Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Pumpkin Pie...

Pumpkin Pie turned three years old last Friday. I think I'm still in shock really. Didn't I just have her? I feel like I'm still getting used to having three children, is it really possible that she's been on the earth for three years?!?

Our sweet Pumpkin Pie keeps us hopping. She's smart, and funny (makes me proud) and far more opinionated than the others. She's sharpening us, making us revisit our parenting techniques. She's challenging and adorable... makes me crack up in laughter when she says things like, "Dirty Mouth, Clean it with Armpits" (instead of Clean it with Orbitz". And she makes me scream with she says things like, "No!!!!!!!!" "No!!!!!!!!" "No!!!!!!"

I can't seem to get enough kisses and hugs from this sweet little girl. I suppose it maybe be because she gives them out so seldomly - but I treasure it when I get them without asking.

Happy Birthday Pumpkin Pie. I love you.

p.s. - Here is her scripture for the year, "Oh God, Our God, how majestic is your name in all the Earth." Psalm 8:9

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No Tolerance For Profanity...

Check out this article at about a nun/principal who has a no tolerance policy at her middle school for profanity. I know several of you will appreciate this article. My favorite part of the article is the very last sentence - it gives me great hope that I'm not the only person out there who won't allow the words "stupid" or "boring" come out of their mouths without punishment.

Can I get an Amen???

Friday, December 7, 2007

Elf Yourself...

You want to watch something really funny? Here's what our MHS boys show us and rope us into doing... enjoy.

Elf Yourself

Friday, November 23, 2007

What Were We Thinking...

Well, I have to say, shopping at midnight at the outlets, didn't really appeal to me. But my dear friend, Like I Was Saying, decided she had to do it - just once. And so we did. After what we had heard from other shoppers - that it would be packed early, we took off for the outlet at 10pm. I called Like I Was Saying at 9:30 just to make sure she was still up for it - darn, she still is.

We definitely got there early. But lines were already forming. There was a line at the Coach Store an hour before they opened. Their line became outrageous - so much so that we had to go over and check it out - they must be having some amazing door prize - like giving away a free Coach Keychain or something. So, we ask the true Coach junkie - the lady at the front of the line. Her reply to why there is such a line: "I don't know - I think they might be giving an extra 10% off at the register." Wow... an entire 10 percent. Quick let's get in line! (hoping you can hear the sarcasm).

Lines were everywhere: Coach, Children's Place, Aeropostale. The sales must be incredible, right? Wrong. They were just like they are any other day when you head to the outlets. We were so unimpressed. Besides scoring a few stocking stuffers from Claire's - we came out close to empty handed. Ok, we also bought a mini whisk, a timer and a cupcake holder. Riveting, I know.

My biggest shock of the night - didn't come from the great deals. People brought their children.
That's right - children. Newborns, two year olds, six year olds, ten year olds... walking comatose in their pj's clutching their teddy bears while their ridiculous parents shopped at two in the morning for 10 percent off!!! That's my new pet peave of the week. I don't mind if you want to torture yourself and shop in the middle of the night - but there is absolutely no deal big enough to drag your precious sleeping children out of bed! If the deal is that great - get a babysitter!!!

Anyway... something about the 2:30 a.m. mark made my friend and I completely lost all rationale - and decided that it was only an hour and a half until JCPenney's opened up. That's right - JC Penney's at 4 a.m. The lines again began forming early - we decided that was just really stupid, and would wait in the car. JC Penney's is the only place that actually GAVE something to us lunatics who thought 4 a.m. was a reasonable hour to shop for Christmas. A mini snowglobe.

We scored some drapes for my living room at 65% off and she scored some pj's for the little one and a few gifts for her middle child, Brown Sugar.

Then something happened at 5 a.m. - our looniness (is this a word?) turned to hysterics when we thought it was a fantastic idea to "swing by" Toys R Us on our way home. Just so you know - there is no such thing as "swing by Toys R Us" on Black Friday. These Mommies and Daddies are crazy! We both found one thing - but once we saw the outrageous lines - bagged the deal and came home. We made it home at 6am. Whew.

