Friday, November 30, 2007

Trimming the Tree

After way too many days of the kids asking, and the honest intentions of doing it, the kids and I finally put up the Christmas Tree today. All of my little helpers brought the branches up from the basement one by one, then carefully opened up each branch and placed it in it's correctly colored rung on the towering trunk. They all waited (not so) patiently, as it took me about 4 hours to hang the lights...between the very very sad and crying baby, and finding the mystery lights that actually lit up when plugged into the wall. They were so eager and cute as they ripped open the ornament boxes and hung them all on the was like Christmas morning as they opened things they had forgotten even existed, and lovingly placed them each precisely on the most perfect branch. Everyone was very proud of the end result. As they worked on the tree, Melissa and I made "Happy Hockey Pucks" and frosted mint brownies for her Girl Scout Holiday Boutique the next morning. Christmas music played continuously in the background, and hot chocolate was always ready. If it were not for the screaming baby in the background and the pile of his poopy clothes in the corner, the day would have nearly been picturesque.

As a reward for our busy day, Jonny and I got to spend the evening at the Timberwolves game with his cub scout troop. It was nice to get away and enjoy some time with boy #3 (Grandma stayed at home with Thomas). The game was really good and exciting for the boys. We were actually ahead most of the time until the last period. Oh well, it is not about winning or losing, and we had a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michael's Last Day of School

Michael is officially done with Middle School today! Hooray!

Well...kind of. He is finished with schooling inside the building, and will now be on a new homeschooling adventure. He has been asking for this since the beginning of October, but we wanted him to finish off the trimester, just to make sure that he was sure about this decision. He was sure...and very happy to be done today.

The public schools out here are very good...the main reason we moved here. We have been thrilled with the elementary school and high school...more so than their private school in the cities. But the middle school seems to be lacking. We have had 2 boys go through it now, and we have not been impressed in any way. I would be happy if all of our kids stayed home during the middle school years, and then went into High School. The MS cared so much, that when I called on Wednesday to let them know of our intentions, they simply stated nonchalantly, "OK,thanks for calling." Yeah, none of us are going to miss that place.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What were YOU doing at Midnight?

To answer the question above, I would like to say that we were all sleeping soundly in our beds. That, however, was not entirely the case at our house last night. Fortunately, our kids were all sleeping soundly, warmly tucked in their beds. Unfrotunately, Bob & I were outside freezing our faces off.
Bob had been putting up Christmas lights on that lovely Monday evening...and it really had been a lovely evening....not too cold, and barely a breeze. As I have eluded to in other blogs, Bob is doing a fantastic job with the lights this year. One of the tools that has made this easier for him is his new 2-story stepladder. This thing is huge! He can make it to the top of each tree, and because it has rungs on both sides, it is easy to access eith side of the tree, and it is relatively stable. He has only needed my help to move it from tree to tree due to it's large size.

Last night, Bob finished working for the night at about 10pm, and left the ladder up between our house and the neighbor's house as he has done evry night since November 1. Out of nowhere, we got one of the worst wind storms this year. The wind was whipping around the house at around 50 MPH...not only were the windows rattling, but our entire bedroom that hangs slightly over the rest of the house, was felt like it was going to blow right off the house! Added to that, there was this very odd banging/slamming noise on the outside of the bedroom wall. What could it be? We were up 2 stories!

It's the ladder! Blast...that thing is so heavy...and so UNSTABLE being way-too-tall against gale force winds. The wind chill had dropped from a balmy 26 degrees to below zero, and the wind was unbelievable. The bungy cords Bob had used to try to tack the ladder to the tree were pulling from the house and branches as if made from rubber bands. As the ladder leaned perilously toward our neighbors' front picture window, the cords would snap it back, causing it to crash against the side of our house. Nothing was good about this situation.

