Sunday, August 31, 2008

We have a problem...It's called our office

family photo compliments of Christina

Today we visited our "old" church who happens to be in their "new"building. They just completed their new church that was under construction when we left, and now they are all moved in. William was esp. confused as Isabella and Jack talked about going to our "old" church that is now "new." Today was baby dedication, and Donovan's brother Jon and his wife were having their baby dedicated. The above picture is Donovan's whole family. It doesn't happen that we all look so good and are all together, so Donovan's mama wanted pictures. Great idea!!! Donovan has 2 brothers. His older brother, Wes has 3 children. Jon has 1 little one. Who by now you know, right....from previous posts? Donovan's - mama's- mama is also picutred with us. Grandma Lydia.

Ahhhh...what a sweetie! I remember the days when they slept through everything, (except for the middle of the night.) And when you have one child and think they are so much to take care of.....and then you have the 2nd. And then the 3rd. Then the 4th. And think back to having one, and think that WAS cake. But ahhh, the pure joy of that first magical, infatuation of your first born. As you can see in the picture above of Jon & Arlene...they are beyond in love with their new little son.

So......I have this question. We have this problem. It's called our office.
IT is our secret. Our secret mess, we keep in the basement with the door closed. Not everything has a place, So everything gets piled. And it is a problem.
This used to be our changing table, but now is our wrapping station/ shipping station. The drawers contain....tissue paper, boxes, ribbon, etc. In theory it is a good idea, if in fact the top was cleared off and you could actually set a gift to be wrapped on the top, or an item you just sold on eBay and wanted to ship. I'm work in progress people. So what can I do with ribbon? I need a better system. I have small pieces, long pieces, ribbon on spools. What do you people do with it? So about the dresser, to paint or not to paint? What color?
And this is Donovan's desk, it is in dire need of a make-over. In a huge way!!! We are going to switch desks. He does not have enough space on the desk top, and he can not fit his chair under the desk of his childhood. So tell me friends, what color should I paint it? The carpet is grey and so are the walls. Do I go bold with a color, or stick with basic black? I'm counting on you...and if any of you organizing people want to come and help well that would be great too. I posted all the pictures to help me get motivated with this daunting project. I would like to be done with the painting/organizing by the end of September. Do you think it can be done???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

we don't even own any ice skates....

This has been a seriously fun week. Making up for the horrid week I had last week. Not to make a pity party for myself...but last week there were a few days that I felt like hanging up the towel. Do you have weeks like that? I'm sure you do...and I wish we talked about them more to each other. I felt like a horrid mama, a mess of a wife, and an all around basket case. Let's blame it on hormones shall we? I just didn't like how I lost my cool with the kids & my husband. Several time last Friday I thought I should probably be putting grey tape on my mouth, and leaving it there....for fear of more ugly things spewing out. It was just rough. I don't know why I lose my patience more some days and others are fine. Again let's chalk it up to hormones.
And then come Sunday night. The feelings of starting another week, hubby going back to work, and BLAH! I just want to keep him home and share the work load of laundry, wiping, and cooking. However, a little thing called a job, interrupts. But this Monday was a different day for all of us. Donovan had a Sealed Air company appreciation picnic at the Ft. Wayne Wizards ball park Monday night. And he had several service calls to do before that game, during the day in Ft. Wayne. So we all piled in and he dropped us off at my cousins house......
Sherri. My friend, cousin, and blog-sister. What fun to let the kids play, and to catch up with a sweet friend. Not your typical Monday, which suited me just perfect. Sherri and I took the kids on a walk through their woods, worked on peaches just a little, and then Sherri gave me a lesson in photography. She showed me how to change pictures to black and white, and add color to one part of a photo. She also taught me how to add text on top of pictures. How fun is that??

I love how her little girl Kaiya, is so huggable & sweet. It was so fun to hold her and get to hear her little sentences. She would often walk over to me and put her hands up for me to hold her. Loved it!

Here is the whole group. Jack-6, Suzy-2, William-4, Caedmon-4, Kaiya-2, and Isabella-8. Her children are growing up so fast. It's too bad we can be together more, to get to know both of her sweet kids better.
Donovan came back and picked us up around 5:30 to go to the game. After a long day of playing hard...a ball park was probably not the best place to take 4 tired kids, and a tired mama. There are no pictures for a reason. We left early. Let's not talk about Monday night.