So thank you my dear friend for an adventure. I've checked it off my list - and will NEVER. DO. IT. AGAIN.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Personality Test

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Thanks to my friends Classic Mama and Like I Was Saying - I thought I'd put off getting dinner started and take this personality test.

I am surprised by some of my results. I believe as I get older, I am less extraverted - desiring a more introverted lifestyle. I am desiring more structure and less social time. I find myself, although enjoying the social aspect in the moment, completely exhausted at the end of the evening. I used to be invigorated by it all. Now I just come home and crash. That's new for me.

I am pathetically low on thinking. And since I turned my brain off seven years ago to have children, the numbers, I believe will just continue to plummet. Legos and playdoh just don't really stimulate the brain, you know?

I am also sad to see that I am incredibly judging. I'd love to see God change that area of my life. I have always had strong convictions, but that shouldn't mean I judge others that don't share those same convictions.

Anyway, I like that I'm changing. I'd like to be around the 50% mark in each area of the test. "Well Rounded" - having a nice even amount of everything. That seems nice.

Take the test here. It's easy - there are no wrong answers for us "non-thinkers".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Feel Your Boobies

Since I'm such a slacker when it comes to my blog, I missed something pretty important. Last week was "National Feel Your Boobies Week". That's right ladies - feel them. Go ahead and do it - your Self Breast Exam - it's important for your health. If you know me, you know I wear my FYB t-shirt with pride (and a giggle)... but what a great slogan to remind you to do your Self Breast Exams.

At first, I thought I wouldn't blog about it, since I missed their "official week". But ladies - don't fret! You can feel your boobies any day of the week, any week of the year! Who cares that it's "National Respiratory Care Week". Just put the two weeks together: Take a deep breath and Feel Your Boobies!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Huckleberry...

It's October 19th. More than a month since my last blog. So, I thought since today marks an important day in our family, I would get online and get busy. .. especially since I have 12 minutes to post this before his birthday is officially over.

Today is Huckleberry's 7th Birthday. Seven? Really? Can that be right? Don't get me wrong, it no longer feels like just yesterday when we brought him home. But it certainly doesn't feel like it's been seven years. Seven wonderful years. Huckleberry is such an awesome kid. Full of energy, a sweet spirit who questions the Lord with a wonderful curiosity, an unbelievable artist with an imagination that surpasses any I know, and aimes to please. My prayer for him this year is that his desire to please would transfer to a deep love and desire to please his Lord.
So last night, Stretch and I made 20 cupcakes for his classroom today, decorated his room, and wrapped a few presents in preparation for this big day. We began decorating their rooms after a suggestion from a speaker at a Moms In Action meeting. Growing up in a wonderful home with absolutely no traditions, Stretch and I have really desired to begin some with our own. It was such a hit that first year and our kids have come to anticipate their rooms being decorated as if it was Christmas morning. We decorate with wonderful signs (courtesy of Stretch, our resident artist), balloons and streamers.

To my surprise, Huckleberry woke up at 5:45 this morning and when I asked him why he woke so early, he said "I couldn't wait to read my scripture - it's a long one Mom, but I've read it twice already".

Each year, I pray that God would give me a scripture for each of my three kids. We write it on posterboard (unless, at 10pm you realize that your sons birthday is tomorrow so you improvise and use several sheets of computer paper taped together) and hang it on their wall... for the entire year.

We had no idea that it would be the hit of their birthday day. We've seen such fruit come from their scripture. Not only are they memorizing scripture, but we are really soaking in it - discussing it before bed each night, and how it specifically applied to our day. And since I have three kids - I'm AT LEAST memorizing three scriptures a year.

God convicted me the very first year that we did it that I was not to make the scripture a short, easy one for Huckleberry. So we started out with a challenging one. His scripture for his fifth birthday was, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man". Proverbs 3:3,4 - and he rose to the challenge.

