Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fools Day!

Emma has been talking about April Fools Day for at least two weeks now. I don't know if they talk about it at school or what, but I figured I better get my game on. I got this cute idea from the Disney Family website. I modified mine a little bit by making the "chicken nuggets" out of sliced banana covered in crushed honey nut cheerios. Then, you put a scoop of vanilla ice cream and press down the center to make a well. Fill the well with caramel, letting some drizzle over the sides. This is the mashed potatoes and gravy. Put a yellow starburst on top for the pat of butter. Here's a tip: Put your plate in the freezer first to chill it. I didn't do this and my ice cream started melting too fast and running all over the plate. The "peas and carrots" are green and orange runts.



My New Car

This is my new car. Not really. This is my ultimate dream car, though. If any of you are multi-millionaires and feel inclined to buy it for my next birthday, just remember I like candy apple red. Or black.  : )

Sorry about this picture being so pixilated. It was taken with Jason's Blackberry.

Brusha Brusha Brusha So Healthy For Your Teeth!

The new way to brush your teeth.............with Mom's toothbrush! Comfortable AND convenient!



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love Is A Verb

We all know this is true, but it's good to remind yourself of it. Watch enough movies and tv shows and you will start buying into Hollywood's version of love. What is their version? That love is a feeling and that marriage and family are matters of convenience instead of commitment and integrity. What do you do when you aren't "in love" anymore? You love him/her. Choose to love. Love is action, even when the feeling isn't there. Think about the legacy you will pass down for generations if you choose to actively love your spouse and love your children. Make the effort, sacrifice and get your SELF out of the way. After reading this chapter, I have been trying to practice love and my four unique gifts in any conflict situation. Instead of letting my annoyance, anger, etc. be the driving force of my reaction to the conflict, I try to push my pause button. I step back and imagine what I want the outcome to be, what I actually have the ability to control (myself), and to treat the person, not based on their current behavior, but based on the unseen potential in them. I try to imagine my children wearing shirts that say, "Be patient with me. I'm not finished yet." This is very difficult to do. Like exercising muscles, it is actually painful to put your SELF aside. But, it does become easier the more you practice it. And I believe the results are totally worth it!



I Love The Mommy Job

Today I decided to focus on all the things I love about being a mommy. I love being able to snuggle and rub noses with my girls. I love singing "Banana Phone" while dancing around. I love building sand castles and snowmen, tents, and forts. I love attempting a forward roll (impossible now) while my girls fall over laughing. I love sharing my favorite children's books. I love the quiet time at night when I'm singing to one of them and either rocking them or rubbing their backs. I love that they think I have the best singing voice in the world (very untrue!). I love that they think I am a super hero and can do anything at all! I love my girls.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dallas

We went to Dallas last weekend with the three squirrels. The road trip went awesome and it looked like it was going to be a smooth trip....until we tried to get some sleep. Anyone who travels, goes out to eat, or does anything at all with their kids other than keep them locked in the house knows that it can either go wonderfully, or be a total nightmare. (In the Forrest Gump voice) It's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. We settled into our trendy-chic hotel and got all three girls into bed without much fuss. Jason and I stayed up a bit later and when we finally got in bed, we discovered that, apparently, an elephant had slept in our bed the night before. There was a dip in the middle of the mattress roughly the size of a kiddie pool. It was too late to wake up all three girls and switch rooms, so we decided to tough it out. That meant Jason went to the couch and I got in the kiddie pool. Then the real fun started. Elise woke up once, twice, three times, four times, I lost count! The other two girls fussed and fought over bed space the whole night. It was great fun! "Well", I thought, "at least they will all sleep in. Nope. By 7 a.m. they were all awake. Going to the Galleria with three sleep-deprived cranky kids and two sleep-deprived cranky parents? Not so much! I don't recommend it. But, we did have a great time that afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum. And Jason and I comforted ourselves by stating that we could pat ourselves on the back for trying to get out and do something fun and exciting. That's what we tell ourselves anyways. : ) Here are some pics from the best part of our trip.





Elle was not really in the mood for the paparazzi that day.

The Suttee Sisters!