Tuesday my aunt and my niece Sierra came for a visit and brought lunch. And for an added bonus left Sierra to spend the night. That way I had a babysitter while I took Isabella to a Dr. appt. in the afternoon. Boy, how nice is that?? And she can drive!!!! She drove us to Donovan's brothers' house for dinner last night. Doesn't she look all grown up in the drivers seat???
Sweet 3 week old Cale (our new nephew) had a diarrhea diaper that went up his how lucky I was to give him a bath. He never cried once until I took him out of the water. I am so in love with this little boy!
My sister-in-law Arlene with Cale and Suzanna.
And that brings me up to today...remember the prayer request I had for a cousin, his wife, and little boy that were in China during the earthquake? They are home now. And Jenny needed a babysitter for today. So Matthew came, he is 2 1/2. Add one to my 4 and that makes 5 children for today. Good thing I had Sierra here to help. It really went so well. In fact so well I figured why not keep with my original plan to get my groceries for today. Call me insane but I needed some pretty important things like milk, bread, creamer, and cotton balls. Most importantly I had a serious cotton ball shortage. It went well through Meijer with the exception of Jack who was crying about not getting a car in the check-out. I might have threatened to take all 300 cars already at home away for 3 days, if he doesn't stop crying. And while he was trying to pull it together as to not lose the privilege of using the cars he already has, he accidentally hit his head on the cart. Now I was having a hard time determining if the tears were from the injury or just plain mad about the car he wanted. He finally pulled himself together and we were on the road again. I also made a stop to get Isabella's glasses adjusted, a stop at the gas station and the library. All this by 11:30. It is amazing how much gets done when you get up at 7:30!!! And by this time I'm thinking of never letting Sierra go home. She was the one who buckled the kids in the car seats, and unloaded the groceries for me. It was so awesome to have another (almost) adult with me all morning.

On with the quote of the day.......

In our bathroom I have to let the water run for a good 2 hours before it gets hot. So this morning I turned on the bathroom faucet and went to the laundry room to get a washcloth. When I came back both sinks in our bathroom were plugged and on full throttle. Jack just exiting the bathroom.

This is the response I got.....

Me: Jack DO NOT plug the sinks, leave the water on and walk away.

Jack: Mom, What would happen if we plugged all the sinks, turned the water on. And then opened all the freezer doors? We would have an ice skating rink wouldn't we?

I think we should start limiting Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

salsa winner

Your salsa will go in the mail in the morning!!

P.S. Sorry for the disturbing comments about butts in the background....thanks boys....I appreciate the background noise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It was like a coffin when I was in mama's tummy, and other interesting thoughts

What a wreck....And this picture does not do it justice...really this is just a sampler of my day yesterday.
Misc. junk in piles. That is a good description. At the beginning of the summer I let Isabella and William trade rooms. And it was a good switch to have the 2 oldest downstairs sharing a room, and William up stairs with us. But all good things come to an end. It was time to switch them back. And as we moved them back to their prospective rooms, what a eye opener for this mama. I knew of Isabella's hording / collecting tendencies....however there just are not words to describe it accurately. Let me explain. Roofing shingles. Yes, She had saved a roofing shingle from Lord knows where, because "it was warm" And straws, yes, misc used straws. And my personal favorite an ice cream bucket turned into barbie house. I'll give her creative, that's for sure. But our house is just not big enough for so many "treasures." Thank goodness it was trash day yesterday. So out with the "treasures" and on come the sad eyes, and tears. Mine were tears of joy to have order back in her room. Hers were tears of sadness of her "special" things. Some days I see this type of junk laying around and just secretly throw it out...But I began to think yesterday we need to address this issue and teach her how to de-clutter. And after a little sadness, came an acceptance. And she was o.k. We now have a drawer for barbies and dollies, a drawer for baby clothes, a drawer for purses, a place for CD's. We have order. And I am giddy.

I can tell she loves it too. She now has a reading "spot" in her room. And apparently we have a Horse club. I found this taped to the wall next to her door yesterday.

The sign reads: We play fun games, eat snacks, and more!

And we found her devotional book that she started doing....and loves. See those baskets above??? Each have a purpose. Each have a category. I am happy.

Today we took a break from the organizing / cleaning mode, because I wouldn't want to finish all of the house right would leave me nothing to do this fall/winter. Ha ha ha, I'm sure by that time I'll have to work on Isabella's room again.
Today was salsa day.
This is my sister-in-law Arlene and my husbands mama, Elsie. We made 38 quarts all before lunch. It went fast.
The newest cousin was there at 2 1/2 weeks old, Cale. Jack adores him.
And here Jack is showing off that he can "walk while holding him" Hmmmm, making me a little nervous.