Using basically all the strength we had in us, we cut the cords and somehow mangaed to move this monstrosity baby steps at a time from around the side of the house. We needed to make it all the way to our front yard, the only space large enough to knock it over into without ruining trees or personal property. As our faces went numb in the cold, we somehow managed to carry this thing to the desired location without ripping off our roof along the way. With a very loud crash(which was actually unnoticed in the crazy noise of the wind), the ladder hit the ground, clearing all items in our yard...success. Well, good-night, honey...sleep's after midnight!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Most Perfect Baby Ever

With 7 kids, Bob & I know a thing or two about babies. As babies go, we both realize that this one is exceptional. There is something truly special about baby Thomas, and I think that all of his loving siblings will agree....he is just so very perfect! And no, I do not think we are being is true!

When I finally got to meet my baby for the first time (it was 2 hours after he was born due to general anesthesia), his beauty took my breath away. The image of my wonderful husband waiting for me, holding this perfect little miniature person in his arms will forever be etched in the most precious memories file in my mind. His perfect complexion, beautiful, soft strawberry blonde hair, cute little rosebud mouth, and tiny little cry that he rarely sounded off....he was a true gem.

After the difficulties with Laura, her following health issues, and two miscarriages, this sweet little baby was the perfect amnesic medicine. He has been everything wonderful about little babies, without any of the struggles. He is so good natured, SMILES all the time, is so very patient, can be taken almost anywhere (except in church...he gets too excited with all the new people he gets to talk to), has slept through the night since before 2 months of age, and rarely cries. He has the most engaging smile ever, and has the sweetest looks he saves for Mommy & Daddy. When it was a pulmonary embolism that took my breath away 5 weeks after he was born, he was a good little boy for Grandma as she instantly took over "mommy" role for the first week, and he was the perfect therapy I needed to make it through my second anxious week in the hospital. He was a hit on the cardiac very sweet, and never cried or disturbed another patient.

His siblings are positively enamored with him. When he was itty bitty, Christopher would hold him for up to an hour everyday while the others were in school. Laura is constantly talking to him and putting things in his face to play with (Thomas is actually not so thrilled about this). Melissa can make him laugh just by saying silly things. Jonny holds him so very much when he cries or when I need an extra pair of hands. Michael looks for him first thing in the mornings, and Alex searches him out every time he emerges from the depths of his room.

I could go on and on about how great Thomas has been as a baby, but I think everyone already knows....I haven't stopped mentioning it since his birthday! Suffice it to say that he is a true blessing to our family and a total joy each and everyday. A shirt that I bought him when we were in Colorado states it very well : "When God made me, He was just showing off!" That's my baby Thomas!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Queen in our Castle

Some people are defined by what happens to them in life. Laura defines and directs her own life. I am convinced that it is because of her personality (by of course God's miraculous hand) that she survived through those uncertain months of pregnancy and days after birth when she was given only a 1% chance to survive. Clearly, the doctors did not realize that no one tells Laura what she can and can not do. Being a Princess is not good enough for Laura...she entered our lives and immediately assumed Queen status. Given her circumstances and all she has been through, I guess she deserves the title. She has a boldness, a toughness, a stubborness, a strength, that is unique unto her. One does not "ask" Laura to do may submit a request to her, and be hopeful of a positive response. If punishment or consequence is involved due to her denial of a request, certainly do NOT expect her to give you the satisfaction that it bothers her in the least. Expect instead, a half-smile, with glimmering eyes that seem to bore the words into your soul, "So what? I win...I still own you!"
Along with her sometimes "difficult" personality, Laura is blessed with the fullness of just seems to exude from her. She somehow seems to bless people wherever she goes. Though rather shy in unfamiliar places, people still seem to take notice of her and comment on how full of life she is. She is spunky and fun, courageous and clever, joyful and loving, and a great helper on her own terms. Often, she is simply a delight.
As she gets closer to her fourth birthday, I continue to marvel at her existence. I savor every sweet "I love you , Mom" and hug that I get from her. Her survival is nothing short of a miracle. She is an incredible little girl. God has such a definite plan for this little girl, and I am so excited to watch it unfold over her lifetime.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Crispy Critter

No matter the situation, circumstance, or time of day, I can always count on Crispy's smile. He is rock solid, even tempered, content, happy, and just a joy to have as my little buddy. I can take him anywhere and know that he will behave appropriately, as well as enjoy the experience, whatever it may be. Like big brother Jonny, Christopher has also been content from the very beginning and I can not recall a single temper tantrum. Such a peaceful soul.

