Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tonight's harvest festival included hay bales and corn stalks, two jump houses, hay rides, pumpkin painting and decorating, unlimited popcorn, unlimited cotton candy, warm drinks, a fire for making s'mores, tons of carnival game booths, cake walks, skits, photo studio with your 8x10 printed out before you leave, more candy (and it's all the good kinds) than you can even imagine, face painting, and jewelry making.
I think I remembered everything.
To the many, many people who spent hours and hours and hours planning, decorating and working at the harvest festival ... THANK YOU!! Our family is blessed every single time. It's so much fun for all of us and we don't take it for granted. So, thanks!!
egg salad sandwiches/fruit
new soup recipe
Mexican layer salad/peppery cheese bread
pork & veggies (crockpot)
upside down pizza (base from freezer)/salad
tomato & navy bean soup
sweet & sour meatballs (meatballs from freezer)/rice
Napa cabbage salad/new chicken recipe
apple cinnamon cake
Friday, October 30, 2009
So, what's the "seven" for? Well, that's how many times I pick up each and every item during a shopping trip. Shelf to cart. Cart to checker. Checker to bag. Bag to cart. Cart to van. Van to kitchen floor. Floor to shelf, fridge, or freezer. Multiply those seven moves times the number of items I buy to feed a family of five for just over two weeks, then add in the walking around WinCo with an increasingly heavy cart for an hour, and you'll see why I'm pooped by the time the last grocery item is put away.
Now what's the "sweetness" for? Despite the fact that my kids are well-behaved in a store, they're usually getting a little bored after an hour of walking through WinCo. Today I had one kid who refused to eat dinner last night and breakfast this morning, so that child was getting a little weepy and emotional. Another child was getting a bit fidgety. Another was starting to whine a little. We were in the last aisle and I was becoming a little frustrated.
Then the sweetness came. We approached an older woman, probably in her mid or late seventies, who we'd passed a couple times throughout our trip. She stopped me and said "I just want to thank you". I looked a little perplexed and asked her what for. She then went on to say how she'd been watching the kids throughout her shopping and was impressed by their behavior, thanked me for raising the next generation to be helpful and well-behaved, told me she knew parenting was hard work, complimented my organization (tidy little cart with my "floor plan" grocery list on top), and said I was doing a good job. Then she turned directly to the kids and said she could tell by our full cart and my grocery list that they'd been in the store quite a while, that she new how hard it was to be in the store a long time, that they were doing really well, how she was impressed with how they helped, and that she was thankful to see kids who knew how to behave in a store.
Keep in mind, the weepy kid was still melting and would barely look her in the eye. When that child was reminded to tell her thanks for the compliment, she told me "it's ok, I don't expect a response, their good behavior was more than enough".
Oh, such sweetness. That woman totally made my day!! I needed to be reminded that my kids, even in their rough moments, are awesome kids who are better behaved than many kids we see out and about. I don't mean for that to sound arrogant, because you can rest assured we've had some issues to work on this week. I just mean that every mom can lose perspective when surrounded by their own kids' drama day in and day out. Sometimes it takes the compliment of a stranger to get us focused again, to remember that imperfect children can still be fantastic, that hard work does pay off, even if you're too involved to see it for yourself.
If you haven't built someone up lately, then do it. Today. You could be the source of encouragement that someone desperately needs. And it just may be a slightly frazzled mom of young kids in a grocery store who needs to know she's not bombing at motherhood.
The seven is over, but the sweetness will last all day.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Our lives are filled with seasons and I've been thinking about mine a lot lately.
Some I chose. Some are beyond my control. Some ended sooner than I anticipated. Some seem as though they'll never begin. Some are fun. Some are hard. Some require a lot of work. Some are very easy. Some are permanent. Some are temporary. Some I am confident about. Some I question.
I just want to have a peace about the seasons of my life. To be content with the ones I am in. To let go of the ones that are over. To not obsess about the ones I desire.
