Monday, November 17, 2008

The ABC's of Me!

I love lists. I love to make them, read them, check them off and read other people lists. As I have explored the blogs of others, I'm drawn to the posts that have these cute little 'tags' or lists on their pages. So here's another list I've made to help you to get to know me better. Enjoy!

A- Attached or Single-
Attached to my best friend, Dave.
B- Best friends- Besides Dave, my best friends are my mom and my sisters; Felicia, Natalie, Emily, and Liz.
C- Cake or Pie- It depends on the recipe. But I guess I favor Door County Cherry Pie with vanilla ice cream from The White Gull Inn.
D- Day of choice- Saturday for sure! Especially if nothing is planned and we can all sleep in and just be home together.
E- Essential Items- I would say my very most essential item is my make-up. One time we went to visit Dave's mom for the weekend and I forgot my make-up bag...horrible, panicky feeling!!!
F- Favorite color- I suppose I have a combination of favorite colors. I love mossy green, saffron yellow, and ruby red. These colors can be found all over my house.
G- Gummy Worms or Godiva Chocolate- Are you kidding???? Chocolate, hands down!!
H- Hometown- Orem, Utah!! I have a lot a pride saying that I'm from Utah. Some of my teenage nieces and nephews here in Wisconsin would call me a U-tard when I first moved here...let's just say they don't say that anymore! ;)
I- Indulgences- I have to say I can't think of very many indulgences I have, but I guess one of the things that I do as an indulgence and when I just want to "check-out" is play hand-held Solitair. I know, it's such a time/brain waster!
J- January of July- Absolutely July!! I love the 4th of July! In Gresham and Algoma our house has been on the parade route. That's a big deal in small town Wisconsin! I also like spending the 4th in Utah with my family when we are visiting that time of year.
K- Kids- My kids are Stuart (12), Connor (9), Oliver (7) and Chloe (3). I've got the best kids in the whole world!!!
L- Life is incomplete without- Life is incomplete without having any family to live by. I been so blessed to have the best in-laws for my family that live by us here in WI. We all get along great! In fact, because my husband has so many brothers, the wife's have formed a coalition and formed a group called the SILC club (Sister In-law Club Club). We pretty much rule the roost!
M- Marriage Date- June 8, 1995! Almost 14 years!!!
N- Number of Siblings- I am one of seven kids. When I was little I hated being from a large family, but now I appreciate it so much and enjoy each of my siblings and my relationship with them.
O- Oranges or Apples- I would have to say apples, especially with a caramel dip or a cream cheese/brown sugar dip. But I can't resist fresh-squeezed orange juice either.
P- Phobias of Fears- I used to be afraid of snakes until Stuart got one for a pet and begged me to hold it. It's funny because I get the hebee-jebee's looking at it in it's cage but it seems easier for me to hold it. He's kind of cute in his slithery kind of way.
Q- Quotes- I have a vinyl sticker quote on my wall that says, "When there is love in the home, there is joy in the heart." How true that is for a mother with young kids that don't always get along.
R- Reasons to Smile- I love having a three year old in the house! She says so many funny little things lately.
S- Season- Living in Wisconsin, the winter season can last 6 months. So when spring and warm weather come around my soul feels so joyous!! I love to go out in the yard to pull weeds and tidy up after a long hard winter. I also love watching my perenial flowers grow and spread.
T- Tag Friends- Whoever wants to do this list, go for it!
U- Unknow Fact About Me- I hitch-hiked on a freeway in Portugal with my friends when I was 14 years old and got picked up by a man! Oh...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Guardian Angels!!!!
V- Very favorite Store- TJMaxx. Love the deals and the one of a kind treasures you can find.
W- Worst Habit- Lately, spending too much time on the computer and Facebook.
X- X-ray, Ultra-sound or Mammagram- Plenty of x-rays with 6 broken bones, plenty of ultrasounds with 4 kids and zero mammagrams. I guess they're in my near future as I'm in my mid thirties.
Y- Your Favorite Food- I love ethnic foods, especially Thai, Korean, Japanese and Chinese to name a few.
Z- Zodiac- Aries March 22.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall Fun


One of the great things about living in an older home is that we have a lot of mature trees in our yard. This has provided endless hours of playing in the leaves for our kids and their friends.

