Monday, April 30, 2007

Financial Planning

I am addled, beat, bleary, bone-weary, bushed, crispy, dog-tired, drained, enervated, frazzled, limp, outta gas, played out, prostrated, run-down, sapped, shot, spent, tired out, wasted, weak, weakened, wearied, worn, worn out. (thanks, I couldn't bear to think of a another synonym)

Michael had a friend come over tonight that sells life insurance and does other financial planning. I seriously had NO idea what kind of night we were in for.

I am addled, beat, bleary, bone-weary, bushed, crispy, dog-tired, drained, enervated, frazzled, limp, outta gas, played out, prostrated, run-down, sapped, shot, spent, tired out, wasted, weak, weakened, wearied, worn, worn out. Oops, I already wrote that. Need I say more?

I told Michael I feel worse tonight than I did after I had Ethan. At least I had Ethan to hold at the end of that labor. Tonight I don't have anything so wonderful except the knowledge that we were EXTREMELY under-insured and now we are hopefully insured perfectly. I can't believe all we had to answer and think about. I can't believe everything they ask you. I can't believe everything they tell you.

I always tease Michael about being an ostrich and burying his head in the sand. I have been being an ostrich about our finances. There was nothing we could do (besides pray) so I had just given it no thought at all. Boy did I feel stupid tonight....

"how much do you owe on that?"

"I don't know"

"how much interest do you pay on that?"

"I don't know"

"is it a revolving or fixed rate?"

"I don't know"

And on and on and on it went. for over 3 hours.

Questions like "how much money do you want to have a month if Michael was to die?" Hmmmm can I choose the option where Michael doesn't die?

It was another of those talks that is hard if you are trying to speak in faith. "Well see, I expect Michael to live the long life that is promised in Deuteronomy 30:19, Proverbs 9:11, Deuteronomy 5:33 among others. And God meets all our needs out of HIS riches in glory (Phil 4:19) so we don't need to worry (Phil 4:6). But thanks for asking."

Don't get me wrong, I think life insurance is important. I think financial planning is important. I just wish I could figure out a way to get it done while keeping my mouth shut and my head in the sand.

Memory Mondays

After answering Susan's "Randomized Questions," and realizing I had a lot of 'favorite' memories, I thought to myself that I don't want to lose them. I've decided Mondays are going to be my day for sharing memories. Anyone want to join me?

This first one is actually a compilation of memories. I saw this done on someone else's page (sorry I forgot whose!) and followed the links back to the original idea. It looked so intriguing and challenging, I just had to try it. (I love writing exercises of all sorts, but especially poetry) It is actually George Ella Lyon's poem with my memories plugged in. I am a few years late in joining in the original blog, but I hope no one minds.

I am from....

I am from saws, hammers, drills; from Lava soap and mix-it-yourself epoxy. I am from a place where anything could be fixed and nothing was thrown away.

I am from big pines, a small clubhouse and a cinderblock path. I am from the corner, model home. Snail foam, doorbell in the back, it smelled like oranges. And the brick, solar house with a lava rock moat.

I am from poinsettias, clematis, green thumb, green room; forsythia and pampas grass; be careful those leaves could cut you.

I am from cold peas and mushrooms, funny accent and big nose, from Cyndy and Otmar and Virginia Anne.

I am from count the pennies, "stand up straight", "are your fingernails clean" and horoscopes and biorhythms consulted daily.

From a father on the Titantic and 'this too shall pass'. From not drinking water because of what fish do in water and from "hungry? drink more water."

I am from a Lutheran baptism so maybe he'd go to church. From candlelight services on Christmas Eve and Sunday School with friends. From God mixed with crystals and psychics and knock on wood, throw the salt over your shoulder.

I'm from Albuquerque and Denver and Garbage Grove, from Munich and Short Hills, from freshly ground coffee beans; and potatoes, hard butter and cottage cheese.

From the Dad who got a coat from Rudolf Hess, instead of the train set he wanted, the Mom who was a debutante, and later flew around the world, the grandfather who so helpfully pulled over on the side of the road before dying, and his wife, still waiting on him 37 years later

I am from a cube of pictures on the coffee table and framed pictures crowding each other out. Slides forgotten in shoeboxes forgotten in washboards. Good times boxed away, with a need to remind.

(oops. I originally put Goebbles instead of Rudolf Hess. Just talked to Mom and verified the correct person it's correct)

Sherria joined in!