For his sixth birthday, we did "Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you will be able to stand your ground". Ephesians 6:13 (this wasn't a very long one, but then we went through and discussed the armor of God e.g. Breastplate of Righteousness, Helmet of Salvation, etc.).

Last week he started asking me "what's it gonna be Mom", "just tell me now Mom". So, as I suggested a few that God was stirring in me, he got really excited about this one. Personally, I was leaning towards the 23 Psalm (since I get stuck about half way through it) and I already have the one he picked memorized. But he was so excited that I couldn't tell him no. And so his scripture for his seventh year of life is:

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you," declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-13
Happy Birthday Huckleberry! I love you like CrAzYcAkEs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

First Soccer Game...

Huckleberry had his very first ever soccer game this past Saturday. We braved the sweltering heat and horrendous humidity with no shade for what seemed like hours (turns out it was only 45 minutes). Stretch and I were both quite nervous about how this day would go. Here's why...

An underenthusiastic Huckleberry has been playing soccer now for two weeks. When we signed up (like four months ago) he was totally excited. And then, a week before practice had even started, he mentioned in passing that he'd "changed his mind about playing soccer".

So I gently informed him that the soccer league hadn't changed their mind about cashing my $60 check four months ago. We also told him that he would be a "man of his word" (this saying is used OFTEN in our house) and play out the entire season... enthusiastic, or not.

Here's what a typical Tues/Thurs evening sounds like pre-soccer practice at the Jack House:

me: "Huckleberry get ready for practice".
him: "Fine".

me: "Huckleberry your getting your soccer jersey tonight. Isn't that cool"?
him: "I guess".

me: "Huckleberry aren't you excited about your first game"?
him: "Fifty-fifty". (this is a "charming" new phrase he's learned & one I wish I'd never heard).

So, it was with much tension that we watched to see what he would do. Well - turns out - he did a great job. He listened to the coaches, played well, and actually looked like he wanted to be there. Great. He likes it. Not a total failure.

Then I mention to Huckleberry that his practice was cancelled due to the rain on Tuesday night and you'd think I had just promised him a new set of Legos he was so excited. Looks like we'll be playing one season of soccer.

Oh darn. I guess I'll have to save my sixty bucks and reward myself with two more evenings at home, not lugging around the kids and my stupid folding chair to soccer practice. Oh darn.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good Family Fun...

My family I went to Paulus' Orchard recently. We picked our own apples off the tree (you can pick from a bushel or a peck) and ran the corn maize. Now, since my kiddos are little, the idea of the corn maize sounded like torture - so we opted for the mini-maize. It was fantastic. Noah ran through it about eight times. The girls and I only twice. (smile) They also have a small play area for the little ones as well. Chicken Nugget and Pumpkin Pie loved the "sand" box which was actually filled with corn kernels. It was a cheap and fun family day. Enjoy the pics:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mommies Beware...

OK ladies... I do alot of crafts with my kids. Painting, drawing, sculpting, making candles, tie dying... all sorts of stuff. So, I say with some expertise - FLOAM buyers beware!!!

My daughter, Chicken Nugget, is very tactile. She loves playdoh, goop, mixing meatloaf with her hands... anything. I tell her that someday she'll be a surgeon, maneuvering her hands into the core of someone's body. So, when FLOAM came onto the market, we were very excited.

The FLOAM packaging boasts how easy it is to use. Just simply roll it out and cover your favorite objects: a vase, a toy, a picture frame - they even show you a picture of a child's bike that has been completely covered in FLOAM.

And then we opened the container. And touched it. Oh my word! What a mess. It was so sticky, you couldn't shape it, roll it out, or cover something with it... unless you were trying to "floam" your own hands. It was a mess. I decided to let it sit out, with the lid off for a few hours. And it got better. After a few more hours, we were actually able to use it. We tried to cover aluminum foil that we had attempted to make into cool shapes. Nope, wouldn't stick. We tried several other items (no, not the kids' bikes) and then just eventually played with the stuff like PlayDoh instead. Expensive PlayDoh.
Then Chicken Nugget got a package of it for Christmas. This package came as a craft kit - including styrofoam shapes, two small packages of FLOAM, plastic eyes, and pipe cleaners. Yet again, when we opened it, it was horribly goopy - so we had to let it sit out for a few hours. We were able to make two little "creatures" - but not without alot of help from me.

