Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve!

I began the early part of today in the hospital with Jeriah. Last night when we went to pick the kids up from a day at Grandma's house, I noticed that Jeriah didn't seem like himself, was warm to the touch and had a scratchy voice. Once I began observing him, we noticed that his lungs sounded off as well. It sounded quite a bit like he was growling from deep within his chest with each inhalation. I took his temp (axillary) and I know it wasn't on there for long enough because I was using an old-school mercury thermometer (both of MIL's digital thermometers were in need of new batteries) but even still, his temp read at 100.2, which I am quite certain was a full degree less than his actual temp.

I called our doctor's office to get the procedure rolling so that I could get a first thing in the morning sick appointment set up with our pediatrician. The office uses a nurse line so I called that and after the nurse had gotten my information from me and then also listened to Jeriah's breathing over the phone, recommended that we call an ambulance to have him transported to the nearest emergency room. I declined the ambulance and told her that we weren't far from "West" (the nickname for one of our three hospitals) and she then suggested that we go to "East" instead because "West" doesn't have a pediatrics ward should he be admitted.

So, I drove him in. The wait was FOREVER long but they were very friendly and even gave Jeriah his own crayons and coloring book to color in and take home with him. In Triage, we discovered his temperature was actually 102.5. Shortly thereafter, we were taken back to a room and they were pretty prompt at getting him checked out. The P.A. who saw him was AMAZING. She doesn't like to use antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. We have a lot of the same beliefs regarding medical care and what/how to treat/not treat certain things. For instance, we don't generally medicate for fevers unless they are greater than 102. We are more likely to medicate for a child's comfort and ability to sleep while sick than for fever. And we also generally take a "wait and see" approach before using antibiotics.

They gave him a dose of Motrin since it is also an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to reduce his fever and also because of it being an NSAID to reduce any potential swelling that he might have had going on. They also gave him an oral steroid to help out with his lungs and his breathing situation. His oxygen saturation level was 94% following that, which was an improvement over what it had been when we first got there (around 92%) and he was just laying there sleeping soundly. His fever actually went up even more before they got it to go down. They ended up giving him a dose of Tylenol as well and when we left, his temperature had dropped down to 101. Normally, they keep kids there until their fevers are down to less than 100* but I was comfortable with his fever so we were able to leave prior to their standard protocol.

And then it was one of Hubby's bosses last day at work, so after dropping a sleeping Jeriah off with Hubby, I went over to the restaurant and spent some time with the staff and management and got to say goodbye. Hubby had already had an opportunity to do so while he was at work.

I got home, went to bed and then got up with the kids in the morning when they got up. They actually all slept in until 8:30, which is unheard of around these parts.

We had plans for the day but most of them were cancelled with Jeriah being sick so we just had a low-key day. I let the kids just do their own thing with playing video games and watching movies. It's not something that they get to do very often, so they thoroughly enjoyed it. And after the LONG, LATE night I had, I needed the time as well.

Tonight, they are watching a movie for our regular "Saturday Night Movie Night" and Hubby is also watching it with them. We rented Kung Fu Panda 2 (I believe) and they all seem to be enjoying it.

Tomorrow begins our new chore chart and rewards system that I spent WAY too long today working on. The kids actually requested to go back to this system again because it is by far their favorite chore system. I'm definitely okay with it as well.

Tomorrow is also the day that we will be spending with my mom and brother for Christmas. We were going to do it today but since I had a long night and Jeriah isn't feeling very well and my mom and my brother both smoke (though not inside my house), we felt it was best for his lungs to have a chance to recuperate for an extra day before being exposed to that.

Tomorrow is also the day that I begin my new plan that I started <a href="">here</a> back in November. I cannot wait! Although, admittedly, I would prefer to sleep in a little bit tomorrow. Ah well, it'll be okay.

You can see some of my New Year's Resolutions in that link there.

Oh - and my new favorite hardware store has an AMAZING sale going on tomorrow as well, which I fully plan to stop by and take part in. There are a number of things that I am planning on picking up and it will be so wonderful to get some much needed items to do household projects with.

Speaking of household projects, when we moved to this house, the previous owner, Allison, had these really nice sheer chocolate drapes hanging up in the living room and front room. I found out where she got them and they are SO much cheaper than I had anticipated. They are definitely in the budget now, so that is one item on my to-do list for this first week of 2012.

I have also decided that I want to do a couple of things this year in addition to the other blog post. I want to get rid of (minimum) 2012 items this year through donation, consignment, gifting or trashing those items that need it.

I also want to do a household task each week, whether it is decorating, cooking, cleaning, whatever the case may be.

Week #1 - Buy and hang new sheer drapery panels for the front room and living room.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Company Coffee of 2011

Today is the day for the last Company Coffee for the year and I am so excited about Rachel's Small Things coming up this year. And also for the big things that we will be doing as well! Yay! I haven't really tried to create as much Sanctuary here at our new place as I did the at old one. And we moved in July. Yeah. I think that pretty much sums it all up.

As it is right now, my house is in major need of a thorough deep clean, I have window treatments that need to go up. I finally did find some that are in our budget and much like the ones that were already here when we moved in, so that is exciting for me. Now I just have to wait til Hubby gets home after work today to show him.

Although the Sanctuary aspect of our home is missing lately, the kids have definitely enjoyed our little projects and work times together this semester break. We have made and decorated Rice Krispie treats (as opposed to cookies) and we have plans to make and decorate sugar cookies and gingerbread houses. These are projects that we work on while Hubby is at work because they stress him out and the kids and I would prefer to not stress him out.

We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did as well. We have had three Christmas celebrations so far. One for Hubby's mom's side of the family, one for Hubby's dad's side of the family, and then our own little family. Tomorrow, we have one more with my mom and brother. I don't know yet if we are going to my mom's house or if they are coming over here but either way, it should be a great time as well.

We have a very full month. Four family Christmas celebrations, two violin performances, one piano performance, Wolf Scouts, Webelo Scouts, Daisy Scouts, working in the classrooms, field trips, illnesses, company in from out of town, you name it. And I love it!

So without further ado, I will turn you over to the other ladies at Company Coffee! Go check them all out and maybe link up yourself! It's a great chance to get to know some great ladies! Have a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wedding Prep - Flower Girl Dress Shopping - Take 1

As promised, I am back with photos from the dress shopping for a flower girl dress. I have decided that I am going to use this photo (to the left) in every post about the wedding. Because it is a picture that the bride-to-be loves and is a flower that she had wanted to use in her wedding until she discovered that the image was a created one, not a photograph.

 But moving on to the pictures now. I cropped the pictures down to just the dress which is something that I wish I had thought of doing before. It really allows me to see each dress individually instead of looking at the smile that my daughter is surprisingly NOT wearing in most of the photos. You'll have to trust me on this. She was tired and hungry and a little bit shy. Which apparently adds up to not smiling when the camera is near her. Away from the camera, she was bouncing and skipping and twirling. Children.

Okay, this is the dress that we are most in love with at this point. It's gorgeous. And the beading on the sash really closely matches the beading on the bride's dress. I am in love with this dress and am really hoping that this is the one that we end up choosing. In the end, it's up to the bride, but at this point, she is also in love with this dress. I will just have to remind her how much we love this dress when we go to look at other ones. We are planning on shopping other stores over the next few months to have Oralee try on dresses and decide which one we absolutely love.

Oh and yes, you do see a veil in the back of this photo. My mother-in-law was holding it above Oralee's head and trying to get her to smile for the picture. But obviously, Oralee will NOT be wearing a veil (although I totally think she could...)

This is another dress that we liked quite a bit. I personally love the thick piping around the bottom hem of the tulle, but my mother-in-law and future sister-in-law were not fans of it and that's okay too. Especially since we are all smitten with the dress above.

One other thing that I liked quite a bit about this dress was the sash. It is tulle material but it has a bow and is decorative. When we took the dress off the rack, the bow was in the front center, but the sash is totally removable and when I put it on Oralee, I positioned it to the side to see how it looked and I quite like the look of it that way.

