Monday, March 28, 2011

Faith like a Child

I have to say, I never truly understood what Faith like a Child was until I had my own Children.

This is one of my absolute favorite pictures. Cole & BoBo. This was not staged - just a perfect pic :)

BoBo is the bear that Jason & I made for Cole when I was pregnant. We did it on vacation at the Boyds Bear Factory in Gatlinburg, TN - this factory is now closed :( We were not smart to allow our baby to fall in love with a hand-wash, one of a kind, can never be replaced stuffed animal - DO NOT MAKE OUR MISTAKE! Needless to say - 5 years later, he's still in love with it. Bo is his best friend, his comfort item, and, a part of our family. But, as he's gotten older - I find that he's a little more "forgetful" with where he puts Bo, and, many times doesn't "need" him until nap or bedtime. We have had 3 terrible situations in the last month where we realized much later that BoBo was not with us :(

The first of these was in Fairview Heights shopping, Jason took both boys with him into one store while I went into a resale shop on my own (I know...your all jealous aren't you?! Yes, he really is that great of a dad!), well, because he was so busy caring for both kids, he didn't realize that BoBo was left in the cart, in the cart corral, until we were WAY on the other side of town. We prayed the entire way back to the store that we would find Bo. Cole sat in his carseat, tears streaming down his face, praying "Jesus, please take care of my best friend, I need him". We were sooo releived to find him laying over the side of the empty cart corral - some wonderful soul left him there as the carts were removed.

The next situation was about 2 weeks after that. We took my Grandma to an Eye Dr appt and Cole took him in (after I begged him to leave him in the car!), when we got back home (an hour later) we realized that BoBo wasn't with us. It was after 5p on Friday night. Our dear, dear friends who live in the same town as the Dr. got ahold of a receptionist who met them at the office & searched the entire office after hours. No Bo. I told Cole that Bo was gone and we may not be able to find him. He went to his room, and, I heard him pray. Ever so confidently he said..."Jesus, I know you will bring my bear back - you did before, and, I know you will again. Please just help me sleep until you send him home". Wow...what was I to say to that?! Well, I truly believe Jesus placed that bear in the car - because I don't think he was there when I looked before. Either way...Bo was home.

And, finally - last week, we realize at nap time that Bo is missing...AGAIN...I figured he must have been left on the school bus, but the bus driver said no. My stomach knots up again. I searched, and, searched the house. I heard Cole praying again to Jesus! I walked outside, and, all the way out our drive way - and, there's BoBo, sitting right beside the road. Did he drop him when he got off the bus?! Wow, you would think I would have noticed that.

My reason for telling the story isn't really about the bear (although, that silly thing has shaved at least 5 years off my life in the last month!), but, moreso my complete admiration for the Faith my Son has that Jesus will bring his best friend back. If I had half as much faith as what Cole shown, how much different would my life be?! God wants us to have faith in him, he wants us to bring our problems to him, and, TRUST that he has it under control, and then ACCEPT the answer he gives us.

We are trying right now to teach Cole to be responsible for BoBo. I firmly believe that God expects us to be responsible for & diligent with the gifts he gives us.

(of course, I'm secretly terrified of the day that BoBo is really lost and does not get returned - I'm not sure if it will be more painful for Cole or Jason & I, but, I pray it never happens!)

Menu Planner...March 28-April 3

Because I was sick last week & didn't cook as often as I usually do, we have several repeats this week.

Breakfast: Toast & Bacon
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets
Dinner: Fish & Shrimp

Breakfast: Donuts
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Hamburgers, French Fries, Applesauce

Breakfast: Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Vegetable Soup, Grilled Cheese, Pita Chips & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Breakfast: Pancakes & Sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans

Breakfast: Cinnamon Swirl Bagels w/ Honey Cinnamon Spread
Lunch: Sandwiches & Chips
Dinner: Farmers Pork Chops & Broccoli w/ Cheese Sauce

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs & Bagels
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Pizza Out

Brunch: Biscuits & Gravy, Omelets & Hashbrowns
Dinner: Hot Ham & Cheese Subs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cleaning Schedule

While most people are starting their spring cleaning, I find myself just getting a handle back on my everyday cleaning. After we brought Jacob home from the hospital, it felt like once again everything went to pot! The mounds, and, mounds of laundry piled up. The dishes were always begging to be done...along with a huge stack of bottles. And, my floors were in dire need of mopping - mostly because Cole was attempting to pour his own juice everytime I found myself stuck in the chair for an hour nursing!