Not only that, but this child is EXTREMELY helpful! Perhaps partly due to his age, but I would like to think this is his core personality shining through. Crispy is just a workhorse....he will do whatever needs to be done: jobs that are both little and large. When the dumpster was here, he worked a solid 3 days with me and Grandma...side by side digging and organizing things in the basement. That is no small task in our basement warehouse! He was actually bummed the day that Thomas was so sick and we were unable to work. He takes direction very well, and as long as he works under supervision, he can do a perfect job.

Did I mention SMART? This kid has been spelling words and doing math problems in his head since the age of 4. Sudoku does not even stand a chance against him. He catches on to new concepts very quickly, and readily incorporates them into his world. Kindergarten has pretty much been all review for him. Just like his brothers...if they all banded together, they could probably revolutionize the world as we know it!

To top it all off, this little boy of mine is just so sweet. He has the unique position in the family of being between the girls, each of whom have some special physical needs. Since he turned 2, he has been a helper to both of them...opening up snack packages, giving nebs, getting toys they are unable to reach or carry, pouring them drinks, etc. He and Melissa have been growing up together as if twins. He never complains, and eagerly helps each of them, younger or older. The 3 of them play so very well together...their imaginations soar when they are together, and they do not often argue. From building forts, to playing house happily with dolls, he is an indispensable part of our lives. What a great little buddy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Princess of Perseverence

Melissa has always been intrigued by princesses. It is her favorite thing to pretend to be. Princesses are beautiful, live in pretty castles, have kitties for pets, ride on ponies, and always get the handsome prince. What more could a girl want? What a life!

For Melissa, life has never been easy. She was born with a rare chromosomal abnormality that leaves her with very low muscle tone, inconsistent learning patterns, decreased speech ability, and social immaturity. The number of doctors and specialists she sees is sometimes overwhelming. She has received help and services through the school district since her first birthday, as well as outside therapies. Even so, Melissa does not yet recognize this as is just simply her way of life.

Things we had always taken for granted with the boys, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, just didn't happen for Melissa. Everything she does, she has to work very hard to learn. Little accomplishments have always been a HUGE deal around here for her. Because of the great support she received from wonderful therapists from the beginning, family, and friends, Melissa has been thriving and soaring. She has many aspirations and whatever interests her, she gives a try. Melissa has a healthy self-esteem, and currently does not see any hindrance in her path.

In school, she continues her hard working attitude. She completes every writing task and assignment even though it takes her twice as long as her peers and usually causes her to miss some free time activity. She works hard at her adaptive physical education group each day so that she is better prepared to participate with her own class on PE days. She gets pulled out of class twice a week for speech so that she can improve her breath support and facial tone in order that she can communicate better with others. She does all this without complaint.

As a parent, it is heartbreaking when disappointment befalls Melissa. After 3 years of dance, the routines became too involved, and Melissa really couldn't figure the moves anymore. Statements such as "I can't do it" seemed so foreign to hear. She became completely dismayed when she watched the video I had taped of her dance show and she saw that she wasn't even close to what the other girls were doing. Watching as all the little girls run through the playground and Melissa remains standing alone because she can't keep up, is almost too much for me to bear.

To her credit alone, Melissa continues to press on. She has traded her dancing shoes for a pair of riding boots and has seemed to finally have found her niche. Watching her sit so tall on her horse, following the directions of her instructor, and controlling an animal 10 times her size, is so very inspiring. Confidence radiates from her during her riding lessons. She has one hour every week where she totally belongs and where everything is right with her world. This is how it should be for the princess that she is...easy, and not so hard.

