Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Time

I'm home with sick kids. 4 kids with horrible coughs, terrible noses and fevers. They were sick all weekend and on it goes. I've got it too. Tuba is the only one who is completely well. Good for him!

So, I'm home and the kids are being allowed to watch more TV than they ever thought possible. I might as well catch up on my blogging. :)

Book club met last week and we discussed 3 Cups of Tea; One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. I loved this book! Everybody should read it. Inspirational and educational and entertaining. The best!

Here is one of my favorite quotes in the book. "In times of war, you often hear leaders-Christians, Jewish, and Muslim-saying, 'God is on our side.' But that isn't true. In war, God is on the side of the refugees, widows and orphans." The other is in reference to educating girls and Mortenson's struggle to get more village girls attending school. He says, "Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities. But girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they've learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls". I first read this quote in the book Half the Sky. I highly recommend the book. If anyone ever wonders what they can do to fight poverty, slavery, terror in the both of these books and you will have your answer. We can ALL do something. We cannot do everything but we can do something. So, go do it!

I am book club host for March and I chose Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Thank you Erika for the suggestion...and now, what kind of chocolate would you like?? Send me your address too. I'm excited to get reading this book. Looks great. This is what Publisher's Weekly says about the book.

See's engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends (laotong, or "old sames") Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily's voice, See (Flower Net) adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women's ceremonies and duties in China's rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women's inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters' foot binding ("Only through pain will you have beauty. Only through suffering will you have peace"), the story widens to a vivid portrait of family and village life. Most impressive is See's incorporation of nu shu, a secret written phonetic code among women—here between Lily and Snow Flower—that dates back 1,000 years in the southwestern Hunan province ("My writing is soaked with the tears of my heart,/ An invisible rebellion that no man can see"). As both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle, this novel has bestseller potential and should become a reading group favorite as well.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poopy Snow

It's another day off from school due to snow.

Here's a snow day riddle for you.

Question: What do you get when one 2 year old poops in the toilet and then puts a whole roll of toilet paper in and then flushes?

What do you get when 3 year old sister decides to help him out by flushing multiple times until the poopy soup runs over, and over and over the bowl?

What do you get when the poopy soup water runs all over the bathroom and then seeps through the floor vents and begins to run out of the light fixture in basement bathroom?

What do you get when poopy soup water is dripping and then splashing all over 2nd bathroom?

What do you get when the mom of these kids has to clean up gallons of poop soup in two bathrooms on her hands and knees?

Answer: You get one mom who really, really, really regrets wishing for another snow day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow Day

When it looks like this outside....

We decided to do this!

Now, Playdoh may cause some parents to run for the hills but I'd rather do Playdoh than bubbles any day!! Bubbles....Blech!!
The kids had a great time. Sis especially likes Playdoh and sat for over an hour playing with it. This is a miracle considering she doesn't sit still for two minutes all day long. At meal time she eats a few morsels of food and jumps down from the table to run around.

After Playdoh we dumped about a zillion little Legos out and made all kinds of ships, and robots. What a fun day!

Truth be told...the kids really wanted to go out and sled. Me? Not so much. The snow was wet and I already took them sledding....back in Nov. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mid Winter Break

The kids are having mid Winter break. So no school Fri. then the weekend then no school Mon. for the holiday and no school Tues. Such fun! We had beautiful sunshine over the weekend. The air was brisk and cold but sunny! Love it. We headed to the big city on Sat. to enjoy the sun and fresh air. We hadn't taken the kids to the fabulous market in a few years so that is where we went.

What a fun time we had. Fish and chips for lunch. Yummo! We took in the sights and walked our hearts out. The highlight of the day was watching a street performer play a harmonica, a guitar, and some maracas, while spinning two hula hoops and singing! Mr. P thought the guy was totally nuts...which he kind of was...but entertaining.

After the market we walked down to the waterfront and looked at the mummies at Ye Old Curiosity Shop. Baby George kept looking and saying...."oh, SO scary". Sis looked and said, "Look Mom, she's wearing a skirt, PRETTY". Yes, the mummy had a piece of cloth wrapped around her waist. What a girl!

I went back and looked how little the kids were the last time we spent the day at the market. Whaaaa! Oh, what little babies! Check them out here.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Sit down with your family and watch this beautiful video. The pictures are taken in Ethiopia and many of them are at Layla House which is where our Busy Guy and Sis lived before coming home to us. The video was made to raise awareness and money for the GRACE fund. Please watch it and contribute to this great cause.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Baby George and Sis have been playing together on Mr. P's top bunk. They climb up and then read books together. Today I heard BG yelling and I could hear the word "Mommy". I went in to see if he needed me to get him down. Of course Sis can climb up and down like a mountaineer...but BG isn't so sure footed and needs me to retrieve him. When I got into the room he tells me, "No, not you. I was calling Little Mommy" and he pointed to Sis. Precious. All day now he's been calling her Little Mommy. They are the sweetest. Although now I wonder if I'm going to be called Big Mommy?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday....usually. This year was not my year. Last year I went all out. See photos here. I had a big dinner planned and my table planned too. But, the day was chaotic and I had so much to laundry. So, at 4:30 I was totally overwhelmed (hadn't started dinner, hadn't set anything out for the table and was still folding laundry) and called Cam to say we should go out to dinner. Where can you go at the last minute with no reservation on Valentine's Day?? Pizza! We went to our favorite place and had a nice dinner and nice time together. And we got to come home to a clean kitchen! Yeah!

