probably both...I was most likely up too late the night before baking homemade cinnamon buns whilst re-arranging furniture. The weird things pregnant women do!

The day I went into labor with Noah, I watched 5 children, re-organized my entire house, danced like a maniac with the children and ate After the pizza and dancing to Chopin, I started to have contractions that night. After a sleepless night, "little" Noah made his debut at 7 something-ish in the next morning weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long.

Here's the little man in all of his cute-ness. This was his coming home from the hospital outfit, which he promptly christened with spit up...a sign of more to come. Also, I was a little disappointed when I put this outfit on him and the pants were knickers instead of full length pants. The arms were too short too. It was like a little capri-romper with 3/4 sleeves for boys. It was 0-3 M too! I get so jipped out of the layette with my tunnies!

Be sure to stop over at the Barefoot Mama for more Feminine Friday pregnancy shots!

Under the Oven Challenge

My friend Nan (I would hyperlink her name to her blog, but she doesn't have one yet, hint, hint. She's hysterical, you'd love her. :)), e-mailed a few friends recently about the "under the oven challenge". She told us what she found under her oven and challenged us to beat her list. I forgot all about this until another friend posted her findings tonight, and, well, I'm in a full disclosure sort of mood, so here's what I found under my oven:

1. One spool of thin gold Christmas ribbon

2. One hot wheels truck

3. One sweet streets doll

4. A piece of popcorn

5. gum wrapper

6. Ooodles of dirt, trash, and drywall dust. Apparently the oven was never pulled away from the wall.

7. On hot wheels race car

8. A hairpin - I don't think it's mine...eeew!

9. A 1/2 dollar...definitely from the previous owner...that's big money! :)

10. Paper airplane

11. A tablespoon measuring spoon from someone before us with crusty goo on it....yuck!

12. Two dowel rods...I think I found the secret hiding spot!

13. One super ball.

14. 7 filth encrusted ant traps....I wonder why there were ants under there? The grody spoon perhaps?

What's under your oven???


Here's the keepin' it real post, and I might add, my pictures are very real! ;)

The rules: Post photos of the following 10 "real life" primping, prepping, or picking up.

1. The fridge

2. A closet - This is Noah's closet. In a picture it looks a lot messier than I thought it was...oops! Do you love my mongo diaper stash thanks to a free diaper deal at Walgreens a couple months ago? We've been living off them for the past couple months with more in the stockroom, er closet, to boot. I love me a free diaper deal!

3. The kitchen sink - there's a few grossy ketchupy dishes in there - this is reality, remember???

4. A toilet - Doesn't everyone have a stash of unraveled toilet paper on the back of their toilet? OR a plastic grocery bag hanging on the toilet paper holder filled with unraveled paper?

5. My favorite shoes - Right now my favs are my hot pink crocs. Hate me all the croc-haters of the world!!! :) There just so comfy and space-ish.

6. My favorite room - Our bedroom. As the instructions stated, I did no primping. (You probably noticed that by now. :)) Apparently, the day these pictures were taken wasn't one of my best domesticated, Martha Stewart, hearth'n'home-ish, Southern Living-type days.

7. What my kids were doing when I took the pictures - Soph and Noah were playing and Eli was sleeping...I didn't dare take a picture of him for fear of awaking the prince.

8. The laundry pile - See my dirty clooottthhhhheeessssss???

9. Self Portrait - the kids and me at the pumpkin patch. I should've taken off the glasses. Ah, hindsight is 20/20...

10. Dream vacation spot - 24 hours in my bed or somewhere else restful, with no one bothering me. I would post a photo of myself asleep in bed drooling, but I don't have one...whew! (I crack myself up)

Feel better about your messy or not so messy house now??? :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flashback Meme

20 Years Ago...

I don't remember much about twenty years ago, but I know I was in third grade, and I can't remember who my teacher was (Jen P., do you remember?)! We lived in our house on Dott St. and I *think* I used to ride bike a lot at this age. One of my favorite activities was to ride across the street to the office building and check all the newspaper machine coin returns, and check under the machines for loose change...I was a bargain hunter even then! The thrill has continued through the years although now it includes free diapers and getting paid to buy things! Love that!

10 Years Ago...

I met my future husband sometime this month, although I don't really remember the first official time we met very well. We met at church when he moved to the area for his first job after completing college.

3 Years Ago...

We went to the pumpkin patch! Elijah had just celebrated his first birthday and Sophia was only three years old. They were such babies!

