Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poor Emma

Last night after we went to bed, Emma cried out. I checked on her and gave her a paci. I got back in bed, and in just a minute, she cried out again. That time Lance got up with her. Then I heard him call out for me in the monitor. She had thrown up. We got her cleaned up and put her on a pallet in our room. An hour later, she threw up again. She had a rough night. She's been stuffy for a few days, so I was curious if she maybe choked. Today, she was pretty cranky and that is NOT like her. So on my way home this afternoon, I called Lance and stopped by his office. And bingo! Ear infection. Yea.

We got her started on antibiotics this afternoon. Hopefully, she'll be more herself tomorrow. If so, the girls and I are going garage sale-ing! Some of our neighborhoods are having big ones starting tomorrow, so the girls and I are going to check them out!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Literal Pain in the Neck!

Not much to talk about tonight. I have had some pretty severe neck pain for a couple days now. I had to have a babysitter come yesterday and watch the girls for me. I couldn't lift my head. It's happened a couple times in the past. But both of those were right after having Hope and Emma. I have no idea what happened this time. I went for a massage in the afternoon. That helped some. But today, I've pretty much been on the couch again. Thankfully, I'm doing a little better tonight. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be even better. I don't want it to interfere with MDO!!!
Just a quick pic. Luke has been climbing the doorframe leading from the living room to the dining room for a couple years now. He loves to dress up in his spiderman costume and climb up. Well, now Sara can do it! She is so proud of herself. The only problem is she can't get down. It's funny.


And Emma has two more teeth. The funny thing is, they are not the top 2 front teeth. They are the left front tooth and the one beside it. She's going to look funny!!!!


Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm still here!

It has been a very long and busy week. So busy that I haven't blogged since Tues! Wed. was the last night of AWANAS for the year. Sad for the kids, but a little relieved not to have to worry about learning the verses and finding the vests and getting ready for it every Wed. Thursday I was up until 1:00 getting the entire family ready to go camping while I went to Tulsa for the women's retreat with my church. Lance decided he would take the kids camping with some of the other husbands and kids whose wives were gone on the retreat. So I had to wash clothes, pack clothes in the camper, pack food, and pack camping stuff. And I had to get myself ready to go on the retreat and also get camping clothes for me packed in the camper. It's not easy being a mom of 4! Holy cow, that a lot of clothes!

The retreat was GREAT!!! It is awesome to get away with my girlfriends for some retail therapy and to hear a wonderful speaker who challenges me with my walk with the Lord. The funny thing is, I didn't buy anything! Lance couldn't believe it. I just loved walking around a mall without kids! We all had so much fun. Late that night after the speaker, we had a pajama party and pj contest. My roommates and I almost didn't participate, but we pulled together something at the last minute and had fun.

Me and my roomies!

I met up with Lance and the kids Saturday at Devil's Den. He was glad the cavalry arrived! He did good with the kids by himself, but I think he has a deeper appreciation for what I do everyday! :) When I got to the campground, they were nowhere to be found. All the bikes were there, shoes, truck, but no family. So I started getting things ready for dinner and tried to stoke the fire. There were some hot embers still and I blew and blew trying to get it going again and start dinner. I couldn't make it happen. I even prayed that God would help me so I could impress Lance! How silly! When they got back (they had been playing in the creek) I told him I had tried to impress him. He just looked at me and said, "Baby, I am impressed with you and it has nothing to do with fire." That made me feel great! It is good to be missed and appreciated!

We had a great time letting the kids ride their bikes around the campground and playing kickball. Luke played with some college kids and they were really sweet to him. It is something he will remember forever. He is getting so big. I can't believe he is going to be 7 in another month! He's growing up. It was so surreal watching him ride around the campground by himself and play with other kids. He found a little girl that's a year older than him to play with too. The funny thing is that when we met her parents, it turned out Lance went to High School with her dad! I'm just used to our kids being with us and playing together, but to see him becoming his own person is fun, but hard at the same time. Change isn't always easy!

The kids playing games in the camper.

So now, we're home and settling into life again. Ready to get control of the laundry (seriously, am I delusional enough to think that will ever happen!?), clean up the camper and get the kids back in their routine.

Oh, one more thing! Sara changed her first diaper today unassisted! She was so excited! I wish I could have caught the look on her face when I asked her if she would change Emma. I watched and she did great! She was sooooo proud of herself!

She did a really good job!

