Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sisterly Love

My sister gave me a poem and letter she wrote for my birthday, instead of a card.
A POEM FOR YOU
To a sister who has always been there for me.
To a sister who never judged and always loved.
To a daughter who does her best.
To a daughter who loves and respects.
To a wife who is faithful and true.
To a wife who loves her husband and God and who always endures.
To a mother with so much care.
To a mother that will always be there.

Sister,
You are so amazing in so many ways. I know
I've told you before how much I love and admire you, but with each new phase of
life, I look to your example to lead my life. I am so thankful that I have
not only a great Mom to look up to be a big sister whom I adore and respect and
strive to be like. I thank God each day for you and your beautiful family
and I hope some day I can be as happy and amazing as you are. Thank you
for all that you do, the big things and especially the little ones that mean so
much to me.
I love you sis! Happy Birthday!

Love,

Rachel


And then I realized after reading that: This is what sisters are for. It's great to be reminded that someone notices the things I do. It makes doing the little things and being the best I can be worth it. Thanks, Rachel! I love you too! You're the best sister anyone could ask for!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Simple recipe

I'm not feeling great today. Bleh. Anyway, I really haven't felt like posting, but I wanted to put something on here. I have enjoyed catching up on reading posts today, though.

Matt requested that I made Bourbon Dogs a week or so ago. I had never had them. He explained that it's just a cocktail weenie with a sauce that has bourbon in it. He'd had them at a potluck before, and they sounded really good. So being a good wife, I hunted down a recipe for it (read: I googled bourbon dogs and found one I liked), bought the ingredients and made it for supper a few nights ago. These are so good. The alcohol cooks out of them, and they have a yummy taste. I didn't think I'd like them while I was making them. The alcohol was too strong to be, but once I tasted the sauce I changed my mind. I will definitely keep this recipe and use it a lot. Matt said when I made them "If you cooked like this every night, I'd be a very happy man". Gotta keep him happy.

Here's the recipe if you would like a happy husband.

Bourbon Dogs

Serves/Makes: 12
Ingredients:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon (whiskey)
2 pounds cocktail hot dogs/weenies (or use regular hot dogs cut into quarters)

Directions: Combine all ingredients. Cook on the stove for 20-30 minutes until hot. Or put everything into a crock pot for about 2 hours on low.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thing 3

Another meme I received from Devan @ All D's.

Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, add yourself to the bottom.
Smiling Mom
Playgroups are No Place for Children
Scenic Overlook
All D's
Mommy Daisy

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was in high school 10 years ago. On my summer break that year I worked at my mom’s insurance office a few days a week. I spent one week at Buckeye Girls’ State sponsored but the American Legion (didn’t want to go, but one of the best experiences). I spent one week being a counselor at church camp. I spent a week at band camp. And I went with my family to North Carolina for a week. I was dating Matt then already for 2 ½ years.

Five Snacks You Enjoy

1. Chocolate
2. Crackers
3. Fruit
4. Carrot sticks
5. Popcorn

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:

1. “Never Alone” by Barlow Girl
2. “Barlow Girl” by Superchic[k]
3. Rock-a-bye Baby
4. Lots of praise & worship songs
5. Lots of hymns

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:

1. Pay off our student loans
2. Sell our house and buy or build a much nicer one.
3. Invest for our future.
4. Buy a new car.
5. Tithe 10% to the church.

Five bad habits:

1. Cracking my knuckles.
2. Procrastinating.
3. Not returning phone calls when I should (I don’t like talking on the phone much).
4. Picking at my fingernails.
5. Giving my son extra snacks, so I can have a few more minutes of peace and quiet.

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:

1. Mini skirts
2. Jelly shoes
3. Scrunchy socks
4. Bike shorts (especially under a long t-shirt)
5. A wedding dress

Five Favorite Toys:

1. My laptop
2. My stationery collection
3. Zachariah (what, he’s fun to play with)
4. Digital camera
5. Chip (my dog)

Five People to Tag:

1. Mother Bunny
2. Julia @ Double Trouble and one...
3. Kristi @ Living Life in Tx
4. Ashley @ Splendid Sustenance
5. You!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Links

Jana from Dress-Up and Diaper Changes has a good question for all of us. First of all, thanks for de-lurking Jana. I checked out your blog and I'll be stopping back. OK, here's what she asked.
Maybe you or your other readers can answer a "blog etiquette" question for me. I read a lot of blogs (like 50 of them) and comment regularly on about a dozen of them. Which ones should I add to my "Favorite's List"? Just the ones that I comment on or all of my absolute favorites (about two dozen total)?

Well, I list the blogs that I comment on regularly, really enjoy reading, and I also will list blogs of people who read mine. I have twice as many that I actually read. I don't usually post at the other ones, so I haven't listed them here. I'm not sure why not. I guess I didn't know how it would look if I had such a huge list of blogs I read.

But to be honest, I do read a lot. I have them all on an RSS reader, so I check that throughout the day. Yes, I'm at home a lot, and I get bored. I have a laptop, so it's easy to leave it on all day, then my reader updates when there is a new blog posted. I don't always read them all right away, but it does give me something to do when I'm bored.

I hope that answered the question you had (and more). Maybe someone else will have some advice for you. Also, anyone have advice about how many listings is too many to have in one spot? Should I list all the blogs I read, or just leave it like I'm doing it? Let's hear what you have to say.

Thing 2

I was tagged by Jennifer @ Playgroups are no Place for Children. She did a double meme, but I only choice one. The other one was very similar to what I did the other day, and I didn’t feel like thinking of new things.


