Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the random game

Back in high school, my good friend Mark and I would play this game called "random."  Someone would start with a seemingly normal sentence.  Then the other one would have to say something that was completely unrelated.  It would go back and forth like this until one of us would pause too long to think or just be completely out of randomness.  Trust me... it's harder than it sounds.  I'm sure you're all wanting to try it now, aren't you?  Go ahead, give it a shot.  Fun, huh?  Now when this game becomes all the rage, just remember who you heard it from.

Anyways, I bring this up to warn you of the randomness of this post.  Just a bunch of different things, completely unrelated (except for the fact that they all involve me)...

Scat Cat!
Why do people let their cats run wild in the neighborhood?  Do they think we enjoy cleaning their cat's poop out of our sandbox every day before our kids play outside so the feces doesn't end up in their mouths?  We even have a fenced in back yard!  Oh, I hear some of you saying, "Just put a lid on it!" but our sandbox is big and yes, my husband could build a lid, but it would be pretty heavy to take off and on every time.  Better solution:  Keep your cats inside!  (Sorry for the brashness... hope I didn't offend any of you)

Little friends
Here's a tip for anyone in the restaurant business... Don't talk about your pest problem in front of your patrons.

I was treating my girls (okay, really it was more of a treat for ME) to a lunch at Target yesterday when a manager approaches the counter about 5 feet from me and says, "So are we still getting visits from our little friends?"  Did he really just say that in front of me?  And did he really think that by saying "little friends" that I would think that maybe some munchkins or possibly a few trolls were living back in the pantry?  And to confirm my fears, I witnessed him hand a box of pest control to the cashier, with me sitting RIGHT THERE.  Okay, so I've worked in the food industry and I know that this is a common problem, but please don't talk about it while I'm eating your food.  The rest of my meal was spent checking over every bite for hidden bugs or mouse hairs.  Ick.

Sleep Tight
Last night was THE BEST night of sleep I have gotten since... I don't know... my second trimester of pregnancy?  I fed Tate when I got back from a jewelry party at 9:45 and he slept until 2:45!  That's FIVE HOURS!  Yup, count them again - F-I-V-E!  And to make it even better, after I fed him he kept sleeping until 6:30 when I had to wake him up because I was desperately needing to feed him so I wouldn't burst!  I can only hope I have the same blessing tonight.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up because I'm sure it was a fluke, but we'll see!

Atlas Shrugged... Book Review Coming in 2019
First of all, my brother-in-law Mark is awesome.  In an earlier post, I mentioned the fact that I wanted to read Atlas Shrugged but that it was constantly checked out at the library. So a few weeks later Mark sends a package with the girls' birthday gifts and also tucked inside was a brand new copy of Atlas Shrugged!  If only all men were so thoughtful!  The Brooks' brothers sure do have this going for them.  However, as I leafed through the pages I realized that it just might take me several years to get through this book... it's 1069 pages with very small print!  So far I'm on page 34, so I'm getting closer...  No wonder it was never available to check out.  I'm sure the library has made a fortune off the late fees from this book!

Some Pix for the Nanas

Okay, so I know it looks like he's wearing a dress, but it's a sleep sac.  You know Chad's boy would never be caught in a dress!

I'm pretty sure he's practicing his next campaign speech here.

This is what happens when you let high school girls watch your kids during small group...

Is it just me, or does Tate look terrified here?
He really does like it when Addie holds him though.  Sometimes if he's fussy, I'll just put him in her arms and he calms right down.  She's such a good big sister!

That's All, Folks!

Friday, September 25, 2009

a memorable day

Yes, this is a memorable day for TWO reasons.

First, it's baby Tate's one month birthday!  Can you believe it?  I certainly can't.  I know one month isn't very old, but it's just a reminder to me of how quickly these next months are going to fly by and soon he's going to be a young man who doesn't need mommy anymore.  *sniff*  So for now, while he'll still let me, I'm going to hold him as much as I can - even though I know it might spoil him.  But that's my own problem, right?

The second reason why this day is memorable is because I won an award!  Yes, a real live award!  AND I won it TWICE.  Don't believe me?  Here's proof:

Thanks to my lovely friend, Sarah @ And Then I Married a Missionary, for thinking of me for this fun award!  I met Sarah a year or two ago when she started showing up at all my jewelry parties... I was pretty sure she was stalking me until I realized she just really loved jewelry!  She's one of the best customers/hostesses I've ever had.  Seriously.  She will ALWAYS show up for a party, she's just that kind of friend.  And she's also one of the craftiest people I know.  She can make just about anything.  She even recently figured out how to make her own diaper genie refills!  Imagine that.  And she's also an AMAZING photographer!  But on top of all that, she's one of the sweetest, more sincere, Godly women I know as well.  To be around her is a joy!

