Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Friday, January 22, 2010


I spoke to my sister, Amy, today.  She just wrapped up 1 of 3 chemo treatments.  I had not spoken to her since last week...when she was her chipper self.  Now she sounds tired and weak.

And my heart breaks.
Why can I not hug her through the phone?

I tried to enlighten her with the dead mouse stories and anything else I could pull out of my butt.  Unfortunately I do not have much to say.  The hubby started his new job last week and things are going good.

I guess craziness is a good thing...
If it makes her laugh.

She is getting tired.  She needs prayers to uplift her spirits.  I told her that somehow, in my mind, me being there will make her stronger.  I know that makes me sound super human or something, but I have convinced myself of such.

At this time though, I cannot go.
I have to wait.
And let God lead.

In the mean time if you have any funny or entertaining stories you'd like to share that would be AWESOME!  I love to make her laugh, even though it hurts.  It is good for her.

Well, not the pain.

Any ways, please keep my sister in your prayers.  That she be able to keep fighting.  That she does not given into the giving up.  

So seriously.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

And then there were 2.

I may or may not have enlightened you guys with our Christmas.  I feel as though I may have left a few minor details out.

One of which was a Christmas present.
We bought the kids mice.

I have to tell you that I do NOT buy anything that requires me to clean a cage, kennel, aquarium, litter box, etc.  I have dogs which means I can open my door and they run outside to do their dirty work.  They can also be walked around the neighborhood and do it there as well.  I do not like creatures that poop on you when you hold them.

Just not my cup of tea.

When Christmas came around I thought..."The kids do really want oneand I always say no.  They don't cost very much so it would be a really cool present."  I told the hubby and we decided to go for it.  The stipulation was that I was not going to touch them or their living arrangements.  The hubby was the main go-to guy for all thingsmouse.

Three mice: white, tan & gray.

The white one we gave to Sarah because it was the largest of them all and we knew that if anyone where to be too rough with their creature that it would be her.  The smallest (gray) was given to our son, Tony, for he has always shown the most responsibility and care for things.  Maria got the tan guy.

Originally these little guys were parked into their hamster palace in the hallway.  Unfortunately, the salesman was correct in telling us that mice are THE SMELLIEST of all rodents.  I, the person who lacks the ability to smell things...would GAG every time I passed the hall.  It did not matter if the cage was cleaned just smelledthat bad.

Last week I moved the mice into the kids bathroom.  I then proceeded to turn on the fan and shut the door.  The door had to remain SHUT at all times so that the entire house would not stink.

Once it warmed up they were moved outside.

A few days ago I witnessed Maria and Sarah jumping on the trampoline with their mice.  The mice were on the trampoline while they jumped.  I actually thought to myself...that might be a quick fix to the smelly problem.  

Yesterday while I was making dinner Maria and Tony were jumping on the trampoline.  Sarah, who is currently grounded, informed me that she was worried because they had her mouse out there and she did not want it hurt.  I told her to get it and put it back.  


It was not until dinner time that Sarah came to me and expressed concern about the gray mouse.  Apparently he fell off the trampoline?  There was concern over a broken leg.  I did not hear the whole story completely because by this time Tony is mad at Sarah for coming to us and Tommy and I realize we've got a problem on our hands.  The hubby retrieved the gray mouse from the hut and the poor guy was just laying there.  He was alive but not being the funny, cute and sweet little mouse he usually is.

He's cute and sweet.
Even if he smells.

Since we could not determine if anything was broken we did not kill him out of mercy.  We were just unsure of the situation.  The hubby was going to have our son kill it so that he could understand that you have to protect the little creatures...and if they are suffering you put them out of their misery.

But we did not do that.

This morning before school we discovered Rocky buried underneath the bedding...dead.  Apparently he was on his way out last night.  

I see my kids at this age where stupidity is in every equation.  They look forward to reactions from their actions but for whatever reason they cannot comprehend the danger, hurt, or anger they may get as their reaction to their action.

Know what I mean? there are two.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The vortex, otherwise known as life.

Ever have one of those moments where you have been living in a downward spiral that you rationalized that it was for your own good?  Hopefully you had another moment that you realized that you were actually being irrational and you took you life back.