Due to multiple clothing changes, Oralee's hair got quite static-y and I brushed it and was going to put it up in a pony tail to try and alleviate that problem, but no one had a pony tail holder with them. I didn't even have my wallet with me. I was really flying by the seat of my pants! So in a pinch, I did what I could with Oralee's hair, which was a bun with her hair pulled through to secure it. It lasted until the next outfit change and then it was down again. Of course, I couldn't get it back up again after that, but I just loved the way her hair looked so I had to take a picture. I think I am going to do her hair like this more often. How cute is that?!

We had other dresses that we tried on, but I only took pictures of the ones that we liked the best. Lots more dresses to come though! Brace yourself! You will be seeing a LOT of wedding between now and then! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding Prep...

My brother-in-law is getting married next year to the most amazing woman. Dan and Jess have been dating for three or four years now and I am so excited for their upcoming wedding! I had been hoping for a couple of years that he'd just propose already and then last year (I believe) he finally did!

So, now we are on to wedding prep. I get to be a part of it, which is super cool to me. Hubby and I didn't have a wedding, so I missed out on all the fun festivities that Jess is planning. And my little Oralee is the flower girl. Tomorrow, we meet with a florist and a bakery and start shopping for flower girl dresses. Of course, we won't actually buy the dress until next year when they are getting married, because Oralee is only five right now and will likely change sizes by then.

I am just so far beyond excited about this whole thing! Jess is amazing and I love her to pieces! She is my sister, even though she hasn't yet become my sister-in-law. We don't hang out (we live about 50 miles apart and we don't travel each other's way very often) but we get along supremely well!

Next year, they are getting married on Koren's ninth birthday. He is ecstatic about it! I mean, how could he not be? He gets to be a part of a HUGE party on his birthday (it isn't his party, but he gets to go to it), he gets to dress up, he gets to stay up late, and he gets his first aunt! ♥ Love that boy!

Hubby has two younger brothers, I have one younger brother. We have no sisters. Jess is greatly needed! :)

And tomorrow, we shop! Can't wait! May even have some pictures to show for it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daisy Party

This past Monday was our Daisy meeting. For those of you that may not know, Daisies are the youngest group of Girl Scouts, made up of Kindergartners and First Graders. My Oralee is a Kindergartner. And this past Monday, we met with her other Daisy Scouts and celebrated Juliette Gordon-Low's birthday. Juliette is the founder of Girl Scouts and her birthday is October 31st. She founded Girl Scouts 100 years ago. So this is an important year in Girl Scouts.

We made a card for Juliette and we celebrated all of the girls' birthdays. It was quite a nice time! We also discussed (and earned!) the petals for "being a sister to other Girl Scouts". And the girls also decorated some shirts. It was a lot of fun and Oralee did a fantastic job!

Here is the (VERY!) decorated card that the girls made for Juliette:

I just love the creativity of the girls! They were so into decorating that card! It is quite the change from working with Cub Scouts the last 3-4 years, let me tell you!

Also we got preliminary information on Cookie Sales! We are doing direct sales this year - for the first time! The girls will have cookies that they can sell (and deliver) right away! No more card orders and waiting til March to get your cookies (unless of course, we run out! And even then, we would try to fill the order by getting it from the office or another troop or something. I am really excited about this! Oralee already has probably close to $100 in sales lined up for January 13th. This will be an awesome thing for her! She is so quiet and shy and I think it will really do her quite a bit of good to do the sales and build up her people skills and confidence. She did quite well tagging along with the boys while they were selling popcorn for Cub Scouts.

Very fun and exciting times!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Such Great News

I have already mentioned it briefly <a href="">here</a> but recently Hubby has been offered more hours at work. This is great for us! My hours were pretty much set in stone, but I was on call all the time and often would bring (unpaid) work home with me. Recently, I have had some time off from work and during this time, Hubby had been working more hours and has had the time and opportunity to really put his best foot forward at work.

His boss pulled him aside and told him that he had asked around about Hubby and the feedback he had received was very good. Boss said that the only negative feedback that he received about Hubby was that he didn't work often enough (wasn't scheduled enough). So Boss asked him if he would be interested in more hours at work and even asked him what hours he would want to have if given a choice. Hubby said he would prefer to work Monday - Friday closing shifts. That way he would still have his Saturday evenings to spend with his friends and his Sunday evenings for time with our friends as a couple. I can always get out with my friends on Sunday evenings after we spend time with our other friends, if I want to.

Some other really nice things about this would be the increased money that Hubby would earn (he makes 50 cents more per hour when he closes) and the possibility of having a predictable schedule in an industry where predictable schedules are not always the norm. And I would be able to possibly stay home with the kids full-time or just work a few hours each week/on call hours.

I just really hope that the whole thing works out the way that I'm wanting it to. It would, of course, mean that I would be on my own from dinnertime to bedtime with the kids and that I would need to figure out how to coordinate our activity schedules to make that work out. But even still, it would be a small price to pay for the ability to do stay home. During the morning, Hubby would be sleeping and that would allow Jeriah and I time to spend together just the two of us. Then in the afternoon, while Jeriah is at school, that would give me time to spend alone with Hubby or to go in and volunteer during those hours. I would just have a lot of time to get things accomplished around the house if this came about.

Then, in the evenings, we would just follow our normal schedule (although it would be a little more routine simply because I would always be the one doing it - two people never have the same exact routine when left in charge) and I think that would benefit everyone greatly! I have a very Type A personality and am all about scheduling and planning and organizing and my kids also thrive best on a fairly structured schedule.

Well, I'm off. I just had to share this with all of you! Wish us luck!

Thirty Thankful Days - Days 11-15

Click to go to Day 11

Day 11: Today I am thankful for good friends. My best friend of 18 years came into town tonight and we had time to spend together. We were going to just go out the two of us, but at the last minute, we decided to bring our hubbies along as well. And I am so glad that we did! Shea and I had a great time hanging out, chatting and catching up and the guys had a good time as well. It ended up being a pretty late night by the time Hubby and I got home (around 3 am) because we ended up going shopping for a couple of things afterwards and then visiting with another friend at her work (she works 3rd shift) and then coming home. Hubby had to take my mom home along with my two oldest boys (who she allowed to stay up til 3am!) and I promptly fell asleep on the couch. That is why this post is so late in coming.

Click to go to Day 12

Day 12: On this day, we went over to my in-law's house to watch the college football game and even though my mother-in-law and I had a bit of a falling out earlier in the week, we had a nice visit and talked about house remodeling stuff and various things. In the afternoon, she and father-in-law went to watch a movie and allowed us to have a couple of friends come over to visit and play cards, so we did. When they got back from their movie, we all sat around and played a card came called Pitch. It was so much fun and I was thankful once again for friends and also for the kindness from my in-laws.

Click to go to Day 13

Day 13: I was tired. But tired doesn't even begin to cover it. I was exhausted. On Day 11, I had been up way too late (3am) and then ended up waking up around 4 and not being able to fall back to sleep until almost 6, then got up with kids around 7. So about two hours of sleep that night. Then I was awake ALL day on Day 12 - I even laid down with Jeriah to get him to nap and didn't fall asleep! So by the time we got home on Day 12, I was exhausted! The kids went to bed without too much fuss and I crashed hard. I woke up off and on about every two hours but was actually able to fall back to sleep. I woke up for the day around 7 on this day, but thanks to my Hubby was able to take a 2 hour nap. (I let him sleep in til noon.) That nap was so refreshing and necessary! It was fabulous!

Click to go to Day 14

Day 14: That was yesterday. I was thankful for my mother-in-law and her willingness to help me out with time crunches and kids' activities. You see, we live on the north end of town. The older boys, Cephas and Koren, have music lessons on the south side of town at 6:00pm. That's around 10 miles from where we live - or a 30 minute drive. But Oralee also had a Daisy meeting to go to at 6:30pm - the same time the boys get out of music lessons - close to our home. It is not even remotely possible to do both things unless Hubby is home and he wasn't. Because he had to work a closing shift. So my mother-in-law came to my house and picked up all three boys so that I could be with Oralee at her meeting without having to try to chase Jeriah down. She picked them up at 5:00 and then dropped them back off at 8:00. It was really nice that I had her to be able to do that for me. Otherwise, at least one child would have had to miss something and I didn't want for that to happen.

