Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Christmas Childhood Memory

Happy Christmas, Y'all!

Lately my kids have had me repeat over and over a Christmas story from my childhood. I thought I'd write it down here for them, so Megan can read it to them when I'm tired of saying it twenty times.

So here it goes.

My earliest Christmas memory was when I was very little, probably around six or seven. It was Christmas Eve night and I was asleep in my bed when I was awakened by a sound. Jingle, jingle, jingle! I jumped out of bed and tiptoed out of my room so I wouldn't wake my younger brother, Daniel.

I left the room and tiptoed to my parents' room. I placed my ear against their door and listened to see if the sound was maybe coming from their room. I heard it again, but not from their room. Jingle, jingle, jingle! I gasped. It was coming from down the hall in the living room.

Could it be Santa that was making the jingle sound? I crept down the hall and stopped just at the corner. I listened again. Jingle, jingle, jingle!

I froze to the spot. I couldn't move. What if it was Santa and I caught him while he was putting out my presents? Would he be nice about it? Upset? Would it be like in the movies where the kid gets to help Santa hand out the rest of the presents and ride in the sleigh? Would he disappear before giving me all my presents and then I wouldn't get everything I wanted?

I couldn't risk it. I ran back to my room, jumped in my bed, put the blankets over me, and went to sleep.

The end.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Giveaway!

So, my friend Nicole is giving away a "signed" copy of Mockingjay. I used quotes because Collins cheated and stamped it, but still, it's very cool. For your chance to win this awesome prize, go here. Or go and read her cool blog, but don't enter; that way I can win :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Megan!

Megan turned 6 on Saturday. She wanted a fairytale birthday so we told everyone to come ready to share their favorite fairytale with us and dress up if they want. It was a lot of fun. We started off with a story I was pretty sure none of them were familiar with (except for Megan), Bubba the Cowboy Prince. It's a cowboy version of Cinderella set in Texas, so of course it is awesome.


Then we had a fairytale scavenger hunt. I'd placed random fairytale items around the house like Snow White's apple, Cinderella's broom, Bubba's cowboy hat, three stuffed bears to be the Three Bears from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a bean from Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. and had the girls look for them. Then we played a game called Kiss the Frog. The girls sit in a circle, one girl is the princess and is blindfolded in the middle. Each girl picks an animal to be and I pick one girl to be the frog. They make their animal noises and the princess has to listen well enough to find the frog while blindfolded. When she thinks she's found the frog, she gives the frog a Hershey's Kiss.

Blowing out the Birthday candles. This cake was baking attempt #2. And yes, that is the dress I made Megan for her 3rd birthday. It apparently still fits.
This is Megan at three in the dress.

It was a fun party and I was impressed at how well Megan's friends knew her. She received almost all arts and crafts stuff; one girl even got her a create your own storybook set, which is basically a scrapbook with tons of paper, stickers, die cuts, and stuff so she could write her own book.

Those are ribbon wands in the vase on the table. They were our party favors along with some Pixie Sticks which we called Pixie Dust.
This is where the girls pretended to be captured by an evil witch.
So, since Megan is now six, I will share six wonderful things about Megan.

1. She always tries to do the right thing, even when it is hard.
2. She loves her siblings very much and always tries to include them in her playing.
3. She loves to help out around the house and with her siblings. She even read Jeremy and Emma their bedtime story for me the other night since I'd fallen asleep on the couch!
4. She is dang smart.
5. Megan has an interesting sense of humor. She likes to be silly and has fun coming up with silly sentences with Jeremy and Emma.
6. She loves her Heavenly Father and Savior. She shows amazing faith and is always willing to pray for others when she sees they are sad or in need. She is a wonderful example to me.



We love you, Megan and we are so grateful to have you in our family!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Policially Correct Winter Program

This is the only picture I could get. I was trying to control Emma and console Lincoln at the same time.


Can I tell you how much I hate political correctness? It is the spawn of Satan.

Jeremy had his school's Winter Arts Festival today. It is supposed to be the equivalent to old school Christmas singing programs--except today kids are supposed to stand there and sing songs about building snowmen because snowmen are generic and safe.

We live in a neighborhood full of diversity. There are high concentrations of Jewish people and black people. This is awesome in my opinion. I think it's cool that the kids get to make friends with children who are different from them. Of course it was necessary to alter what was traditionally a Christmas program when we were kids, to something that would represent all the children who would be singing. This however was not done.

Every single song was about winter, Kwanzaa (which is a made up holiday people, it's like secretary's day or grandparents day; I know if I still allowed anonymous comments I'd get hammered here, but it's true), or Hanukkah. There was one winter song that mentioned December being a time for "Ho, Ho, Ho" and that was the extent of Christmas. The only mention was a reference to the commercialization of one of the most sacred holidays.  Excuse me? Really? While the words Hanukkah and Kwanza were repeated and even shouted at times through the entire program, the word Christmas was used maybe twice. 

