Friday, November 30, 2007

Sorry no pics today...

I have to hold true to my school work today which is SO far behind, it's just a bit unreasonable, so no pictures today. I promise to catch up the blog this weekend....don't want to get that 'bad blogger' rep :) Let me add however that we have no heat at home, so I couldn't picture myself running around snapping pics when mostly I had to stay covered up in bed to stay warm. (This after a 15 hour day...GRRRRRRR) My husband also re-sprained his ankle for about the 20th time yesterday, so he was even less pleased than I at the prospect of going downstairs to work on the furnace. Turns out it's the mother board....gee that sounds cheap doesn't it? {cough, cough} His foster brother is evidently fixing it today....along with the fan that Kevin broke while trying the famous fixing method of "let me pound on it to see if that helps" (I don't know what heating school recommends this method, but I personally do not!) Between catastrophe's at the shop and at home, I think we could give a handyman a full time job! Speaking of job...talked to my brother David yesterday who started his new job on Monday (remiss that it took me 4 days to check on him! Where does the time go?) He says all is well there and he likes it. So glad that he's working item off my worry list :) Kristina's cheerleading practice was interesting last night. The coach is still introducing new cheers when their first game is Saturday. Hmmmm. I'll let you know how that goes. Finally, my Christmas party for COL is this weekend. We are having a Luau at a new locale this year. Sounds fun, and the planning was SO much easier. Many many photos will be posted of this big annual event. I got invited to the Children's Home and Aid Christmas Party also, but decided to forgo it since it is at a bar :( Seems many I know in the social work field are drinkers...everyone copes somehow I guess. I just choose not to cope that way. Sometimes I choose not to cope at all and just live in denial :) I gaining more clients at my internship and getting more busy which I really enjoy. I actually was a little bit behind yesterday, which for whatever sick reason is a comfortable spot for me. But I worked feverishly last night and am now all caught up! Today's feverishly on the blankety, blank school work to get caught up on that! Until next time...

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Two new blogs!! I am so excited! Both of my nieces have started blogs for their families. Please visit their links to the right. Cassie lass is my niece Cassie....Gabe's Mommie. You can keep up with them there. And there is Shanana...that is my niece Shana. You can keep up with the "Fritz" happenings there....Ryan, Shana, and baby Aubrey. So excited that my nieces decided to take the plunge. I was talking to my mom last night and we were just saying how blogging is really the best thing ever to keep in touch daily. No more emails, no more Christmas card newsletters. We can learn the daily happenings of our family and it is so much easier to stay in touch.

I have been remiss in taking and posting pictures of Kristina's new glasses. She looks super cute and of course very smart! I'll try to get a picture posted tonight. We have been busy getting our decorations up, and I haven't posted those pics yet either. Tonight, I'll have to post an update. (For all my school friends, I promise to do this only after my homework is done!) Yes, I'm a bit behind and VERY looking forward to this class being over next week. This is such a busy time for me to be in school. Can't wait for Christmas break and then, once it's Jan. 1 I can say...."I graduate next year!" Can't wait for that either!

Have a great Thursday! Kristina has cheerleading tonight from 7 - 8:30, so check for updated photos first AM tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If you're the praying type...

Wow, why does it seem there is so much need, close to home this holiday season? If you are the praying type, please add these people to your prayer list. You know what I always say...God answers prayers, and the more people praying the better.

Sandi Johnson - cancer/chemo
Becky Beman - strength for personal struggles
Carleen's Gramma - recovering from stroke
Kevin Ruch - depression - life's challenges
Julian -- see photos and story here - cancer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing"

Thanking you for your prayers,


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No More Down Time

The latest research has shown that when people keeping schedules such as mine have time off they often get sick. Evidently this theory applies to me because I am sick as a dog! I am committed to scheduling every waking moment with something to do on my next weekend off to avoid the guaranteed onset of illness. Just kidding! I am really sick but did enjoy a night in the nyquil fog last night. I had to call off my internship and probably will do so tonight as well. Sometimes, just getting through one job is about all I can handle :) I did want to mention how much I enjoy my new Tivo and how it is really the best gift ever! (Super nice of my brother to hook it up, cuz that was definitely above my technical ability) Anyway, I took my groggy, snotty self home yesterday and plopped on the couch covered in my new super cute throw I got at Kohl's for $7--and enjoyed Monday's episode of Y&R :) :) :) :) Later that night while drifting in and out of the Nyquil haze, I realized that October Road was on, but peacefully drifted back off to sleep, knowing that my new friend Tivo had the situation under control. I will never be controlled by the TV again! Now, the TV is on my schedule :) Gotta love that. OK, enough about frivolous TV nonsense. Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Round 2 .... and 1