The reality is that sometimes I'm discontent in my current seasons. Sometimes I become resentful about seasons that have ended. Sometimes I try to manipulate the seasons I desire into happening.
Timing is everything. I need to trust God's timing for the seasons in my life and make the best of the ones I'm in.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Jessica - Ok, so she's technically not running a business. Yet. Her cakes, however, are amazing and she's been doing them less than a year. The girl has talent!! Go check out what she's been baking and decorating at Jessicakes.
John - We switched our car insurance over to Country about seven months ago and have been saving money ever since. We're getting more coverage for less money. Love that! Talk to John Mathia (that's our agent) and see if you'd save money too. If not, then stay put, but it certainly can't hurt to ask.
Brett - He started a company called Virtus Designs and designs themes allowing you to change the appearance of your web browser. I know I'm partial to using Swagbucks as my search engine, but one of the sites that powers it is Ask. com, which finances Brett's company. So, I'll slightly betray my loyalties to give him a plug. Best part? His themes can be downloaded for free!
Dr. Kris Blodgett - He's our dentist and he's having a contest to see which patient can recruit the most new patients between now and 12/15/09. So, if you need a dentist, then give him a call and tell him we sent you. He's got a nice little prize of $500 to the person who wins the contest. I'd love to put that chunk of change toward Tim's school debt!! He's friendly and personable, has a cheerful and helpful staff, the boys love him and his hygienists, he let me bring Naomi (who he'd never seen) into the office when she knocked her tooth out for a quick peek in the waiting room to make sure no serious damage had been done, and he didn't freak out when I confessed that I was a slacker mom who never took her kids to the dentist until they were four and six years old. Ready to schedule an appointment? He's in Beaverton and his twin brother Kelly practices in Portland. I'm sure his brother is equally great, but we're recommending Kris Blodgett.
Megan - I graduated from high school with Megan and she makes all sorts of items - cloth diapers, leather infant/toddler shoes (like Robeez), cloth pads, bibs, art smocks, etc. There are a few days left to snag the October special of $5.00 embroidery on custom orders, regularly priced at $7.00 and up. Check out her site, Bunnyfeet Boutique, for Christmas or baby shower gifts!
Cheri - This fantastic friend of mine is cruising through the adoption referral list at a much fast speed than anticipated. She and her husband are on track to bring home their Ethiopian daughter in the spring or early summer. So exciting!! They just set up a fundraiser on their adoption blog that will enable them to earn money to bring their sweet girl home, provide money for a school in Addis Ababa for older orphans, and put some fair trade coffee in your mug at home (or in the mug of someone on your Christmas list). Everyone wins!
Monday, October 26, 2009
The weekend was a whirlwind. Silas had an outing on Friday night. Saturday morning I spent four hours raking, mowing, and hauling about twenty wheelbarrow loads of leaves to the compost. Then I had a two hour commute taking Silas to a birthday party. It was actually nice to sit and chat with him the hour there and drive in silence on the ride back. Then we did a little turn and burn, heading off to a birthday party at Lee Farm. Friends, cake, candy, animals, jump houses (well, it wasn't really a house, but whatever) and doughnuts. Good times!
Sunday morning was stressful for reasons I won't elaborate on. Really rough morning. In fact, I was in a horrible mood all day long. We met Silas at church (the birthday boy's family offered to let him stay the night to spare us another two hour round trip picking him up). By the time we headed home Silas was in tears with a headache and fever. We guessed it was probably stemming from exhaustion - four nights in row of being up late and some really busy days. Some Tylenol, one nap, and an early bedtime later he was back to normal. Sunday afternoon was errands and trying to get our pig sty of a house back in order.
Today was better. I kept reciting Philippians 4:5 to myself - "Let your gentleness be evident to all." I just had to have a better attitude than I did on Sunday. No school, lots of playing. Some laundry and cooking. Tonight we had company for dinner. They entered our door as strangers and left as friends. We'll definitely hang out again. It was a good day.
And that's what I've been up to. I promise to do some posts this week that are more than documentation of my schedule. In fact, I have a bunch of freebies to get posted in the next few days. Stay tuned!!
