Friday, December 26, 2008


I almost lost my Mom. I love her, but she drives me crazy most of the time. You don't realize how much someone really means to you until you almost lose them. You also don't really understand how it feels until it almost happens to you. She had a heart attack this morning, actually, it started a couple days ago, but she didn't tell anyone. Finally today the pain was unbearable and she went to the Emergency Room. Before an hour was over, she had a stint put in place and was admitted upstairs. She will stay at Rochester General until Monday so they can watch her closely. When we left her tonight she was tired, but looked good. She has many lifestyle changes to make, but maybe this is the wakeup call she needed. It's scary, heart problems run in our family. I've had 3 uncles with triple bypass, and my Aunt just had this same angioplasty performed in September. The hard part is that my Mom is only 50 and seems so young to have this problem. I am grateful she's doing better, but I'm still worried about her. She has a great husband now to take care of her, so hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight knowing she's taken care of. Makes you think...on the way home Mike and I stopped quickly to pick up some healthy snacks and have a renewed motivation to get healthier. It was nice to see all of my siblings rally around Mom today. I hope she feels loved, because she is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

We took the kids to see Santa on Monday evening. They were so excited. I used my awesome software to make this little card. We wish you and all of your family a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The First Christmas

Brooke's preschool class had a play yesterday of the First Christmas. Brooke followed in Seth's footsteps as the Innkeeper. Here are a couple pictures.

Brooke in her costume

Twinkle, Twinkle God's Bright Star

Brooke's speaking part "There's no room in here, go live in the stable."

Brooke had some special spectators Nana and Fuzzy G and Bama Simmons

We didn't get a picture but Mommy, Daddy, and Tyler were there too. We took this picture when we got home by the Christmas Tree.

I have a video of the performance, but I think it might be too long to put on here, and I have to pull it off the video camera. We'll see how that goes, I make no promises.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Did I ever tell you?

That I LOVE stand up comedians? This video came to me in an email. I think it's hilarious! enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have you ever?...

heard something about yourself so many times that you start to believe it? Or decide to start living up to everyone's expectations? It's an interesting place to be.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Any Sound

This is one of my favorite bands. They are local, from Rochester and AWESOME! I'm really looking forward to going out and seeing them live again. It's been a while. Enjoy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Seriously, So Blessed Giveaway!

Check this out and you could totally win some way cool stuff to make you toe-tallie righteous and HOT!


Decorating for Christmas...Take 1, Take 2, and Take 3

Every year I intend to decorate the day after Thanksgiving, it doesn't happen. One of these years it will, I hope. So we've been trying to get the decorations up as early as possible so we can take them down right after Christmas because Tyler's b-day is so close and I want his b-day to be separate from Christmas so he doesn't feel jipped.
Take 1
So Monday, Dec 8th we decided to start decorating. The problem was the kids were really not behaving too well, so we stopped. We got the tree up and the stockings. If you look closely at the picture you can see 3 stockings for mom and 3 stockings for dad. Mike put them all up and said that the kids could earn their way up to the stockings wall. I think it's hilarious...hey if you can't torture your kids once in a while, then what's the point?

Tyler was LOVING the tree! He thought it was great! He was standing there watching the star blink, and he kept looking at the lights. He's so cute.

Take 2
All week I was telling the kids, get your stuff done and we can decorate. They really don't like to listen to me, even when it will result in something fun. So in my desire to get things decorated, I just went ahead and let us do it last night. The kids loved it! These are the cutest Santas I've ever seen. (Our Santa hats seem to be too big, or too small. I feel like Goldi-elf and 4 Santas.)

Since the tree was already up, we just had to put the ornaments on. It's a tradition of mine to get the kids an ornament. I try to get one that corresponds with what they are up to that year. We also have the ornaments the kids make at school and a couple I've had since I was a little girl. The one with my name on it is from my head start program (like preschool) and the dog ornament is from Paula in 4th grade. Her mom made them for everyone in our class. (Why do I remember these things?)

A couple years ago the Antczaks came over for Christmas Eve and brought some treats and a little gift for me. Brooke thought it was an ended up on the tree. (See the reindeer pot holder?)

Lynette and Dan sent us a package for Christmas and it came yesterday. They told us to open it early since it might not survive under the tree until Christmas morning. Here are the goodies we found inside...

Take 3
So as you can see in some of the pictures, Tyler REALLY loves to touch the tree. Before we even made it to bed last night this is what happened...

Yes, that's a santa hat, a tree skirt and just about every ornament at short man level. He had them in the basket you see there and was carrying them around the house. So take 3 was this morning when Mike put the tree on an end table and McKee helped me redecorate the tree with all of the ornaments from the floor.

Tyler isn't up yet, so we'll see how it goes when the tree is up high. I'm just hoping that he doesn't pull the tree on top of himself. Wish us luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yesterday was a GREAT Day!

We really had a great time yesterday, December 5th. The kids had off from school for parent/teacher conferences so it was nice and relaxed. We started our day with really fun movie "Enchanted." We watched it last year at the Theater on the Ridge Kodak movie theater as part of a special showing for employees only and Mike was able to score us tickets. It was so much fun and the kids loved it. I got it out from the library to enjoy again. They loved it again. (I love it too! The songs are really catchy!) After the movie the kids and I did our chores and cleaned up the front room and organized so we can set up our Christmas tree and decorate for the season. They are all so excited to get that going. I always intend to have it done the day after Thanksgiving, but I never do it. One of these years...anyway...I managed to get our star on the front window made out of a strand of white lights. The rest will hopefully be done today when McKee gets home from Damon's.

