Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Guitar Hero

As promised... pictures of the family pretending to be undercover rock stars. I think their father is TAINTING them!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The First Nativity

I love nativity scenes. I do not own one that I adore yet, but I am saving my pennies and hope to buy one next year.

I love looking at Mary- looking at her baby. I love the protective stance Joseph holds over his son. The picture of perfect adoring love. The simplicity, yet elegance and complexity, of the new family.

But the more I have stared and contemplated this pretty scene this season, I realized something is missing.

The reality.

Can you imagine being a young girl of 15 or 16, escaped from the comforts of home with a full belly and a child you didn't expect? On a donkey.

Can you imagine giving birth in a foul, smelly barn and then being thankful you found a food trough to place your newborn son in? The good man she married, but didn't even know yet, delivered her son to an audience of livestock -- cows and sheep.

The hay is blood-stained. The air is musty. The dirty animals are noisy.

There are no knitted booties or helpful nurses. There isn't a bath or even a bed.

And there certainly aren't clean, pastel flowing garments....

But there is Peace.

There is Hope.

There is Worship.

There is a Savior.

And that is enough.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Food for the Soul:
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”-
Matthew 1:20-21

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rock Out

For Christmas, Auntie Katie and Nanny gave the three girls some hats and microphone things to help them "rock out" as they play Rock band, Guitar Hero, or just plain ol' dress up.
Oh! Did I forget to mention that Mr. Santa Claus bought Guitar Hero for our family. We awoke to find it Christmas morning next to the stockings! I heard first hand from Mrs. Claus -- Wow! She was surprised to find that gift mixed in! (Guitar Hero pictures to follow at a later time.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas Eve Celebration that I was too lazy, sick, or busy to post before. As usual, the entire hoopla can be seen in more pictures at my Picasa Web Albums ( Enjoy!

Christmas Eve Brunch with Grandma & Papa
(C's Parents)
Christmas Eve Dinner Festivities with the
Collier-Blumer side


Before Christmas we baked Christmas cookies with the children. It was a disastrous mess and tons of fun. The cookies turned out okay for the most part and no one was sent to the hospital with third degree burns - so basically it was a successful event!
Daniel likes to keep things interesting by stealing the girls aprons and randomly wearing ONLY the apron as he streaks through the kitchen. It's all in the name of fun!
G likes to mix it up a bit and keep her energy high as she steals sips of Nanny's coffee. Yes, the runt of the litter (G) has been turned on to coffee by Nanny. Now, my worries have been confirmed. I am sure G will end up as a "little person" if she doesn't stop her stealth coffee sipping.

Friday, December 26, 2008


In the mean time, the office visit and hospital co-pays are truly KILLING us! I am choosing to look on the bright side... at least we have insurance! Thank GOD we didn't have to foot the entire bill and we only have to decide how to scrap together enough to cover HUNDREDS of dollars in co-pays. Believe me -- I realize how lucky we are but it's a steep, unexpected cost in a crappy economy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


My Dearest Friends and Families,
Merry Christmas! May we all take a moment to slow down during the chaotic holiday rush to enjoy some quiet time with those who are most important to us. May we also remember the beautiful gift that God gave us when He sent His most precious baby boy to the Inn that had no room so many years ago.
Merry Christmas! Shalom!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not Home For Long?

Earlier this week...

Monday: More thankfully, my sweet little boy, D, was able to come home from the hospital on Monday night after they tanked him up with lots of IV fluids. We were so excited because he hadn't had any more hurling or "butt episodes" in almost a day.

Tuesday: D has three bad (and I mean BAD) diapers and wakes up after nap with a dry diaper. I begin worrying. I call the clinic on Tues afternoon. Hello?! They promised to call me back and they didn't. He was still producing tears and spit, so I figured he wasn't totally gone.

Wednesday (Christmas Eve Day): He woke up with a dry diaper in the morning. NOT GOOD. I am not okay with this. Immediately I am on the phone with the clinic. Should I bring him to the clinic? Should I bring him back to the ER?

Totally Selfish Side Thought: I am a bit concerned that I am hosting a Christmas Eve Brunch for the in laws in less than an hour, and that doesn't include the Christmas Eve Dinner I am hosting later that afternoon for 14 people -- both at my house. I have been sicker than ever, the house is a disaster because when I am with the kids I have been letting them do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't include touching, talking, or looking at me!