That is where I have been the past several months.
Taking back my life.

Finding me.

After working the past 14 years in offices I feel the need to just walk away.  I realize now that my talents and need for a steady income forced me into that arena of work but my level of unhappiness there has made me take a step back.  I have in turn put the ENTIRE responsibility of making an income completely onto my husband and have been reevaluating myself.

This week I am focusing on finding a part-time job.  I have been trying to pray about this job and let God lead the way.  I know what I do NOT want...but not sure exactly what I DO want.  

Many moons ago I was a daycare teacher and although that sounds really grimy and hard work it is something that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I loved "my kids" very much and looked forward to my job.  When I met my husband that is what I did and who I was.  He convinced me that my intelligence and abilities could shine and give greater financial stability in another job.  

So I left it.

My poor husband does not understand my disdain for working in another office now.  Such an abrupt change from the constant I have been.  I have had a few really good moments working in an office.  I developed two of the best friendships that I cherish more than anything!  Unfortunately the day-to-day stress that it carries is far greater then I ever realized.  

The Rat Race. 
The stress of leaving my family daily.
Coming home and putting on the mom hat.
The chef hat.
The maid hat.
The wife hat.

Every aspect of my life was being affected.

Stress is not the only factor though...

I have always been a creative person.  I like to work with my hands.  I love people.  I also love children.  I truly enjoy making others feel good about themselves and having that emotional connection with people.  For the past 14 years I have set all that aside and disconnected that part from myself.  I have put the desires and needs of my heart into a steel box and slid it onto the back shelf.

You see, overall, I am a simple woman.

For years I tried to be a complicated woman who needed to strive to become better and greater and stronger.

A professional plate juggler.  

I am not her.
I am me.

Father, what I ask of you is simple.  You know the desires and needs of my heart.  You know the financial needs of our family.  Please open my eyes and ears so that I may see the job you have waiting for me.  Thank you for already having the perfect one picked out! 


Now I am working on getting my husband's college stuff fixed.  He landed, I say landed, but I know that God plopped into his lap and AWESOME job!  He is trying to push through to finish up his AA and begin his Bachelors.  His sights and future have changed very drastically over the past few weeks and I know that it is completely a God thing.  

God things are just awesome.  :)

Even though he has longer in school then we had originally planned...when he leaves he will be a successful man who will be able to pay back his loans AND do God's work as well.

How cool is that?


Duke the Moose is still looking for his little lizard friends to return to him.  The cold weather that we have been having either killed all the lizards or sent them underground into extreme hibernation.  You get so used to seeing lizards that once you realize that they are no longer around it's kind of weird.

Are they gone for good?

Duke likes to eat the lizards.
...and frogs.


Tony's birthday is in a few days.  For 5 weeks I will have TWO 12 year olds.  After week 5 Maria will turn 13.  I am stepping over the threshold into the "official" teenage years.


So...what have you guys been up to?  
Any Earth changing, life changing events taking place in your neck of the woods?
Do you KNOW who you are and are you being true to yourself?

You know what to do....


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Today has been an uneventful day.  I made breakfast for the kids and made my oldest very angry.  You see, she can sleep in, but I am making her get up at the same time as everybody else. 

This way we can all eat breakfast together.

If she does not get out of bed tomorrow morning she is getting the squirt bottle.  The two younger children know the squirt bottle.  That is why they get up when their alarm clocks go off.  They also know that once mom says to get up...they better get up.

Maria will learn.

Tonight I am making BBQ crockpot chicken with chipotle mashed potatoes and green beans & bisquits.  Does it sound southern enough?  I know that BBQ sauce is not good for you, especially BBQ sauce mixed with soda, but you know what?  I really am craving it. 

And since I make the dinner.

I am getting very aggitated at my computer.  I am not sure if it is MySpace or if it is my computer.  Sometimes I am unable to use apostrophes.  Every time I want to use one I have a bar pop up on the bottom of my screen that for quick find links.  What?

So...what kinda day are you having?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

They really DO work!

For Christmas we got a new tv.  Usually I would not even care but we have had no cable, satellite or antenna for several months.  It was one of those items that we could live without to give us a little more money every month.  It is true that I miss the Food Network very much, but I still am breathing.

