Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Here!

I would like to invite all of you to please head on over to my new blog, Minivans are Hot. It's up and running. It's boring, but don't you worry - it won't stay that way for long. The design is being worked on and should be up and running in the next few weeks. It's gonna be good old sassy fun and I'm really pumped to get everything in order.

In the meantime, I've moved everything over and am busy learning the new software and am just having a good old time. It's a little nostalgic to sign off of Three Times the Love, but I'm very excited to begin the venture at Minivans are Hot!

So stop on by, leave a comment and add me to your reader if you feel so inclined. I look forward to seeing you all over there. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Springtime

I left Tia and Landon in the living room with some snacks today while I did some work on the computer. When it got very quiet, I decided that I needed to investigate their whereabouts. This is what I found...


While I am not thrilled with the fact that they went outside without asking first (or that Tia found it necessary to try and climb on top of the monkey bars) I love that they are beginning to enjoy one another and play together. It's very sweet to watch their relationship develop.
It's also very sweet that Tia learned this week how to pump her own legs on the swings! YEA! Pushing kids on swings is perhaps one of the most loathsome tasks of motherhood for me. I don't know why, but I just don't like to do it. So I am always ecstatic when they figure that skill out for themselves.
Aaaaannnddd... now Landon is standing under his swing crying because he wants to be pushed. *sigh* Two down, one to go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's coming!

The new site is up and running. I feel like superwoman for figuring out how to set it up! Man, that's empowering. But, I have come to a place where my knowledge of computers has come to a dead halt. I'm really wishing I had taken a computer class at some point in my life.

So the site is up but it has no design whatsoever. I have someone who has offered to design it for me. I'm up in the air about whether to direct traffic over there now, or wait until it's complete. I may wait just a few more days until I figure out all the bells and whistles of the new site, then I'll let you all know. Until then, posts here will be pretty sparse because it's taking some time to get this thing all put together! Thanks for your patience and I can't wait to "see" you at the new site, maybe as early as next week.

Woohoo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is It Bad? Part Three

My third installment of Is It Bad? If you feel so inclined, please join me in asking the blogosphere whether or not certain actions/thoughts/desires that you have are bad. If you choose to join in the fun, leave me a comment with a link to your own post, or leave your own Is It Bad? questions in the comments section.

- Is it bad that when I heard we were supposed to get rain today, I immediately began praying that a hail storm would center itself over our house causing just enough damage that the insurance company would pay for a new roof?

- Is it bad that we still have a hole in our roof from a tree branch that fell during the ice storm of 2007? The hole is just through the awning so it doesn't actually come into the house and we have put new shingles over that one spot so it's not really bad that we haven't fixed the roof yet...is it?

- Is it bad that I don't buy the "green" movement that's sweeping the nation at all? I'm all for protecting the environment and we are doing our part by using reusable grocery bags (sometimes) and recycling (when we remember) and trying to keep the lights off when we leave a room, etc... But I refuse to feel like some kind of an earth raper by phonies like Al Gore and 90% of Hollywood. Look, I'm not going to make my family start using reusable toliet paper - sorry! Not gonna happen.

- Is it bad that we still have bits of green twine hanging from the top of our minivan from when we bought our Christmas tree in the beginning of December? Yes, we truly are hoosiers.

- Is it bad that every time I decide it's time to reign in my bad eating patterns so I can lose the last few pounds of baby weight, I immediately begin craving chocolate with the ferocity of one who has not eaten in months?

- Is it bad that I usually cave into this craving within about 24 hours and consume more chocolate than should be legal?

- Is it bad that I long to live in Florida yet cringe at the idea of leaving everything wonderful we have here so I constantly live in a state of wishing for something that I wish I didn't wish for?

- Is it bad that the last statement I wrote made no sense and I'm not going to do anything about it?

- Is it bad that I still sometimes think about George Clooney smiling at me and find myself giggling like a little school girl?

- Is it bad that right now I have a few precious hours to get some much needed work done, yet I find myself really wishing that I could return to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? I must. be. strong!

Now it's your turn - Have fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sloan on Age

We are gathering everything up to head home tomorrow. There is a great weeping and gnashing of teeth. As Sloan told me tonight, "I hate when we have to go home."

Sloan's had a couple of great quotes this week. Real winners. For your reading enjoyment:

"Mom, you're old like the dinosaurs."

Nice.

Sloan struck up a conversation with a group of people walking past our condo one day (who's surprised?). This was his introduction:
"Hi. My name is Sloan, I'm five and a half. That's my sister Tia and she's three. There's my brother Landon - he's one. That's my mom - she's thirty, which is, like, pretty old. And that's my dad - he's thirty-five." (I was slightly insulted at being identified as 'pretty old,' but Lee was more insulted given that he's only thirty-four.)

At the beach a couple of nights ago, a young couple walked up with their two young kids. Sloan, of course, approached them with all the boldness and brass of a forty year old.
"Are you their mom?" he asked.
The girl nodded.
"Well, you can't be their mom," he said, "because you're not old like my mom."

In his, and my, defense, this girl literally looked like she was twelve. I doubted her maternity myself. Still, when did I become ancient? Is it because I'm thirty because from what I hear, thirty is the new twenty, which means I'm still in the prime of my youth. No? Yes?

So, I am now in search of the fountain of youth and if any of you know of its whereabouts, I would greatly appreciate your help. Or, I'll take the number of the hottest plastic surgeon in town - whatever, I'm not picky. I'm just old.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sand and Surf

We are in Florida for the week so updates will be sparse. The weather could not be more beautiful here right now. Sorry St. Louis folk. We are sunburned and enjoying ourselves immensely. The kids have been angelic, which has only deepend my desire to make sure we travel with them as much as possible as they grow up. I love the family time and the togetherness that a vacation provides and because they are such great travellers, there just seems to be no reason why we shouldn't keep this up.

That's my justification and I'm sticking to it!

Today we are going to put the wave runner in the water and spend the day playing in the ocean. There are few places in the world where I feel this relaxed and content. Hope you all enjoy your own spring breaks, wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wooing George Clooney

Yesterday was my day on the set of the movie filming in St. Louis. I had to sign a confidentiality agreement so I can't discuss anything about the movie or what we did, but I will let you all know that George Clooney is indeed as handsome in real life as he is on screen. He looked just like himself, only thinner which proves the myth that the camera really does add ten pounds.

For a short period of time yesterday, I was placed directly in front of George (I call him George now because we're tight). I wasn't ten feet from him so I got a great view of his hotness. He was rehearsing his lines and he looked up. Our eyes met and he nodded with a slight grin. I nodded and smiled back, then I slow motion flipped my hair. Naturally his jaw dropped and he rushed to me and dropped to one knee, gazing adoringly into my eyes.

Okay that last part didn't really happen - well, it happened in my mind but not in real life. We did smile at one another though. We shared a special moment, folks, and I'm quite certain I made a lasting impression. Then the director started shuffling people around and I got shifted farther back, but the connection was still there - I'm sure of it.

At lunch George ate with the crew and his table was just a few feet from mine, so I consider that close enough to be able to say we had lunch together. He was a charming lunch date...

I sat with a really fun group of people while we waited to go on set. We called ourselves the table of random connections because three of us graduated from Lafayette within three years of one another and we all three grew up in the same subdivision (it was a big neighborhood so we never actually met, though I knew one of the guy's sister and he knew my brother). There were other random connections between some of the other people and we had a great time getting to know one another.

In all I would say it was a very fun experience. I'm not sure if I'll make it into the movie or not given where I was seated. You may catch a quick glimpse of the back of my head, which would be fine by me since I was having the worst hair day ever. It was rainy and humid yesterday and my hair frizzed out making me look a little bit like Simba. Even the hair ladies had a hard time trying to get my hair to cooperate. Oh well, at least I won George's heart.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Weather and a Great Giveaway

This weekend was amazing. It was unseasonably warm - as in 84 degrees on Friday - and all around perfect. We took full advantage of the lovely weather and soaked in as much Vitamin D as our bodies would allow.

