"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mary Engelbreit Monday

Of all the things you wear,
your expression is the most important.
***Janet Lane

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Poor Blueberry.......

Blueberry Raspberry (his official name) was found hung by his neck on Friday, March 28, in his family home. Although a suspect has been apprehended, the details leading up to the hanging are unclear.
Blueberry is survived by his friends, Dewey, Rascal, Black Mist, Brownie and Rose.

What Goes Up.....

...........apparently, doesn't always come down.....by itself anyway! Vanilla has figured out how to climb the stairs. She can go all the way to the top, just as long as she doesn't stop in the middle. I think she loses her momentum. However, She hasn't master coming down the stairs, yet. So, she'll climb up the stairs, check things out, and then bark or whine until some one comes and rescues her. It's pretty funny. I know it's only a matter of time before she figures out how, or gets coordinated enough to come down the stairs by herself. Until then, she goes up, but she doesn't come down.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Morning Madness....

Yesterday, Vanilla woke me up at 5AM. Since Chad is gone I would have had to get up at 5:30 anyway to take Myshel to seminary, but I really would have appreciated that extra 30 minutes. The migraine from the day before seemed to be gone and I was feeling pretty good. I was grateful for that since it was going to be a busy day with lots of running around. As the morning went on my headache crept back in, though. It wasn't as bad as the day before, but still annoying. They always seem to come when I have tons to get done, which is probably why they come. Anyway, Chad usually takes Myshel to seminary on his way to work and then I pick her up, but this week, I get to take her there at 6AM. After I drop her off, I run home and check on the other kids and make sure they're up and getting ready, and then run back and get her. I'm only home for about 15-20 minutes. I've started dropping Myshel off at school on the way home from seminary, too. It's nice for me and she seems to like being there 30 minutes early. I think she hangs out with her friends in the commons area. Then I get home and about 10-15 minutes later Vance has to leave for school. Then I have the next 30 minutes to get McKaylie and Noah ready to go, because for some reason Vance won't do that while I'm gone, or they won't listen to him. It could go either way. McKaylie heads out to the bus stop around 8:10 and Noah and I leave as soon as she gets on the bus. I'm usually back home by about 9AM.
Yesterday at 9AM, I was completely exhausted! I felt like I had run a marathon or accomplished some major feat! But except for taking Myshel to seminary, this is a normal morning at our house. I don't know why yesterday morning was so challenging. The kids were good......I don't know, but it took everything I had to get up and get some cleaning done in the 2 hours before I had to pick up Noah and take him to speech. Being a mother is crazy some days!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Eve

The Easter Bunny comes to our house on Saturday. Actually this year he came Friday night after the kids were asleep. He's a smart Easter Bunny to know that Easter Sunday is for Jesus and not him! Each year the kids Easter Bunny "stuff" becomes less and less. We really want to get away from the whole "Easter Bunny" thing anyway and concentrate more on Christ at Easter time. We'd like to do that for Christmas, too, but it's a lot harder to phase out Santa! McKaylie and Noah still believe in the Easter Bunny. (I think McKaylie's a little on the doubting side, but I'm not pushing it) I like it when my kids believe(d) in Santa and the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.... I think there's an innocence there that is very sweet and once it's gone, it's gone forever. McKaylie and Noah got 2 toys and a couple of small things and Myshel and Vance got one thing and everyone got lots of candy and a chocolate bunny, of course. The Easter Bunny always hides everyone's basket, even Myshel and Vance's. Myshel's was in the dryer...silly bunny! Chad and I were a little worried that even though we had talked to kids about how we need to think more about Christ on Easter and that we shouldn't expect too much from the Easter Bunny, that they would still be disappointed with a much smaller Easter Bunny visit. They weren't! Not even a little! They were all happy with what they got and never said anything about it being small. I was so relieved! This year the Easter Bunny hid the kid's plastic eggs for them; some years, he has mom and dad do it for him......
It was a nice Saturday, Easter Eve!

We had a really nice Easter Sunday, too. It was quiet and family/church oriented. We had a nice dinner and played games together. It was a great Easter weekend! I hope all of yours was just as wonderful!

Coloring Eggs.....

We colored our Easter eggs last Friday night. Even Noah's eggs were all different colors and decorated. It's nice not to have all brown eggs anymore! (from them being put into every color there is over and over again!) Vance was giving us some "attitude" about coloring them. He actually had other things he wanted to do instead. He told us that he was too old to color eggs. We said that no one is too old to color eggs! And that if he really didn't want to color them, we would do them for him. He decided to color them after all. Hmmmm I guess he's not too old! The kids each had a dozen eggs of their own to color and then we always do a few extra just in case some crack while they're boiling. So, we ended up with about 55 boiled eggs to eat! Some became deviled eggs for Easter dinner, but most were "snacked" on by the kids and Chad. McKaylie and Noah ate the last three this morning for breakfast! (I would never let them color that many if I didn't know they'd be eaten!) It's always fun to watch them "create" their eggs and see how they change from year to year!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mary Engelbreit Monday

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
***Mother Teresa

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter is all about Jesus Christ. Here's a wonderful message about Him. Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Didn't Know That!

