Monday, March 30, 2009

A few changes

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging in a while. I've been working more lately and just haven't had the time to sit down and collect my thoughts.

I've made a few small changes I've been thinking about doing for a while and they have been very successful thus far. I'm glad I did it!

My children have stopped eating cereal for breakfast every morning!

My children have not gone to bed until their area of the house is picked up. Going well, but sometimes they are asking to go to bed because it's gotten so late. I'm hoping they will think about starting earlier in the day or not let things get so messy or work more dilligently.

I've been trying to get off the computer at 10:30 no matter what - that hasn't been going that well...

I've been sticking more consistently to a workout routine - going to the gym (almost)no matter what. And guess what? It's been getting easier to wake up every morning. It's also been easier to get off the computer at 10:30 because I'm too tired to keep going!

I've been doing my own personal walk through of the house before I get on the computer at night. Hence the real reason I've been blogging less - it always takes me longer to sweep and finish whatever little project I feel needs my attention! But the house looks tons better and stays cleaner longer.

Back to the whole cereal thing. I honestly thought this would be the hardest adjustment, but thanks to Anita's baked oatmeal recipe, the kids were pleasantly surprised! I will post more on this later, complete with recipes.

I'm still working on the kids' morning exercise routine. I have a child who is very hard to get moving in the morning, and any ideas will be appreciated!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cameron's Birthday Cake

I forgot to post about the cake! I knew that this party would be a challenge because we were going to be out of town and only have one day to get ready. I usually like to work on the cake for a few days in steps, and have the cake totally ready the day before the party. That wasn't an option for this party, so on Thursday I had the kids help with the fondant. They must have added too much water, because the fondant could not get stiff enough to work with. But I didn't figure that out until a couple of hours before the party. It never occurred to me, either, that I should
stop -
give up -
call it quits.
The fondant was
So, after working on the cake for several frustrating hours, I looked up at the time and it was 2:15. The party started at 3. HA!I had been in my own world. The kids were helping set stuff out for the party and picking up the house, but the kitchen was a mess and I wasn't ready. We had not even started decorating with balloons and crepe paper! I had grand ideas for decorating the house and for this cake. Think of the possibilities -Cirque Du Soliel with all the
colors and patterns-
pure inspiration.
I draped green icing over a triangular piece of cake and boy did it drape. I tried to position it on the cake and it just gooped. So I grabbed it off the cake and chunked it in the trash. It left a big, sticky green mess on the cake and there was nothing I could do about it. While I was changing my clothes, Raeley told me she could fix it, and she did. Oh, something funny - I had different sized triangles of cake and when I was cleaning up, I noticed that someone had eaten a small triangle. My master plan wouldn't have completely worked even if the icing hadn't been droopy.

I think I'm burned out on making fondant cakes. Note to self - for sanity, let kids "help" on thier own cake with leftovers! I'll just say that the pictures don't accurately portray the cake. Let's just remember it by the pictures!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cameron's good questions

Cameron has been asking some good questions lately. Today she asked if mosquito hawks drank a mosquito's blood. She also asked why snakes bite for protection because if they bite us we will kill them, so that's not protection. When I was reading aloud the Little House in the Big Woods, Pa said no more hunting till the baby animals were grown, so there would be no more fresh meat for a while. Cameron said Does that mean they can't kill mice?

Cameron's Funny Sayings
This weekend, when Cameron was sick, she asked for more Vitamin Seeds instead of Vitamin C's! On Friday, the day of her birthday party, I asked her to bring some of her clothes up stairs as we were straightening for the party. She was looking like WHAT?!! But it's one of my birthdays today. You want me to work on one of my birthdays? I wasn't going to ruin her joy. I'd like to not have to work on any of my birthdays, either.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ultra Cool Cirque du Soliel Birthday Party

...should be titled by hook or by crook, or spontaneity rocks, or there's nothing like winging it , but don't mention the cake. You know, one of my favorite things about my kids' birthday parties are the cakes. Just keep that in mind.

