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Friday, April 29, 2011

Entertainment on Friday, Friday

This is how it goes at our house on a Friday night (or any night).

Hubby sings some song that goes with some random word. Tonight it was "Lemonade". Then he begins singing some Country Time commercial he thinks I should know and then realizes, after he has youtubed from his phone at the table, that it was a commercial BEFORE I was born so I, of course, don't remember.

Then we begin thinking of other songs......

And Abraham says, "What day is today?"

And I answer with "It's Friday." Then I can't help myself, I break into song. You know, THAT song.

So we you tube it on the computer because the boys say they hear kids at school talk about the song and how awful it is.

And this happens............


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The After-Trauma of Loosing Two Teeth in One Night

If you haven't read yesterday's blog, PLEASE, stop reading this a moment to read THIS.


Okay, you are caught up. But just to remind you.....

S4 realized he had a loose tooth.....


He was not happy about this. He really felt all his teeth should stay in his mouth for forever.
And ever.

So, Moma read him a book called My Wobbly Tooth Must Not Ever Never Fall Out by Lauren Child.


The book helped calm his nerves and brought some joy at the thought of getting money - but this lasted only momentarily BECAUSE his Daddy and brothers were thinking of all sorts of ways to yank his tooth out.

Moma pulled it out.

And then told him ice cream would make him all better.

But when eating ice cream, ANOTHER tooth fell out.

But then he remembered the tooth fairy.

And realized it felt pretty cool when his tongue hit the missing tooth spot. Well, if he didn't taste any blood.

And there was that ice cream he got. With chocolate sauce.

So since he had tissues to stop the bleeding, life wasn't so terrible after all.


And he was super happy to have the promise of DOUBLE money from the tooth fairy.

He even let Moma take ANOTHER video of him explaining about his lost teeth.



And at night he made sure he put his teeth in the very middle of the under belly of his pillow pet in hopes that the tooth fairy wouldn't mind that he didn't have a pillow.

In the morning, he woke up to find....

Two Golden Dollars.

The tooth fairy totally rocked in his book.

But the best part, the VERY best part, was that the tooth fairy LEFT THE TEETH BEHIND.

This, he felt, was sheer brilliance. Because, as you may have now guessed, he could put his teeth under his pillow AGAIN and get two MORE golden dollars.

The tooth fairy didn't fall for it though.

And I really truly hope that he doesn't get another loose tooth for a very very very long time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

S4 Traumatically Lost His First TEETH

It was just a typical night at home. We were eating dinner and the boys were thrilled because it involved (food, yes) S1's pig roast and cooked carrots. Cooked carrots are a favorite. Especially to S4.

We were eating away when I noticed S4 pause as the carrot had just entered his mouth. I saw the confusion on his puzzled face. And then I saw the panic begin to take over him.

And I knew the day had arrived.

About two and a half weeks ago, we visited the dentist. S4 HATED the dentist. The dentist had mentioned how wiggly his bottom teeth were and I made the decision that since S4 hadn't noticed I wouldn't say a word so he wouldn't think the dentist made his teeth fall out. That would make every trip trauma ridden and I don't like visiting a dentist anyhow so I wouldn't have been much help.

But the day had arrived when S4 did indeed realize his tooth was loose.

And, being the ever loving mother I am, I grabbed the video camera......


It only got worse.

S4's kind loving brothers thought up all sorts of ways to get rid of their brother's loose tooth. They mentioned the bow and arrow idea, but then he might have a scar. Daddy suggested the old string and a door method, to which S4 nearly went into hysterics. A fishing pole was brought up. S4 began to look totally terrified and clung to me.

Which just got him teased even more.

Fortunatly, I had JUST gotten a book from the library called My Wobbly Tooth Must Not Ever Never Fall Out by Lauren Child. It was a brilliant mom moment, I must say, to have gotten this book and not have read it to him yet. We snuggled down on the couch where we lost ourselves in the story.

But only momentarily.

Because as soon as the story was over there was a Daddy and three boys ready to yank the tooth out. Any way they could.

It was finally decided that Moma would do the evil deed. Apparently I was the only one he felt he could trust in the house anymore. As soon as he seen the blood on the tissue, he freaked.

And I thought he had freaked before.

His screaming made his mouth open more and the tooth fell out and he didn't even realize it.

The boys found this very hilarious.

I finally got him calmed down (somewhat), we let him sit next to the heater (his favorite spot in the house) with a box of tissues and a blanket and then I got him ice cream.

I assured him that ice cream would make it all better now.

While eating that dish of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.....

His
Other
Tooth
Fell
Out

Knowing he was truly traumatized now, I grabbed the camera again......

Here is the video.

And the night isn't over....tune in tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter!

Easter is my most favoritest holiday's. Yes, yes, I love Christmas but Easter...well, I love it on so many levels.

I love it because of what it represents, my Savior who died for me, risen to conquer sin and death.

How can I not love that?

I love it because it's spring. And you all should know by now that I love spring.

But when we headed out to church and the doors opened to let all the dressed up people out, I did not expect this sight to greet us.
Why, yes, that IS a snake in S2's hands.

What you don't see, is that they are RIGHT next to the door. You see a bit of my coat on the left, I am literally going to get hit by the door if it opens.

And half the boys in the this photo disappeared when the camera came out. As if they knew they were so busted by their parents if they were caught on my camera.