1 Year Ago...

At the patch yet again, only with 11 month old Noah in tow. We were just about to find our new home and put our Haas St. home up for sale. It was a crazy and exciting time! Sophia had started kindergarten, and it was our first year of homeschooling. I did Sophia's hair in "Gretel buns" (from the Sound of Music) a couple of times at her request. We also celebrated Elijah's third birthday.


Hmm...I did laundry, homeschooled, put away the laundry, made phone calls, took the kids bike riding, truck riding, and park playing. I nursed a hurt girlie, went Marathon Monday shopping with my sister, grew a baby-licious, straightened up the house, did dishes, and prepared for the Pumpkin patch. I can't remember what else!


We went to the Pumpkin patch! That's an October trend for at least 5 years running. I'll post pics later.

The Future

I hope to continue doing all the Mom things that I am doing now and hope to have a new sweet baby next year, Lord willing. My main concern for the future is to be faithful to our dear Lord and not to slow or stop serving him any year of my life...neither next year nor in 30 years.

Another one of our favorite videos...

Have you seen it yet?

Elijah's Birthday Present

Ever since Elijah rode his cousin James' battery powered Mustang this summer, that is all the boy talks about. Well, the little man's 4th Birthday is coming up this Thursday and I had asked him what he wanted for his Birthday. Each time he would reply, "a car that when you push the pedal it goes", just like James. Now that's a pretty tall order for a four year old! However, Daddy seemed to take a liking to James' car and thought it was pretty's a man thing I guess. I set out to try and find one second hand (they are sooo expensive) and this is what we came up with....

The smile on his face says it all.

The truck is missing the windshield sticker and it's faded, but he LOVES his "monsta truck"! I was so thankful that the we could get him something that he really wanted on the cheap.

We've been watching a lot of this...

...and this...

...and this, until Sophia fell off the back and bruised her back.

I was pleasantly surprised that the kids haven't fought over it...*yet*. Sophia is happy to ride and doesn't care about being the driver, and Noah is unhappy when it is not his turn and can't drive it yet because he's too small.

I never realized how much exercise it took to keep up with one of these vehicles. The kiddos took it out for a spin yesterday, and I had to jog to keep up. Much of our neighborhood is mountainous, thankfully our home is on flat ground, but the walking paths around the neighborhood are quite steep. Hence, the jogging to keep up with them as they began to careen down a very steep grade on the path. I called over to Elijah to brake, he did, and after he braked, he did a complete 360 degree turn, and went crashing into the mulched base of the tree below which was right next to the busiest road in the neighborhood. Didn't I give him good advice? Sophia and Elijah said it was great and was like riding a roller coaster. I thought it was a roller coaster too, one that involved prayer for my children's safety and lives! :)

After that excursion, they wanted to ride bikes and we did, and after a long and exciting ride (which also involved me jogging with Noah in the stroller) Sophia fell and banged herself up pretty badly. She hit her forehead, shoulder, arm, and hand. Now she has bruises from the monster truck and scrapes and bruises from the bike. Why is it when my girl gets hurt I care, but when it's the boys I don't care as much? Is it because she's a girl and is supposed to be delicate? Why is that?

We went on our annual M&M activity to the Pumpkin Patch today. It was sooo much fun! We got to meet The Barefoot Mama today at the patch too! It's always fun to meet other bloggers in real life!

After today and yesterday I am feeling unusually refreshed and energized, but I am also tired!!!! Hope you all have a nice night!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bike Riders!

Here are the bike riders in all their glory. We did the take the pedals and training wheels off the bike thing a couple of weeks ago, and it worked wonderfully! We went out a few times this week and it was amazing to see them take off! I remember when I first rode a bike, and my babies are doing it now. It was such an exciting moment!

Bedtime for Noah

Noah's bedtime involves lengthy conversations started and spoken mostly by the lil' man himself. He woke up a few times in the last month or two, I think because he had a bad dream or something, and he laid against me at 2 or 3 in the morning rehearsing the events of his dream and anything else that captured his fancy. It was so funny to listen to, bleary eyed and in the middle of the night!