Click to go to Day 15

Day 15: That is today but I already know what I'm thankful for today. This morning when Hubby got home, he told me that his boss wants him to pick up more hours at work. Ideally, the boss would like Hubby to close 5 nights a week, which is good money for us because Hubby makes an additional 50 cents per hour on closing shifts. So today I am thankful for that - and the fact that if this happens, I can stay home full-time with the kids or at the very least, work part-time or even just PRN shifts. It is something that I am totally hopeful for but we will have to wait and see if that is something that will come to fruition.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 10

Today, I am thankful for time to myself. I had a very rare opportunity this morning to have the house all to myself. There was NO ONE home except for me and the dogs from almost 8 am until nearly 3pm then from 3pm til around 4pm.

In that time, I was able to get a number of things done. I did some laundry, gathered dishes, gathered trash, unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded and ran the dishwasher, cleared off and wiped down all the counters, cleaned the inside of the microwave, cleaned the stove, straightened up everything in the dining room, cleared off and wiped down the bar area, cleared off a bookshelf and moved it, cleared off an endtable, wiped it down, cleared off the couch, dusted the entire living room, top to bottom, washed the living room windows inside and out (double-hung windows that both lean inwards!), cleaned the window sills and frames, dusted and wiped down the bookshelf and put new items back onto it, cleared out the kennels, cleared off the entertainment center, wiped it down, reorganized the shelves, vacuumed, hung window treatments in the living room and front room, changed out a light bulb in Oralee's bedroom. Okay, changing a light bulb may not seem worthy of sharing in a list like this but I think any light bulb change that requires a pair of slip-joint pliers gets to count for SOMETHING, thus, it gets included. And if I ever find out who designed the lighting system in this home....grrr.

So anyhow, I got all that accomplished before noon. So I treated myself to a relaxing rest. I didn't sleep though. I laid on the sofa and texted with a friend. I felt like I had worked hard for a break. But then I kind of didn't get back to it much for the rest of the day. But I feel like I have an amazing starting point for tomorrow!

I am thankful for the solitary time that I had today, for the work that it allowed me to accomplish, the relaxed time it allowed me to spend this afternoon. Sometimes things like that just have the power to rejuvenate me. I feel fired up and ready to tackle more tomorrow!

Organizing My Life - Intro

I have decided to start a new plan for myself for the year 2012. I want to start implementing a number of different things. I want to give myself a new task to incorporate each week. It will be something minor each week but little things that will help me to get and stay on track as I progress through the year.

What do you think? Does this look like something that would help you as well? I'd love to hear your feedback so that I know if this is something that I should maybe stock in an etsy shop. Also, I would love to have 3 people try it out and let me know what they think of it. I want to know if it helps you.

No matter what I do online, I have to have a physical paper version of it to really get me to stick to it. My problem with online things is simply that. They are online. Which involves me sitting at my desk (if I am using the desktop computer) or on the sofa (if I am on my laptop) where I am not exactly motivated to get whatever it is done that needs to be done.

This way, I can put it on a clipboard or inside a page protector and hang it somewhere that I am sure to see everyday. Like the wall next to my desk or in the kitchen. Shoot, even in the bathroom would work but I'm not sold on hanging it there. Unless I had multiple copies of the same sheet and hung them up in the room where each job would end up occurring so that I would be sure to see it while I was in that room. I don't know, I guess it could work. We'll see though. I'm going to start out with just one copy put up in a central location.

Who knows? If this works for me, it might even work for the kids to develop personal responsibility habits? It just might work to help them out as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 9

I have been hit hard by whatever this is that has been plaguing me this past week. Today I am thankful for the ability to stay in bed all day long. I went back to bed around 10:00, I think it was. I would have to check my text history to see which was the last message I sent before falling asleep, because I can fall asleep just that fast sometimes (but never when I want or need it to happen!) and then I slept for the rest of the day, waking up sometime around 9:00pm. But I needed it. I truly did. Of course, that means that I'm up at 2:00 in the morning writing blog posts and planning and cleaning and watching TV instead of sleeping. I hope to be able to lay back down and get some sleep so that I can get myself readjusted before the kids come home from school tomorrow afternoon. It's a start...

And in the meantime, I'll just keep trying to get over whatever this thing is. The good news is that I can now eat without feeling like I am going to die. I always call that a good thing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 8

Today is Day 8 and it is really easy to choose what I am thankful for today. If you read my post from 11:30 last night, you can probably guess. Today I am thankful for forgiveness. I am thankful that I have the ability to mess up, to be sorry and to be forgiven. I don't try to mess up. I'd love to never mess up. But the fact is, that I do mess up. But I am forgiven. And I'm grateful!

Organized Home Challenge - Week 45 prep

52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Kids' Bedroom Organizing Challenge

Wow. Can my kids (and I) ever use this challenge right now! I also like the idea of doing this challenge at this point, where it is far enough before Christmas that we can weed out space for the incoming new items, yet it won't leave them feeling deprived of their purged belongings because Christmas will be coming up soon enough.

In the older boys' bedroom, they have two twin beds. We hope to change this out to twin beds or even really to this one bed I found that has a set of twin beds with an attached loft bed, creating an L-shape. I love that bed design! Three beds taking up the floor space of one! Perfect for a small room!

Anyhow, for right now, only the two older boys are sharing a room and that is the one that I am going to share with you. Their room is done up in a sort of sports theme. I wish it was more complete but it's a work in progress.

We start out with their beds. Two twin beds. We have had these beds in nearly every single configuration that is possible in this room. The way it is right now is the configuration that they have chosen. They also have their dresser and Koren's keyboard (for his music practice) and Cephas' violin and music stand (for his music practice). They also have some toys in their room as well as some storage drawers that they have inherited from my mother-in-law's garage sale pile. Well, actually, I inherited them, but then didn't need them afterall and so I offered them to the boys.

Cephas also uses an older wooden tv tray as a night stand next to his bed. I actually like this idea because it takes up less room than his old one did and it matches the wood tone of their beds. The dresser is another story as it does not match but that's something that I have just come to deal with. We bought that dresser back in the day when Cephas was an only child. And a teeny tiny child at that. Like two years old. It's been around awhile now. It definitely shows too!

But we're not here to talk about his dresser. We're here to make sure that their room is organized and functional for them. The first step to do that is to determine what this space is used for.

The first, primary use of their bedroom is for sleeping. For sleeping, they need beds. Check.

The second use of this space is for clothing storage. They have a dresser. Check.

The third use of this space is for music practice. They have their music area set up. Check.

The fourth use of this space is for playing with toys. This is one of the areas that needs some fine-tuning. They have storage and they have toys, but I think it could use some tweaking to be honest. Koren tends to be a very orderly child. He likes to have his toys separated into different bins or compartments or whatever based on what the item is. So all of his Hot Wheels are together, all of his dinosaurs are together, all of his sea animals are together, all of his stuffed animals are together, so on and so forth. Which I love! That is a child who takes after my CDO (a family joke - CDO is like OCD but in alphabetical order the way it should be).

Cephas also likes storage bins and having things organized. However, there's something missing somewhere between having the containers and keeping things organized. He also tends to be a bit on the hoarder side of things. Or so it seems. The fact that he has an old end table that we tried to get rid of and an old computer that barely functions in his closet is an indication of that.

So, that is the primary thing that I am going to be working on this week with them. Organizing their space for their toy/playing/entertainment functions. Check back at the beginning of next week to see how it turns out.

Tackle It Tuesday - November Week 2

After the weekend I had, there is plenty to tackle around here! *SOME DONE* I have a mountain of laundry that needs to be folded and put away.
I will be working on this today. Much as I'd like to not do it.

*SOME DONE* I have another mountain of laundry that needed to be washed and dried so that it could be folded and put away.
And another item that I will be working on today.

*SOME DONE* The main rooms in the house (front room, living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom) could all use a thorough and detailed cleaning.
Not sure about a thorough cleaning but a good picking up is definitely in the cards for these rooms. Hubby did a fantastic job in the kitchen late last night so there really isn't much to do in that room. Same goes with the bar area of the living room.
I did a thorough job in the dining room and a general picking up of the other rooms. It works. I always start in the dining room for some odd reason and then work into the kitchen, then to the bar area, then the living room, front room, entry area, bathroom and then the hallway. It's the way that I clean the house. I don't know why exactly, it just is.