AND thanks to Amy @ My Front Porch for also bestowing this award on me!  Amy is another lovely lady I met through my jewelry business, although she knew my husband before that from work.  Since then, I've gotten to know her through bloggy world and love what I've seen!  She is a GREAT writer and always amuses me with her wit.  You'd never know it to meet her... she's super cute and sweet and PERFECT... but she's got quite the sarcastic side to her as well, which I love about her.  I also love the variety in her posts, from random and witty to more serious like this one.  Thanks for thinking of me, Amy!

So... in honor of my award, I've prepared an acceptance speech.. *ahem*  First, I would like to thank my family, without them none of this would've been possible... yadda, yadda, yadda.  I know none of you care, so here's how this little award works...

  • Each Superior Scribbler must turn and pass on this award to 5 of the most deserved blogs. 
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the blog and name the author from which he/she received the award on his/her blog.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his or her blog, and link to this post.
  • Each blogger who was awarded Superior Scribbler, must visitthis post and add their name to the Mr. Linky. That way we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this presitigous honor.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post the rules to their blog.
And here they are, in no particular order...
  • Abby @ Peter Marie - An amazing artist and friend with two beautiful children who are full of smiles - just like their mommy!  I love hanging out with this gal pal.
  • Jenn @ Starving for Sunshine - A great friend and mommy and I recently learned she is also a VERY supportive wife - her husband is joining the military and will soon be gone for 6 months!  Wow - yet, no complaining from this amazing woman.
  • Jenny @ God is Good All the Time - I wish this crazy lady lived closer!  We would have some great laughs together.  She's a childhood friend of my husband's, but I've gotten to know her mostly through her blog.
  • Julie @ Call Me Crazy:) - A busy mommy of 4 who somehow still has time for running and bringing ME a meal - shouldn't I be bringing HER one?
  • Londa @ The Sneaky Mommy - A super sweet and fun lady who truly amazes me with everything she can do and how much she serves others.  Plus she has 3 kids - two of them being twin boys!  How she does it all, I have NO idea!
I wish I could give this award to more than just five.  There are so many more of you who deserve it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

photo gallery

A little catching up with some photos...

As I mentioned in a previous blog, Friday was MOPS, which was wonderful to start up again.  However, I had to wear this hat to MOPS because I desperately needed a haircut.  I'm never sure if I can pull off a good hat look, but I'm really starting to like them more now, so like it or not, you may be seeing me in them more often.

You can't see it in this picture, but we're seated down for a delicious dinner, provided by my lovely friend, peter marie!  We had pulled pork sandwiches on amazing wheat rolls, homemade mac & cheese which was worth every single calorie and a super yummy creamy strawberry desert.  Thanks, Abby!  

Then we let the girls stay up and watch The Little Mermaid for our family movie night since Addie has been dying to see it!  

It was so fun watching her little face light up and see her get so into the movie.  It's especially fun now that she actually understand what's going on.  

On Saturday, after cleaning the house, Chad and Tate took a little siesta together.

I'm not sure who was snoring louder...

I don't have any pics from Sunday, but it was a great church day and we hosted our Acts 2:42 group (our church small group) in the evening, which will now be an every Sunday night thing at our house.  We've got a great group which makes it very enjoyable!

Today was a rainy day.  But that was okay because we've had several weeks  now of perfect weather, so in a way it was kinda nice to see the rain again.  The girls were super excited to try out their new umbrellas.

Addie has been begging me all summer to let her play in the rain, but I didn't ever really have the chance until today.  They loved splashing in the puddles with their big boots and twirling their umbrellas.
(And just so you know... that's not our trash sitting on the curb.  And no, we're not east-siders anymore, but apparently our neighbors haven't gotten the memo... on the east-side this pile would be gone in a matter of minutes!)

And later I caught this photo...

Can you tell what they're doing?
Yup... feeding their babies.  Addie's got it right this time.  After Millie was born, Addie would feed her babies through her belly button.
And this picture didn't quite capture it, but Millie just sticks her baby's head down through the top of her shirt.  Usually the baby is completely upside down!
Please don't think that's what she's seeing at home!  :)  I'm not really sure that would work too well...

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today my daughter was watching this show:

"Big, Big World" on PBS
when I heard something that caught my attention.
One of the monkeys blurted out,
"What the..."

