Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Milk + Minivan = Disaster

I know this.

Why can't I remember it?

It probably has something to do with the fact that sometimes it's the only drink a fast food place has that my children will drink.

I think I'm cured though.

A couple of days ago we stopped to pick up drinks and got chocolate milk for Mr. A - he was napping though and so we set it aside for when he woke up.

He napped until we got home and you guessed it...we forgot about the bottle of milk and left it in the car.

Fast forward two days...add to that searing Texas temps and what do you get? A funny smell in the van. Hmm, what could it be? After looking around, it hits me. The milk! I locate the bottle and see that due to the amazing heat and the ability of plastic to expand in said heat, the milk has leaked out through the still sealed cap and onto the carpet of the van. UGH!! The bottle is now half empty. Sigh. What a disgusting smell - you know what I'm talking about...if you don't - be thankful.

I know better. Really, I do. Really.

What was it we said when we got the van some years ago? No eating in the car. HA HA HA HA. No drinking anything except water. HA HA HA HA HA. Sigh.

Honey - maybe we need a steam cleaner with attachments for cleaning car carpets? (hint hint)

Just a bit of humor

I found this little comic hysterical today when I got my weekly pregnancy update from some website I signed up on.

At 4 mos. if you're still not showing, well, it must be your first baby. That, or you're one of those strange people that lose weight during the first trimester. Ugh. That's all I have to say on this subject.

Jury Duty Blues

Well, I could be singing them, but I qualified for an exception a few months ago when I received my summons. CKB, on the other hand, did not. Today he headed off to do his duty. I hope that he won't be chosen, selfishly, mind you, because today is my birthday and I'd like to spend the day with him. However, if he is chosen, it will be the second time for him to serve.

Last night Miss E was full of questions... "What is a trial?" started it all :) I answered her questions to the best of my ability and she seemed satisfied. She also hopes Daddy won't be chosen.

So, now we wait to see if CKB calls to say he was chosen or was not chosen and what our day will turn into.

My morning started off nicely with CKB not having to get up at the crack of dawn for a change. He went into the boys' room when he heard Mr. A stirring in his crib and soon thereafter I heard "Happy Birthday Mama" over the monitor instead of the usual "MAAAAA-MAAAAAAAAAAAA!" A nice change to be sure :)

Afterward I was greeted with a chorus of little voices telling me "Happy Birthday" and various homemade gifts they'd come up with on their own :)

Mr. E sidled up next to me and said "Aren't you supposed to have cake on a birthday?" :) So, I guess I will be making a cake today so he isn't too disappointed!

Well, for now I will run - there's always something that needs to be done around here!

** Update - CKB called around 11:30 a.m. and they were being dismissed for lunch. So far they had just been sitting around the whole time - ugh! He had to report back at 1 p.m. and the questioning was supposed to start. According to the judge it would last about 2 hours, minimum. Also, according to the judge, if he's chosen, the trial is expected to last a few days at the very least. Fun. On a more interesting note, the person sitting next to him had a huge book with him written by a prominent atheist. I told CKB he should be sure to bring his Bible in with him at 1 - that might liven things up a bit!

Ah well, maybe he'll be sent home in time for us to all go out to dinner together at least - or maybe for cake....I haven't made one yet....

*** Update #2 - CKB called around 3:30 p.m. and said he was NOT selected for the jury - yay. Too bad they couldn't have gotten it done earlier, but hey, at least he won't miss our Association this weekend because of jury duty potentially going through Friday.

That said, he's on his way home and we are going to all go out for dinner together - gotta get some cake for my little boy, right? :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

A doughnut day or was it a donut day....hmm

A few Saturdays ago we headed out for a Krispy Kreme breakfast, but we didn't get the type of doughnut we wanted right away.