I love S4's expression.

(And I apologize to all the girls that they shoved this snake near so that they would squeal and scream and not leave church.)

When we came home we had our neighbor come over and snap photos of us while we were actually dressed nicely. Never mind that we had to haul two off bikes and two out of the sandbox to get this photo taken.


I like a family photo every Easter. Hubs has gotten used to it...sorta. :)

My friend, Tara Miller, posted this video last night on facebook and I loved it so I had to post it for you all. I think I probably listened to it five times this morning as we skipped Easter sunrise service at church to have a huge breakfast at home (three pounds of bacon, four pounds of hash browns, one and a half dozen scrambled eggs, a tower of buttered toast) and just enjoy the morning together.

I love to see Carrie sing. Every emotion is played on her face. She feels a song and I just can't watch her sing live enough.

And I love this hymn.

I had been singing it all week thinking about Easter. When I was a little girl, there was another family that was like a second family to us - the Nichols. We did EVERYTHING together and swapped kids on weekends. Nanc, my other mother as I call her, made on large poster board, the words to this song. She had cut out large pictures of lightening and waves and mountains. I loved when she would teach all the kids at Awana this song. For a long time it sat on her piano in the living room and I cannot hear this song without thinking of her and the cardboard words and pictures she made so we could memorize that song.

Never estimate how the smallest thing can make the biggest impression on a child.

I love her for the time she spent to make that song meaningful to me and lots of other little kids too.

But here it is, the song as it should be song, but Carrie and Vince.

Happy Easter!!!!

Winner of "If I Could Be" by Korene VandenBurg


YAY!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! I want you to know that they all stopped working on the garden tractor just to pick the winner.

That is love.

So congratulations to Junk Loving Girl. You will be receiving a package in the mail soon!!! So happy you won our VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

Monday, April 18, 2011

And the Winning Purse Is.......

It was pretty overwhelming which purse you all wanted me to get.
It arrived at my door on Saturday and I squealed with joy!!!!! It is softer than I thought it could be. It is much prettier than I imagined it would be. But then the day sorta got insanely busy and Sunday I never even grabbed it.

In fact, shockingly, my husband hasn't even seen it yet.

How sad is that? (Maybe we need a date night....)

But today...Monday, April 18th...we awoke to snow.

MUCH snow. (as you can see by this picture my mom took for me)

It was sad and depressing.

BUT, as I jumped into the suburban with my new purse I swear the suburban seemed a brighter, happier place. All the boys oohed and aahed. They all, every one of the four of them, said it was very nice.

That, my friends, is the mark of a good purse.

Today, my mom and I braved the nasty roads and drove into the big city of Kalamazoo (yes there really is a Kalamazoo) where we did something we haven't done in years (yes, years)...we shopped for clothes.

Minus kids.

My wonderful brother watched S4 all day on his day off. Now, how sweet was that? And S4 and Jr and my brother seemed to have a great day.

All day I shopped with my mom and we had a glorious time and all day I loved the purse more and more and more. On the way home, I spotted a very fashionable much younger girl with a turquoise purse and ....

... mine was cuter.

So thank you, thank you dear blogging friends. I would not have been so brave to get something so daring. But you did speak (in droves) and picked it out for me and I love love love love it. THANK YOU!!!!!!

And if you need one now too, after all I have raved over this one,
you can find my exact purse at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We Need New Pets For School

This week, S3's teacher sent home a note letting us know that the class would be studying pets. There is a form to fill out to see if parents would bring in the child's pet for a show and tell at school so the kids can talk about all the different pets and how to care for them.

I think S3's teacher is very brave.

Can you imagine having all sorts of pets in school?

But then S3 and I had a little chat and I had to send her an email thanking her for her brilliant idea.

S3 was making his lunch for the next day and we were discussing bringing pets into school. I asked him what he wanted to bring and he shrugged with an "I don't care" attitude. " I guess Josie," he stated, as though he HAD to bring a pet to school and it might as well be her even if he didn't want to bring her.

"Why Josie?" I asked, quite surprised but already forming in my head all the stories I could tell about her to make her seem interesting even if she wan't much to brag about.

"Well, Sadie would be too hard to take to school."

I imagined her hauling me down the hallways, hiding behind people, barking at everyone and had to agree that while she would be memorable, she would not be wise choice.

"You could bring a chickie," I suggested. S3 is my biggest fan of chickens, he and I share that bond. His eyes lit up momentarily and then his shoulders slumped. "But Chickie is so big now that no one would want to hold him."

Well, he had me there. I thought about running down to Family Farm and Home to get him a new one but you can't really do one baby chick. And I didn't really want a bunch of baby chicks on the porch right now. AND we are getting a little flock of grown chickens from a friend so we may not even need a baby chick....

Suddenly, his eyes got huge. His smile was bright. I mean, if you could actually see the turned on lightbulb above his head you would because he suddenly had a brilliant idea.

"I KNOW!" he nearly shouted and then he began to stammer over his words in excitement..."We could go and buy six cows and maybe a bull too because we need a daddy but six cows and we could milk them or whatever or we could ride them, yah, we could ride them or, no, we could buy six horses! Yah, we could buy six horses and we could ride the horses and we could take them to the school for pet day and we could ride the horses to round up the cows and we could take them in...no, that won't work...oh, I know! We could ride the horses, one for each of us, to round up the cows and we could herd them by the window and then my whole class could see our cows and horses."