I took the kids to the Zoo on Friday and we just had a blast. They were as angelic as they could have possibly been, which made the trip fun for me too! Landon is at that delightful age where everything is new and exciting. It was magical watching his face light up as he pointed at all the animals in wonder. I loved it. He really enjoyed petting the goats in the Children's Zoo -Until one of the big ones got up and started walking toward him... This was my favorite. He was so fascinated by the animals that he would stand as high on his chubby little toes as he could, craning his neck to catch a glimpse. This is pure sweetness.
We all got a kick out of this guy.Sloan and Tia were respectful and obedient and even nice to one another. It was almost a little disconcerting...
Now - on to the giveaway. If you go to Five Minute for Mom today, you can enter to win four 1 day park hoppers for Disney World! It's easy to enter - just leave them a comment. And you can receive multiple entries if you twitter, facebook or blog about the giveaway. I thought this was a really cool giveaway so I wanted to pass the opportunity along to the rest of you.
I have so much to do today that for me to be sitting at this computer typing out a post is really ridiculous, but what can I say? I'm an addict. Tomorrow is my day to be an extra in the George Clooney film here in town. I have to be downtown at 6 am and will be there 8-12 hours. I'm making a whopping 56.00 bucks! Whoop! I'm excited though. It's all about seizing the moment and this will be a fun life experience. I'm also trying to get us ready to leave town on Thursday. And the kids have russian school this afternoon, plus we have Bible study at our house tonight. Seriously, I have to get off the computer...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Financial Wisdom

Yesterday, Lee came home in a somewhat ominous mood. I could tell he'd been listening to too much talk radio. He told me we needed to sit down this weekend and go through our budget so we could make the "radical" changes necessary to be prepared for the potential crash of our financial system.

I am in agreement that we need to make some decisions regarding how we spend our money. We've already decided that eating out is going to be drastically reduced in our family. When we went through our bank records for the last three months we were ashamed to see how much we had spent on fast food and other frivolous purchases. I've also been trying hard to watch how I spend our money at the grocery store. I still need to get in the habit of making up a weekly menu, but otherwise, I'm doing alright.

But this was something more for Lee. He was fearful. We talked briefly for a few minutes about what exactly he had in mind. First on his list was to cut out cable. I told him I'm fine with that as long as we get ABC because I need to be able to watch LOST. Everything else can go. But what else? We don't have a lot of needless expenses. Gym memberships are perhaps the next thing to go, but I'm not silling to give up on those just yet, especially because we have as inexpensive of a gym plan as possible.

I had really been holding out for a new, fancy cell phone, but told him I'm willing to give that up so there goes that expense. But what else? After our brief conversation, I could tell that Lee felt a little better. I think just knowing that we're both aware of the danger and willing to do what it takes to prepare helps. But I told him, I will not be operating out of fear. I'm not going to slash out every expense because we're afraid of what might happen. I want to be wise, but not fearful. And listening too much to the news or radio can make a person fearful.

It's frustrating to sit back and feel so powerless as the people who are in charge of our country seem to be making poor decision after poor decision. I believe wholeheartedly that being prepared and in control of as much of our income as possible is the best thing we can do. We have to protect ourselves right now. And we have to be prepared for the worst.

But I will not live fearing or expecting the worst. That's no way to live. I will not be confined to my home because I don't want to use gas. I won't live in worry daily over that which I cannot control. And in the moments when fear starts to creep in, I will remind myself that there is One who is Higher and in perfect control of everything in our lives. In Him I take my rest and I find my hope - not in a government who is making poor decisions.

What about you guys? What are you doing to cut back during these days when the financial market teeters on the verge of breakdown? Are you feeling fearful and how do you combat that feeling?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the Process

Hey everyone.

I'm in the process of getting the new site set up and ready to go. I have the wonderful Joe McGill working on the design for me and I'm busy learning how to work the new system. It may be a little sparse around here until it's all ready to go but as soon as we're set, I'll let you know! Enjoy your Wednesday. I leave you with these pictures of my sweet Landon who is figuring out how to mug for the camera:


Don't you just want to squeeze him?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Memo to my husband

To: Lee
From: Your Wife
Re: Two Liter soda bottles and other containers with lids.

My dear, sweet husband. You are a picture of strength. Seriously, you've been working out and it shows - you look fantastic. You look every bit the Greek god. You are chisled from stone. Your strength knows no bounds and I am proud to be your wife.

I love that you are there for me when I need you. I know that at any moment, should I be overwhelmed by, say, a pickle jar, you will swoop to my side, your hair windblown, your muscles flexed and glistening and you will remove the lid with nothing but your thumb and pointer finger because you are just. so. strong. I am the damsel in distress and you, my dear man, are my superhero.

I have but one request, O Ye picture of strength. When you put the tops back on the two liter bottles of Sprite or when you tighten the lids of the kids sippy cups, please remember that us mortals do not possess your strength and try not to tighten them with the force of ten thousand warriors. Thanks so much.

In closing, when you come home today, I will need you to open the bottle of Sprite that you so deftly closed last night. I love you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just Call Me The Negotiator

My three year old is fiercly independent. And when I say fiercly, I mean she just may take you out at the knees should you try to help her in any way, shape or form. In some ways, this is awesome. I lay her clothes out and she puts them on (I have not even allowed her to think that she will ever have a chance to pick out her own clothes. Once she decides that she wants that freedom, the battlefield will become much more delicate.)

In general, she does not want you to do anything for her. If you try to carry something, she snatches it. If you try to pick her up, she turns into gumby and slides out of your arms into a puddle on the floor. If you help her without her asking you, well - all I can say is look out.

But being that she's three, there are times when it's clear she needs help. This is where things get touchy. Take this morning, for example. I gave her a shirt with a rather tight collar and she was struggling to get it on. I could hear her screeching in frustration but she absolutely refused help. At times like this, I treat the moment like a hostage situation. Here's how it works:

First, I stand several feet away, speaking in a soothing voice and telling her I'm more than willing to help if she needs it. I'm usually met with a resounding "NO!"

Second, I slowly inch toward her, still speaking softly. Sometimes this works out well and I'm able to help her out before she even knows what's happened. But, other times - like today - this only escalates her frustration and she moves to the hopping and crying phase (I do it myhels! she cries)

Step three is to reach my hands out and, while keeping my voice soft, use firmer words. "Tia, let me help you. It's going to be okay. We'll get this done a lot faster if you just let me help." I have to act fast when it gets to this point otherwise she spooks and runs. I grab her hands and finish the action quickly and smoothly. She usually cries, sometimes screams, which then requires some jail time (i.e. time out in her room).

When she's finally allowed to return to the company of others, she's as pleasant as can be and back to her bouncy self. Until, of course, the next time that help is required, at which point I jump back into the negotiations. I should be getting paid for this.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sidebar Highlights

I would like to take a moment to highlight my favorite blogs. So here they are, in no particular order:

The newest blog on my sidebar belongs to dear college friends, Jeff and Wendy Elkins. We were all in a touring choir together and they got married just a couple of months after Lee and I. They now also have three kids (boy, girl, boy) who are almost the same ages as our kids. Even though we live many miles apart, it's fun to still feel connected with this sweet, and hilarious, couple. Check them out at The Elkins Family.

Also new to my sidebar are the blogs of a sweet family that we go to church with who are preparing to move to Costa Rica as full time missionaries. I would encourage you to head over to their sites, Ticos Times Tres and The Jenkins Journal to keep updated on how the Lord is using them to reach the people of Latin America.

Kelly from About the Harps is another college friend whose blog I love to read. Kelly and I have laughed a little about the fact that while we were in college we did not know one another well. She married Clint, one of mine and Lee's best friends, but we didn't really have the chance to hang out much with Kelly - but now, she and I are seriously internet BFF's. And I'm sad that we didn't hang out more back in the day. Kelly is funny and sweet and they have the most adorable little boy named Hudson.

Kelly's also enormously talented (and I'm only slightly envious of her gift) and has an etsy shop that you should all check out where she sells handmade kids clothes and they are just beyond adorable. Stay tuned because soon we're going to do a giveaway of some of her stuff and you won't want to miss it!

