Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5th Child Perks

Well, if you just read a few of my posts, you will soon see what Sophia is up to. She offers me a bounty of material to write about. (In our meal prayer, she says,"From they bouncy through Christ our Lord. Amen.")

Here are a few other things she has been up to...

Holding her new baby cousin!

Getting the DVD player all to herself!

Counting all of my plastic bowls while I make dinner.

She starts a Mother's Day Out program next week. Please join me in praying for her teacher! ;)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Update on the Kids

We didn't send out a Christmas letter this year. Instead, I just put a note on the back of our cards directing friends and family to check out the blog if they want updates. So here are a few quick newsworthy items...

Josh is in the 8th grade and is doing very well in school. He is in the National Junior Honor Society and loves to read. He also enjoys swim team and has amazed us with his dedication. We can't imagine swimming when there is frost on the windows and there is steam rising from the pool, but he does it without complaint! He also recently got his first lesson on how to fix brakes!



Katie, 6th grade, is a go getter in all areas of her life. She LOVES soccer and was thrilled that her team made it to the championship games this year. They are the "Little Team that Could." After 3 really tough seasons, including one with no goals made, they placed 2nd in our local league, 2nd in the area league, and 3rd in the district! We even got to travel to the beach for the last tournament! Katie also does very well in school and sang her 1st solo at this year's Christmas concert.


More updates on Luke and Hannah tomorrow!






A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll, and a Hawaiian Ballerina

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas! May God bless you now and forever! Thanks for stopping in to share the journey with me!

Stay tuned for kid updates!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Details

Last night we were putting together 20 teacher's gifts and plates of goodies dipped in chocolate. A LOT of chocolate was consumed last night. I had told the kids to not eat anymore when I noticed Sophia putting a chocolate kiss close to her mouth.

I told her, "Sophia, no more eating candy."

She replied,"I'm not eating it, I'm just licking it."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Safety Rules

A few weeks ago, I was taking Katie to a mid-morning ortho appointment and we encountered a very sad and disturbing sight. A deer had been hit by a car, and badly wounded, and was holding up traffic as drivers were trying to drive around him. I held back my tears, but Katie could not. It was a sight that I wish my daughters had not seen, but one that we couldn't avoid.

I do not wish to make this a laughing matter at all, but in priceless pre-schooler fashion, Sophia noticed all of this from the car seat and in pure innocence she said, "I guess deers don't know to look both ways."

I Thought the Day Would Never Come

Today in Sophia's Sports Class at the Rec. Center, a mom, who also has a precocious little 3 year old named Sophia, turned to me and said,"Your little girl is so good!"

I just smiled and said, "Thank you." I didn't give her my blog address.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rise and Shine

Luke does not share his oldest sister's enthusiasm for the morning routine. Katie is the 1st one up, and it is often her turning off the alarm to check the weather or our newish dog that wakes me up from my 4th time to hit the snooze button. Luke tends to be a little more like me, and he has been telling me recently that the nights are too short. He even seems agitated with me about that.

This morning I turned off the little fan in his room, and turned on his closet light, and lovingly rubbed his back and tried to gently coax him out of bed. He got up went straight to the fan, turned it back on, and climbed back into bed.

Of course I had to get on to him and tell he better get out of bed right now or else, but then I went downstairs and cracked up!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

Hypothetically speaking, a mom with 5 kids, whose youngest daughter is as small as a peanut and is presumably (although that mom has learned better than to presume) the last baby she will be blessed enough to have, may possibly not make that daughter walk enough. When they are out and about, that mom may carry her 3 year old daughter too much. In fact, when that 3 year old girl's siblings were the same age, the mom was usually pregnant and carrying a one year old, so the previous 3 year old children had no choice but to walk. That same mom may also have an uncontrollable tendency to kiss the head of the 3 year old when she is carrying her into Target, especially when her sweet blond hair blows in the wind or her little head brushes past the mom's lips. Finally the 3 year old might grow weary of this affection and say, very sweetly and sincerely, "That's enough Mommy."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Often Wonder

How do 4 school age children generate 20 cups in the few hours they are home and not sleeping?

