Thursday, January 29, 2009

I felt like I was in a movie today...

I was leaving the grocery store and calculating in my head how much I could spend at the next 2 stores I had to go to after what I'd just spent. I had Ds#4, who is 6 years old, and the baby with me. The checkout lady had stacked groceries in the child seat so I couldn't put the baby in the cart. As I exit the building after putting the baby's booties, gloves, hat and scarf on (actually I put both gloves on 3 times because while I was reaching for the other glove, he'd take off the one I'd just put on and throw it on the ground while I was trying to wrestle his hand into the next glove.)

I pushed the full cart with one hand while I held the baby on my hip with the other arm (and multiple layers of coat & scarf between us) and directed the 6 year old to stay close to me in the parking lot. We just got around 5 inches of snow and the lot wasn't completely cleared. Between the heavy cart, trying to keep the 6 year old near and being one handed, that snow in the lot REALLY slowed me down. I was stopped in my tracks when I realized I hadn't been able to park in the front row, but the next row back. The cars were parked too close together to allow me between them with the cart. Even realizing this, I tried to go straight to my car --nope, I couldn't do it.

We had to go around the aisle of cars, into the drive to get into the parking lot, up the hill, back around the back of the next aisle to get arrive a the trunk of my car. I'm a healthy, spoiled American, this shouldn't be such a big deal! "O.K., honey, let's go around and stay close because cars may need to go around us since we're walking up the main drag." The hill up to my aisle (I don't think I ever even noticed there was a hill there, more of a slight incline) was more difficult to get up than I realized - with being one-handed and the weight of the cart in the snow. So, instead of pushing from behind, I got in front of the cart and pulled. The wheels weren't really turning (clogged with snow), so I was taking tiny steps and with as large of jerky motions as I could manage while keeping hold of the baby I dragged the cart up the hill. I remember thinking 'good, we're there.' We weren't.

As I turned the corner to get to my aisle, the cart got stuck. Not a little stuck, alot of stuck. When the lot had been plowed, the corners ended up with more snow and I didn't account for that. I asked Ds#4 to help push, but he had my wallet, keys and the baby's sippy cup. So I'm pulling as hard as I can and he's trying to push with his shoulders (his hands were occupied). Then we switched and I tried to balance the baby on the handlebars of the cart (which he thought was hilarious) and I tried to hold him and push the cart with my feet and stomach -- it didn't work.

New plan. I left the cart to be run over by a car...if that was going to happen, so be it. I took the baby and the boy and strapped them into the van. I left them to try and dislodge the cart. Just then an old lady offered to help. I hated to take her up on it (I should be helping old ladies), but I really needed help. We managed to push-pull the cart back and forth and get it through the snow to the car.

By the time I got the car loaded up and the cart back to the store (I seriously thought about leaving it in the parking lot, but didn't want it to be in the way of the old lady who helped me or someone in a worse position than me) and got back to the car, the baby was screaming to get out of his car seat. So he SCREAMED all the way home (we didn't get the other 2 places). It was like some weird comedy movie where the main character gets in tangle after tangle -- I'm like a movie star.

During all this I kept thinking of Dave in his warm office talking on the phone for his job. Just then, my job seemed so much harder than his....

Sunday Doughnuts

A friend and I were talking after church last weekend, (Hi, Laura!) that it has gotten so expensive to go out for doughnuts after church because our kids eat so much. I suggested we make doughnuts after church. Then I found some doughnut posts. I doubt we can compare to Dunkin' Doughnuts (our personal favorite!), but it could be a fun activity for the kids.

I'll have to let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Jenni asked me how to post my blog into facebook. This post is just for her.

Go to your profile page.
On your wall under "What are you doing right now?" is a tiny gear with the tiny word "settings".