Finally, one of the blogs that makes me laugh on a daily basis is Anna's from Bugs and Sunshine. Anna is hilarious and literally has me laughing out loud almost every time I read her stuff. Anna is an old friend of Lee's from college and though I've only met her face to face a couple of times, I feel like we're old pals. I highly recommend her blog if you're in need of a good laugh.

There you have it. Of course, all of the blogs in my sidebar are fun and I love reading every one of them. But those are a few that I wanted to highlight for today. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Fling

It's time to fling, folks. Dana, my blogging guru, calls this a trebuchet after the medievil whatchamagadget that was used to smash walls and fling crazy war stuff over them. Okay, that's my definition of a trebuchet. In any case, the idea here is to verbally fling those things that make you crazy, then list the happy things in life that make the flings bearable. So, here you have it - my spring fling:

- First, I fling the process of teething. You can't fling the process of something! Oh yes I can - my blog. I cannot fling Landon because that would be considered abuse and because, well, I really kinda like him a lot, but I do fling teething and the slobbering, crying, whining mess it turns him into. There - consider teething flung.

- Shop 'N' Save - I fling you - Fliggity Fling! I waited all week so that I could shop today when they have their $10 off day, only to get there and find out that they don't actually do that every Thursday. You mean we've been subsisting on Mac N Cheese and ham for nothing? And then, when I asked the lady at the information counter how often they have coupon Thursday, she shrugged, rolled her eyes, and said they never know when it's gonna be. So, I fling her twice. And I feel better.

- I fling the stomach flu, influenza and any other germy bug that dares to break through the protective barrier of Lysol that now layers my home. Fa-LING!


- St. Louis weather. Is it warm? Is it cold? Will it rain? Will it snow? Fling. I'm all for having four seasons. I like it very much, in fact, but flip-flopping back and forth - that's not cool and it makes me crazy. So, consider it flung.

- Landon's finicky eating habits. Do you know how hard it is to feed a child who subsists entirely on milk, yogurt and cheese - especially when he has a stomach bug that causes him to explode nastiness of the worst kind when he does consume dairy? So I fling pickiness and I fling it far.

- The current administration's proposed spending plan that suggests raising taxes during a recession so that we can pay for universal healthcare and other controversial issues. I don't like it, I don't agree with it, I feel powerless to stop it because it appears that no one wants to really take into account how those of us who are negatively affected by this ridiculous plan really feel (and believe me, more people are negatively affected than are positively affected). So, this is me, symbolically placing the 3.55 trillion dollar spending plan in my rickety wooden trebuchet. I'm pulling the handle. Fling, fling, fling, fling.

- I fling my desktop computer for no other reason than that I just really want a laptop and can't afford one so out of frustration I fling the desktop. Hahaha! This is fun.

On to the good now. These are the things I keep and these are the things that make me smile despite all the flinginess of the world around me.

- The prayers that Sloan says before we eat. They are precious, hysterical, deeply theological and sometimes just plain bizarre, but it's fun to see him beginning to grasp more and more who God is and what He's done for us. Today's prayer before lunch went something like this:

Dear God,
Thank you for this wonderful day and for the love that you have given us.
Thank you that you are our Savior and that you died on the cross for our sins.
And we thank you, Lord, that you knock on our doors and tell us come and we can knock on Your door too.
Thank you, Father, that you heal us and that you heal Luke Skywalker - but you don't really heal him because you're not the God of Star Wars, You're the God of us. And we thank you, Lord, that you love us so much. And that you love Star Wars.
Amen.


- I keep Tia's laugh, which is deep and gravelly and just plain hysterical.


- I also keep Tia's adorable speech pattern. Example: If something is really, really nice, she says, "Mommy, dat's woody, woody nas." It's awesome.


- I keep my husband who is working his tail off to provide for us and is finally beginning to reap some rewards for his hard work. He is an amazing help around the house with everything from bathing kids to doing the dishes. I am grateful for him each and every day.


- I had a much needed and very sweet time with the Lord today. I was left with this verse swimming in my head and sinking into my heart: "Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the Lord." Psalm 4: 4-5


- And finally, I keep these face products, which make me happier than any material possession should make a girl. Whenever Lee balks at the cost, I remind him of several things: First, I never buy them at cost - I almost always get them at 35%-50% off, which, umm-YAY! Second, they last forever! Seriously, while I can go through a $22.00 jar of Oil of Olay in just a month-6 weeks, these last a minimum of 6 months, sometimes more. Finally, and this is the clincher, I remind him that when I am 80 I am going to look as good as I did at 25 and he'll be thankful that I invested so richly in my skin all those years. He then feels the need to remind me that I'm going to be sorry because he will, indeed, look 80. It's a trade off I'm willing to make.


So what about you? Have anything you want to fling? Leave a comment! But make sure that you list something that you want to keep to balance it out. And have fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sloan-isms

It's been awhile since I recorded the funny things that my vibrant, talkative five-year-old says. So here you go - the sayings of Sloan Stuart:

"Hey Mom, you know what?"
"What?"
"You know - back in the '80's, people didn't have very much food."
I don't know where he came up with that, but I found it disheartening that my kid is now old enough to think of me as really old.

A few days ago we were in the car and I glanced back to see Sloan with his eyes squeezed shut and a pained look on his face:
"What's the matter Sloan?"
(big sigh) "I'm using my imagination and I'm imagining that I'm in Florida, but when I open my eyes I'm not really in Florida. Why?"
"Oh," I replied. "Well, using your imagination is like playing pretend. You see yourself in Florida in your mind, but your body doesn't go there."
"Oh," Sloan said looking very disappointed.
"But," I said, "If you imagine hard enough you might be able to hear the ocean or smell the salty air."
"Really?"
"Yeah. Close your eyes really tight. Now imagine that we are driving on the big bridge over the water and the ocean is right outside your window - can you see it in your mind?"
He nods his head, his eyes squeezed so tight that I'm afraid he may hurt himself.
"Now take a deep breath," I said.
Sloan inhaled deeply.
"Can you smell the ocean?"
He's quiet for a minute, then, with his eyes still closed he says, "Nope. Don't smell it. Smells like our town."

Oh well, so much for an exercise in imagination. Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday. We are doing much better here today. It was a 24 hour thing so we're already on the mend. And I've settled on the name for my blog, which I will announce once I've got the new site underway. Thanks for all your suggestions and for all your voting. I'm excited to move forward with this. Bye now, bloggy friends!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The One With All the Vomit

How's that for a title? Hey! Welcome to sickville - enter at your own risk. Want projectile vomit that will make you feel as though you're dying a wretched death with your rear up in the air? Please enter to your left. Would you rather have diarrhea that churns your insides like a possessed knife on a rampage? Enter to your right.

Want both? Well, you've come to the right place.

Lord Almighty we can't catch a friggin' break. This started with the sweet, sweet soul that is Landon and will, hopefully end with me. Last night Sloan threw up so violently and so much that I kid you not, some was dripping off the ceiling. Now I've probably made you all sick. You should have seen Lee and I trying to clean it up. We were well coordinated, man. It was impressive.

I slept on the couch, because I was feeling all self-sacrificial - or because it gave me a good excuse to watch all of the post-Oscar hoopla until an ungodly hour. Then I woke with the familar pang in my stomach. I tried so hard to convince myself that it was just sympathy, or perhaps due to the smell of death that permeates our home right now. Or maybe it was because Lee made me massage his feet last night due to a friendly bet that I lost. But alas, it was none of those things. At least I may lose those last few pounds, eh?

Which, incidentally, I gotta tell ya - there's nothing like throwing up with a 14 month old standing inches from your face. It's something to behold. Everytime I heaved, he cackled and every time he laughed I heard little bubbles from his behind. It was comical and totally disgusting all at once.

