Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A friend of mine just recently found out she was expecting her third son is a row (she has 2 daughters and now this will be her 3rd son) and asked me for whatever words of wisdom I might have for someone with 3 boys in a row like my Grant, Jake and Cade. I really couldn't come up with any advise or pearls of wisdom, just some random thought:

1) Resign yourself now to NEVER having a clean bathroom. Yes, girls are bad with their hairbrushes and bows and assorted lotions and potions, but that is CLUTTER.....what I am referring to is the fact that no matter how much you beg and plead, little boys (and big boys as a matter of fact) just can't seem to pee without getting it on the seat or on the floor! How hard can it possibly be to get that stream in the toilet???? Probably a good idea to invest in Clorox stock immediately!

2) Don't plan on hand me downs with the exception of church clothes. No pair of jeans or play outfit or gym shoes will withstand the wear and tear of 3 very active boys. What few outfits actually do survive will be so horribly stained that they will not even surfice for playclothes. Wise investiment choices would be Levi, Nike, and Reebok stock.

3) Consider purchasing a farm so that you can raise cattle, chickens and pigs. Do you have an idea what feeding 3 boys as the grow costs? I look at my 14 year old son and see his food budget tripled when I look at my 3 little ones. Funny, none of the boys have ever expressed a desire to become a vegeterain like Emily!

4) Although football seems like a very ROUGH sport, it is by far the GENTLEST on mom. Football programs tend to run all of their practices at the same time on the same day in the same place. Same for the games, they tend to follow one another each Saturday. This differs vastly from sports like baseball, basketball and soccer which will have all three of your boys playing games at the same time in the three places that are the furthest apart. OK so they will spend an entire week CRYING because it is too hot when they first wear their equipment in the 90 degree summer heat, but remember it will toughen them up! So let them slap on a helmet and some shoulder pads and just take your lawn chair and set up camp on the are going to be there all day!

5) The next time you happen to drive by your local hospital and happen to have a couple of extra minutes on your hands, stop by the emergency room and see if the wonderful people at the triage desk are willing to open a file on your family to save you time on what is sure to be numerous visits to their facility. The file should include your children's names (you can skip your daughters names if they are the dainty type!), birthdates, contact information, and insurance numbers. If you happen to be an unfortunate soul who has poor insurance coverage or worse yet, no insurance, consider enrolling yourself in medical school. Mind you, you won't have to stick it out through that whole residency thing, you just have to stick with it long enough to learn how to sucture a gaping wound, set a broken bone and diagnosis a concusion. Of course, there are those mothers amongst us that would say there is nothing superglue and duct tape can't fix.

Those are just a few pointers that come to mind....and in case you are wondering, given my choice, I would take a houseful of boys over girls anday.....I can handle high energy over high drama!

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Bible in 50 Words

A friend of mine sent this to me a while ago. I had saved it in a mail folder and forgot about it, but when I found it today, I thought I would post it here. I don't know who wrote it, but I like the point it makes......

God made, Adam bit, Noah arked, Abraham split, Joseph ruled, Jacob fooled, bush talked,Moses balked, Pharaoh plagued,people walked, sea divided,tablets guided, promise landed, Saul freaked, David peeked, prophets warned, Jesus born, God walked, love talked, anger crucified, hope died, Love rose ,Spirit flamed, Word spread, God remained.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful day! Well, that is if you discount the fact that it is a mere 52 degrees in my house at this moment!

Santa was more than generous with everyone! The kids were kind enough to wait until after 7:30 AM to wake me up to open presents. Grant cracked me up, he opened up his Gameboy SP and clutched it in his hands and held it up over his head and I could see him mouth "Thank you, Santa!", it was so sweet. He was thrilled with the Pokemon Fire Red game for it (thankfully his stupid mother realized she made a mistake and originally bought Pokemon Ruby but returned it for the correct game).

