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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kyndal's Mid-High Formal

Kyndal's formal at the Mid-High was tonight. Her and her friend Hailey got ready at our house, starting at about 4:30 for an 8:00 dance. Kyndal curled Hailey's hair and applied both of their makeup. I curled Kyndal's hair. Then Hailey's family came for pictures and they took the girls to the dance.

They were so excited to go! And I am so glad that they were just going together without all the drama of boys. These two have become really good friends and I hope their friendship lasts a long time.

A Pupdate

Yesterday we took all four puppies to the vet for their 9-12 week appointments. Chloe, Buck and Quincy are about 10 weeks. They weigh 3 lbs. 8 ozs., 3 lbs. 8 ozs., and 3 lbs. 14 ozs. Chloe and Buck are still short-haired, with Chloe being soft and Buck having a little bit of the wirey poodle fur. Chloe is long and lean. Buck is short and chubby. Quincy looks like a completely different dog. He looks more like a poodle with crazy, wirey hair. Most times he has one ear that sticks straight up and one that folds down. He looks so much like our Annie (our poodle/spitz mix we used to have) that it almost makes me tear up.

Crusoe is more around 12-13 weeks (just guessing) and he weighs 17.3 pounds. He's going to be a big boy!

It's funny that I have them all three on a schedule ... well, Crusoe, too. I "put them all down for a nap" from 1-3 p.m. everyday. This mama still needs her alone time! I put the three puppies in their room under the stairs (I even turn on their fan so nothing disturbs them) and put Crusoe out in his room in the garage (our pool house).

They are staying awake more and more throughout the day, but are still sleepy in the evenings. They wake up and play hard for about an hour, and then we put the three little puppies in their room to go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. They sleep solid until 6ish in the morning. Crusoe sleeps upstairs with Dawson in his room.

Crusoe is really pretty potty trained, only having accidents if we forget about him. The three little puppies are doing much better, able to hold their urine much longer. But, I still clean up about 5 accidents a day between the three of them.

All in all, we are still doing great with these puppies. They are so sweet and we love them to pieces!

They get so excited when they see us, especially when Rick gets home. They all come racing from another room and just go crazy at his feet! That's how Chloe is with Kyndal, too.

Lovin' the puppies!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Supports Me As A Mother

My greatest passion as a mom is helping my kids become who they were created to become, even if that person is not who others (including myself) think they should be. God created each of my children with specific gifts, talents and weaknesses and has purpose designed for them ... not my purpose, not other family members' purpose, not society's purpose, not the legislation's purpose. God's purpose.

But there's that mold that we are taught that our children should fit ... do good in school, be in every extra-curricular activity known to man, be good at some sport, excel in everything! Well, those are not my kids. (And, quite honestly, I'm thrilled!)

I take this mothering thing S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y !!! Maybe too seriously at times. I get very emotional when I feel like I'm not doing "right" by my kids.

I'll be honest. I have been swirling this homeschooling thing around, mostly, just in my head. I research during the day and think about it. But, I haven't discussed it with Rick much. I think I was scared that he would think it was a bad idea. I welcome his opinion because he always provides me with perspective that I need. I have just been secretly afraid he wouldn't be supportive of my ideas because Dawson is his step-son. I was afraid he wouldn't understand how emotional I was about this subject or be able to relate to how emotional I am about his success.

Last night we talked about it, mostly prompted by yesterday's post. And he told me that he thinks I should do it. He was so insightful and supportive. Of course he has the same worries about it that I do. But, he is excited about what this could mean for Dawson and his future.

This is going to take a lot of my time and commitment. In a marriage where we are always trying to put each other first and make time for each other, this could become a conflict to that unless I am very mindful of it. When I get involved in a project I. Get. Involved. But knowing this about the level of commitment it's going to take and also knowing the level of commitment I will put into it, he's still supportive.

When we went to bed last night he said, "I think you've made the right decision."

I can't pull this off without his support. I won't even attempt to do it without his support. I am so thankful for his support.

