Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I bought my new bike! A Cannondale! I named my bike Mr. T....since it's because of all that gold I sold to buy it. Unless you are my age or older you certainly won't know who Mr. T is. If you don't know, you can google him. Serious bling! Although I'm not sure a guy's name is right for my beautiful bike. It even has red flowers on it. Beautiful.

It took me about 30 minutes to pick out the bike. The guy at our local bike shop was awesome. He asked me a bunch of questions and then directed me to what kind of bike I should get. Picking out the helmet took twice as long. Sheesh. All those colors and I had to try them all on and look in the mirror. It was a mess. My hair was all tangled up and I looked like I had been wrestling in a sleeping bag by the time I chose my helmet...which turns out was the second one I tried on.

When I got home Mr. P and Busy Guy were so excited to take me on a ride. I was so thrilled that I jumped on in my jeans and boots. Not the best riding gear. My boys were awesome. They showed me how to use the brakes and how to change gears. Then I raced Mr. P...and I won!! Oh Yah! I'm not the kind of mom to let her kids win...unless it's Candy Land and I just want game to end!! :)

Cam says he's a little worried that I'll like bicycling, A LOT! Ummmhmmmm. He's worried cause he knows he'll have to share all the sunny days, and extra money for bike gear. Be afraid Cam, be very afraid! I've got my eye on a jacket already!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Solid Gold

Last night I went to a Gold Selling party. It's where you can bring all your old jewelry and sell it for cash. The price of gold is really high and there are constantly commercials telling how easy it is to sell your gold. I have been interested in doing it and was excited when I got an invite to a party. How fun! Drink wine, socialize and make some cash!
I began digging through my jewelry box to see what I could get rid of. I had two pair of gold earrings that I could no longer wear. One earring in each set was ruined...ie: fell off and was run over in the road. Not repairable. I had a few more pairs of earrings that I never wear. An old ring from a previous boyfriend. A few bracelets, some broken, some I never wear. A broken chain. A few medallions for necklaces that again...never wear. Cam had an old ring to contribute too. It didn't look like much in the bottom of my plastic baggy. I weighed I and it weighed 1.7 oz.
Off to the party I went with my baggy of loot. It was very fun to watch everyone's loot get tested, sorted and appraised. Turns out you can bring gold, silver, platinum. Jewelry (costume too), teeth, platters, etc. Hmmm...I think I have a few more items to offload.
The lowest payout from the party was $65.00. That gal had a couple pieces of costume jewelry and an earring she found in a second hand couch. Not bad. The highest payout was $1,600.00. I saw the woman's jewelry as she was getting it tested. It looked like The 80's Gone Bad. Whew, glad to see she would be getting cash and not ever again wearing any of that stuff!
I was able to get rid of my stuff (that I never wear) and earn $672.00. Right on!! I am so excited!! I could hardly sleep last night. I was dreaming a scheming how to spend my money. That would buy a lot of fabulous boots...and jeans....and dresses. Oh my. Or, it would buy a cozy new chair for my bedroom to snuggle in front of the fire. Ohhhh. Or, it could pay for part of the vacation we just booked. Yes! But, no. That isn't what my heart desires. I'm very excited to be spending my money on a BIKE! Yipee!!
Everyone in this family has a bike....okay, even some people have two bikes....Cam! So it's time I got a bike too. In a bit I'm off to the bike store to figure out what I want. So many choices. Then later today I'll take a ride on my new machine! Of course I'll be posting pics later. I even have a name all picked out for my bike! It's a good one....
Oh yah, and what does the pic of me and my sweet neice have to do with gold or bikes? Nothing. I just like the pic and I have a really hard time posting without a pic to go along with it. Plus, I really love babies. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be the Example

I've been thinking a lot about sibling love. It warms my heart when I see my children being kind to each other. It breaks my heart when I see them being mean or indifferent to their brothers or sister. I do my best to guide them and help them to understand the importance of loving each other. But, I fall short and in times when my kids are fighting I start to wonder what else I could be doing.

There are lots of things, but I've come to the conclusion that the number one thing I can do is be an example. Period. I have to be a good friend, good sister, and most of all a good spouse to Cam. My relationship with my husband is the best example for my kids. It's the one they will follow...good or bad.
A few months ago Cam and I were out for a date night. I got the chance (ie: more than 10 minutes at night while we are both tired) to talk to him in depth about his job. It was very interesting...and heart breaking. Cam is Nurse Practitioner in an ICU....an ICU in a major medical university that treats the sickest patients in 6 states. Tough job. He sees VERY sick people. He watches people suffer. He watches families of the patients grieve. Very hard job. He has watched countless people die after long drawn out illnesses. Watched small children say goodbye to their parent, watched parents weeping over their adult children. Terrible sadness. There are some success stories. But few. And when a patient does do the miraculous and survive Cam doesn't get to see the end result. After leaving ICU the patient goes to floor care and then home. It's a big hospital in a big city. Occasionally a former patient will come back to visit and thank the team of providers. I like it when that happens. Proof of the good outcomes.
The crazy thing is Cam loves his job. LOVES! He is very good at it. VERY! I constantly find notes and letters he has brought home from families of his patients. He is too humble to show them all to me. But, I see them. And I know how lucky those families and patients are to have shared their journey with Cam. Blessed. And that is exactly what the cards and letters say.
Back to being a good example...and tying these two things together. When Cam gets home I'm usually at my limit....kid limit. :) He works long days. Leaves at 6:00 a.m. and gets home around 5:30-6:30. That means a long day for this mommy too. But, when he walks in the door I think about what he has seen at work that day. The pain, the suffering, the trauma. Instead of barraging him (okay, sometimes I still do) right away with what I need, instead I think, what does he need? Now, that is exactly what I'd like my kids to do for each other. Be thinking of what the other person needs. Be a friend. I need to be a better friend to my husband because that is how I teach my kids to do the same.
I love my family and I am so thankful for them and the lessons they provide me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whoa Girl!