Well, a couple of weeks ago I carved out a plan. Determined to find a way to get my house back in order, and, keep myself from feeling like everything had to be done everyday, I created a cleaning schedule.

Mondays - Bathrooms (3) and laundry
Tuesday - Counter tops, Tabletops & Dusting
Wednesday - Floors and laundry
Thursday- Wash bedsheets, Clean out the Van, Pick up the deck/yard
Friday - Budget & Bill paying, Grocery Shopping if possible
Saturday - Errands, Grocery Shopping if can't do it Friday, Laundry
Sunday - FAMILY DAY!

This is week #3 on the schedule and it's working pretty well. (Obviously we have to do the general "pick-up" everyday.) I have had times that I haven't gotten to that days chores, and, it wasn't the end of the world - but, if I stay on top of them, most days I can have them done in about 1/2 the day - leaving the rest for time with the kids, cooking, or other activities.

I really hope that I'm able to stick with it going into summer so that we can have more stress-free fun days :)

Do you have a cleaning schedule? How do you handle getting everything done & not loosing your mind? :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Projects

I'm so excited for Spring to get here! Maybe not for the same reason as others though...I am NOT a flower person! Seriously...I kill flowers, flowers they say can't be killed, yes, I successfully kill them. (But I love growing vegetables!)

Here are my upcoming projects I hope to complete before we open the pool this summer :)

Raised Vegetable Beds
After fighting the terrible ground, animals, Cole & his motorized Gator, and, Jason's lawnmower....I have finally decided to give Raised Vegetable Beds a try. I have really reduced my garden down to only what I use & enjoy eating homegrown. For carrots never tasted sweet, but yet I just kept planting them?! I'm still struggling with bitter lettuce, not sure if I will try that again this year or not. I will definitely plant tomatoes, peppers, green beans, potatoes, onions, zucchini & yellow squash. Jason is hoping to start building the beds in the next few weeks! I'm sure pictures will follow :)

Cole's New Room
When we found out I was pregnant with Jacob we gave Cole the option to stay in his room, or move to my office, which was a bigger room. He chose to move (thankfully! we didn't have to redecorate a baby nursery!), but we never really had time to paint & decorate his he still has the same Cream colored walls & Americana theme curtains that existed in my office. I have a neat design to paint (stripes, 2 different kinds) and have been selecting special photos to have blown up & framed for him. Because the design is more difficult, we wanted to wait until Spring so that we could have all the windows open & take our time painting. My goal is to do this sometime in April - probably toward the end, maybe the beginning of May.

This one is huge. We have stuff, lots & lots of stuff. Most of it is crammed into our basement (we don't' have a garage) and just need to be sold, donated, given away. My ultimate goal is to have the basement cleared out to where one side is for Jason's fishing supplies (he has A LOT!), and, storage. And the other side is for exercise equipment, and, a play area for the kids. Although the basement isn't finished, it is decent sized and provides a nice area for the kids to run, throw balls, etc - without tearing up my house! The hard part for me will be getting rid of things. Do you know I still have ALL the centerpieces from my wedding?! How insane is that. If anyone is interested in silk lilac colored hydrangea centerpieces, I can hook you up :) Ugh...ridiculous.

As if all of this isn't enough...we still have a load of landscaping bricks from 3 years ago to put around our drive way. But, I better not even add that to my list :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sick Babies...and they shared :(

Wednesday was the first remotely nice day we have had in forever, so I opened a few windows in the house to try to air out some of the winter germs. We played outside for a bit..such a great day!

Well...then came 4am Thursday. Both of my boys woke up congested :( I spent the day Thursday rocking a cranky baby & trying to decide if he needed to see the Dr. I finally called the Dr at 1:30, but, our Pediatrician was out, so they told us he would be fine until Friday. Well...he wasn't :( That night his fever rose, and ended up hitting 102 before it went down. The tele-nurse thought it sounded an awful lot like RSV. So, Friday morning Jacob & I head off to Sfld to the pediatrician. Fortunately the RSV test came back negative.