Really?  I'd love to hear what word he intended to end that question with.  If he would've said, "What the heck?" it probably wouldn't have even phased me.  But leaving it open like that makes one assume the next word probably isn't appropriate.  And if this show was aimed at adults, I could've cared less.  But the fact that it's for preschoolers is why it bothered me.  I know it's a common phrase and I know I've said it before too, but I guess I just wouldn't want my 4 year old running around saying, "What the..." all the time.

I don't know... am I an old prude?  Please tell me your thoughts on this.

And if you say "What the..." a lot, please don't think I'm ripping on you or think you have to not say it around me.  Like I said, I'm sure I say it too.  I don't think it's terrible, I'm just not sure it's what I would've written in a script for a toddler's tv show.

Okay, done with the ranting.  Now I'm going to post something more light-hearted with pics of the young'uns.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This morning was our first MOPS meeting and it was so fun to get out again and be with other moms!  Ladies, if you need a morning out with free babysitters, yummy refreshments, great speakers, fun crafts and great conversations with some of the coolest ladies, then you HAVE to come to our MOPS group! It's the first and third Fridays of each month.  Check out our blog.

After a refreshing morning, I headed to Wal-Mart with the girls... you all know how much I love that store (NOT). (click here for a refresher) Is it still cool to say "not?"  I haven't said that since... high school maybe?  So what are the kids saying instead of that these days?

Anyways, it was a necessity to go there to pick up the baby announcements I ordered.  Trust me, I only go there if it is absolutely necessary.  Anyways, since we were all starving for lunch, we ate at the Subway inside the store.  And it was there today that I learned how it can really pay to be the frazzled mom with my brood of 3 little ones.  While we were standing in line, a man came up to us and gave us a coupon for a free cookie.  Then, while we were eating, another lady came up and gave us yet another coupon for a free cookie.  I felt guilty, so I explained to her that someone else had just given us one and she said, "I know, but you have 2 daughters, so I figured you could use two."  Wasn't that nice?

That doesn't change my opinion of Wal-Mart.  I don't think Subway really counts as part of the store, does it?

a true confession

I have a confession to make...

It's something I've been hiding for about 3 years now...

I'm ashamed to admit it for fear of what you may think of me...

But I'm just going to come right out and say it.

I love Matlock.

There.  I said it.  And yes, it's sad but true.  This is what happens when one doesn't have cable and has to resort to watching whatever is on the free channels.  And ever since Addie was little, the only thing to watch during naptime besides soap operas and Jerry Springer was Matlock.

I don't know what it is about that cute old white-haired lawyer, but he draws me in every time.  Maybe it's because it reminds me of simpler times when cell phones had to be carried around in a suitcase and actors could reappear several times as different characters - maybe this time as the murderer and next time as the unsuspecting victim and then again as the judge... "Hey, wait a second... didn't that guy die in the last show?"

And it's amazing to see how many current stars got some of their first appearances on this show.  Such as Jan from "The Office,"  John Locke from "Lost," Patricia Heaton from "Raymond," and many more.  It's always fun to recognize actors on this show and see their super cool hairdos.

So go ahead and judge me.  I can take it.  But I just wonder how many of you have secret tv confessions to make...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a better afternoon

Thanks to those of you who prayed for me earlier today. My intention wasn't to make anyone feel sorry for me.  I just needed to get those nasty feelings out and the blog seemed like a good venue for that... much better than being crabby at my innocent children!

And just so you all don't think I've gone off the deep end, my afternoon did eventually get better.

I'm still out $220 and will be unless that package shows up...

I do still have that stupid headache (I think now it's due to the full-blown cold I've developed throughout the day)...


I'm in better spirits now.  

Millie had a good nap and Addie and I worked on her preschool (we're doing it from home this year to get her ready for kindergarten next fall).  I am so thankful for this girl... she LOVES to learn!  The look on her face when she's able to sound out words all by herself is priceless.  I'm so glad I'm doing this with her this year.

After Millie's nap, I decided we all needed a special treat to brighten the day, so we headed to DQ for a few blizzards.  We bought this Keep It Local card full of discounts last year and got it again this year because it is CHOCK FULL of AMAZING deals!  Such as... BOGO blizzards that I can use 20 times, BOGO family size pizzas at Papa Murphy's that can also be used 20 times (That means 2 family size pizzas for only $9.99 so we put one in the freezer for use later on)!  Free bowling games, free blooming onions at Outback, free appetizers at Applebees, etc, etc, the savings goes on and on.  It only cost us $45 for 2 cards, which pays itself off after buying just 5 pizzas.  TOTALLY worth it.  I think they should pay me for this advertisement.  Okay, I'll move on now.

After our blizzards, we went home and spent an hour in the front yard riding bikes, filling wagons full of grass and rocks, and making our driveway into a beautiful masterpiece with sidewalk chalk.