Round 1 of the video game marathon ended this morning at 7AM...yes 7. My son and brother were up all night playing the Halo 3 marathon. They were both near zombie state and decided perhaps it was time for some sleep. Brennan sleepily carried the garbage out to the curb, then headed to bed for some much needed sleep. My poor sister-n-law called her long lost husband after he'd been asleep for only an hour :) Gee, no wonder he was so grumpy, she said! It has been such a wonderful care free weekend for me. Just the kind I needed. Of course I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked, but I got some things done, had some much needed R&R and had a great time with my brothers. I can't remember a holiday weekend like this one. The girls climbed up on the roof today with their Dad's help and put up the Christmas lights. I had to purchase a few new strands cuz I just can't tolerate all of that 'why doesn't this %#^&@ strand work?' We still need to purchase additional strands for our front hedge (the new addition for this year) and Stephanie and Kristina are begging for one of those spiral light up trees. We'll have to see about that, as they don't really thrill me. We used to have white light up deer for the front lawn, until Kevin ran them over in the garage. (Long story) Anyway, we are looking for something to replace the deer, but haven't decided on just what. After the lights were up, we headed for 'breakfast' today about 1:30 then went to farm and fleet to pick up a few things. I got a cute ornament for my snowman tree, one for Brennan for Christmas, and one for Grandma's package. It's a really cute sparkly rocking horse, perfect for her collection. After that...round 2 of gaming began. Ryan, Shana and Aubrey joined us for pizza and game night. It's 11:15 and round 2 is still going strong. Since Brennan MUST get a haircut and do his homework tomorrow, I'm sensing a 12:00 limit tonight :) Sorry, Uncle Tim! My project today was to clean the dining room including the inside of the icebox and bottom of the china cabinet. I'm 1/2 done and have cleaned out the icebox. I neatly stored all of my off season dining room decor in the ice box and am so pleased with the results. As Aubrey was 'helping' me I discovered the vacuum makes ehr cry! Stephanie had to come take her every time I wanted to vacuum under something, or window sills or whatever. I'm lovin my new $30 vacuum! It works great! Merry Christmas to me early! Tomorrow, I will finish up, and go through the bottom of the china cabinet that has accumulated 18 years of who knows what. I hope to get the tree up tomorrow too. Whew! I feel a bit sad that the R&R is coming to an end. I surely have enjoyed it. The good news is, I have 10 days of R&R coming in 4 short weeks! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! It's good for the soul! I made my Christmas list today and my Christmas card list. My friends and relatives will drop over in a faint if they receive an actual Christmas card, instead of a 'New Year's Card' (That's what you call a late Christmas card you know!) Along with that, it is my brother Bill's birthday today and I haven't mailed the card yet. It has been purchased written and addressed, just not mailed. Bummer...Happy Bday Bubba!! Your card will be on its way Monday...thanks for your patience. Miss you so so much! Well, I must check my ebay (as all the news shows are reporting online shopping takes over after black Friday) especially in the Ruch house! If all goes well...there will be a big box under the tree for the Ruch Kids! Until next time...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Walked out my front door this morning and rounded the garage where I found myself face to face with a coyote. Hmmmmm....good that he was more afraid of me, and took off. That scares me a lot for my pets. It's my second coyote sighting in the past week. Tonight I made some calls to my neighbors with small dogs. Brennan's Friend Aubrey lost their poodle to a coyote attack. I wish they'd go back to Rock Cut, but for some reason they continue to be more and more common in our residential areas. (I appreciate living by a state park, but could do without the coyotes...) Anyway, I recovered from the sighting and was on my at 4 AM to Kohls! The lines outside were 3 people wide, and down the strip mall. But man did they have great buys! Sarah's sister held our place in the Target line (Thanks Lindsey for freezing) while Sarah and I conquered the Kohl's! I got some great buys! There were no carts however so Sarah and I found ourselves stranded in the back of the store with so much stuff, we couldn't move. I went to the registers, waited and was finally able to score a bag to stuff the 20 throws we purchased as teacher gifts. Sarah pushed her new kitchen aid mixer along with her foot, stacked high with treasures, and I drug the bag, carried the coats, and two other top secret gifts!
The line wound through nearly the entire store. We waited about an hour and finally reached the checkouts. Whew! We were off to Target at 5:35 AM.. Got some GREAT buys there! All top secret of course! I believe guitar hero was the coveted gift from Target this year and the flat screen TV's they had. One could nearly be killed in the stampede if not careful! We left target and headed to Michael's, (Where Sarah picked up an extra ginger bread house for Kristina! You are her hero Sarah :) and she loves you so much. She is so tickled to be able to come (ear to ear grin when I told her) I went to Old Time Pottery, and got a cute tree for the front porch (Kristina set it up already and it IS too cute!) and tin luminaries with snowflake cutouts...then we needed a break at Panera before heading to the mall....Sarah and I each had our $10 cards to use at Bergners. When she first got there, she picked out this super cute vest for herself...
Sadly, the vest was abandoned in the boys department, after she decided to make some super cute purchases for some important young men in her life instead! Jacob and Jackson are so lucky to have her for a mom...(and she thinks she's the lucky one) After Bergners I hoped that maybe Hollister might have at least one thing on sale....oooohhh contra ire! Not one thing! Gotta love that store...We stopped at Yankee candle and used a buy one get one free coupon, so we each got a great big jar candle...yummm! Sarah got mango peach salsa, and I got Harvest....My house smells almost as good as Sarah's! Finally, I went to Aero where the entire store was 50% off (Hollister should take a lesson) but found I had to leave right away before the budget got blown! We stopped at Champs, and then headed home.

Oh, I should mention that at 4:30 Kristina called to report there was a man at the 4:30 AM? What's wrong with that picture. It was Mike our mechanic who kindly came over to report the alarm company called him when they couldn't reach Kevin. Mostly what was wrong, is that some MORON crashed their car into the garage (Milo's) where Kevin's 1977 Nova is stored... comment. The person ran of course, but the police simply looked up the license plates, and it was insured good thing...don't know yet if the car was stolen or what, of course no insurance adjusters were available today, so my brothers David and Tim, helped Kevin secure the garage from further intrusion. Thanks guys for your help. I asked Kevin, are you praying for patience?!? Cuz if so....QUIT! It's gotta get better for him soon. I just know it.

Aside from the pains in the butt from owning a business, it was a very successful Black Friday. I didn't spend all of my money and my husband is still reeling in disbelief! We got out the lights for the house today and sadly many didn't work. We headed to Walmart for replacements and their yummy fried chicken, but when we got home it was too cold and dark to put up the lights. That will be tomorrows project. I still have two days off, and can hardly believe it! Tomorrow, the tree goes up, the lights go on, the presents get wrapped, and hopefully the laundry will get caught up. My niece and nephew want to come for game night tomorrow (More time for me with baby Aubrey:) and then, homework and a minute to catch up my case notes from my internship. It'll feel good to be caught up again. Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one! many social workers does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one, but the light bulb has to really want to change :) :) :)

Have a great night!


What a yummy dinner! And great company! Everything turned out great (except for the broccoli I burned that everyone kindly said they didn't notice) And, I only required one call to Mom to double check the stuffing recipe! It was my best stuffing yet this year, and darn close to Mom's! We had Turkey (not dry even :), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cheese, fruit salad, corn bread muffins, Gramma Bee's cranberry relish jello with pineapple sauce, cherry, apple, pumpkin and french silk pie, AND turkey shaped butter
! Is that cute or what?!? I had to own it you know! I was so excited that I finally found cranberry orange relish that tasted JUST LIKE Gramma Bee's! @ GFS. (The same place I found the super cute turkey butter!) Kristina used if first, and promptly cut off his head! because 'that's what you do' she said...So, let me ask many of your guests come over AND bring their own 46" plasma HDTV? I all can't be as lucky as me...
but my brother sure did bring his own TV, XBOX 360, XBOX, a million games plus 8 controllers. Who needs Christmas? All we really need is for Uncle Tim to visit! My family room because video game central. It is now 6:00 Friday night, and the above picture still accurately describes my family room! While everyone was busy gaming, Gramma and I finished the dishes and cleaned up. Then it was time for Black Friday Planning. My niece Shana stopped by for Dessert with her husband Ryan and the baby Aubrey. I was so happy they stopped by! It gave me a chance to begin Black Friday Training with Aubrey!
She didn't enjoy the best buy ad much (don't tell her Grandpa) But she really enjoyed the Bergners Ad! That a girl! Mostly she enjoyed trying to eat the Bergners
Ad, but that'll change in time. Can't wait til she's big enough to go with me! She is getting so big. When she stands up, we try to coax her into taking a step. She looks at me, smiles, shrugs her shoulders, and hold her hands palm side up as if to say? What?!? You can't be kidding! Princesses don't walk...they must be carried! We had a great day...I was in bed by 10 to prepare for the 3AM wake up call for black Friday...

