Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

15 years of spending New Year's Eve with my hubby will be broken this year. Whaaa! I won't be kissing him at midnight like I have for the past decade and a half. Hubby is an RN and that's one of those jobs that requires holiday working. I feel sorry for myself and the boys will be missing Papa too. But....I know....we are all healthy....and my hubby has a job..... so I don't feel too sorry for myself....just a little Whaaa.

I know, PDA! But, I'm posting this for my hubby. Happy New Year! Call me at midnight;)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

That's what I like to see

After a rough morning of bickering, crankiness, and a few time-outs I was feeling rather annoyed with my boys. I gave each of them a little bag of left over popcorn and when I walked into the living room this is what I saw!
I was such a happy mommy! They were all sitting side by side enjoying each other and their snack. My solution to sibling rivalry.....POPCORN!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Before and After

I love a good makeover with before and after photos. So here's my living room makeover story. I ordered new furniture 3 months ago and it arrived today! YEAH! We have been without any furniture in the living room because we gave our sofa's to my cousin when I ordered the new. Well, if you have ever seen "spring vomit" as I called those couches you could understand why I was thrilled to have someone take them even if it meant no furniture for 3 months. We did move a small love seat from the family room into the living room. It was really cozy reading the paper each morning with hubby and 3 boys. Lots of ,"ouch, stop poking me, scoot over, stop it!".
This morning after moving the love seat out and getting ready to clean up the Christmas toy bomb.
Boys snuggling after hard work of taking all the new toys and putting them away.
Yeah, new sofa! (Strange spots are on picture from camera and not on the new furniture!)
New chair and ottoman too!!! Love them sooooo much.
Oh, poor hubby is home sick from work....the nasty bug caught up with him! He is snuggled down with the boys watching Never Ending Story.
Poor Tuba is still so sick. He's snoozin' through the movie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well, I haven't been posting much here. We have had a house of sickness. It's been the nastiest booger nose, cough fest, fever virus illness. Mr. P, Baby Guy and I were sick first. Then I got well and Mr. P got worse and ended up on antibiotics. We got well (although the little boys still have cough and boogs) just in time for Christmas Eve and then poor Tuba came down with it. He has been suffering with a high fever for 3 days. Good thing for Super Dad holding it all together for us! He grocery shopped, cleaned, did laundry, and took care of us all. He's truly the best:)
We had a nice Christmas in spite of this illness. Hubby went to the Christmas Eve service alone but still had a nice time. The boys were beyond excited for Santa to come. I should say that I mean hubby is one of the he was the most excited! He couldn't sleep all night and every hour or so woke me up by saying, "I'm too excited, I can't sleep!". Finally at 4:00 am he got up. Shortly after 5:00 am Baby Guy and Tuba were awake. Tuba's fever was burning up. Baby Guy would have gone back to sleep but hubby got him up. Then he comes in and tells me, "You better hurry and come down. Baby Guy is going in to see what Santa brought". Now, Baby Guy doesn't even know who Santa is or what he does! So, I got up and then woke up Mr. P. After gently calling his name he shot straight up and said, "Wow, that went by fast". He dashed down to see if Santa brought his requested gift (he did). When he saw his pile of Santa items he declared, "I've been good!". It was so fun to watch the boys with giant smiles on their faces opening gift (even if it was 5:20 am). We were done with gifts, had a huge Christmas breakfast, watched a movie and went down for naps just before 9:00 am. Everyone except Mr. P (no nap) slept a good 3 hours. We had a lovely day. For dinner the little boys and hubby went to his Mom's house and Tuba and I stayed home. They brought us some dinner (good thing my MIL lives so close) and Tuba and I ate in bed and snuggled. What a nice family I have and what a nice Christmas I had too even in spite of this illness.

Monday, December 17, 2007

All Dressed Up

Baby Guy was having a blast wearing head phones and a long beaded necklace while playing with toys.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Catching Up

Well we've been busy decking the halls. I'm done shopping (Yahoo!). Now, I need to get wrapping. I don't think we can put the gift under the tree until Christmas this year. Between Baby Guy and Shiloh (the cat) I don't think they stand a chance. Also, Mr. P and Tuba are REALLY excited to open them...too tempting. My cards are ready for the mail....if I would only remember t0 get stamps. We got our tree, it has lights and today we will put up the ornaments. All the boys went out and put up the outdoor lights. I'm feeling very non-stressed and far so good:0