Well, Chicken Nugget must have really gotten the word out that she likes this stuff, because she just received it for her birthday. I've been putting her off casually, each time she asks me, but I didn't get away with that for long. We opened it yesterday and it was so wet, it looked like slime in the bottom of container - it was disgusting. So, I did what I ALWAYS do when someone (smile) buys us this junk... I let it sit out. A few hours later - still too wet. Fast forward to 24 hours later and can see for yourself the results:

Needless to say - if you want to get on my bad side - buy this for my kids. If you want to FLOAM your own hands - buy this for yourself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Play Date!!!

It was a very silly time at the House That Jack Built today. Just see for yourself:

And He's Off..

Many of us are sending our children off to school this week. I got to send both my son AND my husband back to school on Monday. They were both nervous, picking their outfits out the night before, making sure their bags are packed. It's a bittersweet day for all of us. The summer is over, and we're back to a routine. But like many of you out there... I feel like it's time. Time to get back into a routine... we've had a fun, and extremely fast summer.

I've had mixed emotions as this day approaches. On Sunday afternoon, Huckleberry and the others fell asleep on the way home from the outlet stores and Stretch laid him on our bed. I watched him sleep. It was so nice - I just watched him sleep. And it's then, when he's quiet and not moving that I can't bear the thought of him going to first grade. All day? Without me? With the influence of others that I can't control? But then I breathe... he's gonna be great in school. He's gonna love it.

And so with just a small tear in my eye - I sent him to school. But as he trotted into school with his Batman backpack on, I realized that it wasn't a tear of sadness... I was proud. Really proud - and I felt confident he was ready.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy 5th Birthday!!!

We celebrated Chicken Nugget's Fifth Birthday yesterday in the SWELTERING heat. As she was opening her gifts, I actually had to wipe her face with a towel, because the sweat was literally, dripping off her face.

Her four closest friends joined her in celebrating. They decorated their own pair of sunglasses, painted their fingernails and toenails, tied ribbons in their hair, put on their own makeup (yikes) and played pin the tiara on the princess. We had other games planned that involved dressing them up in layers of princess clothes and running around the yard in a race, but we thought they might actually pass out. So, in their blue eyeshadow and purple nail polish, they played on the tree swing, barely ate pizza, and scarfed the cake while the icing was melting down the sides of the cake.

Happy Birthday Chicken Nugget. I love you -

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here's To the Invisible...

I know you are all sick of looking at my family and I on our bikes from July, so I thought I would copy and paste this wonderful story I received over email from my dear friend. I've been feeling very much like the woman in this story and so found it very uplifting. I hope you will too:

I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, theway one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone andask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'mon the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going . she's going . she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, afterwhich I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."And the workman replied, "Because God sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One of My Favorite Things To Do...

This is a picture of us doing one of my favorite things as a family. So many reasons I love this activity:

1 - we're out of the house
2 - the kids aren't arguing
3 - i'm actually getting exercise
4- pumpkin pie is strapped into a seat and can't hit anyone

I took for granted how easy it is to open up the garage, throw the helmets on and ride around our awesome little town. I didn't realize that not everyone can do this, until last week Like I Was Saying mentioned that they were going for a bike ride... and they had to put their bikes on their van's bike rack and drive somewhere else - that was flat. I really had no idea... I guess I never lived anywhere hilly before.

I love my town... and I love bikeriding with my family.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tagged??? Are you Kidding???

OK, so I got tagged. Fantastic. Thanks alot Krazy Klingers! I have been avoiding this post since I returned from vacation. (I do hope you can hear the sarcasm in my voice).