Traveling down the highway, CKB asked if I'd heard a strange noise and I replied no. A moment or two later, the van started shimmying strangely and I told CKB I thought there was something wrong w/the tires so we pulled off on the side of the highway. Sure enough, the front left tire was flat. We didn't have enough safe space for CKB to change the tire, so we had to ride on the flat slowly for a few hundred feet to get to an area where the shoulder was a lot wider and we could pull off pretty far to the right. It still wasn't far enough for my comfort though as semis kept whizzing by in the right hand land seemingly oblivious to my husband kneeling by the car working on the tire. I watched the side mirror the whole time and prayed he would be kept safe.

While we waited, the children asked many questions about what was going on. My favorite was from Mr. E when he asked "Why does Daddy always do the tire stuff?" :)

I said "Because he's the Daddy" and then explained further that Daddy wouldn't let me get out there even if I wasn't expecting our newest blessing and if we had been out without Daddy when this happened, he would not have wanted me out there on the side of the highway changing a tire regardless of the fact that I know what to do and have done it before in my "car training days" with my own Dad.

He seemed to accept that answer and went back to whatever made up game he and Miss A were playing beforehand on the drive. After a warning from me for them to all sit very still and not wiggle the van around while Daddy had it up on the jack, they stayed pretty quiet for the duration of the tire change.

So, CKB had to handle a big rubber donut first and then we were on our way - doughnuts weren't our first priority any more, but we were all hungry and glad when we realized we were actually right at the exit for Krispy Kreme - very convenient! So we went ahead and pulled in and enjoyed our doughnut breakfast - sweet and very unrubbery.

After breakfast, we headed on back toward the house looking for a tire place along the way. We stopped off at Sam's, but they were short handed and it was going to be hours before they would get to us, so we continued our search. We found a tire shop a little farther down the road w/a 45 mn. wait and decided to go ahead and get the tires there since we probably wouldn't find any shorter wait on a Saturday afternoon. True to their word, the car was ready in about an hour and we headed on our way - new tires and a happy crew with tummies full of doughnuts and chocolate milk.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mother's Day Picture (Craft) Tutorial

Some of y'all have asked about the process involved in making the Mother's Day picture collage that I posted about awhile back and finally, I have found a few moments to share how to do one for yourself!

First of all, you need your picture(s).

For my pictures, I set my camera to an aperture of 1.8 and my focus was on the child's hand. Have your child hold out their hand toward you as if they are holding a bunch of flowers to hand to you - then put your camera's focus point on the outstretched hand. Done correctly, the child will "blur" and create a 3D effect in the picture. If the child is too blurry, adjust your aperture until you are satisfied with your result.

After you have your picture, the rest is pretty easy. For mine, I had 4 children to place in a frame and decided to create a collage w/4 "openings" or "windows" and therefore needed a fairly good size overall to make sure I could see each of the children well enough - my frame is 8x20. Mpix does not print that size however so I had a 10x20 printed after I enlarged my picture's canvas size in photoshop and then trimmed the excess border when I received the print (thanks to my neice Angela for the suggestion of the 10x20 and trimming the excess - I was trying to make a lot more work for myself and she had the answer I needed).

Assemble your supplies - for a single child, a 5x7 or 8x10 would work great. (you will probably not need all of these items unless you are in a similar situation as mine!) (not pictured: wire cutters to cut off appropriate amount of artificial flowers)

Here's how I did mine:

Trim off excess border of print.

Cut slit in the picture on top of the child's fist and below as well if you want the stem to come through underneath as well.

Insert flowers and reassemble frame WITHOUT the glass.

Discard glass....I currently have 3 8x20 pieces in a box - any ideas on what to do w/them?

Hang on wall and enjoy your creation!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is there anything as cute as baby naptime hair?

You be the judge! This is Mr. A after his nap today - which was 3 hours long! Can we say growth spurt perhaps?

Now, how about that post-naptime hair!?

PBS - "The Bible's Buried Secrets"

Well, for a long time now I've known that you can't just sit your children or yourself in front of PBS and expect everything to be just wonderful (contrary to their commercials where parents talk about how all the shows are so great and they can put their children in front of PBS and let them watch w/o worrying about the content, yada yada yada).

