Monday, April 30, 2007

Thirteen years ago today, I returned with my "girl" to the place where I proposed to her (the altar at St. Jude Catholic Church). She is my soul-mate and perfect life partner. She completes me.

Joined in marriage these many years, we've shared the joys and sorrows life brings. What has been the secret of our success? We pledged to Christ and each other that He would be the center of our life together. We've tried our best, often falling short of the mark, but constantly supporting each other through good times and bad. We are each other's biggest fan, cheerleaders one to the other to live life "on purpose" as we journey toward the ultimate heavenly destination and eternity with Him.

I love you Jenn, and give thanks to God above for placing you in my life. I'm grateful for what you bring to our family. Our children are truly blessed to have you as their mother and teacher. I am blessed that you said "Yes" all those years ago.

Friday, April 27, 2007

We heard the baby's heartbeat

It sounded like woshwoshwoshwoshwoshwoshwosh...you get the idea. The midwife told the kids that unlike the lub lub lub lub of a regular heartbeat, which is made by the sound of the valves - the baby whosh is the sound of the blood going through the heart. Hmmm.....interesting.

Dd#2 has made me breakfast in bed the last 2 mornings. She is just the sweetest little girl!! (when she's not being otherwise). She's really been wonderful since I found out I'm pregnant and been so needy.

I just can't get enough sleep!! I'm tired all the time!!! I'm officially past my 1st trimester, but ... I guess I'll have to wait a little longer to feel better.

I've really been doing a bad job blogging. I'd rather not complain all the time and I can't think of much else to write about (other than complaints....) Poor me. I've got just what I've been praying about for the last 5 years....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What a productive day!

On Friday, thanks to God's grace, we got our 2/3 of our seeds planted in seed pots. We've never started our garden from seed, so I hope it turns out.

Then on Saturday, my WONDERFUL children helped weed and prepare one of the smaller beds. It was caked with ground cover weeds, so it was a big job digging up everything in that bed. I pooped out after about 20 minutes. They kept on going and worked for another 30 minutes without me until it was done! What nice children.

Dave didn't get out of bed until 1pm (it was 2pm the day before) with that nasty stuff the kids had the previous week. Once he got up, though, he mowed the front lawn. It was the first mow of the season for us (the 3rd for the neighbors). I think we'll have to wait until we don't have kids at home (or until the boys are old enough to do the job) before our lawn will be as perfect as it used to. The dog, cute though she is, has torn up much of the back yard -and the kids have destroyed all possibility of grass under their "climbing tree" and around their swing set. Oh well.... it's not as pretty, but well loved just the same.

We bought the kids new swings to put on their swing set. My dad bougt Dd#1 that swing set 10 years ago. I guess a decade is a pretty good time frame for a swing to last - particularly considering how the kids use and abuse their swing set - again, well loved. It still needs treated with deck sealer to keep the kids from getting splinters. I guess that will have to wait for another Saturday...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Consipiracy Theory

Icons - Not the cultural kind - the little pictures on my computer that I click on. Ds#4 started it. Last year when he was 3, one Saturday morning while Dave slept in, Ds#4 came to me snickering to himself (holding his hand to his mouth while his head bobbed up in down in delight) telling me that he changed Daddy into a frog.
"You what?"
"I changed Daddy into a FROG!" (huge laughter)
I honestly didn't know what he was talking about. He showed me.
Since we have XP (that we don't like), Dave has a different log-in for his side of the computer than I do. Our sweet little boy was becoming quite computer literate.

Sooooo... when Dave got up that morning, we all pointed and laughed at him walking into the room telling him he was changed into a frog. Ds#4 got great delight from this. Dave asked him to show how it was done - he didn't believe a 3 year old could be a hacker. Dave learned a new way to change icons that morning.

all this is background

...shhh....they're sending me subliminal messages. through my
icons. last week, my internet explorer icon said "daddy day".
yesterday someone tapped into my computer and it says "igf". they're
trying to tell me something...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

YESS!!! Sleep is gift from the gods

or rather the One True God who I was praying my butt off to this week. Thursday night through Wednesday night of very little sustained sleep -- but last night...ahhhhhhh. All the kids slept through the night and so did I. What a WONDERFUL gift!!!!