Now, back to the party. Cameron wanted a Cirque du Soliel party but I didn't feel that I had the time to get everything ready since we had been out of town visiting family. We were going to opt for a pamper party with hair and nails getting all done up and a little entertainment. But she really wanted a Cirque du Soliel party. So the night before the party, after having a nice dinner with our friends who will soon be moving, I sent Mark and Raeley to Hobby Lobby and the beginning of a Cirque du Soliel party started. The night before. After dinner at a restaurant. Brilliant. But I had been talking about it with Cameron since we went to see Cirque du Soliel a few months ago, so we had lots of ideas.

So, what did we do for a party? We face painted. We painted nails and fixed their hair Cirque du Soliel style. While we did all that, we watched Cirque du Soliel perform on the TV. Not only did it keep them still while they were being made up, the music to the show made great background music for the party! Then we made funky hats. Cameron's great uncle, whom we call Sonny, performed a magic show for them. He was GREAT! He did such an awesome job and made Cameron feel special. The adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids. He really topped the party off! I must say, Cameron had great ideas and I have really got some cool kids with great ideas! The boys had a different idea on what the face painting should be about! Doesn't Robert look eerily like The Joker in Batman Begins?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hermit Crabs

Robert has been asking for a hermit crab for around a year. He had birthday money and this is what he wanted to spend it on. Because, if properly cared for, hermit crabs can live for a long time, I would like to be optimistic and think that Robert will be taking his little friends with him to college. OK, I'm not that optimistic, but since little crabs with colored shells seem like a gimmick to me, and our neighbor had one that lasted all of one week, I was hoping he would forget about it.

Forget he did not. We tried, as a matter of fact, a few weeks after his first desire for hermit crabs surfaced, to add one to our family. The kids and I all tromped off to Petsmart in search of just the right hermit crab for Robert. The lady let us stick our hand into the aquarium case to pick them out. In went Raeley's hand, and upon withdrawing it, she set it on her hand to look more closely. Out came the large red claw. Pinch went the large red claw on Raeley's palm. At this point Raeley screamed. She didn't look so well. An employee rushed over and dunked her hand into and aquarium with water. It released it's piercing claw. Raeley looked extremely pale and I was gathering the troops to tell them we needed to go. As Raeley turned to walk to the car, taking two steps and pausing, she fainted. It was like it was in slow motion, the way she crumbled to the floor. I rushed, half-carried her to the car. As we were all loading up, the sales lady rushes out with some dude, the manager, maybe, asking me to fill out an accident report. I still feel bad about what I did next. I told her no. I have a business and I have accident reports on file for people to fill out. I would have been upset had anyone refused my accident report. But my sweet daughter was laying down moaning in the car and I couldn't stay any longer. I tossed a business card at them, told them I wouldn't sue, and pealed out of the parking lot.

So here we find ourselves. At Petsmart. With Raeley, looking at hermit crabs. She didn't put her hand in their cage. The rest of us did and got busted for it. SO don't help yourselves to the hermit crabs at Petsmart. WOW, I never know that hermit crab paraphernalia could be so expensive. At the moment we were standing at the register, I was thinking I wish I had checked eBay. However, it was not my money. So now we are plus two hermit crabs in the family. Robert is so excited. We got them this past weekend and we are in Alabama right now, visiting family, doing school, and working, and yes, the hermit crabs came with us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Shack

The Shack is a very interesting book. I am not only glad I read it, I am changed by reading it. It is a fictional book allowing it to penetrate into your psyche and catch you unguarded, raw, and vulnerable. It brought me to the basic principle Christianity revolves around - love. Only because of love. God loves us so we can love - love Him, love others, love ourselves. The book also allowed me to envision how that love could affect my life when realized through the lives of the characters. Only because of love.