So now that I've completely grossed everyone out, tell me, what are you having for dinner tonight? HA! I'll not be eating. I tried a half cup of chicken noodle soup at lunch and that did not end well. Tomorrow is another day right? Good Lord - it's time to move to Florida. Vitamin D and salty air is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Indecisive

Okay - So the clear winner from last week's poll was Minivans Are Hot. I am ready to pull the trigger on this website thing, but I'm not 100% sold on the name just yet. I like it, but I want to be sure before I committ to it. So, my dear readers, if you would indulge me just one more time and vote for your favorite from the following list I would appreciate it so very much!

I promise this will be the last poll. I will choose a winner between Minivans are Hot and the highest vote getter on today's poll and I will let you know when the process of building the new site is underway. I appreciate your help on this so much!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Playlist of my Life

My friend Nicole did this on her blog and I thought it looked like fun, and since I don't really have much else to write about today, I'm going to do it. If you want to join in on the good times, leave me a comment and let me know you did so I can come on by and check out your life playlist!

So here’s how the game works…
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, MP3, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For the first question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button TWICE
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…just type it in man!
7. Tag anyone, and they have to do it too - I won’t do this, but play along if you’d like!

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
Opening Credits:
Ain't No Other Man (Christina Aguilera)

Waking Up:
All My Tears Be Washed Away (Selah Duets Album)

First Day at School:
Always Be My Baby (Mariah Carey)

Falling in Love:
Another Try (Josh Turner)

Fight Song:
Baby Hold On (Jerod Starkey - not exactly fight worthy, but a great song)

Breaking Up:
Back in the Day (Christina Aguilera)

Prom:
Beat It (Michael Jackson)

Life:
Between the Lines(Sara Bareilles)

Mental Breakdown:
Bring It All Together (Natalie Grant and Winona Judd - That actually works!)

Driving:
Can You Hear Me? (Cindy Morgan)

Flashback:
Come Round Soon (Sara Bareilles)

Getting Back Together:
Dreamlover (Mariah Carey)

Wedding:
Earth Song (Michael Jackson - ummm, no thanks.)

Birth of Child:
Enter the Circus (Christina Aguilera - ain't that the truth...)

Have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Musings About Stuff

On American Idol: I think America (mostly) got it right last night. I love the little pink haired Molly-Ringwald-lookalike girl (what's her name?) and think she is a legitimate singer. Danny is also a very good singer, though I was with Simon in that I didn't think he did well enough to warrant the swooning from the other judges. And, while I really like the oil rig guy and I'm glad he's getting a second chance, I really wish the guy with the spikey hair who sang second would have made it through instead. Oil rig is cute and nice and totally likeable, but spikey hair could sing! And I think it's completely unfair to him that he had no camera time coming into these rounds. He deserves a second chance and I hope he gets it.

Boy, that would have been a whole lot clearer if I could have remembered people's names, huh?

Anyway, moving on to LOST. All I can say is OMG, OMG, OMG I love that show. Where are they? Where year are they in? What the heck is going on? Why is my heart beating so fast right now? I want to know what happened to Aaron and where the heck is Sun's daughter? Will Locke come back to life on the island? How did Hurley and Sayyid end up on that plane? What an wonderful show. When it goes off the air in 2010, I fear I may have withdrawals.

So there you have it. Glad you decided to click on over here today? Was it totally worth your time? Well, now I have a question for all you bloggy friends.

I am going to develop my own website and get self-hosted. I've wanted to do this for awhile because I really am not crazy about blogger, and I want to have a little more freedom with my blog. When I make the switch to my own URL, I am going to change my blog name. I've gone back and forth about this and finally decided that I want to do it. I've never been crazy about the name of my blog. I picked it in a moment of sleep deprivation when I knew very little about blogging in general and I just think it's kind of a mouthful and a little random. So, I'm including a poll at the bottom of this post and I want you guys to vote on the name you like best for my new blog. I'll let you know the results in a few days and I will likely start putting together the website in the next month or so.

The choices for the new blog are: www.bloggingtheiryouth.com; www.alegacyinverse.com; www.minivansarehot.com

I tried to think of variations of my current blog title that I liked, but couldn't come up with anything that didn't sound inappropriate (i.e. Triplelove.com or Lovetimes3.com - yikes!) So vote away - I'm excited to see what your thoughts are.

Bye for now blogland!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sloan's First Short Story


Sloan and I wrote his first story together today. He dictated, I typed-and added a few things here and there to make it a little more gramatically appealing. The editor in me just can't write things that are completely and utterly wrong - *shudder* But I did not change the story - I wrote it just like he told me to, then we added illustrations. I had to draw the airplane and boat, but Sloan filled in the rest of the details. It's slightly morbid, but there is redemption at the end and it winds up in Florida - that's my boy!
Once upon a time, in a city called New York, there gathered a group of people who were boarding a plane. After boarding the plane, the people sat back in their seats and relaxed, thinking about all the fun they would have in Florida.

But some of them did not put on their seat belts, so the pilot looked back behind him and said, “You gotta keep safe. You gotta wear your seatbelts because if you don’t, you might get hurt if we crash.”

As the pilot was looking back at the people, he didn’t know that his plane was getting ready to crash. And then, suddenly, KASPLASH!!! The plane fell out of the sky and CRASHED in the water. And THEN, what happened next is that the plane caught fire and the fire turned to lava and ashes and there was so much smoke. The people turned into lava as the lava touched them and many of them died. But not all of them died, because firefighters got to the crash quickly and put out the lava. To put out the lava, they unraveled their long hoses and sprayed the lava. Because they did this so fast, they saved some of the people on the crashing plane. The firefighters put them in their fire truck and drove the hurt people to the hospital. Doctors fixed up the people and sent them back to the New York airport to get on another plane.

The people who survived decided to fly on Southwest airlines, because they knew it was better than the other airplanes. So they took off from New York and THIS time they didn’t even crash. They made it safely to the airport in Florida.
THE END

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What I'm Up To

Recently, I've joined forces with the lovely ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom, an amazing site dedicated to empowering and promoting mothers. I'll be joining them as a contributing writer/editor and I can't tell you how thrilled I am with this opportunity. I love their site and look forward to working with them more closely.

If you haven't visited their site, why don't you click on over there now and look around. They offer great advice on anything from cleaning your house to reading books to your young children. They cover a mulititude of topics and have several experienced writers/bloggers on board. They also host weekly contests and giveaways and who doesn't enjoy free stuff, huh? This week's giveaway is not only for a great product, but also for a great cause. My Wonderful Walls is run by a husband and wife team who are outrageously talented (makes Lee and I look like a couple of untalented slackers). They make the most beautiful wall murals for children - seriously, they're spectacular. But, they don't stop there. The creators behind these gorgeous designs are dedicated to using their talents to bless those who need it. Donating murals to children's hospitals and kids who are suffering illness, creators Stephanie and her husband aim to brighten to rooms of young ones who need a little sunshine.

Want to know how you could enter to win a wall mural and simultaneously bless children in need? Head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom and read all about it! Then, after you've taken the time to do that, check out the website for My Wonderful Walls and look around. I guarantee you'll fall in love, just like I did.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hoops and Tears

Saturday afternoon, we packed the family up and went to the local YMCA to watch Sloan play basketball. Who knew that while watching a group of 5-year-olds trip over a bright orange ball, I would end up blinking back tears and, ultimately, lose a night's sleep.

Sloan is a great little athlete. So far, two of our three kids have shown the propensity to have their daddy's graces when it comes to athletics and I'm very glad. But, Sloan is not an overly competitive or aggressive kid. He's out there to have fun and to look good. He's not there to win. I know that this is a good trait to have and I truly am glad that he's got such a great attitude when he plays sports. Lee and I also think that he will be more geared toward individual sports like golf and, perhaps, baseball. I like to think of this as one battle we won't have to fight with Sloan. I also trust that as he gets older, he'll develop more of a drive for victory, though I don't know that he'll ever be super competitive. Now Tia, on the other hand, is a different story. She hates to lose and she is highly competitive. But I digress.

I noticed for the first time on Saturday, that Sloan did seem a little bothered by the fact that he didn't get more chances to shoot. But he just doesn't really go after the ball. That competitive nature is just not in him. And as we watched him play, I felt this lump of fear knot in my stomach.