Another fun part of yesterday was Tyler's 23 month birthday! We sang a song to him at the breakfast table and he was grinning from ear to ear! When we tell Tyler to smile this is what he does...(that boy cracks me up.)

"Happy 23 month Birthday to you,
Happy 23 month Birthday to you,
Happy 23 month Birthday dear Tyler,
Happy 23 month Birthday to you."

At 23 months Tyler is 27 lbs, 33 1/2 inches tall, and the cutest little boy ever (I know I say that about all my kids, but I really mean it for each of them.) Tyler has a sense of humor that makes me laugh, and is all boy. He thinks it's hilarious of someone toots, and if he's talking and a burp comes out, that's one of the funniest things that could ever happen. He Loves McKee and Seth and copies just about everything they do, especially at the dinner table. He has discovered shooting and the sounds that go along with it. He was playing with a little squirt gun and "shooting" squirrels out the front window a couple days ago. He loves to fold his arms reverently and say prayers with us as a family. He loves to sing songs, his favorites are Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Once there was a Snowman, and anything crazy that I might make up at the moment (I'll refer you back up to my Happy Birthday song). His vocal words are Mom, Mama, Dad, Dada, light, book, more, baba, no, mine, baby, bean, bell, ding, bike, hop, ball, me (there might be more, but I can't remember at the moment. He signs more, milk, please, and fish. Animal sounds, moo, baa, neigh, doodoo doo (cockadoodle doo), hop hop, (ribbit) ibit, oink, and will repeat just about any other sound I ask him to. He will also race the other kids to do something I might have asked them to do, for example, "Seth will you turn off the radio." Tyler "me, me" and he'll run and do it. Speaking of running, if you need to put his coat or shoes on or change his diaper, he runs the other way. One of the more annoying parts of the toddler stage, the big chase.

The other fun thing about yesterday was going to the Theater on the Ridge again (see above about last year) and watching the movie Bolt with the kids.

It was a really cute movie, the opening scene was a little scary, but once we were into it, it made sense. We had a blast. We sat on the 3rd floor up in the Balcony.
Brooke and McKee were a little funny about sitting up there, but once we were in the seats they didn't seem to mind so much. Tyler did pretty well sitting in the seat for about the first hour and then he got antsy, but everyone else sat fairly well. A couple fun facts...the gentlemen in front of us at the movie was a little germ-a-phobic. Tyler has a little cough, and TWICE last night he coughed and the guy in front of us pulled his shirt up over his nose and mouth and left it there for at least 2 minutes. The other crazy people were the couple who sat right in front of us with their teen aged kids, they saw that we had 4 children lined up along the row, and then decided to give us dirty looks when Tyler accidentally pulled her hair, and the funniest was seeing them plug their noses because Tyler decided to poop part way into the beginning of the movie, and oh boy did it smell bad. I think after some musical chairs Brooke ended up behind the woman and she may have kicked the back of her chair too. Hey, if you come to a children's movie, you have to expect that there are children there and then be patient with the ones that you sit in front of. That's my rant for the day. (Mike took Tyler out and changed him by the way, so we weren't sitting there with his stench.)

One more AWESOME part of yesterday. Gas fell below $2.00/gallon at the station near our house! $1.97!!!!!!!We stopped to fill up last night and it cost us $30.66. I didn't think I would see the day that we were below $2.00 again!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Look at the time this was posted!

So, last night ended a few minutes after 10pm, with Crystal and I once again trying to explain to McKee why he is punished for his choices, and how it is his choices that make him punished. Sure, he's smart enough to realize that at some point Crystal and I made the choice to punish him, but we explained how that will not change, so now only his behavior can change to keep him from punishments.

Then, we left him at 10-O-something-pm with directions to clean his room and a "have a good night, I'll see you at 4am" from me. See, I've been getting up early to go to work and thought that since today is another one of the Greece Central School Districts made up free days off for kids, that it would be ok to get him up at 4am and start him on his chores....did I say chores? Make that chore. Yes, singular (like me, throughout most of my high school and college years) chore. See, if he actually did the dishes, I'd probably give him a stay of execution (someone look that up and see if i'm using it correctly) and not have him worry about the other (yes, singular again) chore....well, maybe 2 other chores since the kids have 2 per day, but dishes are on McKee's "do 'em till you learn 'em" list.

....back to the story. So, at 4am, my trusty (not rusty) LG (Life's Good) cell phone starts up singing Morrissey (even if he's gay and celibate, the man can write and shut up you anti-Morrissites......I bet you even hate the dentists....) and I hit snooze....twice. Sure, sure, sure, I'm so anti snooze that I'm one step from hitting the Washington DC scene to lobby against the snooze buttons existence, but, lately, I've been enjoying it as a guilty pleasure (if only I remembered that for yesterday's quiz.) Well, after I hit snooze the second time (man, I need professional help), I hear a 11 year old boy walking into my room type noise. It's McKee......awake, on his 2 feet, and walking. He was complaining of a bad dream (how do we replicate that every school morning at 6am to get him up this easy for his mom) but he was up. So, I got dressed and down stairs we went.

He didn't (and hasn't yet) whined a single bit (Sorry Crystal). Then, he proceeds to pull 2 bowls (I just wrote "bowels" but realized that was wrong) from the dishwasher and sat down wanting breakfast. Hey, that's freaking progress. So, Peaches & Cream oatmeal it was. He's sitting there, eating it....and now I have a few minutes before I have to fire up Old Betsy and drive to work. He'll be left here, at 4:41 1/2am with instructions to get the dishes done. Wish him luck!