Isn't this sweet? This was before she took over my Ben and Jerry's chocolate ice cream bar after which she looked like a little street urchin.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Habit #1 Be Proactive

It's so easy to be reactive in life. You get caught up in the anger of the moment and end up saying things you don't mean. We all need to develop a "pause button" and it is possible to develop that habit. Being proactive is the ability to act based on principles and values instead of reacting out of emotion. Use your four unique human gifts in the space between what happens to you and your response to it. When something happens, #1 Use self-awareness: step back and observe your own thoughts and then make changes/improvements. #2 Listen to your conscience: Pray and ask God to be your compass in this situation. Ask Him to remind you of His truth. #3 Use your Imagination: Envision the way you want this situation to turn out and imagine a better response to it. #4: Independent Will: Make the right response happen. No, it isn't easy. It's like swimming upstream. But you can get your SELF out of the way and respond in a positive, life-building way. No one has to be a victim to circumstances. We all have the ability to change our circumstances. You can't force family members to change, but you can change yourself. No matter what past you came from, you can choose to pass on a legacy of kindness and love.




Little Helpers

Naptime today: Both girls are in their beds, I get on the phone and Elle comes in and says, "Elise has a poopy diaper. See momma?" Wait, what? I turn around and she is holding Elise's poopy diaper out to me. Where is Elise? Still in her bed, sitting with her poopy bottom all over her clean blankets and bumper pad. Yay! Then, Elle comes in, cross country skiing on a DVD across the tile, to tell me she has now pooped in her panties. Double yay! Did I mention the water is turned off for two hours while they work in our area? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Right? Right???

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beginning With The End In Mind

More from the 7 Habits book:






What are you working towards? A beautiful family culture. You want a warm feeling, climate or atmosphere in the home. You want a depth, quality and maturity of the relationships in the home. You're looking to create a culture that has moved from "me" to "we". Despite the current value in America of individual freedom, immediate gratification, efficiency and control, there is no path as rich in joy and satisfaction as the path of interdependent family living. Working together toward a common destination.

Start planning to share with your children the vision you have for your family. Ask them to think about what they want the family to be like. Decide to meet weekly as a family to talk about how you can help one another, support one another, have fun together and stay close.

Here is a game you can play with your younger children to help teach the importance of families working together. If you want the information for sharing with teens, email me and I will send it to you.

Blindfold a family member. Lead him/her to a place in the house, yard, or park where returning to the starting point will be difficult. Make sure the return path is safe with no obstacles to trip over.

Turn the person around a few times and explain that it will be his/her job to find the way back to the starting point. Let the person try. After a moment, ask if they want help or clues. Let family members take turns directing the person back such as, "turn left, go straight, etc.".

Help the children see that a family flight plan with help to become a strong and happy family is just as valuable as the help they got when they were blindfolded.


More to come.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Printer Paper

This week at Staples, you can get two free reams of paper. Go to www.coupons.com and print out two $1 off coupons for HP Colorlok Technology paper. Then, all you have to do is get your rebate form from Staples when you check out. It should print automatically with your receipt. Go online to www.stapleseasyrebates.com, enter a few numbers and get your money back within 2-4 weeks. All you pay is around $1 in tax. Pretty good deal!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey

This is a great book. We have read it and re-read it. I decided to share what we have/are learning since we can all use inspiration as we work with God to build our families.

Families- even great ones- are off track 90% of the time. The key is to have a sense of destination. You have to know what the "track" looks like and keep coming back to it time and time again. Like the flight of an airplane. The pilots have a flight plan, but during the course of the flight, wind, rain, turbulence, etc. act upon that plane. Throughout the trip, the pilots have to make adjustments so that they return again and again to the flight plan. The key is to have a destination, a flight plan and a compass.

#1 Destination: Make a family mission statement. This must involve all family members. Everyone needs to feel a part of it and buy into it. The vision must be shared by everyone.

#2 A flight plan: Principles that govern all of life. They are not quick fixes, a bunch of practices or to do lists. They are habits- established patterns of thinking and doing things that all successful families have in common. In past times, society helped you raise your children. It was easy to go with the flow because for the most part, society was an ally and a resource. Now, we have to navigate through very family-unfriendly and turbulent times. We need a new mind-set and a new skill-set.