Once you click on "settings", my page says
Stories Posted By You
You can automatically import activity from...other services to your
Click on automatically import and it takes you to options you can import into your Notes. Click on Blog and enter your address.
Let me know if it works and we should be friends on facebook.
You can find me : J e n n at t h m g dot c o m

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I got tagged on facebook, but this blog feeds into my notes on facebook, so I'll just post it here. (if you're not on facebook, ignore the previous sentence because it won't mean anything to you).
  1. My children are the most wonderful gift I have and the best day of my life was the day God made me a mother.
  2. My children are the most challenging thing I have to deal with because they reflect my strengths and weaknesses soooo much.
  3. I went to 11 different schools in my first 8 years of schooling.
  4. I love books.
  5. I love to drive a 5-speed car and can hardly wait for the day I can ditch my mini-van for sporty-red-5-speed-something.
  6. I LOVE being Cathlolic -- "I GET to be Catholic"!
  7. I don't have a single grey hair.
  8. Except for aparagus, I LOVE vegetables.
  9. I weigh more now than I ever have in my life ... and I really don't care.
  10. Jesus has been my best friend since I was 10.
  11. I love Breyers chocolate mint chip icecream.
  12. Our 15 year wedding anniversary is coming up and between lack of money and nursing a 1-year old, I can't think of ANYTHING fun to do.
  13. I love the feel of dishes, they can be so sensual (in a good way).
  14. I'm almost 41.
  15. I could eat sauteed onion on almost anything.
  16. I struggle with being too brutally honest and tactless.
  17. Being the mother of 5 kids is a badge of honor I wear proudly and I salute ANY and EVERY mother!
  18. Whenever I'm scared or unsure I always go back to what I KNOW is TRUTH and work my way from there -- it's like a mantra for me.
  19. I am so NOT gentle with the children in my life, so my new favorite saint is St. Anthony because he was so gentle in his love of the Christ Child.
  20. My worst year was 13 : my dad kidnapped us 1200 miles away and told us we'd never see our mom again.
  21. I love plaid.
  22. I'm a terrible housekeeper.
  23. My heart melts everytime I get near a baby -- especially my own.
  24. Almost all my friends are better friends to me than I am to them.
  25. I'm looking forward to the day when I can be a free spirit again and ride a shopping cart through an empty isle going as fast as I can make it go like I did when I was 22 instead of being the kind of person who says "get your hands out of your mouth" 73 times per day.

One more way to get books!

I just joined and am really having fun with this! It's an online book swap where you clear your shelves of things choking them and request books you want for FREE! (you pay for shipping to help another soul enjoy the book you're ditching).

I listed 13 books and had 2 immediate requests and 3 other books are waiting for people to confirm that they want the books I listed. Each book I've sent has cost me less than $2.50. I can't even buy used from Amazon for that price!

When you list your first 10 books, you get 2 FREE books (without sending any of your out!). One credit = one book.

I really like books! Paperbackswap

Friday, January 23, 2009

March For Life

God willing (if the baby's cold gets better) Dave and the kids and I will be able to attend Fort Wayne's March for Life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

St. Arbuck's Coffee & other ramblings

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee getting ready for a busy day (leave at 9:30am and get home at 5pm) having already packed lunch, made sure the kids ate and were accomplishing morning activities and reading my morning article from my homepage Catholic Exchange and my favorite author Mark Shea when he mentioned St. Arbuck's Coffee. Well that little ditty just struck me as HILARIOUS! I googled it and it turns out there's a book (I haven't read it) about it.

This post has no purpose or real significance in life what-so-ever -- I just found it interesting -- I love playing with words.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crochet Wallet

I couldn't find a wallet to buy that fit just what I wanted :
  • compact as possible
  • spot for keys
  • cell phone holder
  • money & change pocket
  • plenty of space for credit cards
  • not ugly
So I looked around online and found some examples of some. Instead of using a pattern, I just used the ideas and made it up as I went along.

First of all, I wanted something pretty, so I used laminated holy cards for the front and back. I used a hole punch around the edge of the card and crocheted around it. I continued sewing across to double the size for the back side.

Then I flipped the front over and sewed a change pocket.
I tied this off and made a credit card pocket and divided it in half, tied it off and and set it aside.

I started on the cell phone holder as a seperate piece, which is the back side of the wallet the same way with a holy card and a hole punch. I only made this wide enough for my cell phone and then started making it into a rectangle box. The back of the box is the credit card pocket. (this view is of the depth of the cell phone holder compared with the front of the wallet.)

I attached the two pieces together and put a key chain in the stitches to clip my keys onto when I go out without my diaper bag.
The last picture is of the wallet open so you can see the front and back sides. I put a tie on it and have been tying it closed using the key chain, but I intend on buying a zipper to zipper the whole thing shut.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to my teen-ager

We threw a football party for Dd#1'2 13th birthday party and had 17 kids here. We couldn't go outside due to FRIGID temperatures, so we tried to be creative.
We bought a football party pack of decorations (thanks to the fact that it's SuperBowl time)
We bought frozen pizzas and made them into football pizzas
We bought football cupcake papers and squeeze icing and let the kids each decorate their own football cupcakes

We made facepaint and painted the kids' faces with numbers of their favorite players or goalposts, etc.