Inequality

I have been a little worried that I post too much about Sophia and not enough about the other kids, but she is 3 and offers some hilarious perspectives on life. I have also tried to make sure I don't divulge too much information about my older kids who might not want the world to know about some things they do that I think are hilarious. Well, yesterday I got the question from an older child, "Why aren't there more posts about me?"

How to Make Your Kids Cry Before School

You can totally overreact when their newish dog jumps up and scratches Luke in the face. (No broken skin, but tears because it did hurt and scare him.) You can tell them that if we don't get this jumping under control we aren't going to be able to keep the dog. Yeah, that will do it.

MOTY Award #3.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just Swinging

I will put this picture in Sophia's photo album. (No, not a scrap book with pop up pages and pull out dancing ballerinas with her voice saying, "Mommy, I lub you." Just her plain jane 3 for $20 photo album from Sam's.) Omar was home and captured a little moment between Sophia and me. It was fun. We were swinging, and singing, and the sun was warm. It was heavenly!

When she is a mom and looks back at her album and thinks, "Oh, my mom just used to sit and swing with me all day," I will lessen her mom guilt and I will reassure her that this was a blessed moment. This was not the norm. Most days I was working trying to fix the past or trying to be ready for the future, but every now and then, I slowed down and I took a little time to enjoy the present.

Go Getter

Hannah's latest projects. She is so lovely.

Hannah and I made pies for the teachers, she did most of the work.

She really loved it and made two more apple pies for our extended family, all by herself.

She organized all of her Littlest Pet Shop Toys to try to sell them on Craig's List. She spent a great deal of time cleaning the different sets and then meticulously setting each "house" up and taking a picture of it.

Story Time

Luke asked me to read to him tonight. As he is getting more competent with his reading, he is needing me to read to him less and less. He still loves it though, and so do I. I love snuggling up to him and sharing those few moments before sleep. I learned more about Star Wars and Marvel comics versus DC comics than I ever cared to know when Joshua was young. Luke's interests have been different and just as foreign. You never know what it is he will request. There was a long time when he only wanted to read about Disney World and roller coasters, I actually found that phase really fun. Then, he moved onto pirates and knights. I think I could have lived my whole life and been ok not knowing different ways pirates tormented their victims. Tonight it was a fiction called Bionicles, Chronicle 1, The Tale of the Toa. Tonight I learned about Lewa, the Toa of the Wind.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All She Wants for Christmas

Grame was asking the kids what they wanted for Christmas.

Without missing a beat, Sophia piped up and said, "An ipod."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Omar's Movie Pick

I am starting to think maybe you should let 13 year old boys watch ridiculous, inappropriate movies so that maybe they will get them out of their systems. Otherwise, you might have faithful, hard working, loving, totally responsible late-30's men saying one of their favorite movies is "Dodgeball."

Now She is a Moderate

I am sorry to keep posting about Sarah Palin, but Sophia keeps cracking me up with references to her.

The other night, out of the blue, she told the other kids her baby doll's name was Sarah Palin. They cracked up and Josh asked her who Sarah Palin's friend was. She said "Obama."

Richly Blessed

This morning at prayer time in the car, Sophia said, "Mommy, thank you for staying home with me."

I am so grateful that I've been able to spend these 13 1/2 years at home with my kids. God has richly blessed us, and my husband has sacrificed a lot to make it possible. When I say richly blessed us, He has not blessed us with riches, but with clarity that we were doing His will for our lives. I drive an old, squeaky van, and I pick up my kids in my old jeans and old tennis shoes, but I am rich in other ways. I love being able to bring them their homework when they forget it, and being there to pick them up after school to hear all about their days and who said what to whom. I enjoy taking care of my family and making a home that is a resting place for them. Even though I gripe about it, I take pride in a clean, cozy house, and I love making lunches and folding clothes for my beloved family.