I was stunned into silence.

"Can we, Moma?" he pleaded, taking my silence as a good sign of his sheer brilliance. "Can we get a get just six cows and just six horses. And a bull. But six cows and six horses? Please?"

I was still stunned so he grasped at "Aunt Ginger could help us."

Aunt Ginger who works on a cow farm and has horses.

"Well, we'd have to run that one by Daddy," I finally said.

And then I quickly typed an email to his teacher telling her what sort of a mess I was in now because of her "bring a pet to class" assignment.

To which she responded with great laughter. And this email response to my "thank you, thank you very much..."

I AM LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY!!

Now THAT would make a great blog post!! (Of course questions would follow

as to the credibility of my teaching, but hey, what could I say?!!)


Remind Eli that it does say one pet per student. And, if he considers

cows and horses his pets, then I'd love to meet them (or one of them!).


Oh, you're quite welcome!!


So I did blog about it. And if anyone has suggestions for me...send em along. Before I have to find six cows and a bull and six horses.

But to be fair, I did ask him the next morning if S3 would tell his teacher what he was hoping to bring in and he informed me he was now thinking of kittens. Kittens would be much easier to work with.....

Though not so blogworthy, you know?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

S2's Cowboy Boots

This is S2.

S2 has a style allllllllllllll his own. And while it does not involve looking like this everyday, it does involve wearing his own put together creations.

Usually, he has on some sports shirt, a jersey of the Red Wings or Michigan Football (although Tara can't read that...he likes it because it says Michigan, not that he is the biggest fan. Yes, yes, I promise you, Tara, I am working on him liking State. I know, I know, I don't follow sports enough....). And, usually he wears a red bandana on his head.

We don't know why. He says it looks cool.

But recently, he discovered he can wear a pair of cowboy boots that we hidden away upstairs in a closet just waiting for someone to wear them. He can't wear them to school because he plays football at recess and they wouldn't help him grip the grass so he gets home from school and immediately puts them on.

Because he likes the sound of them, he just wanders the dining room with no real particular reason to being there.

The dining room is the main room of the whole house. My computer is in this room, along with our table where all the visitor's sit when the come over and where we do homework and look at magazines and talk about life...and eat.

But when S2 puts these boots on, he has to walk on just the heel so it makes the loudest click across and bang across the floor.

I recall when I got my first pair of boots. I was a shuffle girl. I recall my Dad sitting at the table in the kitchen complaining that since I had gotten those boots I had forgotten how to walk because all I did was shuffle.

I liked the sound of shuffled boots.

Just like my son likes the sound of click bang boots.

And just like my Dad, I am groaning at the sound of them.

Especially when he is just walking around our tiny dining room doing nothing at all but listening to his boots and trying to look busy so I don't holler at him to knock it off or go outside.

I am sorry, Father dear, for all those days shuffling in boots in the kitchen.
I sure hope you forgave me.
Just like I'll forgive S2 one day.
Maybe.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

I like Taylor Swift's music. I do.

And she has a new song out right now that I can't help but sing to called "Mean". And while it's all happy and cute sounding, it says some vicious things.

Sunday I heard it on our way home from church and couldn't get it out of my head. I love when lines of songs or movies can fit into my every day life.

For instance, one of my all time favorite movies is Sweet Home Alabama. And I can use all sorts of lines from that movie because I am married to a Jake.

I couldn't really see a way I could use this song in real life....

But then Jake gave me two reasons on two days in a row.

Sunday night it was warm and 70 degrees when we went to bed. During the night it got much colder and apparently I snuggled down deeper and deeper into the blankets because I had refused to shut any windows, hoping to capture all that good smelling country air in the house.

When my hubby woke at some awful early time he looked over to my side of the bed and seen two pillows and a pile of blankets but.....no me.

He panicked and began to hit the blankets to see where I had disappeared too, to see if I was even in the bed!

I mumbled in my sleepy state..."Hey, you hit me! Why you gotta be so mean?"

(In my husband's defense, he says he didn't try to hit me, he was panicked. And all he was doing was "patting" the blankets. But I stick to my story of him hitting me...it sounds so much more dramatic...even if it was because he was in a sleepy state and panicked.)

The very next morning...after I had sent him the youtube of Taylor singing her sweet mean song...we were lying in bed. I was pretty much asleep but he was waking up and Sadie the dog came in to check on us. "Hey there, Sadie girl!" he did in his best "oh you cute little doggie you!" voice. She immediately jumped up on the bed.

Except it was my head she caught, not the bed.

I looked at him as he was apologizing profusely and shoving the dog off the bed and making sure I wasn't hurt.

"You nearly beheaded me!" I cried, "Why you gotta be so mean?"

He informed me that technically the DOG was the mean one, not him.

I told you all that to show you this video.....

And now you will be singing it for the rest of the day and while I hope no one is mean to you, feel free to use this song line in your every day life too.

Love you wonderful hubby, you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My FIRST Giveaway!!!

Late this winter I went on over to

She has all sorts of fun style information for me. I have learned to tie my scarfs in fun new ways, what lip stain to use on my lips, what shampoos to try, fashions for driving the boys to school...and my favorite, "What I wore Wednesday" because I like to see how cute all the other women look when I am wearing my worn slip on shoes, old jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and no make up on Wednesday's.