Here are 10 things that make me happy…

1. Blogging - the reading and writing of them (at least when I have something to say, most of the time I think my blog is rather boring)

2. Matt - my wonderful husband of almost 7 years (our anniversary is a month away)

3. Zachariah - just being himself, his wonderful laughter and the latest thing is him trying to repeat what we say, i.e. “Amen” comes out “ma men”, but it’s adorable.

4. Free stuff - like jewelry (I’m hosting a party on Thursday and hope I get lots free.)

5. Friends - I don’t think I have enough. I love the ones I do have; they are precious gems to me.

6. Doing things or making things (like baked goods) for other people.

7. Chocolate - need a little every day

8. Baking - I love to create yummy things. (I just don’t do it often, because we won’t eat much or sometimes shouldn’t eat much. Hence #6 above.)

9. Naptime - needs no explanation to any mom.

10. Baby clothes - or baby clothes shopping (all kinds)

Jennifer tagged 5 people, so I’m going to follow her lead. Post in the comments if you participate, so we can come read it. Don’t feel obligated to participate if I tag you. It won’t hurt my feelings.

Kelli @ Holding the Mirror Up to My Soul
Sara @ Suburban Oblivion
Swistle
Taryn @ The Sun is Always Smiling for Samantha
Shauna @ Pass the Chocolate

Monday, June 25, 2007

Looking for something new

Most of you who read my blog are fellow bloggers. And sorry if you don't like the term, but I think most are "mommy bloggers". I don't think that's a bad thing, unless you're going for something else. These are the kind of blogs I like to read. I think I've linked most of the blogs I like in my sidebar. Please go check some of those out if you need something new.

But what I want to know is who do you read? How do you find them? And what keeps you coming back for more? I need some new blogs to check out, so I'm asking you for suggestions. I know some of you have blogs linked in your blog (like I do here). Are those your favorites? All that you read? Let me know if they are, and I'll go look through them via your blog. Help me out here fellow bloggers, I have too much free time and need more blogs to read.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thing 1

Kelli @ Holding the Mirror Up to My Soul tagged me for a meme in which you list seven things about yourself. I tried to post this once right after she tagged me, but it never posted. I guess I didn’t feel like tackling it then, so I’ll do it now.

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!


1. My birthday is exactly 1 week away. I get excited about my birthday every year, but for the last few years, it’s been very boring. 2 years ago my sister got married the day after my wedding. Her wedding was very rushed - being planned in less than a month. So, almost everyone forgot my birthday that year. I had been very moody and found out a week later I was pregnant. That works for a birthday surprise! Then last year my son was an infant, so it was difficult to do anything for my birthday. Plus my other sister had a wedding coming up in a week. She & I went shopping and to lunch together as a sort of “bachelorette party” for her. This year will probably be nothing special either, but I’m OK with that. The older I get the more I realize that birthdays don’t have to be something special. It’s just a milestone to see each birthday.


2. OK, here’s a funny habit. I check for lint between my toes before I get into bed each night, especially when I’ve worn socks all day. (It drives Matt nuts, but I have having stuff between my toes like that.)


3. If Matt & I ever had twin girls we think Layla and Anya would be nice names for them. (I am not wishing for twins though.)


4. If I have a drink with ice in it, I swish it before each drink. Matt thinks this is strange, but I do it so I won’t get a huge watery taste from it.


5. I have never lived alone in my entire life. Sometimes I wish I would have for at least a short while before I got married.


6. When I was young I had a cat (a stray neighborhood cat) that I named Squeaker, because she could never meow. Even as she grew up all you ever heard from her was a squeak. Then she had a kitten (only one & we didn’t even know she was pregnant) and I named the kitten Sweet Pea (for no particular reason, just thought I’d add that).


7. I tried the Atkins Diet once when it was really popular. I hated every day of it. I did lose weight, but I practically stopped eating because I was sick of the things I could have. I decided that was a bad way to diet, so I stopped.


I will tag the following people if you’d like to give it a try and if you haven‘t done this already. Please post in the comments if you are participating, so we can go see your meme. Also, I have 2 more memes I will be working on soon. If you tagged me for something, and I haven’t done it yet please let me know. Thanks.
Semi-desperate Housewife
Kara @ Baa Baa Black Sheep **who just got married-Congrats!
Erica @ All Dressed Up
Devan @ All D's
I’ve Got Mommy Brain
Kelsey @ Midwest Mom
Jen @ Never Melts

Are they 4real?

What's in a name? It's always interesting when you come across a new or unique baby name. Sometimes these inspire you, perhaps, but other times it just makes you wonder what the parents were thinking. Please read the article here. This is what sparked a debate.
Pat and Sheena Wheaton said they decided to name their new baby "4real" shortly
after having an ultrasound and being struck by the reality of his impending arrival.

These parents so far have been denied naming their baby something that starts with a number. I just wonder why would they want to do that to their child.

When thinking about baby names for our son we looked at baby name books, family names, biblical names, etc. We did not have the baby named before he was born. If was up to Matt, he would have chosen a name before, but I wanted to wait until I saw him. I am glad that I waited. I had my heart set on a name that we'd picked out earlier in the pregnancy for a boy, but I don't think that would have suited him. In fact I went into delivery thinking that would be his name, but after seeing him I knew it was not his name. So I went with my second choice, a name that Matt had helped convince me of. I think Matt was very pleased that I choice the name Zachariah, but he still says that I named our son.

I hold out hope that I might be able to use my other favorite boy name in the future. That's mostly why I won't tell you what it is. I did not like telling people the names we were considering. I didn't want people to place judgements and turn me off of a name I really liked. I also wanted to do what I did, see the baby and make sure the name suited him. I wanted the option to change my mind. Matt knew the few names that I liked, and he gave them his OK. I would not have chosen a name he didn't like. In fact, when Zachariah was born and the nurses wanted to know what we'd name him, I asked Matt to go ahead and name him. He would not and wanted me to. I thought Zachariah Matthew suited him, and Matt whole-heartedly agreed.