Why you ask? For the six of you who actually read my blog - you already know everything there is to know about me! Don't you???

And if you don't already know it (because I am truly an open book), you probably don't want to know it... really. I'm serious.

In fact, several of you already know the things I would never want people to know in the first place.

Can you tell I've been thinking about this for a while??? Here goes nothin' - turn back now:

1- I played the trombone for six years. And I was good at it. I still have it, and the kids beg me to play it. I only remember one fight song from high school and Stretch is really sick of it.

2 - I love organization! I suck at it, but I still love it!

3 - I have an extreme disgust for boogers. I'll pick them out of my kids nose, heck I'll pick them out of YOUR KIDS noses. I just hate them. I've been known to use a Q-Tip to get them out. Gross, I know.

4 - I don't get nervous in a crowd of ladies, but ask me to do my "schtick" in front of my husband and forget it! I truly can't do it! Stretch has never heard my schtick before - and I don't intend to start now!

5 - I live in a house that is terribly wired... let me explain. If I want to microwave something and run my toaster at the same time - I can't. If I want to run an A/C unit upstairs in my daughters room and cook something in the oven - I can't. If I want to blow dry my hair and run a load of laundry - I can't. Gotta run the dishwasher? up, better make sure you don't have the coffee maker on. It's a major pain. I waste alot of time running to turn off one appliance just so that I can run the other. I already hate laundry, so then add in that I've got to run up and down two flights of steps to turn off an air conditioner, and you can imagine I let it pile up for a long time.

6 - I eat Lawry's Season Salt by the handful. I love that stuff.

7 - I have really stinky feet. I wash them several times a day... but they are still stinky.

8- When I write something down while I'm on the phone, I'll print it. But then as the conversation continues, I loop the letters together to make it look like cursive. You know what's really funny about that? I didn't even realize I did it - Stretch told me about this crazy quirk.

OK, so there you go! Weird, I know.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Name, Same Great Site...

Check out this blog - it's got a new name and new look with the same awesome blogger: Like I Was Saying.

No Rest for the Weary...

So after four days with my family, we were heading off to the other side of the state to visit my dear friend, On Fire for Him, and her family. We had a great time with them. Here are some pictures of our time at an awesome children's museum in the area and a rockin' slide that's about 30 feet long that is in their backyard. Our kids all had so much fun together!

Chicken Nugget wants to know when we are going back to visit again. Well, since the trip took us almost 11 hours to get back home, it's gonna be a while until I volunteer for that trip again!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Next up?

We arrived home from Virginia Monday afternoon and took the next few days to do the laundry and pack it up again. On Friday, we left for a weekend at the Milton Hershey School. Then after being houseparents to 13 senior high boys, we took off on Sunday night at 10p.m. to drive half way to North Carolina. We got a hotel room around 1 a.m. and settled in for a few hours rest. Except for Chicken Nugget - who got a terrible case of insomnia - how rude. We were up until 2:30 - then awoken by her at 7 a.m. - No rest for the weary! Spent a few hours hanging out at the hotel, having breakfast and swimming in the indoor pool and then drove the rest of the way to my oldest brothers house in Rocky Mount. My family drove and flew in from all over: Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey, and Arizona to spend a week together. Here are some pictures of our trip:

With seven children under the age of seven we were all quite busy! I guess that explains why we have so few pictures of the trip! It was great to see all my nieces and nephews - and especially to see them all playing together. My grandparents, who are well into their eighties came down from Vermont. It was really special to have them there. And a shout out to my mom who is the craziest and most fun mom out there - You rock! She set up a tent out in the backyard and camped outside with any of the grandkids that wanted to. She played just as hard as the kids did and I know she was sad to leave.

Tune in next time, when The House That Jack Built leaves Rocky Mount and travels across the state of North Carolina to visit good friends!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where Have I Been???