Being a mom will always be my number one job, but I think change might be on our horizon. I think the end is near for the chapter in my life called, "Thirteen years, Five kids, One Income." As I ponder the next chapter, which will hopefully be called, "Owning a Car That Has Less Than 140,000 Miles," or "Actually Being Able to Afford the Braces We Are Putting On Our Children's' Teeth," I am struck with fear and guilt, and a hint of excitement. Change is always scary for me, but it can be good, even great, if it is the will of God. I am most worried about my kids and how this change will affect them. Especially my little Sophia who would have to attend a full 5 day a week pre-school/day care program if I get a full time job. I am thinking of getting my Teacher's Certification for a few reasons. I really love kids, all kids, and I love the idea of getting to share some of the lessons I have learned as I've raised my little ones. I also think, if it is time for me to work, teaching is the best job because it is not year round. In a dream world, I could even work at the school that some of my children attend. We will see how God works it all out, but I just thought it was ironic that I have been contemplating this change all semester and this morning Sophia told me, "Thanks for staying home with me." I could interpret this a million ways. Instead, I think I will just take it at face value and I will just be grateful for what I have been given.

I know that God will lead us. I know that He will see us through. I know He loves my kids even more than I do and wants what is best for them even more than I do. I know that He doesn't want me to be afraid or full of guilt. He wants me to rejoice and trust. "For this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Swimming Against the Current

In our school district, right now, there is a battle being fought over a book that the school district has deemed appropriate for middle school children. The book is appalling to put it mildly. At least 2000 parents disagree with the school district and are trying to come up with some safeguards for their children. We all know that we are living in a culture that seems to want children to grow up way too soon, and maybe even in an unhealthy, certainly less than holy way.

Thankfully, there are some creative and faithful people trying to swim against this current! Recently, Josh and I were lucky enough to get a copy of Catholic, Reluctantly by Christian M. Frank from The Catholic Company Reviewer Program. The book focuses on a group of 7 high school kids who are a part of a newly formed Catholic High School. The authors (Christian M. Frank is not one person, but a group of young adults) write a clever, complex, and captivating novel about these young people and their journey of faith. It is not a rose colored, sappy novel, but one that is intriguing and interesting. Each character is developed realistically and sincerely. Josh (13) and I both enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. (It may not be appropriate for all 13 year olds, I suggest parental guidance...as always.)


This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic, Reluctantly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How You Know Your Husband Talks About Politics Too Much


You know your husband talks about politics too much when your 3 year old walks into the room while you are watching a FOX news interview and says, "Oh, it's Sarah Palin. What is her friend's name?"
(The friend she was referring to was John McCain, of course.)

Doldrums and Sarcasm

You know 10:30 PM is really too late to start typing a post, but there are so many words floating around in my brain. Life sure has kept me from my therapy, i.e. blogging, recently. One of the crazy things I've been doing is trying to find out more info on saving money on groceries. Apparently it is a science. If any of you have any secrets about coupon sites, gathering points, or how to get something for nothing, please share. I have spent so much time filling out surveys, so that I can get their extra special coupons, only to be disappointed because I don't have the tenacity or patience to hang on to the very end. Usually I just waste time and give out way too much information.

We also decided, since we had 1 extra hour this past weekend in between soccer games, to rearrange 3 different rooms for the umpteenth time. You know, I am not actually a huge fan of change. My husband, on the other hand, comes from a family with 5 kids, and and he is a pro making things fit. He has been trying to teach me the value of opening my mind to this art form for 13 years. In the end, after the heated discussions, it is almost always better. (Except for the time I was pregnant with my fifth child and living in a two bedroom apartment with the other 4 kids while our new house was being built, and he rearragned things while I was at a mom's day retreat. Not that I hold onto past issues or anything.) It usually drives me mad as we think about every single possible arrangement, then we start to make progress, and then usually have to stop for 5 days until we can get back to it.

