Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where's your MAMA-guilt?

I want to start doing a weekly Mom-conversation. Will post some of your responses next week. Pass this on to your readers, it will be fun!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

TEAM LARSON ...

PRAY like there is no tomorrow.
PRAY until your heart breaks.
PRAY until your tears are dry.
Coleman, Caden, Peggy and Scott need you NOW more than ever!
Go to carepeages.com/ColemanScott
PASS THIS ON!
THIS FAMILY NEEDS A MIRACLE and what better time of year than Christmas!

You are scary....

OK PEOPLE..... You have taken it one step too far! It's called SARCASM! The Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas in my last post WERE A JOKE!!!!! Not in my wildest dreams did I think you would put THAT much trust in me to think those were ACTUALLY real gift ideas! Holy Hannah! I guess I needed a disclaimer at the bottom of that post: "NO, these are NOT real craft ideas...DOOFUS!" LMAO! I am just glad I didn't post my sarcastic Quick Christmas Dinner Recipe Ideas! Saved you all some 9-1-1 calls! Note to self: D-I-S-C-L-A-I-M-E-R!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last minute gifts...

So, it's December 23rd and you have had your fill of grumpy shoppers at the mall. Your credit card has spontaneously combusted because of all the online shopping. Now what? You're not done. You have a couple more people who will be anxiously awaiting their gift at the family/company/neighborhood Christmas party.
This is the resource that will have you singing, "JOY TO THE WORLD!" These gifts that you can practically pull out of mid air. No lie. Keep reading!
The lint-ball sculpture.
We all have enough lint in our dryer trap to make a couple of these and if you start saving at Halloween, you could make a stuffed animal the size of your niece or nephew. Use the darker lint for facial features and body detail and string for hair or fur.
Heck, these weird stuffed guys sell for $40 in a major catalog... Trendy Jeans Head out to your hubby's workbench and grab the grimiest torn jeans you can find. Fill the bathtub with some stanky cologne and soak until Christmas morning. Don't rinse. Throw them in the dryer when he heads for the coffee pot. Apparently jeans are all the rage and without even leaving your house, you can give these...
without paying the $150 ticket price you'll pay in the store!
Fine Art
As an artist, I love making things to beautify someone's home. Something that is one-of-a-kind is always a no-brainer. However REAL art is quite expensive so I have a quick little trick that any mom can do...creative or not!
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Head to your craft cabinet or art supply bucket and fish out all the crayons...set enough aside to have one ROYGBV set. Place crayons in a large plastic bag and crush. Head the the garage and grab the least cheese-crusted pizza box. Spread the crayons in the bottom of the box. Place in oven and watch the artwork start and finish right before your eyes in mere minutes.
It's either that or you could buy this for $8000.
Is Aunt Ethel really going to live long enough to appreciate an $8000 gift?
Pancake Press
We've all seen the cookie mix in a jar kits that you can buy in specialty catalogs. Some people go way way overboard making them to give them out to teachers and hard-to-buy-for family members.
They are cute but way too pricey to buy too many of and way too time consuming to make!
So, here is the answer...Grab all the old empty CD jewel case around the house and throw them in the dishwasher. Tape one to a ziploc bag of filled with flour and cinnamon...VOILA you have yourself a pancake press.
I hope these gift ideas will ease your Holiday stress! If you have any links to wacky Christmas gifts leave them below. If nothing else, we can all get a good giggle while we are procrastinating and NOT wrapping gifts!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

3 kids + 2 weeks of Christmas Break =

Today is officially the first day of Christmas break. We rallied in the day with 11 VERY SLEEPY SLEEPOVER GIRLS! Some of them stayed up until 6 am! Most of them are gone, some are staying until tomorrow. I know I am crazy. But they are good girls. In honor of the upcoming 14 days of "I'm BORED!" and "What can I do??!!" I have prepared a video of what I will probably be dealing with at any given moment between now and when the bus comes to get them in 2009! Pray for me! LOL! I love my kids but I also know them all too well... This is my Ode to my impending INSANITY...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Take a deeeeeep breath...