We have been traveling around since the end of June visiting friends and family. Our first stop was to see our dear friends in Virginia who moved a year ago. He's in the Navy, doing his second year of residency as an OB/GYN. We had a fantastic time; "Red" was wonderfully hospitable and "Dr Fresh" was his crazy ol' self. The kids all had a blast together. Here is a glimpse of our visit:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there! Thanks for all you do, for all you teach your sons and daughters.

And to all you ladies who are reading this blog today-call your dad or hug your dad - go do it. Set aside your differences, and tell your dad that you love him, that you are glad he's YOUR dad.

And to my Daddy in heaven - I love you, I miss you... thanks for being a WONDERFUL father.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What's Your Sleep Number???

My sweetest friend on the planet, On Fire for Him, posted about her AWESOME score of a freebie. Well, I must admit, that I am most impressed. I love that the Lord not only provides our needs, but He also goes above and beyond - many times providing us with things we haven't even asked for!

Well, I have definitely been known to say, "If it's free, it's for me". And Stretch and I have been extraordinarily blessed with awesome things. So, after two of my dear blogger friends have suggested, I thought I would share my newest blessing with you:

That's right baby! I was blessed with a BRAND NEW - ORDERED IT MYSELF - Sleep Number, Select Comfort 5000 Queen Size bed. Ahhh - it feels so good.

If you haven't tried one of these beds, and you are in the market for a new bed - you've gotta go to one of their stores and try it. You may THINK you know what kind of bed you like - soft, hard, somewhere in the middle. But I honestly think you don't know what you like until you've got it in your room and you've slept on it a few nights. And chances are that if you like a soft bed, then your husband likes a hard bed. This bed has airchambers that you adjust by a remote control until you are comfortable. And when you are sick and want a bit of a softer bed, you just adjust the number down. When you are pregnant and need a firmer bed you just adjust the number up. It's amazing.

Our bed was old. Older than old - the last time Stretch and I flipped it, we noticed the date of purchase tag read 1989. Hello!?! I was 13 when this bed was purchased!!! (quick, I know you are doing the math) We were blessed with this bed from my grandmother when we got married (which truly was a blessing, because we were three weeks out of college and broke). She said the bed was just a few years old and she didn't need such a big bed anymore. Just a few years old??? When she gave it to us it was already 9 years old - and we've slept on it for 9 more years. In the last year or so, I've been in alot of pain, sleeping horribly, and waking up feeling like I hadn't slept.

Until now. It took a few nights to figure out that I didn't like a soft bed like I thought. But now that I've found where I'm most comfortable, I'm not tossing and turning. I'm not waking up with a headache (which happened on a regular basis in my old bed). And I feel rested. Really rested.

So, go to your nearest store and check one out. Find out your Sleep Number. I'm a 75. How about you?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Miracle on Dickinson Ave

Dickinson Avenue is always a bustling place - with 24 kids on our block (that is NOT a typo) there is always action. Nothing unusally exciting or out of the ordinary - just 24 kids running from house to house: a popsicle at one house, badmitton at another, wiffle ball across the street, then over to the trampoline, then back over to our side of the street to the slip 'n slide to get unsticky from the popsicle, and then to our backyard to the play fort. Like I said, exciting, but nothing unusual.

Until Monday. While talking on the phone about who knows what with Mom In Action I saw an ambulance with its lights on pull up in front of my house. And since there was no emergency in my house I ran outside to see which one of my neighbors called for an ambulance. As I walked outside, I saw a woman I did not know laying flat out in my next door neighbors lawn. As I watched the woman's friend give her chest compressions and then the paramedics use the paddles, the kids came outside to see what the commotion was, and I knew I had to take them inside and explain what was happening. And then we prayed.

(God is really stretching me in this area - praying for healing. Why does He heal some people and then choose to not heal others, even though I prayed so intently, and for so long? What if the kids and I pray and He lets her die - what then do I tell my kids? It's been a constant battle in my brain and spirit).