Yesterday I heard about this new show coming out on PBS - seems to be one of those weeks for me to hear too much news and none of it good. Maybe this is why I stopped watching the news years ago. Well, it's one reason - the other is that little Miss E learned to read before she turned 3 and I couldn't even watch the news w/the sound off because she could read all the captions!

I digress.

Here's the latest from the American Family Association website:

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS), probably the most liberal network in America, will present a program this fall that says the Old Testament is a bunch of made-up stories that never happened. "The Bible's Buried Secrets" says the Bible is not true. It is scheduled to air on November 18.

Producer Paula Apsell said: "...It's (The Bible's Buried Secrets) designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind. …it will give intelligent people who want to read the Bible in a modern way a chance. If we insist on reading the Bible literally, in 25 years, nobody will read it any longer."

Among highlights of "The Bible's Buried Secrets":

• The Old Testament was written in the sixth century BC and hundreds of authors contributed.
• Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn't exist.
• There is no archaeological evidence of the Exodus.
• Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
• The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
• The Israelites believed that God had a wife.

I have often said that PBS should not receive tax dollars. "The Bible's Buried Secrets" is simply one more reason Congress should stop supporting PBS with our tax dollars. Congress gives PBS hundreds of millions of tax dollars to help support the network.

For more information, go here.

I agree!

If you visit McDonald's, you might want to think again...

If it isn't one thing, it's another it seems.

At LEAST once a month, we have been stopping at McDonald's before our 3.5 hr. drive to church on 2nd Sundays because, well, it's just easier than getting up at 5 a.m. to make sure we do breakfast at home. Getting up at 6 a.m. and out the door by 7 a.m. with 6 people is enough to worry with, don't you think? (especially since 4 of those folks require at least some assistance to get ready!).

So, I was horrified to read some news regarding our breakfast standby lately.

McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership in the NGLCC and a seat on the group's board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues, including the promotion of same-sex marriage.

To read the full story, go here. And, I encourage you to do so. McDonald's views opposition of what they've done as "hate" and

Many have responded and are supporting the boycott on McDonald's - go here for more on this.

Just thought you'd want to know!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Scrapbooking and other "hobbies"

Hmm, what is a hobby anyway? Well, here we go:


1 avocation, by-line, hobby, sideline, spare-time activity

an auxiliary activity

By all rights, I have no business having any hobbies because I am seriously lacking in the "spare-time" that is apparently a requirement to having one!

Strangely enough I have a lot of things that I like to do when I have a few moments of spare-time, which is what presents a problem! I don't just have one hobby. So, when I have a few moments, it's always a big decision as to which hobby I'm going to work on at that time.

Well, a few years ago I decided I wanted to have a scrapbook for each of the children. At the time, we only had 3. This still seemed a daunting task, as our eldest was already 4 at the time. I decided, nevertheless, to proceed. I waited for the Sunday paper and headed off to Michael's with my ad (amazingly, scrapbooks were on sale that week - go figure!) and picked up 3 albums.

Now what.

I decided that instead of trying to go back in time and start with each of their baby pics, etc. that I would just start w/the present and since each of the children had just had their birthdays, that seemed a logical place to start. I spent a few days (when I had a spare moment, ha ha) picking out pictures that I wanted to use for each of the children's books, uploaded them to my favorite picture place and put in my order. Then, I waited.

While I was waiting, I picked up a package of scrapbook papers at Wal-mart or somewhere, maybe I got them at Michael's the day I got the books...I don't remember. I also looked around for some suitable stickers to match their birthday themes and resumed waiting for the pictures to arrive in the mail.

A few days later they arrived and looked fine. Now, for some of that "spare time" to come along again. On a quiet Sunday afternoon while the children all took a nap after services, I commenced working on their books. Somehow, I got all 3 done. Miss A's was my favorite when it was all said and done. Why, you ask? Well, for some reason I'd taken the time w/her pics to add borders on all of them that had a complimentary color to a part of the picture and it just gave her pages a much more "polished" look.