*some fun news @ the end of this post!* 'Tis the Season, right? Isn't that a shame? I am very disappointed in myself for allowing the WORLD to get in the way of my staying focused on what this season is truly about. I KNOW what it is about, I know WHY we celebrate Christmas and it has NOTHING to do with Santa!
But my poor scheduling has gotten in the way. The first week of December is when I was supposed to have my daughter's 10th birthday invitations out. Problem being I was making props for a Christmas Program and totally lost track of that window of opportunity. So, what's the harm in putting it off another week, right?
Her birthday is December 21st so I always try to do something first thing in December so her guests are not thinking about anything other than THEIR FAMILY'S celebrations right around the holidays. But, because I was up to my armpits in foam core and glitter glue the first week of December, we postponed the invitation project for a week.
What I didn't do was check my calendar. Had I consulted my schedule I would have seen that my Homeroom Mom responsibilities would be called upon on the same day I would need to be preparing my house for a 9-little-girl sleepover! 2 of the 3 boys in our house RUN FOR THE HILLS when there is a girlie party so I also have to pack for them and wrap gifts for those family members they will be visiting while my house fills with ESTROGEN. Do little girls have estrogen? I think they do, right? Well, you know what I mean!
So, I can blame no one but myself for my recent chaos and hanging-from-a-thread panic! And I want to thank you, my readers, for taking the time to advise me in the comments from yesterday! Thanks to you, I have ordered take-out for every night for the remainder of 2008 and said "no" to 47 people who asked me to do something in the last 24 hours! I have also forwarded your email addresses to those people and told them YOU were the reason I said, "no!"
I have some GREAT news:
I had a wonderful email surprise this week! I am completely humbled!
As most of you know I am an inspirational/humor columnist on the side (I say on the side because it is completely a PRO-BONO gig..no pay). I love writing for our local paper! I get so much feedback from the community for my Friday columns. I have received gifts, phone calls and emails from complete strangers. I made an appointment at the vet yesterday and couldn't get off the phone because the receptionist went on and on and on about how she practically RUNS to the mailbox on Fridays to see what I wrote. I have even had strangers recognize me from the goofy photo that accompanies the title of my column, The Gift of Gab. One woman saw my puzzled look as I wondered HOW she knew my name as she giggled and said, "Sorry. You are hanging on my fridge, I read you every week. I feel like I know you!"
It's really an amazing feeling touch the lives of strangers just by using a God-given gift! It's fun to blabber on and on and get a quick giggle here and there! Now that's a "job" I can do forever!
Anyway, this week I was getting my email and of course, as a writer with submissions in a plethora of editor and agent inboxes, I am always looking for a WE WANT YOUR BOOK in the subject line. Those words weren't there but the words, "Your Column" were.
The Children's Ministry Director of a HUGE local church was wondering if I did any local speaking engagements (I have, but not recently) and if I could come speak at a Mom's event in January! Um, YES!!!!! She went on to say that she has used my "material" from my column in their Mom's Bible Study. Woah! Now there is a compliment, right?!
God is really showing me a THEME and I am thrilled to put my children's book manuscripts on hold and glorify Him by following His lead. My platform for over two years has been Moms through my blog and my column. I have has tens of thousands of readers and a file folder full of "fan" mail. I have been brought to tears by the letters people have written and that is why I do what I do.
So, I will be saying "no" to anything that does not fit into the WRITING for MOMS category (except for re-writing our church website (Courtney) b/c I have had the promise out there for like a million weeks and haven't started it yet!). And because writing is my passion, I have a couple MOM BOOKS floating around in my head...now i just need to pump up my readership because agents and editors are looking for LARGE readership to build a fan base on.
What would you like to see in a SEMBLANCE of SANITY book?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Discombobulated...

Man, this month has been a blur. I have three kids in three different age brackets (pre-school, elementary school & middle school) so we have more holiday events this year than EVER! 4 of the 5 of us were in our Church Christmas Program, we have had two band/chorus concerts, I am homeroom mom for my daughter so our holiday party is Friday and I have a ton of preparations for that. Friday is also her 10th BIRTHDAY SLEEPOVER. Saturday morning the girls go home (all 8 of them) and we head out to a neighborhood Holiday breakfast. Sunday is my daughter's actual birthday so after church I am taking her and two BFFs to the mall for the afternoon. Back at 4 for another neighborhood get-to-gether. I was up until 3:30 am getting the last of the Christmas NAMESAKES done. No worries. I'd nap while the kids were in school. Should have probably looked out the window - SNOW AND FREEZING RAIN! 2 hour delay and no pre-school. NO NAP! I still haven't showered, the dog needs to go out (hobble out), the baby is screaming to get up from his nap and the big kids have HIP HOP right after school. I haven't even thought about dinner! OH YEAH...AND I GOT MY PERIOD TODAY! YEEHAW! HAPPYSTINKIN'HOLIDAYS!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not just for muffins anymore...

Maybe it's all the Christmas cookie conversations...maybe I am just a freak that I think about these things... MUFFIN PAN MANIA! You won’t find this information at any Home or Kitchen Store. You won’t find this information in the pages of the latest Woman’s magazine but I will let you in on a little secret. Your muffin pans are for more than just muffins these days…especially in my house. I am a multi-tasking mother of three and these days my mottos are: Less Mess =Happy Mama!, Busy Kids = Thrilled Mama!, Easy Dinner = Ecstatic Mama! I bet you never guessed that muffin pans could bring you such joy. Here are some great ideas for muffin pans that don’t include a Betty Crocker box mix but will save you the hassle, mess and keep your little ones occupied for hours (well, minutes). Sorting activities. Get out a piggy bank, mismatched craft supplies or jumbled jewelry and set your children loose at the table. Give them some direction and let them sort. It gets you organized, gives them a purpose and works their brain while they are having fun. This is a great activity for learning the different coins or for teaching color identification. Make sure you have a reward waiting for when they complete their assigned task. Mini meatloafs. This is just a different twist on a tried and true recipe. Meatloaf is easy and by adding some creative toppings or layers, you can turn it into a new entrĂ©e so you don’t hear, “Awww man, meatloaf again?” Simply mix up your favorite meatloaf recipe and fill your muffin pans accordingly. Use cheese as a middle layer or top with some wild rice and “Voila!” you have a new family favorite. Sundae toppings organizer. Grab your nearest muffin pan and fill each cavity with a different sundae topping. Use graham cracker crumbs, nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles, cherries, and any other favorite add-ins and let the crowd loose with their individual bowls of ice cream. Look at it this way, you only have one pan to clean as opposed to many bowls. Taco Night ingredients. See above but replace ice cream toppings with taco toppings. Shredded lettuce, peppers, cheese, salsa, sour cream and even some olives are only a few favorites in our house. The beauty of this is that if you have a large family or are having a party you can use multiple pans to set up different stations around the kitchen and keep the traffic flowing. Pattern Stamper. Kids love to make their own wrapping paper. Lay out some large plain paper (the back of existing wrapping paper works, too) in a spot that can handle some stray paint. Choose one or more paint colors and paint the circles on the bottom of the muffin pan. Stamp design onto paper and let dry. Wrap gift in its one-of-a-kind designer paper. Crayon Melter. How often have you had a toddler throw the crayon bin on the floor and you saw a sea of broken crayons? Don’t throw them away. Keep your little one busy with peeling the paper from them and placing the unwrapped crayon butts in your muffin pans. Spray with non-stick spray first. Place your pan in a preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees until the crayons are almost fully melted. Take out and let cool. This fun activity will clear out your broken crayons, create fun new coloring tools with mixed colors and they make great favors for birthday parties, too! See, told you so! Muffin pans aren’t just for muffins anymore!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I hate the Wii...