Tonight's conversation was especially interesting. First he told me about how he wants to ride in the tractor and go on a hayride...right then and there. Then it was that he wanted to ride PopPop's tractor and move the steering wheel in PopPop's work truck. When I kept shutting him down with, "no, not now, it's bedtime" he resorted to the "I needs". "I need a cookie, Mommy". "I need ice cream, Mommy". I need Lejo (jello), Mommy". Why ask for plain old water or bread when you can go for the gold and ask for all the treats your little two year old mind can remember? Next was a few rousing rounds of "How Did Moses Cross the Red Sea" sung by me and then "by myself" boy. I *thought* things were winding down when he broke the silence with, "Who tooted?" I said, "it must have been you." He followed with, "Daddy tooted. Sophia tooted. Daddy stinks." A minute later he proceeded to blow raspberries. What is it with boys???

I love these conversations.

As an update, the boy took a fantastic nap today and slept wonderfully last night...I was sooooo thankful! He was also a lot more sedate today, I think because he is finally catching up on sleep. We got all of our schoolwork done; it was great...we'll see what happens tomorrow. ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This week

This week has been unusually difficult. Difficult meaning that the little climber has been using his skillz extensively! The beginning of the week was especially challenging. He seems to be evening out a little bit - he still climbs out, but not as much and he has taken a nap the last 2 or 3 days. A few of the days this week he took no nap....that means he was on the run from sunrise (and I do mean sunrise!) to sunset! It has been really hard to do school with Sophia with him running amuck, much less do anything else. He was also really hyper because he was not getting enough sleep. Today he seemed a little more sedate.

I had a ultrasound and Dr. appt. today and then I had to do birthday shopping for family. We have 8 birthdays and 2 anniversaries in our families from mid Sept. to Nov. 18, Noah's birthday. It's just a regular birthday alley! Elijah's bday is the 16th, Graeme's is the 27th, our anniversary is the 21st. My wonderful marvelous Mommy watched the kiddos for my appts. and then I did some secretive birthday shopping for the boys. I *think* I am done bday shopping except for Graeme, but I know what I am getting him.

The ultrasound was so neat. The baby didn't really look like a baby, just a peanut, but there were four little white dots on the corners of the peanut and they were the hands and feet and you could even see them wiggling around...very cool. Our practice got a new U/S machine and I could see and hear the heartbeat. That was really nice. My EDD is 5/12, and I am 9W3D. That's around what I had thought and everything looked good, praise the Lord.

I have some fun things to post, but as I mentioned afore, I haven't had a lot of time to sit still as my little man is a Mover with a capital M! Oh well, (insert Scarlett O'hara voice), "tomorrow is another day!".

TTFN y'all!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kid Quotes

As I recall when I was a little girl, the brushing of the hair was usually an unhappy time, punctuated with, "ouch" and "that hurts"! Sophia is equally fond of getting her hair combed. As I combed her lovely locks this past Sunday, she said, "Ouch, that hurts! You just touched my sensible spot!"

Elijah, a foodie at heart, who takes after his mother when it comes to some serious eats, was soooo excited to be going out to eat when we were on vacation. He said, "Mommy, I want some of that...that....strolleyboney pizza". He meant stromboli. I love it too son. :)

And then there's Noah, 80 mph, 0.5 mpg child. He never.stops.eating! He says he's done and you clean him up (which is no small chore) and he wants more and more and more...boys. He says a lot of things. More than both of the older kids put together I think. The noise and the activity make for a whirlwind-like presence. :) He's an extremely happy boy and is very excitable. I lurve him. He reminds me of myself.

Anyhowser, Graeme took the kids to the pumpkin patch on Saturday to play on all the cool farm equipment. They were all playing on the sliding board when suddenly Noah had "gotten lost" again. He has a habit of doing this. Graeme started looking for him, and spotted him in line, trying to get on a hayride. He was disappointed when Sophia removed him from the line. My other kids would have been afraid of going to other people, but not my sunny little boy. He sees fun, he wants to be in on the action no matter who the company is. No wonder Graeme has gray hair. :) For the rest of the day he kept saying, "tractor", "take a ride", and when I would ask him if he wanted to go on a hayride he would reply with a enourmously enthusiastic, "ME!"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Political funny

My Father in law sent me this video and I think, given the upcoming elections and ALL the political coverage of policiticans, it is very funny and applicable. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Escape Artist

Look what Noah did today....

He continued his new tricks some seventy-eleven times. He even turned off his sound machine after he got out of his crib, apparently, he's aware of the rising cost of electricity and wants to do his share to conserve.

This video is my favorite of him doing his new antics because it is just so him. Adding a little extra drama for the camera (hanging on and flipping around instead of just getting down) and constant chatter. He talks more than Sophia and Elijah combined. Who says boys don't talk as much as girls do?