Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthday, Continued

The Three Musketeers went out to dinner at Johnny Carino's last night. Karen brought Phase 10- my favorite game. I kicked their butts! Good thing, since it was my birthday. I got the bread machine I asked for- right out of Andreena's kitchen. And some bread machine flour and yeast, and a bread mix. Karen also gave me a picture for my dining room and some smelly hand stuff.

Karen had to go after dinner so Andreena and I went to see Made of Honor. It was cute- and predictable. And cute- Patrick Dempsey cute.

I guess that brings an end to my reign as Birthday Queenie. Until next year.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Birthday Haul

Yesterday was great.

I cleaned all day. That was the only downer. But mid morning my husband showed up with my birthday doughnuts. It's tradition. I get up at 6 am and run to Haggen and get the doughnuts before anyone wakes up. Then we have doughnuts for breakfast (only 7 times a year) and that is the kick off for your special day. I didn't even expect birthday doughnuts- since I didn't go get them myself.

When the kids got home from school they called their dad to see when he would be home... and then they all ran off together.

For dinner we met my parents at The Olive Garden. My. Very. Favorite. Where the waitresses kept sneaking my adorable offspring Andes Mints. I opened my presents and then asked the waitresses not to sing to me. We had yummy dinner (and lunch, too) and a great bottle of champagne.

But check out my birthday haul!

Clockwise from the top there is:

Movies from Caleb

Stuffed mama and baby elephants from Elizabeth

Coupons for: No dishes for a week, A day to go where ever I want, and Breakfast in bed From Jesse

Candy to go with my movies from Caleb

And from Abigail, Jesse, and Sebastian:

It is engraved with the first initials of each of my children's first names in birth order (JCEAJ).

Tonight I get to go out with Karen and Andreena as is our tradition as the Three Musketeers.

Happy Birthday To ME!


While we were at The Olive Garden last night, waiting to be seated, Caleb looked up at the picture on the wall and said, "Hey! That little boy looks like me!"
He was right. Check it out.

Anniversary Recap

We left our house at about 4:30 and finally had all of our kids dropped off where they were supposed to be. Then we stopped at Target to get Sebastian some much needed new clothes and an inverter to power his laptop so he could design a blueprint while I drove.
We hit traffic and had to sit for a long time. It took us an hour to drive 10 miles. Grrr. After that though it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. We finally made it to eastern Washington at about 8:45 pm. We checked into our B&B and then we went out to dinner at the only good restaurant that we know in Leavenworth, Visconti's. They have paper on the tables, even though the food is 4 star, and they supply crayons. We had a lot of fun with that. Unfortunately I can't show you any of those pictures... But I'm sure the rest of the patrons were wondering what could possibly be so funny in the corner.

On Saturday we got up late and had breakfast at 10:00 and then headed out for our rafting trip. Unfortunately for you I was too cheap to buy the pictures they took. You'll just have to go look at the website and pretend one of those people is me. How would you know anyway, right?

We pulled out of the river at dinner time at their private beach and the fixed us a BBQ dinner. It was very yummy. We caught the first busload to our car, and headed back to the B&B. We started to watch My Fair Lady, but I had to go to bed about 1/2 way through. I was already asleep when Sebastian came to bed- he wasn't able to finish it either.

Sunday we had breakfast at 10 again and then we packed up and checked out. We strolled around Leavenworth and then we headed home. By the time we made it back home from retrieving all of our children it was 8:45. Jonah had fallen asleep in the car, so I carried him inside and stayed with him while Sebastian took the other kids to see Indiana Jones.

All in all we had a fun time. It was very relaxing and fun to enjoy each other's company without the added stress of being Mom and Dad.

The Bed and Breakfast was very nice and I would recommend it. It is pricey, but well worth the money for a special occasion.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pee Your Pants Funny

My sister Kris is a one of a kind. OK, a one of two if you count her husband. Go see her blog for her latest insanity! Swallow first, then click here.
By the way- she is SO not trailer trash. She lives in the coolest doublewide I've ever seen!
And no, she does not have boobs that hang to her knees.

Happy Birthday to Gina

Yes, it's her birthday today.

No, this is not her writing this, it's me, Trish. I hijacked her blog!
(remember i set it up in the first place, now go change your password Gina!)