Don't get me wrong. 

We still watched some tv. is an awesome website and we were able to watch most of our favorite shows on the computer in the evening.  It was not the most comfortable tv viewing experience but it did fill the quench.  I have learned over the past several months that it's okay to have a black box sitting in my family room and that I do not require it to be on.

The benefit of the new tv is that we are now able to hook up a digital antenna to it.  We only have a few of the local channels, some spanish channels, and some christian channels. 

Yesterday I turned it on. 

It was the first day for the kids to go back to school and I was getting ready to dive into housework.  I do that every day around 10am.  I am able to accomplish so much MORE while the kids are gone.  It's AMAZING!  I am, by far, the laziest tv watcher I know.  Whatever is on the tv I will watch.  Maybe it's from years of being forced to watch whatever my father wanted to watch...I don't know but it's what I do.

Background noise with mild entertainment.

A program was on that I have never watched before.  Joyce Meyer.  I have heard of her and know that she writes books and is on the radio, but again, I have never listened to her.  As I did the dishes I listened and she made me laugh.  She seems like an extremely down to earth woman who wears her past and how she is on her sleeve. 

Yesterday she was discussing how she would run around the house and clean.  "I would go in the kitchen, see the dishwasher needed unloading and begin unloading it.  As I was doing that the dryer dinged so I ran to remove the clothes out of the dryer.  As I was folding the clothes I saw a package on the coffee table and remembered I needed to send it so I got dressed to go the post office...."

You get the picture.
I laughed when she said it.
It describes me to a tee!

After I finished up my dishes, well, kinda.  I left a few for later to do...just in case I got bored?  I went to the restroom and realized that it was DISGUSTING.

You's the kids bathroom.  I have not cleaned it in two weeks.  Even the bathtub was gross.  I am not sure what my kids do in there...but jeesh.  I went and got the bleach and began filling the bathtub with water.  That's what I do.  Pour some bleach in, fill the bathtub, let it soak and then clean the whole thing up and it smells beautiful.

Well, I did something weird yesterday.

Since Duke likes to drink gallons and gallons of water when he shouldn't...and since this water had bleach in it...I decided that I should close the door.  That way he couldn't drink it.

Sometime later I remembered...

Seriously guys. 
I'm talking some time later
Like over an hour.
Maybe two.

I remember because all of the sudden I heard it.

The hubby had just gotten home for lunch.  Oh no.  He's gonna kill me.  I am sure the water has flooded Maria's bedroom.  All of her stuff is going to be ruined.  What if it seaped out the other door and is under the laminate flooring?

Without hesitation but much trepidation I flew open the door.  I could NOT believe my eyes.  The water was to the very top of the tub.  Almost level, but not one drip had dropped to the floor.  Nope, that nifty little drain did it's job and the water did not escape.

"Oh thank goodness.  They really do work!"

I had always wondered as a child if those things worked.  I was never daring enough to try or challenge.  I did learn now that they do.  Or at least MINE does.   I'm not sure about yours so I wouldn't try it at your home. 

Maybe at your friends house. 

After those thoughts though I did realize something.  Our water bill is going to be through the roof!  The hubby is going to be IRATE.  I have not told him about my "ooooops" moment but I will when he yells about the water bill.  In the meantime I guess there are no baths for me...only short showers to compensate for the water that I wasted.

I think I need to take Joyce's advice.

Pay attention.
Do not be too busy.
Complete what you start.


Have YOU ever done that? 

Or am I the ONLY blonde in the house?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I have three kids who are getting ready to each have a birthday over the next 60 days.  I will have an 11, 12 & 13 year old by the first week of March. 

I am elated.


Any ways, I have found that the amount of forgetfulness has tripled in each child at the age of 11.  That means that my youngest is getting ready to roll over into a state of disability.

I call it a disability because suddenly they can no longer remember anything (dementia), can no longer hear (deafness) and are in a perpetual state of being dumb in general.  It must be some sort of disability and I feel that I should, in fact, get some sort of emotional and mental aid as I go through raising them over the next few years.

I'm just sayin.