Ready, Set...

I always wait with great anticipation for the holidays. This year, my Thanksgiving was going to be really simple...8 people, my family, my two brothers, and my mil. No need to have a perfect house, just a need to enjoy the day, and have a great meal. I had Robert spend his usual Wednesday night with us. He got his SMO's (inserts for his pronated feet, that hinders his gross motor development) on Wed, and then stayed over night. We played with cars, cars, and more cars...since that is his true love :)-- and then, I put these new jammies on him, without washing them of course. When he woke up in the morning, he was all red, blotchy and itchy. Poor guy, I didn't know he had "Kristina" skin, so I was off to the Walgreens for benadryl for him. A quick dose and a change of clothes and he was soon blotch free. He is growing and changing so much every day. He has many new words and he seems to be so thrilled at his new found communication! Thanksgiving morning, we awoke to a beautiful dusting of snow. My absolute favorite kind...not one flake on the roads, just enough to make everything pretty.
Nice work God! My husband was an especially big help today, especially when it came to irritating our son. The kids were so glad when Gramma finally came over so they could finally "tell" on him. They told her, make him behave Gramma! You're his mom! He doesn't listen to me! She said...ain't that the truth! He did a great job sporting Brennan's picachu hat!
The Goose donned her new Thanksgiving attire for the special day!
AND!!!! When my brother arrived, he connected up my new TIVO!!
Oh, Joy of Joys! I'll never miss another show again! With all the work well under way...we were just about ready for the big feast!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Guiness Book of Records has nothing on us!

So yesterday, my daughter scored a new record for the Guinness Book! It was 1:40 and I had just finished cooking a Thanksgiving meal for that's not a typo....when my youngest called me at work. "Mama? Are you coming to Turkey Bingo?" "I don't know" I replied, "When is it?" "It's at 2:15" " in 35 minutes?" "Yeah, I guess I forgot to tell you." "Yeah, I guess you did...I'll have to ask Ms. Diane if it's ok, but she's on the phone right now." "I'll hold on" she said. "No, sometimes Ms. Diane is on the phone for a long time. If it's ok, I'll be there, and if not I won't." "Well, how will I know if you're coming?" "Honey, you'll know I'm coming when I show up!" Unhappily she hung up the phone. Now, when I was younger, there was no way my parents would accommodate a 35 minutes notice to meet the President. But, knowing this is my baby's last year in grade school, and the last turkey bingo ever (which includes the chance for me to win a fabulous prize, such as a 2 for 1 bowling pass!) I anxiously awaited my boss getting off the phone. "Ummmmm, would it be ok with you if I left at 2:00?" (It was now about 1:57) ;) Sure...she said and I was off. I surely arrived at school about 2:18....not too bad really. We played 4 or 5 games of bingo, and I sadly did not win a fabulous prize, or any prize at all. I was 1 of 2 parents there, and I am always proud to be in school with my terrific daughter. As I was leaving, Stephanie phoned to say she forgot her algebra book and could I give her a ride? So...dropped Kristina off, picked Steph up, ran to the high school to get her book, then to Chasi for a quick errand, then to the grocery store. I was so proud of myself that I bought my Thanksgiving meal, some odds and ends and two nights of dinner for less than $150!! I love the sales at the Hilander. I think I only forgot two things...celery and whipping cream. I didn't really forget the celery, I just refuse to pay $3.50 for celery hearts because they only have organic left. If it'll save me $2.50, give me those chemicals!! I had lots of helpers bringing in the groceries which was terrific, made some tasty dinner, did the dishes, looked at my Tivo directions...(which reminds me I must talk to Sarah about the phone connection part of Tivo...) and was off to bed to watch the day after the Rose ceremony. Can we talk for a moment about "Brad" and could he please find a therapist to help him with whatever his issue is because truly, EVERY time I watch that show, I swear I will never watch it again, because they ALWAYS pick the crazy one. Well this time, I was so happy because I liked both of the final ladies and which ever one he picked would have been ok with me, (although I really liked DeAnna the best) and lo and behold what does he do? HE PICKS NEITHER!!!! For sure! I am NEVER watching that show again...(at least not until next season!) Looking forward to the return of October Road next week....and looking forward to Thanksgiving...have a great Wednesday (or Friday if it's your last day of work this week!)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Goose Clothes AND Spoon jewelry?!?

Today, I worked at the craft show with my friend Sarah. True to form, I finally remembered to bring her the cherry toe ring that I bought her last year in Springfield. Since then I picked her up some matching cherry earrings, and remembered them too. Sarah always cracks me up because she HATES cement geese and the clothes that go with them. (I keep it a secret that I used to own one!) Anyway, she always prays that she is not next to some crazy lady selling goose clothes. This year...she lucked out. She wasn't near the goose clothes but she was near the. Yes...the spoon jewelry! Remember the spoon rings from the 70's? Evidently they are back, and yes the spoon jewelry booth was packed all day!!! Who knew? (Let me just mention here that Sarah nor I did not purchase any spoon items, nor look lovingly at them like the ladies in the pictures!) This is by far the weirdest phenomena to date! Anyway, Sarah and I spent the day, not selling a lot, but catching up and buying a few cute things. I got two snowman ornaments for my snowman tree, and a chalk board to be hung somewhere in my house. I wrote this week's schedule on it, and that will be its planned use. I told the kids, your dad will say, I have a hundred of those she could have had...and guess what he said? "I have a hundred of those she could have had!" Of course, they don't have chalk boards in them, only broken windows. Now that is not useful at all is it? The Choir kids showed up to sing Christmas Carols, and that was nice. The acoustics in the "Dome" are surprisingly not bad.
Ok, I must now confess...we own a cement goose....and let me tell you why. I have not owned one since they went out of vogue about 10 years ago. However, my daughter thinks they are the greatest thing ever and is always begging for one complete with clothes to go with it. Well, one day one of our neighbors was moving and lo and behold they put this...
out in their garbage. I thought to myself...gee I should stop and pick that up for Kristina. But, when I came home it was gone. I never thought about it again until a few weeks later when we were cleaning the garage. There in the Radio Flyer, covered with a towel was the goose! Kristina had toted the wagon down the street, lifted the 40 lb. goose into the wagon, and drug it home. Later, Kevin proudly sat it in the front of our house, raggedy clothes and all. I swear that ugly outfit is all it had to wear...until today that is. I absolutely refuse to pay $20 for a goose outfit. I mean today, a few booths down, sat this nice lady with outfits for, well, let's just say they were cheap. Kristina's goose is proudly sporting this outfit
today, in support of the bears miserable loss. AND, she also owns another cute outfit perfect for Thanksgiving. I'll be sure to post that photo on Turkey day. I know you'll be looking forward to it! (Especially if your name is Sarah!) Kristina was pleased as punch with her new goose clothes. After the craft show, we ran a few errands (bought our Turkey...yumm) and were off to the freezing cold light the parks parade. I had a minor scare when Kristina called me that she couldn't find her troupe. She eventually found them in the parade line up, so I could breathe a sigh of relief. The parade was good, and we saw lots of people we know and ate lots of parade food (aka tootsie rolls) -- I made yummy spaghetti and french bread for dinner, did some dishes, laundry, scrubbed my kitchen floor (at least the sticky spots) and I am certain will be crashing soon in bed. I'd like to catch Brothers and Sisters if the laundry schedule allows. Only a three day week this week, and no school this weekend. Crack of dawn shopping Friday with Sarah! I can't wait...have a great week!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where to start?

