29 July 2010

Kids' Friends Thoughts

Yesterday I told you about Scott inviting a friend to join us for the church picnic. Since that time I’ve had lots of questions swirling around in my mind. Thought I’d share a few so that you can comment with your advice, opinion and experience:

I talked to a set of parents for 10 minutes and they allowed me to pick their son up and take him somewhere. Now they may have researched us since we’d left them a note with our names and contact info. They may also just be really trusting parents. Regardless they let me drive off with their son.

The Friday before that after knocking on their door, I suggested to Ryan that we invite the family over for dessert. That way they can get to know us and we can get to know them a little. Ryan wasn’t so sold on it (and he can comment on why).

After the picnic, we dropped Scott’s friend off. While I stood on the porch and chatted with the mother, Scott was invited in to see KB’s bedroom. I told him to make it quick, it was past bed time. That quick trip into the house really got me thinking of several things:

- How do you decide when to let your child go over to another child’s home?
- If you think they’re too young or you don’t know the family, how do you lovingly tell them that your child can’t go?
- Especially when they trusted you with their child?
- Why are we so connected with people just like us and not reaching out to those who don’t naturally fit in our social circle?

My son has only been to one friend’s house. It is our neighbor. We have a relationship with them. We trust them. With Scott getting ready to start kindergarten, this issue is likely to come up in the near future. What do you do? What would you do? I don’t want to be the annoying parent who joins my son and friends at the birthday party but it is my responsibility to protect my child from harm.

I would love to hear your two cents.

28 July 2010

Scott's buddy

Cute little KB is one of Scott’s buddies from school. I refer to him as “the legend” since all the kids seem to like and know him. All summer Scott has wanted to invite him over. Because of all that has gone on this summer (adopting a child, back issues, etc), we haven’t had KB over. Scott’s birthday came and I knew I needed to find this sweet little boy. There was no phone number in the book and none of the other PreK moms I know knew how to find him. I called the principal. I know her a little and was sure she’d help me out. When she got home from vacation, she confirmed where KB lives. That initiated the stalking of this little boy and his dad.

With rain coming down at increasing rates, I knocked on two doors to see if one of them was the right place. I got a little washed by the rainfall but no KB. Really wanting my son to have his friend over, I picked Scott up on Friday and we went back to KB’s neighborhood. We knocked on a door and a man answered the door. His uniformed shirt with the name on the pocket told me it wasn’t the right guy. He pointed us to the right residence and off we went. Knocking at KB’s house proved fruitless. Not wanting to disappoint my son, I offered to write a note if he would dictate it. Scott signed his name to the bottom and we laid it on the porch and anchored it down with a shoe. No phone call Friday night. I warned Scott that they might be gone for the weekend. No phone call. Sunday after church, we stalked by one more time. This time KB’s dad answered the door. He was great to tell Scott that they had the note but that KB had been gone all weekend. He saved the note so KB could call when he came home from a weekend with his grandma. J introduced us to his wife, D, and the adults chatted while Scott pretended to be shy.

That evening the boys and I picked up KB and took him to the church picnic. It was so good to see them interact. They’re 5 so when Scott said his daddy was a vet, KB said his daddy was a vet too. When KB didn’t want corn on his plate, neither did Scott. I told Scott to keep close tabs on KB since he doesn’t know the rules of the park. Scott is a good helper and was seen lots of times walking around holding KB by the wrist to make sure they were sticking together like glue. Because they’re several other kids from Scott’s preschool class that attend our church, KB got to see several of his little buddies.

As summer is quickly coming to a close, I’m thankful that Scott was able to have a friend over. Even if it wasn’t for the birthday party, and wasn’t at our house. I also look forward to the next time Scott and KB can get together and play.

23 July 2010

Potty Training

I've read two posts lately about potty training. Jayme's post gave me the encouragement I needed to actually train my kids. It's been a fun process. Lisa's post reminded me that we're not the only ones potty training two kids at one time. Seriously, who does that? Okay, so we're seriously potty training both little ones. On top of that, Scott is having issues and is currently back in pull-ups. Oh, what fun it is at our house.