My blog categories

Susan wrote a really great post with her blog categories. I decided to follow suit because mine are slightly different.

Blogs I read to keep in touch:
these are mostly the friends I had PB (pre blogging) but also include a few new ones. I like hearing about their day by day antics and seeing what's going on in their lives.

Blogs I read for utilitarian ideas:
these are blogs that give me ideas on running my day to day life...housekeeping, organizing, large families, etc.

Blogs I read that inspire me:
these are the blogs that constantly lead me back to God and/or make me think

Blogs that I read just because I like their writing:
these blogs are written by great writers. As I told one of them,they could write about getting the flu and make it entertaining and inspiring.

Of course many blogs are in more than one category, a few of the ones I read are in all.

And then there is, of course, the category of blogs I don't read. LOL! Those fall into a two sub-categories. Those I don't read on purpose: un-Godly, whiny, political or based on some subject that I am not interested in; and those I haven't discovered yet. ;-)

I figured out the reason I like reading blogs so much. It's like getting to read your favorite magazine with your favorite authors and it's new Every Day! As I go through my bloglines on any given day I get articles on all sorts of subjects, recipes, book and movie reviews, poetry, current events, opinion pieces and even humor. I couldn't ask for more. Thank you to all my favorite authors who make each issue a priceless gift!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

National Treasure - Movie Review

What a treasure of a movie! We had seen the preview for this on Around the World in 80 days. It stuck with Britty who is really into adventure movies right now. We had some extra days at home with Daddy and she thought of this movie right away.

When it started out, I have to admit, I thought it was a little dorky. However, about the third scene I was HOOKED. The rest of the movie flew by (as much as it could with interruptions from 3 kids under 6) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

The movie follows Nicholas Cage on his quest to find a treasure his family has known about for generations. It is action packed, humorous and filled with many 'real-life' national treasures like The Declaration of the United States and The Liberty Bell.

While the movie is highly improbable, if you can turn off your reality-meter, it is very enjoyable. (in high school/college we called that suspension of disbelief-remember that?) It could be slightly scary for younger children (there is a skeleton) but Emily didn't have any trouble with it. There are two other potential 'issues' with it, depending on what you allow your kids to watch. Number one, Nicholas Cage, aka the 'good' guy, actually steals something. You end up cheering for him and hoping he will succeed although, obviously this is not something you want your kids to emulate. The second issue is up for interpretation; however, at the end of the movie Cage and his love interest are apparently sharing a house and we never saw a wedding. As I said, that one is up for interpretation, I just wanted to warn you.

All in all, this was one of the best movies we've seen in a long time. It was fun to watch a good, clean, family movie and have everyone enjoy it. I wish we knew of more action movies like this--anyone have any recommendations?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Organizational Challenge - Garage

Today was my first day since starting this challenge where I had a chance to spend a lot of time on my garage. I had hoped to get started earlier in the month, but didn't have anyone to hold Ethan and/or help me. Michael actually had the WHOLE day off today (he usually works 1/2 days on Saturdays) so he was able to help me and Brittany took care of the babies. We took the car out and I took today's "before pics." (These were slightly better than the before pics from the last two posts on this subject since I had a chance to do a little decluttering and we threw out the toilet.

We discussed where we wanted everything to go when we were done. We then took almost everything out of the garage and put it in piles outside.

We had a giveaway/sale pile:

Kid's Toy pile:

Auto pile:

Gardening pile:

Garbage pile:

Stuff to go in the cars pile:

Stuff to go in the house pile:

Projects that need to be done pile:

And here is the pic of the garage cleaned out:

After we cleaned everything out we discussed what we wanted to go where. It was nice to see the piles and be able to see what would actually fit where. We had to rearrange our ideas a little, after we saw how much/little we had of each thing. We also changed our mind about where the garbage was going to be kept, so that moved everything (in our mental blueprint) around.

At this point, we ran out of time for the day which was quite discouraging!! We put everything back in the garage (keeping stuff in the same piles) and we will finish it tomorrow.... I can't wait!

As a side note, I don't think we will need to purchase anything for the garage which is great! We had a few empty tubs that I bought when they were on sale and, other than those, I think everything else is fine! By making some decisions (like hubby's car would NOT be in garage -- he is buying a new truck in a two months that won't fit in the garage anyway) we were able to use what we already have instead of having to buy anything. I would like a wireless entry but we will have to wait on that until we budget that money in.

updated for end of Organizational Challenge

Well I wasn't able to work on the garage Sunday. On Tuesday, I ended up inviting my mother in law over to hold Ethan and I finished up.