...it makes a fool out of Mii! This is my first attempt @ playing Mario Cart. Embarrassed. But yet I show you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Want some tickets to MY Island...

There is an island out in the middle of the Atlantic (not the Pacific b/c that is just a little too far away for my comfort - you remember, I rode a train for 35 hours to get to Chicago last spring instead of flying b/c flying freaks me out...Atlantic, not Pacific!) with my name on it.
The Island of Misfit Toys got me thinkin'...as I snuggled under a warm cozy blanket with my kids, their little heads nestled into my bosom (eww, hate that word!) I started to drift; not to sleep, my mind started to wander...what would MY island be called (certainly NOT The Island of Misfit Toys, have you SEEN those things... they are just a little disturbing!) and what about that island would make it MINE?!
(insert dreamy music here!)
It's The Island of Do Nothing!
It's a pretty place that is only inhabited by moms, you know, people who "get" you! People who can finish your sentence, not finish reading the mail WHILE YOU ARE SAYING LOTS OF SENTENCES!!! Oh yeah, and there would be cabana boys - lots of cabana boys! No, not for THAT...sheesh! The cabana boys would simply be the "Could I get you a drink? Some nachos? More sun lotion? A magazine?" kind of guys! Man oh man you need to wipe those minds of yours clean! (Steph!)
It's The Island of No Toys Between My Toes!
There would be no matchbox cars or Polly Pocket heads crunching under my feet. Just the warm palm fronds that I was laying my sun kissed body on all the live-long day! Exactly how long is a live-long day? Because if it is longer than 24 hours I am booking the first flight to ANY ocean! What the heck can you actually get accomplished in 24 hours if you sleep? Not very much. The laundry just keeps multiplying!
It's The Island of Eat Anything You Want and Look Like Heidi Klum!
NO CALORIES ALLOWED ON MY ISLAND! All food served by cabana boys as me and my fronds enjoy the large doses of Vitamin D from the fiery God above will be delicious but void of all fat and calories. The most succulent fruits and vegetables (wait for it...), whole grains and legumes (wait for it...), protein and CHOCOLATE (there it is!), CHEESECAKE, NACHOS, FRENCH FRIES (do the dance!) and ICE CREAM! (Now, my brain that has been bruised by and eating disorder finds the words "body like Heidi Klum" and "cheesecake" like the opposite ends of a magnet. We all know that anywhere other than MY ISLAND you could only eat one chickpea and a sip of water to look like her.) Sigh. But that's why we have my island to escape to.
It's The Island of NO LAUNDRY !
Let's face it gals, if we look like Heidi Klum are we going to cover it all up with clothes? Um, nope!
It's The Island of Sleep Whenever and Don't Feel Guilty About It!
So many nights I sit in front of my computer and klink away on the keys. My heavy eyelids fall. My head jerks and sways as I start typing the stream of consciousness in my brain instead of the subject I am being paid to write. Usually I get my second wind about 3am and that's when I think..."3 more hours and it will be light. I could get all of this done. A couple cups of coffee will get the kids on the bus and then I can crawl into bed." But then my YOU CAN'T DO THAT alarm goes off. There is something about being responsible and being a housewife that makes us think we need to be all apron-y and chipper throughout the day whether we are fully rested or have just given birth. Why is that? My island is looking better every live-long second!
(insert coming-out-of-dream music here!)
"NO! NO! NO! It's not over!!!!"
"Mommy, quiet! You are going to wake the baby!"
"But the fronds...they were so warm!"
"?"
"Time for bed. Mommy needs to sleep."
Praying for fronds! Warm, warm fronds!
Oh yeah.... AND IT'S FREE!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

After the stress is gone...

So, the majority of my stress is waning! YAY!
Our dog is looking better, walking, wanting to go outside, less messes to clean up, etc.
Our church Christmas play is over which had me more than stressed as I had to memorize lines, make the props for my group and plan/pull-off a Birthday Party for Jesus after the production. It turned out wonderful and then I felt like a DOUBLE DORK for getting so worked up about it.
I guess stress is good for my creativity, though. Being creative relaxes me. I know most of you think that is ridiculous. Most people do. But, it's just the way I am wired which worked out to my daughter's benefit this weekend.
She is turning 10. The big double digits and wants a SHOPPING SLEEPOVER PARTY! We will play games and the girls will win play money. I will be turning my dining room into a Jewelry Store and after the games, the girls can spend their "money" on the glitzy baubles in the jewelry store. The glitz will, of course, be beads, wire, charms, etc and we will then be MAKING our jewelry.
So, here are her invitations. Yes, we MADE them! A dozen of them! It was SO MUCH FUN! I was IMing Dawn while I was making them and she said, "You are making EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY?! WHY? Just photo copy them!" Now, you see why I laughed at you, friend! LOL!
These are 12" purses made out of scrapbooking paper and Martha Stewart circle and flower stickers and some ribbon.

Inside is a paper wallet that holds the details of the party and a faux $50. Each wallet has the invitee's initial in gold on the bottom corner and faux gold stitching around the edges.

This is the inside of the wallet.

YAY!

Anyone want some custom birthday invitations?

-----------------------------

The winner of my contest is "Teletubby giving the finger!" Just too frippin' funny! One of my friends was actually talking about THAT comment today, so YOU WIN! Email me your mailing address and I will mail you your illustration! CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What dwarf am I?