So their inability to remember things has caused my home to look as though a tornado is a constant occurrence.  The kids leave their stuff EVERYWHERE.  Over the past several months I would gather all of their things that were left scattered around the house and heap it into a pile in the middle of the floor.  I had a big reason for doing would cause my husband to yell at them.  For whatever reason he could not see that it was THEIR STUFF that was causing the house to look so messy...but when you put it all into one central location, forcing him to walk over it every time he walks through the house...

Needless to say my plan worked.

The hubby realized the kids left their stuff everywhere.

After some thinking on his part he devised a plan to hopefully encourage the kids to NOT leave their stuff lying around the house. 

It started Christmas.

We now confiscate things.
It's ours.

If you leave it somewhere it does not belong then it becomes ours.  If you would like that item returned to you then that will require some special chore work on your part.  Chores that used to be paid for will not be paid for by returning your items.

We have been taking these items, as we see them, and tossing them into our closet.  I pulled the remaining items out today to organize them so the kids are aware.

My oldest two were pretty fast at getting their new pairs of shoes back.  Things that they did?  Cleaning out the cars, picking up know...really FUN JOBS.

One of the things that I have caught them saying is...

"Oh well...I don't need that...I have another pair of shoes."

I told the hubby last night that we need to now create a time frame of confiscation.  If the item is not paid for within two weeks said items will be thrown away, given away, or sold.  All proceeds will be given back to mom and dad and when EVER you want that item again you will pay for it out of your own pocket.


I don't think so.
I am having the hubby set up my blogging website hopefully tonight.  This is so that I might be able to make blogging somewhat of a business and bring in some enjoyable income.  I will create a page just for my kids...and send them the link.  Every time an item is confiscated a picture of it will be posted on my page and dated.  They can check out the link daily to find out what is now missing.

Once I get the page up you can enjoy watching their reactions.  Maybe I will have a board set up so that they can talk to me about their item.

Yeah, I think that could be pretty entertaining.

On a sad note...

I just took out my son's confiscated jacket and blanket out of the washing machine (they smelled really bad) and discovered his i-pod.  Oh man...another one washed.  I just washed my daughters two weeks ago. 


Monday, January 4, 2010

Smart Shopper?

It is Monday.
Monday means grocery day.

I spend maybe longer then most as I plan out what we are going to eat for the week.  I sit down and look at the previous weeks to see what we have eaten so that I can decide what I will punish my family with this week.  I try and get some veggies in there, vary the meat day-to-day, vary the starches and somehow try to not make family cooking boring.

And all on a pretty small budget.

After I plan my menu I double check the items in the pantry and fridge and begin thinking about what the kids will eat for breakfast and lunch...and of course snacks and other baked adventures.

I then strap on my tennis shoes, drink a cup of coffee, grab a banana and a water and head out the door with my $1 reusable bags.

I arrive at the grocery store, head to the back of the store where the dairy section is, look at my list and try to play FIND THAT DAIRY so I can begin the task of checking things off.  Needless to say every single time I get to the front of the store with my cart and my crossed out list...there in front of me is a overlooked dairy product. 

Already frustrated by being at Wal-Mart for far too long I turn around and head back again. 

Seriously...where is the dispenser?

My friend recently introduced me to a new contraption.  Maybe it is not "new" but it is definitely new to me.  She had two and gave me one. 

What is it?

It is called the Smart Shopper (SS101). 

At first I this really going to help me?

The Smart Shopper is magnetic on the back so that is able to stick to your refrigerator.  Mine is on the side so that the kids do not mess with it.  After I do my menu planning I sit and enter in the items that I need to buy.

Just hit RECORD, speak what I want and a pop-up list appears.  You find the item that you said and hit SELECT.

That's it. 

Well, that is not it.  I have found the reason that this contraption is so useful for ME.  You see, I enjoy baking and cooking and use lots of different miscellaneous things that I often forget about when I go to the grocery store.  I can set the empty container on the counter to try and make me remember but I ALWAYS forget.

Things that I often forget?

Shirt starch.
Toilet paper.
Dog food.

You get the idea.  It's all the items that I KNOW I need when it runs out...but by the time I make my list and check it's gone.