Last month our kids had off a couple of days from school. It was beautiful and warm outside. I told them to go play outside and enjoy the beautiful day. I was so impressed with the creative things they came up with to play in the yard to keep themselves occupied.

One of the games they played was to create a maze throughout the yard. They would rake all the leaves so that it made a little trail around the yard that they would have to find their way out of. This took them a long time to work on. I was so impressed with their determination and creativity.

Another thing that they played for a long time was to get a toy spider (about the size of the palm of my hand). They would gather almost all the leaves from the yard and pile it in a big, enormous pile. One of the kids would hide the spider in the huge pile while the other kids closed their eyes. Then the kids would have to dig and jump in the pile of leaves till they found the spider. Such simple fun!

The only problem with fall for the mommy is that when they'd come in from playing outside to get a drink or go to the bathroom, I had so many dead leaves in the house from them sicking to their clothes and falling off in the house. I had to sweep and vacuum a million times that day. Not too bad of a price, though, considering I didn't have to pay any money to keep my kids and their friends entertained for the whole day!

I guess as the weather turns colder and snowier, we can look forward to all of the creative play
from the kids in the white stuff. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Daybook November 12th

A little look into my life this week....

Outside my window: I look out my living room window and see my sweet neighbor's house. She lives in a turn of the century Belgium brick home. I love the texture and color of the brick. My neighbor's name is Joyce, or as we call her "Grandma Joyce". We've kind of adopted her as a own. She's very sweet and thoughtful.
I am thinking: How could I have spaced the Rain-gutter Regatta tomorrow night for scouts?!? It is going to be a frantic day and night of pulling it together. Dave wasn't too excited about this.
I am thankful for: Having a new van. After not having a second car for 2 months I appreciate the fact that I don't have to stress if it's raining outside and worry about my kids getting wet walking to school. Just the little things that make life so convenient.
From the kitchen: Yesterday I made a new recipe for the basic chocolate chip cookie. Wasn't very pleased with the recipe. I made the first batch and realized it needed more flour so I had to adjust. The kids liked them and that's all that counts. I made Jambalaya and acorn squash for dinner. I'm not sure what I'll make tonight. Probably something really easy as I will be helping make sailboats for the Rain-gutter Ragatta!

Chloe helping me make cookies for the kids .
I am creating: I am making a pieced blanket made out of old cashmere sweaters. It is really turning out nice. It's so soft and cozy. I've pieced it all together and now I'm working on making crazy quilt stitches on some of the seams. I've got to make a cute border around the edge or put a binding around it. I can't decide...any ideas?

I am going: Tonight I am going to YW in Sturgeon Bay. At the moment we only have one girl in our program. This month another girl is turning 12 and then in April we'll get a third. Yeah!!
I am hoping: I hope Connor will make a change with is behavior. Lately we've struggled with him being disrespectful and sassy to us. He's a good kid with a smart mouth. It seemed like the consequences we were imposing only had a short term effect. This week I've decided to have in stay in his room for a few hours after school. He can't watch any TV or video games or have friends over. It seems to be working. I feel like this is his Achilles tendon. I'll cross my fingers.
I am reading: I just stared reading the book, 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part -Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie. It's a National Book Award book written for Young Readers. My librarian recommended it to me and told me that it was her most favorite book she read in 2008. We'll put it to the test. So far I really like it.
I am hearing: Dora the Explorer on the TV, Chloe's favorite. Have to be careful though...she'd watch this same DVD all day if I'd let her. I also hear my neighbor girl, Lydia, use my scrapbook stuff in the front room. She has a little case of "the runs" and didn't feel like going to school, so I said she coould come hang out with me while her parents were at work.
One of my favorite things: English roses. I planted a few new bushes this year and they did just OK. The last couple of weeks we had some really warm weather and my bushes had grown some new stalks with a bunch of roses on them. I was shocked!! Roses in November. I cut them off and brought them in the house. They look beautiful!