So the big gifts...well, they ranged from Brett's MP3/WAV Player thing (similar to an iPod) to Hannah's cell phone (definitely PAY AS YOU GO!) to Emily's Polly Pocket Hotel...the little boys got wrestling figures and Sophie got her Princess Baby Doll (Cinderella)....Will was simple, just board books and baby Einstein toys.

Jay and the kids got me some pj's, a Mickey Mouse purse, a robe, socks, and bras and panties...a pretty good haul! We got Jay a putter, a book ("Let Me Tell You a Story"), a chair massager, a "retro" baseball hand held game (like the ones from the 1970s) and some t-shirts. We try to stay low budget with our gifts to each other! Heck with having to buy for 8 kids plus our famlies, christmas can quickly get out of hand!

We had a big breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon rolls, toast, orange juice) once the gifts were open and the mess somewhat cleaned up!

Now to get the damn turkey cooked (how the hell can a turkey still be half frozen after being in the fridge for a week????) and a late lunch/early dinner on the table!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Despite the fact that it took almost 40 minutes to get the van out of the driveway, today was a WONDERFUL DAY! Might have seemed even more so that way because we has been stuck at home for 2 1/2 days!

Jay and I ran some last minute errands and then came home and started getting everyone ready for church. Getting the LAST SHOWER after 9 other people have bathed is certainly an "awakening" experience! I usually try to get the first shower, but was so busy getting stuff together that I realized too late that I was in for the cold shower!

We headed out the door at 2:40 to make 3:30 Christmas services. The roads were a bit tricky but luckily it is only a few miles from the house. The service was PACKED, we lucked into one of the last remaining pews and within minutes of our arrivial it was standing room only!

Once we were finished, we headed to my parents for Christmas Eve dinner and presents. My brother Steve and his wife Carolyn were there (they arrived about 30 minutes after we got there). My mom and dad "slow cooked" a roast, it probably was a bit overcooked, but was still really good! My dad made this horseradish suace to go with it that was YUMMY! Cranberry Relish, 24 hour salad, green beans, brocolli casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and rolls finished off the meal!

After dinner, we gathered to open presents. My mom and dad got each of the kids 4 gifts and my brother and his wife gave them each giftcards to Target (and Jacob was bugging me on the ride home to tell him when I would take him there to spend it)!

As for me.....Steve and Carolyn gave Jay and I giftcards to Ruby Tuesday's (now to decide if the kids get to go with us or not!). My parents gave me a beautiful necklace with a mother and child pendant (it is silver and kind of new age looking, really cool) and a pair of earrings, a pair of gym shoes, bath and body stuff, and for Jay and I to share a set of bed sheets (wondering if my mother had been peeking in my bedroom to see how GROSS and OLD my sheets were!), some cookie sheets, and a toaster. Jay got a golf club and a pair of gym shoes. It is so nice that they are so generous with us and the kids, really takes some of the burden off of us for Christmas spending!

Jay and I were a bit surprised to find out that my brother has had a book published. It is only available from Amazon. I am going to have to get my hands on a copy and give it a read!

All in all a VERY GOOD HAUL! The only thing missing??? A bottle of Asti Spumante for the New Year! My mom always gets one for both my brother and me but the bad weather kept her from getting out and buying it this year! I am holding out hope that she might show up with it later this week! If not I guess for the first time ever I will have to buy my own New Year's Eve bubbly!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Homes for the kittens....

The first of the kittens have found a loving home. A woman and her son came to pick up one kitten, and left with two of them. Emily was hearbroken and I wished we could have kept them all, but we don't have the money or the room for 9 kittens (did I ever mention that after Bella had her 6 kittens that Tinkerbell had 3 kittens???)!

Another woman called wanting one of the remaining 3 that are ready for a home. She is going to pick it up Friday morning to surprise her daughter for Christmas. Hopefully Emily will take it better this time.

So once she picks up her kitten, two little boys still need a home. I told the girls they could keep Emma, the other female and our absolute favorite. They hid her upstairs when the woman and her son were here so they wouldn't see her!