Here are the final photos:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
The hardest part of the challenge was finding time to do this. I knew it would be a big project and I didn't have a big block of time. I am a person who likes to get something all done at once. I am not as good at working on things little by little. I also knew it would be easier if I could do it in one (or two) big blocks so that I didn't have to keep moving things in and out. (which I did have to do once) My hubby had an unexpected day off and we were able to take care of most of it that day. It was a pain to put it back in and not finish the project, but it was certainly something I overcame! After coming back to it on Tuesday and it only taking another hour or so, I came to appreciate breaking up a large project a little bit more.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
The biggest change I put into place is I put tape on the ground and made "areas" for like minded items. I have a garbage area and a toy area. I even labelled the tape in the toy area so they would know where each item went. However, even if the kids just got the toys within the taped area I'd be happy (shhhh don't tell them!). I also created a project bucket on the workbench so that the projects weren't just scattered all over the place. I labelled the workbench so each tool would have a home. I put a trash can with a liner near the car, so we can empty the car each time we get home and that trash will actually make it into a BAG. WOOHOO! I also cleared off the toybench (next to the freezer) to be able to use it as a landing zone for items we need to leave with.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Most of it was trash. I can't believe how much trash we were storing!! We donated some to Prevent Blindness (who just happened to call in the midst of this challenge). The rest of the items went into the house or attic where they belonged.

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
That I need defined spaces with LIMITS for like minded items. Also, to have readily accessible trash receptacles. (say that 3 times fast)

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
Oh yes!! I am already THRILLED with the results. Leaving and coming home are so much less stressful with clear, clean paths and an orderly looking garage. When the cat got loose in the garage last night it was so easy to get her (she has nowhere to hide now!) and finding what I need is not a problem. I love having everything I need at my fingertips in pre-defined, labelled spots. I am much less stressed in general when things are decluttered and thank you sooo much for this challenge! I am SO happy to have this BEHEMOTH off of my back!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday 4/28/07

Wow. If I gave myself a F+ last week like Mercy then this week I have about a G-.

For one thing, Michael had most of the week off. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE having my hubby home. We aren't like some couples I know (don't worry, I won't name names) that get along better the less time they spend together. We get along so much better the MORE time we spend together. So I have had a wonderful week with my hubby and kids! However, my habits went out the window. and down the street. and hopped on a bus. and left town.

The goal of not watching TV was completely scrapped. Hubby was home and had the TV on most of his waking hours. We also had a movie afternoon one day and movie night another day, so the TV probaby got MORE use than usual!

Here is a recap of my goals:
wk 1: praying and bible reading nope
wk 2: referring to planner everyday nope
wk 3: get off computer at 9am and off for rest of day have a slightly different schedule but still doing good on this
wk 4: new laundry schedule and laundry put away every day did Friday
wk 5: stopped caffeine --habit
wk 6: added fruit to breakfast --habit
wk 7: added veggie to lunch --habit
wk 8: portion sizes --habit
wk 9: writing down what I eat every day --didn't do at all, not even sure I want to
wk 10: walking every day nope
wk 11: re-working on everything
wk 12: getting Kaedy bug fed on time did good on this
wk 12: making a schedule and sticking to it didn't even work on it!
wk 13: no TV during day for kids failed miserably

Okay, I am going to be honest here. I need to start over. I need to start over not by trying to work on ALL my goals again, but going back to square one and working on ONE goal at a time. I was doing great and I want to get it back! So, (big sigh), I am going to pick the one thing I need more than time and prayer time. I am going to keep up on the habits I have and if I add anything of the other things, great, but I am going to really concentrate on the bible and prayers.

I can do this! In fact, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.(Phil 4:13)

If you are interested in seeing more people's SHS check out Lazy Organizer's site. Feel free to jump in and join us at any point!


I did this one awhile ago on my palm, but hadn't posted it yet. I am posting it in honor or Ria's new blog so she has something else to do on hers!

