Friday, January 27, 2012

Schizophrenic Crafter

So, I originally started this blog to write about my weight loss journey and crafts. Well, it has turned into a blog about the girls and my marriage more than anything. But, that is how life works. We set out to do one thing, and end up doing another thing. Get on one path and find ourselves finishing at the end of a completely different path. Or is that just me?

 I really do have a disorder when it comes to crafts. Take for example 2 weeks ago, I headed to my Aunt and Uncle's for a night away with the girls. My girls really enjoy going to their house to play with games and awesome toys from the 80s (remember the original little people? and waffle blocks? and tinker toys!) and watch old "Ramona" videos. You know, the ones that were on PBS - NOT staring Selena Gomez. (although I think she is awesome too) I think they have worn out the VHS copies and they ALWAYS get to peek at home videos from when I was a little sassy thing running around with my even littler cousin. That always gives a good chuckle. Anyway, the kids are entertained by my Aunt and Uncle and my Cousin K and I usually get to escape the crazy house for a bit.

This time we headed to a really fun knit shop: Knit One, Weave Too. We walk in this old town shop and it is stuffed with yarn. It was AMAZING. (please note that I have a really hard time walking by anything with texture and not touching it. Just ask my husband. In any home store, I must touch every towel, rub every blanket and squeeze every pillow that we pass). So, you can only imagine me in a knitting store stuffed with YARNS of all different textures! I went in looking for a particular yarn to make some slipper socks. Something that I could wear OVER my socks since I can not seem to keep my feet warm since I had Kynslee. I would pick up a skein and find it simply irresistible and instantly have a new project in mind. Then, I would remember what I was there for and put it back. Only to find another 2 skeins that I MUST HAVE ... not sure why, but they feel so soft, and the colors, oh my. After about 45 minutes of touching and picking up and having 10 different projects running through my mind, I end up with some really soft thin yarn that goes from pink to yellow and back to pink. I also pick up a crochet hook because it looks really cool. Also, I bought some stitch holders for knitting (not sure what project I need those for, I am sure I will find one).

After we leave the knit shop (not by choice, they were closing), we realized I still did NOT have the yarn for my slipper socks. So, we head to Michaels. Same scenario plays out in this store. I must have picked out yarn for 10 different projects before settling on 2 different brown yarns to make Kynslee some knitted baby UGGS. I decide that I will make my slipper socks out of some yarn at home. Oh, well. This happens quite often. I really should stay out of craft stores and use up the stash of things that I have at home.

Anyway, 2 weeks later, I finally finished my slipper socks that I set out to make. And, no, I have NOT used that ball of yarn I bought from the knit store, and I have NOT used the yarns that I bought at Michaels. I did, however, find some cool yarn at Wal-Mart (while grocery shopping of course) and used that for the slipper socks.

And, I used the crochet hook to make a cute headband for Kynslee out of some yarn I already had.

Cost of the yarn and stitch holders I bought at the knitting store that have gone unused: $11.99
Cost of the gas to get to the store over 20 minutes from my cousins house: $3.29/gallon
Cost of 30 minutes in a store full of yarn to feel and squish and let my crafting imagination run wild: Priceless! ( and I would do it again, and probably will ... again, and again!)

So, do any of you fellow crafters find yourself doing the same thing? On a mission to purchase items for one project and come home with supplies to make 3 more different projects? Or is this just me?!?! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Everything Be Thankful

Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

I have to admit. I have been pretty awesome to live with lately.

And by awesome ... I mean: A.W.E.S.O.M.E.


I don't know why I get like this. I guess it is just a time for reflection. It hasn't been long that I have been this way. Just a few days. And it isn't even the whole day that I am like this, just spurts of the day. And it is really only to Mike. And I am pretty sure it feels like to him ... it has been DAYS of complaining. But, it really hasn't been, has it?

I was folding like 5 loads of laundry today, after a great workout ... and I was starving. So, everything was starting off sour. I was having a pout fest because Kynslee was napping and I just knew by the time I was done putting the enormous amounts of laundry away, she would wake up. In my head I was yelling, "Why am I the only one folding this laundry?" "Why didn't anyone help me wash the dishes last night?" "Why was I the only one worried if the girls bathroom was clean?""It would be so much easier if it was just MY laundry I had to put away!"

Then, after I snapped at my husband a bit later when he nicely asked if I wanted a GNC Total Lean Protein Shake. (Which, by the way, is awesome. I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post). Anyway, I snapped at him and said something like, "No, thanks! It is too late for breakfast. I am starving (which made no sense why I wouldn't want to eat). Kynslee is going to be up soon (since I don't eat when she is awake?!?!)." After the words spilled from my mouth, I suddenly felt stupid. And it just kept coming. (the stupid feelings that is, not more verbal vomit) Anyway, after I spurted that out, Mike asked what I was upset about.

I snapped again, "I only put away 5 loads of laundry ... BY MYSELF. Cleaned up our bedroom and the bathroom AND AND AND ... that was it."

Mike's response, "You were doing all that? I thought you were showering and getting ready for the day. I had no idea. Why didn't you ask for help?"

All that time I spent thinking horrible things. Like he was sitting in the family room just laughing it up because I was in the bedroom by myself folding mountains of laundry. I do this to myself. I wash and wash and wash and don't put it away as it is finished. I wait until the laundry baskets are overflowing and can't hold anymore clean and folded laundry before I finally sort it all into personal laundry baskets and send them off to each room. Every week I have every intention of washing/drying a load and putting it away instantly. That NEVER lasts.