The kittens are adorable and playful, getting into everything. It does seem much quiter with two of them gone! I hope they love their new home!
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....

OK I wish that was my sentiment, but I was far from happy to hear that a huge winter storm was heading out way. The furnace was on it last legs and we FINALLY had an appointment to get it replaced...then of course this darn snow storm decides to dump 6" this morning with more on the way...the furnace guy can't even get off his street! So we sit here with no heat....maybe I should pull out some books on the pioneers and we can pretend to be re-enacting the 1800's...of course they didn't live in 2000 sqaure foot houses now did they??

The kids on the other hand are LOVING our winter storm. They were out playing in it for hours...having snowball fights, making snow angles and playing football. They were so excited, we didn't get a decent snow last year so this is a HUGE deal!

Luckily the Christmas shopping is finished except for some baseball cards for the boys and a game I forgot to pick up for Hannah (and she will survive without!). I figure if the roads don't clear by Christmas Eve, Santa will just have to write a note to the boys with $10 in each note saying his elves don't know how to make baseball cards but to use the money to go to the baseball card store on Monday and pick some up!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Teen Christmas Party
Saturday Decenber 18th
7pm - 10pm

Cindy wrote: The holidays are almost exciting!! This is a reminder that we are hosting a teen Christmas party tomorrow night (Saturday, the 18th) from 7pm - 10pm. For fun, wear red and green (if you have something those colors) Bring a 2-litre drink (please avoid the high caffeine drinks like Mountain Dew) and a holiday snack (or any other snack if you aren't creative, like me!)
Parents are invited to stay and relax upstairs with my husband and myself (although I'll be downstairs to run games and things). He and I rarely sit and catch our breaths and this sounded like a good opportunity.

Brett and Hannah were thrilled to have their own holiday party to attend. Brett even "dressed up" in his Christmas shirt (I wonder what girl he was hoping to impress??). They said they had a great time at the party and loved playing the games. It is so nice that they have a group of friends to hang out with that I don't have to constantly worry about what is going on or if they are being well supervised!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday, December 17
1 PM

An activity opportunity came through on our homeschooling list to make soy candles. I had never heard of soy candles and thought it sounds like fun. I did a little research on the internet about soy candles (I didn't want to seem ignorant at the event) and it seems that soy is a wonderful alternative to the typical wax candles we ususally use. They burn cleaner and emit a purer scent.

So we got directions and headed over to Melodie's (our hostess) house. Jacob and Cade played basketball outside and the girls and I made candles. The activity was geared to those 8 and up since you have to use a stove, so most of the little kids just played and the older kids hung out when they weren't making a candle. It was so simple and fun. We made two candles in mason jars, one for my mom and dad and one for my brother and his wife for Christmas and then Emily made one for me in a teacup, it is so cute! It was really neat to be able to pick and custom mix your candle scent and to chose your own we ended up with a pink pina coloda scented candle, a green sugar cookie scented candle, and a yellow cinnamon scented candle. I am thinking that I am going to buy some soy wax and scent oil and make more candles as gifts next year for Christmas....might even do them with the girlscout troop. I am going to scour thrift shops and yard sales for cool containers like tea cups to make them in (you can make the candle in any heatproof container!).

A couple of interesting side notes to our day:

1) Melodie's 15 year old nephew was visiting from out of town. He and Hannah took to each other right away. They spend some time hanging out together (with other kids around) and then he asked Hannah if she wanted to "kiss" him. She looked at him and LAUGHED and told him "No!" and then he replied, "you are the only girl who has ever told me no" to which Hannah said "Well, I guess that means I am smarter than the rest of them.". Now you just have to LOVE the fact that my very soon to be 13 year old daughter came and told me this story! I would have NEVER told my mother! Oh, and by the way, if you are WONDERING....NO THE NEPHEW ISN'T HOMESCHOOLED!

