My Grown Up Christmas List

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This weekend I had a wonderful time. I frosted my third batch of Christmas cutouts.  Don't ask what happened to the first two batches. Bill and I took the two big kids to see Tangled--super fun movie--take your kids, boys and girls! And Bill took me to see White Christmas downtown. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I knew. I am an impossible person to surprise. I don't do it on purpose, I just ALWAYS know. It's a curse. It was a very busy weekend. Frankly, the whole season has been incredibly busy. I have made at least 14 batches of carmel corn, peppermint bark popcorn, and peanut butter cup popcorn, 3 batches of cut out cookies, we went on the Polar Express with the kids and my family, I've gotten together with friends, etc. I have been so caught up in doing things--and a lot of them are for other people--not in a bad way, but wanting to do things for friends and family, that I have really been missing Christmas. As I sit here and type this, I am thinking of my sister. She is having a miserable season. She is struggling to help her daughter, to understand what is going on inside of Juliana's tiny body, and frustrated that the doctors can't figure anything out. I am thinking of a family situation. A misunderstanding among brothers that is threatening to make Christmas awkward and painful. I am thinking of my sister-in-law, Marylou, who's brother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer while his wife is preparing to give birth to their first baby. Yet, while I sit here, Beth Moore's study, "Jesus" is staring at me. It is a reminder of what this season is all about and the answer to all of life's questions and problems.

2000 years ago, God came to earth as a baby. Jesus. Jesus came to save the sick, the misunderstood, the poor, and me. Sometimes I am all of the above... My hope is in Him, but when I see those I love suffering, my faith doesn't waver, but my frustration with this broken world increases. Watching my loved ones suffer, makes my soul cry out, "Jesus come quickly!" I don't know how much more some of them can take without cracking. So, I am praying to the Great Redeemer and Lover of My Soul, that those whom I love so dearly, would feel Christ's arms wrapped around them during this Christmas season. That they will feel love, like no other, hope for the future, and belief that this life is fleeting--just a tiny moment in the scheme of eternity--and the true knowledge that if they run this race with perseverance, never losing sight of the heavenly prize that awaits them at the end, they will finish at the feet of Christ and hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful Servant." That is all I hope for this season for those whom I love so much, that my heart breaks with them. That is my grown up Christmas list.

I am that immature

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yes, I know all you people who read my blog think I am perfect, always keep my cool, know how to handle anything life throws at me. Basically I am June Cleaver. Well, I am about to burst that bubble. You will now understand why I thank God for a wonderful, patient husband, who finds my immature antics somewhat adorable and cute.

For the past several Sunday's, after church, Rori has had practice for the Christmas musical. So after church we eat lunch together in one of the Sunday School classrooms and then Bill, the boys, and I head home. We have decided that picking up Little Ceasars Pizza is the easiest option for us. It's $5 for a pizza and then I don't have to worry about packing lunches the night before for all of us. This Sunday, I was in charge of picking up the pizza. Actually I was picking up three pizzas because there were two families that were going to have some. I also was bringing Brendan with me. So, I called Bill and asked him to meet me by the door, because they are locked, so that he could open it and let me in. When I pulled up and had unbuckled Brendan and was carrying the pizzas in one arm and Brendan in the other, I realized he was probably going to be meeting me at the door on the other side of the church. That door made much more sense than the one I had picked. He tried calling me, but I couldn't get to the phone as I had no free hands. I was annoyed that I had told him the door that didn't make sense and I was annoyed that he didn't pay attention to the fact that I said the door that didn't make sense. So I put Brendan down and the pizzas down and dialed his number. He didn't answer. I dialed it angrilier (is that a word?) this time. He still didn't answer. People were looking at me sitting on the sidewalk with a baby and three pizzas. I called it again. No answer. I was starting to sweat. I hadn't had breakfast. I was debating just eating pizza with Brendan on the sidewalk and just waiting for someone to come find us and let us in.

Bill ended up calling me--his phone hadn't rung for some reason--and I told him I was at the other door. He must have run to the door I was at, because he was there within about 5 seconds. I huffed in angrily because he hadn't listened to me and been at the right (but wrong) door. I am completely aware that I am directionally challenged, but I don't like to be anything less than perfect. So, in my immature retaliation, I took his unopened can of Coke and shook it :) Yep, I'm that immature. Bill just laughed and told me he loved me. Thank God my husband is a wonderful representative of Christ's love for His church. For whatever reason, Bill loves me unconditionally and forgives me seventy-times seven for my immature behaviors. And I am even more thankful that Christ forgives my immature behaviors. It's mindblowing for me to think that He loves me even more than Bill does. 