I will still stick with my method of naming babies. I don't think I'll get crazy and chose "4real" or anything like that. Or do what a character in a book I read did...she named her children after the first thing she saw when they were born. I remember that one son was Calendar. No Calendars or Stirrups or Monitors in my future.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Because he wanted beer

I have noticed a change in myself since becoming a parent. Well, really there have been many, many changes, but this is a big one. And it's not even directly child related. I am learning to be more assertive. How being a parent changes you #759.


Here's the scene: I was going to pick up pizza for a late dinner after putting Zachariah to bed. Noticing there was no more beer in the house, I offered to pick some up for Matt. He told me specifically what he wanted. I got to the store, and I could not find the kind Matt had asked for. I saw bigger packs of it, but not a smaller one. I stood there and looked around a minute of so. It was messy and hard to see everything, because there was an employee restocking there. Then the employee asked if he could help me. I said yes and told him what I needed. He looked around and spotted it. It was behind a bunch of things, so he offered to get it for me. Good. He gets the beer out and hands it to me. When I looked down at it I realized it was the "light" version, which is not what Matt requested. My first thought was just to take what he'd given me and run, because I knew Matt would drink it anyway. Then I thought, No, I am NOT going to do that. So, I told him this was not the kind I needed, and if they had the regular kind I'd prefer that. So back over the boxes and crates he went to get what I needed. And they had it, and I happily bought it and left.

Now, this may seem like a silly little thing to you, but this was huge for me. I hate confrontation. I will even eat a meal that I didn't order at a restaurant, just because I don't want to mess with the hassle of it all. I have seen myself change in this aspect over the last year or so, and I think it's mostly due to being a parent. I've learned that I have to stand up for my child and myself as a parent. Now I see this trickling into the rest of my life. I might still eat something I didn't order, but I'll definitely think about that next time.

What made this really funny is that when I got home, I told Matt about what happened and how proud I was of myself. He laughed and said "I would have just taken what he gave me the first time". Ha, I know. He's as bad as me. But if I'm getting better, maybe he can too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Zoo

Today we went to the zoo. The Learning Center where I tutor was taking some of the kids on a field trip. Matt thought it sounded like fun to come along. Plus we have a zoo membership, and we've planned to take Zachariah a lot anyway. We had a great time. We all split up when we got there, and we ended up with a group of 6 girls. Three of them are sisters (2 of which are identical twins, luckily I can usually tell them apart), 4 just-finished 2nd graders, 1 just-finished 3rd grader, and 1 just-finished 4th grader. They really were pretty good for us. We had a super time. And Zachariah loved the zoo. He was great in spite of his lack of napping today. He has always seemed to love animals, and this day just confirmed it. He loved the calf at the petting zoo so much, that he leaned in and hugged it. Luckily the calf was so busy happily licking Matt's arm, that he didn't mind all the hugging. (He also hugged several goats, and I think he would have liked to jump in with the orangutans.) So, here are a few pictures to document our day. There are so many more, but I thought these were some of the best ones.





Our group of monkeys.

A HUGE 23 year-old orangutan. We watched him swing/climb over to the female and wrap his scarf around her neck. Monkey-love is so cute.

They did not have any real elephants at this particular zoo, but Zachariah got to see the next best thing - an elephant skeleton. As you can see he wanted to touch and feel.


I swear the stork dropped him off.


Getting a chance to pose on the giant tortoise statue.


Oh, and in case you didn't notice... I found a cute shirt to match one of Zachariah's many green shorts. This was great for a day at the zoo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

*knock*knock* Housekeeping!

The title is done in my best David Spade impression from the movie "Tommy Boy". You know the line right? He knocks and says "Housekeeping...housekeeping...you want pillows fluffed?..." OK, I won't keep going on, I'll get to the reason I posted this.

I have been really on board with keeping up with my house in amazing ways lately. Yep, there are still spots that need worked on, but little by little I'm getting to them. Why the change you might ask? I started using some ideas from FlyLady. I've adapted them to my life and home. The biggest this is I have little routines I do each day. It helps me get more done, because I go on a automatic kind of thing. I know that certain things get done, so I just do them. My bathroom is clean every day. My dishes are done at least twice a day. (That is a huge one for me. I have to wash all my dishes by hand, so I usually put it off. Not anymore. I'm starting to not mind doing them.) I do at least one load of laundry start to finish each day. I never did bad with that before, but it's even better now. I dust the house at least once a week. I now vacuum at least twice if not more. Before I vacuumed once a week regularly, then I would do it again if we were expecting company. I do a lot of other things now too. And you know...I'm proud of it. I like the way the house is looking. I feel like someone could pop in unexpectedly and I wouldn't be embarrassed. Now that does not mean my house is always spotless. It's not. In fact if I knew someone was coming, I would have it looking in tip-top shape. But the point is that it's OK now. I feel good about it all.

With the summer I tutor less and I do it in the early afternoons. So, I'm home before Matt. I can cook dinner every night now. Then when dinner is done, I clean everything up and do dishes. I almost never did this before. The dishes would sit in the sink until I got to them later the next day. Now, I just do it. I figure Matt can keep an eye on Zachariah for a few minutes while I get everything put away.

In the mornings I've been able to get a shower and dressed before Matt leaves for work. I didn't do this before. I would just wait until Zachariah took his first morning nap, then I would get my shower. But now I shower before Matt leaves while Zachariah is eating breakfast. So, Matt doesn't really even have to do much, just make sure Zachariah doesn't need anything. And when those morning naps come along, then I can get things done around the house. More time to take care of things. And in the afternoon naps, when all my housecleaning is done, I can do more things for me. I don't feel guilty blogging or reading blogs for an hour. I can work on crafts or watching movies or whatever. It's been great.