I was sooooo happy I did because she was having a 100 dollar give away of the


great jewelry. I loooooove the bead girl's unique jewelry so I entered the giveaway.

And won.

Lisa (aka The Bead Girl) and I have chatted lots on twitter. I have batted my eyelashes and shown pictures of her great jewelry when Jake is around (it didn't get me any though) and I literally squealed and jumped for joy when I won.

Yes, very literally.

I beamed.

And then I had to pick something. It took me forever.
Because I like it allllllllll.
Really.

I sent her emails that went something like this "I'm still deciding...would earrings A go with B or would C go with A or do you like D and B or do you think......"

Yah, she had to love me for that.

Being a bracelet gal, I drooled over her bracelets.

And then I didn't choose one.

I wanted these earrings.

Because they matched this necklace.
I looooved this necklace when All Things Chic posted it on her blog. In the dead of winter it reminded me that spring would soon return.

And as soon as I seen it I could think of a million outfits to wear it with.

Since I have received these delicate pieces, I have hardly ever don't have them on. Yup, I love them that much.

I can't thank All Things Chic and The Bead Girl enough for this gift. It made my day, my spring...it makes every outfit all the more better.

My jewelry making friend noticed them the first day I wore them. She had to look it all over and was quite impressed. It was shortly thereafter we got talking about how fun it is to win things when brilliance finally struck me. (it takes awhile sometimes)

Why don't I do a giveaway?

Okay, okay, I hear you. We'll do a giveaway!!!! :)

Korene, my jewelry making friend, is also a graphic designer. She is also an author. And we are really truly friends. Her oldest son and my oldest son are friends and in the same class at school. She is the friend who called me and got me out of my funk last Saturday. We go to the beach together and exchange recipes and kids.

She dressed up when I asked her and her family to, drove to our church and was part of "sports night" for a fun church night. And when her husband would explain whey they were there he would nod to the Kor and I and say "They are friends...you know, like real friends instead of just a facebook friend."
Yup, that's us!!!!

And a local bookstore just picked up her book. We squealed on the phone about that. She gaveme her book for my first EVER give away!!!!

Here is her official bio and a bit about the book.....

Brief synapsis of the book:
If I Could Be is a children's story that focuses on animals adn their different traits.
The reader gets to know each animal and it's unique characteristics by wondering what it would be like to be that animal. Imagine what it would feel like to be a rabbit, a tiger, a bear, or a worm. The story of If I Could Be helps children appreciate animals, as well as allowing them to realize it's good to be who they are: fun imaginative kids.

Bio:
Korene VandenBerg
lives on a dirt road in Western Michigan with her husband, John, and two sons, Canton and Maxwell. She and her husband discovered their oldest son had neurological issues in the fall of 2006. He was struggling with school and social interactions. Korene and John decided that one of them would have to stay home to work with their son and take him to therapy. As a
result, the household income took a hit. The family made of the most of the situation, though, by getting creative. For instance, Korene gave this book to her two sons one Christmas. It is a poem she wrote in fifth grade that her mom had saved. Korene's also a graphic designer, so she used her talents to develop the illustrations that are in the book.

Recently, Korene has been speaking to area schools and libraries to discus the "6 Traits of Writing" and drawing/illustrating to local children."

You can find her book at
Grand Rapids/Downtown Grand Rapids/Alpine

Grand Rapids:
Schuler Books & Music
2660 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Phone: 800 331 1727 (MI only)
616 942 2561
Fax: 616 942 9238
email:
info@schulerbooks.com
bookgroupsgr@schulerbooks.com
Manager: Tim@schulerbooks.com
STORE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Mon-Sat
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Sun


Alpine:
Schuler Books & Music
3165 Alpine Ave.
Walker, MI 49544
Phone: 877 333 7600 (MI only)
616 647 0999
Fax: 616 647 1006
Promotions:
Emily@schulerbooks.com
Manager: Trevor@schulerbooks.com
STORE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Mon-Sat
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Sunday

Downtown Grand Rapids:
Schuler Books & Music
40 Fountain N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616 459 7750
Fax: 616 459 7778
Promotions:
Emily@schulerbooks.com
Manager: Neil@schulerbooks.com
Parking Map: http://www.downtowngr.org/map.php
STORE HOURS:
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday
11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday


It is also available from Rose Dog Books.Here is HOW TO ENTER to WIN this SIGNED book!!!!!
1. "Like" Life With Four Boys Coffee Please on facebook. I just set this page up this week just for this giveaway. Leave a comment and tell me you did!

2. Follow @life4boys on twitter with this tweet (copy and paste it)
@life4boys has a #giveaway 4 a #GRR #kidsbook http://t.co/2QZTnCM Pls RT
Leave a comment here that you did!

3. "Like" All Things Chic on Facebook. Leave yet another comment that you did this.

4. "Like" The Bead Girl. And leave one more comment that you did this too.

5. If you follow this blog and grab my button and put it on your blog, you will get an EXTRA prize...I'm not sure what it'll be yet, therefore the SURPRISE element in it! And, you guessed it, leave a comment telling me to you did that too.

That's FIVE ways to enter a chance to win this book! The contest will run until Thursday morning, April 21st. BE SURE AT LEAST ONE COMMENT TELLS ME YOUR EMAIL SO I CAN CONTACT YOU FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION!!!!!