My senior year of high school was a rough time for me. I was dealing with a specific struggle that was linked directly to my lack of self-esteem and it grew into a large enough problem that I required counseling. I remember very specifically one of my counselling sessions breaking down in tears and telling my counselor, "I just don't feel like I'm good at anything. No matter what I do, someone is always better than I am. I feel like a plain Jane."

Now that I am older and have had some time to mature and assess some of those feelings, I see so much more clearly what was going on. The problem was not that I wasn't good at anything, but that I wasn't recognized for the things that I was good at. Of course I had the support and encouragement from my parents, but I longed for the acceptance from my peers and other leaders and teachers within my sphere of influence. Despite the fact that I was indeed gifted in some areas, it seemed that I was often overlooked and passed by and I struggled with that. I want to be delicate as I write this. It isn't that I never received encouragement from anyone. I know that I was loved and encouraged. But I had that perception back then, as my flesh warred against my spirit. I longed to be great and was discontent at constantly coming up average.

Before you think of me as some narcissistic little brat who needed all the glory, you should also know that there are some events that occurred in my life that served to create this need for recognition. I'll keep it vague because I don't like to discuss private family matters on my blog, but in short, when I was thirteen, our family took custody of three of my cousins who had experienced a good deal of emotional trauma. The year that they lived with us was difficult on everyone involved and I think we were all left with a few emotional scars as a result. Because of the needs of my cousins, my own emotional needs were often overlooked-not because people didn't care, but simply because they didn't know. I developed this yearning to be seen. I longed to be told that I was great at something and all of that truly took root in that one pivotal year of my life. That's the best I can do to explain how this deep-seeded emotional need for recognition came about.

Anyway, when I went to college, for the first time, I felt like I was noticed. I started to receive encouragement from people outside my own family for the gifts that I had been given and I blossomed. I developed self-esteem that I never knew I was capable of. I also, oddly enough, developed a sense of humility that I hadn't known before. Those were good years for me.

Now that I'm grown, I know the Truth behind why I've been given gifts and what I am to expect from them. I realize now that it's not about me. It's not about whether or not I get recognition for the things I'm good at. It's all about Who gets the glory and, ultimately, I believe that the Lord deserves the glory for anything I do. I no longer have this unquenchable desire for recognition. In fact, I don't much care anymore. I just want to glorify Him and pray that I do that whether I am writing, singing, or just playing with my kids.

But, as I watched Sloan holding his hands out and yelling, "I'm open, I'm open," and I heard the coach constantly yelling, "Give the ball to Sloan, he's open," and watched as time and time again the ball was passed to another kid, all of those feelings rushed back and I began to fear once again. Only this time the fear was compounded because it was for my son. I do not want him to experience those feelings of being overlooked and passed by. The one time he did receive the ball, he shot and missed and my heart broke. And he's only five. Good grief. I'm not sure I'll survive this motherhood thing.

Anyway, I spent much of Saturday night tossing and turning and praying that the Lord release me of that fear. And I feel like I've made a little headway. The fact that I'm getting emotional as I type this post shows I have a little ways to go, but I'm trusting the Lord to rebandage the wound that seems to have split ever so slightly. First of all, I know that Sloan is young and that he will undoubtably experience the pain of rejection growing up and that he will be okay. I also know that it's okay if he's not a competitive person. He will find his niche and Lee and I will do the best we can to nurture the gifts that he has. Mostly, I pray that I will be an example to Sloan that it's not about who wins or loses - it's about who gets the glory in the end. That's the lesson I want my son to learn earlier than I did.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine

I love this sweet boy. He's rotten but he's so very, very cute. And he knows how to make his mama feel good.

Pray for my sister-in-law, Becke', today and her family. It was a year ago that her sweet sister, Kiley, went to be with Jesus. Knowing she is basking in His glory is good, but it's still bittersweet. Please remember them today.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Master Cleanse - A Reflection

Last week, Lee and I got the bright idea that we were going to start the Master Cleanse diet. C'mon, I know you've all seen the commercials. You've heard them say that we all have pounds of waste clinging to our colon walls like spackle or paste. Well, Lee and I wanted to detoxify. And, let's be honest, I wanted to lose the weight. Who cares about my colon? Mama's going to Florida in a month - it's time to get serious.

Have any of you ever tried the Master Cleanse diet? It's crap! And yes, that pun was intended. Let me give you a little glimpse into the world of the colon cleanse.

It all started on Sunday, when we both ate very light, you know, to prep our stomachs for the days to come. That afternoon, I headed over to Wholefoods, the Mecca of all things healthy and good. I had my list of ingredients and I slowly made my way through the aisles picking up lemons, purified, but not flouridated, water, non-iodized salt, Grade B Organic Maple Syrup and pure Cayenne Pepper. Yeah, I know.

I should inform you that neither of us actually read any literature about this diet because we're too cheap to buy a book. We simply consulted Dr. Google for the list of ingredients and some testimonials from those who have successfully completed this 10-day completely liquid diet.

"It's amazing!" they all proclaimed. "I have more energy than ever before; I lost 20 pounds; my skin is glowing and looks fresh and young; I feel rejuvinated."

My personal favorite was the man who was on day 17 of this diet and was planning on going another 3-5 days because he just. felt. so. great. Freak.

All of Google's input said that the first 3 days were the hardest. After that, you hardly notice the hunger - "you will be energized as you release the toxins from your body." Uh-huh.

(The drink that you consume during the 10 day diet provides you with roughly 1200 calories/day, so this is not a starvation diet, though it may sound like one...)

So I came home with two bags filled to the brim with all the things that were going to make Lee and I glow with the radiance of youth and health. At this point, neither of us had eaten much all day, and we intended to start night one with the salt water flush. It sounded easy enough. 35 ounces of water mixed with one teaspoon of salt. The idea is to drink the entire liquid, then sit back and wait for nature to take it's course, thereby beginning the process of cleansing the colon.

The next time you're at the beach, fill a cup with 35 ounces of ocean water and drink it. If you are able to do that, I will personally send you telepathic high fives and feelings of all over awesomeness. I, personally, couldn't get past two swallows without gagging and nearly vomiting. (There's one way to lose the weight.) And I tried. I tried to drink it warm, I tried it cold; I tried to pound it back quickly (that was not a good idea), and I tried a small sip. And Lee watched me the whole time. I finally made him try it and after one swallow, he headed back to the computer to consult Dr. Google on what to do if the salt water flush is too unbearable. "You are pansies," came the reply. At least that's how it felt. Are all those people online lying, or do they really think it's "not that bad?" Geesh. Then, we saw it - Hark! There is a tea you can drink called Senna. Glory! Lee headed back to Wholefoods while I perused the recipe for the lemonade.

You mix water, lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I didn't understand the cayenne pepper, but my trusty internet assured me it was a necessary ingredient and was not to be skipped. And so I intended to follow the directions. You know, because thus far that was really working out for us. So Lee returned, we drank our tea and we went to bed.

The next morning, I awoke to a rumbling tummy. It was a mixture of hunger and Senna. At this point I was beginning to doubt my willpower to withstand this diet. I made Lee and I a batch of lemonade and poured each of us a glass. The blasted cayenne kept drifting to the top so we had to continually stir the drink. It reminded me of Chandler and Ross on Friends, drink and stir, drink and stir. Five points to anyone who remembers that episode.

I think I know now why the cayenne is important. Apparently it burns off the lining of your throat making the consumption of food nearly impossible. At this point I was sincerely cursing my internet friends who had assured me that the lemonade was quite good and the cayenne gives it a "little kick." Liars from the pits of hell!

Oh, and while I was fighting back my urge to begin breathing fire, I got my first "prompting" from the Senna tea. My first of many, I might add. Miserable, miserable tea.

So, wrapping up. The lemonade was so nasty that after drinking my half-day ration, I was gagging violently every time I took a drink. My house was completely destroyed because every time I ran to the bathroom, the children exploited my weakness and tore about like wild apes. My stomach was growling fiercely and I was growing irritable. I texted Lee and told him I didn't have the balls to follow through with the intensity of this diet. He replied that he was glad because neither did he. And we quit. Right then and there. After only 24 hours, we quit.