GRUMPY! ...and only by default because Disney didn't have an I-CAN'T-FREAKING-TAKE-IT-ANYMORE Dwarf! But, on the upside...I am looking for people to help me with an idea...to jump on board... Thinking about doing a regular BLOGVIDEO almost like a TV talk Show... I need themes for episodes (controversial, fun, how to, etc) and people willing to be on video as guests... Give me your ideas... Maybe I will do it. Maybe it is just my own selfish way of taking my mind off how much I wish it was TOMORROW and today was OVER!!! Ya hear me? OVER!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's...it's...it's...

My daughter in a CRAZY mood! My son's best friend was pointing in the picture. So, other than HALEY who KNEW who it was (stinker!) who do YOU believe is the closest? Go back and read the comments.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guess!

OK...I was in the mood for a contest! Guess what the culprit of this shadow is and win AN ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION by Moi!
(Dina, you can't guess! LOL!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding ...

Our traditional Thanksgiving consists of a 3 1/2 hour drive to the top of a mountain in upstate New York. We typically load the car after my husband gets home from work on Wednesday and we head back to PA on Saturday or Sunday. We stay at my in-laws' which is a wonderful treat as my father-in-law is a little like Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor and my mother-in-law could give Martha Stewart a run for her money anyday...seriously! The kids love being with Grandma and Grandpa, my husband gets to maliciously kill fluffy woodland animals that were probably Bambi's friends hunt with his dad and I don't have to cook or clean! This year was different due to our dog's unfortunate run-in with a Ford F350! Morgan is doing much better (thank you for all your prayers) but was in no shape to make the trip and was still uneasy about what was going on so we didn't feel comfortable taking her back to the vet to leave her for the weekend. We just stayed in PA. This, of course, meant NO potty stops, backseat whining, leaky diapers, drive-thrus or any of the things I DETEST about making that trip. But, it meant something else. Something I thought I could pull off... THANKSGIVING DINNER! How hard could it be, though? Ya get a turkey, make some stuffing, some veggies, make some mashed potatoes and a WOWEE dessert. Easy. Now, please keep in mind that my newly injured 85 lb dog needs round-the-clock care as she cannot stand. You can't pee and poop very neatly while lying down. Darned dog won't use the bedpan! Don't blame her, I never could either!! (Don't email me! I SWEAR I DIDN'T try to get her onto a bedpan!) She also can't eat laying down unless we hold her bowls for her. This means that about 5-7 times a day I have to convince her to drag herself to a new comforter on a new piece of indoor/outdoor carpet when she makes a mess. I have to throw the comforter in the washer and take the dirty indoor/outdoor carpet outside into the driveway and hose it down then hang it to dry. FIVE TO SEVEN TIMES A DAY... So, making a Thanksgiving feast shouldn't be an issue at all! What was I thinking? I went and got all my loot at WalMart Wednesday night...turkey, stove-top, potatoes, frozen corn, pumpkin pie, banana cream pie, port win cheese ball and dates. So, no, I didn't make anything from scratch except the mashed potatoes. I was busy talking to my mom when I added the milk so they were more like potato soup than the mashed variety. Great. The only thing I COULD mess up, I did! Or so I thought... Then as we sat down to eat, my husband uttered something about the turkey that made me want to SPIT! I was so proud of that turkey. An amazing little thing it was. I found it with all the other turkeys in the meat section. It was in a bag that was ready for the roasting pan! In big letters on the side it said, "NO NECK, NO GIBLETS! JUST PLACE IN PAN AND COOK!" JACKPOT! I have a strong aversion to touching raw meat! Deep down, I have a strong aversion to EATING MEAT but I do it so my diet doesn't consist of peanut butter and cheese. So, this bird that I didn't have to touch was like a bra that makes my boobs look like Halle Berry's, like concealer that covers my PMS weight gain that seems to only happen in the bags under my eyes, like a body suit that takes my "fluffy" body and turns me into the likes of Lauren Conrad from The Hills! It was sheer perfection....until my husband uttered those words...forkful of juicy meat stuffed into his mouth. He chews...eyebrows twist...chew...twist... Him: "THIS IS CHICKEN!" Me: "Shut up!" (snort!) Him: "No, it is. Taste it!" Me: "I am not that stupid! It's a turkey. I bought it! It was laying there with all its other headless turkey friends!" Him: "TASTE IT!" Chew...twist...chew... Me: "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!" We dug the bag out of the trash to settle it...NO WHERE ON THE BAG did it say WHAT KIND of BIRD was IN the bag!!! Seriously! No where! Not even in the ingredients! But it was most definitely, a FREAKING CHICKEN!! Here I was, thinking "giblets" were specific to turkeys...had NO idea that chickens had them, too! Maybe it was all worth it though...no one will TRUST me to make the Thanksgiving Turkey again! *grins* Not as dumb as they think, huh?!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a mom who thought she was good at what she did. She could fold clothes until her fingers bled and smile while stain-sticking the blood out of the carpets. She could tirelessly read and scratch the backs of her children until her eyeballs dried up into prune-shaped objects while singing, "Oh Happy Day" and soaking them in saline solution to reconstitute her sight. She would single-handedly manage three craft projects in three different developmental age groups all while knitting sweaters for the homeless... until today... she lost it... Iumm...I mean, my friend who I am talking about...went WHOLE HOG BALLISTIC! Tears shot out of her face as she angrily stamped her size 10s all around the kitchen until her youngest just stood and stared...not knowing what to do. All because of construction paper. Yes. I said construction paper. I was My friend is very crafty and loves breaking up the stress in her day by yanking out every craft item that her craft closet can hold. Laying out some paper, paints and glue sticks is like a drug in her veins. Calms. Soothes. Makes everything alright. until today... she lost it... My Her youngest is just ecstatic that "Ho Ho" is coming!! He runs through the house asking, "Ho Ho tum-ing? Ho Ho tum-ing?" To make his and my her life a little easier, she decided to make a festive green paper chain that would be a toddler version of the advent calendar. Each night before bed, he could pull off a ring and it would be one day closer to "Ho Ho tum-ing!" They sat and cut, her face began to twitch as he wasn't cutting where she asked him to...then they began taping the rings and counting together...30 days until "Ho Ho!" That's when doubt seeped in...in my her lack-of-sleep stupor, she wondered if it was in fact 30 days until Christmas...could it be? Today was the 25th...Christmas is the 25th... For some reason it wasn't making sense. So, rather than having the chain end one day too soon and having to deal with a toddler who thinks "Ho Ho is tum-ing" when he clearly is not....I she slowly walked to the calendar to do the math. That's when it happened... ...r-r-r-rip... ...r-r-r-rip... ...r-r-r-r-r-r-r-riiiiiip... I turned to find the last 15 minutes of sanity laid before me in holiday green confetti...all over the kitchen floor...that's when my week of worry about our dog's prognosis after the accident, the last 3 weeks of a toddler who has gotten the SAME FRIPPIN' virus three times IN A ROW and is not sleeping well, the two church productions that I have become RESIDENT GO-TO person for all the creative stuff you need, and countless writing assignments I have fallen asleep too early (with the kids WHILE they are saying their prayers) to complete all came to a head... I lost it... He stared... then cried... then we snuggled...in complete silence (except for Wonder Friends). Then... he told my mom! She had sensed my quivering voice the night before when I complained about all I was drowning under and (bless her heart, the best mom in the world) brought me my favorite sandwich in the entire world - only that good b/c it's made by HER! I wish I had a video of him pantomiming the whole thing. He even got the tattered green Holiday chain out of the recycling bin and beat his little fists on the counter! But he has been an angel ever since. Guess it's ok to blow your top as long as no one gets hurt and everyone is still standing when it's over! Ummmm, yeah, it was me...not my friend...wouldn't be a friend of someone THAT kooky! It's construction paper! Sheesh! Get a FREAKIN' GRIP! LMAO! Here's to better days....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is this initiation or hazing?!