Okay, so here's the dirty deal about the kids... and I'll try to keep it short. Bethany, the one who screams when we put her on the potty, she's doing excellent. We started in panties on Saturday and had a few days where she WOULD NOT potty on the toilet. Finally Monday morning I picked her sleeping body up out of bed, took her to the toilet and told her she would sit there until she pottied. It worked. Who knew!?!? I wondered how I'd get to work on time if this became a battle of the wills. And know what, it clicked with her then too. By Tuesday she was telling us when she had to go and going by herself. Voila. Not perfect though. She's still gotta figure out how to poop on the toilet so her Dor@ panties don't get dirty.

Judah, is easier in some respects. He's been pottying on the toilet a while now. But he doesn't say when he has to go. He also doesn't have a bladder of steel like his siblings nor has he learned to empty said bladder. So, it's a little more challenging in some respects. But, hey, he's liking his undies too and we're finally not spending as much money on diapers. Yipee!!!

Okay, well its way more detailed than that but I'm trying to keep it short. So there you have it.

22 July 2010

Cookie Break

Poor child, I’m such a fun momma.

After having much fun on the trampoline with our 99-cent waterguns (the new family activity), it was time to take a break. A cookie break. We sat down on the front steps with our friend JB to enjoy one of my edible-but-no-my-best mint chocolate chip cookies.
As I began handing out cookies, Judah started in with his Iwanna-Iwanna request. Being a loving mom, I took out a dried piece of whole-wheat bread and handed it to Judah.
The bread is typically used to keep the cookies soft and moist and this time because my cookies were over well baked, the dried bread and the cookies looked pretty similar. Judah began to chew on his “cookie”. I watched to see how many bites he would take before figuring it out. In his almost-three months of experience here, he’s had cookies. Apparently, he has yet to train his palate to finely-baked family recipe cookies. Bethany saw Judah with his “cookie” and came running up the walk for her share. I played the same little trick on her to see how she would react. She was just a few bites into it when she realized she’d been had. The look on her face was priceless. She traded in her stale bread for a cookie.
Judah on the other hand said his was yummy and requested more. Okay, since I’m a good mom like that, and since I was breaking cookies in half to have enough to go around, I gave him another of those yummy “cookies”.

And then it hit me, I should grab my camera. Of course the pictures don’t do justice to the story. Maybe a video clip would have been better. But now that you know the story, the pictures are much more enjoyable.

If you happen to stop over for a cookie break, I will make sure you get a real mint chocolate chip cookie and I’ll try not to over bake them!


For some time I’d been wanting to create a t-shirt that would bring an awareness to orphans. If it made a few bucks, that would be a great way to help fund a future adoption (mine or someone else’s). I had yet to come up with the perfect t-shirt idea. I hadn’t spoken to anyone who could screen print them and I certainly don’t have the design skills to create the shirt.

It was a month or more ago that we were sitting at the table with some friends. One of the girls made a comment that stuck with me. I thought it was a perfect t-shirt idea. I also have these cute bags that I wanted to make to go along with a certain idea about giving. Maybe I needed to focus a little on that.

But with JB’s comment, I haven’t been able to get the t-shirt idea out of my mind. Two weekends ago I came up with a design that I liked. Not perfect but then again I’m no graphic designer. All of a sudden it also seemed like everyone was designing and selling t-shirts. Is this a good time? Who knows? How about those bags?

I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do. I should just call the t-shirt guy I had in mind a get a quote. I should quit making excuses and start working on my bag idea… maybe I’ll go home and do that tonight…

16 July 2010

a little bit

So I’ve been reading psalms and proverbs lately. Today, I really like the psalm I read. Since I’m waiting in the doctors office, my bible of choice was e-sword on my computer. It’s Psalm 15 and it’s talking about who can live with or be with God. Those who walk blamelessly, do what is right, and speak truth in your heart. I love the “speaks truth in his heart” part… it’s not just lip-service, it’s an attitude of the heart. Wanna live with God? Then don’t slander others (still working on that Ephesians 4:29 verse), do no evil to your neighbors. These are the people who get to dwell on his holy hill. What a peace and challenge these few verses bring to my heart tonight.

I’m so glad that I couldn’t connect to the wireless here at the doc’s office. I wanted to upload some photos to facebook and catch up on a few blogs. It would’ve been nice to have done that but I would have missed some perfect quiet moments in God’s Word.