All that to say, I don't recommend the Master Cleanse diet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snippets

Two weeks ago, when we visited the pediatrician, the doctor checked Tai's ears and could only see wax. After digging in both ears and washing them out, a process that was torturous for both Tia and Lee and I, the doctor had successfully removed four plugs of wax that were each roughly the diameter of a pea. Our doctor told us that Tia had likely been only hearing at about 10%, which is probably why she still wasn't talking.

Today she is talking more clearly than I've ever heard her and she's talking a lot more. She also keeps putting her hands over her ears and saying, "Too loud!" Poor kid.

********************************

While driving in the car the other day, I pointed out a brillinat sunset to the kids. We talked about what a great job God did painting the sky. Here were Tia's comments:

"Mommy, Do yud me." (translation God Loves Me)
Me: "Yes he does, Tia."
Tia: "Yeah. Do dood." (God is good)
Me: "Yes, He is."
Tia: "Yeah. Da Hedew bad. Do dood. Da Hedew till me. Do say me." (Darth Vader is bad. God is good. Darth Vader kills me. God saves me.)
Me: "Ooookaaay."

********************************
Sloan is into telling jokes. Someone shoot me now. These are the jokes that I must endure multiple times a day.
Knock Knock
Who's there?
Gladys
Gladys who?
Gladys ba-Gladys I don't know where my eyeball is.

I know. Painful. Literally, my stomach starts to twist up in knots every time I hear the words Knock Knock. I even bought him a jokebook in the hopes that he would learn good jokes. Didn't work. He still prefers to make up his own. How long does this phase last?

*******************************
When Sloan tells Tia a joke, this is usually her response:
"Hol, da no hunny." (Sloan, that's not funny)
Or, my personal favorite, "Hol, da no may sense." (Sloan that doesn't make sense)

*******************************
I have recently introduced the movie Singin' in the Rain. The kids love it. They dance around the house singing, "Make 'em laaauugh." It's great. We've also started watching Little House on the Prairie on a regular basis. Much to Lee's chagrin. I keep trying to remind him that this will make Sloan very marketable with the ladies someday. He usually responds by telling me that he doesn't want me signing Sloan up for some fru-fru dance class. Deal, babe.

*********************************
There is a George Clooney movie filming in town in March. I went to the open casting call for extras but when I saw the several hundred people standing in line, I laughed and walked away. On a whim, I sent in my application, but figured I wouldn't hear anything because I heard they were giving preference to those who actually showed up for the casting call. I got a call yesterday asking me if I could come be part of the shoot on March 10. Fun! I'm excited. My mom is out of town that day so I'll have to round up childcare, but it should be a good time.

I told Lee I hope I get to see George Clooney because, um, hi - he's sexy. Lee told me I have full permission to drool over him if we come in contact. My husband is cool.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rock Star in the Making

Enjoy the video of our little rock star. I particularly love the part where he sings "I will levah praise you." Awesome. He kept starting just a little too high and had to go into his falsetto. So cute. If you click on The Next American Idol link under the Favorites tab, you can see him singing the same song last year as well. Happy Monday to you all!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Things I Never Thought I'd Say...

If you need help wiping, let me know.

Hold still, I've got to dig this booger out of your nose.

Wow, I love that Crockpot.

7:30? Man, we slept in today.

Don't grab your brother's penis.

Can I please use the bathroom in private?

Eat your french fries or you can't have dessert.

I swear, this house smells like poop.

Gorilla Munch does not go up your nose!

Why is there chocolate running out of your nose? Did you put a chocolate chip up there?

All I want is a nap.

I can't wait to vaccuum.

Maxipads are not stickers.

We have to leave in 20 minutes? Okay, I'll jump in the shower.

I wish I had an office job to escape to.

No, you're not superman so don't try and jump off the top of the swing set.

Yay! A date night. Let's go to Borders and have some hot tea while we look at travel magazines.

Because I said so.

I don't care who started it, I'm gonna finish it.

Take your shoes off I just mopped!

Who flushed mommy's necklace down the toilet?

What about you? What are some thing you've said recently that you never thought you'd say?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

School Days

Well, I did it. Yesterday I took the plunge and registered my oldest for kindergarten. Ohmygosh, how did we get here so fast? I try hard not to be one of those weepy moms who gets overly emotional at silly stuff, but this made me a little emotional. It does go by fast doesn't it?

I thought I'd write a little post about the options for schooling and get some feedback from the rest of you. I have really gone back and forth on this schooling thing the last couple of months. We registered Sloan for public school, which had been the plan all along, but I started to have some reservations about two months ago and it took quite a bit of praying and soul searching (on my part - Lee has been cool with this option from day one) to get me to that school yesterday.

I'll be honest, private school has not really been on the table. While I'm not against private school I do have some reservations that have held me back from pursuing it as an option (my husband shares the same reservations). I know there are some good private schools in our area, but I just don't feel like that is for us, at least not right now. We are very blessed to be in a good school district and the elementary school our kids will go to is smaller and is a great school. So, between private and public, public won out.

Until about a year ago, I always said that I would never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, homeschool my children. I, like so many people, had misconceptions that those who choose homeschooling are granola lovers with 15 kids who all wear homemade clothes and sing old hymns accapella at night under the stars. But then, out of the blue, I got a little stirring. Maybe it wasn't so bad. Maybe I should give it a try. Suddenly, I found that I really liked the idea of homeschooling. And who cares if I can't sew a button onto a shirt? I could make it work! Oh, and guess what - homeschoolers are normal! I now realize that my misconceptions were way off and that most people who choose to homeschool are just like the rest of us - they're just trying to do what they feel is best for their children.

I have to say, I like the freedom that homeschooling presents us as a family. I like the control it gives me over my kids education and I like the fact that it presents so many other options for the kids. There are amazing homschool co-ops in the St. Louis area. I had no idea how organized homeschoolers are. Which is probably a red flag given that I'm not known for my organizational capabilities.

But, after much prayer, I realized my motives were not right - at least not all of them. Part of me wanted to homeschool because I wanted to be able to say I did it. Of the three schooling options, homeschooling is definately the most challenging and I wanted to take on the challenge. Not a very fair reason to keep my kids at home. Also, I was so taken by several women who I know, either personally or through the cyber world, who homeschool and do such neat things with their kids that I wanted to be a part of that group. You can check them out here, here, here and here. Again, though, it's not a great reason to choose to keep my kids home. Mostly, I think I just wanted to keep control of our family schedule. I am not looking forward to the craziness of trying to get everyone where they need to be next year. I have had minor panic attacks wondering how on earth I'm going to get Tia picked up and get home in time to meet Sloan's bus. It may not be as bad as I'm thinking, but right now it seems daunting. Homeschooling just seems easier in that regard.

I finally decided that, for now, our best option is to stick with the public school, which I'm totally comfortable with. When I signed Sloan up yesterday, I walked through the halls and got a little misty-eyed thinking about my elementary school years and what lies ahead of him. Sloan is such a magnetic kid - so people oriented and motivated by a crowd. He's going to do great in school. I'm excited for him and he's beyond elated that he's going to big kid school next year. The fact that he gets to ride the school bus makes him jump around like an electric chihuahua. He'll be fine...and so will I.

I did, however, pass on the Adventure Club and full day options. I want to keep him home as long as I possibly can. He's got the rest of his life to go to school. He can stay close to his mama for one more year.

So, this soul searching process has been good in one regard; it's let me know that I am open to anything and that, I think, is a good place to be. If I have a child that would benefit from homeschooling, I'm all over it. If we have one that would thrive in private school, we'll do that. But for now, I think we are going to be a public school family. What about you guys? How did you decide what school to send your kids to?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: A Little Girl's Tea Party and the Purple Bike

Tia had a purple tea party for her birthday and all she wanted was a purple bike. Here are a few pictures from the celebration. We're busy here the next of days so I'll post when I can. In the meantime, hope you're all having a lovely (frigid) Wednesday morning.