When I heard of others reading the book, I would hear how they put the book down and then pick it up after a break. I understand because some of the realizations were so profound, I felt that if I rushed through reading it, without taking a few days or a week to absorb it, I would not have been ready for the next impacting divulgence of my heart.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jerry Brown Art Festival


Mitchell with his friend who was there making brooms. He has replaced the woven bottoms of some ladder back chairs for Mitchell.

I have heard of a potter that lives in Hamilton Alabama who has been turning crockery passed down from his great grandfather. His great grandfather would turn the everyday crocks that your grandmothers used for everything from churning butter to making pickles. The good hard clay of the area is great for pottery.
I mentioned making pickles because as a newlywed, my father in law let me borrow one of his large crocks to make 14 day pickles. What I didn't realize was that you did not need to rinse the pickles every day. Fourteen days of rinsing pickles in that huge and much-too-heavy crock and I swore I would never make pickles again. I haven't.
Anyway, back to the potter. Maybe you've heard of him, Jerry Brown. I haven't been to his workshop, but he does things the old fashioned way, right down to the mule power! He taught Mark's Great Aunt Audrey to turn clay several years back. Anyway, they had the Jerry Brown Art Festival in Hamilton this weekend and we were fortunate to be able to attend. Enjoy the pictures taken by Raeley. The pottery was done by Mark Williams of Other Brother Pottery. I bought a few pieces of pottery custom ordered from a man in Blue Springs Mississippi. Another person I liked was Missy Miles of Organic Vessels. We were able to meet Mitchell, Mark's dad, there, he happened to be in Hamilton at a meeting. We went to dinner afterwards and then the boys went with him to spend the night at the old homeplace. It's nice when paths cross like that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - snowballs

I posted this with our snow pictures, but it was so good, I wanted it to be for Wordless Wednesday!


Life is crazy busy right now. I've taken on more responsibility with work and I haven't found the fulcrum of balance yet. I'm thinking it might be a maid (smile). I'm juggling again. I've been reading The Shack and it has been very helpful, bringing me back to the fundamental that our relationship with God and acceptance by God is not about performance or accomplishment but being and loving Him, and accepting His acceptance of us.

How do you look at your days in the parameters of your life? What do you use to measure yourself with? What are your standards? What does success look like to you? What is success? I am evaluating how I define success. It may be perfectionism, or the lack of failure.

I am afraid to fail in my business, and although that would be hard to handle, I wouldn’t think I was a failure. Success to me is being a nice mommy, not losing my temper, being a good, Christ like example to my children. I know exactly what a successful day looks like to me. The problem is, it is not attainable.
So, how do I measure success when success for me is unattainable? I can get caught up in all the what ifs or should have dones and I can’t see clearly through all the self imposed ashes of sacrifice to realize that just loving my kids and my husband and appreciating life is being successful.

Today we didn’t fit in all the school we were supposed to. I can’t remember the last time I graded my kid’s school work. I am surrounded by three baskets of laundry to fold as I sit on the couch. I have dirty dishes that need to be washed in the sink. I can’t go to bed until I can change over the laundry from the washer to the dryer so soccer uniforms will be ready for tomorrow. I am excited that the kids picked up downstairs before they went to bed, and they have everything ready for their outing together, at least, the youngest one does. I am excited that my floors, although the rugs need to be vacuumed, do not need to be swept. I am excited that there are only a few things on the stairs for the kids to put away. We read poetry today just because. The kids got to play with friends. I only lost my temper once. Don’t worry, I’ve found it since then (wink). I had a friend over for dinner and we shared a bottle of wine, a few concerns, and a few laughs. Today was successful. Maybe sometimes I get mixed up and have success and perfection on the same standard. I am learning to rest in my Savior and be still. I am learning the difference.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Jonathan's waiting for the right moment.Lookout, Robert!
The dogs loved the snowballs!What a jump!

Jonathan is starting his snowman.
Robert and his snowman! That's a jalepeno for a nose, we were out of carrots.
Smile Cameron!
Cameron and I are making snowballs.