01. What time is it? 9:40 pm
02. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I can't remember that far back!
03. Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds
04. What is your favorite TV show? What not to wear
05. What did you have for breakfast? a hard boiled egg, half a bagel with cream cheese and strawberries
06. What is your middle name? Edra
07. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican
08. What foods do you dislike? celery, tomato sauce
09. What are your favorite chips? Tostitos
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Music Inspird by The Chronicles of Narnia
11. What kind of car do you drive? Grand Caravan
12. Favorite Sandwich? tomato, mayo and cheese
13. What are characteristics you can't stand? hypocrisy and lying
14. What are your favorite clothes? a pair of jeans I just recently fit into again and a green maternity shirt I have
15. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go? I think Hawaii
16. Where would you want to retire? in a mountainous place
17. Favorite time of day? prayer time at night
18. Where were you born? Albuquerque, NM
19. What is your favorite sport to watch? Nascar
20. Coke or Pepsi? water
21. Beavers of ducks? huh?? We just studied beavers so I will go with them
22. Are you morning person or a night owl? turning into a morning person
23. Pedicure or manicure? manicure
24. What did you want to be when you were little? I don't remember. When I was anytime past 8th grade, I wanted to be an architect
25. What is your best childhood memory? hmmm that's a hard one. One of them is hearing my dad yodel on the top of a mt. in Germany while I was at the bottom!
26. Ever been to Africa? no
27. Ever been toilet papering? yes, but only a little tree (doesn't that make it better?)
28. Been in a car accident? many, but none for many years
29. Favorite day of the week? Sunday
30. Favorite Restaurant? home :-) I do like going out, don't get me wrong....but my favorite restaurant is right here.
31. Favorite flower? tulip
32. Favorite ice-cream? mint chocolate chip
33. Favorite fast food restaurant? Church's
34. How many times did you fail your drivers' test? I didn't!
35. From whom did you get your last E-mail? someone on tulsa freecycle
36. Which store would you chose to max out your credit card? no credit cards, thank you! I would like to have a shopping spree at Walmart, though.
37. Last person you went to dinner with? my hubby
38. What are you listening to right now? Kaedra's ventilator, hubby snoring, Ethan sucking on pacifier
39. What is your favorite color? purple
40. How many tattoos do you have? one (oh Kim, I forgot to email you back about that. It is a crescent moon swirled with many colors on my right hip. I got it on my honeymoon.)
41. How many are you sending this e-mail to? I am not e-mailing this
42. Favorite magazine? Dell's pencil puzzles
43. Coffee or Tea? water
44. Do you tan easily or burn easily? burn
45. Do you color your hair? yes
46. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? a nissan sentra
47. What is your most dreaded household chore? ironing
48. Do you like life? love it
49. Is there anyone that you just can't stand? not anyone I know. I don't really care for some TV personalities.
50. Are you anxious about tomorrow? not a bit :-)

And The Shofar Blew - Book Review

I read this book by Francine Rivers a few years ago and had listed it as one of my favorites ever since. Because I could no longer remember the particulars of it, I thought it was time for me to read it again.

The book covers many years of a couple's life. It starts when they have a young son and the husband is called to pastor a dying church across the country. The book follows the family all the way through the son turning into a young man and going into college. I don't want to tell you too much more about the book because I don't want to give anything away.

Although I would no longer list this book as one of my favorites, I can still see what drew me to it. The characters, for the most part, are very real and, although most are Godly, they are all flawed. The prayers are written very poignantly and it is easy to imagine yourself in many of their shoes. Rivers writes the book very well and really lets you see inside the characters and feel what they do. I found myself almost over-identifying with some of them and had to remind myself not to let their emotions carry into my life. While that really makes the writing come alive, I need to find books that I don't get so emotionally invested in!

My only dislike of the book is that the pastor's wife seems almost too good to be true. Although she is not perfect, she really borders on it and I found myself having problems believing in her. I couldn't decide if I wanted to be more like her or if I felt sorry for her (and maybe even a touch of disdain). Perhaps I am being too hard on her, you will have to read it and let me know your opinion!

All in all it is a good read and I do recommend it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Nuggets of Knowledge

I discovered something recently that has become a big hit at our family!

I am the type of homeschooler that never thinks I am teaching my kids enough. If I could figure out a way to do it, I would cram about 5 more subjects into each semester; but, alas, that doesn't seem to be a good way of going about things. Anytime I can figure out a way to get more learning in, I am thrilled.

During lunch everyday, we pick out a science book (we are using Usborne books but DK books or other similar books would be the same idea) and we read one to two pages (a different subject than what the kids are learning about in school). By the end of lunch, we are already more knowledgeable about something and we didn't even have to work hard at it! Because Brittany and Emily are at such different levels, we are actually using two books at the moment. The girls decided to start off with Birds because of all the pretty birds flying around this spring. In just three days we felt like we were "bird experts." We applied this knowledge to our walks and have had a great time! Now we are "studying" trees.