The proud girl!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Date Night with Friends

I can't remember our last date night. It's kinda hard to get them around here. But we went out with some friends from church tonight (Paul & Jan, John & Leslie). We went to Carraba's for dinner and then to John and Leslie's for dessert. It was so fun just to be able to sit at dinner and not have to say "sit down," "eat you food," "get out of that," "leave your sister alone," "come back to the table." :) Plus it's good to be able to really get to visit with our friends outside of church when there are so many activities.

We are gearing up for a busy weekend. I'm going on the Women's Retreat with our church and Lance and some of our guy friends are taking the kids camping. (say a prayer!) He went and picked up the camper this afternoon from the shop. It's back in our driveway again. (I'm sure our neighbors are thrilled!) I have a lot to do in the next couple of days to get everyone and the camper ready. But I can't wait to have a girl's weekend with my friends!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pareting is Heart Work

I wasn't able to blog this weekend because I had a migraine for 2 days! Arghhh! Saturday was pretty much a wasted day. Sunday was better that morning, but I wish i had felt good all day. We had a parenting conference at church Sunday. It was great information. The people that lead it are from The Center for Biblical Parenting. As a "retired" therapist, I loved how they took behavior modification a step further to getting at the heart of the issue. Not just focusing on our children's behavior, but what is at the heart of the issue and how is my parenting affecting my children's heart. Am I teaching them to just obey because I say so, or am I molding their character by focusing on their heart? Lance and I do a pretty good job, I think, about using Scripture when correcting the kids. And also teaching them that they are to please God and not just obey, but man do I really miss sooooo many opportunities to mold their character because I'm put out or mad and just lose it. We have a long way to go in how we talk to the kids. We are both to demanding and short and loud with the kids. We had a test last night when Sara had a meltdown at bedtime. That is very rare for her. But we both spoke calmly and didn't get down to her level by yelling her. (which is my default response) I have been so convicted about the example that I'm setting for them with how I speak to them sometimes. I pray that I will be sensitive to God and His voice when dealing with my children when they disobey.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness!

Whew! It's been a long but productive and great day! I got a lot of housework done this morning, so that's always good. The girls did a great job of keeping their toys picked up today. I swear, with 4 kids, it's impossible to keep the house picked up. It's so hard. I try not to stress over perfection, but it's not easy. One of these days, when we have less toys and the kids are older, I hope to have a clutter free home!

Emma decided she would start to try to crawl today. I was ordering some stuff online and looked up and saw her pulling her legs under her. I missed the first attempt because I couldn't find my camera! Arghhh! But she did it again a couple minutes later and I got it!
Ever since Hope got Sarahbear from Build-a-Bear, she and Sara have been dressing up their bears and carrying them around a lot. Today, Sara remembered that my teddybear that I've had since I was 12 was in the closet in Luke's room. I got him down and introduced them to Riley. Riley went with me on EVERY trip I took through Jr. High and High School. And he went with me to college! The first time I didn't take him on a trip was my freshman year in college and I was a chaperon for a Jr. High retreat at my church! (I figured I needed to act like a grown up!) So Sara and Hope had a blast playing with Riley. It cracks me up. Riley is almost 24 years old!

The girls with Riley

Hope never took her nap today. She kept sneaking out of her room and I got really tired of getting onto her. Finally, she came sneaking into the living room and this is what I saw!

She absolutely cracks me up!!!!!

After Luke got home from school, the kids and I went to Sonic for ice cream. The wind was blowing and we all got pretty chilled, but everyone had fun! Emma enjoyed her bottle instead of ice cream!

When we got home from Sonic we were outside riding bikes and playing. While the kids played, I cleaned out my Tahoe. Hence the title of the blog. It took me 2 1/2 hours to clean out my Tahoe!!!!! Holy Cow! You don't even want to know details. It has never been as bad as it was. I'm not kidding when I say that I think I found enough dried up hamburger and french fries to make a complete Happy Meal!!! Luke and Hope sit in the 3rd row seat and I never get back there. It was horrible! I am soooo happy to be driving a clean car!

So now I'm watching a TiVoed Survivor and gearing up for bed. I'm beat!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lovin' the warm weather!

We went outside after Luke got home from school. It was a GORGEOUS day today. Luke is absolutely loving riding his bike. It was so much fun. Sara is able to make it up and down the street a few times, but then her legs start hurting her. It's funny. She peddles as fast as she can and then she's beat.