I'm determined not to go back to the craziness I had before. I like it this way. My house is not perfect, but it's getting there. Then I start to see other projects that I can take on. I see walls that need painted and other little things like that I can do. And now it's doable. Before I don't think I would have managed. It would have been more of a pain than enjoyment to me. I would have come out of a project like that I grouch. Now, I see that I can do things. I haven't tackled anything like that quite yet, but I'll be there soon.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Anger

I have been such a grouch. It's probably PMS, but I'm not making excuses. Yesterday was Father's Day. I got Matt a CD and card from Zachariah. He loved the CD! I had planned to take him out after church for lunch. He was driving, so I told him to pick a place. I even named a few possibilities for him to choose from. Zachariah was being a little grumpy in the backseat. Mostly it was because he was hungry. I finally handed him a few crackers, and he was fine. When I asked Matt where we were going for lunch, he said "I'm driving home". I was a little upset, but I bit my tongue. I had planned to eat lunch out. Then we could have a nice Father's Day meal, and I wouldn't have to fix something at home.


And head home he did. When we got in the house, I headed for the kitchen so I could get something for the kid to eat before I put him down for a nap. Let's just say I was none too happy about having to scrounge up something to eat for him. Matt headed straight for the fridge and started pulling out things for himself. This made me mad. But again I bit my tongue. I just reached around him and pulled something off the top shelf for Zachariah. Well, I tried to carry too many things, and they all went toppling over. Baby food green beans fell on the floor. They hit the bottom of the fridge and splashed a lovely green all over the floor and Matt's pants and shoes. Oops. I got a rag to clean up the mess. Matt took off and wiped himself off. Once I got the fridge and floor cleaned up, I told him I was sorry when I walked past him. I didn't even get acknowledgement that I had spoken. He does this when he's mad. Him being mad made me madder. He had no right! It was an accident. And I felt like he was being completely selfish. HE had driven home, because he didn't think Zachariah would behave at a restaurant. The fact is he was only hungry, so it would have been fine if we'd gone somewhere. He is the one who was in my way when a cranky kid just wants food.

So, anyway, I fed the kid, then went to do dishes after I put him down for a nap. Matt was upset that I wouldn't eat. Grr, I was way to mad to eat. So, he spend the rest of the afternoon shut in the bedroom. I really didn't care either. Later in the afternoon, we had fun with Zachariah just forgetting (well, not completely) about earlier. Matt left to get a few things at the grocery store. Zac had just started fussing before he left, because he was hungry. I made us supper while Matt was out. When he got home we were almost done eating. I got up to put something in the oven for him too. He was upset when he came in the door saying "oh, I thought we'd go out". Well, you should have thought about that before you left me with a hungry child....AGAIN. He did not want me to make him dinner. So I didn't. I just went about the rest of the evening doing what I needed to and just ignoring him for the most part. Yes, this is how I handle anger. After I was done with everything and had put the child to bed, I went to our bedroom with the laptop to relax and surf the Internet. He kept coming in to hug on me, and he kept moaning that he was hungry. Oh well. I was not making him something at that point. I was civil to him the rest of the night, but that was about it.

THEN, then, he had the nerve to "want some" in bed. Not going to happen. Treat me like crap all day, then you want me to be nice to you in bed. I don't think so. AND I'm the one who dealt with the cranky teething kid all day. ALL DAY! On a weekend, on top of dealing with this for the past week! Nope. I'm not doing it.

OK, so I'm being pretty mean. I really don't mean it all. Just was a rough day. I think I need a break. A real break. Like a day to myself. This has never happened since the birth of our son. I've had a few hours or parts of days or days away with Matt. Never time just to myself.

A day later, this doesn't look so bad. We're being much nicer to each other today. I even picked him up at work and took him to lunch. It was good. It's all good. This is how it goes. The ups and downs of a relationship. I love him, that's what keeps me going. He loves me and cares for me, and that's what counts.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Father's Day is a great holiday to celebrate for me. I have a wonderful father. I know that I am very blessed, because some people are not lucky enough to even know their fathers or have lost their fathers. Believe me, I count my blessings. My Dad is awesome! He was always there for us growing up (and still is). He made his family a priority over work. He worked very hard, so that we could have nice things. He taught us valuable lessons about life. Best of us he helped raise us in a loving house. He showed us what being a great father was all about. And he taught us that the Lord is good and He will guide and protect us too.

Here is a message I sent to my dad today:

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad in the world. Thanks for all the
things you have shown me and taught me over the years. I know I'm
responsible for a few less hairs or gray hairs on your head. But you
were
always so patient with me. You made sure that I grew up knowing
the Lord
and that the only way to live my life is through Him. Thanks
for that
precious gift. I think now that I have my own child, I'm
starting to see
all the sacrifices that you made to be such a wonderful
dad. I can never
thank you enough. I love you very
much.
Love, Me

Now that he is a grandfather, it's neat to see that relationship grow too. My parents had 3 girls, so you know my dad didn't have it easy (especially through the teen years). I was a pretty easy child, but my sister's had their share of troubles. Anyway, when I found out I was pregnant with a boy, he was thrilled. I didn't realize how special that would be to my dad for his first grandchild to be a boy. This is the boy he'd never had. And he loves my son so much, and I know he will teach him many lessons in life too. For now Zachariah has the luxury of being the one and only grandchild, so I think they will form a bond that will be far reaching.

Thanks, Dad, for everything! You've helped make me who I am today! I love you!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Planting season

I don't know why I want to write about plants and flowers, but I do. Perhaps it's because I decided I had to post about something and when I looked up from the computer I saw one of my houseplants...that probably needs watered again.


