Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Every heartbeat bears Your name

No exciting news to report... except a little heartbeat that was heard... that is ALWAYS exciting :) It took a while to find, which is to be expected when you are 11 weeks... but then there it was, all 160 beats per minute of it. Music to my ears.

Been busy this week with jr/sr banquet (prom) stuff. It is this Friday and I'm one of the lucky teachers who is in charge of it. Coming right off of spring break and missions week before that... and having been moved up more than a month due to a conflict, AND permission to hold a dance being granted just over a month ago... all that... well... means it is a bit rushed. Or at least it feels like it. But it will be fine. I'm NOT looking forward to staying up all night. And I'm REALLY not looking forward to how awful I will feel the days after when I'm dead tired and trying to limit caffeine.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go!

We've been out of town for a few days. The kids have not had the most exciting Spring Break due to David working at his many other jobs, tying up most of his days and a few of his nights too. Friday was free, so off we went. David and Grampa took the boys (as in Noah and Isaac, Elijah is not 'one of the boys' just yet :) to the open Arkansas Razorback practice. They weren't sure it was going to be outside, but they went in the hope it would be. David was calling the entire way up there to make sure it was still outside and up until 20 minutes before it was to start, it was. The kickers came out and practiced a bit, but no one else. Then they found out it had been moved inside... which meant it was closed. They were of course disappointed. As they were leaving, they lucked out when someone stopped them asking if they'd like to go to the indoor practice field. There weren't many in there so the boys got lots of attention. They got to meet some players and Noah saw what he needs to do if he really wants to be a quarterback :) He will remember it forever... Isaac isn't as big of a football fan as Noah. He says basketball is his thing. He had fun, but he didn't watch with the starry eyes like Noah.

Abigail, my mom, Elijah and I went to Cheddar's for dinner. Elijah is always happy as long as he has some food he likes to eat so I figured we could have a nice dinner out. Elijah had other plans. He was in a mood like no other. I think he had a tummy ache. He didn't cry only when sitting in the MIDDLE of my lap. He would not sit on one knee or the other, which of course made it impossible for me to eat. I got mine to go (once it finally got there) and ate in the car.

We were wanting to go to the drive thru safari in Gentry Saturday but due to the rapid decline in temperature and fear of a freezing I540 bridge... we didn't go. Was a bit of a bummer since that was going to be the ONE fun thing we did, but we'll just have to go in the summer. Today was a much prettier day so we went to the Arkansas Game and Fish commission nature center in Ft Smith. There is a small pond the kids were able to fish in. They even provide the equipment. You just buy the bait. Abigail, Noah, and Isaac were able to fish for about 45 minutes due to Elijah falling asleep on the way out there :) I stayed in the car with him. Isaac caught his first fish... the other two... maybe next time :) Isaac was SO excited. Isaac stayed out with Grampa to try for another. The rest of the crew went inside with me to watch "critter crunch." They feed an animal and boy were we in for a treat. We got to see a big ol rattlesnake strike a mouse, the mouse shake and die... and the snake swallow it. I can't say I enjoyed the experience, but it is one I'll never forget. They had several nature exhibits and other animals in tanks.
This is them in a birdhouse:

Thankfully, the kids said they had a great spring break.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today was spent attempting to do taxes myself at H&R Block.com. We've ALWAYS had them done. David has 4 part time jobs in addition to his regular job at the school. We have a LOT of deductions. I was doing great when all of a sudden we went from about breaking even to getting a MASSIVE refund b/c my mortgage interest and property taxes quadrupled on the summary page, but when I checked where I entered them... they were correct. I checked and rechecked and checked again. Signed out, signed back in... nothing was fixing it. I have NO IDEA why it did that. I emailed them... we'll see if they are of any help. Frustrating. For now I've give up. 6 hours on taxes was enough.
Here's a funny Abigail...
I served dinner on the school lunch trays I got off eBay. We ate on a blanket in the garage :) It really is CLEAN. When we were almost finished, David said "didn't mommy do good?" Abigail said "yes she did, look, she ate all of it." David and I looked at each other and busted out laughing with Abigail sitting there like "what?" We both thought it was so cute that she thought I did 'good' b/c I cleaned my plate... when he was referring to my getting dinner together. That is something I would expect Isaac to say. Noah had already thanked me for making such a great dinner (hot dogs, grapes, pears, chips... remember... taxes for 6 hours today) when I had the trays all lined up on the counter.
You have to wonder why you take the time to cook a time consuming meal to be eaten in the dining room when the whole fam was happy eating hot dogs on the floor of the garage...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just your regular ol' boring day