I did get an amazing Valentine gift from my mom and her husband Bill. Yipee! I LOVE antique Valentine cards and I mentioned it to my mom a few years ago. Well, she surprised me with this fabulous bunch of cards!! They are so lovely. They are in perfect condition. I really enjoyed looking at each of them. I love how Valentine cards were not Sponge Bob and Transformers (yes, that is what my boys picked out). The antique ones are so much more fun. I bought some picture holders to display them. Someday I'd like to have a table with a glass overlay where I can display the cards. Thanks mom and Bill!!

Here is the update on Sis. Her burn has lost almost all of the charred part. It literally peeled off like a piece of BBQ chicken. Ewwww! I know it! She is very good at letting me put the burn cream on it and keep it covered. It looks to be healing well. I wonder how long it will take the pigment to return? Any ideas?? Leave it in the comments for me.
Now that I've ruined your appetite by talking about her burn I'll make ya laugh. At Target yesterday Sis saw a white dress with green shamrocks on it. Super cute. The dress also came with bloomers with a frog on the tushy. She loved it! I love St. Patrick's Day and of course wanted to get her the dress. The bummer was that it only came in infant sizes. I went ahead and bought her the 24 mos. She is tiny. It fits great! She is in love with it and has been wearing it...and the frog "undies" for two days. Today she is wearing it with red and white polka dot tights and matching red with white polka dot sweatshirt. Spiffy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Report

I always mean to write about the books I've read. But, somehow I forget. So today I'll talk about a few of them at a time. I belong to a book club and we meet once a month. A fabulous and fun book club...a great bunch of women!

Last month we read Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. It was good. The main character Elner is an elderly lady with the best outlook on life. She spent her life helping others and living each day to the fullest. She is charming and funny too. Some of the other characters in the book are annoying. Overall the book was good but I did have a few issues with it. For one I didn't like how the author used the word "retarded" numerous times to describe a girl with Down Syndrome. The book was only written a few years ago so I couldn't understand the author's use of the word. Also, I thought it was strange that the only time the author mentioned a characters color of skin was when writing about a black woman. I don't just seemed odd. The others in my book club felt the same too. Overall I'd give the book a B-.

Also last month I read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. I have had this book on my shelf for years and finally just picked it up and read it. I loved it. It's a great story of women, mothers sisters and friends. It made me think about all the women in my life and appreciate them a little bit more. I also thought a lot about my parenting and how my kids will remember me. And also about my childhood. I cried and laughed throughout the book....and couldn't put it down. I give this book an A+.

This month's book club selection is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. I've read 15 pages and I'm hooked. It is going to be a great read. I've also had this book on my shelf for awhile and was glad it was the pick for this month. I started reading it today at the gym. I could have kept at my cardio for hours but alas my blood sugar plummeted and left me rooting around in my purse for an almond, a cracker, a crumb. Nothing. I weakly walked to the snack machine and bought some trail mix. Now that I'm re-nourished I can't wait to dive back into this book.

Other books I've read recently...or ones that stand out in my mind. Really good books!!

The Help
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I read all three in the series.

I am hosting my book club next month and get to pick the book. What have you read that you love?? Leave it in the comments and if I choose your book I'll send you some chocolate!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Poor Sis...her burn is looking worse. The dark part is coming off now. Baby George was mad at her and poked her in the arm...and it removed a piece of skin. Ewwww. I called the Dr. today and got some special burn cream for it. It will help with healing and lessen scarring. I just feel sick about her burn.
And I'm feeling doubly sick because of this:
I went to the drive-through at Walgreen's to pick up the burn cream prescription. I was thrilled that it was only .80! Wow! I had called ahead to make sure it was ready. As I was waiting the lane next to me opened up so I backed up and started to move into the next lane when.....screeeeeeech.....! Oh! I looked at the guy's face in the car next to me and he had his lips all pursed up and was making a very bad face. OH! I had hit the stupid-short-yellow-concrete pole that separates the lanes. OH! I got out to look at the damage. OH! When I got back in I muttered..."Daddy is going to kill me!". Mr. P got all worried looking and said, "Is he REALLY going to kill you or is he just going to be mad?". Okay, that got me laughing. No, he isn't going to kill me....and I hoped he wouldn't be mad.
I drove straight over the the autobody shop and got an estimate. The preliminary estimate is $2,177.00. OH! Well, my hopes of paying out of pocket and avoiding an insurance claim were out the window. OH! My deductible is $300.00. Not that I can afford that but it beats the alternative. OH!
I then called Cam and told him I'd been in a wreck. Right away he wanted to know if we were all okay. Well, I can see that was a good way to start the conversation. :) Of course he isn't mad and he's just glad we weren't hurt. :)
In the end it made me think how it was a good life lesson for my kids. They were all in the car and got to see how I responded. Okay, at first I did say a bad word. My bad! OH! But, then I was calm and told the kids I was mad at myself but that we all make mistakes and accidents happen.
Such is life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Report

This sweet picture of Busy Guy was taken one afternoon last week. He was in his room playing and it was so quiet so I went to check on him. He was fast asleep in the midst of the Legos. Good thing a pillow was also on the floor.