As I finished up my chores for the day, I started thinking. All these chores that I really don't enjoy doing, I go about the wrong way. I am so negative when I am doing these things. But why? I really don't have that much to do around here. Our house stays pretty clean. Dusting doesn't take long. Takes a few extra minutes to steam mop the hardwood through the house and ceramic in the bathrooms. What would I rather be doing? Working? Because a few years ago when we moved into this house, I was so thankful to finally have a place of our own again ( we lived with my in-laws for 18 mo while we got situated in a new town and built our new home), I vowed to take pride in my cleaning. I vowed to take pride in taking care of my family. Because that is the job I dreamed of when I was little. Since I was a small child playing "babies" I knew there was nothing that I wanted more in this life than to be a wife and a mother. That is what God put me on this earth to be. A mother, a wife, a friend, a laundry lady, a cook, a teacher, a nurse ( I can put on a good bandaid), and a nurturer. I am good at all of these things.

My husband says, "If you are going to take the time to do a job, you might as well be good at it and take pride in it."

That statement couldn't be more true. I am living the life that I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I never sat and daydreamed about my wedding day. I didn't want to be a doctor when I grew up. In my head, I pictured me, taking care of a family and cooking for them and cleaning for them.

Some people might say, "be careful what you wish for" (which is me some days ... like today) ... but tonight, I am thankful. Thankful that God heard me way back then and gave me everything that I wished for. But, what do I do when I see my girls dreaming of their future? I might make sure to have them add in a housekeeper to their vision! ;)

1 scoop of GNC Total Lean - Swiss Chocolate - 90 Calories
1 cup Milk - 50 Calories
1 TBSP Peanut Butter - 95 Calories
1/2 Banana - 50 Calories
2 TBSP - Davinci Gourmet Caramel Syrup - 0 calories ( i found this stuff in the coffee creamer section at walmart)

Put it in a blender for 1 minute. Then Add a cup of ice and chop it so it is a smoothie texture and drink. It is so amazing. And, I am in no way doing a promo for this product, I just have really found it helps with my calorie intake for the day and it also keeps me full!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quiet On The Homefront

So, nothing much has happened since "The Destroyer" was sunk. (refer to previous Battleship post if confused) J was the only one really hit with the bug and I am not really convinced it was the flu after all. She did throw up through the night, but the next morning slept and slept and by early evening she was back in Jordyn mode. I, however, was left exhausted.

No one else caught it. At least yet. I got a nauseous a few times and took a few extra naps  might have closed my eyes a few times. I think the thought of having my entire family sick, and Mike leaving me here sick and taking care of little humans ... made me sick. Mike won't call in for anything. It could be 6 inches of snow, whiteout conditions, him have bronchitis AND no sleep ... and that man will still drag himself in to work. He is my hero. Me, I get a tiny sniffle and I am ready to pull the covers over, close the shades and sleep it off. Call me in sick to work ... oh wait, I CAN'T call in sick. My little humans reFUSE to give me a day off.

Anyway, enough rambling on and on about non-sense. I decided instead of sitting around waiting and hiding from the flu ... we were going to take back the house. Mike worked a 12 today (his normal shift) so I got the girls off their butts and we picked up the house. We dusted, washed dishes (oh don't get me started on why my dishwasher doesn't work and how we bought a brand new house with brand new appliances so we wouldn't have to deal with anything broken ... at least for a few years. doesn't this house know we can't fix ANYTHING?) .... oh whoops, where was I ... Oh yeah. So, we dusted, washed dishes, vacuumed, cleaned out the fridge, emptied trash cans ... wait, where were all the bathroom trash cans?!?! We couldn't find them. I told the girls to empty them and they weren't in the bathroom. Oh yeah, they were strategically placed throughout the house with plastic Wal-Mart bags in them ... just in case someone couldn't make it to the bathroom in time to throw up. Didn't need an incident all over a couch or carpet again.
That's another thing. Our furniture that we spent extra on the protection plan. Another thing to not get me started on. Well, I am started. I called the company. I told the lady what happened the night before (since they were closed right after J got sick). Here is our conversation.

(Her)"Well did you wipe it up?!?! We need to see pictures of the damage."

Really? You are going to ask me if I wiped it up? Of course not. I have 3 children and a dog. I went ahead and left it all on the couch awaiting further instruction.

(what I really said) Yes, we cleaned it all up. It was really bad. 

(her) Did you take pictures first?

Our 5 year old daughter is continuously throwing up all over and shaking scared, the dog is trying to jump in the mess, the baby is freaked out because we are flipping out, Mike is covered, I am standing in shock at it all and the first thing we think of is ... "Honey, grab the camera, this is a photo op!"

(me) silence -- no words can form for this conversation right now. I just wanted to ask her if she was a mother. I don't care what damage has been done to my couches. I don't care what else is going on. When my baby (even though she is 5 and will tell you quite frankly she is a BIG KID) when my baby is crying scared because she can't catch her breath because she can't stop heaving ... I am NOT going to be taking pictures. I am going to be comforting her. I am going to be figuring out what to do next to make HER feel better.

(her) Ma'am? Are you there?

(me) Yes. And no, I didn't take pictures.

(her) Well, go ahead and take pictures of everything now and email them in. We will let you know in 7-10 days what to do. And, I am a mom. My baby has never gotten the flu. We are just healthy like that.

(me) Will do. thanks.

(what I really wanted to say was:) Why thank you for pointing out that great fact that you are healthy and we are not. Just wait until it hits your family. Let's see how many pictures YOU are taking in that moment.

Now, I understand protocol for her job. I can understand why they need pictures of the damage. I totally get that. But there has to be another way.

I just had to get that off my chest. Now, I can breathe easy because my Mother-In-Law so graciously dropped off her carpet/upholstery steamer. Luckily, because of the quick actions of my SuperHero Mike ... he got the covers off all the cushions and nothing got through to the core. The covers are washed and sitting in bags (as per instructions from the warranty dept). We are waiting our 7-10 days and see what to do next.

And in the mean time, keeping those trash cans near by, just in case.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We've been hit!

I feel like we are playing a real life version of Battleship. 5 boats. Each taking a specific amount of hits before being sunk. Hubs is the Aircraft Carrier, the biggest, taking 5 hits to sink. Me, the Battleship, the next largest, taking 4 hits to sink. K and J are the Submarine and the Destroyer, each taking 3 hits to sink. And Baby K would be the Patrol Boat, the smallest, taking 2 hits to sink. With a family of 5 and the flu season lingering outside our door, we are just a bunch of ships in the open water ... waiting to get hit, and sunk.