**edit at bottom**
Just had some men come by to do an estimate on the bonus room. I'm glad I'm *finally* doing that. It'd be nice to be pleasantly surprised... but I'm not dumb enough to think that will be the case. I cleaned like a mad woman b/c I thought they may need to go in many upstairs rooms since I'm wanting to create access to the bathroom thru our closet... and I thought they were coming 'in about two hours.' That of course turned into 4 hours. I'm glad the crockpot was cooking dinner or they would have come right in the midst of me cooking. Potatoes are in the oven, roast is in the crock, and rolls are waiting to go in as soon as the potatoes come out :)
It has been a long boring day at home. Tomorrow's excitement will be grocery shopping. I love being on break, but I have the attention span of a gnat and really don't like being contained for too long. It has been rainy too... so the kids have been in and none too thrilled about that. I'm bummed b/c we were planning on going to the drive thru safari in Gentry this weekend... but the weather says it will be cold and rainy :(
I meant to include this recipe. I made cupcakes with it for Abigail's birthday, but had to add some milk b/c it was a very thick mixture. I didn't do the walnut mixture... and didn't sift. The kids LOVED them:

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs; cream at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in the sour cream. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Gradually stir sifted dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Combine nuts, cinnamon and sugar in separate bowl or cup and set aside. Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into a greased 9 or 10-inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle half of walnut-sugar mixture over batter. Layer another 1/3 of batter. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture and top with remaining batter. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour. Cool cake completely before removing from pan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

5 kid club

We will be members sometime around Oct 21. We have kept the news to ourselves for about 8 weeks now (I'm 10 weeks along). We told the kids yesterday... and David just announced it on the radio (he's filling in for Dave Elswick). So, I guess you can say word is OUT. We've always told the world just as soon as we found out, but we didn't want to this time around. We know the timing is 'bad.' The economy is rough and no one has job security. I was trying to get my students ready for CPA and I didn't want anyone taking my "get it together, stop goofing off, and take this seriously" attitude as an "oh she's pregnant" frustration instead.
That, and this *is* #5... and yes, we *are* happy about it. It wasn't exactly planned, but neither were any of our other kids really. It is funny to me that I recently posted my "26 random things" list and #1 was "I always wanted 5 kids." I was not pregnant and had no intention of becoming pregnant. But, life is funny and God is good :) We're excited about another baby and we're glad that Elijah will have a sibling close in age. As it was, he would be going into the 7th grade when Isaac went off to college. We didn't like the thought of him spending that much time at home without a sibling. With the way the birthdays are, Elijah and 5 will be just 2 years apart in school if we hold Elijah back (May birthday... don't know for SURE that we will, but it is very possible).
The kids are very happy about it. Today #1 is 10. So, happy happy birthday to Abigail... the best daughter in the world :)
Here is a great site I found when Isaac was asking all about the baby's size. http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/pregnancy/calendar/week/10

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My mom and step-dad(Bill) came down this weekend to help us get stuff done... and boy did we! We cleaned out the garage (again). My mom and I sorted stuff while David and Bill installed these:

It made a tremendous difference. I bought them years ago but had yet to get them up and in use! My car is now in the garage and while the other half is clear, there still isnt' room for David's car... not unless we can get rid of the shelving units along the wall... and I don't see that happening.
We also got a dresser out of the bonus room and put it on the curb with the rest of the junk we are getting rid of. We've had several toys claimed by passers by, I hope someone takes the dresser too.
Now I gotta clean out the bonus room so we can actually begin the process of finishing it out. We've decided we'll make it our bedroom. The bonus room (above the garage) is on the other side of the closet in our master bath. If we add a doorway to the closet, we can get to the master bath from the bonus room. That would put the playroom/media room at the top of the stairs instead of at the end of the hallway (which passes my laundry). I like that MUCH better.
My mom folded all the laundry I had sitting outside the dryer while David and I were at church. That was a nice surprise to come home to! She was going to mow the lawn too, but the lawnmower needs new spark plugs.
It was a great way to start Spring Break. Now I'm motivated to do more :)