The kids have all been growing and changing like crazy! Here's an update.

Tuba: He is doing wonderful at school. His teacher is amazing and the lady who rides the bus with him is the most positive person I have ever met. These wonderful women make Tuba's day great. He is continuing to say new words. It's amazing...when he sings he can put together so many words. He sings whole sentences and whole songs. His language has gotten more clear. It used to be that only his family knew what he was saying but now people who have never met him know what he is saying lots of the time. His seizures have been stable. Good news! He has been really hungry lately and is in a big growth spurt. Teenager!

Mr. P is really enjoying Taekwondo! It's the first sport he has done that he has LOVED from the beginning. He pays close attention and is a fast learner in class. He is anxious to learn his form so he can test for the next belt level.

Busy Guy also loves TKD! He is the tiniest kid in class. The classes are taught by belt level and not age so the class in age 4 up through adult. BG looks so small. His uniform is huge on him. He is also a studious learner. The instructor has commented how well BG is doing for such a wee kid.

Sis is singing her days away. She loves to sing and often puts two or more songs together to make one of her own creations. She is a busy body too! She is in to LOTS of things and keeps me hopping...I mean cleaning! ;) Her latest was to squeeze toothpaste up and down the cat! Ugh! I put her into time-out and after getting the cat cleaned up I went to talk to Sis. She looked me right in the eye and said, "I NOT sorry!". Well....I left her in the corner and she soon became sorry. Ha!
Yesterday she got a terrible burn at our friend's house. She was standing near their woodstove and somehow touched her arm against it. She was wearing a sleeveless dress so her poor arm was really burned. Ouch! At first we only saw the small burn near her elbow where the skin came off. But once we were home I looked at her arm and then I about flipped! I called the Doctor and after putting cold washcloths on it she felt better. She cried for a bit but hasn't complained about it since. This morning I noticed a few more blisters on the burn (there is also water or her arm as I took this photo in the tub). She is tough! I'd be crying and wincing in pain if I had that burn. Poor girl....poor Mama.

Baby George is a BIG boy. He took to potty training like a champ. No accidents! He wears big boy undies and has no problem going potty in various public restrooms. Yeah! He is super excited for Fall. He says he wants a Batman backpack!

Cam and I are doing well. The adjustment to Cam's new work schedule is going great. We finally trained our tummies to wait a bit longer for dinner. :) I love having Cam home most nights for family dinner and I LOVE having him home on the weekends! TGIF finally means something to me! Cam is also doing TKD and really having a good time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weighing In

So I'm back at it. Trying to lose some lbs. that is. I really like Weight Watchers. It works for me. I can't do the online thing....I've got to go in and get weighed. I don't mind so much someone else see my weight. It sounds crazy but having the weight written down in my book works for me. Now, I could do that at home but it's much easier to "forget" about weigh-in day. :) Also, I do like for someone to say, "good job" to me when the weight goes down. Here's a secret about me...more like a neurosis...If I know I did not lose any weight...well, I will just skip a weigh-in, get back on track. Then the next week my book can reflect my loss. I do NOT want a gain recorded in my precious WW book. Of course there are times I really fall off the wagon and months pass without a weigh-in. Then it's really hard for me to go back. But, I have returned.

The good news is WW has a new program. That means a new book! Yeah, I don't have to look at my weight gain...okay, it was only 3 lbs. but still I hate to see it. Worse yet I hate to feel it in the waist band of my jeans! Blech! Back to the new program. I like it! WW stole one of my famous quotes. They should have given me credit for it...I have been saying it for about 15 years. Here it is. "Nobody ever got fat eating too much fruit". Tadaaaaa! Seriously!! The point of them saying that is because there is no longer a point value for fruit. Eat as much as you want! Bravo! I have always said it was silly to meticulously weigh and measure my fruit.

More neurosis on my part. When I get weighed at WW I go on the same day of the week each time. I only go in the morning. I do NOT want to know what I weight at night...thank you. I wear the same outfit each week (sweats, t-shirt, socks), I take off my shoes, and sweatshirt. I make sure I'm wearing my wedding ring and no earrings. This is what I wore the first time I weighed in....some 7 years ago. Now for the really crazy town part. I drink one cup of tea, eat one yogurt and make sure I've done my morning constitutional. I know...TMI...but I already said I was neurotic. Then as I stand on the scale I wonder if I should spit, blow my nose, exhale. I wonder if my haircut will make a difference. Yep. There ya have it. Crazy Town.


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