So leave me a comment...and I will pick a random winner to win a jar. If you live far away...I will mail it. :)
Quote of the day:
Last night at supper.

Jack: "What do they do with you when you die? Do they just put you in the ground, and put a blanket on you?"
Donovan: "No they put you in a box called a coffin, and put you in the ground."
Jack: "Don't talk about it- it freaks me out."
Donovan: "You brought it up."
Jack: "It was kinda like I was in a coffin when I was in mama's tummy, right?"
Here is the salsa recipe:

16 lbs. tomatoes
6 green peppers
15 jalapeno peppers
2 lg. onions
1 clove garlic
Cilantro & parsley (optional)

Stir together:
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
¼ cup salt
¾ cup vinegar
1 ¼ cup clear-jel

Sunday, August 17, 2008

full but fun

Yesterday we went to the World Pulse Festival in South Bend.....but left the smaller 2 of our family with Grandma and Grandpa. It was going to be a long day, with lots of noise, and lots of people. We went along with Cousins Krista and Lyndon and their 2 cousins, Sol and Seth. We are all pictured above in case you are interested. Yes, I'm thinking of you all when I take pictures by now. I'm concerned you see every exciting detail of my day.

Here was the line up for the day:






Casting Crowns

Mandisa was amazing! She has an amazing voice, testimony, and sense of humor.

Between artists there was about a 1/2 hour break. This was to give our ears a break from the loudness, and to insure that we would spend all of our money on the overpriced food. No offense, Pulse FM...But really $2.50 for a bottle of water...really?
Our neighbor in the nearby tent, We will call him "Roger" (since his belt buckle says "Roger") seemed to sleep right through most of the day. Which created a deep, thought provoking question in my mind. "Roger- wouldn't you have been more comfortable and sleep more soundly at home?" Poor Roger had a friend laying beside him...and rolled on top of him at one point during the day. Poor Rogers friend.
We also met up with some more friends. This worked out very handy for Donovan and I, since our kids loved them...and they had exciting gadgets to play with. This is Jack with Eric.....

.....and Natasha with Isabella.

the biggest highlight of the entire day for me was this artist. TobyMac. Love, Love, Love his testimony. His music. His humor. His preformance. I only wish I was in the front row, rather then at the back of the crowd using my zoom.

What a blast to be with friends, who love Christian music and love Christ.

How different to have our oldest 2 with us. They did so well. At ages 6 and 8 they can entertain themselves and just enjoy hanging out. It was fun to have them and get to be with them in a different setting that they adapted to so well.

More friends we got to catch up with.....

And then today. Full but oh so fun.......

Tonight we went to a lake party with our Sunday School class. We had a sub sandwich buffet with salads and desserts, lemonade and ice tea. It was a seriously perfect evening for sitting around and getting to know each other better.

Suzy with her new little friends.

Donovan playing volleyball while I watch the kids.

No, really it's o.k. honey, you go and have fun.

Just kidding ladies...he asked, "Do you wanna go, I can watch the kids..." But I voted to sit and chat it up with the girls...and he played with the boys.

We might have had a talk about helping with the kids before we went to the park.

William just a little wrinkly and chilly after finally getting out of the lake at 8 p.m.
One of my friends Brooke and her little baby Ethan. While we sat and watched our kids play in the lake...this little sweetie kept smiling and flirting with me. What a pumpkin!!!

Our kids doing what they do best...eating.
I have to say this has been such a good transition for our family, Thank you Jesus! He has heard our prayers, and given us direction. We started attending this new church June 1st, and while the transition was the hardest on our oldest child, Isabella....she is finally adjusting well. What a process to "shop" for a new church. To get to know new people. There were so many emotions to leaving our previous church with Donovan's dad as the pastor. We love the people, we love seeing grandparents & relatives every week, we loved the sermons. However, our family was headed another direction then the church was going. It was time for us to move forward and make the difficult decision to leave. It was not an easy step to take. It was pride that kept us there at times. Wondering what people would say, what will they think of us if we leave again? Where will we go? How will the children adjust to leaving the only church they remember? How will we tell Donovan's parents? There were so many questions...and it was a very heavy subject on our hearts and minds. We cried out to Jesus, he guided us, and for this time led us to Siloam. We feel at peace. We feel blessed. We feel God's hand in all of this.
So I'm thinking I should probably head off to bed...this has been a full weekend...and I need to prepare to start off the week. Thanks for listening.
Quote of the day:
Suzy: "Shut your pie hole, Jack. Please."