Friday, March 20, 2009


Abigail's party is coming together well. Unlike the boys, she does not decide what she wants to do for her party 3 months in advance. She teeters back and forth between a small party with a few friends and a huge party with everyone. There were some things she wanted to do (rock wall climbing, paint-your-own pottery, or slumber) that would have meant she could only invite a few friends.... and the rock climbing may not be enjoyable to all of them. So, she did settle on the paint-your-own pottery. I was about to book Firefly when I wondered if we could do it at church. We have ceramics, but I didn't know if you could have a party there. But yey, we can. So, that means she can invite all the girls in her grade and not just a handful.
We're going to make something like this:
I'll have this for them to copy:

They'll paint eggs about 1" in size.
We'll have cupcakes like this:

And I can fill gift bags with lots of egg candy. I may make smaller versions of these too (thanks Amanda) to bag up and put in the gift bag:

And I think I may modify these instructions and have them make the nest as well.

I'll have to try it out first of course, but I think if I just use larger string, I can make a bigger nest. I may have some leaves to add in too.
SO, that's what I got so far.
Why nests? No reason, started with painting pottery and went from there.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I'm in the midst of planning Abigail's birthday. We are thinking we'll do a "spring/egg" theme (it all started by wanting to paint ceramics). I'll order bisque eggs for the kids to paint and some ready-made birds nests for them to take their eggs home in. That's where I need help. Do any of you know where I can find nests? I have found these for about $18 (total) including shipping.
But, I'd like something a bit more woodsy... like this:

(I can always add the moss)
I can search in the hobby stores, but if any of you nest lovers out there know of a place I can find these, it would save me time :) Of course, if they are $5 a piece, I'll get the plain jane ones above...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My sweet kids

Just a quick post before a busy day tomorrow, but I don't want to forget these moments :)
Last night the boys were fighting horribly in the tub. I don't run up and get involved if it can be avoided. I just let them work it out (sometimes I have to b/c they get too loud and risk waking Elijah). Last night I didn't have to get involved. I went upstairs after the fight when they were brushing their teeth. I was doing laundry. But I heard Noah apologize for whatever it was he did... all on his own. And then Isaac said "it's ok" and apologized for what he did. I then walked in the bathroom and told them how much I appreciated them apologizing all on their own, and they hugged. Gotta love it when they get something and they weren't forced into doing something they didn't feel.
And this morning... I got the bad mom award. I had no idea it had gotten COLD. I had Isaac in shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Only when I left and felt the chill (and went back in to get my coat) did I realize it. It was raining, so I knew they wouldn't be going outside... but I still felt terrible. Tonight at church (same building, hadn't gone home, so he was still in shorts) we were in line for dinner. I told David how I felt like the worst mom... of course David teases me by saying something like "you should." Isaac said, "don't feel bad mom, I wasn't cold at all." Yeah... riiiiiigghht... but thank you Isaac for trying to make me feel better :)
And now Elijah... I was typing on the computer. He kept hitting the keyboard and I kept stopping him. He was getting mad. Not crying, but obviously annoyed and he kept hitting the keyboard. I thought he was mad b/c I wouldn't let him type. I was emailing a parent at the time. I finally finished and put the computer down (laptop) and he immediately crawled up into my lap and hugged me. He wasn't mad that I wouldn't let him type, he was mad b/c it was in my lap and he wanted to be.
One more... I have always gotten crunchy peanut butter. The kids like it more, but it is harder to spread. I recently saw creamy peanut butter with honey and bought it to try. The kids haven't complained, but I asked them which they preferred. They all said "crunchy." I said that was fine and I'd buy crunchy again, I just liked the creamy b/c it was easier to spread and made making sandwiches easier (and when you make 20 a week, it matters). Abigail said, "oh, well that's fine, you can buy creamy." Not a big deal, but I just love how easy going she is. She doesn't fuss over anything. If she can make my life easier by switching to creamy... she will!
Of course, I'll buy crunchy next time :)

Recession Dressing

Kelly is having a linky party.... on dressing for less. I definitely know how to do that. I don't buy anything that isn't 70% off. Shopping on line is the way to go. Most sites allow you to only look at clothes that are a certain % off, then you can sort the list by price and once you reach your limit, stop. That's what I do, and I find DEALS. Everything below I got at target.com for 70% off. The dresses (I wear them with a cami under them) and jacket were each less than $10. The shorts were about $4.