Jim Sinegal

This weekend Rori and I went with my mom to see the Wizard of Oz that was playing at a Mariott theater. It was a present for my mom's birthday. As an extra treat, my dad, who does some traveling for business, used his hotel points to book us a room so we could spend the night before the play. We did this last year as well. This year, when my mom checked in, she gave my dad's name Jim Sin*ell--she even spelled the name (I have deleted part of the name so that no crazy stalkers will find him--because I have lots of crazy stalkers reading my blog, you know). Anyway, they told my mom she had a room with a king size bed and she explained that we needed two doubles. They made the changes and she discovered we were in the Concierge Wing, which is the VIP area. When we got to our room, the front desk called and I answered. She said, "Mrs. Sinegal?" I said, "Mrs. Sin*ell," but it didn't faze me because I'm used to people butchering my maiden name. And she proceeded to ask if my mom left a book at the front desk, I said no and we hung up. That was the first clue of mistaken identity. Rori wanted to explore the hotel so as we were leaving the room, a bellhop was bringing a tray of assorted chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling water. Mom jokingly asked if it was for us. He said if we are in room 3211. We were! He said, "they are for Jim Sinegal." Mom said, "I'm Victoria Sin*ell." So he delivered them to us and said they were from the hotel manager. We were in awe. Rori was in awe and thought they were beautiful. We didn't eat them, but put them in the fridge for after dinner. We looked at the card. It said Jim Sinegal. Clue number 2. Mom said, I think there's a mixup somewhere. I said, people butcher our name all the time. So we went and toured the hotel. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought mom was right. So mom called the front desk. They asked if she was with Jim Sinegal from Costco. Mom explained that she was not with Jim Sinegal but Jim Sin*ell. The front desk manager told us they had us booked at a different hotel and were sending a bellhop up to get our luggage. And yes, we had to give the strawberries back. We were hugely embarassed. We did the walk of shame out of our VIP room and gave our luggage to the very kind bellhop. Mom went to the front desk and while explaining it all to the manager, started to cry. I told him it was her birthday. He kindly booked us another room, back in the VIP area. We went to dinner and when we came back, the front desk manager had sent us a fruit tray with two bottles of water for mom's birthday. It was way better than the strawberries--I had already decided they were old and dry. At least that's what we told ourselves :) I googled Jim Sinegal, and he is the CEO of Costco. I hope he enjoyed his strawberries...

Happy Birthday Baba Hoo Hoo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to my very special mommy who gets up well before the sun every Wednesday morning to get to my house by 6:15 am with sausage and cinnamon  melts for my kids! You have managed to tame the wild blonde boy, you travel to far away imaginary lands with Rori Rose, and you survive the three ring circus when Brendan is awake :) We appreciate and love you very much!! Thanks for being the best mom I could ever wish for!
Teaching Rori and Liam about the new baby they were going to get

 Meeting Brendan Rhys

 Showing that you are a Kool Aid Grandma :)

Kindred Spirits

My sweet niece

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Most of the people who read my blog also read my sister's blog, so you probably all are aware of what is going on with my sweet niece, Juliana. She will be checking into Children's Memorial hospital tomorrow in the hopes of getting a diagnosis for her problems. She doesn't eat, and often when they can get her to eat, she projectile vomits it all back up. She is very small for her age and Jenna takes her to several different types of therapies to try to help her. Finally, they have found a doctor who is serious about getting a diagnosis. He has arranged for them to check into the hospitals and is getting as many specialists together to try and find out why this little girl won't eat. Understandably, my sister is very nervous--I'm sure she's nervous that they won't find anything, and nervous that they will. So, I am asking for prayer. Pray for wisdom for the doctors, peace and strength for Jenna and Ryan, and healing for Juliana.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

I had been feeling like checking myself into the looney bin a few weeks ago. I had been trying to potty train Liam off and on, Rori's school had been wearing me out--along with her new attitude that came with the beginning of school, and Brendan decided one nap was enough for him. All those things made me feel like I was going to go crazy. I told Bill that if I disappeared, not to worry unless it was longer than 48 hours, because I would just be checked into a hotel relaxing. He told me he was coming with me. So...we decided to plan a trip. I hadn't been back to Calvin College since I graduated and I knew that they had made a lot of changes that I have been wanting to see. Plus, Grand Rapids is gorgeous in the fall! So we got a great deal on a hotel room, arranged for Grandma and Grandpa Casey to watch the kids, and we were ready!