Then one of my lovely friends from church brought a delicious pizza and dessert over for us tonight (our church brings us 5 meals after having a baby).  Great perk, huh?  Last week, I was treated by this friend with a SCRUMPTIOUS chicken hashbrown casserole that I need to get the recipe for... I'm also lucky enough to have this friend who doesn't even go to our church bring us a meal after Tate was born.  Hopefully she'll post her meatball recipe on her blog... (hint, hint)  It was AMAZING!

And I finished off the evening by giving Mr. Tate a bath.  He loves his bath, which makes it very enjoyable for me too.  And of course, the girls were great helpers.

Then the girls went to bed and my knight in shining armor arrived at home.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my sweet little baby.  I know, I know... they're all very similar, but I've had a hard time getting decent pictures of him lately.  I don't think I'm patient enough.

This is the one I'm using for his announcements.

my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

It started with a headache.  

Not just a little headache, but a constant pounding, pounding, pounding that not even 3 ibuprofen could cure.  I'm sure the headache was probably caused from the lack of sleep after a night of being up with my congested baby.  Poor guy.  (And I'm not sure if it's the congestion or what, but now he's wanting to eat every 2 hours again, which makes for a difficult time trying to get anything else done!)

Then my morning checklist started to go awry...

I tried to print out some papers for our MOPS group this Friday.  But would my computer open them up?  Of course not.  Not sure why not, I opened them up just a few days ago, but decided to print them off later.  Wish I would've just printed them then.

So then I moved on to place an online order for a seat-belt extender.  Now with 3 carseats in the back, it's very difficult to get Addie strapped in.  But the website wouldn't take my credit card (I hope this doesn't mean there's been more fraudulent activity on our card...) 

So I tried to pay with our PayPal account.  PayPal won't let me log in.  I thought maybe I was entering the wrong password somehow, so I had them email me my correct password.  This was 5 hours ago.  Still no email.

Then the biggie happened...

I got an email from Premier (the jewelry company I'm a "jeweler" with) saying they haven't received several pieces of jewelry that I exchanged for some customers.  So I checked, and I did send out a ton of replacements all in one package almost a month ago.  Must've gotten lost in the mail.  So they had to charge my account over $220!  


Normally I get insurance for a package that big, but I remember that day I was in a big hurry trying to get all my errands done, being all huge and pregnant with my little girls in tow and skipping the insurance.  


That's when I lost it.  I did the unthinkable... I broke down and cried in front of my girls.  I always try so hard to hide my tears from them so they don't worry, but today it was unavoidable.  I just hope I didn't scar them for life.

This all happened before noon.

Let's just hope this afternoon and evening go much better.  

Chad won't be home until around 8 because he's coaching a football game tonight.  So I'm praying that God will grant me the serenity to make it until then!  I have to keep repeating Phil. 4:13 over and over to remind myself that I CAN do ALL things through CHRIST who gives me strength.

I could really use that strength right now...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2 girls 2 cakes and a party

We like to have our children all at the same time of year.
Actually, that has never been our plan, but God seems to like this set-up for our family and it seems to be working for us!

So, instead of having 2 separate birthday parties in one weeks' time, we combine the girls' parties into one so the family doesn't have to keep driving up here every few days. Next year it'll be 3 parties combined in one!

We still try to make it so they each have their separate parties, so we started with Millie's cookie cake and presents at 10:30.

Say cheese!
She loves her Snow White baby from Uncle Mark!

Next we grilled burgers and had some lunch!

Then we had the kids try to break the princess pinata. This was very amusing and took much longer than we expected. Each kid got about 20 swings at the thing, it seemed like.

Finally Grandpa stepped in and helped Kaiden break it with a big heavy bat. And the candy rush was on!

Finally, it was time for Addie's party! She was very excited about her castle cake, which made me happy since it took a LONG time to make it!

All the girls wanted a part in opening the presents.

This was the first year that Nana B and Uncle Mark were able to come for the party. We were thrilled to have them here!

Five of the seven grandchildren. Notice that even Kaiden got in on the dressing up with his shoes. He's actually pretty good at walking in those heels...

Friday, September 4, 2009

four years ago today...

Happy Birthday, Adeline!

Four years ago today (actually, I guess that was yesterday now)...
We were in the hospital with our new little bundle of joy.
I never knew how much love I could feel towards a tiny little baby.
Words can't even describe the feeling inside my heart, and my desire to protect this beautiful little baby from all the nastiness in the outside world.
How innocent and precious this little baby was in my arms.

It was at this moment that it dawned on me how enormous (that's not even a big enough word) a sacrifice it was for God to give his perfect son up to die a terrible death on the cross for the sins of the very people he had created.