The Elves putting up lights

My boys at Mr. P's Pre-school Christmas Concert. What a hoot. Mr. P did NOT want to go up on stage to sing but I "persuaded" him. He stood perfectly still (think deer in the headlights), didn't udder a word all the way through 18 songs! After the show he told me he sang them all in his head!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Faces of Layla

Yesterday I received the Faces Of Layla book for my birthday. It is amazing and so beautifully done. The photos were all taken in Dec. of last year. That was only 4 mos. after Baby Guy left Layla House. Many of the children we met while in Addis are featured in the book as well as the wonderful staff from Layla House. I sat looking at the book with my boys on the couch. Baby Guy was MESMERIZED! It was so fascinating to see his reaction to the photos. He sat quietly and stared at each photo. Many of the nannies who cared for him were pictured in the book too. I can't help but think they were familiar to him. These were the ladies who fed him, rocked him, bathed him and nursed him back to health. When I was at Layla to meet Baby Guy and bring him home I was so touched to see the love he had for the nannies and they for him. He would light up and smile at them, giggle when they tickled him and look when they called his name. I knew he had been so lovingly cared for in the 4 months he was at Layla House. If you haven't seen this's a must have! Nearly the entire price ($50.00) goes to the GRACE fund which gives money for hard to place orphans. Go to to order your copy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

St. Nicholas

Happy Feast Day of St. Nicholas from the Wild At Heart boys!

Although Baby Guy looks a little shell shocked he actually enjoyed seeing Santa again this year. Tuba loves Santa and really loves the candy cane. Mr. P loves Santa too and told him exactly what he wants for Christmas this year...."Star Wars Lego I"!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tuba's New Sign

Tuba uses some sign language such as more, please, all done, drink, and potty every day. Sorry is another sign he made up on his own. He rubs his cheek with the palm of his hand. Tuba came up with a new sign this week. His new sign is for firewood. Everyone who knows Tuba well, knows how much he LOVES a fire! He now uses this sign to let us know he wants more wood on the fire....which is like every two seconds;) Our living room has been nice and toasty (about 77 degrees) most nights. Tuba's favorite thing, other than church is to stand in front of the fire and dance away.
Here's "Firewood"
Fun in the snow was enjoyed by all and the toasty living room made it extra nice for me:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is coming....

It's coming! Dare I say this, Christmas isn't my favorite holiday. Don't tell my kids. I love that Christmas is the Saviour's birth. I wish that was all that went along with the holiday. I know it's up to me. I get so stressed with the cards, gift buying, food prep, tree cutting, decorating, and social calendar. NONE of this has anything to do with celebrating Christ's birth. Each year I'm a little better at slowing down and focusing on what matters. It doesn't matter if I get my sons' teacher the perfect gift. It doesn't matter if I make a million cookies, candy, and special things. Last year I started putting up my nativity set first thing. I put it up on the fireplace mantel where it's front and center. As I get stressed and start feeling the dread I go and gaze at Baby Jesus. It helps get my perspective in order. I want my kids to enjoy Christmas and think of it's true meaning. I want them to know how blessed they. We will be collecting money for the poor. Buying gifts for children in orphanages and local charities too. My goal is to spend more time in prayer during this Advent season. That will surely get my mind focused on what is important. I don't want to completely leave out the Christmas traditions that bring myself and my family joy either. So, I've learned to start early and pace myself. Here I go. May the Glory of the Lord endure forever.....especially in my heart and mind this Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Snow

We had a fire in the fireplace.
We had soup and bread for dinner.
What a perfect night for snow.
The kids were very excited and wanted to know if it was Christmas!

Out of the mouths of babes!

As I was squeezing into my just out of the dryer jeans, I commented that they were "oh so tight and that my stomach was getting too fat". My sweet 4 yr. old then says, "No, it's your butt". OUCH! That will teach me to comment on my body in front of the kids;)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Today and Everyday

We have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about what we are thankful for. There is so much! I think the thing I am most thankful for is our bounty of food and clean water. I am thankful that my children are always full. I can't imagine the horrors of seeing your child go hungry day after day. This picture was taken in Ethiopia just outside the Layla House Orphanage gates. This mother was sitting with her daughter collecting what money she could. I think of them often. I pray for them often. May their bellies be full. May God bless them and all of us on this special day of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feast Day

The Presentation Of The Theotokos Into The Temple is celebrated today. Take time to reflect on the most holy of mothers. Go to this site to view the wonderful story of this feast day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

School Crafts

I love all the art and craft projects my boys bring home from school. This week we have the cutest Thanksgiving themed items. The turkeys are from the 6th grader and the village is from the pre-schooler. Baby guy hasn't been doing any turkey art but he did FINALLY cut another bottom tooth! Woohoo. He is 20 mos. old and only has 7 teeth! It doesn't stop him from eating anything, including steak:)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Worn Out