I never tire of watching her ride...seeing the joy on her face in anticipation, and listening to her excitement about the ride all the way home. It brings tears to my eyes every week. Melissa says that she wants to ride horses for the rest of her life. That's fine with me....I feel very privileged to be the chauffeur for this very beautiful and special little princess of mine.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! There really is so much to be thankful for this, friends, faith, health, home, opportunities, life, happiness, love.
We had a great time....good food, games, piano playing, and a preview of Bob's fancy Christmas lights for this year....they will be amazing! Once he gets the time, he will be updating his very own website you can view at

Mr. Responsible

Jonathan.....boy #3
......sandwiched between the shadow of his older brothers and the attention needed by his sister with special needs....quietly intuitive and intelligent....contemplative... friend to many....helper to anyone...compassion for everyone


Jonny has always been a pretty content kid. He was the first one to NOT go through tantrums during the toddler fact, I don't recall many upsets at all. Perhaps partly due to placement in the family line, or simply his God-given personality, Jonny has a warm and welcoming soul. He seems to have a mature understanding of how others feel...intuitive beyond his years. This makes him the perfect friend to anyone. No matter what personality he meets in his daily walks through life, he is able to befriend them and bring to them acceptance and understanding. He is a favorite amongst his classmates, teachers, siblings, and group leaders. He is a positive role model to everyone he meets.

Jonathan has been elected by his peers to student council this year, and is a member of the school patrol. Every morning, he walks his younger brother and sister to the playground, and helps Melissa to find one of her friends in the sea of children before he finds his own group. Everyday, he sits with his younger sister on the bus instead of his friends, to make sure that she gets off the bus safely. He babysits the little ones whenever I ask, and always does so without complaint. Besides the usual sibling tiffs now and then, he entertains them very well. Just now, he has made invitations on the computer to our Christmas Eve family party, stuffed the envelopes, stamped ,addressed, and put everything away. Now, if only I could get him to clean his room!!! :o)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Follow Your Dreams

Michael will try just about anything. If I am feeling adventurous and want a buddy to try something new with, I can always count on Michael. New activities, new foods, new places, new people...whatever the case, Michael is nearly always up for the experience.

When he was little, he would eat anything I made for dinner. His favorites included the usual kid friendly fare like grilled cheese, tomato soup, chicken nuggets, etc., as well as Thai foods and strange Indian concoctions. He would actually turn candy down and pick interesting vegetables instead, like asparagus and squash. He still prefers fresh fruits for snacks and homemade yummy dinners over fast-food. He is the perfect ethnic restaurant companion as he could go anywhere and find something good to eat.

From trying new foods, to riding the Tower of Terror at Disneyworld when he was only 7 (this was one of the scariest rides I have ever been on), to roughing it with his friends in the wilderness with no modern day luxuries, to experimenting with homeschooling, to training a dog the size of a small bear, Michael eagerly accepts each challenge. One of the best examples of his 'just do it' attitude is his present day hockey playing abilities. Here in our neck of the woods, hockey is a BIG deal. Upon moving here, most of the friends Michael made played hockey...back in the cities, we rarely heard the word. So, one winter day, he made up his mind that he would like to play too. Not being a very athletic family, Bob & I were entirely skeptical of the whole idea: it was an extremely expensive sport, time-consuming, the season had already started 2 months ago, and he was already so behind at the age of 10...all the kids out here start skating at age 3 (no kidding), and Michael had never even been on skates before!

He kept asking, and we reluctantly let him give it a try. We feared most for his disappointment as he would certainly realize how tough it was. He was put on teams with kindergarten kids who skated circles around him despite their teeny tiny size as he was struggling to remain upright. He spent more time on his derriere than on his feet...but he would simply get up and try again. We made it to as many practices as we could, and slowly but surely, my son was learning how to skate...and he was liking it. But it was such painful and slow work. Certainly he would soon grow bored and weary of this?