(Besides, we discussed that I will likely have to start homeschooling Eli once he hits middle school. Although his quirkiness and stuttering and delays are adorable in a kindergarten student, he's likely to face much ridicule and such by that age. Knowing what I know about the brutalness of middle school and then high school in this city, there's no way we will allow our little Boogie Bear to be subject to that. Maybe if we quit calling him Boogie Bear that would help. And, Brynne isn't always going to be there to kick the butt of any kid who makes fun of Eli. This all may be helping me prepare for that in the future.)

I am so thankful that I have Rick's support in the area of me being a mother. What a blessing not to always feel like I have to fight for what I know is right.

Rick Rocks ~ Because he supports me as a mother.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

To Homeschool or not to Homeschool .. that's the question.

Kyndal is just like me. She goes to school, takes the proper notes, does the projects, studies for the tests the night before, does well on the tests, retains nothing, socializes often. That's how I was in school. I could do anything I set my mind to, and so can she. No real problems there.

Eli and Brynne are just cute little elementary school students. They love their teachers, love their friends, are having fun learning and growing. Elementary school is great for them.

And then there's Dawson. He's never liked school. Although he can pull decent grades with lots of help in staying organized and doing his work, if left on his own he struggles. He's always been the class clown, not really buckling down like he should. He's been called a goof off. I've been told I should have him tested for ADHD. All of that may be true. But, I don't believe he is a lost cause because he goofs off and I don't think medication is the answer to any of his problems.

He goes to a 7th grade school with 700 students ... yes, 700! He's not an Honors student. He's not a jock. He's not in student council. He has obviously been trying to figure out who he is this year. He hangs out with the Mexican population primarily, not only because he likes them but probably to keep himself from getting beat up at school. They'll protect him. He suffered from bullying in the 6th grade. Even this week he asked me if he looked "gangster" in what he was wearing (jeans, a skateboarding t-shirt, an oversized hoodie, a cross necklace and his Osiris tennis shoes). He was worried that if he did he would get beat up by the "gangster" kids who thought he was trying to copy them.

How's that for a stressful day? And on top of it, he has very few (if any) teachers who care about him and his education. He's just another 1 of 700. He is no real "benefit" to the school. He doesn't have the qualities that make them look good.

I've e-mailed and conferenced with teachers. I've met with the school counselor. I only get minimal results, because I keep pushing. But, really, nobody cares. The school counselor assured me she would be checking with them weekly, talking with him, rewarding him for good work. But, Dawson says she just asks him how he is doing and shows him his grades. I do that.

I've had him going to the school's free tutoring two afternoons a week, which has helped somewhat. But, mostly, I am micromanaging him and his schoolwork. And, it's difficult to do from home, especially when I don't get much support from his teachers.

He's not the student who learns well, if at all, from reading a chapter and answering questions and testing on it. He's one of those students who learns best from hands-on projects and application of the subject matter. If he lucks out and gets that kind of teacher, then he does okay. If he has the other kind, he's toast.

There is an argument that he needs to learn how to adapt to the different environments, because he will have to do that in real life. I agree with that to a certain extent. Yes, he must respect each teacher and their teaching style and do his best to adapt. But if he can't learn a certain way, he just can't! Not without help and support, that is. And, who says he has to do anything in his future, as an adult, that requires him to work under "normal" rules of employment. Guess what .. he's never going to have that kind of job. His personality and gifts will take him someplace else. I've always known that. And I want him to be who he is, not who someone else says he has to be.

He has started begging me to homeschool him. And, it's something I have honestly considered for the past couple of years. And as of late I have really been considering it. I'm not sure Rick thinks it's a good idea. I have a feeling his biological dad is going to fight me every step of the way. But Dawson wants it so bad. In fact, just yesterday, he said that's all he wants for his birthday this year.

The bottom line is, to me, that Dawson is not learning to his fullest potential. This is partly because of him, and partly because the cards are stacked against him. But as a mother I feel such a strong pull to help him succeed in his life, no matter what it takes from me.

I know I can do it. I have the organizational skills. I have the ability to research curriculum and write lessons plans. I know how he thinks and his strengths and weaknesses and I can get him to do what I need him to do. I'm a whole lot more stubborn than him, and don't want to be made a fool, so I would succeed (if it killed us both). I have great ideas. I like to spend time with him so we would have fun. I would actually enjoy learning what I would be teaching him. As it looks right now, next year is lining up for me to be home. Even if I felt like I needed to substitute teach a couple of days a week, I could still do that and teach him (he could do assignments and projects while I was working). If I do my online college teaching, I can do both. I can do it.