Well, last night, The Submarine needed a haircut so I, The Battleship, took her and left the two little ships at home with Daddy. When we returned, The Destroyer was curled up on the floor with her knees tucked under her chest and sleeping behind the chair where The Aircraft Carrier was sitting. He had no idea she was even there, and she was fast asleep. The Patrol Boat had finished a bottle and was sleeping peacefully in her crib. I thought it was going to be an easy night all around. I was wrong.

Since it was quiet and our oldest K was quietly relaxing in the office watching a movie, the Hubs and I decided to head downstairs to play a few games of ping-pong. I mentioned he should probably put J in her bed so she could sleep comfortably. She hadn't wanted dinner and was really tired as we sat at the table, so I figured she just needed a good nights rest. He lifted her off the ground and she snuggled in to him, hugging him around the neck. Mumbled a few words ... probably how much she loves him because she can't tell him that enough lately ... and then it happened. The Destroyer threw up all over The Aircraft Carrier.  Not only did it get all over him, but it got all over one couch, the ottoman, the floor, in her hair, and all down her arms and legs. No warning sirens. No blinking lights. Just explosion.

While I got her to the shower and stripped her down for a bath, Hubs got to work on the rest of the house. Thank goodness we spent the extra couple hundred dollars to get the protection on the furniture, I think we are going to turn in that "coupon" today. And, my in-laws have a professional strength steam carpet cleaner (and only a small area had been hit). But still, really? What are we to do now? Send the other two kids to Grandma's in hopes they don't catch the germ? Or have we all been infected! I hate playing this waiting game. Everyone else went to sleep with buckets within arms reach. Of course, I stayed up all night with The Destroyer who continued to spit up whatever bits of liquid were left in her tiny 35lb body.

The Destroyer has kept down some saltines and Sprite so far today. The Submarine is off to school and The Patrol Boat is in full force today. She slept all night and is in great spirits today ... jumping and running all over the house in her walker. I, however, am debating whether or not I should become a coffee drinker ... just for nights like this. Starbucks really should start a delivery service. I would pay good money for that today. Oh well, off to run loads of sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and whatever else J tried sleeping with last night. Thanking the Lord today for making it through the night, 3 seemingly healthy children ... and an energy efficient washer and dryer (because it is getting good use today).

Hope you all hide your battleships well. I am re-devising our battle plan.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun times at the Rec Center

We are very lucky to have a membership to a pretty awesome Rec Center here in town. They have a great outdoor pool (where we had Kaelyn's 9th Birthday Party) and a pretty cool indoor pool (where we had Jordyn's 4th birthday party). They have a great gym and a child care center that my girls love going to. I even went to YOGA last week!!

In June, I gave birth by c-section to our youngest, Kynslee. A week to the day later, Mike decides (while out for our first grocery shopping trip) to stop in the rec center and start us up a membership. Not the greatest idea considering I was only 7 days post-op and we couldn't go together until the new baby was 6 weeks old ... and I wasn't to start working out until 12 weeks post-op. Mike wanted to get a jump start on that membership.

Well, fast-forward 6 weeks and I was feeling great so we head to the gym for our first post-baby workout. BIG FAIL because I had read the membership forms wrong, and the Baby K couldn't go into child care until she was SIX MONTHS! Whoops! Well, Mike sat with her in the waiting area and I used a cross-trainer for a bit before we headed home.

The membership didn't go totally to waste for the next 6 months because we live in Missouri, and it was HOTTTTT this summer! Too HOTTTTT to take a new baby out in the sun. So, I was able to take the girls swimming all summer and stay out of the hot hot sun. Well, maybe I only took them a few times. Ok, maybe Mommy Brains have settled in and I really only took them one time. SHAME ON ME! Give me a little slack here, I am getting used to being a mom of THREE KIDS! Here are some fun pics from that day!
(Beans was only three and a half weeks old here)

(silly silly Kaelyn and Jordyn)

(J was so happy to not need water wings in this part of the pool!)

So, anyway, the child care facilities let me bring Baby Kynslee once she was 5 months and I started going a few times a week on and off. I have been doing great going at least 3 times a week and my goal is to make it to 5 times, but  ... baby steps. We did get to go tonight as a family and it was fun. We took the girls swimming for about an hour and then got them dried off and sent them off to the Child Care area while we burned off some unbelievable Carmelitas (<------ click on link, make these. seriously. you will thank me.) that I made. Here are some fun pics from today!

 (love her eyelashes!)
 (splashin' in the lazy river)
 (Big K going down the awesome slide that goes from inside to outside and back in)
 (Baby K trying to escape from her carseat)
(Baby K's cheeks and her amazingly long eyelashes. they get them from their daddy)

So, that's about it. It was fun getting out of the house ... especially with TWO snow days last week, Thurs/Fri and then a holiday today! What did you do for fun today??

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It happened to me ...

I swore it wouldn't happened. SHE PROMISED it wouldn't happen. Well, at least I THOUGHT that's what she was saying. Apparently I got the wrong message or she didn't get the memo (and if she did, she crumpled it up and threw it under her bed).

(rewind) A little over 10 years ago, I found myself 19, and (*gulp) pregnant. NOT what I had in my life plan. Of course, my life plan had children in it. But not before a.) I was out of college and more importantly b.) before I was married! But, it happened. June 2002 she came into my world. SHE is my oldest daughter. Rah-Rah (nothing to do with her actual name, but what her little sister could say when she was a baby). She was born perfectly healthy and beautiful. I was scared to death. She was MINE. I was responsible for this tiny little human. God gave me the job to raise her and teach her everything I knew.