One of our favorite children's book series is the Olivia books by Ian Falconer. Olivia is so funny and just cracks us up. At my sew day yesterday I made a pillowcase out of Olivia fabric. It really sums up how I feel at the end of the day......Worn Out!
This is a must on our Christmas list! What are your favorite children's books?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Give Thanks

Psalm 104:33
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

This is our Thankful Tree hanging on our dinning room window. Each night after dinner we think of things we are thankful for. Then we write it onto a leaf and put it up on the tree. We have much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daddy is Home

My hubby works 3, 12 hour shifts a week as an ICU RN.....on graveyard. He sleeps during the day, eats dinner with us at 5:00 and then leaves for work at 5:45. He returns home at 8:00 in the morning, goes to bed and starts it all over. He works long hours with little or no breaks in a fast paced stress filled environment. The nice part is that he has long stretches of time off with the family too. The kids (and I) are really missing him after the 3rd and sometimes 4th day in a row of not seeing him except at dinnertime. When it's Daddy's day off the boys know it and wait all day for him to sleep and then get up and PLAY!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Church Cats

My friend in Greece sent this to me. Too funny!

A mother looked out a window and saw Johnny playing church with their three kittens. He had them lined up and was preaching to them. The mother turned around to do some work. A while later she heard meowing and scratching on the door. She went to the window and saw Johnny baptizing the kittens. She opened the window and said, "Johnny, stop that! You'll drown those kittens." Johnny looked at her and said with much conviction in his voice: "They should have thought of that before they joined my church."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Boy games

Finally, someone to play Risk with Papa! Well, at least Mr. Boss (new and more fitting nickname) was learning math values of less than more than.

Baby Guy's new game called Raid the Pantry. This was done to a brand new package of noodles. That night at dinner Mr. Boss asks, "Is this the same noodles Baby Guy dumped out today?" Yes, it was!...hey, my floors are clean and I didn't have time to go to the store;)

Another of Baby Guy's Raid the Pantry games. He filled the garbage with all my canned goods. Isn't anyone watching this kid?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bunk Beds!

The big boys got bunk beds yesterday. They are very excited. Baby Guy is trying to figure out how to climb up to the top. So far he can't do it but I know it won't be long. Baby Guy will be joining the big boy room when little sister comes home. I'm shopping Craigslist for a toddler bed.

Snuggling on Tuba's bunk.

These pictures were taken by Mr. 4 yr. old....I was on the phone and when he asked if he could take a picture I just handed him my camera so he would be quiet. Then I went out of the room and 30 minutes later I remembered that he had my camera!!! Yikes, he took 30 some pictures. Not bad...he already takes a better picture than his dad:) He was up on the top bunk shooting photos of his brothers.

Smile Tuba!

Oh, and he took photos of the stars and planets above his bunk that he put up yesterday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hugs Anyone?

13 Year Old Girl Gets Detention For Hugging. This is the headline that caught my eye today. Schools are moving to a no PDA policy which includes hugging. What? Hugging? Now, I've worked in plenty of schools and seen PDA gone too far....but hugging? I think that is taking things a bit too far. I remember back to middle school and I hugged all my friends. Most of you know that I'm a huggy person and we are a huggy family. So I say, give someone a hug today in protest of this silly rule. Here's some of my favorite huggers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Marble Jar

I invented the marble jar as a way to reward and encourage "acts of kindness" between the boys. If I see or hear one of them doing something nice or saying something especially nice to each other then I give the child a marble to put into the jar. Once the marbles are filled to the top of the "Ball" on the jar then we go on a special outing. This time we will be going to the Children's Museum. It's also a great way for me to focus on the postive behavior. Some days feel like endless time outs and this gets me looking for the good things they are doing. Today Mr. 4 yr. old got a marble for hugging and comforting Baby Guy. It was a hoot because Baby Guy was bawling after getting a time out for whacking Mr. 4 yr. old. At least nobody holds a grudge!

Let There Be Light

I love daylight savings time! I have never cared anything about it before but this year putting Tuba on the bus in the pitch dark has been terrible. Each morning he would point out the stars to me as we stood at the end of our driveway waiting for the bus. is glorious...we stand in the light and wait. I feel more awake and energetic (even if I'm standing at the bus stop in my pj's). Tuba has been easier to wake up too:) Of course the sun sets now at 4:50!'s worth it to me this year. To learn more about daylight savings time check out this link.


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