After dinner every night we are using one card out of a set of Bible Cards I picked up at a garage sale. The cards aren't anything special, they just have a biblical figure/event/place on each one and tell a little about the thing on the back. Every night we learn about one person, place or thing and we have fun doing so. (for some reason Michael reads these cards in his best Charleton Heston voice)

Anyway, we are getting more knowledge into our kids (and ourselves) with these little nuggets of knowledge that don't take any extra time and are fun for us all.

If you'd like to see other people's WFMW ideas, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Comfy Denim's Answers

Comfy Denim has posted her answer to my "Randomized" Questions on her blog. As always, she has a beautifully written, amusing-but-serious post.

(oh yeah, and Heather also decided to play along. Thanks Heather!!)

Anyone else??

The Hadassah Covenant: Book Review

This is my first review for the Spring Reading Thing.

The Hadassah Covenant is the sequel to Hadassah: One night with The King. While it is not necessary for you to read them in order, I think it adds to the second story (and the first one is sooo good - you don't want to miss it).

In both books there are two stories being told: the story of a the biblical Esther (or Hadassah) and the story of a woman living in current times with the same name. This sequel picks up several years after the first book in both storylines. The biblical character is older in age and her king has died. The current day figure, a bride-to-be in the first book, is now wife of the Prime Minister of Israel. The book leads you through battles, deceit, intrigue, love and Faith in both time periods. Although I had a stronger identification with the biblical Hadassah in the first book, I seemed to identify more with the current day character in this one. Another difference I found in the books was: I learned a lot about myself and marriage in the first book, while the second one was more of a fun read.

Although it was fun, and quite action-packed, the second book has a lot more about current Middle East politics which caused me to pay careful attention to understand all that was going on. There is a lot of time spent searching for documents of the ancient Hadassah that have grave import for the whole world. It is a very exciting book, full of action and suspense. It reminded me, in part, of The Da Vinci Code, although, obviously, it was not sacreligious.

Tommy Tenney, a preacher and non-fiction writer, wrote both books with the help of Mark Andrew Olsen. I very much recommend both Haddassah books for good reads. (They also wrote a version for children called Hadassah: The Girl Who Became Queen Esther) Just as a side note, although I was very excited about it, I did not much like the movie based on the first book. I think the book is very worthwhile to read, whether you were a fan of the movie or not.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ketchup, Girl

Well, first to explain my title:
Britty has this joke:
What did the tomato say to his son who was lagging behind?
Ketchup, Boy!

So I am ketching up. :-)

Well everything has changed since Saturday! Michael decided to still take this until Wednesday off, so we are TOTALLY not doing the TV Challenge. (we will still do it on Thursday, Friday and the 1/2 of Saturday that he is not home) When I said that he didn't want to do it, I don't mean he didn't think it was a good idea. I mean he HATED the idea. He looked at me with spite in his eyes! Do NOT get between that man and his TV! :-)

We had already planned on being on spring break from last Wednesday (Michael's first day off) until this Wednesday. I kept the plan through his idea to go back to work and then his idea to still stay home. So we are still on spring break through tomorrow.

We were going to go the zoo on Monday (with or without hubby) but 1/2 the family woke up feeling puny with allergies so we decided to stay home. Actually, Brittany and I went and took care of her passport and a few other errands while Michael, Emily and Kaedra (the puny 1/2) stayed home. It was a fun morning with Britt and Ethan.

Today we celebrated hubby's b'day (which is actually Thursday). We took him on a shopping spree this morning and let him pick out his own presents. LOL. He loved it! We will probably make that a tradition. We are having a nacho/taco bar tonight and pineapple upside down cake. He hasn't decided what he wants to do for fun though. (psst he's running out of time!)