Merry Christmas Eve! Fabulous (and very patient!) in laws come for brunch. We are all trying everything we can think of to try to get D to drink, but he is having none of it. Brunch happens; I clean up; I bundle D up and whisk him off to the ER.

The ER doesn't mess around. They decide to pull labs and insert an IV right away.

The IV insertion this time was UGLY!!! D had to be stuck at least 7 times in three different spots and two different limbs. He was screaming and yelling and wailed, "Save me, Mommy!"

Already then! To all you moms out there -- what do you do when you want to protect your wee one but cannot stop the pain because it's necessary? Cry, right? You're supposed to say you cry.

So, the IV is in and they decide to do a stomach/chest x-ray to make sure there were no blockages. Again, this experience did not go well. D was fed up and kept yelling, "All done! Go home." Every chance he got, he was on the floor and running for the nearest door. My poor little heart was in tatters. He even told me I was being naughty when I had to assist the nurse to hold him down for his x-rays.

Results: X-rays turn out fine and show no blockages. Labs come back much better than expected (translation: he's not as dehydrated as we feared.) So the doctors decided that after a few hours of IV fluids, D was able to come home and celebrate Christmas Eve with the whole family.

Christmas blessing and miracle!!!

We arrived home in time to finish help cooking dinner. Actually my mom and sisters were so beyond awesome that I barely had to life a finger! My Mom bought disposable plates and cups. Because the kids or I had been so sick for the past few weeks, Mom also did all of the holiday grocery shopping. Mom did tons of clean up and every time I tried to help, she shooed me away and my sisters stepped in.

I am filled with gratitude this holiday season. Gratitude for mine and my family's usual good health. Gratitude for our phenomenal family support. Gratitude for health insurance.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Miracle

You know what? We are so very blessed!!! I have the very best family ever.

It has been a very challenging past two weeks. Everyone has been ill at our house. Last week G came down with pneumonia. She didn't have to be hospitalized, but was very miserable. Then, poor little, two year old D enjoyed TWO visits to Children's Hospital within the past 5 days (including being admitted overnight) for a hideous case of the flu.

He was spewing out of both ends for over FIVE DAYS -- including every 30 minutes for the first 48 hours straight. So, Sunday morning we headed to Urgent Care . . . who then sent us promptly to the Emergency Room. (While at UC, we discovered D had lost at least TWO POUNDS in less than 3 days. )

So to make a long drawn out story, a teensy bit shorter: D and I arrive at the ER while C stayed home with E, H and G. The ER team hooked D up to an IV for immediate fluids. He was so limp and tired that he barely flinched when they inserted the IV! He fell asleep in my arms in the hospital bed. Suddenly, I began not feeling so well, so I gently extracted myself from him and as quick as you can blink, I was overtaken with dry heaves in the hospital room sink for SEVERAL minutes. Luckily, my sweet boy slept thru the awful ruckus I was making. In the mean time, a nurse comes in to check on D and finds me grasping onto the sink as if I would pass out at any second -- which I was quite sure I was going to do. Beautiful sight, I know!

Nurse helps me into a chair and asks what they can do for me. I gasp, "Call my husband." Fast forward 45 minutes, my Husband walks into the hospital room and hands me my keys to drive home.

Yeah... not gonna happen. I couldn't sit up straight long enough to walk to the other side of the room, more less drive?! My in laws (bless their hearts!!!) drove H home to her mom's and took G over night while my sister came to pick me up and drive me home. C stayed the night in the hospital with D while my precious E played nursemaid to me while I hurled all night. UGH!

I was in bed sicker than a dog until Tuesday night -- seriously contemplating whether I was going to die. Thankfully, I am still alive.

Much more thankfully, D only had to spend one night in the hospital with C. They plugged him full of IV fluids and sugar stuff and other great vitamin or mineral things. Monday evening he came home and my heart nearly burst with sheer jubilation. I have never been away from the children when they are that sick. I am always the one to take them to the doctor or hospital. It was hard to be separated!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Girl Scout Meeting

Last week we had our monthly Girl Scout meeting. This month we celebrated the holidays by baking and decorating cookies. The girls rolled out store bought sugar cookie dough and used their handy dandy cookie cutters to make a mess. While my co-leaders baked the girls cookies, I was leading games in the other room. After the cookies cooled, the girls frosted and decorated their cookies. One of our sweet girls brought her boombox and holiday kids CDs and we listened to her tunes. It was a gay ol' and festive time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

9:37 AM

Alright then. It has been a day and it's only 9:37am.