I'm sorry, but I have a problem with this. Are they worried that the Jewish population will get upset if a small group of kids (that doesn't even need to include their kids if they want) sing Silent Night or Angles We Have Heard on High? Stupidity!! Do people really not see that "political correctness" has made our society stupider? On so many levels people are dumber because of political correctness. I could go on here, but it's a different topic.

Jeremy has no idea what Kwanzaa or Hanukkah are. No clue. He doesn't realize that the songs he sang today were in honor of those holidays. You'd think that if they were trying to have the kids understand the diversity of the songs they would be singing, that they'd bother to teach them something about the holidays. By the way, his class didn't sing the winter song that mentioned "Ho, Ho, Ho." The whole group did sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, which I also thought was ridiculous.

So in my frustration I wrote a letter to the principal explaining my disappointment. I'm sure it won't change a thing, but at least I feel better and know that I didn't just sit on my hands and ho-hum about it. And next time there's a winter program, I'm going to get involved before the day of the program.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review--Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans

Psion Beta - Excerpt from 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entryPsion Beta - Excerpt from 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entry by J.W. Gowans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Jacob asked me to read and edit this book for him. He's been trying to publish it for three years and I think he'll do it. The book is excellent. It very much reminded me of The Maze Runner and Ender's Game, so boys who enjoy a good adventurous fantasy book will really like this one. I found it to be a little violent for me, but I guess that's what you get in a book that takes place during a war with people training for battle.

The characters were well developed minus one who ended up being very important at the end. He is writing a sequel book, so I'm hoping we learn more about this character in the next one. There is minimal language in the book, so be forewarned if you pick it up, but nothing horrible.

I really enjoyed reading it and stayed up pretty late to finish it (without realizing how late it was). I recommend it to anyone who likes The Maze Runner, Ender's Game, or any good fantasy adventure. I hope Jacob gets it published soon because I'd really like to see this book go far.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Lincoln Pictures!

I can't get enough of this little boy. Today I left him on the floor after diaper change and went to check on Emma. I heard him start to coo so I grabbed the camera and was lucky enough to get some cute smiley pictures! And like any good mother, I had a hard time narrowing down which ones to post :)





This one is my favorite.



Just had to do some black + whites. For some reason I'm getting into those right now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Home Evening

Tonight's family home evening was a lesson on gratitude in preparation for Thanksgiving. The kids traced their hands and wrote things they are grateful for in the fingers. Then we did the best activity. One of my personal favorites--The Popcorn Volcano.





Emma

Emma is sick. She's been sick for a while but I hadn't thought much of it until these last few days. Most of what's been going on has been on my Facebook page, but I know some of you either aren't on Facebook, or we aren't "friends" :) Which we totally should be.

Emma has had diarrhea for weeks. I was changing nasty diapers 6-10 times a day with just her, so between her and Lincoln--and we all know babies poop constantly--I didn't move much from the diaper changing station. I took her to the doctor about it last week and they said to increase her fiber intake, increase fluids, blah, blah, stuff I already knew, and to also bring in a poop sample.

Two days later Emma takes four naps. This child doesn't nap and hasn't napped since she was 12 moths old. She might fall asleep in the car around 4PM, the most inconvenient time of course, but she doesn't fall asleep three more times. The last time was on the living room floor and Megan tried to wake her up. Emma wouldn't talk, move, make eye contact, nothing. Megan and Jeremy rushed to me yelling about something being wrong with Emma.

I went to her and she looked awful. She wouldn't stand on her own, so I put her on the couch. I asked her a few questions like what her baby brother's name was and got no response. I asked her if she was ok and she shook her head slowly.

We got into the pediatrician's office quickly and they determined that she was dehydrated, probably from all the diarrhea.  We hydrate her and go home. She eats a few crackers, throws up. Throws up again a little later.

Saturday the fever starts. 100.2 and today 103.2. I took her to the hospital and they did some tests. She has a UTI, again probably from the diarrhea, is constipated (interesting since she has diarrhea, but that's what the x-ray showed) and a cold on top of everything.

What scares me is that the fever isn't really going down. It got to a low grade fever while in the hospital, but as soon as we got home it started creeping up again.

The poor thing is in my bed. The cutie woke up at midnight and happily told me she stayed in her bed all night. When I hugged her I noticed the fever was back and took her temp. I'm hoping that a good sleep and Tylenol with help her tonight.

Pray for us, please.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Serendipity

BWS tips button

My friend Sara is talented. Go here to get to her Etsy shop. Nothing is over $5. And it is all beautiful.