Last night he took close to 3 hours to start (yeah, not finish, just start) the dishes. Here's hoping 4:30am is an easier time to get them done.

I'm off to work.....when you slackers wake up in a few hours I expect some comments!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I wasn't tagged: by MIKE

I don't like these things, but thought I'd give one a try (I'm stuck on the first question and can't answer it)

Favorite Person (outside of family)?
: Mr. Steelhead

Favorite Food? Cheeseburgers!

Quirks about you? Sometimes I do a full body twitch without control, does that count?

Any regrets in life? Not saving every penny I ever made (except for those pennies spent on fishing and family)

My favorite Charity/Cause? Like Crystal, I really only donate to my church, but soon hope to be a more active supporter by volunteering for Project Healing Waters (you know you want to click it)

Favorite Blog recently? Moldy Chum (yo momma says "don't click it!")

Something you can't get enough of? Didn't I already answer "cheeseburgers?" this test is redunditative!

Worst job you've ever had? Well, besides sewing Kathy Lee Gifford brand underwear in a tiny, 100 degree room, with 100 of my closest friends, I'd have to say selling coupon books door to door.

What job would you pay not to have? Crystal's answer was "house cleaner", mine is....midwife to a moose.

Guilty Pleasure? cold, cold (did I mention "cold") drinks.

Got any confessions? I confess that Crystal's confession is SO true! Besides that, I want to........

If you had $1000 dollars to spend on yourself how would you spend it? I'd buy myself all the stuff I already have, but haven't paid VISA back for!

Favorite thing about your house? I like it

Least favorite thing about your house? It's never big enough, or the right color (from what I hear) :-)

One thing you are bad at? Not being perfect and (can i have 2?) picking one thing I am bad at.

One thing you are good at? Picking my nose without getting caught. Think about it, you've never seen it happen, have you? (if by chance you have, please don't use the public comment section, but privately contact me about your experience and we'll see if we can't get it published in the National Geographic....or Reader's Digest "Life in America" or something like that)

If you could change one thing about your circumstances, what would it be? I'd have actual savings in my savings account, and a job that doesn't give me the opportunity every month to wonder if I'm going to be employed when the month ends.

Who would you like to meet someday? My father in law, President Bush (current one) (sure, say what you want about him, but when I see him, he seems sincere and like he's really an honest and decent person.)

What makes you feel sexy? Sex... flat out, bang it out SEX!

Who is your real life hero? You

What is the hardest part of your job? Trying to not get caught typing ridiculous things on my wife's blog.

When are you most relaxed? when I'm knee deep in the creek.

What can you not live without? food, water, shelter, and clothing, but there's plenty of other things that make those more enjoyable.

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? I've always held true to my belief that anyone who takes narcissists or any other type of drugs are people who need professional help, and therefore, since I don't take drugs or narcissists, no, i don't think blogs are authored only by them.

Why do you blog? because Crystal hasn't blocked me yet.

I was tagged...

Favorite Person (outside of family)? : Rachel

Favorite Food? Tomatoes

Quirks about you? The list of my anti-quirks would be shorter

Any regrets in life? Not going with my mom when I was 6yrs old. as soon as she left, I felt so sad for making her sad.

My favorite Charity/Cause? I donate through my church, but anything that helps children is big.

Favorite Blog recently? Summertime designs (free digital scrapbooking kits, and heartwarming stories)

Something you can't get enough of? time alone with Mike

Worst job you've ever had? I've enjoyed my jobs, I've learned something at each one...worst people at a job?...that's another story

What job would you pay not to have? house cleaner

Guilty Pleasure? chocolate, hoarding scrapbook paper, digital or actual.

Got any confessions? I don't think all babies are cute. I still love them all, but some are funny looking. (sorry)

If you had $1000 dollars to spend on yourself how would you spend it? I would fly to Colorado to visit my dad.

Favorite thing about your house? my family lives here with me.

Least favorite thing about your house? my family lives here with me.

One thing you are bad at? telling people no.

One thing you are good at? crafts

If you could change one thing about your circumstances, what would it be? we would have enough money that Mike wouldn't have to work so hard and stress about it.

Who would you like to meet someday? My Dad, Grandma, Aunt/Cousins, Mary Kay Ash, Mike's Grandpa

What makes you feel sexy? I'm always sexy...(ok, ok...stop laughing...when Mike comes up behind me and hugs me from behind)

Who is your real life hero? I don't have a hero...wait..maybe Katherine. She deals with so much with Claire, and does it with class and love...she's awesome.

What is the hardest part of your job? dealing with whining, The realization that all parents are just faking it, and we don't really know what we're doing. But making it look good, that's the real challenge.

When are you most relaxed? fishing a popper on a quiet pond next to Mike.

What can you not live without? Mike and the kids.

Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? what?

Why do you blog? share pictures with far away family and friends. and as an outlet.

Who do you tag? Janet, MaryAnn

Tuesdays with Morey...

Wait, I've never read that book. This post is Mornings with McKee. We really enjoy ourselves at 6am in my house. Here's a little bit of the action.

After I walked away from the table McKee decided to play with a marble that he found this morning and make it into a rocket ship. So it's blasting around the table as his cheerios get soggy and then eventually thrown away in the sink. I lead a glamorous life! All I can do is wish a kid just like him on him. But that wouldn't be fair to his wife, since she's the one who has to deal with the kids more...I'll have to plot my revenge in a different way...(Wait, was that out loud?)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blessings in the middle of a crazy day.

