Thursday, November 26, 2009

Countless Blessings

I am so very thankful for a million and one things, but since I don't have time to list ALL of those items -- let's settle on a list of 101 things that I am thankful for (in NO particular order).
  1. my children
  2. my husband
  3. my mom
  4. my dad
  5. my sisters
  6. my in-laws
  7. greatest neighbor ever, Carol
  8. loyal friends
  9. air conditioning
  10. apple scented candles
  11. bubble baths
  12. Jeremiah 29: 11
  13. healthy children
  14. freedom of religion
  15. sleep
  16. alarm clocks
  17. bonfires
  18. smell of crisp autumn air
  19. To Kill A Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
  20. mittens
  21. sound of purring cat
  22. three meals a day
  23. Girl Scouts
  24. freedom of speech
  25. Amarige perfume
  26. antibiotics
  27. volunteering
  28. white daisies
  29. air travel
  30. paychecks
  31. Christmas lights
  32. onion rings
  33. life's hard lessons
  34. poem "Phenomenal Woman"
  35. vaccines
  36. gainful employment
  37. electricity
  38. sunshine
  39. God's grace
  40. peanut butter
  41. scrapbooking
  42. indoor plumbing
  43. right to vote
  44. photography
  45. books
  46. President Obama
  47. birth control
  48. my OLD HOME
  49. make-up
  50. forgiveness
  51. music
  52. Malibu Rum
  53. Internet
  54. Bible
  55. public libraries
  56. caffeine
  57. washing machines
  58. educators
  59. babies laughing
  60. smell of cinnamon
  61. character building life lessons
  62. refrigerators
  63. pearls
  64. wisdom
  65. stain glass windows
  66. love
  67. green grass
  68. criticism
  69. three year old kisses
  70. Chemo Angels
  71. red tulips
  72. loyal friends
  73. HGtv!
  74. cats
  75. Lucky Charms cereal
  76. life
  77. smiles
  78. laughter
  79. Jonny Lang music
  80. automobiles
  81. intelligent children
  82. Lincoln Logs
  83. grocery stores
  84. family that never gives up on me
  85. anti-depressants
  86. Phoenix Process Consultants
  87. connections between people
  88. hot chocolate
  89. volleyball
  90. vacation
  91. ears to hear with
  92. North Shore, MN
  93. front porches
  94. snow angels
  95. snow blowers
  96. public schools
  97. passion
  98. jacuzzi tubs
  99. Diet Pepsi
  100. deep breathing
  101. EVERY DAY!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dogs Go To Heaven?

Who said that "Church People" don't have a sense of humor?

According to an email I received these two churches face each other across a busy street and engaged in a war of words through their announcement boards.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Climb

My baby sister has been bothering me for WEEKS that my Lyric Tuesday's choices have "sucked", so today's music is being recommended by her. Enjoy Miley Cyrus (seriously?!)...

"The Climb"
~ Miley Cyrus

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay, I admit it! I was very excited. Psychotically, overwhelmingly-so, ready to crawl out of my skin excited!!! For what you asked... to see the new Twilight movie, New Moon! It came out on Friday, November 20th and I was very tempted to go right away -- the very first night. However, it just didn't work for our schedule and I wasn't sure if I could stomach the crazy teeny-bopper girls shrieking.

I held my wild-horses and waited patiently to see the movie until Sunday. Sunday morning. Bright and early. 10:00am!

So, what did I think of the movie? You're just dying to know and hear another Twilight freak rant and rave about how awesome the movies are. Right?

Unfortunately, I can do no such thing. The second Twilight movie took more liberties with the plot and story line and strayed further from the book than the first movie. Plus with all of the werewolf "phasing" and vampire / Volturi examples of extreme strength -- WAY CHEESY! There is no way to do that with special effects and do it any justice. And to be completely honest, the acting was down-right awful. Really hideously awful!!! Yet...


I am ashamed to admit that I still enjoyed the movie. Mind you, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one, but it was still entertaining. But, (there's always a BUT, right?) I am definitely NOT dying to see New Moon again.

I would seriously recommend waiting to see it until you can rent it.