This is one area that the SmartShopper has made grocery shopping so much easier.  You see, I have now trained myself to walk to the fridge and RECORD the item that I just ran out of. 

Those forgotten items are no longer forgotten!

Not only that but when you are ready to head to the store you press PRINT...and your grocery list prints out.  Not only does that save my hand from cramping up and eliminates duplicate items (because I am brain-dead) breaks the grocery list down into sections.

Obviously this is nice because the grocery store is broken down that way too.  :)

If you need to run errands prior or after the grocery store just add them to the list!

Overall, I really like the gadget.  There are a couple of improvements that I would like to see the Smart Shopper take on...

Please add quantity. 

You see, when I go to the store I have amounts that I need: 4lb ground beef, 2 pkgs chicken, 2 cans of green beans.  You get the idea. 

The second?

I would love to be able to program mine to show the cost per item...that way I have a grocery list and PRICE prior to ever leaving for the store.  I live on a budget and if I need to alter something around I would rather do it at home then at the register.

And yes, the budget is that tight.

Would I recommend the Smart Shopper?  Yes, for those that need to shop with a list...which EVERYONE should!  Stop forgetting your groceries today!

Have you heard of the Smart Shopper?

Would you use it?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year.

I just took a few minutes to look back at last year.  I love that I blog because it jogs the memory banks to my fears, thoughts, resolutions and revelations.  What I found is someone that, even then, was dealing with depression.

I have not reached a point that I am willing to take my non-insured butt to the doctor to get anti-depressants but it is truly evident even in reading what I wrote that I was depressed.

It was a hard year...2009.

Not only financially but physically and emotionally.

We got acclimated to being a family of 5, raising our puppy, accepting that my sister has cancer and learning that Maria's mom's ways.  Tommy had his knee surgery and I left my job.  I have gone from dealing with depression to feeling like the biggest piece of crap to realizing that every day is what I make of it.

God is here.
He forgives us for our imperfections.
He loves us.
He will not abandon us.

Life is hard.

I have so much compassion for our friends who lost their son and for others that have the same heart ache.  Even in all the despair and trials that I have experienced in the past couple of years it does not compare to theirs.  Earth is a place of pain and suffering...and there are good moments and ones that we love, but life is hard. 

I usually stop and take a look at the year before and decide what to do about the future.  2009 was hard as I suspected it would be...harder then I could have imagined.  In this hard year though I had a lot of joy!  I was able to see my sisters and their family TWICE!  I went on vacation with my husband's family!

There was a lot of joy.

As I look at the future of 2010...I know that there are going to be many trials.  It's not going to be a perfect year.  It's going to have pain and suffering.  BUT... 


there are going to be spectacular moments!
Moments of joy.
Moments of healing.
Moments of remembering.

My kids are getting ready to have their 3 months of birthdays and I am on the brink of 11, 12 & 13.  Although scary to have my kids really gearing up for the teenage years it's also exciting for them in their lives.  :) 

I believe that this year will be a pivotal year in my husband's career and will mark our future out.  It may be tough financially for a wee bit longer, but I see a break in the storm clouds and that is something awesome to look forward to! 

I see that as we change some schedules around this year that my ability to be involved in our life group will be life changing for me.  I need them!  Not to mention morning breakfast with my neighbor once a week!  I cannot wait to be able to initiate that!

The hubby and I are getting ready to take a class at church that is very enriching for our marriage and I am super excited about that!  I believe that we have a good marriage but I think the key to a good marriage is always working on a good marriage.  :)  It will be an adventure to share that kind of information with others as we grow but everyone who took the class before us said it was AWESOME! 

My sister-n-law gets married in February and is getting ready to begin her marriage journey.  After 13 years I realized that Tommy and I are the old guys on the block...and I try to remind my brothers and sisters in laws that marriage is not easy, especially that first year.  It's a year of loving one another for certain!  But it is also a year of learning how to communicate and learning each others roles in the marriage.

We all know how hard that is.  :)

Well, I am rambling. 
I guess what I am trying to say is this...

2010 is a year of struggles.
2010 is a year of joy.
2010 is filled with memories.

It's a year to be looked forward to and a year to be lived!  God will be with me throughout this year and no matter what...that is what I put all my stock in.