*DONE* The shed needs to be cleared out so that we have room in there to put our exercise bike (because we don't have room for it in the house at this point...although since it is getting colder and less likely that we would be using our regular bikes, it would make more sense to have this indoors) and for our bikes and for the lawn mower.
Before this blog post even went live, Hubby went out and cleared out a large portion of the shed so that we could begin to use it more effectively. So this item is already done. The bikes and lawn mower have yet to go in there though.

There is a pile of various things out in back of our house next to deck that need to be taken over to the dumpster so that it can be hauled away.
It has been raining and is set to snow later today, so this one is not getting done for this post. Maybe next week's post?

We need to put up some new fascia on the shed so that the rain (and eventually the snow and ice) doesn't damage the wood supporting the roof.
Because it has been raining and is set to snow later today, this one is not getting done for this post either. Maybe next week's post?

*DONE* I need to put away a card table that I've had sitting out in the bar area of our living room.
Before this blog post even went live, Hubby took down the card table and put all of the things that were on it, um, somewhere? I am not sure exactly where he put the things that were on it, to be honest. Probably in our bedroom? It's kind of messy in there right now but I have plans for that room tomorrow.

We need to clear off the front porch, which has become a collecting ground of sorts. Plus, my mom smokes out there and leaves her messes out there and I don't always see it in time to ask her to clean up after herself. (Plus, I would expect that a 50-something would just know and do it, but that's another story completely)
It is unlikely that this one will be done today due to the rain and impending snow this evening. Maybe next week's post?

We need to replace some of the boards across our back deck.
Nope. This one is DEFINITELY not happening today. Maybe next week's post?

I want to put up some chicken wire on the inside of our back deck so that I can send the dogs out there to get some fresh air. They will stay on the deck on their own but it's more for their safety than anything else. The little dogs can get really rambunctious and I don't want them to get crazy while playing and accidentally knock the other one off the porch through the rail slats.
I will probably do this one around the same time as the one above, so this one won't be done today either. Maybe next week's post?

We also need to work on our storage unit, decluttering and getting rid of things that we no longer want or need.
I am a wimp and don't want to work outside in the cold and rain on something like this. Plus it would be easier to do without the kids and when we have more time available to do it. Maybe next week's post?

Both of our vehicles need a thorough clearing out. They are both so messy! Plus, mine still has lots of stuff in it from camping three weeks ago? Yeah, it's needing to be done.
Once again, I'm a wimp. I don't want to clean out vehicles in the cold rain. Maybe next week's post?

*DONE* We have also been contemplating moving a few things around and making some changes to Cephas and Koren's room as well. We are thinking about making a music area in their room for Cephas to practice his violin and Koren to practice piano (well, we have a keyboard but you get the idea!). Not totally sure where we are on this though!
This is another item that Hubby had started and which I plan to continue working on some today. This is one that will be getting done today.

*DONE* I also could clean out the front closet and get it ready for winter wear. Which means we will have winter coats AND jackets being stored in there as well as our gloves and hats and scarves.
This one has a definite possibility of happening today as I need to get it done. our weather here varies so much that it is important to keep the items that we could possibly need for the weather on hand and organized.

*SKIPPED* I also have to prepare for our Daisy Troop meeting for next week! Oh my!
This also has strong potential to get done today. I need to talk to my co-leader though. She probably thinks that I've been ignoring her. Which I haven't. I've just been VERY busy!

So, which one will I choose? Check back to see!

Monday, November 7, 2011


They happen in real life and I'm not about to hide them. As you all know already, Oralee got sick on Friday and had shown some improvement by Saturday and Sunday. Night time was still a major issue with her and I called her in on Monday because of the rough night she had on Sunday night.

And let me tell you, that child was UPSET that I called her in too! She raged at me about it. I know she was sick and wouldn't be able to focus in school and needed a day home to just be able to recoup, but man alive! She was angry. She was talking about how she had science class and how she doesn't like science class but she learns during it and how she was going to miss it. If you followed that one better than I did, kudos to you because she lost me on it. She doesn't like it, but she was upset that she was missing it? Yeah. I don't know.

She was also completely convinced that she is never going to be able to go back to school again. You know, because she missed one day. Yep, one day out of school and now she is a kindergarten drop-out. I know, I shouldn't jest, but seriously? The child is intense.

So today, we were home and I was still feeling under the weather myself. It seems that every single time I ingest something, I have sharp, hot, stabbing pains in my stomach that last for hours. It's bad. And I have been moody today. Like chewing out the whole entire world moody. I was hurting and people kept doing things that upset me. Which is true. People were doing things that upset me. But I also had a choice in how I handled it. And needless to say, I did not handle it well.

The only thing that I handled at least moderately well was dealing with my mother-in-law chewing me out for something that I had nothing to do with. She knows that I had nothing to do with it, had no knowledge of what happened, yet still felt it would benefit somehow to chew me out for 30 minutes (on a day I am not feeling well, mind you!). Actually, I hope it helped her to relieve some of her stress because she needed it. But even still, it wasn't something that I did, had any part in doing or even knew about and I still got to spend half an hour of my day on the phone listening to her yell about it.

And actually, maybe I should have said something more than what I did (which wasn't much) but I just don't know really how to handle that kind of situation. It has been my experience for many years that when someone has their mind made up about something and they are set in their way of thinking, it really doesn't do much good to try and convince them otherwise. But in not sticking up for myself, I don't know if that indicates somehow to her that I am at fault for what was upsetting her? I don't honestly know.

And even though, we are both grown adult women, she is somehow still like an authority over me. Maybe that's just the way that I was raised. My grandmother was still very much an authority over my mother and so I can see that somewhat being the way those kind of relationships are supposed to be. But at the same time, I am now (and have been for the past 12 years) the authority figure over my mother as well. That's a whole other story though.

So today, I am struggling. My mother-in-law is mad at me, I have been horribly moody to my own family, I have been sick and in pain for most of the day. I am depressed too. I feel like there are a lot of negative things happening right now and I don't know exactly what to do about it.

Oh - and my own younger brother called me yesterday and left me a voicemail message cussing me out for not doing my mom's yardwork. You know, since I'm just sitting around all day eating bon-bons and such. He was upset because he had to do her yardwork for her, which simply was not the case. But regardless, it seems that this weekend and Monday, the only thing I was successful at doing was igniting the anger of everyone around me.

I feel like I'm not enough. Like I am somehow failing EVERY single person in my life. And I know in my head that really, that's not the case, but sometimes the way you perceive something ends up being more powerful than reality.

However, I finally finished reading a great book today on my Kindle app (for the computer) although, I cannot even begin to tell you which book it was. I'd have to go through and try to figure that out based on the books that show they have been read completely through. But there was a quote in the book that I absolutely loved. "You are not truly sorry if you are still blaming someone else for your actions." Kathryn Cushman. A Promise to Remember (p. 267). Kindle Edition. Okay, so I decided that it was worth looking for. For some odd reason, it didn't show up as me having read through the whole book but I forgot that the app had an error and closed itself down so that is probably why. I plan to do a review of this book later on, but I just wanted to share this one line from there. Incredible line isn't it?

That fact that it hit home when I read it is part of the reason that I needed to share it with you though. No matter how I have been (or just perceive to have been) wronged by others, my bad attitude today was mine and mine alone. Granted, I shared it with just about everyone. But it was MINE.

It doesn't matter that my mother-in-law was blaming me for something that I had nothing to do with. Or that my brother left me a message on me out on the phone for something that I honestly had not had time to take care of. Or that Hubby did not make sure that Cephas had violin after school on Friday yet specifically told me that he had sent him back in to get it. Or that because of said missing violin that BOTH Cephas and Koren missed their music lessons this evening. Or that housework wasn't getting done today because I was literally barely able to move from the couch today. (Seriously - I have had ONE bathroom trip ALL day long! I even ate my ONE meal laying on the couch.) Or that Hubby didn't seem inspired to help out as much I thought he should have. No matter what happens, I have a choice in how I perceive it and how I respond to it.