We left on Friday, and all day I told Bill I didn't want to go. I wanted to bring the kids with us. I couldn't imagine going two nights without them! He told me, "too bad." So off we went. I was really excited when we got there because I was going to get to see my old roommate, Lisa and her husband Brandon! It was great seeing them, because we don't get to talk very often--once a year maybe? (hint..Lisa if you would go on facebook, I would greatly appreciate it. please. please. please.). Neither one looked a day older than they did 10 years ago! They have two adorable kids and one on the way. (hint...Lisa, if you go on facebook, I won't have to wait until your Christmas card to find out what you are having...). Anyway, we had a lovely evening and kept them out too late. Hopefully it won't be as many years before we see them again!

On Saturday we spent the day touring Calvin. I was a little bitter at all the great additions that have been made since I went there. But...tuition is about twice what I paid, so I got over it...sort of. The sports complex that they built left me speechless. There are indoor tennis courts, and indoor track, a rock climbing wall, a huge array of cardio equipment each with their own tv., and more. It was incredible. Seriously amazing.

 The other thing that made me a little bitter (not really, but maybe a tad) was the overpass they built across The Beltline. The Beltline is a four lane highway that run between Calvin College and the campus apartments. We used to have to cross that highway in order to get to class and back to our apartments. It was like playing chicken with oncoming traffic. Now there is a covered walkway that goes across to keep students safe and warm during the freezing Michigan winters.

How cool is that? Below is the traffic we used to dodge. It was like playing Frogger. (ok, not really that bad)

When I started at Calvin, I was a Physics major. I only majored in it because I received a Physics scholarship. I knew it probably would not be the degree I graduated with, but I didn't know what I wanted to major in and since they were paying me to take a Physics class, I figured, what the heck. Well, I absolutely HATED my first and only college Physics class. It was all theoretical, which I hate. So I vowed never to step foot in the Science Building again. Unfortunately, I broke that vow. While we were visiting, we discovered that the Psychology department (what I ended up majoring in) had moved to the Science Building, thus forcing me to enter the dreaded place. I have to admit the new Science Building is pretty incredible, and maybe I could get past the horrible memories I had there...or maybe not.

All in all, we had a lovely time and I am so glad we went! However, on Sunday morning I was sooooo ready to get home to Rori, Liam, and Brendan!

Happy first birthday Brendan Rhys!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I can't believe that I just typed those words! Where has the year gone? I am pretty sure that I just found out I was pregnant with him yesterday. Yet, this weekend we celebrated his first birthday party!

 In a blink of an eye...that is where the time is going.

To my sweet biggest baby boy,
What a wonderful blessing you have been to me. You have been the easiest baby. As an infant you were very content. You liked to be held, but you let us put you down in order to pay attention to your siblings. I instantly felt bonded to you. At night, your papa wasn't able to get you to go to sleep or stop crying, but immediately after transferring you to me, you would stop crying and fall asleep. It was truly magical. You are such a joy for your sister and brother, and you love them too!

You are a ham for the camera. The other day while we were at the farm, a lady was holding a camera near you and you got kind of upset that she wasn't taking a picture of you! (I didn't understand it either-who wouldn't want a picture of your adorable smile?).
You answer to many names--chubba bubba, Magoo, baby boy, and most recently, based on the fact that you have everyone wrapped around your little finger, Prince Brendan :)
You love balls, cars, stairs, ceiling fans, and anything that we'll feed you!


You have made the last year a wonderful joy, I love you my sweet baby boy!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have been incredibly blessed throughout my life. Most things have come fairly easily to me. I did well in high school and college. I got, what felt to me to be, an exciting job upon graduating, and my Prince asked me to marry him. That's not to say that my life has been daisies and roses. Bill and I have had our share of trials. We've lost a daughter, a job, a dog, and a beloved set of grandparents. Even amongst those trials, being married to him hasn't felt like hard work, but I'm not entirely sure he would say that about being married to me--please don't ask him--I don't want to know. While I've been blessed, trust me, I am no superwoman--I'm disorganized, not a great housekeeper, and lacking in street smarts, for starters. Those flaws aside, I have felt equipped for most things that life has thrown at me. A sinful side effect of these blessings and gifts is arrogance--that is, until God gets me with a zinger that brings me humbly, on my knees, to His throne, begging for wisdom. This happened very recently.