2) A mom that I hadn't met before came to this event. She was certainly a bit different, and given my own "different-ness" (like that is even a word!) that is certainly saying a lot. First off, Emily said that when she and Sophie and a couple other of the younger kids were sitting in the living room the woman came it, took her top off and changed into a different top...OK so this would be no big deal, but she had NO BRA ON.....Emily said "we tried not to look mom but it was really hard!". Then, about 4 PM she went up to Melodie and said "I am hungry, I am going to get some lunch but I think my 6 year old wants to stay here and play"....Now this woman had never met any of us before, we didn't even know her last name, and she goes and leaves her kid there. I think that qualifies as DIFFERENT!

3) Melodie lives about 5 minutes for the GAP OUTLET....a true distribution center/warehouse. We stopped on the way to her house and got Will some of the most ADORABLE outfits for less than $4 was nice because you could mix and match pieces and he needs a 6-9 month top but only 3-6 month bottoms. We also lucked into some cute t-shirts for Hannah (and some for her to give as a gift to her friend Chrishauna) for $1.99 each and we got a ton of panties for $.25 each! What a deal!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

'Tis the season....

The holidays can be so overwhelming. I am so grateful that I don't have tons of family to buy for outside of the kids. We buy for my mom and dad, my brother and his wife and my mother-in-law. But getting everything together for the kids is enough to drive me NUTS!

I went to Meijer's today and got what few items I had put in layaway out. Not much, some Polly Pocket Stuff for Emily, a doll, dvd and Dora item for Sophie , a book for the baby and some wrestling guys for the boys. It was mostly just stuff I saw one day while walking around and didn't feel like hauling home with me. There was NO LINE when I got to layaway, but it was 6 people deep by the time I left. Nothing will ever compare to the line I waited in last year at Walmart (2 1/2 hours long) with a screaming kid in the cart behind mine. If I hadn't have had just about everything I needed for the kids in that layaway I would have walked away. I will never make the mistake of putting a holiday layaway in at Walmart ever again.

Jay and I need to sit down and figure out what we have for everyone and what we still need. We try to make sure all of the kids get the same number of presents to open, but we don't nessecarily spend the same amount on them. Obviously, the little boys are happy with cheaper plastic wrestling guys while Brett wants video games and Hannah clothes.

I have to figure out what to get my brother and his wife. They are probably the hardest people on my list. They have no children and don't really go out and do much, so it makes it hard. Maybe something with come to me!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today we had a girlscout meeting at Sarah's house. Kas and her girls made it and it was WONDERFUL to see them again! I can't believe that it has been a MONTH since we saw them last!

The girls all painted christmas tree ornaments and socialized! It seemed like they all had tons of "talking" to get out of their system. It is nice that they are able to get together with the same group of girls a couple of times a month!

Rita, another mom of a girl in the troop, was wonderful. She saw that Sophie had a snotty nose and cough and went out and got her a homeopathic remedy to help with it. It was amazing to see how quickly it started to work and how much better Sophie looked after taking it!

Of course by the end of the meeting Tabby and Emily and Mandy and Hannah were scheming to spend the night together. We decided to wait until Thursday night, the girls can't wait! I am hoping Jay is around so I can go and hang out with Kas for a couple of hours....too bad I am too big for sleepovers!

Sarah's house is just beautiful...not in the sense that it is some HUGE HOUSE, but that the things in it are well chosen and make one feel comfortable. Her husband is an artist and a lot of his pieces decorate their home. They also have some other gorgeous pieces sitting around. I made the comment that Sarah's home is an extension of her, a reflection of who she is, warm and comfortable. Kas looked at me at said "so is my house a reflection of me?" I busted out laughing and said "Yes, cluttered, eclectic and interesting, and there is never a dull moment!". I have to wonder how well my house reflects who I am!

Monday, December 06, 2004

"That other magic guy came!"

Those were the words my 4 year old uttered to his brother this morning when he saw his stocking brimming with goodies! That "other" magic guy would be St. Nick, not to be confused in any way with "the" magic guy, Santa Claus!