Today has been crazy, annoying, busy, and tiresome...and it's only 10:17am. But I am not here to complain. In the middle of the craziness my mind bounced back to last night and it brought a smile to my face. Tyler was put to bed at 7:30 with the rest of the kids like always. I went in to check on him and cover him up, like I always do, at about 9:15 or so and I woke him up. He was happy to see me and to see Mike out in the hallway. It was very sweet, he was all smiles and cuddled up with his blankie. After I said my last little "I love you" I walked out and mostly closed the door and I heard some beautiful singing. He must have been singing for about 8 or 10 minutes. It was so cute. I ran downstairs and grabbed the camera. It was dark, so the video isn't much of anythingto watch, but you can hear him. Enjoy! (It's kind of long with some quiet in between, but it's so cute.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Brooke Simmons 4 1/2 years old...

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day. Please bless everyone to have a good Thanksgiving, and all of the kids so they can be fun and playing. Please bless thE food. And Please bless Daddy and McKee that they can get home safely. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shhh...Twiglight SPOILER!!!

OK, Crystal's off for the night and in a few hours will be propping up her eyelids with toothpicks so she can try to stay awake and watch Twiglight. Well, what some of you might not know is that I'm in the movie biz. Now, hear me out before you laugh to hard. It's true, I'm in "the biz." I might not always say things that are the truth, but that statement is 100% dyed in the wool (what the freak does that really mean) TRUE!!! I'm in "the biz." Has it sunk in yet? Need another minute or two? Ok, you got 2 minutes while I get Tyler out of his high chair and get him some milk.

....Ok, that was only a minute, but you all are mature enough to get over it in a minute or less., let's continue.

Crystal is gone, yadda yadda yadda ("I mentioned the bisque!"), and I'm in the movie biz. See, I support the Kodak Digital Cinema equipment which means I know a bit about movies and stuff....and I even get a bit of insider a pre-release copy of Twiglight. See, if our equipment fails to show, and we don't know until the theater is packed with thousands of....vampires....then we don't look good. So, they often send us out movies to test so we don't look like idiots come 12:01am on any given day.

So, now that she's gone I can FINALLY tell my faithful readers about the show.

It's far as teenage vampires go. Edward goes about doing his vampire duties and falls in love with Ariel. They go off to college where he majors in......what else but.....phlebotomy. She stays home and has 2.5 vampmaids (did you get that? a combination of vampire and mermaid....see, Ariel is a mermaid....WHY do I have to explain these things to you people?)....or is it merpires.

The plot thickens as Edward gets prostate cancer. Early diagnosis shows that there is hope, but one day while out vamping around town, sucks on a pig that was fed corn that was fertilized by a mad cow, and before Edward can go see the doc, he turns into......a flying pig.

When Edward returns home, he tries to explain to Ariel what happened, but all he can get out is "oink oink, i vant to suck your blooood." Well, Ariel not knowing what to do, and being rightfully scared, swims back to Atlantis and get's George Clooney (stupid Hollywood throwing in famous people just to up their sales) who comes out of the water (yes, the Cloonmeister is a malemaid....a dudemaid.....and manmaid......I don't remember). Well, the Clooninator swims up to the land and upon seeing Ed-pig-O he realizes he is hungry and missed breakfast. (go ahead, gasp a big one, because you know what's coming.....) So, the Cloontastic Cloonster busts out a wooden knife (see, vampires need to be stabbed with a wooden stake (hmmm...steak sounds good right now)) and does a number on old Pigward, and next thing you know.......mmmmm.....bacon!!!!

Needless to say, I REALLY hope their will be a international sequel, because I've really got a hankering (there's another strange word) for some Canadian Bacon!!!

(for all of you real Twiglight fans out there, I warned you that this was a knew better than to read got what you deserved.... a wasted 3 minutes of your life!!!)

.....I mentioned the bisque!

I have to interrupt this Fantasy Land to Brag a Little

McKee brought home his report card yesterday. I am so proud! He did an awesome job! His GPA is 3.765 that's high honor roll! He has done such a great job. He's finally adjusting to the huge change on middle school, and even though we fight with him to help him concentrate and remember to bring home his stuff, he's learning and is doing awesome! Great Job McKee, I'm so proud of you!


So tonights the big night! My best friend Rachel's birthday was in October and as a gift to her I promised to take her to see Twilight as soon as it came out. So we discussed what time would be best and we decided tonight. We are actually having a nice girls night out, which I never really do, so I'm really looking forward to it! We'll start off the evening with some Close to My Heart stamping fun from 6-8pm (we are in a group that meets once a month for 6 months and gets to make some really cool stuff.) Then we will head out for something yummy to eat, I'm not sure where yet. Finally, we will end up at Greece Regal Cinema at the mall for the 12:01am showing of Twilight. I purchased the tickets on line so we're all set and ready to go! I will post more tomorrow with pictures, of course I'm bringing my camera! I may not really be awake tomorrow, but it's worth it. The book is set at a high school age, and we're acting like high school fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sick Sense of Humor

But not inappropriate. I follow this blog that I think is hilarious, and has yummy recipes. I was just reading a post about her adventures with her daughter. Totally worth the 5 minutes you'll spend reading it! enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First "Real" Snowfall of the Year

Our Beautiful Maple Tree in the front yard.

This rose bush amazes me because it seems to bloom forever.