However, I have a confession. I am all about *Team Jacob*. Forget that funky looking, make-up induced pale thing that Edward supposedly has going for him. The actor who plays Edward isn't even cute! Yet on the other hand, how can you not ADORE Taylor Lautner? Despite the fact that he is just a wee baby and definitely too young.

He is downright HOT!

Did I mention that I think he's HOT?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MY Superman!

My baby is now three years old! I am in some serious denial that my precious, littlest baby is now a full-fledged, rather large almost preschooler. THREE YEARS OLD?!?!? How did that happen? It's so cliche, but where does the time go?

We had a rollicking good time with a family party on Saturday night. D-Man was a gracious birthday boy who shared all of his new toys and let his multitude of sisters play with them first. What a sweet angelic boy!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

John Hancock

I love the creativity of children. They use everything as a canvas for their art work... include their own -- OR THEIR SIBLINGS -- bodies. See Exhibit A above.
My personal favorite includes when the artists signs their name, backwards (!), on their brother's back, but then blame it on their younger sister who can't read or write yet.
See Exhibit B below.
Too funny!
What are you going to do besides run for the camera to document the mayhem?!
It's that or search for the Valium.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Potato Drawer - Hide and Seek

There are just some people who are cursed with certain types of technologies. You know the kind of person I am talking about. For some reason, they simply should not own a car or computer or electric pencil sharpener, or perhaps a cell phone.

Take me for example...

No matter what, I am not destined to own a fully functioning, totally operational cell phone.

Did you know that your cell phone provider can KICK YOU OFF of your mobiles "insurance" plan if you submit too many claims within a specified time frame?


It happened to me. True story!

In my defense, not ALL of the claims were completely my fault! At least one of the three, or maybe five (or, er, honestly... I guess it was several) claims were because of the dippy phone manufacturer.

So, it all boils down to this simple fact: I am cursed when it comes to cell phones. As my friends can vouch, I often lose my phone, if it is actually working. Unfortunately, I have the special talent (with my wee ones assistance) of losing my cell for entire DAYS ON END. [Record: lost that dang thing for an entire week!]

What leads me to share these insightful thoughts with you... I just found my cell phone inside my refrigerator INSIDE THE POTATO DRAWER! I think normal people call this drawer a crisper, but since I store my potatoes and vegetables inside it -- it's my potato drawer.

Hello?! One of my children (because it sure as heck wasn't me!) put my cell phone inside a drawer, inside the refrigerator. Inside a drawer!

Doesn't' anyone else think that is a funny place to put a cell phone -- even for a 2 or 4 year old?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Right. Away.

There isn't any other way to wake up than to the sweet cuddles and kisses of your 4 year old daughter. She stroked my face and kissed my eyebrows and I sighed happily and gave her a kiss back. She snuggled down onto my shoulder and squeezed me tightly.

Then ever so softly and with the kindest of voices, she whispered this advice into my ear:

"Mommy? When you wake up and get out of bed, you should go brush your teeth. Right. Away. You have icky mouth, okay?"


Nothing like being sweetly told you STINK by your preschooler at 6 am...

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard. Especially since, well...

she was right!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best Videos Ever

For all of Michael Jackson's strange-ness, he always had the absolutely best ever videos. He was a true artist. As a person who ADORES and appreciates all forms of dance, his videos and natural talent completely blows my mind.

Remember the Time:


"You Rock My World" - video with Chris Tucker

"Scream" - video with his sister, Janet Jackson

Friday, November 13, 2009


Did you know that there was a such thing as a "Guiness World Records DAY"?

Each year on November 12th, the Guiness World Record people celebrate the anniversary of when they sold their HUNDRED MILLIONTH copy of their book -- which occured fives years ago (2004). Craziness!

Some of my favorite records include:
  • Most Ferrero Rocher chocolates eaten in one minute: SEVEN, by Jim Lyngvild (Denmark) live on TV2 Denmark's Go? Aften Danmark in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 10 October 2008.

  • Fastest time to carve a face into a pumpkin: 24.03 seconds, by Stephen Clarke (USA), who broke his previous record on July 23, 2006 at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida.