Michael is now starting his 3rd season of hockey. Not only has he caught up to the level of his peers, but he is currently one of 3 of the best skaters on his hockey team, and clearly the "smartest" player. He has made improvements by leaps and bounds by sticking with it and practicing whenever he can in the driveway, attending extra camps in the summer, and reviewing his own skating on DVD. He never let his inexperience get him has been so very exciting watching him improve from season to season, game to game. My son who once struggled to keep his balance on the ice, is now slamming big kids into the boards and taking the puck away. He's making goals, playing his position, and encouraging his teammates. He never gave up and had his eyes fixed on his learn to play hockey and have fun with his friends. In addition, he has recently learned how to skateboard and has gotten involved in paint balling too. He has shown us all that hard work really does pay off and that achieving what seems so difficult is really not so when your sights are set on the goal ahead. He can accomplish anything that he wants to, and it is so much fun watching him do it so very well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Power of Personal Conviction

This week being Thanksgiving, I am devoting my blogs to each of my children, the uniquness they bring to our family, and the lessons they have helped us learn. In light of Saturday's trip to the salon, it is fitting to start with my "first baby", Alexander.

From the moment he was born, Alex never fit into the textbook baby box. Babies were suppose to cry...he did not cry much (this was good). Babies were suppose to sleep much and often....he did not seem to ever sleep (this was not so good). I will forever have in my memory rocking him in our large blue rocking chair for more than 2 hours every night, watching David Letterman (who was on til 12:30am in those days), and ending at 1am with Inside Edition (we did not have cable back then!). Alex would happily jabber away all the while, holding a nukkie in each hand, and chewing on the one in his mouth...awake as could be! When he was 2, we secretly put a camera in his room and videotaped him during the 2 hours it would take him to fall asleep. He always stayed in bed and followed the rules like a good boy, but was very creative about it...from bouncing on the pillows, to making up stories, chatting with his reflection in the mirror....anything but falling asleep!

Alex is now in his first year of high school. He is finally getting to participate in activities and classes that meet and challenge his intelligence (science classes, math league, robotics/engineering league), instead of suffering through the boredom of sitting through meaningless courses and generic assignments. He has made it through the toughest middle school years despite moving to Waconia and having not a single friend to begin those years with. He is active in his youth group, strong in his faith, and has been asked to be a student example for younger kids going through the years he just left. He has maintained relationships with wonderful people, both kids and adults. He is an example for his younger siblings to look up to.

Through all his years, he has maintained his individuality. What other people have thought has never bothered him. He never needed the approval of teachers or peers to feel good about himself. He did not get excited about a good grade on a test or an artwork project done well. All the awards as a cub scout rolled off his back. He simply has always been content with who he is, who God made him to be, and that is that.

Alex knows what is right and sticks to his beliefs in them no matter what. He has searched out truth and has rested securely in it. He will go against the grain without a second thought to be the person he is called to be. He is strong. He is intelligent. He is faithful and loyal. He is independent. He is wonderful. And just as he was as a little guy, he is still a good boy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lovely Locks

My son Alex, has beautiful hair. He has been growing it for 4 years, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Melissa became very upset and cried a few months ago when Alex's hair measured longer than hers. I cried as mine was falling out after the baby was born and my son's became more luscious by the day.

Today, Alex's hair became spectacular. He donated it to Locks of Love. He shocked us all when he stated he would like to get a haircut. Initially, it had been a challenge getting use to his long hair, but we all became accustomed to it, and liked it just as much as he did. Instead of cheers from us with his decsion to cut it, we all were like, "What?" "What do you
mean?""Alex, no!" "You can't!" "Are you sure?" He was sure. He even cut 4 inches more than he had planned when he learned of the donation minimum...he donated a full 10 inches of beautiful, thick hair....2 ponytails worth! His hair will be used to give someone else hope and happiness...and many compliments, I am sure.

I am so proud of my son....he made a HUGE change today:both for himself and somebody else too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Wildcats' Mighty Meow

The Waconia Wildcats Football team made it to State semi-finals today at the Metrodome. Our wonderful city got into the spirit of the day, beginning with a morning parade for the High Schoolers. The kids in the elementary schools spent their first hours of the day making colorful signs and posters to hold up as the team went by. Being in the pep band, Alex was also involved as part of the parade and said it was pretty cool with all the kids lined up on the streets, cheering away. The younger kids were extremely proud as they shared waves with their big brother.