Monday, February 2, 2009

To My Daughter - Things I want you to know

My sweet Katya. On this day, three years ago, you entered the world. The day you were born is etched deep in my mind. It is my technicolor memory. I see those moments leading up to meeting you so clearly. I can still hear the doctor saying, "You've got a baby girl," and my heart plumetting and leaping all at once. How I treasure that moment. It is stored in the most precious section of my heart.Today, on your third birthday, I share a little bit of wisdom with you. The things I want you to know someday, when you are grown.

You are loved.
Being a girl gives you unique and special privileges. One of those is the freedom to love and collect shoes to your heart's content. This is a good thing.

You are beautiful - truly, truly beautiful.


On that same note, the grace with which you carry yourself will make that beauty genuine.

When you are fourteen and some boy you hardly know tells you he loves you - don't believe him and don't say it back.

Measure your hearts' desires against the Word of God.


A classy red shoe will never go out of style.

Sometimes you just need a good cry.

A friend who places stipulations on your relationship is not worth keeping around.

Be genuine with everyone you meet.

Though they may annoy you, your brothers are very special. Let them be your protectors.


You were created by God. You have worth and value to Him and that matters more than anything else in the world.

Measure any boy you ever date against your daddy. If you do this, you will be okay.

Shopping is not all it's cracked up to be...unless you have money to spend - then, shopping is really, really, awesome.

Don't seek worth in the eyes of the world.

Dream big and dream often and know that you can accomplish anything you dream.

Sometimes you may have to sacrifice one dream to obtain another. This is okay.

You'll never be more beautiful than when you are at your most natural - but makeup is a great and fun way to enhance that natural beauty. Just use it sparingly.


There is nothing more noble than a woman who guards her heart.

Modesty is a beautiful thing.
Believe in yourself and in the gifts and abilities that God has given you. Use them to glorify Him.

Your daddy loves you more than you will ever know. You can rest assured in that.


New clothes are always fun, no matter how old you get.

It's okay to be girly, but don't be prissy.

A girl who has a healthy knowledge of sports will have a lot of options in life.

You have two wonderful, godly grandmothers. Get to know them. Soak up their wisdom. You're blessed with a godly heritage.


I love you today and I will love you into eternity.

Happy Birthday, Katya Rose.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bipartisan? Not so much...

We're still on the mend here. Lee and I are functioning at about 80% today, which is a huge improvement. Landon is by far still the worst but hopefully in the next day or two he will turn a corner as well. In the meantime, well, I'm going to discuss politics again. I know, I know, I said I'd stop but there's really just so much going on these days, how can we ignore it?

Listen, I'm appalled, dismayed, outraged, you-name-it, about the "stimulus" bill that passed last night. Dana wrote a great article about it for BlogHer and since I can't say it any better than what she did, I'll let you read her words. In a nutshell, though, she makes the point that while this is being touted as a stimulus, what it is is another bailout - and it's a bad one.

What I would like to talk about, however, is the idea of bipartisanship that everyone seems to be going on and on about but no one is really making an effort to achieve. Look, I'll be honest with you here. I only received two C's in all of my college career. One was in Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters, which - well, okay that's embarrassing. The other was in Political Science. Incidentally, I also barely passed that class in high school as well. It just didn't make sense to me. Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, blah, blah, blah...

I didn't vote in an election until 2000. I could have voted in the '96 election but I was barely 18 and truly could have cared less. I'm not even sure I knew what day the elections were held. So my first experience voting was the 2000 race between Gore and Bush. My husband stayed up late into the night watching the crazy results - I went to bed because blah, blah, blah.

So, there's a brief bit of history. I'm no political expert and I am not trying to be. But, I do care now about the political climate of this country more than ever before and now that I'm a mother, the decisions that these politicians make matter to me. As Dana has said before (yes, I quote her a lot, but I respect her very much and appreciate her amazing gift with words) motherhood is political.

So, here's my take on this situation. President Obama came into office proclaiming his desire to reach across party lines and work in a bipartisan matter. Well, he's one week into office and I'm already doubting the sincerity of those words. Did I really think he meant it? I don't know. I hoped. As I said here, I want his success.

What happened yesterday, however, was anything but bipartisan. Which brings me to the climax of this post. I do not feel like there should be the opportunity for one party to have such a broad majority in the House. If we're going to be a bipartisan nation, then we need a bipartisan government and when we have a party that is so dominant, bipartisanship goes down the drain. It's all about survival of the fittest. This bill did not have one single supporter from the GOP. Does that not say something? House Republicans were not trying to deny America the help that it needs. But they saw things in this stimulus, nay BAILOUT, bill that were flagrant and unnecessary and all they asked was for their voices to be heard.

But it's a popularity contest right now and the Democrats win. I'm not saying that the Republicans are perfect and their ideas were a save all, but come on - they deserve to have a say because they speak for a lot of people in this country. The last poll I heard, 40% of the American population disapproved of this package. Is that not significant?

To the Democratic party - look, you guys won elections fair and square (for the most part). You're in office because we the people put you there. But just because you have the majority doesn't mean you get to bully us. We want a voice and we deserve a say in the direction you take our country. Don't say you're going to work in a bipartisan way then walk away laughing. If you plan on running our government like this for the next four years, then please, have the dignity to tell it like it is. Don't lie to us because we're not buying it.

So that's my take. We now have an massive bill out there that's going to cost us and our children a lot of money. It was passed by a majority, but the entire majority was of the same party. This, in my opinion, is where we went wrong. There's another chance today as the bill goes to the Senate. Will Obama listen? Will he follow through on his word to work in a bipartisan manner? Well, I certainly hope so because I want to believe in my President. But, you know, don't listen to me. I'm just the girl who got a C in Poly Sci.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guess who has Influenza?


Us! All of us. Every. last. oneofus. Last night was quite possibly the worst night of my entire existence. I felt like a thousand tiny Oompa Loompa's were jack hammering around in my head and apparently the fire's of hell were lapping around in my throat. On top of that, Lee was also a snotty mess and both of us alternated between shivering uncontrollably to throwing the covers off in a flash of heat. Then Tia woke up a snotty, blubbery mess. Then Landon woke up with a fever. I'm not sure anyone really slept well.

This morning, as I was making breakfast, Sloan started projectile vomiting and sneezing blood at the same time. Too much information? Sorry. So off we went to the pediatrician who tested both Sloan and Landon for influenza and both were positive. And since we all have the same symptoms, we were all diagnosed at once. We are our pediatrician's first case of the flu all season, a distinction I could've done without, thankyouverymuch.

What's really infuriating is that when Lee had Sloan at the ER the other night they didn't actually test Sloan for influnenza. If they had, we could have gotten him on Tamaflu and nipped it in the bud pretty quickly. Now, it's too late for him. He's just got to ride it out. Tia and Landon are starting on Tamaflu and as I type Lee is at our primary care doctors begging him to write a script for us without having to actually see us. Good times in the Stuart household! We have to get everyone well so we can have Tia's birthday party on Saturday. Lysol is about to become my very best friend.

So, it will probably be touch and go around here for a few days. We're hanging in there but we're all weary. Hopefully the Tamaflu, which only has a 50% effectiveness against the influenza strain, will work for us. Here's to hoping!
*update: My husband just called me and told me that it is a fifty dollar copay for Tamaflu! That's 50 bucks/prescription! Sooooo...Lee and I will be toughing out the flu and we will only be getting the medication for Landon and Tia. Geesh.