I had an emergency c-section with her so I spent a few extra days in the hospital. My mom was in the OR when she was born and she and my dad were there every day and my Mom even stayed the first 2 nights with me. But then, she had to get decent sleep and get back to work. So, there I was. Night #3 in the hospital. Alone. With this beautiful baby girl depending on ME! And I was scared. I cried that night when my mom headed out for the evening. I cried some more when I sat there alone with my new baby. But we made a deal that night. I was rocking her and talking to her about our future. I didn't know where it would lead her or us. But, I promised that I would be there every step of the way to make sure she was taken care of and had everything her precious little heart ever could hope for. I promised to love her more than any other love she could imagine. And, with her big blue eyes, she looked up at me and PROMISED that we were in this together. She promised to stay my little girl forever ... I am SURE of it.

* side note * Now, I completely understand that along the way I couldn't give her EVERYTHING her little heart desired. I have had to deny her a few trips to McDonalds, an iPod here or there or the newest coolest toy. But, I like to think I have given her everything else. I think I held up my end of the deal. I loved her and STILL love her with my entire being. But then it happened ....

(fast forward 9.5 years) Suddenly it dawned on me the other day. She grew up on me. She isn't my little baby girl that I rocked that scary night in the hospital. All of a sudden, with some shirts, she needs a bra. All of a sudden she needs deodorant. All of a sudden, my silly dances that made her giggle with delight ... embarrass her. I am THAT mom. She gives me that "oh my goodness I can't believe you are my MOTHER" look. It really got me on New Years Eve when she wanted to go to a friends house instead of ringing in the new year with Mom, Dad and little sisters!

But, I haven't lost all hope. Sometimes, when I do the dances, she asks for more. Sometimes, when I am doing a goofy voice, she joins in. Maybe I shouldn't have done the dance in front of her friend .... whoops. (in my defense, I wasn't TRYING to embarrass Rah-Rah, I didn't even notice they were standing there ... I DO have 2 more little children who are still thoroughly entertained by my dancing and silly voices). She still loves to play dress-up and make believe. She loves playing babies and barbies with her little sister. She is still only 9. But,

Even with her growing up, as fast as it's happening and as much as I long for those quiet nights in the hospital that we spent getting to know each other. I love that we can turn the radio up and sing together when a song we both love comes on the radio. I love that we can go shopping and just hang out and talk. I love that I can teach her crafts that I love and that she enjoys doing them too! I love when she tells me about a new book that she read that was also a favorite of mine! She is such an awesome 9 year old and I DO love watching her grow. But what has it taught me?

Maybe I will sing 5 little Monkeys ... ONE MORE TIME ... with J because one day, she won't want me to sing it to her anymore. I will play babies with her because soon enough, she will be "too big" to play babies. I will snuggle on the couch for just 5 more minutes before bed, because pretty soon, she won't want snuggles.

And what about Baby K? You can find me rocking her to sleep and singing to her, just like I did Rah-Rah, just like I did J. I have promised her I will love HER with my entire being, just like I DO Rah-Rah and just like I do J. And you better believe, I tell her an EXTRA 5 times a day ... don't grow up. I think I got through with this one. Her big blue eyes promised me that she won't.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where I Blog From ....

Just so you know what kind of mood I am in ....  The song in my head right now is the country song by Alan Jackson "Where I come From". So, when you read the title of my blog, sing it to the tune of that song.  It isn't a favorite song of mine or anything, but for some reason, came to my head as I composed this post. ANYWAY! Moving on ...

I came across a post by Just Jennifer through a blog hop today and just had to show her mine. Mine being ... the place I blog from. 

Picture a nice office. Great view of the outdoors (well, at least a view of our front yard and the neighbors houses right across the street). Tall ceilings (11 ft to be exact. Trust me. I know. I have painted that room many times in the 2 years we have lived here.)  Beautiful hardwood floors. A nice big desk. Great lighting. Comfortable leather  pleather chair (come on, I am a SAHM we all knew it wasn't real leather). Nice 24in monitors (so I can see what I am typing). Ok, got that picture in your head? Well, if not, I will show you what I am talking about. 

(please excuse the horrid pictures and coloring, these were from my phone)

Yep, there it is. My office. A perfect quiet working space. Ask me how many blogs have been written from that desk. BIG FAT ZERO! 

So, where am I blogging from? A disclosed location? Underground? 

Yep, you guessed it. Right from my very comfortable couch. And yes, in the bottom picture, that IS our dog, Beau, right behind where I would sit. We think he is part cat (we were told he was full bred Cocker). He loves to sit on the back of the couch and is terrified of water. But, he keeps me company.
 And yes, that is my sewing machine and a current project in the works. Trust me, I have a great place to sew from also. I have a whole sewing room set up downstairs. The basement is unfinished. But I have a great sewing table and all my fabric and everything I need to sew is nicely organized down there. But again, haven't used that space ONE TIME to actually sew. It just stores everything. I also have a whole other desk in the office on the other side of the room that matches the one shown in the picture. It is identical, just doesn't have the hutch on top. That desk top is empty. Just stores my "I use this sewing thing all the time" supplies and holds the machine when I am between projects. For some reason. I am more productive when I am sitting in the middle of the family room, with the family all around in total chaos. But hey, doesn't matter where I write from. I am enjoying every second of it!

 Thanks for letting me share my blogging "area" with you. Hope you all weren't too frightened! And thank you again Jennifer from Just Jennifer for the fun idea!

Versatile Blogger (cont.)

Made in a Day

It's a busy morning around here! I am a part of Made U Look Thursday Linky Party (click on the link and join us!) Also, I need to finish up my follow-up post from yesterday! I still owe 7 Versatile Blogger Awards. And, on top of all that, it is a SNOW DAY here in Missouri ... so I have the big girls home. My Big Girl quite strongly stated, "Mom, I am giving you the day off to do whatever you want. I will watch Baby K and J." I of course, did not object!

So, here are the final 7 Versatile Blogger Award Winners.  (Please head over to their sites and show them some love!!!) Remember from yesterdays post, and if you don't remember, I will recap ... I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by the lovely Katie from Saving and Sharing it (click that title to visit her awesome blog about saving money!)