Thursday...Stephanie's moving performance as Mrs. Birch. What a great show...a good story and a lot of humor. I really enjoyed seeing the kids. Why do they look so old? Why is my daughter in high school? When did that happen? To me...a flawless show and a great start to the high school drama scene! Great job Steph! Stephanie is glad to be back under the direction of Mr. & Mrs. Cain...Mr Cain was Steph's Fine Arts Teacher at Machesney Elementary and his wife is the Choir director at HHS. They are such a great couple and do such a wonderful job with the kids. Next year will be their last year at Harlem as they are planning to retire. That will truly be a sad time for the Ruch kids...we have sure grown to love and respect them. What great influences they have been on hundreds of children in the district and what huge shoes they will leave to fill!

On Friday I got to sleep in until 7:00 since I was off, and on my way to the Adler Planetarium with the 6th grade Rock Cut Class. Really, I wasn't too thrilled with this field trip. The planetarium was pretty limited in scope as far as field trips go, and we went there to see the presentation of the Egypt night sky, which although it was cool, it really was only about 15 minutes of our day. The bus ride took 2 1/2 hours to get there (and I am NOT exaggerating!), and we took a yellow bus! What happened to the days of coach buses when you went into Chicago? I attribute that to the never ending budget cuts. If the teachers didn't get all the budget surplus this year, I'm voting that coach buses be added back into the budget and now! The kids were pretty good over all. And not even terribly loud :) What amazes me are the 24 year old teachers my kids have. Why do they look like they could be my kids? Anyway, the kids had a good time, and it was certainly nice to be off work! The worst part of the day however was the ride home. Why did I pick the seat RIGHT ABOVE the heater...I swear my seat was 100 degrees and my feet were about 210 degrees. Seriously, I had to put my feet up on the chair to avoid the certain burning of my feet! Geez, I don't mean to complain, but it was REALLY hot! The driver had the heat on high the whole ride home. Everyone had the windows open but it was still too hot! It didn't seem to deter the kids though, in fact they seemed oblivious to the heat...was I the only one having a 2 hour hot flash? Here are the kids as we were getting ready to leave. I had to go on this field trip since it is Kristina's last in grade school....another bittersweet moment. Who said she could be so big? We rushed home that night, got Stephanie ready for her play, grabbed some quick BK, and dropped Steph off at school. By this time I was quite tired and cranky and had the drive to Lake Geneva ahead for a night of school. It was a beautiful night, clear roads, and some good blaring Sugarland on the stereo. Nothing like an hour in the car with great super loud music to clear your head! My professor this semester is a bit crazy and operates on a last minute schedule which doesn't work too well with my life style. None of us were able to complete the study guide because...why you ask? Because he used last years text book to make it!!!! What a dope! He helped us with all the answers we couldn't find, and then of course the test was this morning. We all met at Panera at 7:30 for a quick crash memorization session. And memorize we did! I'm sure I got an A. Yeah! My friend Carlene now uses this method of study...
Osmosis. Wouldn't it be easier if we could just sleep with our books on our head and know everything we need to know!?! (Especially the 800 page books!) After class, I hurried home took Kristina to cheer leading, to target to buy a birthday present and to the party. Kevin and I had lunch together and then I was off to pick up Steph from upward bound. Kevin and I spent some much needed alone time, and caught up with the events of the week. I got a nap in...and now...I'm ready for tomorrow. I'll be meeting Sarah bright and early for the Peppermint Swirl Craft Show at the Dome @ Hononegah. Stop buy to see us, if you can. I hear this is a pretty great show. Can't wait to help support Sarah in her "Cherry on top" endeavors! Hope to find a few neat things tomorrow, hope to chat a lot, and have a good time. Tomorrow night, I MUST do something with this house and do some laundry! Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yes, Virginia there really is a Santa Claus

Introducing...Stephanie Ruch as Mrs. Birch...Virginia's teacher :) Stephanie is performing in her first High School Production tonight and tomorrow in "Miracle on 34th Street" The play is at 7 at the Harlem High School Peterson Auditorium. Last night was parents night. What that means is that all of us crazy parents get to see the play in its entirety, with good seats to video tape it and then (here's the best part) we get to go up close to the stage and take terrific pictures of our kids :) I thought I might have a seizure from all the flashing lights last night :) Good to know I'm not the only parent that thinks I have the greatest kids in the whole world! I know my modesty regarding my kids overcomes you doesn't it?!?