Okay...first was Thanksgiving, then my birthday, then along came Christmas and New Year's and then my anniversary...and then...5 days with the kids home and SNOW. Why is snow so fattening? Well, the buck chicken pot-pie, mac-n-cheese, pudding, cake, cookies, cocoa and smarshmallows, grilled tuna and cheese, dove bars and a plethora of other fatty sugary foods end NOW! Tomorrow is back to the gym and back to clean eating. No white flour, no sugar. No more fat hiney! This week Baby George told me I bumped him with my FAT butt. Hmmmm....I thought about correcting him but ya know what, he called it like he saw it and he is right. This girl needs to put down the dessert, MOVE AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN BECKY!! I'll be reading that to myself this week....numerous times a day. I'd post pics but really I don't want to loose all my readers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Much Fun

We are on our third day of snow, snow, snow! Snow much fun! Cam was home yesterday which was really fun. He took the boys sledding while Sis and I made Valentine Cards. We had a blast! Sis was in love with glitter (who isn't?) and was cranking out the cards. When we were done she was covered in glitter....even the bottom of her feet. No problem...I'll just clean it up with my vacuum. Ooops...I forgot the vacuum is in the shop. :0 Well, we just swept and swept...and oh, well, what can can little glitter hurt?

We decorated for Valentine's Day. My favorite holiday! Love, and candy, and sparkles, and red and pink...my favorite colors! The kids and I are writing love notes to each other. You've got mail!!
We take time to sit, drink hot drinks and enjoy the view. Oh...the view.
We get a little stir crazy....so we dance! Plus, we (okay, me) have been eating like pigs! Cookies, chicken pot pie,grilled tuna and cheese, cocoa and ssssmarshmallows, did I say cookies?
We got tattoos right after breakfast. And...yes, we wear costumes all day long.
And then....we head back outside for some more sledding and snow!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Day!

Snow day!! Yeah! We stayed home from church this morning. The roads were icy and we had snow! Yeah Snow!! Enough to get the sled out and play. After a pancake breakfast we quickly (HAHA) got into our snow clothes and headed outside. The good thing about getting 5 kids into warm clothes, boots, mittens, hats, scarves, etc. is that you are warm...actually sweaty hot by the time you get out into the cold air. See? Bonus to having a zillion little kids. :)
Sis was of course totally fashionable in her matching outfit. No need to look bad just cause it's cold outside. Oh, no! It was a pink and purple combo today....okay, what else is new? I got a few of the kids new snow boots this week on super clearance! We are really blessed when it comes to hand-downs. We have snow pants in every size that a friend gave us. I pulled out the bins of snow boots and bins of gloves/mittens/hats/scarves. I had to buy Sis a pair of mittens but everyone else had what they needed.
Cam is one of the BIG kids. He is the first on the sled and luckily can handle lots of weight on him.
I love to sled too! I love to hear my kids giggle as we fly down the hill. It's really good for me to get outside and breath some fresh air and have fun!
We take turns going on the sled and such there are 7 of us we made a "nobody sleds alone" rule. Then we figured out that maybe we should buy another sled. Huh???....we are smart but sometimes slow on the uptake. So, we'll be looking for another sled just like the one we have. It's awesome...and made in the USA. I'll share details later.

Sis was the only one who wouldn't sled. Hmmm....the Wild Child? She spent her time digging in the snow and throwing snow balls. She had fun! After snow play we came home and had grilled cheese and hot cocoa with ssssmarshmallows as Baby George calls them. We are hoping for MORE snow! We live in a beautiful area and are so thankful to God for the beauty around us and the amazing family we have.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Poor Tuba was very sick this week. He had the barfs. Sorry if that's TMI. Poor baby threw up every hour for 9 hours. It started in the evening in the van. Yuck! That has been terrible to clean up. The van is going in for a professional detail job. He finally was able to rest at around 4:00 a.m. The next day he was just very tired and laid in bed all day.
The kids were all very concerned about him. Mr. P said the sweetest thing...."When you and dad die I'm going to have Tuba sleep in my room with me so I always know if he's sick". Precious. He has such a heart for taking care of his brother. Then this morning Tuba came into the kitchen and was pointing in his mouth. Busy Guy came in to tell me he had brushed Tuba's teeth for him. So sweet and so helpful. It makes me mommy heart so happy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grocery Day