When I got home from Brooke's dance lesson last night the ground was covered in a light dusting of snow. It was beautiful. I LOVE the change of seasons and winter is no exception. My motto is if the leaves are off the trees, then it's time for some snow. The kids have also been dying to go outside and play in the snow. I'm looking forward to taking these guys sledding. Tyler is so cute, he was watching out the window saying "sow" and sometimes "snuh" (we're working on learning words)

My pretty purple mums.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"I don't want the funny nose"

Brooke had a dentist appointment yesterday to fill a tiny hole they found in one of her baby teeth back in September. I already had to reschedule her appointment once because it fell on the same day as her field trip for preschool, so the date was re-set, November 12th at 11:45am. So Yesterday morning I explained to her about how I was going to pick her up from school early and then we would drop off Hailey (I drive a little girl to preschool on Monday and Wednesday) and then we would go to see Dr. Dan and he was going to fix her tooth. I also explained that she couldn't have a snack at school because they were going to put a funny nose on her to help her be brave and the air might make her tummy sick. She seemed ok with it, and I told her teachers no snack for her, so they made her the special helper so she would be distracted. Brooke was fine, didn't flinch at all at school about the snack. Well, we get into the van and are on the way to drop off Hailey and I hear Brooke starting to cry in the back of the van. When I asked her what was wrong she said "I don't want the funny nose" She cried until we dropped off Hailey, and then I gave her a hug and started driving again. She cried the whole way to the dentist, which is about a 20 minute ride. I managed to get it out of her that she wasn't scared of the dentist, (she never has been before) but she was sad that she had to wear the funny nose because it meant that she couldn't have a snack and it was goldfish. I was trying not to laugh because even though she was crying, she was being so cute about it. So I promised her I would stop at Super Wal-Mart on the way home and get some goldfish crackers. (We go right past it on the way to and from the dentist.) I also told her that I would take a picture of her on my phone with the funny nose so she could see what she looked like. I forgot to bring my camera, I hate when I do that.

She did a great job. She got to sit in the chair and watch a Care Bears movie and they are so good with the kids here. They explain what each tool is and let her touch them and feel them so it's not scary. At one point Dr. Dan said "I see your big brown eyes peaking at me from under there" and Brooke thought that was so funny. After they finished drilling and filling, oh yeah, they didn't use any novacaine because it was a shallow cavity and with the gas, she didn't really need it, they turned on pure oxygen through the nose to restore her normal levels. She was able to pick a prize from the "special" prizes, and then we were done! She did a great job. The prize she picked was a princess duck to use in the bathtub. She's so cute and so girly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Please help me...

I posted the following on a forum I belong to, and I thought maybe I would post it here also.

I am struggling with how to deal with my 11-year-old son. He's whiny and disrespectful and lazy. I need to take care of this now before he really hits the teen years. I have never let him get away with behavior like this, so I'm not sure what makes him think he can get away with it now. He's my oldest, I have 4 kids, the others are 6, 4, and 22 months. My kids have a chore chart and they have just 2 things to do each day, simple things like pick up the toys, pick up the books, clear/set the table, load the dishwasher, nothing too crazy, and totally appropriate for them to learn some responsibility. I am the oldest of 6 kids and had to do way more work than that when I was younger, the difference is I did it without complaining. McKee, my oldest, thinks he should whine and complain and argue with me every step of the way. He has ADD and has been on meds for a couple years now, but the behaviors I'm seeing are not related to the symptoms he was having that finally helped me decide to medicate him. I've decided that maybe tough love is the way to go so he can appreciate his 2 little daily chores. He has been complaining about loading the dishwasher. He's being ridiculous, (here's the part where I act like an old lady and walked to school uphill both ways wearing a skirt...) when I was a kid, there were 8 of us and we didn't have a dishwasher. I had to hand wash each dish and dry them and put them away, on top of everything else I had to do. So McKee in throwing his fit 2 weeks ago slammed one of my juice pitchers repeatedly into the dishwasher because it wouldn't fit and snapped the pitcher. His punishment? This is where I get really mean, but hey, I'm desperate here...14 days of hand washing the dishes EVERY DAY. He need to learn how to do the dishes anyway, but if he can't appreciate how easy it is to just load the dishwasher and turn it on, then he can see how it is to really have to wash them. So it's been 2 weeks, and last night was the first night that he's completed the dishes. THE FIRST NIGHT. The other nights after about 9:30pm, which is way past his bedtime, we've sent him upstairs with the understanding that he does not get credit for that day because it's not complete.

The other issue we've had is him fighting with the littler kids. That drives me nuts too, because some reason he thinks that they are out to get him. So when I caught him just over a week ago swinging at his 6 year old brother because he touched his bear, I just about lost it. So in order to learn to love his brothers and sister he is serving them. So for 14 days he has to do their chores also. Again, I know I sound really mean, but I feel like I've tried everything with him and I don't know what to do to break this lazy habit. The whining has to stop, I have little patience for that from an 11-year-old boy.

We've also started waking him up at 5:30 am instead of 6 so he can take a shower. He was showering previously in the evenings every other day, or every couple days. He's not really sweating yet, so it's not a huge deal. BUT, when he went over a week with no shower and then whined and complained about it when he had to take one, it was on. I told him from now on (probably for a week at least) I will be waking him up at 5:30 am so he can have enough time to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then make it to the bus stop without running and almost missing the bus.

His new trick is to complain and complain until we finally tell him to cut it out, and then he'll say "if this is torture for you then why don't you just unground me?" He's pretty smart to try to torture us into giving up, I have to give him credit for that, but I'm not going to break. He has to learn how to behave, and he has to learn how to do these chores properly and not waste his whole day doing it. He's really torturing himself. With a full sink of dishes and the other 8 daily chores, he should take about an hour tops.