#3 A compass: Four unique human gifts. Self-Awareness, Conscience, Imagination, Independent Will.
These four gifts reside in the space between what happens to us and our response to it.

More to come.......

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nap Time

Today's post is best told with pictures. They were both in their beds for naptime and I got on the phone and this is what happened.......



Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bring The Sexy Back

It has been a fantastic week! On top of my good friend Sandy coming for a visit and my sister and niece coming to stay the night, Jason watched our girls so I could go on a girls' trip to Dallas with my family for three days. I figured I earned one day per child. Ha! If I ever want to be gone a for an entire week, I better start expanding my family. I had forgotten what it was like to listen to adult music for hours at a time,  eat breakfast, lunch and dinner by myself without having to feed anyone, hold anyone, have food smeared on my clothing, or enduring a tantrum. I got to sleep all night and wake up on my own. Ahhhh.....it was wonderful. Jason gave me some money and asked me to buy clothes to "bring the sexy back". So with the help of my mom and Jessica, I managed it. When I got home, wearing one of my new dresses, my girls had rubbed hotdog grease on me within the first hour. I looked at the label. Hand Wash Only. The next day I wore another new shirt and by the end of the day, I had melted butter fingerprints down the front. I looked at the label. Dry Clean Only. I felt like my boobs were hanging out every time I bent over and every time I squatted down, my crack was showing. Did I mention that I am bending over or squatting down for 50% of my day while I take care of my kids?  I am reminded why I usually wear mom clothes. I know he appreciates my efforts though. And I definitely had fun spending the money! : )

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winnie the Nude

Elle and I were reading Winnie the Pooh before bedtime tonight when we came to a page that she really wanted to study. She leaned in close to Pooh's picture and said, "Him needs to put him's pants on!" "And pull hims shirt DOWN."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buy Pediacare Today!!!

I have started couponing. Here is a great deal for Pediacare infant or children's pain reliever I got just this week! You would have to take advantage of it today as it's the last day it will be running.

Go to www.coupons.com and print off two $2 Pediacare coupons. Take them to Walgreens and pick up a circular at the front of the store. The store has a limit of 3 per person, so you may want to take your husband or an older child. Go back and get the medicine (3 per person with you). Take them to the cash register and buy the first two, using your printed coupons and the $5 off coupon inside that Walgreens circular. They should be able to use the same Walgreens coupon over and over. If not, pick up another circular at the register. Depending on whether you buy the infants or children's medicine, you will have free medicine and either $2 or $1 BACK TO YOU! They won't give you the cash (obviously) but, make sure you stick some candy or gum up there so you won't lose that money! When your receipt prints out, it will give you another coupon for $1.50 off Pediacare. Use it for your 3rd bottle of medicine. This time, you will either have 50 cents back to you if you buy infants or will owe 50 cents for the children's since it's more expensive. We now have 9 bottles of this medicine and I will stockpile some of it and give the rest to friends with kids. This medicine is normally $6.99 or $5.99! Don't pass it up!!!

Start Thinking About Summer!

I found a very cute idea on Little Wonders' Days blog. I highly recommend her blog for some great kid activities. This one is: Make a Summer Bucket List with your kids. Write down everything your family would enjoy doing together over the summer. Then, break it down according to how much time the activity will take and color code them by that.

For example:

Purple slips of paper are things that would take an entire day: Go to the zoo, visit the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, visit the Jenks Aquarium (and the Suttees : ), go to work with Daddy one day, visit a state park, etc.

Blue slips of paper are things that take at least 2 hours to half a day: Play putt putt, go bowling, go on a picnic, go to an outdoor movie, go to yard sales, go to a bounce house, visit the Lego store, visit farmers markets, go pick fruit at an orchard, etc.

Green slips of paper are things that can be done spontaneously: Roast marshmallows, play dress up, learn to hula hoop, have a water balloon fight, have a themed dinner night, catch fireflies, make popsicles, fly kites, blow bubbles, make homemade lemonade, play in the rain, etc.