I am at a loss for words... I have no idea which end is up... Our sweet doggy is home and can not stand or sit so YOU picture the mess... My sweet baby boy is sick AGAIN for the 3rd time in a month...hacking up a lung, can't sleep, fever so YOU picture the sleepless chaos... Today was....well....um... put it this way...I felt like Meredith Grey (on her WORST day @ the hospital) meets one of those Vet 9-1-1 shows. Baby in bed crying b/c he wants to snuggle... Doggy two floors down whining and howling b/c she has to pee and can't MAKE herself go in her pen (kind of the bed-pan issue I had after having kids.) Get baby calm...maybe asleep? She's let loose and finally pees!! YAY!!! Now baby is screaming for more snuggles and I have a load of pee-stained blankets to take care of... CRAP!!! There is a load of laundry only 1/2 way thru a cycle IN the washer....these blankets stink! They HAVE TO GO IN! I flip the switch to the shortest spin cycle and GO WITH IT. 9 minutes later spin is done. I yell up to the baby to just give me two minutes - he says, "K!" I take soapy but SPUN clothes out (knowing full well I will have to wash them AGAIN later) and throw them in the dryer... Squeeze the blankets in - PU! Start the wash. CRAP! Baby is now sleeping and I have to leave in 12 minutes to pick up my other two @ school!!! HELP?!?!?! ANYONE?!?!?! Uh, oh. Doggy is whining...probably POOP heading out anytime now! Think I can clean THAT up and get baby in the car asleep all in 12 minutes? I have been in a sorority!! I will take HAZING over THIS any day! (Don't get me wrong - I am BEYOND THRILLED TO HAVE OUR PUP HOME!!!!! THANKFUL BEYOND WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

It all started with a truck in the toilet...

That's when I knew if I didn't get this kid outside I would lose my mind we had been inside too long! So, it was cold...and MOMMY HATES TO BE COLD...but we headed outside to play. We took a rake and got to work! (It wasn't dark...the picture just turned out that way) We grabbed a couple rakes and hit Mommy with them got to work.
Then after Mommy came to after being hit by a rake one too many times my little guy had decided our work was through we headed inside for craft time! Time to make the DOUGH! Salt dough, that is!
4 c. flour
1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. warm tap water
VOILA!!
My little SENSORY KID was loving the dry ingredients...kinda like sand...which he used to hate. But, I was trying to get him out of my hair entranced in something that was not going to turn into an INDOOR SNOW STORM!
When the "flurries" started, I quickly added the warm water to cut down on the mess I was trying to NOT have to deal with...I had to start dinner!
Oh yeah....that's a lot LESS MESSY!! What was I thinking? Sometimes my art teacher past doesn't mesh with my mom-of-a-too-busy-toddler present. A little more flour and a little help kneading and it is all good! Loads of fun! Ahhhhh...time forMommy to have a moment to just think....what was I going to think about? Oh yeah, right, dinner! Now, I can start dinner and watch from afar and not be bothered. Unless, of course, your name is Montegue J. Cat! Then it is your DUTY to bother my while my hands are dripping with cold, raw chicken juice *gags*! Finally, when the salt dough project turned into a full-body sport, I decided it was time to call it quits and get him involved in something else... Thanks to PAMPERED CHEF and their bowl and collander set WITH LIDS, I had a nice and easy way to clean up but have our supplies on hand for another time...like in 45 seconds when he gets bored with cars and trucks... I didn't care that he was onto something else! I was just glad he wasn't asking to go outside again thrilled that we had some fun hands-on playtime! We were warm and cozy, him playing with his cars and me finishing up a vat of CHICKEN CORN NOODLE SOUP... until he saw what was floating down from the Heaven's above! We could actually WATCH the SNOW STORM coming in!! As much as I hated that there was snow on its way...this was kinda cool!