Happy birthday to my formerly obnoxious and annoying little sister, who has grown up to be a not so annoying or obnoxious friend. You are a fabulous mom, a great sister and a wonderful friend! I love you.

This is where I wish I could insert some adorable picture of us together as children, but I can't seem to find one...........


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Why Does it take the doctor an hour in the office to come up with the same diagnosis as it took me to make in 5 minutes in the comfort of my home?
And why does the doctor look at me like I have just sprouted a 3rd arm from the top of my head when I tell him that my child has Strep. With a rash. Granted, all the kids are allergic to sunscreen and break out when it is applied the first few times each season, but it had been 2 days since she had had sunscreen on and there had been no rash the night before as I would expect.
I swear, I should have some hotline number to call:
"Thank you for calling 1-800-STREP-4-U. Can I have your 7 digit account number, please?"
"Thank you, and the account pin code?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Gae. And who in your house has strep this week?"
"Just the one? Nice. OK, Mrs. Gae, let me just verify your address..."
"And no change in primary care provider?"
"Thank you, Ma'am. And what is the child's weight?"
"Do you have a preference in antibiotics? I see we used Amoxicillan last time. Did that work OK?"
"Fine, Fine. What pharmacy would you like us to call that in to for you today?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Gae, you have a wonderful day, and call us if anyone else on your account needs our services."

OK, so here are the ground rules:
You can't belong to more than 3 hotlines at a time and you must be referred by your PCP. This service could cost anywhere from $60 to $120 per year.

By the way, she has strep. I knew it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Aniversary To Me

I'm off enjoying a whitewater rafting trip with Sebastian for our 11th anniversary.
We are staying here.
See you all when we get back.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Photo Essay

Settling In

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just To Make You Wonder

This is the view at the top of my stairs.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Potty Humor

I had to laugh tonight.
Jonah was snuggling me tonight in my new, big, soft chair when suddenly he jumped up and said, "Oh, I meed to go potty!"
He ran into my bathroom and this is what I heard:
ga-junk (child standing on plastic toilet seat lid)
rattle, rattle (child standing on porcelain tank lid)
click, whir (child flipping on light switch)
wham (child jumping off the back of the toilet)
bang, bang (child opening both lid and seat)
tinkle (child- well you know)
flush (obvious)
bang, bang (child closing both lid and seat)
ga-junk (child standing on plastic toilet seat lid)
rattle, rattle (child standing on porcelain tank lid)
click (child flipping off light switch)
wham (child jumping off the back of the toilet)
"OK, Mom. I'm done."
"Great. Go wash your hands."

Feelin' Groovy

I had a great weekend. On Saturday we had family breakfast and then we dinked around for a little while. Sebastian put the baby bike seat that I found while I was out garage saleing onto the bike we bought at Goodwill. It is an awesome set up for a mere $55!
We took a family bike ride. We rode the paved trail by our house to the park, played on the playground, rode on the skateboard ramps a little (Where some eight year old worm said, "Hi, Libby." with a dopey look on his face. Then I needed to leave before my precious baby grew up and got married there in the park!) and rode to the store for lunch. After lunch we rode another mile or so to a really lame park with a really cool creek. Since it was about 90 degrees outside, and since we had ridden about a mile or so UPHILL, we managed to all get soaked up to our armpits. Me just to my business- but that was totally unintentional. I had planned to stay dry. My crazy husband and sons were actually riding their bikes down stream- trying to see who could make it through the deep spots without falling over! After about an hour and a half we rode the two or so miles home- all downhill this time. What a great time!
On Sunday we went to the second service at church. A first for us, since we are always late to third service. It was nice because there were much fewer people there. I guess they're all rushing madly to make it to third service. I just may become a second service gal full time!
We had crepes with sweetened cream cheese filling and homemade raspberry syrup for lunch. I should serve that more often. EACH of my kids thanked me for lunch. Then we bummed around the house. Jesse mowed the lawn for me, and the middler kids and I weeded about 1/3 of my flower bed. Yes that was singular. I only have one. It's the most that I can't manage right now. Sunday was also only about 80 degrees, and overcast. Nice.
The weather today was cool. It was about 75 degrees and sprinkling. Which made it muggy. Which made me think that at any moment we could have one of those good ol' southern thunderstorms with flash flooding in the streets. Then I remembered where I live.
Today I swam at tinytot swim at the gym with Jonah. Then we ran all over kingdom come for the rest of the day. We went North to Walmart and Target and the Sprint store and made it home in time for Jesse to be done with school. Then when the middler kids came home we headed South to go to my dad's chiropractic office to get our heads screwed on straight. We also went to The Pharmacy (if you lived around here that's what you would call it instead of it's full name- really, there's only one in my parents downtown area.) to get some supplies that I couldn't find anywhere else for our first aid kits, what with summer coming and all.
Can I just say that I love the sunshine? It makes me feel so happy. Just so darn Groovy.