As I sit here in the doctor’s office, I can’t help but think of all that’s transpired since last time I was here. Two weeks ago I sat in this office quite a different state of mind. I was in physical pain, and overwhelmed in several areas of my life. The kids were with me in the doctor’s office and I was stressed and losing every ounce of patience God had given me for the day. Our evening didn’t improve at all once we arrived home. I was at the end of my sanity rope when my sweet friend called and intervened on my craziness. I was so sad that night for what that few hours looked like. A stressed out mom, no patience, kids who needed attention, an aching back, and who knows what else. I was at the bottom. One week later was still much of the same. I thought I was going through the motions of life solo with no help from my husband or anyone else. My back was still riddled with pain, I was still stressed and gaining weight and not eating healthy. I felt like I was slowly spiraling down hill, at least a little bit.

That’s frustrating to be in that situation and see it. You know how hard it is to see yourself not be yourself? Because I was so overwhelmed, I was also missing out on so much. My husband was helping and I couldn’t even see it. He was loving me even when I was grouchy. I remember calling a friend and telling her that I wasn’t being myself and she offered to pray for me. About that same time, knowing something had to change, I began seeking after and asking God to draw me closer to Himself.

Things have turned around. I feel like me again. Part of that is that my back pain isn’t so bad right now. It’s a huge help in fact. Part of it is choosing a different perspective on some things. I wish I could sit here (now at home after bible study has finished) and tell you that everything is perfect. It’s not. There are still issues but what helps is that I know I’m a work in progress. And today, progress is moving forward and it feels so good!

14 July 2010

Long Night at the Brick House

In many ways last night was a long night.  But I'll share about one specific reason why.  I got a late start and was up late preparing for the kids' birthday party.  By 1130pm I stopped to do my physical therapy and was in bed by 1145pm.  At 330am I awoke to what I thought was Scott crying.  I checked on the boys who were asleep and walked out of the room to a little girl who was crying for her momma with a belly ache.  In the next 2 hours or so Bethany puked 4 times.  Once was all over herself and required a bath (thank you hubby who woke up and bathed her so I wouldn't have to bend over as much) and a change of sheets.  After that I had the trash can ready or so I thought.  The second time required a change of sheets and a shower for me thanks to my sweet girl puking all over me.  The next two times were easier as I had her hair clipped back and was on guard. 
I was awake watching and praying over my daughter with a million other things circling around my brain... don't forget the checkbook this morning... add frosting to your shopping list... About the time the sun made its daily appearance, I was falling back asleep.  With almost 5 hours of sleep, I drug my bottom out of Bethany's twin bed and headed downstairs for a refreshing shower.
Oh how I'm looking forward to today.  I might have to try coffee again today just to stay alert!  For those parents who are bringing your kiddos tonight to play with mine, don't be surprised if I brew some Ethiopian coffee in this miserably hot and sticky weather!

The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox. Get started.

13 July 2010


There's a guy in our office right now looking at some information on the computer. He's not a computer geek.  I just heard him say "oh mighty, they have all 90 states" referring to the map he was looking at.  Last I heard, we have more than 90 states... just sayin'

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.

12 July 2010

At Work

It was a good and trying weekend.  Lots going on in my little head.  One of the things that has been on my mind all weekend was Janel's post.  Janel was writing about what she's been learning as she read Francis Chan's widely popular book, Crazy Love.  I read, rather listened, to the book a year ago or so and wish it would stick more.  I want things to change my life, not for a day, or 2 weeks, but to literally change my life.  Janel's post has been a fresh reminder of going all for God.  I suck at that.  But I don't want to.
One of the things she quoted from Francis was: Would you be willing to pray this prayer – God bring me closer to You, whatever it takes….