And SNOWFLAKES taste WAY better than CHICKEN CORN NOODLE SOUP...if you're 3!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So, I thought I could do everything...

(Yes...I flunked NaBloPoMo with only 2 weeks to go) Just when you think you have it all tucked neatly under your belt (and in your pockets) and you have a handle on everything. You can do it all! You are super woman! That is when God takes a moment to reel you back in to remind you that you need HIM to make it all work! The last couple months have just been a whirlwind of things to do, places to be...I don't have to tell you...if you are a mom you get it. Someone asks you if you can make 4300 cupcakes for the bake sale. There is nothing on your To Do list so you say, "Sure!" Then, behind curtain #2 is the committee at a community organization who has gotten wind of your "talents" and just knows you are the right person to make all of the costumes for the Christmas Pageant. And since, Great Aunt Bessy died, they have NO ONE TO DO IT! "OK," you say. After agreeing to hand sew 35 mice costumes, you try to run ... your feet are going in circles and making that cartoon-y whizzing sound but you are not going anywhere! A giant Curtain #3 stands before you and behind it is your family. These little leeches will suck you dry. They are cute but they are deadly. Wipe my nose. Change my diaper. Call my teacher. Feed me dinner. Help me study. Read me stories. Kiss my lips. (that's the husband) They don't even have to say it, the whining oozes from their poors and if you hesitate for one meesly second they just KNOW that you have chosen cupcakes and costumes over them! Pout. Pout. Pout. I have spent this last couple of months "gathering" projects that either I have put on my plate or other have shared with me. Some are small and completely do-able. Some are larger than life and I think I was unconscious when I said, "yes." Some use my talents and my gifts which make me NOT want to say "no." God gave me talents and gifts so I can use them, right? So, why would I withhold them from people to keep extra hours in my day? Some of the things on my plate are the daily duldrums of a stay-at-home mom. There are a lot of those in a big heaping helping on this plate of mine! And that's OK, too, because I chose this job. I LOVE MY JOB! All of these things are OK in moderation, right? Am I addicted to having a full plate? Ha! That's funny! If that plate has pizza and ice cream on it, you better believe I am calling the addict counselling hot line. But what about when that plate has laundry, prop design, freebie writing assignments, grocery shopping, cleaning, general organization and staying on top of things so my husband doesn't find me at the bottom of a pile of mail gasping for air? What then? So, add to that a horrific accident in front of my home where our dear sweet 3 1/2 year old black lab is hit by an F350 truck that DIDN'T brake! At all! Until AFTER it hit her! Her pelvis is broken in 8 places and the vet has no idea if the Xrays will show a spinal injury. He says if it is just her pelvis, she can heal but if she has no bowel or bladder control over the next couple of days, it will mean the worst. We wait. For days. Yesterday my husband went to see her. She didn't wag her tail. She didn't look at him. She was grimacing in pain. Her belly was distended and she had yet to "move her bowels." I cried all night. As a last resort, I texted all my friends and asked for them to PRAY FOR POOP! My Facebook family was praying and IMing me! We prayed for POOP! The kids prayed over and over for God to heal her! Today when my husband went to see her, her big brown eyes stayed glued to him, she wagged her tail and he said she looked much better. Her belly was less puffy and SHE HAD POOPED!! PRAISE GOD! The Vet said she had even stood up on all fours earlier in the day...only for a couple seconds but she did it. Then he said, "You need to start thinking about your plans for bringing her home!" BRINGING HER HOME! WE ARE BRINGING HER HOME! God is so good. There is nothing too small to pray for in His eyes! He is not BENEATH anything! I prayed for POOP! My TO DO list will be dwindling soon, of course, because I have now earned the honor of being Morgan's nurse!

I'm slowing down. We're taking it one day at a time! The cupcakes and props can wait...my Fuzzy Black Princess needs her family!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!

woof!

CIRCLE OF HOPE...

HELPING TO fundraise for cancer research just by grabbin' some BLING for your girlfriends, daughters, grandmothers, teachers, bus drivers, babysitters, hairdresser, sisters, friends, clergy, favorite cashier, mailwoman, mentor, coach, Sunday School teacher...
You get the point!
(scroll down for a way to help COLEMAN LARSON specifically!)

A CALL FOR COLEMAN...

If you are new to my blog...meet Coleman and Caden! Twins! Partners in Crime! Coleman is fighting a beast called Medulloblastoma - brain cancer! He will be 5 December 5th and has been fighting this beast for literally HALF OF HIS LITTLE LIFE! My good friend Mimi and I have made it our mission to pull out all the stops and give these boys the BES TWISMAS EH-VA! So, because Coleman makes such a CUTE REINDEER... Mimi likes to call this... RUDOLPH'S ROUND UP! Take it away, Mimi! "RUDOLPH'S ROUNDUP prizes are coming in steady. I got candles in today , they are 3 wick candles in a glass container shaped like Texas ! They are beautiful ... (not just cuz they are Texas shaped , well...), I will be getting some Cure Search stuff, a team Unite sweatshirt. I am also designing new Coleman and Caden TeeShirts. That will be a surprise for later..." For now it is time to get busy: I DECLARE RUDOLPH'S ROUNDUP OPEN . One entry: $5 or three entries: $10. (Maximum 3 entries , BUT donations for more welcome )The $$$ will go exclusively to TEAM LARSON (100%), please be generous, we want their holiday season to be as amazing as possible... You can either mail in the money for your entries and/or donations. Mimi Avery 111 Aviator Dr Fort Worth , TX 76179 Or paypal them at mimiavery74@msn.com If your heart is willing, please include a short(or not) note for The Larsons . Even if you paypal ,I will print the notes out for them . If you didnt quite get it, if you have questions, suggestions email me at myriamtx@yahoo.com To get to know TEAM LARSON, head over to www.carepages.com and register (it's free and takes 2 seonds) then type in ColemanScott (all one word) and start reading. This little man is AMAZING! You will fall in love. If you know of anyone who would be willing to give a donation to this cause, please feel free to post a link to me on your blog or FWD a link to your address book! We made a miracle happen last Christmas for Mimi's son Julian...let's see if we can do it again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My firsts...as if you asked! LOL!