In other news, Denise was discharged from the hospital today and will fly home on Wednesday. So awesome!
Friday, October 23, 2009
The vein that was clotted from pelvis to ankle has been completely broken through and stents are being placed today. This ordeal was expected to take three days. It took ten. She's still in the hospital for a couple days, but her future is looking brighter than it was a couple weeks ago.
I hadn't updated since the weekend because I really didn't know if she was going to survive. In fact, last night I was on the phone with the other friend that's been posting Denise's updates. We were concerned that more than seven hours had passed since she entered surgery and were discussing how we'd break the news of a possible bad ending to everyone. It's not fun to have to hash out what you'll do if you find out your friend died in surgery, but the possibility existed. In the midst of that discussion a message came through that Denise's final surgery had been a success. Praise God!
Anyway, thanks again to all of you who prayed for her and asked how she was doing. If you are interested in joining her DVT information page on Facebook, then let me know.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Silas has turned into a little groove machine over the last several months. His favorite move is the robot, which is sometimes awesome and sometimes mediocre, but always done with a straight face. As a result of his constant dancing, Devon and Naomi have started doing the robot too, though their versions are unique. Last week I gave them all an opportunity to bust a move on camera for the whole world to see. Here's what I got.
Silas - the original dancing "W".
Naomi - Usually her face is completely rigid, which is the tell-tale sign that she's doing the robot and not just being a maniac. I think the camera threw her rigid face routine off a little bit.
Silas & Naomi - Evidently dancing with Naomi is more fun than dancing alone. At least that's my guess on why Silas is smiling this time. Naomi just cracks me up because she's trying to copy every facial and bodily move that Silas makes.
Devon - His version of the robot always includes a foot shuffle, raised shoulders, and arms pulled in close. Always. It's like a child's performance of a geriatric version of a teenager's dance. Cracks me up. Love the little sound effects he throws in the mix too.
Silas & Devon - This is what happens when the music unexpectedly blasts out of the stereo at a volume that would normally get them in big trouble. No dancing. Just hysterical laughing.
Silas, Devon & Naomi - Proof that Silas is always dancing ... even before the music starts. Then Devon starts his craziness that he call dancing, and Naomi just giggles while running around.
Silas, Devon and Naomi - Just some more moves and lots of laughter from three stinkin' cute kids.
Monday, October 19, 2009
After the door was finished we picked up Granny and headed out to Safari Sam's. It was incredibly non-busy for a Friday night, which was actually really nice. The kids climbed, ran, rolled, hung, and jumped all night.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So, once upon another time I got two orphans and let them embark on seperate adventures as they tour the country. One of the orphans stayed with our family for the first half of October. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Jasper the Jay. He's cute, huh?
Here is Jasper with Marvin the Moose, his foster brother, who was immediately placed with a nice family in Washington.
Most of Jasper's time with us was spent just hanging out. However, he was lucky enough to attend this year's Blazer Fan Fest. Here he is, wings raised, as he cheers in the Rose Garden.
Jasper hung out with me while I worked on a project that made him have a greater sense of belonging in our family.
Jasper decided to work on his dance moves one night. Not too shabby for a bird.
Jasper is living with another family now, but we had fun with him while he was here!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Today was a discouraging day for her. She actually had 2 procedures done today. 5 surgeries in 4 days - wow. Very little progress was made today; in either procedure. She was under heavy sedation, and they went through her groin for the 5th procedure, because the doc wanted to try a new approach. It was not successful.
Her doctor remains upbeat and optimistic. She has more tricks up her sleeve. They will not be operating over the weekend; but will resume next week. Denise will not be discharged on Sunday as she had previously hoped; and she is pretty bummed about that.
Her pain level is not managed; and she has significant pain in her back, abdomen and groin. They are giving her dilaudid via IV for pain; but it's not sufficient. Her pain level has increased today; despite the meds.