I am so very bad about keeping plants and flowers healthy. That's why I've never purchased a houseplant. But, over the years since I've had my own household, I've acquired quite a few plants. And I think so far I've managed to keep maybe half of them alive. I'm not sure what I do or don't do to the plants to ensure their untimely deaths, but it happens. I suppose part of this could be a little neglect on my part, but just a little.


I don't like anything that takes more maintenance beyond a little water and sunshine. And at that the 4 houseplants I currently have only get watered maybe once a week. I only get to them when the one is drooping completely. It always seems to perk right up within a few hours after I moisturize it's tender roots.


Why do I even have this many plants if they just annoy me so much, you might ask. Well, they've all been given to us for one reason or another. One lovely Peace Lily was given to us by my parents when Matt's grandmother died. They had it sent to the funeral home, then when everything was over we were able to take it home. Another small plant is from that funeral as well. Then there is a big basket with several smaller plants in it that was given by my parents when Matt's other dear grandmother passed away last year. And finally I have another small plant that my grandmother gave me after I had Zachariah. So, I guess I feel a bit obligated to keep these houseplants alive. Otherwise it would be so long plants.

We also have some outdoor plants and flowers, but Matt does most of the maintenance on these. I have never been too interested in planting. I do like a few perennial flowers that are low maintenance. So, I have daisies that have grown and grown more every year. They are just starting to grow this year. But they will be blooming like crazy in a few weeks. They are great, because I love daisies. I also have a few Asiatic Lilies. Those are very low maintenance and beautiful. Matt planted a few annuals this year that I picked out too. It was his idea to plant them, so I let him. But he let me choose what I wanted, because it didn't matter much to him. I like them right in front of our porch where they are. I see them when I leave the house, but I don't want to do all the work to keep up with them. (I guess I'm lazy when it comes to yard work.)

Matt also has a big vegetable garden. We built a raised-bed garden about 5 years ago. I helped build it and it was great fun. But when it came to planting...all Matt's. He's done a lot of different things. Last year we did not plant anything, mostly because we had a newborn in our house that was occupying most of our time. This year Matt decided to go simple, so he just planted 4 different tomato plants, 4 bell peppers, 2 jalapenos, and 2 banana peppers. So, we'll get just enough things off of those.

We also have a cherry tree on our property as well as wild raspberries and some potted strawberries. We didn't get any cherries this year, because they bloomed too early. We just put in the strawberries, so we've only gotten a few little berries off of it. Zachariah thinks they are the best thing ever, and he checks for new berries every time we walk by them. Our raspberries are going crazy right now. They only get teeny tiny little berries, so we can't do a lot with them. But we've been picking them for a week now. Zachariah also loves these. He says Mmmm Mmmm as we pop the little berries into his mouth. So these simple plants I don't mind so much.

The other flower/plant that I don't mind are my roses. I have 3 beautiful rose bushes. Matt keeps them watered for me, and I take care of weeds and pruning for them. They start blooming in May and keep blooming until it snows in Oct. or Nov. or whenever that may happen here. About 4 years ago we had a really warm, mild fall, and those roses bloomed until the middle of Dec. It was neat. I love going out and seeing my beautiful blooming roses. I have red, yellow, and white with pink.

So, what kind of plants or flowers do you have? Do you enjoy gardening? Or is that a chore left for someone else?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home is where the heart is

We've been talking about our next house. We're thinking we could possibly build or at least buy a new construction. I guess I never thought we'd be discussing that. I was sorta surprised to hear that Matt was interested in it. Plus I've always been interested in older homes with character. But now we're thinking that a new home will be a little less upkeep. I suppose we come to this conclusion, because we're living in a house built in the 1950s that's been a work in progress. We're also outgrowing our house. We bought it 6 years ago as a starter home, and it has served good in that purpose.

Now, we're not talking about moving or building anytime soon. And it's possible that we'll be here for several more years before we're ready for that. But it was fun to talk about, since I didn't realize that Matt was thinking that way. And now that I'm thinking about it too, I see some neat things for our future.

Insightful

I won't bore you with the details of the conversation that led up to this, but I offer you this brilliant piece of inspiration that my husband came up with. (I know you'll be amazed by our intelligence.)

If you didn't have a belly button, where would all the lint go?

In the same respect, what would happen if you didn't have toes to collect the toe jam?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Arbitrary

Just a few random thoughts today, I guess.

  1. I saw a former student last night at a store. I didn't realize who it was until we were gone. She had looked very familiar, but I couldn't place where I knew her from until later. She was in the 5th grade classroom that I did my student teaching with. She will be a junior in high school this year. I feel old! I can't believe it's been that long since I was in college. And I cannot believe that my first group of students that I really got to know will be graduating in two years.
  2. I find it hilarious when I see thin women coming out of plus size clothing stores. Usually this is the older crowd that I catch doing this. Women around 45 and older. But so often they don't even need to shop there, they are thin and probably can't fit into the bigger clothes there. I am a plus-size woman, and my clothing options are generally limited. I can shop at places like Lane Bryant (which I rarely shop at), C.J. Banks, and certain department stores who have a decent plus-size section like Kaufman's, Macy's, and a few others. It's hard finding clothes. Especially hard to find clothes that are "young" enough for me to wear. I'm not the most fashionable person, but I don't like to wear "old lady clothes". That's probably why the old ladies shop in the plus-size stores, because that's they style of clothes that you find in most department stores plus-size departments.
  3. Zachariah can "mooo" now. It's really cute! This makes #3 of his list of animal noises he can make. His first was the elephant. That is soooo cute. Then he started panting when he saw a dog. Now he moos. It's adorable.
  4. I used to love getting BabyCenter newsletters in my inbox. They were insightful and contained good information when my son was a baby growing older and going through new stages. Now, they just seem annoying. They suggest things that I've already done. I think maybe I'm getting the hang of this mommy thing.
  5. I have no idea what to do for Matt for Father's Day. Breakfast in bed? Maybe. Lunch out? Maybe. Order pizza? Sounds good to me. (I don't really feel like cooking a big meal.) Last year we got him a nice new car stereo. Our budget is a little more limited right now, so we're not doing anything big this year. He may end up just getting a card and a meal out. I think he'll be fine with that. He said he didn't need anything, and he means it so I won't feel too bad. But he got me a nice necklace for Mother's Day, so I sorta feel obligated to do something.