The other night, when Rori was going to bed, she said her prayers and then she said to me, "God is doing the best He can to get Grandpa Casey a job." In that instant I felt completely inadequate. I knew the adult response to that, but I had no idea how to explain to her, that God is choosing to wait right now. I didn't want her to think that God couldn't do it if He wanted to, but I didn't want her to think God was mean and holding back a job when He could give him one. I explained it to her the best I could but that was the moment when I knew how huge this job, teaching our children about God, is. I realized that if I want my children to truly know who Jesus is, I was not going to be able to coast through parenting. In one moment I realized what an awesome responsibility God has placed on me. I understand that ultimately, their salvation is not up to me. However, God has called me to take each teachable moment, that He gives me, to teach them who He is. I need to be ready to recognize those moments, and I need to have the tools to teach them. What that means is that I need to get to WORK. I need to research resources to help me to answer their questions in a way that will make sense to them. I need to model godly behavior, and I need to PRAY. Pray for teachable moments and pray for wisdom to teach them.

I am going to trust that if I put in the work, and don't coast through parenting on auto-pilot, my children will choose to follow the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and he will not turn from it."

Happy early birthday Bill!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There's a good chance that my dear hubby won't get a heartfelt birthday post this year (someone else's first birthday is at the same time), and he is hitting a milestone birthday, so I wanted to take some time before his brithday to tell him how much I appreciate him. I also figure that if I post early, I can pretend he's 35 already and heckle him a bit earlier than planned ;)

I am one of the most blessed people on the planet, and I don't tell Bill enough. That's partly because he knows that I know that I'm blessed, but also because I don't want him to get a big head :) Recently he's done some extra sweet things. He plays basketball every Thursday. Last Thursday was the opening day for football, or something like that, and the guys decided to watch the game instead of playing basketball. Bill chose to skip going and stay home with me. I didn't ask him to; he just decided to do it because he said he missed me. It really meant a lot to me.

Sunday, he took us to Disney Princesses on Ice. I know that most other husbands would have said no way--it was the opening game for the Bears and most men would have stayed home to watch that. He didn't even grumble about it. (ok he pointed it out to me, but only because I take him for granted). I know that I just expect him to be willing to do things like that for his family, but I appreciate it very much.

Wednesday night, Liam and Rori were both up throwing-up into the morning. Bill called into work without me even asking him to. He happily did whatever was needed. On Friday night, when Brendan threw up, he rocked him while I took care of Rori and Liam. He volunteered to stay home with Brendan while I took Rori and Liam up by my parents to the farm the kids love to visit in the fall. I really and truly know that a lot of husbands would not have been so helpful. They wouldn't offer to stop at the store for banana's on the way home, they wouldn't rock their babies in the middle of the night, they wouldn't change nasty diapers, and they wouldn't put up with me. So, Bill, I really appreciate all you do for us, and I love you forever!!

Rori and Rachel and Princesses on Ice!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We had a lovely, but busy weekend. It started with Rori's bestie's birthday party. They got to paint ceramics, and Rori had a great time! Then on Sunday, we got to go to Disney Princesses on Ice!! Bill and I had been contemplating taking Rori to see it, but it was pretty pricey. Then, about two weeks ago, Bill got a coupon code for seats in the fourth row for $12!! We couldn't pass it up. I immediately ordered 4 tickets, because we figured at that price, Liam should come too. After I ordered them, I thought, I should have gotten a ticket for Rachel as a birthday present. I talked to her Auntie, who works with me, and she offered to get her a ticket if I could still get one. Bill and I figured we would just get one more ticket and if it wasn't with the group, he would sit in it. I called Ticketmaster and they were incredibly helpful and got us the fifth seat in our group. I do have to give the dear hubby a shout out. I would have driven us by myself, but it was in the city and I would have no idea where I was going and everything is under construction, so Bill had to take us. Today was the opening day for the Chicago Bears, and he only grumbled a teensy weensy bit about missing it. I told him he only got a little bit of credit for it because he has set the bar incredibly high as far as husbandly and fatherly duties, that now, this kind of sacrifice is expected :) But really, thank you for taking us, my dear.