Last night, her breathing became labored, oxygen levels dropped, and she was put on oxygen. For you medical types, she is not sure her what sat levels were; but I asked. She is having some issues with bleeding, and also received a blood transfusion. She is coughing a lot more - and this is getting increasingly irritating for her. She is also still spiking temps up to 102. Her pain remains unmanaged and her heart rate in increased.
She will not have another surgery until Monday; and the good news is; that means she has an unrestricted diet. She said that she is starving, and looking forward to eating.
They have discontinued to clot busting IV medication for now. There are many concerns, with the primary one being her lungs. C/T scans and chest x-rays are being done to watch for pneumonia and an embolism. She has not gotten the results from the CT scan, and the chest x-ray had not been done yet.
Her husband was able to extend his time with her, after much haggling with the airline. So, in addition to praying for Denise's health, please also pray that the airline is cooperative with other flight changes they have to make. You can also pray as they have to coordinate extended childcare, pet care, etc.
This is a kinda scary time for her, her family, and her friends. Please just keep her in your prayers. I'll post updates if there are any significant changes.
Thanks to those who have told me they're praying, asked me for updates, and joined her Facebook update page.
Friday, October 16, 2009
new recipe (it was a flop)/rice/frozen veggies
Cajun sausage & beans (crockpot)/cornbread
Mexican casserole (freezer)/salad
sausage & penne/salad
chicken pot pie/salad
meatball sandwiches/raw veggie sticks
rice cooker mac & cheese/frozen veggies
tuna couscous salad
cracked wheat & rice pilaf/veggie soup (freezer - leftovers)/chicken & apple curry (freezer - leftovers)
creamy tomato & rice soup (crockpot)/biscuits
boxed brownies & homemade vanilla ice cream
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sometimes I just want to do the mom stuff without adding in the teacher stuff.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
-evening curly hair (You know I get all dolled up to go out every night.)
-curly hair while camping
-sonlight referral program
-curley (Spellcheck alert ... curly doesn't have an "e".)
-the land of the curly hair (Ummm, "the" curly hair? Sorry, we have more than one curly hair around these parts.)
-sonlight curriculum special offer codes (Use mine, use mine, use mine!)
-mohawk for curly hair
-events for toddlers in Bethany (I think they want the location, not the person.)
-Moffits lyrics (Is Beep a singing sensation?)
-things to do with curly hair
-cornbread bethany wethersby (This is someone who knows I have the best cornbread, but they don't know how to spell my last name - Weathersby.)
-sonlight blog recipes
-fun things to do with curly hair
-marshmallow gun (Think their wars were as fun as ours?)
-correct way to eat a cupcake (Someone who has is now eating cupcakes the right way.)
-how curl hair with stuff around the house
-athey creek christian fellowship (That's our church!)
-ugh, cheers that will be 20 bucks (I have no idea what this person wanted or what they found.)
-curly 27 piece mohawk (Twenty-seven pieces? How does that work?)
-"eye exam" glasses - lasik
-curly hair grannies
-freebies in the Philippines in September (Wrong country. Sorry.)
-curly hair mohawks
Monday, October 12, 2009
This particular visit was to send Denise off on a trip. It's no vacation though. She's going to be checking into a hospital tomorrow morning to spend three days in the ICU with an IV dripping meds in her that another hospital wouldn't do give her for more than 15 minutes because it's considered too dangerous. She's stuck between a rock and a hard place - do nothing and risk having blood clots kill her or do a very risky treatment that has worked for some others with her diagnosis. Here's what she has said online, including a link for information. Please note that the links she mentions are accessible from the Facebook page she has dedicated to her journey with her illness. If you would like access to that page, then I'll give you her contact info.
I am including links with information on DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Embolism). The fact is that I was in the best condition of my life when all of a sudden I found myself critically ill. I was doing regular weight training, was in training for a marathon, had excellent nutrition, and was living a very healthy and active lifestyle. I did not have the stereotypical risk factors yet I got what the doctors describe as an acute and massive case of solid blood clots from my pelvis to my ankle. In that process a rare anatomical disorder was also identified, May-Thurner Syndrome which is where the artery compresses the iliac vein. In my case my iliac vein had been completely crushed. I am extremely blessed and grateful to still be alive.