 The winner of the Versatile Blogger is to do 3 things :

1. Thank the person that awarded you with a link back to their blog. Thanks again Katie!
2. List 7 things about yourself (see previous post along with the first 8 winners)
3. Pass this award onto 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they've received the award!

Thanks again to Katie for awarding me with the Versatile Blogger Award!

Happy Blogging everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Versatile Blogger ... Award :)

Katie over at Saving and Sharing It so graciously awarded me an award of :

She has an awesome blog about saving money and time and how to score some freebies! I encourage everyone to check it out! Who doesn't want to save a little cash these days??

Rules for the award:

1. Thank the person that awarded you with a link back to their blog. Thanks again Katie!
2. List 7 things about yourself (that's where the #7 comes in) see below
3. Pass this award onto 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they've received the award!

Here are the 7 things you might not know about me:

1. My husband and I are both the babies of our families. We each have two older sisters that are 5 and 8 years older than us. Weird. I know.

2. My 9 year wears the same size shoe as me. This would be nicer when she is older so we can share awesome shoes ... but I am sure by then she won't have the same size foot as me.

3. I love Root Beer soda and Reese's Peanut Butter cups (the new mini ones). I can go from infuriated to jubilant in 10 seconds with this combo.

4. I still think there is a monster under the bed. Honest. If all the lights are off, and my foot or hand dangles off the edge ... I just KNOW something will grab it. And I get the willies.

5. I love being at the gym. I hate getting there and will make every excuse not to go. But, once I am there, I am really really happy.

6. I do NOT like being hot or even warm. I am not a fan of summer and our house is usually forming frost on the inside when its 90 outside. We sleep with the fan on high in the winter and keep the house cool enough that sweatpants and hoodies are acceptable wear all year round.

7. I am a major homebody. I like going out and doing stuff, don't get me wrong. But, I don't keep a calendar because I hate seeing "obligations". This is getting harder and harder to do as the kids get older and more involved. 

Here are the recently discovered blogs that I think are awesome and I am going to pass this award on to:

I will be posting my last 7 tomorrow! So stay posted :)

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Today there have been a lot of numbers running through my head. Really good, Good, Bad, Ugly. So, I feel the need to share them with you all!

This is the list of Bad numbers

70 - how much Big K's school wants for her 4th grade field trip. really? I just gave you $100 for lunch money this month, $10 for another field trip, $15 for your Christmas store and another who knows how much for book orders. Oh well, all I can do is thank the Good Lord that we only have one in school right now.

47 - that's how many socks I pulled out of the "unmatched" sock drawer in my room. Don't rub your eyes or adjust your computer. You are seeing it right. 47! Like the missing ones are just going to REAPPEAR after years of being lost (i am not a hoarder, i am not a hoarder, i am not a hoarder)

 have YOU seen their twin?

15 (ish) - how many times I had to tell J to NOT lick something. At 5, you would think it is pretty standard knowledge that you just don't lick things. But today, I told her don't lick: "your toe, the wall, the floor, the table, the dog, ME, YOUR SISTER, my cup, the pen - really STOP LICKING YOUR SISTER". Thank goodness tomorrow is Thursday and she has preschool for a few hours in the A.M. and I have Yoga ... boy do I need it.
 sweet right?

61.84 - that's how much it cost to put gas in my car! I know, I know - I really shouldn't wait until the car dings at me and TELLS ME I need gas. And, with a 20 gallon tank ... it hurts when that happens. Hopefully Mike is not reading this tonight and will see when he checks the bank account in the morning (as he does every morning when he gets to work). And thankfully he gets to work at 4:30 and will probably forget by the time I wake up. 

6004 - mileage on my car. that I got September 19th. with only 35 miles on it. WHOOPS! - Maybe I should re-strategize this whole "stay at home mom" thing. Maybe I really should JUST STAY AT HOME!

This is the list of Good numbers

34 - that's how many followers I have on GFC! I am so excited! This may not seem like a lot, but I haven't been faithful at blogging until just recently. So, I am THRILLED!

4 - that is how many B's that Big K took from B's first quarter to A's second quarter! I am so proud of her. She is just awesome!

 love her smile! :)

37 - how many days it is until I go to Chicago with my AWESOME FRIEND Leslie! We are going to have so much fun. and NO KIDS! Mike gets them for the whole weekend. (along with good comes bad, because 2 weeks later he is going to Vegas for a weekend and leaving me with the kids). But I will take what I get!

11 - 11 weeks and 1 day until Mike and I go to CANCUN for SEVEN DAYS! So, So, So excited.

10 - This is how many POUNDS I have lost since I started going to the gym in November. Not a large number by any means ... but HUGE for me :)

2 - the number of teeth my sweet Baby K has. And they are the cutest darn teeth you will see! Promise!
 told you they were cute!

Hope your day was filled with GOOD NUMBERS!

:) Mandi :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

8 Things I have learned ...

Today marks 8 years since Mike and I got married. We had only dated 4 months before he proposed and we were actually married 2 days after our 6 month dating anniversary (only 8 short months after we met)! We were only 21 when we got married and still had  have so much growing up to do. But, we have grown a lot in the last 8 years and I have learned so much from him. Here are my top 8 things he has taught me along the way.

#1. He and the kids are my family now! - Only 2 years after we got married, we had already bought our first house and lost our jobs and on the brink of foreclosing on our house. So, Mike joined the USAF and we moved to Colorado. I had never lived far from my family (parents, sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends) and had a hard time adjusting. But, even 1000 miles from home, he was there for me. And I survived.

#2. You don't have to give someone THINGS to let them know you love them! - A few years ago the Air National Guard sent us to a Marriage Retreat. It was there that I learned our "love languages". His is Words of Affirmation. Mine: gifts! (as if that weren't a surprise). It has only occurred to me recently that he shows his love for me in different ways. He has been doing them all along, but I just ignored them. He vacuums the house ... he knows I hate it. He puts the lid down ... honest ... I have never had to ask him! Mostly - he listens. I never think he does. But he can remember the weirdest stuff that I tell him. and he gives me words of affirmation. Always telling me he loves me. Words really do mean a lot. I just needed to believe them.