Today I Ate....

1 grande light coffee Frapuccino- Breakfast at 10:45.
1 can of cheddar Pringles shared with Jonah- Lunch at 2:30.
That counts, Right?
Oh, yeah- 1 birth control pill and 2 Wellbutrin. Are those food?
I don't feel so good. I'm gonna go have some dinner- maybe a Pop-Tart and a Coke.

Really, dinner was a chicken drumstick, salad, and couscous. I feel better now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

People You Like To Be Around

I ran around like crazy today, and my last stop was Haggen (the grocery store). I was almost out of there when I ran into a gal I know from MOPs. Shanna, this is a shout out to you.
Shanna always has a thousand megawatt smile. She always remembers the small stuff you tell her, and remembers to ask the next time you see her.
We were talking about what my plans were for next year and for the summer, as far as school goes, and I mentioned that Caleb is slowly catching up to his peers. You know what that Shanna said to me?
"What a miracle!"
Yeah, it is a miracle. He was so far behind academically that I wondered at times if he was ever going to catch up. I get so caught up in the smallness of living from day to day that I rarely step back to look at the bigger picture. It's a miracle.
We all know those people that we hide from in the store because they are such life sucking downers (did I just type that out loud?). And then there are the Shannas. If you don't have a Shanna, you really should get one!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Help Me Out, Ladies

OK, Sebastian, quit reading this post. Now. Turn it off. That's right.
Ladies, my anniversary is on the 24th, and I have no idea what to get for my husband!
This is our 11th year. Last year was easy. I got us new bands. His was lost and mine irritated my finger. But this year I am at a complete loss. HELP!
We are planning a whitewater rafting trip. We want to buy a raft so we can do the river in the summer, and as the kids get bigger we will move onto harder stuff. You know, a good family activity. I am in charge of finding a nice place to stay.
I made the gift thing easy this year. I made a list and posted it on the fridge. He is very hard, though. He doesn't wear man jewelry. Even the new band sits in its box because it is too dangerous to wear it on the job. He is extremely picky about clothes, and I have all but given up trying to find anything for him. I don't know enough about his other hobbies to even try to find a piece of gear for him. He's a mountain man and I'm a Starbucks girl.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Career Day

Yesterday was Career Day at school. THIS is why I went junking on Saturday.

Not Twin #1 went to school as an artist.

Not Twin #2 went as a doctor. The sour face is because she was suddenly afraid that no one else would be dressed up.

Caleb went as a baseball player. He originally wanted to go as a soldier. For some odd reason, though, there is NO second hand camo to be had. Kinda strange since there seems to be "no support" for the current war. I'm just sayin'....

Later in the afternoon , Libby was honored as Student of the Month for her 2nd grade class. Go Picassa! She's looking kinda rough this far into the afternoon! They should do these assemblies in the morning. It would definitely make for better photos!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Today when I got up, I was the happy recipient of a beautiful bouquet of roses, 2 new books (Bringing Up Boys & Mothers And Sons), and a Trader Joe's box of chocolate covered raspberry sticks. I'm so glad I got a few of those before my kids scarfed them all down!
I posted a list of things I would like to have since Mother's Day, my birthday, and my anniversary are all in May. Just thought I'd make it easy for them. Silly me, I didn't even realize that the book page had disappeared with my boys yesterday!
We ate a leisurely breakfast which made us too late to even attempt church.
We headed to town to solve tomorrow's dress-up dilemma.
We went to a family get together at my sister's house.
It was a good day.
Now I have to take out the trash. I guess Mother's Day is over at sundown....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Girls Day Out Followed By Girls Night In.