Found this on someone's blog but they didn't tag anyone so I took it...thought it would be fun. I didn't read all of the things FIRST that are supposed to be firsts so this could be interesting. We'll see if I hit "Publish" at the end...haha.
1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Scott Risbon, my best friend's brother - I know, I know, that crosses the line in that "don't date the brother" rule but we weren't dating, just good friends without dates to our Junior Prom.
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Um, no. That's a weird thought.
3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Some kind of whiskey, I think. I was pretty naive and went to an upperclassman's party. When I walked in, one of his friends handed me a cup. I was 16 and still thinking they served punch at parties so I said, "thanks" and took a huge gulp. Never had punch light my lungs on fire! I played it cool and handed the cup back. Blech.
4. What was your FIRST job?
Technically, babysitting. First job I had outside of other people's homes was at our local mall in the food court. The place was called Coney Island - we served hot dogs and cheeseburgers. I even had to scrub the white slime off of the hot dogs before putting them on the grill. NO LIE! Maybe that's why I refuse to feed my kids the foul tubular meat. Double Blech!
5. What was your FIRST car?
Sniffle, sniffle. Her name was "Betty" (as in Boop)...she was a beauty. My beloved Rangoon Red '65 Mustang. My sweet daddy pimped my ride and turned a banged up white 'Stang into a very sweet ride! Happy 16th to me!! But, sadly, she got old and unreliable so for safety's sake we sold her down the river. So sad. It was kind of funny though, at one point there was a crossed wire or something and when I made left hand turns the headlights turned off or she stalled. So, for months, I drove way out of my way to get to my destinations by only turning right. I tried to deal with it as long as I could before telling my dad. But after almost getting T-boned a couple times, I had to give in and tell him...I still have pictures of her. I think I loved her more than my first boyfriend!
6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
That would be "Goose," one of the 3 Michel(l)e's in my BFF Bunch! Love ya, friend!
7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
I didn't think of a person this morning. I thought about Morgan, our 3 1/2 year old Black Lab who was struck by a car last night and spent the night sedated @ the vet. Still waiting to hear a prognosis. Please pray if that is your THANG!
8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Komez...she was very pregnant and she felt it necessary to discuss her discomforts with the class, usually at story time. The last thing a 6 year old wants to think about is that her fat teacher has tremendous gas due to her innards being shoved up to her neck.
9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
I was 3 months old and I flew from PA to LA where I lived for the next 2 years. My first words were said sweetly with a lo-o-o-ong southern drawl.
Mama = "Mow-mah"
Michelle = "Mee-shayl"
To this day, if I meet a southerner, I have a hard time staving off the twang.
10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them?
Melissa, Melissa, Melissa. We met when we were four, went K-12 together, then different universities, were in each other's weddings, lived in different states and now live a mile from one another. We talk sometimes daily and see each other a couple times a month. To this day (33 years later) she is one of my dearest friends. She even held an intervention for me once. Drove 3 hours to Penn State to discuss my choice of boyfriend. (Not my hubby. His roommate)
11. What was your FIRST sport played?
Does kickball count? The swings at recess? Not much of an athlete. Really don't enjoy dodging, chasing, kicking, hitting or tackling things. Would much rather sit on the sidelines and yell. Cheerleading was my gig in high school.
12. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
Probably the Drumeler's house. At about 3am I got up to secretly call my mom to come get me. But I didn't tell Mrs. Drumeler, or my friend for that matter, so they were all a little freaked out when someone was ringing the doorbell in the wee hours of the morning. I did this a couple more times before we took a sleep-over hiatus.
13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
Not sure because I had 5 kids to wake up to this morning. But I opened my lips before having coffee so whoever it was was not in focus so I really am not sure.
14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
My Aunt Cathy's in 1973. I was 3. I wore a long gauzy baby blue dress with a very floppy, wide brim hat...with flowers of course. Very 70's.
15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Prayed for my pooch!
16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
Oh dear, I went to see The Jackson 5 with my dad. He rocks. He pretended to be security and snuck us down from the nosebleed seats to the floor - close to the front. No. I am not spoiled (chuckle - see #5)
17. FIRST tattoo or piercing?
Ears pierced when I was 5. If I could make up my mind, I would have a tattoo. I will only get ONE and for years I have had numerous ideas that I think I totally love...until I come up with the next one! The latest I have had in mind for a while. Will break down soon and get it! On my forehead! LOL! Just kidding!
18. FIRST foreign country you went to?
England and then France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria - all in the same trip. I was 14 and went with Melissa and the German Travel Club. What happens in Europe, stays in Europe! Right Meliss?!
19. What was your FIRST run in with the law?
Following my boyfriend home from the SATs, he went a different way that I didn't know and "Betty" T-boned a BMW! My FORD lost an "R" and become a FOD. Sheesh. It was the first time I had to actually talk to a cop. He had no sympathy for me - he was more interested in the fact that I lived in the town where the woman shot the monkey. (long story - has nothing to do with the accident)
20. When was your FIRST detention?
I only had one - for being late to school more than the acceptable 3x. I only lived 7 minutes from school but "Betty" wasn't always cooperative, nor was my snooze button.
21. What was the FIRST state you lived in?
Pennsylvania. Just a small town girl from Pennsyl-tucky.
22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart?
Greg Cooper. I got my first "Dear John" letter soon after he left for college.
23. Who was your FIRST roommate?
Jen Chiari. She was a nursing student at Hahnemann University. We lived in Center City Philadelphia (my first time away from home and I didn't know her from Adam). She was very nice. She had a very memorable, snorty laugh.
24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride?
To my Nanny's funeral. It was white. I felt very important. I was 11.
Wanna try? Consider yourself tagged!!
Link back to me and leave a comment here when you post so I can be nosey - that's all I ask!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I met Kate Gosselin!