Perfect as our minds turn to Christmas presents!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Mighty Change

 This was our family activity two weekends ago, It was warm enough that we didn't need jackets. The leaves were gorgeous. We drove around northern Ohio looking at covered bridges (and a cemetery, but that's because Nathan is weird like that).

 This is the longest covered bridge in the United States.





 Dropping leaves into the water

 You really have to click on this one to see it well. It's worth it.

Proof that Lincoln was there, too.



And here we are today.





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review--The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I have to say that I enjoyed The Maze Runner more than The Scorch Trials. That being said, I did really enjoy Scorch Trials. The story is engaging and curious and scary. There's a different kind of danger in this book. Both books I'd place in the YA genre, definitely not for middle grade readers, but for some reason I'd place Scorch a little higher than Maze as far as age appropriateness. Probably because of the type of violence as opposed to the amount. Maze had its fair share of violence, but most of it was with the Grievers (mechanical evil things that go after the boys). In Scorch, the violence, for the most part, is a result of people having gone mad or afraid of going mad or starving.

I've never been a teenage boy. This makes it a little hard for me to know if the dialog is true to life. There are times where I just feel like what's being said isn't real enough for me. But then I think back to the young teenage boys I've known and think, maybe it is accurate and they are just that weird and lame sometimes.

I loved the twists in the story. Dashner did a great job keeping us (I read this with Nathan) on our toes. I still don't know what I think about Teresa.

My one big beef with the story would be the same beef I had with Maze--too many slang words. I just don't think that realistically they would use them that often. I don't use slang that much, but maybe other people do and so the number of times the characters use their slang doesn't bother them. But it bugs me.

Other than that, I really enjoyed it and I can't wait for the third book so I can find out what the *shuck* is going on.



View all my reviews

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

 
We took the kids to a trunk or treat at the church on Saturday since Halloween fell on a Sunday this year.


Jeremy went through many costume ideas and finally settled on ghost, which I thought was going to be much easier than it turned out being, but oh well. He was a very cute ghost. Nathan really wanted to paint Jeremy's face and I knew from the beginning that Jeremy would not be up for it. Somehow, Nathan convinced him to do it and of course, as soon as the face paint was applied, Megan had to freak out over how scary Jeremy looked, which made Jeremy freak out and decide he didn't want the face paint anymore. Then he started worrying about what other kids would think of him with the face paint on and thought they'd make fun of him. So all night at the trunk or treat I pointed out other kids who were in face paint.

I was pretty happy (and so was Jeremy) when it was all over and it could just be washed off.



 
Emma was Tinkerbell, which apparently was the "it" costume for little girls this year. I made Emma a new tu-tu (last Halloween's was purple) using three different greens and dyed a turtleneck onesie green (I'd like to say that the uneven coloring that makes it seem more forest-y was on purpose), and just bought the wings at Joann Fabrics when I had a half off coupon. She was very excited and for weeks has been telling people she would be Tinkerbell for Halloween.

 

Megan was Tinkerbell's friend, Rosetta. I totally cheated with Megan and had her use the same pink tu-tu I made from last year's costume. It still fit and I figured she'd match Emma this way. Her wings we already had (on sale at Carter's forever ago), and all I had to buy was a new leotard (old one would have worked had she not suffered a bloody nose at dance class a couple weeks ago) and tights.




Lincoln stayed in the van. I decided it was way too cold to take him out of his warm and comfy car seat, but had it been warm enough, I would have dressed him up as the number 42. Which costume would have consisted of a piece of computer paper taped to his front with a large "42" written on it. Clever, I know.

Nathan made himself a really nice pair of vampire teeth this year, but forgot to bring them to the trunk or treat. I neglected to dress up since lately I'm so tired I consider it a huge success if I get out of my pajamas at any point in the day.

The kids had fun and this is the first year we've pretty much given them free reign with their candy. Nathan let them go at it as soon as we got home from the trunk or treat and then after church today told them they could eat whatever candy they wanted for ten minutes, which turned out to be more like half an hour. Usually I confiscate the candy and allow them a couple pieces each every day (picking through their bags when they aren't looking and eating my favorites). This way the candy lasts longer and they tend to forget about it after a while, thus leaving more candy for me.

It's probably a good thing Nathan is letting them eat what they want. He says it's better for their teeth to eat a lot of candy at once and have done with it, than to drag it out. Also, it's not like I need to be eating a lot of candy and chocolate while nursing and trying to fit into my old clothes.

The only candy he really told them they couldn't eat (yet) was the Box of Boogers. Yes, the picture at the top of this post is a box of candy boogers. We bought 8 boxes at the grocery store because they were 25 cents each. I handed them out at the trunk or treat except we kept one box for our family (minus me and Lincoln, you couldn't pay me enough to eat one). According to a little girl in our ward (church congregation), "They just taste like fruit snacks. They don't really taste like boogers." This made Nathan smile and so of course he had to ask how she knew they didn't really taste like boogers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bowling for Soup, Texas, and a Great Brother In-Law

I have to say that I have the best brother in-law ever. Seriously. Normally I keep my music at the bottom of the blog page, but today (and for who knows how long) it is right here at the top. It is also on auto start which I don't normally do.