It's Spring Break - So I Went to Body Building Competition

This post is totally about my baby brother....
And the Fact that he is a body builder.

Really.

Saturday, after S3's Near Death Experience and the re-coop of that, I spent the day doing laundry and dishes until I realized I was suppose to leave RIGHT now to meet my brother for his first ever body building competition.

I put on somewhat clean clothes and ran out the door, blowing kisses to my hunky hubby and dirty looking boys and hurried over to my brother and sister in law's, carrying a dish of the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls because the boy hasn't eaten sweets in MONTHS (he was even that disciplined through Christmas and New Years and all that) and figured I he may wake up the next day craving cinnamon rolls. I know his sister does.

I walked into their house to see my brother standing in a speedo in the middle of the kitchen while my sister in law rubbed brown body paint all over him.

People, nothing really prepares you for that sight.

Nothing.

After I tried to gather myself up from that shock, we chatted a bit trying to ignore that my brother was nearly naked.

Or I was trying to ignore the fact. He was ready to go and strut his muscular body.

The brown paint sorta looked like Robin Williams when he got stuck in that insta tan booth in Old Dogs.

My super sweet sister in law hopped in the suburban loaded with booster seats and an unfound icky scent of something the boys have forgotten about while my brother drove his super cool four by four pick up truck with a bunch of other friends to down town Kalamazoo where he would compete for Mr. Kalamazoo.

Why, yes, I did suddenly feel very very very old.

Because I didn't have a ticket I stood outside with body builder wanna be's and body builder groupies. I soooooooo should have worn "My Husband Rocks" t-shirt.

My family had gotten tickets earlier in the day so I sat all alone among strangers in a front and center great seat to watch my brother perform.

There were 44 performers. My brother was about number 39 or so.

But I thought he was the best!!!!!

It was quite the learning experience. The couple to my right knew everything about body building, apparently, so I just listened in as they critiqued all the body builders.

The man next to me was taking a zillion and a half photos and I considered asking him to take extra pictures of my brother but since I couldn't quite figure him out, I decided not to.

I did, however, text my friend KE a bunch of times and told Becca I know what we are capable of with the #pushupchallange2011.

These body builders spend MONTHS and YEARS getting ready for this day. And most these performers were a lot older than me. By a lot. (I liked the one mom who was out there...I know she was a mom because a young voice called out "Way to Go, MOM!") They have followed a strict diet, they work out every day, they practice and sacrifice and work as hard as they can to be in the best shape possible.

They should all get trophies and rounds of applause.
My sister in law has been by his side through all this, step by step. Helping him eat healthy, encouraging him, going to the gym with him.....and she was super proud of her hubby for the great job he did.
This is a picture of me, my parents and my little brother. Except, he's not little AT ALL anymore. And do you see our sleepy looks? This was waaaaaaay past our nine pm bedtimes. But it was soooo worth it to see my brother up there on stage.

He says he learned a lot about himself gearing up for the competition. But the thing that shocked him the most? He has no fear of performing in front of large crowds.

Obviously! He walked in front of theme in a speedo like everyone in the world does that every day to show off their muscular body.

As soon as the competition was over and he had been critiqued by the judges and the place cleared out, we drove down to Pizza Hut where he ordered two large pizza's, a family order of cheesy breadsticks and downed a million glasses of water (dehydrating your body before a competition makes your muscles look more taut.)
The next morning he ate the full plate of cinnamon rolls. Less than 24 hours after the body building competition we all gathered up at my parents for home made pizza. He had gained 12 pounds already.

And then he will start training again for another competition.

I am extremely proud of him.

As in words escape me how proud I am of him.

And I can't wait to watch him perform again!

Here is the video I took of his competition. It's shaky at best because I was trying to take pictures with my camera, my phone and hold the flip cam in one place. At one point I am clapping and realized "oh yah! the camera!" but it's here for you to see if you want.



Way to go, Dustin!
Thanks for letting me blog about you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Spring Break - S3's Near Death Experience

Saturday was a rough day for me. I'll sum it up to say that by 9:20 in the morning, I was curled up in my bed and bawling my eyes out.

Yup, I really was. It really was that kind of a day.

When my phone rang a bit later, I seen I had to answer it. When my friend heard my voice, she immediately asked me what was wrong but I played it off telling her I had a cold. Which I totally do, so, technically I didn't lie to her.

She chatted happily away with me and soon I found myself giggling a bit and soon I was spilling my whole morning...right down to the crying fest I had just before she had called. When I finished spilling my guts, we both started giggling.

Her phone call meant more to me than she could possibly understand. Friends are the greatest.

As I chatted with her, I began making the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls because, well, the day now called for something to sweeten it up.

Just the two youngest boys were home and they were outside playing with their chickens.
S3 hadn't held a chicken in a while (this picture is form last year when the boys tried to hypnotize a chicken) and decided it was time to get reacquainted with them.

Suddenly, S4 came running into the kitchen. "MOMA!!!! COME QUICK!!! E-WHY IS HURT. BAD!!!!!"

This is never good.

I stepped out of the kitchen and could hear S3 - Eli - screaming.

"I don't want to die, I want to LIVE." Live was emphasized as though by saying "live!" he would truly live and not die.

"What happened?" I asked S4, suddenly very concerned and thinking a bandaid may not work on this injury.