Today, I struggled. I took everything as a personal attack (some were but still...) and I responded in a poor manner. Those were both my choice to make. I didn't make the right one. But I am now. I was rude, short-tempered and moody. Today I struggled but I know that my family forgives me. They know I am truly sorry. I don't blame them. It wasn't them. It was me. Things like those listed in the previous paragraph happen quite frequently. Generally, they don't affect me the way it did today. But there's always tomorrow and it will be better. But for today, I am sorry.

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 7

Today I am thankful for my ability to be involved in my kids' education. I was supposed to be working in Oralee's classroom this morning and then in Cephas' classroom afterwards. But due to our illnesses, it didn't happen. Just the same, it is absolutely wonderful to be able to be fully involved in their classrooms and to be able to see my children during their school day. I have yet to be able to make arrangements to be in Koren or Jeriah's rooms but I plan to email to make those kind of arrangements to be in their classrooms once a week as well.

I am in Oralee's classroom every other Monday for an hour and a half and in Cephas' classroom every Monday for as long as his teacher needs me. I have days available to be in Jeriah and Koren's classrooms as well. I'm trying to decide if I should make it an all-day Monday thing. Help out in Jeriah's classroom from the start of his school day for an hour or so and then head on over to Koren's classroom and be there til the end of the school day? I can definitely see that working out well! I do know that Koren's teacher could use help on Thursdays stuffing the students' Thursday Folders. Maybe I could go in and do that for all three of the older kids' classes. But really, the bottom line is that I love being in the classroom and if I could, I would love to teach. Maybe that is something to look into though. I am still so undecided on what I want to do for my professional career. Someday, I will decide what I want to do. But until then, I am happy and thankful for this opportunity to be able to be with the kids.

Menu Plan Monday - 11/7

Well, here we go. We're gearing up towards Thanksgiving! And towards the increased food prepared for the holiday as well. Some of my pre-Thanksgiving menu planning will begin this week.

Monday, November 7, 2011
Tuna mac casserole
(Music lessons so will need to be pre-made)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Chicken noodle soup

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Chicken and cheese enchiladas
(Church group so will need to be pre-made)

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Kids' choice
(Pack meeting so will need to be pre-made)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011
(L) Bread bowl chili
(11 am college football game so will need to pre-made)
(D) Homemade pizzas

Sunday, November 13, 2011
(L) Broiled chicken, potatoes and veggies
(Church before hand so will need to be pre-prepped)
(D) Beef brisket, potatoes and veggies

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 6

Okay, in all honesty, this one may sound kind of weird but today, I am thankful for my Hubby's friends and for their ongoing plans for Saturday nights. I know that it is good for the two of us to have some of our own friends, our own interests. Not so many years ago, I thought that we had to do everything together and the only friends we should have are the ones that we have together. It wasn't healthy nor right, but all I wanted was for everything to be even and equal. Yet today, I am so thankful that they are not all equal and even. I am thankful that we have our own friends and our own interests. I am thankful for the way these things allow us to grow and experience other things. It is truly wonderful.

So today, I say thank you to Ratt, Tiny, Squish, Rolo and Nate for being such awesome friends to my Hubby and for having your usual Saturday night plans every week. You guys rejuvenate my Hubby and he looks forward to his time with you guys all week long!

Intentional Acts of Kindness - Days 1-6

I decided to list these acts of kindness out once a week on Sundays, so here goes:

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
I went over to my mom's house and took her out to do some grocery shopping. It was later in the evening and I was tired, but I did it anyhow. I actually ended up having a pretty nice evening with her. She also asked me to check on a few things for her in her house, which I also did.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
We had our home visit with Jeriah's teacher today and Hubby was SO tired. I had been up much of the night helping my mom with things and getting other things ready for the kids for school, so I was tired as well. Regardless, once we got home, I had him go lay down and I stayed up to get Jeriah off to school before laying down and taking a nap myself. That was extremely hard to do.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
On this particular evening, we went out to the mall for a little bit and while there, I picked up a few items to put into a box for a donation to our local mission.

Friday, November 4th, 2011
I was home taking care of a sick child most of this particular day. I did let kids watch a movie on this day after they had their homework and chores done.

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
I was battling the sickness that Oralee had on this day and as such, I let the kids do a minimum amount of chores and they also had more screen time than they normally would have. I know that this doesn't particularly count, but we didn't go anywhere or do anything and I barely made it off the couch this day, so I think it counts. Plus, kindness begins at home, right?

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Well, this one is honestly tied to Saturday as well, but here it is. Even though, I was battling the sickness that I inherited from Oralee (who was better by the way), I encouraged Hubby to stick with his plans to spend time with his friends. They have standing plans to get together on Saturday evenings. Generally speaking, they get done around midnight and Hubby is almost always home by 1am. On this particular night/morning, Hubby didn't get home until around 3am, which would have been 4am had it not been for the time change. Anyhow, even though he was out three hours later than I expected him to be, I didn't get mad at him for it. I knew that he had missed seeing his friends and was enjoying himself. He hadn't seen them the last few weeks because of his work schedule.

Also, while he was gone, I was able to talk to an old friend of ours. As it turns out, this particular friend really needed someone to just listen to him, which I did. This friend of ours is really facing some personal challenges right now and I hope that by being there for him to talk to and lean on, I was able to help him in some small way.

Some things I want to do this coming week:
(MON) Take my mom out to run errands
(TUE) Take a load of donation items to the local mission
(WED) Check on the possibility of serving the community somehow
(THU) Taking part in a volunteer advisory committee for our school system
(FRI) Volunteer at the kids' school (outside of my normal hours)
(SAT) Take the kids out to a park to pick up litter
(SUN) Volunteer in the church nursery

You can click the picture above to be taken to the linky where all these Intentional Acts of Kindness are taking place!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 5

Today is Day 5 of 30 Thankful Days. I have one sick kiddo and I had a laundry room overflowing with things needing to be washed. Mostly bedding. We'll leave it at that. And you know what? I am thankful for that. I am thankful that I am able to be here with my little Oralee while she is sick. I am thankful that I have a laundry room in which to take care of the linens as they were dirtied.

My mother-in-law took the kids overnight on Thursday night due to our work schedules and when Oralee came home from school on Friday, she had a cough. Around 6pm, she asked to change into her pajamas. That was my first sign that she wasn't feeling well. My poor little doll was up all night, coughing and feeling just miserable. I stayed up with her and cycled the laundry through and watched old reruns of Reba on TV.

Special, sweet times taking care of my little princess. Hope she feels better soon though! I don't like for my kiddos to be sick.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 4

This is Day 4 of the 30 Thankful Days. Today I am thankful for my mother-in-law being willing to take the kids overnight last night. We both had been called in to work and she was willing to take the kids pretty much at the last minute.

The kids love to spend time at their grandma's house. I am happy that they enjoy their time over there and I also am happy that my mother-in-law lives close enough that we are able to have the kids go over there on short notice.

During the month of October, my inlaws were out of state quite a bit and it was hard. Not because of the daycare thing but because I realized that I actually missed them. It was odd. I don't spend time hanging out with them or anything. My mother-in-law and I have a real touch and go relationship. We get along most of the time, but we definitely have had our falling outs over the years. But overall, I have to admit that I actually am really lucky to have her in my life. And today, I am also thankful for my mother-in-law and for having her in my life.

Bathroom/Laundry Room Storage

Every so often, I get a wild itch to just change something up. Either the thing is just not working as well as it could be, it isn't aesthetically pleasing or for whatever reason, it just bugs me. Well, this is what happened with our bathroom recently.

Our bathroom has the oddest layout I have ever seen. It looks something like this:

You can click on it to make it bigger if you want. It's just a very basic layout of out bathroom. You can see how the room is long and narrow. We didn't design this space, that is just the way it was when we bought the place and we are doing our best to make the best of it. The one area in question that was bothering me to no end was the area to the right of the toilet (when facing the far end of the bathroom). I had two sets of storage drawers in that spot. Two sets with drawers apiece to be exact. In white frames, clear drawers. The cabinet next to the drawers is black. Two of the drawers were actually broken and needed to be thrown out.