Yesterday was a bit of a crazy day, of course which day in my life isn't? I met with my field placement coordinator at my internship at 11:00 -- had our staff meeting from 12 - 1:30, had a meeting at Circles at 2:00, picked Steph up at 4:15, ran to get hair nets baby wipes and pediasure for Robert, pay for Steph's contacts and Kristina's glasses (ouch! geez that's expensive :(, made Steph some gourmet spaghettio's, dropped her off at school, picked up some 'real' dinner for us at the grocery store, and went home to cook dinner. I played with Robert for a bit and gave him a haircut...he looks so cute, then I was off to Moto Photo to finally order family portraits from our outdoor photo shoot we had back in October. The pictures were so wonderful! The ones of my nieces all grown up, surely brought tears to my eyes. I won't say what I spent, but let's just say I got a wonderful collection of photos AND I ordered photo Christmas cards. In November?!? How unlike me! I am predicting a certain lack of time this year to make 'homemade' cards so I settled for the photo cards instead. Amazed? Me too! So, after I made my choices I was off to parent night, then after parent night...geez what the heck time is it? Only 9:15...plenty of time to run errands! Stopped at Target to buy ink for the printer, a shirt for Kristina that she told me last night she needed for when? Today of course, and I got Robert a super cute cars book set that teaches colors, opposites, numbers and shapes...too cute! Saw my good friend Jan at the Target, so nice to see her again...I was finally home and ready to collapse into bed. Stephanie had homework to finish, and Robert, Brennan, Kevin, and Kristina were all soundly sleeping. In just a few was I!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I put in 31 hours in the past two days and am in near zombie state today. I only work 10 today and then Steph has her dress rehearsal/parents nite tonight for the play. Robert is staying overnight tonight, so am excited about that :) Sure did get a call from Kristina's school yesterday that she couldn't make it thru the day, so her dad picked her up and she spent the rest of the day in bed. She had a temp and headache last night, so I gave her some tylenol and then she felt well enough to practice her trombone! I found out yesterday that my cook will be gone for at least 4 more weeks....ugggggghhhh! I can't even really comment on that whole situation. Am looking forward to the and Sunday I'm working the craft show with Sarah. Really looking forward to having a day to chat, meet people and see the terrific crafts available. HEY!!! We made the last payment on our truck yesterday. Remind me, remind me, remind me, to never ever have a car payment ever again!!!! I am so glad to be done with that! This time, we are saving cash for my new be purchased next Oct when I give Steph my old car. I have my eye on a light metallic blue Camry. Is that a sign of getting old? or at least older? Perhaps. Is this Wednesday? Yes, Hooray! 1/2 way to the weekend....have a great day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


4:00 AM .... "Mom, I just threw up all over my bed." Of course you did, I said. Still in a fog, I invited her into bed with me to warm up. After a moment's thought, I thought to myself, what am I thinking?!?! I cannot be sick, and she CANNOT be in bed with me. The mommy guilt kicked in immediately and I let her sleep, snuggled her up, and rubbed her face. It was short lived however, as she was up pretty quickly for round two in the bathroom. Poor beeba. After round two, sanity kicked in. "Honey, I really need you to sleep in the guest room, so I don't get sick." She reported how cold it was in there....odd that it is about 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house due to no storm window. (Probably time to get that item on the to do list completed) I snuggled her up in two polar fleece blankets and a comforter. Before I could begin the school discussion... (This is the kid with perfect attendance you know....her only goal in life) Anyway, before I could begin the discussion, she sleepily lifted her head and said, "I'm going to school." Of course you are, said I, but they'll send you home when you puke. "Nope, I'm not going to be sick, I'm going to school." And I was off to work. You'll have to tune in later for the rest of the story.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Where'd it go?

Where'd it go, seems to be the central theme to my weekends lately. They fly by in the blink of an eye. (poetry, just another one of my talents!) Where do I start? Friday night: school, Saturday: CPR, Kristina's first cheer leading, and scrap night. Kristina {my child} tells me that she doesn't like cheer leading at HCC because it's too hard.... What? Too Hard? Did my child say that? Oooohhh Contra ire! Of course I gave her the talk, that it is your first week, you'll do fine, you have videos and sheets to practice with, blah-di-blah. I don't think she was convinced, but time will tell. She want to try out for the junior high team so I told her that this would be good for her if it was challenging, and that she'd be more prepared for tryouts. Again...time will tell. Cheer leading was over at 3 and I had to be in Rockton for scrap night at 4. Oh, did I mention get my stuff together and stop at the scrap store and check my blogs before Rockton? Well, I did finally make it to Sarah's. It is always such a good time. I was sad that my friend Cheryl didn't make it, but all the rest of us did, and it was too fun. I got these at Hobby Lobby a few days earlier and couldn't wait to work on them. So, work I did, and then I made these...

Candi, Sarah, Anne, Stacie, Me, and Shannon were all there. We had such a good time, even though I almost peed myself on a few occasions, especially during our bad daddy conversations! I always look forward to these nights. I was especially grateful to my family who didn't invoke any guilt about me being gone yet again. I was grateful to have some much needed girl time. Sunday came and we moved on to family time....Breakfast at sunrise, picked up a light up rocking horse for my mother in law at Farm-n-fleet, dropped Brennan at Robin's nest for his tournaments, and then spent some time at my mil. I see her every day, but not for more than a few minutes, so it was nice to just hang out together for a bit. She had Robert and Ryan over so we lent a hand in their care. Ryan is cutting 4 molars and has the runny nose, vomiting, and diarrhea to prove it. Robert enjoyed play time with all of us and I even got him to take a nap. He is growing and changing every day. After that, it was off to Nipppon's with my brothers for our birthday celebration. We celebrated Aubrey, David, Stephanie and my birthday all within a month! The food was great and the company was even better. We planned out our holidays, since we won't be traveling this year. Thanksgiving at Donna's (was our original plan) but I think it'll have to be at my house for more space. Christmas Eve at my house. Can't wait! I will begin preparations this week...for our big holiday season. Friday night I started my Christmas shopping too....I got Robert done, and bought a present for my Mom. Better get my list made and get on the rest of that project!

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, I am so relieved to have secured my next internship. This morning on the way to work, the wheels were turning about new goals I can set, now that we will not be totally broke for 9 months. I do believe that moves me one step closer to putting an addition on our house! Oh, wait, I think I need a new car first. Anyway, also on the agenda this week is a revised long term goal plan, so...add that to that agenda. Stephanie has play practice every night this week, and the play is Thu and Fri. I'll have to go Thu, since I have school Friday. She is Ms. Birch in Miracle on 34th St. at HHS. Oh wait! It's after 7....the bowling results are posted...let me call her to see if she made it or answer...drats! I'll have to post that later. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quickest entry ever...

Ok, so I'm supposed to be at Sarah's in 11 minutes. I know you are surprised to know I haven't left yet! If you are not a regular reader of Sandi's blog...take a minute today to read her last two part entry so you too can see the angels God sends us when we least expect it. I pray everyday for Sandi and the terrible ordeal she is going through. If you are spiritual, please add her to your prayer list.