G just yelled my name, so I come running from the kitchen. I round the corner, into the living room, just in time to see D pour a bag of Corn Pops over G's head who is supposedly minding her own business, watching Curious George.

G is now truly outraged. D invaded her space by joining her on the davenport, and then has the audacity to sit down next to her after dumping cereal over her head.

Before I can open my big ol' mouth to yell (because that is what I do best in these situations -- yell), G retaliates by dumping her rather large bowl of popcorn over D's head.

Now I am stomping my foot, putting my hands on my ample hips and yelling, "Hello?! What is going on in here?!"

D hurls himself off the furniture, onto the floor, and promptly begins jumping on top of the cereal and popcorn disaster as he giggles like a mad scientist and chants, "Wunch-ing! Wunch-ing!" (Translation: Crunching! Crunching!)

Again... Alrighty then!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Last weekend we had our first good snow with about 2-4 inches. The children had an awesome time playing outside. It took approximately 20 minutes to get all four children ready to go outside. We live in MN, so you have to factor in multiple layers of clothes, snow pants, winter jackets, snow boots, mittens, scarves, hats... the list goes on.

After being outside for only 5 minutes, I was begging the children to go inside. It was freaking cold out. I don't have snow pants. I couldn't find my winter boots -- and I own THREE PAIRS! Plus, I wasn't smart enough to search out a hat to wear.
Wish I had enough energy to shovel the backyard!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Tree, Part 1

Just some miscellaneous pictures of Husband and the wee ones putting together our not so attractive Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago. I am a bit behind.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Party Like A Rock Star

Husband has been dying to get his hands on Rock Band or Guitar Hero. I, personally, wanted to purchase the Wii. However, since he is the GAMER, and we already have an XBox 360 -- he won. Darn!

The first night we set it up, he played from 6pm to 4am! Yes! Indeed, you read that correctly... until FOUR AM!!! The children love it and of course, we had to invite our most excellent and fantastic neighbor over to enjoy the chaos. She rocked the house on the drums and then the guitar.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


We had a beautiful day today! It was almost perfect. Woke up with the darling children; made a pancake breakfast; watched the gorgeous, large, puffy snowflakes float to the ground; all of the children cooperated with Husband and I as we made several trays of peanut blossom cookies.
Life was gorgeous... until nap time.

This might be the time to mention that today was also the day my husband chose to try to stop smoking. He had his last cigarette at 8:30am and started chomping away at Nicorette gum.

Perfect day ensues with my perfect children and my perfect life partner. Husband is generally the more even tempered and patient, stable parent. He goes cigarette-free and whoa there, cowboy! He turns into a daft, demented man lacking all sense of perspective.

I digress -- the perfect day is proceeding towards nap time. Suddenly, those four darling children went all Sybil - Linda Blair - Psycho on us as their parental units. We are taking heads swiveling, funky fluids flinging from orifices, multiple personalities switching out every few minutes. It was crazy. Needless to say, the Norman Rockwell picture-perfect day started to go down hill at break neck speeds.

Husband ended up needing a three hour nap while I dealt with non-napped two, three, and eight year olds. Our precious H was awesome and took a nap. (There is a God!)

As I enjoyed the day with my little lovelies, I looked forward to my pending escape at 5:30pm so I could join my sister, MJ, at the Monster Truck Jam.

Ah, yes! My dirty little secret... I LOVE the dirt, destruction, and mullet hair cuts of all my fellow red-neck, white trash monster truck lovers.

So, 5:30pm rolls around and I am whipping around the house, trying to leave and my Hubby walks up to me and says, "Honey?" [First indication that something odd is going to come out of his mouth.] "Will you go to THE STORE for me?"

"The Store" for my Hubby is code for only one of two things. 1)He is lacking Pepsi, or 2) he is lacking nicotine. Seriously?!

I have a very strict policy of never, ever, EVER purchasing those filthy cancer sticks for him. I guess Husband must have been excessively desperate to ask me to buy those awful things. Strict no-buy policy... Yet, I had pity on his retched soul and broke my rule. (Not to mention, I was a half hour late to pick up my sister for the absolute most phenomenal event of the year!) SIGH! I went to the gas station and picked up THOSE things.