Fast forward 2 days later...Cole's fine & more active than ever. Jacob is on the mend, although still dealing with some congestion. And, Jason & I...well, we are down & out with this crazy head cold. Both taking medicine every 4 hours & taking turns napping trying to get as much rest in as we can before we start another busy week.

What happened to our great immune systems that kept us bouncing back as fast as these kids do? I'm feeling really old right now!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Planner...March 21-27

Hopefully, were back on track!

Breakfast: Toast & Bacon
Lunch: Taco Salad
Dinner: Chicken & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli & Cheese Sauce

Breakfast: Donuts
Lunch: Pigs in a Blanket, Veggies & Dip
Dinner: Salad, Italian Beef Sandwiches, Mac & Cheese

Breakfast: Cereal & Fruit
Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Pita Chips & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Dinner: leftovers

Breakfast: Granola Bars
Lunch: Sandwiches & Chips to-go (traveling in the car)
Dinner: Eat Out: Brass Door!

Breakfast: Cinnamon Swirl Bagels w/ Honey Cinnamon Spread
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Fruit
Dinner: Hamburgers, Chips

Breakfast: Sausage Bread
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Corn, Homemade Rolls

Breakfast: Sausage Bread & Omelets
Lunch: Ham & Cheese Wreath
Dinner: Soup & Sandwiches

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bye Bye Cable TV!

Well...we are finally taking the plunge, and canceling our cable TV. This was something that I have personally thought about for a long time, but, it really just a serious topic of discussion since we became a one income family. We will be saving $80 a month, and, hopefully ridding the household of some of the garbage that's on TV now.

By no means do I think this won't be a bit of a challenge for all of us. And, honestly - I think I'm the only one that has any sense of "excitement" over this at all. I see much fear in the face of Jason & Cole! I also fear for the crankiness that may flow from both of the older boys when a sports show or cartoon isn't readily available, not to mention how I may feel not having Lifetime & SoapNet just a click away. We have all grown up in a media enriched world. Even Jason & I grew up with TV's in our bedroom - and, to this day - still do. (We currently have 5 TV's in our home, not counting the 3 computers that you can also watch shows on!)

It's not like we will be without anything though. The antenna Jason installed this weekend is picking up 14 channels (including 2 music video channels?!), and, we will still keep our internet allowing endless network reruns. We do subscribe to netflix so that will still offer possibilities there. I have overheard Jason discussing Google TV which allows you to watch anything on the internet, for free, from your TV...I will try with all my might to avoid that!

I'm really not opposed to TV, I just want us to spend some time desensitizing. I want Cole & Jacob to learn that the TV does not have to be on at all times. I want Jason to once again enjoy reading...he hasn't picked up a book in over 15 years :( I want myself to feel like I don't "need" to watch 3 soap operas a day! (yes, that's the sad truth)

Not completely sure when the magic switched will be flipped, sometime in the next week they say. I guess we will just be surprised when it happens :)

I'm sure this will be an adventure for us all, and, I'm sure you will hear more about this in upcoming posts :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have reached the place today of physical exhaustion. I know that at some point in your mothering life you have been here - and, if you say you haven't, well - your just flat out lying!

Jacob is 16 weeks old. That means I haven't slept an entire night in 4 months! He's on this crazy schedule lately of sleeping in 15 minute intervals, and, he's still eating every hour and a half to two hours. He also wants to be held...a lot...
What is it with these babies?! (I hope your sensing the massive amount of sarcasm associated with that comment)

And Cole is 5. Which means I haven't been allowed to potty by myself in at least 3 years. I also spend a significant amount of my time as a pink power ranger & am expecting to know all about Ben 10's Aliens. Quite frankly it's not difficult to relate to the aliens...most days I look like one with my hair standing on end & no make up on :)

Seriously folks, I love my kids. No, really, I do - I swear.

I just love sleep too.

Yep, it's a tightly run race right now.

Both of my boys were up at 5am today :)

God, thank you for my Blessings. God, thank you for my Blessings :)

One suggestion..a mute button would be fantastic some days. Just a thought.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hearts at Home

Hearts at Home is a ministry, based out of Bloomington, IL, that was designed to inspire & encourage Mom's of all ages, and, all walks of life. They host an AMAZING conference every year - we are fortunate enough that the National is held at ISU. Last weekend I went with a group of 11 awesome ladies & had such a great time again.