Hershey, PA is a great place to be no matter what! THERE IS CHOCOLATE THERE! LOTS AND LOTS OF CHOCOLATE!
The street lights are GIGANTIC HERSHEY KISSES... every other one is unwrapped. You can actually SMELL chocolate if your windows are down! With streets called Hershey Drive and Cocoa Avenue, how can you NOT love this place?
Not sure how that HOCKERS fit into the whole Chocolate theme, but, hey...to each his own!
Kate was slated to be the guest speaker at the STEPPING OUT: WOMEN OF PURPOSE 2008 Christian Women's Conference. See those dancing ladies?! Aren't they awesome?! 3,000 very cool Christian women were in attendance! They weren't all dancing! (Those are actually cardboard ladies, not real ones!)
And we sat in the second row...RIGHT BEHIND THIS SEAT with THIS SIGN ON IT!
Now, I need to explain...MY focus for the day was NOT to be a "fan" - I was completely HONORED to meet Kate! They told us at the book table that those with books would get priority to meet her so she could sign them. I had my book with me. I bought it a couple weeks ago and finished it in 2 days!
I know I have said this before and I know some of you scoff and think, "Whatever!" (it's ok that you scoff, I still love you! Even my BFFs that were with me scoffed...all day!) But, here it is! I was as excited to meet Dawn and Mimi (last years when we got to go see Oprah, thanks to a WONDERFULLY AMAZING READER! Thanks Kendra!) as I was to meet Kate. Dawn, Mimi and I had never met in person, only knew each other via the blogosphere but we had a connection that was unexplainable! Like sisters separated at birth!
So, I felt like I was meeting up with just another friend I had yet to meet! I took no pictures. (The pictures in this post are from my friends' cameras.) I didn't squeal and get all goofy! I did get her autograph but when Dawn's books come out, you better believe I will get hers, too!
So, we sit down in our seats behind the SPECIAL GUEST SIGN...not because it was MY choice, but because my friends insisted. Quite honestly, I agreed because I thought it would be easier to give her the huge giftbag with NAMESAKES in it at our seats than make a production of it for the audience of 2,999 other women standing in line after she spoke. But, whoever was supposed to sit in that seat never came. That was ok. We were in the second row and I was happy!
Then I hear an, "Excuse me!" My friend, Dina, tapped me and pointed passed Anne-Marie (our third musketeer) to a girl with a huge smile. What she said made my bones giggle with excitement! It was the best thing I had heard all day! She said, "Hi! Do you have a blog? I think I read your blog!"
This is me texting Dawn and Mimi and 400 other people and telling them about my fan! Actually, she had Googled something about "seeing Kate speak" and I can't figure out HOW I came up in that search...can you? *grins* I am embarrassed to say that even though my fan and I chatted for sometime about how thrilled we were to see and hear Kate, I never got her name. If you are reading, please introduce yourself! I feel horrible!
Before Kate came on stage there was a slide show of the kids and sweet worship music. Some of the photos I had never seen, so that was fun! (Not that I think I have seen ALL of Kate's photos!) One photo that always makes me giggle is the big belly shot. The one from the side on the day she delivered the sextuplets. Why do I giggle? Because the caption under that picture tells that her belly was 54" in circumference. Not funny? It is when mine was only 2 or 3 inches smaller and I only had ONE baby! How sad is that?! LOL! But...my daughter was 11 lbs at birth...almost as much as Kate's 6 COMBINED at birth!
Anyway, it was so neat to listen to her speak without all the interruptions TLC provides. She spoke so calmly and like we were all...all 3,000 of us...sitting on her couch in her living room! It could happen. She is used to crowds! She birthed one!
She spoke of all the miracles that happened, of her faith, of Jon and his strength...GO HERE TO BUY HER BOOK! You will be so blessed by knowing her story...not just what you see on TLC! Kay Arthur spoke after Kate, I made my way to the exit to stand in line so I could give her the NAMESAKES! There were already tons of people in line. I started to worry that I wouldn't get to her before she had to go. But, I figured God had blessed me with the time to make the NAMESAKES, He would make sure I got the chance to give them to her.
I did!

She signed my book as we chatted! I handed her the bag and told her I made something for "the kids."

Then the guy with the gray hair inspected my gift bag as if I stuffed it full of Poison Ivy! But, I get it...she's a celeb and you can't be too careful! They were trying to get so many people through the line, there was no time for her to look in the bag and that was just fine with me. I am just so thrilled to have had the opportunity to make them for her!

The previous shot is funny! See how she is saying, "Awwwww." It's because my BFF, Anne-Marie leaned over and said to her, "She just might be your BIGGEST fan!" Then I leaned in and said, "But NOT the scary kind!" Kate, I think, was relieved! LOL!

I thoroughly enjoyed the conference! The worship was amazing! Kay Arthur, of course, was amazing!! And I am so tickled that my NAMESAKES made it to Kate safely!

I hope they like them!

Thanks, God, for the gifts you have given me so that I can bless others in Your Name!