Then there is the tired issue. By the time the last child is in bed, I tend to collapse onto the couch, saying I'm just going to sit down "for a minute." Every day I have these ideas about going to sleep at 9. It never happens. I miss the days of lights out for everyone at 8:30. In my fantasy world, I would be disciplined enough to go to bed on time, wake up early so I can have a few moments to gather my thoughts, maybe even pray, imagine that, before everyone is up and at me. Maybe some day I will become the person I want to be. Instead I find myself having a little late night chocolate and/or caffeine snack for one extra energy push, then waking up the next morning after my over achieving daughters are up, only feeling like I am trying to catch up all day. I guess I am going to just keep trying. There is a place in scripture, somewhere in the Old Testament, that says the just man falls 7 times, but keeps getting up and trying. Lord help me to keep getting up...I think I am way past 7 times.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope, Even in the Midst of Being Baffled

So, I was disappointed by the outcome of Tuesday's elections. I honestly don't get it. I in no way mean this post to be mean spirited, I just sincerely have questions about why an overwhelming majority of Americans voted for Obama. Our freedom of speech and our freedom to disagree are some of the most sacred rights we are blessed to have in this beloved country. I even think the ebb and flow of power between parties over the years is probably very necessary. But how in the world does a man with his history and his convictions get elected President of the Free World. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, especially when it comes to politics, but I do listen to the facts being presented.

Hands down Obama is much more captivating to watch and listen to. His speeches are inspirational and encouraging. He is young, attractive and vivacious. He is intelligent and charismatic. Yes, he would make a great prom king, but this isn't high school.

1. He has a position about life that I strongly disagree with. He is not a friend to the unborn baby. I could go on and on about this topic alone, as the plight of the unborn child is closer to my heart than any other "issue." Will God continue to bless a nation that hit its "low" number of 1.2 million abortions in 2005? We allow over 3000 babies to be destroyed, quite horrendously, within their mothers' wombs everyday. How is this not another holocaust? Yet, it is legal in our country and supported by our new president. And will he be there saying "Yes, we can," to the young woman that mourns her child and has to spend the rest of her life dealing with her decision?

2. He has no apologies about being a member of a church who's pastor screams hate speech to his congregation.

3. He talks about taking money from the "rich" and spreading it around and will not discuss how this is different from socialism.

4. His grandma from Kenya had a slip of the tongue and said that he was born in Kenya, which if true, would make him ineligible to be the POTUS. He has failed to show his birth certificate, even if it is just to make us feel better.

5. He has had close associations with a terrorist.

My husband could list many more concerns, but these are the few big ones that came to my mind.

So, I'll say it again...I don't get it. But, I will have hope in God. I trust that He can take a bad situation and bring good out of it. I will respect the office of President of the United States and I will respect my new President. Our family will continue to pray for the soldiers, our enemies, the President and an end to abortion as we do every night. I will also use this as a wake up call to stop being so quiet about how I feel about abortion.

May God bless our beloved America.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spooky

Here are my scary monsters...


Sophia admiring her stash!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fire of Love

I teach 1st Grade Religious Education at my church. One of the biggest things I hope they come away with is the reason Jesus died on the cross. I love this picture from the The New Saint Joseph First Communion Cathechism because I think it is such a powerful image that will hopefully stick with their little minds. My hope is if they can get a strong understanding of why He died and rose again, then the rest of their religious training will make more sense.

HOWEVER, recently I got concerned that what I am teaching and what they are understanding are two very different things. I asked a question completely unrelated to salvation and one little boy shot his arm up with an answer.

He said, "That is when Jesus shot fire out of His Heart to break open the gates of Heaven."

So what a 6 year old boy takes from all of this is, "That is so cool that Jesus can shoot fire out of His Heart."

Never Tired

Today I had a really pleasant time shopping with Sophia. She was adorable in her Halloween shirt, pumpkin socks, and the 3 "I Voted" stickers really made her outfit "pop." ;)

She yawned while we were trying to find last minute Halloween goodies at the Dollar Store, and I said, "Are you getting sleepy?"

She replied, "No, I was just stretching my mouth."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Observations by a SAHM

I've noticed that if I am getting something done in one room, it usually means that something is getting un-done in another room.

When I Grow Up

I think I'll be a doctor. Why not add medical school bills onto our little debt pile? While I greatly appreciate the doctors we have, I often think I too could come up with the same diagnosis if I had the right medical books and tools. I may be overestimating my abilities and God may humble me shortly, but with all of the wierd stuff I have seen as a mom, I think I could do it! I am not talking about brain surgery, but general practice, sure! I am sure many other moms feel the same way. Just give me that little ear thing and I can see if he needs antibiotics!!