The conference is a 1 day event (can you tell, designed by Moms, for Moms!) with Keynote speakers, and, several breakout sessions you can choose from. They also have an optional Friday night "Mom's Night Out".

On Friday morning we all piled into 2 cars, and, headed North. We shopped a little, checked into our hotel (The nice!),went out to dinner & then headed to the Conference. This year the Friday night entertainment was Chondra Pierce, a Christian Comedian, and, she was really funny! After the event Friday night we all went back to the hotel. 4 women to a room...yes, 4 women, 1 bathroom & 0 casualties..that's what I call success :) We talked for several hours (would you expect any less?!) then got a little bit of sleep before getting up Saturday morning (early!) to start our exciting day. The Conference opens with the worship band & keynote speaker. This year the Main speaker was Jennifer Rothschild - she was AWESOME. I had read one of her books last year..and after hearing her (and even meeting her in the exhibit hall!) I have to say I love her book even more now! Very Cool lady :) Then we all head off to our 4 breakout sessions. It's such a fast paced day! We stop briefly to eat a quick box lunch (sitting on the floor in the hallway!) and then were back off to sessions. There are a wide variety of sessions to choose from every year. I actually found so many I liked, that I bought several recordings to bring home of the ones I didn't make it to. I have to admit though, that my favorite session this year was "No More Headaches" by Dr. Juli Slattery (Focus on the Family). Jason really seems to be enjoying that I attended that session too :) After a full day of sessions, we hit the road home. Of course, we had to stop at Cracker Barrel for some amazing food on the way though :)

My weekend in a nutshell...
1. I ate in restaurants that did NOT serve chicken nuggets as a main menu item.
2. Not once did I have to take anyone to potty. (although, I did tag along with my prego friend a few times!)
3. I laughed & cried until my head hurt (literally!).
4. I had the best Cinammon Crunch Bagel, and, I only shared because it was too big for me. (thanks Alycia!)
5. I'm fairly sure we made a record for the largest number of U-turns on a road trip.
6. There is nothing in the world like sharing these moments with the best girlfriends anyone could ask for :)

Although it was wonderful to get home to my boys...I am already thinking about next year :)

Just wingin' it

This seems to be the theme of our house lately. Last week was so busy, and, then I had my Mom's Conference over the weekend. Not to mention Cole missed 4 days of school last week due to that horrible ear infection. Getting home late Saturday night, a day full of errands Sunday, and of course dealing with time change has left this Mama & her kiddos all messed up. As a result we meal plan, no weekly to-do list (but yet, tons that need done!), and, no reliable schedule right now. My goal for the week is to get everyone back on track!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hard work is Rewarded!

We have been working very hard with Cole on responsibility since last May. I use a chore chart, and, reward system. Every so often I add a new task to the list, and, take away one that has become easy & ritual for him.

We have been using 2 Chronicles 15:7 as his "hard work" scripture.
Be Strong, Therefore, and, let not your hands be weak and slack, for your work shall be rewarded.

Today, we learned how to fold some laundry! Although I have no intention that this become a regular chore for him, I think him knowing how to do it, and, occasionally pitching in & helping is a good thing.

Here is his first stack of folded laundry. We started with washcloths, towels, baby burp cloths & baby blankets.

I was really proud of him, he worked so hard!

Of course, the sitting on/laying on the completed project may not have been the best idea, but, I had to snap those pics too because he was so proud of himself :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Learning the Books of the Bible

I can't say I have been teaching Cole, because really, we are learning together -- but we are working on the books of the bible. We are using this song & it makes it so fun :)

If you could only peak into our kitchen when Cole & I have the CD cranked, dancing around, singing our favorite songs..I guarantee you would be cracking up!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jacob's first...extraction?!

Yes, I know - how crazy does it sound that I had to take my 3 month old to the dentist today. Ah...I swear, you just can't make these things up.

Last week, when I went in for my own cleaning, the dentist asked about Jacob. I just passingly mentioned that he had cut a tooth at 12 weeks, and, when I told him the location, he asked me to bring him in. (the tooth wasn't in the front, it was on the side). So, in we went today.

As it was, a piece of "tooth-like enamel" had popped through his gum. It was not rooted, so the Dentist was concerned he could actually swallow it if it came loose. He took a q-tip, pushed on it & out part if it came :) We are supposed to watch it for the next few days to make sure the gum doesn't get red or irritated, but, he thinks this is all there will be too it.

