Monday, May 29, 2006

Swinging Sisters

Swining Sisters
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
At the block party following the parade the girls found a fun swing in a neighbor's yard. We HAVE to get one of these! The party included lots of food, face painting, a bouce house slide and train. All of which you can see (sort of) in my Flickr photos!

(Of course Reia was a bit grumpy and refused to get in the train or have her face painted.)

Let's Parade Baby!

Let's Parade Baby!
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
This picture doesn't even come close to doing the parade justice. We had to quit early as the Barbie Jeep couldn't keep up! That's okay though. Tons of people turned out in wagons, cars, bicycles and more all decorated in the red white and blue. I was amazed at the number of kids who live in our neighborhood, and I was able to meet lots of moms at the block party later. I even got invited to a playgroup which is something I really miss from yesteryear. Ok, just wanted to share. You can look at more of the pics if you click on the Flickr box in the sidebar.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

LBY: Blogging: Summer Hiatus

Part I: LBY Confession (sort of)

I have been doing all of my LBY homework up to this week. I got to day 4 and didn't get to any of the video. So, I won't be posting on gentleness. And, knowing that I will have time to get my homework barely done this week, I'm just going to say that I won't be posting on self control either. That is not to say that I have not gotten so much out of this study, but my blogging time is currently limited. But, a big thanks to Lauren for organizing this study. I think I may even review the whole thing to get anything I might have missed the first time through. This leads me to...

Part II: Posting, Reading Others' Blogs and Commenting

Well, summer is upon us. School is out and the various activities shall commence. I am involved in several of those activities which require ridiculous amounts of prep time. So, I will be blogging sporadically, but please don't delete me from your bloglines! Also, if you are on my sidebar, I am reading your blog whether or not I get a chance to comment. So, please don't think I am ignoring you.

Ok, that's about it. Just wanted everyone to be duly informed. =)

My Small Town

When I was little we lived on an acre in Arkansas covered in enormous trees with a creek running across our front yard. We played outside in the summer, caught tadpoles, frogs and crawdads, and chased fireflies. We had a fabulous garden where my mom grew tons of delectable vegetables that we ate daily. My grandparents lived three hours away. We would spend several weeks in the summer there sitting on the front porch in the swing, listening to the locusts while drinking sweet tea and being eaten absolutely alive by T-Rex sized mosquitoes. Roly polys were in excess for our amusement and the air in the house was cooled by several window units. I love the smell of that kind of cold air.

I'm not sure what made me think when Terry and I had children it was going to be just like that. Although we do have monstrous mosquitoes! When we moved to Corinth, which is basically in the middle of nowhere, I was surprised at how unlike my childhood it was. We couldn't sit outside and enjoy anything. It was too hot and we didn't have any trees to speak of. I don't think the wind ever blew unless a tornado was threatening to drop down on our house. I did really enjoy the friendships I formed there, but something was missing.

Tonight Terry and I went outside and sat in the front yard. We now live several miles from downtown Dallas. I grabbed the bottle of bug spray (I really think the "Why mosquitoes, God?" will be the first few questions I ask him.) and my sweet tea, which was now more like a simple syrup for all of the sugar that had been sitting in the pitcher for two days. We sat in the lawn chairs under the fabulous old trees and a lovely breeze started to blow. Then I heard the sound of locusts floating through the air. All of a sudden I was seven. Who would have known that God would take me from the "country" where I thought I wanted to be to the city, where I knew I didn't want to be, and give me exactly what I have been waiting for.

We are having a neighborhood Memorial Day parade on Monday along with a ceremony honoring veterans and block party. Reia gets to drive her Barbie Jeep in it, and our house is the corner turning point. So, we were just informed that everyone comes to sit in our yard. I didn't need the country, I needed a small town. And here it is, in the middle of Dallas.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Anniversary...

To my wonderful husband!

He's been putting up with me for eight years now, and hopefully he'll have to do it for many many many more!!!!!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

LBY: Week 8: Faithfulness

"The degree of our faithfulness is the direct result of our regard for God's faithfulness."-Beth Moore.

Over the past few weeks I have "cyber-watched" several women, one I know and one I don't, go through very trying circumstances in regard to their little girls. Although they are not out of the woods completely, they both seem to be able to breathe at least a sigh of relief knowing God's faithfulness will seemingly result in a positive outcome. I have thought about these women and their precious girls a lot, and have prayed-- a lot. I have been amazed at their vulnerability to share with those of us who are out here watching. I wonder if they know they are a true testament to not only God's faithfulness, but their own.