As part of our German Catholic heritage, we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas by hanging our stockings on December 5th for St. Nick to fill by morning. The filling is usually something simple, some candy, maybe a CD or some baseball cards or small toy, nothing too elaborate. For us it is a nice way to start the holiday season, kind of a kick off for the big day. The kids seem to appreciate the stocking "stuff" more in early December than in the midst of bigger gifts on Christmas day.

Cade was quite happy with the stuff the other magic guy brought him. Candy, baseball cards, a racecar, football and a tube of plastic animals. Of course he is counting the minutes until "the" magic guy shows up, and even corrected me today saying there are only 19 days left until the big day (I mistakenly said 20)!

Happy St. Nicholas Day to all!
Wild Child Open Gym
Mondays (starting December 6)
12 PM to 3 PM
Union Township Civic Center (Eastgate Area)

Submitted by Laura Riesenberg: Quite by accident, I found out that the new Civic Center in Eastgate has a gym available for community use. Although the gym is booked every evening and the majority of the weekend, it gets very little use during school year daytime hours so the coordinator was thrilled to have a group interested in using the space. We have been given a time slot from noon until 3 PM every Monday (except the one after Christmas) for the remainder of the school year. Best of all, the space is available for FREE!

There are a few rules we will have to follow in order to use the space:

1) We will have to bring our own balls/equipment. I have plenty of basketballs/playground balls and a parachute....Michelle Vaske said she has 3 bouncy balls (the kind a child sits on and bounces around on) and also a parachute...I figure if we all pitch in there will be plenty to play with (I am thinking things like hula hoops, jump ropes)...There are basketball hoops for playing basketball. If all else fails they can just run around like wild children and exhaust some of that winter energy!

2) NO KICKING of balls, NO HITTING of baseballs, NO BASEBALL BATS, NO TENNIS RACKETS OR TENNIS BALLS, NO CLIMBING ON BLEACHERS WHEN THEY ARE CLOSED). No roller skates, ride on toys, skateboards, etc.

3) Gyms shoes or non-marking shoes only

4) No jeans (they don't want the rivets rubbing the gym floor)...windpants or sweats work best.

5) There is a concession area with a frig that we are welcome to use and put snacks/drinks/ice in and a sink...I also believe a microwave...they would like snacks kept off the gym floor (for obvious reasons). I don't know that we would be bringing in food, but it is nice to know we can!

6) There is a nice area by the concession stand were toddlers (or anyone else) could play with building blocks (I have a huge bucket I am willing to bring) or race cars and be out of the way of the kids running in the gym. Toys (like blocks, trucks, etc) must be kept off the gym floor.

7) Restrooms are right by the concession area so it means we won't need to go into the building to find restrooms.

8) Absolutely no chewing gum

9) Trash needs to be put in receptibles. Scuffs on floor should be wiped up with a damp paper towel. Wet spills need to be cleaned up as soon as possible (mop available)

Children must be supervised by an adult (this isn't someplace to come and drop off your kids). This will be a drop-in program, you don't need to commit to being there each week, you may come when you chose.

Directions to the Civic Center:

The Civic Center is located on Aicholtz Rd. behind Biggs.

To get to the Civic Center take I-275 to exit #63/ Rt. 32 east/Batavia and stay in the right hand lane as you get onto Rt. 32. You will exit almost immediately onto the ramp for Eastgate Blvd. At the top of the exit ramp turn LEFT onto Eastgate Blvd. At the second traffic light turn LEFT onto Aicholtz Rd. The Civic Center will be on your left hand side. The is plenty of parking.

Once you are at the Civic Center you should see a sign pointing to the gym entrance (if you are standing looking at the front of the building, it will be the doors on your left). The gym is located on the lower level of the building.

What an ABSOLUTE BLAST...the kids ran around like wild children and I got to talk to other adults, adults that actually have children that are as wild and wonderful as mine. Of course there were a couple of squabbles over balls and the rules of the game, but things seemed to work out OK.