I am wearing: I'm still in my work-out clothes from this morning. I should really be in the shower instead of playing on my blog while the baby is sleeping!
A few plans: The kids have off school on Friday so I told them thatI'd take them to Green Bay to watch a movie called "Wall.E" Then on Saturday we're having a birthday party for Oliver. On Sunday I have the sister missionaries for lunch after church. It's going to be a crazy weekend for us!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Amazingly Patient Pooch

Our dog Poppy has amazed me lately. When we go to church we put her in the kennel because we are usually gone for 6 hours or so. We always put some toys in her kennel with her and some chew toys to keep her busy and not too bored. I've noticed that when we get home and let her out she'll run around the house and says hello to all the family members and then she'll go back in her kennel and get her toys and chews. I had noticed that her chew toys were never wet or chewed on and just chalked it up to her not really being in the mood to chew.
Last Sunday Dave put her in the kennel and gave her a dog biscuit. She loves her treats and will devour them when we give them to her. When we got home that afternoon she did her routine with the running around and then went in the kennel to pull out her stuff. Well low and behold, what does she pull out? Her dog treat!!! She had waited with that thing in her kennel right in front of her nose and didn't touch it till we got home! I wish I had her self control!
Here is a video of Poppy sitting and waiting for her treat. She'll sit there and wait as long as it takes until we give her the OK to get her treat! She's not the perfect dog but she's making a lot of progress. She still struggles with the command "come", but she's getting better. We think she's finally mastered the potty issue after a year, but I wish she'd give us signals like barking or scratching at the door when she need to go out. But, Rome wasn't built in a day! We are sure glad that we have Poppy in our family!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gather around the Fireplace

What wonderful memories gathering around the fireplace bring. When I was a little girl, some of my fondest memories were on a Sunday evening, my dad would start a fire in our fireplace. All of my brothers and sisters would get so excited! My dad would lay his big body across the floor in front of the fireplace and stretch his arms out wide. All of us kids would pile in like sardines in a can and rest our heads on a part of his arm. I can still recall the smell of his Bruit deoderant as I'd lay on my spot on his arm. He'd make "plans" with us about when we'd go on a mission to Brazil (little did he know!) or he'd tell us stories about when he and Uncle Max were little boys down in Lousianna . Those stories always started out like this: "Once upon a time in the land of...", and then all us kids would yell, "OO-PAPA-DA!!", and he tickle us and say, "I'M THE ONE WHOSE SUPPOSE TO SAY IT!!!" Such fun! So now it's our turn to create memories like that for our kids.
Yesterday it got really cold outside and started to snow softly. After we got home from church and had ourselves some lunch, Dave decided that it was the perfect night to have a fire. We got out blankets and pillows and laid around the fireplace. Dave started out by going around the family and asking the kids different questions to get them started on recalling experiences they've had in their short little childhoods. It was so fun listening to their memories from their prespectives. One of the questions was, "What was the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to you?" Oliver told how just the other day when he had to go get an x-ray for his collarbone he had an embarrassing thing happen to him. The doctors office had Chloe and I wait in the examination room while an x-ray technician took Oliver to get his x-ray. She layed him on the table and told him to hold still and not move. Then she left the room. I guess that Oliver had to go to the bathroom pretty bad but the lady was no where in sight. Oliver being the kid he is knew that he was suppose to hold still and not move. Well, you can imagine what happened! He was so embarrassed! He came into the room and explained what had happened. I said that it was ok and as soon as the doctor saw us we'd go home and give him a bath. He had a long t-shirt on that covered his pants so I told him no one was going to even see the mess. Well, the doctor came in and asked if he could take off his shirt! His eyed got as big a silver dollars as he looked over at me in panic! Poor kid! He laughed and laughed when he told us all this story!
Other questions we aked the kids were to tell us when they were the most scared, the most happy and the funnest thing they had ever done. We asked questions until we couldn't think of anything else to ask them! They didn't want the evening to end. They begged us to ask more!
We've also had a tradition of telling them Oo-papa-da stories and stories from Dave's childhood (or as they like to say "Gandpa John stories"...Dave's dad was kind of notorious for doing some crazy things!). We've had a great time as a family getting together this way. We haven't always had a fireplace in the homes we've lived in before, so we've enjoyed talking around the firepit outside or in our tent when we'd camp.
You know, sometimes what our children want most of all is our undivided time and attention. What an inexpensive, wonderful time we shared gathered around the fire!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Oliver!