Poor Hope gets kinda left out. She can't quite stick with the peddling. She tries on her tricycle but it's too much work for her and she wants to stop. But she wants to be in the street like Luke and Sara. I have to keep getting on to her to get out of the street. She asks why and I have to tell her because she's not fast enough to get out of the way of cars. Then she proceeds to tell me that her superpowers will protect her and she runs with her arms out like Superman saying "shhhhhhhhh" (her flying sound!) Love her!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here Fishy Fishy!

We went tonight to buy new fish for our fish tank. We've had our tank for over a year now. We started with 2 angel fish and a sucker fish. Our sucker fish is the only thing left now after numerous other little fish. He's about 7 in long so we can't get very big fish. We can't wait to build our new house someday and we will have a BIG fish tank! But for now, we're happy with our 10 gallon tank. The kids had fun at the free zoo that is Petco. They were running wild. Hope was screaming with joy all through the store. Her favorite was the cats up for adoption; Sara loved the birds; and Luke about drove me nuts asking for a hamster. We made it out with 3 fish, one for everyone.

Luke picking out Superfish!
Sara petting a cat

Hope and her Daddy petting a cat

OK, so I can't let this picture go with out talking about this. We have started planning the kids birthday parties. Luke's and Hope's are in a month and a half. Sara's isn't until Nov., but we're going to do a Luau, so we're having to buy the stuff now. Anyway, Luke has picked Spiderman and Hope wants Hello Kitty. Here's the thing, she can't say Kitty. It comes out titty! It's absolutely hysterical. But the funniest thing happened a couple of days ago when she was telling her Daddy about picking her birthday party. He came home from work and she jumped in his lap and said, "Daddy, I'm going to have a Hello Titty party! Do YOU want a Hello Titty party?" I thought I was going to spit my teeth! What makes it ever better is that they share a birthday! It got even funnier when Lance grinned and said, "Why yes, I think I do." He makes me laugh! I had to write this down so I wouldn't forget!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Havin' fun!

Lance was at the hospital on call this evening so the kids and I ate dinner and then played some. Hope, Sara and I played Hide and Seek. It started all because Hope came walking through the kitchen and I crouched down behind the cabinet where she couldn't see me and scared her when she rounded the corner. She laughed and said "let's play hide and seek Momma!" How could I refuse?! That's actually something that I need to be better at as a mom. I get caught up in what I'm doing and don't get down on my kids level enough and play what they want to play enough. We had the best time running through the house and yelling and scaring each other.

Then Luke and I had a tickling match. I won!! :) He had taken his shower and was sitting on the couch watching America's Funniest Home Videos and I attacked him! It was sooooo fun! Sara loved being able to use my camera to take a picture of it.

I have so many faults as a parent. Too many to list. But I hope that my kids know that I love them and they are the most important things to me. And I hope they have fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

Late night and early morning! Lance and I were up until midnight last night getting everything ready for Easter Sunday. Then we were up at 6 and got the kids up at 6:45 and were out the door for church by 7:15! We were out the door earlier than we ever even get up around here! (except for Lance, he's up before dawn!) It was a long day at church. I sing in the choir and we sang in all 3 services today. Lance was part of a special team of people in our church who volunteered to be greeters today. Bless his heart, he stood in the pouring rain for almost 3 hours directing traffic. All with a smile!

Dying Easter Eggs Easter Eve :)

The service was awesome! I love being part of the choir and helping lead our services in worship. Our music was amazing and it just allowed me to focus on the meaning of the day. HE IS RISEN!!!! I heard something for the first time this Easter. It was a bit of a sermon preached on Easter and the preacher kept saying It's Friday, but Sunday's coming! Well, Sunday is here and He is not in the grave!!!! Praise Jesus, He arose!
After we left church, we went to Lance's parents' for lunch with the whole family and an Easter egg hunt with the cousins. The kids had so much fun. They love seeing their cousins. When we got home tonight we did the last of the Resurrection Eggs. I think it's the first time we've made it all the way home! If you've never heard of Resurrection Eggs, go to and look in their store. They are a wonderful way to teach your children about Easter. My kids love them!

Hunting Easter Eggs with the cousins!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sleepover night

I love my sister-in-law! (all of them, but tonight I'm talking about Leah!) :) She called me a couple weeks ago and told me she wanted all three of the big kids to spend the night with them tonight. She had some activities planned for them, so we all went over for dinner and then left the kids making bird houses with Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Leah. The kids have been so excited about tonight. The girls were looking forward to it all day. Luke was excited about it when he arrived. He went to a birthday party first and then he joined the party. I am so blessed to have such great family!