Why the switch and what does this have to do with my brother in-law? Carlos sent Nathan a link to a song and told him that he thought I'd like it. So of course Nathan sent it to me. Check out the first song on the play list. It's by Bowling for Soup and it's called Ohio (Come Back to Texas). Is anymore explanation needed? I didn't think so.


I LOVE this song. I laughed out loud (many times actually, Megan kept asking me what's so funny) and I cried (luckily the kids are in a different room, so they didn't ask me what was wrong).

Nathan, don't you think I belong in Texas? I do. And Texas belongs in me.


Here are the lyrics according to elyrics.com


"Ohio (Come Back To Texas)"

She said she needed a break
A little time to think
But then she went to Cleveland
With some guy named Leelan
That she met at the bank

There's nothing wrong with Ohio
Except the snow and the rain
I really like Drew Carey
And I'd love to see the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame

[Pre-chorus:]
So when you're done doing whatever
And when you're through doing whoever
You know Denton County will be right here waiting for you....

[Chorus:]
Come back to Texas
It's just not the same since you went away
Before you lose your accent
And forget all about the Lonestar State
There's a seat for you at the rodeo
And I've got every slow dance saved
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway

I think I made a mistake
It's not that easy to take
She went to make a deposit
Then she cleaned out her closet
Guess I'll sit here and wait

For her to come back home (I'd wish you come back home)
It shouldn't take very long (so long so long)
I bet she misses the sunrise
And Mrs. Baird's fruit pies but I could be wrong

[Pre-chorus]

[Chorus]

Troy Aikmen wants you back
Willie Nelson wants you back
NASA wants you back
And the Bush twins want you back
And Pantera wants you back
And Blue Bell wants you back

I got a premonition
I'm taking a petition
And the whole state's gonna sign

Come back to Texas
It's just not the same since you went away
Before you lose your accent
And forget all about the Lone Star State
There's a seat for you at the rodeo
And I've got every slow dance saved

Come back to Texas
It's just not the same since you went away
Before you lose your accent
And forget all about the Lone Star State
There's a seat for you at the rodeo
And I've got every slow dance saved
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway

Book Review--Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1)The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I read this book while in labor with Lincoln. I thought it was fitting. I'd started it before with Nathan, but we got caught up in something else and never finished it. I decided I should read the whole book before having him. And I did. But mostly because he came on 10-11-10.

I would have given the book 3.5 stars instead of four, but that wasn't an option. It was really funny, which is why I bumped it to 4 instead of leaving it at 3. The only things I didn't like were the few references to either their not being a God, or God having made a mistake when he made the world. They were made in jest, I think, but they still bugged me.

The story was fun and people who enjoy British humor will enjoy the book. But if you don't like British humor, don't bother with the book. There were plenty of times where I laughed out loud, despite the hard contractions I was experiencing while reading.

The basic story is (but not really) Arthur Dent is rescued from the earth seconds before its destruction by a friend of his who he didn't know was an alien. Because of this they go hopping from one space ship to another and find their way to a ship that has the last female earthling-Trillion. Arthur, Trillion, and the others find a planet that was supposed to only be legend and by so doing, discover the meaning to live the universe, and everything. Oh, and get a new earth:)

I think Nathan and I will go as Arthur Dent and Trillion for Halloween and make Lincoln be the number 42.



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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Review-- The Blind Side

The Blind Side: Evolution of a GameThe Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


To be honest, I only enjoyed half of this book. Anytime he started talking about the history of football I got bored and eventually started skipping those sections. If he ties these tangents in somewhere, I missed it or didn't make it that far.

I enjoyed the heart of the story about Michael and the Tuohys, but returned the book to the library when it came due instead of renewing it, probably because I'd just gotten to another side story about an ex-football player and didn't feel like muddling my way through another boring part.

Also, there was more swearing than I expected in the book. Almost every one of the side football stories has quotes from coaches or players using vulgar language.

I'm skipping the rest of this book and watching the movie instead.



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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pictures of Mr. President--Lincoln

 Here are a few pictures of Lincoln.
We sometimes call him Mr. President. 

Grandma has been asking for pictures for days.

I'll put his birth story on here soon.


All Bundled

9 lbs. 6 oz. = big baby (but not my biggest)


Megan and Lincoln
This is how we usually find Emma when she's with Lincoln. Her finger is either in his eyes or in his mouth. In fact I just had to step away from the computer because she had her finger in his mouth and was crying because he bit her.
Proud Big Brother

One Week Old
Sweet Baby Boy