Update on the party last night...
Kevin was sick, yet managed to chaperon Kristina's party. I knew all was well when he came down the stairs with his Halloween mask on. (The same one he wears in the car that totally mortifies the kids.) It was a rather uneventful, run of the mill 11 year old party... pizza, crafts, screaming, giggling, screaming, pictures, and did I mention screaming?

Renewed my CPR this morning...nothing more boring than that really

And lastly...yesterday I found out that I will be doing my next internship at the UIC college of medicine in Rockford. It was my first choice, and I'm still wondering if this is a dream that I'll wake up from soon. At this internship I will work in the Autism program, the family medical clinic, 1:1 therapy, participate in the advocacy program for special needs kids, a school mental health clinic and have an 8 week rotation in the psychiatry department. Wow!!!! All I can say today is God is good all the time; all the time, God is good! Have a great night...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two things I'm thinking about

Yesterday as I was driving somewhere, either to work, from work, to internship, to restaurant to pick up a receipt that I lost, from internship, to Stephanie's school to pick her up, or to home....can't really remember when, but I was pondering the wonderful friendships I have in my life. In my 30's I was always envious of people that had 'girlfriends' that they could do fun stuff with, talk to, laugh with, cry with, and confide in. I had 3 babies at that time, and life just seemed too busy to participate in such frivolity. I recall having friendships, but they were fleeting for the most part and nothing compared to what I have today. So...anyway, yesterday I was driving....uh....somewhere, and started thinking. I was thinking how lucky I am to have Sarah, Angie, and Carlene and how I think that they are just the neatest people, and how there is just not one thing I would like to change about any of them :) OK, those of you that know me well, know that I can be a bit intolerant at times, and tend to be a little picky about who I invest my time in...all goes back to the huge trust issues I have really trusting anybody, especially someone that I'm not married to or related to and have a choice about having in my life. So, there is Angie, my friend who is just like me, and lucky for the world that maybe that there are only two of us :) As Angie takes one to know one! and Sarah, who is SO not just like me, but I love her for everything that she is, that I am not and I love her for her creativity and bubbly personality and sweetness....I do think that we are some of the best mom's I know...(that goes for Angie too) and perhaps that is why we are so close, because there is no greater gift for us than to be wives and moms. The three of us could talk and marvel for hours about our terrific kids. And then there's Carleen, my newest friend. I love Carleen because her sarcasm and sense of humor equals mine, along with the fact that we are both future social workers and are living through this crazy work, school, internship time together. Even though we are working about every waking minute, we still take time to email, text, blog, whatever it is to keep in touch. We hit it off right away and even though she lives in 'Chicago' (inside joke) I imagine we'll be friends long after school is done. Carleen is an unusual friend in that although she works with kids, she doesn't have kids, and I have learned a lot from her regarding the perspective of making the choice to not have kids, and to be ok with that. Carleen offers me a different fresh perspective on life, we have so much of the same tastes and likes, and even intolerances :) I'm feeling super blessed to have 3 of the best friends a girl could ask for.

The final thought for today, is a comment my husband made yesterday. At times he is so profound when he shares with me what he is thinking. We were talking about what my next internship would be, and I was saying that perhaps I would dabble in some forensic social work, working hand in hand with the police department in interviewing and counseling severely abused and traumatized children through the Carrie Lynn Children's center. And my super neat husband said, "Well, I just want you to be careful what you choose, because I don't want you to become hardened and calloused with all the bad that you will see. I want you to remain caring, loving, and bubbly as you are now, in your new career." OK, so that guy can bring tears to my eyes at the drop of a hat! So nice to know that we are in this whole education thing together and even through the craziness (and it IS crazy!) that he is always thinking about what's best for me and for us. Gotta love him! (Even though he sure ripped the butt out of another pair of pants yesterday!) How does he do it? Who knows, he didn't even know he ripped them until he felt yet another "draft"---- Enough said....until next time.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

And the Winner was?

KENNY!!!! I know you are all so surprised...ok, not really. Entertainer of the year...and I didn't see his show this summer. It was the first time in say 7 or 8 years that I didn't hit the Kenny Concert this year. At the time good seats just weren't in the budget. Front row went for a little over $1000 this year and there was just no way...mostly cuz I'd have to get a divorce first! Kenny won twice last night: entertainer of the year and musical event of the year. If you have never seen a Kenny show, I'd encourage you to go and see why he is entertainer of the year. I have seen probably 25 country artists in concert and no show compares to Kenny. I am the first to say that vocally he is not the most talented person ever, but as an entertainer, he is the top, and his show is nothing but a good time. Carrie Underwood scored twice with female vocalist of the year and single of the year. She is terrific live also, and opened for Kenny two years ago. Sugarland, vocal duo, Rascal Flatts Vocal Group, Taylor Swift horizon award, (definitely the highlight of her senior year, she said!), George Strait song of the year and album of the year, and last but not least, Brad Paisley Male vocalist and video of the year. Brad is by FAR the most talented musician I have seen (perhaps he ties with Keith Urban) and I can't wait to see Brad, Rodney Adkins, and Taylor Swift next week in Rockford-- ought to be a great show, AND you know I'm stalking some great front row tickets on ebay :) I had to watch the CMA's last night and some Criminal Minds during the commercials to keep the peace with my husband. (It's odd that we own 6 TV's yet we MUST watch the same one.) But it was a great show! Had my little Robert over night last night, and he only woke me up once at 3 AM....I think his foot had a cramp or fell asleep or something, but he dozed right off, and so did I...on with Thursday...have a great day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And the Winner Is...

Tonight is the big show! The CMA's. I can't's one of the highlights of my life :) Anyway....last night I went to bed at 7, partly because I've had a nagging headache since Saturday, partly because my tendinitis/tennis elbow/carpal tunnel syndrome in my left arm is KILLING me, but mostly because I was exhausted. So, this morning, I woke up bright and early at 5:15 without an alarm. PERFECT! I feel so much better today and hope that tonight (my early night...I only work 11 hours today :) I can catch a quick nap and then be wide awake til the end of the show to see my man win Entertainer of the Year....again. Ought to be a great time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

bowling, cheerleading, studying, and surgery?

This title is a synopsis of my kids lives right now. As I look at their terrific report cards, it is evident to me that it doesn't come easily. Stephanie sits for at least 2 hours a night doing homework that is above me (with almost a masters degree!) so I am unable to help. Dad helps sometimes with the algebra, and my niece helps with science on occasion. Stephanie started bowling tryouts yesterday and said to me, "Mom...I am not a good bowler." "Do you want to quit?" I asked, "No, I'm just not good." I told her to stick it out through the week as they play 3 games a day for 5 days and after all that practice she may surprise herself. The bowling coach said that they are not necessarily looking for the best bowlers but the kids that are teachable and have a good attitude. That is definitely Steph, so time will tell.