So, I thought to myself, "here goes nothin' " and went for it. The kids and I prayed fervently for God to breathe His breath of life back into her body (because by this time, she had no pulse). When we went back outside and sat on the stoop, I just began to sing a quiet prayer to the Lord. I questioned the Lord, "is it her time to go"? Should I be praying that you heal her? Everyone is saying that she's dead. Did she have family? Did she know Jesus? So, still in a singing kinda prayer I prayed for those things. Ella sat with me and listened. And watched.

The paramedics seemed to be moving slower. Two men opened the ambulance doors and they slowly lifted her body onto a stretcher and loaded back up into the ambulance. They left for the hospital, no lights, no sirens, no nothing. I went back into the house and said to the kids that I thought she had died. I tried my best to explain the very thing I struggle with - "why". And what I love about my kids is that they seemed unshaken by the news and said, "now she's with Jesus... and Pop Pop". Yep, it's seems so easy when you're 6 and 4.

An hour later our neighbor came over to our house and relayed to us the most wonderful news - the woman made it. She's alive! After four minutes, FOUR MINUTES, having no pulse, NO PULSE! SHE - IS - ALIVE! The paramedics said that if her friend hadn't done chest compressions on her before the ambulance arrived, she would have never made it.

Thank you Lord for doing a miracle on Dickinson Avenue - and allowing me and my children to be a part of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

And The "Mother of the Year" Award Goes To...

Not me. Maybe not even you. Who would actually get one of these awards anyway? Now, don't get me wrong, I have wonderful mommy moments with my kids that get me a nomination... but I always lose my chance in the running for the "Mother of the Year" Award.

I say this phrase more often than I'd like to admit. It helps me to lighten up the fact that I've just done something or didn't do something that will land my kids in therapy as adults. The laughter helps... helps mask the tears that I've totally screwed up.

So, here's how I lost my chance in the running for the "Mother of the Year" Award:

I was on the phone with a "mommy friend". If you don't know what a mommy friend, it is someone you most likely wouldn't be friends with except that your kids are in the same class at school and so you rely on each other through the year. You don't necessarily call them to hang out (unless of course you have the kids with you).

Anyhoo - I was on the phone and in a fairly deep conversation that shouldn't be interrupted - and I kept hearing Pumpkin Pie's muffled voice yelling my name and pounding. I thought she was upstairs with the kids and her door was shut and she was unable to get the door open. (ok, now I'm lying - actually I thought one of the other kids had shut her into a closet and she couldn't get out, but really - does that detail matter? maybe a little). And since I was talking to a friend about her marriage, I thought it was inappropriate to interrupt her and therefore felt it was appropriate to ignore my screaming two year old for just a few more minutes - after all she wasn't crying.

About ten minutes later (even as I write that, I realize I ignored Pumpkin Pie WAY to long), I see my "neighbor friend" (similar to a "mommy friend" just met in different circumstances) walking across the street. Thinking she was just coming for a visit, I run over to the door and stretch to open it, still clutching my corded kitchen phone (trying not to interrupt my conversation) to welcome her in. And there I find her, Pumpkin Pie -standing on the front steps ALONE, in a diaper and high heels. That's right ladies, my two year old had been outside by herself on the front steps banging on the door to let her in for at least ten minutes. My neighbor friend saw her and heard her from across the street and thought she'd rescue her. Thanks Pam.

If only Pumpkin Pie knew how important the phone call was, she would have tried opening the stinkin' door herself. ha ha

Ah, so much for the Mom of the Year Award - I guess I'll have to relinquish it to someone far more worthy. Any of you have a great mommy moment that get you a nomination? Anyone lose the nomination before it was announced?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

We Love T-Ball...

We love our borough's T-Ball program. It has been such a wonderful experience for Huckleberry. Stretch has really enjoyed assistant coaching and it's hard to believe that The Tigers last game is on Saturday. Here are some great pics from the season:
Awaiting his turn at bat
Ready to field a ground ball
Huckleberry loves to tell people how he can hit a double!
Is there anything sexier than watching your husband coach your son?

The Tigers Cheering Section - Chicken Nugget & her dear friend wearing last year's jerseys