Can you tell I'm getting desperate? I'm fragile right now so please be kind to me! I just need to know if anyone has anything that has worked for them. Have you had any of these problems before?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tyler the Great!

Tyler has had a food allergy (actually 3 food allergies, milk, eggs, and soy) since he was a new little baby. We found out about his allergy when he was just 10 months old...October 9, 2007. I went off to a Mary Kay meeting, and up until this day had nursed Tyler with no problems, but since I was gone I left some formula for Mike to give to Tyler. I got a phone call from Mike saying that Tyler was throwing up and had red hives all over his face. This is the picture I saw when I got home.

So the next day we called the pediatrician and they wanted us to bring Tyler in to the office. They looked him over and then sent us for a blood test to check him for allergies. The blood test came back negative for milk and soy, and positive for eggs. I thought that was really wierd because the formula had no eggs in it, but it did have milk and soy. So they sent us to Dr. Valet, a pediatric allergist to figure things out. I think we were able to get in there within just a couple weeks of calling. We hiked out to Brockport (he has a closer office, but they had the first opening) and he looked over poor Tyler. They decided to do a skin test. The results of the first blood test were tainted because it was done too soon after a reaction and the results were false. So we scheduled the skin test in his Greece office and waited for the day to find out what the deal was. I thought I took a picture of the skin test, but I can't find it anywhere. His reaction was pretty bad. So Tyler has been off the milk, eggs, and soy and anything containing any of those for a year now. I took him in again this last Monday, NOV 3rd, to be retested, since it has been a year. Here is a photo of his back...after 20 minutes...

#1 was his skin to compare
#2 a histamine (to see a normal reaction)
#3 milk
#4 eggs
#5 soy

So you can see that there was NO reaction to the milk and soy. YEAH! So I had to take Tyler in for a blood test to confirm the results of the skin test. I put off the test for a week, partly because it was a crazy week, and partly because I feel so bad having them poke him. So yesterday morning after I dropped Brooke off at school I finally got up the courage to take him to the blood lab. He sat on my lap and watched the nurse put the needle in his arm, looked at her, looked at his arm and just watched. He didn't flinch, cry, make a peep, nothing. He did AWESOME! I'm so proud of him! I gave him a lollipop when he was done and got a sticker and walked out of there like the biggest boy ever. Here he is showing me his bandage on his arm.

He was telling Brooke "arm" and "poke" showing her the bandage. It was really cute. So now, we just wait. It should be about a week before we hear back from the Dr. with the results. The next step will be a challenge in the office. They will give him some milk and we have to sit and wait to see if there is a reaction. If there isn't, then he's free and clear!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Some random thoughts on the election...

I am posting this here mainly for me, so the next time an election comes around I can remember my thoughts and feelings about what just went down.

1. no matter who the candidate is, they cannot live up to their promises. no one really knows what the president is facing every day, and I'm sure that he makes decisions we don't like because of the information that he has that we don't. i don't want to know those details either. I'm sure it's a matter of security. i wish that just once a real person would come out and make this seemingly obvious statement to America so they can realize not to count 100% of what these guys tell us.

2. No matter who wins/won we are still all Americans. that said, even if we don't like who won, we who participated in the vote can be proud that we did, and then be grown up enough to try to support our country. how bad does it look to the rest of the world when we are supposed to be a "world superpower" and we spend most of our time and effort and money on fighting the person we just picked to be in charge? way to go unity and strength in numbers. if we are to be a successful nation we need to try to support our president as much as we can, and then go through the proper channels to override his choices when they are really out of control. that's one of the blessings of the democratic system in which we live.

3. i am sick of the stupid campaign ads. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. sticks and stones...

4. i reserve the right to add to this list my other thoughts that i should have written down days ago and can't remember at the moment! :) (it's not even 7am yet, and I've been up since 5:30, my brain is not quite the superpower i would hope for)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

There is a fine line...

Please forgive me a rant for a couple of minutes. I have 2 issues right at this moment that are bugging me.

1. I love blogging. I think it's great, it gives me an outlet and a way to journal the goings-on of my family in a quick and easy way. It also allows me to connect with out of town family, or distant relatives that I may not have known otherwise. So what is the issue? I feel like I am losing the closeness of friends. I'm finding that I am not really having any of those good old fashioned long phone convos about nothing and everything. It's easier to take a quick minute and check some one's blog or myspace page and see what they're up to, and then you feel like you've touched base with them. I think people are becoming afraid of talking on the phone. Are we worried that maybe someone will find out from the tone of our voice or the words we say, that are not as easily edited, that something is wrong, or all is not right in paradise?

2. ADHD and behavioral issues. What do you do with an 11-year-old boy who you are ready to strangle? It took me years to decided for sure that he had ADD and was in need of medication. He is on the meds now, and has been for a while, and they work wonders for him. His 5 week progress report was mostly A's and a few B+'s. He did awesome. So my problem with him is that he is so smart and can act so stupid. I AM NOT CALLING HIM STUPID, PLEASE DON'T THINK THAT, BECAUSE I DON'T. I'm just saying that his behavior is out of control sometimes. Especially in the morning. This morning was an hour long battle that ended with me so upset I was ready to move to Alaska (maybe Sarah Palin will take me shopping and her husband can take me fly-fishing) and Mike coming home from work to deal with McKee. He is 11. He is old enough to know that whining and yelling at his mother is unacceptable behavior. He is old enough to know that we take showers to get clean, and the only way to get the soap off is to rinse it under the water. I mean really, come on. I'm so fed up. And then the worst part is I try to tell Damon, (his dad) and he is so oblivious and thinks I'm overreacting because he doesn't see the same behaviors I do. Well, it might be because he only sees him on the weekend and one weeknight, and it's during his less structured time. And, who really whines at their friends? Damon treats him like a friend. So anyway, what do you do with a child to reinforce appropriate behavior and make him realize that I don't want to be up waking up a whiny, lazy (his new favorite phrase is "I don't want to have to do anything") when he knows better.