People who are obsessed with Jesus aren't consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God's kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress

Well you wouldn't believe how many times this weekend I found myself asking God to bring me closer to him after initially asking for kids with good behavior, safe trips, etc.  I recently dug back into daily time in the word.  I'm ashamed to admit that I wasn't there daily.  I started in the Pslams with the chapter to match the date.  It wasn't enough though and I wanted to read more of the Psalms.  So yesterday while the kids were watching a movie with their daddy, I climbed on the trampoline, laid in the sunshine and started at chapter 30 of Psalms.  And it was as if God specifically opened my bible to that page just for me.  I was so right there.  Hear O Lord me merciful to me, be my help!
I have lots of recent questions in my head.  Are my priorities right?  Am I loving my husband how God calls me to love?  Why do I have so little patience with my kids?  My back hurts and I use it as an excuse.  But really, what if God is calling me to be in constant pain?  Then I need to learn to deal with it, right? 
Then today at my office I had this couple in. They were AMAZING.  They were just the encouragement that I needed.  The wife was intrigued by all the sayings I had taped to my computer, hung on my wall or otherwise plastered somewhere in my office.  And it was fun to watch her be encouraged and challenged by what she was reading and writing down.  It's not that often that people sit at my desk asking me about bible verses or sayings.  It was fun and I felt like my load was a little lighter today after being able to encourage someone.
I'm so thankful that God cares enough about me to always have an answer, to always offer encouragement and to accept me as I am, a work in progress.

The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. Get busy.

09 July 2010

Loud Chips Bag

I was sitting at an office going-away party/potluck when someone started making the loudest racket at the other end of the table. It was a bag of chips and it was annoying. But, I was busy stuffing my face and didn't let the noise bother me.

Fast forward a few days and the bag of sun-chips is still on the break table. Needing a quick snack (now that I'm back to work and not home eating ALL day), I decide to dig into the bag. It's horribly loud and annoying. Sounds like an alarm going off. Seriously, like someone is going to run in the break room and get me... like I'm a kid with my hand caught in the cookie jar. I grab a few chips and head back to my desk thinking to myself that it's the last time I'll set off that snack alarm!

Fast forward a few more days. I walk into the office and my co-worker has cut the bag in two and is cleaning out the crumbs. Now, he's at least a little smarter than me because he removed half of the noise. As he got up from his desk, he commented on this super loud bag. What I learned has amazed me ALL day so I wanted to share it with you.

First off, the bag is nicely labeled to do all the talking, and not just because it's loud as it rustles around. Sun-chips has nicely marketed their new product all over the bag, I just didn't pay any attention. Most of what I learned I gathered right off the bag:

- This bag is louder because it is compostable.
- Its the worlds first 100% compostable chip package
- It's made from more than 90% renewable, plant-based materials and it breaks down completely into compost in a hot, active compost pile.

It even shows pictures of the bag at weeks 3, 9, and 13.

This is very intriguing to me. Since I compost at home (I'll admit I don't do the best job because it's not my priority), I decide to take the bag home and try it. But before doing so, I wanted to see what I could find online about the new-to-me idea.

Here's the link to sunchips site that talks about the compostable packaging. You can click on that link to read about their process in creating the bag, ideas on composting, and it even has a link to their Modesto plant (an hour from where I was raised) where they're using solar power in production. Now I don't want to come off as some tree hugger. I'm certainly not that. However I am aware of the benefits of using things like compost to grow a better garden (or weeds in my case), throw away less to the garbage (so my hubby doesn't have to carry so many bags to town) and things like that. I've seen the benefits of teaching hungry, starving people how to garden and compost to sustain themselves. What a gift that can be. I cringe when I thow away stuff in the trash that I know won't break down over time (which is why I have bags full of those stinkin' capri sun pouches in my basement that I'm going to do something crafty with).

So there you have it. I thought it was pretty cool. And from now on, I might buy more sunchips and I might also pay more attention to the packaging.

Happy weekend friends. Love your green, but not overly green, friend.

My little guy

This was written on Wednesday night but I'm just now getting it posted...

Tonight mom and Ralph kept Scott. They took their grandson fishing. I love that they do this with him. I love to go fishing too but have kind of left this as something special Scott gets to do with his grammy and papa. Tonight Scott caught 1 catfish and 3 other fish. The boy is lucky (except I don’t believe in luck), really blessed (is God really concerned with how many fish my 4 year old catches), or a darn good little fisherman.