If you read the comments on each of their blogs it's amazing to see how God has used so many people to offer His words of encouragement and thoughts of love. He hasn't been faithful in just the healing of these two little girls, but holding each of these women up helping them to just focus on Him and his ability to carry them through the process of growing in Him.

I don't know that I have ever not believed God. (Beth comments on the faithfulness of God is his believability.) As I have gotten older, and hopefully become a little more wise, I understand more the depths of his faithfulness. (I do have a long way to go!) Even though at times I wonder what in the world he is doing, I would rather remain focused on Him knowing that his word and promises will not fail. I can't imagine how people who live without this trust in Him make it through even one traumatic event in their lives.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Life is Fun(ny)

Life is Fun(ny)
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
Last night the band director at the high school I attended retired/moved on after 24 years. (I think he is going to a Jr. High) So, any former band member was invited to play the last song of the spring concert which was always "Stars and Stripes Forever".

I was amazed at the turnout and it was tons of fun to see people I haven't seen in 17 years. Actually, what was more amazing was two of those people literally looked like they did when we graduated. Most of us have spread just a little, greyed a little more, or just covered themselves in tatoos.

A small group of us decided to converge on Razoos after the concert and visit for a while. It is so fun to share memories, "remember whens" and find out what everyone is up to now in the way of kids, careers and locations.

It's funny, when I look at this picture I don't see adults in their mid thirties, I really flash back to what we all looked like our senior year, although some of us probably look better now!

Thanks guys! I had a great time. Of course, I haven't stayed up that late in years. It'll take me three nights of four extra hours of sleep just to catch up.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gran's Playdough

The girls and I love to make our own playdough. And recently McCormick's came out with Neon colored food coloring. (Is that redundant?) Anyhoo, I thought I would share the best playdough recipe with you guys. It's my mother in law's who teaches preschool.

1 tbsp of alum
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp of oil
food coloring of your choice

Microwave the water, oil and coloring until boiling, about 1.5 min in my micro. Add to already mixed dry ingredients. Mix and knead thoroughly--use a spoon at first, it's hot as the dickens. Cool completely before storing in ziplock bag. It will last forever as long as you keep it stored correctly.

Voila! Also, I added vanilla extract this time and boy did it smell like pruty purkle playdough.

(Not My) Thoughts On The DaVinci Code

I am not a deep thinker about all of this. I haven't read the book and don't plan to see the movie. Mainly because I don't see but about 2 movies a year, and this wouldn't be a pick for me. However, you can get some interesting review information at Mommy Life.

For the Love of Cleaning

(This one is for Bev. Sorry it took me so long!)

I know there are people who love to clean or at the very least compelled by their own OCD tendencies to do it and do it often. I neither love it or have OCD. However, I do love it when my house is clean. With a 18 month old and 4 1/2 yr old, it doesn't stay that way for long. I spend most of my day picking up little messes just so by 5 p.m. it won't look like four tornadoes have simultaneously whipped through my house. Of course, I'd rather be outside playing or running errands. I guess if we did that more my house would stay clean? Hmmm, food for thought.

So here's how I keep my house somewhat together. First of all, let me state for the record that I do have a husband who is a little anal and really likes a clean house. (Boy, did he marry the wrong person for that!) And, he is happy to pay for it--literally. We have a group of ladies that comes every other Tuesday to do the floors, windows, baseboards etc.; those things that would rarely get done since I am spending most of my time just keeping up with the girls. One day they will get these special duties as chores! (Yeah, I know. There are lots of women who still manage to do it all with more than two kids.)

In between cleanings I do sweep and vacuum at least once and use the following products when I do real cleaning: Magic Eraser (a must have for any parent of a small child), Febreeze (I absolutely cannot stand the dog smell), 409 for the countertops and tables.

I do have a plethora of cleaning bottles in my garage for those just in case moments, but I don't know what they are anymore. I know I will have to drag them out eventually. The girls won't be little forever. For now I will enjoy this little break from real cleaning!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What's Working For Me?

Well, Bev tagged me to do a little Works for Me Wednesday, which I think was originated with Shannon. I have thought and thought and thought about this, and what I have realized is that nothing works for me. Ok, I'm totally kidding. Here's what I have for now, and it may be the only tip I can ever think of. (When you are not OCD or anal this is a hard meme.)