So...it wasn't chicken pox. It was a nasty case of poison ivy and a secondary reaction to the 1st allergic reaction which gave him the overall body rash. We've been not treating it correctly for 2 weeks. I am so grateful that I am home, how would we have done it if I had a paying job?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Off to a Great Start

2 potty training accidents by 9:30 AM. Sophia encourages me by saying, "Mommy, it's ok."

Is she going to pay for the professional carpet cleaning when this is all said and done?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Sometimes it seems like it would be easier if God would just lay out His plan for us, plain as day. Then it wouldn't be so hard to know what it is we are supposed to be doing. I sure spend a lot of time running different scenarios in my head trying to figure out what the best solution would be. Whether it be rearranging rooms to make everything and everyone fit in our house, or sending my 3 year old to pre-school, I tend to over analyze everything a little bit. I pray and ask God to open and shut doors, and He does. His timing is just sometimes a little slower than mine. I guess I am still learning a lot about patience. A while back a friend shared with me that she discovered it is the journey that is important. Maybe that is where we can find peace...the journey is just as important, if not more, than the destination. The journey is where we are molded and formed into the person that God wants us to be.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That Will Be $2.79


We were participating in our neighborhood garage sale and the kids were in and out of the house. Sophia wanted to join in the fun. I think most of our profits went to a new box of Ziploc bags.

A Little Goes a Long Way


These types of incidents tend to slow me down a little bit. They usually tend to occur as I am frantically trying to get out of the house.

Chicken Pox Central

Chicken Pox Fortress

Sympathy Fortress


The whole living room became a fortress. (Notice the Guard Bear on top.)

Feeling better and sharing germs.

(Is there a money back guarantee on those varicella vaccines?)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Their Answered Prayer

This weekend my family received a great blessing, you might even call her a miracle! My brother and his sweet wife welcomed their first born child into the world. They have been on a long and painful journey, but God heard their cries and blessed them with a beautiful baby girl. Their journey has been such a witness to me, and to many others, about faith and perseverance and trust. I think God has shown His Glory through their pain and has rewarded them greatly for their faithfulness. They have been open to His will for their lives, even when that meant suffering tremendous heartbreaks.

Thank you Lord, for the gift of life. Thank you Lord for the precious innocence of a baby. Thank you Lord for allowing us the privilege of caring for your little souls. God is so good! Let us learn from my brother and his wife to remain hopeful, keep trying, keep trusting.

Not Too Bad

They say the two's are terrible, but a dear friend of mine and I beg to differ. We tend to think the tantrums at three are much worse. The other night Sophia was allowing us to grow in grace with a monster of a tantrum. Omar was on duty. The next morning I asked her if she got in trouble from Dad.
She said, "Yes, but just a little, not a lot of trouble."

I think she has us figured out.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Hannah Banana


Happy Belated Birthday to my beloved, sweet 9 year old daughter, Hannah Therese. (I guess it could be MOTY Award #2 since I am posting this 5 days after your birthday!)

You are such an angel to me. You are named after St. Therese the Little Flower and that is what you are to your dad and me. You are a beautiful flower who gives glory to God and honor to her parents. I could never list all of the reasons why I love you, but I will make a list of 10 things that I think are totally cute about you!!!
1. You love to do cart-wheels and round offs ALL day and night long.
2. You are so funny, clever, and witty!
3. You can talk with a great British accent.
4. You asked the new girl at school to sit by you at lunch, so that she wouldn't feel sad.
5. Your mind is so amazingly sharp and you read all the time and love to do 300 piece puzzles. You ask me not to touch the last few pieces!!
6. You have cute freckles on your nose.
7. You love me (or your Grame who has longer fingernails) to tickle your back. In fact you could sit all day and have one of us tickle your back.
8. You are in a fancy hat mode.
9. You love to eat vegetables dipped in ranch dressing and you will try new foods.
10. You are kind and good and loving. Truly you are a gift to me.

There are so many more things I love about you, I could go on forever...
Happy Birthday my sweetie!

Monday, September 29, 2008

This Never Gets Old

It always makes me happy when we are out and about and Sophia says, "Mommy, can I hold you?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Am Mom, Hear Me Roar

It has never been my intention to be the thorn in anyone's side. I actually don't really enjoy confrontation. I am not shy about standing up for myself or others, but I have never really enjoyed being a boat rocker.