So...what did I do today? I've been thinking about those scrapbooks off and on lately. Thinking about the fact that not only have I not touched them since that quiet Sunday afternoon a few years back, but I've never even gotten a book for our 4th little one, Mr. A. Ack! And now, baby #5 is on his/her way and I'll need yet another book. So, my eyes are open for another sale at Michael's and/or their 40% off coupons so I can procure 2 more books. And, today, I've been spending part of "quiet time/nap time" preparing pics to be ordered. I'd like to at the very least catch up on birthdays from the ones I did a few years ago until this year.

Today, so far, I have selected and added borders to pics from Miss E's 4th birthday. Mr. E came in a few mn. ago to see what I was up to and proclaimed that they all looked funny - he was a wee little man then and chuckled when I showed him a pic of himself w/cake all over his chubby little cheeks. Time has flown the past 7 years since we had our first and I'm sure will continue to do so as the years roll on.

Here's a shot of little Miss E at 4 years old with her first pair of glasses -

The scrapbooks are pretty simple, background paper at times and a few stickers here and there w/some journaling about the pics that have been included, but that's about it. I honestly don't have the time to figure out all the other do-dads that are available and I really don't think we need all of that in the long run. Sure, it looks nice, but sometimes it just seems a bit too much - for now, we'll just keep it simple around here.

Now, to just get Miss E's 5th, 6th and 7th birthdays...and Miss A's and Mr. E's and Mr. A's and ....well, this might take me awhile!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A quieter house...well, somewhat

Well, Mom and Dad headed home this past Friday. We sure miss them being here.

While they were here, one of the highlights of their visit was the opportunity to have a "girl's day" which included Mom and I and the girls heading off to see the new American Girl movie, Kit Kittredge, and then going out to a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel.

Mom and I went shopping one day as well and then to a quiet lunch, just the two of us (thanks Dad for watching everyone while we headed out for a bit!). And, I'm glad to say that a few days before they left, I was able to go and have a nice quiet lunch with Dad also (thanks Mom!) and treat him and everyone else to some yummy fried pies for dessert that night!

Mom spoiled me thoroughly by doing the dishes each night while she was here - sigh - CKB did them last night after I collapsed on the couch - tired from the day - what a sweet guy!

The children are seriously missing their Grandma and Grandpa and little Mr. A keeps thinking he spots Grandpa every time he sees a gray headed fellow w/a beard when we're out somewhere. Poor guy - Grandpa is his buddy!

So, it's a bit quieter around here - if it can be with 4 little ones, that is! No more squabbles about who gets to sit next to Grandma and Grandpa. No more "Can Grandma and Grandpa put us to bed tonight?!?" and so forth. Sigh.

Will we make it 'til October when we expect to see them again at their home? I hope so. Miss A has her heart set on going to spend a week w/them....I'm not sure that CKB and I are quite ready for that - we'll see. I'm not sure Miss A is ready either - she'd probably do fine for a day or two, and then she'd probably start missing her sister and brothers...might not even take a few days...the first night sleeping in a room by herself might be all it takes...we'll see.

All in all, we had a wonderful visit that encompassed about 2 weeks and look forward to our next visit.

And, I've probably said it before, but if not, those of y'all who are blessed with your parents (the grandparents) living close to you - don't take it for granted for even a second. You are immensely blessed! Let them know how much you appreciate them and never take them for granted!


'til next time!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A new addition

No, we're not talking about "new math" here.

We would like to share some wonderful news! The Lord has abundantly blessed us with 4 beautiful children and has now blessed us with a new baby! Lord willing, we'll welcome this new little blessing into the world in January, or thereabouts. Everyone around here is ecstatic and filled with many questions :) Things get interesting when the children are older! I'm sure some of you can relate!

Mr. E is constantly wanting to kiss the baby. Miss E said she'll offer up name suggestions when we know if the baby is a boy or a girl. Very practical of her ;) Miss A can't wait to hold the baby. Mr. Baby, I mean, Mr. A - well, he's in a for a big surprise :) , but I'm sure he'll handle it well when the time comes. Scary to think of him being out of the crib though....yikes....but then, he will be almost 3 at that point.....and not so much a baby any more.