I get tired of going through all of my cookbooks for one or two recipes. So, now that we have a copier at home (for homeschooling) I make copies of those one or two or five I use from that one book and put them in a binder labeled "Mommy's Recipes". This way I can put a majority of my cookbooks away to look through when I have a little down time or want to try something new. Plus my binder folds nice and flat unlike most cookbooks. Why they don't spiral bind them all is beyond me.

Please No, Not Already

I am listening to Reese cry in her room following a thump--the third thump in a row--from her crawling out of her crib and hitting the floor. The first time she crawled out I was trying to lay down and heard someone flushing the potty. Now, I know my dog isn't that talented and Reia was upstairs playing. (I can hear her on the hard floors.) So, I got up to check it out only to find my 18 month old lifting the lid to do God only knows what.

I am totally unprepared for this. Reia didn't go to a big girl bed until she was 2 1/2. Any suggestions as to how to go about solving this problem those of you with multiple kids?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Phone Fast

I'm not sure why, but I could not just "get it together" last week. Completely and utterly non-motivated. I didn't do my LBY Bible study, I didn't really clean, and my meals were pretty blah. I was on the phone most of every day, my poor kids. When I wasn't on the phone I was watching that blasted boob tube. Every day before I knew it 4 pm rolled around and I had barely brushed my teeth. (No, I'm not depressed; in case you were wondering.) This was not on account of me not having a lot on my plate. I really did/do. I was just totally uninterested in any of it. I'm making myself sound like a superb human being, aren't I?

So, this week I am having a phone and "mostly" tv fast. I say "mostly" because the season finale of Grey's comes on tonight and AI is tomorrow and Wed. But I promise that is it! The phone fast is happening simply because I really don't know when to stop talking. If I am on the phone you are almost guaranteed a 1 hour conversation unless someone beeps in or you have to go. When I have about 5 different people I talk to a day..well, you can see where that adds up.

I have been planning this for a while in response to Lori's post on being present with your kids. I know that I am not nearly enough. So there you have it! If you call and I don't answer, just email me!

On another completely unrelated matter. I can't believe I said this to my kids last week. As we were in the car about to be on our way to a meeting I asked Reia if she wanted Froot Loops on the way as a snack or fries from Chick Fil A (love them, don't you?). She said Froot Loops and I looked her square in the face and said, "Well, I am stopping for fries and I am NOT sharing with you." Am I 5 years old or what? I'm submitting my mother of the year ballot later today.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Froot Loops and a Roly Poly

I was just about to go to bed after a long day ending with a two hour prep meeting at the church for Adventure Week this summer. Per my normal habit, I went to the restroom, and when I looked in the potty I spotted the 40 or so brightly colored Froot Loops taking a dip. Suddenly all of the chaos of the day came back to me. I have to record this for posterity, so bear with me!

Here is the list of items that I have retreived from my youngest today:
1) One Lancome Mascara wand--Unfortunately, this was after she had applied said mascara to her face.

2) One lipstick tube with half eaten contents. --I didn't like the color that much anyway.

3) 8 jewelry making beads from Reia's jewelry kit--They came tumbling out like a little waterfall when I told her to "spit it!"

4) One Roly Poly--Thank goodness it hadn't made it into her mouth yet.

5) Several containers of my Arbonne face care system--She had removed the pumper lids and put them in her mouth. When I yelled, "Spit it!" they just came flying out onto the floor. I am surprised she can't already say "spit it" since she hears it so much!

6) A package of teeny tiny rubber bands that I use to do her hair.--Did I mention she had turned the package upside down and emptied the contents all over the floor? Yeah, about 250 teen tiny rubber bands. Did I mention they were TEENY TINY?

7) The cup with my Diet Dr. Pepper--She pushed a chair over to the bar area and preceded to help herself. At least she comes by that addiction honestly.

Someday she will have a child just like herself.....and I am gonna laugh and laugh and laugh!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Centerpiece

Today while Reia and I were cleaning up her room she showed me a bowl on her little wooden table that was now also covered with a tablecloth blanket. "Mom, this is for my centerpiece."

"Oh really. What exactly is a centerpiece?"

"Well, it's a bowl or vase that you put flowers in to sit in the middle of your table while you have tea."

"I think it is just lovely!"

And a big thank you to Shiloh--her afternoon tea date. I love it when she learns something fun from friends. This is one reason of many that playdates are so great!