I can't believe that you have been in our family for seven years already! Time has gone by so fast. You have been a joy and a delight in our family. You have a such a tender heart and you always want to do what's right. I love you so much!
It was fun the other night when you and I were talking about when you were born. I told you how you were my hardest labor and how I felt like you were never going to come out. The doctor had tried to induce me a week before you were due. I was really tired of being pregnant so I took the bait. We made all the arraignments for your older brothers to be taken care of, so we went to Green Bay and checked into the hospital. They started me on pitocin (the medicine which gets mommy's body ready for they baby to come out). I was having labor pains all day and night but my body was not cooperating. You just weren't ready to be born! The next day came and I knew that you were not going to be born that day either. I was so sad to leave the hospital without you in my arms.
The next couple of weeks we tried again. My body was a bit more ready than before but I still needed the help of the medicine to get me going. My body has a hard time having a baby on it's own. I always have to have medicine to help me get the baby out. So they hooked me all up and we waited and waited. It seemed like the time before. Nothing was happening again. The next day came and I was getting so frustrated and sad. I thought I'd never get to see you! After lunch on that second day, I was sitting on a chair and Mama was sitting by my feet. (Your dad was getting a cat-nap in the waiting room.) All of a sudden I had a special and warm feeling come over me. I saw something in my mind and knew that you were with your heavenly family and that you were ready to come to this earth finally. Within minutes my labor pains came on with a vengeance and I delivered you within the hour. I hardly had any time to get the necessary pain killers. But that's OK. Here you were! A perfectly beautiful baby boy!
Oliver, we love you and are so glad you're a part of our family!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crazy 8's

Stacy had this on her blog and I liked reading what she had to say. I think these post help the reader get a little more insight about the person who is doing the writing.

8 things I'm passionate about:
1. My husband, Dave
2. My kids; Stuart, Connor, Oliver, and Chloe
3. Politics...listening to Conservative radio
4. My friendships
5. Keeping in touch with my extended family
6. Watching flowers grow in my garden
7. Crocheting, embroidery, scrapbooking, cashmere sweater blankets, stamping
8. Cleaning...when I'm in the mood

8 phrases that I use often:
1. Knock it off!
2. Do you want a time out?
3. Why aren't you listening to me?
4. Tuckle, tuckle ,tuckle (bed time routine)
5. I'm tired... I've got to go to bed
6. I love you more!!
7. Do you have any homework?
8. What time will you be home?

8 things I want to do before I die/on my wish list:
1. Loose weight
2. Run a half marathon
3. Have more patience with my kids
4. Serve a mission with Dave
5. Have a really fun, extreme, family vacation
6. Get out of off all those student loans, car loan, home loans
7. Help change someones life.
8. Make a difference.

8 things that I've learned from the past:
1. Always say your sorry...admit that you were wrong.
2. Even if you make a lousy still "makes a turd".
3. Wait to get new carpet until the puppy is a year old.
4. Some grumpy old men at church will NEVER change and be nice.
5. Never assume your husband can read your mind and know what you want him to do.
6. Always tell your kids you love them even when they are driving you crazy.
7. Don't let 6 little kids play with your scrapbook stuff...GLITTER EVERYWHERE!!!!
8. Don't let cute little toddlers pretend to talk on my new cell might end up in the toilet.