This was such heartening news in a frustrating week. Partial Birth Abortion Law
As I described to the girls (9 & 11) what partial-birth abortion was - they were of course (as any sane person would be) horrified that anyone could think that was ok to do a baby. I told them that their prayers to end abortion had contributed to the Supremem Court's Decision. So has the prayers of all of you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sick kids, tired mama

After a title like that, I really don't need to post anything.
I've been up for the last 6 nights with all the kids have fevers, sinus infections, bronchitus & a terrible cough.
I've been dosing and making tiny meal after meal of whatever sounded good so they could keep something in their stomach to counteract the stomaches from phlem & tons of medications.

I'm down to a few bad coughs and one really sick kid left and he won't take medicine. I've bribed, punnished, cajoled, demanded, been patiently tenacious. He refuses. I'm tired of fighting. I'm just tired.

....I know, I might as well get used to sleepless nights with a newborn -- Nighttime parenting has always been a weak area in my nurturing skills.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Randomness Meme

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30 the last time. I got up to go potty and eat crackers at 5:25
2. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Cars at the dollar show
4. What is your favorite TV show? Grey's Anatomy, Heroes - totally trashy stuff.
5. What did you have for breakfast?
Oatmeal - I don't like it, but it's all I want for breakfast
6. What is your middle name? Anne, with an 'e'. The 'e' was very important to me growing up. I wasn't just any Ann, I was an Anne.
7. What is your favorite cuisine?
8. What foods do you dislike? brussel sprouts
9. What are your favorite chips? Lay's Ruffles with lot's of French Onion dip
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Danielle Rose - Mysteries (I kept it in my car and the kids stepped on it and broke it). 11. What kind of car do you drive? a minivan - blech. I miss my Subaru
12. Favorite sandwich?
Subway Club
13. What are characteristics you can’t stand? Fake people. Either fake with themselves or others.
14. What are your favorite clothes?
15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Washington DC
16. One random fact about yourself : For the last 5 years I have been between a size 14 and 16 and struggle to find clothes that fit.
17. Where would you want to retire?
I don't want to retire - I want to die with my boots on.
18. Favorite time of day? I'm a morning person
19. Where were you born? Indiana
20. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Iceskating? Is that a sport?
21. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Pepsi...although pop doesn't appeal to me right now.
22. Beavers or ducks? Ducks - baby ducklings are sooo cute. (I don't think I've ever seen a baby beaver).
23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? A little of both
24. Pedicure or manicure?
neither. I'm not proud of my feet and wouldn't want to subject anyone to have to mess with them. I also don't really like nail polish. If I'm doing it myself, I'm more likely to paint my toes.
25. What did you want to be when you were little? a mom
26. What is your best childhood memory?
My 4th birthday party was spent with my brother and my grandparents. I got to sit in between my grandparents, instead of across from them, and I got to sit on the step stool so I was as tall as the grown-ups. My grandma baked me a yellow cake with chocolate icing (that fell apart, but it tasted so good). I felt so special that day.
27. Ever been to Africa? No...I don't think I'd want to.
28. Ever been toilet papering? OHHHHH YEEEAAAHHH! I've...hershey syruped & whipped creamed friends cars / filled cars with newspaper - completely / filled cars with blown-up balloons / forked friends' yards (they were plastic) / creped papered friends trees / covered friends' houses with homemade signs...in highschool we had a war going on in our group of friends, boys vs. girls, of TP'ing PLUS. The culmination of that was they boys created a gas station in my girl friend's yard complete with gas pumps, signs, used oil cans stacked in a pyramid, toilet and a dummy sitting on the toilet. I've been Tp'ing and back again!
29. Been in a car accident? Many, but my insurance-agent-husband is thankful that it's been about 8 years since one. When we got engaged, and I totalled my car, his brother told him I was going to be a very expensive wife. Every time I set foot outside the door he says "I love you. Have fun. Don't die."
30. Favorite day of the week?
Wednesdays - I like the balance of being mid-way through a great week or half through a bad one.
31. Favorite restaurant? ummnnn - my grandma's kitchen - I'll have to wait 'till I get to heaven to visit it, again.
32. Favorite flower? Tulips, Daffodils or peach, coral or yellow rose buds. Dave got me these PERFECT peach roses for my birthday!
33. Favorite ice-cream?
Breyer's Chocolate Mint Chip
34. Favorite fast food restaurant? I like them all for different reasons
35. How many times did you fail your driver’s test?
I passed it with flying colors - but I still didn't really know how to drive - they must have low standards.
36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? A friend in my co-op.
37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I'd like to get rid of all our credit cards - they're an albatross and I take no pleasure in the idea of maxing them out.
38. Last person you went to dinner with? My husband & kids for my birthday - steak!!
39. What are you listening to right now? The sound of the boys discussing what the order is to the colors of the rainbow, the girls discussing the time and activities they want to do after school, the sound of the telephone beeping as they're calling my sister to cajole her to come over after school.
40. What is your favorite color? light blue with yellow accents - or sage with pink accents
41. How many tattoos do you have?
None - it just didn't seem sanitary to inject ink in me -- and it didn't strike me as particularly attractive.
42. How many are you sending this email to? It's just for my blog.
43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? you'll see it on the post.
44. Favorite magazine: Imprimis - Conservative, free articles sent out by Hillsdale College ; Heart & Mind - A Catholic Homeschool publication
45. Coffee or tea? Both, but I can't handle coffee right now.
46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? Burn first, then tan.
47. Do you color your hair? If so, how often?
Once every 5 years I get a bee in my brain that it would be cool. Once it was bad and a couple times OK, but never cool.
48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? My manual drive Ford Escort (I bought it before I knew how to drive a stick shift - my boyfriend taught me how to drive it after I'd bought it). My grandfather helped me buy a car once, but the rest I've bought on my own.
49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Folding Laundry - Thank you, Katie for taking it on this year!!
50. Who do you tag to complete this meme? I don't tag people - I think it's up to every individual.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hamster Time!