Then, on days when the kids are bored and you need some inspiration, pull out a slip colored according to the amount of time you have/want to spend on an activity.

I plan on starting this now since we're having more and more nice days. Have fun with it!!!



Monday, March 7, 2011

JB Birthday Party?

 Usually, Emma wants a Barbie birthday party or a princess birthday party. This morning, she let me know that for her birthday party (in June) she wants a Justin "Beaver" party. Hmmmmm.

Teacher Appreciation Door

Well, I ended up being sick last Friday when it was time to decorate the teacher's door. Emma helped me and I think it turned out well. I'm sharing this idea in case someone else needs to come up with a decorated door. Here's the pic!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kitchen Towel Cupcakes

I racked my brain to come up with more uses for the cupcake idea. We needed some inexpensive gifts to give out to some other special workers at Emma's school for teacher's appreciation week. I came up with the idea to fold a kitchen hand towel and washcloth into the cupcake wrapping. We went to Target and I bought their flour sack kitchen towels. It turned out so cute! Each card says, "Thanks for making this a sweet year!" Would be great for house warming gifts, hostess gifts, etc. Here is a picture.




Saturday, March 5, 2011

Four Letter Words

Emma just said her first (and hopefully last) four letter word........I think. We were at Chick Fil A with the kids last night and Emma came out of the play area all sweaty. She plopped down at the table and casually said, "It's dumb hot in there!" Say what??



Friday, March 4, 2011

Babies of the family

What do you get when two babies of the family marry? A lot of fun and a lot of procrastination. Two of our houses have had hot water faucet handles that broke. It isn't a hard problem to fix, right? Just buy a new handle and install. Instead, we used pliers to turn the water on and off every day for months! When did we get motivated to fix those faucets? When we were selling the house! And here is our newest procrastination: Our master bathroom toilet started running all the time. After we both tried everything we knew to fix it, we ended up having to turn off the water at the back of the tank. Now, you have to sit down, reach back and turn on the water, do your business, wait for the tank to fill, flush, and then reach back and turn the water off again. You can imagine what a pain this is, especially at night. What are we waiting for? We're both waiting for someone else to do it for us of course! Babies of the family......

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Swing Low

One of our bedtime songs around here is Swing Low. It cracks me up how every kid gets the word chariot wrong. I remember getting it wrong as a kid because the word chariot obviously was not in my every day vocabulary. Emma says, "Swing low, sweet cherry on." And Elle says, "Swing low, sweet cherry hot." Ha ha ha!


Sick Again???

This has been a monumental year for me in the way of sore throats. Two cases of strep and one bad viral sore throat in three months. Now, I love Jason and I am so glad he wants to work hard to bring home the bacon, but I don't think men were made to be very good nurses. Jason has so many great gifts and qualities, but home maker is not one of them. When you combine having to cancel meetings and take days off from work along with trying to take care of the kids, feed them, keep the house in decent order and take care of a sick wife, it's a bit too much. Although he was trying to hide it (sort of), when I started running a 102 temp yesterday, he was a little more aggravated than sympathetic. How can I tell? The first two times I had strep (3 weeks ago & a month before that), he would check on me often, using a soft voice and if I wanted water, he would bring me filtered water with crushed ice in it. Yesterday, when he finally came in and with a slight snarl, asked if I needed anything and I requested water, I got lukewarm water from the sink. He also took it upon himself to schedule an appointment for me to see an ENT to talk about getting my tonsils out. Ha!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snapshot of the terrible two's

During nap time (a time I desperately need for my sanity), Elle snuck out of bed and went into Elise's room, got in her crib and woke her up. One swat later, and Elle is in my bed with multiple threats about what will happen if she doesn't go to sleep IMMEDIATELY. 15 minutes pass and Elle starts crying about her eye. Upon investigation, I see that, instead of sleeping, she has: rubbed sunscreen all over herself, rubbed peppermint lychee foot lotion all over herself, and sprayed my perfume several times, including in her eye. Needless to say, she smells, um, fragrant. My, oh my.



The Culprit