But is it what's best for him? Will my lack of patience fight against us? Will I go into orbit if he doesn't put into it what I expect him to put into it? Will my expectations be too high?

And, am I wanting to do this for the right reasons? Is this just a project to me that I am desiring to tackle for my own needs and desires, or do I really want to do this to help my child succeed?

I'll be honest. I think I really want to take this on .. for both reasons.

I just don't know what's right.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is Your Husband Your Best Friend?

I know women who have a deep need to spend time with the girls. I've never been like that .. not even when I was a teenager. Sure, I like to have friends to go have dinner with occasionally, or to hang out with at "An Affair of the Heart" a couple of times a year, or to discuss issues about marriage and children and such. But, I'm just not one who needs to have my regular "girl time".

But having someone I trust, to really share my heart with, is important to me. And I've found that that person does not have to be a female. And in my case, it's not. For me, Rick is the only person I trust enough to really share the inner workings of my heart .. my desires, needs, fears, irritations and dreams. Female friends in my life have come and gone. There always seems to be something that causes those relationships to end ... expectations that don't get met on one or the other end.

Recently I had some health scares. I remember telling Rick that if my tests results came back badly, that there wasn't any person (other than my family) that I would share those results with. I wouldn't want women to all-of-a-sudden decide that I was their friend when I clearly hadn't been up to that point. I don't want pity friends. I don't want friends who feel like they need to fix me. I don't particularly want friends who even feel like they need to help me. (When I need help, I'll ask for it.) Thankfully my test results came back fine.

My mom is my good friend. I do have women mentors in my life who I turn to when I need help or advice. And I have friends I enjoy spending time with on occasion. But I do not have a female best friend. And quite honestly I don't think I ever will. I've given up on that quest, in this season of my life.

I have Rick.

During times where I have displayed the worst of me, he has been hurt. He has even responded poorly at times. But when he has told me he will fight for our relationship he has. He hasn't just said the words. He has backed it up with action. To me, he is what a true friend is .. someone who you have disappointed, and who has disappointed you, but always works through those disappointments and comes out stronger with you on the other end. Or, at the very least, just comes out with you.

Rick, you are my best friend. I know I don't always treat you the way a friend should, but I am thankful you are here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... it is sunny!

I am thinking... about my fears and insecurities.

I am thankful ... for moments when I see my children playing well together and being kind and loving to each other .. just being friends .. both the older kids and the little ones.

I am wearing... my pjs and new robe (I finally found a cute one at TJ Maxx).

I am remembering... how invincible I am not when I am sick.

I am creating... nothing. Really, I'm creating nothing. Last week I lied and said nothing, when I was creating the final touches to our Amazing Race: Valentine Edition. But this week, I am really creating nothing.

I am going... to stay sitting and resting all day, because I am still sick (my neighbor who is a pediatrician actually thinks I have RSV .. I didn't know adults got RSV).

I am reading... Nothing right now. But I am getting ready to start one of my new Kristin Hannah books. Perhaps I will start today since I am not planning on doing anything.

I am hoping... that I get to feeling better in the next two days while Rick is gone on a business trip so that I am not a zombie for the weekend (like I was last weekend).

On my mind... is how I haven't spent any quality time with Rick all week. I've been sick, my mom was here for a visit and he's traveling. I hate it!

From the learning rooms... I see progress being made for Dawson.

Pondering these words ... "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this." ~ Esther 4:14

From the kitchen... nothing tonight because we are going to IHOP to get Free shortstacks! (But last night we had a crock pot roasted chicken and it was so good! I found a rub for it on Recipezaar that gave it incredible flavor!)

Around the house... is so much that needs to be done, but I'm not going to do any of it.