#3. Sometimes you can't appreciate what someone does, until you do it yourself. - For the first few years of our marriage, he never understood my desire to stay home with the children. He never understood why I would choose that over earning MONEY! He would hate it when I complained about work and thought I just wanted to stay home and lay around and sleep, watch tv and craft. He wasn't completely wrong, I do love doing all of those things - more than my fair share of them, too. But that isn't what staying home is about! It wasn't until last year when I was pregnant with our third daughter Little K and I decided to go back to work. 5 months pregnant, starting a new job (which would lead to working from home ... so there was smart thinking behind my adventure) and having 2 kids already ... he knew he was going to have to help. During the weeks of training 3:30-11pm he got a real taste of just an evening of having 2 little people completely dependent on you. They were 8 and 4 so not little babies/toddlers .. but there was still dinners to make, picking up from school/bus, homework, baths, bedtime routine, grocery shopping, etc. Just from the little taste of night time craziness was enough for him to fully support my staying at home and really seeing that in order to run a successful home ... as much as we enjoy it ... sitting on the couch all day and eating bon-bons (whatever those are) is just not an option.

#4. Family is not always made up of blood relatives! - From friends I had before I met Mike and his family ... I knew first hand the truth behind this statement. But meeting Mike and his parents ... proved this statement 100 times over. Before Mike and I met I had our daughter Big K. She was 9 months old when I met Mike and he treated her like she was his from the first day. When I went to meet his family for the first time, they welcomed myself and her with the widest open arms you can imagine. They love her from the bottom of their hearts and wouldn't consider her any less a grandchild than one born from their very own children. It is because of this that I sometimes forget that he wasn't there when she was born ... but he and his family have far more than made up for the time missed!

#5. Video games ARE NOT a hobby. That's right. I said it. Anyone who knows me, knows that my teeth were fully gritting and probably whittling down to the enamel as I write this phrase, as I despise his love of video games. I am giving him this one by definition only .. straight from ... Hobby: noun; meaning: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation. Reluctantly, by definiton, I have to give this to him. As much as I do not understand the desire, it does relax him and makes him happy. He has never neglected the family because of the games and he really works hard at balancing game-time and family-time. He works 4 12's in a row each week and goes to school full time in the evenings so sometimes this is hard. I can't complain too much. He isn't at the bars or going out with the guys all the time ... leaving me at home alone. He doesn't drink or smoke. He drops the controller and helps or plays with the kids when we want him to. So, in the long run ... not really THAT big of a deal. Unless I want it to be for arguments sake ... and in that case, be ready for it.

#6. Guys need affection, too. I always thought that guys hold hands and snuggle and put their arm around you to make you feel good. And they are right. It does. It makes you feel secure in your relationship. It makes you feel protected and comforted. But, I never thought I needed to be the one to do those things back. I am not one to show affection unless it is shown to me first. Why wouldn't he want a random back rub for no reason? Why shouldn't I just give him a hug for no reason? Who wouldn't want to feel that affection. 

#7. Sometimes Boys, just need to be Boys! - My poor husband. Stuck in a house of pink. A wife who loves any sort of craft, 3 daughters and a neutered dog. The guy has no chance. The girls love princess stuff, dress-up, barbies, babies, pink legos, nail polish, make-up, hair things. If it's girly, they love it. So, sometimes we just have to let him be a man. Give him the OK to go to a ballgame without us. Give him the OK to go for a guys weekend  business trip ... even if the trip to Philly was only planned around the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals were playing out there 3 of the 5 days they were out there for a training session. He needs his guy time .. we don't want his man-card to be stripped from being surrounded by pink! 

#8. For Better or For Worse really can mean For Better or For Worse! - We have all heard these words spoken at a marriage ceremony. And, if we have said them, we probably meant them. But, do you ever really sit and think of what for better or for worse can really turn out to be? Mike didn't have to just sit and think about it he has seen me through it. The good and the bad. He has been there for 2 of 3 c-sections, the death of my best friend, the death of my grandfather, how I felt when a Dr. was preparing us for the idea we miscarried, and when I lost my marbles after the birth of our daughter J. Nothing is worse than losing a loved one or how you feel after surgery. Mike has held me up when I can't stand, held me when I cried and talked me through stress and anxiety. He has laughed with me until we have tears rolling down our faces and fought through arguments with me that lasted til 4 in the morning (when he has to leave for work). 

It is all of these reasons listed above that he really is my best friend. He is my partner in every sense of the word. I saw this on Pinterest and just love it! So true. 

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed these lessons I have learned. Who knows WHAT he will teach me over the next 8 years! Here's to finding out :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gettin' my Blog Hop on

Trying out my first blog hop. Please stick with me as I learn all the "blogging tricks". This whole blogging thing has really got me wishing I had stuck with my first degree that I obtained ... web development. Considering I haven't touched HTML in almost 9 years ... I would hate to see what my website would look like! Probably a bunch of random </ signs and #99923 color codes that resemble the colors I find in Little K's diapers. (too much?) I told you I was new to blogging!

 Maybe I should start re-learning what I paid big bucks to be taught many many years ago. What I think I am going to do is close my eyes, make a wish, and hope it all comes back to me like riding a bike. Does that happen? Or is that why it is called ... "wishful thinking"? 

The easiest way to start would be to pull out all my books from college ...  And my husband thinks that being a pack rat is a BAD thing! I am sure I could get the basics down. Or maybe a "building a website for dummies" book would work. Pretty sad if I can sum up my years and $$$$$$ at college in one single book that I could buy for $30 ... cheaper from Amazon I am sure. 