"He stepped on a nail and it went right into his foot.
Right.
In.
His.
Foot, Moma.
It's bad."

All the while S3 is still screaming "I don't want to die, I want to LIVE."

The boys had gotten into the chicken coop, crawled out the chicken sized door and were in the chicken yard. S3 was sitting on the ground, his shoe off, his foot in his hand and huge tears falling from his blue eyes.

One look at me and he got even more loud and panicked. "I don't want to die, I want to LIVE," he seemed to plead with me.

"You'll live," was all I said as I helped him out of the pen.

"But there is blood and I don't want to die, I want to LIVE."

I was really trying not to laugh at him. But it was getting nearly impossible.

I scooped him up in my arms, carried him to the house and we doused his foot with hydrogen peroxide and then set him in the tub to soak in some soapy water.

He was still muttering "I don't want to die...." but it wasn't so intense anymore.

Since it was SATURDAY...all traumatic things occur on a Saturday when the pediatric office is closed...I facebooked message our pediatric nurse who now drives Ambulance. If anyone could help me know if I needed to rush him in, she would. And she, being the sweetest most kindest nurse ever took time from her yard clean up on her day off and talked me through it all so I could, in fact, assure him that even Nurse Sherrie said he would live.

We bandaged up his foot with neosporine and gauze and gauze tape (I have boys, these things are always on hand...but I now realize I need to stock up a bit more as spring has arrived.). We then let him wear S2's socks (um, an un-named person in this house hasn't folded socks in some time, apparently) and knowing he would make his older brother mad by wearing his socks, he was all smiles.

And his new shoes from his good friend Jacob weren't damaged so he would wear them again.

And cinnamon rolls were being made.

So his life was wonderful again and he went on living.

Daddy burned the board that had the nail in it that he stepped on. Because, can you imagine if a chicken had stepped on that?

That chickie mighta died.
Because Eli almost did.
Just ask him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Spring Break - Swamp (Mud) Season Begins

On Sunday, following a week of cold and rainy weather, the temperature soared to 85 degrees.

Yes, 85 on an April day in Michigan.

I wore a summer dress and tall heels to church. I was so happy to be in heels and skirts that I didn't even mind how very pale white I am...I hope no one else did either. Last week, I wore a hooded sweater and a scarf and wool socks and two layers to church. Seriously.

When we got home, the boys begged to go play in the swamp. Daddy informed them how cold it would be since it's been 45 degrees or so all week.

They didn't care.

Off they ran as soon as they scarfed down amazing cheeseburgers Hubby grilled for us. I was busy sweeping off a winter's worth of dirt and salt off the front porch and could hear the boys whooping and hollering and laughing in the woods so I grabbed my camera and decided to sneak up on them.

I was very cautiously walking too because you just don't want to see a snake already this season.

And when I arrived at the boys "Swamp"...oh my.
You see, sometimes I wonder if you all think I make up these stories of the boys and the swamp and the mud and the fun they have.

Pictures don't lie.
The boys were THRILLED when after a graduation party they were given the beverage pools. They have been saving them for THIS...the ultimate swamp boat.
I was thrilled I caught S4's pose on camera.
This is their favorite way to spend the day....this was the best day of their spring break, I think.
This is not a swamp monster.

This is S2.

Really, it is. We had to hose him down. Then he took a shower (because I want you to think good thoughts of me, I did not take a picture of the tub afterwards. May I remind you...our only tub/shower.)

This is why I think Tide should pick me to test their detergent. I promise to make sure it works hard.... :)

And......just in case these photos aren't enough for you.....here it the video I took before I ever took a picture with the camera. It's better than anything I could ever try to write for you.

Enjoy.

And feel free to come over and help me clean up from this day.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's Spring Break - Microwaved Peanut Butter and Jam

Microwaved peanut butter and jam. Husband assures me it could catch on.

I don't think so.

Tuesday I worked all day at the library. Usually S4 is with me and packs a cooler full of food (in case starvation may set in, you know, it could happen) but all the boys were over to my parents for a day filled with fun.

Usually I have leftovers for lunch the next day (thus the reason I have a tiny part in Rachael Ray's Every Day May Make Over issue)
But on this particular day the pickings were few because we had had spaghetti the night before and I am not a big fan of spaghetti.

But, I had a little bit more of the home made mac and cheese I had made a few nights before. It fit in half a jam jar. And since I am a huge fan of peanut butter and jam, I figured that would make a pretty good lunch.

However, we had run out of sandwich bags and since we are on spring break I felt no need to invest in more. That plan had been brilliant until I made my sandwich and suddenly didn't know what to put it in.

Then the sheer brilliance hit me.

A cool whip container.

I mean, how perfect? My sandwich wouldn't get crushed and would stay all nice and fresh.

Yes, brilliance does occur with me from time to time!

My day progressed at the library and when lunch came I popped the mac and cheese in the microwave for a minute and a half and went back to work for a bit.

When I came back to retrieve my lunch, it popped and hissed at me as I pulled it out of the microwave. I didn't have that much mac and cheese and I couldn't believe it would be that angry and hot sounding because I really hadn't left it in the microwave for very long.

I lifted the lid and was shocked to see...

My peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam sandwich.

The jam was oozing out. The peanut butter was popping. The bread was this weird form of soggy hardness.