The girls were ecstatic! Rachel's dad dropped her off in the morning and she had on the dress that she and Rori both own, which of course, Rori thought of wearing already too! However, Rachel had on a green cardigan and told Rori to wear a green one too. Rori said she didn't have one, so Rachel happily wore one of Rori's white ones so they could match. Very sweet. The girls chattered the whole car ride down. It's amazing how their conversations are actual conversations now. We had The Princess and The Frog playing in the car and I heardt this conversation:
Rachel: "Her parents passed away."
Rori: "away to where?"
Rachel: "I don't know, that's what my mom told me."
Later, during the dancing scene, Rori said, "At my Auntie Marylou's wedding, I danced the night away." It was all very grown up :)

When we got to the theatre, the kids weren't very hungry--they were too excited. We got them popcorn and they sat back and anxiously awaited the show. I have heard mostly negative things about the cheese factor of Disney on Ice, but I thought the show was wonderful. They re-enacted scenes from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, and the Little Mermaid. The second half of the show they dedicated to my favorite, Cinderella. The girls were enamored. And there was enough of the Genie and other boy characters to keep Liam's attention. Bill just sat there and imagined those were his seats at a Blackhawks game, instead of Disney Princesses.

It was one of the best days! The girls were a tad disappointed that Princess Tiana wasn't in the show, but I found out that she is in the next Disney on Ice production, so maybe next year...

Eleven months

Friday, September 10, 2010

I am not even going to say that I am going to be better about blogging. Nobody will believe me anyway :) I've been exhausted since Rori started school and Bill and I are out of our regular routines. I haven't even worked out in a week! Which for me is crazy. That's always my "me" time, but frankly the second month of Insanity has kicked my behind, and I have to say, I think Shaun T has defeated me. But I am promising myself, I am not going to let that be permanent. I will start afresh next week. Putting it in writing should make me do it...

Anyway, my baby boy is going to be a year old in less than a month!! I do not know where the time went, and I am refusing to believe it. I haven't posted pictures of him in a while, and yesterday the weather was so beautiful that the kids got to play outside for hours (which is wonderful at bedtime--they are wiped!). So I decided to snap a couple of pictures. Have you ever seen such a handsome baldy?

First Day of Kindergarten

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I am a few days behind, but so what else is new? Rori's first day of Kindergarten came upon me faster than I had ever imagined. I remember sitting on the couch with Bill, after having Rori and talking about her someday going to school, and thinking it was a long way off. Then I blinked my eyes and suddenly she was five and about to embark on her journey to Kindergarten.

Bill took the day off so we could all go together. Rori picked out her dress and her fanciest shoes (Stuart Weitzman's from Aunt Nicki--I don't even have a pair!) for her first day. We live too close for bus service so Monday morning, we packed up all three kids and trekked over to the school. Rori stood in line to go into school and we all stood with her. I was waiting for her to tear up or her lips to tremble, but she never did. She stayed brave and walked into school with her classmates, and never turned around. I wore sunglasses to hide my watery eyes, Bill and Brendan waved bye-bye and Liam sat in the stroller crying that nobody loves him and he wanted new shoes. It was a real Norman Rockwell moment.

I picked up Rori from school and Bill and I took her to lunch to celebrate her first day. Her best friend, Rachel called to see how her first day went and we got to hear details that we had been trying to get out of her. I think I need Rachel to call every day so I can hear how her day went!
 We went to Rain Forest Cafe--her choice and she had pizza and coke. She showed us around the restaurant and was so excited to show us all the cool animals. Grandma Casey had taken her several times, but Bill and I had never gone, so she was so proud to show us around. Then she told us all about the mall (the restaurant is in a mall) and showed us the moving stairs and the elevator with glass walls. I'm a little frightened that she knows more about the mall than I do--as a matter of fact, she's been there more times in the last 3 years than I have!

Anyway, I am so proud of my big girl for being so brave!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today is my Dad's 60th birthday!!!!
Happy Birthday Daddy/Grandpa Hoo Hoo!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Apparently I am getting deaf in my old age and I can't hear or understand people on the phone anymore. Today, I was at Target buying a booster seat for Rori. I wasn't sure if it would be ok if I bought a backless one since it was for Bill's car and I didn't want to spend the extra money for one with a back. However, if it meant that I was an irresponsible parent by getting the backless one, I would shell out the additional $30. So, I called my friend, April, since she was on my mind because I had been discussing our church outreach with her earlier, and she has 4 kids--one of which is Rori's bestie, or BFF, or bosom friend, or kindred spirit, as it may be. Anyway, April didn't answer the phone, but called me back as I was checking out, so I was a little distracted--at least that's what I blame it on. This is how the conversation went:

Me:  "Is it okay if I get a backless booster?"