My girls and I went junking today. We hit 6 stores. We got some great junk. The purpose of the trip was to find some stuff to dress up for career day at school, but some side purchases are always fun, too.

I got this:
I just couldn't resist it. I like it. And it was never actually used. It has a couple of scars like it was kicking around in someone's garage for a while, but the original frame filler is still inside.
$4.99. Oh yeah, baby!

Libby bought this basket:

$.69. Sweet!

She also got a new pencil pouch out of the clearance bin at Office Depot for $.75. She's a good bargain shopper.

Abigail also bought a cute little basket. Her big score of the day, though, was the little tubes of glitter paint. They were marked at $.29 each. She didn't have quite that much so she picked out 6 tubes (should have been $1.74 plus tax) and marched to the front and asked for a deal,. It helps to be 5. And cute. And bold. She got all 6 tubes for a dollar flat.

We came home and the boys suddenly had some "mystery stuff" to do, so the 4 of them took off in our car. The girls and I rode out bikes to Jack In The Box and had dinner. Since we biked 2 miles that sorta cancelled all those calories, right?

When we came home the "not twins" decided to play dress up. Aren't they cute? One is a munchkin. The other is a blackbird. Yeah, I can see that.

Oh, and by the way, Libby gets bragging rights today for finding this little car.
My nephew has a collection of these Chevron cars- with a custom built shelf to house them. Most of them were bought by Aunt Kris. She keeps a print out of all the cars and crosses them off when she finds a new one. It's getting hard to find a car that he doesn't have- even for Kris, the thrift store queen. HA HA! Libby found one today!

And now, here I sit blogging away.

The girls are waiting for me to finish so I can go watch a movie with them. See you later.
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Public Speaking Makes Me Want to Barf

I promised more on this subject so here you go.
At the end of every Mops brunch we have a sharing time. I call it the "Kiss and Cry" time. Really, it gets sappy. I try to avoid it altogether. It makes me uncomfortable. But this time I had to say something. Now that you've read the last post you have a little perspective on what I said. It went like this:
"We always get a bunch of cards from our friends at the end of the MOPs year. I am amazed by how many said I was strong. I'm not really. I'm a mess. But through the grace of God I can be strong enough.
All of my best friends either came from MOPs or I drug them to MOPs with me because I believe in the program that much.
This year I was struggling with some rough stuff. My friend had to literally hit me over the head with the truth. The truth that I didn't want to face. But as my friend she has earned the right to tell me things the way they are.
My hope for you is that through MOPs you can find these kinds of friends. The kinds who know your heart and love you anyway. The kind who think you are strong and help you become that."

My voice was breaking. I was sweating, and near the end I was in danger of crying.

Why? Why can I sing a song and not miss a heart beat, but speaking about myself in a transparent way makes me want to barf? Even typing these kinds of things gives me the shakes and the stomach wobbles! Why?

Dealing With Hard Stuff

I have 5 children.
Thank the Lord, I have 5 beautiful, healthy children.
That's a lot of children.
That's a lot of life to deal with on a regular basis.
Sometimes the load can get to be too much.
Let me explain.
About 3 years ago I was at a crisis point in my life. All the foundations of my life were shaking and threatening to crumble from beneath me. Really. I felt so lonely. Adrift. But I never lost sight of my God. I have a great friend who held my hand and prayed me through my tough time. I had to decide at that point in my life if I believed in God because that is what I had been taught, or if I really trusted God to be the Lord of my life. And through it all, Kelly was there beside me. She earned the right to speak truth into my life even if that truth hurts- a lot.
This year I found myself in a hard spot again. I didn't feel good. At all.
My eyes hurt. my body ached. I wanted nothing more than to sit on my couch and go to sleep. All. The. Time. And I had no patience- for anyone or anything. I really couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. My husband said that he thought I was going through life robotically- just filling my obligations and nothing more. He asked me on almost on a weekly basis, "What is the deal with you? What is your problem?" I didn't know.
That is why God gives us friends who have been down the same road.
In the course of conversation, my friend, Kelly, said, "You are depressed."
Huh? No Way! I'm a Christian! It's not ok for a Christian to be depressed. Actually, I was mad at her- a little. But I agreed to think about it. I already had an appointment scheduled for my yearly woman's exam. I decided to bring the subject up at my appointment.
I am so glad I did.
The doctor prescribed me an antidepressant that I started taking right away.
I didn't realize just how CRAPPY I felt until I began to feel better. And boy do I fell better!
I sleep at night- all night.
I stay awake during the day.
I play and laugh with my kids.
I clean the house.
I find joy in my life again.
And I am so glad that someone in my life had earned the right to tell me the truth- even when it hurt.