While my eldest 2 boys were already set up to attend the game, I remained undecided since it would require driving downtown (a fearful thing for me), parking my big huge white tank of a Suburban in parking spaces meant for little BMWs, then walking 1/2 mile alone with my 4 youngest in tow, all the while fearing for our lives in the dangerous big city. On the other hand, this was a mighty big occasion for our little city (the last time we reached this level was 1992) AND we just happened to be playing against Totino-Grace, my own team from 20 years ago. Ugh! How is it possible that I am so old that my son's high school is playing a football game against the high school I graduated from?!?!?!?

While I waited at the bus stop for Crispy, I finally made the decision to go to the game, called Melissa's school, picked her up 15 minutes later, stopped at the bank and McDonald's, and away we went! The kids were thrilled to be at the dome, and cheered the team on with their little purple and gold pom poms. Thomas even had a fancy yellow one around his wrist! Michael was decked out with yellow and purple hair. I'll admit, it was exciting to be there, and fun to be unexpectedly out of school, relaxing to hang out with some of my neighbors, and really neat to see my son playing in the band at the Metrodome. ( my camera battery died, so the best I could do was get some fuzzy shots with my phone.)

We did not win the game, but it was a decent attempt. The kids did not seem to notice, and their moods were just as excited when we left as when we arrived. We only spent $14 on popcorn, cotton candy, and a lemonade and Laura's little legs made it all the way back to the truck. All in all, it was a nice time and the best part was that we made it home alive.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hakuna Matata!

What a wonderful gift from Grandma C.....she took us to the Lion King Broadway Production last night at the Orpheum Theater. It was fantastic! Way too hard to describe in words how the costumes were made, but it was all so ingenious and artsy. Brilliant set designs and props. It was a very entertaining and amazing production. Michael, Jonny, Grandma, and I enjoyed the whole thing thoroughly....Melissa & Crispy each took some napping time as the clock went past their bedtimes....I think that the darkness and the great music just got the better of them. Prior to their naps, they were both oo-ing and awe-ing and laughing along with everyone else. After intermission, Crispy woke up and enjoyed the rest of the show too. Everyone's favorite characters seemed to be Zazu and Timon. Thank you so much, Grandma!!!

We arrived home at about 11:30pm last night, and everyone was off to sleep by midnight. Even with the late night outing to the big city, all the kids managed to get up this morning and off to school in time. Such good kids! The baby is still sleeping horribly at night, and I feel like I am only running on Cappuccino fumes. Today we designated as "Couch Day", complete with pillows, sleeping bags, blankies, snacks, and Mary Poppins. So I will keep this short...I'm going to go snuggle with my kiddos!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diaper Bags that will NEVER see the Dumpster

What a long long day....was most certainly not weekend-like. Between driving my son to school at 6:20am, and picking him up at 5:00pm, I listened to my baby whine and cry constantly, only stopping momentarily when I would pick him up. We will soon be heading out to Michael's hockey game, getting home at just before 10pm tonight. It was/is crazy...I felt crazy....I still feel crazy....maybe I just need some sleep.

Our dumpster is full to the brim! I did not know if we could actually do it, but we did! It sure does feel great knowing we are getting rid of so much excess. The funny thing is, if you walk through our house, you wouldn't even be able to tell that we got rid of a thing. That part is depressing....good gravy, we have a lot of stuff. However, I am VERY motivated now to keep going, and fill our regular garbage for Thursday's pick up, and to get rid of (to charity) the many boxes of clothes we came across. We just may uncover our lives yet!