This is what goes on in my house multiple times a day. I thought they might get used to them and start to ignore them. 6 months later, it hasn't happened. I thought they might kill them soon after getting them. Ds#4 has dropped them a few times and Maggie, our black lab who watches the cage for hours crying with desire to get them, picked up the hamster in her mouth and dropped it at Ds#4's feet. She just wanted to retrieve.

They're named Diggy and Eatey (because one was digging the first day and one was eating). I told the kids that those are pretty much the only activities hamsters do - but they insisted. They were actually right. One eats all the time and fights the other one over the food - Eatey is an obese bully. Diggy is sweet and the one everyone wants to hold. Diggy eats out of our hand (we don't think she gets much other food from the cage). "Can I hold the hamsters?" is a question I answer multiple times a day.
Yes, their eyes are red. They are Russian Dwarf Hamsters.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


This whole -tired during pregnancy- thing ... has been kicking my butt! I always intensely dislike the "barely functional" mode of having babies. I know - it gets worse when I've got a newborn up in the middle of the night. But my body is so tired.
It also feels like I don't have anything to contribute to anyone's life - there's just not much of me left after attempting to function. I don't feel like seeing friends, or blogging or connecting with anyone. I just want to sleep (and dream that my dishes are already done). I don't want to cook - but man, am I hungry all the time!! I don't remember eating this much before.
Lots of time I feel selfish -- I have this beautiful life -- and what do I do to give back to God? Only what's pleasant -spending time with my friends -investing in my own children ...
THIS is so small on the suffering scale ... but it's what I've got to offer Christ right now. So, even though it seems like a lame, meager gift - and in no way comforts the part of me that feels like I should be able to be productive - God will have to make my gift of sacrifice of my body right now and make it worthy for Himself.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Happy birthday to my wonderful wife. My children and I are truly blessed that God has placed her in our lives. I am inspired by her enthusiasm and dedication to the education of our children. As we work together to mold our future "Saints of God" (God willing), our children have no better model for Christian living than their very own mother.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I was considering selling my preschool materials this summer. Ds#4 doesn't need them anymore. I've given away or borrowed out a few things, already; the extra rocking chair & rocking horse, wooden puzzles - things like that. I guess now there's a reason to keep them, but I won't be needing them for at least 3 more years or more.
  • So, Tuesday, we went through the videos and pulled out all the baby/preschool tapes.
  • Next I need to go through all the school stuff and set aside the preschool materials. I don't think I have that much on the shelves -- much of it is either torn, tossed, loaned or lost.
  • I can also pull out most of my preschool books. I'll keep a few baby books, but the baby won't need them until age 1 (which is almost 2 years away).
  • I could put away alot of the fisher-price toys. The boys still play with them, but they're really more into Rescue Heros. Thanks for listening! You're right. I'll go ahead and pull out the toys, too.

Dave told me I am not allowed to buy anymore Rubbermaid tubs. (At one time he banned me from baskets). I'll have to go scour the attic and see if I can find one that has a lid that fits with it.

I'm really tired for my nap, now, but I missed my morning one and if I nap now, I'll be wiped by dinner time. I'll try and hold off until afternoon. I'm going to get off the computer and get preschool stuff done before I have the kids do some school and I take a nap.