As I'm sure you can imagine it takes a lot of food to feed our family. I can only imagine (in fear) how much it will take in the future...ie: when we have 4 teens and an adult child at home! I used to do most of my shopping from Safeway delivery. It was a complete life saver! Seriously! A friend recommended I do it (she also has 5 kids and had "twins" through birth and adoption). Since we moved, and since the kids have grown I haven't needed to use the delivery service.
I get most of our groceries from Costco. I can go every other week and then fill-in what else we need with a few trips to the regular grocery store. Costco has a huge selection of organic. I buy organic milk, eggs, some veggies/fruit, and some meat. I can get in and out in an hour. I usually spend around $500.00. They have carts that seat two kids...super bonus. And the best part is we can get hot dogs, churros and drinks for CHEAP. No, they aren't organic...but nobody is perfect. :) Sometimes I go when the kids are all at school but it's actually not too bad anymore to take them with me. Life is changing!
The worst part of shopping day? Bringing it home and putting it away!! Horrible. This week I got to Costco at 10:00, left at 11:15, picked up kids at school at 11:30, came home and unloaded car, then gave kids a quick lunch, finished putting groceries away (breaking down the cardboard too) at 1:30! Blech! Then I looked around my kitchen and saw the breakfast dishes, the lunch dishes and the dishwasher needing to be unloaded....and the unread morning newspaper. Darn it! Hmmm...maybe I should try the delivery thing again??
I do want to share something awesome about my house. This was a major selling feature for us. The kitchen has a HUGE amount of room for food. We left our garage freezer at the rental house. We don't need it anymore! It looks like an enormous built in system but it's actually a stand alone freezer and stand alone fridge next to each other. LOVE IT!! The freezer is having a little leaking issue and that's why the bottom section is empty...except for ice build up. But, once we get it fixed it will hold even more.
Don't ya love to snoop in someone's fridge? Have at it! Ummm...yes, that is a lot of yogurt. The kids can only have one a day. I usually buy Chobani Greek yogurt but they didn't have any. Phooey. Why yes, that is a lot of apples. You know what they say about an apple a day! And this about bread. Several times as I'm checking out at Costco the checker will make a comment about how much bread I have. I told the gal last month that I have 5 kids after she remarked, "that's a lot of bread!". Then she told me I didn't have nearly enough wine in my cart! ;o Oh, and yes there is some junk food in there. Corn dogs....yep. Easy dinner for the days when I have very little time...like the day I shopped for groceries!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Birthday Girl!

My sweet spunky sassy silly Sis turned 4!! She is a power house of energy. She is 40 inches tall and weighs 31 lbs. She sings at the TOP of her lungs all day long. She runs at full speed. She still needs less sleep than the rest of the kids...and less than I need her to have. ;) She is her Mama's girl though. She loves to go everywhere with me and do what I do. Sis is totally into princesses lately. At the library she wants to check out all the princess books. Then she sits and marvels at their "boutiful" dresses. She still LOVES clothes more than toys although she is playing with her dolls a lot now. Of course the influence of 4 brothers and all the boy toys has made it's mark on her. She was recently singing a made up song about Power Rangers to the tune of Away In A Manger. So funny! Sis loves her doggy. LOVES! She spends a big portion of her time talking baby talk to her....and dragging her/carrying her around.
For the birthday girl's day we went out to lunch and then went to the Children's Museum. Cam was on vacation, Yeah! After playing we came home, regrouped and headed out for dinner at Sis's choice. she chose The Ram. Yum. Good burgers and beers and root beers. Aunt Cinn, Uncle Jamie and baby joined us. Then we came home and had ice cream cake. Strawberry ice cream, chocolate ice cream with an Oreo crust. Whipped cream on top and lots of pink sprinkles. Sis picked it all out. We bought her a bike for her b-day. I'll get pics and post them later. My camera was dead when she opened her gift. The bike is of course pink with streamers and a bell. The bell...it might get "misplaced" by me....okay, I'll just wear ear plugs.
Here's a few pics of my beautiful girl. So thankful to have her as my daughter. So blessed by God to have my Ethiopian sweetie.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year's too!! We did!!
I've been away from my blog busy with kids and holidays and house guests. We got to host Cam's sis and BIL and baby for 10 days. So fun!! The kids miss having extra adults in the house to play with. :) I loved snuggling my sweet niece! Also, it was super fun to stay up and hang out with Cinn and Jamie. I haven't laughed to much in a very long time!! Fun!! I have more pics to post soon of our fun visit.

I used to post little lists of my favorite things. I thought I'd try doing it a bit more. It's a nice way to remind myself about all the wonderful things in my life. I also thought I'd share when I find items made in the USA. Cam and I try hard to buy items made locally or in the USA or at least in countries with a democracy and/or good human rights policies. I still need to share pics of our family room remodel too. Anything else you want to know or any ideas you have for me to blog about? Leave it in the comments.


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