Thanks for any advice. I may not take it, but please feel free to help me. I am also taking donations for a vacation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I think we could all use a laugh today after the crazy 2 years we've spent hoping for the best and listening to candidates and trying to make a difference. So...please enjoy this little blast from the past. I'm sure you've seen it before, but I love it. God Bless America...please.

Friday, October 31, 2008


From all of our ghosts and ghouls to yours...

we wish you a safe, fun, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Last night Mike and I were watching tv and there was a commercial on for the TWILIGHT movie! I'm so excited! I can't wait for it to be released. I've seen the trailers on the internet, but this was the first on tv. Woo Hoo! I can't wait!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I love funny signs...

I took McKee to the urologist today to check out his "man problems" as Mike puts it. While McKee and I were waiting for the elevator we looked down the hall and spotted this sign.I It would be hard for you to convince me that it was a coincidence!
On a more serious note...McKee has vericocele. Here is the simpleist explanation that I found. "Variceles do not generally clot and even if they do it's nothing dangerous. They also do not affect testosterone levels. But they may affect fertility. The exact reason isn't certain since usually it's only the left testicle that is affected. Varicoceles are caused by a failure of a small valve where the vein from the testicle (very low pressure) joins the left renal vein (moderate pressure). Without a valve there, some of the blood flow from the renal vein would tend to go into the testicle instead of where it's supposed to. This is what happens when the valve fails and that causes a backup and dilation of the veins in the testicle that we call a varicocele.

If there is no history of infertility and if the varicocele is not bothersome or actively enlarging, we don't usually treat it. Treatment is surgery. You may talk to your urologist about having a semen analysis to see if it's abnormal if that will affect your decision."

So being the concerned, paranoid mother that I am, I am convinced that McKee will not be able to have children and will have a hard time finding a wife that will want to marry him if he can't. Mike thinks I'm crazy, and I might agree a little bit...don't tell him that...and we shouldn't worry about it until he's an adult and we'll see what happens. I don't know that I will post any updates on the situation due to the nature of it, but I know that most who read this blog love McKee and maybe would pray for him.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Big Boy?

Tyler found the little pacifier that he had when he was a baby. It's been a very long time since he used it, I think he was only months old...maybe 4 mos...the last time he had it in his mouth. Well he saw it on the desk, pointed to his mouth, said baby and picked it up, walked away and when he came back this is what I saw...
(notice Brooke's sparkley headband that has become his new necklace?)
A little bit later he came back into the kitchen and this is how he looked. So cute with the sunglasses and so much like a baby still. I cut his hair this morning and he was looking so old, so maybe he's showing me he's still my baby with the pacifier!
He's still walking around the house with it in his mouth, Brooke is playing with him calling him baby and when I tried to pull it out of his mouth, he had his teeth clenched around it. He's not giving it up! I'm sure it makes me an awful mother to not force it away from him, but I think it's kind of cute, and of course the novelty will wear off soon and it will disappear, never to be sucked again!

UPDATE: Just minutes after I finished my post here Tyler tried to tell me something and had to pull the pacifier out of his mouth to talk. Looked at it funny, put it back in his mouth, and then let me take it from him with no problem. I think he realized it's weird and didn't like not being able to talk to me. It was very funny to watch the realization come across him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mike has a new interest...

Guns. With the upcoming election Mike has decided to be one of the statistics of guns purchased in an election year. We are honestly nervous about what is going to happen this presidential election and have started beefing up our preparedness, just in case. So Mike is convinced that he will need a gun to defend us (or our food storage) and has decided to try some out. A friend of ours is a member of a gun club and took Mike shooting on Saturday night. He really enjoyed himself and looked good doing it! We'll see how things play out with this whole thing. Here is a picture of Mike to enjoy (but not too much ladies, I saw him first.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Garage Sale 10/10 & 10/11

That's right, it's time to be enlightened by the digital words of MIKE. I apologize to all my followers who have been patiently waiting for another blog-o-doctrine on how to live a Mike-like life. Soon, I will give in and give you want you all want (need). Until then, let this post hold you over and slow down the salivating for more of my words.

Crystal is having a garage sale! Today from 10am until 6pm and tomorrow from 10am-5pm she will display proudly on our driveway (all the stuff we don't want anymore) stuff we've accumulated over the years. So, technically it's a driveway sale. See, even in a garage sale you can't technically buy the garage (although, if anyone wants to "buy" us repairs on our garage, we'll gladly let you so we can then finally open the door(s) and have a more traditional garage sale).

So, for all of you that have always dreamed of having a peak into the life of MIKE, this is your chance. You'll be able to come to my house, while I'm at work, and see all those things that Crystal will try to sneak out of the house and sell. Just let me make this one warning......if any of you see my parachute pants and zipper coat for sale, trust me, this was not authorized, and the purchaser will be in as much trouble as Crystal........."'Cause this is THRILLER.......THRILLER NIGHT!"