It’s funny how we thought having two kids was a hand full prior to bringing Judah home. Now, three kids is a hand full. Supper time is noisy, bath time is slightly chaotic, and bedtime is appreciated by everyone in the house. With one child being gone tonight, having just two kids seems so easy. We only had two kids to care for. Not three. Not three plus two friends (which oddly enough was easier than just our three). Tonight was simple. Ryan fixed supper. After supper we went outside to play a while with the B(arbie) jeep and jump on the trampoline. When the time came for baths, it went seemingly quiet and easy. I even had enough time and patience to paint Bethany’s nails.

It was so easy tonight. It’s not because of Scott. He’s usually the easiest one to care for. Was it because Ryan fixed supper? Or because I didn’t clean up at all after the supper? Or because this week I’ve been more grounded in The Word? Or because I asked someone to pray for my sanity this week? Or maybe you’re like me and think it’s a combination of all of it.

All I know is that I have a major ache in my back (still waiting on God to fix this bulged disk) and no pain medication or muscle relaxers. That in and of itself should cause me to go crazy. But tonight I sit here thankful for my parents who are spending time with Scott, thankful for my hubby who loves and cares for me and resting in the Peace that only God can give in a time like this.

08 July 2010

Our new Dog

Did I tell you about my new dog?  Okay, let me preface it real quick.  Our faithful dalmation died earlier this spring.  It has since been a nice break from feeding, watering, etc.  Different times in the last 6 months we've thought about getting a puppy (as is our tradition with each new child in our home).  To this point we decided against it.
Then last Friday Tracy called from the clinic:
 tracy: Guess what we have here at the clinic
 me: an AUSSIE??????
 tracy: yes...
It was a stray.  The clinic doesn't keep strays. But this dog was recently groomed, still had a bow on it and was my absolute favorite kind of dog.  I told Ryan and the next morning while running errands in town, he brought the stray home.  Suh-weet.  Only we knew it would be temporary.  Seriously, someone had to be looking for their dog.  So, we told ourselves and our kids, multiple times, that this wasn't our dog and we were just keeping it for a few days.  But the dog quickly found a place in my heart.  He was actually the same size and color as Mocha would have been at maturity.  Well behaved, perfect size, good all around dog.  I secretly hoped we could keep him.  Worst case scenario, we'd let the owner know that we'd be willing to dog sit in the future. 
Monday morning came around and Ryan took "stray" to the clinic with him.  The kennel and its contents still in the kitchen.  Monday afternoon I got the sad but realistic news that Clark would not be returning to our home.  His owners did in fact look for him.  Ryan wasn't in the clinic and didn't get to visit with the owner.  So that means there was no chit-chat about visitation rights :) , dog-sitting, etc.  I was bummed. 
Then last night when we were outside playing, there was something missing.  It just felt like we should have a dog running around.  I think we might be in the hunt for a new dog.  We love the australian shepherd, especially the miniature version.  Ryan isn't sold on paying for a dog so maybe we can trade veterinary skills or something.  I'd rather not have to pay for one but that's life.  So, if you know of someone with aussie pups, please please send them my way!


The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. Get busy.

Note to Self

If you have to wear a funky brace on your back that you have to remove each time you pee, it might get annoying.  You might decide to wear it underneath your panties in the case that the doc puts you on a med that causes you to urinate ALL the time.
And likewise, not that I would ever do this:
If you ever decide to show your client the funky SI/back brace you're having to wear, make sure that your panties aren't pulled up over the brace and sticking out above your waistline of your jeans.
Not that I would know personally.

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.

07 July 2010

on the run

I have several posts ready to publish but I'm writing on the run and not able to publish them with the pictures I want to share.  So, for the time being, here's some random thoughts:
  - Gaining weight sucks and I think I've mentioned that on here recently.
  - Running out of muscle relaxers and pain killers at the same exact time sucks.
  - Wearing an SI support belt on my waist is heaven sent.
  - The muffin top being squeezed out the top of this beuty belt is disgusting.
  - Taking prednisone (anti-inflamatory for buldged disk) makes me energized.
  - A weekend with friends was wonderful.
  - Rain half the weekend smolders the fireworks plans a bit.
  - A four-day work week is awesome!
  - Missing my friend who hasn't even moved yet makes me sad.
  - Having a friend save me from my insanity was heaven sent.
  - Knowing the anger my life sometimes brings to God scares me!
  - Being able to call out to God for wisdom is heaven sent!
Okay, that's it.  It has been a hard few weeks.  Back pain has really just brought lots of negativity to my life.  Hearing from the doctor that my activity level just doesn't allow healing royally sucked.  I have no more time off since going to Ethiopia.  Having hope that a few new things will work sounds wonderful.  And honestly digging back into the Word, which I've been neglecting, has put me back on pace.  It feels so good to have sunshine in my life even though it's bleak outside.