Tomorrow we are going to go bowling with our homeschool group. A place here in town has $1 games/$1 shoes. WOOHOO! :-)

The only bad thing this week (besides everyone's allergies) has been that I have systemic poison ivy. Apparently I got it a week ago Sunday when working in the yard. It has gotten progressively worse every day since then (except my face, which got bad and then did get better) and has now landed in my joints, which I didn't know was possible. I also have some secondary infections now as well. I am really embarrassed about how I look (it covers my hands and arms and is spattered on my face, ears, neck, legs, tummy and the things I use for nursing) (sorry I said it that way, but I don't want to get pulled up on some bad google search). Britty nicely told me I look like I have leprosy. Michael says I look like a Meth addict. As you can see, they are trying hard to make me feel better! I haven't been sleeping well because of the pain and itching but the doctor called me in some meds, so I will hopefully be feeling better very soon! I took Benadryl for a few days, which really helped the itch, but made my milk production slow down. Now I am "braving" it without any pain or itch meds other than topical. I just put some aloe vera on it and I am hoping that heals it quickly!

I will spare y'all the pictures. Just imagine a hand dipped in acid.

That's what I think it looks like.

UPDATE: I can't feel the difference but it is looking better! The aloe took a lot of the red out! :-)

Oh, and Kaedy's surgery was rescheduled. Looks like we will go up on May 16th for all pre-op and come back home the same day. Then she will have her surgery on May 20th. The surgeons are arguing with the anesthesiologists about having all vent children first. The anesthesiologists want it that way but since most of us live far away, the surgeons are trying to get them moved later in the day. If the surgeons win, we will just be going up on Monday morning early, having her surgery and coming home in 24 hours. If the other people win (tired of spelling that out) we will have to go the night before. Anyway, we will keep you posted.

I will let Britty post about her rock-a-thon. But I will just tell you, she did GREAT! I was so proud of her!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Philips Digital Photo Frame Contest

This is the coolest!! I would LOVE to have this frame. It is one of those digital photo frames that downloads from your computer and changes the picture at preset intervals. Click on the frame above to see Philips site and see all their cool frames! 5 Minutes for Mom is having a contest to win this frame.

Go check it out for yourself.

SMART Habit Saturday 4/21/07

Smart Habit Saturday
Wow one week has seemed to undo a lot of work! Even some of the things I thought I really had down have slipped this week. Part of it was Michael was home half the week and we are always topsy turvy when he is home during the day. (in a good way, though) I really can't put my finger on why else I didn't do well....I didn't even think about my habits this week very much. I really need to go back to square one. Or at least square two or three.

Anyway, as for last week's habit of making a schedule and sticking to it, I worked on a schedule but never got it done. I am going to finish that up this weekend. Although I wouldn't under normal circumstances add another habit at this point, I am really needing to work on something and next week is the perfect time--

Michael doesn't want to participate in this but when he is not home, I am going to make sure the TV is off. I have slowly slid into a bad habit of letting Emmy and Kaedra watch TV during the day. I am getting rid of that next week and keeping it gone after that.

My past goals have been:
wk 1: praying and bible reading this week hasn't been good for this
wk 2: referring to planner everyday started off well, didn't continue
wk 3: get off computer at 9am and off for rest of day did fine on this
wk 4: new laundry schedule and laundry put away every day did half the week
wk 5: stopped caffeine --no problem
wk 6: added fruit to breakfast --did all but one day
wk 7: added veggie to lunch --did everyday
wk 8: portion sizes --did everyday
wk 9: writing down what I eat every day --didn't do at all
wk 10: walking every day did a few times
wk 11: re-working on everything
wk 12: getting Kaedy bug fed on time had two bad days with this
wk 12: making a schedule and sticking to it read above post

If you are interested in seeing more people's SHS check out Lazy Organizer's site. Feel free to jump in and join us at any point!

Randomized Questions Part 2

Comfy Denim is the only one who said she wanted to play. So here are your questions.. (anyone else who wants to answer them, too, please feel free!)

1. What verse could be considered your family or personal motto and why?

2. What kind of animal best represents you and why?

3. Where is your favorite place you have visited? What made it special?

4. Other than the Bible, are there any books you turn to time and time again?

5. What are your goals for the next five years?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Heather!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to Heather,
Happy Birthday to you!

Please stop by and tell her to have a good (rest of the) day!

Kaedra laughing

This has GOT to be my all time favorite picture of Kaedra...

There was a little girl

There was a little girl,
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead,
and when she was good
she was very very good
and when she was bad
she was horrid...

Kaedy showing her "happy" face

Ethan Michael -- 11 weeks old!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A bunch of emotions for nothing!