  • Longest time to hold your breath underwater: 18 min 32.59 sec , by Karoline Mariechen Meyer (Brazil) in a swimming pool in Florianopolis, Brazil, on July 10, 2009.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

Today is Veteran's Day, formerly known as Armitice Day. Veteran's Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I.

Although I generally oppose taking military action as a means to convince other countries or groups of people to see things the "American" way, I want to be clear that I always support the brave, honorable men and women who make huge sacrafices to serve our country.

Since I have FOUR children, I was curious how to teach them about Veteran's Day. I found this article that I thought had a few interesting ideas.

Veterans Day is a great time to educate your children about the history of this holiday and the sacrifice and dedication of our U.S. veterans. So, how do you celebrate this holiday in a creative and constructive way with your children?

How to Teach Kids About Veterans Day

Here are a few ideas, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and

1. Teach your children about the history of Veterans Day by having them create a time line of events leading to the observance of the holiday.

2. Have your kids write short articles or essays of how veterans are honored around the world. And if you know any veterans locally, propose that your kids interview them about what it's like to serve in the U.S. military.

3. Research how American veterans were treated after they returned from various military conflicts, ranging from the French and Indian War to the Persian Gulf War. Ask your children to compare and contrast their findings. Also compare and contrast how women and minorities who served in those conflicts were treated.

4. Have children draw a picture of Veterans Day, and what this holiday means to them. Military children can draw a picture of a parent who is currently deployed, or a relative who has served.

5. Make a thank you card for veterans. Children can give this card to veterans that they know or to veterans who are listed through the local VA medical facility.

6. Ask your children's teacher to invite veterans to their classroom. Veterans can discuss what it's like to serve in the military, and how important it is to observe this holiday.

7. Have your kids make a colorful and fun poster with the names and pictures of relatives who are veterans.

There are a variety of ways to celebrate Veterans Day with your children. And teaching children about the significance of this holiday will help give them a deep appreciation of our nation's servicemembers and veterans.

Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide

With Veterans Day less than 45 days away, the time is right for planning classroom activities. The Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide contains information to help students gain an understanding of the origins of Veterans Day and why America celebrates it each November 11. It includes suggestions for a Veterans Day ceremony and classroom activities for both younger and older students.

Download a copy of the Resource Guide or Veterans Day poster.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I love music that mellows me out and Dave Matthews Band always does that. Nothing particularly connects me to these lyrics with the exception of the ever present desire to be swept off my feet and adored the way the lyrics talk about.

~ Dave Matthews Band

Crazy, how it, feels tonight.
Crazy, how you, make it all alright love.
You crush me, with the, things you do,
I do, for you, anything too oh.
Sitting, smoking, feeling high.
And in this, moment, ah, it feels so right.

Lovely lady, I am at your feet, oh, God I want you so badly.
And I wonder this could tomorrow be so wondrous as you there sleeping.

Let's go, drive till, the morning comes.
And watch the, sunrise, and fill our souls up.
Well drink some, wine til, we get drunk, yes...

It's crazy, I'm thinking, just knowing that the world is round.
I'm here I'm dancing on the ground.
Am I right side up or upside down, and is this real, or am I dreaming?

Lovely lady, let me drink you, please, I won't spill a, drop no, I promise you.
Lying under this spell you cast on me.
Each moment the more, I, love, you. crush me, come on. oh, yes.

It's crazy I'm thinking, just knowing that the world is round.
I'm here I'm dancing on the ground.
Am I right side up or upside down?
Is this real, oh lord, or am I dreaming?

Lovely lady, I will treat you sweetly, adore you, I mean, you crush me.
Oh it's times like these when my faith I feel.
I know, how, I, love, you. come on, come on, baby.

It's crazy, I'm thinking just as long as you're around.
I'm here I'll be dancing on the ground.
Am I right side up or upside down?
To each other, well be facing.
My love, my love, well beat back the pain weve found.
You know, I mean to tell you all the things I've been thinking, deep inside my
With each moment the more I love you. Crush me, come on, baby.