Exchanging A "Good" Thing For A "Better" Thing

I alluded a while back to the fact that I was giving up steering in order to do something else. It is finally time to tell you about that something else.
We have a unique situation at our house. We have a 10 year old who is finishing 6th grade. He won't be 11 until August. What that means is that even if he was in 5th grade this year he would still be almost a year younger than a lot of the kids. In 6th grade he is almost 2 years younger.
He's young. I actually prefer that to being too old for your age. But middle school has exacted a high price this year on our family. It has been a really rough year for Jesse, and by extension, the rest of the family. We have thought, discussed and PRAYED HARD about the decision that we have made. Next year Jesse will homeschool. We haven't yet figured out the logistics, but I know in my heart that it is the right decision.
I have actually wanted to do it again (Jesse started school at home) for about 2 years, but it has taken this long for God to align my husband and I in the same desire. That's what I was waiting for. If (when) all goes well this next year, I will bring Caleb home the year after that. Once the boys are running smoothly we will evaluate what we are going to do with the girls. I would like to school them all, but I realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that we will have to examine this decision on a case-by-case basis.
Anyway, I covet your prayers for this next adventure in my life!

So Much To Say!

I have been trying to figure out how I was going to post all the stuff running around in my head. I think I will do a series of shorter posts. So, Here goes:
The Last Day Of MOPs

It went by like a blur, actually.

First and foremost, Andreena graduated from MOPs this year. That meant that she got to walk across the stage and receiver her "Mommy Diploma" and wear a diaper on her head- actually a pull up with a mortar board attached to the top. I promised her (Threatened?) that I was going to post this picture. It is conspicuously missing from her blog post on the same subject.

I sang a song with two of my friends. We sang "Dwell In Your House" by Hillsongs. It was beautiful if I do say so myself!

We had another lady sing a song. At this point I was able to close my eyes and relax a little. I started thinking, "Haha. Heehee. I'm done with steering. I'm done with steering." But that quickly turned into "Oh. My. Goodness. What. Have. I. Done? Why did I quit steering?!" I had to remind myself that it was for the right reasons. I hope to be asked back to steering someday, but if I don't, I know that it was God's will for my life that I let go of a "good" thing for a "better" thing.

We also got to sing our song for the Moppetts (childcare) Brunch. It was fun. I haven't had the opportunity to do that in a long time. Too long. I love to sing- actually I love to perform, too.

I got to the church at 9 am and left at 3 pm! Where did that day go?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Will Sing!

Sing praise to the LORD,
you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
Psalm 30:4

I told you, she gets it from me.

The video is much edited, but you get the idea.

Ok, I have a question for you:
Why is it that I can get up in front of 100+ women
and sing to them and to my Lord,
but when it comes time to "be real" and just talk,
I can barely string together a coherent sentence?
More on that later, I promise.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday JJ!

Last weekend (Wow, has it been a week already?) we went to Red Robin with Andreena and her kids to help her daughter JJ celebrate her birthday. Can I just say that Red Robin with 2 adults and 7 kids during the weekend lunch rush is not really my idea of fun?

My Jesse, JJ, and Andreena

After lunch we headed to a nearby park so the kids could burn off the ice cream. At this particular park they have a brand new playground. There is this climbing structure that we call The Eiffel Tower because, well, it looks like it.

I finally got bored and challenged Andreena to a race to see who could climb to the top of the tower first. Well, here's a picture of Andreena at the top of the tower:

And here's a picture of me on the ground:

After she got down we walked out the fishing pier and then headed home.

One last funny before I let you go... He has a balloon that you can't see.

Sorry, it loaded sideways AGAIN!