Can you hear me now

I am so annoyed by cell phone users. Yesterday on my way in and out of a store, cell phone users were being a pain. On the way in I was pushing Zachariah in the stroller, and I had to go to the next set of doors (not too far, but still). There was a lady blocking the one set of doors, talking very loudly on her phone. Very obnoxious. Then on my way out of the same store there was another lady behind me talking on her cell phone. Well, trying to push a stroller out a door while trying to keep the door open is not a fun job. I'm sure many of you can relate. But she is right behind me speaking very loudly and just standing there and bugging me. She could have gone around me. Or, heaven forbid, she could have at least held the door once I had it opened. I went through 2 sets of doors with her annoying me like that. Grr. And I can't count how many times each day I see drivers doing stupid things while on their phones.

I just don't understand why people have to be on their phones all the time. My husband and I both have cell phones. I only use mine once in a while. And I'm not saying that I don't talk once in a while when I'm driving. But we use less than 100 minutes every month with our cell phones. And, why, oh why, do people think they need to shout while they're on the phone? Do they know they don't have to do that? I guess not. OK, rant over. Just had to air that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Riddle me this

I told you that I would answer any questions about me in my 100th post. A few of you took me up on my offer, so I will go ahead and answer those questions.

  1. Semi-desperate Housewife asked me this: "What's your biggest personal extravagance? Like you know how some women seem so frugal but then you find out they get pedicures once a week or whatever. Or maybe it's just some embarrassingly dumb TV show that you love, or something. What's your guilty pleasure?" Wow, this is a tough question. I'll think about it for a minute first. I'm not into clothes so much. I'm not into make-up (you're more likely to see me with no make-up on). I don't do manicures or pedicures (I've only had one manicure in my life). I don't do much with my hair. I'm a pretty low-maintenance girl. I do get into the summer reality TV shows, but I'm not sure there's anything too embarrassing there. OK, here you go...I have a huge stockpile of stationery, stickers, notepads, and other things. I've always loved to write letters. I've had pen pals for over 10 years. Some for longer, some shorter. So, I can't help buying cute stationery or stickers to use for my letters. I really love Sanrio stationery. A 20-something mother who gets a kick out of buying Hello Kitty paper. Ha! But I do. I have a friend who does the same thing. We don't see each other often, but we like to meet up and shop for stationery once in a while. Now do you think I'm truly strange? (Well, you already knew I was.)
  2. Kelsey of Midwest Mom asked this: "What ages/grades are you licensed to teach and in what subjects? What did you think of teaching/how long did you do it? Would you go back?I am very interested in your pre-mommy life. I enjoy knowing where people have been!" This shouldn't be too hard. I'll try not to make it long-winded. I have a certification in grades 1-8 with a math concentration. (I started in a different program and I was working towards a licence in grades 4-9 with a concentration in math and language arts. My first two years in college this is what I did. As I started my 3rd year in college, they offered a few of us the chance to be grandfathered into the old program. I jumped on it, so I could have a broader certification. Since then the programs have changed several times anyway.) I never had my own classroom. I was a substitute teacher the first year right out of college. Then I took a year to work a full-time job at a new restaurant/coffee house that Semi-desperate Housewife's husband's family opened. (They are friends of mine. It started as a summer job, but then turned full-time in the fall. I mostly did it as a favor to them, but then decided I'd rather be teaching. It was all good though, that's where I met Semi-desperate Housewife.) So, after a year away, I went back to substitute teaching. I stuck mostly with one school distract, and a few times I taught in other schools. Most of the time I spent in the distract we live in. I did my student teaching there too, so I knew lots of the staff and felt at home in that school. I stuck around long enough that I knew a lot of the students too. During that school year my friend from church had been telling me she needed a licenced teacher for a tutoring position at the after-school program she runs. I signed on there that fall, and I've been tutoring there ever since. The kids who were in Kindergarten then will be going into 3rd grade this fall! Yikes! I love this program though. I think that will be a good post telling about that sometime later. I stopped subbing when I was pregnant for Zachariah. I had a minor complication early in the pregnancy, and I was not allowed to drive for quite a while. Basically I was stuck at home. Fortunately I was still able to do a little tutoring. At this point I am undecided about whether or not I will go back to teaching or ever try for a full-time position. I've never been really sure if that's what I want, which is why it was easy for me to substitute. If I chose what I taught, it would be 5th grade or 4th grade. Or middle school math. From there I work down. I could NEVER teach K or 1st. I love kids that age, but not in a classroom environment. The students I tutor the most are K-3rd, and I love that. But I didn't enjoy that as much in schools. My plan for now is to stay home until our kids are in school. Then I may substitute teach if I don't just stay at home. At this point I'm thinking I may not ever teach full-time. Or maybe someday I'll want to go get my master's degree in something else. (Sorry that was so long. I warned you.)
  3. Devan from All D's asks: "Thinking about having baby#2 anytime soon?" Well, there's a simple answer and a long answer. I think for now I'll give you the simple answer, since I'd been thinking about blogging about this anyway. So, my answer is Yes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Age Matters

It seems like age really matters where my son is concerned. He's 15 months old now, but when I look at babies younger than him I think "he's not that much older" or "that wasn't very long ago" or "they are pretty close in age". However, when I see babies that are older than him, I think "wow, there is such a difference between them" or "I can't believe he'll be doing that in X number of months".