There drawers are where I store our extra toiletries and supplies. Extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, feminine products, etc. All of that stuff is stored in these drawers. But the problem wasn't really with the drawers themselves. It was with the stuff that would end up getting piled up on top of the drawers. It was driving me crazy. That and the fact that we didn't have any place to store dirty laundry.

So on one of our WalMart trips, I picked up one of those cheapy PVC piping plastic laundry dividers ($10) and brought it home to assemble it. My thought was that it could maybe go on the other side of the toilet, between the toilet and the wall where the furnace is. Except it was bigger than I thought it was. So, thus began the reorganization of the bathroom.

First step was to remove the drawers. Second step was to clear out the black cabinet. That was where I had originally had all the products but I cannot reach much past the front of two of the shelves so for storage purposes, it was okay, but I needed to figure out a different plan for those things. That was when I moved them into the drawers and put the drawers next to the toilet.

But now, I wanted the drawers out but I wanted the products to stay so I had to figure something out. On a whim, I took one of the drawers to see if it would fit into the cabinet on the shelf. It did! Then I had to see if two of the drawers would fit on the top shelf and on the main shelf (only one drawer fit on the middle shelf). And two drawers did fit!

So I had six white-framed drawers that I could divide up to put into the cabinet to keep the toiletries divided and organized and put away. But I also knew that I had a set of five black-framed storage drawers in our bedroom where I keep the kids' PJs... I am guessing you can see where this is going.

I had Hubby empty out the five drawers and bring them in to me. I transferred all of the products from the six drawers into the divided-up five drawers and put those drawers in the cabinet. It is beautiful and it works incredibly well. On the top shelf, in the top drawer, I have all of Hubby's shampoos and conditioners and body washes. In the bottom drawer on the top shelf, I have my feminine products. Next to the shelves is a gap that is the perfect size for the extra rolls of paper towels that we have on hand.

On the middle shelf, which can only hold drawer, I have our oral care supplies stored. Next to the drawer is the same gap as the upper shelf and that is where I have stored extra rolls of toilet paper.

On the lower shelf, there are two drawers. One is mine for lotions and cremes and body washes, etc and the other one is for shampoos and conditioners. The gap next to the drawers on this shelf is where I keep a basket of smaller items that are partially used. This is the basket that we go to first before opening something new.

I then put the laundry sorter where the drawers had been and loaded the sorter up with laundry that was on the floor of the bathroom in various places and moved the white-framed drawers to the front room. I wasn't sure exactly what to do with those, so we let them hang out in that room overnight.

This is the conversation that Hubby and I had that night about the drawers:
Me: You know, we could put those drawers in the front closet and use them to store the kids' shoes in there.
Hubby: Yeah, we could do that.
Me: Or we could use it to store winter stuff like mittens and gloves and hats and stuff.
Hubby: Yeah, I think that would work.
Me: Or we could put the drawers in the boys' room so that they can use it to store their toys.
Hubby: That would make sense, since they seem to be wanting to be more organized these days.
Me: Or I could give it to Oralee for her room. The boys already have some storage tubs in their room.
Hubby: Yeah, you could do that.
Me: Or we could have them in the living room and store the boys' music stuff in them near the keyboard.
Hubby; Whatever you'd like to do, I'm sure it will be fine.
Me: Ooooh! I bet we could put them in the dining room next to my desk so that the kids can put their special papers from school in them to go through at the end of the year and decide what they really want to keep from school.
Hubby: Well, whatever you decide, I am sure will look fine. Just let me know if you need me to move anything else. I'm going to go watch some T.V.

That is a pretty typical conversation at our house when it comes to organizing and rearranging or whatever. Hubby is 100% supportive and will move things around for me. He just prefers that I am 100% sure where I want everything to go before he starts moving things around. This was a lesson he learned the hard way.

In the end, the white-framed drawers ended up under my desk, where they are out of the way, yet accessible and look neat and orderly.

Oh - wait, this was about the bathroom/laundry room storage though. So here is a picture of what the end result was:

I know it doesn't really look all that different, but it is a huge difference! What you cannot see from my aerial view drawing is the pile of stuff that cannot end up stored on top of the shelves. The cabinet is now fully functional. I can store things in the drawers, which actually go all the way to the back of the cabinet. I can reach everything and not worry about things getting knocked over and spilling in the cabinet. It will only spill in the drawer or the basket that I am using to store the items.

I also now have a place to sort and store our dirty laundry without it being on the floor in front of the washer. Extra bonus there! Plus, the cart is on casters, so if I were so inclined, I could even roll it over to the washer, but I have yet to do that. I just grab an armful from the sorter and walk over to the washer with them.

Well, thanks for reading. I am sure it wasn't the most riveting piece you have ever read, but it was a great thing to get done around here!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 3

Today we went out to look for a new winter coat for me. I haven't had a winter coat for the past two or three winters because I have a very difficult time spending money on myself. But today, we decided that I was going to get a new coat because I needed one.

I had checked at WalMart and they didn't have anything in my size so I knew that was not an option. Their coats were around $50 so that was my rough base for a winter coat. I knew that JcPenney has decent coat prices so that is where I wanted to look. We met up with some friends who were shopping at the mall (for her) for clothes and we decided to just shop together. We went to Bath & Body Works (for her) and I picked up a $1 bottle of lotion for Oralee (in strawberry!) to give to her for Christmas and with it, I received a little flyer booklet that had coupons in it! (Yay for that!)

Then we went to Lane Bryant (for her) and while there, I decided to get a bra fitting. It's been awhile and I have actually been in need of some new ones. When I was measured, the sales lady measured me at a cup size that was 2-3 sizes larger than what I generally wear. But we went ahead and looked for some bras in my "normal" size and found them. I tried several on and ended up finding two of which I liked the fit and shape and support. They were also having a sale with 40% off AND they were also offering gift certificates for 1/2 of my purchase price along with the sale. So (for example) I buy 2 bras at $41.50 apiece (roughly) and there is the 40% off, making each one around $25.00. New total is $50.00 plus tax (around here, that would make it $53.50) and then you get a gift certificate for $25.00. Not too shabby, eh? It's like buy one, get one free. Or something like that.

Then we went over to JcPenny. I knew exactly what I wanted to get, knew the price I was willing to spend and bee-lined it for the coat section. That's the way I shop. I found what I wanted almost immediately. It was a black and purple 4-in-1 coat and it was seriously on sale. A little bit more than WalMart but this one a) fit me and b) I had a coupon at home that I could bring in within a week and they would give me back the difference in my cost, which would knock it down to roughly the same price as WalMart anyhow.

Actually, here is the link to their site. LOVE this jacket! Catalina's new coat. Isn't that great? Love it! There is actually more purple in the coat I believe and the purple isn't as dark as it shows in the picture on the site. I am so happy with it! I cannot believe I actually have a winter coat! So exciting!

And today, I am thankful for a few things. I am thankful for the ability to buy a coat and new bras. I am thankful for a wonderful husband who encouraged me to do so, even though I was questioning whether or not I should get them. It is so so so hard for me to buy stuff for myself!

And those are a couple of the things that I am thankful for today!

Home Visit

Yesterday was our "home visit" with Jeriah's classroom teacher, Miss Cari. I put home visit in parentheses because it wasn't held at home. It was held at the school in the hallway outside of Jeriah's classroom.

We worked on a set of Opposites puzzles with Jeriah. He understood which pictures went together to make the puzzle but had some difficulty deciding what each picture was or being able to verbalize "The opposite of hot is cold." It is something that we are going to continue to work on though. We had the opportunity to share with Miss Cari our pictures from when we made homemade pizza for our movie night and some from Halloween and we told her about Jeriah and Oralee singing karaoke way late into the night. It was a great visit!

We set mini goals at each home visit. One for Jeriah and one for us as parents. Our goal for Jeriah was to continue working on opposites until he is able to identify and vocalize what the opposites are. Our goal as parents was to establish a bedtime routine for Jeriah. He is our most difficult child to get to sleep. It used to be that Cephas was our most difficult but Jeriah has clearly taken over that position. We also have the option of meeting with the school psychologist to work on it as well, but I passed on that. I'd rather try to get it all settled myself and if there isn't significant progress in the next month when we have our next visit, then I will request her input. But until then, I am going to do what I can to establish a good bedtime routine for Jeriah.