Well, Kaedra was supposed to be on her way to her surgery right now. She woke up this morning not feeling good and I had to suction her two times right away. She had a very low fever but was just laying in my arms and we felt really bad for her (although we are 99% sure this is just allergies) so Michael called up Kansas City and asked them if they still wanted us to come. While we were waiting for them to call us back, she started feeling better so Michael went on and loaded her up and took off. He called about 20 minutes later saying they were on their way home. They don't want to intubate her with so much gunk in her lungs.

It makes sense. But I have already gone through all the emotions of this trip, so I wish we could just get it over with!! (obviously without putting Kaedy in danger!) I just don't want to have to do this all again!

Okay, enough complaining. They are on their way home and now we can have a couple of family days. It should be fun. :-)

ps. I have no idea when they are going to reschedule. I am assuming sometime in the next month.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

SMART Habit Saturday 4/14/07

Well I am going to write this really quick as it is already Sunday and time for bed.

I did really pretty good on feeding Kaedra on the new schedule. The funny thing is, the day I did the worst was a day when we stayed home all day! Anyway, we did pretty good in getting all of her feeds during the day and it is getting easier to remember. I am trying to remember to think about when her next feed is EVERY TIME I look at the clock. That way I will hopefully not forget, even if my palm pilot is not near me.

Some of my past smart habit saturday items have REALLY become habits already and I don't even have to think about them: eating a fruit with breakfast, eating a veggie with lunch, praying every night, new laundry schedule and putting laundry away, no caffeine...others I still think about every day but have problem implementing - like walking (especially in this crazy weather)...and still others I forget to think about at all like writing down what I am eating & checking my planner every day. I am still working on all of them and trying to get better every week.

This week I am REALLY REALLY working on checking my planner and planning out my days (last week my to do list was accidentally erased from my pda and computer so I have to start over on that) and I am also going to add


okay that never got out last night. Ethan needed me more than I needed to be blogging! So... let me finish that last statement....


figuring out a schedule for the family and use it. I need to figure out a good blogging time that doesn't take time away from my family and keeps a limit on the amount of time I spend doing it. We are trying to get my laptop networked again and then I will have a more convenient time. (using my pda in bed has worked out really well but only for WRITING my posts. I also would like a little time to read other people's blogs and comment) I also need to figure out a better time to pray. I have been praying at night but it has really been stressing Michael out for various reasons. This week is going to be a scheduling and list making week.

I wish everyone else with SMART Habit Saturday a great week full of habit forming behaviors!

If you'd like to see other people participating, check out Lazy Organizer's Site.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Randomized Questions

Here are 5 questions that Susan created for Aisha, Tina and me. To see more of what this is all about check out her question post and her post where she answered someone else's questions.

#1. If you could re-do your life, what 1 thing would you do that you did not do. And why? boy this is difficult. Unlike some people who wouldn't change a thing, I would change quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, I like where I am. I LOVE where I am. But I wish I had done many things differently. Okay, if I could re-do my life I would spend more time with my grandmother. I will be writing about her in about a week, so you can hear all about her. :-)

#2. Of my 5 answers to the questions asked of me by Susan, of Learning for Lifetime, which did you like best? And why? My favorite was "And because I LOVE music and Linda used music: If you were standing before all your friends and family and they asked you to summarize yourself in one to two songs, what would you sing and why?" That was my favorite because I think music has a huge influence on our lives and I like hearing about what music affects other people.

#3. Do you screen your comments before they are published? Why or why not? Yes I do. When I started blogging I had a lot of spam. That is the only reason.

#4. (This one is not original since Susan answered on her blog and then asked me and now I'm asking you because I think it's the best question ever.)
What are five things you would do if "money were no object"? And of course, why?
a. Buy an RV and take my family travelling across the continent. We have a dream of eventually doing this so this is not a new thought. I just would like to do it when all the kids are still living at home. Having an almost 12 year difference between the present oldest and youngest makes me more "antsy" about doing this. I would like to visit friends and family, taking time to linger with people until we really felt that we were ready to move on. I would also like to take in lots of historical sites and get in lots of schooling along the way!
b. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I would like to buy us our 5-10 acres and build our dream house on it. We want to have a small farm as well as an area for a swimming pool (completely gated) and a play area for the kids. I have already sketched out our house. Maybe I will scan that and blog about it sometime. :-) Oh, and we would stay in the same general area. We love this area and we love our church, homeschool group and friends.
c. I would like to take our family to Europe, to see the sites that I saw when I was a child. I would also take my mom and dad so they could serve as tour guides and so we could all have a great experience to remember together.
d. I would help finish up our church's main building and give money specifically for the youth building my pastor has in mind.
e. I am going to borrow one of Susan's answers for the last one: "I would always have several thousand dollars on me to be able to help, on the spot, anyone the Spirit of God directed me to help."