Also, today is Good Friday. I thought a little about the term "Good" Friday today. Why is it called GOOD Friday? Jesus was put to death in the cruelest manner known to man at the time. He was innocent. The very people crying for his death just 1 week earlier were laying palm branches in his path and screaming Hosanna! The black and white part of me just doesn't get that. I cannot fathom how he could just stand there and let it happen.

But, what makes it good? It's good because had Jesus not let it happen, had he not died on the cross, I couldn't get to heaven! Praise His Name! It is a GREAT Friday because he substituted Himself for my sin! Hosanna! Glory to God in the Highest! And thank you!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It works!

So I've washed 5 loads so far with my homemade laundry detergent and I LOVE it! The true test came today. Luke still has problems with wetting the bed. We have finally cut out the pull ups and are using a Potty Pager with him. It attaches to his underwear and vibrates when it feels the least bit of moisture. It worked great when we first got it, but Luke has gotten used to it and in his sleep has been pulling it off. So we have been changing sheets every night. Yesterday I found a pair of dried, pee soaked, underwear under his bed. It was stained and stunk! So, I washed it today with the new detergent and they came out white as snow!!!! No stain and no scent! Plus, our towels have had a musty, mildewy smell that I haven't been able to get out. The smell is no longer there! I am sooooo excited!

Now, on a kid note! Hope did the cutest thing today. Emma is sitting up by herself now. Hope got down on the floor with her this afternoon and put her in her lap and started singing Jesus Loves Me to her. It was so sweet. I am blessed with the best children in the world!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finally Good Weather!

It was 71 today! Woo Hoo! (I just realized that I say that alot, Woo Hoo. Oh, well. Describes how I feel!) I had a migraine (which is starting to come back unfortunately) so my day didn't really start until noon. After the girls got up from naptime we headed outside to play and wait for Luke to get off the bus. Then we were out for another hour riding bikes. They had soooo much fun. They played with some kids in our neighborhood. Then it was off to church for AWANA. Wednesdays are always busy.

I washed my first load of laundry with our new laundry detergent today. The girls were loving watching me stir the bucket full and then pouring some into an old detergent bottle. I still haven't dried the load, but will before I go to bed. So I'll give the verdict in the morning!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Savin' Money!

A friend of mine recently blogged about making her own laundry detergent. She's been pleased with the results, so I thought I'd give it a shot. So I went today and bought all the stuff. Sara helped me this afternoon and in about 20 min we had a 5 gallon bucket full of laundry detergent, for around $13!!!!
I can't wait to be able to use it tomorrow. I'm excited to start the process!

The ingredients

My big helper!

Here's the recipe...

4 cups hot water

1 bar of soap (Ivory, Zote, Naptha, Fels, Sunlight)

1 cup Washing Soda

1/2 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with 4 cups of hot water. Cook and stir constantly on medium heat until soap is melted. Fill 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot tap water. Add washing soda, borax and soap mixture and stir until dissolved. Fill remainder of bucket with hot tap water and let sit overnight to thicken. Pour detergent in a clean leftover laundry detergent container halfway and fill rest of the way with water.

**shake before each use as water and detergent will separate**

for top loading machines, use 5/8 cup of det. per load - for front loading machines, use 1/4 cup

That's 180 loads for a top loading machine and 640 for a front loading or HE machine!!!! Woo Hoo!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Proud Momma!

Today was a very good day! Lance got up and went to the office early to get a little work done and then went to the grocery store and got some breakfast stuff. He got home and we made a big breakfast for the kids. We then spent the rest of the morning picking up around the house a little and then it was out in the garage. Our garage was in DESPERATE need of attention. Right before Emma was born, my Dad cleaned out our entire garage and cleaned it really good. We bought some new shelves then, but it has cluttered back up something awful since then. We spent all afternoon and evening cleaning it out and it looks awesome now! The kids played outside with sidewalk chalk, the bouncy house, and their scooters while we worked. They had fun and were tired!

We cooked burgers for dinner and then went back outside. We aired Luke's bicycle tires up and we went out to learn how to ride with no training wheels. We tried last summer, but I was huge pregnant and couldn't really help him, so he got frustrated and didn't want to do it anymore. Lance tried to help him once, but he was done. So he never learned. Tonight, we went out to learn how to ride it. He didn't even need my help! He took off and didn't look back. Within 20 minutes he was riding all up and down the street, turning, and going fast! Lance and I were sooooo proud of him! Sara took off on her bike, too and felt like a big girl. Hope had no interest in riding her tricycle. She just wanted to "go on a little walk" with her Daddy! It's been a GREAT day!