Monday, January 26, 2009

10 Ways to ensure your child goes from sick to healthy to sick again

10. When you receive an email from your child's school informing you of a case of influenza in his class, blow it off and assume that due to your stellar parenting your child will not be affected.
9. When your child wakes up in the middle of the night and feels warm, assume that it is because he was wrapped up too tight in his fuzzy Lightening McQueen blanket.
8. When your child wakes up a second time in the middle of the night, this time blazing hot, give him Tylenol and let him sleep with you.
7. After a full 24 hours of running a high temp, your husband will want to take the child to the ER. Calmly talk him out of this as you know that it's not all that atypical for kids to run temps for this long.
6. An hour after talking your husband out of taking the child to the ER, check his temp and smile as he's finally fever free for the first time.  Feel smug.
5. When your second child spikes a temp, sigh and realize that you're in it for the long haul now. At least child number one is still fever free.
4. When child one spikes a temp again, chalk it up to too much activity and put him down for a long nap.
3. Attend a belated Christmas party and take child number one with you, who's been begging to go to the party for several days.  Leave a very sick child 2 home with daddy.  At the party, find out that the influenza case at school involved a high fever for several days and wheezing.  Notice that child one is now wheezing.
2. Take child one home and take his temp, which is now resting at around 103.  Finally give in and let your husband take him to the ER (wishing all the while that you would have decided to do this earlier so they could go to the Urgent Care center which is a much lower copay). This is, after all, the best way to ensure that he will get well as his fever will break almost as soon as he walks into the waiting room.  After a couple of good pats on the back, said child should give a good cough, which will stop the wheezing.   So now you are out $75.00 and your kid is fine. Works like a charm.
1. Wake up the next morning and realize that when you told your sick child you wished you could take the sickness from him, you didn't actually mean you wanted the sickness. Sigh, drag yourself out of bed and makes friends with NyQuil because you've got a long couple of days ahead of you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meeting tomorrow

Just an fyi for local bloggers. Tomorrow morning the St. Louis Blogger's Guild will hold our monthly meeting and if you're interested in coming to see what we do and meet some of the other members, we'd love to have you. Details are posted on the guild site. Have a great weekend everyone!

Is it bad? Part 2

A follow up on this post:
Is it bad that I just put my 1 year old down for a morning nap, even though I have been cutting out morning naps, just because I needed a few minutes of quiet?

Is it bad that Sloan is completing his second hour of cartoons this morning? In his (or my) defense, he is very sick and has a fever but I'm still feeling a little guilty for allowing that much television.

Is it bad that I have roughly 5 loads of laundry to do even though I haven't yet put all the laundry away from last week?

Is it bad that I wait until someone runs out of underwear before finally doing laundry?

Is it bad that I don't really care and would rather do 6 or 7 loads of laundry over the weekend then a few small loads every day?

Is it bad that I have kind of come to enjoy folding clothes because it means I can lock myself in the basement for an extended period of time and have a good excuse for it?

Is it bad that I continue to loathe the process of putting said clothes away?

Is it bad that I fell completely in love with a Young Adult series of books about vampires and werewolves? Hey - I'm an adult and I'm still young right? Right???*

Is it bad that I'm sad to have finished all four books because I'm going to miss these characters so much?

Is it bad that last night when I was up and down with sick kids I wished that I myself was a vampire so that I wouldn't need sleep so very desperately?

Is it bad that I attempted to start Landon off in a healthy way by giving him Soy milk, then found out that soy can mimic estrogen and it isn't recommended that you give it to growing boys so I attempted to buy organic milk for us all only to realize that we would have to take out a second mortgage on our home to continue so I gave up and we're all back to drinking the regular, hormone laden milk that's actually affordable?

Is it bad that I'm feeling a little sad about the fact that Tia is finally starting to talk more and more intelligably because I miss the adorableness of her jibber jabber?

Is it bad that I'm also relieved that I can finally understand her?

Is it bad that I am so tired today that I have yet to change out of my pajamas or even look in a mirror because I'm afriad of what I'll look like?

Are these things bad?

*If you have not yet read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, I highly recommend it. I was skeptical at first because it just sounded dumb. A mortal falling in love with a vampire? Seriously? Um, yeah - seriously. It's a great series and a great love story. I read all four books in a period of a few weeks, which means I read around to 2,000 pages in a very short time span, which means I have not been all that productive these last few weeks. But it was worth getting lost in that story. While the books can't be compared in any way shape or form to my two top books of all time (Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre) Meyer's writing is compelling and the story endearing. So, if you're looking for a good read, I urge you to give this series a try. Just know that you will be tired for several weeks because the books are hard to put down!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Freedom of Choice Act

*update: It was asked of me in the comments whether or not there was something we could do to fight FOCA. I don't know and would love to hear myself if any of you have information. From what I understood, this was going to be signed as an executive order, which means there is nothing we can do about it. And it doesn't seem that there is much time to act, but I urge you all to not remain silent. If President Obama truly plans to "hear our voices" then let's let him hear us. Visit the Fight Foca website for more information.
Bear with me, readers. This blog is not intended to be a political platform. I will get back to the light-hearted and fun stories that generally comprise my blog soon. But today, I must continue my political discourse just a little longer.

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Today, thousands of Americans will peacably march through D.C. in the Walk for Life. How I wish I could be one of them. I am deeply pained this morning to realize that Obama's Freedom of Choice Act is upon us. It is only a matter of time before he officially signs it and thereby erases everything that Bush did to protect the unborn for the last eight years. This is a tragedy.

As I said a couple of days ago, I will respect President Obama as my leader. I cannot, however, sit idly by without voicing my concern over this policy because I believe with every fiber of my being that this is wrong. How many of us understand just what the Freedom of Choice Act means? I didn't until I sat down and did a little reading.

Here is Wikipedia's definition: "The Freedom of Choice Act (H.R. 1964/S. 1173) is a bill in the 110th United States Congress which "declares that it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; or terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.
Prohibits a federal, state, or local governmental entity from denying or interfering with a woman's right to exercise such choices; or discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information. Provides that such prohibition shall apply retroactively.
Authorizes an individual aggrieved by a violation of this Act to obtain appropriate relief, including relief against a governmental entity, in a civil action."[1]"

Do we fully understand the ramifications of this bill? I'm not so naive to believe that a staggering number of abortions were performed year of year even without FOCA. But how many more will take place now? How many more innocent children have to die because we can't agree on "fetal viability?"

But it's not only the increase in abortions that has me concerned. It is the gross decrease in regulation. What happens now to the 14/15/16 year old who gets pregnant and decides to abort? She no longer has to have the consent of a parent. She can terminate the pregnancy without anyone ever knowing. There is no protection for her emotional health, and even for her physical health as the safety and qualifications of those who provide abortion services will no longer be under required regulation. So what is the cost to this young girl or to any woman for that matter, who makes an emotional decision of this magnitude? How many girls and women will have to deal with the intense and harsh emotional pain that follows them for the rest of their lives? What is FOCA going to do for them?

Americans United for Life (AUL) Vice President and legal director Denise Burke conclude's her analysis of FOCA like this: "Clearly FOCA will not make abortion safe or rare – on the contrary, it will actively promote abortion and do nothing to ensure its safety – so, abortion advocates’ unrelenting campaign to enact FOCA is a “wake-up call” to all Americans. If implemented, FOCA would invalidate common-sense, protective laws that the majority of Americans support. It will not protect or empower women. Instead, it would protect and promote the abortion industry, sacrifice women and their health to a radical political ideology, and silence the voices of everyday Americans who want to engage in a meaningful public discussion over the availability, safety, and even desirability of abortion."

You can read the entire analysis here.

Abortion is a hot button issue and I am knowingly putting myself out there in writing this, but my heart grieves today as I weigh this ramifications of FOCA. What about those of us who so desperately do not agree with this policy? What about our right to choose? It's been stripped from us because soon, our tax dollars will be spent on funding that which we morally oppose. And our hands are tied. But, we do not have to accept it silently. Please, think hard about FOCA and what this means for the whole of our society. Think deeply about what it means to have an administration that says they are not going to rule us then immediately takes the the power away from the people. And pray for the women who are going to be affected by this Act. Think of the hundreds of thousands of children that are going to be killed every year - some of them brutally and barbarically through partial birth abortions. Have we really come to this as a society? Is this evolving? I will say it again, folks, this is wrong.

Many of you reading this today will agree with me and I urge you not to take this silently. But more than that, pray. Pray for our nation. Pray for the women who have difficult decisions to make. Pray. Some of you who read this will disagree with me. I understand and respect your right to disagree and I welcome your comments, but ask that you do so respectfully. And I promise I will lighten the mood next post!