I bet the teachers and administrators at my kids' middle school don't see it that way. I bet when they see that they have an email from me, they are less than thrilled. Maybe they even think, "Doesn't this lady have anything better to do?"


Well, actually no. This is my main job. My main priority. This is why I make the big bucks! I do laundry, I take kids to doctors' appointments, I put food together, I drive to soccer and swimming, I email teachers. I am my kids' advocate. If I am not, who will be?

Truly, it is a balancing act to walk the fine line between letting things go, and calling out injustices. I know this isn't a perfect world and sometimes we just have to say, "Wow, that was a bummer. Sorry that happened to you." We have chosen to be in public school, and I know that we will not share the same world view as some other students, families, teachers.

On the other hand, sometimes the mother bear can be contained no longer. Sometimes I am just really tired of what I see. I have grown weary these first few weeks of school, as I've been roaring quite a bit. Last year I roared because movies were shown to my 12 year old son that were completely and utterly inappropriate for my tax dollars to be paying for. This year other parents are roaring because a horrendous book is in our middle school library and the district will not pull it.

So far this year, my battles are smaller, but battles none the less. A cafeteria worker made my son go to the end of the line because other people were cutting. He tried to expain it to her and she wouldn't listen. Another day a teacher told him to throw away trash that other kids had thrown from the other end of the table. He tried to explain that he hadn't done it, she told him to do it anyway. His algebra teacher is ok with the average on the first test of the 6 weeks being a 73. Other teachers just subjectively put grades on papers without any written reasons, or randomly give 95 for participation instead of 100, just because they want to. Overall, our school is trying to create a more positive learning environment for the students by focussing on students' expectations and the consequences for not meeting them. I think they might also need to focus on the adults' attitudes in dealing with middle school kids. How can we expect kids to have respect for us when we are not modeling it for them.

Just call me Ursa Major!

(If any of you more experienced moms think I just need to chill out, please share your wisdom!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Perspective

There is so much to write about...so little time. Now that school is back in, life is in the fast lane. It can feel overwhelming at times. Then, I think about my family in Houston, and people from Galveston and I know that my issues are small. We shouldn't invalidate our feelings or our own little crosses, but it is always good to put things in perspective. We are praying for the Hurricane victims and those still without power! I can't imagine what a frustration that must be.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby!

My sweet little baby turned 3 today! Sophia is a doll and we all love her so much! She also makes us laugh and gives me so much material for my blog! I am grateful for my little blondie!
God Bless you my Sophia Rose!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thank You, Lord





(Even though she wasn't cooperating, it is a really cute shot!)


Just Smile, for Crying Out Loud!

I haven't had my kids' pictures taken professionally (aka JC Penny's $5.00 a sheet special) for a year and a half. I thought I would just give it a go. It is rare that I love the way they turn out from the "professionals " anyway. It started out fun and my attitude was positive. It really didn't stay that way for long. I am sweating just remembering trying to get a good individual shot of everyone and a good group shot. I am remembering my gritted teeth as I barked, just smile, be still, don't mess up your hair. I'll just be honest, Luke and Sophia, although the most adorable 6 and almost 3 year olds in the world, are not model material. It also doesn't help that I am not a good photographer. I don't get lighting, spacing, zooming - I just click. This pain and torture really only lasted 20 minutes or so, some un-named children felt even that was entirely too long. The sad part is we are going to have to do this again, soon, Christmas card pictures are just around the corner!
This is the best I could do with the groups...



ok, i have to get on with my day now. i really do love to oogle over pics of my kids.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride

My girls have been wanting, begging, pleading for a dog for years. They have done great amounts of research and have been fully prepared to take on all doggie duties, including pooper scooper duties. The boys have wanted a dog too, but with no where near the same amount of passion. I am not really a dog person. I like them ok from a far. (Very far.)

Well, as it happens an opportunity came knocking, and a 4 year old black lab, Molly, needed a home. We don't have any babies on the way, Sophia will be 3 next month, and the girls are incredibly responsible, so why not? But, I made it clear, she would be an outside dog. Sophia has enough accidents as it is, I cannot add a dog to the mix.