We got Kristina's cheer leading practice schedule and it is on Saturday's from 1 -3. Hooray! I will be able to that. Last year, Grandma had to take her every week, and I was only able to make a few games, so I find this very exciting! Will post a million pics once she gets her new super cute uniform....Kristina has applied to join the book club. Stephanie was in the book club in middle school and liked it. Kristina reads every day, some times for hours. If I had the'd find me with a book all of the time! Right now, I can be found with the DSM-IV (the book that diagnoses mental illness--that I have for class right now) It is not very exciting reading, but I am learning a lot in this class. Next semester I start electives so that will be great. I'm taking the exceptional child and family violence. Oh, I shouldn't say that family violence sounds great, but these two classes will teach me what I need to know to help struggling special ed kids and families that live within the confines of domestic violence, so that is a good thing. Both girls are feeling better after the 24 hour bug, but I am not---hope I don't get it.

Yesterday I worked, ran Brennan to the Dr., dropped off Steph's latest fund raiser at RVC, dropped her off at bowling and then went to CHASI. After that (whew!) I came home to crash. I had planned to do laundry and clean the cat box, but really needed a nap. Kristina announced dinner was ready (kudos to my husband!) and I said I'm not hungry...what are we having? Steak she announced.... hmmmm, maybe I'm hungry after all! So, we all ate Steak and corn together (yes that was the menu, but one doesn't complain when it is made by someone else:). After that I felt renewed, I cleaned the cat box aka poop cage, swept the basement floor, folded two loads of laundry and washed two, read a chapter of homework and got a bit organized for today. Hooray! I farted around a bit on my new face book page, which I really don't know anything about, but am trying to learn, and also tried once again, unsuccessfully, to add a photo to the title of this blog. Just can't figure it out. My brother will be in town this weekend, so hopefully he can help with that.

Brennan is having custom orthotics made hence the Dr's appointment yesterday. My insurance doesn't pay for them of course, but he desperately needs them, so to the Dr. we went. Wow have times changed. When I had mine made, they made a casting of my foot. Now, they have a digital pad that you stand on, and then walk on so your orthotics will be custom enough to adjust to your gait. Amazing. I believe surgery is down the road for Brennan's poor right foot, that is all but collapsing and causing him pretty constant pain. I will know more when we meet with the Dr. again. I think he will have the surgery this summer, either at UW Madison or at Mayo's to have an implant put in his foot to support his collapsing ankle. Crazy! Poor guy. He's not excited about surgery, but would be excited to live without pain. What's neat is his Dr. just had the surgery over the summer, so she knows first hand all about it. Surgery is scary and a bummer for him, but I do think its necessary. At this point, his ankle looks as if it goes to the left of his foot instead of into his foot. Doesn't sound very comfortable does it? Hence....the impending surgery. On a lighter note, Brennan has gotten very good notes from his teachers all week (last week) and is making a renewed effort to "keep" the A+'s he started the quarter with. We always give him the talk that at the beginning of a semester you have A+'s. Wether or not you choose to keep them starts and ends with you. He seemed excited about this concept and is working hard to keep those A's!

Finally, we started catering at work, finally so my kitchen duty is greatly reduced, which gives me a chance to catch up on my desk. Feeling much better about that thankfully. It was a busy, busy Monday, and I'm ready to move onto a busy, busy Tuesday! Have a great day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Feeling so lucky today...

There are definite times of the year when I feel especially lucky to live in the Midwest. Today is one of jacket required, warm enough to have the sunroof open and to feel the cool breeze. Every year this tree in our front yard never ceases to amaze me with its beautiful colors. I wondered if it would change this year with the weather being so warm. Up until last week, it was still totally green. As you can tell, it was worth the wait. This tree was the "standard" front yard tree installed when these houses were newly built. Fortunately they are beautiful and almost all of the houses around me have one in their front yard :)

This morning Kevin, Brennan and I went out to breakfast. Sadly, the girls are both vomiting today :( We dropped Brennan off at his Pokemon tournament and looked around at the ISC at all of the various types of war gaming going on. We were then off to Home Depot to stalk our new refrigerator. Kevin wants Stainless, I want bisque. Good news is bisque is cheaper, so I do believe I'll win, besides, the stainless is just ugly. Sorry all you stainless owners out there, it's just not my taste :) The true problem lies in the fact that we just replaced the stove, dishwasher, and microwave in bisque, so really why would we buy a stainless fridge? I don't know either. I think that today's refrigerators may cook the food for you if you asked it to. At least I hope so. There has to be some reason they cost $2000. It certainly can't cost that just to keep your food cold. For $3000 you can get LED lighting inside. Odd...looked like something from outer space. For $4000 a TV in the door. Do you just stand in front of the fridge to watch TV then? I guess I don't really understand that concept. I believe the $2000 will adequately chill our food, and with the french door design, I'll even be able to fit a frozen pizza in the freezer. What new found freedom that will be! So....envision this soon in my kitchen in bisque :D
After home depot, I was off to Sarah's upper case living party...what terrific things they have! For all of you AU readers, I will be having a window decal for purchase that says George Williams College School of Social Work available for purchase. I'll bring a sample to class next week. I'm also having a book party and will be stalking my friends for orders...I know you're all looking forward to that already, but's the coolest stuff. Check out the link to the right at Upper Case Living to check out their really cool stuff. So, now I'm home and off to laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and homework....if my current migraine allows (2nd day of this one) It would be fine with me if it would leave soon. Got some new meds from the Dr., but they knock me out, so I need to get some required items done before taking that. At least it's bearable today. Hope you all had a great weekend....for my scrap club friends, I'll see you all Saturday at Sarah's....can't wait.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Gee, I almost missed a proud moment...I love that Harlem has family access. It allows me to log in to see my kids grades the day they're more waiting for report cards. So...Stephanie's grades looked like this... AP Writing Enrichment A, AP Intermediate Algebra B (89.7% which personally I call an A, but they call it a B :)). Choir B,PE A, AP Experimental Physical Science A. Really couldn't be prouder. She had college visits today at Upward Bound. If I had to choose today, I'd send her to Wesleyan. Looks like they have a great Pre physical therapy program there and also many minors available in the fine arts. Right up her alley but time will tell.