There will be a lot of new things to get used to...for one thing it'll be a new hospital for us. All of the older children were born in the same hospital before we moved a few years ago. Lord willing, we'll be blessed with care as wonderful as we received previously. Around here, well, we may have to look into trundle beds, bunk beds and the like in the future :) But, that is a little bit down the road!

Alright, I won't make you wait any longer....here is our newest little one...

Isn't he/she cute? :) It's a wonder the image isn't a complete blur - the ultrasound tech said the baby was bopping around constantly! A sign of things to come....? hmmmmm.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Belated 4th

Well, when you have company, you don't always have time to do everything - like blog - so this is a belated Happy 4th!

Mom and Dad are visiting again - yay - they came in town for Mom's 45th high school reunion last Saturday night (picture later) and this coming Saturday Mom's getting together with some gals she grew up with and went to church with years ago. Thankfully they were able to schedule that get together to be on a Saturday close to the reunion and only make one trip - whew!

Back to the 4th!

It was a nice day to start off - HOT, as usual, but then what do you expect on the 4th in Texas!?!

CKB set out to grill and things were going well, then the dark clouds rolled in, and yep, the bottom fell out! It POURED! Ever grilled w/an umbrella before? :) Too bad I didn't get a picture of that! Anyway, Dad held the umbrella whilst the grill was unloaded and the food was kept from getting ruined. Good thing because it would've been a big waste! The steaks were wonderful, grilled veggie packets turned out yummmmmmy and the ears of corn were fantastic as well - great job CKB!

We were all stuffed, needless to say!

The rain stopped, thankfully, and we were able to go out and relax a bit in the backyard to the tune of the neighbors and their fireworks.

Dad relaxing for a moment...

Now, we do not live in the country, so technically this should not have been going on, but we didn't mind it too much....at first. We could see some of the ones the neighbors were shooting off that went up pretty high and it was just enough for us.

One from the neighbors...

The fireworks were in front of us and behind us so we were able to see quite a few and the children thought it was great. Mr. A really enjoyed it! This went on for awhile as we played ball, catch, etc. until it got too dark. Just before dark, we enjoyed (well, everyone but me because I don't like it) some watermelon. They all said it was good. I took their word for it.

Mr. A looking up to his big brother for watermelon eating tips....

Mr. E: Just take a BIG bite and let the juice drip all over your
shirt, Mr. A - it'll wash....

Mr. A: O-TAY!

Mr. A: Like this?

They all like watermelon...I just don't get it....

Miss A enjoying her hunk of watermelon...apparently she was listening in on that juice dripping down your chin advice....

The fireworks continued awhile longer and when it was dark enough we pulled ours out....no, nothing big, we try to follow the rules around here :) - we had purchased some sparklers - yes, pretty tame, but w/small children, even a sparkler can be dangerous when they aren't careful! Miss E, Miss A and Mr. E had a good time w/them - poor Mr. A couldn't quite understand why he couldn't have one, but he wasn't too upset - he got to watch!

Here are a few outtakes - pardon the horrid picture quality - I haven't quite figured out nighttime fireworks photography, as you will see...


Miss E

Miss A

Mr. E

and another...

We even talked Mom into 1 sparkler of her own - it wasn't easy though!

It was getting late when we stopped with the sparklers and we headed in to get everyone ready for bed. Remember when I said we didn't mind the fireworks...at first? Well, at 10:30 p.m. when I was still hearing them going off right outside the house I was tired of them - thankfully it stopped shortly thereafter. The only other issue w/the neighbors' fireworks happened shortly before we decided it was time to come in - bottle rockets started flying over and close to the house - not fun - instead of risking someone getting hit by one of these things as it whizzed by, we headed in for the night.

Hope you had a happy and safe 4th as well!
As promised, here's a picture of Mom and Dad before they left for Mom's reunion:

Dad said she was the Belle of the Ball :)