Go, shop, browse, buy, experience the love, the joy, the happiness (but stay away from my coat and pants!) And by all means, bring Crystal a donut or two (chocolate with white cream, not that pudding cream stuff)!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just a Thursday Morning

I'm feeling particularly sentimental this morning. (It may be PMS, but don't tell anyone.) I've always loved this song. It was on a credit card commercial the first time I heard it and I would get teary every time. (To my credit, I was pregnant at the time too. But who am I kidding? I still cry at certain commercials) Anyways...I hope you enjoy it too.

(it won't let me post the whole video, but click on the link to hear it.)

Five for Fighting-100 years

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Friday, October 3, 2008


Brooke's friend from down the street is over today and the girls just sat down to have some lunch. Brooke stopped Johanna from eating because we have to say a prayer first. Brooke said Johanna do you want to say the prayer? Johanna said I don't know what to say. Brooke's response was "I'll whisper in your ear the words to say and you can say it." After Brooke started saying the prayer to Johanna, she replied "but your daddy is at work today."

They are so cute. What a great missionary Brooke is already sharing a simple truth like prayer with her little friend.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Perfect Day

Today was a perfectly lovely day. We started off the morning with going to church, which normally just drives us crazy because we have children who get bored during sacrament meeting, and aren't afraid to say "it's boring" or "I'm bored" outloud, usually when it's quiet! Anyways...all 4 of them were very well behaved today, we didn't have to take a single child out into the hallway! All of the kids have been really well behaved today, this is the first time we've had a day like this in a long time! It's so nice. It's a great reminder of why we have families, and the joy that a big family can bring! We watched the Bills WIN today, woo hoo, what a game (It's a tradition on my side of the family to watch the Bills play, I can remember being bored as a kid while my parents watched the game. It always seemed like it took forever.) We had a lovely dinner and all of the kids ate with minimal complaining (that almost never happens). So after dinner Mike and I decided to go on a walk around the block with the kids. As we stepped outside all bundled up because of the slight chill in the air I looked at them and thought "this is perfect." The weather is only 57 degrees, but it's my favorite time of year. The air smells wonderful, the leaves are starting to change, and there was my happy family enjoying each other's company and looking so cute. I had to take a picture. I don't think any of them realized I even snapped the shot, which makes it more special for me. I love it. I love my family, my wonderful husband and kids. I am so grateful for them. I'm grateful for the Sabbath day that helps me to reflect on the gifts that Heavenly Father has given to me, and the sweet Spirit that confirms that all of the struggles that I go through with the kids are worth it. We are an eternal family, and this is what I hope the eternities are like.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Target Deals

I spotted this on my friends blog and thought I would pass it along! Happy Shopping.

If you're still looking for various school supplies, or want to stock up, check out your local Target stores. All remaining school supplies are currently 30% off, and will probably be 50-75% off within the next week!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Goodbye to Good Friends

Our good friends the Burnett family are moving tomorrow. I'm so sad that they are going. They moved her so Matt could go to medical school 5 or 6 years ago. We have had some fun times with them. One of my favorite memories is their New Year's Eve party when we played MadGab. Matt is the MadGab king. If you've never played that game, you should. Anyway. Matt has been sick for some time now with cancer, and gone through a liver transplant. They really have struggled, I don't know how Christine does it, she's been so amazing. All of their families live on the other side of the country and that has to be hard. They have decided that it's time for them to move home. I knew they would move someday when Matt was done with school, but there was the chance that he would do his residency here, so I've been hopeful. They really do need to be by their families now. It's been so hard for everyone here who loves them to see Matt get sicker, we really feel for them. I know I've cried many times for them, and I hope that each time I do, maybe a little bit of the hurt will be taken away from Christine, Matt and the kids. Benjamin, Joshua, Anna, and Maria are precious kids. We've always enjoyed having them over to play with my kids. I am amazed how much food her kids eat! They out eat my children hands down! Anna and Brooke are so cute together, most of the time! They argue and fight just like they were sisters, but I know they enjoy playing. I have some really cute pictures of them together over the years. They are only months apart. I remember driving home with Christine from a Relief Society activity and telling each other we were pregnant. The girls are now 4 yrs old. That was a long time ago.

Here is a photo of the girls in all of their girly glory.
Brooke has matured a lot with her emotions. Yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting Brooke heard Matt and Christine bear their testimonies and heard that they were moving. She looked at me with panic on her face and asked if Anna was going too. I said yes, she can't stay here without her family because she'll be sad. Brooke started to cry and then asked me if she will still come to church when she moves far away. When I told her no because it's too far away she looked at me and said "but Anna is my best friend." She was so heartbroken I couldn't help but start crying. I've only seen her cry like this once before when there was a stray cat hanging around and the animal control came and got it. She truly was hurting. She asked me why she was moving and I explained that Anna's daddy is sick. (Our kids have known that he's sick because we've prayed for them as a family.) I told her that Anna's daddy wants to be by his family because it might help him feel a little better. What really broke my heart was when she asked me "Can Anna move back here when her daddy feels better?" I couldn't talk, the tears were just streaming and I was hurting inside for her and for myself and for Christine and her family. I couldn't explain to her that Anna's daddy isn't going to get better. She's just too little for that. She cried for the rest of the Sacrament meeting and into Primary a little bit. She didn't want me to leave her side. I'm so sad for her. It's hard to lose a friend. I can only hope that someday when they are grown they will meet at college or some activity and remember, probably with some help from Christine and I, that they were such good friends. They are moving TOMORROW, so I decided to have the girls get together and play for one last time. We really will miss this family, and I hope to be able to visit them sometime in the future.