Spring - To - Winter - Switch

Ugghhhh. This is not a job I prefer. Switching out clothes for 4 kids / deciding what I should keep for the next year /what won't fit so should it be passed down to the next kid / or should we get rid of it / keeping in mind what I've just gone through so I know what I still need to get in which size....

so many decisions ...

so many clothes ...

This year, I'll need to get this job done before I can get in the attic to pull out pregnancy clothes.
(I'm a big complainer!)

This morning I got the boys' clothes done. Dave thought it was odd that on a day that it was snowing, I was putting all their summer clothes in their drawers. He was really the impetus, since last night he told the boys to clean their room today -- and there was no way they could with all the winter and summer clothes mixed up all over their room.

Actually, this year is easier because Dave bought bed lifts for the legs of all the beds. I can store the kids' upcomming winter clothes in an under-the-bed-storage-box and don't have to mess with boxes in and out of the attic - and when we got a warm spell in, I just pulled their summer box out from under the bed to get a few items out. (But as soon as they saw their summer clothes under the bed, they didn't stay there...)

Of course, there are people in the world (many) that would switch lives with me in a heartbeat and long to have the problem of too many clothes to deal with for their children...Jesus, please help those people who don't have the means to care for their children and the weight and loss they must experience. Praise you, Jesus, for the life you've given us and help us do your father's will with these blessed lives.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesdays is Co-op Day

Co-op has been wildly successful on many levels for our family this year. They've learned things I wouldn't have thought to teach them. They've utilized resources I wouldn't have had available for them. They got to see their friends, and make new ones. And I didn't have to do all the work. We're looking forward to next year! This is a sampling of my kids throughout the year at Library Club - thanks in full part to Kim and her wonderful photography business.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Like Father - Like Son

Dave brought home a garbage disposal to install, ours quit working 2 weeks ago and that side of the sink quit working with it, so we've been down to a one-sided sink. I heard from the other room..."Could you hand me the screwdriver with the big point like this?" I peeked in. It was so cute.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Carpet Cleaning

Usually, I do this myself. Once or twice a year, I borrow my mom's or my m-i-l's shampooer, ship the kids off and take 2-3 hours per room. When we moved in, we knew that these light colored carpets would never stand up to our family. That was 5 years ago that we thought they'd need replaced in a year or two. I've heard that professionals do a better job than we measly housewives. My m-i-l found a coupon for a cleaner she's used that was definately affordable. It's not exactly a great time (with the queasiness & exhaustion of pregnancy) to try and get the house cleaned up enough to have the carpets cleaned, but I have a problem with babies on a floor with a bunch of smelly chemicals, so now seems as good a time as any. I'm also really interested if they can do a better job than I do taking only 1 hour to do the whole house. This is an expirament. Shhhh....don't tell the carpet cleaning guy that he's my lab rat....

I assisted and oversaw, but the kids did the lion's share of the work in cleaning the house. They've done an excellent job! (I'm hoping doing the work themselves will help them have pride in keeping it clean and fear of having to clean it all again.)

This is a picture of the boys playing their favorite game - Uno Splash. The cards are transparent plastic so you can see if a card is upside down in the deck before you shuffle and you can play in the bathtub. I believe that dililegence should be rewarded. So inbetween jobs, we take play-breaks. This is one of them.

Dd#2 has the flu today, so she's mostly in bed. Dd#1 has a lazy-bug (I think it's chronic and she may fight it the rest of her life) that we are battling. The boys, however, have been very helpful this morning. They're excited to get done and watch the "worker" come clean the carpets. The plan is to watch him clean one room, while we stay out of the way - then to lock ourselves with our schoolwork in my bedroom. We'll put snacks and toys up there. That way I can catnap while they do school or play while we can't be on the carpets until Dave comes home. I would normally just leave for the afternoon, but Dd#2 isn't fit to be around people. It sounds like a crazy day, but it's just about right for a kid with the flu.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Boy, do I like these. My neighbor has them in her yard and they look so pretty in spring. I admire them every year, so look what she sent over!! Jesus is so good to me to give me such sweet friends.
Since today is April Fool's Day as well as Palm Sunday, we did a Palm-Sunday lesson this morning before chuch. The boys watched a cartoon version of the Passion which prepared them to be very aware and involved in the (long - they were so good) passion reading of the gospel at church.
We came home so I could nap. Then we went out for a Sunday drive, found a covered bridge, Dave took the kids for a little walk around it -- and we all tried to trick each other with April Fool's jokes in the car. Dave was the best at it!