Remember above, I said the FIRST degree that I obtained. I have started a nice collection. I have always told my husband I paid big bucks to meet him (we met in college my first time around) since I never actually used my knowledge of web design for a career. Well, that's not true, HE is still paying off my student loans (his were paid off before he graduated) ... which might be why my college education has left a bitter taste in his mouth. I certainly can't ask to go back for a 'refresher course'. So, maybe I can be a closet student. 

Oh well, back to class. Thanks for visiting and if you follow me, I will be sure to follow you back! I love seeing new ideas.

No Sewing Involved

Today I am linking up from Debbiedoo's Newbie Party!

This post was promised for Erin @ Savlaged Whimsy! I still haven't finished any new crafts to show off, but it doesn't mean I haven't stayed busy! I have been doing a lot of networking for the blog and trying to learn my way around the blogosphere. I have been working little by little on my latest project but saw some really fun things on Pinterest, one of which I couldn't resist.

In the pin, the creator had strung some Christmas lights under a lofted bed and made a cool hang-out for their kiddos. Well, conveniently, Big K took the lower bunk into her room and J kept the upper bunk in her and Little K's room. Keeping the lofted bed allowed her to have more floor space since she was losing some to the crib.

Anyway, I loved this idea and just had to steal it. You can view the original pin here: Southern Disposition! (check out her blog, she is actually making a really cool pillow mattress, but what I created was the place she PUT the mat.

All I needed was Christmas lights which I conveniently found yesterday at Wal-Mart in the Christmas Clearance! Total cost: $4.

This is their new hangout with the bedroom lights ON:

And this is when the lights go OUT:

I don't know what they were talking about ... but it was funny! I love when they just sit and chat, their conversations are so random!

Thank goodness for the $300 Papasan chair that we bought to go in the family room that NO ONE would sit on ... the cushion makes a great "hang-out" mat :)

I am so honored :)

A special thanks to Erin of Salvaged Whimsy! I am doing a special blog posting next just for her because she was so gracious to me by awarding me the coveted Liebster Blog award.

Liebster is German and means "dearest" or "beloved" but it can also mean "favorite". The idea behind the Liebster Award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers.

But first, As part of receiving the Liebster Blog Award, one is to:

1. Choose 5 blogs with fewer than 200 followers to grant the Liebster Blog Award to!
2. Show appreciation to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them!
3. Post the award on your blog and link back to the blogs you have given the Liebster Blog Award to so everyone else can pay them a visit! So, here are the 5 that I have awarded:

1. The Third Boob - these ladies have a great sense of humor, great tutorials and fun stories!
2. Crafty Moms Share - she has great craft ideas to do with kids and things to make for them as well!
3. A couple, a dog, a baby, their blog! - she has such great pictures and memories ... and very entertaining to read!
4. A Mommy to a Mommy - she writes just like you are listening to stories from a friend. Love her humor and tips.
5. Colorful Creations by Nell - a fellow "yarnster". I love the homemade gifts she made! 

So, there you have it! My 5 choices! Congrats to the 5 I listed and please jump over and check out their fun blogs! Make sure and tell them who sent you :)

Goodnight blog world. Oh no, its morning now.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I guess I am not alone, afterall!

I just recently started blogging. In my attempt to broaden my knowledge of the blogging world, I have been searching and reading other blogs -- seeing what they are up to, what they write about and what they fill their days with.

I have noticed a few things. A lot of the women whose blogs I have read, are also stay at home moms. I understand that by being a stay-at-home-mom it means that my days are spent with the kids. That is my full intention. That is why I am here. But, a lot of the moms I have read about, spend their entire days entertaining their kids! Constantly doing activity after activity with them. Me ... not so much. I DO understand that a lot of the entertaining they are doing ... is teaching the kids to grow and learn. I have absolutely NOTHING against what these Moms are doing ... by any means. I am in awe of the activities that they come up with and the lessons being learned. But, when it comes to my girls, my way of teaching is different. If I am cooking - they are helping mix, stir, or set the table. If I am cleaning - they get a wipe or dust cloth. If I am doing laundry - they are helping fold and put away (and this is where I LEARN to let the clothes be folded ... or unfolded ... as long as there was help, an attempt and they are put away).

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't just throw them in a room by themselves and tell them to stay away.  They are never far from me. But I have never been one to get on the floor and play with them all day.    I don't plan my day for them either. I plan my day for what needs to get done, and they adjust. It's a part of life. I have cooking, laundry, cleaning and errands to run. I am here to raise them and teach them independence.  I am supposed to teach them how to adapt to changes and different situations and be a functioning part of society. My kids are by no means perfect at all times. But, they are well behaved. We do love going outside and playing in the yard, going to the park, going to the zoo. But, they also love to play independently and know how to entertain themselves. They always have. Even Little K will play on the floor for a good hour rolling from toy to toy chewing and talking and laughing to herself. I love playing with each of them, especially since they are at such different stages (9, 5, and 6mo). But, it isn't my entire life! But, after reading some of these blogs, I felt like maybe I was being selfish for wanting to do stuff for ME ... work on my crafts, drag them around shopping all day or just sit and hang out with my husband. Then .. I read another blog.

 A post from another blog of a mom that TOTALLY feels the way I do. Here is a quote from her post "I think as stay at home moms we are way too obsessed with "keeping the kids entertained" these days.  When I was growing up we pretty much entertained ourselves with toys and imagination.  When my kids were young I felt like my responsibility was to provide a safe environment for them to live in, and good "old fashioned" toys for them to explore.  I honestly believe that this teaches them how to deal with "boredom" and self reliance as it were. ....I wish moms of today would relax and realize that simply "being" and outwardly loving our kids is still being a good mom". 

I guess what I am really saying is "Thanks Chris" ... Thank you for making me feel normal again! 


Friday, January 6, 2012

8 years!