Jeriah took a photograph of his Opposites puzzles that he put together today. We will be adding this to his Family Literacy Portfolio that we turn in at the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thirty Thankful Days - Day 2

I came across this just a little bit ago and I am doing a retrospective post. I am sitting here typing the post up at 4:44 am on Thursday, December 3, 2011 but will be posting it as Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

Today I am thankful for a wonderful workplace. They have just offered me the opportunity to be home with my kids during the week and maybe just work weekend overnights. By working overnight shifts, I am able to be home with my kids and be there for their activities and everything else that we have going on from week to week while still being able to earn money to help support the family.

This will not even take away much time from the family on the weekends either because I will be able to sleep while I am working. That is a deal that I just cannot turn down! I love that part of it!

It also allows Hubby more time to be able to work without needing to rely on childcare from his parents. We try to work our schedules out so that we are the ones that have the kids but every so often, we end up needing to have someone watch the kids and when that happens, we turn to my mother-in-law to watch the kids.

This will also give me more time to get the house into the kind of shape that I want for it to be in and will also allow me time to get through our storage unit and figure out what we are going to do with all of that stuff!

You can click the picture above to link up to the Thirty Thankful Days as well. Or just click over and read what others are thankful for today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Day and Evening

What a great day all around! Hubby didn't get home until almost 2 am from work but he was willing to get up and get the kids off to school this morning, which was great for me because I had fallen asleep for about 20 minutes earlier in the night and could not fall back to sleep until close to 5 am. Since he let me continue to lay and rest/sleep while he took the kids to school, I was able to get some additional much needed rest. Then I got up and took care of Jeriah and we played and watched TV and did housework together while Hubby went and laid down. I let him sleep through until almost 4 pm.

I got Jeriah ready for school and onto the school bus and then I took myself out for Chinese food. There is this place close to my work that I absolutely love but haven't had much lately and I have really been wanting to get something from there and I decided that today would be the perfect day for it.

After getting my food from there, I went over to the kids' school and helped out in the classroom for a couple of hours. All I needed to do for the first hour and a half or so was assemble the fifth graders' academic skills testing packets. There are four booklets and their scantrons that needed to go into folders. I took care of them for one teacher (Cephas' teacher) and then moved on to another fifth grade teacher's packets. I got those almost done but was not able to get them completely finished because I ran out of folders and sticky labels. I marked my spot though so that I could pick back up where I left off. I plan to go back in later this week to finish those up for that teacher. That teacher is currently out of school right now. She has a new grandbaby and is taking a few days off from teaching to help the new mama. I think that's really sweet and I'm glad to hear that she was able to do that.

Then we had the fifth grade class party. It was a low-key affair. The teacher, Mrs. P, and her practicum student, Mr. H, another parent and I just kind of oversaw the festivities. Mrs. P bought sugar cookies, frosting and sprinkles and let the kids come up to a central table to decorate the cookies and they also had chips and water and were able to sit and watch some movies she had projected onto the white board from her laptop. Then they played hangman. It was nice and the kids enjoyed it immensely.

Mr. H had been having a hard time getting some of the kids to listen in his math group and I so wanted to be able to help him out. But I didn't. I have been there and done that with students and while I knew that I could get them to listen and follow along, he really needs to develop those skills himself. I think he will be a great teacher. One of the hardest parts though, honestly, is getting the kids to respect you as a teacher when you aren't confident about your abilities.

For the first time ever today, I let the older boys walk home from school. At our old house, they had walked to and from school every day, but with living in a new neighborhood and being so close to such a major arterial street, I have been reluctant to let them walk home. But today was absolutely gorgeous, I knew I had the time and the patience to allow them to do it and so I did. I also circled the route twice checking up on them (but couldn't find them!). They ended up walking home with our next door neighbors (who walk to and from school EVERY day of the week!) so it worked out pretty well. And, as it turns out, those two kids know a path that keeps them off of the main arterial street. One of these days, I am going to have to get the boys to show me this route so that I know where it is. If I'm comfortable with it, there is a good chance that I will let them walk home from school in the spring. Maybe. It seems kind of pointless though, because we still have to go to the school to pick up Oralee. But the boys have been wanting to walk home from school so badly that I agreed to it today. We'll figure it all out eventually.

Once home, they buckled down and got right to work on their chores and then decided on some last minute changes to their Halloween costumes. I ended up waking Hubby so that he could be up with the kids and awake to get Jeriah from the school bus and I ran over to our friends' house to pick up an bright orange vest and hat for Koren, who decided that instead of being a pirate wanted to be a hunter. It worked out. He had a camouflage turtle neck and a NERF gun. That plus the oversized (to him) hunting vest and stocking cap, made for a decent hunting outfit.

Cephas had planned to go as a robot but was having some difficulties with his costume design so we changed it up at the last minute and he wore a set of my scrubs (too big for him) and some gloves and a mask and we called him a doctor/surgeon/whatever.

Once they were set, we had to dash over to the other side of town for their music lessons, only to realize that we had not had them practice this past week AT ALL. It's been crazy busy/hectic, what can I say? Ooops. We'll do better this week, I promise!

I dropped the boys off at the studio and ran over to the inlaw's house to do some last minute things that I hadn't gotten around to yet. Cleaning out my mother-in-law's car, putting some camping gear back in the basement, starting a load of laundry in the washing machine, general tidying up and also trying to get Oralee and Jeriah's costumes together. Oralee was on the fence about what she wanted to be. MIL has a stash of dress up clothes and Oralee couldn't decide between a cat (all black clothing, plus ears, tail and collar to match), the water fairy (complete with tiara and wand) or a different fairy (forgot which one - but without the extra accessories). Oralee couldn't find the water fairy outfit or the cat outfit and had settled on the other fairy outfit when I found the water fairy outfit and she ended up going with that option.

Jeriah wanted to be a painter. I had planned to make him a little painter's palette out of cardboard but I couldn't find any over there (and I was in such a mad dash to get over to that side of town that I didn't grab cardboard from our house) so I just took some sheets of computer paper and glue stick-ed them together and then used a marker to draw in the paint circles. We got a brush from the garage and a washcloth to tuck into his waistband and he was good to go. He wouldn't dress up any further than that.

At one point I had even tried to persuade him to be a cowboy (MIL has a cowboy hat and a vest - it actually goes to a pirate costume but looks really cute with the cowboy hat) but he was adamant about not changing his clothing.

We had to run back to the studio to pick up the boys and then head back to MIL's house to park the van so we could hit up the neighborhood over there. We did it and ended when pretty much all four kids were ready to quit. I cannot believe that it happened around the same time for all of them! How awesome was that!

We then packed up and left. At this point, it was 8:30, the kids still hadn't eaten (so busy getting ready for music lessons and trick or treating and then actually doing those things) and while we were out, I had gotten a message from the restaurant where Hubby works saying that for a Halloween special, kids could eat free with an adult purchase. That sounded like a winner to me so that's what we did. We did not go to Hubby's work though. We went to a different location for our favorite server.

Our server, Jay, was dressed up as Charlie Sheen. My kids totally missed the reference (because they are really too young to know the difference) and there was karaoke going on. Let me slow this down for you. Favorite restaurant + favorite server + cheap food + karaoke. My kids were in HEAVEN!

My kids sang karaoke. Oh yes, they did! I finally pulled them away from the restaurant around 10:30. Our normal bedtime on a school night is 8:00 (ideally asleep by 8:30). But. It was a special occasion, the kids were being unbelievably well-behaved, they were enjoying themselves and quite honestly, I lost track of time.

Oralee started the karaoke singing for our family tonight by singing the ABC's. Yes, the karaoke guy had that. Then Oralee and Jeriah and some random kid (one of our server's regular customer's kid - didja follow that one?) sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together. And then Cephas and Koren got up and sang More (by Usher - yes, they know the words. They are HUGE Usher fans!). They were going to do a few more songs after that but that was when I realized how late it was and had them go up and pull their requests. I had joked around with Jay, telling him that I was pretty sure if left to their own devices my kids would close the restaurant. But the restaurant doesn't close til like, 1 am? (I should know this actually!) and there was NO WAY my kids were going to be up THAT late on a school night. It was bad enough that we wouldn't be home til 11 pm as it was.