April: "Yes, Rachel and Maya have backless ones. It's totally fine. Oh shoot I forgot Rachel's socks! They won't let her go to school without them next Monday!"

Me: "Um. Okay. That stinks. Bye."

Actually, we chatted a bit more, but I thought, "how odd. Rachel's school has some serious restrictions on hygiene. I guess they don't allow sandals or something." Then I thought, well, I'm at Target, I'll call her back and offer to pick up socks and give them to her at church on Wednesday. I wonder if she needs a special kind. So, I called April.

Me: "Since I'm at Target, do you want me to pick up socks for Rachel and give them to you Wednesday?"

April: "Socks? Huh?"

Me: "I thought she needed socks in order to go to school on Monday."

April: "No....she needs shots."

Me: "Oh. That makes more sense."

The end.

Mating of the vegetables

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This year my zucchini, while having giant plants, have not produced the size and quantity of vegetables that they did last year. Several of them got to be just larger than baby carrots and then they start to rot. I was getting really frustrated until I googled it. It appears that the problem is that earlier in the summer we set up a bee trap to keep the bees away from the swing set. My garden is near the swing set, so we set the trap on the other side of the yard. I haven't noticed too many bees in the last month or two. Apparently the bees take the pollen from the male zucchini flowers and put them inside the female ones. If this doesn't happen, the zucchini stop growing and are small and rot. So, the sites I looked at suggested that I pick the male flowers and pull the petals off and tickle the inside of the female flower with the stamen. It sounds kind of naughty, but I may try it. If the neighbors hear giggling from me in the backyard, it's probably because I am mating my zucchini.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Growing up I always wanted to be a ballerina. I absolutely loved everything about ballet. I read books about it, practiced at home, and when I was finally old enough to be on toe, it was like all my dreams had come true. Alas, eventually I stopped taking lessons, but I occasionally still put on my toe shoes and danced around my room--even in college. I even took lessons one summer after Rori was born. Unfortunately all that did was make me realize I was old and out of shape!

I have always hoped that Rori would become interested in ballet. Today she was watching Barbie as the Nutcracker and Waltz of the Flowers came on. I told her that I had danced to that song a long time ago and asked if she wanted to see my ballet shoes. I pulled out my toe shoes and we both tried them on and I think she felt the magic too! We hobbled around in them and then put on my regular ballet slippers and danced around the living room. I was in heaven. She told me she wants to take ballet and it just made my heart melt into goo!

Happy Fifth Birthday Rori Rose

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dear Rori,

You are such a joy for your papa and me. You are everything I hoped you would be. You are girly and sweet, fun and loving. You have a gentle spirit. When your brother won't share with you, you share with him anyway. When someone is hurt you worry about them. You are always concerned about others feelings. You never want to hurt anyone. If someone is left out, you will go to them. We joke that you are very diplomatic and would make a great politician (but please choose something else). You are excited to learn about Jesus and look forward to hearing Bible stories. You pray for your family, Grandpa Hoo Hoo's heart, Juliana's vomit, and Grandpa Casey's job search--all without prompting. I threatened you that I wasn't going to let you turn five because I don't want you to grow up. But it happening anyway. I love you so much, baby girl. I can't express my gratitude that God chose ME to be your mommy! What a wonderful gift He has given me.

Coming Soon

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rori's fifth birthday was today, and her birthday post is coming tomorrow evening--I just didn't want anyone to think I forgot! The reason it's not tonight, is because I have to find the pictures I want to use, and some of them were from today and I'm tired and going to bed. I think I need my sleep because apparently, last night, in the middle of the night Bill woke up to me hitting him and telling him I hate him...hmmmmm I don't really remember that... I am not sure if I believe him, but just in case, I'm going to go to bed early. I hope he sleeps with one eye open!

Baconators and Insanity

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wendy.s came out with the Bacona.tor sandwich a few years ago. It always looked tasty to me, but there was no way I could justify the calories and fat. I always swore that while I was nursing, I would get one. You burn about 500 extra calories from nursing, so you get to eat a bit more and still lose weight. Well, I am in the process of weaning what is most likely my last baby. And I am about to start a killer new workout program. So, it was now or never. Today. I. Ate. A. Bacona.tor. And it was delicious and gross at the same time. I didn't finish it because the soggy, greasy, bun ended up grossing me out and I just couldn't do it to my arteries. While I am horrified about it, I also have something I can check off of my bucket list.