Reese in Reia's Swimsuit Bottoms

reese in reia's bikini shorts
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
I just think this is too funny. First of all, I told her to smile and this is the face she gave me. Secondly, she put Reia's bikini bottoms on by herself. Of course she couldn't get them up all the way and was walking around the house with them at her knees. She seemed like she was having fun so I just left them like that. Hee Hee!

Yard of the Month!

yard of the month
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
Terry and I were so excited yesterday when the neighborhood association showed up and put the "Award Winning Yard" sign in our yard! Terry was so excited to have our landscaping done last month. It helped us bring a little of "us" into our new home.

Thanks to Brandon for designing our landscaping. Of course you can't really see it in this picture. I was in my pj's at 11 a.m., so I was trying to hurry. =)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I am...

Okay, I have to catch up on MeMe's. I was tagged by BooMama on this one. It's been fun reading every one else's.

I am...a blogaholic (according to my husband's comment as he just walked by).

I be in the center of God's will.

I wish...someone would make totally guilt free chocolate that also tastes good.

I be in traffic. I am THE MOST impatient driver. Really, don't people just know they are in my way and need to move it?!

I down the street from my friends and enjoying their company daily.

I hear...Reia as she is coming down the stairs at 3am.

I wonder...if I'll be able to get back to sleep within two hours after getting her back to sleep.

I regret...not being more laid back with my first child. (Don't read too many books. They make you totally paranoid.)

I am not...anal retentive or OCD or very structured or very organized--although I sometimes try.

I dance...only with my kids. Usually to the end of Lazytown and the Backyardigans.

I sing...Let's just say I'm glad the Bible says "make a joyful noise" and not "make beautiful melodies and harmonies to God"

I A Baby Story, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Miracle Workers, last nights episode of House...clearly, it doesn't take much

I am not always...on time. (But mostly. I cannot stand to be late. I would rather be an hour early than 15 min late.)

I girls smile when we play "fort" in the house.

I write...because it's fun!

I confuse...cliche's, and badly. If I can think of an example, I'll update this post later. **I am updating this to change it to I Confuse...fiction and non-fiction. See "I Should..." below!

I be okay with who God made me and stop trying to compare myself with others.

I more non-fiction. Okay, it was late and I was tired, and I meant fiction. Good gravy. I haven't read any fiction in 4 years that wasn't a children's book.

I start...several sewing projects a year

I finish...every last Reese's Peices in the bag, but only about half of my sewing projects. Reia's baby blanket is still in the works. Well, I guess it's a blanket for my grandkids at this point!

Hummm. Who to tag who hasn't been already. How about Jennifer and Kristie. They are two friends of mine who don't blog often, but might get a kick out of this!

A Cocoon!

A Coccoon!
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
I have lots of pics to share today, so get ready! Reia went out to the garden the other day and was yelling, "Comeon Mom! Hurry! There's a cocoon growing on our pepper plant!"

Of course, it's a baby banana pepper. I was still excited that she recognized what a cocoon might look like. Thank you Magic School Bus.

Reese the Climber

Reese the Climber
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
This is how I found Reese when I walked into her room the other day. Just so we all know I did not put her up there. And, after I took this pic I watched her climb back down. I AM IN SO MUCH TROUBLE.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
Reia has taken up doing headstands on the couch. Who wouldn't? It doesn't hurt your head this way. Anyway, Reese thinks this looks like fun, so she has decided to follow her sister's footsteps in this death defying act! Although, Reese can't quite make it all the way up yes, I'm sure it's coming soon.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Things I Have Learned From My Fast

1) Find all day play dates for the kids so you don't have to feed them and then clean up the leftovers.

2) Even with all the fat I have on my body, it will not sustain me contentedly through a day of not eating.

3) You will resort to whatever means necessary to keep your mind off of food. (Letting your four year old make her own lunch and dinner for example.)

4) I would make a terrible anorexic.

5) It is not mean to make your dog fast with you. She did fine although I think she was secretly pilfering the food Reese left --well anywhere.

6)I think I prayed that God would make the day go by faster almost as much as I prayed for what I was supposed to be praying for. But I did pray and that was the point!

7) You spend quite a bit of your day thinking about what you will binge on at exactly 7pm.

8) There will be at least one time when you are feeling ok and not hungry when you put a goldfish in your mouth out of sheer habit. Okay, maybe two goldfish.

9)You will be grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and be thankful for the blessings, especially of food, he brings to you on a daily basis.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

...and since I was on the phone and couldn't take one, I hope this does it justice.