I covered it back up in the cool whip container and tossed it in the garbage.

Genius I so am not.

Starving I so was. But without S4 to help me ward of starvation, I suffered through the day.

I sent a message to my husband telling him what I did.

I never should have done that because he can't stop teasing me about it. He keeps telling me I may be onto something brilliant here. He mentions the magazine and how they thought I was cool enough to be in there, surely I may have found a new cool HOT sandwich.

I offered to make him one. He declined.

I feel that was a genius move on his part.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pick My Purse

I am in desperate need of a new purse. I have a plain brown one, I have a plain black one, I have an orange one I got from Title Nine that I looooooove to use all fall and winter. Love it. But in the summer I need something bright.

I always pick the color brown. It is MY color. But I have been looking for a purse that screams me and I can have fun with all summer long.

And that can hold my camera and wallet and flip cam and water bottle and trail mix and sunglasses and S4's matchbox cars and a notebook and ink pens......you get the idea.

I was scrolling through a site that Cohagen Chronicles had found her amazing purse at. She had set up two purses that she couldn't decide on and her readers picked their favorite.

So I have decided to do the same.

This first purse is what S3 and S4 picked out for me. Seriously. Turquoise is my most favoritest color OTHER than brown. And at first I laughed at it but the more I looked at it, I really really really liked it.

A lot.

Here is purse Number One.
My question is, will I regret this purse later? I looooove the color. I do. But is it too daring and fun?

The second purse is a turquoiseish color but a safer color, you know what I mean? It's actually called "teal". It doesn't scream at you. It's my mom's favorite. But like I said, it's not nearly as thrilling.
And here is the safe purse. Actually, if this purse were in turquoise, I'd get this one and not think twice about it. This is my safe boring comfy leather chair brown. I love the toggle, how cute!

So leave me a comment and tell me what purse you like the most. I will then run a post just like the Farmer's Wife did and show it off when it arrives.

Pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeee help a girl out!!!!!!

It's Spring Break - the Post My Hubby Hates to Have Me Write

This is gonna be a long post....but you must read it because it's sooooooooo good.

To begin with, there was a post that I wrote in 2009 when I began blogging. To fully understand the story I am about to tell you, you MUST read that one first.

You'll be glad you did!


And now to today's story.....

As I posted yesterday, our boys LOVE the Dukes of Hazzard. You have to understand, they really truly think they ARE the Duke boys. S1 is Luke...I know, I found that odd too...S2 is Bo, S3 is Uncle Jesse, S4 is Cooter, I am Daisy (I love those boys) and Daddy is either Boss Hogg or Rosco, depending on the day Daddy is having.


Now you can understand this story much better.......

My husband was driving in an unfamiliar area and had two GPS's with him. They were both telling him two different things. He was totally lost, which hardly ever happens to him.

Suddenly, he noticed the bright lights and pulled over for a police officer.

The woman officer gave him a ticket for not wearing his seat belt. He explained he was lost, that he had unbuckled when he was craning his neck to do all his turning around and all that.

You must understand,
my husband is a seat belt stickler.

Nope, he got a ticket.

He was shocked. Knowing his wonderful handsome good looks, he had been sure he would walk away from a ticket with no problem. (insert roll of eyes here) He explained that to the boys too. He just could not believe a woman police officer would give him a ticket.

The boys could not believe it either and gave him all sorts of advice. Dukes style, of course.

But the best....the best and most shocking advice came from S4.

S4 who understands how to solve all problems. Just ask him.

"Did you kiss her?" he asked.

We were all stunned in silence.

"What?!" my husband stammered. "No, I didn't kiss her!"

S4 shrugged..."Well, that's what Bo does and then he doesn't get a ticket. You shoulda kissed her, Daddy."

Groan.

And the reason I share this story with you is because on Saturday, at the spring fling library day when the library was filled with over 40 kids that all my boys go to school with and lots of parents helping with all the crafts the kids were doing, S4 loudly declared....

"My daddy got a ticket from a GIRL police officer." Not waiting for anyone to say anything he just went on... "Uh-huh. He wasn't wearing a seat belt. But Daddy shoulda known what to do. Just like Bo Duke........"

And that's where he left it, thank goodness.

But it didn't stop the raised eyebrows and "You ARE going to blog about this, right?"

So I did.

(Love you handsome hubby!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's Spring Break - Invitation to Tea

And that allllllwwwwaaaaaayyyyyyysssssss means I have lots and lot and lots of stories to share with you.

The problem is that I think "AH! I can't WAIT to tell this story on my blog!!!!"....and then I forget.

It's a sign I need more sleep.

And more coffee.

And a housekeeper, a dishwasher, a cook, an organizer, a photographer, a barista....

Speaking of barista, my hubby brought me home coffee today. Was that not the sweetest? Yes, I nearly swooned. It was so sweet of him.

He can be sweet. Really, he can.

Here are a few stories for you in this random post (because I am so sure you hadn't noticed how random this is....)

I lost a book.

I have looked for a YEAR for this book. I wrote a blog post about it. I have asked people I haven't seen in years if I let them borrow it. I have looked and looked and looked for this book EVERYWHERE. I was sick to have lost it. I finally found it at a local library and actually considered telling them I lost it and paying the fee just to keep it - but I would never be able to then read it with a clear conscience which would totally ruin the book.

(I cannot believe I just admitted this!)