Before we left though, we had to get a picture of the kids and Jay in their costumes. It was so cute! Jay was sitting on a chair, Koren and Jeriah to his right, Cephas and Oralee to his left. It was quite cute and cheesy. I, of course, promptly posted it to facebook and tagged Jay as well.

We drove home and I warned the kids that it was time to go STRAIGHT to bed when we got there. Bathroom stuff then bed. I wanted them in bed within 15 minutes of getting home and asleep as soon as possible after that. They promptly obeyed. Well, all but Jeriah. He was up til 1:30 am. And he was the one who was the MOST tired at the restaurant. Guess the boy hit his second wind or something. He literally fell asleep when Hubby was walking across our front porch to come inside. Stinker!

And that, my friends, was our Halloween. What did your family do?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 10/31

This will be a challenging week to make a menu plan for due to the fact that I don't get paid until Wednesday (which also happens to be my day off) and I hadn't had a chance to do meal prep this weekend. But here goes anyhow:

Monday - we have to get the kids' costumes ready and they have homework and then they have music lessons and then Trick or Treating. I honestly think that this day may be made up of frozen burritos or fast food.

Tuesday - I work and Hubby will be in charge of dinner on this night. I honestly foresee Mac N Cheese and hot dogs for the meal this night as Cephas has Scouts after dinner time.

Wednesday - I am home this day and it is also payday. I plan to put some time in on this day to get some meals made for the remainder of the week. This evening I am making lasagna.

Thursday - I work this day and Hubby will be in charge of dinner on this night as well. I plan to have a tuna noodle casserole in the fridge for him to just reheat in the oven.

Friday - I work this day as well and Hubby once again will be in charge of dinner. I plan to have enchiladas in the fridge for him to just reheat in the oven.

Saturday - Homemade pizza has been a favorite for the kids on their movie night, so that may be a good option for this evening.

Sunday - baked chicken and pasta

I think that sounds like a good menu overall. We'll go with it. Even with the parts where the kids are eating junky food at home or from a drive thru. But since I haven't prepared ahead of time, I am okay with planning for this in advance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kids Movie Night

I wasn't sure that it was going to happen this week because we have had some major issues with defiance and attitude. But the kids buckled down and got their chores done so that they could enjoy their night of a movie with homemade pizza and popcorn. The kids settled in to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" while I worked on some projects myself and while Hubby was at work. I don't think my children have ever seen this movie before. I had to have them watch it. Just on principle. Although, I did notice a few things in it that I don't allow my kids to say. Koren (who is 8, mind you) gasped and said, "Mom! They said a bad thing! They said the S word!" I rewinded the movie (is that even the correct term when it's on DVR?) and played the scene over again. "See Mom!" he insisted. "They said the S-T-U word!" (Hint: The S-T-U word ends in P-I-D and that is a word we do not allow in our home. Whoops.)

Other than the mishap with some questionable (to our children) language and situations, they LOVED the movie! All four kids sat through the movie and watched it very nicely. I heard some discussion between them about Lucy and Charlie Brown and how she would pull the football away when he was about to kick it. They said that it wasn't nice of Lucy and that she should apologize. They found it funny but realized that the actions were not desirable. I like the way the movie made them think and the discussions they had about them.

Going back to the topic of work, I currently work 3 days a week and Hubby works 2-3 as well. I work 12 hour shifts and Hubby's shifts are 5-8 hours. I found another job that I am tempted to apply for. It is early morning hours (though if I were able to get the job, I would see if I could actually start a full hour earlier) and I would be cleaning a bowling alley. It's an every day of the week kind of deal but I would be done and back before the kids would need to get ready for school or even be awake possibly. Some of the things that I like about the job prospect are the hours and the pay, the fact that I can do it WHILE still working my other job (no issues there!) and I'd be able to be there for the major part of the kids', well, everything. And if Hubby picks up more hours at work, I'd like to cut back at MY work and be able to be home for/with the kids more. Ideally, I would still work my 12 hour shift every Friday and work the morning shift cleaning the bowling alley instead. It's a job where I'd be working on my own. I kind of like that to be perfectly honest. I do have the option to have someone help me out with the work but it couldn't/wouldn't be Hubby because he would need to be home with sleeping kiddos. I have a couple of people in mind. One of them is actually Cephas. He is such an early riser and he can really buckle down and get right to work when he wants to. Of course, I'd compensate him for the work. I just don't know if the company would allow me to have him help me out there. Guess there is only one way to find out.

Cephas and Koren have a lawn job lined up for next weekend already. They need to mow and rake and do general picking up of a postage stamp yard that belongs to my mother. And Grandma is going to pay them more than I think they should get for that job, but I guess until the boys are comfortable setting their own prices, they will take the amount offered them or pass on the job. What should the going rate for a lawn job be? I figured $2.00 per mulched lawn bag. If they are raking and not using the mower, I think it should be around $2.25 per lawn bag. Does that seem reasonable?

For instance, the first job that Cephas had, he made $20 and had 9 bags of leaves. That would have averaged out to about $2.25 per bag. But he was also having to fight against long grass in his attempt to rake the leaves. But had he been able to mulch and use our bag mower and get the grass as well, it probably would have been around 7-8 bags worth. The leaves would have been compacted down quite a bit more than they were but there would have been grass added to it too. Then there is also the gas for the mower to figure in as well. So, for a mulched bag at $2.00, it would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of $15.00, which I think would have been fitting for the job had he been able to use the mower. Just some thoughts I've been having in regards to this. I am hoping that he can get some repeat business soon. He really enjoys the extra work (and the extra money!) and I think it's good for him.

Well, it's time to get some more things done before Hubby comes home so I will post again tomorrow maybe?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Generally, I think that my husband and I have stellar communication skills. But this past week, it has been a real trial. I think it comes from a few different sources. First of all, we have had a lot going on and haven't spent as much time making sure that we are being as effective as necessary in our communications with one another. Secondly, Hubby has been in pain with some dental issues and has been on some pretty strong pain meds. Thirdly, I have been really short-changed on sleep this week. Not because of any one reason, but because that's what happens to me every so often.

You see, I generally sleep all the way through the night. I don't get up for drinks or restroom or anything. If I do wake up, I stay in bed. Once I have to physically get up, I'm done for the night. I just cannot fall back asleep. It interrupts my sleep cycle in a most vicious way. This has been the case for most of my life. Add to that the fact that I am both a night owl and an early bird and well, it all adds up to sleep deprivation.

Occasionally, I can grab a short afternoon nap while Jeriah is at school with the bigger kids but this week, it has been so hit and miss. Part of it is that I lay down but cannot fall asleep for the first two hours, which gives me about 30 minutes to nap before needing to go pick up the kids and then I'm worried that I'll oversleep so I automatically wake up about every 5 minutes.

Okay, so with all of that being said, I know that I need to work harder to try and get better rest at night and see what I can do to sleep through the night again. I may even take some Benadryl tonight just to get myself to fall asleep a little bit more quickly. You know, jump start my sleep cycle.

And as far as communication goes, I know that with the pain meds that Hubby is on, I cannot have the expectation that he will be able to listen and understand what I am saying. And I need to not take it to heart when he doesn't. It's a difficult thing for me, because our communication is so easy most of the time. I am just used to the way it normally is. This is just a short season. Soon, he will be better and our communication will be back to normal as well.

Until then, I'm going to work on being more understanding, try to minimize trivial conversation and let him rest as much as possible. I think that is the best thing that I can do right now. By doing those things, it will allow him to rest and hopefully get to feeling better and will minimize the number of opportunities that I have to allow my feelings to be hurt.

Could you keep his healing and my emotions and my ability to sleep in your prayers this week? I'd greatly appreciate it! In the meantime, I have a LONG list of things to do while Hubby is laid up. Guess this is as good a time as any to get all that stuff done!

(Linking up to: Home Sanctuary and this week's Company Girl Coffee.)