One of my favorite things... are avocados. In fact, I am obsessed with them right now! For lunch I love to eat either a turkey sandwich with avocado or to take Wasa Rye Light wafers, add sliced avocado and garlic salt. Yum!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today I am literally going to rest all day. This afternoon we are going to go to IHOP for their Free shortstack special for a donation to Children's Miracle Network. Tomorrow will be much of the same, and Thursday as well. On Friday we need to take the puppies to the vet for their shots. Kyndal's school formal is on Saturday night. Hopefully Rick and I will get to spend some time together this weekend. We need a date! Last Friday really didn't count, because we were busy with the race instead of spending time together.

From my picture journal.

Eli loves to be a "car rider". Although I pick him and Brynne up in the pre-k car line every day, he loves it when he gets to get picked up in the regular elementary car line. Sometimes on Thursdays, when I am at the school doing copies, I let him go down to the car line and Brynne and I drive around and pick him up. He loves it!

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

After our big night Friday night, I was in bed most of the day Saturday with the worst cold I have had in years. I felt really, really bad. My mom and niece came for a visit that night and left this morning. I was feeling quite a bit better yesterday, so we went and did some shopping and I cooked meals for us. Today, I'm feeling yucky again (I think I overdid it yesterday) and it's back to being frigid cold here.

So that means ... a crock pot dinner! I'm doing my favorite thing this week and using a whole chicken to make three cozy meals.

Monday ~ Crock pot roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, pasta and a veggie
(** Recipe for rub to roast chicken ... SO GOOD!!)

Tuesday ~ IHOP Free short stacks!! (click to check it out!)

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Jalapeno chicken enchiladas

Friday ~ Spinach turkey noodle bake (we still haven't gotten to this)

Saturday ~ "Subway at home" (this either)

Sunday ~ Chicken and noodles

For more meal plans go see The Org Junkie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Amazing Race: Valentine Edition

Oh how I have been dying to post something about this! But, I couldn't breathe a word or even drop a hint because it was such a big surprise!

For well over a month my friends Berry, Deidra, Tamara and I have been planning The Amazing Race: Valentine Edition for our husbands. I saw this idea on My Insanity, and immediately enlisted these friends to do it with me. Saturday night was the first chance around Valentine's Day that we had to do it.

Our husbands were told that we were meeting at Nick and Deidra's so all four couples could go out to dinner. When we got there, we had a couple of cocktails and then the wives slipped into the bedroom. We came out wearing t-shirts that said "I love my Husband". We told the guys that we were all really gathered for the race. They were in shock, and one of the husbands was even a little perturbed (come to find out, he hates surprises!)

The men were given their uniforms: Matching t-shirts that said "I love my Wife".

They were given a pink pouch with around $1.10 in change, mostly pennies, and their first clue. Then they were told the rules:

1. They had to wear their uniform at all times.
2. They had to follow the clues and complete all Roadblocks.
3. They had to video each Roadblock being completed.
4. They had to use the pouch of money to buy each of us a gift.
5. They had to get each of us a bouquet of flowers without spending any money.

We took all of their wallets and cell phones. The driver was given his license and his cell phone.

And they were then given Clue #1 that said:

It's time to make those cards, but in order to do it right, you'll need to go to the store, where Nicole makes memories on a Friday night.

They guys had to go to our local scrapbook store, where a real crop was going on, and make Valentine's cards for each of us with supplies we provided. Then they received their next clue.

Clue #2 said:

Now you're heading to an Island, where you'll have a Funtastic time. You'll be swinging and sliding, and finding a clue when you climb.

They had to go to Funtastic Island, a large community playground (in the rain) and one of them had to search the slides and other equipment for their next clue. They were to text me at this time to say that they had completed this task.

Clue #3 said:

Next drive across town, to a Firestone who is a delight. One of you will perform a Roadblock, that's sweet and spicy and such a fright.

They had to go to our friend's house where one of them had to eat some chocolate covered insects and sour cream and onion insects. Then she gave them their next clue.

Clue #4 said:

Your next stop is a pizza place, near Uptown not down. Hopefully they'll be love in the air with your tune, and not (A)more frowns.

They had to go to Andolini's Pizzeria and the remaining two guys who hadn't done a Roadblock yet had to sing That's Amore to the patrons of the restaurant. When they completed that Roadblock, they got their final clue and the pizza and spaghetti we had ordered for dinner.