Taking off on his own!
A proud Momma and son!

I'm a big girl!

Going on "a little walk"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Great Friends

Today was just a day. Except lunch with my friends. I have the best friends in the world. I dropped the girls off at MDO and ran some errands this morning. Then I met 3 of my friends for lunch. The only problem was that I had to leave early to pick the girls back up. We had so much fun just laughing, talking about American Idol, trips to Disney World, and catching up. Most of us see each other at church a couple times a week, but we are running and so busy that we don't have time to visit and really talk. So today, 4 of us took that time and it was great. I am so blessed that God has given me such godly, fun, amazing women to be my friends!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Break

OK, so we've been back from our Spring Break camping trip for 3 days and I'm just now getting a chance to blog about it! Life is so busy. That's why it was so nice to get away from our everyday life. Here's are the highlights from our trip...

Day 1 - Wednesday
We got a later start than I had wanted to on Wed. Lance had to work that morning at the office to get some charts closed before the end of the month. So I was having to pack everyone's clothes and the camper by myself that morning. It took a while, but we got off by noon. Lance and the big kids got there before Emma and I did because I had to go to Wal-Mart to get a few final things. By the time I got there, he had the camper set up. He and the big kids went for a hike at the campground while I got the inside ready. Then Emma and I went for a walk around the campground, because we couldn't find everyone else! That night, Lance's parents and sister and nephews drove down for a cookout. The kids loved playing with their cousins.

Home Sweet Home

Emma and I on our walk

Day 2 - Thursday
We went for our first real hike on Thurs. Unfortunately, since it had been raining all week so far, it was very muddy. I had a hard time truly enjoying this hike because I was so stressed about the kids shoes. I can handle dirty and muddy when it's warm, but it was pretty cold this week and the kids couldn't just go barefoot. I didn't get on to the kids and tell them to stay out of the mud, but I was internally stressed a little. That afternoon, Luke rode his Razor scooter all around the campground. He loved it! Sara made one loop on hers, but got tired, so the girls and I just walked around. I was excited to realize that Devil's Den has a laundry mat. I'd never noticed it before. I was able to do laundry twice while we were there. That helped with the muddy clothes!


Day 3 - Friday
This was the worst day of the trip. I had started getting a migraine Thur. night. I had some pain meds in my car, but not migraine meds. I went ahead and took them twice during the night, but they didn't help and actually made me sicker at my stomach. We left after breakfast to go home so I could get some medicine. After 4 stops on the side of the road, we made it. :) It rained all day, so we just hung out around the house and then I started feeling better. We headed back down late afternoon. It had stopped raining, so we went on walks and Luke rode his scooter. We made friends with the family next to us who had a second grader, so Luke had fun playing with him. They were a Christian family, and we enjoyed visiting with them. Lance's parents came down again that night for dinner. The kids were very excited.

Day 5 - Saturday
SNOW!!!! I couldn't believe it. We knew that it was a possibility, but I didn't really think that it would. For crying out loud, it is Spring Break! It was pretty though. And we had a great day despite it. I took each of the girls separately to the shower house for a shower that morning and really had a sweet time with both of them. On the way back to the camper, Sara started singing a sweet little praise song. I asked her where she learned it and she said, "nowhere, I just made it up." I love it when my heart is smiling and I know that God's is at the same time! Because we couldn't get out and do anything outside, we went to Fayetteville to a pottery store and painted pottery. The kids picked out something to do and I painted a platter with their handprints. It was a lot of fun. Then we went to eat at El Chico and then to Wal-Mart to buy a movie for movie night in the camper. Our kids love to do movie night. So we put on pj's, popped popcorn, climbed onto our bed and watched Bolt! It was so much fun!


Painting Pottery

Day 6 - Sunday
Our final day and we finally had great weather! We went for the best hike ever! I kept telling Lance that I didn't know of anyone else as crazy as we were for taking our 4 small children on such a hard hike! It had it's harried parts, and I got nervous once, but our kids did great, minded well and had a great time. We were gone for about 2 1/2 hours. The kids loved the waterfall (even though I was a nervous wreck hiking behind it!) We got back to the camper and started packing up.
All in all, despite the headache and crazy weather, we had a BLAST! We love our camper, love to be outside, and love experiencing it with our kids! We can't wait to go camping all spring and summer!