So much you have, given love, that I would give you back again and again.
Oh, the love, many now hold you but please, please, just let me, always

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cosmic Smack-Down

We all have deep dark secrets and I’ll confess one of mine, if you don’t judge me.

Sometimes I feel superior and smug. Like I’m a GOOD mom and I have my life all sorted out and my children are well behaved. Until the inevitable cosmic smack-down puts me firmly back in my place, reminding me that I am NOT such a good mother and my life is NOT so very in order and my children are DEFINITELY NOT well behaved.

I’ve had this feeling the past few weeks...

I’m whipping up homemade pancakes like one of those “good moms” on an after-school special. Fresh! Healthy! Fluffy! The pancakes are a lot of work but that’s the kind of mom I am. I mentally pat myself on the back as I set a plate of hot cakes with a side of neatly chopped fruit and a frothy glass of milk in front of the children.

I turn back to the kitchen to clean up my mess (because that’s what GOOD MOMS do.)

ZING! Just barely, out of the corner of my eye, I see it… something flying through the air.

I whirl around, spatula in hand. My imp-ish little four-year daughter is eyeing me warily. Her eyes nervously jump from me to the rug near the kitchen sink where a freshly cut piece of syrupy pancake lies face-down.

“Princess Booger!!!” I bellow and immediately she’s up and negotiating,

“But Mommy! I was just throwing it at D!”


She smiles nervously. slyly. “But mom, I DIDN’T know that.”


G’s smile has gotten smaller, but it’s still there. Hopeful. Amused.

“GO TO YOUR ROOM!” I howl and pick up the piece of pancake, mumbling obscenities. G slinks to her room, pouting.

I stand by the sink, fuming.

Time goes by… enough that I’ve calmed down and told G what I think about her behavior. I pull out my to-do list. I’ve been meaning to wash the rug and kitchen floor for a week now, and there’s no more putting it off.

Later, same day…

Breakfast dishes are clean. I am on my second, or is it my third?, load of laundry. I am feeling in control again. I am a GOOD MOM. Listen at how happy the children are playing together while I manage our household.

Now that I think about it… those perfect little children have been awfully quiet for quite a while. I haven’t heard a peep out of them for minutes.

I start to get a sinking feeling in my stomach as I cross the kitchen towards the children’s bedroom. The door is almost closed. Another foreboding sign.

I peek around the bedroom door.

My angelic children have markers in their pudgy, little hands. MAGIC MARKERS.

They have decided to decorate the bunk bed frame with some of their darling doodles, as well as each others skin… and clothes… and maybe a bit on the bed sheets too.


And it’s only 1:00.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sleepover AT Sister's Room

G always asks if she can have a sleepover AT her big sister's bedroom -- which is conveniently located in our house. Although, we usually say no to avoid fights with her other siblings, we finally said YES!

G & E were so very excited. G promptly started gathering everything she would need -- pajamas, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, books. . . G attempted to carry ALL of it upstairs in one load. It didn't work. E ended up following G through the house and picking up everything she was dropping.

It took them a while, but they finally got themselves all set up in E's room.
It went well until the lights were turned out. G was downstairs in her own bed in under three minutes. That cute little girl just can't stand sleeping anywhere but her own bed -- or mine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sesame Street

This week celebrated Sesame Street's 40th birthday! Isn't that awesome?!?! I LOVE that show. The pure excitement and joy my children get when they watch it. . . I remember enjoying it as a child and now the next generation is still enjoying Sesame Street.
Even Google decided to recognize Sesame Street's grand achievement (reaching 40 years of continuous new shows) by including Big Bird's legs in the Google doodle and the very next day, the Google doodle included the ever lovable Cookie Monster.
As the consummate social liberal, I adore that Sesame Street was started in 1969 as a way to educate low-income children. There have been several controverserial moments over the past 40 years that have caused some headaches for PBS, but could they being a good job if they never rocked the boat?
Lyrics to the Sesame Street theme song

Sunny Days
Sweepin' the Clouds Away
On My Way to Where the Air is Sweet
Can You Tell Me How to Get,
How to Get to Sesame Street?

Come and Play
Everything's A-Okay
Friendly Neighbors There,
That's Where We Meet
Can You Tell Me How to Get,
How to Get to Sesame Street?