So, I returned the book with a note in it basically begging them to let me buy it if it's one that only I have been checking out....over and over and over and over again.

Get this.....this library doesn't know me and they are actually
considering letting me purchase it.

I loooooooooooove libraries.

So, I am telling my tale of woe to my mother and sister in law late one night this week.

My mom suddenly says, "Wait? What book again?"

And then her eyes got wide and nearly popped out of her head.

She scurried up the stairs and when she returned, she had my book.

She claims she was just keeping it safe for me.

The very worst part?

She
Never
Even
Read
It.

My handsome coffee bringing home coffee hubby said "Good! Now you can tell the library that you won't need to buy their copy!"

Uh....I so do!!!!

What if my mom borrows it to never read or return it again????

This book is wooooonnnnndddddeeeerrrrfffffffuuuuulllll and if you have a nook, you can download it for FREE. Yes. That's how little they think of my wonderful book.

And if EVER you find this book,
and for some insane reason you don't like it,
PLEASE send it to me.
I love it so!


(that wasn't so bad, was it mom?)

Tune in TOMORROW for a story involving Hubby and a Police Officer....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How I Ended up on Page 134 in Every Day with Rachael Ray


About a month ago I was sitting at the table, eating lunch, sad about the snow and ick outside and decided to see what was on Facebook.


Rachael Ray was asking what we were eating for lunch. Well, I just happened to be eating a superb lunch! I had made a yummy cream of asparagus soup the night before for dinner and it was my lunch today. Sue had stopped by the day before and, knowing my love of sourdough bread, had dropped off a loaf for me from our favorite restaurant after I had watched Lauren while she spoke at a MOPS group.


And so my lunch was yummy.


I wrote I was having cream of asparagus soup from our own canned asparagus and bakery sourdough bread.


Apparently, that answer peaked their interest.


A couple days later I got an email asking if Rachael Ray could contact me. I figured it wasn't spam so I let them contact away. They were really interested in what I had for lunch.


I had forgotten I had said anything on Facebook.


They hadn't.


I told them I normally just eat leftovers so they reminded me what I had written and it all came back to me. They sent me a bunch of questions to answer and I did my best to give them all the info they seemed to need.


Then the needed a picture.


The day they needed the picture the boys had off of school. I had worked that morning (with all four boys) then drove to Wayland for Chicken Feed and a few "had to be done" chores, grabbed a pizza at Little Caesar's and took off for my sister's to see her newest little baby - a boy.


By the time I arrived home I was EXHAUSTED. And then I seen they needed a picture.


Those first pictures.........they were scary, people. I have not worn my hair in a barrette since this day.


My husband was snapping pics, talking to his buddy on the Nextel, the boys were thinking I had gone crazy and I was in a desperate need for coffee...or, actually, sleep.


And you have to realize, to get a picture, we couldn't find a clean place in the house. I moved the mountain of laundry to a new place and stood in front of the only blank wall we have in our house.


Finally, around nine at night, I was curling my hair, standing in all sorts of weird ways so my husband could get a picture that didn't make me look sleepy and we sent it all off.


The staff at Rachael Ray was as nice as could be, friendly and efficient. They said it looked promising that I would be in May's issue and they would let me know if I made the cut.


cover_may11.jpg

I'm on page 134.


Really.


All because I was eating lunch and posted it on Facebook.


Hurry out and get a copy!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Magazine Is Here!!!!!

Click
to see
our new
magazine


(If you want to read my funny story, it's on page 62. Yes, 62. We don't mess around with small magazine's, we have too many stories to share with you!)

Sue and I are sooooooooooooooooo excited to share this magazine with you!!! We have so many stories of women going through storms and coming through them, this issue is sure to leave you encouraged. But grab some kleenex's because it will also make you cry.

Amy Bender is the first feature story. We have known Bender's a few years. I remember when she was here in my driveway telling me to watch the boys with mosquitoes because that's what the doctor's thought that was causing Charlie's illness. When I was camping, it was late on a Sunday night when my husband called me to tell me the news....Charlie had cancer. I sobbed that night.

Her story is amazing.

Kim we met at Breathe Writer's Conference. Her story gripped my heart and absolutely would not let go. She is the speaker for our Praise and Coffee in June. I can't wait to hear her speak! And when her book comes out, oh my!

I have never met Susy. But Sue knows her and loooooved being able to highlight her story of Cancer.

And there's lots more. Some from Mel and a totally heart wrenching story from Sue about my adorable little Lauren. I say she is "my" Lauren because, well, the girl is my adopt a daughter sometimes. :)

It's a good good issue. Sue put tons of time in the graphics and so forth. She is the brains behind this is so many ways and if you see her, thank her. I get to flit and see and ooh and ahh and love it and suggest more coffee. But without Sue, it would still be an idea.

Please please please, pass this magazine along. Tell your friends. You should actually GET your friends, HAVE a praise and coffee night, WHILE you are cooking a meal for PRAISE AND COFFEE COOKS and then read this MAGAZINE together.....brilliant plan there. A great night would be had for sure!

And, if the kleenex has run out and you realize you are hungry, look at Praise and Coffee Cooks. It's a new chapter in Praise and Coffee and I am THRILLED about it all. Really. I'm heading it up right now and can not wait for all the stories to come in!

But like I said, if you need a good laugh, just flip to page 62. Seriously.