I found this on Crazy Lady on Road 80's blog. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I'm going to pass it along. I hope she doesn't mind.
This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see in our life time. Only those that are 95 yrs. or older have seen it this early. The next time it will be on March 23rd, is in 2228. Only 220 yrs. from now. Last time was 1913. We are able to share in this rare event.

My Boys.....

Yesterday we got cards in the mail from the kid's grandparents. They send them almost every holiday and they always have money in them. Noah asked me to open his envelope for him, so I slipped the money out to see if he'd notice......
Noah: Mmmoooommmm!!!!
Me: What?
Noah: Where's my money?
Me: What money?
Noah: The money from my card! Grandma always sends money!
Me: Why do they always send money?
Noah: I don't know, but they do. Where is it?
I handed it over to him.
Noah: See, I told you they always send money!

After taking the kids to the free matinee on base to see "Enchanted", I asked them if they liked it. The girls did, Noah thought it was ok, but Vance said it was waaaayyyy to girly!
Me: There were some funny parts in it, though, right?
Vance, grimmacing: Yeah, but the funny parts didn't balance out the girly parts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Whole Lotta Complainin' Going On......

That's right and I'm the one complaining! I'm sorry, but I just have to get it out!
Complaint #1:
Chad's chief told him last week that he was going to a school in Norfolk for a week! Now I could complain about this for a list of reasons, but I'll choose just a few......
First, I think it's ridiculous that they didn't tell him sooner and they didn't ask him. The chief has known for weeks about this, but waited until 10 days before to tell Chad that he had to go! It's not a school that has a lot to do with Chad's responsibilites here, either, so why does he have to go?
Second, We are on shore duty. I know that means nothing to most people, but I just spend the last 4 years doing sea duty, which means that Chad was around maybe 1/3 of the time. We chose to come to shore duty, basically took a pay cut to do it, so that we wouldn't have to be apart for the next 3 short years! I know he's only going to be gone for a week, but I don't care. It's still time apart. I earned shore duty! I should be able to get what I earned! Plus this is only the first of 3 schools they are sending him to. The next 2 will be in Jacksonville, FL for a week, each. Those are the ones we know about.
Third, He's going to Norfolk and he's going to see MY friends while he's there! MY FRIENDS! The ones that I would just kill to go and see, but no, I'm going to stay at home, take care of his 4 children, his house, his 2 cars, his chores, etc, etc, etc. Can you tell I'm irritated about this trip, well, I am!
Fourth, the chiefs gave Chad the attitude that if the advance expenses didn't come in time, that he should be more than willing to pay out of his pocket and then get reimbursed for it. I DON' T THINK SO! Unfortunately, I don't have $1400 to pay for a stupid trip, that I don't think Chad should have to take, that I don't want him to take and then wait for the navy to reimburse us!!!!! This trip is for the navy, he didn't choose to go, they're making him go. He should never be expected to pay a dime of it, wheather the advance money comes in time or not! Stupid people!
Complaint #2
The radio/CD player died in my van! There's some factory amp or something that no one can seem to find, so putting in a new stereo just isn't working. I don't know all the details about why, but what I do know is that, I have no radio! I have to drive Noah to speech, in Portland, 45 minutes over, 45 minutes back, 3 times a week and I have nothing to listen to, except Noah, rambling on about EVERYTHING. It's driving me crazy. Does Chad go without a radio in his blazer, no he does not! (It bugs me a lot that there isn't a clock now, either)
Complaint #3
Am I the only one, serisously, out of six people who cares what our house looks like and is willing to do anything about it! (That's always a complaint, but I was on a roll, so I thought I'd throw that one in)
Complaint #4
Maine drivers stink! Really, they do. (Remember, I'm on the interstate at least 6 hours a week!) There might be those few exceptions out there, but for the most part, they are lousy! They cut you off, they can't merge worth anything, they never let you in to traffic and I swear some of them don't know what the signs mean, or maybe they just don't care! It's as if they might die if some one gets in front of them. AND they speed worse than anywhere I've seen. I'm usually going 70 on the interstate (5 miles over the limit) and people blow past me like I'm standing still. Not just one or two people, but 20+. Seriously, they're in Maine where do they really need to get to in such a hurry. I have kids in the car, you know!
Complaint #5
This may be the one that "broke the camel's back". My clothes dryer died! It just died, no warning, nothing. It just stopped working. We had housing check the outlet, just to make sure that wasn't the problem. It wasn't, of course! Chad said he'd check the switch and see if that's what's wrong, but realistically, he's not going to get to it before he leaves. I know Chad, he won't. Which means I'll have to take my clothes to the laundry mat to dry them (like I didn't have enough to manage for the week that he's gone!). And, if it's not the switch or something simple, then we'll have to buy a new dryer, along with the new radio for the van, with money, we don't have.
I have more complaints, but I'll stop there before I end up in a pit of misery I can't get out of!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mary Engelbreit Monday

Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.
--Josh Billings

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We Didn't Forget............

Ok, so last night was mutual, where the young men and young women have an activity together. Chad took the kids and dropped them off and then came home. We talked and watched TV and put McKaylie and Noah to bed, all the while thinking in the back of our heads, "we'll pick them up at 8:30". I don't know why we were thinking that, they are always done at 8PM, but last night, 8:30 was on our brains. At about 8:10, Chad said that he heard my phone ringing.....maybe I should explain first, that about a month or so ago we got rid of our landline and just have our cell phones (maybe I'll have to blog about that). Anyway, it's fine most of the time, but I always forget to carry my phone around with me when I'm at home, so if I go upstairs, I can't hear the phone ringing downstairs. You would think after more than a month, I would remember to carry it with me, but I don't.....So, Chad hears my phone and rushes down to answer it. He didn't get there in time. There was no message left and so we didn't think much about it.
A little while later Chad left to pick up the kids. Just after he left the phone rang again. It was Vance's YM's president, "I was just calling to see if you'd left yet to pick up your kids, or if you just wanted me to drop them off." It was obvious that he wanted to get home. I apologized and told him that Chad was on his way. I felt really stupid. It wasn't that we had forgotten them, though, we just had the wrong time stuck in our heads!
Myshel was fuming when Chad got there to pick them up. Apparently she ranted about it all the way home. She had tried to call several times! The guilt was setting in. When I talked with her after they got home, I reminded her that we don't usually pick them up late and that we are human and make mistakes, but that we were really sorry. She just scowled at me, the scowl that she got from her dad......the "I really kind of hate you, right now" scowl. I smiled and said "hello you" (read about this here), which made her fight a smile and tell me to stop. I even got her to laugh a little. (Yeah, it still works!!!)
I did feel really bad about making them wait and rather dopey that we were thinking they were done at 8:30, after 8 months of picking them up at 8PM. It must be old age!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just Another Monday......

Yesterday was frustrating! McKaylie woke up complaining that she didn't want to go to school. This actually happens a lot on Monday mornings with her and Noah, but they usually come around after they've been up for awhile. So, McKaylie was complaining about not wanting to go to school and Noah's complaining about not wanting to go to speech (another one I hear a lot). He kept trying to "make a deal" with me, that if he goes to school, I won't make him go to speech....Where does he get this stuff??? I was tired myself and didn't want to do anything either. However, I am a mom and know that it's my job to "make" them do what they're suppose to be doing.........McKaylie ended up staying home and Noah didn't go to speech! Sometimes, I think I really suck at this mom stuff! Technically, the speech thing wasn't due to my lack of good mothering skills. His therapist called and re-scheduled--coincidence, maybe, maybe not! Either way, I was grateful that I didn't have to take on that battle, especially since McKaylie was not forced to go to school. I could already hear, "it's not fair", ringing in my ears!
I really feel like sometimes they just need a break from everything and so, I really wasn't that upset about McKaylie staying home. She hasn't missed very many days of school this year and she's also, usually, really good about going. Although I was ok with it, I still didn't make it fun and easy for her. I still felt that she needed to realize that being at school was a better choice. She couldn't play the PS2 or the computer, she had to spend a good part of the day reading, and I also made her turn the TV off while I read/prepared my lesson for church next Sunday. By 11AM she was asking me to take her to school. I told her no. I figured that by the end of this boring day at home, she'd be more than ready for school the next day and I was right. She was up and dressed by the time I came back from picking Myshel up from seminary at 7AM. I think she realized that nothing fun really happens while she's gone and that school is much more exciting! Perhaps one lesson learned. Noah, on the other hand, woke up this morning telling me that he wasn't going to speech again today! I think that battle's never-ending!

Monday, March 10, 2008

How Fast Do You Type?

65 words


This was a lot of fun!

Happy Birthday, Vance!