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.

01 July 2010

Right Now

Right now as I leave the doctor's office, I'm wondering why I volunteered to take the kids with me. Yes, all 3 of them. I did it so Ryan could go to bible study but I think I should have left them at home with someone! They were typical kids and mostly good but the doctor is really quiet and I could hardly hear him let alone retain any information. Next time, they're not coming with me!

A Whole Bag of Stuff

Because I can’t stay still for very long, I sometimes start random projects. Having been gone the past few nights and looking forward to company this weekend, I thought it was time to fold the two baskets of laundry in my dining room.

Then my hard working husband walked past. Without trying, he lured me away from my task.

I went outside to join Ryan on the driveway where he was replacing a broken back board on the basketball hoop with a new one. I stood for a few minutes while my feet grew weary of standing on a hard surface once again.

Maybe helping Ryan will cause a disconnect between my brain and the pain.

Like I can really be of any help! Clamping the pieces together with my bare hands caused increased back pain, I don’t know where to find his extra battery for his drill so he retrieves it, and while he’s gone doing that, I manage to kick over his jar of supplies which promptly breaks and the pieces go all over hiding themselves in the crevasses of the rough concrete and unwanted plants growing up through the cracks.

I’m mechanical, not a ditz. I love to be outside, not in the house. I accel at things I try. This is apparently not my day.

Since I can’t stand still, I begin to clean out my trusty old van (which has joined the 100,000 mile club). I open the door and find a mess. God, did you make any of my children to be anal organized like me? If you did, they surely don’t show it in here (or anywhere else for that matter). I sort through all kinds of stuff. Some of what needs to be pitched and certainly some of it is my mess too. Like those ipod speakers that have been in my van since April sometime, and those old Arnette sunglasses that are missing an ear piece but I just can force myself to throw away because I paid so much for them… 8 years ago. As I dig around and make piles of stuff to be tossed and stuff to keep, I find an old vonmaur paper bag with handles. Perfect. I can now put my nicely organized piles into the one bag I have (because I’m certainly not about to spend my energy going in the house for a second bag).

As I toss out a crusty old French fry I think to myself: seriously how do three children create such a mess?

When all was said and done, I had a bag full of stuff – some of which needed to be pitched and some of which needed to be kept. Scott now has only two ninja turtle toys to play with while he sits solo in the back seat. I don’t think Bethany and Judah were left with any toys to fight over each morning. I carried the bag inside and sat it down by the front door where all other crap gets thrown. One of these days I’ll have enough time in my day to fold the laundry, clean out the van, and put the stuff away. For now it sits in its place on the 100 year old wood floor next to a variety of other things. I immediately grab my laptop out of its place so I can share this randomness with you. As I peer over to it, a used (and even recent) family fun magazine sticks out the top of the bag and I wonder how many random things were taken from the van tonight. I thought I’d share just a few with you:
- A twin air mattress and pump
- rubber t-rex
- at least 5 childrens books
- toy lantern & binoculars
- two pairs of flip flops
- toy bed from a Dora play set
- miracle bubbles
- old Sunday school handouts
- mini magna doodle
- multiple Mickey D’s toys
- half inflated floating device
And of course there were a few things I had to leave in the van:
- 3 camping chairs because they would need to go in the garage and I’m lazy
- those old arnette sunglasses – you can make them work if need be
- several pull-ups for our little guy
- the ice-scraper because taking it out would just require putting it back in the van in a few months.

As I close out so I can finish folding the laundry… or join my hubby upstairs, I’m curious to know two things about you:
1. What’s the most random thing in your vehicle and
2. What’s one thing that should come out of your vehicle but you hang onto it