It's a Magic Carpet Ride
Every Door Will Open Wide to Happy People Like You
Happy People Like
What a Beautiful
Sunny Day
Sweepin' the Clouds Away
On My Way to Where the Air is Sweet
Can You Tell me How to Get,
How to Get to Sesame Street...?
How to Get to Sesame Street...?
How to Get to Sesame Street...?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chin Length Hair

I am at work, sitting in the midst of the cube farm, happily minding my business, when I receive an unexpected call from the school nurse. Apparently my daughter has come to school complaining about the pain of a rather large burn on her right cheek.

According to the nurse, since this injury was news to me, E was trying to curl her hair before school. (Need I remind you that it is only chin length!!!) Since I had already left for work when this happened, I was completely caught off guard and more than a bit alarmed. E admitted to the nurse that she had snuck upstairs to curl her hair while Grandma was watching the wee ones downstairs. E even asked the nurse to NOT call me, since I didn't know about it yet. (Perhaps my mother in law should have called me at work? And, oh by the way -- didn't E think I would have noticed the LARGE, BROWN BURN on E's cheek as soon as she walked into our home after school?!) The nurse recommended I call my pediatrician to see if he would prescribe a burn cream that would help ease my sweet daughter's discomfort.

I had not even seen the injury yet, but I was supposed to call my ped and see if he would prescribe a prescription strength cream?! And wait a moment, keeping in mind, I still have not seen the injury, I was supposed to trust that E didn't need to actually be seen for the burn? I mean, do school nurses call and recommend treatment if the injury is considered minor? (But major enough to require a prescription?)

Then my mind jumps to other thoughts... E, just like the rest of the family, has extremely fair skin that scars easily. Is this youthful negligence going to leave a bad-arse scar on my gorgeous child's face?!

And wait just one more minute...

I flip my calendar open and notice that school pictures are in exactly FIVE DAYS.


Just perfect!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


As much as I dislike the colder weather that comes with autumn, I adore the gorgeous sunrises. Look at the beautiful hot pink and lavender! Unfortunately, it's not a fabulous picture. But you get the idea...

"We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise
if we have waited in the darkness."
~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sugar Bug

My little four-year old had to go to the dentist last week to have a teeny-tiny "sugar bug" fixed. It was such a pitiful thought and I instantly felt like the worst parent ever!

I ask you, Who in the halibut has a four-year old with a cavity? Apparently me!

In any case, here she is! A happy picture of innocence -- before the Novocain mosquito gives her a little "sting" to make her feel funny.
Needless to say, it didn't stay happy for long!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Go and VOTE!

Stop reading blogs,
surfing the net,
working, playing, chatting.

Drive to your local polling place and



John Mayer is awesome. Love the lyrics! Just breaks your heart, doesn't it?

"Slow Dancing In A Burning Room"
~ John Mayer

It's not a silly little moment,
It's not the storm before the calm.
This is the deep and dying breath of
This love that we've been working on.

Can't seem to hold you like I want to
So I can feel you in my arms.
Nobody's gonna come and save you,
We pulled too many false alarms.

We're going down,
And you can see it too.
We're going down,
And you know that we're doomed.
My dear,
We're slow dancing in a burning room.

I was the one you always dreamed of,
You were the one I tried to draw.
How dare you say it's nothing to me?
Baby, you're the only light I ever saw.

I'll make the most of all the sadness,
You'll be a bitch because you can.
You try to hit me just to hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
Because you can't understand.

We're going down,
And you can see it too.
We're going down,
And you know that we're doomed.
My dear,
We're slow dancing in a burning room.

Go cry about it - why don't you?
Go cry about it - why don't you?
Go cry about it - why don't you?

My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room,
Burning room,
Burning room,
Burning room,
Burning room.

Don't you think we oughta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we oughta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we oughta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This Halloween, H was with her mom and E decided to go trick or treating with friends. I was quite sad and lonely since we only had D & G with us, but I guess that made it less chaotic. G was a butterfly that she called a "fairy" and D was a monkey.

Still... I would have preferrred having all of my wee ones with me.