Kristina had her best report card ever...Conduct/Effort A, Reading A+, English A, Math A+, Spelling B (A GREAT accomplishment here), Science A+, Social Studies A+, Handwriting B+, Art B+, Music E, and PE S. In work habits and social development she got all E's :) which stands for excellent by the way. When I was in school we got E's where now kids get F's...She also had perfect attendance. That's my little mini me! Kristina wants to be a teacher when she grows surprise there! Think what a cute classroom she'll have, and how lucky kids will be to have her for a teacher.

Brennan...well let's just say he's adjusting to middle school and has some work left to do. After his last conference I think we are all on the same page and I have seen marked improvement in his performance already. He passed 2 classes and failed 2, so I am looking for a much better report card next time. He has adjusted well to changing classes, having a locker, a new huge school, and getting himself on the bus on time. First things first for him:) Good that I love him in spite of himself. He's preparing for his pokemon prerelease tournament tomorrow and is seeking a career in game design or testing. Time will tell on that also.

Feelin Groovy

Yes, I'm feeling so much better. Nothing like a drive to Lake Geneva with blaring music to clear my head :) I finished school this morning, caught a quick nap and headed down to Rochelle to watch Krisitna's performance in the Orff Ensemble. They had a great mix of African drums, choir hand bells, folk dancing, choir and Orff. Stephanie drove there and back so she has 2 hours to add to her required 50. Now that Stephanie drives, the funniest thing has happened. You know how when you get ready to go somewhere and one of your kids "calls" the front seat? Well, it's now Kevin or I "calling" the front seat and then racing to the car to see who gets there first to get it! No it's not pretty, but it IS necessary, since I don't really care to sit in the back :) We had dinner at our new favorite Mexican Restaurant--and no I can't think of the name of it...Tomorrow, laundry catch up, naps, homework, housecleaning, going to Sarah's for a party, and perhaps shopping for a new fridge if time allows. So glad to be feelin' groovy again:D

Friday, November 2, 2007


Yesterday, I worked 6a til 8p. My daughter called to see when and if I was actually coming home. Guilt. My brother called to let me know he was broke and his cat had no food, could he borrow some? Guilt. My professor sent a 130 page assignment yesterday due today. I have no time to do it. Guilt. I cannot afford to sign my daughter up for bowling and my other daughter up for cheer leading, yet I am working 70 hours a week, every week with no end in sight. Guilt. I feel really tired, and dizzy, and weepy, I assume due to the schedule I am keeping. When I don't take care of myself...more guilt. Today, I have on a white sock and a grey sock...who knows what the kids are wearing. I hope it's clean. Guilt. My desk has 36 portfolios on it that have been sitting there waiting for me over two weeks. Guilt. The program teaches us to "screw guilt". Sometimes that is very hard. For me...most times that is very hard. Usually, I would say something to lighten the mood, perhaps crack a joke. Today....not so. Just a lot of guilt.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The cutest kids ever

I rushed home from work to make Brennan's costume. I really wouldn't consider that too last minute, would you? I worked 6 a - 5p and still had the costume done by 6p. I knew it wouldn't take long, it was really pretty simple. So anyway, he was pleased as punch with his costume, said it was perfect and that he would be wearing it "a lot". Where he will be wearing it to, I don't know. (Please God, don't let him have it on at school today!) He chose to be his Pokemon hero Ash Ketchum this year instead of the traditional Pikachu or "anything with a sword" as he has chosen in previous years. I purchased Kristina's pieces for her costume last Friday at 3:30 when I happened to be at the mall at which time she called to remind me she needed her costume for a party at 5:30 that very same day. It all worked out. I got the costume, she made her party and a good time was had by all. Now, I know you find it surprising that I think my kids are cute...but really they are. Last night they loaded up with cell phones and were on their own. I enjoyed staying home with Kevin and just answering the door...different, but peaceful. I only had to call Brennan once when I began to worry about him being out alone, and Kevin only had to call Kristina once to let her know that Trick or Treating was indeed over now and she would need to come home! Stephanie (being too old to trick or treat) was my great nephew Robert's chaperon. We borrowed a costume from my friend Angie and he was the CUTEST care bear ever! He walked around the block with Stephanie until he began screaming cookie, cookie, cookie, and had to be brought home to indulge in some candy! He wasn't sure what it was, he just knew he wanted it! After everyone returned home and settled in, I decided Robert (who had no nap that day and was on a slight sugar high) should have a bath and get ready for bed. Stephanie ran the tub for him and determined he was poopy and that I should change him before bath time. While telling me this she was leaning on the door jam with her fingers in the crack of the bathroom door. Guess what happened next...Robert, in his excitement for the bath, shut Stephanie's hand in the door and climbed into the tub, clothes, diaper, poop and all! Stephanie was screaming hysterically (note to self....child does NOT handle pain well, tell her to never have children) Kevin was running toward her, not sure why she was bellowing so loudly, and Robert (completely clothed) was happily splashing in the bathtub. {pause for a moment to picture the scene} Got Steph some ice and hugs, assessed the damage and assured her nothing was broken and it would be ok, gathered the soaking wet Robert out of the bathtub who then began screaming because his bath was interrupted, cleaned the tub out, stripped him down, refilled the tub, put him in, washed his hair (more screaming here) and played with him a bit in the tub. I checked on Steph again who was now covered in band aids, and headed off to collapse in bed. All just a part of being mom to the cutest kids ever :)

Kristina aka Hannah Montana
My great nephew Robert

Brennan aka Ash Red and Black spidey Jason and Ethan

And of course, Zoe Hope you had a happy halloween~

Ye Olde Punkin Carving Tradition

We improved upon our timeliness this year and actually got the pumpkins carved the day before Halloween this year. (Am I the picture of organized or what?) {Everyone chuckles to themselves here!} With my sensory defensiveness, I cannot possibly clean out a pumpkin. OK, when my kids were little I used to do it with the enormous latex gloves on, but now, I have them! Perfect! Kristina and Stephanie gutted the pumpkins after I cut the hole in the tops. They drew on the faces and did their best carving without any injuries and without losing any fingers. Kristina has always wanted to buy the little tiny pumpkin gourds to go with our big pumpkins and this year we could actually afford the 79 cents each for the baby pumpkins. Perhaps her world is complete now! The best part of this year's display is the pumpkin light that Sarah & I got off ebay a few years ago. The shipping took forever and I believe they arrived after Halloween that year, and then of course I misplaced it for a few years, but the last time I found it, I put it on top of the fridge so I'd be ready this year! Lo and behold, there it was when I went to get it! It changes 7 different colors and flashes and there's no candle to worry about the house burning down...Here
are the girls' creations for this year...