Clue #5 said:

Now go (b)o(w)ling, not to the alley but the house. There you'll find your prize: not a million, but your spouse.

This led them back to Jace and Berry's house (their last name is Olinghouse) where we were waiting for them. We had set a beautiful table and made homemade breadsticks, salad and dessert. We enjoyed a great dinner and lots of laughs.

They came in wearing the red bandanas that we had tied at the Roadblock locations. After dinner we went to the living room for them to present their cards, gifts and flowers to us. It was so funny! Personalities really came out!

We couldn't get the video to run at their house, so we are working on it to give to everybody. Some of the highlights were: them talking about how gay they felt in their matching t-shirts; how they would rather be killed than to spend a Friday night scrapbooking; how much fun they had at The Dollar Tree picking out gifts and how long it took to stand there and count out their pennies to pay; how they bought one of our gifts from our friend and then took a flower arrangement of hers to give as flowers to one of us; how when they went to the restaurant they actually had a stuffed singing bear that sang That's Amore when you pressed a button and the store owner gave it to them!

Each of the men were given a Skor candy bar with a note attached that said, "Your hard work paid off so now you'll 'Skor' tonight ".

I'd like to thank Rick, Jace, Nick and Jeff for being such good sports. The gals and I had a blast planning it and keeping the secret and pulling it off!

Rick Rocks ~ Because He Tucks Me In At Night

I love movies about old people who love each other. We watched Up! the other night and were so sad about the beginning. But, the love that little old man showed for his wife, and visa versa, was so touching. I love how the husband in The Notebook reads their love story to her every single day in hopes she will remember just for a moment. I remember when my ex-husband's grandmother died. His grandpa Pickles was lost without his Millie. He died one year later. He is the only man I have ever seen who literally died of a broken heart.

What does this have to do with Rick and I? Every night Rick turns down our bed, gets out my special pillow, spreads out my favorite quilt, turns on my fan and tucks me in for the night. He's a night owl so many nights he doesn't even come to bed when I do. But if he does, he will lay next to me and stroke my hair. It's really quite funny what it takes to get me into a relaxed state to go to sleep at night. And Rick takes care of every detail.

And if I go to get ready for bed and decide to turn down the bed myself he'll either stop me or, if I'm already done, mention that he's "falling down on the job."

I love that he gets me ready for bed and tucked in. It makes me feel special and loved.

I can see us doing this routine when this little old arthritic body can barely hoist herself up into her individually controlled sleepmaster bed. My wrinkled old bald but very sweet husband will be taking care of my bed so I can get a good night's rest.

I love it.

And I love him.

Rick Rocks ~ Because he tucks me in at night.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

God Even Uses Toasters To Do His Will

A few weeks ago I did what I do every morning ... I popped Eli's frozen waffle into the toaster. It popped up only seconds later. I adjusted the toasting knob and put it back in. It ran through the full two minute cycle and then popped up. But, the waffle wasn't toasted. I tried the other set (it's a four-slot toaster). Still same, general problem.

That night Rick was going to get his hair cut at the little salon inside Walmart. He called and asked if I needed anything. I told him about the toaster and asked him to just pick up the cheapest one he could find, just in case ours was on the outs.

And this is what happened.

He put his name on the list at the hair salon. He was three or four down on the list so the girl told him he could go ahead and do his shopping. He went and bought a $7.00 toaster and picked up a couple of other things and paid.

When he got back to the hair salon his name was already crossed off. They had called his name while he was gone. She told him it would only be a couple of minutes, so he hung around and got his hair cut. When he was done he paid and walked out the door.

While walking out he ran into a guy who we used to go to church with. I actually never met him. But, Rick knew him from men's Bible study. He asked him how he was doing and how work was going. The guy told Rick how busy they had been. Through the course of the conversation Rick mentioned that I had a law degree. The guy's face lit up. And this is why.

This guy works for a consulting firm that outsources professionals to write curriculum and teach online courses at Christian universities, Bible colleges and small colleges (like University of Phoenix). He told Rick how much he needs professionals with legal degrees to teach law-related courses. He took down my name and e-mail address. And Rick called me and told me what happened. I was intrigued, but honestly never thought anything would come out of it.