The BEST part of my day was receiving my new diaper bag in the mail...larger to hold the now needed winter items we tote around. If you are in the market for a diaper bag, or even if you are not, you really should consider a Ju-Ju-Be bag(visit These things are the best! With all my other kids I was satisfied with the free bags you get at the doctor's office, or a cheap one from know, the ones that only last about 2 months before they fall apart? But now I am completely hooked on Ju-Ju-Bes! Not only are they super-cute, they are so smartly laid with pockets, compartments, places for Mommy's stuff like cell phones, keys, even bragging pictures! The best part is that they are made with great materials that are antimicrobial, waterproof, super-easy to clean, and just down right awesome. And the memory foam changing pads are great, as is the memory foam shoulder strap which makes even a 50 pound load feel as light as feathers! I have also opted to buy the little wristlets which match the bags. Not only is it really compact, but it holds my phone, money, credit cards, lip gloss, camera, and even comes with it's own pen that expands. It has been all I have used as a purse since the baby has been born. To test it's greatness, while vacationing in the mountains this summer, I had all of the above mentioned in my little wristlet. We stopped at a reststop along the way that advertised "Clean Bathrooms". Though thinking that was a little odd at first, I was very grateful that they lived up to their claim as I put my wristlet on the back of what appeared to be a flat tank to help Laura, and FLOOP! It slid right into the toilet! ARG! I immediately picked it up and scrubbed it like crazy with soap and water. And you know what? Every single thing I had, phone, and all....was completely protected and dry throughout the ordeal! So though pricey, these bags ROCK and are worth every penney! I will be a Ju-Ju-Be-er forever! And I am pretty sure that is about how long these bags will last!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Beautiful Moment

Any parent of a pre-teen or teenager longs to share loving, connecting moments with their children. I was lucky enough to experience such a one the other night(or so I thought):

As we were all heading up to bed, one of our teenage sons questioned, "How is it that I use to hate parents, and now I like them?"
My heart just melted. "Us?" I needed to verify this momentous breakthrough with our teenager. "You like US?", I asked.
After the oh-so-familiar 'what in the world is wrong with you?' look from my son, he clarified.....
"I said PEANUTS!"

Oh well, I guess if there was a change of heart for peanuts, perhaps there is hope for "us" too. And it WAS a beautiful moment in my mind!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sick-Baby,Stainless-Steel-Sink, S-S-Saturdays

Sy Son SCriSpy seSided soday, shat son SaturdayS, swe sould sonly suse swords shat start swith "s". Sack!

Well, at least I gave his idea a try! It made for interesting conversation coming home from "Sockey" this afternoon...He made up grand plans for everyday of the week. Tomorrow,Sunday, we are supposed to go Sledding in the Sun...hmmm....we might need to revise things a bit, I am afraid.

Poor Tubby is sick, sick, sick today. He has had a fever of about 103, and has messed up so many outfits with poopies that our washing machine has demanded a fact, it has threatened to go on strike if we don't meet it's demands. Wait, I may have confused the machine with myself. Sorry. Poor kid though...he really is just the best baby in the world and so rarely cries that it is heartbreaking to see him sad.

With Grandma's help today, we were able to get through some of the basement junk....along with all the junk, I found some of the coolest toys that had been MIA since our move 4 years ago. Even Alex & Michael were excited about some of the finds!

And the sink....I followed the FlyLady's advice about cleaning the sink today. I am pretty sure it was not meant to be a 9 hour long project, but that is how long it took me to get through completing ONE SIDE of the sink given my current working conditions. I have included a picture so you can compare the sides. I was so skeptical, but it really made a big difference! Can't wait til the next day I have 9 hours to spare! ;o)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Snowflakes & Cappuccino

It is a quiet Friday morning, as the kids are off to school, little Tubbers is taking a nap(poor guy could hardly breathe last night from the congestion), and Lala and I have been playing in the snow! OK, so it isn't a lot of snow, and it melts as soon as it hits the ground, but the flakes are so big and beautiful...perfect for catching on your tongue. Apparently to Lala, it is now officially Christmas Eve, so she would like to have her presents, please. Boy, I've got some convincing to do today.... once Lala's mind is made up, it may as well be the law of the land.