So on Monday, my 36th birthday, all my dreams came true.




Ok, actually, to see the smiles on their faces and to know that their dreams had come true, was a really great way to celebrate my growing closer to 40. The kids, even Josh, were up and ready by 6:30 AM so that they could have some time with her before school. Even Omar and I found that our hearts were quickly growing fond of this sweet and loving dog.


Well, the roller coaster was just getting started. At her well check, we got the horrible news that Molly had heart worms. Thankfully the kids were at school and Omar was home, so we had time to sort through every possible solution to the problem. Treatment is very expensive, and then for at least a month, the dog has to be in the air condition and has to remain very still. This seemed to be a deal breaker for me. I know some of you animal people will be mortified by my attitude, but that just seemed more than I could handle. God helped us come up with a plan. My step mom found a Lab Rescue that would be able to do the treatment, at a fraction of the cost, and then she offered to care for Molly at the kennel that she owns until she is better. God bless NaNa!

So, when my kids came home we had to share with them that Molly is sick, but there is great hope that she will be ok. Again, I say, we are so grateful to NaNa for helping us out with her. I will keep you posted on her recovery. (I know there are far greater things to pray for these days, but I will still ask, please say a little prayer for our dog.)

Behind My Back...

video

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just in Case She was Reading My Blog.. ;)

I am really glad Sarah Palin didn't agree with my feelings about Opportunity knocking!

Our Colorado Vacation


Yesterday a boy on Josh's soccer team was telling us of all the fun places he traveled to this summer. Josh said we paid for braces instead of going on a big trip. I guess they are listening sometimes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Opportunity Knocks

This is the time of year when our friend, Opportunity, comes knocking. There are so many wonderful, helpful, worthwhile, good, and fun ways to get involved with school, neighbors, church, and sports. It never fails to amaze me at all the boxes I long to check on the PTA sign up form. Yes, I want to tutor kids! Yes, I want to teach ESL! Yes, I want to do Thursday Folders! Yes, I want to be homeroom mom! Yes, I'll cut out stuff at home! Yes, I'll work at the fall festival! Yes, I'll make cookies for teachers!

Then, I come back to earth.

Just because Opportunity is knocking, doesn't mean I should let her in. As soon as I offer her a seat and something to drink, she will have my calendar and my mind filled up with every good and worthwhile activity she can tell me about.

I will be happy at first to have a full calendar with not a spare empty moment. I will feel good about myself that I am a giver, not a taker. I will love the fact that I, as well as all of my little social butterflies, have plenty of places to be.

But, it won't take long before all those good opportunities will start to turn on me. I will tell myself, stay up later, get up earlier, get more organized. I will remind myself of everything that every other mom is doing. I will feel like if I don't do a lot of stuff, I am being lazy. I will press on with bleary eyes and a somewhat fake smile until even that fades at home. How many times have I been working on something for my kid's class only to be burning with frustration because that child keeps interrupting me. Seems like I might be missing the point.

I am not saying that I won't say yes to some things, it is my duty to help somewhere; however, I have to be really slow with the yes's. I have to turn off the guilt that wells up when I say no to something that I know I could do (in another life) and that I'd even LIKE to do, if my plate is already full with what I can handle. I can't compare myself with the other mom who can do it. I have to see my own limitaions.

I once read that Jackie Kennedy said, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much. "

So, this year when Opportunity knocks, I may crack the door, but I am not letting her in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Salt and Light


"You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world." Matthew 5:13-14

Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy Signal

When I was calling my house from HEB, I wondered why no one was answering. The problem was solved when I was getting ready for bed that night...

One More Anny Post




Too bad the dress doesn't still fit too!

The Last Few Moments of Summer

Now I know how to get her to nap.


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

Our neighbors love to hear us outside screaming for ice cream!



Friday, August 22, 2008

Sophia the Theologian

Sophia as we are listening to an old VBS tape in the car: Why is that song saying God is big?

Me: Well, because He is big. He is huge.

Soph: Why they not say Jesus is big?

Me: Jesus is big too, He is God.