They played blindfolded punter using a balloon as a football, and made an obstacle course they had to run while hanging onto the football. They had a little football toy they tried to get kick a ball through the goal posts and everyone went home with a balloon. The experienced football fans in our crowd stayed and showed us how to use our new football game on the Wii.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

This quote is from me ... to me
This whole homeschooling thing is really interfering with my blog!
Quick 2009 update:

  • We got a Wii for Christmas -- Dave's hooked and I spend alot of time sayingto the kids, "No, you're not done with ____, so you can't play the Wii."
  • This was a miracle Christmas -- we made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve without anyone being sick!!! We were AMAZED! That's the first time since we've had kids that has happened.

(Pic below -- 13 month old baby petting the dog in front of our $12-after-Christmas-tree from last year)

  • Baby still isn't sleeping through the night. He eats dinner before bed, but he HATES sitting in his high chair and doesn't have the patience to sit there long. We'll have a couple of good nights and then a couple of weeks of him wanting to nurse in the middle of the night. He's getting skinnier because he's walking and climbing and moving more -- which I knew to expect. I just can't bare the thought of denying him food if he's hungry.
  • I'm much busier with kids and homeschooling now that we have a toddler. I'm still sort of shocked how busy I am with just everyday stuff! I really love it, but it feels like I hardly have 2 seconds to grab and think my own thoughts. That's not exactly true, but that's how it feels. Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep at 3:30am and got up -- I realized I could actually use my brain for my own purposes rather than answering the 1,002 questions during the day the kids and phone and e-mail and Dave throw at me.
  • I've been fairly anxious about teaching highschool. It's not even that I'm afraid or anything, but -- when we're not getting as much school done as I think we should, now, let alone making things a little more challenging to get ready for highschool...it all seems a little overwhelming -- like I'll never get it all done. I know I'm not supposed to get it all done, I'm just supposed to give my best and let God worry about the outcome...
I'm better at stressing than I am trusting.
  • I've been keeping the house cleaner, lately -- that's been quite an accomplishment and it's been no easy task!
  • We're supposed to have Dd#1's 13 birthday football party today (we had to reschedule it from last week due to illness), but with the snow and the below zero windchill, I'm not sure if we'll have to reschedule again.
  • Our computer is filled up (almost no memory left) so the 42 pictures I've taken over the last month and transferred to the computer and deleted from the camera...didn't get saved by my computer and were lost -- there was a horrible picture of Dave I was going to post on my blog, too -- now I'll have to find a different way to humiliate him.
  • We've gotten a slow start back to school from Christmas. I was sick the week we should have been back, so we just did a few things here and there. I feel like we're not home enough to get intensive school done, but I also don't think I'm very efficient when we're home
    1. please get the baby out of the toilet
    2. I haven't gone to the grocery, so you can't have (fill in the blank)
    3. When I said, "put away your coats" it means I shouldn't have to make you stop your reading to put away your boots and gloves, too
    4. what do you mean you "lost" your math book -- you haven't taken it out of the house!
    5. don't let the baby eat the dog food
    6. don't sit in front of the space heater when you have a short sleved shirt on. put a sweatshirt on and if you're still cold, THEN you can sit in front of the space heater.
    7. I know you have a sweatshirt in your drawer, I'll come look as soon as I finish reserving the library books for next week.
    8. please don't tackle your brother while your sister is trying to read history to you
    9. no, you can't make cookies right now, we just started school
    10. you'll need to clean up all your school books off the floor because the baby scooched the chair up to your desk and climbed on it and tossed everything out of it
    11. shhhhh you can't practice your trumpet while the baby is alseep
    12. no I haven't graded your language arts, I'm nursing the baby and I can't manage the book and the baby
    13. I don't know what we're having for lunch but it isn't raemen noodles

...none of that gets us any closer to getting school done!

However, at the end of the day when we're discussing a great book we all shared and laughing over the antics of the baby and congratulating one of the kids for their effort in overcoming long division and singing a song we made up and filling Daddy in on our shared day...it's been a wonderful day, afterall.