8 things I currently want:
1. A new van, but got one 3 days ago
2. New running shoes
3. Someone in my family to come and visit from Utah.
4. More income
5. New clothes for me and my kids
6. An endless supply of socks in my boys drawers
8. To jog faster and farther

8 places I want to see/visit:
1. England with Dave
2. Scotland...Still think it's a beautiful place even though I hate a Scotsman from there.
3. Portugal with my family
4. Australia
5. Florida Key with Dave and the kids
6. Brazil with the Ficklin clan
7. Korea, where Dave served his mission
8. All over Europe

8 favorite places to eat:
1. Victoria's
2. Mongolian bar-b-que
3. The King and I (Thai restaurant)
4. Los Hermanos
5. Tony Romas
6. Red Robin
7. The White Gull Inn
8. Culvers Custard

8 shows/movies I can't live with out:
1. 24
2. American Idol
3. I don't watch a lot of TV, but we do love to rent movies
4. Dora the Explorer (Keeps Chloe occupied while I need to get stuff done-is that bad?)
5. Sponge Bob (kid occupier)
6. Nacho Libre (kid occupier)
7. Harry Potter (kid occupier)
8. The Wiggles (kid occupier)

8 things that happened yesterday:
1. Went to church
2. Saw Crusty Jack (grumpy old man at church) roll his eyes and huff a dozen or more times.
3. Relaxed
4. Went to bed a 7:00 p.m.
5. Ate my last BLT sandwich with tomatoes from our garden
6. Watched a movie with my family
7. Had a fire in the fireplace
8. Didn't worry about the dishes in the sink

8 things I look forward to:
1. Kids that will finally listen to me.
2. Kids that will get along.
3. Being out of debt.
4. Dave coming home at night.
5. Kids coming home from school.
6. My walks on Crescent Beach every morning and seeing the sunrise
7. Visiting Utah next summer
8. Getting a new roof

8 things I love about fall:
1. The smell of leaves.
2. The sound of leaves crunching under my feet.
3. The smell of fall candles burning.
4. Turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
5. Having the sun come up earlier so it's not starry when I go to exercise outside.
6. Fires in the fireplace.
7. Raking with Dave
8. Watching the kids jump in the leaves and make mazes with them.

Wow! That took me a lot longer than I thought! Give it a try, it's kind of fun!

Happy Halloween


Stuart was the cutest granny I ever saw! He got so many laughs from neighbors and friends. One lady couldn't tell whether he was a girl or a boy dressed up like a granny!. I thought it was clever that he had his little purse for his treats! He came home about half way through the evening to change his shoes and get a bigger bag for candy.

Connor is one cool dude! I kind of scratched my head when he told me what he wanted to be...I didn't want to encourage any behavior that is unbecoming a good LDS boy, but Dave and I figured that it is a "pretend" dress up day and as long as it's just for fun, what the heck! He was tickled when we found the huge bling thing and tatoo sleaves at Walmart. With all his attitude he had that night, I thought he was pretty legitimate!

Phycho is exactly how I felt when we were trying to get four kids ready for trick or treating on Halloween. We had been gone all day buying a new car and got home with 15 minutes to get kids ready to go out for the night! CRAZINESS! Dave helped out by helping with Oliver. Poor guy had no hope of doing a really sweet job on the make-up because I kept saying, "Hurry, hurry!!!". After all was said and done, I thought Oliver's, shall we say, "creepy", make-up was awsome for the effect he wanted.
Chloe was in seventh heaven in her fairy costume! She was so excited for her first 'real' Halloween. I think this was the first year she really got it. She would practice all day pretending to knock on doors and say "trick or treat" and "thank you".
Her little friend, Raina, came to trick or treat with her. When Raina showed up the girls were dressed nearly the same way! Sometimes it's hard to tell the two apart. They sound the same and look the same. (Except Raina recently "cut" her own hair) Chloe loved having a huge bag of candy all her own. I'm thinking, I'm not loving that fact!