I guess it's just funny when I think about it that a baby that's 6 months younger doesn't seem that different, but if the baby's 6 months older...woah! Then I figure the mother of the younger baby probably sees my son as quite a bit older. Maybe I just notice this more because I only have one child. Or maybe none of this makes any sense to anyone but me.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Fashion advice

OK, so I'm a little fashion challenged. I've never really been into fashion for myself, but I like my son to look nice Usually I do OK. At this age a lot of his clothes are outfits that I bought together. Or for this summer he has several pairs of shorts that match different shirts. But, I'm at a loss of what to pair with a few cute shorts that he has. So, if you're not as fashion challenged as me or you just have some good suggestions, please let's hear it.

Let me tell you why I have these clothes with nothing to go with them. Someone else gave them to us. They are all barely used and like new. Zachariah has plenty of clothes, but I hate to see these not get worn at least a little bit. Plus it gives me an excuse to buy more clothes. ;) Like I needed an excuse. Anyway, we just need to get 1 shirt to complete each outfit. Or if I can find something that will match several things, then that would be even better.


This is what Zachariah wore today. I don't know if it even looked OK together. The shorts will be pictured below, because they are some I have problems with. He doesn't really have any shirts that match, so I tried this orange one. What do you think? Does it work? Maybe? Be honest. Cause I didn't worry too much this afternoon, since we didn't leave the house.


Alright, let's dive right in. I don't have any shirts that match these. We have a few striped shirts, but none with these colors. And we have a solid orange and a solid red shirt, but I'm not sure they would match these colors. So, I'm thinking I need to go shopping, but I want some suggestions. What would you put with these? Have you seen something in a store? Online? I'm not much of an online shopper, but maybe someone can find a good idea for me. In our town we have The Children's Place, Old Navy, Baby Gap, JC Penny, Sears, Wal*Mart, Kmart, Kids R Us, Meijer, Kohl's, Macy's, Elder-Beerman, and that's about all the places I can think of that carry kids clothes.

In this first picture you'll see a duplicate pair of shorts from the previous picture. On the right - green shorts from Old Navy. On the right - greenish shorts from Baby Gap. What would look good? Plain colored t-shirts? Patterned t-shirts or polo shirts with this color?



These I can pair with a plain shirt. I did buy just a plain white t-shirt that would go with any of these. With the middle pair I had a white polo shirt for him, but it has a stain. Plus I'm open to what else might look OK. I see stores pairing patterned shorts with all sorts of different tops. On the right - Koala Kids red, blue, and white plaid shorts. In the middle multi-colored plaid from Baby Gap. And on the left camouflage green shorts from ?.


Then there are these coveralls. On the right - light blue and white striped from Baby Gap. In the middle - green with a little light green frog jumping across the front. On the left - blue with red and light blue stripes by Baby Gap.

I know there has to be someone out there who wants to give me fashion advice for my son. Who wants to take me shopping? I need help.

And on another note, I think I might have to buzz his hair. It must be getting too long or curly or something, because last night someone called him a girl...again. *sigh*

Friday, June 8, 2007

Happy 100th Post!

So, since I'm not clever and brilliant, I'm not doing anything special for my 100th post. If you haven't already, you can read my 50th post. It has lots of fun, random information about me.

In honor of my 100th post, I baked a lovely sheet cake. Mmm, and it's very yummy. Thanks for the suggestion, Bunny. I haven't baked in quite a while, especially something made completely from scratch. So to you my blogger friends, I want to share my cake.
I even plated a piece for you. Enjoy! And eat up, there's a lot left.

And maybe something fun here too. If you wish, you can each leave 1 or 2 questions about me. Then I will answer those all in a post. Any takers? Ask away. I don't think there's much I won't answer. Don't embarrass me now, but this is a chance to get to know me a little better.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Having a moment here

Why must my child try me so? I don't understand it. Last night he's tired and won't sleep. He fought off sleeping for 2 hours. 2 hours, people! He would be quiet and we thought he was asleep for 15-20 minutes. Then, all of the sudden lots of screaming and crying. One of us would go in a try to lay him back down. Most of the time he wanted to be held. He was tired, but he would lift his arms to be picked up. Then he would snuggle on us like a little angel. So sweet, but we just wanted him to sleep. Thanks goodness Matt took turns checking on him. This went on and on. Finally we gave him some baby Tylenol thinking the cause of his restlessness could be those gigantuous 1 year molars he has popping through. He got up one more time after that and Matt went in a rubbed his belly. He said that seemed to relax him, so maybe his tummy was upset. Who knows. I just know it was getting frustrating when this child, who normally goes right to sleep at his bedtime then sleeps through the night, was tired and not sleeping. Luckily after that he did sleep through the night, but he was up at his normal time this morning. (I was hoping he would sleep in for once. HA.)

This morning - we're going through this again with nap time! I won't repeat the whole story, because it's basically the same as before...minus Matt to help. Today it's just me here to deal with the trials of a sleepy-but-won't-nap baby. After an hour and a half of not really sleeping this time, I gave up. He's playing happy with his toys now. He suddenly doesn't seem a bit tired.