The very next morning I had an e-mail from this guy. I sent him my resume. And the process began.

Although there are not any classes available at this time, I was told even as early as yesterday that my credentials are great and I will be added to the "faculty ranks" of these universities. As soon as a class opens up that I can teach, I'll get the job.

Seriously???!!! It's my dream job! I will get to work from home. I will get to write. I will get to teach. I will be available for my kids when they need me. I will still get to volunteer at school. And I'll get paid!!

When I got out of law school I always said I wanted to practice for a few years and then maybe teach. But, teaching at the university level is difficult unless you want to get your Ph.D. and get published and various other things (which I don't). I thought it was a dream that died.

My kids will all be in school full time next year, and I have really been considering what I will do. I just don't think I am the type of woman who can sit at home all day. As much as I love to be at home, I really love to serve people and provide for people. I'm not one to take a lot of time for myself, and feel fulfilled.

I had looked into getting my teaching certificate to teach elementary school. But, the budget it so poor in our area that even the teachers we have are in danger of losing their jobs. I looked into maybe being a teacher's assistant next year. But, those same budget issues are probably going to eliminate the assistant teacher positions. And I thought about subbing, but it will be difficult to get my own kids to school and then get to a school to teach.

All of the doors just seemed to be closing on this.

And then God took over.

You see, had my toaster not been pooping out, Rick would have been standing there when his name was called at the hair salon. He would have gotten his haircut sooner than he did. And he would have left Walmart sooner than he did. He would never have run into this guy. And we don't go to our old church anymore, so we would have never known about this opportunity.

Why is my post titled "God Even Uses Toasters To Do His Will?" Because ... the next morning my existing toaster worked fine and it's never had a problem since.

Hmmmmm .....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rainbow Brite Returns

Do you remember Rainbow Brite from the '80s? Without revealing my age, I remember all too well!

Well, she's back and spunkier than ever! Of course they have revamped her to live up to today's visions of a hero to young girls. But she's still fun and still full of light and life!

You can go here to view some short movies and learn more information about the new Rainbow Brite and her friends.

Brynne had the opportunity to play The Rainbow Brite Adventure Pack computer cd, and she has loved it! The theme song is really fun and the games are great! It's my understanding that the new dolls are for sale at Target and Toys R Us, as well. I received a total of 10 cds, so that I could share them, and I gave them to Eli's teacher at school to put in her treasure box so some lucky kindergarten girls could be introduced to this fun character!

If your daughter is looking for some color in her life, check out Rainbow Brite. She will be delightfully surprised!

A Little Crafting

When I am cooking, I am constantly wiping my hands on a hand towel. I also wash my hands a million times and dry them on the towel. The problem is that the towel always seems to be on the other side of the kitchen, so I drip water or other things across the floor trying to get to my towel. Or, I grab another one and end up using about four of them in one cooking session.

I saw the cutest no-sew apron idea on someone's blog, and I can't remember who! Since I had just bought some new hand towels, that hadn't been used yet, I ran to Hobby Lobby to buy some coordinating ribbon. I made two aprons on Sunday.

It was so easy!

I just used one hand towel, coordinating ribbon and some iron-on hem tape. They turned out really cute! And, I used one for the first time on Valentine's Day. What a handy thing to have!

These would also make great gifts!

I've always said that I want to be a granny someday who always has on an apron. I want my grandkids to talk about which apron they think I will be wearing that day. I have a Christmas one my mom gave me. And now I have these two. I can't wait to buy seasonal hand towels and other cute ones and make fun aprons to use!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... the sun is shining and it almost looks like a Spring day.

I am thinking... about selling our home and where that will take us.

I am thankful ... that I have come to a place in my life where it doesn't matter to me what other people think, as long as my family is happy and doing what we feel is right.

I am wearing... my black velour running pants, a gray thermal long-sleeved shirt layered with a red "Strength" cross t-shirt and my Nike's.

I am remembering... how much I loved gathering around the television at night with my family when I was a kid, and how I love doing the same thing with my family now.