Picture it, my house two hours ago. I am working on the computer and the girls are eating lunch. I am staying away since I am fasting and don't want to be reminded I am the only one in the house who can't eat right now. Reia comes and asks if she can make herself another jelly sandwich since she is still hungry. Since I have been reading The Mommy Manual I decide it is a good thing that I allow her to foster some more independence and give the green light. I hear the usual cling-clanging of her on the stool, opening jars etc. What I don't realize is that Reese has escaped her booster and is "helping" her sister. (That's what I needed today, a knife wielding 18 month old.)

So, Reia comes to me to apologize for the mess she made. Do I bother to go and check the mess, Noooooooo. I just ask her what kind of mess has been made. Ok, she just couldn't get the extra bread into the trash. Doesn't sound so bad to me, so I KEEP WORKING like a total moron instead of immediately getting up to check said "mess".

Here is what I find:

Reese has one hand in the jelly jar and the other in the peanut butter container. Swishing them around and then using them like little paint brushes on the countertop. The bread that didn't make it to the trash can is squished and also smeared over the countertop.

I have also chosen the moment before I walk into the kitchen to make a phone call to a woman I have never talked to before in regards to my job as the craft coordinator for this years Adventure Week at Uptown. My first words to her were, "I know you just answered but I have to yell at my kids for a moment and didn't want to just hang up on you since you have caller ID and could potentially call me back and chew me out."

I didn't yell at them by the way. I tried really hard to not laugh my head off at the situation. Of course the person I called did laugh as she heard what was going on. She really laughed when she could tell I was chasing Reese with a wet cloth to wash her up. (We were having an actual conversation at that point.) Reese, thinking this was wildly funny, ran all over the house and then I actually lost her! Yes, I couldn't find my kid covered in PB&J.

I really wished I had a picture, or better yet a video, of all of this. Because I'm sure it is way funnier than this will all seem in print. Since I don't really scrapbook anymore, this will have to do!

Fasting: Not for the Faint of Heart

Today is the church wide fast in order to be in prayer for the Town and Country program to raise the funds needed for the new satellite campus at Uptown and 1100 acre area in East Texas slotted for childrens' camps and other events. I have tried to fast before and have always, let me repeat ALWAYS given up by noon or so. I decided that God didn't really put it on my heart like I thought and next time I would listen more carefully before attempting such an endeavor.

It is 11:16 am and I can feel my blood sugar dropping. (This was not the best day for me to decide to go on a 30 minute power walk with the kids.) I have five people I could call to make me feel better about giving up. Two are pregnant so they don't have to participate without any scorn if they so desired, two have moved and no longer attend Fellowship so they are off the hook and one probably feels the same way I do. If I call her we'll make the fastest plans you have ever seen to meet at McDonald's. You know, so the "kids can play". So I can't eat or talk on the phone. (A phone fast is something I really am about to do, but that is another post and for another reason.)

So here I sit wondering how I am going to make it until 7pm when the fast ends at Emergent (our Wednesday night service) with communion. I am already predicting we'll run out of those little wafers after the first five rows and five thousand people will converge on the 12 or so restaurants across the street after church like pirhana!

Wish me luck. Hopefully I won't have gnawed my own arm off by this evening. I will confess I did have a diet Dr. Pepper this morning. It doesn't have any calories and I desperately need the caffeine, so I'm sure God will still listen to my hunger ridden prayers anyway.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday was totally productive and I didn't even get out of bed until 8:45. (Before you hate me, Reia was always up at 5:30 a.m. when she was little, so I totally deserve this.) Anyhoo, we scrambled to meet friends at the park then brought one home so her mother and I could get some actual work done. Then Reese took a 2 1/2 hour nap. I even had to wake her up at 4 so she wouldn't be up all night. I know God had this planned so I could get all of the organization done he had planned for me. It worked! House-clean, closets-organized, dinner-thought of, kids-happy.

Today, on the other hand, has been a total waste. I got up at 7:30 am and have done pretty much nothing. The kids and I have played, and while Reese napped for all of 45 min, I was supposed to be doing my LBY homework, taking a shower and resting. None of which I did. So, now I am trying to figure out how to do those things without being interrupted and while not letting the girls watch two hours worth of tv in order to get it done. As you can see, I'm blogging instead.

Hummm. Well, now maybe this day hasn't been a total waste after all!