Friday, August 15, 2008

kindergarten reunion

Tonight Jack was in to speak. We went to Abi's house. Which is his favorite neighbor's to go to. And her parents were hosting a kindergarten reunion. So Jack got to see all his "old" young friends.
Erick and Amee our neighbors, grilled some delish hot dogs and hamburgers and we all brought a dish to pass.
A little taste of the "wanna-be" Olympics right in the backyard.
Shootin' the breeze with Trent. I'm sure they are up to no good.
Here is Emma (Jack's teachers little girl) and Mariah.
Aden, Dustin and Jack.
Tonight was one of those just don't want to go home. All the kids were in the house rippin' around, and all the adults were sittin' around the fire. It was so hard to pack up and leave....but it was approaching 10:30....and we really needed to put the kids to bed. We've got a huge day tomorrow. Thanks Amee' and Erick for the great idea to get us all together!

The quote for the day........

William: (From behind the couch) "Sorry, Dad but boogers are good."
Sorry-Because he know's he not supposed to be picking and eating.

Donovan: "How do you know?"

William: "I'm having some right now- you wanna to try some?"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ballgames, birthday parties, and snacks.....

This past Saturday we took a little road trip......Donovan's company was having a company picnic in Cincinnati at the Great American Ball park.
The company gave us unlimited hot dogs, pop, chips, popcorn, and peanuts. All we could eat.

This was my first time at a major league baseball park, and I was very amazed at the size of it. The stadium can seat over 42,000 people! Here were some other statistics I found to be equally amazing....

Ticket windows: 25
Concourse widths: 40 feet (12 m)
Escalators: 3
Passenger elevators: 14
Public restrooms: 47 (20 women, 20 men, seven family)
Concession stands: 28
Parking spaces: 850

And thankfully the company also gave us ballpark bucks to spend at the game...the piece of pizza in the above picture was $5! That's $5 for one piece of pizza people!!! I was seriously livin' the dream....when they gave us $50-ballpark bucks to spend while we were there. I am very good at spending money actually. Whether ballpark bucks or otherwise.

And while the kids did enjoy the food and atmosphere of being at the ballgame....the real question was....."When can we go back to the hotel and go swimming?"

Our hotel was also funded by Donovan's work....again livin' the dream. Loving staying in nice hotels...with free breakfast, at absolutely no cost. Our hotel was actually in Kentucky. Which was just across the bridge from the ballpark. Which conveniently we could walk across the bridge after the game. I couldn't resist stopping to get a picture of sweet little Suzy perched up top of papa. She kept leaning her elbows on daddy's head singing her little made up songs. She was loving it.

getting back to the hotel....and loving the huge king bed.....

Here is a attempt to get a picture of our the background, the next morning.

Here was a highlight for the kids...the hotel pet.
Another highlight...sneaking out the next morning at 8:30 while little sister and little brother are sleeping go swimming. Donovan stayed with the younger 2, while I took the older 2 swimming....

At breakfast, enjoying hot chocolate.
After filling ourselves to the brim with the free breakfast, we took a walk to the bridge to see what it was too dark to see the night before. How fun to be so carefree and relaxed on a Sunday morning.

This wall was just in front of our hotel. It is the Roebling Murals, it was amazing. It was a time line of events of the city.

And while we are admiring the amazing time and artistic talent that went into this project....William comes over, points at the Buffalo's back end and starts laughing...because there is something stuck to the buffalo's bum....while making little boy comments, that only seemed to amuse other boys.

The view from our room.

And what vacation wouldn't be complete without fighting over who gets to push the button to the elevator???

After packing it up....we headed out for another adventure. This adventure was about a 6 hour drive. My cousin who lives in Michigan was having a 50th Birthday Party.....

My sweet cousin...Wilma. She has just finished treatments for breast cancer, and is celebrating life. Her hair is growing back darker, and I think it looks awesome on her!

Wow, she has been an encourager and an example to me in this last year with the amazing faith she has had through all of this. She is one amazing lady. We had a really great time catching up with cousins and other family members....enjoying some awesome snacks and refreshments...and really enjoying not being in the car!!!

I wish adults always threw birthday parties.

So on with the quote of the day....

Fresh from the memory of tonight.

Jack: "Where are we going Dad?"

Dad: "We are going to Mr. Showalters house for snacks" (side note: our new pastor)

Jack: "Why are we going to Mr. Showalters house for sex?"

Dad: "Jack! I said, Snacks. We are going for snacks."

Jack: "oh, o.k."

Thank the good Lord in heaven...the conversation ended there. I didn't know Jack even knew that word.