I am now back on the healthy eating wagon. I have to be. I bought Insanit.y! Have you heard of it? It's a crazy new workout program that is 60 days of the hardest most intense cardio you have ever experienced. I did the fit test last week and then attempted the first DVD right after. I got through the warm up and stretching and then Shaun T. said, "suicide drills." I told him to go away, and I turned off the tv and paced around the house until the urge to vomit subsided. The next day I did the first DVD again, without doing the fit test first and made it through. But, I promptly popped 3 ibuprofen for the pain that I felt creeping up on me.  I am officially starting the 60 day workout today and am really excited to see if I can make it through it. We took before photos (which I'm not going to post because I want to maintain some dignity) because if you send in your before and afters, they will send you a free t-shirt, which I will wear proudly. I am not expecting huge changes, just to drop the last 10 pregnancy pounds. Can I call them pregnancy pounds if they were left over from Liam when I got pregnant with Brendan? ;)

Wish me luck!

Happy Belated Birthday Liam James!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Liam's third birthday was while we were in Florida, so we celebrated as a family this last weekend. I'm so glad we took the time to do a special day for him because he thanked us for his presents several times throughout the day, and still prays and thanks Jesus for his birthday presents :)

My dear Liam,
You have taught me so much over the last year. I have learned all about the super heroes. I can name ones that I didn't even know existed just a year ago. I can explain varying stories from the X-Men (thanks to your papa) that I didn't know. You wear your Darth Vader cape every day and pretend you're Batman. But when you're Spiderman you take the cape off and have to change into your Spiderman shoes. You have charmed your Sunday School teachers with a dimpled grin.

You like to play rough, but when you play with your baby brother, a sweetness comes in your voice and you are very gentle with him. Even when he tries to take your toys, you gently say, "no no." You pretty much ignored me for the first 6 months of Brendan's life, but one day, all of a sudden you came back to me--much to Papa's dismay!

You don't give your love freely. It must be earned, which makes it that much sweeter when you do give it. You are the best darn snuggler, and when you say, "I Yuve you mama." I melt into a pile of goo and would go to the moon for you.

I love you so much, my first born son!

The Princesses!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We stayed in Sarasota which is about 2 hours south of Orlando. However, we decided that we couldn't go to Florida without taking the kids to Disney World. Bill and I signed up for Disney's "Give a Day Get a Day" program. We volunteered a Saturday at a resale shop and each got a free ticket to a Disney theme park. Liam was free because he was under three, so it was not a very expensive day (minus paying obscene amounts of money for hotdogs and water). My mom came with us--she almost wasn't able to because she wasn't feeling well, but thankfully she rallied because she didn't want to miss the kids' first trip to Disney! I had one wish and one wish only for our trip to Disney; that was for Rori to at least see a princess. I knew that the only guaranteed way to meet a princess at the Magic Kingdom was to dine at Cinderella's Table restaurant. You have to make reservations 6 months in advance. We did not do that, so we couldn't get in. However, right about the time we arrived at the Magic Kingdom a show was starting at Cinderella's Castle. I was worried that Minnie and Mickey were going to be the only ones in the show, but out came Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White! I don't know who was more excited--Rori or me! Being the cheese that I am, I teared up a bit because I was sooooo happy that Rori got to see them--even if they were on stage and not right up close.

The kids rode a bunch of rides and had a blast. Bill, my mom, and I melted into puddles of sweat, but thoroughly enjoyed seeing their faces. I saw on the map that there was a character greet area so we headed over there in the hopes of seeing at least one princess. We got there and I asked if the princesses were there and the lady told me there were some inside. I was worried we'd be waiting hours in line, so Bill and Liam went off to meet Mickey and Minnie. We only ended up waiting about twenty minutes and Rori got to meet three princesses!! Each one took some time to talk with her and give her a hug. Rori was in heaven, as was her mommy and grandma. They were each so sweet to her and it made the whole trek to Disney worth it!

Liam got to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse and he was almost as thrilled. Not as thrilled as if he had gotten to meet Batman, though!

By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted, but satisfied!

Notice Liam's sweaty head (although it's mixed with obscene amounts of sunscreen that Bill sprayed on his head)!!