So, right now, I am in the middle of a project. Not enough progress yet to post pictures, so I thought I would reflect. Tonight's blog really doesn't have much to do with anything pink or crafty. But, it has everything to do with how I got to where I am in life ... which is surrounded by pink!
Mike and I were lying in bed talking about our anniversary. It will be 8 years on Tuesday. Of course, shortly after our conversation he is fast asleep, and I was wide awake (thanks to some pain meds I took that apparently were full of caffeine). I was thinking about how far we have come and how much has changed since we first met. Then, Kynslee started coughing. She coughed on and off for a good 5 minutes before I finally gave in and woke her up to give her some water and then she was ready to party. So, here we are at 1 AM hanging out in the family room trying to wind back down (while Mike is hopefully getting some sleep).
Anyway, mentally I was listing all the things we have experienced since we first got married, and eventually I couldn't keep track in my mind anymore ... so I decided to start typing it all up. Are you ready? Here it goes ... (TRUST ME, NO QUIZ AT THE END ... so feel free to skip to the end ) ...

v  Feb  - Meet in Behrman's Resume class
v  May - go on first "unofficial date" to Pizza Hut; niece Izabella born
v  June -we graduated college,  I move to Spfld, Mike drives up for Kaelyn's 1st b-day and we begin  "officially dating"
v  Aug - I get a new job
v  Sept - Mike gets a job in Spfld and moves from MO
v  Oct - Mike proposes
v  November - take our first "family vacation" to see my sister's family in FL
v  Jan - we get married/move in together - at Mike's apartment
v  Feb - buy our first cars as "married couple"
      Mike - 2004 Pontiac Grand Am
      Mandi - 2004 Hyundai Sante Fe
v  November - Mandi starts new job (again)
v  Jan - celebrate 1 year with a trip to Chicago
v  March - buy our first home and get a new puppy - Beau ;)
v  April - Mandi loses job - decides to stay home with Kaelyn
v  July - Mike loses job gets new one - Nephew Josh is born
v  Sept - Mandi gets new part-time job at O.S. and Kaelyn starts Preschool at O.S., travel to Florida as Godparents for Josh
v  Nov - Mike gets laid off - starts working part-time at Dicks
v  Jan - 2 years together - Mike signs up for Air Force and we put house on the market
v  Feb - Valentine's Day - Mike leaves for Basic Training
v  March - Find out preggo
v  April - Mike graduates BMT and moves to Biloxi for Tech School
v  May - Kaelyn and Mandi move in with her parents
v  June - Kaelyn turns 4, visit Mike in Biloxi
v  July - Move to Colorado
v  Sept - Kaelyn starts Pre-K again on base
v  Oct - 30th - Jordyn Marie is born
v  Nov - travel home to midwest for Jordyn's baptism
v  Dec - 1st - find out after we left from our trip, our home (being rented) caught on fire
v  Jan - 3 years together - house starts getting worked on after over 30,000 in damage
v  Feb - Nephew Noah is born
v  March-April - Mandi and girls travel to Spfld for Noah's baptism (Godson) and to help finish up reno's on house
v  June - Kaelyn turns 5, House back on market
v  July - trade in Sante Fe for first Mini-Van - travel to Midwest for Mike's sisters wedding and visit family
v  Sept - HOUSE FINALLY SELLS AFTER BEING OUT FOR OVER 1 YEAR! Kaelyn starts Kindergarten
v  Oct - Jordyn turns one
v  Nov - December spend first Thanksgiving AND Christmas away from family
v  Jan -  4 years together
v  April - Mandi b-day trade in van for 2008 Pontiac G-6
v  May - first camping trip in COLORADO
v  June - Kaelyn turns 6, we move back to Missouri with Mike's parents, get out of Active Duty and join Air National Guard
v  Aug - Mike starts job at Edward Jones
v  Sept - I go back to school; Kaelyn starts 1st Grade
v  Oct - Jordyn turns 2; starts preschool 3 days a week
v  Nov - Mike goes back to Biloxi for ANG Training            
v  Jan - 5 years together - Nephew Evan born
v  Feb - Mike returns from Biloxi  - Niece Allison born
v  Mar - we start looking for a house
v  June - Kaelyn turns 7!
v  July - Nephew Andrew is born; Mandi graduates and starts new job - Mike starts new job
v  August - decide to BUILD our home; Kaelyn starts 2nd grade
v  October - Godson Jacob born, my Grandpa Dyroff dies, Jordyn turns 3; break ground for new home
v  Jan - 6 years together, travel to Sedalia, MO for Godson Jacob's baptism
v  Feb - start painting and purchasing stuff for new house
v  March - Mandi quits working, we move in to new home; Kaelyn switches schools
v  April - back to Chicago for getaway (what better way to celebrate a new home, than to get away from it for a weekend!)
v  June - Kaelyn turns 8!
v  Aug - Kaelyn starts 3rd grade; Jordyn goes 2 days for pre-k
v  Oct. Jordyn turns 4 and we announce preggo with #3
v  Nov. - go to DISNEY for first time for all 4 of us, spend Thanksgiving with Mandi's sister in FL
v  Jan - 7 years together
v  Feb - Mandi starts new job (not sure why at 5 mo pregnant)
v  Apr - Mandi starts working from home
v  June - Kaelyn turns 9! Kynslee Ann born 3 weeks early! YAY
v July - Kynslee's baptism
v  Aug - Kaelyn starts 4th grade, Jordyn starts last year of Pre-K
v  Sept - Mike finishes last month with ANG; trade in G6 for 2011 Traverse (i am keeping this one til its paid off, i swear)
v  Oct - We go to our first World Series game! Jordyn turns 5!

      So, anyway, if you are still with me after all of that ... you will see its been quite an adventure. The Lord has truly blessed us in these 8 years together - and it has been nice to look back on it all. Most importantly He has provided Mike a great job, which he enjoys, that allows me to live out my lifelong dream of motherhood and being a wife. Even though my original goal included having ONLY BOYS and living at home with my parents forever ... God's plan has worked out perfectly with 3 healthy, wonderful daughters and a beautiful home of our own. I can't wait to see where the next 8 years takes us! So, stay tuned!