After our snow play, we shared monster cookies dipped in White chocolate and caramel Cappuccino....from our very own kitchen! You know those awesome Cappuccinos you get from Holiday, Super America, etc? We've now got the same set-up in our kitchen. Only the best for our family when Bob is in charge! We won't go into the details of the many hours (and countless trips to the hardware store)it took to find just the right pieces to hook it up , and then the hours of frustration making the pieces work again after disassembling them for cleaning... And it has hot chocolate that is ALWAYS ready for the kids...perfect! I would not be surprised in the least if a slushie machine appears in our kitchen next. Thank you to my sons Alex & Michael who were my taste testers last night to make sure things were working right!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesdays are on the New Weekends

OK, not to complain, but things seem to be a little out of control around here now with 5 of the kids in activities during the school year. Our weekends have been particularly hectic with 2 in hockey at 2 separate times on both Saturdays and Sundays, and extended church and program rehearsals for 3 of the kids Sunday afternoon and evenings, plus youth group in the evening for A. Everything is well and good, but counting on any down time on the weekends has only led to disappointment, stress, and a worn out start for the next week. Way too overwhelming,

So, yesterday I started my new plan. I am now on my own calendar program. My weekends are now officially starting on Monday evenings watching our new favorite show, "Chuck", with my husband and older kids, then resuming a normal "work week" on Thursday mornings. Since my job is really 24/7 EVERYDAY, I've decided to take this time to mellow, and be more relaxed, fun, like the weekend break is suppose to be. With the exception of still having to wake up early everyday, and taking Mel to OT on Wed. afternoons (which I now treat myself to the fresh meat market next door to therapy and we have been having awesome dinners on Wed evenings), I think this is going to work!!!

Yesterday afternoon I took all the kids to the Bee was a cute, funny little show. The kids (thanks to advertising) had been looking forward to this since August, and they were so excited to finally go. Even T really enjoyed the experience...all the lights, sounds....Both T & L fell asleep after about the first 30 minutes, but I believe it is due to their illnesses, not to the credit of the movie. In fact, L has been sacked out on the couch since 11am when we picked up C from the bus, and the baby still has not been sleeping well. They just haven't been able to kick this illness...but at least the fevers seem to be gone. Mel must be getting it next, as her whininess is reaching all time highs lately.

Other than that, nothing too exciting....just trying to throw out some of our past!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dumpster Day

Today is a very exciting day for the Zajacs....there is a big huge dumpster in our driveway! Finally, after 14 years of broken toys, furniture, boxes, clothes, etc., it is ALL GOING AWAY. I can not begin to describe my excitement over this. Of course, even as it sits empty, encompassing 80% of our driveway, it does not seem nearly large enough for the plans I have to fill it. How liberating it will be to remove the clutter that has been shifted from place to place, house to house, only taking up much needed space and effort. It is time to clear out the old, and start afresh. Spring cleaning in the fall...hooray!
Lala is feeling much better today, and Tubby finally got a good night's sleep again, meaning that Mommy did too. We are all super-excited to see the Bee Movie later today....believe it or not, that is the absolute ONLY thing on the calendar for today. What a blessing that is!
I promise that my blogs will become more interesting in time....this journaling is a luxury I have never taken time to enjoy, so it will take some getting use to I am sure.
My next project on this site is to add everyone's activity list and interests....But I need to figure out how to do that first.....

Monday, November 5, 2007

The First Blog this is what it is like to live in the modern age....when I woke up this morning, I certainly never expected to be setting up my very own blog page. Who wants to hear what I have to say anyway? But I was so inspired by my friend...what a nice way to send updates to friends and family!

Fall is in full swing today as the wind is whipping around our home at 30 miles per hour. B has already gotten 2 of his 8 bushes strung with new Christmas lights...they are LED this year, and the color is beautiful! This year's show promises to be much more impressive than anything we could ever imagine!

After a hectic/whiney day with 2 sick kiddos (the youngest 2), I am enjoying the respite of a calm afternoon before this evenings activities....2 are napping, 2 are working quietly on a project together, 2 are playing their new video games, and the eldest is at his first high school Math Meet. Dinner has actually been started even!