While I lived a healthy lifestyle, in hindsight having the knowledge that I do now on simple actions of prevention, risk factors, and the symptoms of identifying a problem would have very likely prevented me from getting this 'sick'. As a result I will deal with this condition for the rest of my life.
Please educate yourselves regarding DVT and PE. If this can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE. It has no limits of age, gender or race.
Several articles by multiple sources and statistics indicate that DVT kills more people every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Many people die instantly without a chance to fight it. By God's grace I do have that chance and am fighting. Good health should never be taken for granted. On that note, I have been told by multiple doctors that the fact that I was in good health and condition when this happened that it 'paid it forward' regarding my surviving so far and the extreme of the disability I am facing being less than what it would have been. You never know when you are going to need your health and strength in a time of trauma, that was encouragement to me to continue to be as healthy as possible.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Then we said hello to the headband (except he doesn't like that name) or the 50-yard line (except he doesn't like that name either).
And the side.
Then Silas decided to follow suit. So we said goodbye to the mohawk he's had for six weeks and hello to the half-hawk.
From the front.
And the side.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Suffice it to say the boys didn't have the same response to their shots. So we always hit a doughnut shop on the way home from their appointments to help ease their pain and suffering. Well, Naomi didn't know about the doughnuts last time and she wasn't upset, so we saved a few bucks and skipped doughnuts. This time, however, I decided to take them anyway. Silas is gone for the day, so Devon and Naomi scarfed some doughnuts on our way home.
Since we're on the topic of shots and since there is H1N1 hysteria in our country right now, I'll just encourage you guys to make educated decisions about the vaccinations you do. There is not a "right" decision! We have friends and family who have made different choices and I'd probably make similar ones in their situations. We all have different health circumstances, moral convictions, and living situations. Just educate yourself about the diseases and the vaccinations, find the pros and cons, look for info from a variety of sources. Then make a decision that is good for your family and don't apologize for it.
I make a point to review our stance on shots with each pregnancy, but I'm going over it again now. I think it's good to evaluate it every couple years. Medical decisions, including vaccinations, are not something you should make mindlessly because your doctor told you to or to avoid because of emotional and/or practical arguments.
And that's that. Now I'm off to hang with our tough girl and one of her brothers.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
What's one thing that you're thankful for?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Bedding - The fleece sheets came out of the closet this week. I think they are one of my favorite things in the world. I hate, hate, hate to be hot and under normal circumstances would detest fleece sheets. However, we keep our house cool through the winter, so the fleece sheets are fantastic. So cozy!!
Bible - We've missed the last five Wednesday night Bible studies because we've been working in with the one year olds. We're back in the sanctuary tonight though and it's perfect timing. Why? Because we're finishing the Bible. When our pastor started the church just over thirteen years ago he began teaching at John 1:1 and proceeded to teach every single verse from that point on, going through Revelation then on to Genesis. Tonight he'll finish up the book of Luke, thus ending a thirteen year trip through the Bible. Cool, huh? As a sidenote, if you're interested in listening to any of the teachings, you can order a free CD, listen online, or get a free download right here. We've been at the church since Ecclesiastes. If you go there, then what book did you start in?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Lately I've been conditioning and combing it so that it's controlled ringlets and not so matted, but I have no desire to do that every day. I tried doing multiple braids on Saturday night, but I felt a little out of my element as a white mom of a "black" girl. Ok, she's not black and her hair isn't super coarse and kinky, but it's still way more curly than any other white kid we know. It seems to be the only place her black genes came shining through.
So, a couple days ago I sent an e-mail to an acquaintance who is black and asked for some tips. I was hoping for an e-mail back that would give me some ideas. Instead, I got an in-home visit today, including some tips on cleaning and styling, reassurance that I'm not totally botching Naomi's hair, and a bag filled with a bunch of hair stuff for the Nomes.