I couldn't imagine ever giving up my baby.
Not even if it would save a nation of people.

But God's love for us is so huge that He did the unthinkable for us.

That's some love.

Think about it.

And now, here we are four years later and I can't believe how much my baby has grown. She got her first "big girl" bike tonight and I couldn't believe that she was big enough to actually ride it. It looked so huge in the store.
Way too big for my baby, right?

Time goes by way too fast.
I just want to cherish every single moment I have with my children.
I want to study their faces, take as many pictures and videos as possible and never tell them that I'm too busy to do something with them...
although that happens a lot more than it should.
I'm working on saying "yes" more to their requests to read a book to them or do a craft with them or whatever it may be. I want them to remember the fun times they had with mom and not a mom who was too busy to play.

Anyways... Happy birthday, Adeline.
You have turned into such a sweet little girl with a sincere heart that loves God and others.
I love hearing you sing your favorite Sunday school songs and especially love it when you make up your own!
You are such a good big sister to Millie and now to Tate too. You tolerate a lot from that little sister of yours, but you always forgive her right away and are so kind to her.
Thanks for teaching me how to be a good mom
and for reminding me how amazing God's love is.

I'll leave you with some pictures of our little family celebration tonight...

Yes, that is a baby bag on the right, but it was the only one that I had that was the right size!

A pony fit for a princess.

She was thrilled with her new bike! She said several times, "That is a really cool bike!" and "I love the color!"

Nana Brooks treated us to a yummy ice cream cake!
(I'd been baking cakes all day for Saturday's party, so I wasn't really up to making another one for tonight!)
By the way... notice how centered the writing is. I was told when we called that DQ had their own "cake decorator" on hand. Do you think he/she took a class on how to off-center the writing as much as possible?
How "artsy" of them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

running on fumes

It's amazing how so much can change in just a moment.

Here's what our family looked like just 12 days ago.
(Please try and ignore large blimp on the left...)
Right here would be a great place to insert a picture of our family of five,
but unfortunately we don't have a good family picture yet.

However, I'll just tell you that this past Saturday we had our entire family in the car together for the first time and it felt so complete. I looked back and saw all three of our kids lined up in the backseat and my heart swelled with joy.

For the first time I felt like we were all here.
No more waiting for our final member.
We are all here.
And it is such a great feeling.

On another note, Millie celebrated her 2nd birthday last Wednesday (the day we brought Tate home). My mom was thoughtful enough to bake a cake for her and we had a little family celebration that afternoon. She was pretty excited about her new tricycle that's just her size. It was raining, so we let her ride it in the house.
I think she had more fun pushing Addie around on it. She was laughing so hard.

Aunt Mary sent a wonderful package in the mail. She knit these adorable slippers for the girls, which they LOVE! She also knit a super cute sweater, hat and booties for Tate, but he's a little too small for them right now. We'll be sure to get a picture of them once he's a little bigger to model them for you.

You would think the girls would get tired of having a new baby around, but they're about as excited as they were the day we brought him home. They love holding him and he seems to like them pretty well too!

Grandpa Cornie got to meet him for the first time at my niece and nephew's birthday party on Saturday. He was pretty proud. Only his 2nd grandson, but he has 5 granddaughters.

Nana Brooks flew in on Saturday afternoon. She couldn't wait to get her hands on her new grandbaby! This was the first time she got to hold him at the airport.

I am breast-feeding, but we wanted to be sure he would take a bottle since I'll be having jewelry parties some evenings and so we can feel free to get away if we need to. So here he is taking his first bottle. He took to it right away like he'd been doing it all his life (which of course, was just about 7 days...)

My little hunk.
This outfit only lasted about an hour before he peed all over it. He wore 4 different outfits this day because he kept peeing all over everything. I'm finally starting to master the diaper changing. I just have to keep a washcloth ready to put over him before he squirts all over me, himself, the ottoman, the carpet and the couch. Yes, that happened for the first time yesterday.
Last night was the best night we've had so far. He was awake for about 3 hours before I fed him at 11 before going to bed. Then he slept until 3 and then again until 6:30! It was AMAZING!!!

Not so sure that's going to happen tonight since he's been sleeping all evening. We tried so hard to wake him up, but he is a heavy sleeper! Before last night he was waking up every 2 hours or less to eat. That meant only an hour or so of sleep for me in-between. Ugh.

I think he sees me as an open-all-night cafe. But I'm not. This cafe wants to close at 11 and not open until 7, but I guess I'm not the boss...

Well, I'd better hit the hay. We're having the girls' combined birthday parties this Saturday and I've got a castle cake to attempt to make tomorrow!