Saturday was Vance's 13th Birthday. We now, officially, have 2 teenagers in our house. That's pretty scary! Vance had a good day I think. He opened presents, played games, had the dinner of his choice and went to the movie. He was pretty tired that night actually.

I can hardly believe that he's 13. I say that about all my kid's birthdays, though. They just seem to grow so fast and before we know our time with them is gone! We're really blessed to have Vance in our family. He's a very special guy with an amazing spirit. I think that there are truly great things in store for him in this life. As Vance gets older, I see him growing and learning and becoming a wonderful young man, but he'll always be my buddy. We've always had a closeness that I really cherish. He has a tender heart that's full of love and kindness. I have loved the last 13 years with him and look forward to countless more! Happy Birthday, Vance!

Mary Engelbreit Monday

The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.
--Bennett Alfred Cerf

Friday, March 7, 2008

Black-Eyed Beauty

McKaylie's was sporting a little black eye for most of the winter break. We were hoping it would be completely gone before she went back to school, but that didn't happen. Here's the conversation we had after taking this picture:

Me: So, how did you get this black eye again?
Mc: Well, it's complicated.
Me: It's complicated how?
Mc: Well, we were running around, me and Noah, and we were jumping and running........
Me-interupting: I just want to know what you ran into that gave you the black eye.
Mc: Well..............Noah.
Me: Somehow I knew that's what you were going to say.
Mc-laughing a little: His head is really hard, ya know.
Me: Yeah, I see that!

A Dash of Vanilla.....

She's cute isn't she. She's a handful! But I think most puppies are handfuls! She loves to run and chase Nutmeg and I think most of the time Nutmeg loves it, too. She also loves to chew. Nutmeg never was much of a chewer. Luckily, though, Vanilla loves her bones and other chew toys we got for her. So far she hasn't chewed up anything she shouldn't have.
It's been fun getting to know Vanilla. She has a very sweet personality and she's lots of fun. When she sleeps, you can always tell when she's really out, because she'll roll onto her back and sleep. It's just funny to see her!

When we leave the house we put our dogs in their crates (kennel, cage, whatever) unless we're going to be gone for a really long time. I don't trust them to run my house when I'm not there. They do really well with it. Of course they're very excited when we come home and let them out. Vanilla will kind of whine and moan like she's trying to tell us how happy she is we're back. The only time she makes that kind of a noise is when we come home. Sometimes when you put her in the crate or walk up the stairs, she'll do this little howl kind of thing. It's like don't leave.... It's very cute. It's like she's talking to us.

When we first brought Vanilla home, Nutmeg would tolerate her, now she seems to enjoy having her around. She'll even let her sleep next to her, which is so cute. Vanilla wanted nothing more than for Nutmeg to be her "mother" figure. You could tell she just wanted to snuggle up with Nutmeg so bad and she wasn't allowed to. So that makes it extra sweet that Nutmeg enjoys having her close and Vanilla has her motherly figure. They're very cute together.
It's fun to watch them play, too. They'll steal each others toys away and run, trying to get the other one to chase them. One day when I watched them, Nutmeg started with a rope, Vanilla took it, so Nutmeg picked up a ball, Vanilla dropped the rope and went after the ball, then Nutmeg dropped the ball and took the rope. They went around and around like that until they both got tired and fell asleep. It was hilarious.
Vanilla stays right with me the whole time that the kids are at school. In the picture she's asleep under the computer desk. My feet are usually right there next to her. That's where she'll sleep with her head resting on the shelf. The only time she isn't right by my feet is when she's outside, or I go upstairs. That's only because she hasn't figured out the stairs yet. She's fallen off the first step a few times and won't even try it anymore. I don't blame her, it's a hard fall.
(Not for the week stomach....)Vanilla has started a bad habit.......she eats the dog poop in the yard. The kids clean it up every day, but there always seems to be some out there and she seems to be "called" to it. It's gross and I can't even bear to watch her do it. The kids started calling her poop-eater. We talked to the vet this week about it and they have some stuff that you can put on their food that apparently will make the poop taste bad. Now, I'm wondering who figured out that this stuff makes the poop taste bad, you know?!? The vet also asked us if she eats the poop from both dogs or just Nutmeg's or hers. WHAT? Like we label who's "pile" is who's. We said we didn't know and that we'd just treat both dogs to be sure. Ick!!!! We started them on the treatment last night and it's suppose to start working within 2-3 days and be 100% effective with puppies. I hope so, the thought of having a poop-eater is not appealing.

1st School Picture

This is Noah's first "school" picture. He didn't smile, but it's still a good picture of him. If I had known they were going to take the picture that way, I wouldn't have sent him to school in jeans with a patch on them. Oh well!

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