I also like Nordstrom.com. Check out the steals Target has NOW.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cupcakes anyone?

I had to get ready for a shower I'm helping with tomorrow at school. Cupcakes were on the agenda. Also made a corsage out of cupcake liners... but I didn't think to take a picture of that.

Abigail lugging her brother around...

And Elijah being sneaky. He knew it was time to go to bed, so he thought he'd lay down on a pillow and go night night in the family room. He knows he's cute.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hurray. The Arkansas House passed HB 1552, an act to require employers to privide unpaid break time and reasonable locations for expressing breast milk.
Until recently, Arkansas was behind other states regarding breastfeeding laws. Last session, HB 2411 was passed. Not much was being done until the Arkansas Breastfeeding Coalition was formed. Since then, those ladies have been busy! I am so glad. I do my part by contacting my legislators... and David brings it up when he converses with them :) Not that we're all caught up... but we're headed in the right direction! YEY

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cluttered Horizon

I don't have much to say, but thought it was time for a post. My horizon is looking a bit busy.
This Thursday is CPA ('contest' seems to be the word that better indicates what it is... but it is called Choral Performance Assessment). I have had TONS of students out this week who are sick with pneumonia or the flu. I hope they all get better this weekend! They are singing SO well and it would really stink if illness is what keeps us from doing our best.
After that is Mission Week. All the 9th-12th graders will be out for the week doing various mission projects. Since I'm part time, I'll be subbing for the teachers who are out with the students... teaching/testing the 7th/8th graders who remain. The 8th graders will be taking the IOWA test.
After that, Spring Break. HURRAY. I'm very ready for it. I like to work in the yard over spring break and am looking forward to doing just that.
Then we're back at school and have Jr/Sr banquet that Friday. I'm one of the sponsors for that event... it is usually in May. We had to bump it up b/c of a possible softball conflict. We have been wanting to host a dance as well... usually there is the banquet, then parents host a dance, then the PTF (parent/teacher fellowship) sponsor bowling. I've always hated it. I have never understood the baptist stance on dancing. I understand that SOME forms of dancing are wrong (there is always a way to do just about anything wrong), but limit the types of music played and that will all but handle that... and if not, TEACHERS are there to put a stop to it. I don't see a thing wrong with dancing in and of itself. We're going to mix up ballroom type music with contemporary music and will have an instructor there to help out those who'd like to learn the steps. I think it will be fun :) David and I will be there dancing away :) This is us in silhouette:
BUT it means a LOT more planning in a LOT less time for us. We're planning a full night of activities... a lock in of sorts... but are of course rushed to do so. And YIPPY I get to stay up all night. I'm SO looking forward to THAT... since sleeping the entire next day is not an option for me, it isn't something I relish.
So, that's what I've been up to. A friend of ours is coming to stay with us tonight. He's just passing thru and I may miss him entirely. He will probably arrive after I'm in bed and be gone (maybe) before I wake up. But since E likes to wake with the sun... maybe not.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This makes me happy

Embedded video from CNN Video

I'm a life-long doodler. I've always known that I listen better when doodling, but it is only fellow doodlers who believe that. If I am listening and just staring at a person, my mind wanders. I start thinking about all the other things going on and what I need to get done.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ways to save money?

The other day I read a story about ways to save money. It was a perfect example of when I said I get excited about reading stories like that... but am then disappointed b/c it usually involves ways to SPEND money.
Here are some examples from the story:
1. Buy a fuel efficient car. Spend thousands in order to save a few? I think you'd save more if you drove an older car that was paid for. hhhmmmmm
2. Buy concert tickets at discount sites rather than Ticketmaster. How 'bout: don't go to concerts.
3. Buy coffee at Dunkin Donuts instead of Starbucks. Goodness, make it yourself and put it in a travel mug.
4. Eat out at casual restaurants. It then showed how much you could 'save' by eating at casual instead of fancy restaurants 3 times a week. We *try* not to eat out at all, but do value menu it at Burger King when there is no time to cook. (have you had their spicy chicken sandwich? we're fans)
5. Vacation within driving distance to save on airfare. Vacationing ANYWHERE is a luxury to me!