I am creating... nothing specific, but I am always creating something! This weekend it was no-sew aprons, Eli's "All About Me" poster for school and Valentine memories. Who knows what this week will bring!

I am going... to come home this afternoon, after taking Brynne to school, and lay down because I am feeling under the weather today.

I am reading... Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore and Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon (it's part of an All You book club I signed up for). I'm planning to finish one of them this week.

I am hoping... that exciting things happen for Rick and I and our family this year.

On my mind... are the promises of "new" that spring brings.

From the learning rooms... after a four-day weekend from school, we are back at it this week.

Pondering these words ...

From the kitchen... see my menu plan here. Tonight it's tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Around the house... are puppies, puppies everywhere!

One of my favorite things... is serving and giving to my family.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today I'm just taking it easy since I don't feel well, and Rick is on a business trip so the kids and I will just hang out and watch t.v. tonight. We have much of the same tomorrow, although I'll start cleaning the house more intently. We are showing the house on either Thursday or Friday to a very interested couple. I'll work up at the school on one afternoon, and then I'm going to go read Eli's favorite book to his class since he's Student of the Week this week. My mom is coming this weekend for a visit.

From my picture journal.

This is where Clifford now spends the majority of his time. Now that Crusoe has chased him through the house making him feel as though he is running for his life, he thinks this is the only place he is safe. But yesterday Crusoe got swiped in the nose by the neighbor's cat. Maybe he'll leave Clifford alone now.

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Rick's traveling some this week, my mom's coming for a visit, and we didn't use a couple of things planned for last week. So, here's what were having ...

Monday ~ Meatball subs and chips

Tuesday ~ Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches

Wednesday ~ FFY (this usually means mozzarella sticks for Dawson, pizza rolls for the little guys, Kyndal eats at church, and Rick and I eat leftovers or sandwiches or just snack.)

Thursday ~ Spinach turkey noodle bake (the last of the leftover turkey from Christmas ... it's been frozen, of course.)

Friday ~ Frozen pizza for kids. Rick and I have plans to go to dinner with friends.

Saturday (mom's here) ~ Fruit parfaits for lunch, Chicken tortilla soup for dinner

Sunday ~ "Subway" at home, complete with Baked Lays or Doritos and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Thanks, Org Junkie for organizing your weekly menu swap!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We had a great day today! I love Valentine's Day, and so does my family!

We started the weekend by renting the movie Up and watching it together last night. When I got up this morning, it was snowing. Yes, snowing! Good grief!

Then everybody got up with excitement over what little sweet gifts they got for Valentine's Day. I love preparing their gifts!

Dawson and Kyndal each got a gift certificate to the movie theater and a tube full of candy. Eli and Brynne each got Mighty Beans and a tube full of candy. The kids got cards from my parents with $10 each.

Then we enjoyed donuts and chocolate milk for breakfast!

I copied an idea I got off Love, Insanity for my gift for Rick. I wrote him a note and every time he read a word in all caps, he got a gift having to do with that word or phrase.

His note said:

Valentine's Day is just one specified day that I can tell you how much I love you, even though I love you this much every day of the year!

I want to smother you with KISSES, because you are the love of my life! {He got a bag of Hershey Kisses, his favorite.}

ALL OF the other wives in the world have to be jealous because of what an amazing husband you are! {He got a jar of jalapeno stuffed green olives, another favorite!}

I will never BLINDSIDE you or leave you a DEAR JOHN letter, and not just because it's VALENTINE'S DAY! {I gave him a picture of our local movie theater and told him we could go to the movies together. We did go this afternoon to see
Dear John ... Date 8 of 52.}

I am yours for better or worse, in richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and because I feel such GLEE in my life having you in it! {I am buying him the download of the
Glee 2 soundtrack.}

Rick got me the two newest books by my favorite author, Kristin Hannah. I can't wait to read them!

We ended the day watching the original Karate Kid (trying to have Dawson watch some classics before he watches the remakes) and had a homemade gourmet dinner of filet mignon, baked potatoes, pasta with Parma Rosa sauce, spinach artichoke bread bowls and brownies and pineapple for dessert.

What a sweet way to spend Valentine's Day!