Soph: Is Jofus big? (That would be Joseph)

Me: Not as big as Jesus.

Soph: Mary is BIG!

Me: Jesus is the biggest.

Soph in a baby voice: Baby Jesus is big.

Me: Yes.

Soph: Baby Jesus loves His mama.

Me: Yes.

Soph: Why is Baby Jesus sleeping?

Me: I guess He is tired. (And I would guess He is also smiling at this sweet little baby's questions about her Savior.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

$17

That's how much we paid to see a movie last night. It has been at least 3 years since just the two of us went to see a movie together. Sophia has not been one of those babies that can be left easily. She nursed 24/7 for the first 21 months of her life and she wasn't a quiet and happy nursing baby. And Omar jokes that she has been slow to realize that the umbilical cord is not still attached, so movies haven't really an option for us. Not to mention, when we have more recently had a chance to go out, there has been nothing that I am willing to pay $17 to see.

I am so happy to say, this movie was worth it! We saw, "Henry Poole is Here." A really great movie about faith and hope and generosity. It reminded me that even when it is uncomfortable, I need to step out of my comfort zone to offer a little understanding to someone who may need it. If you get a chance, and you have $17, and you want to be uplifted, check it out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our Day

Happy 14th Anniversary to my best friend and the love of my life.
Thanks for always listening to me and trying to understand me.
I love you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Song

What was it that made me cry?

Was it that he remembered our song?
Was it that he actually downloaded it to his ipod?
Was it that he told me to sit down and listen?
Was it the sweet words of the song?
Was it that the song means so much more to me now 14 years later?
Was it that I was listening to the headphones, lost in memories of the past, mixed with the reality of the present, and the hope of the future, all the while with kids running around asking me,"Mom what are you listening to? Can I listen? Why are you crying? Can I have some juice?"

Whatever it was, it was lovely.

Sweet Moments

One thing I've learned is that time moves quickly. When I was a new mom and scared to death, my mother-in-law sent me an encouraging card that said "this too shall pass." The bitter sweet reality is the sweet, happy moments pass away just as quickly as the harder ones. So we really try to take a breath and soak in those wonderful moments, because we see how quickly they pass.

Last night I went out front to see what the older kids were doing. At first I noticed Luke had a Kleenex hanging out of the waistband of his shorts and I thought that was wierd. Then I noticed all of the 4 kids had Kleenex hanging, and I wondered, "What are they doing?" I was thinking I should get out the allergy meds if everyone's noses are bothering them that badly.

Then it dawned on me that the Kleenex were the flags for the game of flag football they were starting. How hilarious is that?

So then I watched the 2 teams of 1 boy and 1 girl laugh and run and yell at each other and try to steal each others Kleenex (which usually meant only part of it because they tore easily) and I was filled with a great sense of thankfulness. It was a sweet moment of family life and I will treasure it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wouldn't THAT be Fun?

Josh and I made a 9:30 run to Target last night to try to tie up the loose ends of school supply shopping! We still need 12X24 manilla paper...I am determined, it will be found!

But that is another blogging topic, the point of this is...The teenager checking me out starting chatting about how when she was growing up, her mom did the school supply shopping without the her brothers and her. I said, oh, well my kids think it is fun, so we do it together. The younger kids get their's through school anyway. So how many kids are in your family, I ask.

Well there were 3 brothers and me. I just graduated. About two years ago my mom thought she was really sick and her stomach was feeling flittery. She went to see what kind of a virus she had and the doctors said the male kind!

The cute little Target cashier said, yea, our Christmas pictures look really funny! I thought, yea, hilarious.

So, just a reminder...it ain't over till it's over.

(Seriously, I say that with joy in my heart, really, what a blessing! You would know that God really wasn't finished yet, and that He had a great plan for this little soul. You would realize all of that after they resuscitated your heart, I can only imagine! )

Monday, August 11, 2008

Misfortune


Hannah posted this last week.


Luke followed by posting this.

It is so sad, those are the ONLY two stuffed animals we have.

(Update...Diva Dog and Cotton Candy Bear have been found. They had NOT been put in the garage sale pile as suspected. Dad is a lucky man!)