As we were leaving, he congratulated Jacob on his first extraction. Never a dull moment in Mommyland :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just surviving...'s been an interesting weekend.

Saturday we were all completely exhausted. I had a baby shower to go to from 10-12, and, then came home & we all took long naps & just hung out. These types of days are not good for me, not accomplishing anything makes me feel very down & cranky. Saturday night Jason & Cole went to his parents for dinner, while Jacob & I stayed home. With Jacob's bedtime being at 7p, by 6p he's really getting tired & cranky - so it's just best that we stay put. That was a nice evening to just sit & read :)

Well...middle of the night Sat things started going downhill. Cole wakes up screaming in pain from his ear - I held him off as long as I could hoping to make it to the Prompt Care in Spfld rather than an ER visit, but, it wasn't happening. My "anti-dr & medicine" child was begging for a dr & medicine :( to the emergency room we go. After we got his meds & home, his tube came out of that ear -- now I'm praying that the ear continues draining on its own so we don't have to have a 2nd set of tubes. Poor guy has had to lay down for over 24 hours because his ear is draining so badly. I'm praying that the antibiotics kick in soon.

And, Monday has started with this Mama having no sleep (again) and the busiest week I have had since Jacob was born. To top it all off - I leave on Friday for a Mom's Conference. An event I look forward to every year...but, am now having serious doubts about leaving my babies :(

So, yes, we are just in pure survival mode right now!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

T minus 6....

Well, I have 6 days until I leave for Hearts at Home, a wonderful Mom's Conference. I am so excited to spend time with my girlfriends, go to amazing sessions & come back re-charged as a Mom & Wife. BUT...I'm also starting to get really nervous about leaving my babies! I'm fully confident Cole can handle watching his Father (he he!), but I'm getting more nervous about Jacob. Leaving my 3 month old is a little nerve wracking :(

There will be a myriad of ppl coming to watch the boys Friday & Friday night, then Jason will take care of them Saturday until I get home. I have to leave lists. LOTS & LOTS of lists.

And, maybe a surprise or two for my boys for while I'm gone ;)

Oh, I had better get busy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Playing with Aunt Oomie

Jacob had fun today laughing with Aunt Oomie. I don't blame him...she's kind of a goofball :)

I can't believe he will be 15 weeks on Monday. Time is just flying by!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Visit from Granny!!

For those of you who know me, you know why this is soooo exciting for me!

My Grandma is my very best friend in the world. We have been close all my life. She introduced me to all the best things in this world..Days of Our Lives, Homemade Dressing, Hand-held Solitaire Machines, and Burgoo :) My husband finds our relationship quirky & laughs at us...we talk on the phone everyday, many days - multiple times a day. (he fondly refers to her as "Grandma Yak-Yak"!)

Since I have had Children, Grandma has made it a point to come & stay with us often. I love that she is so involved with my children as she was such a HUGE part of raising me growing up. She is a legacy herself - and, I love that my kids are getting a chance to know her the way I did :)

So, anyway - I'm picking her up today for a 3 day visit. Wish it was longer, but, we will make due. I'm SUPER STOKED about this visit too because she is bringing along photo albums of days gone by for my new project. I want to take time to scan all these old photos into the computer & begin creating photo books to have for myself, my children & their children. These are pictures of my Grandma & Grandpa (who is no longer with us), their parents (who I never got to really know), even my own Parents growing up, dating, etc. I can't wait to start looking through these. I'm sure we will have many, many stories to share during the next 3 days.

(Oh, and, BTW: I also introduced Granny to American Idol - and, for 8 years now we have watched this together, or on the phone during the entire episode. I Love my Granny!)

I will post more later on the status of our project. But, for now, here's a picture of My Grandma & I on my wedding day. Love her!!


We decided today to let Jacob try some cereal to see if he was ready yet. Cole decided to video while I fed him. (He was a no-nonsense director!)

Watch Jacob attack the spoon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Go Fish - The Mom Song

I have been feeling a little boxed in this week. It seems like everything I have had planned to get out of the house has kind of fell through :( I have to say - when I'm feeling a little couped up, this song always makes me smile. We are big fans of the Go Fish Guys in this house - we own every CD & it's generally playing in all the cars. This is definitely my favorite of their songs. Enjoy :)