Actually, truth be told... I was a weency bit afraid for Husband's sanity, as well as the children's safety, if he did not ingest large amounts of nicotine-induced smoke asap. After all, why should I be allowed to have all the fun?! I was about to ingest dirt, truck fumes, and antifreeze fumes, as I enjoyed the fabulous sound of revving engines or preferably crunching metal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Licensure to be a Parent?

I have no idea if this story is true, but if it is, I no longer hold Britney or Jamie Lynn responsible for any of their actions because they just weren’t taught any better.

The latest gossip from Star Magazine has to do with Jamie Lynn Spears noticing she was putting on some weight and begging her mother for liposuction. Her mother not only approved it, but signed all kinds of forms saying that it was OK to perform this procedure on her underage daughter.

All of this supposedly happened when Jamie Lynn was pregnant and didn’t know it.

So, if she’s not pregnant enough to realize that she’s pregnant, she’s probably only a few months along, right? And how much weight could she have possibly gained? AND, even if she gained 10 – or even 20 – pounds WHO JUMPS RIGHT TO LIPOSUCTION?

When your underage daughter comes to you and says “Mom, I’ve gained, like, ten pounds and I really really really want liposuction. Pleeeeeeeease!” how about just telling her to go run around the block? How about seeing a dietitian? How about anything else?

I have reached the conclusion that there should be a questionnaire for the parents of child actors/singers/dancers. If the parents answer yes to three or more of the questions the child will not be allowed to pursue stardom, no matter how talented they are. (I may run for office with this as my platform, I just need to find the time.)

1. Do you still blame your parents for not letting you pursue your dream of becoming a singer/actor/dancer?

2. Have you ever lied about your child’s age to get them into an audition?

3. Have you depleted your savings, college, and retirement accounts in your effort to get your child into show business?

4. Are you convinced that your child is more talented than 99% of kids in show business?

5. Have you ever forgotten the names of the rest of your children?

6. If someone told you that they could make your kid a star tomorrow but you had to sleep with him/her, would you do it?

7. Have you ever fired your child’s coach/trainer/teacher because your child is “already way beyond” anything he or she can be taught?

8. Did you have headshots of your child printed up before he or she turned six months old?

9. Would you let your child drop out of school in order to purse stardom?

10. Have you ever said something to someone only to have them look at you and respond “Good grief. You’re really stupid, aren’t you?”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Just in case you missed it (because I did), here is a controvesial advertisement from Motrin that really pissed off some granola-ish moms. The angry moms launched a nasty plot against the giat company who sells Motrin and successfully were able to get Motrin to pull the offendind ad.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Place

Lots of fun watching football with friends tonight. The Vikings won and just in time to take first place in the division!!! Thankfully we won -- otherwise, my poor husband would have been sulking and crabby and the tiny party may not have gone so smashingly wonderful.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

For all of those who are interested (all three of you!), I thought I’d let you know that I did NOT venture out this morning for Black Friday shopping. I decided to go with my original thought -- which is there isn’t enough money to be saved or sedatives to be taken to make me want to get out in those pyschotic crowds on a blustery Friday morning.

Besides Walmart, Menards, etc is just too much for my delicate sensibilities on a normal day that doesn’t involve professional shoppers looking for great deals on flat screen T.V.’s. and a Barbie Hot Tub Party Bus.

So, I’m just sitting here eating leftover green bean casserole and turkey, the way God and the pilgrims intended.

I wish I had more time, but G is threatening to end world peace if she can’t get on the computer and play various games on PBS Kids this instant(!).

It’s a lot of drama.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is good to remember how blessed we are.

It is easy to take for granted all of God's bountiful blessings. It is easy in today's selfish, consumer-driven culture to always want more and be discontent with what we have.

I often crab about the work that needs to be done on my house, or complain about how small our house is and wouldn't it be nice to have new clothes, or a sleek, flashy car, or perhaps the newest techno gadget.

What I want to do is remind myself (and my children!) of how awesome it is that Hubby and I actually own our own home. I want to remind us that we are very fortunate to still have good paying jobs that offer us health benefits in an awful economy. I want to remember how phenomenal it is that my family is healthy.

Each day I want to celebrate life and all of God's blessings

E's Photos

E used my camera (with special permission) and took
some photos of the festivities on Turkey Day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

The children love playing with D's new transportation themed toys -- such as the train Lincoln Log set or the Hot Wheels monster trucks. Life is good when you have a younger sibling who gets awesome toys you can steal and play with.