I give up! I just hope this means a LONG nap later. That way I can actually get a few things done around here. And just so you know, I will be self-medicating to get myself through today (which no doubt will be a fun one). And before you start worrying about me, I don't really drink so it won't be alcohol. I'm thinking more along the lines of caffeine and lots of it. Probably via Mt. Dew. Yep, I think that will keep me going with him today. Oh, and to make matters oh so much better (she says dripping with sarcasm) it's supposed to be 90+ degrees today. Too hot to have a toddler outside to play. This means we're stuck inside! Ahhh! At least it was nice yesterday and we were able to go to a park for an hour and a half in the afternoon. I still don't think that will help me out today. We'll see how it goes from here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Need your help

So, my 100th blog post is coming soon (VERY soon in fact). Should I do something fun and unique for it? I would like to do something special, but I'm at a lose for what to do. In case you missed it, for my 50th post I wrote a random list of 50 things about me. SO, I can't really do that again. I don't think I could come up with 100 different things.

I'm amazed that I decided to give blogging a try just over 4 months ago. And I'm already up to my 100th post. Go me! I would like to post more often most times, but I don't want to overwhelm my readers. Plus there are times when I just can't think of anything great to write about. (For instance, this silly post. Not really sure where it's going.)

I suppose I'm just here to ask for suggestions. If someone can think of something that would be super great, then I will probably use their idea. Otherwise, you might just get a regular old boring post like this. So, let's hear it. Any ideas for a blogiversary?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Funny schtuff

Oh, I'm sure this happens to all of us. Silly kids! I had another video I really wanted to share, but I can't find it now. I'll post it later if I see it.



OK, here it is. This is the other really funny thing I found.

Monday, June 4, 2007

15 months and more

Yesterday Zachariah turned 15 months. Yikes! He's growing up and changing so quickly. I just can't believe my eyes sometimes. I look at his baby pictures and wonder did he even look that young. Is that really my little boy? Almost hard to believe. And all that change in just over a year. Here he is exactly one year ago and today.

And no, we didn't do anything special to commemorate this momentous day. Ha, I don't know too many people who celebrate Quarter Birthdays.

Sunday was, however, a really neat day for our family. Our church had a special outdoor service. You see over a year ago we decided to purchase the huge field/woods across the street from our current church. (We are not able to do anything around the current church property because of existing houses and a school.) Anyway a year ago we had an outdoor celebration service after we purchased the property. It was in our parking lot looking out over the new land across the road. This year we had an outdoor service on the new land. It is a former corn field. Actually part of it was farmed this year, because we are still raising money to build. The land itself is now officially paid for though. This was a very touching and unique service for us. One of the neat things we did is broke into 14 groups and go to different points of the property. We put stakes in the ground with scripture on it, prayed for the new land and future church building, and planted sunflowers. For each task a person in the group was asked to do it and one to read the scripture that coordinated with it. For the flower planting task the youngest member in our group was asked to do that. Zachariah happened to be the youngest, so I helped him dig a hole and put sunflower seeds in it. Then the oldest person read a scripture for that. Then others watered the flowers. A very neat dedication service to the church's future. That is something I will never forget. I will be able to tell Zachariah some day that he planted flowers in the churches land when it was brand new before the church was even built there. What an amazing messages we're sending our babies and children about how much we care about their future spiritual needs.

On Saturday morning Matt took Zachariah to the local Farmers' Market. This gave me a morning free. I didn't need to go anywhere, so I planned on relaxing at home. As soon as they left I was trying to think of something that I don't normally get to do here at home. I ended up moving all the living room furniture and vacuuming around everything. Then I decided to rearrange the room. It looks pretty good, and I think I needed the change. But what a way to spend a morning alone. I honestly felt lost. I didn't know what to do with myself. I read a book for a while, then surfed the Internet catching up on blogs and other things. I actually found myself bored. So, I took a nap. That was nice. They came home while I was in the bedroom. Matt played with Zachariah for a while, then they both took naps. It was a peaceful sort of day.

Tonight I'm going out by myself again. My sister is having a jewelry part at her place. I thought she'd appreciate me going. I asked Matt if he minded me going. He said no it was fine. Yeah! Two out of three days I get time alone. Wow, this could start being a good thing. I think it's a long time coming though.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Updating and additions

Today I was thinking about how refreshing blogging has been to me these past several months. It's been therapeutic almost. For years I've wanted to journal, but I know I'll never stick to it so I don't even start. Then when I got pregnant I had a strong urge to journal, but I got wrapped up in other things and decided it wasn't worth all the effort. And a little more than 6 months ago I found some mommy blogs. I loved reading about other mommies and their lives. Their problems, blessings, and every day situations. And I thought to myself maybe this is what I've been looking for. And honestly, so far it's been everything I've needed. I love blogging and especially reading other blogs. I'm not a great writer, but just to put some things into words is wonderful. I feel better just pounding the words out on the keyboard and then releasing them to the world.

At the same time I've been thinking about the other blogs I read. I have a whole list and others I've checked out before, but I don't have on my Google Reader list. After we were gone on vacation for a week, I've barely been able to keep up with the blogs I missed. I have been trying to catch up, and now I'm current with most of my favorite reads. But I've been really negligent in posting comments to my favorite bloggers. So, I'm so very sorry to those of you who I haven't commented to in a while. I will try to get better about that.

And I wanted to see who all is reading this blog. Please leave me a comment if you stop by my blog regularly. If you blog and I'm not reading you already, I'd love to check out your blog. Plus maybe you can find a new blogger friend in my comments this way. I also want to make sure that I add you to my "reading" list on my blog page. I think it's only right that if you enjoy reading and stop regularly here that I give you a little shout-out in that was. So, look at my list and if you're not on there yet, be sure to let me know. I've fallen behind in keeping up with that too.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you all -- even you lurkers. I'd love to get to know who you are. ;) And to all the great bloggers out there, keep blogging my friends.