#5. If you were forbidden to live in the United States, what country would you choose to live in? And why? I would like to go to Germany. I grew up going there every year and I love the culture. I love the friendliness of the people and the value they put on relationships over belongings.

Okay,let me know in your comments if you want to play along in the challenge and I will post some questions for you!

Friday, April 13, 2007


I have been having a very strange sensation lately. And quite frequently. Before you think I am going through pre-menopause, it is not THAT kind of sensation.
no no no

in fact, it's on the opposite side of the age spectrum!

I have been getting giddy!

I have been having that pounding heart, shortness of breath, wanting to jump up and down and crow kind of giddiness.

I am going to blame two people....Lucy and Kaedra.

I think that Lucy can be blamed because of this post on encountering happy moments. After I read it, I commented and told her I would be trying to notice my moments too. I forgot about it that whole week and then the next week when I saw her update, I remembered that I had wanted to work on that too.

Later that day my dog got out. As I was running down the street yelling at her, having to knock on doors and ask to go in backyards, I took the time to smell the flowers. Literally. I smelled flowers. And I remembered Lucy's post. And I thanked God for the beauty of the day and the flowers and the moment (and then I caught and yelled at my dog and dragged her back down the street!)

I had a few more happy moment times in the next few days and was well on my way to needing to write a "thank you" to Lucy.

And then there was Kaedra.

She was standing in her booster seat yelling "up, up, up." (please don't tell me what a bad mom I am for her standing in her chair...I know, I know) I went and asked her, "do you want me to get you?" She flapped her arms and practically jumped up and down and grinned the biggest grin. I knew she had that giddy feeling. And that's when I got it too. I got all giddy inside.

Now it's happened several times. Everytime I have a happy moment, it is accompanied by the giddy feeling and I feel like flapping my arms and jumping up and down. But I think I will suffice to just have the big grin.

Thank you Lucy and Kaedra!

Spring Reading Thing 2007

I am participating in the Callapidder's Spring Reading Thing 2007. I love reading anyway and now that I am nursing, I have some time on my hands. Or at least A hand.

Here are the books I am reading for the challenge:
Growing up Spiritually
Help! I'm knee deep in clutter
The Well Trained Mind
And the Shofar Blew
The Bait of Satan
The Hadassah Covenant
When your Child is 6-12 (thanks Amelia!)

If you'd like to see more about each book, go to my sidebar and you can click on each title to go see it at Amazon.

If you'd like to see other blogger's lists, go see Callapidder.

30 Day Organizational Challenge Part 2

I got to work on the Spring Organizational Challenge today. I chose to work on my Small Room/ Area which is under the kitchen sink.

First Emily and I took everything out from under the sink.

Then we threw out what we didn't want anymore, put away the stuff that went somewhere else (how on earth did a cinderella wand get down there???), organized all the cleaners into categories and went up to my attic and got containers that I had on hand. I decided not to put shelves down there because it is an odd shaped cabinet and it has the disposal hanging down and all the pipes.

I made 4 containers: furniture stuff, carpet cleaning stuff, general cleaning and sponges/gloves. I made labels for them all and also my all purpose cleaner.

Just as a reminder, here was my before picture:

And here is what it looks like now:

Updated to finish off challenge:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
Just making time to do it. It seemed like it would be a fairly easy thing to organize and clean, I just needed to find the time. Having a baby less than 3 months old made it a bit difficult, but we figured it out.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
I labelled the containers so that stuff can be put back in the correct place. The biggest change is I have added "check under counter" to my nighttime routine. Now I check the cabinet before bed and if anything is not in the container, I can quickly put it in there before everything gets out of control.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Most of it was trash. Some of the things went to new the car cleaner stuff went to the garage and the wipes for the bathroom actually made it to the bathroom. And of course the Cinderella wand....that got put with all the royal treasures. ;-)

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
To keep up with it. There is not much down there but it can get out of control when it is not kept up. By keeping up with it daily, I don't have as much to do and can find everything much quicker.

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
Definitely!! Any organized area in my life makes a little piece of stree-free life for me! I love seeing the results. I LOVE to open the cabinet now and see the labelled containers and the organized look. It soooothes me. (don't worry, I do realize I am pathetic!)