How cool is that?! I was totally blessed!!
The fringe benefit is that the hair oil smells wonderful!! I don't know if Naomi considers the fact that I've been sniffing her head all day to be a benefit, but she'll get used to it.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Mike's Drive-In - Way back when Tim and I were dating he introduced me to Mike's Drive-In. Their best meal? A Swiss mushroom burger that's a drippy mess, a large order of their perfect fries, and a pineapple shake (root beer shake for Tim). We'd eat there every time we came up, often stopping there before heading to Tom and Linda's, which is where we'd be staying. Well, in the four years we've lived here we've eaten there ... once. That's it. We very rarely eat out unless we're on the road and there's no Mike's on our side of the metro area. However, Tim was out tonight and brought Mike's home with him. Major good husband points!
My Sachi Bag - Remember when I showed you the bags my friend Sachi was making? They're made by recycling plastic shopping bags, cutting and ironing them into new bags. She made one for me!! It's a super cute backpack in blue and green. Perfect for me!!
Naomi's Hair - Other than a couple pigtails I've done, Tim has always been the one to put Naomi's hair up in braids or pigtails. Until last night, that is. I was giving her a bath and thought I'd try doing a few braids. The benefits were wet, conditioned hair and her occupation with her bath toys. The only downside was she was squirmy, but she'd have been squirmy anyway. At least she was having fun.
Needless to say, I failed to line up the bottom half with the top half, but I'm ok with that. Only people who have leaned over a tub until their back was spasming in order to do multiple braids in the hair of a bathing two year old with majorly curly hair are allowed to comment on that goof. Overall, I don't think it was bad for a white mom of a black girl. Ok, ok ... she's blonde-haired and blue-eyed ... but her hair is pretty "black".
Puzzles - My kids really like puzzles, so we have quite a collection. The wooden ones for toddlers are great because they're all the same size and stack up neatly. The various sized boxes of "normal" puzzles, on the other hand, are annoying. They don't stack neatly and they take up so much space. So, here's what I started a few years back.
A gazillion puzzle bags get tossed into an old box and put in a cupboard.
Girl Time - Granny, Naomi and I were able to spend a couple hours together tonight while we were shopping for the next Moffit Box. Naomi loves playing with the zippers on Granny's purse, repeatedly tries to sneak cough drops and gum out, and calls Granny (it sounds more like "Anny!") each time she sees something that catches her interest.
School - We're hitting the books for another three weeks after finishing up a week off. I really like my weeks off. I'm having a really hard time staying motivated this year, but I don't know why. We're in a groove and it's going well, but sometimes I just want one day job (mom) instead of two (mom and teacher). Of course, there are things that wouldn't excite me if our kids weren't homeschooling. That's just life. Every choice comes with some struggles ... and some perks. Like the fact that we just took a week off when everyone else was in school, that we have nine weeks under our belt and most people have three or four, and that the kids don't have to be up at 6:30 tomorrow morning. I'm confident that keeping our kids home is the right choice for our family at this point in time. I guess some days I just want to be a lazy bum who doesn't want the responsibility that comes with the choice we've made.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Today has been great. I've stayed in the sweats I slept in (I love jammy days!). The boys played outside most of the morning, Naomi's been glued to Tim, and I've done a bunch of cooking. Now the Nomes is napping and the male Ws are all watching a friend's football game. The house is silent and I'm going to curl up in bed with a book for a while.
Tonight we're planning on having a family movie night after dinner. Classic Looney Tunes from the library, rocky road ice cream and homemade kettle corn. Can't wait!
Have you had a good Saturday?
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thai chicken/coconut rice/broccoli
burgers/fries (frozen ones that were dirt cheap and will earn me some "cool mom" points)
bbq chicken pizza/salad
chicken broccoli quiche
meatloaf (the uncooked mix is already in the freezer)
pork & rice casserole/salad
bbq pie/frozen veggie
ice cream (store-bought)
gluten-free peanut butter cookies
Thursday, October 1, 2009
What is one thing that you are thankful for?